Monday, February 28, 2005

The Iraqi Domino Effect

At around noon today, Eastern Standard time, the Lebanese pro-syrian government officially resigned. Presumably forced out due to the peaceful protests by its people. Once again, it shows that the Arab World desires freedom. Here are a few quotes from the protestors last week, before the resignation:

"We have nothing to lose anymore. We want freedom or death," says Indra Hage, a young Lebanese Christian. "We're going to stay here, even if soldiers attack us," says Hadi Abi Almouna, a Druze Muslim. "Freedom needs sacrifices, and we are ready to give them."

The events in Lebanon inevitably lead to the question of whether the successful Iraqi election had anything to do with it.

According to Walid Jumblatt, one of the leaders of the oppossition, the Iraqi election had a huge effect:

"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

Obviously, the assisnation of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was the main catalyst, but it is encouraging that the election had substantial effect on the Lebanese people.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Putin believes the US press isn't free?

This article is a little surprising to say the least.

George Bush knew Vladimir Putin would be defensive when Bush brought up the pace of democratic reform in Russia in their private meeting at the end of Bush's four-day, three-city tour of Europe. But when Bush talked about the Kremlin's crackdown on the media and explained that democracies require a free press, the Russian leader gave a rebuttal that left the President nonplussed. If the press was so free in the U.S., Putin asked, then why had those reporters at CBS lost their jobs? Bush was openmouthed. "Putin thought we'd fired Dan Rather," says a senior Administration official. "It was like something out of 1984."

The Russians did not let the matter drop. Later, during the leaders' joint press conference, one of the questioners Putin called on asked Bush about the very same firings, a coincidence the White House assumed had been orchestrated. The odd episode reinforced the Administration's view that Putin's impressions of America are often based on urban myths fed to him by ill-informed aides. (At a past summit, according to Administration aides, Putin asked Bush whether it was true that chicken producers split their production into plants that serve the U.S. and lower-quality ones that process substandard chicken for Russia.) U.S. aides say that to help fight against this kind of misinformation, they are struggling to build relationships that go beyond Putin. "We need to go deeper into the well into other levels of government," explains an aide. --By John F. Dickerson

Saturday, February 26, 2005

WWI, in color

I stumbled across this collection of WWI photos this morning while reading the VodkaPundit. The best part is that there in color. The fact that they're in color makes it a bit more personal in my opinion. WWI is one of the wars I don't know much about and have taken for granted. The main reason I think that is because it is a war the U.S., I believe, played a minor role in. I guess I just don't feel particularly connected to it. I should probably read up on it but there always seems to be something more intriguing to read up on.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Great Generation Indeed

raise Posted by Hello

On this very day sixty years ago, American soldiers raised the flag on or near Mt. Suribachi. It was raised after five days of fighting, but nearly a month of gruesome battle remained before the Island could be taken.

Powerline has a good memorial:

Marines bore the brunt of the battle for Iwo Jima. Nearly 20,000 Marines were wounded and nearly 7,000 were killed taking the island so it could be used as an emergency landing base for B-29s bombing Japan. The Medal of Honor was awarded to 27 men -- more than in any other battle. Chris Vaughn's Fort Worth Star-Telegram article from this past weekend has a good summary of the battle: "Remembering heroes, agony of Iwo Jima." Brian Melley's AP story on the initial flag raising on Iwo Jima tells a story with which I was unfamiliar: "Veteran wants recognition for role at flag raising."

Powerline also mentions the book Flags of our Fathers, which I haven't read, but I hear is a must read.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Lowest Common Denominators

So what does it take to be a U.S. Congressman these days? Apparently not much, as evidenced by a few moonbat lefties who were somehow elected to office.

Most recently, Congressman Charlie Rangel claimed that it was "bigoted" to call radical groups like Hizbollah Islamic terrorists:

Asked about the refusal by some European governments to declare Hezbollah an Islamic terror group, Rangel told WWRL’s Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter, “To call it Islamic terror is discriminating, it’s bigoted, it is not the right thing to say.”
Rangel even questioned whether, in fact, a worldwide Islamic terrorist movement even existed, saying, “We just take for granted that there is an Islamic terror movement because we do have some fanatic people who come from Islamic countries.”

This remark, comes soon after Congressman Maurice Hinchey declared that he felt that it was the Karl Rove who was behind the who CBS memo scandal and that he had "set up" Dan Rather.

That evil genius Karl Rove!!! He knows everything!!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Odd Job takes a swipe at Richard Perle

Well, it turns out the lefty crowd in Portland couldn't sit through the Howard Dean, Richard Perle debate peacefully. Shortly after beginning his openning remarks, Richard Perle had to dodge a shoe thrown at him from some lefty moonbat screaming "Liar, Liar." Apparently Perle was booed at quite repeatedly during the debate which means two things, 1) Dean probably wasn't very good at rebutting Perle's points, and 2) the Lefties were suffering from PEST.

LGF has a link to a local news report on the event and here's a print article.

I stand corrected. A reader points out that it was Random Task who throws shoes, not Odd Job.

For those of you out of the loop, the evil, shoe-throwing henchman "Random Task" is based on the character "Oddjob" from the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964). In addition to the play on his name, Oddjob also threw deadly hats.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Green Peace Beatdown

I tell you what, I wouldn't want to mess with the petrol traders of the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) after hearing what they did to a couple of Green Peace protestors.

Apparently, the tree huggers had planned to storm onto the trading floor, creating such a disturbance that the the traders would be unable to communicate, thus paralyzing trading for the day.

It turns out that the protestors were beaten back outside of the building by the young traders (most of whom are under 25). One protestor remarked "We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs . . . . I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”

Of course I can understand why those thugish traders wouldn't want to listen to Green Peace's point of view, given the fact that they had brought in Fog Horns and other loud noise makers in an attempt to drown out the traders.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

As always, the UN is hard at work

Heres an interesting headline:

UN Inspectors 'spent their days drinking'

UN inspectors in Iraq spent their working hours drinking vodka while ignoring a shadowy nocturnal fleet believed to be smuggling goods for Saddam Hussein, a former senior inspector told the US Senate yesterday.

In a move that provoked fury from officials of the Swiss firm Cotecna, an Australian former inspector detailed a picture of incompetence, indifference and drunkeness among the men acting as the frontline for UN sanctions.

Once again, the UN demonstates its utter incompetence.

What is most interesting is the reaction from the world and Media elite over the actions of UN workers in the Congo. 20/20 aired an expose of the workers, detailing the frequent rape of congalese women and interveiwing some of the women who have fathered babies from UN workers and then have been abandoned(apparently there are hundreds). The expose also discussed umentionable behavior which makes Abu Garaihb look like a walk in the park.

C-BS Mess

The three CBS News employees who were asked to resign over their involvement in the Memo scandal have all hired lawyers, and one employee is refusing to resign until CBS president Les Moonves cleared his name of any wrong doing.

What is most interesting is that Howard claims that the Investigative Committee that looked into the flawed memo story had excluded evidence that would have implicated top execs at the organization.

The article is an interesting read.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Eason Jordan Resigns

The blogosphere takes down another one. If you have no idea who Jordan is, read my previous post here.

NEW YORK (AP) - CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan quit Friday amid a furor over remarks he made in Switzerland last month about journalists killed by the U.S. military in Iraq. Jordan said he was quitting to avoid CNN being "unfairly tarnished" by the controversy.

During a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum last month, Jordan said he believed that several journalists who were killed by coalition forces in Iraq had been targeted.
He quickly backed off the remarks, explaining that he meant to distinguish between journalists killed because they were in the wrong place when a bomb fell, for example, and those killed because they were shot at by American forces who mistook them for the enemy.

The fact that Jordan resigned leads me to believe that his actual remarks were as bad as some commentators thought. If he really felt that CNN was being unfairly tarnished, why didn't he demand a release of the actual tape?

Buzz machine has some interesting thoughts as well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


It seems that both the breadth and depth of UN incompetence and corruption knows no bounds. Hot off the heels of the oil-for-food scandal, now a relatively smaller organization in the UN is facing another financial problem.

Turns out that a key figure in the World Meteorological Organization has skimmed off about $3 million in funds. The thief is now AWOL and his wife has apparantly filed a bogus death certificate in an attempt to cover his tracks.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

MSM Breaks its Silence on Eason Jordan

The mainstream media has finally broken its silence of the the whole Eason Jordan affair. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read the previous post.

Today's Washington Post has an article on the story which is rather forgiving to Jordan, while the New York Sun has an article which isn't as accommodating.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Eason Jordan Round Up

This is currently a huge story on the blogosphere and has yet to be covered by the mainstream media. To date, only a Washington Times op/ed piece has published anything related on the matter. (Captain Ed is monitoring any updates)

CNN Chief News Executive Eason Jordan, while at a panel discussion for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos Switzeland, stated that a number of journalists killed in Iraq had been targeted by the US military. Obviously these remarks drew a wide range of reactions from the international crowd and press. Rony Abovitz, the blogger who covered the event and initially reported on Jordan's comments challenged the remarks asking for proof. While Jordan backpeddled a little, he never withdrew his assertion and latter received support from a few members of the international press.

After Abovitz posted his take on Jordan's comments, the blogosphere erupted and individual bloggers took it upon themselves to get to the bottom of the story. Within a short time, bloggers reminded America of incriminatory remarks made by Jordan years ago where he admitted that CNN had chosen not to report the full story on Saddam's torturous regime so that they might maintain access to Baghdad. Even more suprising, Captain Ed found statements made by Jordan to the UK's Guardian, actually claiming that US Forces had "arrested and tortured" journalists. Bloggers also uncovered remarks made by another CNN exec who said that soldiers had deliberately targeted journalist for "seeking out the truth."

CNN, having wisely learned the lessons of the CBS scandal, decided to take the blogs seriously and in an effort to cover itself sent out a generic email to bloggers who had been critical of Jordan's remarks. At least one blogger was actually contacted over the phone. The whole point was that CNN was claiming that Jordan's comments had been taken out of context. In addition, Jordan emailed a published statement to Carol Liebau, claiming that when he said "targeted" he did not mean that that they were targeted because they were journalists, but that it was simply a case of mistaken identity. While Jordan's clarification sounds nice, it is suspect given his previous allegations against the US military, as Captain Ed demonstrates.

In an effort to clear up some of the confusion, Hugh Hewitt interviewed Abovitz to get his complete take on what Jordan said and meant. It is a damning conversation if Abovitz' interpretation is accurate. Whether they were taken out of context ultimately depends on when and if the video of the forum is made available. In the meantime, all we have are comments from Abovitz and one other reporter at the forum that have substantiated the bloggers' take on the story.

To me, the gravity of Jordan's accusations are immediatly apparent. Here is a top exec at CNN whose statements, whether taken out of context or not have likely fueled anti-American sentiment. If Jordan actually believes that US forces are targeting and killing journalists, shame on him for not investing the journalistic capital to uncover such a story. Even if Jordan believes no such thing, shame on him for making his point in such a vague, abstract manner so as to allow
those adverse to America to use his comments to further attack the US forces.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Yeeaaaaagh! Repubs Cheer Dean's Return

Yeaaaagh Posted by Hello

Just when you thought the Dems were finished digging there own graves, they went ahead and pulled the suicidal trigger. Howard Dean will likely be voted in as the DNC's new Committee Chairman, having received 250 pledges from DNC members, well over the 214 needed to win the election.

In my personal opinion, this wasn't a smooth move by the democrats. Since the Dems don't have control of either the presidency or congress, there is no national face of the Democratic Party to America. I would think the last thing they would want is Howard Dean to become the face of the party for the next few years. (of course they don't have many more options considering the choice of Hillary, Nancy Pelosi, or Ted Kennedy)

Of course I may be wrong if it is true that "the DNC chairman's job is to raise money, fire up the base and beat up on the Republicans every chance you get." If this is all that is required, then Dean might be a perfect choice, after all, he fired up his base so much he actually won the Democratic nomination (wait that didn't happen) and walloped the Republicans so many times they were afraid of the very though of him. (wait, didn't the repubs laugh at him?)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

There's One in Every Crowd

Judging from the Washington Post's recount of the State of the Union Adress, the Wapo reporters were the only ones who missed the point of the dramatic embrace during the middle of the speech.

The emotional highpoint of last night's event came near the end when Bush introduced the parents of a U.S. Marine from Texas, Sgt. Byron Norwood, who was killed in the assault on Fallujah, Iraq. As Norwood's mother tearfully hugged another woman in the gallery, the assembled senators and representatives responded with a sustained ovation, and Bush's face appeared creased with emotion.

Are you kidding me, "another woman in the gallery," are these people clueless?

via Powerline.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Power of the Blogosphere?

Posted by Hello

The above picture apparently came from a tiny Iraqi insurgency webpage which indicated that if iraqi prisoners were not released, the soldier would be killed. Bloggers are speculating whether or not the above photo is actually a hoax. Namely, a poised G.I. Joe action figure. The photo below shows remarkably striking similarities, even including knee pads. Drudge has a quote from the manufacturer of the toy who is convinced that it is a toy.

Hopefully, this really is a hoax. If it is, it shows the very power and speed to which the blogosphere can gather information. From what Ive read, no one is declaring that it is a hoax, but those on the blogosphere are the only ones demanding it receive closer scrutiny.

Apparently the US has just released a statement that no US soldiers are missing.

kj Posted by Hello

Democracy in Iraq!!!!

A while ago, months before the US led invasion of Iraq, Bear and I decided to make a political statement. The whole thing started when a few moonbat students at our college decided to wear black armbands to protest the impending invasion. Bear and I felt that we wanted to express our support in the policy and decided to come up with our own pieces of political propaganda.

We cut out squares from one of Bear's old T-shirts, of which he had many, and wrote in large block lettering "Democracy in Iraq" and "Free Iraq." We then attached the pieces to our backpacks.

Since that day, I admit I grew worried at times, wondering if democracy really could succeed in the Middle East. There was incessant commentary on the Left, mocking the neo-con policies and ideology that democracy could really gain a foothold in that region. I have since come to realize that these apologists for tyranny have too little faith in human spirit. There is an innate desire for freedom, even in Arab nations and Sunday's election proved it.

I realize that there is a log way to go, and that the left will try deligitimize the election by noting low Sunni turnout and other factors, however, the one truism is that if given a choice, people choose freedom.

Seeing the smiling faces of Iraqis on Sunday, showing their ink stained fingers in defiance of the insurgents is a day I will always remember, and hopefully, will be the beginning of remarkable changes for good in that region.