Thursday, May 27, 2004

Al Gore Needs To Move On…

Well, like a bad penny, Al Gore keeps turning up. Here is the full text of a long, confused, hate-filled rant Gore disguised as a speech at an event sponsored by PAC. The speech was a long, winding trip down an odd rabbit hole. Personally, I think the guy is nuts and still being fueled by his 2000 loss. He needs to get over it. He didn’t run against Bush this time around, so he can’t prove that he was robbed in 2000, and his delirious rant certainly isn’t going to help Kerry or the Democratic Party. But then again, Kerry does seem like a pussycat compared to Gore…

My buddy Slubgob deconstructs Gore’s rant quite nicely. Hindrocket over at Powerline does as well citing this Al Gore quote from September 23, 2002 that is now used to refute some of his own claims during his seething rant:

“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.

Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”

Al, you can’t have it both ways. Either they existed, as you said in 2002, or they don’t as you raved in 2004. He’s pulling a “Kerry”.

Joe Carter also weighs in on Gore’s lunacy over at Evangelical Outpost. Al Gore’s misinformed ranting:

“And the worst still lies ahead. General Joseph Hoar, the former head of the Marine Corps, said "I believe we are absolutely on the brink of failure. We are looking into the abyss."
When a senior, respected military leader like Joe Hoar uses the word "abyss," then the rest of us damn well better listen."

Joe Carter’s response:

“Such a slip up might be excusable from an ordinary politician. But if it weren’t for a handful of voters in Florida, Al Gore would be the current Commander in Chief of the U.S. military. The fact that he confuses the CENTCOM CinC for the Commandant of the Marine Corps shows that he is completely clueless about military affairs. While Gore was Vice President, Hoar served as one of the most powerful command positions in the military. Yet it appears that Gore didn't even know who Hoar was before one of his speechwriters provided him with the General's quote. Such ineptitude is downright frightning.”

I still maintain that if Al Gore had become president, not only would 9/11 have happened, but there would be operating Al Qaeda terror cells in the U.S. attacking this country’s citizens regularly. Al Gore would have crippled this country’s ability to retaliate against Al Qaeda and all terrorists around world.

Here is another tidbit from Mr. Gore’s delusional visions that are refuted:

“The President convinced a majority of the country that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11th. But in truth he had nothing whatsoever to do with it. The President convinced the country with a mixture of forged documents and blatantly false assertions that Saddam was in league with Al Qaeda, and that he was "indistinguishable" from Osama bin Laden.

He asked the nation, in his State of the Union address, to "imagine" how terrified we should be that Saddam was about to give nuclear weapons to terrorists and stated repeatedly that Iraq posed a grave and gathering threat to our nation. He planted the seeds of war, and harvested a whirlwind. And now, the "corrupt tree" of a war waged on false premises has brought us the "evil fruit" of Americans torturing and humiliating prisoners.”

Well, Mr. Gore, let inform us about the President’s “imagined” threat regarding Saddam:

“One thing we've learned about Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein is that the former dictator was a diligent record keeper. Coalition forces have found--literally--millions of documents. These papers are still being sorted, translated and absorbed, but they are already turning up new facts about Saddam's links to terrorism.

We realize that even raising this subject now is politically incorrect. It is an article of faith among war opponents that there were no links whatsoever--that "secular" Saddam and fundamentalist Islamic terrorists didn't mix. But John Ashcroft's press conference yesterday reminds us that the terror threat remains, and it seems especially irresponsible for journalists not to be open to new evidence. If the CIA was wrong about WMD, couldn't it have also missed Saddam's terror links?

One striking bit of new evidence is that the name Ahmed Hikmat Shakir appears on three captured rosters of officers in Saddam Fedayeen, the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam's son Uday and entrusted with doing much of the regime's dirty work. Our government sources, who have seen translations of the documents, say Shakir is listed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

This matters because if Shakir was an officer in the Fedayeen, it would establish a direct link between Iraq and the al Qaeda operatives who planned 9/11. Shakir was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda "summit" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9/11 attacks were planned. The U.S. has never been sure whether he was there on behalf of the Iraqi regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamicist who hooked up with al Qaeda on his own.

As others have reported, at the time of the summit Shakir was working at the Kuala Lumpur airport, having obtained the job through an Iraqi intelligence agent at the Iraqi embassy. The four-day al Qaeda meeting was attended by Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi, who were at the controls of American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon. Also on hand were Ramzi bin al Shibh, the operational planner of the 9/11 attacks, and Tawfiz al Atash, a high-ranking Osama bin Laden lieutenant and mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Shakir left Malaysia on January 13, four days after the summit concluded.

That's not the only connection between Shakir and al Qaeda. The Iraqi next turned up in Qatar, where he was arrested on September 17, 2001, four days after the attacks in the U.S. A search of his pockets and apartment uncovered such information as the phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers' safe houses and contacts. Also found was information pertaining to a 1995 al Qaeda plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners over the Pacific.
After a brief detention, our friends the Qataris inexplicably released Shakir, and on October 21 he flew to Amman, Jordan. The Jordanians promptly arrested him, but under pressure from the Iraqis (and Amnesty International, which questioned his detention) and with the acquiescence of the CIA, they let him go after three months. He was last seen heading home to Baghdad.”

The tie might not be as “imagined” as Mr. Gore thought. Hindrocket of Powerline once again:

“Iraq was, to a degree that is still unknown, involved in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. It now appears that Saddam had a hand in the 2001 attack as well. The only doubt at this point would appear to be the possibility that the "Ahmed Hikmat Shakir" who was an officer in the Fedayeen might be a different person with the same name as the al Qaeda operative who helped plan the Sept. 11 attacks. If I were a member of the administration, I would devote a great deal of effort to investigating Col. Shakir, and tracking him down if he is still alive.”

And still more from Hindrocket:

“I could go on, but I'll stop for now. There is simply too much falsehood and confusion in Gore's speech for any one person to deconstruct. We should perhaps divide his tirade by paragraphs and parcel out to websites in the blogosphere--the Northern Alliance, for example, with help from others, since the job is so vast--the task of refuting Gore's misrepresentations and libels, one by one.

In the meantime, you should read his speech. Read it, and weep for our country, because this deranged partisan hack was once Vice-President of the United States.”

I think that final comment sums things up nicely. It would take the entire blogosphere to take apart Gore's speech and correct all his egregious partisan errors. Dean found out that giving "angry" speeches turned the voters off, hence his quick plummet from grace. Let's hope that Gore's delerious, hate-filled ranting will do the same thing for Kerry in November. Mr. Gore should talk to his doctor about a medication change, or better yet an increase.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Democracy and Freedom in Iraq Outline

Here is a full text version of the President's speech last night. I thought the speech was everything that it needed to be. It was well written and covered what it needed to. It outlined the five goals for a working democracy in Iraq. June 30th we turn over control. We are training troops. Free elections are in the works. The country's infrastructure is being rebuilt and improved. We just don't see these things in the elite media. If it is not bad news out of Iraq, they don't report it. Just like the major networks prefering to show regularly scheduled programs rather than listen to our country's president inform the people and reassure them that all that we are working for in Iraq and the war on terror are not in vain, and that these events have specific goals. The big question I keep seeing pop up on the old Inet is "When are we going to be out of Iraq?" The answer is when the job is done. If we pull all of our troops out too early, all the sacrifice and hard work of our troops and our nation will have been in vain. Yes, we need to be out of the country and Iraq needs to rule itself, but give up too soon and it will all be for naught. I am sure the U.S. and U.N. will have peacekeepers in Iraq for years to come.

As for needing more clarification from the speeches, we the people will never really get the details. Unless you are part of the President' cabinet or a high ranking official we won't get more then the big picture. If you want more information on the nitty gritty details of the peace process in Iraq, you better start running for office...

Musical Support For The Troops

Blackfive has a great post about those in the music industry that are supporting our troops, not putting them down, like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow do regularly with their anti-U.S. spewing. Artists doing their part to support the troops in the war on terror: Blink 182, Linkin Park, Wynonna Judd, Charlie Daniels' Band, Gary Sinise, and the list goes on.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Remembering Why We Fight

Great article by a gentleman by the name of Bill Bennet. Worth reading. Link courtesy of the Infinite Monkeys.

“Mr. Kennedy should apologize.”

Victor Davis Hanson on Ted Kennedy’s slander of American troops, the Food for Oil scandal, Abu Ghraib, and the condition of Iraq.

Season Finales...

As the networks finishing running their season finales, all I have to say I have not really been impressed so far this year. My wife and I have a few shows that we faithfully watch (The outside lights get shut off, the answering machine fields all calls, and if for some reason we have to be out the VCR is set and rechecked 15 times). Past season finales have had some great plot twists and cliffhangers that actually make me wait with anticipation for the return of the show in the Fall. Not so much this year, Smallville being the exception.

I’ll start with the Alias season ender. Some of the season plot lines have been tedious, and I was hoping they would have this major twist type of season finale where they get rid of half the characters and completely throw us the viewers for a loop. The writers took the easy, predictable way out. There just wasn’t any real surprises or anything memorable to leave you drooling for more. Vaugh, even with a punctured lung, which seems very unbelievable, slides down a firehose to escape the hospital where he is being held and races to save Sydney from Evil Lauren. This is after he botched his vendetta killing of his hateful wife. Vaugh blasts Lauren full of holes at the end, but she falls in the mineshaft, leaving the possibility of her return open. Sark is caught for the umpteenth time. Sloan’s daughter goes off to find Rambaldi’s aged corpse, spirit, I don’t know, some sort of thing, despite her father’s abuse. And in the end we again see Sydney scowling because of some despicable program that Jack Bristow ran and that his daughter was part of. I love the show, but if the writing continues in this vain next season the show is as good as over.

had a good season finale, but again it really didn’t stand out from any other episode from the season. The case had an interesting twist at the end, but having Sarah picked up for drunk driving and Grissom saving her seems kind of an odd way to end the season. A few episodes referred to Sarah perhaps having some alcohol issues, but nothing to suggest ending the season with it. After saying that I am looking forward to how they are going to deal with this issue next season. The overall quality of CSI is so good that I will still look forward to the Fall despite the ending. CSI:Miami finishes up tonight.

Smallville had the only season ender that makes you sit back and ask yourself, “ What just happened here?”. Chloe’s new house blows up after testifying against Lionel Luthor, with her supposedly inside. Lex takes a drink and falls over, breaking a glass coffee table, clutching his throat. Martha sees a fiery symbol in the field by their house as Clark sacrifices himself to save Jonathan from Jor-El. In addition, as Jor-El takes Clark we see him trapped in some sort of blue transparent shape (kind of the symbol on his blue Superman suit) and Jor-El saying that Clark will be reborn. And all this in the last five minutes of the show. Waiting for the new season of Smallville will be painful and filled with much anticipation.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Get Rid Of Lucas To Save Star Wars Episode III?

Being a fan of the original trilogy of Star Wars films, I was excited to hear that Lucas, creator of our beloved SW universe, was making three prequels to get us to Episode IV. Then the movies were actually released and all my excitement was lost. Moreover, I believe this is the consensus of the entire generation of “original” Star Wars fans. What was George Lucas thinking? Midichlorians. Jar Jar Binks. These were awful ideas. In my opinion, Clones wasn’t too bad, but when I watch it I fast forward through all the scenes with Padme and Anakin. Those scenes are useless and should have been left on the cutting room floor.

Christopher Bahn has a commentary on today that puts the thoughts of many Star Wars fans in writing. Fire Lucas and actually hire a good writing and directing team in an attempt to save Episode III from film oblivion. Also get rid of Christensen and Portman. Some great quotes from the article:

“Fire Hayden Christensen, whose single emotive capacity is sullen petulance, and whose attempts to put on the magisterial rage that must become Darth Vader’s hallmark instead sound like a tenth-grader whose dad won’t let him borrow the car.”

“While you’re at it get rid of Natalie Portman, who as Queen Amidala has all the regal presence of a mallrat shopping at her local Fashion Bug.”

The first two movies did some stuff oh so right. Pod Racing was very cool (despite the 10-year-old protagonist). Darth Maul. Jango Fett and Obi Wan duking it out. The Jedi doing battle. And to top it off Samuel L. Jackson with a purple light saber. But more was oh so wrong. I really hope Lucas, the creator of our beloved Star Wars Universe, is able to step aside and let some new talent take his vision and perfect it, before Anakin throws a tempter tantrum because Obi Wan won’t let him drive the speeder and destroys the known universe. This is how Bahn suggests that Lucas hand over creative control of his vision:

“It might be difficult to convince Lucas to go along with it, but if necessary Lucas could probably be tricked by telling him that Joseph Campbell is waiting with a documentary crew to massage Lucas’ ego by interviewing him about his wonderful mythic imagination. When Lucas shows up, knock him out, encase him in a block of frozen carbonite and put him out of the way somewhere until the movie is out in theaters.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Some Disturbing Figures About Sarin Gas

Joe Carter has some disturbing "terror math" over at Evangelical Outpost about Sarin gas. A must read. From that single artillery shell U.S. troops found, 16 "new 9/11s” could be attempted. What do you think about that Hans Blix and David Kay? Downplay that. (Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt)

Friday, May 14, 2004

Worth Reading Today...

Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online.

The Double Dip of Hugh Hewitt. First, his piece at the "Under New Management". The second article comes from "Thinking like an Islamist propagandist: A senator's guide to understanding how grandstanding kills Americans". Hugh's site is a must read today as well (usually a must read everyday).

Over at we have Joseph Lieberman on Why Rumsfeld must stay.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

A Fellow Senator Fires Back

Senator John Ensign of Nevada has spoken out about Ted Kennedy’s “shameful” comments about American troops.

Nevada Senator John Ensign blasted Democrat Ted Kennedy for his "shameful" statements likening US soldiers to Saddam Hussein's torturous regime.

The Nevada Republican was commenting on a statement credited to Senator Kennedy Tuesday. Kennedy is quoted as saying, "Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management."

Ensign believes Kennedy crossed the line with his comments and called on Kennedy to retract them immediately. "To express disappointment or anger over what has occurred at Abu Ghraib prison is one thing. To put American servicemen and women in the same category as one of the most evil and bloodthirsty regimes in modern history is reprehensible."

Ensign said it is appalling that anyone would make those kind of comparisons, let alone a US Senator. "I'm disgusted and ashamed that such a comment would be made by anyone, in any setting. For it to be uttered by a United States Senator is especially shameful."

He believes Kennedy owes US service members an apology. "Senator Kennedy needs to retract that statement and apologize immediately to the men and women risking their lives in Iraq."

Kerry on the other hand replies like this on the Imus program:

"No, I don't agree with the framing of that, uhm, he's my friend, and I respect him enormously, but I don't agree with the framing of that, but I know what he's saying, and so do you."

Kerry just can’t come out and say something like, “You know Ted, your wrong. Our troops daily put their lives on the line for a free Iraq. An Iraq where the people have rights and live free from the fear that Saddam’s vicious tyranny bred. You need to apologize to our troops. To compare them in anyway to Saddam’s regime is wrong. They should not all be condemned for the actions of a few. The mission is just and their service loyal to this nation’s goals.”

Kerry, the man who wants to be their Commander and Chief, won’t stand up for the troops now. He certainly won’t should he become president. (Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt)

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Letters from the Front- Do you want a true sense of what is going on in Iraq? Don’t bother tuning in to Tom, Dan, or Peter. Here are some letters right from the soldiers fighting on the front lines.

The first letter comes from Hugh Hewitt’s website.

Read this e-mail from a Marine to his dad:
"Dad -

We are approaching a very significant phase in Falluja. Very soon, we will execute the first "joint patrol" into the city. The concept is that Marines and elements of the new Iraqi force will enter the town together. To suggest that the cessation of hostilities is fragile is an understatement. The environment is very fluid and one day things look better but the next we gather intelligence that suggests we are making a mistake. The leadership has gone way out on a limb here making a tremendous gamble that the course of action decided on will bring some degree of stability to this area.

Of course, in order to allow the Fallujans a chance to stabilize themselves, we must eat a little crow. We know that people are running around the city proclaiming that the Marines were defeated and the insurgents stopped us. To our dismay, this has even been picked up by our own media. Again, I can barely stand to read it. However, we fully realize that the only way the Iraqis will take control of their own destiny is to regain some of their long lost self image/national pride. They were crushed by Sadaam brutally for 35 years, the last 12 of which, the US also had its way with them. They saw us cut right through the worlds 4th largest military in 1991 and then enforce no fly zones along with limited offensive actions against them with impunity for the next 12 years. Finally, we destroyed a regime and occupied their country in less than 3 weeks last year.

Regardless of whether or not the Iraqis hated Sadaam, all of these elements above resulted in a tremendous amount of shame in this culture. Later, when we captured Sadaam and put pictures and stories in the media of him surrendering like a lamb and sticking his tongue out for doctors, that was further humiliation. Until they start to feel some pride in themselves as a nation, we cannot expect them to want to vest themselves in its future. If that means we have to stand by and let them strut, that is what we will do. It is very hard to swallow as there is not a Marine here who does not know in his heart that we could have taken the entire city down if we were allowed. The whole environment requires discipline and confidence.

The more I am exposed to Iraq, the more I am convinced of the damage done buy the brutal regime that ruled it for so long. A special forces officer and I were talking this morning and he made the analogy that Iraq is like an abused child. If you abuse a child and raise it in a closet, you cannot expect it to be well adjusted and socialized when you let it out 20 years later. It may take decades to exercise all of the damage. It is a rough analogy but it certainly applies here. The depth of ignorance is astounding. Because the people were so isolated and lived in such fear of the special police and sundry other henchmen, they are very susceptible to rumor and disinformation. Many people here hate us as they do throughout the world because they see us as grossly wealthy and our opportunities and "blessings" make the absence of their own all the more angersome. Envy breeds resentment which breeds distance which breeds ignorance.... You get the picture.

I cannot tell you how many crazy ideas that the people here actually come to believe are true about us. In the mosques, they preach that we are only here for the oil and that we want to colonize Iraq. Worse, they preach that the Marines are going to rape the women in order to crush their race and expand our own. It goes on and on. As a western educated person, your first inclination is to reach out and reason with people. However, the ignorance fear and hatred are so profound in some pockets that reason is almost impossible. Soon someone shoots at us and then we respond. You can only imagine what happens after that. Finally, there are leaders here trying their best but who cannot gravitate away from western values and logic. These values and approach are often perceived as weakness. Weakness is seen as opportunity for the terrorists.

The lingering problem are the many different factions who are completely mercenary in their interests. Hard to believe but the insurgents care very little for the innocent people and easily justify their deaths so long as their individual agendas are furthered. This is pervasive here, particularly with Islamic extremists. They are merciless on the citizens. I have no ideas how many summary executions these people have committed on the citizens of Iraq who they perceive as cooperating with the coalition but it is in the thousands. We have seen it happen. We found one body in Falluja as the Marines advanced that was clearly tortured (feet cut off, head bludgeoned in...) before being killed. There are more stories than I can recount. The criteria for a death sentence here? - Refusing to fight for the terrorists or maybe taking a job emptying portajohns on a US base. If you are thought of being a spy, your entire family is at risk.

I realize that little of this probably makes the news. Perhaps history will explain our journalistic failings because I simply cannot.

As for the Abu Garayb atrocities, that is exactly what they are. I have been inside this prison several times. I never saw anything like what is now on the news but we did see a general lack of discipline among the service members in there when we arrived. We are horribly ashamed that fellow service members would do such a thing. It does not matter that it was Army or National Guard. Most Marines and Sailors in the Regiment have had their hands on detainees. It is a very emotional and taxing situation especially if the guy was just shooting at you. However, these prison guards didn't go out on patrol and capture the Iraqis, nor did they conduct a raid and grab them in a very dangerous operation. They simply failed at every level to maintain even the most basic standards not only of US servicemembers but as human beings. They traded the Nations moral high ground and fueled the extremists message of hate as a result of their weakness.

Unfortunately they did it not just to themselves but every where a Marine or Soldier patrols tonight across the globe and even for every American citizen who travels abroad and naturally represents the United States.
What do we do? I can only imagine this is what people must be asking. I can only share what the Marines here believe. We stand and fight. We honestly and absolutely accept responsibility and do our best through out actions to convince the world that those acts were conducted by criminals and are not indicative of our values or intentions. We continue to go on patrol and do our best to kill the terrorists and protect the people. We stay tolerant one second longer. We adjust to a very fluid environment and stay faithful to our values. We live up to what the American people expect of United States Marines and we maintain high expectations of the American people. We share our courage with both the Iraqi people and even our neighbors, fight like hell when the situation dictates and maintain our humanity through it all.

It may sound very glossy to many people but there is the luxury of focus here. No angst sitting in a Starbucks listening to some idiot opine about something which he knows very little or having to suffer through campaign adds that try to make hay out of America's stumbles.

People need to have faith that the young man throwing grenades two weeks ago and who was ordered to stop has not lost faith and still believes what he is doing is right. Whenever I am blessed enough to take a second and recognize "that guy" it shores up my personal weakness and makes my situation seem trivial.

For what it is worth, even though the Marines constantly ask the media guys here if "the American people still support us...?" Like anyone else, he wants to be reassured but he clearly expects the answer to be "yes." My take is that it is easy to support service members but it takes conviction to support the continued liberation of the Iraqi people and the pursuit of terrorists around the world - especially on the dark days.
Sorry it has taken me so long to write."

The next letter comes courtesy of Amy Ridenour’s National Center Blog. She just received and email from Army Spc. Joe Roche, who had a minute to zip her off an email during a break in the fighting with Al-Sadr’s militants. (Link courtesy of Captain's Quarters)

The fighting we are engaged in against the uprising of Muqtada Al-Sadr is one that is extremely sensitive and risks catastrophe. Had we entered this previously, it would not have been possible for us to win. Over the months, we have been involved in preparations and much planning. Thus, today we are scoring amazing successes against this would-be tyrant.

I ask that the American people be brave. Don't fall for the spin by the weak and timid amongst you that are portraying this battle as a disaster. Such people are always looking for our failure to justify and rescue their constant pessimism. They are raising false flags of defeat in the press and media. It just isn't true.

Last year in April while the main war was still going on to defeat Saddam Hussein's military, I myself gave a class to my company of the 16th Engineers about the threat posed by Sadr and the prospects for conflict with his militias. Though my fellow soldiers didn't appreciate having to attend a class at 8am on one of our last days before deploying to Baghdad, they can tell you that what is happening now is no surprise. I used open and general information that my superiors were already aware of.

The basis of our evaluation over a year ago was that Sadr presented a formidable and possibly impossible threat. Last summer, as my unit covered Sadr City -- the sprawling part of Baghdad that Sadr controlled then -- his militias challenged us by making a show of force in defiance of the effort to open up Iraq society to the new freedoms. Sadr clearly demonstrated that he would deny Iraqis democracy and freedom in his quest for power. By the fall, he had most of Iraq's Shia leaders and the community at large intimidated and kowtowing to his bully tactics. In January through March, his arrogance and thuggery led him to pursue two further attacks upon the hopes for Iraqi freedom.

He vigorously pursued courting and forming alliances with Iranian hard-liners. Upon returning to Iraq, he then welcomed many foreign fighters to train and assist his militia in terrorist tactics and guerrilla warfare.

In fact, we almost went into full conflict with him back then, months ago!

So our leaders, Paul Bremmer, Gen. Abizaid, and countless other US and Coalition leaders all over the land, acted w/ caution and care to secure for the US ever stronger cards against Sadr while simultaneously working to achieve four main goals.

Now we today are in a climactic battle against him and his militia. When the remnants of Saddam's regime were in full uprising in Fallujah, Sadr thought his time had come to make his bid for total power and to oust the US from Baghdad. He was very wrong.

It has been subtle and very well done by our leaders. You should be proud. It would have seemed impossible to have achieved our four main goals against Sadr even just a few months ago. Now today, despite the message of the pessimists who are misleading you into despair, we are have scored all the victories needed to bring this battle to a close. First goal was to isolate Sadr. Second was to exile him from his power-base in Baghdad. Third was to contain his uprising from spreading beyond his militias. And the last goal was to get both his hard-line supporters to abandon him, and to do encourage moderates to break from him. This has been done brilliantly, and now we are on the march in a way that just months ago seemed impossible to do. Sadr is losing everything.

Read the rest of the letter at Amy’s blog.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Ted Kennedy slanders America and its military - What you say? Ted Kennedy slandering our troops? I never read anything in the papers about that.

That’s right. You haven’t read this in the papers and you won’t. Many of the major papers including the New York Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times are all covering the story up. Each news organization previously listed ran a prisoner abuse article, only the Washington Post wrote that Kennedy took the Senate floor to blast the U.S. and the military. Of course, the Post didn’t use any of the scathing comments that he made.

"Protection of the Iraqi people from the cruelty of Saddam had become one the administration's last remaining rationalizations for going to war....So it is human rights that the administration turned to in order to justify its decision to go to war. On December 24, 2003, the day Saddam was captured President Bush said that 'for the vast of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and secret police are gone forever.' On March 19, 2004 President Bush asked 'Who would prefer that Saddam's torture chambers still be open?' Shamefully we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management."

This quote is courtesy of Hugh Hewitt’s site. Make sure you check out Hugh’s comments on this affair.

Ted Kennedy must be getting a kickback from Osama. With these horrible comments not only did he slander every American soldier on the front lines fighting to keep another 9/11 from happening, but has given terrorists fodder for recruitment videos for years to come. Kennedy and the left continue to get away with making these self serving comments, with no regard to the long lasting implications or the disrespect paid to our nation. No one hounds old Ted about on what basis he makes his statements or whether there is any truth in them. Sure Kennedy’s got proof for his belligerent comments, 110 proof.

Kennedy is like the Godfather of the Democratic Party. When Teddy speaks, people listen, for good or ill. Kerry would be wise to rebut this statement and distance himself from Kennedy if he wants a shot at the presidency. But as Kennedy goes, Kerry goes.

The liberal media sources won’t report this, but bloggers will pick this story up and make sure the people of this country are informed.

Monday, May 10, 2004

A Plague of Frogs, Literally - A clawed African frog native to Kenya is threatening to take over California. These frogs are tough little buggers that can survive extreme conditions and will eat anything that will fit in their tongueless mouths.

Thanks to Rantburg for the link.

Enginehead #2 Review- Second Gear. If you thought the first issue was confusing, the second issue isn’t any better. I had to read it through numerous times to get the plot of the story. McKeever’s art remains the same as the first issue, that is very cool, and its vague look lends itself perfectly to Kelly’s bizarre plot.

The Mechanic, designer of Enginehead, well, is just a nut case. Enginehead’s purpose is to fix the “flaws” in the world. Drug dealers, murderers, etc. beware. He is essentially a high tech vigilante, or is he? Big E is composed of six personalities: Rosie the Riveter, Doctor Cyber, Brainstorm, Emil Hamilton, Automan, and Ford Corrado, a.k.a. Jackhammer. These are all villains. The Mechanic supposedly took all the best features from each villain and combined them together to make Enginehead, a force for good, or at least what the Mechanic considers “good”. Ford, being the biggest and strongest of the lot, becomes the vessel for all.

The Second Gear begins with Big E dispatching bad guy after bad guy to bring justice to a toy maker that has made his millions by buying illegal aliens and using them as slave labor in his factories and as prostitutes. Enginehead dispenses justice to the toy maker, by ramming a piece of steel through him.

An interesting thing happens to him as he was destroying the toy factory. Something Big E doesn’t understand. He experiences what the Mechanic calls “residue in the cylinders”; the cylinders being the six that volunteered to become Enginehead. Throughout the issue, Big E experiences memories from Rosie, Automan, and Doctor Cyber. He begins to question whether he is “perfect” as the Mechanic has proclaimed, being made up of six “flawed” beings. Remember, it’s all about “connections” (more to come in upcoming issues I’m sure).

The issue ends with Enginehead attempting to fix his brother’s “flaws”, with Grease Monkey looking on cooing, “Good Monster”.

Completely confusing issue, but if Kelly can do it right, when Enginehead hits it’s stride and kicks into high gear, it should be an awesome finish.

By the way, Enginehead doesn’t carry a mature readers rating, but some of the themes in the book definitely fall into that category.

Firestorm #1 Review - Jason Rusch has a tough life. He lives with an abusive, disabled father. He's having a hard time coming up with money for school. And in an attempt to get the money quickly, Jason decides to do "a little job" for a local criminal to get his school tuition. Now the "hot" stuff really begins.

So begins Firestorm, a monthly on-going series from DC Comics, written by Dan Jolley and drawn by ChrisCross. I have never read anything by Dan Jolley, so I have no previous work to gauge him by. The first issue seems well written. Once the characters were introduced I found them interesting and actually did care about them, and from an interview I read over at DC that was what Jolley was going for. There are a couple of funky things in the issue that take place without any explanation. Once again, this is a first book, so hopefully more information will be forthcoming. When Jason is on his way to deliver a "package" for Steve Golek, the resident thug, he passes through a tremendous flash of light, resulting in him passing out for several hours. When he wakes up the time for the drop is way over and he is panicking to get to the drop site. Once there he walks into a deadly firefight. As hooligans are dying all around him suddenly Jason turns into Firestorm, with this really funky costume on. Why did the explosion happen and where did the crazy suit come from? Of course, once he changes he kicks some so you kind of forget that all of a sudden these previous, unexplained events happened.

As for the art, it is really good. Very detailed. All I have ever seen ChrisCross do is fill in a couple of times for Tim Raney on the Outsiders, which you would never now wasn't Raney because it was almost a carbon copy of his regular work. Hopefully ChrisCross will use this book to define his own style, because it still kinda looks like Raney's stuff, which really isn't a problem. Definitely worth picking up the first issue.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Double H Friday - Hugh Hewitt at on improving the information flow from the Pentagon. Hugh suggests a Monday morning brief on the war by a trusted high ranking official at the Pentagon, with daily follow up statements by Secretary Rumsfeld or other high ranking officials. These statements can then be rebroadcast or the transcript added to any website. Reporters should be embedded back in with the troops, so we get the straight story and not one spun by the media. Hugh also makes references to the Belmont Club and Command Post blogs, because their traffic is probably skyrocketing because they offer war analysis.

Our second helping of Hugh comes from his column. Is John Kerry running a presidential campaign to change the world, or is it just a midlife crisis with the Oval Office replacing the sports car and prodigious drinking on the scale of Ted Kennedy?

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Kerry’s Vietnam - Well, it looks like the frogs and locusts are starting to catch up with Mr. Kerry (about time) . After spending somewhere around the $25 million mark (give or take a couple of mill) on two ads focusing on his Vietnam service, they might coming back to bite him in the derrière. Veterans that actually served with Kerry on the Swift Boats are speaking out, declaring that he is unfit to be the commander and chief of this country. These men are not politicians. They are not a part of the “Republican Attack Machine.” They are simply men that served our country honorably in Vietnam with Kerry, and know who and what he is. Many of them have stayed out of the public and political arena, wishing to just live their lives. But now that John Kerry is in a position to possibly become president of this great country, these men are banding together once again for one last operation: to do what they can to keep John Kerry from becoming president. There are numerous articles posted today highlighting the current actions of John’s band of brothers.

Brothers Against Kerry - These are men that directly served with Kerry on the Swift Boats. Key quotes from this one:

“Capt. (Ret.) George Elliott explained that he hadn't "talked for 30 minutes in 25 years" about John Kerry's role in the antiwar movement. Andy Horne from Houston said that he was silent 35 years ago about John Kerry's allegations about atrocities, but vowed that he "won't be silent ever again." The passage of time has had little effect on the raw emotions of these gray-haired veterans. Former Lt. Robert Elder of Pennsylvania talked about the "deep sense of betrayal" he feels at the hands of a fellow naval officer. Cdr. (ret.) Robert Brant from Michigan planned to head over to the Vietnam Memorial "to tell two of his old pals and the other 49 'Swifties' that they are still the best." Not a single one of these veterans witnessed any of the horrors John Kerry solemnly testified to before the Senate and assert that his oath obliged him to report alleged war crimes to his command.”

“It's not about partisan politics they explain, it's a "veterans' issue." If the Democrats "had a fit choice for president we'd go home." They "do not want Senator Kerry to be commander-in-chief of our brave and honorable men."

Kerry Purple Heart Doc Speaks Out - The doctor that treated Kerry’s first purple heart injury recounts what happened the night Kerry got injured. Mr. Kerry said they had taken fire and a round had hit him. Kerry’s crewmates confided in the doctor that they had taken no enemy fire and the Kerry had fired a mortar against some rocks on shore. The metal fragments the doctor removed from his arm were consistent with mortar fragments, not bullets. No other injuries to any crewman or the boat were reported.

“We Know the Truth” - The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth issued this letter to Senator Kerry. 189 veterans have signed the letter so far and more are expected to join up in the coming days.

Unfit for Office - John O’ Neill served in Vietnam for 12 months, serving on the same boat as Mr. Kerry and relieving him of command when Kerry asked for an early departure. Mr. O'Neill served in Coastal Division 11 in 1969-70, winning two Bronze Stars and additional decorations for his service in Vietnam.

“Neither I, nor any man I served with, ever committed any atrocity or war crime in Vietnam. The opposite was the truth. Rather than use excessive force, we suffered casualty after casualty because we chose to refrain from firing rather than risk injuring civilians. More than once, I saw friends die in areas we entered with loudspeakers rather than guns. John Kerry's accusations then and now were an injustice that struck at the soul of anyone who served there.

During my 1971 televised debate with John Kerry, I accused him of lying. I urged him to come forth with affidavits from the soldiers who had claimed to have committed or witnessed atrocities. To date no such affidavits have been filed. Recently, Sen. Kerry has attempted to reframe his comments as youthful or "over the top." Yet always there has been a calculated coolness to the way he has sought to destroy the record of our honorable service in the interest of promoting his political ambitions of the moment.

Since 1971, I have refused many offers from John Kerry's political opponents to speak out against him. My reluctance to become involved once again in politics is outweighed now by my profound conviction that John Kerry is simply not fit to be America's commander in chief. Nobody has recruited me to come forward. My decision is the inevitable result of my own personal beliefs and life experience.
Today, America is engaged in a new war, against the militant Islamist terrorists who attacked us on our own soil. Reasonable people may differ about how best to proceed, but I'm sure of one thing--John Kerry is the wrong man to put in charge.”

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Respect... - is apparently what Ted Rall is missing in his life, and attempts to get some by disrespecting Pat Tillman, an ex-NFL player and fallen war hero. Remember, the theory is that negative attention is better than no attention.

Michele over at A Small Victory displays the despicable cartoon and reactions to it, none positive. The cartoon represents Tillman as a mindless thug working for the American War Machine killing civilians. When Tillman gets killed by Afghan fighters the reporter has one word come to mind, "idiot". This is a slap in the face to the dedicated Americans fighting terrorism abroad to keep Mr. Rall's freedom of speech free. Even liberals are appalled at Rall's representation of their views.

Mr. Rall has got the attention he so desperately was looking for, but at what cost...

MSNBC.Com explains why it pulled the Rall Cartoon.

Andrew Sullivan (not a daily read of mine) weighs in on Rall's attention getting cartoon:

"But I'm particularly struck by how someone like Tillman would offend Rall so much. Tillman was a true patriot, a quiet hero, an American to his core: of course Rall had to smear him. Tillman represents all that the far left hates about America, and fears might be true."

"The hate-monger is syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate. It's not censorship or "McCarthyism" for people to complain about any syndicate that peddles the poison that Rall lives off. Today's disgusting diatribe against Pat Tillman is so vile, so utterly devoid of any motive or argument but personal malice and hatred, some form of protest is surely merited. Email the vice-president for print syndication, Lee Salem, and tell him what you think of Rall's cartoon. Please, please, be civil. His email is He needs to hear from you."

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit for the Sullivan link.

Enginehead #1- "The rest of the world was falling apart, too? Would that make you feel better or worse? What if I told you that you could still do something about it?"

So begins Enginehead, an eight part series written by Joe Kelly and drawn by Ted McKeever. The opening pages have a ship disintegrating and falling from space. As the ship makes its way towards Earth, someone asks the aforementioned questions. The ship lands in a fireball in a place called Leadbelly. Next we turn to Brooklyn where two brothers squabble while torturing a bookie. The Corrado brothers, Samuel and Ford, have a falling out. Ford talks to Sam's parole officer, slipping him a few bucks, to make his files go away. No such luck for Ford as the shifty parole officer asks he would like to do some side work, which he refuses claiming he has a date. Ford Corrado, aka Jackhammer, was once a member of the mechanically enhanced crime syndicate known as the Toolbox, and unbeknownst to him a back-up candidate for the Enghinehead program, though some doubt his worthiness. Ford's date ends up being a fossil fuel guzzling auto in a non-ventilated garage. Carbon Monoxide take me away. As Ford is about to drift into unconsciousness, the garage door is ripped open by one Grease Monkey, a rather messed up looking character.

Meanwhile in Detroit, we shift to the "Mechanic" who is trying to recruit Tin to become a part of Enginehead. Fear grips Tin and he flees, and with him the Mechanic's dream of Enginehead becoming a reality. But wait, there is Ford...

Ford awakens with five people staring over him. Automan, Rosie the Riveter, Emil Hamilton, Doctor Cyber, and Brainstorm squabble amongst themselves and debate whether Corrado is the one for the project. When next we see Ford he is about to become part of the machine. All is in readiness as the Mechanic lowers the five volunteers and the hesitant Ford into the machine. The result is a devastating explosion. The Mechaninc is hurt and Grease Monkey is concerned. Mechanic's only concern is his failure to melt six into one. Suddenly the door flies off the machine and Enginehead emerges...

Great first issue. Of course, like most beginnings, there is a lot happening in the story. We get bits and pieces that will be elaboratedated on as the story unfolds. With that, I really can't comment much on Joe Kelly's writing. I am completely unfamiliar with his style or ability. The issue seemed well written and the story seems very original. The art on the other hand is cool. I am not familiar with Ted McKeever either. But the art in this issue is very complimentary for the characters and the story. A very loose style that is very shadowy. I am looking forward to issue #2 which is out tomorrow.