In recent US Presidential elections, legislators typically lose to executives. Going back to 1952, this hasn’t always been the case, but since 1976, whenever a legislator has opposed an executive, the executive has won. As clarification, legislators are people who develop and pass laws; listed below is an impressive array of Representatives and Senators. Executives are people who are responsible for enforcing laws and for the direction the organizations they lead take; mayors, governors, and military or business leaders fall into this category. These two jobs are different branches in our government, so a legislator running for President, the chief executive office, is an attempt at branch-hopping. (This isn’t wrong - it’s just an observation.)
In 1952, Eisenhower, a military leader (executive), defeated Adlai Stevenson II, a former governor - twice.
Kennedy was a legislator, his 1960 opponent was Nixon, whose only executive experience was as Ike’s VP, so this was legislator v. legislator.
Kennedy’s VP, legislator Johnson, assumed the presidency when Kennedy was assassinated, and defeated legislator Goldwater in 1964.
Nixon then defeated former-mayor-turned-legislator and Johnson VP Humphrey in 1968, and legislator McGovern in 1972.
With Nixon’s resignation, legislator-turned-VP Ford lost to executive Carter in 1976.
Executive Reagan defeated executive Carter in 1980, and defeated legislator-turned-Carter-VP Mondale in 1984.
Reagan’s VP, George H. W. Bush, does not neatly fit into our categorization. He was a legislator-turned-VP, but he also served as the director of the CIA for the last year of Ford’s presidency, an executive position. However he’s categorized, he defeated executive Dukakis in 1988.
In 1992, executive Clinton defeated Bush, and he also defeated legislator Dole in 1996.
Legislator-turned-VP Gore lost to executive George W. Bush in 2000, who went on to defeat legislator Kerry in 2004.
2008 brought legislator v. legislator again, with Obama defeating McCain (a rare pairing of legislator for President with executive for VP).
This brings us to 2012, where legislator-turned-President Obama faces a challenge from executive Romney. Of course, presidential political patterns are made to be broken, but they remain interesting just the same. This breakdown doesn’t fall neatly into one party or the other; both vacillate between nominating executives and legislators, sometimes choosing legislators over executives in the primary elections.
(And, just a quick note for Joe Biden - if Obama wins a second term, things don’t look too good for you. Pure legislators-turned-VP (Ford, Mondale, Gore) have done even more poorly than legislators running for the presidency.)
I am absolutely floored by the three advertisements I’ve seen over the past week. All three of these ads are exploitative, and all three are not for my chosen candidate. So why am I, a Romney supporter, putting 3 Obama ads on my blog? Well, in a sane world, these ads should help Romney.
First up, one from the official campaign. This video has Lena Dunham, the creator of the HBO series Girls, comparing… well, see for yourself.
So, her “first time” was with Obama. Voting, that is. If she’s 26, and her first time was with Obama, that means she was 22 4 years ago, which means that her first time should have been with either John Kerry or George W. Bush. But hey, kids make mistakes, right? The ad, though - it’s just terrible. My comment, when I shared it on Facebook, was “I wonder if Michelle Obama approves of this message?” Does Lena want to have intercourse with the President of the United States? That’s certainly the implication (until the “twist” near the end where she reveals she’s talking about voting), and there is precedent for that.
Up next, we turn to the children. Goodby Silverstein & Partners, an ad group out of San Francisco, created this… uh… thing.
(Update - this video has been removed.)
Here are the lyrics, culled straight from the Future Children Project website.
Imagine an America
Where strip mines are fun and free
Where gays can be fixed
And sick people just die
And oil fills the sea
We don’t have to pay for freeways!
Our schools are good enough
Give us endless wars
On foreign shores
And lots of Chinese stuff
We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we’re kinda blaming you
We haven’t killed all the polar bears
But it’s not for lack of trying
Big Bird is sacked
The Earth is cracked
And the atmosphere is frying
Congress went home early
They did their best we know
You can’t cut spending
With elections pending
Unless it’s welfare dough
We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we’re kinda blaming you
Find a park that is still open
And take a breath of poison air
They foreclosed your place
To build a weapon in space
But you can write off your au pair
It’s a little awkward to tell you
But you left us holding the bag
When we look around
The place is all dumbed down
And the long term’s kind of a drag
We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And yeah, we’re blaming you
You did your best
You failed the test
Mom and Dad
We’re blaming you!
So, the mindset behind this is “Let’s get kids to sing leftist propaganda, and then blame their parents.” Now, some parents today are so weak and patronizing that this might actually be effective on them. This isn’t the first time children have been exploited in this way, but it doesn’t make it any less distasteful.
Finally, we have Michael Moore’s entry in the mix. If you are offended by strong language, do not play this video; I’ll address censored versions of their lines below.
There are a few things that get me about this ad. First off, it doesn’t sound like any of these people use these words in their day-to-day life. I’ve worked with crew chiefs, and been deployed with the Navy, so I’ve been around people who use the “shocking” words found in this video. The delivery was flat. However, the actual words are worse than their delivery. “We’re going to burn this [maternal copulator] down!” What are you going to be burn down - your retirement home? Seems like a strange way to celebrate recovery, but suit yourself; this video should help the arson investigators. “I’m going to track down Mitt Romney and give him the biggest [rooster] punch!” I believe some Secret Service agents might have something to say about attempting that on either the President-Elect or the President. I’m not even going to address the guy talking about watching his children have sex, except to say that incestual mental adultery probably isn’t the best way to inspire voters. Finally, what is with all the “stealing” the election charges? They must have Republicans confused with Democrats like Al Franken and Christine Gregoire.
I do not want to live in an America where people are positively persuaded by ads like these three above. Show me I don’t, America - 7 days from today, make it such an overwhelming Romney/Ryan victory that the only thing left for these people to do is go home and lick their wounds (or, maybe that old guy can watch others lick their wounds).
The Cain Administration filled the role of First Lady 43 years ago
There have been some other “flashes” in the primary season so far, but each of them occurred after the candidate announced. Cain was one of the first declared candidates, and every time he talks, his numbers go up. One of the complaints many of us had in 2008 was that we felt that John McCain was selected by the media rather than elected by the people. “He’s electable,” they said, “unlike these other guys…” To an extent, this is the prevailing narrative surrounding Perry and Romney; the former isn’t electable, while the latter is.
The media doesn’t want to acknowledge Cain, because he causes some problems in their view of the way politics in America works. (If the name wasn’t already taken, maybe we’d call them “inconvenient truths”…) Let’s take a look at these; rather than liabilities, these are strengths that will not only force conversation on these issues, but areas in which he resonates with the average American.
1. He’s black
As a Democrat, this is a plus; as a Republican, this must mean that there’s something wrong! (Yet we’re the ones who are called racists - go figure.) Republicans have been pilloried as racists (or worse) for not supporting various Democrat candidates over the years - Jesse Jackson, Geraldine Ferraro, Barack Obama - with claims that we didn’t support them because they were black or female. Why the “impartial” media amplifies these ridiculous claim is probably a bigger topic than we have time for here, but they are willing accomplices in painting the party of Lincoln as racists. Only in the affirmative-action-addled mind is one’s race or gender a plus (if you’re a minority) or minus (if you’re a white male).
The media simply cannot abide a black man with a broad base of Republican support. I honestly believe that their minds are so steeped in their fantasy view of the world that they can’t wrap their minds around this. This is a plus for him; his story of challenge-to-success is both authentic and inspiring. There was great celebration around Obama’s election, which proved that racism was over; a week later, we started with the stories about how he was in danger because these racists wouldn’t accept a black president. There is no appeasing these race-accusers; refuting their claims via our actions is the only thing that will may silence them.
2. He’s successful
This blows up the media narrative as well. He isn’t a low-to-medium-performing “diversity” hire (hired solely for his skin color), he has used his own education and work ethic to rise to the top. Through his two turnaround-CEO roles and his leadership of the National Restaurant Association, he has shown that you can get tangible results if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do some hard work. While our current president was fomenting and organizing rage against the establishment (you do know what a “community organizer” does, right?), Herman Cain was working hard, making his businesses profitable, and stimulating both the national economy and the personal economies of his company’s employees.
We should have known what we were in for, starting with the “present” votes in the Senate. Then, on to the ridiculously-named “Office of the President-Elect” (it’s called a “transition team”), the job-killing health insurance mandate, two stimulus plans (plus an attempted third in the name of jobs) - I’m hard-pressed to think of a single program that the current administration has attempted that has actually made things better. It’s time for a leader with proven results.
3. He’s electable
I think that the media doesn’t know what that word means. Bob Dole and John McCain? Electable. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush? Unelectable. Yeah, that must be in some AP style guide somewhere, that mandates the opposite use of that word. Maybe it’s like with your kids, where they don’t seem to hear the words “not” and “don’t,” choosing instead to do whatever it is you just prohibited.
This narrative on electability is just laughable. The media cannot see through their bias to understand what the average American actually wants. They want jobs. They want to be successful. They want to see their neighbors successful. They want to be able to make decisions for their family without the interference of a heavy-handed government. This is exactly what Herman Cain brings to the table, and stands in stark contrast to the current administration.
So - if you’re expecting the “news” to inform you on Herman Cain, you’re going to be waiting a while. If you think I’m off-base, research him and see for yourself. If you agree that the above sounds good, let’s get together and work to make sure that Cain’s success is so huge that even MSNBC can’t ignore it!
UPDATE: Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article called “Taking Cain Seriously.” It summarizes Cain’s qualifications quite nicely.
Yes, in 100 days I’ve gone from “skeptically optimistic” to hoping that 3 terms of Republicans can stem the tide from 4 years of our current administration. For all of the left’s making fun of Bush, and VP Biden’s history of gaffes, who knew that the current administration would make them look downright composed? It’s Amateur Hour at the White House, and our kids get to pay billions of dollars for us to watch!
Economics: F (only because F- isn’t technically a grade)
You would think that this would be the current administration’s strong spot, seeing that they won the election last year based on the crappy economy (or so they’d have you believe). Yes, the fiscal irresponsibility of the final year of the Bush v2 administration looks miserly compared with this stimporkulus and budgets we’re being asked to finance. The graph to the right gives an illustration of the impact of the current budget, compared to budgets under Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2. Just as the New Deal lengthened the Great Depression, these artificial attempts to “fix” the economy are actually doing it more harm. Then they label those who are against it as dangerous - but more on that later.
National Security: D-
This one was not an F due to his quick response to the Somali pirates who had captured the captain of a US ship. Regarding the F/A-22 cutbacks, these were being discussed even in the previous administration, and even so, the “cutback” still result in more airplanes being built and delivered to fill the order. I don’t really have a good feeling one way or the other. The F/A-22 has been in work a long time, and had a lot of money already. To throw that away, when we used its predecessor for over 30 years, seems foolish to me. However, with the services merging more and more operations, perhaps it’s smart to have a plane that’s built to specifications from all interested parties. Time will tell. The release of the CIA memos, though, was a bad move, which I discuss in the next subject below.
And, the release of the CIA memos has made us look even worse. We have people hyperventilating on both sides over whether waterboarding is torture. The ones who do us harm know that they don’t have to do anything for a while, because we’re doing it to ourselves. What the administration doesn’t seem to have thought through is that, though in this country, it may be easy to pin all that on the Bush administration, to the rest of the world, it’s still “America” that did it. And, if they know that we don’t have the stomach for it (would it really have been that out-of-line to put a caterpillar in a room with a terrorist?), their job is easier. The CIA agents are demoralized, and the enemy is emboldened. Call it what you will - naive, oblivious, amateur hour - it’s dangerous, and it’s made our country weaker because of it.
And, to those hyperventilating - if you’re ever captured by them, you’d better pray that waterboarding is the worst thing they do to you. Because we’re humane, we’ve come up with ways to make people think that they’re being tortured, when they’re really not. Torture has lifelong implications to your health and mobility; John McCain can’t lift his hand above his shoulder - that didn’t come from waterboarding.
(Even the decision to stick by the Iraqi withdrawal timetable couldn’t raise his grade in this subject.)
I believe I covered Obama’s revocation of the Bush executive orders regarding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. (I’ve bolded the important parts, because I’m sick and tired of the liberal “You’re opposed to science!” mantra. No, we’re not - we’re opposed to the government paying for research that destroys unborn humans, especially when it has shown no signs of finding anything, but other, similar, non-lethal-to-the-donor research has. (And, check out #1 under “Adult Stem Cell Advantages.”) What you fund, you get more of - fund more experiments on dead babies, you get more dead babies. I happen to be against dead babies, born or unborn.) When Obama rescinded that executive order, he also rescinded one that allows funding of ethical experiments. A good analysis of what that means is here.
He gets a pat on the back for supporting traditional marriage; however, I think that battle is lost. The demise of marriage came not from non-traditionalists, but from people who decided that a promise of forever can be undone by a piece of paper signed by a judge.
Well, he’s got a solid 0.2 GPA headed into day 101 - nowhere to go but up, eh?
…America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers - regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams.
And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.
And so you will I think see our administration be very clear in distinguishing between organizations like al Qaeda - that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it - and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.
No, it’s not [true that I am an enemy of Islam]. I’ve heard that, and it just shows [sic] to show a couple of things: One, that the radicals have done a good job of propagandizing. In other words, they’ve spread the word that this really isn’t peaceful people versus radical people or terrorists; this is really about the America not liking Islam.
Well, first of all, I believe in an almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God. That’s what I believe. I believe that Islam is a great religion that preaches peace. And I believe people who murder the innocent to achieve political objectives aren’t religious people, whether they be a Christian who does that - we had a person blow up our - blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City who professed to be a Christian, but that’s not a Christian act to kill innocent people.
We are having an Iftar dinner tonight - I say, “we” - it’s my wife and I. This is the seventh one in the seven years I’ve been the President. It gives me a chance to say “Ramadan Mubarak.” The reason I do this is I want people to understand about my country. In other words, I hope this message gets out of America. I want people to understand that one of the great freedoms in America is the right for people to worship any way they see fit. If you’re a Muslim, an agnostic, a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, you’re equally American.
Neal Boortz provides validation today for those of us who claim that a higher minimum wage leads to lower employment. It turns out that July turned out to be a really bad month for teenage employment - the typical person seeking minimum-wage employment.
The Godfather points out an AP release in which, all of a sudden, they determine that “trickle-down economics” actually exists! When “rich” people don’t get as much money, they don’t give as much, or they don’t hire as much.
Lost amid the race vs. gender war that is the Democrat primary season and the focus on the next administration is the pure genius in the current administration. Sure, they say Bush is still the mindless dolt that somehow managed to outsmart them twice; and yes, he’s certainly given them enough anguished English ammunition to come up with quite a rotation for their “Bushism of the Day” quote machines. However, Bush has flashes of political genius, and one of them cam during his speech to the Knesset, the Israeli governing body, celebrating 60 years of Israeli independence. (The below quote is found about half-way down the page.)
Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.
There are no names in this. Really, it could apply to a host of people who call for diplomacy even once diplomacy has failed, or those who call for diplomacy with terrorist organizations or terrorist-supporting nations. However, as Jeff Foxworthy once said, “There’s no sense confessing to something she don’t know about yet.” (This is in response to an upset wife - do you start saying “sorry” for everything she might be mad about, or do you simply ask “What’s wrong?”)
Being all sophisticated and everything, the Democrats must not be aware of this technique, and through their responses showed us that President Bush struck a nerve. Barack Obama (D-IL) was livid, blaming the current administration for strengthening Iran. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that such words were “beneath the dignity of the office of the president.” Joe Biden (D-DE) threw the BS flag (literally), and Harry Reid (D-NV) said that Bush should explain the “inconsistency between his administration’s actions and his words today.”
So, basically, here’s how it went down:
Bush: “Appeasers are dangerous.” Obama, Pelosi, Biden, and Reid (in unison): “No we’re not!”
Here’s part 2 of the 3-part series “2006 Year in Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous.” While part 1 dealt with items that are bad on a ridiculous level, there is nothing humorous about these happenings during 2006.
I covered this in depth with my post “Why the Republicans Lost” earlier in the year. Now, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are going to be in control of the legislative branch. While our nation can survive, this does signal the end of many meaningful reforms. Immigration enforcement, strict-constructionist judicial nominees, and meaningful energy reforms are all distant memories. In their place we’ll get amnesty for illegal aliens, judicial activists, and economy-crushing minimum wage increases.
The majority of Americans don’t seem to understand that the latter is a ploy by union workers, who want raises but are contractually tied to a level above minimum wage. When it goes up, their pay goes up. However, businesses only have money as they collect it from their customers - increased payroll expense will only drive prices higher, at which point the buying power of the new minimum wage is about the same as the buying power of the old. Higher minimum wage levels also reduce the number of entry-level jobs held by students and retirees - I’m really surprised that the same party who panders to seniors and says that everything they want to do is “for the children” is in favor of such a move.
The Supreme Court decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld established that military tribunals could not be used to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This ruling, in effect, gave unlawful combatants official status, and required that they be given access to our justice system. President Bush asked Congress to clarify rules for detainee treatment, leading to what some have dubbed the “Terrorist Bill of Rights.” During debate on this and other bills throughout the year, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and others were adamant about adding “no torture” language into bills. Techniques such as water-boarding (where a person feels like they’re drowning, but they really aren’t), which had been used to extract intelligence that prevented attacks, were now no longer allowed.
This is a trend that I hope and pray does not continue into 2007. We Americans are gracious to our enemies, sometimes to a fault. But, there comes a point when we need to realize that they are our enemies. When they take up arms against us, when they align themselves with organizations that have, as their stated goals, the destruction of our nation - if we capture you, expect to be made to talk.
Eight Marines have been charged with murder and other charges relating to an incident in the Iraqi town of Haditha. These men were part of a patrol in this city, when their patrol was attacked with an IED (improvised explosive device). After the IED went off, they were also receiving hostile fire from both sides of the street. As their training taught them, they laid down suppressive fire to remove the casualties that they had taken, then launched a counter-offensive to kill the insurgents that had inflicted this attack on them.
Once the shooting had stopped, some of the Iraqis in that town began complaining about the counter-offensive, saying that the people who had been killed were innocent civilians who had nothing to do with the attack. These stories were often contradictory, but that didn’t matter to the folks here who never miss a chance to broadcast bad news. The link above is very lengthy (and the other information it links are also lengthy), but it is a detailed analysis as to what happened that day, and how it is being prosecuted. Even an embedded CNN reporter does not believe these allegations.
This is disgraceful, and I hope that the court-martial comes out in favor of these dedicated Marines. “War is hell” isn’t just a quip - it’s reality.
With current concerns over terrorism, and nukes that Russia can’t find, two nations hostile to the United States declared their nuclear capabilities this year. North Korea has been testing missiles (although these tests were, by all accounts, an abject failure) and nuclear warheads. Iran claims that their nuclear capability is only to be used for power. Why do I not trust Iran? Let me count the ways… They are the primary supplier of personnel and weapons for the insurgency in Iraq. They teamed up with Syria to support Hezbollah in their attacks on Israel earlier this year. They hosted a holocaust denial conference. And that was all this year!
All nations have a right to defend themselves. However, when these nations have proved themselves hostile to us and friendly to our enemies, we must demand that they pursue their defense using conventional weapons.
That is certainly not all of the bad things that happened this year, but I believe they are some that will have the most enduring impression on our world and our nation. Next up - the good!
While on vacation last week, I had the opportunity to finish a book I started over Christmas vacation - Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terror by Ann Coulter. In it, she meticulously (and I mean meticulously - there are 877 footnotes throughout 292 printed pages) details how the left, liberals, Democrats (pick your favorite label); these folks have been wrong about almost every foreign policy decision they’ve made over the last 50 years. (Today, another revelation occurred that, to me, shows that it hasn’t stopped yet - but more on that later.)
The book starts with a look at Alger Hiss and Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy is probably one of the most unfairly maligned people in United States history - especially since, within the last decade, declassified Soviet cables (intercepted by the Venona Project) have proved his allegations true. First, she makes the excellent point that Senator Joe McCarthy had nothing to do with the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC). Instead, his modest job was to identify loyalty risks serving in sensitive positions. He was very good at his job, and identified several people that needed to be moved - not fired, not tried for treason and hanged, just moved out of the sensitive positions where they were currently.
Over the past 50+ years, the left has consistently been for containment, appeasement, and has been more than willing to cede portions of our national security to keep us from having to fight wars. I can’t recall who said it, but the gist of it was “If these folks were just stupid, the laws of chance would dictate that they’d occasionally be right!” One paragraph (on page 154 of the paperback edition) summarizes just how duped they were in the Cold War, while debunking the claim that Truman’s policies actually won the Cold War, it just took until Reagan’s administration for them to work.
To review the record, as part of Truman’s yeoman work on the Cold War, he cooperated with the Soviets at the Nuremberg Trials, white-washing their joint aggression with Hitler under the Nazi-Soviet Pact. He looked the other way when the Soviet Union murdered three million Russian prisoners of war returned home by the Allies. On his watch, the Soviet army consolidated its control over nine countries, China became a Communist dictatorship, and tens of millions of people were murdered under Communist tyrannies. Truman defended Communist spy Alger Hiss as a patriot who was framed by Republicans, and he tried to indict Whittaker Chambers for perjury. He refused to remove members of his administration identified to him by J. Edgar Hoover and others as Communist agents, including Harry Dexter White, whom Truman appointed to U. S. representative of the IMF. Among the Soviet spies advising Truman on China was Frank Coe, who refused to answer the question: “Are you a Soviet agent, Mr. Coe?” Soon thereafter Coe fled to Communist China, where he became a top policy-maker to Chairman Mao, helping the Chinese murder tens of millions of their own people. Truman was considered such a dupe of the Communists that the Army refused to tell him about the Venona Project. And that’s how Truman won the Cold War!
Ann continues in other chapters to discuss the Bay of Pigs invasion, where we went back on our word by not supporting the Communist resitance there when Castro had very little power; Vietnam, where we were starting to make progress until a Democrat-controlled Congress used Watergate as an excuse to leave before winning; Grenada, where we went in and defeated Communism over a weekend; the Cold War, where an arms race did prove to be the way to bankrupt the Soviet economy; Iraq, where the same arguments once used against Vietnam and Grenada were once again being brought up, but yet we prevailed (not by appeasement, or inspections, but through force); and North Korea, where recent adminstrations have dropped the ball, but the current one is taking a strong stand.
While those who know Ann Coulter know that she simply delights in shredding the left to pieces, the content of this book is much more important that her amusing delivery method. What this book shows is that, using the 20/20 benefits of hindsight, the left’s approach to defending our country only makes us weaker. When the decision was made to not prosecute Jane Fonda for her treasonous actions during the Vietnam War, the message was sent that this country wasn’t interested in prosecuting anyone for these types of actions. So, Hollywood and the media have been more than willing to participate in this as well - which brings us to today’s happenings.
Last week, Newsweek magazine ran a story that claimed that, as an interrogation technique, the Army had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. This caused riots in Afghanistan, where 15 people have been killed and over 100 injured. Today, they ran another article where they said that their source for that piece of information is now unsure that that’s what happened. (Separately, they have claimed that this is not a retraction of the story.) So, what we’ve got here is an international news magazine including uncorroborated hearsay from a single source in a story, claiming it as fact. I have several problems with this.
First, didn’t Newsweek learn anything from the CBS News / Bush ANG document fiasco? The public deserves better, and our troops on the ground certainly deserve better fact-checking before they have to contain riots for no good reason.
Second, why was Newsweek so eager to run this part of the story? I believe it’s the same reason that CBS News ran with the Bush ANG story - they wanted terribly for it to be true. For all their accusations, it’s the left in this country that doesn’t seem to realize that the “War on Terror” is not a “War on Islam”. They want us to disrespect Islam, so then they can say they were right.
Third, this bad decision has placed our military in harm’s way. Iraq is not the only place we’ve got a military presence, training locals to take over their own security. Afghanistan is farther along than Iraq, but we’re still there. With claims like this, even if they are true, publicizing them as some scandalous new revelation gives aid and comfort to our enemies. All they need is one story like this to fire them up for days - and now, not only have they given the opposition the morale boost, 15 people are dead because of it. There’s no way that either the reporter or the editors will be tried for either treason or murder - but I believe a case could be made for either of those charges.
Finally, what does it matter if they did do it? I’m not a student of Islam, but as a Christian, I believe the Bible is the holy, inspired Word of God. Any feeble attempt by man to eliminate it is simple futility - others have attempted to destroy God’s Word, and have had little success. Flushing paper and ink down a toilet does not come anywhere close to destroying it - only that copy. I would think that Muslims would feel the same way about their holy book - but, I may be wrong. I don’t see what it would hurt, though - these terrorists already call us the Great Satan!
If you have the opportunity, pick up Ann’s book at the store or library, and read through it. It’s a great analysis of conflicting foreign policy over the last 50 years - and, it’s fun to read to boot!
There is word today from the fight for Fallujah that we have now uncovered a kidnapper’s area where they housed, and eventually butchered, innocent civilians. (Story linked here) This is the place we couldn’t find back when they were taking what seemed like a hostage a day, in a mostly futile attempt to get nations to pull their troops or businesses out of Iraq.
This makes my blood boil, and I’m tired of skirting the issue. Our pre-election policy on Iraq was driven by what appeared, to the President, to be an unwillingness on some parts of our nation to continue a large push - plus, had he started the Fallujah offensive before the election, he would have been accused of wagging the dog. Thanks to this delay, several people who were not combatants (oil truck drivers, reporters, construction workers) have been kidnapped, their families tortured beyond belief by seeing their loved one on Al-Jazeera, and eventually killed. There has also be a toll we’ve paid in servicemembers’ lives, due to ambushes that have been set up by holdouts in Fallujah.
Those who oppose our troops when they are on the ground are traitors. Debates over what plan to use are valid, but this “wrong war, wrong place, wrong time” rhetoric wasn’t intended to spark policy debate - it was intended to pander to anti-war and anti-American people here and abroad, while still trying to pander to those who feel that a strong defense is essential to our national security. Now, we find that if we’d just pressed into Fallujah the way we did in Baghdad, no matter what “sacred” landmarks may be there, we would have denied these kidnappers their capability to carry out these dastardly acts.
Whether you’re for or against the war - whether you like or don’t like President Bush or Secretary Rumsfeld - it is vitally important that, now that we’re there, we don’t tie our military’s hands, especially with partisan political concerns. The only way out of Iraq that will keep us safe is to go through it - anything less will be seen by the terrorists as “the point” up to which we can be pushed, at which point we’ll back down. I’m all for “bringing the troops home” - but not in a way where we’d have to send more over in a few years. Fight on!
By the way - they just came on the news and said that Yassir Arafat has died. That’s the best news for peace in Isreal we’ve gotten this century. The man was an avowed terrorist who did nothing but foment hate among his people against the rightful occupants of that land. Let’s hope that their next leader will put an end to violent groups such as Hezbollah, and denounce rogue terrorists.