Sleep well

March 31, 2008

According to CIA Director Hayden:

CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden on Sunday made the most definitive statement to date about an emerging threat from Al Qaeda reported exclusively by the New York Daily News in December: The ever-creative top thugs of Osama Bin Laden’€™s terror network have succeeded in converting a group of white Europeans and has trained them in Pakistan’€™s lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

Here’s how Hayden described it to NBC News’€™ Tim Russert on ‘€œMeet the Press:’

‘€œIt’€™s very clear to us that Al Qaeda has been able, over the past 18 months or so, to establish a safe haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area that they have not enjoyed before, that they are bringing operatives into that region for training – operatives that, a phrase I would use, Tim, wouldn’€™t attract your attention if they were going through the Customs line at Dulles with you when you’€™re coming back from overseas,’€ Hayden said.

Asked by Russert if he meant terrorists who ‘€œlook Western,€’ Hayden replied, ‘Look Western, who would be able to come into this country with, again, without attracting the kind of attention that others might.’

Of course, the moonbat Left will dismiss this as more fear-mongering on the part of the BushChimpHitler regime.

It isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you, folks.

More to the point, this is the kind of news that should prompt us to review the visa-waiver program we have with several European and other countries, which allows citizens of those nations to enter the US with just a passport. While I’m genuinely sympathetic toward nations such as Poland that have asked to join the program as a reward for supporting us in Iraq, wartime calls for more screening of people entering the country, not less.


She’ll never live it down

March 31, 2008

Courtesy of SteveTN, Hillary Clinton’s "3AM Call of Duty!"

 

You know what they say:

…if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn’t go, so send the First Lady. That’s where we went.

Too funny. thumbs_up

LINKS: Even the Bosnians are laughing at her.


Now playing

March 31, 2008

The latest from Palestinian children’s TV, which brought you such wonders as Farfur the Fascist Mouse, Nahoul the anti-Semitic Killer Bee, and Assud the Jew-eating Rabbit. This time, a puppet show in which an unnamed little boy stabs President Bush to death and turns the White House into a mosque. (Transcript here.)

Child: There are no guards, and your people have surrendered, Bush. I have not come alone, Bush. I have brought thousands of thousands of children from Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. You have denied all these children their fathers and mothers. That’s why I have come to take revenge on you and on all the criminal traitors who collaborated with you.

Bush: Okay, fine, that’s enough. I will give you whatever you want from me.

Child: What can you give me? All I want is one thing. Bring back my father and mother. I don’t want anything from you. I don’t want anything from you, just bring back my father and mother. I place my trust in Allah. I need to kill you.

Bush: No, my dear. Enough. I will give you anything you want. I also… Enough with that. Come with all your friends to the White House. I will give you food and toys. We will sit in the White House and talk. You will get whatever you need.

Child: You are impure, Bush, so you are not allowed inside the White House.

Bush: What are you saying?! Why am I not allowed into the White House?

Child: Because it has been turned into a great mosque for the nation of Islam. I will kill you just like Mu’az killed Abu Lahab. I will kill you, Bush, because that is your fate.

Child stabs Bush repeatedly

Child: Ahhh, I killed him.

This is how the death society educates its children. This twisted garbage is what it teaches its next generation of ammunition leaders.

Let’s give them their own state, shall we? 

(hat tip: Hot Air)

LINKS: Abe Greenwald notices a flaw in the script.


The Goracle to save the nation from itself?

March 29, 2008

“Plans for Al Gore to take the Democratic presidential nomination as the saviour of a bitterly divided party are being actively discussed by senior figures and aides to the former vice-president.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Whoever knew The Telegraph was a comedy newspaper?

The Democrats would be insane to do this. If they think the reaction will be bad from Obama supporters if they steal the nomination from him to give it to Lady Macbeth, what on Earth do they think will happen if they give it to a Rich White Male* whom no one had voted for?

*(I can say that, thanks to "Reverend" Wright.)

(hat tip: Allahpundit)

LINKS: More at Blue Crab Boulevard, Gateway Pundit, Ed Morrissey.


Who needs Venezuela or Saudi Arabia?

March 29, 2008

It’s been a dream (or fantasy) of many in the United States to be able to tell the members of OPEC "We don’t need you, so go to Hell." Of course, given our failure to pursue any sort of coherent, practical plan to reduce our dependence on imported oil (for which I blame administrations both Republican and Democratic, the Luddite environmental lobby, and locals who don’t want their view spoiled), this has been nothing more than a dream for over 30 years. Cold fusion seemed more likely.

But, just maybe, this time….

In the next 30 days the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) will release a new report giving an accurate resource assessment of the Bakken Oil Formation that covers North Dakota and portions of South Dakota and Montana. With new horizontal drilling technology it is believed that from 175 to 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil are held in this 200,000 square mile reserve that was initially discovered in 1951. The USGS did an initial study back in 1999 that estimated 400 billion recoverable barrels were present but with prices bottoming out at $10 a barrel back then the report was dismissed because of the higher cost of horizontal drilling techniques that would be needed, estimated at $20-$40 a barrel.

It was not until 2007, when EOG Resources of Texas started a frenzy when they drilled a single well in Parshal N.D. that is expected to yield 700,000 barrels of oil that real excitement and money started to flow in North Dakota. Marathon Oil is investing $1.5 billion and drilling 300 new wells in what is expected to be one of the greatest booms in Oil discovery since Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938.

(via Hugh Hewitt radio show and SteveTN)

If true, this is huge, but there’s an old saying about things that seem too good to be true. So, I did a little digging in Georef, the standard Earth sciences database. There’s quite a bit of information on the Bakken formation, which holds the oil in question. This excerpt from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Newsletter caught my eye:

Probable (P2) oil reserves are defined as technically and economically recoverable oil volumes with a probability of recovery greater than fifty percent (50%). Typically P2 reserves require significant capital investment for recompletions, stimulations, drilling,or enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations such as water-flood improvements, carbon dioxide (CO2) flooding, or other tertiary recovery methods.

The total P2 reserves estimated within North Dakota are over 660 million barrels. These reserve estimates are useful for economic forecasting, infrastructure planning, as well as estimating North Dakota’s possible (P6) reserves.

While 660,000,000 barrels is a fraction of that cited in the first report, bear in mind two things: first, the newsletter item only talks about North Dakota. The Bakken formation extends into South Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan, as well. Second, the P2 designation represents a conservative estimate of what is recoverable with then-current technology and then-current oil prices. (A 2006 paper discussing the Bakken reserves in North Dakota is at this PDF link.) With oil breaching $100 per barrel and this new horizontal drilling technology making extraction easier, the recoverable oil may be far greater than the DMR article estimated.

While remaining cautious, there’s no doubt the potential economic and geopolitical implications are enormous. I’ll keep an eye out for that USGS report and revisit this issue after I’ve read it.

And I wish I had shares in Marathon Oil.

UPDATE: There’s more information in this article from the Bismarck Tribune.


Yes… That is the Russian’s hand

March 28, 2008

That’s how Sydney Greenstreet, as Kasper Gutman in The Maltese Falcon, acknowledges he’s been tricked by a Russian rival.

Now we hear of another “Russian hand,” this time belonging to Alexandre Kramar, a top official in the disgraced UN Oil for Food program and a Russian spy who diverted hundreds of millions of dollars to Russian officials, money that should have been used to buy food and essential goods for the Iraqi people:

A UN official who held a pivotal post in the Oil-for-Food programme for Iraq has been exposed by a defector as a Russian spy who diverted almost half a billion dollars to top Russian officials in “one of the richest heists in world history”.

Alexandre Kramar, who set the price of Iraqi crude as a UN oil overseer from 1996 to 2003, was an undercover agent for Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, the SVR, his former handler says.

The revelation throws new light on the UN Oil-for-Food scandal, which implicated dozens of politicians, diplomats and businessmen around the world, as well as the UN official overseeing the programme, and the son of the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

It provides fresh evidence of Russia’s complicity in helping Saddam Hussein to circumvent UN sanctions imposed after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The crumbling of the UN embargo, which was designed to prevent Iraq from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction, was one of the factors behind the US and British decision to go to war in 2003.

Read the whole thing. Now we know why the Russians were so adamant in opposing our liberation of Iraq — they were raking it in with their buddy Saddam Hussein!

LINKS: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has more.


The Death Society?

March 27, 2008

Former Soviet dissident and Israeli cabinet member Natan Sharansky a few years ago wrote a marvelous book on the differences between “free” and “fear” societies: The Case for Democracy: the power of freedom to overcome tyranny and terror. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Among other points in the book, Sharansky argues that how a nation treats its own people is indicative of how it will behave internationally. For example, the repression and rule-by-fear of the government of the old USSR, a “fear” society, was reflected in the Soviet Union’s foreign relations, particularly in its ruthless domination of Eastern Europe. The liberal democracies, such as Canada, Japan, Israel, or the United States, on the other hand represent the “free” societies: there are not just regular elections, but respect for the rule of law and civil liberties. These societies are generally good players on the international scene.

