August 13, 2004


Former Senator Bob Kerrey needs to wash his mouth out with soap.

(thanks to Chris)

Posted by B. Preston at 03:44 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Historian Doug Brinkley--who is starting to deserve scare quotes around his title--is going to bat for not-JFK. Old story, told over several decades: Not-JFK spent Christmas 1968 in Cambodia, an event which was seared--seared--into his memory. New story: It was actually January and February 1969, and was evidently not seared--not seared--into not-JFK's memory.

Captain Ed notes the convenience of the new version: It takes Kerry boatmate and critic Steve Gardner off the table, since he was no longer on Kerry's boat in January and February of 1969. Convenience angle #2, not mentioned elsewhere, is that when not-JFK began circulating the Cambodia tale some years back he used it to blast Reagan Central America policies (policies that have resulted in the democratization of that region, incidentally), referring to presidential lies about non-involvement Cambodia. He blamed President Nixon by name several times, though Nixon wasn't in office until January 1969. Which just happens to fit the new version of events. So it's a two-fer: Cut your critic off at the knees, and shift blame for the clandestine missions (and the "lies" surrounding them) from Democrat LBJ to Republican RM Nixon. Nicely done. It's still a lie, and an unconvincing lie at that, but it achieves its aims.

See InstaPundit for more, including the observation that the press has not engaged in a feeding frenzy even though a major presidential candidate has been caught lying about his war record, and that lie was formulated to affect national policy from 1986 forward. Can you imagine similar treatment accorded George W. Bush? Not bloody likely.

My lone unique angle to this story is on the credibility of Douglas Brinkley, historian, so allow me to flog that for a moment. Brinkley wrote the 2004, election season hagiography of not-JFK, Tour of Duty. I haven't read the book, but to pull an Eric Muller and judge by its title and cover, it's about not-JFK's four month stint in Vietnam. Big surprise. But Brinkley failed to mention the Cambodian cruise, now cruises, at all. In today's attempt to rehabilitate not-JFK's credibility--shot full of holes like a Swift boat running around the Mekong delta--Brinkley cites entries from not-JFK's diaries that have heretofore been unmentioned in all these years. And they just happen to give not-JFK this convenient two-fer with Gardner and Nixon. Are you buying that? I'm having a hard time with it. If Brinkley is just making this up to help his friend not-JFK, he's searing--searing--his own credibility as a historian. We need paperwork--military records, not-JFK's actual journal with the entries, something. Otherwise, it looks to me like Brinkley is giving his friend a big boost with a big whopper. Historians aren't supposed to do that.

MORE: I've had a minute to sit and think about the New Cambodia Tale--complete with Green Berets, SEALs and CIA--and it's full of holes. 1) In 1986 Kerry claimed that the reason the event was seared--seared--into his memory was that the President of the United States was lying about his presence in Cambodia. But, not-JFK now claims to have been on covert missions into Cambodia. Think about that word--covert. Did he expect the president to tell the world about it? Wouldn't that sort of negate the whole covert thing? Just askin'.

2) There are about a hundred better ways to insert covert--there's that word again--operators into action than a slow, 50-ft boat that rattles loud enough to wake the dead as it moves upriver. I'm not saying that covert operators never used Swift boats, just that it seems unlikely at first blush. I'd think a disguise and a sampan would have been better transport than an obviously American coastal patrol boat.

3) Not-JFK is starting to look like Walter Mitty, in a big way. First there's the whole JFK stuff, there's the marrying rich women stuff, and now we have him cruising upriver with all manner of Special Forces and intel operators--services that didn't work together in the Vietnam era in quite the way they work together now. There was a bit more inter-service rivalry back then. I seriously doubt the Army would put Green Berets on a Navy patrol boat for insertion into Cambodia back then. Especially when the Army could just procure other means of independently inserting its SF troops into action. I'm not saying not-JFK's version is impossible. It just doesn't seem likely.

4) Why didn't he brag about all this stuff in his bio? Doug Brinkley isn't looking like much of historian. He didn't chase any of this stuff down for that book of his.

UPDATE: Interesting. Swift boats did carry SEALs, and in January and February of 1969, but not to Cambodia. No CIA. No Green Berets, though he did carry that Rassman guy once. But not to Cambodia.

MORE: Even more interesting:

Finally, concerning the assertion that Mr. Kerry was shot at by the Khmer Rouge during his Christmas 1968 visit to Cambodia, it should be noted that the Khmer Rouge didn't take the field until the Easter Offensive of 1972, when the Vietnamese forces that had attacked the Cambodians initially in March 1970 pulled out of Cambodia to attack the U.S. and Vietnamese forces in Vietnam. Only Vietnamese Communist soldiers were found on the battlefields of Cambodia in 1970-72.

Not-JFK had better get Historian Brinkley on the phone. Looks like they need another re-write.

MORE: The media is going to need a re-write on this whole escapade too--if it ever gets around to covering it.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:27 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack


Former New York Mayor Ed Koch endorses:

As mayor of New York City, I described myself as "a liberal with sanity." It troubled me that over the years, the Democratic Party had drifted toward the radical left. The vast majority of registered Democrats, and those who identify with that party, were and are moderates. As mayor and in the years since I left public office, I made it my mission to strengthen the Democratic Party by moving it closer to the center.


Now, for the first time in my life, I am going to vote for a Republican candidate for president, the incumbent, George W. Bush. I voted for Al Gore in 2000. I was one of the few Democratic leaders who supported Gore in the 1988 presidential Democratic primary when Michael Dukakis received 45 percent of the primary vote in New York City, Gore 7 percent, and Jesse Jackson carried the City with 46 percent.

With his endorsement of Howard Dean in this year’s primary and his strident speeches calling President Bush a liar, Gore has certainly demonstrated that he has moved considerably to the left since his defeat.

Why have I endorsed George W. Bush when I don't agree with him on a single domestic issue? Because I believe the issue of international terrorism trumps all other issues. I don't believe the Democratic Party has the stomach and commitment to deliver on this issue.

I believe terrorism will be with us for many years to come. So long as Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd are considered major leaders of the Democratic Party, and so long as we have radical candidates like Howard Dean, whose radical-left supporters have been described by the press as "Deaniacs," the Democratic Party will be limited in its ability to serve the country well in times of crisis.

The GOP needs to make maximum hay of Koch, Zell Miller and any other Democrat who crosses the line to support Bush this year. Not in any exploitive way--that would backfire, the Democrats in question would rightly bristle, it would be a mess. There's a simple and effective way to capitalize on the crossover trickle and maybe turn it into a flood.

Two years ago Republican Congressman Bob Erhlich ran for governor of Maryland. Maryland's a Democrat state, but after 8 years of corruption with Gov. Parris Glendenning and facing a weak Lt. Gov. as his opponent, the well-regarded and undefeated Ehrlich had a decent shot at winning. But Maryland Democrats have a two-to-one registration advantage over Republicans in the state--winning here for any Republican, even one as charismatic as Ehrlich, would be tough.

About three months before the election, Ehrlich pulled even with his opponent, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, which in itself was a shocker and reflected the fact that Democrats were considering him seriously. They had to be, since it would be impossible for Ehrlich to be within ten points of KKT without significant Democrat support.

