Saturday, May 29, 2004

While checking the Drudge Report this morning, I saw a reference to a story concerning a link between Al-Qaida and Iraq. I Figured that this was the same story that I referenced in my last post,but I clicked the link anyway. As it turns out I was wrong. Not only was it a different story, it covered an entirely different angle to the Iraq-AQ connection. The story (featured on the Weekly Standard website), was written by Stephen F. Hayes, author of the The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America.

The article concerns the discovery made by Christopher Carney, a political science professor from Pennsylvania. While doing research at the Pentagon in February of 2004, Carney discovered that Ahmed Hikmat Shakir was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Fedayeen Saddam, Iraq's most feared security service. He recognized the name as being the same as that of an Iraqi that was present at an Al Qaida planning meeting in Malaysia in January of 2000. Many in the intelligence community believe that this meeting was when the 9/11 attacks were planned.

The article provides some compelling evidence that Lieutenant Colonel Shakir is the same Ahmed Hikmat Shakir that attended the AQ meeting in Malaysia in 2000.

The thing I found most interesting about the article was how it demonstrated a change in the "conventional wisdom" about AQ's connection with Iraq prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

From Newsweek on 1/11/99:

Saddam Hussein, who has a long record of supporting terrorism, is trying to rebuild his intelligence network overseas--assets that would allow him to establish a terrorism network. U.S. sources say he is reaching out to Islamic terrorists, including some who may be linked to Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile accused of masterminding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa last summer.

From ABC News on 1/15/99:

Intelligence sources say bin Laden's long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan's fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. . . . ABC News has learned that in December, an Iraqi intelligence chief named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad.

From NPR:

Iraq's contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when, according to one U.S. government source, Hijazi met him when bin Laden lived in Sudan. According to Cannistraro, Iraq invited bin Laden to live in Baghdad to be nearer to potential targets of terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. . . . Some experts believe bin Laden might be tempted to live in Iraq because of his reported desire to obtain chemical or biological weapons. CIA Director George Tenet referred to that in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee when he said bin Laden was planning additional attacks on American targets.

According to the indictment of bin Laden following the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa:

Al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.

Even former terrorism advisor Richard Clarke appears to have changed his tune:

Five months later, the same Richard Clarke who would one day claim that there was "absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever," told the Washington Post that the U.S. government was "sure" that Iraq was behind the production of the chemical weapons precursor at the al Shifa plant. "Clarke said U.S. intelligence does not know how much of the substance was produced at al Shifa or what happened to it," wrote Post reporter Vernon Loeb, in an article published January 23, 1999. "But he said that intelligence exists linking bin Laden to al Shifa's current and past operators, the Iraqi nerve gas experts, and the National Islamic Front in Sudan."

I don't expect the news media to be two steps ahead of the CIA, but don't they even read their own archives? They should. Apparently, so should we.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Smash posted today that ABC News is reporting a link between Al Qaida and the Hussein regime in Iraq. According to ABC, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi appears to be the link.

During the 1990s, Zarqawi trained under bin Laden in Afghanistan. After the fall of the Taliban, he fled to northwestern Iraq and worked with poisons for use in potential attacks, officials say.

There's the link between Zarqawi and Al Qaida.

In late 2002, officials say, Zarqawi began establishing sleeper cells in Baghdad and acquiring weapons from Iraqi intelligence officials.

And there's the link to Saddam and Iraq. Probably just a coincidence, right? After all, there is no link between Al Qaida and Iraq. European experts have said there isn't, and they're never wrong, are they?

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

While reading a post on Dr. David Yeagley's site recently, I came across a name I wasn't familiar with. Jayna Davis is a reporter who covered the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. Ms. Davis uncovered a number of items that are not widely known:

-A truck fitting the description of the one sought by the FBI as the getaway vehicle was seen parked outside the office of a property management firm several days before the bombing. The company's owner was a Palestinian with suspected ties to the PLO.
-Six months before the bombing, the Palestinian hired several ex-Iraqi soldiers to do maintenance work.
-According to witnesses, these men were absent from work the day that Timothy McVeigh rented the truck that was used to carry the bomb.
-While following up on the Iraqis, Davis became aware of another ex-Iraqi soldier named Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini.
-Two independent eyewitnesses claim to have seen Al-Hussaini drinking with McVeigh in an Oklahoma City nightculb four days before the bombing.
-Davis discovered that Al-Hussaini bore a striking resemblence to the composite sketch of the man dubbed "John Doe No. 2".
-Witnesses saw several of Al-Hussaini's associates with McVeigh and Terry Nichols on several different occasions at a motel in Oklahoma City.
-The owner of the motel saw McVeigh drive off in a Ryder truck with Al-Hussaini after McVeigh turned in a room key at the motel office. This occurred on April 19, 1995, the day of the bombing.
-Terry Nichols, who was by no means rich, made several trips to the Philippines in the 1990's.
-Nichols was in Cebu City in the Philippines in 1994 at the same time as 1993 WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef.

That is almost too many "coincidences" for me. The next two, however, really threw me for a loop.

-The motel that McVeigh, Nichols, and Al-Hussaini were seen at was later visited by Zacharias Moussaoui and 9/11 hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehi.
-Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini later found employment at Logan Airport in Boston, where two of the hijacked flights took off from on 9/11.

Although I consider myself well informed, I was not familiar with much of this information until recently. I had read reports that Abu Sayyaf member Edwin Angeles had claimed to have met with McVeigh and Nichols in the Philippines. He also told of a meeting between Nichols and Ramzi Yousef in the Philippines. A year and a half before the 1996 election, President Clinton decided to pin the blame on his harshest critic, talk radio. Some looney ultra right wing "militia types" were brainwashed into doing it by hatemongoring radio hosts on AM stations. Convict the guilty parties (and I have no doubt that Mcveigh and Nichols were guilty), and "put it all behind us." No costly war raging during an election year meant an easy coast to victory in 1996. You gotta hand it to President Clinton, he wasn't much of a Commander-in-Chief, but he was one helluva politician.

For more information, check out Jayna Davis' website.



Mayor Daley in Chicago took John Kerry to task for his comment about President Bush's bicycle accident. (Credit: Drudge)

As of 2:15 p.m. EDT Google News is listing eleven stories about the Kerry comment.

Fred Barnes has a suggestion for Al Franken if he plans on investigating any more Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, a former US Army Special Forces officer, wrote an excellent column that was featured in Front Page Magazine today. This column really lays out how essential it is that we win this war:

If we blanch in Iraq, back down before the horror of a helpless American citizen having his head severed and waved menacingly into a camera, then expect that the terror will ratchet up to new levels of severity. We know that the only thing that has prevented an attack with a dirty bomb, chemical, biological or possibly nuclear weapons is the fact that we have been relentlessly on the offense against the terrorists. If they are running, they cannot mount a strong attack.

This is an excellent column that I highly recommend, written by someone with more than a passing familiarity with the subject at hand. Lt. Col. Cucullu also has his own website where his columns are posted.

Nonie Darwish, an Arab woman who grew up in Egypt gives us a glimpse into the Arab mindset. Americans tend to go through life assuming that everyone thinks along the same lines. Multiculturalists, in particular, seem to do this a lot. According to Ms. Darwish, the big push by leftists in the United States for President Bush to apologize for the abuse at Abu Ghraib really wasn't that good an idea.

To expect Arab and Moslem leadership to apologize for the barbaric murder of Nick Berg is a reflection of the West's naïve and wrong expectations of Arab culture. In the Arab world to take responsibility and say sorry is taken as an unmanly sign of weakness that may get a person into more trouble. Those who admit guilt, even if it is accidental, are given no mercy and may end up taking all the blame and being brutally punished. It is the norm for Arabs to deny a fact (however blatant) and blame others rather than admit to the wrongdoing and apologize. Honesty is not rewarded.

This column is must reading if you want to understand who it is we are at war with. Sales of the Koran went up dramatically after 9/11 as Americans tried to gain an understanding of those who attacked us. A true understanding requires context. This column provides some context.
In a fundraising email to potential Democratic donors to the Kerry campaign, the New York Senator from Washongton, DC/Arkansas/Illinois took some shots at President Bush. Hillary Rodham (Clinton) wrote:

"If they get their way, you and I will be living in an America governed not by our hopes, but by our fears," Clinton wrote. "We'll be living in an America where we see our freedoms diminished when they ought to be embraced, our rights restricted when they ought to be strengthened."

Governing by fear? Who was it that created a "crisis" every time they needed to pass part of their political agenda? First we had the healthcare crisis, then the childcare crisis, the school lunch crisis, and so on. "Get behind us, or Newt Gingrich will kick granny out of the nursing home and steal junior's lunch money." Hillary knows all about governing by fear. She and her husband wrote the book on it.

And how about "seeing our freedoms diminished"? Wasn't it the Clinton administration that tried to violate the rights of the residents of federally funded housing projects by giving federal agents carte blanche to search them?

Hillary touched on another subject in the email with which she is intimately familiar:

"The Bush-Cheney campaign has blown $70 million on negative ads, but it is still tied in the polls with John Kerry," Clinton added.

Negative campaigning? How much of the Chinese government's money did the Clinton election and reelection campaigns spend on the services of professional dirt digger Terry Lenzner?

Senator Clinton must not have a high regard for the IQ/attention span of the electorate for her to feel so comfortable with such blatant hypocrisy.

Monday, May 24, 2004

President Bush suffered minor injuries in a bicycle accident last weekend. Wannabe President John Kerry commented about the accident in front of media members (and cameras). "Did the training wheels fall off?" Kerry asked. Mildly amusing, but somewhat inappropriate for a presidential candidate when commenting on his opponent. It would seem that many in the media agree. Curiously, a search of Google News at 11 a.m. EDT showed only 5 stories posted about the remark. Three of the stories were on "right wing" news sites: National Review Online, The Washington Times, and Worldnet Daily. So much for the public's right to know.

In a continuation of the left's fixation on their heyday (1960s to the 1970s), Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, compares President Bush to Richard Nixon.

Madonna has cancelled some concerts scheduled in Israel due to death threats against her and her children. Baldilocks has an interesting take on the situation.

Smash attended another anti-war rally in San Diego. He overcame the temptation to buy a copy of The Socialist Worker.

A soldier recently convicted of desertion turns out to be the son of a prominent leftist.

Tammy Bruce puts the Abu Ghraib scandal in perspective.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

In my life I've had to deal with more than my share of fools (haven't we all). Dealing with them is never easy. In fact it's often frustrating. I've found that it helps if you know what you're up against. Fools aren't all the same. While the little details may vary, I've found that fools fall into three categories:

The people in this category don't have a clue. They just don't know better. This type of foolishness can be erased with education. With patience and a little effort, you can cure ignorance. Remember, we've all been ignorant from time to time.

Like the ignorant, these folks don't have a clue. The difference is that they wouldn't know what to do with one if they had it. You can try educating them, but if they just aren't getting it, you need to know when to give it up. No use beating your head against a wall (it'll leave a mark, trust me).

The people in this group are the most frustrating fools of all. They don't have a clue. Furthermore, they don't want one. These are the people who plug their ears and sing loudly so as not to let any information in that may contradict their preconceived notions. These fools are the most dangerous of all. They aren't innately stupid, and they aren't completely ignorant. They're willing to learn everything they can to support their belief system. Contradictory information is dismissed, usually with an attack on the source of that information ("Oh they're biased." Yeah? Look who's talkin'). These people are over-represented in certain occupations, especially entertainers, activists, and career politicians. The willfully stupid are especially susceptible to wacky conspiracy theories. If you encounter one of the willfully stupid, just stay calm and walk slowly away. If you encounter a large group of them, run like hell. If one of them ever offers you a drink, whatever you do, don't drink it!!! Especially if it's Kool-Aid.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

We've had some really strong winds here for the last couple of days. Yesterday, the sand was blowing everywhere. Visibility got so bad for a while, it reminded me of a snowstorm back home. There's nothing like that gritty feeling of sand in your teeth. The wierd part is the temperature. At home, when it's really windy, it's usually on the chilly side too. High winds and 100 degree heat just don't seem like they go together.

The following items make for some interesting reading (Study them thoroughly, you'll be tested on this material):

-Robert Spencer has an excellent article on what we're up against in the war on terrorism, and it's not just about 9/11.

-Joel Mowbray examines the media's conduct in covering the war in Iraq.

-Greyhawk examines the Orwellian turn that modern American politics have taken.

-The always-brilliant Michelle Malkin takes a look at political correctness and customer service.

-Christopher Hitchens takes a look at Seymour Hersh's Abu Ghraib "expose".

-Chief Wiggles, an Army interrogator who served in Iraq, writes an open letter to the media. Apparently, Tony Snow at Fox News has taken the Chief up on his offer.

-Kate, at the Roadkill Diaries, spills the beans about the vast right wing conspiracy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

According to Setmour Hersh of the New Yorker magazine has written an "expose" about the Abu Ghraib scandal that asserts that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld approved of the abuse of detainees at the prison. The media have (predictably) lapped up the story. Joel Mowbray has written an excellent column that pokes a few holes in Hersh's theory, and in his "foil hat."
It looks like I'll be leaving here on schedule. I was worried that I might get held in place waiting for a replacement, but apparently all the pieces have fallen into place so that won't be a problem. Not that things here are that bad, I'll just be happy to be back with my family.

Life here in Qatar isn't too uncomfortable, especially when compared to what it's like for the folks in Iraq and Afghanistan. We live in metal cargo containers called cormaxes. There are two people assigned to each cormax. We have electricty, AC, TV's and such. We also sleep on real beds, rather than cots (the mattresses are harder than granite, but it could be worse). The cormaxes are lined up and stacked inside a warehouse, making it look like some kind of indoor trailer park. The AC works almost too well. I've had to use a thinsulate-lined sleeping bag as a blanket on more than one occasion. It's definitely preferable to being too hot, though.

When I started exploring deployment opportunities, I tried to go to Iraq or Afghanistan, but the military (in its infinite wisdom) sent me here. One thing I have learned in my military career is that you have a say in whether you serve, but not in where or how. Those details are left to the powers that be in personnel. At least I've had a chance to play a part in the war on terrorism.

The Nicholas Berg story is a tragic one, one of many in this war (and in this life). I watched the video of his murder on the internet with some of my team members. Needless to say, it was grisly. When Dan Pearl was murdered, I didn't make an effort to find the video that was posted on line. I saw no value in it. This situation was different. I think being in the Middle East is what made the difference. I wanted to see what it is we're up against. These guys are animals. Their excuses about payback for Abu Ghraib are bogus. They are just trying to scare us away. Berg's musder is nothing more than a barbaric PSYOP.

I have seen Berg's father on the news blaming President Bush and SecDef Rumsfeld for his son's death. Being a parent, I can understand his grief. There is nothing more horrifying to a parent than the thought of losing a child. Last year, one of the officers in my reserve unit lost his teenage son to a senseless accident. I went to the wake and it was a heartbreaking experience. I can understand Mr. Berg's pain, but he is off the mark in his accusations. After reading this article I found out how he got so far off the mark. It was Abu Musab al Zarqawi and his fellow terrorist thugs who bear responsibility for the death of Nicholas Berg, and no one else.

The media, as usual seemed to have missed the mark on this story too. Thomas Sowell, one of the smartest people around (smarter than Al Franken and Michael Moore combined), wrote an excellent column about how the media have conducted themselves as of late. If you aren't familiar with Dr. Sowell's work, you should be.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill

Thursday, May 13, 2004

In an interview with a Colorado TV station, accused Abu Ghraib abuser PFC Lynndie England claims that she was just following the orders of those above her in her chain of command. The 21 year old soldier failed to specify which one of her superiors gave her the order to engage in the bahavior documented in the now infamous photos from the Iraqi prison. "I was told to stand here, point thumbs up, look at the camera and take the picture" England said.

The story has now taken another strange twist with the revelation that England appeared in numerous photos that have not been released. The NY Post is reporting that some of the photos showed England "engaged in graphic sex acts with other soldiers in front of Iraqi prisoners, Pentagon officials told NBC Nightly News." According to one lawmaker who saw the photos, "she was having sex with numerous partners. It appeared to be consensual."

It will be interesting to see how England, her attorney, and her family attempt to spin this latest revelation. Was England just following orders when these pictures were taken? Who was giving all of these (obviously) illegal orders? If such orders were given, England and her co-defendants need to name names. Mysterious someones just won't do in a military court.

There is little doubt that the chain of command failed these soldiers. This does not mitigate the fact that the soldiers who committed the abuses at Abu Ghraib failed us. And furthermore, they failed themselves as well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

According to an article by Joel Mowbray, Daniel Dow, a service member who had just returned from Kosovo, wrote a letter to his congressman expressing his displeasure over the congressman's "NO" vote on a resolution "supporting the troops in Iraq, but also condemning the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and calling for a full investigation." The congressman, Fortney "Pete" Stark was one of only 50 congressmen to vote against the resolution. Imagine Dow's surprise when he returned home later that same day to find message from Mr. Stark on his answering machine. Stark's message was less than polite and included the following comment:

“Probably somebody put you up to this, and I’m not sure who it was, but I doubt if you could spell half the words in the letter and somebody wrote it for you. So I don’t pay too much attention to it.”

You can read Dow's letter and hear Stark's message here. While it's commendable that Stark responded so quickly to a letter from a constituent, the response is utterly ridiculous. This guy's blatant arrogance is unbelieveable, even for a politician. I think the voters in the 13th district need to know what kind of man is representing them.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

“Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with terrorism.” Ever heard that one? I have. It is a statement of monumental ignorance of the modern history of international terrorism. Hussein had been providing a safe haven and material support to terrorists for two decades before September 11, 2001. Did Iraq play a role in the 9/11 attacks? In my opinion, the jury is still out on that one. Many have stated emphatically that there is no connection. I’m not so sure. One thing is for certain, Saddam Hussein was a terrorist enabler. Want proof? We got proof. The following links should help you out in your next argument with a member of the “the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terrorism” crowd.

Back in the 1980’s, Abu Ibrahim and members of his May 15 terrorist organization lived in and operated from Iraq. This group was responsible for planting bombs on several American airliners in the early 1980’s. Adnan Awad, a member of the group was dispatched to Europe with a bomb he was to use to blow up a hotel owned by Jews. Awad could not bring himself to carry out the bombing and turned himself in to police. This is well documented in a book by investigative journalist Steven Emerson. The book details the extent of support given by the Iraqi government to the terrorists.
-A good site outlining Abu Ibrahim’s activities and support from Iraq can be found here.
-Emerson’s book is out of print. Used editions can be purchased from Amazon.

Notorious terrorist Abu Nidal (a/k/a Sabri al-Banna) was residing in Libya until he was kicked out in 1998. He relocated to Iraq, where he lived until his death in 2002.
-This site and this site have good info on the ANO.
-Here is a VOA editorial written in 1999 (during the Clinton administration) about Abu Nidal and Iraq

Abu Abbas headed a terrorist organization that hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985. The hijackers shot killed an elderly American man in a wheelchair. They dumped him and his wheelchair overboard.
-Here is a news story about the capture of Abbas in (believe it or not) Iraq in the spring of 2003.

The Salman Pak training area was reportedly used to train terrorists.
-This site has an overview of the installation.
-This one features a PBS Frontline interview with a former Iraqi special operations officer who worked at the camp. Interestingly enough, the officer made the following statement:
“I assure you, this operation was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam. And I'm going to keep assuring the world this is what happened. Osama bin Laden has no such capabilities. Why? Because this kind of attacks must be, and has to be, organized by a capable state, such as Iraq; a state where they can provide high level of training, and they can provide high level of intelligence to do such training. How could Osama bin Laden -- who's hiding in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan in small caves and valleys -- train people and gather information and send people to do such high-level operation? We all know this is a high-level operation. This cannot be done by a person who does not even own a plane in Afghanistan, who cannot offer such training in Afghanistan. This is definitely done by a mastermind like Saddam…”

For those who insist on a 9/11 connection in order for the war to be justified, while definitive proof of such a link has not been provided yet, Iraq expert and former Clinton administration official Laurie Mylroie has an interesting take on the possible connection.
-A Middle east Intelligence Bulletin article by Mylroie asserting a connection between the 1993 WTC bombing and Iraq.
-Another article (written in 1995) linking Iraq to the 1993 WTC bombing.
-A National Review Online article she wrote about the threat Hussein posed to the US.
-A Frontpage Magazine interview with Mylroie about Hussein’s possible 9/11 connection.
-Mylroie’s reply to Richard Clarke.

“Sure Saddam was a vicious thug who brutalized his people, but he posed no threat to the US.” Yeah, sure. Ya gotta minute? I have some beautiful oceanfront land in Nebraska I’m selling.

Friday, May 07, 2004

I have been accepted into the Milblogs webring. I feel priviliged to be in such excellent company. Thanks to Greyhawk for allowing me to "enlist" in his unit. Click on the link to the left and check out some of these excellent weblogs. Milbloggers were my first introduction to blogging. In fact, the first blog I ever read belongs to a member of the milblog ring.

It appears that Kevin is returning to Iraq soon. He is maintaining a positive attitude about it, like any good soldier would.

Greyhawk has an excellent timeline about the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq. He also has a good recap of Bill O'Reilly's interview with investigative reporter Seymour Hersh about the scandal.

Baldilocks explores an "Evil Right-Wing Fantasy".

Blackfive has a "rant" about JFK (the copy, not the original) and the controversy over his decorations...oh whatever. You know what I mean, just check it out.

AP has a story on Donald Rumsfeld's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The story includes the revelation that there are videos of the abuse as well.

I'm hoping those videos don't wind up on television and the internet like the photos did. I think things are already inflamed more than enough.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

It's starting to get hot here. It has broken 100 degrees F every day this week. I'm told it'll get a lot worse when summer arrives. I ordered flowers for my wife and my mother for Mother's Day. Thank God for FTD. I'm scheduled to have Saturday off. Hopefully, I can get into town. I need to buy some genuine Arab-world type souveniers while I'm here.

I've been trying to keep up with the news back home. Thankfully, access to the internet makes that easier for me. Some of the following items caught my attention:

-Michelle Malkin wrote an excellent column about the demonization of talk radio hosts by apologists for the Islamic extremists. She hits the nail right on the head (as always). These guys have done the same thing to Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson, two of the country's leading experts on Islamic extremism.

-Dick Morris thinks that former President Clinton is trying to sabotage John Kerry's run for the Presidency.

-Over 200 Navy and Coast Guard veterans have come out against John Kerry's run for White House, claiming that he is unfit for office. Many of these vets signed an open letter to him calling on the Senator to fully account for his war record.

-The doctor who treated Kerry for one of the in juries that he was awarded a Purple Heart for speaks out.

-A shameless anti-war cartoonist drew a tasteless cartoon about Pat Tillman.

That last one really made my blood boil. It's amazing how the purveyors of compassion can be so mean-spirited. They can't be satisfied with just making an argument for their beliefs. They have to demonize those who dare to disagree. Now even bloggers are finding themselves in the crosshairs. LT Smash and Glenn Reynolds have been declared guilty of McCarthyism for pointing out some of the more vicious things being said by members of the anti-war crowd. McCarthyism is the Left's H-bomb. It won't be too long before most people in the US don't know about old Tail Gunner Joe. I guess they'd better get all the mileage out of him they can while there's still time.

Monday, May 03, 2004

The fallout continues from the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq. The news media is going to beat this story to death, especially the Arab media. Al Jazeera has covered the story extensively. The Daily Mirror has run a story that implicates British soldiers in the abuse of prisoners as well. The former commander of the British unit that has been implicated denies that the pictures are real. This controversy will set the war effort back, but it is not yet clear by how much.

In my discussions with service members here in Qatar, there is universal agreement that the troops who committed these acts were clearly in the wrong and that failures on the part of the chain of command (and there were some serious failures) do not excuse the actions of the soldiers involved.

The spin machine has already started trying to pass the buck. The MP's blame their commanders, the commanders blame intelligence personnel, the intelligence personnel put it back on the MP's. In the end, there is probably enough blame to go around. Still, I see images like this and wonder how even the most inexperienced soldier could mistake this for professional behavior.

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