Monday, January 31, 2005

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, Senator Kennedy

Washington Post
Kennedy Urges Bush to Begin Withdrawing Troops in Iraq
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) called on President Bush yesterday to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq after Sunday's elections and complete the pullout by early next year, declaring the president's Iraq policy "a catastrophic failure" that is only "fanning the flames of conflict."

Now, John Kerry, on the other hand, is not fat. I'm not sure whether or not he drinks. Doesn't matter. Listening to that deflating-football voice is enough of a depressant for anyone. Of course, it's a stimulant before it's a depressant.

Kerry: Iraq Election No Big Deal
A bitter-sounding Sen. John Kerry dismissed the historic Iraqi election on Sunday, warning Americans not to "overhype" the watershed event.

"No one in the United States should try to overhype this election," Kerry told NBC's "Meet the Press."

The failed presidential candidate questioned the historic referendum's legitimacy, saying, "It's hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can't vote and doesn't vote."

This is quite a pickle for the left. Good news for Iraq, America, and the world is bad news for them. And the terrorists

Clinton's??!! Victory in Iraq??!!

This piece by Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), Clinton's Victory in Iraq, for MSNBC convinced me to add Instapundit to The Dread Pundit Bluto's blogroll. An excerpt:
...Bill Clinton, who signed the Iraq Liberation Act back in 1998. That Act called for "regime change," and the replacement of Saddam with a democratically elected government.
Reynolds uses this fact, and some maunderings by Al Gore concerning Saddam to chide Democrats for their surly reactions to the successful Iraqi elections.

The Dread Pundit Bluto admires such deviousness.

British Press on the Iraqi Elections

BBC News
Iraq poll 'a victory over terror'
Iraqis queued to vote in the former rebel stronghold of Falluja
Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has hailed Sunday's election as a "victory over terrorism".
He spoke as the UN's senior election official said turnout in Sunni areas - where the insurgency has been strongest - was higher than expected.

However he stressed that voting among Sunnis, whose participation in the poll is seen as key to the success of the new government, was nonetheless low.

The Guardian
Allawi issues call for unity
Ayad Allawi, the Iraqi prime minister, called on the Iraqi people today to set aside their differences and work together towards peace.
In his first public statement since polls closed in his country's first democratic election for 50 years, Mr Allawi said Iraqis should now put aside differences "planted by the former regime".

Millions of Iraqis defied a surge of bombings and suicide attacks to vote yesterday in greater than expected numbers in the poll. The Iraqi electoral commission made a provisional estimate of eight million voters, or a turnout of 57% of the registered total.

Analysis: 'Iraqis have rediscovered their sense of self'
James Hider, Times correspondent in Baghdad, says that the elections have had a powerful and positive impact on Iraq

"For the first time Iraqis seem to have a real sense of self and identity. They are waving their inked fingers in the air and people are far more willing to talk on the record to journalists. They are not at home cowering anymore, they feel they can stand up and do something for themselves.

Update: Much of the British press is understandably focused on the crash of a British Hercules transport, which killed at least 10 British troops. Insurgents are now claiming to have shot the plane down with an anti-tank missile.

Regional Views of the Iraqi Vote

Daily Star (Lebanon):
Iraqis defy violence to cast historic vote
Millions of Iraqis flocked to vote in a historic election on Sunday, defying insurgents who killed at least 30 people in a bloody assault on the poll. U.S. President George W. Bush congratulated the people of Iraq on "this great and historic achievement" but cautioned that more hard work lay ahead to turn the nation into a democracy.

Gulf Daily News (Bahrain):
BAGHDAD: Millions of Iraqis flocked to vote in a historic election yesterday, defying insurgents who killed 37 people in a bloody assault on the poll.

Voters, some ululating with joy, others hiding their faces in fear, cast ballots in higher-than-expected numbers in Iraq's first multi-party election in half a century.

Al Ahram (Egypt):
Iraqi voters, caught between the terrifying threats of Abu Musaab Al-Zarqawy and the hollow promises of faceless and nameless candidates, are bracing themselves for an avalanche of attacks.

If they are held, Sunday's elections will be the second step of the transitional phase stipulated by the Interim State Administration Law (IAL), ratified in March 2003. The aim is to elect a national assembly which will then appoint a government, president and prime minister.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel):
Bush: Iraqi elections a success
President George W. Bush called the Iraqi election a resounding success and promised that the United States will help Iraqis fight continuing insurgency as they build a democratic government.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dauntless Iraqis

Liberty has a brand new symbol

The Shafer-Rosen Blog War

On Wednesday, Jack Shafer of Slate fired this broadside across the bows of the Hautes Bloggeurs who attended the "Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility" conference at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, including Jay Rosen, for whom Shafer had these unkind words five years ago in another Slate column. In Wednesday's article, Shafer invited the Blogosphere to "rip [his] flesh", and linked bloggers' comments in updates to the article.

After Shafer linked one of the Dread Pundit Bluto's posts to Slate, he emailed me to clarify his position and point out where I had erred. I updated that post, and a subsequent post. Meanwhile, Rosen posted a comment to the same post with a link to an earlier piece he had done.

Each wants the Dread Pundit Bluto to take his side.

But they're both wrong. Shafer and Rosen worship at the altar of the heathen idol Advocacy Journalism, a bloodthirsty deity, which has corrupted modern journalism; as I've pointed out here and here and here and especially, here. Advocacy Journalism and its besotted, elitist sire Interpretive Reporting have murdered objectivity, and institutionalized bias. Blogs need to expose the bias.

The Dread Pundit Bluto remains convinced that the most glorious mission of the blog is to watch the watchers.


All around the country, Iraqis defied threats of violence and cast their votes. An initial estimate of turnout from the Independent Electoral Commission indicated that 72 percent of eligible Iraqi voters had turned out to cast their ballots.

"I would have crawled here if I had to. I don't want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me," said Hassan, 32, propping himself up on worn metal crutches as he queued in Baghdad's working class district of Hurriya, a mixed Sunni and Shia neighbourhood near the old city.

"Today I am voting for peace. It is the only way, we must vote against them," he added.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqis danced and clapped with joy Sunday as they voted in their country’s first free election in a half-century, defying insurgents who launched deadly suicide bombings and mortar strikes at polling stations. Attacks across the country killed at least 31 people.

Update: Check out aerial photos of Iraqis in the streets on their way to vote from the milblog Beef always wins (thanks to Captain's Quarters for pointing me toward Beef always wins).

Battle for Democracy in Iraq Begins

Multi-National Force-Iraq Press Release:
Iraqi Police Stations, Polling Places Targeted

Camp Echo, Iraq -- Iraqi police stations and polling places were targeted by anti-Iraqi forces in several attacks Jan. 29.

An Iraqi National Guard checkpoint about six kilometers north of Al Hilla was attacked by terrorists with machine gun fire about 7:50 p.m. There was no Multi-National Forces killed or wounded.

The polling station in Abu Mustafa, about 15 kilometers west-north of Al Hilla, was the target for a mortar attack about 8 p.m. A mortar grenade exploded near polling station, but no one was killed or wounded.

In another mortar attack in Al Mashru about at 8:40 p.m, two mortar grenades exploded about 500 meters from a polling station. There was no Multi-National Forces killed or wounded. No damages were reported.

Another mortar attack targeted the Iraqi police station in Al Mashru about 11:20 p.m. Two grenades exploded in the vicinity of the station, but no casualties or damages were reported.

myway via Drudge
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqis voted Sunday in their country's first free election in a half-century, as insurgents made good on threats of violence with a car bomb and mortar attacks in at least two cities. Casting his vote, President Ghazi al-Yawer called it Iraq's first step "toward joining the free world."
BAGHDAD, Iraq — U.S. forces on Saturday captured seven suspected insurgents believed to be behind an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that killed two Americans and wounded six.

Democracy in Iraq (is coming)
It will be a day forever remembered. My voting was only a simple act, I went, I identified myself, got my finger stained, filled out a ballot, and dropped it in a box. It is not a complex or grand process to the eye, but it is one that I will forever remember and will recount to my children, and their children. And God willing it will be remembered through the ages.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

From Canada: Word of a "Thirst" for Democracy in Iraq

From the Toronto Star:
AMMAN, Jordan—The Canadians on the ground say something marvellous is happening in Iraq.

