July 12, 2003

SCORE ANOTHER ONE FOR RUMSFELD

A couple months back he said that an idiotic Belgian law giving its courts jurisdiction over "war crimes" committed anywhere at anytime might force NATO to move its headquarters elsewhere. Cases brought against President Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and US commanders in the Iraq war proved him right. Now, after Rumsfeld's simple statement, that law is history.

The Belgians will just have to find some other way to take over the world. Wait--they have one! The EU!

Anyway, what this situation illustrates is that sometimes simply standing up against stupidity is enough to defeat it. Who would've thought that anything we did could possibly get that silly, arrogant law stricken from Belgian books? But one angry puff from Don Rumsfeld brought it crashing down.

Similarly, there's a move afoot here in the US to make gay marriage legal. Lately proponents of doing so have had the floor--gay agenda opponents have been cowed for the past couple of decades into meekly protesting the "Heather Has Two Mommies" nonsense that has come to define our age. Notable conservatives such as Jonah Goldberg and John O'Sullivan even suggest that we all should just go ahead and compromise, allowing some of the most anti-family people in our country to re-define what a family is for our entire culture. With all due respect, now is not the time to compromise. When it comes to redefining the family, there is never a time to compromise. We should fight the effort to redefine marriage, and thus the family, with all we've got. Pass the Federal Marriage Amendment. Voice our concerns about the consequences of redefining marriage as often and as articulately as we can. We may, like Rumsfeld, find that winning is as easy as simply laying out our case with elegant simplicity as he did. We may not. We may not even win. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight.

MORE: Here's a well-written post on the FMA by Justin Katz. Katz takes arguments pro and con into account, and uses his own knowledge of language usage to render his own take on what the FMA will and will not do. His take (and mine as well): it will ban gay marriage, but not much else. If states wanted to confer civil unions, they still could even with the FMA in the Constitution. It does seem to strip courts of the power to change the nature of marriage by fiat.

I think that this is what has Andrew Sullivan shrieking--if the FMA passes, it will pass because a majority of the country will have willed it. And it will leave civil unions up to the democratic process in the various states. To Sullivan, a much better place to have this fight would be the courts, because all it will take is one or two or a few judges and a "living" Constitution and gay marriage will be a reality, whether the American people actually want it or not. I suspect that he believes (as I believe) that in the democratic process, Americans will choose not to redefine marriage and will approve the FMA
Posted by B. Preston at 08:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 11, 2003

U.S. SOLDIERS DYING FOR THE DEMOCRATS?

Why would S.F. Chronicle editors print someone saying that the continued killings of U.S. soldiers in Iraq is justified if their deaths result in a Democrat as President?

The constant loss of U.S. soldiers in Iraq -- after the war is "won" -- is a tragedy. However, if this is what it takes to retire the Bush administration at the next election, the sacrifice is justified.

ARIE L. BLEICHER
Mill Valley, CA

I originally thought the name was a bogus takeoff on Ari Fleischer, but I found his phone number online. Maybe people should call Arie to see if he was the real source and to ensure he was quoted correctly. I'm sure he would appreciate the heads up if someone is using his name to make outrageous statements.
Posted by Chris Regan at 04:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

DEMS AND THE CREDIBILITY GAP (yet another reason I'm not a Democrat)

The Democrat Party is losing its mind. There doesn't seem to be a more polite way to put it. The effort to pin anything that's less than perfect on a President who has led us through two highly successful military campaigns is a sure sign that a collective delusion has descended on the party of Old Hickory.

Nearly every Democrat currently running for President seems to be rushing to get as far out on the Iraqi WMD limb as possible, never considering that that very limb is vulnerable to being sawed off at any moment. And all it will take to saw it off is the credible discovery of even one weapon of mass destruction, because the Dems are so insistent now that none exist, or seem to have ever existed, in Iraq.

Which wasn't the case for war in the first place. The case for war was multi-faceted:

1. Iraq was a threat because it had previously attacked its neighbors (true--Iran and Kuwait with invasion; Israel with SCUDs during the Gulf War; Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War in a gambit to capture US troops and use them to blackmail the war to an early end) and we could reasonably expect it to do so again.

2. Iraq was pursuing WMDs in defiance of 17 UNSC sanctions ordering it not to (true--does anyone doubt this? If Saddam wasn't trying to acquire WMDs, why play so many games with the UN for so many years?)

3. Iraq was known to have ties with various international terrorist groups, possibly including al Qaeda (true--Abu Nidal turned up there, as did Abu Abbas, as did a terrorist training facility at Salman Pak that was used to train hijackers, and Saddam openly funded the families of Palestinian suicide bombers--an al Qaeda connection remains to be verified) UPDATE: Collusion between Saddam and Osama bin Laden verified.

