December 19, 2003


Peace through strength--plus a few well-aimed bombing runs and more than a decade of diplomatic isolation--and Libyan strongman Muammar Gadaffi (your spelling may vary) is giving up his WMD programs.

Just like that. Well, if you take "just like that" to mean that Libya gets to rejoin the family of nations after owning up to having been a terrorist haven in the not too distant past, coupled with payment to its victims, and now to complete dismantling of its WMDs and limiting the range of its missiles. Just like that.

For Gadaffi, it's smiles all around. He gets a pat on the back from America's stalwart ally Tony Blair. He could get some sort of normalization from us, though we should make sure to squeeze him for any terrorist intel he still has first. And he gets to retire to his bodyguard of Amazon beauties, secure in the knowledge that he has given the Americans no reason to send in the Air Force (again).

MORE: A detail I failed to mention in this post--negotiations to end Libya's WMD programs began nine months ago. Nine months...what might have influenced Mr. Gadaffi to come clean nine months ago, about his WMD programs? I wonder...

It couldn't be...the invasion of disarm neighbor Saddam Hussein of his WMDs, could it? That invasion began nine months ago today.

Perhaps we can get Rep. McDermott on the line. I'm sure he'll see it as more than coincidental, given his tendency to spot patterns in everything else.

Do you suppose Howard Dean will come forward with an "interesting theory" to explain Gadaffi's turn? Does candle-powered Howard think America is safer now?

Posted by B. Preston at 05:55 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Part of the justification for remanding Abdullah al-Muhajir, formerly Jose Padilla, to civil criminal custody and thus out of military custody was that he is a US citizen, caught at war against the US, but not in a "zone of combat." Presumably if he had been a US citizen caught on US soil but in a "zone of combat," the 2nd Disctrict Court of Appeals would have ruled differently. After all, Confederate soldiers caught on the battlefield (in a "zone of combat") ended up in prisoner of war camps run by the military, though they were still US citizens in the eyes of Union law. The question of whether they remained US citizens or not after seccession was rather central to the war, but to the Union they very much were citizens in a state of rebellion. That was the whole point, until 1863 at least. And Confederate spies, not regarded as regular troops and often caught out of Johnny Reb gray (and sometimes wearing Billy Yank blue, and sometimes not members of any rebel army at all), were sometimes summarily executed without trial. Yet they were US citizens in the Union's eyes, and were often caught far away from any battlefield or "zone of combat." For the record, Confederates treated captured Union forces and spies in like manner. does one define "zones of combat" in a war that includes everything from shoe bombers aboard airplanes on international flights over the Atlantic but bound for the US to, maybe, female suicide bombers at loose in New York? Do we say that New York, having already suffered a catastrophic attack, is a zone of combat, while Dallas, which hasn't, isn't? But if there is intelligence indicating a bomber is loose in Dallas, does it become a zone of combat either until the bomb goes off, or until the bomber is caught, or for the duration of the war, having once been threatened? What about Fort Worth, 30 miles west? Or Waxahachie, 20 miles south? Or Austin, a few hours' drive down I-35? And to what extent does it matter that our enemy prefers anonymous mass killing with bombs to any kind of formation-based assault? There isn't much in the way of traditional combat with terrorists, though the death they deliver is no less final.

In a war in which al Qaeda has placed sleeper cells in places like Lackawana, NY, and in which sympathizers have been caught plotting in Oregon, and in which the 9-11 hijackers lived and trained in Florida before killing in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, what is a zone of combat and what isn't? If US troops have to be involved, well, after the New York attacks on 9-11 US Air Force jets were scrambled to shoot down any aircraft that assumed any kind of threatening posture. Did that make the skies they patrolled zones of combat, but not the ground beneath them? Or was the ground a zone of combat too, until the fighter jets went back home? One would think that two years into this war, we could answer these questions by now. Al-Muhajir's muddled status indicates that we cannot.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:59 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Is it just me, or is the most extraordinary thing about Saudi Prince Bandar's extremely pro-US speech before the Bilateral US/Arab Chamber of Commerce the fact that he used 'chutzpah'--a Yiddish word--to describe the EUnuchs who opposed war in Iraq but now want to cash in on the reconstruction contracts?

Posted by B. Preston at 04:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The war on drugs and the war on terror--one and the same?

A boat containing drugs possibly linked to al-Qaeda has been seized in the Gulf, the US military says. US Central Command reports that the wooden dhow was intercepted near the Strait of Hormuz by the destroyer USS Decatur.

Twelve people on board were detained after it was found to be carrying almost two tons of hashish valued at up to $10m, a Centcom statement said.

There were "clear ties" between the shipment and al-Qaeda, it added.

BBC Pentagon correspondent Nick Childs says the finding is potentially significant - the clear implication is that this was a smuggling operation designed to help finance the al-Qaeda network.

The US military says that smuggling routes in this region are known to be used by al-Qaeda.

Probably not "one and the same"--most of the crack and cocaine that is consumed in the US, for instance, doesn't come from any known al Qaeda strongholds or the Middle East in general, but from Colombia. But in stopping al Qaeda's funding sources, we may end up fighting a version of the war on drugs in the Middle East.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:09 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


History can turn on the strangest things--a battle won or lost or not even fought, a word said or left unsaid, the actions of figures once believed to stride the world above the level that the rest of us inhabit. Sometimes history can turn on the creation of a myth, or the destruction of a legend. The weekend discovery of a lonely old man hiding in a hole in the ground may go down as a major turning point in history.

When World War II ended, it brought with it the end of an aggressive religion-based state. Japan's emperor was thought, pre-war, by his subjects to be divine, his life the embodiment of the state. Part pope (of the indigenous shinto religion), part warrior king, Hirohito commanded unquestioned loyalty and was believed by his people to be infallible, beyond human. He was so much superior to the average Japanese citizen that they never even heard his voice on the radio or television. Such things were beneath him.

But the Japanese people did eventually hear his voice. It was in September 1945. Hirohito took to the airwaves to announce Japan's unconditional surrender to the America that he had promised to defeat, changing Japan's view of him and of itself forever.