Palestinian society also figures in The Case for Democracy. In it, Sharansky argues that Palestinian civic life has been so warped by the rule of terrorist organizations (first the PLO after the Oslo accords, then Hamas) and poisoned by the anti-Semitic and fascist ideology of jihadist Islam, that it will take generations of “deprogramming” before it is capable of genuine democratic government and good international behavior. It is his prime modern example of a fear society.

After reading the following declaration by elected Palestinian member of parliament (Hamas) Fathi Hammad, one has to wonder if Sharansky shouldn’t have added a third category beyond the fear society — the death society:

[The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: “We desire death like you desire life.”

(Video clip here. Note: MEMRI’s videos tend to crash my copy of Firefox. They work fine in IE, however.)

These “human shields” Mr. Hammad refers to are civilians —including children— brought to the assembly and storage points of Qassam rockets to deter Israeli retaliation — retaliation for rockets deliberately aimed by Palestinian terrorists at civilians in the Israeli towns of Ashkelon and Siderot.

What does it say about Palestinian society that not only are enemy civilians legitimate targets, but their own people –their children– are just ammunition in their genocidal cause?

These three men would know the answer.

(hat tip: Contentions)


The clueless journalist of the week award goes to…

March 26, 2008

Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post for her multiculturalist fluff passed off as a serious column: Hijabs at a Harvard Gym. The whole piece is awash with moral equivalence and tolerance for the intolerant, but she saves her dumbest opinion for the end:

Muslim women who enroll at Harvard and turn up in hijabs at its gyms reflect a strand of Islam that society ought to encourage, the better to compete with its more odious cousins.

Ruth, what have you been drinking? The hijab is a symbol of women’s oppression and subjugation under Islam. I agree that it is a mark of piety, but the woman is pious for accepting her inferiority to men and their rule over her: her testimony is worth half that of a man’s; a daughter inherits only half what a son gets, a widow one-eighth; her husband can divorce her at will, but, if she remarries, she loses custody of her children; and her husband can beat her if she is disobedient. (For more, see here.)

All this is symbolized by the hijab. It is a tool of her oppressors and a symbol of her submission. Harvard isn’t encouraging a better version of Islam, Ruth, it is facilitating the "odious cousins" and scattering rose petals in their path.

For pity’s sake, women are killed because they won’t submit — it’s called honor killing. In Canada, Aqsa Parvez was strangled by her father because she wouldn’t wear the hijab. Amina and Sarah Said were gunned down by their father in Texas for wanting to lead the lives of normal American teenagers. And you want to encourage the wearing of this leash?

I just don’t get the so-called feminist Left in this country. The very things they should be railing against, the segregation of women and their acceptance of subservience and servitude, they instead ignore or even celebrate in the name of a muddleheaded, "nonjudgmental tolerance" that sees all cultures as equally worthy, no matter how heinous their practices. What’s happened at Harvard is just one example of the cultural jihad being waged by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi Wahhabis to spread the totalitarian rule of sharia law in the West. It is a slap in the face against the universal principals of equality and individual liberty we hold dear. It is a demand to abandon those principals and submit.

To tolerate it is to tolerate nothing less than a gender-based Jim Crow.

Think I’m overreacting, Ruth? Take my advice: read The Caged Virgin and Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and see what a woman’s life behind the veil is like. Read Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept and learn how the importation of sharia threatens liberal democracy. Read Irshad Manji to understand how Islam treats those who dare to dissent, question, and criticize. Or just watch this chilling Palestinian video of a children’s program that calls on women around the world to submit to the hijab.

If the West loses this struggle with jihadist Islam, it won’t be because armies fighting under green and black flags conquer Iowa or Queensland or Kent. It will be because of post-modern cultural elites like Ruth Marcus who in their dhimmitude refuse to see what’s right in front of their eyes.

Until the veil covers them.

(hat tip: LGF)

LINKS: Roger L. Simon and Annie Jacobsen notice the new Jim Crow, too.


Criticize Islam and get sued?

March 25, 2008

A new video from Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer, this time on the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s bold decision to defend Islam from political cartoonists and "bigots" by suppressing free speech, while ignoring the jihadis in their midst:

 

 

Sigh.

(hat tip: Hot Air)


A stake through the heart

March 24, 2008

No, this isn’t about the Prophet Barack’s attempts to put Hillary’s campaign in the grave. (Besides, everyone knows it’s a bullet to head with zombies, not stakes.)

Rather, that’s the title of Michael Yon’s latest report from Iraq, this time on what may be the decisive campaign against al Qaeda in Iraq, as it makes a last stand in Mosul and Nineveh province. Be sure to read the whole thing: it’s a fascinating and also horrifying account of al Qaeda’s barbarity, and the article focuses on an operation one night to interdict terrorists, probably coming from Syria. It also highlights the bravery of Iraqi soldiers.

This is the kind of event that should make the news, save that the mainstream media concentrates on far more important things, such as Britney Spears’ mental state. Anyway, here’s my favorite part:

The pilots started pushing the motors as hard as they would go for the nearly eighty five miles to Mosul. The slower Kiowas could not keep up, so they stayed back and destroyed the truck and its contents with a Hellfire missile, some 2.75 rockets and .50-caliber machine-gun rounds, then headed back to FOB Sykes. Nobody realized that a high value target had been hidden in the back of the Bongo truck, and the Kiowa pilots shot him to pieces. His parts were found later.

Enjoy your 72 white raisins, jackass.

LINKS: More at Hot Air.


The Left’s alternate universe

March 23, 2008

The Los Angeles Times today published a hit-piece on John McCain. That itself is not surprising. For those of you not familiar with the media in California, the LA Times is closely allied with the Democratic Party and, while pretending to be objective, regularly does what it can to smear Republican office-holders and conservative positions. In this, it generally takes its cue from the paper it wishes it were, The New York Times.

What is surprising, however, is the paper’s continued insistence on a narrative for the war in Iraq that simply does not mesh with the facts. In this case:

But McCain openly disputed Bush administration claims that Hussein appeared linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "I doubt seriously if there’s this close relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein," he told CBS News in September 2002.

Postwar investigations, including the 9/11 Commission Report and a report this month financed by the Pentagon, found no evidence of a "collaborative relationship" between Al Qaeda and the Iraqi regime.

(Emphasis added.)

The first bolded statement is not true, flat out. The Administration has never, ever claimed that there was any evidence that Saddam was involved in 9/11. In fact, not only have Bush and Cheney repeatedly said they had no evidence of Saddam’s involvement, they’ve dismissed any evidence pointing toward such complicity. The idea that the Bush Administration claimed Saddam was behind 9/11 and then used that to justify invading Iraq is purely an invention of the anti-war, BDS suffering Left.

For a full dismantling of this and other fantasy-based claims in the Times article, I refer you to Patterico’s detailed dissection of Mr. Drogin’s piece. In the meantime, I continue to marvel at the ability of the Left to stick to a nonsensical narrative, no matter how often presented with the truth.

 


5,000?

March 22, 2008

That’s the number of pro-al Qaeda web sites there are on the Web, as cited in a Reuters report on US efforts to cut off pro-jihadi propaganda videos.

The U.S. military said on Saturday it had hampered al Qaeda’s ability to recruit new members in Iraq by capturing or killing many of the people who make slick videos used to attract disaffected young Muslims.

U.S. military spokesman Rear Admiral Greg Smith said that in the past year, 39 al Qaeda members in Iraq responsible for producing and disseminating videos and other material to thousands of Internet Web sites had been captured or killed.

"The power of this information is obvious. These guys are using material that is used on Web sites to recruit and raise money," Smith told Reuters in an interview.

"We think the vast majority of this media network has been degraded at this point," he said, adding that the arrests had led to fewer Internet postings of al Qaeda beheadings, kidnappings and other attacks in Iraq.

So, there are more than five thousand web sites around the world that host al Qaeda-produced videos of beheadings and other jihadi porn?

Just amazing. They might just give even the Kennedy assassination conspiracy nuts a run for their money.

(hat tip: Campaign Standard)


Never ask a question

March 22, 2008

…You don’t want the answer to:

toon032408

See more of Michael Ramirez’s work at Investors.com.


This is news?

March 22, 2008

I thought it’s been known for weeks that Lady Macbeth Hillary has almost no chance to catch Obama in the delegate count.

We’re surprised why?

LINKS: Abe Greenwald says "Wait a minute."

Technorati tags: ,

An inconvenient question

March 22, 2008

Paul at Power Line asks a very good question of the fans of the Prophet Barack.

Technorati tags:

Slight policy change

March 22, 2008

Some readers have written me to say the "captcha" system is really annoying and discourages comments. Having squinted to figure out what the secret letters are, I have to agree. So, as an experiment, I’ve turned that "feature" off. As long as this blog doesn’t get inundated with spam, it will stay off. 🙂

Comment at will.


The Clintons had the Wright Stuff?

March 20, 2008

Via Hot Air: It looks like the Clintons have their own Jeremiah Wright “history,” having invited the racist, America-hating preacher to the White House in 1998.

Now, this doesn’t make the Clintons’ association with “Reverend” Wright nearly as embarrassing as Sen. Obama’s 20-year close relationship, but don’t you think the President’s staff would have vetted this guy before issuing him an invitation?

I’m sure the Obama camp will be trumpeting this tomorrow.


First she called him a liar

March 20, 2008

But, now that we’re winning in Iraq, Hillary Clinton just wuvs General Petraeus:

As critical as she is about the Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq war, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a relatively rare shout-out to the military’s top man in Baghdad, General David Petraeus, calling him “an extraordinary leader and a wonderful advocate for our military.”

Unctuous” doesn’t begin to describe her.

(hat tip: Campaign Standard)


Obama slags Grandma again!

March 20, 2008

"A typical White person?" Did he really say that??

Yes, he did.

Shades of Joe Biden.

Okay, everyone raise your hands if you think the press would be out with pitchforks and torches if John McCain referred to someone as a "typical Black person."

Me, too.

LINKS: More at Hot Air, Sister Toldjah.


Misrepresenting History and grandma

March 19, 2008

I haven’t commented on the Obama speech on race and his relationship with "Reverend" Jeremiah Wright because, well, it was thoroughly chewed-over just hours after its delivery. And, to be honest, the issue already starts to bore me. The Wright Affair, when taken with his evasions regarding Tony Rezko and his position on NAFTA, tell us all we need to know about Senator Barack Obama (D-Hope and Change): he is not the Prophet of the new, post-racial politics. He is not the Leader who will end our divisions and heal our souls.

No, he’s just a typical Chicago pol who cynically says whatever he thinks will get him elected, which isn’t necessarily what he believes. Other than being an exceptionally gifted speaker, he’s really no different from the average career politician. I opposed his election before on policy grounds, and that hasn’t changed. Race (a biologically meaningless concept) has nothing to do with it.

But there are two things I can’t let pass. First is this passage about Jeremiah Wright’s background, the context for his bitter racism:

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted.

(Emphasis added)

Umm…Senator? Segregation was not the "law of the land" in the US at that time. In fact, in that period, the tail-end of Jim Crow, segregation was the law in a minority of states, limited mostly to the states of the old Confederacy. I grew up in the Sixties in a mixed-ethnicity neighborhood in California, and I went to school with Blacks and Hispanics. We weren’t segregated, nor was most of the nation.

This isn’t to minimize the national shame of Jim Crow, which was nothing less that an apartheid and, at times, terrorist regime. (For a good overview, look at the history of …ahem… the Democratic Party) Far from it, but don’t slag the many people across the rest of the nation who may have been imperfect but still opposed segregation.

Then again, you seem to specialize in the art of moral equivalence. From later in the speech, again regarding Jeremiah Wright:

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

Oh, give me a break! You’re equating the occasional bigoted slips of your grandma to the hateful, racist filth your pastor (of over 20 years!) spewed on a regular basis? (To see examples, look here, here, and here.) How dare you? You put the woman who raised you in the same category as a guy who claims AIDS was created by the government to kill Blacks? (Maybe he should get a Nobel Peace Prize?) You ungrateful creep! Whom do you throw under the bus next? Your wife? (Nah. She apparently buys into Wright’s garbage.) Your daughters?

I used to say that, while I opposed Obama on policy, I thought he was an okay guy I wouldn’t mind talking with over beers.

I’ve changed my mind.

LINKS: There are plenty of reactions all over the Web. Here are four — two in favor, two opposed. In favor: Andrew Sullivan and Glenn "Sockpuppet" Greenwald. Opposed: Victor Davis Hanson and Bob Owens. And one more at Fausta’s blog and Hot Air. Okay, one more after that. I can’t leave out Melanie Phillips dismantling of The Speech.