Christmas Day Attacks in Both Iraq and Afghanistan (Video)

In Iraq, the attacks were targeted against Christians.

Fox News reported:

At least 37 were killed in Iraq after militants targeted Christians in two separate bomb attacks on Wednesday, according to officials.

In one attack, a car bomb went off near a church during Christmas Mass in the capital’s southern Dora neighborhood, killing at least 26 people and wounding 38, a police officer said.

A little bit earlier, a bomb ripped through an outdoor market in the nearby Christian section of Athorien, killing 11 people and wounding 21, the officer added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Iraq’s dwindling Christian community, which is estimated to number about 400,000 to 600,000 people, has often been targeted by al-Qaida and other insurgents who see the Christians as unbelievers.

In Kabul, the Taliban attacked the US Embassy:

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan says its compound was hit by indirect fire just before dawn on Christmas Day. It says no Americans were injured.

An embassy official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, says the attack happened at around 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, when “two rounds of indirect fire impacted the U.S. Embassy compound.” Indirect fire can refer to either mortars or rockets.

The Taliban claimed they fired four rockets at the embassy on Wednesday and inflicted heavy casualties. But the insurgents often exaggerate their claims.

Meanwhile, a roadside bombing in eastern Kabul wounded three Afghan policemen Wednesday.

SEE ALSO:

Walid Showbat: Muslims Kill Christians, Bottle Their Blood, And Sell It For $100,000 A Piece To Saudis:

A nun in Germany has recently done a presentation in a conference of an independent investigation she conducted of the treatment of Christians in Syria under the hands of Muslim fundamentalists. She revealed that Muslims are butchering Christians, draining their blood in bottles, and selling each bottle for $100,000 to Muslims in Saudi Arabia who take it to wash their hands in Christian blood, with the belief that it atones for their sins.

A Good and Relevant Observation

normandy

In the wake of Sec. of Defense nominee, Chuck Hagel’s less than stellar performance at his confirmation hearing, last Thursday,  some in the left-wing media have lashed out at the mean old Republican hecklers on the Armed Services Committee. One left wing outlet (that shall remain nameless) accused Republicans of using “quote cropping tactics” to distort Hagel’s words.  Ted Cruz stands accused this nefarious tactic in his airing of  an exchange between Hagel and a talk show host on al Jazeera in 2009.  On the program, Hagel  had been asked to respond to the following email:

Can the rest of the world be persuaded to give up their arsenal when the image of the U.S. is that of the world’s bully? Don’t we indeed need to change the perception and the reality before asking folks to lay down their arms (nuclear or otherwise)?

Never mind that most lefties would agree with that view, and are only pretending that Hagel didn’t agree with it, himself.  Granting the left their disingenuous argument that Hagel was merely agreeing that America had an image problem, (because of the evil Bush),  Hagel’s answer still left much to be desired.

He responded, “Well, her observation is a good one, and it’s relevant. Yes to her question.”

That’s yes,  the US has an “image” as the world’s bully, and  yes, that’s the “reality.”

Another American was once challenged in a similar manner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In response to a question by the former Archbishop of Canterbury as to whether the US had given due consideration to the use of “soft power” vs “hard power” against the regime of Saddam Hussein, he answered:

“I don’t think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world.

We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace.

But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works.”

General Colin Powell, January 26, 2003.

Never mind what you think of him, today – that was one stellar answer  and he did his country proud, that day. Americans should always remember it and appreciate him for that.

He could have answered the former Archbishop, “Well, your observation is a good one, and it’s relevant. Yes to your question.”

 

A Desert Storm vet explains His decision to leave Air Force after 22 years

I’ve often wondered what active military folks  must think when the American electorate elect and re-elect anti-military leftists into positions of power.  Do they take it personally, I wonder, or do these warriors just shrug it off?

Well, for lieutenant colonel Mike Banzet, the foolishness got to be too much. He explains why he quit the Air Force after 22 years in a letter to the editor of Montana’s Dailer Inter-Lake:

I had chosen, freely, to place my life between those that would do harm to the U.S. and those whom I would protect: her citizens. I had always believed in the best of America and the people of her lands; that despite occasional missteps there was a general “rightness” to our way. I lived that belief for 22 years, leading and following warriors into combat. I’m certainly no war hero; my brothers in arms have seen far more combat, more intense and personal than I. But I have become acquainted with death in a way that I hope you never do. My last tour, on the ground in Iraq was where my heart started to be hardened towards you, the electorate, and culminated in this letter, written two days before our elections. And here’s why.

You’ve elected officials who, for partisan points, spoke openly that the “…war is lost.” I happened to be in a dining facility in Baghdad that day, filled with the (mostly) young faces of (mostly) Army men and women. CNN was on the TVs, and things got very quiet when this elected official continued on, railing that the mission that some of these very people were here to do, had “…failed.” Yet, they would be donning their body armor, strapping on med kits and weapons, mounting HMMVs or MRAPs and heading outside the wire, ensuring that the newborn democracy in Iraq, purchased with so many lives, would be safe another night. The newly re-invigorated insurgents would be waiting, teeth bared back in a hateful smile, gripping the IED detonator, the RPG launcher, or the AK-47s to ply their trade with new energy, because the Senate Majority Leader had said they were winning.


You elected officials who continually defame and berate military members, whether it is the observation that if you’re not too bright, you’ll get “…stuck in Iraq” (this from a guy who has two Purple Hearts for self-inflicted wounds, and known for throwing someone else’s medals away in protest), or the calling of combat Marines cold-blooded killers (in a war; before trial).

You’ve elected officials in the role of commander-in-chief who “loathe” the military, while using ROTC deferments and special treatment to avoid military service that the less “connected” take as a responsibility.

On the basis of “change,” you elected someone who had close, ongoing associations with people who were part of an organization that tried to kill us [U.S. military] on our own soil.

You elected officials that promised to take property from some Americans, and give it to you, merely because they had more than you did. Those Americans that these officials have labeled as the “rich” are your neighbors, who provide jobs and pay far more in taxes than you ever will. That means they are already subsidizing your lifestyle choices; you just want more of their property without the responsibility of risking your wealth and labor to get it. You would rather hire someone to take it from them. And you have.

Yet these same officials from this same party are the wealthiest group of people in both the House and Senate. They have offshore accounts, forbid unions in their businesses and use every tax loophole they can find with their armies of accountants. But you keep sending them back to those jobs, because they promise to steal from some Americans and give to you.

Keep reading, as he’s just getting started.

Hat tip: Lucianne


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Video: Mark Levin Says Bush Should Have Given Iraq Speech – Dems Wanted Us To Lose

Levin notes, with no small amount of bitterness, that it was Bush’s policies that brought the war to a close, not teh Won’s.  Obama and his “comrades” objected strenuously to the war, and did everything they could to obstruct victory, once they had approved of sending other people’s kids over there. Then they hoped for defeat in order to gain the “political brownie points” they’d get from a loss.

He also comments on Obama’s “spokesidiot’s” blatant lie about Obama’s past opposition to the surge, as caught by Gretchen Carlson, on Fox and Friends, yesterday.

RELATED:

I didn’t listen to the speech, last night, as it was being delivered. I was busy giving my 15 year old a driving lesson *shudder!*

But even if I were home, I’m not sure I could have stomached it. I can’t stand listening to him for more than a few moments at a time, so I’ve been listening to excerpts in small doses.

Jonah Goldberg was uncharacteristically harsh in his appraisal of Obama’s speech, last night.

3. And so at this moment, as we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad. They have met every test that they faced. Now, it is our turn. Now, it is our responsibility to honor them by coming together, all of us, and working to secure the dream that so many generations have fought for –the dream that a better life awaits anyone who is willing to work for it and reach for it.

Our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work. To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy. We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs. This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.

This is what really disgusted me. If you read this closely, what Obama is saying is that not only do we owe it to the troops to rally around his discredited and partisan economic agenda (“It’s our turn”), not only is it a test of our patriotism to sign on with his environmental and industrial planning schemes, but that doing so “must be our central mission as a people.”

I find everything about that offensive.

See his post for 1. and 2.

The guys at Powerline called it A classless, limp and boring speech.

In sum, Obama tried to give the appearance of graciousness without actually being gracious. Among his many other faults, the man has no class.

As predicted.

The NRO Editors had this to say:

In its failure to credit explicitly Bush’s surge for turning around the war, the speech was graceless; in its cursory treatment of Iraq, it lacked strategic vision; and in its attempt to hijack the troops for Obama’s domestic priorities (“we must tackle . . . challenges at home with as much energy and grit, and sense of common purpose, as our men and women in uniform”), it was shameless. Altogether a poor performance.


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GZ Mosque Imam: For True Peace, Israel Must “become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority”

The WSJ has uncovered two letters to the editor from the late seventies, written by GZ Mosque Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf. The letters were written to the NYTs, yet it’s the WSJ publishing excerpts from them, today.

They offer yet another glimpse into this so-called “moderate” Imam’s mind, as he makes his way back home from his State-sponsored trip to to the Middle East:

Much has already been made of the imam’s comments on “60 Minutes” following 9/11, when he called America an “accessory to the crime” and announced that “Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.” He has also refused to call Hamas a terrorist organization. We’ve now come across two letters to the New York Times that reveal more about the imam’s worldview.

In a letter published on November 27, 1977, Mr. Rauf commented on Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s historic trip to Israel and encouraged his fellow Muslims to “give peace a chance.” That John Lennon lyric sounds good. But he added: “For my fellow Arabs I have the following special message: Learn from the example of the Prophet Mohammed, your greatest historical personality. After a state of war with the Meccan unbelievers that lasted for many years, he acceded, in the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, to demands that his closest companions considered utterly humiliating. Yet peace turned out to be a most effective weapon against the unbelievers.”

He’s referring to a treaty in the year 628 that established a 10-year truce between the Prophet Muhammad and Meccan leaders and was viewed by Muslims at the time as a defeat. But Muhammad used that period to consolidate his ranks and re-arm, eventually leading to his conquest of Mecca. Imam Rauf seems to be saying that Muslims should understand Sadat’s olive branch in the same way, as a short-term respite leading to ultimate conquest.

To drive that point home, he added in the same letter that “In a true peace it is impossible that a purely Jewish state of Palestine can endure. . . . In a true peace, Israel will, in our lifetimes, become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority.”

So, while making the peace sign, he calls for the end  of  the Jewish State of Israel. Rauf has been playing this game for decades. He advocates for the most repellent things, but as long as he holds up that peace sign, he knows a certain percentage of useful idiots (in both parties) will swoon.

Two years later, the imam weighed in on the Iranian revolution. In a February 27, 1979 letter, in which he scores Americans for failing to apologize to Iran for past misdeeds, he wrote, “The revolution in Iran was inspired by the very principles of individual rights and freedom that Americans ardently believe in.”

The WSJ contacted Rauf for comment – here’s his sneering reply:

“It is amusing that journalists are combing through letters-to-the-editor that I wrote more than 30 years ago, when I was a young man, for clues to my evolution. As I re-read those letters now, I see that they express the same concerns-a desire for peaceful solutions in Israel, and for a humane understanding of Iran-that I have maintained, and worked hard on, in the years since those letters were published.”

