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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Camp Gitmo

From Chrenkoff:

"By the way: I sometimes wonder whether all the people agitating for the Guantanamo (and other) detainees to be recognized as Prisoners of War and thus granted protection under the Geneva Convention really know what they're wishing for.

Captured Al Qaeda (or even Taliban) members clearly don't come under the definition of prisoner of war in Article 4 (you can read the Convention here, if you're really bored). But even if, for the sake of argument, they did - sure they would gain many rights they currently not enjoy (for starters, "no physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever" - Article 17), but you have to remember that the "Detaining Power" can keep POWs interned until the close of hostilities.

The close of hostilities, of course, is easily enough determined where the war is conducted between the sovereign states, but when are we going to have the close of hostilities against Al Qaeda? Certainly the jihadis will never capitulate, so they must be defeated, which in turn might take years, if not decades.

Is the left, then, prepared to see the Guantanamo detainees being kept in much better condition than Camp X-ray, to be sure, but pretty much in an indefinite internment? I think we know the answer to that, which is why the whole Geneva Convention question is a distraction from the main line of attack, namely that the war on terror should not actually be a war but a law enforcement operation. That only entails the deprivation of liberty if found guilty of charges - and therefore, arguably, would mean most detainees walking free, which seems to be the ultimate objective of the Gitmo haters."

Friday, June 24, 2005

How African leaders spend our money

Africa’s leaders cannot wait for the G8 leaders — hectored by Bob and Live 8 into bracelet-wearing submission — to double aid and forgive the continent’s debts. They know that such acts of generosity will finance their future purchases of very swish, customised Mercedes-Benz cars, while 315 million poor Africans stay without shoes and Western taxpayers get by with Hondas. This is the way it goes with the WaBenzi, a Swahili term for the Big Men of Africa.

The legacy of colonialism is a continent carved up by arbitrary frontiers into 50-odd states. But the WaBenzi are a transcontinental tribe who have been committing grand theft auto on the dusty, potholed roads of Africa ever since they hijacked freedom in the 1960s. After joyriding their way through six Marshall Plans’ worth of aid Africa is poorer today than 25 years ago; and now the WaBenzi want more.

Let us take Zimbabwe, where millions of people are starving, 3,000 die weekly of Aids and life expectancy has fallen to 35 years. In 2005 Britain will give Zimbabwe £30 million in aid, making it one of the three biggest donors. The government will say this money funds emergency relief. Try telling that to the hordes of people whose homes have been burned down and bulldozed in recent weeks. Giving corrupt governments money frees up budgets to squander on cars.

Full article.


United We Stand
A 'big stick' approach to U.N. reform is ill-advised.

From The Washington Times
Military brass hit Kennedy for saying war is 'quagmire' / Rowan Scarborough
The nation's top military leaders clashed with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy yesterday, challenging his assertion that the Iraq war has descended into a Vietnam-like "quagmire."
The only quagmire is the quagmire in "Teddy the Bloviator's" mind. 'Tis a bit mirky in there.

Does it Matter?

The Washington Times
China companies target brand names / Chris Baker
Chinese companies, which already own the companies that make IBM personal computers and RCA televisions, are trying to add more familiar brands to their arsenal, as seen in offers this week to buy Maytag Corp. and energy company Unocal Corp.
Yes, I think it does matter:

(1.) CNOOC Tries to Ease U.S. Worries on Unocal
BEIJING (AP) - Trying to allay U.S. national security worries about its bid for Unocal Corp. (UCL), Chinese state-owned oil company CNOOC Ltd. (CEO) said Friday it was willing to discuss selling some Unocal assets and putting others under American management.

The announcement came after four members of Congress called on the U.S. government on Thursday to review the security implications of allowing a Chinese state-controlled firm to take control of the ninth-largest American oil producer.

(2.) Chinese Bidder for Unocal Faces Obstacles
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Whether the purchase of Unocal Corp. by the Chinese would pose a risk to U.S. security is just one of many hurdles the proposed $18.5 billion offer by China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd. must overcome.

A letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow was circulating in Congress on Thursday calling on the Bush administration to investigate the national security implications of the proposed deal. It was signed by Reps. William J. Jefferson, D-La.; Al Green, D-Texas; Bobby Jindal, R-La.; and Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Snow, who chairs a federal panel that considers security risks of foreign firms buying or investing in U.S. companies, told a Senate Finance Committee hearing on China's currency system that he expects both parties to voluntarily submit to a review.

"It's not a business transaction at all," C. Richard D'Amato, chairman of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressional advisory panel, said Thursday. "This is not a free market deal. This is the Chinese government acquiring energy resources." (Emphasis added.)

(3.) Unocal bid pours oil on China-U.S. political fire
By Paul Eckert
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deep misgivings about China's rising economic and political clout have helped fuel political resistance to a major Chinese oil company's bid to buy U.S. producer Unocal, experts said on Friday.

State-owned CNOOC Ltd.'s $18.5 billion bid for Unocal Corp. on Wednesday, topping Chevron Corp.'s roughly $16.4 billion offer, came under swift fire from U.S. lawmakers, who are calling for stringent investigations into the transaction even before a deal is reached.

The Unocal issue arises at a time of record oil prices, unease over China's $160 billion trade surplus with the United States and an appetite in Congress to punish China with tariffs unless it revalues its currency.

U.S. defense officials are embroiled in a debate over how to evaluate China's military. The Pentagon's annual report on China's military modernization has been delayed for weeks in an apparent dispute over how stark a picture to present.

Mikkal Herberg, an analyst at the National Bureau of Asian Research in Seattle, said there were solid reasons to examine the financing of the Chinese firm's bid and ask whether it was a commercial transaction or an effort to corner oil supplies.
At a time when when gas and oil prices are at, or nearly at, all time highs, and people of all political stripes are complaining, and justifiably so, about being "dependent" on foreign oil, why should a transaction of this kind be good for the American people?

This Does Matter

From The Washington Times
Supreme Court backs eminent domain / Guy Taylor
The Supreme Court yesterday said cities can seize people's homes or businesses to make way for private commercial development such as shopping malls, a far-reaching ruling decried by property rights advocates.
From The Wall Street Journal
The Supreme Court's reverse Robin Hoods.
The Supreme Court's "liberal" wing has a reputation in some circles as a guardian of the little guy and a protector of civil liberties. That deserves reconsideration in light of yesterday's decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The Court's four liberals (Justices Stevens, Breyer, Souter and Ginsburg) combined with the protean Anthony Kennedy to rule that local governments have more or less unlimited authority to seize homes and businesses.

So, the liberals are for the little guy; they want to protect the little guy from the "too powerful" government, and they want to protect the little guy from big rich corporate America. How interesting that the 5 most liberal justices of the US Supreme Court supported this catastrophic court decision and the conservative justices such as Scalia and Thomas opposed the decision.

As Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote: "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."

This is a horrendous decision that has far reaching consequences, and should be opposed by the citizens of this country, regardless of political party affiliation, or race, or religious bent.

79%: No English, No Citizenship

From Rasmussen

June 21, 2005--While much of the immigration debate focuses on who should be allowed to enter the United States, a bigger issue may be the question of how newcomers participate in American society.

Two-thirds (67%) of Americans say that those who move to the USA should "adopt America's culture, language, and heritage. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 17% believe immigrants should maintain the culture of their home country.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) say immigrants should be required to learn English before they are allowed to become citizens. Fourteen percent (14%) disagree.

Sixty-four percent (64%) believe U.S. schools should teach all students in English. Twenty-nine percent (29%) believe some schools should offer courses in different languages.

Similar attitudes were found in a February survey showing overwhelming opposition to letting illegal aliens obtain drivers licenses or receive government benefits such as Medicaid.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of Republicans say that learning English should be required before citizenship is offered. That view is also held by 78% of Democrats and 73% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Republicans believe that immigrants should adopt U.S. culture. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Democrats share that view along with 58% of unaffiliateds.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Our publications provide real-time information on consumer confidence, investor confidence, employment data, the political situation, and other topics of value and interest.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

20%: Gitmo Prisoners Treated Unfairly

From Rasmussen

Survey of 1,000 Adults

June 20-21, 2005

Treatment of Prisoners at Guantanomo Bay

Unfair 20%
Better than they deserve 36%
About Right 34%

June 22, 2005--A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 20% of Americans believe prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have been treated unfairly. Seven-out-of-ten adults believe the prisoners are being treated "better than they deserve" (36%) or "about right" (34%).

The survey also found that just 14% agree with people who say that prisoner treatment at Guantanamo Bay is similar to Nazi tactics. Sixty-nine percent disagree with that comparison. This helps explain why Illinois Senator Dick Durbin apologized for making such a comparison.

Partisan differences concerning prisoner treatment are huge. Only 7% of Republicans believe Guantanamo prisoners are treated unfairly. Thirty percent (30%) of Democrats hold that view along with 22% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Republicans say the prisoners are treated better than they deserve. That view is shared by 28% of Democrats.

Seventeen percent (17%) of men say that the prisoners are treated unfairly along with 22% of women. Eighteen percent (18%) of married Americans hold that view along with 22% of those who are not married.

Among white Americans, 18% believe the prisoners are treated unfairly, a view shared by 23% of other Americans.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Our publications provide real-time information on consumer confidence, investor confidence, employment data, the political situation, and other topics of value and interest.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.


The NEW YORK TIMES has this news flash for us; The headline reads:
U.S. Borders Vulnerable, Witnesses Say

Talk about being ahead of the curve. Thank you New York Times.

Karl Rove Criticized

Last night (June 22) in New York, Karl Rove said "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

The left is all up in arms over this and are trying to paint this as worse than what good ole' Dick "the turban" Durbin said comparing America, specifically our armed forces, with gulags, Nazis, and Pol Pot.

Ken Mehlman responds to these charges, saying, “It’s outrageous that the same Democrats who stood by Dick Durbin’s libeling of our military are now expressing faux outrage over Karl Rove’s statement of historical fact. George Soros, Michael Moore, MoveOn and the hard left were wrong after 9/11, just as it was wrong for Democrat leaders to stand by and remain silent after Dick Durbin made his deplorable comments.”

Global Warming

From The Wall Street Journal:
'I'm Melting! I'm Melting!'

"The Alpine glaciers are shrinking," reports Der Spiegel. "But new research suggests that in the time of the Roman Empire, they were smaller than today. And 7,000 years ago they probably weren't around at all."

From Telegraph.co.uk
Ice sheet confounds climate theory
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

"The world's largest ice sheet is growing due to increased snowfall caused by climate change, scientists announced this week."

What does the Wall Street Journal think of the Minneapolis Star Tribune?
An editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, possibly the most far-left big-city daily in America, actually blasted Durbin--not for likening the troops to Nazis but for "caving in" and issuing a nonapology last week that implied the comparison might not have been totally justified."
Sounds about right.

The Real Iraq?

From Karl Zinsmeister, editor of The American Enterprise:

Your editor returned to Iraq in April and May of 2005 for another embedded period of reporting. I could immediately see improvements compared to my earlier extended tours during 2003 and 2004. The Iraqi security forces, for example, are vastly more competent, and in some cases quite inspiring. Baghdad is now choked with traffic. Cell phones have spread like wildfire. And satellite TV dishes sprout from even the most humble mud hovels in the countryside.

Many of the soldiers I spent time with during this spring had also been deployed during the initial invasion back in 2003. Almost universally they talked to me about how much change they could see in the country. They noted progress in the attitudes of the people, in the condition of important infrastructure, in security. . . .

Contrary to the impression given by most newspaper headlines, the United States has won the day in Iraq. . . . It will take some time, but Iraq has begun the process of becoming a normal country."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Soldiers Creed

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.

I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.

I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.

I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

From Private Ryan @ Zero To Mike Soldier

Azerbaijan Protesters Seek Free Elections

By AIDA SULTANOVA, Associated Press Writer
Full story at Yahoo News

BAKU, Azerbaijan - Thousands of demonstrators chanting "Freedom" and carrying portraits of President Bush.

President Bush marched across Azerbaijan's capital Saturday, demanding the resignation of the government and free parliamentary elections — in the biggest protest in years.

Hat tip to Flopping Aces.

The Truth About Eating

Received this e-mail:

For those of you who watch what you eat...Here's the final word on
nutrition and health, and it's a relief to know the truth after all those
conflicting medical studies:

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Canadians, British or Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than
the Canadians, British or Americans.
3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks
than the Canadians, British or Americans.
4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the Canadians, British or Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Canadians, British or Americans.
6. Ukrainians drink a lot of vodka, eat a lots of perogies, cabbage rolls
and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Canadians, British or Americans.

Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Iran's "Democratic" Elections

Unfortunately, once again, the Western world, and the media are shown to be gullible, or ignorant, or intellectually dishonest. In Iran they are having the "democratic" process of voting. They are voting for a president. There are a couple things worth noting.
  1. The candidates (of which there are 8, I believe) all were selected by the governing council to run for the position after a thorough "vetting" of 1000 "potential" candidates. In this manner, they can be assured that any winner will be suitable to the governing council and shares their ideological views. Hardly a true democratic process. Any winner will do. They don't have to worry about voter tampering or illegal voting or miscounts...it simply does not matter.
  2. The president of Iran does not have any real power anyway. The governing council runs the country.

For more information, read this.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

What Say You, "Dick"?

Dear Senator "Durbin the Turban":
This is what torture really is (From CNN):

Jane Arraf, CNN’s senior Baghdad correspondent, is embedded with U.S. troops taking part in the mission. She spoke with CNN anchor Betty Nguyen by phone during the pitched battle.

ARRAF: What I see in front of me is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s two of four hostages who are being taken away, rescued. They were rescued this morning. They’re Iraqi, and they were found in this complex that Marines first thought was a car-bomb factory. In fact, they did find what they believe was a potential car bomb or suicide car bomb.

But inside this complex, they found something even more sinister — four Iraqis who were handcuffed, their hands and feet bound with steel cuffs. They’re now being taken away for medical treatment, one being borne away on a stretcher.

The man in intense pain that they’re trying to get into a vehicle, has been tortured, he says, and has all the marks of being tortured with electricity. His back is crisscrossed with welts. The other man is even ... in worse shape. Their crime was to be part of the border police.

The Marines came in here this morning, rescued them. The battle is still raging around us. I don’t know if you can hear the gunfire, but this is a major offensive to get rid of insurgents and foreign fighters in this city near the Syrian border....

... Two young men say they don’t know why they were seized. They say they didn’t hear the voices of their captors, only people whispering in their ear that they were going to be killed.

But we have just watched the two who were most badly treated be carried out of here for medical equipment, one of them on a stretcher, an older man who worked for the border police, along with his colleague. ... the Marines showed us the room where he says he was hung by his feet, his head dipped in water and then tortured with electric shocks repeatedly.

One of the other men, the other border police, was too weak, really, to tell us what had happened. But he obviously was in very, very bad shape.

They were rescued this morning as Marines and Iraqi forces came into this complex, which included an underground bunker, weapons stockpiles and other things, and found them here. Their captors have fled."

Go crawl under a rock, you scumb.

Palestinians Desecrate Korans

From LGF:

Earlier this month, Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s high-security Megiddo prison claimed that guards had ripped pages out of Korans while searching cells.

Today Ynet reports that—imagine my shock—the prisoners tore the pages themselves: Palestinian prisoner destroyed Quran.

The incident, which was compared to reports of Qurans that had allegedly been destroyed at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, evoked fear of possible prisoner riots.

However, a special investigative committee found the prisoners themselves had torn the Quran copies in an attempt to stir controversy.

According to the Prison Service, prisoner representatives apologized for the incident, saying it was a Hamas-affiliated minority that carried out the act.

From the New York Times:
Marines on an operation to eliminate insurgents that began Friday broke through the outside wall of a building in this small rural village to find a torture center equipped with electric wires, a noose, handcuffs, a 574-page jihad manual - and four beaten and shackled Iraqis.

The American military has found torture houses after invading towns heavily populated by insurgents - like Falluja, where the anti-insurgent assault last fall uncovered almost 20 such sites. But rarely have they come across victims who have lived to tell the tale.

The men said they told the marines, from Company K, Third Marines, Second Division, that they had been tortured with shocks and flogged with a strip of rubber for more than two weeks, unseen behind the windows of black glass. One of them, Ahmed Isa Fathil, 19, a former member of the new Iraqi Army, said he had been held and tortured there for 22 days. All the while, he said, his face was almost entirely taped over and his hands were cuffed.
"They kill somebody every day," said Mr. Fathil, whose hands were so swollen he could not open a can of Coke offered to him by a marine. "They've killed a lot of people."
The manual recovered - a fat, well-thumbed Arabic paperback - listed itself as the 2005 First Edition of "The Principles of Jihadist Philosophy," by Abdel Rahman al-Ali. Its chapters included "How to Select the Best Hostage," and "The Legitimacy of Cutting the Infidels' Heads."
His town has always been a good place, he said, but the militants have made it hell.

"These few are destroying it," he said, his face streaked with tears. "Everybody they take, they kill. It's on a daily basis pretty much."

Bill from INDC Journal writes: "No word on whether the guards mishandled Korans or played Christina Aguilera cd's during the hostages' captivity.

This article again emphasizes that much of the enemy are murderers and criminals, a breed apart from nationalist "rebels" or "insurgents" fighting a guerilla war. Also striking is the fact that these self-styled "holy warriors" are primarily torturing and killing fellow muslims, thus even violating their own sickly semantical religious justifications for the commission of atrocities."

Lebanon Election News

Hariri slate expected to win Lebanon finale
TRIPOLI, Lebanon (CNN) -- Candidates led by the son of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri were projected to win a solid victory in Lebanon's final round of parliamentary elections Sunday, but official results were not expected until Monday, a Hariri aide said.

Anti-Syrian Opposition claims victory in Lebanon election
Tripoli, Lebanon - The anti-Syrian Lebanese opposition alliance swept the fourth and final stage of Lebanon's elections, resulting in the first anti-Syrian majority since the 1975-1990 civil war. The tightly contested race between Saad Hariri's and Michel Aoun's candidates was critical in determining the dynamics of the new parliament.

Hariri's victory gives the 35 year old an absolute majority of 72 seats out of the 128 total.

Anti-Syrian alliance claims majority in Lebanese elections

LEBANON'S anti-Syrian alliance, led by the billionaire son of an assassinated former prime minister, was last night claiming it had secured a parliamentary majority with a decisive victory in the last phase of general elections.

That outcome would increase pressure on Hezbollah to disarm and help the opposition to unseat the president, Emile Lahoud, Syria's staunchest ally in Beirut. Washington is keen to see both happen.

A source at Saad al-Hariri's parliamentary Future bloc said after the polls closed: "We are heading for a landslide in north Lebanon. We'll easily get the 21 seats necessary for the parliament majority."

India's Bid for Naval Supremacy

Newest base most modern facility in Arabian Sea

"Twenty years after her husband, the late President Rajib Gandhi laid the cornerstone, his widow Sonia Gandhi, chairwoman of India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance, officially opened the newest and most modern naval facility in the Arabian Sea."

"Intelligence analysts say the new base, along with a rapid growth of the Indian navy and the plan to replace old naval units with new purchases mainly from Russia, China, the U.K. and France, illustrates India's determination to become a world power."

"The project is seen by Pakistan as a major threat to its presence in the Arabian Sea and a source in Europe says Pakistan is trying to purchase and launch a spy satellite or share such a device with Saudi Arabia, hoping to strengthen her monitoring of the Arabian Sea with the Kadamba base in mind."

"Strategists calling upon the Bush administration to pay more attention to the emergence of the Indian and Chinese power bases, point to the new Kadamba naval base as a significant milestone necessitating a much delayed awareness of a giant competitor casting its shadow."


Taxation with representation isn't so hot, either!

House OKs U.N. reform bill

By Stephen Dinan

"The House voted to withhold half of its dues from the United Nations unless it dramatically changes its bureaucracy, peacekeeping missions and the rules for its human rights organizations."

HeavyHanded approves of this step taken by the House. It was largely a vote along party lines (surprise, surprise) with a few Republicans voting against it.

"When it comes to sanctions against the United Nations for failing to reform, if you leave it to the discretion of the State Department, you're plowing in the sea," said Rep. Henry J. Hyde, Illinois Republican and chief sponsor of the bill. "Let's begin real reform of the United Nations -- a monumental task, a long road ahead -- let's begin it here and now, June 17, right in this room."

"U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticized the bill, saying through a spokesman that with-holding dues is not 'a productive route' to reform and could jeopardize his own proposals, expected to be discussed in September."

The fact that Kofi Annan is against this bill is understandable, and also tells me that it is the right thing to do.

"Rep. Christopher Shays, Connecticut Republican, said the majority's bill would be playing into the wishes of 'evil minds' in the U.N. who want to see dues withheld because it gives them another reason to attack the United States."

HeavyHanded says, sorry Rep. Shays, the "evil minds" in the U.N. need no additional motives to attack the U.S. They need no help in this matter; because they can make up any reason out of whole cloth and the media is always a willing participant to promulgate the attacks.

"Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican and co-sponsor of the main bill, said this was the only way to restore Americans' faith in the United Nations.

'This was never about bullying the U.N., this was never about trying to dismantle the U.N. The [bill] was about taking a tough love approach to restoring the credibility and integrity of the United Nations in the 21st century,' he said.

Mr. Pence said public support can push the measure through. 'The only folks we have on our side are the overwhelming majority of the American people who are hung up on the notion it's their money, and they should decide, not diplomats, how their tax dollars are spent,' he said. 'If the American people engage on this issue, the president will sign a U.N. reform act with teeth.'"

And engage, and support, we most definitely should.


What Europe Really Needs;
The Continent has turned its back on both the past and the future.

Excerpts from From The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Johnson, a historian, is the author, among others, of "Modern Times" (Perennial, 2001). His most recent book is "Washington," due this month by HarperCollins.

  • That Europe as an entity is sick and the European Union as an institution is in disorder cannot be denied. But no remedies currently being discussed can possibly remedy matters. What ought to depress partisans of European unity in the aftermath of the rejection of its proposed constitution by France and the Netherlands is not so much the foundering of this ridiculous document as the response of the leadership to the crisis, especially in France and Germany.
  • What is notoriously evident among the EU elite is not just a lack of intellectual power but an obstinacy and blindness bordering on imbecility. As the great pan-European poet Schiller put it: "There is a kind of stupidity with which even the Gods struggle in vain."
  • The fundamental weaknesses of the EU that must be remedied if it is to survive are threefold. First, it has tried to do too much, too quickly and in too much detail. Jean Monnet, architect of the Coal-Steel Pool, the original blueprint for the EU, always said: "Avoid bureaucracy. Guide, do not dictate. Minimal rules." He had been brought up in, and learned to loathe, the Europe of totalitarianism, in which communism, fascism and Nazism competed to impose regulations on every aspect of human existence. He recognized that the totalitarian instinct lies deep in European philosophy and mentality--in Rousseau and Hegel as well as Marx and Nietzsche--and must be fought against with all the strength of liberalism, which he felt was rooted in Anglo-Saxon individualism.
  • In fact, for an entire generation, the EU has gone in the opposite direction and created a totalitarian monster of its own, spewing out regulations literally by the million and invading every corner of economic and social life. The results have been dire: An immense bureaucracy in Brussels, each department of which is cloned in all the member capitals. A huge budget, masking unprecedented corruption, so that it has never yet been passed by auditors, and which is now a source of venom among taxpayers from the countries which pay more than they receive. Above all, règlementation of national economies on a totalitarian scale.
  • It is natural that high and chronic unemployment generates a depressive anger which finds many expressions. One, in Europe today, is anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. Another is exceptionally low birthrates, lower in Europe than anywhere else in the world except Japan. If present trends continue, the population of Europe (excluding the British Isles) will be less than the United States by midcentury--under 400 million, with the over-65s constituting one-third of that.
  • Europe's founding fathers--Monnet himself, Robert Schumann in France, Alcide de Gasperi in Italy and Konrad Adenauer in Germany--were all fervently pro-American and anxious to make it possible for European populations to enjoy U.S.-style living standards. Adenauer in particular, assisted by his brilliant economics minister Ludwig Erhardt, rebuilt Germany's industry and services, following the freest possible model. This was the origin of the German "economic miracle," in which U.S. ideas played a determining part. The German people flourished as never before in their history, and unemployment was at record low levels. The decline of German growth and the present stagnation date from the point at which her leaders turned away from America and followed the French "social market" model.
  • In short, the EU is not a living body, with a mind and spirit and animating soul. And unless it finds such nonmaterial but essential dimensions, it will soon be a dead body, the symbolic corpse of a dying continent.

  • HeavyHanded recommends that you go read the entire article....for it is good; and Mr. Johnson is a fine historian and writer.

    U.S. probes reported Sudan link to terror / Bill Gertz
    U.S. intelligence and security agencies are investigating reports that Sudan's government has renewed its covert support for al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists, The Washington Times has learned.

    Durbin rebuked on floor of Senate / Rowan Scarborough and James G. Lakely

    The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman yesterday accused Sen. Richard J. Durbin of insulting American soldiers with a "grievous error in judgment" by comparing U.S. treatment of al Qaeda suspects to the crimes of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Pol Pot.

    EU to delay charter ratification / Nicholas Kralev
    The embattled European Union said yesterday it will postpone the ratification of its troubled constitution beyond the previously set November 2006 deadline, but leaders failed to agree on whether to freeze the process for now.

    America's Next Tax Revolt

    A bubbling tax resistance movement has all the signs of being the next big thing in grassroots American politics.

    Daniel Henninger: Is America losing the will to fight terrorism?

    'You Got to be Kidding Me' Category

    Government imposes customs duty on tsunami relief

    The British relief agency Oxfam has had to pay $1 million in customs duty to the Sri Lankan government for importing 25 four-wheel-drive vehicles to help victims of December's tsunami.

    Other News Items

    Fractious EU fails to approve spending plan / Nicholas Kralev
    The European Union yesterday failed to reach an agreement on its long-term budget as a two-day summit turned into a rare hostile gathering of leaders of the 25 member-states.

    Durbin's Gitmo remarks draw fire back in Illinois / Donald Lambro Sen. Richard J. Durbin's comparison of the treatment of al Qaeda prisoners at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Nazi and Soviet gulag atrocities was sharply criticized by constituents and newspapers in his home state.