Dennis of Damascus and Tehran Tom

Dennis of Damascus and Tehran Tom

By Kenneth R. Timmerman
FrontPageMagazine.com | 9/14/2007

As Democrats in Congress and the organized left denounce the cautious optimism of Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus (“General Betray Us,” according to moveon.org), some Members continue to consort with the enemy in ways reminiscent of Hanoi Jane Fonda in the early 1970s.

Dennis Kucinich is the latest among the Congressional Democrats to travel the road to Damascus, to give aid and comfort to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

In an interview with a tarted-up reporter for Syrian state television, Kucinich laid out his plan for unilateral U.S. surrender in Iraq, the Middle East, and indeed just about anywhere America might seek to get engaged under its own flag in the world.

Outside of the blog for his hometown newspaper, and a straight-up news account from NewsMax, Kucinich’s latest sneak attack on the left flank of the war on terror was widely ignored.

It should not have been. Kucinich is not merely a disgrace to Congress and the Democratic Party. By sucking up to a dictator and deriding U.S. troops in Iraq on a foreign state-run television program, he has disgraced his nation and his flag.

Here are a few samples of what Dennis of Damascus told the Syrian public, with the helpful (but unneeded) prompting of his cover-girl interviewer.

“I feel the United States is engaged in an illegal occupation,” he said. “Americans have an increased understanding today of how wrong the war was and is, and I think they’re looking for a new direction, and that’s certainly what I’m offering.”

He had come to Syria to meet with “His Excellency,” the Syrian dictator, “so that people are aware that there are members of Congress and in this case, a presidential candidate, who believes that Syria has a very important role to play in bringing about stability, in participating in a political process, which will help create the conditions which can lead to peace.”

Yes, well. That’s what Hanoi Jane said in May 1972 when she traveled to North Vietnam.

The Israeli Air Force recently had something to say about Syria’s contribution to peace and stability last week, when it bombed what appears to have been a shipment of Iranian missiles destined for Hezbollah as it was passing through eastern Syria.

An Israeli official told reporters on Wednesday that the air strike had “left a big hole” in Syria. The Syrians have complained to the United Nations.

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker also derided the notion that Syria was a force for stabilization, noting “malign actions” by Syria and Iran in fueling the insurgency in Iraq.

But if you listen to Dennis of Damascus, that’s okay. All we need to do is talk to the dictators.

Kucinich said that Assad “showed a real desire to play a role in helping to create a peaceful settlement of the conditions in Iraq, as well as a grander approach towards creating peace.”

As he told Syrian television, “the United States must end the occupation, close the bases, bring the troops home, but we must have a parallel political process that reaches out to the international community, with the help of Syria and Iran, that would bring an international peace-keeping force, move it in as our troops leave, so there is no vacuum.”

What Kucinich wants is very clear. He wants to turn Iraq over to Syria and Iran, with the imprimatur of the United Nations. He conveniently expects the UN to send the bills to the U.S. taxpayer and dump the political blame for the bloodshed to follow on President Bush.

“I crafted my peace plan with people who served in the UN with peace-keeping missions over the years,” Dennis of Damascus said. “Not only must we stabilize Iraq. We must pay reparations to Iraq for the great human tragedy that has been caused. Perhaps as many as a million innocent Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of this war.”

But wait: here comes the heart throb. Syria’s wonderfully humanitarian leader has taken in some of those Iraqi refugees. “A million and a half are in Syria, and I met with some of them, and I can tell you that this is a great human tragedy.”

Most of the Iraqi refugees in Syria are Christians, as I have noted on this page. But Kucinich conveniently forgot that.

He also forgot to mention that Syrian-backed Sunni Muslim jihadis were responsible for driving them out of them homes in the first place.

In a subsequent interview in Beirut with the Associated Press, Kucinich explained why he had not used the opportunity of his Labor Day travel to the Middle East to visit with U.S. troops in Iraq.

“I don’t want to bless that occupation with my presence,” he said. “I will not do it.” So much for a Democrat supporting the troops.

All of this could be dismissed as pure comedy if it weren’t for the fact that the Kucinich/MoveOn.org wing of the Democratic party represents real money and influence.

The Washington Times reported on Thursday that MoveOn.org “ranked third in the country among political action committees in total receipts from January 2005 to June 30, 2006, with $14.1 million.”

The group trailed two other pro-Democrat PACS – Emily’s List, which raised $20 million, and the Service Employees International Union, which raised $14.4 million during the same period.

Kucinich is not the only member of Congress who wants to cozy up to America’s enemies.

Tehran Tom – excuse me, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, California Democrat Tom Lantos – has said repeatedly that he wants to travel to Tehran to negotiate some kind of peace-in-our-time with Iran’s clerical dictators.

Lantos first bruited his desire to travel to Tehran in January 1998, but was quickly rebuffed by the Islamic Republic of Iran authorities.

After his much-disputed April 2007 trip to Damascus with House speaker Nancy Pelosi, Lantos said he was ready to escort the gentle-lady from California to Tehran:

“Speaking just for myself, I would be ready to get on a plane tomorrow morning, because however objectionable, unfair and inaccurate many of [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's] statements are, it is important that we have a dialogue with him,” Lantos told reporters at the time.

In May, Lantos joined a letter that Sen. Arlen Specter (R, Pa) sent to the speaker of the Iranian parliament, suggesting a joint meeting of U.S. and Iranian parliamentarians.”

Also signing the letter were “Peace In Our Times” Senators Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel, Chris Dodd, and Representatives English, Moran, Gilchrest and Meeks.

In his letters and meetings with Iranian authorities to obtain the release of Woodrow Woodrow Wilson Center scholar Haleh Esfandiareh, who was arrested in Iran early this year, Congressman Lee Hamilton reportedly offered to broker visits to Tehran by top Democrats in Congress.

Hamilton had “very large discussions” with Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York, a source close to Hamilton told me, “that covered a broad range of subjects involving U.S.-Iranian relations.”

Esfandiareh was released after Hamilton sent a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, outlining his ideas for renewed U.S.-Iranian exchanges.

Hamilton was summoned to Iran’s mission at the United Nations in New York to receive a two paragraph reply from Khamenei in August, that signaled the ayatollah’s intention to release the jailed Iranian-American scholar as a gesture of good will.

We have seen these kinds of “good will” gestures many, many, many times before.

Whether it’s Neville Chamberlin returning from Munich in 1938, or Norwegian Nazi puppet Vidkun Quisling, who I profiled in my book, Preacher’s of Hate, the practise and its results are sickeningly familiar.

It’s called appeasement.

And the result, sooner rather than later, is always war.


Kenneth R. Timmerman was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize along with John Bolton for his work on Iran. He is Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, and author of Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran (Crown Forum: 2005).

In a realm of their own: the paranoid left

In a realm of their own: the paranoid left

Clarice Feldman
Please don’t miss Noemie Emery’s brilliant article in the Weekly Standard on the paranoia of the left. Here’s a sample:

Ah, reason! How sweet it is, and to what lengths it can lead you, when you think that you have a monopoly on it. Political parties are coalitions of interests, fighting it out in a series of struggles, in which no side has a patent on wisdom and virtue, and no wins are ever complete. People who understand this maintain their own balance and bearings, but those who insist they are fighting for reason lose what remains of their own.
Over and over, they do what they claim their opponents are doing, want to do, or have done: make vast leaps of faith on almost no evidence, get carried away on large waves of emotion, build towering edifices on small collections of factoids, omit, deny, or denounce all contrary evidence, build fantastical schemes which they project on the enemy, put two and two together and get 384. People are entitled to say what they want, but it takes something other than reason to look at raging debates and discern in them fascistic oppression, to look at large Republican losses (wholly in line with a sixth-year election) and see massive fraud on the part of the losers, to look at today’s South and see John Calhoun’s, to draft both the Bushes (and the entire Republican party) into the Confederate Army, 150 years after the fact. Facts on the ground have no effect on their fantasies, which exist in a realm of their own.

The surge is working. What now?

The Agony of Debate

 

The Agony of Debate

<br</brby Thomas Lindaman 

 

If you ever want to see some of the best political reporting on Election 2008, there are a number of places to go. If you don’t, go to the Washington Post. Seeing some of the subjects they cover as real news from the campaign trail makes my twice-monthly screeds look like Paradise Lost.

 

But I do have to give them credit on one story they ran on July 23rd. The story in question dealt with how the Democrats running for President are having to endure, get this, debate fatigue. Although the first official debate among the Democrat candidates was set for July 23rd, they’ve been having debates and discussions in front of just about any group who would have them. No word yet on if they’re going to swing by my place while they’re in Iowa to debate whether Dennis Kucinich is Gollum from The Lord of the Rings or a genetic cross between Ross Perot and Casey Kasem.

 

One major problem that the Washington Post story mentioned was how individual special interest groups are hosting candidate debates, but the big-name candidates feel they can’t skip them after second and third tier candidates accept. After all, they can’t risk offending the North Petaluma Anti-War Lesbian Same Sex Marriage Coalition and Bridge Club, right? Of course, this is a problem Democrats have brought on themselves by having so many special interest groups to pander to for votes. Since the 1990s if not a little before, the Democratic Party has gone from being a real political party to being a laundry list of special interest groups all jockeying for position in the political equivalent of Lord of the Flies. But unlike in the book, nobody’s quite sure who has the conch shell right now, but everyone in the race thinks George W. Bush is the monster.

 

This brings us to another point that is overlooked in the story. Democrats were announcing they were thinking about running for President in 2008…before the Congressional elections of 2006 were even held. That exercise in jumping the gun created the longer campaign season that the candidates and their staffs are complaining about now. I have zero sympathy for the nozzlehead who announced in 2006 that they wanted to run for President in 2008 and now complains about the long hours and numerous debates that go into running for President. Seriously, if you guys didn’t factor this into your decision when you made it, I don’t want you running my local 7-11, let alone the United States.

 

A representative from John Edwards’s campaign also lamented the short amount of time for candidates to give answers to questions. Eric Schultz said, “Senator Edwards feels strongly that voters deserve more substantive debates between the candidates….You cannot explain how you will end the war in Iraq or solve the climate crisis in 60 seconds.” You know, reading anyone talk about substance while representing John Edwards always makes me giggle. I can’t explain it. But it’s not like the candidates themselves are trying to figure out more substantive answers to questions in first place. I can summarize the core of the Democrat debates so far in the following vignette.

 

Moderator: The biggest issue right now is international terrorism. Senator Edwards, what do you think we should do?

 

Edwards: George W. Bush sucks!

 

Other Candidates: Yeah! George W. Bush sucks!

 

Moderator: How do you propose to get our troops out of Iraq? Senator Clinton, let’s start with you.

 

Clinton: [yelling in a loud monotone] BY DOING THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT GEORGE W. BUSH HAS DONE!

 

Other Candidates: Yeah! By doing the opposite of what George W. Bush has done!

 

Repeat that for another 59 minutes or so, throw in Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer to add credibility to the event, and you have yourself a Democrat Presidential debate.

 

The Post article mentions that a big risk to the major candidates by having so many debates is that they have more opportunities to screw up. Please. The only way these “debates” could be any more tightly scripted would be if writers for professional wrestling wrote them. Then again, it would be interesting to see “Macho Man” Mike Gravel go up against “The Rock” Barack Obama…provided, of course, Gravel can smell what Barack is cookin’.

 

And here’s the funny thing about all of this. Most people don’t pay attention to political campaigns until around Labor Day of the election year because, well, they have lives. In other words, the Democrats are knocking themselves out to attract the votes of the true believers, who most likely will vote for the eventual nominee. And these folks question George W. Bush’s intelligence?

 

Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. and NewsBull.com. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He is also Publisher of CommonConservative.com.

 

Greatest movie line ever — Turn up the volume — Things haven’t changed much over the years

Congressman rips Democrats for scuttling protection for passengers who report suspicious activity

King.jpg

Video at Hot Air. He says they’re blinded by partisanship and overly influenced by groups like CAIR. I think he’s right.

The Preferences Are Coming – Twelve Million of Them

The Preferences Are Coming – Twelve Million of Them
By Lloyd Billingsley
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 21, 2007

The 12 million or more who entered the United States illegally, and would gain United States citizenship under the current immigration proposal, Senate Bill 1348, will qualify for race preferences and privileges for which the majority of Americans are not eligible. This is not fair.

That is the view of Ward Connerly of the Sacramento-based American Civil Rights Institute, a veteran of battles against racial preferences in California, Washington and Michigan, and who believes that “race and ethnic preferences ought to be wrong under any circumstances.” The current immigration measure, Connerly believes, would constitute a massive endowment of such preferences.

“This is huge,” Connerly told Frontpage. “All this talk of going to the back of the line is B.S.. They would go to the front of the line. The minute they are Americans, they move in front of  white males and in some cases white women.” Legalized Hispanic immigrants, Connerly says, would also gain privileges over immigrants from nations such as Russia because they would be part of an officially sanctioned “underrepresented minority.”

“We have to somehow make the American public aware of this. We are, right now, the Paul Revere on this. There is a problem here.”

 

The problem, according to Connerly, lies in “the nexus between illegal immigration and preferences.” That issue had not been part of the immigration debate until last Friday, when Connerly published an open letter in the Washington Times, signed by various individuals, some of whom disagree with him on immigration policy per se. Signatories include Grover Norquist, Linda Chavez, and civil-rights advocate Joe Hicks.

“This is one of those things that people have not thought through.” Connerly said. “A group that has never had the historic discrimination of blacks would be given the status of an underrepresented minority in this country.”

Connerly does not find much to like about the Secure Border, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which he considers amnesty, similar to the 1986 measure that granted amnesty to more than five million illegals. Many of them these prior beneficiaries of amnesty, Connerly says, have also become benficiaries of preferences and he sees the potential for repetition.

“My big fear is that we make 12 million all legal and in 10 years we are back in same position with another five million. Illegal immigration will continue. Until you do something about making it impossible to cross border they will come.”

A root cause, in Connerly’s view, is the definition of a minority.

“It is not numerical,” he said, “you are a minority if you are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged. We will have in California a circumstance that one group is a numerical majority but still classified a minority. You would be hard pressed to say they are disadvantaged. The premise is that minorities are politically powerless.”

Connerly is himself as racially diverse as Tiger Woods and finds fault with a classification system that uses race for Blacks, Whites, Asians and Native Americans but makes Hispanic an ethnic designation. That poses problems, he says, for legalizing millions of Hispanics with the stroke of a pen. “The minute illegals become legalized they become part of preferences,” he said.

Connerly is pushing for a “Fairness to Americans Amendment” to the Senate Bill on Immigration which reads, in part:

THEREFORE, for purposes of the operation of the civil rights laws of the United States, new immigrants to the United States subject to the Secure Border, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 shall not be considered to be “historically disadvantaged,” “underrepresented,” or to be in a “protected class” and shall not be entitled to any preferential or remedial employment goals, educational admissions goals or contracting goals by any entity subject to the civil rights laws of the United States.

Connerly’s past campaigns for equal treatment have prevailed despite much opposition from professional ethnics and the political establishment. In 1996 he helped eliminate racial preferences in California through Proposition 209, which became the blueprint for similar victories in Washington state in 1998 and Michigan in 2006. Some may have thought that the preferences issue had died with the ambiguous Supreme Court decision on affirmative action of 2003.  But the Michigan campaign last year showed how explosive an issue this remains.  In a campaign where Bill Clinton and Colin Powell both campaigned against him and Barack Obama ran a radio ad against the measure, Connerly’s anti-preference initiative still prevailed 58-42, a wider margin than Proposition 209—and this in the middle of a Democratic landslide nationally and in Michigan itself insofar as Gubernatorial and Senate candidates were concerned.

  

With three major states solidly against preferences, Connerly wants more people to vote on this question. So he has planned a kind of Super Tuesday on preferences for November 4, 2008, attempting to qualify ballot measures in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, states he says are already feeling the effects not only of “affirmative action” but also of illegal immigration.

“I think we win them all once we get on the ballot,” Connerly said. “We need to bring about a critical mass of states. The majority of Americans do not support race preferences. The more we get that view in body politic, the more legislators will be emboldened.”

Only 23 states allow ballot initiatives. For the others, Connerly says, the answer is a court decision: “With every passing day I realize how right our position is.”  He derives a warning from developments abroad.  “Look at what is going on India,” he says. “They made quotas more strict and the people are rioting.”

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