Wednesday, February 28, 2007
This week, Rep Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania began discussing legislation he would like to use to prevent any reinforcements from going to Iraq. He has said he will tie readiness requirements to funding bills for troop deployments. At face value this might not be a bad idea. Murtha would put requirements on how much training, equipment, and time away from Iraq any particular unit needed before it could be deployed to Iraq. Murtha has said the limits he has sent are unachievable, and would prevent any troops from being deployed to Iraq. Murtha’s message would be loud and clear: Troops, you are on your own.
However, the Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate are unsure how they want to proceed. Speaker Pelosi has been non-committal on Murtha’s proposal, but is quoted in the AP article as saying, “Let me be very clear: Congress will fund our troops.” Senate Majority Leader Reid wishes to table the discussion on Iraq entirely. He plans on taking up debate on the 9/11 commission. Discussing when the Senate might pick up the debate on Iraq, Reid said, “Iraq is going to be there – it’s just a question of when we get back to it.” The article also quotes him as saying it would be days and not weeks before the Senate came back to the issue. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) stated that he understood there were some that thought the Senate should continue the debate on Iraq. However, both Durbin and Reid think they can implement all of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations quickly. Because of the emotional nature of some of the recommendations, and the fact that they haven’t been implemented yet, it might take some time before the Senate could agree on what recommendations to implement.
The article illustrates that the Democratic leadership is confused and unsure when it comes to the Iraq debate. The Senate is moving on to other things. Pelosi and Reid seem to be on different pages on what to do next. All of this illustrates one point: The Founding Fathers were right to give power to carry out a war to the Commander in Chief and not to the Congress. If the Congress can’t even make up its collective minds on how to proceed with the debate, how are they possibly going to manage a war requiring quick decisions? Reid and Pelosi may want to direct how we proceed in Iraq, but the Constitution says only Bush gets to make that decision. I think the way Congress has acted over the last few weeks illustrates why the Constitution decided one person could make decisions quicker than a collection of hundreds.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
I think whether you believe in the surge or not, most people hope and pray it works. Americans want success in Iraq. Americans don’t like to loose. Based on the comments from many Democrats, I wonder if the Democratic Party wants success, or is hoping for a defeat. The Democrats have announced they are going to try to prevent reinforcements from going to Iraq; and they are going to try to prevent the President from doing what he thinks he needs to do to win. To me, that doesn’t sound like the Democrats want a victory in Iraq. They either want defeat, or at best, just want us to leave. Which brings the question, what happens to those Democrats and Republicans who are against the war right now, and against the President’s new path, if we do win?
Most Democrats and a few Republicans seem to be betting their political career on a failed war in Iraq. I believe these elected officials are doing everything in their power (knowingly or not) to bring about the same end to this war that Vietnam suffered from. The US didn’t loose in Vietnam, we gave up. In Iraq, we can win, but we will have to stay with it, probably into the next presidency.
If the President’s policy works, then those Democrats like Murtha, Reid, and Pelosi who are doing everything they can to try and bleed our forces dry will be in a tough spot. In an interview this week, Vice President Cheney pointed out we have had successes in Iraq. We have removed Saddam from power. We have had elections in Iraq. There is a constitution written in Iraq. Saddam had his day in court, and was executed. If we are able to defeat the terrorist and insurgents now battling us in Iraq, and leave Iraq with the democratically elected government able to handle its own affairs, then we will have done something incredible in Iraq. The Democrats (and some Republicans) will be on the record saying there is no way for the surge to work. They will be on the record saying we should run away from Iraq. Will that affect their re-election chances? Will it affect the chances of a Democratic Nominee winning the White House in 2008 or even in 2012?
Friday, February 23, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I have seen many reports and specials on the
Because they Hate is an incredible account of a Christian growing up in
One of the tactics Mrs. Gabriel describes was designed to kill Jews in
Mrs. Gabriel would survive the war in
Because They Hate is also a warning to the
As cliché as it may sound, I think all Americans need to read this book. This is an account of a woman who has seen first hand the terrible face of Islamic fundamentalist. Her native country was destroyed by the same people who would like to attack us. She wrote this book as a warning to the
Saturday, February 17, 2007
As authorities, the media, and family members search for a reason for the brutal murders at a mall on Monday, Robert Spencer points out a fact I haven’t heard covered anywhere else. Sulejmen Talovic killed five people and wounded four in a
We may never know what caused Sulejmen to do what he did. However, if we can understand what led to it, maybe we can prevent it from happening again. Does it matter that he was Muslim? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. However, Robert Spencer reminds us of a few things that have happened recently in the
Ismail Yassin Mohamed stole a car in
Ommed Aziz Popal killed one and injured fourteen during a drive through
Naveed Afzal Haq killed one and injured five more in July of 2006 at a Jewish Center in
Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar drove an SUV onto the
From what I have seen, the authorities are not labeling these as terrorist incidents. However, all five incidents involved Muslims killing or trying to kill people here in the
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Under questing by the Senate, General Petraeus said that a move to condemn the President would give hope and support to our enemies. Just the continue talk of this debate is giving Al-Queda more ammunition, and is hurting our allies. Quoting CNN: “Calling the governments of
Giving our enemies “aid and comfort” is treason. Democrats and Republicans in Congress need to realize that their words are being reported in the
The Democrats in Congress and the Republicans helping them are acting like children. Congress is rushing to condemn a plan that hasn’t fully been implemented yet. Some would argue we are already seeing some results of this plan. Muqtada Al-Sadr has reportedly fled the country. Today, US troops went house to house in
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
This leaves us with the question, “What should we do about
After posting this I saw a story on Fox News saying that the Iraqi borders with Iran and with Syria are going to be closed for 72 hours. Curfews are going to be extended as well. I think this is a good step in the right direction, I truly believe this looks like a new strategy in Iraq.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Mrs. Goodman would have us believe that those who question whether or not Global Warming is a product of our own practices are on a par with a brutal regime that killed around 5.1 million Jews. I cannot overstate the viscous brutality of the Nazi’s that tried to wipe out an entire race of people. I have a friend whose Grandfather survived the holocaust. Listening to his Grandfather speak of the family members he lost is something that cannot be put into words. Those who question the Holocaust do so for political reasons, typically with the agenda of wanting to continue the destruction of the Jewish people.
Mrs. Goodman irresponsibly compares the Nazi’s with individuals, politicians, and scientist who question the science behind manmade global warming. Scientist have questioned the work of their peers for as long as there have been scientist. It is part of the process. In the case of manmade global warming, there is science that refutes the global warming position.
Regardless of your position on the debate, this kind of rhetoric doesn’t help the process, and insults those who have been a victim of one of the worst human tragedies in our history.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Mr. Barrett’s book is divided into eight chapters. Each of the individuals he follows gets their own chapter. They come from a diverse spectrum as one can tell from reading the Chapter Titles: The Publisher, The Scholar, The Iman, The Feminist, The Mystics, The Webmaster, and The Activist. His last chapter presents his conclusions from the book, and to some degree, outlines a way forward for Islam in America.
Each of the stories contained in American Islam are very well written. Some of the individuals I agreed with, some I didn’t. Regardless, I found myself caught up in the story of each of the Muslim’s in this book. The only exception is the chapter entitled The Webmaster. This chapter chronicles Sami Omar al-Hussayen who was tried under the Patriot Act. Mr. Barrett does a good job of presenting a balanced view of each of these people, again with the exception of al-Hussayen. This one chapter I found to be frustrating as it jumps around, and doesn’t seem to have any real flow to it. This doesn’t help the overall feel of the book because this is the longest chapter of the book and it is towards the end.
Of all the individuals, I found The Feminist the most interesting. This is the story of a Muslim woman in West Virginia who is fighting for equal rights for women within Islam. I was truly fascinated by her story and the trials she and her family have gone through in order to get where they are today. Ms. Asra Nomani has been able to make giant leaps at her local Mosque. It remains to be seen how the rest of the Muslim Society within America will respond to her desire for change.
I was very disappointed by the Conclusions section of Mr. Barrett’s book. According to Mr. Barrett, if Islam is to become more moderate in America, there are things that the American Government and Israel will need to do and sacrifice. Are there actions Muslims should take within Islam, like Ms Nomani? Are there organizations, actions, and sects that are trying to perverse and corrupt Islam that should be condemned? Are there Muslim groups within the US that should be condemned, and groups that should be protected? Mr. Barrett doesn’t talk about those issues.
In order for our Country to continue to survive, these questions need to be answered. Our government must protect all its citizens, regardless of faith. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others are all the target of those who would kill in the name of Islam. Mr. Barrett’s book gave me a greater understanding of the diversity of Islam within our country. But there are tough questions that many Muslims must answer. After reading American Islam, I was left with the impression that many Muslims and Mr. Barrett aren’t ready to address those questions.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Months ago these Senators were telling the President, “Stay the course is not an option!” The President changed his cabinet, changed commanders in Iraq, is sending more troops to Iraq, and is providing economic and political answers for problems in the Middle East. That isn’t “stay the course”. However, because the President’s last name is Bush, the Senate wants him to abandon Iraq. They want our troops to leave. If our troops leave, the United States will be forced to face a military loss and will have to question its standing as the world’s lone superpower.
If the Senate truly believes the President is doing the wrong thing, the only constitutional power they have is budgetary. They can basically “de-fund” the troops. This would definitely bring a close to the Iraq war, though probably not an end most Americans would want. There would be catastrophic consequences, but if the Senate believes this is the way to go, then they should do the job they were elected to do.
If this is a political stunt, then the Senate is simply giving ammunition to our enemy. Al-Queda and other terrorist organizations have shown time and time again they pay close attention to our news and politics. They have also shown they know how to use the internet as a weapon. A resolution telling the President he doesn’t have the support of the country will play over and over and over in the Middle East. It will also appear on numerous jihad websites within minute of the Senate passing it.
The Senate needs to make an important decision: Are they willing to risk the future of the country in order to make a President look bad? If they are, then they can pursue the non-binding resolution and tell the troops they are on their own. If they aren’t, then they need to put this behind them and get on with doing the jobs they were elected to do.