September 29, 2006


The gloves are off:

"Five years after 9/11, the worst attack on the American homeland in history, the Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR, the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run," Bush said.
How d'ya like them apples?

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September 26, 2006

"Read It For Yourself"

In response to a leak of the classified NIE memo - which only told part of the story on the state of Islamo-terrorism - the President has authorized National Intelligence Director, John Negroponte to declassify as much of the memo that can be done without compromising national security.

"You read it for yourself. Stop all this speculation," Bush said.

He complained that "somebody leaked classified information for political purposes," Bush said, criticizing both the news media and people in government who talked to them about classified material.

The initial leak, coming from Bush opponents in the intelligence community and shamelessly reported by the NY Times and WaPo, was a nakedly political move aimed at undermining the U.S.'s Global War On Terror in the heat of an election season. Those portions that were reported were selected specifically to give the impression that the U.S. presence in Iraq is a direct cause of increased terror activity around the world. As if such activity never existed prior to 2003.

And as if the Left and their MSM enablers weren't already doing enough to encourage America's enemies.

Michelle Malkin has the definitive round-up.

Prior to Bush's release order, House Democrats tried their best to make political hay of the report by pushing for a "closed-door" session to discuss it.

The proposal from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was denied by a vote of 171-217. Such a session hasn't happened in the House since July 1983, when the chamber went into a closed session to discuss the United States' support for paramilitary operations in Nicaragua.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Pelosi said the secret session was needed to allow members to better understand the intelligence community's most recent assessment on global terrorism, some of which leaked to the news media over the weekend.

"Better understand" it my ass. This was a blatant attempt to increase the drama by fanning the flames of speculation that somehow the Administration has something to hide in this report. How any reasonable person could consider voting for a party whose leadership would risk compromising national security by playing political games like this is beyond me.

Now that it will become public record, the proper context of the report and information that shows our military efforts and results in a more favorable light will put an end to that garbage.

The NY Times and the WaPo will now be free to report the parts that they didn't care to, such as those highlighted by "Spook86", the author of "In From The Cold" (Originally linked by the folks at Power Line):

In one of its early paragraphs, the estimate notes progress in the struggle against terrorism, stating the U.S.-led efforts have "seriously damaged Al Qaida leadership and disrupted its operations." Didn't see that in the NYT article.

Or how about this statement, which--in part--reflects the impact of increased pressure on the terrorists: "A large body of reporting indicates that people identifying themselves as jihadists is increasing...however, they are largely decentralized, lack a coherent strategy and are becoming more diffuse." Hmm...doesn't sound much like Al Qaida's pre-9-11 game plan.

The report also notes the importance of the War in Iraq as a make or break point for the terrorists: "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves to have failed, we judge that fewer will carry on the fight." It's called a ripple effect.

More support for the defeating the enemy on his home turf: "Threats to the U.S. are intrinsically linked to U.S. success or failure in Iraq." President Bush and senior administration officials have made this argument many times--and it's been consistently dismissed by the "experts" at the WaPo and Times.

And, some indication that the "growing" jihad may be pursuing the wrong course: "There is evidence that violent tactics are backfiring...their greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution (shar'a law) is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims." Seems to contradict MSM accounts of a jihadist tsunami with ever-increasing support in the global Islamic community.

The estimate also affirms the wisdom of sowing democracy in the Middle East: "Progress toward pluralism and more responsive political systems in the Muslim world will eliminate many of the grievances jihadists exploit." As I recall, this the core of our strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Quite a contrast to the "doom and gloom" scenario painted by the Times and the Post. Not that we'd expect anything different. But the obvious slant of their coverage does raise an interesting question, one that should be posed to their ombudsman or public editor. If sources used by the papers had access to the document, why weren't they asked about the positive elements of the report? Or, if sources provided some of the more favorable comments regarding our war on terror, why weren't those featured in articles published by the Times and the Post?

(note: all original bold/italics emphasis appears as it does on "In From The Cold" blog)

As the President said, read it for yourself.

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September 19, 2006

Face Time For POTUS Makes A Difference

A new USAToday/Gallup poll has the President's approval rating up to 44%. As I've always said, Bush isn't on the ballot so the influence of this statistic on the results of November 7 has its limits.

But there really is only one major reason for the uptick: Republican voters, who've expressed their dissatisfaction with Bush on many issues, are starting to see the forest for the trees. The issue of the Global War on Terror is THE issue and it trumps everything else.

Bush's approval rating edged up largely on the strength of Republicans coming back to the fold with 86 percent saying they support him now, compared to 70 percent in May, USA Today said.

For the first time since December 2005, a majority of people polled did not say the war in Iraq was a mistake. The respondents were evenly split at 49 percent to 49 percent, the report said.

However, the poll finds that the Iraq war continues to be a problem for Bush. Sixty percent said he does not have a clear plan for handling Iraq and 75 percent said Iraq is in a civil war, USA Today said.

This does not mean, however, that 60 percent are in favor of the only alternative that the Democrats are floating: cut and run. Many voters that make up Bush's base of support have felt that we've not been aggressive enough in Iraq or that the President was allowing the Democrats to chip away at his (and by extension, the nation's) resolve to finish the job.

The White House has spent the last couple of weeks putting that fear to rest. The President's strategy - as it was in 2002 and 2004 - is to double down on his policies that have kept the country attack-free since 9/11. Republicans candidates would do well to get on board. If they do, then the GOP's superior Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) machine will ensure Republican retention of both chambers of Congress.

Jim Geraghty at NRO takes a closer look at the numbers.

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September 15, 2006

Bush Calling Out McCain & Co.?

Press conference called for 11:15 this morning.

Will he be drawing a line in the sand over terrorism legistlation in the Senate?

Stay tuned...

On a related note, NBC's David Gregory got into it again yesterday with Tony Snow, prodding the White House Press Secretary over the President's attempt to clarify provisions in the Geneva Convention.

On the Imus In The Morning radio show this morning, the host asked David Gregory about his questions to Snow. Gregory raised concerns that the President is trying to redefine the torture guidelines of the Convention. Imus asked, "So what?"

Gregory responded that if the U.S. did this it might set a precedent for other countries to do the same. "Which countries?" asked Imus.

The White House Corresponded responded (and I'm paraphrasing here) that there is concern about a war with Iran, for example.

Imus (who loves Gregory) asked him point blank: "Do you think that if we got into a war with Iran, and if they captured some of our soldiers that Iran would comply with the provisions of the Geneva Convention? What are you, an idiot?"

Gregory was incredulous. I laughed my butt off.

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Peggy's Pearls Of Wisdom

Peggy Noonan has a column in the WSJ this morning with some good insight on how Democrats with Bush-Derangement Syndrome (BDS) are there own worst enemy.

The Democrats' mistake--ironically, in a year all about Mr. Bush--is obsessing on Mr. Bush. They've been sucker-punched by their own animosity.

"The Democrats now are incapable of answering a question on policy without mentioning Bush six times," says pollster Kellyanne Conway. " 'What is your vision on Iraq?' 'Bush lied us into war.' 'Health care? 'Bush hasn't a clue.' They're so obsessed with Bush it impedes them from crafting and communicating a vision all their own." They heighten Bush by hating him.

One of the oldest clichés in politics is, "You can't beat something with nothing." It's a cliché because it's true. You have to have belief, and a program. You have to look away from the big foe and focus instead on the world and philosophy and programs you imagine.

Mr. Bush's White House loves what the Democrats are doing. They want the focus on him. That's why he's out there talking, saying Look at me.

Because familiarity doesn't only breed contempt, it can breed content. Because if you're going to turn away from him, you'd better be turning toward a plan, and the Democrats don't appear to have one.

Which leaves them unlikely to win leadership. And unworthy of it, too.

Back in 1984, former VP Fritz Mondale asked his fellow Presidential candidate Gary Hart, "Where's the beef?"

He could just as easily ask the same question of his party, twenty-two years later.

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September 12, 2006

One Speech, Two Perspectives

Last night, the President of the United States addressed the nation on this solemn anniversary of the attacks of 9/11.

He offered words of optimism, hope and encouragement. He spoke of the courage, strength and spirit that this country has always shown in times of crisis.

What the majority of Americans saw was an example of leadership.

What Democrats saw will no doubt inspire in them anger and rage. Based on their experiences within their own party, Democrats have a hard time recognizing leadership. While they are all very familiar with being roused, stirred-up and driven to indignation, they have very little experience in being led.

The President layed out his case for fighting this war against Islamic Fascism - on all of its fronts.

For the majority of Americans whose outlooks are based in reality, this case - whether they liked hearing it or not - makes sense.

For the Left, however, it was a challenge to their fantasy of a false peace rooted in isolationism and head-in-the-sand denial. And they will react as they typically do. Years from now, when their children are grown they will ask, "Mommy? Daddy? What did you do during the great ideological struggle of the twenty-first century?" And they can hold their heads up high, look them in the eyes and say "I posted thousands of childish, obscene comments on weblogs!"

How does that old saying go? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem?

President Bush concluded his address to the nation with a call for unity.

Most Americans remember the kind of unity this country shared in the weeks following 9/11 and they long for it again. They recognize how important this is in a time of war.

Democrats will reject this call out of hand. After all, they are engaged in a different war - a political war to take back control of the Federal government. For them, a sense of unity offsets any political advantage they might hope to exploit. Democrats are calling this a "political speech". This should come as no surprise. Surely, to those who would make the war a political issue, it was.

Yes, we have two perspectives out there. Our enemies are hoping one of them will prevail. It's not all that hard to figure out which one.

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September 06, 2006

Bush Throws Down The Gauntlet

This is going to throw the Dems for a loop. And yet, you just had to know something like this was coming. The President just gave a major speech detailing many of the activities that his Administration has been engaged in to prevent further attacks since 9/11.

In other words, it was no accident (though none of his supporters thought so) that we haven't been attacked since.

But here's the kicker: in response to the recent Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision on military tribunals, he is having Sen. Majority Leader Frist and Majority Whip Mitch McConnell introduce legislation for Congress to explicitly authorize their creation. Dems, who've been going around thumping their chests and saying how safe America would be if they were in charge, are now going to have to put up or shut up.

Mario Loyola at NRO's The Corner explains:

The President just pulled one of the best maneuvers of his entire presidency. By transferring most major Al Qaeda terrorists to Guantanamo, and simultaneously sending Congress a bill to rescue the Military Commissions from the Supreme Court's ruling Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the President spectacularly ambushed the Democrats on terrain they fondly thought their own. Now Democrats who oppose (and who have vociferously opposed) the Military Commissions will in effect be opposing the prosecution of the terrorists who planned and launched the attacks of September 11 for war crimes.

And if that were not enough, the President also frontally attacked the Hamdan ruling's potentially chilling effect on CIA extraordinary interrogation techniques, by arguing that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is too vague, and asking Congress to define clearly the criminal law limiting the scope of permissible interrogation.

Taken as a whole, the President's maneuver today turned the political tables completely around. He stole the terms of debate from the Democrats, and rewrote them, all in a single speech. It will be delightful to watch in coming days and hours as bewildered Democrats try to understand what just hit them, and then sort through the rubble of their anti-Bush national security strategy to see what, if anything, remains.

This is the 2006 equivalent of the Homeland Security Bill of 2002. Democrats will head into a mid-term election either look blatantly weak and obstructionist on national security or pissing off their Moonbat base.

"DAMMIT! He did it AGAIN!"

Can't wait to see the responses from the Donks. Heh.

h/t: Michelle Malkin (who liveblogged the speech) and, of course, MFSIL who first emailed me about the speech!

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