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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Guest-Blogging: Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood

(For those looking for commentary on the president's speech today, scroll down. Marcie posted her thoughts on it, and Thomas handled the Democrat response.)

Technically, I'm not a guest-blogger, or so Thomas tells me. However, with work right now, and the holiday season gaining steam, I've little time to blog. So, every once in a while, when I have the time, I'll participate right here at The Asylum.

I know that Thomas addressed this case earlier, and he did a superb job at it. A very serious and convincing argument in favor of Ms. Ayotte was made by him. Granted, I watched the oral arguments today, and I doubt Thomas could have done a better job than what was mounted.

The focus of this whole case revolves around a New Hampshire law requiring girls under the age of eighteen to gain parental permission when they want to get an abortion. Not a bad idea, right? I mean, parents must sign off on so many things for kids to do nowadays--tattoos, piercings, questionable films in school, and even at the movie theaters--why not an abortion? The folks at Planned Parenthood claim the law is unconstitutional. For what reasons, you ask? According to them, the provision to protect the woman's health is not viable. Should the girl be in that much trouble--physically--the medical service providers can do nothing to help her until her parents step up, and sign off on the procedure.

First, this argument is patently absurd. Medical professionals are PROHIBITED by law of refusing to render medical assistance if a life is in danger, save a written order, on file, stating that medical assistance isn't to be rendered. This is the primary argument that Planned Parenthood is presenting. It's faulty.

Those in Planned Parenthood believed that Roe gave them free reign in the realm of abortion, and are considerably upset when the state or federal governments step in to regulate the practice. This was evident in the Congressional ban on late-term abrotions, which was immediately hit with an injunction, and appealed by the pro-abortion crowd. Likewise, Casey presented a similar problem to them. In Casey, the question that they presented was whether or not the spousal notification violated the "right to choose." Stenberg was the landmark case that questioned Congress' motivations in banning late-term abortions.

Ayotte is an equally landmark-like case. Not in the sense of pro-abortion activists believeing they're protecting their gruesome procedure, but in the rights of parents. The overall question should be, and was related eloquently by Kelly Ayotte, the AG of New Hampshire.

Planned Parenthood has sued the state because the law doesn't make an exception for the "health of the mother."

The law DOES, however, have a "judicial bypass" -- that means a young woman can make an appeal to a judge if she has a reason not to turn to her parents.

The law has the provisions in it to protect the life of the mother. The law has the provisions in it that the Supreme Court has leveled in response to the numerous appeals brough before it regarding this subject. What Planned Parenthood desires is abortions on demand, without any sort of interference from ANYONE; not you, me, the government, or even Santa Claus. What they want is a barbaric practice without repercussions, no matter the physical and mental damage done to the mother, and they want it on demand.

The ultimate freedom. Freedom from blame, consequences, or even moral relevancy. And we wonder why we are where we are today. Shame on us.

The court ruled in 1973--incorrectly so--that abortion falls under a woman's right to choose; the right she has over her body to do what she wants, when she wants. If this were true for ALL people (the Declaration of Independence proclaims all men to be equal and free, and it has the back-up of the US Constitution) then we would be free to do whatever we want. But I can't engage in illegal activity without fear of repercussions. Likewise is the same for abortion.

The pro-abortion crowd made a serious mistake by allowing the federal government the "mandate" from the Supreme Court in the jurisdiction over abortion. Congress passed a law, and the pro-abortion people flipped out. States made laws, and the pro-abortion people flipped out. They can't have things both ways. If this is truly an issue under the purview of the federal government, then the federal government should have the right to legislate the regulation of this procedure. The pro-abortion people refuse to let this happen. They'd prefer to simply head to court, and allow their rights to be dictated through the biased fiat of the high court.

This case should be found on the side of the state of New Hampshire because the underlying point of this case truly is: When does a parent have the right to be a parent? A parent should have the right to state, with certainty from a doctor, that if their daughter's life is not in danger from the preganancy that she won't get an abortion. Should the high court rule opposite of the parents' rights, then there are no consequences for those that prefer to act grown-up, but not make a grown-up decision when a mistake occurs. Further, by allowing girls under the age of eighteen to make this decision on their own gives them the opportunity to cheapen life. It will cheapen it to the point that if the child or fetus becomes a burden, they can simply abandon it.

That is not how this nation, and society as a whole, has progressed. We cherished life at one point. Now we prefer to treat it like a tissue; used and easily disposable. Likewise, we are easily disposing of a parent's right to oversee the development of their children. As legal "caretakers" of them, we have the ultimate say in their lives until they're eighteen. No one--not Planned Parenthood, or the US Supreme Court--should have the right to supersede that authority, ever.

Mistress Pundit

And The Left Cringes Over This "Home Run"

(Just a quick note...Scroll past this post for the Left's reaction to the speech, and my commentary about it.)

This morning, I was greeted by the President of the United States. No, I was not at Annapolis, but I did wake up to this speech's preparation on the radio alarm this morning. I could not wait. This is something that the president should be addressing and reinforcing on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. I have seen that there are calls from people, especially Sen. Cornyn from Texas, that have called for the president to reinvent the FDR Fireside Chats for the public to hear precisley what is going on in the war. I would like to second this motion, but this is a long speech, and I am not sure he could hit a home run like this every time. So, this will do, but this sort of "combat" against the MSM is needed more than every couple of months.


No, I will not cite the entire speech. That would be insane. However the link above will take you to the transcript. I am going to cite only a few passages from the speech--parts I thought contained the money quotes, notable presentations of what we are doing, how and why we are winning.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thanks, please be seated. Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome. It's good to be back at the Naval Academy. I'm pleased to provide a convenient excuse for you to miss class.

I would love it if he could give me a suitable excuse to miss class every once in a while.

This is the first year that every class of midshipmen at this Academy arrived after the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. Each of you has volunteered to wear our nation's uniform in a time of war -- knowing all the risks and dangers that accompany military service. Our citizens are grateful for your devotion to duty -- and America is proud of the men and women of the United States Naval Academy.

A smart move on the part of the president to remind everyone in this nation--conservative and liberal, alike--that the people who eat mud, and are shot at have made this choice on their own. We possess a voluntary military. There is no draft. Everyone in the military knows precisely why they are there, and what they are fighting for.

In the years ahead, you'll join them in the fight. Your service is needed, because our nation is engaged in a war that is being fought on many fronts -- from the streets of Western cities, to the mountains of Afghanistan, the islands of Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa. This war is going to take many turns, and the enemy must be defeated on every battlefield. Yet the terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity, and so we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror.

Yes, Iraq is THE central front. The terrorists have chosen to make the proverbial last stand there. They have chosen Iraq for a simple reason: Now no longer under the boot-heel of Saddam Hussein, they see an opportunity; a power vacuum that is not fully under control of the new government. That is a mistake, and for the terrorists, it will be a costly one.

These terrorists have nothing to offer the Iraqi people. All they have is the capacity and the willingness to kill the innocent and create chaos for the cameras. They are trying to shake our will to achieve their stated objectives. They will fail. America's will is strong. And they will fail because the will to power is no match for the universal desire to live in liberty.

This is a key point of the whole speech. Not only to reinforce when we see this mission as complete, but also to reinforce to America that the Iraqis want us out just as quickly as we want out. We can only leave when Iraq is ready to stand on it's own as a true, free nation that has embraced the concepts of liberty.

The terrorists in Iraq share the same ideology as the terrorists who struck the United States on September the 11th. Those terrorists share the same ideology with those who blew up commuters in London and Madrid, murdered tourists in Bali, workers in Riyadh, and guests at a wedding in Amman, Jordan. Just last week, they massacred Iraqi children and their parents at a toy give-away outside an Iraqi hospital.

This is an enemy without conscience -- and they cannot be appeased. If we were not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle. They would be plotting and killing Americans across the world and within our own borders. By fighting these terrorists in Iraq, Americans in uniform are defeating a direct threat to the American people. Against this adversary, there is only one effective response: We will never back down. We will never give in. And we will never accept anything less than complete victory.

There! For the Left, there is the final objective. It is called victory. Not retreat. Not cut-and-run when the going gets tough. Not a truce; the president stated that these animals cannot be appeased, unless the Left believes in the ultimate appeasement to them. Surrender, complete and unconditional. According to the president, and according to America, that will not happen.

Our strategy in Iraq has three elements. On the political side, we know that free societies are peaceful societies, so we're helping the Iraqis build a free society with inclusive democratic institutions that will protect the interests of all Iraqis. We're working with the Iraqis to help them engage those who can be persuaded to join the new Iraq -- and to marginalize those who never will. On the security side, coalition and Iraqi security forces are on the offensive against the enemy, cleaning out areas controlled by the terrorists and Saddam loyalists, leaving Iraqi forces to hold territory taken from the enemy, and following up with targeted reconstruction to help Iraqis rebuild their lives.

As we fight the terrorists, we're working to build capable and effective Iraqi security forces, so they can take the lead in the fight -- and eventually take responsibility for the safety and security of their citizens without major foreign assistance.

And on the economic side, we're helping the Iraqis rebuild their infrastructure, reform their economy, and build the prosperity that will give all Iraqis a stake in a free and peaceful Iraq. In doing all this we have involved the United Nations, other international organizations, our coalition partners, and supportive regional states in helping Iraqis build their future.

This would be the "plan" that the Left immediately leapt to microphones to decry as the "same old, same old" when the speech was done today. Sens. Kerry and Kenneday wasted little time in retorting to the president's statements, and Rep. Pelosi literally called this "the same old plan." The last time I checked, these doddering old fools did not even have the faintest plan in their minds.

The progress of the Iraqi forces is especially clear when the recent anti-terrorist operations in Tal Afar are compared with last year's assault in Fallujah. In Fallujah, the assault was led by nine coalition battalions made up primarily of United States Marines and Army -- with six Iraqi battalions supporting them. The Iraqis fought and sustained casualties. Yet in most situations, the Iraqi role was limited to protecting the flanks of coalition forces, and securing ground that had already been cleared by our troops. This year in Tal Afar, it was a very different story.

The assault was primarily led by Iraqi security forces -- 11 Iraqi battalions, backed by five coalition battalions providing support. Many Iraqi units conducted their own anti-terrorist operations and controlled their own battle space -- hunting for enemy fighters and securing neighborhoods block-by-block. To consolidate their military success, Iraqi units stayed behind to help maintain law and order -- and reconstruction projects have been started to improve infrastructure and create jobs and provide hope.

That is a considerable turnaround. And it is one, for sure, the Left will attempt to spin. They spin it because they are only willing to look at the "bad news" coming out of Iraq, rather than the good news that creeps out from the blogosphere, and speeches like this.

As the training has improved, so has the quality of the recruits being trained. Even though the terrorists are targeting Iraqi police and army recruits, there is no shortage of Iraqis who are willing to risk their lives to secure the future of a free Iraq.

Another money quote that continues to prove the point that the Iraqis are doing what they need to do to take their nation back. They are signing up. They are being trained, and they are engaging the enemies that still prey upon the soft underbelly of the fledgling nation. They are not relying on us. They are relying on themselves.

Some critics dismiss this progress and point to the fact that only one Iraqi battalion has achieved complete independence from the coalition. To achieve complete independence, an Iraqi battalion must do more than fight the enemy on its own -- it must also have the ability to provide its own support elements, including logistics, airlift, intelligence, and command and control through their ministries. Not every Iraqi unit has to meet this level of capability in order for the Iraqi security forces to take the lead in the fight against the enemy. As a matter of fact, there are some battalions from NATO militaries that would not be able to meet this standard. The facts are that Iraqi units are growing more independent and more capable; they are defending their new democracy with courage and determination. They're in the fight today, and they will be in the fight for freedom tomorrow.

This is one of the most important points made by the president. He is directly challenging those people that naysay the progress of this war, and are still using the antiquated talking point of the Left about this lone Iraqi battalion. And it is a good thing that he points out that even other, standing militaries could not match up to the bar the Left has set with this argument. Rome was not built in a day, and a standing military cannot be battle-ready in a matter of months.

Our commanders on the ground see the gains the Iraqis are making. General Marty Dempsey is the commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command. Here's what he says about the transformation of the Iraqi security forces: "It's beyond description. They are far better equipped, far better trained" than they once were." The Iraqis, General Dempsey says, are "increasingly in control of their future and their own security _ the Iraqi security forces are regaining control of the country."

And it is important that the president relay the statements from our commanders in the field. We do not need the MSM to provide us with statements and analysis from former military people playing the role of the armchair quarterback. We want to hear from the people over there. No one cares, truly, about what Gen. Wesley Clark has to say about this war. He has long since retired, and faded into obscurity.

As the Iraqi forces gain experience and the political process advances, we will be able to decrease our troop levels in Iraq without losing our capability to defeat the terrorists. These decisions about troop levels will be driven by the conditions on the ground in Iraq and the good judgment of our commanders -- not by artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington.

I am sure that this swipe stung the Left. They have done nothing but harp on the president about removing the troops from Iraq. Many of these politicians voted in favor of this war, and have voted to continue the approriations of money to continue the effort. Now, these people want us out. A few have even stated that they are not proud of their vote. They twist the intelligence, claiming that is was phony, and they were not aware of such faults in the data. Guess what? The president did not have knowledge of the faults, either. Yet these people had no problem looking at the SAME intelligence in 1998, and standing behind the president bombing Iraq then.

Some are calling for a deadline for withdrawal. Many advocating an artificial timetable for withdrawing our troops are sincere -- but I believe they're sincerely wrong. Pulling our troops out before they've achieved their purpose is not a plan for victory. As Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman said recently, setting an artificial timetable would "discourage our troops because it seems to be heading for the door. It will encourage the terrorists, it will confuse the Iraqi people."

I posted yesterday that Sen. Lieberman was right on the money with his op-ed. I stand behind it today, still. And I stand behind the president for NOT caving into the miniscule pressure from the Left.

Senator Lieberman is right. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a message across the world that America is a weak and an unreliable ally. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a signal to our enemies -- that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run and abandon its friends. And setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorists' tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder -- and invite new attacks on America. To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your Commander-in-Chief.

There is a reason why I bolded and italicized this part. It is THE money quote of the entire speech. He slapped the Left in the face, and tossed down the gauntlet. We stay. We are not going anywhere. Get used to it.

Some critics continue to assert that we have no plan in Iraq except to, "stay the course." If by "stay the course," they mean we will not allow the terrorists to break our will, they are right. If by "stay the course," they mean we will not permit al Qaeda to turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban -- a safe haven for terrorism and a launching pad for attacks on America -- they are right, as well. If by "stay the course" they mean that we're not learning from our experiences, or adjusting our tactics to meet the challenges on the ground, then they're flat wrong. As our top commander in Iraq, General Casey, has said, "Our commanders on the ground are continuously adapting and adjusting, not only to what the enemy does, but also to try to out-think the enemy and get ahead of him." Our strategy in Iraq is clear, our tactics are flexible and dynamic; we have changed them as conditions required and they are bringing us victory against a brutal enemy.

Is that what irritates the Left the most. That his simple answer is "stay the course?" Please. Enough already. The Left, in this debate, reminds me of the bratty child in the back seat of a car ride screaming, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? When are we going to get there? I have to go to the bathroom." It is pathetic. Shut up already; stay the course means we stay until the job is done.

One of those fallen heroes is a Marine Corporal named Jeff Starr, who was killed fighting the terrorists in Ramadi earlier this year. After he died, a letter was found on his laptop computer. Here's what he wrote, he said, "[I]f you're reading this, then I've died in Iraq. I don't regret going. Everybody dies, but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so they can live the way we live. Not [to] have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators_. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."
There is only one way to honor the sacrifice of Corporal Starr and his fallen comrades -- and that is to take up their mantle, carry on their fight, and complete their mission.

I bring up this passage for one particular reason: The New York Times completely twisted this young soldier's last letter. The bloggers brough it up. It has had NO mainstream notice. So, with this there are two possibilites of why the president injected this into the speech (other than the obvious, which is he understands the sacrifice, and grieves for their and their families). Either A) someone informed him of the report in the Times, or B) the staff reads the blogs, and let him know of the slander of the Times.

We will take the fight to the terrorists. We will help the Iraqi people lay the foundations of a strong democracy that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself. And by laying the foundations of freedom in Iraq, we will lay the foundation of peace for generations to come.

You all are the ones who will help accomplish all this. Our freedom and our way of life are in your hands -- and they're in the best of hands. I want to thank you for your service in the cause of freedom. I want to thank you for wearing the uniform. May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

This speech was one of the best of his tenure in office. And the points made in the speech have needed for a long time. It is about time that the administration started swinging back at those that have attacked it. There is a serious difference between honest criticism, and outright attacks. The Left has launched into a campaign of vitriolic assaults against the administration, and the sole goal of these atrtacks are to demoralize not only the president, and those involved in the war, but also America as a whole. It is time for America to stand as resolute as our soldiers in the field, and tell the Left to shut up. Send them packing in 2006, and send a message to their party that the extremist Left does not set the tone of the party, or of the nation.

The Bunny ;)

More Hilarious Than The Three Stooges...

Well, actually it's kind of sad to see that the Democrat party has nothing to add to this debate. They proved this clearly after the president's phenomenal speech this morning. Below are some of the "greatest hits" of the morning from the Left.

"When 80 percent of the people say we want America to withdraw and when 45 percent of the people in the country we're fighting for believe it's OK to kill Americans to help us get there, the president is not dealing with a certain kind of reality that's important to the lives of our troops." --Sen. John Kerry

"It's all well and good to talk about being there with your troops training on the ground — training — until we are ready to leave. But that ignores what his own generals have told him." "General Casey has said very clearly that it is the large presence of American forces on the ground that feeds the insurgency and makes it more difficult for the Iraqis to assume responsibility, because they don't have to." --Sen. John Kerry

"What the president did not do today, again, is acknowledge the fundamental reality of the insurgency." --Sen. John Kerry

"Neither of those will be beaten at the face of a gun. They will be beaten through the political resolution, through a solution that has to be achieved politically." --Sen. John Kerry

Yes, the above quotes come directly from Kerry. You can find them all right here in the FOX News piece that was up today: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177184,00.html

OK, now let me ask just one simple question: Who wanted this fool as the president? He just stated that our enemies couldn't be beaten in combat ("beaten at the face of a gun"), and they have been. This is the reason WHY they're attacking recruits and civilians of Iraq. They're not attacking us because they know they will lose everytime. This is why they hit us with IEDs, various booby traps, and car bombs. Not a smart way to fight a war because they're just going to lose more men while the Left continues to lose credibility in America's eyes.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued a statement claiming that Bush "recycled his tired rhetoric of 'stay the course' and once again missed an opportunity to lay out a real strategy for success in Iraq that will bring our troops safely home."

The Nevada senator charged that Bush failed to meet a call by the Senate to tell Americans the administration's strategy for success in Iraq.

Yes, Sen. Reid, much like Sen. Kerry, doesn't get it. The strategy of success that these fools keep bringing up is already in effect. We are winning. We have success in Iraq. If they opt to ignore the FACTS, that's their problem. In addition, the plan was laid out by the president extensively in his speech.

"We should follow the lead of Congressman John Murtha, who has put forth a plan to make American safer, to make our military stronger and to make Iraq more stable.That is what the American people and our troops deserve." --Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Sen. John Kerry also fielded a question about the cut and run strategy laid out by the Democrats in recent weeks. He claims his party isn't calling for such a thing. LOL. Allow me to demonstrate a couple of things for Sen. Kerry, and the rest of the Democrats that don't think their party's been calling for a retreat. The excerpt below comes directly from Kerry himself.

What it did on the Democratic side seek to do was set an estimated timetable for success, which will permit the withdrawal of our troops. Everything that we have presented has been presented on the basis of how you succeed. The president today in his speech said, I quote, "America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am commander-in-chief." Well, so long as Jack Reed is a United States Senator and John Kerry is a senator and the rest of us are senators, none of us, no one, has ever suggested or believes that we should run in the face of car bombers or assassins.

"What's happening in Iraq is not working, it's a disaster." --Sen. Barbara Boxer

"I have proposed a target time frame for the completion of the military mission in Iraq and suggested December 31, 2006, as the target date for the completion of the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq." --from Sen. Russ Feingold's website

"As the United States Senate declared earlier this month, and as many Americans from all walks of life and all political beliefs have called for, we need a real and honest plan for success in Iraq so that our troops can begin to come home in 2006." --Sen. Edward Kennedy

“The real question remains: as our soldiers start to come home, will they leave behind an Iraq on the path to stability or chaos? And are we doing everything we can to preserve our interests? I am still not convinced we are on the right track.” --Sen. Joe Biden (And with respect, a good majority of his statement was decent to the president, but again, here is the cut and run attitude. He is already seeing the troops coming home in large numbers.)

Sloganeering can never produce an exit strategy in Iraq. Only a serious look at achievable goals can do that. The American people were waiting for a new vision on the war in Iraq. This speech left them waiting still." --Sen. Robert Byrd

Our troops and their family and loved ones at home deserve more than politics as usual from the President. They deserve a real and concrete plan to bring our troops home. Today the President failed to provide such a plan. --Rep. Dennis Kucinich

And to sum all this up is Michael Rowland, reporting for ABC. Below is the transcript of his report this morning after the speech. http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2005/s1520583.htm

GEORGE W. BUSH: Our goal is to train enough Iraqi forces so they can carry the fight, and this'll take time and patience.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Mr Bush has again refused to set a deadline for the withdrawal of US troops, but says any timetable will be set by the military brass, and not Washington politicians.

Democrat Senator, and former presidential candidate, John Kerry, says Mr Bush has failed yet again to demonstrate to an increasingly sceptical public that he has an effective strategy to win the war in Iraq.

JOHN KERRY: So what the President did not acknowledge today at all is that the presence of our troops, itself, is a part of the current reality on the ground that presents food for the insurgency. And you need to reduce that presence over a period of time in order to be able to succeed, not fail.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: The economic cost of the war is set to deepen, with the White House refusing to rule out reports that another $4-billion is to be spent on training and equipping Iraqi forces.

Even Rowland was waiting to hear a timetable that will never be revealed openly. The president can't trust the press, and he sure as hell can';t trust those in Congress. They'll never keep their mouths shut about ANY timetable laid out by the administration. So, it's safe to say that those idrectly involved in the war efforts are privy to that information, and not to blabber-mouths like those on the Left. And the timetable is so simple that they just do not get it. They can't because "victory" doesn't compute in their feeble, little minds. You want to know when we're leaving, Sen. Kerry? Sen. Kennedy? Sen. Biden? Let me repeat this...with feeling:


Their reaction was more than predictable. What is sad is the port-side of the blogosphere is already starting to parrot these talking points without really looking at the president, the plan (linked below), and how truly unhinged and insane their party leaders sounded today. It would be hilarious if it weren't so sad.


Publius II

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Liberals Listen Up: Lieberman Is Telling More Truth Than The Party Is


Sen. Joe Lieberman let loose with both barrels in an awesome editorial carried by the Wall Street Journal. (The entire piece is copied and pasted below. Read it because it is worth it, friends.)

I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and can report real progress there. More work needs to be done, of course, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood--unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.

This is a point that cannot be hammered hard enough. The troops MUST stay until the job is done, the nation is secured, and the Iraqis are prepared to step up and handle things on their own. They have made great accomplishments in the past few months, but it could be all for naught if we pull out now, and abandon this nation to the animals terroriizing it now. To leave it now would be the equivalent of abandoning Europe completely at the beginning of the Cold War. Yes, we made mistakes there, but we rectified them over fifty years of hard work and perseverance against the spectre of Communism.

Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress.

There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National Assembly. People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it.

Who would have thought that after years of dictatorship rule by Saddam Hussein that his people, after his ouster, were so hungry for freedom, and have embraced the concepts of it in such a short time. Yes, I did say "concepts" because all of what Sen. Lieberman just listed are concepts of freedom. The freedom to be who they are, embrace what they want to, believe what they want to, and communicate in ways that they were not able to do under the thuggish boot-heel of Hussein and his homicidal sons.

It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.

Again, Sen. Lieberman hits the nail on the head with the above statement. The terrorists going after the civilians in Iraq, and those stupid and brave enough to face our soldiers directly, are learning a valuable lesson. That would be one that Pres. Bush warned China against last week. Once freedom has been introduced, it is an extremely difficult concept to quash. The terrorists, insurgents, what have you, are learning this lesson the hard way. We will win. The Iraqi people will prevail. And they will be without any stable base to operate from.

Before going to Iraq last week, I visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel has been the only genuine democracy in the region, but it is now getting some welcome company from the Iraqis and Palestinians who are in the midst of robust national legislative election campaigns, the Lebanese who have risen up in proud self-determination after the Hariri assassination to eject their Syrian occupiers (the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah militias should be next), and the Kuwaitis, Egyptians and Saudis who have taken steps to open up their governments more broadly to their people. In my meeting with the thoughtful prime minister of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, he declared with justifiable pride that his country now has the most open, democratic political system in the Arab world. He is right.

In the face of terrorist threats and escalating violence, eight million Iraqis voted for their interim national government in January, almost 10 million participated in the referendum on their new constitution in October, and even more than that are expected to vote in the elections for a full-term government on Dec. 15. Every time the 27 million Iraqis have been given the chance since Saddam was overthrown, they have voted for self-government and hope over the violence and hatred the 10,000 terrorists offer them. Most encouraging has been the behavior of the Sunni community, which, when disappointed by the proposed constitution, registered to vote and went to the polls instead of taking up arms and going to the streets. Last week, I was thrilled to see a vigorous political campaign, and a large number of independent television stations and newspapers covering it.

And on the heels of this information (not that bloggers have not been crowing enough about the accomplishments in Iraq) all I have to say is, where is the MSM with this information. They are notably absent in presenting the FULL STORY of the success of our mission. They refuse to believe ANY good is occurring in Iraq. They would much rather look to the bad news because to their feeble minds, bad news sells. Not anymore. Much like Iraq has experienced a solid, stable revolution, so has America. The alternative media is doing it's job in getting the message out they WE ARE WINNING.

None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S. And, I am convinced, almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.

The leaders of Iraq's duly elected government understand this, and they asked me for reassurance about America's commitment. The question is whether the American people and enough of their representatives in Congress from both parties understand this. I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead.

BRAVO! Kudos to Sen. Lieberman for cutting through all the bull on both sides. This war is not about petty political opportunism! This war is about our security, and the freedom of a young nation that is about ready to stand on it's own two feet for the first time that the populace can remember. If there is any part of this piece that has the "money quotes," this is the one. BOTH sides have used this war to their political advantage. The Democrats are using it now, and have for four years, to give the president a black-eye. The GOP used it to beat the Democrats in 2002 and 2004. The problem with the GOP base is simple. "Talk is cheap." They can talk a good talk, but can they walk the walk? Right now, I'd say yes, but again, there are opportunists taking swipes and liberties with this war. This is not what this is about, and those that use it for their own benefit should be ashamed. There are consequences to our actions, and a premature withdrawal would bring us more repercussions than this nation is ready and able to handle.

Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.
That little factoid has to stick in the craw of all the resident Left in this nation stating lies about the administration, and are trying to gin up support for the antiwar movement the way they did in Vietnam. Here is a little tidbit for them to chew on about that sad, sad mentality: This is not Vietnam. WE WERE ATTACKED, DIRECTLY by our enemy. This was no dog-and-pony show. This was a definitive attack by a legitimate enemy that seemed to have a bug up their butt about something. The reasons are irrelevent when this nation falls under attack. Let that be a provision of the terms of unconditional surrender. Too many people state that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11. That may be true, however they did have ties to terrorism, and to al-Qaeda specifically. Anyone remember the adage from Machiavelli? The enemy of my enemy is my ally? Iraq may not have had anything to do with the attacks on 9-11, but no one can tell me that Saddam was shedding tears over the loss of almost 3000 american lives that day.

The leaders of America's military and diplomatic forces in Iraq, Gen. George Casey and Ambassador Zal Khalilzad, have a clear and compelling vision of our mission there. It is to create the environment in which Iraqi democracy, security and prosperity can take hold and the Iraqis themselves can defend their political progress against those 10,000 terrorists who would take it from them.

Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do. And it is important to make it clear to the American people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still but has changed over the years. Mistakes, some of them big, were made after Saddam was removed, and no one who supports the war should hesitate to admit that; but we have learned from those mistakes and, in characteristic American fashion, from what has worked and not worked on the ground. The administration's recent use of the banner "clear, hold and build" accurately describes the strategy as I saw it being implemented last week.

The mistakes. Yes, the mistakes made were bad. We have had our fair share of controversy in this war; much of it media-contrived and driven. But we must admnit simple facts, and Sen. Lieberman does. We have had our setbacks in this campaign. However, to that I ask, what war has not had such setbacks? World War II was rife with such, as was Korea and Vietnam. But again, we persevered, made the necessary changes, and proceeded according to plan. Nothing more should be asked of us. We are, indeed, sorry for those mistakes, however we are sincere in admitting them, and correcting them. We have done so. Now, it is time for the Left to get off that bandwagon, and get on board the "support America, her mission and her troops" bandwagon, and quite engaging in the borderline treason they have been involved with for quite a few months now.

We are now embedding a core of coalition forces in every Iraqi fighting unit, which makes each unit more effective and acts as a multiplier of our forces. Progress in "clearing" and "holding" is being made. The Sixth Infantry Division of the Iraqi Security Forces now controls and polices more than one-third of Baghdad on its own. Coalition and Iraqi forces have together cleared the previously terrorist-controlled cities of Fallujah, Mosul and Tal Afar, and most of the border with Syria. Those areas are now being "held" secure by the Iraqi military themselves. Iraqi and coalition forces are jointly carrying out a mission to clear Ramadi, now the most dangerous city in Al-Anbar province at the west end of the Sunni Triangle.

Nationwide, American military leaders estimate that about one-third of the approximately 100,000 members of the Iraqi military are able to "lead the fight" themselves with logistical support from the U.S., and that that number should double by next year. If that happens, American military forces could begin a drawdown in numbers proportional to the increasing self-sufficiency of the Iraqi forces in 2006. If all goes well, I believe we can have a much smaller American military presence there by the end of 2006 or in 2007, but it is also likely that our presence will need to be significant in Iraq or nearby for years to come.

Logistical support will, indeed, be needed. It is no different than what we did in post-World War II Europe and Japan. We built Germany, Italy, and Japan back up, and provided them the logistical support they needed. We also provided them with security that was unsurpassed by anyone in Europe. Why? Because we wanted it done right. We did not want to abandon any of those nations to the hardliners lying in wait for us to leave so they could seize power. We are facing much the same problem in Iraq. To withdraw now would only invite the animlas to topple what the people of Iraq have fought for already. No, we stay. We stay until the mission is complete. The "war" is over. This is security of the highest priority.

The economic reconstruction of Iraq has gone slower than it should have, and too much money has been wasted or stolen. Ambassador Khalilzad is now implementing reform that has worked in Afghanistan--Provincial Reconstruction Teams, composed of American economic and political experts, working in partnership in each of Iraq's 18 provinces with its elected leadership, civil service and the private sector. That is the "build" part of the "clear, hold and build" strategy, and so is the work American and international teams are doing to professionalize national and provincial governmental agencies in Iraq.

These are new ideas that are working and changing the reality on the ground, which is undoubtedly why the Iraqi people are optimistic about their future--and why the American people should be, too.

I cannot say enough about the U.S. Army and Marines who are carrying most of the fight for us in Iraq. They are courageous, smart, effective, innovative, very honorable and very proud. After a Thanksgiving meal with a great group of Marines at Camp Fallujah in western Iraq, I asked their commander whether the morale of his troops had been hurt by the growing public dissent in America over the war in Iraq. His answer was insightful, instructive and inspirational: "I would guess that if the opposition and division at home go on a lot longer and get a lot deeper it might have some effect, but, Senator, my Marines are motivated by their devotion to each other and the cause, not by political debates."

HOO-YAH! That is what we NEED to hear. Our troops might be a bit demoralized at the moment over the lies and deciet of the MSM, but they are motivated to continue the fight. They refuse to give up because, unlike the Left, they have not forgotten what this mission is about, and still believe in this mission! That is what we need now more than ever. Enough of that tenacity to beat back the antiwar zealots in this nation that simply do not understand this war.

Thank you, General. That is a powerful, needed message for the rest of America and its political leadership at this critical moment in our nation's history. Semper Fi.

And a personal Semper Fi to each and every man and woman serving abroad, regardless of branch, from the United states, and from the Asylum; especially in this holiday season. Your sacrifice will not go unnoticed, nor will you not be missed this year. We love you. We support you. That will never change from us. Unlike those on the Left, we have learned from the lessons of the past. We do not s**t all over our troops now, and those that do are simply numb from the brain down.

The Bunny ;)

Someone Remind Me Why This Man Is In Charge?

PHILADELPHIA - Sen. Arlen Specter accused the National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles' of treating Terrell Owens unfairly and said he might refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

Specter said at a news conference Monday in Harrisburg it was "vindictive and inappropriate" for the league and the Eagles to forbid the all-pro wide receiver from playing and prevent other teams from talking to him.

"It's a restraint of trade for them to do that, and the thought crosses my mind, it might be a violation of antitrust laws," Specter said, though some other legal experts disagreed. (Yes, and I'm one of those people who disagree.)

The Eagles suspended Owens on Nov. 5 for four games without pay for "conduct detrimental to the team, and deactivated him with pay on Sunday after the suspension ended.

Arbitrator Richard Bloch said last week the team's actions were supported by the labor agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association.

"The arbitrator's decision is consistent with our collective bargaining agreement, and it simply enforced the terms of the player's contract," Greg Aiello, an NFL spokesman, said Monday.

"To have an antitrust violation, you have to have a contract or conspiracy in restraint of trade," said Robert McCormick, a law professor at Michigan State University.

Matthew J. Mitten, director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University, said, "We're in the labor arena, not antitrust."

Specter emphasized that he was "not a supporter of Terrell Owens."

"I am madder than hell at what he has done in ruining the Eagles' season," the Pennsylvania Republican said. "I think he's in flagrant breach of his contract and I believe the Eagles would be within their rights in not paying him another dime or perhaps even suing him for damages."

But Specter said, "I do not believe, personally, that it is appropriate to punish him (by forcing him to sit out the rest of the season). He's not committed a crime, he's committed a breach of contract. And what they're doing against him is vindictive."

OK, I'm not too happy that this three-ring circus is even considered "news worthy," and I wouldn't touch on it were it not for "Snarling" Arlen Specter sticking his nose into an issue that is none of his business. Now, let me make this perfectly clear before I go any further.

I'm a hockey fan. That's what I know. I pay half-attention to baseball and football, and ZERO attention to basketball. The only controlling factor in this whole debacle that Sen. Specter seems to have forgotten is Terrell Owens breached his contract. According to the team, and the arbitrator, there were provisions in his contract that were directly connected to his behavior on the Philadelphia Eagles. This stems from his antics of the past involving the San Francisco 49ers where he accused Jeff Garcia of being "gay."

Terrell Owens is a cancer in any locker room, and is the sort of athlete that has no concept of what constitutes a team in sports. And quite frankly, this whole mess is much ado about nothing. Terrell Owens is ticked that the team has the right to do what they're doing to him. And for Sen. Specter to decide to tackle this issue is disturbing.

Sen. Sepcter is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This committee has enough on it's plate already, including the Patriot Act, several other circuit and appellate court nominees, and let's not forget Judge Alito. Sen. Specter claimed that the committee was too busy to get to Judge Alito now, and pushed off the nomination until after the first of the year. He assured America and the president that January was the soonest they could get to Judge Alito. NOW, he seems to think he has some time to address this.

I'm sick of this worthless RINO. The base warned Frist and those leaders in the Senate that Specter couldn't be trusted with the responsibility of being the chairman. They poo-pooed us off, and said they had him under control, and he'd play nice.

This is under control? Sen. Specter doesn't seem to get the fact that this has nothing to do with anything involving antitrust. This is a labor dispute between an employee and an employer. They can work this out. Further, as I stated above, this is about the breach of contract initiated by Terrell Owens' antics. Sen. Specter says he thinks Owens is being treated unfairly. If I were hired by an employer--under contract, mind you--and I violated a provision of that contract, how long do you all think I'll have my job? I doubt it'll be long.

I want the GOP leadership in the Senate to either rein in this old fool, or take away his chairmanship. If he's not going to do his job they way he's supposed to be, then it's time for him to go. And as for Terrell Owens, I can honestly say that the Eagles won't miss this cancer when he's finally gone.

Publius II

Monday, November 28, 2005

Irrelevance: Her Fifteen Minutes Of Fame Are Gone

Yes, I am referring to Mother Sheehan. How these photos got out into the open, no one will ever know. (Follow the link below.) She was back in Crawford, TX to launch Phase Two of her Left-leaning, antic-laden sideshow while the president and his family enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving vacation. (Hat-tip: Hugh Hewitt)

http://www.sweetness-light.com/archive/mother-sheehans-book-signing/ (The pics are here)

Mother Sheehan is finished. She cannot attract the people she used to be able to in Crawford, at the Crawford Peace House. Now whether this is the sheer fact that even those Left-leaning moonbats have the attention span of a nano-second, or they bore easily, it does not really matter for her. She is done.

And though I may take some flak for this, but I am going to say it nonetheless. I feel sorry for her.

Now, do not get me wrong here. I do not like what she did, the accusations she threw out against the president or the administration, or our troops for that matter. However, this woman showed precisely what happens when fame goes to one's head. She willingly accepted any and all help from those on the antiwar Left, and never questioned what would happen when her time came to move on.

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. I wonder what words are going through her mind in these photos. These photos are a stark contrast to the protests she was a part of in DC, and the original one in Crawford. The difference, at least in Crawford now, is that they cannot pitch tents on public land. They are on private land now, and the state troopers cannot do anything to them about where they decide to "squat." That may be another reason why people are not showing up. No one really wants the police hassles. Last week, about two dozen protesters showed up outside Pres. Bush's ranch, and were eventually arrested or dispersed.

One man threatened to bring a lawsuit against the state of Texas over the state troopers doing their job, and enforcing the law. He claims his First Amendment rights were violated. Welcome to the party pal; protesters for years have been curtailed from public places. I wonder if he remembers when the Congress, under Pres. Clinton, passed legislation making it illegal to interfere with someone going into an abortion clinic (interfering was included in that bill as speaking to them), and that anti-abortion protesters had to be at least 100 feet from the building. Do not blame the state of Texas for enacting a city ordinance stating you cannot protest somewhere. The three-ring circus that was brought there the last time was enough for the state to step in.

But back to Mother Sheehan, she truly looks pathetic. In the third photo, she looks like she is about ready to cry. I would love to know hoe she maintained her composure with the photo-journalists snapping away, and she had no one to sign books to. I mean, I really have to feel sorry for her. She lost her son, and she was hurting for it, but then the Left got a hold of her, and twisted her. I can understand a parent asking the president "why did my son or daughter die in this war? What purpose does it serve?" I can understand that because I am sure that is how many families feel with they have lost loved ones abroad.

I do hope that I will never experience that. I know it could happen. My brother is not flipping pancakes in a mess tent, nor is he filing paperwork in some office. He is a United States Army Ranger. His butt is on the line everyday. And one of these days, I might get the phone call from my mother letting me know he was killed. I cannot even begin to imagine such a day. But, for that briefest of moments, I could relate to Mother Sheehan. However, I doubt I would go as certifiably nuts as she did.

I would not be blaming the president for his death.

I would not demean and impugn the honor and integrity of our troops serving in harm's way.

I would not accuse the president of being a terrorist and a war criminal.

That is not me in any way. I understand war all too well. I know that people die, and many times, they are the people we love the most. It happens. There is no rhyme or reason to it. And people like Mother Sheehan can have all the pent-up rage and anger for the president that they want, but it changes nothing. She cannot bring her son back, and lashing out at everyone--friends, family, and strangers alike--is hardly the answer.

Worst of all for Mother Sheehan in these pictures is that I will wager there is one thing running through that nutty little mind of hers.

"Is this what it's like to be used by others?" Yes, Mother Sheehan it is. To the Left you were nothing more than a Kleenex: Soft, absorbant, and disposable. And you have just been tossed in the trash.

The Bunny ;)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

And They Have The AUDACITY To Ask Why We Still Fight?

Everyone knows that I'm just about fed up with the Left in their miniscual power. From lying about our troops, to embracing propoganda of the enemy, to calling for a withdrawal, the Left has perpetually and continuously attemtped to hamper the efforts of this nation while we are at war. Such actions during World War II would have prompted calls for a prosecution on the charge of treason. In fact, after a particularly scathing critical article, FDR ordered a reporter arrested, and his advisors refused to carry out the order. I pray to God we'll never reach that level, and that is why the frontlines of this fight--the one here at home and the one abroad--are as important as ever.

As you can see, I'm none too happy. And many by now are questioning what bug crawled up my butt. Have a look for yourself.

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2005/11/toy-stories.html (Trust me, don't blow this link off. Don't miss what this says, and don't miss what it shows.)

A lot of people accuse me of never being emotional enough, or not getting emotional enough about the right things. Well, ladies and gentlemen, frankly I'm pretty p****d.

These animals that we are fighting in Iraq have not only decided to attack the civilian populace, but to target children. Exactly: Being unsuspecting suicide bombers. These animals stuck grenades and explosives in toys. IN TOYS! These sadistic people--the ones the Left unsuspectingly or knowingly protects, the ones the antiwar zealots are helping--are deliberately setting out to kill not only civilians, but children. I DARE anyone on the Left to present me with a solid, factual account when our soldiers EVER committed an act this heinous. And no, don't cite My Lai. I'm talking currently here, not history. My Lai was atrocious, but it was entirely isolated. There were no rampant abuses and crimes committed as John Kerry alledged in his 1971 testimony before the Fulbright Committee.

And likewise is the truth with this war. Abu Ghraib, while deplorable to some was not seen as a big incident to many. Know why? The humiliation shown to those prisoners was nothing compared to what they'd like to do to us. I've heard quite a few people state that this is the US against a single religion. I disagree. A solid act of evil by this nation against Muslims might incite such a change in enemy. But we're not dealing with the religion. We're dealing with a serious group of extremists. These people only live to eradicate us because they believe we're infidels. Hey I'm not proud of everything I did, but I hardly consider myself an infidel.

Regardless of the long-winded diatribe fueled by some nasty emotion right now, the point is simple. For those that think this war is wrong, take a look at the father cradling his child in his arms as they were exiting the hospital yesterday. And this is what the news reported about that incident later within the article. Burn this in your memory because this is the depth our enemy is willing to stoop to.

The dolls were found in a car, each one containing a grenade or other explosive, said an army statement. The government said that two men driving the car had been arrested in the western Baghdad district of Abu Ghraib.

"This is the same type of doll as that handed out on several occasions by US soldiers to children," said government spokesman Leith Kubba.

Another step in their strategy. Another effort to turn the populace against us. And yet more effort to utilize their primary weapon: Fear. In my opinion, ladies and gentlemen, Fear is a weapon we can use just as effectively without resorting to the cowardly tactics of our enemy.

Publius II

Slower Than Ever...

(Hat-tip: Captain's Quarters) http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/005841.php

Today "Slow" Joe Biden had an op-ed in the WaPo. (No, running checks show this is one he did not steal from someone else, unless you consider Democrat talking points as being stolen.)

The question most Americans want answered about Iraq is this: When will our troops come home?

We already know the likely answer. In 2006, they will begin to leave in large numbers. By the end of the year, we will have redeployed about 50,000. In 2007, a significant number of the remaining 100,000 will follow. A small force will stay behind -- in Iraq or across the border -- to strike at any concentration of terrorists.

That is because we cannot sustain 150,000 Americans in Iraq without extending deployment times, sending soldiers on fourth and fifth tours, or mobilizing the National Guard. Even if we could, our large military presence -- while still the only guarantor against a total breakdown -- is increasingly counterproductive. A liberation has become an occupation.

There is another critical question: As our soldiers redeploy, will our security interests in Iraq remain intact or will we have traded a dictator for chaos?

So what, pray tell, is Sen. Biden stating with his last question? This is the meat-and-potatoes question that has been on many people's minds, including the Democrats. But in this question is an inherent error. First to what he is stating here: I question whether Sen. Biden would prefer to have Saddam Hussein back in power. I only state because of how the question is worded. Sen. Biden, and numerous other elected representatives in Congress had to know the gravity of the president's request. We were no back to Iraq to push Saddam's forces out of another country. The president precisely stated the phrase "regime change" in his request. Did those elected reps, like Sen. Biden, think that the transition would be easy?

We were dealing with a nation that was going to be hostile to us for awhile. We went through similar times post-World War II in the former Axis nations. This is no different. We knew that his hardliners would dig in, and give us some problems. We even knew that the minimal al-Qaeda presence in Iraq, and the terror-sponsoring nations of the region, would cause havoc for us. And they have. But, this is better than what we removed.

Why do I say that? Simply put, we have witnessed three succeeding elections in a new nation where they have chosen their interim government, their parliament, and approved of their brand, new constitution. And I urge doubters to truly read that constitution. It offers freedoms much like those that our own Constitution offers us. Yes, there are differences, but Iraq is not America. Iraq has not stood on it's own for 229 years. America has, despite her numerous historical short-comings. But, that is the beauty of a free society like our own; despite the falls, we all get back up, and try again.

Further, Sen. Biden fails to see the three conditions for success in Iraq. He prances around the first two (only because he must grudgingly acknowledge and accept it), and proceeds to screw up the third.

--To depose Saddam Hussein and his genocidal regime after twelve years of defying the cease-fire accord which left him in power and seventeen UN resolutions demanding that he comply with disarmament.

--Determination and resolution of any WMD that Saddam hid away, to ensure that they do not fall into terrorist hands.

--Most importantly to the overall war on terror, to establish Iraq as a stable, secure, prefereably democratic nation that can defend itself against its neighbors and deny transit for terrorists across Southwest Asia.

And here is how Sen. Biden goes after the third point.

The third goal is to transfer authority to Iraqi security forces. In September, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. acknowledged that only one Iraqi battalion -- fewer than 1,000 troops -- can fight without U.S. help. An additional 40 can lead counterinsurgency operations with our support.

The president must set a schedule for getting Iraqi forces trained to the point that they can act on their own or take the lead with U.S. help. We should take up other countries on their offers to do more training, especially of officers. We should focus on getting the security ministries up to speed. Even well-trained troops need to be equipped, sustained and directed.

Captain Ed aptly points out that if this was the marker for success and failure, then our post-World War II efforts were a dismal failure. Now, to be fair, we put Europe in the grip of Communism for fifty years at Yalta. We sat there with Stalin and bargained away Eastern Europe. Fine, our mistake. We corrected that mistake, step-by-step, throughout the Cold War. From the Berlin Airlift to the Vietnam War, we engaged--actively and openly--Communist regimes in Europe and across the globe. And eventually, through America tenacity and hard work, we eventually finished off the Soviet Empire; Pres. Reagan dealing the death blow at Reyjkavik.

The scedule would not be a bad thing, but Congress is never told. These fools cannot keep to keep their lips shut for love or money. These idiots would be the first ones to blab the information, tipping off our enemy, and making all the work we have put into this new nation all for naught. I am almost positive, from reading this editorial, that Sen. Biden would prefer to see a revisitiation of Vietnam--that lone chopper taking refugees off the roof of the American Embassy amidst the chaos below them.

No, we will stay this course. We will abide by the timetable the administration has set, not the one Congress wants to set. The president is the commander-in-chief of all American military forces. He calls the shots, not Congress. Congress' two primary jobs during a war footing is: Approve or deny the call to go to war, and approve or deny the funding for the war. The last thing Congress wants to try right now is cutting off the funding. I can envision a multitude of citizens descending on DC very irate at them for doing something like that. Besides, these fools know they are about to enter an election cycle. That would not be good for the individual representative, or for their party.

Sen. Biden has best stick to doing what he does best. That would be...um, give me a minute.

Oh hell, just let him run for president again so we can laugh when he falls on his face again. But this editorial is precisely the reason why his party should NEVER be allowed to deal with our national security again. They are misguided, foolish, and overall, their inept. They refuse to accept that there is a difference between good and evil in this world, and that sort of stupidity cannot be accepted in a leadership position of this nation. It is simply too dangerous, and we should thank Sen. Biden for making that clear to mainstream America.

The Bunny;)

Friday, November 25, 2005

My Favorite Guests On Hugh's Show

As many of our regular readers know, both of us listen to Hugh Hewitt's show. And while Hugh and I have our differences (for the most part, we're pretty close on a lot of things) there is one set of guests on his show that we never miss. That would be "The Smart Guys," John Eastman from Chapman law school, and Erwin Chemerinsky from duke law school. This week's hot topics? Jose Padilla, and Michael Newdow.

HH: The Smart Guys are here. Erwin Chemerinsky from Duke University Law School, John Eastman from Chapman University Law School. They usually hold forth on matters Constitutional. Erwin Chemerinsky, good to have you. Happy Thanksgiving to you both. Erwin, let's start with the significance of the Padilla indictment yesterday.

EC: Well, I think it's enormously significant, because it means that no longer is he treated as an enemy combatant. It now means he's being prosecuted as a criminal. And my question is why did the government wait three and half years? Whey didn't they do this, rather than waiting for just a few days before the reply is due in the United States Supreme Court?

HH: John Eastman, my answer to that would be that they wanted to maintain as much control over the intelligence damage he might do, until such time as he was rendered useless. What do you think?

JE: Well, I think that's right. And the intelligence forces will tell you, a couple of years on these guys, given the length of the planning, is not unreasonable. Now Padilla was held by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to be lawfully detained as an enemy combatant, that it was within the president's power to do that. But that doesn't mean that he hasn't also violated criminal laws, and that we can treat him in the criminal system as well as in the combatant system. And that's what their decision to do yesterday was.

I'd like to point out here that Hugh is correct. We have no idea the information the government has gleamed from Padilla, and they're going to charge him based on the assumption that these charges won't blow any other operative in the field working against people like Padilla. John's right, as well. The length of time involved in holding Padilla is a moot point. He was arrested by federal agents, after an extensive investigation, and has been held as an enemy combatant. Why? The man admitted, in his interrogation, that he was supposed to detonate a dirty bomb in America for al-Qaeda. They have tracked his movements to Afghanistan, and have other detainees corroborating that Padilla did have contact with al-Qaeda "commanders" over there in the training camps. The man was an enemy combatant.

HH: Now, I'd like...

EC: Can I respond to that?

HH: Go ahead.

EC: The reason I think it's outrageous is maybe holding him several months, maybe a year, but three and a half years. And it's not coincidental to me that they waited until right before they were going to have to file an opposition to the Supreme Court. But what neither of you have recognized is, is that when the Padilla case was last in the Supreme Court, five justices clearly indicated that the government had no authority to hold an American citizen, apprehended in the United States, as an enemy combatant. I think they charged him for one and only one reason, because it was clear that five justices were going to vote against them in the Supreme Court.

HH: Now Erwin, that might be true, and they may have done the prudent thing as statesmen do, by refusing to set that precedent. But I've also just got to take you to school a little bit on this. I did do intelligence, and methods and sources can be compromised, many decades after they are there. And if Padilla's treason was known to us, via method or source that was still operational, that may come out in trial, we will have done great damage to the United States. It simply is, you cannot know and I cannot know what happened.

Check, Erwin. The US government decided to do the prudent thing. Instead of allowing the Supreme Court to set yet another dangerous precedent regarding the war powers of the president. They set such a precedent in Hamdan, and in Rasul. These precdents called for enemy combatants--foreign combatants--to be allowed the same Constitutional protections that citizens possess. That's wrong. It's just plain wrong. These aren't "anchor babies." These aren't naturalized citizens. These are enemy combatants, from foreign soil, caught on the battlefield during a time of war. They don't fall under the normal guidelines set by the Geneva Convention for prisoners of war. They are, in effect, illegal combatants, neither flying a national flag, or in a recognized uniform. They have no protections within the framework of the Constitution.

JE: And I think it's significant that one of the charges in the indictment does not include the charge for which he was initially detained, and that is the conspiracy to detonate a dirty bomb in the United States. That may well be the most sensitive of the charges, as far as the intelligence revealing would go.

And I believe I just made that point above. The operatives/methods involved in capturing Padilla may still be in the field, and being used. To reveal those people/methods in an open court would seriously undermine the ability of the government to prosecute this war, and those combatants--uniformed or not--attempting to do this nation harm.

HH: Erwin?

EC: Or it may be that there's no evidence to support it. What neither of you again are recognizing is that except for Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War, in acts that were declared unconstitutional, there is no precedent for the president ever saying that an American citizen, apprehended in the United States, for a crime planned in the United States, for the president who was going to suspend the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments. And I think it's outrageous the government did it in the first place. If they were going to charge him, they should have charged him long ago, not keeping him three and a half years without applying the most basic rules of the Constitution.

JE: Erwin, I can't let that go unanswered...

HH: Go ahead.

JE: ...because we've gone around on this several times, and the fact of the matter is, it's just flat-out false. There was an American citizen, one of the eight conspirators, German saboteurs, that was detained on U.S. soil, and the detention, and subsequent prosecution in a military tribunal of a U.S. citizen, was upheld in Ex Parte Quirin.

Ouch. Check and mate. John's right. Ex Parte Quirin was a very famous case that occurred during World War II, and the FDR administration had no problem with holding that citizen, without their Constitutional protections, prior to actually charging them. And I'll cite part of that decision below for those unfamiliar with it.

"…the law of war draws a distinction between the armed forces and the peaceful populations of belligerent nations and also between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful. The spy who secretly and without uniform passes the military lines of a belligerent in time of war, seeking to gather military information and communicate it to the enemy, or an enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property, are familiar examples of belligerents who are generally deemed not to be entitled to the status of prisoners of war, but to be offenders against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals."

Padilla clearly falls under the lines distinguished above. He was an enemy combatant, on US soil, with the intent of committing an act of terrorism in Chicago. His actions were no different than those of the German saboteurs in Ex Parte Quirin. Therefore, he is afforded the same leeway they were. He should be tried in a military tribunal. The problem is that the administration doesn't want him going that route for fear of the intelligence that might be released on how they caught him, or how they learned about his plot.

HH: All right. Now I want to move to something else, because it was discussed at length today on my colleague, Michael Medved's show, with Mike Newdow, the atheist who wants In God We Trust off of our currency, and Under God out of the Pledge. And he objected to the Thanksgiving proclamations, which have been a ritual, and a good one in the United States, invoking the Creator and God from our very founding as a Constitutional republic. John Eastman, Newdow is right on his logic, but wrong on the establishment clause, isn't he?

JE: Well, let me...he's crazy on his logic. Unfortunately, it's consistent with Justice O'Connor's logic on the establishment clause, the key swing vote here. But look, my kids and I read Washington's Thanksgiving proclamation every year at Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful national prayer. And every president, except for Thomas Jefferson, has issued such Thanksgiving proclamations, urging their fellow citizens to give thanks to the Almighty God, who bestowed on us our blessings of liberty. Almost every state constitution in the country has similar language to that in their constitutional preambles. The notion that a reference to God, even when done in public documents, is unconstitutional, is pretty preposterous. And I hope ultimately, the Supreme Court will take one of these Newdow cases, and correct their own precedent that has given him even a colorable claim to make in these crazy arguments.

His logic is consistent with Justice O'Connor's, which is totally whacked. The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from endorsing a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise of a religion. As I have stated before in other posts regarding my understanding of the Establishment Clause, the mere invocation of God is not an endorsement of a religion because God is not a religion. He is a belief. It is the belief of those adhering to that belief system (Judeo-Christianity) that God is the supreme deity. If our money read: "In Buddah we Trust," or "In Allah we Trust," or even "in Elohim we Trust," then Newdow might have an argument. Buddah, Allah, and Elohim are all established deities/prophets recognized by specific religions.

HH: Erwin?

EC: I think when you're dealing with a Thanksgiving proclamation, you're dealing very differently than Michael Newdow's objection to Under God in the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. The reason is, the Thanksgiving proclamation does go back to the very beginning of American history. It doesn't involve children in schools, and it's much more akin to what even Justice O'Connor called ceremonial deism. So while John and I have very different views of the establishment clause and what it means, I think with regard to the Thanksgiving proclamation, the Courts are likely to uphold it. It isn't that big a deal.

That's the first smart thing that Erwin's said, thus far. The proclamation does, indeed, abide by the test the Supreme Court has established to verify whether such an invocation falls under the Eastblishment Clause. It is rooted in the history of this nation, and it's traditions. It's been given by every president (except Jefferson) since the founding of the nation. So, yes, the court's should uphold the proclamation, and toss out any lawsuit challenging it.

HH: But Erwin, doesn't the logic of Justice O'Connor's endorsement theory actually oblige the Court to strike down Thanksgiving proclamations? I think that's John's point.

EC: Not at all, because I think what Justice O'Connor also does is say there is such a thing as ceremonial deism. There is a situation in which we can invoke religion, not because the government is endorsing religion, but because it's part of a ceremony. And context is everything in that regard. I think Under God in the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is clearly unconsitutional, because of the nature of public schools. I think a president's Thanksgiving proclamation, given the history of it, tracing back to George Washington, is something then again.

Again, an invocation of God is not an endorsement of religion. To place the Pledge and "In God We Trust" issue separate from the proclamation is foolish. Whereas, yes, neither of the latter were consistently traditional in this nation, the argument is the same. The Thanksgiving proclamationis no more an endorsement of religion as either of the other two things. And further, both the Pledge and "In God We Trust" were added to both items (Under God for the Pledge, and the inscriptionon our money) as an acknowledgement of the founding of this nation. We only need to look at the Constitutions of the thirteen original states, and others that were admitted to the Union later, and to the Declaration of Independence to see where we received our founding wisdom from. The Founding Fathers believed their wisdom and strength came from God, and in the 1950s, this nation finally acknowledged that simple fact by two little acts.

HH: John Eastman?

JE: Well, yeah. So let's add In God We Trust on the coin. I mean, that's an endorsement of religion, a particularly theistic view. It's on the public document, or the public property that everybody uses every single day. That's the newest suit from Newdow. And under Justice O'Connor's endorsement test, which I think is a preposterous misunderstanding of the establishment clause, the In God We Trust language on our currency is unconstitutional. And Michael Newdow is playing out the logic of her opinions to the full understanding of them. And I hope the Court takes the opportunity to fix this ridiculous line of thinking.

HH: And gentlemen, on that note, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to both of you. You're one of the great celebrations of freedom in the United States. We come and clobber each other in this way each week, and I appreciate your service and your contributions very much. Happy Thanksgiving.

It's fun to listen to this banter, and I have great respect for all three legal minds. I even respect Erwin, but I think he's just wrong-headed on so many issues. The neat thing is hearing when Hugh and John slam the door on him over his lack of understanding of the founding document. As I have stated before, I'm no lawyer, but I have a firm grasp of the Constitution, what it means, and how it keeps being misinterpreted by the high court and people like Erwin.

Publius II

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