No longer divine, the emperor lost all power. Japan's post-war constitution put politics in the hands of the people's representatives, though the imperial family did get to stay on as figureheads. Over time, Japan transformed from a strict theocratic police state to a true democracy, to an economic powerhouse, even though it lacks many of the basic natural resources one would think are necessary to fuel such a rise. Japan had, in fact, embarked on its disastrous war course in the early 20th century in part to acquire those very natural resources. Imperial Japan believed it was its divine right to do so. Now an ordinary, human Japan can buy those resources, turn them into something useful, and sell them, and sell them in peace. Its transformation is one of the most remarkable achievements of the Pax Americana. Not coincidentally, Japan is one of America's best friends today.

More than the atomic strikes that ended the war, Hirohito's step down to ordinary humanity transformed Japan from empire to republic. Most Japanese would have kept on fighting, even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, if he had ordered them to. He humbly asked them not to, and they agreed.

That was a turning point.

Fast forward to December 2003. A totalitarian state run by a man who called himself the Tiger of the Tigris has been conquered or liberated depending on your perspective, but the Tiger remains on the loose. His loyalist troops team up with a blend of fighters from around the region to try and reassert his ruthless authority, or at least chase off the interlopers. Since he symbolizes their struggle, they keep him abreast of their attacks like schoolboys vying for favor from their teacher. Like a ghost the old dictator haunts his former subjects, whose hearts are torn between supporting their liberators or hedging their bets on his return. It is in some sense a decision to bet on the strongest horse—the far off Cowboy or the fearsome Tiger? The Tiger always seems to outlast these crises, though this one is admittedly the most dangerous yet. His sons, heirs to his dynasty, are already dead. His statues have been pulled down, and his palaces are now military headquarters for the armies that deposed him. But still, the larger than life tyrant stalks the desert like an ill wind.

And then suddenly he shows up, a bedraggled old man, dirty and tired, climbing up out of a hole in the ground. He gave himself up to the infidel army without a shot, though all through the long, difficult years of his rule he exhorted his fighting men to martyr themselves for his Iraq. He had once paid suicide bombers in Israel, on whom he bestowed the highest compliments for their bravery and dedication. But when it was his turn to offer the full measure of his own blood for his people, he just gave up. Without a shot. When the battle began, he ran away and hid. When the infidels discovered him, he gave up without so much as a whimper. And then he let some American doctor stick a tongue depressor down his throat while the world looked on.

What might Saddam's surrender do to the Islamicist cause? There are a few hints, and they are all encouraging. Islamicism depends on its own belief in its inevitable triumph. Its ally Saddam’s ignoble capture is a powerful argument against that inevitability. The Arab street feels let down, as though their Tiger was all along really just a braggart feral cat. A mixture of disbelief, a swirl of conspiracy theories (signs of denial, which will eventually pass), and a grim resignation seem to have set in. Even those who hated him, and they are the majority of his former subjects, expected a more heroic end. They expected him to at least live up to his own hype. But he failed. Saddam’s capture has created the US military’s long promised shock and awe.

In the same way that Japan's defeat discredited its "divine" emperor for all time, Saddam's surrender will probably discredit the myth of the Arab strongman for a long, long time. Saddam was the strongest Arab strongman of the last three or four decades. He always stood up to the Great Satan, and lived to tell the tale. He was once within inches of obtaining the Islamic bomb, until the Israelis stepped in. Now some Cowboy from Texas has him in the palm of his hand, and the people who once feared him openly mock him. Justice surely is not far off; the Tiger will be put to sleep.

This is a turning point.

MORE: Charles Krauthammer agrees that Saddam's capture demystifies him as a pan-Arab strongman, and is a major turning point. Austin Bay comes to similar conclusions.

I think those who don't think Saddam's capture is a major turning point are kind of missing the point. Arab culture is based on a rumor-based, myth-based kind of information processing (in that sense, the left is becoming more and more like medieval Arab thinking every day). The scientific method by which the Western mind comes to conclusions based for the most part on hard evidence, reasonable assumption and testable hypotheses is utterly alien to most of Arab culture. Saddam's meek oral and lice exam at the hands of his old enemy destroys the last Arab strongman, which is one of Araby's larger myths, right in front of Araby's eyes. The titan has been revealed to be a mouse when his own life was on the line. Exposing that fact will make a difference, maybe not today, but over time as the myth evaporates and leaves a gaping hole in the Arab world's self-image.

The connection of all this to the Islamicists is that their ideology is based in part on their fascist/Islamic radical stew (the fascism imported from Europe, mostly), and in part on their own cultural heritage. You might compare it to the way the Hitler used the Teutonic myths, combined with his Aryan mythology, to create in Germany a kind of myth that Hitler and anyone who followed him would be invincible. The Nazi ideology was equal parts naked militarism, nationalism, and ethnocentrism. Ditto for the Arab-driven Islamicist terrorist enterprise, except that its nationalism includes all of Arabia as one nation.

Saddam's capture, and the way he was captured and the way he conducted himself before the camera, rips a big hole in their construct, and may over time expose it for the hollow house of cards that it is--in the minds of his own followers and allies, and those who hated him but nevertheless grew up believing in the Arab or Islamic strongman mythology. That's big.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:32 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 18, 2003


Check this out: PETA will be distributing fliers to little kids who go see The Nutcracker this Christmas. The flier is abominable--it shows a maniacal woman knifing a rabbit to death, and urges kids to confront their parents about the evils of fur and, you know, eating. And to use the Christmas season this way is just beyond belief.

I have to say, of all the things PETA has tried over the past few years to bolster its idiotic, dying cause, this may be the worst. Yes, worse than comparing eating meat to the Holocaust. Because this particular tactic is aimed at getting young kids to be scared of their own parents.

What kind of sick mind thinks this stuff up?

On the other hand, it tempts me to take my young un to see The Nutcracker, just to confront these buffoons. And if one does approach my son, well, let's just say that PETA pest will learn a whole new meaning of the word "nutcracker."

Posted by B. Preston at 04:35 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I hope not. Jose Padilla was caught in Chicago in June 2002, on a tip from al Qaeda prisoners held in Gitmo. He has been in a brig ever since, and the Bush administration reports that he has been mostly cooperative with interrogators.

While he hasn't been tried, Padilla has numerous links with various Islamicist fronts and organizations, most notably al Qaeda and Benevolence International Foundation, a known "charity" that funds terrorists around the world. For more on Padilla's history, go here.

Now, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled 2-1 that the Bush administration lacks the authority to hold Padilla as an enemy combatant, since he is a US citizen and was arrested on US soil. I've written here and there that Padilla's incarceration disturbs me, but on the other hand releasing him or even giving him access to a lawyer disturbs me as well, given the long track record of terrorists using their lawyers as conduits of information to other terrorists. Further, the ruling seems to indicate that any future US citizens arrested on US soil fighting for al Qaeda or similar terror groups will face ordinary criminal procedure, instead of treating them for what they are, foot soldiers fighting a war against us on our own soil.

Look at it this way: Suppose al Qaeda was a state. Suppose it invaded us, in whatever strength it could muster. Suppose it drafted some number of US citizens to join its ranks, who trained with its other recruits and performed missions for it--scouting targets, making bombs, whatever. How should we treat any of those US citizen-terrorists we happen to capture in the normal course of the war?

The only difference between my scenario and the current war is al Qaeda's status. It is not a state, rather a privately run and publicly-privately funded army arrayed against us. It has invaded us, with operatives in a number of cities and with operations in most states. It has recruited US citizens to fight on its side, and those Americans have in fact trained in al Qaeda camps and attempted to perform missions against us on our soil.

Padilla, based on the available evidence, is such a recruit. When he was arrested, he was allegedly scouting a radiological bomb attack against us. To argue that he deserves normal criminal proceedings is somewhat laughable, given that we're at war and he has chosen to side with our enemy. How should we treat him, then? Beats me.

Perhaps the silver lining in the 2nd District Court of Appeals' ruling is that it will force us to clarify and codify how we deal with the next Jose Padilla. Because there will probably be another one at some point.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


A reader asks me a question that I'd like to ask all of you:

Do you suppose that if John Hinckley had, say, tried to assassinate President Clinton, that the judge (a Clinton appointee, btw) would still release him for unsupervised visits--in and around the Washington DC area?

I know what my answer is. What say you?

UPDATE: My answer, based on no more than a gut feeling, is "no." Perhaps I remember how the Clintonites blamed Oklahoma City on Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps I remember liberal acquaintances of mine mocking Ronald Reagan for his Alzheimer's, long after the man left office and long after he lost touch with reality. But I just don't trust liberals to be fair, so I assume that they will deal more harshly with someone who attacks one of their own than one who attacks someone they didn't much like anyway. After all, on whom do liberals pour most of their scorn now--Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush?

Posted by B. Preston at 11:40 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003


We on the right and in the center might as well face a disturbing fact: We're fighting this war by ourselves. The left wants no part of it, doesn't understand it, isn't interested in it and wants the whole thing to pass like a kidney stone.

Not that the rest of us like war. We don't. But 9-11 brought home a hard fact to us--that some subset of the Islamic world wants us dead--and forced a response from us--we're not the ones gonna do the dying, at least not without a fight.

So fight we have, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. To the initial attack and the first campaign, the left responded with a mixture of apoplexy and fear. Some bravely put on a game face and went along, but some did not. They tried to blame it all on us--remeber the "root cause" crowd? Remember Robert Fisk's "I deserved getting beat up because I'm a Westerner" nonsense? Some others just put up a peace sign and said "War is not the answer," though that set never did spell out just what the answer is when you're faced with a group of zealots with loads of cash, connections to despots with some industrial might and a penchance for nasty weapons, and those zealots want to kill you. What is the answer, if war isn't? Send in Interpol, only to watch the Taliban mow them down with Kalishnikovs? Sick Kofi Annan on them? Yeah, that'll make us safer.

No, the left didn't answer that question about war, preferring instead to deflect. They predicted quagmire in the graveyard of empires, they told us how the Brits and Soviets got their heads handed to them by those mythic Afghan fighters, they warned us about the brutal Afghan winter, and generally tried to make us all uneasy about the course we had been forced by circumstances to follow. They tried to scare us, then shame us, into inaction. Even if we win, there will be a humanitarian catastrophe the likes of which the world has never seen, etc. Had we listened, Osama bin Laden would still have his terrorist camps today, and for every terrorist the police could nab, al Qaeda could churn out three or for more. Today those camps are gone. We are safer precisely because we ignored the left.

Then came Iraq. The left put up argument after argument--it's unjust, it's illegal, Saddam's no threat to us, ad infinitum. Many of the left that actually supported the Afghan campaign joined their more hardened anti-war brethren when it came time for a showdown with Saddam. To arguments that Saddam had terror connections, even the death--in Baghdad--of lifelong terrorist Abu Nidal could not convince them otherwise. To arguments that Saddam had defied 12 years of international law on his weapons programs, they yawned, or cried foul on the sanctions, or both. They simultaneously wanted to make the UN the centerpiece of our effort to hunt down terrorists, yet ignore the mountain of UN case law against Saddam, case law that actually demanded resumption of war.

But we went into Iraq anyway, deposed Saddam anyway, brought some measure of freedom to Iraq anyway. After Saddam's fall, the truth began to leak out. There were hundreds of thousands of mass graves all around that beaten country, and the press had covered it up to maintain its access. There were rape rooms and children's prisons and electical devices meant to be attached to a man's private parts, either to make him talk or just to amuse the Saddamite sadists. Hussein's boys were notorious torturers and murderers, but because they were who they were, no one could do a thing about them.

Those wretched criminals died with guns blazing away at American troops, but did the left see fit to condemn them even then? Sadly, no. Another brain fart--the left just cannot think straight. They accused our troops of brutality, of excessive force, even while some lefties wondered why it took our troops with their superior numbers and firepower several hours to finally kill off Saddam's spawn.

And now we have Saddam. The difference between Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler is merely one of scale. They are all killers of unthinkable numbers. Saddam ruled a country where it was possible to kill off a million or so, and that is what he did, Kurds and Marsh Arabs and Shiites and anyone else he felt like killing. He also killed off hundreds of thousands of Iranians and Kuwaitis and fired missiles at a neutral Israel. He even briefly invaded Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. He tortured, he executed and he ruled with fear and terror for thirty years. He built a nuclear plant thanks to French benevolence, though his oil-rich country had no need of peaceful nuclear energy. What do you suppose that plant was for, before Israel flattened it? Do you suppose he just forgave and forgot the raid on Osirak?

