Saturday, January 08, 2005


GOOD analysis HERE. And more proof that - (unlike what the Left and the Old Media would have you believe) - Bush has always, when appropriate, used patience and lithe multilateral diplomacy.

Bush also knows when to say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" - and on this count... the clock... is... ticking....

2005-2007: the Cusp of a New Era

I guess this is sort of a New Years post. One based on reflecting where we've been in the last year or so, and where I think we're headed in the next year or so. I guess this is sort of my SOTW (state of the world!).

I have the feeling - because of Bush's boldness and resolve - we are on the cusp of a new era; already on the horizon (internationally): Afghanistan and Iraq and Palestine all democratic; Jihadoterrorism largely defeated and discredited; reform on the way in other Arab countries; and the UN reformed. And domestically, we probably will reform Social Security, taxes, torts, and immigration.

Potential progress on these fronts is huge, and - if realized - it would put the Bush presidency on a footing with few equals.

After these successes, Old Europe and the Old Media will come around.

A few huge problems remain: North Korea; Syria and Iran; and the African tyrannies.
I feel that Bush will confront these problems, too - and that, because of his imminent successes on the preceding fronts, he will be just as successful.

Of course, the enemy is NOT going to go down without a cunning and ruthless fight. They will counter-attack at every available moment, and attempt to rollback the progress. And, they'll counter-attack with greater and more terrible verocity the closer we get to victory - (remember: the Allies took more losses in the final 4 months of WW2 than in the preceding 4 years!). And, the enemy will counter-attack on many fronts, at our weakest spots - and when we least expect it. The enemy will attempt to distract us from victory on one front by drawing us into another front. (I expect Iran or North Korea to create a crisis just as we near victory in the Middle East.)

But, if we don't lose our resolve we'll win. Tyranny - (and the poverty and the ignorance and the hatred that tyranny foments) - will be replaced by democracy - (and the prosperity and the curiosity and the tolerance that democracy creates). The long hard painful march of humanity from tyranny to liberty has always been one-way. WHY?! Well, tyranny is so yesterday, and (as the wise man once said) yesterday has never defeated tomorrow.


AFP - The US military said on Saturday that it had the arrested a militant linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al Qaeda-linked group in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. US Brigadier General Erv Lessel said the top lieutenant for the Zarqawi-linked Abu Talha cell in Mosul, Aziz Sadun Ahmed Hamduni, had been detained on December 22, bringing to three the number of arrests of top leaders from the militant group in Mosul. "These terrorists and Saddamists are doing all they can to stop upcoming elections," Brig Gen Lessel said. Iraq's Government had already announced on Thursday the arrest of Hamduni, also known as Abu Ahmed.



The US has taken out ads in Pakistan advertising rewards for info' leading to the arrest of 14 more alQaeda leaders believed to be in Pakistan. EXCERPTS:

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - The United States advertised rewards in a top Pakistani daily for information leading to the capture of 14 Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders including Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. ... The half-page advert in the Urdu language newspaper Jang, placed by the US embassy in Islamabad, features mugshots of the wanted men and said anyone giving details to a special email address or hotlines would remain anonymous. ... US officials believe they are hiding somewhere in the mountains on the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, although all the key seizures to date have been in crowded Pakistani cities.

I think that - due to the rapidity with which his latest tapes arrived in the West (and his up-to-date awareness of news and his appearance)- the US realizes that OBL is in a city in Pakistan - or Iran. We probably can't buy ads in Iran... Let's hope greed trumps xenophobia, and someone comes forward with a good tip!


KUWAIT (Agencies): Kuwait's authorities have arrested a leading Kuwaiti al-Qaeda suspect accused of enlisting youths to attack US forces in Iraq, a security source said on Friday. Mohsen al-Fadli - an Islamic militant hunted by state security since August for allegedly supporting al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden - was detained earlier this week and is being interrogated, the source told Reuters.

The Arab Gulf nations have largely been good allies in the GWOT; this is another example of their seriousness. I expect them to lead a major breakthrough in Arab Israeli relations after Abbas wins and the PA and GOI begein earnest negotiations.


U.S. Congressman Arrives in N. Korea for Four-day Trip

PYONGYANG, Jan. 8 (KCNA-Yonhap) -- A U.S. Congressman arrived in Pyongyang Saturday for a four-day trip expected to focus on North Korea's nuclear weapons program and human rights issues, the North's official news agency reported. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, and four of his staff were met by an official at the airport in Pyongyang, the Korean Central News Agency said in a brief report.

Lantos is a gem - and he AIN'T freelancing, so keep your on on him for the next few days and after his return.


Iraqi Minister Says Iran, Syria Back Insurgents

BAGHDAD, 8 January - Iraq’s interim defense minister said yesterday he had proof that Syria and Iran were backing the insurgency raging in Iraq with money and arms. In the latest accusation against Iraq’s neighbors, Hazim Al-Shaalan showed journalists a video of a man he said was the captured leader of an insurgent group called Mohammed’s Army, confessing to receiving aide from Iran and Syria, and threatened revenge. “We, especially in Mohammed’s Army, received a lot of help from Iran, which also supports most of the resistance groups in Iraq,” said the man, who identified himself as Col. Moayed Yassin Aziz Al-Nasiri, from Saddam Hussein’s disbanded army. The video’s authenticity could not be verified. Iran and Syria deny links with Iraq’s insurgents.

It's ultimatum time... or maybe we have to wait until Iraq elects their government - AND THEN THEY ISSUE AN ULTIMATUM OF THEIR OWN: "Stop aiding the counter-revolutionaries or we will counter-attack your nation!" Then, the Iraq government asks us for help - AND WHAM, we whack Iran and Syria destroying all their military assets!

Friday, January 07, 2005


One of the most ancient monasteries in the world, St Matthew's, stands on a barren mountainside in northern Iraq, its last inhabitant a crusty old Syrian Orthodox priest. Nestled between sandstone crags with views of the hills around ancient Nineveh, now called Mosul, it looks like the final redoubt of the Christian world. Seven thousand monks used to worship here; now there is just one, Father Ada Qadr al-Kars. This thinning of the ranks has taken centuries, he said, but in the valleys Iraq's Christian community, targeted with especial ferocity by Islamic extremists for the past year, is disappearing rapidly. Churches have been bombed, priests kidnapped and Christian neighbourhoods subjected to random shootings, the terrorists' revenge for the community's shared religion with the "Christian" invaders.

This article reminds me of a fact that I think post-modernists ("Edward Said-like" "orientalists" and Marxists and anti-colonialists) have pretty much successfully gotten the West to forget (because they dominate the "academy"):

Namely, that the nearly the entire Middle East - and North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt - was Christian LONG before the people were forcibly converted to Islam, AND THAT CHRISTIANITY IS AN ANCIENT INDIGENOUS FAITH TO THE AREA - AND NOT SOME EUROPEAN IMPORT!

Another FACT often over-looked - or deliberately obfuscated: the Crusades were DEFENSIVE WARS waged by the Church to RECAPTURE lands which had been taken by force!

The idea that Christianity is alien to the greater Middle East and that it's an alien "Western" presence in the greater Middle East and is in itself an affront to indigenous culture is FALSE. Christans - AND JEWS AND BAHAI'S AND SUFI'S - deserve to be able to live and worship ANYWHERE in the Middle East and North Africa - including Iraq, Iran Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Gaza! Those who would prevent the indigenous peoples of these regions from worshipping as they have for CENTURIES - and as they please NOW -are fascists who deserve - at best - our utter scorn.


Imagine a world in which there was no United States during the last 15 years. Iraq, Iran, and Libya would now have nukes. Afghanistan would remain a seventh-century Islamic terrorist haven sending out the minions of Zarqawi and Bin Laden worldwide. The lieutenants of Noriega, Milosevic, Mullah Omar, Saddam, and Moammar Khaddafi would no doubt be adjudicating human rights at the United Nations. [...] Bosnia and Kosovo would be national graveyards like Pol Pot's Cambodia. Add in Kurdistan as well — the periodic laboratory for Saddam's latest varieties of gas. Saddam himself, of course, would have statues throughout the Gulf attesting to his control of half the world's oil reservoirs. Europeans would be in two-day mourning that their arms sales to Arab monstrocracies ensured a second holocaust. North Korea would be shooting missiles over Tokyo from its new bases around Seoul and Pusan. For their own survival, Germany, Taiwan, and Japan would all now be nuclear. Americans know all that — and yet they grasp that their own vigilance and military sacrifices have earned them spite rather than gratitude. [...]

So an entire mythology has grown up to accommodate this false world of ours — sadly never more evident than during the recent tsunami disaster, [...] So even in death and misery, the world's pathologies remain — as Israel is disinvited to help the dying as the most benevolent United States, which freed Afghanistan and toppled Saddam, is supposedly under scrutiny to "regain" its stature for its "crimes" of jailing a mass murderer and sponsoring elections in his place. Last year alone the United States gave more direct money to Egypt and Jordan than what the entire billion-person Muslim world has given for the dead in Indonesia. [...]

Apparently the crime against America is not that it gives too little to those who need it, but that it gives too little to those who wish to administer it all. When the terrible wave hit, Kofi Annan was escaping the conundrum of the Oil-for-Food scandal by skiing at Jackson Hole, so naturally George Bush down in 'ole Crawford Texas was the global media's obvious insensitive leader — "on vacation" as it were, while millions perished.

The U.S. military is habitually slurred even though it possesses the world's only lift and sea assets that could substantially aid in the ongoing disasters in Indonesia and Thailand. Blamed for having too high a profile in removing the Taliban and Saddam, it is now abused for having too meek a presence in Southeast Asia. "

VDH. 'F'N' A-1! RTWT, A/O! OK?! (H-T LGF and NRO).


It strikes me as very revealing that the Democrats and the Left interrogate people like Gonzales more toughly than they would interrogate enemy combatants.

But, I guess that's to be expected from the kind of wackos who fear Ashcroft more than Bin Laden.

EQUALLY REVEALING: Most of the "Bush is a torturer" crap comes from guys with very questionable personal backgrounds: Kennedy left the scene of a vehicular homicide (to put it POLITLEY!); Biden was a plagiarist; Leahy an officialy reprimanded leaker of national secrets. And that's just the Lefties on the Judiciary Committee. Then there's Clinton - the serial rapist/adulterer/perjurer, and Sandy Berger - who got caught stealing TOP SECRET documents from the National Archives, and Kerry - the slanderer and "war criminal."

Whatta crew! Thank God they're NOT in control of interrogating Jihadoterrorists or national security!


In honor of Jesse Jackson's, Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Barbara Boxer's efforts to overturn Ohio's vote...



"07 January 2005; Mass graves not necessary for tsunami victims; Philip Ball / Report says need for rapid burial to avert health risks is a myth."

And then they cite the same source I did LAST WEEK:

The tragedy is that this concern about the health risk posed by the dead is misplaced. A report issued last September by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) addressed the management of dead bodies in disaster situations. Its findings suggest that the corpses from the 26 December catastrophe pose no serious risk of spreading infection and disease.Bodies should always be buried in a way that allows for later exhumation, says the PAHO report. "The use of common graves should be avoided in all circumstances," it recommends. The report calls mass burials "a violation of the human rights of the surviving family members.

I hope, now that the MSM is finally on the case, that this abhorrent and unnecessary practice will never be used again. Sadly, it is too late for many - including - possibly - tourists:

UNIDENTIFIED Australian tsunami victims could have been buried in mass graves in Thailand, Australian officials said today.But the head of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) forensic team leading the victim identification process in Thailand said Australians, if they had been buried in mass graves, would be identified and their remains returned home. AFP team leader Karl Kent said he was aware of the location of the graves and he was satisfied Thai authorities had acted responsibly when conducting mass burials. Asked if it were possible that foreigners could be in the graves, Mr Kent said: "Yes." "We know the sites, we have been informed about them. "All of those deceased persons will be exhumed and all will be examined using the international DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) protocol."
And of course, this may be true elsewhere, too - where there were far many more victims...


That's what I expect it to be like between now and the election in Iraq. 3 weeks of hell.

I'm not alone:
Nick Wadhams of the Associated Press on January 7, 2005, 1:12 PM EST -

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A top U.S. military official said today he expects that insurgents may try to carry out "spectacular" attacks as the Iraqi election draws near, while Sunni religious leaders called for unity but persisted in their demands that the vote be delayed.The comments by U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Erv Lessel echoed a warning by Iraq's prime minister the day before that insurgent violence would only increase ahead of the Jan. 30 election for a National Assembly.

PARIS (Reuters) - President Jacques Chirac has urged journalists not to go to Iraq after the disappearance of a French reporter which caused fears of a new hostage crisis. [...] "We are terribly worried," Paris-based media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. "The situation in Iraq is such that nothing can be ruled out."

The recent attack which destroyed a 35 TON Bradley Fighting Vehicle is just a taste of what the Jihadoterrorists have in store for us. WHY DO I SUSPECT THIS? Because so much is at stake; it's make or break time for Jihadism in Iraq, and they know it. And their only weapon is TERROR: inflicting a horrifying loss which shakes our will. By definition then, subsequent terrorist attacks must be more terrifying than preceding ones. Perhaps a Shia mosque will be blown up? Or another larger group of Iraqi election officials beheaded? I dunno, but be sure and brace yourself.


Two news items on abortion policy in China.

First, this story - (HAT TIP K-Lo of THE CORNER) - China intends to outlaw selective gender abortions. These are prevalent in China; there are now 40 million more men than women in China, and the government wants to halt this imbalance.

The imbalance is primarily due to ANOTHER Chinese government policy: family planning limits parents to one child per household. In fact, China uses COERCIVE practices to force parents to limit themselves to one child (Links to an article from AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.) ! (More HERE and HERE.)

So... many parents decide that if they can only have one child, they want a boy - and so they have sonograms to determine the gender of the baby, AND ABORT THE BABY IF IT'S A GIRL!

Bottom-line: the Chinese government wants parents to accept the gender of their first born, and then abort ALL subsequent pregnancies regardless of the baby's gender - a politically correct solution which of course is nothing more than genocide.

YEAH: GENOCIDE. The tyrannical government of China coerces parents to abort. Because ALL Chinese are coerced to abort this may seem to some people to be fair; the Chinese government is merely trying to control population, and since the Chinese government has SO MANY RESPONSIBILITIES over that population (because it is still a socialist state) this control seems within their rights.

Naturally, no government anywhere should have that much control over anybody. People should be able to have as many kids as they choose - and as long as they take care of the kids, they can keep them, and keep having them. It's their business, not mine, not yours, not the state's.

What gets me is this: IMO, the pro-abortion lobby in the USA makes their most powerful case FOR abortion rights when they argue that the STATE should not have control over a woman's body. Well, that libertarian argument certainly runs counter to the situation in China where the state COERCES women to have abortions - which is, after all, ANOTHER way that the state takes control over a woman's body. SO it seems to me that the pro-abortion folks here ought to be making a HUGE stink about China's fascist family-planning policy. But they aren't.

BOTTOM-LINE: If one favors abortion rights on the basis of personal liberty then one should oppose China's policy. If one is anti-abortion on the grounds that one believes that life begins at conception (and all life should be honored and protected), then one must oppose China's policy.

Therefore, there is no moral basis for supporting China's policy.

The only basis is non-interventionist isolationism and moral/cultural relativism. But based on these creeds, there is no basis for intervening anywhere to stop "internal" genocide or slavery.

Which is what is happening in China: parents are virtual slaves of the state because they are coerced by the state into aborting their own babies - which is genocide.

When will the world cry out to make China stop their inhumane policies which amount to nothing more than slavery and genocide!? How many millions must die!?

PERSPECTIVE: 200 times more babies have been aborted in China because of this policy than people died in the tsunami. Think about it. Then think about this: since Roe v Wade, 200 times more pregnancies were aborted in the USA than people died in the tsunami.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Interrogating or Conversing: which will yield more information from Jihadoterrorists?

"... district attorneys and police detectives routinely invoke the possibility of harsh criminal penalties to get criminals to confess. Federal prosecutors in New York have even been known to remind suspects that they are more likely to keep their teeth and not end up as sex slaves by pleading to a federal offense, thus avoiding New York City’s Rikers Island jail. Using such a method against an al-Qaida jihadist, by contrast, would be branded a serious humanitarian breach."

IMHO: Interrogators who cannot use coercive techniques on terrorists will not get as much information as ones that can and do. Disallowing all coercive techniques in order to banish torture is nothing more than throwing the baby out with the bathwater! Coercive techniques are part of the "arsenal" of a normal interrogation; they're the "stick" the "bad cop" uses when the "good cop's" "carrot" fails. In fact, they make each other MORE effective!

NOW... We all want the people in our armed forces to have the very best equipment. RIGHT?! SO... why do some - mostly naive hand-wringing idealists on the Left - want to "DISARM" our interrogators?! It makes NO SENSE!

And read MM everyday!

UPDATE 1/7: Lowry/NRO/the corner ("MORE ON INTERROGATION") has an example of coercive interrogation making a big difference.


One of the many images that have bolstered me in the last few days have been the photos that the US Navy have been posting at their website which show how well and hard our military has been working to ameliorate the suffering of the millions of people hurt by the recent tsunami. (HAT TIP PRESTOPUNDIT.)

One little part of the imagery has stuck in my mind: photo after photo of water bottles - being filled; being ditributed. We have all heard so much about how getting clean water to the area is critical to prevent disease and more death. Well, that's a lot of what we've being doing - getting the survivors clean water.

AND... all of the water bottles are of course PLASTIC. Now, this would be hardly noticeable to most people in the world: most of the world is young, and they don't remember the days when ALL bottles were glass. I DO. Can you imagine the added problems and costs we'd be facing if all the many MILLIONS of water bottles being filled and distributed were GLASS? The added weight... the breakage. The difficulty of handling. Sheesh.

And all those many millions of water bottles are made from OIL. And delivered by ships and planes and heliocopters that run on OIL. And all those hospitals all over the region that are filled with injured victims of the tsunami - they are all lighted with OIL, cooled with OIL; their OR's are lighted by OIL, too. As are the water purifiers we are delivering all powered by oil.

Without OIL, the rescue would be impossible; with less oil, or more expensive oil, the rescue would be less effective, and more costly. And more lives would be lost.


Oil is a necessity - the most basic commodity of the world economy. Without oil (and the products and the energy from oil) modern life would cease to function, and rescue missions - like the one now on-going in the Indian Ocean - would be IMPOSSIBLE.

I GRANT YOU: this is a minor point, one that should not be necessary to make. But the recent onslaught of anti-oil Leftist propaganda makes me feel it's necessary to reiterate.

"NO BLOOD FOR OIL!" was an awful and shallow harangue that belittled BOTH our aims in liberating Iraq, AND our NEED FOR OIL.

"Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

Carter was right then, and The Carter Doctrine is still right: we mustn't allow Jihadoterrorism to gain control of the world's oil by gaining control of Iraq or Saudi Arabia. And that is PART of what is at stake in the GWOT today in Iraq.

OIL: it's not just about the "First World's" ability to drive big cars. It's the whole world's ability to produce prosperity and to respond to global calamities.

Next time you hear an anti-globalist Leftist or Luddite deride the West's insatiable need for oil, tell him to try to go a day without it! And ask him: would he rather the whole world was like the Third World, or would he prefer those in the Third World to become materially better off... MORE LIKE THE FIRST WORLD!?

Well, we'll never make the people of the Third World more materially rich by having the First World consume less and buy less; that would just create a GLOBAL recession and more poverty - FOR EVERYBODY EVERYWHERE! NOPE, to improve the lives of people in the Third World we have to build more power plants and produce more goods. That means find, mine, refine and use more OIL., because it's the lifeblood of the modern world. It's what enables us - in the First World - to enjoy each day, create prosperity, and to help those less fortunate make tomorrow a better day.


From AFP: Zarqawi followers arrested
From correspondents in Baghdad, Iraq
January 7, 2005

US forces and Iraqi police detained two leaders of Islamist cells linked to al-Qaeda terror chief in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the US military said today.The arrests came in two restive cities of the Sunni Muslim insurgency, Mosul and Baquba. Yesterday, Iraqi police netted two Islamic extremists in Baquba, 60 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, the military said. Police captured Karem Abed Ibrahim, who has "ties to the Zarqawi network in Baghdad", said Colonel Dana Pittard, head of the 1st Infantry Division in Baquba. "It'll put a dent in the insurgency."
It seems to me that the enemy is getting bolder and more desperate as we approach the election. They're being met with superior force and resolve, and we are defeating them, killing them, arresting them. Their days are numbered. The anti-Bush Old Media may not depect it that way; they prefer to depict Iraq's deadly struggle to achieve democracy as a pointless quagmire. In fact, I betchya you won't read about these arrests in the Old Media. Pity: in their insatiable desire to bring down Bush and the USA, the Left and thge Old Media they dominate are missing a great story - humanity's age-old battle against tyranny.


I predict that - if Kerry follows his old pattern, (of meeting with the enemy and then carrying their water) - it means we can expect him to start speechifying on behalf of terrorists and enemy combatants as soon as he gets back with their instructions! I expect something like: "Let's use a carrot with Syria and Iran - and not a stick." Which ought to make the "chic European appeaserati" happy! Which leads me to wonder: how will Kerry "use" the Gonzales confirmation vote? I predict as an opportunity to trash the US military and law enforcement agencies, and thereby make the Jihadoterrorists - and their Baathist allies - happy, too!

UPDATE: According to NEWSMAX Kerry - while in Bagdhad - is already trashing the USA! It's a virtual resprise of his Fonda-Vietcong days: giving moral aid to the enemy! Sheesh: it only proves that Kerry - like so many other Left-wing McGovernite anti-Americans - never really changed. Pity: the world HAS changed.


*******UPDATE 1/8******* CLICK HERE. NOW! That's an order from Greyhawk at Mudville!


I just watched Barbara Boxer's presser in which she explained why she will challenge the counting of the Electoral College votes today. SHEESH! This is really the last straw; the Dems have really lost it - JUMPED THE SHARK! "OHIO-OHIO-OHIO!" "Fraud fraud fraud, long lines, discouraged voters, glitches, errors!"

They just don't get it!

It's as if they live in a parallel universe where terrorists deserve ACLU lawyers and wars and elections are perfect. They've become cry-babies! Whining, hand-wringing, terrorist coddling cry-babies!

The clincher: Bush LOST more states BY CLOSER MARGINS in 2000 and in 2004 than Kerry or Gore and yet contested NOTHING!


That's how adults who live in the real world behave.

I for one - a 4th generation registered Democrat (for the time being) - am ashamed of the Democrats, and PROUD I VOTED FOR BUSH!

UPDATE: Well, the Dems just objected to the Electoral College Count during the Joint Session, and the two bodies are withdrawing to their own chambers for 2 hours of debate. WHAT A WASTE! The Dems have demonstrated a total lack of leadership, sportmanship, and honor. SHAME ON THEM!

UPDATE #2: well, they're voting now in the Senate. Seems to me that they should've added another category besides "YES" and "NO"... "YOU MUST BE JOKING!" Sad thing is: the joke is on the Democrats - they seem like petty cry-babbies who would rather score points with their base than do what's right for their country.

HEY: that just about sums up where the Dems have been on loads of issues, DOESN'T IT!? The Democrats put satisfying their wacky Left-wing base ahead of patriotism and sanity. Not a single Democrat stood up and berated this wacky partisan move - had one: it would've been a "SISTER SOULJAH moment" to crown all others, and a presidential candidate would've been born. Instead, all the Dems speechified in platitudes and demogogic "sky-is-falling" cliches. PATHETIC!



The brilliant ROGER L. SIMON linked to an op-ed in the WSJ by Bruce Gilley titled AN IMMODEST PROPOSAL in which Gilley - a brilliant and well-educated expert in Asian affairs - suggests that the solution to the North Korean problem is not unification (now) but regime change authorized by the world community and undertaken by China through an invasion and occupation, followed by a transition period that would ultimately lead to re-unification.

Simon comments:

It also seems indisputable that the Chinese are by far the best placed to undertake such an action. [...] Well, it's hard to come to a conclusion about something like this at such short notice - to say the least. But Gilley certainly deserves plaudits for thinking out of the box."

I agree with Gilley. And I said so last year in a post made on 11/22:

11.22.2004 - SomeStraight Talk On North Korea - FROM JAPAN

The head of the ruling party in Japan has said that because the Kim Jong Il regimehas not been sincere/trustworthy in negotiations that regime change may be the only option.

This makes sense. Only how? I think an invasion by China makes the most sense. We should let them occupy North Korea and let them set up a new regime. ALSO:
here's a link to an article from a South Korean newspaper with photographic PROOF that billboards of KIM JONG IL are coming down all over North Korea.

Simon expresses concern about enabling China to occupy another country and brings up Tibet. He is right to do so. Gilley and I merely believe that the risks of an unbridled North Korea outweigh the risks of Chinese hegemony. And China is better able to absorb North Korea than Soth Korea - at the present time. In conclusion: regime change led by China is the most practical solution.


According to YAHOO/"Reuters" - TOKYO (Reuters) - "The United States is setting a deadline of early February for a reply from North Korea on whether the communist state will return to six-party talks on its nuclear arms programme, a Japanese newspaper says. If Pyongyang does not reply positively by the time U.S. President George W. Bush gives his State of the Union address, the United States will prepare to bring the matter to the U.N. Security Council, the conservative Sankei Shimbun said on Thursday, quoting an unidentified diplomatic source familiar with the talks."

According to South Korea's CHOSUN.COM: "The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed El-Baradei says the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons program is worsening and needs to be resolved as soon as possible."

SO... I guess we should prepare for an anxious spring and summer! Well, maybe we'll all be ready by then: the elections in Iraq and the "Palestinian" territories will be behind us. I imagine that if Syria and Iran are cooperating by then that North Korea will be next in line for liberation.

Somehow, I feel that Syria and Iran will NOT be so cooperative, and that their uncooperativeness might slow things up a little - which might be part of the strategy of the axis of evil.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005



Many happy and healthy returns of the day!
With love and respect,



The Bush administration is considering imposing new sanctions on Syria to prod it to crack down on Iraqis there who are providing financial and logistical support to insurgents in Iraq, senior American counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. [...] Syria has long been subject to limited economic sanctions by the United States because of its designation by the State Department as a sponsor of terrorism. Under pressure from Congress, the Bush administration imposed additional measures last spring that prohibit exports to Syria of most goods, excluding food and medicine, and prohibit commercial flights between the United States and Syria by Syrian-owned aircraft. [...] The American officials would speak about Syria only on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want their comments to overshadow recent public remarks by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top American commander in Iraq, Richard L. Armitage, the deputy secretary of state, and others. The officials interviewed represented several government agencies involved in counterterrorism policy, including those favoring a more patient approach toward Syria and those urging a harder line. [...] A second counterterrorism official said there remained "a wide range of views" within the administration about taking further action against Syria, with the State Department most opposed. The official said the Pentagon in particular was pressing for a more aggressive approach. "This is not the Ho Chi Minh trail that's keeping the insurgency alive," the official said. "But if Syria were to take action, it would have an impact."
I think the status-quoists of the pro-Arab US State Department are - in effect - running interference for Assad and prolonging the bloody reactionary "Baathist/Jihadist/pan-Arabist" counter-revolution in Iraq. The sooner we get tougher on Syria - and Iran - the sooner Iraq will become a stable democracy. SO.... WHY WAIT!? We should be tough and unambiguous; we should issue ULTIMATUMS to both Syria and Iran: "Close your borders or we will mine them and attack and destroy your military assets with missiles."

NOTE: The blithe way the State Department official discounts the importance of cracking down on the Syrian-Iraqi border is truly MIND-BLOWING; ("... if Syria were to take action, it would have an impact.")!

After all, the infiltrations are a major reason why we are taking so many casualties! We MUST do whatever we can do in order to protect our troops; THIS OPEN BORDER IS MORE DANGEROUS TO OUR TROOPS THAN LACK OF ARMORED HUMMERS! So: LET'S GET AS TOUGH AS WE HAVE TO GET, AND NOW!


UPDATE: the WASH TIMES get it: "...the behavior of the Syrian regime does not merit gentle treatment. Far from it, Syria should be read the riot act. Syria continues to support Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups determined to sabotage the Jan. 9 elections scheduled to take place in the West Bank and Gaza. And it continues to subvert Iraq through its support of the terrorist insurgency there. "


I posted yesterday on my concerns about an increase in child trafficking in SE Asia as a result of the tsunami. These concerns have been addressed by the UN, UNICEF, the Indonesian government and the Old Media. Here are a few stories and links:

Indonesian authorities posted police guards at refugee camps today to protect children orphaned by last week's tsunamis from child traffickers. The UN confirmed two attempts to snatch children in Indonesia's devastated Aceh province, the first independent verification of widespread fears that children across the Indian Ocean region could fall prey to traffickers. The Indonesian government banned children under 16 from leaving the country on Monday in an attempt to halt a potential trade in tsunami orphans.

2 - BBC - "The UN children's agency, Unicef, has begun registering thousands of tsunami orphans in Aceh in a bid to protect them from human traffickers."

3 - TIMES of India - Stating that care for separated children must also be given high priority in the all relief plans, she said finding children who have lost families, identifying them and reuniting them with their extended families and communities was a challenge to be met with. Relief efforts must also ensure that children were protected from exploitation in tumultous environments like those in the tsunami zone, where families wre broken apart, incomes lost and 'hope was in short supply'. "In some affected countries, reports have been emerging of opportunistic child traffickers moving in to exploit vulnerable children. UNICEF is working closely with local and national authorities to head off these criminals," Bellamy said.

4 - UK Telegraph - Police guard tsunami orphans amid kidnap fears (Filed: 05/01/2005)

Indonesian police are guarding refugee camps in tsunami-hit regions to protect orphaned children from being kidnapped by trafficking gangs. United Nations charity workers have confirmed two attempts to snatch children from the devastated Aceh province. Indonesia has introduced restrictions on children leaving the country in an attempt to prevent youngsters being sold into forced labour or sexual slavery in rich neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. John Budd, Unicef spokesman, said there were unconfirmed reports of up to 20 other youngsters being taken to Malaysia, and possibly hundreds to Jakarta. He said: "I don't think you could have a more vulnerable child on Earth than a child in this situation. A young child who has gone through what they have witnessed will be barely surviving in terms of psychological health." Unicef, plans to set up a registration scheme for orphans in the area. Criminal gangs are believed to be posing as aid agencies or family friends and a text message is rumoured to be in circulation advertising an auction of 300 orphans. An estimated 35,000 children in Aceh have lost one or both parents in the tragedy.

THOUSANDS of vulnerable children orphaned by the south Asia tsunami disaster now have to deal with another threat: gangs of unscrupulous human traffickers looking for easy pickings, humanitarian organisations said today. "Experience shows that the risks of child trafficking grows in a crisis situation where there are population movements and where the environment that normally protects the child collapses," said Marc Vergara of UNICEF. "There are no parents, no family, no school, no village," the spokesman for the United Nations children's fund in Geneva said. As a result of the threat, the UN is developing a program to register every displaced child in Indonesia's tsunami-hit province of Aceh in an effort to stop human traffickers from smuggling them out, of the country.

I'm a little relieved... I hope that the UN's efforts in this regard are more effective than their efforts in other areas: the IAEA has been awful; and the UN's refugee offices in Africa and the Middle East - and the Baltics - are as corrupt as any organization in the world; in fact, they've been involved in THEIR OWN sex scandals. So... I hope the increased scrutiny that is concomittant with the vast nature of the recent tsunami will make it more difficult for the agencies involved to do more harm than good. I PRAY SO!

PREDICTION: McCain will determine the outcome of the Gonzales nomination

My first prediction of 2005: McCain will be the deciding factor in the Gonzales nomination battle. For two obvious reasons: (1) The Old Media and the Democrats love him and give him much sway. (2) He was a POW who was REALLY tortured.

How will he use this gravitas? Will he see Gitmo for what it is: a place where terrorists (NOT covered by any treaty and legally NOT POWS) have been getting moderately coercive treatment? Or will he get on is high horse and claim that it doesn't matter if the Gitmo detainees are terrorists or enemy comabatants or whether they're covered by Geneva or not: we mustn't "torture" them in any way shape or form - even mildy by making them stand all day and listen to bad music.

If McCain is half the opportunist some think he is, he may think he can get ahead by dumping on Gonzales.

But I think if Bush signals he will go to the mats for Gonzales that then... McCain will realize he can lose more (in terms of 2008) on the GOP-side than he can gain on the DNC side, and that he will back Gonzales.

Of course... McCain will make Bush and Gonzales sweat it out - even court him. But in the end McCain will do the right thing and support Gonzales. That will squelch the debate and assure Gonzales confirmation.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


INSTAPUNDIT just posted a link-filled on the looming battle over the Gonzales nomination by Bush for the AG. DRUDGE has a siren going on it, too. According to Glenn, LIMBAUGH was all over the story.

One MUST conclude: this will be the next knockdown drag-out partisan fight, and my money is on Bush and Gonzales - and not just because Bush is still an undefeated president.

Because the Democrats will come off as terrorist-coddling, ACLU-aping Lefties who want to treat terrorists - (non-uniformed enemy combatants who routinely violate all laws and norms of warfare, and who are legally NOT POWS by ANY stretch of the imagination) - as POWS who deserve an ACLU lawyer, the Fifth Amendment, and an air-conditoned cell. HECK: THE DEMOCRATS WILL PROBABLY TRY TO GET THEM ACLU LAWYERS AND GREEN CARDS AND THEN TRY TO REGISTER THEM AS DEMOCRATS!

Sure, sure, sure: the Lefties will whine: "we mustn't lower ourselves to the enemy's level; we must uphold our ideals, or the enemy has already won; we shopuld treat them they way we want to be treated."

BAH HUMBUG! These Jihadoterrorists cut off the heads of innocents; they desrve nothing except utter defeat -and the sooner, the better! If that means we have to play tough: SO BE IT!

Must I remind you that when our army liberated Dachau they SUMMARILY EXECUTED a few HUNDRED German Officers who ran the death camp?! Was it a war crime? NO.... JUST PUNISHMENT - swift and sure and true and just. AND fearful. And without shame.

Then again... that war was waged when the Democrats were in the White House - Democrats who had no trouble waging a just and powerfully deadly war against our enemies. And, FDR and Truman were unafraid to use the full force and might of the USA to defeat our enemies; they firebombed cities - dropped TWO A-bombs; (BTW: the fact that a second A-bomb had to be dropped PROVES that a "demonstration explosion" - or dropping just one - would have NEVER gotten the Japs to surrender! IT TOOK TWO!).

FDR and Truman would've voted for Bush - and they'd support Gonzales. Today's Democrat Party has more in common with Lindbergh and Oswald Mosley and Vidkun Quisling than they do with FDR and Truman and JFK.

If the Democrats turn the Gonzales confirmation hearing into a partisan battle they will just be nailing another nail in their own coffin. Deservedly so.

BTW: I AM A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT; HAVE BEEN SINCE 1974. But I won't be for long. I suspect more Democrats will be joining me as I exit the party if the party makes this fight.


Three things make me very worried about the orphans of the tsunami, and that they may be targeted for kidnapping by Jihadis, and then put into the sex-slave trade in Thailand and elsewhere:

First, this news item from the BBC about a Swedish child who was kidnapped from a hospital in Thailand points out the factual basis for claim that children who were orphaned by the tsunami in Thailand are easy prey for the sex-slave trade.


Swedish police have arrived in Thailand to investigate reports that a 12-year-old survivor of the tsunami has been kidnapped from a hospital. Two officers are helping Kristian Walker's family and Thai police search for him, amid fears he may have been taken by child sex traffickers.
Second, this article (from January 2004 - and principally about the convergence of Jihadism and the sex-slave trade in Iran) points out the relationship between the sex-slave tade and the Jihadis - simply put the sex-slave trade (especially in kaffir/dhimmis/non-Muslims) is a big source of revenue for the Jihadis; (this should come as a surprise to no one: people who would behead some innocents would certainly use others as sex-slaves for profit).


Joining a global trend, the fundamentalists have added another way to dehumanize women and girls: buying and selling them for prostitution. Exact numbers of victims are impossible to obtain, but according to an official source in Tehran, there has been a 635 percent increase in the number of teenage girls in prostitution. The magnitude of this statistic conveys how rapidly this form of abuse has grown. In Tehran, there are an estimated 84,000 women and girls in prostitution, many of them are on the streets, others are in the 250 brothels that reportedly operate in the city. The trade is also international: thousands of Iranian women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery abroad.
Some may think a thriving sex trade in a theocracy with clerics acting as pimps is a contradiction in a country founded and ruled by Islamic fundamentalists. In fact, this is not a contradiction. First, exploitation and repression of women are closely associated. Both exist where women, individually or collectively, are denied freedom and rights. Second, the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran are not simply conservative Muslims. Islamic fundamentalism is a political movement with a political ideology that considers women inherently inferior in intellectual and moral capacity. Fundamentalists hate women’s minds and bodies. Selling women and girls for prostitution is just the dehumanizing complement to forcing women and girls to cover their bodies and hair with the veil.

Third, the areas in SE ASIA principally hit by the tsunami were Muslim - and in many parts there is rampant Jihadism. The beach resorts of Thailand are all in Muslim regions were there has been a lot of unrest recently. SO: ruthless people are in the area, and they are in dire need of money. Children are easy prey for them.

THEREFORE, special efforts must be made by INTERPOL and other international and national law enforcement and anti-terror authorities - AT ONCE - to prevent the child survivors of the tsunami from being victimized again by being kidnapped and forced into the sex-slave trade. This means cracking down at the hospitals, and in Bangkok (and other cities in the region with rampant child prostitution), and at the airports.


FROM PROMED - a Harvard University medical news-service:

Date, Tue, 28 Dec 2004 / From: Martin Rieder

As I am watching the news about the catastrophe in the Indian Ocean area, I am amazed how often it is mentioned that because of the fear of epidemics, dead bodies have to be buried as quickly as possible. Looks like we are still in the 19th century, with all the theories about miasma (meaning bad air, hence "malaria") and dead bodies.

As far as I remember, several scientific studies have shown that after natural disasters, the dead bodies of victims do not cause any increase in the spread of communicable diseases. It is the accompanying situation (lack of safe water, lack of proper sanitation for "still alive" human beings -- well, lack of everything....) that constitutes a threat. Those who fell victim to the disaster and their bodies do no harm, apart from looking ugly and smelling while decomposing.

Whatever infectious agents the deceased victims of the tsunami harbored while still alive will pose less threat to the public health than when they were alive, and no new organisms will develop while the dead bodies are rotting. The real threat to public health is posed by those still living, some of whom may spread infectious agents, and the worsened conditions that help spread whatever they may carry.

Therefore, the utmost priority from a public health point of view is not to bury all the dead immediately (which is what people on TV seem to be telling us), but to restore the safety of the water supply. In fact, for many of the affected countries, it is not a matter of "restoring" but establishing a safe source of water!!! It will also be important to pay attention to environmental issues like vector control, waste disposal, and hygiene education.

Martin Rieder, DTMPH



"Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, declared 'target number one in Iraq' by the US authorities, has been arrested in the city of Baakuba, the Emirate newspaper al-Bayane reported on Tuesday referring to Kurdish sources."

It would be good if this is true. Stay tuned.



The UK Guardian has a great article on the mammoth job of identifying the dead. Here's an excerpt:
Forensic experts from around the world have flown in to help identify bodies. Britain has dispatched a team of about 20 pathologists, forensic dentists, logistic experts and counsellors to help the international operation. It is being led by Australia , whose team was the first to arrive on the scene and has experience in dealing with the Bali bomb. There are two picture galleries in Phukhet town hall. The first are the noticeboards for the missing, which feature hundreds of pictures of honeymooners, holidaying families and retirees - in almost every case healthy and smiling. The second set of boards depicts the ranks of the dead - close-up photographs of the victims, most of whom have been bloated by sea water and stiffened by rigor mortis. They are horrifying images of distended, twisted, blackened children and adults turned into blood-splattered, grey balloons. It is hard to reconcile the smiling faces with the grotesque death masks. Doing so scientifically is likely to be even more difficult.
Read the whole thing HERE. Read why we must ban mass graves HERE (an earlier post).

Monday, January 03, 2005


A newspaper report in Japan suggests North Korea has been selling weapons to an Islamic extremist group in the Philippines. Japan's biggest-selling newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, quotes South-East Asian security sources as saying that North Korea sold 10,000 rifles to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The group is based in the Philippines and allegedly has ties to Al Qaeda.

If this is true, then it proves that North Korea is aiding and abetting Jihadoterrorism. AND: then... it's time to overthrow Kim Jong Il. Before he sells them a nuke!



According to JIM LINDGREN (HAT-TIP INSTAPUNDIT) the Columbia Journalism Review has - in an article on Rathergate - largely dismissed the blogosphere. This is especially BIZARRE considering that 2004 was the "year of the blog" and that blogs were chiefly responsible for outing Rather, CBS and the bogus documents.

WHY WOULD THEY DO THIS? Because: the dinosaurs of the Old Media are a much more likely future employers for anyone at the CJR than the bloggers. CYNICAL?! Yes, but human nature is human nature: people tend not to bite the hand that feeds them - or the hand that might feed them in the near future. And for CJR contributors that is the Old Media.

EAST CONGO: "a tsunami every four months!"

Jan Egeland - the UN Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief (who regrettably made the "stingy" comments last week, and is in charge of ALL relief efforts for the UN all over the world, including Darfur and Congo) - said today (in a presser I saw on C-Span) he appreciates the unprecedented out-pouring of relief aid, and - echoing comments I made yesterday in this blog - said he only wished that there was a similar response to other man-made disasters which also cause widespread and preventable loss of life - like the on-going genocide in east Congo where he said there is a loss in human life which is the equivalent of a great tsunami every four months!

UPDATE (1/4/05) Here's a quote (via CNN):
On Monday, he [Egeland] described himself as "desperate." "We have 20 parallel catastrophes unfolding," he told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York. "I am now as afraid for the situation in Darfur as I was at the peak, nearly, in the summer," he said in reference to the turbulent region in Sudan. "I am just desperate to get attention to the 'tsunami' coming in Congo every four months," he added, arguing that there are as many preventable deaths in that time as the number who died in the tsunami disaster. "In eastern Congo we believe that there are in the millions of preventable deaths in the last decade," he said.
I agree: the UN ought to do more to publicize these horrors and to mobilze worldwide efforts to prevent GENOCIDE. The fact that the UN has not is an indictment of the UN and of Kofi Annan - a man who more than any other LEADER IN THE WORLD repeatedly looked away as genocide was committed over and over again in Africa - HIS HOME CONTINENT! (UN Secretary Generals are selected on a rotating basis, by continent.)


Sunday, January 02, 2005

GLOBAL TIDAL WAVES OF EMOTIONS: why for natural disasters, and NOT genocide?

The great Tsunami of 2004 inspired a commensurate wave of shock, grief, and sympathy - as well it should have. And the widespread emotional pain led to a widespread emotional outpouring of support for the survivors - laudatory and reassuring.

Yet, I can't help but compare the horrendous toll of this event (and the wonderful response it received), to other recent events in which there was also widespread death ON THIS VERY SCALE -- OR GREATER -- and yet there was VIRTUALLY NO RESPONSE... and it leads to me to ask:

Why has this event inspired such a good and global response when the others did not?

Could it be because the other events -- which dwarfed the great Tsunami of 2004 -- were political - or "man-made" - and not natural?

I'm mostly thinking of just three or four recent genocides: The Bosnian Serb genocide which killed 250,000 humans; the Rwandan genocide - which killed 750,000 humans (SIX TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS THE TSUNAMI!); and the 20,000 per year Saddam slaughtered and tortured for 20 years. And then there's the Sudanese genocide (of 1.5 MILLION Christians and southern Sudanese animists, and of the Darfurians). Each total is GREATER than the Tsunami toll, but each genocide received virtually NO response from the "world community." THEY WERE VIRTUALLY IGNORED!

YES: they were bigger than the Tsunami of 2004 (at least as far as we know as of this writing), yet each inspired NO wordwide outrage at the time - even though ALL could have been prevented - or at least halted; YEAH, all were within human power to avoid or restrict!

Did the fact that they were man-made make them "less tragic"!? Does the fact that they were victims of other people make their victims less pitiable!? And what does it say about most people that they respond to one and not to the other type of tragedy??

I think that the Tsunami of 2004 instilled more fear and anxiety and more sympathy in more people because more people felt "there but for the grace of God go I." It's easier to identify with the victims of natural disasters - especially one so widespread - than it is to identify with people who are targeted by other people because of who they are. (As if people have control over who they are; as if the Batutsis of Rwanda could've un-made themselves as Batutsis and remade themselves as Hutsis.)

Of course, people CANNOT remake themselves - we are who we are. And - in my mind - that should make the genocide they suffered seem WORSE than the suffering of the victims of the Tsunami of 2004. And it should make the people of the world feel MORE GUILTY for having FAILED to prevent those genocides.

The fact that - over the last two decades - MAN-MADE genocide has taken more lives than natural disasters should remind people that we can AND SHOULD do more to prevent them.

After all, we can't prevent earthquakes or tsunamis - or asteroids from hitting the Earth. But we can prevent genocide. And we should. And that should be another lesson we learn from the great Tsunami of 2004: the widespread death and destruction of people, families and property is especially horrible. We should do whatever we can to eliminate it - or minimize it: with more tsunami warning systems AND also with an assertive/proactive - even PREVENTIVE AND PREEMPTIVE interventionist foreign policy that dares to to act in time, BEFORE genocide takes place.

That's my hope... my prayer. That's what I hope the world learns from this most recent horror.

Never again.