At about the same time, a new breed of political bumper sticker began to appear. It said: Another Democrat For Ehrlich. All they had done was take Ehrlich's dark blue stickers with the bold white lettering and add the "Another Democrat For" line in smaller white type across the top. These stickers started appearing everywhere--there were soon more of them around than the old type without the "Another..." line.

Ehrlich pulled ahead and won the race, and I think the "Another..." stickers had a lot to do with it. They gave the appearance--legitimately--that there was a Democrat groundswell building for the Republican candidate. They made it acceptable for moderate Democrats to give Ehrlich a serious look, and to vote for him. And they did.

This year several prominent Democrats have crossed the line to support Bush. BC04 needs to capitalize on it and make it acceptable for moderate Democrats to give Bush a serious look. "Another Democrat For Bush" campaign materials may be one small way to do that.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


VDH nails it. I know from personal experience:

In short, the Left hates George W. Bush for who he is rather than what he does. Southern conservatism, evangelical Christianity, a black-and-white worldview, and a wealthy man's disdain for elite culture — none by itself earns hatred, of course, but each is a force multiplier of the other and so helps explain the evolution of disagreement into pathological venom.

September 11 cooled the furor of these aristocratic critics, but Iraq re-ignited it. Not voting for George Bush is, of course understandable and millions in fact will do precisely that. But for those haters who demonize the man, their knee-jerk disgust tells us far more about their own shallow characters than it does anything about our wartime president.

As a Texan transplanted to the Mid-Atlantic I've run into the kind of bigotry Hanson describes, especially since I work around academia where ignorant bigotry of the right kind can be a badge of distinction and even honor. Thanks to a few years in broadcasting my speech is unaccented unless I'm tired or just not in the mood to maintain the clip, and I hardly come off as the stereotypical Southerner. That allows me into conversations and situations that George W. Bush, with his authentic midwest Texas accent, could never get into. From those conversations, I can confirm what Hanson is saying: The left elites just hate traditional Southerners, and Texans most of all. If you're a Christian, expect the hatred to double. Intolerance and bigotry are alive and thriving--against Southerners and Christians, and coming from the liberal elites. And the not-so-liberal elites, if you read Andrew Sullivan just about any day of the week.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:31 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack


Jordan has become a regional allied training center:

Jordan's command and staff college has overseen the training of thousands of Iraqi military and security force cadets. The kingdom's police academy has also been responsible for the training of Iraqi police.

But Jordan's military has also been training U.S. and NATO forces in
Arabic language and cultural skills. Officials said the courses have been
meant to provide Western forces with skills to operate in the Middle East,
particularly Iraq.


Pakistan authorities arrested five more suspected members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network in the past 48 hours, including "valuable targets," a senior government official said Thursday.

He said the arrests were made during raids in different parts of the country and that the detainees were being questioned in efforts to capture other al-Qaida members.

Posted by B. Preston at 07:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2004


Hm. An interesting side battle may be brewing in the war:

Australia is a bigger terrorist target and its reputation in the Middle East has been harmed by its participation in the invasion of Iraq, according to Iran's top security official.

After talks with Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Hassan Rowhani suggested Australia's standing could be improved by following Spain in withdrawing from Iraq. The head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council said the occupation of Iraq was provoking terrorism and the United States should withdraw.

This looks like a very thinly veiled threat to me. If it is, Iran is unmasking itself as being exactly what the US has long accused it of being, which is the world's leading terror sponsor. Australia's next election will probably be in October. It looks like Iran could be making ready for a Madrid-style election eve party.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Looks like it:

NEW YORK -- NewsChannel 4 has learned that New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey is planning on stepping down from office after more than 2 years of service.

Which political party does he belong to?

The news story doesn't say.

But Google does. He's a Deaniac Democrat.

When John Rowland resigned as governor of Connecticut, CNN made sure to work in his party affiliation in the third paragraph. That would be because Rowland was a Republican.

MORE: Here's another story that fails to mention McGreevey's party affiliation. For what it's worth.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:07 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


See red kick butt.

MORE: Bush bobbles his way to victory!

The Charleston (SC) RiverDogs, Fort Myers (FL) Miracle, Hudson Valley (NY) Renegades, St. Paul (MN) Saints, Brockton (MA) Rox, and Sioux Falls (SD) Canaries and a stadium near Yale University - where both contenders studied - teamed up to provide the country with a unique campaign event.

The promotion is being sponsored by The Goldklang Group, an ownership, management and consulting firm based in New Jersey.

Each club gave away a number of bobblehead dolls (ranging from 1,000-2,500), half of which were the Republican candidate, President George W. Bush, and the other half the presumptive Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry.


As fans pass through stadium turnstiles, they were directed to
election booths. Once inside, had the option of casting their vote
for President Bush or Senator Kerry. For participating in the voting, they
received the Bobblehead doll of their choosing. When one candidate
ran out of Bobbleheads, he was declared the winner of that ballpark’s
Bobblection. The other candidate’s remaining dolls were then counted in order to get an accurate measure of the margin of victory.

Polls closed at 9 p.m. (EDT) and at the end of the night George Bush was declared the winner, having won 4 out of the 7 stadiums although with only a small margin of victory overall in total votes: 52-to-48 percent.

Take that, liberals!

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


Here's my entry in the Mudville Gazette's contest:

The young lieutenant beached the SWIFT boat he commanded and ordered his crewmates and their uninvited guest to disembark and set up camp. The uninvited guest stayed aboard, squatting near the stern like some kind of grizzled Buddha figure. He kept his boonie hat pulled low over his eyes as he pulled another drag on his stubby cigar. The crew’s mutt, VC, bounded out of the boat and ran up and down the beach, chasing flies and lizards.

As the other men went about setting up camp, one leaned into the young lieutenant and asked “What do we know about him, anyway?”

“Nothing. He told me to call him ‘Joe.’ Told me to take the boat across the border into Cambodia—even though President-elect Nixon’s says we’re not here—and then he’d tell me what we’d do next. Other than that, you know as much as I do.”

“Is it just me, or does he seem kinda mean?”

“No, he’s mean all right. I hear he once killed a man just for snoring too loud.”

The enlisted man cursed under his breath and drifted to where the others were working on the bivouac. The young lieutenant suddenly realized he was thirsty, and walked the few steps over to the camp to find something to drink. By some miracle, the men had managed to bring a case of Coca-Cola. The young lieutenant pulled a bottle from the case, popped the top and prepared to slake his thirst. It sure didn't feel like Christmas, swatting flies in this sweltering heat.

‘Joe’ suddenly stood, and though he tried to give off the air of a man of action ready for his mission, the young lieutenant could tell the man was tired to his bones. The way he carried his raincoat—draped over his slumped shoulder—and the way he shuffled his feet as he moved betrayed his fatigue.

‘Joe’ wordlessly slouched past the Swifties and headed for the jungle a few yards away, his gait heavy and slow. The young lieutenant, sensitive even in the midst of war, recognized that perhaps ‘Joe’ was as thirsty as he was.

“Hey Joe.”

The uninvited guest turned and looked, annoyance plain on his face, at the young lieutenant.

