Sunday, September 23, 2007

We join Columbia and the lefties...


Celebrate Free Speech !
And please don't forget to get rid of the offending Ten Commandments in all public spaces...

Posted by The Beast Is Back at 6.66 hrs

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The daily news that nobody publishes

(IsraelNN.com) Gaza-based terrorists have fired nine mortar shells at Israeli towns and IDF troops in the past hour. Two landed near the Kerem Shalom crossing, formerly the main crossing into Gaza, which has been closed due to terrorist threats. Six shells fell next to a nearby Jewish town, while one landed near Kibbutz Miflasim.

The attacks bring to 11 the number of mortar shells at Israeli soldiers and civilians Thursday afternoon.




Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We need more dialogue...

Via AFP/Google:

Syria blast 'linked to chemical weapons': report

LONDON (AFP) — Iranian engineers were among those killed in a blast at a secret Syrian military installation two months ago, defence group Jane's said Wednesday after claiming that the base was being used to develop chemical weapons.

The July 26 explosion in Aleppo, northern Syria, was reported at the time. The official Sana news agency said 15 Syrian military personnel were killed and 50 people were injured, most of them slightly from flying glass.

The agency said only that "very explosive products" blew up after fire broke out at the facility and that the blaze was not an act of sabotage.

But in the September 26 edition of Jane's Defence Weekly, Syrian defence sources were quoted as saying the explosion happened during tests to weaponise a Scud C missile with mustard gas, which is banned under international law.

Fuel caught fire in a missile production laboratory and "dispersed chemical agents (including VX and Sarin nerve agents and mustard blister agent) across the storage facility and outside.

"Other Iranian engineers were seriously injured with chemical burns to exposed body parts not protected by safety overalls," the publication quoted the sources as saying.

Among the dead were "dozens" of Iranian missile weaponisation engineers, it added.



READ THE REST

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This idiot was the Commander...

Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but, failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed government in Teheran, a recently retired commander of US forces in the Middle East said Monday.

John Abizaid, the retired Army general who headed Central Command for nearly four years, said he was confident that if Iran should gain nuclear arms, the United States could deter it from using them.

"Iran is not a suicide nation," he said. "I mean, they may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon."

The Iranians are aware, he said, that the United States has far superior military capability.

"I believe that we have the power to deter Iran, should it become nuclear," he said, referring to the theory that Iran would not risk a catastrophic retaliatory strike by using a nuclear weapon against the United States.

"There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. "Let's face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with (other) nuclear powers as well."


READ THE REST AT THE JERUSALEM POST:

HERE




Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rumors...noise or music ?

THIS is from JihadWatch, but there are more articles on the JPost...

IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.

At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.

Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.

Friday, September 7, 2007

They Want What They Cannot Have


Oprah endorses Obama. Has-beens wonder "Why not me?"

THE DEAD THREAD - Home Away from Home




ALL NIGHT LONG!


All night; All night long!


I don't blame you for being cranky. I'm cranky, too!


[Awesome artwork courtesy
Shiplord Kirel,
who I HOPE is on
an awesome vacation somewhere,
as he hasn't been on LGF...]


Anyway, enjoy your FRUIT-CUP-ON-THE-ROAD.



Thursday, September 6, 2007

Flowers For Terrorists

When the Left Cares, and When It Doesn't




September 05, 2007


By Denis Keohane

Left wing artists love to portray themselves as avatars of compassion, and are often praised by the media and cultural establishment for the humanity their political work supposedly demonstrates. But theirs is a highly selective compassion, often ignoring the victims of the groups they supported.

Director Brian DePalma's new film Redacted reportedly stunned the Venice Film Festival and presented "shocking images that left some viewers in tears". The movie Redacted is "about ‘the real-life rape and killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by U.S. soldiers who also murdered her family....

DePalma makes it plain that there is a political purpose to Redacted above and beyond merely telling a horrific and tragic story. According to Reuters:
"Inspired by one of the most serious crimes committed by American soldiers in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, it is a harrowing indictment of the conflict and spares the audience no brutality to get its message across...De Palma, 66, whose Casualties of War in 1989 told a similar tale of abuse by American soldiers in Vietnam, makes no secret of the goal he is hoping to achieve with the film's images, all based on real material he found on the Internet." [emphasis added]
DePalma himself is quoted as saying:
"The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people.... The pictures are what will stop the war. One only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to motivate their Congressmen to vote against this war..."
DePalma went on to equate what he was attempting to accomplish with Redacted with the Vietnam War experience:

"In Vietnam... we saw the images and the sorrow of the people we were traumatizing and killing.... We see none of that in this war...
‘I think that's terrible because now we have not even given the dignity of faces to this suffering people...' De Palma said." [emphases added]
How genuine is DePalma's compassion for these "suffering people"? By the time he made Casualties of War in 1989, the world was well aware of the Vietnamese Boat People, as many as a million or more, who fled after South Vietnam fell to the communists. No one knows how many perished at sea or were killed by pirates, but estimates are as high as a hundred thousand or more. As many as 165,000 Vietnamese died in the brutal re-education camps. Neither DePalma nor any other big Hollywood director, and I use the term "Hollywood" generically for the motion picture industry, made a movie about them.

The Real Victims of the Vietnam War

In 1979 William Shawcross' book Sideshow was published, subtitled "Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia," esentially blaming the U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia for Pol Pot's and the Khmer Rouge's "killing fields" slaughter in Cambodia, which claimed the lives of between one and three million Cambodians after the U.S. withdrawal. Shawcross had been an outspoken critic of the U.S. war effort in Vietnam. Shawcross, however, is an intellectually honest man, and wrote "Remember: for Cambodia, read Iraq" last March for The UK Times:
"...horror had engulfed all of Indo-China as a result of the US defeat in 1975.... Given the catastrophe of the communist victories, I have always thought that those like myself who were opposed to the American efforts in Indochina should be very humble.... I still believe the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was the correct thing to do - and it was something only the United States could have done. For all the horrors that extremist Sunnis and Shias are inflicting on each other today, the US rid the world of the Pol Pot of the Middle East. So long as the vile Saddam family regime remained in power there was no hope of progress in the region....

In Indo-China the majority of Western journalists (including myself) believed that the war could not or should not be won. Similarly today, for too many pundits hatred (and it really is that) of Bush and Blair dominates perceptions. Armchair editorialists love to dismiss the US effort in terms of Abu Ghraib or Haditha. [snip]

If Iraq collapses, such nihilist killing will spread far wider. As in Cambodia, bloody mass murder is the only alternative to what the US-led coalition is trying to achieve."
Fourteen years after 1975 and the Boat People and killing fields, De Palma made a fictional movie about American atrocities against the Vietnamese, and thirty two years later still invokes the anti-war mantras of the seventies, as though many millions had not suffered and died, brutally, because we didn't prevail in Southeast Asia. Where was and is his concern for those people; where is his movie about that, those graphic images?

The Left Changes Its Tune

It is not just DePalma. There has been a not too subtle change developing over the last few months on the anti-war Democratic left, perhaps best exemplified by Barack Obama's statement that preventing genocide is not a sufficient criteria for military commitment in Iraq . Some of the liberal and far left as well as members of the media have adapted a seemingly fatalistic outlook that a bloodbath is inevitable whether we stay one more year or twenty, and so withdraw, and let the chips fall where they may.

This comes after years of charges by that anti-war side that our intervention in Iraq is misguided and worse - because of the misery, suffering and death it has brought to the Iraqis population!

What has changed?

In the last few months, some things have become more and more obvious, even to the left.

It takes years to build an army from scratch, especially when there is already a fight underway. That was so during our Revolutionary War. In later wars, when the size of our military necessarily grew, there was an established and professional cadre of experienced officers and senior enlisted men in place to oversee and guide the expansion. Iraq did not have any of that except for the Baathist troops we had just defeated.

But the evidence of the last several months has been that the new Iraqi Army is standing up, is in the fight, and is growing more professional and capable.

It has also become obvious in place after place, beginning perhaps with Tal Afar and repeating in Al Anbar and Diyala Provinces, that when the insurgents are forcefully engaged, the local populace, the Iraqi military and the Coalition forces all appear to be something like one team with shared goals. More and more Iraqis themselves seem to be behaving as allies of the Coalition.

And that's the problem for the left, and why they no longer care about them. They only ‘seemed' to care for the Iraqis when they could be made out to be our victims. As our allies, they have betrayed the left and forfeited the left's concern.

A Choice of Images

DePalma speaks of using graphic images found on the internet in his film. How many other such graphic images could he have found from Iraq, ones that did not relate to an isolated brutal crime committed by Americans but were of those committed by the Saddam Hussein regime? Might that have offered context? The mass graves, the amputees, the pictures of some of the thousands of dead Kurds in the villages attacked with nerve gas. How many graphic images might DePalma have found of mass executions, beheadings and atrocities committed routinely by Al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgencies?

Last June the intrepid embedded blogger and former Special Forces soldier Michael Yon posted on his blogsite "Bless the Beasts and Children," about his experience with American and Iraqi troops coming across a lifeless village where the people and even the livestock had been slaughtered by Al Qaeda. Children had been beheaded. The big media has not picked up the story, though Yon even provides photographs. I doubt that DePalma will ever make a movie from those graphic images.

Downplaying the Risks of a Pullout

In his 1971 appearance before Senator Fulbright's Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the young John Kerry was asked about Vietnamese who were our allies and might be in danger from the communists if we withdrew and South Vietnam fell, and Kerry answered:
"... I think, having done what we have done to that country, we have an obligation to offer sanctuary to the perhaps 2,000, 3,000 people who might face...political assassination or something else..." [emphasis added]
Kerry has never expressed any remorse for that gross underestimation of how many of our former allies would suffer. Once we had left, they were evidently immaterial. In a sense, by being our allies, they had brought it on themselves. Only victims of America count as genuine victims. Our allies don't. The more the Iraqis appear to be our allies, the less they matter.

In 1965, journalist and war correspondent Marguerite Higgins wrote the book Our Vietnam Nightmare, a prescient work that gloomily predicted ultimate disaster for America in the war that had just begun to heat up. Among the reasons Higgins, who had covered the French defeat in Vietnam in 1953, saw that things would turn out badly for America were two that bear directly on our current experience in Iraq:

America was not getting the real story. While she spent months traveling the South Vietnam countryside, she said that most of the journalists in Vietnam spent all of their time in the hotel lounges and bars of Saigon, getting their information from local informants. Higgins saw that the communists understood this, and that many of those informants were agents working for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese, and were feeding propaganda to the reporters. That sounds eerily like the Green Zone reporters in Iraq and their ‘stringers'.

The nature of the Viet Cong insurgency was not understood by Americans. Again and again as she traveled the rural areas of South Vietnam where the Viet Cong were gaining strength, she came upon atrocity after atrocity. Village leaders, teachers, entire families, even entire villages killed. Family members murdered while the rest of the family was forced to watch. She asked an editor why these things were not being reported, and the answer she received is illustrative. He told her that Viet Cong atrocities were routine, as they gained territorial control and held it through terror. As such, Viet Cong atrocities were the dog biting the man, not really news. Everybody somehow just knew they did things like that! What would be news, though, would be an atrocity committed by Americans, because that would be the man biting the dog, the news that is news because it is an exception.

Three years later, at My Lai, the man bit the dog, and the press dutifully and correctly reported it, but it was reported in a vacuum, one that did not place that dismal and horrific occurrence in the context of an aberration.

Horrific crimes are always with us, because there will always be in the population that tiny minority who are capable of such, willing to act and will sometimes take the opportunity to do so. That even happens with soldiers, in war or while at peace. It is why, for instance, the military has prisons.

When such atrocious crimes are committed in war, it is reasonable and even necessary to ask whether they were the isolated actions of one or a few that will and do happen among any large body of people, even college and high school students, or systematic of widespread behavior, or at worst case, a policy or regular practice condoned or even encouraged by some authority.

Fake Atrocities

For all the talk of Abu Ghraib or Haditha being evidence of systematic of abuse by American soldiers in Iraq, that has never been shown by anyone to be the case. The reported execution style murders or sytematic executions widely charged at Haditha have now been shown, in the text of the presiding judge's opinion dismissing charges against LCpl Sharratt and the investigating officer's recommendation to dismiss charges against LCpl Tatum, to have been fabrications. No matter what the outcome of the hearings and trials of the remaining two Marines (Tatum and Wuterich), it has clearly been established that there was no rampage and no execution style killings, as was widely charged and reported!

Yet many of the anti-war left and such as DePalma very much want to make us and others believe that our soldiers and Marines are regularly committing atrocities, and that this is somehow sytematic or even policy.

Ralph Peters, writing in the New York Post, compares crimes statistics of American cities to those of soldiers serving in Iraq and finds that our military personnel, even under the pressures of combat, when it comes to serious crimes, are behaving as a group better than the citizens of many of our cities.

DePalma is going for emotions, pure and simple, and as an accomplished director, knows how that is done. But it is cynical, and it is not based on a genuine compassion for the Iraqi victims and people. DePalma is using those dead as props.

Real Compassion

We understand that our troops in Iraq are seeking to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. What we don't seem to understand as well, though Yon and other milbloggers embedded in Iraq do and have reported on it, is that the Iraqi people have also been winning the hearts and minds of our soldiers. The feigned and opportunistic faux compassion of the anti-war left stands in stark contrast to the genuine compassion of the soldiers in Iraq.

Our soldiers in Iraq, men and women, are many of them hard, as they are trained to be hard. They are armed, and many and probably most will, should the need arise, kill without hesitation or perhaps minimal hesitation. They will aim a weapon at other human beings and pull a trigger.

Yet they will also put their own lives on the line by standing between terrorist killers and their intended Iraqi victims. They will smile at Iraqi children and receive smiles in return. They will see, in Iraqi families, children, mothers, father, and even young Iraqi soldiers, representations of those they have compassion for, and that compassion will and does grow to include those Iraqis, real people. When South Vietnam fell, there was no group of Americans more disheartened and crushed than the Vietnam Vets who clearly understood the horror that had befallen people whom they had come to know, and cared about.

There is more genuine compassion in the average American warrior than in a dozen Hollywood anti-war activists patting each other on the back for their "bravery" in dissenting from a war fought by truly brave men and women enduring hardship and separation from loved ones to protect our freedoms and our civilization, whose fruits are bestowed so lavishly on the likes of Brian DePalma.


LINK