Saturday, October 20, 2007
I got a new web cam and decided to try it out with some "shallow political thoughts." I'm not really thrilled with the quality of it. (I know I should have zoomed in more but I couldn't figure it out)But the lighting goes back and forth.
Anyway, I had fun doing it. If you were sitting with me having coffee I suppose this is how it would go. Heh.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 3:10 PM
MoveOn.org got quite a bit of publicity for their "General Betray Us" ad in the New York Times. What is not so well known are the lies in the ad.
Oxblog has this from the NYT's public editor:
On the morning that Petraeus testified, The Times published that MoveOn.org ad with the ''General Betray Us'' headline. Without distinguishing between an opinion piece and a news report, the ad said that, ''according to The New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, car bombs don't count. The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you're shot in the back of the head -- not the front.
''After a week of looking into these conflicting reports, interviewing government officials, policy experts and keepers of independent databases on Iraq, here is what I have found:
Back-of-the-head, front-of-the-head is not a distinction the military uses to count victims of sectarian violence. The military's manual for measuring sectarian violence, declassified the day after Krugman's column ran, says that civilians ''shot anywhere in the head'' are counted. On Sept. 25, in a detailed account of how the military counts victims of sectarian violence, The Post quoted an Army chief warrant officer as saying that ''a single shot to the head'' is a sign of sectarian violence.
Car bombings do count. The unclassified manual, ''MNF-I Ethno-Sectarian Violence Methodology,'' says car bombings at such places as mosques or markets are to be counted. Civilians killed in car bombings not deemed sectarian, like an attack on a U.S. convoy, are still counted in the overall casualty numbers.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:09 AM
Friday, October 19, 2007
CNN Ignores Radical Islam in Story of D.C. Snipers.
Go leave a comment!
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 3:56 PM
I heard a guy on the radio the other day complaining about all the anti-Americanism he hears all the time. He jokingly said that they all need to be dropped in the Middle East somewhere for about 6 months and they would come sniffling back home, like a runaway 5 yr old begging for forgiveness.
The one thing I see on the right is a profound appreciation for America. We truly see it as a "shining city upon a hill." The left don't seem to feel that way. Even those across the pond have noticed. The U.S. is a great place to be anti-American:
It has always amused me that the same people who denounce America as a seething cesspit of blind obscurantist bigotry can’t see the irony that America itself produces its own best critics. When there’s a scab to be picked on the American body politic, no one does it with more loving attention, more rigorous focus on the detail, than Americans themselves.
It has always amused me that the same people who denounce America as a seething cesspit of blind obscurantist bigotry can’t see the irony that America itself produces its own best critics. When there’s a scab to be picked on the American body politic, no one does it with more loving attention, more rigorous focus on the detail, than Americans themselves.
Today I can only laugh when I see the popular portrayal of George Bush’s America in much of the international media. Supposedly serious commentators will say, without evident irony, that free speech is under attack, that Bush’s wiretapping, Guantanamo-building, tourist-fingerprinting regime is terrifying Americans into quiet, desperate acquiescence in the country’s proliferating crimes.
The truth is that America not only harbours the most eloquent and noisy anti-Americans in its own breast, it provides a safe haven for people to come from all over the world to condemn it.
Take a stroll through almost any American university campus and you will hear a cacophony of voices in a hundred different languages, slamming everything America does, from fast food to hedge-fund capitalism. For years one of America’s most celebrated academics was Edward Said, the Palestinian agitator-cum-professor, who lived high on the hog at Columbia University, near the pinnacle of the American intellectual establishment, dispensing his wisdom about US wrongs in the Middle East.
Hollywood is the global mecca for angry denouncers of everything American. From all over they come, forcing themselves to live in their green-lawned mansions carefully tended by cheap migrant labour from south of the Border. This autumn, unsuspecting Americans (and everyone else, of course) will be treated to an especially unsettling stream of antiwar, anti-American propaganda, much of it produced in Hollywood by foreigners – such as this weekend’s likely box-office hit, Rendition.
