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Friday November 7, 2003

God Bless President Bush for signing the ban on partial-birth abortion. The great majority of Americans agree with him:

Now I would like to ask your opinion about a specific abortion procedure known as "late term" abortion or "partial birth" abortion, which is sometimes performed on women during the last few months of pregnancy. Do you think that the government should make this procedure illegal, or do you think that this procedure should be legal?

It doesn't seem like there's much controversy here, yet here's how it's protrayed by the media:

Tom Brokaw opened his broadcast: "Good evening. It is one of the great flashpoints of American politics. And after today, it is sure to become one again in the presidential campaign of 2004: abortion. In this case, the controversial procedure, late-term abortion. Today, in a setting that resembled a campaign rally, President Bush signed into law a bill banning that kind of abortion.

Or this:

CNBC's The News with Brian Williams anchored by Campbell Brown. She teased the show: "The emotional fight over abortion. The President signs a controversial ban into law, but will it stand and what does it mean for a woman's right to choose?"

You'd never guess that this "great flashpoint" is something that Americans approve of 68% to 25%. Only in TV Land.

A lengthy and fully infomative article on The Terror Ahead by Gabriel Schoenfeld in Commentary Magazine. It's an excellent history on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and it's tragic flaws which have resulted in the completely untenable situation in North Korea and the steadily emerging threat in Iran. Summary:

Needless to say, the North Korean problem was not solved and a crucial decade has been lost. Today, while our forces are engaged in a major open-ended operation in Iraq, a minor open-ended operation in Afghanistan, and a global war against al Qaeda, we are quietly sliding into the gravest crisis of this kind since Nikita Khrushchev placed nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba. Two crazy states—both charter members of what President Bush has rightly called the "axis of evil," both openly flouting an international treaty to which they are party, both perpetrators of acts of international terrorism, both animated by a blistering hatred for America and the West—are bent on acquiring weapons of unthinkable destructive power. The CIA, as it admits in its own statements, does not know what it needs to know about either country, except that North Korea almost certainly possesses two or more fully operational bombs and could have as many as ten within months, while Iran is at most several years away from acquiring the bomb unless it purchases one or more tomorrow or next week or next month from Pyongyang.

But you really should read it all.

Nobody puts it more succinctly (or correctly) than Andrew Sullivan:

The fundamental lesson of 9/11 seems to me to be the following: it was no longer possible for the West to ignore or enable the poisonous and dangerous trends in the Middle East. The combination of autocratic fragility, huge wealth, new technology, and an Islamist ideology modeled on the National Socialism of the past was and is an enormous threat to the world. The odd cruise missile strike; diplomatic initiatives to failed despots; appeasement of terror; and acquiescence in Euro-cynicism about the Arab potential for democracy - all these were made moot by 9/11. They were no longer viable options. We either aggressively engaged or we hunkered down and prayed that a calamity would not at some point strike us all. To its historic credit, the Bush administration resisted its own early isolationist impulses and took the high road. To their eternal shame, the French and Germans, the far rights, the far left, and many (but not all) of the Democrats opted for inaction or a replay of the failed policies of the past. What this president did was radical, progressive, risky.

Risky indeed. But that's what true leadership is. To do what you believe is right. To do what you believe is correct. To do what you believe your consceience drives you to do regardless of the rantings of your detractors. Sometimes that involves risk. It almost always invites derision and second-guessing. As Zell Miller recently said, he believes that President Bush is the right man in the right place at the right time. I agree. This President has the courage and self assurance to do what he believes is right. That's leadership. To coin a phrase, Bully!

A new Iraqi blogger:

So now we hear another Helicopter is brought down. Serious, yes. Disaster ? not necessarily. It only shows the enemy is not to be underestimated.

I note that most of my visitors are american. This is natural and welcom really. American public opinion is a matter of life and death to us here, at this particular time. The "enemy" ( let us call them that at the moment and they include some Iraqis too, to be absolutely honest ), is doing his damn best to influence american and western public opinion. He has people monitoring, watching, relaying back information. He has allies, especially amongst the other non-iraqi arabs. We don't really like to be too hard on our arab "brothers", but we are really angry with them now. The just don't seem to care one little bit about our safety and future.

This dancing, over wrecked vehicles, he discovers is most graphic and effective. Any ordinary american watching this on T.V. is likely to be very upset. The enemy is past master at this. I mean he may not be very briliant militarily, but when it comes to psychological torture, they are the greatest masters of the "art" in human history. I bet you anything that for each operation carried out in a certain well known area by now, a chorus is prepared and asked to go and dance for the benifit of photographers of the press, most likely notified of the show before hand.

Thursday November 6, 2003

Here's a portion of the scurillous Democratic Memo that Zell Miller describes as "if not treason, then treason's first cousin":

We have carefully reviewed our options under the rules and believe we have identified the best approach. Our plan is as follows:

1) Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or questionable conduct by administration officials. We are having some success in that regard. For example, in addition to the president's State of the Union speech, the chairman has agreed to look at the activities of the Office of the Secretary of Defense as well as Secretary Bolton's office at the State Department. The fact that the chairman supports our investigations into these offices and co-signs our requests for information is helpful and potentially crucial. We don't know what we will find but our prospects for getting the access we seek is far greater when we have the backing of the majority. (Note: we can verbally mention some of the intriguing leads we are pursuing.)

2) Assiduously prepare Democratic "additional views" to attach to any interim or final reports the committee may release. Committee rules provide this opportunity and we intend to take full advantage of it. In that regard, we have already compiled all the public statements on Iraq made by senior administration officials. We will identify the most exaggerated claims and contrast them with the intelligence estimates that have since been declassified. Our additional views will also, among other things, castigate the majority for seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry. The Democrats will then be in a strong position to reopen the question of establishing an independent commission (i.e. the Corzine amendment).

3) Prepare to launch an independent investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation at any time-- but we can only do so once. The best time to do so will probably be next year...

I'm not sure why the Democrats want to continue the investigation, since they seem to already know the conclusion

Another idle (hopefully) threat from the Islamicists:

"Our Muslim brothers in America, we ask you to immediately leave the following cities: Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles," reads the communiqué, which frequently quotes the Quran.

"We are serious in our warning," the message states. "The next few days will prove to you the truth of this warning … To the oppressive rulers of America we say: Expect our terms following the first strike of Allah's believing soldiers [Quran, Chapter 59, Verse 2-3]."

It's always nice to go "by the book" when possible. In the real world, however, sometimes certain situations require common sense and improvisation. This is what Lt. Col Allen B. West employed while interrogating an Iraqi. The information that was obtained may very well have saved American lives. But alas, no good deed goes unpunished. Excerpt,

West took charge of the interrogation of an Iraqi policeman, determined to flush out information as he warned subordinates "it could get ugly." Threatening to kill the Iraqi if he didn't talk, West fired a pistol near the policeman's head, prompting a flow of information that led to arrests and the probable foiling of a deadly attack.

Army prosecutors believe West's actions on Aug. 21 in the town of Saba al Boor, near Tikrit, violated the Uniform Military Code. He faces a wide range of possible outcomes from no disciplinary action to a sentence of up to eight years in prison.

The prosecutors gave West a choice – face charges or resign early, losing retirement benefits. The 19-year veteran was scheduled to reach his 20-year retirement last Saturday.

Meanwhile, this Iraqi blogger believes that the American's tactics are not quite strong enough. Excerpt,

If you think that Iraqis aren't doing enough, then you're being mislead by your media. Thousands of people are applying to be members of IP, FPS, and the civil defense force. They are begging for the security to be in their hands. We know how to handle those scum. The Americans are more interested in being nice and all about human rights and free speech and stuff. We have our own Law and court systems which we can use but the CPA won't allow us to. They are being too lenient and forgiving on our expence. If you think that is what is required to build a successful democracy then you're too deluded. You don't know the first thing about the Iraqi society.

Monday November 3, 2003

Based on this, I believe that I'm in the top 1/3 of all blogs on the internet:

One study of 3,634 blogs found that two-thirds had not been updated for at least two months and a quarter not since Day One.

Or, perhaps not.