Sunday, 30 March 2008

THE MAHDI ARMY UPRISING

Ken Berwitz

To the barely concealed glee of a great many of our mainstream media, there has been a military uprising by moqtada al-sadr's "mahdi army" for the past week.  It has taken place mostly in Basra (largely because the British bugged out too soon - a valuable lesson for those of us who still have open minds about Iraq).

The Iraqi army, along with US air support, filled in the gap left by the UK.  Fighting has gone on for almost a week.  And here is where we are now, courtesy of the Associated Press:

BAGHDAD (AP) - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is offering to pull his fighters off the streets of Basra and other cities if the government halts raids against his followers and releases prisoners held without charge.

The offer is contained in a nine-point statement issued by his headquarters in Najaf.

Al-Sadr is demanding that the government issue a general amnesty and release all detainees. The statement said he also "disavows" anyone who carries weapons and targets government institutions, charities and political party offices.

There was no immediate comment from the government.

It doesn't take a military genius to figure out that the reason al-sadr has suddenly offered a truce is that he and his army are getting their asses handed to them.  Other than in Israel (lamentably), history isn't exactly replete with truce offers from the side that is winning.

But this sack of manure, al-sadr, is so used to being given free passes on his murderous attacks that he is acting like it is he rather than Iraq and the USA who can set the terms of disengagement.

I hope we don't fall for it, the way we have before. 

I understand that there is a calculation involved here;  namely that if you decimate the mahdi army and maybe kill al-sadr in the process you will enrage so many of his followers that more is lost than gained.  But we have worked under that premise already and this latest uprising is what we got for it.  Time for plan B. 

The sooner we take the human cancer al-sadr out, the better off Iraq - and the USA, and the world - will be.


MARK STEYN ON THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION BATTLE

Ken Berwitz

What a thoughtful, provocative article Mark Steyn has written for National Review!

Steyn talks about the (un)civil war in the Democratic party between Clinton and Obama.  He works from the standpoint that the Clintons used to benefit from media bias, but now are on the losing end of that bias (a point readers of this blog have seen for months). 

Steyn does this so well that I thought I'd excerpt his essay for you below (you can read it all by clicking here):

No One Left to Lie To
Where did the magic go?

By Mark Steyn

No One Left to Lie To
Where did the magic go?

By Mark Steyn

About this business of Hillary coming under intense sniping, I have some sympathy. The Clintons got away with this sort of thing for so long that you cant blame them for wondering how they missed the memo advising that henceforth the old rules no longer apply. Bill, being warier, was usually canny enough to set his fantasies just far enough back in time that live cable footage was unlikely to be available his vivid memories of entirely mythical black church burnings in his childhood, etc. But Hillary liked to live a little more dangerously. The defining fiction arose back in the mid-Nineties when she visited New Zealand and met Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Everest, and for some reason decided to tell him he was the guy her parents had named her after.

Hmm. Edmund Hillary reached the top of Everest in 1953. Hillary Rodham was born in 1947, when Sir Edmund was an obscure New Zealand beekeeper and a somewhat unlikely inspiration for two young parents in the Chicago suburbs. If any of the bigshot U.S. newspaper correspondents on the trip noticed this inconsistency, they kept it to themselves. I mentioned it in Britains Sunday Telegraph at the time, but like so many other improbabilities in the Clinton record it sailed on indestructibly for years. By 2004 it was preserved for the ages in Bill Clintons autobiography, on page (gulp) 870: Sir Edmund Hillary, who had explored the South Pole in the 1950s, was the first man to reach the top of Mount Everest and, most important, was the man Chelseas mother had been named for.

Eventually, when it was noticed that Hillary was born six years before the ascent of Everest, Clinton aides tried assuring skeptics that her parents had seen a press interview with Sir Edmund in his beekeeping days, Mr. and Mrs. Rodham apparently being the only Illinois subscribers to The New Zealand Apiarist. Then, in the early days of her presidential campaign, Senator Clinton quietly withdrew the story, by which time the damage was done. Edmund Hillary passed away a couple of months back, and, as I recall, the New York Times headline read: New Zealander For Whom Senator Clinton Named Dies; Also First Man To Climb Everest. Senator Clinton Was At The Summit To Greet Him, After Landing Under Heavy Sniper Fire From The Abominable Snowman.

Theres something weird about the need to tell quite so many unnecessary fictions. Yet Senator Clinton might reasonably have expected the sniper-fire landing in Tuzla to have been like the late-1940s epidemic of beekeeper-inspired Chicago christenings, something planted in the record that no one dares question.

The other day I gave a talk and a Democrat in the audience demanded that I disassociate myself from the sleazy attacks of some Republicans whove been referring to Barack Hussein Obama. I said Id be happy to disassociate myself from (Clinton supporter) Bob Kerrey whos been floating the whole nudge-nudge-Hussein-the-secret-Muslim thing, and to disassociate myself from (Clinton supporter) Bill Shaheen whos been pushing the Obama-spent-most-of-the-Seventies-selling-cocaine rumors, and to disassociate myself from (Clinton supporter) Andrew Young whos boasted that Bill Clinton has slept with more black women than Obama. And golly, after Id got through disassociating myself from all the Democrat sleaze about Obama, I had no time to peddle any sleaze of my own.

It may be that when the Democrats do settle on a candidate which, on present form, seems likely to be about 48 hours before Election Day the party will then do its usual thing and unite around the winner in order to slay the Republican dragon. But its not unreasonable to calculate that significant elements among both the Clintonites and the Obamaniacs will be disinclined to reward the other side for what theyll see as an act of usurpation. I have no time for Obama and I think hed be a disastrous president. But hes your ticket out if youre a Democrat who cant face the thought of giving your party to the Clinton mob for another decade. And evidently quite a lot of Dems feel like that.

Why? Where did the magic go? Well, the show got miscast. I wrote a decade ago that Hillary was like Margaret Dumont to Bills Groucho Marx. He goes around leering at cocktail waitresses, waggling his eyebrows and his famously unlit cigar. And Hillary would stand there seemingly oblivious to the subpoenaed dress and DNA analysis and all the rest: In double-acts, the best straight men (or women) are the ones who appear never to get the joke, and that was Hillary in the late Nineties, standing on stage alongside Bill night after night with her rictus grin and droning in the robotic cadences of that computerized voice in your car that tells you to fasten your seatbelt that I. Am. So. Proud. Of. My. Husband. And. Our. President. Bill. Clinton.

But you cant recast: You cant put Margaret Dumont in the Groucho role. In their heyday, the Clintons ran a thuggish operation fronted by an ingratiating charmer. Now the charming facades gone, and the backroom thuggery is ineffective. The Clinton campaigns letter to Nancy Pelosi suggesting that she might like to reflect (if you know what we mean) on her call for the super-delegates to support the winner of the popular vote (ie, Obama) was notable not for its menace but for its clumsiness: Few sights are more forlorn than an enforcer who can no longer enforce. The Clinton letter reminded me of Elena Ceausescu still trying to pull the dont-you-know-who-I-am routine even as the firing squad were taking aim.

But on she staggers. Even if she cant win, she can deny victory to Obama, and to her party. As they say in showbusiness, its not important for me to succeed, only for my friends to fail
.

There you have it.  Beautifully.

Ms. Clinton will not give up on winning the nomination battle until the convention, and probably cannot win the presidency.  Obama will not be able to win the nomination battle outright until the convention, and probably cannot win the election. 

If Ms. Clinton gets the nomination her supporters are likely to torpedo Obama's candidacy.  If Mr. Obama gets the nomination his supporters are likely to torpedo Clinton's candidacy.

I genuinely wonder if this battle will cleave the Democratic Party in two, and spawn a total of four parties:

-The Republican Party segment that stays put;

-The Democratic Party segment that stays put;

-A new, more leftward party created from disaffected Democrats;

-A new, more moderate party that will be created from disaffected Democrats and Republicans who are fed up with politics as they are now.  This, in turn, will make the existing Democratic Party more leftward and the existing Republican Party more rightward;

If so, maybe it is just what we need.


SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT JEREMIAH WRIGHT & "BLACK LIBERATION"

Ken Berwitz

Don't you find it fascinating that jeremiah wright, racist, anti-USA, anti-Israel firebreather who Barack Obama "would never abandon", suddenly retired two months ago? 

Didn't you find the timing of that retirement wonderfully convenient to the Obama campaign, because it gave his lovingly supportive media a rationale for getting past the Obama/wright connection; i.e. "hey, he isn't there anymore, this is old news"?

Don't you find it remarkable that this congregation, which is so involved in local social services, seems to have found 1.6 million dollars (no typo, folks:  $1,600,000) to build wright a home in Tinsley Park - an upper middle class area of Chicago?  Asking readers who are religiously affiliated: has your place of worship ever sprung for that kind of money to house retiring clergy?

Don't you wonder where the Trinity United Church of Christ gets all that money to perform all those neighborhood social services?  Is it money the church has raised, or is it government grants? 

If it is from church funds, shouldn't the congregation be raising holy hell over this kind of money taken from the poor and handed to wright so that he can live high on the hog while they go without?  Do you have any idea how much in the way of social services can be performed for $1.6 million dollars? 

If it from government grants, then isn't the money used for these services coming from the "goddamn" United States and those "rich White folks" who are running it?  Shouldn't wright and the new pastor and the congregation be profusely thankful to the United States and those folks for it?

And, finally, if wright actually believes any of what he has been spewing for all these years, why is he going to be living in a community that is 93% White and 2% Black?  www.sweetness-light.com did the following search and found out:

Demographics

As of the 2000 census, there were 48,401 people, 17,478 households, and 12,793 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,236.9 people per square mile (1,250.0/km). There were 18,037 housing units at an average density of 1,206.2/sq mi (465.8/km). The racial makeup of the village was 93.16% White, 1.92% African American, 0.13% Native American, 2.38% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.13% of the population.

The top five ancestries reported in Tinley Park as of the 2000 census were Irish (25.5%), German (23.1%), Polish (19.7%), Italian (14.3%) and Dutch (5.3%).

How will the congregants feel about their "Black liberation" pastor taking $1.6 million of their hard-earned money (or is it mine, via government grants?) to live in a gated community that is 93% White and 2% Black?

Is THAT what jeremiah wright means when he says he is committed to Black liberation?  After all, if wright wants to liberate himself from the company of Black people, could he have found a better place?


THE MAN BARACK OBAMA "WOULD NOT ABANDON"

Ken Berwitz

Here is another example of what Barack Obama's spiritual mentor, jeremiah wright, stands for.  It comes to us courtesy of Investors Business Daily

While you read it, remember that Mr. Obama has voluntarily, proactively, enthusiastically tied himself to jeremiah wright for almost two decades:

Obama's Pro-Hamas Church

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

Posted 3/25/2008

Election 2008: It's bad enough that Barack Obama's church took sick joy in 9/11 for "racist white America" supporting "Zionists." Now we learn it also is a mouthpiece for anti-Israeli terrorists.

Last July, Trinity United Church of Christ reprinted a Hamas manifesto written by a terrorist fugitive wanted by the FBI. It was published across two pages of the "Pastor's Page" section of the church bulletin.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's name is copyrighted at the bottom of the pages. For those who don't know, Wright is the anti-American, anti-Israeli bigot that Obama has consorted with for the past two decades.

In his newsletter, the preacher gives Mousa Abu Marzook a platform to justify the Palestinian terrorist group's denial of Israel's right to exist, while defending strikes against Israeli targets.

Marzook is identified in the church bulletin only as the "deputy of the political bureau of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement."

In fact, Marzook was kicked out of the U.S. several years ago after the U.S. declared him a specially designated terrorist.

The Palestinian was indicted in 2004 for conspiring to funnel millions to Hamas to carry out kidnappings, bombings and other attacks on Israel. Believed to be hiding in Syria, he remains a fugitive.

Even if Wright didn't know Marzook was wanted by the government, Hamas has been designated a terrorist group since 1995, blacklisted by a Democrat administration.

Wright had to have known from headlines that Hamas targets innocent civilians in pizza parlors and buses for suicide bombings, eviscerating children and elderly with fireballs laced with nails and ball bearings. These are not warriors, but terrorists.

Obama, for his part, says he is shocked shocked! that his church would support Hamas.

"I certainly wasn't in church when that outrageously wrong piece was reprinted in the bulletin," he said in a carefully worded statement that denies only his attendance and not his prior knowledge of the bulletin.

The Democratic front-runner for president seems to think if he just claims "not present," he won't be linked to his longtime church's radicalism. But a history of 20 years of church attendance and close ties to Wright make that impossible.

When videos showed his pastor blaming America for 9/11 and damning it to hell, Obama insisted he did not attend service on the days those particular sermons were delivered.

Obama also pleaded ignorance about Wright last year honoring anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan with a "lifetime achievement award," even though the church featured Farrakhan on the cover of its magazine and held a gala in Chicago to celebrate his "greatness."

This didn't come out of the blue. Wright and Farrakhan go way back. In the 1980s, they traveled to Libya to pay homage to terrorist leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Yet, Wright is the man Obama says has been "like an uncle" to him all these years.

It strains credulity that in all their conversations, he remains in the dark about his radical ties.

Yet now that Obama knows Wright sympathizes with terrorists, Obama continues to defend him and his church.

"This is a pillar of the community," Obama said, "and if you go there on Easter, and you sat down there in the pew, you would think this is just like any other church."

Maybe any other church in Gaza or the West Bank. But certainly not in post-9/11 America.

Who does Obama think he's fooling? He needs to sever ties with Wright and his church, regardless of their support.

If he can't stand up to them, how can he stand up to terrorists?

You are being asked to believe that Barack Obama, who happily stayed in this church through 17 years of wright's ravings, doesn't buy into what he preaches. 

Would YOU stay in a house of worship for 20 years of this vomit if you didn't believe it?  Would you stay for 20 DAYS?

It takes a special kind of gullibility to believe the BS that Obama is tossing here.  And, so far, at least, an awful lot of people are showing that they possess it.

Since wright preached diseased garbage like this all the time, you can count on more and more such examples becoming known as the campaign wears on. 

But Barack Obama didn't know that wright ever said things like this.  Oh, wait, he heard about it but was never there.  Oh, wait, he was there, but didn't agree.  Oh, wait, if wright had continued to preach this way he would have left -- almost 20 years wasn't enough to leave, but almost 20 years and a few more days would have done the trick.

And, of course, Mr. Obama "would not abandon" wright.   He said so himself.  What a guy. 

In other words, Barack Obama stands by a stone cold US- hating, White-hating, Israel-hating, Hamas-loving sack of manure.  But he doesn't believe any of this stuff.  Honest.  Just ask him.

Yeah, right.  And the cow jumped over the moon.


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