Friday, September 29, 2006

Red Dragon Watch

Fire of Liberty

I have to say that this article is just a reminder that even though China provides us with a bevy of goods and their two billion citizens are a great market for our goods, they still pose a deadly threat to our military and its operations within Asia. Here's hoping the war gamers and the folks at the China desk and Pacific Command are keeping their eyes on the current activities of the PLA.(People's Liberation Army)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hey Mayor Bloomberg, Hands off My Doughnuts

Fire of Liberty

As any reader of Fire of Liberty knows, I'm a big fan of limited government and feel that keeping the government out of your hair on a number of issues is the best policy to apply towards your everyday life. We'll now the New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg is showing his RINO(Rep. In Name Only) credentials yet again by pushing through another "nanny state" measure that would force all restaurants in New York City to ban the use of trans fats in the preparation of their food. While Bloomberg thinks he's doing a service to the health of the people in New York City by banning the use of fats, he fails to realize that it isn't the fats that cause some 500 people to die from clogged arteries but rather its the eating habits and over-consuming on behalf of the patrons of these restaurants. Even if you ban trans-fats, folks are still going to have problems with cholesterol, obesity and diabetes because they'll still be consuming massive amounts of cakes, breads, fries, pizza, hamburgers, doughnuts and a ton of other great tasting foods that are offered in the various restaurants throughout the boroughs of New York City. With the continued talk of the dangers of trans fats and the knowledge of Organic and healthy alternatives that are being blasted in the print media, cable news, morning news shows, Food Network, Martha Stewart, Oprah and an abundant amount of organic friendly grocery stores like Trader Joes, Whole Foods(lesser known chains) I can assure you that the restaurants are hearing from their customers/patrons and are changing what they using cooking their food. Therefore we've got to let the private sector take the lead in this one and let people use personal responsibility to make their own choices as to what and how much they want to eat. Mayor Bloomberg and his friends at City Hall might think the are doing this for the best of the folks in New York City but in reality he's taking it back down the Road to Serfdom and greater dependence on the much like we saw during the terms of John V. Lindsay and David Dinkins. It's time we let New Yorkers be New Yorkers even it that means having clogged arteries and being fat(Which in a city where folks walk and ride the subway to get from point A and B there's little lack of exercise) because that's the American way.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Multiculturalism Run Amuck

Fire of Liberty

I have to say the Times has an interesting article which points out yet again how the devotion to multiculturalism and the fear of offending Muslim "cultural sensitivities" is undermining the UK's efforts in the War on Terrorism. Thank G-d for folks like Melaine Phillips and her wonderful book Londonistan which exposes the self-defeating effects that cult of multiculturalism has had on the UK. Here's hoping that the US never falls into such despair.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tightening the Screws on the Hermit Kingdom

Fire of Liberty
While North Korea launches multiple ballistic missiles and offers blistering rhetoric towards its neighbors and the US, they are isolating themselves further from the world community. Well according to this article in the Financial Times, Australia and Japan have decided to push the Hermit Kingdom further into the cold by enacting a round of financial sanctions on the Kim Jong Il regime. I have to say that if the regime in North Korea is going to continue its obfuscation with regards to the six party talks and continue to develop their deadly arsenal then the folks surrounding North Korea have decided the best policy is to starve the "Dear Leader" and his fellow cronies in Pyongyang of their much needed cash thus making funds scarce to build more missiles and cook up more weapons grade uranium. Aside from outright aggression this current round of sanctions is the best way to bring about the demise of Kim Jong Il.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Keep On Keepin' On in Iraq

Fire of Liberty

Here's a good piece by National Review's Mackubin Thomas Owens(A Marine who served in Vietnam) which pretty much explains why I have always and continue to have full confidence in our leaders and the US military achieving their mission in Iraq.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'd Say This Is A Good Compromise

Fire of Liberty

I've got to give a hand to President Bush, Sens. McCain, Warner, Graham, and the Republicans in the House of Representatives for pounding out a compromise with regards to setting a clear cut guidelines with regards to the holding and interrogation of the various terrorists we've caught. From what I've heard and read so far, I can honestly say that this bill is pretty much what the President was looking for and will allow us to continue to apply tough interrogation techniques on the terrorists in order to garner intelligence that allows us to prevent further attacks and roll-up more members of Al-Qaida. While the cable-news stations dropped the press conference before I could hear what was in the legislation but I did find a post in the Corner by National Review's White House Correspondent Byron York which provides a good run-down of what they agreed upon. Here's a look at what York had to say:
I just got off the phone with a Senate source who sides with the McCain/Graham/Warner camp. "I think there is every reason for both sides to be happy," he said. The key part of the deal seems to be that Congress has defined "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions. "We recognized that the president has the authority to interpret treaties," the source said, "but Congress now has the authority to define 'grave breaches.'" Those are what might be called the Big Nine: torture, cruel or inhuman treatment, performing biological experiments, murder, mutilation or maiming, rape, causing serious bodily injury, and sexual assault or abuse, and taking hostages. According to the source, the proposed legislation has a section defining some of the less clear categories; there was a lot of negotiation, as you might expect, over the meaning of "cruel or inhuman" treatment.

The source stressed that "grave breaches" of Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions have long been a crime in U.S. law. "We've enumerated what a 'grave breach' is," the source said, "but Jesse Helms and Jim Inhofe made 'grave breaches' of Article Three a war crime back in 1997."

The source said the McCain/Graham/Warner camp realized that the White House had a point when it raised the possibility that "a liberal jurist would say that a female interrogator of a Muslim male is a 'grave breach.'" So after outlining the Big Nine, the negotiators recognized the authority of the president, in the words of the agreed-to draft, "to promulgate higher standards and administrative regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions."

"'Grave breaches' are crimes," the source said. "Non-grave breaches are something elseƂ….We are going to spell out grave breaches, and then it is up to the administration to come up with sanctions for violations that are less than 'grave breaches.'"

One key aspect of the deal is that it calls for the president to use an executive order to issue his interpretations of what would be non-grave breaches of the treaty, and then — this is the important part —— to publish the executive order in the Federal Register. "That means it is subject to public scrutiny," the source said. I asked whether the White House resisted on the issue of publishing the executive order, and the source said, "No, not at all."

Another part of the deal, the source said, is that no one will be able to use the Geneva Conventions as a basis for a court action against an individual or the U.S. government. "There is no private right of action," the source said.

Everyone is still studying and interpreting what was done, but it seems clear now that the devil will be in the definitions. But the fights will be within the context of U.S. law, not the Geneva Conventions.
Thankfully for the sake of national security the Senate, House and White House rolled up their sleeves and came up with a pretty good piece of legislation that will let us continue policies that are essential in this new kind of warfare.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Bump In Support On Iraq

Fire of Liberty
It seems that President Bush's most recent speeches on how our current fighting in Iraq is one of the central battlefronts in our War on Terror has begun to gain a bit of traction amongst the American public. Here's a great summary of how the poll numbers on Iraq are trending upwards.

*Hat Tip to blogger Frank Warner at Free Frank Warner.

McCain's Moral High Ground Ties Our Hands In War on Terror

Fire of Liberty
Last week I wrote about how McCain's current moral stand is great in principle when it comes to us fighting a regular war between to fixed forces who obey the rules of war but when it comes to fighting terrorists, the Senator is placing our citizens and soldiers in serious jeopardy and preventing us from taking out the terrorists we are currently fighting. Well I found a good column by Rich Lowry, National Review editor, which pretty much lays one of the best arguments I've read so far on why Senator McCain's(And others) current moral high ground seems to lose traction when you look beyond his posturing before the MSM. Here's a look at Lowry's fine piece:
Ah, if only the North Koreans had known how committed we were to giving the widest possible Common Article 3 protections to terrorists, maybe they would have re-thought their detention policies. McCain and Co. have a case of treaty fetishism. That is the belief that a piece of paper will alter the behavior of thugs. But a government will abide by the Geneva Conventions only if it is civilized; and if it is civilized, it is unlikely we will be fighting it, which is why we don'’t have to worry about defending ourselves from, say, the Danes.

McCain and his allies, however, apparently have trouble distinguishing between civilization and barbarity. "“The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,"” former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote in a widely circulated letter to McCain. "To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts." So American troops fighting to establish decent governments halfway around the world can be confused morally with terrorists? What a slander, and how disgusting that a former secretary of state would give it any credence by repeating it.

