Every day we hear of the death toll through the fomenting of civil strife, a campaign of murder and kidnapping and brutality, all of it designed to stifle Iraqi democracy at birth, and al-Zarqawi was its most vicious persecutor. The death of al-Zarqawi is a strike against Al Qaeda in Iraq, and therefore a strike against Al Qaeda everywhere. But we should have no illusions. We know that they will continue to kill, we know that there are many, many obstacles to overcome. But they also know that our determination to defeat them is total, their methods, their ideas, their extremism that seeks to infect the overwhelming desire of the overwhelming majority of people, whatever their religion and whatever their nation, to live together in peace and harmony.

So I do not minimise the enormous challenges that remain in Iraq and elsewhere, but the election of the new government and its full formation today shows a new spirit to succeed, and our task obviously is to turn that spirit, that willingness and desire to succeed into effective action. If we are able to do so then we will have accomplished something that goes far beyond the borders of Iraq.

british prime minister tony blair

zarqawi is dead. this is a very positive development in the war in iraq. iraq’s government is now complete with the appointment of the last three cabinet members. we can also rejoice in that positive step. we still have a long way to go in iraq, but these two developments are certainly something the american people can look at as positive news from iraq. while we are not quite ready for the “mission accomplished” sign, we still should acknowledge the positive when we see it.

others are not so convinced that zarqawi should be dead, however. this blew my mind when i heard the father of nicholas berg, the guy zarqawi beheaded, basically say that it shouldn’t have happened. it’s one thing to forgive the guy that killed your son, but zarqawi was a terrorist and he got what was coming to him.

this was an exhange between charlie gibson of abc and michael berg. (h/t- newsbusters)

Charlie Gibson: “I wonder as you watch this now happening in repetition, if there are feelings of a desire in you for revenge?”

Michael Berg: “I would like these people to be stopped, I would like them to be arrested, I would like them to receive justice. I would not want to see any of them killed and I don’t want revenge. I don’t want to personally attack those people.”

wow. zarqawi was not simply a murderer, he was also a terrorist. being arrested and receiving justice in a court of law is not an appropriate punishment for the many crimes zarqawi has committed against not only nick berg, but others as well. he did receive justice, and that kind of justice was exactly what zarqawi deserved.

iraq was about more than WMDs, although that was part of the case for the invasion of iraq. andy mccarthy makes the case here.

The American people vigorously support, and have always vigorously supported, the deployment of our military for the purpose of capturing and killing terrorists in promotion of American national security—taking the battle to enemy so we don’t need to fight them here. That is the Iraq mission we have always stood behind—more than finding Saddam’s WMD, a lot more than grand democracy-building initiatives, and a whole lot more than crafting new governments that establish Islam as the state religion.

Of course we must support the long-term goals of the democracy project. But we must be realistic that they are long-term goals. Democracy in the Islamic world is a matter of cultural upheaval over years, not just a few elections. Whether the project can ultimately succeed is debatable. One thing, however, is surely indisputable: Like the U.S. national security it is intended to promote, the democracy project cannot be sustained unless the enemy is first defeated.

It was not democracy that killed Zarqawi. It was the United States military.

We began the war on terror with the clear-eyed understanding that Islamic militants cannot be reasoned with; they have to be eradicated. Winning the war on terror will require the resolve to let our forces do their job—despite occasional vilification from fair-weather allies who bask in the protection of American power while shouldering none of its burdens.

Today reminds us that we have the power to get the job done. The remaining question is whether we have the will.

that’s a hard question to answer. when all that we see on the news about iraq seems to be bad news, it’s hard for anyone to believe that there is progress being made there. that doesn’t mean that nothing positive is happening there. the death of zarqawi and the completion of the new government are positive developments for iraq, but will this be enough to convince the american people that it’s worth completing the mission in iraq? i’m not sure that it is.

Technorati Tags: , ,

this is not good

from nro:

The Senate continues to fiddle with the Hagel-Martinez amnesty bill in an effort to make it less odious to supporters of serious immigration enforcement. But one vote in particular has exposed the real priorities of the bipartisan pro-amnesty majority. On Tuesday, 55 senators (including 18 Republicans) voted against an amendment by Senator Isakson of Georgia to delay the start of any legalization program until the border-security measures in the bill “have been fully completed and are fully operational.”

This explicit rejection of Enforcement First removes all doubt: The bill is nothing but a rerun of the 1986 immigration fiasco, which featured amnesty for nearly 3 million illegals in exchange for the hollow promise of future enforcement. The other adjustments the Senate made to the bill don’t change this—not the 370 miles of additional fencing, not the ban on felons’ getting amnesty, not even the scaling back of the guest-worker plan so that “only” 60-some million people would move here over the next two decades instead of the 103 million originally estimated by the Heritage Foundation. Without a requirement that the borders be secured before proceeding with amnesty, there is no justification for supporting this legislation.

the white house can dispute the numbers heritage came up with (and has), but the overall point remains the same: border security must come before any discussion of guest worker programs. what’s so hard to understand about this?

maybe conservatives would be able to trust president bush on this guest-worker provision if we were sure that he was just as committed to securing our borders. there’s not much evidence to suggest that committment exists. sending national guard troops to the border may be a quick fix, but we need to do more than that. it would also help to enforce existing laws, and to tear down bureaucratic roadblocks to border patrol agents who are just trying to do their jobs.


Barrier of suspicion now separates Bush from GOP base–chicago sun-times
Why Enforcing Our Immigration Laws Will Largely Be Irrelevant If The Senate Gets Their Way–RWN

Technorati Tags: , ,


you’ve got your reasons
none of them are mine
if that’s the way you want it
go ahead that’s fine

i’ll just get on out of here
i won’t get in your way
if in time it takes you under
well..that’s just the price you pay

but don’t ask me how i feel

–swirling eddies, “don’t ask me how i feel”

i have no words for this immigration speech by president bush. fortunately, many other bloggers are ready to fill that void.

michelle malkin weighs in.

california conservative has some helpful suggestions here and here.

the uncooperative blogger has more posts on illegal immigration. he hosts the coalition against illegal immigration. go to his site for more info and/or to join the cause.

sarahk at imao is unimpressed.
wonkette hosts the unofficial liveblog drinking game during the speech, as per usual.

something to think about:

If there is an honest debate about how many million people will be given a chance to come to America under the Senate bill, we’re told the number is between 30 million and 36 million people. When the average American learns that, they are going to be furious if the Senate Republicans allow that kind of bill out of the Senate. The Senate bill expands substantially who can be brought in as a member of the family. So you take 11 million and add the other people, and we believe the real number is between 30 million and 36 million.

–newt gingrich (h/t RWN)

good luck tony snow. you’re going to have a tough time defending this dog of an immigration policy.

tags: illegal immigration, george w. bush

related stuff i wrote:

simply outrageous
illegals and the rest of us

simply outrageous

i don’t understand this strategy by the US government in dealing with illegal immigration.

from the daily bulletin:

While Minuteman civilian patrols are keeping an eye out for illegal border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol is keeping an eye out for Minutemen — and telling the Mexican government where they are. According to three documents on the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Web site, the U.S. Border Patrol is to notify the Mexican government as to the location of Minutemen and other civilian border patrol groups when they participate in apprehending illegal immigrants — and if and when violence is used against border crossers. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed the notification process, describing it as a standard procedure meant to reassure the Mexican government that migrants’ rights are being observed.

so the US government doesn’t want to seriously deal with the illegal immigration issue. not only that, but they are actively helping the mexican government find those who are willing to do something about the problem. michelle malkin has more here(where the DHS labels the report “inaccurate”) and here.

if this is happening on ANY level, it’s wrong. i am finding it hard to accept that those who break our laws to get into this country should have any rights. of course they shouldn’t be abused, but they should be arrested and deported when they are caught. there’s nothing inhumane about enforcing our laws.

there are many areas where i agree with bush 43, but he’s making it harder and harder for me to defend him. i agree with him on social issues, iraq, and on the selection of conservative judges to the supreme court. i can’t defend this. we elected this guy for the most part because of concerns about national security and the GWOT. i think it’s fair to say that his report card is incomplete at this point.

president bush should care just as much as securing the borders of this country in addition to his concern about the security and future of iraq. right now i just don’t see that commitment to this country’s security.


U.S. Border Patrol: Reporting To Mexico? –california conservative

could be a snow job

to those self-righteous preening political hacks at media matters: shut up. nobody cares what you think of tony snow, and this includes the president of the united states. i’ve seen what you consider shocking information about the future WH press secretary, and i’m still trying to find the incriminating stuff. tony snow has never hidden the fact that he worked for bush 41 or that he occasionally shows up on FNC. so what’s the big deal here?

tony snow is a man of integrity. he is an all-around nice guy, and he keeps the debate civil, even with those who have different views. how many other conservative talk show hosts can claim to have that kind of debate style? not too many, unfortunately. he is also more than qualified to be white house press secretary, and dubya would be a fool not to consider him for this position. it would also give conservatives actual representation in the vicinity of the white house, which they don’t seem to have right now.

i support the idea of tony snow becoming white house press secretary. he could handle the press, even david gregory. there’s no doubt in my mind that he would do an excellent job. i do think that the job he has now would be a hard job to give up. it’s possible that he is doing the administration more good with his radio show than he could possibly do as an official member of the team. i would miss hearing him on the radio every day, but when the white house comes calling, it would be silly not to consider the job offer. so whatever he decides, i wish him the best of luck either way.

there are a few other suggestions for white house press secretary here and here. good stuff. read and enjoy.


we were right to get rid of saddam (part 2)

(continued from part 1)

i have a question for my democratic friends who agree with me that we had to get rid of saddam. let’s say that the united states decided not to invade iraq, but that we still wanted to kick saddam out of power. how do you propose that we accomplish this goal? do we continue pushing the UN to keep an eye on saddam? do we make more threats? do we encourage the UN to pass more scary resolutions? WWJKD? (what would john kerry do? the world will thankfully never know.)

i have heard the argument that saddam was no more evil than dictators of other countries who treat their people worse than dogs, and that the united states doesn’t interfere militarily in all of those countries. i disagree with the first part, and acknowledge the second part. there are a few reasons why the united states doesn’t interfere militarily in every case of human rights violations or oppressive governments. for one thing, even though we have the best and most capable military in the world, there’s not enough of ’em to deal with all people struggling against their governments. saddam hussein’s iraq supported terrorism, which made it a top priority of previous and current presidential administrations. this made saddam a threat to the security of the middle east and also to the security of the united states. any links to al-qaeda are still to be conclusively proved in the minds of many. however, there are other groups associated with saddam that were involved in terrorist activity, as i’ve mentioned before.

for those who opposed the war in iraq from the beginning, and for those who oppose it now, that ship has sailed, ladies and gentlemen. what’s done is done. saddam is out of power. that’s a good thing. iraq is slowly progressing toward becoming a country friendly to democracy. the process is not as quick as we would all like to see, but there is no other alternative to seeing iraq through its current struggles.

ok…i’m ready now…bring on the violent disagreement. 🙂

Technorati Tags: , ,

the politicians: good, bad, and ugly

this is where we are now. republicans have become fat and lazy with incumbency. democrats have pandered to the unhinged. so…whose party has more hope of a quick recovery? my vote goes to the republicans. it’s easier to recover from what ails the republicans than it is for the democrats to extricate themselves from their love affair with their passionate left-wing contingent.both sides are out of touch with what their average members believe.

the democrats are not accurately represented by codepink, daily kos and DU, and the average moonbat hippie socialist. i’m guessing that the average democrat probably isn’t happy about the fact that howard dean is in charge and speaking for their party. none of the democrats who want to be president in ’08 have shown the ability to lead their party back to becoming a legitimate alternative to the republicans. take this to the bank: they will never achieve that goal until they get rid of howard dean and appeal to their non-moonbat base.

now to the republicans. they are a deeply flawed party at this point. they have become comfortable with the status quo and they need a wake-up call. hopefully this can take place without a massive voter revolt against them in the ’06 primaries. these are some of the issues the republicans need to address and make central to their campaigns. spending must be cut as well as taxes. border security must be dealt with. if they took any money from abramoff, they must take responsibility for that decision, and return any unethical donations. being accountable to the voters who elected them is something both parties need to work on if they want to keep their jobs.

i think it’s more likely that the republicans can get past their current struggles as long as they don’t take the democrats for granted. as for the democrats, i wish them a whole lot of luck. they have to replace howard dean, gag hillary, reid and kennedy, and stop pandering to kos and his ideological twins. i almost forgot something important: get a plan that doesn’t just consist of opposing the president’s policies that would also present a positive view of america. that’s a tall order.

the UAE port controversy

“We all need to take a moment and not rush to judgment on this matter without knowing all the facts. The President’s leadership has earned our trust in the war on terror, and surely his administration deserves the presumption that they would not sell our security short. Dubai has cooperated with us in the war and deserves to be treated respectfully. By all means, let’s do due diligence, get briefings, seek answers to all relevant questions and assurances that defense officials and the intelligence community were involved in the examination and approval of this transaction. In other words, let’s make a judgment when we possess all the pertinent facts. Until then, all we can offer is heat and little light to the discussion.”

–senator john mccain, quoted here.

mccain’s making a ton of sense. i agree with this. i think we need to look at this port sale deal carefully and make sure we have fully vetted any company who wishes to be involved with our ports on any level. i’ll be honest. i have my doubts about the wisdom of allowing this deal to take place. on the other hand, i’m not sure if we really want to alienate a country who has provided some level of operational support to the united states in the war on terror. opponents and supporters of this sale have both made convincing arguments.

i don’t think that democrats who have spoken out against this port sale are doing so for the sole purpose of looking tough on security, although that may be a fringe benefit. i’m also not cynical enough to suggest that some of those democrats are protecting union interests by opposing the deal, as some conservatives have done. maybe they are, but i would like to believe that they have actually thought about this before taking a position on it. the most inane argument against it is the accusation that those who have concerns about this deal believe that all arabs are terrorists…that we are racists, in other words. that’s not the right sales pitch.

of course we don’t believe that all arabs are terrorists. we realize that we can’t paint them all with the same brush. that said, based on dubai’s past history, it is rational and natural to have legitimate concerns about any involvement they might have with our ports. it’s not racism. it’s common sense. i think mccain has the right idea. we need to examine all the evidence before we rush to judgment based on limited information.

i’m ok with dubai ports world leasing space in our ports, with these conditions:

  • there is a thorough and complete vetting process, including questions about their effectiveness in providing service in other countries
  • port workers should be screened carefully, and be subject to extensive background checks (this goes for all of them, not just those from any UAE-affliated company)
  • the coast guard will continue to control security at the ports
  • the local port authorities will still be in charge of owning and operating the ports

there may be other needed conditions to make this transaction work for both sides, but i think that we need to consider the deal. once we get all the information on this, i think the president could win this argument, but i have absolutely no confidence in his ability to sell any of his policies to us (or even to his own party).

related posts/articles:

The UAE purchase of American port facilities
(FAQ)–council on foreign relations (CFR)
The Ports Deal Makes a Comeback–real clear politics blog
Security fears about infiltration by terrorists–washington times (bill gertz)
Ports of Politics–opinionjournal.com (WSJ editorial)
Port Security: We Weren’t Wrong To Question, But We’re Satisfied By The Answers–california conservative

the great communicator and the big spender

George W. Bush is increasingly being compared to Ronald Reagan. Democrats accost him for being like Reagan while Republicans praise him for it. It is a fact that like Bush, Reagan came to Washington with an ambitious plan to cut taxes across the board and increase defense spending while containing federal spending. President Reagan successfully lightened the tax burden on the American people, and oversaw a massive defense spending build-up. Given President Bush’s recent push for more pro-growth tax cuts combined with increased defense spending for the war on terrorism, the analogy is tempting. However, at this stage in his presidency, Mr. Bush’s dismal record on spending when measured against Mr. Reagan’s nullifies this temptation. Better yet, in light of President Bush’s spending it looks like it would be more accurate to compare him to Jimmy Carter than Reagan.

Let’s look at the facts. If we compare the three-year percentage change in real spending during Reagan and Bush’s first terms, President Bush comes out as a profligate spender on his own and as compared to Reagan. Under President Bush, real total outlays are estimated to increase by 13.5 percent as opposed to 6.8 percent under Reagan. More importantly, total real discretionary outlays are set to increase by 19.5 percent under the Bush administration while they increased by only 2.8 percent under Reagan.

it’s a rather cruel cut to imply that dubya is similar to jimmy carter in anything that he does….there’s not much (if anything) jimmy carter did right as president. more numbers and artwork here (from the cato institute) to support this claim. bush 43 just can’t say no to new spending. it’s not just defense spending either, where significant increases in the amount allocated to that part of the budget are to be expected post 9-11. the numbers here represent president bush’s unwillingness to stop his own party from wasting our money. this is not to say that there is no economic benefit to tax cuts, because this can be easily proven. however, we can’t continue on this current spending spree. we must cut up the government credit cards, before our country suffers the economic decline of the majority of european countries.

reagan and bush have a few things in common, but their economic policies were vastly different, in theory and in practice. reagan used the veto on occasion, but bush doesn’t seem to believe in using his. bipartisanship doesn’t always produce good policy. neither does proposing legislation that ted kennedy will support.

we can blame the republicans and the democrats as well as our president. everyone should share the blame and the consequences of their reckless behavior on spending. i hope that the ’06 election will bring some accountability to the “leadership” in DC. big government has returned, and it must be destroyed before it causes further damage.


(pdf)on spending, bush is no reagan — cato institute
Bush vs. the Deficit Hawks — opinionjournal.com
Reagan vs. Bush: Federal Spending and Budget Deficits–real clear politics