Friday, July 23, 2004
Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I actually do other things besides blog! However, lately I've been doing most of my blog posts for another site: blogsforbush.com You can see some of my stuff there, including: June 3rd: Why the Jewish Community should support Bush (June archives) and June 13th: Which is Worse: Being stripped Naked and being piled on top of each other, or having your tongue cut out, and your children quartered to death? Also: June 6th: An Example of an Honest Liberal; July 15: The Best Phone Call to Rush Limabaugh; July 19: Eight Reasons America is Safer Under Bush; July 21: Kerry Dishonest Regarding Berger's Resignation.
I'll probably write on blogsforbush before my own site until the election is over.
Monday, May 31, 2004
President Bush Is His Own Worst Enemy
The controversy is over the following sixteen words in the President’s State of the Union address: “The British government has learned that Suddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Although the President never before suffered from a credibility problem, he has recently created one for himself after it was discovered that one of the documents containing this fact was forged. However, the mistake the President made was not including these sixteen words, but “admitting” that he made a mistake, when there was none.
First, let us put this in context. We know with certainty that in the 1980’s Suddam Hussein did in fact purchase uranium from Africa -- 270 tons of it. The President’s speech merely stated that the British government had reason to believe he was trying to do it again. This fact was true at the time that the State of the Union was given and it is true now. The British government stands by this statement even today. Tony Blair, at a recent Liaison Committee hearing in Parliament, directly stated that this fact remains true. He further pointed out that the decision to go to war with Iraq was not based on the forged dossier which is causing all this brou–ha-ha. Rather, the decision to go to war was based on Saddam Hussein’s twelve years of violating UN resolutions, culminating in his most recent violation of Resolution 1441 in which the entire UN community unanimously voted that there was reason to believe Suddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and that failure to account for them would constitute a material breach requiring “serious consequences.” Let me repeat: it was not just George Bush and Tony Blair who believed that Hussein had WMD, but the ENTIRE UN community.
The British intelligence which provided that Hussein sought to buy uranium from Africa was not based on the forged dossier. According to Blair, the facts in that dossier were independently verified by British intelligence. Therefore, it is irrelevant that that document was forged, because the document itself was irrelevant to the ultimate decision.
Some are arguing that the United States should not have relied on foreign intelligence. However, the United States cannot combat the evils of terrorism alone. Britain has been our closest ally; it is not as though we relied on information provided by France or China. In any event, the state of the union attributed the statement to that entity from which it was obtained. The President did not say “Hussein sought to buy uranium...” Rather, he stated that “[t]he British government has learned that …Hussein sought to buy…” Moreover, he did not state that Iraq bought the uranuim, but merely that it was seeking to do so.
No one criticized the President for relying on British intelligence at the time of his speech. If it was OK then, it should be OK now. The fact that the Democrats are raising this as a “problem” almost a year later, exposes it for what it is: a sham political point. Not to mention the fact that the Democrats are conveniently glossing over the fact that they voted in favor of the resolution giving the President the power to go to war if necessary, three months prior to the State of the Union speech.
The reason they did this was because the decision to go to war was not based on the allegation that Iraq had nuclear weapons. As someone who listened to every speech on every station every night for weeks leading up to the war, I distinctly remember the Bush administration saying that they did not believe Iraq had nuclear weapons, but that they believed they had weapons of mass destruction – namely biological and chemical weapons. Indeed, the Democrats’ whole argument against war at the time was that perhaps we should focus on North Korea, who in contrast to Iraq did have nuclear weapons. They repeated this like a chant. However, the Democrats are rewriting history. It is as though that debate never took place. Now they claim that Bush made the decision go to war based on false information that Iraq had nuclear weapons. And worse, that he misled the country intentionally. How ironic – those who supported Clinton literally and figuratively to their deaths – suddenly purport to be concerned about honesty. However, they are lying to defame a principled president in order to score political points.
Yet, President Bush is his own worst enemy. He opened a Pandora ’s Box when he “admitted” that a true fact should not have been included in the State of the Union. The Democrats were sitting hopelessly on the sidelines waiting for just such an opportunity. Now we will have to suffer though congressional hearings and investigations on what is really a non-issue. Others who are supposed to be on our side are of no help. These include Don Rumsfeld, who on Meet the Press retracted his true statement about Iraq seeking uranium and passed the buck to the President, and Trent Lott who “conceded” that the Senate should investigate the CIA sources for the decisions leading up to war. Presently, the White House has hired Mary Matlin to clean up their public relations mess. The problem is that Matlin’s strategy of focusing on the broader picture of why we were justified in going to war will not work. Her explanation is long and detailed, and evades the question that the public wants to know: did President Bush state the truth when he uttered the sentence that the British intelligence believed that Hussein was seeking uranium…
The world is not constituted of political junkies who will watch every interview to get the full story. It sounds like the administration doth protest too much. The public will listen to eight second sound bites and they want the truth. The truth is that Bush was right to include that sentence in the State of the Union. Those facts were true then, and those facts are true now. He should take responsibility for his actions and stop apologizing needlessly.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
When San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newson and his clerks began issuing gay marriage licenses earlier this year, the most shocking thing about it was that nobody suggested that he should be put in jail for breaking the law. Indeed, nobody even acknowledged that he had committed a crime, or at least an act of civil disobedience, for which the proper penalty would have been imprisonment. Instead, the Mayor’s actions started a heated and lengthy debate over the pros and cons of so-called gay marriage. There are inherent flaws in a pro-gay marriage policy, such as the implication that men and women are the same, and that therefore it does not matter whether one marries a man or a woman. However, putting policy issues aside, one must first determine the legality of both the current marriage statutes and the procedures by which Mayor Newson sought to institute gay marriage.
On Tuesday, in an unprecedented case, the California Supreme Court heard legal arguments concerning gay marriage. The attorney representing the City of San Francisco, Ms. Therese Stewart, argued that every branch of government, including the executive branch, must initially make constitutional interpretations before acting. She insisted that the Mayor’s first priority is to remain faithful to the United States Constitution, and that because he, in good faith, believes that “discrimination” or exclusion of homosexuals from marriage violates the equal protection clause, he was right to break the California Statute prohibiting homosexual marriage, and he was right to ignore the passage of proposition 22 whereby both the California legislature and the voters of California said “no” to gay marriage.
There were several legal options that the Mayor could have utilized to determine whether or not California law was constitutional. For example, he could have filed a declaratory action in court, asking the court for a determination as to whether or not the statute in question was permissible. He also could have asked the State Attorney General to issue an opinion regarding the statute’s permissibility. Finally, if in good conscience, Mayor Newson felt unable to issue marriage licenses to opposite sex couples because he felt it discriminated against same-sex couples, he could have refrained from doing so, and then waited for the courts or the legislature to address the issue. However, Mayor Newson chose none of these alternatives. Instead, the Mayor, one person out of the entire California population, took it upon himself to interpret the constitution, to rewrite the law as he personally saw fit, and to implement the new “law” by issuing gay marriage licenses. Ms. Stewart was hard-pressed to adequately answer numerous questions by the Justices as to why the Mayor chose to take action to marry gay couples rather than seek a legal interpretation from the courts as he should have. She stated that he took his actions so that when the issue went to court, the controversy would revolve around “real people” rather than between the executive branch and the legislative branch of government. She also claimed that the reason he did not go to court first, was that he was concerned that if he did so, he would be placed in a position where he was charged with enforcing a statute that he personally believed was unconstitutional. (Translation: he was afraid the court would find against him, so he acted first.) Ms. Stewart was unable to produce an answer to a Justice’s question of what urgency existed causing the Mayor to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals before obtaining a court ruling. One Justice pointed out that Mayor Newson not only refused to enforce what he thought was an illegal law, but he single-handedly decided what the remedy would be. He was the judge, the legislature and the executor all in one.
Mr. Jordan Lorence, attorney representing the Alliance Defense Fund, was most persuasive. He aptly pointed out that there is no general constitutional right to marry anyone one wants to. Rather, there is a right to access marriage, as it is defined, if one meets the legal prerequisites (age, competence, gender, etc.) By definition, marriage is between a man and a woman, and there is no right to redefine it. Moreover, as previously pointed out, what occurred in the instant case was not merely executive nullification of a law believed to be unconstitutional. Rather, Mayor Newson engaged in legislative nullification by rewriting the law himself. Mr. Lorence further argued that the 4000 “marriages” which occurred in San Francisco should be deemed a nullity. Because those who were issued a license did not meet the legal prerequisites of marriage, the marriages do not need to be invalidated because it is as if they never occurred. They were null and void from inception. Moreover, it would be ludicrous to allow thousands of people to file separate law suits regarding the status of their marriage when the facts applicable to each homosexual marriage license are identical. The Mayor and his clerks warned the gay couples that their marriage licenses might not be valid. Mr. Lorence pointed out the irony and unfairness of parties who obtain a marriage license illegally and then look to the same legal system they disregarded, asking it to uphold and respect their marriage licenses.
Mr. Timothy Muscat, the California Attorney General, who represented the plaintiff in this case, pointed out that the issue before the court is a very narrow one. It is not, a question of whether or not the marriage statute is constitutional. Rather, the question is who makes the determination of constitutionality? It is well-established law that it is the role of the judiciary to make constitutional and statutory interpretations of law. The Mayor of San Francisco was acting in violation of the principle of the separation of powers. As we all know, checks and balances exist in this country because the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive branch all act separately and have checks on other branches. Additionally, Mr. Muscat well made the point that voters have a right to assume laws will be enforced and that local officials will not redraft or ignore state statutes. The legal presumption is that California statutes are constitutional. The Mayor acted on the erroneous presumption that the law was not constitutional.
As several justices pointed out, the ramifications of one man acting on the basis only of his own beliefs are severe, however sincere those beliefs might be. What if a local official believed the states laws on gun control were illegal, would it be permissible for him to unilaterally announce that it is legal to disregard state law? This could obviously happen on any number of subjects, in contravention to the proper legal processes for amending current law. The California Attorney General’s main argument is that the judiciary branch is the ultimate arbiter of what is or is not constitutional. Because he is correct in his legal analysis, it is very likely that as the plaintiff in this case, he will win in seeking to uphold current California law. Those claiming they hold a valid homosexual marriage in the State of California will likely find themselves single once again.
Policy considerations aside, Ms. Stewart’s legal arguments in support of homosexual marriage in San Francisco were more than unpersuasive. They were laughable. They amounted to nothing more than the equivalent of “the Mayor sincerely believed that he was right, and didn’t want to take the issue to court because he was afraid the court wouldn’t agree with him.” He wanted to do what he wanted to do. Perhaps he was sincere. But he was sincerely wrong.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
One sunny afternoon, President Bush and the Pope decided to go boating together. When they were out in the middle of the ocean, the Pope's skullcap fell off his head into the water. He reached for it, but it was out of his grasp. The President said, "Don't worry about that. I'll get it for you." President Bush got out of the boat, walked across the water, got the skullcap, came back to the boat and returned the skullcap to the Pope. The next day the headline on the front page of the New York Times read, "President Bush Can't Swim!"
Friday, May 14, 2004
Apparently, some liberals in Washington, DC are referring to Al Qaeda's beheading of Nick Berg, as an act which occurred in the "cycle of violence." Those who talk about a cycle of violence seem to think that somehow both the United States and Israel brought the violence upon themselves. It is our fault that the enemy is murderous. We just have to figure out why they hate us so much. Then, of course, we must change ourselves accordingly so that we will be better liked by the enemy. The implication is that the horrific acts of violence are justified. This viewpoint acknowledges no distinction between offense and defense; no distinction between pre-meditated cold-blooded murder and self-defense. It's pathetic.
If you hold a gun to my head and threaten me, and I pull the trigger to save my life, then, according to the liberals, that would be just cause for the would-be murderer's family to kill my children. There is no acknowledgement that there is a difference between Palestinians who intentionally aim to murder innocent civilians including children, and Israelis who go out of their way not to hurt innocent Palestinians, even to the point where they risk having additional Israeli soldiers die by being overly careful.
Moreover, for Al Qaeda to claim that the slow and deliberate beheading of a 26 year-old man who was in Iraq to help rebuild the country, is retribution for the stripping of Iraqi prisoners by United States soldiers is ridiculous. It is so ridiculous, that it is hard to believe some entertain the idea. First, the two wrongs are hardly comparable in terms of cruelty. Second, do you really think Al Qaeda needed a reason to engage in such a heinous act? Do you really believe that but for the stripping of Iraqi soldiers, Nick Berg would be alive today? Give me a break!
Additionally, the reasoning that we caused Al Qaeda to act in a murderous fashion constitutes faulty logic. If an abused housewife came to a liberal for help, would she be told that it is her fault that her husband beat her? Should she find out why he is so angry? Maybe she burned the peas and she should be more careful. Blaming the victim is typical of abusers. And buying into it is typical of victims. The first step toward freedom, is to realize that it is not the victim's fault that the abuser behaves the way he does. There is NOTHING that excuses 9/11, Nick Berg's decapitation, or the blowing up of school children in Israel. It is ironic that liberals never require one to take responsibility for his own actions, but they require us to take responsibility for the actions of others -- for those over whom we have no control. In the mind of a liberal, violence is always the responsibility of everyone except the person or persons who committed it.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Once again, the Clintons have shown that they do not understand the meaning of words, nor do they understand that words have meaning. While piling naked prisoners on top of each other certainly is not acceptable behavior for US Military troops, this act cannot accurately be referred to as an “atrocity.” Yet, that is just what Hillary labeled it. The acts of Nazi Germany against the Jews during World War II constituted atrocities; The acts of Saddam Hussein’s regime against the Kurds and Iraqi citizens constituted atrocities; the terrorist acts committed against the World Trade Center on 9/11 constituted atrocities. But, to date, there is no evidence of “atrocities” being committed at US prison camps in Iraq. Now that a terrorist cell has beheaded a civilian American in Iraq, where is Hillary? Was that an atrocity, Hillary? I suspect that only the United States is capable of atrocities in her book.
Additionally, although I am sure this will be an unpopular opinion, if the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners is limited to sleep-deprivation, sensory overload such as being exposed to loud music, hot and cold temperatures, and being stripped of clothing, then so be it. It is amazing that people can put this in the same category as the torture inflicted by other regimes, such as Saddam’s, which cut out people’s tongues, raped women, quartered children, chopped off people’s fingernails, hung them upside down, and chopped off their heads. There, such heinous acts were committed as a matter of the official government policy of Iraq.
Of course, if it is determined that US troops have committed violence, murder, or rape against Iraqi prisoners, then that is wrong and unacceptable. However, I find it hard to believe that violence and rape constitute official US government policy. Rather, if it exists at all, it consists of the acts of a few who are behaving CONTRARY to US policy. Let us not pretend that stripping someone and keeping them awake at night for the purpose of eliciting information on murderous plots demonstrates that, “the US is no different than other countries” as many liberals are now claiming. These naked prisoners will live, intact with all their fingers and toes in place, as well as their tongues, giving them the opportunity to complain about their situations to future generations. The victims of Saddam and other dictators who truly tortured their victims, are not alive to tell their horrific stories. The acts of Saddam and the terrorists exemplify the true definition of the word “atrocities.” OK, Hillary?
Monday, May 03, 2004
On the last NightLine show, Ted Koeppel spent the whole half hour show listing the names of American soldiers who died in the Iraqi war. I could not believe the number of TV and radio shows that discussed this at length without any cognizance of what was wrong with it or why many of us considered it political spin. The general media is so biased that they weren't even to the point where they could defend a negative portrayal of the war; rather they think a one-sided view is objective, and they can't even see the other side.
Brian Lehrer of NPR, who, although liberal himself, usually does a good job of putting his own personal political views aside in an attempt to have rational discussion and look at both sides of an issue, ran a whole show asking the same question repeatedly: What is wrong with listing all the names of the dead soldiers? Shouldn't the public know what the cost of the war is in real terms? Is it worth having these men (and women) die?
However, listing the names of dead soldiers is more than information; it is political spin. Why? Because it is ONE-SIDED! If you want to know is "it" worth it, you have to know what "it" is!
Is Ted Koeppel also going to show the good things that are coming from the war? Is he going to show that schools and hospitals are up and running at a very high percent, is he going to show that little girls are now getting educated and that children are not being taught to hate America?
Is he going to show that for the first time in 30 years Iraqi's have a choice of newspapers and news sources without government concealment of information? Is he going to show how the free market there is allowing many families to start their own small businesses, many of which are prospering despite the current instability of their country?
Is he going to show the polls that show a minimum of 70 percent of Iraqi's are glad that America is there? Is he going to show that Iraqi's are now allowed to have air-conditioning, previously reserved for only the regime's elites?
Those are some of the positive things that we have accomplished in this short time. What about all that the terrible and horrific things that we did away with?
Is Ted Koeppel going to show pictures of the 300 mass graves created by Saddam Hussein that Iraqi's will no longer have to fear winding up in? Is he going to show the torture rooms where women were raped women and children were quartered as a matter of government policy, rooms that now sit in disuse?
Will he read off the names of the 16,000 people who died annually at the hands of Saddam's brutal regime? (not including the 300, 000 Kurds gassed at once) Is he going to show the anguish of families who had brothers and sisters and sons and daughters and fathers disappear out of the blue never to be seen again?
How about the fact that you couldn't even laugh at a joke about Saddam in your own home because the homes were bugged, and if you were caught laughing at what the government thought was inappropriate, your penalty was death without trial?
Obviously, Ted Koeppel's reading is spin. Should we honor each and every life that was lost in the course of this war? Definitely. Is our country, especially the families of those in the military making large and considerable sacrifices? Without question.
In the proper forum, at an appropriate time, e.g. Memorial day, would it be right for us to list the names of American soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq and to make a point to remember and honor them? Of course.
But that's not what Ted Koeppel and his journalistic peers were doing. They were asking the public to evaluate the cost of the war, without telling the public what it was getting in exchange for the price. They were giving half the story. They often do.
C.S. Lewis said that if you want the right answer, you have to ask the right question. Ted Koeppel and Brian Lehrer (sorry, Brian) asked the wrong question. They showed the consequence of war without showing what caused it. When they tell the rest of the story, I'll support a reading of the names.
Oh, and by the way, is Ted Koeppel going to interview Americans who had a member of their family die in Iraq and who believe in the war and believe that their son or daughter or brother or husband died for a just and right cause? They exist you know.
Is he going to interview those who completed their requisite duty in Iraq and re-enlisted to return to service because they believe in what America is trying to do in Iraq? Maybe Ted Koeppel should read the names of American fallen soldiers and then explain how these brave and valiant men and women died for the security of our country and to provide others with the same freedoms that we take for granted in this country. He can point out that many of the soldiers who died or were wounded, and their families are illustrations of the honor, valor and integrity held by those who understand that liberty comes at a cost.....and is worth it.