Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Deepening Hole

There's a great post at The Smallest Minority (HT:HH) on the long history of the relentless terrorist aggression that dragged us into the war we fight today. Too bad none of it is newsworthy to the American press.

And the NYT claims that "everyone knew" about the terrorist finance tracking. Really! Do tell me then, writers Eric Lichtblau and James Risen, if "everyone knew," why was it so important to publish it? How did such a well-known fact qualify as front page news?

We're really not that stupid, guys, so please stop waving the First Amendment for a moment and refer instead to the First Rule of Holes: stop digging.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wake Up and Smell the Danger

Irish Pennants and Real Clear Politics both link an outstanding article by Jules Crittenden of the Boston Herald. Below is one of the many money quotes:

The New York Times editors are hiding behind the idea of freedom of the press. That has been slowly evolving in recent decades into a freedom without responsibility -- the overarching new American value. It is the value that allows seemingly reasonable people to think we can wish away our problems. It is the value that allows seemingly reasonable people to see our elected president as the enemy.

Read the whole piece. It is dynamite, and we need a very loud noise right now to wake up the sleeping lefties and the sleepwalking Congress--before another 9/11 does.

UPDATE: Sgt. Boggs is linked here. The fact that his job is now more difficult, and the fact that he and his fellow troops are in greater danger because of the New York and LA Times, makes me, and untold numbers of other Americans, very angry.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hurt At Home

"The disclosure of this program is disgraceful" ~ President G.W. Bush

Read Secretary of the Treasury John Snow's marvelous and scathing letter to the New York Times, that endless source of aid and comfort to Al Qaeda. In furious yet elegant phrasing, Secretary Snow plainly calls the Times' editor, Bill Keller, a full-on liar. Keller claims that government attempts to prevent the revelation of the financial tracking program used to collect data on terrorist operations were "half-hearted." Snow nails him on it, perfectly, in a take-no-BS letter that is a literary work of art.

Visit Hugh Hewitt's site for extensive coverage of this blatant act of treason by the Times and its Executive Idiot, Keller. The blogosphere and talk radio are on fire with this betrayal of America, and rightly so. The Times deserves a crippling blow to its dwindling readership, and I think this time people might be fed up enough for that to occur.

In fact, I'm a bit frustrated at the moment that I don't have a subscription to the NYT, simply to have the pleasure of canceling it.

Home and Heart

I have received this e-mail and photo from several sources on both the East and the West coasts. It is, as the e-mail's introduction states, "heartwarming."

Below is the remainder of the text message explaining the photo. Support our troops!

Here is a soldier stationed in Iraq, stationed in a big sand box. He asked his wife to send him dirt ( U.S. soil), fertilizer and some grass seed. When the men of the squadron have a mission they are going on, they take turns walking through the grass and the American soil to bring them good luck.

If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of a scissors. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that we take for granted. Upon receiving this, please say a prayer for our soldiers that give and give (and give up) so unselfishly for us.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Yes, But... far as the media is concerned, there's no story here. Whatever kind of WMD you find, they're always the wrong kind of WMD.
~ Mark Steyn

It's so true. Whatever progress or success is achieved in the Iraq war, the press minimizes and "buts" it down while accentuating our shortcomings and/or failings. And our negatives always get the most attention.

Here are a few examples from this very month:

Yes, we got Al-Zarqawi, BUT we didn't get Osama.
Yes, our soldiers were tortured and murdered, BUT our troops are accused of war crimes.
Yes, they found tons of WMD's in Iraq, BUT they're old and outdated.
Yes, there was a terrorist plot to take down the Sears Tower, BUT the government is trampling our privacy.

Read or listen to Mark Steyn's excellent interview yesterday with Hugh Hewitt, linked here.

Yes, I used to watch network television news, BUT now I prefer to hear real facts on talk radio.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Questions and Answers

Hello! The Sears Tower, an Al-Qaeda target? Big surprise! Well, the Islamo-terrorists want us dead. Write it down, MSM reporters. I know, it sounds harsh and war-like, but isn't there a good reason for that?

It's because WE ARE AT WAR.

What about the WMD in Iraq? Are Americans really shocked to find out that the caches were there? Or were most of us expecting to hear this frightening news all along? And by the way, MSM, why aren't you covering this story? Seems kind of major, don't you think? Hmm...could it be it sounds like our troops in Iraq are exactly where they're supposed to be?

If it sounds that way, it should, because WE ARE AT WAR.

Special memo to the clueless Senators from Massachusetts: Why can't you leave the 1970's in the past where they belong? We are a very long way from Vietnam, and WE ARE AT WAR.

Write it down, Beavis. You too, Butthead. Which senator is which character? I hope they debate that point. It will stretch their cognitive capacities to the limit and, with luck, could occupy them for the rest of the war.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

War and Press

The bodies of our two missing soldiers have been found. Let's see how much mileage the "I-support-the- troops-BUT" crowd can manipulate from this tragedy.

If you're as tired of the anti-military rhetoric as I am, you may want to visit One Marine's View. There's an interesting fundraiser in progress for a pro-military ad in a major newspaper.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Tribute to Fathers

Tomorrow will be my children's first Father's Day without their Dad. It will be my 20th without mine. I can't truly tell them that this gaping hole in life's fabric gets easier. Perhaps the loss grows less sharp and more familiar with time. But Fathers Day remains, for me, a melancholy day.

In cleaning out some files recently, I happened across this essay I wrote one Fathers Day a few years ago. It's printed below, for my kids, Kristine and Matt, in honor of their very special Dad, Pete:

Just what do fathers do, anyway?

They leave the toilet seat up, the car windows down, the screen door open and the conversation closed. They leave socks on the floor and crumbs on the cutting board. They sit sentry-like in front of TV sets, with channel changers clutched in a death grip, coming to sudden and startling life only when the home team scores. A father can drink beer, eat chips, build sandwiches, and barbeque burgers, all without the aid of a single napkin. No wonder the dog likes him best and follows his every move with adoring eyes.

A father usually comes in handy for a game of catch, help with homework, driving lessons, and especially permission to do something mother would never allow. Fathers absolutely excel at taking the hit when Mom arrives home from the mall to find her bedspread tacked to the ceiling to make a tent. The kids scurry for cover and leave Dad to negotiate the peace process. The best part of these adventures is that Dad never mentions (or maybe he just forgets) that it was the kids' idea.

Most fathers make you feel pretty safe. They see to it that loose bike chains get tightened and soft tires get inflated. They like to check the oil in the car and lock all the doors at night. If you're ever in a jam of any sort, it's a pretty good bet that your father is a quick phone call away. And the bigger the jam, the faster Dad will arrive.

Sometimes kids may not feel they know Dad as well as Mom. But he knows you. If you ever tried selling him any variation of the "flat tire" story when you came home past curfew, you understand.

Fathers aren't usually as expressive as mothers are to their kids. Be that as it may, kids of all ages should still talk to, ask questions, and seek advice from Dad. There's a lot of layers to the guy, even if he doesn't say or seem to do much. So talk to him now. Because I promise you, the day will come when you'll want to talk to him, but he'll be gone.

Believe me. I know.

Friday, June 16, 2006

True Colors

Below is the text of House Resolution 861. Voting in favor of it were 214 Republicans and 42 Democrats. Only 3 Republicans voted against it, compared to 149 Democrats opposed.

Maxine Waters railed that Democrats will feel "trapped" into voting for it. Wonderful! It's about time the "we-support-the-troops-BUT" crowd got called out on their two-faced baloney.


Declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

Whereas the United States and its allies are engaged in a Global War on Terror, a long and demanding struggle against an adversary that is driven by hatred of American values and that is committed to imposing, by the use of terror, its repressive ideology throughout the world;

Whereas for the past two decades, terrorists have used violence in a futile attempt to intimidate the United States;

Whereas it is essential to the security of the American people and to world security that the United States, together with its allies, take the battle to the terrorists and to those who provide them assistance;

Whereas the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other terrorists failed to stop free elections in Afghanistan and the first popularly-elected President in that nation's history has taken office;

Whereas the continued determination of Afghanistan, the United States, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be required to sustain a sovereign, free, and secure Afghanistan;

Whereas the steadfast resolve of the United States and its partners since September 11, 2001, helped persuade the government of Libya to surrender its weapons of mass destruction;

Whereas by early 2003 Saddam Hussein and his criminal, Ba'athist regime in Iraq, which had supported terrorists, constituted a threat against global peace and security and was in violation of mandatory United Nations Security Council Resolutions;

Whereas the mission of the United States and its Coalition partners, having removed Saddam Hussein and his regime from power, is to establish a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq at peace with its neighbors;

Whereas the terrorists have declared Iraq to be the central front in their war against all who oppose their ideology;

Whereas the Iraqi people, with the help of the United States and other Coalition partners, have formed a permanent, representative government under a newly ratified constitution;
Whereas the terrorists seek to destroy the new unity government because it threatens the terrorists' aspirations for Iraq and the broader Middle East;

Whereas United States Armed Forces, in coordination with Iraqi security forces and Coalition and other friendly forces, have scored impressive victories in Iraq including finding and killing the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi;

Whereas Iraqi security forces are, over time, taking over from United States and Coalition forces a growing proportion of independent operations and increasingly lead the fight to secure Iraq;

Whereas the United States and Coalition servicemembers and civilians and the members of the Iraqi security forces and those assisting them who have made the ultimate sacrifice or been wounded in Iraq have done so nobly, in the cause of freedom; and

Whereas the United States and its Coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;
(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;
(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;
(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;
(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution;
(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and
(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

I'm now wondering, how do you vote against the U.S. prevailing in a war and still maintain your elected office? Stay tuned for November.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Most Inspiring Films

I watched bits and snatches of the American Film Institute's program on 100 years of inspiring movies last night. Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" was deemed the most inspirational film of all.

I'm in complete agreement with that choice of chart-topper. I've watched that movie with my family every Christmas Eve night for more years than I can count. And it gets me, every time. When George Bailey is praying over his drink at the bar, I'm always a sloppy mess. It's a moment of absolutely transcendent movie magic.

The remainder of my own Top Ten Inspiring Films List varies widely from the rankings of AFI's picks. Confining myself strictly to the AFI 100 list--which, for the most part, is quite good--here are my personal favorites, with AFI's corresponding number in parentheses:
  1. It's a Wonderful Life (1)
  2. Apollo 13 (12)
  3. Braveheart (62)
  4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (5)
  5. Pride of the Yankees (22)
  6. Casablanca (32)
  7. Glory (31)
  8. Ben-Hur (56)
  9. *Shawshank Redemption (23)
  10. High Noon (27)
*This is the only listed movie I don't own, either on videotape or DVD. If Tim Robbins would learn to temper his hateful political spouting, "Shawshank" would have a home in my movie case along with my other favorites. Until then, I won't buy it. Memo to Tim and his ilk: based upon my liberty to pick and choose which entertainment to support, it appears the U.S. is a free country, after all.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Going Back

Vets for Freedom founders Wade Zirkle and David Ballavia are returning to Iraq, this time as imbedded reporters.

Maybe now we'll get the troops' side of the story.

Long May It Wave

Flag Day, 2006

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum. ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Monday, June 12, 2006

Careful Handling for a Monster

So sorry to disappoint you, MSM, but Al-Zarqawi died of his injuries. Our troops didn't need to lay a hand on him. There wasn't the time or opportunity to rough him up after the double bomb blasts.

Zarqawi didn't suffer much, if at all. From all official accounts, his body was treated with respect.

That's a much better end than he deserved.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Credit for a Victory

Read Black Five's posting on how all of America should feel proud of the good job done in killing Zarqawi. One Marine's View is also a great read both yesterday and today.

And don't miss the Milblogs. They are packed with goodies on this best story of the year. Disregard the glum and ungracious reactions on the alphabet networks. MSM simply doesn't get it. They have proven themselves incapable of appreciating the value of Zarqawi's death, so don't waste precious energy stewing.

Just rejoice and be proud, America. Our troops are not just our protection, they are our national treasure.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Very Good News

...for all who draw the sword will die by the sword
~ Matt 26:52

The bloggers at Iraq the Model are rejoicing, with good cause.

It's a joyful pastime to read the comments on ITM . Here's a sample:

"Evil will be defeated whoever is deals in it.
My sincere amirations and thanks for the American Airforce pilots who had carried out this surgical strike without a great deal of collatoral damage to the area.
Soldiers, we ( the silent majority of Iraqis) are all very proud of you.
We thank your good US mothers for you. They should be very proud of you all.
Gen Casy thank you Sir and your staff too.
Kind regards hameed Abid"

Let me add my thanks to our marvelous military for removing a ruthless evil from the world.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Scary Thoughts

Read James Lilek's perfect pitch article analyzing a liberal's reactions to current events, linked here. If it wasn't so sad but true, it would be hilarious.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

D-Day Remembered

"As our boat touched sand and the ramp went down I became a visitor to hell."

~ Pvt. Charles Neighbor, 29th Division, Omaha Beach

Photos from the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, Bedford, Virginia.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
~ W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming (1921)

I don't usually watch television news anymore. But tonight, I was curious to see what the networks would do with the double whammy of Canadian and British Islamic terrorist stories running in parallel. Talk radio was packed with both stories today.

Since taking the war seriously is not on their list of priorities, I wasn't expecting much from old MSM, mainstream media. They did not disappoint. There was a brief mention of the Canadian Islamic terror threat tonight on the evening news. It was sandwiched between the lead story on the marriage amendment and extensive footage of dead civilians in Iraq.

There was no mention at all of the British Islamic terror sting operation, where a suspected chemical, biological, or radation weapon is still missing in London. Neither was there a whisper about the U.S. Marines whose names were cleared of wrongdoing in civilian deaths in Ishaqi, Iraq.

So as old media meticulously selects which stories to tell and how carefully to present them in the most agenda-supporting fashion, our peril at the hands of Islamic terrorists grows. Will it take another 9/11 to make the war believable? Or would such a catastrophe serve only to increase the fashionable media inference that somehow we've brought all these consequences down upon our own heads?

These questions have potential answers that frighten me. Americans are approaching a turning point in our history which, if not navigated with strength and honesty, leads us down a dark and very difficult road, one with perhaps no off ramp. Congress dithers while the borders, both north and south, teem with unknown dangers. The Iranian president is brazenly hell-bent on destruction, while the U.S. is cast as the bully. The press demonizes our military while either criticizing or ignoring law enforcement efforts to foil Islamic terrorist plots before more innocent blood explodes across our continent.

There is no greater danger to our safety than our smug media elites, so eager to assign us blame at every turn, so sure that they have all the correct answers--so unwilling to recognize the fact that they are being used as patsies by the terrorists.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Tea, Donuts, and Memories

I am fortunate to have another longtime friend coming to visit this weekend. Donna and I go back to eighth grade. We passed notes in American History class, spent afternoons at each other's houses, knew each other's families. At my wedding nearly 34 years ago, Donna was my maid of honor. She is also my daughter's godmother, and a better one Kristine could not have found with a professional search firm.

As Fate would have it, a couple of years ago Donna and her husband were transferred to Southern California by their company. So now, when I need her the most, Donna is a mere couple of hours up the freeway. She has no idea how comforting that thought has been to me in the months since Pete died.

Many years ago, when my grown daughter was a toddler and Pete and I lived "back East," Donna came every Thursday to visit and spend the night with us. To my daughter's delight, Donna always brought a box of fresh, bakery shop donuts. When 3-year-old Kristine saw the sheets for the sofa bed coming out of the linen closet on Thursday afternoons, she would eagerly ask, "Aunt Donut coming?" We would order pizza for supper, then Donna and I would have a "Girl's Night Out." Sometimes we'd head to the mall and shop, sometimes we'd go see a movie. By the time we arrived home, Pete and Kristine were usually asleep. Donna and I would sit on the sofa to the end of Johnny Carson, talking, drinking tea, munching donuts, and talking some more.

On one memorable Thursday evening, Donna and I had to change our plans. Pete was buying a new van, so he brought all of us to the auto dealership to see the vehicle. We sat in the salesman's office, ready for the reams of paperwork--Pete, me, Donna, and Kristine sitting proudly on "Aunt Donut's" lap. The salesman took in this unusual domestic tableau with some obvious confusion, and more than a little interest. In answer to the salesman's inquiry, Pete introduced me and Kristine as his wife and daughter. Donna sat quietly. The salesman looked at her and boldly asked, "So where do you fit in?"

Donna didn't bat an eyelash. "Oh, I'm his mistress," she answered, looking straight back at him. Then she casually turned her attention to tying Kristine's open shoelace. The stunned salesman didn't ask any more questions. In fact, I don't think he said another word. The transaction was completed in peace, then Pete, Donna and I laughed all the way home.

Those were good days. I'm looking forward to adding a brand new page to my tea-and-donuts memory book this weekend.

Girlfriend, thank you. You are the best.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Few, The Cloud, The Marines

"Just as the few disgraced the many at Abu Ghraib, the very few who may have committed murder in Haditha will place a burden on the shoulders of every soldier, sailor, airman, marine and coast guardsman fighting terrorism. Each of us has a duty to not add to that burden, and to help relieve it as well. If those few Marines killed innocents in Haditha, their conduct is an aberration, not the norm. It is up to each one of us to ensure that the events of Haditha do not tarnish the brave and selfless service of the many who came before, or any who come after. Except for the aberrant few, the Marines are always faithful to America. In times such as this, we cannot fail to be faithful to them."
~ Jed Babbin


Of the hundreds of thousands of troops who have served and are serving in Iraq, how many are bad apples? But if I may mix my adages, a rotting apple gathers all the moss when it comes to press coverage. Whatever happened at Haditha, truth will out. If U.S. Marines murdered civilians in cold blood, of course those guilty Marines should pay the full penalty according to the laws of military justice.

But it is terribly unfair to tar all Marines with the same brush. Give the Marine Corps credit where it's due. The vast majority of these troops are dedicated, principled, and loyal to the Marine's code of honor.

Think about it. With the way MSM has pounced on the Haditha story, we certainly would have heard about it if they weren't.

The Rule of Law

MSM is once again galloping away with preconceived conclusions about alleged atrocities at Haditha. Mudville Gazette gives a clear and rational perspective on the military justice as it applies within our armed forces.

See also Mudville's Milblogs link, here. If proven true, the allegations are intolerable and fully punishable, as any U.S. serviceman would tell you. If they are not as reported, then MSM once again owes our troops an apology that will not be forthcoming.

Unfortunately for the news consuming public, there is no rule of law within MSM.

(HT for all links: HH)