March 23, 2006

You're Welcome Anyway

Three Christian Peaceniks that were kidnapped and held by terrorists in Iraq were freed today - not through the benevolence of their captors, however. U.S. and British troops risked their own necks in a rescue operation to get them out. A fourth captive had been shot by his kidnappers and dumped in a Baghdad street. The terrorists had threatened the lives of the other three.

But where's the gratitude? Forget about it! In a statement released by the activists' organization, Christian Peacemakers Teams, the rescue by the coalition troops wasn't even so much as acknowledged. Instead, they used the occasion to criticize the forces who saved the sorry asses of their people and give aid and comfort to the scum who kidnapped them in the first place.

"We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end."
No. The "root cause" of their kidnapping was their own naive stupidity. Rather than facilitate peace, they make the mission of turning Iraq back over to its citizens all the more difficult by giving the terrorists bargaining chips and helping create situations that increase the danger to both coalition forces and Iraqi citizens.

If someone is idiotic enough to seek out these animals to try and "reason" with them only to be captured and have their lives threatened then their fate should be left to themselves. Let them "negotiate" their own release rather than risk troops who have a job to do.

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March 10, 2006

Goodbye Dubai

It looks as though DPW has given the President an "out" on this one. He won't have to follow through on his veto threat and - in an election year - Congressional Republicans can now claim "independence" from the White House, having asserted their will against a deal that was politically unpopular with their constituents. Effectively, the UAE company is pulling out from any involvement in U.S. ports. But wait. This seems a little too easy. Would DPW really just up and walk away from this investment?

Rich Galen has a theory that makes a heck of a lot of sense:

Yesterday the company issued a press release in which it said (according to an AP piece by Dave Espo and Andrew Taylor): "DP World will transfer fully the U.S. operations … to a United States entity."

Let us assume that the folks in Dubai didn't sit around drafting this language during morning coffee, waiting for the latest price of oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Let us assume, rather, that hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of dollars worth of lawyers, lobbyists, former Senators and their former staffers, PR types, and the head guys from Dubai thought very, very carefully about this language.

Do you see the word "sell" in there?

Why use the term "transfer" instead of "sell," unless the drafters were being paid by the letter?

And to whom will they "sell" these assets? If there were an American firm interested in operating these terminals why didn't they join Dubai and Singapore in the bidding contest which had been going on since late September 2005?

Here's where Galen is going with all this: he believes that, at the end of the day, there will be a "U.S. entity" running the ports in question but that entity will be a new U.S. subsidiary of DPW that "would only be connected to Dubai via a checking account into which the profits would be put."

Although Rep. Peter King insists that such an entity have "no links to DP World", there are plenty of high-powered lawyers who can craft something that the deal's opponents could probably live with. So everybody wins, eh?

Not exactly. While DPW will be seen as the loser in this situation, the reality is that from an investment point of view what they would have is comparable to what they were going to have.

No, there are only two losers in the situation. The first is the relationship between the U.S. and the UAE. Hopefully, in the long run, this relationship won't be so adversely affected that we can still count on assistance from Dubai and other Arab States in the GWOT.

The other loser? As Galen observes, it's the Democrats "who are now left to sift through the wreckage of their glee to see if even a minor political point remains to be scored."

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March 09, 2006

Order For 936 Virgins, Coming Up!

Thirteen terrorist scumbags in Iraq do an airdance for Allah.

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March 08, 2006

Congressional GOP Gets Its Fingerprints On National Security

Four Republican Senators, who voiced initial criticism of President Bush's NSA terrorist surveillance program, have now signed on with the condition that a seven-member Intelligence subcommittee be established. It's purpose would be to allow for oversight of activities that monitor Al Qaeda and their communications.

Republicans rejected suggestions that the intelligence panel was retreating from its oversight duties on the NSA program. "The scope of the subcommittee's purview will be broad, wide, deep," said Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.
Translation: Now I can claim to have been broadly, widely and deeply involved in the business of National Security when I run for President in 2008."

Democrats, of course, have their panties in a twist that their demand for a Congressional inquiry into the program has essentially been pushed aside.

"The committee, to put it bluntly, is basically under the control of the White House through its chairman," said a visibly frustrated Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia, ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee.
Translation: The Sith Lord manipulating the Senate has intensified his plans for greater control over the Empire.

On the one hand, I'm glad that our intelligence capabilities won't be compromised by having details of the program released that would aid Al Qaeda. On the other hand, I'm a little disappointed that Democrats won't be shooting themselves in the foot by pressing the issue and having their ability to try and mischaracterize this as "domestic wiretapping" taken away.

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March 03, 2006

ZERO

That is the number of substantiated civil rights violations under the Patriot Act.

Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) points this out in his USAToday editorial urging his fellow Congressmen Congressmen and women Congresspeople? Representatives in Congress to follow the Senate's lead and renew the Patriot Act next week.

"Extensive congressional oversight found no violations. Six reports by the Justice Department's independent inspector general, who is required to solicit and investigate any allegations of abuse, found no violations.

Intense public scrutiny has yet to find a single civil liberty abuse. Despite many challenges, no federal court has declared unconstitutional any of the Patriot Act provisions Congress is renewing."

I always suspected this was the case. Certainly if there were any the MSM would be pounding away at any such violation to hammer the President. Now we know for sure, notwithstanding all the paranoid delusions from the Left.

The Patriot Act is set to be renewed and most of its provisions made permanent law of the land by next Friday, when it is scheduled to expire. Most importantly is the fact that it forever tears down the "wall" put up by the Clinton Adminstration to keep our intelligence services from communicating with law enforcement. Because of that wall, we weren't able to prevent 9/11 but at least going forward we'll have a fighting chance at preventing another one.

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