Always decide for yourself whether anything posted in my blog has any information you choose to keep.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
"John Kerry's Other Vietnam War
Why would we trust this man to be our president?
John Kerry has fought this election campaign as a political moderate. Certainly his main foreign-policy advisers are moderate Democrats. But that campaign posture disguises his 34-year record in public life - which produced no legislative achievement, but featured a well-documented obsession with Vietnam and Cambodia that continues to the present day. Kerry made his four and a half months of service in Vietnam an electoral issue, but it's his 34 years of political activism on Vietnam and Cambodia that go to the heart of his political outlook and character.
In 1970, while still a reserve officer in the U.S. Navy, Kerry undertook his own private meetings with the Vietnamese Communist delegations in Paris. He joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War, a radical-Left organization viewed favorably by Hanoi, membership of which was less than one half of one percent of the 2.8 million Americans who served in Vietnam.
Kerry is remembered and reviled by many veterans for his 1971 speech before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which he accused American soldiers of committing widespread atrocities and war crimes. He specifically asserted that U.S. soldiers were not only carrying out the cruelest tortures, with full knowledge of their commanders at the highest level, but were also "murdering" 200,000 Vietnamese each year. Many of Kerry's sources - the witnesses at the Winter Soldier Investigation paid for by Jane Fonda - were later exposed as frauds who had never served in Vietnam. Kerry's blanket libel of American troops was in stark contrast with his silence over the well-documented record of atrocities by the Communists, which were a matter of policy.
But what has been largely overlooked in Kerry's 1971 speech is that he also supported the Vietnamese Communist cause, mouthing every plank of their political platnorm as his own. He not only favored immediate unconditional withdrawal of American troops, and creation of a coalition government. He also denounced the then elected government of South Vietnam, where political opposition thrived, as the "Thieu-Ky-Khiem dictatorship." By contrast he referred to the North Vietnamese Communist dictatorship by its Orwellian official title of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and to Hanoi's southern apparatus as "the Provisional Government."
Were Kerry's extremist views merely the misadventures of a war-embittered youth? Hardly.
When Kerry joined the Senate in 1985 one of his early appointments as legislative assistant on foreign affairs was Gareth Porter - an academic with a long record of denying any evidence of major Communist atrocities in Indochina. Porter's 1976 book, Cambodia. Starvation and Revolution/I, denied that the Khmer Rouge holocaust was taking place. Of course Kerry himself had been conspicuously silent on postwar Khmer Rouge atrocities while they were happening.
Kerry continued to support some of Hanoi's foreign-policy interests in the Senate, even at the expense of his often-stated preference for the U.N. In 1990, in a rare act of post-Cold War political unity, the U.N. Security Council approved a plan to end the war in Cambodia with a U.N. Temporary Administration of Cambodia to organize elections. Yet Kerry opposed it. Instead, he wanted the Vietnamese-installed ex-Khmer Rouge Hun Sen to organize elections.
Kerry has been claiming credit for solving the problem of American POWs missing in Vietnam. This is false. Kerry had been determined for years to normalize relations with the government of Vietnam - ending trade sanctions and opening up diplomatic relations. The demands of families of Americans missing in action, that Hanoi account for the fate of their loved ones who were known to have been alive when captured, but who never returned, had for years prevented U.S. moves to normalization. So in 1992 Kerry chaired the Senate Select Committee on POWs and Missing in Action from the Vietnam War. Kerry set the bar very low: Instead of focusing on what the Communists could do to explain what had happened to their American prisoners, Kerry focused on whether there was evidence of any Americans still alive in Indochina. Lacking sufficient intelligence from U.S. intelligence services, Kerry and his committee members decided to travel to Vietnam, ostensibly to see for themselves if any Americans were being hidden in various places where live sightings were alleged. The Vietnamese Communists were asked to make sites accessible. So the American media were invited to join the intrepid senators, traveling the Vietnamese countryside looking for American prisoners. This political theater would have been comic had it not been so pathetic. Why, if the Vietnamese government were secretly holding American prisoners, would it allow them to be discovered by visiting senators? Over the years, when foreign visitors, including humanitarian organizations, inspected their political prisons, the Vietnamese Communists would always empty the cells of emaciated Vietnamese prisoners and fill them with healthy, happy prison guards in disguise. Naturally, on this occasion the Vietnamese played along. No live Americans were found. In December 1992 the Senate Committee concluded that there was no evidence of Americans still living in Indochina. The path to normalization seemed clear - until one stumbling block suddenly appeared.
In the winter of 1992-93, while a fellow at Harvard University, I was researching the history of the Vietnam War in recently opened Soviet Communist Party archives in Moscow. By chance I discovered a secret Soviet military-intelligence document concerning American POWs once held in North Vietnam. The Russian-language document asserted that in September 1972 hundreds more American POWs than Hanoi had admitted to holding were being secretly held in North Vietnam. If true, this meant that hundreds of living American prisoners were never released at war's end. In February 1993 I contacted the Clinton administration, and met Deputy NSC Adviser Sandy Berger in Washington about this. In April I provided the document to the New York Times. The front-page Times story created enormous media and public interest. Senator Kerry appeared on ABC's Nightline with me to discuss the issue. But he was skeptical then and showed no further interest - until his public disparagement of the document's contents caused me to criticize him in the Boston media. Then Kerry suddenly took an interest, and phoned me, asking me to meet him in his Boston office on the weekend. There I told him, as I had told Sandy Berger in February, that this document was the tip of an iceberg. The ultimate fate of those missing Americans could be determined not from this document, but from other secret documents in other parts of the Russian archives to which I had not been given access. President Boris Yeltsin, eager for American assistance at the time, could give the U.S. access. I offered Kerry, as I had Berger, to help them in any way. Kerry said he would pursue the matter. But I never heard from him on this matter again. Kerry, it seems, only wanted to silence the source of a politically inconvenient controversy, which was impeding his political priority of normalization - not determine conclusively the fate of hundreds of missing American heroes.
Ties with Vietnam were eventually normalized. And Kerry's support for the dictatorial regime - his apparent indifference to human rights in Indochina - continues to this day. Ever since the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in 2001 for Vietnam human-rights efforts, Kerry has bottled up this bill in his Senate committee, preventing it from reaching the floor for a vote.
He has treated Cambodia with the same disdain. The non-Communists, whom the U.S. government had been aiding during the 1980s (in the face of Kerry's rabid opposition), won the 1993 U.N.-sponsored elections. But the Vietnamese-installed Communist ruler, Hun Sen, whose forces the U.N. had failed to disarm, refused to accept the result, and demanded a share of power. The Clinton administration and the U.N. caved in to his threats. Still not satisfied, in 1997 Hun Sen launched a bloody coup d'état to seize total power. Democratic opponents of the Communists were tortured to death in the most grisly manner. Yet Kerry still embraced the normer Khmer Rouge commissar as Cambodia's legitimate ruler. Kerry's staff even blocked Sam Rainsy, the leader of Cambodia's terrorized democratic opposition, from testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Is this the kind of person that the American people would want to have making judgments about the direction of U.S. foreign policy? How could he be relied upon to make wise judgments about dealing with North Korea - a nation in the process of acquiring a nuclear arsenal? North Korea is a totalitarian state that is related to the kinds of regimes with which John Kerry has shown such affinity over the years. North Korea's nuclear arsenal poses an immediate threat to Japan and South Korea, and it will soon have missile delivery systems capable of striking Los Angeles and San Francisco. And should the erratic tyrant Kim Jong-Il choose to proliferate nuclear weapons the way he has proliferated missiles, he could provide al Qaeda with the ability to devastate major American cities.
John Kerry's sympathy for totalitarian states in the past has resulted in the slander of millions of American Vietnam veterans, not to mention the betrayal of hundreds of missing American POWs. If he is elected president, in dealing with more powerful and dangerous totalitarian enemies like North Korea, his flawed judgment and values could have devastating consequences for all the people of America, and the world.
- Stephen J. Morris is a fellow at John Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Why Vietnam Invaded Cambodia.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
No One Who Has Aided the Enemy Deserves to Become President
Oct 31, 2004
Being a prisoner of war in Vietnam had some high points but many more low ones. The worst days physically were behind us in 1970, 1971, and 1972. After Ho Chi Minh died in 1969, the routine torturing of POWs for propaganda purposes pretty much stopped. Our captors panicked in November, 1970, following the daring raid on a closed POW camp at Son Tai 20 miles west of Hanoi - and moved all of us into the huge Hoa Lo prison in central Hanoi. We finally were permitted a semblance of societal life after years in solitary and/or stuffed into tiny windowless cells with two or three other POWs.
Our morale - at least in the cells in which I lived during this time - while not so idyllic as those portrayed in the farcical "Hogan's Heroes," was tolerable compared with the dark ages of 1965-1969.
The peace talks in Paris had been plodding along since March, 1968, following the Communists' total drubbing in the 1968 Tet Offensive. Most of us expected a break in the talks after the election of Richard Nixon; it appeared there might be movement.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident, the springboard for President Johnson's launching of attacks against Communist North Vietnam, lay four years in the past. The Communists, however, were buying time. They were helped by a misinnormed public in the U.S. - pressured on one side by a war that had dragged on seemingly forever and on the other by Americans whose primary interest was not the success of their government.
The Communists were without leverage over the United States during this time - except for those POWs who basically were being held hostage to pressure Uncle Sam. The Tet Offensive had been a terrible defeat for freedom's enemies. But increasingly we prisoners of war sensed, from our captors' demeanor and reading between the lines of propaganda broadcasts, a sinister force surfacing. Americans whom the Communists - the enemy - were calling "comrades" were rallying to their side. From the point of view of our captors, in America anarchy was reigning supreme.
After being shown photos of radical demonstrations, most of us were told the Communists never could defeat us on the battlefield but their allies - allies - in our country would win the battle for them in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. And it appeared to be going in their direction. The interrogators would show photos of demonstrators looking like gypsies and carrying outrageous signs that were unheard of in the mid-'60s before most of us had been captured.
And then in 1971 we started hearing about "Vietnam Veterans Against the War," whose leader was a normer Naval officer. From various sources I've since learned that the most senior leader of VVAW was LTJG John Kerry, a U.S. Naval Reserve officer. Kerry claimed Vietnam was "ravaged equally by American bombs and search-and-destroy missions as well as by Viet Cong terrorism . . . ." Hunh? Hadn't I been shot down because we were required to fly close to the targets to minimize civilian casualties?
Asked for a recommendation as to possible courses of action for Congress to pursue, Kerry said he had spoken to representatives from Hanoi and from the PRG (Viet Cong) at the Paris peace talks, and mentioned his support for "Madame Binh's points." At that time Madam Nguyen Thi Binh was the Viet Cong foreign minister. These meetings took place in the spring of 1970, apparently before Kerry joined the VVAW. Hunh? It's illegal for U.S. citizens to do this, much less commissioned officers.
Kerry was the most prominent leader in the VVAW, but many of the others in it were phonies who fabricated atrocities and war stories to convince the American public the average GI Joe was a psychopath.
That's the reason Kerry's band of brothers has deserted him. I do not know a single Vietnam combat veteran who agrees with what John Kerry did in 1970 through 1972 in his self-aggrandizing crawl to a political career.
But the worst was when Kerry, clad in store-bought camouflage and festooned with his decorations, told the world he and his comrades routinely had committed war crimes while ravaging the countryside like Genghis Khan.
It was a terrible lie, but it reinforced what the leaders of the peacenik movement had been saying for several years. It was the antithesis of what our government had been reporting. And it was simultaneously the worst betrayal of the United States to those of us who had been spectating for so many years in enemy territory.
It was very simple to us. Kerry sold out his shipmates from the Swift Boats. He sold out every one of us in Hanoi - and likely extended our stay there (for which we all offer him ever so many thanks) - by concocting the lies he now calls "a little over the top." And he continues to fabricate stories to cover up a lackluster career in the Senate. When I heard a tape of Kerry's Boston accent complaining about our forces "ravaging the countryside like Genghis Khan," I had my only flashback to the large cell in Hoa Lo where I first had heard it when Hanoi Hannah - North Vietnam's woman propagandist - was bragging about Kerry's "Winter Soldiers" and the testimony of this Naval officer before a committee of the U.S. Senate.
Kerry's legacy isn't that he has the same initials as John Fitzgerald Kennedy or that he motored around the rivers of South Vietnam in a small boat for four months before asking to leave the war early. His legacy is more along the lines of Benedict Arnold's. The only difference is that Benedict Arnold was a successful soldier before he committed treason. I doubt Benedict Arnold would have much success running for President today. Are we to believe that someone who aided the enemy in time of war is worthy of becoming President?
I don't think so, and neither do many people I know. We have a war to fight. It's going to take a long time. Kerry is not the one to take us through it.
Richmond resident Paul Galanti (Cdr., USN Ret.) was shot down over North Vietnam June 17, 1966, and spent 2,432 days as a prisoner of war in Hanoi.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
"Photos: Northern weapons
removed before U.S. arrival
Coordinated effort by Saddam's fedayeen to take munitions before allies secured areas
Posted: October 31, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
c 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's fedayeen removed weapons and ammunition from a storage facility in northern Iraq, similar to the al-Qaqaa facility at the center of current controversy, before the U.S. victory and prior to the arrival of the 101st Airborne Division to secure the area, according to photos obtained by WorldNetDaily from an Army intelligence source.
Army sources say the removal operations by Saddam's troops at the northern site were coordinated and likely systemic, and could indicate the southern al-Qaqaa facility was emptied at an earlier date as well, before U.S. troops arrived there.
The pictures, provided to WorldNetDaily one month ago by a high-ranking intelligence officer from the U.S. Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq who was assisting with another report, were taken by the officer from a helicopter in early April 2003 during an aerial reconnaissance mission to scout landmarks and ensure proper direction for ground troops who would arrive safely in Mosul in early May 2003.
U.S. military sources have authenticated the pictures.
The photos show fedayeen, Saddam's most loyal paramilitary troops, in white pickup trucks transporting weapons, likely including missiles, from a storage facility a few kilometers north of Bayji and 100 kilometers north of Trikrit, as part of what the officer says was a coordinated effort to empty country-wide storage facilities before U.S. troops arrived in various areas. He said facilities in the south were likely emptied by fedayeen earlier in a similar fashion.
Fedayeen sitting on three ammunition crates
In one of picture, two men in the back of a white pickup truck are seen sitting on three green ammunition crates. The truck's body, particularly toward the rear, is dragging low, an indication it was carrying a heavy load. The officer says the fedayeen regularly used such pickup trucks, which are less conspicuous then military trailers.
In one photo the officer says was taken seconds later, a separate truck can be seen driving from an area of the same facility which looks identical to al-Qaqaa, transporting a green box of what appears to be missiles. The truck passes a normer Iraqi checkpoint at the facility entrance.
Fedayeen transporting crate of missiles, bunker entrances similar to Al-Qaqaa
Another picture shows green crates stacked outside a storage bunker, each of which is about 1.5 meters long, too long to be ammunition crates. Such crates found at captured Iraqi storage facilities have housed missiles and rockets.
Crates, likely ammunition and missiles, stacked outside a storage bunker
"Our intelligence indicates the men in the trucks were Saddam's fedayeen transporting weapons," said the officer. "They knew we were flying right above them, but they were not concerned with us watching. This is a trademark of the fadayeen in the early stages of the war when we conducted helicopter overflights at about 100 m.p.h. They knew we didn't yet have the ground troops or overall tactical superiority to handle them in the north."
The officer said his unit innormed Central Command of the weapons removals, but that it would have been impossible to secure the northern facility at the time. He said the coordination between the fedayeen at other facilities shows there was a concerted effort by Saddam's troops to remove as many weapons as possible before the U.S. arrived to secure other storage areas.
"At the time, there was an official underground fedayeen war effort that was well functioning. They had it planned. This kind of looting, right before and at the opening stages of the war, was systemic. Since we didn't yet control this area, it was impossible to stop. This is what happens regularly in war. And al-Qaqaa likely fits the same pattern - it was raided before we secured the area."
Whether Saddam Hussein's forces removed the explosives from al-Qaqaa before U.S. forces arrived there on April 3, 2003, or whether they fell into the hands of looters and insurgents afterward - because the site was not guarded by U.S. troops - has become a key issue in the campaign.
Presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry and other Democrats have cited the missing explosives as a prime example of inadequate planning and preparation for the Iraq war on the part of the administration of President George W. Bush.
Bush and other administration officials have accused Kerry of making wild claims and charges before all the facts are known." "
Friday, October 29, 2004
"John Kerry's 19 Year Attack on Investors
"Next week's election is important for middle-class investors. A number of public policy issues hang in the balance that will influence shareholder returns. But uncovering John Kerry's intentions on public policy issues is difficult because he speaks in broad generalities which give us very little evidence of his real intention. Moreover, he continues to claim he was for an issue at one time in his life and now he is against it.
Both of these patterns are extremely prevalent in analyzing what Kerry has proposed to do on investor related issues. As a result, the American Shareholders Association (ASA) has undertaken a study of his 19-year Senate record believing that the best way to determine what his goals as President will be is to look at where he has been. We found that Kerry has spent the past 19 years in the Senate attacking investors and his votes have had a detrimental impact on investors.
The result of Kerry's voting record is quite surprising. For all his years in the Senate he appeared to talk about a pro-growth agenda, yet when the record was examined he essentially opposed investors on nearly every vote offered in the Senate in his tenure.
Capital Gains Tax Reduction
Despite claiming that he has voted to reduce the capital gains tax, the ASA analysis could not find one example of Kerry voting to reduce the capital gains tax. He voted to increase the capital gains tax by 40 percent in 1986 and voted against capital gains tax reduction at least 15 times since 1989. These votes were important to shareholders: the largest drag on shareholder returns is from the capital gains tax and the tax itself reduces the after tax return on equities.
To demonstrate the impact the capital gains tax has on the individual investor (and the consequences of Kerry's votes), we compare Roth Individual IRAs which are exempt from capital gains taxes with a taxable account. In this example, the double tax on capital gains reduces the lifetime return on investment by 56 percent.
An individual at 29 years of age with $40,000 of income making a $3,000 contribution per year to a Roth IRA will retire with more than $772,000 of income. Under a taxable account, however, the return is dramatically reduced to less than $343,000, and thus, the hypothetical investor lost 56 percent of his/her investment compared to the Roth IRA. Any reduction in capital gains tax offsets the enormous impact the tax places on a lifetime return for investors and Kerry sided against investors each and every time.
But capital gains taxes are more than just lowering the returns to shareholders. Capital gains tax reductions increase stock prices by altering the risk adjusted, after-tax return on equities. Kerry had 15 opportunities to vote for increasing stock prices since 1989 but he voted against shareholders every single time including the very successful 1997 and 2003 reductions. In both times, more than $2 trillion of new shareholder wealth was created in the first 180 days following their passage. Conversely, Kerry voted to increase the capital gains tax by 40 percent in 1986 as part of the Tax Renorm Act of 1986 which reduced shareholder wealth by $200 billion upon passage.
Double Taxation of Dividends
In one of the most appalling examples of a politician "saying one thing and doing another" Sen. Kerry turned his back on investors concerning the double taxation of dividends. On December 3, 2002, Kerry delivered a speech to the City Club of Cleveland in which he proclaimed "we should attempt to end the double taxation of dividends."
President Bush followed one month later with a proposal to abolish the double tax and Kerry, in a stunning reversal, quickly denounced the proposal as a give away to the rich and voted against the legislation.
Even without Kerry's support the double tax was reduced by as much as 62 percent and just as important, the new rate of 15 percent was equalized with the capital gains tax rate. The result of the dividend tax cut has been positive: Dividend issuance has reversed its 25 year decline and more companies are increasing dividend payments to its shareholders.
Individual Retirement Accounts
One factor driving the unprecedented growth of investors has been the expansion of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Despite widespread knowledge of the benefits these investment vehicles provide, Kerry voted to significantly restrict IRAs in 1986 and has voted at least 10 times against IRA expansion.
The double tax on investment income reduces the after tax return on investment for investors. As such, policymakers seeking to increase private retirement savings created IRAs, which allowed savings to accumulate without the double tax. Initially, IRAs were extremely limited, but in 1981 participation was expanded as part of the Reagan tax cuts and the program took off. From 1980 to 1986, annual contributions to IRAs rose nearly ten-fold, from $4 billion to $38 billion.
Yet, Sen. Kerry voted to restrict IRA contributions as part of the Tax Renorm Act of 1986, which imposed severe consequences on IRA accounts. According to the Treasury Department, the level of annual IRA contributions fell sharply and never recovered from $38 billion in 1986 to $15 billion in 1987 and $8.4 billion in 1995. Participation also declined from 15.5 million IRA participants in 1986 to just 4 million by 1997.
While families making over $40,000 were forced to stop participating, savings also dropped among families retaining full eligibility. In fact, participation declined by 40 percent between 1986 and 1987 for families still eligible for the program, despite the fact that the change in law did not affect them.
The decision to restrict IRAs had a significant, negative impact. But Kerry has been given at least 10 chances to correct his mistake since then and he has failed every time. He voted against IRA expansion twice in 1989 and twice in 1997 as well as once in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, and 2001. He also abstained from the final 2001 tax cut which successfully allowed investors to increase their contributions in a year to $5,000.
Even on the most popular investor issues, such as IRAs, Kerry has a consistent opposition to ensuring middle-income investors can maximize their returns. His vote to restrict IRAs and his 10 votes against expansion indicates he may not even want this program in place if he is elected President.
Other Important Investor Issues
Free trade and the opening of markets appeared to be the one issue Kerry was aligned with investors on as a Senator. Over the course of the campaign, however, he has increasingly abandoned his long held belief in the benefits of free and open markets to consumers, shareholders, and workers.
Kerry voted in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. He voted at least 10 times to grant sitting Presidents Fast Track Authority to negotiate trade agreements. But to line up labor union support, he has repeatedly denounced the agreements, has promised to review existing trade agreements in his first 100 days of office.
Tort renorm is another key issue facing investors because company liabilities affect profits and the value of shareholder wealth. Kerry's pick of John Edwards as the vice presidential nominee should give investors pause: passage of badly needed class action and asbestos renorm will not be completed if Kerry is elected president.
Overall, Kerry has been an enemy of the shareholder during his 19 year Senate tenure. His election next week would be troubling for American shareholders.
Daniel Clifton is executive director of American Shareholders Association.
Friday, October 29, 2004
Copy and paste of actual blog entry of a 10 year active duty Navy SEAL, 4 year reserves. Very compelling argument for an event I personally have believed to be a fact since shortly after Tora Bora.
Live links within article, also links at the end of the article which go to pages that show intelligence reports, also a report of bin Laden having died and been buried. Also check out the photo of a healthy bin Laden, and a very severely ill bin Laden.
"Usama bin Laden is Dead
"You hadn't heard? Well, I'm not breaking news, President Bush knows damn well that UBL has been dead for quite some time. But why would Bush keep it to himself? If he were to disclose his knowledge that UBL is dead he would blow John Kerry's doors off in the election, and yet he remains silent. Why?
Maybe you're wondering how I know he's dead. Perhaps one of my SEAL buddies let me in on the secret? NO. I know because a publicity whore and grandstanding scumbag like UBL could not possibly resist the multitude of opportunites to inspire his cult members. His number 1, Zwahiri, has appeared on video or audio broadcasts every few months since 9/11. UBL has not been heard from since Tora Bora despite developments in the GWOT in Afghanistan and Iraq that make it unthinkable for him to have remained silent. Not to mention successful attacks in Bali, Madrid, Turkey, and Jakarta to name a few that remain unremarked upon by UBL. The invasion and occupation of an Islamic state by the US and not a word. Elections held for the first time in Afghan history, and he had nothing to say about it in the lead up. AQ tried once early on to air a tape that never mentioned key developments in the Afghan campaign and was quickly discredited as an attempt to put one over on his followers by airing a previous recording. Zwahiri decided that it was better to just pretend that UBL was alive because there was no plausible martyr story to tell. UBL went out running for his life like a coward. He is dead. His remains are turds shat by scavenging animals in the mountains of Afghanistan blown by the wind and stomped on by US troops.
By why not make it public? After all, this is the one thing that could ensure the President's re-election. Have you noticed how coy DOD officials and high ranking officers are when the question is posed? They know. They certainly have intelligence to this effect. Of course, the President could have instructed subordinates to start saying that intel indicates UBL is dead. This would have put pressure on him to prove otherwise by issuing a statement which he is clearly unable to make. This process could have started 6 months ago, and if UBL did not answer, it would in effect prove the case. But it didn't happen. Why not?
Because the President knows that making UBL a martyr would serve to further inspire his minions, and he realizes that preventing this from happening is more important than his re-election. Instead, UBL remains forever silent even as his recruits yearn to hear his voice. Eventually these cultists will realize themselves that UBL went out like a punk, not a martyr and that the AQ head shed has been lying to them for years. That realization combined with US combat boots knocking their teeth down their throats will go a long way to beating this cult into submission. But it is important to recognize that the President's committment to killing terrorists supercedes his committment to his own re-election. I'm sure he hopes that the American people will come to this conclusion on their own and vote for him anyway, but it is quite a risk to take in the ultimate ME situation.
This kind of integrity and committment stands in stark contrast to his opponent. Kerry has proved to be a Blue Falcon, a traitor, a louse, a shameless opportunist, and an lazy bureaucrat that pads his resume. Kerry is a smart guy too, and he realizes what is going on. But it hasn't stopped him from trying to bait the President into abandoning a critical propaganda victory in the GWOT by incessantly peddling his Tora Bora "outsourcing" charge in all three debates. He knows that the President will not respond to this charge so he is free to make it. Just like the Cheney lesbian scheme, this is a coordinated hatchet job, but this is on an issue that Kerry knows the President must choose to either defend the SOF troops that got the job done or remain silent. To his personal credit he never took the bait, but to his professional detriment he must let an unanswered charge linger. Do you have that kind of discipline? Especially in crunchtime? I don't know if I do, and I'll be happy to never have to find out.
President Bush, meanwhile, has just continued to keep the pressure on the terrorists, get us out of a recession, protect the homeland, and generally put the country's interests ahead of his own. He deserves your vote.
UPDATE 10/17/04 0847: Investigative aids / Fake Tapes
Friday, October 29, 2004
"Photos Point to Removal of Weapons
Oct. 29, 2004
By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
U.S. intelligence agencies have obtained satellite photographs of truck convoys that were at several weapons sites in Iraq in the weeks before U.S. military operations were launched, defense officials said yesterday.
The photographs indicate that Iraq was moving arms and equipment from its known weapons sites, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
According to one official, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, known as NGA, "documented the movement of long convoys of trucks from various areas around Baghdad to the Syrian border."
The official said the convoys are believed to include shipments of sensitive armaments, including equipment used in making plastic explosives and nuclear weapons.
About 380 tons of RDX and HMX, used in making such arms, were reported missing from the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility, though the Pentagon and an embedded NBC News correspondent said the facility appeared to have been emptied by the time U.S. forces got there.
The photographs bolster the claims of Pentagon official John A. Shaw, who told The Washington Times on Wednesday that recent intelligence reports indicate Russian special forces units took part in a sophisticated dispersal operation from January 2003 to March 2003 to move key weapons out of Iraq.
In Moscow, the Russian government denied that its forces were involved in removing weapons from Iraq, dismissing the claims as "far-fetched and ridiculous."
"I can state officially that the Russian Defense Ministry and its structural divisions could not have been involved in the disappearance of the explosives, because Russian servicemen were not in Iraq long before the beginning of the American-British operation in that country," Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Vyacheslav Sedov told Interfax news agency.
Bush administration officials reacted cautiously to innormation provided by Mr. Shaw, who said details of the Russian "spetsnaz" forces' involvement in a program of document-shredding and weapons dispersal came from two European intelligence services.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One that he was unaware of the innormation in The Times report.
"I know that there is some new innormation that has come to light in the last couple of days," Mr. McClellan said, noting that another news report said the amount of high-explosive materials may have been less than 377 tons, as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) claims.
Asked about foreign intelligence reports of Russian troops moving Iraq's weapons to Syria, Mr. McClellan said, "I have no innormation that points in that direction."
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said in a interview on the Laura Ingraham radio show that she also was not aware of the innormation about Russian troops relocating Saddam's weapons to Syria, Lebanon and possibly Iran.
Defense officials said the innormation has been closely held within the Pentagon because Mr. Shaw, a deputy undersecretary of defense of international technology security, has been working with the Pentagon inspector general in investigating the Russian role in the weapons transfers.
Innormation in the inspector general office is not widely shared within the policy and intelligence communities.
The Pentagon is still investigating the fate of the explosives and possible Russian involvement.
Officials said numerous intelligence reports in the past two years indicate Saddam used trucks and aircraft to withdraw weapons from Iraq before March 2003. However, the new innormation indicates that Russian troops were directly involved in assisting the Iraqi military and intelligence services to secure and move the arms.
Documents reviewed by one defense official include specific Russian military unit itineraries for the truck convoys.
The arms that were taken out of the country included missile parts, nuclear-related equipment, tank and aircraft parts, and chemicals used in making poison gas weapons, the official said.
Regarding the satellite photographs, defense officials said the photographs bolster the innormation obtained from the European intelligence services on the Russian arms-removal program.
The Russian special forces troops were housed at a computer center near the Russian Embassy in Baghdad and left the country shortly before the U.S. invasion was launched March 20, 2003.
Harold Hough, a satellite photographic specialist, said commercial satellite images taken shortly before U.S. forces reached Baghdad revealed Russian transport aircraft at Baghdad's international airport near a warehouse.
"My thought was that the Russians were eager to get something out of Iraq quickly," Mr. Hough said. "But it is quite possible that the aircraft was used to transport the Russian forces."
Also yesterday, the IAEA said it warned the United States about the vulnerability of explosives stored at Al-Qaqaa after Iraq's Tuwaitha nuclear complex was looted.
"After we heard reports of looting at the Tuwaitha site in April 2003, the agency's chief Iraq inspectors alerted American officials that we were concerned about the security of the high explosives stored at Al-Qaqaa," IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told the Associated Press.
She did not say which officials were notified or exactly when.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
See Stolen Honor For Free Windows Media Player
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Russia tied to Iraq's missing arms
By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned.
John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.
"The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units," Mr. Shaw said. "Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units."
Mr. Shaw, who was in charge of cataloguing the tons of conventional arms provided to Iraq by foreign suppliers, said he recently obtained reliable innormation on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.
Most of Saddam's most powerful arms were systematically separated from other arms like mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said.
The Russian involvement in helping disperse Saddam's weapons, including some 380 tons of RDX and HMX is still being investigated, Mr. Shaw said.
The RDX and HMX, which are used to manufacture high-explosive and nuclear weapons, are probably of Russian origin, he said.
Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita could not be reached for comment.
The disappearance of the material was reported in a letter Oct. 10 from the Iraqi government to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Disclosure of the missing explosives Monday in a New York Times story was used by the Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, who accused the Bush administration of failing to secure the material.
Al-Qaqaa, a known Iraqi weapons site, was monitored closely, Mr. Shaw said.
"That was such a pivotal location, Number 1, that the mere fact of [special explosives] disappearing was impossible," Mr. Shaw said. "And Number 2, if the stuff disappeared, it had to have gone before we got there."
The Pentagon disclosed yesterday that the Al-Qaqaa facility was defended by Fedayeen Saddam, Special Republican Guard and other Iraqi military units during the conflict. U.S. forces defeated the defenders around April 3 and found the gates to the facility open, the Pentagon said in a statement yesterday.
A military unit in charge of searching for weapons, the Army's 75th Exploitation Task Force, then inspected Al-Qaqaa on May 8, May 11 and May 27, 2003, and found no high explosives that had been monitored in the past by the IAEA.
The Pentagon said there was no evidence of large-scale movement of explosives from the facility after April 6.
"The movement of 377 tons of heavy ordnance would have required dozens of heavy trucks and equipment moving along the same roadways as U.S. combat divisions occupied continually for weeks prior to and subsequent to the 3rd Infantry Division's arrival at the facility," the statement said.
The statement also said that the material may have been removed from the site by Saddam's regime.
According to the Pentagon, U.N. arms inspectors sealed the explosives at Al-Qaqaa in January 2003 and revisited the site in March and noted that the seals were not broken.
It is not known if the inspectors saw the explosives in March. The U.N. team left the country before the U.S.-led invasion began March 20, 2003.
A second defense official said documents on the Russian support to Iraq reveal that Saddam's government paid the Kremlin for the special forces to provide security for Iraq's Russian arms and to conduct counterintelligence activities designed to prevent U.S. and Western intelligence services from learning about the arms pipeline through Syria.
The Russian arms-removal program was initiated after Yevgeny Primakov, the normer Russian intelligence chief, could not convince Saddam to give in to U.S. and Western demands, this official said.
A small portion of Iraq's 650,000 tons to 1 million tons of conventional arms that were found after the war were looted after the U.S.-led invasion, Mr. Shaw said. Russia was Iraq's largest foreign supplier of weaponry, he said.
However, the most important and useful arms and explosives appear to have been separated and moved out as part of carefully designed program. "The organized effort was done in advance of the conflict," Mr. Shaw said.
The Russian forces were tasked with moving special arms out of the country.
Mr. Shaw said foreign intelligence officials believe the Russians worked with Saddam's Mukhabarat intelligence service to separate out special weapons, including high explosives and other arms and related technology, from standard conventional arms spread out in some 200 arms depots.
The Russian weapons were then sent out of the country to Syria, and possibly Lebanon in Russian trucks, Mr. Shaw said.
Mr. Shaw said he believes that the withdrawal of Russian-made weapons and explosives from Iraq was part of plan by Saddam to set up a "redoubt" in Syria that could be used as a base for launching pro-Saddam insurgency operations in Iraq.
The Russian units were dispatched beginning in January 2003 and by March had destroyed hundreds of pages of documents on Russian arms supplies to Iraq while dispersing arms to Syria, the second official said.
Besides their own weapons, the Russians were supplying Saddam with arms made in Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria and other Eastern European nations, he said.
"Whatever was not buried was put on lorries and sent to the Syrian border," the defense official said.
Documents reviewed by the official included itineraries of military units involved in the truck shipments to Syria. The materials outlined in the documents included missile components, MiG jet parts, tank parts and chemicals used to make chemical weapons, the official said.
The director of the Iraqi government front company known as the Al Bashair Trading Co. fled to Syria, where he is in charge of monitoring arms holdings and funding Iraqi insurgent activities, the official said.
Also, an Arabic-language report obtained by U.S. intelligence disclosed the extent of Russian armaments. The 26-page report was written by Abdul Tawab Mullah al Huwaysh, Saddam's minister of military industrialization, who was captured by U.S. forces May 2, 2003.
The Russian "spetsnaz" or special-operations forces were under the GRU military intelligence service and organized large commercial truck convoys for the weapons removal, the official said.
Regarding the explosives, the new Iraqi government reported that 194.7 metric tons of HMX, or high-melting-point explosive, and 141.2 metric tons of RDX, or rapid-detonation explosive, and 5.8 metric tons of PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, were missing.
The material is used in nuclear weapons and also in making military "plastic" high explosive.
Defense officials said the Russians can provide innormation on what happened to the Iraqi weapons and explosives that were transported out of the country. Officials believe the Russians also can explain what happened to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Live links for verification.
The scandal the Times ought to be investigating.
The United Nations is already embroiled in the largest economic scam in world history: the multibillion dollar Oil-for-Food scandal. Now there is reason to ask whether a senior U.N., official also has attempted to influence an American election by spreading misleading innormation.
To understand why this scenario is plausible, let's connect some dots.
The headline of the New York Times front-page story on Monday read: " Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished from Site in Iraq." According to the Times, powerful HMX and RDX explosives - used to "make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons" - were stolen from Al Qaqaa, an Iraqi installation that "was supposed to be under American military control."
The source for this politically explosive charge? The Times quoted unnamed White House and Pentagon officials acknowledging that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year. But named White House and Pentagon officials have said the opposite. And a senior government official told me flatly: "The stuff in Iraq was missing as of April 10, 2003 - the day after Baghdad fell."
The Times also quoted experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) saying they assumed Saddam Hussein had moved the explosives - before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
But, those experts speculated, perhaps the explosives were only moved to nearby fields where, the Times suggests, they would be "ripe for looting."
But how? The Times neglects the fairly obvious fact that looters could not have stuffed 380 tons of explosives into shopping bags. To transport that much material would have required about 38 large trucks - 10 tons per truck. Before the U.S. invasion, such truck convoys moved about Iraq freely. Once the U.S. was in occupation, that kind of effort could hardly have gone unnoticed.
On Tuesday, the Times ran another page one headline: " Iraq Explosives Become Issue In Campaign." Yes, that's true - thanks to the Times.
As for the holes in Monday's story, the Times tried to fill them this morning with a page A17 story: " Commander Says Brigade Didn t Inspect Explosives Site," quoting Col. Joseph Anderson of the 101st Airborne Division, saying that when his troops arrived at Al Qaqaa, they didn't look for the HMX and RDX. But what does that imply? That tons of HMX and RDX were still there? Or that the explosives were no longer there? The Times doesn't know and doesn't appear to care.
What's more, Belmont Club argues today, persuasively I think, that the Times "interviewed the wrong unit commander" because it was the Third Infantry Division that first searched Al Qaqaa "with the intent of discovering dangerous materials," almost a week before the 101st arrived.
If the 3ID had found tons of HMX and RMX, we'd have heard about it. On April 5, the Washington Post reported on their discoveries at "Al QaQa," including "vials of white powder, packed three to a box," and stocks of "atropine and pralidoxime, also known as 2-PAM chloride, which can be used to treat exposure to nerve agents...."
If the 3ID got so close and personal that they were counting the vials in boxes, how likely is it that they would have missed 380 tons of HMX and RMX?
At this point, Times editors ought to be asking who got their story rolling and to what end?
Here's one theory: It was Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Why would he do that? "The U.S. is trying to deny ElBaradei a second term," a high U.S. government official told me. "We have been on his case for missing the Libyan nuclear weapons program and for weakness on the Iranian nuclear weapons program."
ElBaradei also opposed the liberation of Iraq. And he would like nothing better than to see President Bush be defeated next week.
If all this is true it would amount to a major scandal: It would mean that a senior U.N. official may be changing the outcome of an American election by spreading false innormation. And major U.S. media outlets are allowing themselves to be manipulated in pursuit of that goal.
The Times and other news organizations also have ignored this pertinent question: Why did Saddam Hussein have the kinds of explosives favored by terrorists - and why was he permitted to keep them? Such explosives, according to the Times, also "are used in standard nuclear weapons design," and were acquired by Saddam when he "embarked on a crash effort to build an atomic bomb in the late 1980s."
Writing in The Corner, normer federal terrorism prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy pointed out that U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, which imposed the terms of 1991 Gulf War ceasefire, required Iraq to "unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of . . . [a]ll ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and related major parts, and repair and production facilities[.]"
Yet the IAEA made no attempt to force Saddam to comply with his obligations to destroy these "related major parts" of its ballistic missiles.
In addition, McCarthy noted, Iraq was required "not to acquire or develop nuclear weapons or nuclear-weapons-usable material or any subsystems or components[,]" and, to the extent it had such items, present them for "urgent on-site inspection and the destruction, removal or rendering harmless as appropriate of all items specified above."
It shouldn't require a rocket scientist to understand that a detonator is a key component of a nuclear bomb. But according to the Times, Saddam persuaded ElBaradei that he wanted to hold on to the explosives in case they were needed "for eventual use in mining and civilian construction" - and ElBaradai agreed.
It gets worse: The U.N. weapons inspectors led by Rolf Ekéus asked the IAEA to dispose of these explosives back in 1995. The IAEA did not do so - and between 1998, when Saddam forced the U.N. inspectors out of Iraq, and late 2002 when U.S. pressure caused him to allow inspectors to return, 35 tons of HMX went missing. Saddam claimed he used it in Iraq's cement industry. Evidently, ElBaradei saw no reason to doubt Saddam who - as noted - was working hand-in-globe with the U.N. on the Food for Oil program, an enterprise which, we now know, stole billions of dollars from the Iraqi people.
So when all the dots are connected what we see revealed is Bomb-gate - a controversy that should be about foreign interests that may be improperly influencing the U.S. media to affect the outcome of an American election.
But that story will be written after the elections. For now, the question is who voters will believe.
If they are persuaded that the dangerous weapons went missing because of Bush's incompetence, he is likely to lose (and ElBaradei will be breaking out the cigars and bongos this time next week). On the other hand, if voters come to believe that this is another instance of Kerry shooting from the hip, basing charges on flawed innormation, saying anything in order to win, they will almost certainly abandon him.
- Clifford D. May, a normer New York Times foreign correspondent, is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
"Hanoi Approved of Role Played By Anti-War Vets
BY THOMAS LIPSCOMB - Special to the Sun
October 26, 2004
The communist regime in Hanoi monitored closely and looked favorably upon the activities of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War during the period Senator Kerry served most actively as the group's spokesman and a member of its executive committee, two captured Viet Cong documents suggest.
The documents - one dubbed a "circular" and the other a "directive" - were captured in 1971 and are part of a trove of material from the war currently stored at the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University at Lubbock. Originally organized by Douglas Pike, a major scholar who is now deceased, the archive contains more than 20 million documents. Many are available online at the Virtual Vietnam Archive and, as the election has heated up, have been the focus of a scramble for insights into Mr. Kerry's anti-war activities. The Circular and the Directive are listed as items numbered 2150901039b and 2150901041 respectively. Their authenticity was confirmed by Stephen Maxner, archivist at the Vietnam Archive.
The two documents provide a glimpse of the favorable way the Viet Cong viewed the activities in which Mr. Kerry was involved. They are from many documents of a kind that were ordinarily sent to a unit called the Captured Document Exploitation Center at the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, which was headquartered in Saigon. Documents like these that were sent to the center were immediately translated into English and processed for battlefield intelligence for targeting or operations as required, or filed.
The CDEC cover sheet of the "Directive" indicates it was "acquired" on May 12, 1971. The cover sheet itself is dated June 30, 1971, and is entitled "VC Efforts to Back Antiwar Demonstrations in the United States." It shows a detailed knowledge of such VVAW activities as the Dewey Canyon demonstration on the Mall in Washington in April 1971, mentioning the "return of their medals." And the Saigon American military intelligence cover sheet dates the innormation in that document as being assembled in Vietnam only a week after the Washington VVAW demonstration had taken place.
The CDEC Viet Cong document titled "Circular on Antiwar Movements in the US" notes, "The spontaneous antiwar movements in the US have received assistance and guidance from the friendly (VC/NVN) delegations at the Paris Peace Talks." It also notes that "The seven-point peace proposal (of the SVN Provisional Revolutionary Government) [the Viet Cong proposal advanced by one of its envoys, Madame Binh, operating out of Paris] not only solved problems concerning the release of US prisoners but also motivated the people of all walks of life and even relatives of US pilots detained in NVN to participate in the antiwar movement."
The significance of the documents lies in the way they dovetail with activities of the young Mr. Kerry as he led the VVAW anti-war movement in the spring of 1971.
It was in April that he gave his testimony to the Senate, in which he accused American GIs of having committed war crimes and belittled the idea that there was a communist threat to America. Mr. Kerry had already had, in June of 1970, a meeting in Paris with enemy diplomats, ostensibly, he has indicated, to get a sense of how American prisoners held in Hanoi might be freed. Two historians believe Mr. Kerry made a second trip to Paris in the summer of 1971 and held further talks with the North Vietnamese. The Kerry campaign has denied this.
FBI surveillance and Mr. Kerry's own statements have established his two visits to Paris to meet with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations to the Paris Peace Talks as taking place in June of 1970 and August of 1971.
An FBI surveillance report dated November 11, 1971, has also established that Mr. Kerry and Al Hubbard, the executive director of the VVAW who had brought Mr. Kerry into the organization, planned to return to meet with them again in Paris on November 15, 1971.
A November 24, 1971, FBI surveillance report disclosed that Mr. Hubbard had also had meetings on his own with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris. It noted that he had reported at a national meeting of the VVAW in Kansas City that the Communist Party of the United States had paid his expenses for the most recent one.
The purpose of these meetings by the two top VVAW members, Messrs. Hubbard and Kerry, has always been assumed to be innormational. But the documents in the Texas archive suggest another possibility. On July 23, 1971, The New York Times reported that Mr. Kerry held a demonstration in Washington in support of the "seven-point peace proposal" and, according to the Times, "Mr. Kerry, who is 27 years, introduced wives, parents and sisters of prisoners to plead for support."
The Times's dispatch stated that Mr. Kerry charged "...the latest Vietcong peace offer in Paris, which promises the release of prisoners as American troops are withdrawn, is being ignored by Mr. Nixon..."
The circular in the Texas archive states, "The antiwar movements in the US are trying to find means to cooperate... They are also trying by all means to support the seven-point peace proposal (of the PRG) [Viet Cong] and oppose the distorted interpretation made by the White House, the Pentagon and CIA."
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
"Urgent Warning on Iraqi Cache Issued in 1995
BY ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
October 27, 2004
WASHINGTON - Nine years ago, U.N. weapons inspectors urgently called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to demolish powerful plastic explosives in a facility that Iraq's interim government said this month was looted due to poor security.
The chief American weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, told The New York Sun yesterday that in 1995, when he was a member of the U.N. inspections team in Iraq, he urged the United Nations' atomic watchdog to remove tons of explosives that have since been declared missing.
Mr. Duelfer said he was rebuffed at the time by the Vienna-based agency because its officials were not convinced the presence of the HMX, RDX, and PETN explosives was directly related to Saddam Hussein's programs to amass weapons of mass destruction.
Instead of accepting recommendations to destroy the stocks, Mr. Duelfer said, the atomic-energy agency opted to continue to monitor them.
By e-mail, Mr. Duelfer wrote the Sun, "The policy was if acquired for the WMD program and used for it, it should be subject for destruction. The HMX was just that. Nevertheless the IAEA decided to let Iraq keep the stuff, like they needed more explosives."
On Monday a spokesman for the U.N. agency said its director general, Mohammed ElBaradei, was preparing a report on the missing material for the Security Council, concerned lest the explosives, which can be used to detonate a nuclear weapon, fall into the wrong hands. HMX, RDX, and PETN are more commonly used to create C4, an explosive that has both industrial and military uses. Libyan terrorists used a pound of similar plastic explosives in 1988 to destroy the commercial airliner Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
In 1995, Mr. ElBaradei was an assistant director of the the atomic-energy agency for external relations. His boss, Hans Blix, eventually took over the U.N. inspections team that was on the ground in Iraq before the war. Mr. Blix argued, in a book published after his retirement, that Iraq lacked the weapons programs American and European intelligence said it had kept concealed. Mr. Duelfer came to a similar conclusion, although he stressed in his report that Mr. Hussein had the intent to restart those programs.
Until this week, the Kerry campaign had used the assessments of the weapons inspectors to bludgeon the Bush administration for failing to substantiate the assertions it presented in March 2003 to justify the war. But yesterday the Kerry campaign launched an advertisement touting the failure to account for the explosives at Al Qaqaa as evidence of the president's incompetence.
The vice president of the American Enterprise Institute for foreign and defense policy studies, Danielle Pletka, told the Sun yesterday, "What is odd to me is that the Kerry campaign is suddenly concerned about WMD in Iraq and Mohammed ElBaradei after years of indifference, is suddenly concerned about conventional explosives in the Middle East." Ms. Pletka is a supporter of Mr. Bush's re-election.
The Bush campaign touted an NBC News report Monday that said the explosives were missing from Al Qaqaa when troops arrived at the facility April 10, 2003. U.N. weapons inspectors visited the facility on March 15 of that year and verified that the seals on the facility protecting the explosives were intact, according to agency's spokeswoman. The absence of the explosives less than four weeks later could suggest that they were gone before coalition troops had a chance to guard them.
NBC issued a corrective report last evening, however, saying the troops who visited the facility on April 10, 2003, did not look for the explosives. The reporter, Lai Ling Jew, who was embedded in the unit that arrived at the scene, said, "There wasn't a search."
"The mission that the brigade had was to get to Baghdad," she said. "That was more of a pit stop there for us. And, you know, the searching, I mean, certainly some of the soldiers headed off on their own, looked through the bunkers just to look at the vast amount of ordnance lying around. But as far as we could tell, there was no move to secure the weapons, nothing to keep looters away."
On Monday, a spokesman for the American mission at the United Nations questioned the timing of the release of the material on the part of Mr. ElBaradei. Rick Grenell told the Sun's Benny Avni the "timing seems puzzling."
After a behind-the-scenes battle inside the State Department this summer, the Bush administration opted to reject Mr. ElBaradei's bid for a third term as director general of the atomic energy agency.
At the time, Washington was collecting intelligence - disputed by some agencies - that Mr. ElBaradei was providing advice to Iran on how to avoid sanction from his organization for its previously undisclosed uranium enrichment programs.
Mr. al-Baradei has publicly urged the Iranians to heed an earlier pledge to suspend enrichment, but he has also opposed America's policy of taking Iranian violations to the U.N. Security Council. Mr. al-Baradei has announced he will nonetheless seek a third term. Nominations for the director general position close on December 31.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Report: Explosives already gone when U.S. troops arrived
NBC News says its crew was embedded with soldiers at time
(CNN) -- The mystery surrounding the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosives from a storage depot in Iraq has taken a new twist, after a network embedded with the U.S. military during the invasion of Iraq reported that the material had already vanished by the time American troops arrived.
NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad.
While the troops found large stockpiles of conventional explosives, they did not find HMX or RDX, the types of powerful explosives that reportedly went missing, according to NBC.
The International Atomic Energy Agency revealed Monday that it had been told two weeks ago by the Iraqi government that 380 tons of HMX and RDX disappeared from Al Qaqaa after Saddam Hussein's government fell.
In a letter to the IAEA dated October 10, Iraq's director of planning, Mohammed Abbas, said the material disappeared sometime after Saddam's regime fell in April 2003, which he attributed to "the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security."
Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003. According to NBC, troops from the 101st Airborne arrived the next day to find that the material was already gone.
NBCNEWS: CACHE OF EXPLOSIVES VANISHED FROM SITE IN IRAQ BEFORE TROOPS ARRIVED...
The NYTIMES urgently reported on Monday in an apprent October Surprise: The Iraqi interim government and the U.N. nuclear agency have warned the United States that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives are now missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive normer military installations.
[The source behind the NYT story first went to CBSNEWS' 60 MINUTES last Wednesday, but the beleaguered network wasn't able to get the piece on the air as fast as the newspaper could print. Executive producer Jeff Fager hoped to break the story during a high-impact election eve broadcast of 60 MINS on October 31.]
Jumping on the TIMES exclusive, Dem presidential candidate John Kerry blasted the Bush administration for its failure to "guard those stockpiles."
"This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration," Kerry said.
In an election week rush:
**ABCNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 4 Times
**CBSNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 7 Times
**MSNBC Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 37 Times
**CNN Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 50 Times
But tonight, NBCNEWS reported: The 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives were already missing back in April 10, 2003 -- when U.S. troops arrived at the installation south of Baghdad!
An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.
According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.
"The U.S. Army was at the site one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone," a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors last saw the explosives in January 2003 when they took an inventory and placed fresh seals on the bunkers.
Dem vp hopeful John Edwards blasted Bush for not securing the explosives: "It is reckless and irresponsible to fail to protect and safeguard one of the largest weapons sites in the country. And by either ignoring these mistakes or being clueless about them, George Bush has failed. He has failed as our commander in chief; he has failed as president."
A senior Bush official e-mailed DRUDGE late Monday: "Let me get this straight, are Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards now saying we did not go into Iraq soon enough? We should have invaded and liberated Iraq sooner?"
Top Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart fired back Monday night: "In a shameless attempt to cover up its failure to secure 380 tons of highly explosive material in Iraq, the White House is desperately flailing in an effort to escape blame. Instead of distorting John Kerry's words, the Bush campaign is now falsely and deliberately twisting the reports of journalists. It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous."
Why is the U.N. nuclear agency suddenly warning now that insurgents in Iraq may have obtained nearly 400 tons of missing explosives -- in early 2003?
NBCNEWS Jim Miklaszewski quoted one official: "Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes this announcement appear highly political."
Monday, October 25, 2004
"Suspected terror fund-raiser
attended event for Kerry"
KLA militant bonded with advisers, reportedly boasted of special favors
Posted: October 25, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Editor's note: Joseph Farah s G2 Bulletin is an online, subscription intelligence news service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com - a journalist who has been developing sources around the world for the last 25 years.
A militant from a group some have connected to al-Qaida and that many have claimed is financed in part by the international drug trade and prostitution rings, recently attended a John Kerry fund-raiser, where he wrote a check and later boasted about his getting "paid back" in future favors from the presidential candidate.
According to Joseph Farah s G2 Bulletin, Brooklyn-based Florin Krasniqi, a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army, is featured in the recently released Dutch documentary "De Brooklyn Connectie" attending a Kerry fund-raiser with several KLA members, where he writes a check, and then makes clear he expects a quid-pro-quo for his donation.
"With money you can do amazing things in this country. Senators and congressmen are looking for donations. If you fund them and raise the money they need for their campaign they pay you back," Krasniqi says in the documentary.
The video later shows Krasniqi, a known KLA member and fund-raiser, purchasing weapons from an American gun store. He reminds viewers that in the past, such weapons have been smuggled into Kosovo, disguised as humanitarian aid.
Toward the end of the documentary, Krasniqi warns that "just in case NATO pulls out, or we don't get our independence peacefully, then we'll use those weapons."
Many have called the KLA, also known as the UCK, a terror organization, charging it led a violent campaign against civilian Kosovo Serbs, and linking it to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida and Iran. As recently as 1998, the U.S. State Department recognized the KLA as a terrorist group.
The KLA consists of armed militias seeking to unite the Albanian populations of Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania into a greater Albania.
Some of the KLA's anti-Serb violence took place under the auspices of U.S.-led NATO, which moved into the province promising to guarantee peace and democracy. At one point KLA officials took over the running of refugee camps in Albania and Macedonia.
Many liberals, particularly the Clinton administration, have openly negotiated with KLA leader Hashim Thaci, whom they have referred to as the legitimate representative of the Kosovar people.
In fact, Thaci, who goes under the nom de guerre "Snake," attended the Democratic National Convention in Boston earlier this year. Upon returning, Thaci told the Albanian-Language Kosova Live agency, "It was a very successful visit at the Democratic Convention, where the PDK [Thaci's political party] had been invited as a guest. It was confirmed once again that the Democratic authorities would recognize and respect the will of the people of Kosova for self-determination"
At the Kerry fund-raiser, Krasniqi is seen in the documentary introducing himself and his brothers-in-arms to Gen. Wesley Clark, normer Democratic presidential candidate who commanded the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
Krasniqi says, "Mr. Clark. This is your group, your KLA." Clark then praises the group saying, "They fought against tremendous odds."
Kerry's senior foreign policy adviser and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs under Clinton, Richard Holbrooke, who apparently knows one of the KLA members, then comes over and jokingly says, "He almost got me killed." To which Krasniqi quips, "He would not let his Kalashnikov go. He will keep his Kalashnikov."
The KLA is a controversial organization. The group made its military debut in February 1996 with the bombing of several camps housing Serbian refugees from wars in Croatia and Bosnia.
In 1999, The Washington Times obtained intelligence documents showing what it described as a "link" between bin Laden and the KLA, including a common staging area in Tropoje, Albania, a center for Islamic terrorists. The reports says al-Qaida has both trained and financially supported the KLA.
German journalist and ex-Army Maj. Franz Josef Hutsch, who was in Kosovo between September 1998 and December 1999 as an embedded reporter with the KLA, recently testified at the Hague's trial of normer Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic that bands of KLA militants had been regularly led by Afghan mujaheeden.
There have been unsubstantiated reports from SHIK, Albania's Intelligence Service, that bin Laden visited Albania himself, promising the KLA to send units to fight in Kosovo.
Credible intelligence indicates that Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, which the U.S. State Department says sponsors terrorism, has been training KLA members and funneling millions of dollars through Bosnia and Albania to buy arms for the KLA.
This was corroborated by Director of the U.S. House Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare Yossef Bodansky in a report for Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy:
"In the Fall of 1997, the uppermost leadership in Tehran ordered the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] High Command to launch a major program for shipping large quantities of weapons and other military supplies to the Albanian clandestine organizations in Kosovo. [Ayatollah] Khamene'i's instructions specifically stipulated that the comprehensive military assistance was aimed to enable the Muslims 'to achieve the independence' of the province of Kosovo," says the report.
In 1997 "the Iranians began sending promising Albanian and UCK commanders for advanced military training in al-Quds [special] forces and IRGC camps in Iran," writes Bodansky.
It has also been established the KLA relies on funds raised by the powerful Albanian mafia, which deals in narcotics and prostitution.
Interpol has in the past estimated Kosovo Albanians have controlled 40 percent of the European heroin trade, and in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, they may have controlled as much as 70 percent of the market, with much of the money going to fund the KLA.
The London Times reported the KLA was "an outgrowth of the Kosovo Albanian mafia ... these Kosovan criminals operate the most powerful drug-running network in Europe."
Many KLA-linked Albanian gangs have also run prostitution and sex-trafficking rackets across Western Europe.
According to a recent internal British-government briefing, Albanians or Kosovars now control more than two-thirds of the "massage parlors" in London. That estimate fit with another study completed last year by Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service.
But the U.S. policy toward the KLA has been mixed. Some have warned against relations with the KLA, while the Clinton administration maintained close ties with the group.
At the 1999 signing of the Rambouillet Accords, a 3-year interim agreement to "provide democratic self-government, peace, and security for everyone living in Kosovo," the U.S. seated the KLA at the head of the Kosovo delegation.
Clinton went out of his way on more than one occasion to praise the KLA for having chosen "the road of peace" at the initial Rambouillet talks.
When confronted in 1999 with Thaci's record of violence within his own organization, State Department spokesman James Rubin said, "We simply don't have innormation to substantiate allegations that there was a KLA leadership-directed program of assassinations or executions."
On Nov. 15, the Hague will start the trial of three normer KLA members who stand accused of crimes against Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians in a prison camp in eastern Kosovo in 1998. All three of the accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include torture and murder.
Monday, October 25, 2004
"Security Council members deny meeting Kerry"
SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
U.N. ambassadors from several nations are disputing assertions by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry that he met for hours with all members of the U.N. Security Council just a week before voting in October 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
An investigation by The Washington Times reveals that while the candidate did talk for an unspecified period to at least a few members of the panel, no such meeting, as described by Mr. Kerry on a number of occasions over the past year, ever occurred.
At the second presidential debate earlier this month, Mr. Kerry said he was more attuned to international concerns on Iraq than President Bush, citing his meeting with the entire Security Council.
"This president hasn't listened. I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them, to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable," Mr. Kerry said of the Iraqi dictator.
Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in December 2003, Mr. Kerry explained that he understood the "real readiness" of the United Nations to "take this seriously" because he met "with the entire Security Council, and we spent a couple of hours talking about what they saw as the path to a united front in order to be able to deal with Saddam Hussein."
But of the five ambassadors on the Security Council in 2002 who were reached directly for comment, four said they had never met Mr. Kerry. The four also said that no one who worked for their countries' U.N. missions had met with Mr. Kerry either.
The normer ambassadors who said on the record they had never met Mr. Kerry included the representatives of Mexico, Colombia and Bulgaria. The ambassador of a fourth country gave a similar account on the condition that his country not be identified.
Ambassador Andres Franco, the permanent deputy representative from Colombia during its Security Council membership from 2001 to 2002, said, "I never heard of anything."
Although Mr. Franco was quick to note that Mr. Kerry could have met some members of the panel, he also said that "everything can be heard in the corridors."
Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, Mexico's then-ambassador to the United Nations, said: "There was no meeting with John Kerry before Resolution 1441, or at least not in my memory."
All had vivid recollections of the time frame when Mr. Kerry traveled to New York, as it was shortly before the Nov. 7, 2002, enactment of Resolution 1441, which said Iraq was in "material breach" of earlier disarmament resolutions and warned Baghdad of "serious consequences as a result of its continued violations."
Stefan Tafrov, Bulgaria's ambassador at the time, said he remembers the period well because it "was a very contentious time."
After conversations with ambassadors from five members of the Security Council in 2002 and calls to all the missions of the countries then on the panel, The Times was only able to confirm directly that Mr. Kerry had met with representatives of France, Singapore and Cameroon.
In addition, second-hand accounts have Mr. Kerry meeting with representatives of Britain.
When reached for comment last week, an official with the Kerry campaign stood by the candidate's previous claims that he had met with the entire Security Council.
But after being told late yesterday of the results of The Times investigation, the Kerry campaign issued a statement that read in part, "It was a closed meeting and a private discussion."
A Kerry aide refused to identify who participated in the meeting.
The statement did not repeat Mr. Kerry's claims of a lengthy meeting with the entire 15-member Security Council, instead saying the candidate "met with a group of representatives of countries sitting on the Security Council."
Asked whether the international body had any records of Mr. Kerry sitting down with the whole council, a U.N. spokesman said that "our office does not have any record of this meeting."
A U.S. official with intimate knowledge of the Security Council's actions in fall of 2002 said that he was not aware of any meeting Mr. Kerry had with members of the panel.
An official at the U.S. mission to the United Nations remarked: "We were as surprised as anyone when Kerry started talking about a meeting with the Security Council."
Jean-David Levitte, then France's chief U.N. representative and now his country's ambassador to the United States, said through a spokeswoman that Mr. Kerry did not have a single group meeting as the senator has described, but rather several one-on-one or small-group encounters.
He added that Mr. Kerry did not meet with every member of the Security Council, only "some" of them. Mr. Levitte could only name himself and Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of Britain as the Security Council members with whom Mr. Kerry had met.
One diplomat who met with Mr. Kerry in 2002 said on the condition of anonymity that the candidate talked to "a few" ambassadors on the Security Council.
The revelation that Mr. Kerry never met with the entire U.N. Security Council could be problematic for the Massachusetts senator, as it clashes with one of his central foreign-policy campaign themes - honesty.
At a New Mexico rally last month, Mr. Kerry said Mr. Bush will "do anything he can to cover up the truth." At what campaign aides billed as a major foreign-policy address, Mr. Kerry said at New York University last month that "the first and most fundamental mistake was the president's failure to tell the truth to the American people."
In recent months, Mr. Kerry has faced numerous charges of dishonesty from Vietnam veterans over his war record, and his campaign has backtracked before from previous statements about Mr. Kerry's foreign diplomacy.
For example, in March, Mr. Kerry told reporters in Florida that he'd met with foreign leaders who privately endorsed him.
"I've met with foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly," he said. "But, boy, they look at you and say: 'You've got to win this. You've got to beat this guy. We need a new policy.' "
But the senator refused to document his claim and a review by The Times showed that Mr. Kerry had made no official foreign trips since the start of 2002, according to Senate records and his own published schedules. An extensive review of Mr. Kerry's domestic travel schedule revealed only one opportunity for him to have met foreign leaders here.
After a week of bad press, Kerry foreign-policy adviser Rand Beers said the candidate "does not seek, and will not accept, any such endorsements."
The Democrat has also made his own veracity a centerpiece of his campaign, calling truthfulness "the fundamental test of leadership."
Mr. Kerry closed the final debate by recounting what his mother told him from her hospital bed, "Remember: integrity, integrity, integrity."
In an interview published in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Mr. Kerry was asked what he would want people to remember about his presidency. He responded, "That it always told the truth to the American people."
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Preacher Ted? REally. No kidding.
This morning Ted Kennedy, of all people, preached a sermon at the Airy Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia in which, according to the Associated Press, he "urged the congregation to vote for Kerry." Here is an AP photo of the congregation:
Is it legal to hold political rallies in churches? Not if the church wants to maintain its tax-exempt status. But somehow the rules don't apply when the preacher is a Democrat. All those worries about how dangerous it is to mingle religion and politics don't apply, either.
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Sunday, October 24, 2004
From Powerlineblog.com which was among the first to question authenticity of Dan Rather's sources for President Bush's national guard records.
"Will the Election Be Stolen?
The dominant story of this year's Presidential election is fraud. Even more than the growing crescendo of intimidation and violence, the vital fact that looms ominously over the most important election in a generation is that American elections can be stolen. Easily. George Will writes:
the National Voter Registration Act -- a.k.a. "Motor Voter"... imposed "fraud-friendly" rules on the states, requiring them, for example, to register to vote anyone receiving a driver's license, and to offer mail-in registration with no identification required.
Given such measures, perhaps we should not be surprised that...since 1995, Philadelphia's population has declined 13 percent but registered voters have increased 24 percent....
The unexamined belief that an ever-higher rate of voter registration is a Good Thing has met its limit in the center of the state that this year is the center of the political universe -- Ohio. The U.S. Census Bureau's 2003 estimate is that in Franklin County -- Columbus -- there are approximately 815,000 people 18 or over. But 845,720 are now registered.
One reason for such unacceptable numbers in various jurisdictions across the nation is that voter rolls are not frequently enough purged of voters whose status has changed.
Unfortunately, there is reluctance, especially among Republicans, to support measures that might appear to have a "disparate impact" on minorities and therefore be denounced as racist.
In Ohio, likely to be the decisive state this year, Republicans have filed challenges to more than 35,000 newly-registered "voters." These are individuials to whom letters were mailed, but returned as undeliverable, suggesting that the newly-registered voter either is dead, does not exist, or does not live in the precince where he or she is newly registered. The Republicans' challenges were, of course, denounced as undemocratic.
The reality is that no serious effort is made to prevent voter fraud. Here in Minnesota, as in many states, anyone can go from precinct to precinct, voting in each. A prospective voter cannot be required to produce identification or evidence that he or she lives in the precinct if a registered voter "vouches" for that person. And there is no limit on how many people a single registered voter can vouch for. So as a practical matter, the only limit on fraud in Minnesota is the willingness of an individual to take the time to go from precinct to precinct, or to come to Minnesota to vote after already voting in another state--say, Wisconsin or Iowa. The same is true in many other states.
The bottom line is that if this election is close enough, it will be stolen. If it is too close to steal but still close, the result will be months or years of litigation, designed either to give John Kerry the Presidency, or to deny President Bush legitimacy in his second term. Under current law, there is no solution to the problem of voter fraud other than a one-sided election. And this year, that doesn't look likely.
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Saturday, October 23, 2004
I didn't think of this! Most of us haven't thought about this no matter how much we like or dislike John Kerry. WOW! Those figures have to be staggering.
Subject: You will pay upkeep/Secret Service for 5 Kerry mansions.
It is good to be John F. Kerry....... The F stands for Forbes in case you ever wondered. (I didn't know that either)
He is one of the richest Senators in Government. When someone is elected president, it means the Secret Service has to protect the President and his family as well as his property.
The Kerry's have five US properties not counting the several foreign properties they own too. The cost to run these homes are more than what the average American could afford, even if the rent was free, and all you had to pay the water, gas &electric. Including ground keepers, maintenance, pool, and house keepers. To be President would require the taxpayers to pay for all that now if elected. Including a complete staffed Secret Service security 24 hours a day. In addition to that we will have to pay for each of their homes for security improvements even if they never go to them all, that is, that just in case. Who do you think will pay for all this? We Pay! This takes all the expense off Kerry and puts it on us.
Nevertheless, factor another major cost to Americans that Kerry does not want you to know about.
Becoming president would automatically include taking care of all their properties with Secret Service Agents that includes 5 agents per 6 hour shift 4 times a day 365 days of the year for the rest of their lives so long as they own those properties. It comes with being President, once you are elected. It requires us the taxpayers, to pay for this as well as his annual salary, as well as his retirements including the cost of living adjustments to boot, plus salaries and protection for all their real estate property, plus Secret Service Agents, and pay the bills for the rest of his life. In addition, feed the Secret Service Agents and rotate new ones every 6 hours for the rest of his life.
Do the math. Five properties need to be protected. This requires five Secret Service Agents per shift, daily every six hours, per property! That is 20 Secret Service Agents per day per property everyday including Holidays. Wow, what does that cost?
Lets say an average of 20 agents per property, each earning a about $60K per agent to survey the perimeters and protect. Now times that by five properties so far. That is if the Kerry's do not buy any more properties afterwards. This also includes the Agents vehicles and repairs, gas, meals, days off, paid vacation, and medical plan visits etc per agent.
Who pays? YOU pay, the whole time they are alive after becoming President! Is this the best use of our tax money electing Kerry to take care of all their properties, both foreign and domestic? On the other hand, shouldn't he pay for his own? Yet, the Presidential salary could not afford it.
The more I think about paying for Kerry's properties everyday, just makes me happy keeping President Bush all the more merrier. Without raising taxes to boot.
How on earth would Kerry pay for everyone to have Healthcare, increase our military, and have us pay to protect his investments, all without raising our taxes? Tax and spend Kerry is his party motto.
Which really has to make you wonder why anyone with his wealth, would take a salary of that of a U.S. Senator, never mind wanna be President? Do you believe now why he needs to be the Prez? To serve the people? On the other hand, the people serve Him and his wife!
Please pass the Mustard and do America a favor and pass this to your
Friday, October 22, 2004
'Tax cuts for the rich!'
"With the election season coming into the home stretch, the cry of "Tax cuts for the rich!" is ringing out across the land from Democrats desperate to regain power in Washington. Like many other political slogans, its popularity depends on slippery words and sloppy thinking.
First of all, just what does "rich" mean? And does it have any relevance to the kinds of tax cuts at issue?
The recent release of some of Teresa Heinz Kerry's tax records reveals as much about the confusion over this issue as it does about her financial situation. The Kerrys are clearly rich, with several homes, a private jet, and millions of dollars in annual income. Yet they paid just 13 percent of their income in taxes.
That's less than most American pay -- and it is not due to "tax cuts for the rich." It is due to putting much of their wealth into tax-free municipal bonds or other tax-exempt securities. So whether income tax rates are high or low, on rich or poor, makes little difference to them.
One of the major purposes of tax cuts is to get people to take their money out of tax-free securities and invest that money in something that will increase economic activity and create jobs. Since our income tax system is steeply graduated, any across-the-board tax cut will immediately benefit most those who pay most of the taxes -- which is to say, people with higher incomes.
After Ronald Reagan's tax rate cuts in the 1980s first brought out anguished cries of "tax cuts for the rich," it turned out that the federal government collected more tax revenue than ever and that people in upper income brackets not only paid a larger amount of taxes than before, but even paid a higher share of all taxes than before.
How could this be?
This takes us back to slippery words and sloppy thinking. What was cut were tax rates. What went up were tax revenues. At lower tax rates, it paid to take money out of tax shelters and put it somewhere where it was more productive, both for the individual investor and for the economy as a whole.
As the economy expanded and incomes and employment rose, tax revenues rose, despite lower rates being charged for a given income. The incomes of people in the higher brackets went up especially sharply, so the total taxes they paid also went up especially sharply -- again, despite lower tax rates.
Much sloppy thinking about economic issues is based on reasoning as if there is a fixed amount of income, so that someone has to lose whenever someone else gains. The real test of an economic policy is whether it can produce a rising tide that lifts all boats.
Ronald Reagan's policies did that, even while he was being denounced for "tax cuts for the rich."
There is also a lot of sloppy thinking about what "rich" means. Income is not wealth and income taxes do not apply to wealth.
People who have high incomes without much wealth are not rich. If they lose their jobs tomorrow, they are up the creek if they cannot find another job that pays as well. But these are the people who get hit with high income tax rates, often paying far higher rates than genuinely rich people.
High-tax liberals like John Kerry seldom define what they mean by "rich." When they do, it is almost always expressed in terms of income, not wealth.
The income of most Americans varies greatly over the course of their lives. Most of the people who are in the bottom 20 percent at one point are in the top 20 percent in later years.
A family income of $100,000 a year does not make you rich. A couple earning $50,000 each probably did not start out making $50,000 each. People usually work up to their peak income after many years of effort and struggle -- and they may not be that far from retirement time, when they will have to give up that income and live on their savings and pensions.
Most Americans are likely to become "rich" -- as defined by high-tax liberals -- at some point in their lives. So when liberal demagogues start talking about taxing "the rich," send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
Friday, October 22, 2004
"Did They Do It For Allah or The Monkey?
by Randy Taylor
"Recent reports from Russia indicate that at least thirty one of the dead terrorists that recently took the school and the people in Beslan, Russia hostage, showed incredible levels of heroin and morphine in their bloodstreams. The tests "indicate that they were long-term drug addicts and had been using drugs permanently while preparing for the terrorist attack," Nikolai Shepel, deputy prosecutor general of Russia's southern federal district, was quoted as saying by Interfax.
"Some of the terrorists had levels exceeding a deadly dose, which indicates they had gotten used to the substance, and were using it regularly while preparing for the attack," the Interfax news agency quoted him (Nikolai Shepel) as saying. They also have indicated that there were additional (unidentified as of yet) presence of drugs that weren't consistent with the behaviors of people that are heavily drugged with an opiate, and whatever the other drugs were, gave the terrorists the ability to continue fighting despite being badly wounded.
I am leaning towards the theory that the other drug may have been similar to PCP also known as phencyclidine, which when ingested makes people completely irrational and insensitive to pain.
So in essence, the real "cause" of the terrorists in Beslan wasn't because they necessarily believed in what they were doing, it wasn't for freedom from oppression and it wasn't for Allah. It may have been simply for the monkey on their back. These terrorist were quite possibly recruited with drugs, trained while strung out on drugs and ultimately led to their death on drugs. Since the method of attack was designed by Al Qaeda, there is no disputing the Al Qaeda connection and involvement either directly or indirectly in these attacks. There have been several reports in the past that Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have used narcotics to entice and coerce suicide bombers to do their bidding. That innormation comes as no surprise since the Taliban, Al Qaeda and some Afghanistan warlords are possibly the largest consortium of opium producers and distributors in the world.
So one has to wonder if Al Qaeda's financing network is in a financial bind since the US Treasury, law enforcement agencies and governments have clamped down on the terrorists "Charities" and frozen their bank accounts all over the world. So maybe their "paycheck" isn't always hard currency anymore, but instead drugs. This should do wonders for the already dwindling skill level within the Al Qaeda ranks. They have to commit suicide now when they attack as they aren't intelligent enough to normulate an escape.".....
Friday, October 22, 2004
"Taxes, Deficits and War: the History Lessons"
"John Kerry has repeatedly accused George W. Bush of being the first president in American history to cut taxes during a time of war.
First, let's deal with Senator Kerry's factual error before we get on to his philosophical ones. George W. Bush is not the first president in American history to cut taxes near or at the beginning of a war. Just looking at wars in the past 70 years of American history, we find the following: FDR cut capital gains rates (in those days a tax overwhelmingly levied on the rich) at the beginning of WWII; John Kennedy cut taxes near the beginning of the Vietnam War; and that's not counting various minor military actions, such as Grenada and Kosovo, that occurred near significant tax cuts.
The deeper problem here, however, is philosophical. The anti-war left, seeking to wrap its position in conservative-sounding rhetoric about deficit reduction, has tried to reframe the war issue in economic terms. When they do this, they hold the president to a standard to which they are unwilling to hold previous war-time presidents. America finances wars through borrowing. So does virtually every other modern nation. In fact, our modern financial markets were born in the various open-air auctions at which the debt instruments of warring nations were traded. Nations that were expected to lose wars had their bonds discounted by the marketplace and vice versa. Powerful banking interests such as the Rothschilds (My note: understand that the Illuminati origninate from the Rothschilds financing in the distant past) became very adept at quickly ascertaining real-time war news and using it to receive an edge in the marketplace. Debt in times of war is not an unusual aberration; it is universal.
(Graph on site http://www.techcentralstation.com/102204E.html )
The United States is no exception in this regard. Our independence was won with borrowed money, and incidentally Alexander Hamilton argued for the nationalization of that debt, partially for the purpose of creating America's first credit markets. The Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and WWI involved extensive borrowing. As the chart above shows, WWII involved far higher borrowing levels than our current conflict and for extended periods of time. As you see also above, the Korean War involved substantial borrowing and the height of the Vietnam War involved higher levels of borrowing than now. Ronald Reagan finished off the Soviets with high levels of borrowing amidst incessant Democratic carping. As during the era of the Rothschilds, the danger signal is not that borrowing occurs, but that the marketplace begins to worry whether economic weakness or military defeat will harm the borrower's ability to repay. This can occur either in the norm of outright default for the vanquished party or in the norm of repayment in a debauched currency for the overstretched. What is the international marketplace saying about our borrowing? High degrees of confidence have caused them to lend to us at roughly 4%, the lowest rates in four decades.
Should we mind that some of this war will be paid for by our children? Not at all. Ronald Reagan ended a multi-generational threat through his military build-up in the 1980s. Soviet missiles are not pointed at us any longer. The collapse of the Soviets freed up enormous resources (remember the peace dividend?) which helped lay the foundation for the growth of the '90s. The generation following WWII reaped enormous benefits from the defeat of the Nazis. The generation following the demise of the Cold War reaped similar benefits from the demise of the Soviets. The generation following our own will reap enormous benefits from the defeat of the Jihadists and it is perfectly appropriate that they cheerfully pay their share of the debt that was incurred on their behalf like every other post-war generation in American history.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
"Yasser Arafat endorses Kerry
Thinks Democratic senator 'better for Palestinian cause'
Posted: October 18, 2004
8:35 p.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
c 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is hoping John Kerry wins the presidential election in November, several Palestinian leaders told WorldNetDaily.
Arafat deputy and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told WND in an exclusive interview that while "we do not involve ourselves in internal American politics," at the same time "our region has been sliding deeper and deeper into chaos because of certain policies over the past few years, and this needs to change."
While he would not directly endorse Kerry, it was clear Erekat was implying the PA wants a change in White House leadership: "If things continue the way they are, if certain policies toward our region are maintained in the years to come, there is going to be a lot of violence on both sides."
A prominent Arafat aide who asked that his name be withheld spoke to WorldNetDaily from Arafat's battered Ramallah compound.
"The president [Arafat] is frustrated with Bush's policies," he said. "The president [Arafat] thinks Kerry will be much better for the Palestinian cause and for the establishment of a Palestinian state."
Also today, PA Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is unsure if George W. Bush is re-elected to office, and he complained the U.S. presidential election was stalling the Middle East peace process.
"During an American election and the three months after, allies of the United States should do more work than they would do otherwise." Shaath told a news conference.
While the comments mark the first time the PA has endorsed Kerry on the record, it has not been a secret that Arafat is frustrated with Bush's leadership.
Israel Military Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi has warned Arafat is biding his time until November, when the Palestinian leader hopes President Bush will be voted out of office and Ariel Sharon's coalition government will fall.
"Arafat is waiting for November in the hope George Bush will lose the election to John Kerry," Ze'evi told Army Radio in July. "He also hopes that the Israeli government will fall, so he can take center stage diplomatically."
Since 2002, Washington has fully backed Jerusalem's decision to isolate the Palestinian Authority president, who Sharon says is directly involved in planning terrorism and is an obstacle to peacemaking.
Many Israeli and American Jewish leaders have been expressing concern that a Kerry administration will cause more violence in the Middle East and could bring Arafat back to power. They say they are worried about Kerry's statements of coordinating American foreign policy with the Europeans, some of whom favor talks with Arafat, and are disturbed by Kerry's appointment of several normer Clinton Mideast policy directors as advisers, particularly normer U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk.
Many blame Clinton's failed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -which sought Israeli territorial concessions for promises of peace by Arafat and ignored indications of growing Palestinian militancy and violations of security-renorm agreements - for partially causing the current intifada
Indyk, who helped devise the 1993 Oslo Accords, was a driving force behind Clinton's assessment of Arafat as a statesman and urged Clinton to accept Arafat as the legitimate ruler of the Palestinians. Under Indyk's advisory, Arafat visited the White House during the Clinton administration 24 times, more than any other world leader during those eight years.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Embedded live links. Borrowed from another blog with proper credits given.
Click on the first embedded link to the picture I'm writing about because it wouldn't copy directly .... hate has gone waaaaaaay too far in my book.
"Stop the Madness
"Over the past two years, the Democrats have redefined themselves as the party of hate. During the current Presidential campaign, the Democrats have spun completely out of control, taking campaign hate speech to a level never seen before in American politics. This banner headline from the front page of the Village Voice s web site, which was pointed out to us by reader William Brison, is a case in point (click to enlarge):
If John Kerry wins the election, as now appears entirely possible, one wonders how the Democrats think they will be able to govern in any normal way after the appalling hate campaign they have unleashed.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Last week the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Edward C. Prescott as the co-winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Currently the W. P. Carey Chair of Economics at Arizona State University and a senior monetary advisor at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, Dr. Prescott is known for his influential work on business cycles and economic development.
The Nobel Committee's press release noted that, "Whereas earlier research had emphasized macroeconomic shocks on the demand side of the economy, Kydland [the other co-winner] and Prescott demonstrated that shocks on the supply side may have far-reaching effects." And, a release on Arizona State's website called attention to a recent paper of Dr. Prescott's, which determined, "the reason Americans work longer hours than Europeans is the disincentive effect associated with higher taxes in Europe. Moreover, these disincentives result in a large loss in well being for the average European."
Given these statements and his status as the latest Nobel Laureate in Economics, Dr. Prescott's opinion of President Bush's tax cuts, which are coming under withering attack from his Democratic challenger John Kerry, couldn't be timelier.
During an interview last week on CNBC financial television, Dr. Prescott told the audience that, "What Bush has done has been not very big, it's pretty small" in terms of bringing down federal income taxes. But Prescott went further, saying, "Tax rates were not cut enough" and noted "Lower tax rates provided an incentive to work."
Interestingly the mainstream press has given short shrift to these extraordinary comments; one can't help but wonder if the media response would have been the same had Dr. Prescott been critical of the tax cuts.
But Prescott is correct. As a share of Gross Domestic Product, Bush's original 2003 plan would have reduced taxes by an annual average of 0.44 percent over its lifespan (the tax cut that subsequently passed was somewhat smaller). In contrast, John F. Kennedy proposed to slash taxes by 2.0 percent of GDP, and Ronald Reagan by 3.3 percent.
Even when taken together, the 2001 tax cut law and Bush's 2003 proposal amounted to a 1.6 percent slice of GDP -- less than half the size of Reagan's cuts and significantly smaller than Kennedy's tax cuts. The trend also held true when examining the tax cuts as a percentage of average revenues collected (total taxes) over the life of the tax cuts.
Nevertheless, self-appointed "experts" continue to gain airtime by blaming the Bush tax cuts for creating the current budget deficits. But tax cuts weren't the wellspring that started the river of red ink flowing from Washington. Look instead to the Administration's four-year spending binge, which helped boost total outlays by 29 percent since 2001. For its part, Congress has only helped to open the floodgates.
Dr. Prescott also made a statement that bears directly on the tax-policy bromides peddled by candidate Kerry. Prescott said that, "in the early '90s the economy was depressed by the tax increase in '93 by about four percent, and it's right at that level now." In essence, the Bush cuts in marginal income tax rates basically just got us back to the rates we had right prior to the Clinton tax increase -- a tax increase that slowed America's emergence from the recession at that time.
But did the federal revenue boom of the 1990s later prove Prescott wrong? On the contrary. A hard-charging stock market along with major productivity gains helped to fatten federal coffers during those years, but both trends share a common ancestor -- the capital gains and other tax reductions of 1997. Steve Moore, leader of the Club for Growth, found that the lower capital gains rate after the 1997 tax cut yielded 80 percent more revenue over the following four-year period than was projected if the rate had remained at its 1997 level.
Prescott's comments are also applicable to more recent economic history. The U.S. has recently gone through a recession that ended up being milder-than-expected, thanks in part to the soft economic landing that the Bush cuts in marginal income and dividend rates provided. However, the economy is still facing difficult challenges including war and increasing oil prices. And astonishingly, John Kerry's solution is a rollback of the President's tax cuts -- a tax increase -- coupled with even more government spending than the Bush administration is advocating (yes, it is possible).
Kerry's position is more than just election-year demagoguery -- it is economic nonsense. But don't take my word for it. Don't take President Bush's word for it either. Just ask the latest winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics."
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
"Terrorism and the Mob
By now, everyone in America knows that John Kerry has compared fighting terrorism to prosecuting organized crime figures for gambling and prostitution. The comparison has attracted a lot of criticism. Actually, it's a pretty good analogy -- but it leads to a different lesson than Kerry believes.
Begin with the candidate's own words:
"As a normer law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life."
When Kerry was a prosecutor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, "organized crime" meant the Mob. Gambling and prostitution were among the many ways Mafia families and similar organizations made money. Prosecutions for those crimes could take down leading crime bosses. That tradition goes all the way back to the 1930s, when then-District Attorney Tom Dewey made a national name for himself by nailing Lucky Luciano on prostitution charges.
The point of those prosecutions was never to stamp out gambling or prostitution. Gambling is hardly a scourge; most states run lotteries. Prostitution is widely tolerated. To prosecutors like Dewey and Kerry, those crimes were pretexts -- tools for convicting and punishing people like Luciano. Just like prosecuting Al Capone for tax evasion. The focus was on nailing the criminal, not stopping the crime.
Why not prosecute people like Capone and Luciano for more serious crimes? Mobsters used violence to take over legitimate businesses and labor unions, then looted them. The result was economic strangulation and fear. Why not convict and punish Mafiosi for that? Sometimes, we did. But only sometimes, because proving racketeering and extortion is and always has been both hard and expensive. Local prosecutors like Kerry couldn't afford to do it -- if they had tried, they would have had no time or manpower to go after ordinary street crime. Gambling and prostitution cases were the next best thing.
Enter terrorism. Prosecutors would like to nail would-be mass murderers for planning to blow up buildings or spread nerve gas or otherwise slaughter innocent men and women. But that is even harder than prosecuting Mafia bosses for racketeering. Proving that Mohamed Atta is guilty of mass murder is easy -- but he's already dead. Proving it ahead of time, before September 11, proving it beyond a reasonable doubt, proving it without disclosing sources the government will need in other investigations -- those things are nearly impossible.
That is why, when the Justice Department prosecutes would-be terrorists, it usually prosecutes them for something other than terrorism: immigration fraud, lying to government agents, money laundering, and the like. At least in this respect, Al Qaida is like the Mob. Pretext prosecutions are a practical necessity.
But hardly a solution. Pretext prosecutions are bad public relations -- they make the defendants seem sympathetic, like people who are being hounded by the government for penny-ante crimes. They are often expensive -- proving crime bosses guilty of gambling or prostitution was easier than proving racketeering, but it wasn't a walk in the park. So too, proving money-laundering might be easier than proving attempted mass murder, but it is far from a slam dunk. Finally, pretext crimes rarely generate long sentences. If you want to put someone away for the rest of his life, a prostitution or mail fraud charge is a poor way to do it.
All of which explains why the criminal justice system was never able to kill off the Mafia. Competition from drug gangs, state-sponsored lotteries, the decline of industrial unions, creative use of other regulatory tools by officials like then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- these and other trends killed off old-style organized crime. The criminal justice system didn't, because it couldn't. Proving the relevant crimes was too expensive.
If we wait long enough, Islamic terrorism will meet the same fate as the Mafia. Long-term political and social forces in the Muslim world will push toward secular democracy, not religious dictatorship. Eventually, terrorism will be "a nuisance," just as Kerry said. But that will take awhile, just as it took awhile for market forces to wear down the Mafia. We can't just wait; we have to do something to speed that happy day along.
And criminal prosecutions are not a promising option. No one is willing to wait for a nuclear weapon to blow away an American city and then prosecute the conspirators who survived the blast. Nor does it make sense to devote massive resources to building cases for small-potatoes crimes that will put away would-be murderers for a year or two, after which they can resume their homicidal careers.
Perhaps that is why military and intelligence services have played such a large role in the war on terrorism. Some crime problems are intractable. Seen as a crime problem, terrorism is intractable too. It makes sense to redefine the problem, to look for other tools. This war needs to be fought by the Army and the CIA, not merely the Justice Department.
Therein lies the real problem with Kerry's comments. Kerry thinks America's seventy-year-long battle against the Mafia was a success story. He is wrong. Tolerating Mob bosses (which is what we did for most of those seventy years) was very costly. Tolerating terrorism -- or leaving it to police and prosecutors, which amounts to the same thing -- would be a disaster.
William J. Stuntz is a Professor at Harvard Law School."
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
This is the new Europe Kerry wants to align the US government, US policy with by subordinating our sovereignty to both Eurabia and the UN.
A total eye opener for me, a very worthwhile read and boy does it explain a lot the press and Kerry are NOT telling us!!!! Several live links embedded which are accessible with Internet Explorer.
Frontpage Interview's guest today is Bat Ye'or, the world's foremost authority on dhimmitude.
Her latest study is Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide/SPAN/I. Her forthcoming book, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, will be published in January 2005.
FP: Bat Ye'or, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Bat Ye'or: Thanks for inviting me to your prestigious magazine.
FP: First things first, can you explain the term "Eurabia" to our readers?
Bat Ye'or: Eurabia represents a geo-political reality envisaged in 1973 through a system of innormal alliances between, on the one hand, the nine countries of the European Community (EC)which, enlarged, became the European Union (EU) in 1992 and on the other hand, the Mediterranean Arab countries. The alliances and agreements were elaborated at the top political level of each EC country with the representative of the European Commission, and their Arab homologues with the Arab League's delegate. This system was synchronised under the roof of an association called the Euro-Arab Dialogue (EAD) created in July 1974 in Paris. A working body composed of committees and always presided jointly by a European and an Arab delegate planned the agendas, and organized and monitored the application of the decisions.
The field of Euro-Arab collaboration covered every domain: from economy and policy to immigration. In foreign policy, it backed anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism and Israel's delegitimization; the promotion of the PLO and Arafat; a Euro-Arab associative diplomacy in international forums; and NGO collaboration. In domestic policy, the EAD established a close cooperation between the Arab and European media television, radio, journalists, publishing houses, academia, cultural centers, school textbooks, student and youth associations, tourism. Church interfaith dialogues were determinant in the development of this policy. Eurabia is therefore this strong Euro-Arab network of associations -- a comprehensive symbiosis with cooperation and partnership on policy, economy, demography and culture.
Eurabia is the future of Europe. Its driving force, the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation, was created in Paris in 1974. It now has over six hundred members -- from all major European political parties -- active in their own national parliaments, as well as in the European parliament. The creation of this body and its policy follow the 23 resolutions of the "Second International Conference in Support of the Arab Peoples", held in Cairo in January 1969. Its resolution 15 normulates the Euro-Arab policy and its all-embracing development over thirty years in European domestic and foreign policy.
It stated: "The conference decided to norm special parliamentary groups, where they did not exist, and to use the parliamentary platnorm for promoting support of the Arab people and the Palestinian resistance." In the 1970s, pursuant to the wishes of the Cairo Conference, national groups proclaiming "Solidarity with the Palestinian Resistance and the Arab peoples" appeared throughout Europe. These groups belonged to different political families, Gaullists, extreme left or right, communists, neo-Nazis -- but they all shared the same anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism. France has been the key protagonist of this policy, ever since de Gaulle's press conference on 27 November 1967 when he presented France's cooperation with the Arab world as "the fundamental basis of our foreign policy".
FP: Is Europe's dependence on Arab oil a predominant factor in its pro-Arab policy?
Bat Ye'or: No, I don't think so. Arab leaders have to sell their oil; their people are very dependent on European economic, health and technological aid. America made this point during the oil embargo in 1973. The oil factor is a pretext to cover up a policy that emerged in France before that crisis. The policy was already conceived in the 1960s. It has strong antecedents in the French 19th century dream of governing an Arab empire and the exploitation of antisemitism to strengthen Arab Muslim-French solidarity against a demonized common enemy. Eurabia is not only a web of various agreements covering every field. It is essentially a political project for a total demographic and cultural symbiosis between Europe and the Arab world, where Israel will eventually dissolve. America would be isolated and challenged by an emerging Euro-Arab continent that is linked to the whole Muslim world and invested with tremendous political and economic power in international affairs. The policies of "multilateralism" and "soft diplomacy" express this deepening symbiosis. The Euro-Arab agreements are merely the tools for the creation of this new "continent." Eurabia is also based on the vision of Christian-Muslim reconciliation and has been strongly advocated by religious Christian bodies.
FP: For a moment, France looked like it was totally lost. But it seems to have adopted a new foreign policy, more oriented toward Europe. What is your view of this?
Bat Ye'or: France and the rest of Western Europe cannot change their policy anymore. Their future is Eurabia. Period. I don't see how they can reverse the movement they set in motion thirty years ago. Nor do Eurabians want to modify this policy. It is a project that was conceived, planned and pursued consistently through immigration policy, propaganda, church support, economic associations and aid, cultural, media and academic collaboration. Generations grew up within this political framework; they were educated and conditioned to support it and go along with it. This is the source of the strong anti-American feeling in Europe and of the paranoiac obsession with Israel, two elements that norm the cornerstone of Eurabia. The new French orientation toward Europe indicates that France will work within Europe, and particularly with the new Eastern member states of the European Union, to convince them to forgo their Atlanticist vision and reorient their alliances toward the Arab Muslim world. This was French policy in the 1960s when Paris became the advocate of the Arab cause in the European Community. Until 1971, France had been isolated in the EC in its anti-Israel stance. European Community critics accused it of bias toward the Arab world. Faced with the oil crisis, the nine EC countries -- under French and German leadership -- unified their views regarding the Middle East conflict and this generated the Euro-Arab Dialogue's overall development.
FP: Tell us about the Prodi project where Tariq Ramadan and others have collaborated.
Bat Ye'or: Prodi's project is the fulfillment of Eurabia. It is called the Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area.
It was requested by Romano Prodi, the President of the European Commission, and accepted at the Sixth Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Naples on 2-3 December 2003. It represents a strategy for closer Euro-Arab symbiosis to be implemented by a Foundation that will control, direct and monitor it. Last May the European ministers of foreign affairs accepted the creation of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures with its seat in Alexandria, Egypt. Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, murdered by an insane man, was a key advocate of the Palestinian cause and the boycott of Israel. Lindh was known for her criticism of Israeli and American policies of self-defense against terror. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana was a close friend, calling her a true European.
The Foundation will endeavor through numerous means to reinforce links of mutuality, solidarity and "togetherness" between the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean, that is, Europe and the Arab countries. The authors of the project carefully avoid such characterizations since -- in the spirit of Edward Said -- they are judged anathema and racist. This is explained in the report s text, but I use them for clarification. It is the Eurabian context, representing a totally anti-American and anti-Zionist culture and policy, that explains the strong reaction against the war in Iraq -- itself integrated into the war against Islamic terrorism. A terrorism that Eurabia has denied, blaming Israel's "injustice and occupation" and America's "arrogance" instead. Eurabia has transnormed Islamic terrorism into a cliche: "America is the problem" in order to consolidate the web of alliances that support its whole geostrategy.
FP: What is the significance of Solana's declaration?
Bat Ye'or: Solana is strongly implicated in the EU Arabophile and pro-Palestinian policy conducted intensively under Prodi as a European self-protective reaction to the American war against terror. If one examines the EC/EU declarations since 1977 on the Arab-Israeli conflict, one notices that they espouse Arab League decisions and positions: the 1949 armistice lines imposed on Israel, although never recognized as international boundaries; the creation on those boundaries of a Palestinian state not mentioned by UN resolution 242; the acknowledgement of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and of Arafat as its leader, with the obligation for Israel to negotiate exclusively with him; and initially the refusal of separate peace treaties. The EU adopted all these Arab League requests as well as repeated threats of economic and cultural boycott against Israel, constantly demanded by the Europeans' close Arab allies and their powerful lobby, the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation. On 3 March 2004, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, when asked about U.S. proposals to requested democratic renorms in Arab states, declared:
"The peace process always has to be at the center of whatever initiative is in the field. . . Any idea about (renorm of) nations would have to be in parallel with putting a priority on the resolution of the peace process, otherwise it will be very difficult to have success." (Reuters, "Solana: Mideast peace vital for Arab renorms"; see also Neil MacFarquhar "Arab states start plan of their own Mideast", International Herald Tribune, March 4, 2004.)
Solana just repeated the opinion of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after his meeting with him. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa shared this opinion and refused to consider any renorms in Arab countries before the settlement of the Arab-Palestinian conflict, a settlement whose overall conditions imply Israel's destruction. Hence, any democratization and change of Arab societies demanded by the West are linked by the Arabs to its participation in Israel's demise. This link was rejected by Senior U.S. State Department official Marc Grossman when visiting Cairo on 2 March 2004. He said that the democracy plan should not depend on a settlement of the Middle East conflict. But Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Maher, answered him:
"Egypt's position is that one of the basic obstacles to the renorm process is the continuation of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the Arab people."
According to Reuters, Amr Moussa, speaking at the opening session of a regular ministerial meeting, declared:
"The Palestinian cause...is the key to stability or instability in the region, and this issue will continue to influence in all its elements the development of the Arab region until a just solution is reached."
Eurabian notables, whether Chirac, de Villepin, Solana, Prodi, or others, have continuously stressed the centrality of the Palestinian cause for world peace, as if more European vilification of Israel would change anything in the global jihad waged in the US, in Asia, and from Africa to Chechnya the latest horrendous tragedy in Ossetia is but one example. In such a view, Israel's very existence, not this genocidal jihadist drive, is a threat to peace. The Euro-Arab linkage of Arab/Islamic renorms to Israel's stand is spurious and only demonstrates, once more, Europe's subservience to Arab policy. Numerous Arab and Islamic Summits have imposed the centrality of their Palestinian policy on the world and requested that all political problems should be subordinated to it. The EU likewise.
FP: You often refer to a Euro-Arab Palestinian cult. What do you mean by it?
Bat Ye'or: It means precisely this Palestinian centrality that's promoted in Europe as a key to world peace. However, the Euro-Arab Palestinian cult goes much deeper than a political tool used for a Euro-Arab Partnership policy against America and Israel. It is linked to theological currents of Judeophobia and a replacement theology based on the Palestinization of the Bible and the rejection of its Jewish roots in order to delegitimize Israel's history and rights on its land. The Euro-Arab Palestinian cult symbolized the redemption of Christianity and Islam and their reconciliation on the ashes of Israel, the work of Satan -- a belief propagated by the media's continuous demonization of Israel, and Palestinian victimization. This cult brings together neo-Nazis, Judeophobes, anti-Americans, communists and jihadists. It is a revival of Nazi anti-Jewish and anti-Christian trends, particularly in its hatred of Christian Bible believers and America, the country that was determinant in the defeat of Nazism and Communism. In the 1930-40s, the Nazis had strong links with Palestinians, and those sympathies and alliances continued throughout the years after World War II, thriving in the Euro-Arab Palestinian cult that submerged Western Europe under the umbrella of the gigantic Euro-Arab Dialogue apparatus.
FP: But what does the public in Europe think about their Eurabian future? Are they aware of it? Do they go along with it?
Bat Ye'or: The public ignores this strategy, its details and functioning, but there is a strong awareness, anxiety and discontent over the current situation and particularly the antisemitic trends. This Eurabian policy, expressed in obscure wording, is conducted at the top political level and coordinated over the whole EU, spreading an anti-American and antisemitic Euro-Arab sub-culture in every social, media and cultural sector. Oriana Fallaci has given voice to this general opposition. But there are also many others. They are boycotted, sometimes fired from their jobs, victims of a type of totalitarian "correctness" imposed mainly by the academic, media and political sectors.
FP: What have you to say about the French journalists taken hostage and France's reactions?
Bat Ye'or: Chirac hoped that they would be liberated as a favor to French Arabophile and pro-Palestinian militancy, a dhimmi service for Arab policy that deserves a favor not granted to others. This tragedy has revealed France's good relations with terrorist organizations such as Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and others. It has also uncovered France's dependency on its considerable Muslim population for its home and foreign policies, as it appeared earlier that their advocacy would determine the liberation of the hostages. But the incredible conditions subsequently put by the terrorists prove that Islamist terrorists apply the same rules to all infidels. It also demonstrates the inanity of a policy of collusion and denial that has always whitewashed Islamic terrorism to avoid confronting it and has constantly transferred its evils onto its victims.
France's situation illustrates, in fact, what threatens the whole of Europe through its demographic and political integration within the Arab-Muslim world, as promoted now by the Anna Lindh Foundation. France with Belgium, Germany and perhaps Spain is ahead of the rest of Europe. Britain, Italy and to some extent the East European countries are less marked by the subservience syndrome of dhimmitude which consists in submission and compliance to Muslim policy or face jihad and death. Dhimmitude is linked to the jihad ideology and sharia rules pertaining to infidels and represents the complex historical process of Islamization of the Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, Hindu civilizations across three continents.
America has the choice of forgoing its liberty and adopting the European line of dhimmitude and supplication, or maintaining its resolve to fight the war against terrorism for freedom and for universal human rights values.
FP: John Kerry has stated repeatedly that he will 'rebuild alliances' with Europe, which he maintains President Bush has disrupted, particularly with nations such as France and Germany. Can you discuss how your scholarship on 'Eurabia' may affect the validity of this claim by Senator Kerry?
Bat Ye'or: Anti-Americanism was very popular from the late 1960s onward, when European communist and extreme-leftist parties then represented powerful political forces. It was a decisive factor in the Gaullist pursuance of a strong united Europe, and a major and essential pillar of the Euro-Arab policy and alliances in the 1970s. De Gaulle opposed Britain's participation in the European Community in 1961 and 1967 because of its Atlantic leanings. The Euro-Arab Dialogue construct, which determined the whole European policy toward the Arab-Muslim world, was basically anti-American already in the 1970s. Europe is a sinking continent and the rebuilding of alliances will be at the price of America's security and freedom.
The violent European anti-Bush trends are linked to a European internal situation. Bush's declared war on Islamic terrorism unveiled a reality carefully hidden in Europe and has exposed its extreme fragility -- a situation that was compensated by an explosion of anti-Americanism and antisemitism organized by Eurabian networks. Senator Kerry's declaration is inaccurate given the Euro-American context of cultural, political and economic rivalries preceding Bush's election, and especially the emergence of a new and complex situation that the European and American public have not yet fully understood. This is the threat of a global jihad, with its ideology, strategy and tactics, coordinated with its cells worldwide. The difference between Europe and America is that Europe denies it because it cannot nor does it wish to fight for certain values already forfeited. We see here the collision of two radically opposed strategies.
FP: Is there any optimism that we can have for Europe? How about to win this war against Islamism?
Bat Ye'or: Maybe the recent developments revealing France's failed policy and the horrendous ordeals of children and parents in Ossetia will induce Europeans to bring their politicians and media to accountability. The war against a global jihadist terrorism can be won only if the civilized world is united against barbarity. Until now European democracies supported Arafat, the initiator of jihadist terrorism, hostage-taking and Islamikazes. The war will be won if we name it, if we face it, if we recognize that it obeys specific rules of Islamic war that are not ours; and if democracies and Muslim modernists stop justifying these acts against other countries. The policy of collusion and support for terrorists in order to gain self-protection is a delusion.
FP: Bat Ye'or, thank you, our time is up. We'll see you soon.
Bat Ye'or: Thank you Jamie.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
"The Soros-Kerry Nexus"
"While George Soros and John Kerry were vacationing in neighboring mansions in Sun Valley, Idaho, the two men chatted on the phone but avoided a personal meeting, "because," as Soros told USA Today, "of how it would be interpreted."
For Soros, who has put down at least $18 million to defeat Bush this year, keeping up appearances is essential. Coordination between the 527 groups Soros has been raining money down upon and the Kerry campaign, after all, is strictly verboten in the age of McCain-Feingold. Is it plausible the Dems' billionaire benefactor and the candidate avoided talk of the election campaign strategy entirely? The facts on the ground suggest otherwise.
Soros major anti-Bush donations have gone to MoveOn.org, the group infamous for its over the top, hate-laden ads; and to normer Clinton chief of staff John Podesta's new think tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP); and to America Coming Together, a get-out-the-Democratic vote operation headed by normer AFL-CIO political director Steve Rosenthal and Ellen Malcolm, president of the pro-abortion EMILY's List.
ACT steadfastly denies it is violating federal law by coordinating with the Kerry campaign, but brags on its website that it is currently, "laying the groundwork to defeat George W. Bush and elect Democrats." Maybe the group is thinking of some Democrat other than John Kerry? Perhaps, but then the fact that normer ACT staffer Rodney Shelton is now Kerry's Arkansas state director seems a bit odd. Isolated incident? Nope. Kerry's normer campaign manager Jim Jordan is now on staff at ACT. And techno-whiz Zach Exley left the upper echelons of MoveOn.org to work for Kerry.
"It's inevitable that Exley is going to be using MoveOn folks and innormation for the Kerry campaign. The guy was their opposition research guy," a Bush campaign staffer told the Washington Prowler. "The RNC has been saying all along that these guys have been working together, so now the guy responsible for all those anti-Bush ads on TV and the Web is essentially doing the same thing for the Kerry camp? Soros probably has an office in Kerry campaign headquarters by now."
Harold Ickes, the widely acknowledged driving force behind Americans Coming Together and the Media Fund, is also a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee. Ickes recently admitted to Business Week that "he occasionally tells the Kerry camp what he's up to." That magazine also noted that ACT and The Media Fund were briefing journalists just down the hall from the DNC Finance Committee's hospitality suite at Boston's Four Seasons Hotel during the Democratic National Convention. These are activities that Soros's vast resources clearly made possible.
So was Soros being facetious when he signed off on a 2000 Open Society Institute report that claimed one of the group's major goals was to get, "states to experiment with various approaches to reduce the pressure of money on elections and legislation, ranging from improved disclosure to full public financing of campaigns"? His 1995 book Soros on Soros contains a clue as to what he may be thinking: "I do not accept the rules imposed by others...I am a law-abiding citizen, but I recognize that there are regimes that need to be opposed rather than accepted. And in periods of regime change, the normal rules don't apply." Clearly, Soros considers himself as someone who is able to determine when the "normal rules" should and shouldn't apply.
Democrats, hungry for a 2004 win, don't much care whether George Soros is following the "normal rules" these days or not. One "Democratic operative" told U.S. News & World Report, "[Republicans] don't accept the legitimacy of political opposition. These people will do anything to gain and hold power. So I'm not exactly feeling full of ethical scruples as we fight for survival."
Aside from desperately attempting to make John Kerry president, what other cause has George Soros bankrolled? One joint venture between the Tides Foundation, one of potential first lady Teresa Heinz-Kerry's favorite charities, and Soros's Open Society Institute is the Democratic Justice Fund, which FrontPage Magazine's Ben Johnson has noted, "seeks to ease restrictions on Muslim immigration to the United States, particularly from countries designated by the State Department as `terrorist nations.'"
Long term, if Soros has his way, the United States won't even remain territorially intact. He funds both the National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, two groups that want to essentially eliminate America's borders. In a much hailed 1997 speech to the National Council of La Raza, normer Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo said that he "proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders and that Mexican migrants are an important - a very important - part of this." As FrontPage Magazine reported earlier this year, OSI has likewise contributed $65,000 to the Malcolm X Grassroots movement, which wants to establish an all-black homeland in the Southeastern United States, from South Carolina to Louisiana. It would be communist, of course.
In September 2003 Soros was invited to speak at one of the State Department's Open Forums, where he laid out his hyper-internationalist aspirations for American society, including his proposed "modification of the concept of sovereignty" which is needed because "sovereignty is basically somewhat anachronistic."
Someone ought to ask John Kerry where he stands on all of this. We deserve to know what these two fabulously wealthy power brokers have been planning for us over these vacation phone calls."
Monday, October 18, 2004
"Kerry said to be excommunicated" Released today by Catholic World News
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