Friday, 28 December 2007
SELF CREATED PERVERSIONS
Most people have heard the one about the kid who kills his parents and
then pleads for mercy from the court because he is an orphan.
I don't know whether that joke is funny to you. But I know it isn't
funny when a variation of the joke is used to entrap otherwise innocent men who
are strolling through a public park.
Ed Morrissey of www.captainsquarters.com supplies the
details and his trenchant analysis:
Police have a tough job, especially when it comes
to vice-squad details. They have to keep areas free of predators in order to
allow law-abiding citizens to enjoy public places. However, they also have to
take care not to entrap people in behavior that they ordinarily wouldn't commit.
In Columbus, Ohio, it seems very clear they crossed that line:
Robin Garrison, an off-duty 42-year-old
firefighter, was walking in Berliner Park in Columbus, Ohio, in May when he
saw a woman sunbathing topless under a tree.
He approached her and they started talking and
getting comfortable, the woman smiling and resting her foot on his shoulder at
Eventually, she asked to see Garrison's penis;
he unzipped his pants and complied.
Seconds later, undercover police officers pulled
up in a van and arrested Garrison; he was later charged with public indecency,
a misdemeanor, based on video footage taken by cops who were targeting men
having sex or masturbating in the park. While topless sunbathing is legal in
the city's parks, exposing more than that is against the
Right off the bat, the hypocrisy here is apparent.
The police want to clean up the park -- and how do they do that? Have topless
women laying around to attract supposed perverts. I can see where that would
make the park so much more family-friendly than before this particular sting
Undoubtedly, Garrison should not have exposed
himself. However, would he have done so had it not been for the interaction with
the "undercover" police officer? Rubbing his shoulder with her foot constitutes
a serious come-on when done by a half-naked woman in public. Garrison only
popped out Mr. Happy after that physical contact, which strongly suggests that
Garrison thought this an unusual opportunity, not that he prowled the park
looking for opportunities to expose himself.
Columbus should ask whether they have created more
problems than they solve in these cases. Rounding up perverts who masturbate in
public places is a good use of police resources and allows people to use
community assets as intended. Having topless women laying out in the open and
caressing men who act on understandable signals of sexual openness turns these
places into precisely what they're hoping to avoid. .
The police get a woman to show a man her boobs, engage him in a conversation, make a suggestive physical advance,
ask to see his penis....and then arrest the poor bastard when he
eventually reacts to the come-ons.
As Morrissey so correctly points out, this arrest does not in any way address
the perverts who may be infesting the park. Why not? Because
Garrison's actions were what a NON-pervert would have done.
From a personal standpoint, if I were walking through Berliner park and a
topless woman acted this way, I sure as shootin' know I'd be tempted.
If I were a 42 year old guy (if only!) who had no responsibilities that
would have precluded casual sex with a willing partner, I'm reasonably sure I
would have done exactly what Garrison did.
It seems to me that police efforts would be far better targeted towards men
who would expose their penises WITHOUT a woman's eager encouragement.
I hope all charges are dropped against Robin Garrison in less time than the
boob lady got him to drop his zipper. Then maybe they can start doing
something to lessen perversion at Berliner park. Because this didn't do
Writing for www.townhall.com, blogger John Hawkins (www.conservativegrapevine.com
) has compiled his list of the 12
biggest campaign blunders committed by presidential candidates so far.
Let's understand three things:
-There are a great many blunders to choose from, so you may not agree with
the list -- or, for that matter, its order of importance;
-We have almost a year of campaigning to go.
Inevitably, therefore, you can expect many more blunders in the future, both big and small. So if you
assume there will be subsequent major blunders to replace some or all of
the ones on Mr. Hawkins' list you will probably be right;
-Hawkins is a conservative. A liberal/left wing blogger - say, Markos
Moulitsas Zuniga of www.dailykos.com or
John Amato of www.crooksandliars.com
- would almost certainly have compiled different blunders in
a different order.
With this in mind, here is John Hawkins' list:
The Top 12
Blunders of the Presidential Campaign
By John Hawkins
December 28, 2007
12) Mike Huckabee attacks Romney's
religion: In an interview with the New York Times magazine, Mike Huckabee
asked, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and
the devil are brothers?"
Why Huckabee chose to give Romney's supporters a
chance to bash him for being "anti-Mormon" just for asking the question is
unknown, but the comment, which Huckabee later apologized for, helped enable his
detractors to paint him as a man exploiting his faith to help win an election.
11) Mitt Romney "saw" his father march
with Martin Luther King: This is a bit of a strange controversy because
Romney's father certainly did participate in civil rights marches and there have
also been people who have come forward and claimed to have seen George Romney
march with Martin Luther King.
However, Romney certainly didn't see it, he
certainly didn't march with MLK
personally as he has previously
claimed, and Mitt's response to this flap certainly makes visions of Bill
Clinton's infamous response from his 1998 Grand Jury testimony dance through
Here's Clinton: "It depends on what the meaning
of the word 'is' is."
Now, here's Mitt: "The reference of seeing my father lead in civil
rights and seeing my father march with Martin Luther King is in the sense of
this figurative awareness of and recognition of his leadership. I've tried to be
as accurate as I can be. If you look at the literature or look at the
dictionary, the term 'saw' includes being aware of -- in the sense I've
Oh yeah, he definitely has a little Clinton in
10) Obama's Flag Pin and National Anthem
Flap: In his quest to win the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama tried to
reach out to the patriotism-loathing netroots by making a big public show of not wearing a flag
Democratic presidential candidate Barack
Obama says he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin because it has become a
substitute for "true patriotism" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
Obama then was photographed
refusing to hold his hand over his heart during the national anthem.
His response to that, bizarrely, was that some
people were falsely claiming he didn't hold his hand over his heart during the
Allegiance when really, it was the
Of course, you still hold your hand over your
heart during the national anthem, so the point was moot. Long story short, it
looks like Obama's unpatriotic "true patriotism" didn't poll as well as
he thought it would.
9) Hillary's campaign says Obama is a
coke-dealing Muslim liar who has been lying since kindergarten: In what may
be the most grotesque display of dirty politics since the Nixon administration,
Hillary Clinton's surrogates publicly and falsely suggested that Obama might
have been a coke dealer, is secretly a Muslim, and that a kindergarten essay
proved he had been lying about his desire to be President.
Had a Republican engaged in the exact same
tactics, he would have been accused of being the worst sort of racist -- which
incidentally, will probably also be what happens to Hillary Clinton in certain
quarters if her repulsive smear tactics enable her to beat Obama in the
8) Fred Thompson skips New Hampshire For
Leno: On the day of his much anticipated entry into the race, Fred Thompson
chose to skip a New Hampshire debate and instead introduced himself to the
public on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."
That started him out on the wrong foot in New
Hampshire and he never recovered in that state. Today he's running 6th in New
Hampshire, behind Ron Paul -- which means that if he bombs in Iowa, his campaign
may be dead shortly after New Hampshire finishes voting on January 8th.
7) Southern Fried Hillary: In what
was really a backhanded slap at black men, Bill Clinton was called the first
black President, a label that he readily latched onto for political purposes.
Well, when his charisma-challenged wife tried to
pick up where he left off in a black church in Alabama, the result was a
horrible Southern accent of the sort you'd expect to hear at a New York Party as
they tried to imitate an inbred, hillbilly yokel. It sounded something like
"IIIIIII don't feel noways tired. I come
too fahrr from where I started frum...III culd have listened all
6) John Edwards' running feud with Ann
Coulter: Ann Coulter was roundly -- and rightly -- slammed for calling John
Edwards a "f*ggot" at CPAC last year.
Unfortunately for John Edwards, instead of
ignoring it, he tried to hype it for the sake of publicity and fundraising which
not only caused Ann Coulter to continue to go after him, but led to lots of
conversations that went about like this,
Person 1: Ann Coulter was wrong to
call John Edwards a f*ggot.
Person 2: You're right. She should
have just called him a little girl or Silky Pony.
Person 1: ...Or the Breck Girl. I
mean he is pretty girlish. But, oh that Ann Coulter -- she always goes too far!
Then, Edwards made the mistake of compounding his
error by having his wife call in to attack Coulter on Hardball. That's
really the way to convince people that you're not as much of a wimp as they
think you are -- by sending your sick wife out to fight your battles for you.
5) Fred Thompson's rejection of a
Constitutional amendment to ban abortion: In the name of Federalism, Fred
Thompson rejected a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion on Meet the
At first glance, that might seem to be a minor
matter since there is no chance of getting it passed any time soon -- but that
was the very moment that the bottom started falling out of his campaign as more
than a few social conservatives slowly began the migration from him to Huckabee.
4) John Edwards' $400 Haircut: Let me
ask the same question a voter asked him on the campaign trail: "Senator, I
was just wondering: since you're on this national poverty tour, how do you
justify spending $400 on a haircut?"
Of course, you don't and that has summed up the
silliness of John Edwards' campaign. He's a pampered, super wealthy lawyer who
has built a whole campaign around being a supposed champion of little girls who
can't afford a $10 coat at Wal-Mart. It sounds fake, it is fake and people know
3) John McCain supports the Senate
amnesty bill: At one point, John McCain was considered the front runner for
the GOP nomination, but his support for the incredibly unpopular "amnesty" bill
in Congress did so much damage to his campaign's poll numbers and fundraising
that many political analysts wrote his campaign off for dead.
Since then, because of the weakness of the field,
he has been able to climb back into contention, but his continued support for
amnesty is like a 45 pound barbell tied to his back. If he doesn't get the
nomination, it'll be because of his support of amnesty. If he does get the
nomination and goes on to lose in the general election, it'll be because of
amnesty. In other words, the biggest hurdle standing between John McCain and the
White House isn't his Republican or Democratic opponents, it's his desire to
make 12 million fence-jumping, social-security-number-swindling scofflaws into
American citizens over the fervent protestations of most members of his own
2) Fred Thompson gets in the race late: For
months and months, Fred Thompson sat on the sidelines writing columns and doing
radio appearances as his poll numbers went up. He thought, with some
justification, that there wasn't much of a reason to officially declare his
candidacy when he was becoming more popular without getting in the race.
However, on the other hand, while Fred was
waiting, the conservative media was picking other candidates to back, top talent
was signing on with other campaigns, his supporters were starting to get
impatient, and expectations were building to super human heights.
Then, when Fred finally jumped in the race in
September of this year, he was mercilessly savaged while he -- and his campaign
-- got up to speed under a microscope.
Had he gotten in earlier, say in July of this
year, there wouldn't have been as much scrutiny during that first month and he
would also have probably raised more money than any other candidate in the third
quarter, which would have given him much needed cash and a sign that his
campaign was "for real."
As of yet, Thompson's campaign still hasn't
recovered from the poor first impression that he made because he got in the race
so late. That could turn out to be the difference between Fred Thompson, the GOP
nominee -- and Fred Thompson, the guy who was out of the race by the middle of
1) Hillary's drivers' licenses for
illegals flap: The wicked witch of New York was cruising along, looking
inevitable, when she mangled a question about drivers' licenses for illegal
aliens in what was probably the single worst debate performance for a top tier
candidate this year.
After that horrific performance, Obama
started rising in the polls while Hillary's campaign started making unforced
errors and playing dirty. If Hillary Clinton doesn't capture the nomination,
that botched debate question will be the key moment that led to her defeat and
even if she does become the Democratic nominee, the aftermath of that
controversy has revealed to the GOP how fragile Hillary Clinton really is when
she's challenged. .
One of the more fascinating elements of these blunders (and the
numerous ones to come) is how many have been made by candidates who base much of their
campaigns on the premise that President Bush makes mistakes -- as if he does and
Well gee, golly, gosh. I guess they make them
THE EVEN GREATER PHONINESS OF HILLARY CLINTON
It is hard to overstate the value of the web site www.sweetness-light.com, especially
for a one-man show like me. I don't have the time or resources to
uncover material like what I'm reposting below, but somehow they do and we are
all better informed for it.
If you thought the previous blog, outlining chris dodd's phoniness, was bad,
try this on for size:
December 27th, 2007
From a campaign press
Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on
the Death of Benazir Bhutto
I am profoundly saddened and outraged by the
assassination of Benazir Bhutto, a leader of tremendous political and personal
courage. I came to know Mrs. Bhutto over many years, during her
tenures as Prime Minister and during her years in exile. Mrs.
Bhuttos concern for her country, and her family, propelled her to risk her
life on behalf of the Pakistani people. She returned to Pakistan to fight for
democracy despite threats and previous attempts on her life and now she has
made the ultimate sacrifice. Her death is a tragedy for her country and a
terrible reminder of the work that remains to bring peace, stability, and hope
to regions of the globe too often paralyzed by fear, hatred, and
Let us pray that her legacy will be a brighter,
more hopeful future for the people she loved and the country she served. My
family and I extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to the victims and
their families and to the people of Pakistan.
She just cant help herself:
I came to know Mrs. Bhutto over many years,
during her tenures as Prime Minister and during her years in exile.
Sure she did.
From Hillarys (ghostwritten) autobiography,
History, pp 322-4:
Silence Is Not Spoken Here
The contradictions within Pakistan became still
more apparent at my next event, a luncheon hosted in my honor by Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto and attended by several dozen accomplished women in
Pakistan. It was like being rocketed forward several centuries in time. Among
these women were academics and activists, as well as a pilot, a singer, a
banker and a police deputy superintendent. They had their own ambitions and
careers, and, of course, we were all guests of Pakistans elected female
Benazir Bhutto, a brilliant and striking woman
then in her midforties, was born into a prominent family and educated at
Harvard and Oxford. Her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistans Populist Prime
Minister during the 1970s, was deposed in a military coup and later hanged.
After his death, Benazir spent years under house arrest. In the late 1980s,
she emerged as head of his old political party. Bhutto was the only
celebrity I had ever stood behind a rope line to see. Chelsea and I
were strolling around London during a holiday trip in the summer of 1989. We
noticed a large crowd gathered outside the Ritz Hotel, and I asked people what
they were waiting for. They said Benazir Bhutto was staying at the hotel and
was soon expected to arrive. Chelsea and I waited until the motorcade drove
up. We watched Bhutto, swathed in yellow chiffon, emerge from her limousine
and glide into the lobby. She seemed graceful, composed and intent.
In 1990, her government was dissolved over
charges of corruption, but her party won again in new elections in 1993.
Pakistan was increasingly troubled by rising violence and general lawlessness,
particularly in Karachi. Law and order had deteriorated as the rate of ethnic
and sectarian murders rose. There were also rampant rumors of corruption
involving Asif Zardari, Bhuttos husband, and supporters.
At the luncheon she hosted for me, Benazir led a
discussion about the changing roles of women in her country and told a joke
about her husbands status as a political spouse. According to newspapers in
Pakistan, she said, Mr. Asif Zardari is de facto Prime Minister of the
country. My husband tells me, Only the First Lady can appreciate its not
Bhutto acknowledged the
difficulties faced by women who were breaking with tradition and taking
leading roles in public life. She deftly managed to refer both to the
challenges I had encountered during my White House tenure and to her own
situation. Women who take on tough issues and stake out new territory are
often on the receiving end of ignorance, she
In a private meeting with the Prime Minister, we
talked about her upcoming visit to Washington in April, and I spent time with
her husband and their children. Because I had heard that their
marriage was arranged, I found their interaction particularly
interesting. They bantered easily together, and seemed genuinely
smitten with each other. Only months after my trip, accusations of corruption
against them grew more harsh, and in August 1996, Bhutto elevated her husband
to a cabinet post. By November 5, 1996, she was ousted amid allegations that
Zardari had used his position for personal enrichment. He was convicted of
corruption and imprisoned; she left her country with her children, under
threat of arrest and unable to return.
I have no way of knowing whether the accusations
against Bhutto and her husband are well-founded or baseless.
Thats it. An official luncheon and a little
private conversation afterwards.
But its not quite the stuff of I came to know
Mrs. Bhutto over many years, during her tenures as Prime Minister and during her
years in exile.
Of course the Hillary camp has quickly rushed out
a photograph of their (one and only) historic meeting:
U.S. first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton with her
daughter Chelsea, left, and Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, holding
hands with her son Bilawal and daughter Bakhtawar, take a stroll in this March
26, 1995 file photo, in the garden of the prime ministers residence, in
Still, now that Ms. Bhutto is dead Hillary will
have no one to contradict her self-serving fantasies.
Speaking of which, this entire chapter in
Hillarys book is hilarious insofar as she tries to make her tour of five Middle
Eastern countries with Chelsea (who was on spring break) sound like an important
After a seventeen-hour flight, we landed in
Islamabad, Pakistan, in the late evening in a pounding rainstorm. The
State Department had asked me to visit the subcontinent to highlight the
administrations commitment to the region, because neither the President nor
the Vice President could make a trip soon. My visit was meant to
demonstrate that this strategic and volatile part of the world was important
to the United States and to assure leaders throughout South Asia that Bill
supported their efforts to strengthen democracy, expand free markets and
promote tolerance and human rights, including the rights of women. My
physical presence in the region was considered a sign of concern and
But Hillary and Chelsea didnt go on their jaunt
unprepared. Not by a long shot:
I had given a lot of thought to how Chelsea and
I should dress on the trip. We wanted to be comfortable, and under the suns
heat, I was glad for the hats and cotton clothes I had packed. I didnt want
to offend people in the communities I was visiting, but I was also wary of
appearing to embrace customs reflecting a culture that restricted womens
lives and rights.
On Jackie Kennedys historic tour of India and
Pakistan in 1962, she was photographed wearing sleeveless shifts and
knee-length skirts―not to mention a midriff-baring sari that caused an
international sensation. Public opinion seemed to have grown more conservative
in South Asia since then. We consulted State Department experts, who
offered tips on how to behave in foreign countries without embarrassing
ourselves or offending our hosts. The South Asia briefing papers warned
against crossing legs, pointing fingers, eating with the unclean left hand
or initiating physical contact with the opposite sex, including a
I made sure to pack several long scarves that I
could throw around my shoulders or put over my head if I entered a mosque. I
had noticed the way Benazir Bhutto covered her hair with a light scarf. She
wore a local form of dress called shalwar kameez, a long, flowing tunic over
loose pants that was both practical and attractive. Chelsea and I decided to
try out this style. For the extravaganza at the Lahore Fort that night, I wore
a red silk shalwar kameez, and Chelsea donned one in a turquoise green
that complemented her eyes.
Yes, Mrs. Clinton definitely has the
experience it takes to be President. .
There it is, folks, straight from her own many sided mouth.
Now, prepare to see this flagrant BS cited on the network news or in the
major dailies. It should be there approximately two weeks after the next
blizzard in Borneo.
STILL MORE HILLARY CLINTON PHONINESS
Are there bigger liars in this country than bill and hillary clinton?
The previous blog showed how clinton lied about her relationship with
just-assassinated Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. Here are the specifics which
out her as a liar - along with her husband - regarding her involvement in
the Irish peace process:
Hillary Had No Role in Irish Peace, Despite
Friday , December 21,
By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
Recently, as only Hillary can do, she claimed that
she was deeply involved in the Irish peace process. Bill has also picked up
the theme, citing her independent role in resolving the century-old conflict
as experience with which to justify a White House run.
How odd that Hillary forgot to mention her pivotal
role in Ireland just four years ago, when she wrote her $8 million memoir,
Living History. There, she told a very different story.
Her first mention of Ireland was in
a discussion of Bills October 2004 trip:
The trip highlighted Bills milestones
in foreign affairs. In addition to his pivotal role in easing the tensions in
the Middle East, he was now focusing on the decades Long
Troubles in Northern Ireland. (Emphasis added)
No memories of her own involvement in the Irish
Ireland next appeared in Hillarys memoirs in
1995, when the Clintons visited Belfast and Dublin. According to Hillary, while
Bill met with the various factions of Irish politics, Hillary met with women
leaders of the peace movement. Rather than discuss the difficulties of the peace
process, Hillary focused on a teapot used by the women:
They poured tea from ordinary stainless steel
teapots, and when I remarked how well they kept the tea warm, Joyce insisted
that I take a pot to remember them by. I used that dented teapot every day in
our small family kitchen in the White House...
Other than to describe the womens fear when their
sons left the house and their support for a ceasefire and an end to the
violence, Hillary doesnt cover much policy.
She then describes a visit to Derry to meet John
Hume, the charming Nobel Peace Prize winner, where tens of thousands thronged
the streets in the freezing cold to roar approval of
Bill and America, and I was filled with pride and
respect for my husband. (Emphasis added)
After Derry, the Clintons went to Belfast to light
the Christmas tree in front of City Hall. Following the ceremony, they attended
No mention of Hillarys deep
From Belfast, the Clintons flew to Dublin, where
Hillary addressed a group of women from both Northern Ireland and the Irish
Republic. According to her recollections, she praised the bravery of Irish
women who had stood up for peace.
After meeting the Irish president, the U.S.
ambassador, Ted Kennedys sister, and the Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus
Heaney, Bono and the Clintons went shopping and tried to trace Bill Clintons
Not exactly heavy-duty diplomacy.
Hillary returned to Ireland in 1997 where she
attended a dinner in Dublin for Prime Minister Ahern and then flew to Belfast
where she gave a speech in honor of the late Joyce McCartan, a respected
promoter of peace and the women who had given Hillary the stainless teapot a few
years earlier. Hillary brought the teapot back to Ireland with her as a tribute
to the women of Ireland who sought peace. Hillary also attended a roundtable
discussion with young Catholic and Protestant representatives.
In describing August 1998 in her book the month
when Ken Starr granted Monica Lewinsky immunity Hillary lists world events,
such as the end of the Soviet Union, and free elections in South Africa. She
also mentions in passing that: The peace talks and cease-fire were successful
End of story. Nothing about her role in that
Later, she describes the setback to the peace
process in Omagh, Northern Ireland, where a car bomb killed 28 people and
injured hundreds of others, damaging the peace process that
Bill had worked so long and hard to nurture with Irish
leaders. (Emphasis added)
Hillary does recall that in her meetings with
women in Ireland, shed spoken with them about the troubles and how to find a
way to achieve peace and reconciliation. But she turns that into a discussion
of her own personal problems with Bill and Monica, Now thats what I had to try
to do in the midst of my own heartbreaking troubles.
Hillary makes one last mention of Ireland in her
book, citing the important role of her husband and former Sen. George Mitchell
in the peace process.
Bills memoirs are also totally devoid of any
memories of any role at all by Hillary in the peace process. Other than the
Christmas tree lighting and attending receptions and meeting celebrities Bono,
Seamaus Heaney, etc. there is nothing substantive about Hillary.
In elaborating on her so-called role in the Irish
peace process, candidate Hillary now says:
"And I know its frustrating. It took years
before the Catholics and the Protestants before Sinn Fein and you know, the DUP
would even talk to each other I mean George Mitchell sat at a table sometimes
for hours and nobody would say a word or if they would they would say: 'would
you tell him this?' Or 'here's what I think'. And that went on for years. But
eventually there were breakthroughs. You could build enough trust and
So what does that have to do with her and what was
her deep involvement in the Irish peace process? Hillary never
But Bill Clinton said, as he desperately tried to
help Hillary overcome her new found deficit in Iowa, that an unnamed man had
said that Hillary had played "an independent role in the Irish peace
Clinton offered no explanation of who the
anonymous man was or what exactly this independent role was for
But Bill does describe his own role and Hillary
was nowhere to be found:
"Good Friday was one of the happiest days of
my presidency. Seventeen hours past the deadline for a decision, all the parties
in Northern Ireland agreed to a plan to end 30 years of sectarian violence. I
had been up most of the night, trying to help George Mitchell close the deal.
Besides George, I talked to Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair, David Trimble, and
Gerry Adams twice, before going to bed at 2:30 a.m. At five, George woke me with
a request to call Adams again to seal the deal.
Hillary apparently slept through the night
perhaps dreaming her Walter Mitty dream of delivering the peace agreement single
Dick Morris served as Bill Clinton's
political consultant for 20 years, guiding him to a successful reelection in
1996. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Because He Could,
Rewriting History (both with Eileen McGann), Off with Their Heads, and
Behind the Oval Office, and the Washington Post bestseller Power Plays.
In elective politics, the voters get what they deserve. If the voters
want a woman of little experience and accomplishment who lies to their faces
about the experiences and accomplishments she does not have, they deserve her.
This is no Era Of Good Feeling. We need a real leader with real
experience and real accomplishments in the White house.
We need better than hillary clinton in the White House. A lot
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON'S ANALYSIS OF THE WAR IN IRAQ
Victor Davis Hanson of National Review has put together a review and
assessment of the war in Iraq that is so well done I have nothing to add to
it. Not one word.
Here it is:
December 27, 2007, 0:00
A Long War In a
A Look Back
By Victor Davis Hanson
Views on the war in Iraq now transcend reasonable discussion.
The war rests in the realm of emotion, warped by the hysteria of partisan
result is that we have forgotten why we invaded Iraq in long-ago 2003. We cannot
agree why we had problems after the stunning removal of Saddam Hussein. And we
are not sure either whether we are winning or why we even should.
Why We Invaded
After the victory of the
1991 Gulf War, a bipartisan consensus had emerged that Saddam Hussein had to be
contained by both arms and sanctions. Our government wanted to prevent him
from using oil revenues to obtain more dangerous weapons, destroying more of his
own people, and from attacking or invading yet a fifth nearby country. Few, if
But after September 11, and the realization that state-sponsored
terrorists from the Middle East had the desire to destroy the United States and
the capability to do it great harm, the decade-long containment of Saddam
Hussein, in light also of his serial violations of both armistice and U.N.
accords, was considered inadequate. Few
houses of Congress, backed by an overwhelming majority of the American people,
authorized the use of military force to remove Saddam Hussein, at the vigorous
request of the President.
Congress in October 2002 formulated 23 different reasons why Saddam posed a
threat to our security, the administration in easy hindsight, quite wrongly
mostly privileged and exaggerated just one writ: Saddams arsenals of weapons of
mass destruction might enhance Middle East terrorist operations enough to trump
even what we had witnessed on 9/11.
Supporters of a narrow war to remove WMDs relied on a past,
though false consensus of such an existential threat; it was one, however, that
had nevertheless prompted embargoes, sanctions, no-fly zones, and periodic
bombing. Perhaps they were sure of such a WMD danger because it had been
formulated at home in the 1990s and echoed abroad by both European and Middle
Eastern agencies and alone would galvanize the public in a way the other
sanctioned casus belli might not.
Nevertheless, when such weapons were not found in Iraq, and
the insurgency imperiled the brilliant three-week victory, the case for the war,
in the eyes of many, collapsed. It did so on both moral and practical grounds.
For some reason, no one cared that the other twenty-some Congressional causes
were still as valid as when they had been first approved in October
The Victory over
We now argue
over the requisite number of troops necessary in the aftermath of Iraq. Few,
however, complain about the three-week victory of March and April 2003, in which
U.S. military and coalition forces, at very little loss, destroyed the Baathist
government and removed Saddam Hussein with about 250,000 troops. Someone did
something right, though exactly who and what is now
Over the War
The real controversy arose, however, over the
subsequent four-year occupation and reconstruction, in which nearly 4,000
American lives were lost and over a half a billion dollars were spent to
stabilize the fragile postwar democracy.
since 2003, has hinged on our own culpability, and postfacto, on our reasons for
going into Iraq in the first place. It has focused almost solely on American
lapses, not recognition of either the capability, or zeal, or brutality of the
enemy. Acrimony instead arose over our inability to stop the looting, the
dissolution of the Iraqi army, the laxity in patrolling ammunition dumps and
borders, the first pull-back from Fallujah, and our naivet in allowing Shiite
militias, particularly those under the control of Moqtada Sadr, to act as
destructive surrogates for an ascendant Iran.
anyone remind the American people nor would they have desired to hear that
in all of Americas major wars such tragic errors of commission and judgment
were commonplace, or that our present lapses were not in that regard at all
unique. The initial victory had raised expectations so high that such reflection
would have been seen as little more than morbid
did we hear that our missteps were not only correctable (as for example the
recapture of Fallujah or the reconstitution of the Iraqi army attest), but also
did not imperil the ultimate goal of stabilizing the Iraqi government. And
almost none suggested that in a televised war of the postmodern age, it is
difficult for a liberal Western society to defeat and humiliate an enemy at
least to the degree necessary for it to accept a radical change of heart.
Also forgotten was
any appreciation of the magnitude of the undertaking going 7,000 miles into
the ancient caliphate to foster constitutional government where it had never
taken root, among outright enemies like Iran and Syria, and duplicitous allies
such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. In that regard, to suggest the tragic loss of
lives and money in Iraq were, by standards of our past major wars, a reflection
of American competence and concern was paramount to
for all the acrimony and dramatic loss of both political and public support, the
United States continued its efforts to secure the fragile democracy and unite
the warring factions. Apparently enough, Americans assumed that even the costs
and heartbreak of this persistence paled in consideration of the dangers to both
the security of the region, and our own security, incurred by a sudden flight
and American defeat in the face of victorious Islamic insurgents and al Qaeda
stayed, and we learned, and we persevered. Classical arguments for victory
prevailed, despite being caricatured and deemed simplistic: whatever transient
emotional, financial, and moral advantages were to be had by fleeing Iraq, they
would all be overshadowed by the eventual human and financial costs of our utter
Against the War
There was little opposition to the war when it began, at least if public
polls and congressional authorizations were fair indicators. But by 2004, as
more American lives were lost to insurrection, and Iraqis began to suffer
sectarian violence, the war insidiously lost support among the American people.
The new prevailing sentiment is best collectively summed up as My
brilliant three-week war was ruined by your insanely stupid
Politicians who had adamantly railed about the dangers of weapons of mass
destruction and the need not only to remove Saddam, but to stay and help the
Iraqis, now either denied they had done so, or suggested they had been misled by
cooked intelligence. Or, in rarer cases, they admitted that their good idea of
removing Saddam was now more than nullified by the incompetence or nefariousness
of the Bush administration.
It was more common here at home to hear defamation of our allied Iraqi
democrats, than of the enemy al-Qaeda terrorists and insurrectionists who tried
to murder them. While there was no doubt that exaggerated claims of WMD and
connections to al Qaeda in Iraq had contributed to the anti-war surge, it is
also a fact such opposition was fueled largely by the impression of ongoing
American stasis or defeat in Iraq.
Four national American elections heightened the acrimony.
Each witnessed a gradual evolution from public support to disavowal. The 2002
voting during the lead up to the war saw affirmation for the notion of removing
Saddam. 2004 witnessed a nation split over the costs versus benefits of staying
in Iraq. 2006 reflected a radical shift against the war. The verdict is out on
2008, though it appears the surge has prompted many critics to once again adjust
of vituperation was only matched in the American Civil War and during the
Vietnam War. At various times our troops were denigrated by U.S. Senators and
Congressmen as terrorists, cold-blooded killers, ethnic cleansers, and analogous
to the soldiers of Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam, or Stalin. Novels, documentaries,
movies, ads, and celebrity interviews charged our generals with treason, our
elected officials with Nazi-like characteristics, and urged defeat, impeachment,
and trials as correctives.
There is no
longer serious doubt that by any fair measure the situation in Iraq has
radically improved by the end of 2007. All markers point to some degree of
improvement fewer civilian and military lives lost, violence lessened,
essential services improving. It is difficult to know exactly why and how this
change came about, as it is so often hard in military history to chart exactly
when and why such frequent turnabouts occur.
Tens of thousands of now mostly unknown American soldiers
took a frightful toll on insurgents and terrorists between 2003-2007, to such an
extent that many enemy groups were increasingly incapable of continuing.
Gen. David Petraeus
and his staff were able to convince the administration to surge 30,000
additional troops to tip the strategic balance, so that the American military
might have the necessary force to ensure everyday Iraqis better security.
Petraeus was also
able to change our military strategy from one of counterterrorism to a broader
counterinsurgency plan that was far more successful in enlisting Iraqis to fight
the common enemy.
The enormous surge in oil prices, which peaked at $98 a barrel, ensured
revenue for infrastructure and services, and of equal importance, a promise of a
better future on the horizon.
Al-Qaeda upped the ante by sending its operatives into
Iraq, gradually alienated the population by its atrocities, and thereby pushed
Sunni tribesmen into a de facto alliance with the U.S. military. The fear of
Iran, and the Shiite-dominated government convinced the Sunni tribes that they
would only lose more influence should they continue their
is not just that Iraq is quieter and has a good chance to stabilize, but also
that the violent alternatives to such a resolution have mostly been attempted
and failed. We are witnessing, then, a sort of catharsis of worn-out citizenry
who attest by experience that armed force will not result in victory, while
political participation and petroleum wealth may get them some of the prestige,
power, and money that they had previously sought unsuccessfully through arms.
The final verdict on Iraq will hinge on its outcome
whether the elected government ensures stability, safety, and prosperity to the
majority of Iraqis without resort to either theocracy or dictatorship. Even in
the event of a positive outcome (an American victory), however, critics will
still insist that such results were not worth the commensurate cost in American
lives and money. They will also argue that whatever good comes of Iraq is
largely nullified by the prewar exaggerated claims for al Qaeda and WMD in
turn, will counter that the worst and most dangerous state in the Middle East
now has the possibility of becoming the best. Islamic radicalism in its
abhorrent manifestations suffered a terrible defeat in Iraq, its frontline
fighters killed en masse, its agendas rejected freely by Arab peoples, and its
overall prestige lowered in the Islamic world with beneficial repercussions
from Libya to Lebanon.
The question of oil and the war is largely forgotten. Critics once
chanted no blood for oil, but they quieted when the price shot up and the
Iraqis themselves profited enormously from it. Supporters of the war did not
wish to prove that cheap, accessible oil was not the main reason to go
to war by the painful reminder that its price is now disastrously high and
imperils the economy of the United States.
Iraq the More Things Change, the More They Remain the
Prior to 2003, and in the wake of Panama, the Balkans,
and Afghanistan, there was a strange orthodoxy that the future of American arms
rested almost exclusively in precision weapons and smaller, specialized forces.
Iraq taught us
the opposite: conventional infantry forces in number, and equipped and led in
innovative fashion, still remained indispensable. Force protection from MRAP
vehicles to the use of drones will be as increasingly emphasized as its
enormous costs are debated. A $100,000 wheeled robot used to destroy a $10 IED
is emblematic of the dilemma.
Our military is too small for our assumed current geopolitical
responsibilities. Either increase the former or cut back on the latter or,
better yet, do both.
It is not just lives lost that govern popular support, but also the
length of hostilities. Had the American military lost 4,000 soldiers in a
dramatic shoot-out around Baghdad in April 2003, followed by a peaceful
occupation, public support would have remained high.
But for an
impatient American public, it was the duration, and sense of war without end or
victory that provoked the oppostion. War in our present century will have to be
conducted far more quickly even as we learn that is often impossible, given
that human nature is unchanged and thus comes to wisdom very
For all our
sophisticated media and nuanced politics, simply winning or losing still shapes
views on war. There have been three radical positions on Iraq: a general support
when it looked won; a general opposition went it looked lost; and a slow return
to grudging reappraisal when it looks re-won. Politicians, academics, and
pundits are hardly immune from, or embarrassed by, their own contorted reactions
to these primordial emotions, as we now witness as columnists and
politicians scramble to stake out new third positions sort of, kind of
supporting the war..
The felony of untruth and distortion against a war counts far less than
any misdemeanor in support of one. Photoshopped pictures, fraudulent
documentaries, printed lies about flushed Korans, or bogus published stories
about atrocities turn off the public less than a single untruth or hedge by a
military officer or government official.
While the success of a war hinges on the militarys
destruction of the enemy and our ability to win the hearts and minds of the
population, critical time and support for those efforts are won only by non-stop
explication, not periodic assertion.
In an age of glitzy graphics, e-mail, instantaneous blogs,
and minute-by-minute news updates, there is still no substitute for wartime
oratory and brutal candor. We should assume in any future war, those in the
media, the universities, and the arts will ipso facto oppose the use of force,
which in turn can only be supported by arguments that are as moral and ethical
as they are logically, honestly, and elegantly
THE PHONINESS OF CHRIS DODD
Chris dodd is going absolutely nowhere in his presidential campaign -- which
is fine with me. For this reason I pay little attention to him.
But the level of dishonesty dodd has displayed regarding Benazir Bhutto's death is so blatant that
I feel the readers of this blog should know about it. So here,
courtesy of Brian Maloney of www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com,
are the particulars:
Chris Dodd Blasts Administration
Over Bhutto Slaying
Dodd Goes Unhinged Over Bhutto
Making the earlier
words of fellow Democrat Senator Russ Feingold
(D-WI) sound tame by comparison, Chris
Dodd took a spin on the Unhinged Expressway this afternoon, laying blame for
Benazir Bhutto's death squarely on the
shoulders of President Bush.
During an interview with
libtalker Ed Schultz that occurred two hours after Feingold's, Dodd didn't use
the slightest bit of discretion in his uber- partisan attack on
DODD: It reflects once
again the misdirection in my view of the (Bush) Administration on focusing on
Iraq and Iran. I've been saying for months
that Pakistan and Afghanistan deserve more attention.As was the case
with Feingold earlier today, Dodd's on- air statements before a liberal
audience don't match up at all with his official statement on Bhutto's passing:
the epicenter of international terrorism, of where Osama bin Laden is, here.
And yet the administration continues to focus its efforts, its resources, its
time and effort on Iraq and Iran.
Washington, DC- Senator and Presidential Candidate
Chris Dodd today expressed his condolences to the family of Former Pakistani
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated earlier today in
Pakistan.These guys obviously have a playbook: sound
statesmanlike in the press releases, while bashing Bush and throwing partisan
slime when it seems safe to do so. Could they be any
Dodd, who has kept in touch with Bhutto over the past
few weeks of turbulence and unrest in Pakistan, and is a 26-year member of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that this is again another reminder
of the experienced leadership our country needs at a time when critical
regions around the world are in turmoil.
"Today's news from
Pakistan is both shocking and saddening. As a member of the Foreign Relations
Committee, I have had the opportunity to travel to Pakistan and come to know
Former Prime Minister Bhutto very well over the years. I spoke to her
personally several weeks ago and have stayed in close contact with her since.
She was a respected leader who played an important part in moving Pakistan
"As we recognize the loss of a leader today, we must
also recognize the implication of today's tragedy to the security of the
region and to that of the United States.
"At this critical time we must
do everything in our power to help Pakistan continue the path toward democracy
and full elections. Our first priority must be to ensure stability in this
critical nuclear state.
"The United States should also stand ready to
provide assistance in investigating this heinous act. And as Pakistan
perpetrators to justice, it should also demonstrate that it will not allow
such violence to derail democracy and proceed with elections in a timely
The answer, Brian, is no. Chris dodd could not be any
But that's the wrong question. The question is why
shouldn't he feel free to be a blatant phony when media have given
him a free pass on so many things during his terms as senator.
How about his advocacy of the policies which enabled Enron
to play its fiscal games with Arthur Andersen, for example? How about the
contributions he received from Enron, apparently for services rendered?
How about his fawning, doting comments about how racist,
former KKK member Senator robert byrd would have been a great leader even during
the civil war? Trent Lott said far less about Strom Thurmond and was
hounded out of his majority leadership, almost forced to resign. Chris
dodd? Liberal Democrat, therefore free pass.
When mainstream media give protected species status to
people like chris dodd, they create the conditions for the dodds of the world to
continue behaving as they do.
It's quite a partnership. I hope they're
NO COMMENT ON NO COMMENT
To say the least, I am no fan of either John Edwards or Hillary
Clinton. But the last line of this little squib from www.thehill.com had me laughing out loud, so I
thought I would pass it along for you to laugh at too.
What made me bust out laughing was how the last paragraph proves the
first paragraph right. I have put both in bold print:
jabs Clinton with Ask John events |
|December 28, 2007 |
DES MOINES Former Sen. John
Edwards (D-N.C.) announced a new program designed to allow Iowans a chance
to ask Edwards questions amid reports that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
(D-N.Y.) hasnt been taking audience questions during her statewide
The Edwards campaign
on Thursday announced its Ask John program, which is intended to give
caucus-goers a chance to ask Edwards any questions they might have in the
lead-up to caucus night.
The announcement comes days after a Dec. 22
report in The Los Angeles Times that Clinton, who normally sets aside time
at the end of her events to answer audience questions, has not been doing
so. Iowa and New Hampshire voters are well-known for getting involved in
the process and asking tough questions of the candidates.
The Edwards campaign on Friday said the Ask
John program was in the works for some time and its timing had nothing to
do with the reports about Clinton.
The Clinton campaign did not respond
to requests for comment.
For sheer amusement value this would be hard to beat. Edwards
accuses Clinton of not responding, and the Clinton camp's reaction is no
Yep, that's what we need in the