But again, many on the left react to world events with a brain fart. They just don't know how to respond. If it's not a waterfront bike path or another entitlement expansion, much of the left just doesn't know how to get passionate about it. Howard Dean says Saddam's capture doesn't make us safer. Taking a terrorist kingpin, and an enemy of the United States, off the streets doesn't make us safer. Former hero John Glenn echoes. Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright wonders--she now says she was joking--whether the Bush administration doesn't have Osama himself locked away somewhere, a kind of human hedge fund for the president's political fortunes.

All along the way, the left has generated conspiracy theories or concocted controversies to dent support for the war. They tried to turn the heroics of Flight 93 into a conspiracy that shot it down. They tried to turn 9-11 itself into a conspiracy. When we captured scores of Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the left protested incarcerating them. Then they told us, erroneously, that we had "created" Osama bin Laden. They told us the same about Saddam Hussein, though the US trade with him amounted to just $2 billion, compared with tens of billions in arms trade with France, Germany, Russia and China. We didn't build him a nuclear reactor, but we're the ones who somehow made the monster because we leaned toward him when he fought the mad mullahs in Tehran. The war in Iraq, according to Senator Ted Kennedy, was concocted on President Bush's Texas ranch for purely political purposes. The fall of Saddam was a hoax, according to the lefty set, and his statue only fell because we ordered Iraqis to pull it down. Now that Saddam is off the streets, his capture is also apparently part of some conspiracy.

Brain farts. Nothing but brain farts. The left just cannot cope with irritatingly good news. Or can they?

Are these people mad? Has a majority of the left--the part that supports Howard Dean though he hosts racists fund raisers and lifts charlatan and race-baiter Al Sharpton above credible candidates for the presidency--simply decided to extend its long vacation from reality?

Are they just brain farting, passing noxious gas instead of thinking hard about saving civilization? Unfortunately, that is the least disturbing explanation for their behavior. Because if they know what they're doing, if they're thinking clearly and still coming up with this nonsense, they're actively doing all they can to undermine the war, and with each step toward victory they become less and less helpful to the cause. To what purpose would they hinder the war? To help fundamentalist Islamicists, even though these same lefties blast nearly all Christians as "fundamentalists?" To bring arrogant America to its knees, to teach her a lesson? Or just to bash President Bush and regain political power? Or all three, to one extent or another?

Their reasons are pretty much irrelevant. Whatever motivates them, the fact is that much of the left has become a collection of Hanoi Janes, actively and intentionally undermining the war. Their world collapsed around them with the fall of the Soviet Union, the left has lost all relevance. Islamicism is the new ascendant anti-capitalist power, and its energetic aggression seems to have lured much of the left--the factions that crave power above all else--to its side.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:51 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


I'm far less obsessive about the JYB's site stats than I once was. In fact, truth is I check in on them a few times a month but nowhere near daily, and nowhere near regularly. But I do check them, mostly to make sure I'm not just talking to myself and a few folks who decide to comment. And the stats show that most days, that's actually true.

But today, checking in on the stats for the first time in a while I noticed that traffic this month is a bit higher than last month, thanks for the most part to a new referrer. The JYB has been permalinked by none other than Steven Den Beste.

Now that is a fine Christmas gift. Thanks, Steven.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack




Posted by B. Preston at 02:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Just go read this account of one of his recent fundraisers. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Now, why is this story in the Opinion section? Where would it be if all the racial and anti-gay, and anti-Semitic, humor had taken place at a Republican fundraiser? Page 1, above the fold? Of course.

Dean didn't put the n-word in comedians' mouths, but he did nothing to stop it coming out either. He didn't write the joke comparing Condi Rice to Michael Jackson, but he didn't protest it either. He didn't call VP Dick Cheney's daughter a "big lezzie," but did he say a word against the person who did, and who was there to support his candidacy for the presidency? No. His campaign has issued no apology, and no lefty bloggers have taken him to task, and thus far even his fellow Dems running for president are silent.

Where is the outrage? Dean's KKK-style fundraiser is Trent Lott times ten. He should be out of the race by now, and packing for a one-way trip back to Vermont. But he isn't, because the left doesn't give a d^&% when its own people exhibit overt racism or party with those who do.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The capture of Saddam Hussein has had the effect of nightfall in a bat cave--out they come in droves.

Mad-as-a-hatter Albright now thinks the military has Osama bin Laden squirriled away somewhere, saving him for a rainy day.

Congressman Jim McDermott thinks Saddam's capture was timed to help Bush, somehow. calls McDermott "brave" for saying so. And the moonbat brigades don't stop there. Based on the writings of Josh Marshall and anonymous blogger "Swopa," the left has hastily constructed an entire conspiracy around the timing of Saddam's capture.

Here's the outline. Marshall reported a couple of weeks ago that a Congressman said that Saddam would be captured soon (can't find the link, and Swopa's site appears to be down at the moment, but has Marshall figuring in this thing). That Congressman is Ray La Hood (R-Il)--he made his comments off the cuff in a press briefing, and it's pretty clear that he was just shooting off his mouth. Then a week or so later, the Iraqi Governing Council announces that it will set up a war crimes tribunal to deal with members of the ancien regime, obviously including Saddam Hussein should he be captured. Then, lo and behold, Saddam is captured. A nice, tight, tidy little timeline, no?

Except that it doesn't make a lick of sense. As PeoriaPundit notes, if we were really *this close* to catching Saddam a couple weeks ago (when La Hood made his comments), would the CIA, military or Bush administration tell bigmouthed Congressmen? The record shows a fairly testy relationship between the administration and Congress on the very subject of loose lips with classified information. The record also shows a fairly tight circle of higher-ups in Washington knew about the capture on Saturday--President Bush, told by SecDef Rumsfeld, with Condi Rice also in the loop along with VP Cheney and CIA Director George Tenet. Reporters who saw Cheney and Rumsfeld Saturday night noted an unexplainable change in their demeanor, as though they were happier than usual about something significant. Does that suggest a conspiracy in the works for weeks, or a developing good news story? I'd say the latter. The information chain on Saddam's capture went from the 4th ID which captured him, through CPA director Paul Bremmer, to Rumsfeld, and from him to the others, or at least that's my read. Congressmen from Peoria don't seem to figure into the story here, as far as I can see.