“Here.” The young lieutenant stretched out his hand, offering the untouched Coke to the beleaguered stranger.

To everyone’s surprise, ‘Joe’ stepped forward and took the Coke. For the first time since they had met him a few days earlier, the man attempted half a smile. The young lieutenant’s eyes rounded like giant saucers, and a grin split his face. ‘Joe’ put his head back and downed the Coke in one long gulp, then turned back toward the jungle and his appointment without a word.

The young lieutenant wilted.

‘Joe’ took a few steps, then stopped. He half turned back toward the young lieutenant, who had turned away to hide his dejection.

“Hey, kid.” The young lieutenant turned toward the stranger calling him. “Catch.”

With that, the stranger took off his hat and tossed it like a frisbee to the dejected young lieutenant.

The young lieutenant beamed. “Thanks, mean Joe.”

Without another word, ‘Joe’ disappeared into the Cambodian wilds, never to be seen again. The young lieutenant clutched the hat to his breast and sighed. He knew he would never part with this hat, which he now treasured above the pair of Purple Hearts he had already earned.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Don't ever, ever talk to Michael Moore.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Does the woman who may become our next First Lady fund Fidel Castro's internet network?

In the latest charges against Teresa Heinz Kerry's philanthropic work, three Florida Republican members of Congress today accused the presidential candidate's wife of helping to finance "Fidel Castro's Internet network."

Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, his brother Mario and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen held a press conference in Miami to cite her foundation's support for the Tides Foundation and Tides Center, which in turn supports the Institute for Global Communications, a radical communications group with ties to Cuba since at least 1993.

Cuba has been officially designated as a terrorist nation by the U.S. State Department.

For the record, IGC denies that any Tides money ended up in Cuba. But it hasn't produced any proof as of yet.

Long time JYB readers may remember our earlier reporting on the Tides Foundation, which supports--among other nefarious undertakings--Indymedia. And CAIR, the "moderate" Muslim group that opposes every single measure the US has undertaken to defend itself since 9-11. Tides also funds Peaceful Tomorrows, the anti-war lobby that exploits 9-11 victims' relatives to, again, oppose pretty much everything we have done in the past three years to defend ourselves. So it's not out of bounds for Tides--Mrs. Heinz Kerry's charity--to fund Fidel. It would be more surprising if it didn't, actually.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 11, 2004


You folks did such a great job on the last "caption this photo" post that we thought we'd offer up another one:

Yes, that's John and Terayza Heinz Kerry, and yes, that's the Grand Canyon.

This is...well, you decide.

(thanks to Chris for the photos)

MORE: Here's one not necessarily for caption, just for fun:

Source. Story:

During the late 1990s, John Kerry traveled on a "U.S. trade mission to the People's Republic of China organized and sponsored by a private corporation." The Kerry trip to Beijing was topped off with a "banquet in Beijing's legendary Great Hall of the People." To prove the trip was a success, the Massachusetts-based firm of Boston Capital & Technology photographed Kerry in the Beijing Great Hall of the People. The image and trip information appear at, Boston Capital's Website

The photo shows Kerry, an unnamed Chinese government official and Paul Marcus, the head of Boston Capital & Technology. Marcus also refused to provide details of the China trip, including the time and date, whether the senator took money for his services, or the identity of the Chinese officials with whom Kerry met. "I am not doing an interview with you, and please don't call me again," Marcus declared.

All innocent, I'm sure. Just a vacation to the Great Wall or something:

In fact, Marcus is a business partner with the China International Trust and Investment Corp. (CITIC), a firm closely associated with the Chinese military and included on the Website a picture of himself meeting with CITIC officials in China. "Boston Capital & Technology is a bilateral contractual affiliate of both the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), China's largest trade organization, and the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC), China's largest investment organization," the Website says.

CITIC is known as a front for the munitions manufacturer Poly Technologies Corp. According to a 1997 report prepared by the Rand Corporation, "Poly Technologies Ltd. was founded in 1984, ostensibly as a subsidiary of CITIC, although it was later exposed to be the primary commercial arm of the PLA [People's Liberation Army] General Staff Department's Equipment Sub-Department." The Rand report continues: "Throughout the 1980s, Poly sold hundreds of millions of dollars of largely surplus arms around the world, exporting to customers in Thailand, Burma, Iran, Pakistan and the United States. ... CITIC does enter into business partnerships with and provide logistical assistance to PLA and defense-industrial companies like Poly."

Nothing to see here:

In 1996, Poly Chairman Wang Jun met with President Bill Clinton inside the White House with convicted Chinagate figure Charlie Trie, who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the 1996 Clinton/Gore campaign from Red Chinese sources. The Democratic Party later returned much of this donated money.

Satellites for China: While CITIC is reported by U.S. military authorities to be involved in the international sale of illegal arms it also is interested in obtaining advanced U.S. technology. The Boston Capital Website notes that the firm has been involved with the transfer of advanced U.S. space technology to China. Such references are viewed in the arms trade to have missile applications. (emphasis in original)

Whatever the purpose of Kerry's trip might have been, I'm sure there's no political story here:

John Kerry frequently has stated that he has had contacts with high-ranking officials of foreign governments. Yet, the Kerry campaign is refusing to answer any questions about the candidate's privately sponsored trade trip to China or his relationship with Marcus. But it would appear that the presidential candidate has many friends at high levels in Beijing. The Chinese official Internet news outlet of the People's Daily, official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, recently endorsed the senator from Massachusetts for president of the United States.

Another foreign dictator for Kerry. Charming.

MORE: Is this post "moonbattery?" Is "moonbattery" even a word? Isn't that what makes the moon shine at night? (Kidding...)

I think it's fair to point out that Senator Kerry, Democrat, dealt with a firm that has engaged in some questionable Clinton-era tech deals with China--deals that upgraded China's missile tech and altered the balance of power in Asia. The same can be said about Sticky Fingers Sandy Berger, whose entire career has been spent lobbying for the ChiComs. And I think it's fair, in a sort of tongue in cheek way, to point out that the ChiComs are Kerry boosters in this year's elections--fair mostly because Kerry himself used to brag that all sorts of foreign leaders have told him they want him to beat Bush. He wouldn't name names, but the occassional foreign dictatorship--Cuba, China, etc--haven't been shy about naming their own names in the Anybody But Bush crowd. And the trade mission detailed in this post is part of that 20 year Senate record that John Kerry doesn't seem to want to talk about. The more we know about those 20 years, the more we know about the man who wants to be president. That's a bad thing?

So I don't think this post is moonbattery.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:15 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


Multilateralism in diplomacy has its uses, but a smackdown may be needed soon:

The "EU-3" were trying to convince Iranian officials to honour an earlier deal to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment programme, which is ostensibly designed to make fuel for nuclear power stations but could also be used to make fissile material for nuclear bombs.

Iranian officials refused point-blank to comply, saying they had every right under international law to pursue "peaceful" nuclear technology.

They then stunned the Europeans by presenting a letter setting out their own demands.

Iran said the EU-3 should support Iran's quest for "advanced (nuclear) technology, including those with dual use" - a reference to equipment that has both civilian and military applications.

The Europeans should "remove impediments" preventing Iran from having such technology, and stick to these commitments even if faced with "legal (or) political . . . limitations", an allusion to American pressure or even future international sanctions against Iran.

The Iranians know their European counterparts well--there probably is a Euro temptation to lay responsibility for the mess at America's door, and they know if they do the American left will have their six. John Kerry's signals to the Iranians have been weak, but well received: America itself is divided over responding to the Iranian nuclear program, and in no mood for a fight over it. The IAEA is about to tell the world that traces of highly enriched uranium found in some Iranian equipment is from Pakistan, which will further muddy things up.

So Iran can raise the stakes as much as it pleases, in its own nuclear program and in the Najaf uprising in Iraq, too. Keep the tension and chaos going, keep democracy from taking hold in Iraq--and keep working on that nuke. For peaceful purposes, of course.


Iran's defense ministry said on Wednesday it had carried out a field test of the latest version of its Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile which defense experts say can reach Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf.


Based on the North Korean Nodong-1 and modified with Russian technology, the Shahab-3 is thought to have a range of 810 miles which would allow it to strike anywhere in Israel.


"The Israelis have recently tried to increase their missile capability and we will also try to upgrade our Shahab-3 missile in every respect," the ISNA students news agency quoted Shamkhani as saying last week.

He said the improvements to the Shahab-3 "will not be limited to the missile's range and will include all its specifications."

Iran deployed the Shahab-3 missiles to its Revolutionary Guards last July after preliminary field tests were successfully completed.

Six of the sand-colored missiles, bearing slogans which said "We will stamp on America" and "We will wipe Israel from the face of the earth," were displayed at an annual military parade last September.


U.S. Marines said Wednesday they were preparing a final assault on Iraqi Shi'ite militia in the holy city of Najaf, after a radical cleric urged his men to keep fighting even if he was killed.

The warning came as sporadic clashes between U.S. troops and militia loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr echoed from the heart of Najaf, where hundreds have been killed or wounded in the past week around some of Iraq's holiest Shi'ite Muslim sites.

"Iraqi and U.S. forces are making final preparations as we get ready to finish this fight that the Moqtada militia started," Col. Anthony Haslam, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Najaf, said in a statement.

Sadr has deep ties to Iran:

Ushering in his fight against the US, Hizbullah-Iranian front man Moqtada al-Sadr told his followers last Friday, "I am the striking arm for Hizbullah and Hamas in Iraq because the fate of Iraq and Palestine is the same." Under the spell of Sadr's call to "terrorize" the Americans, Shi'ite militiamen launched attacks in several cities at once. Militarily, the results have been mixed but have served to cause a political maelstrom by spooking US coalition partners into reconsidering their involvement in Iraq.


While press coverage of Sadr has portrayed him as a young firebrand who acts autonomously, his connections to Hizbullah and to Iran are long-standing. Nasrallah is personally tied to Sadr's family. In 1976, he studied under Sadr's father Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in Najaf. Back in Lebanon, Nasrallah joined the Shi'ite Amal militia when it was led by its founder, Sadr's uncle Musa.

Aside from his personal ties to Nasrallah, Sadr takes his direction from Ayatollah Henri, one of the most ardent extremists in Iranian ruling circles. And on the family level, Sadr's aunt is reportedly the first lady of Iran, Mrs. Muhammad Khatami. Iranian Revolutionary Guards reportedly comprise the backbone of Sadr's fighting force.

The Iranians realize that the war on jihadis is really a war against them, the source code for global jihad being their own revolutionary government. Their nuclear and missile upgrade programs are part of that war, probably intended to become a dagger aimed at Israel to fend off any American assault, overt or covert. But Iran's actions--past and present--make that assault all the more necessary and likely.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:04 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Apparently Osama bin Laden has a new release in the works:

U.S. intelligence officials say a high-profile political assassination, triggered by the public release of a new message from Osama bin Laden, will lead off the next major al Qaeda terrorist attack, The Washington Times has learned. The assassination plan is among new details of al Qaeda plots disclosed by U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports who, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the killing could be carried out against a U.S. or foreign leader either in the United States or abroad.

The Democratic Underground reacts.

Or are they just projecting?

(hat tip: Allahpundit)

UPDATE: Misdirection? One report says UK leaders are the targets.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2004


Whatever excuse the Kerry campaign comes up with for his 1986 and 1992 versions of Kerry's claim to have spent Christmas Eve 1968 in an illegal firefight in Cambodia--dropping off SEALs or CIA spooks, or dodging bullets from drunken South Vietnamese soldiers, or all of the above if it was a particularly busy night--it'll have to deal with another version from a 2003 Kerry profile:

The Christmas Eve truce of 1968 was three minutes old when mortar fire exploded around John Forbes Kerry and his five-man crew on a 50-foot aluminum boat near Cambodia. ''Where is the enemy?'' a crewmate shouted.

In the distance, an elderly man was tending his water buffalo -- and serving as human cover for a dozen Viet Cong manning a machine-gun nest.

"Open fire; let's take 'em," Kerry ordered, according to his second-in-command, James Wasser of Illinois. Wasser blasted away with his M-60, hitting the old man, who slumped into the water, presumably dead. With a clear path to the enemy, the fusillade from Kerry's Navy boat, backed by a pair of other small vessels, silenced the machine-gun nest.

When it was over, the Viet Cong were dead, wounded, or on the run. A civilian apparently was killed, and two South Vietnamese allies who had alerted Kerry's crew to the enemy were either wounded or killed.

On the same night, Kerry and his crew had come within a half-inch of being killed by "friendly fire," when some South Vietnamese allies launched several rounds into the river to celebrate the holiday.

To top it off, Kerry said, he had gone several miles inside Cambodia, which theoretically was off limits, prompting Kerry to send a sarcastic message to his superiors that he was writing from the Navy's "most inland" unit.

Back at his base, a weary, disconsolate Kerry sat at his typewriter, as he often did, and poured out his grief. "You hope that they'll courtmartial you or something because that would make sense," Kerry typed that night. He would later recall using court-martial as "a joke," because nothing made sense to him -- the war policy, the deaths, and his presence in the middle of it all. (my emphasis)

Here's the '86 version, if you haven't seen it yet:

Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, also talked about his experience during a speech on the Senate floor on March 27, 1986.

"I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia," Kerry said.

Elsewhere, Kerry has identified the president in question as Richard Nixon, which at best is attributable to a faulty memory: Nixon wouldn't be president for another 27 days. If any president was lying about Kerry's fictitious presence in Cambodia it was Lyndon Baines Johnson, Democrat from Texas.

I realize I'm quite late to this story, but I spent the weekend unplugged from the blogosphere missed the Cambodia tale altogether. And I have to say, if you don't watch Fox News or read blogs, this story hasn't developed its legs yet. Neither has the Swift Vets ad story. Yeah, Nightline covered it, but only in a glancing way and only after Monday Night Football, which pushed it to around midnight or later. That time slot was intentional, imho. Only those who already know and care about the Swift Vets story would bother staying up late enough to watch Ted Koppel dismiss it. Kerry backers would most likely avoid; both undecided voters were already asleep at least on the East Coast. If you're Nightline and you want to cover a story without really giving it much air, that's the way to do it: Bury it after a pre-season football game that hardly anybody watched.

MORE: Note that the author of the 2003 article that opens with Kerry in Cambodia is Mike Kranish, the same Mike Kranish who rocked the world last week by misquoting a Swiftie to make it look like a retraction of his anti-Kerry affidavit--and the same Mike Kranish who wrote the forward (at least) to the Kerry-Edwards campaign book. Mike Kranish, reporter. Mike Kranish, quote-distorting apologist. Mike Kranish, political biographer. Mike Kranish sure gets around.

By the by, according to Amazon, readers who bought books by Mike Kranish also bought books by John Kerry, Douglas Brinkley, Kevin Phillips, Ron Suskind and Richard A. Clarke. How shocking.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Is it just me, or has the media once again started to create its own parallel universe? The Bush administration is now being blamed for a screw-up that in my opinion was driven largely by the left's and the media's own irresposible actions.

On August 1, the Bush administration raised the terror threat level to orange, meaning "High." The alert specifically named several financial institutions in New York City.

Within minutes of the threat level elevation, the media started speculating that the move was political, and aimed at denting any bounce John Kerry might get from the just concluded Democratic National Convention. Howard Dean jumped on that bandwagon with both feet, making himself the posterboy for irresponsible conspiracy theories.

Then the New York Times and Washington Post fronted stories about the data that drove the alert change, namely, that some of the data pre-dated the 9-11 attacks. Those stories also hinted that newer information, such as imagery and notes taken in January 2004, also fueled the decision, but the spin was now out and dominant that the Bush administration was playing political games with old data.

It turned out the data came from the hard drive and perhaps cds and other discs in the collection of a terrorist "computer geek" arrested in Pakistan in early July. The Bush administration found itself subjected to a two-pronged media attack, a sort of post-modern pincer movement. On the one hand, the political opposition led by Howard Dean and probably with whispered approval of DNC Chair Terry MacAuliffe used the terror alert to create one more bloody shirt to wave--that the administration was playing politics with the war. That plays well with the hardened anti-war, Bush-hating left and creates doubt among wishy-washy independents who still can't make a decision between polar opposites Bush and Kerry on the war. On the other hand, the media barrage undercut the effectiveness of the alert by questioning the age of the information used to justify it and downplaying newer information.

It was at this point that three things happened. First, someone in Pakistani intelligence leaked the name of the arrested terror computer geek to Reuters and stated that the geek had been turned into a double agent, feeding false information to his cronies so that US and Pakistani forces could track them and their network operations. Second, the US confirmed that report. Third, a wave of arrests netted more than 30 terrorists in Pakistan and the UK (the New York mosque arrests were connected to data mined in Iraq).

All of this is being painted now as a colossal screw-up, by Reuters among others. And they may be right. But whose screw-up is it?

This will take a bit of untangling, but it seems to me that it's not the administration's screw-up. Fault should be shared between Dean and the DNC on one side and the media on the other, for painting the terror alert as anything other than legitimate when they had no evidence to charge that it wasn't.

Roll back to August 1. The White House raises the terror alert, based on data we now know came from the arrested terrorist computer geek's hard drives. Not just the White House, but New York City police and other law enforcement agencies were privy to the data, and they agreed to raise the threat level based on it and step up security around likely targets. They understood that the age of the data is for the most part irrelevant, since al Qaeda typically plans its attacks across a span of several years. Data formed in 2001 or even earlier is perfectly valid today so long as the target hasn't changed much and al Qaeda still wants to attack. Both of those are true, so the data is still useful to terrorists. Anyone who has followed the war at all must surely understand this point too--and we should all hope that reporters paid to follow the war are in fact following the war. They have no excuse for treating the age of the information as a disqualifying factor.

Equally useful to terrorists is the impression that Dean and the media created out of thin air, which was that the alert was politically motivated. Terrorists love confusion, and thrive on the self-doubt we constantly face in this war, and Dean and the media provided plenty of both, to the point that the alert was rendered useless for the most part. It still sent its message to the terrorist, which is that we're watching and aware and responsive, but its message to Americans got lost in the noise. The next alert, no matter how good the information that justifies it is, will be received with a jaundiced eye. We'll take it complacently, and may not even increase our real security presence much. Which is just fine with al Qaeda.

But the most useful thing Dean and the media did, in the eyes of the terrorists, was to flush out more fully the source of the data. The Pakistani leak to Reuters was probably the result of an irritatingly persistent reporter and a flustered intel agent, who just blurted out the answer after the reporter's 15th try at getting it. Or perhaps it was an aside, a "Look, here's what really happened" approach intended to get the reporter to back off a bit and start to see the context of the alert more clearly. Whatever, it's apparent to me that the media circus generated both here and in Pakistan led more or less directly to the outing of the double agent terrorist computer geek, forcing Pakistan's and Britian's hands in rolling up the compromised terrorists who now knew that they were being watched and would be flight risks. Thus ended our ability to feed false information to terrorists around the world, information we could probably have used to destroy them eventually.

So if I'm right, the outing of computer geek Khan and the exposure of his role as a double agent is Howard Dean and the media's fault. They created--out of nothing at all--the hothouse environment that forced the Bush administration into backtracking and releasing more and more information until finally the name of the source of the information that led to the alert leaked to a Reuters reporter in Pakistan. This scenario is very plausible, given the fact that up until the media firestorm both US and Pakistani officials had been able to keep Khan's name and activities a useful secret.

If I'm right, Howard Dean is worse than a useless blabbermouth--he's a menace, feeding conspiracy theories that weaken us and in the end acting in ways that demonstrably helped some terrorists escape arrest and exposed one of the most useful developments in the war this year. I'm not saying that weakening us is his intent, merely that it's the result of his actions. Take that any way you want. He's an unbelievably irresponsible actor on the national scene, and he'll probably never be called to account for what he does.

This also raises the question, Is it useful for the administration to raise terror alerts anymore? Given the media scrutiny that will accompany future alerts, it may not be useful. In fact, if anything like this month's fiasco is the result, raising terror alerts may be counterproductive. It might be more useful to scrap the color coded system and just remind the American people through speeches and public appearances that there is always a terror threat, while alerting relevant law enforcement, military and security agencies to specific threats such as those that caused the August 1 threat alert increase. It's clear that the Deaniac brigades will shout "Politics!" every time an alert is issued, and the media will second, thus destroying anything the American people might gain from the alert.

Finally, all of this raises the question, Will the media and the Deaniac left ever realize that we're at war and their actions can help the enemy while hurting America? I think we already have the answer to that question, and it's No. They won't. And they'll never care, either. They don't even believe we're at war, so how can anything they do hurt the war effort?

