June 2009

The NYT reports:

The United States has won an agreement to transfer up to 17 Chinese Muslims from the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to Palau, a sparsely populated archipelago in the North Pacific, according to a statement released by Palau to The Associated Press on Wednesday

Three Obama administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity Tuesday because the negotiations were not yet complete, said it was not certain how many of the Uighurs would be settled in Palau. With barely 20,000 people, Palau, about 500 miles east of the Philippines, is one of the world’s least-populated nations, made up of 8 main islands and 250 smaller ones.

The United States has pledged $200 million in long-term development aid to Palau. But a senior State Department official flatly denied it was a quid pro quo for the detainee deal.

So, we are effectively paying each Palau resident $10,000 to take 17 Chinese Muslim trainee terrorists and it is costing US taxpayers $11,764,705 per Uighur. It would have been far cheaper to ship them back to China. They are, after all, Chinese citizens. Given the circumstances of their capture it is certain they are no friends of the US.


PDS is Palin derangement syndrome. The NRCC seems to have caught a dose, as Hot Air contributor Patrick Ishmael notes:

Whatever you think of Sarah Palin, the NRCC’s treatment of her in the run up to tomorrow’s fundraising “gala” has been atrocious. And I don’t just mean in a “that’s not how you treat someone” sort of way. I really mean it in a “that’s not how you raise money and win elections” sense.

I’m going to do my bit for the NRCC fund raising gala; I’m going to give SarahPAC my contribution. Commenters at Hot Air feel the same way:

Apparently the NRCC isn’t hearing the people donating to the Palin PACs. The GOPs loss I guess.

katiejane on June 8, 2009 at 12:08 PM

I said a long time ago to the Repub Party, not another cent to you. ALL of my money goes to candidates or projects in which I believe. Bet’cha can’t guess who got my first donation of the year. If you guessed Sarah…well, you know.

Mr. Grump on June 8, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Heck, it would send a helluva message to the GOP if SarahPC out raises the NRCC tomorrow.

the Other McCain writes:

That the anti-Summers cabal is praising Bernanke for being “aggressive” reminds me of my private-sector economist buddy who, two weeks ago, shook his head and said, “They’re trying to re-inflate the bubble!”

Fortunately, for now, the bubble doesn’t want to inflate.

Obama in Cairo:

I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.”

Obama is quoting from the controversial Clause 11, which reads:

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

Economic Expert notes that:

In 1930, it was discovered that the extant original Arabic version of Article 11 was gibberish. Presumably, it was changed at some point after Barlow certified his English translation on January 4, 1797. Regardless, it was the English version that was approved by President John Adams and Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and ratified by the Senate.

The Treaty was broken in 1801 by the pasha of Tripoli and renegotiated in 1805 after the First Barbary War, at which time Article 11 was removed.

Given that background, it is odd that Obama chose to cite that article in a speech to Muslims. Muslims repeatedly broke the treaty and it was not until the end of the Second Barbary war in 1815 that peace through US victory was attained. Was Obama aware of the context of his quote? Many of his audience no doubt were.

Murderers, such as the accused killer of Dr. Tiller, believe that they can be judge, jury and executioner of those they judge guilty. They think the world will be a better place and their movement better off if the targets of their wrath were wiped out. The world doesn’t work that way. The pro-life movement has suffered a grievous blow with this hateful act of violence.

The Other McCain gives a historical perspective to political assassinations:

One reason I so despise such criminal idiocy is that, as a student of history, I cannot think of a single instance in which assassination has produced anything good, no matter how evil or misguided the victim, nor how well-intentioned or malevolent the assassin.

From Brutus and the other republican Senators who slew Julius Caesar to Charlotte Corday, from John Wilkes Booth to Gavrilo Princip, and so onto Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray, assassination seems inevitably to work against the purposes of its practicioners.

Those who slew Caesar did not save the Roman republic. Marat’s death only incited the Jacobins to greater terror. Booth’s pistol conjured up a spirit of vengeance against the South more terrible than war itself. Assassination is an act of nihilism. Whatever the motive of the crime, the horror it evokes always inspires a draconian response, and involves other consequences never intended by the criminal.