Friday, September 21, 2007

Congress takes a stand
The Senate voted overwhelmingly to condemn the MoveOn ad that appeared in the NYT last week. Final tally was 72-25. Hillary Clinton was among those voting against the resolution.

So after all the garbage that has come from so many quarters Bill O'Reilly has called for the destruction of various parts of the US, as have various TV preachers. No condemnation. The Republicans tie various more liberal vets to terrorist and dictators. Nope. The White House says being liberal is to support terrorist...Nah.

And Democrats, so many just jumped in line. Many just spooked by the Republicans. Where are their spines?

MoveOn went with not the greatest line, though memorable. And they apparently have to pay. I can only hope they wear this vote as a badge of honor.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ahmadinejad takes Manhattan

With the Iranian leader coming to New York, the idea of him visiting and laying wreath at the WTC site is stirring a lot of anger and angst.

Crooks and Liars:

This week Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was denied a visit to Ground Zero. Ahmadinejad asked that he be allowed to lay a wreath at the site while he visits New York next week. Today ABC News reports that Ahmadinejad may go anyway, permission or no permission, and has even announced when. I can see all kinds of ways this would turn out badly, and I hope someone talks some sense into Ahmadinejad before then.

But Ahmadinejad is not the only one who needs to chill. The ever irresponsible Michelle Malkin is fanning the flames and trying to organize a “welcoming party.” And if she incites enough rage and recklessness to get someone killed, she will be equally outraged if anyone says it is her fault.

No sooner had word gotten out last week that New York City was considering the request than politicians of both parties went into spasms of outrage. There was such a piling on of outrage you’d have thought Ahmadinejad had proposed offering a human sacrifice or, worse, memorializing Muhammad Atta. As BooMan says, the piling on turned into a game of one-upmanship, with pols bragging that they were not only outraged, they were more outraged than their political opponents. (See also the Anonymous Liberal.)


Am I the only one embarrassed by the dingbat brouhaha over Iranian President Ahmadinejad's attempt to visit Ground Zero to lay a wreath? Given relations between our countries I could see denying him a visa, but as long as we're hosting the UN that's not an option. Ahmadinejad now says he's "amazed" that such a visit would be insulting to Americans. Sen. McCain said that Ahmadinejad should be "physically restrained if necessary" from visiting the site. The National Review's Kathryn Lopez got worked up in such a lather that she begged Rudy Giuliani to "lead a human blockade keeping Ahmadinejad from getting to Ground Zero" -- thus demonstrating once and for all Rudy's true calling as the surrogate id of right-wing nerds everywhere.

So what's the problem exactly? Presumably we can be frank enough to acknowledge that the real issue here is that while Ahmadinejad is not Arab to most of us he looks pretty Arab. And he is Muslim certainly -- and pretty up in arms about it at that. And we officially don't like him. And we classify the country he runs as a state sponsor of terrorism. So even though he has absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, when you put all these key facts together, he might as well have done it himself. And what business does anyone with the blood of the victims of 9/11 on his hands have going to Ground Zero?

That's basically it and don't tell me it's not.

Alternatively I guess it's that he's a very mean guy, said bad things about Israel or questioned the Holocaust? Is this man any worse than the various Soviet dignitaries who we feted and hosted around our country? Or is it simply that we've grown increasingly infantile as a country since the end of the Cold War, more and more obsessed and histrionic about minor powers like Iran and Iraq?

A president with some dignity and sense of the greatness of his country would say, good he should go there. Maybe he'll learn something about us and our loss.

If we as a country were a person, I'd say grow up. Act like a man*. Have some self-respect.

* Yes, outdated language. But I know no non-gendered language that conveys the same meaning.


The U.S. military has introduced "religious enlightenment" and other education programs for Iraqi detainees, some of whom are as young as 11, Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, the commander of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, said yesterday.

Stone said such efforts, aimed mainly at Iraqis who have been held for more than a year, are intended to "bend them back to our will" and are part of waging war in what he called "the battlefield of the mind." Most of the younger detainees are held in a facility that the military calls the "House of Wisdom."

The religious courses are led by Muslim clerics who "teach out of a moderate doctrine," Stone said, according to the transcript of a conference call he held from Baghdad with a group of defense bloggers. Such schooling "tears apart" the arguments of al-Qaeda, such as "Let's kill innocents," and helps to "bring some of the edge off" the detainees, he said.


Stone said his staff conducts polygraph tests for detainees who promise to change after undergoing the religious training program. "We were trying to figure out if they're messing with us. . . . You're not talking about radicals going to choirboys." But he also added that they're succeeding in countering extremists in the facilities. "We're busting them down, we're making whole moderate compounds that didn't exist before."


Stone described a sort of religious insurgency that occurred at one detention facility on Sept. 2. "We had a compound of moderates for the first time overtake . . . extremists. It's never happened before. Found them, identified them, threw them up against the fence and shaved their frickin' beards off of them. . . . I mean, that is historic."

...woo? hoo?

Juan Cole on TPM was enjoying a history lesson from Dr. Juan Cole, from Informed Comment.

Juan Cole Drops Some Knowledge


How come I never noticed all the mosques?

Crooks and Liars:

I often wonder what these guys are thinking — or whether they’re even thinking at all.

New York Rep. Peter King, a prominent House Republican, said there are “too many mosques in this country” in a recent interview with Politico.

“There are too many people sympathetic to radical Islam,” King said. “We should be looking at them more carefully and finding out how we can infiltrate them.”
He now claims his comments were taken out of context, but there’s a YouTube clip.

The DNC has denounced King for his bizarre remarks: “This type of bigoted language has no place in public discourse, especially from the Republican’s top lawmaker on the House Homeland Security Committee,” said Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Stacie Paxton.

And let’s not forget — King is listed as Rudy Giuliani’s homeland security adviser. Maybe someone can ask him what he thinks about this?
Just charming.

We need to go after them. We have to figure out what they are up to.

The core of Republican strategy: THEY are out there...wait they are HERE.

Jena 6

Truthfully, I have not been paying a lot of attention to domestic news, especially legal stories. It isn't right, as I have been utterly uninformed on this story, but sometimes ones life gets in the way.

But Carpetbagger has some good writing on the events, and a good some if you to have not been keeping up on the events.

Feministing also does a good job of this.

So considering the seriousness of events, I can see some of the annoyance at the lack of presidential contenders roaming the area. But tramping around Jena and stick your nose in for political points might not look so good.

There is work for activist to do, but, frankly, Jackson and Sharpton have cried racism and unfair so often, and not ALWAYS, for the best, that I really don't jump up when they cry out (Sharpton has popped up as a joke on Boston Legal, appearing on request to make a scene.).

So I can see why Obama and others aren't racing in to stand in front of a camera and make speeches. So Jackson going after Obama, saying he was acting white, is just another example of Jackson not getting it.

He has a point about us all being concerned about the events in Louisiana. It is bad. And the candidates have things they can do. But to reenter the slurring of Obama, for not being white enough. All these years on, the Rainbow Coalition, and now here. Is this where you want to be, is this where you want to take things?

Very disappointing.