March 26, 2004


Unbelievable, outrageous, inappropriate and despicable. Terry MacAuliffe may be the worst, most unethical, least patriotic, most disgusting political figure in recent American history. He's taking his cues these days from none other than Saddam Hussein:

Entering McAuliffe's new corner office, which is equipped as a TV studio, visitors walk over a doormat bearing a likeness of President Bush and the words, "Give Bush the Boot." (my emphasis)

MacAuliffe's doormat reminds one of the entry to the Al-Rashid Hotel in Saddam's Baghdad, the one on the right:


At the Al-Rashid Hotel, President Bush the elder - father of the current American chief executive who ordered this year's invasion of Iraq - is a doormat no more.

U.S. soldiers visited the battered Al-Rashid on Thursday night wielding hammers and chisels, and dug out the intricate tile mosaic of the former president that was used for years as a state-sponsored insult.

Democrats, you'd better give MacAuliffe the boot for this one or you've surrendered any defense you'll ever have against accusations that you're not patriotic or that you hate America. There's no excuse for a Democrat official using Saddam Hussein's agitprop in his own office. None at all.

(thanks to Drudge)

UPDATE: Cablenewser wonders why it isn't the scandal of the moment. I'd say it's a little bigger than that.

McAuliffe made a point of wiping his shoes across the picture of Bush and laughed like it was very funny and not a bit disrespectful. It was stunning. Ms. Woodruff caught her breath and walked around the mat so as not to step on the president's face.

(thanks to Hanks)

Posted by B. Preston at 01:26 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack


The United Nations Security Council recently voted on a one-sided resolution that would have condemned Israel for killing Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Yassin, it should be noted, was complicit in the murders of hundreds of Israeli men, women and children. He was to Hamas in many ways what bin Laden is (or was?) to al Qaeda--the founder, spiritual leader and guiding force. The UNSC resolution contained no specific language condemning Yassin or Hamas for the murders, though it contained the usual international doublespeak condemning "terrorism" in the abstract. It was sponsored by Algeria, not exactly known as a friend of the Jews.

But for a US veto, it would have passed. The United Nations would have gone on record condemning Israel for defending itself from terrorists. The vote went 11-3-1--eleven states in favor, three abstentions, one veto (ours). The 11 Security Council members who voted for it were: China, Russia, France, The Philippines, Angola, Chile, Pakistan, Spain, Algeria, Benin and Brazil. Britain, Germany and Romania abstained from the vote. It should come as no surprise that anti-Semitic France voted for it, but it is a bit of a surprise that Spain and Russia, two nations that have suffered terrorism recently, should vote against another state's right of self defense. Germany's non-opposition is a bit of, well, not bad news. It's not exactly good news that Tony Blair's Britain couldn't bring itself to back us and Israel. It's the influence of the Labour left talking.

Not coincidentally, in another part of the UN's august offices the day prior, the Human Rights Commission did in fact passed a resolution condemning Israel's actions. That vote went 31-2 against Israel, though it has no legal force.

This whole episode points up one of the big troubles with multilateralism, the left's current fetish. When you act multilaterally, or to be more precise when you force yourself to act multilaterally, you actually have to agree with the others involved in your multilateral arrangement or you have to get them to agree with you. It's clear from the UNSC vote that such agreement with the French and others is impossible when it comes to terrorism. They simply do not believe many of the things about this war that a majority of clear-thinking Americans take for granted; namely, that it is in fact a war, that nations have the right of self-defense, and that they have the right and even duty to strike against terrorists wherever they live or hide. How should we have persuaded people who fundamentally disagree with us, as evidenced by this UNSC vote, that our view is correct?

As further proof that the disagreement is deep, buried in the UNSC resolution was a nasty poison pill that would soon have been used against us and anyone else acting in any serious way against al Qaeda or any other terrorist group. The resolution contained a provision condemning what it called "extrajudicial executions." That's legalese for condemning the use of deadly force even to apprehend known terrorists if it results in the death of the actual terrorist. If passed, it would have taken the entire world back to the old Clinton-era rule of "catch 'em alive or not at all," but with an even more counterproductive angle: It would brought UN condemnation on any state that killed a terrorist in the course of halting terrorism. So if Pakistani forces or US Task Force 121 had killed Ayman al Zawahiri last week in Pakistan, we would have been acting illegally. If we spot bin Laden with a Predator drone and drop a Hellfire missile on him, we would be acting illegally and would be subject to UNSC condemnation. Our 2002 Predator strike against al Qaeda operatives in Yemen would have been illegal if this resolution had been on the books back then. That wouldn't mean much for the actual conduct of the war, but it would have given the international left one more bullet point for their anti-American proganda, and that's what the left cares about most: Creating more agitprop to shame us into surrender.

The UN is a corrupt and counterproductive organization whose time has passed. Its structure is based on obsolete paradigms and ancient history. It is currently embroiled in a massive oil-for-food scandal which may be the single largest single corruption scandal in world history, and it is refusing to take that scandal seriously because there is no democratic pressure forcing it to. Its despot-heavy membership makes it more of a threat to US national security and sovereignty than most people realize. It is long past time for us to abandon the UN and construct a new union that emphasizes liberty, democracy, human rights and national sovereignty, and that union or organization should only accept democracies for membership. And it is long past time we got over the fetish that multilateralism is the be all and end all of foreign policy. Multilateralism is fine when we and our allies agree, but chasing it when we don't agree and will never agree is futile and counterproductive.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:07 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


It's a curious thing to watch Washington go into convulsions over the testimony of Richard Clarke. More than any other single Beltway insider, Clarke was at the center of the US anti-terror effort through administrations Republican and Democrat, an effor that until recently amounted to lobbing missiles and looking angry. Clarke was at the center, for instance, of the decision to flatten a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan on the suspicion that it was an al Qaeda-Iraq joint venture to produce chemical weapons. As an aside, that fact demonstrates conclusively that the Clinton administration believed that there was linkage between Saddam and Osama. Democrat assertions to the contrary today are either ill-informed or lies, take your pick.

But getting back to Clarke, as counterterrorism czar under Clinton, he was at the center of the roundup strategy that treated terrorism and its spectral army of thugs as essentially a law enforcement problem. Clarke was at the center of non-responses to the African embassy bombings, the bombing of the USS Cole, etc. His record is one of bureaucratic turf battles waged to accumulate ever more White House influence while the terrorists operated training camps in the open air of medieval Afghanistan. It's not fair to lay all the blame for the inaction of the 90s at Clarke's feet since it's ultimately up to elected officials to set national security policy, but there's little indication that Mr. Clarke cared more about putting the terrorists out of business than about his own career advancement.

But now it gets a little deeper. Since 9-11, the left as represented by and similar groups has lodged a host of accusations against President Bush for his administration's conduct that day, and one of the few charges to have stuck concerns the treatment of Saudis living here that day. For some reason, with aircraft around the nation grounded, several Saudi nationals were allowed to slip out and fly home. It's a curious tale to say the least, since 15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.

Well, guess who approved their flight back to the oil kingdom?

Richard Clarke.

The Boston Herald has tracked down the paper trail from that day, and it leads straight to the Democrats' man of the hour.

Clarke's role was revealed in an October 2003 Vanity Fair article. ``Somebody brought to us for approval the decision to let an airplane filled with Saudis, including members of the bin Laden family, leave the country,'' Clarke told Vanity Fair. ``My role was to say that it can't happen unless the FBI approves it. . . And they came back and said yes, it was fine with them. So we said `Fine, let it happen.' '' Vanity Fair uncovered that the FBI never fully investigated the passengers on those privately chartered flights (one of which flew out of Logan International Airport after scooping up a dozen or so bin Laden relatives.) But Clarke protested to Vanity Fair that policing the FBI was not in his job description. Isn't that convenient?

Note, Democrats and assorted lefties, this is not a "smear." It's a fact that Clarke approved the flight. He said it himself. Further, the FBI hadn't properly vetted the passengers:

The same sanctimonious Clarke who now claims National Security adviser Condoleezza Rice didn't even know what al-Qaeda was, could have stopped the bin Laden airlift singlehandedly. Why didn't he appeal to Rice, or even President Bush [related, bio] himself in one of those one-on-ones in the Situation Room, to block the flights? Surely it would have been helpful to determine - without a shred of doubt - that those passengers knew nothing about the Sept. 11 plot or the modus operandi of their notorious relative.

Many of those Saudi nationals were blood relatives of Osama bin Laden, the man Washington immediately suspected of carrying out the 9-11 attacks. And Clarke let them go scott free. We'll never know how much intelligence and information we could have gained from just talking to them, because Clarke personally approved their exit, and away they went.

Now, to be fair, 9-11 was the most chaotic day in American history in the past hundred years if not more. It's easy in hindsight to just blast Clarke for making a wrong choice when he and others obviously made so many right choices that day. The FBI bears some responsibility here too, if not the lion's share. But it remains a fact that one of the Democrats' most serious lines of attack passes right through their new hero's hands. The question is, what will they do about it?

I suspect they'll ignore it, or spin it around to pin it on Bush. That's their MO: Ignore inconvenient facts (such as Clarke's 2002 rebuttal of his 2004 testimony, or the flat out lie that he told regarding Condi Rice's alleged ignorance of al Qaeda, or the fact that he probably committed perjury this week) that can't be spun into a new web of deceit. The whole point is to take down the president, using whatever means they find at their disposal. Lies will do when the truth doesn't help.

And meanwhile, we're at war and the clock is ticking in North Korea, in Tehran, and who knows where else. Libya was further along in its nuclear program the we suspected until fear of the US forced it to turn states evidence against its axis of evil partners. Do the Democrats give President Bush any credit for setting up the alliance--the Proliferation Security Initiative--that made it happen, and that helped nab the world's worst nuclear black marketeer, Pakistan's A.Q. Khan? Of course not. It's a set of inconvenient facts, best not discussed. That's why Josh Marshall et all simply haven't mentioned, in all their breathless reports about the administration's alleged failures, a glaring success that saved lives and put part of the nuclear genie back in its bottle. It would disturb their narrative, constructed painstakingly and with great effort, and from a tissue of lies and half-truths. Are there other Libyas out there, making progress in WMD development and with an eye to selling those weapons to anyone who can afford them? Syria? Egypt? Saudi Arabia? Will we hear about those programs, or about administration efforts to stop them from providing terrible weapons to our enemies? Or will the good news continue to be buried for purely partisan reasons? You know which way I'm betting.

But returning to Clarke, when asked about his 2002 press briefing--the one in which he contradicted pretty much everything he's saying now--he replied that, essentially, he was telling the press what the boss wanted him to tell them. He was acting on orders, strictly business.

From this statement, two questions become fair game. He should be called back to the 9-11 Commission Hearings and asked them, under oath.

One, Mr. Clarke, which is the lie, your 2002 statements or your 2004 statements? You must offer hard proof whichever way you go, because you have with your own mouth damaged your credibility by projecting diametrically opposite images of Bush administration anti-terror efforts. We can no longer take what you say at face value. Two, Mr. Clarke, you have stated that you will paint a picture of a given issue based on what your boss tells you to say. In 2002, your boss was George W. Bush, and so you allege that at that time your positive statements that his administration's anti-terror efforts were stronger, by in at least one respect a factor of five, than the previous administration's, were simply part of the office you held. You said those things because your boss told you to say them. Given that under one boss you told one story and now you're telling another one, Mr. Clarke, who is your boss today, and what is that boss telling you to say? Are you expecting any sort of reward from your new boss?

And just to remind you, sir, you are under oath.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 25, 2004


Mel Gibson's film may become SOP for police when they interrogate suspects:

A Texan moved to repentance after watching Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has confessed to murdering a woman police had written off as a suicide.

"Fort Bend County Sheriff's Detective Mike Kubricht said today that investigators thought Ashley Nicole Wilson had hanged herself in January. Earlier this month, however, 21-year-old Dan R. Leach of Rosenberg turned himself in after watching Mel Gibson's controversial movie about the last days of Christ and decided to seek redemption, Kubricht said," the Houston Chronicle reported today.

Far from being anti-Semitic or "pornographic," it seems The Passion of the Christ is downright cathartic.

Posted by B. Preston at 06:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


To paraphrase a contender for the presidency:

"How do you ask a 14-year-old boy to be the last boy to die for a mistake?"

Instead of the left's always asking "Why do they hate us?" might it not be a bit more productive to ask "Why do they hate their own selves enough to strap on bomb belts, and why do they hate their own children enough to send them out to die in a futile war against us?"

I've said it before and I'll say it again--we're not fighting against an ideology to be mollified or negotiated with. We're fighting a death cult, one capable of blasting its own little boys to death and therefore morally and intellectually capable of blasting our little boys and girls to death too.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I never did hear back from the LA Times on the two stories that the JYB highlighted a couple days ago. I sent the stories off to their readers' representative with a clear demonstration that those stories left out highly relevant facts in a very selective (and Kerry friendly) way, and got no reply. I wonder why. This might be an answer:

An astute reader e-mails:

Richard Clarke is deeply wired into the Kerry campaign, and not just through Rand Beers. His main contact is his good friend Jonathan Winer, who's been Kerry's chief political operative and investigator through Iran-Contra, BCCI, and all the way back to his days as Lt. Gov of Massachusetts. Jonathan's been identified publically as one of a handful of people running Kerry's "shadow state department" along with Beers. The LA Times yesterday had a story quoting Winer as saying he was talking regularly with Clarke while Clarke was still in the White House, and that Clarke was expressing his disgust with the Bushies. Oddly (or maybe not) Winer is described as a nonpartisan public servant, and isn't identified as a Kerry operative; indeed, he's been used by several publications as a character reference, so to speak, for stories lauding Clarke. Google "Jonathan Winer" and you'll find all sorts of interesting stuff. My own experience here is that Winer is such a useful and promiscuous source that most of the reporters in DC aren't inclined to embarass him by connecting him to Clarke, and mess up what's obviously a Kerry-inspired phony scandal. (my emphasis)

That Times story linked above is a glowing hagiography of one Richard Clarke. Completely uncritical, even spinning Clarke's obstinate personality as making him "an effective bureaucrat." D'ya think there might be an anti-Bush agenda at work out there in la-la land? This is the same paper that dumped gropers on Ahnuld just a few days before the recall...

So why haven't I heard from the Times' reader rep? The silence must have been a signal that the Times plans to gin up more stories leaving out salient facts in ways that help Kerry's campaign, and didn't want to take the trouble to respond to every single allegation of bias when they essentially have no defense.

Or maybe the Times just doesn't see misinforming its readers as a problem worth addressing.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Because America isn’t perfect, it must be evil. Because Marxist regimes make claims of perfection, they must be good.

So, for my part, goodbye to all that. Goodbye to a culture of blindness that tolerates, as part of "peace marches," women wearing suicide-bomber belts as bikinis. (See the accompanying photo of the "peace" march in Madrid. "Peace" somehow doesn’t exclude blowing up Jewish children.)

Goodbye to the brilliant thinkers of the Left who believe it’s the very height of wit to make fun of George W. Bush’s intelligence—thereby establishing, of course, how very, very smart they are. Mr. Bush may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer (I think he’s more ill-informed and lazy than dumb). But they are guilty of a historical stupidity on a far greater scale, in their blind spot about Marxist genocides. It’s a failure of self-knowledge and intellectual responsibility that far outweighs Bush’s, because they’re supposed to be so very smart.

Goodbye to paralysis by moral equivalence: Remind me again, was it John Ashcroft or Fidel Castro who put H.I.V. sufferers in concentration camps?

Goodbye to the deluded and pathetic sophistry of postmodernists of the Left, who believe their unreadable, jargon-clotted theory-sophistry somehow helps liberate the wretched of the earth. If they really believe in serving the cause of liberation, why don’t they quit their evil-capitalist-subsidized jobs and go teach literacy in a Third World starved for the insights of Foucault?

Goodbye to people who have demonstrated that what terror means to them is the terror of ever having to admit they were wrong, the terror of allowing the hideous facts of history to impinge upon their insulated ideology.

