Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rosie O'Donnell 9/11 Conspiracy Comments: Popular Mechanics Responds

It’s too bad, with so many real issues demanding attention, that we have to deal with such malevolent ignorance as exhibited by Rosie O’Donnell and other, so-called, “Truthers”. When the Truthers first started spreading their conspiracy theories, an unlikely source, “Popular Mechanics Magazine” rose up to counter their claims with facts and science. We owe them another ‘thank you’ for stepping up to the plate once again. To follow the sourced links, go to the “Popular Mechanics” link provided just below.

Rosie O'Donnell 9/11 Conspiracy Comments: Popular Mechanics Responds
March 30, 2007

Recently, Rosie O’Donnell, a co-host of ABC talk show The View, made comments on the show that renewed controversy over the collapse of World Trade Center 7.

While saying she didn’t know what to believe about the U.S. government’s involvement in the attacks of Sept. 11, she said, “I do believe that it’s the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics that World Trade Center tower 7—building 7, which collapsed in on itself—it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved. World Trade Center 7. World Trade [Center] 1 and 2 got hit by planes—7, miraculously, the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.”

She continued: “To say that we don’t know that it imploded, that it was an implosion and a demolition, is beyond ignorant. Look at the films, get a physics expert here [on the show] from Yale, from Harvard, pick the school—[the collapse] defies reason.” (Watch the clip here)

For those interested in what physicist and demolition experts have said regarding WTC 7’s collapse, as detailed in our book Debunking 9/11 Myths, PM offers these notes:

1. Initial reports from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) misunderstood the amount of damage the 47-floor WTC7 sustained from the debris of the falling North Tower—because in early photographs, WTC7 was obscured by smoke and debris.

Towers 1 and 7 were approximately 300 ft. apart, and pictures like the ones here and here offer a clear visual of how small that distance is for structures that large.

After further studies, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) told PM that debris from the 110-floor North Tower hit WTC7 with the force of a volcanic eruption. Nearly a quarter of the building was carved away over the bottom 10 stories on its south face, and significant damage was visible up to the 18th floor (see p. 24 of this report).

The unusual design of WTC7 is also crucial to the discussion, in that key columns supported extreme loads—as much as 2000 sq. ft. of floor area for each floor—as the building straddled an electrical substation. “What our preliminary analysis has shown is that if you take out just one column on one of the lower floors,” NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder told PM, “it could cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down.” The tower wasn’t hit by a plane, but it was severely wounded by the collapse of the North Tower. Which is when the fires started.

2. The North and South Towers of the World Trade Center weren’t knocked down by planes—they both stood for more than a half-hour after the impacts. But the crashes destroyed support columns and ignited infernos that ultimately weakened—not melted—the steel structures until the towers could no longer support their own weights (NIST offers a primer here). Ms. O’Donnell fundamentally misstates the case with her use of the word “melting”: Evidence currently points to WTC7 also collapsing because fires weakened its ravaged steel structure.

Tower 7 housed the city’s emergency command center, so there were a number of fuel tanks located throughout the building—including two 6000-gal. tanks in the basement that fed some generators in the building by pressurized lines. “Our working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time,” according to Sunder. Steel melts at about 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit—but it loses strength at temperatures as low as 400 F. When temperatures break 1000 degrees F, steel loses nearly 50 percent of its strength. It is unknown what temperatures were reached inside WTC7, but fires in the building raged for seven hours before the collapse.

3. Demolition experts tell PM that wiring a building the size of WTC7 for clandestine demolition would present insurmountable logistical challenges. That issue aside, there’s a clear-cut engineering explanation for why the building fell the way it did. Trusses on the fifth and seventh floors of the building were designed to transfer loads from one set of columns to another; with the south face heavily damaged, the other columns were likely overtaxed. In engineering terms, the “progressive collapse” began on the eastern side, when weakened columns failed from the damage and fire. The entire building fell in on itself as the slumping east side dragged down the west side in a diagonal pattern. Still, damage to the Verizon Building (see p. 21 of this report), directly west of WTC7, and to Fiterman Hall (see here) directly north, show that it was hardly an orderly collapse.

NIST is currently preparing its final report on the collapse of WTC7, which is expected to be released this spring. In order to address concerns of conspiracy theorists, the organization added “Hypothetical Blast Analysis” to its research, according to a December 2006 progress report. The report also points out that “NIST has found no evidence of a blast or controlled demolition.”

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Calling It Murder Is Absurd!

The terrorists we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are 7th century savages. What else can you call people who leave a parked car that contains their two young children – a car that is also wired for explosives. The object of leaving their children in the car is to divert suspicion so people will not really notice the car. They then blow up the car – killing several innocent people, including their own children. Consider also the British Muslims who hid a liquid bomb in their child’s bottle. We in the West and in America can hardly even conceive of such monstrous acts or possibly understand the minds of people willing to do this. Of necessity our soldiers have to confront this madness and deal with it. We cannot possibly expect these soldiers to make decisions as if they were sitting calmly in an easy chair in a peaceful American living room, and yet, that is just what our politically correct military seems to be doing.

Calling it murder is absurd!
The American Thinker, March 24, 2007
By Bob Weir

On Nov. 19, 2005, United States Marines killed 24 civilians in an Iraqi town called Haditha. The dead included men, women and children. This past December, four Marines were charged with murder. But was it murder?

Let's examine the events that led up to that terrible day. In a 60 Minutes segment last week, correspondent Scott Pelley interviewed a 25 year-old Marine Sergeant named Frank Wuterich, who, along with other members of his platoon, is facing life imprisonment for doing what they were trained to do.

Haditha is a town of 70,000 in Anbar province, the heart of the Sunni resistance, where, among the residents, anti-American passions run high. In the months before Wuterich's unit arrived, other Marines there were suffering some of the heaviest causalities in all of Iraq, including the bombing of an armored vehicle that killed 14 Marines. A few days before that, six Marines in Haditha were ambushed, tortured and killed. The enemy put this obscenity on the Internet where Wuterich and his men saw the bodies and the dog tags of their dead comrades.

One can't begin to imagine what such visuals can do to a soldier in a war zone where he can't be certain who the enemy is. That's the dilemma that defines Iraq. In Haditha, the population is generally hostile to Americans, but only some are armed fighters. However, the fighters blend in, so you don't know them unless they're shooting at you.

On that fateful day, Wuterich led a convoy to a checkpoint, escorting fresh Iraqi troops and bringing breakfast to the Marines there. It would appear to be a simple and safe mission. Yet, at all times, they know there is nothing safe in a war zone. Sergeant Wuterich was in the third of 4 trucks spaced a couple of hundred yards apart as they drove toward their destination.

The fourth truck never made it. Wuterich said he and his men felt a "huge explosion" that even rocked the truck he was in. Suddenly, they saw debris from the fourth vehicle hundreds of meters in the air above as tires and human body parts rained down on them. The vehicle had been devastated by a bomb buried under the road, detonated by remote control.

The Marine called for backup and began planning his next move. Up ahead, a white car was stopped by the side of the road. Five Iraqi men ranging in age from 19 to 29 were ordered out.

"So my immediate thought is okay, maybe this was a car bomb. Okay, maybe these guys had something to do with this IED," Wuterich said.

He said another sergeant yelled at the men to drop to the ground. Instead, the men began running away. That's when they were fired upon. Wuterich and the others believed they were the men who detonated the IED that had just blown up the Humvee.

"These were military-aged males that were inside that car. The only vehicle, the only thing that was out, that was Iraqi, was them. They were 100 meters away from that IED. Those are the things that went through my mind before I pulled the trigger," he said.

"How much time has passed from the moment of the explosion to the time that you killed these men?" Pelley asked.

"I would say within about two minutes," Wuterich responded.

The sergeant was asked what he saw when he went to his fallen Marines in the bombed Humvee. (Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, from El Paso, Texas, a beloved member of the unit, had been the driver.)

"Basically, a pile of flesh, in essence. That may be a sight I'll never forget. He was missing one of his arms. His legs were completely severed from his body, but they were still attached because for some reason his Cami's didn't rip completely."
It was then that he and his men came under rifle fire, appearing to come from a nearby house. They tossed grenades into the house and killed the occupants, all of whom were later identified as civilians.

Wuterich said that was how they were trained. Furthermore, these men had seen the results of hesitation under fire when many of their comrades were killed as they tried to clear suspected terrorist locations.

Nevertheless, the country that put these men in that war zone, subjected them to unimaginable stress and fear as they, again and again, scooped up the bloody remains of their closest friends and lived under the constant threat of imminent death, is trying them for murder.

Hence, a soldier's options are to either hesitate and get killed, or protect his life and risk a court martial. As we used to say in the police department; better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.


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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I’m Sorry, I Don’t Remember

So far, the current uproar over the replacing of some U.S. Attorneys (something any president has the perfect right to do) looks like another attempt by Democrats to manufacture a scandal where there is none. Of course, it may well turn out that someone did something wrong, we don’t know yet; but the case has raised another issue that must be faced. Foolish or not, when Martha Stewart was arrested, tried and convicted for lying about a situation that did not involve any illegalities, I decided I would never answer any questions put to me by any federal agent. Of course, I don’t know how I might stand up under threat of an obstruction of justice charge, but my determination firmed up quite a bit more after observing the Scooter Libby fiasco.

We are definitely suffering from a large dose of overly ambitious and over-reaching prosecutors (remember all the day-care, child sex abuse cases and the Duke rape case) and also from the criminalization by Democrats of political differences with successful Republicans. Now it seems that the other shoe may have dropped – with investigations being stymied because persons of knowledge are afraid to answer questions because they might make a mistake or misremember something. Sometimes I can’t remember what I had for breakfast the day before yesterday or what I did last Monday. Am I going to endure personal ruin for this, or am I just going to keep my mouth shut?

Perhaps, in the case cited below, Monica Gooding’s motives are not as stated, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt until I learn differently.

The Libby Precedent
Why government officials prefer to take the Fifth.

Opinion Journal, March 28, 2007

If Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy wants to investigate the Bush Administration's dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys, that's certainly his prerogative. But he and other Democrats determined to play up this faux scandal shouldn't be surprised if government officials decide they'd rather not step into this obvious perjury trap.

The Judiciary Committee is seeking testimony from, among others, Monica Goodling, the Justice Department's liaison to the White House. Democrats want to quiz Ms. Goodling on her communications with other Justice officials such as Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who testified about the firings before the Senate committee in February. This week Ms. Goodling indicated she will exercise her Constitutional right to keep mum.

Sad to say, this is one more unfortunate result of the Beltway's modern habit of criminalizing political differences, a la the Scooter Libby travesty. Congress has the right to conduct oversight of the executive, and in a better world government officials would be willing to testify and give as good as they get. Thus would the public be educated about the facts and policy differences be aired.

But Ms. Goodling has been around, and she can see Democrats don't really want to know the truth; they want to shout "liar, liar" and set the stage to accuse Justice officials of criminal behavior. In a statement to the committee explaining her decision, Ms. Goodling said, "I have read public remarks by members of both the House and Senate Committees on the Judiciary in which those members have drawn conclusions about the subject matter and the testimony now under investigation by the Committee." We've read them, too.

Representative Linda Sanchez has already concluded that there have been "attempts to mislead the public on this issue." In a joint press conference, Senators Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein characterized Justice's testimony as "misleading statement after misleading statement--deliberate misleading statements." Mr. Schumer is also a lawyer, and we reckon he deliberately chose that word "deliberate" as a prelude to charging criminal deception and keeping the issue alive long enough to help elect more Senate Democrats next year. (He runs the Senate Democratic campaign committee.)

Senator Leahy himself issued a press release asserting that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Mr. McNulty "failed to tell Congress the whole truth about this matter under oath." Now that these Democrats have reached a verdict, they want to hold the trial.

If anyone had any doubt about this criminalization game, it should have vanished late Monday with Senator Leahy's suggestion that Ms. Goodling's decision not to testify implies that she's done something wrong. "The American people are left to wonder what conduct is at the base of Ms. Goodling's concern that she may incriminate herself in connection with criminal charges if she appears before the committee under oath," Mr. Leahy said.

But the only thing the American people might wonder about is why the Senator, a lawyer who should know better, has seen fit to bully an individual for doing nothing more than invoking her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Mr. Leahy's public smear prompted a rebuttal from Ms. Goodling's lawyer, John Dowd, who reminded the Senator that "the Fifth Amendment protects innocent persons who might otherwise be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances, as much as it protects those who may have done something wrong."

Count Ms. Goodling's silence as one more unintended consequence of the Scooter Libby case. Mr. Libby made the mistake of cooperating with the investigation into a leak he had nothing to do with, and he later found himself charged with perjury based on little more than conflicting memories of who said what and when. The prosecutor never even charged anyone for the leak that started it all.

There's no apparent underlying crime in this "scandal" either, but we'll bet more than one Democrat will soon be calling for a "special prosecutor" to investigate it nonetheless. The New York Times has already floated the idea, as usual. As Mr. Dowd put it in his letter to Mr. Leahy: "The potential for legal jeopardy for Ms. Goodling from even her most truthful and accurate testimony under these circumstances is very real. One need look no further than the recent circumstances and proceedings involving Lewis Libby."

If the probing Senators want to know why lawyers can't in good conscience advise their honest clients in government to answer Senate questions, they should look first to the bitter climate their own habits have created.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Evangelicals Elevate Giuliani and Thompson

An interesting column appeared in the LA Times (excerpt below) just as I was pondering which presidential candidate I would support and contribute to for 2008, Giuliani or Thompson. I am no evangelical, but I am a conservative, and it appears that my thinking is along the same lines as was reported in the article cited. I have had policy differences with President Bush on immigration, education and McCain-Feingold, but my biggest disappointment with Bush has been his inability or unwillingness to defend himself from the malicious vitriol, dishonesty and meanspiritedness of the left. His assassination has been proposed in a book and characterized in a movie; he has been called a liar, a murderer, and a Hitler, and not just by youthful idiots, but by Democrat politicians, and he has not responded. My top three issues for 2008 are Islamic terrorism, illegal immigration, and the ability and willingness to fight back against vicious partisan attacks.

Rudy Giuliani has much baggage and also has positions on some social issues I do not like, but he clearly understands the dangers facing America and the West, and clearly he has the stomach for the job. He also is a fighter who will rise to the challenges the Islamists and the left have in store for him, and I firmly believe that the left is going to sink to even greater depths in the years ahead in debasing our politics and our society (especially when they understand that our troops will be in Iraq for at least 50 years, not exiting in 08). I know that when President Bush took office, he pledged to insert more civility into political squabbles, even inviting Senator Kennedy and his family for a private movie showing, but silence does not answer vitriol. We need someone who can consistently fight back calmly with the facts and with civility to these attacks. I believe Giuliani can do that.

What I think I know about Fred Thompson is that his conservative credentials are even stronger than Giuliani’s, and he does not have the baggage that Giuliani has. What he has to show me in the months ahead (and quickly, the key primaries are 9 months away) is that he has the stomach for the slime he will face, and that he has executive ability. The Senate has not been an especially good proving ground for presidents, but of course, Thompson was an outstanding attorney and counsel to the Watergate Committee.

A new Crusade for GOP evangelicals
Defeating Islamic radicals has become a priority for religious conservatives.
By Dan Gilgoff, March 25, 2007

“WHEN Mitt Romney emerged from a closed-door meeting at the recent National Religious Broadcasters convention, a handful of reporters, myself included, descended on him. What, we asked, was the toughest question put to him by evangelical leaders?

" 'How does America win against the jihad?' was at the top of the list, and the nuclear proliferation represented by Iran," the Republican presidential candidate said.

My fellow reporters groaned disbelievingly. What about battling the "radical homosexual agenda?" Or building a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court?

Maybe Romney was being coy. Or maybe his powwow with Christian-right activists happened just like he said it did, signaling a major development within the GOP's evangelical base: that the war on terror — and, more broadly, the confrontation with Islamic radicalism — have become "values" issues.

Such a change would turn the conventional wisdom about the 2008 GOP presidential primary on its head. No longer would front-runners Arizona Sen. John McCain and ex-New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani find their moderate (or inconsistent) records on abortion or gay rights a looming liability. Under a "terror values" rubric, both could win over evangelicals with their tough-on-terrorism credentials.

Romney, meanwhile — who's been courting the Christian right most fervently — would suffer from his lack of experience with national defense and international issues. Same goes for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, current darling of the right.

Polls show that evangelicals support President Bush's "kill the terrorists over there so they don't kill us here" vision in greater numbers than other Americans. A survey by the Pew Research Center in December found that 63% of white evangelicals supported Bush's handling of the terrorist threat, while fewer than half of all Americans expressed similar support.”

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More Encouraging Signs

While I have often commented on the horrendous activities of Islamic terrorists, I have also supported President Bush’s insistence that our war with the terrorists is not a religious war and that most Muslims are peaceful people who want the same things for their children that we all do. We have about 5 million* Muslim citizens in the U.S.A., and the President is president of all of us. On the other hand, it has been frustrating to observe the restrained efforts and silence of American Muslim organizations in condemning terrorism, and the actions of C.A.I.R. are very disturbing.

In the light of all this it was very encouraging last week to learn that an American Muslim group has decided to provide legal help to the passengers being sued by the infamous six ‘flying Imams’. Another encouraging development was the filing of a bill this week by Republican Congressman, Steve Pearce, that would end the nonsense of such suits:

Don’t Sue Americans Who Report Suspicious Terrorist Activity
2nd District Lawmaker calls on Congress to protect Americans trying to prevent terror plots

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United States Congressman Steve Pearce introduced H.R. 1640 the “Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act of 2007.” If passed, this legislation would protect individuals from being sued for reporting suspicious activities to law enforcement and security personnel.

The language of the Act comes as a direct response to a recent incident in Minneapolis. As reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune,
The imams engaged in a variety of suspicious behaviors while boarding a US Airways flight, according to the airport police report. Some prayed loudly in the gate area, spoke angrily about the United States and Saddam, switched seats and sat in the 9/11 hijackers' configuration, and unnecessarily requested seatbelt extenders that could be used as weapons, according to witness reports and US Airways spokeswoman Andrea Rader.

As a result of the aforementioned behavior, citizens contacted airline authorities and the pilot informed law enforcement to have the suspicious parties removed from the aircraft. The original incident occurred in November of 2006; now the group has filed suit against US Airways and the Minneapolis – St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission on 17 different charges. Included in the lawsuit as defendants, are “John Does” described as citizens who called authorities to report the suspicious behavior of the Imams.

Rep. Pearce commented on introducing the bill:
“It is a sad day in America when our own institutions of freedom are being used against us in the battle against terrorism. When I first heard about the lawsuit brought by the ‘imams’ in Minnesota, it was clear to me that this was an injustice against Americans who were simply trying to protect themselves. These brave citizens should be recognized as heroes for their efforts to report suspicious activity, particularly activity that has been associated with previous terror attacks.

“As Americans, we must not allow ourselves to be bullied by individuals who seek to disrupt our way of life. We can not allow the sympathizers of terrorism to make Americans wonder if they could be sued before reporting possible terrorist activity. Whether it is an intimidation tactic or a full scale attack, Americans have the right and responsibility to protect themselves and their fellow citizens. I introduced this legislation to protect Americans and keep all citizens alert and vocal as they serve on the front line in our battle against terrorism here in America.”

Rep. Pearce was joined by 10 cosponsors in introducing this legislation.

*estimates of the Muslim population of the U.S.A. vary widely

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Always Living in the Future

I guess most people getting to be about my age start musing about the missed opportunities of their lives, the moments recalled that seem like only yesterday and were gone in a flash, never to be relived. I’m a busy, happy person, but I have these recollections of melancholy more and more as my life goes on and goes into its final chapters.

My moments mostly center on my children, my parents and my childhood friends, and sacred moments that came and went so quickly before I ever realized what was happening. The little girl in the pink dress, the costumes she designed, that excruciating day of the automobile crash; the little boy watching the piano fall, the Pinewood Derby, the wonderful trip to Hershey; the other little boy struggling to understand, playing the saxophone, running the high school race. And the other little girl, the baby everything was for, but a baby not long enough, and a daughter not anywhere near long enough.

Childhood friends who, like Leo, helped fashion space helmets out of Quaker Oats boxes for the Planet Club that met in the cellar of an abandoned house, where we smoked and conspired, and who would meet me at midnight as we sneaked out to fulfill the double dare of the midnight walk through the cemetery. Or like Bob, who packed down the snow so we could play catch as the Red Sox opened spring training camp in Florida, which might as well have been on the moon for all we knew, and who made the last out for me, saving a win for my relief pitching in a game with the big boys neither one of us will ever forget.

I shouldn’t whine because my friends my age all have similar melancholies, and we discuss this fact of life from time to time. I guess it’s behind the old saying that youth is wasted on the young. The real problem is, I feel that, more than most others, I spent way too much time working and planning for that wonderful future that was to come and not nearly enough time enjoying the moments of the present I already had.

I was standing in a checkout line at the SuperWalmart with a week’s worth of groceries and other miscellaneous items in my basket, while a clerk-in-training tried to deal with a welfare mother and her problems. Although I’m retired and have no particular place to go, I can feel my blood pressure rising as my heart starts thumping and my head starts to hurt. I am getting more and more impatient as I suddenly have a thought, “Why is it I’m always living in the future?”. All my life my mind and my attention always seemed to drift away from what was happening right now – to what I was going to do or what I would like to have – sometime in the future. It’s so bad that, as soon as I get to a party or some other enjoyable function, I start thinking about what I will be doing later on.

It’s not ‘carpe diem’ for me, it’s waste the day. More and more I spend time now thinking about how fast life went by, and how I wasted so many special moments by sliding into the future again and again. I just learned recently that my older son was a huge Bruins’ fan at the same time I was. How I wish I could have shared that with him at the time.

So while standing in line I had the thought, “How can I just enjoy this moment?”. After all, my life is pretty good. Yesterday I went to a Boston Red Sox – Minnesota Twins spring training game in perfect 80 degree weather; tonight I’m going ballroom dancing with a group of friends; tomorrow I’m going to a rodeo with another group of friends – and so on. I decide to focus on the people around me and try to guess what their lives must be like. If my attention starts to slide, I manage to think about the fact that if I just stay in the moment, maybe my life won’t seem to be rushing by so fast.

Later on at the dance that night, I started to think about the Tampa Bay Lightning game on TV and when it might end. Let’s see, if we leave by 9:30, maybe I can see the end of the game. No, wait a minute, I’m doing it again. I focus more on what the people around me are saying, on the dancers, the music, the steps we’re trying to improve. That’s better.

A lifetime of living in the future and ending up wondering where it all went is hard to shake. I advise against getting in the habit in the first place.


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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Is the Surge Succeeding?

Despite many reports of success, it really is too early to tell if the ‘surge’ is starting to succeed or will have lasting value, but only the Associated Press could consider the following development to be bad news. We will not soon forget the false reports and doctored photographs the AP submitted on last summer’s Israeli-Hezbollah conflict.

Shiite militia may be disintegrating
By HAMZA HENDAWI and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writers
Wed Mar 21, 7:21 PM ET

The violent Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army is breaking into splinter groups, with up to 3,000 gunmen now financed directly by Iran and no longer loyal to the firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, adding a potentially even more deadly element to Iraq's violent mix.

Two senior militia commanders told The Associated Press that hundreds of these fighters have crossed into Iran for training by the elite Quds force, a branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guard thought to have trained Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and Muslim fighters in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

The breakup is an ominous development at a time when U.S. and Iraqi forces are working to defeat religious-based militias and secure Iraq under government control.
While al-Sadr's forces have battled the coalition repeatedly, including pitched battles in 2004, they've mostly stayed in the background during the latest offensive.

The U.S. military has asserted in recent months that Iran's Revolutionary Guards and Quds force have been providing Shiite militias with weapons and parts for sophisticated armor-piercing bombs. The so called EFPs — explosively formed penetrators — are responsible for the deaths of more than 170 American and coalition soldiers since mid-2004, the military says.

In the latest such attack, four U.S. soldiers were killed March 15 by a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad.

At the Pentagon, a military official confirmed there were signs the Mahdi Army was splintering. Some were breaking away to attempt a more conciliatory approach to the Americans and the Iraqi government, others moving in a more extremist direction, the official said.

However, the official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name on the topic, was not aware of direct Iranian recruitment and financing of Mahdi Army members.
The outlines of the fracture inside the Mahdi Army were confirmed by senior Iraqi government officials with access to intelligence reports prepared for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The information indicates a disintegrating organization yet a potentially even more dangerous foe, they revealed, on condition that their names not be used.
The militia commanders and al-Maliki's reports identify the leader of the breakaway faction as Qais al-Khazaali, a young Iraqi cleric who was a close al-Sadr aide in 2003 and 2004.

He was al-Sadr's chief spokesman for most of 2004, when he made nearly daily appearances on Arabic satellite news channels. He has not been seen in public since late that year.

Another U.S. official, who declined to be identified because of the information's sensitivity, said it was true that some gunmen had gone to Iran for training and that al-Khazaali has a following. However, the official could not confirm the number of his followers or whether Iran was financing them.

Al-Sadr has been in Iran since early February, apparently laying low during the U.S.-Iraqi offensive, according to the U.S. military. He is not known to be close to Iran's leadership or Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

While Al-Sadr's strategy appears to be to wait out the government offensive and preserve his force, his absence has left loyal fighters unsure of his future and pondering whether they had been abandoned by their leader, the commanders said.
Al-Sadr tried to return to Iraq last month but turned back before he reached the Iraqi border upon learning of U.S. checkpoints on the road to Najaf, the Shiite holy city south of Baghdad where he lives

"Conditions are not suitable for him to return," said an al-Sadr aide, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. "His safety will not be guaranteed if he returns."

The Mahdi Army commanders, who said they would be endangered if their names were revealed, said Iran's Revolutionary Guards were funding and arming the defectors from their force, and that several hundred over the last 18 months had slipped across the Iranian border for training by the Quds force.

In recent weeks, Mahdi Army fighters who escaped possible arrest in the Baghdad security push have received $600 each upon reaching Iran. The former Mahdi Army militiamen working for the Revolutionary Guards operate under the cover a relief agency for Iraqi refugees, they said.

Once fighters defect, they receive a monthly stipend of $200, said the commanders.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for an Iranian dissident group, told reporters in New York on Tuesday that Iraqi Shiite guerrillas and death squads were being trained in secret camps in Iran with the blessing of top Tehran government leaders and at least three senior Iraqi political figures.

Inside Iraq, the breakaway troops are using the cover of the Mahdi Army itself, the commanders said.

The defectors are in secret, small, but well-funded cells. Little else has emerged about the structure of their organization, but most of their cadres are thought to have maintained the pretense of continued Mahdi Army membership, possibly to escape reprisals.

Estimates of the number of Mahdi Army fighters vary wildly, with some putting the figure at 10,000 and others as many as 60,000.

The extent of al-Sadr's control over his militia has never been clear. Like many of Iraq's warring parties, it's a loosely knit force. The fiery cleric inspires loyalty with his speeches and edicts, and the Shiite gunmen are also bonded by the goal of maintaining Shiite dominance in a country long controlled by the rival Sunni Muslims, most recently Saddam Hussein.

Commanders thought to have disobeyed Mahdi Army orders or abused their power are publicly renounced during Friday prayers, a move that has forced them to quit their posts or go into hiding.

Mahdi Army militiamen also could be attracted by the cash promises of the splinter group. They don't receive wages or weapons from al-Sadr, but are allowed to generate income by charging government contractors protection money when they work in Shiite neighborhoods.

The two Mahdi Army commanders blamed several recent attacks on U.S. forces in eastern Baghdad on the splinter group. The commanders also said they believed the breakaway force had organized the attempt last week to kill Rahim al-Darraji, the mayor of Sadr City.

Al-Darraji, who is close to the Sadrist movement, was involved in talks with the U.S. military about extending the five-week-old Baghdad security sweep into Sadr City, the Mahdi Army stronghold in eastern Baghdad that was a no-go zone for American forces until about three weeks ago.

Al-Darraji was seriously wounded and two of his bodyguards were killed when gunmen ambushed their convoy in a mainly Shiite district near Sadr City. There was no claim of responsibility.

The commanders said recruitment of Mahdi Army gunmen by Iran began as early as 2005. But it was dramatically stepped up in recent months, especially with the approach of the U.S.-Iraqi security operation which was highly advertised before it began Feb. 14. Many Mahdi Army fighters are believed to have crossed the border to escape arrest.

Calls by the AP to seek comment from the Iranian Foreign Ministry have not been returned.

The Iranian recruitment of the Mahdi Army fighters appears to be an extension of its efforts to exert influence in Iraq, in part to keep the U.S. bogged down in a war that already has stretched into its fifth year. Iran already has the allegiance of the Badr Brigade, a Shiite militia founded and trained in Iran in the 1980s that maintains close links to Iraq's ruling Shiite politicians.

The Bush administration has carefully not ruled out military action against Iran, but the war in Iraq keeps U.S. ground forces at least stretched thin.

What the devil does the AP mean,"at least stretched thin"?

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Friday, March 23, 2007

The Worst Is Now Over

Despite Al Gore’s appearance during which Congressman Joe Barton confronted him with scientific facts that destroyed his position and which he could not counter, I think that there are definite signs that the global warming nonsense has reached its peak, and that common sense and science are starting to take hold. The proximate causes for this turning point were the appearance of the video, “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, which has now been viewed by millions, and the NY Times piece that presented views from some leading scientists who dispute global warming and which also took Al Gore to task for the misrepresentations and actual falsehoods contained in his famous movie.

Now, today, another unassailable scientist has pointed out that there can be no such thing as a ‘world temperature’, something I and others had pointed out years ago.

Source: University of Copenhagen

Date: March 18, 2007

Researchers Question Validity Of A 'Global Temperature'

Science Daily — “Discussions on global warming often refer to 'global temperature.' Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility, says Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, who has analyzed this topic in collaboration with professors Christopher Essex from University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick from University of Guelph, Canada.

It is generally assumed that the atmosphere and the oceans have grown warmer during the recent 50 years. The reason for this point of view is an upward trend in the curve of measurements of the so-called 'global temperature'. This is the temperature obtained by collecting measurements of air temperatures at a large number of measuring stations around the Globe, weighing them according to the area they represent, and then calculating the yearly average according to the usual method of adding all values and dividing by the number of points.

Average without meaning
"It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth", Bjarne Andresen says, an expert of thermodynamics. "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate".

He explains that while it is possible to treat temperature statistically locally, it is meaningless to talk about a a global temperature for Earth. The Globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless. Or talking about economics, it does make sense to compare the currency exchange rate of two countries, whereas there is no point in talking about an average 'global exchange rate'.” Science Daily

Since the global warming alarmists are talking about a temperature increase of only about one degree over the past one hundred years, the evidence of even this tiny change is questionable. I tend to believe that the earth may be warming, but my opinion is based on anecdotal evidence.

Note: The global warming controversy was starting to get very boring until Gore, the left and the corrupt IPCC began shoving it down our throats. We needed to fight back with facts and historical records, and we are fighting back.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Things Aren’t So Simple As They Once Seemed

In Darwin’s time, living cells and light-sensitive spots were thought to be simple structures. With the help of electron microscopes, modern microbiologists have learned that both are enormously complex structures, and that our bodies contain “irreversibly complex mechanisms” whose several parts have no other function than to act as part of a goal-directed system. The cell has now been described as more complex than a nuclear submarine or a small city. Harvard University has produced an amazing video that describes the reactions that take place in our body’s cells when inflammation occurs. Don’t let the fancy words faze you. Just enjoy the wonder and mystery of life. Here is that video.


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You Can Help Save America, See How

My regular readers know how disturbed I am that the far left has taken over many of our colleges and universities and even penetrated our public schools. Their cause is to teach our children that all other cultures are superior to ours, that we have stolen from others the wealth that we enjoy, and that we have no right to defend our values, our interests or even our lives. This ‘hate-America’ doctrine largely explains why so many Americans are unconcerned about illegal immigration, why our culture is being destroyed, why some do not take the Islamic threat seriously, and why so many are out to destroy Christmas – among other things. These people brook no challenges; they try to destroy anyone who questions them.

I started this weblog to try to combat these poisonous teachings, and many others are also trying to counter this madness before we lose our country. Most of us feel that we are trying to hold back the wind in our efforts, but now, something important may be happening, and you can help, too.

A movie called, “Indoctrinate U”, has been made that tries to document in a video format just what has been happening on campuses across the U.S.A. The producers are trying to build public support for it to be shown in theaters – something that is being mightily resisted. Please go to their website and sign up to say you would like an opportunity to see this movie in your community. There is no obligation. Go here to sign up and also see a trailer for the movie, if you wish.

The movie, Indoctrinate U was discussed on Hannity and Colmes. Go here to see a video of that discussion.

Maybe we won't feel so helpless the next time we hear that the ACLU is demanding the firing of a coach who said a prayer before a football game or see 100,000 Mexican illegals screaming for us to give back California.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Immigration Problem Heading for Catastrophe

While our politicians maneuver for future votes from immigrants and work on all sorts of schemes while nothing gets done, the real situation facing the United States is barely noticed. Click here or here to see a video that shows what lies ahead if we continue to toy with this issue.

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The Blame-America-First Crowd

I first started my weblog three years ago after a Thanksgiving dinner at which I was astonished to hear some of the falsehoods about our country’s history my grandchildren had been taught and were repeating at the dinner table. Of course, as a college professor, I was well aware of the “hate America” crowd that infected the liberal arts faculty of the college where I taught, but I had no idea how deeply this poison had sunk its tentacles into the public school curriculum and its teachers.

We are not going to defeat the Islamic fascists who would destroy us and our culture until we overcome this tendency to blame America and the west for everything that has ever gone wrong in the world for the last several hundred years, and, in order to reverse this process, we have to expunge the poison of multiculturalism from our midst and stop the extreme left from pushing it.

Unfortunately, anyone who opposes these people does so at the risk of character assassination, as those scientists who have raised concerns about the questionable science that undergirds man-made global warming alarmism are finding out now. They can join a long list of people the left destroyed or tried to destroy, including: Judges Bork, Thomas and Roberts, Senator Tower, Secretaries Weinberger and Donovan, Vice President Cheney, President Bush, Linda Tripp and Katherine Willey. The left usually can’t win arguments and seldom wins votes. It succeeds through judicial activism, character assassination and the big lie.

March 19, 2007
The Blame-America-First Crowd
By Michael Barone, RealClearPolitics

"They always blame America first." That was Jeane Kirkpatrick, describing the "San Francisco Democrats" in 1984. But it could be said about a lot of Americans, especially highly educated Americans, today.

In their assessment of what is going on in the world, they seem to start off with a default assumption that we are in the wrong. The "we" can take different forms: the United States government, the vast mass of middle-class Americans, white people, affluent people, churchgoing people or the advanced English-speaking countries. Such people are seen as privileged and selfish, greedy and bigoted, rash and violent. If something bad happens, the default assumption is that it's their fault. They always blame America -- or the parts of America they don't like -- first.

Where does this default assumption come from? And why is it so prevalent among our affluent educated class (which, after all, would seem to overlap considerably with the people being complained about?). It comes, I think, from our schools and, especially, from our colleges and universities. The first are staffed by liberals long accustomed to see America as full of problems needing solving; the latter have been packed full of the people cultural critic Roger Kimball calls "tenured radicals," people who see this country and its people as the source of all evil in the world.

On campuses, students are bombarded with denunciations of dead white males and urged to engage in the deconstruction of all past learning and scholarship.

Not all of this takes, of course. Most students have enough good sense to see that the campus radicals' description of the world is wildly at odds with reality. But this battering away at ideas of truth and goodness does have some effect. Very many of our university graduates emerge with the default assumption thoroughly wired into their mental software. And, it seems, they carry it with them for most of their adult lives.

The default assumption predisposes them to believe that if there is slaughter in Darfur, it is our fault; if there are IEDs in Iraq, it is our fault; if peasants in Latin America are living in squalor, it is our fault; if there are climate changes that have any bad effect on anybody, it is our fault.

What they have been denied in their higher education is an accurate view of history and America's place in it. Many adults actively seek what they have been missing: witness the robust sales of books on the Founding Fathers. Witness, also, the robust sales of British historian Andrew Roberts's splendid "History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900."

Roberts points out almost all the advances of freedom in the 20th century have been made by the English-speaking peoples -- Americans especially, but British, as well, and also (here his account will be unfamiliar to most American readers) Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders. And he recalls what held and holds them together by quoting a speech Winston Churchill gave in 1943 at Harvard: "Law, language, literature -- these are considerable factors. Common conceptions of what is right and decent, a marked regard for fair play, especially to the weak and poor, a stern sentiment of impartial justice and above all a love of personal freedom ... these are the common conceptions on both sides of the ocean among the English-speaking peoples."

Churchill recorded these things in his four-volume history of the English-speaking peoples up to 1900: the development of the common law, guarantees of freedom, representative government, independent courts.

More recently, Adam Hochschild, in his excellent "Breaking the Chains," tells the story of the extraordinary English men and women, motivated by deep religious belief, who successfully persuaded Britain to abolish the slave trade and then slavery itself. Their example was followed in time, and after a bloody struggle, by likeminded Americans. The default assumption portrays American slavery as uniquely evil (which it wasn't) and ignores the fact the first campaign to abolish slavery was worded in English.

The default assumption gets this almost precisely upside down. Yes, there are faults in our past. But Americans and the English-speaking peoples have been far more often the lifters of oppression than the oppressors.

"There is something profoundly wrong when opposition to the war in Iraq seems to inspire greater passion than opposition to Islamist extremism," Sen. Joseph Lieberman said in a speech last week. What is profoundly wrong is that too many of us are operating off the default assumption and have lost sight of who our real enemies are.

Campus organization smeared for opposing illegal immigration, same-sex marriage

Posted: March 18, 2007 (Excerpt)

"One of America's oldest and most mainstream conservative organizations – whose membership has included Ronald Reagan and John Wayne – has been designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for opposing illegal immigration, same-sex marriage and affirmative action.

Young Americans for Freedom at Michigan State University will appear on the list in April along with groups tied to racist skinheads, Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
The left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center says its purpose is to combat racism and promote civil rights.

Kyle Bristow, chairman of MSU-YAF, argues his group simply "supports the sanctity of marriage, the unborn, and opposes illegal immigration and race-preferences."
"Our values are not extreme and the SPLC has gone too far by listing us as a 'hate-group,'" he said."

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

More on the Accused Child Pornographer, Former ACLU Official

Charles Rust-Tierney, former top official with the ACLU, may possibly be found innocent of the heinous crime of child pornography, but the expressions of neighbors and friends, given the evidence, also shows something unsettling about America today. We are so afraid to make judgments about how sick people live their lives, it is no wonder that our celebrities are the likes of Britney Spears. We are so ready to excuse almost any behavior, that our neighborhoods are full of registered (and also unknown sexual predators). You might want to try this: go to or to any one of several similar sites, and see how many sex offenders live right around the corner from you.

Charles Rust-Tierney is accused of being heavily involved in child pornography while he was using his ACLU credentials to try to get libraries to make pornography available on library computers. Just as I am writing this, news is coming over the television about the murder of another young child by a child molester in Georgia; the perversion of child pornography is a symptom of a child molester in fact or in gestation.

Conflicting Views of Alleged 'Double Life'
Friends Urge Release on Bond of Va. Man Held in Child Pornography Case
By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Friday, March 9, 2007;

Prosecutors say Charles Rust-Tierney, a former president of the Virginia ACLU, was leading a "double life,'' coaching Little League baseball by day and using a computer in his 10-year-old son's bedroom to view child pornography at night.

Yet more than two dozen people -- including numerous fellow lawyers and his former wife -- packed a courtroom in U.S. District Court in Alexandria last week to testify that Rust-Tierney should be released from jail. And yesterday, his attorneys filed letters of support with the court from more than 30 people, including parents of children Rust-Tierney has coached.

"Chuck is the kindest, most gentle human being you could imagine,'' one supporter, Alexandria lawyer Phil Hirschkop, said in an interview. "I have no problem with him being with my children or grandchildren, whatever he's charged with.''

U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa C. Buchanan was not swayed, saying the images found on Rust-Tierney's computer were "the most perverted and nauseating and sickening type of child pornography" she has seen in 10 years on the bench. Defense attorneys Peter D. Greenspun and Jonathan Shapiro appealed her detention order and will try again today to win their client's release on bond.

Emotions are running high over the case of the youth sports coach and former president of Arlington Little League. Rust-Tierney, 51, who is a public defender in the District, is charged with receipt and possession of child pornography. Prosecutors say he downloaded images that included the sexual torture of children, set to a song by the band Nine Inch Nails.

The case has attracted national attention, with some critics and bloggers accusing the media of downplaying the story because of Rust-Tierney's ACLU connection. He was president of the board of directors of the ACLU's Virginia affiliate from 1993 to 2005. A source close to the ACLU, who declined to be identified because of the case's sensitivity, said Rust-Tierney helped set policy and decide which lawsuits to bring but was not involved in running the organization. He resigned from the ACLU's board the day he was arrested.
Nine years ago, Rust-Tierney addressed the Loudoun County library board in support of an ACLU lawsuit challenging the use of filters on computers at the public library to prevent adults from viewing sexually explicit material on the Internet. A federal judge overturned the policy, ruling that it violated constitutional rights of free speech.

"Recognizing that individuals will continue to behave responsibly and appropriately while in the library, the default should be maximum, unrestricted access to the valuable resources of the Internet," Rust-Tierney said in his brief remarks.
Since his arrest, Arlington police have been contacting parents with children coached by Rust-Tierney in the past year to look for any "inappropriate contact,'' said John Lisle, a police spokesman. No improprieties have been found, he said.

Ellen Witherow, a spokeswoman for Arlington Little League, said that the organization is "highly concerned" about Rust-Tierney's arrest and that he had passed a background check. She said Rust-Tierney ended his involvement with the league last year.

Law enforcement officials said Rust-Tierney had coached baseball, soccer and football since about 2003, usually his son's teams.
After graduating from George Washington University Law School, Rust-Tierney worked at an Alexandria civil rights law firm before joining the D.C. Public Defender Service in 1990. Since then, he has worked exclusively with mentally ill clients.
Peter Krauthamer, the office's deputy director, said that he "believes in the presumption of innocence" and that Rust-Tierney will be allowed to resume work if he is released but will be downgraded to paralegal status. If he remains in jail, he will be suspended without pay.

The supporters who attended the recent bond hearing included Rust-Tierney's next-door neighbor. "To us, he was just our good neighbor Chuck," Mike Brandt, whose wife went to court, said in an interview.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward McAndrew told the judge that Rust-Tierney "has been leading a double life. He's deceived a lot of people, including the people who are closest to him in his life.''

Rust-Tierney's former wife, Diann, testified that she was surprised by the allegations and that he is an "excellent parent" to the couple's 10- and 18-year-old sons. Asked by prosecutors whether she has reservations about trusting him with the children, she said, "Absolutely not."

If Rust-Tierney is innocent, I hope he has a fair trial and is exonerated. Given the state of justice in this country involving high-profile cases, that would be a small miracle.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Political Correctness is About Preserving Myths

Political Correctness is really about myths that would shatter if honest discussion were allowed. This piece by John Hawkins is a good start.

Shattering 3 Myths About Liberals
By John Hawkins,
Friday, March 9, 2007

1) Conservatives are more racist than liberals. Although you will find racists on the left and the right, the left is much more racist on the whole. That's why we still have to create majority black districts in order to get significant numbers of black Americans elected to Congress -- because even though blacks vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party, a large percentage of white liberals won't return the favor and vote for black candidates running on the Democratic ticket. According to a study at Yale, "(W)hite Republicans nationally are 25 percentage points more likely on average to vote for the Democratic senatorial candidate when the GOP hopeful is black...In House races, white Democrats are 38 percentage points less likely to vote Democratic if their candidate is black." That 25% of Republicans has nothing to be proud of, but as you can see, the Democrats are far worse.

Meanwhile, another study from a professor at Stanford showed that Democrats were prejudiced about whom they chose to donate money to after Katrina,"But for Democrats, race mattered -- and in a disturbing way. Overall, Democrats were willing to give whites about $1,500 more than they chose to give to a black or other minority....(While Republican) responses to the assistance questions are relatively invariant across the different media conditions. Independents and Democrats, on the other hand, are more likely to be affected by racial cues."

No big surprise there. Republicans were formed as an anti-slavery party and they believe in a colorblind society, while Democrats supported slavery and were the ones turning water hoses and dogs on black protestors in the sixties. Remember George Wallace? Democrat. Bull Connor? Democrat. But, what about the revolutionary Civil Rights Act of 1964? 82% of Republicans in the Senate voted for it while only 64% of Democrats did. Even today, the driving force behind policies like Affirmative Action is the liberal belief that American blacks are too inferior to make it in America without help from the left. That's why it's too bad so many black Americans have bought into the liberal propaganda about conservatives hating black people. Neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on bigots, but far more of them are on the left than the right.

2) Liberals are more compassionate than conservatives. Just as robbing Peter to pay Paul isn't compassion, taking tax dollars from one person and giving that money to another isn't compassion either. Giving your own time and your own money to help other people? That's real compassion, and liberals just don't measure up to conservatives in that area.

It turns out that this idea that liberals give more…is a myth. Of the top 25 states where people give an above average percent of their income, 24 were red states in the last presidential election.

Arthur Brooks, the author of "Who Really Cares," says that "when you look at the data, it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more." He adds, "And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money."
And he says the differences in giving goes beyond money, pointing out that conservatives are 18 percent more likely to donate blood.

3) Liberalism is the ideology of science. It has been said that if we ever have fascism here in America, it will be called anti-fascism. Similarly, it's liberals who politicize science to fit their ideological goals and then declare that their opponents are the ones who have rejected reason. Let's take a look at the two most prominent examples.

The first is stem cell research. The truth is that adult stem cells are far more promising than embryonic stem cells as a potential cure for disease. While adult stem cells have already been used to cure a significant number of diseases, embryonic stem cells haven't even made it to their first human trial yet. That's why there is such a push to acquire taxpayer funds -- because private companies don't think embryonic stem cells are worth the investment.

But, because the left can dupe desperate people like Michael J. Fox into accusing conservatives of withholding a cure from them for religious reasons, they're willing to keep pushing embryonic stem cells for the sake of politics, even though taxpayer money would be much better spent on adult stem cell research. Sure, there are conservatives who have objections to embryonic stem cells on religious grounds, but isn't the fact that embryonic stem cells don't merit taxpayer funding in the first place a much bigger issue?

Then, of course, there's global warming. The earth has always been warming and cooling and because of our limited understanding of the climate, we don't fully understand why. Moreover, our best scientists can't accurately forecast what the weather is going to be like a few months from now, or for that matter, next Friday, yet we have global warming alarmists making wild, absolutely unprovable predictions about what the temperature of the planet will be like in fifty to a hundred years.

Additionally, they claim to be certain that mankind is responsible for the one degree temperature increase we've seen over the last century, even though from roughly 1940 to 1975, as man was pumping larger and larger amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, the planet was cooling, not warming. As if all that wasn't enough, honest environmentalists will admit that even if man is responsible for global warming, there is no realistic way, with our current technology, to cut our greenhouse gasses enough to make a difference. Let me also add that there is a scientific theory that adequately explains the small increase in temperature we've had over the last century much better than anything Al Gore has ever come up with: that being, the sun, not man is primarily responsible (see here and here for more details).

When people point out all the flaws in the liberal "reasoning" about global warming, the response is almost inevitably an attempt to cut off debate. Scientists who fail to toe the liberal line have their reputations smeared and are compared to Holocaust Deniers.

Moreover, global warming alarmists continually try to claim that there should be no more discussion of whether man causes global warming because "consensus" on the issue has been reached in the scientific community. This is despite the fact that there are more than 17,100 scientists who say that,
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

Why is the left so hellbent on proving that mankind is responsible for global warming, if the facts don’t seem to point in that direction? Because it's a great way for them to attack big business, particularly oil and a wonderful excuse to raise taxes. Additionally, because America has the world's biggest economy, we'd be heavily damaged by ridiculous treaties like Kyoto and the opportunity to punish America for being so successful is a big motivator for the left. So, as you see, it is liberals, not conservatives, who are disregarding science in order to further their political concerns.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why Did Republicans Lose? Because We Were Betrayed

Here in Florida we have the spectacle of a new Republican Congressman named Vern Buchanon (from Katherine Harris’ old district) voting with the Democrats on almost every vote taken in the new Congress. This is a perfect example of the kind of thinking that has disgusted and turned off so many grassroots Republicans – Republicans who zipped up their purses and stayed home last November. No sooner do elected Republicans get to Congress by promising to uphold Republican causes and traditional values, but they fall prey to the Washington disease where voting on the basis of feeling good and pandering to the press and to the thousands of entrenched liberals takes over.

My regular readers know that I have been a strong supporter of President Bush on most issues, but on the one issue that is most important to me – illegal immigration, I think he is giving us a con job. I believe that the recent uptick in enforcement efforts along our borders and with employers is a smoke screen to get us to let down our guard when an amnesty program is put forth by Democrats and by RINO Republicans.

I am perfectly willing to support a guest worker program and a reasonable plan for earned citizenship, but I want a fence and illegal immigration stopped cold before I will even consider these programs. I was fooled before, in 1986, by an amnesty that had disastrous effects. I won’t be fooled again – particularly since stopping illegal immigration is vital to preventing the entry of terrorists wanting to kill us.

How do I know that President Bush is engaging in a con job? Because he has made his feeling on this issue clear over and over again. Because in Mexico this week he referred to illegal immigration as “migration”. Here is the definition of that word: Migration - geographical movements of individuals or groups for the purpose of permanently resettling (Columbia University Encyclopedia).

I am waiting for a candidate other than Tom Tancredo to lead the charge against the impending betrayal of American citizens that Congress is contemplating on the issue of illegal immigration. I will support that candidate for the presidency. I'll say one thing; it won't be Senator McCain.

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Cool the Hype Says NY Times

From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype
March 13, 2007

Hollywood has a thing for Al Gore and his three-alarm film on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won an Academy Award for best documentary. So do many environmentalists, who praise him as a visionary, and many scientists, who laud him for raising public awareness of climate change.

But part of his scientific audience is uneasy. In talks, articles and blog entries that have appeared since his film and accompanying book came out last year, these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore’s central points are exaggerated and erroneous. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism.

“I don’t want to pick on Al Gore,” Don J. Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, told hundreds of experts at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. “But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data.”

Mr. Gore, in an e-mail exchange about the critics, said his work made “the most important and salient points” about climate change, if not “some nuances and distinctions” scientists might want. “The degree of scientific consensus on global warming has never been stronger,” he said, adding, “I am trying to communicate the essence of it in the lay language that I understand.”

Although Mr. Gore is not a scientist, he does rely heavily on the authority of science in “An Inconvenient Truth,” which is why scientists are sensitive to its details and claims.

Criticisms of Mr. Gore have come not only from conservative groups and prominent skeptics of catastrophic warming, but also from rank-and-file scientists like Dr. Easterbook, who told his peers that he had no political ax to grind. A few see natural variation as more central to global warming than heat-trapping gases. Many appear to occupy a middle ground in the climate debate, seeing human activity as a serious threat but challenging what they call the extremism of both skeptics and zealots.

Kevin Vranes, a climatologist at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, said he sensed a growing backlash against exaggeration. While praising Mr. Gore for “getting the message out,” Dr. Vranes questioned whether his presentations were “overselling our certainty about knowing the future.”

Typically, the concern is not over the existence of climate change, or the idea that the human production of heat-trapping gases is partly or largely to blame for the globe’s recent warming. The question is whether Mr. Gore has gone beyond the scientific evidence.

“He’s a very polarizing figure in the science community,” said Roger A. Pielke Jr., an environmental scientist who is a colleague of Dr. Vranes at the University of Colorado center. “Very quickly, these discussions turn from the issue to the person, and become a referendum on Mr. Gore.”

“An Inconvenient Truth,” directed by Davis Guggenheim, was released last May and took in more than $46 million, making it one of the top-grossing documentaries ever. The companion book by Mr. Gore quickly became a best seller, reaching No. 1 on the New York Times list.

Mr. Gore depicted a future in which temperatures soar, ice sheets melt, seas rise, hurricanes batter the coasts and people die en masse. “Unless we act boldly,” he wrote, “our world will undergo a string of terrible catastrophes.”

He clearly has supporters among leading scientists, who commend his popularizations and call his science basically sound. In December, he spoke in San Francisco to the American Geophysical Union and got a reception fit for a rock star from thousands of attendees.

“He has credibility in this community,” said Tim Killeen, the group’s president and director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a top group studying climate change. “There’s no question he’s read a lot and is able to respond in a very effective way.”

Some backers concede minor inaccuracies but see them as reasonable for a politician. James E. Hansen, an environmental scientist, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a top adviser to Mr. Gore, said, “Al does an exceptionally good job of seeing the forest for the trees,” adding that Mr. Gore often did so “better than scientists.”

Still, Dr. Hansen said, the former vice president’s work may hold “imperfections” and “technical flaws.” He pointed to hurricanes, an icon for Mr. Gore, who highlights the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and cites research suggesting that global warming will cause both storm frequency and deadliness to rise. Yet this past Atlantic season produced fewer hurricanes than forecasters predicted (five versus nine), and none that hit the United States.

“We need to be more careful in describing the hurricane story than he is,” Dr. Hansen said of Mr. Gore. “On the other hand,” Dr. Hansen said, “he has the bottom line right: most storms, at least those driven by the latent heat of vaporization, will tend to be stronger, or have the potential to be stronger, in a warmer climate.”
In his e-mail message, Mr. Gore defended his work as fundamentally accurate. “Of course,” he said, “there will always be questions around the edges of the science, and we have to rely upon the scientific community to continue to ask and to challenge and to answer those questions.”

He said “not every single adviser” agreed with him on every point, “but we do agree on the fundamentals” — that warming is real and caused by humans.
Mr. Gore added that he perceived no general backlash among scientists against his work. “I have received a great deal of positive feedback,” he said. “I have also received comments about items that should be changed, and I have updated the book and slideshow to reflect these comments.” He gave no specifics on which points he had revised.

He said that after 30 years of trying to communicate the dangers of global warming, “I think that I’m finally getting a little better at it.”
While reviewers tended to praise the book and movie, vocal skeptics of global warming protested almost immediately. Richard S. Lindzen, a climatologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, who has long expressed skepticism about dire climate predictions, accused Mr. Gore in The Wall Street Journal of “shrill alarmism.”

Some of Mr. Gore’s centrist detractors point to a report last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body that studies global warming. The panel went further than ever before in saying that humans were the main cause of the globe’s warming since 1950, part of Mr. Gore’s message that few scientists dispute. But it also portrayed climate change as a slow-motion process.
It estimated that the world’s seas in this century would rise a maximum of 23 inches — down from earlier estimates. Mr. Gore, citing no particular time frame, envisions rises of up to 20 feet and depicts parts of New York, Florida and other heavily populated areas as sinking beneath the waves, implying, at least visually, that inundation is imminent.

Bjorn Lomborg, a statistician and political scientist in Denmark long skeptical of catastrophic global warming, said in a syndicated article that the panel, unlike Mr. Gore, had refrained from scaremongering. “Climate change is a real and serious problem” that calls for careful analysis and sound policy, Dr. Lomborg said. “The cacophony of screaming,” he added, “does not help.”

So too, a report last June by the National Academies seemed to contradict Mr. Gore’s portrayal of recent temperatures as the highest in the past millennium. Instead, the report said, current highs appeared unrivaled since only 1600, the tail end of a temperature rise known as the medieval warm period.

Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, said on a blog that Mr. Gore’s film did “indeed do a pretty good job of presenting the most dire scenarios.” But the June report, he added, shows “that all we really know is that we are warmer now than we were during the last 400 years.”

Other critics have zeroed in on Mr. Gore’s claim that the energy industry ran a “disinformation campaign” that produced false discord on global warming. The truth, he said, was that virtually all unbiased scientists agreed that humans were the main culprits. But Benny J. Peiser, a social anthropologist in Britain who runs the Cambridge-Conference Network, or CCNet, an Internet newsletter on climate change and natural disasters, challenged the claim of scientific consensus with examples of pointed disagreement.

“Hardly a week goes by,” Dr. Peiser said, “without a new research paper that questions part or even some basics of climate change theory,” including some reports that offer alternatives to human activity for global warming.
Geologists have documented age upon age of climate swings, and some charge Mr. Gore with ignoring such rhythms.

“Nowhere does Mr. Gore tell his audience that all of the phenomena that he describes fall within the natural range of environmental change on our planet,” Robert M. Carter, a marine geologist at James Cook University in Australia, said in a September blog. “Nor does he present any evidence that climate during the 20th century departed discernibly from its historical pattern of constant change.”
In October, Dr. Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore’s claim that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this” threatened change.
Nonsense, Dr. Easterbrook told the crowded session. He flashed a slide that showed temperature trends for the past 15,000 years. It highlighted 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, he said, were up to “20 times greater than the warming in the past century.”

Getting personal, he mocked Mr. Gore’s assertion that scientists agreed on global warming except those industry had corrupted. “I’ve never been paid a nickel by an oil company,” Dr. Easterbrook told the group. “And I’m not a Republican.”
Biologists, too, have gotten into the act. In January, Paul Reiter, an active skeptic of global warming’s effects and director of the insects and infectious diseases unit of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, faulted Mr. Gore for his portrayal of global warming as spreading malaria.

“For 12 years, my colleagues and I have protested against the unsubstantiated claims,” Dr. Reiter wrote in The International Herald Tribune. “We have done the studies and challenged the alarmists, but they continue to ignore the facts.”
Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton who advised Mr. Gore on the book and movie, said that reasonable scientists disagreed on the malaria issue and other points that the critics had raised. In general, he said, Mr. Gore had distinguished himself for integrity.
“On balance, he did quite well — a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject,” Dr. Oppenheimer said. “For that, he deserves a lot of credit. If you rake him over the coals, you’re going to find people who disagree. But in terms of the big picture, he got it right.”

A link to the 76 minute video that effectively refutes Mr. Gore's movie appears at the right side of my page.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No Blood for Oil

Of all of the utterly foolish positions taken by some people (banning DDT, banning nuclear power, banning domestic oil drilling, stopping the Tellico Dam to save the snail darter, etc.), perhaps the most foolish is exemplified by the cry, “no blood for oil”.

The economy of the United States and of the entire developed and developing world depends entirely on a steady and growing supply of reasonably-priced oil. Without oil, we would fall into a depression that would be even worse than the Great Depression of the 1930’s, and many of us would lose our jobs and our homes. We got a taste of what it would be like to lose that supply during the Arab oil embargo in 1973, and anyone who lived through that experience will never forget it.

The acquisition of a nuclear weapon by Saddam Hussein (the NY Times recently said he was one year away), which all western intelligence agencies believed was reasonably close at hand, would have allowed him to blackmail and to control all the reserves of the Middle East. By itself, Iraq’s oil reserves are estimated at 112 billion barrels, second only to those of Saudi Arabia. He had certainly proved his willingness use WMD against his own people and against Iran, he had recently invaded two of his neighbors and he was a prime supporter of Islamic terrorism.

President Bush and 49 other world leaders were able to connect the dots. Can you?

A battle to take over and steal Iraq’s oil fields would have been a far simpler matter than regime change leading to a democratic government – given the limited areas in Iraq where the oil fields are located.

fighting words - Blood and Oil
Three cheers for Iraq's new hydrocarbon law
By Christopher Hitchens, Slate
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007, at 12:28 PM ET

The recent hydrocarbon law, approved after much wrangling by Iraq's council of ministers, deserves a great deal more praise than it has been receiving. For one thing, it abolishes the economic rationale for dictatorship in Iraq. For another, it was arrived at by a process of parley and bargain that, while still in its infancy, demonstrates the possibility of a cooperative future. For still another, it shames the oil policy of Iraq's neighbors and reinforces the idea that a democracy in Baghdad could still teach a few regional lessons.

To illustrate my point by contrast: Can you easily imagine the Saudi government allocating oil revenues so as to give a fair share to the ground-down and despised Shiite workers who toil, for the most part, in the oil fields of the western region of the country? Or picture the Shiite dictatorship in Iran giving a fair shake to the Arab-speaking area of Khuzestan, let alone to the 10 percent of Iranians who are both Sunni and Kurdish? To ask these questions is to answer them. Control over the production and distribution of oil is the decisive factor in defining who rules whom in the Middle East.

The Saddam Hussein dictatorship, with its record of mass murder against Shiites and Kurds, can be explained partly by a Baathist ideology that subordinated everything to the leader and to the state. But—without wishing to be overly Marxist on the point—I would argue that it was also determined by an economic imperative. The Sunni minority, and especially the Tikriti minority of that minority, lived in areas of Iraq where oil was relatively scarce. In order for it to exert control over the country's chief national resource, it had by definition to act as an almost colonial power in the Kurdish and Shiite provinces, with results that are well-known. (It also had to invade and annex Kuwait to make up the huge self-inflicted deficit created by its invasion of Iranian Khuzestan.)

But there is, in fact, enough and more than enough oil for everybody in Iraq. And important new fields are being prospected all the time, most notably and recently in the Anbar province, where al-Qaida forces have been making their strongest challenge. Here, as across much of the rest of the country, the visitor stands amazed at the sheer abject poverty and misery of people who are living in what is potentially one of the richest countries on earth. Iraq has the third-largest oil reserves of any nation, and that's if you take the lowest estimate of its reserves.

Its oil is of purer quality, and nearer to the surface, than that of many of its rivals. A dusty and hopeless city like today's Basra could be, as one minister told me excitedly last December in Baghdad, "as rich as Kuwait in five years." The new law proposes a federalized control over oil and gas, with a distribution of revenue that would be in proportion to the population of each province. To put it another way: The very element that greased the weaponry of dictatorship and aggression could, with a certain amount of nurturing, become the economic basis of a federal democracy. I must say that it sounds worth trying.

On the left and in the anti-war camp, the very mention of the word "oil" is usually considered profane: a Brechtian clue to the secret designs of neoconservatives. So, I was interested to see Christian Parenti, a staunch foe of the Bush policy in Iraq, saying in the March 19 Nation that "on key questions of foreign investment and regional decentralization versus centralized control, the law is vague but not all bad." What have Iraqis got to lose here? It's not as if a withdrawal of foreign investment would leave the oil as a trusteeship for the people. Remember that Iraq under Saddam had already seen the most extreme form of "privatization," with the whole industry a private fiefdom of a parasitic elite. Remember that no real investment was made in the oil fields for almost 20 years, so that when experts visited the refineries after 2003, they could not (in the words of one I spoke to) "find anywhere even to put a Band-Aid." Remember that the Baathists used the "oil for food" program to sow corruption throughout the United Nations. Remember that Saddam Hussein set fire to the Kuwaiti fields and also ordered the taps opened so that crude oil would flow straight into the seawater of the Gulf, destroying the marine habitat. After all that, even Halliburton must come as a blessed relief.

Of course, all this is still heavily overshadowed by the daily menace of vicious jihadist sabotage, of corruption in a sectarian oil ministry, and of the generally parlous state of the infrastructure. And the deal has yet to be approved by the Iraqi parliament—a body that has some difficulty in meeting. Nonetheless, a principle is being established that does great credit to the Iraqis who signed it and to the coalition forces that made it possible. If it were not for the general American feeling that oil is a substance too dirty even to be mentioned in polite society, this consideration might even influence the current debate about an "exit strategy." One would like to know, of those who advocate leaving Iraq, whether they are happy to abandon the control of its fabulous wealth to be parceled out between the highest or most ruthless bidders—say, al-Qaida in Anbar, the Turks in the north, and the fans of Ahmadinejad in the south? Or might it be better to have even an imperfect federal democracy that could be based not just on ideals but on an actual material footing? A country that might, over time, undercut the power currently exerted by Saudi Arabia and Iran? I only ask. And it's no good chanting "no blood for oil" at me, because oil is the lifeblood here, and everybody knows it and always has.

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

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Monday, March 12, 2007

One Loss, One Win for the America We Remember

The ACLU supported the attempt by the City of Oakland to extend rights to homosexual groups that it refused to extend to a pro-family group – and was upheld by the infamous and zany 9th District Court:

World Net Daily

” A ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that municipalemployers have the right to censor the words “natural family,” “marriage” and “family values” because that is hate speech and could scare workers….

However, as the Pro-Family Law Center noted, the court “completely failed to address the concerns of the appellants with respect to the fact that the City of Oakland’s Gay-Straight Employees Alliance was openly allowed to attack the Bible in widespread city e-mails, to deride Christian values as antiquated, and to refer to Bible-believing Christians as hateful.

When the plaintiffs attempted to refute this blatant attack on people of faith, they were threatened with immediate termination by the City of Oakland. The Ninth Circuit did not feel that the threat of immediate termination had any effect on free speech.”

We have come to expect these kinds of rulings by the 9th District; what we have not come to expect is this ruling in D.C. that overturned the city of Washington’s longtime ban on guns. Now that law-abiding citizens in D.C. will be able to exercise their rights, we expect the murder rate to drop precipitously – and perhaps the crime rate will drop to the low levels where ‘right to carry’ laws have been enacted.

BREAKING NEWS — Divided three-judge D.C. Circuit panel holds that the District of Columbia’s gun control laws violate individuals’ Second Amendment rights: You can access today’s lengthy D.C. Circuit ruling at this link.

According to the majority opinion, “[T]he phrase ‘the right of the people,’ when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.” The majority opinion sums up its holding on this point as follows:

To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.

The majority opinion also rejects the argument that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a State. And the majority opinion concludes, “Section 7-2507.02, like the bar on carrying a pistol within the home, amounts to a complete prohibition on the lawful use of handguns for self-defense. As such, we hold it unconstitutional.”

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ted Koppel Does Understand the Threat to America

The western world has had to deal with violent jihad by Muslims for more than a thousand years. After the defeats of Muslim armies in Spain centuries earlier, and of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, the west largely relaxed regarding that particular threat. The combination of billions of petrodollars with the acquisition and near acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons) together with the atrocity of September 11 completely changed the equation and the rules.

It is a fact of life that grownups have to deal with the potential of these threats – and also deal with opposition from those who do not understand the danger or who place political advantage above the fight for survival of western and American culture. How silly it is to observe Congressional Democrats arguing about how to get the troops out in six months or a year.

Grownups understand that the genie can not be placed back into the bottle; grownups understand that the primitive and barbaric culture of Muslim societies has to be brought into the 21st century, and what took a thousand years to do will probably take at least a hundred years to undo. The West will never live in peace, secure from threats of mass murder, until democracy, human rights and modernization spreads through the Middle East and beyond.

We can whine all we want, but protecting the oil fields and the oil routes and preventing the use of WMD’s by Islamic madmen has fallen on America’s shoulders because we can, and no one else can.

Excerpted comments made by Ted Koppel to Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, 3/11/07.
(comments he could not possibly have made while on ABC’s “Nightline”)

Koppel: “I made a little note here of something that Ambassador Khalilzad said to you a moment ago. He said, “The region will not be stable until Iraq is stabilized.” It’s the one thing nobody talks about. Everyone is concerned about the United States being in the middle of a civil war inside Iraq. But they forget about the fact that if U.S. troops were to pull out of Iraq, that civil war could become a regional war between Sunnis and Shia. And the region, just in case anyone has forgotten, is the Persian Gulf, where we get most of our oil, and, I’ve talked about this before, natural gas. So, the idea of pulling out of there and letting the region, letting the national civil war expand into a regional civil war, something the United States cannot allow to happen.” …

Russert: “Ted Koppel, you are tonight airing on the Discover Channel a special called “Our Children’s Children’s War,” the “long war” as you call it repeatedly, that this war on terror is much more than just Iraq, and it’s going to go on for a long time.”

Koppel: “It could go on, I mean, Gen. Abizaid with whom I spoke talked into terms of generations. And, if you think about two things, that’s not so hard to imagine. Number one, the Cold War after all, lasted 50 years. Uh, we didn’t know it when we began it. We didn’t know it, we didn’t know how long it was going to be when we were in the middle of it. But, it lasted half a century.

If you look back at the elements of the war against terrorism, that war was going on, and has been going on for the past 24 years. We just didn’t connect the dots. 24 years ago, the precursors of Hezbollah blew up the U.S. marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. That was 1983, 241 Americans killed. In the interim between then and now you had two attacks on the World Trade Center, you had the blowing up of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, you had the attempt to blow up the U.S.S. Cole, you had the bombing of the two U.S. embassies in East Africa. This war’s already been going on for 24 years; we were just a little bit slow to recognize it.”…

Koppel: “I see a lot of wishful thinking going on here in Washington right now. I mean when Congress talks about, first of all, setting these these milestones. And, the irony is if the Iraqis successfully meet the milestones, the implication is we stay. If they fail to meet the milestones we leave. That doesn’t make any sense at all. It ought to be the other way around. If they fail, we stay because they need us. If they succeed, we can start to pull out again.

So, I, I have this feeling that on the one hand, the Democrats are making a great deal of hay out of saying we have to get out of Iraq, and indeed we do at some point or another. But the notion that the war will be over when we pull out of Iraq, and even when we pull out of Afghanistan, you heard what Gen. Abizaid had to say, it’s not going to be over. It’s going to be a different war, but the war continues. “


Full transcript available on MSNBC


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