Click here and scroll down to see a photo of our book, Black & White World, being placed in the library of Saddam's palace by Joe Kane, a Navy journalist recently sent to Baghdad. His blog, Able Kane Adventures, also contains this noteworthy encounter:
The biggest need we have here is information of the right sort. When I put the U.S. Constitution (in Arabic) in the hands of the Iraqi citizen who had asked me about it previously, tears filled his eyes. He shook my hand and held onto it for a long time with his head down and then looked at me and said thank you. This is the man who two weeks ago was warned not to continue working with the Americans. The man whose wife is 5 months pregnant. He is one of the people here, desperate to learn and to influence the process of political development.
Our deepest thanks to Joe and all his fellow soldiers for their work in Iraq.
(Hat tips to Robert Begley and Lee Sandstead)
From FoxNews: Bush, Kerry Wrapping Up Debate Prep.
President Bush and Sen. John Kerry were set to close up their debate training camps Wednesday and head for Florida, the pivotal state in the 2000 election and the site of the first 2004 presidential debate.
From The Michigan Daily: Talk of draft factors into race
Some of Kerry’s surrogates have been more explicit [than Kerry] in using the [draft] issue against Bush. Earlier this month, according to the Associated Press, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean told students at Brown University in Providence, R.I. that they would be in danger of being drafted in the event of Bush’s re-election. [...]
Much of the past buzz about a military draft has been based on a pair of bills introduced simultaneously in the U.S. House and Senate in early 2003 by Rep. Charles Rangel (D—N.Y.) and Sen. Ernest Hollings (D—S.C.). Both bills call for a draft of both men and women, and they are typically cited as evidence that Bush is planning to revive the draft shortly after his re-election.
But what the chain e-mails neglect to mention, besides the party affiliation of the bills' sponsors, is that both bills have languished in committee since shortly after their introduction in early 2003. The bills were put forth by Democrats as political statements, in protest of the overrepresentation of low-income and minority soldiers on the military’s front lines. A draft, they argued, would spread the burden of war equally among all races and social classes.
Draft legislation is considered politically unpopular, and as such has little support in either house of Congress.
UPDATE I: Power Line notes that Rock The Vote has joined in the draftmongering. More like Shock the Vote.
UPDATE II: Amazing. Apparently Dan Rather and CBS are also trying to raise fears of a military draft. RatherBiased.com reports: CBS Does It Again: Network Uses Phony Documents to Promote Draft Conspiracy.
Three weeks after [Dan Rather] denounced the internet as being "filled with rumors," the embattled CBS anchor ran a story on his Tuesday "Evening News" program hoping to stir up fear of an impending military draft. In a story that was a textbook example of slipshod reporting, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled interest group member to scare elderly "Evening" viewers into believing that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft.
I didn't think CBS could sink any lower.
The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday against a bill to reinstate the military draft, a tool that had been used by Democrats to point out the inherent inequality of volunteer service.
The House voted 2-402 against suspending the debate and moving toward passage, meaning that the bill could be debated in perpetuity. The procedural motion is an action that prompts the sponsor of the legislation to pull it out of consideration.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., introduced the legislation in January 2003 in an effort to highlight what he saw as an ill-prepared and ill-advised Iraq policy. Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (search), D-S.C., pushed a similar bill in the Senate.
UPDATE IV -- October 20: Despite the overwhelming congressional defeat of the Democrat draft bill, the draft scare is still being pushed. In yesterday's The New York Times, Paul Krugman wrote about Feeling the Draft.
Posted by Forkum at 08:04 PM
This cartoon is one of three new Michael Moore cartoons that we created for a companion book to the new DVD, FahrenHYPE 9/11. We will post the other two cartoons over the next week in the run up to the release of the DVD and book on Oct. 5th (timed to coincide with the release of Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD). The book will also include three other Cox & Forkum cartoons: Blowing Smoke, Bowling for Fallujah, and Moore Whine!. (By the way, that's not one of our cartoons on the book's cover.)
We haven't viewed the book or the DVD yet, but the DVD looks very interesting. A trailer can be viewed on the FahrenHYPE 9/11 Web site.
ATTENTION STUDENTS: Some students are showing FahrenHYPE 9/11 on their college campuses as an antidote to presentations of Fahrenheit 9/11. Jason A. Nunnelley has set up a Web site to help with such efforts: MustHaveInfo.com. If you'd like to do the same on your campus, contact Jason.
In the The Weekly Standard, William Kristol writes: Disgraceful: The disgraceful behavior of John Kerry and his team is sufficient grounds for concern about his fitness to be president. (Via InstaPundit)
... Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi spoke to a joint meeting of Congress. Sen. Kerry could not be troubled to attend, as a gesture of solidarity and respect. Instead, Kerry said in Ohio that Allawi was here simply to put the "best face on the policy." So much for an impressive speech by perhaps America's single most important ally in the war on terror, the courageous and internationally recognized leader of a nation struggling to achieve democracy against terrorist opposition.
But Kerry's rudeness paled beside the comment of his senior adviser, Joe Lockhart, to the Los Angeles Times: "The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips."
Is Kerry proud that his senior adviser's derisive comment about the leader of free Iraq will now be quoted by terrorists and by enemies of the United States, in Iraq and throughout the Middle East? Is the concept of a loyalty to American interests that transcends partisan politics now beyond the imagination of the Kerry campaign?
John Kerry has decided to pursue a scorched-earth strategy in this campaign. He is prepared to insult allies, hearten enemies, and denigrate efforts to succeed in Iraq. His behavior is deeply irresponsible -- and not even in his own best interest.
There is some chance, after all, that John Kerry will be president in four months. If so, what kind of situation will he have created for himself? France will smile on him, but provide no troops. Those allies that have provided troops, from Britain and Poland and Australia and Japan and elsewhere, will likely recall how Kerry sneered at them, calling them "the coerced and the bribed." The leader of the government in Iraq, upon whom the success of John Kerry's Iraq policy will depend, will have been weakened before his enemies and ours -- and will also remember the insult. Is this really how Kerry wants to go down in history: Willing to say anything to try to get elected, no matter what the damage to the people of Iraq, to American interests, and even to himself?
Here's how Al-Jazeera reported Kerry's comments to the Middle East: Allawi's Congress speech draws flak. First they quote a "regional analyst."
"Iraq is not free nor is it stable. There is nationwide chaos. Its infrastructure has been destroyed and its wealth pillaged and plundered by the US occupation," [Mustafa Bakri, editor of the weekly Egyptian news magazine al-Osboa] told Aljazeera.net.
Then they introduce Kerry's comments:
The most severe criticism, however, came from Kerry, who claimed Allawi's speech was an attempt to put the "best face" on an Iraq campaign that is out of control.
You think al-Sadr and al-Zarqawi smiled when they read that? I do.
UPDATE -- September 28: This cartoon appears in today's (Tuesday's) The Detroit News.
Drudge reported last week: CBS Concern Over Viewership Plunge; Rather Ratings Fade In Major Markets.
In the The Weekly Standard, John Podhoretz writes: Dan Rather's Day of Reckoning; It didn't start with Rathergate. (Via Little Green Footballs)
If you want to understand why [CBS anchorman Dan] Rather is being so recalcitrant and finding it so difficult to make a full acknowledgment of his role in perpetrating a colossal journalistic and political fraud -- and why he was so adamantly opposed to an internal investigation of his now-infamous story about George W. Bush's National Guard service -- you need to understand that Rather saw his network weather two previous and surprisingly similar tempests. [...]
In response to [Vice President Spiro T.] Agnew's [1969 "nattering nabobs of negativism"] speech [in which he accused the media of a liberal bias], Eric Sevareid of CBS said, "I don't even know what a liberal is" -- and Sevareid was CBS's on-air commentator! Nearly 30 years later, Lesley Stahl of CBS said flatly, "I had my opinions surgically removed when I became a network correspondent."
Dan Rather is still trying this trick, asserting that "anybody who knows me knows that I am not politically motivated, not politically active for Democrats or Republicans, and that I'm independent." But it no longer matters much what he may or may not say. He has destroyed himself and his news organization not because he is biased -- which of course he is -- but because his bias blinded him to the obvious truth that the memos he and his team believed (and/or desperately hoped) might help derail the reelection bid of George W. Bush were fabricated. They believed this because they wanted to believe it.
UPDATE -- September 28: From the New York Post: Dan's Ratings In A Free Fall.
From MSNBC: U.S. to sell 5,000 smart bombs to Israel.
The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 smart bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years, Israeli military officials said Tuesday. [...]
Disclosure of the deal comes amid escalating Israeli worries over Iran’s nuclear development program.
Israel and a number of Western countries fear that Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for generating electricity.
Defying a key demand set by 35 nations, Iran announced Tuesday that it has started converting raw uranium into the gas needed for enrichment, a process that can be used to make nuclear weapons.
The Israeli military officials would not say whether the bombs might be intended for use against Iran.
UPDATE I -- September 26: Iran ups the ante: Iran test-fires 'strategic missile'.
This cartoon appears in the Sept. 27, Monday Special edition of Investor's Business Daily.
Charles Johnson noted this week:
In Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to leave their homes without covering every inch of skin, they held a beauty pageant recently. For goats.
From Arab News: Guess Who’s On the Catwalk.
RIYADH, 19 September 2004 -- Goat fanciers turned out in force to admire and bid for beautiful goats showing off on the catwalk at a weekend festival and auction of Al-Shami goats in Riyadh. [...]
As prices kept rising at the auction, goat breeders were jubilant that goat breeding after all was as profitable as camel breeding.
Thirty goats were selected according to age and gender. Abdul Aziz Al-Khalaf, one of the five judges for the “Most Beautiful Goat” competition, explained that the winners are chosen on the basis of a combination of factors and overall appearance, not simply by their color. Particular points taken into consideration are the head, nose, mouth, ears, breast and eyes. The most important factor is the size of the head and the whiteness of the eye.
From FoxNews: Report: Second American Hostage Killed.
An Al Qaeda-linked group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed Tuesday to have killed the second of two American hostages -- back-to-back slayings that have notched up the Jordanian militant's ruthless campaign of terror.
The claim, posted on an an Islamic Web site, could not immediately be verified.
Al-Zarqawi's group, Tawhid and Jihad, kidnapped two Americans -- Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong -- and Briton Kenneth Bigley on Thursday from a home that the three civil engineers shared in an upscale Baghdad neighborhood. Al-Zarqawi beheaded Armstrong, and the militants on Monday posted a gruesome video of the 52-year-old man's death.
An Internet statement purportedly by a group which claimed to have kidnapped two Italian aid workers in Iraq said Wednesday it had killed the women. The Web site posting could not be immediately verified. Also, the site used by the Islamic Jihad Organization has not been regularly used by Iraqi militants to relay their statements. [...]
The Italians, Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, both 29, were seized from their Baghdad offices by armed militants on Sept. 7. They worked for "Un Ponte Per ..." ("A Bridge to ...") and were involved in school and water projects in Iraq.
"We in the Jihad Organization of Iraq declared that the verdict of God Almighty against the two Italian prisoners has been carried out, by slaughtering them," the statement said.
UPDATE II: This cartoon appears in the Sept. 23 (Thursday's) Investor's Business Daily.
UPDATE III -- September 28: Good news: Italian Hostages in Iraq are Freed, Berlusconi Says.
From FoxNews: Bush Blasts Kerry for Iraq Waffling.
President Bush accused his Democratic rival Monday of a pattern of waffling and leaving behind a trail of contradictory of positions on the war in Iraq.
"Today my opponent continued his pattern of twisting in the wind," Bush said at a rally in New Hampshire "He apparently woke up this morning and has now decided, no, we should not have invaded Iraq, after just last month saying he would have voted for force even knowing everything we know today."
John Kerry, a four-term Massachusetts senator, voted to give Bush authority to wage the war; the presidential hopeful said in August he would have voted that way even had he known there were no banned weapons in Iraq.
"Incredibly, he now believes our national security would be stronger with Saddam Hussein in power and not in prison," Bush said. "He's saying he prefers the stability of a dictatorship to the hope and security of democracy.
"I couldn't disagree more, and not so long ago, so did my opponent," Bush added, quoting Kerry as saying recently, "Those who believe we are not safer with his capture don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president."
UPDATE -- September 21: This cartoon appears in the Sept. 22 (Wednesday) edition of Investor's Business Daily.
From FoxNews: Iran Rejects Call to End Uranium Enrichment.
Iran on Sunday denounced as "illegal" demands from the U.N. atomic watchdog agency that it freeze all work on uranium enrichment -- technology that can be used for nuclear weapons. Hasan Rowhani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, also said his country would limit its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency if the watchdog refers Iran to the U.N Security Council for possible sanctions.
UPDATE I -- September 21: This cartoon appears in today's (Tuesday's) The Detroit News.
UPDATE II: And what was Iran's response to the U.N.'s empty threats? CNN reports: Iran 'starts tests on uranium'.
Iran says it has started converting raw uranium into gas for enrichment in defiance of demands set by the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog.
Welcome, Michelle Malkin readers! Please be sure to check our new book, Black & White World II, which includes the cartoon below.
From The Wall Street Journal: The Media Watershed: Dan Rather and the end of the liberal monopoly.
Mr. Rather and his CBS bosses are sticking to their story, despite the growing evidence on the other side, leaving unanswered the biggest question of all: Who perpetrated this apparent fraud on CBS and the American voters? As journalists who sometimes go out on a limb ourselves, we'd have thought Mr. Rather's first recourse would not be to get mad but instead to double- and triple-check his sources.
From The Washington Post: Rather Concedes Papers Are Suspect.
"If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story," Rather said in an interview last night. "Any time I'm wrong, I want to be right out front and say, 'Folks, this is what went wrong and how it went wrong.'"
Yet, after a one week of non-stop criticism for pushing fake memos as real, Rather has done nothing but stonewall.
"This is not about me," Rather said before anchoring last night's newscast. "I recognize that those who didn't want the information out and tried to discredit the story are trying to make it about me, and I accept that."
Dan Rather used faked memos to bolster a story criticizing a sitting president's military record, all during a hotly contested election and an ongoing war. How could that NOT be about Dan Rather? There may be some truth to criticisms about Bush's Guard service, but in Rather's world, what he believes to be true is more important than what is true. That's not journalism; it's editorializing. Michael Moore has made millions doing the same thing.
Perhaps Dan Rather needs a new sign off line: "I Report. You Accept It."
UPDATE -- September 20: This cartoon appears in today's Investor's Business Daily (IBD Monday Special).
AP reports: Insurgents Target Iraqi Police; 59 Dead .
The Tawhid and Jihad group, headed by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, posted a Web statement claiming responsibility for Tuesday's car bombing. The al-Qaida-linked group launched a surprise assault in Baghdad on Sunday, killing dozens, and boasted it had the upper hand in the fight against the Americans.
We know. Two Dan Rather cartoons in a row. But with Rather still defending the fake memos, we couldn't resist.
As for North Korean mushroom clouds ... FoxNews reports: Report: N. Korea Says Blast Was Planned. They claim the explosion was related to a "hydroelectric project" that involved the demolition of a mountain. Perhaps. But it also happened on the 56th anniversary of the founding of North Korea, so a celebratory weapons test of some sort wouldn't be surprising. Why else would the North Koreans respond by complaining about South Korea's tests? Secretary of State Colin Powell said there's no indication the explosion was part of a nuclear test.
UPDATE I -- September 17: The cartoon appears in today's (Friday's) The Detroit News.
UPDATE II: The mushroom cloud story has taken a bizarre turn. FoxNews reports: S. Korea: No Blast in N. Korea.
The mushroom-shaped cloud -- initially detected by South Korean intelligence authorities and widely reported from an explosion -- is believed to have been a natural cloud, said Deputy Unification Minister Lee Bong-jo during a weekly news briefing.
From today's Los Angeles Times: No Disputing It: Blogs Are Major Players.
Soon Charles Johnson, a Los Angeles musician-turned-conservative-blogger who hosts the site LittleGreenFootballs.com, posted the results of his own investigation [of the CBS Bush memos]. He wrote that he had opened Microsoft Word, set the font to Times New Roman and used the program's default settings to retype a purported Killian memo from August 1973.
"My Microsoft Word version, typed in 2004, is an exact match for the documents trumpeted by CBS News as 'authentic,' " Johnson wrote, posting images of his creation and the CBS document. (The Times New Roman font itself predates computers; it was designed in 1932.)
Within 90 minutes of that post, the Power Line site was linked to perhaps the best-known conservative site of all -- the Drudge Report, made famous when Matt Drudge took a lead role in the first reports on the relationship between then-President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
"That was a quantum jump in awareness," said [Power Line's] Scott Johnson. "It was wildly circulating in the blogosphere until Drudge linked us. Then it was instantly known to a million people, and it was all of a sudden a legitimate story."
The article is very grudging in giving credit to blogs, going as far as to cast doubt on their legitimacy, but bloggers Scott Johnson (Power Line) and Charles Johnson (Little Green Footballs) are acknowledged for their breakthroughs in the faked memos story. (Power Line analyzes the article.)
Mark Steyn ponders media bias (and bloggers Power Line and LGF get more national credit): CBS falls for Kerry campaign's fake memo.
The only problem was the memo. Amazingly, this guy at the Air National Guard base, Lt. Col. Killian, had the only typewriter in Texas in 1973 using a prototype version of the default letter writing program of Microsoft Word, complete with the tiny little superscript thingy that automatically changes July 4th to July 4th. To do that on most 1973 typewriters, you had to unscrew the keys, grab a hammer and give them a couple of thwacks to make the ''t'' and ''h'' squish up all tiny, and even think it looked a bit wonky. You'd think having such a unique typewriter Killian would have used a less easily traceable model for his devastating ''CYA'' memo. Also, he might have chosen a font other than Times New Roman, designed for the Times of London in the 1930s and not licensed to Microsoft by Rupert Murdoch (the Times' owner) until the 1980s.
Killian is no longer around to confirm his extraordinary Magic Typewriter, but his son denied the stuff was written by his dad, and his widow said her late husband never typed. So, on the one hand, we have hundreds of living veterans with chapter and verse on Kerry's fantasy Christmas in Cambodia, and, on the other hand, we have a guy who's been dead 20 years but is still capable of operating Windows XP. It took the savvy chappies at the Powerline Web site and Charles Johnson of ''Little Green Footballs'' about 20 minutes to spot the eerily 2004 look of the 1972 memo, and various Internet wallahs spent the rest of the day tracking down the country's leading typewriter identification experts.
It now appears CBS made a grievous mistake or knowingly relayed false information. If so, what credibility does it have left? Even an on-air correction won't undo the damage.
CBS would go a lot further in restoring its credibility if it at least checked into the source and authenticity of the memos.
If it's shown that Democrats or the Kerry campaign are the source -- as suggested by comments to the American Spectator by an unnamed Kerry staffer -- CBS better say so.
If the documents prove to be forgeries, resignations from Rather and CBS News President Andrew Heyward would be in order — along with a sweeping review of ethical practices at a once-proud news organization.
UPDATE II -- September 13: The Wall Street Journal's John Fund: I'd Rather Be Blogging: CBS stonewalls as "guys in pajamas" uncover a fraud. And The New York Times's William Safire: Those Discredited Memos. From the latter:
It may be that CBS is the victim of a whopping journalistic hoax, besmearing a president to bring him down. What should a responsible news organization do?
To shut up sources and impugn the motives of serious critics - from opinionated bloggers to straight journalists - demeans the Murrow tradition. Nor is any angry demand that others prove them wrong acceptable, especially when no original documents are available to prove anything.
Years ago, Kurdish friends slipped me amateur film taken of Saddam's poison-gas attack that killed thousands in Halabja. I gave it to Dan Rather, who trusted my word on sources. Despite objections from queasy colleagues, he put it on the air.
Hey, Dan: On this, recognize the preponderance of doubt. Call for a panel of old CBS hands and independent editors to re-examine sources and papers. Courage.
UPDATE III: Glenn Reynolds has a good recap of this whole affair, including a link to the cartoon, which he perfectly summarizes in this observation: "But, as I've noted elsewhere, one thing that distinguishes bloggers from Old Media guys like Dan Rather is that they don't expect you to take them on faith. Instead, they try to get things right. Which may be why some people are starting to trust blogs more than they trust Dan Rather."
UPDATE V -- September 15: Investor's Business Daily has a good article by Ed Carson: Blogs Take Lead Role In CBS Memo Furor.
We're proud to announce that this cartoon will be appearing in the weekend edition of Investor's Business Daily, available Saturday through Monday in major bookstore across America.
We created this cartoon for last year's anniversary of September 11, and we received more requests for a print of it than any other cartoon. Unfortunately the cartoon is so long we will not be able to put it in our next book. We're also not planning to go into the poster business anytime soon, so if you have wanted a printed version of this cartoon, pick up a copy of this weekend's Investor's Business Daily (the IBD Monday Special).
There's still much that needs to be done to ensure that we never again suffer a 9/11, from physically fighting terrorists and their state sponsors to intellectually fighting the advocates and apologists of Islamism. But one aspect is simple -- never forget what happened that day:
UPDATE I: From Mark Helprin via The Wall Street Journal: Three Years On: We still haven't learned the lessons of 9/11.
Three years after September 11, where do we stand?
Out of fear and confusion we have hesitated to name the enemy. We proceed as if we are fighting disparate criminals united by coincidence, rather than the vanguard of militant Islam, united by ideology, sentiment, doctrine, and practice, its partisans drawn from Morocco to the Philippines, Chechnya to the Sudan, a vast swath of the earth that, in regard to the elemental beliefs that fuel jihad, is as homogeneous as Denmark.
Too timid to admit to a clash of civilizations even as it occurs, we failed to declare the war, thus forfeiting clarity of intent and the unambiguous consent of the American people. This was a sure way, as in the Vietnam era, to divide the country and prolong the battle.
We failed not only to prepare for war but to provision for it after it had begun, disallowing a military buildup, much less the wartime transformation of the economy. In the First World War our elected representatives decisively resolved that "to bring the conflict to a successful termination all the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States." In the Revolutionary War we as a people pledged our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. [...]
Neither the [9/11] commission, the president, nor the Democratic nominee has a clear vision of how to fight and defend in this war. Partly this is because so many Americans do not yet feel, as some day they may, the gravity of what we are facing.
We update this cartoon every year to highlight the latest distractions from the necessity to confront Islamic terrorism head-on, without compromise.
Though President Bush has at least taken the war to the terrorists and to some of their sponsors, as we've noted time again he's done so inconsistently (to put it nicely). Last year it was the push for a Palestinian State with the terrorist-supporting Palestinian Authority. This year it was halting, sensitive battles against Islamists who hid in mosques that our troops were not allowed to bomb. On top of that, the quick handover of sovereignty to Iraq has given the infant Iraqi government ultimate authority over our troops. And three years after 9/11, what are we doing about the world's worst sponsor of terrorism, Iran?
As bad as all that is, it is better than I would expect from presidential candidate John Kerry, who has stressed internationalism and multilateralism even more than Bush, who has condemned taking out Saddam as a "war of choice," as if Saddam and his ilk give us a choice, and who has criticized Bush's mere war of words with Iran as too confrontational.
The passengers of Flight 93 apparently knew there was no such thing as being too confrontational with Islamists bent on your destruction. Their reaction was not a matter of religious sensitivity, or diplomacy, or compromise, or nuance; it was a matter of going on the offensive and fighting for their lives.
Here's to their memory. May they forgive us for not fully living up to it.
UPDATE I -- September 10: This cartoon appears in today's edition of edition of Investor's Business Daily.
UPDATE II: From The Wall Street Journal: Kerry vs. Kerry; The way to attack Mr. Bush on Iraq is from the right.
The great lost Democratic opportunity here is that Mr. Bush's Iraq policy is open to criticism: his under-estimation of the postwar insurgency, preventing the Army and Marines from dealing decisive blows to Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf and the Baathists in Fallujah, failing to train enough Iraqi allies quickly enough, and prolonging the U.S. occupation. But all of these criticisms come from the prowar right, for not fighting in Iraq with the force and tenacity to win.
Other Democrats -- Joe Lieberman, Dick Gephardt -- could have made that critique with some credibility, but Mr. Kerry seems incapable of it. Now even if Iraq blows up in October, as it well might, Mr. Kerry will find it just about impossible to convince voters that he would prosecute the war with any more vigor than Mr. Bush.
UPDATE III: More regarding how to handle the Islamist in Iraq from Investor's Business Daily.
[T]he coalition must continue crushing the insurgency. That should not include offering rebels and terrorists a pass, as Maj. Gen. John Batiste did this week. The head of the 1st Infantry Division told insurgents they were free to leave Samarra or could remain inside the city if they stopped fighting — a poor idea, since that would let them live to fight another day.
The coalition, under the leadership of the U.S., will win the peace in Iraq only with the persistent application of deadly force.
We wish there were another way. Sadly, there isn't. The insurgents — who seek chaos, not peace — leave no other option.
In CNN's latest article on the Beslan slaughter (Footage shows school siege drama), they at least use the word "terrorists," but you will not find "Islam" or "Muslim" or "Islamist" or anything of the kind -- even though the "Chechen rebels" want their own muslim state ruled by Islamic laws.
Daniel Pipes examines why the "masked gunmen" who murdered over 150 children are not being prominently identified by the media as Islamic terrorists: They're Terrorists -- Not Activists.
Politically-correct news organizations undermine their credibility with such subterfuges [as using euphemisms for terrorist]. How can one trust what one reads, hears, or sees when the self-evident fact of terrorism is being semi-denied? Worse, the multiple euphemisms for terrorist obstruct a clear understanding of the violent threats confronting the civilized world. It is bad enough that only one of five articles discussing the Beslan atrocity mentions its Islamist origins; worse is the miasma of words that insulates the public from the evil of terrorism.
And The Wall Street Journal examines why so many continue to look for causes of terrorism other than Islamist ideology: The Children of Beslan.
In the face of such horror, who can offer up any shred of justification? Yet that is precisely what has happened in the wake of every terrorist event the world has seen in recent years. By such lights, terrorism is viewed as a political act, intended to draw sympathetic attention to a cause -- in this case the brutal Russian occupation of Chechnya.
Post-9/11, there were those who "explained" the attacks by blaming U.S. policy in the Mideast as behind the "desperation" of the hijackers. After the Madrid bombings, half the Spanish electorate effectively blamed their nation's participation in the war in Iraq by voting out the government that supported the U.S. In the wake of every suicide bombing in Israel, that country's policy on Palestinians is deemed responsible in many quarters, especially in Europe. Post-Beslan, who is prepared to blame the children?
UPDATE I -- September 9: This cartoon appears in today's edition of Investor's Business Daily.
They are still burying the victims of the latest atrocity committed by evildoers professing Islam -- the slaughter of hundreds of children, teachers, and parents in an elementary school in Beslan, Russia. And from Muslims the world over, as usual, has come mostly silence. There have been no public demonstrations by Muslims anxious to make it clear how outraged and sickened they are that anyone could commit such unspeakable deeds as an act of Islamic faith. There has been no anguished outcry by Islam's leading imams and sheiks. Prominent Muslim organizations in the West have not called press conferences to express their disgust and anger. Once again the world has witnessed a savage episode of Islamist terror, and once again it strains to hear a convincing rejection of the terrorists from those who should care most about Islam's reputation.
Jacoby lists one very noteworthy exception. Read the whole thing.
From CNN: Bush's bounce poll shows Kerry flagging.
For the first time since the presidential contest became a two-man race this spring, it seems to have a clear leader: President Bush. The latest TIME poll shows Bush leading his rival, John Kerry, 52% to 41%.
From William Safire at The New York Times: The Comeback Prez.
[B]bouncing Bushies are properly concerned with peaking too soon. Because the media revel in a horse race right down to the wire, any reduction of the present Bush surge will be hailed with a jubilant "Here comes Kerry!"
But the Republicans coming out of their New York success -- with a personally popular candidate, a much deeper surrogate bench, the momentum of an upbeat message and a clearly centrist appeal -- have good reasons to have faith in the November decision of today's legion of swing voters.
From Newsweek: A Fight for the GOP’s 'Heart and Soul'.
Depending on whom you ask, Republicans who identify themselves as pro-choice are either the future of the GOP or marginalized dreamers whose vision has emerged stillborn. Three of the party’s rising stars -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani -- are all outspoken advocates of a woman’s right to choose. And the introduction to the party’s new platform, which was ratified on Monday, includes a note of tolerance: it calls on Republicans to "accept and respect" each other's divergent views on social issues.
But opposition to abortion remains a firm tenet of the Republican ideology and the platform itself, and throughout his administration, President Bush has crusaded to limit abortion rights and extend legal protection for the unborn.
The GOP’s largest pro-choice advocacy group, the Republican Majority for Choice (RMC), was a chief proponent of the new language in the platform preamble and regards the change as a small step in the right direction. Far from viewing itself as a renegade faction, the RMC touts a recent American Viewpoint poll that found that 73 percent of Republicans claim to be pro-choice. The organization says it is an outspoken minority that has overwhelmed those voices and established the party’s agenda.
This week, GOP stalwarts Libby Pataki, wife of the New York governor; Bloomberg and former Bush administration official Christie Todd Whitman hosted what they said was the largest-ever gathering of pro-choice Republicans, raising $1 million for their cause. RMC executive director Kellie Rose Ferguson took time out from the back-slapping and exhortation to speak with NEWSWEEK’s Karen Fragala.
Robert Tracinki commented in TIA Daily:
["Pro-choice" Republicans] have a bigger fight ahead of them than they realize -- since religion has been entrenched for decades now as the moral and philosophical base of conservatism.
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From FoxNews: Negotiators Try to End Standoff at Russian School.
Heavily-armed terrorists wearing masks descended on Middle School No. 1 shortly after 9 a.m. on the opening day of the new school year Wednesday. About a dozen people managed to escape by hiding in a boiler room, but hundreds of others were herded into the school gymnasium and some were placed at windows as human shields.[...]
Casualty reports in the raid varied widely, but an official in the joint-command operation for the crisis said on condition of anonymity early Thursday that 16 people were killed — 12 inside the school, two who died in hospital and two others whose bodies still lay outside the school and could not be removed because of gunfire. Thirteen others were wounded.
However, an aide to North Ossetian President Lev Dzugayev said that seven were killed. He also gave the number of hostages at 354. The children were mostly under 14.[...]
From inside the school, the militants sent out a list of demands and threatened that if police intervened, they would kill 50 children for every hostage-taker killed and 20 children for every hostage-taker injured, Kazbek Dzantiyev, head of the North Ossetia region's Interior Ministry, was quoted as telling the ITAR-Tass news agency.
An early version of this story read: "Two bodies were visible near the school. Dzgoyev said a girl was also lying near the building, presumably wounded, but officials said the area could not be approached because it was coming under fire."
Around 9 am, an old truck pulled up and about 20 heavily armed terrorists dressed in black and wear black masks and 4 women with bomb belts came out. Children started to run. Those who were standing closest to the street were able to make it out. Terrorists starting pushing others towards the building, and throwing some children through windows (inside the building)(!!!). And elderly woman was shot, and a girl who looked like an 11th grader was shot in the back. She died on the spot. Kazik's sister is still a hostage.
What the major media, including the FoxNews story above, are not presently reporting is that the "rebels" are Islamic terrorists. (LGF has a survey of news stories here.) This may change as the story develops. Already the latest CNN report mentions in passing: "[Reporter] Quinn-Judge said the widespread assumption in the community was that they are rebels with links to Islamic radicals in Chechnya." [Emphasis added]
UPDATE III: From CNN: School siege suspect: We wanted to start a war
A suspect in the bloody school siege that left more than 330 people dead, nearly half of them children, said Monday the hostage-takers were ordered to seize the school to "start a war across the Caucasus." [Emphasis added]
Rebels linked to the school hostage-taking seek independence from Russia and most want to make Chechnya (news - web sites) a sovereign Muslim nation.
And from Mark Steyn: No other word for it but slaughter.
[T]he particular character of this "insurgency" does not derive from the requirements of "asymmetrical warfare" but from . . . well, let's see, what was the word missing from those three analyses of the Beslan massacre? Here's a clue: half the dead "Chechen separatists" were not Chechens at all, but Arabs. And yet, tastefully tiptoeing round the subject, The New York Times couldn't bring itself to use the words Muslim or Islamist, for fear presumably of offending multicultural sensibilities. [...]
I wonder if, as they killed those schoolchildren, they chanted "Allahu Akbar!" -- as they did when they hacked the head of Nick Berg, and killed those 12 Nepalese workers, and blew up those Israeli diners in the Passover massacre.
The good news is that the carnage in Beslan was so shocking it prompted a brief appearance by that rare bird, the moderate Muslim. Abdulrahman al-Rashed, the general manager of al-Arabiya Television, wrote a column in Asharq al-Awsat headlined, "The Painful Truth: All The World's Terrorists Are Muslims!" "Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture," he wrote. This is true. But, as with Nicolson's prettified prose in London, the question remains: So what? What are you going to do about it? If you want your religion to be more than a diseased death cult, you're going to have to take a stand.