MORE: Kaus tries to get to the bottom of the Khan job. He is correct to note that at this stage it looks like a Pakistani source leaked Khan's name to the press, and I'll add that that press is likely Reuters. Now. Reuters hasn't exactly been a source of pro-American jingoism in this war--since the war's early days, Reuters has refused to even call anyone a terrorist without putting scare quotes around the word, and has been Al Jazeera-esque in its tone more than occassionally. In Pakistan, the cross currents between moderate and modernizing forces and retrograde jihadist forces are quite strong, and if you threw a handful of rocks at a handful of Pakistani ISI agents you'd stand a good chance of hitting a closet jihadi sympathizer. Suppose that bastion of fair journalism Reuters happened to get a reporter close to one of those closet jihadis in the ISI, who happened to know quite a bit about the Khan case, and who happened to want to do a little damage control for al Qaeda. Well, it may not be how things shook out, but it's plausible. Even probable, I'd say.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:23 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack


John Kerry's father. He wrote a book in 1990 that, according to a rather tedious rendering of John Kerry's foreign policy plans, explains where the younger Kerry gets some of his more leftish ideas in the field:

Although the book was published after the Berlin Wall was breached, it was obviously completed while the wall still stood, and at its core it is an argument for what is known as a “realist” foreign policy—driven by a strict sense of national interests, with respect for other sovereignties, however alien or unsavory their values may be.

Richard Kerry took an equally dim view of Reagan’s “fatal error of seeing U.S. security as dependent on illusions of propagating democracy,” and of Carter’s “practice of asserting a ‘linkage’ that injected human rights into strategic issues.” The elder Kerry was an anti-crusader, without quite being comfortable with the idea of America as beacon, either. “The struggle to put policy in touch with reality was difficult enough before the siren song of promoting human rights,” he wrote. There wasn’t a President in the last half century whom he didn’t find to be infected by the zeal to divide the world into us and them. He was vexed by “those characteristics of the American mind which appear unalterably set against any contradiction by reality.” As for America’s involvement in Cold War proxy wars in the Third World, he wrote, “it requires a measure of self-righteousness to see unilateral measures as an act of collective security.”

Anti-Reagan, anti-Carter, and anti- every US president of the second half of the 20th Century up to 1990. Now that's nuance. Boiled down to its essentials, elder Kerry's argument is isolationist, against the very idea of winning the Cold War, published even as were in fact winning it (Reagan's "fatal error" turned out to be fatal for Soviet Communism). He formulated his foreign policy ideals as a Foreign Service officer in the 1950s and 1960s, a time when the Soviets became a global menace and then went on a decades-long campaign of conquest. In that context, the elder Kerry simply didn't get what America is all about and what she stands for.

Essentially, Richard Kerry was (is?) an old world kind of guy:

So Richard Kerry was a man of many worlds and many perspectives. He served America, and found America strange—“virtually the only nation that defines itself by dedication to a value system.” Others were defined by blood and soil or by raw power, and that made sense to him, too: if they didn’t want to change us, why should we seek to change them?

Perhaps because their tribal wars keep spilling over onto our soil? Maybe? Twice in one century may have taught us a thing or two about the need to settle other people's problems once in a while.

So what does this have to do with John Kerry?

[I]t is impossible to read the sub-headings of Richard Kerry’s chapter on the Vietnam War without hearing an echo in John Kerry’s view of Iraq: “The Course of Escalation,” “The Inability to Come to Grips with Reality,” “The Inability to Admit a Mistake,” “The Inability to Remain in the Context of Limited War” (i.e., Al Qaeda, not Saddam), “The Inability to Do Without Absolutes.” Like his father, John Kerry is often described as a foreign-policy “realist.” He recently told the Washington Post that he did not think human rights should be the defining issue in international relations, and he also shares his father’s aversion to grandiose expressions of American exceptionalism.

Indeed he does. In his own words:

Senator, I will say this. I think that politically, historically, the one thing that people try to do, that society is structured on as a whole, is an attempt to satisfy their felt needs, and you can satisfy those needs with almost any kind of political structure, giving it one name or the other. In this name it is democratic; in others it is communism; in others it is benevolent dictatorship. As long as those needs are satisfied, that structure will exist.

American liberty and Soviet Communism, rendered one and the same by the 27 year old anti-war agitator now running for president.

The question is, Does John Kerry still believe this? Shouldn't someone in the press ask him?

MORE: As for the Cambodia question, here's a possible answer:

On another occasion, he [Kerry] wrote several pages about a mission to drop off Navy seal commandos close to the Cambodian border:

Running the rivers at night was something like flying a plane on instruments. The only difference was that we didn’t have any instruments. When it was pitch-black and there was no moon, the banks would blend in with the water and looking through the glass windows in the pilothouse, it was exceedingly difficult to find a horizon and tell where one was in the river. One could feel a graceful motion from the calm cut of the boat through the water, and this only lent further to the feeling of vertigo that sometimes caught the drivers. . . .
A group of the Vietnamese junks pulled in alongside us and we sat there listening to their small engines burp into the quiet of the night. Across the river, perhaps fifty yards away, we could see the villagers moving around in their huts, silhouetted by the fires that burned throughout the small town. The peculiar smell of their wood burning blew across us in wisps. All over Vietnam this smell had been the same. It was a smell that brought to mind poverty and dirty food and the ground to sleep on at night and it made me feel very clean and out of place.

Perhaps this incident, which Kerry wrote up in his journal at the time, is the source of his "memory" of having been ordered into Cambodia illegally? It doesn't match his "firefight with drunken South Vietnamese soldiers" version at all, but does somewhat match the version in which he dropped off some spooks (either CIA or SEALS, depending on which version you get from Kerry and his people). But the journal entry he wrote at the time doesn't actually place him in Cambodia at all--a tale he vividly told before Congress during debates on funding the Contras to sway national policy against that funding. He was just, according to himself, near the border to drop off SEALs. It still appears that his Congressional speech contained a serious fabrication, or at the very least an exaggeration.

Why does it matter? Lying is bad. Making stuff up to make yourself appear credible or knowledgable is bad. Lying to sway government policy in matters as important as war and peace is bad (and no, Bush didn't lie about Iraq). And contra Matt Welch, it is absolutely not true that every presidential candidate with a military record embellishes it. Just to name two examples, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan both served stints in the military, but neither saw any combat, and neither embellished their records. Lincoln actually made fun of his own record; Reagan just didn't say much about it one way or another, even though he was an exemplary officer.

It may be true that every Democrat candidate for president with a military record embellishes it (though I doubt that's true), but it's not true that every presidential candidate with a military record embellishes it.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:25 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Oil-For-Food scandal charges appear to be "serious."

Posted by B. Preston at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2004


The Note waxes mysterious today:

Ken Mehlman was not invited to Sunday's meeting of the Journalists Division of the Gang of 500.

Had the President's campaign manager been in attendance, however, he would not have been surprised at what was discussed.

The meeting — held, per usual, on the top floor of Lauriol Plaza — did have a speaker phone set up, so those in Martha's Vineyard, the Hamptons, Jackson Hole, Nantucket, Kennebunkport, and aboard the Kerry train could participate.

In fact, somehow Mary Beth Cahill got the dial-in number, and she was able to listen in (while she leafed through the clips and some expense reports … ).

Cahill, too, wasn't the least bit surprised about what went on.

First, the group concluded that Friday's job numbers pretty much give them license through election day to frame all stories about the economy to convey a 43-reliving-41 job creation failure.

