Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Gospel Of Judas

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

-2 Timothy 4:1-5

Burning Bush

Here is how the Iraqi people fight al Qaeda:

A battle raged in west Baghdad on Thursday after residents rose up against al-Qaida and called for U.S. military help to end random gunfire that forced people to huddle indoors and threats that kept students from final exams, a member of the district council said.

U.S. forces backed by helicopter gunships clashed with suspected al- Qaida gunmen in western Baghdad's primarily Sunni Muslim Amariyah neighborhood in an engagement that lasted several hours, said the district councilman, who would not allow use of his name for fear of al-Qaida retribution.

[T]he councilman said the al-Qaida leader in the Amariyah district, known as Haji Hameed, was killed and 45 other fighters were detained.

Here is how George W. Bush fights al Qaeda:

U.S. military commanders are talking with Iraqi militants about cease-fires and other arrangements to try to stop the violence, the #2 American commander said Thursday.

Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno said he has authorized commanders at all levels to reach out to militants, tribes, religious leaders and others in the country that has been gripped by violence from a range of fronts including insurgents, sectarian rivals and common criminals.

"We are talking about cease-fires, and maybe signing some things that say they won't conduct operations against the government of Iraq or against coalition forces," Odierno told Pentagon reporters in a video conference from Baghdad.

A rather far cry from "Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists," isn't it?

Here is how George W. Bush stands by our close ally Israel:

Secretary of State Rice tells Israel that there isn't [any substitute for awarding Hamas a full-fledged Talibanesque national state], as she tries to discourage the Israelis from pursuing a peace agreeemnt with Syria and abandoning "the Palestinian track."

Israel has been fighting the "war on terror" for a heckuva lot longer than we have, and this is how Dubya repays them. If Israel weren't ruled by a weak-kneed fool, Bush'd probably be pushing Ehud Barak's political comeback, since he was all for the "Palestinian track" until it triggered Intifada II.

Here is how George W. Bush is fighting the war with Iran:

The first official face-to-face diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran in more than a quarter-century ended Monday. Less than a day later, Tehran announced formal espionage charges against three Americans there.

So much for those who pressured the Bush Administration into sitting down with the Ahmadinejad government by insisting that Tehran can be persuaded to help in stabilizing war-torn Iraq.

Here is a whole laundry list of Bush's domestic policy sins - all tolerated by the center-right in the interest of his steadfastness....on the war.

Here is even more evidence that not only will the "New Tone" meme never die, but it has been ingrained in all his subordinates (those who haven't stabbed him in the back, anyway):

The first couple of dozen pages of the Libby brief are basically a long list of character references. It then goes on to urge a "downward departure" from sentencing guidelines based on the "mitigating factors" of his lifetime of exemplary character and service and also because the nature of the crime was so, well,... odd (my word, not his), in that there was no UNDERLYING crime, etc. - and also because he already has suffered public opproprium for such a long time, and because he lost his job and probably will lose his law license, and because of "the improbability of any future criminal conduct by Mr. Libby."

Get that? Scooter Libby and his defense team are not, as they should be, climbing the high horse of righteous and justified indignation and demanding that any sentence be suspended pending his appeal of Patrick Fitzgerald's bogus conviction; they're only asking that interim sentence be reduced. I guess I should be reassured that Libby isn't obsequiously throwing himself on the mercy of the court by being willing to serve ANY sentence in order to "atone" for the "crimes" he never committed.

It may look like I'm scatter-shooting all over the place, but the underlying theme I think should be abundantly clear. The George W. Bush that the GOP base once knew and loved is deader than Judas Iscariot, replaced by this bootlicking pantiwaist whose "New Tone" dogma evidently doesn't extend to his own core supporters.

This brings us to GDub's Waterloo, the McCain-Kennedy immigration amnesty bill.

The political angle on this from the Bushies has always been that if we'll just erase our borders and let the Mexican population overrun us, the GOP will reap a bonanza of Hispanic votes on a par with the Democrats' domination of the black vote for lo these many years. Bush surrogates Jeb Bush and Ken Mehlman cite California's "bluing" as an example of what happens when Republicans muster the bigoted audacity to actually enforce immigration statutes.

Guess again, says Heather McDonald:

In fact, California’s transformation from “Reagan country” to labor-union country is the far more likely consequence of the growing Hispanic population per se and the corresponding outflow of white Republicans to other states. In 1990, California was one-quarter Latino and 57% white; in 2000, it was 32% Latino and 47% white; in 2005, Latinos constituted 35%, and whites 43%, of the population. Those shifting demographics have been accompanied by the growing clout of the Democratic party, and of California's public-service unions, not because of some vestigial memory of 187, but because they appeal to low-wage, low-skilled Hispanics.

So there's no political gain in opening the illegal immigration floodgates - for the GOP, anyway. It already makes a mockery of the rule of law, guarantees an ever spiraling entitlements burden, and is an unconscionable derlicition of national security duty in the age of global jihad. So what possible argument can the President make that will persuade his dwindling base of the rightness of his cause?

Hugh Hewitt - who, please recall, was on his own island in the Harriet Miers furor, and is willing to accept amnesty if preceded by serious enforcement provisions - says zippo:

This push for this bill is a disaster, Mr. President. Much much worse than the Miers nomination....or the ports deal.... On this issue there is no place to stand, and you are asking your friends in the Senate to go down fighting for a bad bill. It is a bad bill because no one believes the government can conduct millions of background checks (many spokesmen for the bill don't even pretend to know where the paperwork will go!). No one believes the bill will halt the next 12 million. No one believes you are going to assure the fence gets built. No one believes that the employer verification system will get done or work when some half-assed version of it does get done. No one believes that the probationary visas don't automatically convert illegal aliens with few if any rights into Due Process Clause covered legal migrants, with a Ninth Circuit ready and waiting to keep them here for decades.

No one believes passing the bill will help catch the jihadist sleepers already in the country. The constituency that has always been with you except on the ports deal - the security voter - has left the room. If you want them back, act quickly.

This isn't a talk radio fueled shout from the far right. It isn't the Minutemen or the Tancredo people. It is the GOP faithful who don't want it, nor anything like it.

You want it with the bark on? No one in his own party outside of the dumbasses in the Senate minority believes George W. Bush. He is succeeding in taking the rage that has consumed John McCain's presidental ambitions and sending whatever was left of his presidency up in the same conflagration.

Lest anybody doubt me, here's a random sampling of what those who have slogged long and hard in the trenches on his behalf throughout the long, annoying years of Bushophobia and the war against the War have to say about Bush the Son.

Laura Ingraham (audio clip) Highlight?

The good news is that President Bush has finally taken the gloves off... the bad news is he's chosen to take them off to beat the hell out of us.

Ace of Spades:

Hey, President Bush? Fuck off. You are going down in history in a neck-and-neck battle with Jimmy Carter as worst president of the twentieth century [plus].

And you know what? You are, pretty much, a fucking moron.

All that time we've razzed the left about claiming that? Oh, you're not diagnosably retarded or anything, but you're a fucking dim bulb, and you've got some nerve of accusing opponents of the amnesty bill (which you surely haven't even read, genius) of not being smart enough to support it.

And... Here's Bush claiming that with amnesty, we won't even need a fence! Which isn't very reassuring, because the only way that statement would be true would be if we had absolutely open borders and no concept of a American citizenship at all - were that the law, then we wouldn't need a fence, as we'd have no laws whatsover regarding the border and immigration.

