Wednesday, December 07, 2005


You gotta love the Democrats. A mainstream media blackout on good news from Iraq, coupled with the Bushies' unspeakable bungling of the information war, turns the national mood bitter and skeptical about the whole Iraq enterprise. Poised to make hay of the President's plummeting popularity as we move into the 2006 election cycle, the Democrats find the one fresh cowpie in the political football field and leap into it with both feet. Then they hit the turf and roll in it.

The irresistible cowpie is the Bush-bashing reflex brought on by full-scale Bush Derangement Syndrome. Between the previously (and deservedly) obscure Congressman Murtha, the saucer-eyed California legislatrixes Pelosi and Boxer, the hair-trigger-tongued Dr. FrankenDean of the DNC, and the Most Unappealing Democratic Presidential Candidate in Living Memory John François Kerry, the public face of the Democratic Party has been a freakish gargoyle of incoherent excess.

Never has any group of political partisans put so immense an effort into ending the career of a politician whose career is coming to its natural end anyway. In recent months the political left has so relished the thought that Bush couldn't win an election against a three-legged tortoise, they have forgotten that Bush isn't, and won't be, running for anything. If they have, in the deep recesses of their consciousness, a glimmer of recognition of this fact, it is clouded over by the fantasy that perhaps they can end his career early by arranging for impeachment, for the "high crime" of -------> not bowing to the wisdom of the Democratic party, the Hollywood left, and the sanctimonious MSM.

Someone please call in the grown-ups to tell these people that not taking their advice is not an indictable offense. Nor does bringing down the President mean that they get to move into his office. (Dick Cheney and several other Republicans are in line ahead of them. And killing the princes in the Tower is not only a bad idea, it doesn't put you on the throne.)

At last, the Bush administration has decided that the news they have been keeping under wraps, to be released only on a "need-to-know" basis, is in fact something that the American people need to know. They have made a start at counter-measures against the storm surge of nonsense that has been flooding the public forum from their political opponents. They have touched on key points, and obtusely ignored others. As usual, the correctives are being best expressed by people not within the administration.

Item one:

It's a lie to say that the President lied to the American people. (Senator John McCain, CBS Face the Nation, November 13, 2005)

Item two:

In a week's time, Iraqis will participate in the most open political contest in the history of the Middle East. They're building the freest society in the region, and the only truly federal system. In three-quarters of the country, life has never been better. There's an economic boom in the Shia south and a tourist boom in the Kurdish north, and, while the only thing going boom in the Sunni Triangle are the suicide bombers, there were fewer of those in November than in the previous seven months.

Meanwhile, Iraq's experiment in Arab liberty has had ripple effects beyond its borders, pushing the Syrians most of the way out of Lebanon, and in Syria itself significantly weakening Baby Assad's regime. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who's spent years as a beleaguered democracy advocate in Egypt, told the Washington Post's Jim Hoagland the other day that, although he'd opposed the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, he had to admit it had "unfrozen the Middle East... Look, neither Napoleon nor President Bush could impregnate the region with political change. But they were able to be the midwives."

Toppling Saddam was worth doing in and of itself. Toppling Saddam and trying to "midwife" (in Ibrahim's word) a free society would be worth doing even if it failed. But, as it happens, I don't believe it will fail, not just because of Bush but because enough Iraqis — Shia, Kurds and even significant numbers of Sunnis — are determined not to let it fail. (Mark Steyn, Chicago Sun-Times, December 5)

Item three:

The testimony out of the Saddam trial is really big — I mean, the witnesses are laying it all out, what Saddam and his accomplices did. Human experience does not get more depraved than this.

Do you have a sense that the world cares much? (And by "world," we often mean the media, and other elites.) I have a sense that it does not — because this testimony is a distraction (or would be a distraction) from the accepted narrative: bad, lying America, imposing itself where it has no business.

This should be the Iraqis' moment in the sun: the chance when they finally get to tell their story, after decades of the worst suffering. Instead, it's all Valerie Plame, 16 words, an American female interrogator rubbing — or not rubbing — her breasts against a detainee, blah, blah, blah.


