Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Get Up

1 Save me, O God, by Your Name; vindicate me by Your might.

2 Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.

3 Strangers are attacking me; ruthless men seek my life — men without regard for God.

4 Surely God is my help; the LORD is the One Who sustains me.

5 Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in Your faithfulness destroy them.

6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You; I will praise Your name, O LORD, for it is good.

7 For He has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

-Psalm 54


Do you want a contemporary definition of helplessness? It is being a conservative Republican watching "anti-earmark" legislation ooze its way through the congressional alimentary canal.

Yesterday Admiral Ed provided this summary of the Democrat "behemoth":

1. The new bill allows the Majority Leader, not the Senate parliamentarian, to unilaterally decide whether or not a bill or conference report complies with the earmark disclosure requirements. In other words, Harry Reid makes the decision whether legislation he brings to the floor complies with the new standard. How ... convenient.

2. The new bill eliminates the requirement that earmark lists be searchable. It's easier to hide in a crowd, isn't it?

3. The original version prohibited the inclusion of earmarks that benefitted its sponsor. Now that prohibition has been restricted to earmarks that only benefit its sponsor - which means that an earmark that raises the value of a member's property is OK if it raises someone else's property value, too. It makes the prohibition almost meaningless.

So much for the reform Democrats promised in 2006. They can't even deliver what they promised in January.
Mark Tapscott concluded:

Reid and Pelosi are for the most gutting concrete earmark and ethics reform while preserving just enough of the appearance of reform to be able to claim to have fulfilled their 2006 campaign promises.
But, before any furor could be raised about this entirely predictable and cynical Donk double-cross, the very next day (today) comes this breaking story:

Agents from the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service raided the Alaska home of Senator Ted Stevens (>>>R<<<) yesterday as part of a broad federal investigation of political corruption in the state that has also swept up his son and one of his closest financial backers, officials said. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in history [just in case the WaPo would let you forget] is under scrutiny from the Justice Department for his ties to an Alaska energy services company, Veco, whose chief executive pleaded guilty in early May to a bribery scheme involving state lawmakers.

Contractors have told a federal grand jury that in 2000, Veco executives oversaw a lavish remodeling of Stevens's house in Girdwood, an exclusive ski resort area forty miles from Anchorage, according to statements by the contractors. ...

Stevens, 83, is under a federal investigation for his connections to Bill Allen, founder of VECO Corporation, an Alaska-based oil field services and engineering company that has reaped tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

Just to remind you of the score: Democrats = corrupt, but nobody is paying any attention; Republican (singular) suspected of corruption, Enemy Media giving it wall to wall coverage.

Okay, Don "Bridge To Nowhere/'It's All My Money!'" Young is under the same investigation. But who is investigating the Democrats? You can bet the Rodham FBI will never touch 'em, even as they're herding Republicans into cattle cars. And the Bushies? They'll still be working 24/7/365 until mid-century to voluntarily comply with the bazillion and three Donk subpeonas waiting in their in-boxes.

And then we come to this gag-inducing piece de resistance:

The British newspaper the Guardian reports that the watered-down version of thics reform will apparently get Republican backing after all in the Senate. Despite removing requirements for certification by chamber parliamentarians for earmark compliance, the elimination of searchability, and the restriction of the definition of personal benefit to an impossibility for enforcement, the Minority Leader [Mitch McConnell] and the Republican Whip [Trent "Oink" Lott] both indicated that they would press the caucus to pass the bill.
What possible reason would McConnell have for committing such an act of rank stupidity? What else? The textbook RINO fear that if they don't vote for a bill that is another sort of RINO (Reform In Name Only), they'll be targeted by the other side as "enemies of reform" - a reform the Dems are chortlingly gutting themselves. And if minority 'Pubbies take the courageous route and denounce this "ethics bill" for the sham it is, guess whose wrinkled ass gets thrown back in their faces?

They say defeat has consequences. For all those tightie-righties out there who helped sabotage their own party in last November's mid-term elections in large part on the Republicans' over-fondness for earmarks and pork, this is one of them: the other side throwing a corruption orgy, using a facade of "reform" to conceal it from public view, and tarring the only people with the slightest inclination toward cleaning up the mess with the sole blame for it.

The only "lesson" the GOP is learning is how to be the permanent minority again. Which will put swine on the endangered species list in the very near future.

A Moment On The Bench

The Democrats in the Senate have for months been blatantly obstructing the nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on the infuriatingly false, slanderous grounds that he's a "racist" (i.e. he's not a card-carrying incense-burner at the Nation of Islam) and "homophobe" (i.e. he isn't a homosexual). But those smears are no longer necessary now that Stuart Taylor at National Journal has uncovered a bona fide deep, dark secret that the Donks can use to flush Judge Southwick's appointment once and for all:

Southwick "wears a distinctive badge of courageous service to his country." He joined the Army Reserve in 1992, at age 42, and volunteered in 2003 to transfer into a Mississippi National Guard combat unit that would soon be sent overseas. He was on active duty in Iraq (and on leave from his judgeship) from August 2004 to January 2006.
A-HA! Why defame Judge Southwick as a multi-hued bigot when you can smear him as a sociopathic, torture-loving mass-murderer who laughs at IED victims to their faces? Why, he'd never strip the President of all his constitutional war-making powers if given half a chance!

Can't have any more of THAT ilk on the federal bench, can we? (Do I have a crack at getting hired as Chucky Schumer's speechwriter or what?)

Or maybe I don't, because I could never tunnel this deep into the bowels of depravity, even for parody:

Chief Justice John Roberts has died in his summer home in Maine. No, not really, but we know you have your fingers crossed.

When I saw the story last night that the CJ had suffered a seizure, gleeful bile like that was the second thing I thought of, after praying for Roberts that he hadn't fallen seriously ill.

The third thing that crossed my mind was that the American people restored creatures like the ones at Wonkette.com to power last November, and most likely will finish the job fifteen months from now.

"America, what a country!"


Reason #638 Why I Don't Watch Television

Michelle Malkin has a story up about disrespect to our military on "So You Think You Can Dance." I've never seen that show, and it's a sure thing now that I never will.

Two More "See, I Told You So"'s

Courtesy of the Admiral:

***Guess which party boasts the members with voting records that most toe the party line?

In the House it is....the Democrats! As in the first one hundred and seventy-three spots. The top Republican for least "bipartisanship" comes in at 94.8%. GOPers do, however, occupy the bottom ten slots, or the top ten for least partisan voting record.

And in the Senate? Do you have to ask? The top thirteen most partisan voting records all belong to Donks, and the top fourteen least partisan voting records all belong to 'Pubbies.

Understand that this is the opposite of the, well, party line the Enemy Media perpetually spins. Understand as well that this is not a good thing. If Republicans ever hope to see the majority again, they're going to need an energized base that sees electing more Republicans as a way to get done what they want to see get done. Exercising unrequitted "bipartisanship" ain't the ticket for the Comeback Train, which at this point won't make it out of mothballs, much less pull out of the electoral station.

***Joe Lieberman is wasting his unique opportunity to strike a blow against the party that spurned him, and which threatens the country he loves with strategic disaster:

Lieberman, the Democrats’ 2000 vice presidential nominee, insists he is not actively considering joining the Republican Party. But he is keeping that possibility wide open as his disenchantment grows with Democratic leaders. The main sticking points are their attempts to end the war in Iraq and their hesitation to take a harder line against Iran.
I could quote more from the Connecticut independent's interview with The Hill, but that suffices for my central point. If Lieberman's "disenchantment" with Dirty Harry and Ali Dickbar al-Durbini and the rest really is "growing," why is he "insisting" that he's not "actively" considering joining the GOP? Indeed, why would he need to become a Republican at all? Couldn't he simply caucus with them and remain an Independent, as he's doing now with the Dems?

The longer he strings out this Hamlet impression, the less weight his pro-war dissent carries. Hell, I don't think it's ever mattered a whit in the caucus in which he stubbornly continues to squat. Reid and Durbin and Uncle Teddy and the rest clearly believe that Lieberman is bluffing, always has been, and discount him like the crazy uncle in the attic who spends his afternoons sitting on park benches muttering to himself.

If the last Scoop Jackson Democrat really does believe in victory, and in doing what he can to block his party from bringing about a catastrophic self-inflicted defeat, what better time to make the switch than September, when the Petraeus Report comes out? Take operational control of the Senate away from the Dems and maximize the chance of giving the "Surge" the chance to succeed that even the New York Times concedes American servicepeople have earned.

Or perhaps Senator Lieberman is really looking a bit closer to home - namely, to the likelihood of the Dems gaining more seats in 2008, which would relegate him to the minority and a gavel-less future.

U.S. troops are making a lot of sacrifices in God-forsaken places in the guts and bowels of Asia. Sometimes the ultimate sacrifice. It seems to me that putting a continued committee chairmanship on the line for the sake of giving those sacrifices a chance to count for something is the least poor ol' Joe can do.

Central Command News, 7/31/07

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

Security Detachment enables EOD to focus on task at hand.aspx

Posted: 31 Jul 2007 05:58 AM CDT

NEAR KARMAH, Iraq - Explosive Ordnance Disposal, without question, is one of the most stressful occupations in the Marine Corps, and, if at all possible, it makes sense to rid EOD Marines of unnecessary stress and tension.

Coalition Reclaims al-Jamea'a.aspx

Posted: 31 Jul 2007 05:48 AM CDT

BAGHDAD - As Operation Arrowhead Ripper moves along in Diyala, ever so quietly, Operation Rogue Thunder swept through a section of the capital in hopes of ridding the area of anti-Iraqi forces for good.

Balad F-16s destroy terrorist training camp.aspx

Posted: 30 Jul 2007 10:12 AM CDT

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) - F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing here destroyed an al-Qaida training camp southwest of Baghdad July 21.

Iraq's Prime Minister Visits Diyala for First Time.aspx

Posted: 30 Jul 2007 09:55 AM CDT

BAQUBAH, Iraq — Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, met with the governor of Diyala, provincial leadership, key tribal leaders, Diyala’s Iraqi security force leadership and senior coalition officers during a meeting at the Baqubah Government Center, July 26.

KABOOM Countering IED attacks.aspx

Posted: 30 Jul 2007 09:48 AM CDT

Hearing the explosion just around the corner from his vehicle July 15, Army Sgt. Felix W. Bala knew that some of his fellow Paratroopers had just been hit by an improvised explosive device.

US CENTCOM Press Releases

11 terrorists killed, 13 detained during Operation Woodshed

Posted: 30 Jul 2007 01:31 PM CDT


Posted: 30 Jul 2007 01:26 PM CDT


Posted: 30 Jul 2007 01:23 PM CDT

Monday, July 30, 2007

Unchanging Love

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.

19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

-James 1:12-20

Stoking Up The Fire As We Flee Right Out The Door

I gotta say, I'm not all that sold on the idea of selling Saudi Arabia another multi-billion dollar load of our most cutting-edge military hardware. Not for the infantile pacifism the Democrats hide behind denunciations of the Saudis as "tolerators of extremism." First, the Saudis don't "tolerate" extremism, because they're the bin Ladenites' first target. Instead, they re-direct (i.e. export) it, which is why the Saudi-born OBL has holded up in quarters ranging from Sudan to Afghanistan to Iran over the past decade and continued his war against us long after its original provocation - U.S. troops housed on Saudi soil - ceased to exist.

Rather, I wonder if it's prudent to pump our top-of-the-line weaponry into a country whose overthrow and fall to Islamist control is far from out of the question. Ditto the Hosni Mubarek regime in Egypt, which is also on the Pentagon client list.

Of course, the outward object of this martial mercantilism is Iran, which wasted little time in denouncing it. Why, I'm a bit puzzled by. While the Admiral notes that the mullahs' drive for nuclear weapons has left few resources available for bolstering their conventional forces, it's nuclear weapons and Tehran's willingess to use them that would transform Iran into a regional superpower. In addition, once we're chased out of Iraq, de facto Iranian terrority will stretch from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, bordering directly on Israel on two fronts (Lebanon and Gaza), Egypt (Gaza), alarmingly Islamicizing Turkey, and a long frontier with the self-same House of Saud.

Third, why would the mullahs engage in an overmatched conventional attack when they can continue to use the assymmetrical tactics against the "moderate" Arab autocracies that have proven so politically effective against us? That is Cairo's and Riyahd's biggest weakness.

Moreover, in making the case for why further arming the Saudis is a good thing, Mr. Morrissey inadvertently makes a better case for why we should invade Iran now, before (?) they have functional nukes. Conventional war is our specialty, after all; nobody is better at it than we are. After slogging and wading through the second guerrilla conflict in as many generations, we would be returning to war on our terms, against a completely outclassed foe, with the advance knowledge that there would be no post-war nation-building foray following the end of "major combat operations" as there was in Iraq.

The fact of the matter is these arms sales to Egypt and Saudi Arabia are purely defensive, and thus are the functional equivalent of the Third French Republic's Maginot Line fortifications against another German invasion: a means of fighting the last war that will prove totally ineffective against the war the mullahs intend to fight. And once they flip both regimes to "extremist" control, all that hardware will be turned on Israel (and us, if we're still in the region) right along with Iran's brand-spanking new nuclear warheads, an all but certain likelihood about which it figures Ehud Olmert is utterly clueless.

Good Lord, the Iranians aren't building any civilian nuclear power plants in which to use all the nuclear fuel they're generating. How brilliant does one have to be to see that only an invasion from without can destroy the Islamic regime in Tehran before (?) they can attain the only purpose for which they can possibly be generating all that nuclear fuel, that we're the only country that can do it, and that we have precious little time left in which to make the last-ditch attempt?

Instead we're spreading around our lethal toys to fragile regimes in the hopes of creating a "balance of power" that can only work if both sides aren't crazy.

There's something missing from this picture, indeed. But it's a helluva lot more than just some absent infrastructure.

Strange Epilogue

Remember the Able Danger uproar from a couple of years back? The revelation that the then-Clintagon had had a secret counter-terrorism data-mining operation that successfully identified - aka "connected the dots" on - the 9/11 plot more than a year before the attacks? It was also apparently secret from the Clinton White House itself, which shut the program down the instant they learned of it. Why? Because it ran afoul of the "Gorelick wall" between the CIA and Pentagon on one side and the FBI regarding intelligence-sharing. This, in turn, allowed al Qaeda to carry out the most devastating attack on US soil in our history, and put the blood of three thousand dead Americans on Bill Clinton's hands.

It was always puzzling to me and many others why the Bush Administration was so eager, almost frantic, to shut up the three Able Danger operatives who came forward to testify about it. Recall that the 9/11 Commission's public hearings the year before had been hijacked by its Democrat contingent and turned into a Bush-bashing festival right smack in the middle of the President's 2004 re-election campaign, smearing him as "negligent" for his (at the time) eight months' watch and giving Sick Willie a pass for his eight years of ignoring the gathering jihadi storm and turning down three separate offers of bin Laden's head on a platter. Now here was red-handed evidence that the Clinton administration could have disrupted the 9/11 plot, stopped it cold, saved all of those lives - and did nothing. And the Bushies wanted no part of it. I mean, my God, I know the two clans have become chummy, and the extreme psychosis known as "the New Tone" is legendary, but come on. What about justice? What about accountability? And what about defending the common-sense Bush approach to fighting as war as, well, a war, by showing what happens when we refuse to fight it at all?

