June 2008 Archives

No, that's not a headline from the New York Times.

The Times of London's Washington correspondent Gerard Baker surveyed the many, many reports from the field and arrived at this conclusion, a conclusion to which its American counterpart is oblivious or in studious denial. Baker winds up his article this way:

We are prevailing in this struggle. We know it. And everywhere: in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and among Muslims around the world, the enemy knows it too.

From The Times of London

June 27, 2008

Cheer up. We're winning this War on Terror
Al-Qaeda and the Taleban are in retreat, the surge has worked in Iraq and Islamism is discredited. Not a bad haul
Gerard Baker

"My centre is giving way. My right is in retreat. Situation excellent. I shall attack!”

If only our political leaders and opinion-formers displayed even a hint of the defiant resilience that carried Marshal Foch to victory at the Battle of the Marne. But these days timorous defeatism is on the march. In Britain setbacks in the Afghan war are greeted as harbingers of inevitable defeat. In America, large swaths of the political class continues to insist Iraq is a lost cause. The consensus in much of the West is that the War on Terror is unwinnable.

And yet the evidence is now overwhelming that on all fronts, despite inevitable losses from time to time, it is we who are advancing and the enemy who is in retreat. The current mood on both sides of the Atlantic, in fact, represents a kind of curious inversion of the great French soldier's dictum: “Success against the Taleban. Enemy giving way in Iraq. Al-Qaeda on the run. Situation dire. Let's retreat!”

We have an energy crisis and $4 gasoline because Democrats in Congress have forbidden drilling for our own oil for 30 years. Their presidential candidate also seems content to continue the nation's dependency on hostile and unstable suppliers in the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela.


Our Congressman here on the Cape is usually just known as Congress' number one champion of Hugo Chavez, the de facto dictator in Venezuela who hates America.

But he keeps his eyes on Chavez's friends such as those in al-Qaeda. At a House hearing captured on C-Span Delahunt had this exchange with the former counsel to Vice President Cheney:

Cheney chief of staff David Addington told Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt he couldn’t discuss specific techniques being used, or even discussed for use, by CIA agents because terrorists may be watching his appearance and would gain insight into what U.S. intelligence agents are up to.
“You kind of communicate with Al Qaeda if you do. I can’t talk to you because Al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN,” Addington said.
Delahunt responded: “I’m sure they are watching. I’m glad they finally have a chance to see you, Mr. Addington, given your penchant for being unobtrusive."

Delahunt later denied he was expressing pleasure that terrorists now had had a good look at who Addington was.

What do you think?

John McCain has taken the lead in developing a national security policy embracing energy security. Recognizing the stranglehold that foreign oil producers have over the U.S. and the rest of the world McCain has called for lifting moratoria on drilling in U.S. territories except for the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and for building 45 nuclear power plants before 2030 and accelerating work on clean coal technology.

As oil and gasoline prices have skyrocketed, Republican efforts to end prohibitions on drilling have been blocked by the Democratic majority in Congress led by Democratic presidential candidate Senaor Barack Obama. Drilling will not bring any relief to American consumers, Obama maintains. Where have we heard that before? For those who say, well, we have a crisis now, but oil from new developments will take years. Michael Ramirez, the Investor's Business Daily Pulizer Prize winning cartoonist has the perfect answer:


That the U.S. is dependent on oil from Russia, Venezuela, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries is our own fault. For 30 years Congress -- Democrats aided by a few Republicans -- has imposed a prohibition on drilling in new fields off both coasts, the western coast of Florida and in a postage-stamp area of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Hundreds of billions of barrels of oil are known to lie within these territories.

The incredible 5-4 decision of the Supreme Court, in the words of Justice Scalia, “will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.”

The Boumediene decision:
Senator McCain called the ruling “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”

Quoting Chief Justice Roberts in dissent:

The majority merely replaces a review system designed by the people’s representatives with a set of shapeless procedures to be defined by federal courts at some future date. One cannot help but think, after surveying the modest practical results of the majority’s ambitious opinion, that this decision is not really about the detainees at all, but about control of federal policy regarding enemy combatants.


The Wall Street Journal editors (June 4 2008) observed the brilliance of Senator Obama's rhetoric and the skill of the campaign that has brought him the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. The editorial went on to note that Obama was "the least tested and experienced major party nominee in modern times."

Professor Thomas Sowell holds the distinguished Milton Friedman chair in economics at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He, like many if not most Americans, would like to see a black become president of the United States, but only one who is qualified to lead. In his syndicated column he details several reasons why Obama does not measure up.

Irrelevant Apologies

Thomas Sowell
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
It is amazing how seriously the media are taking Senator Barack Obama's latest statement about the latest racist rant from the pulpit of the church he has attended for 20 years. But neither that statement nor the apology for his rant by Father Michael Pfleger really matters, one way or the other. Nor does Senator Obama's belated resignation from that church.
For any politician, what matters is not his election year rhetoric, or an election year resignation from a church, but the track record of that politician in the years before the election.

Are Barack Obama's views shown by what he says during an election year or by what he has been doing for decades before?
The complete contrast between Obama's election year image as a healer of divisions and his whole career of promoting far-left grievance politics, in association with America-haters like Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, are brushed aside by his supporters who talk about getting back to "the real issues."
There is nothing more real than a man's character and values. The track record of what he has actually done is far more real than anything he says, however elegantly he says it.



My mentor of 20 years, my friend -- until he "disrespected me" and said I was a politician like all the rest of them.


Obama wasn’t fazed by Jeremiah Wright’s "God Damn America" or his accusation that the U.S. government invented AIDS to wipe out blacks. He couldn’t disown him when the videos came out, but then when the good reverend repeated these accusations at the National Press Club, and then went on to say that Obama, who said he had never heard any of that stuff in his 20 years in the pews, was just another politician who said what he had to and did what politicians do, well, that was too much for Obama. Time for the reverend to go under the bus with his "typical white person" grandmother.

What was different this second go-round? Obama made it clear -- It's all about me:

‘[A]t a certain point, if what somebody says contradicts what you believe so fundamentally, and then he questions whether or not you believe it in front of the National Press Club, then that's enough. That's -- that's a show of disrespect to me. It's a -- it is also, I think, an insult to what we've been trying to do in this campaign.’


Obama's strange collection of friends included Antoin Rezko, who did Obama a big favor in having his wife (income $37,000) buy an unusable lot (for the full asking price of $625,000) next to the main lot Obama wanted which Obama bought for a discounted price. Obama couldn't afford the asking price otherwise. Rezko got the money from a loan from an Iraqi Muslim while he was essentially bankrupt. It is not known if the lender knew where most of the money was going or if Obama knew where the money was coming from. What Rezko didn't use for buying the Obama companion lot went to pay lawyers for his tangle of law suits, including federal prosecution for influence peddling charges. Rezko raised about $160,000 for Obama's campaigns.

Today Rezko was convicted of influence peddling by a federal jury.

Rezko Convicted of Influence Peddling Updated 5:23 p.m. By Peter Slevin CHICAGO -- A federal jury today convicted political fundraiser Antoin Rezko, a longtime backer of Sen. Barack Obama, of influence peddling in the high councils of Illinois state government.

The verdict comes after weeks of vivid insider accounts about attempts to sell political favors in the administration of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D).

The jury concluded that Rezko was part of a corrupt money-making scheme and found Rezko guilty of 16 of 24 felony counts, including fraud, money laundering and joining a bribery conspiracy.

Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was not connected to the case and has not been implicated in wrongdoing.

The verdict nonetheless makes it more likely that critics will continue to question his relationship with Rezko, who contributed to and raised money for earlier campaigns and bought property adjacent to Obama's Chicago home.

Indeed, within 20 minutes of the verdict's announcement, the Republican National Committee sent an e-mail to reporters under the subject line, "Rezko: Obama's Longtime Friend and Money Man."

Obama has said whenever asked -- and he has been asked often -- that Rezko asked for no favors and that he did him none.

Rezko, once the prosperous owner of restaurant chains, did not testify at the trial.


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