4. Iraq was planning to use terrorists to attack the US and its allies (looks true so far--remember all that ricin poison that turned up in France? Remember the ricin factory that turned up in Iraq? And there's evidence that the first World Trade Center bombing had Iraqi fingerprints, and suggestive leads that there may have been Iraqi involvement in Oklahoma City too, leading to reasonable inferences that more Saddamite attacks were on the way)

5. Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a human rights nightmare, and the Iraqi people deserved better than him and could serve as a model Arab democracy if he were removed (true on the first count, as numerous mass graves have been discovered to offer mute testimony to his brutality--as for the second, it remains to be seen if Iraq will turn out to be a model state or just another cesspool but at least it has the chance to decide for itself)

It's reasonable for someone to oppose the war though they're fully aware of the stated reasons for fighting, and it's reasonable for someone to criticize the war after the fact based on the above pro-war arguments. But that isn't what the Democrats are doing. They aren't dealing with the broad case for war at all, nor are they dealing honestly with the war's aftermath. They're taking one line in President Bush's State of the Union address about Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium in Africa and twisting it all out of context. They're trying to make that line the central bullet point in the case for war when it wasn't. And according to the British government, the line itself isn't even incorrect. They ought to know--it was based on their intelligence data, not ours.

In staking their claims that President Bush lied to get us into war, logic dictates that the Democrats must believe the following:

1. That the British passed bad information over to its closest ally (not true--the British stand by the claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from African sources)
2. That President Bush took that information, that he knew to be false, and used it to lodge false charges against Saddam Hussein, who was innocent (can't be true--see point above)
3. That though he knew the charges to be false and knew the US military would win the war, President Bush undertook no effort to cover up those false charges either before the war or after--he trusted his fate to a lie that he knew stood a good chance of being found out (can't be true--see first point)
4. That because our justification for war was based on lies, the ultimate responsibility for all deaths during the war is on President Bush's and his administration's hands (is not true, because the refutation of the first point still stands and because the case for war was multi-faceted)

One can reasonably presume from their tone that they would not have led us into war against Iraq at all, though Sen. Kerry voted in favor of military action.
He later claimed to have been duped into that vote, though what exactly led to the duping we're left to guess. It couldn't have been the line about African uranium in the SOTU address--Congress voted in favor of war in 1998 and again in 2002, well before Bush's infamous line was ever uttered. Sen. Joe Lieberman, Sen. John Edwards and Rep. Dick Gephardt also voted in favor of war in October 2002. If any of them becomes the nominee next year, how will he square that vote with the new DNC ad that attacks President Bush for his supposed uranium lie? Either they were duped like Sen. Kerry, or they don't believe their own party's advertising.

So what we're left with is the majority of a political party's field of candidates pinning their presidential hopes on persuading the American people that US soldiers died uselessly in an unjust though successful war against an innocent man. Because if that turns out to be untrue and even one WMD turns up, their limb snaps and their aspirations will come crashing to the ground. I hope this post can serve as one tooth in the limbsaw.

This, as I said at the top of this post, is madness. The President made the case for war. It was a persuasive, multi-faceted case. The American people, many of whom were in favor of deposing Saddam Hussein long before 9-11, believed Mr. Bush and backed the war. The war was waged successfully, with a minimum loss of life on both sides. The pre-war case turns out to have been less than perfect because illegal Iraqi weapons have yet to turn up, but that's simply the nature of intelligence work. It is, at its best, a very educated and informed guess. It is also early--Iraq is a big country, and until Saddam is verified dead or captured many of his former scientists will continue to hide what they know out of fear that Saddam could return to power and punish them later.

The Democrat candidates know this. They know all of it. Those that have been in the House or Senate for any decent length of time know that there is no such thing as iron-clad intelligence. Those who have served elsewhere should have educated themselves on the nature of national security and intelligence gathering by now--they're applying for the job of running the government, after all. They should know what their duties would be if they actually landed it. Their argument that Bush lied to get us into war is therefore illogical and disingenuous, and their party is following them to insanity and defeat.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:56 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

SARS IN TEXAS?

Maybe. Nine military members who recently passed through a Toronto airport have been quarantined, one with symptoms that fit the definition of SARS.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CBS HIT PIECE: THEY CHANGED HEADLINE - BUT NOT ENOUGH

Remember Hillary holding up the "BUSH KNEW!" headline of the NY Post after 9/11? Well CBS has their own version now: Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False

The headline was intentionally misleading -- just like the NY Post headline about 9/11 -- so CBS changed it to "Bush Knew Iraq Info Was Dubious." Now it's ironically clear that it's CBS' headline that was false. And furthermore, the change has simply made the new headline dubious.

The headline still retains the more subtle damning part of CBS' original lie -- that "Bush Knew!" It's a slick use of the phrase in a false, intentionally misleading manner, meant to imply -- just as some press and Democrats did after 9/11 -- that "he lied, and people died."

The White House actually didn't even exaggerate the Africa nuke link, but instead correctly watered down the statement for the CIA to approve. That's far from an intentional lie.

UPDATE: The excellent Roger Hedgecock is filling in on Rush's show, and he led off mentioning how CBS' bogus headline that "Bush Knew" is meant to invoke Watergate. He didn't mention/realize the headline was changed though.

CBS also intentionally refused to report in the story that Blair has more sources for the Niger nuke info and stands by the intel to this day. Amazing. The entire story is simply a transparent hit piece. CBS should be far more ashamed than Bush. Check out my updates two posts down for more on the SOTU controversy.
Posted by Chris Regan at 09:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 10, 2003

A TERRORIST'S ROSETTA STONE

Sean Gorman seems to be a brilliant researcher. His dissertation should earn him a PhD; then it should be classified Top Secret and locked away.

Tinkering on a laptop, wearing a rumpled T-shirt and a soul patch goatee, this George Mason University graduate student has mapped every business and industrial sector in the American economy, layering on top the fiber-optic network that connects them.

