Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Churchill Series - Nov. 12, 2005

(One of a series of daily posts about Winston S. Churchill.)

Concerning the evening of May 10, 1940 historian Martin Gilbert has recorded:

That night the King wrote in his diary, "I asked Chamberlain his advice, & he told me Winston was the man to send for."

In the early evening of May 10, Churchill went to Buckingham Palace. "I suppose you don't know why I have sent for you?" the King asked with a smile.

"Sir, I simply can't imagine why," was Churchill's reply.

The King laughed, then said to Churchill, "I want to ask you to form a Government."
While Churchill was talking to the King, his son Randolph, in his Army camp, was given a message asking him to telephone Admiralty House. He was put through to one of his father's Private Secretaries, whose massage was brief, "only to say that your father has gone to the Palace and what he comes back he will be Prime Minister."
Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (p. 642-3)

Two posts at Confederate Yankee

I'm linking to two Confederate Yankee posts and have a few things to say about each.

The first is Crow. The Other White Meat.

In it Confederate Yankee Bob shreds the claims made by journalist Peter Popham in the left-wing British paper, The Independent, that the US military used white phosphorous as a chemical weapon against civilians during the battle of Fallujah.

Relying on expert information, Bob provides a step-by-step refutation of Popham false claims. Along the way, Bob acknowledges an error he'd made in a previous post that an expert called to his attention.

The error didn't change the fact that Popham was delivering a package of falsehoods but Bob wanted his readers to know about his mistake (Too bad most of MSM isn't that way.).

By the time Bob finishes with him, Popham's in the same shape Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, and CBS were when we learned the anonymous document source they said was "unimpeachable," was really long-time Bush-hater and Democratic Party activist Bill Burkett.

Bob's second post, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, concerns a civil suit the family of Wake County Sheriff's Investigator Mark Tucker, killed in the line of duty in February, 2004, has brought against the shop that sold the gun used to kill Tucker. The man who bought the gun later turned it over to Tucker's killer.

The anti-gun Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has filed the suit on the family's behalf.

Bob is very sympathetic toward the family. But he has major concerns with some of the statements the Brady Center has made concerning the circumstances in which the gun was sold. He makes a case that some of what the Brady Center is saying is false.

I don't have a problem with reasonable gun purchase laws. They must be vigorously enforced and shop owners who violate them should be subject to both criminal and civil penalties.

But a well-funded lobbying group like the Brady Center also has a responsibility to follow the law. That means in court suits, they can't say things that aren't true.

Take a look at Bob's Lawyers, Guns, and Money post. See if you think the Brady Center is following the law.

You want my vote? Then protect it.

(Welcome visitors from Mudville Gazette open post.)

David Boyd mentions that Mr. C. at Peer Review is teaming with another blogger to develop a set of proposals for Republicans to use in ‘06; much the way the Rs in 1994 used the Contract with America to get their message across and beat the Democrats.

Mr. C. says:

"(my) premise is the GOP has lost sight of the original tenets of the Contract and the democrats are supposed to put one out next year.
I will be posting (some ideas) but if any of my more conservative, or Republican, readers would like to contribute an idea then pass it on.
If Mr. C. will also accept ideas from independents, here's something I'd like to see in the contract: A pledge to put in place a strong vote protection plan.

Every time someone votes illegally through false identification, fraudulent registration or multiple voting they're attacking the foundation of democracy. Such people and the groups that support them are vote thieves who deserve punishment.

I hope both major parties can agree that ensuring fair and honest elections is really an important civil rights issue. As John Fund, who's written extensively on vote fraud, has said:
when voters are disfranchised by the counting of improperly cast ballots or outright fraud, their civil rights are violated just as surely as if they were prevented from voting.
If only one party strongly supports vote protection, at election time I'll be looking favorably at that party.

I like merchants who ask for identification when I use my credit cards. They're protecting my money. Our votes need to be protected even more aggressively. If that doesn't happen, we won't have democracy.

BTW - David offers an interesting set of suggestions for the proposed contract.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Churchill Series - Nov. 11, 2005

(One of a series of daily posts about Winston S. Churchill.)

In November 1918 Churchill, then Minister of Munitions in Prime Minister Lloyd George's government, was privy to negotiations for the armistice that would end the fighting in World War I.

On the eleventh of that November, Churchill knew what the British public was learning: The armistice would take effect at the day's eleventh hour.

Churchill's biographer, Martin Gilbert, reports that a few minutes before the hour Churchill stood looking from his office window onto Trafalgar Square, and would later write that as the first stroke of eleven o'clock rang out:

I looked again at the broad street beneath me. It was deserted. From the portals of one of the large hotels absorbed by Government departments darted the slight figure of a girl clerk, distractingly gesticulating while another stroke of Big Ben resounded. Then from all sides men and women came scurrying into the street. Streams of people pouring out of buildings.
Within Churchill's own department "everyone rose from the desk and cast aside pen and paper."

People celebrated throughout the day and into the night.

That evening, Lloyd George invited Churchill and two other colleagues to dine with him. The Prime Minister said he wanted the Kaiser shot; Churchill opposed the idea. "The struggles of war were over," Gilbert writes. "The conflicts of peace had begun."
Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (p. 401)

See how they lie about the President

(Welcome visitors from Mudville Gazette open post. )

At Betsy's Page she says:

If you haven't yet read Norman Podhoretz's column debunking the idea that George Bush lied us into war, head on over and read it this instant.
David Boyd provides a sample of Podhoretz's debunking:
But it is as close to certainty as we can get that Bush believed in the truth of what he was saying about WMD in Iraq.

How indeed could it have been otherwise? George Tenet, his own CIA director, assured him that the case was "a slam dunk." This phrase would later become notorious, but in using it, Tenet had the backing of all fifteen agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. In the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, one of the conclusions offered with "high confidence" was that:
Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.
The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel, and-yes-France all agreed with this judgment.
After you go to Podhoretz here, be sure to take another look at Betsy's Page and David Boyd.

Update: 11/14/2005

The morning Michelle Malkin posts: THE END OF THE "BUSH LIED" LIE. She notes Bush and others are attacking the lies told about the President and says "It's about damned time."
She links to others who offer plenty of facts to refute the "Bush lied" crowd.

Veterans Day Tribute

On June 7, 1944 war correspondent Ernie Pyle was on Omaha Beach. He wrote a column for the folks back home:

In this column I want to tell you what the opening of the second front in this one sector entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you.
Throughout our history, America's military has protected and preserved the nation. It's brought freedom and security to hundreds of millions of people outside our borders. Without the American military, this world would soon witness the triumph of evil and the beginning of what Churchill warned would be "a new dark age made more sinister by the light of perverted science."

Pyle had it right. We should know, appreciate and be forever humbly grateful to our veterans and current serving forces, and to their families.

Glenn Reynolds & Instapundit: A great combo.

Glenn Reynolds and Instapundit are a great combo. They work together to put up posts like this:

JORDANIANS TO ZARQAWI: "Burn in Hell." Sounds good to me.

He's not much at winning friends, but he sure has managed to influence a lot of people.

I hope Reynolds and Instapundit stay together for a long time. I'd just hate to ever read anything about "irreconcilable differences."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Churchill Series - Nov. 10, 2005

(One of a series of daily posts about Winston S. Churchill.)

On May 28, 1940, facing an overwhelming German forces, Belgium surrendered and the French army in northwestern Europe retreated toward Paris. As a result, the Germans were able to surround and force back upon the sea almost a third of a million British troops.

The British organized a defensive line around a small seaport called Dunkirk. It seemed certain that within a matter of days they would be annihilated or taken prisoner.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, extraordinary courage, ingenuity and sacrifice made possible something we’ve come to call “the miracle of Dunkirk”: The great bulk of the British force was safely evacuated back to England to fight on other days.

But on May 28 no one, including Churchill, foresaw “the miracle.” People rightly feared that France would soon seek terms with Germany leaving Britain and the Commonwealth to make with Hitler what terms they could or to fight on alone.

And so it was in those circumstances that Churchill issued this “general injunction” to his government colleagues:

(Strictly confidential.)

In these dark days the Prime Minister would be grateful if all his colleagues in the Government, as well as important officials, would maintain a high morale in their circles; not minimizing the gravity of events, but showing confidence in our ability and inflexible resolve to continue the war till we have broken the will of the enemy to bring all Europe under his domination.

No tolerance should be given to the idea that France will make a separate peace; but whatever may happen on the Continent, we cannot doubt our duty, and we shall certainly use all our power to defend the Island, the Empire, and the Cause.
Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: Their Finest Hour. (p. 91)

Thank you, Marines

(Welcome visitors from Mudville Gazette open post. )

Today is the 230th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps.

I don't have words to properly express what I and my family owe the Marines.

I'll just say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Today, the U.S. Postal Service is issuing Distinguished Marines stamps honoring Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, Sgt. Maj. Daniel "Dan" Joseph Daly, Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune and Lt. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller.

We can all get some idea of what the nation owes the Marines from reading brief descriptions of the some the service of the Marines honored on the stamps.

Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone

Basilone received the Medal of Honor during World War II for holding 3,000 Japanese soldiers at bay for 72 hours at Guadalcanal. He also destroyed a Japanese gun emplacement at Iwo Jima and was killed there during battle. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart.

Sgt. Maj. Daniel 'Dan' Joseph Daly

Daly received the Medal of Honor twice: in 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, and in 1915, when Marines were deployed to Haiti to protect American lives in the wake of an anti-government uprising.

Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune

The first Marine general to command an Army division in combat during World War I, Lejeune is credited with saving the Marine Corps from budget cuts and consolidations after the war and establishing Marine Corps institutions and traditions.

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. 'Chesty' Puller

Puller was a commander in World War II and Korea. He is the only Leatherneck to win the Navy Cross five times for heroism and gallantry. He received 14 personal decorations in combat, five Navy Crosses, one Army Distinguished Service Cross and several campaign medals, unit citation ribbons and other awards.

(Go here to see color photos of the stamps.)

You can visit the USMC official site here. It may take a few minutes to load up today. I'll bet they're getting a lot of visits. Great!

Here are links to our 3 major Marine bases in North Carolina:

Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point

Marine Corps Air Station New River

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Once more: Thank you, Marines.

Raleigh's News & Observer gives and withholds

Raleigh News & Observer columnist Barry Saunders recently told readers:

(William) Bennett, formerly U.S. education secretary and drug czar, among other things, is now a rightwing radio gabber who has become Public Enema No. 1 among the nation's black residents.

His offense? He opined on his broadcast "if you wanted to reduce crime ... if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."
Saunders didn’t tell N&O readers that Bennett immediately followed that sentence with this one:
"That would be an impossible, ridiculous, morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down."
Bennett used a grossly insensitive hypothetical. He was stupid but he wasn't making a racist statement as his immediate description of his hypothetical as "morally reprehensible" makes clear.

Now about Saunders, who writes for a paper that advertises itself as fair and accurate?

Was Saunders fair and accurate when he gave readers only the first sentence of Bennett's remark and withheld from them Bennett's immediate rejection of the hypothetical as "impossible, ridiculous, (and) morally reprehensible?"

According to an extensive comment N&O executive editor for news Melanie Sill made on the thread of her blog post, Columnists: Viewpoints or Bias?, news section columnists such as Saunders:
"are held to the same standards as news reporters in terms of ethics, news gathering and so forth. They could be fired for the same reasons reporters could be fired -- violating N&O standards in any of a variety of areas, ranging from plagiarism to professional behavior lapses.
We edit our columnists, not so much to regulate or guide their opinions as to reinforce overall N&O standards. The editing process has much in common with that used for editing other stories, focusing on whether things are clear, written well, fair and so forth. The columnists have broad license -- their photo and name are on the column -- but they represent the paper even as they voice their opinions, so they're not unsupervised.
Sill has a post up in which she invites reader comments. I'm going to leave a comment there linking to this post and telling Sill I'll publish in full at JinC any response she makes.

Many people say what Saunders did is not a problem at The N&O.

Let's wait to hear what Sill says.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Churchill Series - Nov. 9, 2005

(One of a series of daily posts about Winston S. Churchill.)

To date, every post in The Churchill Series has cited a source for comments, sentiments and actions attrubuted to Churchill.

This post is different. It relies on “open sourcing” (you) for confirmation or rejection of three remarks that have long been attributed to Churchill, but for which I can’t find confirmation in a reliable source.

Here they are:

To a young mother who told him she and her husband agreed their baby looked like him: “Madam, all babies look like me.”

To the child of a member of his staff who interrupted him in the library at Chartwell, and asked whether he was the greatest man in the world: “Of course, now buzz off.”

And to the beautiful young woman across the table at an Edwardian dinner party: “We are all of us worms; but I do believe I’m a glowworm.”

Please, let’s hear from you.

Or as WSC would put it: “Pray reply by earliest post.”

What most MSM isn't telling us about France

(Welcome visitors from Mudville Gazette and Don Surber open posts. )

Does most MSM news reporting from France sound right to you? Riots without rioters? Police shot at and schools burnt by “youths without hope?”

If your nodding yes, you won’t like what Nidra Poller is reporting. She’s telling important truths that the Left on both sides of the Atlantic want us to ignore. And if we do, we'll be helping make a dangerous situation much more dangerous:

Until now, the angry Muslim men who constitute the bulk of the rioters have been allowed to masquerade as victims. It is a common refrain that these second- and third-generation North African immigrants have been marginalized by a racist French society. But much of what goes under the name of harassment is simply the half-hearted intrusion of the forces of order into territories that have been conquered by another system of values. In Muslim ghettoes, pimping, drug dealing, theft, terrorism and Islamic law mix and match. The block of working-class suburbs, or banlieues, in the Seine St-Denis region outside Paris, is especially lawless.

These areas are hardly dismal, dilapidated hellholes. Most of the housing and infrastructure is decent. Those who wish to pursue clean, honest lives have plenty of opportunities to do so. The insurrection spreading through France cannot be understood through the traditional Marxist prism of poverty, unemployment and discrimination. These problems exist in all nations. What is different in France's Muslim ghettoes is a tradition of hate and xenophobia, one which the state has until now either ignored or encouraged.

In June, 2004, a huge demonstration was staged in Paris to protest the arrival of U.S. President George W. Bush, who made a brief visit to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Posters depicted Bush as the world's worst terrorist. By my first-hand observation, roughly one-third of the marchers came from hard-left parties and organizations: communists, socialists and ecologists, labour unions and wilted flower people. Another third were militant Muslims, many of them with checkered kaffiyehs. The other third were raunchy nihilists high on drugs and beer, marching with pitbulls and Rottweilers, calling for death and destruction. They painted graffiti on lowered store shutters and bus stop shelters, promising "a Paris comme a Falluja la guerilla vaincra" (In Paris as in Falluja, guerrilla warfare will triumph).

The same media that are now tallying up the number of cars torched and lecturing Sarkozy on the virtues of tolerance didn't seem much put out by such displays. The hard words were aimed at Bush, after all -- so the hatred expressed was seen as unremarkable, even admirable.

In the same way, much of France ignored the cries of "death to the Jews" that went up in the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that began in 2000, and which eventually blended in with the anti-war demonstrations of 2003. Incendiary, sometimes bloodthirsty slogans against Israel and the United States became commonplace.

For five years, resentful French Muslims have been fed a steady diet of romanticized violence -- jihad-intifada in Israel, jihad-insurgency in Iraq, jihad-insurgency in Afghanistan. When they started firebombing synagogues and beating up Jews in the fall of 2000, the media dutifully reported that these thugs were products of the "frustration" felt in regard to the treatments of Muslims in the Middle East and Central Asia. France's own government was full of hectoring words for the Americans, after all. The protesters were very much on message.

In elite French society, the enemy was clearly identified: not Islamism or Islamofascism, not the stewing mobs in the Paris suburbs, not Saddam Hussein, not al-Qaeda, but the British and U.S. troops in Iraq.
Perhaps some of the journalists, political scientists, intellectuals and public officials who've been peddling this merchandise meant it to remain an abstract ideological diversion. France is a long way from Iraq, after all. But now that the militancy is being turned on the French state itself, they are suddenly shocked.
They might all have known that this is the terrible price to be paid for turning a blind eye to those who preach violent resistance.
The poisonous social and political culture and distortions of religion Poller describes exist not only in France. They exist here, also.

Have those French politicians and journalists who see "British and U.S. troops in Iraq" as the enemy said anything more critical of our troops than Senators Kennedy, Durbin and other Democrats, liberals and leftists?

Didn't Howard Dean, in a presidential nomination debate, refer to America's President as "the enemy?"

In Fahrenheit 911, Michael Moore cast President Bush as responsible for 911. So do French communists and Muslim fundamentalists. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Moore was seated next to former President Carter in The Honor Box.

This July, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) overwhelmingly endorsed economic divestment from Israel, the only country in the world against which the Presbyterian Church (USA) supports divestment.

Given what we face, what can the average American do?

A letter or call to your newspaper editor could help. Ask why much of MSM calls those who advocate or excuse violence against American and allied troops in Iraq and against Israel are "peace activists."

Why are people advocating an immediate withdrawel of our troops from Iraq called "peace advocates" when everyone acknowledges that such a withdrawel will lead to civil war and an increase in the strength of Muslim terrorists. Aren't the "peace advocates" really "civil war advocates" and "terrorist supporters?"

Ask the editor how neo-Nazi skinheads MSM rightly condemn differ from the Hamas terrorists MSM often treat sympathetically. Both groups hate Jews and preach violence against them. Both deny the Holocaust. Both want Israel destroyed. Both groups should be condemned.

Are you a Democrat or do you have friends who are? It's time Democrats reconsidered the people they elect and honor? How did the party of FDR, Harry Truman, and John Kennedy become what the Democratic Party is today?

If you know a Presbyterian minister, ask him or her why only Israel is on the church's divestment list. What about Syria? Or Sudan? Or Zimbabwe?

I could go on, but this is enough for now.

We have a great country. Let's act in ways that will help us protect and preserve it.

As Churchill was fond of saying: "Action this day."

Call that editor. Write that letter. Question that minister. Be heard.

Hat Tip: Best of the Web.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Churchill Series - Nov. 8, 2005

(One of a series of daily posts about Winston S. Churchill.)

For most of World War II, a battle for Britain's survival raged in the North Atlantic. German U-boats sought to destroy the convoys that were Britain's lifeline while British, Canadian, and later American, ships and planes sought to sink the U-boats.

During the early Winter of 1940,Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty in Chamberlain's government, spoke to the nation. Ted Morgan, an FDR biographer, tells us of the impression Churchill made on a government colleague who until then had doubted Churchill could lead the nation:

One evening, Lord Normanbrook, who was private secretary to the home secretary, turned on the radio and heard the voice that would become so familiar say:"The Royal Navy has immediately attacked the U-boats and in hunting them night and day - I will not say without mercy, because God forbid we should ever part company with that - but at any rate with zeal, and not altogether without relish!" The word "relish, " so unexpected as if he was actually enjoying the job, convinced Normanbrook that Churchill was the man needed to prosecute the war.
Ted Morgan, FDR: A Biography. (p. 521)

Drivers be careful

Driving home this afternoon, I spotted a car with a bumper sticker:

What peace, I wondered.

Was it the peace Americans could have had if we had all agreed with the odious Dred Scott decision that a certain category of human beings were really property?

Or was it the peace Hitler prepared in 1940 to offer Great Britain and the Commonwealth if they would lay down their arms?

Perhaps a future peace was meant: The one Hamas assures us will follow once the "Zionist entity" is driven into the sea.

We can't be sure, can we?

Let's hope the next time I see that bumper, there's more information on it.

It there is, I'll pass along whatever it says.

Meanwhile, be careful. You don't know who's on the road these days.

What should we expect from Muslims?

(Welcome to visitors from Mudville Gazette open post. )

Betsy Newmark is one of my favorite bloggers. Why? Well, just read this post which she begins:

Jeff Jacoby has some thoughts for Prince Charles and his concern that we're being too intolerant of the Muslim culture. Jacoby thinks that we're being too tolerant and are not doing enough to hold Muslims to account for those in their midst who espouse violence of any type.
Then from Jacoby's column, Betsy provides this:
Of course, it goes without saying that most Muslims are not terrorists. Of course many people professing Islam are compassionate and generous. Of course Islam should not be gratuitously insulted. But neither should it be sugar-coated or kowtowed to. Yet too many Western elites are unwilling to speak plainly about the problems within Islam itself, or to hold Muslim culture to what should be universal standards of decency and justice. Far from being "too confrontational" in their attitude toward Islam, they have been too indulgent and deferential, careful never to say anything that might be deemed insensitive. One result has been an increase in extremist behavior: Witness the violent "Eurofada" raging in the streets of Paris.

We do Muslims no favors by excusing attitudes or practices that ought always to be deemed inexcusable. In Australia's Victoria state, the Herald Sun reported recently, police have been issued a "religious diversity handbook" that advises them "to treat Muslim domestic violence cases differently out of respect for Islamic traditions and habits." The Australian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau printed 50,000 copies of the handbook, which provides guidelines for modifying police procedures to accommodate minority sensibilities.

And Muslim wife-beaters should be treated with kid gloves, in deference to Islamic norms. "In incidents such as domestic violence," the handbook instructs, "police need to have an understanding of the traditions, ways of life, and habits of Muslims."

Could anything more perfectly capture the moral bankruptcy of multicultural relativism? The Koran may tolerate wife-beating (Sura 4:34: "As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to bed apart and beat them"), but why on earth should Australia tolerate it?

"All Muslim husbands are not wife-beaters," remarks Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islam, "and it is condescending and irresponsible . . . to give those who are a free pass, instead of denouncing the practice unequivocally and calling upon Muslim men to heed the better angels of their nature." In much the same way, he says, the West's unwillingness to "confront the elements of Islam that jihad terrorists use to justify violence, for fear of offending moderate Muslims," ends up undercutting the ability of those very moderates to demand reform from within.
Now Betsy's comment:
Are Betsy and Jacoby right about Prince Charles and lots of others who excuse unacceptable actions? Was Jacoby worth quoting at length? Did Betsy need to say anything more?

I hope you make her blog, Betsy's Page, one of your regular stops. She has posts like the Jacoby one everyday.

In Iraq: A road to victory?

Remember hearing a lot about how dangerous was the highway road from Baghdad to the airport? Drivers sped along it in fear of their lives. Frequent terrorist attacks on vehicles were a sign of the insurgency's success and American failure.

We haven't heard much about the road lately, have we? And we certainly haven't heard that it's now much safer, with traffic heavy and attacks rare.

But Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette, the indispensable collection point for reports and analysis of Iraq war news, fills us in:

The Washington Post describes conditions along Baghdad's airport road. Dubbed "Route Irish" by the US military, the highway connecting Baghdad Airport to the city proper - and the rest of Iraq - is a crucial artery for the nation. It's importance can't be overstated - and the terrorists know it.
Why is the highway much safer now? Greyhawk says "many factors contributed to that success - but the one that can't be overemphasized is the presence of trained Iraqi troops on the street." He cites this from the Post:
The Iraqi soldiers, with a handful of U.S. troops by their side, walked the dusty dirt roads of the neighborhood. Weapons drawn, they searched alleys and courtyards. But mostly, they just walked, calling out greetings to Iraqis gathered outside their homes.
Iraqi soldiers had been influential in helping control the neighborhood, keeping the potential attackers from using side streets to reach the airport road. "We are Iraqis, and we know strangers from their faces," (an Iraqi soldier) said. "We can stop them, and we know if they lie to us. The Americans don't know."
Greyhawk continues:
Pay attention to that "strangers" quote - it's not the locals who are the enemy.

From my own time in Iraq I can attest to this, the battle for Route Irish was significant, and securing it is a victory on two fronts. On one level it's battle won and ground gained in a very different kind of war. But it's not just the ground gained that matters. It's the successful deployment of Iraqi forces that makes this a victory on a second front for the good guys. The key to a successful return from Iraq for coalition forces is the assumption of responsibility for security by the Iraqis - and real progress is being made.

And efforts are ongoing to make sure those gains aren't lost. Back in the States, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force is readying to return to Iraq in February. The training they are getting isn't how to fight - it's how to train the Iraqi forces.
Greyhawk links to an article about the Marines's training.

Are American and Iraqi successes in making the highway safer and bringing more Iraqis into the battle against the terrorists pointing to the road to victory?
Yes, provided the American public has the good sense and fortitude to support our troops in Iraq until the Iraqis can take over the fight to bring democracy to their country.

READERS NOTE: Greyhawk has updated his post including information about a recent incorrect CBS 60 Minutes story about the airport highway.

Will somebody please help the 60 Minutes folks overcome their Kinko's Copying Machine syndrome.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Churchill Series - Nov. 7, 2005

(One of a series of daily posts about Winston S. Churchill.)

Are World Wars I and II separate wars or a continuation of a thirty year war that began in 1914 and ended in 1945, with an interruption in fighting from 1918 and 1939 that many people mistook for peace?

Historians still argue the question.

Churchill had no doubt about his answer. He gave it in the first paragraph of the preface to the first of his multi-volume history, The Second World War.:

I must regard these volumes of The Second World War as a continuation of the story of the First World War which I set out in the The World Crisis, The Eastern Front, and The Aftermath. Together, if the present work is completed, they will cover an account of another Thirty Years' War.
Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: The Gathering Storm. (p. iii)

Roger L. Simon on France

Today writer Roger L. Simon posted:The France of the Mind Goes Up in Smoke.

I grew up with the most romantic view of France - Sartre, Piaf, Jean Renoir, the Resistance. Then it was Truffaut, Godard, Serge Gainsbourg.
Now the country itself seems defunct, its economic system a mess, its ability to assimilate immigrants (partly through its own fault and partly through the tribal religious primitivism of the immigrants themselves) practically non-existent. Its politicians seem a collection of pompous aristos and equally pompous leftists.
And yet France is magnificent and we should all be sad, sadder still that the violence is metastasizing to Belgium and who knows where else?
Millions of Americans are joining Simon in casting away romantic views of France and the French. That's a good thing. Americans becoming more realistic about France will in the long run benefit both France and America.

I'll say more about that soon.

Right now, I'm like most of you: Fingers crossed for France.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Churchill Series - Nov. 6, 2005

(One of a series of daily posts about Winston S. Churchill.)

On November 9, 1940 Neville Chamberlain died of stomach cancer. Six months earlier, he’d been forced to resign as Prime Minister when Germany’s conquest of the Low Countries and France revealed to all the failure of his appeasement policy.

When he succeed Chamberlain, Churchill invited him to remain in Cabinet. Chamberlain served loyally as Lord President of the Council until a few weeks before his death.

On November 12, Churchill paid tribute to him in the House of Commons. After a formal mention of Chamberlain’s death and his service as Prime Minister, Churchill said

In paying a tribute of respect and of regard to an eminent man who has been taken from us, no one is obliged to alter the opinions which he has formed or expressed upon issues which have become a part of history.
The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.
Churchill's entire memorial tribute can be read here , courtesy of The Churchill Centre.

Who will "save" America from crosses?

Michelle Malkin posts: Saving America From Crosses

If you're already saying to yourself, "I'll bet that has something to do with the ACLU," you're right.

Redlands, California, is about to hold a referendum. Malkin links to John at Stop the ACLU, where we learn:

Voters decide next week if the "City of Churches" should restore the cross to the Redlands seal.

When the American Civil Liberties Union threatened a costly lawsuit last year if the cross wasn't eliminated, officials decided the cross must be erased from the city logo. Many residents were outraged and voters will now decide Tuesday if the religious symbol will return.
If voters approve returning the cross to the city's seal, you know what the ACLU will do, don't you?

Take Redlands to court to overturn the referendum.

The dear old ACLU! Fighting to protect the rights of Redlands citizens except when it disagrees with how they vote.

The networks spin on gasoline prices

(Welcome visitors from Mudville Gazette open post. )

For a while it seemed a day didn't pass without MSM news organizations reporting rising gasoline prices and what they said would be the consequences.

Consumers would be hurt and the economy slowed. The President's poll ratings were sure to drop further. Angry voters might even overturn Republican control of Congress in the '06 election.

But for a month now, gasoline prices have been dropping steadily and significantly. Here in North Carolina, regular in early October sold at $3.19 per gallon. Today it's $2.54 per gallon.

But we're not hearing much from MSM about how a 20% price drop in just one month will help consumers or the economy. And we're certainly not hearing anything about how the price drop will help the President or Republicans.

In fact, blogger Dan Gainer reports that as prices have dropped this past month, the major networks have actually continued to emphasize the increase in gas prices(bold added - JinC).

Gas prices fell steadily from October 6 and continued through the end of the month. The decline had little impact on media coverage. Stories about falling prices still made up just 21 percent of the coverage through October 30.

In fact, the national average price for regular gasoline isn't just lower than it was before Rita, it’s now more than 10 cents per gallon below pre-Katrina levels, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
Even after it had admitted gas prices were falling, NBC still pushed the opposite.

During the October 28 “Nightly News,” anchor Brian Williams still reported a piece on gas prices this way: “NBC News In Depth tonight, the outrage across this country today everywhere people were ponying up to pay more for gas.” Reporter Anne Thompson followed up talking about a “summer marked by hurricanes and $3 gasoline.” She left out that gas had already fallen to $2.55 by that report.
Gainer has quite a bit more in his post. After reading it, I wondered again how the networks can claim they report the news accurately and free of partisan spin.