In other words, he disavows none of it.

There’s nothing amusing about that.

John, of Verum Serum shares his thoughts: Imam Rauf: Peace as a Weapon Against Unbelievers

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.

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Joe Biden Claims He Always Knew The Surge Would Work

We live in the internet age now, which can be awkward for politicians who are asked to explain past statements, caught on video. On Face The Nation, yesterday, Biden said he never once doubted that a surge in troops would “help settle things down”??? This Naked Emperor News video exposes Biden’s shameless b.s.

According to Sheriff Joe, we would have been airlifting troops off of buildings in the Green Zone if we had persisted with the surge.

Well, we did persist, and all of the dire predictions Democrats like Biden and Obama made, never happened. In fact, the opposite happened – things “settled down”, enough to bring them home on the Bush administration’s scheduled timetable, which of course, Biden has had the gall to call one of the great achievements of the Obama administration.

The “loyal opposition” despicably played politics with a war, and now is trying to claim “responsibility” for its successful outcome.

Transcript via Face the Nation:

JOE BIDEN: Look, we’re not– we’re not– we’re not taking credit, we had to take responsibility.
When we took responsibility for the mess that were handed to us at the end of last year, an
awful lot of very informed news people like you, Bob, were wondering whether or not that
country could be put together.

From the beginning, I’ve been on your show so many times in the previous years, and my
mantra was: This requires a political solution. I never once doubted that additional American
forces would, in fact, meet the military objective of settling things down. But nothing would
matter, we would not be able to leave unless there was a political accommodation.
What we did and we didn’t responsibly from the day we took office is put that in motion. I have
been to Iraq four times this year, fourteen times already. I have met with every single solitary
one of the players in Iraq–Sunni, Shiate, Kurd, Christian. And we have been able to be a
catalyst for them moving from settling their political differences on boundaries, on territory, on
oil, etcetera, from the battle field to the political arena.

And so, I think, we’ve managed it very, very well. I think we’re going to be able to be out of Iraq,
with all of our combat troops–ninety thousand, by the end of August. I think we’ll be out leaving
behind an electorate that had just put in place a parliament that is viewed as legitimate across
the board. And we’ll be able to get out of Iraq at the end of 2011 leaving behind a stable
government.

Now anybody who tells you, including Dick Cheney, that they knew how they were going to get
there January of last year, I would find it somewhat surprising. I give him– I don’t care who gets
credit. My generic point is–we have managed this very well thus far. The Iraqis have done really
good work. It this works it’ll be a great credit to the Iraqis and a great credit to our military and
civilian leadership that we’ve moved to the point that a nation that was in chaos is now a nation
not needing American forces, having a economic and–

BOB SCHIEFFE
R (overlapping): Well–

JOE BIDEN: –and political relationship with United States and a democracy.

BOB SCHIEFFER: –do you– do you– do you think also that George Bush would also need little
thanks for that? I mean, does he share in the credit or not?

JOE BIDEN: Well, sure. I– I’m happy to thank George Bush.

He had to be shamed into allowing George Bush partial credit for winning the war, they undermined at every opportunity!

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Okay.

JOE BIDEN: I like George Bush, but I– I think– the thing– and all the– if you go back and think
about it–

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.

JOE BIDEN: –we’ve been on so many of your programs, it was constantly–what is their political
plan?

Yes, but of course the Bush administration had a political as well as a military solution, and yes it was predictable that we would have our troops out by the agreed-to timetable. And the Obama administration was not handed “a mess”  in Iraq.

One of the reasons the right wing blogosphere declared November 22, Victory in Iraq Day, back in Nov. 2008, was because we knew the MSM was never going to give President Bush the credit for winning the war:

I don’t think that even the most hardened cynics among us at the time would have guessed that the Obama administration would eventually try to take credit for it.

Just shameless.

Previously:

Biden: Iraq “One of the Great Achievements of this Administration”

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

Also Blogging:

streiff at Red State: Joe Biden’s Raging Hypocrisy

Sister Toldjah: Scott Brown to Joe Biden: Don’t lecture me on military law

Allahpundit: Video: Time for another “Biden rewrites history on Iraq” clip

Ace: Joe “Full Biden” Biden: “I Never Once Doubted” the Surge Would Do Exactly What I Promised It Could Never Do, EVer

VDH: Bidenism ( a Biden/Iraq War timeline)


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Biden: Iraq “One of the Great Achievements of this Administration”

Well, this is pretty galling, (skip to around 6:50):

He and Obama are gonna try to take full credit for Iraq after their history of undermining the effort?

This video, via Gateway Pundit exposes the hypocrisy:

Jim Hoft reminds us:

In 2007 candidate Barack Obama said that, “The United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.”

Obama and Biden were eventually “persuaded” by the fact that the 20,000 troop surge helped win the war. Now they’re taking credit for the outcome?

Bitch, please!

A few more things that jumped out at me in that second video:

Virtually no one else thinks it’s a good idea”…

“Every observer believes”…(with us)…

“I don’t know any expert on the region…” (who agrees with your side)…

When you hear Democrats, and especially Obama use language like that, please be advised that you are being scammed. We’ve heard Obama use it on the economy, (every economist agreed with his stimulus plan), health care (all the experts agree with the Dem plan), etc.

No they didn’t/don’t.

This is why they use astroturfing online, and on the streets as phony grassroots support for their plans. They want to project the idea that their ideas are more popular and accepted than they are.

Another favored Obama rhetorical device: The strawman:

Meet SOTUS: Straw Man Of The United States, ‘Mr. Obama’s Most Trusted Rhetorical Friend’

Thanks, Momma.

SEE ALSO:

Top of the Ticket: Joe Biden update: Iraq one of Obama’s ‘great achievements’

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Attacks In Iraq Drop By 85%

USA Today reports:

The number of attacks in Iraq has dropped 85% over the past two years, the top U.S. commander testified Wednesday.

Gen. Ray Odierno said security has continued to improve in the three months since American forces withdrew from cities as part of a agreement to remove all American forces by the end of 2011.

On Feb. 14, 2007, against the wishes of the Democrat party, the U.S. began increasing the presence of troops in and around Baghdad as part of a troop surge  for which the United States had committed an extra 30,000 troops.

This is as good a time as any to remind readers of what then Senator Barack Obama told CBS News on January 14, 2007:

“We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war. And until we acknowledge that reality — we can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops, I don’t know any expert on the region or any military officer that I’ve spoken to privately that believes that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.” (CBS’ “Face The Nation,” 1/14/07).

The surge was such a success that by July ’08 the candidate Obama had purged his campaign website of all his criticism of the surge,  and by the fall of 2008  was even admitting that it had `succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.’

Given President Obama’s track record on the troop surge in Iraq, you would think he’d want to defer to his commanders’ advice on a troop surge for Afghanistan.

Related:

Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on the Greta Van Susteren Show, last night to discuss Afghanistan:


Here’s a partial transcript:

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, isn’t the whole idea to be decisive. I mean, each day – I was looking at the numbers of people, and this year the numbers of American military deaths in Afghanistan is 218 so far this year, which is already 40 percent more than in 2008. So we – we need to do something.

GRAHAM: Yes, ma’am. And my view is that General McChrystal has thought of – thought well – long and hard about what that something is. The something is to regain lost ground, to take the 40,000 additional troops, deploy them in areas where the Taliban have reemerged, 1,000 percent increase in IED attacks.

We learned in Afghanistan – in Iraq, when we put more troops in, the people trusted us. They told us more about what was going on. So more combat power will win the population over to our side, and if we don’t act quickly, the casualties are going to go up. But worst of all worlds is to keep in place what we have now. It’s an unsustainable situation. It needs to change one way or the other, and I think more troops is the way it needs to change.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any doubt in your mind that President Obama is going to do as his general on the ground, McChrsytal, says needs to be done?

GRAHAM: You know, I worked really hard for Senator McCain. This is not President Obama’s war. I want him to be successful. I want to help him. If he ignores the general’s advice and we don’t send those troops, I don’t see how we win. I know General Petraeus and General McChrystal very well. They understand what they’re asking – the people going to Afghanistan are going to come from Iraq.

So I would urge the president to listen to his military commanders. These people know what they’re doing. They turned Iraq around, they could turn Afghanistan around.

Senator Graham recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan.

Yes, President Bush Was A Meddler

anniversary-210x128

On November 6, 2003, President Bush Discussed Freedom in Iraq and Middle East at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, United States Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

His words resonate today, more than ever.

Some excepts:

We’ve witnessed, in little over a generation, the swiftest advance of freedom in the 2,500 year story of democracy. Historians in the future will offer their own explanations for why this happened. Yet we already know some of the reasons they will cite. It is no accident that the rise of so many democracies took place in a time when the world’s most influential nation was itself a democracy.

The United States made military and moral commitments in Europe and Asia, which protected free nations from aggression, and created the conditions in which new democracies could flourish. As we provided security for whole nations, we also provided inspiration for oppressed peoples. In prison camps, in banned union meetings, in clandestine churches, men and women knew that the whole world was not sharing their own nightmare. They knew of at least one place — a bright and hopeful land — where freedom was valued and secure. And they prayed that America would not forget them, or forget the mission to promote liberty around the world.

Sadly, these days, promoting liberty is seen as “meddling”.

Historians in the future will reflect on an extraordinary, undeniable fact: Over time, free nations grow stronger and dictatorships grow weaker. In the middle of the 20th century, some imagined that the central planning and social regimentation were a shortcut to national strength. In fact, the prosperity, and social vitality and technological progress of a people are directly determined by extent of their liberty. Freedom honors and unleashes human creativity — and creativity determines the strength and wealth of nations. Liberty is both the plan of Heaven for humanity, and the best hope for progress here on Earth.

Some might say that the US took a giant step backward in the 2008 election, trading liberty for security…

The progress of liberty is a powerful trend. Yet, we also know that liberty, if not defended, can be lost. The success of freedom is not determined by some dialectic of history. By definition, the success of freedom rests upon the choices and the courage of free peoples, and upon their willingness to sacrifice. In the trenches of World War I, through a two-front war in the 1940s, the difficult battles of Korea and Vietnam, and in missions of rescue and liberation on nearly every continent, Americans have amply displayed our willingness to sacrifice for liberty.

I think we’re seeing this in the bravery and sacrifices of the Iranian protesters…I’m just not sure that their alternative to Ahmadinejad would be the radical change they’re looking for.

Our commitment to democracy is also tested in the Middle East, which is my focus today, and must be a focus of American policy for decades to come. In many nations of the Middle East — countries of great strategic importance — democracy has not yet taken root. And the questions arise: Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom, and never even to have a choice in the matter? I, for one, do not believe it. I believe every person has the ability and the right to be free. (Applause.)

Remember how he was scorned by the left for saying that?

