Tuesday, January 31, 2006

CPAC '06

The largest gathering of conservative political activists in the U.S. is fast approaching but it is not too late to register. This year's CPAC is in Wahsington D.C. and runs from 2/9-2/11. It promises to be a good one with a list of speakers that is a Who's Who of conservative activists and political figures. Please visit the website for further information.

http://www.cpac.org/

Where Are the WMDs?

A new book on this very subject was written by one of Saddam's generals, George Sada. Below is a link to Brit Hume's comments and a link to the book.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182941,00.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591454042/qid=1138759379/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/104-3671747-4796718?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

Quote of the Week

"One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half."

Sir Winston Churchill

The Price of Appeasement

The recent election of the terrorist organization Hamas to lead the Palestinians seems to have taken many by surprise. I am wondering why anybody is standing around scratching their head wondering why this has happened. The answer is very simple.

Arial Sharon recently kicked his own citizens out of Gaza. They were forced to leave their homes and their homes were destroyed. A Gaza, cleansed of Israelis, was then handed to the Palestinians in hope that it would stop violent terrorist acts against Israel. It appears the Palestinians viewed it as a victory. After decades without capitulation to the demands of Palestinian terrorists like Hamas for territory in the wake of perpetual terrorist attacks, Sharon caved. He gave them what they have been asking for all along-territory cleansed of Jews. Only Sharon did not give them everything they wanted. They want more, they want Jerusalem, they want Israel to cease to exist; they want the entire region cleansed of Jews.

The Palestinians viewed Sharon's generosity as a victory for Hamas and they now see Hamas as a vehicle for further advancements of their desires. In short, Hamas via terrorism finally made headway in their war against Israel with tangible results. They are not about to turn back now.

In this story there is a lesson. Appeasement does not work against terrorists. It emboldens them and it provides terrorists with support from the populace for whom they fight. Americans will do well do note the results of this election in the context of Sharon's acts of appeasement so that we do not make the same mistakes.

Justice Alito




The confirmation is now complete. Judge Alito has just become the 110th Supreme Court justice with a 58-42 vote.

Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. became the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, confirmed with the most partisan victory in modern history after a fierce battle over the future direction of the high court.

The Senate voted 58-42 to confirm Alito — a former federal appellate judge, U.S. attorney, and conservative lawyer for the Reagan administration from New Jersey — as the replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been a moderate swing vote on the court.

All but one of the Senate's majority Republicans voted for his confirmation, while all but four of the Democrats voted against Alito.

That is the smallest number of senators in the president's opposing party to support a Supreme Court justice in modern history. Chief Justice John Roberts got 22 Democratic votes last year, and Justice Clarence Thomas — who was confirmed in 1991 on a 52-48 vote — got 11 Democratic votes.

Alito watched the final vote from the White House's Roosevelt Room with his family. He was to be sworn in by Roberts at the Supreme Court in a private ceremony later in the day, in plenty of time for him to appear with President Bush at the State of the Union speech Tuesday evening.

Alito will be ceremonially sworn in a second time at a White House East Room appearance on Wednesday.

With the confirmation vote, O'Connor's resignation became official...


This is a great victory for conservatives that are tired of the judiciary legislating from the bench. It has also been quite entertaining watching the Democrats make asses of themselves with their child like temper tantrums.

Congratulations goes out to Justice Alito and his family!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Murtha the Magnificent




Yesterday Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) went from just a normal defeatist democrat to prognosticator guru. Murtha predicted that U.S. troops would leave Iraq by years end due to political pressure and because of a Congressional election year. He went on to state that "we're not fighting terrorism in Iraq. We're fighting a civil war in Iraq. We've got to give them an incentive. We fought our Civil War. Let them fight their civil war."

Murtha went on to delve into the Iraqi psyche stating that many Iraqis believe that it is alright to kill Americans. Even more astonishing was his revelation that most Iraqis want us to leave. Murtha said that there was no reason that we could not do what we are doing now in Iraq from the periphery, then went on to predict "I've just come to the conclusion it's going to happen and it's just a matter of time." He later expanded on his earlier prediction of a troop withdrawal by stating that the troop level will be below 100,000 by midsummer.

Murtha did not limit his prognostications to just the Iraq War. He continued by predicting that Sen. Hillary Clinton could win the Democrat nomination for the Presidency but would lose in the general election.

Linked at Conservative Cat

Political Hack of the Week

This weeks winner of the Political Hack of the Week award is Senator Dianne Feinstein Democrat from California. She wins this award for her impersonation of flip-flop artist John Kerry.

A week ago Feinstein announced on CBS's Face the Nation that while Judge Alito was "a man I might disagree with. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the court." She stated that she did not believe a filibuster was warranted. She went on to qualify that statement by saying "I don't see those kinds of egregious things emerging that would justify a filibuster. I think when it comes to filibustering a Supreme Court appointment, you really have to have something out there, whether it's gross moral turpitude or something that comes to the surface,".

How things can change in less than a week. Now Feinstein states that she will support an attmept by her Democrat colleagues to filibuster the Alito nomination. So far Feinstein has failed to put forth any stunning revelations as to any "gross moral turpitude or something that comes to the surface" in regards to Judge Alito as a justification for her reversal.

Even though her announcement seems to have come two hours after Feinstein's one could assume that Feinstein reversed herself due to Cindy Sheehan's threat to run against her if she did not support a filibuster. This is pretty doubtful. In fact the opposite is probably true. It is probably a case of Cindy Sheehan stating this after learning of Feinstein's reversal in an attempt to show she has some kind of political clout.

What is clear is that Sen. Feinstein has no fortitude to stand up against left-wing special interest groups and do what is right. If she can state one week that there are no outstanding reasons for a filibuster and then the next state that she supports a filibuster she has an obligation to explain what circumstances have presented themselves for a reversal in her stance. Of course this is not going to happen because there are no outstanding circumstances warranting a filibuster. This is a case of the democrats merely pandering to the radical left and a childish temper tantrum on their part brought about by their inability to stop the Supreme Court from moving a little more to the right.

Linked at Oblogatory Anecdotes and Stop the ACLU and Gribbit's Word

Friday, January 27, 2006

THE CHALLENGER SEVEN




On January 28, 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after it took off from Cape Canaveral. Seven brave human beings lost their lives that day in the pursuit of space exploration.

One member of that mission was a school teacher from New Hampshire Christa McAuliffe. In 1984 NASA announced that it was looking for someone from the education profession to become an astronaut so that they could communicate to kids from space. McAuliffe was selected out of 11,000 applicants. Another member was pilot Michael Smith from my home state of North Carolina. The other members were:

Francis "Dick" Scobee Flight Commander
Ronald McNair Mission Specialist
Lt. Col. E.S. Onizuka (USAF) Mission Specialist
Dr. Judith Resnik Mission Specialist
Gregory Jarvis Payload Specialist

This terrible tragedy ranks with those that if they happen in your lifetime you never forget where you were when you heard the news. The space shuttle missions of the eighties rekindled the interest in space exploration started in the sixties. The Challenger disaster resonated heavily with both the baby boomer generation that watched the Apollo moon landings and Star Trek space adventures and my Star Wars and space shuttle generation.

On this historic but tragic anniversary we should remember the sacrifice of those modern day explorers. Remember and honor those astronauts from the Apollo-1 204 mission, in which the lives of Gus Grissom, Edward White II, and Roger Chaffee were lost, to Challenger and to the more recent Columbia disaster. Honor the men and women that continue the pursuit of knowledge for the betterment of mankind.

There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."


-Ronald Reagan

Linked at Gribbit's Word and Stop the ACLU

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Hot 2005 (a sad attempt at satire)




A federal analysis has come to the conclusion that 2005 beat out 1998 as the warmest year in a century.

Researchers calculated that 2005 produced the highest annual average surface temperature worldwide since instrument recordings began in the late 1800s, said James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The result confirms a prediction the institute made in December.


Mr. Hansen went on to say that "2005 reached the warmth of 1998 without help of the "El Nino of the century" that pushed temperatures up in 1998."

This revelation prompted Al Gore to state that he finally felt vindicated after suffering so many years with the thought that the warmest year in a century happened on his ecological watch. He went on to state that after watching Bush guide Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans in an attempt to eradicate the poor and this stunning pronouncement from the Goddard Institute, his suspicions are now confirmed that El Nino was a conspiracy carried out by George Bush and his cronies to discredit him just before the 2000 elections.

Gore is now saying that Congress should conduct impeachment hearings followed by indictments on high ranking Bush figures now that all of the pieces of the 2000 Bush conspiracy are now in place. He stated that this should happen immediately so that he can promptly replace George Bush and finish the eight year term that is rightfully his.

Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated that he will call for an emergency hearing to start as early as next week and that Mr. Hansen should immediately be subpoenaed. When reached for comment Mr. Hansen clarified his recent announcement by stating "the analysis estimated temperatures in the Arctic from nearby weather stations because no direct data were available. Because of that, "we couldn't say with 100 percent certainty that it's the warmest year, but I'm reasonably confident that it was,"."

Gore contributed this type of backstepping on the part of Mr. Hansen to threats and coercion from members of Bush's Administration. Gore also contacted the National Climatic Data Center looking for confirmation that 2005 was warmer than 1998. Jay Lawrimore, a spokesman for that agency stated that "his own center's current data suggest 2005 came in a close second to 1998, in part because of how the Arctic was factored in."



photo courtesy of www.gambits.com

An outraged Gore is now demanding an immediate recount and promising to pursue this matter judicially. He promises to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. When reached for comment on the possibility of a recount Mr. Lawrimore stated that "a forthcoming analysis "will likely show that 2005 is slightly warmer than 1998."

Aides to the former Vice President say that while Gore cannot say with 100 percent certainty that he will lose this recount like he did in 2000, he is reasonably confident that he will.

Linked at Conservative Cat

Monday, January 23, 2006

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Hollywood!

The recent ranting of another one of Hollywood's liberal icons has really chapped my hide and got me thinking. Harry Belafonte spoke out to the socialist president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez offering the following words of support:

"No matter what, the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorists in the world, George W. Bush says...Millions of American people support your revolution."

Obviously Mr. Belafonte is not only denouncing our president but our capitalist way of life. He, along with many others in Hollywood (probably not millions however), sing the praises of socialism. They encourage the redistribution of wealth and supposed equality for all, yet they remain some of the richest people in America. This raises some questions.

One of the basic tenets of socialism is the belief that the government is better at taking care of the people than the people are at taking care of themselves. Socialists view the government as the caretaker who should decide what is best for the masses and use all their money, pooled into its coffers to do good for the people. In order to accomplish this the belief in the concepts of the collection and redistribution of wealth are essential. So, I have some questions or, should I say a challenge, for Mr. Belafonte and some of his buddies like Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon et al.

They are all very wealthy, so why don't they hand in all the money they own and earn annually, minus a reasonable amount to survive on, to the Medicaid system in California. I believe it is called MediCal and it is in dire straits. All these wealthy socialists could dump all their money, except for about $100,000.00 annually into MediCal. This $100,000.00 should be sufficient to live off of in Southern California. They could also retain what would be reasonable retirement and savings accounts for someone their age who is working class. If you took all of the combined wealth of the Hollywood socialists I am betting you could prop up Medical pretty good. Better yet they would be practicing what they preach, so-to-speak. Their wealth would be given to the government to be redistributed among the less fortunate masses in the form of socialized medicine. So why don't they?

I don't know but I have a guess. They are elitist, just like Ted Kennedy and the far Lefties in academia. The government knows what is best for everybody but them. They know what is best for everybody else, but it does not apply to them. They consider themselves intellectually and morally superior to everyone else, thus exempt from their own agendas. That is why they attempt to dictate to the world how things should be for everybody but themselves. They are elitist.

And there you have it Hollywood elites, I challenge you to stand by your socialists principles and do what you think I should do. Work hard, turn over almost all your earnings to the government so that they can use it in whatever way they see fit to "take care" of us and you. I won't hold my breath.

Quote of the Week

"Because our homeland and very survival are once more at stake, the American people can't afford to treat this new war against terrorism like they did Vietnam."

David Hackworth

Thursday, January 19, 2006

444



On November 4, 1979 militant Iranian students rushed the U.S. embassy in Iran and took 66 American hostages. 52 of those hostages would be held for the next 444 long days. During that time the hostages endured various forms of torture including mock executions.

The reasoning behind the storming of the embassy and the seizure of the hostages was that President Jimmy Carter allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to enter the United States in order to seek medical treatment. The Iranians wanted the Shah returned to Iran to stand trial. They also wanted the U.S. to return money taken by the Shah and a promise not to intefere with the Iranian government. Of course these demands were rejected and diplomatic ties were severed in conjunction with economic sanctions.

A rescue mission was attempted on April 24-25 1980 but failed in disaster when a helicopter and a C-130 transport plane collided shortly after the mission was aborted. Eight brave U.S. service men lost their lives.

Twenty-five years ago today after the death of the Shah some six months earlier, the invasion of Iran by Iraq, and after last minute negotiations by Carter in which he released some 8 billion dollars in Iranian assets the hostages were released shortly after President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.

These brave men should be remembered for their courage and for their service to our country. Thank you and once again WELCOME HOME!

Political Hack of the Week

This weeks winner of the award has surpassed political wannabe status and has gone straight into the status of political hack. He is the first to do so. The winner this week is Democrat Candidate for the Senate from Ohio Paul Hackett. For those of you that do not know this is why this moonbat wins the award.

"The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren’t a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of the other religious nuts around the world."

Not only did this hack state that the Republican Party are a bunch of religious fanatics but he compared them to Osama bin Laden. Now of course as you would expect this statement drew some fire. Let's see what Mr. HACKett had to say in response.

"I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it. Equal justice under the law for all regardless of who they are and how they were born is fundamental to our American spirit and our American freedoms. Any person or group that argues that the law should not apply equally to all Americans is, frankly, un-American.”

“The Republican Party has been hijacked by religious fanatics, who are out of touch with mainstream America. Think of the recent comments by Pat Robertson – a religious fanatic by any measure – that the United States should assassinate a democratically elected leader in Venezuela, and that Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine punishment because Sharon wished to trade land for peace.”

“Since the Republican Party has been utterly unable to stand for something positive, they have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and have pandered to religious fanatics not to vote for something they believe in, but to vote against their fellow Americans with whom they disagree. Those among us who would use religion and politics to divide rather than unite Americans should be ashamed."

What??? You do not have to be a psychologist to see this guy has some serious problems. I mean come on. Pat Robertson is hardly in control of the Republican Party and most on the right, myself included, have chided him for his outrageous remarks.

If the Republican Party are nothing but religious fanatics why would they have to pander to religious fanatics to convince them to not vote for what said religious fanatics believe in but to vote against people that the Republican Party, a.k.a. religious fanatics, disagree with? Does anyone else have a headache now? Maybe I missed something in that last statement. If anyone would care to explain it to me feel free.

Usually the real moonbats of that party wait until after they are elected to make insane statements. Luckily for the people of Ohio this one has shown his psychosis before it was to late.

H/T: CommonSenseAmerica and Blogs for Bush

Linked at Camp Katrina and The Political Teen

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Gift of Ronald Reagan



We are fast approaching the 25 year anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration. On January 20, 1981 Ronald Reagan took the oath of office and assumed the responsibility for leading the greatest nation on earth. I was just about 10 years old and little did I realize how much of an influence this man would have on my political development.

Politics was a mainstay of conversations at my family gatherings. The nightly news was watched every night as if it were a religious event not to be missed. Whether it was an inherited interest in politics or whether it was a desire to emulate my family elders I do not know, but whatever the reason I paid attention to the news and the political discussions. For that reason, even though very young when Reagan took office, I remember a great deal about that period of time.

The controversy that stands out is of course the American hostage crisis. Listening to two grandfathers tell stories about their service during World War II and being a huge fan of what some would call propaganda films starring John Wayne and others, I could not for the life of me understand how we could let this third world country hold our people prisoner. The longer the crisis continued the more my beliefs about our nation’s greatness diminished. Then along came Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan was a man that talked about the great spirit and potential of our nation and the American people. A man that promised to do something about the hostage situation in Iran. He promised to lead this country back to being the envy of the world. That was good enough for me. Even though my parents were ardent supporters of Jimmy Carter secretly I was pulling for Ronald Reagan. In the eight years that followed Reagan’s victory I came of age politically. During that time I certainly had ample opportunity to hear the arguments against Reagan’s policies from a Democrat’s point of view, but in the end I simply identified more with Reagan’s vision of America.

Reagan brought back my early concept of America’s greatness by exuding the spirit of those old patriotic “propaganda” films of his early days. He eradicated the perception of weakness that had been lingering over the country since the end of the Vietnam War. He made us strong both militarily and economically. He brought back the belief in the American dream. In eight years Ronald Reagan brought this nation back to superpower status and leader of the free world. Reagan was the right person at the right time for a country that was moving perilously in the wrong direction.

If Ronald Reagan is not the father of modern conservatism he is certainly its champion and his accolades could go on for many pages. Ronald Reagan gave this country many gifts. The most praiseworthy was that it was not his own greatness that he believed in, it was the greatness of the American people. He not only believed in it but he made the American people believe in it.

And in all of that time I won a nickname, "The Great Communicator." But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation — from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense...

...We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger. We made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all...


Please go check out Mike's America for more Ronald Reagan tributes.

Linked at Stop the ACLU

Monday, January 16, 2006

Quote of the Week

“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. …Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Cesare Beccaria 1764

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Iranian Problem

At last it seems that we will get to the bottom of the holocaust controversy. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that they will conduct a conference to "examine evidence for the holocaust".

Well here is a tip for the Iranian conference. Try viewing video footage shot by Allied troops as they liberated concentration camps. Then take a look at transcripts from the Nuremberg trials. If it is evidence they want to find about the holocaust it will not be hard to locate. Of course this whole conference is a complete farce. Ahmadinejad is a fanatical lunatic. A fanatical lunatic that without some sort of intervention could very well have a nuclear weapon in the not to distant future.

I wonder what the international community is going to do as the Iranian situation unfolds. It should be painfully obvious to everyone that Iran is going to proceed with their nuclear development. Anyone that thinks their nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful are delusional. My prediction is that the world will not do anything. The UN has no teeth and are virtually useless. In any event Russia and China would undermine any action taken by the UN. Much of the European Union has little stomach for anything but talk. That leaves the United States and Great Britain, which should come as no great surprise to anyone.

The Iranians are presenting quite a problem at a most inopportune time. Nevertheless, something has to be done to stop this madman from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Some dismiss Ahmadinejad's outrageous rhetoric as simply a way for him to reignite the revolutionary spirit of his people and consolidate his power. I personally think the revolutionary spirit he is trying to instill expands beyond the borders of his own country. What better way for him to be the hero of Muslims everywhere then by facilitating the nuclear destruction of Tel Aviv.

There is no way the Israelis are going to stand by and let Iran procure a nuclear weapon. With or without a healthy Ariel Sharon they are going to have to do something if no one else will. Their survival depends on it and they know that. If the Israelis attack the Iranian nuclear facilities it would likely send the Muslim world into a maniacal rage. While it is doubtful any of their neighboring countries will avenge Iran militarily it would certainly turn the diplomatic clock back. A strike from Israel is not the optimum solution.

So now we are back to the United States and Great Britain. Iran is presenting the same dilemma for us that Saddam Hussein presented. As there is little doubt that Hussein would have provided terrorists with WMD's there is no doubt Iran would do the same thing. The biggest question in the mind of the Iranian leaders with nuclear weapons and a way to deliver them would be whether to hit Washington first or Tel Aviv. All things considered regime change is probably not a realistic goal right now in Iran. At the very least airstrikes designed to take out their nuclear facilities and cripple them militarily should be on the planning table. We certainly have the military assets in the region to do the job and just as Israel cannot stand by and wait, neither can we.

Linked at Don Surber and bRight & Early

Friday, January 13, 2006

Civil War?

In the weeks after the parliamentary elections in Iraq there were allegations from some Sunni factions of improprieties as well as a spike in violence prompting some to bring the possibility of civil war back to the forefront of debate. In the last week or so the Alito confirmation has taken center stage relegating the issue of civil war to the proverbial backburner. Once those hearings are over, barring some unforeseen incident, I am relatively confident that the subject will once again surface. To understand the prospects for such a conflict one must take a look at history. Since the beginning of the Iraq War this has been done but I think it is pertinent to revisit the issue as we now find ourselves at a turning point in Iraq.

The Kurds, traditionally nomadic, ethnically close to the Iranians, and mostly Sunni have been resisting subjugation since first being conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century. During that time they have endured numerous massacres suffered at the hands of the Turks, Iranians, and Iraqis. In more recent times heavy fighting between the Iraqis and Kurds broke out in response to the Iraqi government attempting to impose a plan for limited autonomy in Kurdistan. In 1979 the Islamic Republic of Iran was formed. Shortly thereafter they commenced to slaughtering the Kurds and systematically assassinating Kurdish leaders. The Kurds were subjected to numerous attacks at the hands of the Iraqis throughout the Iran/Iraq War. The most brutal of these was the poison gas attack of 1988. An estimated 200,000 Kurds were killed that year.

In 1991 after the Persian Gulf War the Kurds rose against Iraq and Saddam Hussein only to be crushed by the Iraqi army. Under UN protection the Kurds were able to institute a form of self-rule in Northern Iraq. However, true to their history of political disunity, two factions quickly formed that from time to time engaged in combat. A peace was settled between the two factions in 1999 and in 2003 the Kurds gladly helped with the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The rift between the Sunnis and the Shi’a is that of a religious one that started soon after the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632. The dispute stems from who was to be Muhammad’s successor. The Sunnis believe that Muhammad’s father-in-law was the rightful heir to Muslim leadership. The Shi’a believe that Muhammad’s son-in-law was the rightful beneficiary. Three decades later the argument started the first Islamic civil war.

Some Sunnis, particularly extremist groups such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda do not accept the Shi’a as Muslim and openly encourage their persecution as heretics. Persecution has certainly been prevalent for the Shi’a throughout their history. This is especially true in Iraq where a Shi’a rebellion was quashed by the British during the 1920’s aided by Sunnis. Since, they have suffered under every independent Iraqi regime since 1932, especially under Saddam Hussein, despite being a majority of the population.

Saddam’s ruthlessness towards the Shi’a has been truly realized after his fall. Stories of murder and torture and the discovery of countless mass graves are an attestation of the barbarity of his regime. It is estimated that some 300,000 Shi’a were killed or captured never to be heard from again after the 1991 uprising. It is also estimated that some 5 million Shiites were murdered under the Baathist regime.

The paragraphs above are just a brief history providing the reader a glimpse into the great divides between the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. These three groups are not political parties whose philosophies differ on how to govern. They are three distinct sectarian groups that have been divided on religious and ethnic grounds since the 7th century. A division which has often times been very bloody and very brutal. Illustration of these differences is not meant to show the impossibility of these three groups forming a coalition government. It is merely meant to show the magnitude of the differences that have to be overcome.

Overcoming these differences is not something that is going to happen overnight. One can certainly understand the reservations the Sunnis have about no longer being in power after ruling for so long. Especially since they had to relinquish power to a people that many of them believe are not true Muslims. Knowing that their rule was a ruthless one it is also easy to see why they would be wary of possible Shiite vengeance. Equally as obvious is the Kurdish desire for autonomous rule. Something they have been seeking but have been denied for centuries. Rule over the Kurds was no less brutal than that of the rule over Shiites. Correspondingly, you could understand the temptation of the Shiites to seize absolute power.

History shows us that there are plenty of reasons to be pessimistic about the prospects for a peaceful democratic coalition government taking hold in Iraq. Conversely, there are also many things to be optimistic about. Despite the persecution endured by the Shi’a throughout their history they have generally striven for unity. More recent history shows that the Shiites have shown great restraint with their new power even in the face of relentless attacks from both foreign fighters as well as Sunni insurgents. Over the last few months the Kurds and the Shiites have shown not only a willingness to work together in the arduous process of establishing a coalition government, but also a willingness and desire to include the Sunnis in this process. As a result of this many Sunni factions have indeed decided to join in the political route.

Detractors stated that we should not have attempted regime change in Iraq because it would plunge the country into a civil conflict. Luckily for America and for the Iraqis our President does not shy away from doing the right thing just because it presents harsh difficulties. Despite these difficulties our troops, coalition partners, and governmental advisors have done an outstanding job of preventing the country from civil war. Credit also has to be bestowed on the Shiites and Kurds for their willingness to work toward an inclusive government and peace.

In the days and weeks leading up to the elections the Administration repeatedly expressed their optimism that elections with Sunni participation would eventually help quell the insurgency. After the Sunni disappointment with election results and the major attacks took place these critics latched on to that as a sure sign of an impending civil war and proof positive that these sectarian groups could never interact in a democratic form of government. The mainstream media and those on the left brought all of this back into the limelight shortly after these events not out of concern for Iraqis, but as an attack on the Bush Administration. In the minds of those that oppose Bush a civil war equates to a failure of his policies. Of course this is utter nonsense. America has rid Iraq and the world of a murderous dictator and has given the people of Iraq the best opportunity to live in peace. That opportunity has come in the form of security and training from our troops. It has come in billions of dollars of money for the rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure. It has also come from our example as a free and democratic nation.

It is of course entirely possible that once we have left Iraq the Shiites will exploit their advantage of being the majority and establish an Islamic state. This act could and most likely would thrust the country into a very bloody civil war. A war in which Iran would be all to happy to assist the Shiites. This of course would not bode well for American intentions of spreading democracy throughout the middle east, not to mention the destabilization it would cause the region. This possibility however was not an appropriate reason not to invade Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a serious threat not only to the region and to the United States but also to his own countrymen and we absolutely did the right thing in removing his regime.

In the end it is up to the Iraqi people. They have to decide for themselves if they want to continue centuries of bloodshed or if they want to accept each other and work together for the betterment of Iraq. We are eventually going to leave the Iraqi people to their own devices, much in the way God gives all men free will. If the Iraqis fail to make the most of the situation presented to them the fault lies squarely with them and not with President Bush.

Linked at bRight & Early and Stop the ACLU and Don Surber

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bush the Omnipotent




Sean Penn stated recently that he cannot quit smoking because of President Bush. This once again makes me wonder why in the world President Bush does not use his omnipotent powers for good instead of evil.

With powers over weather and the will of man. Why? Oh, why does he not just snap his fingers and eradicate terrorism, disease, and poverty? Now President Bush will not allow the great humanitarian Sean Penn to quit smoking. Is there no end to this man's evil?

Political Hack(s) of the Week

Once again I have found it undeniably necessary for more than just one individual to win this week's political hack. To be quite honest I had a feeling at the beginning of the week that this would be the case. So of course without further ado, this week's political hacks are the Democrat contingent of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

They are as follows:

Sen. Patrick Leahy
Sen. Ted Kennedy
Sen. Joe Biden
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Sen. Herbert Kohl
Sen. Russell Feingold
Sen. Charles Schumer
Sen. Dick Durbin

Political hacks one and all. Completely outmatched intellectually they have had to resort to the old liberal standby of name calling when in an argument that they cannot support by facts and cannot win. Their banshee screams of racist, sexist, close-minded, and so on are very thinly veiled by the semantics within their statements.

Apart from the mudslinging over the CAP and Vanguard non-issues their only concern is abortion. I found it very amusing when Sen. Durbin stated that Alito's 1985 statement about abortion not being guaranteed by the constituion "does not evidence an open mind. It evidences a mind that sadly is closed in some areas."

So there you go. You can only have an open mind if you agree that the constitution guarantees the right to kill the unborn. Their mindless bloviating reminds me of an outstanding Ronald Reagan quote when talking about liberals not really being liberal and the fact that "they will defend to the death only your right to agree with them."

Linked at Don Surber.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Great Farewell




On January 11, 1989 President Ronald Reagan gave his farewell address to the American people.

People ask how I feel about leaving. And the fact is, "parting is such sweet sorrow." The sweet part is California, and the ranch and freedom. The sorrow--the goodbyes, of course, and leaving this beautiful place.

You know, down the hall and up the stairs from this office is the part of the White House where the president and his family live. There are a few favorite windows I have up there that I like to stand and look out of early in the morning. The view is over the grounds here to the Washington Monument, and then the Mall and the Jefferson Memorial. But on mornings when the humidity is low, you can see past the Jefferson to the river, the Potomac, and the Virginia shore. Someone said that's the view Lincoln had when he saw the smoke rising from the Battle of Bull Run. I see more prosaic things: the grass on the banks, the morning traffic as people make their way to work, now and then a sailboat on the river.

I've been thinking a bit at that window. I've been reflecting on what the past eight years have meant and mean. And the image that comes to mind like a refrain is a nautical one--a small story about a big ship, and a refugee and a sailor. It was back in the early '80s, at the height of the boat people. And the sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart, and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. And crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck and stood up and called out to him. He yelled, "Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man."

A small moment with a big meaning, a moment the sailor, who wrote it in a letter, couldn't get out of his mind. And when I saw it, neither could I. Because that's what it was to be an American in the 1980s. We stood, again, for freedom. I know we always have, but in the past few years the world again, and in a way, we ourselves rediscovered it...


And in all of that time I won a nickname, "The Great Communicator." But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation--from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense...

Perhaps the most important part of that farewell speech, unknown at the time, was a gentle warning uttered by the President. Unfortunately, it was a warning that went unheeded and thusly we find ourselves entrenched in the culture war that currently grips America.

...But oddly enough it starts with one of the things I'm proudest of in the past eight years: the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism. This national feeling is good, but it won't count for much, and it won't last unless it's grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.

An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn't get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-'60s

But now, we're about to enter the '90s, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren't sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven't reinstitutionalized it. We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom--freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs protection.

So, we've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important: Why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, four years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing of her late father, who'd fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, "We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did." Well, let's help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson No. 1 about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let 'em know and nail 'em on it. That would be a very American thing to do...


While this post is certainly meant as a tribute to not only a great President but an even greater American, it should not be construed as a slight to President Bush. Bush has done and is currently doing great things. One could certainly liken the War on Terror that Bush is leading us through to the Cold War battles in which Reagan led us. There are many similarities. There are those that lack the intestinal fortitude to join and support the war on terror, just as there were those during Reagan's tenure that lacked the will to support challenging and ultimately defeating communism. Both causes formidable. Both controversial. Both very necessary.

Bush is certainly not the charismatic figure that was Reagan. He will most certainly never attain the moniker of a great communicator. In the end however, if the American will is strong we will succeed in the War on Terror and history will be as kind to Bush as it has been to Reagan. With that said there is but one way to end this post...

...And so, good-bye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Return of the Quote of the Week

My apologies for the hiatus from my weekly quote and my other, more sporadic, posts. I have been away from my computer for the past few weeks but I am back and I am bringing with me more of my favorite quotes.

"A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."

Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bush is Learning

Bush held a meeting today concerning Iraq with several former secretaries of state and defense from both sides of the aisle. This was certainly a very important component to his offensive to regain public support for the war in Iraq and his plan for success. Showing his willingness to reach out beyond party lines and listen to some very astute and accomplished individuals was a very smart move on his part.

Bush is learning how to fight the public opinion war and learning fast. Not only has he learned how to do it but he is doing a fantastic job. This is evidenced by a slow but gradual reversal of poll numbers. This move is certainly contradictory to the perceived notion by those on the left that the President is in some sort of a bubble. Of course most of us already know that this is an ill conceived perception because Bush has reached across party lines in the past only to be burned.

Most on the left will dismiss this as a photo op or a propaganda stunt by the President and his Administration. In a small way maybe it was. Even some on the right will remain unimpressed by this meeting. Nevertheless, it was a great move. Political stunt or not it must pain the left severely to hear former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright praise Bush for holding such a meeting and to then state that while he did not agree with her he was very gracious and showed respect.

Most painful for the left has to be the message shared with reporters after the meeting. Even those that were opposed to the war agreed that now that we are there, we need to get the job done right. They also agreed that the military not politicians in Washington should determine the time and quantity of troop reductions. Of course, I am sure that there were some dissenting views in the room about how to achieve final victory in Iraq. However, to have a group of people of this stature more or less echo what Bush has been saying all along is not only a painful blow to the left but should be another shot in the arm to public support for Bush's strategy.

Pat is At it Again

There was another blow to the reputation of Christians everywhere when Pat Robertson decided to open his mouth about Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Robertson suggessted on his program the 700 club that Sharon's stroke was a punishment from God for dividing his land. I guess in Robertson's mind the mild stroke suffered by Sharon sometime earlier was a warning from God that went unnoticed. I guess this explains how an overweight 77 year old could possibly suffer two strokes in a relatively short amount of time.

He also went on to warn any future prime ministers for continuing in Sharon's footsteps. Robertson has once again made an incredibly ignorant and irresponsible statement that only serves to hurt Christians everywhere.

You can read the whole story here if you like.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

National Security and Common Sense

The MSM kept the NSA wiretapping story on page one waiting for Congress to get back from the holiday break. Now that Congressional members are back the issue is really starting to heat up again with promises of Congressional hearings and a Justice Department investigation into the leak. Not to mention members of the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to grill Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito about the issue.

According to a poll released on December 28th about 68% of Americans stated that they were following the story somewhat closely. That is a very large percentage of the American people. Even with constant questioning of the NSA program from those on the left and their insistance on using the most negative descriptor of "domestic spying", 64% of the American people believe the NSA should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects and people inside the United States.

There are many opinions floating around about the legality of this NSA operation. Both sides quote portions of the law to support their position. Obviously, there has been no clear cut violation of the law and there is a gray area where this is concerned. Just as obvious to those with a clear perception of reality is that there was no concerted effort on the President's part to break the law for personal gain. He did not authorize the NSA to wiretap the DNC, the ACLU, or any other subversive organization located on American soil, he authorized them to wiretap suspected terrorists within the United States receiving or making calls to other suspected terrorists from abroad.

The President's only sin was that of using common sense, something pretty much frowned upon in Washington. The attack on 9/11 was committed by those inside the United States. Knowing this it does not take a detective of Columbo's stature to deduce there is a very strong possibility that there could be more terrorists in the country taking direction from terrorist leaders in foreign nations. The President did what he felt was best to protect the American people from another 9/11 and it was done with the approval of the Attorney General of the United States and with Senate Intelligence Committee knowledge.

Clouded by their irrational hatred of President Bush and their persistant paranoia of an impending fascist state the far-left cannot see this operation for what it is, an attempt to protect American lives. In fact the far-left can see no need for a war on terror at all. With their blame America first mentality they try to excuse these senseless acts of violence by blaming U.S. policies and claim the President is exaggerating the danger these people pose in order to garner more personal power.

This is a good start to the new year for Republicans. The Democrats have once again found themselves in quite a quandary. On the one hand their good friends in the mainstream media have been touting the "domestic spying" story as if it is the next watergate. On the other the President has done an excellent job of defending the program and public opinion seems to be with the President. This issue is fueling the prominent divide within the Democratic Party. The irrational far-left contingent of the party will continue to compare Bush to Nixon and talk about impeachment. The centrist in the party that are in touch with reality can see the danger of attacking a President that was using all available power afforded to him to prevent the death of another 3,000 Americans.

While the New York Times succeeded in detracting from the successful elections in Iraq, thus far it has failed miserably in convincing the public that President Bush is a renegade power hungry fascist bent on stifling civil liberties. Inadvertantly, the Times has once again brought the Democrat's national security weakness into the spotlight. Apparently, the majority of American people have a lot more common sense then the left gives them credit for having.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Political Hack of the Week

Starting off the New Year as political hack of the week is a former winner of this award. He is also one that will, if history is any indicator, continue to win this award from time to time for however long it is around.

The political hack of the week is Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). He wins this award with the following quotes, "There are differences between felons and whistleblowers, and we ought to wait 'til the investigation occurs to decide what happened," and "The president thought that there was a problem, instead of coming to the people and saying he needs changes in the law; he just did it on his own," Schumer said . "It calls into question the way the president and the vice president change things."

So, someone divulging classified information to the New York Times is not a felon as long as said person has a problem with the subject of that classified information. This person is not only a felon but a traitor that severely damaged national security.

In the second quote Schumer implies that there was a law broken, which of course has not been proven. He also insinuates that the President should come to the people to change a law that would allow him to carry out a top secret operation. He cannot be serious. I guess in Senator Schumer's world we should have open debate on all of our stategies in waging the War on Terror. What a loon.

This is yet again another clear indication that democrats have no concern for national security.