Saturday, November 22, 2003
But seriously, folks. Bush scored far better than many in the chattering classes had hoped. What is sad, of course, is that he could not be greeted as I believe he deserved to be. You don't win many plaudits these days among the Moderns for having liberated two countries and having given their populations a chance at something better than licking the boot of a fascist strongman or a religious nut. David Frum laments the limited contact that Britain had with the President in today's Sunday Telegraph.
George Bush is the guy who is responsible for Iraqis not having to be fed feet first into a plastic shredder by Uday, and the best that all too many Brits can do is to treat him with contempt, and slight regard. Oh, they did do him the honor of toppling a papier mache statue of him, in a riff on the toppling of Saddam's statue last April.
But Frum suspects, as do I, that we will be successful in Iraq in the long run, and opportunity to thank Bush will come later.
Mansour Ijaz believes that we have spotted bin Laden in Iran, under Iranian protection. I don't believe it. It's against Usama's M.O.. Bin Laden would never place himself under the control of a strong central government. The Iranian government that hosted him today could arrest him and Ayman Al-Zawahiri tomorrow and call up the Americans to invite them into the bazaar. Bin Laden only goes where states are weak, as in Sudan, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan's Northwestern Frontier States, where the Islamabad's writ runs weakest. Nope, he's in Pakistan.
As for the Democrats? The base vote, having been wrapped up by Dean, continues to lose any enthusiasm for the larger war on terror. I strongly suspect that both bin Laden and Bush figured that the Democrats were the weak link, and would begin to wilt once the casualties started coming in. Dean is running as the Antiwar Candidate (ignore his recent butchman statements on staying the course) because he has divined that that is where the base vote wants him to be.
Bin Laden has the easier task: he merely needs to kill as many Democrats (and Republicans, with an emphasis on killing Jews of both stripes) as possible. Bush has the harder task: he needs to convince the bulk of the moderate middle of the Democratic Party that the war on terror must be fought and won by any means necessary. A lot of the Democratic leadership and intellectual classes that haven't gone head over heels for Dean (such as the editorial staff of The New Republic) understands what's at stake. Too many Democrats are trying to rush for the exits, however. What that crowd doesn't understand is that there is no exit.
As for Dean, he figures to veer right once the nomination has been wrapped up. Too bad that Bush won't let him; the Republicans have already started rolling out ads in Iowa to interfere with the background noise of the Democratic campaign there.
Friday, November 21, 2003
Head's up courtesy of Glenn Reynold's at Instapundit.
Thursday, November 20, 2003
....in the pending arrest of Michael Jackson.
No, really, I'm wondering how The Gloved One works out in the general prison population.
Meantime, Bush gave a bang-up defense of the War on Terrorism yesterday at the Banquethall in London. For a transcript, go to the White House website here.
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
...from Andrew Sullivan in last Sunday's Sunday Times. The link takes you to Andrew's website, at which the article is reproduced for publication. Read it, and continue to hold the international antiwar left in the contempt and slight regard they so richly deserve.
Meanwhile, in domestic hijinks, it appears that a Democratic Staffer on the Judiciary Committee has a conscience. The entire archive of the Democratic Caucus of the Senate Judiciary Committee was leaked up to April of 2003. Democrats are hot and bothered, going on about the leak itself instead of the contents of the leaked documents. The contents make the Senate Democrats look as if they are the craven errand boys for the monied left (groups such as NARAL, People for the American Way, and assorted Unions). Here's a link to some of the good stuff. Be warned, the memos at the CFJ site are in .pdf format.
As a state visit, this trip appears to be less political than it is ceremonial. Although the President and Prime Minister Tony Blair will endeavor to get much business done, on Iraq as well as on other aspects of the War.
But the ceremonial aspects of the visit never stopped the Idiotarians of the British Left. Yup, as if on cue, several hundred thousand Labourites, Trades Unionists, Anarchists, Muslims, Muslim Terrorist sympathizers, and other Che Guevara t-shirt wearing idiotarians will take to the streets to protest the President's visit in particular, and the existence of Christendom in general. One idiotarian, Kate Allen of UK Amnesty International, argues in today's Daily Mirror that Bush has made the world less safe than before the war began. It's worth the click to.
Meantime, in the same fishwrapper, Brian Reade satirizes Dubya in an "interview" that hews to all the old lefty stereotypes.
Naturally, for a more balanced view from Britain, go to Matt Drudge and click on the links to the main UK papers, such as The Times, the Daily Telegraph, or the Daily Mail. To get the Left side of the ledger, go the the Guardian and the Independent websites; Matt has links to them as well.
Finally, as George and Laura journey to the UK, the Lord Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone (aka, "Red Ken") has chosen to roll out the welcome mat for the Bushes. Take this passage from our friends at The Independent:
Mr Livingstone recalled a visit at Easter to California, where he was denounced for an attack he had made on what he called "the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years". He said: "Some US journalist came up to me and said: 'How can you say this about President Bush?' Well, I think what I said then was quite mild. I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction."
I had no idea George W. Bush ordered the Luftwaffe to bomb London, sent the Jews to the Ovens, or conducted the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Boy, for a Dumb Guy from Texas, Bush sure gets around.
To be an Idiotarian means never having to say you're sorry. Or sentient, for that matter.
Meantime, the debate over the Douglas Feith memo about Iraq's connections with Al Qaeda continue. Liberals endeavor to fight a rearguard action, in the hopes that a Defense Department "non-denial denial" will kill the whole story. It's as if Liberals do not want to find out what really happened between Saddam and bin Laden. Of course they don't. Liberal Democrats have a huge psychological investment in their version of reality. The fact that the data points present in the Feith memo correspond to the hunches and suspicions of most of the voting populace in this country is enough to drive any liberal chatterer to the closest bottle of Stoli.
Or latte, in the case of the libs.
Finally, in LT Smash country, Citizen Smash has a new governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ahnuld, Ahnuld's wife Mahreeah, and the four kindern took the oath of office yesterday in a modest, subdued inaugural. Arnold's first act was to sign an Executive Order that repealed the increase in the dreaded Car Tax. Further, he signaled that he was going to be an activist, hands-on governor by calling a Special Session of the Legislature to consider repealing the new license law, reforming workmen's compensation rules, and reining in the state budget.
One doesn't quite take it all in until one sees the new State of California Website. Take a look.
Sunday, November 16, 2003
While not having quite the cachet as, say, Bob Avakian and the Birkenstock Boys over at the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Nigerian scammers have made quite a name for themselves over the past three years. The term "4-1-9" is derived from that section of the Nigerian Criminal Code that pertains to fraudulent activities.
Now you've all received a bit of Nigerian scam mail from time to time. Usually, the mark is told that 45 million dollars (U.S.), or thereabouts, needs to be laundered. It just so happens that the rube who opened up the e-mail has been picked to receive a ten percent fee for helping to launder the money. However, the mark is required to send a "processing fee" or "good faith money" to open an account, pay off an African strongman, or have the local gendarmerie look the other way. That's where the scammers make their money. It's a huge, huge business.
I've received several e-mails in question, all from the wives of deceased African strongmen: Laurent Kabila's wife, Jonas Savimbi's wife, Mme. Mobutu Sese-seko, and a relative of the late Jomo Kenyatta. All of them have hundreds of millions of dollars that need to be hidden from the prying eyes of the Secret Police or saved from the clutches of the Christian Children's Fund.
However, 4-1-9 has become great sport for Westerners tired of being preyed upon by greedy Nigerians. So, a game of "Scam the Scammer" has been taking the internet by storm, the object of which is to sucker the Nigerian scammer into sending you money to assist you in sending him his processing fee.
I highly recommend Scam-O-Rama as an introduction to the competitive sport of Nigerian Scammer Hunting. There you can read several "counter-scam" letters. Pay close attention to the attention given one Nigerian scammer by Princess Margaret. And do have fun.