Monday, July 31, 2006

How to Lose to Terrorists by Ben Stein

How to Lose to Terrorists
Published 7/31/2006 12:09:22 AM
The American Spectator
Ben Stein

We are in real serious trouble, and I'll tell you how and why I know it:

* Because the Hezbollah -- as has been well reported -- launches missiles at purely civilian targets in Israel as a matter of course, and no one in Europe or in the American left says "boo" about it. It's considered the Hezbollah's "right" to kill Israelis and when they do, they boast about it and promise to do more;

* Because it's been also well documented that the Hezbollah hides behind civilian targets and adjacent to civilian dwellings in Lebanon to fire its rockets at Israel, and when Israel fires back and mistakenly hits a home with civilians, the world of "intellectuals" and "thinkers" blames Israel and calls Israel bloodthirsty;

* Because when the Israelis kill civilians, they apologize, but when the terrorists kill civilians, they brag -- and the beautiful people scream at Eretz Israel and excuse the terrorists;

* Because if you substitute "America" for "Israel" and the "terrorists in Iraq" for the Hezbollah, you get what's happening in Iraq;

* Because it is impossible to beat a terrorist movement without using terror tactics, and we as a people of compassion and restraint, both in Israel and the U.S., will not use terror tactics even when survival is at stake, and this means we will not survive.

It is very much as if, after Pearl Harbor, after the bombing of London, we said, "We will fight the Japanese and the Nazis, but we will only use humane means, and we will show total restraint and will never kill civilians. And we will search our souls and agonize about every move."

It is this attitude that kept the United States from winning in Korea, in Vietnam, and now in Iraq. If we had followed that code of suicide, we would have lost World War II and the world would have been plunged into eternal darkness. You cannot fight inhumane people with humane means. You cannot fight savages with one hand -- no, two hands -- tied behind your back. No wars were ever won using restraint and only civilized means. That's a formula for complete defeat and for the end of civilized life. If we allow our media and French intellectuals to prevent us and the Israelis from using the means necessary to win, we'll Lebanon, in Iraq, and everywhere and this civilization is very well worth preserving. Yes, as sad as it would be to use terror tactics to win a war, it would be incomparably worse to lose. At the end of the war we win, there is light. At the end of the war we lose, there is the end.

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He also writes "Ben Stein's Diary" in every issue of The American Spectator.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Finally, It All Comes Together On Plamegate

Here is, hopefully for the last time (not likely since the Wilsons have filed a ludicrous lawsuit), the definitive word on Valerie Plame (wife of Joseph Wilson), Joseph Wilson and Saddam’s real attempt to purchase ‘yellowcake’ for uranium production. Christopher Hitchens is a highly respected writer and a liberal on all matters except the war on terror, which he accepts as a necessary condition to save modern civilization from those who would return the world to the seventh century.

fighting words (excerpts)
Case Closed
The truth about the Iraqi-Niger "yellowcake" nexus.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2006, at 12:46 PM ET

“Now that Joseph and Valerie Wilson's fantasies of having been persecuted by high officials in the administration have been so thoroughly dispelled by Robert Novak (and now that it seems the prosecutor has determined that there was no breach of the relevant laws to begin with), we may return to the more important original question. Was there good reason to suppose that Iraqi envoys visited Niger in search of "yellowcake" uranium ore?

In a series of columns, I have argued that the answer to this is "yes," and that British intelligence was right to inform Washington to that effect. Iraq—despite having yellowcake of its own—had bought the material from Niger as early as 1981 and had not at that time informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (weapons inspectors effectively stopped Iraq's domestic yellowcake production after 1991).

On Oct. 31, 1998, Iraq announced the end of its cooperation with the U.N. inspectors, who were effectively barred from the country. A few days later, the U.N. Security Council condemned this move in Resolution 1205, dated Nov. 5, 1998. The following month, the Clinton administration ordered selective strikes in and around Baghdad. A few weeks after that—on Feb. 8, 1999, to be precise—an Iraqi delegation visited Niger. It was headed by the improbable figure of Saddam Hussein's ambassador to the Vatican. But the improbability becomes more intelligible when it is understood that this diplomat, Wissam al-Zahawie by name, was a very experienced Iraqi envoy for nuclear-related matters….

To summarize, then: In February 1999 one of Saddam Hussein's chief nuclear goons paid a visit to Niger, but his identity was not noticed by Joseph Wilson, nor emphasized in his "report" to the CIA, nor mentioned at all in his later memoir. British intelligence picked up the news of the Zahawie visit from French and Italian sources and passed it on to Washington. Zahawie's denials of any background or knowledge, in respect of nuclear matters, are plainly laughable based on his past record, and he is still taken seriously enough as an expert on such matters to be invited (as part of a Jordanian delegation) to Hans Blix's commission on WMD. Two very senior and experienced diplomats in the field of WMDs and disarmament, both of them from countries by no means aligned with the Bush administration, have been kind enough to share with me their disquiet at his activities. What responsible American administration could possibly have viewed any of this with indifference?

The subsequent mysteriously forged documents claiming evidence of an actual deal made between Zahawie and Niger were circulated well after the first British report (and may have been intended to discredit it) and have been deemed irrelevant by two independent inquiries in London. The original British report carefully said that Saddam had "sought" uranium, not that he had acquired it. The possible significance of a later return visit—this time by a minister from Niger to Baghdad in 2001—has not as yet been clarified by the work of the Iraq Survey Group.

This means that both pillars of the biggest scandal-mongering effort yet mounted by the "anti-war" movement—the twin allegations of a false story exposed by Wilson and then of a state-run vendetta undertaken against him and the lady wife who dispatched him on the mission—are in irretrievable ruins. The truth is the exact polar opposite. The original Niger connection was both authentic and important, and Wilson's utter failure to grasp it or even examine it was not enough to make Karl Rove even turn over in bed. All the work of the supposed "outing" was inadvertently performed by Wilson's admirer Robert Novak. Of course, one defends the Bush administration at one's own peril. Thanks largely to Stephen Hadley, assistant to the president for national security affairs, our incompetent and divided government grew so nervous as to disown the words that appeared in the 2003 State of the Union address. But the facts are still the facts, and it is high time that they received one-millionth of the attention that the "Plamegate" farce has garnered.”

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America.

Copyright 2006 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

Go here to read his entire article

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Friday, July 28, 2006

I Love President Bush, but He Has Failed His Main Test

I disagree with the president on immigration, education and McCain-Finegold, but I remain one of his biggest supporters. Having said that, I must say that I worry most of all about the safety and security of my children and my grandchildren if a Democrat succeeds to the presidency in 2008. I have this worry because, although President Bush has been immense in protecting us from Islamic terrorists and in standing up to the vituperation heaped on him for so doing, he has NOT succeeded in convincing enough of the country that a global terrorist war is ongoing against us, and that we Americans are in mortal danger.

Politics alone cannot explain the utterly foolish statements made over the past few years about this war by prominent Democrats and by the liberal mainstream press, the most recent being Chairman Dean’s branding of the Iraqi prime minister as being an anti-Semite. Senators Reid, Kennedy, Durban, Kerry, and other Democrat politicians would not be trying so hard to undermine our efforts to win this war and our efforts to prevent, for as long as possible, the use of a WMD here (let’s face it, it is inevitable), if those somewhat moderate Democrats in their constituency believed that their lives and their children’s lives were really at risk.

I therefore conclude that it is the president’s job to articulate the threats we face in such a way as to convince most of the country of the risks we face, and to demand support and some sacrifice of the country. Minimally we should all be adhering to a 55 mph speed limit to save gasoline and to reduce the billions of dollars we make available to people who want to kill us. I don’t believe President Bush has done this job as well as he should.

Just yesterday Osama Bin Laden’s deputy, al-Zawahri, repeated Al Qaeda’s threat to bury us:

CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader issued a worldwide call Thursday for Muslims to rise up in a holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza until Islam reigns from “Spain to Iraq.”

In the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawahri, second in command to Osama bin Laden, said that al-Qaida now views “all the world as a battlefield open in front of us.”

The Egyptian-born physician said that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian militants would not be ended with “cease-fires or agreements.”

“It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq,” al-Zawahri said. “We will attack everywhere.” Spain was controlled by Arab Muslims for more than seven centuries until they were driven from power in 1492.

He said Arab regimes were accomplices to Israel. “My fellow Muslims, it is obvious that Arab and Islamic governments are not only impotent but also complicit ... and you are alone on the battlefield. Rely on God and fight your enemies ... make yourselves martyrs.”

He also called for the “downtrodden” throughout the world, not just Muslims, to join the battle against “tyrannical Western civilization and its leader, America.”
“Stand with Muslims in confronting this unprecedented oppression and tyranny. Stand with us as we stand with you against this injustice that was forbidden by God in his book (the Quran),” al-Zawahri said. AP

And for those who tend to dismiss statements like this, let me once again lay out the record:

— November 1979: Muslim extremists (Iranian variety) seized the U.S. embassy in Iran and held 52 American hostages for 444 days.

— 1982: Muslim extremists (mostly Hezbollah) began a nearly decade-long habit of taking Americans and Europeans hostage in Lebanon, killing William Buckley and holding Terry Anderson for 6 1/2 years.

— April 1983: Muslim extremists (Islamic Jihad or possibly Hezbollah) bombed the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 16 Americans.

— October 1983: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) blew up the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut airport, killing 241 Marines.

— December 1983: Muslim extremists (al-Dawa) blew up the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, killing five and injuring 80.

— September 1984: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) exploded a truck bomb at the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut, killing 24 people, including two U.S. servicemen.

— December 1984: Muslim extremists (probably Hezbollah) hijacked a Kuwait Airways airplane, landed in Iran and demanded the release of the 17 members of al-Dawa who had been arrested for the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, killing two Americans before the siege was over.

— June 14, 1985: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) hijacked TWA Flight 847 out of Athens, diverting it to Beirut, taking the passengers hostage in return for the release of the Kuwait 17 as well as another 700 prisoners held by Israel. When their demands were not met, the Muslims shot U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem and dumped his body on the tarmac.

— October 1985: Muslim extremists (Palestine Liberation Front backed by Libya) seized an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, killing 69-year-old American Leon Klinghoffer by shooting him and then tossing his body overboard.

— December 1985: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed airports in Rome and Vienna, killing 20 people, including five Americans.

— April 1986: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed a discotheque frequented by U.S. servicemen in West Berlin, injuring hundreds and killing two, including a U.S. soldier.

— December 1988: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 on board and 11 on the ground.

— February 1993: Muslim extremists (al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, possibly with involvement of friendly rival al-Qaida) set off a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center, killing six and wounding more than 1,000.

— Spring 1993: Muslim extremists (al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, the Sudanese Islamic Front and at least one member of Hamas) plot to blow up the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the U.N. complex, and the FBI's lower Manhattan headquarters.

— November 1995: Muslim extremists (possibly Iranian "Party of God") explode a car bomb at U.S. military headquarters in Saudi Arabia, killing five U.S. military servicemen.

— June 1996: Muslim extremists (13 Saudis and a Lebanese member of Hezbollah, probably with involvement of al-Qaida) explode a truck bomb outside the Khobar Towers military complex, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring hundreds.

— August 1998: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) explode truck bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 and injuring thousands.

— October 2000: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) blow up the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole, killing 17 U.S. sailors.

— Sept. 11, 2001: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) hijack commercial aircraft and fly planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 Americans.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What About That UN Station in Lebanon?

A considerable hullabaloo is ongoing over the attack by Israel on a UN station located in the war zone in Lebanon. It’s entirely possible that this was an accident under the fog of war, but perhaps not many people understand the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic stance of UN employed personnel now and over the years. What else would explain Kofi Annan’s immediate statement, without investigation, that this was a deliberate act? Many people also do not understand that UN personnel are actively attempting right now to undermine the Israeli defense initiative into Hezbollah-controlled areas of Lebanon.

For example, Israel’s preparation of the battlefield included the destruction of roads, bridges and airfields that would permit the resupply of missiles and other arms to Hezbollah, but, according to the UN’s own website, UN personnel are rebuilding these same roads:
UNIFIL is still facing serious restrictions in its freedom of movement due to the ongoing hostilities and the extensive destruction of roads and bridges throughout the area of operation. Yesterday, a UNIFIL engineering contingent from China managed to do some repairs on a key road artery between Tyre and Naqoura, and the road is now usable for traffic. However, more road destruction was reported in various areas in the south.”

I might also continue to point out to those on the left who still don’t seem to get it, that these last attacks on Israel by Hamas and Hezbollah are nothing new. Thanks to Resa LaRu Kirkland, of, we are reminded of promises made and curses uttered by these same murderous fanatics 40 years ago:

Jewish Virtual Library
"As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.

"Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united... I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.

"The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.

"The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map."--

Relax, people, and let Israel continue to defend itself with our help. The only thing new about this is that the American public, at least, seems to understand that Israel has done everything in its power to live in peace with its neighbors, and, critically, several Arab nations seem to have withdrawn their support for Hezbollah to destroy Israel. We don't want a cease-fire that will only allow Hezbollah to rearm itself. We want the Israelis to clean out these fanatics if they can. As has been the case since the beginning of time, the only way true peace is ever achieved is to kill enough of your enemy so he surrenders.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Israel's War Separates Decent Left From Indecent Left

The clarity, timeliness and breadth of this excellent piece by Dennis Prager impelled me to publish it immediately. It continues to astound me how intelligent people can hold such positions as they do.

July 25, 2006
Israel's War Separates Decent Left From Indecent Left
By Dennis Prager, Real Clear Politics

I believe the Left has been wrong on virtually every great moral issue in the last 30 years.

During that period, it was wrong on the Cold War -- it devoted far more energy to fighting anti-communism than to fighting communism.

It was wrong for attacking Israel for its destruction of Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor.

It was wrong on welfare.

It was wrong in its demanding less morally and intellectually from black Americans than from all other Americans.

It was wrong in advocating bilingual education for children of immigrants.

It was wrong in generally holding American society rather than violent criminals responsible for violent crime.

It was wrong in imposing its view on abortion on America through the courts rather than through the democratic process.

It was wrong in teaching a generation of men and women that men and women differ because of socialization not because of innate sex differences.

It was wrong in reducing sex to a purely biological and health issue for a generation of young Americans.

It was wrong in identifying "flag waving" with fascism.

It was wrong in supporting the teachers' unions rather than students and educational reform.

It was wrong in allying itself with trial lawyers and blocking tort reform.

It was wrong in blocking the military from recruiting on campuses and teaching a generation of young Americans that "war is not the answer" when war is at times the one moral answer.

It was wrong in arguing that America is not based on Judeo-Christian values, but on secular ones like Western Europe.

It was wrong in advancing multiculturalism, which is an extreme form of moral relativism that holds all cultures morally identical and which is a doctrine designed to undermine American national identity.

In just about every instance, one could say that the Left was foolish, the Left was naive, the Left was wrong, even that the Left was dangerous. But in all of those cases, one could imagine a decent person holding any or even all of these positions.
But we now have a bright line that divides the decent -- albeit usually wrong -- Left from the indecent Left.

The Left's anti-Israel positions until now were based, at least in theory, on its opposition to Israeli occupation of Arab land and its belief in the "cycle of violence" between Israel and its enemies. However, this time there is no occupied land involved and the violence is not a cycle with its implied lack of a beginning. There is a clear aggressor -- a terror organization devoted to Islamicizing the Middle East and annihilating Israel -- and no occupation.

That is why the Israeli Left is almost universally in favor of Israel's war against Hezbollah. Amos Oz, probably Israel's best-known novelist and leading spokesman of its Left, a lifetime critic of Israeli policy vis a vis the Palestinians, wrote in the Los Angeles Times:

"Many times in the past, the Israeli peace movement has criticized Israeli military operations. Not this time. . . . This time, Israel is not invading Lebanon. It is defending itself from daily harassment and bombardment of dozens of our towns and villages. . . . There can be no moral equation between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah is targeting Israeli civilians wherever they are, while Israel is targeting mostly Hezbollah."

Likewise, another longtime liberal critic of Israel, historian and Boston Globe columnist James Carroll, wrote last week:

"As one who rejects war, I regret Israel's heavy bombing of Lebanon last week, as I deplored Israeli attacks in population centers and on infrastructure in Gaza. . . . Yet, given the rejectionism of both Hamas and Hezbollah . . . is the path of negotiations actually open to Israel? . . . There is no moral equivalence between enemies here. . . . It seems urgent [to] reaffirm foundational support for Israel. . . . The fury of anti-Israel rage among Arabs and Muslims is accounted for only partially by the present conflict. It resuscitates . . . the long European habit of scapegoating Jews. . . . No one should think that embedded contempt for Jews -- anti-Semitism -- is not part of the current crisis."

Amos Oz and James Carroll are men of the Left who have been tested and passed the most clarifying moral litmus test of our time -- Israel's fight for existence against the primitives, fanatics and sadists in Hezbollah and Hamas and elsewhere in the Arab/Muslim world who wish to destroy it. Anyone on the Left who cannot see this is either bad, a useful idiot for Islamic terrorists, anti-Semitic or all three. There is no other explanation for morally condemning Israel's war on Hezbollah.
Copyright 2006 Creators Syndicate

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Monday, July 24, 2006

No Saddam-Osama Connection? Another Leftist Myth Destroyed

Although evidence of the existence of WMD in prewar Iraq is still sketchy (with 100’s of thousands of documents still classified and untranslated), more and more credible evidence is slowly coming to light. However, I think it’s still too soon to draw any definite conclusions, and go on record. I’d rather wait until more information is available, and I’d rather wait until no American soldier is at risk from WMD.

However, the same cannot be said about the prewar connections between the Saddam Hussein government and the Al Qaeda terrorists. There is more than ample evidence from many quarters, much of it reported in the main stream press, of the many Saddam-Osama connections. An excellent compilation of some of these connections that have been uncovered so far has been assembled by By Mark Eichenlaub, and published in on July 7, 2006. Here is an excerpt:

• “Abu Mohammed,” a former colonel of Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen fighters, told reporters long ago that Iraq was training terrorists, including al-Qaeda. Gwynne Roberts, Sunday Times, July 14, 2002
• Iraqi soldiers, captured during the early phases of the war on Iraq in 2003, revealed that al-Qaeda terrorists were present inside Iraq fighting alongside Iraqi troops Gethin Chamberlain, The Scotsman, 10-28-03
• Hamsiraji Sali, Commander of the al-Qaeda affiliate Abu Sayyaf, admitted receiving $20,000 dollars a year from Iraq. Marc Lerner, Washington Times, 3-4-03
• Salah Suleiman, revealed that he was a former Iraqi Intelligence officer, captured on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border shuttling between Iraq and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Janes Foreign Report, 9-19-01
• Jamal al-Qurairy, a former General in Iraq’s Mukhabarat, who defected years ago, said “that [is] ours” immediately after seeing 9/11 attacks.
David Rose, Vanity Fair, Feb. 2003, and David Rose, The Observer, 3-16-03
• Abbas al-Janabai, a personal assistant to Uday Hussein for 15 years, has repeatedly stated that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden that included training terrorists at various camps in Iraq. CNN, 7-23-2003
Gwynne Roberts, Sunday Times, July 14,2002
Richard Miniter, TechCentralStation, 9-25-03
• Two Moroccan associates of Osama bin Laden, arrested in Rabat in Nov 98, confirmed that Col Khairallah al-Tikriti, the brother of Iraq’s top Intelligence official (Mukhabarat), was the case officer in charge of operations with al-Qaeda in Kashmir and Manila. Jacquard, Roland, In the Name of Osama Bin Laden, Duke University Press, 2002, pg.112
• Wali Khan Amin Shah, an al-Qaeda operative in custody, told the FBI that Abu
Hajer al-Iraq had good contacts with Iraq Intelligence Services (reported to Senate Intelligence Committee) Stephen Hayes, Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard, 7-18-05
• Farouk Hijazi, former #3 in Saddam Hussein’s Mukhabarat, although he denies the well documented reports of his later meetings with bin Laden, Hijazi admits that he met with Osama bin Laden to discuss antiship mines and terror training camps in Iraq during the mid-90’s. 9-11 Commission, Staff Statement 15
• Abdul Rahman al-Shamari, who served in Saddam Hussein’s Mukhabarat from 1997-2002, says that he worked to link Saddam Hussein regime with Ansar al Islam and al-Qaeda. Preston Mendenhall, MSNBC, "War Diary", Jonathan Schanzer, Weekly Standard, 3-1-04
• Mohamed Gharib, Ansar al Islam’s Media chief, later admitted that the group took assistance from Saddam Hussein’s regime. Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor, 10-16-03
• Mohamed Mansour Shahab, aka Muhammad Jawad, is a smuggler who claims to have been hired by Iraq to bring weapons to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Jeffrey Goldberg, New Yorker, 3-25-02, Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor,
4-03-02, Richard Miniter, TechCentralStation, 9-25-03
• Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi is a senior al-Qaeda operative. Although he has changed his story, he initially told his captors that his mission was to travel to Iraq to acquire poisons and gases from Iraqi Intelligence after impressing them with al-Qaeda’s attack on the USS Cole. Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard, 11-24-03
• An “enemy combatant” being held at Guantanamo Bay, who was also a former Iraqi Army officer, admits that he served as a liaison between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi Intelligence. He was arrested in Pakistan before completing joint IIS/al-Qaeda mission to blow up U.S. and British embassies. Associated Press, 3-30-05,
Stephen Hayes, Thomas Joscelyn. Weekly Standard. 7-18-05
• Abu Hajer al-Iraqi (aka Mahmdouh Mahmud Salim) told prosecutors that he was bin Laden’s best friend and in charge of trying and procure WMD materials from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 6-17-04,
Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard, 11-24-03
• A “Former Senior (Iraqi) Intelligence Officer” has told U.S. officials that a flurry of activity between Saddam Hussein’s regime and al-Qaeda took place in early and late 1998, the meeting point was Baghdad’s Intelligence station in Pakistan.
Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard, 11-24-03
• Wafiq al-Sammarrai, former head of Iraq’s Military Intelligence before defecting in 1994, stated that Saddam Hussein has agents “inside” al-Qaeda.
Laurie Mylroie, “Study of Revenge”
• Khidir Hamza, Saddam Hussein’s former top WMD official, says that Saddam had connections to al-Qaeda. CNN, 10-15-01, PBS Frontline "Gunning For Saddam"
• Abu Zeinab al-Qurairy , a former high-ranking officer in Iraq’s Mukhabarat, told PBS Frontline and the New York Times that the September 11 attackers were trained in Salman Pak, as were other members of al-Qaeda. PBS Frontline "Gunning For Saddam"
• Sabah Khodada, a former Captain in Iraq’s Army, told PBS Frontline and the New York Times that the terrorist training camp at Salman Pak included the training of al-Qaeda members airplane hijacking. PBS Frontline "Gunning For Saddam"
• An “Iraqi Defector,” who spent 16 years working for Iraq’s Mukhabarat, told the Iraqi National Congress that Saddam Hussein’s illegal oil revenues helped fund al-Qaeda (story later corroborated by Claudia Rosett), Radio Free Europe 9-29-2002
• Khalil Ibrahim Abdallah, a captured senior Iraqi official, said that IIS agents had met with bin Laden until the middle of 1999. Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard,
• Qassem Hussein Mohamed, who served in Iraq’s Mukhabarat for 20 years, told reporters that Saddam Hussein has been secretly aiding, arming and funding Ansar al Islam and al-Qaeda for several years.
Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor, 4-2-02
Jeffrey Goldberg, New Yorker, 3-25-02
• Dr. Mohammed al-Masri, a known al-Qaeda spokesman, told the Sunday Times that Saddam Hussein contacted the “Arab Afghans” (al-Qaeda) in 2001. Al-Masri also said that Saddam even went so far as to fund the movement of some al-Qaeda members into Iraq and then later supplied them with arms caches and money, later to be used in insurgent attacks. Abdel Bari Atwan, Sunday Times, 2-26-06 via Thomas Joscelyn, "Saddam, the Insurgency, and the Terrorists, 3-28-06
• Hudayfa Azzam, the son of bin Laden’s former mentor, told reporters in 2004, “Saddam Hussein's regime welcomed them with open arms and young al-Qaeda members entered Iraq in large numbers, setting up an organization to confront the occupation.” AFP, 8-30-04 Thomas Joscelyn, "What Else Did Hudayfa Azzam Have To Say About Al-Qaeda In Iraq?” 4-3-06
• Hudayfa Azzam, the son of bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam, has said Iraq’s government worked closely with al-Qaeda before the war and welcomed a number of members in after they left Afghanistan and armed and funded them. Thomas Joscelyn citing AFP, 8-30-04
• Dr. Mohammed al-Masri, a known al-Qaeda spokesman, told the Sunday Times that Saddam Hussein contacted the “Arab Afghans” (al-Qaeda) in 2001. Abdel Bari Atwan, Sunday Times, 2-26-06 via Thomas Joscelyn, “Saddam, the Insurgency, and the Terrorists,” 3-28-06
• Haqi Ismail, a Mosul native with relatives at the top of Iraq’s Mukhabarat and spent time in al-Qaeda/al Ansar camps in Afghanistan and Northern Iraq before being caught by Kurdish security, indicated that he was working for Saddam Hussein’s Intelligence Service (Mukhabarat). Jeffrey Goldberg, New Yorker, 3-25-02
• Moammar Ahmad Yussef, a captured deputy of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, told officials that Iraq provided money, weapons, fake passports, safe haven and training to al-Qaeda members. Dan Darling, Winds of Change, 11-21-03
• A “top Saddam Hussein official,” who was also a senior Intelligence official, says that Iraq made a secret pact with Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad and later al-Qaeda. Secret meetings between the two sides began in 1992.
Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard, 11-24-03
• Abu Zubaydah, a high ranking al-Qaeda operative in U.S. custody, has said that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had good contacts with Iraqi Intelligence Services.
Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard, December 2, 2005
• Abu Iman al-Baghdadi, a 20-year veteran of Iraqi intelligence, told BBC news that Saddam Hussein is funding and arming Ansar al-Islam to fend off anti-Saddam Kurds.
Jim Muir, BBC, July 24, 2002

I suppose it is really too much to expect that those still chanting the mantra of "selected, not elected", referring to Florida 2000 and "Bush stole Ohio" can look at a imposing set of facts like this and change their tune. I fear their hatred of President Bush's victories has permanently warped their minds.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Maybe Biofuels Are Not An Answer

In an earlier series I wrote on energy, I advanced the thought that we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil immediately and on oil altogether in the long run by: 1. drilling for domestic oil, 2. switching temporarily to biofuels, 3. building the new, safe, hydrogen-producing PBR nuclear plants by the hundreds, and 4, creating a hydrogen-based fuel system for vehicles. The need for reducing as fast as possible our dependence on foreign-supplied fuel becomes more evident every day:, April 26, 2006

“After the war against global Islamic terrorism, there is no more important issue facing America today than our dependence on foreign oil. This is not an academic debate. Every American family who spent 40-50-60 dollars to fill up their car for an Easter visit to grandma's house already knows this.

Dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security and distorts global diplomacy. Whether it is bandit kidnappers in Nigeria, two-bit Communist dictators like Chavez in Venezuela, or the former student-hostage-taker turned President of Iran – it is not in our interest to remain dependent on those who don’t share our interests.

Each year we are sending tens of billions of dollars to regimes that are using that money to undermine us in our own hemisphere, to fund the forces of terrorism in radical mosques and suicide bomber schools across the Middle East, and now to build the "Islamic bomb" in Tehran’s nuclear plants.

Oil is also the Achilles heel of the American economic miracle. It supplies over 98 percent of our transportation fuel and yet we own a mere 3 percent of known global reserves.

Remaining this addicted to other folk’s oil puts our economy at risk to acts of man like terrorism and acts of God like the hurricanes that shut down the Gulf Coast’s oil infrastructure last year and still has large parts of it struggling to recover just in time for this year’s hurricane season.

And if this were not bad enough, the burning of oil-based fuels contributes to many of the environmental challenges our communities face.”

One of the major problems that has become more evident as biofuels are studied more closely is that biofuels cannot be counted upon to supply more than a tiny fraction of our fuel requirements. With further study, what seemed a real possibility at first has shown itself to be a false hope, and more and more articles such as are excerpted below are starting to appear:

Washington Post, June 30, 2006

“But as we've looked at biofuels more closely, we've concluded that they're not a practical long-term solution to our need for transport fuels. Even if all of the 300 million acres (500,000 square miles) of currently harvested U.S. cropland produced ethanol, it wouldn't supply all of the gasoline and diesel fuel we now burn for transport, and it would supply only about half of the needs for the year 2025. And the effects on land and agriculture would be devastating.

It's difficult to understand how advocates of biofuels can believe they are a real solution to kicking our oil addiction. Agriculture Department studies of ethanol production from corn -- the present U.S. process for ethanol fuel -- find that an acre of corn yields about 139 bushels. At an average of about 2.5 gallons per bushel, the acre then will yield about 350 gallons of ethanol. But the fuel value of ethanol is only about two-thirds that of gasoline -- 1.5 gallons of ethanol in the tank equals 1 gallon of gasoline in terms of energy output.

Moreover, it takes a lot of input energy to produce ethanol: for fertilizer, harvesting, transport, corn processing, etc. After subtracting this input, the net positive energy available is less than half of the figure cited above. Some researchers even claim that the net energy of ethanol is actually negative when all inputs are included -- it takes more energy to make ethanol than one gets out of it.
But allowing a net positive energy output of 30,000 British thermal units (Btu) per gallon, it would still take four gallons of ethanol from corn to equal one gallon of gasoline. The United States has 73 million acres of corn cropland. At 350 gallons per acre, the entire U.S. corn crop would make 25.5 billion gallons, equivalent to about 6.3 billion gallons of gasoline. The United States consumes 170 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel annually. Thus the entire U.S. corn crop would supply only 3.7 percent of our auto and truck transport demands. Using the entire 300 million acres of U.S. cropland for corn-based ethanol production would meet about 15 percent of the demand….” Washington Post

This is not a majority view, but some scientists have come to believe that biofuels actually consume more energy than they produce:

"Biofuels don't make much sense unless they are a net energy source, and some experts question that assumption. The corn-to-ethanol program, which now makes about 1.5 billion gallons per year, is a politically motivated effort that makes no net energy, according to David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agricultural science at Cornell University.
Pimentel, who formerly chaired a U.S. Department of Agriculture panel on the energy aspects of biofuels, says, "With ethanol from corn, there is no net energy production. It actually takes almost 1.5 gallon of oil per gallon of ethanol."

Pimentel calculates that the average U.S. auto, driven 10,000 miles a year on pure ethanol, would require corn from 11 acres -- enough land to feed seven people. If all U.S. cars guzzled pure ethanol, he adds, corn would have to cover nearly the entire U.S. land surface."

The behavior of those US Senators, mostly Democrats, in stopping domestic drilling for oil and the building of more refineries is not only stupid, it is criminal. Their votes ensure that many more American soldiers will go to their deaths making sure Middle East oil keeps flowing, and also ensure that more billions of American dollars will flow into the hands of people who will use them to kill us. In addition, all the talk about biofuels may just be a ruse to cover their inaction on an energy program that makes sense for America’s future – an energy program that must include drilling and the rapid building of nuclear plants.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Go to Hell CNN; Go to Hell Spain

It is truly sickening to see the leftists of the world exhibit their anti-Jewish hatred by calling on Israel to stop defending themselves against the Muslim murderers – terrorists who have now made perfectly clear to any fair-minded person that their only desire is to drive the Israelis into the sea. Among American broadcasters this unfairness is especially noticeable on CNN, with Wolf Blitzer the anti-Semite in chief, despite his backgtound.

Americans should realize that Hamas, Fatah and Hezbollah are just other faces of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda – Islamofascist jihadists who want to kill Americans just as badly as they want to kill Israelis. Americans should also remember that Hezbollah is the same organization that mass-murdered 243 US Marines at the Beirut airport, and who tortured and killed Robert Stethem, an innocent American sailor who found himself on a hijacked plane, TWA 847.

What we should be doing, and what I hope we are doing, is helping the Israelis in every way we can to kill as many of these murderers as they can find. They deserve no mercy. Any of them who are allowed to live and stay in the area will just regroup and attack Israel again and again. How many times does this have to happen before certain people understand this, and will the next barrage of missiles and rockets have nuclear warheads striking Israel?

As for the Spanish, the following article is revealing of the sickness of their society today:

In Spain, anti-Semitism is new leftist trend
Ynet News July 20, 2006

Spanish Jews knew there were hard times ahead. Prime Minister Zapatero has not disappointed them

Ignacio Russell Cano
Madrid: Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain and Secretary General of the Socialist Party, arrived to power at a time nobody expected, not even inside the Party.

Keen on populist tirades against the United States "Dickhead Bush" and "Ketchup Queen Kerry", his whole campaign did not bring much attention until the moment Al-Qaeda decided to blow up Madrid trains, killing almost 200 people and bringing to an end Spain's membership of the West.

From that moment on, everybody knew nothing would be the same, and Spanish Jews knew there were hard times ahead. Prime Minister Zapatero has not disappointed them.

'Understand Nazis'

Although many experts had foretold of the imminent disappearing of European Jews, nobody expected such a virulent explosion of anti-Semitism in Spain, not even under a Leftist government.

The first signal came on Monday, 5 December, when during a dinner with the Benarroch family, Zapatero and wife began claiming what Vidal Quadras, member of the European Parliament, described on the radio as "a tirade of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism".

By the moment the Benarroch couple had left the table to express their regrets, Zapatero was explaining his lack of surprise about the Holocaust: according to the people present, Zapatero claimed to understand the Nazis.

What about Hizbullah?

Closing Hizbullah TV was another mission impossible for the man who understands the Nazis. It took more than a year to definitely close the channel connection to the Hispasat satellite, siphoning Latin America with more than a year of hate and Islamist propaganda.

In a country with the most anti-Catholic government in its whole history but with a multicultural obsession for Islam, A-Manar TV was part of the 'freedom of press.'

The recent clashes with Hizbullah, however, have promoted the longest and hardest diatribes against Israel, forcing Zapatero to loose a cover for what it was long known in Spanish politics: His hate towards Israel, Jews and Zionism.

In the third day of such rants, before a gathering of the Socialist Youth Movement and a day before a demonstration against Israel, Zapatero showed at last his true colours: At the closing of the meeting he let the teenagers take pictures of him wearing a Palestinian kaffiyah.

Zapatero wearing the kaffiyah (Photo: AP)

Although according to Zapatero, Hizbullah and Israel are the same thing, he offers no words of condemnation for the Party of Allah, spending 100 percent of the time explaining, in a rather twisted way, that Israel should let Hizbullah kill Israelis.

Much of the theory belongs to controversial Spanish FM Miguel Angel Moratinos. EU envoy to the Middle East before and sinking in rumours of links to Hamas long before he left, Moratinos arrived to the foreign ministry cleaning the Elcano Institute up, firing the most prestigious experts and bringing in a group of friends of the oppression theory.

Since then, amid support for Castro and Chavez and mysterious support to Bolivia in order to bring Evo Morales to power, the Spanish FM has proved he has nothing to envy in terms of anti-Americanism, but nobody ever expected an explosion of anti-Semitism in Spain this big. It seems once more that the Jews are the canary in the mine, and the United States should take note.

Jews pay the price

The commotion caused in the Spanish Jewish community seems to be huge, especially taking in count that after some months of anxiety after his election, some Jews were feeling somewhat safe in Spain. Not anymore.

Some people were trying to alert the international community about what was boiling in Spain, but neither the OSCE nor the EUMC ever listened, preferring contacts with anti-Israeli NGOs based on the idea that anti-Semitism has to do with Arabs. Now the Spanish Jews are to pay the price for the international community's inaction, once more.

If the United States does not want to see the American embassy in Madrid full of Jews fleeing Spain, President Bush will do well in isolating Spain in the international arena while pressing, and asking European members to press, the new Socialist government of Spain. The American Rep's belonging to Moratino's Caucus of Friends of Spain should be reminded its elections time too.

The Sepharad story is clearly over, but nobody expected it would be by accident. If you are thinking about visiting Spain, think it twice. You may not leave easily.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What's Really Happening in Iraq

Almost every day now, we wake up to newspaper reports of more violence in Iraq, and calls by Democrat politicians to “just get out”. These calls for an immediate withdrawal are amplified by articles and opinions in the mainstream media along the same lines. Clearly, especially at the New York Times, any failure that can be laid at the feet of the Bush administration is a good thing – no matter at what cost to the citizens and future citizens of this country. I thought it worth while, therefore, to publish excerpts from a talk given recently by our ambassador to Iraq. It certainly puts a different light on things and shows that, while the spoiled little brats are running around screaming, grownups are still in charge. Go to the Belmont Club link at the end if you wish to read the entire speech.


“I will give my bottom line up front. I believe Americans, while remaining tactically patient about Iraq, should be strategically optimistic. Most important, a major change - a tectonic shift - has taken place in the political orientation of the Sunni Arab community. A year ago, Sunni Arabs were outside of the political process and hostile to the United States. They boycotted the January 2005 election and were underrepresented in the transitional national assembly. Today, Sunni Arabs are full participants in the political process, with their representation in the national assembly now proportional to their share of the population. Also, they have largely come to see the United States as an honest broker in helping Iraq's communities come together around a process and a plan to stabilize the country.
Moreover, al Qaeda in Iraq has been significantly weakened during the past year. This resulted, not only from the recent killing of Zarqawi, but also from the capture or killing of a number of other senior leaders and the creation of an environment in which it is more difficult and dangerous for al Qaeda in Iraq.

These are fundamental and positive changes. Together, they have made possible the inauguration of Iraq's first ever government of national unity - with non-sectarian security ministers, agreements on rules for decision making on critical issues and on the structure of institutions of the executive branch, and a broadly agreed upon program. They have also enabled political progress that resulted in the recent announcement by Prime Minister Maliki of his government's National Reconciliation and Dialogue Project.

However, at the same time, the terrorists have adapted to this success by exploiting Iraq's sectarian fault line. A year ago, terrorism and the insurgency against the Coalition and the Iraqi security forces were the principal sources of instability. Particularly since the bombing of the Golden Mosque in February, violent sectarianism is now the main challenge. This sectarianism is the source of frequent tragedies on the streets of Baghdad. It is imperative for the new Iraqi government to make major progress in dealing with this challenge in the next six months. The Prime Minister understands this fact.

Today, I will discuss the status of these efforts, noting the achievements we have attained and the further steps we intend to take in partnership with the new Iraqi government….

I want to end by saying a word on the importance of succeeding in Iraq. I am aware of the dangers of staying too long in Iraq, as well as the risks of leaving too soon, before success is ensured. A precipitous Coalition departure could unleash a sectarian civil war, which inevitably would draw neighboring states into a regional conflagration that would disrupt oil supplies and cause instability to spill over borders. It could also result in al Qaeda taking over part of Iraq, recreating the sanctuary it enjoyed but lost in Afghanistan. If al Qaeda gained this foothold - which is the strategy of the terrorists - it would be able to exploit Iraq's strategic location and enormous resources. This would make the past challenge of al Qaeda in Afghanistan look like child's play. Finally, a precipitous withdrawal could lead to an ethnic civil war, with the Kurds concluding that the Iraqi democratic experiment had failed and taking matters into their own hands and with regional powers becoming involved to secure their interests.

Whatever anyone may have thought about the decision to topple Saddam - whether one supported it or not - succeeding in Iraq is now essential to the future of the region and the world. Most of the world's security problems emanate from the region stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. Shaping its future is the defining challenge of our time. What happens in Iraq will be decisive in determining how this region evolves. Therefore, the struggle for the future of Iraq is vital to the future of the world.” The Belmont Club

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Commit Suicide Says the Times As Israel Fights for Its Life

Predictably, as tiny, democratic Israel fights again for its life against Islamic terrorists on all sides, the Europeans and the American mainstream press blame the victims. Was Israel threatening Gaza? No; at great cost, it left to the Palestinians a workable territory with many functioning farms and businesses that have now been destroyed by fanatics who want nothing to do with a peaceful and productive life. Was Israel threatening Lebanon? No; not unless you count just being there and occupying the territory mandated by the UN in 1947 as composing a threat.

There are two obvious reasons for the upside-down stance of the Europeans: 1. anti-Semitism, which constantly distorts their views, and 2, fear of retribution by terrorists and by the countries that control the oil spigots. The reasons for the histrionic, harsh criticisms of Israel by the usual suspects in the American media (led, of course, by the NY Times) are incomprehensible, given that any country has a right to defend itself against such attacks as have been carried out by Hezbollah from the north and Hamas from the south.

If Israel is really serious about finishing off Hezbollah and does it, they will finally free Lebanon from control of this terrorist organization, funded by Iran and controlled by Syria. Lebanon, which recently made its own moves to reclaim its former position as the “Switzerland of the Middle East", would finally regain its independence after 30 years of occupation. Both Iran and Syria would find its nasty adventure with its puppets backfiring on them. Isn't it remarkable, also, that the American Army in Iraq is positioned to prevent Iran from shipping military goods through Iraq to Syria and that Israel itself also has its leftist copperheads?

The intensity of the Israeli response to open declarations of war by the two terrorist groups must have surprised the plotters, and the response by some other Arab League countries must also have been an unpleasant surprise:

Jul 15, 4:02 PM EDT
Arab League Split on Support for Hezbollah
Associated Press Writer

"CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Foreign ministers of 18 Arab countries passed a resolution Saturday calling on the U.N. Security Council to intervene to stop escalating Mideast fighting.

Despite the unanimous vote, delegates at the emergency meeting bickered over the legitimacy of Hezbollah, a dramatic rift over an Israeli action against one of their own that usually would have united them.

Instead of lending their full support to the Lebanese militant group, as demanded by Lebanese and Syrian delegates, Arab ministers displayed frustration and declared the Mideast peace process as "dead," blaming Israel for its demise.

"The Middle East peace process has failed," said Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa. "We are going to the Security Council - this is a unanimous position - to discuss the whole situation from scratch."

Moderate states led by the region's political and economic heavyweight Saudi Arabia lashed out at Hezbollah for starting the recent fight, while hard-liner Syria defended its ally.

"These acts will pull the whole region back ... and we cannot simply accept them," Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told his counterparts, according to delegates who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the meeting.
Hezbollah's attacks on Israel, including the capture of two Israeli soldiers Wednesday and rocket barrages, were "unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts," one delegate said.

Supporting his stance were representatives of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, he said.
" AP

Can one dare to hope that the United States will remain firm in its support for Israel, and will not only provide it with logistical and intelligence support (including Patriot anti-missile defensive systems), but if the opportunity presents itself to help them forcefully accomplish regime change in Iran and Syria, we will not shrink from the task because of the hysteria this will cause in our left-wing press?

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bush Can’t Do Anything Right

In addition to coming under vituperation and threats against his life from the left for waging pre-emptive war in Iraq in order to save our children from death and destruction from Islamic terrorists, President Bush is also being criticized for relative inaction with regard to the threats from North Korea and Iran. These critics have the advantage of not knowing anything. It is always easy to criticize and offer simplistic solutions when one is essentially ignorant of the facts, some of which I have set out below:

The Sunday Times
July 09, 2006

West mounts 'secret war' to keep nuclear North Korea in check
Michael Sheridan, Far East Correspondent

“A PROGRAMME of covert action against nuclear and missile traffic to North Korea and Iran is to be intensified after last week’s missile tests by the North Korean regime.

Intelligence agencies, navies and air forces from at least 13 nations are quietly co-operating in a “secret war” against Pyongyang and Tehran.

It has so far involved interceptions of North Korean ships at sea, US agents prowling the waterfronts in Taiwan, multinational naval and air surveillance missions out of Singapore, investigators poring over the books of dubious banks in the former Portuguese colony of Macau and a fleet of planes and ships eavesdropping on the “hermit kingdom” in the waters north of Japan.

Few details filter out from western officials about the programme, which has operated since 2003, or about the American financial sanctions that accompany it.

But together they have tightened a noose around Kim Jong-il’s bankrupt, hungry nation.

“Diplomacy alone has not worked, military action is not on the table and so you’ll see a persistent increase in this kind of pressure,” said a senior western official.

In a telling example of the programme’s success, two Bush administration officials indicated last year that it had blocked North Korea from obtaining equipment used to make missile propellant.

The Americans also persuaded China to stop the sale of chemicals for North Korea’s nuclear weapons scientists. And a shipload of “precursor chemicals” for weapons was seized in Taiwan before it could reach a North Korean port.

According to John Bolton, the US ambassador to the United Nations and the man who originally devised the programme, it has made a serious dent in North Korea’s revenues from ballistic missile sales.” Sunday Times

So the Bush administration is taking serious, but not highly-publicized, steps to contain North Korea. The issues with Iran are considerably more complex, with remnants of past actions that may have been appropriate at the time now conflicting attempts to encourage the many groups and different ethnic and religious populations there to work out a democratic government of their own. See the following two excerpts:

Is a History Lesson What's Dividing the U.S. and Iran ?
By Dino E. Buenviaje

Dino E. Buenviaje is a writer for the History News Service and a graduate student in history at the University of California Riverside.
History News Service

For Iranians, the conflict started in 1901 when the British took advantage of a weak government to obtain a highly profitable oil concession. Since then, Iran has been locked in a struggle to control its own destiny, even at the risk of confrontation with the international community….

There was a time when the United States was not the "Great Satan." During the first half of the 20th century, Great Britain was considered Iran's foremost enemy. The British exploited Iran's enormous oil reserves for the Royal Navy, while the Iranian people gained few benefits. This earned the bitterness of the Iranians and sowed the seeds of Islamic fundamentalism.

Since then, the Iranian people have been repeatedly denied the right to use their own energy resources, a fact that seems to have escaped the attention of the Bush administration. The assertion of Iran's right to exploit nuclear power has its root at the beginning of the 20th century, when the interests of Iran were first placed at the mercy of global politics….

Perhaps the only solution to restoring normal relations between Iran and the United States is by recognizing Iran's historical perspective on the nuclear controversy. When Mossadegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1953, it was not a move toward Soviet communism, but rather an anti-colonial blow against Britain. Because the Eisenhower administration misread that cue, the United States missed an opportunity to be a friend to Iran and compounded that mistake by supporting a government that destroyed Iran's fragile democracy. The United States, as a result, has been paying a heavy price.

The current nuclear stand-off between Iran and the West must be approached with cool and level-headed diplomacy. The United States could benefit by a much better understanding of the hard road the Iranian people have had to travel for over a century. A long-lasting solution is one that addresses global security and Iran's need for self-reliance while according Iran equal status in the family of nations.” History News Service

“Opposition leaders believe that Ahamdinejad is deliberately seeking a limited military clash with the United States on the nuclear issue to defuse internal tension and rally the people behind his increasingly beleaguered administration. While no one in the opposition is publicly asking the United States to withdraw the threat of military action, everyone agrees that any limited operation that would wound the regime but leave it alive and in place could give the Khomeinist system a second life.

Finally, there is agreement that the initial phase of action against the Ahmadinejad administration must be led by independent personalities with no partisan affiliations. Student activists, leaders of unofficial trade unions, women's rights advocates, well-known academics, managers of nongovernmental organizations, and even independent theologians, are expected to feature prominently in the initial stages of what opposition leaders believe is a decisive showdown with the regime….

The human rights situation in Iran continues to deteriorate. Petitions and protests to end the abuses have gone unanswered. During the past year, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government has sought to monopolize power in Iran by silencing and suffocating all independent and dissenting voices. The suppression of demonstrators in Azerbaijan, Khuzestan, and Kurdistan, the silencing of labor, women, and student movements and the vicious attacks on demonstrators throughout the past year, are all evidence of the ongoing and abhorrent human rights violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran. By arresting and imprisoning intellectuals, lawyers, political activists, and labor leaders and by forcing the resignation or early retirement of dozens of University professors, Ahmadinejad’s government is pursuing polices that are reminiscent of some of the darkest days of the Islamic Republic. In such an atmosphere, Iran’s democracy movement calls for the unity and support of people of conscience from around the world. Without such unity, there is little hope of stemming the appalling human rights violations in Iran and the growing authoritarianism of the regime.” RegimeChangeIran

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Rove Secretly Runs The New York Times

This is supposed to be funny, but it's really not - except that good comedy is always supposed to be based on the truth. The truth is that the New York Times has to be stopped - and by more serious actions than by just complaining and ridiculing their deceit and treachery.

Rove Secretly Runs The New York Times
July 14, 2006

By Bill Smith
New York, New York (SatireNewsService)

In a stunning development that would appear to have broad implications for the independence of America's newspaper industry, New York Times Publisher, Edwin 'Pinch' Sulzberger today revealed that longtime President Bush advisor Karl Rove has been secretly running the Times' news and editorial operation for almost four years.

According to well-placed insiders on the Times' Board of Directors, a shaken Sulzberger made that announcement in a hastily convened meeting of the Board of the Times' parent company, The New York Times Corp. Sulzberger reportedly told the board that the discovery was made last week.

"During an internal investigation, we reached the regrettable conclusion that Karl Rove has been running this newspaper since at least August, 2002," Sulzberger reportedly stated. "His intention is clear - to ruin the reputation of the newspaper and the party that our editorial policy supports."

Sulzberger reportedly continued: "I ordered an investigation to determine how the Times had come to publish detailed information about a top-secret government monitoring operation of the international financial transactions of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The publication of this information clearly helps an enemy that killed thousands of people just a few blocks from here. Endangering Americans is something the Times would never intentionally do. Unfortunately this story fits a pattern of publication that has almost ruined the Times' reputation for probity and journalistic honesty as well as causing incalculable damage to the Democratic party that our editorial policy supports."

Edith Steingehirn, the Times' internal investigator who made the Rove discovery, told the board: "Our investigation into the publication of the terror financing story quickly led us to discover other frightening actions taken by our news and editorial divisions during the past four years."

"One example of these actions," said Steingehirn was the paper's disclosure six months ago that, the Bush administration had secretly engaged in eavesdropping on international phone calls and e-mails involving terrorist connections. We published that story just as the successful Iraqi elections were making the news and the Senate was voting to reauthorize the Patriot Act. The timing could not have been better for the Bush administration - it made it look as though the Times would do anything - absolutely anything - to undermine the administration and Iraqi efforts to build a functioning society."

Other examples apparently cited by Sulzberger include the fact that the Times has: 1) run Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prison stories more than one thousand times as often as it has stories about heroic efforts of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens; 2) reported as hard news ad hominem attacks on the president by leading Democrats including statements that President Bush is worse than a Nazi and no better than Saddam Hussein; and 3) published numerous stories of little-known -- though not necessarily top secret -- military and national security information -- thus bringing it to the attention of Al-Qaeda.

Since the Times is closely associated with the Democratic party," said Steingehirn, "these decisions serve to make Democratic leaders seem unserious about terrorism, ungracious toward America's soldiers and sailors, petty about any Iraqi successes in bringing modernity to a backward region, mean-spirited about the President, careless about America's reputation in the world, unwilling to work with Republican colleagues on important legislation and profoundly ignorant about America's history, culture and meaning." said Steingehirn.

Sulzberger was apparently even harsher in his assessment: "Howells, bells!" he is reported to have said to assembled Times staffers. "The things we've done during the past four years make the New York Times appear to be either a treasonous supporter of al-Qaeda or a continuing, theatrical farce of the newspaper business.

"We've had plagiarism and lies from star reporters. We've hired a succession of bungling Executive Editors. We have almost single-handedly wiped out the reporter-source privilege by our incompetent handling of the Plame kerfuffle. The list goes on and on and none of this would have happened without a hidden, guiding hand! And the only hidden hand that is twisted and evil and demented and malicious enough to pull this off is the one attached to the hard right arm of Karl Rove!"

At the White House, Presidential Spokesman Tony Snow stated that he had spoken to Rove about the charges and that Rove is mystified.

"Karl Rove has a whole planet to run," said Snow with characteristic understatement, "he doesn't have the time or inclination to run a parochial newspaper with a declining stock price and diminishing readership."

However, many Times insiders concur with the report. Columnist Paul Krugman stated: "This explains everything. I could never have written - or more to the point - published, so much idiotic crap if Rove had not been in charge."

And columnist Maureen Dowd echoed Krugman's sentiments. "The past few years have been an unmitigated disaster for peace and freedom loving people throughout the upper east side of Manhattan. Only Karl Rove running the Times can explain that!!"

In related stories, executives of both the BBC and CNN have begun internal investigation to determine whether Rove is running their news divisions. RealClearPolitics

Bill Smith is a lawyer and writer in California.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Mockery of the Rules in Massachusetts

Admittedly, I am not in favor of same-sex marriage; in fact I think the idea is ludicrous, but Massachusetts citizens should think long and hard, whatever their position on this issue happens to be, about what their politicians are preparing to do to the rule of law in their state.

A mockery of the rules
By Jeff Jacoby | July 9, 2006
The Boston Globe

WHEN THE Massachusetts Legislature meets in joint session as a constitutional convention this week, the most notable item on its agenda will be a proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage. A record-breaking 170,000 registered voters have signed petitions to put such an amendment on the state ballot. But the Massachusetts Constitution mandates a detour: The measure must first win the support of at least 50 lawmakers in two consecutive legislative terms. Only then can it be submitted to the people. If the amendment gets past every hurdle, it will reach the ballot in November 2008.

It is a deliberately long and cumbersome process, meant to keep the Constitution from being altered recklessly, and to provide time for an amendment's pros and cons to be fully aired. To draft an amendment that passes legal muster, to collect tens of thousands of signatures, to haul reams of petitions to and from hundreds of town halls in every corner of the state, to raise funds, to debate and defend the proposal -- it takes an incredible amount of work and dedication to get an amendment to the ballot. Citizens who accomplish it demonstrate an admirable faith in the democratic system. That doesn't entitle them to win, of course. But they are entitled to be treated fairly. If the petitioners have to play by the rules, the Legislature does, too.

And what the rules say about the marriage amendment is that the Legislature must put it to a vote. The Massachusetts Constitution could not be clearer on the point. Article 48, which establishes the right of initiative and referendum, specifies that when amendments proposed by initiative petition come before the Legislature, a roll call is mandatory. They ``shall be voted upon" as written, the Constitution directs (unless amended by a three-fourths supermajority). What's more, the Legislature is permitted to take action on them ``only by call of the yeas and nays." (Italics added)

Lawmakers are not given a choice in the matter. The Constitution requires them to vote. If it didn't, initiatives opposed by the legislative leadership could be aborted by simply refusing to bring them up for a vote. Instead of operating as a check and balance on the Legislature, Article 48 would then be a toothless sham.
But for weeks now, same-sex marriage advocates have been telegraphing their intention to kill the marriage amendment through just such an unconstitutional ploy. ``Every possible option is on the table," says the head of MassEquality, a powerful coalition opposed to the amendment. Among the tactics being discussed: adjourning the joint session before the amendment is brought up, or arranging for enough legislators to stay away in order to prevent a quorum.

Some members brag openly about their plans to flout the Constitution. ``Legislators won't be hiding in Oklahoma," House majority leader John Rogers told Bay Windows, a leading gay newspaper. ``In fact, they'll be standing right in front of the State House steps, probably singing freedom songs and hugging one another in plain sight, not cowering." And by the way, Rogers added -- whether from ignorance or fraudulence isn't clear -- ``that is perfectly acceptable as constitutional behavior."

Those intoxicated with their own moral superiority often find it easy to believe that it is ``perfectly acceptable" to make a mockery of the rules that ensure fairness for those they look down on. Homosexual marriage is widely supported by Massachusetts elites; few of them are likely to lose much sleep if the proposed amendment is derailed by an illegal parliamentary maneuver. In a newspaper ad appearing this week, 165 Massachusetts business executives and civic leaders endorse same-sex marriage and urge the Legislature to reject any amendment ``that would take away rights." But the ad says nothing about the right of 170,000 Massachusets citizens to have their petition put to a vote on Beacon Hill.

``I think we have had enough of this debate," says Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick, siding with those who favor procedural tricks to cheat the amendment's supporters out of a vote. ``The basic question here is whether people come before their government as equals." His position, in other words, is that scores of thousands of petitioners must be treated as second-class citizens in order to ensure that people aren't treated as second-class citizens.

Same-sex marriage supporters dominate the Massachusetts power structure; if they are hell-bent on denying voters a chance to be heard on the issue, they can probably get away with it. The result, however, will not be a fairer, more liberal Massachusetts. It will be one that is even more unfair and illiberal -- a place where citizens who play by the rules get treated with contempt, and where democracy is more dysfunctional than ever. The Boston Globe

Today the Massachusetts legislature went ahead with its mockery of the rules by deciding not to vote on the amendment. MAYBE they will take up the question next fall. This is not the first time that this body has trampled on the rights of its citizens on this matter.

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The Fraud of the Horrendous Flight 93 Memorial

Previously I have described the Flight 93 Memorial as being a Muslim crescent design that is wholly inappropriate given that it was jihadist Muslims who hijacked the plane and killed all those brave people. Apparently the design has been hijacked as well and placed under the control of leftist apologists who somehow think they can stop the terrorism by honoring the terrorists. Some slight, cosmetic changes have been made to the design, but the overall crescent design has not been changed.

If you wish to review the objections many of us had to the original design, you can see my article about the memorial here. That article contains pictures and renditions of the design of the memorial.

If you would like to register your objections to the supposedly revised design of this memorial, click here. This will take you to a special page maintained by the National Park Service.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Prior to our preemptive incursion into Iraq, I overheard my teenage grandchildren spouting multiculturalism nonsense they had been taught in school. I wrote them the following letter as part of an attempt to overcome this brainwashing. It provided the starting point to what has now developed into a weblog called "From Sea to Shining Sea" that I launched one year ago. I have decided to republish this piece each year in July.

To My Grandchildren: Be Proud

To someone my age, grandchildren are terribly important because they represent the future. I’m writing this because I want to make sure that my grandchildren understand some things that will be very important to their future – and to their children's future.

Any American who studies history – whether ancient history or recent history – should realize two major lessons from history: Lesson 1. You and I and the ordinary working person in this country have a quality of life that in most of the world has been available only to a very few, extremely wealthy persons of royalty. Of the billions of people born since the world began, almost everyone has lived wretched, short lives of incredible poverty and despair. This widespread quality of life you and I have is of recent origin and came about because of the unique qualities of American civilization – freedom, capitalism and inventiveness.
Lesson 2. Every great civilization – the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Spaniards, the Turks and others – every one of them has eventually disintegrated or disappeared. Today we live during the great American civilization. Will it also disappear?

Sometimes great civilizations ended because of military defeats, but more often, they ended because of internal decay. You might say that they committed suicide. During your lifetime you will encounter many people who are mentally conflicted in some way. Some are criminals who will hurt you if you let them. It’s pretty easy to stay out of their way. But some are conflicted in more subtle and devious ways. They don’t understand history. They don’t understand that American freedoms and American traditions and the bloodshed of American patriots not only provided the wonderful life we have – but have offered hope to all the rest of the world. These people are Americans, but inexplicably they hate America.

Yes we have made mistakes, and sometimes we have been forced to choose the lesser of two evils, but unlike every other civilization, America has always tried to help. After we won World War II, the most terrible war in history, we offered a hand of friendship to our enemies. Instead of ransacking their countries, as all previous victors throughout history had done, we helped them to rebuild and taught them how to live in freedom. However, these people who have this kind of problem don’t see this; they only see the mistakes we have made. They are like some people who, if you give them a rose, will only see the thorns. The problem is, these Americans with this kind of outlook, may be the ones who destroy our civilization – if we let them.

Who are these people? Back in the 1970’s a Senator, Senator Church who headed an important committee and who for some reason hated the CIA so much he not only persuaded the Congress to weaken the CIA (possibly why the 9/11 attacks succeeded), but he published the names and addresses of CIA agents around the world. This is very personal for me because a near classmate at my high school in Providence, RI, the CIA Station Chief in Athens, Greece, Richard Welch, was murdered shortly thereafter on the front steps of his home. Also during the 1970’s a man named Daniel Ellsberg stole and published military secrets that undermined public confidence in our military at a time when American service men and women were under fire. During Desert Storm in the 1990’s two CNN TV broadcasters, Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw, actually broadcasted from Baghdad while our men and women risked their lives. Their television programs gave information to the Iraqis and could have cost American lives.

We also have many people in our country who seem willing to undermine our society in order to make money or to further some agenda that may arise out of their form of sickness. We have movie, television, radio and music producers who constantly try to expose young people to more and more violence and near-pornography in order to increase the shock value of their products and make more money for themselves. If this wasn’t bad enough, at least it is understandable. What is not understandable is the number of people who actually believe that it’s good for us to see and hear this filth.

For all its faults, the United States of America has been and remains the source of hope and progress to the peoples of the world. American and Western culture was the first culture to ban slavery (which still goes on in parts of Africa and the Middle East), and we are the first country to go to the aid of countries that suffer disasters. We are the only country in the world where millions of people (remember little Elian Gonzalez) risk their lives every year to try to get here to live.

Since evil thrives when good people do nothing, it is up to the rest of us to fight against all these conflicted people. I hope I’ve tried during my lifetime, and I hope you will too.

Love, Grandpa

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Selected July, 2006 Cartoons

    Left Click Any Cartoon To Enlarge

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Short List of Traitors Through History

Judas Iscariot, Brutus, Cassius, Benedict Arnold, Henri Petain, Pierre Laval, Axis Sally, Lord Haw Haw, Tokyo Rose, Quisling, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, David Greenglass, Morton Sobell, Alger Hiss, Philip Hansen, Guy Fawkes, Klaus Fuchs, Jane Fonda, John Walker Lindh, William Keller

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Can You Be a Leftist and Not Be an AntiSemite?

One of the baffling issues of this world, one that I can never hope to understand, is why so many on the left support the Palestinian cause against the Israelis. No matter where in history you go back to as a starting point to try to justify the position and rights of one party or the other, any reasonable person sees the hopelessness of any other starting point but the UN action creating the partition into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state in 1947.

The Palestinians and the Arab states around them did not accept the UN action, and five times raised armies to invade Israel and drive the Jews into the sea. Five times they were sent off whimpering and shaking their fists as they ran. Ever since the defeats of the regular armies, the Palestinians have tried in every way they could, through terrorism, deceit and propaganda, to exterminate the Israelis.

Now, having gained some understanding of Islam since 9/11, I fully realize that every Muslim is taught to hate Jews as people who are lower than animals. It says so over and over again in their Koran and in their current preachings, so I have some understanding of their hatred, their desire to kill them and their antipathy to sharing any part of the world with them. But do leftists share this passionate anti-Semitism? Does this explain the unfathomable?

And will what is happening now in Gaza (described in excerpts below by Charles Krauthammer) change any liberal minds of this prejudice? I hope so. We have enough antiSemites in Europe (left over from the Nazi era) to deal with, thank you.

Sunday, Jul. 2, 2006
Remember What Happened Here
Gaza is freed, yet Gaza wages war. That reveals the Palestinians' true agenda

“What is so remarkable about the current wave of violence in Gaza is that the event at the origin of the "cycle" is not at all historical, but very contemporary. The event is not buried in the mists of history. It occurred less than one year ago. Before the eyes of the whole world, Israel left Gaza. Every Jew, every soldier, every military installation, every remnant of Israeli occupation was uprooted and taken away.

How do the Palestinians respond? What have they done with Gaza, the first Palestinian territory in history to be independent, something neither the Ottomans nor the British nor the Egyptians nor the Jordanians, all of whom ruled Palestinians before the Israelis, ever permitted? On the very day of Israel's final pullout, the Palestinians began firing rockets out of Gaza into Israeli towns on the other side of the border. And remember: those are attacks not on settlers but on civilians in Israel proper, the pre-1967 Israel that the international community recognizes as legitimately part of sovereign Israel, a member state of the U.N. A thousand rockets have fallen since.

For what possible reason? Before the withdrawal, attacks across the border could have been rationalized with the usual Palestinian mantra of occupation, settlements and so on. But what can one say after the withdrawal?

The logic for those continued attacks is to be found in the so-called phase plan adopted in 1974 by the Palestine National Council in Cairo. Realizing that they would never be able to destroy Israel in one fell swoop, the Palestinians adopted a graduated plan to wipe out Israel. First, accept any territory given to them in any part of historic Palestine. Then, use that sanctuary to wage war until Israel is destroyed.

So in 2005 the Palestinians are given Gaza, free of any Jews. Do they begin building the state they say they want, constructing schools and roads and hospitals? No. They launch rockets at civilians and dig a 300-yard tunnel under the border to attack Israeli soldiers and bring back a hostage." Time Magazine

Here also is a 2005 report from Israel National News:

Abbas Approves Monthly Grant To Families of Suicide Bombers
Sunday, December 11, 2005 / 10 Kislev 5766

”The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has approved a new law, providing monetary grants to the families of suicide bombers.

Abbas gave his approval just six days ago, a day before a suicide bomber struck the HaSharon Mall in Netanya, killing five Israelis and wounding scores of others.

The legislation refers to the suicide terrorists as shahids (martyrs), a term generally applied to a person who dies in an operation fighting against Israel.

Under the new law, the terrorist’s family will be paid a base sum of $250 per month. The law takes into account extended family arrangements commonplace in Arab societies. The families of married terrorists are entitled to an additional $50 per month, and $15 are added for each child, $25 for each parent, and $15 for each brother who lived with the terrorist prior to his death.

The monies, to be paid out of the general budget of the Palestinian Authority, are significant sums for average Arab families living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Both Israel and the United States have taken legal action in recent years to shut down organizations that distribute money to the families of terrorists, especially suicide bombers.

The budget of the Palestinian Authority is largely subsidized by grants from European nations and the United States.

Israel also regularly transfers money to the PA. Much of that money is collected as customs duties on goods entering Israel bound for the PA, or for Arabs living under its jurisdiction.” Arutz Sheva -

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Peek at November 2006 Issues

Apparently Iraq will not be an issue in this fall’s Congressional elections, and the election will probably turn on two issues: illegal immigration and energy policy. I say Iraq will not be an issue because the lopsided votes in both Houses for ‘staying the course’ would seem to make it impossible for Democrats to gain much traction on Iraq – and the Supreme Court decision on military tribunals should spark a Congressional debate on dealing with terrorists that Republicans can't lose.

I mention illegal immigration and energy policy in the context of continuing the high turnout of conservative voters critical to retaining a Republican majority. If they sit on their hands and pout, as they did with Bush 41, their reward will not be a minority president like Clinton, but a Democratic House majority with nothing on their minds but impeachment, nothing in the offing but even more political incivility (if one can imagine that) and the continued frustration of any progress in getting us out of our foreign oil dependence and high and rising gasoline prices.

A needed and reasonable settlement of the illegal immigration crisis would seem to be in the hands of Republican Senatorial moderates, because the House certainly gets it. Red states are demanding ‘close the borders first, then do guest workers and earned citizenship’.
They WILL sit on their hands if all we get is McCain-Kennedy (can a Republican Senator do more to wreck this country than Senator McCain?), or some half-hearted and last minute attempts by the President to adopt a tougher stance by sending a few Guardsmen to the border. Fortunately, just as this is being written, the President has just signaled Congress that he gets it - 'yes, shut the border down, then apply some thoughtful measures to the illegals already here'.

The stance of Democrats who oppose exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas should be a major campaign issue, as the facts behind high gasoline prices and impending shortages must be pounded into public consciousness. Yes, we need to conserve, and, yes, we need to move more quickly into biofuels, and yes, we need to build lots of nuclear plants – but right now, we need more supplies of domestic oil and gas. Public approval and disapproval of Bush has been closely linked to gasoline prices, even though it is the Democrats with their heads in the sand.

Republican National Committee, take another look at this graphic that shows the relationship of President Bush's popularity to gasoline prices. When gasoline prices go up, Bush's popularity goes down, and vice versa.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A World Without America By Peter Brookes

July 04, 2006

A World Without America
RealClearPolitics By Peter Brookes

For all the worldwide whining and bellyaching about the United States, today - America's 230th birthday - provides an opportune time for them to consider for just a moment what the world might be like without good ol' Uncle Sam.

The picture isn't pretty. Absent U.S. leadership, diplomatic influence, military might, economic power and unprecedented generosity, life aboard planet earth would likely be pretty grim, indeed. Set aside the differences America made last century - just imagine a world where this country had vanished on Jan. 1, 2001.

On security, the United States is the global balance of power. While it's not our preference, we are the world's "cop on the beat," providing critical stability in some of the planet's toughest neighborhoods.

Without the U.S. "Globo-cop," rivals India and Pakistan might well find cause to unleash the dogs of war in South Asia - undoubtedly leading to history's first nuclear (weapons) exchange. Talk about Fourth of July fireworks . . .

In Afghanistan, al Qaeda would still be an honored guest, scheming over a global caliphate stretching from Spain to Indonesia. It wouldn't be sending fighters to Iraq; instead, Osama's gang would be fighting them tooth and nail from Saudi Arabia to "Eurabia."

In Asia, China would be the "Middle Kingdom," gobbling up democratic Taiwan and compelling pacifist Japan (reluctantly) to join the nuclear weapons club. The Koreas might fight another horrific war, resulting in millions of deaths.

A resurgent Russia, meanwhile, would be breathing down the neck of its "near abroad" neighbors. Forget the democratic revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia, Comrade! In Europe, they'd be taking orders from Paris or Berlin - if those rivals weren't at each other's throats again.

In Africa, Liberia would still be under Charles Taylor's sway, and Sudan would have no peace agreement.

And what other nation could or would provide freedom of the seas for commerce, including the shipment of oil and gas - all free of charge?

Weapons of mass destruction would be everywhere. North Korea would be brandishing a solid nuclear arsenal. Libya would not have given up its weapons, and Pakistan's prodigious proliferator, A.Q. Khan, would still be going door to door, hawking his nuclear wares.

Also missing would be other gifts from "Uncle Sugar" - starting with 22 percent of the U.N. budget. That includes half the operations of the World Food Program, which feeds over 100 million in 81 countries.

Gone would be 17 percent of UNICEF's costs to feed, vaccinate, educate and protect children in 157 countries - and 31 percent of the budget of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which assists more than 19 million refugees across the globe.

In 2005, Washington dispensed $28 billion in foreign aid, more than double the amount of the next highest donor (Japan), contributing nearly 26 percent of all official development assistance from the large industrialized countries.

Moreover, President Bush's five-year $15 billion commitment under the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is the largest commitment by a single nation toward an international health initiative - ever - working in over 100 (mostly African) countries.

The United States is the world's economic engine. We not only have the largest economy, we spend 40 percent of the world's budget on R&D, driving mind-boggling innovation in areas like information technology, defense and medicine.

We're the world's ATM, too, providing 17 percent of the International Monetary Fund's resources for nations in fiscal crisis, and funding 13 percent of World Bank programs that dole out billions in development assistance to needy countries.

And what does Uncle Sam get in return? Mostly grief, especially from all the ungrateful freeloaders who benefit tremendously from the global "public goods" we so selflessly provide with our time, effort, blood and treasure. How easily - and conveniently - they forget . . . unless they need help, of course.

But let us never forget, especially today, that despite the name-calling, the jeers, the petty jealousies, we're the envy of the world - and rightfully so.

The fact is that no matter what anyone says: No country has given so much to so many so often - while asking for so little in return - for so little gratitude than this great country of ours. So Happy birthday, America! Stand tall and proud - you've earned it.

Peter Brookes is a Heritage Foundation senior fellow and author of "A Devil's Triangle: Terrorism, WMD and Rogue States."

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