It should be clear to all that Islam — the faith of one-fifth of humanity — is consistent with democratic rule. Democratic progress is found in many predominantly Muslim countries — in Turkey and Indonesia, and Senegal and Albania, Niger and Sierra Leone. Muslim men and women are good citizens of India and South Africa, of the nations of Western Europe, and of the United States of America.

More than half of all the Muslims in the world live in freedom under democratically constituted governments. They succeed in democratic societies, not in spite of their faith, but because of it. A religion that demands individual moral accountability, and encourages the encounter of the individual with God, is fully compatible with the rights and responsibilities of self-government.

***

Many Middle Eastern governments now understand that military dictatorship and theocratic rule are a straight, smooth highway to nowhere. But some governments still cling to the old habits of central control. There are governments that still fear and repress independent thought and creativity, and private enterprise — the human qualities that make for a — strong and successful societies. Even when these nations have vast natural resources, they do not respect or develop their greatest resources — the talent and energy of men and women working and living in freedom.

Instead of dwelling on past wrongs and blaming others, governments in the Middle East need to confront real problems, and serve the true interests of their nations. The good and capable people of the Middle East all deserve responsible leadership. For too long, many people in that region have been victims and subjects — they deserve to be active citizens.

Governments across the Middle East and North Africa are beginning to see the need for change. Morocco has a diverse new parliament; King Mohammed has urged it to extend the rights to women. Here is how His Majesty explained his reforms to parliament: “How can society achieve progress while women, who represent half the nation, see their rights violated and suffer as a result of injustice, violence, and marginalization, notwithstanding the dignity and justice granted to them by our glorious religion?” The King of Morocco is correct: The future of Muslim nations will be better for all with the full participation of women. (Applause.)

In Bahrain last year, citizens elected their own parliament for the first time in nearly three decades. Oman has extended the vote to all adult citizens; Qatar has a new constitution; Yemen has a multiparty political system; Kuwait has a directly elected national assembly; and Jordan held historic elections this summer. Recent surveys in Arab nations reveal broad support for political pluralism, the rule of law, and free speech. These are the stirrings of Middle Eastern democracy, and they carry the promise of greater change to come.

As changes come to the Middle Eastern region, those with power should ask themselves: Will they be remembered for resisting reform, or for leading it? In Iran, the demand for democracy is strong and broad, as we saw last month when thousands gathered to welcome home Shirin Ebadi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The regime in Teheran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people, or lose its last claim to legitimacy. (Applause.)

Former President Bush sure called it.

As we watch and encourage reforms in the region, we are mindful that modernization is not the same as Westernization. Representative governments in the Middle East will reflect their own cultures. They will not, and should not, look like us. Democratic nations may be constitutional monarchies, federal republics, or parliamentary systems. And working democracies always need time to develop — as did our own. We’ve taken a 200-year journey toward inclusion and justice — and this makes us patient and understanding as other nations are at different stages of this journey.

This next part of his speech is directed toward the Middle East, but made me think of us under Obama’s leadership:

There are, however, essential principles common to every successful society, in every culture. Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military — so that governments respond to the will of the people, and not the will of an elite.

Which is why under the current administration, we are doomed to become an unsuccessful society.

Successful societies protect freedom with the consistent and impartial rule of law, instead of selecting applying — selectively applying the law to punish political opponents.

Hmmm, like say, releasing CIA memos, or firing Inspector Generals?

Successful societies allow room for healthy civic institutions — for political parties and labor unions and independent newspapers and broadcast media.

Fairness Doctine/localism…whatever you want to call it…it’s meant to chill conservative speech. Not healthy in a free and open society.

Successful societies guarantee religious liberty — the right to serve and honor God without fear of persecution. Successful societies privatize their economies, and secure the rights of property.

We seem to be heading in the wrong direction, there…

They prohibit and punish official corruption, and invest in the health and education of their people.

Prohibit and punish corruption?…No no no, I think in Obamerica, we prohibit and punish those who uncover corruption.

They recognize the rights of women. And instead of directing hatred and resentment against others, successful societies appeal to the hopes of their own people. (Applause.)

Bush was clearly not a follower of Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals: ‘Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It  and Polarize It.’

Securing democracy in Iraq is the work of many hands. American and coalition forces are sacrificing for the peace of Iraq and for the security of free nations. Aid workers from many countries are facing danger to help the Iraqi people. The National Endowment for Democracy is promoting women’s rights, and training Iraqi journalists, and teaching the skills of political participation. Iraqis, themselves — police and borders guards and local officials — are joining in the work and they are sharing in the sacrifice.

This is a massive and difficult undertaking — it is worth our effort, it is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes. The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region.

Please note how, with so much at stake, it was particularly contemptible for Democrats to be constantly undermining our efforts in Iraq, and declaring defeat before the job was finished.

Iraqi democracy will succeed — and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Tehran — that freedom can be the future of every nation. (Applause.) The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution. (Applause.)

He was right about our success, and he was right about the signal it would send to other nations in the Middle East.

Therefore, the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace. (Applause.)

The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country. From the Fourteen Points to the Four Freedoms, to the Speech at Westminster, America has put our power at the service of principle. We believe that liberty is the design of nature; we believe that liberty is the direction of history. We believe that human fulfillment and excellence come in the responsible exercise of liberty. And we believe that freedom — the freedom we prize — is not for us alone, it is the right and the capacity of all mankind. (Applause.)

Meddler.

Thanks to Jackstraw for digging up that speech for me.

MORE RECENTLY:

John Bolton said this in an oped in The NYTs:

Despite these successful elections, the sectarian and communal violence will not necessarily end, and we may even see the ultimate fragmentation of Iraq. Nor will the elections put an end to Iran’s ambitions. Tehran appears to believe that its influence in the region is expanding, and that its neighbors and the United States have failed to respond effectively. This belief is unsurprising, given the Obama administration’s acquiescent attitude toward Tehran.