As for the Iraqi war crimes tribunal, according to that cog in the vast right-wing conspiracy CBS, it has been in the works "for months." And does anyone think that some sort of war crimes set-up hasn't been in the works since Saddam fell? It's a natural turn of events, along the lines (but hopefully more effectively slapped together) of what has been done in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. And why would it matter whether the new Iraq set up its trial mechanism before or after Saddam's capture? Iraq isn't even a sovereign country yet.

One bigmouthed Peoria congressman plus a very obvious course of events plus the capture of one of the world's most notorious criminals does not a conspiracy make. It doesn't even pass the laugh test.

But that doesn't stop from floating it, does it?

Here's a conspiracy theory for ya. These people know what they're doing. It's a form of dialectic in which you implant ideas and let them take on a life of their own. It also allows you to gradually move people to your point of view, by posing radical and then sensible positions, slowly shifting the sensible position ever closer to the radical view that you hold. In the past few weeks we have seen the left proffer a range of conspiracies about the war--Howard Dean and the Bush-knew-911 theory; Madeline Albright and the Osama capture theory; and now the Saddam capture theory from McDermott et al. Hillary Clinton has also put a wild theory or two out there from time to time, as have Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney, Michael Moore, etc. In the pols' cases, most of the time they proffer the theory only to meet criticism. They retreat from the theory, but it now has a life all its own. It feeds on tenuous connections, and is sustained by a certain lack of critical thought or examination from those who find it appealing. Others add to it, a blogger here, a DU poster there, and it all at one time had the imprimatur of a real, live politician or national leader.

It's an effort to sap resolve and sway the easily persuadable that the war is a sham, that there is no victory and no good in it, that the administration is untrustworthy and should be removed.

You think I'm nuts? Then explain why the Dems and lefties keep doing it. Paranoia alone does not explain their actions, though it does go some distance down the road. Why do they spout theories they know will get them criticized, and that they know have no basis in fact?

MORE: Or maybe some Democrats have simply chosen to side with the terrorists.

UPDATE: And now Albright is backpedalling. That's how it works--float the theory, then disown it. Before long she'll float another one, then disown that. But the net effect is that the theory is out there, giving credence to the truly wacky left and playing right into the hands of the Arab street that people like Albright care so much about not offending.

Either people like Albright and Dean know what they're doing, or they're simply paranoid idiots. Take your pick.

MORE: Maybe this is what La Hood was talking about. US troops wrapped Saddamite villages in barbed wire and swept up the males, interrogating them whether or not they knew where Saddam was. This was in early December. By mid-December, the 4th ID had its man. The tactic was, of course, offensive to liberals. If we listened to them, Saddam would still be in his spider hole, and we would still not have all those papers he carried that led to a slew of arrests.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003


President Bush, in his interview with Diane Sawyer tonight on ABC, said the following about gay marriage:

"If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment which would honor marriage between a man and a woman, codify that."

However, he also said, "The position of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people want to make, they're allowed to make, so long as it's embraced by the state or at the state level."

He said marriage should be a state issue, "except and unless judicial rulings undermine the sanctity of marriage. In which case, we may need a constitutional amendment."

Reuters' Randall Mikkelsen follows up those comments with this:

His comments indicated that Bush, as he heads into his reelection campaign, was walking a fine line between the interests of his social conservative base which favors a constitutional ban on gay marriage and other voters who have shown more acceptance of same-sex unions.

That is slippery writing. While it's true that social conservatives are most supportive of a Constitutional ban on gay marriage, posing us against "other voters who have shown more acceptance" of it is a red herring--a majority of the country opposes gay marriage. Are social cons the majority? No, we represent somewhere around a quarter to more than a third of the voting public, but our position on gay marriage is the majority's position--against it. The difference between social cons and everyone else who opposes gay marriage is one of degree--we support an amendment, others may or may not, but we agree on the basic position of opposition to gay marriage.

Reuters' comment aims to portray opposition to gay marriage as confined only to the socially conservative position, thus trying to make Bush look beholden to an extreme constituency.

This is how media bias works most often. The quotes are accurate, the thesis of the story largely sound, in this case that President Bush has left open the possibility of civil unions as a state matter. But the bias against social cons and in favor of gay marriage on the writer's part allows him to introduce the wrinkle, which is not supported by the facts, that opposition to gay marriage is confined to social conservatives. That's a way to frame the issue to move undecideds who might not see gay marriage passionately one way or the other, but have a bias (probably thanks to the press) against social cons, one of the most maligned political forces in the country today.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:26 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Iraq's Foreign Minister blasts the UN for dithering and bickering while Saddam killed his own people and threatened everyone else.

Maybe in a year or two, when Iraq stands on its own, it can back up today's statement with some action. Opt out of the UN, and opt into the proto replacement UN, the Proliferation Strategic Initiative.

Think of the ramifications. Iraq would say to the world, especially to the despots and their allies that dominate the UN, that that body is no longer of any use. It does not protect peace, just tyrants. Iraq would be joining the US, Japan, the UK, Australia and a few other states in an alliance conceived to end Kim Jong-Il's nuclear threat, thus sending the clearest possible signal that the new Iraq will be a responsible member of the world community. Iraq will signal to the world that it no longer believes the UN is capable of fulfulling one of its primary roles, which is halting the spread of WMDs (since the PSI was built by the US to blockade North Korea, a feat not possible within the UN thanks to Chinese intransigence). And Iraq will be thumbing its nose at the organization that enabled Saddam's mad reign for the past dozen years.

Hey, a blogger can dream, can't he?

Posted by B. Preston at 09:08 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


One of these days I'll outline something I see happening on the left--an ideological alliance is developing between Islamicists and the Western left, with the latter always acting to downplay any good we do, play up any bad we do and lie lie lie about President Bush so that the weak minded are forever confused about him and his intentions. The left is becoming Sinn Fein to Osama/Saddam/Arafat's IRA.

Exhibit A in all this will be Michael Moore, whose fevered rants give legitimacy to the ravings of lunatic clerics in the madrassas that recruit and train terrorists.

Exhibit B will be the likes of Rep. Jim McDermott. His latest: The capture of Saddam was timed to help Bush. I wish I were making this up, but I'm not:

WASHINGTON -- The Washington congressman who criticized President Bush while visiting Baghdad last year has questioned the timing of the capture of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., told a Seattle radio station Monday the U.S. military could have found Saddam "a long time ago if they wanted." Asked if he thought the weekend capture was timed to help Bush, McDermott chuckled and said: "Yeah. Oh, yeah."

