Imperial Requiem

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Something is rotten in the state of syria

Got this from, via an AP report:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A powerful bomb tore through the motorcade of a former prime minister Monday, killing him, carving a 30-foot hole in a street and turning armored cars into burning wrecks. The devastation harked back to Lebanon's violent past and raised fears of new bloodshed in the bitter dispute over Syria, the country's chief power broker.
The blast wounded 100 people and killed 10, including the main target: Rafik Hariri,
a billionaire businessman who helped rebuild Lebanon after its civil war, but had recently fallen out with Syria.

All signs point to Syrians pulling this one off, since Hariri had recently begun to side with opposition groups to the Lebanese gov't and it's Syrian overlords. Either the Syrians knew that he was Up To Something, or they made an overt example of their power over Lebanon. Regardless, it was stupid, from a geopolitical standpoint. It focused attention on the Syrian/Lebanese relationship in ways that Syria DOESN'T want any attention focused upon. Plus, it all but declares open season on the Syrian gov't and forces in Lebanon for the Lebanese opposition groups. They will now increasingly look towards agressive action against the Syrians rather than just protesting. Still, how braindead are the Syrian intelligence and military leaders? Iraq and Afghanistan are now free by force of (American) arms, Egypt/Jordan/Israel/PA have just made joint agreements and are all but set to act as a military alliance, and there are calls for the democratization of the middle east from President Bush to opposition parties in many countries, be it Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran........and even Syria. The Syrians just made it that much easier for the opposition groups to find a partner willing to help them air their disagreements....and back it up. What happens if the opposition parites in Syria ask the Israelis to help them free Lebanon, and in exchange, the Lebanese would eradicate Hezbollah, and completely recognize Israel and their mutual borders with Lebanon? Does anyone think that the Egyptians and Jordanians would object- especially after what appears to be a Syrian led assassination of a Lebanese opposition leader? I think not.

Bashar Assad is playing with fire right now, and he probably knows it. Well, fire up the BBQ, Mr. Assad, because it's only going to get hotter now. Just pray to whatever god you pray to that it's not a hellfire missile that is what makes it hotter.

Friday, February 11, 2005

It's been a bad week for Leftists

It's one of those weeks- where you find hardcore Leftists debating whether or not to finish off their last bit of Bourbon, or Jack Daniels. Firstly, Howard Dean is all set to become the new DNC chair. Now, never in my wildest dreams did I think that this would happen. I thought saner voices in the Democratic Party would wake up, realize how much of a walking time bomb that Dean is, and pick someone much more centrist (like Tim Roemer, for one). But no, they kept on going, full sail ahead with Dean.

My analysis is that Dean's not going to do a great job. He'll keep the Democratic base energized. But he won't be able to do anything beyond that; he'll lose alot of longtime Democratic supporters and their money, and he also will fail to make red states turn blue anytime soon. If anything, Democrats will win whatever elections they do win, in spite of his leadership. I predict, barring unforseeable changes, that Dean will last until the 2006 mid-term elections, where he will prove to be ineffectual in changing the downward trend for the Democratic Party. In fact, it wouldn't suprise me if he gets booted earlier than that. Anyways, if their goal is to just be the "obstructionist party" then they won't get much of anywhere, anytime soon. They will not advance any new ideas, but just throw out the same tired crap from the last 30 years (which, somehow, never gets implemented, over and over and over again, so that they can STILL complain about it the next year). Nearly every major bill will have a Republican's name on it, and many bills stand to be history making. Social Security, Tort reform, military spending, and judicial oversight will all be Republican-based in conceptualization.

Then there's Lynne Stewart. She's now convicted of aiding and abetting terrorists (the Blind Shiek, Omar Abdel-Rahman) by smuggling transmissions to their terror groups from his jail cell, when she had signed legal documents stating that she wouldn't. Oops, the feds caught her on tape. And then she all but admitted it by doing press conferences for the Blind Sheik. And now she's sitting there, crying for herself, becuase she's about to get a maximum of 20 years behind bars. I have no pity for wretched monsters like her.

She's typical of far leftists- anything to destroy the west, especially America. And screw whoever gets in their way. Oh, but at the same time, the far leftists MUST be left alone, because they MUST be revered with messianic glee. Or, if you do touch them, they start screaming "Martyr! Martyr! Martyr!" Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. It's all a sham, and a pretty pathetic one at that. You have to be seriously messed up to truly think that by helping a bunch of terrorist thugs, you'll create a utopist socialist world where everyone frolics about in happy go lucky nakedness. That 60's crap is long gone, and I for one, and glad that Stewart got what was coming to her. Plus, it's a warning to far leftists that they're on notice- the American legal system will increasingly no longer work in their benefit.

Both are nails in the 1960's flower power ideology's coffin. Dean is always a soundbite away from saying the things that the left doesn't want you to hear them say (but privately, they really do mean it), and ruin the Dem party from that standpoint. Lynne Stewart will be a source of ridicule for years to come, and she's just made the gov't's job fighting the war on terror from the legal front that much easier. Hell, she singlehandedly made it darn near impossible for leftist lawyers to get close to the Gitmo detainees.

Thanks a bunch, guys. You add years to my life, with your stupidity. Take another swig from your shot glass, you'll need it.

Friday, February 04, 2005


The CNN story continues to spiral outwards. Much of the mainstream media hasn't caught wind of it- yet. I surmise that will change when one of them decides that it's much more fun to take down one of their own rather than support them with their silence. It's a business, and that's what happened to CBS, previously. But right now, the Bloggers are the ones keeping track of the whole story. At this point, CNN's tried to issue conflicting statements trying to whitewash what Eason Jordan did or didn't say, and they're basically trying to make the whole issue go away before it can get larger. My gut feeling is that their actions to date will only make the matter worse.

I really wish that I knew what the force dispositions of the Iranian and Syrian armies were right now. By that, I mean where they're situated, what their units are compromised of, and what type of depth (offensively and defensively speaking) that they present. I cannot rule out that they will try something- openly or covertly- before the mid-summer elections in Iran (ostensibly for Presidential elections, but that's really a farce). Those elections will probably be....interesting to watch unfold, if only because it's a powderkeg waiting to happen. The Syrians and Iranians will need to do something to change the status quo, one way or the other, before that happens. Diplomatically, they can buy some time by negotiating with the United States, especially over the WMD issue. But that doesn't solve the long term problems, and I don't know if they have any sort of consensus to undertake that type of domestic/foriegn policy interplay. If their force dispositions are defensive in nature, that would probably signify that either A) they can't make a decision on what to do or B) their positions are designed to communicate a willingness to find another solution outside of force of arms. But if their dispositions are offensive in nature, jump-off points for an extended campaign for all intents and purposes, then that would mean that they most likely are discarding the political options, at least until they can use their unsheathed sword to effect a change in the political landscape. If anyone has good info on their military's current situation, I'd be more than willing to listen.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

SOTU, and more

I liked President Bush's SOTU speech, although I preferred the inauguration speech's florid inspirational messages more. The SOTU speech was more of a "nuts-and-bolts" speech, at least for the domestic portion. Bush's plan for Social Security is fundamentally sound, and one that I support, being under 30 years of age. What I do find interesting, is that Bush leaves alot of options open to use- both options that were raised by Democrats and Republicans. This essentially leaves the ball in the Democrats' court. If they want to play the obstructionist route, then they'll basically be punting on this issue, and all but leave it up to the Republicans to handle it. That will bode really badly for 2006 for the Dems. All it will tell the public is that the Dems don't want to bring any ideas forth, and have been hijacked by the far leftist fringe of the party that doesn't know how to adjust to the 21st century. If anyone, in the near future, sees a Democratic Congreessman wearing a tin-foil hat, you've been forewarned.

The other major portion of Bush's speech raised my eyebrows, in a good way. Bush wants to see Democracy and freedom spread to the greater Middle East. He singled out Saudi Arabia and Egypt for democratic reforms, and put Syria and Iran on notice. The Afghani and Iraqi elections have both had a tremendous impact upon the region, and it's putting a great deal of pressure for change on the various countries. Jordan, for one, is instituting greater voter reform. I happen to agree with the blog A Daily Briefing on Iran ( about what the President wants to do with Iran. He'll exert diplomatic and political pressure on Iran to change, and support the people of Iran's push for freedom. This will probably be where Europe and America slowly rehabilitates their relationship, but I can't help but think that Europe will try to whiff on this every chance they get. Iran knows that Europe is weak, and if Europe is given the point duty on this, the Iranians will exploit it for all it's worth.

Syria may, on the other hand, get a much more direct reckoning than Iran will. There's been an unofficial border war between American/Coalition and Syrian troops ever since the Coalition forces secured Iraq. Many of the terrorists and Ba'athists have either gone to Syria ti hide, or are using Syria as a staging ground for terror attacks into Iraq. And that doesn't even include the state of war that exists between Syria and Israel. Bush might choose to make an example of Syria to the Iranians, in a more direct fashion.

However, the Iranians and Syrians both know that they only have a short window of opportunity to do whatever damage that they can to the Coalition efforts in the Middle East. Time will tell what they intend to do, but I cannot discount that they will make the Coalition fight for every inch of support and ground that they can gain- be it diplomatically, economically, or militarily. Do not count on either of them to remain on the defensive or at least give the Coalition forces the initiative, forever. Time will tell.

Oh, I did get misty seeing the hug between Safia Taleb al-Souhail and Janet Norwood at the end of the speech. Great moment, and it truly signifies the real deeper understanding between both America and Iraq. Two truly grateful nations, proud and respectful to one another, in times of great joy and great saddness. I truly hope that the anti-war activists and fringe radicals can even try to grasp their emotional courage. And I hope they are ashamed of themselves today.

I salute you, Safia Taleb al-Souhail. I salute you, Mr. and Mrs. Norwood. You do us all proud.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

CNN implodes, part 2

I just realized something- that the 1-2 punch of Turner and Jordan's comments do mean something when taken together, rather than as separate incidences. They represent the overall atmosphere of CNN, when given the chance to truly speak their minds. It's essentially a window into how they operate, at least on an intellectual and moral level. It's a wholly reactionary attitude to the changing environment around them. It also shows that there's probably no way that Jordan can truly be held accountable for his actions, other than from external sources. If two of the top heads of CNN- Turner and Jordan- can make truly stupid and dangerous statements like they have, who in CNN can stop them? I want them to do the right thing- apologize to the US military, and censure Jordan in one way, shape or form. But I also dont' want to sound vindictive, because no one really wants to watch a slow train wreck, but we all inevitably do. Right now, the ball is in the bloggers' court, and it's up to us to hold CNN to the journalistic standards that they should be adhering to.

More Media issues- CNN implodes

The head chief of CNN's news divison. Eason Jordan, was caught at the international conference at Davos, talking about how he knew that American soldiers were targeting journalists for assassination in Iraq. Now, this would indeed be big news if it could be substantiated. But Barney Frank, to his credit, challenged Mr. Jordan to produce any proof. And Mr. Jordan could not, backpedaled quickly, and ended up saying that 'it was just a rumor'. Right now, the story's big on the 'net, and I first got wind of it at the National Review (

How bad does this sound? The Chief of CNN talks about rumors that are that potentially damaging? Is there something wrong with this? You bet there is. It's unprofessional, disrespectful, and downright scary. Jordan thought he could get away with the statement, until Mr. Frank did the journalistic thing- ask to back it up. Think about it for half a second: he thought he could get away with it. Plus, it was to an international audience, who may be much more suspectible to believing it without factchecking it- because, after all, this IS the head of CNN that we're talking about.

CNN is in hot water now, and rightly so. It would be one thing if it were true, but by all apperances, it doesn't look like it's true. It looks, sadly, like another "gotcha!" media moment combined with a heavy dose of tin-foil paranoia. I wonder how, once the news breaks out beyond the realms of the 'net, it will affect the bottom line for CNN. Does anyone think that CNN will get ANY recognition from the US and Coalition militaries? How about their stockholders? Or their advertisers? This is going to hurt them far more than Fox News taking viewers away from them ever will.

And Mr. Eason's trying to whitewash the incident by 'clarifying' his statements, in emails to various blogs on the 'net. That tells me that someone at CNN is worried about the story, and that it can only get worse. Now, to be fair, someone at CNN is probably trying to protect their own, which I can understand. But that still doesn't excuse Mr. Eason's arguements. And thanks to the work of Captain Ed ( and others, it's now become apparent that Mr. Eason's remarks weren't a one night show. In fact, he's repeated similar accusations before, in 1993, 2002 and 2003. Plus, he's one of CNN's point men in establishing ties with Saddam's old regime for CNN back in the 1990's- and CNN admitted that they knew of atrocities and assassination attempts committed by the Saddam regime, but remained mum about it in order to keep their soft reporting from Baghdad intact. To be perfectly honest, I'm suprised that no one has taken CNN to task over their actions in supporting the Saddam regime, and in the manner in which they did it. They're, for all intents and purposes, accessories to murder (and in some cases, probably mass murder).

Keep in mind, this whole story comes barely a week after Ted Turner, owner and founder of CNN, opens his mouth and compares Fox News to Hitler and the Nazis. Both incidences are separate, but it's a 1-2 punch that really doesn't look good for their image. As bad as CBS is, their problems are miniscule compared to what CNN will be facing. I'll keep updating as I get news.

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