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Saturday, January 13, 2007


Our NEW Site...

Please go to our NEW Publius' Forum site...


We are debuting a new look, but we have not cut back on any of the content you are used to and have come to expect of Publius' Forum. But, we are offering many more features for linking, and social bookmarking that isn't available to us on the blogspot format.

Of course, we will keep this page up for quite a while into the future to catch all of you who are late in seeing the announcement, so don't worry about your link to us disappearing too soon.

I urge you all to visit our new address and make that your Publius' Forum connection.

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Friday, January 12, 2007


Sec. Rice Attacked by Sen. Boxer Over Childlessness

-By Warner Todd Huston

Is it not outrageous that Senator Barbara Boxer (Dem, Cal) verbally attacked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for not having children as Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday to discuss the Administrations position on Bush's Iraq military "surge" plans? Is this an acceptable criticism of a political official? Is the fact that an official might not have children reason to doubt their capacity for policy making or ability to advise an administration?

Is this the Democrat's new era of niceness, their less rancorous way of governing?

I was shocked to see this intemperate verbal assault by Boxer in the New York Post, but I became curious to see how other MSM sources treated the outrageous comments of the unbalanced Boxer. So, I did a little search of the reactions of the press.

(Full excerpts of the sections in each story that detailed Boxer's outrageous behavior follows)

I said "full excerpts" as if there would be a lot of stories about Boxer's attack, didn't I? In fact, few of the dozens of stories of Rice's appearance before the committee even mentioned Boxer's foolish attack.

As you can see, only the New York Post seemed too interested in the outrageous Boxer. The rest of our "News" sources barely mentioned it and it seems that no original writing was spent on the issue with every major news source just aping the AP's two subdued accounts.

As contrasted with the above AP reports, here is how the Post started off their report on the exchange:

WASHINGTON - Condoleezza Rice came under a shocking Democratic attack yesterday - as a childless woman who can’t understand the sacrifices made by families of U.S. troops in Iraq. In a bitter personal assault on the secretary of state during her appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, anti-war Sen. Barbara Boxer fumed that Rice didn't comprehend the "price" of the war.

Only the Post, so far, seems willing to highlight Boxer's unsuitable comportment as a Senator.

It was also curious to me that most of these stories about Rice being "grilled" before the Senate committee -- even the ones that did not mention Boxer -- also went on to describe how well received Defense Secretary Robert Gates was as if to assure the reader that Rice's mistreatment was some how "balanced" by Gates' easy day on the Hill.

Still, it is amazing how Boxer has basically gotten a pass by the MSM for her boorish, uncivilized, and completely illogical attack on Secretary Rice's childlessness.

This must be just another example of how the Democrats are going to be more bi-partisan and less rancorous and how the MSM is going to help them achieve that... or, rather, how they aren't and how the MSM is going to help cover it up for them?

Sadly, the American public is ill served by the MSM, once again.

*This same AP report showed up in several sources. For instance CBS News, The Guardian Unlimited and the Kansas City Star, among others, used this AP report.

**This same AP report showed up in several sources. For instance, the San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, and the Guardian Unlimited, among others, all used this report.

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More Of Jimmy Carter's Advisers Quit Over Book

-By Warner Todd Huston

I reported a few days ago that one of ex-president Jimmy Carter's aides quit after his recent book was published. That aide called the book "filled with errors".

Now, fourteen more have ended their association with the disgraceful ex-president over the book's lies, distortions and fantasies.

Carter Center Advisers Quit to Protest Book

Fourteen of the city’s business and civic leaders resigned from the Carter Center’s advisory board on Thursday to protest former President Jimmy Carter’s recent criticisms of Israel and American Jewish political power.

Their joint letter of resignation denounced Mr. Carter’s best-selling book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” for its criticisms of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The letter also took issue with comments Mr. Carter has made suggesting that Israel’s supporters in the United States are using their power to stifle debate on the issue.

They are not very happy and who can blame them?

To those who really knew him or had close associations with him in the world of politics in the early days, he was well known to have been a mean and vicious operator. He is also widely known for being far from the God fearing, religious man he pretends to be in public. And he is at last unable to disguise his anti-Semitism in public with the publication of this anti-American and anti-Jewish book of his.

His resigned advisers went on to say:

“It seems you have turned to a world of advocacy, even malicious advocacy,” the letter said. “We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position. This is not the Carter Center or the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support.”

Carter was a disgrace as president, a traitor as ex-president, and a racist who takes money from those who wish to destroy this country. It's about time people wise up about this horrible man.

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Senator Obama and the Social Gospel

-By Dan E. Phillips

All the fuss over Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and his possible presidential candidacy is hard to explain. He is a recently elected junior Senator. Under normal circumstances his candidacy would be considered premature at best and hubristic at worst. So why the fawning treatment, especially by the media?

Well, I have to admit the guy is smooth. I saw him on Jay Leno, and I was very impressed with his persona. He was funny, self-deprecating, and able to banter back and forth with Leno. He is able to engage in small talk without immediately mounting the bully pulpit as many politicians are prone to do. In this respect he reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton. He seems like a regular guy. How much of that is an act, I have no idea. He did graduate from Harvard Law which tends to tarnish your regular guy credentials. But much of politics is an act, and he seems pretty good at it.

A big question is how long he will be able to pull off the "can't we just all get along?" act. Will the Democratic primary voters tolerate that shtick in the hope of victory, or will they force him to more clearly articulate where he stands on the issues? Despite all the talk that he is a bridge between left and right, his positions are cookie-cutter liberal. If the Democratic primary voters don't force him to reveal his hand, I'm sure the Republican campaign machine will if he becomes the Democratic nominee..............
Click HERE To Read On


Thursday, January 11, 2007


Bush This Step in the Right Direction Could be his Last Chance

-By Warner Todd Huston

"Imagine this war as a sort of grotesque race. The jihadists and sectarians win if they can kill enough Americans to demoralize us enough that we flee before Iraqis and Afghans stabilize their newfound freedom. They lose if they can't. Prosperity, security and liberty are the death knell to radical Islam. It's that elemental."
---Victor Davis Hanson

A "new plan" for Iraq, at last some sense... Bush's plan revealed

Bush finally acts as if he truly wants to win this battle to give Iraq a chance to stabilize its foundling government by desiring to send in 20,000 more troops to "clear, hold, and build", as the phrase has it. Clear out the insurgent and terrorist's cells, hold the territory taken and then give the nascent Iraqi government a chance to establish itself as well as give the common Iraqi citizen the feeling of safety that befits a civilized society.

Sadly, Bush should have done this at least two years ago. In fact, many said from the beginning that we hadn't enough troops to win the peace from the beginning. Those who made that claim were 100 percent right. But, that he has seen the sense of it and is proposing it now is a good thing. Better late than never.

The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.

Not just for the safety of the USA, Mr. president, but for the very lives of the people in Iraq for whom we have accept charge. And this is the one area that unfeeling Democrats and Paleocons wish to ignore. What happens if we precipitously leave Iraq? A blood bath as Iran tries to seize control (using the Syria/Lebanon model) and then fights with Al Qaeda and Saddam loyalists for territory. But, Paleocons and leftists have already decided that Iraq's citizens are not worth their effort to care about, they have already written the Iraqi people off. (And, were I a Paleocon, I'd feel very uneasy about being on the same side as the anti-American left and leading Democrats)

It is also good that Bush is focusing on the region around Baghdad. If the Iraqi government cannot hold their own capitol, they have an immediate face of weakness. Baghdad must be cleared and held.

The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.

Bush goes on to explain what will be different this time.

Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents -- but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods -- and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.

Here is the "clear, hold, and build" strategy I was referring to in the first half of this analysis. We have cleared out the insurgents many times in various places in Iraq. But, since we never had the troop strength to hold the area, we left as soon as the immediate mission was accomplished -- and it was usually pretty quickly accomplished. However, clearing them and then leaving the area was counter productive. When you turn on the lights in a cockroach-infested kitchen, for instance, you see, the roaches scamper away, but the second the light is off again, they come out once more. Similarly, by clearing and leaving we allowed the cockroaches to come back as often as we left. This prevents any stability from visiting the area and keeps the local populace on the side of the insurgents and terrorists.

Here is the single most salient point the president made.

The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy -- by advancing liberty across a troubled region. It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom -- and help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.

When this war first began many of us, myself and the president included, wanted to steer as far clear of the talk of the "clash of civilizations" business as possible. We aren't at war with all of Islam, we stressed. It is still true that we aren't at war with Islam per se. But it is gallingly obvious that we are, indeed, in a clash of civilizations. On one hand is western liberty, democracy and freedom led by the USA and on the other is oppression, murder, and anti-modernity represented by radical Islam. The key problem is that the so-called moderates in the Islamic world are not opposing radical Islam. In fact, many of these moderates give tacit support to the radicals imagining that it merely won't hurt the moderates to turn from their responsibilities of peaceful conduct and give a wink and a nod to the radicals. The moderates console themselves that the radicals are going after the west and just might leave them alone. It is a mistaken conception.

Yet, what reason besides a basic responsibility to a greater humanity compels moderates to speak out against the radicals? Should they do so, will they get the support of the west? It seems no is the answer to that. America stands alone in giving succor to any moderate who might find it in his soul to work against radicals and if we falter we offer moderates no support at all and leave them naked to radical aggression. We but show them it's best to keep their heads down and hope the storm passes them by.

It will not pass them by without American opposition. The president knows that and I predict he will go down in history as one leader in the west who was right about what we face.

In one of his closing paragraphs, Bush said the following:

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists -- or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?

I add this. Democrats and anti-Americans are not "sick of the violence". They could not care less about "the violence". If they were truly sick of the violence they'd want to find a way to stop it. But, they only care about defeating the GOP and bringing down Bush's administration and they merely want the USA out of the Middle East entirely quite without any consideration of the consequences. The violence that would escalate after we leave is of no interest to them. The violence that would engulf the entire Mideast is not something they care anything about.

Theirs is an inhumane, narcissistic blindness to the lives of millions of Middle Easterners.

But, they'll suddenly scream bloody murder if they find their oil spigot turned off and waves of suicide bombers appearing on our shores trained and equipped in the lost regions of the Mid East that they advocated we leave, wouldn't they?

Naturally, they'd blame everyone else, too.

Still, this is probably Bush's last chance to make Iraq work. And the way the left is lining up to defeat even this attempt to solve the issues facing Iraq it may come to pass that he waited too long to propose this. Bush has a fight in Congress before the first boot touches the ground in Iraq and, for all our sake; I hope it is a battle he wins quickly and decisively.

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A WONDERFUL DEATH -- And Still the NYT Doesn't Get It

- Resa LaRu Kirkland

There's something about hope. No matter how bad things get, man still clings to the tiniest shred of faith that things can change. It is innate within all humanity, a truly glorious thing.

Unless it's applied to Islammunism and its co-conspirator the New York Times. That is when hope is pointless and dangerous.

Something wonderful happened on December 30, 2006. It was the perfect way to end the year. They hung one of the most vile human beings to ever walk the planet, and that's saying a lot given mankind's wicked past. Yep, snapped his neck like a twig, which was tremendously merciful considering what that narcissistic SOB did to millions of innocent people. In the end, the victims gave mercy to he who had never shown any…ever.......................
Click HERE To Read On


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Pizza Place to Take Mexican Pesos For Pizza

-By Warner Todd Huston

You may have heard the story kicking about the talk shows and the internet about the South Western Pizza chain that has announced that they will be taking US dollars as well as Mexican Pesos as payment for their pizzas?

In some circles this is causing quite a nativist outrage. Upstanding Americans are crying "anti-Americanism" against this pizza chain, Pizza Patron, which has stores in Southern Arizona, Southern California and other areas of the USA close to the Mexican border.

It seems the natural charge to make against the chain in this day of heightened sensitivity against illegal immigration. But, if one takes a little bit of time to think about this with a bit of reason, one might come to feel this story is just a humbug of a story.

The Pizza chain folks, for their part, are claiming they are surprised at the attention they are getting. I find TAHT claim a bit disingenuous. As I said, we ARE in a heightened sensitivity over immigration, after all. Still, I heard the public info office of the chain on the radio yesterday wondering what all the hullabaloo was about?

Reuters, reporting in a story titled "Texas-based pizza chain accepts Mexican pesos", gives us the public stance of Pizza Patron.

"Unlike many other businesses for us it makes sense. Our stores are located in predominately Hispanic communities and so the majority of our customers are Hispanic," said Andrew Gamm, director of brand development for Pizza Patron.

"We know that a large number of them travel back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico and consequently have some pesos left over in their pocket. The pizza business is extremely competitive and we thought this was a way to position ourselves in relation to our competitors," he told Reuters.

OK, not a delicate promotion they have, to be sure. But, let's think about this for a second.

Many countries, for instance, have business that accepts several different currencies. Especially when they are near border areas or cater to a specific foreign clientele. It isn't unusual... though it is a tad unusual in the United States. (Since our currency is often considered a world currency, it isn't common for Americans to accept foreign money, to be sure. And, I don't want to speak out of turn, but there may even be some laws against usage or foreign currency for debts in the USA.)

Point two: is that this is purely a business decision. i support business more often than not and feel this company has a right to adopt this practice if they feel it will improve their bottom line.

Point three: I'd bet that they stop doing this after a time. Consider that it takes nearly 12 Pesos to make up one US Dollar. That mean a 9 dollar pizza will cost nearly 100 Pesos! That means these stores will have giant buckets of these practically worthless Pesos that they will have to handle and take to exchange. I think this company will find it way more trouble than it is worth to take these Pesos. So, in the end, all the notoriety they get will be for naught.

I have to end up coming down on this story with a big "so what"?

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Some Funny Globaloney News

-By Warner Todd Huston

I love to see it when the Global Warming crowd makes themselves look like the clowns they are. And here is two stories that made me laugh about the Globaloney nuts.

Story #1 :Monument to the Planet Suffers a Hard Fall to Earth

An artist who hoped to stir debate over global warming with his 175-ton quartzite and bronze sculpture “Spaceship Earth” is instead struggling to solve the mystery of its spectacular crash at Kennesaw State University last week.

Questions abound over whether vandals destroyed the sculpture, made by a Finnish-born artist known as Eino, or whether a combination of substandard adhesive and rain caused it to crumble in the middle of the night on Dec. 29 in a collapse the campus police said they felt from their offices around the corner.

The pictures were hilarious. One of this ridiculous giant world sculpture with some figures of kids walking on the top of it and the other picture was the jumbled mess of materials collapsed on the ground.

It's great for a laugh.

Story 2: Ancient global warming was jarring, not subtle, study finds

This one was less funny and more revealing of how intellectually empty the Globaloney crew is.

Foreshadowing potential climate chaos to come, early global warming caused unexpectedly severe and erratic temperature swings as rising levels of greenhouse gases helped transform Earth, a team led by researchers at UC Davis said Thursday.

The global transition from ice age to greenhouse 300 million years ago was marked by repeated dips and rises in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and wild swings in temperature, with drastic effects on forests and vegetation, the researchers reported in the journal Science.

"It was a real yo-yo," said UC Davis geochemist Isabel Montanez, who led researchers from five universities and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. "Should we expect similar but faster climate behavior in the future? One has to question whether that is where we are headed."

OK. So WHERE were all the humans on Earth 300 million years ago that caused all this catastrophic global warming? There WEREN'T any, that's where.

So, if this has happened many times before and there was no man about the globe to "cause" it... WHY is man blamed for it now?

I'll tell you why. Because blaming man means blaming capitalism and growth. And which country has the most of that? The USA. Therefore, Globaloney is but a replacement ideology for failed socialists and communists with which they can use to attack the USA and capitalism.

Hence, the Globaloney movement.

Marx would be proud of the pseudo science used to bash capitalism.

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UPI Report is Just a Muslim 'Leaders' Press Release

-By Warner Todd Huston

It is always amazing when a "news report" is merely just a rehash of some press release, or is, at the very least, a completely one sided report.

Such is the case with a recent UPI "report", "Fight anti-Arab bigotry, Gonzalez told".

UPI is wagging its finger at U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez via a group of "Arab leaders" who are warning the government "to fight anti-Arab bigotry." The whole UPI "report" is nothing but the warnings of these so-called leaders about how filled with bigotry the USA is and how the government must fight it.

With all this hooplah, one would imagine that Arabs are being attacked, mistreated and discriminated against all across the country at an alarming rate. Arab "leader" James Zogby even makes the claim that the government must "reverse this disturbing and increasingly accepted trend of anti-Arab and Muslim bias".

However, recent statistics of the hate crimes committed in 2005, show that only 11 percent represented anti-Muslim crime according to the FBI. By contrast, 68 percent was anti-Jewish. further, anti-Muslim crimes total less than 1,000 cases in the entire country whereas attacks on blacks and Jews as a result of bigotry number in the many thousands. So, claims of anti-Muslim crime being an "increasingly accepted trend" is overblown, nonsense.

Yet, UPI gives us the unvarnished claims of rampant anti-Muslim bigotry by these so-called leaders and gives us NO balanced view of the absurdity and outrageousness of their claims.

In other words, UPI was just a mouth piece for lies told by activists.

We should expect more from a "news" wire agency. It seems doubtful if we'll ever get it, these days.

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John Edwards and universal health care

- By Michael M. Bates

Taking a much needed break from primping, former North Carolina Senator John Edwards launched his 2008 presidential bid the other day. A campaign cornerstone is the promise of universal health care.

The emphasis here is on the word promise. Although he's had literally years to work out the details, Edwards has few specifics, if any, that he wishes to disclose.

During a blog session on the liberal Daily Kos website last week, the Democrat said:

"I believe we need a universal health care system where ALL Americans have health care coverage. I'm working on a plan right now for universal healthcare, and if you have ideas I would love to hear them."

Hold it. I thought HE was the guy with the ideas. Maybe not, at least when it comes to the tar baby (if you'll pardon the expression) of universal health care.

We're close enough to easily see the experience of our friends to the north in Canada. And what an experience it has been............................................
Click HERE To Read On


Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Nock on Shaw's Socialism

- By Thomas E. Brewton

Celebrated libertarian analyst Albert Jay Nock's 1945 review of George Bernard Shaw's Everybody's Political What's What exposes the fundamental flaw in socialism and its American liberal-progressive doctrine. As we begin a new Congress dominated by liberal-socialist-progressives, it is useful to have Mr. Nock's perspective.

The Mises.org website posting titled The Socialism of Mr. Shaw is a reminder to us elderly, and a notice to the young, that however delightful Shaw was as a playwright, he was very far out in left field with regard to politics and economics. Not surprisingly, just as is true today of the media and theatre today, Shaw's plays project pro-socialist views.

Most people today who know of Shaw at all probably acquired that acquaintance indirectly via the hugely successful Broadway musical My Fair Lady, which was an adaptation of Shaw's Pygmalion. To appreciate Shaw's role outside the literary field, it's necessary to understand a bit more about the late Victorian period in England and its impact upon political and economic doctrine in the United States..........................
Click HERE To Read On


Monday, January 08, 2007


We Must Negotiate with Iraqi Terrorists and Insurgents Say 'Experts'

-By Warner Todd Huston

Chronicle staff writer, Robert Collier, wants the US to "negotiate" with the radical, Islamist, terrorists and the old guard Saddamists that are vexing Iraq's attempts to move into the 21st century preventing them in their laudable attempt to build a nation answerable to Iraqis of every stripe.

"U.S. must negotiate with insurgents and militias, experts say", Collier breathlessly informs us. His "experts", though, leave much to be desired for reliability.

Collier seems to think the insurgents and terror outfits should be treated as if they are merely interested parties, as if they were the same kind of political party or faction we are used to in the west. Someone has not taken the time to inform Mr. Collier about exactly what these factions want in the Middle East, sadly.

Collier brings up what seems an interesting point in how to get people to the negotiating table he so wants to set.

In interviews with Chronicle correspondents in Iraq and by telephone with a Chronicle reporter in San Francisco, two dozen Sunni and Shiite hard-liners revealed a paradox. None could fully explain how to bring his side's sectarian killings under control, yet all emphasized that peace cannot take hold without the approval of those holding the weapons.

Unfortunately, as he moves forward with his piece he proves he doesn't understand the situation at all. He fails to realize that the parties who are funding the radical Islamists come from sources that have neither the desire, nor the ability to come to any negotiating table in Iraq. The people funding and driving the terrorists are not generally even Iraqis. They are often foreigners and ideologues that require that their enemies fall without any "negotiations" to the matter. And, those who are pushing the internal insurgency are out of power Saddamites who similarly aren't interested in "negotiating" but just simply want all their power back and do not care a fig how they do it. Or they are local militias and warlord leaders who have little interest in national political discussions.

In other words, the factions are varied, but few are interested in any negotiations.

Worse, nearly every person he quotes or relies on to inform him of the situation in Iraq are either "name withheld for security reasons" or people who cannot be officially linked to any power base or group. So, it is curious why Collier seems to think they represent anyone or should be relied upon for solid intel on the situation in Iraq... at least solid enough to base policy upon?

Collier introduces us to the pontifications of, in the Paper's words, "Two Iraqi correspondents for The Chronicle, who asked not to be identified for security reasons". He also quoted a former Saddam era functionary who has been out of power for years: "Mudafar al-Amin, who was Iraq's ambassador to Britain from 1999 until the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003..."

After reading the entire, long report by Mr. Collier one cannot help but be struck with the fact that this "former Republican Guard general" that Collier is so taken with is merely angling to regain his own lost power.

The former Republican Guard general, for example, estimated that al Qaeda's attacks represent "only 10 percent of the resistance," and he said that if the Hussein-era army were remobilized, it could "easily" stamp out al Qaeda and other terrorists.

In fact, nearly everything this "general" says is calculated to bring back Saddam's former army officers to a position of power. It's amazing that Collier was so bamboozled by this supposed insider.

Collier doesn't seem to understand the success of the clear and hold strategy that US forces have employed a policy that should be first considered to set the groundwork for building the nation's political infrastructure before moving to any kind of "negotiations". Every place that the US military has brought overwhelming force into play, and then firmly held, has stabilized allowing the stage to be created for local parties to come with a newfound desire to negotiate.

The purpose of the clear and hold strategy is to promote stability. Once an area has been cleared of insurgents, the people of a community may begin to expect a certain amount of personal safety in their daily activities and will, then, be more able to accept their national government and their political processes, giving them the credence and legitimacy that a populace must invest to sustain a working government.

Instead, Collier seems to be suggesting we give all insurgents upfront legitimacy without even determining if they do, indeed, have any standing from which to negotiate. He seems to think we should just accept to his negotiating table any former general who claims to still represent an army. This would not promote unity but would only increase fractionalization.

He also relies on the proclamations of an NGO created in 1994 that claims to want to spread peace about the planet. The International Crisis Group has been saying for some time that we should "negotiate" with anyone and everyone in Iraq, but seems not to have any real ideas who those individuals might be. Naturally this group wants to rely on the UN to start these palliative negotiations. I wonder if the ICG can give us a list of any successes the UN has had with such "negotiations" the past?

Both Collier and NGOs like the ICG fail to understand that "negotiating" leads to little of consequence with these types of foes. Why should they acquiesce to the central government's demands, for instance, if their own power base is wholly legitimized? What would cause them to willingly give up the power that has been handed them by a slot at any official "negotiations"? If their tenuous claims to power are supported they are far more likely to strive for more, especially if the central government cannot exert its own claims to power over them.

That is why the clear and hold strategy is so successful. Without something to temper the insurgent's insatiable grasp for power, some reason for them to feel it necessary to come to the negotiating table needy of compromise, negotiations are a complete waste of time.

But here comes the ICG and the SanFran Chronicle willing to hand any insurgent a free pass to legitimate power. All they need do is kill a few hundred civilians and attack a US convoy or two and, viola! They are an instant "leader" that should be "negotiated" with.

This idea of Collier's is a sure plan for worsening conditions, more in-fighting and further sectionalizing of Iraq's worst hotspots as well as a return to power for people who are responsible for the rapes and tortures of uncounted Iraqi citizens for decades. On top of that it invites more external meddling by al Qaeda and Iran.

No, instead of sensible analysis, what Collier gave us was an example of staff writer trying desperately to make news with his "exclusive" sources and to drive the agenda as opposed to reporting on anything. It is an attempt to make the reporter relevant but is not any serious policy discussion at all. Collier also represents the inability of certain people in the west to understand the threat that faces us in Iraq.

Collier reveals that he is not on the side of the Iraqi people, the US military, or the American people if he wants to reward and legitimize murderers, warlords, and strongmen instead of strengthening an evolving Iraqi government.

Thanks but no thanks for the "help" Mr. Collier.

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Revision of My Announcement for the Presidency

- By Vince Johnson


In last weeks REALITY FACTOR, I indicated I would announce my candidacy for President of the United States sometime in May 2007. After considerable inner deliberation, I am having second thoughts.

As soon as I announced that I would "announce" in May 2007, people started asking questions. One of the first reveals the problem: "Who would I appoint as Secretary of the Treasury?" I had planned to appoint Donald Trump. But when I realized this idea was based on my secret desire to fire him, I began to think it might be wise to re-consider. Maybe Bill Gates would make a good choice. If we ran a little short on cash, he could bail us out.

Then somebody asked me who I would pick as a running mate? This stopped me cold. No matter who I picked, it would make half the electorate mad. If he were a Liberal, all the Conservatives would get upset. If it were a Conservative, all the Liberals would get upset. If he were an Independent, all the Liberals and all the Conservatives would get all riled up in a rare moment of unified uproar. If it were a man, most of the women would be insulted. If it were a woman, most of the men would be insulted...........

Click HERE To Read On


Sunday, January 07, 2007


AP Pelosi's 'Historic Moment for Women' -- What About Condi?

-By Warner Todd Huston

The AP isn't the only one going ga-ga over the ascension of Nancy Pelosi to become the "first Female Speaker of the House". We are seeing the fawning on just about every news outlet out there. And it is, indeed, quite an historic change from the long line of gentlemen that have taken the Speaker's gavel.

First female House speaker, Nancy Pelosi basks in historic day

WASHINGTON (AP) - San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi made history today by becoming the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history.

Standing on the House floor with her six grandchildren, Pelosi said her election marked a historic moment for women in U.S. history.

Among the onlookers in the packed visitors' galleries were actor Richard Gere and singer Tony Bennett.

I am not sure why the mention of the so-called celebrities was important in the story, but as they wish.

Still, I just have one big question about all the hooplah about this "historic moment for women"...

Where was all the hooplah when Condi Rice took her place in the Bush Administration?
She had a few "historic days" herself, didn't she? Where was the AP -- and everyone else -- going nuts about Condi?

Just wondering?

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Retiring at age 21

- By Hans Zeiger

For awhile I have contemplated writing this column but haven’t had the full sensibility to do it yet. I began submitting columns online at age seventeen, back in the year 2002. I began the process with the hubris of a budding pundit and kept the habit until now, with a declining sense of the value of this kind of writing. Now I am twenty-one and about 21 percent half-educated.

I now know at least this: I don’t know enough to be weekly offering my opinions as though possessed of some eminence. There is a thousand times more sense in one of Seneca’s ancient moral sketches or Joseph Addison’s essays three hundred years ago than in the freshest columns I could put forth on any topic. Wisdom is better nurtured in the memorization of Solomon’s Proverbs than the attempt to produce new proverbs for the age of YouTube and iPod. The Bible is better for the soul than the morning newspaper.

Liberals are the ambitious ones by nature; I think I have a liberal nature. A sense of proportion that results from education and experience moderates opinions and makes a mind conservative. Not that I wasn’t politically conservative at age seventeen when I started on this present course, but it was conservatism wild and liberal.

Regret is not the word for lessons learned. I have learned that punditry, for all of its good sense every now and then, is not my calling. .................
Click HERE To Read On


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