Remember this, friends, and you've long known it: Iraqi suffering doesn't count, because that might mean that Bush & Co. weren't so wrong to remove that regime. (Jay Nordlinger -- Impromptus, National Review Online December 7)

Item four:

Progress is visible and practical...It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making.

We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again...

In the face of terrorist threats and escalating violence, eight million Iraqis voted for their interim national government in January, almost 10 million participated in the referendum on their new constitution in October, and even more than that are expected to vote in the elections for a full-term government on Dec. 15. Every time the 27 million Iraqis have been given the chance since Saddam was overthrown, they have voted for self-government and hope over the violence and hatred the 10,000 terrorists offer them... None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S...

I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead.

Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. (Senator Joe Lieberman, D Conn., Wall Street Journal,November 29)

And lest we forget, Item five:

We have been sleepwalking through the greatest revolutionary movement in the history of the Middle East, as the U.S. military is quietly empowering the once-despised Kurds and Shiites — and along with them women and the other formerly dispossessed of Iraq. In short, the U.S. Marine Corps has done more for global freedom and social justice in two years than has every U.N. peacekeeping mission since the inception of that now-corrupt organization.
(Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online October 28)

A quaint reminder:

The kind of "wisdom" the President has refused to heed:

"The heart of the challenge all comes back to security. We're not going to have successful elections, we won't have a growing Iraqi economy, we won't have stability there without security."
(Senator Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, CNN Late Edition, December 19, 2004
-- Memo to Senator Bayh: Hand-over of power to Iraqi officials, Iraqi elections, Iraqi Constitution-- all breathtakingly successful, and achieved exactly on schedule, with a punctuality that would be the envy of most American airports.)

R.I.P. -- The English Language

George W. Bush has been accused (deservedly) of doing murder upon the English language from time to time, but the last people in the world who could justifiably point a finger at him in the past week have been the prominent Democrats (listed in paragraph two above) who have tried to convince the public that words don't mean what they mean, and that they didn't say the stupid thing we heard them say with our own ears.

These crimes against language are pernicious. Other word crimes are just comic relief.

I don't know if Barbra Streisand writes her own copy for her personal website or pays someone else to do it for her-- in either case, she deserves to be busted by the diction police. It's painful, but only because there are people who think she has anything intelligent (or intelligible) to say. The full text of her letter to the Los Angeles Times contains the following gems of purple prose for which a high school sophomore should be soundly flogged [my editorial shots in italics]:

I'm almost embarrassed for you in seeing the LA Times being referred to as the "Chicago LA Times" on the myriad of internet sites I've visited in the last few days. [When in doubt about the word "myriad" -- and Ms. Streisand should be-- substitute the word "countless" and see if it works. It don't.] It seems, however, an aptly designated epithet [is that the epithet who gets the car-keys because all the other epithets are too drunk to drive?], representing the feeling among many of your readers that your new leadership, especially that of Jeff Johnson, is entirely out of touch with them and their desire to be exposed to views that stretch them beyond their own paradigms. [I guess we're naked and craning our necks, and you know how painful that can be, especially in the ablative absolute.] firing Robert Sheer and putting Jonah Goldberg in his place, the gamut of voices has undeniably been diluted... [Last time my gamut was diluted, my guitar warped.]

In light of the obvious step away from the principals of journalistic integrity... [Chances are you'll step right into the Vice-Principals, and they're usually BIG trouble.]

Robert Scheer's column, with its often singular voice of dissent and groundbreaking expositional content, [That expositional stuff is great, but everything falls apart when you get to the second paragraph...] has been among the most notable features that have sustained my interest in subscribing to the LA Times.

My greatest fear is that the underlying reason for Mr. Scheer's termination is part of a larger trend toward the corporatization of our media [I dare Ms. B.S. to find one single tiny, independent, revolutionary publisher in 2005 which has not been incorporated under State and Federal tax law], a trend that we, as American citizens, must fervently battle for the sake of our swiftly diminishing free press.

[I don't have any grammatical quibble with this last statement, I'm just sickened that such an elitist estate-owning cow, who lives like the Sultan of Brunei, has the gall to use words like this, as if she had any idea whatever about what it means to live in a country without a free press-- it's an insult to every genuinely oppressed people on earth, and if they weren't too dehydrated they might be tempted to spit on her.]