Thursday, April 27, 2006

Time for President Bush to Take the Offensive

With President Bush’s poll numbers languishing in the 30th percentile, sharks of all kinds smell blood in the water. Democrats and the media will, of course, continue to try to fatally wound this presidency, using lies, half-truths and specious arguments. Republican cowards, too timid to lead, too afraid of the next election, will continue to waffle, avoid confrontation with the Democrats and distance themselves from the president. And people like me, who have supported President Bush through thick and thin, will wonder at the lack of engagement by this White House that has taken us to this point and whether the situation is still salvageable.

The War on Terror, with campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a new front that needs to be opened in Iran and Syria, is the most important issue of our age. President Bush has had the right idea from the beginning, but his complete lack of engagement in confronting the lies being spread by Democrats and the media has ceded the field to the dissemblers. Repeated enough, without contradiction, the canard that “Bush Lied, Thousands Died” has taken root in the American consciousness. The Democrats have never been told to put up or shut up when it comes to formulating a coherent policy on the War on Terror. “We will do better” is not a policy, it is an empty promise. Yet, that empty promise has been allowed to take on the semblance of strategy. As a result, continuation of the War on Terror is now threatened, which means that all of us are at greater risk of becoming victims. That is completely unacceptable.

Also unacceptable is that the meaningless dialogue with Iran should continue. That country is a fascist state and has made no bones about its nuclear ambitions, as well as its intent to destroy Israel and kill Americans. They have met every overture with threats. We should believe them. Their nuclear program must be destroyed, but so must their regime. Otherwise, a nuclear device will surely go off in an American city, sooner rather than later. That must be prevented at all costs. We must be prepared to do anything, absolutely anything, to eliminate the threat, including preemption employing our own nuclear weapons if necessary.

Rogue elements in the CIA who have disclosed classified information about secret prisons for terrorists and the communications intercept program need to be ferreted out and prosecuted for treason. The media who have published that classified information should be forced to reveal their sources and punished as well. We are at war and their subversion is undermining the war effort, killing our troops and making us all more vulnerable. The First Amendment should remain intact, but those who violate the law in leaking or publishing classified material should face dire consequences, including jail time. Locking up reporters and editors for telling the enemy our secrets does not violate the First Amendment. Why hasn’t the Justice Department moved on this? There is no excuse for this inaction, and the buck should stop at the president’s desk.

Five years after 9/11, our borders remain porous. Reports are that people of Middle Eastern descent have crossed into the United States from Mexico. One would be surprised if they have not. The same goes for Canada. We must stop illegal immigration now. The American people are overwhelmingly opposed to illegal immigration and want it ended. Thousands of illegals protest and our politicians and the media want to give them equal standing with American citizens when it comes to immigration policy. That is an affront to our Constitution and to all citizens. Both parties and the president himself are completely tone deaf on this issue. Stop illegal immigration first. Seal the borders. Prosecute those who hire illegals. Enforce the law and require cities and states that receive federal funding (that means all cities and states) to enforce it as well. Deport illegal aliens and provide prison terms for repeat offenders. Then, and only then, can we talk about amnesty or guest worker programs. Our politicians, ever the panderers, are 100 percent out of step with the American people on this issue and it is time they were held to account.

All of these issues relate to national security. Take action, Mr. President, and the people will follow you. But you must be engaged.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Energy Price Shock Is Our Own Damn Fault

Want to know why gasoline prices are so high? Look in the mirror.

This country has failed to confront the energy issue for more than 30 years, despite repeated warnings starting with the 1973 OPEC embargo right up to the present.

Misguided environmental laws have prevented any new refineries from being built over that period, and special gasoline blends for different regions of the country make it impossible to alleviate shortages in one area by shipping in fuel from another. Our refineries, which produce gasoline and other petrochemicals are running full out and still can’t keep up with demand.

We cannot drill in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuse, we can’t drill off the West Coast, the East Coast or the Coast of Florida.

We can’t use nuclear power.

Even at today’s prices, American energy is so cheap by world standards it keeps any alternatives off the market.

Higher oil and gas and gasoline prices are here to stay, and likely to climb only higher as our dependence on OPEC continues to grow in a world where supply disruptions are just a terrorist bomb away.

Moreover, we are competing with new drivers and energy users in China, India and other rapidly industrializing countries.

Congress’s solution: Investigate the oil companies; trump up charges of gouging; perhaps pass a new Windfall Profit Tax. The result will be even less drilling as investment dollars are siphoned out of the hands of drillers and into the pockets of government. Then they can sit around and still do nothing, smug in the knowledge that they have shifted the blame once again.

Higher gasoline prices? You asked for it. You got it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Prosecute CIA Rogues, Mr. President

Rogue CIA agent Mary McCarthy, who revealed highly classified information to the press, needs to be prosecuted and sent to prison. If the Bush Administration fails to do so, for whatever reason, it is not fulfilling its responsibilities in time of war.

Moreover, we need to get to the bottom of a highly politicized CIA and State Department, in which rogue employees feel free to undermine national security and the policies of a duly elected president. I would favor making them subject to something akin to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, so that failure to carry out the legitimate orders and policies of their Commander in Chief would be a criminal offense.

If special prosecutors can investigate Scooter Libby for revealing the name of a non-covert CIA agent who was actively engaged in undermining presidential directives, when outing Valerie Plame was not even a crime, then surely releasing classified information to the media that could harm our troops and our country in time of war is a much more serious offense, deserving of trial and punishment.

The Justice Department absolutely must pursue this case, if need be, to the ends of the Earth. It is up to President Bush to ensure that it happens. We also ought to take a look at punishment for news media that publish classified material. That should not be protected under the First Amendment.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Rumsfeld Gambit

The current attacks on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are nothing more than the full-court press of Democrat politics, the politics of personal destruction. They have been at this since even before 9/11, though now they try to put their criticism in terms of mismanaging the war.

It is pure politics. The roots go back to the first election, which Democrats tried to steal by “imputing” voter intent on unmarked or improperly marked ballots. Gore lost even his own state and the statewide recount conducted by Florida newspapers confirmed that Bush won, but the Democrats felt they were entitled to the election because they are so much smarter than the rest of us poor, dumb, slobs, so they tried to steal it. The Constitution be damned, they immediately sought to overturn the legitimate results and almost succeeded with the Democrat-stacked Florida Supreme Court until the United States Supreme Court stepped in and did their Constitutional duty. That gave rise to the “selected, not elected” rhetoric. Oh, how the Democrats love their rhyming media sound bites.

Then in 2004 they ran an equally lousy candidate in the form of Vietnam War liar John Kerry, a man people like me remember for exactly what he was toward the end of that conflict: Benedict Arnold. Again, the Democrats felt entitled to that election, the Constitution be damned. So they decided to do the only thing they can do since they have no positive ideas themselves, which was to go negative. Another Democrat specialty. Make Bush illegitimate, call for his impeachment, paint the War on Terror and the campaign in Iraq in the worst possible light, criminalize politics, defeat any voter ID laws (so they can register illegals and ineligible voters, which is the ONLY reason to oppose voter ID cards), disclose classified information, create the false impression (knowingly false) that Bush lied about Iraq (when all intelligence services and the Democrats themselves ALL believed the same intelligence), etc., etc., etc.

Now, the target is Rumsfeld. He may be a taskmaster and abrasive, but he is trying to change the military and that is a very tall order (and a very necessary thing). The entrenched establishment doesn’t like it. There are probably scores more generals who resent what they view as his interference. But civilian control of the military is one vital element of our democracy. And just because someone has stars on his shoulders doesn’t make him a genius or automatically right. Take Weasley Clark (misspelling INTENTIONAL), for example. Just as in any other profession, there are good generals and bad, and some good generals when it comes to generalship who would be bad politicians and bad policy makers. The military needs to be transformed to be able to fight the next war, not the last one, and that is what Rumsfeld is doing. That has ruffled a lot of feathers within the officer corps. Our military is magnificent, but it can and does get hidebound. And many retired generals are ambitious folks to whom a career in politics, or punditry, looks attractive.

Of course, the entire Rumsfeld episode is just another political maneuver to make Bush look bad. It is the only thing the Democrats have, because they have no ideas and offer none, other than “we can do better,” which is an easy thing to say if you don’t have to come up with specifics. They cannot take a position because it will alienate one or the other segment of their base, so all they do is chip away, using negatives. But negatives alone do not a national defense strategy make.

Bush is not without blame. He did not engage and, in fact, ceded the field to the political enemy a long time ago. He allowed the Dems to lie without contradiction, without fighting back, without telling his side, and most certainly without calling a spade a spade when it comes to outright lying, as so many Democrats have done.

Politics is a big part of the president’s job. I give him a big, fat “F“ in politics, and resent the fact that his failure in this area threatens the war effort and has left the impression that the war is going badly (it is not) and that we are in the wrong place (we are not) and that it is hopeless (it is not). The war will be long and difficult and will involve other theaters after Iraq. Iran, for starters. We need to take them down militarily, and not just their nukes, but the regime itself. Syria needs the same treatment. Saudi Arabia must be forced to change its ways (by threat, but we won’t have to use military action there, for they are as decadent as the Euros). Those are the main players who need to change. Plus North Korea.

We have to keep our eye on the ball. Bush’s POLITICAL failure puts all that at risk. Still, he is the only sheriff out there who also has the right idea when it comes to the economy, which is booming, despite the war, precisely because more revenues are generated from tax cuts than tax increases. He is doing great on the economy. Only the Democrats and their mass media stooges won't acknowledge the fact. He is the only one (except perhaps Cheney) who will pursue the war with full vigor and still run a reasonably conservative economy (though spending is too high because he has failed to use his veto power). Rudi Giuliani would make a good president because he is a sheriff, too, as is McCain and Condi Rice.

I am not a big McCain fan because I believe he works too hard at playing the Maverick for purely political gain and therefore has no true convictions outside of favoring and understanding the war. I think he is wrong in opposing torture or humiliation tactics used against detained terrorists, but, given his background, he gets a pass on that. But he is a sheriff and that is what we need in the next president. We must continue to pursue the War on Terror to a successful conclusion, and if that means killing every radical Muslim neo-Nazi out there, then so be it.

The challenge of our age, the one thing that trumps all else, is the War on Terror, of which Iraq is but one battlefield. Instead of censoring footage of 9/11, we should be seeing it morning, noon and night on our television screens. Americans have notoriously short attention spans, and we must remember what was done to us that September morning five short years ago. We have to keep our eye on the prize and our mind on the consequences of not confronting and defeating Islamofascism.

The Democrats are ready and willing to put us all at risk, and to lie and trash good men and women and jeopardize the lives of American servicemen and women, all in the name of politics. They cannot be allowed to succeed.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Just Punishment for Islamic Terrorists

Call me sentimental. But I would give Zacarias Moussaoui the martyrdom he requests, only with a few changes as to the manner of execution.

First, I would make his last meal pork-based. Pure pork. I would tell him it was lamb until after he finished and then show him the cuts of meat from which it was taken. Show him the journey of his pork from barnyard to slaughterhouse to kitchen to his plate.

Then, instead of a firing squad or lethal injection, I would feed him to ravenous hogs. Let them eat him alive. Let him die knowing that instead of meeting a bunch of virgins with hair under their arms, he has a date with the Devil. His soul will be forever damned.

I would make videos of the final meal's preparation and consumption. And, of course, of the hog feeding. I would distribute these throughout the Muslim world, underscoring the fact that from here on out, the bodies of terrorist pigs will be treated accordingly. And I would carry out that threat. In spades.

I have been saying for a long, long time, that we need to get more brutal, more forceful, in pursuing the War on Terror. That is my only real complaint with the Bush Administration. I understand why they are trying to walk a thin line and not upset all Muslims, but I don’t agree. I believe this is a fight to the death with worthless dregs who need to die in the most painful way possible, with no hope of redemption, or virgins, or anything in the afterlife except perpetual damnation. And their fellow Muslims should be scared witless (I don’t really mean “witless”) of confronting the American juggernaut.

One of these days, another terrorist will get through our defenses. With the right weapons in hand (and, rest assured, Iran is working on that right now), they will kill tens of thousands of us, if not millions. Eventually, we will get the message and come down with everything we’ve got: nukes (strategic as well as tactical); nerve agents; biological weapons... and we will exact revenge not only on the terrorists and the governments that support them, but on the people of the Muslim world who have not policed their own house. And probably on North Korea, too, just for grins.

I hate to see it come to that, mainly because of my countrymen will die, but also because many more ordinary Muslims will perish in the fury of our response. Better to brutalize the terrorists now, before they have a chance to strike our homeland again. But, I don’t think we have it in us to do that. Not yet, anyway. But that time will come.

Mark my words; that time will come.

Meanwhile, think pork!

Monday, April 03, 2006

America Needs Blunt Reminders of 9/11

So, America isn’t ready for a movie about United Flight 93, the 9/11 jetliner whose passengers fought the hijackers, leading to the crash in a Pennsylvania field. It seems trailers for the new film were pulled after negative audience reactions since some believe the film comes “too soon” after the terrorist attacks.

My eldest daughter Julie was a flight attendant on United 93 up until a couple of weeks before that fateful day. She knew the entire crew, with the exception of the young woman flight attendant who took her place. When I watched the second plane, a United airliner, hit the second WTC tower, my first reaction was to call Julie, who was based in Newark. I got voicemail.

It wasn’t until later that day that we found out she was alive and well, grounded at a hotel in Southern California. The entire issue of the War on Terror for me is bound up in the certain knowledge as to just how close to the bone global terror is for all of us. I am 100 percent committed to getting not only the bastards who did this, but also all the states in the world who continue to aid and abet terrorism, regardless of whether they were directly involved in 9/11. I was and remain all for the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I sincerely hope Iran is next. And Syria. And anyone else who thinks they can plot against my people and get away with it. That is also why I have such contempt for Democrats who view the most vital national security issue of our day, if not in our nation’s history as an opportunity to play politics. It is why I am so thoroughly disgusted with a dishonest national media that lies, distorts and only tells the side of the story that supports its own phony version of reality.

I communicate directly with soldiers and Marines, because I support them with e-mails and packages, unlike the leftists who claim to support the troops while doing everything they can to undermine their mission and discredit the military.

I haven’t seen the United Flight 93 film or the trailer, but I know that it is nowhere near too soon for us to be reminded of the evil that was committed on 9/11, the barbarous nature of the enemy we face and the absolute need we have to prevail in the War on Terror. If I had my way, television stations across America would show the actual footage of 9/11, with the planes hitting the buildings and the towers collapsing, three or four times a day, every day, 365 days a year. For those who don’t understand the stakes, I would make readily available the horrible footage of hostages getting their heads sawed off by Islamic terrorists (I have not watched this footage, because I don’t need to; I know exactly what we are up against).

The biggest mistake our nation has made in the aftermath of 9/11 is not Iraq, or the war plans for that campaign, or the post-victory strategy. The biggest mistake we made was in sweeping the images of 9/11 under the rug, so as not to traumatize our delicate sensibilities. We need to be reminded, as graphically as possible, the cost of appeasement or inaction or restraint in what ought to be an all-out, vengeful, bloody attack on terrorists the world over and their state sponsors.