Monday, May 22, 2006

American Credibility Abroad

To hear the Democrats tell it, the United States has lost credibility abroad, thanks to the Bush Administration and the War on Terror, specifically the Battle for Iraq. Let’s examine what that means.

First, it means that the United Nations is unhappy with us; first because we did the job they were supposed to do when Iraq repeatedly violated the truce terms from the first Gulf War. Not only did they do that, but in the Oil for Food Scandal, the UN and its leaders sucked at the trough of bribery, undermining its own resolutions for the sake of personal gain for a number of utterly corrupt individuals. Remember, the UN is the body that places murderous dictators in charge of protection of human rights, and does it with a straight face.

Second, it means Germany, France and Russia all sided against us in the run-up to war. Why? Because all three are duplicitous regimes who had been helping maintain the vicious Saddam Hussein and his thugs in power. All for the sake of money. Naturally, they opposed upsetting their little gravy train, no matter how many rape rooms and terrorists their complicity ultimately funded. All three are third-rate has-beens who are utterly unable to fix their own miserably failing economies. The French, for all their bluster, actually lied to Colin Powell in a masterful example of underhandedness. Their hollow core was exposed when they failed even to protect Paris against Muslims on the rampage.

Third, there is China. A repressive regime that looks out for itself; and what is good for China is to thwart the United States, or so they believe.

Fourth, there is the Muslim world. Right; they’re going to support us! They can’t even support their own people, are riddled with corruption and powerless against the religious extremists who are destroying the Islamic faith (and a lot of Muslims who don’t go along with the radical line in the process).

It ignores the support of Great Britain, Italy, Japan and numerous other countries, especially former vassals of the former Soviet Union, who have supported us and continue to do so.

The bottom line is, we were attacked on 9/11, not Germany, France, Russia, China or any of the other countries I have mentioned. We were charged with upholding the terms of the truce from the first Gulf War, only because the UN lacks the spine and the ability to do more than carp. We recognized that in order to destroy terrorism worldwide, we would have to take down the terror-supporting or enabling states. Iraq certainly qualified, as does Iran, Syria and a handful of other countries. Libya was one of those, but thanks to the War in Iraq, Libya changed its ways. Pakistan is now with us, at least on the governmental level, because they were given no choice after 9/11. Afghanistan is a place where the Taliban no longer roam freely. Our decision was based on an honest assessment of exactly what would protect America from another 9/11 or worse. It was the right one, and the rest of the world can go to hell as far as I am concerned. They lack the will and the courage to defend even themselves.

As for the Democrats, they launched an offensive that has borne fruit, largely because the President didn’t respond to the Democrats’ lies until it was too late and the damage among the sound-bite-attuned American people had already been done. But consider the outrageous behavior of the Democrats:

Many claimed the President was illegitimate, “selected, not elected,” even though the Democrats picked the worst possible standard bearers and even though both elections of President Bush were concluded exactly according to the Constitution.

After 9/11, the Democrats realized they couldn’t beat the President on ideas, because they don’t have any, so they resorted to character assassination, something they are very good at. From Screaming Howard Dean to Screaming Al Gore and their fellow travelers, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan and the so-called mainstream media, they spread the most outlandish, vicious, craziest lies: From Bush knew about 9/11 in advance and did nothing to charges that he is undermining civil liberties by monitoring communication with terrorists. The list of complete fabrications stuns the mind.

I don’t know what will happen in the coming elections. I suspect that Republicans will lose the Senate and frankly, they deserve to, as weak as their so-called leadership has been. I don’t think Hillary or Al Gore or John Kerry will end up our president, but would almost hate to see John McCain in that office just as much. What I do know is that if we falter in this War on Terror, thousands more innocent Americans will die at the hands of terrorists—perhaps even tens or hundreds of thousands or even millions. That is for certain: Americans will die. And what do you think our credibility abroad will measure then?

McCain for President? Sorry!

The ever-pandering John McCain has cast his lot with the biggest band of thugs, rapists, assassins and human rights violators ever to come down the pike. I am referring, of course, to the United Nations, which, like McCain, has called upon the United States to shut down the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay.

First, I resent being lectured by a bunch of crooked, lying murderers who wouldn’t know a human right if it hit them upside the head. And second, I resent being lectured by John McCain, who works so hard at being a maverick that he is beginning to look like James Garner.

McCain covers his wimpishness by saying, we ought to try them, execute them or release them. But this is the same John McCain who would outlaw not just torture, but degrading treatment of terrorist prisoners. He got a pass from me on that, only because he was a prisoner of war and knows firsthand the horror of torture. I disagree with him totally on that (and think we should be ripping out the fingernails of captured terrorists and then killing them when we have exacted every ounce of pain and information from them), but he gets a pass based on personal experience. As for Guantanamo, he gets a big, fat raspberry from me.

What, pray tell, does he really think we ought to do to people we have picked up on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere for murder and mayhem against Americans, Jews and anyone (including fellow Muslims) who doesn’t agree with them?

These terrorists are not a party to the Geneva Convention, they don’t wear uniforms and they are indiscriminant in their use of violence. They deserve to be dead, but in our magnanimous humanity, we have chosen to keep them in an offshore prison. Not a one of them should go free until we are absolutely certain that they will not simply rejoin the terrorist cause. How do you make absolutely certain of that? You don’t. But as long as we are at war with their terrorist brethren, short of simply executing them, we must keep them in custody.

Despite my dislike for him, I have always given McCain his due for sticking to his support for the War on Terror, but this latest piece of foolishness leads me to believe he has a weak stomach for dealing with the real issues confronting civilized humanity in an age of terror. That would not serve him in good stead were he to run for President, much less occupy the office.

Steroids vs. National Security?

What is wrong with this picture?

The Attorney General of the United States, Alberto Gonzalez, has approved subpoenas to require The San Francisco Chronicle and two of its reporters to reveal their sources for secret federal grand jury transcripts on sports stars using steroids.

Why is the Attorney General worrying about steroids? With a war on, and rogue CIA bureaucrats leaking extremely sensitive secrets concerning our rendition program for terrorists, telephone intercepts and other programs that are protecting American lives, why is he not pursuing those reporters and those leaks? After all, it was the liberals who sought and got a special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame fiasco, and they threw The New York Times’s Judy Miller in jail in that case. How are Valerie Plame or baseball stars on steroids more deserving of the Attorney General’s time and efforts than those who would undermine our troops and the War on Terror?

I have stuck with President Bush through thick and thin, even when I thought he was foolish for allowing the Democrats to tell the most awful lies about him without mounting an aggressive campaign to counter those efforts. I stuck with him, reluctantly, on the Dubai Ports World imbroglio, and I have stuck with him despite his completely clueless position on illegal immigration.

But enough is enough.

National security (that means the security of me and my family) is at stake and it is the Attorney General’s duty (and the President’s to ensure that he takes that duty seriously) to plug the leaks that are putting us at risk.

So, I don’t appreciate it when he bulldogs an issue like over-muscled cheating athletes, but ignores far more serious violations of the nation’s intelligence laws when we are at war.

Alberto, do your job! Mr. President, do yours!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Show Your Appreciation To Our Military Men and Women

May is Military Appreciation Month, or so my favorite radio station says. It is a great idea to take Memorial Day and extend it for a full month. For that matter, it ought to be 365 days a year.

Here are some things we all can and should do to show our troops that we really do support them:

If you are flying first class and a uniformed member of our armed forces boards the plane, give up your seat. He or she has given up a lot more protecting us.

If you happen to pass a service member on the street or at an airport, stop and shake the trooper’s hand, tell him or her thanks, say you appreciate the fact that they are protecting us here at home.

If you spot a military person at a restaurant, call the waiter over and say you’ll pick up the service member’s meal tab. I like to do this anonymously—first, because I am uncomfortable with being the object of gratitude from a person who has put his life on the line for me; and second, because if it is anonymous, it doesn’t put the military person on the spot and if his benefactor does not have a face, it becomes a gesture of appreciation from everyman. You will be surprised at the number of times this little gesture of appreciation sets off a light bulb in the mind of a restaurant owner. I remember after saying I would pay the tab of a big Marine sergeant in a soul food restaurant how the owner said he wanted to pick up half. I’ll bet that restaurant owner comps a soldier more than once in the future.

If you know of the family of a deployed military person in your area, see if they need help. Many people in the National Guard and Reserves take a pay cut when they serve their country and could use some help for their families. And believe me, as the son of a career Army officer, I know that family members of our men and women in uniform sacrifice just as much as their father, mother, sister or brother in the service does.

Adopt a deployed trooper. Better yet, get your company to adopt a unit. Where I work, we have adopted a number of units since 9/11 and it has been as good for us, in terms of team-building, just as much as it has been for the military folks to whom we’ve sent care packages. Individual employees buy all the items and the company, God bless it, pays the postage. As a result of this program, we have been able to meet some of the finest people on the planet and learn of their trials and tribulations in such a way that the war becomes much more real to us back at home. They are pretty magnificent, by the way. They make you proud to be an American. How do you find a unit to adopt? Ask around. You are sure to run into someone with a friend or relative in the service in Iraq or Afghanistan… or anywhere, for that matter. You need a contact who is willing to accept packages, and that is the way we’ve done it.

Help a wounded veteran. I remember buying tickets to my favorite country-western performer at a charity auction. I was all primed and ready to see him perform live, when my wife said, why don’t we give the tickets to a policeman or a soldier. She was right. I got in touch with the local Veterans Administration hospital and they have an office set up to accommodate just such an arrangement. Giving up something I wanted made it all the more sweet, because it was a personal sacrifice. A very small one, to be sure, compared to what the wounded veteran gave up for all of us.

Those are some suggestions. I am sure you can think of others. In showing support for the troops, you will be boosting their morale. And it will make you feel good inside because you will be doing something concrete to support the war effort.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Americans Want a Tougher Stand on Illegal Immigration

Everything is secondary to the War on Terror, so I won’t be breaking with President Bush over his day-late-dollar-short plan for dealing with illegal immigration. But I think he is wrong. In fact, I would venture to say that his base thinks he’s wrong on this issue and I suspect the majority of Americans think so, too.

We don’t trust politicians, be they Democrats or Republicans, to deal forthrightly and decisively with illegal immigration. Instead, we get a lot of lip service. The bottom line for us is, secure the border first, then we’ll talk about everything else. But secure it first.

That doesn’t mean sending down 6,000 or so National Guard troops to pull support duty (no interdiction allowed) for the beleaguered Border Patrol. We ought to be employing the military-—active duty, as well as the Guard and Reserves—-along both the Mexican and Canadian borders right now. And their mission should be active and clearly defined: Guard the border; stop and apprehend any groups or individuals trying to cross it illegally. Sure, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prohibits the military from engaging in law enforcement activities within the United States. If this Reconstruction-era law applies in the case of border security, we should change that statute. After all, the ultimate duty of the armed forces is to protect the country from invasion. With a war on and reports of Islamic radicals trying to cross over from Mexico as well as Canada, it takes little stretching of the imagination to determine that the military needs to be involved.

We need a security fence. A similar fence is working in Israel, just as the one built to keep East Germans and Czechs inside the Iron Curtain worked when I was with the U.S. Army on border patrol in the mid-‘70s. A barrier system will work here, as well. Coupled with passive detection devices, listening and observation posts and patrols, it can drastically reduce the number of illegals entering this country.

We need tougher penalties for border jumpers. Instead of turning them loose, we should arrest them, put them on trial and assign them to construction details upon conviction. They can build the very fence that will keep them out. That would be a good use of taxpayer money. Not to mention poetic justice.

Finally, we need to hold U.S. firms accountable for hiring illegals, so that we can dry up any incentive for illegals to come here in the first place. We need to amend U.S. anti-discrimination laws that send mixed messages to American companies, indicating that if they profile people based on race or national origin, based their having an invalid Social Security number, they can be prosecuted on civil rights grounds. And we need to start withholding federal funds from states and cities (such as my hometown of Houston) whose police are prohibited from enforcing immigration laws.

Once we have plugged our leaky borders, then we can talk about what to do about the illegals who are already here. Anything is on the table for discussion, from amnesty to guest worker programs to court-testing the citizenship claims of children born in this country to illegal aliens—-but only after the borders are secure.

At the end of the day, the president’s position on illegal immigration is not likely to persuade conservative voters to go for a Democrat Congress or any of the likely Democrat presidential contenders on the horizon today (especially if it is Hillary). But, still, President Bush ought to get on the right side of this issue. The American people are telling the president and the Congress quite plainly that they want a border solution first and talks on all the ancillary issues later. It is a reasonable position and he should give it greater thought.

As for the Congress, it is there where Republican-lites (on immigration as well as a lot of other issues) are likely to find the conservative base has deserted them. Other than the fact that the hate-crazed Democrats will in all likelihood try to impeach President Bush if they gain control, most of us don’t see the difference between an Arlen Specter and some liberal Democrat. There are a lot of RINOs out there for whom our patience is gone. Trent Lott, Lindsay Graham and the more obvious goofballs such as Olympia Snowe and Lincoln Chafee, take note.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Time for Political Realignment? You Bet.

If things don’t change and change soon, Republicans are going to lose the Senate, be weakened in the House and Democrats will pursue their crazed, irrational hate campaign against President Bush to the impeachment stage, on the most bogus of grounds. Welcome to the United States of America circa 2006.

I am pretty disgusted with the entire Congress, Democrats certainly, but Republicans as well. They can’t stick together; they can’t lead; they lack the courage of their convictions; they allow the Democrats to lie and insult our soldiers again and again without consequences; and they run for the hills rather than back their wartime president.

I am sick of the pandering. Republicans’ laughable $100 payoff to consumers to somehow make up for higher gasoline prices was absolutely despicable. The same goes for their calls on the oil and gas industry to re-invest in new production, when they know that is precisely what the industry is doing already. Ditto their phony charges of oil industry gouging.

I don’t want the Democrats in control, but with this bunch of Republicans, there isn’t much difference between the two, except that Republicans (for now, at least) won’t go for impeachment.

What we probably need is a dramatic political realignment in this country, and not along Democrat and Republican lines. We could take the pro-war Democrats and the pro-war Republicans and people on all sides who exercise fiscal restraint and believe in individual liberties and an end to political correctness and put them all together in one big Pro-America Party. The leftists, mainstream media whores, Cindy Sheehans and Michael Moores, not to mention the Kennedys, Clintons, Durbins and such could all join forces under the Anti-American Party banner. Weak-kneed pseudo-Republicans who don’t truly believe in free enterprise, such as House Speaker Dennis Hastert (one of the biggest panderers when it comes to energy) could go with the Anti-American set.

There are a lot of big issues on the table and I am afraid it is high time we rearranged things along more practical lines. Who is going to keep us safe from terrorists? Who is going to keep the economy strong? Who is going to keep the food Nazis and political correctness Nazis at bay? Who is going to insist that the mainstream media clean up its act and just be honest? Not the current bunch.

Am I alone? I think not. The Congress has even lower approval ratings than the president, and people are deserting the mainstream media in droves. Americans can recognize a stinker when they smell it. And Congress and the media certainly stink to high heaven.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Reining In CIA, State Department Freelancers

I don’t know much about outgoing CIA chief Porter Goss or National Security Agency Director John Negroponte or even Gen. Michael V. Hayden, whose name has been floated as the likely nominee for the CIA post, but I do know this: The CIA is in need of a thorough shake-up and housecleaning. As is the State Department.

Right now, we have two opposing forces calling the shots in both organizations; the duly elected president, who is entrusted by our system (and the voters) with policymaking powers, and a bunch of bureaucrat holdovers with a political agenda who seem hell-bent on undermining the president and freelancing in pursuit of their own objectives. No matter where you stand on the Bush Administration, it ought to give you serious pause to know that rogue elements within the CIA and U.S. Department of State are conducting their own private intelligence and diplomatic activity. That is not the way things are supposed to work and it’s dangerous in today’s world.

In addition to a thorough housecleaning, both organizations need operating guidelines and accountability along the lines of the military, which is governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Under the military system, service members are required by law to carry out the legal orders of their commander in chief. They can be prosecuted if they fail to do so. Moreover, the UCMJ, various codes of conduct and the historical subordination of the military to the civilian government have helped create a system of ethical behavior in the armed forces that would discourage the sort of political gamesmanship now being practiced within certain quarters of the CIA and State Department.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Weak-Willed Jurors Got It Dead Wrong on Moussaoui

We are not supposed to question the jury system. But in a nation where moral relativism prevails and some juries refuse to follow the law, a process known as “jury nullification,” I think it is safe to say that change is needed. Which brings me to the sentencing decision in the only trial of a 9/11 hijacker, the completely, defiantly unrepentant Zacarias Moussaoui.

He should have been executed. If you have read my blog, I believe his execution should have been accomplished in such a way as to defile his soul, according to the Muslim belief, and broadcast to the world to show that this is what we do to terrorists. Instead, the jury showed a complete lack of intestinal fortitude. They acted like Europeans, rather than Americans. They were moral relativists. They were cowards.

My only hope is that Moussaoui meets his proper fate in prison. That fate is death.

As for the jury, you have just struck another blow for the destruction of America and our way of life and the murder of your fellow citizens, and I use the term loosely in your case, in the future. Shame on you.