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.