June 05, 2004


President Reagan, architect of the American victory in the Cold War, and the president who made sure we believed in morning in America again, has died.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:36 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

June 04, 2004


Having spent a good deal of time writing a blog that, for quite a while no one read, and having spent a good deal of professional time trying to give really cool things away--for free!--that lawyers and others roadblocked for one reason or another, I've decided that the notion that "if you build it, they will come" is a crock.

It comes from the film Field of Dreams. Remember it? Pre-Waterworld Kevin Costner plays crazy farmer who cuts down his own crops to build a baseball stadium for the dead while voices in his head reassure him that building said stadium in the middle of nowhere is a sound investment. He builds it, talks to James Earl Jones a few times, talks to dead baseball players, and then people come from miles around to watch baseball in a cornfield. He built it, and they came.

Never mind the fact that America must be dotted with a thousand baseball diamonds in towns, villages and hamlets that are never used, because no one ever comes. Never mind that.

There were obviously no lawyers involved in drafting that script or that line, a line which might have applied in 1830 but surely doesn't apply today. So herewith is a 21st Century revision of "If you build it, they will come."

If you build it, you must plan it. You must find contractors and architects and hire them after competitive bidding, and you must ensure that all of your permits are in place prior to the onset of construction. You will probably have to rezone the site, which will involve political action at the local city or county level, with hearings to ensure your neighbors have had their say. Six months, minimum.

If you build it, you must promote it or no one will know about it. That means marketing, so you have to hire a marketing research firm to identify its target demographic. That firm will want to hire a polling outfit and focus group it. The focus group will like this about it but not that, and your marketeers will do their best to use that data to get you to rebuild it to make it more marketable. Three months, minimum. If you rebuild, tack on another four to six months.

If you build it and then promote it, then you must indemnify it. Lawyers will vet it to ensure that you and whomever you wish to come are not unduly exposed to legal action. These lawyers will not only read the fine print, they will come up with additional fine print that, if taken as read, will require all of those who come to sign a waiver of all rights to sue--in triplicate and in front of at least three witnesses. Six months to a year.

If you build it and promote it and indemnify it, then maybe they will come. But most likely they'll stay home and watch WWF Smackdown anyway. You will have spent about two years and your entire life savings, argued with your neighbors and learned to detest amoral marketeers and lawyers and probably lost your wife and kids, only to sit in an empty stadium while the voices in your head try and convince you that dead baseball players are playing catch and hitting home runs in your yard, where your cash crops once stood.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:06 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


The mystery writer/blogger, Roger Simon, -- recently profiled here in NRO -- weighs in on the twists and turns in the Chalabi story and notes that he's now being blamed by corrupt UN officials for their oil-for-food scandal.

He updates the post with:

Apropos of the myriad, conflicting Chalabi leaks, I've been thinking about Howard Veit's interesting post about Quantum Technology. If it is true, as Howard indicates, that unbreakable codes are a thing of the past, then this entire story is a monumental headscratcher from all directions. Here's just one possibility: The Iranians knew all about this technology, just as Howard did (even if they couldn't replicate it, which they probably can't). This would mean they never thought their code was sancrosanct in the first place and only used it to pass disinformation. So they already knew when Chalabi told them, if he told them. And if he did, he may have known they already knew and was merely blabbing there was someone informing about it (the "drunk"). Not even LeCarré at his most prolix is this contorted. Meanwhile, oh forget it... My head is spinning and I write mysteries.

If his head was spinning before, it will not stop after reading this:

Officials yesterday recounted an incident in early 1995 when Chalabi's name turned up in an encrypted Iranian cable reporting a purported CIA-backed plan to assassinate Saddam Hussein, then Iraq's president. The message was intercepted by U.S. intelligence and caused a major political stir in Washington.

...The 1995 incident arose at a time when Chalabi was in northern Iraq, working with CIA backing against Hussein. The CIA case officer working with Chalabi at the time was Robert Baer.

Exactly who came up with the assassination idea is subject to some dispute. One U.S. official interviewed yesterday, who was familiar with the event, credited Baer with pushing the plan.

Baer has denied this. In his book "See No Evil: the True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism," published in 2001, he wrote that the plot to kill Hussein was phony, concocted by Chalabi in hopes of enticing Iranian support for his Iraqi opposition efforts.

To prove to the Iranians he had Washington's support to go after Hussein, Chalabi forged a letter on U.S. National Security Council stationery that asked him to contact the Iranian government for help, Baer wrote. The letter said Washington had dispatched to northern Iraq an "NSC team" headed by Robert Pope, a fictitious name.

In a meeting with Iranian intelligence officers, Chalabi left the letter on his desk while he took a phone call in another room, knowing the Iranians would read it, Baer wrote.

What happened next has not been previously reported.

The Iranian intelligence officers sent an encrypted message to Tehran about Chalabi's supposed plot, officials said yesterday. The United States intercepted the transmission. U.S. intelligence had broken Iran's secret communications codes during that period as well.

The contents of the 1995 intercept became the basis of a report that circulated fairly widely in Washington intelligence and law enforcement circles, an official recalled. The result was not only deep distrust within the CIA for Chalabi but also an FBI investigation of Baer.

This one has more twists and turns than the Nick Berg story. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is blaming Chalabi and that nefarious cabal of nosy neocons for Democrat appointee George Tenet's resignation. I think she probably wants to say that Israel was behind the intel conspiracy too, but she can't come out and blame all the "f---ing Jew bastards" -- so she sticks with just the Democrat's neocon code this time.

Posted by Chris Regan at 10:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Read him, and understand him:

These depressing times really are much like the late 1960s, when only a few dared to plead that Hue and Tet were not abject defeats, but rare examples of American courage and skill. But now as then, the louder voice of defeatism smothers all reason, all perspective, all sense of balance — and so the war is not assessed in terms of five years but rather by the last five hours of ignorant punditry. Shame on us all.

Historic forces of the ages are in play. If we can just keep our sanity a while longer, accept our undeniable mistakes, learn from them, and press on, Iraq really will emerge as the constitutional antithesis of Saddam Hussein, and that will be a good and noble thing — impossible without America and its most amazing military.

Nothing in life is a given. We could have lost the Battle of Midway. The Normandy invasion could have failed. The Battle of the Bulge could have reversed the Allies' fortunes, leading to a Nazi victory and an extended Reich in Europe. And the USSR could have won the Cold War. In fact, it came closer than we probably realize once or twice.

And we can lose this war, too. Shame on us if we do. Shame on the media, shame on the bloody left, and shame on us too.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:29 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 03, 2004


Commenting on Dan Drezner's fine blog the other day, I modestly proposed that Matthew Yglesias is an idiot. I would like to ammend that comment. Yglesias is not only an idiot--he is insane. He thinks, among other things, Bush isn't really the President, but instead we have two Presidents, neither of which is named Bush--Karl Rove for domestic policy and Dick Cheney for foreign policy. Yglesias' evidence--well, even he says he has none. But that doesn't stop him. He attempts to employ Occam's Razor, but instead of cutting through bunk ends up delivering a nasty cut to the jugular of his own credibility. Man, I hate when that happens. Then he brings up Chalabi as a the left's new anti-war talisam, only to conveniently forget that a) Chalabi hasn't been convicted of anything, b) it's just as likely that the Iranians have played us for fools and smeared Chalabi in a kind of counterintel two-fer as it is that he's an actual double-agent; and c) Bush has been distancing himself from Chalabi lately anyway.

It's nearly as much fun to watch lefties try and dissect military and intel stories as it is to watch Andrew Sullivan prattle on about rural Americans. Anyway...

In spite of the fact that he believes Bush isn't running the show, Yglesias insists that Bush is intentionally destroying America because he's in the pockets of the Iranian mullahs (do the mullah's robes have pockets?--that and a thousand other questions plague the inquiring blogger's mind). So Yglesias has now bounced from one insane theory to another, landing squarely in his own mental quagmire.

How could a President who isn't really President intentionally destroy a country that he doesn't run? How could a man who has dedicated his presidency to fighting terrorism and the mullahcracies that support terrorism be in the tank for the terrorists and those same mullahcracies? Yglesias offers nothing in the way of, say, fact or even reason to justify his claims. Just bile. He has become an increasingly deranged writer.

Based on this evidence, I hereby certify with all the power vested in me (which is, well, none) that Matthew Yglesias is a moonbat of the first order, irretrievably insane. And he remains an idiot as well. Why anyone takes him seriously in any way, shape or form is beyond me.

In other words, it's only a matter of time before he finds himself courted by the New York Times.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Greg Crosby feels the JunkYardBlog's pain, and sees the same dark skies on the horizon:

Political correctness could keep us from winning this war. Our society is so overly-sensitized to this PC doctrine that our government can't even officially call our enemies by their true name — we use euphemisms such as "terrorists," "evil doers," and "enemies of freedom" instead of calling them what they are, and there are several good names — Islamo-fascists, Muslim militants, Islamists, Islamic-jihadists.


The incessant press and television coverage during the Vietnam War helped to turn Americans against it. The very same thing will undoubtedly happen with the war in the Middle East. If enough dead American names are read on ABC's Nightline, if enough prisoner maltreatment is uncovered and reported on, if the media continues to make the Islamist Jihadists the victims, if the anti-war protest marches and rallies continue to grow in number and continue to get extensive daily television coverage, and the Democrats continue to jump on all of this to bring down Bush, then the wearing-down effect will happen — Americans will slowly but surly start to forget why we are fighting in the first place and the general sentiment will be to "bring the troops home."

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

Posted by B. Preston at 02:56 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


So did nearly every prominent Democrat in America. Behold:

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002,

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.

Add to these the quotes in the Gore Disaster video, plus various quotes from the February 1998 war from Clinton admin figures, and you have most major Democrats opining on Iraq's WMD programs. They all believed he had WMDs and would use them. They all believed it was necessary to rein Saddam in and take his weapons away from him. The difference between those Democrats and Bush is that Bush followed through.

(thanks to Chris)

MORE: Found another one:

"We continue to hope, indeed pray, that Saddam will comply [with UN sanctions], but we must be prepared to act if he does not," he said. President Bill Clinton, November 13, 1998

UPDATE: And now we find out that Clinton's FBI let a hijacker-terrorist go--on orders from Washington?

Posted by B. Preston at 02:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Well, it looks like Al Gore got the one resignation he wanted that most Republicans also wanted.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I like the new interim Iraqi Prime Minister already:

Though the notion that Iraq played a role in 9/11 is considered heresy in U.S. intelligence circles, newly appointed Iraq Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said in December that a document purported to be from Saddam's intelligence service that places lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta in Baghdad two months before the attacks was indeed "genuine."

"We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's involvement with al-Qaeda," Allawi told the London Telegraph at the time. "But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks."

As reported by the Telegraph at the time, the document - a handwritten memo dated July 1, 2001 - provides a short resume of a three-day "work program" Atta had undertaken at Abu Nidal's terrorist training camp in Baghdad.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Lots of chatter among the chatterati today about country people and their supposed disaffection for President Bush. Ryan Lizza leads the way:

Pollster Stanley Greenberg has released an update (PDF) of the data presented in his excellent book The Two Americas. One of his main findings from interviewing 8,000 likely voters between January and April 2004 is that Bush is suffering a small but very significant erosion among his most loyal supporters.

Those supporters being "country folk"--rural Southerners, etc, who Greenberg claims have slipped in their support for Bush from 63 to 58 percent. Andrew Sullivan thinks he knows why:

But why are these Bush-base voters defecting? Bruce Bartlett has some plausible theories. My own hunch is that these voters do not like a massive increase in government spending, a huge jump in public debt, and a post-war policy in Iraq that seemed blindsided by reality. But here's my other belief, and it's about Abu Ghraib. The images from that prison shamed America in deep and inchoate ways. Traditional conservative patriots in particular were appalled.

With all due respect to Greenberg, Lizza and Sullivan, hogwash. Greenberg is sampling within a sample, and his data is therefore meaningless. Lizza is just parroting a pollster whose poll sample is too small. As for Sullivan, well, let's just say that he demonstrates a gay Englishman who lives in the city and doesn't even drive a car's keen understanding of rural Americans and leave it at that.

But suppose rural support for President Bush is slipping. Why would that be? With all due to respect to the chatterati, if Southerners were less supportive of Bush today it would have nothing to do with Abu Ghraib. Don't any of the chatters know their country mythology?

It's perhaps best expressed by Hank Williams Jr., who wrote:

The preacher man say's it's the end of time
The Mississippi river, she's goin dry
The interest is up, and the stock market's down
You only get mugged if you go down town
I live back in the woods you see,
My woman, my kids, and my dogs, and me
I got a shoutgun, and a rifle, and a 4 wheel drive
A Country boy can survive

In that verse is the sum and total of country folks' view of Washington, authority and all the rest. A country boy can survive, whatever you throw at him. A country boy believes in individual freedom and responsibility, the use of force to defend himself and his family, which by the way he believe in the traditional definition of. And he loves his dog. He doesn't particularly like getting mugged, so he doesn't spend much time in the city. A country boy can survive, so Osama bin Laden can just bring it on. Note that when President Bush used that phrase, the cheer that rose from the South was audible even here north of Washington, DC. More like it, please.

Here's the deal. Country folk who follow politics tend to vote Republican, because the GOP's philosophy is more in line with the Hank Williams school of thought. Country folk who don't follow politics tend to vote Democrat, because that's the way their daddy voted. Their daddy voted that way because when he was voting, the Democrats claimed to represent the little guy while they claimed the Republicans represented nothing but big business. The Depression also had a lot to do with that old alignment--the GOP took the brunt of blame for it, FDR took the lion's share of the credit for ending it, and the rural folk went Democrat. But that's changing as the Depression generation dies off, and you'll find solid GOP majorities among the country folk today. The Hank Williams philosophy is a large part of the reason, as is the GOP's more friendly attitude toward traditional lifestyles, religion, etc.

I'm not making this up. I may have traveled the world and I may have a pretty high-tech lifestyle, but perhaps unique among people who've written for National Review and the like I'm a country boy at heart and always will be. Since I have close family involved in politics at the local country-folk level, I have a line into that world that none of the big-city chatters have.

So getting back to Bush, all he has to do to shore up any flagging support among Southerners (supposing the sag is even real) is change course in a couple of things. Use more force in Iraq and in the war generally, while telling the politically-correct minders what they can do with their political correctness. Call for a large enough military to actually fight the war, and by that I don't necessarily mean more boots on the ground in Iraq. Just more boots on the ground somewhere ready to take the fight to the bad guys. He should reverse course on that idiotic immigration proposal, which probably has as much to do with any flagging support as anything else, including the war. And he's just got to look and sound more confident of America's role in the world. Lately, President Bush has seemed wishy-washy to this Texan's eyes. And country folk don't like wishy-washy people. He's been getting better in the past week or so, evidence that his Southernness is resurging.

Would Bush's flagging country support (again supposing it's real) translate into votes for Kerry? With all apologies to Lynyrd Skynyrd...

Well, I hope John Kerry will remember
A Southern man don't need him around, anyhow

MORE: Country folk will like this:

As we fight the war on terror in Iraq and on other fronts, we must keep in mind the nature of the enemy. No act of America explains terrorist violence, and no concession of America could appease it. The terrorists who attacked our country on September the 11th, 2001 were not protesting our policies. They were protesting our existence. Some say that by fighting the terrorists abroad since September the 11th, we only stir up a hornet's nest. But the terrorists who struck that day were stirred up already. (Applause.) If America were not fighting terrorists in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and elsewhere, what would these thousands of killers do, suddenly begin leading productive lives of service and charity? (Laughter.) Would the terrorists who beheaded an American on camera just be quiet, peaceful citizens if America had not liberated Iraq? We are dealing here with killers who have made the death of Americans the calling of their lives. And America has made a decision about these terrorists: Instead of waiting for them to strike again in our midst, we will take this fight to the enemy. (Applause.)
Posted by B. Preston at 08:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 02, 2004


I hadn't wanted to wade back into the Chalabi affair because, frankly, it's nearly impossible for us on the outside to get much of a fix on the facts. Is he a smeared Iraqi patriot or an Iranian shill? If you have anything more definitive than "so-and-so says such-and-such," I'd like to see it.

But. There is a plausible scenario that no one has posted on, so I thought it might be time to explore it.

During the early days of World War II, actually before the war itself if memory serves, US intelligence broke Japan's secret military and diplomatic communications codes. We could listen in on most Japanese transmissions, and act based on knowledge we had that they didn't know we had.

In early 1942, Japanese military sources began chattering about an impending attack on a certain Pacific island designated AF. But what was AF? The Navy had enough of the code to understand the chatter surrouding AF, but not what AF was.

So the Navy came up with a plan to smoke AF out into the open. Suspecting that AF might be the strategically-placed Midway Island, Admiral Nimitz ordered Midway to send a routine message indicating that it was short of water. Midway wasn't short of water; the message was intended to either rule Midway in our out as the Japanese target.

It worked. Within days, the Navy intercepted a Japanese message stating that island AF was having water trouble. When Japan sent a carrier task force to invade the island, the US Navy was ready and in one of the most harrowing battles of the war, destroyed several Japanese carriers and for all intents and purposes won the war.

Fast forward to our war. It's no secret that Iran wishes our Iraq mission ill, and it's no secret that Iran possesses a truly professional and efficient intelligence aparatus. It's also no secret that Iran has dealt with Ahmed Chalabi in the past. That last is such a non-secret that the Pentagon didn't seem to care about it much until very, very recently.

Suppose you're an enterprising Iranian intel operative in Baghdad. You've heard from your masters in Tehran that it's possible the Americans have broken the Iranian code. How they know this, you are not told. You are simply told to find a way to verify whether or not the Americans have broken Iran's secret communications codes.

You concoct a scheme to make your masters proud. Anything that can confuse the Americans or cause them to suspect any of their allies is welcome in Tehran. Anything that can sow discord in Iraq, however large or small, is useful in the grand scheme of sending the Americans packing so that the mullahs--your masters--can create a client state from Iraq's rubble.

So you come up with a plan, both to smoke out whether or not the Americans have broken your code, and to sew a little creative chaos into post-war Iraq. You send a message back to your masters all about Chalabi, his drunken Pentagon friend, and the disclosure of the broken code. It's a fun story, making the Americans appear decadent and stupid, and will cause them to further suspect their erstwhile ally Chalabi, for whom you have little use anyway. He may have dealt with Tehran in the past, but he's no friend of the mullahs. Given any power, he would not become an Iranian puppet. So you make up a story incriminating him and some unnamed American and send it via the code your masters suspect has been compromised.

And it works like a lucky charm. The Americans and Iraqis move against Chalabi, and at the same time disclose to the world that they have indeed broken the Iranian code. They have fallen for your trap. Your masters in Tehran will reward you handsomely.

(Chris Regan contributed to this analysis)

UPDATE: Richard Perle pretty much agrees and is not backing down from his support of Chalabi:

...the former chairman of the Defense Policy Board and an influential Chalabi supporter, said Wednesday that the notion that Mr. Chalabi would compromise the American code-breaking operation "doesn't pass the laugh test." Mr. Perle said it was more plausible that the Iranians, knowing already that the United States was reading its communications, planted the damning information about Mr. Chalabi to persuade Washington to distance itself from Mr. Chalabi.

"The whole thing hinges on the idea that the Baghdad station chief of the MOIS commits one of the most amazing trade craft errors I've ever heard of," Mr. Perle said, referring to Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security. He said it defied belief that a seasoned intelligence operative would disclose a conversation with Mr. Chalabi using the same communications channel that he had just been warned was compromised.

"You have to believe that the station chief blew a gift from the gods because of rank incompetence," Mr. Perle said. "I don't believe it, and I don't think any other serious intelligence professional would either."

But it could just be the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:20 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


It's a well-established fact that the 1970s and 1980s-era nuclear freeze movement--a Western leftist movement aimed at shaming the US into freezing development of all nuclear weapons even as we faced down a well-armed nuclear rival in the USSR which was under no similar freeze pressure--was in fact a Soviet front. The Soviets funded the freeze movement, fed it talking points and nourished its development. The whole point was to pressure the US government into unilateral disarment in the face of a ruthless foe. If not for Ronaldus Magnus, it might have worked.

Well, meet the new leftist, same as the old leftist:

On the same day the U.S. government announced that terrorist Jose Padilla sought to obtain nuclear materials and detonate a dirty nuclear weapon in the U.S., Sen. John Kerry said the key to U.S. security is to unilaterally stop building nuclear weapons.

Touted as the major national security speech of his campaign so far, the presumptive Democrat nominee said that as his first order of business as president he will abandon plans to build new nuclear weapons, including “bunker-busting” nuclear weapons advocated by the Bush administration.

John Kerry is either naive, misguided or corrupt. I honestly can't decide which, since all three make sense depending on which angle you watch him from. In this case, misguided will do. If you prefer either of the other two, I won't argue with you. The point is, we're at war. Our enemies and their friends are even now as we speak building nuclear weapons in underground bunkers that our present weapons can't reach. The point of those weapons, in the case of Iran, is to destroy Israel and threaten us. In North Korea, the point of them is to crush South Korea and threaten us and Japan. That much Kerry even acknowledges. So why disarm? Because as is common with the left, it's more important for Kerry appear right in the eyes of implacable foes than survive and defeat them.

“As president, I will stop this administration's program to develop a whole new generation of bunker-busting nuclear bombs,” Kerry told a crowd of supporters in West Palm Beach, Fla. “This is a weapon we don't need. And it undermines our credibility in persuading other nations. What kind of message does it send when we're asking other countries not to develop nuclear weapons but developing new ones ourselves?”

For starters, it sends the message that we understand our enemy and will do what it takes to defeat him. That's a profoundly appropriate message to send, but it's a message that a President Kerry will not send. The Kerry message will be: We're disarming. Take what you want.

Though the U.S. has dramatically reduced its nuclear arsenal since the end of the Cold War, America's example has not been followed by other nations.

Russia, China and other rogue states have continued to maintain or develop new weapons of mass destruction, including thermonuclear devices.

Again, Kerry is aware of all of this. He said as much in his speech. He even acknowledged that the US needs to do more to rein in the North Korean nuke factory. But how will we do that without a credible way of dealing with them using force?

That's just too hard a question for John Kerry, so he doesn't answer it. Except to say that the US should disarm anyway.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Helping oust Charles Taylor's Liberian dictatorship was not only the humanitarian thing to do--it may have helped in the war on terrorism:

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - Al Qaeda suspects in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies took shelter in west Africa in the months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, converting terror cash into untraceable diamonds, according to findings of a U.N.-backed court obtained by The Associated Press.

The allegations came as part of the Sierra Leone war crimes court's investigation of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, said to have been a middleman between Al Qaeda and west Africa's multimillion-dollar diamond trade.

"We have in the process of investigating Charles Taylor ... clearly uncovered that he harbored Al Qaeda operatives in Monrovia, [Liberia], as late as the summer of 2001," said David Crane, the court's lead prosecutor. "The central thread is blood diamonds."

So, we can take one more terror-sponsoring thugocracy off the list. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya...and Charles Taylor's Liberia. Four wins in two wars. Not bad.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Matthew Hoy fact-checks Ellen Goodman's derriere, catching her in a big, fat lie about abortion. Or about her age. You make the call.

Does anyone at the Globe fact-check themselves for anything? The JYB caught the Globe in an actual cover-up a couple weeks back, fwiw.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


How would the Western left react if the United States decided to seize Saudi Arabia's oilfields? How shrill would the moonbat call get if we decided to either send in US troops or proxies to ensure that the oil flow from Saudi fields keeps pace?

I suspect the moonbats' new call would be audible on Mars. "See--it's all about oillllllllll!" would ring from sea to shining sea. And such a move would probably even cause some wavering Bush supporters to re-examine their stance on the entire war.

We may soon find out. The United States may soon find itself forced to either act to secure the Saudi oilfields or risk grave harm to them, which would damage the flow of oil to the world's economies and bring about a serious financial downturn as America nears a presidential election.

Over the weekend, terrorists claiming links to al Qaeda went on a rampage in the Khobar region of Saudi Arabia, killing 22. Best known in the States as the site of a 1997 terrorist strike against US Air Force housing that killed nearly a score of our airmen, Khobar is the single most strategically important region of Saudi Arabia. It is the heart of the Saudi oil reserve.

In attacking Khobar, al Qaeda may be signalling a new strategy, one that puts our war effort in a post-modern pincer. It's increasingly clear that however serious the Saudis are about cracking down on al Qaeda, their special forces and police are simply not up to the job. At the end of this weekend's attack, Saudi troops reportedly had several terrorists surrounded, only to either let them go or fail because of incompetence to kill or apprehend them. Saudi troops and police frequently clash with al Qaeda operatives in increasingly common street battles, and while the Saudi forces generally fight hard, they also generallt fail to make much progress or do the terrorists much damage. Al Qaeda maintains a relatively free hand throughout much of Saudi Arabia.

The oil markets are reflecting the uncertainty over the Saudi oil spigot, with record prices per barrel of crude topped every day. Rising oil prices translate into rising prices at the pump worldwide, which can translate into economic recession. What to do?

Should the US decide to allow the Saudi problem to fester, it's likely that al Qaeda will continue to attack the Khobar region. It's likely, in fact, that the terrorists will escalate their war against a soft US ally which is also unfortunately one of the world's economic lynchpins. It's likely that such attacks will add to uncertainty, which will add to the price of crude oil. Supposing that the terrorist attacks in Khobar continue, the US administration will find itself under increasing pressure to act or face mounting doubts about its credibility as the world's top cop.

Should the US decide that it is in its interests to intervene in the escalating Saudi civil war, it will be committing itself to yet another serious and long-term military committment in the Middle East. It will also be playing into doubts about the reasoning behind the US mission in Iraq, which the Western left has criticized as being entirely oil-driven. And that may be exactly what al Qaeda wants the US to do--intervene in Saudi Arabia, entailing another serious military committment which will also drive up doubts about American intentions in the Middle East.

How would it play out here? As the violence escalates, expect calls from Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry for the Bush administration to act. With each new spike in oil prices will come a renewed call to move, though Kerry will offer nothing specific--because he can't and because it's not in his nature. The hard left flank will criticize more and more loudly, about Bush administration failed policies, about making terrorism worse, the usual counterproductive prattle of the left that has the effect of sounding off for the terrorists themselves.

If the Bush administration sends in the troops, the left will reverse course and, instead of calling for action, will accuse the administration of seizing the oil fields for its own profit. The words "Halliburton" and "oil president" will get prominent play, both in the left's political operations and the allegedly mainstream media. The left will do its best to make the Bush administration's position untenable, no matter what it does or does not do about the Saudi violence.

That is the post-modern pincer al Qaeda may be attempting to set up by attacking Khobar. The Bush administration will be very much damned if it does anything, and damned if it doesn't. Either way, it will not be able to count on its political opponents to circle faithfully around US foreign policy in any helpful or meaningful ways. It will be able to count on its political opponents to run interference for the terrorists.

There could be a way out, however. The US relationship with Jordan is as strong as ever, and the Iraqi military is growing in strength and experience daily. One could envision a scenario in which both--the Jordanians and the Iraqis--are allowed to assist in securing the Saudi fields. The Egyptians may be allowed to participate as well. NATO troops may also get the call, but one cannot count on an effective response. The day of Iraqi involvement is not yet possible due to many factors, not least of which is the ongoing violence in Iraq. But a few months from now, we could see Iraqi troops invited to help secure oil fields in Saudi Arabia. Wouldn't that be a major change from the dark days of Saddam Hussein?

Things are likely to get very interesting in Saudi Arabia over the next few months. In fact, the oilfield gambit could be al Qaeda's attempt to influence US elections. If that is the case--if al Qaeda has determined that attacking Saudi oil fields is a more productive use of its resources than attempting another attack on US soil--it will have demonstrated again that it understands us and our political vulnerabilities better than we realize. Such thinking would demonstrate that al Qaeda is a far cannier and more dangerous enemy than most of us suspect.

(Chris Regan contributed to this analysis)

MORE: Donald Sensing opines on al Qaeda's oil strategy. I think that, after Madrid, he's underestimating al Qaeda's knowledge of and coordination with Western leftists. He thinks the al Qaeda strategy is vague at best. I don't.

It's a fact that terrorists met with Western leftists in Tehran in January, 2004, to discuss strategy. It's a fact that not long after that meeting, terrorists struck Spain in what must surely be one of the most politically-effective terror strikes in recent history. It's reasonable to judge from these facts that the Western left is teaching al Qaeda how to fight us on the one battlefield they can defeat us--the political battlefield.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:49 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack


I didn't do much. Watched a few war films on AMC and TCM (I'll never get tired of seeing Battle of Britian), tinkered with the computer, tried and failed to motivate myself to paint the basement. Composed the score for the next JYB guerilla video production. Nothing big.

John Kerry spent his Memorial Day flipping off one of his 'band of brothers.' He's a real class act.

Posted by B. Preston at 07:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 01, 2004


It's fair to say that the JYB's first foray into video production was a success. For various reasons I can't come up with a definitive count of all the hits and traffic the video spawned, but our server officially counted over 47,000 hits on Friday alone. A few sites linked directly to the video as opposed to the post about the video, and therefore we couldn't count them with the same counter that counts hits to the blog. In fact, we didn't have a counter on that particular angle at all. One of those sites being NRO's The Corner, it's fair to say that 47,000 is a serious undercount. We probably got somewhere north of 70,000 or so. That's what I call a popular post.

In a day or two I'm going to retire the links to the video, so if you haven't downloaded it yet or didn't get the final versions, go ahead and get them now. Feel free to send them to your friends, neighbors, enemies--whoever and wherever. We'd appreciate a mention. By the end of the week, both the avi and Quicktime will be off the server. But that's only to make way for the next video, which we're already working on. It'll be shorter, look better and hit harder.

But hosting video and the accompanying traffic have brought up some issues. First, hosting. Videos require server space and a lot of bandwidth. Those of you who volunteered to host versions of the Gore spot but I never got around to supplying a clip for, I hope I can count on you to help host versions of the next piece. The second issue is that, even though the videos themselves were sitting on a separate server from the blog, all the traffic blew a gasket on our blog server's bandwidth limit. It was 5GB per month, and last month we pushed out over 9 GB, most of that on Friday. Our hosting is donated, but I'd hate for our benefactor to get into such straits that he can't afford to host us any longer. I'd like to defray some of his costs if we can.

All of this is to say, if you can spare a dime, we accept PayPal. If you liked the first video, we accept PayPal. If you want to see more, we accept PayPal.

Thus ends our one-post pledge drive. Thanks for bearing with us.

UPDATE: Thanks to some incredible generosity, the Gore Disaster movie files will remain where they are for the time being. And, we have room for the new video which is in the works. And, our bandwidth problems aren't problems any more. Your humble blogger is humbler than ever, grateful to one person for being far more generous to us than we deserve.

That said, we still accept PayPal. Blogger needs a new pair of shoes...

Posted by B. Preston at 01:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Former VVAW leader and anti-war activist John F. Kerry has finally gotten the recognition he deserves, from grateful friends:

In the Vietnamese Communist War Remnants Museum (formerly known as the "War Crimes Museum") in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), a photograph of John Kerry hangs in a room dedicated to the anti-war activists who helped the Vietnamese Communists win the Vietnam War. The photograph shows then-Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry being greeted by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Comrade Do Muoi.


Jeff Epstein explains the importance of the photograph:

"This photograph's unquestionable significance lies in its placement in the American protestors' section of the War Crimes Museum in Saigon. The Vietnamese communists clearly recognize John Kerry's contributions to their victory. This find can be compared to the discovery of a painting of Neville Chamberlain hanging in a place of honor in Hitler's Eagle's Nest in 1945."

As I've said before, though Kerry is best known as a straddler and flip-flopper, he is remarkably consistent about one thing: Whenever and wherever America faced down Communists, Kerry took the Communists' side. From Vietnam forward--look it up if you don't believe me--Kerry did what he could both as an activist and as a Senator to make it harder for us to win the Cold War.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 31, 2004


The alliance that everyone pretends doesn't exist has picked up a new member:

MOSCOW/KRAKOW, Poland (Reuters) - Russia joined on Monday a U.S.-led alliance of countries prepared to board ships and raid suspect factories in a crackdown against weapons of mass destruction, a year after President Bush launched the plan.

Moscow become the 15th core member of Bush's Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) just as it began a meeting in the southern Polish city of Krakow.

That darn unilateral cowboy smirking chimp evil genius Bush--always involving other countries in our problems:

Bush announced the initiative, designed to stop such arms ending up in states viewed with distrust by Washington, such as North Korea and Iran, during a visit to Krakow a year ago.

"The threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is global and accordingly requires a global response," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "We are sure that we can cope with the problem only through a collective effort."

So Bush gets Russia--North Korea's old patron--to join his new alliance, which was created to rein in North Korea's nuclear proliferation. Will he get credit for being something other than "arrogant" or unilateral from his increasingly shrill critics?

I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack