Saturday, 05 May 2007

THIS DAY IN WORLD WAR 11: MAY 5, 1943

Ken Berwitz

Here is a synopsis of what happened on this date in 1943, the middle year of World War II:-

On the Eastern Front... In the Caucasus, the Red Army advance further into the Kuban Peninsula where the German 17th Army continues to maintain a foothold. They capture Krymsk and Neberjaisk.

In Tunisia... British forces recapture Djebel Bou Aoukaz late in the day. The British 5th Corps is now commanded by Horrocks and includes the 6th and 7th Armored Divisions and the 4th Indian Division. -

What would today's media have said about these events?

They would have excoriated FDR and the military for being bogged down in places like Mousetrap Alley, while Russian soldiers are advancing.  "If we're the best trained and best equipped army, how come it is the Russians with the military success?"  The competence of General Eisenhower and General Bradley would be called into question, with an inference that maybe they are not up to the job and should be replaced.

The British would be attacked for losing Djebel Bou Aukaz in the first place.  Commentators would be saying things like "You wouldn't have had to recapture it if you didn't lose it in the first place".  Churchill would be characterized as a hopelessly outmatched leader, overseeing the death of countless British soldiers.  And for what?

The American media would remind us again that Germany's fight is in Europe, not on our shores.  If Brits want to die on the continent instead of just defending their own homeland, that's their business and too bad for them.  But why are WE in this fight?


ABSCONDERS

Ken Berwitz

Until this morning I did not know what the term "Absconder" meant regarding immigration.  Now I do.

An "absconder" is a fugitive - someone who has been ordered deported - who ignores that order and stays anyway.

There is an article in this morning's Washington Post about absconders.  It is estimated that of the approximately 12 million illegals in this country (!), roughly 5% are absconders.  That means there is something like 600,000 illegals who have been ordered to leave and who didn't anyway. 

Here is a key excerpt from the WaPo article, complete with the absolutely chilling statistics. See how it sits with you:-

Failure to remove 'low-hanging fruit'
Conservatives say the
White House has a credibility gap when it asks them to support a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants in return for a promised crackdown on the worst offenders.

The failure to remove "low-hanging fruit" such as fugitives "may reflect the fact that there's a complete neglect for enforcement, or that even in egregious cases, they just can't get their act together," said Steven A. Camarota, spokesman for the Center on Immigration Studies, a group that advocates less immigration.

Immigrant advocates and some former federal authorities counter that the growing backlog of fugitives -- who make up 5 percent of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants -- demonstrates the futility of relying on enforcement alone to stop illegal immigration.

"The absconder population is exhibit number one," said Victor X. Cerda, former chief of staff and general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "We haven't been able to handle the 600,000-plus who went through the legal system. What's going to lead us to believe we're going to handle the 12 million?"

Federal officials became alarmed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when they discovered they could not account for 314,000 immigrants who had been ordered deported, including 5,046 from countries where al-Qaeda was present.

Since then, spending on fugitive operations has grown from $9 million to $183 million a year -- about $10,000 per arrest, according to a recent report by the Homeland Security inspector general. -

DO we have borders? Because, if we don't, then there is no reasonable hope to prevent terrorist attacks in this country.  And on another level, given the massive amount of "social safety net" legislation we have, there is no reasonable hope that we can stem the influx of people who come here primarily to take what we give away, without any loyalty, or contribution whatsoever. 

We've all heard the mantra that "they come to work hard and earn a modest income so their children and grandchildren can be part of the American dream".  The good news is that many illegals, in fact, do just that and, despite being illegal, are at least on our side in some manner or form.  But it is imbecilic to assume that everyone who comes here can be described this way. 

Do you doubt even 1% that there are people streaming into this country who are here to live off of your production?  More importantly, do you doubt even 1% that there are people streaming into this country who hate us and intend to do what they can to destroy the USA and its western culture?

I voted for President Bush twice.  Given the choices I had in 2000 and 2004 (the lying fraud Gore and the empty suit kerry) I would unhesitatingly do so again if given the chance.  That said, however, immigration is one of this administration's great failures, and it is inexcusable.

How can we claim to be fighting to protect our country in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, when we won't even protect it WITHIN our borders?


DO-OVER! DO-OVER!

Ken Berwitz

I think what you are about to read is a test, by Hillary Clinton, to see if you are so gullible that you can be convinced to believe anything.  Here, from today's International Herald-Tribune, is the following:-

Hillary Clinton wants war authority revoked
Friday, May 4, 2007
 
WASHINGTON: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has proposed that Congress repeal the authority it gave President George W. Bush in 2002 to invade Iraq, injecting presidential politics into the congressional debate over war funding.

Clinton's proposal on Thursday in effect brings her full circle on Iraq and sharpens her own political positioning at a time when the Democratic Party is increasingly willing to confront the White House on the war.

"It is time to reverse the failed policies of President Bush and to end this war as soon as possible," Clinton said as she joined another Democratic senator, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, in calling for a vote on a plan to terminate the authority as of Oct. 11, the fifth anniversary of the original vote.

Her proposal emerged just as congressional leaders and the White House opened delicate negotiations over the just-vetoed war resolution and illustrated the varied views among Democrats on how to proceed in the aftermath of Bush's veto.

Much of the focus Thursday in forging a new war spending measure was on the idea of imposing requirements - or so-called benchmarks - on the Iraqi government to show progress in securing political and military security. Leading Republicans said they were open to that approach.

The move by Clinton appeared to be an effort to claim a new leadership position among the Democratic presidential candidates against the war in Iraq.

It came just a few hours after Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader in the Senate, praised the senators running for president for not using the Senate as a platform for airing their differences on the war. It also shows that Democrats, with their core supporters strongly opposing the war, are leery of being seen as giving too much ground to Bush in the legislative fight.

Clinton, who is the junior senator from New York, was an enthusiastic supporter of the war early on, but has turned into a staunch critic of the Bush administration's performance on Iraq. Her vote for the original authorization has been a persistent problem in her presidential bid when contrasted with the positions of other Democratic contenders.

John Edwards, a former senator, has repudiated his vote for the war. After Byrd and Clinton announced their plan, Edwards quickly put out a statement urging Congress to focus on withdrawing troops and not revoking the 2002 authorization. "Congress should stand its ground and not back down to him," Edwards said. "They should send him the same bill he just vetoed, one that supports our troops, ends the war and brings them home."

Clinton pointedly noted Thursday that she had voted in 2002 to put a one-year limit on Bush's war authority, an effort led by Byrd that failed. Edwards opposed that limit.

Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, who was not in Congress at the time of the 2002 authorization vote, cites his consistent opposition to the war. Obama issued a statement on Thursday evening indicating that he would support the effort by Clinton and Byrd to rescind authorization for the war.

Another candidate, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, beat Clinton to the punch, calling on Congress on Tuesday to revoke the war authorization and develop a time frame for the rapid withdrawal of troops. In February, Senator Joseph Biden, Democrat of Delaware, another presidential primary contender, raised the prospect of rewriting the authorization to give U.S. forces a much more limited role in Iraq, but that approach ran into resistance from Democrats who said it could be perceived as granting new authority for the war.

Clinton said her push for a new vote on the war authority did not mean she would oppose whatever new war spending measure might emerge from negotiations. But she said she was joining Byrd in trying to force a new examination of the war in its entirety, rather than simply joust over the spending measure with its elements of "funding, not funding, benchmarks, no benchmarks."

The idea of revoking the initial authority for the war has circulated on Capitol Hill for weeks without gaining much traction. Senator John Warner, Republican of Virginia, had raised the idea of taking a second look at the original resolution because it did not envision the prospect of troops being caught in an Iraqi civil war.

Congress and the White House took their first steps Thursday toward trying to reach agreement on a revised spending measure as Joshua Bolten, the White House chief of staff, came to the Capitol to meet with Senate leaders of both parties and the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee. Participants would reveal few details, though Reid said the talks had been constructive.

At the same time, congressional Republicans expressed willingness to consider some form of benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet to demonstrate it is bringing the situation there under control. Democratic aides said the idea of short-term funding of the military was also gaining momentum among their leadership. -

Got it?  In today's Democratic party it is political suicide to support the war in Iraq.  But you voted to authorize it.  What to do, what to do?  This appears to be the thinking:

"Aha!  What if I demand we go back to 2002 and UNDO the vote.  That will make it all better.  Democratic primary voters will know I was on the anti-war side of things all the time, and they'll forget that silly first vote.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

"So what if Richardson and Edwards are trying to one-up me on this.  I am HILLARY CLINTON.  I am INVINCIBLE.  Everyone knows I'm supposed to win the primary and skate into the white house."

So?  Did you pass the Hillary Clinton Gullibility Test?

It's going to be an interesting primary campaign, I can tell you that.

 


AS THE DEMOCRATS CONTINUE TO DUCK FOX NEWS....

Ken Berwitz

This is pulled from the Drudge Report.  I'm sure there are sites with even more complete data, but it tells the story clearly and succinctly:-

FLASH: FOXNEWS O'REILLY TOPS MSNBC GOP DEBATE FOR NIGHT... O'REILLY PULLS 2,314,000 VIEWERS... DEBATE SCORES 1,762,000... [DEM DEBATE WEEK BEFORE HIT 2,261,000]... FOXNEWS HANNITY/COLMES AT 1,548,000... MORE

ACTUAL DEBATE COVERAGE: 8-9:30PM:

FNC 2,023,000
MSNBC 1,762,000
CNN 599,000

More people watched FOXNEWS TALKING about debate than the actual DEBATE!
-

This, folks, is the network that Democrats are running from. 

The only logical explanation (apart from sheer cowardice - the fear of being exposed to situations where they're not the home team), is the arrogance of assuming they are so far ahead that they don't need voters who prefer Fox.  And maybe, at this point in the election process, that is accurate.

But political advantage is fleeting (ask any Republican!).  Things may change and they may change fast.  There may come a time where Democrats regret that they arrogantly blew off millions of voters. 

Stay tuned.


GUEST COMMENTARY: ASHARQ ALAWSAT

Ken Berwitz

Asharq Alawsat, published in London, bills itself as the world's premier daily pan-Arab newpaper, printed simultaneously in 12 cities across four continents.

It also has a very, very brave staff.  How do I know?  I know because of this opinion piece, which they published a month ago today. 

The writer is Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, who is described as The general manager of Al Arabiya television and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Alawsat.  Read this and think about what guts it took to a) write it and b) put it into print:-

Britain: On the Brink of A Terrorist War

04/05/2007

I believe that the recent court rulings against the British Muslims [linked to Al Qaeda] were the first strike in a tough war. Britain teems with nests of serpents and scorpions of extremism who come from around the world: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Pakistan and other countries due to its flexible systems and the adoption of a policy to receive outcasts during the aftermath of World War II and the Soviet-Western conflict during which doors were opened to persecuted refugees who sought their rights. The paradox is that it is in Britain, the object of hate for many fundamentalists, where these very people practice their full rights and enjoy what they were deprived of in their native countries.

Until four years ago, Britain's intellects had said that they were willing to tolerate what these people had to say out of protecting individual rights and the right to free speech and political opposition. We used to say to them that we all supported that right but that these people had no relation to freedom and unfortunately never respected the rights of others. They despised the regime that protected them and privately and publicly conspired against society. Unfortunately, these intellects turned a blind eye, believing that we pursued opponents, instead of examining the extremism phenomenon in the Arab and Muslim world to identify the nature of the problem. Several reports and articles appeared in the British media glorifying and supporting these groups both in their homelands and in Britain without realizing their extremist Fascist nature that compared to and even surpassed the capability of Nazism to destroy the social fabric.

Britain is faced with a very difficult problem, confronting a foreign enemy amid social sensitivity and slow-moving legal systems that limit its activity. A key to success is to know opponents and be capable of integrating with their community, which is possible in the Arab states because extremists share a similar background and these states have large law enforcement agencies that can detain and interrogate suspects and can even expel unwanted foreigners if it is believed that they are causing trouble. However, this is not possible to apply in Britain and therefore it will not be easy for British security to combat both the dangers of secret organizations and education provided in residential communities where extremists hide.

Unfortunately, we can only expect more terrorist operations in Britain because all indicators show that extremists have spent a number of years destroying the minds of young British Muslims under various religious and social claims, and it will not be easy to stop the waves of training or, firstly, ban extremist education.

What can the British authorities do?

I think they must do what other Muslim and non-Muslim countries have done before themaccept fighting extremists by cutting off the oxygen that sustains extremist groups: their newspapers, radio stations, televisions, forums, mosques and websites. Through publicity, they can raise funds, recruit volunteers and secure popular support within foreign communities. The question is: how can the codified British system allow that? The answer lies with the hesitant legislators who are practically on the brink of a terrorist war today. After all, pursuing extremist Muslims today is better than pursuing all Muslims tomorrow. -

What does it mean?  It means that:

-Yes, there are Arabs, and Muslims, who do not subscribe to terrorism and hatred;

-Yes there is a grave and increasingly imminent danger from Arabs, and Muslims who do;

-No, there is not a lot of time left to do something about it.

I keep waiting for a few more Abdul Rahman Al-Rasheds to go public in the USA.  I know they exist.  I've written about one such brave and reasonable man here, Dr. Zhudi Jasser, and I have no doubt there are others.

The time for them to speak is now. Step up to the plate and hit a home run.  Because if we lose, so do you.


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