The irony is that, for all his preening, McCain supports what he would call "“torture"” if the conditions are right. He has said of a ticking-time-bomb scenario —— a terrorist has information of an imminent attack —— "you do what you have to do. But you take responsibility for it"” (i.e. get sued or prosecuted). In other words, McCain wants to make it legally problematic for interrogators to undertake the very interrogations that he supports.
I'd say that it's always good to hold the moral high ground but in a world were Islamic terrorists threaten our everyday lives with suicide bombers and other deadly acts, then it's well worth condemnation if we can use tough interrogation techniques like the use of temperature, sleep deprivation, stress positions(standing for sustained time-frame), isolation, loud-music to flesh out future acts of terrorism. So for the sake of this nation, I hope that Senator McCain rethink his view or at least be willing to compromise with the White House.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Environmentalism Has Its Limits

Fire of Liberty

Here's a wonderful piece by Thomas Bray in the Detroit News which points out that scientists at WHO(World Health Organization) and other scientists are re-assessing their views on the pesticide DDT and are recommending the use of such chemicals to kill prevent the spread of malaria in the third world. Above all else, this column makes the point that maybe the folks running around foretelling future dooms to our planet because "science shows/proves this" should take a breather and realize that maybe things aren't what they seem at the time. I can recall the "Silent Spring" alarmism over DDT/pesticides, global cooling, Paul R. Ehrlich's overpopulation scare(The Population Bomb-1968), acid rain that all fell apart in the long run. Sometimes the most helpful policy with something as tricky as nature is to avoid expensive solutions as with the case to global warming or deadly results(malaria) with regards to the ban on DDT.

House Republicans Abiding To Their Duties and Voters

Fire of Liberty

While I'm on the subject of the Republican led House securing our republic from fraud and illegal activity, I thought I'd point out this article in the New York Sun which provides a good run-down of the 700 mile Border Fence bill as well as the Voter ID bill. Though the MSM keeps on echoing the "Republicans are going to lose" mantra in most of their political reporting, they fail to realize that their touting of such polls is prompting the Republicans to start standing up and really listening to what their base wants and moving forward with this much needed legislation to secure our borders and ensure fair and fraud free voting. It's amazing what these poll numbers can do in sparking the Republicans to action. One thing I have seen with this return to core principles with the Republican led House is actually causing a bump in the polls(See Question 2 in the USA Today/Gallup poll) with regards to their possibility of retaining their jobs after November 7th. Now while the Republicans are far from being out of the woods(Spending) with its base, this legislation is a start.

*After reading this piece by Senator Bill Frist in the San Diego Union-Tribune in which he points out that he will be introducing a bill in the coming days to the US Senate that is a Senate version to the House bill on the building of 700 mile Border Security fence, it seems that the Republican leadership in the Senate are also getting the drift of their voters. Here's hoping things go well in the Senate with regards to this bill especially when the securing of our borders is one of their constitutional duties. Like I've been saying(And Pat Buchanan(who I seldom agree with economically or militarily/foreign policy wise), I'm not as concerned with the 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants already here but feel that it's way past time to erect something that prevents a further influx of illegals aliens into our country. If we have something like a fence slowing down these illegals then we'll have a better opportunity in assimilating these illegals to our culture, laws, and history. For the freedoms and way of life that we have and offer to others, this small inconvenience should be a given for immigrants. Immigration is all good as long as it's legal and controlled by our government.(This is one area where the government does a better job).

Keeping Our Elections Free of Fraud

Fire of Liberty

After watching the debate in the House over the Voter Identification bill(Which passed 228-196) I have to say that the Republican led House of Representatives is reassuring the American republic that they're still committed to the wishes of the American voters in ensuring that registered voters(who are US citizens) are the only ones voting. While watching the whole debate unfold on C-SPAN, I got a little bothered by the Democrats constantly throwing up the "poll tax" rhetoric as a way to send this bill into the ether. To me(and a lot of other folks in the US) it's rather an affront to the American people for these Congressmen to keep on referring to the Voter ID bill as something out of the "Jim Crow" era. They could have a point if the bill said that you had to pay a entry fee every time you entered the voting booth but what the bill says is that if you want to vote then you to present a valid government issued photo ID which according to the bill will be free of charge to the folks who can't afford one. Now if you are required to present an photo ID to drive a car, write a check, open a bank account, buy alcohol, and other things of this nature then shouldn't we also lay out a law that requires a voter to prove who they say they are is the least we should do when it comes to our elections. With a large grouping of the Democrats still grumbling about the possibility of voter fraud in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 election you'd think that they would be the first group to embrace a Voter ID bill, which was one of the recommendations of the Jimmy Carter and James Baker led Commission on Federal Election, in an effort ensure that voter fraud or claims are kept to a bare minimum. Hopefully this bill will eventually become a law thus ensuring all of the citizens in this great republic that all our elections are fair and free of fraud. The House has spoken, let's just hope this clear-headed view of things prevails in the Senate.

*Glenn Harlan Reynolds(Instapundit) has a piece over at TCS Daily which points out ways that we can prevent possible election fraud in future elections. They're pretty good points.

Our Friends in South Korea

Fire of Liberty

Peter Worthington(A Korean War Vet) has a good column in Monday's Toronto Sun which notes the great and successful contribution that our allies of the Republic of Korea are providing to the people of Iraq.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Good Overview of Benedict XVI's Speech

Fire of Liberty

While I was catching up on the whole Muslim outrage and reading several commentaries on the reaction to Pope Benedict XVI speech, I came across a wonderful piece by Daniel Johnson over at the New York Sun. Out of all the recent commentary on the Pope's recent speech, Johnson pushes through the cloud of controversy and puts in a lays out a very good summary of what Benedict XVI speech. Though I could wax philosophically about the Pope's thought provoking argument on the need of applying Hellenic philosophy to reasonably understand one's religion, I felt you'd find Johnson's far more interesting. Just take a look:
But the message was, at heart, a straightforward one. The Jewish or Christian God acts in accordance with reason: In the beginning was the Word, the Logos. Benedict emphasizes that this new, logocentric understanding of God is already present in the Hebrew Bible, long before the fusion of Jerusalem and Athens in the New Testament. Our knowledge of God — the God of Israel or the God of Christianity — emerges in the unfolding of the encounter between faith and reason.

The contribution of Hellenic thought to this gradual enlightenment is, for Benedict, essential. He laments the "dehellenization" of Christianity since the Reformation. Its effect, he thinks, has been to "relegate religion to the realm of subcultures" and to treat scientific rationality as if it had nothing whatever to do with faith. "The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality," he warns. If the West ignores this theological perspective, it "can only suffer great harm."

But the Pope was saying that there is an alternative to the Jewish or Christian God: the God of medieval Islam. Allah is "absolutely transcendent," above even rationality. Benedict cites a Muslim authority to the effect that "God is not bound even by his own word."

It is in this context that the pope invokes the Emperor Manuel II Paleologus, who recorded his dialogue with a learned Persian Muslim about the year 1400. Byzantium would finally succumb to Turkish conquest only half a century later, and Manuel wants to know how the doctrine of jihad can be justified, given that it is incompatible with God as Logos. For this Hellenic Christian, Muhammad's command to spread Islam by the sword must indeed be "evil and inhuman."

Yesterday, the pope insisted that he did not agree with Manuel. But it is clear that he sympathized with this monarch of a doomed Christian civilization enough to use him as a mouthpiece through which he could pose his own implicit questions to Islam. Does the Muslim understanding of Allah allow rational debate about the morality of violence, given that the doctrine of jihad is a central pillar of Islam? If Allah is above reason, might violent jihad, including terrorism, be not merely justifiable but obligatory, as many Muslim scholars argue?
Thank G-d for folks like Daniel Johnson who push through the static of the current dust-up and puts forward what the Pope was getting at in his September 12, 2006 speech.

Is this Islamic Introspection?

Fire of Liberty

I found this interesting article in the Evening Standard(London) which notes the current dust-up in the Muslim world over Pope Benedict XVI's September 12, 2006 speech at the University of Regensburg, see here. From what I've seen the most recent outbursts is just another demonstration of how a lot of folks in the West are a little skeptical of the claims that "Islam is a religion of peace." If Muslims of the world are truly comfortable with their faith and want to reassure folks of the West that the part about Islam being a religion of "peace" then they've got to be willing to take an introspective look at their faith and challenge and condemn the individuals of their faith that blow up women and children, behead captives, and call for the death or burn effigies of folks who challenge or questions things about Islam. All in all, these outbursts at the Pope and the riots over the cartoons of Mohammed this past year shows that Muslims have got to learn a little more about the so-called "tolerance" that they preach to individuals who dare to question anything about Islam or the actions of Muslims.

See here, here, here, here, here here, here, and here for more.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Our Friends in Taiwan

Fire of Liberty

It looks like Taiwan is growing tired of being under the boot-hill of China and is stepping up its efforts to be admitted as Taiwan in the UN. Here's hoping that Taiwan gets it's wishes in the near future.

New Mobile Armor

Fire of Liberty
Now this is what I think of when it comes to an armored vehicle. One can only image what al Qaeda, the Taliban and insurgents think when they see these mammoths roll over and past exploding IEDs and aren't phased a bit. It just goes to show you what US engineers and military vehicle manufactures can do when they're presented with a specific problem to solve.

Check out what the BBC's take and The Times take on this whopper of an armored truck/troop transport.

Tying Our Hands

Fire of Liberty
If you've heard the latest news coming out of Washington D.C., then you know that the Armed Service Committee in the Senate has passed a terror detainee/trail bill which will basically grant the terrorists various right and privileges that US citizens and POW enjoy when detained. While it's great to push through laws to show that we practice what we preach, the sad truth is that our enemies could give less than a fig about showing any semblance of respect towards our captured soldiers. In the short-run this legislation might allow our senators to claim the moral high ground but in the long-run it ties our soldiers hands behind their back and prevent them from applying aggressive tactics towards a captive during a interrogation which is used to derive actionable intelligence on future terrorist acts.

Thankfully, the editorial board over at the Wall Street Journal is on the case and has an editorial (OpinionJournal - e-mail registration req.) out today which lays out a good argument on why the moral crusade on behalf of McCain(A fine naval pilot and POW who spent close to six years at the "Hanoi Hilton")is something that will definitely make it hard for our troops and our leaders to effectively fight and win a war on Islamic terrorism. I have to say the WSJ summed up the whole mess that McCain's legislation has and will create for this great nation:
In only one respect does the Field Manual recognize any difference between lawful and unlawful combatants: The latter may be separated from their compatriots. Otherwise, terrorists who have violated the rules of war by targeting civilians and fighting out of uniform are to be treated exactly like POWs and considered honorable fighters who have a right to keep their secrets.

So Iraqi and Afghan insurgents won't even face the prospect of your average good cop/bad cop routine. The manual allows for a watered down version called "Mutt and Jeff" in which interrogators can affect different personalities. But the Manual admonishes strongly that the intelligence "collector must be extremely careful that he does not threaten or coerce a source. Conveying a threat may be a violation of the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice]." We kid you not. "Mutt and Jeff" is the worst that Abu Musab al Zarqawi could have expected from the Pentagon had he been captured alive.

And what if he had been turned over to the CIA? The permissible methods for the spy agency remain classified, and on a visit to our offices last week Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would say only that the CIA would engage in no conduct that "shocks the conscience." He added that this concept was context-dependent, since the "shock" threshold may be higher with the likes of KSM--who planned 9/11--than for ordinary detainees. At least we hope it is.

In theory, this means there's still room to employ some of the aggressive techniques--such as stress positions, sleep deprivation, temperature extremes--that have been used successfully against al Qaeda bigwigs. But in practice we fear those approaches are a thing of the past. Reports that CIA interrogators have been buying legal insurance in the expectation of future prosecution are another way of saying that they will no longer use aggressive methods that could be second-guessed on Capitol Hill. (See John Kerry's revealing letter.)

Like any careful bureaucracy, the CIA will also now be asking for constant legal guidance from the Justice Department. Few Justice attorneys will be eager to offer robust advice after watching a fine lawyer like John Yoo run out of polite society for authoring the so-called torture memos that allowed us to break KSM.
I know that this blog is one that calls for the light of liberty to reach the dark corners of the world but in this matter we are fighting a war against Islamic fanatics and it is our duty to the people of this country and the world in general to achieve an overwhelming victory over such forces.

They Still Don't Get It

Fire of Liberty

Harvard Professor Harvey Mansfield has an excellent opinion piece(regist. req.) in today's Boston Globe that reveals how professors and the temperament of academia in general hasn't changed a bit since the shadow of Islamic fascism darkened our skies on September 11th, 2001. I have to say he's got a firm understanding of academia when he noted the following:
Sept. 11 was a stunning blow to multiculturalism. The attacks showed that we have enemies who hate us because they hate both our principles and our practices. They despise the way we live not because we do not live up to our principles of freedom, democracy, and toleration, but because we do. They do not think we are multicultural; they believe we have one culture, and they mean to do away with it.

The feminists at Harvard seek to remove every vestige of patriarchy in America, but they have said almost nothing about the complete dismissal of women's rights by radical Islam. To do so would be to attack Islamic culture, and according to multiculturalism, every culture is equal and none is evil. They forsake women in societies that repudiate women's rights and direct their complaints to societies that believe in women's rights. Of course it's easier to complain to someone who listens to you and doesn't immediately proceed to slit your throat. No sign of any rethinking of feminism has appeared in the universities where it flourishes.

Civil liberties should be another topic of reconsideration. Civil libertarians on the left and the right assume that government is the object of their vigilance and minorities need special care. In time of peace that may be true, but in a war the government is your main friend, and the majority must be protected. The preaching of radical Islam is in fact ``a clear and present danger," and we need to suppress it. This sort of speech is not just blowing off steam or keeping us honest or puncturing our complacency. Here is a new task to occupy the anxious minds of civil libertarians in universities: how to distinguish truly dangerous speech and how to defeat it?

The jihadists say they will triumph because they believe in death while we believe in life. That is not quite so. We do believe in life -- but not at any cost. We too value sacrifice and honor for a decent cause. But we let our soldiers speak for us. The professors, who should be our spokesmen, have learned nothing from our soldiers and have nothing to say on why they volunteer to risk their lives.

The difference between our country and the terrorists dwarfs that between liberals and conservatives within our country. But conservatives are more aware of this fact than are liberals, and our universities are dominated by befuddled liberals. Better that they be befuddled than determined to rebel, as during the late 1960s. Better still that they heed the requirements of their own doctrines in the new circumstances of terrorist war.
Thank G-d that we have professors(with tenure)like Mansfield on the various universities in this nation or we'd be in a heck of a spot. Keep up the good work Professor Mansfield.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Go Mrs. T, Go

Fire of Liberty

If you watched Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume then you probably already know the Margaret Thatcher made a special journey to the White House this past Monday to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11. Thankfully, Baroness Thatcher did not disappoint her admirers in the US when she made spoke the following words:
This heinous attack upon America was an attack upon us all.

With America, Britain stands in the front line against Islamist fanatics who hate our beliefs, our liberties and our citizens.

We must not falter.

We must not fail.
There's no finer friend to the US than Mrs. Thatcher. It'd be nice if Thatcher's heirs in the Tory party would demonstrate the same iron will and commitment to a strong Atlantist relationship that she continues to show in her 80th year.

Lost In The Tall Grass

Fire of Liberty

While I find Francis Fukuyama, professor at Johns Hopkins' School for Advance International Studies, a great contributor to the conservative moment and the post Cold War conversation with with his early works in the National Interest and subsequent publication of The End of History and the Last of Man, I have to say he seems to have fallen on darker days these days with foreign policy. Now while he's very qualified to talk about foreign policy with his post at SAIS, I have to say that he's laying out a "just don't get it" take with regards to our current War on Terror when he wrote Nine Things We Have Learned Since September 11, 2001 over at the American Interest(A magazine he founded)blog. Thankfully, Mario Loyola has written a great critique of Fukuyama' Nine Things Learned over at National Review that pretty much demonstrates when it comes to foreign policy and fighting terrorism he's becoming lost in the tall grass of academia and establishment thought that's so prevalent in the State Department, Council of Foreign Relations and the MSM. Here's hoping he finds his way of these tall grasses.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Giving No Quarter To Terrorists

Fire of Liberty

Michael Ledeen has a wonderful piece over at Politics Central which sums up the angry feelings that a lot of people in America have with regards to September 11th, 2001, the terrorists of al Qaeda and their supporters. After watching the coverage of 9/11 and watching the well written The Path To 9/11, I have to say that we've got to demonstrate our Jacksonian impulses by re-doubling our efforts in the War on Terror and wiping this earth free of as many Islamic fascists as we can hold accountable for promoting and sponsoring such a hateful ideology. No matter what your politics are or what you think about the current administration, you've go to agree that rolling up terrorists and their liked minded allies is a definite must if we're serious about defending and preserving the lives of future generations and Western civilization itself. So let's keep up the hunt and refuse to back down from such a challenge, it's the least we could do to avenge the thousands that died on 9/11 and other attacks on our citizens/soldiers throughout the world.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The True Colors of Iran's Khatami

Fire of Liberty

Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe, has a good piece out today on Mohamed Khatami and his "speaking tour" of the US. Now while the MSM, the institutions that invited him and various members of the state department are lauding this "moderate" of Iran as someone the US should be welcoming and willing to talk to with regards to its nuke program and our general policy towards Iran, Jacoby has made great efforts to provide his readers with a short but cocise look at the true nature of this so-called moderate. Here a brief sample:
His election as president came only after religious authorities disqualified 234 potential competitors they considered too liberal. In his own writings, Khatami has insisted that "only those who have attended religious seminaries should have a voice in government." Separation of church and state? Not for this theocrat.

And he is no more opposed to terrorism than he is to theocracy. As minister of culture and Islamic guidance in the 1980s, Khatami oversaw the creation of Hezbollah, the deadly terrorist group that would kill more Americans prior to 9/11 than any other terrorist organization on earth. During the recent war in Lebanon, he hailed Hezbollah as "a shining sun that illuminates and warms the hearts of all Muslims." Throughout Khatami's term of office, the US State Department identified Iran as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism. It was on his watch that President Bush named Iran a part of the "Axis of Evil."

In 1998, Khatami's intelligence agents brutally murdered Darioush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh, two well-known leaders of Iran's liberal opposition. The following year, government thugs attacked student dissidents at Tehran University. Several students were killed. Hundreds were arrested and tortured.

Many Iranians had hoped that Khatami's accession to office would mean more freedom of speech and of the press. But he presided over the shutting down of at least 85 newspapers and the prosecution of numerous journalists. Reporters Without Borders called Iran under Khatami "the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East." It was a prison as well for Iran's religious minorities, all of which were severely persecuted. In a letter protesting the National Cathedral'’s invitation to Khatami, the chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Felice Gaer, notes that during Khatami'’s tenure "“Jews, Christians, Sunni and Sufi Muslims, Baha'’is, dissident Shia Muslims, and others . . . faced systematic harassment, discrimination, imprisonment, torture, and even execution based on their religious beliefs."”
If we are serious about spreading the light of Lady Liberty onto a distant shore and bringing about the downfall of the mullachracy in Iran, then we've got to refuse to give these folks visas to traipse all over our country espousing a faux image of Iran. It's one thing to give them a visa to the UN but I have to say give me a break for allowing them to leave the confines of Turtle Bay or the lodgings. Isolation of the mad mullahs might not be something that is popular with the MSM or university crowd but its worth it to the people of Iran who toil under the mullah's jackboot and wish for the rights we take for granted.

Free Trade Wins Again

Fire of Liberty

Now while "sophisticates" of the suburban and metro areas of this country might think they are helping out the "working-man" in the third-world by demanding that their local coffee house/shop carry and sale "fair trade" coffee, they fail to realize that they are placing an economic burden on the workers who pick and pack these beans. Well thankfully the Financial Times has a good article out today which points out that the workers(In this case two "fair trade" coffee producers in Peru)are being paid wages well below the standard minimum wage in Peru and also notes that some of these coffee produces are growing their crops in a protected national forest. This might not be trendy and just downright taboo in the circles who demand "fair trade" products but I think they need to stop and think about the benefits of free trade, which allows the coffee producer or any producer to enter into a competitive playing field with no barriers which allows them to make a good profit which then allows the producer to pay more money to their workers and possibly expand their operations to hire more locals. At least with free trade the company is basing their actions on competition and are willing to pay their workers to deliver a product that a lot of folks want rather than making a product to soothe the minds of a small minority of coffee drinkers. I just wish that the folks calling for something trendy (and ideas created in the socialists salons and think-tanks) like "fair trade" should do a little more studying about these various issues and the negative impact on the people that these decision impact before they jump on the band-wagon.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Three Cheers For Coach Erk Russell

Fire of Liberty

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Erk Russell family with the news of his untimely death today. One can hardly fathom how many lives that this legend of a coach has influenced and inspired during his various stints at Grady High School(Atlanta), Auburn, Vanderbilt, UGA and Georgia Southern. Here's hoping that more coaches and players try their best to approach life and football much like Coach Russell did during his 80 years on this earth. I have to say Loran Smith of the Georgia Radio Network summed up why folks loved and will definitely miss coach Russell when he noted the following:
“Erk coached through motivation not intimidation as some thought," said Loran Smith, Georgia Radio Network sideline reporter and longtime Executive Secretary of the Georgia Bulldog Club. "He had the most remarkable ability to make everybody feel good. Secretaries loved him. Custodians loved him. Most of all, his players loved him, which is why the least talented athlete could make a contribution if it was only for one play or one series. He felt that defense was reaction and recognition. He could motivate a kid with heart and an appreciation for team play to help Georgia win championships. He was selfless and was happiest with a beer, a cigar and good conversation. To me, the mark of a great man is when the little people admire and love you. That was certainly the case with Erk. He was the heart and soul of Georgia football for the years he was here.”
So take time out of your busy day to offer up a prayer to this legend of a coach.

*Check out this wonderful dedication to coach Erk Russell byMichael Lough of the Macon Telegraph. It pretty much sums up how UGA and GSU fans fell about the man known as Erk.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Football Fever In The Air

Fire of Liberty

I found this wonderful piece over at Townhall by Mary Katharine Ham which pretty much describes why football is such a big hit in American and especially in the South. So here's hoping everyone a happy football season. Here's hoping that the Dawgs hunker down this year and give us yet another SEC title and possibly even higher aspirations(We can always dream).

*Also check out Michael Novak's great piece on Notre Dame. You might not like the team that Knute Rockne and the Four Horsemen built but its worth a read.

Bush Is Spot-On With Regards To Iran

Fire of Liberty

Now while a lot of folks in the MSM, leaders in Europe and a few select Senators might call for greater negotiations between the Iranians and the US, President Bush continues to stand on principle and refuses to back down from taking on individuals that threatens our way of life and denies others of G-d's given rights. You got to say the President is standing on firm ground when he pointed out in his speech today that Iran's president(The mullahs main pick) is indeed a tyrant especially when you see a continued violent crack-downs on the various marches and protests of student, labor groups, and dissidents for greater freedoms as well as their continued support a promotion of Hezbollah. To make matters worse is the fact that Iran's tyrants continued quest for a nuclear weapons program and the development of effective delivery platforms not only physically endangers the people of Iran(Oh, maybe a large compliment of F-15's, F-16's, F-18's, B-52's, B-1's and B-2's dropping bombs on the weapons sites)but it is also draining the economy of Iran in seriously low depths that has racked them will high levels of unemployment and greater levels of poverty in Iran. While economics isn't a true determination on whether or not a country is indeed a tyranny but you've got to say that when a nation's government devotes so much money to making nukes, missiles, and funding terrorists while denying basic rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness then they're pretty much a tyranny. In fact, this most recent piece in the AP on the machinations of Iran's president and co-conspirators is yet another blinking sign that it is indeed a tyranny. So keep on keepin' on President Bush.

Private Sector Surpasses Gov't in Katrina Response

Fire of Liberty

Ed Feulner, president of The Heritage Foundation, has a wonderful column over at Townhall which points out various examples on why when it comes to dealing with disaster relief and recovery relief(In this case post-Katrina LA and MS) private charities and religious groups run circles around the wholly mammoth known as "big government." It'd be nice if we heard more success stories like these in the news rather than hearing the conspiracies by Spike Lee and seeing the frowns of CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Talk Gets You Nothing in Darfur

Fire of Liberty

The Sunday Times has an article which demonstrates the fecklessness nature of the UN when it comes to confronting aggressors and ending genocidal campaigns in the far reaches of the world.

Iran's Nose-Snubbing

Fire of Liberty

I'd have to say that political cartoonist Randy Bish has a good piece in the September 1, 2006 edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that pretty sums up Iran and other nations defiance of the UN Security Council with regards to its nuke program. Take a look:


The thing that bothers me is the fact that the UN higher-ups keeps on going hat in hand to regimes like Iran and urging them to more talks even though the mullahs are using them as a delay tactic while their scientist continue their quest for the bomb. Talk is all well and good but its not worth a damn if the mad mullahs push forward in their messianic mission and Israel or our troops in the region are smoldering embers. The best solution to the problem is hard sanctions combined with a democratic movement within Iran to push the mullahs out for good.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Full-Measures Against Islamic Fascism

Fire of Liberty

For those who want to read some good articles that pretty much lays out what path the United States and the West in general has got to down in order to take that "last full measure" against the Islamic Fascists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, then I suggest you go over to TCS Daily and read Arnold Kling's article "The Age of Post-National Warfare" and Dr. Michael Vlahos's article "The Puzzle of New War". While these articles are a little lengthy(Might require two coffees) they still present a well reasoned argument on why Islamic Fascism is a enormous threat and why the West has got to go non-stop in their efforts to take down these evil forces. So check them out, you won't be disappointed.