Goodbye to all those who have evidently adopted as their own, a version of the simpering motto of the movie Love Story. Remember "Love means never having to say you’re sorry"?

I guess today, Left means never having to say you’re sorry.

As we say in these parts, read the whole thing.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Did you know that John F. Kerry accused the United States of murdering 200,000 Vietnamese a year during the war? Did you know that he also met with representatives of the Communist North Vietnamese government in Paris?

He did, and admits it. If there is any justice, he'll regret it.

Kerry, now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, yesterday confirmed through a spokesman that he did go to Paris and talked privately with a leading communist representative. But the spokesman played down the extent of Kerry's role and said Kerry did not engage in negotiations.

That answer just invites more questions. If Kerry didn't "negotiate," what in fact did he do? What did he and the Communist rep discuss? Did Kerry receive any instructions or suggestions on ways to keep the pressure on the Nixon administration? Did he get a pat on the back for helping the North win victories on American TV that they couldn't win on the battlefield? Did the NV rep privately thank Kerry the way that North Vietnam had in 1969 publicly thanked American anti-war activists for their help? These are serious questions that must be answered.

As to the murder allegation...

Asked about the appropriateness of Kerry's saying that the United States had "murdered" 200,000 Vietnamese annually when the United States was at war, Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan said "Senator Kerry used a word he deems inappropriate."

Meehan said Kerry "never suggested or believed and absolutely rejects the idea that the word applied to service of the American soldiers in Vietnam." Meehan then declined to say to whom Kerry was referring when he said that the United States had murdered the Vietnamese; Kerry declined to be interviewed about the matter.

Well, gee, I wonder why Kerry would decline to be interviewed about accusing the US government of genocide. How strange--if I'd accused the US government of murdering more than a million people in total, I'd be only too eager to talk about it--if what I'd said was true.

Do you think Kerry knew he was not telling the truth back in 1971, when he accused the United States of committing mass murder on a grand scale? Do you think the North Vietnamese may have coached him?

For an answer to that question, let's turn to an old Communist propaganda hand. Ion Mihai Pacepa was acting chief of Romania's espionage service and national-security adviser to the country's president. He developed propaganda aimed at destabilizing the US during the Cold War, later defecting to the West. On Kerry's 1971 testimony, he writes:

On April 12, 1971, Kerry told the U.S. Congress that American soldiers claimed to him that they had, "raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned on the power, cut off limbs, blew up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."

The exact sources of that assertion should be tracked down. Kerry also ought to be asked who, exactly, told him any such thing, and what it was, exactly, that they said they did in Vietnam. Statutes of limitation now protect these individuals from prosecution for any such admissions. Or did Senator Kerry merely hear allegations of that sort as hearsay bandied about by members of antiwar groups (much of which has since been discredited)? To me, this assertion sounds exactly like the disinformation line that the Soviets were sowing worldwide throughout the Vietnam era. KGB priority number one at that time was to damage American power, judgment, and credibility. One of its favorite tools was the fabrication of such evidence as photographs and "news reports" about invented American war atrocities. These tales were purveyed in KGB-operated magazines that would then flack them to reputable news organizations. Often enough, they would be picked up. News organizations are notoriously sloppy about verifying their sources. All in all, it was amazingly easy for Soviet-bloc spy organizations to fake many such reports and spread them around the free world.

As a spy chief and a general in the former Soviet satellite of Romania, I produced the very same vitriol Kerry repeated to the U.S. Congress almost word for word and planted it in leftist movements throughout Europe. KGB chairman Yuri Andropov managed our anti-Vietnam War operation. He often bragged about having damaged the U.S. foreign-policy consensus, poisoned domestic debate in the U.S., and built a credibility gap between America and European public opinion through our disinformation operations. Vietnam was, he once told me, "our most significant success."


The KGB campaign to assault the U.S. and Europe by means of disinformation was more than just a few Cold War dirty tricks. The whole foreign policy of the Soviet-bloc states, indeed its whole economic and military might, revolved around the larger Soviet objective of destroying America from within through the use of lies. The Soviets saw disinformation as a vital tool in the dialectical advance of world Communism.

So just where did Kerry get that figure--200,000? What is its provenance? Did it come to him from the KGB via the North Vietnamese, with whom Kerry admits meeting in Paris for some purpose other than "negotiation?" Or did Kerry also meet with left-wing groups during that trip that had propaganda lines running back to Moscow?

In Kerry's own words from 1971:

"I have been to Paris," Kerry said. "I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh's points . . . ."

The latter was a reference to a communist group based in South Vietnam. Historian Stanley Karnow, author of "Vietnam: A History," described the Provisional Revolutionary Government as "an arm of the North Vietnamese government." Madam Nguyen Thi Binh was a leader of the group and had a list of peace-talk points, including the suggestion that US prisoners of war would be released when American forces withdrew.

After their May 1970 marriage, Kerry traveled to Paris with his wife, Julia Thorne, on a private trip, Meehan said. Kerry did not go to Paris with the intention of meeting with participants in the peace talks or involving himself in the negotiations, Meehan added, saying that while there Kerry had his brief meeting with Binh, which included members of both delegations to the peace talks.

That meeting is apparently the reason the FBI began to tail Kerry. Speculation was that Kerry planned to meet with North Vietnamese reps again, for purposes other than "negotiation," which is illegal for a private citizen to engage in with foreign governments (somebody should memo Jimmy Carter on that).

Through campaign spokesmen, Kerry today says he shouldn't have used the word "murder":

Meehan, asked to explain Kerry's comment, said: "During a very emotionally charged time in American history, Senator Kerry was testifying against a failed policy, which resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands of people. That policy resulted in one of the highest civilian casualty rate in the history of war. In answering Senator [George D.] Aiken's question about the consequences of an American withdrawal and potential additional bloodbath, Senator Kerry used a word he deems inappropriate.

"Senator Kerry never suggested or believed and absolutely rejects the idea that the word applied to service of the American soldiers in Vietnam. While opposed to the failed policy, Senator Kerry insisted that Americans must never confuse the war with the warriors."

Uh, what was that again? Accusing US troops of genocide was the result of using an inappropriate word? What would have been appropriate, then? And actually, that answer is itself a lie. Kerry wasn't worried about the fate of the South Vietnamese if the US were to withdraw unilaterally. Kerry's policy at the time, as stated in the Q & A following his testimony, was for the US to do just that--withdraw immediately. What did he think would happen if we did?

As he opened the latter session, Kerry said Nixon should declare a cease-fire and "accept a coalition regime which would represent all the political forces of the country which is in fact what a representative government is supposed to do and which is in fact what this government here in this country purports to do, and pull the troops out without losing one more American, and still further without losing the South Vietnamese."

We know what eventually did happen. Faced with mounting pressure to withdraw, we did, abandoning South Vietnam to the ravages of the Communist North. He blithely suggested there would be no re-education camps, no crushing of the non-Communist South, if the US would withdraw, because in Kerry's mind the US was the problem (we were the ones murdering 200,000 a year, after all). Getting us out fixed the problem, to him and others who agreed with him, such as the North Vietnamese representatives he met with in Paris.

Kerry has a lot of explaining to do:

Why did he meet with representatives of the Communist North Vietnamese government, and what was discussed? Did he meet with other left-wing groups while in Europe, and what was discussed?

Where did he get a figure of 200,000 "murdered" by the US per year, and why did he use that word in testimony before the United States Senate? Did he know where that number and the other allegations of US atrocities came from? If he did know that the KGB was behind much of it, did it bother him? If he didn't, was he simply duped into becoming a shill for North Vietnam?

(Chris Regan contributed to this report)

Posted by B. Preston at 09:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 24, 2004


I caught some of the 9-11 hearings today. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Tenet was better than I expected. Richard Clarke swallowed a sword. How "patriotic" is it to publish a scathing and, as it turns out, mostly fact-free book on the eve of televised hearings designed to embarass our leadership in a time of war? How "patriotic" was it for Viacom/CBS/Simon & Shuster to time that book's release and the 60 Minutes campaign to promote it to those same hearings? And why isn't it evidence of a vast left-wing conspiracy when the press gets in bed with an author to promote a book that the author and the press organ's parent company have a financial stake in, when the whole point of that book is to embarass and discredit a president from the right in what just happens to be an election year?

