A Qatari newspaper, Al Watan, reported Friday that Syria is making concrete preparations for war with Israel, saying that the Syrian government has removed the Government and State Archives from the Damascus area. According to the paper, this move indicates preparations for war.
The middle east’s Hitler and Mussolini. Holocaust included.
The Exploding Summer.
Behind the curtain, far from the fawning eyes of Western business executives and bankers, lies a hidden land of exploitation, abject poverty and abuse, even slavery. China’s Laogai, a Gulag-like system of slave labor and concentration camps, is ignored by Western media, eager for access to the China market.
The worst exploiters are actually well connected businessmen, including the sons of Communist Party officials.
“As many as 1,000 children may have been sold into slave labor in central China, enduring maiming and brutality in primitive brick kilns, state media said on Friday amid an expanding scandal about official neglect.
“The owners ran the prison-like kilns in Shanxi and Henan provinces with fierce dogs and thugs who beat the children at will, state television said. One accidentally killed a child with a shovel and buried the body at night, it said.
“The workers, mostly young males, some of whom were kidnapped from around the country, were shown on television sleeping on bricks inside the brickworks with doors sealed from outside with wire and windows barred to prevent their escape.
“Some had horrific, festering wounds on their black feet and around their waist, presumably from burns from the kiln.”
A new study by the US Institute for Peace (USIP) of polling data from fourteen different Muslim countries finds that support for a role for Islam in politics strongly correlates with more likely support for terrorism. This statistical analysis is certain to draw protests from the usual propagandists of radical Islam in the US, even though the USIP can hardly be considered a neo-conservative institution.
Ever since recent release last month of the Pew poll on American Muslim attitudes, the Islamist propagandists and their media establishment allies have been working feverishly to avoid the implications of those findings by citing another study purportedly showing Americans more in favor of attacks on civilians than Muslims in the US and around the world, claims rebutted in my American Thinker article last week, “Lies, Damned Lies, and CAIR’s Statistics”.
The current report in question, “Correlates of Public Support for Terrorism in the Muslim World” by Ethan Bueno de Mesquita of Washington University in St. Louis, also examines data gathered by the Pew Research Center and finds a broad range of opinions and attitudes in the Muslim world. For instance, support for terrorism was extremely high in Lebanon (home of Hezbollah) and extremely low in Uzbekistan (an allied partner with the US in the War on Terror).
The support for terrorism is also dispersed in the Muslim world: of the top five countries in the fourteen surveyed, two were in the Middle East (Lebanon and Jordan), two were in Africa (Nigeria, Ivory Coast) and one was in Asia (Bangladesh). It should be noted that Egypt refused to let the question be asked as part of the survey, and other presumably high terrorism support areas, including Syria, Iran, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia, were not included in the poll.
The standout finding of the USIP study is that support for an increased role for Islam in politics is correlated with greater support for the use of terrorism, even in countries that already adhere to political Islam:
People who support a strong role for Islam in politics are more likely to also support terrorism. Perhaps more surprisingly, people who perceive Islam to play a large role in the politics of their home country are also more likely to support terrorism. (p. 7)
The USIP study also busts the bubble of radical Islamic apologists who claim that support for terrorism is driven by people living under Islamic dictatorships. What the data shows is that dissatisfaction with Islam’s role in internal politics has very little correlation to attitudes on terror. The study finds that
…dissatisfaction with the role of Islam in one’s own country’s politics is much more weakly correlated with support for terrorism then raw attitudes toward to role of Islam. (p. 7)
Perhaps even more important, the data shows that in these countries the perceived threat to Islam posed by the government plays virtually no role at all in support for terrorism. (p. 7)
To get at what might possibly drive support for terrorism, the study’s author looked at respondents opinions on possible threats to Islam. What he discovered is that the perceived threat to Islam by their home government had very little impact in their support for terrorism, but instead, “those who believe the United States and the West pose such a threat are particularly likely to support terrorism.” (p. 8) In fact, the perceived threat by the US to Islam correlates higher than any other factor in justifying the use of terrorism. (p. 9)
There are several other surprising findings in the USIP report:
As stated earlier, the strongest correlated factor in the support for terrorism is anti-Americanism and the perceived threat to Islam from America in the West. The study’s author explains the critical role this plays in the support for terrorism in the Muslim world:
It may well be that people support terrorism because they perceive there to be a threat to Islam from the United States. But the relationship could also work the other way. Terrorism is, among other things, a tool of propaganda. One of the key messages of Islamic terrorists is anti-Americanism. Thus, if terrorism is an effective tool of propaganda, it may be that people who support terrorism (for whatever reason) end up having strongly anti-American sentiments because they are persuaded by the terrorists’ message. Another, related, explanation argues that people who support terrorism have a psychological need to justify this support. As a result, they adopt views that “rationalize” their support for terrorism. Thus, while they may perceive their support for terrorism to be caused by their anti-American views, the opposite might be the case-they may have adopted anti-Americanism to justify support for terror. Under either of these alternative interpretations, anti-Americanism does not cause support for terror, support for terror causes anti-Americanism. (p. 41-42)
Terrorists have a vested interest in ratcheting up anti-America rhetoric as part of their hate propaganda campaign. Terror and hatred of America and its values go hand-in-hand in the Muslim world unlike any other factor yet studied. Because these two are so strongly correlated, this tells us something about those quick to indict American society and our government’s policies.
This new study also shatters the myth of the supposedly peaceful Muslim world advanced recently by CAIR, ISNA and the Orwellian-named Terror Free America. If these organizations are really concerned about combating terror and improving American-Islamic relations, this study clearly demonstrates that they had better start working on the Islamic side of the equation.
Patrick Poole is an occasional contributor to American Thinker. He maintains a blog, Existential Space.
Dragon’ Soldiers Seize, Destroy Bomb Factory
12 Jun 07
BAGHDAD — Baghdad soldiers seized a bomb-making factory, along with another large weapons cache while on patrol in the eastern portion of the Rashid District of the Iraqi capital June 11.
“This is tremendous work by our soldiers to take more than 300 (improvised explosive devices) off the streets,” said Col. Ricky D.Gibbs, commander of 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
Troops from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, and Company A, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 4th IBCT, discovered the factory, a complex of small buildings deep in the thick palm groves of East Rashid, after receiving word of the objective’s location from other Coalition Forces.
The find consisted of one vehicle wired and loaded with explosives as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device; 54 82mm mortars; 27 155mm artillery shells; one 500-pound bomb; 64 anti-tank mines; two 200-pound bombs; three 100-pound bombs; 30 130mm projectiles; 30 hand grenades; 200 artillery boosters; 10 40mm rounds; one bag of blasting caps; one rocket of unknown caliber and origin; one bag of booster charges; six bags of propellant; 300 five-gallon cans of nitric acid used to make homemade explosives; one bag of breaching charges and 15 bags of anti-personnel mines with 100 mines per bag. Also found in the cache was enough wiring and bomb-making material to create more than 300 improvised explosive devices.
In a separate cache near the complex, an additional 125 five-gallon containers of nitric acid were found.
Three other vehicles were also found at the site wired as car bombs, but did not contain explosives.
A Coalition explosive ordnance disposal team catalogued the weapons and explosives found and will dispose of them properly, preventing them from being used against innocent Iraqi people or Iraqi Security and Coalition Force personnel.
“This find further emphasizes our ability to get after the extremists and take away their tools of destruction, as none of these weapons and explosives will ever be used to harm others,” Gibbs said.
Photo – Electrical wiring and other components used to make improvised explosive devices were discovered by troops from the Multi-National Division – Baghdad in a bomb-making “factory” in Baghdad’s East Rashid District June 11. Components seized were enough to build 300 IEDs. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ben Washburn.
by Bob Parks
Unlike our political counterparts who are too intelligent to waste time to hear or read what the other side is saying, I am always curious as to what liberals are thinking.
With that, I subscribe to the Media Matters daily updates. With that, there is one constant with every new daily entry they off up: the media and conservatives “mislead.” There are some newsletters where every other line has the word “mislead” or “misled.” It’s as if we’re always misinterpreting a liberal position here, or someone is always mischaracterizing his or her position there.
One of the latest emailings I received laments the fact that a perception has been advanced where Americans may be more conservative than liberal. Perish the thought….
How many times have you heard in the media that America is a conservative country which is becoming more conservative every day? It’s a claim that has been repeated so often by the media it’s become conventional wisdom. Well, Media Matters for America and the Campaign for America’s Future have examined 20 years of independent, nonpartisan polling data to prove that this claim is FALSE.
“FALSE” in all caps.
I’m not sure if America is becoming a conservative country. I know it always was.
“In our new joint report — “The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth” — we show the conventional wisdom that Americans are overwhelmingly conservative is simply wrong. On issue after issue, a majority of Americans agree with progressives and have for decades.”
» Read the Report and Spread the Word!
Yeah, will do….
Here are some of our key findings from the report:
The role of government — 69 percent of Americans believe the government “should care for those who can’t care for themselves;” twice as many people (43 percent vs. 20 percent) want “government to provide many more services even if it means an increase in spending” as wanted government to provide fewer services “in order to reduce spending.”
This 69 percent thing could be true, but it also depends how their poll question was phrased. If someone were to ask you, “Some people think the government should provide fewer services, even in areas such as health and education, in order to reduce spending. Other people feel that it is important for the government to provide many more services even if it means an increase in spending. Where would you place yourself on this scale, or haven’t you thought much about this?” Of course, a responder would say the government should help fund services, such as health and education. America has always been a charitable and compassionate nation.
Now if the question was, “Should the government continue to fund wasteful programs or those that make more people dependent?” I’d be willing to bet the responders would respond in the negative. Simply stated, Media Matters is implying that a “Progressive America” wants bigger government.
That is misleading.
The economy — 77 percent of Americans think Congress should increase the minimum wage; 66 percent believe “upper-income people” pay too little in taxes; 53 percent feel the Bush tax cuts have failed because they have increased the deficit and caused cuts in government programs.
Class warfare is a tried-and-true tactic that’s getting real old.
According to the Media Matters poll, while 66 percent believe the rich weren’t being soaked enough, they didn’t tell the newsletter readers that 53 percent of responders believe they are paying too much.
That is misleading.
Sounds like some people have something in common with the rich, unlike the perception being pushed by Media Matters that we hate the rich bastards’ guts. Also, Media Matters is echoing the notion that the Bush tax cuts have increased the deficit and caused cuts in government programs.
Only a spoiled brat covering his or her ears while screaming would not know that tax cuts are what have always reduced the deficit. When people have more of their own hard-earned dollars in their wallets, the spend more, thus record amounts of money is coming into a government that doesn’t create or do anything but confiscate our money by threat of imprisonment.
And what government programs have been cut that aren’t wasteful…?
Social issues — 61 percent of Americans support embryonic stem cell research; 62 percent want to protect Roe v. Wade; only 3 percent of Americans rank gay marriage as the “most important” social issue.
Sixty-one percent of Americans are probably under the impression that embryonic stem cell research has cured illnesses. Can Media Matters name one? Adult stem cells have already produced positive results against juvenile diabetes, produced a lasting 80 percent reversal of Parkinson’s symptoms, as well as spinal cord injury reversals using adult cells from their own nasal tissue. Media Matters forgot to mention facts.
That is misleading.
Security — 43 percent of Americans say we are spending too much on our military; 60 percent feel the federal government should do more about restricting the kinds of guns that people can purchase.
» Read the Report and Spread the Word!
Heard you the first time.
So, “43 percent of Americans say we are spending too much on our military.” Conversely, basic math dictates that 57 percent of America thinks we’re spending either enough or not enough.
And the restricting of “the kinds of guns” thing is about assault weapons, not gun control. Most people have problems with ordinary citizens packing AK-47s. Ask if they want to restrict the right of a woman to be able to protect herself from a rapist with a .38….
The environment — 75 percent of Americans would be wiling to pay more for electricity if it were generated by renewable sources to help reduce global warming; 79 percent want higher emissions standards for automobiles.
Okay, to use Media Matters’ favorite word, that was “misleading.” Their poll shows that between 1992 and 2007, “People should be willing to pay higher prices to protect the environment”, the percentage went down from 67 to 60 percent agreeing. Those who disagree went up from 32 t0 37 percent, and I can’t find the 75 percent number. I’m sure it’s there but my conservative eyes are being repelled from the “truth”….
The fact that 79 percent want higher emission standards for cars is no newsflash. Despite what Media Matters would insinuate, conservatives are not for polluting the environment. They would just hope that legislation would not reduce the passenger safety of a purchased automobile just to make the car pollute less. If there can be a happy medium, more power to ya.
Energy — 52 percent of Americans believe “the best way for the U.S. to reduce its reliance on foreign oil” is to “have the government invest in alternative energy sources;” 68 percent of the public thinks U.S. energy policy is better solved by conservation than production.
Tell you what; when alternative energy sources can be produced reliably, people will go for it. However, going to your local diner for their waste fryer oil is not an attractive alternative, especially when that oil becomes a brick in the winter.
Maybe if the federal government could corral the states into accepting one uniform blend of gasoline instead of the many that states require for their individual standards, it may require less time to process and the production could be streamlined. That means lower prices at the pump, imagine that.
Immigration — 57 percent of Americans feel “most recent immigrants to the U.S. contribute to this country” rather than “cause problems.” 67 percent of Americans feel that “on the whole” immigration is a “good thing for this country today.”
So, call someone’s house and ask them a question that should the responder give a negative, you’ve implied they’re a racist. And if 57 percent of Americans feel that recent immigrants contribute more than cause problems, I’d be curious to see an answer if the question was, “Do ILLEGAL ALIENS contribute to this country or cause problems?”, Media Matters would probably not publish those results.
No one has every said “immigration” was bad for the country. “Illegal immigration” pisses people from every socio-economic, ethnic, and political group off. Visit Los Angeles.
Health care – 69 percent of Americans think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have access to health coverage; 76 percent find access to health care more important than maintaining the Bush tax cuts; three in five would be willing to have their own taxes increased to achieve universal coverage.
» Read the Report and Spread the Word!
Yes, I have skimmed the report and am spreading the word! And liberals call conservatives lemmings taking marching orders….
I would be willing to bet that 69 percent is made up of people who either have the government pay for their healthcare now, or working people who have their healthcare costs deducted from their paychecks and co-pay upon visiting a clinic. However, here in Massachusetts they’ve mandated that everyone have health insurance, or else.
Isn’t it curious how liberals come up with such wonderful ideas, that they have to force you to sign on? Next year at tax time, when those who traditionally didn’t get health insurance because they’re young, healthy and didn’t think they needed it get socked with a $1,500 fine against their tax returns, we’ll see how popular government-mandated health insurance really is.
“As you can see, this is a broad range of issues. And despite the perception given by the media, Americans hold progressive positions on all of them. The independent, non-partisan polling data — gathered over the course of 20 years by sources such as American National Election Studies, the General Social Survey, and Gallup Polls — speak for itself.
“Media Matters for America and Campaign for America’s Future examined not only the top-level conclusions, but the underlying questions asked in each of the surveys. You can click here to view our full findings, complete with supporting materials.
» Read the Report and Spread the Word!
“Even in light of our new report, the media may not be quick to change their tune. That is why it is so important that you help spread the word. Information is power. Click here to let your friends, family members and colleagues know about our findings.
“By spreading the word you can help expose the myth that we live in a conservative America and show people — by using the facts — that you truly are among America’s Progressive Majority.”
Signed, “David Brock, President and CEO Media Matters for America.”
Just to let you know, I’ve disabled all the links Media Matters embedded in their text. You are all educated people and can find them yourselves. Media Matters would never provide links to my columns, so why do I need to provide them with hits to justify their existence…?
What’s obviously so scary to liberals in places like Media Matters is that people are just too ill-informed, thus stupid, to agree with them. A conservative America must be exposed as a myth or spreading their misleading opinions and surveys will be that much harder.
Can’t have that.
Bob Parks is a member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21, VP of Marketing and Media Relations/Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, and VP of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly
Part II: Senate Continues to Bypass We-The-People
by Sher Zieve
Still unconcerned with supporting the will of the American people, our globalist US Senators are again meeting behind closed doors in order to twist arms for the pro-illegals’ Amnesty Bill. Members of Congress and the President of the United States have, apparently, made the conscious, irresponsible and incongruous decision to—again—go behind the backs of we-the-people in order to affect another end run around us.
Interestingly, virtually every recent poll responses from US citizens, regarding illegal immigration, shows that over 50% of those polled want the border fence to be built and illegals’ entry into the US stopped. The poll numbers against illegal immigration are continuing to rise and do not appear to be political-party based. Of those queried in a recent Rasmussen poll, 69% said they favor an immigration plan that concentrates “exclusively on securing the border and reducing illegal immigration.” Only 20% of those surveyed said they wanted the Senate immigration bill to be passed.
Nevertheless, both the Senate and the Executive Branch of government are hell-bent on pushing it through before the 4th of July congressional recess. If there is any clearer evidence that our elected lawmakers have now decided to apply totalitarian practices against the directives and desires of the legal electorate, I would be interested to know what it is. Congress and our president have essentially declared war against the majority of the American people. Members of the Senate are also telling us that they (both Democrats and RINOs alike) know what’s best for us—as well as their own self-absorbed political careers.
Note: I presume the reason for the Senate’s attempts to shove this amnesty bill down our throats—as quickly as possible—is so that their new voting bloc will be made “legal” before the next general elections. Unfortunately for them, the less-than-intelligent RINOs who will be running don’t seem to be aware of the fact that the new voters will vote Democrat. And the Democrats who will be running don’t seem to realize that the majority of their base doesn’t want a blanket amnesty for illegals either. And, Congress and Mr. President please don’t continue to insult our intelligence by telling us this amnesty isn’t really amnesty. Of course it is.
Of additional interest is that instead of paying any attention to the will of we the people Congress is listening intently to racist organizations who want to annex the US Southwest for Mexico. The racist and reconquista organization La Raza (whose motto is: “For the race everything, for those not of the race—nothing!”) was, apparently, not only allowed to have unfettered input into the Senate Amnesty Bill but, is also reported to have had veto power over it. RealClearPolitics reports that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) gave La Raza the power of said veto, prior to many Senators having even seen the bill!
The Kennedy-McCain-Bush-Graham Illegal Alien Amnesty Bill has already failed twice. But, our globalist president and members of Congress have now told us that they will pass it—with or without the blessing of legal (native and naturalized) American citizens. Are our own elected officials now competing with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez? Chavez has recently taken over Venezuela’s oilfields, its broadcast stations, banks—and he has even gone so far as to attempt to insinuate himself into the position of the head of that country’s church. If our elected “leaders” are allowed to get away with this illicit sham, the Chavez-way of government could be what we in the USA are looking toward in the very near future.
If you want to stop this open-borders-for-all-time plan of our president and both houses of Congress, it is mandatory that you contact your senators and congress people and tell them a polite but, resounding “No! Do not vote for this amnesty bill!” And we must do it now. We must warn our representatives that they won’t again be elected to office if they vote for amnesty for illegals—and against the sovereignty of the United States of America.
This truly is a bill that has the potential to effect the decision as to whether or not we survive as an independent nation. If amnesty passes—we don’t. Our leaders are already refusing to build the border fence that was approved and funded last year. I wonder where the money went—don’t you?
Sher Zieve is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. (www.thenma.org). The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
The Senator and the Anchor
By Jeffrey Lord
Published 6/15/2007 12:08:40 AM
It isn’t hard to see why they lose.
The other day Arizona’s Republican Senator Jon Kyl sat down with the Wall Street Journal for a discussion about all the heat he’s taken for what the paper termed Kyl’s “efforts to forge an immigration compromise.” Several days later, ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather unloaded on his old network, weighing in on Katie Couric’s dismal ratings in Rather’s old job.
What do these two seemingly disparate subjects have in common? What could possibly connect Arizona’s junior Senator, Ms. Couric, the losing immigration bill and tanking television ratings?
Reading the Kyl interview is a vivid exercise in understanding exactly what spending too much time in Washington can do to even someone generally viewed as a conservative. Here is Mr. Kyl attacking the concept that he and his fellow Senators (including his Arizona seat mate, presidential candidate John McCain) actually support an amnesty bill. “It’s impossible to make the existing system work so we have to change the law, and changing the law requires Democratic votes, so you have to make concessions to Democrats.”
In a blink Kyl reveals the mindset for which Washington is so notorious. He is not in the Senate to represent the conservative principles which he presented to Arizona voters. No, he is in the Senate to “make concessions to Democrats.” Kyl goes on to say that “[t]here is only one reason to do what I am trying to here, and that is to get a problem solved that has got to be solved.”
The thought that the way to solve the problem is to have candidates go to the American people in the next elections, or the next and the next and the next, to win a majority of votes to secure the border — when in fact this authority and the money to do it is already in place — simply is not considered to be dealing with reality. Executing the law as it is now written and, failing that, winning back control of the Senate in 2008 and electing the next president to do precisely that, is automatically ruled out.
We have been here before. When Ronald Reagan gave that famous October, 1964 televised speech for GOP nominee Senator Barry Goldwater, he outlined an entire conservative platform based on conservative principles and the reality of what liberal New Deal policies had already done to the country. Goldwater lost in a landslide. Neither Reagan nor the gathering conservative movement gave up. For years afterwards, in every successive election in which his own name was on the ballot for Governor of California or president, Reagan was attacked as an extremist who simply was unwillingly to acknowledge reality. His response was to re-double his efforts, to take his principles to the country and campaign for like-minded candidates. He did not always win. But he in fact was able to turn the debate from the automatic assumption that the answer to all problems was to enlarge government, continually raise taxes, appoint liberal judges, and accommodate the Soviet Union.
The critical difference between Reagan and Establishment Republicans who believed, just as Jon Kyl believes today, that their job in Washington was to “make concessions to Democrats” was that Reagan believed it was his job to represent America in Washington. Kyl and his GOP colleagues clearly believe the reverse — that it is their job to represent Washington to America. Representing America to Washington meant Reagan said and did things that made Washington insiders cringe. From tax cuts to the military build-up to the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court to his speech demanding the Soviets tear down the Berlin Wall, Reagan was consistently advised by those in the grip of the Washington fevers that he was wrong, ill-advised, and that X,Y or Z Reagan initiative was just not the way things were done.
By the time he left the presidency, and certainly by the time of his death, millions of Americans had come to realize that Reagan’s conservative principles did in fact work. They also understood that the liberal subtext of the media and Washington insiders had been exposed, that it could in fact be overcome. Reagan had become the very embodiment of the American “can do” attitude that is such a critical component of understanding the American people and American culture. So it doesn’t take much for Americans to look at the Kyl-supported immigration “compromise” to understand that it is Kyl — and others including South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham — who simply don’t “get it.” When Kyl says in a remarkable statement that “Democrats won’t allow” a policy of “enforcement first,” he epitomizes the idea that it is a Senator’s job to represent the Senate and Washington to America instead of the reverse. It is no wonder that conservatives’ instinctive response is to go out, change the debate, and get votes to change Senators. They feel not the slightest obligation to “work with” Ted Kennedy. To the contrary, they believe their job is to get more votes in the Senate to defeat Ted Kennedy. It is a fundamentally different approach to the idea of leadership in Washington than that of Mr. Kyl.
LAST FALL, I WROTE A PIECE in this space discussing Ronald Reagan’s view of losing elections, mentioning in passing that while conservative principles were now part of the bedrock of America they would never surface in that citadel of elite American liberalism — The CBS Evening News. “The philosophical presentation of the new CBS News hasn’t changed a whit…” I said, pointing out what is now a seriously hard-to-accept fact over at CBS that is truer now then when I wrote it: the high point of Katie Couric’s ratings career at CBS was the night she had Rush Limbaugh on-air for a brief segment featuring Limbaugh delivering his own opinion. It was easy to see that it would be all down hill from there for Katie — and it has been. While Rush Limbaugh has a well-known buoyantly warm-and-fuzzy on-air manner, it is a serious mistake to think that he spiked Katie’s ratings because of his personality. This is akin to thinking Reagan won two presidential landslides because he was “genial” or had that ready smile. The success of both is tied unmistakably to their clear understanding and articulation of conservative principles.
Yet quite predictably, even now, floundering around in the television ratings basement, CBS has not a clue about its problems. Infighting among the troops has broken out. Hilariously, Dan Rather pops up to charge CBS with “tarting” up the news, drawing instant wrath from CBS executive Les Moonves and Katie’s boss, Clinton friend, and veteran Mainstream Media honcho Rick Kaplan. In the middle of the war of words Rather, unsurprisingly and doubtless unconsciously, put the traditional liberal bias on display. “We have enormous life-or-death issues and challenges facing us in this country and the world today,” he told the Washington Post‘s Tom Shales. “Everything from the dismantling of civil rights enforcement within the Justice Department to the war in Iraq to news of secret prisons in Europe and, of course, the next presidential election.”
There isn’t enough space to deal with all of Rather’s liberal assumptions, but let’s take his civil rights charge. Abigail Thernstrom, a former vice-chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and now a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, long ago asked another question altogether about the behavior of Justice Department career employees in this area, accusing them of rank liberal partisanship in the making of civil rights policy. Would CBS ever dream of following up on Ms. Thernstrom’s premise? Are you kidding? CBS, as with other liberal institutions, is wedded to rigid liberal doctrine that insists among other things that career Justice lawyers (i.e., liberals) are always right, any American Southern state in their sights is always wrong and racist to boot. They look at George W. Bush (as they looked at Reagan and Goldwater) and see Bull Connor. So intent are they on fulfilling their stereotypes they see no contradiction (and certainly no bigotry!) in simultaneously demanding civil rights for Mexican-Americans while they insist on getting the political head of the first Mexican-American Attorney General.
The problem for CBS is that in 2007 most Americans view the 1960s as ancient history. In a post-Reagan era, listening to Rush Limbaugh and his conservative talk-radio compatriots, creating and contributing conservative videos all over the Internet, Americans understand the implicit story line of liberal news organizations. They understand that exchanging Dan for Katie is a meaningless exchange — the new boss same as the old boss, “tarted up” or not.
And so — Americans don’t watch CBS. And they won’t accept the idea of an immigration bill that is cobbled together because of a felt need on the part of various Senators to appease Ted Kennedy. They know instinctively that when they see lines of Americans whose travel plans have been screwed up because they can’t get a U.S. passport to travel to Mexico or Canada, when they realize 3 of the Fort Dix plotters were not only illegal aliens but were stopped 75 times (!!!) by various police authorities and never once had their status questioned, the very notion that a Washingtonized-immigration bill is going to “solve the problem” of immigration is hilarious nonsense.
So take your pick. The immigration bill or lousy ratings for CBS News. Jon Kyl’s idea of what it means to be a Senator or Katie/Dan’s idea of what it means to report the “news.” It’s the same old, same old.
For different versions of the same reason, both the bill and the newscast are in trouble. But don’t expect this to change either Senator Kyl or Anchor Couric.
And don’t lay odds on a President McCain, either.
For the same reason.
Jeffrey Lord is the creator, president and CEO of QubeTV, a conservative online video sharing and networking website. A former Reagan White House political director and author, he writes from Pennsylvania.
That’s only fair – after all, he’s the one who torpedoed his own ship with the immigration-reform-bill warhead. Not fair is the fact that he’s taking his party down with him.
I can understand his stubbornness in sticking with this insane program that doesn’t do a damned thing to plug the leaking borders that are allowing the United States to be flooded with all manner and shapes of illegal aliens, some of them terrorists who want to kill large numbers of Americans – he really has nothing to lose.
In less than 18 months he’ll be history – one of those curiosities who at one moment wielded the vast powers of the presidency and the next found themselves with all the other John Q. Citizens.
That’s not true of the senators who stand on the bridge with him as the water rises up toward the quarter deck where they can either jump into the life boats and survive, or go down with the ship.
I’m amazed at how many of them appear to be choosing a watery grave. After all, it should be more than obvious that standing firm behind this monstrosity of a bill carries with it the death penalty – it’s just plain suicidal.
He might not yet fully realize it, but Sen. John McCain has suddenly gone from being a serious candidate for the presidency to that of being a politician with no political future at all. And I can’t imagine how Senator Lindsay Graham could ever imagine that his strong advocacy of a bill that in the blink of an eye turns lawbreakers, some of the most serious kind, into instant legal immigrants could be helpful to his political future. Ditto John Kyl and the others.
If it weren’t so serious, it would leave us laughing at the spectacle we saw when the president went up to Capitol Hill Tuesday to try to revive the bill.
It wasn’t serious politics; it was a joke.
Did he really, seriously think that Harry Reid was going to be his friend and help patch the sinking GOP hull?
Here you have a president with a dismal 30-something-percent approval rating rubbing elbows with a group, Congress, that has a more-dismal 27 percent approval rating being led by a guy with a horrendous 19 percent approval rating. It doesn’t get more comedic than that.
These people are living in a dream world, and one that has not yet been shattered by the incredible backlash from Americans outraged to see their national sovereignty imperiled and determined to keep the bill from ever becoming law. The message is loud and clear: kill the damned thing or get ready to pack your bags and head for home because your political career is all but over.
To continue to push for passage indicates that the backers are either stupid, or arrogant and determined to impose their wills on the nation whether the people like it or not.
When this bill emerged from the back room where it was crafted in secret by the likes of Teddy Kennedy, Rush Limbaugh took one look at it and renamed it the “Comprehensive Destroy the Republican Party Bill.”
No matter how many Democrat senators back the bill in a Senate they control, Republicans will take the blame for it. Unless the GOP roars back and in one voice makes it clear that their president does not speak for them on this issue, and goes all-out to kill it, 2008 is going to be a sorry time for all Republicans.
The late Sam Francis must be grinning up there in paradise as he watches the GOP prove once again that it is what he called it “the Stupid Party.”
After all, stupid is what stupid does. And when stupid defies the will of the American people, stupid goes under.
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 15, 2007
June 14, 2007 – When you read these lines I will be in Paris, attending what promises to be a historic conference of Iranian opposition groups where they plan to announce a new initiative to support pro-democracy forces inside Iran. They call themselves Solidarity Iran, a conscious reminder of the defiant labor movement inside Poland that helped bring about the end of the Cold War. Solidarity’s leader, Lech Walesa, went on to become the first freely-elected president of liberated Poland. While the Solidarity Iran organizers do not plan to elect a single leader, they do anticipate the election this weekend of a representative council to represent the group in the months to come as it tours world capitals to build support for the freedom struggle inside Iran. Why is this historic? Because for 28 years, the Iranian opposition has been fatally divided, unable to present a united front, unable to forge a vision of the future capable of taming the demons of the past. Several attempts to create a similar, broad-based opposition movement have failed before. For 28 years, opposition leaders in exile have expended great zeal and energy fighting each other instead of fighting the regime. Some continue to do so today. As one skeptic told me recently, “it’s in our genes.” Some of these leaders cling to hopeless notions they can bring back the Pahlavi dynasty, whose mismanagement and inept brutality helped bring about the 1979 revolution. (Jimmy Carter and the British did much of the political heavy lifting, while the Soviet Union and the PLO provided material support to pro-Khomeini terrorists who murdered former regime members and seized the US embassy). Ironically, the monarch they would restore – Reza Pahlavi – has expressed little interest in becoming king, although he has said he would serve as a constitutional monarch, in the style of Juan Carlos of Spain, should the Iranian people chose such a government freely. Others have more to fear from a united opposition front, because it will expose their own lack of legitimacy. The Iranian political opposition is vibrant, eclectic, prideful, and disorganized. There are hundreds of one-man and one-women organizations floating around, from Los Angeles to Houston to Paris and Berlin, all claiming to represent the Iranian people. These good souls should put their shoulder to the plough, and if so talented, pen to paper and hand to wallet, to support the broad non-partisan goals of Solidarity Iran. As the Iranian regime races toward nuclear weapons capability, there is little time to get this right, and a sense of urgency impels Solidarity Iran organizers. They know they don’t have another two or three years to build a mass movement. By that time, the regime will have become a nuclear weapons state, backed by Russia, China and North Korea, and the Western democracies will be lining up to pay their respects in exchange for “peace.” But much work has already been done. Two preparatory conferences, on a much smaller scale, were held in Berlin in September 2005 and in London last June, to hammer out the basic principles on which democratic opposition organizations could agree. “This initiative is unique and unprecedented in the Iranian political scene”, said Hossein Bagher Zadeh, a founder member of the initiative. “The Iranian political class is very fragmented, and activists have usually worked on party lines. Efforts to unify the opposition have always been aimed at creating exclusive clubs on ideological or political grounds.” Solidarity Iran hopes to break through this morass through a set of organizing principles, set out in the Berlin Charter, “which puts establishing democracy and human rights as our ultimate objective and recognizes the inalienable right of the Iranian people to determine the form and particulars of the government system in a democratic manner,” he said. The Berlin chart excludes “all forms of oligarchic rule,” whether by monarch, cult, or mullah, Bagher Zadeh added. The U.S. government is following these latest efforts of Iranian pro-freedom activists with interest, both at the State Department and at the White House. For 1995, the United States has refused to fund any Iranian opposition organizations, for fear of provoking Tehran and because the opposition was not united. The Iranians were begging for help, and told their friends in the administration that they needed the “blessing” of U.S. assistance to demonstrate that they were in charge. The Americans insisted that the Iranians first resolve their political differences, and then they would see. Solidarity Iran is an attempt to break this logjam. The movement is not a political party, or even a coalition, organizers say. It aspires to create a large political umbrella, where activists from diverse backgrounds and beliefs can unite in their opposition to the regime, without abandoning their principles or agendas. “Through Solidarity Iran, we want to gather the much needed support for the civil movements in Iran, and to bring to the world’s attention the plights of the Iranians fighting for their basic rights in Iran”, said Shahriar Ahy a key organizer of the Paris conference. Ahy and the organizing committee want to create a bridge between civic groups and trade unions outside Iran, and their counterparts operating in Iran. “Civil society in the outside world can do a lot to support these movements,” Ahy said.. “Women’s organizations can extend a hand to help their sisters in Iran who are fighting in most difficult circumstances. Similarly, trade unions, teachers organizations, student groups and the like can do the same for their professional counterparts in Iran”, he said. What is most exciting about the Paris conference are the attendees, who include former enemies who have agreed to set aside their past differences to work together toward the common goal of a united Iran free from clerical dictatorship. In addition to Ahy, who was a long-time advisor to Reza Pahlavi, and Cyrus Amouzegar, a former minister under the Shah, they include leftists who opposed the Shah and initially welcomed the revolution. Legendary leaders from the July 1999 student uprising in Tehran are scheduled to attend, including Roozbeh Farahanipour, secretary general of Marzeporgohar (Iranians for a Secular Republic). They will sit side by side with people such as Mohsen Sazegara, a founder of the Revolutionary Guards who broke with the regime and was jailed repeatedly in the late 1990s. And that’s what it’s all about. Solidarity. Some of the attendees will be coming from inside Iran, and cannot be named. One women’s rights’ activist will be appearing with a mask over her face, since the proceedings will be beamed into Iran via satellite on Pars TV, an exile station in Los Angeles. Voice of America has committed to sending a film crew –a welcome shift for VOA, which until recently has given short-shift to the opposition, while bloating its taxpayer-funded broadcasts with pro Tehran-regime advocates. Radio Israel’s tiny Persian-language service is also sending a reporting team. The Iranian regime is terrified of Solidarity Iran, and has spent a great deal of effort to bad-mouth the conference through official media in Tehran, pro-regime blogs, and through open threats and bluster. No wonder. Intelligence minister Mohseini-Ejai has stated repeatedly that the regime’s biggest worry is that the United States will back a “velvet revolution” inside Iran. The Iranian opposition is finally starting to do its part. Now it’s time for the U.S. government to step up to the plate, and provide substantial assistance to the pro-democracy movement in Iran, not just lip service. The VOA coverage is a good first gesture. But in the coming weeks and months, the President should welcome a delegation from solidarity Iran at the White House. Members of Congress should invite them to testify. And private organizations, such as the AFL-CIO should help by providing support to sister organizations inside Iran. I have advocated in this space that the U.S. government allocate a budget of $300 million – for starters – to help the pro-democracy movement. But most of the work can and must be done by Iranians. Satellite TV networks need U.S. government assistance in getting their broadcasts into Iran. They need help in defeating Iranian government jamming, and government efforts, stepped up recently, to filter the Internet and monitor Internet access. The Iranian regime is putting out feelers that it is now ready to talk to the United States, and not just about its nuclear programs. You’d have to be naïve, cynical, or a die-hard mullah-lover to fall for that one. This latest Iranian “offer” shows that they are worried. And our answer should be to increase the pressure, not let up. Senator Joe Lieberman said after returning from Iraq recently that the United States needs no international authorization to go after Iranian military bases on Iran’s side of the border with Iraq that are being used to support Iraqi insurgents. I certainly agree. Nor do we need anyone’s approval to go after Iraqi terrorist groups such as the Mahdi army, or its offshoot, the Khazali network, which the U.S. believes was responsible for the January 20 attempt to kidnap five U.S. soldiers in Iraq, ostensibly in “retaliation” for the U.S. arrest of five Iranian Guards officers in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil. Laith and Qais al-Khazali, brothers who run the family terror network, sent 35 members to Iran for training at the Shahid Habibollahi training camp outside of Ahvaz in December 2005. Since then, the Khazali network has received support from the Revolutionary Guards 31st Ashoura division in Ahvaz, under the command of Col. Majid Arjomand, and from an Iraqi Shia named Abu Hamzeh, who traveled to Tehran in April to meet with top Revolutionary Guards leaders. These basis – and Abu Hamzeh – should be targeted by the U.S. Squeezing Iran works.
And empowering Iranians works even better.