Stepping Down, Enter Gillespie
I have had a relatively short period of time in the blogosphere, and View of the Republic has done better than I hoped. It's readers are strong and their opinions valued. I have had huge support from my fellow bloggers in the undertaking of VotR, and I thank you all for that.
Sadly, I will have to step down from writing my blog. Current issues in school and my other duties conflict with my free writing time, and it would be unfair to my readers to continue on with the slow, uninteresting pace that VotR has taken lately due to all the work I have been struggling to complete. For now, at least, I will have to resign and balance other priorities.
However, I will be watching a friend of mine very closely in his fledgling journey into the world of blogging. Dizzy Gillespie, of Gillespie's Opinion Journal, is a fellow conservative who sees things pretty straight. Additionally, from time to time, I will be posting on Gillespie's blog as well as collaborating with him on his political writings.
So, thanks to my loyal readers and my loyal friends. This has been an exciting experience that I will never forget. Best of luck to all of you.
And be warned, you haven't seen the last of Mr. Gatsby.
Rumsfeld Twice Offered to Resign
This is a story that came out just an hour ago. Looks like all that extreme liberal slurring did get to Rumsfeld... (Hat Tip: Matt Drudge)
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld disclosed Thursday that he had offered President Bush his resignation twice during the height of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal last year. He said he wanted the decision on his future to be placed in Bush's hands.
"He made that decision and said he did want me to stay on," Rumsfeld told CNN's "Larry King Live," according to a transcript provided by CNN before the program aired Thursday.
In the CNN interview Rumsfeld asserted, as he has many times in the past, that as defense secretary he could not be expected to know all that takes place in war zones halfway around the world. But he also indicated that he could have done more to head off the trouble.
The release of photographs last spring depicting American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib triggered worldwide outrage, particularly in the Arab world. Rumsfeld told Congress at the time that he would quit if he felt he could no longer serve effectively, but he also said then that he would not resign simply to please his critics and political opponents.
In the CNN interview, he indicated that he felt a measure of responsibility for the scandal.
"The problem is, this kind of thing occurs in prisons across the country and across the world," he said. "And you have to know it's going to be a possibility. And therefore the training and the discipline and the doctrine has to be such that you anticipate that risk. And clearly, that wasn't done to the extent it should."
Some had speculated last fall that if Bush was re-elected he would replace Rumsfeld, but in December the president said he wanted him to stay. Rumsfeld told CNN that when Bush asked him to stay for a second term, they did not discuss whether it would be for the full four years.
At a news conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, the subject of the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal arose in a different context. Rumsfeld said he may skip an appearance at a security conference in Germany next week because of a lawsuit there accusing him of war crimes for the prisoner abuse.
"It's something that we have to take into consideration," he said when asked whether the war crimes suit was a factor in weighing whether to attend the Munich Conference on Security Policy, an annual gathering of government defense officials, lawmakers and others from Europe and elsewhere.
Rumsfeld said he had not yet made a final decision on attending the two-day conference, where an address by the U.S. defense secretary typically is a highlight. Last year, Rumsfeld stoutly defended the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which was highly unpopular in much of Europe.
"Whether I end up there we'll soon know," he said Thursday. "It'll be a week, and we'll find out."
It would not be the first time Rumsfeld has skipped the conference. In 2002, he sent his top deputy, Paul Wolfowitz. If Rumsfeld decides not to attend this year, he will probably send Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy.
Attorneys from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights filed a suit with German federal prosecutors last November charging that U.S. officials, including Rumsfeld, are responsible for acts of torture against detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. That is the prison where U.S. soldiers were photographed abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi detainees.
Rumsfeld has maintained that the U.S. government has no policy to permit or encourage torture and that U.S. investigations of the Abu Ghraib abuses showed he was not directly responsible.
The lawsuit against Rumsfeld was filed in Germany because its laws allow for the prosecution of war crimes and human rights violations across national boundaries. Because the United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court, the case could not be filed there.
Rumsfeld noted that he is traveling to Nice, France, early next week for a NATO meeting, and he is "very likely going to visit some other locations in that part of the world during that period."
The Biased BBC
This is a great article from The Impudent Finger that addresses the problem with the BBC. Conservatives everywhere already knew the BBC was biased, and this is just more evidence of it. I have reprinted the article in it's entirety below, and I hope to publish my own complete review of the BBC's biased reporting sometime soon.
In this recent article, the BBC admits they didn't quite get the facts right.
The BBC has apologised for incorrectly broadcasting figures which suggested more Iraqi civilians had been killed by coalition and Iraqi forces than by insurgents.The information was based on figures given by the Iraqi Ministry of Health to the BBC's Panorama programme. The statistics concerned the number of people killed in conflict-related violence in the second half of 2004. The figures said that 3,274 civilians had died in that period, 2,041 of them as the result of "military operations". The rest were attributed to "terrorist operations".
The BBC reported the figures as suggesting that coalition and Iraqi forces could be responsible for up to 60% of conflict-related civilian deaths in Iraq.
To summarize, the BBC reported that the Coalition and Iraqi forces were primarily responsible for civilian combat-related deaths. Now, let's see what they needed to correct:
However, the Iraqi Ministry of Health then clarified that the figures included not just civilians, but also insurgents and Iraqi security forces. And it said that the phrase "military operations" referred to Iraqis killed by insurgents as well as coalition or Iraqi forces. The ministry said the BBC had misinterpreted the figures...
"The Iraqi Ministry of Health has issued a statement clarifying matters that were the subject of several conversations with the BBC before the report was published, and denying that this conclusion can be drawn from the figures relating to 'military operations'," said the BBC in a statement.
"The BBC regrets mistakes in its published and broadcast reports."
That's not a small mistake. It's a good thing the BBC has remained objective in their reporting of the War for Iraq. If they hadn't, I might suspect their admitted "mistakes" were anything but "mistakes".
I Talked to a Recruiter...
A U.S. Army recruiter, more specifically, and it turns out that I can join the Army this summer. I have to get parental permission first because I'm only 17 of course, but I think that my dad at least will sign it.
Asthma was the main thing holding me back, but I recently got checked out at the doctors and it's nearly gone. I hope to keep exercising to beat it this year, and then sign up.
Then, it's of to Iraq. I'm going to ask them to send me there, and I'm willing to bet they'll comply.
"I Took Seven Rounds..."
This is a very inspiring story that I thought I would share with y'all. This Marine deserves every award they can give him. Semper Fi!
I have taken the story from www.grunt.com, and it can be viewed here.
"I took seven rounds from a 'bad guy' firing a fully-automatic AK 47," he said Wednesday during a phone interview from his bed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. "Five in my right leg, one in my foot and one to the buttocks area. Then a grenade went off about four feet from me and I got 30 to 40 pieces of shrapnel in my back.
Brad described what happened when he was wounded.
"We were moving down the street, clearing buildings," he began. "A Marine came out wounded from a building and said there were three more wounded Marines trapped in there with a bunch of bad guys (insurgents). As we entered, we noticed several dead Iraqis on the floor and one of our wounded.
"An Iraqi pointed an AK47 at me and I shot and killed him, but there was another one on the stairs behind me that began firing at me with a fully-automatic AK. That's when I went down, along with one of my young Marines. Then I noticed the hand grenade."
Brad said his first instinct was to protect his young Marine. He covered the young man with his body and took the full brunt of shrapnel to his back when the grenade exploded.
Brad's injuries were severe. He was in and out of consciousness and lost 60 percent of his blood. He was first taken to a field hospital in Iraq, then flown to Germany, where he was hospitalized for a week before arriving in Bethesda.
The True Sons of Iraq Have Won!
I woke up today and turned on the news to see that 72 percent of Iraq has turned out to vote. People were dancing in the streets while holding their blue painted fingers high (the mark that they had voted) and had dressed in their best clothes to go and cast their ballot! This is a great day for the true sons and daughters of Iraq, as they have shown the terrorists who really is in control of Iraq! These people have risked their lives and the lives of their families just to vote and elect their leader, something that most Americans would never do. If there is rain on election day here the number of people voting drops! I truely believe that the Iraqis are the bravest people in the world.
I believe that you can get a better idea of what the Iraqis are feeling right now from the Iraqis themselves, so I have republished two posts from Iraqi bloggers below.]
As Ali at Free Iraqi said, "A'ash Al Iraq, A'ashat America, A'ash Al Tahaluf (Long live Iraq, long live America and long live the coalition)".
IRAQ THE MODEL
The people have won.
We would love to share what we did this morning with the whole world, we can't describe the feelings we've been through but we'll try to share as much as we can with you.
We woke up this morning one hour before the alarm clock was supposed to ring. As a matter of fact, we barely slept at all last night out of excitement and anxiety.
The first thing we saw this morning on our way to the voting center was a convoy of the Iraqi army vehicles patrolling the street, the soldiers were cheering the people marching towards their voting centers then one of the soldiers chanted "vote for Allawi" less than a hundred meters, the convoy stopped and the captain in charge yelled at the soldier who did that and said:
"You're a member of the military institution and you have absolutely no right to support any political entity or interfere with the people's choice. This is Iraq's army, not Allawi's".
This was a good sign indeed and the young officer's statement was met by applause from the people on the street.
The streets were completely empty except for the Iraqi and the coalition forces ' patrols, and of course kids seizing the chance to play soccer!
We had all kinds of feelings in our minds while we were on our way to the ballot box except one feeling that never came to us, that was fear.
We could smell pride in the atmosphere this morning; everyone we saw was holding up his blue tipped finger with broad smiles on the faces while walking out of the center.
I couldn't think of a scene more beautiful than that.
From the early hours of the morning, People filled the street to the voting center in my neighborhood; youths, elders, women and men. Women's turn out was higher by the way. And by 11 am the boxes where I live were almost full!
Anyone watching that scene cannot but have tears of happiness, hope, pride and triumph.
The sounds of explosions and gunfire were clearly heard, some were far away but some were close enough to make the windows of the center shake but no one seemed to care about them as if the people weren't hearing these sounds at all.
I saw an old woman that I thought would get startled by the loud sound of a close explosion but she didn't seem to care, instead she was busy verifying her voting station's location as she found out that her name wasn't listed in this center.
How can I describe it!? Take my eyes and look through them my friends, you have supported the day of Iraq's freedom and today, Iraqis have proven that they're not going to disappoint their country or their friends.
Is there a bigger victory than this? I believe not.
I still recall the first group of comments that came to this blog 14 months ago when many of the readers asked "The Model?"… "Model for what?"
Take a look today to meet the model of courage and human desire to achieve freedom; people walking across the fire to cast their votes.
Could any model match this one!? Could any bravery match the Iraqis'!?
Let the remaining tyrants of the world learn the lesson from this day.
The media is reporting only explosions and suicide attacks that killed and injured many Iraqis s far but this hasn't stopped the Iraqis from marching towards their voting stations with more determination. Iraqis have truly raced the sun.
I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants.
I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn't hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box but the supervisor smiled at me and said "brother, would you please move ahead, the people are waiting for their turn".
Yes brothers, proceed and fill the box!
These are stories that will be written on the brightest pages of history.
It was hard for us to leave the center but we were happy because we were sure that we will stand here in front of the box again and again and again.
Today, there's no voice louder than that of freedom.
No more confusion about what the people want, they have said their word and they said it loud and the world has got to respct and support the people's will.
God bless your brave steps sons of Iraq and God bless the defenders of freedom.
Aasha Al-Iraq….Aasha Al-Iraq….Aasha Al-Iraq.
Mohammed and Omar.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
The best Eid I ever had.Last night I couldn't sleep well. I was so excited and I wanted to be at the voting center before it even opens its door. I was afraid that I was going to be among a minority who are going to vote, but I was still very happy for rather a different reason. It's that just as I care about the outcome of this election and that democracy would work in Iraq, I cared no less about voting on a personal level. This was my way to stand against those who humiliated me, my family and my friends. It was my way of saying," You're history and you don't scare me anymore". It was my way to scream in the face of all tyrants, not just Saddam and his Ba'athists and tell them, "I don't want to be your, or anyone's slave. You have kept me in your jail all my life but you never owned my soul". It was my way of finally facing my fears and finding my courage and my humanity again.
I slept really late but I woke up at 6.30. I shaved (I do this once every century) and dressed as I was going to a party. The phone rang and I let it ring for a while before I answered. "Hey Ba'athist! Why are you still asleep? Why not go and vote?" a friend's voice came through teasing me. I tried to see if anyone started voting already so I turned on the TV and saw that few people have already done that but the reports were not very encouraging. I heard some explosions and gun shots. Some were far and some were near. I turned on the computer, made a post and checked the news.
My sister who's staying with us together with her husband and their one and a half year old son, "Mohammed", called on me to have breakfast. As I was sipping my tea I was surprised when my mother came back telling us she already voted! I envied her but I had changed my mind on rushing to vote. I decided instead to enjoy these moments to the last. I got out walked to the voting center like I was taking a walk in a park or on the bank of the river. As I got out it was still early and I saw no one on the streets but as I got near to the voting center I started seeing people in groups heading the same way. Most of them were women. I saw a crippled man and my old neighbor and his older wife leaning on their walking sticks going to vote. An old woman cleaning her door step stopped me, "Say son, can I go and vote?" She asked after she saw many people going to vote. "Sure Khala (aunt)! Everyone can". She thanked me and went inside apparently to change and get her IDs.
The voting center that was chosen in our district is a high school in the middle of the Neighborhood . This was the same place I went in 1996 to cast my vote in a poll asking if we wanted to have Saddam as a president for life or not. I had to go at that time. The threats for anyone who refused to take that poll were no less than the death penalty. Still our district was one of the places were one could vote secretly, occasionally though. They trusted our neighborhood because it's mainly Sunni military officers who live here with their families. I and some of my friends chose "NO" but we were scared to death as we marked the paper and remained so for days.
This time we went by choice and the threat was exactly the opposite. As I was walking with many people towards the center explosion hit and gun fire were heard but most were not that close. People didn't seem to pay attention to that. Some of them even brought their little kids with them! It's like the Eid but only a thousand times better.
I entered the school and the supervisors showed me the way to were I should vote. They and the ING guys were so polite and gentle. I cast my vote and got out, not in a rush at all. This is my Eid and I felt like a king walking in his own kingdom. I saw the same look of confidence and satisfaction in the eyes of all people I met. As I left one of the gurads said to me as he handed me back my cellular phone,"God bless you and your beloved ones. We don't know how to thank you. Please excuse any inconvinience on our part. We wish we didn't have to search you or limit your freedom. You are heroes" I was struck with surprise and felt ashamed. This man was risking his life all these hours in what has become the utmost target for all terrorists in Iraq and yet he's apologizing and calling us heroes. I thanked him back and told him that he and his comrads are the true heroes and that we can never be grateful enough for their services.
I'm still thrilled as I'm watching Iraqis vote allover Iraq through TV. Al Arabyia just reported that 6 thousand people in Fallujah have voted till now out of 60 thousands who have returned to their homes (total not voters). I listened to that and I felt enormous admiration and respect to those 6 thousand heroes. Things are difficult in Baghdad but it's still incomparable to Fallujah. I'm sure that the number will rise towards the end of the day.
I'm stil overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions that I don't know what to say more. The only things I can feel so strongly now are hope, excitement, pride and a strange internal peace. I have won my battle and I'm watching the whole Iraqis winning their battle too. I'll try to write to you later my friends.
A'ash Al Iraq, A'ashat America, A'ash Al Tahaluf. (Long live Iraq, long live America and long live the coalition)
Iraq Body Count Lies
Perhaps you have heard of the website iraqbodycount.net which posts the civilian deaths caused by coalition troops in Iraq (rather, it claims too). A frequent commenter (yeah you, Weech) brought this site up and I'm glad he did. I've had liberals try and get me using information on this particular website before, and I'm prepared. I did a little researching into the information the site uses and exactly what they count as civilians killed by coalition troops. The results were very interesting indeed.
Finding the information on iraqbodycount.net was fairly difficult as they like to try and confuse a person looking for the truth as much as possible. However, it can be done, and if you look hard enough into their information, you will find exactly what anyone with sense suspected: This site exaggerates things beyond belief.
At the time I am writing this IBC had listed 15,493 as a minimum and 17,721 as a maximum of civilian deaths caused by coalition troops. They collect this information based on their methodology, which is:
Our methodology requires that specific deaths attributed to US-led military actions are carried in at least two reports from our approved sources. This includes deaths resulting from the destruction of water treatment plants or any other lethal effects on the civilian population. The test for us remains whether the bullet (or equivalent) is attributed to a piece of weaponry where the trigger was pulled by a US or allied finger, or is due to "collateral damage" by either side (with the burden of responsibility falling squarely on the shoulders of those who initiate war without UN Security Council authorization).
Here are some examples of instances where "the trigger was pulled by a US or allied finger," or are just "collateral damage". These are all included in the death count as being caused by coalition troops.
Over 8,000 deaths of Saddams military, not civilians
Zarqawi's murder of 182 Shiite pilgrims in a series of bombings on 2 March 03.
The terrorist bombings of the PUK and KDP offices in Irbil, which killed 107.
The 21 April car bombings in Basra and Zubair, which killed 74.
The truck bomb at Iskandiyah police station which killed 75.
The 11 February car bomb at Muthara Airport, killing 47 Iraqi recruits.
Here are some more.
--IBC counts 10 killed when terrorists blew up the Red Cross Headquarters in Baghdad on 27 Oct.
--IBC counts 12 killed when insurgents detonated a car bomb at the Italian MP headquarters, Nov.12.
--IBC counts 14 killed when terrorists detonated a truck bomb at al-Baya'a police station in April 2004.
--IBC counts the abduction and subsequent murder, by terrorists, of a prominent Shiite judge on 3 November.
IBC also lists beheadings by insurgents under their "civilian deaths caused by coalition forces" list.
Those are just some major ones they have listed since the war began and up untill may. Want more? Check out this page, which contains all of bodycount's casualty information.
Now I looked even closer, and it turns out this site includes the deaths of insurgents as civilians. Don't believe me? Once again, check out the link.
They also include the deaths of Iraqi Policemen as being caused by American soldiers.
Yeah, this gets even more unbelievable; IBC lists the deaths of American troops as civilian deaths caused by American forces.
I wonder how IBC managed to confuse things like that. Do you think that maybe they might be motivated by their liberal bias? Gee wiz...
Oh, and as my friend Weech said, isn't it interesting how this site is liberal? I think you might have meant that differently though, Weech...
How Liberals Commemorate the Lost Soldiers
Over at A View From the North our friend C.C. has chosen to remember the 31 Marines that died in tragic helicopter accident with only one word: Oops. Yes, that's right, oops. The article can be found here. Please let C.C. know that we don't appreciate his lack of respect and appreciation toward our dead troops.
I am so sick of liberals like C.C. pretending to care about the lives of American soldiers while using their deaths to advance their political causes. I mean, this was an accident; something that could have (and often does) happened right here in the U.S. An accidental helicopter crash, in which 31 brave soldiers were killed doing a routine operation that they would be practicing in America on a weekly basis anyway. And what does C.C. say about that?
I guess that's what you would call having a bad day. But hey, not to worry -- democracy is taking root, freedom is on the ring, ... or whatever is the dyslexism of the day.
Nice, C.C. We all know you hate the soldiers but do you have to mock their deaths as well? Today we lost 31 men better than you or I could ever hope to be. Sadly, in your warped mindset, you don't see it that way. You see it as a time to capitalize on the deaths of those Marines and promote your twisted cause. What do you plan to say about your callous "remembrance" to those soldiers, and to God when you die? And if you don't believe in God or heaven, then what do you have to say to the families of those soldiers?
Oops won't cut it .
It's Finally Happened...
This is just a bit of personal blather I'm writing; Nothing political, just something significant to me. As my friends know, and many of my readers do not, I'm going grey very early. At 17, I have over 50 grey hairs which stand out starkly against the usual black ones. Now, it has finally happened--I have a grey eyebrow hair. Man, I'm getting old fast...
Sen. Boxer takes victim role after hearing for Rice
This is something we should have expected. Typical Democratic tactic: who you try and slime a persons integrity, and that person points out that the personal attack wasn't necessary, make yourself look like the one who was personally attacked. This article brought to you by The Washington Times.
Sen. Barbara Boxer says she is the real victim of last week's confirmation hearing for Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, yet continued yesterday to question the national security adviser's honesty. "She turned and attacked me," the California Democrat told CNN's "Late Edition" in describing the confrontation during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
She's talking about this quote below... See if you can make sense of it.
"I personally believe — this is my personal view — that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth," Mrs. Boxer told Miss Rice
So, according to Boxer, Rice was given an evil propaganda mission which blinded her from the truth. It's a little odd how that wasn't what Rice was told to do at all, but since when has the truth mattered to the liberals?
Miss Rice responded that she "never, ever lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. It is not my nature. It is not my character." "And I would hope that we can have this conversation and discuss what happened before and what went on before and what I said without impugning my credibility or my integrity," Miss Rice said.
And, according to boxer, that was when Rice turned into a vicious madwoman that attacked her personally. Wow, what a terrible thing it was the Miss Rice said. I'd go home and cry about that one. I mean, suggesting the obvious? How low is that?
"She turned and attacked me, I gave Dr. Rice many opportunities to address specific issues. Instead, she said I was impugning her integrity," Mrs. Boxer said.
Which Boxer obviously was. Without any evidence, Boxer just spurted out her biased opinion on Rice's personality and motivation. Then Rice had the gall to accuse of doing just that. What Rice didn't point out was that Boxer didn't really care (now THIS is a personal attack) whether Rice was good for the job or not. She just cares about halting every little thing that President Bush tries to do, up to and including breathing.
"When you really don't know what to say about a specific, you just attack the person who is asking the questions," Mrs. Boxer told CNN.
Let's look at those quotes again.
"I personally believe — this is my personal view — that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth," Mrs. Boxer told Miss Rice
Miss Rice responded that she "never, ever lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. It is not my nature. It is not my character." "And I would hope that we can have this conversation and discuss what happened before and what went on before and what I said without impugning my credibility or my integrity," Miss Rice said.
So, who is doing the attacking here?
Liberal Media Downfall
The liberal media downfall that many have predicted is coming about slightly sooner than expected, as the drudge report shows. While this is just a small event, similar instances will soon follow...
CNN LOSES 63% OF AUDIENCE OVER INAUGURATION 2001
Fri Jan 21 2005 23:52:24 2005
CNN hemorrhaged more than half their audience from the 2001 Inauguration, overnights show. The troubled news network only averaged 779,000 viewers during yesterday's Inauguration coverage from 10am-4pm with just 168,000 of those viewers landing in the coveted 25-54 demo.
Like CNN, MSNBC also suffered major losses, only averaging 438,000 viewers throughout yesterday's coverage (141,000 in 25-54), down a whopping 68% over 2001 and faring even worse in primetime with just 385,000 viewers.
In contrast, Fox News averaged 2,581,000 viewers from 10am-4pm (up 30% over 2001) and their 25-54 demo average of 705,000 came close to CNN's total coverage ratings yesterday.
FNC -- 2,439,000 (up 57% OVER '01)
CNN -- 1,353,000 (down 14% over '01)
MSNBC -- 385,000 (down 47% over '01)
(Hat tip, Matt Drudge)
This is just a swell story of the non-violent liberals at the inauguration. This is a great day for freedom, may President Bush spread the legacy of liberty all over the globe, despite liberal efforts to stop it!
12:12 p.m. ET
Not So Peaceful Peace Rally
Hundreds of people gathered at both ends of Meridian Hill Park in Northwest Washington for a peace rally sponsored by the D.C Antiwar Network.
But there were interlopers: Thirteen members of ProtestWarror, supporting the Bush administration and its policies in Iraq. When the Bush supporters arrived, about 20 black-clad, self-described anarchists emerged from the crowd, shouting profanity and epithets and demanding that they leave the peace rally.
When the Bush supporters refused to leave, the anarchists tore the signs out of the Bush supporters’ hands and stomped on them. When ProtestWarrior leader Gil Kobrin objected, several male anarchists knocked him to the ground, kicking him in the back and punching him. Other anarchists punched and shoved Kobrin’s 12 colleagues.
After D.C. Antiwar Network members broke up the fight, the Bush supporters heeded their order to leave the park. Kobrin then called D.C. police, who are now guarding them at the entrance of the park as they hold up their pro-war signs. “We’re going to hang tight,” Kobrin said. “We’re expressing our freedom of speech just as they are expressing theirs.” —Robert MacMillan
Khatami: Iran Will Defend Against U.S. Attack" -- Yeah, Right
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has plans to defend itself should the United States make any aggressive moves, President Mohammad Khatami said Thursday, but he added that the possibility of an attack "is very low" because Washington has too many problems in Iraq.
Well, that last part may be true (though I doubt it) but his attitude that Iran could possibly defend itself against U.S. attack is ridiculous. I mean, America has the strongest military in world history...we won't encounter difficulties attacking Iran. Look at it this way; When the U.S. attacked Iraq in the first Gulf War, Iraq has the third largest army in the world. In 60 days, the war was over with the United States as the victor. The Iraqi military was nothing compared to ours, and it is the same with Iran.
Plus, the kind of attack we would initiate wouldn't be a ground war at all. We would attack the three (or possibly more) sites that we believe Iran is using to create nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction from the air or sea, using laser guided missiles that would demolish each of the sites completely. In this initial attack, Iranian defense systems wouldn't be enough to stop us and they probably wouldn't even know we were there until it was over. There would be no battle deaths.
However, the Iranian response to a U.S. attack would be different. They would probably launch missiles at our forces in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and probably at Israel. We would have to rely on our missile defense systems to bring those missiles down before they could reach our troops. Our defense capabilities in that area are pretty high, so the casualties would be few in number.
Also, Iranian troops would probably try to cross the border into Iraq and stage an attack on our forces. This problem would be dispatched easily, however, by merely monitoring the border and bombing any troops movements into Iraq. The ground forces of Iran would never make it across the border alive.
Hopefully, the United States would focus on only attacking the above mentioned sites, and not try to pull of a regime change. If we did this, the war with Iran would be over in a matter of months with little U.S. casualties and the world much safer off.
Whether we start this war remains to be seen, but I wouldn't count it out.
Media's coverage has distorted world's view of Iraqi reality
This is pertaining to my "Journalistic Treason" theory that y'all have been hearing me talk about so much. So we now know what the military really thinks of the War...Strange how it doesn't appeal to liberals.
By LTC Tim Ryan
Editors' Note: LTC Tim Ryan is Commander, Task Force 2-12 Cavalry, First Cavalry Division in Iraq. He led troops into battle in Fallujah late last year and is now involved in security operations for the upcoming elections. He wrote the following during "down time" after the Fallujah operation. His views are his own.
All right, I've had enough. I am tired of reading distorted and grossly exaggerated stories from major news organizations about the "failures" in the war in Iraq. "The most trusted name in news" and a long list of others continue to misrepresent the scale of events in Iraq. Print and video journalists are covering only a fraction of the events in Iraq and, more often than not, the events they cover are only negative.
The inaccurate picture they paint has distorted the world view of the daily realities in Iraq. The result is a further erosion of international support for the United States' efforts there, and a strengthening of the insurgents' resolve and recruiting efforts while weakening our own. Through their incomplete, uninformed and unbalanced reporting, many members of the media covering the war in Iraq are aiding and abetting the enemy.
The fact is the Coalition is making steady progress in Iraq, but not without ups and downs. So why is it that no matter what events unfold, good or bad, the media highlights mostly the negative aspects of the event? The journalistic adage, "If it bleeds, it leads," still applies in Iraq, but why only when it's American blood?
As a recent example, the operation in Fallujah delivered an absolutely devastating blow to the insurgency. Though much smaller in scope, clearing Fallujah of insurgents arguably could equate to the Allies' breakout from the hedgerows in France during World War II. In both cases, our troops overcame a well-prepared and solidly entrenched enemy and began what could be the latter's last stand. In Fallujah, the enemy death toll has exceeded 1,500 and still is climbing. Put one in the win column for the good guys, right? Wrong. As soon as there was nothing negative to report about Fallujah, the media shifted its focus to other parts of the country.
More recently, a major news agency's website lead read: "Suicide Bomber Kills Six in Baghdad" and "Seven Marines Die in Iraq Clashes." True, yes. Comprehensive, no. Did the author of this article bother to mention that Coalition troops killed 50 or so terrorists while incurring those seven losses? Of course not. Nor was there any mention about the substantial progress these offensive operations continue to achieve in defeating the insurgents. Unfortunately, this sort of incomplete reporting has become the norm for the media, whose poor job of presenting a complete picture of what is going on in Iraq borders on being criminal.
Much of the problem is about perspective, putting things in scale and balance. What if domestic news outlets continually fed American readers headlines like: "Bloody Week on U.S. Highways: Some 700 Killed," or "More Than 900 Americans Die Weekly from Obesity-Related Diseases"? Both of these headlines might be true statistically, but do they really represent accurate pictures of the situations? What if you combined all of the negatives to be found in the state of Texas and used them as an indicator of the quality of life for all Texans? Imagine the headlines: "Anti-law Enforcement Elements Spread Robbery, Rape and Murder through Texas Cities." For all intents and purposes, this statement is true for any day of any year in any state. True — yes, accurate — yes, but in context with the greater good taking place — no! After a year or two of headlines like these, more than a few folks back in Texas and the rest of the U.S. probably would be ready to jump off of a building and end it all. So, imagine being an American in Iraq right now.
From where I sit in Iraq, things are not all bad right now. In fact, they are going quite well. We are not under attack by the enemy; on the contrary, we are taking the fight to him daily and have him on the ropes. In the distance, I can hear the repeated impacts of heavy artillery and five-hundred-pound bombs hitting their targets. The occasional tank main gun report and the staccato rhythm of a Marine Corps LAV or Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle's 25-millimeter cannon provide the bass line for a symphony of destruction. As elements from all four services complete the absolute annihilation of the insurgent forces remaining in Fallujah, the area around the former insurgent stronghold is more peaceful than it has been for more than a year.
The number of attacks in the greater Al Anbar Province is down by at least 70-80 percent from late October — before Operation Al Fajar began. The enemy in this area is completely defeated, but not completely gone. Final eradication of the pockets of insurgents will take some time, as it always does, but the fact remains that the central geographic stronghold of the insurgents is now under friendly control. That sounds a lot like success to me. Given all of this, why don't the papers lead with "Coalition Crushes Remaining Pockets of Insurgents" or "Enemy Forces Resort to Suicide Bombings of Civilians"? This would paint a far more accurate picture of the enemy's predicament over here. Instead, headlines focus almost exclusively on our hardships.
What about the media's portrayal of the enemy? Why do these ruthless murderers, kidnappers and thieves get a pass when it comes to their actions? What did the the media show or tell us about Margaret Hassoon, the director of C.A.R.E. in Iraq and an Iraqi citizen, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured and left disemboweled on a street in Fallujah? Did anyone in the press show these images over and over to emphasize the moral failings of the enemy as they did with the soldiers at Abu Ghuraib? Did anyone show the world how this enemy had huge stockpiles of weapons in schools and mosques, or how he used these protected places as sanctuaries for planning and fighting in Fallujah and the rest of Iraq? Are people of the world getting the complete story? The answer again is no! What the world got instead were repeated images of a battle-weary Marine who made a quick decision to use lethal force and who immediately was tried in the world press. Was this one act really illustrative of the overall action in Fallujah? No, but the Marine video clip was shown an average of four times each hour on just about every major TV news channel for a week. This is how the world views our efforts over here and stories like this without a counter continually serve as propaganda victories for the enemy. Al Jazeera isn't showing the film of the C.A.R.E. worker, but is showing the clip of the Marine. Earlier this year, the Iraqi government banned Al Jazeera from the country for its inaccurate reporting. Wonder where they get their information now? Well, if you go to the Internet, you'll find a web link from the Al Jazeera home page to CNN's home page. Very interesting.
The operation in Fallujah is only one of the recent examples of incomplete coverage of the events in Iraq. The battle in Najaf last August provides another. Television and newspapers spilled a continuous stream of images and stories about the destruction done to the sacred city, and of all the human suffering allegedly brought about by the hands of the big, bad Americans. These stories and the lack of anything to counter them gave more fuel to the fire of anti-Americanism that burns in this part of the world. Those on the outside saw the Coalition portrayed as invaders or oppressors, killing hapless Iraqis who, one was given to believe, simply were trying to defend their homes and their Muslim way of life.
Such perceptions couldn't be farther from the truth. What noticeably was missing were accounts of the atrocities committed by the Mehdi Militia — Muqtada Al Sadr's band of henchmen. While the media was busy bashing the Coalition, Muqtada's boys were kidnapping policemen, city council members and anyone else accused of supporting the Coalition or the new government, trying them in a kangaroo court based on Islamic Shari'a law, then brutally torturing and executing them for their "crimes." What the media didn't show or write about were the two hundred-plus headless bodies found in the main mosque there, or the body that was put into a bread oven and baked. Nor did they show the world the hundreds of thousands of mortar, artillery and small arms rounds found within the "sacred" walls of the mosque. Also missing from the coverage was the huge cache of weapons found in Muqtada's "political" headquarters nearby. No, none of this made it to the screen or to print. All anyone showed were the few chipped tiles on the dome of the mosque and discussion centered on how we, the Coalition, had somehow done wrong. Score another one for the enemy's propaganda machine.
Now, compare the Najaf example to the coverage and debate ad nauseam of the Abu Ghuraib Prison affair. There certainly is no justification for what a dozen or so soldiers did there, but unbalanced reporting led the world to believe that the actions of the dozen were representative of the entire military. This has had an incredibly negative effect on Middle Easterners' already sagging opinion of the U.S. and its military. Did anyone show the world images of the 200 who were beheaded and mutilated in Muqtada's Shari'a Law court, or spend the next six months talking about how horrible all of that was? No, of course not. Most people don't know that these atrocities even happened. It's little wonder that many people here want us out and would vote someone like Muqtada Al Sadr into office given the chance — they never see the whole truth. Strange, when the enemy is the instigator the media does not flash images across the screens of televisions in the Middle East as they did with Abu Ghuraib. Is it because the beheaded bodies might offend someone? If so, then why do we continue see photos of the naked human pyramid over and over?
So, why doesn't the military get more involved in showing the media the other side of the story? The answer is they do. Although some outfits are better than others, the Army and other military organizations today understand the importance of getting out the story — the whole story — and trains leaders to talk to the press. There is a saying about media and the military that goes: "The only way the media is going to tell a good story is if you give them one to tell." This doesn't always work as planned. Recently, when a Coalition spokesman tried to let TV networks in on opening moves in the Fallujah operation, they misconstrued the events for something they were not and then blamed the military for their gullibility. CNN recently aired a "special report" in which the cable network accused the military of lying to it and others about the beginning of the Fallujah operation. The incident referred to took place in October when a Marine public affairs officer called media representatives and told them that an operation was about to begin. Reporters rushed to the outskirts of Fallujah to see what they assumed was going to be the beginning of the main attack on the city. As it turned out, what they saw were tactical "feints" designed to confuse the enemy about the timing of the main attack, then planned to take place weeks later.
Once the network realized that major combat operations wouldn't start for several more weeks, CNN alleged that the Marines had used them as a tool for their deception operation. Now, they say they want answers from the military and the administration on the matter. The reality appears to be that in their zeal to scoop their competition, CNN and others took the information they were given and turned it into what they wanted it to be. Did the military lie to the media: no. It is specifically against regulations to provide misinformation to the press. However, did the military planners anticipate that reporters would take the ball and run with it, adding to the overall deception plan? Possibly. Is that unprecedented or illegal? Of course not.
CNN and others say they were duped by the military in this and other cases. Yet, they never seem to be upset by the undeniable fact that the enemy manipulates them with a cunning that is almost worthy of envy. You can bet that terrorist leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi has his own version of a public affairs officer and it is evident that he uses him to great effect. Each time Zarqawi's group executes a terrorist act such as a beheading or a car bomb, they have a prepared statement ready to post on their website and feed to the press. Over-eager reporters take the bait, hook, line and sinker, and report it just as they got it.
Did it ever occur to the media that this type of notoriety is just what the terrorists want and need? Every headline they grab is a victory for them. Those who have read the ancient Chinese military theorist and army general Sun Tzu will recall the philosophy of "Kill one, scare ten thousand" as the basic theory behind the strategy of terrorism. Through fear, the terrorist can then manipulate the behavior of the masses. The media allows the terrorist to use relatively small but spectacular events that directly affect very few, and spread them around the world to scare millions. What about the thousands of things that go right every day and are never reported? Complete a multi-million-dollar sewer project and no one wants to cover it, but let one car bomb go off and it makes headlines. With each headline, the enemy scores another point and the good-guys lose one. This method of scoring slowly is eroding domestic and international support while fueling the enemy's cause.
I believe one of the reasons for this shallow and subjective reporting is that many reporters never actually cover the events they report on. This is a point of growing concern within the Coalition. It appears many members of the media are hesitant to venture beyond the relative safety of the so-called "International Zone" in downtown Baghdad, or similar "safe havens" in other large cities. Because terrorists and other thugs wisely target western media members and others for kidnappings or attacks, the westerners stay close to their quarters. This has the effect of holding the media captive in cities and keeps them away from the broader truth that lies outside their view. With the press thus cornered, the terrorists easily feed their unwitting captives a thin gruel of anarchy, one spoonful each day. A car bomb at the entry point to the International Zone one day, a few mortars the next, maybe a kidnapping or two thrown in. All delivered to the doorsteps of those who will gladly accept it without having to leave their hotel rooms — how convenient.
The scene is repeated all too often: an attack takes place in Baghdad and the morning sounds are punctuated by a large explosion and a rising cloud of smoke. Sirens wail in the distance and photographers dash to the scene a few miles away. Within the hour, stern-faced reporters confidently stare into the camera while standing on the balcony of their tenth-floor Baghdad hotel room, their back to the city and a distant smoke plume rising behind them. More mayhem in Gotham City they intone, and just in time for the morning news. There is a transparent reason why the majority of car bombings and other major events take place before noon Baghdad-time; any later and the event would miss the start of the morning news cycle on the U.S. east coast. These terrorists aren't stupid; they know just what to do to scare the masses and when to do it. An important key to their plan is manipulation of the news media. But, at least the reporters in Iraq are gathering information and filing their stories, regardless of whether or the stories are in perspective. Much worse are the "talking heads" who sit in studios or offices back home and pontificate about how badly things are going when they never have been to Iraq and only occasionally leave Manhattan.
Almost on a daily basis, newspapers, periodicals and airwaves give us negative views about the premises for this war and its progress. It seems that everyone from politicians to pop stars are voicing their unqualified opinions on how things are going. Recently, I saw a Rolling Stone magazine and in bold print on the cover was, "Iraq on Fire; Dispatches from the Lost War." Now, will someone please tell me who at Rolling Stone or just about any other "news" outlet is qualified to make a determination as to when all is lost and it's time to throw in the towel? In reality, such flawed reporting serves only to misshape world opinion and bolster the enemy's position. Each enemy success splashed across the front pages and TV screens of the world not only emboldens them, but increases their ability to recruit more money and followers.
So what are the credentials of these self proclaimed "experts"? The fact is that most of those on whom we rely for complete and factual accounts have little or no experience or education in counter-insurgency operations or in nation-building to support their assessments. How would they really know if things are going well or not? War is an ugly thing with many unexpected twists and turns. Who among them is qualified to say if this one is worse than any other at this point? What would they have said in early 1942 about our chances of winning World War II? Was it a lost cause too? How much have these "experts" studied warfare and counter-insurgencies in particular? Have they ever read Roger Trinquier's treatise Modern Warfare: A French View on Counter-insurgency (1956)? He is one of the few French military guys who got it right. The Algerian insurgency of the 1950s and the Iraq insurgency have many similarities. What about Napoleon's campaigns in Sardinia in 1805-07? Again, there are a lot of similarities to this campaign. Have they studied that and contrasted the strategies? Or, have they even read Mao Zedung's theories on insurgencies, or Nygen Giap's, or maybe Che' Gueverra's? Have they seen any of Sun Tzu's work lately? Who are these guys? It's time to start studying, folks. If a journalist doesn't recognize the names on this list, he or she probably isn't qualified to assess the state of this or any other campaign's progress.
Worse yet, why in the world would they seek opinion from someone who probably knows even less than they do about the state of affairs in Iraq? It sells commercials, I suppose. But, I find it amazing that some people are more apt to listen to a movie star's or rock singer's view on how we should prosecute world affairs than to someone whose profession it is to know how these things should go. I play the guitar, but Bruce Springsteen doesn't listen to me play. Why should I be subjected to his views on the validity of the war? By profession, he's a guitar player. Someone remind me what it is that makes Sean Penn an expert on anything. It seems that anyone who has a dissenting view is first to get in front of the camera. I'm all for freedom of speech, but let's talk about things we know. Otherwise, television news soon could have about as much credibility as "The Bachelor" has for showing us truly loving couples.
Also bothersome are references by "experts" on how "long" this war is taking. I've read that in the world of manufacturing, you can have only two of the following three qualities when developing a product — cheap, fast or good. You can produce something cheap and fast, but it won't be good; good and fast, but it won't be cheap; good and cheap, but it won't be fast. In this case, we want the result to be good and we want it at the lowest cost in human lives. Given this set of conditions, one can expect this war is to take a while, and rightfully so. Creating a democracy in Iraq not only will require a change in the political system, but the economic system as well. Study of examples of similar socio-economic changes that took place in countries like Chile, Bulgaria, Serbia, Russia and other countries with oppressive Socialist dictatorships shows that it took seven to ten years to move those countries to where they are now. There are many lessons to be learned from these transfomations, the most important of which is that change doesn't come easily, even without an insurgency going on. Maybe the experts should take a look at all of the work that has gone into stabilizing Bosnia-Herzegovina over the last 10 years. We are just at the 20-month mark in Iraq, a place far more oppressive than Bosnia ever was. If previous examples are any comparison, there will be no quick solutions here, but that should be no surprise to an analyst who has done his or her homework.
This war is not without its tragedies; none ever are. The key to the enemy's success is use of his limited assets to gain the greatest influence over the masses. The media serves as the glass through which a relatively small event can be magnified to international proportions, and the enemy is exploiting this with incredible ease. There is no good news to counteract the bad, so the enemy scores a victory almost every day. In its zeal to get to the hot spots and report the latest bombing, the media is missing the reality of a greater good going on in Iraq. We seldom are seen doing anything right or positive in the news. People believe what they see, and what people of the world see almost on a daily basis is negative. How could they see it any other way? These images and stories, out of scale and context to the greater good going on over here, are just the sort of thing the terrorists are looking for. This focus on the enemy's successes strengthens his resolve and aids and abets his cause. It's the American image abroad that suffers in the end.
Ironically, the press freedom that we have brought to this part of the world is providing support for the enemy we fight. I obviously think it's a disgrace when many on whom the world relies for news paint such an incomplete picture of what actually has happened. Much too much is ignored or omitted. I am confident that history will prove our cause right in this war, but by the time that happens, the world might be so steeped in the gloom of ignorance we won't recognize victory when we achieve it.
Postscript: I have had my staff aggressively pursue media coverage for all sorts of events that tell the other side of the story only to have them turned down or ignored by the press in Baghdad. Strangely, I found it much easier to lure the Arab media to a "non-lethal" event than the western outlets. Open a renovated school or a youth center and I could always count on Al-Iraqia or even Al-Jazeera to show up, but no western media ever showed up – ever. Now I did have a pretty dangerous sector, the Abu Ghuraib district that extends from western Baghdad to the outskirts of Fallujah (not including the prison), but it certainly wasn't as bad as Fallujah in November and there were reporters in there.
The Big 1,000
1,000 hits since December 4th, 2004
It's finally happened...I've reached 1,000 hits. My thanks to all of my readers, even the liberal ones.
1000 Hits Coming up!
I'm getting to the 1000 hit mark, and I'm writing this on number 999. Damn close!
War with Iran Inspires Liberal Treachery
This is a report done by journalist Seymour Hersh, who claims that he gets his information from "inside" sources, who divulged it in the hope that publicity would force the administration to reconsider. "I think that's one of the reasons some of the people on the inside talk to me," he said.
Hersh said the government did not answer his request for a response before the story's publication, and that his sources include people in government whose information has been reliable in the past.
"The goal is to identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could be destroyed by precision strikes and short-term commando raids," he wrote in "The New Yorker" magazine, which published his article in editions that will be on newsstands Monday.
Alright, what Hersh did was obviously wrong. He probably just endangered the lives of our special forces by revealing what the
If this administration is planning to go into
Fear of the Truth
For a long time Canadian Cynic has been attacking conservatives over at his blog, A View from the North, and for much of that time I have been attempting to bring light to his lies. The usual pattern that follows our commenting can be recognized by how I disprove CC's point, and he then tries to confuse readers by stating irrelevant "facts", of which are comprised mostly of opinionated sources and are not really facts at all. After that, he will swear and call me names and his loyal lemming friends do the same. I'm sure that if I was any race but white, they would hurl racial slurs at me as well. After CC and his followers cloud the truth, I once again state the truth and expose his lies. Then, he repeats his process of misdirecting, lying, and using profanities. However, realizing the futility of continuing this cycle, I twice challenged CC to a live, online debate that would be conducted through a chat server. The first time he just ignored the question, the second he called me names, attempted to disprove my facts again, and said that he, quote
"So, no, I have no interest in debating the annoying, humping little dog. And the previous restrictions still hold -- anything from Jay that doesn't constitute direct and explicit evidence of the claims he made here will be summarily deleted."
Then, he proceeded to delete what I had said about he wouldn't debate me simply because he knew that his point was so weak that it wouldn't stand up to actual debate. I said some others things in an attempt to defend my "maturity" which he also deleted. Don't believe me? I have put the link here. You will notice that my comments have been deleted, and he states that anything that doesn’t have “direct evidence” will be deleted. Meaning, anything that doesn’t conform to his liberal views will be censored. As many already know, liberals only support free speech if it is supporting their views. I think this proves it.
Needless to say, I will be posting this message, and many others, on “A View from the North” until Mr. CC either accepts my live debate or allows the truth to be spoken. So, CC, are you so afraid that what I am saying will disprove your radical liberal views that you have resorted to censorship?
As I stated in the deleted comment, “Is your position so weak that you fear it would not stand up to open debate?” Give me an honest answer this time.
Sheriff Brings Back Anti-Gay Beliefs
This is a story that I think deserves more attention that it’s getting. As my readers know, I have always condemned the mistreatment of any people through bigotry and racism, and I am condemning this as well. This story was reported by Fox News, and the original article can be found here.
Mac Holcomb, a County Sheriff from Alabama, has displayed on his website an anti-homosexual message. Not only that, but he is leaving the message up on the site even now, sticking to his claims. Reflecting on the 1940’s and 50’s, Holcomb states, "Men were men and women were women and there was no mistaking which was which ... Homosexuality was very queer and a despicable act ... an abomination."
Don Hunter, an Anniston native who is now a deputy administrator for Marin County, Calif., first ran across the website.
"It is shocking," said Hunter, who is gay and who wrote the sheriff a letter. "He seems to have a very warped sense of the good old days."
The Sheriff’s real point seemed to be trying to bring back the time of the 1940’s and 1950’s, which is something that I would like to do as well. However, certain things that were present during those times, such as racism, bigotry, etc, are not things that should be brought back; which is precisely what Holcomb is trying to do. Hunter managed to sum up my thoughts in the letter he wrote to the sheriff.
"While I would agree with you that we have lost many wonderful things from the 1950s," Hunter wrote to the sheriff, "homophobia, racism, and sexism are not part of the wonderful things. They are ugly now, they were ugly then, and surely they would be ugly in the eyes of Jesus Christ, who taught only love and compassion, never hatred."
Iraq War Photos Continued
These are some photos from Iraq that I discovered recently, and I thought I should share them. Any of y'all remember the New York Times publishing any of these? Yeah...me neither...
Mich. Schools Won't Offer Bible Class
This is an article that caught my eye recently, and I thought I would share it here. Kudos to Fox News. The original article can be found here.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
FRANKENMUTH, Mich. A rural school district will not offer a religious group's Bible class as an elective high school course, ending a yearlong debate.
The school board in Frankenmuth, about 75 miles north of Detroit, decided with one dissenting vote Monday to not offer the "Bible As Literature and History" class at Frankenmuth High School, following the recommendation of school Superintendent Michael Murphy
Alright, this doesn't make much sense to me. Tell me if I'm off base here guys, but I think that this course should be allowed to exist in the school. I mean, the students obviously want it. 1,200 of them signed the petition, which is more than the entire population of my school. I'd like to make a few points clear that help explain my view.
First, the whole "separation of church and state" thing. This class is a elective, no one would be forced to take it. I dislike horticulture, but it doesn't offend me just by being a class. I mean, some people do like horticulture so why shouldn't they be allowed to take it? Catching my drift?
Second, the schools views on the class don't seem to make much sense. Take a look:
"It goes beyond talking about religion and becomes faith-based," Murphy said.
Really? Thanks, genius. So what if it does? Once again, no one is being forced to take this class. Why don't they just form classes on the study of the Qu'ran or the Torah? It would be simple enough, just get the needed signatures and there you go. That sounds pretty equal to me.
Finally, there IS a place where schools should draw the line on religion. My schools English class has a part of the Bible, "Genesis", listed as required reading. I really don't think that's fair to non-Christian members of the school at all. They are being forced to read a section of the Bible, while the students of the Michigan school would not be.
Well, that's just what I think. Please comment away.
Abbas...Right or Wrong for the Mid-East ?
RAMALLAH, West Bank Mahmoud Abbas was elected Palestinian Authority president by a wide margin Sunday, exit polls showed, giving him a decisive mandate to renew peace talks with Israel, rein in militants and try to end more than four years of Mideast bloodshed.
Mahmoud Abbas Declares Victory
This is an interesting story, as this election holds within it the entire history of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. Abbas has recently promoted peace between to people of
However, Abbas is a holocaust denier and he has called
After all, Abbas was overwhelmingly elected by a people who overwhelmingly hate the Israelis (according to quite a few poles). Why would the Palestinians, the majority of which hate
Seig Heil, Palestinians!
Something pertaining to the Anti-Semitism discussion that was found by Little green Footballs. These are the people that liberals are sympathetic to. And they say Israel is too military oriented? I don't think you can be too militaristic when facing these kind of people; people that forget the past...then try to relive it.
Echoes of Nazism
In a supreme irony, the supporters of a Holocaust denierunfailingly identified by mainstream media as a moderate Palestinian leaderuse the same salute as the perpetrators of the Holocaust.
Fatah Youth in salute...
Members of the Fatah youth movement chant slogans during a rally for Palestinian presidential candidate Mahmoud Abbas at a hotel in the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Hanina, January 5, 2005. Palestinian fighters wounded 12 soldiers in a rocket attack on Israel Wednesday, defying calls for a cease-fire from Mahmoud Abbas, the frontrunner to succeed Yasser Arafat in an election Sunday. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Anti-Semitism on the Rise In Europe
WASHINGTON - A rise in the number of Muslims in Western Europe, many of them poor and uneducated, is contributing to an increase in already deeply rooted anti-Semitism there, the State Department said in a report to Congress...
...In Europe, where millions of Jews died in the Holocaust, anti-Semitic acts have increased both in frequency and severity since 2000, the report said...
The extreme liberal views of Europe have always focused on Anti-Isreali propaganda, as the right has always claimed. The site that I read about this survey on seemed to want to blame the problem mostly on uneducated people lashing out at what they don't understand, but I have another group to blame: Liberals. Yeah, I know this is nothing new for me, but it seems to be true. At least, for the European liberals. We all know that the United Nations is an extremley anti-semetic organization, and that seems to bring about the conclusion that some of the U.N.'s leading members would be too. Take a look at the results of a survey taken the the UK:
British people rate Israel as the country least deserving of international respect, as well as one of the world's "least democratic countries," according to a recent survey.
What does that show? We know that the liberals hate Israel...but do they hate the Jewish people as well?
Sorry 'Bout Not Posting
Sorry I haven't posted in a while guys, I've been busy (mid-terms coming up). I want to say that whoever here has donated to the Tsunami relief through my site please let me know, I'd like to put your name in a special thanks spot on my blog. Same with contributors to the "Friends of Iraq" blogger challenge that I joined. I finally got the button working, so please donate what you can. Thanks everybody!
Donate to the Tsunami Victims
I was browsing my sitemeter the other day and noticed something unusual; many people have been coming to my site looking for a way t donate to the tsunami victims in Asia wanted to provide a link for donations, but I also wanted be sure the money was actually going to help those people. I browsed the web, and on my own blog I found a comment from Heart for Missions.
Survivors of the Tsunami disaster hold a candle light vigil in remembrance.
This is a Christian organization that has provided numerous links for donating to crisis relief in Asia. What Heart for Missions does is basically create a hub for all the Christian charities to meet up put this information in my sidebar, so let's all donate what we can to help those people out.
The Network for Christians with a Heart for Missions
To provide a central location where  Christian missionaries and missions organizations can go to easily provide communication—field reports, needs, prayer requests, news, etc—regarding their ministry, and where  Christians can go to easily find information from Christian missionaries and missions organizations that will allow them to more easily partner in, and more actively be involved in world missions.
Person Questioned About Laser Beam, Planes
Dec 31, 11:33 PM (ET)
By BRUCE SHIPKOWSKI
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A laser beam was aimed at a police helicopter Friday - one of several incidents involving aircraft across the country in the past week - and federal authorities were questioning someone who had been at a house where they said the light had originated.
Officials said no one was hurt when the laser hit the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police helicopter as it flew over an area where a similar incident occurred Wednesday.
Soon after, Port Authority officials and the FBI went to a Parsippany home where they had tracked the laser beam and were questioning a person there in connection with both incidents, said Steve Coleman, an authority spokesman.
No charges had been filed as of late Friday night, Coleman said.
Police in the helicopter were trying to pinpoint the spot where three green lasers were pointed at a pilot preparing to land a plane at Teterboro Airport on Wednesday night. The force's superintendent and some detectives were in the helicopter at the time, Coleman said.
The plane involved in Wednesday's incident, a corporate-owned Cessna Citation with 13 people aboard, was about 11 miles from the airport when the incident occurred, authorities said. It landed safely and no injuries were reported.
Federal agents are looking into several recent incidents involving lasers and aircraft, including cases in Cleveland, Washington, Houston, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Medford, Ore. In some cases the lasers locked onto aircraft several thousand feet up as they approached airports for landing.
Though there have been no reports of accidents caused by lasers, they can temporarily blind and disorient a pilot and could lead to a plane crash. The FBI is investigating whether the incidents are pranks, accidents or something more sinister.
Charity, Aid and Criticism
*UPDATE* United States Donates $350 million to Tsunami Aid, Japan donates $500 million. Let's hear it for them folks!
In the wake of the tragedies in Asia, countries have been rushing aid to countries in need in the form of money, supplies, and coalitions. Sadly, that is not the only thing the world community has been focused on. Instead, many nations (and here I point the finger at Europe) have been criticizing one another about who's "stingy". Of course, the United States was their first target. We all know that just about the whole of the U.N. wants the U.S. crucified and, in their usual short-sighted and spiteful manner, the United Nations began to attack us for how we had not yet donated a huge amount of money. As if on cue from the “axis of weasel” organization, the American liberal community began its attack on the President. Many liberals began harping on how the President showed a lack of sympathy for the dead in Asia by going about his usual Presidential schedule. Apparently, the liberals wanted Bush to strap on a wetsuit and head out to Sri Lanka to perform CPR on the nearest inhabitant. And while Bush was asking the media to “watch this drive”, the liberals were celebrating the enormous donation by the European Union of a whopping 3 million euros currently and a “planned” 30 million euro donation. Then President Bush, being the terrible “innocent dictatorship” invading, monkey-faced Neanderthal with an IQ of -37 that he is, donated $35 million. Instead of applauding how the U.S. had now donated more than the entire E.U., the liberals decided to attack President Bush on how his completely undeserved Presidential Inauguration would cost $50 million. They forgot how money going toward the Inauguration was not government money but private donations. Once this critical error had been realized by the liberals, they attacked the private donators group by asking, “Well, if they have that much money then why aren’t they donating to the Asian crisis”? Following this lead, the liberals began the assault on the “oh so wealthy” conservative America. They forgot to ask how much Senator Kerry and his wacko wife had donated (I believe the total amount so far has been two pairs of raised eyebrows upon hearing the news). However, the liberals did get an answer to that question. The filthy, wealthy, upper-class, conservative crooks have donated $42 million dollars and counting. Surprisingly, this wasn’t the answer the liberals were looking for, so they switched topics again to how the United States is a “scrooge” nation that never donates to any cause that doesn’t involve bombing the bejesus out of peaceful, kite-flying nations. Because of this, Colin Powell the had the pleasure of describing how over the past four years the United States has provided more such aid then all the other nations on the planet combined. Then the “one-upping” contest began. France, stung by comments made by a few Americans on its “stinginess”, changed its donation from 1.5 million euros to around 50 million euros. Chirac then proceeded to claim that France was and always had been the most charitable nation on the earth. The United Kingdom promptly donated 59 million euros. In response, Chirac stuck his tongue out at Blair. Well, whatever gets them to donate… After the European spat, the world community aimed their upturned noses at America and wondered what we would do next. We made a large aid coalition and sent it to Asia. Then, Kofi “I don’t steal oil money from Iraqis; that was my son” Annan accused the United States of trying to show off and described (lacking details and examples) how the American coalition would completely disrupt the U.N. coalition. I guess we know what the United Nations thinks of the American military and our aid workers.
It’s just my opinion…but I don’t think that what the United Nations is doing is really “in the spirit” of charity. And Europe, does it matter who gave more money to the aid in Asia? I mean, as long as people are giving money and aid, that’s all that matters. The United Nations is so focused on bashing America that they attack us for not doing enough, then hate us when we make a whole aid coalition that rivals theirs. But hey, ‘tis the season.
As you may know, Michael Moore has recently made the drug company Pfizer his next smear target. I just have one question for
Also, Pfizer is the second most philanthropical drug company in the world, right after Merck (philanthropical means charitable, by the way). I guarantee that
So, Michael Moore, once again I ask…why Pfizer? Oh, and another thing I would like to ask…how much are you giving away? I promise my readers right now,
Tsunami Warning Was Stopped
NEW CASUALTY FIGURES FROM INDONESIA PUSH TSUNAMI DEATH TOLL OVER 114,000
This is what I was describing in my previous post, and I'm glad Wizbang supports me on this. Many people have been debating this issue, but now it comes to light. Once again, thanks to Wizbang for clarifying this issue. I think you all will join me in the outrage I feel at those responsible for this travesty (except a few liberals...which oddly enough seem to want to support the people responsible).
Tsunami Wave Chart Courtesy of Fox News Channel
Just minutes after the earthquake in the Indian Ocean on Sunday morning,
The experts got the news around 8:00 am on Sunday morning local time.
An hour later, the first massive wave struck. But the experts started to discuss the economic impacts when they were discussing if a tsunami warning should be made. The main argument against such a warning was that there have not been any floods in 300 years. Also, the experts believed the Indonesian island Sumatra would be a "cushion" for the southern coast of
...We finally decided not to do anything because the tourist season was in full swing. The hotels were 100% booked full. What if we issued a warning, which would have led to an evacuation, and nothing had happened. What would be the outcome? The tourist industry would be immediately hurt. Our department would not be able to endure a lawsuit...
Ohio Recount Over
What did I tell the numerous liberals out there? That Bush actually won, and even a liberal backed recount will prove it. Guess what, I was right (headless Lucy, I laugh at you now). Bush is still the winner by six figures.
Election officials finished the presidential recount in Ohio on Tuesday, with the final tally shaving about 300 votes off President Bush's six-figure margin of victory in the state that gave him a second term.
The recount shows Bush winning Ohio by 118,457 votes over John Kerry, according to unofficial results provided to The Associated Press by the 88 counties. Lucas County, home to Toledo, was the last to finish counting.
The state had earlier declared Bush the winner by 118,775 votes and plans to adjust its totals to reflect the recount later this week.
The Kerry campaign supported the recount, but said it did not expect the tally to change the election winner. Supporters of the recount, requested by two minor party candidates, said they wanted to make sure every valid vote was counted.
Asian Governments Could Have Warned Tsunami Victims
NEW CASUALTY FIGURES FROM INDONESIA PUSH TSUNAMI DEATH TOLL OVER 80,000
*Update* - USA Today
Minutes after a massive earthquake rocked the Indian Ocean on Sunday, international ocean monitors knew that a tsunami would likely follow. But they didn't know whom to tell.
"We put out a bulletin within 20 minutes, technically as fast as we could do it," says Jeff LaDouce of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. LaDouce says e-mails were dispatched to Indonesian officials, but he doesn't know what happened to the information.
On Monday officials of Asian nations admitted they could have warned people about the earthquake caused tsunami's that, so far, have killed 22,000 with the death toll constantly rising. Had these nations warned their populations, the report said, countless lives could have been saved. I have quoted some of the Fox News article below. I hope you will all join me in praying for those lost in this terrible tragedy.
AKARTA, Indonesia Asian officials conceded Monday that they failed to issue broad public warnings immediately after a massive undersea earthquake in Indonesia, which could have saved countless lives from the subsequent giant waves that smashed into nine countries as far away as
Governments around the region insisted they did not know the true nature of the threat because there was no international system in place to track tidal waves in the Indian Ocean where they are rare and they cannot afford to buy sophisticated equipment to build one.
And what warnings there were came too little, too late.
"No one ever told us that these things can be predicted and we can be told about them," said Sumana Gamage, a shopowner in
"This is tragic," said retired Sri Lankan air force chief Harry Goonetilleke. "There should have been such an arrangement for the region. This is absolutely not acceptable."
Dec. 27: A man carries his son as relatives and others grieve at the site of a mass burial in Cuddalore, India.
Thammasarote Smith, a former senior forecaster at Thailand's Meteorological Department, said governments could have done much more to warn people about the danger.
"The department had up to an hour to announce the emergency message and evacuate people but they failed to do so," Thammasarote was quoted as saying in The
The death toll Monday topped 22,000, with millions left homeless.