August 05, 2004

LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN

Where old women either get out of the way or get shoved aside by obnoxious politicians:

Caption: Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry runs past a woman as he heads toward a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, at a Vietnam memorial as he stopped to greet supporters along route 61 in Grandview, Iowa August 4, 2004. (my emphasis)

So in other words, he practically ran over an old lady on his way to re-enacting the fall of Saigon. That shot's in the next post down.

(thanks to Hanks)

Posted by B. Preston at 11:45 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

WHITE MEN CAN JUMP

The man who wants to be president, acting like a four-year-old:

Caption:

Democratic Presidential nominee Senator John Kerry leaps to touch a Vietnam era Huey helicopter at a Vietnam memorial as he stopped to greet supporters along route 61 in Grandview, Iowa, August 4, 2004. Kerry was campaigning on the 'Believe in America' tour, a two week trip across the country that started in Boston Massachusetts following the Democratic National Convention. REUTERS/Mike Segar US ELECTION

STOLEN FROM ALLAHPUNDIT:

No caption needed. But as long as Kerry is going to run on what he did in Vietnam, it's fair game to bring up what he did after Vietnam. And that's nothing less than persuade America to turn its back on millions of innocent Vietnamese who lost their freedom and even their lives under the bootheel of Communism. And Kerry smeared his fellow Vietnam veterans, too.

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CONGRATS TO KEVIN HOLTSBERRY

He's got a piece up on NRO today.

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I'VE EATEN MY LAST SUBWAY SANDWICH

Here's why:

Picture this: a gigantic cheeseburger (with tomatoes and lettuce) slamming into two high-rise buildings, as cartoon characters run from the flaming ruins.

It's clearly a takeoff on the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center, and according to the Virginia-based Center for Individual Freedom, the illustration appears on page 18 of a 30-page "food diary" distributed by Subway sandwich shops in Germany.

---

The tray-liners -- a promotion for the film "Super Size Me" -- showed an obese Statue of Liberty holding a burger and fries in her hands, under a headline asking, "Why are Americans so fat?" According to the Center for Individual Freedom, the headline used the word "Amis," which is considered a derogatory term for Americans.

I'd switched my loyalty to Quiznos when one popped up in our neighborhood a few months ago--in spite of the fact that Quiznos used something that looked like roadkill as its mascot for a while. Now I'll go out of my way to avoid Subway.

UPDATE: Subway has surrendered--no more anti-American tray liners in Europe with fat Ladies Liberty and deroguatory names for Americans, and no more questions about "Why are Americans so fat?" Here, by the way, is the German version minus the kaiju-burger destroying buildings. The word "Amis" is apparently an insulting term for Americans. Who knew?

Odd, that they would quote Michael Moore in an ad about fat Americans. Maybe he's a victim of typecasting.

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August 04, 2004

SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH

Have produced this ad. Watch it when you have a minute--it's worth it.

MORE: The left's reaction to the ad, and more importantly the accompanying book Unfit for Command, will be interesting. To date, this is one of only two anti-Kerry books on the market that I'm aware of. Meanwhile President Bush has been subjected to a barrage of negative books, mostly coming from the Viacom publishing empire, itself a gigantic pro-Democrat 527 interest group these days. And then there's F*** 9-11. By the time you add it all up, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that more than a billion dollars has gone into the hard left's efforts to unseat the Bush administration.

From the right, so far we have this one book and one other, published by a relatively small publisher, that are anti-Kerry. I bet Kerry, the DNC, the left and the media will first ignore than then massively assault this book, its author and its publisher. So far they have successfully ignored the other one, The Real John Kerry.

MORE: The Kerry campaign won't be ignoring Unfit for Command. It can't.

George Bates, an officer in Coastal Division 11, participated in numerous operations with Kerry. In UNFIT FOR COMMAND, Bates recalls a particular patrol with Kerry on the Song Bo De River. He is still "haunted" by the incident:

With Kerry in the lead, the boats approached a small hamlet with three or four grass huts. Pigs and chickens were milling around peacefully. As the boats drew closer, the villagers fled. There were no political symbols or flags in evidence in the tiny village. It was obvious to Bates that existing policies, decency, and good sense required the boats to simply move on.

Instead, Kerry beached his boat directly in the small settlement. Upon his command, the numerous small animals were slaughtered by heavy-caliber machine guns. Acting more like a pirate than a naval officer, Kerry disembarked and ran around with a Zippo lighter, burning up the entire hamlet.

Bates has never forgotten Kerry's actions.

Kerry admitted in his 1971 Senate testimony that he had committed war crimes in Vietnam, but only in a sort of backhanded, abstract way. Now the details are emerging. They look like major trouble for the Kerry campaign, which is based almost entirely on his Vietnam service.

UPDATE: Now the DNC and Kerry campaign are suing stations that may run the ad, claiming that several of the men in the ad are imposters and that the doctor who claims to have treated one of Kerry's wounds in Vietnam is not the doctor listed in the medical records.

Who's right? I don't know. This lawsuit may just be an effort to silence the ad through intimidation. We already know intimidation of the press will be a staple Democrat tactic this year. And we have a trial lawyer on the ticket. It makes a certain kind of sense, given the fact that the threat of suit may persuade enough stations to just dump the ad and force others into legal action that may extend past the election, that the intimidation-minded trial lawyer-owned Democrats would concoct a counterattack such as this just to wipe out a damaging ad campaign. But it may also turn out that they actually have a case, and that SBVFT have crossed several very serious lines. I just don't know yet.

My gut tells me it would be beyond idiotic for the Swift Vets to put up imposters in their ad. That kind of thing is too easily discovered and ends up helping its target and hurting its allies. So for now I'm leaning to the intimidation to silence angle.

UPDATE: The early evidence suggests that the intimidation angle is holding up quite well, in that the Kerry/DNC letter is slipshod with the facts:

If you take a look at the letter the Kerry campaign sent, they complain

"Not a single one of them served on either of Senator Kerry's two Swift Boats. Further more the doctor was not a crewmate of Senator Kerry"

"The statements of the phony "crewmates" and "doctor" in the advertisement are totally, demostratably, unequivocally false, and libelous"

Well, I saw the ad and it did not say they were crewmates. It said they served with him and the picture on their site makes it clear that they were "brother" officers. Creating such an easily dispelled strawman as part of your defense does not bode well for the rest of Kerry's case.

Yup. The line about the doctor not being a crewmate occurred to me too--the doctor never claimed to be a crewmate, just that he treated Kerry's wound. None of the other men claimed to be crewmates either, just fellow officers in the same unit, at similar ranks as well as superior and inferior ranks. So the DNC/Kerry letter is unimpressive on the facts. Add to that how suicidally stupid it would be for the vets to use imposters or fakes, and this is shaping up as a truthful ad countered by a dishonest, lawyerly response designed to intimidate rather than straighten the record.

Which means, essentially, the record as depicted in the ad is the real record, or close to it, and it has Kerry running scared.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:20 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

A SIN OF OMISSION

The 9-11 Commission was created to look into all of the lapses, failures and unlucky breaks that swirled into the attacks that started the war. It was also created to recommend changes to prevent future attacks, such as its recommendation for the creation of an intelligence czar that reports to the President on matters related to intel gathering.

That's a bad idea, but I'll leave the why to another post. In brief, suppose the czar is a Richard Clarke type, held over from the previous adminstration. Suppose that czar decides, as Clarke apparently did, that the President is moving in the wrong direction on some intel-related matter. He can wield a terrible sword, in the form of leaks and tell-alls, to derail policies he doesn't like, and as the nexus of US intelligence he will have some devastating tools in his arsenal. And suppose he becomes compromised somehow, either through bribery or through some kind of relationship with a foreign and hostile power (there's no evidence that Clarke did this, I'm just tossing around a very real possibility). We would have a person very close the President, overseeing all of our various intel agencies and their most interesting data, in the pocket of an enemy. It's better in my view to prevent even the possibility of this happening, so I like the present situation--no czar, no bottleneck, no single point of failure for all of our intelligence as it flows into White House policy. Checks and balances and natural competition help ensure that no one person's vision of intelligence will necessarily compromise our entire intelligence community. We're asking for trouble in creating an intelligence czar, imho.

But that's not what this post is about. It's about the 9-11 Commission, and an omission in its final report. That omission concerns our borders with Mexico and Canada.

It's an established fact that we have millions of people in this country who got here by other than legal means. Most of them are hard workers just looking for a better life, but many of them are not, and all of them broke our laws as their means of getting here in the first place. It's an established fact that terrorists are trying to cross into the United States across our land borders with our northern and southern neighbors. It's not a great leap of logic to envision terrorists using the rings of gangsters that smuggle illegals into the US to get themselves and other operatives in, using fake IDs, bribes and the like. The tempo of illegal crossings of all kinds, including terrorists, seems to be on the increase, especially since the Bush administration committed its single biggest error since taking office, the amnesty-lite offered to illegal aliens last year. It's also an established fact the several of the 9-11 hijackers were here illegally. Most had gotten into the US legally, but overstayed their visas.

Given all of these established facts, it's no great leap of logic to understand why the 9-11 Commission, charged both with investigating the attacks as well as recommending ways to prevent future attacks, would take a close look at our borders. But apparently it was too great a leap for the Commission to take.

The final report is here, and searchable. Chris Regan ran a few searches in an attempt to find out what the Commission had reviewed and/or recommended doing about our porous borders.

A search for "Mexico" turns up five paltry references. Not all of them are relevant to immigration; one is actually a reference to a terrorist who lived in New Mexico. Here are the best ones:

Paragraph #1924 (on page 390) Today more than 9 million people are in the United States outside the legal immigration system.We must also be able to monitor and respond to entrances between our ports of entry, working with Canada and Mexico as much as possible.


Paragraph #415 (on page 81)
Congress, with the support of the Clinton administration, doubled the number of Border Patrol agents required along the border with Mexico to one agent every quarter mile by 1999. It rejected efforts to bring additional resources to bear in the north.The border with Canada had one agent for every 13.25 miles. Despite examples of terrorists entering from Canada, awareness of terrorist activity in Canada and its more lenient immigration laws, and an inspector general’s report recommending that the Border Patrol develop a northern border strategy, the only positive step was that the number of Border Patrol agents was not cut any further.

That's very generic stuff. Yes, doubling the number of agents was a good thing, but there's nothing about the "catch and release" system currently in place and which should be abolished.

A search for "border" combined with "immigration" turned up 21 hits, again none very impressive. Here's the 21st:

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), with its 9,000 Border Patrol agents, 4,500 inspectors, and 2,000 immigration special agents, had perhaps the greatest potential to develop an expanded role in counterterrorism. However, the INS was focused on the formidable challenges posed by illegal entry over the southwest border, criminal aliens, and a growing backlog in the applications for naturalizing immigrants.The White House, the Justice Department, and above all the Congress reinforced these concerns. In addition, when Doris Meissner became INS Commissioner in 1993, she found an agency seriously hampered by outdated technology and insufficient human resources. Border Patrol agents were still using manual typewriters; inspectors at ports of entry were using a paper watchlist; the asylum and other benefits systems did not effectively deter fraudulent applicants.

That first sentence is right on the money--INS should have become a top-tier agency and a front-line force in the war. Whether we like it or not, our borders are and will be front lines--the more we attempt to crack down on airline security, the more terrorists will flow toward the path of least resistance, and that is and will be our borders.

The rest of the paragraph is disturbing--INS was hopelessly backward 11 years ago, and was overwhelmed just chasing criminal aliens and processing those that deserved legal status.

So did the 9-11 Commission actually recommend any ways to fix the illegal immigration problem? Does the Commission propose any new or enhanced working arrangements with Mexico to better manage its own side of the border? Does Canada's unbelievably soft immigration system come in for any scrutiny?

No.

We do get some boilerplate on page 389 about taking the lead in strengthening borders around the world and working with friendly states (presumably including Mexico and Canada) to ensure better enforcement, but nothing concrete. We get one concrete recommendation on page 388 about including biometric information in passports, and that recommendation shows up again in one or two more places. It's a fine recommendation, but inadequate. And on page 475 we get one reference to cities that enforce noncooperation of immigration law. That is in itself a huge problem; hundreds of cities across the US routinely flout immigration law by allowing or even mandating that their employees do not report illegal aliens to federal authorities. That practice should be stopped by whatever means are necessary to stop it. If the federal governmen has to withhold every penny it sends to cities, even for activities unrelated to immigration noncooperation, it should do so. If it has to jail mayors who impose noncooperation policies as accessories to crime, it should do so.

But the 9-11 Commission doesn't recommend any real way to deal with it.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

CAPTION THIS PHOTO

Posted by B. Preston at 01:51 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

THE NEW AFGHANISTAN

One of the most important achievements of the war on terrorism--I should start using the term "jihadists," since that's more accurate--has been the destruction of its prime sanctuary in Afghanistan. Without those camps, which ran more or less undisturbed from 1996 to 2001, al Qaeda is surely finding it increasingly difficult to plan the intricate type of attacks that are its signature, and it can't train new recruits to replace those killed or captured during the past few years. In a war of attrition, the side that can't plan and can't train can't win.

So for al Qaeda, along with its political goals of destabilizing or turning US allies and perhaps affecting elections in the US itself, a prime goal must be the establishment of a new Afghanistan, a place of sanctuary where it can place camps to train recruits and formulate new plans.

That new Afghanistan may be the Philippines. And if the Philippines turns into al Qaeda's new sanctuary, what should the US do about it? Especially if, as it seems increasinlgy apparent, the Philippine government is at best turning a blind eye to the terrorist buildup on its soil?

Posted by B. Preston at 12:30 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

MORE MAJOR TERROR ARRESTS

Pakistan has netted 18 more terror operatives.

The latest crackdown has taken Pakistan's Al-Qaeda hunters far from the terror network's traditional sanctuaries in rugged northwest tribal lands bordering Afghanistan (news - web sites) to the dense eastern cities and towns of Punjab, its most populous province.

The captures have also netted "valuable information" from computer records, CDs, emails, detailed maps of Islamabad airport, documents and photos of key financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark.

These successes answer the question of why the Bush administration has just now released information from the series of Pakistani arrests that began on July 12. They were keeping data closely guarded while using it to widen the dragnet and catch more terrorists.

Blogger Ed Morrissey, therefore, is more cogent than former Governor Howard Dean, once a threat to take the presidency, on the issue of terrorism and alerts:

Capturing [Naeem Noor] Khan (the many the press keeps referring to as an al Qaeda "computer geek") may well turn out to be the biggest turn in the war since the fall of the Taliban, as the hard data seized along with Khan has already begun unraveling large parts of the AQ network and shown their strategies for future attacks. The orange alerts announced earlier this week in New York and DC originated in the information Khan carried with him, surveillance data from three years ago which showed that AQ intended on hitting America in its pocketbook again. The data went back three years, but some files had been modified just a few months ago.

Khan's extensive communications data also led to the outing of a "senior" AQ agent in Britain, who has since been arrested. His computers contained detailed information about e-mail addresses and codes which will allow counterterrorism experts to tap into AQ communications, which may force the Islamofascists to abandon Khan's carefully constructed network. Obviously the former case is preferable to the latter, but either way their command and control functions have been seriously damaged, and possibly with it their ability to efficiently finance their cells in the field.

The capture of Khan is not merely just a case of arresting a teen hacker, but perhaps more along the lines of the British capturing the Enigma machine from a Nazi submarine in World War II. It's interesting -- and revealing -- that the press has mostly missed what potentially may be the most significant recent victory in the war.

So far as many as 30 terrorists, in Pakistan and in London, England, have been arrested as a result from the arrest of Khan and the capture of his data. That arrest also led to this week's terror alerts, alerts based not on "old information," but on information currently stored on the computer of a terrorist mastermind and organizer.

Contra the recent "July Surprise" High Value Target scenario, Khan himself wasn't necessarily regarded as a marquee player at the time of his arrest and the press has consistently downplayed his importance. It has only been since scouring his computer, cross-referencing his data with what authorities already knew, and observing current chatter that the others have been rounded up and the al Qaeda network weakened. You just never know who may turn out to be a HVT. And you certainly can't just order one up from the other side of the world.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 03, 2004

JUNKYARDBLOG VS SPOONS

I can't say it's a grudge match, since Spoons and I agree far more often than we disagree.

But we do disagree about the terror alert and whether it was possible for the Bush administration to blunt Deaniac "wag the dog" criticism of it. I don't think any level of detail would have satisfied Howard Dean, the NYT or the usual suspects. Spoons thinks the administration could've blunted the criticism by putting more detail about the age of the information into the initial news releases.

Weigh in if you'd like, or just watch the blood-letting from afar.

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9-10 THINKING IN A 9-11 WORLD

So now we know the terror threat elevation is based at least in part on information that is a few years old. For the record, I'm in perfect agreement with Michelle Malkin on this: Not new doesn't mean no threat.

Predictably, Howard Dean and the New York Times have stepped up to play the political angle, essentially accusing the Bush administration of raising the threat level to give itself a boost in the polls. That is apparently the only glass through which Dean and the Times see the world--a lens that makes every thing including the breath in our lungs political.

Before long we'll probably hear from Al Gore, who will somehow connect a few extra cops to a Bush gulag and say we've been betrayed by leaders issuing warnings meant to protect us.

The behavior of these folks is unsurprising. They are no longer serious people. To them everything is political, so they naturally assume that everything is political to everyone else, too. The terror alert can't mean what the administration says it means, so it must mean we're being had, there is no threat and Bush just wants to scare people into re-electing him.

The funny things, at our nation's most vulnerable moment, Bush did the exact opposite of what you would expect from a power-hungry politician who only cares about re-election, the kind of politician Dean et al seem to think he is.

In the days following 9-11, we were a vulnerable people. We could have been persuaded to do many things, even irreversible things, that would have enhanced the president's powers at the expense of our freedoms. There was talk of national ID cards, of various legal policies that would have curbed our liberties, and it wasn't hard to find majorities in support of some of them. It was in that climate that the much-maligned Patriot Act was passed almost without dissent. Even left-wing enviros were talking about allowing drilling in ANWR just to separate us from the Middle Eastern snakepit. In that environment, it would have been all to easy for a clever and power-mad president to seize more authority to himself. But what did President Bush do?

He told us to go on vacation.

Remember that? He told us to live our lives, go to restaurants, and help get the economy moving again after the trauma of 9-11. He told us the terrorists who took down those buildings would hear us all soon.

He didn't seize power then, and he won't do it now. He earned our trust back then, and only a sustained campaign of smears and lies ever since has eroded it. He hasn't done a thing to harm that trust he won.

But this week the administration issues a terror alert, and is met with skepticism because the threat was based in part on information that is a few years old.

So what? 9-11 was several years in the making. Every single other major al Qaeda attack took years to plan and execute. If we're finding information dating to 2001 about targets that have not been attacked, all that means is that we may be overdue for that attack. Terrorist intel doesn't have a sell-by date. If the terrorists are still alive and active, and we have information that they were planning something, chances are that if they haven't attacked the operative word should be "yet." They haven't attacked yet.

To accuse the administration of playing politics with terror alerts, or to even suggest that somehow the age of the information in this case means the alert may not have been warranted, is to express 9-10 thinking in a 9-11 world.

We're at war with an enemy that doesn't meet us on battlefields. This enemy is like a spider. He spins his webs and waits for just the right moment before attacking his prey. He will wait half a year or half a decade if he has to, but as long as he is alive and free he will wait, and when given the chance, he will strike.

The terror alert is a reflection of the fact that our government understands this enemy, and that it wants to inform us and include us in the response to the enemy. It is also a reflection of the impossible politics of the age, a politics that will damn the administration for alerting us to an attack that might not happen, but will also damn the administration for being any less responsive to any threats. The administration has chosen to accept the criticism of the alert rather than risk the lives of its citizens by keeping us in the dark. I think the administration made the right choice. One wonders what Dean would do if he was president.

Politics such as Dean's are the thinner in our blood, turning every small scrape into a life-threatening gush. With people like Dean around, we can't even alert our people to real threats without getting polluted with politics and eroding confidence that we can meet the threat. In fact Dean doesn't even seem to think there is a threat at all, or at least not one worth worrying about. We dodged a bullet when the voters rejected him.

The terror alert is all too real. It has been since long before 9-11, and will be until we win this war. The administration hasn't played politics with the war before, and won't do it now. It is the administrations critics who are politicizing every aspect of this war, from terror alerts to the Patriot Act to the necessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

KEYES VS OBAMA?

Former Ambassador Alan Keyes is "open to the idea" of jumping into the Illinois Senate race to take on Barack Obama.

Cool.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:05 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

INCREASING THREAT FROM THE AXIS OF EVIL

If we were a serious country, this should worry us:

North Korea is developing a pair of new ballistic missile systems, including a sea-launched model which could soon enable the Stalinist state to target the United States, a leading military publication said Tuesday. "Both these new land and sea-based systems appreciably expand the ballistic missile threat presented by the DPRK," a report in Jane's Defence Weekly said, using the official name for the country, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The version of the missile capable of being launched from submarines or ships "is potentially the most threatening", Janes's said.

The report goes on to note that the North Koreans purchased a dozen decommed Russian subs in 1993, and those subs were capable of firing ballistic missiles prior to the sale. It's entirely possible that the North Koreans have spent the last 11 years bringing those submarines back to full capability. Which means it's now possible that Kim Jong-Il could park ballistic subs withing firing range of the continental United States.

And thanks to the Jimmy Carter-negotiated 1994 Agreed Framework that allowed the Norks to keep developing nuclear weapons in secret, in the near term Kim can probably put nuclear warheads on those missiles.

Or he could sell them:

It was unknown if Pyongyang had attempted to sell this system to any other countries, Jane's added.

However Iran "would appear to be the ideal customer for both the land and sea-based versions, given its requirement for a system capable of striking Israel from the security of its own territory".

Terrific. And so far, John Kerry has signalled that if elected president, he'll bring back a bunch of Clinton foreign policy retreads, who were themselves proteges of Carter retreads. And it was Carter who negotiated the 1994 deal with North Korea. Just terrific.

(thanks to Chris)

Posted by B. Preston at 10:57 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

DAGNABBIT

After yesterday's first blush with what passes for a Kerry national security strategy, I was all set to write up a pretty serious and very critical review of same.

But no need. The AP is already on the case. And Ed Morrissey is already on the AP's case. In the blogosphere, you snooze, you lose. Both make hash out of Kerry's secret plan to end the war.

But I still may undertake a review of Kerry's national security strategy. Sneak preview: No terrorist will quake in fear at the thought of a Kerry presidency. Neither will the mullahs.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

GEN. TOMMY FRANKS

Makes the case that the "Mission Accomplished" speech was intended to attract more international support for the Iraq operation.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2004

SHOVE IT

Compare this:

Aug. 2, 2004 - U.S. News and World Report (8/9, Bedard) reports in its "Washington Whispers" column, "Reporters, beware: The Democratic Party is revamping its lovey-dovey approach and telling campaign press secretaries to come down like a ton of bricks if you screw up or slip in a little attitude. 'When it comes to the media,' suggests Democratic strategist James Carville, 'intimidation works.' He offers a tactic: 'Send E-mails to the press. They do respond to pressure.' That message was part of the training new campaign press secretaries were given in Boston last week during the party's convention." Press secretaries were urged to "bully the reporter and cow the newsie into tossing you a bone, or hit hard and scare him into changing his tone and coverage."

With this:

Shove it, (expletive)!" one fellow told me as I walked down a Boston street. "You're the (expletive) who called Mrs. Kerry 'un-American,' " a girl told me in Boston Common.

And once the DNC's liberal attack machine was fully cranked, the e-mails and telephone calls started.

"I hope you burn in hell," read one e-mail. "You're a (expletive) Nazi," went another. "Teresa should have told you to go (expletive) yourself," another friendly e-mailer offered. And these were among the milder communiques; those that included death threats will be forwarded to the senders' respective hometown police departments.

One of my daughters back in Pittsburgh was brought to tears by a caller to our house. The clever woman identified herself as a Washington reporter seeking to interview me but then embarked on a filthy tirade. It seems a member of the Heinz Kerry Civility Enforcement Patrol posted our home address and telephone number on the response part of my convention blog.

As I struggled to close this column with something profound, an e-mail popped up from my oldest brother in faraway Ohio.

