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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, May 10, 2008

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine

Friday, May 09, 2008


Neal Asbury, president of Greenfield World Trade, exporting American-made products to 137 countries worldwide, has written a very instructive column "TRADE VISION DEFICIT DISORDER."

He reminds us that Congress has been granted sole power under Article I of the U.S. Constitution "to regulate commerce with foreign nations".

"The Constitution grants the president no trade specific authority whatsoever. There is no sphere of government policy where the primacy of Congress could be clearer. Congress reins supreme on trade unless and until it decides otherwise," Asbury points out.

The President of the U.S. has no power other than the power of influence in this arena. Asbury talks about the outdated Marshall Plan that plaques us today.

"There is nothing new under the sun in global trade. Britain at the height of its empire in the middle of the nineteenth century embraced unilateral free trade and opened its markets to the world without any reciprocal consideration for its industries. It is fitting to remember within seventy years of this charitable gesture, Britain was nearly broke and its position as one of the world's leading financial markets evaporated," says Asbury.

And in order "to keep American from suffering the same fate, our Marshall Plan mentality must be reversed so that we never cede our once envious export prowess to our competitors and adversaries, and thereby protect the economic future of millions of our citizens."

"Unlike other seemingly impossible challenges we face, our trade deficit is something we can correct in a relatively short period thus creating millions of well-paying jobs. It is as straightforward as establishing an environment where American exporters are allowed to compete."

Please go read more, for it is good.

CIA: China's military could get 'adversarial'
China’s rise is posing serious challenges and its military buildup and international behavior could produce an “adversarial” relationship with the world, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said last week.

“After two centuries of perceived Western hegemony, China seems to be determined to flex its muscles,” Hayden said.

Pro-Iran Hizbullah tightens its grip on Beirut
The long arm of Iran is again reaching into Lebanon via Syria as the Hizbullah terrorist organization increases its pressure on the weak pro-U.S. government in Beirut.

Militant Shi'ite gunmen from Hizbullah on Friday seized control of several Beirut neighborhoods and closed media offices.

First reports of death by starvation in rural North Korea

Window on the Real World
SEOUL — Aid groups here report that people have began to starve to death in remote rural areas of North Korea where state food rations have been cut since late last year as grain prices have soared.

Joint Chiefs signal possible Iran strike
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last week provided the clearest signal to date that the U.S. military is preparing to strike Iran to cut off covert supplies of weapons to Iraqi insurgents.

Al Qaida in U.S.

World Tribune — FBI confirms stateside terror cells, credits U.S. Muslim community
FBI Director Robert Mueller said last week that the FBI has uncovered small groups of Al Qaida terrorists in the United States, although he declined to provide details.

In House Judiciary Committee testimony, Mueller was asked about cells of Al Qaida in the country.


Barack Obama Is a Loser
By Ben Shapiro
What do you call a candidate who wins 90 percent of the African-American vote, between 30 percent and 50 percent of the Hispanic vote and 40 percent of the white vote in a tight Democratic primary race? A general election loser. Apply those percentages to the general election, and the candidate will bomb. The simple fact is that Barack Obama will gain the Democratic nomination by winning intellectual centers, black voters and just enough whites to beat a deeply flawed Hillary Clinton. This is not a winning coalition. It is, in fact, a recipe for disaster against John McCain.
It's just a matter of "how much" we lose.


Once-secret memos question Clinton's honesty
The Washington Times
A decade before Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton admitted fudging the truth during the presidential campaign, federal prosecutors quietly assembled hundreds of pages of evidence suggesting she concealed information and misled a federal grand jury about her work for a failing Arkansas savings and loan at the heart of the Whitewater probe, according to once-secret documents that detail the internal debates over whether she should have faced criminal charges.

Hasty US Exit from Iraq a Danger, Iraqi Minister Says
– A quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would endanger not only Iraq but the entire Middle East, Iraq’s minister of industry warned. Fawzi Hariri said even Middle Eastern nations that oppose the U.S. presence in Iraq don’t favor a “quick and fast withdrawal” of U.S. troops...

Environmentalists’ Wild Predictions
By Walter E. Williams

Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let’s look at some environmentalist predictions that they would prefer we forget…

US Citizen Faces Terror Charges in Vietnam
An American national is due to go on trial in Vietnam next week on terrorism charges, and the case has some U.S. lawmakers calling for Washington to reconsider the decision to normalize trade relations with Hanoi.

Hezbollah, Pro-Iranian Forces Attempting Coup in Beirut
Hezbollah and pro-Iranian, pro-Syrian Lebanese forces attempted to overthrow the pro-Western government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Friday. Shiite Hezbollah gunmen seized control of several Beirut neighborhoods from Sunnis loyal to the government...

Congress: Al Qaeda Using Internet to Recruit Terrorists in US
Using a video montage showing mass executions, bomb-making, and a promise to "slit the throats of Americans and Jews," two U.S. lawmakers unveiled a report that says homegrown violent Islamic extremism poses an increasing threat to the safety of the American people...


Rich and Poor Would Benefit From Farm Bill
President Bush is threatening to veto a "bloated" farm bill. And while Republicans complain about taxpayers being forced to support wealthy farmers -- the bill also includes a Republican-sponsored tax break for thoroughbred racing.

Bulletins at Obama’s Church Carry Their Own Controversy
Sen. Barack Obama recently said he is committed to Trinity United Church of Christ and not to the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but the church’s weekly bulletins are often just as controversial. Articles published in the bulletin in 2007 included the claim that Israel worked with South Africa to build an “ethnic bomb” that would kill blacks and Arabs, that the Pentagon was training Latin Americans to be terrorists, and that the TV networks are run by right-wing racists.


"As corrosive as the Saudis have been for our system, they're far worse for Moslems.

The crucial point you have to grasp is that the Saudis don't give a downtown damn about Moslems - flesh-and-blood men, women or children. They only care about Islam. They'd sacrifice tens of millions of Moslems to further their perversion of the faith.

I've visited over a dozen Moslem countries and many more that have significant Moslem minorities. In every case, I've found the Saudis funding evil.

From Thailand to the United States, the Saudi goal is to prevent Moslems from integrating into their host societies. In poor countries, such as Kenya, they pay families to pull their children out of state schools and send them to madrassahs - where they learn to recite the Koran, but no career skills.

The Saudis don't mind if Moslems live in poverty and squalor - as long as Moslems don't identify with the societies around them. They want strict religious and cultural apartheid."

-- Ralph Peters

London Looks Right

David Aikman says:

"Even though London is one of the major cities of the world, most Americans pay little attention to who is elected its mayor.

Since the year 2000, London has been ruled by a far-left politician called Ken Livingstone. He's also been dubbed Red Ken, because of his support for leftist regimes and his virulent anti-Americanism. Livingstone was beaten in an election by Boris Johnson, a man almost as controversial in his conservative viewpoints as Livingstone in his left-wing views.

Johnson is the exact opposite of Livingstone, an Eton and Oxford-educated Tory who delights to tease his critics with political incorrectness.

Stay tuned. It promises to be interesting."

"The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. . . . How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?"

-- John Adams (From his diary entry of June 2, 1778)

Thursday, May 08, 2008


President Teddy Roosevelt

'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.

We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and t hat is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'

"Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression.
Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness."

-- James Wilson --

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wright Saps Obama’s White Vote
By Amanda Carpenter
Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama lost the white vote by dramatic margins to rival Hillary Clinton in Indiana and North Carolina’s primary contests Tuesday

The decrease in support from white, working class voters may be attributed to Obama’s suggestion that.....

Democrats' Energy Plan: Tax, Sue, and Investigate
By John Cornyn
More than two years ago, now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues promised what they called a “common sense” energy plan to bring down prices at the gas pump. Since that time, the average cost of a gallon of gas has soared from $2.33 to $3.62, an all-time high.

Today, 744 days later, congressional Democrats finally unveiled their grand proposal to the American people.

They want to tax, sue and investigate their way out of this problem.

Environmentalists' Wild Predictions
By Walter E. Williams
Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let's look at some environmentalist predictions that they would prefer we forget.

Barney Frank Will Move to Defund War Under Democrat President
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told Cybercast News Service on Tuesday he will move to end the Iraq War by cutting off funding if a Democrat becomes president next year. So far, neither of the Democratic presidential hopefuls has been willing to unambiguously commit to a plan to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by 2013...

Report: Global Sea Ice at 'Unprecedented' Levels

April 2008 had the third highest recorded amount since records were started in 1979, contradicting media coverage of diminishing sea ice.

By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute

Don’t expect to hear this reported on the your evening newscast, but according to new data, sea ice levels in the Southern Hemisphere are at 25-year highs.

“On a global basis, world sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were ‘unprecedented’ for the month of April in over 25 years,” Steve McIntyre wrote on Climateaudit.org on May 4. “Levels are the third highest (for April) since the commencement of records in 1979, exceeded only by levels in 1979 and 1982.”

Read the rest here.

Ethanol and Other Biofuels: A Global Warming Solution Worse Than the Problem

--The Heritage Foundation

Polar Bear Scare Could Maul Energy Production

Just how endangered are polar bears? The U.S. Department of the Interior must decide that by May 15. The media love the white furry creatures, ignoring growing populations in favor of global warming alarmism. If global warming is declared a threat to the polar bear, it opens the door for widespread regulation to ‘protect’ them. (Read on)

Thomas More Law Center Applauds Michigan Supreme Court’s Protection of Traditional Marriage

From the Thomas More Law Center:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

ARBOR, MI –The Michigan Supreme Court ruled today that the constitutional amendment banning same same-sex marriages blocks Michigan governments and state universities from offering “domestic partnership” benefits to homosexual couples.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, played a significant role in drafting the language of the constitutional amendment. Michigan citizens voted overwhelmingly in 2004 to adopt a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, by nearly 60%. Today’s 5-2 decision affirms a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “The Michigan Supreme Court courageously upheld the will of the people.”

Michigan’s constitutional amendment, considered the broadest of the 11 state amendments, provides that “…the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.” The amendment is intended to prohibit courts or other efforts to impose same-sex marriage, polygamy, or any other form of counterfeit “marriage” on the state.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.

ICE raids on homes panic schools, politicians
Immigration arrests at homes in Berkeley and Oakland on Tuesday sent a wave of panic among parents in both cities, as authorities mistakenly believed immigration agents were raiding schools.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were in both cities Tuesday, performing routine fugitive operations, spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. Teams go out virtually every day looking for specific "immigration fugitives," she said.

Officers arrested four family members at a Berkeley home and a woman at an Oakland residence. They were not at schools.

McCain Says He Would Put Conservatives on Supreme Court

Washington Post:
McCain Says He Would Put Conservatives on Supreme Court

I would like to know just how is going to do this? First, he needs to get elected of course. Then we have to believe him that he will attempt to do this.

Bush has had much difficulty in getting federal judges to the bench and getting two Justices of his choosing on SCOTUS was no picnic. There will be most likely, a larger representation of Democrats in both houses of congress than there is now.

McCain, and his band of 14, leaves us with some suspicions and reservations.

And further, you know McCain and his desire to please and cozy up to the left. No, we are not talking about reaching across the aisle, here. We are talking about a willingness to jump into bed with them.

If he nominates conservative judges and the Dems attempt to block him, will he accede to their wishes and allow them to recommend (read force) liberal judges down our throats?

Quite likely.

Chavez Accuses US of Fomenting Bolivian Crisis
Attempts by Bolivia’s most prosperous region to win greater autonomy from the government of leftist President Evo Morales are part of a U.S. plot against the people of South America, according to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a Morales ally...

Clinton’s ‘Gas-Tax Holiday’ Would Hurt Consumers, Experts Say
Sen. Hillary Clinton wants to force oil companies to pay the federal tax on gasoline out of their own profits. But some analysts say it won’t do much good. "The only way to make gas cheaper for consumers is to have more gas available," David Kreutzer, senior fellow of energy, economics and climate change at the Heritage Foundation, told Cybercast News Service...

Straight talk about universal healthcare

By Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

"It's only April, but the rhetoric of the 2008 Presidential Campaign is already at fever pitch. This November, as in all election years, there are important issues at stake. One of them is the issue of socialized medicine or, to use the Democrats' latest euphemism for it, "universal healthcare." Universal disaster is more like it. The Dems do their best to put a positive, humanitarian spin on the idea, but the long-term ramifications would be devastating.

The Democrats would have you believe that conservatives who are against universal healthcare take this stance because they are mean-spirited and compassionless. Naturally, this isn't the case. And it's hardly how I feel.

I am against universal healthcare because I believe it will create one of the most intrusive government bureaucracies since the Internal Revenue Service, and it will impinge heavily on the individual freedoms of all American citizens.

Both Clinton and Obama would attempt to achieve universal healthcare coverage by relying primarily on private insurance. That's right – they would look to solve our nation's health care problems by giving control of the system to the insurance companies. Wow.

Their plans rely on an "individual mandate" – a legal requirement that every person obtain coverage. This is already law in Massachusetts, which mandates coverage for both adults and children (more on this below). The Massachusetts model is exactly what Hillary Clinton would try to impose nationally. Obama's plan would only require that parents obtain coverage for their children.

One of the key misconceptions among those who support either Clinton or Obama is that a universal healthcare system would make healthcare more affordable. What delusional planet are they from? Under socialized medicine, the healthcare system may be perceived as being more fair, but it certainly won't be any cheaper.

A better way to describe the program would be to call it "universal heath insurance." The idea is that by compelling everyone in the nation to participate in the insurance market, you'd cut down on what's known as the "free rider" syndrome. As the term suggests, this would be people getting a "free ride" from the healthcare system by deciding not to get their own health insurance because they've been assured that in the case of an emergency or personal health catastrophe, inexpensive care will be guaranteed to them by the government. The theory is that mandated participation would help to drive down insurance costs.

But any mandate requires an enforcement component. My fear is that a government branch with the kind of power to actually identify and penalize those seeking to avoid the insurance mandates of universal healthcare would be vast and all-powerful. The new healthcare arm of the government would likely have the same kind of power (and loathsome reputation) as the IRS.

I'm all about personal freedom and the rights of individuals. Universal healthcare is not only impractical, but costly – and not just for your pocketbook. It's handing over yet another right to the government, and allowing the government to decide and rule your fate.

I'm not compassionless—I'm just sensible. And universal healthcare as it's being proposed by both Clinton and Obama still doesn't make much sense to me.

The disaster of the Massachusetts universal healthcare system should give you a preview of what life under a universal healthcare scheme could be like.

The universal healthcare dam springs a leak

As I mentioned earlier, a Clinton-style program of mandated health insurance is already in effect in Massachusetts. Under that system, subsidized insurance is made available to individuals earning up to $30,636 annually, and families of four earning up to $61,956 per year. The state government has begun to impose stiff fines on residents who fail to purchase health insurance – and the penalties can amount to as much as $912 a year!

And this place is already known as "Tax-achusetts!"

Even though this system is in its infancy, it already has many vocal opponents. Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis calls the Massachusetts universal coverage plan "overregulated and largely unworkable." Herrick explains that the least expensive health plan available through the program costs $196 a month, while the state fine for being uninsured is about half that cost -- $98 a month!

After just two years, Massachusetts' universal coverage program is running at a staggering $147 million deficit, and the four insurance carriers who provide the state- subsidized insurance are estimating that costs will go up by 14 percent next year.

Even more shocking is the manner in which Massachusetts state officials have decided to deal with the out-of-control costs of their broken system: they've ordered the insurance companies to cut payments to doctors and hospitals, reduce choices for payments, and possibly increase how much patients will have to pay.

I only hope that Americans get a good, long look at the disaster that universal healthcare has wrought on the economy and people of Massachusetts before a similar catastrophe is unleashed on the whole country. The train wreck in New England is headed our way if Clinton or Obama get into the oval office.

America: you have been warned."

Is this the best we can do?

Resurgent Hezbollah
—Hugh Hewitt

The L.A. Times ran a piece this past Sunday detailing the rearmament of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. In the nearly two years since the cessation of war with Israel in South Lebanon, Hezbollah has built their inventory of rockets to 27,000--more than double what they possessed in the summer of 2006--when their kidnapping of Israeli soldiers tipped off the battles of that summer. Many of these missiles can hit Tel Aviv.

Clearly the tensions in the region are building towards another immense explosion. American diplomacy can continue to try and defuse the situation, but the Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah axis is tighter now than it has ever been.

This is the backdrop of the American election in the fall. Senator Obama is **the least prepared** of the three candidates to superintend American efforts to prevent such a war or end it if it breaks out. Senator McCain's greatest strength as a candidate is that our enemies know he is not a man to test.

**In the 2004 election, I brought up the subject of the upcoming Nov. 2004 election to one of my brothers. His response about the two candidates (Pres. Bush and Sen. Kerry) was something to the effect of: "Is this the best we can do?"

Well apparently so ... and it "ain't gettin' no better."

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Petraeus, Afghanistan and the Lessons of Iraq

By George Friedman

Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded the surge in Iraq, was recommended April 23 by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to be the next head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, this means Petraeus would remain in ultimate command of the war in Iraq while also taking command in Afghanistan. Days after the recommendation, there was yet another unsuccessful attempt on the life of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on April 27. Then, media reports May 3 maintained the United States might strengthen its forces in Afghanistan to make up for shortfalls in NATO commitments. Across the border in Pakistan, Islamabad and the Taliban neared a peace deal April 25, the first fruits of the Pakistani government’s efforts to increase its dialogue with the Taliban — though these talks appeared to collapse April 28. Clearly, there appears to be movement with regard to Afghanistan. The question is whether this movement is an illusion — and if it is not an illusion, where is the movement going?

Petraeus’ probable command in Afghanistan appears to be the most important of these developments. In Iraq, Petraeus changed the nature of the war. The change he brought to bear there was not so much military as political. Certainly, he deployed his forces differently than his predecessors, dispersing some of them in small units based in villages and neighborhoods contested by insurgents. That was not a trivial change, but it was not as important as the process of political discussions he began with local leaders.

The first phase of the U.S. counterinsurgency, which lasted from the beginning of the Iraqi insurgency in mid-2003 until the U.S. surge in early 2007, essentially consisted of a three-way civil war, in which the United States, the Sunni insurgents and the Shiite militias fought each other. The American strategic goal appears to have been to defeat both the insurgents and the militias, while allowing them to attrit each other and civilian communities.
Reshaping the Struggle in Iraq

Petraeus reshaped the battle by observing that the civil war was much more than a three-way struggle. Tensions also existed within both the Iraqi Sunni and the Shiite communities. Petraeus’ strategy was to exploit those tensions, splitting both his opponents and forming alliances with some of them. Petraeus recognized that political power in the Sunni community rested with the traditional tribal leaders — the sheikhs — and that these sheikhs were both divided among themselves, and most important, extremely worried about the foreign jihadist fighters from al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda ultimately wanted to replace the sheikhs as leaders of their respective communities. It used its influence with younger, more radical Sunnis to create a new cadre of leaders. The more U.S. pressure on the Sunni community as a whole, the less room for maneuver the sheikhs had. U.S. policy was inadvertently strengthening al Qaeda by making the sheikhs dependent on its force against the United States. Similarly, the Shiite community was split along multiple lines, with Iran deeply involved with multiple factions.

Petraeus changed U.S. policy from what was essentially warfare against the Sunnis in particular, but also the Shia, as undifferentiated entities. He sought to recruit elements previously regarded as irredeemable, and with threats, bribes and other inducements, forced open splits among Sunnis and Shia. In doing so, Petraeus also opened lines to the Iranians, who used their fear of a civil war among the Shia — and a disastrous loss of influence by Iran — to suppress both intra-Shiite violence and Shiite violence against Sunnis.

The result of this complex political maneuvering coupled with the judicious use of military force was a decline in casualties not only among American forces, but also among Iraqis from intercommunal warfare. The situation has not by any means resolved itself, but Petraeus’ strategy expanded splits in the Sunni and Shiite communities that he tried to exploit. The most important thing Petraeus did was to reduce the cohesion of U.S. enemies by recognizing they were not in fact a cohesive entity, and moving forward on that basis.

The verdict is far from in on the success of Petraeus’ strategy in Iraq. The conflict has subsided, but certainly has not concluded. Indeed, we have seen increased attacks in Sunni regions recently, while conflict with radical Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s forces in Baghdad is increasing. In many ways, the success of Petraeus’ strategy depends on Iran continuing to perceive the United States as a long-term presence in Iraq, and continuing to regard suppressing conflict among Shia important so the Iraqi Shia can constitute a united bloc in the government of Iraq. But the strategy is not foolproof; should the jihadists and some of the Sunni sheikhs decide to stage a countersurge in the months ahead of the U.S. election, the fabric of political relations would unravel with startling speed, and the military situation would change dramatically. Petraeus certainly has improved the situation. He has not won the war.
The Afghan Challenge

Applying Petraeus’ politico-military strategy to Afghanistan will be difficult. First, the ratio of forces to population there is even worse than in Iraq, making the application of decisive military force even more difficult. But even more important, unlike in Iraq — where the U.S. effort began purely on a military track — U.S. involvement in Afghanistan began on a political track much like Petraeus brought to bear in Iraq in 2007.

As we have pointed out many times, the United States did not actually invade Afghanistan in October 2001. That would have been impossible 30 days after 9/11. Instead, the United States made political arrangements with anti-Taliban factions and tribes to use their force in conjunction with U.S. airpower. The payoff for these factions and tribes was freedom from the Taliban and domination of the national government of Afghanistan, or at least their respective regions.

The first level of force the U.S. introduced into Afghanistan was a handful of CIA operatives followed by a small number of U.S. Army Special Forces teams and other special operations forces units. Their mission was to coordinate operations of new U.S. allies among the Northern Alliance — which had been under Russian influence — and among the Afghan Shia and Tajiks, who had been under Iranian influence. The solution ran through Moscow and Tehran on the strategic level, and then to these local forces on the tactical level.

Less than an invasion, it was a political operation backed up with airpower and a small number of U.S. ground forces. In other words, it looked very much like the strategy that Petraeus implemented in Iraq in 2007. This strategy was followed from the beginning in Afghanistan. Having forced the Taliban to retreat and disperse, the United States failed to prevent the Taliban from regrouping for two reasons. First, the political alliances it tried to create were too unstable and backed by too little U.S. force. Second, the Taliban enjoyed sanctuary in Pakistan, which Islamabad was unable or unwilling to deny them. As a result, the Taliban regrouped and re-emerged as a capable force, challenging insufficient U.S. and NATO forces on the ground.

It must be remembered that the Taliban took control of most of Afghanistan in the first place because they were militarily capable and because they recruited a powerful coalition on their side. And there was another reason: The Pakistani government, worried about excessive Russian or Iranian influence in Pakistan and interested in a relatively stable Afghanistan, supported the Taliban. That support proved decisive. Various tribal and factional leaders calculated that given Pakistani support, the Taliban would be the most capable military force — and that therefore resisting the Taliban made no sense.

Petraeus faces a similar situation now. The amount of force the United States has placed in Afghanistan is not impressive. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force has just 47,000 troops deployed in a country of 31 million with a challenging geography. That 31 million has lived with war for generations, and has both adapted to war and is capable of fielding forces appropriate to the environment. Most tribes in Afghanistan calculate that the Americans do not have the ability to remain in Afghanistan for an extended period of time — as measured in generations. In due course, the Americans will leave.

The forces that had rallied to the U.S. standard in the first instance were those that had been defeated by the Taliban and forced to the margins. The majority of the country remained neutral on seeing the American entry or, at most, entered into tentative agreements with the Americans. Given their perceptions of U.S. staying power, the most rational thing for most of them to do is to pay lip service to the Karzai government — simply because it is there — while simultaneously either staying out of the fight or quietly aiding the Taliban. After all, the Taliban won before. If the Americans leave, there is no reason for them not to win again, at least in eastern and southern Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government also has paid lip service to fighting the Taliban, but clearly has not been effective in this fight. Moreover, the attempt of the new Pakistani government to negotiate with the Taliban signals that Pakistan’s old policy of accommodation toward the Taliban has not ended. While the Americans may go away, the Pakistanis are going nowhere. Standing with the Americans against a force that took Afghanistan once before — and still has not incurred the true enmity of Pakistan — is, put simply, a chump’s game.
Divide and Conquer?

Petraeus’ goal should be dividing the various factions of the Taliban as he did with the Sunni insurgents in Iraq. Attempting this very thing in Afghanistan has gone on for quite some time, but like trying to divide water, the Taliban flows back together remarkably quickly. The United States can always bribe the Taliban leaders, but it has been bribing them for years. They don’t stay bought.

In the meantime, the Afghan government remains in Kabul, ultimately dependent on the United States for its physical survival and infrastructure. Threats to Karzai and others are constant. Attempts are made to build national institutions, including military forces. But in the end, Afghan loyalty has never been to the nation, but to the tribe and the clan. So Karzai can rally the country only by building a coalition of tribes and clans. He has failed to do this.

In Iraq, the key was to supplement the military track with a political one. In Afghanistan, the problem is that there has always been a political track. And while pursuing this track worked at first, it has proven an unstable foundation for anything else. Its instability shook the Taliban out of power. And now the United States is facing this constant shifting.

If the problem in Iraq was introducing political suppleness, the problem in Afghanistan is the opposite: It is reducing the political suppleness. The way to do that is to introduce military force, to change the psychology of the region by convincing it that the United States is prepared to remain indefinitely and to bring overwhelming force to bear. That was the point of the U.S. announcement that it would take over the burden dropped by NATO.

The problem is that this is a bluff. The United States doesn’t have overwhelming force to bring to bear. The Soviets had 300,000 troops in Afghanistan. They held the cities, but the countryside was as treacherous for them as it is for the Americans. The force the United States can bring to bear is insufficient to overawe the tribes and cause them to break with the Taliban. And therefore, the United States is in a holding pattern, hoping that something will turn up.

That something is Pakistan. If Petraeus follows true to his Iraqi form — where he engaged the Iranians based on their own self-interest, inducing Tehran to rein in al-Sadr — then his key move must be to engage the Pakistanis in the fight against the Taliban. The problem is that it is not clearly in Pakistan’s self-interest to create a civil war in Pakistan with the Taliban, and the new government in Islamabad does not appear to have the appetite for such a struggle. And the Pakistani army continues to have elements sympathetic to the Taliban. If the army is not prepared to put up much of a fight in Pakistan’s northern tribal areas, it certainly is not looking for armed conflict with the Taliban — many of whose members are in fact Pakistani guerrillas — in Pakistan’s nontribal areas.

In sum, Petraeus improved the situation in Iraq, but he hasn't won the war there. And applying those lessons to Afghanistan is simply repeating what has happened since 2001. Petraeus is a good general, so it is unlikely he will continue that same course. But it is also unlikely that he will be in a position to force the Pakistanis to deny Taliban sanctuary. We therefore don't know what he will do in Afghanistan. But, as we have said before, it is a deteriorating situation, and he will be forced to act on it. That's why he was placed at the helm of CENTCOM.

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Even Americans knowledgeable about Europe’s growing accommodation to the totalitarian ideology known alternatively as Islamism, jihadism or Islamofascism tend smugly to believe the same thing can’t happen here. Think again. Every day, new evidence appears of similar acts of submission – the Islamists call it “dhimmitude” – on the part of the U.S. government, judges, the press and leading corporations.

Michael Moore, Frank Rich, Jeremiah Wright and John Hagee
By Dennis Prager
It is with no pleasure that I put in writing what I have long believed: Though many individual liberals have only goodwill toward black Americans, the liberal world since the late 1960s (i.e., after the major civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s) has done incalculable damage to black America and to race relations in this country. Whether out of guilt or because of its own racist views (i.e., the unspoken but regularly implied belief in the inferiority of African-Americans), the left-of-center's general attitude toward black Americans has been that they cannot be judged by the same standards as others.

Ben Stein Provokes the Liberal Wrath::By Phyllis Schlafly
Ben Stein is known to many as an actor on Comedy Central. But the funniest part about his recent movie "Expelled" is not any clever lines spoken by Stein but the hysterical way liberals are trying to discourage people from seeing it.

Star Parker: McCain is right on health care
A gold star to John McCain for his just released plan for reforming American health care.

Multiple Choice Moralities

By Albert Mohler

Our vocabulary betrays us. Instead of saying "I made a mistake," politicians say "mistakes were made." Similarly, some now want to speak of moral "values," but not of morals.

The contemporary talk of "values" is what is left when society accepts the notion that there is no genuine right or wrong. Moral issues are reduced to matters of personal preference and conviction. My "values" may not match your "values," but we all must respect each other's convictions equally in matters of common concern.

The reduction of morality to values was a hallmark of the 1980s, when progressive educators pushed this agenda in the public schools. That generation of young people is now well into adulthood, and we can see the moral damage inflicted by those who instructed students to look only within themselves for a system of values, and to doubt or defy traditional morality.

A generation raised in the incubator of moral relativism is groping for enduring truth in the moral wilderness.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Howard Dean, the head of the Democratic National Committee, said Republicans are race-baiting when they bring up Sen. Barack Obama's long-time pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

“The biofuels debacle is global warm-mongering in a nutshell: The first victims of poseur environmentalism will always be developing countries. In order for you to put biofuel in your Prius and feel good about yourself for no reason, real actual people in faraway places have to starve to death.”

-- Mark Steyn --

This week’s climate change: Oceans cool

According to researchers at Germany’s Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, temperatures in North America and Europe may actually drop over the next 10 years because of shifting ocean currents. Worldwide temperatures could stabilize over the same span. One researcher said that the cooling effect might neutralize warming trends. “Those natural climate variations could be stronger than the global-warming trend over the next 10-year period,” he said.

Now here’s the money quote: “Without knowing that, you might erroneously think there’s no global warming going on.” Word is, he said that with a straight face. Another researcher chimed in, “If we don’t experience warming over the next 10 years, it doesn’t mean that greenhouse-gas warming is not with us.”

In other words, pay no attention to the cooling temperatures—the globe is still going to warm. (As an aside, NASA said this week that we are in for possibly 30 years of cooling.)

Finally, another priceless quote from a researcher: “We thought a lot about the way to present this because we don’t want it to be turned around in the wrong way. I hope it doesn’t become a message of Exxon Mobil and other skeptics.”

Perish the thought.



Natural climate variations...?


"After the unnecessary and wasteful farm subsidies in the run-up to the last election, congressional Democrats now are revealing that their talk of fiscal restraint was all hat and no cattle by proposing $280 million in government handouts disguised as a farm bill. No surprise, liberals refuse to let go of the economic reins despite 75 years of government command and control over agriculture. Statistical data reveal agriculture subsidies are mostly awarded to wealthy farmers and confer no benefit to small farmers (those worth less than $2 million with net incomes below $200,000), while the largest nine percent of all U.S. farms receive 56 percent of all subsidies under the current bill. Subsidies are costly to taxpayers and consumers, and they undermine the agricultural sector by creating surpluses of unneeded products while falsely spurring overconsumption of others. The mad dash (created in part by subsidies) to turn corn into ethanol has caused the downstream effect of driving up prices for nearly all other food, since corn occupies the most prominent foundation block of the American food chain."



"Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) introduced a bill that would freeze the mandated fivefold increase in ethanol production by 2022. The mandate was part of last year’s energy bill and, according to Hutchinson, was 'well-intentioned... but it was also impractical.' She pointed to a 240-percent rise in the price of corn, wheat and soybeans in the last two years."


Clinton shatters pork record

"Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) requested $2.3 billion in earmarks for fiscal 2009, nearly three times the second largest senatorial request this year. Clinton’s request takes pork-spending greed to a new level after last year’s $837-million request by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) turned reformers’ heads. Among the three presidential candidates, Clinton is by far the biggest spender. Barack Obama foreswore earmarks for 2009 and all his requests have totaled $740 million in his three years in the Senate. John McCain has yet to tally a single earmark request, sticking to his position against wasteful government spending."



“The truth about black poverty today, as Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute has aptly put it, is that it is ‘intricately intertwined with the collapse of the nuclear family in the inner city.’ Consider that black households that are headed by married couples have median incomes almost 90 percent that of white households headed by married couples. The problem in the black community is that far too few black households are headed by married couples... It is not simply a moral claim, but a well-documented empirical one, that family and education are the keys to success in our free country. Black children don’t need politicians of any color who claim to hold the keys to their future. They need parents who know their names. Two of them.”

—Star Parker

Obama: Too Little, Too Late

By Linda Chavez

You could see the pain, anger and frustration in Sen. Barack Obama's face this week as, once again, he had to answer questions about his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What you didn't see or hear from Obama was recognition that he could have prevented Wright from becoming an issue in the first place. But by the time Wright took to the podium at the National Press Club Monday to re-issue his hateful comments about the United States, Obama had already missed his chance. In fact, there were at least three specific occasions on which Obama made the wrong choice.

Read more.

Obama's Changing Moral Equivalence::By Charles Krauthammer
"I can no more disown him (Jeremiah Wright) than I can disown my white grandmother."

-- Barack Obama, Philadelphia, March 18

WASHINGTON -- Guess it's time to disown Granny, if Obama's famous Philadelphia "race" speech is to be believed. Of course, the speech was not just believed. It was hailed, celebrated, canonized as the greatest pronouncement on race in America since Lincoln at Cooper Union. A New York Times columnist said it "should be required reading in classrooms across the country." College seniors and first-graders, suggested the excitable Chris Matthews.

Apparently there's been a curriculum change. (Read on)

Wright Controversy Affects the Polls::By Michael Barone
Is the bottom falling out for Barack Obama? It's too early to say that, but there are some disturbing signs. On the positive side, superdelegates still are breaking his way. Rep. Baron Hill, whose southern Indiana district almost certainly will vote for Hillary Clinton, came out for Obama. So did fellow Hoosier Joe Andrew, who previously endorsed Clinton and who was named Democratic national chairman by Bill Clinton in the 1990s. (James Carville may have another name for him.) Obama is still well ahead among delegates chosen in primaries and caucuses, and he is not very far behind in superdelegates, either.

But what about the voters? Here there are some ominous signs.
Read more.

NPR's views on illegals ought to be illegal

While publicly calling out what's wrong with National Public Radio, Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. writes:

"If you ask me, there's no greater threat to the country's well being than the virus of illegal immigration.

You've read my rants on this topic before. But I heard something on the radio the other day that really set me off. It was a story on NPR. Apparently, last year, the US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) deported 20,000 illegal immigrants from El Salvador, compared to just 3,400 in 2004.

If you ask me, that fact alone is cause for celebration! After all, when was the last time a government agency increased its output by more than five times! If USCIS could do the same for illegals of other national origins, our troubles would be over very quickly!

As you may have guessed, the lefties at NPR didn't see things quite the same way.

Incredibly, the story focused on the "struggles" of the Salvadoran government and its economy as they wrestled with the vastly increased numbers of their own citizens being forcibly repatriated. That's right: NPR wants you to feel bad that poor little El Salvador is having a hard time dealing with this influx of its own citizens.

Well boo-hoo for El Salvador.

Typically, NPR sees the world through red-tinted, Marxist glasses; the poor and downtrodden must be helped and given every possible advantage, whether or not they legally deserve it or not. And NPR will shamelessly pluck at your heart-strings until your heart bleeds as much as theirs does. I was so incensed about this story that I went to the NPR website to find out more (glutton for punishment that I am) and discovered that the story I'd heard was actually just the first of a three-part series!

Part two of the story told of one Salvadoran deportee's "near-death trip" to the U.S. The hombre in question was "Julio," a 45-year-old diabetic. His story is littered with all the well-worn clichés you've come to expect from an illegal immigrant story. He was cheated by the smuggler he paid to get him to the States; he spent two days in the desert without food or shelter … blah, blah, blah. Well, I'm as compassionate as the next guy, but if Julio had stayed at home where he belonged, or – better yet – TRIED TO ENTER THE U.S. THE LEGAL WAY, he wouldn't have experienced any of the "horrors" of his "near-death trip."

I appreciate that Julio and others like him are seeking a better life. And I hope they find it. But I refuse to believe that it's incumbent upon the U.S. government and the U.S. taxpayer to pick up the tab. Clearly, the immigrants that come here are not averse to hard work; I implore them to stay in their respective homelands and put their efforts into bettering the future of their native countries.

And as for the folks at NPR, all I have to say to them is, what are you thinking? You're as subtle as a sledgehammer to the head about where you stand on all this. You think only compassionless meanies would deny people like Julio their shot at the American Dream?

But then, what can I expect from a bunch of people who work on a non-profit radio station? People who've never had to compete for listenership, and who can spew their liberal tripe without even one thought to needing to make it profitable. Naturally, they believe that you should be free to do whatever you want and let the government pick up the tab: the taxpayers have been footing the bill for over a third of NPR's annual operating costs for decades.

NPR's thought process goes something like this: while you're taking out your checkbook to pay taxes to keep NPR in the black, why not include some more of your hard-earned cash so that Julio can have his insulin taken care of, decent healthcare for his family, an education for his kids … and everything else that a citizen of the United States can have. The fact that Julio isn't citizen shouldn't matter, should it?

Well, I'm here to say it should. It matters a lot. U.S. citizenship is a privilege, not a right. It's not something you give away like care packages. It's something that has to be earned. Legally."

Boston Globe:
In polls, Clinton picking up steam, Obama sputtering

Hillary Clinton Won't Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities
Many conservatives disagree with Sen. Hillary Clinton’s liberal policies and positions, but the New York Democrat was far from disagreeable in her two-part interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. She did offend some conservatives, however, with her support for sanctuary cities...

Wright Is A Fair Election Issue, GOP Senators Say
Sen. Barack Obama’s 20-year friendship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a legitimate issue for the November election if Obama get the Democrats’ nomination, several GOP senators said. Several Senate Democrats disagreed, however. They said Americans should know that a vote for Obama is a vote for Wright...