Sunday, December 31, 2006

NYTimes and the RatherGate-esque Fake Abortion Yarn

This is probably as good of a year-end post as any, to adhere to the original purpose of this blog. Pretty much anything that can be said about abortion, has been said. Bummer probably sits to the left of most of the B23 when it comes to this issue, but Bummer is known to ask his pro-choice pals about the tens of millions of abortions performed in the U.S. since the Roe case. Most data suggests that around 1.3 million abortions are performed each year in the U.S. One source indicates that about 13,000 women have abortions each year following rape or incest - that is, ~1% of abortions.

Regardless of one's personal opinion of abortion, it is a bedrock issue for the Left. Ascertaining "why?" is interesting, but not the point of this post. Knowing its audience, with so many of the Left being of the Sunday morning NYTimes habit,* the NYTimes needs to pander to its Sunday morning audience.

And pander it did. An April article about the illegality of abortion in many parts of the world, uses as its poster girl a woman serving a 30-year sentence of having an abortion.

Except ... it's not true. The story is fake, like the RatherGate TANG memos. She was sentenced for aggravated murder of a newborn. She killed her normally born (i.e., brought to full term, presumably 3rd treimester) infant, and then backdated the killing date to claim it had occured months earlier as an abortion, and not a strangulation after giving birth.

The NYTimes didn't bother to fact-check this critical keystone of the story.

Today, to ring out 2006, 2/3 of a year after the fact, the NYTimes runs an almost RatherGate-esque admission that its abortion story was fabricated. Well, the actual word "fabricated" isn't used. Lots of politically correct synonyms are used, as with the RatherGate report.

Fakery is fakery. Read for yourself:

December 31, 2006
The Public Editor
Truth, Justice, Abortion and the Times Magazine

THE cover story on abortion in El Salvador in The New York Times Magazine on April 9 contained prominent references to an attention-grabbing fact. “A few” women, the first paragraph indicated, were serving 30-year jail terms for having had abortions. That reference included a young woman named Carmen Climaco. The article concluded with a dramatic account of how Ms. Climaco received the sentence after her pregnancy had been aborted after 18 weeks.

It turns out, however, that trial testimony convinced a court in 2002 that Ms. Climaco’s pregnancy had resulted in a full-term live birth, and that she had strangled the “recently born.” A three-judge panel found her guilty of “aggravated homicide,” a fact the article noted. But without bothering to check the court document containing the panel’s findings and ruling, the article’s author, Jack Hitt, a freelancer, suggested that the “truth” was different.

The issues surrounding the article raise two points worth noting, both beyond another reminder to double-check information that seems especially striking. Articles on topics as sensitive as abortion need an extra level of diligence and scrutiny — “bulletproofing,” in newsroom jargon. And this case illustrates how important it is for top editors to carefully assess the complaints they receive. A response drafted by top editors for the use of the office of the publisher in replying to complaints about the Hitt story asserted that there was “no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts as reported.”

Apart from the flawed example of Ms. Climaco, Mr. Hitt’s 7,800-word cover article provided a broad and intriguing look at a nation where the penal code allows prison sentences for a woman who has an abortion, the provider of the procedure or anyone who assisted. His interviews with doctors, nurses, police officers, prosecutors, judges and both opponents and advocates of abortion offered revealing personal perspectives on the effects of the criminalization of the procedure.

Complaints about the article began arriving at the paper after an anti-abortion Web site,, reported on Nov. 27 that the court had found that Ms. Climaco’s pregnancy ended with a full-term live birth. The headline: “New York Times Caught in Abortion-Promoting Whopper — Infanticide Portrayed as Abortion.” Seizing on the misleading presentation of the article’s only example of a 30-year jail sentence for an abortion, the site urged viewers to complain to the publisher and the president of The Times. A few came to me.

The care taken in the reporting and editing of this example didn’t meet the magazine’s normal standards. Although Sarah H. Smith, the magazine’s editorial manager, told me that relevant court documents are “normally” reviewed, Mr. Hitt never checked the 7,600-word ruling in the Climaco case while preparing his story. And Mr. Hitt told me that no editor or fact checker ever asked him if he had checked the court document containing the panel’s decision.

Mr. Hitt said Ms. Climaco had been brought to his attention by the magistrate who decided four years ago that the case warranted a trial, so he had asked the magistrate for the court record. “When she told me that the case had been archived, I accepted that to mean that I would have to rely upon the judge who had been directly involved in the case and who heard the evidence” in the trial stage of the judicial process, Mr. Hitt wrote in an e-mail to me. So he didn’t pursue the document.

But obtaining the public document isn’t difficult. At my request, a stringer for The Times in El Salvador walked into the court building without making any prior arrangements a few days ago, and minutes later had an official copy of the court ruling. It proved to be the same document as the one disseminated by, which had been translated into English in early December by a translator retained by The Times Magazine’s editors. I’ve since had the stringer review the translation of key paragraphs for me.

The magistrate, Mr. Hitt noted, “had been helpful in other areas of the story and quite open.” So when she recalled one doctor’s estimate that Ms. Climaco’s pregnancy had been aborted at 18 weeks, he used that in the article. (The only 18-week estimate mentioned in the court ruling came from a doctor who hadn’t seen any fetus and whose deductions from the size of the uterus 17 hours after the birth were found by the three judges to be flawed.)

Mr. Hitt concluded the article with this summation of the Climaco case: “The truth was certainly — well, not in the ’middle’ so much as somewhere else entirely. Somewhere like this: She’d had a clandestine abortion at 18 weeks, not all that different from D.C.’s [another woman cited earlier in the story], something defined as absolutely legal in the United States. It’s just that she’d had an abortion in El Salvador.”

The caption under Ms. Climaco’s picture was notably specific. It stated flatly that she “was given 30 years for an abortion that was ruled a homicide.”

When Times Magazine editors provided me with an English-language version of the court findings on Dec. 8, just after the translation had been completed, there was little ambiguity in the court’s findings. “We have an already-formed and independent life here,” the court said. “Therefore we are not dealing with an abortion here, as the defense has attempted to claim in the present case.”

The physician who had performed the autopsy on the “recently born” testified that it represented a “full-term” birth, which he defined as a pregnancy with a duration of “between 38 and 42 weeks,” the ruling noted. In adopting those conclusions, the court said of another autopsy finding: “Given that the lungs floated when submerged in water, also indicating that the recently-born was breathing at birth, this confirms that we are dealing with an independent life.”

Exceptional care must be taken in the reporting process on sensitive articles such as this one to avoid the slightest perception of bias. Paul Tough, the editor on the article, acknowledged in an e-mail to me that in reporting this story, Mr. Hitt used an unpaid translator who has done consulting work for Ipas, an abortion rights advocacy group, for his interviews with Ms. Climaco and D.C. This wasn’t ideal, he said, but the risk posed for sources in this situation required the use of intermediaries “to some degree.”

Ipas used The Times’s account of Ms. Climaco’s sentence to seek donations on its Web site for “identifying lawyers who could appeal her case” and to help the organization “continue critical advocacy work” across Central America. “A gift from you toward our goal of $30,000 will help Carmen and other Central American women who are suffering under extreme abortion laws,” states the Web appeal, which Ipas said it took down after I first contacted the organization on Dec. 14. An Ipas spokeswoman called the appeal “moderately successful.”

The magazine’s failure to check the court ruling was then compounded for me by the handling of reader complaints about the issue. The initial complaints triggered a public defense of the article by two assistant managing editors before the court ruling had even been translated into English or Mr. Hitt had finished checking various sources in El Salvador. After being queried by the office of the publisher about a possible error, Craig Whitney, who is also the paper’s standards editor, drafted a response that was approved by Gerald Marzorati, who is also the editor of the magazine. It was forwarded on Dec. 1 to the office of the publisher, which began sending it to complaining readers.

The response said that while the “fair and dispassionate” story noted Ms. Climaco’s conviction of aggravated homicide, the article “concluded that it was more likely that she had had an illegal abortion.” The response ended by stating, “We have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts as reported in our article, which was not part of any campaign to promote abortion.” [bwaa ha ha ha -- ed.]

After the English translation of the court ruling became available on Dec. 8, I asked Mr. Marzorati if he continued to have “no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts” in the article. His e-mail response seemed to ignore the ready availability of the court document containing the findings from the trial before the three-judge panel and its sentencing decision. He referred to it as the “third ruling,” since the trial is the third step in the judicial process.

The article was “as accurate as it could have been at the time it was written,” Mr. Marzorati wrote to me. “I also think that if the author and we editors knew of the contents of that third ruling, we would have qualified what we said about Ms. Climaco. Which is NOT to say that I simply accept the third ruling as ‘true’; El Salvador’s judicial system is terribly politicized.”

I asked Mr. Whitney if he intended to suggest that the office of the publisher bring the court’s findings to the attention of those readers who received the “no reason to doubt” response, or that a correction be published. The latest word from the standards editor: “No, I’m not ready to do that, nor to order up a correction or Editors’ Note at this point.”

One thing is clear to me, at this point, about the key example of Carmen Climaco. Accuracy and fairness were not pursued with the vigor Times readers have a right to expect.

* - The I love the NYTimes on a Sunday morning" identifier is singlewoman code for: I'm liberal, I don't go to church, and I like to wake up with my man on Sunday and nurse my hangover with coffee while reading the NYTimes...Bummer knows),

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam: Une photographie a la valeur de mille mots.

'O Revs, Jackie.*

Le résultat est juste.


Video link here.

Several hours after Saddam Hussein was hanged this morning in Baghdad, the state-run television channel, Iraqia, began to run edited video, without sound, of the run-up to the hanging. The video shows Saddam being guided up the steps to the top of the gallows, a scarf being put around his neck and then the noose placed over his head and tightened on his neck. Then it stops. This footage, about a minute long, was played and replayed over and over during the day, and quickly found its way onto all major television stations around the world.
Later this evening, another video of the hanging popped up, this time being shown on Al-Jazeera and Arabiya, two Arabic TV channels based in the Gulf. The new video was of poor quality, was very jerky, and had clearly been shot on a cell phone or some similar device from below by one of the two dozen witnesses to the event. It also had sound. The picture it gave of Saddam’s last moments was very different from the edited, silent version that the Iraqi government had released earlier.
There are five men in black face masks who are visible on the gallows platform around Saddam, acting as guards. As they guide him towards the trap door and put the noose over his head, they start chanting religious slogans with the names of Moqtada al Sadr (the head of the Mahdi army, accused of organizing death squads against Sunnis) and Baqr al Sadr (the father-in-law of Moqtada). Saddam, a Sunni, is outraged at this last-minute provocation, and tells them to “go to hell.” This is generally where the two TV stations cut the video, but on at least one occasion that we saw, Arabiya allowed the video to keep rolling: The cell phone camera is jerked down to the ground, as if the person holding it had to conceal the camera, then it is slowly raised up to Saddam again, and suddenly his body shoots down through the trapdoor. At this, the Arabiya anchor came on and made a scissors symbol with two fingers with a mischievous grin on his face, as if to say that they really shouldn’t have shown that, but so be it. A cynical voyeuristic ploy, nudge nudge wink wink…
However, the impact of this video could be quite significant. First, it may reinforce Sunni suspicions that the execution of Saddam was merely an act of Shiite revenge for decades of repression under Saddam. The building where the execution took place was expressly chosen because it was once used as a detention center by a division of Saddam’s secret police that was focused on the Shiite Dawa party. Some of the witnesses whom the government invited to the execution had themselves once been tortured in that same building. Indeed, Prime Minister Maliki, who signed the execution order the day before the hanging, is a long-term member of the Dawa party and had himself been sentenced to death by Saddam back in 1980 before fleeing the country.
Worse, it may also reinforce the fears of Sunnis that Maliki’s government is beholden to the Mahdi army, Moqtada’s militia. Executions are generally expected to be solemn affairs –- certainly not opportunities for thugs to score some final sectarian points before the “enemy” is disposed of. The video itself seems quite distasteful –- but it is informative to the extent that it reveals the political baggage that the current government carries on its shoulders. It does not add up to a pretty picture.
December 30, 2006

A picture of Saddam Hussein being hanged, about to have the hanging, guillotine, execution, photo, killed, death sentence.
* - Au revoir, jackass.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

They Said the Kid's Name, Vic !

The Los Angeles Times -- in the back pages, mind you -- continues the noble facade that the Palestinians warlords are really just "political parties," but breaks down and uses the heretofore forbidden phrase -- "civil war" :

Fatah, Hamas sign new truce

Chance of success for Palestinian rivals' pact is unclear.
December 20, 2006

GAZA CITY — The leaders of the two main Palestinian factions called for an end to fighting that killed six more people Tuesday and had Palestinians wondering whether their society was hurtling toward civil war.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, of the Fatah movement, and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, of the Islamic militant group Hamas, signed a fresh cease-fire agreement aimed at stopping back-and-forth clashes.

It was not clear, however, whether the latest attempt to quell unrest would succeed, amid rising tension driven largely by Abbas' call for early elections that could undercut Hamas' upset victory in January's polls.

Under the agreement, both sides are to withdraw their forces from the streets, leaving only ordinary police officers to maintain law and order. The deal, brokered by Egyptian officials, was announced separately in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The accord capped a long day of violence that had left an earlier attempted cease-fire a shambles and had prompted the Education Ministry to close schools today.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Don't Say the Kid's Name, Vic!

Whatever you do, MSM, don't say the name, "Palestinian Civil War!"

BBC News:

Schools shut amid Gaza 'anarchy' [But it ain't no civil war! - ed]

Hamas militants have been out in force patrolling Gaza City. Schools have been closed in Gaza amid what officials say is a state of anarchy caused by fighting between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.

Violence has flared since Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called for new elections, a move the Hamas-led government branded a "coup".

Mr Abbas has called for all factions to respect a truce agreed on Sunday.

In a statement, he called on "all, without exception, to adhere to a ceasefire and to end the killings and all other operations in order to maintain our national unity".

Don't Say the Kid's Name, Vic !

Pat Tosses a Dart

Pat Buchanan is like a dart travelling though the air in a pub. Sometimes it hits bullseye, and sometimes it doesn't.

And, like the dart being tossed, not everyone is all comfy about the dart whipping though the air, because it might hit and pop their balloon. Or maybe stick 'em in the neck.

Bummer, indeed, thought that Iranian president Ahmandinejad was the top contender for Time's Man of the Year. Alas, in a redux of the 70's "Me Generation," Time has chosen "You" in the context of the Digital, everyone-has-15-minutes Age.

But Buchanan, like that dart, is not to be ignored:

Person of the Year: Ahmadinejad

by Pat Buchanan, December 19, 2006

Since 1927, the year Lindbergh flew the Atlantic in his single-engine Spirit of St. Louis, Time has devoted its final cover of the year to the Man of the Year. The Lone Eagle was first. In the 1930s and 1940s, FDR was the Man of the Year three times. Stalin, Truman and Churchill made it twice, though the selection of Churchill in 1949 seems dubious, as he had been out of power four years, while Mao was seizing China by the throat in the bloodiest revolution of the century.

Hitler was chosen in the year of Anschluss and Munich, 1938. Gen. Marshall made it twice, as did Ike, in 1944 as victor of Normandy and, 15 years later, as president.

In the 1960s and 1970s, JFK made it once, LBJ and Nixon twice. Nixon's 1972 designation was shared with Henry Kissinger. In 1979, the dark and brooding face gracing Time's cover was that of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini.

And Time got it right. For Time's Man of the Year, now Person of the Year, is the figure who, for good or evil, dominates the news. Yet this year Time could not bring itself to name the obvious choice. Instead, it chose you and me, all of us citizens of the digital democracy who create on the Worldwide Web.

Why the copout?

Perhaps it was Ahmadinejad's hosting of a conference of Holocaust skeptics, including David Duke, that caused Time to recoil. Perhaps it was fear that the face of the Iranian president on the cover of Time would repel the American people and be death for sales.

...Richard Stengel, editor of Time, as much as concedes he could not bring himself to choose by the traditional standard, if that meant choosing Ahmadinejad: "It just felt to me a little off selecting him."

Understandably. But the refusal to select Ahmadinejad reveals an unwillingness to confront hard truths. For putting his face on Time's cover would have done a useful service, jolting America to a painful realization. Not only George Bush, but the United States, its Arab allies and Israel, had a dreadful year, as Iran emerged as first beneficiary of a war fought by this country at a cost of 25,000 dead and wounded.

What the choice of Ahmadinejad would have said is that Iran is in the ascendancy in the Middle East and it is not inconceivable that the United States is headed for defeat, not only in Iraq but Afghanistan.

The Taliban have come back. The Pakistanis have ceded them sanctuary. Some NATO nations are refusing to risk troops in combat. And it has been some time since guerrillas who enjoyed a privileged sanctuary in that part of the world failed to expel European soldiers perceived as imperial occupiers.

Islamists control Somalia.

Anti-Americanism is rampant in Lebanon....

Even Bush's defense secretary concedes we are not winning in Iraq. It may take a "surge" of 20,000 to 40,000 troops to stave off defeat before the end of Bush's term.

On the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas and Fatah appear on the brink of civil war....

Eighteen months ago, Ahmadinejad was the unknown mayor of Tehran. Today, he is the visible face of anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism, both a cause of and the personification of our failures. He has defied Bush's demand that he give up the enrichment of uranium, split the Security Council, mocked the Holocaust, called for the end of the Zionist state and the expulsion of America from the Mideast, terrified the Sunni monarchs, and uunited the Arab and Islamic masses behind his defiance.

His trip to the United Nations, where he ran circles around U.S. journalists, was a diplomatic triumph. And he has done it all not with military power – Iran would not last a week in an all-out war with the United States and has no defense against Israel's nuclear weapons – but with theatrics and rhetoric.

He inspires all who hate Israel and Bush's America. And, according to the Zogby polling yesterday, that is a majority which, in some once-friendly nations, is approaching near unanimity.

Ahmadinejad, a man of words without real power, is the big winner of 2006, because Bush, America and Israel were the big losers.

Why do a billion Muslims prefer Ahmadinejad to America? That is the question that needs to be addressed.

Ouch. That dart just hit me.

Monday, December 18, 2006

AP Has a Eureka! Moment

The Associated Press runs a shocking headline with breaking, previously untold news:

North Korea wants U.N. sanctions lifted

Umm...thanks, AP. Good scoop. Thanks for the BimboText.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Terrorists Killing Terrorists = Good for U.S.

Bummer's friends -- the Hollywood lefties, that is -- think he is a fascist imperialist. (Completely untrue, BTW.)

Because Bummer -- as the B23 have read over the past 2 years -- believes that a robust bloodletting in the Middle East is both (a) inevitable* and (b) good for the advancement of the forces of liberal democracy, worldwide.

So Bummer's friends will view today's news of a sort-of Casus Belli between Hamas and Fatah as confounding.

Not to Bummer, or those of the B23 who also see things for what they are. To wit:
Islamofascist groups turning their killing efforts against their fellow islamofascists is a categorically good thing.

That said, today's [good] news:

Hamas accuses Fatah of attack on premier

Hamas and Fatah-allied gunmen exchanged fire in Gaza City and Ramallah on Friday, fanning fears of widescale fighting between the rival Palestinian groups a day after gunmen shot at the entourage of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.

The street battles in the Gaza Strip and West Bank came amid Hamas accusations that a powerful Fatah leader orchestrated the attack on Haniyeh. Leaders of both groups had warned in recent days that the spiraling violence threatened to bring the Palestinians to civil war.

The fighting cast a cloud over celebrations Friday to mark Hamas' 19th anniversary. However, the Islamic militant group pushed ahead with its rallies, and at least 60,000 people gathered at a stadium in Gaza City for a celebration Friday afternoon. Haniyeh was expected to make an address.

The fighting Friday in the normally peaceful city of Ramallah began when Hamas supporters marched toward the center of town, where Fatah-allied police were deployed in advance of the Hamas celebrations. A total of 32 people were wounded by stones and gunfire, including a man hit in head by crossfire, hospital officials said.

* - This is meant literally. It will happen, and the US cannot stop it. In fact, it has already begun. Differing theologies dictate whether one must intercede when one KNOWS such intercession will be futile. Perhaps such intercession is, then, just a charade, to score political points? Bummer agrees with the wisdom of the ages, codified in the jurisprudential axioms of the California Civil Code:

Section 3526. No man is responsible for that which no man can control.

Section 3528. The law respects form less than substance.

Section 3531. The law never requires impossibilities.

Section 3532. The law neither does nor requires idle acts.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apocalypto Now

Hollywood is bashing Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.

Below is a textbook hit job from the LA Times editorial page.

Funny how not a single critical critic mentions 3 gorillas sitting in the room:

1. Gibson is Catholic. Y'know, the religion that is based upon the premise that a guy "suffered and died" for man's sins. Y'know, that whole torture/crucifixion thing. Gosh, maybe there's something there......

2. Gibson believes that Christian ethics have, over the long term, been a civilizing factor for mankind. (You sorta have to take the loooong view on this.) That is best demonstrated by exhibiting the raw barbarism of the aboriginees who inhabited most of the world, untouched by Christianity.

3. In the past couple of years, we've seen festooned islamofascists make movies of bloody human sacrifice rites. Hint: GIBSON IS SHOWING LINKAGE.

I laugh at the MSM, more every day.

What's with Mel's bloody porn?
--Gory scenes of torture in "The Passion of the Christ" and "Apocalypto" tell us much about Gibson's sensibilities.
By Richard Schickel

December 13, 2006
MOVIES ARE, in their nature, violent. ....

That said, why is Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" so upsetting? ... the critical community has done its job, crying "Yuck" (in chorus) about this movie.

...It is not so much the detail with which [the movie] it treats violence that finally disgusts even the most hardened moviegoer; it is the ritualistic staging of it. ... He loves to get people painfully restrained and then do really bad things to them ...

... We are dealing with ritualized sadomasochism — an open manifestation of one of those dark fantasies that those in thrall to them must endlessly repeat and that have, of course, some sort of psychosexual component. That's why "Apocalypto" is so discomfiting.

I say his slavering interest in the torture of the innocent and the idealistic is a form of pornography. I wouldn't ban it. But, were it not for stern critical duty, I would shun it — because it is infantile. And because it tells me more than I want to know about the filmmaker's mind, spirit and unspoken fantasies.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

BimboText and MSM Headlines

It is possible that Bummer has lost his marbles. "Why, Bummer?" "Because this AP headline really got my craw."

North Korea might disarm with incentives

AP - "South Korea's nuclear envoy said Tuesday that North Korea could be persuaded to disarm with strong incentives to help reverse its economic crisis, while China called for flexibility at revived arms talks it is hosting. ...."

This headline, at every level, is a textbook example of the 'death by 1000 cuts' bias and stupidity of the MSM. I think Rush calls it, "drive-by media."

It isn't RatherGate, of course. But when a South Korean envoy - the first country on the invasion list of the bonkers North Korean South Park character president - says,

"Gosh," said the South Korean, "if America would just lavish several billion more dollars on this North Korean guy, maybe he'd stop all that scary talk about nukes 'n stuff,"
and the AP issues a worldwide bimbo headline that reads:

North Korea Might Disarm with Incentives

, it takes the cake.

Bummer is suggesting a new term to describe the MSM headlines: BimboText

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Middle East: So What if It Explodes?

Saudi King Abdullah opened the annual summit of Gulf leaders on Saturday with a warning that the Arab world was waiting to explode:
"Our Arab region is besieged by a number of dangers, as if it was a powder keg waiting for a spark to explode.... [M]ost dangerous for the [Palestinian] cause is the conflict among brethren... a brother is still killing his brother...we see dark clouds threatening the unity of the homeland, which risks sliding again into... conflict among the sons of the same country."


Bummer asks, quite earnestly:

"So what if the Middle East explodes?"

Downside for the U.S.

1. Risk of oil flow disruption. Damaging to US in the short term; what about mid-term and long-term?
2. Potential for expansion of anti-US islamofascism into unstable areas.
3. Likely attacks on Israel, with risk of US involvement resulting .
4. Etc.

Upside for the U.S.

1. US enemies -- "brothers" - begin fighting each other, instead of the US.
2. Regional chaos creates inefficiencies and vacuums which the US military can strategically exploit.
3. Increase in oil prices spurs US energy technology development, for which US has unparalleded advantage over the world.
4. However painful the oil price increase to the US, it is devastating to China.
5. Western stability and democracy will become more valued.
6. Islamofascist chaos will become less valued.
7. Islamofascist soldiers and leaders will be killed.
8. Israel can fight, unrestrained, against common targets.
9. Europe may no longer remain complacent about islamofascism, as the battle will spill into Europe.
10. Etc.


The Perle/Wolfowitz Plan was the basic strategy that inflated into the Iraq invasion. Short version: Establish a US -protected zone in Iraq (originally, the H3 airbase in western Iraq) which would serve (short-term) as base for pro-democracy movements, and (long-term) as the lighthouse for a despotic region (as Hong Kong was to China; as West Berlin was to East Berlin; as Italy was to Albania; etc.). Note to astute B23: This construct incorporates as a given, that there will be some level of armed conflict, to be waged not by US soldiers but by locals who oppose totalitarianism.

Bush admin came to the conclusion that that US zone could be be increased, in one felled swoop, to be the entire map of Iraq. Guys like Powell said, "No, too ambitious." Bush did it anyway, on the philosophy/theology that the locals would help out.

So if we're going to get all practical, let's get practical.

1. Maintaining Iraq as a single political unit was never a primary necessity of US policy, and it has become a huge burden. Abandon it. Armed conflict in connection therewith is inevitable.

2. Recognize that warm fuzzy dinner party talk with cheese-easting surrender monkey Euro-politicos does NOT necesarily equate to "in the US's interests." To wit: The US interests (short, medium and long-term) may be well-served by Middle East chaos and war. Europe may face much more immediate short-term perils therefrom, than the US.


On the whole, is the US better off, worse off, or about the same?

No clear answer, of course, but ... Bummer doesn't see the US clearly being "worse off," to which everyone seems to give lip service.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Angry Male Methodist Caught in Terror Planning

An interesting terrorism story on the AP about an angry young male Methodist who, in the name of jihad, planned a Christmas bombing in Chicago:

CHICAGO - A Methodist convert who talked about his desire to wage jihad against civilians was charged Friday in a plot to set off hand grenades at a shopping mall at the height of the Christmas rush, authorities said.

Investigators said Derrick Shareef, 22, an American citizen from Rockford, was acting alone and never actually obtained any grenades. He was arrested Wednesday when he met with an undercover agent in a parking lot to trade a set of stereo speakers for four hand grenades and a gun, authorities said.

"He fixed on a day of December 22nd on Friday ... because it was the Friday before Christmas and thought that would be the highest concentration of shoppers that he could kill and injure," said Robert Grant, the agent in charge of the Chicago .
OK. You caught me. I altered one word of the story. Gotta wake up early to fool the B23.

Cold Warrior RIP

Jean Kirkpatrick - R.I.P.

Sad to see the passing of another American Cold Warrior and Hero - Jeane Kirkpatrick.

Take a moment to review the so-called Kirkpatrick Doctrine. Non-democratic regimes can be focused inwardly (Totalitarians), or outwardly (Authoritarians). They pose different scenarios for the West.

Cf. Islamofascists -- Totalitarian, or Authoritarian?

Kirkpatrick's theories are as relevant today as ever.

NB: We won the Cold War. Pay attention to the playbook.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

US Simian Commission Orders Out for Lunch

"'Bonjourrrrr, you cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys!"

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bolton Leaves; MSM and Bush Fake It

Y'know, maybe the 'Dems are on to something. Maybe Bush really has lost his way and should be impeached. Pull the artificial life support. This kind of crap is not helpful. Bush can re-appoint Bolton to another term, without Senate approval.

Bush is unbelievable lame.

Bush accepts Bolton's U.N. resignation

Unable to win Senate confirmation, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks, the White House said Monday.

Bolton's nomination has languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans.

Bush gave Bolton the job temporarily in August 2005, while Congress was in recess. Under that process, the appointment expires when Congress formally adjourns, no later than early January.

The White House resubmitted Bolton's nomination last month. But with Democrats capturing control of the next Congress, his chances of winning confirmation appeared slight. The incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, said he saw "no point in considering Mr. Bolton's nomination again."

While Bush could not give Bolton another recess appointment [WRONG] the White House was believed to be exploring other ways of keeping him in the job, perhaps by giving him a title other than ambassador.
What crap. The MSM and Bush are spinning this, pretending that Bush legally needs Senate approval to re-up Bolton. He doesn't. Article II, Section 2 states:

"The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session."

Even the Senate opines that it can be ignored by recess appointments. See, e.g., here. Successive recess appointments are perfectly allowable.