Second Judicial Nominee Targeted (washingtonpost.com)
Senate Democrats said yesterday they will block the judicial nomination of Priscilla R. Owen, marking the second time this year they have employed filibuster tactics to thwart President Bush’s efforts to name conservatives to the federal bench.
They should know that they have now legitimized the use of the filibuster to derail judicial appointments. They should not be surprised if the Republicans use this to derail a Democratic President’s nominations. A law of politics that most seem to have forgotten. Don’t give powers to your opponent that you don’t want used against you, because the tables will turn eventually.
Troops Kill Anti-U.S. Protesters (washingtonpost.com)
U.S. forces stationed at an elementary school opened fire on an angry mob protesting the American presence here after several demonstrators began shooting at soldiers guarding the building, U.S. officers said today. Local officials said 13 Iraqis were killed and as many as 75 wounded in the shooting Monday night, making it the bloodiest clash between civilians and U.S. forces in postwar Iraq.
Two injured demonstrators and three men who live across the street and viewed the confrontation said the participants were unarmed and were complaining only about the U.S. occupation of the school. But three other witnesses said several of the protesters were shouting slogans in support of former president Saddam Hussein and firing assault rifles into the air in defiance of U.S. orders.
Well, you know who the press will believe. The pro-Saddam thugs, of course.
The Left’s Weapons Of Mass Distraction / VIEW FROM THE RIGHT
Basic Rights: New rights not found anywhere in the Constitution that include the right for slackers to get free food, free housing, free medical care and conjugal visits in prison, plus permission to deal drugs, defecate in the streets and aggressively panhandle, as well as get enough welfare money to trade their cars in every three years.
I hope he is in the Witness Protection Program or is writing under an assumed name. The Left does not respond well to being made fun of. (It’s Mean-Spirited) Read the whole thing.
Today I read an article in that dreadful rightwing magazine, Insight on the News, that made the case that the American news media seemed to be fixated on finding whatever they could to portray the Iraqi War as a quagmire and failure, while in fact it was one of the premier military feats of modern times.
Out of the ‘Quagmire’
The attitude of many reporting on the war in Iraq seemed to be, “Daddy, are we there yet?” Day after day the mood in the TV studios was one of impatience and incoherence about what U.S. military leaders now are calling one of the most awesome military campaigns in history. At the same time, in the three weeks it took U.S. forces to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime and seize Baghdad, Americans were treated to some of the most professional and thorough war reporting ever – contaminated from the editorial suites and studio directorate by a steady, noxious dripping of ill-informed speculation, whining and defeatism.
I was also directed by Neal Boortz to a column by Victor Davis Hanson,
Our Western Mob.
It occurs to me that much has changed since the days of WWII, I’m not talking about the cameras and communications or even the negativity of the coverage. (although a journalist that tried to report the American casualties at Tarawa or Normandy would probably have been jailed.)
I’m talking about the willingness, indeed the obsessive eagerness to report the other side without engaing in the questioning and skepticism that is characteristic of American news conferences.
In the 1930’s and 40’s the Axis Powers invested heavily in the control of the news media at home and wherever they had under their thumb. Goebbels and his counterparts tightly monitored who said what, and where it was shown. They also invested in foreign propaganda in so-called “neutral” countries and presented such memorable personalities as Tokyo Rose, Lord Ha-Ha and Axis Sally. They had huge agencies for this that had people in the news and movies studios and in the pressrooms of all the newspapers. This has now become entirely unnecessary.
Now we have large media companies not only willing, but anxious to report from the “other side”. They are willing to slant their coverage, censor stories and even pay bribes to despotic governments just so they can retain “access”.
This was admitted to by CNN’s Jordan Eason in the New York Times (no link, everyone has it.) and alluded to by several reporters from other agencies.
So you have to ask. Why maintain access if the only thing you are gong to be allowed to report is the propaganda of the local dictator? The only gain that is apparent is for the regime. They no longer have to maintain expensive talent to affect the foreign news. They can get CNN to report it and make them pay too. Looks like a win-win for tyrants and a black eye for the news media. Why would we ever trust their reporting again?
Robert Bartley in the Wall Street Journal gives brief history of the success of Nonproliferation Treaties with North Korea.
The Reagan administration solved the North Korean nuclear problem for the first time back in 1985, persuading them to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), with inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, North Korea said its adherence to the agreements was contingent on the removal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea.
So in 1991, President George H.W. Bush solved the North Korean nuclear problem a second time, announcing that the U.S. would withdraw all tactical nuclear weapons abroad, including 100 or so in Korea. This may have made military sense because of improved conventional weapons, and allowed the two Koreas to ratify that the problem was solved through a bilateral agreement not to test, store or deploy nuclear weapons.
In 1992, North Korea concluded its agreement with the IAEA, declared seven nuclear sites and some plutonium open for inspection. So the problem was solved, except that the IAEA discovered discrepancies in the report and demanded special inspections of two nuclear waste storage sites. In response, the North Koreans announced their intention to withdraw from the NPT.
So in 1993, the Clinton administration solved the problem a third time, persuading the North Koreans to “suspend” their withdrawal and submit to inspections. However, the CIA estimated that North Korea may have produced one or two nuclear weapons. When IAEA inspectors arrived, the North Koreans refused to allow them to inspect the plutonium reprocessing plant at Yongbyon and announced that it was withdrawing from the NPT after all.
So in 1994, former President Jimmy Carter showed up to solve the problem a fourth time, charming the North Koreans into confirming their willingness to freeze nuclear development and hold more talks.
Later that year, Clinton administration negotiators solved the problem a fifth time with the “Agreed Framework.” North Korea agreed to drop proposed nuclear reactors, in exchange for two “light-water” reactors designed by the U.S. and built by an international consortium. Pending their completion, North Korea would get fuel oil shipments.
In 1999, the Clinton administration solved the problem a sixth time by inspecting the Kumchang-ni site, where the U.S. suspected underground nuclear facilities. In exchange for food aid the Koreans allowed inspections, after five months during which spy satellites showed them moving things away. The inspection found no nuclear activity, so the problem was solved again.
The “Agreed Framework” incorporated the brainstorm of installing cameras to monitor the plutonium stored in North Korea. Last December, the Koreans blandly turned off the cameras.
Interestingly, the solution urged by many is for the Bush administration to negotiate still another agreement. I guess for them, the best outcome is not a solution to the problem, but a continuation of the process that has failed before on the vain hope that it will work this time
TIME.com: Iron Maiden Found in Uday Hussein’s Playground
Around 7 feet tall, three feet across and deep enough to house a grown man, the sarcophagus-shaped device is essentially a large, metal closet with long spikes on the inside door that closes to impale its victim. Its name derives from its mummy shape and the beatific woman’s face depicted on its headpiece. The one found in Baghdad was clearly worn from use, its nails having lost some of their sharpness. It lay on its side within view of Uday’s first-floor offices in the soccer association. Ironically, the torture device was brought to TIME’s attention by a group of looters who had been stripping the compound of anything of value. They had left behind the iron maiden, believing it to be worthless
I’m sure this would not warrant even a notice from the Human Rights Council or even the Security Council. Under the International Law, torture is perfectly acceptable unless you have friendly relations with the United States.
Somehow, Jared Myers at ThePolitiBlog got hold of a copy of the real Dixie Chicks interview. The one that was shown on TV was actually a fake that was done using sock puppets and special effects.
£1m haul of gallery art thieves
Police were last night hunting a gang of art thieves who raided a Manchester gallery and stole paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso and Gauguin valued at an estimated £1m.
I was listening to the radio this afternoon, I don’t know exactly what show I was listening to, but it really doesn’t matter. It was a round-table discussion of the war in Iraq and whether it was justified. It amazes me that with what has already been uncovered, the torture chambers, the children’s prisons, the mass graves, that this debate is still going on, but that’s another matter.
One of the panelists maintained that if weapons of mass destruction were not found, and soon, the entire premise of the war should be found to be illegal and the President and his staff should be prosecuted. That is a stupid statement right there, but it is another one one that has been discussed elsewhere.
He made the obligatory statement about Saddam being a bad man and that the Iraqi people are better off, but he then made a statement that I have to consider one of the stupidest of a host of stupid remarks that have been made about this war. He said that, we had no business invading Iraq just because Saddam was a vicious tyrant that abused his own people. His reasoning was, as he stated, there are many countries in the world that have oppressive governments, if we are not prepared to invade them all, we should not invade any.
I find this incredible. This man is stating that any help we provide for anyone must be provided to everybody. Do you think that he of the opinion that because we cannot help all poor people we must not help any? How about sick people? If we cannot help the terminal cancer patient, then we must not help the pneumonia patient? Gosh, I guess we can get rid of a whole bunch of well-meaning programs because they don’t help everybody If I was a writer like Lileks, I could do a riff on this that would leave you ready to hunt down and string up this fool…or at least severely embarrass him, but I’m not, so I won’t. If you want Lileks, go to Lileks, other wise you’re stuck with me.
This is just one of the many stupid statements that are being thrown around, mostly by people who oppose the war. Others have pointed out the whole “crushing of dissent” stupid statements so I won’t go there either.
Attack Sets Arms Depot in Iraq Afire (washingtonpost.com)
A fire that U.S. military officers blamed on an Iraqi guerrilla attack set off a chain of fierce explosions at a U.S.-controlled munitions dump today, sending rockets, missiles and other ordnance shrieking into residential neighborhoods in this southern Baghdad suburb.
the weapons stockpile was started by the Hussein government and built upon by U.S. troops after they conquered Baghdad. He said no demolitions of weapons had occurred since the Army took control of the site from Marines about a week ago.
The most severe damage today appeared to come from old Soviet-made Frog-7 rockets, according to Army officials.
It figures that most of the damage was done by Russian built rockets with a French name.