Along with the deficit, the rising numbers of the uninsured, and the "lack of courage" to raise taxes on the wealthy, the Journalist Division settled upon the storyline — voters have judged the president a bungler at guiding the economy.

Second, with the chaos in Iraq back on the front pages and on TV, the Division decided to remember that much of the president's weak job approval number and "wrong track" persistence, is based on the mess in Iraq. Everyone agreed to return that point to center stage leading up to the end of August as a good way to frame the Republican convention narrative.

Third, with only three dissenting votes, the Division agreed that until weapons of mass destruction are found in Iraq (thus restoring Mr. Bush's credibility) John Kerry's best attempts to come off as a Gore-like grasping, exaggerating, pandering, slashing equivocator would not be Noticed — or at least, not be allowed to define coverage of the Democratic nominee.

So Kerry's inexplicable attack on the President for staying in the classroom on 9/11? Ignore it. (Ignore what Mrs. Heinz Kerry said earlier in defending the president's actions.)

And Kerry's equally inexplicable blurting out to NPR that he would significantly reduce the number of troops in Iraq in his first year in office? Ignore that too.

Even ignore the wacky explanation given by one of his aides to the Washington Post, courageously on background: Kerry's "pledge to reduce troops came in response to a question and did not mark a new policy, rather a hope for improved conditions in Iraq."

And so forth. I'm told the "Gang of 500" bit is satire, but who is the target? Satire must have a target in order to be effective.

The "Gang" is a journalistic cabal, leftwing and in Kerry's pocket (or at least in the ABB crowd). The "Gang" informs Mary Beth Cahill, Kerry camper to the hilt, and leaves Bushie Ken Mehlman out of the loop. The "Gang" works on its approved talking points, all of which list to the left. So who's the target of this "Gang" satire?

Right-wingers? True, we do tend to see journalists as a left-wing cabal out to trash us. Why would we think that? Just because Beltway journos favor Kerry by a 12 to 1 margin?

But the "Gang" satire itself, as written by The Note, seems to be mocking the media's lack of interest, as a herd and to a scribe, in several stories embarassing to the Kerry campaign. That's worth mocking.

But the satire isn't really aimed at the media. It's aimed at anyone who thinks the media is favoring Kerry. Even though the media is actually favoring Kerry by a substantial margin. And even though the media is in fact ignoring stories that could hurt Kerry's electoral standing.

The Note is playing deep today. Very deep.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


This could be a battle worthy of Tsuburaya. Compromised 'Tear down this wall!" 9-11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick squares off against bloated crockumentarian and darling of the left Michael Moore. The heat will be on!

Fueling the ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' controversy, members of the 9/11 Commission dispute filmmaker Michael Moore's claims that 26 members of Osama bin Laden's family were secretly shuttled out of the country while planes were grounded after the terror attacks. ``That's not what we found,'' commission member Jamie Gorelick said of Moore's assertion that the Saudis were snuck out on a charter flight on Sept. 13 in violation of airspace restrictions. Gorelick told the Herald that restrictions had been lifted by the time the Saudi planes took off that day and that the FBI interviewed 22 of the 26 members. The others were cleared by the agency of any connection to the attacks, the commission found.


To prove his point, Moore mockingly says, ``Even Ricky Martin couldn't fly,'' a reference to the singer being stranded at an airport.But Gorelick, a Washington, D.C., lawyer, said the filmmaker chose his words carefully and distorted the facts. ``If you listen closely, it never says (in the film) that the planes left while the airspace was restricted,'' Gorelick said.

Predictably, John Kerry watches from the sidelines. Sort of. With one foot and a couple of toes from the other in the field of play.

Though Moore has not officially stumped for Sen. John F. Kerry he has urged his minions to get out and vote and brashly called for Bush's ouster. Asked about Kerry's opinion of Moore's DNC-week jaunt in Boston, campaign spokesman Michael Meehan said, ``We provided him with credentials to attend and hope he enjoyed watching the next president of the United States accept his nomination.''

That's called "plausible deniability." And "limiting the Naderite contagion." And pardon the pun, but it won't fly. The Kerry campaign put Moore in the presidential box next to Jimmy Carter, flabby crock peddler meets the worst president of the 20th century on foreign policy issues. And even Jamie Gorelick isn't amused.

(thanks to Hanks)

Posted by B. Preston at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


According to a British physicist, that's how big Saddam's nuclear stockpile could have grown if he had been able to use the enriched yellowcake uranium found in post-war Iraq:

In an op-ed piece for the London's Evening Standard, Professor Dombey explained that standard yellowcake ore consists of 99 percent Uranium 238 [U238], "which is radioactive but is not used in normal nuclear weapons as it cannot sustain a chain reaction."

To cause a nuclear chain reaction, he noted, "you need U235, which only makes up less than one percent [0.7] of natural uranium."

After doing the calculations, Professor Dombey explained, "You have a warehouse containing 500 tons of natural uranium; you need 25 kilograms of U235 to build one weapon. How many nuclear weapons can you build?

"The answer is 142."


One laboratory at al Tuwaitha "was intentionally focused on research applicable for nuclear weapons development," the top weapons inspector revealed.

War justified yet?

Posted by B. Preston at 10:58 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


Planned Parenthood must be the most out-of-touch political-industrial lobby on the planet. Check out this ad, which states George W. Bush is the gravest threat humanity has ever faced, paradoxically because he supports the right to life. Huh? Exactly.

Not Hitler. Not Stalin. Not Saddam or bin Laden with a nuke on a ship parked off New York. Not Kim Jong-Il with a ballistic nuke on a refitted Russian sub God knows where in the earth's oceans, just waiting for orders to wipe out a city. George W. Bush. Because he supports the right of unborn babies to be born without having a doctor open up their skulls to suck their brains out.

Huh? Exactly.

The thing makes a comic book hero out of a 1970s vintage feminist, complete with bad unwashed hair and ugly glasses. It's absolutely wretched, but shows where the pro-abort industry is coming from. They want to preserve their largely unregulated cash flow, by any means necessary.

I agree with Glenn on this--the GOP should probably find a way to make sure it gets some exposure. It should produce a few new right-to-lifers.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


He lied about being in Cambodia, Christmas of 1968. Obviously, to embellish his service record.

While in Vietnam, Kerry was apparently a whiner and excuse-peddler, insubordinate and obstinate--not good qualities to have in the field of combat:

When you're in a group (of boats on patrol) you don't open fire unless the person in charge tells you to or unless you are defending yourself from an immediate attack ... I'd have problems because we'd be running on a river and Kerry would see something off in the distance and he'd take a pot-shot at it, to see what happened. And that wasn't the way we were trying to run the patrols.

We were trying to get in and find out what was going on, and hopefully make contact and begin to work with some of the people that lived there ... And you don't get to go shake their hands when you're shooting at them.


I'd go talk to John Kerry and I'd tell him that I was unhappy with his opening fire, or pulling out of a column when he wasn't supposed to, or failing to communicate when he needed to ... And I'd always get an excuse. I wouldn't get a direct answer.

I'd get "I didn't hear that," or "We thought we saw something" or "My radio was on the other side of the boat" or "I didn't have time." It was always an excuse. After three or four times ... I went to the division commander, told him about the problems I [had] been having and told him [the commander] that he needed to take steps to correct it.


