July 17, 2008
Why are we in Iraq?
"Joe from Denver wants to know, 'Why are we in Iraq and how will we know when we've won the war?'"
Listen to Bob Schaffer, Colorado's Republican candidate for the US Senate, explain it.
In politics this is what's known as a direct hit.
July 6, 2008
Final Yellowcake Removed from Iraq
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.
This is not the yellowcake you've been looking for.
May 23, 2008
Lying to Win
"I'll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we...the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn't say it, but we implied it. That if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody was a good student of Government would know that wasn't true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts...and people ate it up."
Democrats lying about the war for electoral gain? You're kidding!
Read the whole post, and watch the video.
Posted by AlexC at 12:04 PM
October 17, 2007
Undertakers Hardest Hit
James Taranto has a semi-regular feature on Best of the Web that goes something like "X happens, Y hardest hit."
In the vein, here is an actual headline.
At what's believed to be the world's largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn't good.
September 10, 2007
So I was flipping through the channels and landed on an interview with Helen Thomas on CN8, the Comcast Channel.
She was talking about Iraq and the need to pull out, using references to Vietnam. She eventually said, "We left the Vietnamese eventually, and let themselves work it out."
Posted by AlexC at 2:19 PM
July 31, 2007
Dem Clyburn: "real big problem for us"
... if General Petraeus's report on Iraq in September is good.
In fairness, by “us” he seems to be referring to the House Democratic leadership, not the left as a whole.
Is that really any better?
The Dems have long staked their electoral successes on a loss in Iraq. The only difference here is that they're admitting to it.
July 13, 2007
WMDs and the Silent Evidence
The Phoenicians supposedly invented the alphabet. However, for a vast number of years, we had virtually no evidence of their writing. Based on this absence of evidence, historians hypothesized about why the Phoenicians didn't keep written records. Thus when it was discovered that the Phoenicians did actually use their alphabet and that absence of evidence was due to the fact that the written records merely struggled to stand the test of time, the hypotheses of historians greatly changed. The lesson is that historians had succumbed to the problem of silent evidence. In other words, the absence of evidence is by no means evidence of absence.
In this light, the most intriguing story to me about the War in Iraq is that of the weapons of mass destruction. Prior to the invasion, there were many intelligence agencies and political figures who trumpeted Saddam's possession of WMDs. However, since the invasion the United States has failed to turn up any weapons of the magnitude described by President Bush and intelligence agencies across the globe. This lack of evidence has contributed to the shrinking support for the war and has even led many Democrats to claim that Bush lied.
Political posturing has created the belief that Democrats supposedly made a mistake in authorizing troops, but that President Bush lied. Alas, this is the world of politics. Elected officials must seize opportunities such as these to maintain power. The political posturing is not surprising and neither is the "conclusion" that Iraq did not have WMDs.
While it is not surprising that in the analysis of the war politicians, experts, and the general public have rejected claims that Iraq possessed WMDs, it does reveal a startling bias. It may be true that Saddam did not possess WMDs on the scale that intelligence communities had claimed or that said weapons did not exist. Regardless, one cannot claim that the weapons did not exist solely on the basis of a lack of evidence.
Perhaps the weapons existed and perhaps they did not. Like the discovery of Phoenician literature, the sudden appearance of WMDs would have a profound effect on the support for the war. This is by no means an attempt to justify the war. This post merely serves as a reminder that the most important lesson that any man can learn is that he possesses far less knowledge than he believes is the case.
March 29, 2007
The Real Front Line in the Iraq War
I place great importance on the lessons of history. Unfortunately, having lived only since the early sixties (and having a mediocre public school education influenced by John Dewey) I wasn't aware of a counterinsurgency war in the fifties - fought by France and the Algerian government against Muslim extremists in that country - until today.
Arthur Herman, retired professor of History at George Mason and Georgetown Universities, explains on today's WSJ Ed page how the French ultimately defeated the combatants on foreign soil but were ultimately forced to surrender to them anyway.
What happened was this: while the French military had been concentrating on fighting the insurgency in the streets and mountains in Algeria, an intellectual and cultural insurgency at home, led by the French left and the media, had been scoring its own succession of victories.
The "surge" is underway in Iraq. While long overdue it is, as Herman describes earlier in the piece, showing remarkable progress. [Read the whole thing.] But to avoid the same fate described above, America's domestic leaders need to initiate an intellectual surge on the home front. The survival of Iraqi patriots, and of America's ability to champion liberty anywhere in the world, hang in the balance.
February 17, 2007
The Senate failed to pass a non-binding chicken sh*t resolution on not supporting the surge in Iraq.
The Senate gridlocked on the Iraq war in a sharply worded showdown on Saturday as Republicans foiled a Democratic attempt to rebuke President Bush over his deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops.
