July 2005

Victor David Hanson gets to the essence of the current conflict with radical Islam. He writes:

Quite simply, Islam is not in need of a reformation, but of a civil war in the Middle East, since the jihadists cannot be reasoned with, only defeated. Only with their humiliation, will come a climate of tolerance and reform, when berated and beaten-down moderates can come out of the shadows.

I would quibble with this point, though:

The common theme is not the Koran, but the constant pathology of the Middle East — gender apartheid, polygamy, religious intolerance, tribalism, no freedom, a censored press, an educational system of brainwashing rather than free inquiry — that lends itself to the next cult to explain away failure and blame the West, which always looms as both whore and Madonna to the Arab Street.

I wouldn’t have let the Koran off so lightly. I’d have no quibble if VDH had written instead:

“The common theme is the Koran, more specifically the constant pathology of the Middle East that is fueled by the teachings of Islam — gender apartheid, polygamy, religious intolerance, tribalism, no freedom, a censored press, an educational system of brainwashing rather than free inquiry — that lends itself to the next cult to explain away failure and blame the West, which always looms as both whore and Madonna to the Arab Street.”

Osama bin Ladin’s fatwa of 1996 is full of references to the Koran and Islamic teaching to justify war on the West.


I’ve never been convinced that CO2 emissions in advanced countries were contributing to the negligible warming that may have occured over the last century. I was more concerned about the environmental impact of the Asian Brown Cloud. It seemed to pose a bigger threat to the environment than the recycling of fossil fuel back into the atmosphere from whence it came. The Kyoto treaty specifically excluded the developing world and the 21st century powerhouse economies of India and China. Now Bush has put together a deal that commits the United States, China, India, Australia, Japan and South Korea to more efficient energy production as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing those emissions has the side benefit of reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Bush couldn’t think that strategically, could he?

Nuclear energy was supposed to the big thing in the second half of the 20th century. Under this initiative, it may become the biggest source of clean energy this century.

Michael Yon reports while MSM reporters, for the most part, hunker down in the Green Zone and rely on Iraqi stringers, some of them dating back to Saddam’s rule. Here’s a taste, that tells you more about the insurgency than you’ll ever read in the NYT:

That night, Iraqi police took the 4 captured men out to identify targets. On route, one “tried to escape” and was killed, intensifying the pressure on the remaining three. The cascade had begun with the snippet of information, but now was fanning open, as police, operating alone, uncovered the original cache in the village northwest of Mosul. While this catch was merely a depot to Mosul, it led to the giant cache we raided [“The Devil’s Foyer,” 21 July 05], and from there to yet another large cache uncovered on the same day on the east side of the Tigris River in Mosul. The cascade fizzled to the end of its run at a fourth cache that rendered only empty munitions containers.

Of greater interest was the prisoners’ admission that the munitions were being readied for the next elections.

Many of the “fighters” here emerged and filled the vacuum following the fall of Saddam. In Tombstone, they’d be guns for hire; in Bogota, they’d be kidnappers without a cause. Here, they do not equate so much to organized resistance as to organized crime.

They get lumped in with the “resistance,” but this is not entirely accurate. They do business with it, and they exploit it for personal gains like money, possessions and power. Today, the terrorists and their more populous criminal cousins in Iraq have a great deal in common, including the goal of forcing the new government to fail in its mission to secure the borders and restore and maintain order.

Still, of all the clawing hands weighting the legs of the new Iraq, the foreign “jihadists” get the least respect and are mostly despised. Local terrorists, even those who trade in newly-minted matyrs, seem to view jihadists as the lowest of the low– as if the volunteers-come-hither are merely fungible foreign idiots, worth less than the wads of floppy third-world currencies crumpled in their pockets. The foreign fighters are a sort of toxic waste film drifting and floating on the surface of this civil war. Their touch is stain.

Go read all his dispatches and help support his mission.

But why are her views relevant? The Democrats should look to one of their own. James Carville is a very effective Democrat married to Mary Matalin, an equally effective Republican. They must have interesting discussions over the dinner table. They may even disagree over Roe vs Wade.

Perhaps the Roberts have similar differences. Who knows? Who cares? Judge Roberts job is to interpret the law and ensure that laws are in compliance with the constitution and laws on the book. As a devout Catholic he may be morally opposed to abortion, but as an upholder of the constitution, he must affirm abortion rights if legislators affirm such rights.

Why can’t Liberals understand the difference between creating laws and interpreting laws? Is it because in totalitarian regimes, there is no difference?

Saturday evening and big things are happening in the War against Radical Islam. London has just been attacked again. A guy who acts like a potential suicide bomber is shot in the head, revealing that the UK police have a shoot-to-kill policy when it comes to suicide bombers; an eminently sensible policy as it happens.

In the Egyptian resort of Sharm Al-Sheikh, Radical Islamic terrorists murder a hundred innocent people. Yet, Fox News is giving us nothing but the Natalie Holloway case. It’s wall to wall. One person has died. That’s a tragedy for her community and her family but it’s hardly worth the 24/7 coverage the media gives it.

Christopher Hitchens turns up on Fox News and gets short shrift so Fox News can go back to “Live from Aruba” where nothing has happened in weeks that actually advances this non-story. Without the blogs we’d have no way to access the really important reports and analyses of the day.

In all the articles on the Plame kerfuffle, why is it that most of those who demonstrate the bankruptcy of the case against Rove still accept the assumption that the identity of a covert operative was leaked?

The MSM’s Brief filed with the Special Prosecutor says:

At the threshold, an agent whose identity has been revealed must truly be “covert” for there to be a violation of the [Intelligence Identification Protection] Act. To the average observer, much less to the professional intelligence operative, Plame was not given the “deep cover” required of a covert agent. See U.S.C. § 426 (“covert agent” defined). She worked at a desk job at CIA headquarters, where she could be seen traveling to and from, and active at, Langley. She had been residing in Washington – not stationed abroad – for a number of years. As discussed below, the CIA failed to take even its usual steps to prevent publication of her name” (pp. 7-8).

This Brief was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on March 23, 2005, as a “Motion of 36 News Organizations and Reporters’ Groups,” including ABC, Scripps, Fox News, Harper’s, the Hearst Corp., Knight Ridder, NBC, Newsweek, NYP, Reuters, Tribune, and Washington Post.

So, why don’t the reporters and columnists bother to tell their readers that their own organizations don’t believe she was outed?

Moreover, if she wasn’t outed, what is Fitzgerald investigating?

Beldar Blog shreds Dahlia Lithwick for this snide aside:

[Judge John Roberts] doesn’t appear to be crusading for a wholesale national retreat to the good old days of executing miscreant ‘tweens (although he seemingly finds arresting them for French-fry possession to be a cornerstone in good parent-child relations).

But Lithwick is not alone is misrepresenting the case. Brit Hume interviewed Professor Laurence Tribe of Harvard University about Roberts. Here’s what Tribe said on the French Fry case:

TRIBE: It’s a little hard to say. I was, I have to say, frankly, a little stunned at this strange case of the French fry, this case of Ansche Hedgepeth, because, even though it’s just one small case with one 12-year- old girl, there were things about it that I wanted really to ask John about.

I mean, in particular, in saying that the Constitution afforded no protection against a flat rule that allowed no tolerance whatsoever when someone, like a little kid, eats a piece of food in the subway, why didn’t think that violated liberty?

After all, Justice O’Connor (search), whose place he would take, thought that even a less stringent rule, a rule about seat belts, which did allow the police discretion, violated liberty. She was in dissent in that case, and he extended the Supreme Court’s rather narrow view of liberty.

And I think that’s sort of a window. So I want to know, you know — that’s not consistent, really, with the sort of humane and decent John Roberts that I thought I knew.

HUME: Well, let’s ask about that. Is it your contention that he was clearly off-base in ruling that the Constitution did not forbid the local transit authority from having that stringent — what they call a no- tolerance rule, and that the rest was therefore unconstitutional?

TRIBE: It is my view that the statute was unconstitutional. But I think it is also true that one could make an argument — John Roberts did and two colleagues joined him — one could make a respectable argument the other way.

You can read the whole interview here.

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