Saturday, November 26, 2005

Biden's At It Again

Joe Biden has an op-ed piece in today's Washington Post and not surprisingly, he only digs himself deeper into the hole of absurdity that he sits in. Biden uses his article to mis-represent facts, make false statements, and give the war in Iraq a very bleak portrayal.

Here's what Captain's Quarters thought of Biden's piece:
Senator Joe Biden writes an op-ed for today's Washington Post that gets the entire war on terror fundamentally wrong -- and demonstrates why the Democrats have entirely failed to provide any leadership on Iraq and the wider war. Along the way, Biden slices off half-truths out of context to argue for the worst possible spin on Iraq, and ignores the tremendous progress that has been made by Coalition forces in developing Iraq into a democracy.
After this opening, Captian Ed proceeds to debunk the entire article, leaving hardly anything that Biden writes left as a valid fact. If you value the truth, read the post. It demonlishes Biden's (and the Dems) major talking points about the war.

Hugh Hewitt also offered his reactions to Sen. Biden's article:
[Biden writes:]
"Recently, 79 Democratic and Republican senators told President Bush we need a detailed, public plan for Iraq, with specific goals and a timetable for achieving each one."
This is of course the refernce to the Senate vote on November 15, which Senator Warner cooked up and which was widely understood by most observors to be a rebuke to the president's Iraq policy --a disastrous bit of maneuvering by the Senate majority which probably ruined Bill Frist's presidential ambition.

But no matter how ill-conceived the November 15 gambit was, it did not purport to do what Slow Joe Biden casually asserts it did in today's Post. Biden is lying. No one in the Post's copy room caught it.
The bottom line: Sen. Biden's op-ed is nothing more than mis-information meant to hide the facts about the war in Iraq. Thankfully, we have conservative pundits like Hugh Hewitt and Captain Ed to expose these Democratic efforts for the empty rhetoric they are.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday Stories

Cindy Sheehan is back in the news. She flew into Texas today in order to participate in another war protest near the Bush ranch. The protesters are trying a new approach:
Before Sheehan's arrival, more than 100 protesters at the camp ate a traditional Iraqi meal for Thanksgiving _ salmon, lentils, rice with almonds and a salad of parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers and bulgur wheat. They said they wanted to call attention to the innocent Iraqi victims in addition to the more than 2,100 U.S. soldiers killed since the war began in March 2003.

"It's significant because the people of Iraq are suffering under our occupation, and for people in America it's business as usual stuffing themselves on fat turkeys," said Tammara Rosenleaf, whose husband is an Army soldier to be deployed in a few weeks.
Are these people really so disillusioned? Do they really hate America this much?

First of all, the number of innocent Iraqi casualties is not anywhere near the amount that these protesters portray it to be. In fact, it is considerably less. The majority of Iraqi citizens now enjoy numerous freedoms that they would have never even dreamed about under Saddam.

And with stories like this coming from good embedded journalists in Iraq, it's hard to say with a straight face that the presence of American soldiers is causing the Iraqis to suffer. The statement made by this particular war protester is merely another example of someone whose views ignore the basic facts about the war. These protesters are a product of the rhetoric of and Cindy Sheehan, and they are just plain wrong.

In a very real, very serious war, being wrong about its essential facts can be extremely dangerous.

Another scary thought: some of these people are school teachers, which means they have a verry malleable audience in the form of their students everyday. Consider this story:
A high school teacher is facing questions from administrators after giving a vocabulary quiz that included digs at President Bush and the extreme right.

Bret Chenkin, a social studies and English teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School, said he gave the quiz to his students several months ago. The quiz asked students to pick the proper words to complete sentences.

One example: "I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes." "Coherent" is the right answer.
The students who took this quiz will be voting in the next election, and chances are, this teacher is one of their primary sources of information. How do you think they'll vote if they pay attention in class?

This has dangerous implications for our national security, and we must do all we can to keep these kinds of people from the responsibility of governing.

Avian Flu in Canada

Canada joins the list of countries who have recently discovered cases of the avian flu:
Canada has discovered the H5 avian influenza virus in 35 wild ducks and one case of the H7 virus in its eastern provinces, officials announced.

The Canadian Wildlife Service made the discoveries during routine banding of some 710 migratory waterfowl around the Tantramar marshes near the borders of the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Thanks

Today as we gather with our families to be thankful for what we have been given, let us not forget the sacrifices that are being made by our soldiers abroad in Iraq and other countries. Their efforts give us the freedom we enjoy everyday, and allow us to spend this Thursday with our loved ones.

The Claremont Institute echoes this idea well as they consider the Thanksgiving Day speeches by George Washington in 1789 and Abraham Lincoln in 1863. They close with this:
As our soldiers fight and die in Iraq and around the world, we should remember the wartime wisdom of Lincoln and the founding wisdom of Washington on Thanksgiving Day. Guided by prayer, we should recall our higher purposes. We enjoy the fruits of our leisure this Thursday on account of the wisdom and sacrifices of others present and past.
Thus I give thanks for those who have made this day possible, and I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

How To Leave Iraq

After the next round of elections in Iraq, American commnaders are planning on sending home 3 of the 18 U.S. military brigades currently deployed in Iraq in order to replace them with Iraqi security forces. This would reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by about 17,000.

Regardless of what transpired last week in the House over the Murtha proposal, it is obvious that the military has its own plans for when U.S. troops can safely withdraw from Iraq. And rightly so. The military commanders on the ground in Iraq obviously have a much better sense than members of Congress of when the U.S. should pull out of the country.

It makes no sense for the U.S. to pull all of our troops out of Iraq if the Iraqis are not ready to effectively fight terrorists or even handle the ongoing insurgency. If we did indeed pull out, and the Iraqis were indeed not ready, the newly established democracy would crumble, civil wars would erupt, and the country would be left in a state of military law. This is not at all what the U.S. intends to do in Iraq. Rather, our goal is to establish a self-functioning democracy, a self-sufficient military, and a stable, free society.

If we are to be able to do this, we must let the commanders on the ground determine when we can relinquish command to the Iraqis, and thus when we can bring our troops home. The Dems in Congress do not have the information available to them that officers in Iraq do, and so it only makes sense to leave decisions of when we should pull out of Iraq up to those military officials.

Congress' calling for a time table accomplishes nothing. It is counter-productive to the war effort, and illustrates a lack of knowledge about the war. The best possible action is to stay the course.

The plan for getting out of Iraq is victory.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Murtha Shows His Stuff (and How Weak It Is) on Meet The Press

Democratic Representative John Murtha is claiming that most Americans support the Iraqi pullout. This is categorically wrong, and has no factual basis. There simply aren't any legitimate polls tha could be used to defend this point.

Murtha only makes the baseless charge for more camera time in an attempt to change actual public opinion to the fictional public opinion that he boasts about. I assume Rep. Murth is a smart man --one expects inetlligence from a Congressman-- but he is utterly and completely mistaken in his opinions about Iraq.

Sunday morning on Meet The Press, I listened as Murtha talked for 20 minutes but managed to say nothing (transcript here). Instead he offered unconfirmable information and used anecdotes like they were facts. Here's how Murtha opens:
REP. MURTHA: Tim, I'm absolutely convinced that we're making no progress at all, and I've been complaining for two years that there's an overly optimistic--an illusionary process going on here. They keep trying to measure Iraqi troops by our standards. They don't need to meet our standard. And until we turn it over to the Iraqis, we're going to continue to do the fighting. Our young men and women are going to continue to suffer.

I go to the hospitals almost every week. I'm going to go out there again this week, and I see these young people doing the fighting and it's time to turn it over to Iraq. Give them the incentive to do the fighting themselves. They'll have to work this out themselves. This is their country. We've become the enemy. Eighty percent of the people in Iraq want us out of there. Forty-five percent say it's justified to attack Americans. It's time to change direction.
Contrary to what Rep. Murtha has argued, our country's top military officials feel that we are making progress, and solid progress at that. After his completey false topic sentence, Murtha goes on to offer statistics about how the Iraqis want us out of their country. Typically, he cites nothing when making this claim, and we're just supposed to take his word for it. Polls can lie, especially ones that don't exist and cannot be confirmed.

By the way, Tim Russert didn't press Murtha on this point, he simply moved on without even a second thought. And why would he? Those stats fit his agenda. So he followed up with this exchange:
TIM RUSSERT: ...Why is [the war] any different now than it was a year ago?

REP. MURTHA: I'll tell you why it's different. It's different because there's no progress at all. When I went to Iraq about two months ago, I talked to the commanders. Now, I--the commanders say what they're supposed to say, but I can tell how discouraged they are.
Again Murtha begins from the false claim that we aren't making any progress, and shows his basis for such a claim: he can just tell. The commanders in Iraq didn't say that there has been no progress, they of course said the opposite (the truth), but Murtha could "tell" they didn't think this to be the case. Right.

He went on to claim that people in the military "know it's not possible to win a military victory [in Iraq]." Really? Then why do we have good journalists like Michael Yon reporting from the field about our military's weekly successes, and noting the great confidence of the ground troops he is embedded with? But of course, "There's nothing that's happening that shows any sign of success," at least according to Murtha.

More of Murtha's bigtime charges, also foundationless:
Fifteen thousand people have been wounded, and half of them are desperately wounded, blinded, without their arms.

I mean, it breaks my heart when I go out there and see these kids. I see wives who can't look at their husbands because they've been so disfigured. I saw a young fella that was paralyzed from the neck down and his three children were standing there crying with his wife and his mother. So this is a real war, which--we have to find a solution. We--and since there's no progress, we've got to find a way to let the Iraqis take over.
Has he made any sort of case with these last remarks? He likes to think he has. But using tragic anecdotes as sound facts to describe the big picture status of the war accomplishes nothing. The point of seeing the big picture is to look at something "on the whole," and by calling upon isolated incidents, Rep. Murtha is not doing this.

Nonetheless, he goes on to predict a full removal of troops by the end of 2006, which isn't realistic by any account, and he then calls for the firing of Secretary Rumsfeld. The interview is a whirlind of accusations, unconfirmable "facts" and "statistics" and hard-left rhetoric, and is typical of the, Howard Dean-loving crowd from the radical left. Murtha illustrates his defeatist politics regarding the war in Iraq, and in doing so reveals the position that many Dems have, yet do not publicly admit.

Catching Up With The World

My apologies for the lack of posting the past two days. A spur-of-the-moment trip to Kansas for the NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship consumed my time. So here comes the updates:

Drudge Report broke a story earlier today that said CNN flashed an 'X' across Vice President Cheney's face during coverage of his speech from American Enterprise Institute in Washington. Despite all the commotion over the incident, it appears that the flashing X was a glitch, and not intentional. This according to Michelle Malkin.

Hugh Hewitt notes the lack of performance of the Senate's Republican Majority, and offers some tips for how the GOP can refocus. He's not only calling out Frist and others, but also rightly backing Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona.

Power Line's Paul Mirengoff considers Chris Matthews' asinine comments from Canada. Here's the soundbite:
If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil. They just have a different perspective. The smartest people understand the enemy's point of view, because they understand what's driving them.
As Paul points out, Matthews has essentially claimed that Bin Laden isn't evil, he just has a different perspective, and that the Bush administration does not know its enemy. So much for unbiased reporting.

Jeff Goldstein offers a comprehensive post on Vice President Cheney's speech tonight (the one that CNN accidentally X-ed). Goldstein extensively quotes and reflects on Cheney’s outstanding speech on criticism of the war. Read his post for a solid debriefing.

The most recent news about the Avian Flu:
The United States government has placed an interim ban on poultry imports from British Columbia.

The move comes in response to a single case of avian flu found in a duck on a Fraser Valley farm.
A full investigation is planned before the U.S. starts importing the poultry again, but until then, it's best to be cautious.

More updates to come.