Still, the elections could make a deep impression on the citizens of Iran and its vassal, Syria. Young, educated, sophisticated Iranians, dissatisfied with their country’s religious orthodoxy and economic failures since the 1979 revolution, will draw their own conclusions from Iraq’s peaceful democratic process.

Uncomfortable though it may be for some on the American left to admit, the “surge” continues to work, politically and militarily. The moment has come for the Obama administration to acknowledge what those fingers dipped in purple ink truly represent — a triumph for democracy.

Thanks also to Jackstraw.

Dingy Harry Refuses to Concede Success In Iraq

The man is off his rocker…there’s no other explanation. Here he is on This Week With David Gregory, attempting to drag General Petraeus down into the mud with him:

Here’s the transcript, via Gateway Pundit:

MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about the war in Iraq. In April of 2007, this is what you said: “I believe myself that … this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything.” Were you wrong?

SEN. REID: David, I first met General David Petraeus in Iraq. He was training the Iraqi forces at that time. At that time, he knew it wasn’t working. After he became the commander in Iraq, he and I sat down and talked. He said to me, and he said within the sound of everyone’s voice, “The war cannot be won militarily.” I said it differently than he did. But it needed a change in direction. Petraeus brought that about. He brought it about–the surge helped, of course it helped. But in addition to that, the urging of me and other people in Congress and the country dictated a change, and that took place. So…

MR. GREGORY: But you said the surge was not accomplishing anything. Even Barack Obama said last fall that it exceeded everyone’s expectations and succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

SEN. REID: Listen, at that–the time that statement was made, the surge–they weren’t talking about the surge. Petraeus added to the surge some very, very interesting things that changed things. He said a lot–just simply numbers of troops is not going to do the deal. What we need to do is work with the Iraqi people, which we haven’t done before. That’s where the Awakening Councils came about, as a result of David Petraeus’ genius. He’s done–he will be written about in the history books for years to come. My original statement was in keeping what David Petraeus said; that is, the war cannot be won militarily.

MR. GREGORY: Do you believe that the war in Iraq has been lost?

SEN. REID: I don’t think at this stage we can talk about that with any degree of sensibility. That has to be something that will talked about in the history books to come. We…

Here’s your history book, ya moron.

MR. GREGORY: So you spoke to soon in 2007?

SEN. REID: David Petraeus and Harry Reid spoke at the same time. David Petraeus said that the war cannot be won militarily, I said what I said. Who, who phrased it the best is…

MR. GREGORY: You said that the war is lost. Today, in 2009, that’s no longer your view?

SEN. REID: David, listen, someone else will have to determine that as the years go on. What has the war done? It’s brought about–it’s destabilized the Middle East. We have a civil war going on in Israel. We have a civil war in Iraq, as indicated today, more than 50 people killed with a bomb in Iraq today. We have Lebanon, a civil war there. We have Iran thumbing their nose with every, everyone. And if that weren’t bad enough, our standing in the world community is so far down as a result of this war, so–and that doesn’t take into consideration the tens of thousands who have been injured…

You know what else history is going to judge, Harry?

YOU, you pathetic liar….and you won’t come off all that well, either, for trying to compare your petty, moronic, purely political, fatalistic, and jihadi-encouraging utterances to General Petraeus’ words, (who never suggested that the war was lost, or was unwinnable). With the passage of time, all will see you as the amoral weasel that you are.

Jules Crittenden looked into this the first time the Dingy one made the claim, back in April 2007:

Reid wants Petraeus to have said what he wanted to hear: “We can’t win this militarily. He said that.”

More or less true. Mainly less.

What Petraeus actually said: “There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq. Military action is necessary to help improve security … but it is not sufficient.”*

What Petraeus did not say that Reid wishes he did: “Pull out now!”

* Petraeus went on to say, back in early March, that political progress would require talking with “some of those who have felt the new Iraq did not have a place for them.”  Much like what is now happening with Sunni tribal chiefs in Anbar and Diyala, while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki distances himself from his Shiite death squad pals.

Nearly two years later, and the cadaver is still digging.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

Celebrate Victory In Iraq On Nov. 22

victory_in_iraq_day

Don’t hold your breath waiting for an official announcement. There will be none – not from the MSM, the enfeebled, outgoing Bush administration, Congress, and certainly not the incoming Obama administration.

But despite the Democrats’ best efforts, it can no longer be ignored:

Zombie declares:

Observations and statistics agree: The fighting has ceased, the war is over

Michael Yon:

“THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON:” Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good. “There’s nothing going on. I’m with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I’m with haven’t fired their weapons on this tour and they’ve been here eight months. And the place we’re at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there’s nothing going on. I’ve been walking my feet off and haven’t seen anything.”

Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette:

Surprised?

I’m not.

I’ve been saying “we won” for some time now, so no argument on that point from me.

Some video proof via Hot Air:

Zombie says:

The only reason that the war has not been declared “over” is that the media, which was generally opposed to the war and opposed to any of President Bush’s policies, doesn’t want to give him and his supporters the satisfaction of having been right. The media wants U.S. troops to return home, but only on condition that they do so with their tails between their legs in defeat — not as victorious liberators, which would invalidate five years of subtle and not-so-subtle anti-war propaganda on the part of the left-leaning media. The Bush administration for its part has not declared victory for two probable reasons: first, because they fear that by so doing they would only increase the call by the media and liberal Democrats to “bring the troops home now”; and also by so doing they might invite some last-ditch spectacular terror attack by the few remaining jihadists in order to embarrass the administration. And the incoming Obama administration will certainly never announce victory, since Obama spent over a year campaigning for the Democratic primary as the anti-war candidate. So both sides refuse to say the war is over. Even though it is, in fact, over.

It is up to the American people to declare victory. Which is exactly what we are doing right now.

There never will be an “official” announcement from the government or the media, so you can stop waiting for it.

This is the official announcement.

Join the VIDay movement!

Do you agree with the concept behind VI Day? Then post a VI Day entry on your blog.

Once you’ve posted it, email me (Zombie)the link! And I will post a link back to your blog here on this page.

Make sure to make at least two different postings: Make one now to announce your support of VI Day and to spread the word ahead of time; and make another one on November 22 itself, to celebrate!

(Blogs of all political orientations are invited to join: Even if you’re a progressive blogger and only want to announce an end to the war as a way to accelerate the homecoming home all troops, you are welcome to link to and/or mention VI Day too.)

One last note: If anyone is planning to hold a “meatspace” (i.e. real world) party or celebration to mark VI Day, send me the details and I will post them here as well.

Here are participating blogs, thus far:


Gateway Pundit
Blackfive
Little Green Footballs
Rantburg
Because No One Asked
Oh No, Another Conservative Blog
Who Is John Galt?
Gathering of Eagles (national)
Gathering of Eagles New York
Gathering of Eagles North Carolina
Stop the ACLU
The Foxhole
Lighthouse on the Right
Uncle Sam Ate My Baby
Down Is Up
Foreign and Domestic
WOT Daily
Serr8d’s Cutting Edge
Rochester Conservative
The Daily Blogster
I Call BS!
Macker’s World
Army Wife: Rants from Ft. Livingroom
Something should go here, maybe later
Sayyad al Wahabiyya
Nice Deb
The Bronze Blog
AZresident
Tman In Tennessee
Thunder Pig
Sith by Sithwest
OutOfTheBlue
Anti-CAIR
Marooned in Marin
Thoughts Enroute
More Weight
Anti-Strib
The Jack Knows
The Jawa Report
Ed Driscoll
Facebook group for Victory in Iraq Day
Barking Moonbat Early Warning System
Noblesse Oblige
Protein Wisdom Pub
Black & Right
Still Unbounded
The Liberty Boys
Atlanta ROFTers
Tennesseefree.com
From My Position…On the Way!
Letters to a Dying Dream
Blogs for Victory
RealChoice
EagleSpeak
HXC Christian.com
Conservative Diggs
zomblog
Erica Marceau
Pirate’s Cove
Let’s Get It Right
Psycmeister’s Ice Palace!
Cmblake6′s Weblog
What Bubba Knows
RightwingSparkle
NavyWife
Stable of Zionist Hore #2
LifeoftheMind
ahavafriend
Conservative in Seattle
Zim’s View
I Am, Therefore I Think
Patriot Missive
USS Neverdock
Dan Cirucci
The Conservative Contessa

Good News From Iraq

The craven Democrats were sooooo hoping that they could hang a horrible and humiliating U.S. defeat in Iraq, around the necks of the Republicans this Fall, but alas, (for them),

We didn’t lose?

it was just not to be:

A.) US troop deaths in Iraq from hostile action are at an all-time low.

B.) “Most people in Iraq say President Bush is a hero.”

C.) Iraqis now have time for projects like this: Iraqis Clean Up Jewish Cemetery & Cultural Landmark in Basra

D.) Even Barack (the surge won’t work) Obama says that the surge succeeded “beyond our wildest dreams”.

Woe, woe unto them!   

Now, all they have is the economy, to hang their hats on, which is usually a winning issue for Dems, when the economy looks shaky, (God only knows why), but the Republicans haven’t even started hammering them for their role in the financial crisis.

My advice to Republicans:

Talk up our victory in Iraq, and start pummeling the Dems on the economy, post haste.

Let’s get this show on the road.

UPDATE:

Rush, right now on his show,  is vehemently trying to persuade McCain to not “rise above” the partisan politics on the financial crisis. He wants the blame to be put squarely on the Dems where it belongs……NOW.

No more Mr. Nice guy.

The Dems are going to try to put the blame on McCain, somehow, and the public is clammering for the truth. NOW is the time.

NAME NAMES!

NOW!

Rush: “THIS IS WAR”!

IOC Lifts Olympic Ban On Iraqi Athletes

Unfortunately, this decision came too late to help five of the seven athletes effected by the ban:

Two Iraqi athletes will be allowed to participate in the Beijing Olympics after a last-minute pledge by the Iraqi government Tuesday not to interfere politically in the country’s Olympic movement.

-Snip-

“We look forward to seeing the Iraqi flag in Beijing,” the president of the international committee, Jacques Rogge, said in a statement.

The decision comes too late for five members of Iraq’s seven-person team, because the registration deadline for their sports has passed. The other two athletes — Dana Hussein, a sprinter, and Haider Nasir, a discus thrower — will compete in Beijing because track-and-field events have a later registration.

I wrote about the banned Iraqi athletes, here, last week. It’s really a shame that nothing can be done about the remaining five, who still can’t participate, after training so hard.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

Sad: Iraq Banned From Beijing Olympics

Seven athletes have been effected by this decision:

Athletes from Iraq have been banned from taking part at this summer’s Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has announced.

The team was already the subject of an interim ban after the Iraqi government replaced the country’s Olympic committee with its own appointees.

Under the IOC charter, all committees must be free of political influence.

As a result the team of two rowers, two sprinters, one archer, one weightlifter and one judo competitor cannot attend.

More about the dispute that lead to this unfortunate outcome, here.

Here’s a video of the hopeful and dedicated athletes training:

I can’t even imagine their disappointment. These athletes have risked their lives, training in a war zone, only to be told they can’t participate for reasons beyond their control.

Knowing What He Knows Now, Obama Would Still Not Support Surge

This is really amazing. I get the feeling that Obama is one of those guys who sees it as a sign of weakness to ever admit he’s wrong.

In an interview today with ABC, after speaking with General Petraeus, Obama credited the members of the Sunni Awakening, and Shia fighters with the success of the surge. GOP.Com reports:

Obama Told ABC’s Terry Moran That, Despite The Progress That Has Occurred In Iraq, He Would Not Have Supported The Surge. Moran: “‘[T]he surge of U.S. troops, combined with ordinary Iraqis’ rejection of both al Qaeda and Shiite extremists have transformed the country. Attacks are down more than 80% nationwide. U.S. combat casualties have plummeted, five this month so far, compared with 78 last July, and Baghdad has a pulse again.’ If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you — would you support the surge?” Obama: “No, because — keep in mind that -” Moran: “You wouldn’t?” Obama: “Well, no, keep — these kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult . Hindsight is 20/20. I think what I am absolutely convinced of is that at that time, we had to change the political debate, because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with.” Moran: “And so, when pressed, Barack Obama says he still would have opposed the surge.”

Did Obama even understand the question? Marc Ambinder Reports:

Obama said that he “did not anticipate, and I think that this is a fair characterization, the convergence of not only the surge but the Sunni awakening in which a whole host of Sunni tribal leaders decided that they had had enough with Al Qaeda, in the Shii’a community the militias standing down to some degrees. So what you had is a combination of political factors inside of Iraq that then came right at the same time as terrific work by our troops. Had those political factors not occurred, I think that my assessment would have been correct.”

Soooo, knowing what he knows now…that the Sunni Awakening, and the Shii’a militias standing down would coincide with the “terrific work of our troops”, (aka US troops kicking al Qaeda’s ass)… he still wouldn’t support the surge??????????????? Even knowing that the horrific violence would probably have skyrocketed without enough of our troops to fight the bad guys and protect the Iraqi people?

HE’D STILL NOT SUPPORT THE SURGE.

In other words…the troops played no role what-so-ever in the routing of al Qaeda, the Sunni Awakening, and the overall reduction of violence that has lead to our almost certain victory in Iraq. They were pretty much just targets for our enemies.

Wow. GAME OVER, MAN! How anyone (with a working brain) will be able to take this man seriously after this, I just don’t know,

I mean, does this make sense to anybody? Hindsight is not that difficult, unless your arrogance prevents you from ever admitting when you’re wrong.

Much more at Gateway Pundit.

UPDATE:

Some think that Obama’s “no” answer to Terry Moran’s question was a good political move. (see comments). I strongly disagree. Here’s a great piece in Commentary by Peter Wehner who agrees with me:

That Obama opposed the surge is bad enough — but that opposition was not itself irresponsible or unforgiveable. It was understandable, if in retrospect quite wrong, to believe that Iraq, caught in an apparent death spiral in the latter half of 2006, was unsalvageable. Critics of the surge argued that we were sending American troops to die in a lost cause.

It turned out that Iraq was redeemable and that the President’s strategy, brilliantly executed by General Petraeus and the American military, worked faster and better than anyone thought possible. To say that he would oppose a military plan that one day may well rank as among the best in our history is stunning. Whatever would motivate Obama to say what he did — political cowardice, willful denial, astonishing blindness to the facts, or the mindset of an ideologue — it ought to cause Americans to rethink, in the most fundamental way, whether Obama is responsible enough to be President.

I suppose it’s also now reasonable to ask Obama if he would, in hindsight, oppose the Normandy invasion. His judgment is that open to question.

He also thinks that McCain should use Obama’s “No” answer:

This must surely rank as among the most misinformed, ideological, and reckless statements by a presidential candidate in modern times. The McCain campaign should do everything they can to make Obama pay a high price for it. That one word answer, “No,” should be advertised in bright neon lights. It should become Exhibit A that Obama not only doesn’t have the “judgment to lead;” he has now supplied us with evidence that few people possess judgment as flawed as his.

UPDATE II:

…..Annnnnd McCain goes there:

“I would rather lose an election than lose a war. My opponent would rather lose a war than a political campaign.”

UPDATE III:

More on Obama and the surge from Mark Hemingway at The Corner.

UPDATE IV:

Now he’s gone and told an incredulous Katie Couric that the money we spent in Iraq to fund the troop surge would have been better spent in Afghanistan. That’s why he would still oppose the troop surge, today.

In Obama’s opinion, all of the soldiers’ lives that have been lost in Iraq have been wasted.

UPDATE V:

From ThreatsWatch via Dave In Texas:

Presidential Candidate Obama’s statements in and about Iraq in the past 24 hours have been nothing less than shameless and disgraceful. While we strive to avoid political discussion at ThreatsWatch, criticism of his words transcends rank political partisanship if for no other reason than his claims are simply and flatly untrue, made in a war zone, during a time of war and while running to become the Commander in Chief of US Military Forces. This simply cannot stand unchallenged.

Not only does Senator Obama apparently think the Anbar Awakening and the Shi’a militia stand-downs that have occurred are somehow separate developments from the surge, which is a remarkable feat of logic in and of itself, but he is implying that they are part and parcel indigenous to what his ‘plan’ for ‘political progress’ would have afforded.

Continue reading at ThreatsWatch.

UPDATE VI:

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