When he got his third purple heart, that evening, and we didn't particularly care what it was for, we knew that he had three. That evening, I and two other people went in and told him that we felt that he should go home. It was something that he could do ... He told us that he didn't want that, it was his intention to serve his country, and the next morning he was gone. And we were happy and didn't worry about it.

In more modern times, Kerry was famously for the war, then against it, then for funding the troops even while voting against it. They call him Flipper....

Kerry has clearly indicated he was always against the war, but that was after his vote in favor of the war, but not for war funding, which should not be understood as support, and in any case he would have done it much differently. His concern is now a lack of any real coalition and U.N. support, but when the United States had the backing of the United Nations and a real international presence in Desert Storm after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Kerry voted against that intervention. That information should clear it up for all those undecided voters who really wanted to know.

On abortion, he's about the same: He's voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion, but he has recently declared his belief that life begins at conception. That pronouncement should get everyone on both sides of the issue to vote for him. At least we all know he's a man of his convictions, and not just poll driven, like those other big-haired, arrogant-looking politicians. Bush once characterized Kerry's popularity by saying, in effect, of course he's popular, adding, "He's been on every side of every issue." Kerry has no cohesive message.

Wartime or peacetime, Kerry seems to be pathologically indecisive, a bit of a loose cannon and without a moral core.

Other than that, he's a great guy.

(thanks to Chris on the whiner and peddler link)

Posted by B. Preston at 09:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 08, 2004


Sorry for the silence lately. Been busy, and a bit burned out, and thinking about a few off-blog projects. Along those lines, a quick bleg: If you know of a good book that describes what life was like in Japan during the war, please drop me a line.

Today's my birthday, and InstaPundit's blog birthday. Who knew that the blog that inspired me to start blogging started on my birthday? I didn't, until today. Congrats to Glenn for three years of great blogging.

So I see some guy, a liberal most likely, has hoaxed a terrorist beheading, complete with smarmy video on the web. That has to be one of the more disturbed things a person can do--fake the painful, horrible death that several Americans and others have already met for real in this war. Did any Americans fake dying in an Auschwitz gas chamber during World War II, or dying in a famine during Stalin's reign? We live in strange times. And of course, since that fake seems to have fooled a few people, watch for the "It's a fake!" line to pop up now every time the terrorists actually kill someone for real. That kind of thinking bubbled around the Nick Berg case, and the strange case of the Lebanese US soldier fed conspiracy theories too. It'll just be one more little hole in our wartime brainpans.

Speaking of hoaxes, what to make of John Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia during Christmas 1968? Debunked, he's playing the fool now, and playing us for fools if he thinks we'll buy it. And many of his supporters probably will.

What to make also of Douglas Brinkley's career now? Brinkley wrote Tour of Duty, the hagiography of John Kerry. It's apparently about those four magical months Kerry spent in Vietnam (for perspective's sake, by the way, during my four-year Air Force tour in Japan I spent a total of four months on vacation, and four months was less than half the time the average American soldier spent in Vietnam, fwiw). But Tour doesn't deal much with any of the 200 or so officers who make up Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. They're the ones who are opposing Kerry's run for the White House, even stating in affidavits that he didn't deserve one or more of his medals from the war. Instead Brinkley focused on the half dozen or so who think Kerry is a great guy. With all the legal wrangling going on now between Kerry/DNC lawyers on one side and the Swift Vets on the other, Brinkley's credibility as a historian may be in jeopardy. If he missed the biggest story about Kerry--that he's essentially a fraud as a war hero--what kind of historian is he? Not a very good one, if you ask me. It's not like the Swift Vets have been hiding out for thirty years. I knew about them months ago, from casual web surfing.

And about Vietnam: Why is the left now gaga over a man who fought in that war, of all wars? They did everything they could to make sure we lost that war, because they believed we were imperialists aggressors in it. Wasn't just in 1992 the left said military service didn't matter? Didn't they say the same thing again in 1996? Both times we had a bona fide draft dodger running against war heroes, but the left said none of it mattered--not the dodging, and not the heroics. But now that it's their guy with the chestful of medals, Vietnam was a noble cause. It's nice to see the left finally come around on that one, but the sad fact is we can't wait for them to come around on this one. We don't have 30 years for them to figure out that our present war is just and worth fighting--that we have no choice in fighting it. We just don't have the time. It took them about ten years to finally figure out that the Cold War was noble and just, too, and now they're trying to claim credit for helping win it. Someone should remind them of their hero Kerry's Cold War record--he was one of the most obstructionist Senators on the Hill when it came to prosecuting that war. Did everything he could to coddle the Sandinistas, the Cubans, the Soviets, all of them. The left is apparently slow to grasp history, yet quick to denounce Americans who make and shape it. It may well be that the left gets their man in this year, and if he wins he'll probably cut and run from Iraq and doom those poor recently freed millions to return to slavery under some jihadist strongman, but in a decade or two a strong candidate for office will emerge. On his resume will be a few months or a year in Iraq, and he'll be a man of the left. And suddenly, the left will embrace him and therefore the war he fought in, too. Iraq will suddenly be noble cause, years after we threw that amazing victory away to appease a cadre of leftwing agitators.

But like I said, we don't have the time to wait around while the left figures out whether this war is fighting. While we wait, the terrorists scheme. Eight years of inaction gave them time to pull off attacks around the world that killed thousands. Next time, if they have scored big, they'll have a nuke. We just can't afford to wait on the left. Waiting means death for an awful lot of people.

By the way, I'll be reviewing Michelle Malkin's new book--the controversial one about the internment of the Japanese during World War II--as soon as it arrives in the mail. Unlike Eric Muller, I won't judge the book by its cover. That said, Michelle's thesis is a tough sell, as I mentioned to her in email. I lived in Japan for four years and got to know the culture. I married into the culture, as a matter of fact, though that doesn't color my judgment of Japan's conduct before and during the war. To offer one small example of that conduct, the anti-US propaganda the imperial government blasted at its citizens turned them feral in many ways. The city of Hachioji, near Tokyo, was known to US pilots as one place you did not want to bail out over if you had to ditch your plane. A few American air crews were unlucky enough to fall into Hachioji, and none of them survived. The people of the town would hunt them down and kill them, without even thinking about turning them into the police or any authority. They would just beat them or kill them with their bare hands if they had to. To offer one more example, the imperial government told its citizens that US troops would automatically rape any women and eat--yes, eat--any children they happened upon during the course of battle. This propaganda wrought a terrible toll on Okinawa, where advancing US troops saw scores, maybe hundreds, of local women hurl their children over cliffs before jumping themselves. That behavior led President Truman to believe, correctly I think, that invading mainland Japan would have been incredibly deadly not just to the American troops but to the Japanese people as well. So he nuked two cities, and probably saved several million lives.

So wartime Japan was a police state that brainwashed its citizens, and made them death fanatics. Nothing like that went on in the US, then or now (the left will figure that out in, oh, three or four decades). That doesn't mean interning Americans of Japanese ancestry or blood was one of Roosevelt's better ideas.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:36 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack