MoonDawg's Den: August 2006

MoonDawg's Den

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Where's the outrage?

Now we know what many have suspected for months (including me) - that former deputy Sec. of State Richard Armitage was columnist Robert Novak's primary source for his column that mentioned the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA employee and wife of liar extraordinaire Joe Wilson.

Many on the left believed that the leak of Plame's identity was an evil plot orchestrated to discredit Wilson (who is perfectly adept at discrediting himself) by outing Plame, a brave undercover covert agent (which she was not). Many called for the head of Karl Rove, and said that it was all but certain that Rove would be indicted.

Now that we know who the Plame leaker is, where's the outraged left to be found? Why are they not calling for Armitage's head? Oh, but of course - a Rove indictment would have done grave political damage to the Bush White House, whereas there is no political advantage to be gained from an indictment of Armitage.

Thus the left's faux outrage over damage to our national security is revealed for what it is - nothing more than insincere partisan posturing.

UPDATE: A Sept. 1st WaPo editiorial places the blame for Valerie Plame's "outing" where it belongs - on her husband (emphasis mine):

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

UPDATE II - "a terrible error": Armitage finally fesses up to what everyone already knows by now. If only he had come clean three years ago when this story blew up, the whole mess could have been resolved overnight, and Scooter Libby would not be facing spurious obstruction charges - just how do you obstruct a big pile of nothing?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Message from Baghdad

When I was in the GaSDF's officer candidate school last year, our lead instructor was a great guy who'll I'll refer to as Captain Jim here. Capt. Jim got sent to Baghdad a few months ago and is working in the CENTCOM J2 section. I got an email from him yesterday and want to share part of it:
Yesterday I was in the DFAC here and a young E4 assigned to the 101st came in and sat down at the table next to me. His uniform looked as if he had worn it for days (I know how that feels) and the opportunity to wash up before entering the DFAC was the as closest thing to a shower he had seen in sometime. The news was on (yes we have TV in the DFAC) Fox News and some talking heads were discussing how strikes or a potential war with Iran would affect the stock market. He looked as though he could not believe what we was hearing (neither could I). Have we as a country lost focus on why we are here? Are we so concerned with our portfolios that we only give lip service to the war on Islamic fascism? The young soldier got up and said I've got to get back to my brothers and left. I could not think of anything else to say except HOOAH!
Capt. Jim is a Vietnam combat vet and knows what it's like when the media turns against a war. It can't be much better to have the media turn a war into a "material adverse effect" on a corporate 10Q report. And yes Jeff, Capt. Jim called it a "war on Islamic fascism" - the people who are actually putting their lives on the line in Iraq know what we're fighting for, even if many others do not.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ernesto going to Narlins?

Tropical Storm Ernesto looks to become a Cat. 1 hurricane by early Monday morning as it passes near the Cayman Islands. Dave over at StormCARIB says Ernesto may be following in the fatal footsteps of Katrina:

As I mentioned last night,the worst case scenario was the very hostile upper level wind shear south and east of Jamaica moving off to the west, allowing for Ernesto to survive and eventually strengthen to at least Category 3 status with an ultimate target along the Gulf Coast. This unfortunately, appears to be the situation at this time with a possible strike in the same area as Katrina just one year ago.
The 2006 hurricane season has been quiet so far, but that couldn't last forever. Folks on the MS and LA Gulf coasts should already be keeping a close eye on Ernesto and making their preparations. Are you listening, Mayor Nagin?

UPDATE: It looks like Ernesto is headed to southern Florida instead, hopefully as no more than a Cat. 1 hurricane. The bad news is that the Georgia/Carolina coast may be under threat later this week - but it certainly won't be the monster storm that the region is long overdue for.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

At least they make good wine...

Is there anyone with an IQ above the single digits that was surprised by the French government's fecklessness in backing out of its commitment to provide the bulk of the troops for a bolstered UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, under a Security Council resolution that France itself had whined and pleaded for? Instead of sending thousands of troops as expected, a pathetic complement of 200 French soldiers is being offered to police southern Lebanon.

Calling for "peace" without providing the resources to secure the peace is nothing more than moral exhibitionism. But at least you can say one good thing about the French (ok, two good things - gotta love their vino): their dithering serves to once again highlight the utter uselessness of the United Nations as a guarantor of security.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

An Accurate Term

There is a Harold Evans article in yesterday's Guardian (via Instapundit) that is relevant to our discussion of the term "Islamofascism":

The civil rights lobbies are working from a passé play book. They are blind to the lethal nature of the new Salafist totalitarianism. They won't recognize that we are facing an irrationalist movement immune to compromise and dedicated to achieve its ends of controlling every aspect of daily life, every process of the mind, through indiscriminate mass slaughter. It is a culture obsessed with death, a culture that despises women, a culture devoted to mad hatreds not just of Americans and Jews everywhere, but of Muslims anywhere who embrace a less totalitarian, less radical, more humane view of Islam. These Muslims are to be murdered, and have been in their thousands, along with "the pigs of Jews, the monkeys of Christians" and all the "dirty infidels"...

...These are historic fault lines. The right tolerated fascism in the thirties, the left Soviet Communism in the fifties. Of course these two earlier totalitarian movements were different in nature and our response when it came was not always well judged - the tendency is to think first of the excesses of the right typified by the witch hunts of the odious McCarthy, but we should remember, too, that the Democratic party in the immediate postwar years of Henry Wallace would have abandoned Europe just as the left in the eighties would have left Europe at the mercy of the new Soviet missiles.

The apologists for the Islamo-fascists - an accurate term - leave millions around the world exposed to a less obvious but more insidious barbarism.

Indeed - it is especially "less obvious" to those who remain willfully blind to the threat.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Semantics and the Right-Wing Fear Rhetoric

This post will consist of several questions, and will serve as a response to Garry's comment on his recent post:

Here's the key difference between the parties at this point: the right understands that there is an Islamofascist threat. The left? They are too busy carping at Bush for daring to call Islamofascists, well, Islamofascists.

Let's discuss this term that has been used by Garry for a long time and has now caught hold with President Bush's rhetoric.

First, fascism is a system of government; even more specifically, it is an economic movement that rose as a countermovement for communism. Where communism is government-controlled corporations, fascism is corporate-controlled government. World Book Dictionary for Macintosh defines fascism in this manner:

the form of government in Italy from 1922 to 1943, under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. It was ruled by a dictator, with strong control of industry and labor by the central government, great restrictions upon the freedom of individuals, and extreme nationalism and militarism. It was opposed to radical socialism and communism.

So, this leads to my first question. How can Islamic terrorists be fascists when by definition fascism is a government organization? How can a decentralized group of radical terrorists be given the same name as a system that is extremely centralized?

Second, fascism centers around the idea of nationalism. How can terrorists who all hail from different nations be said to subscribe to nationalism? The nation of Islam is a religion, not really a nation; furthermore, terrorists only represent one fundamentalist wing of that nation or religion.

Third, why would the right want to attach this name to terrorists even when it is not an accurate description? I'll answer this one. It's because of fear. Fascism brings to mind Hitler, the Holocaust, and terrible bloodshed. If the right can tie these two ideas together, maybe they can muster support for their failed policy.

Now, before Garry says that this proves his point that the left is disconnected from the reality of the threat, let me respond to that as well. In the same comment that I quote earlier, Garry says that Ned Lamont is proof of the left's disconnect because he "displays utter ignorance of recent history." Really? What recent history is that? Let's talk a little about recent history.

The recent terror plot that was foiled in Britain made international news. In fact, it inspired Garry's post and my response to it. There's one little fact about the incident that isn't getting enough press. The terror plot was foiled by police, not military action. Let me repeat: THE BRITISH MILITARY DID NOT STOP THE TERROR THREAT!

What does that mean? It means that the left, who is apparently "disconnected" with reality, actually has a point when they say that the War on Terror is primarily a police effort. The right seems to think that police action is not sufficient to stop terrorism. Let me ask you, what military action led to the capture and arrest of these terrorists? What military action stopped the plot in Europe? Was it the war in Iraq? Was it the war in Afghanistan? Was it the conflict in Lebanon? Oh wait, all of the terrorists were British nationals. Oh my gosh! They're not foreigners, they're nationals. Maybe Britain should attack itself.

Who's really disconnected from reality?


GARRY RESPONDS: First, let me say that it's good to have Jeff return from his summer frolics and get back to blogging again!

I appreciate the point being made about what fascism is. However, those who use the term "Islamofascist" have a Webster's definition in mind when we speak of the Jihadists:

"a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control"

Bin Laden and his ilk want to restore the Caliphate and impose Sharia law on all of humanity, whether we want it or not. If that's not "a tendency toward strong autocratic or dictatorial control", I don't know what is. To apply the term "Islamofascist" is not fear-mongering, it is simply recognizing the enemy for what they are.

As to the foiled terror plot, what serious person ever said that military force alone would stop the terrorists? It is a combination of law enforcement, judicious application of military force, and intense political suasion that will thwart Islamofascism (thwart, not defeat - they will always be with us to one degree or another despite our best efforts).

Yes, the British police foiled Bojinka II, but what about the next plot? And the one after that? And the one after that? The Jihadists are very patient: so we didn't get the Trade Towers in '93? No worries, we can try again.

Without going after the nations and organizations that enable the fanatics, you have ever more attempts at mass murder, and law enforcement is not going to be able to stop them all.

Regarding the war in Iraq, I for one am glad that a certain terror-enabler named Saddam isn't around any more. You may disagree, of course (by the way, it wasn't all the British police last week - let us give some well-deserved kudos to our friends in Pakistan).

Monday, August 14, 2006

A disconnect with reality

Today Michael Barone has an insightful piece (read the whole thing) about the Left's reaction to the airliner terrorist plot that was revealed last Thursday, noting that many Leftists are unable or unwilling to grasp the reality of the existential threat that transnational Islamic fundamentalism poses to the West:
What we are looking at here is cognitive dissonance. The mindset of the Left blogosphere is that there's no real terrorist threat out there. We wouldn't have any serious problem if we'd just do something different -- raise the minimum wage or reduce the number without health insurance (the first issue Lamont mentioned on election night), withdraw from Iraq or (as some Left bloggers suggest) sell out Israel.
Barone goes on to rightfully mock Ned Lamont, the millionaire moonbat who beat out Sen. Joe Lieberman for the Democratic nomination last Tuesday in the CT primary:
As for Lamont, on victory night he mentioned his policy to handle the nuclear threat posed by Iran: We should "bring in allies" and "use carrots as well as sticks." He evidently failed to notice that we deputized Britain, France and Germany to negotiate with Iran for three years and that Iran has been offered plenty of carrots and has not been threatened with many sticks. Once again, a disconnect with reality.
This disconnect has been apparent to anyone who has paid attention to the rhetoric of the far Left over the last few years. Such stupidity was of little concern as long as it remained on the fringes, but now it threatens to become the dominant mindset of the national Democratic party.

Such is my disgust with the free-spending Republican party that for the past few months I'd been considering sitting out the November election. Now I've come to understand that doing so would be irresponsible - it becomes more and more apparent that the Democratic party's national leadership cannot be entrusted with our national security - therefore sitting out the election would very nearly be an act of suicide.

Friday, August 11, 2006

They still want to kill us? Duhhh...

I work in the travel biz, so naturally I have been slammed with work since early yesterday morning when the news broke about the airliner terror plot in the UK, and haven't had time to blog till now. But even so, I really don't have that much to say about it except to express my agreement with what Major P at Op-For had to say on Thursday:
By now I assume all in our listening audience have seen the reports on the UK airline plot. Shocked and surprised, are you? You shouldn't be. This is all dog-bites-manstuff. The sole rational individual reaction should be anger first, then a brief sigh of relief, and then cold calculated rage. A similar electoral reaction ought to follow as well, but we'll see about that. This is a war, folks, and it is being fought on many fronts. Don't mistake it for anything else but WAR.
Indeed, this is war. The only thing which surprises me is that five years after 9/11, six years after the USS Cole attack, eight years after the Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, ten years after the Khobar Towers attack, and 13 years after the WTC bombing, there are STILL people who don't comprehend that we are at war.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Runoff Roundup, Part Deux

Yesterday we took a look at blogger commentary surrounding the runoff election between Jihad Cindy and Hank whats-his-name. Now lets check out the reax from some of the same bloggers regarding McKinney's richly earned thrashing at the ballot box (most of the lefty blogs are strangely silent on the 4th District result):

As one would expect, Dignan is happy as a clam: "I couldn't be more pleased with the result. Big thanks go out to all who responded to all of my email to go out and vote for Hank Johnson today. Also, a big thanks to all the other blogs that linked here and for all the great readers and commenters."

Captain's Quarters: "Stick a fork in McKinney; she's done."

Red State is moved to burst into song: "Na-na na-na, na-na na-naaa, wey-ehh-hey, go-od-byye."

Code Red Women for the Troops bids Cindy a not-so-fond farewell: "So long you whackjob!"

At RedBlueChristian there is sage analysis reposted from KLo at The Corner: “I guess tonight’s lesson is that you can be politically and ideologically insane and be a Dem candidate (Lamont) but not be personally insane (McKinney)”

The Political Spectrum sheds no tears for Rep. Moonbat: "Cynthia McKinney is a disgrace, and it's good to see her get the boot."

On the other hand, the Bullwinkle Blog is missing McKinney already: "What are conservative bloggers going to do for material now?"

From On High is also pining away for Cindy: "Today is a sad day. Never again will we be treated to assaults on law enforcement officers in the Capitol building nor will we be entertained with talk about how whitey is the root cause of all America's ills (well, I guess we still have the NAACP ...)"

The African American Political Pundit, apparently unaware that Hank Johnson is a Jew-sponsored Republican stooge (at least according to Tahoma Activist), takes heart in the fact that McKinney and Johnson have similar policy stances: "McKinney was defeated but Hank Johnson is no conservative and no Bush kiss-up"

Dem centerist Donkey Digest berates those who led McKinney down the path to moonbat madness: "...the far left who encouraged her maddening descent into the tin foil hat realm share a reponsibility for her lose. But even now, they’re looking for gremlins in the voting machines and Republican conspiracies to hang her loss on."

But Daisy Cutter places more of blame on Cindy herself: "Cynthia McKinney lost, proving that a blank look and the ability to hit police officers with impunity will only get you so far."

Finally, Power Line recalls Cynthia's defining moonbat moment: "Among the many lowlights of McKinney's congressional career, this one should not be forgotten, ever: "McKinney reopens 9/11: Conspiracy theories implicating president aired at 8-hour hearing.""

And what do I think? I tend to agree with Bullwinkle - conservative bloggers are going to miss Rep. McKinney - she was the gift that kept on giving.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Runoff Roundup

Much to the relief of embarrassed Georgians (including me), it looks like Rep. Cynthia McKinney is going to get her moonbat butt kicked in today's Democratic runoff. Although almost all of the political blog world is focused on the Senate primary in Connecticut, there is some interesting blog commentary on the District 4 runoff here in Jaw-juh:

Dignan, the Atlanta blogger who seriously considered running against McKinney before Hank Johnson entered the fray, is liveblogging today's race. His latest update: "1:48PM - The McKinney campaign is already panicking. Her website is reporting voting irregularities and intimidation of McKinney supporters. Some things are as predictable as the rising of the sun."

Captain's Quarters dissects some boneheaded reporting from the LA Times (who'da thunk it), and then hits it on the head: "McKinney has a history of irrational behavior, and her district had tired of it before. It looks like they have tired of it for good. They want reasonable and rational representation, not a nutcase who slugs police officers and insists that George Bush helped plot the 9/11 attacks. At the very least, they'd like to have a representative who actually shows up for votes."

Red State reminds us of Poppa McKinney's impersonation of a drunken Mel Gibson: "The numbers still favor a Johnson win, and Cynthia McKinney has proved beatable in the past, losing the 2002 primary to fellow Democrat Denise Majette. Her father, Billy McKinney, attributed that loss to the fact that “Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J-E-W-S.”

Six Meat Buffet is distraught about McKinney facing defeat: "We NEED Jihad Cindy in the U.S. House of Reps. We NEED the standard bearer of ignorant, race-baiting liberal politics to be there for us when things get slow. Whether she’s slugging a cop and getting away with it because she’s a liberal female black politician, or getting on her knees in front of the Saudi royal family hoping to get showered with a face-full of 9/11 money, WE NEED HER."

Code Red Women for the Troops makes the case for justified assaults on police officers: "I don't know why everyone can't let Cynthia McKninny get past the incident in which she belted a Capitol Hill police officer. I mean...What is a woman to do when she is grabbed from behind?"

Tahoma Activist thinks Hank Johnson is a Republican plant who is financed by - you guessed it - the J-E-W-S: "The Republican Party has put up a weak-ass "Democrat" to go against McKinney in the Primary, and AIPAC and other Israel lobbying firms have ponied up a boatload of cash for his campaign."

RedBlueChristian, like Six Meat Buffet, is hoping that McKinney can pull out a win: "Who would you rather have representing the Dems in Congress – a somewhat stiff but sane Hank Johnson who might actually help the Dems pass their agenda, or a completely wacko Cynthia McKinney who marginalizes herself and her party every time she opens her mouth?"

Josh Morgan at IntenseDebate doesn't care much for Hank Johnson, but he beats the alternative: "I don’t particularly espouse Johnson’s politics including his want to punish corporations for “windfall” profits and the artificial heightening of gas mileage standards. I do believe he is an honorable candidate and will conduct himself in a more respectful manner than McKinney."

From the Mind of Smitty we get a grocery list of Rep. McKinney's positions on the issues. For example, we learn that she is "For Peace and Justice". Meaning that Hank Johnson is not for that?

Virginia Patriot at Don't Vote Democrat gets in a plug for Republican Catherine Davis, who will be running against the winner of today's primary in the 4th District: "Georgia voters should consider Catherine Davis as an alternative to McKinney in November." Yeah sure, and Hassan Nasrallah should consider making a run for a seat in the Knesset.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Risk assessment

With avian flu resurgent in Thailand and Indonesia, and reappearing in Germany, Effect Measure gives us a concise assessment of where things now stand:
...the bird flu situation much the same as before, despite news reports the danger is waning. No one knows the actual risk but whatever it is, it either hasn't changed or has increased. Nothing is different than a year ago, or two years ago or three years ago, except that on the plus side a pandemic strain has yet to emerge and on the minus side the virus now happily resides in more places, more ecological niches, more species and has killed more and more humans.
Meanwhile, could cats be the bird flu equivalent of the canary in the coal mine?