Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for the ‘The Iraq Front’ Category

McCain’s Address

Posted by Ryan on September 5, 2008

Last night I watched John McCain give his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention; watching along with more people than saw The One, himself, a week earlier, discounting PBS (McCain was on fewer networks, however).  With Pain solidifying the Right, and positioning himself in the “non-ideological center,” McCain set himself up well for garnering wide electoral appeal in the Poppin’ Fresh General Election.

I thought the speech was OK.  It was John McCain being John McCain; he was true to himself.  I was with him 80% of the time and wanted to throw something at the TV 20% of the time.  But, that’s exactly the John McCain we nominated — he’s not fully Conservative, nor a reliable Republican.  The speech dragged in the middle, but ended with a great, passionate crescendo that wooed many of my Democrat colleagues at work today — you know, the people who know nothing about politics but are told by the Union which lever to pull and loyally oblige. 

They were generally impressed.  In fact, one of them was an Obama supporter until she saw Palin’s speech and heard for the first time about McCain’s brutal Vietnam War experience last night after watching the Giants game coverage meld into the RNC speech (the timing of the game actually worked out well!).  I know she’s not alone.  The Kool-Aid Lefties at work were on the defensive today worse than I’ve seen since the testimony of David Petraeus last September indicating the success of the Surge.  It must be serious out there!

One more note: some anti-war fascists disrupted McCain’s speech a few times over a ten-minute period.  Republicans, learning from their 2004 experience with these folks, chanted “U.S.A.” to drown them out. Finally McCain had a great appropriate line: “Americans want us to stop yelling at each other…”, which drew laughs and applause.  In fact if you add up the amount of time disrupted from the 2004 Bush speech and 2008 McCain speech, that’s more speech suppression from these anti-war rubes than any free speech the Patriot Act ever squelched!  At the end of the day these anti-war crazies hurt themselves more than help, but they just might be crazy enough to hurt someone one day, so I don’t condone their self-destructive Black Shirt behavior.

AP photo.

Advertisements

Posted in Blogroll, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Petraeus: Iraq “Spiraling Upwards”

Posted by Ryan on September 3, 2008

David Petraeus indicated today that a pullout of MNF (Multi-National Forces) around the Baghdad area is probably possible by next summer due to conditions on the ground.  He also said that the area is “‘spiraling upwards’ towards normal conditions” and “it gives Iraq new hope.”  What great news from a straight-shooter and American hero who’s shown he would not deceive us for political reasons!

Before the Palin pick, General Petraeus and the increasing dividends of the successful “Surge” strategy were McCain’s best-friend and an issue I hope they return to in earnest once the Convention fever wears out sometime late next week. 

Both O’Biden and Obama were dead wrong on this issue.  And will someone in the McCain campaign please bring up O’Biden’s advocacy of the worst-thought-out foreign policy concept in a generation: splitting Iraq into a weak confederacy of three weak parts?  It wouldn’t take five minutes for civil war, regional conflict with the Kurds, Iran, and al Qaeda to plunge the region into an apocalyptic scorched-earth dead zone.  It would have truly been war without end.  Luckily, Biden wasn’t in a position to see his plan work.  Let’s keep it that way.

Posted in Election 2008, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama Whines at VFW Convention

Posted by Ryan on August 19, 2008

In sum: “John McCain called me names, waaah!” 

It’s time to call a “WAH-ambulance” for Barack Obama.  Not only did he whine about McCain’s criticism of him in front of the VFW Convention today, he got his analysis of Iraq totally wrong, and he brought this out:

“But one of the things that we have to change in this country is the idea that people can’t disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism. I have never suggested that Senator McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition. I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America’s national interest. Now, it’s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same.”

Every time a Democrat brings up someone questioning their patriotism, you the listener have to immediately assume that their patriotism is suspect.  The Dems see no difference from questioning the judgment of a candidate and questioning their love of country.  It’s been quite a psychological drama unfolding before us since 2002.  And that unfolding drama continued today!

Obama had a chance to go to the VFW and take control of the agenda, instead he basically responded to McCain’s attacks and looked small and whiny in my opinion. He’s showing himself to be a poor candidate when it comes to outreach.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Pinkerton: Divided Government Means McCain Wins

Posted by Ryan on August 10, 2008

Jim Pinkerton from “The American Conservative” has a new artcile on the Fox Forum which lays out his idea about why he thinks McCain will win in November.  His thought: because the Dems are slated to sweep Congress, McCain will be elected President so that the “divided government” concept since World War II will be continued.

I have a problem with this thesis:  the numbers don’t look good for Republicans and winning Congress will be a tough slog, but I’ve heard that every election year except 2002 — there were serious tectonic forces at work in 1994, but aside from Michael Barone few people even noticed.  So, this idea that the Republicans have no shot is nothing new and lately has been wrong most of the time.  Plus, if the Republicans actually run against the socialist Democrat agenda (rather than as Democrat-lite) then I believe this year won’t be the apocalypse some think it will be. 

With Congressional approval ratings at historic lows, why wouldn’t there be a possibility for a Republican resurgence, especially in Blue-Dog districts?  Take back those seats and the Reps have the House.  The Senate’s another issue since only 1/3 are up this year, not all in safe states.  Yet, with energy being the #1 issue for voters and the Iraq War turning the corner, Republican ideas on war and the economy are actually and substantively being vindicated less than three months before Election Day. 

In the end, I suppose the moral of this election could be either: if you think you’re going to lose, you will; or win the battle in the arena of ideas and the victory is yours.

Posted in economy, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Moqtada al Sadr Ready to Stand Down

Posted by Ryan on August 6, 2008

Little “Mullah Atari” himself, Moqtada al Sadr, has signaled that the various factions of Sadr’s Madhi Army will put down their guns and become glorified “community organizers” who will help rebuild Iraq when (or if) he issues his dictates this Friday.

Something that the above article brings home is the flood of good news out of Iraq lately:  most senior AQI (al Qaeda in Iraq) members have fled to Pakistan, US troop casualties dropped to the lowest level of the war last month, troop deployments have shrank from 15 to 12 months, Iran’s influence in the South is diminishing, and we’ll get a SOF (status-of-forces) agreement before Bush leaves office.  Add the collapse of AQI across Iraq this year and now the potential capitulation of Sadr’s Mahdi Army and at this moment the US, Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces “no longer faces any significant organized military foe in [Iraq].”

It could all change tomorrow, but for now it seems like victory is no longer an illusion, but a certainty in due course.  When looked at another point of view, the Surge has brought about the speediest and most significant tide-turning of any major military conflict since American entry into World War I ninety years ago. 

AP photo.

Posted in International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

“He Ventured Forth…”

Posted by Ryan on July 25, 2008

The latest piece from Times Online editor, American Gerard Baker, first came to my attention about an hour ago and it’s a doozy! 

His latest op-ed is absolutely awesome.  Baker takes the media’s open desire to make Barack Obama the Savior/Messiah and completely pokes fun at those who have this view (he also calls Gordon Brown, Gordon the Leper!) through colorful and biblical-style language.  I don’t think the New Yorker crowd will misunderstand this satire, but one never knows.  Here’s a sample from the beginning:

“And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.”

I wish Obama would have “ventured forth” to the wounded troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, but that would have seemed “too political.”  The Pentagon simply told him not to bring his media and campaign troglodytes, but he could go as an elected official, rather than a candidate.  He chose not to go.  However, he made it to the gym though.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Europe, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, Religion, The Iraq Front, UK Politics, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We’re Not an Obama Nation Yet, But Try Telling That to His Campaign!

Posted by Ryan on July 22, 2008

One of the major themes of Obama’s trip abroad has been trying to make him look Presidential.  In all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the trip, Obama’s people sometimes forget that he, in fact, is not yet President.  Also, sometimes they have to be reminded of that little detail a second time on the same day.

What I’ve taken from Obama’s trip thus far is that it is just an elaborate campaign event, he openly disagrees with Petraeus which makes Obama on the record being on the wrong side of history, and he’s endorsed President Bush’s and John McCain’s plan to have a phased withdrawal based loosely on benchmarks and that we need to increase US troop presence in Afghanistan.  Of course, that’s not how it’s being spun, since Obama adds the 16 month caveat, which he can rescind the moment he’s in office.  He wants to have it both ways so he doesn’t have to take any real position at all that he’ll need to stand behind — very brave, Barry, but unless you decide to cancel this Fall’s debates, you’re going to be toast.

I certainly hope there’s some kind of noticable backlash to all of this trip’s media bias and Obama’s arrogant, presumptive behavior.  He is naive, just plain wrong or elusive about national security, and isn’t good on his toes.  This man thinks he’s President already.  As they say the more inflated one’s ego, the harder the fall.

Posted in Election 2008, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama’s Media Darlings to Follow Him on Trip

Posted by Ryan on July 18, 2008

As if there was any doubt about the MSM’s Big Three network’s bias towards Barack Obama, this removes all suggestion to the contrary.  Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams, and Katie Couric are all going along on the trip!  John McCain’s been to Iraq three times since campaigning began last year (that sound you hear is crickets), and eight times total since the war began.  The MSM isn’t even trying to hide the bias anymore!

Yet, Obama hasn’t been to Iraq since January 2006 and has never visited the “real war” in Afghanistan, so all Big Three anchors will follow their clinically narcissistic and vain Good Shepherd around Europe and the Mideast, drooling, fawning, basking.  I guess that it should be big news that Obama was guilted and cornered into taking this trip… by John McCain of all people!  No mention of that in front of the Savior.  In fact, some in the MSM are blaming the McCain camp for making this a bigger story than it otherwise would have been!  So, McCain controls the media now?  Hmm.

This trip will strain one’s objective credulity worse than Greta Van Susteran’s hanging out in Aruba for months looking for Natalee Holloway — what a hard assignment that must have been: very few breaks in the story but lots and lots of sunshine!  It’ll be like watching the Big Three have spontaneous orgasms every night on TV, as they swoon over their chosen savior.  Get your V-Chips ready!  Good thing I don’t watch those networks.  I honestly don’t know anyone under 50 who does watch them more than once a week.  I’ll hear what’s going on when Brit Hume lets me know. 

What makes this whole affair worse is that Obama’s trip to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan will probably be paid for by the taxpayers since the trip is being billed as a “fact-finding mission.”  Belonging to a Union I know what it feels like to have your money going to a campaign of someone you do not like and would never vote for.  I hope people take notice of this:  that, in the words of Rush fill-in Jed Babbin, the MSM has become a very large and very powerful “527” in Obama’s favor.

Posted in Blogroll, Election 2008, Europe, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, Religion, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Finishing the “Real War” in Iraq

Posted by Ryan on July 17, 2008

There’s this story going around the AP this morning which indicates that some soldiers are longing to go to the “real war” in Afghanistan, as Iraq is becoming the more quiet of the two battlefields lately.  With violence against Coalition troops in Iraq on pace to be the lowest in years and the Dems even having to accept the Surge’s success, this story reveals two major points in my opinion: 

1.  Our soldiers are awesome, ready for a fight wherever they happen to be sent, even longing for a chance to kill the bad guys.  As professional soldiers, soldiering is their job, so I’m very glad they take pride and have enthusiasm for their work. 

2.  The AP and the MSM are essentially embracing the Democrat’s position on Iraq, that the “real” bad guys are in Afghanistan and that the fight there should be escalated quickly.  This has been their narrative for five years, stating that Iraq was a distraction from the real War on Terror, even though Bin Laden himself believes that Iraq was the central front in the War on Terror.  What does he know, right?  Nonetheless, it’s a position designed to attack Bush and the Republicans on their strongest electoral issue historically, dealing with terrorism, and it’s obviously transparent and won’t work with flip-flop Obama as their spokesman.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama Rewrites Iraq and Gets Stuck

Posted by Ryan on July 15, 2008

On the same day that Barack Obama wants to rewrite his Iraq War position while continuing to insist that his position has never fundamentally changed, the McCain campaign seized on the recurrent flip-flop issue by noticing Obama’s changing website, which has suddenly brightened up the picture in Iraq

Well, updating one’s website is normal, but updating the basic premise of an issue that garnered countless thousands of kook-fringe voters in the primaries is another thing altogether!  Obama is both insulting the rubes that voted for him, while giving McCain an opening to legitimately harp on the flip-flop motif of which the Republicans have been trying to tag Obama this last month to great effect: abortion, faith-based initiatives, Iraq itself, gun rights, etc. are all part of the evidence!

Furthermore, Obama’s people are making a really dumb political move by allowing this speech without protest.  Insisting that he give an Iraq/Afghanistan speech before he visits the region traps him in a very high-profile political way, making his trip just a lens to justify his preconceptions, not the other way around which would give more political cover to take the exact same positions he lays out today but with more legitimacy.  It’s a ridiculous move and McCain’s already hitting him on it!  Even Christopher Hitchens, a super duper uber leftist, believes that Obama’s “zero-sum” attitude towards the two theaters is unfounded and small-minded. 

CNN photo from Fact Check.

Posted in Blogroll, Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bush Push on Oil Drilling

Posted by Ryan on July 14, 2008

President Bush announced today that he is rescinding his father’s Executive Order which banned off-shore oil drilling.  And it’s about time in my opinion!  What’s interesting about this development is that Congress imposed it’s own separate ban, meaning that if off-shore drilling were to take place, both branches would have to agree.  Now, it’s solely in the hands of Congress.

Come to think of it, President Bush is really gaining a number of important victories over the Dems ever since they took over Congress:  Bush stopped the Dems from cutting-and-running in Iraq, securing Bush’s policy through the end of his term — a huge meaningful victory on the Homefront; Bush got his FISA bill through a hostile Congress with nearly all of his proposals in tact — not an easy task for any lame-duck; and now Bush has successfully outflanked the Dems by taking the drilling issue and put it on the laps of Pelosi and Reid! 

Brilliant maneuvering from an “idiot” who still has the capacity to outflank his opponents on important issues during the last year of his tenure.  This will expose the Dems’ weak and complex rhetoric about how the oil companies “can already drill”, or the mantra “we can’t drill our way out of this” nonsense.  They can try to blame Bush policies, but they will confuse the public who understands that gas comes from oil and securing domestic oil is a security issue.  Bush has set things up for the Republicans to pound the message home.  Will they take it?

Posted in economy, Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Terror in Turkey Kills Six

Posted by Ryan on July 9, 2008

The US Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, was attacked today by four men in what the American and Turkish authorities are calling an act of terrorism.  Three of the attackers were killed, but not before taking out three policemen, one point blank to the head.  The fourth attacker unfortunately got away in a speeding car, as Turkish authorities are frantically looking for him and are currently reviewing video tape to help. 

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but this has put everyone in Turkey on high alert, especially Americans in Turkey.  Aside from incursions into Iraqi Kurdistan, one hasn’t heard much from the War on Terror in Turkey — it’s been pretty quiet so to speak.  The attack was small, probably cellular.  That could mean the beginning of a new series of attacks, or that this attack was the best they could pull off.  I hope it’s the latter.

The US Consulate was refitted after al Qaeda’s 2003 bombing of the British Consulate, bank and two synagogues.  Yet, our rules of engagement forbid Americans to fire back at anyone outside the compound, hence, they ducked for cover rather than take out the assailants early.  I think those rules needs to be renegotiated.

AP photo.

Posted in Blogroll, Europe, International Relations, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Real Progress in Iraq

Posted by Ryan on July 1, 2008

A dismal report from the AP suggests that Iraq has slowly, ploddingly, and grudgingly met 15 of 18 important “benchmarks” as of May 2008.  From the tone of the story, one might think that something bad happened!  But no, in fact, slow but measurable progress is being made despite the Left’s efforts to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with every negatively spun story they can throw at the public.  I wonder if Detroit could meet the same benchmarks in the same timespan?

Also, one can tell that Iraq has turned the corner by simply noticing the media coverage of Afghanistan — as Coalition fatalities in Afghanistan surpassed those in Iraq for the month of June 46 to 31 respectively.  The Taliban’s “resilient insurgency” is a persistent scourge plaguing the war effort.  Sure.  It’s summer.  It’s warm enough to fight, so they fight.  The Taliban did the same thing last summer.  Yet, the MSM drum beat remains turned to defeatism, so without enough defeat in Iraq, they’re focusing more on defeat in Afghanistan.  Whatever it takes to ensure Bush loses something militarily while he was in office!

Posted in International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

One Look at the Bush Legacy

Posted by Ryan on June 22, 2008

Finally a journalist who has some sense of historical perspective beyond the contemporary headlines!  Andrew Roberts wrote this article* comparing George W. Bush to another heavily maligned US president in his day, Harry S Truman.

I think the comparison may stand in historical perspective.  Harry Truman was deeply disliked by the American people in 1952, blamed for an unpopular war, and navigating through a tough economic transition after World War II.  Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Truman was still viewed poorly: aside from the disastrous Korean stalemate, his “Fair Deal” fell flat, Congress kept flipping from Dem to Republican on him, Truman’s administration was constantly dogged for having real communist spies all over it, etc.  But no one remembers much of that through the lens of history, since the basic tenants of Truman’s Cold War policies were used by all subsequent administrations in a truly effective way until 1991.

Today, he’s viewed by members of both parties as a model President, even in the top five to some experts and certainly in the top 10 to others!  Even She Who Must Not Be Named once said that we need another Harry Truman — one who will make good decisions in the face of tough choices or being unpopular. 

In a sense, we do in George W. Bush.  As Roberts’ article explains, a President is usually remembered in history for one or two things.  In 2030, Bush will not be remembered for Valerie Plame or Katrina or the “recession.”  Once the contemporary politics has moved on, he’ll most likely be remembered for Iraq, Afghanistan, and for keeping America safe for the last 7 1/2 years of his Administration following 9/11.  Or at least Bush hopes so.

Pic from MIT.

* — Roberts, writing for a British paper, mixes up Warren Harding with Herbert Hoover initially.  As an historian this kind of bothers me, but his larger point still stands (plus he’s quoting from a left-wing news source, and you know loosely the Left uses history!)

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, Russia, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Historians: McCain’s Going to Lose

Posted by Ryan on June 15, 2008

According to this Politico story, historians (mostly liberal ones rooting for Obama I sure) give McCain a small chance of winning in the Fall.  (The rest of this post may seem like a little inside baseball if you’re not an historian.)

One historian compared this election to 1932, when FDR trounced Hoover.  Another compared it to the 1980 thumping of Jimmy Carter or Ike’s 1952 smackdown of Adlai Stevenson.  Some, more reasonable historians have related this to 1968, but on both ends: McCain as Humphrey, tied too closely to the party in power, as well as McCain as Nixon, taking advantage of a Democrat Party in total disarray.  Some cite historical cycles, which I can see hinders McCain in this case, and that those candidates tied to incumbent party’s popularity go against McCain in this cycle.

The article falls flat for me when it states that “the Democratic-controlled Congress is nearly as unpopular as the president.”  Um… not quite: the Democrat-controlled Congress is considerably LESS popular than Bush, by nearly half.  Remember, McCain is not an incumbent, and in the last non-incumbent race (1952) the war-hero trounced the intellectual and articulate liberal.  Plus, like Richard Nixon in 1968, everyone knows McCain, and unlike Jimmy Carter in 1976, the more we know about Obama, the more he seems like more of the same — he’s not a refreshing outsider like Carter seemed, rather Obama’s an unaccomplished political opportunist who occasionally doesn’t even know who his friends are.

I agree with the premise that McCain’s got a tough road, but so does Obama in my opinion:  we are at war, Obama is too inexperienced, has a cowardly voting record, and he’s not very bright when pushed on the issues. 

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

McCain Gaffe on Iraq? — You Decide

Posted by Ryan on June 11, 2008

John “F’in” Kerry and the Obama campaign are pouncing on John McCain’s statement this morning on the Today Show, calling McCain “out of touch” and “confused” with his own stated opinions.  The above video clip shows you what McCain really said, and this link shows how the Dems reacted to it.

Make up your own mind, but in my mind this is on par with the “100 years” comment that is still occasionally being taken out of context by the Left.  It’s ridiculous and it won’t work against candidate McCain.  However, McCain himself sometimes backs into these moments that can be taken out of context, but to his credit his campaign fought back immediately. 

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

US Deaths in Iraq at All-Time Low

Posted by Ryan on June 1, 2008

As the headline indicates, May 2008 saw the lowest monthly death toll for US troops in Iraq since March 2003 when the war began.  Nineteen soldiers lost their lives last month.  We hadn’t seen numbers that low since 21 soldiers died in the month of February 2004.  This is a testament to the successes we’ve been seeing over the last year as the enemy gets weaker, the Iraqi Military gets stronger, and our role slowly changes from security to maintenance and rebuilding efforts.

Conditions on the ground are also improving such that Australia is safely removing their last 500 troops from Iraq and the British footprint around Basra has been seriously reduced. 

Our CIA indicated that al Qaeda in Iraq is at its weakest point since they became our primary enemy in Iraq, so much so that the bounty on AQI’s leader was reduced last month down to $100,000!  International al Qaeda itself is facing a crisis since apparently more and more jihadist women want the privilege of blowing themselves up!  Apparently the male jihadists just aren’t cutting it lately.

If things keep going in this direction, the Fall election may have quite a different complexion.

AP photo.

Posted in Australia, Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front, UK Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

McClellan’s New Book

Posted by Ryan on May 28, 2008

Former Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan has written a book that apparently says nothing new about the Bush Administration:  Plame?  Been there (Richard Armitage, folks).  The Rove-Libby-Cheney Triumvirate of Evil?  Done That.  The government response to Katrina had flaws?  Yawn.  Bush actually at one point tried to sell his Iraq policy to the people?  I’m shocked!  It’s early readers indicate many issues and points that may have been packaged to make a headline, or taken out of context. 

My take on their leaks are that the book is mostly a regurgitation of old news.  However, that’s not going to stop Bush’s enemies from bringing up the same old arguments to smack Dubya one last time on every old argument during this election cycle!  Democrat hack, Robert Wexler, wants to call McClellan in front of a House Judiciary Committee to attempt to connect corruption to Cheney — Wexler, who has been wanting to impeach Cheney for quite a while now.

I always thought Scott McClellan was a wimp that should have been replaced by Tony Snow much earlier.  Ari Fleischer was a great White House Press Secretary who could handle Helen Thomas and treated dumb questions with appropriate condescension.  In contrast, McClellan always seemed like a deer in the headlights during a critical time in our history and I was glad when he was replaced.  Ari Fleischer also is “scratching his head” over the book, since the Scott McClellan he knew would have voiced these concerns at least in private. 

Making a buck off his old boss seems to be McClellan’s m.o.  I agree with Karl Rove on this one: thus far, McClellan is starting to sound “like a left-wing blogger.”

AP photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Memorial Day

Posted by Ryan on May 26, 2008

To most, Memorial Day is the official kickoff to the summer season — pools, barbecue, the beach, movie marathons. 

Lately, to more and more Americans its more solemn roots are revived.  It was a day first commemorated as “Decoration Day” to put flags and other items at the graves of friends or relatives who died in the Civil War.  Then, by World War I, it’s name had changed to Memorial Day and was honored on May 30.  It wasn’t until 1971 that Memorial Day became the fourth Monday in May.

So, today we honor those who have died defending this country and her interests. Lincoln once said on an old battlefield during the dark days of the Civil War that “it is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” 

Such is our charge as we enjoy the sales, the sun and the hot dogs, that we take a minute to remember who have died so that we might live the way we do.

Posted in Blogroll, Culture, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

White House Smacksdown NBC

Posted by Ryan on May 19, 2008

White House counsel Ed Gillespie had some tough words for NBC after they disingenuously edited an interview with President Bush which indicated that the President accepted a negative premise on the appeasement issue when the President did not. 

But what I love about the letter sent to NBC is Gillespie’s memory of two years ago when NBC was the first to declare Iraq’s sectarian strife a civil war.  Gillespie’s take: so does NBC still believe Iraq is in a civil war or has that civil war ended? 

Nice!  Way to call ’em on it!  I love how a basic memory and facts really miff the MSM sometimes. I wish Dubya and his crowd had been doing this for seven years rather than so intermittently. 

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Global Warming’s Fried President Bush

Posted by Ryan on April 16, 2008

The Global Warming alarmists have finally worn down the GOP passed the weak-kneed crowd, and into the Bush-crowd (which is increasingly looking like only Dubya himself).  Only the open-minded, conservative-wing remains as the firewall against an economic cataclysm based on ever-changing scientific data. 

It goes to show how all Libs need to do is find an issue where they can make Republicans look “mean” and the GOP will fold as fast as they can in order to avoid this label without fighting back.  

I believe a lot of this has to do with a second-term Presidential “legacy” hunt: Bush has decided that getting on the record about climate change and global warming will somehow help him in the annals of history.  He’s not going to get anything through Congress, only suggest some horrible economic policies based on bad science because it’s politically correct nowadays.  

I voted for Dubya in 2004: he was great on Iraq, the War on Terror, taxes, life, judges, etc. (plus look at his opponent!  Did you know John Kerry was in Vietnam?  He was, really!).  This second term has been a nightmare:  amnesty, the Iraq malaise until Petraeus, Harriet Myers, out-of-control spending, getting the knee-pads out for China, etc., now catering to the global warming crowd right when scientists are starting to take another look at it!  Ugh. 

Alas, McCain wouldn’t be any better, and those other two clowns would be much worse.  Going “green” is one thing (a fad mostly — however, once something’s a fad, it’ll eventually go out of style), but the potential for government interference without end, attacking the roots of our capitalist system based on maleable science is scary!  Who does Bush think we are, Europe?

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Fifth Anniversary of the Fall of Baghdad

Posted by Ryan on April 9, 2008

Five years ago, the wall-to-wall Iraq War coverage had a breaking news bulletin where cameras showed us the sights from Baghdad. 

I was at lunch duty at school (that’s when teachers watch students eat and confiscate cell phones) when pictures of US Marines in the center of Baghdad wrapped a US flag over the head of a Saddam statue.  While I had no problem with that, they promptly took it down and set up a crane to help knock down Saddam’s statue.

I remember that day well.  Only 21 days at war and the regime ran into hiding, Iraqi’s were in the streets celebrating with American troops.  Good times for America, Iraq, and the region! 

Then, you know, stuff happened and things got complicated and messy fast.  But April 9, 2003, was still a great and historic day.

Posted in The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Petraeus and Crocker Surge Update: ’08 Version

Posted by Ryan on April 8, 2008

General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker entered a hostile-fire zone once again on Capitol Hill, and once again came out looking like the adults in the room!  By later this evening, all three Presidential contenders will have gotten a chance to question the General about the continued effectiveness of the Surge strategy.  I’d like to see how they all come across, especially She Who Must Not be Named, who I’m sure had to maneuver through cover fire to even enter the room, and Obama, who has more experience in understanding foreign policy affairs than both McCain or SWMNBN.  Wow, I didn’t know that.

Here’s an up-to-the-minute update on the goings on up there on the Hill. 

Personally, I watched about 30 minutes altogether today and was able to catch Susan Collins meandering her way through a question with one of my classes.  Not very exciting.  

However, earlier I caught Ted [hiccup] Kennedy reading his petty liberal talking points mostly in a coherent manner — I watched him speak before one of his notorious liquid lunches.  It only took about a minute of watching before the predictable Code Pink jerks chanted “Bring them Home!” during the testimony [Note: for more fun, read up a little on the Black Shirts for a quick refresher on fascist tactics when confronting speakers with whom they disagree]. 

So, we’ll see how this Update will play out, surely with election-year drama that will put a few if not all of the candidates on the record for good or for bad.  Unfortunately, being lost in all this political theater is Petraeus’ message that we’re on the right track and still need the intestinal fortitude to see this thing through.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Special Ops Video from Iraq

Posted by Ryan on April 5, 2008

Check out this ass-kicking video from our brave soldiers making incursions into Mahdi-filled Sadr City in Baghdad:

Hat Tip Malkin.

Posted in Blogroll, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

McCain on Letterman, Imus

Posted by Ryan on April 2, 2008

John McCain appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” last night, being the last of the three candidates still in this race to appear on the show.  McCain is also the most readily available to the media, by the way.  McCain wasn’t bad for a politician and actually got off the stage when the skit was finished! 

Here’s a clip:

So, I awoke with good-vibes about McCain.  Then I got in my car to go to work.  I love 77 WABC, which has Don Imus on during my commute.  Imus had McCain on this morning and everything was going well — the Dems, the Veep-stakes, etc., until Imus asked McCain if McCain thought the Iraq War “was worth it.”  McCain got two full uninterrupted minutes and managed to dodge a direct answer, talking about mismanagement and such, rather than the long-term strategy or sacrifices of the soldiers and stuff that we expect from McCain.  This was not a good development in my book.  Ugh.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, Pop Culture, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MSM Attacks Lead to Actual Attacks!

Posted by Ryan on March 24, 2008

So says a Harvard study on that very topic. 

I guess it takes a study by a group of leftist Ivy-League brainiacs (economists of all people!) to figure something out that makes perfect sense to us normal folk:  “anti-resolve” statements in our press correlate to increased attacks by insurgents in Iraq, who by and large have access to our media too.

Apparently this study has been out a while — my link is dated March 12 — yet I only heard about it on the news tonight: Fox News, of course, on Special Report with Brit Hume’sGrapevine” segment!

Posted in Culture, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Iraq Death Toll Hits 4000 Americans

Posted by Ryan on March 24, 2008

It’s still a tough fight in Iraq as the MSM’s obsession with death counts is renewed today as the total American death toll in Iraq hits roughly 4000 soldiers (including non-combat dead).  While every death has meaning and is tied to a family’s sorrow, historically compared to other wars this number is quite low, reflecting only a tough morning in a large Civil War battle, rather than a total after 5 years of heavy combat and constabulary duties in a hostile nation on the other end of the world.  It reflects positively on our soldiers, commanders, and medical staffs that the numbers have stayed this low for so long.  Let’s pray they don’t rise too much higher.

It’s all about perspective, I suppose.

However, I must admit that since last year, the media’s morbid obsession with the number of American dead has waned in the face of the Petraeus Report and Iraq not being the number one campaign issue helping Democrats.  As has been the case since the “Mission Accomplished” speech in May 2003, the MSM’s treatment of the war has been to report what’s happening through a partisan and ideological lens.  Perhaps our soldiers have achieved an unintentional victory against the American and International media’s treatment of what they are doing and accomplishing in Iraq.  It’s a shame they had to fight that battle in the first place. 

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

McCain’s Keeping Cool

Posted by Ryan on March 20, 2008

Spring’s only been here less than a day, but the season bodes well for John McCain, who must really like this new Rasmussen poll, which puts him solidly ahead of She Who Must Not Be Named (51-41%) and diminishingly messianic Obama (49-42%). 

While McCain goes on international fact-finding missions in Iraq and Israel, looking presidential and meeting world leaders while accumulating an increasingly robust series of photo ops, the two Dems continue to bludgeon each other, fight off controversy or create new issues in desperation

AP photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Osama Has Bin Relevant, Not So Much Anymore

Posted by Mike on March 19, 2008

How the mighty have fallen. In 2001, Osama Bin Laden actively and openly led a sophisticated international terrorist network that was disciplined, organized, well-financed, supported by evil regimes, and successful in carrying out terrorist attacks on American soil. After President Bush responded to the September 11 attack with a multi-pronged strategy including two wars, international law enforcement cooperation, and the freezing of terrorist financial assets, Osama Bin Laden became less relevant with every passing day.

Back in 2001, Bin Laden was undoubtedly shocked when the nation he viewed as a paper tiger actually followed through on its rhetoric for the first time in about eight years. Fortunately for the civilized world, the War on Terror forced Bin Laden to abandon his active leadership role in Al Qaeda so he could hide under a rock somewhere. Unfortunately for the civilized world, he never assumed room temperature and always managed to stay on message when he found a way to release his words to the public. Sure, his days of successful planning were over, but his terrorist pep talks were always relevant, focusing on topics such as Iraq, Madrid, or London. These days, the messages are less frequent, more irrelevant, and simply bizarre.

Today, on the fifth anniversary of the opening of the War on Terror’s Iraq front, Bin Laden revealed just how pathetic his existence has become. Seven years ago, Bin Laden actively led a terrorist organization that successfully planned and funded an attack on American soil that killed 3,000 innocent people and destroyed two of the tallest buildings in the world. Today, he can barely peak out of his cave and when he finally does, the best he can do is to whine about the Pope and demand better cartoons.

I pray that the civilized world keeps up with its progress in the War on Terror because although Bin Laden is marginalized like never before, he is like a dangerous cockroach who will always be a threat until vaporized. May Bin Laden’s next message be his last will and testament.

UPDATE: I should have read Ace of Spades before posting today. He thinks “today’s” message was Bin Laden’s last will and testament, and has 80s music for your enjoyment.

Posted in The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Operation Iraqi Freedom, Plus Five

Posted by Ryan on March 19, 2008

The Iraq War turns five today.  On the evening of March 19, 2003, President Bush notified the American people that Saddam’s regime was about to face American/Coalition might after repeated human rights violations and ignoring 17 UN Resolutions — in a post-9/11 world America was not going to ignore gathering threats like we did back in the 1990s.  It was already March 20 in Baghdad when the war started, so I’m wearing my patriotic gear tomorrow. 

“Operation Iraq Freedom” began that day and in 21 days, on the afternoon of April 9, 2003, Baghdad was liberated from Saddam’s grasp, ending the regime of that vicious dictator for good.  I was proctoring lunch duty at work when live pictures and video came in on TV of the toppling of Saddam’s statue.  I told all the students watching with me to remember that moment and those pictures of Iraqi children stamping their shoes against the head of Saddam’s statue.  It was a proud moment of accomplishment for America.

Yet, we soon learned a tough lesson:  just because we’re great at winning war, doesn’t mean we’re great at winning peace.  We’re still paying a high price for underestimating the scope of what needed to be done immediately to assuage the Iraqi people after their government collapsed. 

Yet, there was no need for shouting like the Libs quickly engaged in.  Rather, reasoned determination for a victory that all sides would have lived with, along with a plan that everyone could agree upon should have been exercised.  Alas, cooler heads did not prevail, the old maxim that “partisanship ends at the water’s edge” didn’t seem to count this time on the Left, and thusly the partisan/political split began: those who though American needed patience to win, and those who thought we should pick up the ball and go home. 

Hence, the last five years.  In the midst, the CPA handed over power, a new constitution and government is in place, my brother was sent over for a tour of duty around Taji and Al Asad for a year (January 2005 to April 2006), and the Sunni Awakening coupled with the Surge have given us hope that a page has been turned.

Like the President, I believe that General David Petraeus’ Surge strategy will ultimately see us through to victory in stabilizing Iraq — not even the Dems are saying the troops are coming home next year anymore.  It’s going to continue to be a tough slog and a commitment to the Mideast region which we can no longer afford to ignore.  Democratization of the Mideast is a bold proposal; some say ridiculous.  If it pans out, Bush will be seen as a unique visionary with the forethought and gumption to have taken a chance on an area of the world left out of globalization, democracy, and basic human rights.  If it doesn’t pan out, then Bush will be the misguided, dangerous, mistake-ridden dunce that the Left paints him out to be nowadays.  “Panning out” could take a while, though. 

So, as I see it today and tomorrow are not days of celebration, but of contemplation.  I also believe that the most important question to contemplate is this:  was nearly 4000 KIA and over 20,000 wounded worth the struggle?  I believe that history will vindiate America in the eyes of the region and the world for what we are trying to accomplish. 

Plus, I believe America is always at its best when we are trying to allow the oppressed to share in the freedoms we take for granted every day.

AP photos.

Posted in Culture, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »