Monday, January 31, 2005






Check out the front pages of newspapers from around the world here.

The most popular photograph of the day is that of an Iraqi woman holding her fingers in the "V" sign for victory (or peace, or both) with the tip of her index finger covered in paint, the indicator that she has cast a vote. It is fast becoming the symbol of the election, which is being seen almost universally as a triumph. How many Americans, I wonder, would come out to vote if they thought they might be blown up by a suicide bomber, as some Iraqis were yesterday? There is one story, in the Washington Post I believe, about voters whose polling place was bombed refusing to leave, so determined were they to cast their ballots. Another story tells of an Iraqi man who had to be carried to the polling place because he had lost a leg in an earlier suicide bombing. He said he would have crawled to the polling place, if necessary.

Read the stories, when you have the time. Read (in the New York Times, no less) the story about how the Arab media refused to play up the violence, instead centering their coverage on the elections. Read about the elation, the "party atmosphere" in some places, the stories of whole villages trooping to the polls. This is why our young people have sacrificed so much in Iraq. This is why over 1,000 of our best and brightest have lost their lives. To give the people of the Middle East, a region vital to the security of our own country, a chance that they have never had before, to enjoy the privileges and frustrations of free, democratic government. There can be no more powerful way to fight the forces of intolerance and barbarity than what we saw happen yesterday in Iraq.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Election Day in Iraq has come to an end, and early reports seem to indicate a very good turnout.

Iraqis danced and clapped with joy Sunday as they voted in their country's first free election in a half-century, defying insurgents who launched eight suicide bombings and mortar strikes at polling stations. The attacks killed at least 36 people. Polling stations officially closed as of 5 p.m., but the election commission said anyone still in line would be allowed to vote. An Iraqi election official said that 72 percent of eligible Iraqi voters had turned out so far nationwide.
The official, Adel al-Lami of the Independent Electoral Commission, offered no overall figures of the actual number of Iraqis who have voted to back up the claim. After a slow start, men and women in flowing black abayas - often holding babies - formed long lines, although there were pockets of Iraq where the streets and polling stations were deserted. Iraqis prohibited from using private cars walked streets crowded in a few places nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with voters, hitched rides on military buses and trucks, and some even carried the elderly in their arms. "This is democracy," said Karfia Abbasi, holding up a thumb stained with purple ink to prove she had voted. Officials said turnout appeared higher than expected, although it was too soon to tell for sure. Iraqi officials have predicted that up to 8 million of the 14 million voters - just over 57 percent - would participate.

As I wrote in my previous post, anything over 50% is, in my view, outstanding. If it is anywhere near 72%, that would be better than any nation-wide U.S. election in recent history. A remarkable feat considering what voters were facing.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice believes the election is going well.

Iraq the Model is celebrating election day.

Instapundit, as usual, has a great round-up of posts about the Iraqi election.

Saturday, January 29, 2005


Here is the best article I've seen thus far giving a complete overview of the Iraqi election schedule for tomorrow, with links to other related information. James Robbins is optimistic...

Then there are the terrorists, who will seek to disrupt the election through whatever violent means are at their disposal. It is impossible to predict what impact they will have, except that their activities will receive the most Western media coverage while surely deserving it the least. Al Qaeda prime contractor Musab al Zarqawi has been making almost daily rants against democracy, and carrying out operations against politicians, poll workers, and police. However, there is a sense that this is backfiring. Zarqawi is not an Iraqi, and most of his followers are also foreign-born and — funded. His increasing focus on Iraqi targets has raised questions about for whom he is fighting his liberation struggle. Zarqawi's threats and attacks have not been able to slow the growing election momentum. A spokesman for SCIRI memorably stated, "Saddam killed five million people. Do you think a man like Zarqawi, with his dozens or even hundreds of victims, can frighten us?" Once a legitimate Iraqi government is in place, Zarqawi has pledged to destroy it. This will spell the end of his movement as the Iraqis begin to defend what is truly theirs.

So far, it appears the Iraqi expatriates are coming out in large numbers and voting, often while singing the praises of the US for the opportunity. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister is predicting a large turnout.

Friday, January 28, 2005


On Sunday some percentage of the Iraqi people will participate in that country's first ever free election. Despite the bombs, bullets and threats, some Iraqis will dare to go to the polls and cast their ballots. Much of the coverage of the election by the MSM will center on the percentage of Iraqis that do have the courage to turn out. If only a modest percentage comes out, the MSM will label the election as illegitimate, even though in recent years here in the United States our elections have often had a rather lackluster turnout, and yet no one in the MSM challenges their validity.

I believe focusing attention on turnout is exactly the wrong way to view this election, or any election for that matter. In the last century election turnout always approached nearly 100% in the old Soviet Union, while turnout was dropping in the US from around 70% to 50%. Which nation was having free and fair elections? The answer, of course, is obvious. In a totalitarian state, the people are ordered to turn out and vote for whomever they are told to vote for. Fearing imprisonment, torture or even execution, they comply. In a free country, we get to choose whether or not we want to participate.

In Iraq on Sunday the people will be coming out to vote, or staying home, not because the killers are telling them to vote, but because the killers are telling them not to. When the killers were in charge in Iraq the people docilely trooped to their polling place and made their mark for Saddam Hussein. On Sunday, we will find out just how many Iraqis are willing to defy the killers and risk death or maiming in order to exercise the franchise. Any number higher than 50% will be astounding, and a victory for the cause of freedom.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Read this column by Ralph Peters in the NY Post. It puts the tragic loss of 31 men yesterday in Iraq into some perspective that might be valuable as we move forward, if only the right people will listen.

The defense of freedom is dangerous work even in the absence of an enemy. Our aging military helicopters have crashed on training missions in Texas and North Carolina, in Germany and elsewhere. The Marines we lost yesterday were aboard a CH-53 Sea Stallion, an aircraft that first flew in 1964 and entered the operational force in 1966. The Sea Stallion's been upgraded over the years, but it's a safe bet that the airframe that went down was older than most of the Marines aboard. It's not only combat that puts our troops in danger — training with aging equipment takes lives as well. Marines and soldiers die during administrative lifts from a base to an exercise site. No matter how good the maintenance, the crew's training or the safety procedures, old aircraft go down. And those in uniform die unheralded. There's something else at play, as well, when we lose yet another bird in Iraq or Kentucky: Our aging fleet of transport helicopters is a symptom of the neglect of practical military needs in favor of glamorous fighter aircraft and submarines of no real use. Our land forces have been treated as stepchildren far too long. We see the price daily in Iraq, where too few soldiers and Marines, not always adequately equipped, are in battle on freedom's frontiers.

Amen, brother.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Here is a story in today's Boston Globe about women in combat. The Army is changing the configuration of it's combat arms units to place support units in closer proximity. This will put female soldiers into combat in places like Iraq and Afghanistan for all intents and purposes.

I do not doubt that some women are more than capable of engaging in combat operations. But my own experience as an Army enlisted man in a support unit filled with females is that the majority were not capable, physically or emotionally, for that kind of rigorous activity (to be fair, some of the male soldiers were probably not capable as well). While that is just an unsubstantiated opinion on my part, as we were never called to test our abilities under fire when I was serving, I do know one thing for a fact. Sexual activity and romances were commonplace. Not surprising considering the fact that these were young, healthy men and women. Is that kind of activity conducive to good order and discipline? I have my doubts.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


I will be on WBZ-Boston once again, starting next week. Steve Leveille will be filling-in for the ailing Paul Sullivan from 8P-Midnight, so I will have the opportunity to do some of Steve's overnight shows. I will be on next week on Tuesday, Feb 1, Wednesday Feb. 2 and Thursday, Feb. 3 from Midnight to 5 AM. WBZ can be found at 1030 on the AM dial.

By the way, speaking of media matters, here is a link to my first newspaper story, printed today in the Portsmouth (NH) Herald. Covering the story brought me back to my first days as a radio news guy covering local meetings (twenty years ago now). It is truly amazing to me how much better I understand what is going on as a middle-aged father, taxpayer and homeowner than I did as a twenty-something, single young man.

Monday, January 24, 2005


There seems to be a general consensus in the scientific community that the world is getting warmer. The controversy centers around the reason for the rise in global temperatures. Is it a man-made phenomenon, or not? The answer to that question, of course, has serious implications for future economic policy.

The legions of those who buy into the notion that global warming is a man-made phenomenon have issued their latest broadside....

The global warming danger threshold for the world is clearly marked for the first time in an international report to be published tomorrow - and the bad news is, the world has nearly reached it already.

The countdown to climate-change catastrophe is spelt out by a task force of senior politicians, business leaders and academics from around the world - and it is remarkably brief. In as little as 10 years, or even less, their report indicates, the point of no return with global warming may have been reached.

Unfortunately for them, there is a new report that says global warming has actually been beneficial to humankind...

The findings from a team of American climate experts suggest that were it not for greenhouse gases produced by humans, the world would be well on the way to a frozen Armageddon. Scientists have traditionally viewed the relative stability of the Earth's climate since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago as being due to natural causes, but there is evidence that changes in solar radiation and greenhouse gas concentrations should have driven the Earth towards glacial conditions over the last few thousand years. What stopped it has been the activity of humans, both ancient and modern, argue the scientists.

As for me, I cannot believe we can come to a conclusion about climate change with reliable data that extends back only a century. Ask a climatologist why the ice ages happened. Ask him (or her) why they started and why they ended. They don't know. Is it the sun? Volcanic activity? Meteor strikes? Changes in the Earth's orbit? How so many reputable scientists can conclude definitively that global warming is caused by human activity, rather than any other cause, seems to me to be driven by political/economic ideology rather than cold, hard science.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


We're living through the Blizzard of 2005 here, and it now ranks right up there with some of the biggest storms of my lifetime. In my mind, nothing will ever top the Blizzard of '78. I'll never forget the hundreds of cars abandoned on Route 128, buried in snow, or the trip I made later that Spring to Scituate, Mass. to see all the homes destroyed or carried inland by the power of the storm.

This weekend's storm and, for that matter, any other great blizzard, shouldn't ever again cause the kind of sight we saw on Route 128 that day. All the people were on the road then because they didn't know such a large storm would dump so much snow so quickly. Today's meteorology gives people a much more accurate picture of what is about to happen. Still, even though we won't see buried cars on our highways, everything else is getting buried. I have a four foot snowdrift up against my porch door (which I will soon be digging out).

Saturday, January 22, 2005


As of next week, I've accepted a job as a freelance reporter for The Portsmouth Herald. So those of you who live in the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire can expect to see me around as I cover selectman, school board and other such meetings.

I still expect to do some fill-in work at WBZ-Boston, probably next month. I'll post the exact dates and times when I get them.

Friday, January 21, 2005


If you haven't read it yet, please check out "We Were Soldiers Once, and Young" by LTC Hal Moore and Joe Galloway. That book was the basis for the Mel Gibson movie "We Were Soldiers". What I've just discovered is that one of the heroes of that action, Rick Rescorla, in fact the one pictured on the cover of the book, was a hero beyond even the fact that he fought in and survived the battle in the Ia Drang Valley.

Check out the Mudville Gazette's post about Rick Rescorla. I defy you to read it without tears.


As usual, the RealClearPolitics website has the best compendium of links to articles and columns concerning the President's Inaugural Speech, as well as a link to the text itself.

While watching the speech I was struck again by the fact that this President, so unexpectedly, has taken American foreign policy into such a radical direction. When he was first sworn in in January of 2001 no one could have predicted that this former Governor of Texas would be the man responsible for re-shaping American foreign policy in such a radical new direction with such profound historical consequences. Obviously, the events of 9/11/01 were the spark for such a change, but I cannot believe that he did not have any inkling of how our foreign policy might be adjusted to address the new realities of the 21st Century.

Perhaps, though, he really did not. It would not be the first time in the life of a man or a nation that a traumatic event created a radical new way of thinking. The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, for example, instantaneously transformed an intensely isolationist nation into one willing to spend billions of dollars and raise a military of millions of men to charge across oceans and defeat foreign enemies. The "sneak attack" of that December day also radically altered most American's view of the necessity of a large standing military force. What would have been politically unthinkable prior to that date (a nearly permanent draft, a large Army and Air Force, a military as a whole always on alert for a possible attack) became mandatory after December 7th.

So perhaps 9/11 is the whole explanation for the change in George W. Bush. In any event, he has now set out a vision that commits America to something radically different than the policies of the past. It is now the policy of this nation to actively attempt to spread liberty to all the peoples of the earth, with the goal of seeing the end of tyranny forevermore. That's pretty lofty stuff.

The intellectual framework for why this policy is in the interests of the United States is pretty straightforward, however. Democracies don't go to war with democracies. Terrorist movements don't spring up from free, prosperous populations, or, at least, they are less likely to. Therefore, in order to combat terrorists and the evil ideologies that inspire them, we cannot simply hunt them down and kill them one by one (although we will continue to do just that), we must also change the global conditions that helped to create them in the first place.

It is here that the argument begins to break down. To believe in this line of thinking, one must believe in the perfectibility of human nature. One must also believe that all people in all cultures are susceptible to making those cultural changes necessary to allow for freedom. The President clearly believes in both. In that sense he is the latest in a long line of American idealists, from Thomas Jefferson to Woodrow Wilson to Ronald Reagan. These were very different men who shared one common trait, they dreamed big dreams and had an almost unshakable faith in their own ability to achieve their dreams. George W. Bush is such a man.

In the end, it is almost irrelevant whether or not the dream is achievable. The fact of the matter is that most great human accomplishments are undertaken by dreamers who have visions even greater than the feats they manage to achieve. Did Jefferson create his utopian, agrarian republic of gentleman philosopher-farmers? No. But he did, along with his contemporaries, lay the foundation for the most prosperous and powerful republic in history. Did Woodrow Wilson achieve his dream of a world united by the rule of law that has beaten it's swords in ploughshares? No. But he did create the ideological framework for human rights and national self-determination adopted now as an almost universal given. Did Ronald Reagan achieve his goal of complete nuclear disarmament? No. But he did set in motion the events that led to the end of the U.S.-Soviet nuclear standoff, with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

So, will George W. Bush achieve his goal of the end of tyranny in the world? Probably not. But in the effort, he may just set into motion a series of events and policies that will push along the spread of freedom in the world that just might make the world a better, and safer, place.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


When I was a Program Director (as well as Talk Host) for Clear Channel Communications I would from time to time take heat from Liberal listeners who charged that we were just an arm of the GOP. Their contention was that since the Mays family, the majority owners of Clear Channel, were Texans who backed Bush, they used their radio stations to forward their political agenda. This, these callers assured me, was why they owned shows like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc. I would always counter that the reason the company ran shows like the aforementioned was due only to the fact that those shows were POPULAR and PROFITABLE.

Now, the proof. Clear Channel is leading the way to put "Progressive Talk" formats on their radio stations. Why? Gabe Hobbs (the Director of News/Talk/Sports Programming) and John Hogan (CEO) obviously think these shows will be POPULAR and PROFITABLE and will, therefore, put more money in the wallets of Clear Channel shareholders.

Ah...introducing "Progressives" to the joys of Capitalism.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Check out this view from the front lines in Iraq. You don't often get this perspective from the MSM. I especially like this bit...

What General Dunford said to the Staff in his closing remarks was one of the most brilliant, and yet simple things I think I have ever heard and communicates what I have been trying to communicate to you, but without the requisite intelligence or prose. He said, and again I paraphrase, "you hear talk in the media and other places of an exit strategy. Usually communicated in the form of a question, such as, what is our exit strategy?

Well, professional Warriors DO NOT ESTABLISH EXIT STRATEGIES, WE ACHIEVE AN END STATE! And our end state in Iraq is a freely and democratically elected government in Iraq, sustained and protected by a viable, competent and professional security force.
Have we won?...NO, are we winning?...YES!"

Amen, brother.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Here is more evidence that the "Butchers of Beijing", as I like to call the government of the People's Republic of China, is working out a long-term strategy of defeating any U.S. attempt to intervene when they make their move on Taiwan.

In North Korea, could the wheels finally be coming off? This story seems too good to be true.

And what is our government doing about our friends in Iran? Here is the Seymour Hersh article I wrote about in yesterday's post. Read it, whether you think highly of Mr. Hersh or not. While I have my doubts about him, this article has the ring of truth in my ears.


If not Iran, why not Syria?

Monday, January 17, 2005


Seymour Hersh is at it again.

The Bush administration has been carrying out secret reconnaissance missions to learn about nuclear, chemical and missile sites in Iran in preparation for possible airstrikes there, journalist Seymour Hersh said Sunday. The effort has been under way at least since last summer, Hersh said on CNN's "Late Edition."In an interview on the same program, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said the story was "riddled with inaccuracies."
"I don't believe that some of the conclusions he's drawing are based on fact," Bartlett said.
Iran has refused to dismantle its nuclear program, which it insists is legal and is intended solely for civilian purposes. Hersh said U.S. officials were involved in "extensive planning" for a possible attack -- "much more than we know." "The goal is to identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could be destroyed by precision strikes and short-term commando raids," he wrote in "The New Yorker" magazine, which published his article in editions that will be on newsstands Monday.

My question is; Wouldn't it be irresponsible for the Pentagon NOT to develop a contingency plan for military action against Iran?

Meanwhile, the war we are currently fighting goes on, with the promise of further American action to defeat the insurgency, this time in Mosul.


That has been my refrain since 9/11 about the size of our military. More on that score from today's Washington Times.

Ken Allard is right;

Ken Allard, a retired Army colonel and author of four books on national security, said the 500,000-troop active force simply is not enough to fight wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to deter aggression in Europe and South Korea. "I would start adding forces until it is demonstratively too much," Mr. Allard said. "God forbid, what happens if somewhere something else goes wrong. ... We are eating seed corn. In an 18-division requirement, we have a 10-division force." The Army boasted 18 active divisions during the Cold War.


Friday, January 14, 2005


Here is a terrific article from The Boston Globe about the issue of Social Security reform. I have been waiting for someone in the MSM to do an article on the wide disparity between defenders of the status quo and those pushing for reforms. Charles Stein writes...

In the growing national debate over Social Security, it is sometimes hard to believe the two sides are arguing about the same program. President Bush has made Social Security reform the centerpiece of his second-term agenda and will unveil details of his plan for private investment accounts within the next month. The president's proposal may clarify the debate, but it won't end the squabbling. Defenders of the current system and proponents of private accounts disagree over just about everything, from the role government should play in guaranteeing that Americans have at least a modest income after they retire to the risks of allowing people to invest Social Security funds in the stock market. The split extends to the most basic questions: How serious are Social Security's financial woes? Does the system need an injection of $3.7 trillion? Or $10.4 trillion? Will a crisis develop in 2018, 2042, or never? Everyone agrees that the aging of the baby boom generation eventually will strain the system's finances. After that, the consensus breaks down. Those who want to preserve Social Security, a group that includes most Democrats, say that any shortfall can easily be made up with fairly modest tax hikes and benefit cuts and that the day of reckoning is decades away. "This doesn't strike me as a difficult problem to solve," said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The other side, a group that includes supporters of private accounts and those who want to keep the government from going into deep debt to meet its obligations to future retirees, says Social Security is in big trouble. By 2018, they say, Social Security taxes will fail to cover the cost of paying benefits. "This is a serious problem that will only get worse," said David John, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

Read the whole article. It spells out in easy to understand terms the way the program works and the different assumptions that underlie the debate.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Peggy Noonan, as she so often does, has hit it right on the head in this piece on the WSJ Opinion Page. The downfall of the MSM is due completely to the fact that they have lost their monopoly on the news. The story of how the Bush National Guard document story came to be dissected and discredited reveals in stark terms why that monopoly was lost as much as it reveals anything about bias from CBS.


Charles Krauthammer slams the report for it's failure to reveal the obvious, that the folks who created the Bush National Guard documents were biased.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


James S. Robbins over at NRO has a piece on why bagging Bin Laden matters. I happen to agree with him. As long as Bin Laden is free he is a mass murderer who has escaped justice. While I still believe in the mission in Iraq, I am saddened that it appears to have diverted attention and, perhaps, resources from the hunt for the Al Qaeda leader.

Which is why I am so interested in the debate about whether we need a larger military, which is raging over at The Belmont Club, and the issue of whether or not the insurgents can win in Iraq, which is the subject of a post over at Strategy Page.

Howard Fineman says the MSM (Mainstream Media) is really another American political party, which is collapsing because of, among other things, the CBS Rathergate fiasco.

Tony Blankley also weighs in on Rathergate, saying that the investigating panel did their client, CBS, a great service by failing to dig deeply into the actual validity of the documents and the political bias that generated such interest in them. In short, Blankley concludes, the report generated the softest anti-CBS headline possible, "CBS Fires 4", rather than "CBS Used Fake Documents to Damage President...Political Bias Seen".

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


I remember as a kid in the late 60s and early 70s a recurring character appeared in the American consciousness. His presence was reflected in numerous TV shows and even a few major motion pictures. He was the crazed Vietnam Vet. He usually came back from Vietnam disillusioned with America, often on hard drugs, and willing to do all sorts of violent things in his nihilistic, self-destructive rage. If you grew up or lived in that era, you probably remember the type. In retrospect, I wonder how much the character was based on truth and how much of him came from the minds of screenwriters who opposed the war. In my years of doing talk radio, most Vietnam Vets have told me that they came home and returned to their normal lives, just as their Korean War and WWII fathers had done.

It seems to me that it won't be long before a few real-life incidents like this one will begin to create the new crazed vet character...the crazed Iraq War vet.


Michelle Malkin says this story is not how it appears, that, in fact, the cop-killing Marine had never seen combat in Iraq.


Reaction to the Rathergate report runs the gamut this morning. The Washington Times lead editorial calls out the authors for failing to nail CBS for political bias.

The Blogosphere is also reacting to the report, according to Worldnetdaily.

Jonathan V. Last in the Weekly Standard says the report missed the central question concerning the authenticity of the documents and John Podhoretz in the NY Post says the report reveals proof of Mary Mapes' bias concerning the President.

The National Review also has a round-up of reaction to the report.

While attempting to digest all of this, please remember that the reason Liberals cannot see their bias is that their worldview is centered on a belief in truth as absolute as that held by even the most pious of religious adherents. For example, if you ask any true Liberal if the New York Times is a left-wing newspaper they will tell you honestly that it is not (they'll generally describe it as middle-of-the-road). Expecting Mary Mapes or Dan Rather to see their bias is like expecting the Pope to renounce the Holy Trinity.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Heads are rolling at CBS after the Rathergate report is issued.

I'm not sure this will help repair the damaged credibility of CBS television news, but it's a start.

Both links were found on Instapundit, a site I encourage you to visit daily, as I do.


Armstrong Williams has issued an apology for being a paid advocate of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Reading the letter I still find myself asking some questions. During my radio career numerous organizations have bought advertising on shows I've hosted promoting their point of view. Issue ads are a part of the broadcasting landscape. His letter makes it seem as if that is all he did...that is, accept issue advertising. The difference is that issue ads are clearly commercials, while it seems Williams was promoting the issue as an integral part of his show, without disclosing that the discussion of the issue in it's entirety was a paid ad. That makes the issue of whether or not he really believed in the legislation entirely irrelevant.

Tribune was right to cancel his column and those radio stations that carry his show need to consider carefully whether they can trust him again to follow the rules.


With the on-going violence in Iraq the whispers are getting louder in Washington about an exit strategy.

William R. Polk has developed just such a strategy, based on his belief that the war in Iraq is unwinnable.

John Arquilla has some thoughts on why the war on terrorism may be unwinnable. He believes the Pentagon should create smaller action units to better fight the terrorists. Frederick W. Kagan thinks the problem is Secretary Rumsfeld's unwillingness to build a bigger Army.

Still, the nature of the insurgency and our inability to come to grips with a clear picture of it is what I believe to be the real problem. You must know your enemy before you can come up with an effective strategy to defeat him. And, you must know if your enemy has allies, and then formulate a strategy to defeat them.

Even the Tsunami disaster in South Asia has become part of the propaganda war with the jihadists making ridiculous claims, but those claims may be backfiring.

Finally, while we are caught up in the battle for Iraq, is there another war looming on the horizon?

Saturday, January 08, 2005


Here are some more details on the Armstrong Williams fiasco. The story made NBC Nightly News last night. As I suspected, the MSM will be all over this story as an example of how radio talk show hosts are not credible. Hmmmm.....I wonder what CBS News is going to say about that little story involving fake documents?

Here is an even more detailed story, including a line about the erosion of news credibility and the angle many politicians are taking...that this was an effort by an arm of the government to bribe a member of the media (apparently successful).

This story stinks to high heaven. I don't want my tax dollars going to bribe ethically-challenged members of the media any more than I want other ethically-challenged members of the media to distort the news because of their politics or ideology.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Steven Vincent over at In the Red Zone has an excellent analysis of where we are right now in Iraq. We should all keep in mind the stakes, as Thomas Friedman has been pointing out in his columns. We are engaged in a civil war in Iraq between a minority Sunni cadre of thugs and fanatics who are attempting to maintain their reign of terror against the rest of the population.

Remembering the stakes will help us deal with ongoing violence.


As a professional radio talk show host, I'm paid to take a stand on all sorts of issues and engage in entertaining and interesting conversation with callers and guests about those issues. I have never been paid to take a particular position on any issue.

Apparently, at least one talk show host doesn't see the problem with taking money to advocate for a particular policy. In my opinion he should be run out of the business for it. If he wants to be a paid advocate, he can become a lobbyist or PR hack.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


If someone can tell me why the USMC let Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun walk around free after he was charged with desertion, so that he could eventually skip the country and head to Lebanon, please tell me. I'd like to think it was something other than absolute stupidity.


Fred Barnes thinks it is possible, and it would end the shameful practice in Division IA college football of leaving undefeated, untied teams without even a chance at the championship.

Duncan Currie reminds us of those great teams that should have had a chance at the title.

I know this issue, like so many other things, revolves around money. Money generated by the home schedule, money generated by the TV contracts, money generated by the Bowls. Can't the NCAA get together with college presidents, ADs, coaches, and representatives from the TV rights holders and the major Bowls and hammer something out? If the problem is too many games, just start playing a shorter schedule starting a little later in the year (I don't need to see a college football game on the last weekend in August, do you?). If the problem is fairness for the smaller conferences (MAC, Mountain West, etc.), then create a wild-card system that allows a selection committee to choose worthy contenders (Utah, Louisville and Boise State would probably qualify this year, for instance). Just get it done, people.


In the last years of the Vietnam War our political and military leaders allowed the Army to disintegrate into a hollow force. During my stint in the Army in the late 1980s I heard many harrowing first-hand accounts from senior officers and enlisted men about the Army at that time. My greatest fear since 9/11 is that this current crop of leaders will also, for purposes of political expediency, allow that to happen.

Thus, this story generated by a memo from the head of the Army Reserve is very disturbing.

I have been saying since 9/11 that we're going to need more guys, Frederick Kagan agrees.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Linda Chavez has a piece on the politics of torture. She says, and I agree with her, that the Democrats are playing with fire.

Robert Scheer of The Nation apparently cannot even see the political danger as he advocates the outright rejection of Alberto Gonzales as the next AG.

Steve Sturm also has it right about the politics of torture. Every radio show I have ever done on the subject, and every poll I have ever seen, indicates a majority of the American people are in favor of doing whatever it takes to get life-saving information out of terrorists. However parochial or misguided you might think they are, the majority would rather see the CIA or military torture one of Bin Laden's boys to the brink of death if it got the information necessary to prevent a 9/11-style attack.

I am reminded of a line from a movie, The Man in the Glass Booth, about a holocaust victim who turns out to be a Nazi officer hiding as a Jew (although there is a fantastic twist at the end of the film). Maximilian Schell plays the part. During his interrogation he speaks about conditions in Germany at the end of the war as the Russians were advancing, pillaging, burning and raping their way across the Fatherland. To explain their behavior he alludes to the barbarisms committed by the Germans as they had advanced through Russia earlier in the war...."The Russians take a very black and white view of things" I think is the line. Well, the American people also take a very black and white view of things when it comes to fighting a war. If the enemy is willing to commit barbarisms against us, like flying airplanes filled with innocent civilians into office towers filled with innocent civilians, then we should be able to get Medieval on their behinds, at least so the thinking goes. The bottom line is that the Democrats, goaded by the left-wing true believers, are indeed playing with fire if they seek to derail the Gonzales nomination over the issue of how we treat our enemies.


Nothing so typifies the attitude of the America-hating left better than this morning's column by Robert Kuttner in the Boston Globe. Follow the link and read the whole thing. I hope the GOP is smart enough to save this one and challenge every Democrat politician in Congress and elsewhere to either agree with him or repudiate him.


And the real enemy is....?

ON Dec. 21, a terrorist blew himself up in the U.S. military mess hall in Mosul, in northern Iraq. Twenty-two people were killed, including U.S. soldiers and contractors. And now comes big news: The perpetrator was the oldest son of a diplomat from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, our alleged ally in the War on Terror. On Monday, the Saudi-owned daily Asharq Al-Awsat identified the butcher responsible: 20-year old Ahmad Sayyid Ahmad al-Ghamdi, a Saudi medical student. The bomber acted as a member of Ansar al-Sunnah (Volunteers of Sunni Islam), one of the most violent terror groups in Iraq, and an al Qaeda ally.
The name "al-Ghamdi" should ring bells; the family is large, and three of its members were involved in the 9/11 assault.

Read the whole thing, by Stephen Schwartz in today's NY Post.

Monday, January 03, 2005


From the RealClearPolitics website....

The question that Americans want Democrats to answer with clarity is this: when and where is the use of military force justified in the war against terrorism? After September 11 President Bush set forth a clear doctrine giving the American people answers to those questions. It's an aggressive policy and many people disagree with it, but at least it's something they can see, touch, and feel. Democrats, on the other hand, have sent the country very mixed signals since 9/11. This year John Kerry did little to help - indeed, he may have even hurt - the cause of clarifying the party's position on the use of American military force in the world. When part of the Democratic base doesn't believe military action in Afghanistan was justified, or when leaders of the Democratic party were wholeheartedly in favor of military action in Kosovo without UN approval but were against the first Gulf War or are opposed to the current War in Iraq, Americans have every right to wonder what they're thinking and be skeptical of their judgment.

This is the issue that made the difference in 2004, and will make the difference in every future election until Americans either feel we are at peace (as during the 90s) or the Democrats coalesce around a coherent answer that more Americans find acceptable as an alternative to the GOP's answer.