"From what I'm hearing on late-night radio, the liberal definition of a 'strong woman' is one who abuses anyone who asks a question she doesn't want to answer," he wrote. "A strong conservative woman would have come up with an example of how the questioner's paper had misrepresented the truth about her candidate or position."

Of course, Teresa Heinz Kerry didn't do that because she couldn't.

That said, and as I shove off from Boston, I'm still waiting for the answer to my question of Sunday night last.

His--the he being reporter Colin McNickle of the Pittsburg Tribune-Review--question was about why Teresa Heinz Kerry injected the phrases "un-Pennsylvanian" and "un-American" into a speech she had given earlier in the day. She refused to answer the question, lied that she hadn't said what she had said and was in fact recorded, then told the reporter to "Shove it."

And that's when the campaign of verbal terrorism began, including calls to the man's family at home.

We have intent to terrorize, in the first link. And we have the actual terrorism, in the second. Both the intent and the act are apparently coming straight from the DNC and the Kerry campaign.

Nice people. Let's let them run the country.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:22 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

BE AFRAID

The Kerry people, those who would make up a Kerry administration, are--how to put this politely?--extremely stupid. From an interview with Jamie Rubin, a Kerry foreign policy advisor.

John Kerry regards an Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism armed with nuclear weapons as unacceptable. He has a multiple-part strategy that is much more realistic than the Bush administration's. One is to rejoin and work through the international legal framework on arms control. That will give greater force to the major powers if they have to deal with violators. Secondly, he has laid out, I think in the most comprehensive way in modern memory, a program to secure nuclear materials around the world—particularly in the former Soviet Union but also in the places where research reactors have existed that could be susceptible to proliferation. The point is to try to prevent Iran from ever getting this material surreptitiously. Thirdly, he has proposed that rather than letting the British, the French and the Germans do this themselves, that we together call the bluff of the Iranian government, which claims that its only need is energy. And we say to them: "Fine, we will provide you the fuel that you need if Russia fails to provide it." Participating in such a diplomatic initiative makes it more likely to succeed.

A Kerry administration would just go ahead and give the Iranian mullahs nuclear fuel? Just give it to them? Give nuclear fuel to a terrorist state? That's not calling anyone's bluff, it's suicidal. The only thing such a diplomatic initiatice is likely to succeed in doing is kicking Iran's nuclear weapons program into overdrive.

This idea is so dumb it could only come from the same kind of Democrats who tried the same idiotic tack with North Korea ten years ago. We all know how well that's turning out.

And then there's this little Nixonian gem from Kerry himself:

Kerry accused President Bush of misleading the country before the war in Iraq, burning bridges with U.S. allies and having no plan to win peace. But when questioned about saying Thursday in his acceptance speech, "I know what we have to do in Iraq," he would not tip his hand.

"I've been involved in this for a long time, longer than George Bush," he said. "I've spent 20 years negotiating, working, fighting for different kinds of treaties and different relationships around the world. I know that as president there's huge leverage that will be available to me, enormous cards to play, and I'm not going to play them in public. I'm not going to play them before I'm president."

Yeah, John Cut-N-Run Kerry has a secret plan to end the war. And I've got $30 billion in a Nigerian bank account, and if you'd just let me put it in your account for a while I'll give you ten percent.

Kerry's plan, such that it is, amounts to reducing US troops strength on the notion that the UN will magically insert its own troops. Someone should tell Kerry that the bulk of UN troops are actually US troops with blue hats on.

Or perhaps his plan is along the lines of the one he backed for Saigon circa 1975. We all know how well that turned out, too. Or maybe it's along the lines of Kerry's 20 years in the Senate--obstruct the US at every turn while comparing every move to Vietnam. Which, by the way, he helped us lose.

Whatever. Did you realize we're at war? The junior senator from Massachussetts had to be reminded:

On domestic issues, Kerry gave a "rock hard" pledge not to raise middle-class taxes if he becomes president, though he said a national emergency or war could change that.

Reminded that the country is at war already, Kerry said, "We're going to reduce the burden in this war, and if we do what we need to do for our economy, we're going to grow the tax base of our country."

Reminded that the country is at war already...? This man wants to be President of the United States?

MORE: Be very, very afraid. Rubin's comment, the one about just giving nuclear fuel to Iran to call its bluff (which isn't a bluff, by the way--they really want nukes), wasn't some off-the-cuff gaffe. It's part of John Kerry's national security plan. Egads!

It is critical that we work with our allies to resolve these issues and lead a global effort to prevent Iran from obtaining the technology necessary to build nuclear weapons. Iran claims that its nuclear program is only to meet its domestic energy needs. John Kerry's proposal would call their bluff by organizing a group of states to offer Iran the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they cannot divert it to build a weapon. If Iran does not accept this offer, their true motivations will be clear.

The Kerry Kampers obviously aren't poker players. Calling someone's bluff is something you do when you play poker. You call someone's bluff when you know, or at least highly suspect, that they have no real cards to play or that their cards are inferior to yours at the moment. The person bluffing, though, is bluffing because they want to win and know their hand is essentially junk.

Does Iran think its hand, as it sits across the table from the United States, is junk? Is Iran really stone cold bluffing? I doubt it. What they're doing is called semi-bluffing and hoping that our fear will buy them the cards they need to beat us.

Iran sits in the middle of the war zone, with Iraq on one side, Afghanistan on the other, and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan within easy reach. Iran knows that the United States has to win in all four of these contested states, and eventually within Iran itself, to win the war. All Iran has to do is keep the pot boiling in any one of the contested states, or destabilize any state allied to us, and the tension alone will be enough to divide us along ideological lines and effectively paralyze our ability to act. Iran may be holding a single ace but they're on a draw and need more cards to beat us; we have a real hand with aces in the pocket. We can play our hand well and win, or we can play stupid and lose. And we're clearly dealing with an enemy that knows how to play their cards better than John Kerry.

The entire world knows that Iran has no hand right now but they're about to draw a couple more cards to complete their "nuclear flush" if we allow it. We'll then have to back off and acknowledge they're now holding nuclear power in their hand. But since we have the best hand right now the Bush Administration is properly putting the pressure back on them. Why in the world would John Kerry give them the free cards they need to beat us? The correct play in calling an early bluff is to raise the stakes right now and force them to fold their potential winner. But Kerry would just hand them our stack of chips and call it a day. So long, and thanks for all the Aces.

This Iran policy, if you can call it a policy, is either naive in the extreme or a product of oppositionist thinking--the Bush people are for this, so we're against it, and they're against this, so we're for it--devoid of any underlying principle. Or maybe they just really like the thought of giving the same people who seized American hostages in 1979 and held them for more than a year getting their hands on nukes.

After all, it's not as though we have any doubt about Iran's intentions. Every intel agency seems to agree that Iran isn't pursuing nuclear power generation, but a weapons program.

Perhaps, then, the bluff-calling works like this. The Kerry people believe Iran. They're taking the mullahs at their word when the mullahs say they only want a nuclear program to generate electricity, even while the IAEA, the US, UK, Britian, France, Germany and everyone else is skeptical. So in calling Iran's bluff, the Kerry people hope to prove to the rest of us that Iran's intentions are benign. Maybe? It makes as much sense as just offering them nuclear fuel, doesn't it?

If that's the case, the Kerry national security strategy takes as fact the Iranian view, not the American or European or even UN view. Call it reverse unilateralism--Kerry is not only going it alone, but taking the enemy's point of view.

Sort of like he did in Vietnam.

If that's the case, be very, very afraid. The Iranians would respond to the Kerry offer by accepting the fuel, just like the North Koreans did in 1994. The Kerry people would be happy, even consider themselves vindicated--"See, they just wanted the fuel, nothing to fear, move along."

BANG! There goes New York. BANG! There goes Tel Aviv. Half the Jews in the world are now dead, and the United States and Israel are gravely destabilized. Would we retailate, if Iran had managed to keep its fingerprints off the actual attack? Kerry's other ruminations on the war don't inspire confidence that he would take the chance.

Trust Kerry, who trusts the mullahs. And you'll be dead.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:14 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

BUSH SETS HIMSELF UP FOR A BIG FALL

What would happen if a) terrorists strike between now and the election, and b) we learned that those terrorists attacked us by first crossing into the United States from Mexico? What would the political fallout be from that set of circumstances?

I think it would be very devastating, and in fact would probably end George W. Bush's presidency. The Bush administration can't say it wasn't warned. And they also can't say that the signs of disaster weren't obvious:

Releasing undocumented immigrants to roam freely in the U.S. is "a terrible policy," U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla told Del Rio and Eagle Pass leaders during a press conference in Del Rio Friday, and announced he is asking the Department of Homeland Security to take a hard look at the issue.

"If these people were being released in your neighborhood I am sure you would be outraged. This is happening in the communities I represent and I am outraged," Bonilla said in a letter Thursday to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Bonilla released copies of the letter during his press conference Friday.

More than 5,200 illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico (often referred to as OTMs) have been processed in the Del Rio Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol since January 2004, Bonilla said. Of that number more than 4,400 - about 85 percent - have been subsequently released in the Del Rio Sector.

Bonilla said a total of 15,000 such undocumented immigrants have been released in Texas since the beginning of the year.

15,000 illegal aliens from contries other than Mexico. Most likely, they're from further south of the Rio Grande--Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, etc. But if even a handful are from further afield?

Bonilla said cities like Del Rio and Eagle Pass are at the forefront of the Department of Homeland Security's "Capture and Release" program. Once undocumented OTM immigrants are detained and processed, each is given what Bonilla called "Own Recognizance" or "OR" papers, which give the immigrant the right to stay in the United States until their immigration court hearing.

"It is estimated that more than 85 percent of illegal immigrants released do not return for the scheduled court date," Bonilla said.

The congressman charged that "many illegal immigrants are freely giving themselves up to the Border Patrol and in some cases, seeking out agents so they can receive the OR papers to legally enter the United States."

Bonilla also charged that the OTM release program represents a threat to U.S. security. "Terrorists can take advantage of this policy by posing as a person of South American descent and easily enter the United States," he said.

And why wouldn't they? Why wouldn't terrorists try this very trick? Our border with Mexico represents the path of least resistance into the US, and as airport security ratchets up here and around the world, it makes more and more sense for terrorists to try and exploit this gaping hole in our defenses. And it's a hole we keep enlarging every chance we get.

And the terrorists have apparently caught on. They planned to attack in New Mexico earlier this year. And then there's the recent Texas arrest:

A woman was arrested in Texas last month on immigration violations and is being investigated for possible terrorist ties. The incident has highlighted the state's location on the Mexican border, where some worry that people hostile to the United States could try to enter as part of an attack plot. The woman was picked up at the McAllen airport in preparation to board a flight to New York with nearly $7,000 in cash, The Associated Press has reported.

McAllen is down in deep south Texas, just this side of the border with Mexico. And don't forget the other major Texas terrorist case, just over a year ago:

An Iraqi-terror team armed with hundreds of millions of dollars tried to hire smugglers to sneak them into the U.S. through Mexico this month in an attempt to ''get to'' President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News.

The unidentified members of the Iraqi ''hit squad'' reportedly asked a Mexican doctor and a lawyer to change about $100 million in Iraqi dinars into about $325 million in U.S. currency.

The "Texas White House" in Crawford is where the president and first lady Laura Bush spend most of their downtime. The 1,600-acre Prairie Chapel Ranch is nestled in the central Texas scrubland and was where the president wooed world leaders into his ''coalition of the willing'' against Saddam Hussein.

The Iraqi dictator tried to assassinate Bush's father, the former President George H.W. Bush, in 1993, while he was attending ceremonies in Kuwait to celebrate the success of the Gulf War.

And then there's this report, from Pravda of all places:

The influx of thousands of illegal aliens, including members of the infamous drug cartels, is bad enough. But others are slipping into the United States as well.

A Border Patrol spokesman has confirmed that since Oct. 1, 2003, 5,510 illegal aliens designated as "Other Than Mexican" (OTM) have been apprehended while crossing the rugged terrain in southern Arizona. The term actually means "other than Mexico or other central and South American countries," the spokesman said.
So just who are, and from where, is this invading force of encroachers coming from?

"Can"t tell you that", said Border Patrol spokesman Andy Adame when queried by the Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper yesterday. Agent Adame declined to say what countries the OTM illegals are from, although he admitted detainees include "people from all over the world." Adame added, "We apprehend them, process them, and turn them over to [the U.S. Department of] Homeland Security and the FBI and that is all I can say."

Fasten your seatbelt: It gets considerably worse!

Three independent sources within the Border Patrol's uniformed division - agents who patrol the Arizona outback in the dark of night - told the Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper that a significant amount of the OTMs are of Middle Eastern extraction.

Border Patrol denies that any of the OTMs were Middle Easterners, fwiw.

The problem for Bush in all of this is two-fold. First, any attack on US soil between now and the election will throw everything in doubt. He is running on a platform of having made America safer, and on continuing to make us safer--an attack will cast serious doubt on how effective he has been. But more importantly, last year President Bush proposed a sort of amnesty-lite for illegals. His voluntary work documentation program hasn't had the effect he intended, which was to get illegal aliens to step forward and get themselves documented, but has sounded a clarion call for anyone in Mexico or points further south that it's essentially open season to come here by any means. Once here, they will find it easier to stay, thanks to the Bush amnesty-lite plan. And that's true whether they have come here planning to pick fruit or plant bombs.

The Democrats have already positioned themselves to take advantage should terrorists strike from across the Mexican border. During last week's gathering of the forces of MooreGore, several notable Democrats included references in their speeches to securing the nation's borders--Hillary Clinton was probably the most noteworthy among that group. It's an easy, painless and free line for them to toss out--What reasonable person doesn't want secure borders? Should terrorists strike between now and November, and should that strike have been accomplished across the Mexican border, Clinton and others will wag a very large finger and say a very loud "I told you so!"

And for once in their miserable little lying lives, they'll be right.

And where does that leave the President? He offered amnesty, which attracted thousands to cross into America illegally, and some of those will have been the terrorists who attacked us. The Democrats will charge that he isn't keeping us safe, that he gave terrorists a map to get here, and further that "his wars" are part of the problem too. They get to beat down Bush's entire war strategy from here to Iraq in one pop, since he hasn't sold his broader multinational efforts to the public yet. He will have been shown a fraud on national security at its most basic--right at our own borders. For the sake of his friendship with Mexican President Vincente Fox, President George W. Bush will have turned an attack in Texas or New Mexico or anyplace else--provided it had Mexican roots--into his own Madrid.

If you're the terrorist, or in the darkest place of their hearts, a Bush-hating Democrat, you're praying for a terrorist strike with Mexican roots between now and November. It could turn the war--or your electoral fortunes--around entirely.

(thanks to Chris)

MORE: And read Michelle Malkin today, too.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack