Sunday, September 26, 2004

Iraq, Iran and WMD's

In the final report from the Iraq Survey Group, a team of weapons inspectors in Iraq determined that Saddam Hussein had no WMD stockpiles at the time of the US invasion, but that Iraq had plans in place to produce them as soon as economic and military sanctions were lifted.

An Iraqi nuclear scientist's new book details how Saddam hid his nuclear secrets and the dictator's plans to control the Middle East with his nukes. What happened to this 'nuclear knowledge'? An answer probably lies in the fact that Syria is negotiating with Iran to send Iraqi nuclear-weapons scientists to Teheran. In conjunction with Iran's newly deployed strategic missiles, said nuclear warheads reportedly could hit London.

John Kerry's Accomplishments

In response to a question from B, I decided to research John Kerry's record and accomplishments. We know that he is the Senate's most liberal member (more liberal than both Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy). We know that he has voted against funding virtually every important defense and intelligence program, including one so "reckless that it had no co-sponsors".

So what exactly are John Kerry's accomplishments? I couldn't easily find a list on the web, for reasons that will become readily apparent, so I checked his official Senate web site. What I found was a tad... uhmmm... frightening.

Over his entire Senate career spanning two decades, John Kerry lists 25 major accomplishments. No signature legislation. No major bills sponsored or co-sponsored. Apparently, though, he did miss a lot of Intelligence meetings. Nonetheless, here are some of the highlights of John Kerry's career, according to his own Senate web site:

- Massachusetts Telecommunications Council "Policy Maker of the Year"
- Visiting Nurse Association of America's "Legislator of the Year"
- Gerry Studds Stewardship Award from the Boston Harbor Island Alliance for his work to preserve the Boston Harbor Islands
- Massachusetts Association of Home Health Care's "Legislator of the Year"
- Friends of the Public Garden's "Henry Lee Award" for efforts to preserve Boston's green spaces
- Assumption College's "Presidential Medal"
- Armenian Assembly of America's Award for service and commitment to the Armenian people.
- Tri-Community Chamber of Commerce George B. Wells Award for leadership in tourism
- Commencement speaker for Umass/Boston 20th Commencement UMass Boston Honorary Degree
- Brockton Little League's "Appreciation Award" March 7, 1988 for work with special needs division

A tad frightening, no? A Brockton, Massachusetts Little League award is one of his 25 signature accomplishments in a 20 year Senate career? These are the finest accomplishments of a man who would be president? The hair is standing up on the back of my neck.

John Kerry's Accomplishments

An Email Conversation - continued

Daniel Ortega and John KerryHere's the email conversation from yesterday, continued.

> I appreciate your effort to provide an academic feel to your rhetoric
> through citations. That might be another difference between us. I don't
> care to spend my time creating citations that I can provide for each of
> my points. These are opinions; not facts. In fact, I think you'd be
> hard pressed to separarate the facts from the fiction in these
> discussions. Too much rhetoric and too little's an amazing
> time to be alive.

While it is easy to smear the citations themselves as rhetoric, they are not. Did party A meet with party B? Did party C cast a vote against legislation D? I'm guessing that close to 100% of my citations point to facts. Now, ascertaining what those facts mean -- I would agree -- are subjective. But the citations themselves are, almost entirely, related to fact... while their interpretation consists of opinion. But at least my opinions are built upon fact. I would ask you to point to _any_ of my citations that is, of itself, rhetoric or opinion.

> I don't have the sense of paranoia, panic, etc that you appear to have
> because I don't think that we're in the ultimate struggle for the
> survival of western civilization...

This is obviously my opinion, but I completely disagree. For all of human history, marshalling the forces necessary to destroy a city required raising an army, feeding it, supplying it, transporting it, and providing for its logistics. Only then could a city be leveled and its residents killed, dispersed or sold into slavery. History is replete with examples of wanton barbarism of this type, from the Mongol hordes to present day Darfur.

Today, leveling a city requires only acquiring, positioning, and detonating a suitcase-sized package. Further, the primary actors are no longer nation-states that fear massive reprisals (the Mutual Assured Destruction doctrine of the Cold War). Instead we must now deal with suicidal extremists who believe that their ascent into heaven will be accelerated by killing infidels.

Contention #1: At the intersection of these two trends -- availability of highly portable, massively destructive war machines and suicidal religious extremists -- lies a not insignificant probability of a worst-case scenario as described in the book _EndGame_.

Contention #2: If NYC and DC were vaporized tomorrow, our economic and governmental infrastructures would be devastated. Medicare, Social Security, welfare, and untold other Federal systems would stop printing checks. Brokerage accounts would be, at a minimum inaccessible for weeks, if not months. Tens of millions of jobs would instantly disappear. The best case scenario in this eventuality would be a depression. End of civilization? I don't know, but it's close enough for my tastes.

Now, which of these contentions is invalid? Subject matter experts who are paid to simulate and hypothesize on topics such as these are rightfully concerned. So am I.

> If I thought the struggle was that critical I'd not be talking about
> it; I'd be doing something about it.

And some of us are.

> These are opinions, as are yours,
> no matter how many cites you care to give me. I can find a source for
> any opinion I care to take. That's one of the interesting things about
> this election.

Again, please point to a single citation of opinion and not fact.

> 1) We are not at war in the traditional sense. Yes we were when we
> invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. We aren't in the "war on terror"TM. Iraq
> was done without a plan, based upon false information, for the wrong
> reasons, and at the very least at the wrong time.

Now we've got some rhetoric! I let the results (and the facts) speak for themselves. Since the hostilities began:

- The AQ Kahn Nuclear Parts Network, possibly the most ominous threat to world peace on the planet, has been destroyed. Part of the war on terror? I think so.
- Libya has re-entered the world community and shed its WMD aspirations. Part of the war on terror? I think so.
- Afghanistan, formerly home to one of the most brutal regimes (the Taliban) in modern history, is poised to hold national elections next month
- Iraq, formerly a home to Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, a Boeing 707 used to train hijackers, Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Islam, and which funded Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups is now poised to become a secular Democracy. Despite the bleak picture you see from the MSM in select cities, 15 of 18 provinces could hold elections tomorrow (ref: Allawi). And that accounts for 75% of the population. Need proof? Check the ever-increasing
Iraq Blog Count. More and more Iraqis are blogging, not fighting.

These are facts. Not rhetoric.

> 2) Yes, there is a struggle and yes it's important, but casting it in
> the light of "war" is the wrong way to view it. We won't win treating
> it like "war". Nor would we win if we treat it like a criminal/police
> event either. We need a new way to look at it. It certainly isn't a
> threat to western civilization as we know it.

The enemy is treating it like a war. And my two contentions above, which I personally believe are true, indicate that -- indeed -- this war is a threat to our basic way of life.

> This needs to be addressed with a long view as I've stated numerous
> times in our discussions. It requires that we change the way we live
> (true energy independence) which is a lot more difficult than sending
> our troops abroad to die without a plan to win the peace (or the
> long-term struggle).

That's all fine, you're saying 'we need to fix the system'. Agreed. But to fix the system, you must have a system to fix. There won't be a system to fix if NYC and DC go up in mushroom clouds. Or it won't be a system we recognize. Perhaps you don't mind that scenario. I do.

> 3) Both candidates from the major parties involved in this coming
> election are pathetic. Bush has shown his inability to unite, lead and
> bring effective change during his four years. His cabinet is rife with
> cronyism and they have skewed views on what this country should be going
> forward.

I don't dispute that both candidates are sub-optimal. But skewering folks like Colin Powell and Condi Rice, who seem to me to be both honorable, ethical and intelligent, does nobody any good.

> Kerry is a lame offering that is an embarrasment. I cut him more
> slack than you because I understand that when he is attacked it's only
> half of the story. This is particularly true with respect to his voting
> record.

Yes, Kerry is an embarrassment. Joe Lieberman? Sure, I could get behind him. And, yes, John Kerry's voting record is egregious. Watch for a later post regarding his accomplishments. There's nothing to dissect in his record because, according to his own Senate web site, three of the 25 most important accomplishments of his career are:

- Gerry Studds Stewardship Award from the Boston Harbor Island Alliance for his work to preserve the Boston Harbor Islands
- Friends of the Public Garden's "Henry Lee Award" for efforts to preserve Boston's green spaces
- Brockton Little League's "Appreciation Award" for work with special needs division

The man is an empty suit and there is no positive half to his Senate record. In fact, I promise to highlight on my blog any keystone legislation he sponsored, any single act that made a difference to the United States.

> 4) There is a lot of noise and very little truth out there. If you go
> in with bias (and I have mine...see #1, #2, & #3) you can find a source
> that will support you. You can always discount the information you get
> that doesn't match your view so that you can avoid the discomfort of
> having to change said view (and perhaps your behavior). Sure, I can
> cite links that support my view. However, most of those links would be
> opinions which you would discount because they can always be said to
> come from the liberal media. And we know they are out to get us and
> turn the country to communism.

I return to my citations. Please find a citation that does not refer to a fact and instead references an opinion or judgment. And speaking of the media, a peer-reviewed academic study entitled A Measure of Media Bias indicates that the MSM truly does have a liberal agenda. CBS's egregious forgery topped off a string of four consecutive 'hit pieces' on President Bush, while the Swiftboat Veterans -- all 250+ of them -- have yet to be heard from on CBS.

And a quick sidetrack on that topic: so far, it's been Kerry who has backtracked on the areas in dispute, not the SwiftVets. Christmas in Cambodia? The CIA man with the magic hat? The rice-bin purple heart? Kerry refusing to sign a Form 180 and release his medical records? That should have been a huge story and, if it hadn't been for the blogosphere, FoxNews and a ton of grassroots support, you'd have never heard it. Instead we get forgeries, apparent collusion with the Democratic National Committee, and ignored witnesses... all intended to influence a presidential election... but I guess there's no news story there.

> Look, we're all citizens of this great country and I'm of the belief
> that we all love our country. There are very few of us that want us to
> be socialized or "communized" and certainly less that want us
> terrorized. However, we're more than happy to speak of our countrymen
> (including Bush and Kerry) as if they are traitors. Both sides use
> this rhetoric and can support it with "citations". I think it's all
> useless bullshit that excites the emotions without accomplishing
> anything other than to support the existing oligarchy.

It sounds like we're both on the same page with respect to the two-party system. It's both tragic and counterproductive that we can't choose from a larger pool of candidates. But, again, this is the system we have. Fixing the system is much easier if there is still a system around to fix.

John Kerry's history of indecision, poor decisions, appeasement and political expediency is unacceptable from where I stand. And his statements, votes and continual position-shifts on matters of war and peace are neither rhetoric nor opinion. They are a matter of record.

MSM Turnaround?

Even WaPo is turning around. Columnist Colbert King has had a change of heart regarding the Swiftboat Veterans. Quoting Democratic Vietnam Vet Rodney Coleman:

"Kerry still hasn't satisfied me and many others. . . . It's September and I'm still conflicted. Speaking for myself, it is NOT enough that he served!" Those aren't the thoughts of a Republican-funded, right-wing, over-the-top Swift boat veteran. Ignore them, Kerry camp, at your peril.

Kerry's Unlikely Detractors

Suggested Debate Zingers

From Polipundit:

My opponent’s habit of following the prevailing winds may work for windsurfing. But it is not a strategy for dealing with our enemies.

Senator Kerry, I’ve faced undecided voters before. But until this moment I’ve never met an undecided candidate.

My opponent has had twenty years in the Senate to fix that problem.

Senator Kerry we have some common ground-neither of us was in Cambodia.

As your running mate once said, that was the longest answer to a yes-no question ever.

The senator says this is the “wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time." Makes you wonder why he voted for it.

No, not “Are you sure?" The correct zinger response to anything Kerry says is, “Is that your final answer?"

I saw a press release from my opponent’s campaign yesterday, and it looks like they used the same word processor my commander did way back in ‘72.

As you all know, the world economy has suffered since 9/11. And my policies have brought much of the world back. But a lot of credit has to be given to Senator Kerry’s wife, whose company has created over 10,000 overseas jobs.

I believe America knows where I stand on the war on terror. I yield the remainder of my time to Senator Kerry so that he can debate himself.

After Kerry states his opposition to the Patroit Act.., 'Sen. Kerry which part of the Patriot Act were you against that we used to round-up an al Queda cell in America that was planning to execute a Beslan type school attack?’

I do not care to be all things to all people. To our friends around the world, I care to be a voice for America’s interests. But we have also heard from some evil people - and I am only one thing to them: a mortal enemy.

Our coalition of [x] nations is larger then the [y] allied nations who won World War II. One nation with right on its side is stronger than a whole axis of evil.

Expanding on the “Is that your final answer" add, “or would you like to poll the audience?"

Senator, since 9-11, we have taken the battle to the terrorists and prevented them from attacking our homeland again; not one major attack since then. What is your plan, sir, to improve on this record?

Sen. Kerry says he would’ve done “everything" differently with regard to Iraq. I guess that means he would’ve lost the war."

"Sen. Kerry says the situation in Iraq is disastrous. He hasn’t been there to see for himself, but he says that Dan Rather has given him memos about it."
“You’ve spent 20 years in the Senate, and you have created or sponsored exactly zero bills that have been passed into Law. What exactly have we been paying you for?"

Bush: “Senator Kerry has changed his position on this issue so many times I had to be prepared for both of his answers."

Suggested Debate Zingers

Daily Worker^H^H^H^H^H^HKos

One thing that fascinates me about the Leftie blogs: like the Daily Worker of years past, the truth tends to disappear when it no longer matches their vision of the way the world should be. The Daily Kos is an excellent example.

At the onset of RatherGate (9/10), Kos published a well, rather, detailed treatise on how the forged memos could, in fact, be real. On 9/12, it followed up with another astonishing article whose central contention was that the documents were, in fact, real (I think... however, the tortured logic is admittedly hard to follow). From that point forward, all of the discussion on this topic... disappeared. The pathetic attempts at forgery... the wanton, desparate swipes at the Right to shore up the forgeries... all of the pandering discussion about experimental hybrid, space-age 1972 typewriters that could have existed to create the memos... well, those topics just disappeared.

Nice work, Kos! There might be a blogosphere Pulitzer in your future with work like this!

And today: the big story in the rest of the world? Kerry's comments regarding Allawi - for good or ill. Guess what, on the Kosmonaut site, those comments never happened.

And those with opinions that differ from the Kosmunist are... banished to Siberia. These persons, even reasonable and civil folks who disagree with the majority, never existed. And their comments are banished with them. Gone... without a trace.

Truth is the best weapon to use against the Left. Sites like Chronwatch and Polipundit, which lean to the Right, accept all opinions, from the Left and the Right... and, at that, even trolls. No one is banished to Siberia. Major issues of the day are always discussed, and mistakes are categorized and even owned up to.

That doesn't happen in the socialist, moonbat world of the Left. Truth is on vacation in Fantasyland. Or it was banished to Siberia.

Heard around the Web

Captain's Quarters: Iraq Hid Nuclear Program Intending On Rebuilding It

A Physicist's Perspective: Nuclear Iran, and bombing by Israel?

Power Line: The AP: Toast

Althouse: John Kerry's Final Mistake

Claremont: Apocalypse Kerry

No comments: