Technorati Tags: Let Freedom Ring blog, Author: Gary Gross
The Blog Where Pursuing Liberty Is Everything And Where Truth And Logic Prevail
CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer lashed out at the U.S. military on Sunday, saying top generals need to "stop blaming the media" for negative coverage of the Iraq war. Closing his broadcast Sunday with a commentary on reports that Iraq has descended into civil war, Schieffer urged: "What must stop is the ongoing government effort to sugar coat [the lack of progress in Iraq], trying to blame it on the media or saying it's all going very, very well, as our top general Peter Pace did last week."The reality is Mr. Schieffer's colleagues in the Agenda Media haven't gotten much right about the supposed Iraqi civil war. The truth is that Ralph Peters exposed their failings for all the world to see. The truth is that Jack Kelly exposes them in his Sunday column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, aptly titled "All Bad News, All the Time". For Schieffer to accuse Pete Pace of sugarcoating what's going on in Iraq is shameful.
"Much of the reporting has exaggerated the situation," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday. "The number of attacks on mosques had been exaggerated. The number of Iraqi deaths had been exaggerated. The behavior of the Iraqi security forces had been mischaracterized." For instance, The Washington Post reported on Feb. 25 that 120 Sunni mosques had been attacked in retaliation for the destruction of the Golden Mosque, holy to the Shiites. In a March 3 news conference, Gen. George Casey, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said:This is breathtakingly awful reporting. In fact, it's a stretch to call it reporting. It's more like fiction because it's got nothing to do with factual things. And this is just one thing that I can cite. Earlier I mentioned Ralph Peters' reporting. There's no better example of the media getting things wrong than Col. Peters' reporting. His mocking them saying:
"We can confirm attacks on about 30 mosques around the country, with less than 10 of those mosques moderately damaged, and only two or three severely damaged. We visited eight mosques (in Baghdad) that were reportedly damaged. We found one broken window in those eight mosques."
"I’m trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it. Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills. And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn't stoop in such an hour of crisis."That's called sticking the knife in deep, then twisting it ever so slowly as you extract it. That type of report lays open the Agenda Media's willful disregard for the truth. There couldn't have been any fact-checking back at the office. There couldn't have been any true investigating on the reporter's behalf that led the NY Times to conclude that Iraq had descended into civil war.
When I tell people about my plans for my (hypothetical) children, I invariably hear the same infratentorial objection, which is that they won't "socialize" properly. No one ever tells me that home schooling will stifle my children's academic ability. The stereotype is quite the opposite: home schoolers are smart but socially inept.Thus we see why more people homeschool now than ever before. Now we see why most conservatives throw their hands up in disgust over exhorbitant funding with precious few results. It's simply a matter of priorities. It seems to me that teaching kids things that are important in building a base of knowledge is far more important than teaching them social skills. With knowledge comes power is a cliche that most people my age understand and accept.
The standard (though rarely articulated) definition of successful socialization is to "fit in" with a lot of immature little savages raised by television, video games, and the internet. Spending at least 35 hours a week, nine months of the year, with 20-30 kids of one's own age (with a harried adult supervising) is the antithesis of what is needed in order to learn how to function in society. Give me the shut-in homeschoolers any day; from their family and their books, they will at least have some notion of life beyond their cohort and how to interact with it.Don't read this as an unqualified endorsement of the homeschooling system. Insetad, see it for what it is: a disparaging indictment against the teacher union regressive system that children are currently trapped in. As for social skills, the truth is that the culture in schools is alarming.
"all the time they must have been betting that they would not get caught taking their thirty pieces of silver and selling out the millions who believed them. [But] they were wrong."This isn't just another looney left hate website. They're looney alright but they're far from ordinary. Here's the link to Defcon's Advisory Board staff.
When the Chicago Tribune searched for Plame on an Internet service that sells public information about private individuals to its subscribers, it got a report of more than 7,600 words. Included was the fact that in the early 1990s her address was "AMERICAN EMBASSY ATHENS ST, APO NEW YORK NY 09255."This article begs the questions: When Andrea Mitchell said that Plame's identity was "common knowledge", was she lying? Or is she lying when she changed her tune after the Libby indictment that it wasn't "common knowledge"? Why should we think that Plame's identity was secret to most of official Washington?
A former senior American diplomat in Athens, who remembers Plame as "pleasant, very well-read, bright," said he had been aware that Plame, who was posing as a junior consular officer, really worked for the CIA. According to CIA veterans, U.S. intelligence officers working in American embassies under "diplomatic cover" are almost invariably known to friendly and opposition intelligence services alike. "If you were in an embassy," said a former CIA officer who posed as a U.S. diplomat in several countries, "you could count 100 percent on the Soviets knowing."
"Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav leader who orchestrated the Balkan wars of the 1990s and was on trial for war crimes, was found dead in his prison cell near The Hague, the U.N. tribunal said Saturday. Milosevic, 64, apparently died of natural causes, a tribunal press officer said. He was found dead in his bed at the U.N. detention center."Yet another instance in which Kofi Annan's 'cooler heads must prevail' approach yields miserable results.
A figure of beguiling charm and cunning ruthlessness, Milosevic was a master tactician who turned his country's defeats into personal victories and held onto power for 13 years despite losing four wars that shattered his nation and impoverished his people.Most sociopaths and mass murderers share those traits. He chose to combine the two, making him one of the most evil men in the 20th century.
A new survey reveals that only about one in four Americans can name at least two of the First Amendment's five freedoms: freedom of the press, religion, speech and assembly, as well as the right to petition government for redress of grievances. But 52 percent can name two or more members of TV's "Simpsons." More than 20 percent of Americans actually think the First Amendment gives us the right to own and raise pets! We shouldn't be shocked. Americans', especially young Americans', woeful ignorance of history and civics has been documented repeatedly.It's stunning to me that people could be that ignorant of the basic foundations that this nation was built on. It's one thing to hear that people know chapter and verse about the Simpsons or other popular TV shows. It's quite another to hear them being this ignorant about things that I learned about as a high school freshman.
The good news is that Minnesota has made progress on this front. Today, our state has decent K-12 standards in American history and government. That's thanks to a successful battle to dump the Profile of Learning, a costly over 10-year experiment in "hands-on" learning. The Profile aimed to create "critical thinkers," not knowledgeable citizens. As a result, it was notoriously short on facts and long on "process." During the Profile's tenure, students at some schools could satisfy history requirements by completing "performance packages" on subjects such as non-conformity in the 1960s, instead of writing papers about major figures and events in American history.Forgive me for asking this naive question but how can you have people who are talented critical thinkers but who don't have the basic information about the subjects that prepares them for a career? It seems to me that logic can't exist apart from a detailed understanding of the topic being debated.
“Accommodating the military's message," Roberts wrote, "does not affect the law schools' speech, because the schools are not speaking when they host interviews and recruiting receptions. Unlike a parade organizer's choice of parade contingents, a law school's decision to allow recruiters on campus is not inherently expressive."It isn't until the closing that he gives them a healthy dose of his vinegar:
"Nothing about recruiting," Roberts wrote, "suggests that law schools agree with any speech by recruiters. We have held that high school students can appreciate the difference between speech a school sponsors and speech the school permits because legally required to do so, pursuant to an equal access policy. Surely students have not lost that ability by the time they get to law school."Ouch. It should be noted that not only did the Supremes strike this argument down hard, they slapped it down unanimously. I'm guessing that this case will have a chilling effect on alot of the silly court cases that are filed annually. I can't imagine that this is the type of verdict that these law professors want to be associated with.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in less than six months as leader of the Supreme Court, has turned the famously quarrelsome justices, at least for now, into a surprisingly agreeable group that is becoming known for unanimous rulings.It's too early to reach any long-lasting conclusions about the Roberts Court but I do think that the qualities we saw in his confirmation hearings are winning people over to his line of thinking. His intellect, charisma and logic make him a persuasive force on the court.
Monday's decision rejecting a free-speech challenge to having military recruiters on college campuses marked the ninth consecutive ruling in which all of the justices agreed.
The outbreak of harmony has lawyers and law professors wondering whether they are seeing a court transformed or a honeymoon for the chief justice. "I think it is a real phenomenon, and it's because of the new chief," said Georgetown University law professor Richard J. Lazarus. "As the court begins to define itself anew, there is a real effort by all of them to build a new court. And it has brought them together."
"The United States has the power to cause harm and pain," said Ali Asghar Soltanieh, a senior Iranian delegate to the IAEA. "But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll." He did not elaborate but suggested Iran was awaiting additional American moves. Diplomats accredited to the meeting and in contact with the Iranians said the statement could be a veiled threat to use oil as an economic weapon. Iran is the second-largest producer within the OPEC, and a boycott could target Europe, China or India.I've consistently maintained that sanctions likely wouldn't hurt the mullahs who run the country. They'd only hurt the average Iranian. I've also maintained that, irrespective of our troop deployments, declaring war with Iran isn't smart policy. Even if we weren't in Iraq, I'd suggest a different tack: start supplying Iranians who hate the mullahs with weapons so they can take out their own government.
The White House dismissed the rhetoric out of Tehran. "I think that provocative statements and actions only further isolate Iran from the rest of the world," White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters traveling with President Bush to the Gulf Coast. "And the international community has spelled out to Iran what it needs to do."
John Bolton, America's ambassador to the United Nations, said Iran's comments showed how much of a menace it was. "Their threats show why leaving a country like that with a nuclear weapon is so dangerous," he told The Associated Press in a phone call from Washington. Bolton classified the Iranian comments as "reflecting their determination to acquire weapons."
A group of well-connected Democrats led by a former top aide to Bill Clinton is raising millions of dollars to start a private firm that plans to compile huge amounts of data on Americans to identify Democratic voters and blunt what has been a clear Republican lead in using technology for political advantage.This type of operation will cause a split in the Democratic Party. Not because of the data-mining but because the DNC won't have access to the names on this database. I wonder what the FEC will say to the fact that this private company is built to help Hillary. Would this firm sell names to Hillary? Would they just develop the list for Hillary? It seems to me that if they just gave the names to Hillary that that would constitute a campaign contribution. It seems to me that 'selling' Hillary those names below cost would similarly constitute a campaign contribution.
The effort by Harold Ickes, a deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House and an adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), is prompting intense behind-the-scenes debate in Democratic circles. Officials at the Democratic National Committee think that creating a modern database is their job, and they say that a competing for-profit entity could divert energy and money that should instead be invested with the national party.
Ickes and others involved in the effort acknowledge that their activities are in part a vote of no confidence that the DNC under Chairman Howard Dean is ready to compete with Republicans on the technological front. "The Republicans have developed a cadre of people who appreciate databases and know how to use them, and we are way behind the march," said Ickes, whose political technology venture is being backed by financier George Soros. "It's unclear what the DNC is doing. Is it going to be kept up to date?" Ickes asked, adding that out-of-date voter information is "worse than having no database at all."
Finally, I agree with Captain Ed when he said "This puts Democratic candidates in a real bind; normally they would work with their elected leadership to coordinate voter strategy and outreach. However, now they will have to choose between that official leadership and this shadow elite that wants to use Soros' money to bypass the party's official management."The truth is that the Clintonistas have hated Dr. Dean from the beginning. This is just the latest stick in Dean's eye from the Clintonistas.
What actually happened last week, as the prophets of doom in the media prematurely declared civil war?Prophets of doom is an apt description for the Agenda Media. First, they won't leave their hotels so they're getting second-hand information (at best). To make matters worse is that they don't have a way of verifying the accuracy of the information that their Iraqi 'helpers' are feeding them. Finally, and worst of all, they don't try finding out anything about the total picture in Iraq.
- The Iraqi army deployed over 100,000 soldiers to maintain public order. U.S. Forces remained available as a backup, but Iraqi soldiers controlled the streets.
- Iraqi forces behaved with discipline and restraint, as the local sectarian outbreaks fizzled, not one civilian had been killed by an Iraqi soldier.
- Time and again, Iraqi military officers were able to defuse potential confrontations and frustrate terrorist hopes of igniting a religious war.
- Forty-seven battalions drawn from all 10 of Iraq's army divisions took part in an operation that, above all, aimed at reassuring the public. The effort worked, from the luxury districts to the slums, the Iraqis were proud of their army.
AS a result of its nationwide success, the Iraqi army gained tremendously in confidence. Its morale soared. After all the lies and exaggerations splashed in your direction, the truth is that we're seeing a new, competent, patriotic military emerge. The media may cling to its image of earlier failures, but last week was a great Iraqi success.Hallelujah and Hooray!!! Good for them, too!!! This can't be seen as anything other than a major positive development. No need for qualifiers. Let's hope that these troops keep improving, keep gaining in confidence and keeping building their morale. It sounds like these soldiers are brimming with pride and patriotism, too. Good for them.
This matters. Not only for Iraq's sake, but because standing up a responsible military subordinate to an elected civilian government is the essential development that will allow us to reduce our troop presence in the next few years. Much remains to do, and much could still go wrong, but I, for one, am more optimistic after this visit to Baghdad.
Let's go deeper and probe into the growth of Iraq's army. On Saturday, The Post conducted an exclusive interview with the commander of Iraq's ground forces. It was Lt.-Gen. Abdul Qadir's first sit-down with the press, he's been a busy man.This is an incredible man. Iraqis should be thankful that he's in a leadership position. Just standing up to Saddam must've taken an incredible amount of courage. Now he's training and leading forces. I can only imagine that these soldiers are well-trained and full of pride. I'll guarantee you won't read this account in the NY Times; I'd doubt if we'd hear Sen. Biden admitting anything like this.
The general looks like a vigorous, good-natured grandfather in uniform. But his affable dignity masks a heroic past. An armor officer with extensive battlefield experience, Qadir stood up to Saddam, stating that his adventure in Kuwait was destined to fail. The reward for his integrity, the patriotism of the honest soldier, was seven years in prison. Only his history of combat valor saved him from death. Now Saddam's in prison and Qadir's determined to build a better Iraq.
Chevron, the country's second-largest petroleum producer, told Wall Street analysts concerned about the company's growth that daily output would rise from 2.5 million barrels per day of oil equivalent in 2005 to 3.1 million barrels per day by 2010. By 2008, daily output would be about 2.9 million barrels per day. "We as a company are doing a lot about supply," O'Reilly said in response to a reporter's question about the criticism the industry has faced from Congress over soaring gasoline prices and tight supplies.Anyone wanna bet that the environmentalists scream bloody murder on this?
Violence following the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra two weeks ago "proved" that, this time, for sure, America's mission to Iraq was ending in ignominy. "IRAQ - BREAKING POINT," screamed a Time magazine cover last week. "This is it," the magazine quoted one Sunni pol saying. "This is the start of the civil war." A front-page New York Times headline proclaimed: "Political Talks Are in Ruins." Yet, 48 hours later, the once-upon-a-time paper of record reported: "Iraqi Sunni Bloc To Rejoin Talks on Government." So much for "ruins."
Equally reckless was The Washington Post's report that some 1,300 people died in the week-long violence after the shrine-bombing. A review by Editor and Publisher magazine of news-service accounts found no evidence to support that number. "When our correspondent examined the books at the morgue, he could find only about 250 bodies logged in as killed in the violence," the E&P story quoted a Knight Ridder editor saying. Iraq's Cabinet said 379 people were killed.
Democrats fear that more Americans would support Bush and the war effort if they believed there was. The career professionals, with their many years of training in the subtleties of the Middle East, have developed a vested interest in the notion that religious Wahhabis like al-Qaida could never collaborate with a secular tyrant like Saddam.In other words, Democrats repeat the lie because they don't want people believing that the President. To them, it's all about regaining their seats of power. It isn't about setting policy based on facts. Here's what the Senate Intelligence Committee wrote in its report:
(U) The briefing slides contained a "Summary of Known Iraq -al-Qaida Contacts, 1990-2002," including an item "2001: Prague IIS Chief al-hi meets with Mohammed Atta in April." Another slide was entitled "Fundamental Problems with How Intelligence Community is Assessing Information." It faulted the IC for requiring "juridical evidence" for its findings. It also criticized the IC for "consistent underestimation" of efforts by Iraq and al-Qaida to hide their relationship and for an "assumption that secularists and Islamists will not cooperate." A "findings" slide summed up the Iraq -al-Qaida relationship as "More than a decade of numerous contacts," "Multiple areas of cooperation," "Shared interest and pursuit of WMD,” and "One indication of Iraq coordination with al-Qaida specifically related to 9/11."Sounds to me like a connection, doesn't it? It certainly doesn't establish a connection between Saddam and 9/11 but that's another matter entirely.
Minnesota Democrats cite the 9-11 commission's report that it found no evidence of "operational" cooperation between al-Qaida and Iraq, although it did find evidence of many contacts. But, as Donald Rumsfeld likes to say, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.Then there's this:
Light on the Saddam regime's collaboration with terrorists will almost certainly be shed by analysis of some 2 million documents captured in Iraq. But, as the intrepid Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard has pointed out, almost none of those documents has been translated or released either to the public or to the congressional intelligence committees. It appears that career professionals and, perhaps, political appointees have been blocking release of these documents.It's worth noting that Stephen Hayes said that about 50,000 of these documents have been translated and already provide proof of this connection. Stephen Hayes isn't just a Johnnie-come-lately to this issue either. He's written "The Connection", which is the definitive book on this subject. Hayes has done the most extensive research on this issue and his conclusion is that there's a connection between Saddam and UBL.
Kirby showed up to a press conference wearing his white pinstriped uniform on July 12, 1996 and announced "It's the last time you're going to see Kirby Puckett in a Twins uniform."There wasn't a dry eye in the room. I suspect that there wasn't a dry eye in the TV audience, either.
"I want my young teammates to know right now that when you put this uniform on, you play with pride and integrity, like Kent Hrbek and Molly [Paul Molitor] and Knobby [Chuck Knoblauch]...Just don't take it for granted, because tomorrow is not promised to any of us."One of those "young teammates" is the man who eventually took over for Kirby, Torii Hunter. To this day, Torii's the heart and soul of the Twins. He's also the Twin that was closest to Kirby, mostly because Kirby taught him how to be a professional, partially because, in his first spring training with the big club, he was assigned the locker in between Kirby and Dave Winfield.
Instead of collapsing into sectarian strife, the brigade's area of operations had become quieter since the Samarra bombing. The people do not want any part of more violence. The zone's big event had been a thousand-man demonstration by Sunnis and Shias together at the al-Rahman Mosque, to protest the media's overreaction to the flurry of attacks that followed the bombing of the Golden Mosque.John Murtha told an all-too-willing Bob Schieffer yesterday that civil war had broken out in Iraq. He's been spouting that lie since he came out with his plan to "immediately redeploy" U.S. troops. In fact, he said that he couldn't trust Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Pete Pace in that interview.
"A prominent Sunni religious leader in Anbar province, Sheik Abed al-Latif Hemaiym, told The Times in an interview in Amman that Sunnis were prepared to work with the Americans. "We now believe we must get on good terms with the Americans," Sheik Hemaiym said. "As Arab Sunnis, we believe that within this hot area of Iraq, facing challenges from neighboring nations who want to swallow us, especially the Iranians, we feel we have no alternative."He's ignored the rebuilding projects that have been completed. (See my News from the Iraqi Theater series.)
Staff Sgt. Adam T. Navarro, an Army Reservist serving in Iraq, is a member of New York's Finest in "real life." Born in Manhattan, raised in The Bronx and now a resident of Brentwood, Officer Navarro works in Queens. He could serve as a symbol of NYC's heart and soul: A big-fisted bear with a great sense of humor, strong opinions and a fan not only of the Yankees, but of Yankee Stadium itself. (He's a Post fan, too. Back home, his morning ritual begins with the sports section.)I couldn't agree more. So much for the notion that the overwhelming majority of troops want out ASAP.
His police experience has been a great advantage in Iraq (as he puts it, "Never underestimate the value of a New York City cop"). A veteran of Bosnia, as well, he sees a common threat: No matter what the elites or the media say, "The poor are always happy to see U.S. troops." He worries that the people back home aren't getting a true picture of Iraq. Navarro's a firm believer in the mission.
Neither side was willing to give ground, according to several accounts of the meeting. Dean argued that his strategy is designed to rebuild the party across the country, and that he had pledged to do so when he ran for party chairman. Reid and Pelosi countered that if Democrats squander their opportunities this year, longer-term organizing efforts will not matter much.It seems to me that they're missing the boat. It seems to me that it's impossible to be competitive in the short term if you don't have a compelling message. It seems to me that not having a compelling agenda also shrinks fundraising appeal.
SCHIEFFER: Congressman Murtha, thank you for coming this morning, and I want to start by quoting something that General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said this morning on "Meet the Press." He said he believes the war in Iraq is going, in his words, "very, very well." What is your assessment?Why would Murtha believe Pete Pace? The better question is why would anyone trust anything that Murtha's said about Iraq? This guy's an idiot. This guy is the liar. The title of Gateway Pundit's article is 9 Lies in 90 Seconds. Check out their account for documentation of Murtha's lie-filled diatribe.
Representative JACK MURTHA (D-PA; House Appropriations Committee): Why would I believe him? I mean, that administration, this administration, including the president, had mischaracterized this war for the last two years. They, first of all, they said it will take 40,000 troops to settle this thing right after the invasion. Then they said there's no insurgency. They're dead-enders is what the secretary of defense said. On and on and on, the mischaracterization of the war. They said there's nuclear weapons. There are no nuclear weapons there. There are no biological weapons there. No al-Qaeda connection. So why would I believe the chairman of the joint chiefs when he says things are going well.