Archive for June, 2006
28 Jun 2006

What Will International Left Say About All This?

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The Russian News and Information Agency Novosti reports that Vladimir Putin has put out a hit order on the insurgent killers of the four Russian diplomats slain in Iraq.

President Vladimir Putin Wednesday ordered Russia’s special services to do everything necessary to find and eliminate the killers of four Russian diplomats in Iraq, the Kremlin press service said….

Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Federal Security Service, told journalists that his service had received the instructions. “We will work to ensure so that not one of the terrorists who committed the crime escapes just punishment,” he said.

It is credibly rumored that when several Russian diplomatic personnel, including the KGB rezident, were kidnaped by Hezbollah in Lebanon back in the 1980s, Russian specialists were dispatched to Beirut, who proceeded to kidnap near relatives of Hezbollah’s leadership. The male apparatus of those captured relations was delivered to Hezbollah bosses, along with a promise that the Russian security forces would be collecting theirs as well, if the Russian diplomats were not released immediately unharmed. The Russians were released.

The effectiveness of Russian measures contrasted with useless American pleas for the release of Beirut CIA station chief William Buckley, whose death by torture was videotaped and tauntingly released to the Press.

Whatever will the Council of Europe, the New York Times editorial page, and Andrew Sullivan have to say, do you suppose, about the soon-to-occur treatment of the insurgent kidnappers by avenging Russian security forces?

Will accusations of denial of due process and Geneva Convention Rights make the front page of the Post and the Times? Will Seymour Hersch expose Russsian brutality in the New Yorker? Will the lachrymose chorus of blogging bed-wetters spill another few trillion electrons condemning Russian coercive interrogation?

Frankly, I doubt it.

28 Jun 2006

Some Interesting Comparisons

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Fellow old-time Movement Conservatives will be amused to read Josh Trevino‘s comparison of the impotent and unhappy state of today’s Left with that of post-New Deal American Conservativism, viewing Kos (Markos Moulitsas Zúniga) as those poor lefties’ Robert Welch.

There was once a movement, born of desperation and a sense of embattlement at being on the losing side of historical forces. This movement saw itself as the inheritor and the guarantor of true American tradition and identity, and it sought to restore those things to their rightful primacy in national life. But because the movement did feel embattled, and because it did view itself as the victim of powerful forces, it chose to not merely fight its foes, but emulate them. It saw the prime virtue of its enemies as their ability to win, and if they could just crack the code — if it could grasp the very methodology of victory — then they would turn the tables, and victory would be theirs.

The American left today is not quite in the position of the American right circa 1960. But it is suffering nonetheless, having been in slow decline for the past quarter-century. Even when it wins the Presidency, it loses the Congress: and even when the President is the inept, uncommunicative George W. Bush, it still cannot make a dent in the ascendancy of its enemies. The end result of this is a group of Americans, identifying as members of the left, that is strikingly similar to the conservative movement of a generation past: inchoate, angry, and prone to “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.”..

Consider the average member of this group. He (or she) remembers the era of leftist dominance of American politics — and he remembers the beginning of its end, on election day 1980. He is around 50 years old. He is professional living in a coastal enclave, mostly on the Pacific coast or the northeast. His political consciousness was formed by the McGovern and Carter campaigns — and of course the American retreat from Vietnam. He may have grown up in Iowa, or Texas, or Missouri, or Utah — but he went to college elsewhere, and fell in love with the people in California, or New York, or Boston, who were so much more progressive and intellectual than the hayseeds back home. His initial concept of conservatives, which he’s never really abandoned, was formed by Nixonian malfeasance: they’re all crooks and corrupt, in his mind. The ascent of Reagan in 1980, and later the 1994 revolution, came as a profound shock — how could America forget so soon? He is well-off: and the bulk of his working career — and hence the font of his personal prosperity — was spent in the boom markets of the 1980s and 1990s, under Republican national governance in one form or another. He doesn’t think about the implications of that much.

But for all his generally good circumstances, he’s been on the political and cultural losing side all his adult life. He’s tired of it. And he’s found a website which, at last, makes him feel empowered. He is, in short, the typical member of the so-called netroots: the left-wing movement, organized around blogs, that seeks to “take back” this country from its usurpers. The netroots is a movement born of desperation and a sense of embattlement at being on the losing side of historical forces. It sees itself as the inheritor and the guarantor of true American tradition and identity, and it seeks to restore those things to their rightful primacy in national life. Critically, it choose to not merely fight its foes, but emulate them. It sees the prime virtue of its enemies as their ability to win, and if they can just crack the code — if it can grasp the very methodology of victory — then they will turn the tables, and victory will be theirs.

Sound familiar? It is — to us. To the left, it’s all very exciting, and all very new. And so we see the self-proclaimed netroots go through a trajectory very much like what the Birchers went through, albeit in highly compressed time. The elements are all there: the resentment, the conspiracy-mindedness, and especially the leaders with stupefyingly poor judgment married to Napoleon complexes. I’ve noted before that they are “frank proponents of outright mimicry of the mechanisms of GOP ascendacy.” Add to this the horrifying, alienating statements ranging from the mockery of dead Americans at war to the derision of political opponents’ personal sorrows. Add to this the demonization of the very people who should, in a sane world, be their friends — The New Republic chief among them — and the formula is complete. Messianism and paranoia marry to make this.

There’s already some evidence of pushback. The journalistic establishment won’t take the abuse forever. The purported agents of the Communist — sorry, the vast right-wing conspiracy won’t endure the smears indefinitely. And the left’s political establishment won’t kowtow endlessly — and certainly not so long as the netroots keep losing. For the sake of American civic life, one hopes this is true.

But for the sake of the enemy — we conservatives of all stripes — we need merely note that whereas they have a pint-sized Welch, they have no Buckley.

And, more importantly, no Rand.

27 Jun 2006

Anti-New York Times Cartoon of the Day

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Michelle Malkin‘s offering of the day includes a delightful tribute to Bill Mauldin‘s classic WWII Willie & Joe cartoons.

27 Jun 2006

Might Just Be More Missing Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Found

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In Gaza. In the hands of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militia arm of Yasir Arafat’s al-Fatah.

The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday (but the New York Times and the rest of the US MSM are pretending they have not read it):

The Aksa Martyrs Brigades announced on Sunday that its members have succeeded in manufacturing chemical and biological weapons.

In a leaflet distributed in the Gaza Strip, the group, which belongs to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party, said the weapons were the result of a three-year effort.

According to the statement, the first of its kind, the group has managed to manufacture and develop at least 20 different types of biological and chemical weapons.

The group said its members would not hesitate to add the new weapons to Kassam rockets that are being fired at Israeli communities almost every day. It also threatened to use the weapons against IDF soldiers if Israel carried out its threats to invade the Gaza Strip.

I’ve clarified the headline, since readers could not actually see my sardonic smile, and may have often read it as a completely literal statement.

Israel invaded Gaza today (attempting to recover the kidnapped Israeli soldier), so we may soon find out whether that Palestinian militia was really telling the truth about having WMDS.

27 Jun 2006

Full-Auto Glock with Double-Drum Magazine

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Full-Auto videos are always fun. Here is one (much too-short) showing a chap firing a Glock, which has been modified to fire full-auto, and equipped with an interesting double-drum magazine. It doesn’t take him very long at all to go through that magazine’s contents. My goodness, that barrel must have been hot. Do this a few times, and you’d better get a new barrel.

27 Jun 2006

“Hadji Girl” Author Exonerated

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The tempest in a USMC canteen cup whipped up by MSM’s politically-correct thought police over Corporal Belile’s humorous little song is over. Possibly the Marine Corps still has enough good men simply to laugh the idea of charging a Marine corporal serving in a combat theatre in time of war with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for writing and performing a song poking fun at the bloodthirsty fanaticism of the enemy.

Or perhaps Michelle Malkin and the rest of the right side of the Blogosphere directed enough effective ridicule at the uniformed, and un-uniformed, forces of compulsory piety to drive them back into their burrows on this one.

At any rate, congratulations and best wishes to Corporal Belile and his band “the Sweater Kittenz.” Let’s hope they get a better name, and go on to successful post-Marine Corps career of offending liberals and insulting CAIR.

Reuters:

The U.S. military will not punish a Marine who performed an obscenity-laced song to a laughing and cheering crowd of fellow troops in Iraq making light of killing Iraqis, the Marine Corps said on Tuesday.

The Marines two weeks ago launched a preliminary inquiry into whether Cpl. Joshua Belile, who returned home from Iraq in March, violated military law or rules in singing the song, a four-minute video of which was posted on the Internet…

“The preliminary inquiry has been concluded. No punitive action will be taken against Corporal Belile. And there will be no further investigation,” said Maj. Shawn Haney, a spokeswoman at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina.

Haney said the inquiry ruled out any violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Another Marine Corps official, who asked not to be named because details of the inquiry are private, said poor taste, poor judgment and poor timing, not to mention offensive lyrics, do not necessarily amount to criminal conduct.

Wikipedia entry

video link here

lyrics

27 Jun 2006

New Michele Malkin Video

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Michelle Malkin has an amusing new video, focussing on those leaking leftwing newspapers, which includes a WWII Private Snafu cartoon, written by Dr. Seuss and featuring the voice of Mel Blanc.

26 Jun 2006

New York Times Poster of the Day

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Pettifog did a very nice one.

26 Jun 2006

New Information on Haditha

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Newsmax has new and detailed information on the events at Haditha, supplied by military sources, which makes the civilian casualties sound deliberately contrived by the insurgents, precisely in order to makes accusations against US Marines. It’s important to remember that the “Haditha massacre” story originated from accusations made by “activist” sources hostile to the US.

Within minutes of the early morning IED explosion, a firefight erupted between insurgents and Marines. Civilians were caught in the middle of the firefight. Also, although civilians did die, their deaths were the result of door-to-door combat as the Marines sought to clear houses and stop the insurgent gunfire.

Ample evidence proves that a firefight took place. For example, every second of the ensuing firefight was monitored by numerous people at company, battalion, and regimental HQs via radio communications.

Video evidence supports the Marines’ claims. Within a very few minutes, battalion, regimental, and division headquarters were able to watch the action thanks to an overhead ultralight aircraft that remained aloft all day. Photos of some of the action were downloaded and in the hands of Marines and the NCIS.

Some of the insurgents involved in planning the attack and firing at Marines during a daylong engagement have been apprehended and are in custody…

One Knight Ridder reporter called Haditha, a town of about 100,000 people, “an insurgent bastion,” reporting that “insurgents blend in with the residents, setting up cells in their homes next to those belonging to everyday citizens, some of them supportive.”

Knight Ridder said that around the time of an August attack, when a total of 20 U.S. Marines were killed in two days, “several storefronts were lined with posters and pictures supporting al-Qaida. … There is no functioning police station and the government offices are largely vacant. The last man to call himself mayor relinquished the title earlier this year after scores of death threats from insurgents.”

According to an August 2005 story in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Haditha, under the nose of an American base, “is a miniature Taliban-like state. Insurgents decide who lives and dies, which salaries get paid, what people wear, what they watch and listen to.”

When the Marines first went into the city, they were aware of the tight control insurgents exercised over Haditha. They discovered that the insurgents had freshly paved over dirt roads leading into town under the auspices of civic works projects.

They were, according to a NewsMax source, “beautiful asphalt-surfaced roads” that even included painted lines. The only problem, the source recalled, was that insurgents had laid more than 100 mega-IEDs under that asphalt. And, in order to avoid having to change batteries in the triggering devices, they had wired them into the city power lines lining the road.

It is important to remember that the so-called details of the alleged massacre came from Iraqis and residents of Haditha, a city run by insurgents who have those residents not allied with them under their bloody thumbs.

In the Post story, an attorney for Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, 26, said that his client told him that several civilians were killed Nov. 19 when his squad went after insurgents who were firing at them from inside a house. He insisted there was no vengeful massacre, but he described a house-to-house hunt that went tragically awry in the middle of a chaotic battlefield.

“It will forever be his position that everything they did that day was following their rules of engagement and to protect the lives of Marines,” Neal A. Puckett, who represents Wuterich in the ongoing investigations into the incident, told the Post. “He’s really upset that people believe that he and his Marines are even capable of intentionally killing innocent civilians.”

According to the Post, Wuterich told his attorney in initial interviews over nearly 12 hours that the shootings were the unfortunate result of a methodical sweep for enemies in a firefight. Two attorneys for other Marines involved in the incident said Wuterich’s account is consistent with those they had heard from their clients.

Wrote the Post: “On Nov. 19, Wuterich’s squad left its headquarters at Firm Base Sparta in Haditha at 7 a.m. on a daily mission to drop off Iraqi army troops at a nearby checkpoint. “It was like any other day, we just had to watch out for any other activity that looked suspicious,” said Marine Cpl. James Crossan, 21, in an interview from his home in North Bend, Wash. He was riding in the four-Humvee convoy as it turned left onto Chestnut Road, heading west at 7:15 a.m.

“Shortly after the turn, a bomb buried in the road ripped through the last Humvee. The blast instantly killed the driver, Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20. Wuterich, who was driving the third Humvee in the line, immediately stopped the convoy and got out, Puckett told the Post, adding that while Wuterich was evaluating the scene, Marines noticed a white unmarked car full of “military-aged men” lingering near the bomb site. When Marines ordered the men to stop, they ran; Puckett said it was standard procedure at the time for the Marines to shoot suspicious people fleeing a bombing, and the Marines opened fire, killing four or five men.

“The first thing he thought was it could be a vehicle-borne bomb or these guys could be ready to do a drive-by shooting,” Puckett said, explaining that the Marines were on alert for such coordinated, multistage attacks.

According to Puckett, as Wuterich began briefing the platoon leader, AK-47 shots rang out from residences on the south side of the road, and the Marines ducked.

A corporal with the unit leaned over to Wuterich and said he saw the shots coming from a specific house. After a discussion with the platoon leader, they decided to clear the house, according to Wuterich’s account.

“There was a threat, and they went to eliminate the threat,” Puckett said.

A four-man team of Marines, including Wuterich, kicked in the door and found a series of empty rooms, noticing quickly that there was one room with a closed door and people rustling behind it, Puckett said. They then kicked in that door, tossed a fragmentation grenade into the room, and one Marine fired a series of “clearing rounds” through the dust and smoke, killing several people, Puckett said.

The Marine who fired the rounds – Puckett said it was not Wuterich – had experience clearing numerous houses on a deployment in Fallujah, where Marines had aggressive rules of engagement.

Although it was almost immediately apparent to the Marines that the people dead in the room were men, women, and children — most likely civilians — they also noticed a back door ajar and believed that insurgents had slipped through to a house nearby, Puckett said. The Marines stealthily moved to the second house, kicking in the door, killing one man inside and then using a fragmentation grenade and more gunfire to clear another room full of people, he said.

Wuterich, not having found the insurgents, told the team to stop and headed back to the platoon leader to reassess the situation, Puckett said, adding that his client knew a number of civilians had just been killed.

As already stated, the Haditha massacre story reported by Time magazine was based entirely on accounts from Iraqis with an ax to grind. The facts of what happened tell a different story. The real story, it will eventually be revealed, is backed up by evidence Time didn’t know existed. It gives the lie to the idea that there was anything like a massacre in Haditha on Nov. 19. Here, for the first time, is the truth about what happened.

NewsMax can verify Wuterich’s account. The site of the IED explosion was in an area well known as an insurgent stronghold, where as many as 50 IEDs were found previously, and from where, on two previous occasions, insurgents launched small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar attacks on K Company.

Within five minutes of the blast, Marines on the scene reported they were receiving small-arms fire. Within 30 minutes of the blast, and while the house-clearing was still under way, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team en route to the site came under small-arms fire in a known insurgent tactic to ambush first responders.

At the same time, just 30 minutes after the house-clearing, an intelligence unit arrived to question the Marines involved in the house-clearing operation. NewsMax sources say the behavior of the Marines involved gave them no reason to believe anything but what they had been told.

At about the same time a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) arrived over the blast area and from that moment on, for the entire day , the UAV transmitted views of the engagement to the company command site, battalion headquarters, the regimental HQ, and the division HQ. What the UAV captured was a view of Marines in their perimeter, as they went about doing house-clearing. It was then vectored to the surrounding area to catch any fleeing insurgents. It showed four insurgents fleeing the neighborhood, loading weapons into their car, and linking up with their partners (the ones that had conducted the ambush on the EOD team).

Knowing what we now know about Wuterich’s account, these fleeing insurgents were most likely the same ones who left through the back door of the house he was clearing.

There are photos of this, and they show the insurgents getting back into their car after loading the weapons The UAV then followed them south to their safe house. From that point forward, until about 6 p.m., the safe house was hit by bombs and an assault by a K Company squad. The UAV followed the insurgents who had been inside through town.

The final tally for these engagements was two insurgents killed by direct fire, one killed by GBU bombs, and one detained. The entire action was followed by the UAV overhead…

The Haditha “massacre” being referred to is the 30 minutes to one hour that took place first thing in the morning. The rest of the day’s activities, in fact, confirmed the nature of the morning’s attack.

It is clear that the entire incident was planned and carried out by insurgents who detonated the IED, and then, in a familiar tactic, attacked the Marines responding to the blast — deliberately putting civilians at risk.

This is what happened in Haditha that day. It was a daylong engagement with armed insurgents that involved civilian casualties who died as a result of being caught in the middle of a firefight. It had been reported as a blast followed by a TIC — Marine Corps terminology for “Troops in Contact.” In other words, gunfire directed at the Marines.

26 Jun 2006

European Brown Bear Shot in Bavaria

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Bruno

Efforts to restore the European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos), a close relative of the North American Grizzly bear, in the Alps have proven too successful.

The first brown bear seen in Bavaria since 1835 appeared about seven weeks ago, travelling in an Alpine circuit passing through portions of Italy, Austria, and Germany.

Unfortunately, the two year old male bear, which apparently came from Italy, proved a bold and persistent predator, wandering into habitated areas, and killing in the neighborhhood of 25 sheep and four goats, many rabbits and chickens, and at least one guinea pig. He also raided beehives. “This animal didn’t just kill when he was hungry. He had a lust for killing,” said Anton Steixner, a South Tyrolean official.

Attempts were made to capture the bear, dubbed “Bruno” by the German media, with the intention of releasing him in a remote sanctuary. Trapping attempts proved unsuccessful; and finally, as the bear was concluded to represent a serious hazard, a hunt was authorized.

Bruno was shot by a group of Bavarian hunters at 4:50 AM near the town of Zell. The authorities intend to have him mounted and placed in a museum in Munich.

Moonbat environmentalists and bleeding-heart animal sentimentalists predictably are upset. A businessman who printed up hundreds of Bruno “You’ll Never Catch Me” t-shirts plans to sue.

APGuardian

Quite unsatisfactory Reuters video – If you look very closely, you do see a shot of the carcass of the bear.

26 Jun 2006

Godzilla

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Godzilla (aka Gojira) performs the Numa Numa (in Portuguese!).

video

25 Jun 2006

What Would Lincoln Do?

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The Republican Administration, at the present time, clearly needs to be reminded that it is the Party of Lincoln.

On August 15, 1861, a grand jury was convened in New York to investigate the conduct of a number of opposition newspapers.

The records of that grand jury state:

There are certain newspapers within this district which are in the frequent habit of encouraging the rebels now in arms against the federal government by expressing sympathy and agreement with them, the duty of acceding to their demands, and dissatisfaction with the employment of force to overcome them…

The grand jury are aware that free governments allow liberty of speech and of the press to the utmost limit, but there is, nevertheless, a limit…

The conduct of these disloyal presses is, of course condemned and abhorred by all loyal men; but the grand jury will be glad to learn from the Court that it is also subject to indictment and condign punishment.

On August 22, the newspapers named by the grand jury were suspended from the mail by order of the New York postmaster.

When their next issues were delivered to Northern cities by train, the United States marshall for the Eastern District seized all the copies, in accordance with the War Department’s General Order No. 67.

That order specified that “all correspondence and communications” which put the public safety at risk should be confiscated, and that, in future, the punishment for creating such correspondence and communications would be death.

–Robert S. Harper, Lincoln and the Press, 1951, pp.114-116.

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