October 09, 2004


October 8, 2004

It goes without saying that the stakes are getting very high for the country and the campaigns - and our responsibilities become quite grave

I do not want to set off (sp?) and endless colloquy that none of us have time for today - nor do I want to stifle one. Please respond if you feel you can advance the discussion.

The New York Times (Nagourney/Stevenson) and Howard Fineman on the web both make the same point today: the current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done.

Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.

We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides "equally" accountable when the facts don't warrant that.

I'm sure many of you have this week felt the stepped up Bush efforts to complain about our coverage. This is all part of their efforts to get away with as much as possible with the stepped up, renewed efforts to win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.

It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course. But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying to serve the public interest. Now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right.

The Kerry campaign has taken Michael Moore's lies and distortions to heart.

But ABC's Mark Halperin is worried about Bush's alleged distortions.

The Kerry campaign is lying through its teeth about the reinstatement of the draft.

But ABC's Mark Halperin is worried about Bush's alleged distortions.

The Kerry campaign has turned a reasonably successful war in Iraq into the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time, though he voted for that war and insisted just a little over a month ago that we were still right to fight it.

But ABC's Mark Halperin is worried about Bush's alleged distortions.

Democrat activists have started waging a war of intimidation across the country, attacking and ransacking Bush campaign headquarters in half a dozen states.

But ABC's Mark Halperin is worried about Bush's alleged distortions.

ABC's Mark Halperin is trying to get fellow reporters to be unfair in their coverage. He should be fired.

But we all know he won't be. Dan Rather still has a job. And Mark Halperin's job is safe too. That's the US media this year, and most years. ABC's Mark Halperin will survive this memo scandal, and will probably end up getting a promotion and a raise.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:06 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


I don't know how far to extrapolate this story. I don't know if it's a sign of where the Bush and Kerry campaigns are or how they see their position, or if somebody just had a bad today. But I thought I'd relate this little tale anyway.

This morning I got up early and headed out to the bank, the Post Office and the Motor Vehicle Administration. I was expecting that last to be especially painful--it's usually a long wait even for the most trivial stuff.

As I was driving between points, I had WBAL talk radio on, the Bruce Elliott show. His first guest was a gentleman from the Bush campaign. His name was Jose Fuentes, and a sunnier talk show chatter you will not find. Mr. Fuentes was upbeat and genuine throughout, bantering with the host and taking calls from the audience. He never filibustered, never sanbagged anyone, and never raised his voice or expressed the slightest irritation about anything. He seemed confident and jovial and happy about life.

Once his time was up, the host went to the newsbreak, played the President's weekly radio address, then came back and introduced a gentleman from the DNC. His name was Tony (didn't catch the last name). Everything Mr. Fuentes was, Tony was not. The host led off with a question about last night's debate, a softball about how Kerry did, and Tony proceeded to hijack the conversation for the next five minutes. The host finally broke in with another question, and Tony went off on another rant that lasted all the way up until the next break. Tony was angry, spiteful and juvenile, utterly condescending toward the President and anyone who supports him. He never let the host back into the conversation, making it a monologue. He was awful. When the host went to break--after pointing out that Tony had monopolized the conversation for the past several minutes--Tony seemed annoyed that he was being interrupted. After the break, the host returned, did his talk show host spiel for half a minute or so, then re-introduced Tony. And was met with silence. Tony was supposed to take calls from the audience during this segment, but had decided to hang up instead. He was gone for good.

The difference between Jose Fuentes and Tony was striking. Fuentes was genial and happy to talk to the host and everyone, and just as happy to listen to what others were saying. Tony was pretty much a mouthbreathing jerk, and apparently ran off rather than take questions from the great unwashed masses.

Like I said, I don't how much it's appropriate to extrapolate this little incident into anything larger about either campaign. But from what I heard, at least one thing is apparent. The Republicans know how to pick their representatives. They apparently pick people who like America and like life. The Democrats pick representatives, or at least they picked one representative, who pretty much hates people who disagree with him and could not find it in himself to behave in anything like a fair and gentlemanly fashion. He had no manners at all. Tony was a bully, he was rude and you could almost feel the spittle on your face as he clipped out his talking points. For any undecided voter who happened to hear that show this morning, the Republican surely won more than a few of them to his side. The Democrat in all likelihood turned more than a few off.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:45 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 08, 2004


I didn't see any of it. What did you think about it?

UPDATE: While our candidates were debating and hitting the home stretch in a political process that dates back to the 18th Century, Afghans are starting to take part in that same process for the first time in their entire history.

"I cannot explain my feelings, just how happy I am," said Moqadasa Sidiqi, a science student whose family escaped Kabul in 1992 during the Afghan civil war. "I would never have thought I would be able to vote in this election."

Some 750,000 Afghan refugees registered to vote in Pakistan, and another 400,000-600,000 were eligible in Iran. Initial results were not expected until late Sunday or early Monday, but anything approaching a full count could take as much as two weeks.

You think war never solved anything? Tell that to Mr. Sidiqi and the 10 million other Afghans voting in their first election.

MORE: Things are looking pretty good for Australian President John Howard. Australia only has 850 troops in Iraq, but a Howard win is still critical to keeping the remaining Coalition together: His opponent has vowed to turn his back on our alliance and remove Aussie troops from Iraq by Christmas.

CORRECTION: I knew John Howard was Australia's Prime Minister. Really. Honest.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:42 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack


Half of college-aged youth, according to a new poll, believe that if re-elected President Bush will re-instate the draft. Micheal Moore's and Charlie Rangel's conspiracies have finally taken root. God help us.

Win, lose or draw in November--we're pretty much finished as a country if a major political party is happy to take power based entirely on a lie in the middle of a war like this. And they know it's a lie because they put out the draft bill and have been using it to smear the President.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:04 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


Read this. Note that on Oct 5, the AFL-CIO sent legions of its people to Bush/Cheney HQs around the country and is bragging about it.

Then read this.

This week, in Orlando, Florida, approximately 100 protestors stormed and ransacked the local Bush-Cheney headquarters injuring one campaign staffer who suffered a broken wrist and causing considerable damage.

According to news accounts, similar "protests" occurred yesterday across the country in Miami, FL; Tampa, FL; Kansas City, MO; Dearborn, MI; St. Paul, MN; Independence, MO; and West Allis, WI. All of the "protests" appear to be a coordinated effort by members of a major labor union to intimidate staff and volunteers of the Bush-Cheney campaign. The AFL-CIO took credit on their own website for these protests that included thousands of workers in 17 cities across the country.

In what is apparently one of those coordinated "protests", the Bush-Cheney headquarters in West Allis, Wisconsin was invaded by more than 50 protestors who disrupted campaign activities and intimidated campaign workers and volunteers. According to the Associated Press, over 100 union protestors physically stormed their way into Bush-Cheney headquarters in Miami, Florida and intimidated volunteers inside. In what could be a related incident, although the perpetrator has not yet been identified, the Knoxville, TN Bush-Cheney office was hit by gun-fire on Tuesday morning, shattering the plate-glass front doors before volunteers showed up for work.

These attacks are not conduct protected by the First Amendment. The activities were carried out on the same day throughout the country, apparently organized by the same national organization. The lack of any notice and the pattern suggest a plan to intimidate volunteers who were supporting their candidate in the upcoming Presidential campaign.

Attorney General Ashcroft, it's RICO time. Either investigate this to the hilt or lose our democracy to thugs.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:59 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


His terrorist captors have indeed beheaded him.

I regret speculating that he was anything other than a true hostage.


As the listserv where I finally got confirmation notes:

Bigley was NOT begging Blair for his life as erroneously reported. Blair had not kidnapped him and was not threatening him. He was begging Muslim terrorists for his life and he received the Islamic response.

The press and of course the left see this entire war as a one-sided affair. The Coalition does this or that, Bush does this or that, or Blair does this or that, but the enemy's response is hardly ever considered. Hence, we now live with the distortion of the battle of Tora Bora, depicted as though US and Afghan forces were fighting men of straw instead of terrorists who act and think and attack in reaction to or pro-actively against our forces as the tides of battle dictate. They never consider the capabilities or force mix needed to fight on Afghan terrain, and they never consider that bad things happen in the best laid battle plans, just because the enemy always has plans of his own.

In the Bigley case, the press reported Bigley's on-camera begging as being directed at Tony Blair, but I think the listserv commentor has it right: Bigley was denouncing Blair in a desperate attempt to save his own life by gaining merciful favor from his captors. The actual begging is directed at the terrorists themselves, because they were the ones wearing the masks and weilding the knife. I wish I had thought of that, because now that I look at things that way it makes perfect sense.

Further, the behavior of Bigley's family has been utterly shameful and typical of leftists who only see the world through the lens of the actions of their own government, which they denounce at the drop of a hat. The Bigleys will no doubt join Michael Berg in blaming every single death at the hands of savages on the courageous leaders waging a desperate and costly war to stop them, oblivious or uncaring that their words and actions will only encourage the killers to keep on killing.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Terrorists may be targeting our schools, a la Beslan:

City and schools officials sought to reassure parents and students yesterday after the U.S. Department of Education advised schools across the country to be on the lookout for potential terrorists spying on school buildings.

The warning came in the aftermath of a terrorist siege of a school in Beslan, Russia, which left 340 people dead, including many children. It also coincided with reports that federal law enforcement authorities last month notified six school districts in five states that the U.S. military in Iraq had discovered a compact disk containing crisis-planning information about their schools.

The Associated Press, citing unnamed officials, reported that the information in Iraq contained publicly available information, including an Education Department report informing schools how to prepare and respond to a crisis.

That guide is here.

The alert was likely influenced by this find.

A man described as an Iraqi insurgent involved in anti-coalition activities had downloaded school floor plans and safety and security information about elementary and high schools in the six states, according to officials. School officials in Fort Myers, Fla.; Salem, Ore.; Gray, Ga.; Birch Run, Mich.; two towns in New Jersey; and two towns in California have been told to increase security in light of the discovery.

The problem of questionable people casing schools isn't new. And it fits with known ideas and tactics favored and used by terrorists trained in Afghanistan.

I'm glad the war in Iraq turned up that terrorist with the downloaded school data before it could be used in an actual attack. John Kerry would have preferred to respond after an attack had already taken place.

(thanks to BWB, Michelle Malkin)

Posted by B. Preston at 09:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Sensible words from Fox's John Gibson:

For months I've been saying, Oh geez, Saddam didn't have any weapons of mass destruction? (search) Well, then we got there just in time.

It makes sense to me. Based on the notion he would love to have WMD, he wanted to get WMD, he tried to get WMD, he wanted to hide WMD from us and he wanted to use WMD on us, then we got there just in the nick of time if we didn't find any actual stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

I thought it was one big phew! And an illustration of the rule, I'd rather be lucky than good.

Well, silly me.

The Bush opponents are making a huge noise about no WMD proves we did the wrong thing: There never should have been a war since there was no reason for war.

Well, Mr. Duelfer's report (search) makes a few important points:

No. 1: Saddam was bribing the United Nations Security Council (search) members with a billion dollars.

No. 2: Saddam wanted the sanctions lifted and was close to getting it done.

No. 3: When those sanctions were lifted, he was going to get WMD again.

No. 4: I guess, the simple point that diplomacy is tough — shall we say, impossible — when the other side is buying off the United Nations.

So once again, after you get past the headline, No WMD and we have no idea why Saddam wanted the world to think he did have WMD, then you get into areas where the threat is laid out in a real way which justifies action against Saddam Hussein.

If our friends the French, the Russians and the Chinese — U.N. Security Council members with a veto — weren't taking billions of dollars in bribes, maybe we could have counted on diplomacy and the rule of international law.

But since they were all corrupt and greedy thieves, we couldn't count on diplomacy and the rule of international law.

I ask again: What is the logic behind the argument that Saddam posed no danger and we should have left him on his throne?

That's My Word.

Saddam had the intent, he had greased enough palms through Oil-For-Food, and had created cracks in a sanctions regime that was on its way to falling apart. That we got him before he could get out of his cage before he could reconstitute his WMD programs means we got him in the nick of time.

UPDATE: See also 11 reasons we were right to strike Iraq.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 07, 2004


I hate even posting this, but it's becoming all too apparent that many on the left aren't content to let the world hear their voice on November 2. They're starting the shouting, and the burning, and the theft and the shooting, a few weeks early.

I'll reiterate that I've seen this behavior myself here in Marland. Two years ago, several of now Gov. Bob Ehrlich's campaign signs were defaced. I drove past one every day on my way home from work--it was a large wooden sign, maybe 8 feet across and with a wooden post on each end. Some miscreant had gouged holes out of and painted swastikas on it. They had also scrawled "fascist" across it in big black letters.

To date, incidents involving either property damage or violence against Republicans this year around the country include:

Bush/Cheney headquarters in Orlando, FL ransacked.

Shots fired into Bush/Cheney HQ in Knoxville, TN.

Shots fired into Bush/Cheney HQ in Huntington, WV.

Bush/Cheney signs in Maryland vandalized.

A swastika was burned into the lawn of a Bush supporter in Wisconsin.

Bush/Cheney state HQ ransacked in Seattle, WA. Laptop computers used by several local GOP officials were stolen in this attack.

Elements of the Democrat party seem bent on intimidating Bush supporters this year. Whether Kerry wins or not in November, these people aren't going to go away.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Take a look at what a US helicopter crew does to a groups of jihadis and their hardware.

Posted by B. Preston at 07:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Ok, first, my headline is a bit misleading--there isn't single "Kerry rationale" on foreign policy. There are lots of them, but the Fall 2004 edition amounts to administering some kind of global test before the United States may defend itself. And somehow convincing our "allies" to follow us into a war that Kerry characterizes as the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Have you ever convinced even a close friend to follow you into something you told them was a dangerous and futile mistake?

Kerry's newly minted rationale, as Glenn Reynolds notes well, has completely collapsed. He admits that his drive to get French and German troops into Iraq is a pipe dream, even if you accept the notion (which no one who knows a thing about military history would) that French troops would be useful in a war zone. They're most useful abandoning posts along the Maginot Line, not manning checkpoints in the Green Zone. And at any rate, the "global test" would be administered by the French, Germans, Russians and Chinese--all of whom are wearing some amount of stain from the Oil-For-Food corruption. They're grading us on a corrupt and bloody curve.

Kerry's twin problem is his ever-evolving stance on the threat posed by Saddam. When the national mood was to fight, he saw the threat. When his own party and the likes of Howard Dean had worked non-stop to turn that mood to one of nervous ambivalence, he no longer saw the threat.

That doesn't mean the threat went away or would have gone away short of invasion; just that politics put different filters over John Kerry's eyes at different times.

This video explains what I'm talking about. Watch it, and remember the question Dick Cheney asked on Tuesday: If Kerry and Edwards can't stand up to Howard Dean, how can we expect them to stand up to al Qaeda?

(thanks to Chris)

Posted by B. Preston at 02:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Interesting speculation on why the terrorists in Iraq seem so intent to defend a small Iraqi town with no important religious sites:

Fallujah is barely a city by most standards, as it is relatively small in size resembling more of a town than a city. But for some reason this relatively small area of real estate has not been invaded, occupied or liberated by US forces. Since the time the invasion began and after the fall of Baghdad this remote sand box called Fallujah has been a symbol of outright murder, resistance, as well as the command center for terrorist activities housing some notorious terrorists namely Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who is a chief Al-Qaeda figurehead orchestrating murder and terrorist activities throughout the region.

What is so important about Fallujah? It bears no geographical importance, nor is it a noted religious or sacred place comparable to Karbala. So what exactly is in Fallujah that made it an area that the insurgents chose to defend so desperately? If the Marines and Army engineers have constructed berms around the city* and have patrols working the perimeter, then why are there so many weapons and insurgent personnel making their way into the surrounded city? Is it possible that there are routes and tunnels in and out of that city that our forces are totally unaware of? If so, then why would it be unreasonable to assume that a good portion of the unaccounted for Weapons of Mass Destruction are located within this area? Perhaps this is why the insurgents are fighting so hard to keep the US and coalition forces out of the city. Perhaps this is why the murderous Al Qaeda swine Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has chosen this as his stronghold and command center. Are the US Forces aware of the possibility that these weapons are located here? Are we hesitant to invade because to do so may cause these weapons to be unleashed on our forces?

The argument from the critics would be that if the weapons were there, then the insurgents surely would have used them by now. My response is would be “Why?” since they have effectively kept us out of the town and for the insurgent forces to use the weapons at this point would prove the Bush Administration to have been correct in their argument that the weapons exist.

No, they won’t use the weapons unless they face total and utter annihilation from superior US and Iraqi forces. Al Qaeda over time has shown their patience and ability to act only when it suits themselves to do so. If the weapons are indeed in Fallujah, then what is the intended use of these weapons and when do they plan to use them?

Whether Fallujah has any WMD significance is impossible to say at this point--and that is the point. I think it's premature of our government to issue any kind of "final report" on the subject of WMDs when we haven't secured Iraq's borders with Syria and Iran, when we don't have any answers as to what was in all those pre-war truck convoys that our satellites watched stream out of Iraq toward both, and when we still don't control about 10% of Iraq itself.

(thanks to BWB)

Posted by B. Preston at 08:25 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 06, 2004


There are two things I don't normally go in for: Blog triumphalism and the "it's us versus them" mentality of many blogs regarding the media. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that, and not that I'm above crowing about Powerline and other blogs' role in whacking Dan Rather--I'd just rather not make war analogies and war talk when we're really at war with a real enemy that actually wants to kill us. To me, the real war overrides just about everything else right now in terms of subject interest. I can and do write about other things, but I always return to the war and the politcs surrounding it as the focus of this blog. I probably wouldn't have a negative word to say about the Democrats, for instance, if they could find a responsible position on the war and stick to it. Some of them can--Zell Miller and Tom Lantos generally understand the threat and don't call the President "Hitler" or refer to his "gulags" and so forth. Ed Koch is another Democrat who has surprised me over the past year for his sane and responsible take on the war, on Michael Moore and a few other things. But I do slam the Democrats when they make winning the war harder and when they poison pretty much everything we'll be able to do to win it from here on out. I really do fear sometimes that our unserious left will cost us this war, or at the very least they won't grasp the threat until we have a catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. And then I suspect they'll find a way to blame it on Bush anyway. So as you can see, I tend to gravitate away from the ins and outs of blogging and toward the war in all its dimensions. I don't really find the act of blogging all that interesting, and I've never been one to give two snits about popularity contests or Skankette-isms and "who's in/who's out" crap. It's just the way I'm wired.

Having said all that, Old Patriot has a lengthy post up about the blogs vs MSM "war" that is well worth your time. He makes a salient point that bloggers and journalists (and some of us have been on both sides of that divide in our careers) should heed:

THERE IS NO 'WAR AGAINST THE MEDIA'!. That comment is a stupid little trick that hides what's really going on - a war against deception. "Old Media" has lied, misled, and mis-reported far too much over the past 50 years that the American public had found out about, and they're angry. They are intelligent people who brindle at being lied to and against attempts to manipulate their feelings with warped and incomplete reporting. This is one lesson the journalism profession MUST learn: the American people are smarter than you give them credit for, and they get very, very angry at being manipulated. Until this type of behavior ends, "Old Media" will be in the gunsites of everyone who can string two words together. In the past, such rebuttals were limited to the "Letters to the Editor" sections. Today, there are many more avenues open to the public. Deceptive practices will be discovered sooner, the type of deception will be identified, and those engaged in the deception will be evicerated - ranging from polite tones to shrill rhetoric - immediately. What bloggers are saying, loud and clear, is "Stop lying to us!".

That is absolutely right. I started blogging for two reasons. I thought I could add something about the war that perhaps others couldn't, since I'd spent a brief but rewarding time watching a wide cross section of the military up close. I also thought I could add something about my faith, which most early bloggers tended to lump in with the most radical elements of jihad that had just killed 3,000 innocents. But I started reading blogs (which eventually led to writing one) for an entirely different reason: I was tired of the media lies. I found in blogs a kind of cyber salon, a group of like minds already tired of the defeatism and anti-Americanism already on flagrant display even before the balloon dropped in Afghanistan. The early days of the war were a dark and terrifying time, and the media seemed dead set on making sure to warn us that anything we as a nation did in response was likely to backfire. Blogs provided little islands of normalcy and sanity and comfort. I'll never forget how great it was to read Bjorn Staerk's writings, and to think that a European saw so clearly the plight of the world after 9-11 and was such a stalwart ally of the US from then forward. It gave me a hope that the media seemed intent on destroying. And I had long been tired of media distortions of events and institutions I knew more about than any reporter I'd ever met, and I had long been tired of having my values assaulted and spat on by the likes of Dan Rather and Peter Jennings. Blogs were and are the check and balance on a media that had accumulated too much power over the average person's perception of the modern world.

If we didn't already have blogs, we'd have to invent them now. But our role as watchdogs over both the political and the powerful doesn't mean we're at war with anyone. It means we're checking up on them, seeing that they get their facts right and clear out their own unacknowledged biases. When we spot those biases and errors in facts, we do come down like a ton of bricks. It's the only way we could get the MSM's attention, and is a fully justified response.

Anyway, read the linked piece when you have a few minutes. I think you'll enjoy it.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Why does John Kerry want to give nuclear fuel to the mad mullahs of Tehran? Follow the money:

Sen. John Kerry's call for providing Iran with the nuclear fuel it seeks, even while the regime is believed to be only months away from developing nuclear weapons, is being linked to his campaign contributions from backers of the mullah government in Tehran.

Kerry made that insane call both in last Thursday's debate and a couple of months ago in the national security strategy section of his campaign website. He didn't think of it on his own, though. Just like he had a source for the talking points he used before the Senate in 1971--that source being the North Vietnamese Communist government--he had a source for his Iran stance, too. Campaign donors are apparently influencing him to take a very soft line on Iran:

Among Kerry's top fund-raisers are three Iranian-Americans who have been pushing for dramatic changes in U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Most prominent among them is Hassan Nemazee, 54, an investment banker based in New York. Nominated to become U.S. ambassador to Argentina by President Clinton in 1999, Nemazee eventually withdrew his nomination after a former partner raised allegations of business improprieties, WND previously reported.

Nemazee was a major Clinton donor, giving $80,000 to the Democratic National Committee during the 1996 election cycle and attending at least one of the famous White House fund-raising coffees.

In 2001, at the invitation of Mobil Oil Chairman Lucio Noto, whom he counts as a "personal friend," Nemazee joined the board of the American-Iranian Council, a U.S. lobbying group that consistently has supported lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and accommodating the Tehran regime.

The Kerry camp has identified Nemazee as having raised more than $100,000 for the senator's campaign, WND reported last spring.

A Nemazee friend in Silicon Valley, Faraj Aalaei, has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Kerry campaign. Aalaei has worked in the telecommunications industry for 22 years and is the chief executive officer of Centillium Communications, a publicly traded company.

Last year, Aalaei married a 35-year-old recent immigrant from Iran named Susan Akbarpour, whom the Kerry campaign also lists as having raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the campaign.

In just six years since coming to the United States on a tourist visa from Iran, Akbarpour has started a newspaper, a magazine and, most recently, a trade association whose goal is to get sanctions lifted and promote U.S. business and investment in Iran.

This blog has written about these folks before. They have encouraged Kerry to take the following stances vis a vis Iran:

* ending the fingerprinting of Iranian visitors to the U.S.;

* expanding "family reunion" visas to allow extended family members of Iranians living in the U.S. to immigrate here legally and in large numbers;

* offering a "dialogue" with the hard-line, terrorist-supporting clerics in Tehran;

* help Iran join the World Trade Organization.

Iran is the world leader in sponsoring terrorism, and has been since the early 1980s. The only reason we went after Iraq first was because Iraq was a more immediately destructible regime and was in flagrant violation of the many resolutions and Gulf War ceasefire that allowed Saddam to stay in power. Iran is and since the early 1990s has been the most dangerous regime in the Middle East, without question. Why Kerry, when we are at war with the forces of jihad and terrorism and those forces find succor in Tehran, would want to advocate any of the above is beyond reason. Points one and two will allow terrorists from Iran easier access to the United States, guaranteed. Point three goes right along with Kerry's desire for a summit to solve everything. Terrorists only attend summits so that they can blow up the people inside them. Kerry is a fool to think the mullahs will live up to anything agreed upon at any summit or any other meeting. Point four rewards a backward, medieval and hostile state in a very big way. And on top of that, he wants to give Iran nuclear fuel.

John Kerry seems to have named his price, and his Iranian backers paid it. We have a public account of what Kerry will do for them if he is elected. What other deals has he worked with them that aren't on the public record yet?

Posted by B. Preston at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Reader MAK writes:

Cheney did his job ... and did it very well. If he had been combatting Kerry, I'm sure he would have completely taken off the gloves and beaten him like a drum. The likability factor would have been moot and Cheney could have gotten as mean as he could without it affecting his negatives any. Gwen Ifill did a great job with her questions. But now it's time for Bush to step up to the plate and put this one away. If Rove is anywhere near the genius he's supposed to be, he'll have noticed that the Kerry-Edwards campaign has used all its best arguments on foreign policy, the War on Terror and Iraq (and showed their hand on domestic issues as well).

The Bush campaign has an entire shipload of stuff it is yet to unleash. In other words, for Johns Kerry and Edwards, this is as good as it gets. The only two problems are these; (1) Lord only knows what questions the town hall debate's audience is going to ask. Bush should have taken advantage the first debate when the subject clearly was foreign policy. (2) Bush. Can he deliver? Can he disregard his aversion for detail just this once, study up, and slash Kerry to pieces on Friday?

Only time will tell. Friday, God willing I live to see it, would be make or break time. I certainly hope the first thing Cheney said to the President when the inevitable phone call came was "That's how it's done, Mr. President."

Personally speaking, Bush seriously let me down on Thursday ... he really has to do much better or a huge number of his voters would simply stay home because on Thursday he gave us the impression that he simply was not that serious about winning. I'm as partisan as it gets and I was considering staying home after that debate / debacle on Thursday. I hope to all Heaven that he is taking this seriously ... he had better be prepping himself with the most ruthless, nastiest, smartest Kerry impersonator his campaign can find as his opponent (Dick Cheney in my opinion), and furthermore, assuming that only Dan Rather's minions in the audience would be asking the questions.

There are millions of people working their hearts out on his behalf to get him another four years in the White House. It was incredibly insulting to our efforts and sacrifice for him to not go that extra mile and end up delivering such a poor performance. Friday is your last chance to redeem yourself, Mr. President. Memorize some facts and figures and go kick ass.

Hulk smash metrosexual trial lawyer!!!

Posted by B. Preston at 02:37 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack


Johns Kerry and Edwards continue to push the lie that US and allied forces definitely had Osama bin Laden surrounded at Tora Bora in late 2001/early 2002, but outsourced the battle--a decision that resulted in bin Laden's escape.

That is the Michael Moore school of military thinking, now mainstream Democrat talking points. And according to US commander on the ground at the time, it's totally false:

There has been a lot of discussion since about [whether] American forces [should have been on the ground in Tora Bora]. I would be a liar if I didn't say that certainly ... [with] American forces on the ground, we would have had a more conventionally confident force to do conventional search, seizure, isolate, cordon and search operations. But that search force wasn't available yet, and there was great impetus to do something to move up into these mountains. So we were asked to supply an A-team up in there to assist with [Afghan forces — 2,000 or 3,000 totally, as I remember] you could muster to go up there and take on any Al Qaeda forces who we knew were there. ... Our function was to work with [anti-Taliban Afghan] forces and increase their capability as much as possible to move into the mountains, and then re-apply air power up there to destroy these caves and to kill as many Al Qaeda as possible. [Al Qaeda] wasn't interested in surrendering, by and large.

It would have been a difficult task for any military to go up in these mountains, search them out and take prisoners. This is incredible terrain, incredible elevations, and truthfully, very difficult with the force available to decisively search every nook and cranny, because there are no shortages of caves in Afghanistan. They probably number in the hundreds of thousands, if not 50 million. They just seem [to be] everywhere, and [they are] natural granite, not man-made. ...

[Asked if bin Laden was there]

It was as good a place for him to be as anywhere. It had ... access to a cross-border sanctuary of Pakistan ... very defendable terrain, known strongholds within the framework of the mountains. So in terms of an analytical perspective, certainly it met the criteria for a place he could likely be. Kandahar [was] no longer available to him. Whether or not he was there or not, I truly never had the level of intelligence to say he was or wasn't. But I think it was a reasonable expectation that it was a place he could be, and therefore we would prosecute an operation to try to determine whether he was there or not. ...

The mission was to try to destroy and eliminate the Al Qaeda presence there, and capture Osama bin Laden or any of his senior deputies that were there. We certainly did the former with the Al Qaeda fighters up there. We knew it would be a hard fight. Everywhere we had encountered ... the Taliban, they tended to recognize when the day was done; they would either surrender or make deals. The Al-Qaeda would fight pretty much to the death or look for avenues to escape to fight another day. We knew it would be a hard fight up there, no question about that. And it was. They fought very hard, until we killed them. ...

If terms of the mission were to try and go find and show the world that we had captured and killed Osama bin Laden — even though we didn't do that — that's a very difficult task. Some folks underestimated how difficult the task is to find somebody in his own backyard. ... At any rate ...we certainly accomplished a significant proportion of the mission which was to go up there and destroy Al Qaeda in his backyard, in his stronghold.

Was it perfect? No, it wasn't perfect. ... In hindsight maybe would we have liked to have done more? Absolutely, we would like to walk out of the mountains with bin Laden and his cronies in hand, certainly, but it didn't happen. I think it's a mistake for people to cast too glaring an indictment of that operation not understanding fully the context of what was going on with the battlefield at the time, what was available, and the urgency of when people wanted to see things happen.

That's the word of Col. John Mulholland, Commander, 5th Special Forces Group. Do the two Johns know more about the battle than Col. Mulholland? I'd like to see them argue that they do.

As for bin Laden's fate, Special Forces can't prove what did or didn't happen to him in any definitive way. That doesn't mean they didn't get him. High explosives have a way of vaporizing their targets, leaving little DNA material behind for positive ID tests.

(Mulholland quote via Kerry Spot)

Posted by B. Preston at 11:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


When a Bush administration figure is quoted saying something that on its face seems either outrageous or flat out contradictory of everything they have said and done in the past, my antennae pop up. I chalk it up to being one of two things: Either the press is misquoting that individual, or the individual misspoke. Especially when the quote in question comes close to some major event or deadline, such as, oh just to pull one out of the air, the day before a debate.

Such was the case with Paul Bremer, recently viceroy of Iraq, who was quoted by the press as saying "we never had enough troops in Iraq." Here's a story about that quote from the WaPo. Its headline appears to be damning, to say the least:

Bremer Criticizes Troop Levels: Ex-Overseer of Iraq Says U.S. Effort Was Hampered Early On

If that's all he said, it's pretty bad. The headline appears to say that Bremer is blaming all of today's troubles in Iraq on a lack of troops, and he appears to be blaming the administration for that situation. That is the headline's purpose; newspapers know most people don't read much more than the headline and the first paragraph or two of most stories. The WaPo and dozens of other press outlets that ran with this story intended to show that Bremer was announcing some major break with administration policy, regardless whether or not it was actually true.

Now, I could've thrown myself into a tizzy over the past couple of days pointing out that Bremer, a career diplomat, may not be qualified to offer much in the way of substantive opinion on the necessary number of troops for the mission (though he's certainly more qualified than armchair commandante Andrew Sullivan, who has been trying to make that same point for more than a year now). I could have gone after Bremer and pointed out that several of the most serious problems in Iraq, from the Fallujah backoff in the spring to the mishandling of Chalabi, were directly his fault. Which they were. But what would that have proven about Bremer's criticism of the troop levels in Iraq? Not much.

Or I could wait and see if Bremer had been misquoted, had misspoken or if there was some qualifier that the press didn't bother to include in its splashy headlines. The latter is the case, and Bremer has now clarified his earlier remarks.

(East Lansing-AP, October 6, 2004, 9:16 a.m.) The former US administrator in Iraq is defending US actions there. L. Paul Bremer gave a lecture last night at Michigan State University.

His appearance came one day after he said the United States didn't have enough troops in place after ousting Saddam Hussein.

He said last night that those comments had been somewhat distorted, but said one way the U-S could have controlled the looting in Iraq would have been to have more troops on the ground.

He isn't making a global statement that there aren't today and never were enough troops in Iraq. It's self-evidently true, for instance, that we had enough troops to win the initial war--because we won the initial war. Bremer's criticism is much more limited than the headlines would have you believe, and as such it's probably a fair criticism. It's arguable, but fair.

Returning to the WaPo story, he actually offered the same caveats in this new story when he generated the original quote:

In a statement late last night, Bremer stressed that he fully supports the administration's plan for training Iraqi security forces as well as its overall strategy for Iraq.

"I believe that we currently have sufficient troop levels in Iraq," he said in an e-mailed statement. He said all references in recent speeches to troop levels related to the situation when he arrived in Baghdad in May 2003 -- "and when I believed we needed either more coalition troops or Iraqi security forces to address the looting."

The WaPo chose to bury those quotes down in the middle of the story and separated from the incendiary quote; most other press outlets haven't bothered to include them at all.

The Bremer brouhaha illustrates two points: One, the Bush people need to stay on message right now. Anything they say that can in any be interpreted as breaking with the administration's view on anything will be spun by the press as some major blow to the President's policy. Second, never trust the press to be fair and never just run blindly into a story like this one. Discerning readers should suspect that there is more to the story. There nearly always is more, and it's usually more favorable to the Bush adminstration and its plans than the press wants you to believe.

Case in point--here's another Bremer quote that the WaPo buried deep down in the story:

Bremer also said he believes winning the war in Iraq is an "integral part of fighting this war on terror." He added that he "strongly supports" President Bush's reelection.

And here's one at the end of it:

Bremer said in his speech that the administration was clearly right to invade Iraq. Though no weapons of mass destruction have been found, he said, the United States faced "the real possibility" that Hussein would someday give such weapons to terrorists.

"The status quo was simply untenable," he said. "I am more than ever convinced that regime change was the right thing to do."

Let this be a lesson to you, readers, and to you folks in the Bush administration. The press is out to spin you into a tornado and is out to use even your most innocuous quotes against you. Don't let 'em do it.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:14 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 05, 2004


Mrs. JYB can tell you how livid I was when moderator Gwen Ifill started the debate by misquoting Donald Rumsfeld. I was livid. I remained so for about the first five minutes, as it seemed that Ifill was going to be Jim Lehrer Junior and offer up softballs to the Democrat and knucklers to the Republican.

But she got better. Or maybe my headache went away. Either way, I didn't stay livid for long.

If I have to score this thing, Cheney wins easily on the substance on the big issue, which is the war. That is the issue that will decide this election, and Cheney made a good case for the Bush administration's handling of it. He let some good chances for attacks or responses go by, mostly because Edwards resorted to the John Kerry school of debating, which is to hurl up swarms of distortions and lies so that your opponent doesn't know which one to swing at. It's an effective tactic. It's also dishonest, but for the party that believes the ends justify the means, it's going to become a standard part of the playbook.

Edwards aqcuitted himself well and failed to offer up any gaffes. He even managed to dance around the "global test" without promising to consult people on other globes the way Kerry did a day or two ago. But the problem with Edwards is that he just doesn't seem credible to me. He seems nice enough once you get past the lying and ambulance-chasing, and he's definitetly superior to Kerry in people skills, but he just doesn't seem to have a real spine when it comes to the war. I don't trust him any more than I trust Kerry on that issue, and that's saying something.

Cheney was tonight what he always is: understated and credible. He doesn't pander or demagogue. He also doesn't go for the jugular as often as he should. But he did one big thing right tonight, which was put Kerry's long record on public display. Edwards tried to blunt that attack but in my opinion failed. The American people still don't know much about Kerry's record as a senator; Cheney told them about it and how dovish and wrong Kerry's instincts have been over the course of several decades. Edwards' "I know you are but what am I?" defense flies in the face of what everyone already knows about Cheney: That he's a tough SOB who doesn't mind killing bad guys. Cheney won big on that point, and won the debate right there. What will happen is that people will go and look at Kerry's voting record over the next few days, and they won't like what they see. They will put it together with Kerry's vote against the 1991 Gulf War, and with Kerry's flip-flopping this year, and they will conclude that he's a national security weakling. In a time of war, that is a fatal perception for Kerry.

I still wish both Bush and Cheney would show some righteous anger at Edwards and Kerry for smearing them and denigrating both the troops at Tora Bora and our allies over the past year and a half. The fact is the Democrats have shamelessly challenged the President's and Vice President's honor repeatedly and gotten away with it. They have by turns insulted our allies or given them reasons to split from the Coalition--Cheney should have brought that up with more detail and forced Edwards to answer or punt. I'd like to see some fire in a rebuttal, just once or twice, when the majority of the voters are looking. I think it would do a lot of good.

Final thought--Cheney looks like he'd be a great President. Edwards looks like he'd be a great former senator. That's how I see this debate. And I don't think it will make much difference in the election.

UPDATE: It looks like the punditry agrees--Cheney in a walk:

ABC News' Poll Shows 43 percent think Vice President Cheney won debate, only 35 percent think Edwards won. (ABC's "Special Coverage," 10/5/04) (sorry for the excessive capitalization, folks)

NBC's Tom Brokaw: "Dick Cheney Reminded Me Of George Foreman, Kind Of A Slow Gait, But A Powerful Right-Hand When He Unleashed It In A Number Of Areas As He Went After The Kerry-Edwards Ticket." (NBC's "Special Coverage," 10/5/04)

MSNBC's Ron Reagan: "This Time, I Think The Chattering Classes, And I Include All Of Us Among Them, Will Come Out On The Side Of There Was A Stature Gap There, And It Was To Cheney's Advantage." (MSNBC's "Hardball," 10/5/04)

MSNBC's Chris Matthews Calls The Debate Between Vice President Cheney The "Howitzer" And Senator John Edwards The "Water Pistol." (MSNBC's "Hardball," 10/05/04)

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell: "I Think Dick Cheney Did Awfully Well, At, First Of All, Putting John Edwards In His Place. Saying That I Have Been Presiding Over The Senate, And I Didn't Meet You Until Tonight. Talking About His Not Having Been On The Job Was Pretty Devastating." (MSNBC's "Hardball," 10/5/04)

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "I Tell You, Tonight, No Doubt About It, Edwards Got Obliterated By Dick Cheney. This Is The Most Surprising Part. This Debate Actually Turned In Cheney's Direction When They Started Talking About Domestic Issues. I Thought Cheney Handled The Foreign Policy Issues Very Well." (MSNBC's "Hardball," 10/5/04)

So what debate was Spoons watching?

MORE: Did they meet before last night or didn't they? RealClearPolitics has a solid take on that and the debate in general. I have to say, if all the DNC can do is dig up one picture from three years ago which doesn't even appear to show that Cheney and Edwards were aware of each other's existence, they know they took a solid hit last night.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:08 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


Spanish President Zapatero cuts state funding to the Catholic Church, but increases funding for Islamicists:

The Spanish government sparked a furious row yesterday after it emerged that it had drawn up a timetable to halve state funding of the Roman Catholic Church and to ban crucifixes from public buildings.

The Socialist government has already pedged to confront the Church ideologically and fiscally and to transform Spain into a fully secular society by scrapping the Church’s “privileged position in society”.

The newspaper El Mundo reported yesterday that the government has now drawn up a timetable to break the bonds, removing any lingering hopes that it might reach an accommodation.

The government plans to put an end to the arrangement whereby Spaniards can offer a percentage of their taxes to the Church. This arrangement contributes £54 million a year to Church funds.


Further enraging conservatives, the government has drawn up plans to finance the teaching of Islam in state-run schools and to give funds to mosques on the grounds that it will create greater understanding of the country’s one million Muslims.

What's Spanish for "useful idiot?"

Posted by B. Preston at 07:35 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Note the word(s) next to President Bush's face. I post, you decide.


MRC's Brent Baker reports on NBC News last night, anchor Tom Brokaw introduced an election story with a photo of President Bush in the background. Bush was standing in front of a sign that read "TAX RELIEF for AMERICAN WORKING FAMILIES." NBC ran the photo for 16 seconds, whereby the letters "ILIE," from "FAMILIES," rolled to the left of the president's mouth. I LIE.

Three points here: NBC captured the photo from video of a live event. They could have captured any still from that event, and every second of that event offered them 30 stills to choose from, but NBC chose to use the one with "I LIE" on it. Second, the photo ran for 16 seconds. That's an eternity in broadcast TV time. There is no way the producers of NBC Nightly News didn't see that. No way. By contrast (third point), the "RATS" ad in 2000 was a flash frame edit. It was on the screen for about 1/30th of a second. It was created (putting on my motion graphic design hat for a minute) most likely in Adobe After Effects, which has a mechanism that lets you take a graphic element and apply random characteristics to its traits--scale, position, opacity and so forth. When I saw that ad in 2000, I knew immediately that it had been generated by that feature and was unintentional. The "I LIE" photo is not unintentional. It was chosen from millions of frames of video and ran for a full 16 seconds. The producers knew what they were doing.

MORE: It wasn't a still capture, but moving video. But my first critique still stands along with the other two. NBC ran a total of 20 seconds from that event (16 of which had the "I LIE" clearly visible) out of a total of probably 30 minutes or more. Why those 20 seconds? Given the fact that Brokaw himself has backed up Dan Rather's forged documents hit piece on Bush, suspicion is warranted.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


The United Nations, ultimately, is financing the terrorist war against us in Iraq:

A secret Syrian and Iraqi smuggling network that made billions of dollars busting U.N. sanctions during Saddam Hussein's regime is now involved in organizing and financing violent anti-U.S. guerrillas in Iraq, The Post has learned.

According to U.S. intelligence officials and Syrian exiles, the network, once involved in oil and arms smuggling as well as scamming the U.N. oil-for-food program before the war, has morphed into an increasingly organized command and control structure to coordinate much of the terrorist campaign in Iraq.

The officials said the shadowy structure, with bases of operation in Syria, is made up of Saddam's cousins, clansmen and ex-aides who are actively supported by some family members of Syria's ruling elite and at least two powerful Syrian generals.

"It is part of a pattern of relationships that started in the 1990s for strategic and commercial purposes. It involved a lot of very powerful families from both countries who made millions of dollars together," said Farid Jhadry of the Reform Party of Syria, an exile group with close contacts at the Pentagon and State Department.

Doug Payton has more.

I hasten to add that the reason the UN offered to take over Iraq so quickly after the fall of Baghdad probably wasn't to put the stamp of international legitimacy on the operation (the John Kerry view), but to seize the ministries and relevant oil-for-food documents so that it could cover its tracks.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


On Nightline last night:

"If you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you've lost your mind." --Sen. John Edwards

I hope Dick Cheney creams Edwards over this. That race-baiting, terrorist-hugging party needs to get its proverbial head handed to it tonight, and Cheney is just the man to do it.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:29 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack


First, a response to the first debate:

Raise your hand if you caught the plutonium gaffe that John Kerry made. Or that he had forgotten Poland. And had as touching a story about meeting with a dead soldier's relatives that you had met that you were ready to give. Or could speak as confidently about how you think the world works?

The bottom line is that while we may be better with words, we wouldn't have been better in content. Only perhaps could we have repeated his talking points better.

Structurally, however, Bush was ambushed. Kerry could blame Bush for every setback, and even for every problem that exists. These were tons of new arguments and old criticisms, each one bringing back a memory and a story and perhaps even a little anger about the situation. And some stuff which was there but made no sense. The Colin Powell Pottery Barn story was a totally irrelevant statement. What about his using of "Hope is on the Way" and all the memories that bring up. Does he bring it up that that was stolen from Dick Cheney, as a joke perhaps?

At one point, Jim Lehrer asked him whether he disagree with Kerry, who had said that:

"I want bilateral talks which put all of the issues, from the armistice of 1952, the economic issues, the human rights issues, the artillery disposal issues, the DMZ issues and the nuclear issues on the table."

I don't have the faintest idea what it really means, but I'll bet it just a random statement that Kerry put together and memorized. Here's another example: To save for Halliburton the spoils of the war, they actually issued a memorandum from the Defense Department saying, "If you weren't with us in the war, don't bother applying for any construction. That's not a way to invite people."

What kind of random garbage is that? It's a totally irrelevant story. The first sentence is structured backwards. That is an inaccurate characterization of what was said, it only applied to American dollars. Then it ends with a plattitude that no-one would disagree with.

That, plus some pretty tough character assassination merely as the background to you as you are trying to present your carefully crafted story and trying to remember the all your facts and Kerry quotes and the Peggy Noonan quote, etc. And he's only got 30 seconds to make a point.

When you look carefully at Kerry's words, you actually discover that it is ultimately full of lies and nonsequitirs and Kerry is touching tons of topics and Bush doesn't have the time to respond to all of them. Does he get into Tora Bora? That sounds off-message.

He did repeat himself, but I think he was thrown off his game. He was quite centered in many ways and I was impressed that he got in some really good jabs back. You can tell he has been doing his homework and has become a very wise man.

The only way Bush would have done better would been to have taken it to him even harder with character assassination. I haven't heard any other constructive advice. I've heard that he seems tired, but that says nothing about the words.

I call on the blogosphere to tear each sentence apart and come up with a paragraph response on the phrasing, the relevance, the significance, whether it was an accurate characterization, whether it was a personal attack, etc.

Then we will realize the sham of the situation. We were ultimately told nonsense but we didn't actually know. Bush did say once: "That's totally absurd. Of course, the U.N. was invited in. And we support the U.N. efforts there. They pulled out after Sergio de Mello got killed. But they're now back in helping with elections." And I'll bet Bush could have said that every time. The thing is that he is the only person who recognized it. And so he can't say anything. But we can.

That blizzard of nonsense and lies is a Kerry MO--it's how he beat Bill Weld a few years back. Bush should be ready for it next time.

Speaking of next time, here's another reader's suggestions for Bush:

I have a friend, a wonderful guy all round, who happens to have a seriously annoying habit. He routinely leaves out important details when giving directions or describing something. And what is even more annoying about it is that you could swear it was deliberate. If you ask him to describe Michael Jordan, he would describe everything else perfectly but leave out the fact that Michael Jordan is an African American and bald. If you ask him to describe Big Ben, he would leave out the fact that it has a clock at the top.

During the debate Bush reminded me very strongly of this guy. He chose not to go after Kerry on the details, obviously thinking they were not important, concentrating only on the big picture, leaving Kerry to make some truly asinine arguments without challenge. He just repeated the same "mixed messages" line time after time. And what made matters worse was that Kerry's arguments could have been shot down so very easily if not for the President's aversion to detail. Kerry actually looked a lot more grounded on the facts. Bush looked more sincere and determined but unfortunately, less competent.

Well, now that Bush has seen Kerry's line of attack on Iraq ... there is absolutely no reason why he should not be prepared to destroy Kerry on the issue. Here are my ideas of the points Bush should be ready to unleash on Kerry the moment he brings up those same lame arguments again.

KERRY: Iraq is a diversion from the US Military's mission to destroy Al Qaeda in
(1) US Military fully capable of doing both.
(2) 9500 troops took out the Taliban ... 10000 troops now in Afghanistan.
(3) More Special Forces in Afghanistan than in Iraq ... The Heavy Divisions in Iraq would be useless in Afghanistan.
(4) X% of senior Al Qaeda operatives caught since Iraq war started.
(5) 75% of senior Al Qaeda operatives caught since Taliban was destroyed.
(6) Soldiers in Afghanistan 100% dedicated to their objective and are doing marvelously.

KERRY: Capturing Osama Bin Laden should be the primary counter-terrorist mission of the POTUS and a measure of his success.
(1) This is a War on Terror (Terrorists and their sponsors) ... not just Osama Bin Laden or Al Qaeda
(2) Given a choice between capturing 75% of senior leadership or just Bin Laden
... a POTUS should pick the former
(3) Libya disarmed ... A. Q. Khan network disrupted ... International
Anti-Terrorist Alliances built ...
(4) Troops in Afghanistan doing a great job and if he is still alive they will catch him ... cannot run forever

KERRY: Iraq was not a serious threat.
(1) Saddam was a mad man whose regime sponsored, sheltered, trained and encouraged terrorists around the world
(2) Saddam has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people ... has killed almost a million Iraqis
(3) Saddam provided safe haven for Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, Ramzi Yousef (i.e. 1993 WTC Bombing) and Abu Musab Zarqawi
(4) According to 1998 indictment of Osama Bin Laden Saddam and Al Qaeda had agreed to cooperate
(5) All reputable intelligence agencies in the world agreed that he was dangerous
(6) Post 9/11 POTUS could not take the chance and so the decision was made to remove him

KERRY: There was no plan to win the peace in Iraq which is now in total chaos.
(1) No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy
(2) There was a great deal of unrest in the aftermath of WWII in Germany too
(3) After Vietnam one thing a POTUS must learn to do is to not to second-guess his commanders on the ground
(4) A POTUS must give his commanders a chance to achieve their objectives and they are making good progress
(5) Only four out of eighteen regions of Iraq are suffering from any unrest
(6) Good news rarely make the headlines ... have built and restored Electricity Hospitals Schools etc.

KERRY: Soldiers were sent to Iraq without proper equipment or gear.
(1) That is not true ... this insults the competence and honor of our entire senior military leadership in Iraq
(2) This administration has swiftly met the needs of its commanders in Iraq i.e. $87 billion supplemental

KERRY: Bilateral talks are needed with North Korea.
(1) North Korea immediately started violating the treaty it signed with the US in 1994
(2) It had been secretly working on nuclear weapons deceiving the world since 199X
(3) Multi-party talks with China, Japan, South Korea etc. make it less likely that they will cheat again

KERRY: There was not enough international support for the war in Iraq ... Not enough time was given to the inspectors.
(1) Inspections are useless against a subject that refuses to fully and honestly cooperate
(2) Saddam was repeating the same pattern of deception he had demonstrated in 1998
(3) Only countries not onboard from Gulf War I are France and Germany
(4) Even when France and Germany were onboard Kerry voted against the Gulf War I
(5) X months spent from time troops arrived at Iraq border to invasion ... no rush
(6) The time comes when a POTUS must act even over the objections of France...

I especially like the response to the Kerry line about putting the troops into the field without properly equipping them. The fact is, the military itself makes those decisions--calling those decisions into doubt challenges their competence, not the President's. President Bush should point that out, and then segue straight to the kill shot he missed the first time around, which is the Kerry plan to dismantle the nuclear bunker buster program if he's elected. Bush should connect that gut call to Kerry's numerous votes over 20 years to halt pretty much every major weapon system the military currently uses. Make him explain what he was thinking when he voted to end the B2, B1, Abrams tank, Apache helicopter, F-15, etc programs. Make him justify that. Make him explain what the military would be using to protect us. Put his record out there for the country to examine, since for most voters it will be their first time to hear about any of Kerry's dovish votes.

Tonight, Cheney vs Edwards. If they live up to form, both will be very good but Cheney's understated way of delivering fact after fact could make Edwards look like a pre-teen who's had his lollipop swiped.

MORE: And finally, a reader's assessment of John Forges Kerry:

He throws away someone else's medals. He drives someone else's SUV. He marries someone else's wife. He inherits someone else's money. I would vote for him to be president of someone else's country.... say France, for example.

Well said.

Posted by B. Preston at 07:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 04, 2004


The death of Janet Leigh and the recent moonbattery of the entire Democrat establishment reminded this blog of a post in the past. Janet Leigh will always be remembered for being slain while showering in the Hitchcock classic Psycho.

This year, the Democrats have left reasonable political discourse and have become more than a little bit psychotic themselves.

Psycho Democrats

A few months back, we produced a web ad to mark the Democrats' descent into Norman Bates-level insanity. That ad is still on the server, and because we're ecumenical when it comes to operating systems, browsers and whatnot we have several formats to choose from:


Real Media

Windows Media

Enjoy. Or weep for our country if these people actually take power.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Kerry's idea to offer nuclear fuel to Iran has already been rebuffed. The sanctions he blamed the president for not applying have already been applied. The EU-3 that Kerry wants us to work with on Iraq have already failed to change the mullah's minds.

So now what, Lurch?

Posted by B. Preston at 02:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


InstaPundit may want to add this story to his growing cache of out-of-control-lefties posts:

Madison homeowners are livid after vandals defaced their homes. Someone burned an 8-foot-by-8-foot Nazi swastika on a home's lawn near where Bush-Cheney signs were posted. The vandals used grass killer to spray the symbol.

Several nearby homes were vandalized -- all were within a two-block radius on the West Side, near Ice Age Trail, News 3 reported.

State Republican Party officials claim it's the latest in a series of desperate acts by Democrats.

Homeowners are angry, but resolute in what they plan to do next.

"I just cannot believe that someone would take the liberty to do this," said homeowner Rob Schaeffer. "We're appalled that someone would choose to destroy our property because they don't believe in our political views. My signs are going right back in the yard. This is my property. We live here. We have rights."

Police are investigating the criminal damage and told the homeowner it will be investigated as a hate crime, which carries stiffer penalties.

For once, I hope the hate crime tag sticks.

I have no doubt that this story and many more like it, unreported, are taking place all over the country. In 2002, when Republican Congressman Bob Ehrlich ran for governor of Maryland, I saw more than one of his signs defaced with swastikas, etc. He still won, but the lefties have been howling with rage ever since.

That's why I don't have a Bush sign in my yard, and don't have Bush stickers on my cars. They will attract leftist miscreants and will be vandalized. On my house, I fly an American flag. That's what I'm voting for this year. Not some global test, not some EU-nuch's notion of when we can and can't defend ourselves. Just old fashioned American sovereignty.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:31 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


The MinuteMan mocks Juan Cole's attempt to turn "global" into "local." This blog thinks maybe Cole pulled that bit from the bumper sticker on the back of his Volvo--"Test Globally, Act Locally." Or maybe not. But it is interesting that the last Democrat administration dithered about international terrorism for years but killed more Americans (Waco) than terrorists during its dishonest reign.

In any case, in a few days we'll start to see the outlines of the globe Kerry would intend to test. We know where most of the world stands now, but we do have allies here and there. Two allies have already lurched left--Spain and the Philippines--and have also abandoned us (the Philippines may also have become the new Afghanistan, hosting terrorist bases, but that's another post). One of the remaining allies is Australia, and Australia's upcoming election pits pro-US righty John Howard against a Kerryite lefty. As things stand now, the lefty leads by a whisker.

If the lefty wins, it's likely that he'll pull Australian troops out of Iraq. That would arguably be his mandate. And he would also be doing it in part on the counsel of Kerry's sister Diana, who made a pro-left campaign appearance in Australia to tell Australians to vote out Howard, because Howard's close relationship with President Bush put Australians in greater danger. She even blamed the Bali bombing, which killed scores of Australians, on Howard's Iraq policy, though the Bali bombing occurred months before the invasion of Iraq. Lefties don't let little things like facts and timelines get in their way.

So the lefty wins in Australia, and the Coalition of the Willing shrinks. In May, perhaps Tony Blair gets deposed, and the Coalition shrinks again. And let's stipulate that Kerry wins here. Then smaller contributors (Poland, etc), fed up with Kerry's denigration of their help, get the unwillies and decide to pull out, too. Kerry goes bilateral on North Korea, and Japan (which favors the Bush multiparty approach) pulls out of Iraq too. South Korea would probably follow shortly. Pretty soon we're all alone.

The world will have moved left, meaning further into retreat on the war against jihad. In moving further left, the world will have moved further away from us too.

Kerry's global test suddenly faces a much steeper grading curve. And at least part of that is his own personal fault--telling the Australians to distance themselves from us, denigrating our other allies, promising to cut Japan out of talks with North Korea, etc.

If Howard loses this weekend, there is a vindictive little part of me that might start secrely cheering for a Kerry win here in November. He will have poisoned our alliances so badly in so many ways that it will be entertaining, though nailbitingly nerve-wracking, to watch him beg his fellow lefties for help, and to watch them spurn him based on his own advice to them.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Iraqi documents provide the proof:

Iraqi intelligence documents, confiscated by U.S. forces and obtained by CNSNews.com, show numerous efforts by Saddam Hussein's regime to work with some of the world's most notorious terror organizations, including al Qaeda, to target Americans. They demonstrate that Saddam's government possessed mustard gas and anthrax, both considered weapons of mass destruction, in the summer of 2000, during the period in which United Nations weapons inspectors were not present in Iraq. And the papers show that Iraq trained dozens of terrorists inside its borders.

One of the Iraqi memos contains an order from Saddam for his intelligence service to support terrorist attacks against Americans in Somalia. The memo was written nine months before U.S. Army Rangers were ambushed in Mogadishu by forces loyal to a warlord with alleged ties to al Qaeda.

Other memos provide a list of terrorist groups with whom Iraq had relationships and considered available for terror operations against the United States.

Among the organizations mentioned are those affiliated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Ayman al-Zawahiri, two of the world's most wanted terrorists.


A senior government official who is not a political appointee provided CNSNews.com with copies of the 42 pages of Iraqi Intelligence Service documents. The originals, some of which were hand-written and others typed, are in Arabic. CNSNews.com had the papers translated into English by two individuals separately and independent of each other.

There are no hand-writing samples to which the documents can be compared for forensic analysis and authentication. However, three other experts - a former weapons inspector with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), a retired CIA counter-terrorism official with vast experience dealing with Iraq, and a former advisor to then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton on Iraq - were asked to analyze the documents. All said they comport with the format, style and content of other Iraqi documents from that era known to be genuine.


But the documents obtained by CNSNews.com shed new light on the controversy.

They detail the Iraqi regime's purchase of five kilograms of mustard gas on Aug. 21, 2000 and three vials of malignant pustule, another term for anthrax, on Sept. 6, 2000. The purchase order for the mustard gas includes gas masks, filters and rubber gloves. The order for the anthrax includes sterilization and decontamination equipment. (See Saddam's Possession of Mustard Gas)

The documents show that Iraqi intelligence received the mustard gas and anthrax from "Saddam's company," which Tefft said was probably a reference to Saddam General Establishment, "a complex of factories involved with, amongst other things, precision optics, missile, and artillery fabrication."

Read the whole thing. Some will wonder, with the 9-11 Commission having finished its report and with US troops having been in Iraq for more than a year, why are we just now hearing about these documents?

The senior government official and source of the Iraqi intelligence memos, explained that the reason the documents have not been made public before now is that the government has "thousands and thousands of documents waiting to be translated.

"It is unlikely they even know this exists," the source added.

The government official also explained that the motivation for leaking the documents, "is strictly national security and helping with the war on terrorism by focusing this country's attention on facts and away from political posturing.

"This is too important to let it get caught up in the political process," the source told CNSNews.com.

I agree. It's a pity the Democrats don't, and make political footballs out of our nation's survival.

MORE: From the JYB archives, a Clinton-era memo and indictment indicating that administration's support for the idea that Saddam and al Qaeda were connected. From that post:

I think it's very important for the American people to understand that we are involved here in a long-term struggle. We have been affected by this before. This is, unfortunately, the war of the future, and I think that we have to understand the importance of having a sustained operations here. --Secretary of State Madeline Albright, August 25, 1998

Want more? Happy to oblige:

In fact, during President Clinton's eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton's defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.

The other pronouncement is contained in a Justice Department indictment on Nov. 4, 1998, charging bin Laden with murder in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
The indictment disclosed a close relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam's regime, which included specialists on chemical weapons and all types of bombs, including truck bombs, a favorite weapon of terrorists.
The 1998 indictment said: "Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezbollah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq."
Shortly after the embassy bombings, Mr. Clinton ordered air strikes on al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and on the Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan.
To justify the Sudanese plant as a target, Clinton aides said it was involved in the production of deadly VX nerve gas. Officials further determined that bin Laden owned a stake in the operation and that its manager had traveled to Baghdad to learn bomb-making techniques from Saddam's weapons scientists.

And here's another old post of ours with numerous citations and links to articles about Saddam, WMD and terrorists. Read up, and vote accordingly.

(thanks to Chris for tracking these additional links down0

Posted by B. Preston at 11:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Nope. More like alliance killer:

Reacting to John Kerry's omission of Polands efforts in Iraq, President of Poland Alexander Kwasniewski said, "I find it kind of sad that a senator with 20 year parliamentary experience is unable to notice the Polish presence in the anti-terror coalition."

When asked about Kerry's derogation of non-U.S. coalition countries fighting in Iraq, Kwasniewski said: "I don't think it's an ignorance. Anti-terror coalition is larger than the USA, the UK and Australia. There are also Poland, Ukraine, and Bulgaria etc. which lost their soldiers there. It's highly immoral not to see our strong commitment we have taken with a strong believe that we must fight against terror together, that we must show our strong international solidarity because Saddam Hussein was dangerous to the world."

"That's why we are disappointed that our stance and ultimate sacrifice of our soldiers are so diminished", President Kwasniewski commented Kerry's speech during the debate.

"Perhaps Mr Kerry, continues Kwasniewski, thinks about the coalition with Germany and France, countries which disagreed with us on Iraq."

Poland has contributed greatly to the efforts in Iraq. Their troop contribution tops 6,500 and 13 have given the ultimate sacrifice, in order to assist the United States liberate Iraq.

I would chalk Kerry's comments up to ignorance, but his sister did tell the Australians that working with us in Iraq was a mistake that put them in greater danger. Based on that plus Kerry's and his party's pattern of ignoring our coalition partners, it would appear that the Democrats are pursuing a deliberate strategy of alienating our allies in the middle of a war.

(via Allah)

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

October 03, 2004


something illegal.

Specifically, Palestinian terrorists loading a Kassam rocket into a van with two interesting letters on the top: UN.

Take a look. The relevant section starts at about 1:43 into the video. Read all about it.

UPDATE: The head of UNRWA admits that his agency--the owner of the van in the video--employs members of Hamas. Hamas is of course a major terrorist group.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Police raided the Amsterdam home of Paul Bigley, brother of British hostage Kenneth Bigley, over the weekend. It turns out his brother, whose image in chains and whose cries have disturbed and terrified the British public for the past two weeks, may not be a real hostage. He may be collaborating with his captors, or should I say "captors."

Dutch intelligence officers raided the home of Kenneth Bigley's brother last night. An intelligence officer from the Foreign Office is understood to have accompanied them to Paul Bigley's home in Amsterdam.

The raid came amid claims that the British hostage was free to roam his kidnappers' home in Iraq and was "caged" only for terrorist videos.

Paul Bigley has spent the past couple of weeks denouncing the Blair government's handling of his brother's plight. That's not too strange, but what follows is:

In Fallujah, Mohammed Kasim, an Iraqi-born gunman with a British passport, said the latest video of Mr Bigley showing him shackled in a cage had been staged to "terrify" the British public. There was no way of verifying the claim, particularly in a country awash with rumour and conspiracy theories.


"If they wanted to kill him they would have done this immediately after they kidnapped him," said Kasim.

"Instead they want to use him to press on the British kingdom." Kasim, 35, is one of two Britons believed to have joined the "resistance" in Fallujah, a stronghold of armed opposition to the US-led presence in Iraq.

An Iraqi translator met him in a coffee shop close to Hamid al-Hamoud mosque.

Kasim spoke fluent English, but refused to show his passport. He also declined to provide any details of where he lived in London, saying: "I want to keep my family safe."

He said he spent the mornings translating websites of foreign newspapers on behalf of the "resistance" and the afternoons manning checkpoints on the main street.

Kasim said he did not belong to Zarqawi's group, Tawhid and Jihad. But the resistance, organised under an 11-member "Mujahideen Shura council", has close ties with Zarqawi and is believed to be protecting him in Fallujah.

Kasim claimed he heard news of Mr Bigley "every day". He said the cage and chains were set up only for the video recording.

"They made this video for two reasons. They wanted to scare Tony Blair. They also wanted revenge for Saddam Hussein for the way in which he was displayed by the US military after his capture."

I would be disinclined to believe this, had not the story of the two Italian women recently come to light. There is little doubt that those two aid workers were never in any danger, because their capture and detention was in all likelihood a hoax aimed at pressuring the Italian government into leaving the Coalition and Iraq. With that in mind, believing Bigley had a hand in his own capture doesn't seem out of place at all.

If Kasim is correct, Bigley's heart wrenching cries and sobs on video, and his pleas for Blair to care about him, are all fake. His family's pleas may well be fake too, as it's possible they are in contact with him or his captors. It also raises the possibility that Bigley himself had a role in his own capture, which means he had a role in the capture of the two Americans captured with him. They have been beheaded; Bigley would then be an accomplice and a traitor. If the terrorists were to release Kenneth Bigley, the suspicion that he was at least a collaborator with his captors if not a captor himself, will probably never leave him.

There is another point to this story, which is the tale of Kasim. He is a naturalized British citizen, and has lived there for many years. Yet when civilizations clashed, he chose to fight against the very nation that has been his home. Kasim is yet another case of the unreliable Islamic citizen, loyal not to the generous state that has given him real freedom for decades, but the ancestral home that he escaped. His tale would seem to suggest that increased scrutiny, at least of young Arab males no matter their citizenship, isn't so crazy an idea after all. When "moderate" Arab Muslims won't police their own--and they have proven these past years that they won't--what else is left for us to do?

Posted by B. Preston at 09:18 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack


it might be more interesting to devote some precious conspiracy theory energy on Cotecna and Saybolt International.

They're the companies most embroiled in actual corporate corruption in Iraq. They ran Oil-For-Food, and helped Saddam help himself to influence with France, China and Russia during the UN dance that led up to last year's war.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


John Forges Kerry appears to have broken the rules of the first debate: He brought a cheat sheet to the podium.

Nice. You can't even trust the guy to keep his word for a freakin' debate.

UPDATE: It was a black pen. Still outside the rules of the debate, but no big deal.

Posted by B. Preston at 05:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack