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Friday, April 27, 2007

There Is No Withdrawal, No Redeployment From This Reality...

Senator Lieberman's address to the Senate yesterday.

McCain/Lieberman 2008...

"Mr. President, the supplemental appropriations bill we are debating today contains language that would have Congress take control of the direction of our military strategy in Iraq.

Earlier this week the Senate Majority Leader spoke at the Woodrow Wilson Center and laid out the case for why he believes we must do this--why the bill now before this chamber, in his view, offers a viable alternative strategy for Iraq.

I have great respect for my friend from Nevada. I believe he has offered this proposal in good faith, and therefore want to take it up in good faith, and examine its arguments and ideas carefully and in depth, for this is a very serious discussion for our country.

In his speech Monday, the Majority Leader described the several steps that this new strategy for Iraq would entail. Its first step, he said, is to "transition the U.S. mission away from policing a civil war--to training and equipping Iraqi security forces, protecting U.S. forces, and conducting targeted counter-terror operations."

I ask my colleagues to take a step back for a moment and consider this plan.

When we say that U.S. troops shouldn't be "policing a civil war," that their operations should be restricted to this narrow list of missions, what does this actually mean?

To begin with, it means that our troops will not be allowed to protect the Iraqi people from the insurgents and militias who are trying to terrorize and kill them. Instead of restoring basic security, which General Petraeus has argued should be the central focus of any counterinsurgency campaign, it means our soldiers would instead be ordered, by force of this proposed law, not to stop the sectarian violence happening all around them--no matter how vicious or horrific it becomes.

In short, it means telling our troops to deliberately and consciously turn their backs on ethnic cleansing, to turn their backs on the slaughter of innocent civilians--men, women, and children singled out and killed on the basis of their religion alone. It means turning our backs on the policies that led us to intervene in the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the principles that today lead many of us to call for intervention in Darfur.

This makes no moral sense at all.

It also makes no strategic or military sense either.

Al Qaeda's own leaders have repeatedly said that one of the ways they intend to achieve victory in Iraq is to provoke civil war. They are trying to kill as many people as possible today, precisely in the hope of igniting sectarian violence, because they know that this is their best way to collapse Iraq's political center, overthrow Iraq's elected government, radicalize its population, and create a failed state in the heart of the Middle East that they can use as a base.

That is why Al Qaeda blew up the Golden Mosque in Samarra last year. And that is why we are seeing mass casualty suicide bombings by Al Qaeda in Baghdad now.

The sectarian violence that the Majority Leader says he wants to order American troops to stop policing, in other words, is the very same sectarian violence that Al Qaeda hopes to ride to victory. The suggestion that we can draw a bright legislative line between stopping terrorists in Iraq and stopping civil war in Iraq flies in the face of this reality.

I do not know how to say it more plainly: it is Al Qaeda that is trying to cause a full-fledged civil war in Iraq.

The Majority Leader said on Monday that he believes U.S. troops will still be able to conduct "targeted counter-terror operations" under his plan. Even if we stop trying to protect civilians in Iraq, in other words, we can still go after the bad guys.

But again, I ask my colleagues, how would this translate into military reality on the ground? How would we find these terrorists, who do not gather on conventional military bases or fight in conventional formations?

By definition, targeted counterterrorism requires our forces to know where, when, and against whom to strike--and that in turn requires accurate, actionable, real-time intelligence.

This is the kind of intelligence that can only come from ordinary Iraqis, the sea of people among whom the terrorists hide. And that, in turn, requires interacting with the Iraqi people on a close, personal, daily basis. It requires winning individual Iraqis to our side, gaining their trust, convincing them that they can count on us to keep them safe from the terrorists if they share valuable information about them. This is no great secret. This is at the heart of the new strategy that General Petraeus and his troops are carrying out.

And yet, if we pass this legislation, according to the Majority Leader, U.S. forces will no longer be permitted to patrol Iraq's neighborhoods or protect Iraqi civilians. They won't, in his words, be "interjecting themselves between warring factions" or "trying to sort friend from foe."

Therefore, I ask the supporters of this legislation: How, exactly, are U.S. forces to gather intelligence about where, when, and against whom to strike, after you have ordered them walled off from the Iraqi population? How, exactly, are U.S. forces to carry out targeted counter-terror operations, after you have ordered them cut off from the very source of intelligence that drives these operations?

This is precisely why the congressional micromanagement of life-and-death decisions about how, where, and when our troops can fight is such a bad idea, especially on a complex and changing battlefield.

In sum, you can't have it both ways. You can't withdraw combat troops from Iraq and still fight Al Qaeda there. If you believe there is no hope of winning in Iraq, or that the costs of victory there are not worth it, then you should be for complete withdrawal as soon as possible.

There is another irony here as well.

For most of the past four years, under Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, the United States did not try to establish basic security in Iraq. Rather than deploying enough troops necessary to protect the Iraqi people, the focus of our military has been on training and equipping Iraqi forces, protecting our own forces, and conducting targeted sweeps and raids--in other words, the very same missions proposed by the proponents of the legislation before us.

That strategy failed--and we know why it failed. It failed because we didn't have enough troops to ensure security, which in turn created an opening for Al Qaeda and its allies to exploit. They stepped into this security vacuum and, through horrific violence, created a climate of fear and insecurity in which political and economic progress became impossible.

For years, many members of Congress recognized this. We talked about this. We called for more troops, and a new strategy, and--for that matter--a new secretary of defense.

And yet, now, just as President Bush has come around--just as he has recognized the mistakes his administration has made, and the need to focus on basic security in Iraq, and to install a new secretary of defense and a new commander in Iraq--now his critics in Congress have changed their minds and decided that the old, failed strategy wasn't so bad after all.

What is going on here? What has changed so that the strategy that we criticized and rejected in 2006 suddenly makes sense in 2007?

The second element in the plan outlined by the Majority Leader on Monday is "the phased redeployment of our troops no later than October 1, 2007."

Let us be absolutely clear what this means. This legislation would impose a binding deadline for U.S. troops to begin retreating from Iraq. This withdrawal would happen regardless of conditions on the ground, regardless of the recommendations of General Petraeus, in short regardless of reality on October 1, 2007.

As far as I can tell, none of the supporters of withdrawal have attempted to explain why October 1 is the magic date--what strategic or military significance this holds. Why not September 1? Or January 1? This is a date as arbitrary as it is inflexible--a deadline for defeat.

How do proponents of this deadline defend it? On Monday, Senator Reid gave several reasons. First, he said, a date for withdrawal puts "pressure on the Iraqis to make the desperately needed political compromises."

But will it? According to the legislation now before us, the withdrawal will happen regardless of what the Iraqi government does.

How, then, if you are an Iraqi government official, does this give you any incentive to make the right choices?

On the contrary, there is compelling reason to think a legislatively directed withdrawal of American troops will have exactly the opposite effect than its Senate sponsors intend.

This, in fact, is exactly what the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq predicted. A withdrawal of U.S. troops in the months ahead, it said, would "almost certainly lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict, intensify Sunni resistance, and have adverse effects on national reconciliation."

Second, the Majority Leader said that withdrawing our troops, and again I quote, will "reduce the specter of the U.S. occupation which gives fuel to the insurgency."

My colleague from Nevada, in other words, is suggesting that the insurgency is being provoked by the very presence of American troops. By diminishing that presence, then, he believes the insurgency will diminish.

But I ask my colleagues--where is the evidence to support this theory? Since 2003, and before General Petraeus took command, U.S. forces were ordered on several occasions to pull back from Iraqi cities and regions, including Mosul and Fallujah and Tel'Afar and Baghdad. And what happened in these places? Did they stabilize when American troops left? Did the insurgency go away?

On the contrary--in each of these places where U.S. forces pulled back, Al Qaeda rushed in. Rather than becoming islands of peace, they became safe havens for terrorists, islands of fear and violence.

So I ask advocates of withdrawal: on what evidence, on what data, have you concluded that pulling U.S. troops out will weaken the insurgency, when every single experience we have had since 2003 suggests that this legislation will strengthen it?

Consider the words of Sheikh Abdul Sattar, one of the leading Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar province who is now fighting on our side against Al Qaeda. This is what he told the New York Times when asked last month what would happen if U.S. troops withdraw. "In my personal opinion, and in the opinion of most of the wise men of Anbar," he said, "if the American forces leave right now, there will be civil war and the area will fall into total chaos."

This is a man whose father was killed by Al Qaeda, who is risking his life every day to work with us--a man who was described by one Army officer as "the most effective local leader in Ramadi I believe the coalition has worked with in Anbar [since] 2003."

In his remarks earlier this week, the Majority Leader observed that there is "a large and growing population of millions--who sit precariously on the fence. They will either condemn or contribute to terrorism in the years ahead. We must convince them of the goodness of America and Americans. We must win them over."

On this, I completely agree with my friend from Nevada. My question to him, however, and to the supporters of this legislation, is this: how does the strategy you propose in this bill possibly help win over this population of millions in Iraq, who sit precariously on the fence?

What message, I ask, does this legislation announce to those people in Iraq? How will they respond when we tell them that we will no longer make any effort to protect them against insurgents and death squads? How will they respond when we declare that we will be withdrawing our forces--regardless of whether they make progress in the next six months towards political reconciliation? Where will their hopes for a better life be when we withdraw the troops that are the necessary precondition for the security and stability they yearn for?

Do my friends really believe that this is the way to convince Iraqis, and the world, of the goodness of America and Americans? Does anyone in this chamber really believe that, by announcing a date certain for withdrawal, we will empower Iraqi moderates, or enable Iraq's reconstruction, or open more schools for their children, or more hospitals for their families, or freedom for everyone?

Mr. President, with all due respect, this is fantasy.

The third step the Majority Leader proposes is to impose "tangible, measurable, and achievable benchmarks on the Iraqi government."

I am all for such benchmarks. In fact, Senator McCain and I were among the first to propose legislation to apply such benchmarks on the Iraqi government.

But I don't see how this plan will encourage Iraqis to meet these or any other benchmarks, given its ironclad commitment to abandon them--regardless of how they behave.

We should of course be making every effort to encourage reconciliation in Iraq and the development of a decent political order that Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds can agree on.

But even if today that political solution was found, we cannot rationally think that our terrorist enemies like Al Qaeda in Iraq will simply vanish.

Al Qaeda is not mass murdering civilians on the streets of Baghdad because it wants a more equitable distribution of oil revenues. Its aim in Iraq is not to get a seat at the political table.

It wants to blow up the table--along with everyone seated at it. Al Qaeda wants to destroy any prospect for democracy in Iraq, and it will not be negotiated or reasoned out of existence. It must be fought and defeated through force of arms. And there can be no withdrawal, no redeployment from this reality.

The fourth step that the Majority Leader proposed on Monday is a "diplomatic, economic, and political offensive starting with a regional conference working toward a long-term framework for stability in the region."

I understand why we are tempted by these ideas. All of us are aware of the justified frustration, fatigue, and disappointment of the American people. And all of us would like to believe that there is a quick and easy solution to the challenges we face in Iraq.

But none of this gives us an excuse to paper over hard truths. We delude ourselves if we think we can wave a legislative wand and suddenly our troops in the field will be able to distinguish between Al Qaeda terrorism and sectarian violence, or that Iraqis will suddenly settle their political differences because our troops are leaving, or that sweet reason alone will suddenly convince Iran and Syria to stop destabilizing Iraq.

Mr. President, what we need now is a sober assessment of the progress we have made and a recognition of the challenges we face. There are still many uncertainties before us, many complexities. Barely half of the new troops that General Petraeus has requested have even arrived in Iraq, and, as we heard from him yesterday, it will still be months before we will know just how effective his new strategy is.

In following General Petraeus' path, there is no guarantee of success--but there is hope, and a new plan, for success.

The plan embedded in this legislation, on the other hand, contains no such hope. It is a strategy of catchphrases and bromides, rather than military realities in Iraq. It does not learn from the many mistakes we have made in Iraq. Rather, it promises to repeat them.

Let me be absolutely clear: In my opinion, Iraq is not yet lost--but if we follow this plan, it will be. And so, I fear, much of our hope for stability in the Middle East and security from terrorism here at home.

I yield the floor."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Giant Spider in the 3rd Act

While we're on the topic of Big Blue, here's a cut of Kevin Smith talking about his eventually aborted effort to bring the Man of Tomorrow back to the big screen.


Krypton Discovered!

Habitable planet under a red sun! Watch the video recorded by SCIENTISTS!

What they revealed is a planet circling the red dwarf star, Gliese 581. Red dwarfs are low-energy, tiny stars that give off dim red light and last longer than stars like our sun. Until a few years ago, astronomers didn't consider these stars as possible hosts of planets that might sustain life.

The discovery of the new planet, named 581 c, is sure to fuel studies of planets circling similar dim stars. About 80 percent of the stars near Earth are red dwarfs.

The new planet is about five times heavier than Earth. Its discoverers aren't certain if it is rocky like Earth or if its a frozen ice ball with liquid water on the surface. If it is rocky like Earth, which is what the prevailing theory proposes, it has a diameter about 1 1/2 times bigger than our planet. If it is an iceball, as Mayor suggests, it would be even bigger.

Based on theory, 581 c should have an atmosphere, but what's in that atmosphere is still a mystery and if it's too thick that could make the planet's surface temperature too hot, Mayor said.

However, the research team believes the average temperature to be somewhere between 32 and 104 degrees and that set off celebrations among astronomers.

What Kid Various wants to know is; if we travelled to this world, would we gain superpowers under the red sun's rays, or would we become even weaker? Does the superpower/cosmic ray equation work only one way? Or is it transitive?

UPDATE: In congruence with the discovery of Krypton, SCIENTISTS! have discovered actual Kryptonite!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mr. Clean is the Silver Surfer?

Larry Fishburne is voicing the Herald of Galactus in The Fantastic Four 2: The Rise of the Silver Surfer?

Well, he did play Mr. Clean in Apocalypse Now. And we guess he kinda does look like Mr. Clean. You know, if you spray painted him in a Shirley Eaton - Goldfinger type of way.

Here's a preview of audience reaction:

Read the whole thing. It's freaking hysterical. Actually it captures the personality of Reed Richards quite well. No wonder the Count Von Doom is always pissed off at that self-righteous bastard.

You can tell that the Surfer is a Bad Ass Dude, because he totally blows off the toll at the Lincoln.

And you know there is going to major world-wide bank - because FF is everywhere.

Except in this version the "Holy Arba'a" (who get their extraordinary powers from accidental exposure to "Allah rays") fight the infidel powers for jihad! In this issue Sue Storm, who must remain invisible or "veiled" at all times accidentally reimages during a battle with the dread Jew Magneto. The rest of the issue deals with the Sue learning not to tempt men with her sultry, sumptous body as she recieves 40 lashes from Reed's whip-like appendages. For SCIENCE!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

All You Need To Know

This is all you need to know:

"We, who are willing to support this new strategy, and give General Petraeus the time and support he needs, have chosen a hard road. But it is the right road. It is necessary and just. Democrats, who deny our soldiers the means to prevent an American defeat, have chosen another road. It may appear to be the easier course of action, but it is a much more reckless one, and it does them no credit even if it gives them an advantage in the next election. This is an historic choice, with ramifications for Americans not even born yet. Let's put aside for a moment the small politics of the day. The judgment of history should be the approval we seek, not the temporary favor of the latest public opinion poll." Sen. John McCain (R-Az.), speaking at the Virginia Military Institute, April 11, 2007

"We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), speaking to reporters, April 12, 2007

"This war is lost." Reid, April 19, 2007


This Is Lame Beyond All Measure

This needs to receieve some sort of award for lameness:

Iraq link to campus killer Cho

THE sister of the gunman responsible for the deadliest shooting rampage in modern US history works as a contractor for a State Department office that oversees billions of dollars in American aid for Iraq.

First of all, it's lame for somehow trying to link Iraq to the killings at VA Tech. This would not have been a story if she worked in Nigeria.

Secondly and more importantly, they're going after this guy's poor sister?

Messages left on her office voicemail, in which she identifies herself as "Sun Cho", were not immediately returned today.

That's really deplorable. That's like, way beyond any line of human decency.

No! No! No! A Thousand GODDAMN TIMES NO!

AP is beginning to lose the benefit of the doubt with Kid Various. It seems less and less that they are simply continually wrong, but rather, seem in an almost BBC-like fashion to have adopted an editorial stance of deliberate misinformation to undermine support for the War. In their most recent article about the length of the troop surge:

This approach underscores the central difficulty facing President Bush. If political progress is not possible in the relatively short term, then the justification for sending thousands more U.S. troops to Baghdad — and accepting the rising U.S. combat death toll that has resulted — will disappear. That in turn would put even more pressure on Bush to yield to the Democratic-led push to wind down the war in coming months.

No! No! No! A thousand goddamn times NO!

No one ever claimed that this would be a short term process. No one ever said “we are going to surge troops for 3 to 6 months and win the War.”

In fact, the basic assumptions of the surge (or rather counterinsurgency strategy [COIN]) call for an extended time frame of higher troop presence in Baghdad, and more importantly, and extended amount of time building relations and trust among the local populace.

Given how many times we have screwed them, that trust that needs to be built with the Iraqi populace can only be built over an extended period of time. The COIN strategy calls for, and has always called for, an extended deployment to protect the Iraqi populace and begin –freaking begin – to provide them with basic services.

If you read the Kagan/Keane plan “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq” – which served as the intellectual foundation for the new COIN strategy – the plan specifically calls for a surge to last from 18 to 24 months. This would be the minimum time needed to rebuild the relations with the populace and provide a stable enough atmosphere so that the political process could once again begin.

In fact, Kagan and Keane, as well as numerous others, specifically warned against a “Surge & Run” strategy.

A six-month surge of the sort now being discussed in Washington would certainly help tamp down violence in Baghdad. And securing Baghdad, quickly and firmly, is essential if the Iraqi government is to survive. But "the reality on the streets" demands a longer commitment: The war can be lost in the next six months, but it cannot be won in the next six months.

The new COIN strategy has always planned that the end elements of the surge would arrive by the end of June. The end of June. That means that they would arrive right at the end of a “Surge & Run” operation. The point of which would be what? General Petraeus has always said that the new COIN strategy will be implemented by June and then by the end of the summer we’ll have definitive data on whether or not it’s working. Again indicating a significantly longer time frame than a 3 to 6 month operation.

Petraeus made it clear in his opening statement that he supports Bush's plan for surging troops into Baghdad, and said that he would expect to have indicators on the potential success or failure of the new plan by late summer.

The Administration has never said that the new COIN strategy will be short term and has consistently taken measures that belie that impression. At the beginning of March, General Ray Odierno stated that the higher troop levels would have to be sustained until at least February 2008.

The day-to-day commander of U.S. forces in Iraq has recommended that the heightened U.S. troop levels in Iraq be extended through February 2008, military officials said.

The confidential recommendation by the commander, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, reflects the military's new counterinsurgency doctrine, which puts a premium on sustained efforts to win over a wary population.

In April, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that, in order to cover the amount of troops needed for the COIN strategy for an extended period, troops going to Iraq and Afghanistan would serve 15 month rotations, instead of the previous 12. This decision was not made April 10th. It’s something that has been in the works a long time and has likely been in the cards since the first planning of the new COIN strategy.

Gates said the move will also create the capacity for commanders to extend the military surge in Iraq for at least a year, although he said any such decision to do so will depend on conditions on the ground.

The fact that this is an extended operation that will last for a long time is readily apparent to anyone who is paying the slightest bit of attention. But yet the AP seems hell bent on portraying to the American public that this operation was supposed to work some sort of miracle in 3 to 6 months and that if Iraq is not a happy place by then, not only have we lost, but the President lied to us (again) selling us a bill of goods!

The idea of the troop increase, originally billed by the administration as a temporary "surge," is not to defeat the insurgency. That is not thought possible in the near term. The purpose is to contain the violence — in particular, the sect-on-sect killings in Baghdad — long enough to create an environment in which Iraqi political leaders can move toward conciliation and ordinary Iraqis are persuaded of a viable future.

No! No! No! A thousand goddamn times NO!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dad of the Year

Wasn't he supposed to move to France or something?

God that is funny. Who would have thought that Kim Basinger could be such a thoughtless pain in the ass?


He'll probably catch hell for this off hand remark. But it is indicative of the fact that John McCain is the only presidential hopeful whom we can trust to fight the Goddamn War!

Look to this space for a future Idiom endorsement.

UPDATE: Just the right response. McCain tells detractors "get a life." via Instapundit

We're Totally Objective!

PBS, serving the public "interest" for 40 years.

Providence help us if Democrats are able to revive the "fairness doctrine" to make the media even more "fair" than it is now!

When Rush Limbaugh has more listeners than NPR, or Tom Clancy sells more books than Noam Chomsky, or Motor Trend gets more subscribers than Mother Jones, liberals want to convince us (or themselves, perhaps) that it’s all because of some catastrophic market failure or a grand corporate conspiracy to dumb down the masses. In reality, it’s just the result of consumer choice. All the opinions that the Left’s media critics favor are now readily available to us via multiple platforms. But that’s not good enough, it seems: they won’t rest until all of us are watching, reading, and listening to the content that they prefer.

Doc-tor O-Dwy-er...

Why does Kid Various think that he'll soon see this image on T-shirts? Trust Kiddy V. - in 20 years, this schmuck will be splayed on the mid-sections of college students like that other mass murderer, Che Gueverra.

The Kid has listened to this guy's rantings and, as a political professional, come to this conclusion. He's a really bad spokesperson for his cause. He really could have benefitted from some training in message communication techniques. As it stands, Kid Various doesn't really have any idea as to what his message was; except it had something to do with getting over on the rich kids.

So really, he might have just been trying to remake the movie Meatballs - but with Glocks.

We don't have anything new to note about this whole, seriously effed up situation. There's all sorts of things that have been said; about why this happened, why no one did anything about a kid carrying around a blinking neon sign above his head reading "dangerous psychotic," and the whole hoo-hah about NBC broadcasting his snuff manifesto.

But the best thing we have read is this piece by Mark Steyn which asks the question, "Why did people allow themselves to be slaughtered?" How has our society come to this? It permeates everything in our society from this incident to the War. When are we going to learn that no one is going to save us? That we have to stand up and confront evil - even if it means great personal risk to ourselves?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

They Say It Like Its A Bad Thing...

The 6 "Sadrist" Ministers quit the Iraq Government yesterday.

BAGHDAD - Cabinet ministers loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr resigned on Monday to protest the prime minister's refusal to set a timetable for an American withdrawal, raising the prospect that the Mahdi Army militia could return to the streets of Baghdad.

The departure of the six ministers, while unlikely to topple Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government, deals a significant blow to the U.S.-backed leader, who relied on support from the Sadrists to gain office.

A "significant blow?" It's called "cleaning house." The Sadrists are pre-empting a move by the PM that has been expected for a while now.

Maliki has also given the green light to a crackdown on Shiite militias and death squads, serving notice that the war of the sectarians must end. Within the next few weeks, he is expected to further anger Tehran by dropping from his Cabinet all five Sadrist ministers, who are beholden to the Iranian regime.

The media, once again, is distorting good news - trying to paint a crackdown on the more extremist shi'ite elements within the society represented by Al-Sadr as some sort of "government breakdown."

The problem is not that the Sadrists are leaving. The problem is that there are Sadrists in the Government, especially the Ministry of Health, where they use government resources to pursue sectarian agendas.

There are 27 ministries in Iraq with the Sadrists having been given 6 (really 5 and one "independent") the major one being the Health Ministry. They were given those slots (out of all proportion to their number) by Maliki as payback for Sadr's support for him as PM.

What you have to understand is that in Iraqi politics the parliament is broken down into several caucuses or blocs, mostly based on sectarian loyalty. But each bloc may be comprised of several parties. The breakdown of the shi'ite bloc in the Parliament basically reads like this:

Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) 40%
Da'wa 40%
Sadrists 15%
Other 5%

Maliki is from the Da'wa party. Taken together, the members of SCIRI and Da'wa who represent the mainstream shi'ite parties dwarf the number of Sadrists. But when the shia bloc was debating on who to put forward as a nominee for the PM slot to the Parliament - the Sadrists held the crucial swing vote. Da'wa had a candidate (Maliki) and SCIRI had a candidate (Adel Abdel Mahdi.) The Sadrists held the power in that one vote.

But the Sadrists are not a major factor in the Parliament. They are a minority in a minority (the shia bloc is less than 50% of the Parliament.)

Therefore, the departure of Sadrist ministers doesn't threaten the stability of the Government. The Sadrists are not a factor enough in Parliament to bring down the Government, or even paralyze Parliamentary operations should they decide to "boycott" the Parliament as well.

What these articles should be highlighting is that Maliki, as demonstrated by his action in the past 2 months, has come to the conclusion that he's paid back Sadr enough, and that his future demands a stabilization of the situation in Iraq and an alliance with us. And it's high past time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Burn Baby, Burn!

Well, come on. Didn't we all burn Richard Gere in effigy after Autumn in New York?

But on Monday, groups of men shouting "Down with Richard Gere," burned the Hollywood star's effigies and kicked the smoking remains in the northern Indian cities of Kanpur, Meerut and Varanasi as well as in the central city of Indore.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Poor Orson. The Critic was merciless on him...

But God this is funny:

Eaten By Wolves

OK. There is definitely some link between this guy and that other guy who went to live with and got eaten by bears.

But on that video when he gets that wolf pup to howl... That is so cute!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Diamond Dave and the Boys

Man what a great video!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So It Goes

Kurt Vonnegut died today. He wrote the following story in 1961. His brilliance will be missed...

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Some things about living still weren’t quite right, though. April, for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron’s fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn’t think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel’s cheeks, but she’d forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George’s head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

“That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did,” said Hazel.

“Huh?” said George.

“That dance – it was nice,” said Hazel.

“Yup,” said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren’t really very good – no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.

Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.

“Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer,” said George.

“I’d think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds,” said Hazel, a little envious. “All the things they think up.”

“Um,” said George.

“Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do?” said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. “If I was Diana Moon Glampers,” said Hazel, “I’d have chimes on Sunday – just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion.”

“I could think, if it was just chimes,” said George.

“Well – maybe make ‘em real loud,” said Hazel. “I think I’d make a good Handicapper General.”

“Good as anybody else,” said George.

“Who knows better’n I do what normal is?” said Hazel.

“Right,” said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that.

“Boy!” said Hazel, “that was a doozy, wasn’t it?”

It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples.

“All of a sudden you look so tired,” said Hazel. “Why don’t you stretch out on the sofa, so’s you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch.” She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in canvas bag, which was padlocked around George’s neck. “Go on and rest the bag for a little while,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re not equal to me for a while.”

George weighed the bag with his hands. “I don’t mind it,” he said. “I don’t notice it any more. It’s just a part of me.

“You been so tired lately – kind of wore out,” said Hazel. “If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few.”

“Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out,” said George. “I don’t call that a bargain.”

“If you could just take a few out when you came home from work,” said Hazel. “I mean – you don’t compete with anybody around here. You just set around.”

“If I tried to get away with it,” said George, “then other people’d get away with it and pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?”

“I’d hate it,” said Hazel.

“There you are,” said George. “The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?”

If Hazel hadn’t been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldn’t have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head.

“Reckon it’d fall all apart,” said Hazel.

“What would?” said George blankly.

“Society,” said Hazel uncertainly. “Wasn’t that what you just said?”

“Who knows?” said George.

The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn’t clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For about half a minute, and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, “Ladies and gentlemen – ”

He finally gave up, handed the bulletin to a ballerina to read.

“That’s all right –” Hazel said of the announcer, “he tried. That’s the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard.”

“Ladies and gentlemen” said the ballerina, reading the bulletin. She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred-pound men.

And she had to apologize at once for her voice, which was a very unfair voice for a woman to use. Her voice was a warm, luminous, timeless melody. “Excuse me – ” she said, and she began again, making her voice absolutely uncompetitive.

“Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen,” she said in a grackle squawk, “has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under–handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.”

A police photograph of Harrison Bergeron was flashed on the screen – upside down, then sideways, upside down again, then right side up. The picture showed the full length of Harrison against a background calibrated in feet and inches. He was exactly seven feet tall.

The rest of Harrison’s appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever worn heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H–G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides.

Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds.

And to offset his good looks, the H–G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle–tooth random.

“If you see this boy,” said the ballerina, “do not – I repeat, do not – try to reason with him.”

There was the shriek of a door being torn from its hinges.

Screams and barking cries of consternation came from the television set. The photograph of Harrison Bergeron on the screen jumped again and again, as though dancing to the tune of an earthquake.

George Bergeron correctly identified the earthquake, and well he might have – for many was the time his own home had danced to the same crashing tune. “My God –” said George, “that must be Harrison!”

The realization was blasted from his mind instantly by the sound of an automobile collision in his head.

When George could open his eyes again, the photograph of Harrison was gone. A living, breathing Harrison filled the screen.

Clanking, clownish, and huge, Harrison stood in the center of the studio. The knob of the uprooted studio door was still in his hand. Ballerinas, technicians, musicians, and announcers cowered on their knees before him, expecting to die.

“I am the Emperor!” cried Harrison. “Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

“Even as I stand here –” he bellowed, “crippled, hobbled, sickened – I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!”

Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds.

Harrison’s scrap–iron handicaps crashed to the floor.

Harrison thrust his thumbs under the bar of the padlock that secured his head harness. The bar snapped like celery. Harrison smashed his headphones and spectacles against the wall.

He flung away his rubber–ball nose, revealed a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder.

“I shall now select my Empress!” he said, looking down on the cowering people. “Let the first woman who dares rise to her feet claim her mate and her throne!”

A moment passed, and then a ballerina arose, swaying like a willow.

Harrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear, snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last of all, he removed her mask.

She was blindingly beautiful.

“Now” said Harrison, taking her hand, “shall we show the people the meaning of the word dance? Music!” he commanded.

The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped them of their handicaps, too. “Play your best,” he told them, “and I’ll make you barons and dukes and earls.”

The music began. It was normal at first – cheap, silly, false. But Harrison snatched two musicians from their chairs, waved them like batons as he sang the music as he wanted it played. He slammed them back into their chairs.

The music began again and was much improved.

Harrison and his Empress merely listened to the music for a while – listened gravely, as though synchronizing their heartbeats with it.

They shifted their weights to their toes.

Harrison placed his big hands on the girl’s tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers.

And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang!

Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well.

They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun.

They leaped like deer on the moon.

The studio ceiling was thirty feet high, but each leap brought the dancers nearer to it. It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling.

They kissed it.

And then, neutralizing gravity with love and pure will, they remained suspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each other for a long, long time.

It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.

Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.

It was then that the Bergerons’ television tube burned out.

Hazel turned to comment about the blackout to George.

But George had gone out into the kitchen for a can of beer.

George came back in with the beer, paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. “You been crying?” he said to Hazel.

“Yup,” she said,

“What about?” he said.

“I forget,” she said. “Something real sad on television.”

“What was it?” he said.

“It’s all kind of mixed up in my mind,” said Hazel.

“Forget sad things,” said George.

“I always do,” said Hazel.

“That’s my girl,” said George. He winced. There was the sound of a riveting gun in his head.

“Gee – I could tell that one was a doozy,” said Hazel.

“You can say that again,” said George.

“Gee –” said Hazel, “I could tell that one was a doozy.”

Not Good

Not good. The Enemy has managed to attack the Iraqi Parliament inside the Parliament building. Idiom friend and extreme democracy expert Mr. Democracy notes:

This is really bad. The Enemy has been being squeezed hard the past few weeks. He needed to get out the message that we're not making progress and that he can attack any time, anywhere. He did. It's an attack in the freakin' Parliament building!

Been there many times. The reports say "cafeteria" but you have to understand it's just a bar-type area in the middle of the building. It's not a spearate room. Nobody knows anything solid yet.

8 weeks of progress up in smoke.


Well, well. Look who's now advocating military action in Darfur:

''I would use American force now,'' Biden said at a hearing before his committee. ''I think it's not only time not to take force off the table. I think it's time to put force on the table and use it.''

In advocating use of military force, Biden said senior U.S. military officials in Europe told him that 2,500 U.S. troops could ''radically change the situation on the ground now.''

''Let's stop the bleeding,'' Biden said. ''I think it's a moral imperative.''

Yeah, so when that gets tough are you planning to blame Bush and whine for withdrawal too?

Kid Various should note for the record, however, that Senator Biden is completely correct. It is incumbent upon us to end the continuing genocide in Darfur and establish a free society there. It would also go far to demonstrate that our committment to freedom does not only apply to areas in which we have security interests (for in Sudan we have none.)

We should send one BCT and Special Forces from Djibouti as well as air assets and establish a wide "safe zone" in southern Sudan.

It would just be nice if Senator Biden recognized our "moral imperative" in Iraq as well, instead of doing all he can to ensure defeat there

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NEVER AGAIN! (Until the Next Time)

Displaying stunning alacrity, 62 years after the German genocide, 30 years after the Cambodian genocide and a mere 13 years after the Rwandan genocide – the United Nations is hiring a full time Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide!

Thirteen years after some 800,000 Rwandans were murdered by their compatriots in an orchestrated criminal campaign, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called today for “a global partnership against genocide” and pledged to strengthen United Nations mechanisms to ensure that such an event never happens again.

The post of UN Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide – currently held by Juan E. Méndez of Argentina – will be upgraded to a full-time position, Mr. Ban said in a message marking the anniversary of the start of the genocide.

Mr. Mendez related in an official statement that he was pleased to hear of his upgraded status from part-time to full-time as it now meant he could get health benefits.

“Also, I can quit my night job at the 7-11,” added Mendez.

Mr. Mendez also said he looked forward to implementing his ideas for a "Genocide isn't cool!" campaign, just as soon as he got through all the paperwork in HR.

Hiring an employee full time to handle the genocide file had been proposed shortly after the Rwandan "matter", but Accounting took 12 years to find sufficient funds for the position without having to trim from the 240-strong staff for the UN Special Commission to Fete Tyrants.

"You will never find a more wretched hive
of scum and villiany..."

Fucking New York Times

The headline in the NY Times yesterday:


BAGHDAD, April 9 — Tens of thousands of protesters loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric, took to the streets of the holy city of Najaf on Monday in an extraordinarily disciplined rally to demand an end to the American military presence in Iraq, burning American flags and chanting “Death to America!”

Huge! HUGE we tell you!

Not at all mentioning that the attendance is way, way below what Al-Sadr was shooting for. Al-Sadr, who was trying to get upward of a million, managed (from his hiding place in Iran) to get 5,000 to 7,000 people according to MNF-I officials. Say they got over 10,000. Say they got over 20,000 (which would be a big stretch) this would still be a failure. But of course, the NYT headline does not read:


Right near the top in the 2nd paragraph, the NY Times indulges in outright obfuscation:

Residents said that the angry, boisterous demonstration was the largest in Najaf, the heart of Shiite religious power, since the American-led invasion in 2003.

Which is flat out, not true. There have been far larger protests against the Coalition including the demonstrations/riots in April 2004 when Muqtada Al-Sadr was much stronger. The NY Times knows this. But note how the reportage is formulated "Residents said..."

Therefore, they're just doing direct reporting on what residents say - even though they know it's not the truth!

Gateway Pundit has a similar take:

It's refreshing to see the world's finest military win a battle on the media front!

Of all of the 1,800 plus articles published yesterday on the Al Sadr Anti-US-occupation protest in Najaf, Iraq, not one mentioned that the turnout was way below what was expected and hoped for by the media and the pro-Iranian Muqtada al-Sadr.

Both the Associated Press and New York Times reported that "tens of thousands" attended the protest.

From the pictures that were released by the MSM of the protest it was impossible to tell exactly how many showed up to stomp on and burn the US flag.

The Weekly Standard Blog was the first to report that turnout was far below what was expected:

The demonstration in Najaf has been muted. While Middle East Online claimed "hundreds of thousands of Shiites burned and trampled on US flags," the reality is the protest was far smaller than Sadr would have liked. Reuters puts the protest size in the thousands, and during a press round table briefing today, Rear Admiral Mark Fox noted that the Coalition is closely monitoring the protest, and put the number of demonstrators between 5,000 and 7,000.
Omar in Baghdad also has the same message:

Speaking of the Sadrists’ pitiful demonstrations, Sadr’s aides were hoping to gather a million marchers for yesterday but all they could manage were less than ten thousand, even when they bussed people from Baghdad and Basra.

Fucking New York Times!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Victory Through Hare Power

Back from a time when Americans knew how to fight a war!

"It ain't Wendell Wilkie!!!"

Fucking New York Times

Fucking New York Times! It's bad enough that the "paper of record" for the United States is not down with the program on the War. Do they have to deliberately make it look as bad as possible?

BAGHDAD, April 8 — Nearly two months into the new security push in Baghdad, there has been some success in reducing the number of death squad victims found crumpled in the streets each day.

And while the overall death rates for all of Iraq have not dropped significantly, largely because of devastating suicide bombings, a few parts of the capital have become calmer as some death squads have decided to lie low.

Read: Our fate is tied to the benevolence of the militias who will inevitably come back to wreak violence in an ungovernable country.

...But there is little sign that the Baghdad push is accomplishing its main purpose: to create an island of stability in which Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and Kurds can try to figure out how to run the country together. There has been no visible move toward compromise on the main dividing issues, like regional autonomy and more power sharing between Shiites and Sunnis.
Wow. 7 weeks and the parties haven't agreed to the vaunted "political solution" that will solve all the country's probems! Well ain't that a kick in the ass!

Hey! Morons! Get this...

We have so let the situation deteriorate, that it will take a year or more until the parties involved can even begin to work together in some feeling of security and safety. Only when the "military solution" succeeds in establishing some zone of security with a reasonable prospect of holding into the future will the parties be able to hammer out the "political solution" that will solve all the country's problems!

...For American troops, Baghdad has become a deadlier battleground as they have poured into the capital to confront Sunni and Shiite militias on their home streets. The rate of American deaths in the city over the first seven weeks of the security plan has nearly doubled from the previous period, though it has stayed roughly the same over all, decreasing in other parts of the country as troops have focused on the capital.
Wow. So American troops are dying in greater number where they are fighting? Since the overall death rates are level, that means before it was more out in the provinces and now it's in the capital. Whoda thunk it?

...Even as officials have sought to dampen the insurgency by trying to deal with Sunni Arab factions, those groups have become increasingly fractured. There are now at least a dozen major Sunni insurgent groups — many fighting other Sunnis as well as the Americans and the Shiite-led government. A deal made with any one or two would be unlikely to be acceptable to the others.
Incredible! So times have changed from way back when, when the Enemy was uniting in its struggle against us. Man those were the days! Now the tragic situation is upon us where the Enemy is fragmenting and we are able to co-opt some of them and turn hem against the others. Thank you NY Times! Kid Various had no idea that that was a bad situation until you told him!

...Over the past seven weeks, American commanders say that the security push has had some success so far in cutting down the number of sectarian execution-style killings — tracked by counting the number of bodies found with gunshot or knife wounds. Military officials say that such killings have dropped 26 percent nationwide and even more in Baghdad.

Yes! Over 50% in Baghdad - where the actual security crackdown is happening! Gee, New York Times, we guess that 50% figure wasn't depressing enough!

...But other kinds of attacks, like car bombings, have kept the overall civilian death rate high, and in recent days there are anecdotal reports that sectarian executions may be on the rise again.

The New York Times. All the anecdotes that are fit to print...

...January and February were particularly bad months for car bombing deaths; nearly 1,100 were killed in February alone. That number dropped to 783 in March, still high compared with months earlier in the war, according to an American military official.

So, deaths from car bombs, the most difficult to defend against or prevent, were down by approximately 25% last month. Is that what you were trying to say New York Times?

...But the overall number of bombings actually increased: there were 108 car bombs that either detonated or were disarmed in March, a record for the war.

So, what you're saying is that, as deaths from car bombs actually decreased by 25%, the Enemy is surging his capacity, making many more attempts, yet, as deaths have decreased significantly, that we are getting better at neutralizing and/or defeating his primary method of attack? Do we have that right?

...In Anbar, at least six bombings involved a terrifying new weapon: truck bombs that spread chlorine gas, burning victims’ lungs and skin. The deadliest of those attacks, in Ramadi on Friday, killed at least 30 people.

But wait, how many people have actually been killed form the effects of the chlorine gas? Oh yeah... zero! These car bombs have been "only" as deadly as normal car bombs have been, as all the victims were killed by the blast. But thank you New York Times for highlighting the tactically ineffective chlorine element, so as to better play into the Enemy's strategic goal of sowing fear and terror among the populace.

Any good news out there New York Times? Like that it has been 11 days since there has been a mass casualty attack in Baghdad?

We didn't think so. Because that information doesn't provide proper "context" for the struggle.

And that context is: The War is lost. Thank you and Good Day.

Troops to Get Mandalorian Armour

Cool! In the future, we're gonna get Boba Fett to fight our wars for us...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Frankie Say RELAX!

You know, back in the day, there was this rumour going around that these guys were GAY!

This is the "banned" version. MTV made them shoot another video. Kid Various say RELAX!

True, this video is almost quaint given MTV nowadays. But it was circa 1984. And Holly Johnson is dry-humping Paul Rutherford by the end of the video for chrissakes! Exhibit "A" in the Defense of Marriage Act!

Jimmy Al-Neutron, Military Genius

Demonstrating yet again why Arabs lose wars, former Iraqi Republican Guard "General" Saif Al-Din Al-Rawi demonstrated his total lack of knowledge of all things military by claiming to the Arabic BBC, Al Jezeera, that the U.S. defeated Iraqi forces by using ER weaponry. ER in this context refers to, not George Clooney, though he has, at times, been known to be a superlative bomb maker, but rather enhanced radiation weaponry – colloquially known as “the neutron bomb.”

Al-Rawi claimed that US forces used neutron nuclear bombs against the Iraqi Army during the battle for Baghdad’s airport. Al-Rawi said that his units were decimated by neutron bombs which, he added, neutralize soldiers without damaging buildings and equipment.

Had Al-Rawi actually attended a course in military studies, he would have known that it was extremely unlikely that the U.S. had used ER weapons at the Baghdad airport for two reasons.

First, ER weapons are still nuclear weapons. Thus, even though their blast effects are minimalized, they are nonetheless significant. Had ER weaponry been used at the Baghdad airport, both the airport and a good chunk of the surrounding neighborhood would have been flattened in the blast.

Second, the U.S. doesn’t actually have any ER weapons.

Contrary to popular lore, ER weapons were designed to be solely “defensive” weapons. Meaning that during the Cold War, NATO doctrine always called for the use of nuclear weapons to counter the overwhelming Soviet advantage in conventional forces in Europe. The problem with that is that NATO would be using nuclear weapons to stop invading columns of Soviet armor on our own turf (West Germany.) Obviously, the Krauts couldn’t be happy with that arrangement. So the idea was to design a weapon that would minimize the effects of a nuclear blast, but still neutralize the enemy. The result was ER weapons that could easily kill exposed Soviet troops through radiation effects while minimalizing the blast damage to the countryside. (Apparently our peeps would be given 15 minutes or so to hunker down in their kraut-bunkers, where a few feet of earth would easily stop the stray neutrons.)

The popular image of ER weapons, however, became enmeshed with the rantings of the American and European left. That being, that the neutron bomb was the ultimate “capitalist weapon” that would kill people while allowing America to pillage the rich and prosperous Soviet industrial base. Subsequently, the ER weaponry program was cancelled under the Carter administration, making it the first weapon system in the history of Man to be neutralized by its lack of a good press agent.

ER weapons were revived under the Reagan administration, but never deployed. The last prototypes being dismantled under the Bush Sr. administration.

Thus, it would be difficult to take the Baghdad airport with weapons not in our arsenal.

Of course, none of this appeal to reality is really to the point. “General” Al-Rawi’s message is not really targeted at the “reality-based community” but rather a society that is famous for having no Arabic word for Which is part of why we are having such a difficult time in this part of the world.

We don’t understand that it is not enough to simply lay out the facts, because that is irrelevant if a different message is coming from a more “trusted” source. The great gift of the Enlightenment is the ability to appeal to reason, rather than trusted sources. Which is why we are able to greatly expand our body of knowledge and incorporate counter-intuitive concepts in order to improve ourselves. We trust reason. The Islamic world trusts personalities. Which is why the Middle East is the only place outside the Democratic caucus room at the House of Representatives where you find people who’ll swear that no Arabs were involved in 9/11.

And now ladies and gentlemen the poetry of Jello Biafra:

Efficiency and progress
Is ours once a-more.
Now that we have
The neutron bomb.
It’s nice, and quick, and clean
And gets things done!

Away with excess enemy
But no less value to property.
No sense in war
Makes perfect sense at home!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

We Miss You Robert...

Just because, it's like the greatest video of all time.

You know... they're not really playing their instruments.

Man the chick on the drums is not even close!

But we love 'em...

How Literate are You?

Take this quiz. 13 opening lines from 13 books. See how many you can identify.

Kid Various got 12 out of 13. Unless you can beat that, The Kid doesn't want to hear any lip from you mofos about him reading Batman...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

You Have GOT To Be Shitting Us!

From the UK Telegraph. via LGF

Ministers are preparing a compromise deal to allow Iran to save face and release its 15 British military captives by promising that the Royal Navy will never knowingly enter Iranian waters without permission.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt of plans to send a Royal Navy captain or commodore to Teheran, as a special envoy of the Government, to deliver a public assurance that officials hope will end the diplomatic standoff.

From the people who went to war 25 years ago to protect some worthless south Atlantic rocks and 200 years ago, tasked their Navy with the extermination of the slave trade. Now, they kow tow in front of savages.