You may not see it just yet, not through the dust and debris of car bombs. But they do. And the words they use to describe it are nothing short of breathless.

"The big story just isn't getting out. But it is really happening.

Despite what you see on cable news, despite the bombs and the beheadings, Iraqis are putting their lives on the line for this thing called democracy. They have a thirst for it. They want it. And they're getting it."
Finally, a tiny break in the stormclouds of unremitting negativism emanating from the Western media.

ABC News - Straining for Pessimism

In an online story posted today, ABC News' Michael S. James invokes "déja vu" as a reason to speculate that Iraqi voters won't be enthusiastic about Sunday's election.
After decades of domination by the British, and centuries of rule by the Ottoman Turks and other interlopers, those Iraqis may just see another government being set up under the auspices of foreigners — including "elected" governments of varying legitimacy, historians say.
Okay, we won't even get into the Ottoman Empire nonsense because they haven't been around since two turns of the century, and the British Empire hasn't administered Iraq since 1932, so any "déja vu" is only possible in the minds of a vanishingly small proportion of Iraqis - those who were around in 1932.

Think of it this way: how many Americans do you know who based their votes last November on the Great Depression or the Spanish-American War?

Iraqi Elections: Another Tet-Style Media Debacle in the Making?

In 1968 the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched a massive attack against US and South Vietnamese forces known as "the Tet Offensive". It resulted in a crushing military defeat for the Communists, particularly the Viet Cong, who were virtually destroyed as a military force.

Although the ferocity and size of the Tet Offensive caught US and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) troops by surprise, they responded well, destroying over half of the attacking forces. In fact, the VC never recovered from Tet, and thus no counterbalance moderated the North’s eventual subjugation of the South. The inaccurate and hysterical reporting from the scene emboldened the US anti-war movement and created the perception of a humiliating defeat for the American and ARVN forces.

In The Myth of a Liberation, Truong Nhu Tang, former Justice Minister of the VC provisional government writes:
I asked the four-star general standing next to me where were the famous Viet Cong divisions 1, 5, 7, and 9. The general, Van Tien Dung, commander-in-chief of the North Vietnamese army, answered coldly that the armed forces were now “unified”. At that moment I began to understand my fate and that of the NLF [National Liberation Front - the political wing of the Viet Cong]. In Vietnam we often said: “Take the juice of the lemon and throw away the peel.” On that dais the years of communist promises and assurances revealed themselves for the propaganda they were. Victory Day celebrated no victory for the NLF, or for the South.
Icons of American journalism, including Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, et. al., have never publicly acknowledged their abysmal performance during the war in general, and especially in the frenzy of Tet. Who can blame them? No one has held their feet to the fire and few people indeed care to dwell upon the failures of their youth.

But they remained silent as the myths were created in the wake of Vietnam: that VC in black pajamas defeated the US military; that a true, representative coalition government rules there today; that the war was unwinnable; that Vietnamization couldn't work...

Thus we saw the massacres in the killing fields largely ignored, the plight of the "boat people" refugees ignored, the abandonment of our faithful Hmong allies ignored. American journalists closed ranks and turned their backs on the consequences of their incompetence and complicity.

Now they are applying the Vietnam media tradition to the War in Iraq - Iraq as a "quagmire"; Fallujah as Tet; Abu Ghraib as My Lai...the drumbeat is incessant, first in support of the media's preferred Presidential candidate, now, who knows? Perhaps more simple incompetence and hysteria, perhaps simply to shore up the myths of their sordid past.

Friday, January 28, 2005

al-Jazeera "Expert" Has Questionable Credentials

The latest shill to spew anti-American propaganda for Arab disinformation outlet al-Jazeera is Mounzer Sleiman, who is billed as "a Washington-based senior political-military analyst with expertise in US national security affairs".

But Sleiman's PHD is from Rushmore University, an online institution without traditional accreditation that reportedly doesn't even require a bachelor's degree for admission.

Sleiman's Rushmore University Photo describes Rushmore U. here:
I also found schools, such as "Mount Rushmore University" ( that offer admission without a B.A. However, these schools are not accredited institutions, their degrees are not recognised or reputable...
DegreeNet has this to add:
American Association of Nontraditional Collegiate Business Schools. Another plausible-sounding but unlocatable accreditor mentioned by Rushmore University.

Jack Shafer's Jihad Against the Poor Little Bloggers

By now, most of you have heard about or read Jack Shafer's views on blogs and blogging in Slate. Shafer claimed that the piece was precipitated by the "Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility" conference at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government last Friday.

The truth is, Shafer has had it in for blogs and bloggers for years. He had this to say in March, 2004:
If you've yet to visit these blogs [Gawker and Wonkette], imagine them as the twin offspring of a date-rape incident between Drudge Report and the original Spy magazine.
Here there is an indication that Shafer sees blogs as competition for his personal rice bowl, much as a prostitute might view common sluts as competition:
In Shafer’s opinion, the Web’s instantaneousness has leveled the playing field for critics like himself as well as the journalists he critiques.
And this quote indicates that Shafer reveres journalism and journalists perhaps a tad too much:
"You become a journalist the same way you become a surgeon—you probe, you extemporize, you cut, and you paste."
And if you had any doubt about Shafer's true feelings, his choice of words here reinforces the idea that Shafer looks down on non-journalists: "All Slate is doing is giving civilians a look at the process..."

Non-journalists are "civilians" - guess that makes bloggers "irregulars", at best. I think I prefer "irregulars" to"heaving pukes".

Update: Shafer emailed me a link to a lecture he gave last year, which presents a softer view of bloggers than that characterized by the quotes above, including this:
Today, a smart amateur can accomplish more searching Google in five minutes than an expert reporter from the 1970s could do in a day. Many times, the only thing a reporter from the New York Times has over one of these newcomers is the undeniable power that comes from saying, "I'm a reporter with the New York Times."
Whether or not you think it means Shafer likes bloggers, the lecture is an excellent summary of the growth of the Web and the integration of Web media into society.

Lebanese News Outlet: Insurgents are "Real Enemies" in Iraq

Writing today (actually, almost yesterday now in Lebanon) in The Daily Star, Abdul Aziz Said and Benjamin Jensen effectively encapsulate the US strategy in holding democratic elections in Iraq.
The current push toward elections in Iraq on Sunday, despite the resiliency and depth of the insurgency, is indicative of a strategy for using the processes and institutions of democracy as a form of conflict management. The idea is to exploit elections as a means of reconciling competing social interests to shift the plane of conflict from violent confrontation to democratic bargaining.
Said and Jensen conclude with a suggested revision of the election process that is probably too late to implement.
We believe that elections can be used to disrupt the insurgent strategy, but only if they are truly inclusive. The burden of legitimacy needs to be placed squarely upon the insurgents. The interim Iraqi authorities should move to propose a "conditionality amendment," whereby if a district has less than 50 percent turnout, elections in that district must be postponed for at least 30 days while the district's seat is held open. If there is a low voter turnout due to fears of violence, citizens will clearly know who the real enemy is. They will look upon the empty seats of their representatives in a future Iraqi parliament and wonder why some of their countrymen are denying them participation in the political process.
One hopes that, even absent this revision, Iraqis will recognize "who the real enemy is."

UN Agency Caught Funding Terrorists

On Wednesday I wrote about an inflammatory report blaming the US for problems with human rights issues in Arab countries. This New York Sun article indicates that the rot in the UN goes even deeper than generating anti-US propaganda. The UN is apparently funding terrorism.
UNITED NATIONS - A United Nations agency transferred thousands of dollars to a Palestinian Arab charity affiliated with terrorism long after Israel warned of the terror connection, though the U.N. publicly claimed payments to the organization had stopped.
Thanks to little green footballs for posting the article.

1-2-3-4, Shafer Starts a Flame War

It's been pointed out to me that I was too easy on Slate's Jack Shafer regarding his attitude toward blogs and bloggers. That's true, but it was by design - the Dread Pundit Bluto knows all about chum and flamebait from his wasted days posting at Slate's Fray. Shafer obviously hoped to provoke intemperate diatribes so that he could poke fun at them in updates to his column. In fact, he's doing just that now, and it's amusing. What the Dread Pundit Bluto finds more amusing however, is Shafer's hypocrisy:

Shafer says, "I hadn't witnessed such public expressions of high self-esteem since the last time I attended a journalism awards ceremony."

Then Shafer says, "...much of what I do...resembles what most bloggers do, except that I get paid for it, and I tend to write twice or three times a week at 1,000 words rather than several times daily at a paragraph or three. The biggest difference between me and conventional bloggers is that I usually pause between first thought and posting."

Sounds like a public expression of high self-esteem to me, Jack.

The irony of this is that Shafer is fomenting a flame war with those he disdains in order to generate a buzz over his article about...those he disdains.

Update: Jack Shafer emailed me to point out that he hasn't poked fun at any of the bloggers' reactions he quoted. He is correct. The Dread Pundit Bluto withdraws that part of this post.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Resistance is Futile: Slate vs. the Blog

Jack Shafer's rather condescending view of blogs and bloggers in Slate is fine as far as it goes, but Shafer misses the point. To be fair, the bloggers he quoted miss it as well. The real strength and future of blogs is not as usurpers of the traditional media outlets. Shafer correctly points out that bloggers don't have the resources to compete. The true mission of the blogger is the answer to the age-old question, "Who will watch the watchers?"

We will. Just ask Dan Rather.

Terrorists Thwarted in Mosul

No western source for this report. It doesn't fit the "constant violence" paradigm American journalists and their European fellow travellers are creating heading into the elections.
DEBKAfile reports: In intensive counter-operation in Mosul, US troops capture 12 bomb cars rigged ready to terrorize Iraqi voters at Sunday elections. Similar operation underway Wednesday night in southern Iraq.
Western journalists earlier also ignored this story, and this story.

Iraqi Election Projected Results

The DEBKAfile reports these projected results based on a study by Gregory Hooker for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

Shiite Unified Iraqi Alliance list – 43.8% = 120 national assembly seats.
The Kurdish list – a surprising 36.4% (more than twice their 16-18% proportion of the general population) = 100 seats.
The Iraqi National Accord [party of interim leader Iyad Allawi] – 8.1% = 22 seats. (A formula is being actively sought to retain him as premier even if his showing is low.)
The Iraqi Communist party (the best organized) – 1.6% = 5 seats.
All the Assyrian, Turkomen and Yazdi minorities together – 4 seats.
All others – 5 seats.

If Only Chirac Were So Determined

This is from Expatica
French TV journalists demand to go to Iraq
PARIS, Jan 27 (AFP) - Journalists working for state-owned France 3 television on Thursday demanded permission to report from Iraq, three weeks after a French newspaper reporter went missing in the violence-wracked country.

According to the Society of Journalists (SDJ), France Televisions president Marc Tessier has barred journalists working for state-owned networks from travelling to Iraq, with landmark elections there set to take place Sunday.
The Dread Pundit Bluto thinks that it might be against the Geneva Conventions to inflict French journalists on innocent Iraqis.

Mainstream Media Hoping to Undermine Iraqi Elections?

NBC, ABC, the LA Times, and CBS all seem to be drawing stories from the Democratic Party playbook, with remarkably similar headlines, all emphasizing terrorist attacks, rather than the fact that Iraqis are beginning to vote in their first free election in over fifty years. Reading the mainstream media headlines, an outside observer might conclude that they were all composed in the same newsroom.
Pre-election violence

From abcNEWS:
Pre-Election Violence Stings Iraq

Pre-election Violence Rages

Voting Begins, Violence Escalates
Contrast this with Fox's take, which, while not exactly upbeat, emphasizes the historical aspect of the elections and personalizes them with a quote from an Iraqi exile.
From Foxnews:
Iraqi Expats Begin Casting Ballots
SYDNEY, Australia — Exiled Iraqi voters began casting ballots in western Sydney on Friday in their nation's historic elections — the first since former dictator Saddam Hussein's (search) 2003 ouster.

"This is a long dream that now comes true," said 56-year-old Karim Jari before casting his vote. "We hope this is a new beginning."
The bias of the mainstream media outlets has seldom been more blatant.

French Arrest Iraq-bound Islamists

From The Daily Star
PARIS: Four more people were detained in Paris Wednesday by anti-terrorist agents looking into the recruitment of Islamic extremists to join the insurgency in Iraq, bringing to 11 the number of arrests this week.
Good job on the part of French authorities to identify and arrest these people. Also, this is more evidence that invading Iraq has shifted the battlefield from Manhattan to the middle east. The more Islamists who travel there and die facing Coalition troops, the fewer will be available for mischief in the West.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Let's Actively Encourage People in Preparing National Food!

Our friends at the Korean Central News Agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have pulled off another scoop. The Dread Pundit Bluto's personal favorite is, "Let's Effect an Unprecedented Boost in Production Just as We Did in the Period of the Great Chollima Surge in the 1950s!" - Yowza! I can feel that great surge already!
Poster Exhibition Opens
Pyongyang, January 25 (KCNA) -- There opened an exhibition of posters calling for the implementation of the tasks set forth in the joint New Year editorial. On display are at least 40 posters including "Let's Successfully Carry Forward the Feats and Tradition of the Great Leader Who Dedicated Himself to the Cause of Army Building!" and "Let the Whole Party and Army and All the People Unite as One in Mind and More Strikingly Demonstrate the Might of Songun!" produced by the Mansudae Art Studio, "Let's Effect an Unprecedented Boost in Production Just as We Did in the Period of the Great Chollima Surge in the 1950s!" and "Let's Concentrate All Forces on Doing Farming Well!" by the Central Fine Arts Studio and "Let's Actively Encourage People in Preparing National Food!" by Pyongyang University of Fine Arts.
An opening ceremony took place at the Pyongyang International Cultural Center on Monday.

Honor System For British Terror Suspects

The Guardian today reported plans to put terror suspects held in the UK on what amounts to an honor system.
British terrorism suspects could be put under a series of controls stretching from limits on internet communication to de facto house arrest under plans announced today by Charles Clarke, the home secretary.
Thankfully, though:
Foreign nationals held in Belmarsh and Woodhill prisons will not be released until the legislation is in place.
This is quite pleasing to the Muslim Council of Britain, which advocates kid glove treatment of terrorist suspects and terrorists.
"The MCB has long argued that the indefinite detention of these foreign terror suspects was discriminatory and that their continued incarceration without charge represented our very own mini-Guantanamo Bay," said secretary-general Iqbal Sacranie.
The Muslim Council of Britain, of course, is the group that recently called for boycotting Holocaust commemorations in the UK because they were not, "racially inclusive". Okey-dokey, then.

Even house arrest was deemed too vicious and brutal by one group:
The Law Society said placing terror suspects under house arrest with no plans to try them in court would be an "abuse of power".
"Stay in your room, and NO internet!" - yeah, that'll work.

Update: More on the Muslim Council of Britain's refusal to participate in a commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz from the Timesonline:
Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has written to Charles Clarke, the home secretary, saying the body will not attend the event unless it includes the “holocaust” of the Palestinian intifada.
I see. The Dread Pundit Bluto also refuses to attend unless they agree to include the holocaust of my dog Brownie's death last year. Don't get the wrong idea; the Dread Pundit Bluto is not simply mocking the "tragic" deaths of Palestinian babyhunters. The Dread Pundit Bluto is celebrating their removal from the gene pool, while mocking them.

A Tragic Day for the Marines

Reports out of Iraq say that at least 31 Marines were killed in the crash of a Super Stallion helicopter west of Baghdad. Godspeed bravehearts.


UN Blames US for Arab Human Development Problems

As if we needed another indication that the United Nations has become not only useless, but actually detrimental to world peace and justice, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has released a report on Arab Human Development containing inflammatory language that provides a goldmine of propaganda fodder for terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

From the Executive Summary:
Following the bloody events of September 11 and the loss of innocent lives in violation of all man-made and divine laws, a number of countries have adopted extreme security measures and policies as part of the “war on terrorism”. These measures and policies, however, exceeded their original goals and led to the erosion of civil and political liberties in many countries in the world, notably the United States, often diminishing the welfare of Arabs and Muslims living, studying or travelling abroad, interrupting cultural exchanges between the Arab world and the West and cutting off knowledge acquisition opportunities for young Arabs.

There you have it. The medieval state of human rights in many Arab countries is not their fault. It's because we selfishly insist upon making sure that more Arab terrorists are not entering our country under the guise of scholarship.

Military-Blogger Awarded the Silver Star

1st Lt. Neil Prakash - Silver Star

"We just keep rolling, getting shot at from everywhere."

Lt. Prakash's blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Academy to Michael Moore: Drop Dead.

Via Drudge:

Michael Moore's gamble to hold his hit film "Fahrenheit 9/11" out of the documentary category - to boost its best-picture prospects - backfired. The movie was shut out across the board.
Aren't documentaries supposed to be true anyway?

Update: I visited Mikey's website to get his own reaction to being totally ignored by the Oscars, but, oddly, there was no mention of it. Perhaps Moore is investigating to determine exactly how President Bush managed to get him totally ignored by the Oscars. In the meantime, I'm still surprised by the fact that Mr. Moore was totally ignored by the Oscars. Did I mention that Michael Moore's propaganda flick Fahrenheit 911 was totally ignored by the Oscars.

Iraqis Want to Follow Afghan Example

As posted by Mister Pundit, William Shawcross had this to say in, of all places, the Guardian, bastion of ludicrous leftist lunacy:

"We saw it much more recently in Afghanistan, where the people confounded the western critics and scoffers and, despite Taliban threats, voted overwhelmingly to put the curse of the Taliban's Islamic extremism behind them.

And we are seeing it most brutally and clearly in Iraq today, where everyone associated with the attempt to give the Iraqi people a decent future risks being murdered."
Despite this, the Iraqi people are determined to have their voices heard:
"People are being extremely brave in flouting the demands of the killers. Both Kurds and Shias are resisting the horrific provocations from Sunni terrorists. The election will not end the crisis in Iraq. But Iraqis, like the Algerians and Afghans, clearly wish to defy those who seek to murder, mutilate and incarcerate them."

Their Valor Goes Unreported

The only medals the mainstream media outlets are interested in are Purple Hearts. The idea that American soldiers are being recognized for heroism doesn't jibe with the accepted mainstream memes of low morale, complaints, and bitter wounded soldiers. That's why you won't find any major outlet Google citations for these soldiers.

Spc. Micheaux Sanders - Silver Star
“I threw whatever I had at them. When we ran out of bullets, I threw rocks.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Ron Riling - Silver Star
"I was just another soldier on the battlefield."

1st Lt. John Baker - Bronze Star
“It turned out it was heavy resistance and we had to adapt.”

Monday, January 24, 2005

"There will be no turbans in the government"

Good news out of Iraq; the Shiite majority is determined to keep Islam in the background and form a secular government, despite scheming and agitation from Iran. From the New York Times:
"There will be no turbans in the government," said Adnan Ali, a senior leader of the Dawa Party, one of the largest Shiite parties. "Everyone agrees on that."
An Iranian-style medieval theocracy in Iraq would have further destabilized the middle east, perhaps causing the Kurds to seek full autonomy, and possibly plotting with the demented mullahs in Iran.

Four Degrees of Propaganda

Remember the game that could connect Kevin Bacon to any other actor in only six steps - "six degrees of Kevin Bacon"? Western journalism has its own version.

First Degree (Jan. 8, 2005): Newsweek writers Michael Hirsh and John Barry are deliberately coy about the genesis of the phrase "Salvador Option". In order to slant the story as far to the left as possible, Hirsh and Barry wrote: "The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called 'the Salvador option'...".

This allows them to make unfavorable comparisons between the war in Iraq and the notorious death squads of El Salvador. When a reporter says that something is "being called" this or that, without attribution to a source, it usually means that he made up the phrase himself.

Second Degree (Jan. 10, 2005): David Teather of the Guardian reads the Newsweek piece and adds: "The ploy has apparently been called the 'Salvador option' after the strategy that was secretly employed by Ronald Reagan's administration to combat the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s."

Teather knows full well that Hirsh and Barry made up the "Salvador Option" monicker, but he plays along and murks things up just a little more.

Third Degree (January 13, 2005: On the World Socialist Website (love that name; how quaint, how retro) Bill Van Auken ups the ante by declaring: "The plan, first reported January 8 by Newsweek magazine, has been dubbed by Pentagon planners as 'the Salvador option.'"

Here, at the first stage of true propaganda, the original appellation is given the patina of authority by claiming, without attribution, that faceless Pentagon planners are using the phrase. The first overt lie.

Fourth Degree (January 20, 2005: And now all is ready for Scott Ritter, wannabe pedophile and al Jazeera propagandist to grandly "report": "Called the Salvador Option, in reference to similar US-backed death squads that terrorised the population of El Salvador during the 1980s..."

And there you have it, four degrees separating grossly biased American journalists from out-and-out propaganda.

Snipers to Iraq

I'm not sure why this took so long. The value of snipers was pretty thoroughly established by "Whitefeather", Carlos Hathcock, the legendary Marine sniper of the Vietnam war era.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Army News Service, Jan. 13, 2005)― The 42nd Infantry Division has deployed to Iraq with what leaders term a powerful, yet subtle, combat-multiplier — the sniper-trained Soldiers of the division’s 173rd Long Range Surveillance Detachment, and their newly-issued M-14 rifles.

“The rifle gives the Soldiers the ability to engage targets out to 800 meters. Once the word gets out to the insurgents that the Soldiers have that capacity, they will be less likely to get inside the 400- to 500-meter range and engage with RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) or medium machine guns.” - Lt. Col. Richard Ellwanger

Full Story

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Once you get past the slow page loading and the clumsy English you'll realize something unusual is afoot here. Real journalism. reports without overt or covert commentary. No interpretive reporting. No advocacy journalism. It should be required reading for American mainstream journalists.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Wedding Bells for Peter Sutcliffe

From Ananova:
"I hope to be getting married on or before May 12, 2005. I am looking forward to the wedding date. Since my conviction, never before have I took such a step but I do so to end further speculation into my life.

"My hope is that my stay at Broadmoor will be reviewed and that they will look favourably on my hopes for my future. And I look forward to the day when my wife and I are allowed to live as one under the same roof in matrimonial harmony."
Sutcliffe is better known as the Yorkshire Ripper. 25 years ago he hacked up 13 women. He's trying to make a case for being released from prison, saying that he's no longer receiving treatment for mental illness - and he hasn't committed a crime in 25 years. Okey dokey.

A Subtle Betrayal

In the previous post about the killings of 15 Iraqi National Guardsmen by the Islamist terrorist group Ansar al-Sunni, I chose to use the word "murder". My source, the Voice of America, used "execute" enclosed in quotation marks to indicate that Ansar al-Islam had used the word, but that VoA didn't consider it appropriate. Most of the mainstream media will use "execute" without quotation marks, as the Associated Press did here, where it was regurgitated by liberal website DailyKos.

Previously, I've parodied the inappropriate language used by most mainstream media outlets. Tragically, the parody is frighteningly close to the truth.

The effect of choosing to use inaccurate and misleading words is to lend legitimacy and authority to brutal terrorist organizations. A subtle, yet damaging betrayal, which will never be acknowledged by AP or DailyKos.

Terrorists Murder 15 Iraqi National Guardsmen

The Voice of America reports that a terrorist group calling itself "Army of Ansar al-Sunna" claimed to have carried out the murders after forcing the previously kidnapped Guardsmen to confess to "criminal acts".

The Army of Ansar al-Sunna has a taste for releasing beheading videos, though in this case the murders were said to have been carried out with firearms. The Dread Pundit Bluto wonders where all of the hysterical outrage that characterized the Abu Ghraib incident has gone.

Zarqawi Webcast Claims Israeli Troops in Iraq

Leader of "al-Jihad organization in Bilad al-Rafeydeen (Mesopotamia)" said that some 800 Israeli and Jordanian soldiers took part in the military campaign launched by the American forces against Falluja city in November.

The Jordanian al-Zarqawi said in a tape recording broadcast on Thursday on an Islamic website "this battle showed several military participation in the enemy backlines," noting that Jordanian army officers participated in drawing plans and the attack against the city. is the only source I could find reporting on the audiotape. Al Jazeera no longer mentions al-Zarqawi since declaring him a "myth".