Who knew - until now - that the reason the current White House wanted to shush the Able Danger guys was because they had their own secret counter-terror ops and wanted to avoid a burgeoning, publicity-attracting turf war:

A fierce dispute within the Bush administration in early 2004 over a National Security Agency warrantless surveillance program was related to concerns about the NSA's searches of huge computer databases, the New York Times reported today.

The agency's data mining was also linked to a dramatic chain of events in March 2004, including threats of resignation from senior Justice Department officials and an unusual nighttime visit by White House aides to the hospital bedside of then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, the Times reported, citing current and former officials briefed on the program.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, one of the aides who went to the hospital, was questioned closely about that episode during a contentious Senate hearing on Tuesday. Gonzales characterized the internal debate as centering on "other intelligence activities" than the NSA's warrantless surveillance program, whose existence President Bush confirmed in December 2005.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III contradicted Gonzales, his boss, two days later, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee that the disagreement involved "an NSA program that has been much discussed." ...

The report of a data mining component to the dispute suggests that Gonzales's testimony could be correct. A group of Senate Democrats, including two who have been privy to classified briefings about the NSA program, called last week for a special prosecutor to consider perjury charges against Gonzales.

The report also provides further evidence that the NSA surveillance operation was far more extensive than has been acknowledged by the Bush Administration, which has consistently sought to describe the program in narrow terms and to emphasize that the effort was legal.

Able Danger was data-mining whilst the NSA terrorist surveillance program was data-gathering via intercepted out-of-country communications. If Able Danger or something like it was revived and running in tandem with the TSP, whether under the NSA or the Pentagon, that could very well be the "other intelligence activities" that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was referring to in his Senate testimony last week. Testimony in which he indicated perfect willingness to provide those details in private session in order to protect classified information, and which offer Judiciary Donks refused, so slaveringly eager were they to string him up as Scooter Libby's cellmate.

DoJ/FBI - DoD/NSA territoriality would also explain why Gonzales was, er, "bugging" an ailing John Ashcroft to help settle said dispute.

Another decidedly odd couple - Ed Morrissey and Glen Greenwald - believe that, in what has to qualify as the irony of ironies, the ordinarily leak-proof Bush Administration itself leaked the Able Danger (or successor)-TSP connection in order to debunk the Dems' outrageous perjury slander against Speedy and whack them back on their PR heels. If so, I gotta say it's the first politically savvy thing the Bushies have done in a long, long time. It takes the klieg lights off of Gonzales and puts them on arguably the only strength the White House has left - its success in preventing another 9/11. Setting the Donks off down that rake-infested rabbit trail again can't be anything but good, good, good for the Administration and the GOP by revisiting why the Democrats should not be allowed within a megaparsec of power on any level or any branch of government in their current collectiv(ist) mindset ever again.

Unless, of course, the same RINO saboteurs provide cover by fleeing to the tall grass again.

But at least something has been salvaged from the NSA TSP's treasonous airing. Hopefully, it won't be the last.

Threshold Of Undeniability

There is one of two possibilities pertaining to the Michael O'Hanlon/Kenneth Pollack/Brookings Institution Iraq piece in today's New York Times: either the Enemy Media "paper of record"'s anti-war filter is in serious need of replacement, or the Petraeus "Surge" is becoming too successful for even them to deny:

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush Administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in General David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference…

How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.
Whether you consider Brookings "hard-left" or merely "left-leaning," the NYT certainly fits the former description, and they actually published this non-defeatist analysis from non-token-righties. If that's any sort of barometer of the slowly turning public opinion tide, what are congressional Democrats going to be able to say or do when September rolls around when even their house media organ is saying, "Give the 'Surge' a chance"?

Do I even have to type it? Crap all over the robust lack of political progress on behalf of the Iraqi government (which is itself a self-fulfilling prophecy).

That objection too has an answer - but not one that anybody in the Beltway wants to address:

Left to their own devices, the Iraqis would undoubtedly have made considerable progress toward national unity, and a representative government worthy of the name. But the Iraqis are not left alone, because the battle that is currently being waged in their country is part of a larger war, in which the most dangerous force is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Until Iran is defeated, Iraqi leaders will always cater to the edicts coming from Tehran.

So when deep thinkers like Senators Lugar, Biden, Reid, Domenici, and Clinton beat up on the Iraqi political class, and cite their failure as the basis for an American retreat, someone should ask them how they intend to deal with Iran, which is the main saboteur of Iraq, and our main enemy. It seems the Iranians already have a veto power over Iraqi parliamentary proceedings. If we leave, their power will grow dramatically.
And we already have Mrs. Clinton's answer to that: a return to "robust diplomacy" of the sort that turned North Korea (and is turning Iran) into rogue nuclear powers, the latter of which will have two satellite states extending its contiguous reach from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.

The "Surge" surge won't change the Dems' retreat & defeat tune, but hopefully it will stop GOP knees from knocking long enough to give General Petraeus and the boys (and girls) the extra time to finish the mission that not even the "Grey Hag" can deny they've earned.

UPDATE: Two House Donks are inching off the treason reservation - and one of them is a Muslim!

Your Morning Etymology

"I'll just give this a lick and a promise," my mother said as she quickly mopped up a spill on the floor without moving any of the furniture. "What is that supposed to mean," I asked as in my young mind I envisioned someone licking the floor with his or her tongue. "It means that I'm in a hurry and I'm busy canning tomatoes so I am going to just give it a lick with the mop and promise to come back and do the job right later."

"A lick and a promise" was just one of the many old phrases that I remember my mother, grandmother, and others using that they probably heard from the generations before them. With the passing of time, many old phrases become obsolete or even disappear. This is unfortunate because some of them are very appropriate and humorous.

Here is a list that I came up with that I remember my parents and grandparents using that we don't hear much anymore. Perhaps you have some memorable old phrases of your own that you could add to the list:

***A Bone to Pick (someone who wants to discuss a disagreement)

***An Axe to Grind (Someone who has a hidden motive. This phrase is said to have originated from Benjamin Franklin who told a story about a devious man who asked how a grinding wheel worked. He ended up walking away with his axe sharpened free of charge)

***A bad apple spoils the whole barrel (one corrupt person can cause all the others to go bad if you don't remove the bad one - sounds like Bill Clinton and the Democrat Party, doesn't it?)

***At sea (lost or not understanding something)

***Bad Egg (Someone who was not a good person)

***Barking at a knot (meaning that your efforts were as useless as a dog barking at a knot.)

***Bee in your bonnet (To have an idea that won't let loose)

***Been through the mill (had a rough time of it)

***Between hay and grass (Not a child or an adult)

***Blinky (Between sweet and sour as in milk)

***Calaboose (a jail)

***Cattywampus (Something that sits crooked such as a piece of furniture sitting at an angle)

***Dicker (To barter or trade)

***Feather In Your Cap (to accomplish a goal. This came from years ago in wartime when warriors might receive a feather they would put in their cap for defeating an enemy)

***Hold your horses (Be patient!)

***I reckon (I suppose)

***Jawing (Talking or arguing)

***Kit and caboodle (The whole thing)

***Madder than an old wet hen (really angry)

***Needs taking down a notch or two (like notches in a belt; usually a young person who thinks too highly of himself and needs a lesson)

***No Spring Chicken (Not young anymore)

***Not the sharpest tack in the group (a little slow at catching on to things)

***Persnickety (overly particular or snobbish)

***Pert-near (short for pretty near)

***Pretty is as pretty does (your actions are more important than your looks)

***Scalawag (a rascal or unprincipled person)

***Scarce as hen's teeth (something difficult to obtain)

***Skedaddle (Get out of here quickly)

***Sparking (courting)

***Straight From the Horse's Mouth (privileged information from the one concerned)

***Lollygaggin', gallivanting around, or piddling (Not doing anything of value)

***Sunday go to meetin' dress (The best dress you had)

***We wash up real fine (is another goodie)

***Tie the Knot (to get married)

***Too many irons in the fire (to be involved in too many things)

***Tuckered out (tired and all worn out)

***Under the weather (not feeling well; this term came from going below deck on ships due to sea sickness - thus you went below or "under the weather")

***Wearing your "best bib and tucker" (Being all dressed up)

***You ain't the only duck in the pond (It's not all about you)

Well, if you hold your horses, I reckon I'll get this whole kit and caboodle done and sent off to you. Please don't be too persnickety and get a bee in your bonnet because I've been pretty tuckered out and at sea lately because I'm no spring chicken. I haven't been just lollygaggin' around and I know I'm not the only duck in the pond, but I do have too many irons in the fire. I might just be barking at a knot, but I have tried to give this article more than just a lick and a promise. Ya'll have a good day now, you hear?

[h/t: Uncle]

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Musharraf Doing What He Has To Do

Sometimes moves by heads of state are only understood by subsequent moves. Such is the case with Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf.

Yesterday the London Daily Telegraph reported that Musharraf had reached an agreement with the prime minister he deposed a decade ago, Benazir Bhutto, to bring back democracy to Pakistan:

President Pervez Musharraf and Pakistan’s exiled former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, have struck an outline power-sharing deal to run Pakistan, ministers said.

Under the reported agreement, struck late on Friday night, General Musharraf would step down as commander in chief of the country’s armed forces but would be able to retain the presidency.

Mrs. Bhutto would be permitted to return to the country to stand in parliamentary elections, and the constitution would be changed to allow her to become prime minister for a third term.

If this looks like a defensive move on Musharraf's part, that's because it is. If the Islamists in his country were to succeed in knocking him off, there would be nothing to keep them from seizing power, and Pakistan's nuclear weaponry, for themselves, since both the military and Pakistani intelligence harbor a great many of their sympathizers. Bringing back Mrs. Bhutto and democracy along with her will, he doubtless hopes, provide a safety valve of sorts that will satiate the Pakistani people at large and marginalize the jihadis in the process.

One has to wonder about that, though. Although Admiral Ed suggests that the "Pakitaliban" only attracts about 10% public support, it's difficult to believe that figure isn't a great deal higher. Not a majority, necessarily, but a large enough plurality that the radicals may win via ballots more power than they ever enjoyed via bullets. They doubtless known enough recent history to remember that the Nazis never won more than 37% of the vote in any German election in the Weimar Republic, but it was enough to make Adolph Hitler chancellor, and ultimately, fuehrer.

That may be why Musharraf has given his army the green light to re-take Waziristan:

President Pervez Musharraf sees it as the centre of a campaign to “Talibanise” Pakistan. Spurred on by Washington, he has abandoned a truce with Waziristan’s Islamist guerrillas and ordered his army to root them out.

There are believed to be about 8,000 gunmen – a mix of foreign Al-Qaeda olunteers, Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Islamists and local Waziris whose families have for centuries fought off any attempt to impose outside rule on this area. In modern times, even map-makers have been shot to hide the region’s mysteries from the outside world.

Last week soldiers sealed all the roads into Miran Shah, the provincial capital, occupied the hills around it and fired the first artillery salvo in what Musharraf’s many critics have called a war on his own people.

On Friday morning the army moved into parts of Miran Shah itself after militants blew up government buildings overnight. Most of the 60,000 townspeople are feared trapped, but hundreds of families have fled their mud homes in villages nearby and headed east for the sanctuary of Bannu, a town in the neighbouring North West Frontier province.
The old Arab "strong horse/weak horse" axiom definitely applies in this instance. If Musharraf crushes his enemies in their "final redoubt" in the northwest of his country, they'll have far less testosteronal prestige with which to sway the impressionable Pakistani electorate. And we will, hopefully, secure our biggest potential vulnerability in the larger War Against Islamic Fundamentalism.

Parenthetically, I can't help noting a comment from a Pakistani officer that Ed re-quoted:

"There is no other option. It’s bad, but we have to fight.”

If one of our allies in the war we're trying to "end" by running away can accept this, is it really too much to ask that Democrat congresscritters and senators at least keep their despicable defeatism to themselves?

Apparently, it is.

UPDATE: Is Musharraf willing to sacrifice his career in order to save his, and Pakistan's, life? Mrs. Bhutto evidently will settle for no less.

God's Delays

12 O LORD, are You not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, You have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, You have ordained them to punish.

13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; You cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do You tolerate the treacherous? Why are You silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

14 You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler.

15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad.

16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food.

17 Is he to keep on emptying his net, destroying nations without mercy?

Habakkuk 2

1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. [a]

2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald [b] may run with it.

3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it [c] will certainly come and will not delay.

-Habakkuk 1:12-2:3

VBC Missionaries Of The Week: Kameel & Rachel Kilada

From their home in Oregon, the Kiladas reach out to the Arab world through various means.

In Spain, Arabic Gospel radio programs reach Moroccan immigrants. They provide written materials for training and discipleship in Egypt. Through an Arabic/English website, they share the good news of Christ as well as offer leadership training.

Kameel makes frequent trips to Egypt to encourage national workers, provde tools for ministry, and give oversight.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


1 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

2 How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all Earth!

3 He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.

4 He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom He loved.

5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.

6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.

7 For God is the King of all Earth; sing to Him a psalm [a] of praise.

8 God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne.

9 The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings [b] of Earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.

-Psalm 47

Central Command News, 7/28/07

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 27 Jul 2007 01:24 PM CDT


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If You Can't Beat 'em, Shut 'em Up

Not much of a surprise here:

Liberal activists are stepping up their campaign against Fox News Channel by pressuring advertisers not to patronize the network.

MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America's Future and liberal blogs like DailyKos.com are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.

They have no ideas to offer, so they choose to try and silence the opposition. Idiots.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pachyderm Pedicures

22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the LORD out of a pure heart. 23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the LORD's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

-2 Timothy 2:22-26

An Engraved Invitation

I gotta hand it to Chucky Schumer - what he lacks in intelligence, he make up for in subtlety:

New York Senator Charles E. Schumer, a powerful member of the Democratic leadership, said Friday the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President Bush “except in extraordinary circumstances.”

“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.”
God, what an arrogant son of a bitch. Note how he takes the terms of the old McCain "memo of understanding" that preserved his party's power to filibuster Bush judicial nominees when it was in the minority - "except in extraordinary circumstances" - and turns it into the standard that the President must reach before the current Senate, controlled by his party, will deign to confirm any potential judge Bush appoints. Which, of course, means appointing hard-left oligarchists who will resume the de-democratization of America and imposition of hard-left one-party rule from the federal bench. Or, at the very least, fill in whatever gaps Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and President Rodham overlook.

Chucky's definition of "dangerously out of balance" is equally as Orwellian. The current SCOTUS has four constitutionalists (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito), four extreme Left oligarchists (Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer), and one philosophically untethered "swing" vote (Kennedy). As I read that lineup, that's a four-and-a-half to four-and-a-half-tie. Looks like perfect balance to me. Indeed, Justice Alito's replacement of Justice O'Connor erased an equivalent one-seat extreme left advantage and restored balance to the High Court.

So, reading not too far between the lines again, Schumer means he doesn't want to see the SCOTUS tip any further towards constitutionalism and the check on government (and therefore, Democrat) power it gives rise to, which really would give the legal forces of freedom and liberty a numerical advantage.

What is beyond the pale of outrage is his presumptuous hauteur in declaring that his party is going to "reverse the presumption of confirmation" and dictate to the President whom he can and cannot appoint. Does the distinguished prick from New York really need a refresher in the relevent portion of Article II, Section II?

[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States....
It does not say, "The Senate shall direct the President to appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and counsels, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States as it sees fit." Schumer's re-writing of Article II would render the Chief Executive irrelevant to the appointment process. It would drastically subordinate the Executive Branch to the Legislative Branch. It would completely disrupt the separation of powers and create a legislative oligarchy to go with the judicial oligarchy despicable usurpers like Schumer are stopping at nothing to preserve.

Until Hillary is sworn in, anyway. Chucky would never pull such a brazen power play on her - not if he wanted to remain ambulatory.

What Schumer's bloviating is not is remotely surprising. Remember, he was the senator who, during the Democrats' plurality control of the Senate in 2001-2002, held Judiciary subcommittee hearings declaring that ideology and judicial philosophy were reasons for denying not just confirmations but even confirmation votes equally as valid as personal character problems or corruption. This was a direct partisan assault on the Senate's constitutionally-mandated secondary role in the appointment process that assumes a nominee should be confirmed unless a valid reason is found to deny it. This role was mandated because the President, elected by ALL the people, is presumed to be entitled to exercise ALL the constitutional powers of his/her office, including the appointment of Executive Branch officials and federal judges. A Senate under the control of a different party is NOT entitled to deny that exercise to the President out of partisan spite or ideological malice, thus thwarting the electorally expressed will of the people. A fact that phony bastards like Schumer will magically rediscover the next time there's a Democrat in the White House and a Republican Senate.

Chucky undoubtedly meant this to be a shot across the White House bow. Dubya, though, should take it as an opportunity - to take Schumer's smug pontificating and shove it right up his ass by appointing one staunch constitutionalist after another at every level, including the SCOTUS, and urging the GOP to make this as big a campaign issue as it was in 2002 and 2004.

I can't match Brother Hinderaker's confidence that doing so will make the Dems "pay a price" next year, but, as on the war, if we're going to go down anyway, we may as well, to borrow an athletic cliche, "leave everything out on the field." If nothing else, it might plant the seeds of a comeback in 2010 and 2012 after the Democrats run wild and bleep things up beyond recognition.

So When Does Gregoire Go To Jail?

"Justice" - if you want to call it that (hence the quotes) - for the biggest political heist in Washington state history is finally done.

Sort of (via CS):

King and Pierce County prosecutors filed felony charges today against seven paid employees and supervisors of ACORN "who allegedly committed the biggest voter-registration fraud in state history."

The announcement of criminal charges came after the King County Canvassing Board revoked 1,762 allegedly fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN employees.

Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Hobbs told the board that six ACORN workers had admitted filling out registration forms with names they found in phone books last October. The canvassers filled out the forms while sitting around a table at the downtown Seattle Public Library, Hobbs said.

County prosecutors charged the six canvassers with one to eight counts each of filing false information on voter registration, and charged a supervisor with providing false information and making a false statement to a public official.

Two of the ACORN workers were also charged in Pierce County with submitting fifty-five phony registrations.
In case you were wondering, nowhere in the Seattle Times article is ACORN's hard-left political orientation mentioned, nor that their flagrant vote fraud helped blatantly steal the 2004 gubernatorial election from Republican Dino Rossi and hand it to Democrat former attorney general Christine Gregoire (the only title permissible for that woman on this site). No comment was sought from the illegal governor or any other Donk for this piece, either.

A pity, really. I would love to have seen her asked - or, hell, get press credentials and ask her myself - how her "victory" in 2004 by 130 votes can possibly have been valid with over thirteen times that many King County (aka Donk Central) voter registrations declared fraudulent. And, "Excuse me, Mrs. Gregoire, one more question, if I may. When are you resigning and moving out of the governor's mansion in which you've been squatting for the past two and a half years and making way for Governor Rossi, and will you do everything you can to smooth the belated transition?"

Flip the party registrations and I guaran-damn-tee this would be unfolding that way.

Of course, if the party registrations had been flipped, there'd have been no election theft in the first place.

Why do you think we're called "Ukrainington"?

Reason #Umpteen Why They're Called The Treason Lobby

Want an update on the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program? Surprised that it actually still exists? I sure as hell was.

Not that there's much of it left, thanks to the !#$%^&* Democrats. Bowing to last November's [***AHEM***] election results, the Bush Administration caved and made the TSP subject to FISA court pre-approval. It has had depressingly predictable results:

This has turned out to be an enormous mistake that has unilaterally disarmed one of our best intelligence weapons in the war on terror. To understand why, keep in mind that we live in a world of fiber optics and packet-switching. A wiretap today doesn't mean the FBI must install a bug on Abdul Terrorist's phone in Peshawar. Information now follows the path of least resistance, wherever that may lead. And because the U.S. has among the world's most efficient networks, hundreds of millions of foreign calls are routed through the U.S.

That's right: If an al Qaeda operative in Quetta calls a fellow jihadi in Peshawar, that call may well travel through a U.S. network. This ought to be a big U.S. advantage in our "asymmetrical" conflict with terrorists. But it also means that, for the purposes of FISA, a foreign call that is routed through U.S. networks becomes a domestic call. So thanks to the obligation to abide by an outdated FISA statute, U.S. intelligence is now struggling even to tap the communications of foreign-based terrorists.

If this makes you furious, it gets worse.

Our understanding is that some FISA judges have been open to expediting warrants, as well as granting retroactive approval. But there are eleven judges in the FISA rotation, and some of them have been demanding that intelligence officials get permission in advance for wiretaps. This means missed opportunities and less effective intelligence. And it shows once again why the decisions of unaccountable judges shouldn't be allowed to supplant those of an elected Commander in Chief.

When the program began, certain U.S. telecom companies also cooperated with the National Security Agency. But they were sued once the program was exposed, and so some have ceased cooperating for fear of damaging liability claims. We found all of this hard to believe when we first heard it, but we've since confirmed the details with other high-level sources.

Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell more or less admitted the problem last week, albeit obliquely, when he told the Senate that "we're actually missing a significant portion of what we should be getting." That's understating things. Our sources say the surveillance program is now at most one-third as effective as it once was.

As bad as that is, this is the kicker:

The Administration has introduced legislation to modernize FISA and to give immunity to telecom companies who cooperate in terrorist surveillance, but the Democrats have blocked the legislation.
Brother Hinderaker calls this "infuriating," and indeed it is. But what is chilling, at least to me, is his conclusion:

This....highlights the situation we currently face in Washington, where one party consistently puts its own political interests ahead of the national security of the United States.
If the Democrats' political interests truly are advanced by sabotaging the national security of the United States and recklessly endangering the lives of countless American civilians all of whom have been avowedly targeted for mass murder by our enemies, can America survive at all? And do we even deserve to?

UPDATE: BTW, according to a West Point terrorism study center report, 73% of [current Gitmo detainees] are a “demonstrated threat” to American or Coalition forces, and 95% are at the least a “potential threat,” including detainees who had played a supporting role in terrorist groups or had expressed a commitment to pursuing jihadist violence.

"Demonstrated threat" means at least one of the following criteria applies:

***Explicitly and without qualification supported or waged hostile activities against the U.S. or Coalition partners

***Fought for al Qaeda or the Taliban or associated forces

***Received training in an al Qaeda or Taliban training camp

***Received training in the use of combat weapons beyond small arms (grenades, rpg's, ied's, sniper rifles, etc.)

That's what the Dems want to turn loose in the civilian criminal justice system, where, as the Wall Street Journal points out, most, if not all of them, would be released because the military could not afford to open up classified intelligence to their (inevitably leftist) defense counsels' discovery motions.

None of this is disputable, and the Democrats damn well know it. Yet they continue to insist that Gitmo be emptied and enemy illegal combatants treated not as they deserve to be (summarily liquidated), legally should be (left to rot in Gitmo for the rest of their lives), or as they most definitely do not merit (as prisoners of war), but as regular civilian law-breakers no different from a pimp or a pickpocket, even though doing so will further endanger God knows how many American civilian lives.

Either the Donks are committing political suicide, or we're commiting collective national suicide. (via the Tank)

I've Had All I Can Pakistans, I Can't Pakistans No More

Although, evidently, Pervez Musharraf can:

Hundreds of students have occupied Pakistan's Red Mosque as it reopened for prayers, demanding the return of its arrested pro-Taleban cleric.

Security forces stood by as protesters raised a black flag, and clambered onto the roof of the Islamabad mosque to daub it with paint. ...

The students chanted slogans against President Pervez Musharraf and pushed journalists out of the building.

That was just the beginning:

An explosion has rocked Pakistan's Red Mosque after violent clashes between police and Islamist students, killing several people, officials say.

There were unconfirmed reports that the blast was a bomb aimed at police, and that at least one officer was killed.

Would it be impolitic to ask a few questions about this? Like, for example, why the Red Mosque (intriguing name, that) was re-opened for prayers at all, much less so soon after Pakistani security forces liberated it from the Islamists that had used it as a hostage dungeon a scant two weeks ago? And might it be considered a bad sign that members of those same security forces allowed "students" to just waltz right back into the Mosque and reclaim it as a terrorist base of operations? Or was this part of the "political solution" Musharraf's foreign ministry was referring to the other day that will "buy peace for a time"?

Looks from this vantage point like that "investment" was utterly squandered. Admiral Ed is sage to ask how many times the Pakistani strongman can bloodily retake the same ground before his "strength" - and his regime along with it, with all that would portend for the wider war - is sapped altogether.

Foer-Mapes Or Wilson-Plame?

Hugh Hewitt this morning draws a parallel between New Republic poobah Franklin Foer and his "Scott Thomas diaries" smearing of American troops in Iraq and Mary Mapes' (and Dan Rather's) Texas Air National Guard smear of President Bush during the 2004 campaign. Heaven knows Foer's journalistic malpractice and stubborn, arrogant fingerpointing at his publication's well-justified critics and denouncers in lieu of fessing up to his reprehensible sins in which TNR has been caught red-handed is more than eerily reminiscent of that CBS caper that did more than anything else to make the blogosphere into an arm of the new mainstream media.

But now Ace of Spades throws in an even more fascinating wrinkle - Scott Thomas Beuchamp is married (or at least engaged) to a New Republic staffer:

Source: TNR Is A Lot More Worried Than They're Letting On; Scott Thomas Got His Job For Plame-ish Reasons: "Frankln Foer Doesn't Want To Tell TNR Staffer
Elspeth Reeve Her Husband Is A Liar"

The actual quote was "Frank doesn't want to tell ___ her husband is a liar," offered up not by my source but by someone else. The blank has now been confirmed as TNR staffer Elspeth Reeve, and even though the quote was "husband," there's some question about that: weddingchannel.com says their wedding is coming in October. Though perhaps they had a quickie civil ceremony before his last deployment or something, with the formal ceremony to occur later.

Look, husband/fiancee, not sure it matters. It certainly seems that everyone in the TNR offices were under the impression they'd already been married.

Hmmm. Leftist wife (or fiancee) a fairly high-level employee of a relevent, influential organization....uses her position to send her leftist husband (or fiance) on an overseas anti-war junket....leftist husband reports back with a pack of despicable lies....it all seems familiar, somehow.

Oh, yes, now I remember:

It's all so Plame-ish. As Gracie wrote to me, of all the embeds and milbloggers and real journalists they could have picked for the job, they instead chose to go with a very partisan, very inexperienced blogger just out of "laziness." Just because they knew him. Just because it was easy.

I actually think part of the reason was that they knew Beauchamp's politics - he having put them on display on his goofy blog - and so, just like with Valerie Plame, they knew the report was going to come back the way they wanted it when they sent him.

There's even a leaker of Beauchamp's connection to Elspeth (Elspeth? What the hell kind of given name is Elspeth?) Reeve - a fellow TNR staffer whose ass was summarily fired yesterday. At least he won't be subjected to a three-year "special" prosecution and punitive criminal penalties. Though his former employers seem to have put all the investigatory zeal into finding out who let the Beauchamp identity cat out of the bag that they did not in fact-checking this pussy-boy asshole's serial mass libel.

Really shows where the Enemy Media's priorities are at, doesn't it?

Central Command News, 7/27/07

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 26 Jul 2007 03:31 PM CDT


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Thursday, July 26, 2007

1984 In 2007

We must be entering another age of global irrationality. A dark time. An age of mass psychotic gullibility where people believe any politician who says s/he can make water run uphill and drive the Bible-thumping trolls into the woods and chase the neocon dragons beyond the mountains. An era of revived blind public faith in the power of government to legislate prosperity equally, run every last industry down to the minutest detail with perfect efficiency, enshrine rationing as a source of everything from unlimited energy to free health care to perpetual motion machines, and pacify the entire planet with the shining example of its supreme moral purity and the irresistable persuasiveness of its superior intellectual magnanimity and unparalleled diplomatic skill.

Three cases in point:

***David Miliband, the new British Foreign Minister under Old Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown, used the occasion of his first visit to Pakistan to praise Pervez Musharraf - not for sending his army into Waziristan to drive al Qaeda out of the privileged sanctuary he foolishly gave them a year ago, but for giving them that sanctuary in the first place. In quintessential liberalspeak, Miliband added that, "a purely military solution to violence in Pakistan’s tribal areas would not alone quash the insurgency. ..." Which sure sounds like an endorsement of negotiating with terrorists to me, since there's no such thing as a diplomatic "squashing".

This Old Labor mindset was reflected in the way British NATO commanders were running their areas of the Afghan theater of the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism. They negotiated a series of "truces" with the Taliban insurgency that allowed the Islamists to reconquer every Afghan community in the British operational area. It got so bad that we had to relieve the Brits, resume the actual war, and re-liberate the surrendered communities. You might even say we "quashed" their asses - and without a pair of striped pants in sight.

***With that abject lesson in front of them, what was the riposte of Pakistani officials to Miliband's morony?

The Pakistani foreign office liked the British approach better. Their representative said that “Even if [the Waziristan "Accord"] failed it bought peace for a period.”
Sure. Just like the Munich "Accord" bought peace "for a period" - before igniting a six-year global war that slaughtered over sixty million people. That period was not used by the Allies to launch a crash re-armament program, but that's certainly the purpose to which the Nazis put it - not unlike their Islamist proteges in Waziristan. A dismal folly that we may have cause to bitterly regret if al Qaeda lands a new mass-casualty attack on our soil.

***Read this USA Today quote and see if you can pick out the anamoly:

Arab League envoys paid a historic visit to Israel on Wednesday to present a plan calling for a comprehensive regional settlement, saying they were extending "a hand of peace" on behalf of the Arab world.

The one-day visit by the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan marked the first time the 22-member group has sent representatives to Israel. The Arab League peace plan envisions full recognition of Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

The visit highlights a dramatic change of direction for the Arab body, which actively pursued Israel's destruction after the Jewish state was created in 1948. The league refused to recognize Israel for decades afterward and suspended Egypt in 1979 for a decade after it become the first Arab state to make peace.

Okay, so I gave it away. It's late, I wanna go to bed, and I'm too beat to be coy.

Maybe I'm starting to get O-L-D, but it doesn't seem that long ago to me that Israeli withdrawal to those indefensible 1967 borders - whose indefensibility forty years ago was precisely the reason Israel struck first in the Six Day War before their Arab enemies could overrun them - was not considered an option, either by the Israelis or by the United States. Even the limited autonomy granted the Pals in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the infamous Oslo "peace plan" has been a disaster, producing two intifadas, a two-front war against Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas a year ago, and now has consigned Gaza to Iranian-sponsored terrorist rule - a fact that has evidently taught us the diametrically wrong lesson as we are now embracing Fatah in the West Bank, whose only difference from Hamas is that Mahmoud Abbas is not a theocrat.

With the lesson of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza two years ago etched indellibly in stone - retreat from terrorists and they'll follow right on your heels and continue their attacks closer to home - now the Arab League comes to the Israelis with the exact same old song & dance - territorial retreat in exchange for empty promises of "peace" - and what had once been out of the question, a complete non-starter, is now veritable conventional "wisdom".

Admiral Ed's rationalization of this insanity is particularly dense, amounting to "moderate" Arab autocracies attempting to buy off their populaces from Islamist influence by getting a bigger, better "deal" for the Palestinians than Oslo or the "Roadmap" or whatever the hell else the slow-motion Second Holocaust is called. For them there is no problem in the Middle East - which is to say, no threat to their continued dictatorial rule - that isn't soluable by buggering the Jews on behalf of the perpetual regional MacGuffin, the fictional ethnic nationality on whose behalf so much is promised by Arab regimes and jack bleep is actually done.

If anything, Morrissey has it backwards - the "moderate" Arab regimes may tell the West this horsepucky about "peace," but what they'll tell their people if the Israelis go along with this latest national suicide pact - and to Ehud Olmert, whose latest bright idea is to re-open negotiations with Syria for the evacatuation of the Golan Heights, there's no concession that resides "out of the question" - is that they, and not the jihadis, have - via diplomacy! - made Israel more conquerable than the Islamists ever did.

THAT is how Egypt and Jordan and Saudi Arabia, et al seek to "marginalize" the Islamists in their midst - by putting themselves over as the "strong horse" against the Jews - and, ultimately, the West. THAT is the competition in the Arab/Muslim world, a culture for which "peace" is defined the same as Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad define it: Islamic domination of the entire planet. The so-called "moderates" are betting that after a decade or more of overt "holy" war, their old-fashioned hudna guile can succeed where the berserkers have failed.

Or maybe it's just the old one-two punch - the terrorists wear down Western and Israeli will and common sense, the "moderates" strike lopsided deals that never would have been possible before, and then both move in for the kill.

Perhaps Prime Minister Olmert's own words best sum up this cowardly new Bizarro world:

We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies. We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors.
Sorry, Mr. Prime Minister. In the real world, up is not down, black is not white, enemies are not friends, surrender is not peace, and absolutist wishful thinking has a lethal price tag.

Our allies in the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism are already as good as defeated. And from the looks of what's going on in Congress these days, we're not far behind.

I hope the appeaseniks have laid in a huge supply of red slippers, because they're going to be doing an awful lot of heel-clicking to turn this fantasy into reality.

UPDATE: It just continues. Now France's newly elected "conservative" president, Nicholas Sarkozy, is urging us to let Muamar Khaddafy have his nukes back, and is preparing to sell him a fresh nuclear reactor to boot.

Seeing as how we were the ones (along with Tony Blair) who "persuaded" Khaddafy to disarm in the first place, could this fresh chapter of French perfidy not be interpreted as, at the very least, a hostile act? Certainly if I were running the Bush Administration, I'd be rattling Paris' rafters over it. What the bleep are these people thinking?


1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and 6 my God. My [c] soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs His love, at night His song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock, "Why have You forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

-Psalm 42

All You Need To Know About The Rape Of Alberto Gonzales

....is in the first and last grafs of Brother Hinderaker's daily update:

The Democrats are going completely insane over Alberto Gonzales. Today four Democratic Senators released a list of items of false testimony that they claim Gonzales gave to various committees, and called for the appointment of a special prosecutor and a perjury investigation.
Hmmm. Democrats devolving into partisan insanity....over a completely false, trumped-up "scandal" blatantly fueled by an almost sectarian hatred in which there is not the remotest shred of evidence to back up their hysterical charges....the utter absence of which is forcing them to ensnare a Bushie in an equally trumped-up "process crime" in order to keep up the scandalmongering momentum in the absence of any White House panic....it all sounds vaguely familiar.

Ah, yes, now I remember:

[T]he Democrats' attack on Gonzales resembles the Scooter Libby prosecution, in that there was no underlying wrongdoing. The President replaced eight or nine U.S. Attorneys who had served out their terms with other qualified nominees. U.S. Attorneys are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President. That's really all there is to that story. But it became the pretext for a fishing expedition by the Democrats, and as soon as they found a conflict between testimony by two witnesses - something that inevitably happens in just about any investigation - they started howling for a perjury prosecution.

These are dark days in Washington, and not because of Alberto Gonzales.
And the President is supposed to dignify these outrages by throwing Speedy under the bus? What will that accomplish other than to trigger the partisan equivalent of throwing a lit match into a vat of jellied napalm? Does Ed really think the Dems would be finished with Gonzales or the White House over this non-matter just because Oh, Boy, Alberto was no longer the A-G? Can he not see the Watergate parallels the Left would gleefully inter, with Bush as Nixon and Gonzales as John Ehrlichman? Hey, Pat Leahy has already announced his next subpeona target: Karl Rove, aka neo-H.R. Haldeman. How much brilliance does it take to see the direction this farce is headed? Or that a presidential pink-slip might morph Speedy into John Dean out of estranged spite?

Bush already allowed one underling's life to be destroyed for absolutely nothing. To do so twice would be unconscionable - and the epitome of political idiocy.


Guess what Mr. "Charismatic Smooth-Talking Rising Star" stuck in his mouth now:

[Barack] Obama found himself in the usually mundane role of Senate chair [yesterday] afternoon while the Republicans used procedure to tie the Democrats in knots once again. And when put in the position to make a ruling, he gave the Democrats a short-term win, but a long-term loss on the immigration debate. He very well have given critics of his presidential campaign more fodder.

Feckless majority leader Harry Reid had a homeland security appropriations bill on the floor for debate, and thought the day was going to go rather smoothly, until the Republicans showed him up once again by offering an amendment to tie border security elements of the immigration bill to it....

Politically speaking, this was a brilliant move. You knew this to be the case because Ted Kennedy, the author of much of the language in the failed immigration bill this year, came down to the floor and read the riot act about the Republicans trying this stunt.

Harry Reid certainly didn’t want to have this measure voted on, because he didn’t want to look foolish and have the Republican parts of the immigration bill passed around him on an end run, so he asked the chair for a ruling that the Graham amendment be stricken because it wasn’t germane to the original bill.

That’s right, the Democratic leader of the Senate wanted a ruling that border security funding has nothing to do with homeland security funding.

All eyes turned to the chair, currently occupied by Barack Obama. Here is what he had to say.

HR: We have to have a ruling here first.

BO: The chair is not aware of an arguably legislative provision in the House bill, HR 2638 [the homeland security funding bill], to which Amendment number 2412 offered by the Senator from South Carolina [the border security funding amendment] could conceivably be germane.

Judd Gregg: So the amendment is germane?

BO: No, that the chair does not believe that the defense of germaneness is appropriately placed at this time.

So there you have it. Senator Barack Obama, the man who is trying to win your vote to be the president of the United States, the commander-in-chief, the man whose primary mission is to protect and defend the country, can’t see how border security has anything to do with homeland security.

It's not quite the gaffe that he committed the other night regarding smooching the smegma of the real-life Legion of Doom since Harry Reid put him up to it and he pretty much had to follow orders. But that just underscores how the only difference between Obama and his more senior Donk colleagues is a callow lack of discretion in showing the country the true hideous face of the Chavezite Democrat Party.

I can't help thinking, though, that all this "political brilliance" is taking place in an utter vacuum. Virtually nobody pays attention to the day-to-day goings-on in the Senate unless there's a SCOTUS nominee enduring confirmation hearings. Even if that weren't true, I doubt Republicans will have the foresight or acumen to take that clip and use it against the Dems to the devastating effect the Generalissimo imagines. Even if they do, I doubt it will make enough of a difference to turn the huge tide the GOP has "surging" against it.

And, in any case, Hillary! skipped the 52-44 vote defeating this amendment, so she's got plausible deniability.

Unless she taps Obama for her running mate, in which case his skin pigmentation will cover everything that her X chromosome doesn't.

Well, except for the fallout from the radiological attack that kills several tens of thousands of American civilians launched by the jihadis that marched right across our undefended border completely unfettered and unnoticed.

No, make that the third or fourth attack, since the first few will be successfully blamed on "Bush's" war in Iraq (as Vice President Obama will contritely assure his rogue's gallery of "friends") - and his failure to fortify the border.

How's that for stomach-turning irony?

UPDATE: Dirty Harry must have realized the trap he was falling into, because the Graham amendment was brought back today and passed almost unanimously.

However, with border security funding now in the Homeland Security appropriations bill, the President will be hard-pressed to veto it on over-spending grounds. On the other hand, if he's as against border control as he has appeared last year and earlier this summer, perhaps he'll veto it using fiscal responsibility as his fig leaf, prompting a likely veto-override that would piss away the credit for fortifying the borders to the party of border erasure while they get all their pork-barrel spending and minority Republicans end up with zippo.

Naaaah, not even Dubya has that tin a political ear.

But it wouldn't astound me.

Winning and Losing

Ralph Peters says we're winning in Iraq and losing in Washington in this New York Post piece. Check it out.

JASmius adds: Along those same lines comes the not-all-that-difficult-to-foresee prediction of an al Qaeda "Tet offensive" to coincide with the September Petraeus report to Congress (via HH):

Today, the upsurge of American troops, increasing aggressiveness of Iraqi combat units, and the abandonment of Sunni chieftains who had previously provided at least passive support for the insurgency, have come together to impose an intolerable situation on the enemies of the Iraqi government and the United States. Large areas near Baghdad that they either controlled or could operate in with relative immunity have shrunk radically during the last several months, and there is no sign that this trend will end soon. It is impossible to believe that the insurgents will take this lying down.

al Qaeda and other Islamic militants have displayed over and over again through their public statements that they are astute observers of the American political discourse over Iraq. That a violent "offensive" of some sort will be launched to drown out or subvert the heavily promoted and anticipated appearance of General David Petraeus before Congress in September is practically a given. It is also certain that Coalition forces in Iraq will work aggressively to disrupt the coming offensive - and the "troop surge" itself serves that end. But in the current news environment, any attacks by the insurgents, no matter how reckless or costly to themselves, are guaranteed to generate massive press coverage and criticism of US efforts even if the insurgents fail militarily.

A wise young major once said to me, "It doesn’t matter if two hundred soldiers are killed - or twenty, or two. The size of the headline stays the same." What may matter right now is how well the Pentagon and the Administration communicate to the public that, as in almost all our wars, a desperate enemy is very likely to strike a blow directed as much at the American leadership, news media, and public as the military itself. The media-savvy enemies of the West could choose no better time for this than the days before and during General Petraeus appears before Congress.

Of course, if the Pentagon and the White House do a full-court press to prepare the public for the Islamist "Battle of the Bulge," the Democrats and Enemy Media will dismiss it as fearmongering and ass-covering. And either way, when the last ditch, banzai attack hits, the other side will seize upon it as "proof" that the "Surge" has "failed," and a lot of Republicans will flee to their favorite spot in the tall grass once again - sealing their electoral fate in 2008.

The fix for defeat, in other words, is in.

UPDATE: And as Tony Blankely writes today, the Dem presidential gaggle was sporting collective wood at the delicious prospect:

Only one issue evoked genuine passion, and that was: How quickly would you retreat from Iraq? And here, the candidates had clearly been doing earnest research before the debate. Governor Bill Richardson said he could get all the troops out in five months. Senator Christopher Dodd claimed he could do it in seven months, while Senator Joe Biden was insistent that it would take a full nine months to a year to move American troops and civilians down the two-lane road through Basra to the sea.

Bragging at how quickly they could retreat seems to be a peculiarly liberal inclination. While, as I recall, conservative little boys practice quick draw with their cap guns while playing cowboys and Indians, apparently liberal little boys practice how fast they can throw up their hands to surrender to the guys in the black hats.

In truth, there are nasty rumors floating around in military circles regarding the level of casualties that may be taken during a retreat of 250,000 American troops and others. As unpleasant as the Saigon retreat by helicopter is in American memory, that was for only the last of the embassy personnel. Nixon had carefully removed 365,000 soldiers from Vietnam during the period from 1969 to 1973.

Removing 250,000 Americans from Iraq over even a year on perhaps 20,000 flatbed trucks through a sniper-, mortar- and road-side-bomb-infested two-lane road may result in more casualties than anyone wants to imagine.

But the Democrats on Monday were so hell-bent on quick surrender and retreat that they never even mentioned casualties on the retreat. They should think about Napoleon's withdrawal from Moscow.

Most remarkably of all, not one of the candidates even mentioned the danger of Islamist terrorism the entire night.

I don't think it's remarkable at all. Nor do I think, as Blankely concludes, that this hostility to national security will be an electoral Achilles heel in 2008.

The truth is the past six months of Dem governance pushing retreat and defeat and the six previous years of agitating for retreat and defeat from the minority have completely expunged 9/11 from the public's collective consciousness. The sight of the WTC collapsing and the Pentagon afire on one mid-September morning has been replaced by Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink and Breasts Not Bombs and the Democrats' supine pandering to the whole dirty lot of them by attacking each and every aspect of the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism as if they were al Qaeda operatives themselves. Most Americans just want all the arguing and fighting and fussing and fuming to go away so they can focus on American Idol and what bra size Paris Hilton's going to sport next. And since giving Congress back to the Dems didn't shut them up, it follows by this logic that the voters will (re-) install Hillary! in the White House to complete the nation's escape back to the supposedly trouble-free Clinton years.

Which, of course, was the regime that allowed al Qaeda to become a global national security threat effectively unopposed, and how we got into this war in the first place.

After the Donks have forced us out of Iraq beginning month after next, will the enemy have the discipline to hold off on resuming their North American offensive until after the 2008 election? Or will they figure that Bush will get the blame either way, so Allahu Akbar!?

My guess is the latter. And that they'll be absolutely right.

'NOTHER UPDATE: Clifford May looks at America's bleak post-Iraq future.

Central Command News, 7/26/07

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

Airmen train Iraqi firefighters at international airport.aspx

Posted: 26 Jul 2007 06:38 AM CDT

NEW AL-MUTHANA AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) - Firefighters from the 447th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron are spending their spare time training firefighters from the Iraqi air force to make them an autonomous unit at New Al-Muthana Air Base.

NMCB-133 drilling wells, building schools in the Horn of Africa.aspx

Posted: 26 Jul 2007 05:53 AM CDT

The Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion-ONE THIRTY THREE Detachment Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonier have been deployed to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa area of operation since February 5 performing well drilling operations, school building projects and other quality of life projects throughout East Africa.

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 25 Jul 2007 07:57 AM CDT


Posted: 25 Jul 2007 07:50 AM CDT