Filibustered. Darn. That's really a shame.
In unrelated news, there's a non-binding cease fire in place in Iraq.
A coalition of major terror groups operating in Iraq today announced a symbolic, non-binding ceasefire in response to House Democrats’ passage of a non-binding resolution rejecting President George Bush’s troop surge plan.
February 16, 2007
The War Vote
I got an email today from my Congressman Jim Gerlach where he writes...
Saying that it undermines the country’s support of troops fighting the War on Terror, Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-06) announced today that he will vote against a controversial resolution introduced by the House Democrat Majority that criticized the President’s call for a surge in U.S. military involvement in Iraq.
Here's the blow by blow.
I think the Democrats are going to pay for this non-binding resolution... The leftists are going to demand their pound of flesh, and a non-binder isn't enough. The Democrats in the House and Senate were hoping to take a position without having to really have it count.
The Republicans should have amended this thing to make it binding.
Posted by AlexC at 4:55 PM
February 14, 2007
As congress debates whether or not to surrender the nascent Iraqi state to Islamist militants, the mere suggestion of a more muscular approach has apparently dislodged one of the largest such cockroaches:
Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr fled Iraq for Iran ahead of a security crackdown in Baghdad and the arrival of 21,500 U.S. soldiers sent by President Bush to quell sectarian violence, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
But there's not much time to waste for Democrats, for whom any discernable success of the muscular approach would be anathema:
The long-awaited floor debate on Iraq is the first since Democrats took control of Congress in the November midterm elections. It also comes as the war approaches the four-year mark with more than 3,100 U.S. troops dead.
UPDATE: Terri at Ithinkthereforeierr has more reports of Islamist's bad news.
January 28, 2007
Petraeus: The "Not Greatest Generation's" Patton?
I almost fell out of my chair Tuesday when I heard General David Petraeus tell a Senate Subcommittee, "That's correct" in reply to a question from, I think, McCain or Lieberman asking if those resolutions [proposed non-binding resolutions of no confidence in further offensive operations in Baghdad] would give encouragement to the enemy by exposing divisions among the American people. (I heard the statement first hand on the Rush Limbaugh program (taped delay) via C-Span3 and I've been desperately seeking a transcript ever since.)
Townhall.com's Mary Katherine Ham is in the same boat, so until we can get the unadulterated, unfiltered, unslanted version of what happened we'll just have to read between the lines of MSM accounts, as Mary Katherine has done.
Whither Patton, you ask? I can't exactly put my finger on what he said that inspired me to believe Pettraeus is a general's general (hence the desire for a transcript) but I think it was a bit like Patton's "Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way."
One person unwilling to get out of Petraeus' way was Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.):
His statement drew a sharp rebuke from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who said, "I very sincerely but wholeheartedly disagree," saying the point was to send a message to Iraqis.
With all due respect, Senator, the question was not, "Are those resolutions intended to give encouragement to the enemy," it was if they "would give" said encouragement. You can sincerely but wholeheartedly disagree, you can belabor your version of reality, you can even pound on the desk with your shoe, but none of this does anything to alter the facts.
Patton once said, "No good decision was made in a swivel chair." Now that the Senate has confirmed his appointment 81-0, Petraeus can stop wasting time with these people and spend it with his warriors instead. As a military scholar he is doubtless aware of Patton's creed: “I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.” You fight in Iraq, General; we'll fight America's enemies in the U.S. Senate.
January 25, 2007
Senatorial Surrender Monkeys
First the Democrats...
US Senate panel opposes plan to send more troops to Iraq
Then the Republicans...
Senate showdown looms for troop buildup in Iraq
Key GOP senator opposes Bush's Iraq plan
War stage set: Congress v Bush
All of this about-facing and navel gazing is nauseating, and unseemly for a stately body such as the United States Senate. But it does remind me of the way I felt back in 2003 when another group of surrender monkeys was wringing its hands. Here's what I said then and here's
Posted by JohnGalt at 7:44 PM
January 24, 2007
I give Jack Murtha credit for having more guts than nearly all Democrats put together.
But that doesn't mean he's right.
Rep. John Murtha on Tuesday urged that a "responsible phased" withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq begin from within Saddam Hussein's palaces and said the United States should denounce any aspirations to build permanent military bases in the country.
It's too bad he missed "Germany" and "Japan." Strange, because his idea of redeploying to Okinawa, would have put American soldiers in bases in Japan.
We have bases all over the world, we'd be silly to not have bases in the Middle East. The Island of Diego Garcia, while closer than Okinawa, probably isn't big enough should problems arise.
Murtha said that for the United States to regain international credibility, the country must make it clear that it doesn't want permanent military bases in Iraq, and it must also close the Guantanamo detention facility and bulldoze the Abu Ghraib prison.
January 11, 2007
An additional battalion of roughly 800 troops from the same division are expected to arrive in Baghdad Thursday. Eighty percent of the sectarian violence occurs within a 30-mile radius of Baghdad, so that is where most of the additional troops will be concentrated.
Whoa. 80% within a thirty mile radius? The way it's reported, I thought the whole country was going to shit.
Tip to Dan Riehl.
December 29, 2006
Ding, Dong, Dead
The New York Times calls this a "rush" to execute the former national leader. By American standards, perhaps. The crimes his neck was stretched for were committed in 1982. He was arrested by US troops on December 13, 2003. It took three years for an Iraqi court to be established and to find him guilty. The Times' real problem here is not the time it took, but the finality of the verdict. "Surely there must be some doubt."
This execution marks a definitive end for the Saddam era. It is a good day for Iraq (and for America, whose finest delivered the tyrant to justice). It is not, however, the turning point for peace and harmony and goodness in the world, nor does it even "automatically create a new and better Iraq." But then, who ever said it would?
December 7, 2006
Iraq "Surrender" Group Report
" . . . more than six people cannot agree on anything, three is better -- and one is perfect for a job that one can do. This is why parliamentary bodies all through history, when they accomplished anything, owed it to a few strong men who dominated the rest. Never fear, son, this Ad-Hoc Congress will do nothing . . . or if they do pass something through sheer fatigue, it will be so loaded with contradictions that it will have to be thrown out." --Bernardo de la Paz, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, pg 162 [Robert A. Heinlein]
I've been waiting all week for someone to blog the celebrated Iraq Study Group report, for I have a comment I'd like to make about it. Alas, nobody has obliged on these pages. But with each passing day I've come to realize that the real blogging is taking place on the front pages of the major dailies. They took the slap dash 97 page report as their kernel and proceeded to concoct every sort of meaning from it in their headlines. Every one, that is, except for making the world safe for liberty. Well, here goes.
Let's start with part I, subpart D: Achieving Our Goals:
We agree with the goal of U.S. policy in Iraq, as stated by the President: an Iraq that can “govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.” In our view, this definition entails an Iraq with a broadly representative government that maintains its territorial integrity, is at peace with its neighbors, denies terrorism a sanctuary, and doesn’t brutalize its own people. Given the current situation in Iraq, achieving this goal will require much time and will depend primarily on the actions of the Iraqi people.
It is critically important to understand that, with Saddam gone, Iraq matters little in the present war between civilization and archaic totalitarianism. Re-read the passage above and replace "Iraq" with "America." An America that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself. [...] Given the current situation in America, achieving this goal will require much time and will depend primarily on the actions of the American people."
And where America represents civilization in this war, the seat of archaic totalitarianism today is... anyone? anyone? Bueller? That's right: Iran. Now re-read the passage above replacing "Iraq" with "Iran." In our view, this definition entails an Iran with a broadly representative government that maintains its territorial integrity, is at peace with its neighbors, denies terrorism a sanctuary, and doesn’t brutalize its own people.
Now, what actions of the American people can do anything to help Iraq "govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself?"
November 16, 2006
I think Sheldon Alberts of CanWest News Service really meant to say, "Iraq denigrated into a rat's nest" as the resemblence of the Iraq we see in western media spins further and further from the actual place where thousands of brave and patriotic Americans try mightily to separate the killers from the killees. Instead he wrote, as the headline no less, "Iraq denigrating into a rat's nest, general testifies." If the general actually said that we've no way of knowing since there's nothing approaching such a quote in Sheldon's piece carried on Canada.com.
Instead it's a stream of encouragements such as, "the situation could be bleak" and "I would not say we've turned the corner." Don't increase the number of soldiers deployed there, nor send them elsewhere before Iraqi forces are available to replace them. Instead, the general suggests, we should (ahem) stay the course.
(...) Abizaid said it was his ''professional opinion'' that Iraqis could restore calm if the U.S. rapidly accelerates training of the country's military forces.
Far be it for me to degenerate dear mister Alberts, however. That is his editor's job, is it not? (Or perhaps, his high school grammar teacher's.)
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:09 PM
November 5, 2006
Saddam Found Guilty
Sun rises in east.
Sentenced to be hanged.
Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while,
I couldn't get no silver, I couldn't get no gold,
Brother, I brought you some silver, yeah.
Hangman, hangman, turn your head awhile,
Hangman, hangman, upon your face a smile,
Oh yes, you got a fine sister, She warmed my blood from cold,
But now I laugh and pull so hard And see you swinging from the Gallows Pole
October 19, 2006
In Case You Were Wondering
Crazy guy in Iran who happens to be President.
"The big powers have created this fraud regime and allowed it to commit all kind of crimes to guarantee their interests," he added.
A guy who works for a crazy guy in North Korea.
If only we had a topical quotation from Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe or Fidel Castro, then we'd have a crazy trifecta.
A general who impliments policies of a government who's crazy to respect a religion that can't respect itself, or it's gays, or it's women, or religious minorities, or... or... or... ad nauseum.
The spike in violence during the Islamic holy month of fasting was "disheartening" and the Americans were working with Iraqi authorities to "refocus" security measures, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said.
Note 1: Out of respect, weren't we supposed to scale back our military activities around Islamic holy days? I'm glad the other side got the message. As a reward, we should treat their prisoners nicely. Maybe they'll stop the beheadings.
Posted by AlexC at 11:51 AM
September 10, 2006
Forget about the media being on the Democrat's side.
Some are plain on the other side.
Posted by AlexC at 5:40 PM
September 5, 2006
Some lady who is on her twenty-seventh minute of fame get interviewed by the Waco Tribune.
Q: Last question. Do you plan to come back next year? The president is going to be in office till 2009 and our continued presence in Iraq seems fairly assured.
A: I hope he’s not in office till 2009, but this (anti-war presence in Crawford) is permanent. We’re going to start building a permanent structure soon. This may sound weird, but I’m going to live here. My residence is going to be a tree house. We’ve got some plans for amazing tree houses! This is a flood plain, so we have to build it. But the first structure we’re going to build is a camphouse with a great room and an industrial-type kitchen and an office and some bathrooms. So we’re planning on being permanent. It’s not just about George Bush, it’s about ending the occupation of Iraq and making sure it never happens again.
A tree house.
And this is someone we should consult for foreign policy decisions.
September 4, 2006
Another One Bites the Dust!
"And another one's gone, and another one's gone. Doop doop doop da doop!"
US and Iraqi forces have arrested the second most senior figure of al-Qaida in Iraq and killed 20 fellow militants.
I had to scroll through the "all 825 news articles" Google link to find one from Australia in order to avoid liberal media bias in the report. For example, the ITV [Britain] version that I took the photo from waited until the fifth of seven paragraphs before mentioning the captured man's name, and even then did it thusly:
Hours after an "embarrassed" US military again postponed a ceremony to hand command of Iraqi troops to the government, the national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie summoned reporters to a news conference to announce that Hamid Juma Faris al-Suaidi had been seized some days ago.
So after starting the story with, "Security officials [no mention of whose] claim [as it's apparently in dispute] to have arrested the second-in-command of the terror [what, no scare quotes?] group al-Qaeda in Iraq," they morphed this news item into a slanted report on the so-called occupation of Iraq by the US military. In the process they inplicity question Washington's sincerity to "let Americans go home."
If you still wonder why the majority public opinion is that things are going "badly" in Iraq, here's your answer.
July 10, 2006
What else is out there?
Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan, would not describe the program but said it was significant enough that the administration should have briefed him and others voluntarily, without waiting for them to learn of it through government tipsters.
``There was at least one major -- what I consider significant -- activity that we had not been briefed on that we have now been briefed on," Hoekstra said on ``Fox News Sunday." ``Some people within the intelligence community brought to my attention some programs that they believed we had not been briefed on. They were right."
Ed Morrissey continues to dig through Iraqi files.
Another point seems rather interesting here. The third paragraph seems to match up pretty well with the CIA/DIA description of the mobile laboratories discovered shortly after the invasion of Iraq.
Ace of Spades:
For that, we order Dr. Hazem Anwar Alnasery, assigned to the Health Department Center, and Dr Mothny Abas, president of the Central Health Testing Department, to be members of the Anthrax Operation Room. This order will not cancel the previous order assigned to Dr. Mostafa Fathee, president of the Central Health Testing Department and president of the Health Research Institute. Thanks.
Maybe they were just fans of the band Anthrax, and the "Anthrax Operation Room" plotted ways of getting them to tour in Tikrit.
July 7, 2006
Bonuses & Evasion
Now this is odd.
Powerline links to an Iraqi document which came out as a result of Project Harmony.
It is the "Bonus Record for 2003."
But then we have these categories: "Chemical;" twelve employees got bonuses. "Nuclear;" nine employees got bonuses. "Missiles;" seven employees got bonuses. "Biological;" nine employees got bonuses. I suppose those words might mean something other than the obvious. But what?
As much as one document can prove anything, this seems to demonstrate that Iraq was secretly producing and hiding chemical weapons as of September 1999.
Senator Rick Santorum was involved in releasing the documents which were released as part of Project Harmony.
June 22, 2006