It is extremely unlikely, to say the least, that Israeli troops are operating in Iraq. However, by alleging their presence, Zarqawi will be able to reinforce the myth of Zionist control of the US and inflame gullible Islamists.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Why Would an American Write for al Jazeera?

Al Jazeera has been referred to as "hateful propaganda" by President Bush, and, "...a mouthpiece for al-Qaeda and a vehicle of anti-American propaganda" by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. An al Jazeera banner was removed at the Democratic National Convention, presumably to prevent its being seen in television coverage. Why would any loyal American wish to write a column for this organization?

Sandy Shanks, an American journalist who recently wrote an opinion piece for al Jazeera, explains his motivation in this email conversation with the Dread Pundit Bluto.

Michael Moore's Bodyguard Arrested on Weapons Charge at JFK

Fox News reports that Michael Moore's bodyguard, Patrick Burke, was arrested at JFK airport for carrying a firearm. Burke is not licensed to carry weapons in New York State.

Remember, guns aren't for you little people. They're for big, fat, self-righteous lying hypocrites.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Strive to Vigorously Oppose Reactionary Running Dog Lackey Capitalist Tools of American Imperialist Aggression

News from the land of the Immortal Flower:
KCNA Refutes U.S. Accusations against DPRK
Pyongyang, January 20 (KCNA) -- The Human Rights Watch, which claims to be a U.S. non-governmental human rights organization, in an "annual report on human rights" released on Jan. 13 dealing with human rights performances in at least 60 countries once again pulled up the DPRK over "the issues of political offenders" and "defectors from the north". This is nothing surprising to us as it used to let loose a string of trite vituperations against the DPRK as a tool serving the successive U.S. administrations in the implementation of their "human rights policies." We term the Human Rights Watch's malignant mud-slinging at the DPRK over its human rights performance as sheer sophism fully representing the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK.
It is beyond doubt that it cannot act otherwise away from the U.S. stand as it came into being in America. But it would be well advised to take issue with human rights abuses in its own country before saying this or that about other countries as it put up the signboard of "defense of human rights".
So Human Rights Watch is too right-wing for them? Sheesh.

Rumsfeld to be Replaced?

Separate stories, in Europe and the Middle East, claim that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will resign early in the Bush second term as soon as a replacement is found. No reports yet in the American mainstream media.

From the Timesonline:
All reports suggest Mr Rumsfeld is on his way out.
From the Debkafile:
Much as he may praise Donald Rumsfeld for his “excellent job”, the secretary is believed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Washington sources to be on his way out.
Probably unrelated, but maybe an indication that the change, if it comes, will be soon (Yahoonews):
MUNICH, Germany (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will not attend the international security conference being held here next month, the organiser of the event told a newspaper.

Maureen's Trouble With Math

Loath though I am to subject myself to Maureen Dowd's choppy, disjointed writing style, I thought I'd check out what she had to say on Inauguration Day. Had Maureen managed to rectify the constant man problems she's been whining about? Maybe, but now she has a woman problem in the person of Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State designate.
"Was Condi out doing figure eights at the ice skating rink when she should have been home learning her figures? She couldn't have spent much time studying classic word problems: If two trains leave Chicago at noon, one going south at 20 miles an hour and one going north at 30 miles an hour, how far will each have gotten by midnight?"
This bizarre and remarkably catty statement follows a tortured opening referring to Harvard president Lawrence Summers' bon gaffe about women's innate math and science abilities. I guess Mo agrees with Summers when it suits her purpose. Ms. Dowd continues the math metaphor:
"If you multiply 1,370 dead soldiers times zero weapons of mass destruction, that equals zero achievement for Ms. Rice..."
No, Maureen. What you get is the toppling of a brutal dictator, the chance for a new democracy (think Afghanistan), an end to soccer stadium executions, and a place for insane Islamists to meet Allah, that isn't located in Manhattan. But wait, Maureen has some fuzzy math of her own.
"...if you kill one jihadist, two more arrive to take his place; if you kill three, five more pop up; if you get five, eight more appear, and so on."
This is Maureen's version of the marching Chinese canard, though she has no evidence for the assertion. If we have killed 24,000 insurgents since 2003, using Maureen's figures, there are now an additional 48,000. Projecting the trend, in two years there will be an additional 96,000 Jihadists, in 2009 we will see 192,000 and then in 2030 the insurgents will exceed the population of Iraq. If we kill them one at a time, their numbers grow faster than if we kill them five at a time. Therefore, it would seem to behoove us to kill as many at a time as possible. That's using Maureen's math, of course.
"It is puzzling that if you add X (no exit strategy) to Y (Why are we there?) you get W²: George Bush's second inauguration."
No, Maureen, it's only puzzling to liberals who swallow their own hogwash.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Domestic Terrorism: Revenge of the Nuts

The Earth Liberation Front has been busy again, destroying things, threatening people. Thanks to my friend Marylb, a Star Poster of Slate's Fray, for forwarding this story:

AUBURN, Calif. -- The Auburn Journal has received a letter claiming to be from the environmental terrorist group Earth Liberation Front, which claims responsibility for planting incendiary devices at construction sites in Auburn last week and in Lincoln last month, and says it will strike again.

A Small Sign of Hope in Syria

4 opposition Syria parties and associations announced in a statement following a two- day meetings in Damascus the formation of a national coordination committee in defense of basic rights and human rights in Syria.
The reason for this encouraging development?
The great support given to the Kurds in Iraq from the USA stimulated the feelings of Kurds in Syria in directing them to play a greater political role under the current American pressures against Syria.
This story hasn't made it into the Western press.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Why He Wrote for al Jazeera - My Conversation With Sandy Shanks

This is an email conversation I had with Sandy Shanks, who recently wrote this opinion piece for al Jazeera.

Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2005 12:37 PM
Subject: al Jazeera

Dear Mr. Shanks:

On my blog, I have paid particular attention of late to Americans who supply copy to al Jazeera. Today an opinion piece appeared there authored by "Sandy Shanks", who was described as an author living in Southern California.

I also found reference to a piece in the Daily Tribune, authored by "Sandy Shanks" which seems to be critical of NBC's Kevin Sites for sending footage to al Jazeera.

Did the same Sandy Shanks write these pieces?

The Dread Pundit Bluto

Subject: Re: al Jazeera
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 14:54:03 -0800

Hi Bluto,

We be one in the same. The Hibbing article was not critical of Sites, was supportive of our troops, but, of course, was critical of the Pentagon. You, perhaps, need to review the article. I will oblige. [Shanks sent the article in a separate email]

As far as al Jazeera is concerned, in my lonely fight against terrorism, I have been afforded the opportunity to "speak" directly to our Muslim brethren on this planet. Before you become too critical, you should review the summation of the article. It tells the Muslim world -- although the al Jazeera site is viewed by many outside the Muslim world, yourself, for instance -- that we will not quit. Not this time.

I am a Marine, a conservative, a fervent patriot, and a very, very concerned American.

You, on the other hand, have a website with an ominous title.

Sandy Shanks

Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: al Jazeera

Dear Sandy,

I appreciate your taking the time to reply to my query, and I appreciate your candor.

First, regarding Sites, I had read a negative interpretation of the Hibbing article in a post on a liberal website,, which post now seems to have been pulled, though it still comes up in a google search of your name.

I am as interested in what motivates Westerners to write for al Jazeera as in the actual content of the articles. I agree that your article states in its conclusion that the US will not give up - this time.

Many people believe that contributing to outlets like al Jazeera is tantamount to offering aid and comfort to the enemy, due to the propaganda value of such contributions. Frankly, I hold that view myself.

I plan to post a link to your al Jazeera article along with commentary about my viewpoint. With your permission, I will excerpt the email you sent, or write a summary if you don't want me to share it. I will also offer you the chance to rebut any points I make. I will post any rebuttal from you directly to the blog, unedited.

The full name of my site is, "The Dread Pundit Bluto", a play on a character's name from "The Princess Bride" (The Dread Pirate Roberts). I hope that sounds less ominous.

Again, thank you for your time and your response.

The Dread Pundit Bluto

Sent : Tuesday, January 18, 2005 6:41 PM
Subject : Re: al Jazeera

Hi Bluto,

Go ahead. Have your way with me. Everyone else is. I did my job as a columnist. I sparked debate. Boy, did I spark debate. I am being besieged. I failed to realize that my e-mail address is easily accessible on the Net. Allow me to explain myself.

This reply is in no way a defense. It is more of a clarification. I have done nothing that requires defensive statements, assuming that being a loyal American does not require justification.

I concluded my article with these statements. "Faced with several paradoxes, the fourth group does not favor withdrawal, viewed as surrender. Aware of the vast potential of al Qa'ida and not wishing to underestimate them again, members of this group recognize the scope of an American "surrender" in Iraq in terms of Islamic terrorist propaganda. They sometimes dream that Iraqis may somehow enjoy economic and political freedoms that Americans take for granted." That was the conclusion of the article. Put a different way, these sentences form the whole purpose of the article. I stand by them. They focus on the real enemy -- the perpetrator of 9/11 -- and the ultimate goal in Iraq.

With all due respect, it is suggested that lecturing me is a useless endeavor, and one should beseech our leaders for some answers to Iraq. Many are not happy with events in Iraq -- 60 to 80, sometimes a 100 or more, attacks a day by insurgents, kidnappings, beheadings, mass resignations of election officials who fear for their lives, the Green Zone (home to the Iraqi government and key coalition officials) a besieged fortress, and the destruction of the oil infrastructure that promises to make Iraq whole again. And yet our military leaders are not offering any solutions to our multitude of problems in Iraq. The Pentagon has not even been forthcoming as to who the insurgents are and their numbers. I have a pretty good guess, but that does America little good. We are staring at possible defeat, and our leaders are perfectly satisfied to maintain the status quo. Defeat is not an option. The same could be said for our current tactics which promise an endless war. I am critical of our military leadership for the sole reason that I wish them to be more effective and win this thing. Perhaps, that is someone's definition of succor to the enemy.

It is the body of the text that aggrieves some. It interesting to note that a divided America is not Top Secret material, and that we just came through one of the most polarizing elections in our history. I used a writing technique. Early on in the article I spoke about the uninformed American and compared him to the informed Arab. That will grab Muslim attention, will it not? Hopefully, I will hold it right up to the point where I say we won't quit.

Al Jazeera has a bad rap. Why? Because al Jazeera has been chosen by various terrorist organizations, as well as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahri, to broadcast their tapes. That simply is good reporting. Do you honestly think CNN would pass up such an opportunity? Besides, in my day we called that good intell, if verified. Put a different way, al Jazeera is providing intelligence to the Western world. What, pray, is wrong with that?

Scott Ritter -- many are aware of the man -- appeared on al Jazeera and proclaimed that American defeat is inevitable. There is not enough gold in all the world to compel me to say that.

In this war, speaking about the War on Terrorism, not exclusively Iraq, would anyone pass up the opportunity to speak to the Muslim world? If so, why condemn me? If not, why not. Communication is good, is it not? Those who demur may feel we are at war with Islam? There is a name for such a war. It is in the Bible, Revelations. The name is Apocalypse.

Once again, noting that I concluded with the thought that America will persevere, what you have is an American patriot speaking on al Jazeera. If some have a problem with that, I'm really sorry about that.

I am fighting this war the only way I can. Perhaps, that deserves some measure of respect, not censure.

Best regards,
Sandy Shanks

Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 09:42 PM
Subject: Re: al Jazeera

Dear Sandy,

Thanks once again for a thoughtul reply. I've decided that the fairest thing for me to do is publish our email exchange in toto with a brief introduction. I will only edit out your email address. Sorry that you have been besieged.

As for al Jazeera getting a "bad rap", I disagree completely. Their choice of stories and the tone of their content goes far beyond advocacy journalism into the realm of propaganda. In fact, I wrote to al Jazeera asking them why they did not show the tape of Margaret Hassan's murder. Certainly it wasn't too graphic, as they took great pains to show the video of the unfortunate Marine in Fallujah, over, and over, and over again.

I have written about Scott Ritter and his ineptitude at prophecy. I have also noted the allegations against him concerning underage girls and internet chat rooms.

I remain unconvinced that trafficking with the likes of al Jazeera is an effective way to further the fight against terrorism. Feel free to offer further rebuttal, if you like. I'll see that it gets onto the blog.


The Dread Pundit Bluto

A Proposal to Increase Troop Strength

Military leaders and politicians have pointed out that the US military needs to dramatically increase its personnel in order to carry out its missions. Current recruiting levels are inadequate to meet the need.

The Dread Pundit Bluto proposes that the arbitrary upper age limits for recruits be dropped and that anyone who can meet the minimum physical requirements, regardless of age, be allowed to enlist.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Another Good Reason Not To Live In NYC:

Draconian taxes and tax collection measures, and an hysterical attitude regarding tobacco use, as reported here in the LA Times. You have to read deep (in fact, all the way to the end) to get to the most sinister implications (outside of the violation of privacy agreements):

"I think New York is getting away with it because it's tobacco. If it were cellphones, it probably wouldn't work," said Harvey S. Jacobs, a Washington-based lawyer with Jacobs & Associates.

"It's a dangerous precedent. I don't see why other states couldn't retaliate to protect products they think are being hurt by online sales."

Now that the Tobacco Settlement has validated legislation through litigation as a means to circumvent the legislative process (and incidentally transferring billions of dollars from the pockets of the poor to those of lawyers), expect actions similar to the Tobacco Settlement to attack fast food, liquor, guns...

High Noon In South Lebanon

The Debkafile reports that a suspected feud between al Qaeda and the Palestinian Fatah was confirmed by a January 15th al Qaeda communiqué assigning blame for the March 2003 death by carbomb of Palestinian Ahmed Mohammed Hamed Ali, aka Abu Mohammed Al Masri, aka Farouq al-Masri, al Qaeda's chief of operations in southern Lebanon. The communiqué vowed ..."to avenge the blood of our brother Al Masri". This was the first time that al Qaeda acknowledged Ali as one of their operatives, and also the first admission that they are operating in Lebanon, and in a Palestinian refugee camp.

The Dread Pundit Bluto recognizes legitimate grievances on both sides of this dispute and encourages them to go at each other like frenzied weasels.

Update: (1-18-2005) Though this story has been picked up by several Middle Eastern news sources, so far there's nothing in the American press.

The Religious Right vs. the Nihilist Left

Despite innumerable lawsuits and a myriad of melodramatic lawyer shows all beating the tocsin against impending theocracy in America, it just isn't going to happen. Atheists profess to fear the growing political power of the "Religious Right", as if Christian soldiers stand ready to stage a bloody coup and toss out the Bill of Rights. The reality is that the "Religious Right" is a loose coalition of common interests that will never even agree on whether God's power and glory is "forever" or "forever and ever". The idea of this group overturning the establishment clause of the US constitution is an absurd strawman argument.

The truth is that the atheist faction of the left has far more power, being deeply rooted in basic institutions - science, academia, and entertainment - and has never been shy about mocking any expression of religious or spiritual thinking. The mere mention of God is enough to get tongues wagging and legislation written. Scientific American even printed a piece purporting to set the probability of God's existence at 2%. (SciAm is silent, however, on the question of what preceded the "cosmic egg").

Good civil libertarians, like the Dread Pundit Bluto, recognize that the real danger of repressive ideology comes from the Left.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

More From the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

S. Korean Unification Ministry's Anti-north Moves Assailed
Pyongyang, January 14 (KCNA) -- The south Korean authorities have conspired with the United States and its followers in the operations to allure and abduct DPRK citizens on their foreign trips and take them to south Korea after painting them as "defectors from the north". This time they faked up an "alternative phraseology for defectors from the north" and fabricated even the "law on the protection of residents from north Korea." This is nothing but a revelation of their intention to commit organized abduction of north Koreans in the future, too. A spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said this in a statement Friday.

The Dread Pundit Bluto deplores this wanton seduction of the happy, prosperous, loyal, industrious citizens of North Korea by the vile, tainted, debauched, imperialist aggressors of the south. And their little running dogs, too.

And the Excuses Begin For Dan Rather

The LA Times kicks off the reconstruction of Dan Rather with this pity party for the CBS anchor who was, "Exhausted and stretched to the limit...", and who relied too much on his "trusted producer", Mary Mapes.

Please, Rather pursued the story because he is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal who still resented Bush's 2000 victory, and he so much wanted it to be true that he ignored basic journalistic procedures. Was Rather "Exhausted and stretched to the limit...", when he slandered American Vietnam vets with his 1988 fiasco, CBS Reports: The Wall Within?

Media Connecting the Dots?

The mainstream media have finally begun reporting on the assassination attempt against Iraqi Deputy Defense Minister Hazim al-Shaalan first noted by the Debkafile on January 11. So far, no major media outlet has examined the connection between the woman's admission that she was trained in Syria by former Baathists, and the warning issued to Syria by US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage concerning the Kornet anti-tank missiles Syria is purchasing from Russia, also reported by the Debkafile.

Israel is very concerned about the missiles, and the Debkafile reports from an Israeli perspective, so it's possible that the Debkafile is just stirring the pot.

Mark Your Calendars Now

From the Korean Central News Agency of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea):

9th Kimjongilia Festival to Be Held
Pyongyang, January 14 (KCNA) -- The 9th Kimjongilia Festival will be held at the Kimilsungia-Kimjongilia Exhibition on the bank of the River Taedong in Pyongyang for 10 odd days from February 12, Juche 94 (2005) on the occasion of the birthday of leader Kim Jong Il, the auspicious February holiday. In this period Kimjongilia shows and visits to flower green houses will took place in all provinces.
It will bring together commissions and ministries of the Cabinet, national institutions and units of armed forces successfully cultivating Kimjongilia, the immortal flower.
I'm just all in a dither about what to wear.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Burn The Witch

The Environmentalist Establishment's Assault on Bjorn Lomborg

Bjorn Lomborg is a former green who troubled himself to look critically at the dogma of the environmental movement. Lomborg concluded that many of the dire and popularly accepted environmental threats (global warming, overpopulation, natural resource depletion) have been vastly exaggerated. The resulting book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, created an hysterical backlash from the true believers.

Nothing threatens the faithful quite like an apostate. And when the heretic spreads his message to all who will listen...

Perceiving a threat to its orthodoxy, Scientific American spearheaded the crusade against Lomborg's data and conclusions in an 11-page tirade in January 2002, which Lomborg rebutted, which SciAm's writers re-rebutted...

The Dread Pundit Bluto is a Scientific American subscriber. When Global Warming is mentioned in the magazine, it is spoken of as an established fact with no room for inconvenient data or conclusions. This seems a rather extraordinary position for a magazine that supposedly represents the questing spirit of Science.

In his book, State of Fear, Michael Crichton notes that the European witch-burnings of the sixteenth century were carried out not by the ignorant masses, but by the "enlightened" intelligentsia.

Terrorist Camps in Syria?

This is from the Debka File today:

Female assassin made attempt on Iraqi defense minister Shaalan’s life in Kirkuk last week. Minister reports she was captured and under questioning admitted to having been prepared for mission at Iraqi guerrilla training camp in Syria run by Iraqi ex-Baathists.
If true, it may partly account for the harshness of this warning to Syria I wrote about on Thursday, Stern Warning to Syria, also reported by the Debka File.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

A persistent rumor reported in Ananova (all leads seem to point back to The Sunshine Project) claims that in 1994, Wright Laboratory proposed several non-lethal military agents including a "Gay Bomb". The proposal suggested creating a weapon that would sow confusion amongst enemy ranks by using aphrodisiacs to make enemy troops go into rut and begin passionately schtupping each other. It would give a whole new meaning to the phrase, "I've got your back, buddy".

After the initial frenzy, which would certainly disrupt military operations, the Dread Pundit Bluto posits that the resulting feelings of awkwardness would further impair organizational efficiency.

The Sunshine Project consists of three activists: a German, an American, and a Columbian, who claim to use the Freedom of Information Act to expose chemical and biological weapons research. Their physical evidence for the Gay Bomb is an Adobe Acrobat file that really could be anything - there are no identifying marks on the papers, which look to have been fed through a copier thirty or forty times, sideways.

The Dread Pundit Bluto smells a hoax.

Cone of Silence Indicts American Media

While glorying in the predicament of their compatriot, Dan Rather, as CBS's independent review board released its findings, no one from the mainstream media exercised any journalistic rigor. No one investigated the story beyond its surface. No one mentioned Dan Rather's betrayal of America's Vietnam veterans in his disgraced 1988 documentary, CBS Reports: The Wall Within. I've written of this before, but the silence from the major media is still stunning.

If you google CBS Reports: The Wall Within, you'll find that the scandal has been exorcised, even from the archives of the major news organizations, and is only remembered now by bloggers. When the Rathergate story broke, Journalism 101 should have told even the greenest reporters to check Rather's record to see if he'd done this before. No one did.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Stern Warning to Syria

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage issued a set of demands and a stern warning to Syrian leaders in Damascus on January 2. Syria faces the threat of US military action if recently purchased anti-tank weapons show up in Iraq. Armitage relayed the following information:
Syria had better make sure that none of the Kornet AT-14 anti-tank missiles which it recently purchased in large quantities from East Europe turn up in Iraq. US intelligence has recorded their serial numbers to identify their source. DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Because he cannot afford to buy advanced fighter planes and tanks, Assad purchased massive quantities of the “third generation” Kornet AT-14 anti-tank weapons.
If Syria doesn't heed the warning:
Just in case any are found in Iraq, General Casey, commander of US forces in Iraq has already received orders from the commander-in-chief in the White House to pursue military action inside Syria according to his best military judgment.
Source: Debkafile

Guardian Proves Itself Wrong

In a puff piece for a BBC documentary questioning the existence of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, the United Kingdom's Guardian makes this outrageous assertion [emphasis added]:
"Curtis points out that al-Qaida did not even have a name until early 2001, when the American government decided to prosecute Bin Laden in his absence and had to use anti-Mafia laws that required the existence of a named criminal organisation."
The Guardian's own archives prove this wrong. In a story from January 2rd, 1999, the Guardian quotes the Observer thus[emphasis added]:
"In June, Bin Laden convened an unprecedented meeting of Islamic terrorists under the umbrella of his Al-Qaida group."
The Dread Pundit Bluto really likes it when they make it so easy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Iraqi Terrorists Target Children Again

Paratroopers of the US 82nd Airborne discovered and disarmed a bomb planted inside Baghdad's Green Zone today. A story in the Gulf Daily News speculates that the device, improvised from a 155mm anti-tank round, was intended to be detonated as children arrived for school.

Note: The year in the header of the linked story is incorrect, and should read "2005". If you check the volume number, you will see that the web guru for the Gulf Daily News failed to update the year field for this page.

Update: As of 1/13/05, no major (or minor, that I could find) Western outlet has bothered to report this story, in keeping with their tacit policy of reporting only bad news from Iraq.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Was Scott Taylor Really Abducted?

Scott Taylor, a Canadian who writes propaganda for al Jazeera, claimed last year to have been abducted by members of Ansar-al-Islam, then released five days later.

It's strange that not only did Ansar-al-Islam release Taylor, but they made no demands for his release and did not videotape or photograph him. I don't recall a similar hostage drama with so little corroboration. Could this case be like that of the US Marine who faked his own abduction?

In a story by the Associated Press on September 30th, 2004, it was stated that no group has claimed responsibility for kidnapping Taylor and his companion. Yet in a September 22nd interview Taylor claimed that Ansar al-Islam were his captors.

The veracity of the entire story rides on the word of Scott Taylor and his companion. I hesitate to take the word of a man who equates terrorists with Davy Crockett, or that of his traveling companion and possible accomplice, both of whom stood to profit from the publicity surrounding the supposed abduction.

Update: Reynald Doiron of Canada's Foreign Affairs department had this to say about the alleged abduction: "We won't comment, deny, endorse, do anything due to that no Canadian official was witness to the events he said he went through in northern Iraq." - (MSNBC.COM)

That's a lot of words just to say, "No comment".

Scott Taylor: Fallujah = Alamo

Canadian Taylor, who bills himself as a "war correspondent" and "former professional soldier" (though he's cagey about details of his service, possibly because he apparently never rose above the rank of private) has become another Western propagandist for al Jazeera. Taylor seems especially enamored of the former Baathists and foreign terrorists trying to prevent the January 30th elections. Here's how he describes them in an essay for the Arab disinformation outlet:

Like those American frontiersmen who fought that legendary one-sided battle against superior Mexican forces at the Alamo, Falluja has now become a symbol of resistance to US occupation.

Oddly, I don't recall any accounts of Davy Crockett coldly blowing children to smithereens; or Jim Bowie cravenly beheading hooded and bound captives.

Perhaps Taylor is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, as he was reportedly held hostage for five days in Iraq by members of Ansar-al-Islam. That might explain why he was readily available when al Jazeera offered him the position of whore.

There's something fishy about the abduction story - I haven't been able to find any independent corroboration for what Taylor says happened. The Dread Pundit Bluto will keep looking.

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Brief Mainstream Media Lexicon

It's become increasingly clear that the American mainstream media speak a different language than does a majority of the population. A few examples:

terrorist = insurgent
admit guilt = claim responsibility
murder = execute
interrogation = torture
gross partisan bias = investigative reporting
big, fat lie = journalistic lapse
baby hunt = insurgent military operation
political agenda = balanced reporting

CBS Should Have Fired Rather in '88

The report of CBS's "independent panel" investigating the infamous 60 Minutes Wednesday story that used faked documents to question President Bush's National Guard service has resulted in the axing of four CBS employees (including three executives - but not Dan Rather, who is "retiring").

But this isn't the first time that Dan Rather's penchant for propaganda has gotten him into trouble. In 1988 he was the driving force behind a fraudulent, hour-long story called, CBS Reports: The Wall Within. Six alleged Vietnam combat veterans told of hideous American atrocities. It was heart-wrenching and compelling viewing. One problem, five of the six "vets" were not really combat vets, and the sixth was not telling the truth about his Vietnam experiences. The truth was exposed by B.G. Burkett in his book, Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History, using information easily obtainable through the Freedom of Information Act.

In 1988, Dan Rather was less competent than your average high school newspaper editor. CBS should have cashiered him then, and saved themselves a load of trouble.

Update: Just for fun. I think my good friend snugglepuppy has the Dan Rather spirit of integrity in this "interview".

Update: Sadly, CBS in particular, and the mainstream media in general have learned nothing from the latest Rather incident. CBS has selected some sacrificial lambs and CBS president Moonves vehemently denies any suggestion that the Bush National Guard story fiasco was motivated by ideology or bias. Such willful blindness.

Rather is not retiring, simply stepping down from the anchor position.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Is Scott Ritter Typical of al Jazeera Writers?

How many accused pedophiles are employed at the Arab propaganda outlet al Jazeera? How many are (or were) employed by the UN?

The Dread Pundit Bluto admits that he is less surprised than repulsed.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Scott Ritter: UN Weapons Inspector - al Jazeera Propagandist

Scott Ritter, former Senior UN Weapons Inspector, is busy churning out anti-US propaganda for al Jazeera. Ritter is now calling Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi a "myth". Just how authoritative is Ritter? Here's an earlier prediction he made:
"We do not have the military means to take over Baghdad and for this reason I believe the defeat of the United States in this war is inevitable."
We can see from this pronouncement that Ritter should keep his day job rather than seeking his fortune as an oracle.

In an interview with Time, Ritter had this to say about critics who compared him to Jane Fonda, and wondered if he would come out with an exercise video:
"If they want to have an exercise video then why don't they come here and say it to my face and I'll give'm an exercise video, which will be called, "Scott Ritter Kicking Their Ass."
The Dread Pundit Bluto invites Ritter to try it.

Apparently, The Sky Is Not Falling

In his new novel, State of Fear, Michael Crichton posits a useful political/social paradigm, which he calls the "politico-legal-media complex" (PLM). The PLM relies on real or imagined fears in the populace as motivators and to justify their actions. Terrorism has replaced the Cold War as a fear factor for the politicians, lawyers still make hay with the dangers of society and class strife, and, currently, the media has used global warming/catastrophic climate change to entertain us. Unfortunately, the media have helped stifle legitimate scientific thought that runs counter to their preconceived notions.

This article, The Press Gets It Wrong, by Richard S. Lindzen, a former member of the National Academy of Sciences, clearly shows the role the media have played in trying to foist the Kyoto Treaty on us all. It's a chilling example of how leftist media and uneducated leftist activists can work with leftist politicians to stampede us into foolish actions.

Update: If the link for Lindzen's story doesn't work for you, paste this into your address bar and hit "enter":

Friday, January 07, 2005

Another Hillary Scandal

The Campaign Finance Director for Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign, David Rosen, has been indicted for allegedly supplying false information to the Federal Election Commission. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each of four charges.

Full story.

Attempted Boarding of The Dread Pundit Bluto site

Lowbrow, tabloid-style, liberal cesspit Rawstory has attempted to advertise on The Dread Pundit Bluto site. Upon seeing the advertisement I immediately had it removed, and visited the Rawstory site to see what it was all about, and why a liberal whiner site would seek to sully the reputation of my pristine blog.

My flesh is still crawling. It was like descending into some noisome sewer. These fools are still trying to unelect President Bush. Here's a sample of their conspiracy-minded "thinking".

The Dread Pundit Bluto pledges to remain on guard to repel these boarders should they make another attempt.

Update: Another liberal site tried to weasel its way aboard last night. At least the leftists are trying to advertise on quality sites.

Poor Andrea Yates

Poor, misunderstood Andrea Yates. Who can know the pain (inflicted by her uncaring brute of a husband, of course) that drove this martyr-to-male-domination to hunt down her five children, one by one, and hold their little heads under the water until their pathetic struggles ceased? (At least when Islamist terrorists go on baby hunts they finish the little ones off quickly).

Dr. Valerie Raskin, that's who. The psychiatrist appeared on the Today show this morning to scold Americans for not being "sympathetic" enough to Yates' plight, and to explain the difference between Post Partum Depression and Post Partum Psychosis. She spoke of women "presenting" with these maladies as if psychological disorders were as cut and dried as measles and chickenpox.

It seems that, among other things, victims of Post Partum Psychosis "look mentally ill". Gee, that clears everything up. How very, very precise. I'm reminded of my college days when the American Psychiatric Association's latest revision of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) came out and homosexuality had morphed into "dyshomophilia". A suffix and two prefixes in search of a root word. More precise psychiatric thought in the service of social progressivism.

According to Raskin, Yates is obviously not responsible for her actions (but her vicious, unfeeling husband Rusty just might be). The implication is that Yates should be freed, or at least released to a suitable psychiatric facility for whatever treatment is now fashionable among psychiatric types.

By the way, Dr. Raskin has written two books on Post Partum Depression. Surprise, surprise.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Boxer Rebellion

Unevolved liberal dinosaurs were determined to raise their hoary heads above the tar pit one last time, and US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) obliged them. Boxer challenged the Congressional certification of George W. Bush's November electoral victory, citing a rarely used law that requires full debate of the election results if at least one member of each legislative body objects to the results. Boxer was the only Senator willing and anxious to play the ass for public consumption. Not even her usual cohorts in the Democratic Party leadership wanted to be associated with the farce, leaving Boxer to cast the sole vote in the Senate against confirming Bush's election. Californians should really, really think twice before sending this grandstanding imbecile back when she comes up for re-election.

The Truth Crisis in America

How did the American Press reach a point where over 80% of working journalists self-identify as “liberal” or “left of center”, where major television networks and newpapers across the country function as the public relations arm of one political party, and (un)truth is a means justifying an end?

First came interpretive reporting, a tacit declaration by journalists that they were an elite who must explain their newsgathering to the ignorant masses. Somewhere along the way, interpretive reporting metastasized into advocacy journalism. In effect, that meant that the opinions of the editors and reporters had escaped the bounds of the editorial page and were masquerading as facts.

Advocacy journalism, in its most virulent form, is almost indistinguishable from propaganda. The medium is no longer simply reporting the facts, but twisting them through writing, story selection, and placement to further an editorial agenda. In today’s America that usually means a progressive agenda, which often has admirable goals, but sometimes ones that are ill-conceived, half-baked, and downright detrimental to society. Advocacy journalism deliberately blurs the line between fact and opinion, and leads naturally into absurdities such as referring to employees of the Soviet-era Pravda and al Jazeera as “journalists”.