Anyway, our entire political class failed us to some extent on 9-11, and for roughly 8 years before. The failure ended that day, when we started to fight back with the goal of winning. No more roundups. No more missiles in the night. We go where the terrorists are and take them down. We take their countries away from them, we drive their allies from power and we alter the landscapes that spawn them and their successors. No turning back. When we turned that mental corner, we stopped failing. All the hearings prove is that some people still haven't learned 9-11's lessons, and we can start failing again if we do not make sound choices in the coming months and years.

Anyway, Lileks outlines a scenario we all wish would have happened years ago.

One thought after hearing much of the 9/11 committee testimony. Eventually the 1993 bombing of the WTC was revealed as an act of Islamicist terrorism. Let’s imagine the effect of the following scenario: President William J. Clinton invites the Saudi ambassador to the White House. Ushers him into a room with several TV monitors, clicks the remotes. There are four TV s with labels: Baghdad, Tehran, Damascus, Riyadh. President Clinton turns on the first three monitors, and as he’s talking with the ambassador the monitors light up with huge explosions. Government buildings and leadership HQ s evaporate. The President turns to the Saudi ambassador and says “this here is just a taste. Now you need to stop it, and stop it now.” The Riyadh monitor remains blank. The President sets out terms and conditions for the cessation of all terrorist activities against the United States, and takes his sweet time – because the dark monitor is doing all the talking.

Would this have led to more terrorism? Less? I’m just asking. All I know is that unless the Iranian mullahs fall we’ll face them sooner or later, and I would have preferred to deal with them before they had nuclear weapons.

Our leaders fiddle around while the world burns. Let's deal with the Norks and the mullahs before they can build a nuke to hand off to the terrorist mastermind du jour. Let's get on with the war before the terrorists turn Chicago into a smoking crater.

Faster, please.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century
Thomas P. M. Barnett, author (Putnam, April 2004)

War between major industrialized nations is a thing of the past. In the next 50 years the United States will annex new states, some outside Western Hemisphere. Within 10 years the new Iraq will be a beacon of freedom to a Middle East swept up in democratic reform that started when America swept Saddam aside. The US military will split into two distinct forces, one that wins wars quickly and efficiently and the other built to establish peace after conflict. Economic globalization will make the world more like America—open, capitalist and free. If America fights the war properly on all fronts, the age of terrorism can end in an age of global peace.

These predictions and more come from U. S. Naval War College Professor and Strategic Researcher Thomas Barnett, whose book The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century lays out a strategic vision for the global war against terrorists. Set for release in April, The Pentagon’s New Map offers a sweeping view of the world from the end of the Cold War through the 1990s “vacation from history,” past 9-11 and into the future.

Barnett’s centerpiece is a geostrategic map he developed while studying how America should approach the post-Cold War world as the sole superpower. He developed the map and the philosophy behind it while working on futurist studies for the Center for Naval Analyses and for the firm Cantor Fitzgerald during the 1990s, and first aired it publicly in an Esquire article in 2003. That byline earned him mountains of hate mail from left and right, with the left “praying for his soul” (for supporting the Iraq war) and the right wanting to “kick his ass” (for conspiring in the latest one-world government scheme). But the map is neither soul-searing monstrosity nor one-world goo-goo mantra. It is a road map from our terror-ridden time to what Barnett calls a “future worth creating” by predicting where conflict where arise next.

This new map (it replaces the Pentagon’s Cold War map that once divided East from West) classifies the world along three lines called the Core, Gap and Seam. The Core includes the industrialized and industrializing nations across North America, Europe, most of Asia and South America and outliers Israel and South Africa. The Gap denotes failed and failing states from the Caribbean to Africa to the Middle East and Central Asia, with the name suggesting their disconnected state, economically, politically and culturally, from the Core. The Seam is the boundary between Core and Gap. Life in the Gap is nasty, brutish, and short, an ideal environment for spawning terrorists and their ideology. Gap citizens are more likely to listen to join jihad and wage holy war against the Western cultural forces that seem so ubiquitous. For the Core to retain its way of life, the key to stabilizing and ultimately shrinking the Gap is economic globalization—the more Core trade rules influence trade rules in the Gap, the better for everyone. The Gap’s dictators have to go one way or another, because they make the Gap unlivable.

The Pentagon’s New Map is part autobiography and part exploration of Big Ideas with a serious yet amiable mind. It is history from a grand perspective, taking into account the gigantic forces of economics, demographics and politics. Barnett can throw around macroeconomic statistics and Planet of the Apes references with equal ease. He connects the seemingly disparate issues of 9-11 and President Bush’s African AIDS initiative in a forehead slapping “Why didn’t I think of that?” way. The book does tend toward repetition near the end, a minor quibble against an otherwise solid work.

Liberals and conservatives alike can find things to love and hate in Barnett’s ideas, which probably means he is on to something. Conservatives will like his full-throated support for the Iraq war, which Barnett believes is a “Big Bang” that will usher in vital reform throughout the Middle East. Conservatives will latch on to Barnett’s view that economic globalization is America’s way of ensuring peace and is therefore a force for good, as is America itself. In Barnett’s thinking America is not the problem and our system of law may well be the cure for the plague of death cults infesting the Middle East. Conservatives may also appreciate Barnett’s unblinking view of war, which he says is necessary to combat terrorism in particular and economic and social disconnectedness in general. But liberals will probably agree with Barnett’s insistence that war is not the answer (though it certainly is an answer) to terrorism. They will probably support his view that the Core must shrink the Gap with kindness and law enforcement as often as warfare. Liberals will mostly agree with his excessive (in my view) criticisms of the “frightening” Patriot Act. And they will enjoy his jabs at the Bush administration for failing to articulate a war vision that can rally the world to our side. Both left and right will approach his moral arguments for shrinking the Gap with some trepidation because the implications are staggering.

In The Pentagon’s New Map Dr. Barnett presents the most comprehensive view of the post-Cold War world yet written, delivering a hopeful view of how the world can look a few decades from now if we seize the moment and govern it properly. Barnett’s ideas have made their way into the upper reaches of numerous corporations, the Pentagon and the Bush administration, influencing the way many personalities in White House and the Pentagon understand the war. His non-partisan delivery frames the global war on terrorism as a necessary and noble American enterprise, the mission of our time.

The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century lays out the terms upon which the coming presidential election should be decided—war versus peace, risk versus security, and honesty versus wishful thinking. We can have peace, according to Thomas Barnett, if we choose our battles wisely and fight them as skillfully as we have proven we can, if we are able to pick up the pieces after war, and if we understand war in the context of everything else—economics, culture, and the whole shebang. If you want to get some handle on the future shape and scale of the global war on terrorism, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


InstaPundit has an all-too-believable set of links up that demonstrate a kind of doubleplus ungood media approach to recent history.

To wit, MSNBC blames Bush for not attacking the Taliban--in 1998. I guess he was supposed to deploy the Texas National Guard to Afghanistan.

Then, he did nothing in response to the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000. I guess he was supposed to use the Texas Rangers (the police force, not the baseball team) to hunt down Yemeni al Qaeda agents.

Is this evidence of press stupidity, slopiness or institutional bias? You make the call, but it looks like bias to me.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I've got a secret for ya. Lean close, so I can whisper.

That's better. Make sure no one's looking over your shoulder, because this secret is a doozy. I'm not even sure I should be telling it. Oh, what the heck.

Are you ready?

Ok. Here goes.

You know that fellow John Kerry? Yeah, the one that's running for President. The tall one with the long face that kinda looks French. Married to the ketchup queen who pronounces her name--Teresa--"Tirayza."

Did you know that he served in Vietnam?

No lie--he's a decorated veteran. Oh, he's too modest to tell you about it himself. Unless you ask. And then he'll sit you right down and talk your ear off about it. He's got a million stories from his 120 days in country. He'll even show you home movies he shot during his arduous four months preliving Apocalypse Now on his swift boat.

In fact, he'll tell you all about it even if you don't ask. Ask him about health care--he'll tell you about Vietnam. Ask him about taxes--he'll tell you about Vietnam. Ask him the air speed velocity of a laden swallow--he'll tell you about Vietnam. Modest chap, that John Kerry, so reluctant to tell you what a hero he is. Unless you ask him any conceivable question about any topic.

So the secret is--John Kerry has done nothing with his time in the Senate that qualifies him for the presidency. So ask him any question about anything under the sun--and he'll tell you about Vietnam. Because that's all he's got.

But don't ask him about Kansas City, circa 1971. He'll clam up and claim he doesn't remember a thing.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:15 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

March 23, 2004


John Gibson, interviewing a VVAW member who was at the 1971 KC meeting on Fox just moments ago, asked if Kerry was there. The gentleman said he did not remember Kerry being at the meeting at all.

But Gibson's redirect won the day. Gibson outlined the Phoenix Program (a military operation aimed at knocking off North Vietnamese leaders) and talked about Scott Camil's suggestion that VVAW pursue a domestic Phoenix operation to kill US Senators supporting the war. Gibson asked the vet (I didn't catch his name) how Kerry reacted to the plan. The vet said Kerry didn't like the plan and loudly argued against it. He thereby accidentally proved that Kerry was there at the meeting, and that he (the vet Gibson was interviewing) was not telling the truth when he said he did not recall Kerry being at the meeting at all. He did recall Kerry's presence enough to remember details about the argument, he just lied about it when asked directly earlier in the inverview.

Curious, no? Is Kerry asking veterans to go to bat for him and lie to the press about that meeting and his attendance? It sure looks like it.

Now why would he do that?

Posted by B. Preston at 06:06 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack


According to Kerry supporter Gerald Nicosia:

"I am in kind of an awkward position here. I am a Kerry supporter and I certainly don't want to do anything that hurts him. On the other hand, my number one allegiance is to truth. So I am going to go with where the facts are, and John is going to have to deal with that," Nicosia said.

"I am having some problems with the things he is saying right now, which are not matching up with accuracy," he added.


Among the questions surrounding Kerry's involvement as a 27-year-old anti-war protester are those about his relationship with Hubbard, the former executive director of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Kerry and Hubbard appeared on NBC's Meet the Press on April 18, 1971 to argue for an end to the war.

But shortly thereafter, Hubbard, who had been introduced on the NBC program as a decorated Air Force captain, was exposed for having exaggerated his military credentials. A separate news investigation revealed that there were no military records showing that Hubbard had either served in Vietnam or was injured there.

Last week, during a Capitol Hill news conference, asked Kerry whether he was still in touch with Hubbard or whether he was willing to repudiate Hubbard because of Hubbard's fabricated war record.

"I haven't talked to Al Hubbard since that week" of the Meet the Press appearance, Kerry replied. Kerry also said he did not believe that VVAW's credibility was hurt as a result of Hubbard falsifying his war record.

But Gerald Nicosia, author of the book Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement and a Kerry supporter, disagreed with Kerry's contention that he and Hubbard saw no more of each other after the week of April 18, 1971.

"That is bull****. No, no, [Kerry] saw [Hubbard] at numerous meetings after that, including the one I talk about in my book, the July meeting in St. Louis," Nicosia told .

[Kerry] saw [Hubbard] in July, and according to FBI [files on Vietnam Veterans Against the War] and the minutes of those meetings, [Kerry] probably saw him in November [1971] too," Nicosia said.

Kerry and Hubbard had a heated argument at the St. Louis meeting in July that was "witnessed by 200 veterans," according to Nicosia.


Nicosia also disputed Kerry's denial that he was in attendance when VVAW members met in Kansas City in November 1971 to discuss the possibility of assassinating U.S. senators still committed to the Vietnam War.

Kerry was at the meeting, Nicosia insisted, pointing to FBI files and the minutes from the VVAW meeting, which he has obtained. "The minutes of the meeting -- November 12th through the15th -- it's got John Kerry there, it's got John Kerry resigning there on the third day," Nicosia said.

Nicosia provided with a copy of the FBI's redacted files of that November 1971 VVAW meeting. The files refer to the fact that Kerry had "resigned for 'personal reasons.'"

"You are talking to a Kerry supporter, but I will tell you, after everything that I have heard and seen, I would conclude that he was there," he added.


Nicosia concluded with advice for Kerry.

"The chickens are coming home to roost, and unfortunately he is starting to backtrack and I personally don't think backtracking is going to work because people are going to go at him and find the discrepancies," Nicosia said.

As recently as two days ago, Kerry's presidential campaign spokesman David Wade told the New York Sun that, "Kerry was not at the Kansas City meeting." Wade added that Kerry had resigned from the VVAW "sometime in the summer of 1971."

The FBI file, Nicosia's statements and those of other witnesses are Kerry's blue dress--they prove beyond reasonable doubt that he did something he is now denying. He attended the Kansas City VVAW meeting, a meeting that featured discussion of a plot to assassinate sitting US Senators.

UPDATE: The big media whitewash continues. Parrotting the LA Times report bashed here, the New York Times also reports on the Hoover-as-heavy meme without laying a glove on Kerry for attending a meeting at which assassinating US Senators was discussed.

By the way, I sent in the Strange Times post as an email to the LA Times' reader's representative late yesterday. I'll post here if they reply and what their reply is. I understand Captain Ed also queried the reader's rep.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Richard Clarke of Against All Enemies fame was part of the problem, not solution, in Washington's response to terrorism during the Clinton years. He used turf battles and infighting to make the world safer for Osama bin Laden:

Rumsfeld's territorial strategy served not just for the war on terror, but for bureaucratic turf wars. By the time he was conducting the war in Afghanistan in October 2001, Rumsfeld was also fighting what he saw as a move by White House national security advisor Condoleezza Rice and her staff to gain power at his expense. Rumsfeld wanted direct access to the president without National Security Council (NSC) staff interfering in military decision making. Those decisions were the prerogative of the president, the defense secretary, and his combatant commanders. Rumsfeld did not want a replay of the Clinton era, when NSC analyst Richard Clarke ruled the White House on counterterrorism issues and repeatedly challenged the Pentagon. (my emphasis)

That's from Rumsfeld's War: The Untold Story of America's Anti-Terrorist Commander. Here's another episode, from Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton's Failures Unleashed Global Terror:

Inside the State Department an age-old argument raged: Is it better to engage or isolate rogue regimes? Many counterterrorism hawks favored isolation, while failing to appreciate that defeating bin Laden required intelligence -- and some of the best intelligence regarding him was held by Sudan. Admittedly, given that Sudan was a haven for terrorists, dealing with that regime was unappealing -- but the alternative was worse.

A systematic interagency review of government policy toward Sudan, which included the CIA, the FBI, the State Department, the Defense Department, and the National Security Council, began. That interagency process lumbered forward in the spring and summer of 1997.

By September, every major executive-branch office involved in national security had agreed to send an intelligence team to Khartoum. Those who favored limited engagement had won. America would send to Khartoum eight diplomats, some of whom were actually CIA and FBI counterterrorism officers. In time, even Ambassador [to Sudan Tim] Carney would return. Secretary of State Madeline Albright unveiled the plan on September 24, 1997.

But the quicksand of the Clinton White House swallowed up the promising policy change. According to one former State Department official, in the first two weeks of October 1997, the head of the Africa Bureau at the National Security Council, Susan Rice went to see Richard Clarke, Clinton's counterterrorism czar. Clarke confirmed to the author that Rice came to see him in October 1997 to overturn the State Department's initiative toward Sudan. They agreed to go around Madeleine Albright. But they had to move quickly. Rice had been nominated to be Assistant Secretary of State for East Africa and Albright would soon be her boss.

Whatever the cause, within six days, the State Department announced that it was scrapping its own initiative to re-engage Sudan in the hopes of combating terrorism. American intelligence agents would not see Sudan's treasure trove of information on bin Laden until July 2001.

Bureaucratic infighting had saved bin Laden again.

Clarke is looking more and more like a Democrat apparatchik using his old position to lash out for purely political purposes.

(thanks to Hanks)

Posted by B. Preston at 09:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 22, 2004


What to make of a couple of strange factual omissions in recent LA Times news stories?

The first omission comes in a news story about the macho race between President Bush and Senator Kerry. First run March 18 and titled "Who's the Man? They Are," the story chronicles the many ways politicians past and present try and cast themselves as manly and their opponents as--not--when running for the White House. The story goes into some length about Bush's and Kerry's relative histories on the manly scale, and offers up one anecdote for discussion:

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Bush has found repeated opportunities to display masculine bravado. Just three days after the World Trade Center collapsed, he stood beside the rubble and used a bullhorn to shout encouragement to hardhat-wearing rescue workers.

Most famously, Bush zipped himself into an olive green flight suit last May for a television-ready visit to an aircraft carrier, where he declared an end to major combat in the Iraqi war.

The landing on the Lincoln had some pundits gushing about the president's victorious glow. Newspaper commentator Lisa Schiffren searched for the word to describe the president's look and finally settled on "hot."

"Also presidential, of course," added Schiffren, writing in the Wall Street Journal. "Not to mention credible as commander in chief. But mostly 'hot' as in virile, sexy and powerful."

Democrats viewed the president's shipboard performance with an opposite measure of vitriol. His challengers soon noted that more U.S. service members had died after Bush's declaration than before it. But their most biting words were aimed directly at the president's macho persona.

Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark accused Bush of "prancing" in the flight suit. The president, Kerry said, had been "playing dress-up."

The image of a costumed commander in chief became the most biting challenge of Kerry's stump speech.

"I know something about aircraft carriers for real," Kerry, the Navy veteran, liked to say. "And if George Bush wants to make foreign policy and national security the central issue of this campaign, I have three words for him that I know he understands: 'Bring it on!'"

What's missing from that story? How about the fact that Bush is a pilot, and was once a fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard and flew a very difficult and unruly aircraft. That he once wore the flight suit as part of his job, and he wore it with some distinction--his commander in Texas put him in the top five percent of pilots in their command.

Is that relevant to a story about machismo? No? Then why does the same story mention that Kerry is a pilot, when it's irrelevant to his military service or life afterward? The story has Bush chopping wood and Kerry tossing footballs, but fails to mention why Bush zipped on the flight suit and took the stick for a while during his approach to the Lincoln. In fact, it doesn't mention that he even took the stick. Why? What readers get are the Democrats' impressions of the event--made-for-TV, "prancing," "playing dress-up," etc, all countered against one press description of the President's flight-suit appearance as "hot." That's a three-to-one impression ratio, with the most important fact--that Bush was a real fighter pilot--omitted.

Bias, in other words.

And then there's the story about Kerry's 1971 anti-war activities. This story came out today, and its thrust is that the FBI tailed Kerry while he traveled with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War group to meetings around the country.

According to FBI records, the Nixon administration viewed Kerry as a political threat and had him watched. Those records place Kerry

at VVAW-sponsored antiwar events in Washington; Kansas City, Mo.; Oklahoma City; and Urbana, Ill. The FBI recorded the content of his speeches and took photographs of him and fellow activists, and the dispatches were filed to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and President Nixon.

The files contain no information or suggestion that Kerry broke any laws. And a 1972 memorandum on the FBI's decision to end its surveillance of him said the agency had discovered "nothing whatsoever to link the subject with any violent activity."

But. Kerry denies attending the Kansas City meeting at which the FBI records place him. Eye witnesses also place him there. Kerry says he resigned before that meeting took place, and therefore never went. The FBI says he did, as do several witnesses who knew Kerry at the time.

Kerry's story:

"I still have no memory of a Kansas City meeting.

"I have this stark memory of the humidity that day [I resigned from VVAW]…. I just remember forever a dark storm brewing, with these huge thunderhead clouds."

But his recollection was that he resigned at the St. Louis meeting. "And every reminder we have since then has put it there, including Nicosia's book," he said.

But the files include a "priority" memorandum dated Nov. 16, 1971 — the day after the VVAW's Kansas City meeting ended — from Hoover to Nixon and other high-ranking administration officials. Quoting a "confidential source," the report said Kerry was there and had resigned from the VVAW for personal reasons.

"It's just weird," Kerry said, when asked about the discrepancy. He attributed his previous assertions to a faulty memory.

So what's the fuss? Kerry's presence at that meeting is critical to understanding his past association with VVAW. At that meeting, in November of 1971, VVAW members discussed and voted on a radical plan to target and assassinate US Senators who supported the war in Vietnam. Scott Camil, VVAW member and now a member of Kerry's campaign, dreamed up the plan. Witnesses say Kerry was there and voted against it, later resigning from the group. They also say he delivered an emotional speech in which he declared his intention of going into politics. Whether Kerry resigned from the group because of the plan or for other reasons isn't clear, but either way, if Kerry was there and was part of discussions regarding any plan to kill American officials, he had a legal obligation to report that plan to law enforcement. He never did. He could say "I was there but voted against it," but that's uncomfortably similar to "I voted for it before I voted against it." And now he denies even attending the meeting at which the discussion and vote took place.

Like Kerry says, it's just weird.

All of this is relevant to the Times' story. It's the salient fact, upon which the whole question of Kerry's presence in Kansas City in November 1971 and his resignation from VVAW turns, and would have been a good reason for the FBI to tail him.

But the Times leaves it out. It fails to mention--at all--the assassination plot and the controversy surrounding Kerry's knowledge of it. It fails to mention that Kerry may have been an accessory to the crime of conspiracy in failing to report the plot to law enforcement. Do the FBI records mention the plot? The story never says, only offering that investigating Kerry had found "nothing whatsoever to link the subject with any violent activity." Case closed, then, right? Not necessarily. The plot was real. Kerry was there, according to FBI records and eye witnesses. The plot was never carried out, but Kerry still had a responsibility to alert authorities--Camil and other radicals could have gone ahead with it without official VVAW support. Kerry was in a position to stop it or warn potential targets by alerting law enforcement. He never did, and now denies even attending the meeting.

This is not a small, nitpicking point. John Kerry may have had knowledge of a plot to kill elected officials of the US government and failed to report it to proper authorities. In a time of war. It's hard to find a more relevant issue than whether a current candidate for president once knew of and failed to report a plot to kill American officials, especially when the nation is again at war.

Two salient facts left out by different reporters working for the LA Times, one leaving out the fact that George W. Bush was a fighter pilot, and the other leaving out the fact that John Kerry is lying or, at best, failing to recall a meeting he attended that featured discussion of a plan to assassinate American politicians. If you're looking for a pattern, both omissions help Kerry.

Media bias on display, courtesy the LA Times.

UPDATE: Captain Ed noticed the same thing re Kerry, the VVAW and Kansas City. He says the Times is spinning Kerry's involvement, now beyond argument since it's in the FBI files and corroborated by eye witnesses, as J. Edgar Hoover trampling on Kerry's rights. Dang--I wish I'd thought of that line!

(Chris Regan contributed mightily to this report)

Posted by B. Preston at 03:18 PM | Comments (48) | TrackBack


What would the world be like if this guy ruled it?

Another question: Who do you think he's voting for in November?

A third question: If his views are so far out of the leftist mainstream, why are there so many others out there just like him?

Posted by B. Preston at 12:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Walid Phares has a very interesting op-ed on FrontPage. It's almost too good to exerpt, but I'll try to pull out a few salient parts:

Let's zoom inside the war room that planned this bloodshed (the 3-11 Madrid attacks). If you murder hundreds of citizens in a country involved in a military action in another country -- just two days before nation-wide elections -- what would you expect to happen? Two possible results come to mind: 1) if the public knows why its government has sent troops to Iraq and has seen the legitimacy of such involvement and understood it, in the wake of such attacks it would probably overwhelmingly support that government and re-elect its representatives. (In this case, the terrorist strike is to produce just the opposite of its strategic objective.); and 2), if the public wasn't educated as to why its government got involved in Iraq, and wasn't informed about the pillars of the global war on terrorism, it would, in a desperate and emotional move, vote against the incumbent government. Therefore, the election results -- the defeat of Aznar's party -- if anything, tells us the following:

1) The Spanish government entered a war that it understood by itself, but didn't explain the legitimacy of that military intervention to its own public thoroughly enough. Until last Thursday, Prime Minister Aznar took a huge risk by heading toward the elections with a big hole in his public support for the war -- a hole to be exploited by his enemies and the enemies of the coalition he belongs to.

2) By not educating his constituency, the Aznar cabinet opened its flanks to the media-intellectual establishment for surprise attacks and mobilization. If I were Prime Minister of a country with allegedly 90% of its citizens demonstrating against the involvement in Iraq, I would leave everything aside and spend the rest of my mandate doing teach-ins on national TV and public squares. I won't rely on the mercy of the Jihad lobbies, nor the busy schedule of al Qaeda in hopes that my weak political position wouldn’t be exploited.

3) Presumably, one of the reasons why the conservative cabinet of Spain didn't engage in mass campaigns of information and communication about the root causes of Jihad terrorism was the bad advice it received from its own advisors. The tremendous amount of Wahabi-based business in Spain -- from the castles of Malaga and Marbella to downtown Madrid -- outweigh Spain's strategic choices. Arab regimes’ networking, including those of Syria and others, overwhelmed the country's national security considerations. Spain was indeed an ally of the US in the campaign against terrorism, but limited in some respects. Here is an example:

A friend called me last week and said Middle East human rights activists have tried to meet with European officials at the UN to enlist their support in efforts to condemn abuses in Saudi Arabia and Syria. The Spanish embassy refused to meet with them. They were told Aznar was Bush's ally in Iraq and against al Qaeda but not against Riyadh and Damascus.


The Spanish people were left alone without intellectual defenses, not only as it pertains to the Jihadists, but under the influence of the Wahabi-funded constellation of much of the media as well. For if you were told as an uninformed citizen on March 11 that the reason for the tragedy that struck Madrid was Spain’s involvement in Iraq, and if you were pounded with the footage of the horror on all TV networks around the clock until you cast your ballot on the 12th, how would you vote? It does not take a political scientist to figure this out -- you would vote your government out of office.

The UK's Tony Blair is up for re-election next year, as is Italy's Berlusconi, both having been staunch US allies in the war. Like Spain, a majority of British and Italian citizens fairly consistently opposed the Iraq war. Like Spain, the UK's citizens are still at best ambivalent about the war, and many blame it all on Bush and Blair. They are likely to blame any election-eve attacks, not on the terrorists, but on Bush and Blair. Italy's majority would do likewise in the right circumstances.

Now you'd think that Britain's history with the IRA might insulate it from an outcome similar to Spain's. You'd be wrong. The UK has indeed experienced decades of Irish terrorism, and has recently capitulated to it in many important respects. Its citizens, like those of Spain and Italy and of most of the West, simply don't understand the war or the terrorist threat enough to be able to respond well to an attack of sufficient size. And like Aznar's administration in Spain, Blair's government isn't strong enough against terrorism in an intellectually consistent sense to withstand an election-eve attack. They're condeming Israel for killing a terrorist mastermind, for instance, when the only difference between Yassin and bin Laden is one of scale. And...

Al Qaeda can strike at anytime, anywhere, and by any means. All that would have to be done would be to ensure that al Qaeda would strike during the specific time frame of the Spanish elections. And that is the art of the very possible. So, in sum, one finger would trigger al Qaeda, and the other would trigger the media response, amounting to a pincer move to unseat Aznar's party in 72 hours. Now that the trains of Jihad have derailed Spain, who is next?

I asked my human rights activist friend what other mission did not receive the Mideast opposition groups at the UN, like Spain. He said, “Great Britain….”

A series of bombs hits the London underground and the city's train system, killing a few hundred within three days of the election. The BBC, stung from losing its earlier air war with Blair over Iraq, leaps to blame Blair for siding with the US in Iraq and inflaming terrorist passions. And America loses her most important ally when Blair falls to a Labour insurgency vowing to get out of Iraq immediately.

And then Italy takes its turn on the wheel of murder. Poland's government is up for elections after that.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:57 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


John F. Kerry is running around the country saying lots of things, raising lots of money, cussing out his Secret Service detail and falling on ski slopes. He's saying things about some guy who lives in a big white house in Washington. That guy, whose name is George W. Bush, apparently runs something big called the "government," and this Kerry fellow thinks Bush is doing it all wrong so he's out there trying to get enough people to put him in that white house instead of Bush. Apparently whoever lives in that house gets to run the "government."

This whole thing--Mr. Kerry saying things about Mr. Bush, and Mr. Bush saying things about Mr. Kerry, both raising gobs of money so they can make commercials and print stuff and generate all sorts of media noise--is called an "election." It's a feature of "democracy," a system whereby government officials stand before the voters every few years and either ask to keep the job they have or ask to be given the job some other guy has. Currently Bush has the job that Kerry wants. The coming "election" will determine who gets the house and the job for the next few years.

I suspect you probably already knew all this. Someone needs to explain it to

You see, they're out pushing a whole bunch of angry books. They want people to read them, and then demand that Congress--that's another part of the "government"--impeach President Bush.

They're apparently unaware that they have the means to remove Mr. Bush from that house in Washington just by getting enough people to agree with them that he shouldn't keep it. They're apparently under the mistaken impression that the only way to get Bush out of that house, which goes with the job of running the "government," is to impeach him. Put him on trial, convict him and run him out of town. Possibly jail him. The tone of the email I received from them this morning suggested they're quite angry with Mr. Bush, and jail may be too good for him.

You'd think people who call themselves "Democrats" would understand "democracy" and this feature known as "elections." But apparently they don't. They don't know there's an election on. Or they've given up any hope of actually winning it fairly.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Sheik Ahmed Yassin, founder of Hamas and Saruman look-a-like, is dead courtesy some well-aimed Israeli missiles. This is profoundly good news if you view the Palestinian--indeed Arab--death cults as bad things and civilization as a good thing.

But the press sees things differently, as do the Europeans, who are condemning Israel for taking out a real bad guy.

AP notes Yassin was wheelchair-bound, and that he lived in a "modest house" in a slum. Presto! you have a disadvantaged underdog. AP also notes that Israel and the US regard Hamas, the terrorist group Yassin founded in the 80s, as a terrorist group. Shocking, I know, to call a terrorist a terrorist, but the US and Israel have the gall to do just that. And again presto! you have powerful meanies calling your disadvantaged underdog dirty names. In the frame game, Yassin gets the better treatment by the press.

But what does AP leave out? Well, the story does mention a few raw numbers. Four were killed a a dozen injured in the strike that got Yassin. There have been 112 Palestinian bombings in the current intifida, killing nearly 500 Israelis. The story whitewashes the fact that Yassin had a role in most, if not all, of those bombings. He was a terrorist leader of a terrorist group. The story makes sure to mention that Hamas is angered and threatening to attack Israelis and "cut off Sharon's head." Nice guys. They sound sort of like those goons who abducted and beheaded Daniel Pearl, not that terrorists in Pakistan and the Palestinian territories could be connected in any way. It mentions the fact that Yassin spent time in prison from 1989 to 1994, but leaves it to the reader to figure out why (that he's a serial murderer). It also notes that Israel tried unsuccessfully to kill him in September 2003. There those meanies go again, trying to kill our Robin Hood of the Gaza Strip. The story also leaves out why Yassin was released in 1994. He got out of jail as part of another Israeli deal for the release of two of its kidnapped Mossaad agents (terrorists--my bad, the Jordanian government--had grabbed them to use them as bargaining chips), freeing Yassin to plot more mayhem from his modest house in the slum. Which he did, for nearly ten more years.

The story also leaves out any real facts about Yassin's victims. They have no names, no humanity. They are, to borrow a phrase from Marxists of the past, just statistics. Here are their names.

There were nearly 500 of them, in just the current terrorist uprising. Yassin was a mastermind of murder. The world is better off without him.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 21, 2004

APRIL 1971 OR APRIL 2005

C-Span did the country a favor tonight. It aired John Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its entirety. It was no easy feat, since large sections of the film from that day in 1971 have been destroyed. C-Span spliced in audio during the missing film sections.

As I watched and listened, a few thoughts came to mind. First, Kerry seemed to be a bitter young man, but also an opportunistic one. For whatever reason, he was bitter about two years spent winning medals in what at the time was still a popularly supported war. He was sufficiently bitter to accuse his fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of committing war crimes, acting as racists and terrorists in the name of an immoral and corrupt imperial America that he hoped to "turn," though away from what and toward what Kerry never quite spelled out. Like his "foreign leaders support me" quote from this year, the "turn" sentence invites speculation. In the 1971 testimony, Kerry supported all of the North Vietnamese talking points and all of their positions in the Paris peace negotiations. Did he want America to turn and become more like the North Vietnamese Communists whose side he had openly taken in 1971? It's not an unreasonable question. He spent far more time in his testimony denouncing America for fighting the war and South Vietnam for existing than he did saying anything negative about the Vietcong, or North Vietnam, or Communism. At one point he would equate democracy and Communism as though they're just two sides of the same coin. His abillity to discriminate between ideologies and government was evidently not yet capable of understanding the difference between a Vladimir Lenin and a George Washington. Maybe it was youth talking--he was only 27.

Kerry's opportunism was exposed in questioning from a senator regarding Lt. William Calley. Calley had been prosecuted for ordering and carrying out a massacre of civilians at the village My Lai. Asked whether Calley should have been prosecuted, Kerry offered no defense of Calley but went on to accuse everything and everyone from movie producers to comic book writers of being equally responsible for Calley's heinous actions. It amounted to a guilt-by-culture argument, the same sort of argument we've heard for years justifying the crimes of drug dealers, pimps, murderers and thieves. It's the same sort of argument we hear when a whacked out kid goes on a rampage after watching The Matrix. It's the same sort of argument Michael Moore deploys in Bowling for Columbine, when he essentially accuses defense contractors in the area for turning two teenage boys into monsters, though the boys had no connection to the contractor and the factory in their area made satellites, not missiles. It's the worst sort of demagoguery, accusing Middle America of taking part in the murders committed by one or two or a few derange individuals. It is wrong, but it's an effective way to spread the guilt and thereby, to some measure, absolve those actually guilty and smear the innocent. Kerry used that tactic to brilliant success--he's a senator now, running for president--and smeared his "band of brothers" as murderers, torturers, rapists and thieves.

It may have been a pre-emptive smear. If Kerry knew in 1971 that he was himself a war criminal, albeit unindicted and unaccused, in accusing everyone who fought in that war of doing the same things he knew he had done, he may have been attempting to save himself.

There's another pattern that emerged in 1971--John Kerry the craven politician. Lately we've seen him say things like "I voted for it, before I voted against it," and trying to put his actual voting record across 19 years in the Senate off limits because he recognizes his own past for the liability that it is. He will say to one group that he is their best friend, then to that group's polar opposite that he agrees with them too. He's all about saving himself. He bugged out of Vietnam on the basis of a Navy tradition--three Purple Hearts and you're out--when his wounds had not been serious and the tradition no part of any regulation. He could have stayed and fought with his brothers, but he chose to return to America and smear them instead so that he could begin to build his political career.

Kerry's testimony also got me to thinking about what today's left will do next. It's no secret that for today's left, Vietnam represents their halcyon days, their big day of turning world history. That they consigned millions to brutality under Communism and re-education camps and slaughter for the criming of thinking for themselves is of no consequence. They don't care, because they made America feel guilty, made her turn for a while from her desire to help rid the world of dictatorships ruled by Stalinist thugs.

Maybe that's the turn Kerry wanted?

Today's left has been reminded just how it won Vietnam for the Communists by seeing Kerry's testimony again. Back then they accused America of fighting a racist war for reasons other than those publicly stated by our leadership. They accused American soldiers of committing horrible crimes in the field of battle against civilians, crimes sanctioned by the highest levels of command. They said America was an imperial power fighting an unjust war for all the wrong reasons, and used the enemy's talking points and negotiation stances in their speeches.

It's no secret that the left hates the war against terrorism. Your mileage may vary, but I suspect that the left (and I know I'm painting broadly here, but I'm speaking specifically about that segment of the left that has denounced America for exercising its self-defense since 9-11) hates this war simply because it hates America's way of doing things. The anti-war left hates our openness and the fact that that openness helped defeat their old friends in Moscow. The anti-war left hates capitalism and prefers statism, it hates Christianity and favors anything else (maybe their religious slogan should be "Anbody But Jesus"). The anti-war left distrusts anyone who holds any kind of power who isn't one of them, and prefers strong charismatic one-man rule types like Castro over elected presidents who happen to be Republicans. And in a sense, therefore, the anti-war left simply hates America, since America keeps on being America and actually has the gall to fight back when provoked.

As it hates the war, the anti-war left loathes the war in Iraq, because that war has the chance of blasting away an entire region's layer of despots who have made it a habit of denouncing America. The Iraq war may extend America's style of trade and governance to the Middle East, and with those American traits capitalism, Christianity and constitutional rule will probably follow. And a certain optimistic segment of America will have been proven right, about the necessity of fighting back against fascists and statists of all stripes, and about the need to occassionally assert herself to make things right in the world. We will have proven once again that on balance America is a force for good in the world.

To the anti-war left, America is never right. So the Iraq war, like the Vietnam war before it and to which it bears no resemblance except in the left's fevered rants, is wrong. So the left will use the old bag of tricks to destroy this new war, and thereby put America in increased danger. We've seen the racist canard deployed against the Iraq war. We've seen the war for reasons other than those stated (oil, Halliburton, Bush family revenge) levelled at Bush regarding Iraq. So what's next?

I can imagine the scenario a year or more from now. A young Lieutenant, perhaps an Army tank officer or a Marine platoon leader and an Iraq war veteran, testifies before the Senate, or these days, makes his stand on 60 Minutes or with Barbara Walters. With the serious tones of a young idealist chastened by war, he will deliver a stone-faced diatribe against President Bush, against Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, against Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and anyone else who led us into or supported the war that ended Saddam Hussein's brutal reign. The decorated veteran will lie through his teeth about America's actions and interests, about the Iraqi people's opinion of us and our intentions--just like Kerry did in 1971 about Vietnam--and will lead some kind of Iraq veterans' effort to cut and run from Iraq--just like Kerry advocated abandoning South Vietnam in 1971. Kerry's advocacy succeeded a few years later, and the Communists overran our former allies.

Our young Lt., like young John Kerry before him, will have ties to the worst elements--Communists, socialists, Islamicists, America's enemies du jour, and like the 1971 press today's media will ignore those ties and focus instead on the photogenic young hero speaking truth to power. Or lies to power. Whatever, as long as what he says is servicable to the cause of strengthening socialist causes and impairing America's ability to defend itself.

The point is, the left is using the anniversary of the liberation of Iraq for its annual crawl out from under a rock to lie about America to advance its nefarious causes. They'll find their Lt. Kerry soon enough, or a stand-in like Richard Clarke or Jimmy Carter, and open up a new salvo of anti-American lies.

The difference this time around is that we're not engaged militarily in a foreign country because we believe we're keeping countries from falling like dominoes under Communism's evil sway. We're in Iraq to keep the pressure on the terrorists and to create a genuine transformation in a terrible, nearly unlivable, region. We're there to help millions of people in the hope that by helping them we're making it less likely that they'll want to come here and kill us. It's pretty simple.

The left, like John Kerry in 1971, will be helping the cause of our enemies. Like John Kerry in 1971, the left will be arguing for slavery under dictatorship instead of true freedom and liberty. Like John Kerry in 1971, who I should point out has never disavowed a single word from that testimony, today's left will act as resident surrogates for those who want to destroy us and our way of life.

In fact, some of them already are. Howard Dean takes al Qaeda's talking points at face value, as long as they're criticizing common enemy George W. Bush. Jimmy Carter is running around out there saying George H. W. Bush "precipitated" (which means "started") the 1991 Gulf War and George W. Bush is merely finishing it, justifying it on lies. If that's the case, perhaps Carter can shed some light on why Bush Sr. didn't go all the way to Baghdad when he had the chance. If you're into starting wars with foreign despots, why not finish them? Perhaps because Bush Sr didn't start the war--Saddam did.

And who knows what lie John Kerry will come up with now. He has a track record for creating some real whoppers and riding them to power.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:10 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack