Petraeus vs. The Party of Defeat

Petraeus vs. The Party of Defeat

By Jacob Laksin | 4/10/2008

Thou shalt not speak well of Iraq. That was the commandment imperiously handed down by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week, in anticipation of General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s testimony before Congress. Alluding to the recent clashes between U.S. and Iraqi forces and rogue Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr’s militia, Pelosi preemptively reproached the general: “I hope we don’t hear any glorification of what happened in Basra.” It was a vivid illustration of what has become the calcified consensus of the Democratic Party: When it comes to Iraq, all news is bad news. 

General Petraeus, to be sure, did not come to Washington to romanticize the struggles in Iraq. As befitting the analytical strategist that he is, Petraeus kept to a just-the-facts approach, calling the achievements to date “significant but uneven” and “fragile and reversible” in the absence of a sustained commitment by the United States. By way of illustration, he noted that while violence recently has been on the rise, most notably in Basra and Baghdad, the overall security picture has improved markedly. Both the number of major terrorist attacks and the number of civilian deaths has plummeted in recent months.

There was much else in the general’s testimony to defy the Democrats’ fatalism. Contrary to the Democrats’ preferred image of Iraq as a country in disarray, Petraeus related that half of Iraq’s 18 provinces are under government control, with the once-restive province of Anbar expected to join the list in the months to come – a testament to the success of the much-maligned “surge” strategy and the directly related decline in the influence of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Against the critics’ charge that Iraq is an endless drain on American resources, Petraeus pointed out that Iraqis are assuming an ever-larger role for their own security, with Iraqi Security Forces growing to 540,000 troops.

In spotlighting such successes, Petraeus never downplayed the numerous challenges that remain. Despite the encouraging growth in Iraqi troop strength, for instance, individual “units and leaders found wanting in some cases.” Even more problematic, according to Petraeus, is the role of foreign actors, most prominently Iran. The general pointed out that the recent fighting in Basra “highlighted the destructive role Iran has played in funding, training, arming, and directing the so-called special groups….” Funded, trained and directed by Iran’s Quds Force and Hezbollah, these “special groups pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq.”

To say that Democrats did not distinguish themselves in their responses to the general’s testimony is to understate the case. Although the competition for most embarrassing comment ran fierce, top honors surely had to go to Howard Dean. Following the general’s testimony, the Democratic National Committee chairman sent out a fundraising letter assailing Sen. John McCain’s “huge gaffe.” That supposed gaffe? “At least five times as a candidate John McCain has stated that Iran (a Shiite nation) is supporting Al-Qaeda (a Sunni group) in Iraq. This is not some minor mistake, but a significant gaffe. He clearly does not understand the sensitive political dynamics in that region of the world.” In reality, McCain never described al-Qaeda as a Shiite group. What he has said – and what Petraeus’s testimony amply confirmed – is that Iran remains a leading sponsor of terror in Iraq. That leading Democrats persist in denying that fact speaks volumes about their seriousness in the war on terror.

No better was the performance of the Democratic presidential candidates. In his remarks, General Petraeus stressed the importance of maintaining a troop presence to consolidate the progress made in recent months. Drawing down troops was a key priority, but it had to be done “without jeopardizing the security gains that have been made.” To that end, Petraeus advised against further troop withdrawals after the last of the “surge” troops leave this summer.

The logic of that position plainly escaped Hillary Clinton. When her turn to question Petraeus came, Clinton lashed out at the notion that a too-hasty withdrawal would be irresponsible. “I think it could be fair to say that it might well be irresponsible to continue the policy that has not produced the results that have been promised time and time again at such tremendous cost.” Clinton thus dismissed the demonstrable results that the surge already has produced and committed herself to the one course – premature withdrawal – that would be the most likely to undo them. It was an impressive performance only in comparison to her disgraceful exhibition last September, when she all-but called Petraeus a liar and insisted that it would require a “willing suspension of disbelief” to support the U.S. policy in Iraq. Events, needless to say, have been unkind to that view.

Only slightly more pragmatic was the reaction of frontrunner Barack Obama. The Illinois senator had kind words for the general and, to his credit, offered a commendably realistic vision of achievable success in Iraq, one in which “there’s still corruption, but the country is struggling along, but it’s not a threat to its neighbors and it’s not an al-Qaeda base.”

Yet there is one flaw in the kind of success that Obama believes to be within reach: It will be fatally undermined by the immediate withdrawal of troops that has been a centerpiece of Obama’s campaign. Thus, General Petraeus took pains to emphasize that routing al-Qaeda could not be achieved only with counterterrorist strikes. It would require, among other things, “major operations by coalition and Iraqi conventional forces,” as well as “sophisticated intelligence effort.” To remove American troops on Obama’s accelerated timeline, then, would be to frustrate the very real progress that is being made to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq.

In the end, neither Democratic candidate gave any indication that they understand the stakes in Iraq. Nor was there any evidence that they – or anyone else in their party – would be willing to make the necessary if unpopular decisions needed for success. Sen. Joe Lieberman, himself gracelessly purged from his former party, was entirely on the mark when he described the Democrats’ attitude this week as “hear no progress in Iraq, see no progress in Iraq, and most of all, speak of no progress in Iraq.”

That left Sen. McCain the lone adult in the presidential race. Not shying away from the difficult questions – McCain pressed Petraeus about the underperformance of some Iraqi security forces – the senator nonetheless put the war in its proper context: “Successes is within reach,” he said. “Yet should the United States instead choose to withdraw from Iraq before adequate security is established, we will exchange for this victory, a defeat that is terrible and long lasting.” It was a statement that underscored yet again the difference between McCain and his Democratic counterparts. While Sens. Obama and Clinton are playing to the anti-war gallery, McCain, alone among the presidential contenders, is auditioning for the role of commander-in-chief.

It need hardly be said that success in Iraq is far from assured. But there is no gainsaying that progress – though often painfully slow – continues to be made. That was by no means obvious last fall, when top Democrats were mocking advocates of the surge as fantasists detached from reality. If General Petraeus’s remarks confirmed one thing, it is that today it is the Democratic Party and its presidential paladins who are hopelessly out of touch.

Jacob Laksin is a senior editor for FrontPage Magazine. He is a 2007 Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellow. His e-mail is

Hsu Fly

Hsu Fly

Clarice Feldman
Norman Hsu has skipped, following the path of so many Clinton donors with apparent foreign sources of money who are under investigation. The question is why did the judge ever let him out on bail after he’d skipped the first time, fifteen years ago?

Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu (SHOO) has failed to appear for a bail hearing in Redwood City.
Hsu forfeits the $2 million bail he posted last week. A judge has issued a new warrant for his arrest.
Hsu’s lawyer says he doesn’t know where he is.
Hsu has been a fugitive in California for 15 years during which time he became a top donor to Democratic candidates, including presidential contenders Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

I wonder what the hell the San Mateo prosecutors and judge were thinking and why the FBI wasn’t shadowing him. His lawyer said they’d been in contact with him just hours before the hearing but won’t describe the communications they used — i.e. phone or fax or in person.
We are now officially in a Clintonian banana republic again.
He promised to turn in his passport in. His lawyer Brosnahan said an attorney from his office searched Hsu’s New York  apartment on Tuesday and couldn’t find it. The New York Times reports Hsu flew into Oakland on a private plane at 5:30 a.m. and that was the last anyone saw him.
I think the judge  and prosecutors were dopes. I’d never have left a man with this level of flight risk out of prison. The FBI most certainly should have been surveilling him. He will never be heard of again, I’m afraid.
Gateway Pundit notes  some inconsistencies in the statements by Brosnahan:

Hsu’s lawyer Jim Brosnahan is quoted in the media giving two different versions on democratic donor and Fugitive Hsu’s whereabouts.

The Associated Press reported this news on Norman Hsu this evening:

“Mr. Hsu is not here and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is,” Brosnahan said outside court. Brosnahan said that “there was some contact” with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say how and who talked to Hsu…

Brosnahan (Hsu’s lawyer) said he didn’t know if Hsu returned to his Manhattan condominium or stayed in California after his five-hour jail stint Friday when Hsu turned himself in. He was released from jail after posting $2 million bail, which a judge refused then to reduce to $1 million.

But the SFGate reported this from Hsu’s lawyer Brosnahan:

A judge ordered him to surrender his passport, and Brosnahan said one of his legal assistants went to Hsu’s New York condominium on Monday to retrieve it. Hsu was in California at the time, Brosnahan said. The assistant followed Hsu’s directions, but couldn’t locate the passport after 90 minutes of searching, the attorney said.

Brosnahan said someone had been in contact with Hsu a few hours before the 9 a.m. hearing, but he declined to comment on who it was and whether that contact was by phone or other means.

So, in one interview Brosnahan says he does not know if Hsu went back to NYC or stayed in California and in the next interview he says that Hsu was in California on Monday.

Also, don’t you think if someone from the defense team spoke with Hsu a few hours before the court appearance this morning that they would have asked Hsu where he was?

It sounds like Brosnahan knows more on Hsu than he is telling.

Whether or not this indicates he was dissembling or that there is some ambiguity in his remarks — i.e., Hsu was not in NY on Monday but may have been there on another day between the two hearings– I don’t think the judge, the prosecutors or the FBI inspire confidence in their good sense .

Hillary to jihadists: Please don’t attack us, or Dems will lose

Hillary to jihadists: Please don’t attack us, or Dems will lose

As has been amply illustrated over the years here at Jihad Watch, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a particular clue about the nature of the global jihad and what to do about it, and there has been much too much politics as usual, and craven partisanship such as is exhibited here, when there really needs to be a new political alignment and a sober reappraisal of our international and domestic policies. “Clinton: Terrorist attack would help GOP,” by Alexander Mooney for CNN:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — She says she is the Democrat best equipped to fight terrorists, but White House hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton told New Hampshire voters Thursday that another attack on the United States would likely help Republican candidates at the polls.Sen. Hillary Clinton said the Republicans would benefit politically if a terrorist attack occurred before the ’08 vote.

“It’s a horrible prospect to ask yourself, ‘What if? What if?’ ” Clinton, a New York Democrat, told a house party in Concord, according to the New York Post and The Associated Press and confirmed by her campaign.

“But, if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world.”

Clinton added that if such a scenario occurred, she is the best Democratic presidential candidate “to deal with that.”

Clinton was in the crucial early voting state Thursday to unveil her health care plan.

A Clinton spokesman, Isaac Baker, told CNN “Sen. Clinton was making clear that she has the strength and experience to keep the country safe.”

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, who is also competing for the Democratic nomination, issued a statement Friday afternoon calling Clinton’s remark “tasteless.”

“Frankly, I find it tasteless to discuss political implications when talking about a potential terrorist attack on the United States,” he said.



 Date: Sun, 05 Aug 2007 09:50:40 -0400

 Bob (Nick) Nicholson



 This ill-tempered, violent, foul mouthed, hateful and abusive woman wants
 to be your president and have total control as commander-in-chief of a
 military that her party so openly and proudly admit they detest. I can see
 someone like this gaining the respect of other nations, and especially
 from their leaders, who refuse to do as she tells them …or else. No
 thanks, my country deserves a better leader, not a dominatrix

 Quotes :
 HOUSE.”? By? Barbara Olsen p.216


 “Where is the G-damn f**king flag? I want the G-damn f**king flag up every
 f**king morning at f**king sunrise.”
 (From the book “Inside The White House” by Ronald Kessler, p. 244 –
 Hillary to the staff at the Arkansas Governor’s mansion on Labor Day,

 “You sold out, you mother f**ker! You sold out!” From the book “Inside” by
 Joseph Califano, p. 213 – Hillary yelling at Democrat lawyer.

 “It’s been said, and I think it’s accurate, that my husband was obsessed
 by terrorism in general and al-qaida in particular.”(Hillary telling a
 post-9/11 world what a ‘great’ commander in chief her husband was;
 Dateline, NBC 4/16/2004.)

 “I have to admit that a good deal of what my husband and I have learned
 [about Islam] has come from our daughter.” ( 8/8/1999 –
 Hillary at a White House function, proudly tells some Muslim groups she is
 gaining a greater appreciation of Islam because Chelsea was then taking a
 class on the “religion of peace”)

 “F**k off! It’s enough that I have to see you shit-kickers every day, I’m
 not going to talk to you too!! Just do your G*damn job and keep your mouth
 shut.” (From the book “American Evita” by Christopher Anderson, p. 90 –
 Hillary to her State Trooper bodyguards after one of them greeted her with
 “Good morning.”

 “You f**king idiot.” (From the book “Crossfire” p. 84 – Hillary to a State
 Trooper who was driving her to an event.)

 “If you want to remain on this detail, get your f**king ass over here and
 grab those bags!” (From the book “The First Partner” p. 259 – Hillary to a
 Secret Service Agent who was reluctant to carry her luggage because he
 wanted to keep his hands free in case of an incident.)

 “Get f**ked! Get the f**k out of my way!!! Get out of my face!!!” (From
 the book “Hillary’s Scheme” p. 89 – Hillary’s various comments to her
 Secret Service detail agents.)

 “Stay the f**k back, stay the f**k away from me! Don’t come within ten
 yards of me, or else! Just f**king do as I say, Okay!!!?” (From the book
 “Unlimited Access”, by Clinton FBI Agent in Charge, Gary Aldrige, p. 139 –
 Hillary screaming at her Secret Service detail.)

 “Many of you are well enough off that [President Bush’s] tax cuts may have
 helped you. We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re
 probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to
 have to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” (Hillary
 grandstanding at a fund raising speech in San Francisco;

 “Why do I have to keep proving to people that I am not a liar?!” (From the
 book “The Survivor,” by John Harris, p. 382 – Hillary in her 2000 Senate

 “Where’s the miserable c*ck sucker?” (From the book “The Truth About
 Hillary” by Edward Klein, p. 5 – Hillary shouting at a Secret Service

 “No matter what you think about the Iraq war, there is one thing we can
 all agree on for the next days – we have to salute the courage and bravery
 of those who are risking their lives to vote and those brave Iraqi and
 American soldiers fighting to protect their right to vote. (Was posted on
 Hillary Clinton’s web site on 1/28/05)

 “Put this on the ground! I left my sunglasses in the limo. I need those
 sunglasses. We need to go back!” (From the book “Dereliction of Duty” p
 71-72 – Hillary to Marine One helicopter pilot to turn back while en route
 to Air Force One.)

 “A right-wing network was after his presidency…including perverting the
 Constitution.” (To Barbara Walters about the Republicans who impeached her
 husband; 20/20, ABC 6/8/2003.)

 “Son of a bitch.” (From the book “American Evita” by Christopher Anderson,
 p. 259 – Hillary’s opinion of President George W. Bush when she found out
 he secretly visited Iraq just days before her highly publicized trip to

 “What are you doing inviting these people into my home? These people are
 our enemies! They are trying to destroy us!” (From the book “The Survivor”
 by John Harris, p. 99 – Hillary screaming to an aide, when she found out
 that some Republicans had been invited to the Clinton White House)

 “I mean, you’ve got a conservative and right-wing press presence with
 really nothing on the other end of the political spectrum.” (C-Span,
 1/19/1997 – Hillary complains about the mainstream media, which are all
 conservatives in her opinion)

 “Come on Bill, put your dick up! You can’t f**k her here!!” (From the book
 “Inside The White House” by Ronald Kessler, p. 243 – Hillary to Gov.
 Clinton when she spots him talking with an attractive female at an
 Arkansas political rally)

 “You know, I’m going to start thanking the woman who cleans the restroom
 in the building I work in. I’m going to start thinking of her as a human
 being” – Hillary Clinton (From the book “The Case Against Hillary Clinton”
 by Peggy Noonan, p. 55)

 “You show people what you’ re willing to fight for when you fight your
 friends.” (From the book “The Agenda” by Bob Woodward, ch. 14)

 “We are at a stage in history in which remolding society is one of the
 great challenges facing all of us in the West.” (From the book “I’ve
 Always Been A Yankee Fan” by Thomas D. Kuiper, p. 119 – During her 1993
 commencement address at the University of Texas)

 “The only way to make a difference is to acquire power” (From the book
 “I’ve Always Been A Yankee Fan” by Thomas D. Kuiper, p. 68 – Hillary to a
 friend before starting law school.)

 “We just can’t trust the American people to make those types of
 choices…. Government has to make those choices for people (From the book
 “I’ve Always Been A Yankee Fan” by Thomas D. Kuiper, p. 20 – Hillary to
 Rep. Dennis Hastert in 1993 discussing her expensive, disastrous
 taxpayer-funded health care plan)

 “I am a fan of the social policies that you find in Europe” Hillary in
 1996″ From the book “I’ve Always Been A Yankee Fan” by Thomas D. Kuiper,
 p. 76 – Hillary in 1996)

Fitzgerald: What the presidential candidates should do

Fitzgerald: What the presidential candidates should do

Fred Thompson has denounced CAIR. Good. Now Thompson has to inject into the public discourse the word “Jizyah” — he, or Tancredo, or others. That word, and what it means, has to be introduced into the national consciousness. Merely using it in a speech, or in speech after speech, and explaining its meaning, will do much to rectify the complete failure of the Bush Administration — from which all Republican candidates, to be successful, should be distancing themselves as noisily and publicly as possible — to educate, to instruct, the public about Islam.

Instead, Administration officials continue nattering on about how splendid Islam itself is. Only a “handful,” they say — oh, they’re a handful all right – of the “radical wing of the Islamist wing of the extremist wing” (fill up the page, printer, with more of the same) have “hijacked a great religion.” That is why we are apparently, as long as Bush and Rice and others are in power, condemned to being instructed that we are fighting a “war on terror.”

Those candidates for President should begin to demand an end to the “payment of the disguised Jizyah of aid.” They should explain that the forcible diversion of non-Muslim taxpayers’ money by their own government elites (who are ignorant, confused, not knowing what or how to deal with Islam, either abroad or within the Western world) is wrong. The diversion of money from non-Muslim states to Muslim regimes and peoples is exactly the wrong thing to do. For that aid simply increases the opportunities for corruption, and corruption, in turn, always leads to those who are not in on the corruption to turn to Islam as their solace.

As Islam is the belief-system, the only one possible, that serves as a prism through which to view that corruption, they declare it un-Islamic — to which the only answer is not merely “more honesty” but rather “more Islam.” And the answer — of Hamas, of the Ikhwan in Egypt — of “more Islam” always makes things more dangerous for Infidels, whatever its effect within the states of Dar al-Islam. When that aid from Infidels is not only squandered, but pocketed by the Arafats and Mahmoud Abbases, the Mubaraks (father and son) and others in the ruling group, this wins no “hearts and minds” among the population. That population sees the corruption. For that matter, it wins no hearts and no minds among the corrupt rulers themselves.

There is no gratitude and there cannot be, given the hostility toward Infidels inculcated by the Total Belief-System of Islam, which divides the world uncompromisingly between Believer and Infidel. And the payment of this Jizyah does two other things. It sets up the idea in the minds of Muslims who receive the aid that it is theirs by right, it is owed to them by the Infidels. And they act according to that belief. Just look at the “Palestinian” Arabs using such absurd terms as “embargo” and “boycott” to describe the refusal of Infidel states to give aid to Hamas, or to a Hamas-linked government. What a peculiar definition — though not too peculiar, apparently, for Western media not to repeat without question such words — to apply to a halt in foreign aid that the Muslim recipients have done nothing to deserve. They have been on the permanent UNRWA dole for nearly sixty years, with the roles constantly expanding. They now exhibit the bland assumption that they will always be taken care of by others. This assumption comes naturally, as do those long hours of idleness, with hubble-bubble pipes and dominos and endless hours of television relieved only by marching around and constantly planning attacks, and sometimes carrying them out, against the perfidious Israelis. Those Israelis, meanwhile, were without any aid at all before 1967, and took in millions of impoverished Jewish refugees from the Arab lands (more Jews fled Arab lands than the reverse), from Russia, from Ethiopia, and several dozen other countries.

The payment by Infidels, the further transfer of wealth beyond the ten trillion dollars paid to OPEC Muslim nations since 1973, also has a bad affect on the donors. They have come to act as if, and apparently to believe, that they simply must continue such payments if at all possible, for it is their duty. The absurdity of this, when Saudi Arabia alone takes in, quite undeservedly, nearly one billion dollars a day, and when the money piles up in Kuwait and the Emirates and Qatar, and yet the Muslims lift not a finger to help their fellow Muslims except for payments to suicide bombers and for every kind of weaponry and propaganda campaigns directed against Israel or other Infidel states, needs to be recognized.

Everyone is waiting for a Presidential candidate to start speaking about such things truthfully. And if he does so while also distancing himself from Tarbaby Iraq, showing why it makes no sense in the larger scheme of things in the war of self-defense against the Jihad, such a candidate is likely to be unbeatable.

And should be.

What Fred Thompson knows about Hillary