Friday, September 19, 2003

Why the pro-life movement will continue to grow

Michelle Malkin writes a revealing column about the pro-abortion reaction to new 3-D images that show fetuses smiling. (Hat tip to the Curmudgeon)

Also see this story.
Operation Rewind

James Lileks wrote a devastating Bleat yesterday about Iraq, Al-Queda, and media reactions to Iraq in 1998 and today. I'm not going to quote from it, because you have to read it all.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Library snoop

Ooooh, that evil fascist, John Ashcroft, is at it again. Do you think that the truth will shut any of these people up? Will they apologize for their evil smears? In a word -- no. They don't care about truth, and many of them don't care about stopping terrorists.
Baghdad Bob: Saddam blew it

The former Iraqi Information Minister says that Saddam "made tactical errors" in preparing for the US invasion. Wow. I would have never guessed. I'm betting that James Taranto includes this in tomorrow's list.
Iraq relic recovered

This was one of the most important antiquities missing. The looting of the Baghdad Museum continues to become a smaller and smaller story as more and more pieces are recovered.
More domino effect

Even if they are only cosmetic changes, would Bashar Assad really be implementing reforms if Iraq weren't becoming a democracy?
Wesley Clark roundup

I've already detailed my opinions on Clark, so I thought I'd post a roundup of what others think.

First, the criticism:

Lowell Ponte, writing in Frontpage, notes Clark's disregard for civilian casualties during the Kosovo campaign and points out that Clark (who speaks fluent Russian) didn't even try to talk to the Russians before ordering an attack on them in that campaign (an order that his British subordinate heroically refused). It also details his possible involvement in the Waco debacle. Ponte has previously attacked Clark in this article.

Here's another vicious attack on Clark's military record, while this wild-eyed column even connects Clark to "Muslim terrorists."

The word in London's liberal Independent is that Clark is a "dream candidate," but the story also mentions the Russian airfield incident and the fact that Clark was fired as NATO commander after the war. Like many other articles, it also mentions that Defense Secretary William Cohen ordered Clark to get "his f****** face off the television" during the conflict (a sentiment that I must admit to having shared during the War in Iraq).

Clark's infamously thin skin is the headline of this Reuters story, though it also talks up his foreign policy experience.

In a thoughtful column, Richard Cohen opines that Clark might be too "weird" to be elected and questions whether he has the necessary "warmth and affability."

Finally, Ralph Peters, who used to work for Clark, questions his instincts. "He knows a great deal, but understands too little. And I do not believe he takes our enemies seriously."

On the other hand ...

Michael Moore thinks Clark is wonderful, not the least because Clark defended Moore's anti-Bush rant at the Oscars, while Muslim Wake Up! says that Clark's announcement "sends chills to the Bush reelection team."

Reports on the political implications:

This New York Times article details some of the logistical and organizational challenges that Clark's late entry will cause.

Salon, like so many others, ignores the other contenders and posits the campaign as now Dean vs. Clark, setting up the conflict between the Democratic establishment and liberal activists.

John Fund describes how completely Clark is "the Clintons' candidate," while Peter Lawler sees a Clark-Hillary! ticket (other commentators wonder whether the order might be reversed, especially in view of Bill Clinton's comments yesterday).

UPDATE: Drezner points out that I left out Josh Marshall's take. Marshall thought Clark seemed awkward handling difficult domestic policy questions in a recent interview. That may be explain why Clark seems prepared to skip the next Democratic debate -- he may feel that he needs more time to prep on domestic issues.

UPDATE II: Some of today's stories seem to have upset Eric Alterman and The Daily Howler.

UPDATE III: I also left out the excellent roundup that Howie Kurtz has in today's issue. Read it now.

UPDATE IV: David Adesnik links to this story in the Washington Post that says Clark "probably" would have voted for the Iraq resolution if he'd been in Congress. Like David, I wonder why Clark isn't sure about this, of all things. Cautious waffling like this isn't going to do anything for Clark, unless his goal to be the next John Kerry.

UPDATE V: Andrew Sullivan "isn't reassured" by Clark's Washington Monthly essay. Neither am I.

UPDATE VI: Walter Shapiro watched Clark's announcement speech and asks "Is that all there is?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Clark effect

MSNBC has an interesting compendium of opinions about the potential of Wesley Clark's candidacy.

The article doesn't mention, however, some of the problems that Clark will face other than the obvious ones of money and organization. JunkYardBlog does a good job summing them up, but their are a couple of other challenges that he didn't mention.

One is that Clark just recently "decided" that he's a Democrat. Liberal activists are NOT going to trust him.

The other problem is illustrated by polls that repeadly show that most Americans are now more concerned about the economy than foreign affairs. Are voters going to trust Clark to deal effectively with domestic issues without a track record to support his platform? The last general directly elected to the White House was Dwight Eisenhower, and the one before that was U. S. Grant. We've elected exactly two generals to the White House in the last 150 years, and both of them won wars of a much greater importance to our country than the "war" in Kosovo.

I think that Wesley Clark would make a great candidate for senator or governor somewhere -- I don't think that he will be elected President.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Does David Frum read Sarcastic Southerner?

Read David Frum's diary entry for today. Notice that he quotes the same Iraq Today editorial and the same William Saletan article that I blogged about yesterday. You be the judge. :)
Clintonistas for Dean

Poor John Edwards. He had talked with Bill Clinton before the campaign started and thought that he might be the lucky heir to the Democratic throne.

Unfortunately for him, the Clintons have concluded that neither he nor any of the other 8 candidates currently seeking the nomination can beat Howard Dean. The Clintons are now firmly behind the soon-to-be-announced candidacy of Wesley Clark.

I don't know if Clark can get a campaign together in such a short period of time, but if anyone can do it, it's the Clinton crowd. I have previously dismissed Clark as having no chance and running for VP. I'm not so sure anymore, but I still think that Dean is going to be very difficult to beat.

Dean represents the true believers, and many liberals never really felt that Clinton and Gore were with them. The next few months are going to be a struggle for the direction of the Democratic Party.
More support for the domino theory

Today the AP runs a straighforward story that examines the success that Iraq has had on convincing other nations to cooperate with the US in the War on Terror. The AP writer, Mark Fritz, calls it "Iraq-a-phobia."

(Convincing Syria to shut down the offices of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, by the way, is what liberals and the world's anti-Americans mean when they decry "US bullying.")

Monday, September 15, 2003

Slate (of all magazines) takes liberal liars to task

William Saletan refutes the liberal lies about President Bush and the GOP. It's amazing (but very satisfying) to see this article in Slate.
Al Queda TV network still spinning for Saddam

You've to like this headline:

Powell in Iraq amid mounting resistance

Wishing that the violence is mounting doesn't make it so. The number of US soldiers being killed has actually been in a very steady decline.
Other Arabs not welcome?

Here's a powerful editorial in Iraq Today (a weekly Baghdad paper). Key grafs:

On the face of it, wouldn't it have been better from the beginning to have Arabic speaking soldiers in Baghdad, who can relate to the local culture in a way a Westerner can only dream of? How much easier would it have been for the CPA to win hearts and minds, if they had more Arabs delivering their message? Having Muslim troops stationed in a Muslim country makes sense, doesn't it? A Saudi Arabian officer, or a Jordanian trooper would be much easier to trust than one with the Stars and Stripes on his uniform, right?

Wrong. Evidence on the ground suggests that the absence of Arab involvement in Iraq is actually not a bad thing at all. The truth is that most Iraqis would rather have an American dominated force here, than an Arab one.

The grim reality, particularly hard to hear for all those Arabs that felt they were supporting their Iraqi brethren when demonstrating to stop the war, is that most people here don't want anything to do with them.

On the walls of Mosul University, one of Iraq's oldest, warning signs are clearly displayed; "No Jordanians, No Palestinians". Iraqis are clearly still upset that other Arabs were able to study in Iraq, effectively on Saddam's payroll. Iraqis have had enough of seeing their own lives compromised for the benefit of Arabs from neighbouring countries.

Saddam Hussein played the Palestinian card to the max. It's widely believed that the support, both vocal and financial, he gave to the suicide bombers, are the reason behind the wrath of the "Zionists" in Tel Aviv and Washington. Whether that is true or not is beside the point - Iraqis saw other Arabs benefit from Saddam's regime while they were left to suffer.

Saddam saw himself as the head of a "pan-Arab" movement to unite the Arab world. It makes sense that many Iraqis now identify the corrupt heads of other Arab governments as propping up Saddam's rule. It also makes sense that many Iraqis now resent the foreign fighters pouring into Iraq to fight jihad, which of course is slowing the country's progress toward democracy and civil society.

CNN "intimidated" by Fox News

Very amusing. With respect to her network's Iraq coverage, Christiane Amanpour "says CNN 'was intimidated' by the Bush administration and Fox News, which 'put a climate of fear and self-censorship.'" If only that were true ... then maybe I wouldn't have had to listen to so much anti-American bias, such as she and Rym Brahimi suggesting that our military deliberately attacked journalists in the Palestine Hotel.

Lying Liar hates Christians

Al Franken gives an extremely disturbing interview (hat tip to Sullivan) in which he states his suspicion that Evangelical Christians are supporting the state of Israel because we want the Jews to die in a fiery hell!

As unbelievable as that bit is, the whole article is remarkable for the hatred that emanates from it. It's truly evil. Franken says of President Bush's Christian faith: "I'm suspicious that it's done for political purposes".

I also noted this tidbit: "I think there are all kinds of different hells. It's not a place you go to after you die. I don't know what happens to you after you die. I'm not banking on there being like a heaven." Well, I wouldn't be banking on heaven either if I were you, but you might want to rethink that hell part.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

More AP bias

I almost choked when I read this paragraph in an AP story discussing Colin Powell's meeting with UN security council members.

De Villepin — one of the most persistent and eloquent opponents of the U.S. war on Iraq — also has criticized U.S. demands for more troops from other countries to help restore peace, saying that simply sending in more soldiers will not satisfy the Iraqi thirst for sovereignty.

What is the word eloquent doing in this story? The only purpose it serves is to imply that De Villepin's arguments are correct -- that the war was wrong. It's a blatant anti-American editorial comment stuck in what purports to be a news story. Besides, it's only true if one defines eloquence in terms of making truly stupid arguments seem respectable.

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