Saturday, October 30, 2004
Friday, October 29, 2004
Is It Alive?
Unless the savage provides proof of life, I'll treat this video as confirmation of death.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Arab satellite television Al Jazeera said on Friday it would broadcast a video tape from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden addressing the American people.
It said the tape, to be aired at 4 p.m. EDT, would discuss the reasons behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and their repercussions. It gave no further details.
Bonus: It appears that either Osama is alive, or Michael Moore has lost a considerable amount of weight. Judging from the "My Pet Goat" rhetoric, it's just plain impossible to tell -- we can only wait on the analysts. The news here? Well, I'll let Steyn say it:
As a colleague said a short while ago, I suppose you takes 'em where you finds 'em.
And Another: For the record, I see nothing in this latest tape to cause me to back off my earlier conclusions regarding the significance of al Qaeda's election-eve threats.
Right now, Pennsylvania is so close that Cuthbert's vote, standing alone, could conceivably make the difference. The President needs Cuthbert's vote and, in order to get it, the unforeseen must transpire. What better place, I thought to myself, to summon the spirit of the unforeseen than the blogosphere. So, I say to this community, let's each take our very best shot at persuading Cuthbert to VOTE FOR THE PRESIDENT (as opposed to vote against Kerry) on Tuesday, and, in doing so, even if we don't get Cuthbert, we may just manage to get enough of the other Moveable Voters to make the difference in Pennsylvania. Although the task will not be easy, I can guarantee that Cuthbert is open to persuasion, or, as Cuthbert himself put it, "not so blinded by ideology that [he's] unwilling to hear arguments to the contrary."
With that, then, I give you Operation Cuthbert. Load up the comments or just link to your own site. Please spread the word!
Confirmation of What Everyone Knows
Brokaw: Someone has analyzed the President's military aptitude tests and yours, and concluded that he has a higher IQ than you do.
Kerry: That's great. More power. I don't know how they've done it, because my record is not public. So I don't know where you're getting that from.
Bonus: Rumor is swirling of formal confirmation that Kerry received a Less than Honorable Discharge from the Navy. I don't know what to think. Confirmation isn't going to come as a surprise to those of us who know Kerry is a dishonorable character. I also doubt it's going to mean much to those already willing to stomach this guy as Commander in Chief. My suspicion is that there is significant blow-back potential here. Oh well, I suppose what will be, will be.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
If Not Them, Who?
And now, on election-eve, Little Bunny Foo-Foo hops out of the forest to make a clean breast of it. Bunnatine Greenhouse (yes, that is apparently a real name, not something out of a Dickens novel) is at the center of the latest Halliburton dust-up, which consists of nothing but generalized allegations of impropriety and an utterly unremarkable fledgling FBI investigation. And just what are the alleged improprieties? Apparently, nobody knows, including the AP, which, heaven forfend, doesn't let the dearth of facts get in the way of running with the story. My bet -- we won't hear anymore of this, and certainly nothing more after next Tuesday.
Bonus: When I said above that we wouldn't hear anymore of this, I was of course speaking about the actual substance of the Greenhouse allegations. There was never any question that Team Kedwards would sing another refrain of the Halliburton Chorus:
"You cannot stand with Halliburton, big oil companies and the Saudi royal family and still stand up for the American people."Unlike last night's story, this morning's AP piece at least has the virtue of stating the obvious:
Democrats long have accused the Bush administration of showing favoritism to Halliburton, but had trouble making the charges stick after congressional investigators found the company got no-bid contracts in part because no other firms could do the work.
Not with a Bang . . .
I have spoken with some people who suggest that an attack is unlikely because al Qaeda understands that an attack would likely benefit Bush-Cheney. This is not an illogical supposition, especially in view of lop-sided polling on the issues of which candidate is more trusted to fight the GWoT, is better suited to take the fight to our enemies and just plain stronger in the face of modern threats. But, by that same logic, al Qaeda would not have bothered to release this threat. Rather, al Qaeda would have lain low until after the election, lending currency to the mewling crowd who contend "there is no terrorist threat." Simply put, John Kerry is best served by a world that remains calm -- a world in which the threat of catastrophic terror recedes to the horizon, obscured by more pressing day-to-day domestic issues and a focus on the War in Iraq (as artfully, if untruthfully, distinguished from the "Battle of Iraq").
No. al Qaeda has now chosen to bring itself to the fore in this election. But, in doing so in words and not deeds, al Qaeda betrays its weakness. If it believes the American people can be cowed, then, if it could, it would have attempted to cow us as it did Spain. 3-and-a-half years into a relentless assault on its leadership, its footsoldiers, its finances and its sympathizers, all it is left with is a hollow sabre-rattling diatribe. The fact that the diatribe is delivered by an American-born savage (or one posing as such) is, to me, further evidence of incapacity -- a need to wrap its pathetic threats within a heavy-handed symbolism: "What do you think Akbar? Will it be a bit more scary if an American delivers the message? Let's have Azzam the Idiot do it, that will shake them up."
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe al Qaeda does have the capacity to unleash a horror of epic proportions. Maybe this is a prelude to tragedy. I don't know for certain. But I do think al Qaeda's decision to release this tape suggests it is incrementally less likely that it has such a capacity. As they say, those who can, do. Those who can't release hystrionic video tapes threatening to do so in the future.
Move 'em Out
. . . and the horse he rode in on -- side-saddle, of course.
Cry Me a River
Bonus: Balloon Juice weighs in with this tug at the heartstrings.
Put a Fork in Him -- He's Done
DoD confirms that the chances this material was moved post-invasion is "nearly nil," which makes sense to me. I find it hard to believe that 380 tons of anything could have been conveyed across Iraqi highways unnoticed by a legion of Bradley Fighting Vehicles, convoys, checkpoints and troops, let alone a convoy emnating from a high value location. So too does the Pentagon:
The depot is located at the intersection of two major roads. Both are major convoy routes for American supplies going into Iraq, and they were jammed with U.S. vehicles at all times. There is no evidence, Pentagon officials said, that there wasThis, of course, means that neither Bush nor the military were "incompetent" in failing to secure that material. But then, we were 'almost certain' that was the case within 15 hours of the nytrogate story hitting the streets.
any large-scale movement of explosives – or anything else for that matter – from
Note: Yes, this is the same Jack Shaw who the L.A. Times slimed (L.A. Times original story has been disappeared) with phony allegations of interfering with communications contracts in Iraq. Shaw was completely vindicated (scroll down).
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
One for Victory
Incidentally, Megan also uses Glenn's soapbox to spill some ink on a running battle with HP tech support. Perhaps having had second thoughts, she gamely tries to make a few larger economic and information points. I'll give her an 8 (out of 10 possible) for the recovery. I'll give her a perfect 10, though, for getting the issue resolved. Nothing like the fear of bad press to get a corporation off the dime.
You know, even if Kerry wins, if I dedicate the same amount of willful ignorance and venom to ruining Kerry's Presidency as the Democrats have done to Bush since day one, they are going to wish they had never won.
While we could probably do without the willful ignorance, every last bit of venom would help. The remark is made in the context of nytrogate and appears in a post containing a stunning visual aid to understanding the petty nature of the nytrogate issue. Now that we know that the IAEA's poor excuse for Inspector Clouseau, Muhammed al Baradei, is behind the story, it's just one more reason to elect Bush. al Baradei 's a buffoon who deserves to lose his job and Bush would see to it. There's much more to say about al Baradei, but let's leave it at saying Deuffler begged him to destroy this shit in 1995, but MaB refused. Had he done his job, the cache would have been cashed years ago.
Note: I am a big fan of the Pink Panther films and do not want to besmirch the name of Clouseau, but each time I see al Baradei, he looks like he should be saying, "Ah yes, zee old parallel baaas."
Are We Winning in Iraq?
I wish I was confident that Kedwards would punish the savages for such despicable tactics, but I have no confidence that Kerry won't simply cut and run -- none at all. After all, it was just a few weeks ago that Kerry suggested his strategy in Iraq would depend upon whether or not he was handed "Lebanon." And when Kerry uses the term "Lebanon" he's making reference to Beirut 1983. We know full well what he is saying: His action depends on whether circumstances dictate retreat and abdication. I have little doubt that, on January 21, 2005, Kerry would see "Beirut" in Iraq -- he has always opted to see the world through the eyes of our enemies.
Whatever It Takes
As we headed toward a conference room, a loudspeaker voice announced that there had been a tragedy at the WTC and our building would lock down. I walked into the conference room -- located on the 24th floor of 120 Park. The room had a mostly unobstructed view to the South. I could see smoke billowing up from one of the Towers, immediately eliminating my initial suspicion that a drunk doctor had flown his single engine plane into the structure. As I stared at the smoking building in the distance, the second Tower exploded before my eyes. It knocked me back. The gasps of my colleagues stole every breath of air from the room. The television in the corner replayed the impact -- the same television that would later bring images of people just like me leaping into space from the upper floors of the towers, people just like me whose final decision was to dictate that their world would end not in fire, but in ice.
I immediately returned to my office to call my wife back in Alexandria, Va. The fear in her voice was palpable -- she did not know where in NY my office was, and was overcome with emotion when she learned I was okay and removed from the tragedy. After speaking with her for a few moments, I wondered back to the conference room. This time, the television was showing pictures of the Pentagon -- a building two miles from my home and that I pass everyday on my hellish 395 commute. The Pentagon was in flames. I called my home again, this time to make sure my pregnant wife and our 2-year old daughter were okay. As I again made my way back to the conference room where I would spend the rest of the day, I walked past a middle-aged woman, sitting behind her computer as she did everyday. I don't know her name, but I will never forget her. She stared into the middle distances, her lower lip quivered as a single tear ran down her check, leaving a glistening trail behind it.
I vividly remember that blackest of days, and the surreal days in Manhattan that followed. I was trapped for three days. What I remember most is the silence of September 12. The city was hollow, no traffic flowed. You could have napped in the intersection of 42nd and 5th. I remember that eeirie silence and it being regularly punctuated by screaming sirens heading to and from Ground Zero -- sirens that wailed all the louder for the absence of sounds of daily life.
I don't trust John Kerry to take every step to ensure that we never live through another week such as that. I don't trust John Kerry to respond appropriately in the event that it happens again. I trust George W. Bush to do whatever it takes, even if it takes measures wildly unpopular with the self-appointed custodians of virtue. As for the rest of the world and what they think we should do, fuck 'em. We'll drain this swamp with 'em or without 'em. God bless our true allies. Together, we'll fix this thing.
Bonus: I'm not alone in expressing this thought -- but then I never thought I was.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
It's the Treachery, Stupid
Bonus: The Sun has more.
Kerry Busts Himself
I have no doubt, I've never had any doubt -- and I've said this publicly -- about our ability to be successful in Afghanistan. We are and we will be. The larger issue, John, is what happens afterwards. How do we now turn attention ultimately to Saddam Hussein? How do we deal with the larger Muslim world? What is our foreign policy going to be to drain the swamp of terrorism on a global basis?
It sure looks like he was in favor of the "diversion" before he was against it. Hmm, I think I see a pattern here.
Bonus: Instapundit guestblogger Meghan McArdle notes that the McLaughlin transcript is being pushed by the Kerry campaign (and linked at its website) on the Afghanistan point. Trouble is, the campaign snipped the offending Iraq passage from the transcript -- and thought they could get away with it. Meghan asks: "Don't Kerry's people know about the internet yet?" Maybe Al Gore could explain it to them.
Does BM Have a Future?
Regardless of who wins next Tuesday's election (and no matter how long it
takes to get the results following expected lawsuits and ballots cast by ineligible voters), this may well be the last election cycle in which the Big Media are taken seriously or regarded as influential.
The Big Media (let's abbreviate and call them BM) have gone over the top with this election. They have ripped off their final layer of faux objectivity, revealing their ideological nakedness for all to see in a desperate effort to get John Kerry elected.
The Old Gray Lady Wets Herself
Now, I suspect, the next thing we will learn is how this story was the work of evil genius Karl Rove, just as were the Rather-gate documents, the AFL-CIO rampages, Operation Clark County, and the many other fiascos that reveal the true face of the knuckle-dragging Left.
Better and more links as they come online.
Bonus: Polipundit on the case.
And Another: If anyone was tempted to trust the NYTimes over NBC's imbed, there can no longer be any doubt that the munitions story is false -- Drudge is reporting that CBSNews was gearing up to run an election eve 60 Minutes piece on the issue. Hmm. Speaking of patterns . . .
Yet Another: Team Kedwards continues to shill this story (watch the whole thing!). Talk about pathetic. I find it comical that Kedwards is running on the daily headlines while suggesting that this is the most important election of our lifetime. I don't doubt the importance of this election, but how can it be that today's headlines constitute the most salient issues? They don't. It's just that Kedwards is so wrong on the issues of real importance that distraction is all they have left. As usual, Gehraghty's Kerry Spot provides a compelling round-up of the real facts, including this pitch-perfect response to what Polipundit has christened nytrogate:
Kerry is playing Monday Morning Quarterback with the 101st Airborne’s performance in Iraq. In 1971, John Kerry smeared our troops as rapists and butchers then... He’s smearing them as incompetent now. This Nov. 2, show John Kerry what you think of his attacks on our troops.
Monday, October 25, 2004
F1 -- Buh-Bye Jaguar
Don't Look at Me -- They All Loved Us Then
"The entire Islamic world condemned Iran. Nowadays, because of the unwarranted invasion of Iraq by Bush and Blair, which was a completely unjust adventure based on misleading statements, and the lack of any effort to resolve the Palestinian issue, [there is] massive Islamic condemnation of the United States."
So, Mr. Carter is of the opinion that, during his tenure, all of Islam was with us. The fact of the matter is that the power which held Americans hostages for more than a year was the world's only Islamic power (which makes the statement "the entire Islamic world condemned Iran" more than a trifle silly -- surely Iran did not condemn itself). Here, Carter is probably focusing on the Arab regimes that condemned Iran. But exactly none of those regimes were "Islamic" regimes. Who, praytell, does Carter hold out has having spoken for the "entire Islamic world"? Of course, he doesn't say -- he just makes the assertion (surprise, the Guardian lets him get away with it). At any rate, what of those condemnations? Carter assumes as fact that any condemnations issued by his contrived "Islamic world" were borne of fellow feeling and respect for America. How gullible can you get?
Also, as an aside, I suppose the ululating jigs (scroll down) in the Middle East on September 11 were danced in preemptive response to the "unjust adventure" that liberated millions of real people from the cold fist of real oppression. Until Iraq, oh how they loved us.
Don't Be So Sure, 'Lizbeth
Sunday, October 24, 2004
It's the Judgment, Stupid
"As for this Bush-failed-to-get-bin-Laden business, 2-1/2 years ago I declared that Osama was dead and he's never written to complain. There's no more evidence for his present existence than there is for the Loch Ness monster, which at least does us the courtesy of showing up as a indistinct gray blur on a photograph every now and again. Osama is lying low because he's in no condition to get up."
I agree with Steyn -- Osama is dead.
The News Is Out!
Bonus: The real news is here. Why do I find it unsurprising that Kerry would bother to lie about something like this? Heck, it hardly even qualifies as a lie insofar as Kerry had to know someone would trouble themselves to look into his claim. Or, perhaps he thought he would get a pass -- heaven knows he's gotten bigger ones this cycle.
F1 Round 18 -- Montoya Wins
Next year should prove infinitely more interesting. F1's governing body, the FIA, has introduced significant rules changes, most radically, limiting maximum aerodynamic ground force to roughly the minimum amount of downforce run this year. In other words, the downforce the teams ran in Monza -- a highspeed, low downforce circuit -- will be the maximum downforce. That change alone should mix up the grid next year and bring the best pure drivers to the fore. Although many discount Schumacher's talent level, I suspect he will remain on top, even if the season proves more challenging. In addition, the FIA has mandated that only one tyre set may be used for qualifying and race. This major change will force manufacturers to come with much harder tyre compounds, the result being a significant reduction in mechanical grip in addition to the new aero limits.