Imperial Requiem

Friday, August 26, 2005

The media's summer swoon

You've gotta love how the Mainstream media acts when they get a chance to bloviate. The summer months are usually politically dead months, and this year, that's been the case as well. That usually gives the media a chance to create their pet newstories. Let's face it, the media's had little to work with from the actual world- other than the London bombings, what news has there been this summer? The fabricated polls, frothing at the mouth news stories about Cindy Sheehan, talk about the President's gas bill (I kid you not), shark stories, the Aruba crap, and intermittent actual news stories (London, Gaza, etc). Oh, and the media's usual dismisal of real news- like the actual details of the Iraqi constitution, the Able Danger story that's still unfolding, and Michael Yon's reporting from Iraq. Or the militant nature of the Palestinians. But that's expected, when Cindy Sheehan has a photo op she can't afford to miss!

I gladly await September.

We'll get at least three to four things happening in September: the first is that President Bush will give his annual speech to the UN early in the month, which will pretty much have the direct effect of shutting up the media's manufactured circus (which, btw, the media will act like petulant babies about), and it'll completely run Cindy Sheehan off the map (who, btw, will then run herself off the map in a vain attempt to get publicity by shooting herself in the foot, metaphorically speaking). Bush's speech will just happen to also coincide with two other things dealing with the UN: John Bolton's opening salvo of reforms for the UN, and the hammer coming down on the UN for the Oil for Food scam (which will most likely be targeting Kofi Annan directly, shortly).

The second thing that'll be important is the possibility of Congressional hearings into the Able Danger situation with the Pentagon and the 9/11 Commission. I say potential, because that could easily be pushed back into the fall. Hopefully, they'll have the Pentagon Lawyers, Clinton DOJ/FBI officials, 9/11 Comission members, and Jamie Gorelick all testify. In public. That'll also have the effect of dragging the news back to reality- the whole idea of national security rather than the nonsensical hyperventiliating we've been getting.

Next there's the implementation of the Iraqi constitution between September and November. For all the media's carping about it, it's actually going to happen. On September 12th, 2001, did anyone think that we'd see a world where there'd be a democratically elected Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon? Plus, there's going to be continued American and coalition fighting against the rear areas of the terrorists in Iraq, who's impact on the Iraqi landscape has diminished dramatically. It will only continue to become marginalized with the political and military situation rapidly falling away from them. By the fall of 2006, if the US and Iraqis keep up the pressure, there will be no real insuregency to talk about.

The last thing we'll see is the "Inside 9/11" documentary. I've seen a few clips from it- and it's really frank, hard hitting, and pulls absolutely no punches. It reminds us all of what we lost on 9/11, and what we're really dealing with. It's something that the media DOESN'T want us to see- because it's a direct reminder of the world we really live in, not the media BushHitlerHaliburtonn fantasy they've created. And combined with the congressional hearings (either in September or October) and the happenings at the United Nations, it'll have a real impact that the mainstream media won't be able to ignore. President Bush nearly always does good in the fall and winter months, rather than the summer.

And then there's October. That'll bring us to the local election season all across America- which means that the media will have to divide their time between messing around on the macro scale along with the local scale. Way to hamper their resources. Plus, there's baseball playoffs. Think anyone will care about what Cindy Sheehan and Chuck Schumer have to say when there's major baseball rivalries at play in the playoffs?

The media's got it's work cut out for itself. I'll just revel in their pain.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Israel, Part 5

The Gaza pullout is commencing in full force, now. The media, as usual, is spinning this wildy out of proportion. You'd think that there's alot of protests and violence on behalf of the settlers vs. Israeli soldiers, if you paid attention to the Media's version of events.

According to NRO, far more settlers have left Gaza voluntarily, without the Israeli military and police having to step in. And of the settlers who haven't left yet, most aren't putting up a fight. It's been more symbolic than confrontational, and only a minority within a minority are actually putting up real resistance. Shame on them, of course, but at least I can understand their frustrations. Not only that, but most of them are of the ultra-orthodox variety, and most of them don't serve in the Israeli army on any level (the religious are exempt from serving). The average Israeli REALLY doesnt like the religious settlers doing that, and then thumbing their noses at everyone else. If there's one thing you can get most Israelis to agree on, it's that the Ultra- Orthodox sects have gotten far more than they ever should have, and it's time to slap a bunch of petulant children down.

You'd think the Media would be happy that the Israelis are leaving, but apparently, the media isn't. After all this time of their "Israelis are Nazis vs. the Peace Loving Palestinians" media blather we've gotten in the past 20+ years, they sound somewhat sympathetic towards the settlers. It's a huge leap of logic, here.

But then again, maybe not. They'd rather Israel be in Gaza and the West Bank to peddle their mantra. Since they're no longer going to be in Gaza and the West Bank, the Israelis and Palestinians will be two separate states (effectively going to the 1967 borders in those regions), and the Palestinians won't be able to cry bloody murder towards the Israelis much, anymore. Plus, it'll become more and more apparent that the Palestinians aren't interested in peace, but rather, just want to eradicate Israel. So, the media will have to explain why Israel and Palestine are at separate nations. And after the Palestinians launch an attack on Israel that'll basically be un-spinnable. And then they'll watch the Israeli ass-kicking (probably from their Baghdad Hotel, heh).

So I guess the media's upset that they're losing their nookie. Oh well, tough loss. Argentina can cry me a river, some other time.

Also, nice to see Mr. Derbyshire finally stop being Mr. Contrarian at NRO and say something constructive for once Nice to see someone else talking about what I've been talking about.

UPDATE- What everyone's forgetting is that the Gaza pullout is in the long run, really a minor issue. For an issue that will have greater impact on the future of Israel, look no further than the growing nuclear threat out of Iran. With Israel no longer in Gaza and the West Bank, that'll free the Israelis up politically and militarily to deal with the Iranians very shortly. Assuming the United States, Afghanistan, and Iraq don't, first.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

And then what?

One of the main news stories that the mainstream media has foisted on us this past week has been the Saga of Cindy Sheehan. For those of you who don't know, she's a mother of a soldier who died fighting in Iraq, and she's now camping outside of President Bush's Crawford, Texas home, ostensibly to get Bush to talk to her, but really to spread her viewpoints that A) she thinks her son died fighting in a wrong war and B) to get out of the war as fast as we can.

A mother's love for her son isn't something that I can have any qualms about, whatsoever. I can totally understand her anger and grief over the death of her son. And it's her right to vent her frustrations and grief in any way that she wants to. If she wants to talk to President Bush, that's fine. If she wants to pull our troops out of Iraq, that's fine too. I can only respectfully disagree with her on that.

There are a few points to make, though.

#1)Cindy Sheehan is not the only mother of soldiers who have died fighting in Iraq. She does not speak for them, nor should she ever attempt to. Problem is, is that she's effectively trying to muscle her way into that position. It's one thing to grieve and emote that grief in a physical manner, but it's another thing to shamelessly use that grief to place yourself in an unassailable position in which others who grieve similarly cannot even voice their own countervailing opinions. By the way, what Cindy Sheehan is doing is not new; in every major war that the United States has been involved in, mothers of fallen soldiers have done similiar things to what she's doing. She isn't unique, in that regards.

#2) The people around Cindy Sheehan are absolute disgraces. They, unlike her, I can drag through the mud as far as I want to. They're actively using her grief and the death of her son for purely political purposes, and they're totally naked about it. They don't really give a flying hoo-hah about her or her son. It's just just another attempt to bash Bush, bash the war, and peddle their far left and right wing ideologies . And the mainstream media's letting them get away with it, since they are just as craven in their political agendas. If they really cared about our servicemen, they'd bother to find out A) how they died B)what they felt about dying and C)the whole picture about the situation in which they died. If they did bother talking about the Iraqi civilians and terrorists who have died, it would have the effect of actually diluting the American servicemen's deaths, by the sheer numbers involved, and the actual operation contextualization of the soldier's deaths.

#3) I can take Cindy Sheehan to task though, for two things. One, why meet with President Bush? What does she possibly think it could do? He won't leave Iraq. She should know this. Ultimately, it comes down to a self-serving photo-op for her, which really doesn't advance her anti-war agenda or the war effort. But it will serve to advance HER. She'd be a bigger person in leftist circles because of it. Shame on you, Cindy Sheehan. You're about to turn your son's death into a political circus just for your own purposes.

The second problem is that she hasn't thought her anti-war statements through- what do we do after we've pulled out of Iraq, as she wants? What about the Iraqis who will surely die in the power vaccum that our premature pullout will create? Do she give a damn for their deaths? And what about our own national security- what will a pullout's ramification mean to it? How many people will die for that? And does Cindy Sheehan really care about those eventualities, in the case of a premature pullout? Or would the short-term glee she'd get be all that matters? Once again, it's not about her son, but about......HER.

Lastly, I mean no disrespect to Cindy Sheehan about her son's death and her grieving. But I really think that the way she's going about doing this, is all wrong. Her son served faithfully to the country, and died of his own volition- saving soldiers even when he was told he didn't have to. But he did anyways, and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery. Cindy Sheehan knows this- and she has in fact stated it. But that's been thrown out the window, and she sings a different tune now.

I say let her grieve. But stop putting video cameras in front of her, and let's see how much longer the grandstanding that we've gotten so far continues.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

9/11 Commission Report

When the commission report on the 9/11 attacks came out last year, I had two reactions to it:

#1) it was probably as close to definitive as we'd get until more classified documents became available

#2) it was a cheap grandstanding attempt by Congress to "do something", and it quickly got mired in the usual burecratic and political crap of Washington.

Well, not only were my two reactions close to right- they've basically been confirmed with the release of new information about the proceedings of the 9/11 Commission. Defense Intelligence had been running an intelligence operation for years prior to 9/11, called Able Danger, and in 2000 had identified Mohammed Atta (and his cell) as Al Qaeda operatives. And when they tried to hand the info off to the CIA and FBI, they were blocked by Clinton administration officials, who wanted to keep the various intelligence agencies from sharing information. So, in short, the Clinton administration probably had at least some inkling of what's going on- but intentionally wanted to play civil liberterian activism with the intelligence agencies. And, as a result, the information that the various groups all had never became available to one another, and they were never able to connect the dots. Able Danger Briefing

Oh, and you'd think after the US got lucky with the millenium bomber in 2000, they'd have gotten a damn brain about this stuff, right?

Well, here's where it gets better. Apparently, the 9/11 Commission Report knew about the Able Danger intel, but didn't do anything about it. It's not in the Report itself, nor was anything mentioned of it. Ever. And when the media got wind of Able Danger, the Report's staff tried to deflect criticism, and ended up changing their story a few times over Report's Changing Their Tune . That tells me that they definitely covered something up. One of the 9/11 Commissioners was Jamie Gorelick, who was involved in the Clinton White House law staff, and was directly responsible for the "intelligence wall" that was built up between each of the intelligence agencies to keep them from talking to one another. At this point, it's pretty obvious now that the Commission has alot of explaining to do- and probably also should force Gorelick to take the witness stand before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In public, no less. It boils down to the Clinton administration screwing up in the days before 9/11- which we already knew (and history will prove that to be Bubba's lasting legacy)- but the extent of the coverup that took place after 9/11 to protect the image of the Clintons and their close associates.

Gorelick, Gore, Berger, Bill, Hillary, Reno, Christopher, Tenet, Albright, and Cohen should all be put to the test. They'll complain that the Bush administration's getting a free pass here- but the info doesn't reflect upon the Bush administration. It reflects upon the previous one- and besides, Bush gets bashed daily by the leftist media. At the least, we'll get to the bottom of the actual problems involved in the intelligence community (of which the intel community still should shoulder it's own share of the blame). We may also see criminal charges pressed against various Clinton officials if they've been involved in a cover up (and remember, Bubba's OUT OF OFFICE. He won't be able to save them from a Bush White House and GOP Congress).

This probably will end up being a mid-term election (2006) issue that could explode for the Democrats. They'll have to distance themselves big time from anyone who's been touched by Clinton (either of them). And if they don't they'll probably get dragged down with them. The Dems can lose big if 9/11 effectively is seen as their fault (which I think it largely is, anyways, at least from the US gov't side of things). Once again, they'll come off as weak- and craven- when it comes to national security.

Hillary's got her work cut out for her next year (and 2008). If this rises anywhere close to the top, her political career is finished. (Hat tip: Captain's Quarters)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Israel, Pt 4

Ariel Sharon's cabinet has gone ahead with the first stage of the Gaza pullout, and Finance Minister Netanyahu resigned in protest,2933,164977,00.html. That would seem like a big deal, right? parliamtentary politics, yes and no. Firstly, the loss of Netanyahu from Sharon's cabinet will hurt, since he really was an effective Finance Minister. But before I get into more details, I'll say something about the actual pullout plan.

9,000 Israelis will be moved out of Gaza settlements. 21 settlements in Gaza, and 4 more in the West Bank. That averages out to about 360 settlers per town, if you include all 25 of the Gaza and West Bank settlements (or about 429 per if you just work with the Gaza settlements). That's it. Now, ask yourselves why a disproportionate number of Israeli soldiers should be needed to protect those tiny hamlets? And let's be realistic here- these ARE hamlets, in the middle of territory that is at least passively hostile to them. And they're NOT dismantling the largest Israelis settlements in the West Bank (those have well over a few thousand settlers in them, and actually have good relations with their Palestinian neighbors). And in Israel itself, the settlements were never seen as anything more than a political bone thrown to the ultra-orthodox (who don't have to fight in the Israeli army, to boot [although some do]) way back after the 1967 and 1973 wars. They're not economically viable, they're a drain on military resources, and they are really politically useless.

So, the hubbub about the pullout basically comes from two directions: one, it's pure political grandstanding, and the other, is a cautionary tale against giving the Palestinians- a people who are largely living a lie of victimization and a cult of death- anything that seems like a victory. And the reality is, is that the majority of the commotion surrounding the pullout is politically motivated. Netanyahu has pulled this stunt before, and he'll do it again. In fact, it's fairly common in Israeli politics. It amounts to having a temper tantrum when you don't get what you want in parliamentary politics. However, it's something of a shrewd move by Netanyahu. He remains loyal to the core base of the Likud party, and he emerges once again as the strongest rival and probable successor to Sharon, when he either steps down, or is forced into elections.

The other contentious issue, that the pullout will give the Palestinians a false sense of "we won! nyah nyah nyah!" is definitely a serious issue, but Sharon's made it clear- and has acted on it- that the Israelis are doing this for their own reasons, and really just want the Palestinians to go away. This is effectively a fighting withdrawal, and the Israeli army has been allowed to use whatever force is necessary to punish the Palestinians who either get in their way, or try to do terrorist attacks. In effect, it's basically a permanent restructuring of the Israeli border, which has never really been solid. And it's the exact opposite of Ehud Barak's rather shameful withdrawal from southern Lebanon, which was a pell mell retreat in which the Israelis had to leave behind equipment, munitions, and supplies. The IAF was even called upon to take out Israeli weaponry that they'd left behind so that the Lebanese (and Syrians) wouldn't get ahold of it. Not so in Gaza and the West Bank. Sharon's also had very limited contact with the PA over the pullout, signaling that his policy is going to be one of isolating the Palestinians, and thus, completely ripping up the flawed "road map" plans. The Palestinians have no cards to play at this game of poker, and the Israelis are making it very clear to the PA that they know this.

UPDATE: An added piece of news, is that Netanyahu actually voted last week for the pullout, and this week he resigns. It does sound Kerryesque (, but it's really just how Israeli politics plays itself out. Thus, I'm not listening to much of Netanyahu's commentary on why he resigned, since it's pretty much superfluous. But that he supported- and then withdrew his support for- the disengagement plan tells me that he's really playing the usual political shell game, and not really worried about long-term problems.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Israel, Part 3

Somewhat running paralell to what I've been saying about Israel and Palestine, is Dafydd ab Hugh's commentary at Captain's Quarters- He raises a good point, looking at the situation from another angle about the long-term prospects for Palestine.

If the Palestinians are a soverign nation, and they launch rocket or military offensives against Israel (managing to take down the wall, or going over it), what will the Israeli response be?

Since the Israeli far left is pretty much dead in the water, we'll be seeing the leadership of Sharon and the Likud (and their allies) in power for some time now. That means that we'll probably get a really harsh response from the Israelis, in the event of a Palestinian offensive or attack on Israel. Plus, it will also allow the other Middle Eastern countries- Jordan, Egypt, etc., to voice their concerns with the Palestinians through the Israelis. Probably non-support for the Palestinians (who they've never liked) and conditional "no comments" about Israel (basically, a blank check for Israel to do whatever the hell they want). At the most, they'll probably take a pro-active role in cleaning up Palestine AFTER the Israelis are finished wiping the floor with Hamas and their ilk.

You see, there's a huge difference between running a terror organization, and fighting a shadow war from afar than there is as a nation-state, and running a (largely) conventional war with manpower and resources brought to bear. The PLO found out about that the hard way in 1971-1972 when they failed to overthrow the gov't in Jordan. And again when they set up camp in Lebanon, and the Israelis kicked them out. Both were military campaigns- not police actions. What the terrorists turned soldiers will face, isn't going to be targeted assassinations, but rather, hell from on high.

Lets' say that there's a massive rocket attack on Israel from Palestine in 2012, and it kills a few hundred Israeli civilians. What will the Israeli response be? They'll immediately launch airstrikes against the Palestinian areas which launched those missiles- and has anyone ever seen what multiple hellfire missiles can do to a city block? That's just the opening phase of the war. Then the Israelis would take out the entire Palestinian communication and transportation lines, and then send in the IDF. That's a grand total of 6 hours into fighting.

So if the Palestinians are smart, which I don't think they are, they'll build an actual country. If they're stupid, they'll find out that their short-term gains will lead to long-term headaches for them.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Israel, pt 2.

With the Disengagement post having been done, I'll add some commentary about some recent ongoings in Israel. What alot of folks don't know, is that the far left and far right in Israel have routinely resorted to terrorism against their own people when they feel it's justified. The left in Israel does that with the anti-military stuff (protesters who block IDF stuff, help Palestinian terrorists, etc), while the right in Israel does that with anti-Israeli gov't and Israeli-Arab stuff. Basically, the guy who killed Yitzakh Rabin was a far right-winger. And occasional riots against Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians have been done by far-right wingers.

So, enter what happened today, in Jpost. Yes, it sucks that a far right-winger like that guy flew off the handle and killed people. That's the first thing that pops into my mind. The second thing that pops into my mind is the Israeli-Arab reaction. One one hand, I can understand their fighting against the terrorist, and killiing him. I'd probably do the same. On the other hand, the sheer rage that they exhibited was childish, and stupid. It tells me one thing: That they're more than willing to go where the Israeli terrorist went to. And their politicians rabble roused just like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would. Great.

Stuff like this just pisses me off:An enraged witness to the incident said, "If this attack had occurred in a Jewish neighborhood and the attacker was Arab, he would have been killed immediately. The police came and they didn't do anything!" he said. "The police didn't even shoot the attacker – they were holding him alive in the bus."

Yep, definitely the same crap you hear from the ghettos in NYC, whenever a cop shows up. Blame them, never the actual criminal. Can I slap him? Please? Someone goes nuts and all he can do is play the victimization card.

And then there's the topper to all this garbage:

Hadash MK Muhammad Barakei, who had joined the mobs in Shfaram, blamed the attack on what he said was a campaign of incitement by Jews against Arabs. "This is not the act of a single individual extremist," Barakei said. "It comes from a culture of incitement."

Um, wow. A lone gunman that Shin Bet's (Israeli internal security, think FBI) been trying to track down for weeks now, equivocates with a terror campaign? With this giant ball of shit, slapping him would be too nice. And notice that he immediately turns it into a political talking point. Wonderful. Oh, and notice that he completely overlooks that it's a town full of both Israeli Arabs, Muslims, DRUZE, and CHRISTIANS. Talk about who's being racist? I say the Israelis should shitcan the multicultural bullshit, and take him down a peg or two. In the environment that Israel lives in, they don't need crap artists like him. I hope he rots in hell.

Me, I have but one thing to say to them: Grow the fuck up. Yes, a lone gunman did a horrible act of violence. Take your anger out on him, and his ilk, by all means. But their reactions so far, have been totally childish, and irresponsible. They managed to do the same damn thing that the Israeli terrorist did in reverse- label all Israelis as killers, effectively. Wonderful job, fuckwits.

It'll take some time before both sides clean up the slobber that they've left on the floor in all this ruckus. Get me a paddle, and I'll start spaking some children.

Israel and Disengagement

I'll start with the basic stuff here, and then work my way up to the current issues in the next post. So bear with me, for a sec here- I need to lay some foundational groundwork to make this understandable.

Since I am Jewish, and I nominally consider myself a Zionist, I tend to follow stuff that happens in Israel. No, I've never been there (but would love to visit), but I do have family living there. By and large, Israel's a very nice place to live in, despite what the media may have folks think about it being a haven for terrorism. The occupied territories- Gaza, the West Bank, and the Jewish settlements in those regions, are where the majority of the terrorism takes place in (and the Golan Heights, but that's a different story).

Now, the Disengagement plan that Ariel Sharon has is pretty simple- the Israelis would unilaterally leave the Gaza and West Bank areas, including most of their settlements, except for a few military bases and major settlements. The whole purpose behind this is to reduce the risk of Israelis facing terrorism, and reduce the strain on ZAHAL(Israel army) of being constantly under fire from it. Plus, the Israeli gov't is basically doling out money to the Palestinians, as long as they're controlling the territories. And the border wall that the Israelis have built around their demarcation lines with the Palestinian territories have proven to eliminate about 98% of all terrorism.

If Israel leaves the territories, they:
1. Can move significant military units elsewhere (ie; Golan Heights)
2. Reduce the risk Israeli citizens face by terrorism with the wall
3. Reduce gov't expenditures in regards to Palestine dramatically
4. Reduce political pressures from outside of Israel to all but mollycoddle the Palestinians
5. Make the Palestinians become their own problem, and see how they like having to build a society.

Yes, the Disengagement plan is controversial. But I don't think its unpopular, though. There are very, very few Israelis actually living in the Settlements, and most of them are ultra-religious (which, btw, explains why the political fighting over the Disengagement plan has been so contentious. Never mix politics with religion, folks). All told, between the Ultra-religious and the settlers, there are probably no more than 650,000 of them in all of Israel. And that's a country of approx 7-9 million people. So they really don't mean a damn, in the long or short run. They just make for great newsprint for those on the right (Likud Party) who want death to the Palestinians and see the Disengagement plan as a retreat for Israel. They also serve to help those that are from the far left, who hate Sharon as much as the left in the US hates Dubya. That, in a nutshell, is how Parliamentary politics work (no, I am NOT getting into Israeli Knesset internal mechanics. Very annoying). Oh, and the American (and European) media doesn't see what I see, since they don't follow Israeli stuff on a regular basis, so they invariably get things wrong.

Don't get me wrong- I wish there was an easier solution than dismantling the settlements and handing the keys over to the Palestinians- which means handing the keys to Abbas and Hamas in both territories. That, in the short run, IS a bad idea. But in the long run, it's a GOOD idea. Here's why:

#1 Israel no longer has to worry about policing the actual territories. They can just worry about the border security with the wall, and occasional puitive raids to stop terrorists from shelling Israel.
#2 Abbas, the PA, and Hamas will have to actually run their own darn country, and eventually, people will get tired of blaming Israel for everything. They'll realize that the people in power aren't giving them food or jobs, and start to change things
#3 There's an internal civil war already brewing in Palestine, somewhat low key at the moment, but it's basically a fight between Hamas and the PA. The PA controls the West Bank (which, btw, you don't hear anyone in Israeli or foriegn media yapping about), and Hamas effectively controls Gaza. Eventually, one side will cave in to Israeli ovetures, and side with the Israelis in order to defeat the other side. My take is that the PA will eventually go that direction. They're more like a mafia unit than a terror organization, anyways.
#4 Hamas works well as a terror organization, but their abilities have been seriously downgraded with the destruction of much of their leadership being assassinated by the Israelis. They also are a cult of death, rather than a governing body. With Europe slowly changing their views on terrorism as a whole (thanks to the Van Gogh assassination and the Madrid and London bombings) it'll be hard for them to view Hamas as a squeaky clean cutesey leftist organization that's out for the goodwill of the people. Not when their soldiers routinely do the Nazi salute. Not when their children are instructed to appear at rallies with guns. Not when even after becoming their own "nation" they will continue to be bloodthirsty towards Israel (even after getting pretty much what they "want").
#5 With terrorism worldwide on the long-term decline, the Palestinians are in a bind. They're going to have to find money and support from somewhere- and the Saudis, Egyptians, Syrians, and Iranian money trails are drying up. They're all scared shitless of the Global War on Terror, as well as dealing with their own internal problems. The Palestinians are going to quickly get shunted off their "things to do" lists. Which leads back to #2.

In the short run, it'll be a pain in the ass for Israel to deal with the new Palestinian Authority, however they set it up. The greatest fear is that they'll work with Al Quaeda and other terrorist groups. That may happen, but AQ and their sister groups have largely stayed OUT of Israel and the PA. Partially because the constant drone of terror in Israel dilutes itself (as they are finding out in Iraq), and partly because the Palestinian groups are largely secular, with a veneer towards religion. Sharon actually has a very strong majority of the population supporting the Disengagement plan, and the protests that have been arrayed against it have been very limited, at best. It's nice that the protesters can muster a few thousand......but that pales in comparision to what other protests have been like, in Israel and throughout the world. The settlers are such a minority in Israel, that they're not going to dictate national policy at this late stage in the game.

NYT: our reporters are god's children, everyone else can go to hell

Just when you think the mainstream media can't go any lower, they do. The NYT gets themselves into a whole stew of trouble by trying to go after the Supreme Court Justice nominee John Robert's adoption papers of his kids ( Drudge Report).
Their slimeball tactics don't suprise me, since that's what they'd jump for at the first chance against anyone in the GOP. But what really pisses me off, is that they want to hold Judith Miller, their star reporter who's now in jail because she wouldn't divulge her sources about the whole Valerie Plame case, up on a pedestal of saintliness.

So, lemme get this straight: they'll dive into anyone's records if it helps their far leftist means (and irregardless of whatever ethical issues may abound), but when it comes to someone else trying to get to the bottom of something (legal) that they're involved in, they act like petulant children who don't want to clean their rooms up about it, and carp about their constitutional rights, and blah blah blah blah.

I have no sympathy for the NYT whatsoever. Judith Miller deserves to be in jail because she's tried to mess up investigations before, and it's a stern lesson to the media as a whole (ie; you don't have special rights. Now grow the fuck up). The NYT is in a bind, because they know that if Miller did anything wrong (and outside of conjecture and speculation, there's no evidence that I know of to say they did anything wrong) they're screwed just as much. As a corporate entity, the NYT will take whatever blows that Miller will leave them. And as for the Roberts issue, they'll probably spend the next few days backtracking from their slimeball tactics, and will also find nothing of worth, other than the destruction of another ethical standard of the high and mighty media.

Their hypocrisy is staggering, and future historians will wonder why anyone ever bothered to treat the NYT with anything but disdain, and all but charge them with treason. The NYT of yesteryear is long dead, and it's current format is also slowly dying out. It'll be a miracle if they have any impact upon the 2006 and 2008 election years. (Hat Tip: HughHewitt)

Newsday update

Apparently, Newsday's forgotten about the whole "London bombers did it because of Iraq" meme they tried to spread earlier in the week. Tells me one very simple thing: it was bullshit to begin with. If they followed up on it, that would have meant that there was at least a source that they can backtrack with, but they didn't do any follow-up work on it. Nor did any other major newspapers even mention it. So, Newsday got to do a shrill article that most readers of the newspaper would look at the cover page and the headlines, and never think twice about it. Good job, Newsday, on your shoddy journalistic practices and shrill leftist campaigning and talking points.

On top of that, they're being shrill and sappy about the casualties in Iraq in the past few days. There hasn't been any outcry from the families of the fallen soldiers (who, btw, I give my utomst condolences and my pride to, with their sons and daughters having died fighting for our country's continued freedom)- and in the NY Post, there was more of a spirit of fierce determination from the military famiies. But that didn't stop Newsday (and other mainstream media) from their disgraceful talking points meme of "we'll cry a river for the fallen soldiers, so long as it allows us to pretend to give a damn while pushing for our anti-Bush and anti-military ideology". They don't care about the soldiers one iota- and articles like those just show how crass and stupid they really are.

It's no small wonder that Newsday's readership is dwindling (especially since Kerry only won Suffolk County, the main powerbase for Newsday, by 1,000 votes), and advertising is down for Newsday (gee, you think the ad scandal with Newsday has anything to do with both?). Maybe a more moderate tone from Newsday- and a less shrill and sloppy journalistic approach would help them regain readers. But I somehow doubt Newsday would find a pulse if someone gave them a stethoscope.

UPDATE: The Marines who were killed earlier this week, it turns out, were effectively killed in retaliatory strikes by the terrorists in the western parts of Iraq, west of Baghdad (For more info, check out The Fourth Rail). What that means, is that as usual, the media ignores the acutal contextual background for the story in order to go with their BS sob story. The marines died in a forward combat zone, where they were actively taking part in offensive operations (or getting ready to, in jump off areas). They fully expected to have to absorb any attacks the terrorists might throw at them. Does it suck that they were killed? Yes, it does. You never want to see an American soldier make the ultimate sacrifice. But knowing the actual details of their deaths makes it alot more understandable, rather than cheesey sob stories that Newsday and the rest of the mainstream media wants to pull over our heads.

We're fighting the terrorists in their own rear lines. Expect casualties. Also, expect us to win- the terrorists have shown that they can't stand and fight modern armies, and the deaths of the marines earlier in the week don't change that one bit. Shame on Newsday and their ilk for playing pathetic partisan politics with the families of the fallen Marines, and with the actual effects of the war. I wonder if Ernie Pyle is rolling in his grave.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Newsday at it again?

In the August 1st Edition of Newsday, they have a major article on the London bombers- saying that the Bombers did their attacks because of Iraq (Newsday Article). I was immediately suspicious since no other major news website or newspapers reported the same story. Even Newsday calls it "reportedly" which is code word for "we can deny that we said it was the truth down the line." Yeah, sure, whatever.

It's a source that comes, apparently enough, from Correre della Sera, an Italian leftist newspaper that even Newsday doesn't directly source, and I can't find it at their website. It's not even the major news story on Newsday's website. But it is on their regular daily newspaper- front page and all that.

No one- not even CNN, not the AP, not any other Italian or British news service- is taking this seriously. And since Newsday's even looking like they're shunting the article aside, that they've got egg on their face. I don't doubt that there will be bombings because of Iraq, but the timing of the bombings is key.

I'll reserve final say until after the authorities and intel services are finished with their investigations and interrogations. But I will say that the article seems to be a cheap shot that's geared towards manufacturing the claim that Iraq caused more terrorism than previously. I mean, Newsday has:
1. A poorly sourced article from a Italian news service that isn't fan friendly to the US
2. no one else is talking about their claims at this moment.
3. Why use a Italian news service, fail to mention who they are directly, and actually show NO evidence that Omar Hussain actually said anything- nor talk about Correre della Sera's own sources?
4. Isn't it convienient to use a leftist foriegn newspaper as your key source? How many people will bother to actually translate their articles?
5. How would the news come out this early when the investigations have really just begun?
6. Why post it up on the daily newspaper (but not the main webpage, as of this moment) prominiently? That screams of projection, and trying to shove it in the readers' faces, like you want them to think it's true? The way they handled that aspect of it seems to be too much like the leftist blogs online, and reduces credibility of the article.

It's too early to say that Newsday's wrong, or that they are right. But I will say that their follow through on the article is shoddy at best, and is poor journalism at work. It won't suprise me if the whole story fizzles for Newsday, and they lose more readers because of their poor standards. They lost me years ago, as it is, with their pompous attitude and penchant for insulting their readers' intelligence.


I was away on vacation for the weekend at Gettysburg, and came back late Sunday night. Have no fear, I'll have pictures and posts about Gettysburg posted up in short time. Just have to wait to get some of the photos developed.

Otherwise, a great time was had by all. Great weather, great service, and one of the best maintained battlefields in the world. I'd definitely recommend going to Gettysburg- and I look forwards to going back, in the future.

Next year, I'm already considering doing either Antietam, or a Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville/Spotsylvania battlefield tour.