Is that the direction Mr. Smart Stuff is pushing us in?

In case you were uncertain about the direction in which this post is headed, we are talking about more than just the Bush presidency carbonizing on a political funeral pyre. He looks to be taking his party down with him:

The illegal immigration fight is tearing the Arizona Republican Party apart, to the point that its members and staff wonder if it can even compete....

I’m not saying anything here that most of our readers don’t already know, but I do know that we have readers in the White House and in Congress. I hope they’re watching what’s happening to the AZ GOP, and realize that smearing the base while pushing legislation that the base despises could very well destroy the party as we know it. I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see the next opinion polls put the president’s approval rating at 20% or less, which would be yet another historic low. Maybe he’s fine with that. But we need a party after he’s gone, and at the rate things are going we might not. He wants a legacy, and he’ll leave one alright: A permanent Democrat majority.
Brother Hugh concurs:

Expect more and more Democrats to try and keep the bill as it is because of the inferno on the right. Even lefties pushing for more family member migrations etc have got to see that unity in pushing the present version forward will splinter the GOP as surely as the Corn Laws did Peel's Tories or as Ireland did Gladstone's Liberals. If the GOP doesn't get its amendment package out and adopted, the Republican Leader has got to call a halt to the meltdown. See this story for a clue on the deep damage done to the GOP over the past few days.

As David Frum's mailbag attests, this unquenchable anger isn't limited to the center-right punditocracy, but is flashing through the grassroots as well:

I voted twice for this man and his abdication of the most fundamental executive responsibility, to protect our country from foreign invasion, is cause for regret.

Talk is cheap. The most responsible course of action that this President can take on immigration is to do nothing. Leave it for the next president. Focus on Iraq and then go home.

Signing this bill would render what little good he has done meaningless by comparison. I wish he were already gone.

~ ~ ~

It's not just a divorce. It's a messy, mean, nasty, "war of the roses" type divorce.

I am a lawyer in the Midwest. For the last six years I have daily lunched with my law partners, all of whom are partisan Democrats. I have argued about and defended President Bush for those six years besides voting for the man twice. I've vigorously defended the President, especially his handling of the war on terror, and I've proudly taken all of my partners' best shots about what a lying, incompetent we have for a President. And then yesterday I learn that the President thinks I don't want what's best for America simply because I oppose rewarding ILLEGAL aliens with an opportunity to remain legally in this country.

~ ~ ~

I am so tired of the Washington elites and the media elites (especially Republican Senators) treating me like an ignorant, uninformed racist.

My wife and I have spent years working with Hispanic and Asian immigrants in poor, gang-ridden neighborhoods. We have taught English — we have helped keep kids in school — we have encouraged girls not to have babies when they are fifteen years old — we have done food and clothing distribution — we have organized summer sports leagues.

What do senators know about illegal immigrants that we don't know? Nothing.

We don't support the Immigration Bill because we are certain that it will make the problems worse, not better.

We don't support the Immigration Bill because we are certain that we and our children will pay more and more in taxes and direct expenses to support schools and hospitals and fire departments and police forces by adding another thirty or fifty million low-income immigrants to the population.

We don't support the Immigration Bill because we are certain that the same senators who refuse to enforce existing immigration laws will refuse to enforce the new laws (except for those provisions that grant immediate legal status to present illegals and immediate legal status to all of their "chain migration" relatives).

Yes, Senator, my wife and I are getting angrier every day. We consider ourselves part of the informed, active grass roots Republicans that got George Bush and the current crop of senators elected. We are disgusted with your performance and will not support any of you in the future.

I am leaving the Republican Party.

What do I think of George W. Bush? Does it matter? I don't have to leave the Republican Party when it's already fragmenting all around me.

And to think that this is the same President whom National Review once referred to worshipfully as "the Conqueror," and the same party that ruled Congress for a dozen years.

A riven party and a demographically doomed country. Let's see Bill Clinton top THAT legacy.


Mark Levin offers his entry in the "conservative's lamentation" contest:

Mr. President, the Left hated you the day you walked into the Oval Office, if not before. Their hate for you is frozen in time. If you actually believe in what you are doing, then I and many others misjudged you. You expanded the federal role in education, and we held our nose because of the war. You signed McCain-Feingold in the dead of night, and we held our nose because of the war. You expanded Medicare by adding prescription drugs, and we held our nose because of the war. You increased farm subsidies, and we held our nose because of the war.

Today you disparage us for opposing a massive amnesty program that endangers our economy and national security. Today you even embrace the religion of global warming, a stunning shift from prior policy (your Administration even went to the Supreme Court and argued correctly that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant).

What's a conservative to do?

I'll answer that for F. Lee: realize that the above is a sneak preview of the ensuing four years if we nominate John McCain or Rudy Giuliani and either pulls off a miracle and beats Hillary Clinton next November.

Don't say nobody warned you, my fellow GOPers.

Central Command News, 5/31/07

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

Preventive Medicine Techs Keep Troops Mission-Ready.aspx

Posted: 31 May 2007 06:54 AM CDT

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti - Personnel deployed to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa's Camp Lemonier can rest easy knowing that Petty Officer 2nd Class Abran Gonzales and Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Ashe of the Seth Michaud Expeditionary Medical Force, are doing routine health and sanitation inspections around camp to keep them healthy and happy.

Khowst PRT Winning the Fight in Afghanistan.aspx

Posted: 31 May 2007 06:17 AM CDT

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan - Less than ten miles from training camps that produced many of the 9/11 hijackers, a team of coalition servicemembers are working together to make sure the area once home to Osama Bin Laden's terrorist organization becomes an environment that will deny such people a support base ever again.

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 31 May 2007 05:30 AM CDT


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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How Long?

1 How long, O LORD ? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; 4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD, for He has been good to me.

-Psalm 13

Who Killed Immigration Amnesty?

Alright, so that may be a bit premature. But Admiral Morrissey has already staked a preliminary claim to the honor:

The Hill reports this morning that conservative Republicans in the House have plans to derail the Senate immigration compromise based on a procedural matter. The bill includes tax policy, which according to the Constitution, has to originate in the House, and some Republicans have lined up to issue a "blue slip" stop to the legislation on that basis....

How is this my fault? During a blogger conference call with Senator John McCain, one of the bill's architects, I mentioned a Boston Globe story that reported the removal of a requirement to pay back taxes before entering either the Z-visa or Y-visa program....McCain was surprised by this question; he hadn't heard about the removal of the requirement. According to The Hill, McCain went back and reinstated the provision after my question.

Thus providing a loose end that some House (conservative) Republicans may use to unravel the entire misbegotten McCain-Kennedy perfidy, and save their party from disaster in the process.

Is Ed being tongue-in-cheek here? Or could the fatal blow ultimately come from, of all places, this week's Miss Universe pageant:

The United States government is on the verge of approving a mass amnesty to millions of illegal aliens — a plan pushed aggressively by meddling Mexican officials who reap billions of dollars in remittances (illegal aliens’ earnings sent back to Mexico) without having to lift a finger to clean up their own country.

And the thanks we get? Internationally televised public humiliation.

On Monday night, the beautiful young woman who represented America in the Miss Universe pageant was booed and mocked as she competed on stage in Mexico City. Rachel Smith, 22, did her best to respond with grace and dignity during the top-five finalists’ interview segment as the audience disrupted the event. As soon as co-host Vanessa Minnillo invited Miss USA to pick a judge’s name from a bowl of index cards, widespread howls broke out at the mere mention of “USA.” The verbal derision continued as judge Tony Romo asked Smith to pick one moment in her life she would relive.

Definitely not this one.

As Double-M goes on to expound, this is far from the first time something like this has happened in Mexico, including during the erstwhile halcyon Clinton years when Mr. Bill went all over the globe tendering apologies for every anti-American grievance and "the world" supposedly loved us. Seems like no matter what we do, "furiners" still hate our guts, even as they demand our money and slurp up our culture.

Certainly puts illegal immigration in its proper context, doesn't it? Sure isn't the idealized Horatio Alger-ian picture history provides us of the immigration wave of the late nineteenth-century when eastern and southern Europeans wanted to come to America to be a part of our country. They genuinely loved America, eschewed the Balkanization of hyphenation, and defined "seeking a better life" as the opportunity to work and make something of themselves instead of sucking the country dry and flipping the economically dessicated remains the bird.

Makes it all the more incredible that bipartisan Beltway elites can actually be baffled at the hurricane of public rage at spectres such as....

[T]he White House continues to attack opponents of the Bush-Kennedy amnesty package as “nativists.” Conservative columnist Linda Chavez accused amnesty critics of “not liking Mexicans.” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested enforcement advocates wanted to “execute” illegal aliens. And Republican Senator Lindsay Graham trashed immigration enforcement proponents as “bigots” in front of the ethnocentric, open-borders group La Raza.

Lindsay Graham need only click here to know what I think of him. Here I will only say that it isn't the Admiral or Miss Smith who are fitting McCain-Kennedy II for its legislative toe tag; it's people like the President, like Miss Chavez, like Secretary Chertoff, and like Lindsay F'ing Graham. And like Darth Queeg, another RINO we can do without, who sent his never-was presidential campaign to the bottom for a monstrosity of a bill to whose opponents he presented, wittingly or unwittingly, the proverbial knife.

So thank you, Senator McCain, for, in the President's words, "doing the right thing for America." You won't look at it that way, but then, who gives a rat's ass what you think?

Cheek To Jowl

Oh, God. Like there's actually room in the GOP presidential sweepstakes for another pretender:

Senator Tom Coburn is mulling an entry into the Republican presidential primary, according to sources inside and outside the Senate. Coburn, a senator from Oklahoma, is believed to be receiving encouragement from a small group of wealthy businessmen and philanthropists in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Texas region of the country.

"He's all about faith, lower taxes, and staying the course in Iraq," says an adviser outside of the Senate who has been speaking to Coburn.

Coburn had been mulling a run earlier this year, but with what appeared to be a crowded field, including two sitting Senators (John McCain and Sam Brownback), along with another seriously looking (Chuck Hagel), Coburn appeared to pull back.

Somebody take that "advisor" putting the bug in Coburn's ear and use an icepick to shove it out the other ear, please. If this foolishness keeps up, these so-called "debates" are going to need a bigger stage.

This must be the political equivalent of runaway negative feedback. How uninspiring must the Republican field be if every conservative and his brother think that s/he just HAS to jump into the race? What in blazes does Coburn think he would accomplish? From whom would he lure away support? Aren't there already three or four in the race (Brownback, Huckabee, Tommy Thompson, Duncan Hunter) just like him? What on Earth could he possibly add? Does he want to be Brownback's running mate or something? Besides, Joe Biden already has the spot locked up. Or maybe it's Brownback who'll be Biden's veep. I forget. What day is it again?

Maybe Coburn just wants to rub salt in "Sailor" McCain's self-inflicted wounds. But really, even John Edwards served a whole senate term before he indulged his delusions of grandeur. Can Coburn really have come down with "senatitis" that quickly? Or does being in the minority suck as badly as it looks from the outside?

Now THAT I could understand. But there are other ways of coping with it. I'm sure Uncle Teddy could pour Coburn a few of them, if his still is, er, still functional. At least that'd give the Oklahoma freshman senator an alibi.

UPDATE: Now here is an entrance that will generate some enthusiasm....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

You've GOT To Be Kidding....

Two noteworthy quotes on the immigration amnesty bill today.

First, the good one:

Oh, and this line from E.J. Dionne jumped out at me today:

The best way to guarantee the rights and wages of all Americans is to give every immigrant the opportunity to become a citizen, with all the rights and duties that entails.

E.J., some might think the best way to "guarantee the rights and wages of all Americans" is to enforce the law. Beyond that, think about what he's saying here - "every immigrant" - meaning anybody who can walk across the border, get on a plane, get on a boat, or find some way to get to American shores - can become a citizen.

I'm not a Malthusian, but come on, man. The United States can't take in everybody who wants to come here, not all at once.

Indeed. Methinks Steve Sandmeyer's long-lost identical twin has a point.

And now, the not-so-good quote:

This reform is complex. There's a lot of emotions around this issue. Convictions run deep. Those determined to find fault with this bill will always be able to look at a narrow slice of it and find something they don't like. If you want to kill the bill, if you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it, you can use it to frighten people. Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all....

Um, that was the President of the United States. You know, the guy who used to be a "cowboy unilateralist anti-terror warrior" before he decided to start imbibing from the several pallets of cases of whatever it is Senator McCain has been drinking (strawberry daqueries?) that the doomed, has-been "maverick" must have shipped over to the White House.

Well, at least it washes down the pretzels.

~ ~ ~

Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes because she thinks it leads to "balanced budgets" and "economic growth." Does she also want to call for the Republican Congress that actually balanced those budgets? It would certainly never pass her tax increase, which actually would preserve economic growth.

Hillary! wants to seize Big Oil's investment capital, dictate CEO salaries on shareholders' behalf, and plunder any corporate resources that the above two pillagings leave behind. She believes this will promote energy independence. And, of course, economic growth.

Oh, and Ms. Rodham is bringing back her health-care nationalization, to be sure, including dictating health care advertising budgets and even what language they can use in their advertising. Because, you know, it'll promote economic growth, and healthy colons, or something.

And this woman is going to be the next president of the United States.

If you think last November was a harbinger of doom, that was just the sprig of parsley on the appetizer plate.

~ ~ ~

Here's yet more proof of why there will never be peace in the Middle East:

An independent human rights expert called Tuesday for the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union to fully recognize the Palestinian government - including Hamas members - as an "indispensable requirement" to peace.

John Dugard, the UN Human Rights Council's investigator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said the Mideast Quartet has to treat both sides equally if it wants to broker a successful peace agreement.

Israel has consistently rejected Dugard's reports and statements as one-sided. In March he compared the Jewish state's treatment of Palestinians to apartheid - comments that drew strong criticism from Israeli officials, who called them "inflammatory and inciteful."

"In order to prevent another season of violence and to protect human rights in the region, the Quartet must intervene immediately in a fair and evenhanded manner," said Dugard, a South African lawyer. "This means the recognition of both Hamas and non-Hamas members of the Palestinian Government of National Unity."
If you want peace, you must first destroy those who wish to destroy you. This is the peace of survival. The above insanity is the peace of enslavement and death.

Whoever it was that said "Never again" about the Holocaust clearly had no idea of just how irresistably cyclical history really is.

And that includes the collateral damage.

Searching For A Rare Jewel

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

7 He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.

9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.

10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, 13 who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, 14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, 15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

16 It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. [a]

18 For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead.

19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.

21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

-Proverbs 2

Central Command News, 5/29/07

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

Airmen deliver strategic aid to Lebanese military.aspx

Posted: 29 May 2007 06:16 AM GMT-06:00

BEIRUIT, Lebanon (AFPN) - C-17 Globemaster III crews of the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron delivered bullets to Beirut as part of a short notice ammunition re-supply tasking in support of the Lebanese military.

USS Underwood visits Doha, Qatar.aspx

Posted: 29 May 2007 06:12 AM GMT-06:00

DOHA, Qatar - USS Underwood (FFG 36) arrived in Doha, Qatar, May 13 for a two-day port visit to take part in Qatar-American Friendship Day and enhance theatre security cooperation within the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO).

Security in northern Iraq aids economic opportunities.aspx

Posted: 29 May 2007 06:05 AM GMT-06:00

IRBIL - International businessmen representing more than a dozen companies continued traveling through northern Iraq in search of economic opportunities Friday.

Army paratroopers share thoughts on surge.aspx

Posted: 29 May 2007 06:01 AM GMT-06:00

BAGHDAD - In the first days after his battalion began operating in east Baghdad's Shaâ-ab neighborhood, Captain Will Canda said he often saw the beds of Iraqi police trucks stained red with dried blood.

Pace Says Iraqis Must Step Up to Governance Challenge.aspx

Posted: 29 May 2007 05:58 AM GMT-06:00

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2007 - The Iraqi government needs to step forward to make progress in governance and revitalize the economy, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today during appearances on various morning television talk shows.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Heaven File

13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. 15 According to the LORD's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the LORD, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the LORD himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air. And so we will be with the LORD forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

-1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Fiddling Before Rome Burns

I saw a story today that, were it not for the fact that I puked my eyeballs blood-red only three and a half months ago, and that I knew it was coming, would have made me want to throw up:

The United States and Iran broke a 27-year diplomatic freeze Monday with a four-hour meeting about Iraqi security. The American envoy said there was broad policy agreement, but that Iran must stop arming and financing militants who are attacking U.S. and Iraqi forces.
That was just the lede. Unfortunately the details didn't reek any less:

The American envoy called the meeting "businesslike" and said at "the level of policy and principle, the Iranian position as articulated by the Iranian ambassador was very close to our own."

However, he said: "What we would obviously like to see, and the Iraqis would clearly like to see, is an action by Iran on the ground to bring what it's actually doing in line with its stated policy." [emphasis added]

So let's see if I've got this straight: Iranian policy and principle vis-a-vie Iraq is "very close to our own" - which is nonsense since they are waging a proxy war against our forces in Iraq - but what "we would obviously like to see" is "Iran actually carry out its stated policy."

So our envoy - a diplogent named Ryan Crocker, as if it matters - has in the space of two sentences said that his Iranian counterpart is full of crap, that this meeting was an utter waste of time, but in the third indicated a willingness to pursue further talks - if "invited" to them by the (Shiite, Iran-leaning) Iraqi government." Want to know how appalling this is? The only thing worse than another such invitation is not getting one.

Why would that happen? For the same reason that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is hedging his bets by cultivating the mullahgarchy: he can read the American media and the antics of the Democrat Congress and the polling on plummeting public support for the war effort as well as we can. He has no wish to go the way of Nguyen Van Thieu, the poor bastard who had the misfortune of being president of South Vietnam after another Democrat Congress pulled the plug on another war and tossed another hapless ally to the wolves. Better to be a vassal than to be a corpse.

It still doesn't excuse the Bush Administration breaking bread with these theocratic Nazis. What did it accomplish, other than to provide a stage for the Iranian envoy, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, to gloat:

Speaking later at a news conference in the Iranian Embassy, Kazemi said: "We don't take the American accusations seriously."

Crocker declined to detail what Kazemi had said in the session, but the Iranian diplomat _ formerly a top official in the elite Revolutionary Guards Quds Force _ said he had offered to train and equip the Iraqi army and police to create "a new military and security structure" for Iraq.

Kazemi said U.S. efforts to rebuild those forces were inadequate to handle the chaos in Iraq, for which he said Washington bore sole responsibility. He said he also offered to provide what assistance Iran could in rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, which he said had been "demolished by the American invaders."

Well. That certainly raises hopes for finding common ground, doesn't it?

Let's clarify one thing right off: "the American accusations" are a whole lot more than just "accusations". This video provides what looks a whole lot like proof.

Writes Brendan Miniter of the Wall Street Journal, who is the disembodied interviewer in the clip:

Bear this is mind, when you watch this exclusive Pajamas Media video shot in Iraq. The video offers startling new evidence of Iran’s involvement in the insurgency. It is the first up-close, online video showing captured Iranian weapons. These particular weapons have not been shown to the public before.

Far from being offered up by the military, it took me weeks of wangling to see Major Weber. The military does not want to talk about the mortars, rockets and bombs flooding in from Iran. It has been burned by the press every time the subject comes up.

Senior officers also realize that the Democrat-led Congress doesn’t want to hear about Iran’s sinister role in Iraq and that President Bush does not want a confrontation with Iran now. To make the interview even harder to get, Major Weber’s specialty, Explosives Ordinance Demolition or EOD, has a culture of not talking to the press. Any EOD officer who does, owes his unit a case of beer for each appearance.

So conspiracy theorists who feel this exclusive Pajamas Media Video is military propaganda couldn’t be more wrong—the military would have been happier if the interview never happened.

Finally, Major Weber agreed to this exclusive interview with Pajamas Media on two conditions: that a public-affairs officer be present to interrupt him if he said anything with political ramifications, and that the conversation be limited simply to the weapons themselves.

I agreed to those conditions because a large story the rest of the media missed: the weapons themselves. These Iranian weapons and others like them are killing American soldiers.

Twice before the military has tried to present to the press overwhelming evidence of Iran’s involvement in the Iraq war, only to be met by hostile skepticism. The skepticism basically takes the form of three questions:

1) Couldn’t these weapons have been made anywhere?

2) Isn’t it fishy that these weapons were marked in English with American-style dates?

3) Isn’t all of this a ploy to justify a neocon war with Iran?

As you will see from the video, Major Weber can definitively answer the first two questions. As for the Daily Kos-inspired third question, well, who can address questions from planet Paranoid? And who should bother?

The New York Times, of all publications, provides more proof that the mullahs are feeding both the Sunni and Shiite sides of this supposed Iraqi "civil war":

An American Special Operations unit has killed a Shiite militant suspected of organizing a sophisticated attack on a government compound in January that left five American soldiers dead, several senior military officers said Friday.

The suspect, Sheikh Azhar al-Duleimi, was killed in a firefight after American troops raided a house in northern Baghdad on Thursday night, the officers said, in speaking in separate interviews. The raid was prompted by intelligence that Mr. Duleimi had recently returned from Iran, they said, where he had fled after the January killings.

In that attack, nine to twelve men dressed in American uniforms drove a convoy of sport utility vehicles into a government compound in Karbala, killing one soldier and abducting four others. Those four soldiers were killed shortly afterward as the police pursued the attackers. Fingerprints taken from Mr. Duleimi’s body matched those found in one of the captors’ vehicles.

“We think he was the leader on the ground in the assault,” said an officer with access to reports on the raid.

The Bush Administration has long asserted that the killings were carried out by Shiites with closes ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and cited the case as an example of possible retribution by Tehran after Iranians suspected of carrying out attacks on American and Iraqi forces were detained last year.

Next we have the *fact* of what has happened in Southern Iraq (centered on Basra) where the British have put Democrat war-fighting doctrine into practice, withdrawing their forces from active engagements against the local Shiite militias and leaving the door wide open for Iranian "influence" to grow cancerously and exponentially:

When he finished his conversation, the general - who didn't want his name published because he feared retribution from militias -stretched out his hand to me and said: "Welcome to Tehran."

I asked him about British claims that the security situation was improving. His reply was withering: "The British came here as military tourists. They committed huge mistakes when they formed the security forces. They appointed militiamen as police officers and chose not confront the militias. We have reached this point where the militias are a legitimate force in the street."...

"Most of the police force is divided between Fadhila which controls the TSU [the tactical support unit, its best-trained unit] and Moqtada which controls the regular police," the general said.

"Fadhila also control the oil terminals, so they control the oil protection force and part of the navy. Moqtada controls the ports and customs, so they control the customs, police and its intelligence. Commandos are under the control of Badr Brigade."

Tehran appears to already have the southern part of Iraq under their de facto control. All that remains is to finish chasing us out of the rest of the country and they can move in openly and formally and finally finish the war Saddam Hussein started twenty-seven years ago, as well as dealing "the Great Satan" its most humiliating defeat yet in the war that started the year before that when Islamist "students" - including current "President" Mahmoud "Adolph" Ahmadinejad - sacked our embassy and took its staff prisoner.

And they're not wool-gathering, either:

Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.

"Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it's a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces," a senior US official in Baghdad warned. "They [Iran] are behind a lot of high-profile attacks meant to undermine US will and British will, such as the rocket attacks on Basra palace and the Green Zone [in Baghdad]. The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard who are connected right to the top [of the Iranian government]."

The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat. "We expect that al-Qaida and Iran will both attempt to increase the propaganda and increase the violence prior to Petraeus's report in September [when the US commander General David Petraeus will report to Congress on President George Bush's controversial, six-month security "surge" of 30,000 troop reinforcements]," the official said.

"Certainly it [the violence] is going to pick up from their side. There is significant latent capability in Iraq, especially Iranian-sponsored capability. They can turn it up whenever they want. You can see that from the pre-positioning that's been going on and the huge stockpiles of Iranian weapons that we've turned up in the last couple of months. The relationships between Iran and groups like al-Qaida are very fluid," the official said.

And not just limited to Iraq:

This is especially interesting in conjunction with the signs that Iranian-funded Hamas seems determined to provoke war with Israel this summer.

Which would make these defensive preparations all the more in-context:

Syria has agreed to supply Iran with at least ten out of fifty air defense systems that Damascus is in the process of buying from Russia, Jane's Defense Weekly reported in this week's edition.

The weekly publication quoted a source close to the deal as saying that while most of the Pantsyr-S1E systems were earmarked for Syrian Air Defense Command, "the end user for ten of the systems is Tehran."

And with all of this going on, with Iranian subversion in Iraq about as "secret" as Paris Hilton's boob job, with the mullahs either in possession of nukes or bloody close, the Bush Administration, whatever the extent of its domestic political prostration, is sending diplodiddlers to smoke the peace pipe with the very regime that has....

Well, let's let former Israeli Prime Minister and current Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu sum it up, as he did in a CNN interview last winter:

Unless the United States stops Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, America has only two to five years left....

"[Israel is] just the way station en route to you....They're out to get you; they're not out to get us. We're simply standing in their way. They're not interested in Israel per se. They're interested in bringing down Western civilization, led by the United States. That's why you're the "Great Satan" and we're just the "little Satan."

Unless he is stopped, Ahmadinejad will have nuclear capability within two to five years at most...and America will find itself embroiled in a nuclear holocaust.
Bebe also said "the world" - meaning the U.S. - must strike now to destroy the mullahgarchy before it's too late.

Mr. Netanyahu is, indeed, the Churchill of our time. Unfortunately, our time is, comparatively, the late 1930s, Iraq is Czechoslovakia, and the Bushies are flocking to Munich to strike a deal for "peace in our time."

They'll reap much the same sort of results - only "hotter."

And probably even quicker.

Foresaken Roots

Today is a good read what is waiting at this link. After all, it's the soil that the blood of patriots has nourished - and has been steadily tossed out as compost over the course of my lifetime, only to be replaced with the genuine article.

[h/t: Uncle]

Central Command News, 5/28/07

Remember Them

Remember to say a prayer for the families of those who have given their lives in order for us to enjoy our cookouts and family time today in freedom and prosperity. Remember those who are still serving our great nation, here at home and overseas, and remember that they're enduring hardship, discomfort, and great danger willingly, because they love their country. These are extraordinary men and women, and they deserve our unfailing support and our daily prayers.

"In the swift rush of great events, we find ourselves groping to know the full sense and meaning of these times in which we live. In our quest of understanding, we beseech God's guidance."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

I'm thankful that we have a President who, I believe, beseeches God's guidance on a daily basis. He needs our prayers as well.

"God grants liberty only to who who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."

Daniel Webster

May we always be a nation willing to protect and defend our liberty. May those who seek to undermine us and destroy us, from without and within, always be defeated. This is my favorite passage, and one I have come to rely on more and more:

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thansgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7

Paraphrased, this means don't worry about it; pray, and let God take care of it.

God Bless America, and all the men and women and their families who have sacrificed and continue to do so in order that we may be free.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Pain Of Falling

[Editor's note: And of having to go into the !#$% office on a holiday to clear up a $%^& misunderstanding. Not exactly the right tone to set for a devotional post, I readily concede, but such it is.

As to what happened to me today, let's just say I was in the tomb, and I liked it just a little bit too much. But, like Lazarus of old, I am now better rested, and more than a little whif....]

1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.

6 Now these things occurred as examples [a] to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." [b] 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test the LORD, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

-1 Corinthians 10:1-12

Central Command News, 5/27/07

VBC Missionaries Of The Week: Frank & Barbara Emrick

The Emricks moved to Palmer, Alaska in the fall of 2005 following ministry as church-planters in the Republic of Sakha, an area of Siberia. They continue their ministry to the North Pacific Crescent using Alaska as their base of operations.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Scorpion's Sting

20 My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

21 Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.

22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.

23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, 24 keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife.

25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, 26 for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.

27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?

28 Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?

29 So is he who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.

30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.

31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.

32 But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.

33 Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away; 34 for jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.

35 He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is.

-Proverbs 6:20-35

Post-Show Recap

I had only one technical glitch (at the end when my close wouldn't play until two minutes too late), and I sounded just like I knew I would - deep but not quick, smooth, or nimble.

Rich Whaley called in and we had a nice conversation, which I thought he carried more than I did. Ted Hall called at the very tail end (evidently he didn't know I can have up to five callers on at the same time), but since I didn't know his number, and you said you'd try to call in toward the end of the hour, I thought it was you. So when he gets on I sound flat-footedly surprised. That probably threw off starting my close in enough time, but I couldn't very well blow him out, and besides, he provided the hook for the "anaconda tries to eat alligator and explodes" story. And I want him to call in next week and following, too.

Part of the uncertainty today was whether or not I'd have any callers. I was well prepared with a number of items on the issue of the undeclared war with Iran, but not prepared at all to moderate a general discussion. Next week I'll try to have two or three topical topics that we can all take one at a time so that the discussion will sound a bit more organized. And, given that there will be the aforementioned uncertainty pretty much EVERY week, I'll have to be sufficiently prepared to jaw-jaw on the aforementioned topical topics solo.

I'll also try and make sure they're topics I know more about; Rich and I spent a large chunk of the show discussing the McCain-Kennedy II immigration bill, but immigration has never been a hot button issue for me, and this week was way too hectic for me to dig into the specifics (like Hugh Hewitt did last weekend) so I wasn't all that conversant about its details. It's the political dynamic that interests me - how on no other issue I can think of do the American people feel overwhelmingly one way and the ruling elites, for their own respective purposes, can be so determinedly opposite.

Another factor working against me was that this past week was another of those nightmare work weeks I occasionally write about here. I was only able to blog at all by going on half-sleep rations; being fully prepared for an hour-long blogcast would have required me to not sleep all week. As it was, after the show I went back to bed and slept all afternoon, and barely made a dent in my fatigue. 'Tis a good thing Monday is a holiday.

One other fact I wish I hadn't learned: my audience today was not twenty million, not four million, not four thousand, not four hundred, not forty, but four. And one of them was my son on our other computer. It doesn't surprise me; I'm not a self-promoter, and never have been. I cherish my anonymity. And I'm the antithesis of a "people person". Thus I'm about as well equipped for attracting an audience as the fabled one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest. It shouldn't disappoint me, other than the fact that I sent out several dozen emails and was hoping at least for double-digits. But, to be honest, it does.

Ah, well. I guess that's why Mr. Spock once said that hope isn't logical. Besides, it's not as though anybody's reading my maunderings anymore either, if our plummeting TTLB ranking is any indication. Perhaps this BTR gig came too late to turn that around and get us back to Large Mammalhood. Maybe I should go back to getting full nights' sleep and spending my free time playing video games and watching TV - or going back to refereeing middle school-caliber pissing matches on the GOP Forum. For which this BTR gig may also be too little, too late, if the evaporating message traffic there is any indication.

Ah, well, again. I never did convince myself that my self-honesty and resulting misgivings about blogcasting were misguided; I just ignored them once I got onto Heading Right. To close the loop, my part of the show was exactly what I would have expected: proof that I have a voice for print.

But I'm committed now. And, heck, it's only once a week. With Jen's and Ted's and Rich's (and hopefully more) generous assistance, I may get used to it, and even get better at it.

Maybe that's the silver lining of blogcasting to the crickets: virtually nobody heard how bad I was. By the time I reach passibility, there might actually be an audience worthy of the term.


Central Command News, 5/26/07

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 26 May 2007 05:52 AM CDT


Posted: 26 May 2007 05:46 AM CDT


Posted: 26 May 2007 05:42 AM CDT


Posted: 26 May 2007 05:40 AM CDT


Posted: 26 May 2007 05:38 AM CDT

Posted: 25 May 2007 08:21 PM CDT


Posted: 25 May 2007 08:17 PM CDT


Posted: 25 May 2007 08:08 PM CDT


Posted: 25 May 2007 08:04 PM CDT


Posted: 25 May 2007 07:59 PM CDT

The Truth, Anyone?

Check this out. It is a letter from an American soldier regarding the media coverage in this country of the War on Terror. Here's an excerpt:

"Hello media, do you know you indirectly kill American soldiers every day? You inspire and report the enemy's objective every day. You are the enemy's greatest weapon. The enemy cannot beat us on the battlefield so all he does is try to wreak enough havoc and have you report it every day. With you and the enemy using each other, you continually break the will of the American public and American government.

"We go out daily and bust and kill the enemy, uncover and destroy huge weapons caches and continue to establish infrastructure. So daily we put a whoopin on the enemy, but all the enemy has to do is turn on the TV and get re-inspired. He gets to see his daily roadside bomb, truck bomb, suicide bomber or mortar attack. He doesn't see any accomplishments of the U.S. military (FOX, you're not exempt, you suck also).

"Let's give you an example. A couple of days ago we conducted an air assault. We lifted troops into an area for an operation. The operation went well and our ground troops killed (insurgents) and took several prisoners, freed a few hostages and uncovered a weapons cache containing munitions and chemicals that were going to be used in improvised bombs.

"The next morning I woke up and turned on AFN (Armed Forces Network) and watched the nightly news (NBC). Nothing, none of that reported. But the daily car bomb report was reported, and the file footage was not even from the event. There was a car bomb in the Sadr City area and your news report showed old car bomb footage from another part of town from some other time.

"So we really set the enemy back that night but all the enemy had to do was turn on the news and be reassured that the enemy's agenda (objective) was still going to be fed to the American public."

There's more, read the whole letter. Those of us who bother to find out the truth already know what the media is doing to our military, but there are still vast amounts of people who believe what they see on T.V. and read in the major newspapers in this country...and think they are informed.

h/t Blogs for Bush

Friday, May 25, 2007


5 "Now I am going to Him Who sent Me, yet none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?' 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt [a] in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

16 "In a little while you will see Me no more, and then after a little while you will see Me."

-John 16:5-16

Central Command News, 5/25/07

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

C-17 employs 'screamer' in combat airdrop.aspx

Posted: 25 May 2007 06:45 AM CDT

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL (AFPN) - A C-17 Globemaster III deployed to Southwest Asia conducted the first C-17 combat airdrop May 24 using the Joint Precision Airdrop System with a screamer. Screamers are steerable GPS-guided container delivery system bundles.

Iraqis taking the lead at Al Suleikh.aspx

Posted: 25 May 2007 06:29 AM CDT

BAGHDAD - Captain James Peay was starting to feel like a third wheel. Peay, a battery commander with the 82nd Airborne Division from Nashville, Tenn., was accompanying Iraqi police chief Lieutenant-Colonel Ahmed Abdullah on a combined engagement patrol through the east Baghdad neighborhood of Suleikh.

Al Qaim detachment plays role in Iraq transition.aspx

Posted: 25 May 2007 05:46 AM CDT

AL QAIM, Iraq - The Marines of Detachment 2, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), are working to provide for the stabilization of an increasingly self-sufficient Iraq.

Soldiers help legitimize Iraq’s legal system.aspx

Posted: 24 May 2007 08:33 AM CDT

KIRKUK - He downloaded chickens as a member of his high school's Future Farmers of America club. Growing up, he worked the sun-drenched oil fields of southern Arkansas. He's no stranger to rolling up his shirt sleeves to get a job done, a quality that is serving him well during his mission as a soldier in northern Iraq.

German Navy Detachment Donates Vehicles,.aspx

Posted: 24 May 2007 07:59 AM CDT

DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti - Though their unit may be low in numbers, the men and women of the German Naval Logistics Detachment are large in impact.

Paratroopers Take Stock of Success in Sha'ab.aspx

Posted: 23 May 2007 11:52 AM CDT

BAGHDAD (Army News Service, ) - In the first days after his battalion began operating in east Baghdad's Sha'ab neighborhood, Captain Will Canda said he often saw the beds of Iraqi police trucks stained red with dried blood.

School Receives Supplies, Toys and Medical Attention.aspx

Posted: 23 May 2007 11:27 AM CDT

FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, Iraq - A hero's welcome was given by the students of Al Toma Elementary School in eastern Baghdad to the soldiers of the 3rd Tank Battalion, 1st Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division and their Military Training Team. These soldiers, combined with troops from 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, partnered up to give back to the community.

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 24 May 2007 09:12 AM CDT

D-Minus 24 Hours the debut of the Hard Starboard Radio Network.

War Funding Bill Passes

And guess who voted no? Why, Obama and Clinton! Oh, but Hillary "fully supports the troops," of course. GEEZ, it's scary that these two clowns are even considered for our nation's Commander-in-Chief. Think about that for a minute.

The War Funding Bill, sans surrender timetable, has passed the Senate and will now go to President Bush for his signature. Say what you will about President Bush, he has been adamant on not abandoning our troops and continuing the fight against terrorism.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On The Edge Or Over It?

Thanks to the profane, over-the-top arrogance of Senate Supreme Chancellor John McCain, and the appallingly awful PR legerdemain of hatching McCain-Kennedy II in the proverbial back room (not "smoke-filled" anymore, alas) and trying to bludgeon it through the Senate like an Indy car through a Wendy's drive-thru against the overwhelming opposition of the American public at large, the hope on the center-right is growing, weed-like, that the latest grand "comprehensive immigration compromise" is dead for a ducat, dead.

For Double-H, that hope was nailed down into certainty by New Jersey Donk Senator Bob Menendez:

Senator Menendez drove a nail into the compromise's coffin today when he blasted the "hateful rhetoric" in the country directed at McCain-Kennedy 2.0. I have spent a week interviewed guests and talking to experts and the callers, and there hasn't been any hateful rhetoric, nor have I heard it on other shows. What I do hear is profound suspicion of the Congress and perfectly reasonable objections to the obvious problems in the bill.

Blasting away at opponents - especially those who might have been won over by responsive amendments - is a sign of desperation, as is the increasingly cement-handed massaging of the bill.

Hugh left out the adjective "frantic," as each successive amendment has been voted down by increasingly narrow margins. Norm Coleman's "sanctuary city" amendment is the latest, and despite the Admiral's optimism, I'm betting the "compromise's" stubborn defenders find a way to shoot down John Cornyn's amendment closing a gaping loophole in the bill that will ensure that members of terrorist-related organizations, known gang members, sex offenders, alien smugglers who use firearms and felony drunk drivers are either permanently barred from the United States or prohibited from getting any immigration benefit, and call it "addressing opponents' national security concerns."

You'd think I'd be more confident of the tide turning against this turkey. Perhaps that's my natural cynicism take center stage again. I mean, look what border erasure foes have going for them now: the President is "Harriet Miers-ing" the bill:

[Bush] continues to misrepresent the immigration debate, and thus lose any chance to attract fence-sitters to his side. Again today, he suggested that the opponents of his immigration plan want us instead to do a massive manhunt and forcibly and quickly deport all twelve million illegals - and then says that, well, of course that's an impossible task, which is why his opponents are wrong. But not even the anti-immigration hardliners at National Review have ever suggested doing that. Again and again and again, the mainstream anti-illegal immigration folks have said their preferred option is to get tough on border enforcement and get tougher on employers who hire illegals, and let the rest of the problem work itself over time by mere attrition. That is NOT a massive deportation scheme. For Bush to continue to insist that mass, forced deportation is his opponents' only alternative is like sticking a hot fork in their eyes. And, since a large percentage of them are people who otherwise are among the last holdouts SUPPORTING Bush on other matters, his insult to their motives and their intelligence is particularly ill-advised. At the very least, the way to win skeptics is not to mischaracterize the other side's position.

You will probably recall that when the President put up his laughably unqualified White House counsel and de facto groupie for the SCOTUS seat of the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor, which was most definitely a collective "hot fork in our eyes," as well as being a sucker-kick a ways south of that bodily location, he and his surrogates first tried to buffalo conservatives to "trust him," then tried to snow conservatives that Miers was "one of them" on the grounds that because she goes to church that meant she'd vote to overturn Roe v. Wade (i.e. a "fundie" seat on Olympus), and finally dropped all pretense of persuasion and launched a verbal war against his own base, suggesting that Miers opponents were "sexist" and "elitist." Dubya only relented when then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told him the facts of life in the baldest Barry Goldwateresque fashion: that the White House's disastrous PR bumbling had so incensed the center-right and denuded any possible cover for his caucus to go along with the Miers nomination that there was no chance she'd be confirmed.

If the President is now doing the same thing vis-a-vie the amnesty bill by erecting nativist strawmen in lieu of actually addressing opponents' eminently reasonable and sensible (and, on the national security holes plugged by the Cornyn amendment, day-glo obvious) objections, echoing Democrats in the process, there should be every reason to believe that McCain-Kennedy II is as doomed as every cheeseburger that comes across my plate.

And yet there are reports like this one suggesting that not only will the amnesty pass the Senate, but by a filibuster-proof margin. Which would do for the aforementioned Senator Coleman, Maine's Susan Collins (okay, no big loss there), New Hampshire's John Sununu, and every other underdog 'Pubbie up for re-election in '08 what the McCain Mutiny did for George Allen, Jim Talent, Conrad Burns, Mike DeWine, and Rick Santorum last November.

Will three weeks - now two and a half - be enough for their base's high-rolling boil to scald the Republican remnant back to some semblance of sanity? Well, it took four weeks to flush the Miers fiasco. I hope that isn't a hard & fast template, or, to re-coin a phrase, "We" - both America and its erstwhile majority party ' "are [bleep]ed".

Over The Hill

Ah, the price of keeping food on the table and my online empire afloat is sometimes more than I can stay awake for. But as they say in the professional wrestling business, once you catch the "sickness," you'll never be cured.

Which, for me, hasn't really proven true vis-a-vie pro wrestling. But that's a story for another day.

***Remember how the Democrats squalled to the heavens about the "Republican culture of corruption" in the last election cycle? Remember how they ran on a vow to "clean up" Congress?

C'mon, not ALL of you can have fallen for that BS, right?

Powerful Democratic chairmen and subcommittee chairmen have relied on lobbyists to raise money during the first three months of this year, according to recent fundraising reports, which cast light on the strong opposition to lobbying reform legislation scheduled to reach the floor today.

Conservative Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition have been particularly leery of legislation that would require lobbyists to reveal in public reports the total amount of contributions they raise or “bundle” for lawmakers. Many Democrats voiced concerns at a closed-door caucus meeting on the lobbying reform bill last week.

“Instead of passing a bunch of little bills, I would rather have people here understand they should act how their momma and poppa taught them how to act,” said Representative Allen Boyd (FL), a Blue Dog Democrat who is undecided about whether to vote for proposed rules requiring lobbyists to report the contributions they raise for lawmakers.

Well, yee-haw, Allen-Billy-Ray-Bob. Looks like you're too green to know when to keep your mouth shut, but not too green to line up for the green.

Fascinating, isn't it? The "liberal" Democrats love corruption; the Donk leadership loves corruption (and has for a looooong time); and now even the so-called "conservative" Blue Dog Dems love corruption. Whereas the GOP "corruption culture" grew up over the course of several years, the Donk variety has been around for decades, survived in minority stasis quite well, thank you very much, and was revived in January more ravenously greedy than ever.

But then this IS what the American people voted for. They knew the Democrats were way more crooked than any Republican could ever dream of being. So they threw out the amatuers and installed the professionals. And the orgy of earmarks and lobbyist cash is just the scant downpayment on the true bread and circuses yet to come in the ominously approaching Hillary! era.

I'd say I warned 'em, but I may have, in my own small way, whetted voter appetites instead.

***The testimony of Monica Goodling, a Justice Department liason to the White House, was evidently highly anticipated by the DisLoyal Opposition as the blockbuster that would finish off the Attorney-Generalship of Alberto "Speedy" Gonzales in the US attorney dismissal non-scandal. The ostensible reason is that she recognized a trumped-up perjury trap when she saw one vis-a-vie the testimony of the recently bailed Gonzales deputy Paul McNulty. Really, though, that just fueled the Dems' ludicrously leading wishful thinking that led to obscene overassumptions. It would seem that though Watergate was a personal tragedy for President Nixon and some of "his men," the Democrats have driven themselves loony trying to recapture that once-in-a-lifetime perfect scandal storm.

Regardless, they do not appear to have gotten the testimony from her that they were expecting, which would have required Gonzales to have dressed up like Snidely Whiplash, complete with curled mustache and black cape, and tied the eight ex-USAs to adjoining railroad tracks. A letdown which so annoyed a couple of Donks (Representatives Stephen Cohen and the infamous Keith Ellison (D-Jihad)) that they tried to attack her for, respectively, attending a law school founded by Pat Robertson and refusing to rubber-stamp the Christophobic bigotry vomited upon Minnesota US attorney Rachel Paulose.

Byron York sums up this pointless exercise:

Democrats, intent on finding an all-encompassing Rovian plot behind the firings, will never accept that possibility that the U.S. attorney firings were done in a manner that was so slipshod, so halting, and so pointless that nobody quite knew what was going on. But that may be just what happened. Whatever their partisan motivation, Democrats are trying to impose a logical template on events. In the end, they may be doomed to fail.

To the irrational ire of right-wing purists who demand that the President hand Speedy's severed professional head to the Donks on a spike anyway for precisely the reasons the latter don't want to accept.

There is administrative incompetence, and then there's political incompetence. Frankly, the former is far less dangerous to the Republican Party than the latter.

You wouldn't think George W. Bush would be so politically astute. And you'd probably be right, as he's sticking by his buddy Gonzales out of personal loyalty rather than public relations savvy - the same ingrained tendency that led him to try and foist Harriet Miers on the SCOTUS a year and a half ago.

Dubya provided evidence of both in the same press conference today. But that's the next post, if I'm to get to bed before the sun comes up.

Looking Ahead

13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

14 Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

15 Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against a righteous man's house, do not raid his dwelling place; 16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.

17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn His wrath away from him.

19 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, 20 for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.

-Proverbs 24:13-20

D-Minus 2 Days the debut of the Hard Starboard Radio Network.

Mary Cheney Has A Boy

I dunno...I don't care whose daughter she is, it's tough to be happy about this:

Mary Cheney gave birth yesterday to perhaps the most anticipated baby in contemporary U.S. politics - her first child, Samuel David Cheney, whom she will raise with her longtime partner, Heather Poe .

Of course, the child itself is a wonderful blessing and I'm sure will bring happiness to the "parents" and grandparents. It's the situation I can't be thrilled about. Don't tell me that won't be one confused kid when he's old enough to realize that all of his friends have a mommy and daddy and he has two mommies. That just ain't right, and no amount of posturing and indignant reaction will change that. Ever.

JASmius adds: Oh, now Jen, that isn't really fair. Li'l Sammy has a daddy; it's a biological prerequisite. He just will probably never know who his daddy is, and (hopefully) will never understand why his mommy chose to cavort with that floozy "Aunt Heather" instead. Kind of like a friend who came over for tea and cookies and never left.

One thing seems certain - it'll make holidays at the undisclosed Cheney family compound even more "interesting" than they have been already.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pavlovian Treason

....or communicable, or some other adjective(s) beginning with "c".

CBS had its forged Texas Air National Guard memos; the New York Times exposed the NSA terrorist surveillance program (and was nominated for Pulitzer for their trouble); NBC had its glorification of a domestic terrorist; now ABC took its turn at delivering a swift kick to the national security groin:

The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.

I wish I could believe that this covert op really was on the drawing board. Better yet, that it had been attempted decades ago. If we're not going to fight the mullahs openly on the battlefield, the least we should be doing is trying to subvert them from the shadows.

Unfortunately, I can't believe that. The Bushies have had all the "neocon cowboy" bludgeoned out of them over the past four years. My God, Dubya is sending his SecState to Baghdad to break bread with Iraq's near-future rulers. Makes it horrendously difficult not to think that that will be the prelude to the pell-mell retreat from the Middle East that his domestic enemies are demanding.

Of course, by the same token, the CIA is so bumblingly incompetent after thirty-plus years of liberalization that I doubt they could tip over Chris Dodd and Uncle Teddy after a martini binge. And that's if anybody at Langley actually wanted to pursue such a mission.

More likely is that whatever Bushophobic spook leaked this allegation is making it up as a way of "pre-empting" any actual black ops that they fear might be in the White House hopper.

At any rate, it does not excuse ABC for splattering this latest hill of beans. And Mitt Romney was spirted and pointed in saying so today:

"First of all, I woke up this morning, and I was shocked to see the ABC News report regarding covert action in Iran. I was not shocked because of the covert action. I was shocked because a news organization with such a renowned reputation as ABC News would deem it appropriate to publish information about a covert action existing, and publish that not only to America but to the entire world. The reporting has the potential of jeopardizing our national security. Stated quite plainly, it has the potential of affecting human life. We may never know.

"As you know, Iran is developing a nuclear bomb. Iran sponsors terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran's President has denied the Holocaust. Its leadership has incited to genocide. Its leadership has suggested the use of nuclear weapons. In fact, the spread of nuclear terror – nuclear proliferation – is certainly the most threatening of all the prospects on the planet today. And Iran is the most noted perpetrator of this nuclear proliferation. And Iran is supplying weapons and expertise that kill American soldiers in Iraq.

"And with all those things in mind and despite those factors, ABC News published classified information that warns Iran and that has the potential of putting Americans at risk. Now no one wants in a country like ours any form of censorship, but the media has a responsibility to police itself. And in the last little while, we've seen two examples of a failure in this responsibility. One by the New York Times with regards to reporting on the electronic eavesdropping on potential terrorists and the other is this report by ABC News. Responsible policing I just don't think happened on their part. Responsible policy-making happened on their part.

"And I think it's important to recognize that we have a global war on terror which continues. It's a global war against violent jihad. We've seen six years of this. It's not about to disappear anytime soon. With that in mind, I think it's time for leadership in the media to consider and adopt voluntary rules of responsible reporting with regards to matters of national security. Of course, we have a First Amendment which we cherish and value. It provides for freedom of the press but with this freedom goes the responsibility of the press. I'm not looking, as I said, for government censorship. I'm looking for corporate responsibility."

Sorry, Governor, that only applies to "Big Oil" and "Big Pharmaceutical" and Wal*Mart and any company that "out-sources". Not politically favored sectors that hemorrhage red ink like I did Campbell's Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup in my last bout of projectile nausea. They're above responsibility, and the law itself, just like the rest of the far left.

Sure gives Condi Rice's junket some juice, though, doesn't it?