Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New York Times Does Not Care if Iraqis Tortured

Unless they are terrorists trying to kill people. Then they care.

The print edition of the New York Times has long carried the phrase "All the news that's fit to print" in the upper left corner.

That became a joke a long time ago. More like: "All the news that's fit to bash Bush and enable defeat."

Case in point?

When the news broke late last week that U.S. forces in Iraq had freed 42 captives, including a 14 year old boy, from an Al Queda prison where many were tortured using the gruesome methods described in the captured Al Queda torture manual many newspapers around the country ran the story.

A simple search on the headline "U.S. frees 42 Iraqi captives in raid" links to just about every major news organization. But not the New York Times.

The Times did report the story, buried deep within one of their daily reports about the ongoing bad news in Iraq.

Editors at the New York Times apparently did not think it newsworthy to run the story and the descriptions of Al Queda torturing their prisoners, some for as many as four months, in a more prominent position.

When the story was American abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq the New York Times ran front page stories 43 out of 47 days in a row. Here's a compilation of some of the hysterical headlines that the NY Times ran day after day after day when the story broke.

Bloggers like Indigo Red have pointed out the comparative dissonance between REAL torture which our enemies routinely use without remorse and the frat pranks at Abu Ghraib.

What's worse?
This?



Or this?



The Smoking Gun has the full report on Al Queda torture methods. None of these are used by U.S. forces in Iraq.

You would think that a "news"paper so concerned with human rights of terrorists that they would run story after story about the abuses at Abu Ghraib would want to expose the outright evil being committed by our enemy. But not the New York Times.

The question is why?

The answer is simple. The prevailing attitude at the New York Times, as it is with many Democrats, is that only bad news should be reported from Iraq. Outside of that, there is no reality. That's why you don't see many stories about heroic American actions saving the lives of our soldiers and innocent Iraqis. That's why you don't see more stories about the good work we are doing in Iraq.

And if you think I am making an assertion without a foundation consider this. David Carr, writing in the New York Times on the importance of publishing photographs of dead and wounded American soldiers cites the goal of James Glanz, a Baghdad correspondent who will become bureau chief for The New York Times next month:

"This tiny remaining corps of reporters becomes a greater and greater problem for the military brass because we are the only people preventing them from telling the story the way they want it told."

Apparently, gruesome images of dying and wounded Americans is "news." Iraqis rescued from REAL torture is not.

And just how are the American people supposed to understand our progress in this war when the "news" media charged with the important responsibility of reporting what is happening is deliberately preventing any telling of the facts that contradicts the defeatist party line that the New York Times and Democrats insist is the only valid reality?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Skye Inside the Eagle's Nest

SkyeandBailey

Skye at Gathering of Eagles headquarters with founding member Captain Larry Bailey, USN (retired)(bio here, books authored here) a former Navy SEAL and also organizer of Vietnam Veterans for Truth which was instrumental along with the Swiftboat Vets for Truth in getting out the truth about John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign. Bailey is also promoting Boot Murtha.Com whose mission is to "redeploy" Congressman Murtha out of the U.S. Congress.

Skye is wearing the Flopping Aces t-shirt she won in the Flopping Aces Hillary Clinton Caption Contest in April. Skye's been a busy bee in D.C. and if you visit her at Midnight Blue you can catch up with her wanderings this Memorial Day weekend.

And if you haven't seen Sparks from the Anvil's Memorial Day Tribute, you won't want to miss it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day Events

Along with picnics, parades and decorating the graves of the fallen there are some National Memorial Events worth watching on television:

-Beginning at 10:50 AM EST CSpan will broadcast as President Bush lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Minutes later, the President will deliver a Memorial Day address. (C-Span schedule here)



-Sunday, Beginning at 8PM EST PBS will broadcast an all star concert with the National Symphony Orchestra live from the West Lawn on the U.S. Capitol Grounds.

Skye Reports From the Gathering of Eagles: Rolling Thunder Rocks!

Skye, our eyes on the scene in Washington, D.C. this Memorial Day weekend, has a front row seat to witness the 20th Anniversary of "Rolling Thunder." This is the group composed of veterans, current military and American Patriots who organized initially to inform the Nation on the problem of troops from the Vietnam war who were unaccounted Prisoner's of War and Missing in Action.

If you have ever lived in the Nation's Capital you know when Rolling Thunder is in town. The sounds of motorcycles fill the air as hundreds of motorcycles cross Memorial Bridge which leads from Arlington National Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial. Over the years many high profile riders like General Richard B. Meyers Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon have led the ride. Riders have also been welcomed at the Bush White House in support of their mission.

The Patriots of Rolling Thunder have extended their mission to include support for our troops on the battlefields in this REAL Global War on Terror.

Skye is continuing to post cell phone photos from the event at Midnight Blue from her perch in the Eagle's Nest and has already uploaded two videos from yesterdays Gathering of Eagles which you can view here.

Thus far she's described to me by phone a patriotic outpouring of people from all walks of life, many from foreign lands who join with the United States and our goals for a world of peace with freedom and justice.

We're all looking forward to her fuller report with digital photos.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Gathering of Eagles: Skye's First Report

Skye reports that the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is a much quieter without the loony left protesters who made such a scene last March.

No freak shows of bizarre behavior to report as the crowd on the Mall is 100% RED WHITE AND BLUE today.

A large crowd from many states, including some foreign countries, has spread across the Western portion of the Mall from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial. Skye reports she is inspired by the quality and commitment of the Americans she is meeting at this event.

C-Span will broadcast the stage presentation from this event beginning at 5:24 PM EST. (check schedule here). Look for Skye up front. She's wearing a pink hat (not CodePink) and a Flopping Aces t-shirt.

Just one of the signs of support for our troops, their Commander in Chief and their mission on display at the Gathering.

Skye promises a full report with her digital camera photos and videos as soon as she makes it back to her room.

Remember

As you read, turn on your speakers and listen to: "In a Mother's Eyes"
by
Andrew Dean.

"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for another."


From "Fallen Heroes" a photo essay by Daniel J. Wood. Location: Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola Florida.

"Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -


Memorial Day, the holiday, began as a spontaneous outpouring of honoring and remembrance for six hundred thousand U.S. citizens who died fighting the Civil War (history of the holiday here).

Towns and villages in both the North and the South began decorating the grave sites of the war dead with flowers, hence the early name for the holiday: Decoration Day.

Music has also been an important part of the Memorial Day observance from it's inception. Musicians may find this antique sheet music interesting. It's dedicated to the "Ladies of the South who are decorating the graves of the Confederate Dead." The hymn was published in 1867:

Kneel Where Our Loves Are Sleeping
Words by G.W.R.
Music by Mrs. L. Nella Sweet

published 1867

Kneel where our loves are sleeping, Dear ones days gone by,
Here we bow in holy reverence, Our bosoms heave the heartfelt sigh.
They fell like brave men, true as steel, And pour’d their blood like rain,
We feel we owe them all we have, And can but weep and kneel again.
CHORUS
Kneel where our loves are sleeping, They lost but still were good and true,
Our fathers, brothers fell still fighting, We weep, ‘tis all that we can do.

VERSE 2:
Here we find our noble dead, Their spirits soar’d to him above,
Rest they now about his throne, For God is mercy, God is love.
Then let us pray that we may live, As pure and good as they have been,
That dying we may ask of him, To open the gate and let us in.
CHORUS
Kneel where our loves are sleeping, They lost but still were good and true,
Our fathers, brothers fell still fighting, We weep, ‘tis all that we can do."

Decoration Day became official with General Orders No. 11 issued by General John Logan, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic in May 1868.

And while some Americans today view Memorial Day as another day off of work, or the chance for a three day trip to the beach, many Americans remember the sacrifice this day recalls and we honor those who have fallen so we might have the freedom and luxuries of a holiday to enjoy.

In military cemeteries across the Nation and also in lands where U.S. soldiers died far from home (list here with Memorial Day events) men, women and children will gather to remember, reflect and to honor those who gave what Abraham Lincoln called "that last full measure of devotion.

Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

President Abraham Lincoln

November 1863

In places near and far men and women will gather as does the "Old Guard" Third Infantry Regiment at Arlington National Cemetery to place flags on the graves of fallen soldiers. The Old Guard gives their ceremony the name "Flags In" creating a sea of Red, White and Blue among the markers.

Continuing the musical tradition, singers like Trace Atkins offer this video "Arlington." Lyrics below:

Arlington

I never thought that this is where I'd settle down,
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown,
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men, for a job well done,
there's a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
the man inside he cried the day they brought me home,
they folded up a flag and told my mom and dad, we're proud of your son .

Chorus:
And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I'm on sacred ground and i'm in the best of company,
I'm thankful for those things i've done,
I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones, I made it to Arlington.

I remember daddy brought me here when I was eight,
we searched all day to find out where my granddad lay,
and when we finally found that cross,
he said, "son this is what it cost to keep us free" Now here I am,
a thousand stones away from him,
he recognized me on the first day I came in,
and it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels, and saluted me.

(Repeat Chorus)

And every time I hear twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home to us.

We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done,
we can rest in peace, 'cause we are the chosen ones,
we made it to Arlington, yea dust to dust,
don't cry for us, we made it to Arlington.

More video music tributes:

David Matthews of Pack 308 places a flag on a grave at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery May 26, 2007 in Louisville, Kentucky. Boy Scouts from the Seneca District and the Lincoln Heritage Council, which represents the Louisville area, participated in the flag placing. This was the 25th year that scouts have been placing flags on the graves at the cemetery. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Memorial Day in Iraq

Today in Iraq, U.S. soldiers, men and women, will observe Memorial Day with personal reflections on fellow soldiers who have died in that long conflict. One news report even showed Iraqi Sheiks and tribal leaders coming to a U.S. Marine compound to pay their respects to some of the 3444 U.S. soldiers who have given their lives to help Iraq and ensure U.S. National Security.

While each of those lives lost is tragic and we honor and mourn their loss, we can also be thankful that we live in a nation where such sacrifice is less and less called upon. Since Memorial Day started as an observance of our Civil War dead, contrast the 3444 fallen soldiers in Iraq over four years with the 3,650 U.S. and Confederate troops who died at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

Mark Steyn puts it in perspective and offers a message which should also be heard on this day:

The loss of proportion
Mark Steyn
May 30th 2004

More than 600,000 Americans died in the Civil War - or about 1.8 percent of the population. Today, if 1.8 percent of the population were killed in war, there would be 5.4 million graves to decorate on Decoration Day.

But that's the difference between then and now: the loss of proportion. They had victims galore back in 1863, but they weren't a victim culture. They had a lot of crummy decisions and bureaucratic screw-ups worth re-examining, but they weren't a nation that prioritized retroactive pseudo-legalistic self-flagellating vaudeville over all else. They had hellish setbacks but they didn't lose sight of the forest in order to obsess week after week on one tiny twig of one weedy little tree.

There is something not just ridiculous but unbecoming about a hyperpower 300 million strong whose elites - from the deranged former vice president down - want the outcome of a war, and the fate of a nation, to hinge on one freaky jailhouse; elites who are willing to pay any price, bear any burden, as long as it's pain-free, squeaky-clean and over in a week. The sheer silliness dishonors the memory of all those we're supposed to be remembering this Memorial Day.

Playing by Gore-Kennedy rules, the Union would have lost the Civil War, the rebels the Revolutionary War, and the colonists the French and Indian Wars. There would, in other words, be no America. Even in its grief, my part of New Hampshire understood that 141 years ago. We should, too.

Please join your fellow Americans in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 P.M. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28,2007. One minute of quiet reflection is not too much to ask to honor the sacrifices which make freedom possible. Always remember that "All gave some, some gave all" for you.

Friday, May 25, 2007

From Skye at Midnight Blue:

It is that time again - Gathering of Eagles/Rolling Thunder rally in DC on Saturday May 26th. 11 am till 3 pm, Gathering of Eagles in conjunction with Rolling Thunder will gather at the Lincoln Memorial.

Yours truly will be there and fully expect yet another no-show from the lunatic fringe - I hope some show up as I am in search of a few good useful fool to photograph.In case you missed my adventures on March 17 at the first GOE Rally, I've included a list of links detailing the mobile blogging that occurred on that day.

Drop by late Saturday morning or early afternoon and participate!

Poll: Americans Want VICTORY in Iraq!

Do you?

From Investor's Business Daily (Click for graphic display of full results):

While you're over at IBD, check out their 10 part series on "The Worst President in American History." Guess who?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Neville Nancy (Pelosi) Big Loser in Iraq Funding Bill

Oh cry me a river!

Why Pelosi never stood a chance with funding bill
Edward Epstein,
San Francisco Chronicle
May 24, 2007

Washington -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi suffered the most significant setback in her five months running the House when she backed down in the legislative battle with President Bush over paying for the war in Iraq, but even some of her critics suggest she and her top deputies had little chance of prevailing.

After more than three months of deadlock over Bush's request for Iraq war funding, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., were forced this week to drop their effort to tie the money to a U.S. troop withdrawal and readiness standards for units being deployed into war.

Without those provisions -- which the House and Senate had passed before Bush vetoed them -- the leaders found themselves slammed by the anti-war left and mocked by Republicans.

The result was so distasteful to anti-war Democrats that Pelosi herself said she won't vote for the war money today when it comes to the House floor.

Congressional scholars said the legislative maneuvering showed that Pelosi and Reid can't unilaterally change policy in Iraq until they can muster the two-thirds majorities necessary to override a veto by the Republican president.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek, who said she will vote for the war money, staunchly defended Pelosi.

"I take criticism of the speaker very personally. I believe she is doing a heroic, significant job for this country. It's a shame the president doesn't see her for the leader she is and work with her to bring an end to this war,'' Tauscher said.

Oh Boo Hoo Hoo! Poor Neville Nancy. She can't help it. She's just in over her head and the boys are being mean to her! Boo Hoo!!!

You mean President Bush doesn't recognize the leadership of a woman who called him "oblivious, in denial, (and) dangerous," "He's "incompetent", "In fact, he's not a leader. He's a person who has no judgment?"

Seems like that description better matches Neville Nancy and her surrender monkey Democrats!

Al Queda Torture Manual Found

Someone please tell Senator McCain and others who think that if we stop waterboarding terrorists that Al Queda will stop cutting people's eyes out, using hot irons and electrodes on skin, etc.

Torture, Al-Qaeda Style from the Smoking Gun.

Here's a sample:




That's the face of evil. Now tell me there's no global war on terror!

Good News in Iraq

And even better news is that it was printed in Time Magazine!


Is al-Qaeda on the Run in Iraq?
By JOE KLEIN
Time Magazine
May. 23, 2007

There is good news from Iraq, believe it or not. It comes from the most unlikely place: Anbar province, home of the Sunni insurgency. The level of violence has plummeted in recent weeks. An alliance of U.S. troops and local tribes has been very effective in moving against the al-Qaeda foreign fighters. A senior U.S. military official told me—confirming reports from several other sources—that there have been "a couple of days recently during which there were zero effective attacks and less than 10 attacks overall in the province (keep in mind that an attack can be as little as one round fired). This is a result of sheiks stepping up and opposing AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] and volunteering their young men to serve in the police and army units there." The success in Anbar has led sheiks in at least two other Sunni-dominated provinces, Nineveh and Salahaddin, to ask for similar alliances against the foreign fighters. And, as TIME's Bobby Ghosh has reported, an influential leader of the Sunni insurgency, Harith al-Dari, has turned against al-Qaeda as well. It is possible that al-Qaeda is being rejected like a mismatched liver transplant by the body of the Iraqi insurgency.
...
And there's more:
You bet we can win
BY FREDERICK KAGAN
New York Daily News
May 21st 2007

Iraq is the central front in the war against Al Qaeda. And we are beginning to win. These are not talking points. They are facts on the ground, as I saw during my recent trips there.

Though you may be getting the opposite impression from news reports, the sectarian violence that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had unleashed by destroying the Samarra Mosque in February 2006 has subsided. Measured weekly, sectarian killings are down by almost two-thirds since the start of the Baghdad security plan. Anbar Province, Al Qaeda's former sanctuary in western Iraq, has turned against the terrorists. Anbaris by the thousands are signing up to fight against Al Qaeda. Violent attacks in the province are down by 50% and combined casualties down by 65% between early January and mid-May.

The movement is spreading. Sheiks in Diyala, Salah-ad-Din and Babil provinces are reaching out to coalition forces to help us.

This is not the moment to consider withdrawal time lines that would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as the U.S. Congress seems determined to do. It is the time to redouble our efforts.

It is true that the overall level of violence in Iraq remains high, and American soldiers are still dying. Scores of terrorists flow into Iraq every month, detonating suicide car bombs against civilians, Iraqi security forces and American troops. This is the core of the security problem faced by our troops and by innocent Iraqis.

But looking at these casualty numbers alone distorts reality. Security is improving across Baghdad, even in traditionally bad areas. In early May, I walked and drove through these neighborhoods. Haifa St., scene of day-long gunfights between Al Qaeda terrorists and coalition forces in January, is calm and starting to revive. Its market is open and flourishing.

Even in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood, some of which remains very dangerous, the market now has more than 200 shops - up from zero in February. Across the city, Iraqis are reaching out to coalition and Iraqi troops with tips and requests for help.

In some areas, that help takes the form of attacking the enemy and responding to enemy counterattacks. But as we kill and capture these evil people, we create safety in our wake. We are not standing between warring communities. We stand between terrorists and murderers and their innocent victims, both Sunni and Shia.

It will take time for that safety to take hold. It will take time for our enemies to accept their defeat and stop fighting. Demanding total victory by September is unrealistic. But we are making progress, and by then, I am confident we will be making more.

One thing impressed me above all on my most recent trip, from which I returned on May 13: Ordinary Iraqis have not given up. Sadrists in the parliament may demand our withdrawal, but the government of Iraq has repeatedly asked us to stay. Iraqi soldiers and police are fighting Al Qaeda and Shia militias every day, sacrificing alongside our troops.

One Iraqi commander told me, "Anyone who says the Americans should leave now is not a real Iraqi citizen."
Growing numbers of Iraqis are joining the struggle against those who want to derail Iraq's chances for security and stability. We must not let them down, and we must not let ourselves down. This is a fight that we can and must win.

Meanwhile, a U.S. raid in Bagdad has uncovered a large stash of Iranian cash and bombmaking material.

We're defeating Al Queda in Iraq. Let's keep it up and defeat Iran in Iraq too!

Latest GOP 2008 Straw Poll

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Hidden Cost of Illegal Immigration

Who benefits from cheap illegal labor? Big business. Who pays? We all do.

Visit Immigration Counters.

The Heritage Foundation has an indepth study of the cost of illegal immigration.
Low skilled, uneducated (no high school diploma) is the typical characteristic of the illegal immigrant. Each family costs the American taxpayer an average of nearly $20,000 per year.

Simply maintaining the current level of support to the 4.54 million households of low skilled, uneducated illegals will require the most massive transfer of wealth in American history.

And of course at every step along that transfer trail you'll find Democrat social service bureaucrats in control of the transfer process with their hands out first.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Syrian Liberals Blast Pelosi Trip to Damascus

Syria's Liberal Progressives Most Damaged by Pelosi Visit!
After Pelosi’s Syria Visit, Dissidents Cower
The House Speaker may have handed the government a license to crush
by Katherine Zoepf
New York Observer
Published: May 15, 2007

DAMASCUS, SYRIA—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria last month, and the related question of whether or not the U.S. should formally re-engage this Baathist republic, remains as controversial a topic on the streets of Damascus as it was in the days afterwards among Beltway bloggers. And, perverse as it may seem to some American liberals, it is the Syrians who are most sympathetic to their progressive values who have been most critical of Ms. Pelosi’s attempts to begin a dialogue with Syria’s government.

Many Syrian dissidents and pro-democracy activists have privately expressed dismay at Ms. Pelosi’s message of friendship to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They say that Ms. Pelosi’s visit, no matter how well-intentioned, has effectively pulled the rug out from under them, critically damaging their efforts to create momentum for reform from within.

“Pelosi’s visit made the regime feel that Americans were divided on how to deal with Syria,” said a Damascus-based women’s-rights activist who, like five other activists interviewed for this article, asked that his name be withheld because he feared punishment. “This sends a message to the regime that the pressure is off, that it can do what it likes.”

It has certainly seemed that way in the weeks since Ms. Pelosi’s departure, during which time the government has imprisoned Kurdish opposition figures while maintaining travel and work bans on political activists.

In the eastern Syrian town of Raqqa, hundreds of people were arrested for protesting rigged parliamentary elections. And over the last month, the Syrian courts have embarked on a veritable spree of sentencing, handing down harsh prison sentences to some of Syria’s most prominent pro-democracy activists.

Last week, the physician and dissident Kamal Labwani was sentenced to 12 years in prison for having met with American officials during a 2005 trip to Washington. This past weekend, the activists Michel Kilo and Mahmoud Issa were sentenced to three years each for having signed the so-called Damascus Declaration, a document petitioning Syria’s government to normalize relations with neighboring Lebanon.

The few Syrian activists who are not presently behind bars say they have all but ceased working.

“Most of us are just sitting and waiting,” said the women’s-rights activist. “It’s too dangerous to try any political activities right now. The regime is making a point, and there’s no telling when the current crackdown will end.”

Even Syrians outside the inner circle of activists seem shaken by the conviction, shortly after Ms. Pelosi’s return to Washington, of Syria’s best-known human-rights lawyer, Anwar al-Bunni. Mr. al-Bunni was convicted of “spreading information that could weaken national morale” and “joining an international organization without proper authorization,” for which he was given a five-year prison sentence.

Mr. al-Bunni is a slight, nervous-looking man, a tireless polymath who, aside from his work defending scores of political prisoners, has helped to found a center offering training in human rights, and has drafted a new constitution for Syria. Last year, he invited a handful of foreign reporters to his home to show them his proposed new constitution, and waved his hands excitedly as he outlined his ideas about what a democratic transition in Syria might look like, how potential power-sharing arguments among Syria’s many ethnic and religious groups could be anticipated and solved.

But Syria’s would-be Thomas Jefferson is in the infamous Adra prison now, and he is known to have been tortured.

“Pelosi’s visit was well-meant, but it’s been bad for everyone, and especially devastating for some of our closest friends in Syria,” an American researcher on Syria said. “The Syrian regime wants to be invited back to the diplomatic table, but at the same time it wants to make the point that none of the concessions that it may make with regard to regional security are connected to the Bush administration’s democracy agenda.”

In an interview last week, Mr. al-Bunni’s brother, Akram, said that he was saddened by Anwar’s sentencing. But even as he offered an explanation of why Syrian dissidents were upset by Ms. Pelosi’s visit, he said that he and his brother hoped at least that such international contacts could prove to have a positive effect in the long run.

“So much of Syria’s opposition was against Pelosi’s visit, against the E.U.’s talks with the regime,” Mr. al-Bunni explained. “They believe that these offers of friendship strengthen the regime and increase its totalitarian tendencies, and they’re angry.

“But perhaps, if the West continues to talk to the regime, our government will wish to improve its image on its own,” he continued. “People who favor this approach point to Turkey. This is a much slower process, but we’ve seen that it can work. The regime would like the world to believe that it doesn’t care about what the world thinks, but we know that’s not true. It will take time, but Syria can be encouraged to cooperate. Now that I’ve seen what happened in Iraq, I fear this is the only way.”

So there you have it. The Democrat's "alternate foreign policy" and Neville Nancy's peace efforts have resulted in the imprisonment and torture of Syrian dissidents.

Think Neville Nancy will take any responsibility for her actions???

Former Senator Bob Kerrey on Iraq and Terrorism

The Left's Iraq Muddle
Yes, it is central to the fight against Islamic radicalism.


BY BOB KERREY
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

...Iraq was a larger national security risk after Sept. 11 than it was before. And no matter how much we might want to turn the clock back and either avoid the invasion itself or the blunders that followed, we cannot.
...
The critics who bother me the most are those who ordinarily would not be on the side of supporting dictatorships, who are arguing today that only military intervention can prevent the genocide of Darfur, or who argued yesterday for military intervention in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda to ease the sectarian violence that was tearing those places apart.

Suppose we had not invaded Iraq and Hussein had been overthrown by Shiite and Kurdish insurgents. Suppose al Qaeda then undermined their new democracy and inflamed sectarian tensions to the same level of violence we are seeing today. Wouldn't you expect the same people who are urging a unilateral and immediate withdrawal to be urging military intervention to end this carnage? I would.

American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it. Al Qaeda in particular has targeted for abduction and murder those who are essential to a functioning democracy: school teachers, aid workers, private contractors working to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, police officers and anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government. Much of Iraq's middle class has fled the country in fear.

With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy.

The key question for Congress is whether or not Iraq has become the primary battleground against the same radical Islamists who declared war on the U.S. in the 1990s and who have carried out a series of terrorist operations including 9/11. The answer is emphatically "yes."
...
The American people will need that consensus regardless of when, and under what circumstances, we withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. We must not allow terrorist sanctuaries to develop any place on earth. Whether these fighters are finding refuge in Syria, Iran, Pakistan or elsewhere, we cannot afford diplomatic or political excuses to prevent us from using military force to eliminate them.

Mr. Kerrey, a former Democratic senator from Nebraska and member of the 9/11 Commission, is president of The New School.

Along with Senator Joe Lieberman this makes at least TWO Democrats who have at least an ounce of sense. Are there more out there who are just too scared to come forward?

Democrats Refuse Reprimand of Murtha

"Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history."--
Nancy Pelosi, November 8, 2006

To which she should have added: "Unless of course it has anything to do with being critical of our conduct or that one of our members."

House Democrats reject GOP effort to reprimand senior Democrat Murtha
By Charles Babington
ASSOCIATED PRESS

May 22, 2007

WASHINGTON – House Democrats rejected a Republican bid Tuesday to reprimand Rep. John Murtha, a senior lawmaker accused of threatening legislative reprisals against a GOP member who had crossed him.

Before and after the largely party-line vote, which caused some Democrats discomfort, Republicans taunted Democratic leaders about their campaign promises to run a more ethical and open Congress.

The House voted 219-189 to kill the Republicans' motion to reprimand Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, Iraq war foe and close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
...
Murtha, known for his bluff manner and fondness of pork barrel projects, did not dispute claims that he charged across the House floor May 17 to confront Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich. Rogers had tried unsuccessfully to strike a $23 million Murtha earmark – a targeted spending item – for a drug intelligence center in Murtha's district.

And so the Culture of Corruption train rolls on unchecked!

P.S. The first five seconds of this ABSCAM video should be about all any sensible person would need to see to educate them about what kind of person Murtha is.

Current Immigration Bill WORSE than the Last One

Here's the letter I sent to my Senator, Lindsey Graham, when he was pushing the McCain Kennedy Immigration Bill last year. The letter is an executive summary of my research into immigration, assimilation and acculturation:
Dear Senator Graham:

I’ve heard your defense of the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Bill on multiple news programs and talk shows . I am sorry that I cannot share with you any enthusiasm for this legislation which fails to address a host of issues which have recently become vital to our national security and national unity.

President Vicente Fox of Mexico spoke at the Cancun Summit and described Mexican immigration as a “human rights” issue. That may be true. Mexico is consistently violating the human rights of the mostly illiterate, indigenous peoples that are actively being “encouraged” to leave Mexico and go to the United States.

In "Reframing Mexican Migration As a Multi-Ethnic Process", Jonathan Fox of the University of California, Santa Cruz describes Mexico’s abandonment of rural agricultural programs and the effort to shift the indigineous populations of Indian ethnicity either to Mexican cities or the United States. The United Nations Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination concluded it’s most recent session in March by condemning Mexico for using forced sterilizations against these same peoples.

What we are witnessing is a sanitized version of Soviet-style collectivization and ethnic cleansing. Mexico is dumping into the United States an underclass of what Mexican elites view as undesireables. The bonus for Mexico is that they will no longer be a drain on Mexico’s social services, nor will they agitate for change in the corrupt Mexican system that leaves that nation unable to offer these poorest of the poor much hope for their future.

Meanwhile, the bill you support in the Senate indulges in a fantasy of transforming this growing underclass of illegal aliens by assimilation. That might have worked decades ago when we had a public school system that promoted the idea of an American identity. But as you are no doubt aware, the multicultural crowd is in charge of public education today.

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies in a 1997 piece titled "Will Americanization Work in America?" describes a study by Sociologist Ruben Rumbaut which surveyed students in San Diego who are children of immigrants or who immigrated themselves at a very young age:

In terms of ethnic self-identification, the change was dramatic. Three years of high school caused these students to see themselves as significantly less American; there was a 50 percent drop in the proportion (already small) of those who considered themselves simply "American," a 30 percent drop in the proportion of those considering themselves hyphenated Americans, and a 52 percent increase in the proportion of those describing themselves exclusively by national origin.

Furthermore, there is a profound reluctance by many immigrants towards assimilation or learning English. In 1998, the Washington Post ran a series of articles on the immigration problem. The third article in that series "Immigrants Shunning Idea of Assimilation" reports the experience of Maria Jacinto, who became a U.S. citizen, but like other members of her family living in Omaha, Nebraska she does not speak English, nor considers herself an American: "I think I'm still a Mexican," she says. "When my skin turns white and my hair turns blonde, then I'll be an American."

The McCain-Kennedy bill, and your public support for it place a high value on these immigrants learning English. Yet come down to Southern Beaufort County sometime. I’ll take you to visit neighborhoods where these aliens can live their entire lives without using English. And many do not want to learn, or are not capable of learning.

What will you do when the time for these folks to assimilate has come and gone? Will we round up every single one who cannot speak our language? You know the answer to that as well as I do. The McCain-Kennedy Bill will have legitimized a new underclass of mostly illiterate foreigners living in this country unable to speak our language and with absolutely no allegiance to our history or ideals.

The time for half-measures is past. As President Bush has requested, we need a truly comprehensive bill on immigration that solves the security and cultural problem, not just the employment problem for meat processing plants and landscape companies.

After your stalwart support of Justice Alito during his confirmation hearings, I was prepared to forgive you for joining the anti-constitutional “gang of 14.” However, your failure to recognize the national security and cultural cultural issues that are of such great concern to the citizens of our state makes me wonder about your commitment to represent South Carolina values in the United States Senate.


An update to this letter might underscore how the current legislation walks further away from the fantasy that illegal immigrants want to, or will be assimilated into the American way of life. The new "Z" visa will allow current illegals to stay as long as they renew the visa with NO requirement for learning English or taking the path towards citizenship.

The dangers of an unacculturated underclass segretated from society by language and culture can not be overstated.

Does anyone really think the latest immigration bill is an improvement?

What is so very wrong with assuring secure borders FIRST?

Iran Planning Summer Offensive in Iraq

Need more proof that Democrat's surrender policy is killing Americans and undermining U.S. foreign policy?

Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq
By Simon Tisdall
The Guardian
May 22, 2007

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]."
gm061026
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.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Will the U.S. Be an American Nation or A Mex-American-Canadian Federation?

in April 2006 I posted on the myth of immigrant assimilation as it relates to the current immigration problem. It's a heavily researched post which describes the wave of migration coming primarily from Mexico.

We've also discussed the danger of importing an unskilled, illiterate, impoverished lower class of persons segregated by language and culture into our communities.

And of course there are political implications which go far beyond the Democrat attempts to pander to grander ambitions on the part of some immigrant activists.

Jennifer at Now for Something Completely Different found this video describing the goals and ambitions of the AZTLAN movement which represents the aspirations of many of these immigrants. You must see this video.

These immigrants claim ALL the land of the Americas, which presumably would include Canada, as their ancestral homeland. Never mind that studies which I used to research my post on immigration showed that most Mexicans coming here illegally were from the central and southern states of Mexico where the government was terminating rural agricultural programs and "encouraging" residents to immigrate to the U.S.

I doubt more than a handful of those persons has anything close to an ancestral tie to this land.


How long will it be before it's "Los Angeles, Mexico?" Frankly, if it means we no longer have to count California's electoral votes for President, I'd be all for it.

Worst President EVER Criticizes Bush, Blair

The Peanut President is at it again!

It was only March 31, 2007 when I reminded Mike's America readers of this statement by former President Carter: "The United States has alienated its allies, dismayed its friends and inadvertently gratified its enemies by proclaiming a confused and disturbing strategy."

Carter's statement at the Democrat's 2004 Convention was part of the failed Kerry presidential campaign which stressed the need for allies in the war on terror.

Now, In the same week when President Bush welcomed outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the White House, former President Carter gave an interview to the BBC:

Carter attacks Blair for 'blind' support of US in Iraq
AFP
May 19

Former US president Jimmy Carter on Saturday attacked outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair for his "blind" support of the Iraq war, describing it as a "major tragedy for the world".

In an interview with BBC radio, Carter was asked how he would describe Blair's attitude to US President George W. Bush. He replied: "Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient.

"I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world."

My question is: Why would a sane person, especially one of such importance, think it wise to insult repeatedly one of America's best friends who was in this country to be honored shortly before his retirement?

And of course this isn't the first time the Peanut President has taken cheap shots at Blair.

In the last five years Democrats have tossed aside the traditional standard of conduct where "politics stops at the waters edge." But repeatedly attacking and insulting our staunchest ally and greatest friend is a new low for people who have already sunk to subterranean depths in their loathing of any institution they do not control.

Jimmy Carter has tarnished the dignity that former President's used to cultivate. In doing so, he is no longer owed any respect at all.

Also this week, Carter said that President Bush was "the worst in history" in international relations.

O.K. Let's review shall we?

We recall that it was on Carter's watch that Iran fell to the Ayatollahs and the specter of Islamic Jihad arose. OPEC and the energy crisis began with long lines at gas stations common. Our military was weakened while the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Finally, Americans suffered from the worst economy since the great depression.

And Carter is calling Bush and Blair names?

Democracy Marxist-Style

Hero of the American Left, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will shut down a private Venezuelan television station and replace it with state approved channel.


Venezuelans protest opposition TV channel closure
By Christian Oliver
Reuters
May 19, 2007

CARACAS (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of protesters on Saturday denounced President Hugo Chavez's plans to close an opposition television channel, accusing their leader of maiming Venezuelan democracy as he forges a socialist state.

Chavez says RCTV, the country's oldest private broadcaster, supported a bungled coup against him in 2002. He has had a long-running battle with opposition television stations, calling them "horsemen of the apocalypse."

"Let us defend democracy, let us defend freedom, let us defend free independent media such as RCTV," RCTV's managing director, Marcel Garnier, told demonstrators in Caracas.

"Or we will allow the president to topple the country over the precipice of totalitarianism where not even his own supporters can express their opinions," he said as the crowd waved flags, applauded and blew whistles.

Chavez has vowed not to renew RCTV's broadcast license when it expires on May 27. It will be replaced by a state channel showing programs that promote the values of Chavez's self-styled leftist revolution. He accuses RCTV's saucy soap operas of spreading immorality.

Analysts have identified a critical media as one of the principal safeguards against the president building a Cuban-style state in the OPEC nation.
In January I posted that Chavez had succeeded in enacting an "Enabling Law" allowing him to rule by dictatorial decree. It was this same law which enabled him to issue the decree to strip the opposition television station of it's license.


We also noted in March of 2006 the preponderance of American leftists visiting Venezuela to praise the efforts of Hugo Chavez. Every America hater from Noam Chomsky to Ed Asner, Jesse "Shakedown" Jackson and Cindy Sheehan.

How many times have we heard the left in this country complain because someone dared criticize their defeatist views regarding the war in Iraq? What would they think if:
  • President Bush changed the constitution to allow him to stay in office for an indefinite term without facing re-election?
  • What would they say if he passed a law that made it a crime to insult him?
  • How would they react if he summarily fired workers who opposed his policies, wiretapped, then broadcast their phone calls on television, ordered troops to shoot protesters, closed down radio and television stations?
  • What would their reaction be if President Bush refused to provide funds to state governments controlled by Democrats?

They would go absolutely bonking crazier than they are already! Yet, these same lovers of freedom embrace Hugo Chavez, the dictator of Venezuela, who has done all that and more:RealClearPolitics The Man Who Controls Venezuela By Peter Mork

Happy Armed Forces Day!

On February 27, 1950 President Harry Truman proclaimed (original document here)that May 20th would hereafter be known as "Armed Forces Day" in which we honor the brave men and women who "serve the Nation with courage and devotion in war and in peace."

It's often easy to forget, and certainly the "news" media isn't trying to help you remember, the incredibly difficult and dangerous jobs that our military personnel VOLUNTEER to undertake on behalf of us all.

Earlier this week I visited the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Savannah, Georgia. Originally part of the U.S. Army, the Eighth was established in Savannah before moving to England in 1942 to become the backbone of the bomber strike force that enabled us to overcome the power of the Nazis and liberate Europe.

The Mighty Eighth had a vital mission, but one which exacted a terrible price. Bomber crews had to complete 25 missions over Nazi occupied Europe before being rotated back to the United States. Only 1 in 3 crews reached that goal. They suffered 47,000 casualties with at least 26,000 dead.

And if you've ever been inside one of these bombers the first thing you notice is how cramped and uncomfortable the space is. Imagine flying hours in freezing temperatures with little oxygen only to arrive at your destination with anti-aircraft and fighter planes trying to shoot you out of the sky.

At the museum I spoke to an 85 year old veteran of the Mighty Eighth who flew those planes over Germany and survived when so many others, including an older brother of his, did not. His story reminds us all of the heroism and sacrifice to which these otherwise average Americans dedicated themselves in order that our Nation need never face another such ordeal.

On this Armed Forces Day, let us remember that we currently have brave men and women serving far away and enduring hardship and great personal sacrifice to tackle immensely difficult threats to our National Security and spare each of us left at home a repeat of the ordeal that would befall us if we failed to act in time.

To the men and women of our Armed Forces! We salute you!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Congressman Murtha Violates House Rules

But don't expect any action from the Democrats. Remember, the "culture of corruption" label NEVER applies to them!

Murtha accused of rules violation
By: Patrick O'Connor
The Politico
May 17, 2007

Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) threatened to deny any further spending projects to a Republican who challenged him over an earmark last week, the GOP is charging – a potential violation of House rules that could cause a spike in partisan tensions.
...

'The way I do it'

According to the draft resolution, Murtha shouted at and chastised Rogers on the House floor Thursday for offering a motion last week to challenge $23 million Murtha requested in an intelligence bill.

Murtha had requested the money to prevent the administration from shuttering the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown, Pa., which is part of Murtha’s district.

“I hope you don’t have any earmarks in the defense appropriations bills because they are gone, and you will not get any earmarks now and forever,” Murtha told Rogers, according to the draft transcript given to The Politico.

“This is not the way we do things here – and is that supposed to make me afraid of you?” Rogers replied.

“That’s the way I do it,” Murtha said.

The showdown occurred on the Republican side of the aisle, in the so-called Ohio Corner, in front of numerous GOP lawmakers who witnessed the episode, one member present said.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blair in Farewell Visit to Bush

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush welcome British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the White House Wednesday evening, May 16, 2007. President Bush will host Prime Minister Blair at a private dinner Wednesday evening, with an Oval Office meeting and joint news conference planned for Thursday at the White House. White House photo by Shealah Craighead

Prime Minister Blair is also staying overnight in the White House which is remiscent of the days that Winston Churchill used to spend in the residence working with President Roosevelt.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Newt Visits Knut

And you thought I couldn't squeeze in another photo of Knut!

Newt Gingrich visits Knut the polar bear at the Berlin Zoo. More here.

Would Ron Paul Style Appeasement Work?

The idiots that support Congressman Ron Paul for President think his statement in last night's debate makes sense.

This from a Reuter's report:

"Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years," Ron Paul said.

Asked by a moderator if he was suggesting the United States invited the attacks, Paul said: "I'm suggesting we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it. And they are delighted that we're over there because Osama bin Laden has said: I am glad you're over on our sand because we can target you so much easier."

I'd like to remind those who prefer delusion and anti-Bush prejudice about the real objectives of the Islamo Fascists as described by Bin Laden:


From the bin Laden's 2002 "Letter to the American People:"

What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?

(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.

(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all.

It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions.
...
You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator.
I wonder if those who support Ron Paul, as well as those who regularly attack American Christians, are prepared to accept the peace terms that Bin Laden and the Islamo Fascists dictate: complete submission to their brand of radical Islam and a United States where Sharia Law is supreme over the U.S. Constitution.

We each have a choice: Submit to the Islamo Fascists or fight and prevail. Sticking your head in the sand is nothing more than submission and cowardice.

The French FINALLY Get One RIGHT!

Sarkozy inagurated President of France.

Dem Prez Candidates Agree on Future Debates: NO Fox News

What are they afraid of?

Don't Cry for Me Argentina!

Nancy Pelosi shuts down ALL dissent in House of Representatives!

Question: If President Bush is Hitler, what is Nancy Pelosi?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

South Carolina GOP Debate a Homerun!

Leave it to my state of South Carolina and the good people at Fox News to produce a substantive and interesting debate among the 2008 Republican presidential hopefuls.

A couple of quick reflections:
  • Funniest line: Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee: "Congress spends money like John Edwards at a Beauty Shop."
  • Second funniest line: Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo discussing some of the flip flops of the other candidates: "I support conversions on the road to Damascus, not the road to Des Moines."
  • Idiot of the Evening: Texas Congressman Ron Paul claiming that we were attacked on September 11th because we enforced UN resolutions and no fly zones in Iraq.
  • Best Smackdown: Rudy Giuliani interrupting the debate and demanding Congressman Paul withdraw that remark.
  • Not Afraid of the Left Award goes to Mitt Romney, who suggested that we don't need to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility, "we need to double Guantanamo."
  • Shot in the Foot Award goes to John McCain who seems to believe that waterboarding in interrogations is torture, but he would do it anyway if it would save lives.
  • Common Sense Award goes to Kansas Senator Sam Brownback who responded to McCain's belief that our image in the world would be improved if we did not use aggressive interrogation. Brownback said "I care more about protecting U.S. lives than our image."

I thought California Congressman Duncan Hunter also performed well, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson and former Virginia Governor Gilmore mostly left me yawning. Romney's repeated call to reform the way Washington works also struck me as little more than words.

Fox News did a fantastic job producing the debate, researching the questions and conducting the debate. Certainly the questions were more substantive than those posed earlier by Chris Matthews at MSNBC.

What a shame Democrat presidential candidates refused to participate in a similar debate produced by Fox News in Nevada. What are they afraid of?

Congressional Job Approval Lower Than Bush's

How many times in the last five years have you heard some liberal point to an opinion poll showing negative approval ratings of President Bush and shout "Ah HA! This is proof the American people want to abandon President Bush's policy on [fill in the blank]?"

Well kiddies, a new Gallup Poll shows President Bush with a higher approval rating than Congress.

So, using the standards that were previously applied to President Bush by the left we may now demand that Congress, led by Democrats must abandon their policy of retreat in Iraq as well as the other planks in their socialist "ruin America" agenda.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vice President Cheney in Middle East Stressing Engagement, NOT Appeasement

Here's photo documentation of engagement at the highest level:


Vice President Dick Cheney gestures during a meeting with Egyptian Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Sunday, May 13, 2007, at the Presidential Palace in Cairo. White House photo by David Bohrer


Amman, JORDAN: US Vice President Dick Cheney (L) shakes hands with Jordan's King Abdullah II, 14 May 2007 in the Jordanian Red Sea resort of Aqaba. King Abdullah II urged visiting US Vice President Dick Cheney to help revive the stalled Middle East peace process during talks also focused on Iraq and Iran. Jordanian officials said the meeting between Abdullah and Cheney -- who is on the final leg of a regional tour -- would focus on bolstering security and stability in Iraq and reviving peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.


Abu Dhabi, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: US Vice President Dick Cheney (L) meets with Emirati President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan at the al-Bateen Palace in Abu Dhabi, 12 May 2007. Cheney heads to Saudi Arabia today to seek its aid in Iraq, two months after close US ally King Abdullah slammed the "illegitimate foreign occupation" of that war-torn land. Over the weekend, Cheney was also to visit Egypt and Jordan to wrap up a week-long Middle East visit aimed at getting Washington's friends to help pull Iraq's minority Sunni Muslims into the country's fragile political process.


Abu Dhabi, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: US Vice President Dick Cheney (L) meets with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan upon the former's arrival to Abu Dhabi, 10 May 2007. Cheney arrived today in the United Arab Emirates, the second stop on a Middle East tour to seek more help from US allies to quell violence in Iraq and limit Iran's influence in the region.
Interview of the Vice President by Bret Baier, FOX News
Beit al-Bahr Palace, Aqaba, Jordan

QUESTION: Mr. Vice President, thanks for being with us. Since we last talked, you've met one-on-one with a number of Arab leaders for long periods of time. What did you accomplish?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, my assignment from the President was to come out and talk with our friends in the region -- most of them are old friends of mine, people I've known and dealt with over the last nearly 20 years - to focus specifically on the problems in the region, issues such as Iraq, what's happening there, the Iranian situation, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, seek their advice and counsel as well as tell them what our thinking is on those major issues of the day.
...
QUESTION: There's another question about messages. You were on the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis 150 miles from the coast of Iran. You delivered a warning to Iran, a very visual warning, and now we have confirmation that these meetings in Baghdad are moving forward with the Iranians. Help people understand the different messages there to the Iranian Government.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, the meetings in Baghdad will be at the ambassadorial level and the President has made it abundantly clear that they are to focus specifically on the situation in Iraq. The Iraqis have been interfering - or, excuse me, the Iranians have been interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq and that subject will be discussed at the ambassadorial level.

That's got nothing to do with the fact that we are obviously opposed to what the Iranians are trying to do in the nuclear area. They appear to be determined to develop the capacity to enrich uranium in order to produce nuclear weapons. The UN Security Council now has twice unanimously passed resolutions calling for an end to that Iranian nuclear program. So far, the Iranians have ignored it. They shouldn't ignore it. They ought to comply with the UN resolutions.
...
QUESTION: Last time we talked, we talked about George Tenet's book a little bit. In that book, he says that the al Qaeda leadership is inside Iran; and while they're under some loose house arrest, they may have been plotting attacks and they have plotted attacks from Iranian soil. Do you believe that to be true?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We are confident that there are a number of senior al Qaeda officials in Iran and they've been there since the spring of '03. About the time that we launched operations into Iraq, the Iranians rounded up a number of al Qaeda individuals and placed them under house arrest and they're still there.

We think obviously there are other elements that are responsible for overall leadership of al Qaeda, specifically Osama bin Laden, Zawahiri. They are not in Iran, but there are some senior officials in Iran. They've been held there for some time. But activities they've been engaged in, I'm really not at liberty to discuss.



Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Caring President Visits Greensburg



President George W. Bush comforts a survivor of Friday's deadly tornado during his visit Wednesday, May 9, 2007, to Greensburg, Kansas. The tornado, spanning more than 1.5 miles, destroyed more than 90 percent of the town, leaving 11 dead in its wake. White House photo by Eric Draper



President George W. Bush joins townspeople in prayer Wednesday, May 9, 2007, as he toured a neighborhood in the tornado-ravaged community of Greensburg, Kansas. At least 10 people died in the Friday night storm that destroyed nearly 95 percent of the town. White House photo by Eric Draper

Remarks here.

Vice President Cheney in Iraq and Persian Gulf

Notice you won't see any fawning quotes from terrorists praising this trip like they did Pelosi!



From: Vice President Cheney told an audience of 3,500 to 4,000 American service members aboard the aircraft carrier USS Stennis in the Persian Gulf that Iran would not be permitted to choke off oil shipments through the waters of the region.

"With two carrier strike groups in the Gulf, we're sending clear messages to friends and adversaries alike," he said. "We'll keep the sea lanes open. We'll stand with our friends in opposing extremism and strategic threats. We'll disrupt attacks on our own forces. We'll continue bringing relief to those who suffer, and delivering justice to the enemies of freedom. And we'll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region."


Earlier, in Iraq Vice President Dick Cheney is joined by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, left, and General David Petraeus, Commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, right, for a press conference Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In speaking about the day's meetings with Iraqi officials, the Vice President said, "I emphasized the importance of making progress on the issues before us, not only on the security issues but also on the political issues that are pending before the Iraqi government. I was impressed with the commitment on the part of the Iraqis to succeed on these tasks, to work together to solve these issues." White House photo by David Bohrer

Press Conference Here.



Vice President Dick Cheney awards SSgt Vincent Lewis with the Combat Infantry Badge during a rally for the troops Thursday, May 10, 2007 at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq. White House photo by David Bohrer

Vice President's Remarks at a Rally for U.S. Troops at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq

Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. officials meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. White House photo by David Bohrer

Interview with Bret Baier, Fox News:

...one item that stood out that everybody mentioned to me is the changes they see in Anbar province, where apparently the locals, the tribal sheikhs, the Sunni population, appears to be turning against al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has been a dominant force in that part of Iraq. It's been heavily engaged out there for several years. But apparently, it's reached the point where their conduct in the local community has been such that the Sunni leaders in the region have, in effect, turned against them.

So there are stories, for example, of extensive number of volunteers to serve in the police forces now. It used to be very hard to get anybody out there to volunteer to serve in the police force, be part of the security force sponsored by the government. Now that's going very smoothly. It's those kinds of things that I think were important in terms of looking forward to changes on the ground in this situation. I think if you look in Baghdad, the number of sectarian killings, of Sunni-on-Shia and Shia-on-Sunni killings, has gone down.

Friday, May 11, 2007

French Fries Back on the Menu

But hold the sour cream. Still too many Democrats in Congress!

A couple more quick takes here before heading to the beach for the Backgammon Tourney:

  • Gerard Baker, writing in the U.K. Times gives a British perspective on the Queen's visit, but more importantly, on the change of government in France.
  • Baker also points us to this excellent article by GOP favorite Fred Thompson, writing in National Review:
    Break Out the French Wine
    By Fred Thompson
    National Review
    May 10, 2007

    The election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency of France has been a serious blow to those who claim that America has earned the undying hatred of Europeans. Oh, to be sure, the French media hates us, but there are a lot of people who say ours does too. Regardless, Sarkozy’s victory has sent shock waves through the world’s media centers.

    A French president who openly admires America is an embarrassment to those who view us as the country bumpkin cousins of the sophisticated Europeans. American pundits and politicians who say we should change our foreign policies to win the European popularity contest ought to be feeling a little embarrassed too.
    ...
  • Not to be outdone by anybody, Ann Coulter gets into the act:
    C'EST SI BON
    Ann Coulter
    May 9, 2007

    ...It looks like the Democrats are going to have to drop their talking point about Bush irritating the rest of the world. Evidently not as much as Muslim terrorists irritate the rest of the world. The politicians who hate Bush keep being dumped by their own voters.

    At the Democratic presidential debate a few weeks ago, B. Hussein Obama carped that Bush had "alienate(d) the world community" and vowed that he would build "the sort of alliances and trust around the world that has been so lacking over the last six years."

    Democrats are terrific at building alliances. Remember how Jimmy Carter won the love of the world by ditching our ally the Shah of Iran, allowing him be replaced by a string of crazy ayatollahs? Since then, we haven't heard a peep from that area of the world.

    The smartest woman in the world sniped that she would "create alliances instead of alienation."

    Yes, it was spellbinding how her husband charmed North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung and his sociopathic son Kim Jong Il by showering them with visits from Jimmy Carter and gifts from love-machine Madeleine Albright. And that was that: No more trouble from North Korea!

    As I understand it, the center of the supposedly America-hating world is France. But now it turns out even the French don't hate America as much as liberals do.
    ...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Democrats Free to Attack GOP Speech, Politicize Tragedies, Offend Mormons, You Name It, THEY Do It!

And it won't stop until THEY are held to the same standards of accountability THEY daily demand of us!

It's going to be light blogging for a week as I am hosting an annual Backgammon Tournament on Hilton Head Island. So let me drop these nuggets in your inbox to ponder:

  • I was listening to Sean Hannity's radio program on my way to the airport and he suggested that we should accept the apology Reverend Sharpton issued after he said "As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him [Romney] anyway."Apparently, Sharpton deserves a better deal than Don Imus, whom Sharpton demanded be fired for his "nappy headed hoes" remark.

    I disagree Sean. We could go through the long catalog of Sharpton's bigoted, racist and incendiary statements and misdeeds. An entire blog could be devoted to tracking the acts of this vicious hatemonger.

    But that might get me off track...
  • Next we have presidential candidate B. Hussein Obama who is so fixated on the lie that 10,000 black people died in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina that he mistakenly uses that death toll in discussing the tornado in Kansas where 12 people died.
  • As if that wasn't revealing enough about the Democrat's desire to use the suffering of those in tragic circumstances and instantly politicize it, we have mounting evidence that the statements of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (DEMOCRAT)claiming Kansas was unable to help the survivors because it's National Guard was in Iraq were a put up job by top leaders of the Democrat Party. Wake Up America is covering the story. After the Governor insisted that there weren't enough Humvees to speed help to the area one resident, angered at his loss being used had this to say:
    "You may have seen her [Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (DEMOCRAT)] on television when she said that, and she talked about Hummers, that we needed Hummers. There were Hummers sitting in front of my house every day. The National Guard was there," he said. "I saw people from all over who came right away to help and nobody sent them, they just came because they knew it was going to be big. The response was excellent."
Until you apply equally the same standards of accountability that instantly are applied to Republicans (just ask Trent Lott) then you may expect this kind of behavior to continue. And of course it simply fosters a climate where idiots like XM Radio Shock Jocks Opie and Anthony will engage in discussion about forced sex with the Secretary of State.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Royal Visit Encore

Queen Elizabeth Hosts the Bush's, Visits WW2 Memorial

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II had a busy day in Washington on Tuesday. She visited a school, chatted with astronauts at the NASA Goddard Center and toured the World War Two Memorial with former President and Mrs. Bush before hosting a dinner at the British embassy where they were also guests along with the current President and Mrs. Bush.


The visit to the WW2 Memorial underscores the message from her toast the previous evening where she cited the achievements made possible by the Atlantic Alliance. It's also a recognition of the sacrifice necessary to maintain our freedoms and the fact that without the alliance, Britain would likely not have survived the war.


At the British Embassy dinner, the Queen took a gentle jibe at President Bush by opening her toast with "Mr. President, I wondered whether I should start this toast saying, "When I was here in 1776."


Got to get one more hat photo in for you collectors.

From Mike's America Photo Archives: Mike Takes In Royal Visit in 1991

photo by Mike's America

I was present at the White House in May 1991 when Queen Elizabeth II made her previous State Visit to the United States during the presidency of George H.W. Bush ('41'). Later, as Her Majesty delivered a speech to a Joint Session of Congress, which I also attended, she joked that the White House podium had been set for the taller President Bush and all that people saw of her during her speech was a floating hat.

Funny, but she never made a State Visit during the Clinton years. But then, the Clinton's were too busy showering Yasser Arafat with attention. Lotta good that did.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Royal Welcome at the White House

Queen Elizabeth II's 4th State Visit is a showstopper!

The U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps marches across the South Lawn during the Arrival Ceremony for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Monday, May 7, 2007, on the South Lawn. White House photo by Lynden Steele

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush wave to an audience of 7,000 guests during the Arrival Ceremony for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Monday, May 7, 2007, on the South Lawn. White House photo by David Bohrer

President George W. Bush and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain stop to meet a group of children offering flowers Monday, May 7, 2007, during their walk from the White House to Blair House, where the Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, are staying during their visit to Washington, D.C. White House photo by Eric Draper

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush welcome Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Monday, May 7, 2007, upon their arrival to the North Portico of the White House for a State Dinner in their honor. White House photo by Eric Draper

President George W. Bush and guests toasts Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain following welcoming remarks Monday, May 7, 2007, during the State Dinner in her honor at the White House. White House photo by Eric Draper

President George W. Bush toasts Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain following welcoming remarks Monday, May 7, 2007, during the State Dinner in her honor at the White House. White House photo by Eric Draper

More Photos and audio and video links at the White House web page.

Queen Elizabeth Toasts: Europe, and the World's freedom founded on the "bedrock of the Atlantic Alliance."

This is the 4th State Visit by Queen Elizabeth to the United States. During that time, Her Majesty as witnessed the monumental surge of freedom and peace and prosperity which has swept most of the world. She has also been at the center of the most difficult undertakings that made such enormous gains possible. She drew on that experience Monday night in her toast which is below:
HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Mr. President, thank you again for your warm words of welcome. Prince Philip and I are most grateful for your generous hospitality.

It is now 16 years since my last visit to Washington. In 1991, most of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe were just emerging from behind the Iron Curtain. Their people were rejoicing in the opportunities presented by their newfound freedom. At the time, your father, President Bush, saw the potential for what he called, a Europe whole and free.

It is never easy to give royal form to such hopes and aspirations. But here, in 2007, those aspirations have, for the most part, been fulfilled. NATO and the European Union opened their doors to friends across the continent, and both institutions have grown to encompass the great majority of countries in Europe.

Tonight I would like to recognize that steadfast commitment your country has shown, not just in the last 16 years, but throughout my life, in support of a Europe whole and free.

I grew up in the knowledge that the very survival of Britain was bound up in that vital wartime alliance forged by Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt. On my first visit to Washington in 1951, your predecessor, President Truman, welcomed me to the White House, and it was his administration which reached out to Europe through the Marshall Plan to help our tired and battered continent lift itself from the ruins of a second world war. In the years that followed, successive administrations here in Washington committed themselves to the defense of Europe, as we learned to live with the awesome responsibilities of the nuclear age.

Mr. President, for someone of my age, surveying the many challenges we face in this new 21st century, that is the inescapable historical context within which we live. My generation can vividly remember the ordeal of the second world war. We experienced the difficulties of those early postwar years. We lived through the uncertainties of the long Cold War period.

For those of us who have witnessed the peace and stability and prosperity enjoyed in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe over these postwar years, we have every reason to remember that this has been founded on the bedrock of the Atlantic Alliance. All the many and varied elements of our present relationship, be they in the fields of education, business, culture, sports, politics or the law, have continued to flourish, safe in the knowledge of this simple truth.

Today the United States and the United Kingdom, with our partners in Europe and the Commonwealth, face different threats and new problems both at home and abroad. In recent years, sadly, both our nations have suffered grievously at the hands of international terrorism. Further afield, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan, climate change, or the eradication of poverty, the international community is grappling with problems certainly no less complex than those faced by our 20th century forebears.

I have no doubt, however, that together with our friends in Europe and beyond, we can continue to learn from the inspiration and vision of those earlier statesmen in ensuring that we meet these threats and resolve these problems. Divided, all alone, we can be vulnerable. But if the Atlantic unites, not divides us, ours is a partnership always to be reckoned with in the defense of freedom and the spread of prosperity.

That is the lesson of my lifetime.
Administrations in your country, and governments in mine, may come and go. But talk we will; listen we have to; disagree from time to time we may; but united we must always remain.

Mr. President, I raise my glass to you and to Mrs. Bush, to the friendship between our two countries, and to the health, freedom, prosperity, and happiness of the people of the United States of America.


U.S. Navy Band plays the "God Save the Queen."
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