Amir Taheri does some actual investigative reporting on the ground in Iraq. Lots of good info and this wrap-up (hat tip John Hawkins and others):
THERE are two Iraqs today: One as portrayed by those in America and Europe who wish to use it as a means of damaging Bush and Blair, and the other as it really exists, home to 24 million people with many hopes and aspirations and, naturally, some anxiety about the future.
"After we have aired our grievances we remember the essential point: Saddam is gone," says Mohsen Saleh, a geologist in Baghdad. "A man who is cured of cancer does not complain about a common cold."
It's nice to see a little of the truth leak out around the edges of the major media outlets.
This poll also has something interesting to say (via Andrew Sullivan):
We started by asking the basic question: was the war against Saddam’s regime right or wrong? 50 per cent said “right”, while just 27 per cent said “wrong”.
Then they asked the Iraqi's why they thought the US and Britain went to war:
The top two by a mile were “to secure oil supplies” (47 per cent) and “to help Israel” (41 per cent). Just 23 per cent said our aim was “to liberate the people of Iraq”, while 7 per cent said “to protect Kuwait”.
The formal reason for going to war, “to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction” came last. Just 6 per cent think this was America’s and Britain’s main motive.
So, while only 6% of those polled thought that our main goal was to find WMD and 47 percent thought it was all about oil 50 percent of those asked in the poll thought that the invasion was the right thing to do and just 27% thought it was wrong. Keep in mind here these are the people whose country has just been invaded.
Do you think that support among the Democratic Party for the war being "right" is as high as it is among the Iraqi's themselves? I'd bet that if you reversed the right and wrong numbers (50% believe it was wrong; 27% believe it was right) you'd be pretty close to estimating Democratic support for the war.
The Democrats have completely lost the ability to develop a coherent foriegn policy because the core of the party has been captured by pacifists. The first Gulf War vote only got 52 votes in the Senate (as opposed to 77 in the 2002 vote) and that was only because Al Gore put his vote up to be bought and the Republicans offered him more prime time exposure.
Senate Democrats were opposed to going to war in 1991 even though the UN supported the action. So much for multilateralism.
Now they think that it's good for the nation try to bring into question a demonstrably true statement by the President in the SOTU address in an attempt to discredit a war which is popular even among Iraqis. Not smart - either for internal politics or the security of America.
GUVNA HOWIE ON THE STUMP
Gov. Howie Dean-0, Phd. (Dem - PRV) is upset about racial profiling.
Howie, who believes that Bush is a "divider and not a uniter" would go farther than Bush has in calling racial profiling wrong. Dean promised, in a speech in Austin on Monday, to cut of federal law enforcement funds to states who practice it.
There is a big difference in what the Dems call "racial profiling" and what you and I would define it as. In my book, it is wrong to detain (via a traffic stop or otherwise) a person who "looks suspicious" solely on the basis of their ethnicity; pulling people over for "driving while black" is obviously wrong and anyone who does it should be fired. But it is a totally different situation if law enforcement officials have information that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed and the description of that person includes their ethnicity. In that situation, it would be perfectly acceptable to stop a black male aged 25-40 in the vicinity of the crime scene if eyewitnesses had described the perpetrator in that manner.
Similarly, since the primary internal security threat to the United States, post 9-11, is from males of Middle Eastern decent age 25 to 40 attempting to hijack or blow-up passenger aircraft, it makes sense to pay more attention to the security screening of those passengers. And since we know that the people who have plotted terrorist acts in this country for al-Qaeda are primarily Saudi Arabian, Egyptian, Sudanese, Afghan, and Pakistani nationals it makes perfect sense to focus the efforts of law enforcement agencies on these groups. That means the government looks at their status to determine the legality of their residency. If they are in the country illegally they get deported.
Little Howie Zero, Phd. and his supporters from the PRV and PDRC (People's Democratik Republick of California) don't like this. Why treat one immigrant group differently from another, they cry. Unfair! Illegal! Un-American! Well, uh..NO. The FBI doesn't have the manpower to review the status of every immigrant in this country. It would be completely irrational to, for the sake of political correctness, make the reviews random so that they would not be "disproportionally" aimed at Arabs. It would also endanger the country for the sake of.....nothing.
If a person is here legally and they aren't engaged in any terrorist activities then they have nothing to fear. If, on the other hand, they have not filled out the proper forms and gotten the proper approvals they may be faced with deportation even if they have done nothing else wrong. Unfair? Maybe, but those were the rules in effect when they came here and, even thought they weren't enforced strictly before 9/11, the foriegn nationals living here are responsible to make sure that they are in compliance.
Dean, in the typically despicable Democrat tradition, is race-baiting again. But this issue is more important than a few racial set-aside programs. Trying to impose a politcally correct system on the FBI in its terrorism investigations is dangerously irresponsible.
The Dems want investigations of 9/11 and the intellegence agencies but they don't want any part of completely rational and legal programs to help protect the country. That's just one more reason why Bush will hand them a defeat of historic proportions in 2004.
THE IRRESISTABLE FORCE OF IDIOTARIANISM MEETS THE MOVEABLE OBJECT OF GRAHAM
Bob Graham, apparently jealous that Dr. Howie got the jump on him, has now suggested that the President should be impeached:
"If the standard of impeachment that the Republicans set for Bill Clinton a personal, consensual relationship was the basis for impeachment, would not a president who knowingly deceived the American people about something as important as whether to go to war meet the standard of impeachment?" Graham asked.
Now you can say he's just raising a hypothetical here but that doesn't really wash. The Democrat candidates for president are almost unanimous (I haven't heard Lieberman on the subject) in their insistence that Bush intentionally mislead the public on the subject of Iraqi attempts to secure uranium from Niger (by the way, when did the pronunciation change to "neejere" from "nijer"?).
So if the Dimmocrats agree that the Bush "deceived" the people by including false intelligence in the SOTU address AND Bob Graham-cracker thinks that this "deception" is an impeachable offense THEN he is suggesting it.
This is a huge red herring and it is going to backfire on the Dems. They aren't going to have a chance of defeating Bush in the presidential election but the House and Senate are up for grabs. The public is going to turn on them for this shameless fabrication and the resentment could trickle down to candidates for Congress.
But who would expect I guy who either can't count the number of letters in "deceit" (sorry couldn't help "Quayling" Cracker) or doesn't know how to spell it to be able to figure out effective political strategy? I forgot, Cracker is from Florida where they can't figure out how to cast their votes correctly. No wonder he's confused.