Archive for June 2004

If reports are true…

R.I.P. Matt Maupin and thank you.
–Update–
More from WCPO.

Cleaner fireworks

Disney has perfected a new method of getting fireworks aloft that uses only compressed air instead of black powder which creates a lot of ground-level smoke.
To top it off they’re working to donate the patents involved to a non-profit group so that they can be licensed to other fireworks providers.

Kerry plays “Let’s Pretend”

Another excellent article from Orson Scott Card.

Kerry is stealing a page from the Clinton election handbook by focusing on the exact issue where the Republicans have him beaten.
He’s not pulling a Howard Dean and raving about pulling our troops out.
No, he’s talking like Clinton: Bush has done a terrible, terrible job. Elect me and I’ll do a lot better with this war on terror. And you know how I’ll do it?
By doing every single thing that President Bush has done. Only I would have done it sooner and better.
Why would anybody believe him? Kerry may or may not have been a war hero — it’s for darn sure he saw more active duty than George W. Bush. But we’re not voting for favorite ex-soldier, we’re voting for the policies that will protect us from foreign enemies.
Kerry’s voting record in the Senate says that he’d rather our military consisted of a sixty-man chorus dressed in camo and singing “Give Me Some Men Who Are Stout-Hearted Men.”
And maybe, maybe, one bugler.
If it had been up to Kerry, we wouldn’t have had enough of a military to take over downtown Dallas, let alone Iraq.

The Democratic Party knows that Kerry isn’t serious about running a tough anti-terrorist war. And the Republican Party knows he isn’t serious about it.
But the vast middle group, the people who get their news from Leno and Letterman and Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, all they know is “Bush Is Dumb” and “Kerry’s Going to Win the War.” So guess which one they’ll vote for.

Regardless of what Kerry promises during his campaign, a vote for him is a vote to end any serious effort to fight terrorism using our military abroad. And since he is also committed to dismantling the laws that make serious homeland security possible, just how do you think he’s going to do against our sworn enemies?
There is a difference between the two candidates. A huge one.
World Watch – Orson Scott Card

“Let Freedom Reign!”

Reuters has the letter that informed President Bush that Iraq was sovereign.

Mr President,
    Iraq is sovereign. Letter
was passed from Bremer at
10:26 AM Iraq time –
                   Condi

President Bush then wrote “Let Freedom Reign!” on it.

Newsday on Fahrenheit

Newsday has a take on the limited view presented in the film. Most noteworthy IMO is this section:

Moore suggests Bush’s conflict of interest was manifest shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks when the White House “approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis” who, fearing reprisals, were flown out of the United States. Embellishing the well-known scenario, Moore interviews a retired FBI agent who says authorities should have first questioned the bin Ladens.
But the bin Ladens were questioned. The commission investigating the attacks reported in April that the FBI interviewed 30 passengers: “Nobody was allowed to depart on these six flights who the FBI wanted to interview in connection with the 9/11 attacks or who the FBI later concluded had any involvement in those attacks.”
Newsday

Yes, that would be something in Moore’s film that’s *surprise!!* not true.

Happy Iraqi Sovereignty day!

The handover of sovereignty has been moved up 2 days to today. Fox News reports it has already happened.
Meanwhile the Washington Post shows fairly widespread support among the Iraqi people for the new government.

“68 percent of Iraqis have confidence in their new leaders. The numbers are in stark contrast to widespread disillusionment with the previous Iraqi Governing Council, which was made up of 25 members picked by the United States and which served as the Iraqi partner to the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority. Only 28 percent of Iraqis backed the council when it was dissolved last month, according to a similar poll in May.

But 73 percent of Iraqis polled approved of Allawi to lead the new government, 84 percent approved of President Ghazi Yawar and almost two-thirds backed the new Cabinet. These impressive showings indicate that the new leaders have support spanning ethnic and religious groups, U.S. officials said.

Four out of every five Iraqis expected that the new government will “make things better” for Iraq after the handover, with 10 percent expecting the situation to remain the same and 7 percent anticipating a decline, the poll shows.

[P]ublic confidence in the new police and army has reached new highs, the poll shows. Seventy percent of Iraqis polled supported the new army, and 82 percent supported the police.”
Washington Post

Iraq seeking uranium from Niger?

Gregory Djerejian brings news of a Financial Times piece saying that while some documents may have been forged, human and electronic intelligence from before those documents became public showed that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Niger.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Just like Columbine, it’s a long series of self-contradictory arguments many of which are or border on conspiracy theories. President Bush wanted to invade Iraq after 9/11! He only invaded Afghanistan because it was obvious al Qaeda was being harbored there! No, we invaded Afghanistan simply so we could set up a natural gas pipeline! As with Columbine he’s just throwing reasons up against the wall hoping that something will stick.
He jokes about people thinking that the Wal-Mart in their town might be the target of a terrorist attack. Of course that’s silly, it’s not like a couple weeks ago people were arrested for planning to blow up a shopping mall in the Midwest. That’s just crazy talk!!!
The assumption going into every point made seems to be that the vilest of motives and reasoning possible can of course be assigned to President Bush. A name is blacked out in personal documents released? It couldn’t possibly be to protect the privacy of the person who’s name was blocked out! It’s obviously a nefarious scheme to hide from people that the person whose name is blacked out is connected with the bin Laden family. And never mind that there’s nothing wrong with having associations with that family. GEORGE BUSH IS EEEEEEEEEEEVIL!!!!!!
It distorts the Dickens out of the real world. You walk out under the impression that every person in America thinks President Bush is an evil, money-grubbing, power-hunger monster and that not one person in the military thinks liberating Iraq was the right thing to do. If you went solely on this film you would think that Saddam was the most beloved of all rulers, that he treated his people fairly and humanely and no harm ever came to them until that evil George Bush showed up.
It does have its heart wrenching moments, but even with those you can sense Moore trying to shoehorn them into the case he’s trying to make. They’re good reminders of the sacrifices people make, but then Moore feels the need to start throwing around opinions presented as fact like “the war in Iraq is immoral”.
All that being said, it really is a very well-made little propaganda film. There probably hasn’t been a better propaganda movie made in 70 years or so. Those who come in wanting to believe that President Bush is the source of all that’s wrong in America will have no problem coming out believing every word of it, believing that “Truth” is the limited and flawed worldview presented in this film.
To close this out I’m going to point you back to Christopher Hitchens who rebutted the film so well. It really is a film that cries out for a good fisking.

Some perspective

A good piece from Peter Worthington of the Toronto Sun.

When some claim President Bush shouldn’t have started this war because Iraq never threatened America, it could be recalled that in 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt went to war with Germany, which never attacked America. Japan did.
From 1941-1945, 450,000 American lives were lost — an average of 112,500 per year.
President Harry Truman concluded the war against Japan … and started one in Korea. North Korea never attacked America as al-Qaida did, but from 1950-1953, 55,000 U.S. lives were lost, an average of 18,334 per year.

John Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked. President Lyndon Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost — an average of 5,800 per year.
When he was president, Bill Clinton went to war in Kosovo, without UN or French consent. Serbia never attacked America. Clinton was offered Osama bin Laden’s head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked the West on multiple occasions.
In the two years since 9/11, Bush has liberated two countries. Crushed the Taliban. Crippled al-Qaida. Put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.
The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking, but it took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound — a 51-day operation.
We’ve been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time that it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose law firm billing records.
It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.
It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida.
From this perspective, President Bush as commander-in-chief is doing a great job, with military morale high.
Some people just don’t see all the facts.
Toronto Sun – Peter Worthington

Maybe not the best choice of battles

The Kerry campaign is up in arms. Thursday President Bush’s campain released this web video that exposes what the President’s oponents are saying about him and how they’re saying it.
The Kerry campaign sent out an e-mail yesterday:

Yesterday, the Bush-Cheney campaign, losing any last sense of decency, placed a disgusting ad called “The Faces of John Kerry’s Democratic Party” as the main feature on its website. Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces.
The Bush-Cheney campaign must pull this ad off of its website. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.
We sent you a fundraising plea earlier this morning. But when this came up, we decided it was important to show you just what we’re up against: a presidential campaign that is willing to do or say absolutely anything to win. You’re our only line of defense against these underhanded tactics.
OxBlog

President Bush’s campaign responded, saying they agree completely.

Dear ____________,
On Thursday, the campaign launched a web video titled Kerry’s Coalition of the Wild-eyed. The video featured Democrats who support John Kerry making negative and baseless attacks against the President. Interspersed in the video were segments of two ads that appeared on a website sponsored by MoveOn.org – a group campaigning for Kerry – in January.
On Friday night, John Kerry’s campaign denounced our use of these ads, and called that use “disgusting.”
The Kerry campaign says, “The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.”
We agree. These ads, like much of the hate-filled, angry rhetoric of Kerry’s coalition of the Wild-eyed, are disgusting.
Where was John Kerry’s disgust when he hired Zack Exley – the man responsible for encouraging the production of these ads as part of a MoveOn contest – to run the Kerry campaign’s internet operation?
Where was John Kerry’s sense of outrage when Al Gore, just yesterday afternoon, compared the Bush Administration to the Nazis saying, “The Administration works closely with a network of ‘rapid response’ digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for ‘undermining support for our troops.'”
Where was John Kerry’s anger when Al Gore in May spoke of “Bush’s Gulag”?
Why has John Kerry not denounced billionaire and Democrat Party donor George Soros for comparing the Bush Administration to Nazis. Soros stated, “When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures up memories of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit (‘The enemy is listening’).”
Why has Kerry not spoken out against filmmaker Michael Moore who last October compared the Patriot Act to Mein Kampf. “The Patriot Act is the first step. ‘Mein Kampf’ – ‘Mein Kampf’ was written long before Hitler came to power.”
We created this web video to show the depths to which these Kerry supporters will sink to win in November.
Is this the Democratic Party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who reassured his countrymen we have nothing to fear but fear itself?
No. This is John Kerry’s Coalition of the Wild-eyed, who have nothing to offer but fear-mongering.
Sincerely,
Ken Mehlman
Campaign Manager

Yeah, when complaining that the other side is comparing you to Hitler ya might want to check first and make sure it’s not your side that’s comparing the other side to Hitler.