Saturday, December 30, 2006
I have no problem saying a Democrat is right when they are. It doesn't happen often, but in this case a Democrat has is right about Iraq. I don't want to discuss the article too much. I would perfer everyone read the article themselves and leave a comment as to what they think.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Since we cannot ask President Gerald Ford about these quotes, or about the embargo itself, we must take them at face value and assume Mr. Woodward has put them in the appropriate context. According to the article, President Ford disagreed with going to war in Iraq, and felt the United States was wrong to try and spread democracy anywhere in the world. President Ford said he would have pushed other alternatives and sanctions harder and avoided the war. President Ford is quoted as saying, “I don’t think I would have ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer.” He is quoted elsewhere as saying, “And I just don’t think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security.”
If President Ford truly felt this way, he did a disservice to himself by not revealing these statements during his lifetime. By waiting till after his death to allow these statements to be published, the quotes look like a cowardly act. As President, Ford had to make some tough decisions. By hiding these statements, his legacy has been tainted. I have written articles critical of President Carter for his statements as an ex-President. At least Carter was willing to face the criticism his comments might generate.
Mr. Woodward has diminished his own reputation due to the timing of his article. President Ford passed away on Tuesday evening. Less than 48 hours later, Mr. Woodward has tried to introduce fresh controversy in President Ford’s legacy for what appears a thinly veiled attempt to generate interest in a future book on President Ford by Mr. Woodward. Perhaps if Mr. Woodward truly felt these statements deserved print as quickly as possible, he should have talked the President into allowing him to publish them during his lifetime. If they could wait until after his death, surely they could have also waited until after his funeral.
Both President Ford and Mr. Woodward have acted with incredible poor taste at a minimum. President Ford’s comments can easily be viewed as petty and somewhat cowardly. Mr. Woodward’s article looks even worse because of the timing.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Saddam Hussein is guilty of untold numbers of murders, rapes, and tortures. His rise to power started with the videotaped executions of 22 of his political rivals. He ruled by force, torture, fear, and brutality. Iraqi’s lived in fear for the 24 years of his reign. If ever there was someone who deserves to face the repercussions of their actions, it is him. He was not brought back to the US and tried; he did not face a war crimes tribunal led by the United Nations. He faced a judicial system made by a democratically elected Iraqi government. Iraqi’s heard his defense in court. Iraqi’s witnessed his trial. Some Iraqi’s died trying to ensure justice was brought to Saddam. And Iraqi’s found him guilty and have sentenced him to death. Those Iraqi’s now deserve to see their government enforce the ruling of their judicial system. It would be an insult to those who risked their lives and the lives of their families to ensure he had his day in court.
There are many in Iraq who still fight because they believe Saddam will one day return to power. There are also those who won’t join in the new Iraqi government until they know there is no way for Saddam to take control of the Iraqi government. If Saddam was simply confined to life imprisonment, there would always be the fear that he could become president again. In Iraq, there are those who believe Saddam has magical abilities. The only way to convince them that he can’t return to power is to execute Saddam. I believe that he should pay for the crimes he has committed. The Iraqi judicial system has ruled they believe he should be executed. The appeals court has ordered it to be televised. Saddam deserves the punishment that he should meet in the next 30 days. Iraq (and the world) will be a better and safer place without him.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Again, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Political Friends.
Friday, December 22, 2006
I think I can get agreement from the majority of people out there when I say that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea are the three biggest hot spots in the world today. If the UN is to work, they must react quickly and decisively in these three areas. Currently, the US and Britain seem to be the major governments trying to stabilize Iraq. Iran and Syria seem to be the major nations trying to destabilize Iraq. If the UN is going to be the forum for the world to resolve its issues, I would expect the UN to be actively engaged in seeking solutions with the US, the UK, and Iraq, and actively trying to prevent Iran and Syria from influencing Iraq. I don’t see that happening.
The United Nations seems to be very reluctant to do anything in Iran. France, Germany, and Britain are working to impose sanctions against Iran for its nuclear development efforts. Russia and China are working hard to prevent sanctions against a nation they consider to be a valuable trading partner. The United States wants tough sanctions, but is trying to give the European nations a chance to work things out. At face value, this sounds like diplomacy at work. The truth of the matter is that this is a continued failure of diplomacy. The UN Security Council set an August 31st deadline for Iran to stop work on enriching uranium, or face dire consequences. Since August 31st, the Security Council has been unable to reach any decision on what those consequences should be. In the mean time, Iran has been working to expand its nuclear program and continues to thumb its nose at the world community. This week’s elections show that the people of Iran don’t support Ahmadinejad’s policies, but the UN can’t develop a similar message to send to Iran.
Under the UN’s watchful eyes, North Korea has now become a nuclear power. While North Korea has returned to the negotiating table, it has done so with a list of demands for the rest of the world. North Korea currently sees these negotiations not as a chance to become a member of the world community, but as a forum to negotiate bribes for the Kim Jung-Il, and to discuss world wide arms reductions. As North Korea has admitted it broke previous treaties, I don’t hold my breath that anything good could come from this latest round of talks.
There are other reasons the United Nations no longer is a legitimate forum for the US. In the view of the UN, all countries are equal, and all should have an equal voice in how the world works. This is a logical conclusion if you believe that there are no nations that are better than other nations. This basic belief is flawed. The United States is quite simply the greatest nation on the Earth. Any forum that equates the views of the US with every petty dictator throughout the world instantly handicaps the US. We have every responsibility to help those individuals and those nations less fortunate than us. However, we don’t have to do it with a gun to our heads as the UN would have us. We can administer our own foreign aid, and peruse our own diplomatic resolutions.
Monday, December 18, 2006
First, North Korea demanded the US stop all financial sanctions against the “Fearless Leader” and North Korea. This is to include the frozen banks that the US began due to North Korea’s high counterfeiting of the US $100 bill. Secondly, someone other than North Korea is to come build them a nuclear reactor. Next, the rest of the world is to provide power for North Korea until the nuclear reactor is built. After that, North Korea and Kim Jung-Il will consider abandoning their nuclear weapon program. And by the way, since they were able to “successfully” test a nuclear weapon, they want equal treatment as any other nation in the world.
When a child misbehaves, he doesn’t come to the principles office with a list of demands that must be met before he will begin to behave again. If a criminal were to show up at the police station with a list of demands before he would abide by the law, we would all laugh at him. However, because the UN and the rest of the world allow tyrant regimes to do as they wish, more and more dictators come to the UN with demands before they will act like a responsible, equal share holder in the world community.
This is the basic flaw with the modern Democratic Party and the UN. Both treat all individuals (except George Bush) and all nations (except the US) as equal. No matter how you treat others, or how bad your ideas may be, you can’t be called wrong. If you feel it is ok to deny the right of another race of individuals to exist, you’re not condemned and cut off from the rest of the world. You are allowed to present your ideas as if they have merit. If you funnel money, troops, and training into a war zone to kill American and International forces, the Iraq Study Group says the US and the world should negotiate with you and give you an equal share in the fate of your neighbors.
Until the UN or the world at large is willing to hold nations like Iran and North Korea responsible for their actions, these rouge leaders will continue to threaten other nations, kill and starve their own people, and grow fat off the weak knees of the world at large. Maybe we should just ask President Carter what to do.
Friday, December 15, 2006
President Ahmadinejad has been pursing nuclear weapons, he has said that Israel needs to be wiped off the map, and last week held a conference arguing that the Holocaust didn’t happen. Regardless of whether Time magazine makes him their Person of the Year or not, even listing him as a candidate soils the reputation of the other nominees and gives weight to everything Ahmadinejad has been saying.
Do the editors and writers of Time believe there was a Holocaust? Do they believe Isreal should be, “wiped off the map?” Would they like the nation of Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas to have nuclear weapons? I have been critical of the Iraq Study Group, but even they say that Iran has been aiding in the flow of arms and training into Iraq. I strive very hard on this site to avoid simply calling people or groups names, but what are the people at Time thinking?
