Schedule A for ALL Line #'s

Cynthia McKinney:

My least favorite congressperson of all time is attempting to win back her seat. She will, of course, need money. Almost none of these contributors are from Georgia. Almost all of them are Muslim anti-Israel activists, funding Cynthia because of her attitude toward Jews.

Honestly, Georgia. We don't need her. Really, do any of us even want her? Vote for whoever her opponent is.

Mudville Gazette: More on Moore

From Greyhawk:

Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette sends:

Some folks claim that there's no such thing as bad publicity. If that's true, then there must be exceptions to the rule.
He then follows with links to articles about the use of a veteran's funeral by Michael Moore in his new film. The relatives of the late Major Gregory Stone describe Moore and his work with some colorful adjectives, and one or two unhappy nouns as well.

Greyhawk has some action items for those interested.

Yahoo! News - Kerry fleshes out blueprint for troop withdrawal from Iraq

News Flash: AFP Hears What It Wants To Hear

I'm as critical of Kerry as anyone, but I do at least listen to what the man is saying before I make up my mind about it. Consider this AFP story:

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said he would set three conditions for withdrawing US troops from Iraq if he were elected, and warned that President George W. Bush might cut troop numbers ahead of the November 2 vote.

In an interview with the The Wall Street Journal, Kerry said the conditions were "to measure the level of stability" in Iraq, "to measure the outlook for the stability to hold" and "to measure the ability ... of their security forces" to defend Iraq.

Until each condition is satisfied, Kerry said, "I will provide for the world's need not to have a failed state in Iraq."


Kerry said he had "heard (it) said by many people" that Bush might be preparing to withdraw some troops from Iraq before the election, adding that he was prepared for anything.

"I'd put nothing past them," he added, referring to the White House.

Now, what does this say? It says that:
A) Kerry is pledging not to withdraw US forces until Iraq is stable, the stability is certain, and Iraqi security forces can obviously handle themselves.

B) Until then, Kerry promises not to withdraw forces, in order to "provide for the world's need not to have a failed state in Iraq."

C) Also, he thinks George Bush and the White House staff are a pack of untrustworthy liars.

What the Agence France Presse runs this story under is the headline, "Kerry Fleshes Out Blueprint for Troop Withdrawal From Iraq". He does nothing of the sort. Not only is this not a blueprint for withdrawal, it's a commitment to stay on for as long as it takes. These conditions could keep troops in Iraq for ten years, or two years, or five. This isn't a plan for how we'll withdraw, or even when we will: it's plan for when we won't.
Now that we've listened, we can critique.  The criticism is only this:  We realize that Kerry has a large constituency that, like France, wants to see us cut and run -- George Bush doesn't.  If staying the course is the option of choice, and it is, Bush is the candidate more likely to see it through.  This isn't to say that Kerry won't keep his commitments and campaign promises as well as any politician does.  It's just to say that, as circumstances change, Kerry will find a lot of his supporters agitating for an instant exit.  Bush's supporters won't be.
Oh, all right, a personal criticism too:  A president shouldn't promise to 'provide for the world's needs.'  First of all, it's hopelessly patrician (and they say Bush is arrogant!).  Second, it conflicts with his actual job, which is to protect and defend the Constitution against her enemies. 
Third, the President is an executive, not a provider.  All he does is oversee the expenditures, distributions and executions of the government.  The provision is made by the legislature, using the treasure of the taxpayer.  The President should remember that, and speak as a servant, not as a generous lord.  There is honor enough in service, for the man with eyes to see it.

"Gun Control: The Brady Campaign, White Lies, and Damn Lies" by Howard�Nemerov

Conservative Media Watchdog Day:

Having looked at one conservative media watchdog earlier, I'd like to look at another one. ChronWatch has an article called "Gun Control: The Brady Campaign, White Lies, and Damn Lies." The author writes:

When I began reconsidering my position on gun control, I needed to proceed in a structured manner. Being a medical researcher by profession, I knew how to construct reasonable testing guidelines in order to arrive at a supportable conclusion....

I concluded that the claims of pro-gun-rights organizations were easily and consistently verifiable using neutral or even slightly anti-gun sources. But there was another side to the research, and that was to check the veracity of the claims of gun-control organizations. Were they telling the truth when they promoted the benefits of civilian disarmament? Were their claims based on statistically valid and verifiable sources?

He concludes, at some length, that they are not. I'm not sure I track why his first argument is relevant to the Brady Campaign's claims. However, the remaining arguments appear right on.

Combat, le blog de la r�sistance

A French Blog We Can All Back:

Gustave La Joie, of Samizdata, has started a new blog. It's in French, and bears the unlikely name of "Combat!". We wish him luck.

ABC�s Moran Chides Bush for �Sharply Personal Attacks� on Kerry --7/14/2004-- Media Research Center


Is the Media Research Center playing fair here?

On the July 12 Special Report with Brit Hume, Bret Baier reported how "sixty-six pages of the report fall under the heading 'Iraq's Links to Terrorism'" and in it, Baier related, "multiple, credible sources are cited that Iraq provided al-Qaeda with various kinds of training, combat, bomb-making, along with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear training, backing up public and private statements by former CIA director George Tenet." Baier pointed out: "The details in the report seem to shoot down at least two of former White House counter-terrorism director Richard Clarke's bold claims."
Now that's a bold claim. So I went to look. I started to write a lengthy piece--indeed, I got to about four pages, before I realized that this was a waste. Just go and read it yourself. The CIA appears to have known very little with any certainty after the failed coup, in which the IIS infiltrated and eliminated their in-country assets. Yet there is quite a lot of information suggestive of an Iraq-Qaeda relationship that I haven't seen before. None of it is proof. But proof would not be forthcoming after an intelligence loss such as the failed coup. What there is may not be as strong as MRC suggests. It is, however, much stronger than I've been led to believe by other sources.

Grim's Hall

Anybody Seen This Before?

Here's a photo I haven't seen before:

It's from the 3rd Infantry Division, so I'm told, and was taken at the Baghdad airport. Now, I've seen the mural that I MEF found in Nasariyah, but this isn't it. Anybody else seen it?

UPDATE: That was fast.  People have seen it, and you can buy a print of it online. Apparently it was taken by Steve Metz. You guys rock, by the way. I had an answer to that question in like ten minutes.

Southern Appeal

For the Folks Back Home:

Feddie at Southern Appeal has some thoughts on the Republican primary for the upcoming Senate race. He also has an endorsement, and it isn't "Rock the Boat" Johnny. If you haven't been following the race, it might be worth dropping by to see what the fellow has to say.

spiked-politics | Article | Meet the al-Qaeda archetype

What Makes A Terrorist?

UK magazine Spiked reports on an academic conference on terrorism. Marc Sageman, an expert on terrorism, had studied the lives of 382 people with direct or indirect links to al Qaeda.

His finding is that al Qaeda's members tend to be "well-educated, well-off, cosmopolitan and professional, with good jobs, wives, and no history of mental illness." Only 9.4 percent had a religious education, but 90.4 percent--the rest--had been educated in secular schools. None were uneducated. Nearly half were were professional careerists, including doctors and lawyers.

In this, they are different in form from Palestinian terrorists, Jemaah Islamiyah or Abu Sayyaf. Those organs recruit among the poor and hopeless for domestic insurgency. Al Qaeda is a terrorist group for the upper class. It also has wider goals--not change at home, but remaking the world in its image.

So what, if not poverty and despair, is the cause of the terrorist's desire to destroy the West? Sageman points to this:

They are... 'international people'; they are 'global citizens' who left their homes and travelled, some of them to the West.... 70 percent 'joined the jihad' in a foreign country, and 'many of these joined in a Western country'. They were recruited -- or rather, 'they self-recruited themselves'... after leaving home and travelling abroad....

Sageman believes there must be something in the global experience that plays a role in pushing the subjects who travelled towards the new terror networks. 'It's not just the homesickness. You also need to have some kind of script. These guys are lonely, and then they hear this narrative, from radical mosques and so on, which says: "You guys are unhappy because you are excluded from society and the reason you're excluded from society is because there is a crisis of values. It's because of the corruption of the West, because of greed and decadence, and you have to fight against it."... Sageman talks of the role of radical mosques in providing homesick Muslims with a means for venting their spleen, and sometimes providing them with links to other, perhaps violently minded individuals.

If this analysis is correct, and I think it is, it actually eases some of the problems we face in infiltrating these groups. The dangerous places aren't in alien lands, but in our own cities. It should be easy to arrange for American "Muslim" operations officers to drift into the mosques of London or Paris. Claiming to share the disaffection with the Western decadence, and sharing in fact the sense of being in a foreign land, they would appear to be natural compatriots. The education level favored by our intelligence services is right, too.

That being so, there is no excuse for a continued failure to infiltrate. Bureaucracy is not an adequate reason to fail in the task.

Google Search: france vietnam


Last Bastille Day, we pointed to a news story on French "partnership" with the Communist government of Vietnam. A year on, how's that partnership doing?

France ranks 1st among EU Investors in Vietnam

France, Vietnam to boost infrastructure & education cooperation

France Expects New Dimension in Vietnam Relations

So the French strategy has worked in Vietnam, at least. Lose war, surrender, let US pick up slack, and then conduct "diplomatic relations" behind our back until the profit margin soars. Nice work, lads, nice work.

Belmont Club

Belmont Club:

Another disturbing, but excellent, post from the Belmont Club. It begins:

The International Herald Tribune describes what happened to a woman on a commuter train north of Paris.
The woman was mistakenly identified as a Jew by six men of North African and African origin, who surrounded the victim in what at first appeared to be an attempt to steal her stroller ... One of them said, 'She's a rich kid.' And then he added, 'There are only Jews in the 16th,'" the police spokesman said. "Nothing in the name of the young woman or where she lives has any Jewish character," the spokesman added. The attackers cut the victim's clothing, slightly wounding her in the process, and cut off a lock of her hair, "as a souvenir," one of the attackers is reported to have said. After slashing the stroller, the six attackers overturned it. The baby fell to the ground and suffered a mild bruise, the police said. The men stole a credit card and E200 from the woman, before getting off the train after it pulled into Sarcelles, which is about 17.4 kilometers, or 11 miles, from Paris.
The incident is also reported in the New York Times with one omission. Here's the omission.
About 20 people saw what happened, but none came to the aid of the victim, the police said, adding that only two passengers approached afterward.
Wretchard points out several non-violent alternatives to simply not aiding the victim. They may be of interest for those of you disinclined to violence yourselves. (Those of you who are not have already thought this through.) As he points out, the first thing is to decide never to let yourself be cowed by the cruel. After that, do what you can.

L'actualit� internationale sur

No Joy in Paris:

In Le Figaro today, there is an article on Neoconservatives. It begins:

La derniere victoire des neoconservateurs est inscrite en toutes lettres dans la plate-forme electorale du candidat... democrate.
Yeah, you read it right--John Kerry, Neoconservative. The piece goes on at some length on the degree to which the French eye sees no difference between Bush and the Democrats on the questions of the day. It ends on a despondant note:
Mais les neoconservateurs n'ont pas desarme.... du Nouvelle Siecle americain... reconnait que la theorie de l'action preventive semble interdite a tout president "dans le futur previsible".
That is: "But [in spite of the fact that we think they've been wrong on every single question for thirty years, as we just finished explaining!] the neoconservatives have not disarmed. The Project for the New American Century reckons that the theory of pre-emptive action will inform any president 'for the forseeable future.'"

Now, if J.F. Kerry looks like a neoconservative to you, it may be that you're standing on ground far enough away that distances are compressed in your sight. It does call into question, however, the Kerry/Edwards belief that they will be able to improve French cooperation with American ventures. Le Figaro is a conservative French newspaper, and conservatives are thin on the ground in France. Even by their lights, there's no difference between Bush and Kerry on any important question of policy. The rest of the French are farther left. Measuring their distance from ours on any question can only be done using the techniques of astronomy--called, appropriately enough, "Red Shift."

Religion News Blog : It's an uneasy time for Britain and its rising Muslim population

"Stay Muslim: Don't Vote"

Both al Mujahiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir, two Islamist organizations, have been running persuasion campaigns to convince Muslims not to vote. Voting is unIslamic, we are told by these organs, because it puts the will of man ahead of the will of Allah in formulating laws. You can read about one of these campaigns here.

Is it working? Perhaps:

The majority of the 33 prisoners convicted of involvement in the 12 October 2002 Bali bombings decided to boycott Indonesia's presidential elections, with bombing mastermind Imam Samudra declaring the elections 'haram' or forbidden under Islamic law.

The 33 men face sentences ranging from a matter of months to death by firing squad for their role in perpetrating the bombings on Bali's main tourist thoroughfare that left over 200 people, mainly foreigners, dead.

The inmates' decision not to cast their ballots in presidential elections on Monday (1/7/04) was their democratic right, said Tulus Widjajanto, chief warden of the Kerobokan Jail in Kuta, Bali.

"They said they have the right not to vote. OK, we can't force them," he added.

Widjajanto said 30 of the 33 inmates were actually registered to vote, reported the detikcom news website.
Well, the Bali bombers are what statisticians call a "self selecting" group. Their opinions aren't apt to be representative of Muslims as a whole. And yet, the sides are shaping up on this question.

Drunk Vikings In Mosques:

An odd story out of Azerbaijan: the Norwegian ambassador apparently toddled off to the mosque while drunk, and called the entire faith of Islam a pack of cowards. That, at least, is the charge leveled against him by certain Muslim clerics; the newspapers note that he has been guilty, at least, of letting opposition authorities take refuge in his embassy. That may be the real offense. | 07/11/2004 | Edwards bad news for Latin America

Miami Herald: Edwards Bad for Latin America

The Miami Herald has an article today on Edwards' record as a protectionist. Apparently Edwards has fought against NAFTA, the Chilean free trade agreement, the Caribbean trade agreement, the Singapore agreement, and against fast-track authority for similar such agreements. That last one can be excused on partisan grounds--it's usual for the opposition party to oppose letting the President bypass them on anything--but the others do make for a consistent record.

What is Edwards' position on the free trade area Bush has proposed for the Middle East? Would he rather protect American jobs, or help to undercut terrorism by helping develop the economies of these societies? It's not an easy question, and I think there can be honorable answers on both sides. Indeed, I'm not sure where I fall myself. It is a question that ought to be answered. We know where Bush stands: how about his opponents?