September 2004

Kerry did better than I expected and concealed his lies and deception well. He had us screaming “liar” at the TV but Joe Public wouldn’t know how often Kerry was being deceptive. At the end of the debate it was still not possible to determine where Kerry stood on Iraq. If it was the wrong war, why not put Saddam back in power and pull-out?

Bush was, well, Bush. A bit inarticulate, too many pauses, and he missed many chances to nail Kerry. For example, Kerry mentioned the Kerry/Edwards plan to ship nuclear fuel to Iran. Bush failed to call him on that. Bush did stay on message, though I was soon wincing every time he said “hard work”.

When Kerry accused Bush of attacking the wrong enemy Bush could have responded by saying that Japan attacked the US but our first real action was against Nazi Germany (actually their Vichy French allies) which had not attacked America.

Kerry’s tan must have washed off or he did get a good makeup job. Kerry supporters can take heart that their man fought the debate to a draw.


Well, we never did get Hitler and most of his high command avoided capture or death until the very end of the war. Ditto the Jap brass (we used to call the enemy Japs and Huns back then, if we were being nice).

But Kerry wants to devote all our military resources to capturing Osama:

I would have concentrated our power and resources on defeating global terrorism and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. I would have tightened the noose and continued to pressure and isolate Saddam Hussein – who was weak and getting weaker — so that he would pose no threat to the region or America.

But if Osama is still alive, he is scurrying from safe house to cave and back again, one step ahead of US Special Forces, the Pakistani army and the lure of a reward. He doesn’t pose nearly the threat of currently active and relatively unknown terrorists.

About that noose around Saddam, Mr. Kerry. How would you have maintained the sanctions regime in the face of French and Russian efforts to lift sanctions? How would you have kept US forces poised on Iraq’s border for another year, or two? What would you have done about the UN oil-for-fraud program that was making Saddam stronger?

Read the story here. Mukhtaran Bibi represents the forces for good in the Islamic world while her rapists personify all that is evil. When Mukhtaran Bibi is recognized as a heroine across the Islamic world, the war on radical Islam will be over. It’s going to take a long time.

Debra Saunders asks what Plamegate has cost to date. Well, it has cost Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife any credibility, but Saunders was thinking about the cost to the tax-paying public.

As happens, Fitzgerald’s office wouldn’t say how much the investigation has cost or why it cares to subpoena reporters who didn’t out Plame. So I will leave it to you, dear reader, to try to imagine how much money and energy has been spent on this inquisition when these resources could go toward investigating terrorists, organized crime or white-collar criminals.

In calling for the investigation into who outed Plame, the Left hoped to catch a White House official committing a felony. Wilson even fantasized about Karl Rove being led from the White House in handcuffs, as noted by Tim Noah in Slate:Did Rove Blow a Spook’s Cover? a year ago:

Wilson, who was present, had this to say:

It’s of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs. And trust me, when I use that name, I measure my words.

This appeared to be an unsubtle hint that Wilson knew one of the leakers to be Rove.

The tone of Noah’s article reflects the credibility that Wilson had in Leftist circles. Wilson had, after all, been on the Op-ed page of the NYT and had undermined Bush’s credibility on the issue of Saddam seeking uranium. The Left smelled blood and bayed for an investigation. Saunders, again:

Howls of outrage from the left echoed. It was a felony to leak Plame’s name, Bush-haters panted. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on the FBI to probe the matter as the Nation’s Washington editor David Corn asked, “So where is the investigation?”

The Left got its investigation and it is still meandering along.

But, along the way, the sacred presumption that reporters did not have to reveal their sources, got a lot less sacred, especially when national security is involved. So we now learn that two NYT reporters are being investigated because one of them may have tipped off an Islamic charity that it was about to be raided. The WPO has the story.

Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who is also acting as a special prosecutor in the CIA leak probe, informed the Times by letter last week that his office has subpoenaed telephone company records. The move is part of an effort to determine whether anyone in the government told Times reporters of planned federal asset seizures in December 2001 at the offices of an Islamic charity suspected of providing funding to al Qaeda, according to several sources familiar with the case.

The FBI believes that a call from a reporter to a representative of the charity, the Illinois-based Global Relief Foundation, may have led to the destruction of documents there the night before the government’s raid, according to findings by the Sept. 11 commission.

When Fitzgerald has finished with those probes, maybe he should go after all those leakers in the CIA, Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon who are doing all they can to undermine their boss, the Commander-in-Chief.

Just saw him on Fox TV — a sorry sight — oddly tanned — tired — and sounding hoarse. His campaign is on the line tomorrow night and he doesn’t look even close to ready. Shades of Nixon’s five o’clock shadow have come back to haunt the gaunt Mr. Kerry. He better pray the make-up people can perform miracles. Otherwise, the MSM will spend more time on how badly he looks than on his debating performance. I almost feel sorry for him.

Bush looked good and performed well on O’Reilly. The Kerry camp can’t be looking forward to the first debate.

Yaser Esam Hamdi happened to be born in the US although he is in all other respects a Saudi Arabian. He’s going to be released, under this agreement (via Newsweek):

It will result in Hamdi being flown back to Saudi Arabia on a U.S. military aircraft without ever being charged with any terror-related activity—a symbolic victory for critics who have long pointed to the case as a prime example of what they see as the Bush administration’s overreaching in combating the terrorist threat.

Still, Justice Department officials said today the agreement contains important provisions to protect U.S. interests, including requirements that Hamdi renounce his U.S. citizenship, agree not to return to the United States and consent not to travel to an extensive list of countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq or Syria, where he could be presumably be recruited for terrorist activity. Hamdi is also supposed to keep Saudi authorities notified of his whereabouts—a requirement that even government officials say will do little, if anything, to restrict his movements in the country.

But could this be a case of “out of the frying pan into the fire”? Since Al Qaeda started mounting terrorist attacks inside Saudi Arabia, it has become rather more serious about the war on terror. When Hamdi is delivered to Saudi Arabia, I suspect he may find soon himself in custody again without the protections that US citizenship grants. Here’s hoping, because we’ve already seen that terrorists released from Guantanamo Bay sometimes go right back to their bad, old ways.

As the war against terrorism progresses and countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia become strong allies, then the need for the US to detain their nationals decreases. Why hold someone at Gitmo when they can enjoy the tender mercies of a security service unconstrained by SCOTUS, ACLU, US lawyers and the NYT?

We often hear that Iraq is about the size of California. The populations aren’t that different either, with Iraq at 23 million and California at 35 million.

Over the last ten years the Californian homicide rate has averaged 2,496 per year. Many of those were killed in gang-related violence. In some areas of L.A. gang violence has gotten so bad that, according to this report from the The Los Angeles Daily News,

Terror reigns in the many neighborhoods of Los Angeles overrun by gangs. From the “shooting gallery” in parts of North Hills to the killing fields of South Los Angeles, law-abiding residents live in fear behind steel gates and bars, their children afraid to play outside. It is the poor communities, many of them minority neighborhoods, whose residents are struggling hardest to move into the middle class, that pay the highest price for the epidemic of gang violence in Southern California.

So, is that description very much different from what we are reading about Fallujah or Sadr city?

We don’t extrapolate from the worst areas of Los Angeles to the rest of California or the rest of the US. We know that it would be great distortion of reality to assume that the average US citizen lives in as much fear as the people stuck in gang-infested rat-holes like South Los Angeles. We shouldn’t be doing it in Iraq, either. Yet, the MSM only reports on the trouble spots in Iraq and give the impression that what they report is representative of the country as a whole.

Chicago Boyz maps the violence in Iraq for most of September by province.

I mapped all 58 U.S. combat fatalities for the month of September to date using data made available at The map color codes the number of U.S. fatalities resulting from enemy action in each of Iraq’s 18 provinces. Only four of the provinces had any U.S. fatalities. 14 of the provinces had zero fatalities. (The British down in Basra had zero fatalities from combat in September).

Lo and behold, most of the country is peaceful with zero coalition casualties. The hot spots stand out, just as certain areas of California would stand out if you mapped homicides by county.

Next Page »