Saturday, May 22, 2004

Neocon VS. Decepticon

It's that time again...

The following is a weekly feature which pits the leaders of Washington’s "new conservative" movement against Cybertron's most feared villains. Remember: Your vote matters!

Name: Richard Perle

Title: Consultant to the Secretary, Defense Department; Project for the New American Century, Signatory

Transforms Into A Cool Jet: No

Defining Moment: On May 20 US forces raided the home of Iraqi National Congress leader and Perle associate, Ahmed Chalabi. From David Corn, "The early indications are that Chalabi's gang may stand accused of a) corruption; b) impeding an investigation into possible corruption in the UN's oil-for-food program in Iraq; c) fomenting a coup or otherwise trying to interfere in the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq; d) engaging in espionage by sharing sensitive information with Iran; or e) all of the above." Chalabi had been vigorously supported by Richard Perle as a potential leader for post-war Iraq.

Famous Quote: The arguments against Chalabi have been without substance. He is far and away the most effective individual that we could have hoped would emerge in Iraq. No one was proposing that he be anointed in some sense, but simply that his advice and counsel would be valuable to us, and if he emerged in a leadership position, that would be highly desirable, from the point of view of the future of Iraq. He's a very capable guy. (Frontline, 07.10.2003)

Name: Starscream

Title: Decepticon Lieutenant

Transforms Into A Cool Jet: Yes

Defining Moment: Having jettisoned his former leader, the critically injured Megatron, into outer space, Starscream assumes command of the Decepticons.

Famous Quote: I WILL rule the universe. Even if I am the only one LEFT in the universe!

Last week's installment of Neocon VS. Decepticon.


Friday, May 21, 2004


Over at A Small Victory, Michele is shocked and disgusted that the parent who has lost a child in a combat theatre would blame the sitting president. She states that "grieving parents should be given a bit of leeway in situations like this," but goes on to load the sentence with enough qualifiers to sink a ship; thereby allowing her to really tear into the father of Nick Berg.

As I've said before, at things fall apart we reserve the right to simultaneously denounce "gotcha politics" while engaging in them. So without further ado, this from a January 2002 story in WorldNetDaily:

The author also noted that James Smith, a former Ranger captain and father of Cpl. Jamie Smith – who bled to death after he was shot in the leg during the battle, because he could not be evacuated – returned a letter of condolence from President Clinton. In rejecting it, he sent a letter of his own, blaming Clinton for the Mogadishu debacle.

Also not in the movie was an after-action incident between Clinton and the parents of two Rangers – MSgt. Gary Gordon, 33, and SFC Randy Shughart, 35 – who were killed in action but posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions.

McKenny said that family members were invited to the White House to receive the medals. Clinton reportedly invited the parents of Gordon and Shughart into the Oval Office for a private meeting.

When he did, "he stuck his hand out to shake the hands of the parents, but Randy Shughart's father refused to take Clinton's hand."

Then, McKenny said, "he looked Clinton in the face, told him he was responsible for his son's death, that it was for no purpose and that he wasn't fit to be president or commander in chief."

Smith, who had his left leg amputated after being wounded in Vietnam in the mid-60s, later said Clinton also didn't take responsibility for the decisions that left the Rangers without heavy armored support.

This was not just confined to the internet either. Around the same time (Jan./Feb. 2002) Fox News ran a special on Black Hawk Down which included an interview with either Smith, Gordon or Shughart. The interviewee in question went so far as to say that Clinton felt no sorrow over his son's death. If anyone can find the transcript, let me know.

Incidentally, I browsed through Michele's archives from Jan./Feb. 2002, back before her Dennis Miller-esque political switcheroo, and found nothing condemning these fathers for politicizing the deaths of their sons.

As Michele herself would say:



Thursday, May 20, 2004

Morons In Manhattan [CBT]

Byron and Jonah, of The Corner,
help set up for tonight's Young
Republicans meeting in NYC.

Saw it on The Corner:

If you're looking for something cool to do in NYC tonight: Myrna Blyth is speaking tonight at a NY Young Republican club meeting. It's open to all at 7 PM at 3 West 51st St. Let them know we sent you.
Posted at 04:09 PM

And I hear that afterward, four or five of the guys are gonna get together over a six-pack of Mike's Hard Lemonade and talk about how we can get the liberal media to show the rest of America what the young Republicans already know: life in Iraq is fabulous for the average citizen.


The Un-Responsibility Era

George W. Bush at the 2000 RNC Gala:

And this is what it will take for our country to usher in a new era, an era that will stand in stark contrast to the last decades, which have said, "If it feels good, do it, and if you've got a problem blame someone else. As President, I will work with all Americans to usher in the responsibility era where all citizens know they are responsible for the choices they make and accountable for the actions they take.

Yet, strangely enough, this "responsibility era" ushered in by the President seems to be the exact opposite of the one he described in 2000; in this era, no one is held accountable for the actions they take. The most glaring example of this, of course, is that not one member of the President's cabinet has been asked to resign as a result of 9-11, or for that matter, the failures connected to the war in Iraq.

On that note, there's this from Rudy Giuliani's testimony yesterday before the 9-11 commission.

So our anger should clearly be directed and the blame should clearly be directed at one source and one source alone -- the terrorists who killed our loved ones.


I believed then, I believe now, that the terrorists had two purposes in attacking us. One purpose was to kill many, many people to make some kind of, in their words, spectacular demonstration. And the other was to break our will, because they were convinced we were a weak people, that we would become disunited, that we would start fighting with each other, that there would be tremendous chaos and confusion.

SHORTER GIULIANI: If this commission suggests that anything could have been done to prevent 9-11, the terrorists will have won.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Pregnancy Dulls The Brain

More proof of liberal media bias. From yesterday's American Morning on CNN (The Clinton News Network, of course.)

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: A while back David Kay, the weapons inspector, said that he was confident that some weapons of mass destruction sites would turn out in their searches. Now he says that this, this shell that's been found is actually a probably overlooked, part of an old relic, not part of a stockpile.

So how would he know, I mean going from one level of confidence completely on the other side?

Amazing isn't it? Before inspecting the country, David Kay believed Iraq had WMD; then, following inspections which uncovered no evidence to support the claim, he changed his opinion to reflect that.



99 Problems But A Bitch Ain't One

What Your Media Should Look Like,
According To The A. Reynolds Program.

This comes via The Man In Grey himself (who got it from alicublog.) And, considering that Atrios and Mr. Edroso have already taken the A. Reynolds program apart for suggesting that unless the entire media conforms to its particular world view, some sort of revolution will occur, allow yours truly to address this quote, linked to by the Reynolds program but authored by A.M. Rosenthal.

Since the latest torture story, many editors have failed to present background stories about the millions killed by Saddam.

They worry about being accused of minimizing the brutalization of Iraqi prisoners by Americans, if they recall in print the masses of people Saddam slaughtered.

These journalists are truly embarrassing.

Taking into account that I have yet to see this headline in an American newspaper, "Abu Ghraib Scandal Proves US Worse Than Saddam," where is the evidence that Americans need the kind of perspective Mr. Rosenthal believes these "background stories" will provide? Does he simply want to debate which is the worse death: electrocution or suffocation via sleeping bag? No. More likely this is just sheer nonsense meant to distract us from the fact that President Bush had knowledge of the prisoner abuse as early as last year. So in that spirit, I add:

Since the latest jobs report, many editors have failed to present background stories about the millions of jobs created by Clinton.

They worry about being accused of minimizing the "economic recovery" engineered by the Bush administration, if they recall in print the masses of jobs created under Clinton.

These journalists are truly embarrassing.


Graham Cracker

Micheal Graham seems bothered by this cartoon from the Washington Post's Tom Toles, which portrays Iraq as an naked Abu Ghraib prisoner in a dog collar with President Bush holding the leash.

GRAHAM: If Tom Toles is saying that President Bush is responsible for the bad behavior of the prison guards, his cartoon is merely ridiculous and partisan.

But if, as it appears, Toles is saying that the people of Iraq are victims of abuse as a people at the hands of President Bush, then Toles' cartoon is disgusting and outrageous.

As to the second charge, I think Graham is reading a little too far into the cartoon for the purpose of making it fit his own "ridiculous and partisan" charges.

As to the first charge, that Bush is at least partially responsible for the Abu Ghraib scandal, where could Toles possibly get an idea like that?

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he and other top officials kept President Bush "fully informed ... in general terms" about complaints made by the Red Cross and others over ill-treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.

Powell's statement suggests Bush may have known earlier than the White House has acknowledged about complaints raised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and human rights groups regarding abuse of detainees in Iraq.


