June 29, 2006

Unrequited War


From the Washington Times: Casey cites Iran hand in attacks by Iraqi Shi'ites.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq said yesterday [June 22] that covert Iranian troops are training brethren Iraqi Shi'ites on how to attack U.S. and coalition troops.

The disclosure by Army Gen. George Casey is the most pointed Pentagon criticism of Iran's militant regime, which is embroiled in a debate with the United States because Washington demands an end to Tehran's uranium enrichment.

From The Wall Street Journal: Khobar Towers by Louis J. Freeh.

Ten years ago today [June 25], acting under direct orders from senior Iranian government leaders, the Saudi Hezbollah detonated a 25,000-pound TNT bomb that killed 19 U.S. airmen in their dormitory at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The blast wave destroyed Building 131 and grievously wounded hundreds of additional Air Force personnel. It also killed an unknown number of Saudi civilians in a nearby park.

The 19 Americans murdered were members of the 4,404th Wing, who were risking their lives to enforce the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. This was a U.N.-mandated mission after the 1991 Gulf War to stop Saddam Hussein from killing his Shiite people. The Khobar victims, along with the courageous families and friends who mourn them this weekend in Washington, deserve our respect and honor. More importantly, they must be remembered, because American justice has still been denied. ...

The Khobar bombing case eventually led to indictments in 2001, thanks to the personal leadership of President George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice. But justice has been a long time coming. Only so much can be done, after all, with arrest warrants and judicial process. Bin Laden and his two separate pre-9/11 arrest warrants are a case in point.

Still, many stones remain unturned. It remains to be seen whether the Khobar case and its fugitives will make it onto the list of America's demands in "talks" with the Iranians. Or will we ultimately ignore justice and buy a separate peace with our enemy?

From CNN in May 2003: Iran responsible for 1983 Marine barracks bombing, judge rules.

Iran is responsible for the 1983 suicide bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 241 American servicemen, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said the suicide truck bombing was carried out by the group Hezbollah with the approval and funding of Iran's senior government officials.

And here is the Wikipedia entry for the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

Meanwhile, from CNN: No quick Iranian reply on nuclear offer.

Iran and the world's leading industrialized democracies staked out conflicting positions Thursday on when Tehran should respond to a U.N. proposal concerning the country's nuclear program.

The Western powers said Thursday they expected Iran's response to come by Wednesday, when the European Union's foreign minister, Javier Solana, and Iran's nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, meet, The Associated Press reported.

But hours after that announcement, Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said Tehran would not complete its review of the U.N. offer until August.

Mottaki's comments are in line with those made earlier by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said he did not plan to respond to the U.N. proposal until August 22.

The title for this cartoon comes from a headline by Robert Tracinski in TIA Daily.

UPDATE -- July 5: From Real Clear Politics: Independence Day's Lessons for the Conflict with Iran by Robert Tracinski.

One day before the July 5 deadline for Iran to say yes or no on whether it will halt its drive toward a nuclear bomb, Americans will celebrate the 230th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence--just in time to remind us of some crucial lessons for our nation's confrontation with Iran.

Posted by Forkum at 05:14 PM

June 28, 2006



From FoxNew: Israel Continues Gaza Assault as Palestinians Seek Prisoner Exchange.

Israeli forces continued their assault on the Gaza Strip Wednesday by sending warplanes to bomb militant training camps in an attempt to pressure Palestinian militants to release a captured Israeli soldier.

The Hamas-led Palestinian government responded to the Israeli incursion by calling for a prisoner swap to solve the crisis.

Militant groups holding the Israeli soldier had proposed an exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners, but it was the first time the government had made such a request. ...

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called for the unconditional release of the soldier, 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Olmert said Israel did not intend to reoccupy Gaza, but would not balk at "extreme action" to bring home Shalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid on Sunday.

At the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick explains why Israel finds itself in the present position: Israel's rude awakening.

In 2000, the public realized that Barak's terrorist empowering peace plan had brought us war. Yet rather than discard the policy of empowering terrorists, our political leaders simply repackaged it. What had formerly been called "peace" was called "separation" and "disengagement" and now is called "convergence" or "realignment." These euphemisms are sold to the public in turn as new quick-fixes that spare us the need to recognize the reality of war.

UPDATE I: From Jerusalem Post: IDF confirms PRC report of Eliyahu Asheri's death. (via Little Green Footballs)

The IDF confirmed early Thursday a report the Popular Resistance Committees issued from Gaza that it had executed Eliyahu Asheri, 18, of Itamar, who was kidnapped earlier this week in the West Bank.

IDF combat engineers and Shin Bet agents, acting on intelligence, found Asheri's body Wednesday night in an abandoned car in an open field outside of Ramallah. The youth appeared to have been shot to death, and initial findings indicated that he may have been killed as early as Sunday.

UPDATE II -- June 29: From FoxNews: Hamas Deputy PM Among 64 Officials Arrested by Israel.

Israeli troops rounded up dozens of ministers and lawmakers from the Palestinians' ruling Hamas party Thursday while forging ahead with a military campaign in Gaza meant to win the release of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas gunmen. ...

Israeli aircraft hit a car carrying Palestinian militants in Gaza City, the Israeli military said. One person was wounded, hospital officials said.

On Wednesday, Israeli warplanes also buzzed the summer home of Syria's president, Bashar Assad, who harbors the hard-line Hamas leaders who Israel says ordered the kidnapping.

For many other related links, see Israellycool and At Level Ground.

UPDATE III: Looks like Caroline Glick was right again. The lion has paused ... for negotiations. From Haaretz: Egypt asks Israel to allow more time for negotiation. (via Vital Perspective)

The government decided Thursday to put off an Israel Defense Forces military offensive in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun.

The incursion was scheduled to be launched Thursday evening.

The move was decided upon following consultations held by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz with security officials.

Posted by Forkum at 10:46 AM

June 27, 2006



TIA Daily's Robert Tracinski had a great round-up of links and commentary (under the apt title "Fourth Estate, Fifth Column") regarding the latest New York Times breach:

Last week, the mainstream media continued its policy of declassifying America's anti-terrorism intelligence gathering tactics. You didn't think that the editors of the New York Times had the legal authority to declassify national security secrets? Neither did I. In fact, publishing these life-or-death secrets is a crime.

Michael Barone offers a general argument in favor of cracking down on these national security leaks, while the Weekly Standard provides a specific legal justification for a criminal prosecution of the editors of the New York Times and at least one congressman has called for such a prosecution.

As Barone points out, the most recent New York Times exposure of a national security secret is particularly egregious because there is no suggestion that the intelligence program it reveals is illegal the (dubious) argument the Times used to justify its previous exposure of a wire-tapping program.

So the Times cannot claim that it has revealed this information in order to blow the whistle on an abuse of presidential power. That moves their actions into the realm of treason: the editors of the Times published information that they knew would aid the enemy and did so without being able to claim any legitimate motive.

NRO has posted a letter from Treasury Secretary John W. Snow to Times Magaging Editor Bill Keller. (via Little Green Footballs)

[J]ustifying this disclosure by citing the "public interest" in knowing information about this program means the paper has given itself free license to expose any covert activity that it happens to learn of - even those that are legally grounded, responsibly administered, independently overseen, and highly effective.  Indeed, you have done so here.

What you've seemed to overlook is that it is also a matter of public interest that we use all means available -- lawfully and responsibly -- to help protect the American people from the deadly threats of terrorists.  I am deeply disappointed in the New York Times.

Posted by Forkum at 04:29 PM

June 26, 2006

Hamid Karzai


From FoxNews: Afghan President: Taliban Is 'No Match for Our Power'.

The Taliban do not pose a long-term threat to Afghanistan's stability, President Hamid Karzai said Sunday.

Karzai spoke after the release of an audio recording purportedly of fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar saying the Afghan government did not have the wisdom to solve the nation's crisis. A self-described Taliban spokesman denied the recording aired on Pakistani television was authentic.

The U.S. military said two coalition soldiers had been killed in combat that also left about 45 militants dead. U.S.-led forces are waging their largest anti-Taliban offensive to date across southern Afghanistan to quash the deadliest campaign of militant violence since the Islamists' ouster in 2001. ...

Karzai did not comment on the tape's authenticity during an interview with a cable news network. But he said that if Omar is "really in charge," he should emerge from hiding and "face the danger that he is causing to hundreds of young people in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

"It needs guts to do what he's talking about, and he doesn't have it," Karzai said.

Omar led the Taliban in the capture of Kabul in 1996. Following the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, an American-led military campaign invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban for harboring Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden and his group.

Karzai said Omar and the Taliban do not represent a threat to his government.

"They exist in the form of attacking schools, attacking children, killing innocent people," he said. "They are no match for our power."

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 06:28 PM

June 25, 2006



From Reuters: Miami men hit with "home-grown terrorism" charges.

Seven men were charged on Friday with conspiring to attack the landmark Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI building in Miami in a mission they hoped would be "just as good or greater" than September 11, U.S. officials said.

But Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told a news conference in Washington that the plotting of the "home-grown terrorism cell" never went beyond the earliest stages.

"There was no immediate threat," Gonzales said, acknowledging the defendants never had contact with al Qaeda and did not have weapons or explosives. ...

A south Florida grand jury indicted the men on Thursday. The indictment said the men pledged loyalty to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda in order to seek support from it for their desire to "wage war" against the U.S. government and build an Islamic army. ...

"On or about December 16, 2005, Narseal Batiste provided the 'al Qaeda representative' (actually the FBI informant) with a list of materials and equipment needed in order to wage jihad, which list included boots, uniforms, machine guns, radios and vehicles," the indictment also said.

Their aim was to "'kill all the devils we can' in a mission that would 'be just as good or greater than 9/11,' beginning with the destruction of the Sears Tower," it said.

Earlier this month, when the Canadian Jihad was exposed, it was also reported:

[Last July, the FBI's Counterterrorism 6] was alerted after police detectives stumbled across a cache of firearms, ammunition and military vests in a Los Angeles apartment during a robbery investigation. Also seized were books on Islam and Osama bin Laden, plus a list of synagogues, military recruiting centers and other sites.

Federal prosecutors later charged that the facilities were being targeted by homegrown terror suspects who planned to kill scores of people in shooting rampages. Four men -- three of them U.S.-born -- now face counts of conspiring to wage war against the U.S. government, kill armed service members or murder foreign officials.

What motivates a person to wage war against their own country and sympathize with the likes of Osama bin Laden? Part of the answer lies in the spread of multiculturalist ideas. These citizens have been taught by our intellectuals to hate their home countries, and that hate is fertile ground for Islamism.

In February, Keith Windschuttle explained how cultural relativism undermines Western culture from within: The Adversary Culture.

Cultural relativism claims there are no absolute standards for assessing human culture. Hence all cultures should be regarded as equal, though different. ...

The moral rationale of cultural relativism is a plea for tolerance and respect of other cultures, no matter how uncomfortable we might be with their beliefs and practices. However, there is one culture conspicuous by its absence from all this. The plea for acceptance and open-mindedness does not extend to Western culture itself, whose history is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own.

Since the 1960s, academic historians on the left have worked to generate a widespread cynicism about the nature of Western democracies, with the aim of questioning their legitimacy and undermining their ability to command loyalty. ...

The anti-Westernism of which I am speaking is not only about the past but has as much to say about current affairs.

The aftermath to the assaults on New York and Washington on September 11 2001 provided a stark illustration of its values. Within days of the terrorist assault, a number of influential Western intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag and youthful counterparts such as Naomi Klein of the anti-globalisation protest movement, responded in ways that, morally and symbolically, were no different to the celebrations of the crowds on the streets of Palestine and Islamabad who cheered as they watched the towers of the World Trade Centre come crashing down. Stripped of its obligatory jargon, their argument was straightforward: America deserved what it got. ...

Enclosed by a mindset of cultural relativism, most Westerners are loath to censure Muslims who go on violent rampages, burn down embassies and threaten death to their fellow citizens. Many of us regard this as somehow understandable, even acceptable, since we have no right to judge another religion and culture. ...

Their real aim is not religious respect but cultural change in the West. They want to prevent criticism of its Muslim minority and accord that group special privilege not available to the faithful of other religions. Instead of them changing to integrate into our way of life, they want to force us to change to accept their way of life.

Posted by Forkum at 10:49 AM

June 22, 2006

Soldier's Burden


From the Investor's Business Daily editorial page: Friend Or Foe?.

The grisly deaths of two American servicemen show how hard it is to fight a war in which the enemy knows no rules and civilians can't be distinguished from combatants. Maybe it's time to make it easier.

There's a method in the madness of those who kidnapped, tortured and murdered Pfcs. Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Thomas Tucker, 25, who were manning a Baghdad checkpoint with a comrade who was killed in the assault.

The jihadists want to give momentum to those in the U.S. such as Rep. John Murtha and Sen. John Kerry who want to bring the boys home either now or by a certain date. ...

This is a war where terrorists routinely kill innocent civilians and booby-trap their bodies so others will die as well. They use civilians as shields and masquerade as civilians, hoping overly cautious Americans will become their next prey. They follow no rules. They wear no uniforms. They could be behind any door. They could be the next person you see. They could be the last.

As war critics mourn three jihadist suicides at Gitmo, we have three dead soldiers who might have met their fate simply because, after Hamandiyah and Haditha, they took too long to determine if their kidnappers were friend or foe. If they'd killed their assailants, would they now also be accused of killing "innocent" civilians?

And from NRO: Hue Again (and Again) by James S. Robbins. (via TIA Daily)

So why is it that My Lai has become a byword for brutality while Hue is a footnote? Why will Menchaca and Tucker be forgotten while incidents like those under investigation — or the grotesque theater of Abu Ghraib — will persist, fester, be written about, analyzed, become vehicles for critiques of U.S. policy, the military, or the whole of American culture?

By rights these incidents should demonstrate that we are better than our enemies. We are civilized, they are barbarians. What we are fighting for is objectively superior to what they are fighting for. Our struggle is legitimate, theirs is not. There is no room for moral relativism in this war. Certainly those who view torture and beheading as acts of piety have no problem seeing it as a black and white conflict. And when faced with extremism of this sort, we should take it at face value.

The cartoon is based on a suggestion from Philip Hannum.

UPDATE -- June 26: From TownHall.com: The war for moral superiority by Diana West. (via HB List)

If we still valued our own men more than the enemy's and the "civilians" he hides among -- and now I'm talking about the war in Iraq -- our tactics would be totally different, and, not incidentally, infinitely more successful. We would drop bombs on city blocks, for example, not waste men in dangerous house-to-house searches. We would destroy enemy sanctuaries in Syria and Iran, not disarm "insurgents"; at perilous checkpoints in hostile Iraqi strongholds.

In the 21st century, however, there is something that our society values more than our own lives -- and more than the survival of civilization itself. That something may be described as the kind of moral superiority that comes from a good wallow in Abu Ghraib, Haditha, CIA interrogations or Guantanamo Bay. Morally superior people -- Western elites -- never "humiliate" prisoners, never kill civilians, never torture or incarcerate jihadis. Indeed, they would like to kill, I mean, prosecute, or at least tie the hands of anyone who does.

This, of course, only enhances their own moral superiority. But it doesn't win wars. And it won't save civilization.

Why not? Because such smugness masks a massive moral paralysis. The morally superior (read: paralyzed) don't really take sides; don't really believe one culture is qualitatively better or worse than the other. They don't even believe one culture is just plain different from the other. Only in this atmosphere of politically correct and perpetually adolescent non-judgmentalism could anyone believe, for example, that compelling, forcing or torturing a jihad terrorist to get information to save a city in any way undermines our "values." It undermines nothing -- except the jihad.

Do such tactics diminish our inviolate sanctimony? You bet. But, so what? The alternative is to follow our precious rules and hope the barbarians will leave us alone -- or, perhaps, not deal with us too harshly. Fond hope. Consider the 21st century return of (I still can't quite believe it) beheadings. The first French Republic aside, who on God's modern green Earth ever imagined a head being hacked off the human body before we were confronted with Islamic jihad? Civilization itself is forever dimmed -- again.

Posted by Forkum at 04:36 PM

C&F Wins AJPA Award


For various reasons, we've entered very few editorial cartoon awards contests over the years. So we're fortunate that Avi Frier of Florida Jewish News took the initiative to submit our work to the American Jewish Press Association's annual Rockower Awards.

Cox & Forkum has been awarded The Noah Bee Award for Excellence in Editorial Cartooning. Here's the FJN report: Florida Jewish News wins top Jewish media award.

The Florida Jewish News and cartoon team John Cox and Allen Forkum won a Simon Rockower Award for excellence in Editorial Cartooning, at last week's annual conference of the American Jewish Press Association, which took place in Baltimore.  The Florida Jewish News was the youngest publication to receive a Rockower this year, and the only Florida publication to be awarded in recent years.

Billed by some as the "Jewish Pulitzers," the Rockower Awards were started in 1980 to provide incentive to Jewish media to improve their publications and to promote quality Jewish journalism.

Our gratitude goes to Avi for his efforts on our behalf and to the members of the AJPA for recognizing our work.

Here are the three cartoons that were submitted:
Cirque Du PA
Their Perspective

Posted by Forkum at 10:47 AM

June 21, 2006

Art Auction: "Dolled Up"


View larger image

"Dolled Up" is in our book Black & White World II and was originally posted on September 6, 2003. The dialogue in this cartoon may seem somewhat outrageous, but it was taken from an actual statement on a Saudi religious police Web site: "Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful."

The 9" x 6.5" ink illustration is on a 11" x 7" acid-free bristol board (the black border is not part of the illustration). John and I have signed the front in pencil. The reverse side features another of John's drawings, this one a large ink sketch of a caricature for the religious police. The drawing is approximately 5" x 6".

The starting bid is $250. Bidding takes place in the comment section below in increments of at least $10. Buyer pays shipping in addition to the winning bid amount, and the shipping method is buyer's choice (e.g, Priority Mail, FedEx overnight, etc.). Payment can be made via PayPal or directly to us.

Auction ends Wednesday, June 28, at 3:00pm CST.

UDPATE -- June 28: Bidding for this cartoon is closed. Thanks to the bidders, and our congratulations to Bary for the winning bid.

Our next and final auction (for the time being) is being postponed until after the July 4th holiday. Please check back next week.

Posted by Forkum at 04:09 PM | Comments (4)

June 20, 2006

Guns and Butter


From AP: International sponsors OK Palestinian aid.

International sponsors of a stalled Mideast peace plan agreed Saturday to channel aid to cash-starved Palestinians for health care, utilities and social services, while continuing a boycott of the militant-led Palestinian government.

The United States went along with a compromise plan to send mostly European money through the World Bank for services and to pay stipends directly to poor people in the Palestinian territories.

Establishment of the fund is an acknowledgment that an international aid freeze imposed after the surprise election victory of Hamas militants in January has had unintended and harsh consequences for ordinary Palestinians.

As Caroline Glick so aptly point out last month:

[E]very cent transferred in "direct aid" to the Palestinians is money that will prevent Hamas from failing. Every well-fed Palestinian welfare case will be a vindication for the Palestinian people's decision to vote Hamas into power. Every penny of Western and Israeli aid tells them that they may both escalate their war against Israel while officially joining the global jihad and eat well on the Israeli/ American/ European dole.

Others are funding Palestinian terrorism more directly. From AP: Hamas pays Palestinian workers with cash.

Thousands of Palestinian workers left postal banks carrying crisp $100 bills Monday, their first payday since March, as the Hamas-led government dipped into suitcases full of cash its officials carried into Gaza to circumvent a Western aid cutoff.

Payday joy was tempered by the knowledge that the sanctions have forced the Hamas-led government into bankruptcy and hamstrung its activities. The West demands that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept previous peace accords, but Hamas refuses. As a result, the West has cut off much-needed aid to the Palestinian government. ...

Last week, Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, hauled $20 million in cash across the Egyptian border into Gaza, and another official followed with $2 million. Hamas officials said the money came from private donations and Islamic charities.

The money distributed to workers Monday came from those suitcases.

Though Hamas officials insist they will continue carrying cash across the border, it is not nearly enough to solve their government's financial crisis.

UPDATE -- June 26: Dave Bender has more: Israel FM spokesman on Gaza chaos: Extremists uninterested in Pals' well-being.

Posted by Forkum at 04:23 PM

June 19, 2006

Bill Gates


From CNN: Gates to leave day-to-day Microsoft operations.

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates announced Thursday that he will transition from day-to-day responsibilities at the company he co-founded to concentrate on the charitable work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates will continue on as the company's chairman after transferring his duties over a two-year period.

"This was a hard decision for me," said Gates, who founded the world's largest software company with childhood friend Paul Allen. "I'm very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Microsoft is as bright as ever."

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 07:50 PM

June 18, 2006

Forked Tongue


From FoxNews: Iran Studying Nuclear Incentives Package, Will Likely Offer Changes.

Iran's foreign minister said Saturday the government likely would suggest amendments to a Western package of incentives meant to persuade the Islamic republic to give up its uranium enrichment program.

Manouchehr Mottaki would not give any timing for Iran's response. The Tehran regime previously has said some parts of the package were acceptable while others needed to be changed, and the central issue of uranium enrichment needed clarification.

"It is a step forward," he said.

Mottaki said Iran would come up with its own amendments to the package.

"In the end, we will present our proposals. It's a two-way street," he told reporters at a joint news conference with Iraqi politician Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who heads that country's largest Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Mottaki's remarks echoed comments made Friday by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Generally speaking, we're regarding this offer as a step forward and I have instructed my colleagues to carefully consider it," Ahmadinejad said after meeting Chinese President Hu Jintao in Shanghai.

Iran denies accusations by the United States and others that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, saying its program would only generate energy.

Posted by Forkum at 10:41 AM

June 15, 2006

Holy Smoke and Mirrors


In yesterday's TIA Daily, Robert Tracinski had a great round-up of links about Al Gore and the environmental crusade:

John Stossel -- the Objectivist-influenced pro-free-market author and television investigative reporter -- has just put out a bracing op-ed labeling environmentalists as "religious fanatics." Similarly Wesley Pruden eloquently described Al Gore as a "televangelist for the First Church of the Warming Globe."

Well, it looks like Gore is working on a new membership drive for that church, by way of training 1,000 apostles to preach his apocalyptic gospel. Meanwhile, more scientists are speaking up to express their doubts about the global warming catechism. From the former link:

Al Gore hopes to train 1,000 messengers he hopes will spread out across the country and present a slide show about global warming that captures the essence of his Hollywood documentary and book.

The former vice president, a Democrat, said on Monday that by the end of the summer he would start a bipartisan education campaign to train 1,000 people to give a version of his slide show on global warming featured in the film "An Inconvenient Truth" and book of the same name.

"This moment cannot be allowed to pass," Gore told reporters in New York.

"I have seen and heard times before when the awareness of the climate crisis has peaked and then a few months later it's gone. I think this time is different, but I have to say I'm not certain of that." ...

He says climate change is a crisis that has become a moral issue ...

Gore said all the profits from his film and the book will be donated to train the messengers. He said the carriers of the message will give the slide show at high schools and rotary clubs in the United States and around the world.

UPDATE I -- June 16: As alway, Junk Science has more information debunking environmental scare tactics, including one specifically about Gore's movie: The Real 'Inconvenient Truth'.

UPDATE II -- June 1: Dr. Sanity has more on shamen past and present.

Posted by Forkum at 05:22 PM

June 14, 2006

Art Auction: "White House Alert"


View larger image

"White House Alert" is in our book Black & White World II and was originally posted on January 23, 2004. It was our take on Howard Dean's infamous Iowa scream. 

The 9" x 6.5" ink illustration is on a 11" x 7" acid-free bristol board (the black border is not part of the illustration). John and I have signed the front in pencil. Occasionally John will doodle a pencil sketch on the reverse side of an original, but in the case he inked a character study for a futuristic detective called FLEX. The drawing is approximately 4" x 5.5".

The starting bid is $250. Bidding takes place in the comment section below in increments of at least $10. Buyer pays shipping in addition to the winning bid amount, and the shipping method is buyer's choice (e.g, Priority Mail, FedEx overnight, etc.). Payment can be made via PayPal or directly to us.

Auction ends Wednesday, June 21, at 3:00pm CST.

UDPATE -- June 21: Bidding for this cartoon is closed. Thanks to all bidders, and our congratulations to Guruh Roy for the winning bid.

Our next original cartoon is up for bids: Art Auction: "Dolled Up"

Posted by Forkum at 03:41 PM | Comments (4)

June 13, 2006

Valor Blind


From The Los Angeles Times: In this paper, war heroes are MIA by Frank Schaeffer. (via TIA Daily)

[I]f the "chattering classes" ever wonder why those of us in the military family sometimes bitterly resent the media, they need look no further than the "Haditha story." What bothers me is that I haven't seen one recent story dedicated to the heroism of our troops given such consistent prominence in The Times or other leading papers. Nor have I read a front-page headline about a military medal ceremony and the story behind it, although every year I see front-page treatment in The Times of who wins the Oscars. ...

The prominence of stories about military malfeasance, absent stories about military heroism, creates an out-of-whack impression. When it comes to reporting on the military, it's as if we're back in the 1950s, only this time the media prejudice and insensitivity are aimed at military service rather than race. In the 1950s, you rarely saw a story about an African American unless he or she committed a crime or was portrayed with condescension as a victim. ...

What I would like to see is acts of military heroism regarded once again as newsworthy. Here is one story that would have merited a front-page headline if the editorial values of this paper were less dismissive of military valor.

Staff Sgt. Anthony L. Viggiani is one of the recently distinguished heroes of the Marine Corps. On Feb. 24, he was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions in Afghanistan in June 2004. Viggiani had been fighting Taliban remnants who were killing teachers and burning girls' schools. He led his men in combat after being wounded. He chased down and killed or captured the enemy. He humanely tended to the wounded enemy fighters he had been fighting moments before. He led his men to safety and honor. Was a Times reporter sent to cover the medal ceremony and to report on what lay behind it? If not, why not? Whose values dictate that winning a Navy Cross is less important than a Pulitzer, an Oscar or a PEN award?

Here is the Marines news release about Viggiani: DI awarded Navy Cross for actions in Afghanistan.

From the Media Research Center: Touting Military Misdeeds, Hiding Heroes. (via Hot Air)

While ABC, CBS and NBC have chosen to highlight this potential scandal, a new Media Research Center study finds those same networks have given far less attention to the heroic deeds of the 20 members of the U.S. military who have received the highest recognition for bravery since the war on terror began. In fact, 14 of the country's top 20 medal recipients have gone unmentioned by ABC, CBS and NBC. ...

None have been given more than a fraction of the attention that the latest allegations against the military have received. And while the networks have told of acts of heroism by others in the military — with Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester of the Kentucky National Guard getting the most coverage among those honored with a Silver Star — none of those other positive stories have interested the networks as much as news of possible military misconduct.

UPDATE -- June 15: Stars and Stripes helps fill the void left by the MSM: Heroes: A Nation Honors Valor in the War on Terror. (via TIA Daily)

Posted by Forkum at 04:25 PM

June 12, 2006

John Murtha


From FoxNews: Murtha to Run for House Majority Leader if Dems Prevail in November.

Rep. John Murtha, a 16-term Democrat known for his close ties to the military and his outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq, said Friday he will run for House majority leader if Democrats win control in November.

Murtha, 73, wrote in a letter to Democratic colleagues that he would seek the post "if we prevail, as I hope and know we will, and return to the majority this next Congress."

"I would appreciate your consideration and vote and look forward to speaking to you personally about my decision," he wrote.

Murtha, regarded as a close ally of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, has taken his party's lead in demanding an early withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. He served in Vietnam as a Marine and he has a reputation in Congress as a strong friend of the military.

From a Washington Post letter to the editor: Mr. Murtha's Rush to Judgment by Ilario Pantano.

A year ago I was charged with two counts of premeditated murder and with other war crimes related to my service in Iraq. My wife and mother sat in a Camp Lejeune courtroom for five days while prosecutors painted me as a monster; then autopsy evidence blew their case out of the water, and the Marine Corps dropped all charges against me ["Marine Officer Cleared in Killing of Two Iraqis," news story, May 27, 2005].

So I know something about rushing to judgment, which is why I am so disturbed by the remarks of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) regarding the Haditha incident ["Death Toll Rises in Haditha Attack, GOP Leader Says," news story, May 20]. Mr. Murtha said, "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Much more about Pantano at Hot Air.

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 07:54 PM

June 11, 2006

Ground 0


From The Wall Street Journal: Ground Zero: Where is the memorial? by Debra Burlingame.

Today, a handful of people are considering how the history of 9/11 will be preserved for future generations. Will it be scattered all over the globe, eroded by small museums, cannibalized by private collectors, or simply lost forever?

From the giant steel facades that broke but did not fall to the thousands of "Missing" flyers that speak of humanity as no granite monument can; from the harrowing digital footage to the oral histories that provide a mosaic of facts as detailed and compelling as a thousand handmade quilts; these are the pieces that make up our generation's "Day of Infamy." Preserving that history is both the mission and the moral imperative of the World Trade Center Memorial Museum -- if we build it.

The decision lies in one man's hands: New York Gov. George E. Pataki. ...

The American people intuitively understand what the New York intelligentsia does not. They already stream to Ground Zero in the tens of thousands, signing up for tours to stand and look at the iron fence of St. Paul's Church across the street, now stripped of the faded flags, the personal tokens of remembrance and the hand-lettered messages of sympathy that poured in from all over the world. They shell out countless thousands of dollars for picture books and postcards bearing the images of the twin towers from the ragtag vendors who line the site's perimeter. ...

The World Trade Center Memorial and Museum will commemorate, educate and inspire. It will convey to future generations that we as a people are more than sleek neighborhoods and buildings. That is something our enemies did not understand and should be reflected in everything we do on that much-hallowed ground.

From Take Back The Memorial: 9/11 was this generation’s December 7th. (via Tim Sumner)

9/11’s story will not fit into the lobby of the Freedom Tower, just down a bit from the kiosk’s coffee and magazines. Nor would that be fitting remembrance.

9/11’s story is bigger than that. There was the 3,000, the known and unknown heroes, and people scrambling to get home with a whole city trying to help them get there. There was a Pile swarmed, help pouring it from everywhere, hope, despair, tears, and honor. There was America, knocked down to one knee, struggling to get up, embracing those who had lost a loved one, and rising to our feet as a nation and a people.

We remember. And we must pass it all down to future generations. It is also their ‘day of infamy’ and now is the time to ensure they will come to know 9/11’s story.

9/11 and Ground Zero will never be just two pools in a park. While a few might not know that, the rest of us do.

UDPATE I -- June 12: A memorial is unveiled near Ground Zero if not on it. From Take Back The Memorial: The Firefighters Monument

Across from Ground Zero, on Tenhouse’s wall, reflecting where 343 of the FDNY’s Bravest fell on 9/11, there now stands a monument. The inscription on it reads, "Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on."

From the New York Post: 9/11 Memorial Etched In Time by Heidi Singer.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke at the unveiling ceremony while President Bush, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg sent prerecorded video messages. He later blasted city, state and federal officials for failing to build a memorial at Ground Zero nearly five years after the terrorist attacks.

"Forget about the buildings, the office space - that should all come second," he said. "The focus has to be on the memorial. Get it right. Future generations will respect us for that."

While politicians continue to dicker over the Ground Zero memorial, firefighters quietly built their own tribute to their 343 fallen brothers. Money was raised by law firm Holland & Knight, which lost one of its partners, volunteer firefighter Glenn Winuk, in the World Trade Center.

"There's been much discussion of a memorial to be built over this hole in the ground that still stands after five years," said FDNY Chief of Department Peter Hayden. "We've had empty promises from empty suits, but the Fire Department has filled its promise."

And from New York Daily News: Salute FDNY's devotion - and chief's grace by Michael Daly.

Then, the sound of bagpipes seemed to rise from The Pit, as they had exactly four years before when the FDNY band led the way up the ramp to mark the official closing of the recovery effort.

But you realized it was just a trick of acoustics. The trilling was coming from outside the little firehouse at the downtown edge of The Pit. The band had returned to Ground Zero to play for the unveiling of a 56-foot bronze memorial frieze affixed to the exterior of the home quarters of Engine 10/Ladder 10.

UDPATE II -- June 16: Lawhawk has been following the reconstruction of Ground Zero in depth; here's the latest: The Battle For Ground Zero, Part 147.

Posted by Forkum at 08:50 AM

June 08, 2006

Message From Above


From CBS News: Iraq Terror Chief Killed In Airstrike.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq with a $25 million bounty on his head, was killed when U.S. warplanes dropped 500-pound bombs on his isolated safehouse northeast of Baghdad, coalition officials said Thursday.

U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell showed a picture Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with his eyes closed and spots of blood behind him after he was killed by an air strike. Caldwell also showed a video of the attack in which he said F-16 fighter jets dropped two 500 pound bombs on the site. ...

His fighters led a wave of kidnappings of foreigners, killing at least a dozen, including Arab diplomats and three Americans. Al-Zarqawi is believed to have wielded the knife in the beheadings of two of the Americans, Nicholas Berg and Eugene Armstrong, and earned himself the title of "the slaughtering sheik" among his supporters.

From FoxNews: Zarqawi Was Mastermind Behind Iraq's Bloodiest Attacks.

The string of kidnappings of Westerners by his followers terrorized foreign workers in Iraq, forcing them to limit movements and take up costly security precautions.

Among the other hostage slayings claimed by Al Qaeda in Iraq were American Jack Hensley, British engineer Kenneth Bigley, Kim Sun-il of South Korea and Shosei Koda of Japan, whose decapitated body was found dumped and wrapped in an American flag.

UPDATE -- June 12: Maybe, just maybe he had time to realize what had happened. From FoxNews: Military: Zarqawi Died 52 Minutes After Strike.

Posted by Forkum at 04:01 PM

June 07, 2006

Art Auction: "Dutch"


View larger image

"Dutch" is in our book Black & White World II and was originally posted exactly two years ago today on June 7, 2004 to commemorate the death of Ronald Reagan. 

The 9" x 6.5" ink illustration is on a 11" x 7" acid-free bristol board (the black border is not part of the illustration). John and I have signed the front in pencil. The major difference between the original and the final was the deletion of the dialogue balloon (seen here for the first time).

The starting bid is $250. Bidding takes place in the comment section below in increments of at least $10. Buyer pays shipping in addition to the winning bid amount, and the shipping method is buyer's choice (e.g, Priority Mail, FedEx overnight, etc.). Payment can be made via PayPal or directly to us.

Auction ends Wednesday, June 14, at 3:00pm CST.

UDPATE -- June 14: Bidding for this cartoon is closed. Thanks to the many who participated in this auction, and our congratulations to Stephanie for the winning bid.

Our next original cartoon is up for bids: Art Auction: "White House Alert"

Posted by Forkum at 03:06 PM | Comments (18)

June 06, 2006



From CNN: Abbas extends deadline for Hamas.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday extended a deadline for Hamas to accept a document that implicitly recognizes Israel, temporarily averting a showdown with the Islamic movement.

Abbas said he would give Hamas until Thursday to agree to the plan or face a national referendum.

Abbas had initially given Hamas until Tuesday to respond to the ultimatum, but decided to give the group additional time after consulting with the powerful PLO powerful executive committee.

Abbas wants to hold the nonbinding vote to put pressure on the Hamas-led government to accept the plan, which calls for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, implying recognition of the Jewish state. Hamas, which is committed to Israel's destruction, has demanded changes to the proposal and said it will boycott the referendum.

Charles Johnson explains: The Phony Palestinian Referendum.

Notice the weasel words “implicit” and “implying.” The media use these words because the fact is that this document, written by terrorists and mass murderers serving jail sentences for their crimes, contains no recognition of Israel. It’s another phony ploy by the Palestinians, in a long line of phony “peace initiatives” staged for the benefit of the West and our endlessly gullible/dishonest media.

Honest Reporting points out the truth about this latest Palestinian Big Lie: The Prisoners’ ‘Peace’ Plan.

REMINDER: This week's art auction ends tomorrow, June 7 at 3:00pm CST.

Posted by Forkum at 05:25 PM

June 05, 2006

Al Gore


From FoxNews: Al Gore Says Don't Count on Him Running for President in 2008.

Al Gore, the Democrats' nominee for the White House in 2000, says he has all but ruled out running for president in 2008, saying the best use of his time is to educate people about global warming.

"I haven't made a Sherman statement, but that's not an effort to hold the door open. It's more the internal shifting of gears," said Gore, referring to Civil War-era general William Tecumseh Sherman. "I can't imagine any circumstances in which I would become a candidate again. I've found other ways to serve. I'm enjoying them."

Gore referred to Sherman's famous words upon retiring from the Army in 1884, which put to rest talk of a presidential run: "If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve."

Gore, in an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week," stopped short of issuing such an equivocal statement. But he said his time is best spent educating people on heat-trapping gases raising the Earth's surface temperature. He's promoting "An Inconvenient Truth," a film that chronicles his intricate slide shows on global warming.

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 08:12 PM

June 04, 2006

Canadian Jihad


From FoxNews: Canadian Authorities Arrest 17 Suspects on Terror Charges.

Canadian authorities decided to move quickly against a suspected homegrown terror ring and head off any attack on Ontario targets after undercover Mounties delivered bomb-making materials in a sting operation, according to a news report Sunday. ...

Police arrested 12 adults, ages 19 to 43, and five suspects younger than 18 Friday and Saturday on terrorism charges, including plotting attacks with explosives on Canadian targets. The suspects were citizens or residents of Canada, and police said they had trained together.

From The National Post: Nevermind foreign terrorists, why is Canada growing its own extremists?. (via Little Green Footballs)

They are young, militant and Canadian. And according to senior counterterrorism authorities, they have been plotting large-scale terrorist attacks on Canadian soil. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service acknowledged this week it has been investigating groups of "homegrown" extremists. In candid testimony to the Senate national security committee, the agency went on to say that these young followers of the "al-Qaeda ideology" have been plotting against targets within Canada.

"They are not looking to Afghanistan, the U.K. or anywhere else," Jack Hooper, the CSIS Deputy Director of Operations, testified on Monday.
The exact targets of these young terrorists were not revealed, but it is their profile that is most shocking: young Canadian Muslims who have somehow become radicalized while growing up in Canada.

They are "homegrown." In other words, they have emerged from within Canada, rather than infiltrating it from abroad. They are insiders, not outsiders like Millennium Bomber Ahmed Ressam, who was behind Canada's last major terrorism scare in 1999.

"Increasingly, we are learning of more and more extremists that are homegrown," says a declassified CSIS report obtained by the National Post. "The implications of this shift are important."
Across the Atlantic, the term "European Jihad" is now used to describe the new generation of young Muslim extremists who not only live in Europe, but also consider it a legitimate terrorist target.

A Canadian Jihad is apparently underway as well.

LGF has more: Canadian Terror Suspects Demand Korans.

And from CNN: Canada Muslims condemn alleged bomb plot.

UPDATE I -- June 5: As usual, AllahPundit has lots more of the latest coverage at Hot Air: Toronto police chief: Faith had nothing to do with it.

UPDATE II: Canada is not the only one with homegrown jihadists; from AP: FBI units guard L.A. from terror attacks.

[Last July, the FBI's Counterterrorism 6] was alerted after police detectives stumbled across a cache of firearms, ammunition and military vests in a Los Angeles apartment during a robbery investigation. Also seized were books on Islam and Osama bin Laden, plus a list of synagogues, military recruiting centers and other sites.

Federal prosecutors later charged that the facilities were being targeted by homegrown terror suspects who planned to kill scores of people in shooting rampages. Four men -- three of them U.S.-born -- now face counts of conspiring to wage war against the U.S. government, kill armed service members or murder foreign officials.

UPDATE III:Via LGF: Ignoring the biggest elephant in the room by Christie Blatchford.

I drove back from yesterday’s news conference at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto in the northeastern part of the city, but honestly, I could have just as easily floated home in the sea of horse manure emanating from the building.

So frequent were the bald reassurances that faith and religion had nothing — nothing, you understand — to do with the alleged homegrown terrorist plot recently busted open by Canadian police and security forces, that for a few minutes afterward, I wondered if perhaps it was a vile lie of the mainstream press or a fiction of my own demented brain that the 17 accused young men are all, well, Muslims.

But no. I have checked. They are all Muslims.

Barely two days after the nighttime raids that saw 15 of the accused arrested (the remaining two, in Kingston, conveniently were already in the joint on gun charges), the great Canadian self-delusion machine was up and running at full throttle.

Posted by Forkum at 08:33 PM

June 01, 2006

Second Coat?


From CNN today: U.S. military mourns 'tragic' Haditha deaths.

The U.S. military offered condolences on Thursday to relatives of 24 Iraqi civilians killed in Haditha last November in events that are now being investigated as possible murder by Marines. ...

The Washington Post on Thursday reported that the U.S. investigation into the aftermath of the killings is expected to say that some officers gave false information to superiors, who then did not check details.

A military source said it was evidence, including death certificates, indicating that many of the 24 civilians had been shot at close range that led to a full-scale criminal probe into the alleged massacre in March.

This cartoon was inspired by a comment from Hugh Hewitt seen on InstaPundit:

The media frenzy around the actions of a handful of Marines is now building and, as happened with the illegal acts at Abu Graib, will be used to advance agendas unrelated to the allegations, agendas which trade on the slander of the American military, and which use the very rare exceptions to paint broadly, even as the enemy will.

From CNN: A reporter's shock at the Haditha allegations.

It actually took me a while to put all the pieces together -- that I know these guys, the U.S. Marines at the heart of the alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians in Haditha.

I don't know why it didn't register with me until now. It was only after scrolling through the tapes that we shot in Haditha last fall, and I found footage of some of the officers that had been relieved of their command, that it hit me.

I know the Marines that were operating in western al Anbar, from Husayba all the way to Haditha. I went on countless operations in 2005 up and down the Euphrates River Valley. I was pinned on rooftops with them in Ubeydi for hours taking incoming fire, and I've seen them not fire a shot back because they did not have positive identification on a target.

I saw their horror when they thought that they finally had identified their target, fired a tank round that went through a wall and into a house filled with civilians. They then rushed to help the wounded -- remarkably no one was killed.

UPDATE I: A soldier's perspective at Frontline Forum: The Haditha Killings by Jeffrey Barnett.

While I cannot speak intelligently on the Haditha incident, I do think I can comment on possible causes of these types of tragic events: a frustration most can’t understand. I don’t condone any use of force outside our directed rules of engagement and escalation of force procedures. However, I can understand why violations of the ROE happen, however unjustified they may be.

UPDATE II -- June 2: Here we go ... from The New York Times: Iraqi Assails U.S. for Strikes on Civilians.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki lashed out at the American military on Thursday, denouncing what he characterized as habitual attacks by troops against Iraqi civilians.

As outrage over reports that American marines killed 24 Iraqis in the town of Haditha last year continued to shake the new government, the country's senior leaders said that they would demand that American officials turn over their investigative files on the killings and that the Iraqi government would conduct its own inquiry.

In his comments, Mr. Maliki said violence against civilians had become a "daily phenomenon" by many troops in the American-led coalition who "do not respect the Iraqi people."

"They crush them with their vehicles and kill them just on suspicion," he said. "This is completely unacceptable." Attacks on civilians will play a role in future decisions on how long to ask American forces to remain in Iraq, the prime minister added.

This article is accompanied by a photo of two Iraqis mourning over coffins. You have to read the caption to know that the deaths have nothing to do with the headline about American soldiers killing civilians.

UPDATE III: AllahPundit has lots more good coverage at Hot Air: Tuning out: Henninger on Haditha and the anti-war left.

Posted by Forkum at 04:33 PM