France Uses NATO Veto To Help Taliban Regain Power

France vetoes Afghan mission – The Washington Times: World – June 30, 2004

France yesterday blocked a U.S.-backed plan to use a special NATO force to safeguard elections in Afghanistan this fall, despite a plea from Afghan leaders that the troops are badly needed.

The Afghanistan mission was vetoed despite a direct plea from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who said continuing violence by Islamic fundamentalist forces in the country was a threat to the fledgling democratic government.

While President Bush in recent days has talked up trans-Atlantic unity and praised the early transfer of sovereignty in Iraq, Mr. Chirac has pointedly criticized U.S. positions on Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We are friends [of the United States], we are allies,” Mr. Chirac said in the Turkish city, “but we are not servants.”

France has not mattered in the world for many years. They have a 5th rate military, a 5th rate economy and their wines are over-priced and over rated. In Afghanistan, they wanted to play the prima donna, picking and choosing which missions they would participate in. Every American force that has worked along side them has rated them in the third-world range as far as military forces go. Their mightiest naval vessel is the aircraft carrier De Gaulle, which is a ship built with the primary purpose of providing jobs to incompetents and it shows. The De Gaulle broke down on her maiden voyage and has never been able to complete an actual mission.

The only part of her military that does work is the part that is not French, the Foreign Legion. That should tell you something.

They are a pimple on the butt of the civilized world and should be happy that they’re not lanced.

The UN’s Justice.

This is probably old news to most of the blogosphere, but I didn’t know or didn’t remember the results of the UN investigation into the massacre of two female American peacekeepers by a Jordanian peacekeeper.

You’ll be happy to know that the UN investigation found “no “reasonable suspicion” of any misconduct” and closed the case.

I guess that gunning down Americans is not considered misconduct by the UN, either that or the fact that they accept the premise that females have no place working alongside men.

The UN In Kosovo, The Violence Continues.

Serb Province Simmers Amid Uneasy Quiet

Svinjare was one of 30 towns and villages in Kosovo swept by violence March 17 and 18. Mobs, some armed with heavy weapons, damaged 730 houses in Kosovo the vast majority owned by Serbs and 35 religious sites, mostly Serbian Orthodox churches.

It was the worst violence since 1999, when hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians were displaced by Serbian security forces. Kosovo has been under United Nations control since North Atlantic Treaty Organization airstrikes drove out the Serbian forces. But the province remains part of Serbia and Montenegro, the successor state to Yugoslavia.

The incidents have precipitated a review by the United Nations of its policies in the province, which have done little so far to create either jobs or an effective police force despite millions of dollars spent. The March violence showed that neither the local police nor the international police, brought by the U.N. from member countries, were able to maintain control. In most cases, authorities helped Serbs evacuate their homes but then stood by while ethnic Albanian mobs set the houses ablaze.

The UN has been running Kosovo for about five years now, far longer that the United States has been in Iraq. But somehow opponents of the U.S. efforts in Iraq see the UN as the preferred leader of the world.

The members of UNMIK live in restricted area, with electricity, servants and the good life. It is a far better life than that in the Green Zone in Baghdad. By Kosovar standards, the UN workers are fabulously wealthy. That brings all the things that money attracts. Drugs, women, and other smuggled items. Of course, the UN workers love it. They are reliving the grand days of the Raj in the twenty-first century.

You Gotta Be Kidding!

Web Amplifies Message of Primitive Executions

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Kenneth McGuire, who oversees the cyber-crime squad in Los Angeles, says that disseminating video of such violent acts over the Internet is a new form of cyber-terrorism one proving difficult to contain.

Do I understand this correctly? Does the FBI think that it is a form of terrorism to show the acts of vicious terrorists? Are we only supposed to wallow in self-flagellation over things like Abu Ghraib (28 straight days on the NYT front page) but gloss over the deeds of those trying to kill us?

The first time she felt numb. The second time she cried. Lillian Glass, a Beverly Hills psychologist, was stunned at the barbarity of terrorists beheading their hostages, right there on her computer screen. Equally surprising was how easily she found the video online.

“You can’t imagine anything worse,” she says. “Right now, they’re coming into your home. It’s like they’re using technology as a vehicle for war.”

Gee, a Beverly Hills psychologist, just who I would go to to find out what regular people think.

Not only that, SHE WENT LOOKING FOR THE VIDEO! If you go looking for something, don’t complain when you find it. Twice, I take it. Boo Fng Hoo.

Any news stories containing graphic violence including the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Iraq, and the attacks on four American civilians in Fallouja prompt an “astronomical” spike in photo and video viewing online, says Michael Sims, news director for cbsnews.com.

In recent months, he says, “we’ve really been forced to sit down and talk through the issues and decide for ourselves where the lines are. To tell the story, not sugarcoat it, but not be offensive.”

There was no such soul searching when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out. That story would undermine support for the war and hurt Bush. They had no problem with that. But when the beheading video came out, that was a problem. That was like the footage of people jumping from the WTC, it was likely to arouse emotions counter to what they wanted. So, it was decided that the videos would be censored.

So much for their vaunted commitment to the First Amendment.

Now they complain because the videos showed up on the Internet. Boo Hoo. Start reporting the news instead of “managing” the news. Then you won’t get bypassed.

How Many Of Those Yachts Belong To Hollywood Democrats?

Loophole You Can Sail a Yacht Through

At issue is the state’s sales tax of about 8% depending on the county on most purchases, including vessels of all kinds. For most boat buyers, the tax is no more than a few thousand dollars. But for boats costing $400,000 and up, many financial advisor’s say it pays to avoid the sales tax altogether by taking advantage of the loophole in the law. Through it, buyers make their purchases offshore and keep the boats out of state for 90 days. After that, they can bring their vessels back to California without paying the sales tax on new purchases.

[…]

Supporters of keeping the law as it is warn that any changes will have the same unintended consequences as a federal surcharge on luxury items signed into law in 1990. Many say the tax brought in less than half the amount projected and wound up costing much more than that in lost jobs.

“That was just a bigger version of what they are trying to do here,” Ackerman said.

Democrats don’t care if it works or not. The important think is to preen and posture. It was the Democrats that passed that luxury tax in 1990 and then had to sneak back to Washington D.C. to repeal it when the actual effects were seen. The important thing for them is to look good regardless of what actually happens.

I think the Republicans have an opportunity here. They can find out how many of the Hollywood Democrats have these yachts. I’m willing to bet that if Babs and others have yachts in this price range, they have taken advantage of the “loophole.”

Another would be to take them at their word on the tax revenue that would be raised and invite them to post a personal bond to provide that money if the actual tax collected falls short of what they promised.

I’d like to see how many takers they got for that.

And here’s another thought. I’m not one of those people who think up convoluted schemes for a living. God know, we have enough of those around. But what if some yacht owners or prospective yacht owners got together and formed a company in Oregon. One of those that works out of some law firms file cabinets. The firm would take delivery and own the yachts. They boats would then be leased back to their original owners for a nominal fee.

Have delivery taken by the company in Oregon, (no sales tax) and lease it for a dollar a year or whatever needs to be done to satisfy the tax man.

The people that buy these yachts have accountants to watch over their money. They’re not going to pay a dime more than they absolutely have to. No matter how many times they go to see Fahrenheit 911.

Post’s Bureau Chief Is A Reporting Light-Weight

The Untouchable Chief of Baghdad

Iraq veterans often say they are confused by American news coverage, because their experience differs so greatly from what journalists report. Soldiers and Marines point to the slow, steady progress in almost all areas of Iraqi life and wonder why they don’t get much notice – or in many cases, any notice at all.

Part of the explanation is Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post. He spent most of his career on the metro and technology beats, and has only four years of foreign reporting, two of which are in Iraq. The 31-year-old now runs a news operation that can literally change the world, heading a bureau that is the source for much of the news out of Iraq.

Chandrasekaran’s crew generates a relentlessly negative stream of articles from Iraq and if there are no events to report, they resort to man-on-the-street interviews and cobble together a story from that. Last week, there was a front-page, above-the-fold article about Iraqis jeering U.S. troops, which amounted to a pastiche of quotations from hostile Iraqis. It was hardly unique. Given the expense of maintaining an Iraq bureau with a dozen staffers, they have to write something to justify themselves, even if the product is shoddy.

This just reinforces what I have thought for some time. I noticed that Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s reports from Iraq were always negative. They just can’t seem to find an Iraqi with a good opinion of the United States. I guess his assignment as Iraq bureau chief is in keeping with the Post’s general reporting. Chandrasekaran seems to compliment their domestic hit man, Dana Milbank nicely.

I wondered at his assignment as bureau chief at such an early age and so little experience. But I guess his reflections of the proper political attitudes made up for his light-weight background.

Michael Moore Lied?

Director Michael Moore Simultaneously On Voter Rolls In New York, Michigan – June 28, 2004

JUNE 28–Prior to last week’s Washington, D.C. premiere of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Michael Moore denied that the new documentary represents his de facto endorsement of John Kerry. “I am an Independent,” the filmmaker told reporters. “I’m not a member of the Democratic party.”

Which is not exactly correct.

What’s That Again, Senator Clinton?

News > Politics — San Francisco rolls out the red carpet for the Clintons” href=”http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20040629-0007-ca-clintons-sanfrancisco.html”>”Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you,” Sen. Clinton said. “We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

U.S. Constitution – Amendment 5
nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.