He can click on a bank in Manhattan and see who has communication lines running into it and where. He can zoom in on Baltimore and find the choke point for trucking warehouses. He can drill into a cable trench between Kansas and Colorado and determine how to create the most havoc with a hedge clipper. Using mathematical formulas, he probes for critical links, trying to answer the question: "If I were Osama bin Laden, where would I want to attack?" In the background, he plays the Beastie Boys.

---

The implications, however, in the post-Sept. 11 world, were enough to knock the wind out of John M. Derrick Jr., chairman of the board of Pepco Holdings Inc., which provides power to 1.8 million customers. When a reporter showed him sample pages of Gorman's findings, he exhaled sharply.

"This is why CEOs of major power companies don't sleep well these days," Derrick said, flattening the pages with his fist. "Why in the world have we been so stupid as a country to have all this information in the public domain? Does that openness still make sense? It sure as hell doesn't to me."

Recently, Derrick received an e-mail from an atlas company offering to sell him a color-coded map of the United States with all the electric power generation and transmission systems. He hit the reply button on his e-mail and typed: "With friends like you, we don't need any enemies in the world."


As they say, read the whole thing. Gorman put his magnum opus together just by meticulously searching the internet. If we don't find a way to balance the public's right to know (which in my mind doesn't extend to matters of vital security) with the government's right to conceal (which isn't always done with the best intentions), we're opening ourselves up for trouble. Some will take liberty to mean license, and endanger the nation:

Toward the other end of the free speech spectrum are such people as John Young, a New York architect who created a Web site with a friend, featuring aerial pictures of nuclear weapons storage areas, military bases, ports, dams and secret government bunkers, along with driving directions from Mapquest.com. He has been contacted by the FBI, he said, but the site is still up.

"It gives us a great thrill," Young said. "If it's banned, it should be published. We like defying authority as a matter of principle."


What a pinhead.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:20 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

U.S. PRESS MUM ON BLAIR BOMBSHELL?

That's the fair conclusion of the Newsmax staff after a Lexis-Nexis search:

despite wide coverage in Britain of Blair's vigorous defense of the Niger nuke intelligence, American news editors have embargoed the story - giving critics of the Bush administration an important boost. A Lexis-Nexis search Thursday morning failed to turn up a single reference in U.S. newspapers to Blair's comments on the matter.

News that Blair, who is widely respected in America by both Democrats and Republicans, is standing by the intelligence finding undermines claims by Bush opponents that he deliberately "lied" when he included a brief reference to the British intelligence dossier in his State of the Union address.

As far as online US news sources, I only found coverage from MSNBC/Reuters International.

Here's the latest from MSNBC/Reuters. They rely on a UN diplomat to challenge Blair's standing by the Niger nuke intel.

A diplomat close to the U.N's nuclear watchdog said on Thursday Britain has never provided evidence to back up Prime Minister Tony Blair's continued insistence that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.

This is an interesting since I cannot imagine Blair deliberately lying about it, or relying on more weak intel for his latest claims. He would have to be insane to risk that in the current climate especially after Bush already undercut him and apologized for the SOTU address comment. Blair seems to be protecting a source.

That's what I hate about all this. Western democracies are being forced to show far too much about our intelligence details, sources and methods. Sometimes we don't even agree with allies. Our authority has been weakened less by being wrong, and more by our submission to browbeating at the hands of political people who know comparatively little about the intel business.

Powell and Bush's insistence on bowing so low to the UN before Iraq may have permanently hampered US/UK authority though. It was at least announcing our weakness in needing periodic permission to conduct a staccato war on terror. It forced us to bring every shred of a hint of evidence into the public eye as the demands for proof never ceased. Nothing was ever good enough for our UN enemies and Democrats. They demanded everything and Bush and Blair dumped it on 'em almost as raw as they got it so they could decide. Now we're paying the price for being honest and globally inclusive.

In the future we'll be asked to show all our intel cards before every move -- even if the request is ridiculous and just meant to expose us politically or strategically. It's a can't lose proposition for Democrats and enemies who can use the tactic to put Bush/America on the defensive. We're going to have to beg or bribe the UN and Dems to say our justification is valid, or we won't be allowed to defend ourselves against various terror states without Bush/Blair being attacked for "lies." I have faith that Bush will find a way though.

The case of N. Korea would actually be a weird reverse of the case in Iraq. The supposed presence of militarized nukes is trumped up constantly by liberals and former Clinton cronies. They shill for Kim Jong-il and talk as if it's an absolute fact, hoping to stall for time until he actually has them. To fight a war there and protect L.A. from the threatened nuclear attack we would have to first prove a negative to satisfy the Democrats in Congress. Dems would leak every shred of disputed classified intel to the NY Times to try to prove that Kim has lots of nukes and Bush is the real madman.

That's why I think we'll just use the blockade to force Kim's hand and not build a case for war with disputed intel as we did with Iraq. Bush knows that's the easiest way to protect America without Democrats, protesters and the UN interfering. It may sound underhanded (some might see any type of blockade as an act of war), but it's simply to satisfy this goofy legalistic approach people are demanding in order to fight each terror state seperately. We've already declared a wartime posture and we don't need to hold a trial for each campaign. I suspect the Cuba-lite proposal for the blockade will have to be tightened to near total at some point to trigger a capitulation or war, but hopefully China will help out (as Bryan proposes below) before any shooting starts.

UPDATE: Blair: We will find weapons

MORE: Surprise! A United States newpaper finally decides to cover the story. The WaPo reports:

The CIA tried unsuccessfully in early September 2002 to persuade the British government to drop from an official intelligence paper a reference to Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Africa that President Bush included in his State of the Union address four months later, senior Bush administration officials said yesterday.

"We consulted about the paper and recommended against using that material," a senior administration official familiar with the intelligence program said. The British government rejected the U.S. suggestion, saying it had separate intelligence unavailable to the United States.

...The government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, however, has stood behind its September conclusion that Iraq "sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"

...British officials have insisted that the Bush administration has never been provided with the intelligence that was the basis for the charge included in London's September intelligence dossier.

...Powell noted yesterday that the British government continues to believe in the information it produced. "I would not dispute them or disagree with them or say they're wrong and we're right, because intelligence is of that nature," Powell said. "Some people have more sources . . . on a particular issue. Some people have greater confidence in their analysis."

The press hasn't a clue how the intelligence process works, so they call it a conspiracy instead of a disagreement. How were we conspiring when we didn't even agree? The White House took the CIA's advice and added a watered down version to the State of the Union address -- and the UK still stands by the statement.

Someone could create a fake "smoking gun" document showing Iran getting missiles from N. Korea too. Just because people are fooled by the fake doesn't change the overall reality. In fact, one would wonder if the fake was created to discredit and distract from the case being made with other sources.

MORE: The CIA approved Bush's State of the Union speech. Condi Rice is telling reporters to either talk to the hand or talk to George Tenet.
Posted by Chris Regan at 11:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BAD THINKING IN BEIJING

The other day I proposed that in order to defuse the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, China should consider effecting a regime change in Pyongyang. Short of that, we're likely to fight a very bloody war in the next 12 to 24 months. North Korean regime change, and not necessarily accomplished by American might, is an option I've been looking at for a while now. It's attractive for a number of reasons, perhaps most notably that it has the possibility of sparing Seoul's civilian population from a murderous onslaught in the war's opening moments.

Then Chris found this story detailing a Chinese military study that explored the feasibility of invading North Korea to occupy it, end its nuclear program and put someone other than Dr. Evil in charge. The Chinese concluded that they can't successfully invade North Korea quickly enough to stop it from pushing south and attacking Seoul, thus a Chinese-led regime change doesn't seem to be in the cards. Which from that angle should be obvious, as the Chinese military isn't known for speed or agility, and its authoritarian structure doesn't lend itself to flexibility in the field. I've touched on that subject too, in the context of China's over-reliance on missiles while leaving its air force weak.

What may be less obvious is what this says about Chinese thinking in general. For such a large country, China's government seems extraordinarily thick-headed. Must be something in the iron-handed, Maoist Communist doctrine. Sure, invading North Korea might not be an attractive option. But who said anything about invading?

China has the power to at least attempt a regime change without firing a shot. It may not have to send in a million men with heavy armor supported by land-launched missiles under the cover of its pathetic air force. It can find more creative ways to crush the Kim cult. It won't be easy--as I've written in passing before, the Kim clan sees itself as Korea's only possible legitimate ruler. After several decades of brainwashing, it will be difficult to persuade the vast majority of North Koreans that it isn't. But surely the Chinese can find one reasonable person in the entire North Korean establishment and work with them to undermine Kim from within. Surely the Chinese can use their fuel leverage over the north to weaken Kim from without. Surely the Chinese can use information channels to create fissures in the North Korean government. If they can manage to drive a wedge between the military and the ruling family, there's a chance that it would overthrow Kim Jong-Il with relatively little bloodshed. A Chinese-occupied North Korea isn't a perfect solution, but it's far better than the status quo.

Of course, it won't happen at all if the Chinese aren't even thinking about it.

MORE: On the other hand, a prominent North Korean defector says that invasion is the only way to bring down Kim.

Park Gap Dong, former chief of the European Section for Propaganda, said that the U.S. should use "pre-emptive strikes against selected targets" to overthrow the brutal North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il and destroy the nuclear weapons program.

"We cannot expect to bring down the regime of Kim Jong-il by internal means. A pre-emptive U.S. strike against selected targets inside North Korea will succeed," stated Park.

"U.S. strikes against North Korean targets would force Kim Jong-il to seek asylum in China. Kim Jong-il is a coward. If attacked, he will flee the North. The North Korean army would not fight after the regime collapsed.

"Many North Koreans believe that the United States is their savior and the only nation that can liberate North Korea," concluded Park.


That scenario seems awfully rosy. Perhaps the North Korean army wouldn't sustain the fight for very long, but it doesn't need very long to pound Seoul with chemical artillery shells. About an hour or two would be enough.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

THE ATTACK ON THE USS LIBERTY

A Miami Judge and investigator has reviewed NSA transcripts of the 1967 attack and agrees with the Israeli account that it was a mistake in the fog of war.

Cristol, who has written a book about the case, said, "The tapes should put an end to 98 percent of the Liberty controversy. They show that both the helicopter pilots and their controller at the Hatzor air force base believed that the Israeli air force had targeted an Egyptian ship."

In the NSA summary of incident, which fills in some blanks from the recordings themselves, apparently using other sources, there is direct reference to Israeli confusion over the identity of the stricken ship more than an hour after the attack.

"At 1230 GMT two Israeli helicopters, 810 and 815, were dispatched to the area of the incident to check for survivors of an unidentified warship," the summary reads.

The transcript of the transmissions then records the air controller telling one of the pilots, "The ship is now identified as Egyptian, you can return home now."

The summary continues: "At 1312 GMT, the Israeli helicopter 815 apparently informed Hatzor on a different frequency that it had sighted an American flag on the ship." The transcript records the air controller telling the pilot, "We request that you make another pass and check once more if this is really an American flag."

Cristol provided the NSA summary and the full transcripts of the pilot and tower recordings to the AP.

Here's the previous story on the attack from Feb 2003 that covers James Bamford's now somewhat dated theories. That article ended with little hope of more info coming to light. Five months later it shows up.
Posted by Chris Regan at 10:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 09, 2003

THE GLOBALIST SCOTUS SCOTSLOTUS IS BLOOMING

This was a bizarre interview to watch after the recent Supreme Court rulings:

In a rare appearance on a television news show, Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer questioned whether the U.S. Constitution, the oldest governing document in use in the world today, will continue to be relevant in an age of globalism. . . .

"We see all the time, Justice O'Connor and I, and the others, how the world really -- it's trite but it's true -- is growing together," Breyer said. "Through commerce, through globalization, through the spread of democratic institutions, through immigration to America, it's becoming more and more one world of many different kinds of people. And how they're going to live together across the world will be the challenge, and whether our Constitution and how it fits into the governing documents of other nations, I think will be a challenge for the next generations."

...O'Connor, too, seemed to suggest in the ABC interview that the Constitution was far from the final word in governing America. Asked if there might come a day when it would no longer be the last word on the law, she said: "Well, you always have the power of entering into treaties with other nations which also become part of the law of the land, but I can't see the day when we won't have a constitution in our nation."

So the living Constitution will still be alive, just "all grown up" and married into elitist global liberalism. More here on how the U.N. helped our justices find the new international right to sodomy in our Constitution.

In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy referred to a "Friend of the Court" brief submitted by former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.

"Other nations with similar histories, legal systems, and political cultures have already answered these questions in the affirmative. This Court should pay due respect to these opinions of humankind."

Robinson warned also that, "To ignore these precedents virtually ensures that this Court's ruling will generate controversies with the United State's closest global allies."

So what's going on here? Just when we might soon get our Scottish Law impeachment "expert" Arlen Specter (remember when appealing to the laws of other countries was a national joke?) as a new member on the Court, we may be seeing the dawn of a new Supreme Court of the Scottish Law of the U.S. More details here on the blooming of the SCOTSLOTUS.

Here's a bit about Mary Robinson too:

As the forum moved into its third day, it became clear in successive sessions that each speaker had a new angle on the same idea: The UN should coordinate global governance. Some speakers focused on environmental governance, others on educational efforts aimed at producing citizens committed to global peace and justice.

Disconcerting as the economic, "rights," and sovereignty proposals were, still greater alarm is raised from the spiritual ambitions of the globalists at the State of the World Forum. Popular sessions on the "physics of consciousness" set the tone. A midweek session, "Cosmology, Globalization and the Evolution of Human Consciousness," studded with New Age luminaries Deepak Chopra and Jean Houston [Hillary Clinton's favorite] , drew large crowds. "Religions as Major Stakeholders" featured Shaunaka Rishi, Oxford University's director of New Vedic Studies; Sam Kobia, of the World Council of Churches; and Rajwant Singh, director of Sikh social action. The glaring omission of mainstream Christianity conveyed more than the participation of minority sects. . . .

Global governance seeks stable world conditions so as to ensure the rights of humanity to clean air, stable markets, and personal rights, including "gender equity" and "reproductive rights."

Naturally, some mechanism of enforcement is required if the rights of all are to be protected, added forum participants. Mary Robinson, UN high commissioner for human rights, told a BBC broadcast that the "focus is on human security. The border of national sovereignty isn't a cutoff. We must mainstream human rights."

Roundtable discussions, entitled "Evolution and the Future of Global Governance," "Globalization and Global Governance," and "Global Commons," were moderated by members of the European Parliament, former U.S. Senator Alan Cranston, national education ministers, and even heads of state, such as Joaquim Albert, president of Mozambique, and Helen Clark, prime minister of New Zealand.

Mary Robinson has also written several articles for Share International, Benjamin Creme's UN NGO that is paving the way for the reappearance of his "ascended master" New Age "global teacher" Lord Maitraya. I coincidentally linked him on a whim in a previous post, and am not making this stuff up. He's the current projected leader of the One World Religion crowd. Creme also foresees global government coming under "Christ" Maitreya's direction. Oh boy, that would be real fun.

These UN globalists that are now apparently determining our Supreme Court decisions are all pretty far out there spiritually -- and united against conservative Christians. You can see that the issue of faith and religion as a moral foundation for law is never going away. It's simply a matter of who's morality will prevail at what level of government. Though the language may sound similar, UN-style human rights are different from the American Constitution's or the classic Judeo-Christian concept. Our suddenly postmodern Supreme Court has come down firmly on the side of UN New Age global consensus as the moral and legal authority for America. America's Constitutional conservatives and Christians in each of the 50 states (Sullivan's supposedly dangerous "theocrats") have been dialogued completely out of the process in favor of New Age "globo-theocrats" who don't have a Constitution to worry about limiting their power.

Mary Robinson has also stated that the U.S. is trailing other countries when it comes to "hate speech" laws, so there are more changes to come -- and more in store for Christians who might insist on speaking out when abortion is enshrined after sodomy as an international human right. Just wait until the Robinson's UN definition of children's rights are enforced in US courts.

. . .

Extra credit for the reader who can tell me what process or technique the Court's current globo-justices have followed in taking this case...using a conflict over diversity...to facilitate a pseudo-legal "dialogue to consensus"...regarding a social issue...in order to bypass legislation...and reach an (extra-Constitutional) predetermined outcome for America.
Posted by Chris Regan at 08:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

THE SAVAGE LEFT

After hearing about MSNBC's Michael Savage being legitimately fired for wishing AIDS death on a prank caller -- who, it appears, personally attacked him first -- Brent Bozell found a few other examples of liberals who weren't fired for wishing death on government officials who didn't say anything to them first. Liberals also involve the target's family in their death fantasies. So it's not just bigoted bloggers like Andrew Sullivan and militant homosexuals who laugh at the death of certain conservatives for the mere sin of having a moral viewpoint.

Wishing death on people hasn’t always been a damaging career move. In fact, if you wish death on conservatives, there’s no problem at all.

Ask big-mouthed leftist Julianne Malveaux. No poobahs at PBS or Maryland Public Television found it a slam-dunk “easy” move to ban her from her regular spot on their nationally distributed all-female TV talk show “To The Contrary” when she wished death on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1994: “You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.” When others on the show protested, Malveaux wouldn’t back down. “Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person.”

That’s not the only case where it wasn’t “easy” to take some angry liberal’s TV privileges away. A year later, National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg used her regular spot on the syndicated TV show “Inside Washington” to wish death on Sen. Jesse Helms and his family after he suggested AIDS research was overfunded compared to the death rate of other, more common life-threatening diseases like Malveaux’s favorite, heart disease. “I think he ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there is retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.”

Totenberg wasn’t “easily” dismissed. She wasn’t even admonished. And forget an apology.

On the subject of homosexuality, liberals are so quick to lose all patience and reach for a jar of good old hate.

We actually learn that every day from a "conservative" religious bigot Andrew Sullivan. I say "conservative" because eventually Sulli will come out of the closet as a liberal just like David Brock and Arianna Huffington did. Nothing much will have to change for him either. He'll still continue to equate American Christian conservatives to totalitarian Iranian mullahs as he loves to do, and cheer the death of old American "theocons" who dare to think the Constitution or the Bible is more important than gay sex. It's all justified in his mind because these American "theocrats" are sooo evil -- just like George Washington.

As Washington said, again in his First Inaugural address, “the foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality.” Laws will discourage certain kinds of actions -- such as criminal behavior, or failing to care for one’s children, for example -- because they are morally wrong. At the same time, the laws will encourage other kind of behavior -- such as encouraging men and women to marry and care for their children -- because they are morally right, and because they have a salutary effect on society.

Imagine that...George Washington imposing morality to preserve marriage and society. If he were still alive today, giving interviews on Supreme Court cases and defending the Constitution and morality as a U.S. Senator, liberals and their allies like Andrew Sullivan would viciously smear him as an old out-of-touch conservative that once actually owned slaves. Liberals would be hoping for him to die. Then when he finally passed on, Sulli would mock his religious beliefs and cheer his death.

It's really a choice of moralities and a choice of your authority in life. It essentially boils down to: do you want to preserve life, marriage and our society under the authority of God's natural laws and the original Constitution, or do you take pleasure in death and the destruction of marriage and society under the law of self and the authority of other countries?

The Savage Left would choose the latter. So would a label-loving theophobic neobigoted homocon.
Posted by Chris Regan at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CHINESE EXPLORE THE JYB OPTION IN KOREA

Bryan's recent post actually anticipated this...a potential Chinese invasion of N. Korea to help keep the U.S. from fighting a Second Korean War.

In the latest twist to the N. Korean nuclear crisis:

China's study of a pre-emptive invasion of North Korea was ordered by the Chinese Communist Party's "working group" on North Korea.

The People's Liberation Army concluded in the study that while the Chinese-North Korean border was only lightly defended, the PLA did not have the logistics capability to race down across two rivers to the Demilitarised Zone bordering with South Korea - where the North's Korean People's Army has massed artillery and armour - in time to stop a southward attack.

A senior Western diplomat said: "That this kind of thing is being considered in China tells us about the gravity with which this is being regarded in Beijing."

... Beijing is not as concerned as many Western reports maintain about a potential flood of North Korea refugees into its Manchurian regions should the North Korean regime collapse. Nor is it worried about US troops facing it across the Yalu River border: it is confident that Korean nationalism would see the Americans off should the peninsula be reunified under the Seoul Government.

... It is not yet clear whether the Bush Administration's demand for Pyongyang to verifiably dismantle its nuclear program before any aid is discussed is a "softening up" tactic before some bargaining, or a deliberately impossible demand aimed at bringing down the regime.

A naval cordon of North Korea to prevent exports of mass destruction weapons would hit the regime's vital interests if it includes ballistic missiles. The $US600 million ($A895 million) earned annually from missile sales is Pyongyang's main source of hard currency.

Analysts in Beijing are taking seriously Pyongyang's warnings that would it consider interceptions of its ships and aircraft an act of war.

I suspect we actually requested the Chinese evaluate the invasion idea to see what they might be able to do, and to show Kim how serious we both are. Otherwise, as I blogged recently, unless N. Korea quits the nuke game we're going to use force at some point very soon and will have to take our chances with a limited threat of nukes. The same goes with Iran if they don't back down. We simply can't afford to risk nuclear ICBM's raining down on our cities.

I think this blockade of N. Korea will be implemented in order to force the regime into either giving up the nukes or starting an actual shooting war. That way we don't need to go through the UN intel hassle as we did with Iraq. If they attack us, we simply defend ourselves. Before replying with a full-scale war though, we'll probably just destroy their artillery and nuclear plants and see if the message is received. If not, and if China is still interested in helping, China could then invade from the north to occupy Kimland as we continue to defend S. Korea using our airpower.
Posted by Chris Regan at 08:41 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 08, 2003

ANOTHER QUICK NOTE

On a whim I picked up a new cd on Sunday. I had to go to church to set up the sound system for our praise band, got there early, decided to kill a few minutes at Best Buy up the street. Ended up buying Spock's Beard's double-cd called Snow.

And it blew me away.

It's still blowing me away.

Where has Spock's Beard been all my life?

So what does it sound like? Hard to describe, actually. Take a bit of The Who, throw in a healthy dose of Kansas circa Point of Know Return, maybe some Yes and a little Genesis, then a dash of Jethro Tull. Then lay on some modern sound and some stuff you've never heard and you approach what Spock's Beard does on Snow.

It's probably the least commercial cd I've run across in a while. And it's easily one of the best, too.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

QUICK NOTE

I'll be out of town on the 9th and won't be blogging, so I'll miss the Iran push unfortunately. I'll be in New York attending a conference. Any Gotham bloggers near Manhattan circa lunchtime tomorrow?
Posted by B. Preston at 08:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HEARTWARMING

Just take a look at this.

(via The Corner)
Posted by B. Preston at 07:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 07, 2003

WOMEN AND COMBAT

In a fairly depressing story on the flagging morale of our troops in Iraq, this paragraph jumped out at me:

In some units, there has been an increase in letters from the Red Cross stating soldiers are needed at home, as well as daily instances of female troops being sent home due to pregnancy. (emphasis mine)


Libertarians (a group I'm increasinly angry at for a variety of reasons--the imminent destruction of marriage being the largest) and feminists and lots of people who don't normally agree with either group have been hailing the increased role of women in today's armed forces. We see stories of female A-10 pilots bringing their shot-up planes back from a hard day's fighting. We see stories of tough-minded female fighters and their exploits on the battlefield. All fine and nice. But we don't see the stories about how they often game the military system, using babies as pawns.

Sailors who have to rotate from sea duty to shore duty can tell you how it works. A female sailor, due to take her turn aboard a ship after a nice tour on land, decides she doesn't want to go. So--married or otherwise--she gets pregnant. The Navy is loathe to send a pregnant woman, or a new mother, off to a ship for a year or two. If it actually has the backbone to insist that she go, she can use the pregnancy as an excuse to opt out of the Navy altogether. But it won't insist, and so she takes another shore tour while some male sailor, himself perhaps even a new father, has to take a double tour at sea. It's a zero-sum game--if one sailor doesn't take a sea slot, another has to. And thus resentment between sea sailors and shore sailors, male sailors and female sailors, builds, resulting in degradation of unit cohesion and eventually perhaps the male sailor walks away from the Navy in disgust.

The problem, as the story indicates, isn't limited to the Navy. It's affecting Army troops in a war zone. Women who've tired of life in the desert can--apparently are--getting pregnant for a ticket stateside. Someone will have to rotate into Iraq to replace them. The entire military is zero-sum, and pregancy is a trump card that many female soldiers, airmen and Marines play. They use it to get themselves out of the service if they're tired of it and don't want to stick it out for the term they've sworn to complete. They use it to get themselves better housing, a pay raise, or out of a sea or remote tour they don't want. They use it for all sorts of reasons having nothing to do with family or motherhood, and harm the military as a result.

Something that libertarians invariably fail to consider is that for every choice we make there are consequences that we never anticipate. They promote the legalization of drugs, never accounting for the potential social costs of creating millions of new addicts. They blithely promote gay marriage, never stopping to calucalate just what effect it might have on the institution as a whole. Who would've thought that people would use children to create special benefits within the military, yet opening up combat roles and more front-line positions to women has done just that. This isn't to say that it hasn't had other, beneficial effects--just that down sides are an inevitable part of life. To the extent it's possible, any serious person should try to understand those down sides as a way of balacing whether a new policy or changes to an old one are worth it.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:37 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

THE APOCALYPSE MUST BE NEAR

How else explain a Bond girl becoming an Anglican vicar? What will they call her, Preachy Galore?
Posted by B. Preston at 06:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 06, 2003

WINNING THE INTIFIDA

Nearly three years ago the Intifida began. The terms of war for the Palestinians were to either destroy Israel altogether or inflict so much damage that it would be forced to capitulate, cede more and more territory, divest most of its holdings in Jerusalem and accept its new place as the defeated and soon to be extinct Jewish state. For Israel, the goal was first to ensure its survival and crush the terrorists, then dismantle their networks while shaking Arafat's authority to its core, and cede as little land as possible. Ceding land meant losing more of what little territory it had; shaking Arafat's rule meant opening the Palestinians to the possibility of better leadership, and breaking the back of Hezbollah, Hamas and the scource of Arab terrorism.

The Intifida may soon end. And Israel seems to have won. And Israelis aren't the only ones who have noticed:

Negotiators who three years ago were discussing how to divide Jerusalem are debating how to return partial control of cities that were then under Palestinian authority.

"When the intifada began, the demand was, `End the occupation, because the negotiations led to nothing,' " said Samir al-Mashharawi, a leader of the mainstream Palestinian faction, Fatah. "Now, Palestinian demands are to return back to the situation right before the intifada, and we are negotiating about this."

He said that during one of his terms as an Israeli prisoner, he and other inmates demanded chairs and tables. In response, he said, the Israelis took their mattresses. The prisoners demanded them back.

"After a month, they returned the mattresses, and we felt very happy we achieved something," he said. "Israeli diplomacy is based on this idea."


So, apparently, is Bush administration diplomacy if you consider recent rows with Belgium and France. Both shrill war critics find themselves on the defensive as the Bush team refuses to play by the old rules. Neither wanted the coalition to strike Iraq; today Iraq is ours, and the French and Belgians are scurrying to repair the NATO alliance that their own perfidy injured. NATO is an alliance that they need much more than we do, and the Bush administration has demonstrated its willingness to alter the alliance as some friendships in Europe die while new ones blossom.

More importantly, Israel's victory over the Palestinian terrorists is really a victory for civilization over the Arab death cult. Palestinian terrorism wasn't born with Arafat, and its funding sources weren't limited to the West Bank, Syria and its puppet Lebanon. Saddam Hussein arrogantly funded the suicide bombers--now he's on the run. The Saudis funded the suicide bombers--now they're cracking down on suicide bombers in their own country. Iran's mullahs funded the suicide bombers--their days of rule may be numbered as their young, freedom-hungry masses slip out from under them. By winning the Intifida, Israel is once again defeating a majority of the Islamist states in one blow. Combine this victory with the US win in Iraq that helped speed Israel's own win, and you have the beginning of the end for groups like al Qaeda and murderers like Yasser Arafat--whose authority is in fact in tatters by any reasonable measure.

Looking into the longer term, defeating terrorism in the Palestinian territories strikes a blow against terrorism in general. It has long been accepted in defeatist circles that over the long haul terrorism works. Though we never openly negotiate with terrorists, though we never willingly give them an inch of ground, the defeatists hail things like increased scrutiny at airports or ethnic profiling or armed pilots as evidence that the terrorists are winning. They point to metal detectors at sporting events and the Patriot Act and say that their existence means that we are losing the war, that the terrorists have us scared and will eventually, one day, either defeat us with our own laws or strike out at us with a big enough weapon to destroy us.

Israel's win turns all that around. If the Intifada ends on Israel's terms as seems likely now, we can point to it as evidence that terrorism doesn't work as long as civilization stands up to defend itself. A nation plagued by terrorism can win if it resolves to do so. Against terrorism and barbarity, Israel is our city on the hill, an example of a nation's will to persevere against all odds and defeat an enemy that all others thought intractable.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:28 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

DEFENDING MARRIAGE

So Mike Kinsley (God love him, because after proposing the abolition of marriage his wife may not) proposes "privatizing" marriage and as predictable as the sunrise a bunch of libertarians shout either "Great idea!" or "Hey, we thought of it first!" Well, good on ya. It's one of the dumbest, least libertarian ideas to come along in quite a while, but if you want to take credit for it go right ahead. My own weakening libertarian leanings prevent me from standing in your way.

Here's the thing: marriage keeps the state out of your face. Eve Tushnet is on to this truth, promising more posts on it in the future. I'm looking forward to them--she's as sharp as they come. My own initial meandering take on it is a few posts down.

Not to pre-empt her, I'll take another tack entirely from the ones I expect her to take. The idea that we should suddenly "privatize" or abolish marriage is itself an idea only a tyrant could love. The US is currently home to about 300 million people; most adults living here get married at some point. No one's forcing us to marry. We don't have many arranged marriages in this country anymore. We marry because we want to, we choose to, and we stay married for all sorts of reasons--for the kids, for the tax incentives, or for the good old fashioned reason that we actually love the one we're with.

Abolishing marriage would, presumably, force everyone currently married to suddenly become un-married. Millions of marriages would be crushed instantly under the government's bootheel, whether those married people wanted it or not. Even if a majority voted for it (which isn't happening), you'd still have put the state in the position of forcing people who want to stay married to break their bonds. That's a breathtakingly totalitarian move. Even the Soviets never went quite that far. Libertarians should oppose it for its sheer and obvious invasiveness. The state would enter every married home in America and tear up their marriage licenses, forcing us all into the very common law arrangements that we eschewed when we freely chose marriage in the first place.

Libertoids and your erstwhile ally Mike Kinsely, if you seriously want to abolish marriage, start with your own and see how far you get. Leave me and my family out of your arrogant social engineering.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack