Sunday, July 31, 2005

Crazy Nancy's Idea Of Intelligence

If you wanted to pick out one incident at random to illustrate why Democrats are not trusted with the reins of national security and won't be for years at a minimum, you could hardly do much better than this:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings, who was impeached [and removed from the bench] as a federal judge [on two counts, perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice] in 1989, to be vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Time magazine's Joe Klein reported on Sunday. [emphasis added]

Why in the ever-loving world does the House bag lady want to kick out a so-called "moderate" like Jane Harman from the ranking spot and replace her with a liar and a crook? I'm guessing because she wants a House Intelligence Committee that "looks like America":

[Hastings, a] Florida Democrat an[d] African-American, blamed "institutional racism" for the charges lodged against him.

Ah. Of course. And how long would this individual last in this post before he was up on charges again, only ones a lot more serious than perjury and obstruction of justice?

Wouldn't matter to House Donks, though. As safe as Hastings' seat must be, they can always get another racist drone just like him.

Of course, by then there may not be very many safe Dem seats left in the lower chamber. But you'll never know that from their rhetoric or personnel choices, which they'll continue to believe have them "right around the corner" from taking the House back once and for all.

What was that old Carlin line? "Hire the mentally handicapped - but don't let them take your rectal temperature."

Or staff the House Intelligence Committee.

Rupert Murdoch Endorses Hillary

Well, not quite - yet. But in their lead editorial today, the New York Post lauded her proposal to boost military recruitment by 80,000 troops - and called her a "warrior" to boot:

"Whatever motives one might wish to impute, [Hillary] seems to recognize the security paradigm that undergirds politics in the 21st century....

"In her four years in office, Senator Clinton has been one of the most consistently supportive members of her party on the conflict in Iraq and on the broader War on Terror....

"It would be ironic if Mrs. Clinton converted herself into the candidate most earnestly committed to ensuring that the U.S. Army has the tools necessary to win this war."
Here we go again with what is arguably the Right's biggest weakness: the compulsion to be "fair" to the DisLoyal Opposition. So the Post discusses her military recruitment proposal in isolation rather than in the context of her criticism of the Pentagon for using aggressive recruitment tactics, her accusing military recruitiers of invading the privacy of potential recruits and using racial profiling, her May 16, 2002 publicity-grabbing charge on the Senate floor that the President knew 9/11 was coming and did nothing to stop it, her endless carping about the Iraqi campaign, and her flip-flopping attempt to grab national security cred through the back door of the illegal immigration issue. And in the process they forget the cardinal rule of analyzing the Clintons: Look at what they are, and then what they do, but never listen to what they say.

Ronald Reagan used to call it "trust, but verify." Newsmax calls the NYP's alternate tangent "helping Hillary win the White House by pretending she's suddenly morphed into General Patton in a pantsuit."

I call it "Five years later and not a damn thing has changed."

Nor, most likely, will it three years hence.

But at least Mr. Murdoch will get a plum seat on the inauguration platform when Mrs. Clinton is sworn in.

At least until he actually shows up to take it. Then she'll have him deported.

Gotta tighten up the borders, y'know.

Senate GOP's #3 Slams #1 For Turning To #2

Right about now Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is either rueing the day he ever cut & ran on embryonic stem cell research or clapping his hands in delight at the storm of friendly fire that has christened his defection to the RINO ranks.

Now the rebukes are coming from his second deputy:

Senator Rick Santorum, R-PA, criticized Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Sunday for dropping his opposition to increased federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, saying the science has "questionable value."

"I disagree with Senator Frist," Santorum told ABC's This Week. "I think that you cannot take a utilitarian approach to human life - and this is an innocent human life. You're destroying this human life for the purpose of research that has questionable value."

Santorum said that the promise of embryonic stem cell research had been vastly overstated, explaining, "There's all sorts of information out there that this is research that very well may not ever end up to be helpful therapeutically."
It's about time that little detail got some national publicity. Especially since many Americans' most prominent memory of the ESCR topic is probably John Edwards' faith-healer gimmick last fall (You remember - "John Kerry will fully fund embryonic stem cell research, and people will magically get up from their wheelchairs and walk!" or something very similar).

Take note of what Santorum said next, given the degree to which Dr. Doofus has taken an indirect brickbat to his own difficult '06 re-election effort:

The Pennsylvania Republican said he was especially disappointed over the Frist move because the two had been working on other, less controversial proposals.

"We've seen over the last six months a whole bunch of scientific theories come forward as to how to get embryonic stem cells without destroying a human embryo," Santorum explained.

"I've been working on a bill with Senator Frist ... to try to put forward a funding proposal for the [National Institutes of Health] to look at alternative ways to get these embryonic stem cells, without creating a human embryo and without killing that embryo to get the cells."

"There's four or five different technologies that are potentially viable to get these cells," Santorum said, adding, "I don't think we need to go down this path." [emphasis added]

So there's more fuel on the fire. Not only did Fristy flip the bird at President Bush and a large portion of the Republican base, but he abandoned a principled - and courageous - colleague and their joint effort to find a genuine solution that accorded human life the "respect" that he claims he still has for it in order to throw in with the pro-death crowd for a few days of opposition "atta-boys" from people whose contempt for him has doubtless now become boundless.

I ask again, hardly for the first time but never before at this decibel level: Why is Bill Frist still Senate Majority Leader?

Mixed Up Sharpton

Okay...I'm gonna break from Frist for a moment. I saw this in Newsmax and had to pass it along. Al Sharpton makes some good points (I know, I know), but comes to exactly the wrong conclusions. See for yourself:

Former Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton blasted blacks Thursday for what he described as their blind support of the Democratic Party without demanding anything in return.

Okay so far.

Sharpton, during his remarks at the National Urban League's annual conference in Washington, noted that his fellow Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, have taken African-American voters for granted and failed to act in the best interests of the black community.

Duh. We've been saying that for years.

"The whole network of incarceration (of African-American men) happened under this president and the last president. So it wasn't just George Bush. Bill Clinton - I wish Hillary had hung around - Bill Clinton built a lot of jails and assed the omnibus crime bill," Sharpton said shortly after Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, had addressed the same panel discussion, entitled "The Black Male: Endangered Species or Hope for the Future?"

Sharpton noted that African-American men make up 6 percent of the U.S. population but 44 percent of the nation's prison population.

Uh oh. Now he starts to falter (especially the "I wish Hillary had hung around"). No mention here of the nature of the crimes and why, if African-American men are committing crimes, they should not be incarcerated. Perhaps there's a problem other than having too many jails?

"We must stop allowing people to gain politically from us if they're not reciprocating when dealing and being held accountable," said Sharpton, referring to the allegiance that African-American voters maintain to the Democratic Party.

Sharpton said many politicians who court the black vote "come by and get our votes 'cause they wave at us on Sunday morning while the choir's singing. And we act like that is reaching out."

Very true. As noted earlier in the article, Bill Clinton was affectionately know by the Left as "the first Black president." Other than making you want to barf, what exactly is it that he did that was so beneficial to the black community? I can't think of anything, either. John Kerry spent about every Sunday in the weeks before Election Day 2004 in a pulpit somewhere. Funny, I didn't hear any cries from the Left about "separation" and such. But I digress.

The problem is these same politicians "never addressed why they sit here in Washington with an epidemic proportion of HIV AIDS in our (black) community, unemployment in our community and they do nothing to deal with eliminating those
problems," Sharpton explained.

Right, Al. Perhaps it's not the government's responsibility. Perhaps you, and your cohort Jesse Jackson, should use your capacity as a "Reverend" to start preaching personal responsibility in your communities rather than government dependence. Perhaps you could do something to encourage your young black males to reach for more in life other than treating their women like brood mares while expecting the government to take care of their children once they're born. Perhaps you should spend more time actually encouraging your communities and pointing to blacks who have achieved greater things, like Clarence Thomas, Condolleeza Rice, and Colin Powell, rather than calling them "Uncle Toms" for daring to break away from what you perceive as the blacks' lot in life. Looks to me like YOU are doing nothing to deal with eliminating those problems.

The rest of the article deals with his perception of black culture, rap music, etc. What he says is largely true in that regard, then he ends with this:

"Even if we [are] not responsible for being down, we [are] responsible for getting up," he said. "And if we wait on those who knocked us down to lift us up we'll never get up 'cause if they wanted us up we would have never been down," he said.

The problem here is that he completely ignores personal responsibility (seems to be a habit with black leadership these days), and blames "the system" for the situation he claims blacks are in. He completely ignores those who HAVE made good lives for themselves, and there are millions of blacks who have done just that. The only thing he has right here is ..."we [are] responsible for getting up." Trouble is, in the whole article preceeding, he is calling on the government to do it for them.

Frist Train Wreck

My congressman's take on the Bill Frist speech on embryonic stem cell research:


Washington, D.C.- Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC), spoke today at a press conference held in response to Senator Bill Frist's statement on embryonic stem cell research.

Pence's statement follows:

"House conservatives are profoundly disappointed that we have lost Senator Bill Frist to this cause, but this cause will prevail.

"It was Ronald Reagan who said, 'We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life - the unborn - without diminishing the value of all human life.'

"Ronald Reagan was right and Bill Frist is wrong.

"I believe that life begins at conception and that a human embryo is human life. I believe it is morally wrong to create human life to destroy it for research. And I believe it is morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans, who believe that human life is sacred, and use them to fund the destruction of human embryos for research."

Mike Pence would make a great President. He is a strong conservative, something we seem to be lacking these days on the Hill.

Reading the transcript of Frist's remarks, what strikes me are the contradictions. One one hand he claims to be unabashedly pro-life, then goes off on a tangent about how right it is to kill embryos with public money. Or as Ramesh Ponnuru puts it:

The speech in full is a logical train wreck. He says that he still believes what he believed in 2001: that the research should be federally funded with certain restrictions. Then he says that the main funding bill doesn't meet his conditions. Then he says he'll support it anyways. Then he says that he's pro-life and supports alternative courses of research that don't kill human embryos. Then he reiterates his support for embryo-destructive research. It's as though (at least) two different people were giving two different speeches.


Saturday, July 30, 2005

More Frist Fallout

Judie Brown, president of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization:

"Senator Bill Frist's announcement that he has reversed his opinion on the expansion of human embryonic stem cell research is beyond repugnant to many in the pro-life community. What has happened to this man, who once showed promise of becoming a strong pro-life voice for the American people?

"Sadly, Senator Frist now joins the ranks of numbers of politicians who have sacrificed the truth to satisfy other, less noble, goals. Frist claims that his opinion is one based on 'science.' However, Sen. Frist is certainly ignoring one of the basic facts of Biology 101, which unequivocally tell us that life begins at fertilization, when a new human person with unique DNA is created. We are talking about our fellow human beings. In his heart, Senator Frist must know that killing those human beings, for any reason, is always wrong.

"While it is not surprising that those who support the killing of embryonic children are applauding Senator Frist's latest move, it is quite disheartening that that so-called pro-life officials in the Bush Administration are excusing his crisis of conscience as 'understandable.'

"Senator Frist's statements are a perfect example of the hypocrisy that has slowly infected many in the political arena, even among Republican Party officeholders claiming to be pro-life. The fact is, whether an innocent human being is a few hours old or nine months old, an act that intentionally kills him is always intrinsically evil and evil can never be justified - no matter the perceived 'good' end. Human embryonic stem cell research kills innocent human beings, and therefore is inherently evil."

Cardinal William H. Keeler, chairman of the US Bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities:

Today Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced he will support using federal funds to encourage the destruction of living human embryos for their stem cells. Despite the Senator's disclaimers to the contrary, this position is not 'pro-life.'

Especially disturbing is the Senator's insistence that human embryos unwanted by their own parents are owed 'the same dignity and respect' as children and adults, but may nevertheless be killed for research material.

Such destruction of innocent human life, even out of a desire to help others, rests on a utilitarian view that undermines human dignity and human respect, as Senator Sam Brownback ably pointed out today in his response.

Senator Frist's effort to make an analogy with organ transplants also fails, because it would be gravely immoral as well as illegal to harvest any patient's vital organs when he or she is still alive.

Despite his warning against offering 'false hope' to patients, Senator Frist also repeated claims that are untrue or misleading about the unique 'promise' of embryonic stem cells. No one has identified any disease that can be treated only with these cells; no one even knows whether they will ever provide a safe and reliable treatment for the conditions already being successfully treated using adult stem cells.

These factual issues will no doubt be explored by others. My own central concern is that neither sound ethics nor good government can rest on the principle that 'the end justifies the means.' I commend President Bush for his laudable pledge to veto such legislation."

Focus on the Family Action founder and chairman Dr. James C. Dobson:

It is an understatement to say that the pro-life community is disappointed by Senator Frist's decision to join efforts to void President Bush's policy limiting the funding of embryonic stem- cell research. Most distressing is that, in making his announcement, Senator Frist calls himself a defender of the sanctity of human life - even though the research he now advocates results, without exception, in the destruction of human life.

Senator Frist argues that under the Bush policy, there are insufficient stem-cell lines to maximize what he calls the 'promise' of embryonic stem-cell research. That statement continues the common misconception that embryonic stem cells hold the greatest potential for human healing and therapy. In reality, recently published studies demonstrate that some adult stem cells can form most, if not all, body tissues, just like embryonic cells may be able to do. Furthermore, there will never be a sufficient number of new stem-cell lines to satisfy the sometimes unquenchable thirst for federal money to fund pet projects of researchers. A morally sound line must be drawn at the beginning of this journey into stem-cell research: that no human life is sacrificed for possible or proven scientific gain - period.

The media have already begun speculating that Senator Frist's announcement today is designed to improve his chances of winning the White House in 2008 should he choose to run. If that is the case, he has gravely miscalculated. To push for the expansion of this suspect and unethical science will be rightly seen by America's values voters as the worst kind of betrayal - choosing politics over principle.

We urge Senator Frist to reconsider his position in light of the values he has espoused during his career in public service. [emphasis added]

Who can know the mind of a freshly assimilated RINO? I'm tempted to say that Fristy knows his White House dreams evaporated in the McCain Mutiny and so he's throwing in the towel on any pretense of being, or remaining, a true conservative. But Darth Queeg himself thought that his submarining of the hapless Senate MINO leader would be a boon to his own presidential aspirations, so the latter may actually have deluded himself that this newest sell-out of the GOP base will pay him similar dividends a couple of years down the road. When the reality is that it would probably have cost him his senate seat if he'd sought a third term.

What does appear beyond speculation is that this casts an even larger ill-wind over the remainder of the Bush agenda in this Congress, and in particular the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. If even the GOP leader of the U.S. Senate has now "gone native," can there be any doubt but that the enlarged majority for which our party fought in the last two election cycles is now not worth Bill Frist's word?

Well, the base has taken notice, Senator Frist. And when you ride off into the sunset it'll your caucus that may end up paying dearly for the metastisizization of your nincompoopery into full-flowered perfidy.

Crazy Nancy Rides Again

The useful thing about Democrats these days is that they never seem to tire of providing examples of why they should never again ever be entrusted with the reins of national power - or until the sun blows up, whichever comes first.

With the narrow (217-215) House passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement the other night, the House Minority Leader was driven into blithering frustration, and rather than her handlers shooting her with a tranquilizer dart, they let her get to a microphone and spew forth this:

Q Can you elaborate, Madame Leader, on some of the offers that were made to Democrats that you know about?


What she and her questioner were referring to is her insinuation that majority Republicans tried to bribe Democrats into switching sides and voting for CAFTA. Because, of course, that's what she and her Democrats would do in their position, but course, THAT would be perfectly okay. Just not when Republicans do it, even if they don't, but which she's just positive that they did.

Understand? Gosh, I hope so, as any further effort to try and explain this BS is gonna give me a headache.

Q In which case - it's a pretty serious charge, that you're saying some of them didn't pass legal muster to you.


If you're keeping score at home, she's saying that the bribes she admits she can't prove took place are definitely bribes.

Now try following this next exchange, and see if you can do so without blowing chunks.

Q You're saying that - that Republicans were trying to bribe Democrats?

PELOSI: I didn't use the word bribe.

Q Well, you said it wasn't legal.

PELOSI: I said that offers were made that were, in my view, questionable. And I know that they would be at a cost to the taxpayers. And I say that without any hesitation.

Q But that's a very serious charge.

PELOSI: It is.

Q Could you just - could you just give us the specifics of what you've heard?

PELOSI: No, I'm not going to.

Round and round and round we go, where this stops {OOLP} - uh, I gotta go....

I'm telling you, and -


- why don't you go ask the Republicans or the White House what they were offering people?
Oh, please, no moRAAAAWWWWWWWWCCCHHH....

They would know best; they're the ones who were making the offers.

-WWWCCCHHH Oh, bleep, the bowl is starting to overflAAAAWWWWWWWWCCCHHH....

I think that this has to stop. We have to stop the Republican rip-off of the legislative process on Capitol Hill. It has to stop now...

{Whew} Thanks for the Pepto. I was nearing dry heave territory, and I never have developed a taste for chyme.

Just to catch up, a reporter is actually having the unaccustomed temerity to question a typically wild and slanderous Democrat accusation instead of swallowing it like an Iskandrian harem girl, and she doesn't know how to handle it and is angrily - and in her mind, astonishingly - having to tell the reporter what his job is supposed to be.

Q Madame Leader, I'm sorry to belabor this point, but it is - let me see how to phrase this - is there a difference between horse trading and federal violation regarding offering something of value for somebody's vote?

Translation: Holy cow, she really is crazy....


Q There's got to be a difference, right?

PELOSI: Yeah. There is.

Translation: Okay, we're making progress. Maybe I can talk her in off this ledge....

Q So now you're beyond just the normal give and take of -


Translation: NO!

Q I don't see how you can just lay that out there without giving us the specifics -

PELOSI: Well, I just did. But I just did.

Translation: The blistering hell you did. You're going round and round in circles, and it's starting to make me nauseous.

Q Is that fair, though? Is that the way you would like to be treated?

PELOSI: That's the way we are treated. That's the way we are treated.

Translation: That's the way she'd treat the Republicans if the positions were switched. Good Lord, I can't save this loony old Gloria Swanson reject. I've got to do something to reel her in before she makes a complete and collective, well, ass of our party. Let's cut to the chase.

Q Are you going to pursue any sort of ethics complaint -

PELOSI: I may. I may. I may. Not me, but those who have the information may. But these are the kinds of things that are very hard to prove if the deal is not consummated. That doesn't mean the deal wasn't offered. And it really - because they have a poverty of arguments in favor of CAFTA, they have to resort to these extraordinary means.

Which she can't prove, but is just certain had to have taken place. Because she's a Democrat, and Democrats do not believe that they can lose legitimately. Not elections and not legislative battles. The believe that "democracy" means "Democrats" in charge. Otherwise it would be called "republicracy." And so this latest Republican victory had to be by corrupt, underhanded means, because that's they way Nancy Pelosi would do it, only for her it would be okay, because that would be "democracy in action."

Got all that? I hope so, because I'm going to bed....

[HT: B4B]

Friday, July 29, 2005

Walt Disney Or Walt Dhimmi?

Wow. I guess if I'd said this on a certain Washington, D.C. radio station, the Islamists would have muzzled me on "Allah's" behalf, too.

Well, indirectly, anyway:

Conservative talk-show host Michael Graham was suspended without pay today by
ABC Disney after threats from the Council for American-Islamic Relations over his on-air comments regarding terrorism and Islam.

"Threats"? From Islamists? Sounds familiar somehow.

Despite repeated statements of support for Graham's free-speech rights by management at 630 WMAL in Washington, D.C. - the ABC-owned radio station where Graham works as mid-morning host - he was summarily suspended pending an "investigation."

Investigation of what? Telling the truth about our enemies? Besides, Mr. Graham is a talk show host - doesn't WMAL management listen to their own station? And why do they suddenly feel the need to "investigate" him when they've been unabashedly defending him?

Looks like they've got dhimmitude down pat.

But what could Mr. Graham have possibly said that was so "hateful" and "bigoted" and "Islamophobic"?

Because of the mix of Islamic theology that - rightly or wrongly - is interpreted to promote violence, added to an organizational structure that allows violent radicals to operate openly in Islam's name with impunity, Islam has, sadly, become a terrorist organization. It pains me to say it. But the good news is it doesn't have to stay this way, if the vast majority of Muslims who don't support terror will step forward and re-claim their religion.

That's it? That's what all the fuss is about? Frankly, it's rather mild. Islamic theology most definitely does promote violence - why else are bin Laden, Zarqawi, the Iranian mullahs et al referred to as Islamic fundamentalists? And the result ("violent radicals operating openly in Islam's name with impunity") is hardly controversial in any, well, factual sense.

The only misstatement in what Mr. Graham said is his reference to Islam as "a" terrorist organization, when, as we all know, Islam has spawned multiple terrorist networks around the world. It is fair to say that while not every Muslim is a terrorist, just about every terrorist is a Muslim. But then Muslims can serve the cause of jihad other than by taking up arms or strapping on a bomb belt, too, via propaganda and espionage, both in which CAIR could not unreasonably be said to be engaged.

And make no mistake, they're very good at it. They've got the Walt Dhimmi - er, Disney - Company about two or three steps removed from issuing employees prayer rugs and mandatory Mecca bowing. Score another one for the bad guys.

Mr. Graham, though, is admirably unrepentant:

But I'm an American, and if fighting for free speech and for the truth in the war on terrorism means getting fired by some corporate suit at ABC Disney who can't stand up for free speech - so be it. But I will not recant.

Sorry, CAIR. As pathetically "weak horse" as Mr. Graham's bosses are, I don't think you're gonna be able to bulldoze them into giving him the Theo Van Gogh treatment. Because I think that's what it's going to take to shut this man up.

How do you say "Kiss my ass" in Arabic, anyway?

[HT's: Brian Suits, Powerline]

Physician-Assisted Political Suicide

Where in blazes did this come from?

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist endorsed government-funded research on human embryonic stem cells Friday, breaking with President Bush and the religious conservatives he's been courting for a 2008 presidential bid.
Here's the money portion of Fristy's embryo-destruction-research-embracing floor speech this morning:

I am pro-life. I believe human life begins at conception. It is at this moment that the organism is complete - yes, immature - but complete. An embryo is nascent human life. It’s genetically distinct. And it’s biologically human. It’s living. This position is consistent with my faith.

Sounds like a liberal radio seminar caller - "I worked for Goldwater and I sold a kidney to contribute to Reagan and I've named all my kids 'George Walker' (even the girls).

His misleading preamble wasn't done, BTW:

Our development is a continuous process - gradual and chronological. We were all once embryos. The embryo is human life at its earliest stage of development. And accordingly, the human embryo has moral significance and moral worth. It deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

I also believe that embryonic stem cell research should be encouraged and supported.

Eh? Frist is pro-life, pro-embryo, but he favors destroying them for medical research anyway? And this is "utmostly dignified and respectful" how, exactly?

But, just as I said in 2001, it should advance in a manner that affords all human life dignity and respect - the same dignity and respect we bring to the table as we work with children and adults to advance the frontiers of medicine and health.

No wonder Ramesh Ponnuru calls this speech "a logical train wreck." Just about every place except in the U.S. Capitol, it seems, veneration for human life and embryo destruction are understood to be fundamentally irreconcilable, mutually exclusive concepts. It's like claiming to stand for teen sexual abstinence and then declaring that teens should screw in a manner that affords chastity "dignity and respect." It's like claiming to be a tax-cutter and then declaring that taxes should go up in a manner that affords taxpayer wallets "dignity and respect." It's like claiming to be a pacifist and then declaring that we should nuke Muslim Holy sites in a "dignified, respectful, and peaceful way."

It is, in a word, gobbledygook. Know how you can tell? Harry Reid called Frist "courageous," "Snarlin' Arlen" Specter called Frist's speech "the most important...this year," and Dick Durbin - DICK F'ING DURBIN - was singing Frist's praises.

Why did he pull this el foldo? Beats me. But Ponnuru has a few suggestions:

As for the politics of Frist's move, I can see how he would think it a good idea. The polls favor it, his friends in biomedicine favor it too, and he may have thought that he had running room given that McCain, Allen, Romney, and (one assumes) Giuliani favor it too.
Of course, in a crowded field with no clear front-runner, don't you want to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack? Particularly when the rest of the pack is elbowing each other for an issue stance that is at fundamental variance with that of your party's nominating electorate?

Kate O'Beirne seems to think so - and she thinks that is but the beginning of his problems:

He might figure he's not running against George Bush in 2008 and so only has to be as pro-life as his expected competition, but he has a liability most of them don't.

Unlike George Allen or Mitt Romney who have been governors there is no executive record to reveal Frist's positions. As majority leader he hasn't shaped his own legislative profile, like John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Rick Santorum, or Sam Brownback have. He has adopted President Bush's agenda as his own on initiatives disfavored by conservatives, like the prescription-drug benefit, highway spending, the energy bill, and immigration, while parting ways on a fundamental pro-life issue that prompts Harry Reid to call him "courageous."

The suspicion about Senator Frist among conservatives is that he has no fixed political views - he has just confirmed that this is the case. The rap is that he is ineffective and his support for federal taxpayer funding will be ineffective - the President has pledged to veto it and his veto will stick even without Senator Frist. [emphases added]

As a practical matter Fristy's presidential ambitions died in the McCain Mutiny. That sorry debacle more than amply demonstrated his ineffectiveness, if not outright irrelevance. His cave-in on trying for another vote on John Bolton's UN Ambassador nomination, only to have a spine reinserted under his coat by the President, showed his, well, spinelessness. And this one, to my way of thinking, illustrated his piss-poor judgment.

Or, in more blunt terminology, his RINO judgment. Only a RINO could possibly be duped into believing it politically beneficial to stab his own president and party base supporters in the back on an emotional hot-button issue when he doesn't even have the stroke to twist the knife.

*sigh* I dunno, maybe Frist's "reasoning" was that since there aren't the votes to override a Bush veto of this ESCR bill anyway, he can afford to parrot the politically-correct view and garner a few days' non-unfavorable press coverage. But how does he spend a decade-plus in the U.S. Senate and not know that the GOP grassroots indellibly record for all posterity and time every such betrayal - when he also still harbors White House aspirations?

Take Catholic League president William Donahue as a case-in-point:

Here is what Senator John Kerry said when running for president: 'I believe life does begin at conception.' Here is what Senator Bill Frist is now saying: 'I believe human life begins at conception.' They now agree on one more thing: They will do absolutely nothing to protect the beginning of innocent human life.

Frist is worse than Kerry. Kerry, a lawyer, said his position on the beginning of human life was based on 'my Catholic belief.' Frist, a physician, says that while his Christian faith informs his position, there's more to it: 'But, to me, it isn't just a matter of faith. It's a fact of science.'

"And it's a fact of politics that Frist is such a hypocrite. His change of heart has nothing to do with any scientific breakthrough: there is no new evidence suggesting that the human embryo does not constitute human life, nor is there any evidence that embryonic stem cell research can be performed without killing embryos. What's changed is that Dr. Duplicity wants to be president.

"Frist still calls himself 'strong[ly] pro-life,' and says he gives 'huge moral significance to the human embryo.' Furthermore, he says the human embryo 'is nascent human life,' explaining that we should 'treat that embryo with dignity, with respect.' Which raises the question: If it's okay to snuff out the beginning of human life, how much dignity and respect may logically be accorded the dead?

"Frist says he is not going to run for senator of Tennessee again. Now it's up to the Republican leadership to make sure he has no future role to play in their party. Who knows, if Frist becomes increasingly Kerryesque, maybe the Dems will draft him?

Does that sound like a voter who is undecided about Dr. Doofus? Or who could carry, as President Bush did last November, a majority of the Catholic vote?

Even fellow elected Republicans were "disappointed" in the Frist flip-flop.

Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee:

House conservatives are profoundly disappointed that we have lost Senator Bill Frist to this cause, but this cause will prevail.

It was Ronald Reagan who said, 'We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life - the unborn - without diminishing the value of all human life.'

Ronald Reagan was right and Bill Frist is wrong.

I believe that life begins at conception and that a human embryo is human life. I believe it is morally wrong to create human life to destroy it for research. And I believe it is morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans, who believe that human life is sacred, and use them to fund the destruction of human embryos for research.

And the man who is a real Majority Leader, Tom DeLay:

As you know, one of the principal tenets of the Republican Party is a profound respect for the dignity of all human life.

This respect has led to our party's strong pro-life positions, on issues from abortion to euthanasia to embryonic stem-cell research.

Of course, many of our party's most prominent members disagree with the platform on one issue or another, and Republicans' ability to have these substantive, thoughtful debates within our party is one of our principal strengths as a national governing coalition.

As a strong supporter in the dignity of every human life, regardless of its physical strength, mental capacity or familial situation, Senator Frist's announcement today that he now supports federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, which, by its very nature involves the destruction of innocent human life, is obviously disappointing.

Senator Frist is a good man; he is simply advocating a bad policy.

As a practical matter, embryonic stem-cell research doesn't work.

Adult stem-cell research - which does not involve the destruction of human life - has produced treatments for no fewer than 67 separate diseases.

Embryonic stem-cell research has produced none - it is a bad fiscal investment.

As a political matter, the federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research would spend on the destruction of human life the tax dollars of tens of millions of Americans who find such research morally reprehensible.

This research is going on now with privately funded money, and needn't force the American people and their money into such morally dicey matters.

As a logical matter, Senator Frist's position - which declares both profound respect for human life but also support for the federal funding of its destruction - can be boiled down to the argument that while all human lives is precious, some are more precious than others.

And as a moral matter, embryonic stem-cell research is based entirely on a logic in which the ends justify the means - one of the singular dangers of medical and personal ethics.

We all want to cure diseases, but the deliberate - let alone federally funded - destruction of innocent human life cannot be the means to that end.

The Hammer's hammer might have been encased in a velvet glove, but it raised a noggin lump just the same.

It also raised a point - about the vastly superior medical promise of adult stem cells - that has been discussed in this space before, and was revisited over at Newsmax again today:

[T]here's already been far more progress in adult stem cell science than its controversial cousin - while a growing body of experts say that the promise of embryonic research is being oversold to the public.

Just last month, Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal that favors embryonic stem cell research, called headlines touting its potential cures "sensationalist" and "hype."

"No safe and effective [embryonic] stem cell therapy will be widely available for at least a decade, and possibly longer," Lancet said.

Last year, embryonic stem cell research advocate Ron Reagan admitted [under duress, no doubt, after using his dad like the corpse in Weekend at Bernie's] that the science probably won't do anything to help those suffering from the disease that killed his father, telling MSNBC: "Alzheimer's is a disease, ironically, that probably won't be amenable to treatment through stem cell therapies."

In fact, since 1998, when researchers at the University of Wisconsin discovered how to isolate and develop human embryonic stem cells, no human disease or condition has been successfully treated with them.

Adult stem cell research, on the other hand, is already being used to safely and effectively treat more than 60 conditions.

The progress that the human clinical trials using adult stem cells represents is "unbelievably significant," Dr. Alan Levine told the Boston Globe last month. Levine is the former director of the blood disease program of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

Still, most media "seem to downplay these successes," complains quadriplegic stem cell science expert Jean Swenson, "while elevating embryonic stem cell cure 'potential.'" [emphases added]

To cut to the chase, embryonic stem cell research is a despicable fraud. So why does it get so stubbornly pushed by the left-wing establishment? Because it provides the pro-death crowd with something that, for all their years of dishonest demagoguery, they've never enjoyed before: a crack at the moral high ground.

After all, embryos don't look like human beings, any more than "fetuses" do; heck, they're not even visible to the naked eye. But unlike in abortion, where there really isn't any moralistic way of gussying up the fact that the "choice" still comes down to snuffing an innocent life based on a preggo's whim or an abortician's greedy urging, with embryonic stem cells they can depict the deliberate destruction of life as a panacea of cures for "real" (i.e. born) people, and those who oppose it as cruel, vicious, sadistic monsters who take great delight in watching people needlessly suffer. Insert evil, maniacal cackling here.

It is, in other words, the ultimate demagoguery. And Bill Frist has buckled to it.

But can we really be surprised after the woefully pitiful performance he's turned in thus far as Senate Majority Leader in the 109th Congress? After the way he's allowed himself to be dominated and outsmarted at every turn by Harry F'ing Reid? After he took so long to build up to the Constitutional option on judicial confirmations and then got blind-sided by Supreme Chancellor McCain?

In a strong, principled ruling party this defection would mean the end of Frist's leadership tenure. But the irony of this "last straw" is that by its very nature it won't "finalize" anything. As Trent Lott found out to his well-earned chagrin, it isn't weakness, fecklessness, and/or incompetence that gets a GOP Senate Majority Leader vented out the nearest airlock, but doing something that angers the political opposition. If Fristy had gone to the Senate floor this morning and declared both his undying opposition to embryonic stem cell research and concommitant commitment to adult stem cell research, and that the federally-funded research should begin by harvesting stem cells from Jesse Helms' nose, he'd find himself in a public relations maelstrom of a magnitude his Mississippi backbencher predecessor never dreamed of.

Jesse Helms and telling the truth = bad; parroting murderous lies and spreading your cheeks for the DisLoyal Opposition = good.

Thank God this bozo is retiring next year. But the damage, in terms of irretrievable opportunities and their implications for the '06 midterms, will be done.

An Utter Non-Sequitur

...but it's still funny:

What’s the difference between a bull and an orchestra?

A bull has the horns in the front and the asshole in the back.

I was in an orchestra for a year, once, so I can post that....

The War Of Clinton's Legacy, Six Years Later

Remember Operation Erase Pecker Tracks? Apparently hardly anybody does, even though every mendatious attack that left-wing nuts have thrown at the liberations of Afghanistan and Iraq were true of Sick Willie's 1999, post-impeachment, unprovoked attack on Serbia a zillion times over (minus the "Halliburton wants their oil" part, I guess).

Well, we still have troops in Kosovo, and every ethnic group (Albanians, Serbs, Jews, Roma, and non-Albanian Muslims) still hates every other ethnic group, and as was obvious to some of us from the beginning, there is no optimal, let alone workable or practical, solution to the problems that have persisted there for over seven centuries. It's why we should never have gotten involved in the first place and why we should get out now.

Finally, somebody with bigger pull than little ol' me is serving as the echo chamber:

Although Clinton administration officials who did so much to unnecessarily entangle America in the Balkans have demanded continued U.S. "leadership," solving the region's problems always should have been Europe's rather than America's problem. Unfortunately, the U.S. now bears significant responsibility for the outcome due to its foolish intervention in 1999. But Europe retains both a greater interest in Kosovo's final status and ability to influence Balkan governments than does America.

Thus, Washington should baptize the beginning of an international process for resolving Kosovo's status and then step back, withdrawing its last 1,800 troops from the region. Europe then could wield its various tools of influence - a willingness to maintain military garrisons, the prospect of joining the European Union, and the offer of economic opportunities and aid. If the Europeans choose a different strategy than preferred by Washington, so be it. And if a continuing troop presence is necessary, as many analysts argue, it should be provided by Europe.

Amen. Call it putting the best face on a bad - and utterly cynical - mistake.

But Mr. Bandow doesn't stop with just cleaning up the mess:

There are lessons to be learned. The U.S., with or without NATO, should say never again. Never again will Washington substitute ideological fantasies for practical realities when implementing its foreign policy. Never again will Washington intervene in a distant civil war of no geopolitical concern to America. Never again will America attack another nation that poses no threat to the U.S. The world is filled with tragedy, and the Balkans.... demonstrates how difficult it is for outsiders to resolve ancient and intractable conflicts.
You could add "no more playing global gendarme" and "no more wagging the dog" for good measure. After all, we have a real war to fight.

Here is my own post-mortem, written in the immediate aftermath of Clinton's eleven-week bombing campaign. 'Tis amazing how fresh it reads six years later.


It is several weeks later, and happily – except for the Serbs of Kosovo, who are about to be themselves "cleansed" by his KLA allies – Bill Clinton decided to settle for fictional "victory" after all. And he started with the below-bracketed address to the nation.

My fellow Americans, tonight, for the first time in 79 days, the skies over Yugoslavia are silent. The Serb army and police are withdrawing from Kosovo. The 1 million men, women and children driven from their land are preparing to return home. The demands of an outraged and united international community have been met.

One million Kosovars have been driven from their "homes?" The 1993 World Almanac shows the population of Yugoslavia as 10,337,000 people, after the former republics of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia seceded from Yugoslavia, and indicates the ethnic Albanians in the nation to be 8% of the total. That would be 826,960 Albanians in ALL OF YUGOSLAVIA in 1993. Now Clinton tells us that there are a million refugees from tiny Kosovo alone - and they have been there for generations?

Also, the "international community" is a Clintonoid myth. NATO is not the "international community," and even some alliance members were less than enthusiastic about the war at best (Italy, Germany), adamantly opposed at worst (Greece). Most of the rest of the "international community" backed the Serbs.

I can report to the American people that we have achieved a victory for a safer world, for our democratic values, and for a stronger America. Our pilots have returned to base. The air strikes have been suspended. Aggression against an innocent people has been contained and is being turned back.

When I ordered our armed forces into combat, we had three clear goals: to enable the Kosovar people, the victims of some of the most vicious atrocities in Europe since the Second World War, to return to their homes with safety and self-government; to require Serbian forces responsible for those atrocities to leave Kosovo; and to deploy an international security force, with NATO at its core, to protect all the people of that troubled land, Serbs and Albanians alike.

Those goals will be achieved. Unnecessary conflict has been brought to a just and honorable conclusion.

In his March 24, 1999 speech, in which he announced the bombing campaign, Clinton claimed the goals of the bombing, which was started without the approval of Congress or the United Nations:

Clinton: "Acting to end the crisis in Kosovo. President Milosevic's forces have intensified their attacks of burning down Kosovar Albanian villages and murdering innocent civilians. As a result, 60,000 Kosovars have fled their homes in the past five weeks, and a million of them are refugees in neighboring countries like Albania and Macedonia.

The United States and NATO allies' air strikes have three objectives: To deter President Milosevic from continuing to escalate his attacks on helpless civilians by imposing a price for those attacks."

Complete failure - There were NO ethnic Albanians in refugee camps on March 24, 1999.

"To demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's opposition to aggression and its support for peace."

Complete failure. The entire world now realizes NATO has turned into an out of control war machine.

"If necessary, to damage Serbia's capacity to wage war against Kosovo in the
future by seriously diminishing its military capabilities."

Complete failure. Milosevic's military capabilities, we see as they leave Kosovo, are intact.

The result will be security and dignity for the people of Kosovo, achieved by an alliance that stood together in purpose and resolve, assisted by the diplomatic efforts of Russia. This victory brings a new hope that when a people are singled out for destruction because of their heritage and religious faith and we can do something about it, the world will not look the other way.

The ethnic Albanians were not "singled out" for their heritage and religion. The Yugoslav army went after the KLA, a drug cartel, terrorist group which had killed not only Serbs, but hundreds of ethnic Albanians who would not support them.

Meanwhile, it was the Serbs who were "singled out for destruction because of their heritage and religious faith" by Bill Clinton.

I want to express my profound gratitude to the men and women of our armed forces and those of our allies. Day after day, night after night, they flew, risking their lives to attack their targets and to avoid civilian casualties when they were fired upon from populated areas. I ask every American to join me in saying to them, "Thank you. You've made us very proud."

I'm also grateful to the American people for standing against the awful ethnic cleansing, for sending generous assistance to the refugees and for opening your hearts and your homes to the innocent victims who came here.

I want to speak with you for a few moments tonight about why we fought, what we achieved and what we have to do now to advance the peace and, together with the people of the Balkans, forge a future of freedom, progress and harmony.

We should remember that the violence we responded to in Kosovo was the culmination of a 10-year campaign by Slobodan Milosevic, the leader of Serbia, to exploit ethnic and religious difference in order to impose his will on the lines of the former Yugoslavia.

That's what he tried to do in Croatia and Bosnia and now in Kosovo. The world saw the terrifying consequences: five hundred villages burned; men of all ages separated from their loved ones to be shot and buried in mass graves; women raped
; children made to watch their parents die; a whole people forced to abandon in hours communities their families had spent generations building.
They had "spent generations building?" One million of the 1.8 million Albanians supposedly in Kosovo only arrived in the province since the collapse of the Albanian communist government. And why would rapes (if they occurred) in Yugoslavia bother Bill Clinton when he so studiously avoided answering any questions about his (alleged) rape of Juanita Broaddrick?

"Avoid civilian casualties"? Most of NATO’s targets were civilian in nature. Jamie Shea was going on the tube every few days towards the end, blandly "apologizing" for one "mistake" after another that massacred, in the aggregate, well over a thousand civilians, Serbs and Albanians alike. If avoiding civilian casualties was high on NATO’s list of priorities, they’d never have launched the air war to begin with.

For these atrocities, Mr. Milosevic and his top aides have been indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

I will never forget the Kosovar refugees I recently met. Some of them could barely talk about what they had been through. All they had left was hope that the world would not turn its back. When our diplomatic efforts to avert this horror were rebuffed, and the violence mounted, we and our allies chose to act. Mr. Milosevic continued to do terrible things to the people of Kosovo. But we were determined to turn him back. Our firmness finally has brought an end to a vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing.

WHAT ethnic cleansing? How can the ethnic Albania population of Yugoslavia GROWING by 120% in 5 years be "ethnic cleansing"?

Also, "our diplomatic efforts" were not "rebuffed," because there was never any genuine attempt at diplomacy. The Clinton White House and the KLA hatched a deal in advance intended to be unacceptable to the Serbs and presented it to them as an ultimatum. It was MEANT to be "rebuffed" because both, for their own respective reasons, wanted war.

And we acted early enough to reverse it, to enable the Kosovars to go home. When they do, they will be safe. They will be able to reopen their schools, speak their language, practice their religion, choose their leaders and shape their destiny. There will be no more days of foraging for food in the cold mountains and forests. No more nights of hiding in cellars, wondering if the next day will bring death or deliverance. They will know that Mr. Milosevic's army and paramilitary forces will be gone, his 10 years of repression, finished.

All NATO forces have to worry about now is that THEY, not the Serb Army and police, will be the targets of KLA terrorists. And neither they, nor anybody else in what’s left of Kosovo – least of all the Serbs about to be cleansed – will be "safe."

NATO has achieved this success as a united alliance, ably led by Secretary-General Solana and General Clark. Nineteen democracies came together and stayed together through the stiffest military challenge in NATO's 50-year history.

"The stiffest military challenge in 50 years?" NATO was formed as a defense against the USSR - which by 1965 was a nuclear power with a population of more than 232 million people. Tiny Yugoslavia, which is about the size of the State of Kentucky with only 11 million people, is a stiffer challenge than the USSR?

We also preserved our critically important partnership with Russia. Thanks to President Yeltsin, who opposed our military effort, but supported diplomacy to end the conflict on terms that met our conditions. I'm grateful to Russian envoy Chernomyrdin and Finnish President Ahtisaari for their work, and to Vice President Gore for the key role he played in putting their partnership together.

Now, I hope Russian troops will join us in the force that will keep the peace in Kosovo, just as they have in Bosnia.

Finally, we have averted the wider war this conflict might well have sparked. The countries of Southeastern Europe backed the NATO campaign, helped the refugees, and showed the world there is more compassion than cruelty in this troubled region. This victory makes it all the more likely that they will choose a future of democracy, fair treatment of minorities, and peace.

There IS no "peace" in Kosovo. None of the real problems (i.e. the KLA's demand for a "Greater Albania" which would include Kosovo and parts of Macedonia, which will fuel years of conflict and possibly another world war) have been addressed. And the conflict was ended on Milosevic’s terms, not Clinton’s.

There are formidable challenges.

First, we must be sure the Serbian authorities meet their commitments. We are prepared to resume our military campaign, should they fail to do so.

Next, we must get the Kosovar refugees home safely. Minefields will have to be cleared. Homes destroyed by Serb forces will have to be rebuilt. Homeless people in need of food and medicine will have to get them. The fate of the missing will have to be determined. The Kosovar Liberation Army will have to demilitarize as it has agreed to do. And we in the peacekeeping force will have to ensure that Kosovo is a safe place to live for all its citizens, ethnic Serbs as well as ethnic Albanians.

No mention made of the destroyed schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, homes bombed by NATO? Are we merely going to rebuild what the Serb forces destroyed, not what NATO destroyed by dropping 20,000 bombs?

Also, suppose some or most Albanians don’t want to go back to Kosovo. Will NATO "cleanse" them back in the way the Western Allies forced Russian ethnic minorities to return to the tender mercies of Josef Stalin half a century ago?

For these things to happen, security must be established. To that end, some 50,000 troops from almost 30 countries will deploy to Kosovo. Our European allies will provide the vast majority of them. America will contribute about 7,000.

We are grateful that during NATO's air campaign, we did not lose a single serviceman in combat. But this next phase also will be dangerous. Bitter memories will still be fresh, and there may well be casualties.

He's right about that. There will be casualties, all right – from all sides, each of whom now has ample reason to hate and distrust us.

So we have made sure that the force going into Kosovo will have NATO command and control and rules of engagement set by NATO. It will have the means and the mandate to protect itself while doing its job.

In the meantime, the United Nations will organize a civilian administration while preparing the Kosovars to govern and police themselves.

So, who does he have in mind for the police force? The "demilitarized" but not "disarmed" KLA?

As local institutions take hold, NATO will be able to turn over increasing responsibility to them and draw down its forces.

Our third challenge will be to put in place a plan for lasting peace and stability in Kosovo and through all the Balkans. For that to happen, the European Union and the United States must plan for tomorrow, not just today. We must help to give the democracies of Southeastern Europe a path to a prosperous shared future, a unifying magnet more powerful than the pull of hatred and destruction that has threatened to tear them apart.

Our European partners must provide most of the resources for this effort, but it is in America's interest to do our part as well.

And just who do you suppose will be moving into Kosovo to exploit its considerable mineral resources?

A final challenge will be to encourage Serbia to join its neighbors in this historic journey, to a peaceful democratic united Europe.

I want to say a few words to the Serbian people tonight. I know that you too have suffered in Mr. Milosevic's war. You should know that your leaders could have kept Kosovo as a part of your country without driving a single Kosovar family from its home, without killing a single adult or child, without inviting a single NATO bomb to fall on your country. You endured 79 days of bombing, not to keep Kosovo a province of Serbia, but simply because Mr. Milosevic was determined to eliminate Kosovar Albanians from Kosovo, dead or alive. As long as he remains in power, as long as your nation is ruled by an indicted war criminal, we will provide no support for the reconstruction of Serbia. But we are ready to provide humanitarian aid, and to help to build a better future for Serbia too, when its government represents tolerance and freedom, not repression and terror.

Let's see. Clinton dropped over 20,000 bombs on Yugoslavia. The death rate of civilians to military appears to have been about 4 civilians to every military death. He has bombed the electrical system, sewage treatment and water systems, hospitals, schools, homes, TV studios - killing journalists because he said they were "not telling the truth." Does he seriously believe the Serbs have any regard for him other than hatred for what he has done to their country? Or that he stands for "tolerance and freedom" while blackmailing them as to who their leaders are going to be?

Also, Kosovo IS still a part of Yugoslavia – until, of course, Clinton reneges on his end of the "peace" agreement.

My fellow Americans, all these challenges are substantial, but they are far preferable to the challenges of war and continued instability in Europe. We have sent a message of determination and hope to all the world. Think of all the millions of innocent people who died in this bloody century because democracies reacted too late to evil and aggression. Because of our resolve, the 20th century is ending, not with helpless indignation, but with a hopeful affirmation of human dignity and human rights for the 21st century. In a world too divided by fear among people of different racial, ethnic and religious groups, we have given confidence to the friends of freedom and pause to those who would exploit human difference for inhuman purposes.

America still faces great challenges in this world, but we look forward to meeting them. So tonight I ask you to be proud of your country and very proud of the men and women who serve it in uniform. For in Kosovo we did the right thing. We did it the right way. And we will finish the job.

Good night and may God bless our wonderful United States of America.

So Clinton believes that slaughtering civilians, destroying the water, heating supplies and electricity of homes and schools and hospitals ends the 20th century as a 'hopeful affirmation of human dignity and human rights for the 21st century?" He believes that destroying the people's water supply is "doing it the right way?"

History will not see it that way. History will see it as a cowardly attack on innocent civilians - women, children, elderly – not undertaken for "human dignity" or "human rights" or any other noble purpose, but to aggrandize the real tyrant, the impeached pervert, the universal betrayer, William Jefferson Clinton.

He wanted a unique legacy. I think he has it.


If, in the spring of 1999, George W. Bush had been Bill Clinton and the Democrats had been in the majority on Capitol Hill, with all other factors unchanged, Dubya's presidency wouldn't have survived the summer. Something to consider when those same once-and-future Clinton capos join the extremist anti-war crowd in their Bushophobic hysterics.

The Last Word On Profiling

...comes to us from Tunko Varadarajan in today's Wall Street Journal:

I am just as concerned about catching terrorists (who may look like me) as anyone else who looks different. I can ask that the searches and scrutiny be done in a professional manner, with no insults and nothing that offends my dignity. I, too, see the absurdity of subjecting Chinese grandmothers to the same level of scrutiny as people from the Indian subcontinent at the airport check-in counter.

Do I like being profiled? Of course not. But my displeasure is yet another manifestation of the extraordinary power of terrorism. I am not being profiled because of racism but rather because Islamist fanatics have declared war on my society. They are the dark power that leads me to an experience in which my individuality is corroded. This is tragic; but it strengthens my resolve to support the war that seeks to destroy terrorism. [emphasis added]

If only such sense could truly be "common."

Senate Supports Boy Scouts

This is certainly great news.

In the reporting of this story tomorrow, you will hear little about how the Senate has voted 98 to 0 to allow U.S. military bases to host Boy Scout events. — That means even the most liberal senators in the country oppose the ACLU, which want the Boy Scouts banned from all federal property and has sued to make that happen.

The ACLU has been after the Boy Scouts for a long time, pretending to be concerned about their stand on openly homosexual scoutmasters and their pledge. The ACLU is really against anything positive and good in this country, from what I can tell.

This is a stunning rejection of the extremist group and a huge victory for fair play in America. The ACLU has been trying to destroy the Boy Scouts ever since that organization decided to ban openly gay Scout leaders and require an allegiance to a higher power.

Yeah, that's what I said. [g] Bill O'Reilly and I don't agree on a lot of things, but we certainly do on this subject. The ACLU has become the Anti-Christian Liberties Union (no, I didn't make that up).

As a private organization, the Scouts have a perfect right to do that, as no one is forced to join. The ACLU contends that the Scouts are discriminatory, therefore have no place using any public facility for anything.

Now clear-thinking people know a vendetta when they see it. And that's exactly what this ACLU jihad against the Scouts is. So the U.S. Senate has made a statement. And we should all applaud that statement.

Of course they have a right to make their own rules. The ACLU's claim that because of their pledge to God they cannot use public facilities is just ridiculous. I'm certainly glad the Senate sees that.

It's obvious the Boy Scouts help society and give children an opportunity to have fun and develop character. The greater good is served by helping the Scouts, even if you don't subscribe to their philosophy.

Too bad that the "greater good" is the last thing on the ACLU's agenda. I have a son who will be an Eagle Scout this year, all he has to do is his community service project. I have seen first-hand how the Scouts develop character and produce better members of society. Wouldn't it be nice to see organizations like the ACLU actually interested in such things?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Matter Of Degree

Resolved: the principle difference between World War III (the Cold War) and World War IV (the "Global War on Terror") was that in the former, our enemy was not the people of the former Soviet Union and "captive nations" of the Baltic and Eastern Europe, but just their communist rulers, whereas in the latter the enemy is both the jihadis (active belligerents in the terrorist organizations and sponsor regimes, i.e. Iran and Syria) and the bulk of the so-called "moderate" Muslims (passive belligerents who raise neither finger nor voice in condemnation of the "holy warriors" who wage mayhem in their name).

We begin with the very candid column by Daniel Pipes in the Australian, wherein he lays out, with the bark on, the true, unabashed objectives of bin Laden, Zarqawi, the mullahs and their ilk:

In nearly all cases, the jihadi terrorists have a patently self-evident ambition: to establish a world dominated by Muslims, Islam and the sharia. Or, again to cite the Daily Telegraph, their real project is the extension of Islamic territory across the globe and the establishment of a worldwide caliphate founded on sharia.

Terrorists openly declare this goal. The Islamists who assassinated Anwar Sadat in 1981 decorated their holding cages with banners proclaiming "The caliphate or death".

A biography of Abdullah Azzam, one of the most influential Islamist thinkers of recent times and an influence on Osama bin Laden, declares that his life "revolved around a single goal, namely the establishment of Allah's rule on earth" and restoring the caliphate.

Bin Laden spoke of ensuring that "the pious caliphate will start from Afghanistan". His chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, also dreamed of re-establishing the caliphate, for then, he wrote, "history would make a new turn, God willing, in the opposite direction against the empire of the US and the world's Jewish government". Another al-Qa'ida leader, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, publishes a magazine that declares: "Due to the blessings of jihad, America's countdown has begun. It will declare defeat soon", to be followed by the creation of a caliphate.

Or, as Mohammed Bouyeri wrote in the note he attached to the corpse of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film-maker he assassinated last November, Islam will be victorious through the blood of martyrs who spread its light in every dark corner of this earth.

The standard politically-correct response to this self-evident truth is that these are just "extremists" who have "hijacked" their religion, which is described even by President Bush as one of "peace." This notion is usually taken to the extent of the jihadis not even being genuinely Muslim but rather "fascists" cloaked in Islamic piety, which is the root of the promiscuously used term "Islamofascist." I, myself, once coined the term "Islazi," which I thought was far less clumsy, but still sprang from the same reluctance to offend "peace-loving" Muslims.

But Mr. Pipes then throws in a kicker that opens the way to the fundamental denial at the heart of that mindset:

Although terrorists state their jihadi motives loudly and clearly, Westerners and uslims alike too often avert their eyes. Islamic organisations, Canadian author Irshad Manji observes, pretend that "Islam is an innocent bystander in today's terrorism". [emphasis added]

This New York Sun article explores this assertion in substantial depth. Speaking of the poor relatives of the Egyptians (i.e. Muslims) maimed or slain in last week's Sharm el-Sheik bombing, Fiamma Nirenstein writes:

You understand many things about terrorism when you speak to them; and you understand also, unfortunately, why we will never be able to count on what we call "the moderate Muslims" for the war against terrorism....These guys are the typical "moderate Muslim" that the holy rage of the jihadists destroys with fury, the one infected by the contact with the West and also the one that in our Western dreams and in many European and American experts' analyses should suddenly rise against the "extreme Islam," their enemy.

So, let's test this thesis and ask: "Do they hate terrorists?" The answer is "Yes, very much so," and they really do, - they close their fists and watch in rage and repeat to me that they deeply hope that Mr. Mubarak will catch them all, will put them in prison, will kill them. Are they ready to fight them? Yes, at every level, with their hands, if requested, and with demonstrations that actually, while I'm in Sharm, suddenly appear in the hot streets and just in front of the cameras of the international press: "Down with terrorism," "We are against terrorism"...

But then, if it's so, why can the great "moderate" Muslim world not really fight their own enemy?

They themselves give me the answers: "Bin Laden? The Muslim Brotherhood? Certainly the terrorist attacks are not their work, no! This is a lie. A Muslim could never do this. And if they say they do it in the name of Islam, they are not Islamic; or, most likely, this shows, like the television says, that someone uses the name of Islam just to hide the real perpetrators."

Anyhow, Islam is out of the question, And then, we ask again, who is behind the attacks? Well, you know the answer, they smile with a smart expression....the television said that only the Israelis and the Americans have a real interest in seeing Egypt on its knees; General Fuad Allam said that the perpetrators of the Taba attack of October 2004 were apparently linked to the Israeli security forces, and so, supposedly, it is today. Also Al-Jazeera and even Al-Arabia interviewed "experts" to confirm this point of view. A big, beautiful guy with a red T-shirt just puts it down bluntly: "We know only what the television tells us."

It's suddenly clear to me that here television is a metaphor for "knowledge" and for "power": printed paper, school texts, Friday sermons in the mosques, everything is "television" for this guy and his hundreds of millions of "moderate Muslim" friends. And everything points to the Israeli as an object of hate....

So, we cannot count on "moderate" Arabs...The dream palace of the Arab, after the terrorist attack in Sharm, just like the thousands of attacks in Iraq and in Israel, is still there; the summer camps of Hamas still teach that it's good to kill the Jews; several madrassas work full time as centers of recruitment; the television broadcasts an "analysis" that charges the Mossad and the CIA with mass murders. The dictators of the Arab countries, in this case Mr. Mubarak, don't let Khaled know who the guys that cut their legs are. So, Khaled can be as "moderate" as we want, but so long as that fascist culture of hate is there, we can count only on ourselves. [emphases added]

Sounds like the O.J. Simpson jury writ into an entire culture, doesn't it? And, if one is honest, one must ask what the actual difference is between Mohammed Atta on one hand and Mahmoud or Khaled on the other beyond one of degree. If the former are committing mass, indiscriminate murder of Muslim and "infidel" alike in the name of the latter's religion and the latter reflexively and cynically spout wittingly dishonest denials and excuses, can't the latter be said to be in tacit approval of it? And they sure don't seem to be a minority of "moderate" Muslims.

Ah, you might be thinking, that's a criticism of Arab culture more than it is Islamic religion. But the fact of the matter is that there is very little difference between the two. Quite unlike Christianity, which is not theocratic in the least, Islam, via sharia law, is oriented toward dominating every aspect of its adherents' every day life, including civil government. Everything is to be subservient to it, without exception. And this, in turn, is why the Middle East is the mess that it is. Even the secular autocratic Arab states like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan derive their autocracy from this central cultural notion of the state being over all and Islam being over the state. Here too, the difference seems to be merely one of degree.

A couple of years ago Frontpage magazine held a three-part symposium on this topic. Speaking for the view that Islam is not a "religion of peace" was Robert Spencer, an adjunct fellow with the Free Congress Foundation and author of Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith.

You can follow the links and read the whole thing. Here I will quote several key points of Mr. Spencer's that his opponents were unable to substantively refute:

*[T]o justify such chilling views extremists make copious use of the Qur’an and Islamic history and tradition. Militant Muslims point to traditions of Muhammad such as this well-attested hadith: “I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection . . .”

*The fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity is that only Islam has a tradition and doctrine that sanctions war against unbelievers. Only Islam has an entire institution of war and violence elaborated and endorsed by the greatest Muslim theologians and jurists from classical Islam to the present day. The Maliki jurist Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani said: “Jihad is a precept of Divine institution. . . . [Non-Muslims] have the alternative of either converting to Islam or paying the poll tax (jizya), short of which war will be declared against them.” As’ad, show me where this doctrine has been renounced by any major Islamic sect, as Christians of all sects have renounced the "theology" of the Crusades. You cannot do so, because this is still part of Islam.

*When a man as eminent as Iran’s former UN Ambassador Sa’id Raja’i-Khorassani can say that the idea of human rights is a “Judeo-Christian invention” foreign to Islam, it does no good to dismiss this as a minority view. Why are these “extreme” views in power not just in Iran, but all over the Islamic world? Muslim moderates need to show plainly why this “extreme” Islam is illegitimate - not to convince Westerners, but their fellow Muslims who are falling prey to this “extremism” in large numbers.

*The idea that fanaticism in all religions is equivalent is absurd. You see how you have to stretch to associate Falwell with killing; it’s unfortunately much easier to associate Muslim “extremists” with killing because these radicals work from the traditional teachings of Islam that preach war and violence.

The historical “mainstream” view of jihad is articulated by the great Hanbali jurist Ibn Taymiyya. He agrees with the other schools of Sunni jurisprudence: “Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought. As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight,. . . they shall not be killed unless they actually fight with words (e.g. by propaganda) and acts (e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare).”

This is an elaboration of Muhammad’s words in a strong Hadith from Muslim, Bukhari, and Abu Dawud: “I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) . . . And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf . . .” There is no doctrine remotely like this in Christianity or any other religion besides Islam.

*[T]he Qur' full of ingredients that can lead to militant and murderous fanaticism.

Until that fact is faced and the Qur'an and Sunna are re-evaluated on a massive scale, murderous fanaticism will be a part of Islam, and not a small, insignificant part either. If you can eradicate it, I will applaud. But I don't think you will be able to do so.

Thus, the difference between the Qur'an's "slay the unbelievers wherever you find them" (Sura 9:5) and the Bible verses he quotes is that in Islam, violence is not justified by twisting a few scattered verses; instead, it's enshrined in tradition and theology.

Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, translator of the Hadith collection Sahih Bukhari, explains that the Qur'an's violent verses actually take precedence over its peaceful ones: "At first 'the fighting' was forbidden, then it was permitted and after that it was made obligatory." S. K. Malik in The Qur'anic Concept of War explains that Allah gave Muslims "a divine command making war a religious obligation for the faithful." All four schools of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence - Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali - teach an elaborate doctrine of jihad that sanctions killing in the name of Islam. Said the great Muslim jurist, philosopher, and historian Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406): "In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense... Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations."

Are all these Muslims "Islamophobes"? Islam has an established tradition of Qur'an interpretation that allows modern Muslims to think themselves justified in committing acts of violence in the name of the religion. Christianity has no comparable tradition.

*Muslim authorities throughout history have maintained that violent jihad is part of the Muslim community’s responsibility. They explain it this way:

Sura 9:29 says: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] until they pay the Jizya [the special tax on non-Muslims] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued”.

This is the triple choice: conversion, death, or submission. This verse comes from Sura At-Tawba, the last sura revealed. If any verse contradicts it, Sura 9:29 must be given precedence because the sura from which it comes is the Qur’an’s last word on the subject. Even if the tolerance verses aren’t cancelled according to the Muslim principle of abrogation (naskh), the tolerant verses such as those you quote must be understood in light of Sura 9.

I didn’t make up this interpretation. It comes from respected Islamic authorities: Ibn Kathir, Ibn Juzayy, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, and innumerable other classic and respected Qur’an commentaries. And they were working from the Muhammad’s amplification of the triple alternative for unbelievers - conversion, death, or submission - in a strong Hadith in Sahih Muslim (4294).

You say, “If Islam’s goal is to kill or convert non-Muslims . . .” leaving out the third choice: submission. Yet that answers your question. When dealing with huge populations such as the Hindus, Muslims historically have taken this route. The Muslim record in India is one of continuing repression and humiliation of Hindus; hence the ongoing tensions between the communities today. And as for Jews and Christians living in peace in the Muslim world, they also tasted the meaning of the third alternative, submission.

Mr. Ayloush, you know full well that the Sharia teaches (in accordance with Muhammad’s triple alternative) that Jews and Christians cannot and should not be treated equal to Muslims anywhere in the Muslim world. Mr. Ayloush, tell us about the racist concept in Islamic law that labels Jews and Christians dhimmis and subjects them to humiliating regulations and the constant threat of persecution if they get out of line. Jews and Christians never were and never can be equal to Muslims under Islamic law.

If Islam’s goal is “to free people from oppression,” why didn’t you mention the thriving ancient Christian communities of Asia Minor or North Africa? Ooops - they were wiped out. Why are Christians today fleeing their ancestral homelands in the Middle East as fast as they can? I’m glad that, as you say, most Muslims have rejected all this, but I’d like to see some Muslim authorities on record doing so, and on record renouncing and apologizing for jihad and dhimmitude.

But, of course, we'll never see this, because jihad and dhimmitude are to Islam what the Great Commission and the Golden Rule are to Christianity. To repudiate either for a committed Muslim would be like cutting off (their own) arm or leg. They simply can't do it. And if they try, they can count on a fellow acolyte doing the dismembering for them.

An interesting postscript to this discussion begins with this story:

Top U.S. Muslim scholars issued a "fatwa," or religious edict, against terrorism on Thursday and called on Muslims to help authorities fight the scourge of militant violence.

American Muslims this month launched a nationwide advertising campaign in which they declared that those who committed terrorism in the name of Islam were betraying the teachings of the Koran.

Well, that's it then, right? I've been resoundingly refuted and my whole argument has collapsed.

Um, not quite:

The only thing that concerns me about the language of the fatwa is that it comes from a CAIR spokesman....

That would be the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an Islamic front organization - oops, civil rights group - that recently filed a defamation lawsuit against Andrew Whitehead of the rival Anti-CAIR on the basis of six statements about CAIR published on his organization's website.

Intriguingly, though, CAIR subsequently dropped the following libel claims:

*[CAIR is an] organization founded by Hamas supporters….

*CAIR was started by Hamas members….

*CAIR … was founded by Islamic terrorists.

*[CAIR] is partially funded by terrorists…

*CAIR receives direct funding from Islamic terrorist supporting countries

*CAIR has proven links to… Islamic terrorists

*CAIR is a fundamentalist organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States Constitution and the installation of an Islamic theocracy in America.

*CAIR wishes nothing more than the implementation of a SHARIA law in American.

*[CAIR seeks to replace the government of the United States] with an Islamist theocracy using our own Constitution as protection....

*CAIR is here to make radical Islam the dominant religion in the United States and to convert our country into an Islamic theocracy along the lines of Iran.

Why did CAIR drop these libel claims? Because every one of them is true, and Mr. Whitehead, via an extensive and well informed set of discovery requests and documents, was fully prepared to prove it.

And remember, CAIR holds itself out as being a "moderate" Muslim organization.

UPDATE: The Counter-Terrorism Blog concurs (via Powerline):

In fact, the fatwa is bogus. Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology [i.e. the Koran itself] that has spawned Islamic terrorism. It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader. In short, it is a fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate. In fact, officials of both organizations have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations. One of them is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current terrorist case; another previous member was a financier to Al-Qaeda.

The first law of war (paraphrased) teaches that if you know yourself and your enemy, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles; if you know yourself but don't know your enemy, you will lose a battle for each one you win; but if you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you're already beaten.

Four years into the GWOT a narrow majority of us know ourselves, but virtually nobody wants to acknowlege the truth about the enemy we're fighting. Because of that we are hamstringingly limiting the scope of our efforts (i.e. leaving the regimes in Damascus and Tehran intact and free to continually undermine our democracy-building efforts in Iraq and build nuclear weapons; relying passively, and futiley, upon our past accomplishments there and in Afghanistan to undermine the terror masters by example) far below what is necessary to bring this conflict to a swift and decisive conclusion.

And so the war appears to drag on with no end in sight, we're bewildered at how there can be fresh terrorist attacks here and there and maybe again here, and we steadily tire, our razor-sharp post-9/11 vigilence and determination inexorably eroding.

We don't want to acknowledge that we're at war with Islam, and that our enemies, far from being its "hijackers," are in fact the embodiment of its teachings. But denying it won't change it, any more than acknowledging it will turn the whole Muslim world against us, since, well, the whole Muslim world is pretty much already against us. The only way to change that, to bring about an Islamic Reformation (or, more accurately, Apostasization) is to discredit the Koran's jihadist ideology by utterly and remorselessly crushing it, both in terms of propaganda and on the battlefield.

It was bin Laden himself that coined the "strong horse/weak horse" analogy. To hopelessly conflate OBL with Mao Zedong, "Power comes out of the end of the strong horse. That horse must never gallop out from under the buttocks of the United States of America."

Otherwise, it just becomes a matter of degree - and time.

UPDATE: Hidely-ho, HyScience readers!

Big Labor Crackup A Big Deal Or A Wash?

The jury on this question appears to be hung.

Arguing for the first option is Robert Novak:

The bolt in Chicago Monday from the AFL-CIO by the Teamsters and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) reflects a long-building reaction to John Sweeney's plans a decade ago when he muscled his way into the labor federation presidency. He wanted to restore union power through politics. His project was a total failure, and the AFL-CIO is in ruins 50 years after its creation.

The scenario of the breakup was accurately laid out to me by Teamsters sources nearly a year ago. Sweeney would be offered a deal he could not accept. To keep the two big unions in the federation, Sweeney would have had to agree to a six-month tenure as president and a sharp reduction in the share of union dues to the AFL-CIO. The $10 million a year each saved by the Teamsters and the SEIU means money that has gone into Democratic coffers will be used for organizing.

That's why Democratic strategists wring their hands, fearful that the financial drought caused by the events in Chicago will undermine the party in the 2006 midterm elections. But James P. Hoffa of the Teamsters and Andrew Stern of the SEIU have rejected organized labor's political illusion. They may not know how to cure what ails the nation's unions, but they cannot buy Sweeney's notion that salvation lies in electing Democratic politicians.

Mark Steyn said something similar today on Hugh Hewitt's radio program, to the effect that Big Labor was the Dems' last connection to the "average American voter," and without that party pillar all that's left is the kooks, of various stripes, that populate the far left fringe.

And besides, it's not as if Sweeney's "salvation" ever produced concrete results in a decade of trying. With union membership on a thirty-year wane, he was in essence seeking an ever-larger cut of an ever-shrinking pie.

However, writes Ivan G. Osorio in the American Spectator, the Hoffa/Stern "notion" of rebuilding rank & file union membership will be no panacea for the Right, and will be arguably better for the Democrats in the long term - to the extent that it actually changes the old Sweeney tactics at all:

The AFL-CIO's loss of two large unions this week hit Democrats and the labor federation hard. But this move by the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) may not hurt Democrats as much as they fear. And large employers are unlikely to get a reprieve from union attacks....

[D]oes anyone seriously expect any of the dissident unions to stop politicking for Democrats? And the union split is unlikely to get employers any reprieve from aggressive union tactics, which, in some cases, might get worse. Hoffa and Stern's claim that Sweeney has neglected organizing sounds innocuous enough: Unions' main mission should be to represent their members and seek to attract new ones, not canvass for politicians. But the Teamsters' and SEIU's tactics are not intended so much to attract workers but to beat employers into submission.

I don't know how much this new dynamic duo can turn back the clock on reunionizing the American workforce. Perhaps they can finally arrest the slide that is knocking on the door of sinking into the single-digits percentage-wise, but the glory days of a third or more of all American paycheck-earners seeing union dues as an after-tax deduction on their pay stubs lie right along side the dinosaurs on the extinction list.

Which means that however much emphasis Hoffa and Stein give to politicking versus organizing, they'll still be operating from a position of weakness for the foreseeable future.

My only dilemma is whether to use deck-chair shuffling or Celine Dion as my Titanic metaphor....