All this sounds simply annoying to us, after all, we are all about free speech. But there is a more sinister aspect to this:
There’s another, more important aspect to the world’s affection for those in America who are most critical of it. The Americans who win global approbation in Oslo or at the UN are not simply critics of current American policy. They want to construct an international system that will for ever prevent the US from pursuing its own objectives, a system designed to dilute, counterbalance and constrain America’s ability to govern itself. They prefer a world in which American democracy is subordinated to a kind of global government, rule by a global elite, tasked to make decisions on everyone’s behalf in the name of multilateralism.
This excellent article (read the whole thing, even though I copied quite a bit) ends with this ray of hope:
Fortunately, while the American system may be forgivingly tolerant of people with wild and dangerous ideas, it doesn’t generally let them run the country.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 1:45 PM
Some time back I said she doesn't have to prove she is a man, she has to prove she is a woman. Her problem is not her sex, as she and her campaign pretend. That she is a woman is a boon to her, a source of latent power. But to make it work, she has to seem like a woman.
As Noonan points out, Hillary has gone full force convincing us of such. She talks about Chelsea's childhood now. She makes teasing references to her fashion and hairstyle choices. She goes on "The View." And I might add, she show us her delightful laugh on the Sunday morning shows.
But what Noonan understands is that Hillary is pretending and we all know that:
She is trying every day to change her image, and I suspect it's working. One senses not that she has become more authentic, but that she has gone beyond her own discomfort at her lack of authenticity. I am not saying she has learned to be herself. I think after a year on the trail she's learned how to not be herself, how to comfortably adopt a skin and play a part.
We all know Hillary well enough. As Noonan points out:
No close or longtime observer has ever been quoted as saying that she may be too soft for the job. Instead one worries about what has always seemed her characterological bellicosity. She invented the War Room, listened in on the wiretaps, brought into the White House the man who got the private FBI files of the Clintons' perceived enemies.
It's always high drama with her, always a cauldron--secret Web sites put up by unnamed operatives smearing Barack Obama in the tones of Tokyo Rose, Chinese businessmen having breakdowns on trains after the campaign cash is traced back, secret deals. It's always flying monkeys. One always wants to ask: Why? What is this?
I had to laugh at the flying monkeys and cauldron references. Is she calling Hillary the umm.....owner of said monkeys? That's not like my Peggy!
Anyway, my feeling is that if Hillary can convince enough moderates that she is tough enough to use our military if necessary AND convince women in America that she is just like them, she can win.
Many women have empathy for Hillary. They know what's it like to be married to a jerk who seems perfectly wonderful in public, but treats his wife terribly on the side. They know what it's like to stay with a man like this for a myriad of reasons. They see the political system awash with men in suits and like the idea of a woman in charge.
Hillary can win as long as the masks stays on. But make no mistake about it, the radical feminist you see above is the real Hillary.
The Hillary you see on TV every night is the one wearing the stage makeup and hair.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:39 AM
Rudy can't beat Hillary.
28% of Americans say they would not vote for a Mormon.
An endorsement Fred Thompson doesn't want.
On the other hand:
Kate O'Beirne asks "Could he be the strongest GOPer?"
McCain gets standing ovation in South Carolina.
Joe Klein says "McCain is Back."
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:12 AM
Check out the pics!
MAF Blogger Danny: SEE RALLY PICTURES & VIDEO - HERE!!!
Debbi's Dribble Blog: More Pictures - HERE
Michelle Malkin's Blog: Red, White & Blue in Berkeley - HERE
Pipeline News: Move America Forward Counter Demonstration Crushes Code Pink In Berkeley - HERE
Contra Costa Times: Flag-waving demonstrators far outnumbered a group of peace advocates
Daily Californian: Protestors Clash Over Military Recruitment
Wake Up America Blog: Making Them "Pink" With Frustration
MAF Daily File: Catherine Moy Gives a First Hand Report - HERE
Winter's Soldier Blog: Melanie Morgan, MAF Rout Code Pinkos in Berkeley!
via Blogs For Bush
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:42 AM
Check out this Iowa poll:
1. If the 2008 Republican presidential caucus were held today between Sam Brownback, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, and Fred Thompson, for whom would you vote? (Republicans Only; Names Rotated)
Mitt Romney 27%, Rudy Giuliani 13%, Mike Huckabee 12%, Fred Thompson 10%, John McCain 5%, Sam Brownback 4%, Ron Paul 4%, Tom Tancredo 2%, Duncan Hunter 1%, Undecided 22%
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:35 AM
NRO's Mike Potemra says that "Anti-Iraq War blogger Mark Shea is trying to drive a wedge between U.S. evangelicals and Israel, by posting a video on his website that he hopes will shock us into realizing that Israel is just another “secular nation-state.” Potemra argues that even evangelicals such as himself see the humor in this video.
Now, I know you guys will enjoy the video, and I too can enjoy a bit of tongue in cheek humor, bikini clad babes and all, but it does go a bit too far for me in the end. I don't like the "Holy Mother of God" bit, but everything else is fine. Like Potemra says, Israel is both a secular national state and a nation of descendants of God’s Chosen People.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:18 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
When I was young, my mom use to leave the hall bathroom light on at night (mainly because I was scared of the dark) and I would sneak in there in the middle of the night and sit in the dirty clothes basket (hey, it was comfortable) and read MAD magazine for hours.
This brought back those memories. Don't even get me started on Spy vs Spy. I would kill for this Box Set. Someone tell Santa.
I never understood the social commentary (at least not until I was older) but I just loved it. When I was in college, my Mom gave away my 1200 comic books and Mad magazines. Which I am pretty sure is a felony, but I chose not to press charges.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:37 PM
High Ideals In High Heels.
Describes her perfectly.
She's my daughter and she has her own blog now. She has two posts up. Go give her a warm welcome.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 12:04 PM
They are Carwin Jones and Bryant Purvis of the so-called “Jena 6.” The two walked the red carpet of the 2007 BET Hip-Hop Awards, held this weekend in Atlanta.
According to those in attendance, they spoke briefly about the case before presenting the Hip-Hop Video of the Year Award.
Though their cohort Mychal Bell is back behind bars, that didn’t stop the two from hamming it up for the cameras (even holding up the number six with their fingers).
What does it say about the culture’s celebrity obsession that these two would be feted as stars? Do you think their participation in the award show undermines the gravity of the situation in Jena, La.?
Find all the common sense goodness of Cosby and Poussant here.
BET should be ashamed. What BET should do if they cared about the future of young blacks, is buy up as many of Cosby and Poussaint's books as possible and give away free to their audience.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:54 AM
Once again the Democrat leadership seem determined to undermine our ability to track terrorists. House Democrats were forced to pull their proposed legislation to change the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) because of lack of support among moderate Democrats. These same moderate Democrats joined Republicans two months ago to pass a temporary FISA fix so our intelligence could monitor the overseas communications of terrorists without a warrant. Proving that there are Democrats who understand this war on terror.
Powerline makes this important point to understand:
As the Washington Times notes, it "would require a court order to gather communications when a foreign terrorist tries to contact someone in the United States" even though "from 1978 when FISA was first enacted until this year, no such requirement existed."
So we have done fine since 1978 with FISA the way it was implemented, but now, when we need intelligence on terrorists more than ever before, Democrat leaders want to change it to make it more difficult to wiretap terrorists.
Powerline also has this:
Brian Walsh and Todd Gaziano of the Heritage Foundation extend the critique of the Democrats' attempt to impose "a Byzantine and unprecedentedly burdensome intelligence regime on those charged with protecting Americans from international terrorists." Among other things, they ask:
Why Congress would depart from the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission by making it more difficult and cumbersome to gather intelligence on Islamic terrorists;
Whether there was any actual harm (rather than psychic harm that supposedly results from potential surveillance) to any American citizens as a result of five years of intelligence gathering on foreign terrorists since 9/11 and, if so, what that supposed harm was;
Why Congress believes it has the constitutional authority, with or without a court's assistance, to micromanage decisions about which potential foreign enemies to gather information on, when that power is constitutionally vested in the commander in chief;
Why no previous President--Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, or Bill Clinton--has ever conceded that FISA or any other regulatory regime crafted by Congress is the sole means by which a President may collect intelligence for national security purposes; andWhy Americans should entrust to Congress and congressional staff members a database containing information on every American whose name is mentioned as part of a national security investigation.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:31 AM
Oh wait. Not by our enemy. By The New York Times helping our enemy.
The propaganda seems to be working in some corners.
I may be sick.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:34 AM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I've read quite a bit on John McCain. I have a folder in my favorites that has at least a two dozen or more articles on him. But I haven't read this:
In captivity, covert 'church'
Being taken captive matured him fast, he has said, and over time, he discovered that having faith gave him a common bond with his fellow prisoners.
Orson Swindle, an ex-POW who spent the last 20 months of his captivity at McCain's side, recalls how important "church" was when he and the others were being held individually in separate rooms. Every Sunday, after the midday meal was finished, the dishes were washed, and the guards had departed, the senior officer in the area would signal that it was time to pray together, by coughing in a way that signaled the letter "c" for church – one cough and then three coughs.
"It was time for a solid stream of thought among those of us there," says Mr. Swindle, now a policy adviser in Washington. "We all silently said the Pledge of Allegiance, we repeated the 23rd Psalm and the Lord's Prayer, and anything else you'd want to [say] in there that would get us some help – but not out loud. If we were heard talking, they would come in and start torturing us."
Toward the end of the war, when the North Vietnamese lightened up a bit and put the POWs together in a room, the prisoners organized Sunday church services. McCain was the room chaplain, "not because the senior ranking officer thought I was imbued with any particular extra brand of religion, but because I knew all of the words of the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed," the senator says.
McCain conducted services and gave sermons, of sorts. "It was a topic, a talk," he says. "We had a choir that was marvelous…. The guy who directed it happened to have been previously the director of the Air Force Academy choir."
McCain will always remember the first Christmas they were allowed to have a service together. They had never been able to have a Bible before, but shortly before this particular Christmas, the Vietnamese handed McCain a King James Bible, a piece of paper, and a pencil. He jotted down bits of the nativity story from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
"On Christmas Eve, the first time we had been together – some guys had been there as long as seven years – we had our service," he says. "We got to the point where we talked about the birth of Christ, and then sang 'Silent Night,' and I still remember looking at the faces of those guys – skinny, worn out – but most of them, a lot of them, had tears down their faces. And they weren't sorrow, they were happiness that for the first time in so many years we were able to worship together."
For McCain, there were other moments of grace in prison. While in solitary confinement, he would be left for the night with his arms tied back in a painful position. One night, a guard walked in and loosened the ropes, then came back five hours later and tightened up the ropes again, without saying a word. Two months later, on Christmas Day, McCain was allowed to stand outside for 10 minutes in a courtyard, and that same guard came up to him. The guard stood beside him for a minute, then drew a cross in the dirt with his sandal and stood there for a minute, looking at McCain silently. A few minutes later he rubbed it out and walked away.
"My friends, I will never forget that man," McCain recounts during a town-hall meeting with voters, his voice choked with emotion. "I will never forget that moment. And I will never forget the fact that no matter where you are, no matter how difficult things are, there's always going to be someone of your faith and your belief and your devotion to your fellow man who will pick you up and help you out and bring you through."
In McCain, you won't find a Bible thumper. That isn't him. I think he looks at life and faith through the eyes of a survivor. Most of us wouldn't understand that. I won't speak for him, but when someone survives something so horrific, they usually feel a need to make a difference. They are still here, there must be a reason. McCain seems to feel that in a big way. He doesn't preach. He just does what he feels is right.
What I have tried to make people understand about McCain is that what he has been through, his sacrifice for his country, his public service, and his leadership makes him UNIQUELY qualified to be President. His experience is such that all of us should be able to forgive him for when he has let us down politically.
Because a hero deserves this.
And is there any doubt at all that he is a hero?
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:31 PM
Jim Geraghty reports on this Huffington Post where they just can't believe Huckabee compares "safe sex" to domestic violence:
"If we really are serious about stopping a problem, whether it's drunk drinking...we don't say "Don't drive 'as drunk'?" ...This is an illogical thing that we apply to that one area that we don't apply to any other area. And I'm open-minded to all the arguments, if someone can convince me a little reckless behavior is OK. Maybe that's the message. But it would seem to me that if we're consistent in saying reckless behavior is undesirable we should ask people to move their behavior to the standard and not move the standard to the behavior...We don't say that a little domestic violence is OK, just cut it down a little, just don't hit quite as hard. We say it's wrong."
There is absolutely nothing wrong with what he is saying and everything right about it. Look, promiscuous sex leads to AIDS, HIV and about 50 other sexually transmitted diseases. To pretend that using condoms prevents these things is foolish at best. Nothing is 100%. Even against pregnancy. So, when you look at consequences of a behavior, like domestic violence or drunk driving OR spreading STD's, we all agree these are wrong and should be stopped as much as we are able to do so. We should encourage actions that prevent these consequences, right? Huckabee is right on the money.
Most people like to drink, right? But if you drink and drive you put others at risk. Grave risk. These are behaviors that we draw the line at. We say "NO" to drinking and driving. Why can't we do the same to promiscuous sex? Both are personal decisions one makes and both put others at risk. Grave risk. Yet we make laws against drunk driving, while we throw condoms at promiscuous sex. It's like throwing coffee at drunk drivers or a Yanni CD at a wife abuser.
MADD did a tremendous job at making the public aware of the dangers of drunk driving. When I was young, everyone drove while drinking. No one thought twice about it. We need a MADD organization against promiscuous sex. We need to teach our children how dangerous this is.
In practical terms, we cannot impose laws on unsafe sexual activity, but we can sure as heck not promote it with condoms, which encourage this behavior instead of stopping it. The behavior is WRONG. That is the message we need to be sending.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:54 PM
In case you haven't heard, Lynne Cheney revealed on CNN this morning that in researching her new book, she found that Dick Cheney and Barack Obama were eighth cousins.
Which prompted the hilarious picture above from skippy the bush kangaroo, that I stole from Outside The Beltway.
To put this in perspective, a commenter said that 8th cousin means your 5th Great Grandparents shared common grandparents.
Still, this fascinating to me. I just love ancestry. I have a great aunt who typed up pages and pages of stories of my family history. But upon closer inspection, I found a few time lines out of wack. So, now I'm not sure of the legitimacy of it all. But I did have a great great grandmother that was full bloodied Cherokee Indian. I have talked about this before and my leftie/crazy friend/commenter dave bones from across the pond, now calls me "squaw," which makes me laugh, but then again, since it means "the totality of being female," I kind of like it.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 2:40 PM
Yesterday my son pointed out to me that if Hillary won the next Presidential election, he would probably be married with children and have always had either a Bush or a Clinton as President in his lifetime. Isn't that just strange?
Well, I jokingly said "And if she is re-elected and then after that Jeb Bush runs and wins, you will be 36 yrs old and still be able to say that."
So imagine my surprise when I read over at Outside The Beltway, that James Carville predicted yesterday that Jeb Bush will be the G.O.P's nominee for 2008. Like OTB, I find that almost impossible, but it still leaves my scenario in place for the future.
Not a good thing imo. In fact it bothered me quite a bit to think of it. We don't need dynasties. We need leaders.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 2:24 PM
First let's define what a carbon offset is. According to carbonfund.org: "Carbon offsets are the process of reducing a ton of carbon dioxide emissions in another location for the emissions you cause in your home, office, commute, travel, or other activities that use energy and cause emissions."
Tree planting is the most common, renewable energy, energy conservation and methane capture offsets have now become increasingly popular.
When you are purchase carbon offsets, you are essentially paying someone else to mitigate carbon emissions somewhere else.
Tony Blankley, while making fun of Al Gore, gives this analogy:
Let's suppose that Al Gore goes to an Italian restaurant and eats a loaf of garlic bread, a plate of lasagna, a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, an extra-large pizza with seven toppings, a couple bottles of Chianti and a large assortment of pastries. As a result, he puts on 10 pounds. But he is deeply concerned that mankind is getting too fat. So he pays 10 peasants in Asia $10 each to eat nothing for a week. Although they are already thin, by starving themselves for a week, they each lose a pound. As a result, after a week, mankind is weight neutral. Al Gore weighs 10 pounds more, 10 Asians weigh 10 pounds less -- and Al Gore is given another Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in keeping mankind's waistline in check.
Of course, this example is not quite fair to Gore because that imagined humanitarianism actually costs him cash money. In the real carbon offset business, he looks forward to being paid for directing other carbon consumers to invest in carbon neutral projects. Although when Gore personally is using carbon, as when he flies in a carbon-belching Gulfstream, one of his companies would pay some other fella not to fly or plant a tree or do something to offset Gore's carbon belching.
It is too easy to make fun of this. But try and google the news on carbon offsets and you will find almost no negative reporting from the MSM. Yet I did find this in looking around:
In 2007, the Financial Times conducted an investigation of the voluntary (unregulated) carbon offsets industry. Among the findings they reported were:
Widespread instances of people and organizations buying worthless credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions.
Industrial companies profiting from doing very little – or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially.
Brokers providing services of questionable or no value.
A shortage of verification, making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits.
Companies and individuals being charged over the odds for the private purchase of European Union carbon permits that have plummeted in value because they do not result in emissions cuts. via Wikipedia
So here is a whole movement and industry that claims we can buy "offsets" to lessen our carbon footprint and there seems to be no real evidence it does so. And the mainstream media seems to have no interest in this whatsoever. Go figure
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:58 AM
If you watched TV News this morning, Stephen Colbert is running for President. Does this remind you of anyone?
Apparently Colbert will actually be on the ballot in the state of South Carolina only. My guess he will generate more votes than Paulsen ever dreamed of.
via media blog
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:30 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
You can read it here. The above is a screenshot of her page. Other than the "P.S. I'm a dude" comment, it isn't nearly as nasty as I expected. (The comments at the link make up for it though.) Can I just add here that particular insult to Ann is just so ridiculous. You can be angry with Ann for many things, but to pretend she isn't a beautiful woman just makes you look foolish. She just is.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 4:43 PM
It takes a few moments to get funny. Stick with it.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 4:00 PM
• 52% agree with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level — about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% say benefits should go to families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow.
• 55% are very or somewhat concerned that the program would create an incentive for families to drop private insurance. Bush and Republican opponents have called that a step toward government-run health care.
In fairness, the poll also shows that the public trusts Democrats more to run health care (ACK!!), but at least they are understanding the fundamental problem with expanding SCHIP, and it's not because we are against insuring poor children.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:15 AM
Republicans are focusing on an allegation in a recent book by two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, which suggests Clinton listened to a secretly recorded conversation between political opponents.
In their book about Clinton’s rise to power, Her Way, Don Van Natta Jr., an investigative reporter at The New York Times, and Jeff Gerth, who spent 30 years as an investigative reporter at the paper, wrote: “Hillary’s defense activities ranged from the inspirational to the microscopic to the down and dirty. She received memos about the status of various press inquiries; she vetted senior campaign aides; and she listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack.
“The tape contained discussions of another woman who might surface with allegations about an affair with Bill,” Gerth and Van Natta wrote in reference to Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. “Bill’s supporters monitored frequencies used by cell phones, and the tape was made during one of those monitoring sessions.”
I have no doubt that this is true. But it isn't Republicans who should be using this now. It should be OBAMA.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:26 AM
Update: Michael Yon on CNN. via HotAir.
E-mail from Michael Yon:
Iraq is on the mend, al Qaeda is on the run, and the civil war has abated to a point where the term "civil war" no longer applies.
Accurate war coverage is increasingly important. Even prominent seemingly well-informed persons can get it wrong, such as retired Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez who previously commanded the war in Iraq. His recent public statements –selectively excerpted and then widely dispersed by the hot winds of media – made it clear that this former senior commander is far out of touch with the current situation.
But there are commanders with a finger on the pulse.
When earlier this year I wrote about the 1-4 CAV transforming an abandoned seminary in a Baghdad neighborhood that had been decimated by civil war, the "surge" had not even begun; but already pundits, politicians and editors had declared it a failure. Though I'd spent only a few days with LTC Crider and his 1-4 CAV soldiers at the new COP Amanche, I ended the dispatch on a note of hope based on observation. I recently received an email from LTC Crider with an update on that Baghdad neighborhood. Please read "Achievements of the Human Heart" and see for yourself.
I was in al Basra province when I saw news reports claiming that Basra city had descended into chaos in the wake of an announcement about the draw down of British Soldiers. I emailed the facts about Basra to several bloggers who hold the media accountable, and the resulting effort got the attention of Tom Foreman who anchors CNN's "This Week at War." We were able to make a CNN interview, and the result is a segment that accurately reflects a complex and changing situation. Bravo to CNN for setting the record straight, and to the tireless bloggers who are making a substantial difference in the way news about the war is delivered.
There are major developments to share with readers in upcoming dispatches. If things go at-least-mostly according to plan (which is all we can hope for in war), and if I can rely on the help of readers who share my frustration with the lack of accurate reporting, we can significantly widen the stream of news flowing from Iraq so more people can obtain a truer picture. This will require the will and generosity of readers. But more on that, soon.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:09 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
By bureaucracy and stupidity.
In early May, seven soldiers were on lookout near a patrol area in a dangerous part of Iraq. Four heavily armed al-Qaeda attacked them.
Four of the soldiers were killed on the spot and three others were taken hostage.
A search to rescue the men was quickly launched. But it soon ground to a halt as lawyers - obeying strict U.S. laws about surveillance - cobbled together the legal grounds for wiretapping the suspected kidnappers.
For an excruciating nine hours and 38 minutes, searchers in Iraq waited as U.S. lawyers discussed legal issues and hammered out the “probable cause” necessary for the attorney general to grant such “emergency” permission.
Finally, approval was granted and, at 7:38 that night, surveillance began.
Read the rest and weep.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 12:46 PM
Victor Davis Hanson:
Any visitor to Iraq can see that the American military cannot be defeated there, but is also puzzled over exactly how we could win — victory being defined as fostering a stable Iraqi constitutional state analogous to, say, Turkey.
But war is never static. Over the last 90 days, there has been newfound optimism, as Iraqis are at last stepping forward to help Americans secure their country.
There is reduced voilence everywhere. Why?
Officers offered a number of theories. The surge of American troops, and Gen. David Petraeus' risky tactics of going after the terrorists within their enclaves, have put al-Qaida on the run. Likewise, in the past four years, the U.S. military has killed thousands of these terrorists and depleted their ranks.
Iraqis of all tribes and sects are also growing tired of the nihilistic violence that is squandering the opportunity for something better than Saddam's rule. The astronomical spike in oil prices has resulted in windfall profits of billions of dollars for the Iraqi government — and with it the realization that Iraq could someday become a wealthy, advanced state.
Iraqis told me that their widely held fear that Americans are going to leave soon has galvanized Sunnis to finally step up to secure their country or face even worse chaos in our absence.
The result is that ordinary Iraqis are increasingly willing to participate in local government and civil defense. Such popular engagement from the bottom up offers more hope than the old 2003 idea that a democratically elected government could simply mandate reform top-down from enclaves in the Green Zone.
The time is now. We are at a turning point.
Lost in all this confusion over Iraq is the fact that about 160,000 gifted American soldiers are trying to help rebuild an entire civilization socially, politically and economically — and defeat killers in their midst who will murder far beyond Iraq if not stopped.
It's time to pray.
h/t to BigDog
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 12:14 PM
Many in the military believe so. This is subscription from the WaPo so I will copy generously:
The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.
But some officials say making a declaration of victory fuel criticism that the Iraqi conflict has become a civil war only and they worry about declaring victory to an adversary that has shown resilience before.
There is widespread agreement that AQI has suffered major blows over the past three months. Among the indicators cited is a sharp drop in suicide bombings, the group's signature attack, from more than 60 in January to around 30 a month since July. Captures and interrogations of AQI leaders over the summer had what a senior military intelligence official called a "cascade effect," leading to other killings and captures. The flow of foreign fighters through Syria into Iraq has also diminished, although officials are unsure of the reason and are concerned that the broader al-Qaeda network may be diverting new recruits to Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Read that paragraph again. It is NOTHING but good news. And it gets better:
The deployment of more U.S. and Iraqi forces into AQI strongholds in Anbar province and the Baghdad area, as well as the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters to combat AQI operatives in those locations, has helped to deprive the militants of a secure base of operations, U.S. military officials said. "They are less and less coordinated, more and more fragmented," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq, said recently. Describing frayed support structures and supply lines, Odierno estimated that the group's capabilities have been "degraded" by 60 to 70 percent since the beginning of the year.
While it would be nice to make a declaration of victory, what purpose does that serve? To win the war of words here in America? The left plays that game. We shouldn't. This isn't a Bruce Willis movie where everything is neatly decided in the end. This is real war. Let's just let our boys do the job they need to do and let's not worry about PR here.
Look at what we have accomplished, even with the media's constant barrage of bad news from Iraq and never reporting the good. The left has convinced many Americans that we can't win. But we on the right know better. Forget PR, and let's just win.
The title of this piece is "Al-Qaeda in Iraq reported Crippled." Wasn't this our goal? This is who flew our planes into our buildings. To use a well worn quote, we fought them there so we wouldn't have to fight them here.
And we have.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:27 AM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Just a bunch of good stuff.
You have to wonder if the MSM even tries anymore. Read about Newsweek displaying six pictures on one page (regarding Rudy's right hand men) and five of the six captions are wrong
"The Lonely War." For all the debate and talk about the war in America, it really isn't understood. We especially don't understand how our military is making it all work, despite the negativity and dreary war soundbites in America.
Wasting our tax dollars with earmarks and through our military. It will make you just want to scream.
Americans would rather know what Britney did today than about the men who fight our battles. It's too bad, because this is history in the making. At this critical time in the war, maybe we can look away from tabloid TV and see the world changing events as they happen.
Good news from Iraq and there is a boatload. (via Ace)
And finally, I'll leave you with laughter. Stephen Colbert managed to snag Maureen Dowd's New York Time's column for the day and it is funny.
h/t to BigDog for some of the links!
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 9:45 PM
"ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".
Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth."
Read the whole thing.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 1:29 PM