The Democratic congressman went on to say, "There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing."

48 hours after catching one of the worst criminals in the past 100 years, and a US elected official does his best to make our own president look as bad or worse. So what's his evidence? He doesn't have any:

When interviewer Dave Ross asked again if he meant to imply the Bush administration timed the capture for political reasons, McDermott said: "I don't know that it was definitely planned on this weekend, but I know they've been in contact with people all along who knew basically where he was. It was just a matter of time till they'd find him.

"It's funny," McDermott added, "when they're having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something."

You'd think that if Bush were doing something like this, he'd wait until some more critical moment. I mean, if you think he's some sort of evil genius, you should at least assume that Bush would take maximum advantage of the situation--delay the capture until the convention, or until just before the election, right? But that assumes coherence in the conspiracy theory, and such theories seldom allow for consistency or logic. They're just sets of random musings mixed together into one foul stew.

To their credit, some Democrats see McDimwitt for what he is--a nut:

"With all due respect to my colleague, that is a fantasy," Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., said of McDermott's comments. "That just is not right. ... It's one thing to criticize this administration for having done this war. I mean, that's a fair question. But to criticize them on the capture of Saddam, when it's such a big thing to our troops, is just ridiculous."

And as always, once the conspiracy is proffered, the theorist disowns it:

McDermott, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, called the timing of Saddam's capture suspicious but said he was not alleging it had been intentionally delayed.

"Everything was going wrong, and they got a real Christmas gift, if you will, in that the troops did a magnificent job and found" Saddam, he said.

How is this different from Howard Dean's conspiracy theorizing on the Diane Rehm show? Not very, I'd say. In both cases, an outlandish theory is proffered to get it into the public consciousness. Most will reject it, but some will latch on to it while others will simply find it confusing. But over time these theories have a way of taking on a life of their own, and pretty soon there's a cottage industry built to prove them, and responsible thinkers have to spend time researching and refuting them.

The end result of all this is sapped morale. People like me have to spend too much of our time refuting the nonsense, until we get sick of it. After a while it just becomes a waste of time--those that want to believe the theories won't listen to reason anyway. People on the left gradually latch on to them--in the Dean case, his theory once got Rep. Cynthia McKinney booted from office, but now he can talk about it without it denting his run for the presidency.

Some of this conspiracy alliance is intentional--I wouldn't be surprised in the least to find that Michael Moore, whose latest book and upcoming film are teaching a whole generation of Europeans that America is the source of all evil and that we attacked ourselves on 9-11, is in some way directly connected to Islamicist fronts. He's today's version of the nuclear freeze movement, which was a Soviet front in its day, though in his case financial backing probably isn't necessary--his books and films sell well, thus he can use the capitalism he derides to fund his own little virtual madrassa. Some of the alliance is just philosophical--I doubt very much that Dean consciously says things that wouldn't be out of place on the rabid Arab street, though the end result of his words is often to legitimize the world's darkest fears about us. We don't need a president whose first instincts are to float the craziest theories about the war. We need a president who will defend the country, and Dean is evidently not constituted to do that.

As for McDermott, he was one of three Democrat Congressmen who visited Baghdad in the runup to the war, and gave the old dictator a clean bill of health. Is he in someone's pay? I'd be surprised if he wasn't. But whether there is some significant Islamicist financial backing of McDermott or not (as there was with McKinney), he's become an ideological soulmate of Saddam Hussein, and he intended his theory to dent the good that should come from Hussein's arrest.

That's seditious activity, if you ask me.

MORE: I guess we can add former Secretary of State Madeline Albright to the left-wing conspiracy madrassa. I would say that she's just under its sway, but she has actually come up with an original conspiracy theory, so she may also be one of its clerics.

In all seriousness, this country is in trouble when the party out of power has gone so far off into the paranoid weeds.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:36 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 15, 2003


The whole drive for campaign finance reform has for the most part been driven by the awful shenanigans of Clinton's 1996 campaign. In that campaign, Chinese sources poured cash into his coffers, which is illegal, and the operatives responsible fled the country in droves, never to return. Foreigners cannot contribute cash to the US political scene, to candidates or parties. That is as it should be.

So now we get "reform" and it has the imprimatur of both parties, the President and even the Supreme Court behind it. It's supposed to clean up the system, but the reality is that it has limited criticism of elected officials close to election time. The first amendment has been hemorraghing ever since.

And CFR apparently didn't even fix the foreign cash problem--groups like apparently can in fact get money from foreign sources, which they will use in tacit alliances with candidates of their choice. In MoveOn's case, that will be left-wing Democrats. Left wing candidates will be able, apparently, to ally themselves with these groups so long as there's no paper trail, thus allowing foreign sources to effect our political process. It's wrong for left or right wing candidates or any others, by the way. To the extent possible, we should insulate our political process from foreign influence. If we don't, we're essentially selling out our government to the highest world bidder. In other words, expect China to return to American politics in a big way. Do any of you think that will be a good thing?

We could end up in the not too distant future with a President elected largely because he was able to generate cash from sources outside the United States.

Wait--we already had one, in 1996. So now, campaign finance reform has made the whole thing legal.

^&%*! politicians.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


As a single event, the capture of Saddam Hussein promises to change the dynamics of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in ways we can scarcely predict. Of course, that didn't stop anyone from predicting all kinds of things. But anyway.

The war on terrorism, or more properly Islamicism, is as much an ideological struggle as it is a political or military one. It's possible that we may destroy al Qaeda and sufficiently scare any state thinking about supporting a similar group to the point that their threat is removed, only to lose Europe to radical Islam some decades hence and face a renewed threat. That is so because of the massive influx of unassimilated Muslims into Europe over the past 30 or 40 years, a population without love for their new home but with philosophical ties to the old madrassas of their youth. This problem will not go away overnight, whether we capture every single member of al Qaeda or not.

But there is a way to turn it around, and right it over the long haul. Many, perhaps most, of those Islamic emigrees moved to Europe and the US to better their lives, to escape tyranny and to have a chance at a better economic life. What if the Middle East became more habitable? What if life there improved to such an extent that immigration to Europe slowed or stopped, or even reversed?

Capturing Saddam has already yielded fruit for the coalition. Our troops have already busted a number of terror cells in Iraq based on intelligence gleaned from Saddam's capture. The image of the Tiger of the Tigris submitting to a lice check at American hands has surely knocked the wind out of the Islamicists and their view of inevitability--that they will prevail because it's Allah's will. It's tough to make that argument now, with Saddam in leg irons and his kingdom in American hands, and his former subjects taking to streets to cheer his end. When Iraqi justice delivers Saddam's final justice, the Middle East could take on a new direction.

In the final analysis, that's what the Iraq war has been about--changing the Middle East, both to weaken the terror groups and their state sponsors and to make the region itself more habitable for its own people (eliminating WMDs that could fall into the hands of terrorists is part of the former). The Middle East has long been under the sway of bloodthirsty tyrants. The worst one sits in a cell today, probably still trying to negotiate with his captors. He is finished.

Over time, if Iraq becomes a free and democratic state, even an imperfect one, it can become the example for the rest of the region to follow. Iraq's example can pave the way for systematic change throughout the region. If the Middle East become more habitable and prosperous for the average person, fewer will leave for Europe and the US. Fewer still will heed the call to jihad. The radical madrassas may find their support drying up, parents no longer interested in sending their little boys to study under increasingly fringe clerics. And perhaps the demographic challenges that unassimilated Muslim populations pose in Europe and throughout the West will start to evaporate as immigration trends reverse course.

We have a better chance to win now, because one old man crawled up out of his his hidey-hole and submitted to a US Army doctor's oral exam.

Posted by B. Preston at 05:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 14, 2003


Well I'd say it's been a pretty good day. Our troops caught Saddam. The Ravens losts to the Raiders (I like the Raiders, despise the Ravens). And the Cowboys shut out the Redskins for the first time since 1971. That was a nice way to end a two-game skid and guarantee their first winning season since I don't know when.

Now, if I can just get my family healthy.

Mrs JYB and the young un came into contact with a bug-carrying kid last weekend, and now both of them have the flu. So it's a round of Tamiflu for everyone around here. I'm even taking it to keep from getting the bug myself, and since I never really did beat that cold I had a week or so ago...well, you can probably imagine how things are in the JYB World Headquarters. The Centers for Disease Control should just put a biohazard sign in our front yard.

Note to parents: If your kid has a fever, don't take the little tike to church. Or school. Especially if the kid is fluid-rich, if you know what I mean. That's what happened to us--a kid we know had a fever, he got hauled out in public anyway, and the rest is history. We spent a good part of Friday at the doctor's office getting Mrs JYB diagnosed. We spent the weekend with her in bed fending off the bug, until our little guy came down with it in the middle of watching The Haunted Mansion. Now, it's a lousy movie but I was surprised when he fell asleep about 30 minutes in, cried half way home (until he threw up), then resumed crying until I could get the car off the road long enough to clean him up. Since then he has been in bed with a fluctuating fever and an ailing disposition. Tonight, we spent a few hours in a clinic so the doctors could tell us that he had the flu (big surprise), prescribe the children's version of Tamiflu, give me enough samples of the adult version to hopefully keep me from succumbing, and send us on our miserable way. Then I got to hang around in a 24 hour pharmacy only to find out that there is no kids' Tamiflu available in the state of Maryland until tomorrow morning. A failure at getting my kid the stuff he needs, I dragged myself home, a tired, annoyed, slightly worried dad with a very sick family.

So parents, in case you hadn't figured it out there's a flu pandemic going on right now. If your kid gets the bug, keep it all home. Please.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


and continue to deal with the other, connected one--al Qaeda--it's time we look at another. Our fifth column is doing terrible damage, to our own war resolve and to our image abroad.

I'm speaking of Michael Moore, whose latest book is wildly popular in Europe. Especially Germany, where 1 in 3 under age 30 believe that we attacked ourselves on 9-11.

In the past six months, Wenzel [Mielke], a teenager from the eastern German town of Strausberg has read four books by his new favorite author - American filmmaker, humorist, and vocal critic of President Bush - Michael Moore. Wenzel recently attended one of two sold-out appearances by Mr. Moore in one of Berlin's largest concert halls. "Not only do I really like what Michael Moore is saying, but I can really imagine that Bush had something to do with the [Sept. 11] attacks," says the ninth-grader. "It could, of course, be a coincidence - but a really good one for Bush; it is too good an excuse for his wars. The Americans needed a good reason to attack so that they could exploit other countries for oil or whatever."

The US Embassy in Berlin has begun to take notice of the increased wariness toward the US among young Germans like Wenzel. Citing a fear that an entire generation of young Germans is coming of age politically amid an atmosphere of anti-Americanism - and what officials are calling a growing potential for violent anti-Americanism - the Embassy's public-affairs department has recently started sending Americans into German schools to talk to children and youth about life in the US.

Michael Moore obviously has no conscience, and the words he writes today will be with us for decades as we live down his nonsense. His crankery has achieved the level of "common knowledge" in Germany, and similar theories have achieved a kind of critical mass in France. Moore is a detestable creep whose poorly stitched-together theories discredit him among people who can think critically and objectively examine evidence. Sadly, though, we seem to be in the minority these days. But Germany isn't full of idiots--why are German youths latching on to theories like Moore's?

"I think that some - not all - of the people who believe in these theories see a certain pardon for Germany's history there," says [Klaus] Hillenbrand (editor in chief of an influential Berlin daily, Die Tageszeitung). "They see that Germany is still measured against the Holocaust, and they have now found a point where the Americans are also very evil and that we Germans then don't have to feel inferior to them."

It's not fair to continue to judge all of Germany by the Holocaust, and I don't think most people do. But as long as they insist on taking the wrong side of history, Germany is and will continue to be inferior to us, to Britian, to Australia, to Japan and to any nation or people that defends freedom. And any American who feeds on the fears and suspicions of anti-Americans while calling himself an American should have his citizenship revoked. Are we or are we not at war? If we are, it's clear that Michael Moore has chosen sides--he's with anyone who's against us. If Germany loves Michael Moore so much, they can have him.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack



Saddam Hussein has been captured in Tikrit!

"He was wearing a fake beard and laboratory tests have proven his identity beyond any doubt," said the statement.

U.S. officials said only that the U.S. military captured a man in the basement of a building in Tikrit during raids seeking Saddam and that initial efforts to verify his identity indicate he is the deposed Iraqi dictator.

"It certainly looks good," one senior U.S. official said, cautioning more scientific testing, possibly DNA, was being done early Sunday morning to try to confirm the identity.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) welcomed Saddam's capture.

"This is very good news for the people of Iraq (news - web sites). It removes the shadow that has been hanging over them for too long of the nightmare of a return to the Saddam regime," he said in a statement released by his office.

Saddam was trapped in a cellar, dug a hole and buried himself as U.S. soldiers moved into the house where he was hiding, an Iraqi official said Sunday.

Yes! And the Iraqi governing council already has a war trimes aparatus set up to deal with him.

MORE: I'd gotten up early to head to church, where I play the drums for our early service. The snowstorm had cancelled the service, so I'm watching the capture press conference now. The "fake beard" doesn't look fake. He looks like the Unabomber, but I suppose if you put a scraggly beard on just about anyone of Saddam's age they would too. Everyone seems uniformly relieved and boistered by the capture. The Iraqis are jubilant, actually shouting "Death to Saddam" in Arabic at the screen when the captured Saddam appears on it. The press keeps asking the same question--how and when will Saddam face trial?--over and over, though the CPA doesn't yet have an answer and keeps saying so. They're showing video of the rat hole Saddam was found in, and video of him submitting to examination by an Army doctor. One minor point of misgiving--I love seeing the video of Saddam. It's that little bit of visual proof I needed to finally believe the story. But it worries me a little that we're showing it repeatedly. I understand the reason for it, but it's just asking for criticism from the Amnesty Internationals of the world, who are just looking for an excuse to criticize us. They'll accuse the CPA of exploiting Saddam. Ditto the US left, which after muttering "I guess that's a good thing" will quickly try and find some way to deflect due credit from the CPA and the Bush administration. They'll also probably argue that there's no way that Saddam could have been orchestrating the fedayeen and terrorist forces fighting our troops from his little hole in the ground. What role Saddam had in that remains to be determined; it's possible the hole was his last-ditch bunker, and that he was in fact running the fedayeen from nearby or somewhere else. It's also possible he had no significant role in the terror campaign against the coalition. I highly doubt that, though.

In related news, there are reports that Mohammad Atta trained with Abu Nidal's organization in Iraq. Could today turn out to be the most significant turning point on the war since May? It looks like it.

The message Saddam's capture sends to other terrorist kingpins, state sponsors and the like is unmistakable: You may be living the high life today, you may rule your petty kingdom with an iron hand, but if you raise your hand against the US, we will take it all away from you. We will hunt you down. We will reduce you to the life of a common animal, and then we will dug you up, put you on trial and you will meet justice.

MORE: Saddam may have been turned in by his second wife. When caught, he didn't resist even though US troops found a couple of AK-47s with him (the hard left will probably say "See--Saddam was a peaceful man after all. Bush even lied about how bad he is.") The way in which Saddam was captured may also say something about WMDs. Saddam Hussein was able to hide for 8 months in a little hole or in a series of little holes (we don't know yet), though he needed sympathizers in order to survive. That took at least a small network of operatives, and the hole he ended up in was small, but large enough to hold a small stock of WMDs (vials, shells, etc). It's possible his WMD stocks are similarly stored, in little caches around the country. You can bet one of the first questions our interrogators aksed him was "Where are the WMDs?" Maybe now we'll have a final answer.

MORE: What does this mean for the anti-coalition terror campaign? My best guess is that we'll see a short-lived orgy of violence, but the indigenous fedayeen will evaporate within a few weeks. The foreign elements may try to intensify their efforts, but the water they swim in will begin to dry up as the Iraqi people gradually turn finally away from the past. I think we're going to see the beginning of the end pretty soon, though I could obviously be wrong.

MORE: A couple of other stray thoughts. Saddam obviously didn't hide in that hole for 8 solid months. It's too small, and the video shows no facilities--food, etc. He had help, possibly the whole town of Tikrit took turns shuttling him around to keep him one step ahead of us. Tikrit will be a town to watch for the next few weeks.

Why have no world leaders who criticized the war used a little face time to give us an attaboy? They have all offered statements, but nothing on camera yet.

Jacques Chirac is probably worried sick over what Saddam will say if he decides to talk.

Algore may have given Joe Lieberman the best holiday gift possible when he endorsed Dean. Dr. Dean's two main issues--the economy and the war--have been devastated in the past week. Lieberman has been one of just two Dems who have been consistently supportive of the war while running for president. Look for Lieberman to surge, or at least give it a very good shot. Look for Dean to be a bit put on his heels. Algore has once again shown that he may be the unluckiest man on earth--win the popular vote but lose the election; endorse the one candidate most hurt the great news of Saddam's capture. Smooth, Al. Real smooth.

I like President Bush's instincts on all this. He reportedly felt that announcing Saddam's capture from Iraq was the way to go, since in his judgement it was a military matter. It also let the Iraqi governing council appear for the first time to have some say in events, important to changing the view that they're just puppets of the occupation. Bush will get his moment on all this, but he was right to let events transpire from the scene first and not leap for the nearest camera to claim credit for heroic action taking place on the other side of the world. I guess it's his famous modest at work, and at such a time as this. It speaks well of his character.

MORE: Considerettes has a rundown of lefty reaction to Saddam's capture. He gives 'em the fisking they deserve.

Note to lefty bloggers--if you ever wonder again why rightie bloggers question your patriotism, let today be a case in point. The US did absolutely the right thing in all respects today. We caught a very bad man without harming anyone or anything around him. Our leadership from the top down showed a remarkable restraint in the face of incredibly good news, and our troops acted with bravery and patience that I suspect none of you believed possible (at least the latter). And most of you chose to find the little slivers of possible negativity and play that up. It shows that you can't--may not be capable of--simply enjoying a good day for what it is, and letting the politics wait for another day. You always insist that somewhere in any good thing must be a bad thing, either because America did it or because the president happens to be from the wrong party. Get over yourselves--you'll be happier.

America had a good day today, a very good day. Enjoy it.

Posted by B. Preston at 07:13 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack