Should Have Known?

Should Have Known?

By Christopher Chantrill

The average American may wonder, after the failure of the immigration bill in the United States Senate last week, how such a gigantic blunder is possible.  We look at our own lives, at our jobs, our families, and say: How is it possible to get anything so screwed up?
Surely President Bush and the Republicans senators who worked with Senator Kennedy to craft the deal should have known that it would blow up in their faces.  Surely they should have known that the Republican base was heavily invested in securing the border before amnestying the illegals.
But let us be careful of this “should have known” approach to political analysis.  Here is the judgment of a best-selling author on what we “should have known” about the great issues of our time.

“[We] as Americans should have “known then what we know now”–not only about the invasion of Iraq but also about the climate crisis, and what would happen if the levees failed to protect New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and about many other fateful choices that have been made on the cases of flawed and even outright false information.”

When best-selling author Al Gore in his Assault on Reason argues the great issues of the time from the 20-20 hindsight of the ambitious politician, then men and women of good will are bound to hesitate before passing judgment on President Bush and the Senate Republicans.
Let us taste a few words of Charles Murray to cleanse our palates from the bitter taste of what Disraeli called the “high game” of politics. Politicians may live or die by the cheap put-down, but the rest of us must resolve to do better.
In Human Accomplishment, Murray talks about what it takes to become a “significant figure” in science and the arts and produce work of excellence in human accomplishment.  It is easy, he writes, to overlook how much work it takes to produce excellence.  And not just work, but wasted work.

“Nor is all of this work productive.  What we see of the significant figures’ work is typically shadowed by an immense amount of wasted effort-most successful creators produce clunkers, sometimes far more clunkers than gems.”

It was Thomas Edison who said that his work was one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.
Should-have-known is the first resort of the shallow mind.  Of more interest is the point at which the should-have-known becomes a question of throwing good money after bad.  In the week after Majority Leader Harry Reid withdrew the immigration bill from the Senate floor we are in exactly such a situation.
Let us stipulate that President Bush and the Republican Senators in on the immigration deal “should have known” that the Republican base would upchuck the Senate’s immigration bill.  But let us rise above the level of Vice-President Gore’s analytical method.  Anyway, it is water under the bridge.  This week’s question is: What should they do next?
Should they try, try, and try again, following the advice of Winston Churchill:

“Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty.” 

That is what he told the boys of his old school, Harrow, in 1941.  And very good advice it was too.
But then he continued: 

“[N]ever give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

So the question for President Bush, as he returns to the United States from a triumphant visit to Albania, is whether to go on with his immigration bill, or whether to give in to “convictions of honor and good sense.”
Based on our experience of President Bush over the last six years, we can expect that he will continue trying to negotiate a bill that will pass the Congress.
But enough about President Bush.  What about us?
In the last week Michael Barone has noticed that if you listen to the presidential candidates you would assume “that the Republican and Democratic primary electorates are living in two different nations.”  Republicans are worried about global Islamism; Democrats are worried about global warming.
Both party electorates are serious about their major concerns.  They believe that the question is closed.  Republicans believe that we must fight the long war against Islamic terrorism through to victory, whatever the cost.  Democrats believe we must save the planet from global warming, whatever the cost.
In another ten years, the moral equivalent of Al Gore will be writing a best-seller arguing with flat-footed humor that back in the ‘oughts people “ought to have known.”  But whether he will declare that we should have known that global Islamism or global warming-or even illegal immigration-was a chimera we will have to wait to find out.
Human survival is not built upon “should have known.”  It is based on faith, hope, and love-and hard work.
Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See and His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming

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Who Are CAIR’s Paymasters?

Who Are CAIR’s Paymasters?

Investor’s Business Daily asks the much-needed questions — ones that all the talking heads should be asking, but that both the liberal establishment media and the weak-kneed pseudo-conservatives are afraid to ask.

Islamofascism: Recent tax filings reveal an Islamist group that claims to speak for millions of Muslims in America actually boasts just 1,700 members. So whose interests does it really represent?There’s been surprisingly little transparency about the financing of the top Muslim lobby in Washington — the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Until recently, few in the media have bothered to investigate.

Since spinning off from Hamas front group Islamic Association for Palestine in 1994, CAIR has maintained it’s a “grass-roots organization” — a “Muslim NAACP” — supported by members who pay dues. It repeatedly has denied receiving foreign funding.


Tax records show the group is relying on some two dozen deep-pocketed donors for support. Who are they? We don’t know. By law, CAIR doesn’t have to publicly disclose them, and they’re blacked out on IRS disclosure forms.

But land records unearthed by Paul Sperry, author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington,” show that exactly one year after 9/11 — as its dues were drying up — CAIR signed over the deed to its Washington headquarters to a United Arab Emirates-based foundation headed by the ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed Al-Maktoum’s foundation put up almost $1 million for the property, and recently pledged $50 million more to help CAIR build larger headquarters, replenish its legal war chest and fund a nationwide pro-Islam propaganda campaign.

The New York Times earlier this year confirmed that “wealthy Persian Gulf governments” — including the UAE and Saudi Arabia — were backing CAIR. “CAIR has raised some suspicion by accepting large donations from individuals or foundations closely identified with Arab governments,” the story said.

We also know from federal court records that CAIR received startup cash from the Holy Land Foundation, which the government has shut down as another Hamas front. Several of its founders — including a senior CAIR official — go on trial next month in Texas for allegedly funneling millions to Hamas for suicide-bomb operations.

U.S. prosecutors have named CAIR as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the terror case.


The mainstream media, which regularly book CAIR spokesmen to claim to argue the point of view of Muslims, and weak-kneed pols, who let CAIR mau-mau them into reserving rooms in the Capitol to hold court, have been totally hoodwinked by these charlatans. They need to wake up to the facts about this foreign front group.

The days of legitimizing and mainstreaming CAIR — now an official unindicted co-conspirator in a major terror case — must end before it can lobby against one more antiterror measure, boycott one more airline for protecting passengers from suspicious Muslim men, or sue one more John Doe tipster who could save hundreds of lives.

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No Drug Smuggler Left Behind!

No Drug Smuggler Left Behind!
By Ann Coulter | June 14, 2007

President Bush was so buoyed by the warm reception he was given in Albania that he immediately gave all 3 million Albanians American citizenship, provided they learn Spanish. The offer was withdrawn when Bush found out most Albanians haven’t broken any U.S. laws. Bush keeps claiming he’s dying to enforce the border, but he just can’t do it unless we immediately grant amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens. I wonder if that worked on Laura Bush:

Laura: George, it’s time you quit drinking.

George: OK, honey, let’s discuss it over cocktails.

How about Bush enforce the border and then we’ll discuss his amnesty plan?

He assures us that granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants already here won’t inspire millions more to run across the border because…he’s going to put infrared lights at the border!

Well, that’s a relief. What precisely will infrared lights do again? This is worse than those fake cameras they sell at hardware stores to make it look like you have cameras outside your house. We still need something or someone – say, a wall or a Border Patrol agent – to stop the Mexicans illegally crossing the border as we watch them on the infrared cameras.

Bush won’t build a wall, and he keeps prosecuting law enforcement officers who stop illegal border crossers. But trust him: He’ll get right on that border enforcement business as soon as we grant amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens.

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean are normally the sort of Mexican-Americans Bush would tear up at while promoting amnesty for illegal aliens. Both served in the military and are taxpaying, law-abiding citizens. They’ve been risking their lives as Border Patrol agents for years.

Ramos was nominated for Border Patrol Agent of the Year in 2005. His nomination received a major setback when the Bush administration decided to put him in prison instead. Ramos and Compean are now serving more than 10 years apiece in solitary confinement for chasing a drug-running illegal alien back to Mexico.

Bush’s pal, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, gave immunity to a Mexican drug dealer hauling a million dollars worth of drugs across the border so the drug dealer could testify against two Border Patrol agents who shot him in the buttocks.

The Border Patrol agents were presumed guilty of an unlawful shooting because they neglected to fill out the proper paperwork. For busting a cap in the butt of a drug courier crossing the border illegally – who was so mortally wounded that he proceeded to scamper back to Mexico – they were supposed to spend five hours filling out paperwork. This is what the Bush administration means when it talks about a “cover-up.” As U.S. prosecutor Debra Kanof said, “You have to report any discharge of a firearm.”

Intriguingly, Kanof also says: “The Border Patrol pursuit policy prohibits the pursuit of someone.” (Hence, the oft-heard warning of the border agent in hot pursuit, “Stop or I’ll … do absolutely nothing!”) Can we apply this rule to meter maids and tax collectors? At least now border agents will be able to watch the illegal aliens they can’t pursue on infrared cameras!

But wait – that’s not all! The Border Patrol agents also exceeded the speed limit. “In order to exceed the speed limit,” Kanof said, “you have to get supervisor approval, and they did not.” It’s just so hard to fill out a written request to exceed the speed limit when you’re off-roading at 65 mph. There’s a whispering campaign suggesting that Ramos and Compean failed to use their turn signal.

As I understand it, you’re also not supposed to cross the border illegally from Mexico with a van full of drugs. But the Bush administration has no interest in enforcing those laws. Ninety-eight percent of illegal aliens captured crossing the border illegally are not prosecuted. Those drugs are doing the job American drugs just won’t do!

The Bush administration pulls out the big guns only for serious violations like a Border Patrol officer not filling out paperwork.

In addition to giving the illegal-alien drug smuggler full immunity to testify against U.S. Border Patrol agents, the government gave him taxpayer-funded medical care for his buttocks wound, an unconditional border-crossing card, the right to sue the U.S. for “civil rights” violations and a GAP gift card. The drug runner is also on the short-list to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

He’s now suing the U.S. for $5 million, but the Bush administration is hoping to bargain him down to $10 million.

That border-crossing card came in handy when the winged illegal alien brought in another load of drugs a short eight months later – for which he has still not been charged, nearly two years later. Who does he think he is? Rep. William Jefferson?

Bush’s pal Sutton keeps defending his decision to prosecute Border Patrol agents for paperwork violations, rather than an illegal alien for drug trafficking, on the grounds that the drug dealer has not been charged with any crimes. Let’s see, whose job is it to charge that Mexican drug runner with a crime? Why, I believe that would be Johnny Sutton!

Maybe Sutton was too busy prosecuting another Mexican-American law enforcement officer for trying to stop illegal aliens from crossing our border. Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez shot at the tires of a van full of illegal aliens, inadvertently wounding one of them. Sutton prosecuted Hernandez. The government proceeded to give the illegal aliens green cards and $100,000 each.

I didn’t realize “living in the shadows” meant in the shadows of palm trees around the pools at taxpayer-funded houses.

Illegal aliens might want to rethink Bush’s amnesty plan. The only Hispanics Bush seems to prosecute are the ones who are law-abiding U.S. citizens.

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Screwing the Surge

Screwing the Surge
By Patrick Poole | June 14, 2007

Just a few weeks ago the standard line for Democrats regarding the surge in Iraq was that they would wait until initial assessments came out in September before arriving at any conclusions on the success or failure of the military push against Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Sunni and Shi’a insurgency. Now, however, just as the surge is just beginning to take shape, the Democratic Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are in a mad rush to declare the project a total failure and calling for troop withdrawals.

Reid and Pelosi outlined their revived “retreat and defeat” plan in a joint letter this week to President Bush:

As many had foreseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results.  The increase in U.S. forces has had little impact in curbing the violence or fostering political reconciliation.  It has not enhanced America’s national security.  The unsettling reality is that instances of violence against Iraqis remain high and attacks on U.S. forces have increased.  In fact, the last two months of the war were the deadliest to date for U.S. troops.

The Democrats’ return to a “retreat and defeat” strategy comes just as American forces are beginning to see some visible successes in war-ravaged Iraq. Earlier this week, Bill Roggio (who is doing some of the best reporting on what’s actually happening on the ground) reported on the uprising against Al-Qaeda in Amiriyah:

The most significant development inside Baghdad over the past week occurred in the Sunni-dominated western neighborhood of Amiriyah, where a group of local residents and Sunni insurgent groups (largely fighters from the 1920s Revolution Brigade and the Islamic Army in Iraq) banded together to eject al Qaeda from the neighborhood.

Al Qaeda in Iraq overreached in attempting to set up a Taliban-like state in the Baghdad neighborhood, and the locals rebelled. “The group sprung up last week when several local leaders called on neighborhood residents to take up arms against al Qaeda after unprovoked killings in the neighborhood,” Jane Arraf reported from Baghdad last week. “At least two local imams normally opposed to the presence of American soldiers agreed to cooperate with the U.S. forces.”

Over the weekend in Tikrit in Salahuddin Province – former home and final resting place of Saddam Hussein – 130 tribal elders from around Tikrit announced that they are joining US and Iraqi government efforts to fight al-Qaeda. This happened just as news broke of the capture of the purported leader of al-Qaeda in the region, Salam Mulla Mustafa Shneidkh, in a raid in Albuajail just east of Tikrit last Thursday. Four of his aides were injured during the shootout. Salahuddin Province Governor Hamad Hammud al-Qaysi told Al-Arabiya TV that there has been a growing movement to oppose al-Qaeda by the area’s tribal elders, but attacks in the Sunni-dominated region have created a tipping point against al-Qaeda.

Last Friday, the USA Today reported on the changing attitudes of both Sunni and Shi’a leaders in Diyala Province, who are beginning to work with the US military to eradicate Al-Qaeda.

The most stunning success US armed forces have seen in Iraq is in Anbar Province, which has accounted for more than one-third of military fatalities (1233) during the entire Iraq conflict. While as recently as December dozens of US troops were being killed in Anbar every month, in May Coalition fatalities had dropped to 15, the lowest since July 2005. The USA Today quoted Army Col. Mike Everett, the political division chief of the U.S. command in Baghdad, as saying: “A year ago we were about to write off Anbar province. We have turned it completely around.”

And recent days has seen back-and-forth inter-insurgency fighting between the Islamic Army of Iraq and Al-Qaeda’s “Islamic State of Iraq”, as reported on Monday by Evan Kohlman. As Henry Kissinger once said, “Too bad they both can’t lose.”

Does all this mean that all the news in Iraq is good? Certainly not, as the bombing of the Samarra Shrine this week indicates. And last month, US fatalities in Iraq were higher (126) than they have been since November 2004 (137).

But is the glass entirely empty, as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have pronounced (as well as their reliable allies in the establishment media, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the “Old Three” TV news networks)?

Perhaps the Democratic leadership should consult with their former Democratic, now Independent, colleague, Senator Joe Lieberman, who just returned from Iraq. While there he told CNN while visiting Baghdad:

Overall, I would say what I see here today is progress, significant progress from the last time I was here in December. And if you can see progress in war that means you’re headed in the right direction.

Predictably, those comments sent the “Retreat and Defeat” amen chorus in the leftist blogosphere into near-apoplectics (not too coincidentally, some of the same people that tried to drive Lieberman out of office).

There is still significant progress to be made to secure Iraq from our and the Iraqis enemies (Al-Qaeda, Iran, etc.), but there are hopeful signs to be seen in the leadership of Gen. Petraeus in the current surge. One key element will be how rapidly Iraqi Security Forces can be trained and put in the field to free up American troops for combat operations. It should be remembered that some of the surge troops have just arrived in theater and are not yet fully operational. But in the gravitational center of Iraq of Baghdad and it surrounding provinces, US troops are gaining some momentum against our enemies.

Then again, it’s doubtful that any of this makes any difference to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. The Democratic duo were calling the surge a failure back in January when it was still just an idea, demonstrating their eagerness to implement their “Retreat and Defeat” strategy. It is sad to see that the Democratic Party of President Franklin D. Roosevelt has become the Democratic Party of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Whether they want it or not, Democrats deserve better.

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