Friday, April 30, 2004

Bush Feels 'Disgust' at Abuse of Iraqis

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush has condemned the apparent mistreatment of some Iraqi prisoners, saying, "Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people. That's not the way we do things in America. I didn't like it one bit."

He was asked about photos showing Iraqi prisoners naked except for hoods covering their heads, stacked in a human pyramid, one with a slur written in English on his skin. That and other scenes of humiliation have led to criminal charges against six American soldiers. Arab television stations were leading their newscasts on Friday with the photos.

"I share a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated," Bush said.

Indeed. I would hope these people who committed these acts would do some serious time in a military prison. The careers of the officers who allowed this behavior should come to an end, at the very least.

I can't help but wonder what John Kerry's position is on this atrocious behavior, given that he claims to have experience in such matters. Just wondering.
Before 9/11, Bremer Ripped Bush on Terror
Iraq Boss Says Administration Wasn't Paying Attention

WASHINGTON - L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said in a speech six months before the Sept. 11 attacks that the Bush administration was "paying no attention" to terrorism.

"What they will do is stagger along until there is a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this'"; said Bremer at McCormick Tribune Foundation conference on terrorism on Feb. 26, 2001.

Bremer spoke at the conference shortly after he chaired the National Commission on Terrorism, a bipartisan body formed by the Clinton administration to examine U.S. counterterrorism policies.

This must be the most biased non-story of the day, clearly written to reflect badly on the administration. First, when these remarks were made, the new administration had been in place scarcely 30 days, hardly enough time for major policy shifts. Second, new administrations continue the policies of the previous administration until that time when new policies are developed. With this in mind, one has to question whether this is actually a criticism of the first 30 days of the Bush administration per se or a veiled criticism the previous 8 years of the Clinton administration.

It also sounds like an attempt by Bremer to call attention to himself and the National Commission on Terrorism which he chaired. When there's a new administration in town one might assume that showing what a bright committed fellow one is would be a good career move. Well, Bremer must have gotten someone's attention in the administration considering the job with which they have entrusted him.

This constant attitude in the media that terrorism was just invented in Late January 2001, and that is the starting point of all of our problems is becoming tedious in the extreme.
On a Personal Note

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. Life has dealt me some blows in the past couple of years and, it would seem, continues to do so. The one redeeming factor through it all is that I have not had to face these trials alone. Having someone at your side, enduring your pain as well as your elation is a blessing that is hard to put into words. My wife has been my best friend, my greatest ally and has done her best to give me hope when there was none apparent. She has, for me, defined the phrase "for better or for worse" and for that I will be forever grateful. I thank God she is by my side.

I would like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for everything and wish her a very Happy Anniversary.
Remembering Afghanistan

My cousin wrote me concerning Afghanistan and the fact that we hear so little about it any more: "I was talking with a couple of my patients, guys recently discharged and they have some concerns that the American people are forgetting about Afghanistan. They say the fighting is terrible and soldiers are still getting hurt and killed. It has just dropped off the radar screen in the news. One fellow really had concerns that it was a no-win situation."

It's true, Pat Tillman's recent death in Afghanistan prompted the most coverage from there we have seen in some time. Before that, the Afghan operation seemed all but forgotten.

Afghanistan is a tough one. I think that Afghanistan has a long hard road ahead of it. It has to be one of the most desolate and backward areas on the face of the earth. Positive change comes to countries like this very slowly, if at all. No win? Maybe, but we live in a world where the choices are sometimes between something bad and something worse. God knows I ache when I see those fine young men and women dying in these hellhole countries, but I sincerely believe that if we don't fight them there we will be fighting them here. Yes, I think Afghanistan has dropped off the screen as far as the media is concerned. Iraq now has the spotlight. The media, as well as the American people, seem incapable of keeping much more than one thought in their head at the same time and the current thought is Iraq. Plus, Americans are addicted to tripe such as Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant at al. It's sad, but true. Those young men and women in uniform expect and deserve more than they routinely get from the American people. It's better than it was during Vietnam, but we still don't give them enough recognition and enough love. We seem to want this whole terrorism thing to be resolved in Afghanistan and in Iraq quickly, and it won't be. Not even close.

There are so many important issues before us, issues that affect our very future, but no one wants to think about it. It's too hard, too painful. People want the world back the way it was in the summer of 2001. They want to believe that if we just ignore what's going on in the Middle East and in Afghanistan, it will just go away. It won't. I don't know how this tidal wave of Islamic hatred got so out of hand, but I sincerely believe that the struggle against it is literally a struggle for our survival. If we choose to ignore it again, the next 9/11 will involve a mushroom cloud.

I know this site seems like one long anti-Muslim rant and I am uncomfortable being perceived as a promoter of hate. I am not. I simply listen to what Muslims say and observe their actions. They make no secret as to their worldview, they want nothing less than the destruction of Israel and world governments replaced by Islamic theocracies. We have to be willing to face the unpleasant fact that a religious war is being waged against us.

The war that is being waged against us is not only an overt and violent one, but a more surreptitious one as well. If we continue to believe that Islam is "just another religion" and Muslims are nothing more than "Presbyterians with turbans", Islam will slowly gain influence from within. Most of the countries that have been overcome by Muslims over the past few decades (such as Indonesia) have been overcome from the inside, not by force of arms from without.

There are hard facts that we must be willing to face and I pray that we, as a nation, have the courage to face them and the fortitude to act upon them.

Please Note: I have permanently linked this to the right, under "Essays."
Poll: More Iraqis Optimistic, Dislike U.S.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- More than half of Iraqis in a survey done primarily in March and early April said their nation will be better off in five years because of the U.S.-led invasion, but 55 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the United States

Fifty-five percent had an unfavorable opinion of the United States, and 56 percent had an unfavorable view of Britain.

Fifty percent of the respondents said the United States is not serious about establishing democracy in Iraq, 54 percent said the United States is not serious about improving the Iraqi economy and 57 percent said the United States won't let Iraq determine its political future.

Please read the whole thing. From what I can tell though, the majority of the Iraqis surveyed don't have much of a clue. Look, I don't think that the Iraqis are in much of a position to know what they think at this point in the process. Putting any faith in polls of the Iraqi people is a bit of a fool's game. When you look at the numbers in this particular poll, the Iraqis are all over the map and as such, the results are pretty much meaningless. Were you to have done a similar poll in Germany in 1946, you probably would have gotten similar results. Change on this large a scale comes slowly, particularly when forces from within and from without are trying to forestall it.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

U.S., Iraq Generals Reach Tentative Deal

FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) - U.S. Marines negotiated a "tentative" agreement Thursday to pull back forces from Fallujah, a deal that would lift a nearly monthlong siege and allow an Iraqi force led by a former Saddam Hussein-era general to handle security. Fresh clashes broke out despite news of a pending deal, and U.S. warplanes dropped bombs on insurgent targets.

I have a bad feeling about "deals" in situations like these. War is a pretty straightforward process in which one side wins and one side loses. Resolutions to armed conflicts that are achieved by negotiation are generally no more than precursors to further armed conflict. Resolutions achieved by total defeat leave a more lasting impression as well as a more permanent result.
Broadcast It, They Will Watch

Via LGF comes this interesting piece about an American television broadcast operation that was set up as an alternative to the anti-American bias of the likes of Al Jazeera. It seems to be attracting a growing number of viewers, even though Reuters characterizes it as "controversial."

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) - The controversial U.S. Arabic-language TV channel Alhurra is winning viewers as a news source in the Arab world despite rising anti-American attitudes in the region, according to a U.S.-financed poll released on Thursday.

The telephone survey of 3,588 people aged 15 or older in 13 cities was done by the French research company Ipsos-Stat in early April for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent federal agency that oversees all U.S. international nonmilitary broadcasting.

The results showed Alhurra -- in its first two months -- is being watched by an average 29 percent of the satellite-equipped households in seven countries, including a high of 44 percent in Kuwait and a low of 18 percent in Egypt.

The survey also found that an average 53 percent of the viewers consider the channel programming to be reliable or somewhat reliable. This includes a high of 70 percent reliability felt by Saudis and a low of 37 percent reliability among Syrians.

This is something about which I have not heard until now and I am excited about the concept! If there is one thing that Americans understand, it's how to form opinion via the tube. I don't know whose idea this was, but I say give him (or her) a raise and a promotion.
No Room for Beliefs in Religion?

At least it would appear so for Nancy Pelosi, D-CA. She has joined John Kerry and stated in no uncertain terms that she will continue to receive communion in apparent disregard of Church doctrine and Vatican Teaching:

A top Vatican cardinal said last week that priests must deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. The cardinal stopped short of saying whether it was right for Kerry to receive Communion, and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee quickly affirmed his support for abortion rights and took Communion the next day.

"I'm certainly concerned when the church comes together and says it's going to sanction people in public office for speaking their conscience and what they believe," she said.

So, the Church should not sanction people for speaking their conscience and what they believe? So what is point of one's religion if it does not serve as the basis of one's beliefs? Her arrogance is stunning!
Lautenberg Slams Cheney on War Stance

WASHINGTON - Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg on Wednesday called Vice President Dick Cheney the "lead chicken hawk" in an escalating war of words over the Vietnam-era military service of President Bush, Democratic rival John Kerry and the vice president.

"We know who the chicken hawks are," the New Jersey senator said on the Senate floor. "They talk tough on national defense and military issues and cast aspersions on others, but when it was their turn to serve, they were AWOL from courage."

First, does the Senator feel that Kerry's four month stint in Vietnam makes him immune from any criticism of his voting record as a senator? Second, does Kerry's four month stint in Vietnam make him more qualified than a man who served four years as Secretary of Defense and another four years as Vice President? Third, was this schmuck's lips flapping during the eight years of the Clinton administration?
Network Airs Alleged GI Abuse of Iraqis

NEW YORK - One photograph shows Iraqi prisoners, naked except for hoods covering their heads, stacked in a human pyramid, one with a slur written in English on his skin.

That and other scenes of humiliation at the hands of U.S. military police that appear in photographs obtained by CBS News have led to criminal charges against six American soldiers.

This disturbing behavior is not worthy of our military or our country. It should be noted though, that the offenders have had the book thrown at them and further action is being taken against the officers in command, including a Brigadier General. It should further be noted that these charges are not a result of the pictures being aired, but rather because an honorable soldier reported these disgusting incidents to his superiors.

Shouldn't John Kerry have taken this same course of action regarding the war crimes and atrocities he claims to have witnessed and committed in Vietnam? Just asking.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Religion of Peace, Thailand Style

BANGKOK (Reuters) - More than 70 people were killed on Wednesday in dawn clashes between black-clad young men and security forces in Thailand's restive Muslim south when armed gangs raided police posts in a sharp escalation of four months of violence.

"Seventy four of the culprits were killed and four were wounded," Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told reporters.

Two soldiers and two policemen also died after gangs of young men dressed in black and wielding guns, swords and machetes launched the early morning raids on security posts across the troubled region, home to a low-key separatist rebellion in the 1970s and 1980s. Thailand's three southernmost provinces have been hit by a wave of shootings, bombings and arson attacks that had claimed at least 60 lives since a January 4 raid on an army barracks that left four soldiers dead.

"They attacked five of our police booths in Yala province this morning and we killed 22 of them," provincial police chief Colonel Prinya Kwanyuen told Reuters.

The largely Muslim province of Yala is 780 miles south of the capital, Bangkok.

An Interior Ministry official said the attackers were killed in raids across the three southern provinces, including in Pattani province, where a battle was still raging between troops and gunmen holed up in a mosque.

More Muslim violence, in Thailand no less. I guess they didn't get the word in Thailand that Islam is a "religion of peace".

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Italy won't bow to kidnappers' demand
But families of Iraqi hostages want to organize protests

ROME - Italy's government and opposition leaders refused on Tuesday to bow to demands by kidnappers in Iraq who have threatened to kill three hostages unless Italians protest against their country's military presence there.

But relatives of the hostages pleaded with Italians to help set the men free and participate in rallies on Wednesday and Thursday, not to denounce the government but to call for the release of the three Italian security workers.

In a tape aired by Al Arabiya television on Monday, the kidnappers issued a statement saying they would release the men only if Italians publicly denounced Italy's involvement in the U.S.-led occupation. They gave a five-day deadline.

I cannot say that I can even begin to know how it feels to have a family member in such dire circumstances. I would like to think that the anger in by breast would far outweigh the pain in my heart and I would tell the animals just what they can do with their demands. It's difficult to criticize people in this situation, but to even partially give in to their demands (which. it appears some relatives want to do) will only serve to encourage future incidents. I would hope that they will find the strength to reconsider.

I certainly applaud the Italian government's tough stand. It would appear that their are still some "coward free" zones in Europe. Bravo Italia!
Omnipotent Jews

Via Jonah Goldberg at the Corner comes this interesting theory from an Egyptian Government Newspaper (from MEMRI) which clearly explains that all of the trouble in the world can be laid at the feet of the Jews:

"If you want to know the real perpetrator of every disaster or every act of terrorism, look for the Zionist Jews. They are behind all the violent and terror operations that have occurred everywhere in the world. [They do this] first of all in order to slap [the label of the attacks] on the Arabs and Muslims, and second to harm them, distort their image, and represent them to the world as terrorists who endanger innocents. What is even more dangerous is that after every terror operation they perpetrate, they leave a sign, clue, or traces meant to show that the perpetrators are Arab Muslims."

Read the whole thing, it's a pretty good indicator of the pathological denial that is deeply embedded in the Islamic psyche. It is also instructive to note that this is an Egyptian Government Newspaper, and not a communique from a shadowy "extremist" group.
Spain Supplicates Itself Before Its Muslim Masters

It appears that the edict of submission that the Muslims dictated to Spain in March in the form of suicide bombings that killed 190 people has not been lost on Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. In classic "tail between legs" fashion, he has withdrawn all Spanish combat troops from Iraq. The master will be so pleased.

France, Germany, now Spain. It would appear that Europe is quickly becoming a continent of cowards. No wonder the Brits refuse to call themselves Europeans!
Islam's War on Women

Via Instapundit comes this chilling column from Pamela Bone in Australia regarding the Islamic world's despicable treatment of women. Do read it.
Freed Japanese hostages billed $21,000

TOKYO - Three Japanese who were held hostage for a week in Iraq were billed about $7,000 each to cover their plane tickets home and other miscellaneous expenses, an official said Monday.

The three returned last week amid a storm of criticism that they behaved recklessly in going to a country that Japan had repeatedly warned civilians to avoid.

The government said aid workers Noriaki Imai, 18, and Nahoko Takato, 34, and freelance photojournalist Soichiro Koriyama, 32, were being billed in the same manner as other Japanese civilians who have been transported home after getting into trouble overseas.

Well, Good! I wish that the US had a similar policy in place. These people traipse all over the world, against the good advice of people who know, thinking they are immune to the extreme danger that these areas of the world present. In doing so, they place the lives of soldiers in danger who often take action to save these idiots from their own folly.

Rachel Corrie was a similar fool (an American) who took it upon herself to stand in front of an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza that was in the process of destroying the home of a terrorist. Her arrogant stupidity cost her her life when she was run over by the bulldozer. She has now been turned into a martyr, and a useful PR tool of the murderous "Palestinian Cause."

These Japanese morons should pay the bill and be thankful they escaped with their lives.
Wholly War

For a "religion of peace" Islam has the most heavily armed "holy sites" on Earth. Mosques bristling with arms, snipers nests in minarets. It seems "holy" is interchangeable with "heavily armed and dangerous" in the Islamic lexicon. Why the paranoia? All of these so-called "holy" sites are in the very heart of the Middle East. The Islamic faith has not been so much as questioned in the Middle East for centuries. Of course, this lack of questioning is part of the problem. Sure there's that"“Zionist Entity" on the bank of the Dead Sea that seems to cause them untold consternation' but Israel has never been aggressive toward Islamic states. Fiercely defensive, but never aggressive.

The reason for the paranoia and the armories that masquerade as places of worship is the fact that violence is so deeply rooted in the Islamic faith that the violence and the belief system are indistinguishable. Islam is a religion that is hurtling over a cliff and it is determined to take us with it.

As is always the case, Islamic clerics either remain silent or they inflame the bloodlust.

Now we are involved in another grisly battle for a "holy city" by the name of Najaf. As is always the case, the mosques are veritable bunkers and the zealous adherents of "the religion of peace" are killing and dying in the name of Allah.

Step back. See Islam for what it is.
Violence Among Girls Increasing in U.S.

Ah, the relentless march toward equality.
Hamas: Conveniently Located With a Branch Office Near You!

WASHINGTON - Financial links exist between those who support attacks by Hamas in the Middle East and business ventures inside the United States, experts and legal sources say.

According to court documents, a Hamas leader invested money in an Oxon Hill, Md., neighborhood called Barnaby Knolls in the early 1990s. Documents show that investor Mousa Abu Marzook put down the money for the investment five years before he was named by the Treasury Department as a "specially designated terrorist" in August 1995.

Prior to his extradition from the United States, Marzook said he didn't consider himself a terrorist.

A recent trial in Alexandria, Va., showed the extent of Marzook's investments in the neighborhood through a now-bankrupt firm, Bait Ul-Mal, or BMI Inc. It was overseen by Egyptian businessman Soliman Biheiri, who was recently convicted of immigration violations.

Biheiri's lawyer denies terrorists benefited from his business transactions.

"It's nonsense. He wasn't funding terrorists," said Biheiri's lawyer, Nina Ginsburg. "There's no proof whatsoever that he ever contributed 10 cents to any terrorist activity."

Yeah, right. Al Capone was nothing more than a legitimate businessman being persecuted by the Feds. Alas, then the Judge gets involved:

The judge ruled that just because Marzook was a Hamas leader didn't mean that his investment funds were that of the terrorist organization.

Well, I guess that since he didn't have "Hamas Terrorist Fund" printed on his checks, he must be just another Arab investor and, of course, a peace loving Muslim. Exasperating, positively exasperating.
Explorers plan quest in search of Noah's Ark

WASHINGTON - An expedition is being planned for this summer to the upper reaches of TurkeyƂ’s Mount Ararat where organizers hope to prove an object nestled amid the snow and ice is Noah's Ark.

A joint U.S.-Turkish team of 10 explorers plans to make the arduous trek up Turkey's tallest mountain, at 17,820 feet (5,430 meters), from July 15 to Aug. 15, subject to the approval of the Turkish government, said Daniel P. McGivern, president of Shamrock's The Trinity Corp. of Honolulu, Hawaii.

The goal: to enter what they believe to be a mammoth structure some 45 feet high, 75 feet wide and up to 450 feet long (14 by 23 by 138 meters) that was exposed in part by last summer's heat wave in Europe.

This is really intriguing. Let us hope that the Turks will approve the expedition.

Monday, April 26, 2004

What do the Palestinians Want?

They do not want peace, they want the destruction of Israel. Here is a short interview from last year (via LGF) with Mahmoud Zahar, the new leader of Hamas, which clearly illustrates that Peace between Israel and the Palestinians will not come from negotiation. Arafat, Zahar and their ilk have doomed the Palestinian people to certain destruction at the hands of Israel.

May Israel dispatch Zahar and Arafat to the virgins forthwith.
Rudy Giuliani for UN Ambassador?

It sounds to me like an idea whose time has come:

OK, so America's mayor is a little short on diplomatic skills.

Big deal. So were Jeane Kirkpatrick and the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.N. ambassadors who honored themselves and their country by bluntly refusing to pretend that the international organization is anything other than what it truly is: a moral sinkhole.

And Giuliani, once upon a time, was a damned fine prosecutor - just the ticket for an organization mired in a scandal of gargantuan proportion: Saddam Hussein's oil-for-food rip-off.

Certainly, Secretary General Kofi Annan wants the covers kept on the scam. No surprise there.

After all, Annan's son worked for a company deeply implicated in the enterprise, which saw the diversion of billions of dollars meant for sick and hungry Iraqi women and children into the pockets of favored U.N. companies and individuals - and, especially, Saddam himself.

The guy's a stud. Not only did he put away John Gotti, he cleaned up New York and then presided over New York's darkest hour with courage, hope and leadership. He is the very epitome of post 9/11 America and would be a constant champion of our purpose in that international cesspool. He's a man that says what he feels and has little patience for bureaucracy. He's a man who deeply loves his country.

I like the concept! I like it a lot!
Jordan says major al Qaeda plot disrupted

AMMAN, Jordan (CNN) -- Jordanian authorities said Monday they have broken up an alleged al Qaeda plot that would have unleashed a deadly cloud of chemicals in the heart of Jordan's capital, Amman.

The plot would have been more deadly than anything al Qaeda has done before, including the September 11 attacks, according to the Jordanian government.

Among the alleged targets were the U.S. Embassy, the Jordanian prime minister's office and the headquarters of Jordanian intelligence.

Sounds like al Qaeda may be looking at a little change of pace, eh? We've long been concerned about some sort of chemical attack and it would appear that those concerns are well founded. What I don't understand is this paragraph:

Officials said there is debate within the CIA and other U.S. agencies over whether the plotters were planning to kill innocent people using toxic chemicals.

Pro Abortion Freak Show Pictures

Via Kathryn Jean Lopez at the Corner come these pictures from the Pro-Abortion rally this weekend.

When I see the "anti-war" people (via LGF) and then these people, I can't help but think of the fine men an women who have given their lives so that these sorts of preposterous exhibitions can take place. Serious men and women made the ultimate sacrifice so that these bozos can turn the right to "redress grievances" into a farce.

So freaks, you want to have a debate on the issue? Sure, no problem. You want to demonstrate? Go for it, you have every right to assemble. Could you please just not turn your First Amendment exercise into a carnival sideshow?
Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam

This New York Times article (via LGF) discusses an ongoing theme of this blog; the fact that Islam does not want your understanding, it wants your supplication. From the NYT piece:

"All Muslims of the West will be obliged," he said, to "become his sword" in a new battle. Europeans take heed, he added, saying, "It is foolish to fight people who want death-that is what they are looking for."

On working-class streets of old industrial towns like Crawley, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester, and in the Arab enclaves of Germany, France, Switzerland and other parts of Europe, intelligence officials say a fervor for militancy is intensifying and becoming more open

This is truly, to paraphrase Churchill, a gathering storm that threatens our civilization with extinction.

And yes, I will refuse to differentiate between "radical Muslims" and Islam in general until that time that comes when "moderates" (if there is such a thing) stand up and vociferously make that differentiation themselves. It is not my, or our place to do it for them. As I have said before, if Islam is the "religion of peace" it claims to be then they should prove it. If it is not, then let it perish by the same sword that it so liberally wields against others.
Please Note

I have permanently linked a transcript of John Kerry's 1971 Testimony regarding Vietnam to the right, under "Documents", for your convenience.
Israeli Officials ID Possible Hamas Leader

JERUSALEM - Israeli military officials said Monday they believe Mahmoud Zahar, a surgeon and prominent Hamas hard-liner, is the new leader of the Islamic militant group in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas denied the Israeli claims regarding Zahar, calling it a ploy to get information about the group's murky leadership structure.

Hamas has refused to identify the man chosen to replace Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the Hamas leader who was killed in an Israeli airstrike April 17.

Mahmoud, it looks like you have a date with the virgins!
Louvre: The Mona Lisa Is Deteriorating

It would appear that the French can not be entrusted with much of anything.
Pro-Abortion Hyperbole Gets Even Weirder

According to Kathryn Jean Lopez over at The Corner, there was a moment that can only be described as Freudian lucidity at the Pro-Abortion rally this weekend. Maxine Waters was quoted as telling the rally “I have to march because my mother could not have an abortion.”

No further comment is really necessary.
China Rules Out Hong Kong Direct Election

HONG KONG (AP) - Mainland China dealt a crushing blow to Hong Kong's hopes for full democracy Monday, when its most powerful legislative panel ruled the territory won't have direct elections for its next leader in 2007 or for all its lawmakers in 2008.

Many people in Hong Kong have been demanding the right to democratically elect a successor to their chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, a former shipping tycoon chosen for his position by an 800-member committee that tends to side with Beijing.

But the Chinese National People's Congress Standing Committee said "universal suffrage shall not apply" to the selection of Tung successor in 2007 or members of the Legislative Council the following year.

Under the ruling, the territory will be allowed to make changes to its electoral methods - but only "in the principle of gradual and orderly progress," China's official news agency Xinhua quoted the committee as saying.

There is one thing morons seem to have in common; they think that everyone else is the moron and they are the smart ones. The morons ruling China are no exception. They're not concerned with "orderly progress" or any other kind of progress, they're concerned with holding on to their power over Hong Kong as long as possible. Hong Kong is a modern, prosperous, free state (for now) and is fully capable of "orderly progress" and self-rule. They are far more capable than china, to be sure.

Additionally, they seem to be preparing for a feast of goose, in haughty disregard of the golden eggs it is producing. This situation could take some very interesting turns, very interesting indeed.
Kerry's Medal Mendacity

He threw them away, threw them over the White House fence in dramatic protest. No, he didn't throw them away and it's a "right wing fiction" to suggest such a thing. Well actually he did throw them over the fence but they were someone else's medals, not his. Well, actually they weren't someone else's after all they were his, but they weren't medals, they were ribbons, because he was proud of his service. He says that he is proud of his service, even though, in 1971, he described his service as being fraught with war crimes and atrocities and did so as part of his congressional testimony.

So what is it, is Kerry a war hero or war criminal? He's claimed to be both. Is he an honorable veteran, proud of his service or a man ashamed of his country, haunted by his own atrocities and those of his compatriots? Again, he has claimed to be both.

The man's simply not fit to be president.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Bush Calls for Ban on Broadband Taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Sunday urged Congress to slap a permanent ban on taxes consumers pay for high-speed Internet hookups.

Bush, whose speech in Minneapolis on Monday will address this and other technologies that are changing the world, has set 2007 as a deadline for providing speedy Internet access called broadband to every American home.

The president has acknowledged that American is "lagging a little bit'' on getting broadband available nationwide. To encourage the spread of this technology, Bush says the users shouldn't be taxed, and that the government should take steps to encourage the spread of competitive services.

Sounds good to me W, while you're at it, keep the Internet a "tax free zone" as well.
Protests as France's Le Pen Visits Britain

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Demonstrators protesting against a visit to Britain by French anti-immigration campaigner Jean-Marie Le Pen chanted "fascists out" and pelted his car with eggs and rubbish Sunday.

I have to say that Le Pen has a point in that France is literally being overrun with immigrants, primarily Muslims. On the other hand, it's pretty gratifying to see a frenchman "pelted with eggs and rubbish". Jolly good show, mates!
Kerry Takes Communion After Vatican Edict

I'll bet if the UN had issued an edict on the subject he would have followed it! Note that the church in question is only "Catholic" in the most liberal sense of the word:

The Paulist Center attracts Catholics uncomfortable with some of the Vatican's orthodox teachings or who otherwise feel alienated from the Roman Catholic Church.

The congregation includes gay couples, whose adopted children are baptized there, unlike in some other Boston parishes. In November, its leaders refused to read aloud during Mass from a letter opposing gay marriage, as requested by the Massachusetts bishops.

What I don't understand is, if these so-called "Catholics", including Kerry, feel "uncomfortable with some of the Vatican's orthodox teachings or who otherwise feel alienated from the Roman Catholic Church", why don't they leave? Wasn't that what the Protestant Reformation was all about? There are scores of Christian denominations that would welcome people with these points of view. Traditional Catholics, in turn, would feel more "comfortable" with people who defer to the Vatican's orthodox teachings.

I'm sorry if that offends, but the arrogance of people who want to destroy the traditions and orthodoxies of the past, just because it doesn't fit their current "lifestyle" are annoying in the extreme. Religious belief is not intended to conform to your lifestyle, your lifestyle should conform to your religious beliefs. That is the whole point! Isn't that obvious?
Israel: No imminent plans to kill Arafat

Darn, Ariel. Do you think you could reconsider this? Imminent works for me.
U.N. Officials Bribed by Saddam?

This is an ongoing story that was mentioned below, but bears repeating because of the constant whining about getting the UN involved in the Iraqi situation. It would appear that the UN was well ahead of us in terms of "involvement" in Iraq:

- At least three senior United Nations officials are suspected of taking multimillion-dollar bribes from the Saddam Hussein regime, U.S. and European intelligence sources tell ABCNEWS.

One year after his fall, U.S. officials say they have evidence, some in cash, that Saddam diverted to his personal bank accounts approximately $5 billion from the United Nations Oil-for-Food program.

In what has been described as the largest humanitarian aid effort ever undertaken, the U.N. Oil-for-Food program began in 1996 to help Iraqis who were suffering under sanctions imposed following the first Gulf War.

The program allowed Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil, under supposedly tight U.N. supervision, to finance the purchase of much-needed humanitarian goods.

Most prominent among those accused in the scandal is Benon Sevan, the Cyprus-born U.N. undersecretary general who ran the program for six years.

What's maddening about the story is that even in the face of the "Oil for Food" program having been proven to be nothing more than Saddam slush fund used to buy off the "community of nations", they still refer to it as "the largest humanitarian aid effort ever undertaken, the U.N. Oil-for-Food program began in 1996 to help Iraqis who were suffering under sanctions imposed following the first Gulf War." Even in the face of a milti-billion dollar UN scandal that literally took food from the mouths of starving Iraqis, the US is not-so-subtly cast as the villain.

And you remember the "community of nations" don't you? They are the ones before whom we are to prostrate ourselves before taking any military action.

By the way, many of those who were on the take in this scam are the same people that not only refused to support us, but actively obstructed and continue to refuse assistance in our efforts to liberate Iraq!

So, where is the outrage?
Coherence and Consistency

Jonah Goldberg has posted one of his routinely outstanding columns over at National Review regarding coherence, incoherence, who gets it, who doesn't and when.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Whither Racism?

If a white student writes "I think blacks should be more careful in deciding whom they choose to support. They need to grow beyond the automatic reaction of defending someone because he or she shares the same skin color and is in a dilemma", could he be accused of racism? Well, it would appear to be so. In fact, he lost his job at the student newspaper at Oregon State University over his remarks.

What is particularly interesting is that Leonard Pitts, a black man, wrote "Blacks ought to be more thoughtful about whom they choose to rally around, ought to be less automatic in leaping to the defense" within the same week. Not only do I think that neither remark is racist, I think that both are extremely incisive. In fact, they are identical statements.

There has been a growing trend to label as "racist" any criticism of any black person by any white person, while the reverse passes virtually unnoticed.

Honestly, the way we throw around words like "Nazi" and "Racist" these days, I wonder of we could recognize a real Nazi or Racist if it came up and bit us on the backside! Furthermore, what would we call them?
The Next Generation of Death Cultists

The Islamic worship of death seems to have no bounds or even a trace basic moral rectitude. Much like American children collecting baseball cards or Happy Meal trinkets, Palestinian children collect "Intifada Cards."

Outside a corner store in Nablus, about a dozen lively, excited, young kids are collecting cards to paste into an album, as kids do in many parts of the world. But these cards are different.

"This is a woman whose child was killed," an 8-year-old child explains gravely.

"This is a boy who was shot when he threw stones at a tank," he goes on.

"This is a 'shaheed,' a martyr," says another boy of about the same age, pointing to a picture of an open coffin, draped in the Palestinian flag, being carried through a street crowded with mourners.

"These are all pictures about the misery of the Palestinians," he adds, showing off a whole album of photos of death and destruction.

This is not behavior that is just picked up, it is behavior that is purposely being taught to these children. It goes on:

Another image, of a little boy dressed up as a suicide bomber, they have seen in regular marches by the extremist groups, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, when whole companies of masked young men parade in public with dummy bombs strapped to their waist.

How in the world can any civilized person justify this? Stories like this underscore my view that the Islamic world is no longer content to live in the 17th century so they have embarked on a relentless march backward. They continue to shed the binding constraints of civilization in the hope that they will soon enjoy the liberating joys of total barbarism. So, you say that Islam is just another theology? I think not.
Coffinphiles Against the War

I cannot help but wonder about the fascination some have with pictures of flag-draped coffins arriving from Iraq. There is no secret as to how many men we are losing in this conflict, the media gives each casualty maximum coverage. While I think that much of this coverage is overly negative, I do think that people have every right to know the human cost of the war.

According to this story, in the rush to publish these pictures, many photos of the Columbia Astronauts and casualties from Afghanistan were published as those of soldiers killed in Iraq. It would appear that, consumed with the goulish lust to publish pictures of the dead, these First Amendment zealots did not even bother to check the origin of the photographs.

The publishing of these "coffin pictures" is just a (not so) thinly veiled attempt to inflame the public and skew the debate against the war. It's not a question of secrecy or the First Amendment, it's a matter of taste.
Keep Being a Good Boy Moammar and You May Get Another Treat

The Bush administration is allowing American oil companies back into Libya as a reward for Moammar Gadhafi's decision to abandon his WMDs and his pursuit thereof. Gadhafi is still not out of the woods, Libya's assets in the US are still frozen and they are still on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

This is a good step for the administration, it rewards Libya for its recent actions yet withholds enough for future rewards. "Trustwothy" is not the word that springs to mind when one thinks of Gadhafi and it is obvious that the administration shares this view.

Friday, April 23, 2004

North Korea Appeals for Aid After Blast

Do these guys have chutzpah or what?

DANDONG, China (AP) - Issuing a rare appeal for foreign help, North Korea's secretive government said Friday that a devastating train explosion killed several hundred people, and it invited aid workers to come see the disaster site near the Chinese border.

North Korea restricts the movement of foreigners, and groups that distribute aid to alleviate its food shortages are barred from some areas. Aid workers have been allowed to visit areas struck by drought or floods in recent years, but the government has never arranged such quick access to the scene of a disaster like the train explosion.

The North also filed an appeal with the United Nations humanitarian agency in Geneva for unspecified international aid, U.N. officials said. The U.N. children's agency said it was preparing to send medicines and first-aid kits. South Korea and other governments said they were ready to send medicine or other aid if the North asked for it.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States is evaluating the situation in North Korea to see "if there is a need or an opportunity for the United States to help."

Yeah, we'll help them. That's who we are and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The world has no shortage of despicable monsters, but the North Koreans must be the world's most annoying monsters.
Cleric vows suicide bombings if U.S. strikes

KUFA, Iraq - The Shiite Muslim cleric wanted on murder charges threatened on Friday to launch suicide attacks if U.S. troops attack him and his forces in the holy city of Najaf.

Muqtada al-Sadr was speaking during the Friday prayers sermon in Kufa, another Shiite Muslim holy city a few miles from Najaf. The area is mostly controlled by his Al-Mahdi Army militia, whose members have clashed with U.S. troops several times since their uprising began on April 4.

Oh, OK. So, I guess that this is supposed to be something new that will strike fear in our hearts. I do declare, he IS as stupid as he looks.

Will someone please hammer this guy? The virgins await.
Victor Davis Hanson

If you do not know the name, learn it. He is a magnificent intellect, a noted historian and a wonderful writer. I'll be linking his work on a regular basis.

This is an excellent piece that discusses, and dispels the daily whines as to the impossibility of our mission in Iraq. Yes, it can be done. It must be done.
Former NFL Player Killed in Afghanistan

You know, every once in a while you read something that makes you so sad yet so proud to be an American. I guess that this duel emotional response is what one feels when confronted by a true American Hero. May God rest his soul and may He continue to bless us with young men such as Pat Tillman.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Football player Pat Tillman, who turned down a mulitmillion-dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army, was killed in Afghanistan, officials said Friday.

Tillman, who served with the Army Rangers, was 27.

Although the military had not officially confirmed his death, the White House put out a statement of sympathy that praised Tillman as "an inspiration both on an off the football field."

Former Cardinals head coach Dave McGinnis said he felt both overwhelming sorrow and tremendous pride in Tillman, who "represented all that was good in sports."

"Pat knew his purpose in life," McGinnis said. "He proudly walked away from a career in football to a greater calling."

Several of Tillman's friends have said the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks influenced his decision to enlist.

This young man understood more about America and its purpose in the world than those bloviating pontificators that want us to consult the UN or defer to the wisdom of the likes of France and Germany.

Here is an excellent and moving column by Peggy Noonan regarding Pat Tillman when he enlisted.

Rest in peace, Pat Tillman. Rest in peace.
My Point of View

I thought that it would be beneficial to take a moment to write about my point of view and the underlying purpose and theme of this undertaking.

My name is Dale Weeks and this blog is a collection of opinions and insights on the world in which we live. I freely give you my name, as I am unashamed of my opinions. If you disagree with what you see or read, feel free to write . Opinions and views are subject to change and mine have changed greatly over the years; I have made the journey from liberal to conservative. Be forewarned though, I don’t see my ever going back.

I am a Baby-Boomer and, as such I have seen massive changes in the world. Sure, every generation looks back and sees enormous changes, but the changes that I, and we have seen are seminal to my views, which is the whole point of this blog. As such, I think them worthy of a short explanation..................

Please Note: This is rather lengthy for a blog post, so I have permanently linked this post this to the right, under "My Essays", “Point of View”.

Thank You.
Shiite Cleric Threatens Suicide Attacks

I know, same old story. I post it only because it further underscores the point that I have been trying to make with regard to Islam. This is a "faith" that has degenerated into a death-worshipping cult and, after having consumed the Middle East, it now threatens western civilization.

If all Western military forces were to immediately withdraw from the Middle East, followed by all Western corporations, do you think that the violence would stop? Do you think that we would be safe from terrorism here in our country? If you think that, I must respectfully say that you should really pay more attention.

They do not want to be left alone. They do not want your understanding. They want your surrender and your supplication to Islam

No, this isn't about advocating hatred; it's a call to recognize what should now be obvious to everyone.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Arafat Expels 20 Militants From Compound

Ok, you look at the above headline and you might think that old frogface has decided to lighten up, to pursue peace by being rid of these "militants" (read: terrorists) that are holed up in his compound.

Well, you would be wrong. Here is the first paragraph of the story:

JERUSALEM (AP) - Yasser Arafat expelled 20 wanted militants from his compound Thursday out of fear Israel planned to break in and snatch them, a further sign that the Palestinian leader worries he might be Israel's next target.

Well Yasser, we can only hope.

So, it was action taken to protect the murderers, but if you just skimmed the headlines, it gives you the opposite impression. Ah, will the wonders of objective media ever cease?

As for Arafat, isn't he way overdue for his rendevous with the black eyed virgins?
Saudis Outraged by Riyadh Car Bombing

Wow! Do you think they are finally getting it? Well, no. Not really.

"God has promised wrath, damnation, painful torture and an eternity burning in hell for he who deliberately kills a Muslim... Unjustly killing a Muslim is the gravest crime which cannot be atoned," said the kingdom's highest religious authority, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh.

"I tell all Muslims that this act is a sin, it is one of the greatest sins," he said in a statement. "Aiding, calling for, or facilitating the murder of a Muslim is tantamount to involvement in murder and all who do so will be thrown by God into the flames of hell, for so dear is the sanctity of Muslim blood."

Silly me! I thought that God forbade the wanton murder of ALL people, now I find out that the rule applies only to Muslims!

Sorry, I guess it's still open season on Christians and Jews. After all, who would know better than the Grand Mufti?
Report: Trains Explode in North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - As many as 3,000 people were killed or injured Thursday when two trains carrying oil and liquefied petroleum gas collided and exploded in a North Korean train station, South Korean media reported.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, reportedly had passed through the station as he returned from China hours earlier, South Korea's all-news cable channel, YTN, reported.

What a shame. So close, yet so far away.

While I mourn the innocent loss of life, innocent loss of life is pretty routine in the North Korean Gulag. It would have been nice if Kim Jong Il, just once during his disgusting existance actually suffered along with his people.
The Anti-Semitism of The Left

Remember when Israel and the Jews had no greater friends than "The Left?" I do, and I constantly wonder what it was that drove the Left from the side of the Jews.

Simply look at the "anti-war" protests and you will see exhibits of anti-Semitism at a level not seen since the 30s in Europe. Many, even going so far as to equate the Jews with Nazis. On its face this is so preposterous that it defies basic reason, then again, the Left seems to call anything they don't agree with these days either "Nazi", "Fascist" or "Hitler." They are blissfully (rather, purposefully) unaware the "Stalin" and "Communists" exterminated FAR more of humanity than Hitler and his band of miscreants ever did.

I have a thought as to why the left is no longer in the Jews' corner. Perhaps the Jews were simply more lovable to them when they were "victims" and were not so closely aligned with US policy. Beginning in the 60s, Israel made it clear that they were not about to take any more abuse from their adversaries and were fully prepared to go to war with the entire Middle East if that became necessary. War eventually did become necessary and Israel more than proved its mettle. They cast off the role of "victim" and became one of the major players in the region. They also emerged as, if not a client, then at least an extremely very close ally of the United States.

Therein lies the seed of the Left's dissatisfaction with Israel. To be a foreign policy ally of the US is to be an enemy of the Left. It becomes more apparent every day that the farther left one goes politically, the more virulently anti-American one becomes. Disagree? "The war" seems to be, as it was in the 60s, the thread that ties these disparate fringe leftist organizations together. Look at the signs these people are carrying (link via LGF) at a "peace protest" held in March of 2004 and you will find that the sentiments have as much to do with America/Israel hatred and a laundry list of sundry causes as so-called "peace." No concern for genocide, no concern for the hundreds of thousands of bodies in mass graves, just hatred for America as "oppressors" of the Iraqis, just calls for "peace" even if that peace means the death of innocents.

There was a time when the left was principled, but they become more unprincipled and shrill by the day. They can no longer distinguish between oppression and liberation, between war and mass murder or between Israeli military action against terrorists and Palestinian murder of random civilians.

The Left isn't just mistaken. They're wrong.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Grand Jury Returns Indictment Against ‘King of Pop’

Well, duh! Once a great talent, now just another exhibit in the popular culture freak show. What a pity.
U.N. OKs Iraqi Oil-for-Food Probe

Yeah, let's entrust these guys with the fate of western civilization! Here is another good piece by Claudia Rosett on the National Review website on this scam. This stuff makes Enron look like going to lunch on the office petty cash.

Rogues and charlatans, nothing but rogues and charlatans.
Kerry's First Purple Heart

You know, this whole matter is becoming more than a little odorous. Here is a story from The Boston Globe regarding Kerry's first Purple Heart which contains these interesting passages:

"He had a little scratch on his forearm, and he was holding a piece of shrapnel," recalled Kerry's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Grant Hibbard. "People in the office were saying, `I don't think we got any fire,' and there is a guy holding a little piece of shrapnel in his palm." Hibbard said he couldn't be certain whether Kerry actually came under fire on Dec. 2, 1968, the date in questioned and that is why he said he asked Kerry questions about the matter.

But Kerry persisted and, to his own "chagrin," Hibbard said, he dropped the matter. "I do remember some questions, some correspondence about it," Hibbard said. "I finally said, `OK, if that's what happened . . . do whatever you want.' After that, I don't know what happened. Obviously, he got it, I don't know how."

Then there is this:

"Back at the base, Kerry told Hibbard he qualified for a Purple Heart, according to Hibbard. Thirty-six years later, Hibbard, reached at his retirement home in Florida, said he can still recall Kerry's wound, and that it resembled a scrape from a fingernail. "I've had thorns from a rose that were worse," said Hibbard, a registered Republican who said he was undecided on the 2004 presidential race."

Of course, he's a registered Republican! That explains it! For the life of me, I cannot see how Hibbard's political registration has any bearing on the story. Far more interesting is the fact that Kerry received three Purple Hearts, in four months, seemingly without missing any duty.

Look, I don't mean to denigrate anyone's service or accomplishments. Personally, I would just feel a little squeamish receiving a Purple Heart for a superficial wound, knowing that others were receiving the same medal for loss of limbs and permanent disfigurement. It just doesn't speak well of the man.

True heroes don't have to constantly identify themselves as such.
American Indian Arrested After Skinning Head Of Bald Eagle

Why do we continue to worship American Indians as though they were the epitome of humanity? They were stone age savages as this story illustrates. I have no doubt that some group will step forward in his defense in an effort to protect the "noble savage" and in doing so will put far too much emphasis on "noble" and far too little on "savage."

I'm all for preservation of tradition, but certain things need not be preserved. Savagery is one of those things.
Deadly Car Bombs Rock Saudi Capital

How is it that even the Saudis don't get it? They support and defend these monsters and for their trouble they consistently get nothing but bloodshed. It's just pathetic.
The Religion of Peace

How can people continue to justify the wanton destruction that defines Islam? Today, simultaneous car bombs killed 68 people, including at least 16 children in Iraq. Not US soldiers; civilians and children.

As I have clearly stated in my essay on the subject, Islam appears to be theology in name only. Until it takes drastic and immediate measures to turn away from the evil which has embraced it, I see no reason to modify my view.
John "F" Kerry

I grow so weary of this man in specific and the Left in general. Just like middle easterners haven't had a wardrobe update in more than two millennia, it seems that leftists haven't had an idea update in more than three decades. It's high time that BOTH of these bozo consortia wake up and smell the progress.

The whole ad campaign that surrounds Kerry and the Dems is tedious; the "JFK" allusion, Vietnam, protests against "the war." There is a real difference between taking a stroll down memory lane and buying a house there and there seems to be a number of people on whom that difference is lost.

By and large, the 60s was not much more than a phony ad campaign. Remember all of those hip musicians who eschewed "capitalism?" They made millions and retired. Levi's made billions for their investors by outfitting a nation of "non-conformists" in the uniform of the day. Sure, the music was great, but the politics of the time did tremendous damage. Remember the "evil" FBI and CIA whom everyone (including John Kerry) wanted to castrate years ago? Now we are wondering why those same agencies were "singing soprano" prior to 9/11. Phonies can be dangerous.

John Kerry, a man who cannot seem to extricate himself from the 60s, has revealed himself to be just as phony as his times.

More than 30 years ago Kerry entered politics on the wave of anti-war sentiment by testifying before Congress as to widespread war crimes committed by US soldiers and famously throwing medals over the White House fence. Both actions showed his utter disdain for the military, his comrades and his own service. These were fashionable positions and actions in the 70s and they served him well.

Now 30 years hence he wraps himself in his valiant service and speaks ad nauseum about his daring do in Vietnam. In three decades, he's transformed himself from Abbey Hoffman to a combination of Audie Murphy and Sergeant York, though still attempting to brandish is anti-war bona fides.

I will trust a man who has the courage of his convictions, even if they are wrong, more than a man who wears the convictions that are fashionable for the time as though they were clothes.
Is there nothing that Islam DOES NOT condone?

Well, we already know that wife beating and mass murder are acceptable practices in Islam, now it appears that bank robbery (link via LGF) is also acceptable behavior (as long as they are Jewish banks). Thuggery, thy name is Muslim!

If it wasn't so tragic, it would be like a "Saturday Night Live" skit.

My name is Dale Weeks, thus the name of this blog; "This Weeks' View." To the left, you will find links to essays that I have written. The one on Islam is rather controversial, but I believe that it is something that needs to be said, again and again. I was once a person with a "live and let live" mindset, while I still feel that to be preferable I have learned that it is sometimes not an option.

If you like what I write or if you think I'm a raving lunatic, drop me an email, it will tell me that you're reading and that's really half the battle. If it's nice enough (or twisted enough), I'll post it. When I get a better website, I'll have a comments section and we'll have some give and take. I'm unemployed right now (more on that later) and this website is free and does not support comments.

I've also included some links to the right to prominent bloggers and interesting sites.

Check in often, it should be fun. We'll do some politics, some culture and who knows what else. Tell your friends.