October 31, 2005
This war was not started by America. It was started by the fanatics who claim to represent Islam. It was financed by radicals made wealthy by the dollars we spent on their oil. The fanatics were sheltered by repressive regimes.
The first World Trade Center attack was designed to topple one tower onto the other. Had it succeeded, 40,000 Americans would have died in seconds. America treated that attack as a criminal justice issue. We convicted some of the perpetrators but one of the ring-leaders fled to Iraq where he was sheltered by Saddam Hussein.
The terrorist organization that attacked us in 1993 merged with Osama Bin Ladin’s organization. Soon afterwards Bin Ladin declared war on the USA and Israel in his 1996 fatwa (an authoritative Islamic religious decree).
We know that Saddam Hussein was in contact with Al Qaeda and that he supported terrorist organizations. We know that Saddam was using the United Nation’s oil for food program to subvert the sanctions imposed after the first Gulf War. We know that Saddam had developed and used weapons of mass destruction in the past. We know that Saddam had previously attempted to develop nuclear weapons. We know that Saddam refused to comply with UN resolution 1441 that required him to disclose all his WMD programs. We know he had 500 tons of yellowcake. We know that he could have bought nuclear weapons technology from the A.Q. Khan network.
Who knew that Libya had an advanced nuclear weapons program? That wasn’t discovered until Saddam was captured. Everybody believed that Saddam had WMD. President Clinton believed it. John Kerry believed it. Jacques Chirac believed it. The CIA believed it.
But some people in the intelligence community thought we could live with Saddam in power. They would rather I lose an election than Saddam be brought to justice. One of these people was sent on a mission by the CIA to check whether Saddam was trying to buy even more yellowcake from Niger. In his CIA debriefing he confirmed that Iraqis had explored trade options with Niger, a country that exports uranium ore and goats. But it was election year in the United Sates and this person wrote an op-ed for the New York times that claimed he found no evidence that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore. He leaked the same misinformation to two other columnists. It turns out that his wife recommended him for this mission. Presumably, she approved of his op-ed and his leaks.
The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee found that this man was a serial liar.
This man seems to think that bringing freedom to Iraq was a mistake. This man is a national disgrace. If his views had prevailed in the dark days of World War II we would now be speaking German or Japanese. That is, if we hadn’t been slaughtered because of our race or religion.
The price we have paid for bringing freedom to Iraq and Afghanistan has been small compared to previous wars. It compares favorably with armed forces losses in peace time during the 1990s. Our armed forces have shown that they are the best in the world.
We need to set aside our political differences, to stop the partisan attacks on our efforts to bring freedom to the Muslim world, to keep our political differences domestic, to win this war. If I, as Commander-in-chief, lose, we all lose. When Joe Wilson claimed his wife was undercover, I suspect he didn’t have a burka in mind. But, if we lose this war, that’s what she will have to wear, assuming she’d rather convert to Islam than have her throat slit.
October 31, 2005
Instapundit links to Cathy’ Seipp’s post about her battle with lung cancer. One of my wife’s oldest and dearest friends is fighting the same battle. Never smoked. Stayed slim and fit. Went to get a check-up and found that she had lung cancer and it had metastasized.
Cathy makes a good point about research spending by disease:
For one thing, I’m beginning to feel a responsibility to point out that lung cancer, which kills more people annually (about 163,000) than the next four most common cancers (colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate) combined, is terribly underfunded compared to other diseases: $950 in research money per lung cancer death, compared to $8800 for breast cancer and $34,000 for AIDS.
That’s because the vast majority of lung cancer (about 85%) is still caused by smoking, even though the rate for lifelong nonsmoking women like me (and Christopher Reeve’s widow) has been going up for some mysterious reason, and the general attitude is that smokers deserve whatever they get.
But half of all lung cancer patients have been nonsmokers by the time of diagnosis, sometimes for decades, like Warren Zevon. If they deserve to get sick, then I suppose so do people who are overweight or don’t exercise or who have promiscuous sex with strangers, all of which are contributing factors for various illnesses that get much more sympathy in the form of research dollars. Maybe the amount of attention we pay to a disease should have less to do with how many celebrities and magazine editors and junk bond kings carry its banner, and more with how many people actually die of it.
My wife’s friend is doing well, so far. I hope Cathy does too. I’m an ex-smoker. While I hope that two decades of non-smoking combined with a rigorous exercise regime will help me avoid bad news, I would not be surprised if I get unlucky. I had one coughing-up-blood scare, and went through the emotions of thinking my number was up. It’s that call from your Dr. when he says there’s a spot on your lung X-ray that’s troubling, that gets the heart and mind racing.
Does money count? Cathy notes that :
Because sure, breast cancer is no fun; I’ve had friends who’ve died of it. But it also has a survival rate of around 85%. That’s the unsurvival rate of lung cancer, which is what I have. I’m actually lucky still to be alive, given that I was diagnosed almost three and a half years ago, after a cough that wouldn’t go away, and most lung cancer patients don’t make it past two years.
The money invested in breast cancer research seems to have paid off; the money not paid for lung cancer research has probably cost millions of lives.
October 31, 2005
Little Green Footballs links to a report that police in the Australian state of Victoria have been told to:
In incidents such as domestic violence, police need to have an understanding of the traditions, ways of life and habits of Muslims.
They are told it would be appreciated in cases of domestic violence if police consult the local Muslim religious leader who will work against “fragmenting the family unit”.
Muslims also have a tradition of killing their womenfolk if they besmirch the family’s honor. Here’s a sample of links that comes from googling “Muslim Honor Killing”:
If you believe that all cultures are equal then you have to respect the Muslim tradition of honor killing. If Muslims choose to live in Western countries then they should be treated equally under the rule of law. Honor killings should be seen for what they are: cold blooded murder. Wife beating should also be seen for what it is: a cowardly assault by a man with no honor.
October 28, 2005
The Libby Indictment (warning – scanned PDF doc) omits any mention of the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings on Joseph Wilson’s credibilty, or more precisely, lack thereof. The crooks get away and the guy trying to expose the crooks get’s indicted. What a crock.
One effect may be that the administration will no longer risk talking to reporters off the record.
The Strata-Sphere is not impressed:
But at least we understand the timeline perfectly now. Kristof teams up with the Wilsons to write the first article – containing classified informaion on methods, sources and results of the Niger trip, and then also the classified information Wilson should not have known about the Niger documents which surface 8 days later. Somehow all this snuck by Fitzgerald who was concerned about leaking of classified information??? The guy obviously was not interested in discovering the truth – he had agenda.
October 27, 2005
Fox News quotes Harriet Miers withdrawal letter:
“I have been greatly honored and humbled by the confidence that you have shown in me, and have appreciated immensely your support and the support of many others. However, I am concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interest of the country,” Miers wrote.
“As you know, members of the Senate have indicated their intention to seek documents about my service in the White House in order to judge whether to support me. I have been informed repeatedly that in lieu of records, I would be expected to testify about my service in the White House to demonstrate my experience and judicial philosophy,” she wrote.
This was the out the President needed. It may also have the effect of protecting executive privilege from further encroachment by the Senate.
Now, will we get the candidate the base wants, and will the Gang of 14 betray the President?
October 26, 2005
Joe Wilson’s intent in his leaks to NYT columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and WPO staff writer Walter Pincus and his op-ed piece in the NYT was obvious. He was doing his part to help the CIA in its election-year war against the Bush Administration. The bi-partisan Senate intelligence committee concluded that virtually everything Wilson leaked or wrote was a fabrication. One of those fabrications was denying that his wife was involved in selecting him for the Niger mission. That denial, rather than protecting her, implicates her in his campaign of leaks and lies.
If justice is to be done, then the Wilsons, and their accomplices in the CIA and the MSM, are the ones deserving indictment.
Best coverage of l’affaire Plame:
The Strate Sphere and Just One Minute.
October 23, 2005
I had the misfortune to attend the Browns vs Detroit game today. The score of 10-13 reflected both sides’ inability to play offensive football. Their play was just offensive. The highlight was when the Cleveland QB threw long — about 35 yards — and was intercepted. That was probably the best Cleveland gain of the day, excluding a punt return that went all the way.
With 2 minutes to go Cleveland got the ball and lost about 35 yards, They should have thrown another long interception.
The crowd was an amiable bunch. They got their exercise walking into the stadium to see this inept display. The most fun part was watching the interaction between a group of 30’ish male fans (black, white and hispanic) on one row and three middle-aged white female fans sitting in the row in front of them. There was lots of good-humored banter and innuendo until the ladies left about 5 minutes before the end. Then, a minute later, one of them came back to tell the guys which bar they were going to after the game. She claimed she was on a mission inspired by her friends.
There was a pair of young Asian guys in front of us. Their mother, dressed in full Browns regalia, came to their seats at half-time and the black guys took family shots using the proferred digital camera.
The melting pot is still bubbling; I just wish the game had bubbled too.
Next Page »