Posted by Ryan on September 11, 2008
9/11/08: Seven years later
Like most on that day seven years ago, I feared planes crashing into buildings and frequent bus and train bombings in our major cities would be things we’d have gotten eerily used to by 2008 — the morbid background noise of our own Jerusalem-style intifada on our own soil.
The future was virtually unknowable even to the most prescient among us. I was 23 years old back then, prime draft age. I knew there’d be war — there’d have to be. For me anger came before the sadness set in. I wanted revenge as I watched on TV the smoldering pit down by the Battery, the fires at the Pentagon, the potential for any new horror to manifest itself as suddenly as anything else that day.
You remember how deeply disturbing it was to have been rocked out of the simple, complacent times of the 1990s into a kind of newly serious anxious lethargy which (to many including myself) could only be satisfied by watching things blow up overseas. We needed only wait a month.
Seven years later, none of my fears came to pass except for that and another war. I wasn’t needed on the front lines. I was behind the lines supporting my brother who fought on a distant battlefield, giving what I could to military charities from time to time, encouraging those who needed it. Thus far this has been my part, if only a small one. We all have a part — that’s how America is so different than it used to be.
Seven years on, we remember the fallen, but also give thanks to those who have made America safe since that terrible day. Earlier today, President Bush dedicated a 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon and made some remarks. If there is anyone to whom thanks must be given, it is to those brave and strong people who have made it possible for President Bush to say these words today:
“Thanks to the brave men and women, and all those who work to keep us safe, there has not been another attack on our soil in 2,557 days.”
Never did such a thought cross my mind seven years ago.
Pic from the Pentagon Memorial website (DoD).
Posted in War on Terror | Tagged: 9/11/01, President Bush, Taliban | 2 Comments »
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.
Posted in International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: Al Qaeda in Iraq, Iran, Iraqi Army, Mahdi Army, Moqtada al Sadr, Mullah Atari, Pakistan, President Bush, The Surge, World War I | 3 Comments »
Posted by Ryan on August 1, 2008
After the Dems decided to start a five-week vacation, about 40 or so House Republicans, led by Mike Pence, stayed in the House chamber after the Dems adjourned to make a point about the Republican’s determination to get a drilling bill up for a vote. On her way out San Fran Nan had the lights turned off, the microphones turned off, and the C-SPAN cameras to be turned off as well. Classy broad, that Pelosi!
The House Republicans sent a letter to President Bush to call the Congress back into session until a vote is taken. President Bush was busy around 12:10pm this afternoon calling in to the Rush Limbaugh Show, congratulating Maha Rushie on 20 years of broadcast excellence. Bush 41 and Jeb also got on the line.
The House Republicans are showing leadership, demonstrating good politics, all while looking like the victim of Pelosi’s hard-handed tactics which are getting in the way of the people’s business. I hope they can keep this up until Election Day; this is good stuff!
Posted in Blogroll, economy, Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: C-SPAN, House of Representatives, Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, President Bush, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh | 1 Comment »
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: Afghanistan, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Iraq, John McCain, President Bush | Leave a Comment »
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: China, Climate Change, Dubya, global warming, Iraq, John Kerry, John McCain, Legacy hunt, President Bush, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ryan on April 15, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States began today at Andrew’s Air Force Base in Maryland. He met President Bush, Laura and Jenna along with a throng of cheering crowds and fanfare. He also clearly denounced the pedophilia scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church over the last decade or so.
Great start to his visit to America by setting the tone and addressing issues that many American Catholics and non-Catholics have. There’s more to come, I’m sure! I like this Pope– among many other positive things, he’s not asking Catholics to call God “Allah“, nor is he asking any government to adopt sharia law. Nice!
Posted in Culture, Europe, Religion | Tagged: Benedict XVI, church pedophilia scandal, Papal visit, President Bush | 3 Comments »
Posted by Ryan on March 25, 2008
The Supreme Court voted 6-3 today to strike down President Bush’s adherence to a 1963 International Treaty where aliens caught committing a crime must be aware that they are entitled to legal counsel/advice when tried in American courts. In today’s case, Medellin v. Texas (2008), the defendant argued that he was not made aware of this detail after his arrest (even though he submitted a hand-written confession after killing two girls in 1993). After Mexico sued the USA over the issue in 2003, the International Court of Justice in 2004 said that the Mexicans (fifty in all around the US) must be given a new trial if such counsel could affect their cases.
Today the Mexicans lost.
Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Stevens, and Kennedy were in the majority who believed that:
The president may not “establish binding rules of decision that pre-empt contrary state law.” Neither does the treaty, by itself, require individual states to take action.
Breyer, Ruth Biddy, and Souter dissented citing the primacy of international treaties over American law:
“The nation may well break its word even though the president seeks to live up to that word,” wrote Breyer.
One of the points that Justice Stevens brings up is that Texas could, at any time, give Medellin a new trial. Yet he ruled with the majority because he believes that Texas may not be compelled to give him a new trial; Texas law taking precedent over the ICJ order which was being enforced by the chief executive in violation of state sovereignty.
I agree with this decision and appreciate how the court was defending federalism, states’ rights, and preventing a precedent whereby the World Court could on future occasions dictate what American courts and states can or cannot do.
Posted in Judicial Watch, Politics | Tagged: Chief Justice Roberts, federalism, International Court of Justice, Medellin v. Texas, Mexico, President Bush, state sovereignty, states rights, Supreme Court, World Court | 6 Comments »