A Powell aide said he couldn't pinpoint when the secretary first spoke with Bush about detainees in Iraq but said Powell told the president of receiving complaints about detainees generally - in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "at various times throughout this period - the last year or more."

- The Baltimore Sun 05.12.2004


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Do You Hear That, Mr. Anderson? That Is The Sound Of Inevitability

The A. Reynolds program learns to copy itself.

I was prepared for this, I was expecting this, yet seeing it in print still blows me away. The A. Reynolds program, along with its clones across the web, are claiming that preventing the threat posed by a single unmarked artillery shell containing sarin necessitated the expenditure of 788 Americans lives.

This is a classic:


A week ago today, the Des Moines Register ran an editorial saying that Rumsfeld should be fired because he “has been wrong at virtually every turn about the war in Iraq.”

Among the things he got wrong:

"[He] was wrong about Iraq having weapons that posed an urgent threat to the security of the United States."


posted by David Hogberg 7:06 AM

Really Dave? A 155mm Howitzer shell has a cruising range of 220 miles. I'm not sure of the exact distance between Iraq and the US but 220 seems a little short of trans-Atlantic, and thus "urgent," to me.

Yesterday I said it takes considerable brazenness to suggest that a war fought over "stockpiles" of chemical and biological weapons has somehow been vindicated by the discovery of one artillery shell containing a sarin nerve agent. I was wrong. It requires an absolute willingness to disregard any fact or educated opinion which exists outside the interests of your own partisan goal.


Monday, May 17, 2004

April Prisoner Torture Brings May Showers

Get the whole story at Patridiot Watch.

From Jesse at Pandagon:

Zell Miller compares the torture at Abu Ghraib to having to shower in gym class.

Yes, I remember the first time I had to shower in a locker room. It was my first time naked (or with a towel on) in front of other men. I was embarassed a little bit. However, since nobody locked the door, put a bag over my head, beat me, sodomized me with broomsticks and light sticks, forced men into sexual acts with other people, threatened my life, and took pictures of the whole thing for their amusement, I never thought to compare it to what happened in Iraq, because it wasn't even in the same galaxy of occurences.

I don't know what high school Jesse went to, but my gym class showers frequently involved hoods, dogs, and a female instructor giving every naked student either a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."


Justify My War

"In defiance of pledges to the United Nations, Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons."

-President Bush, October 5, 2002

This is precious. It takes considerable brazenness to suggest that a war fought over "stockpiles" of chemical and biological weapons has somehow been vindicated by the discovery of one artillery shell containing a sarin nerve agent.


This Goes Out To You, This Goes Out To You, This Goes Out To You And You And You...

Total number of American soldiers lost between Friday May 14 and Sunday May 16 = 8.

Total mentions of their deaths on A Small Victory, Vodkapundit and Instapundit = 0.

To be fair, the Vodkapundit basically took the weekend off. But the A. Reynolds program was online and engaging in it's usual chest-thumping proclamation of victory in Iraq. Tell that to the families of the 8 men who lost their lives this weekend.

And while Michele at A Small Victory took time out on Friday to chastise liberals for not caring about the death Nick Berg enough, and time out on Monday to chastise liberals for not loving America enough; she took no time in between to chastise herself and others for downplaying the causualties in Iraq. In the interest of fairness, she did post this in honor of Armed Forces Day.

Let's be clear: the only justice Zarqawi and his fellow al Qaeda deserve comes at the business end of an M-4. However, spare me the self-indulging, more patriotic than thou attitudes. As Americans, the death of Nick Berg steeled our reserve, making us more even determined to defeat terrorism; precisely the reason pro-Bush blogs like Instapundit and A Small Victory are playing it up. Conversely, the death of American soldiers in Iraq makes us question the war's purpose and success; the very reason those same blogs that spoke so frequently of the death of one American give absolutely no coverage to the deaths of eight.

At things fall apart, our sense of patriotism comes from a strong belief in the laws and freedoms upon which this country was founded. It does not come from waving a flag or wearing a ribbon; it does not depend on others knowing that we are patriotic.

In short, take that crap elsewhere. It doesn't play here.

UPDATE: Apparently Michele feels she is absolved of this charge because she linked to an AP story about the troop deaths on another site. In other words, unlike Nick Berg, the death of eight American soldiers did not inspire her to post several lenghty, impassioned rants on her personal site. Fair enough.


Sunday, May 16, 2004

A Little Perspective

Sunday funnies.

Isn't StripCreator great?