Let’s take this scenario to its possible conclusion. Fast forward to the end of the year when Time announces that President Ahmadinejad is their Person of the Year, complete with flattering glossy photo on the cover. Forget what may or may not be said here in the United States. What will be said in the Middle East? In Iraq? In Iran? Ahmadinejad will hold that issue up for everyone in the Middle East to see and say, “See, even the American people believe Israel should be destroyed. Even the American people believe Iran should have nuclear weapons.” If you don’t think that will happen you are fooling yourself.
The terrorist and leaders in the Middle East pay very close attention to the American media. Even if Time is so short sighted as to not realize this, those in the Middle East will point to this designation of “Potential Man of the Year” and squeeze every bit of PR out of it they can. To list him as a candidate is irresponsible and aides our enemies. I believe in Freedom of Speech, and Time can nominate whomever they wish to. However, I think it tells the American public a lot about who Time is rooting for in the War on Terror.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
With all the hype around Senator Obama this week, I thought I would post a short bio and a note on some of his positions. At then end, I will tell you why I can’t vote for him.
Barack Hussein Obama was born in
Obama won his first election to the State Legislature in 1996. In 2000, he made an attempt at the US House, but was defeated in the
It is a little difficult to point out exactly where he is on many of the issues. He simply hasn’t had enough time in the Senate to let his voting record tell a story. He is very passionate about a few issues on his website (AIDS being one of them). In the press release for December 6, 2006, Senator Obama says, “I agree with the [
At a reception on Sunday, he was asked if the country was ready for a black president. He responded by saying, “Are some voters not going to vote for me because I’m African American? Those are the same voters who probably wouldn’t vote for me because of my politics.” Senator Obama believes only Republicans could be racist. Incase the Senator has forgotten, David Duke ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat from 1975 to 1990. When he decided to try and run as a Republican in 1991, he received a letter from the GOP expressing their disdain for his activities. And don’t forget KKK leader and Senior Democrat from West Virginia Robert Byrd.
I won’t be voting for Senator Obama if he should happen to get the Presidential Nomination. It has nothing to do with his skin color. It has a lot to do with his views on
Saturday, December 09, 2006
I saw a copy of this book at a local Barnes and Nobles and read the book jacket. I got a good laugh out of it. Mr. Carter claims to lay out a plan for, “…Israel and Palestine living side by side within their own internationally recognized boundaries.” According to the book jacket, Mr. Carter believes Israel has a lot to do, and Palestine has almost nothing to do. I couldn’t believe that anyone wanting a real solution to the Israel / Palestine conflict would expect one party or the other make all the sacrifices, and not expect compromise from both sides.
The first controversy I read about in the news was when Kenneth Stein, Director of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, resigned after reading Mr. Carter’s book. He had been associated with Carter for some time and resigned as the Middle East Fellow of the Carter Center. Both Mr. Stein and President Carter agree that he has not been involved in the day to day affairs of the Carter Center for some time. Mr. Stein states that ,”President Carters book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses, its is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments.” Mr. Stein did not want his name in anyway associated with the book.
Shortly after this, Mr. Dennis Ross, former Middle East envoy, came out in public and stated that at least some of the maps used in President Carters book were improperly published. Mr. Ross states that he is the original author of the maps. He states that he was not contacted and did not give permission for President Carter to use the maps.
Based on Mr. Ross and Mr. Stein, it would appear that President Carters new book uses very questionable material and questionable publishing to make its arguments. My original problem with the book still stands. Any course in the Israel / Palestine conflict must include Hamas being removed. At the same time I was reading Mr. Carters comments this week, I saw an article were members portions of the Palestine government will not participate in a unity government if they are asked to recognize Israel’s right to exist. That seems to me to mean that Palestine does have something it will have to work out if it wishes to coexist with Israel.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Iraq is still winnable. We must decide what we want to obtain from our involvement in Iraq, what conditions we are willing to define for victory, and how much we are willing to do to get it. That is what the debate between Republicans and Democrats really needs to be. I don’t believe that any Republican, Democrat, or American really wants to loose in Iraq. So how do we define Victory, and how do we get there?
If we look at Iraq as a front in the larger global war on Islamic Fundamentalism, then we can define victory. One possible definition: Victory is when Iraq is a fully self – reliant democratic government. We can get there by breaking the will of our enemies and the enemies of the Iraqi people. Anyone who has done any looking into the war knows Syria and Iran are both funneling fighters and materials into Iraq. Iran and Syria should be made to hurt enough that they stop supplying our enemies with aid. If Iran and Syria are willing to bleed American soldiers, we should do the same to them. We could target their terrorist as they come across the border, or we could take the war to their nations.
This is only a possible solution. We could limit the area of operation to within the borders of Iraq and step up military operations. We could decide we are willing to handle more civilian causalities in order to protect our troops and hit the terrorist harder. These are all possible strategies to win Iraq. The point is not whether or not they are the right strategies, but that they are strategies that could work in Iraq.
A real Iraq Study Group would have been able to find a few strategies for Victory. This Study Group appears to be looking for anything but Victory.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I have had a running debate on a few other sites about the nature of our guaranteed Freedom of Speech. I thought I would post a few thoughts here and see if there is anyone out there who disagrees.
All of our rights are guaranteed up to a point. We have our freedoms so long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. I have the right to criticize anyone in the government I see fit too. However, I don’t have the right to walk into a crowded movie theater and scream “Fire” at the top of my lungs unless there really is a fire. If someone says something about me, or prints something about me that they can’t prove, I have the ability to sue them in court. I wanted to point this out first to show that our freedoms are limited.
The press is an important watchdog in today’s world, and always has been. However, I feel they get away with a lot under the “Freedom of Speech” clause. If the N Y Times or any other media outlet decides to print classified documents, there should be consequences. If I decided to stand on a street corner and hand classified documents out, plenty of people would rightly be upset. Why should a group of people whom aren’t elected, have the ability to decide what is in my best interest?
There are those who say we need the press to protect us from abuse in government, and I agree. However, if the press finds something that they feel the American public needs to know, they should hand it to one of the other branches government if they can’t legally print it. If someone found something incriminating about President Bush, there is a long line of Senators standing at the ready to do something with that information.
We as Americans are found of saying, “No one is above the law.” The President, Congress, and the Supreme Court are all held accountable just as your average John Doe. So why should a newspaper be any different? I write a blog, does that make me above the law? Many don’t like to talk about it, but our freedoms do have limits. Most of these limits were set forth in the Constitution, and have always been there. I feel those limits should be enforced equally.
I am interested to see what others think. Feel free to drop me a comment.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
The imams were doing more than just praying loudly. They were acting consistent with the 9/11 hijackers. Many of the passengers and crew were concerned with the actions of the imams. The Muslim American Society, which has been pushing the racial profiling angle, reported last week that one of the imams was blind. One of the passengers from the flight noted that there was in fact an imam acting blind in order to convince passengers to swap seats with him. If you pay careful attention to the police report, at no point to the officers note that one of the imams was blind or needed any sort of special attention. This appears to be another hole in the press release created by the Muslim American Society.
One of the imams told a passenger on the plane that his job was a cover and that his real job was “… advocating / representing Muslims here in the US.” This was at the same time that he complained to the passenger about non-shariah law nations, and expressed what this same passenger called “extreme fundamentalist Muslim views.” Last week I pointed out the connections one of the imams had to a Hamas fund raising charity operating here in the US. This information taken with the vocal support for Hamas and Hezbollah from the Muslim American Society makes me very suspicious that these imams were not victims at all. The more information that comes out, the more I believe this was an actual terrorist operation. However, I don’t believe they had any intension of taking over the plane. I think from the beginning they were hoping to get taken off the plane and wanted to use this as a PR operation. These imams and the MAS want to use this to force the airlines to ignore suspicious activities, or get labeled as Islamaphobic. We know the terrorist groups want to use our media against us and this is a case were they are trying to use the media to force us into a less secure footing here in the US.
If it is found that theses six imams were intentionally doing this to try and get in the media spotlight, they should be charged with aiding terrorist, and tried. I think US Airways should be commended for doing the right thing. I can only hope and pray that crews from other airlines act the same way if they see suspicious people on their planes.