Belief’s… and lines in the sand.

25 06 2008

Sometimes we just want to “believe’ it sooo badly we overlook the obvious and start chalking up events to reasons that “fit” with an agenda, or point of view. Take the fine actor Will Smith’s recent comments on the views of other people in other places around the world. He put forth that since Barack Obama started his ‘run’ for the Presidency peoples views toward America have started to change. He holds that those people now view America in an improving light. While I can’t deny that peoples views of America ARE steadily improving, the truth is that this change occurred well before Barack Obama ever hit the worlds political stage. It began, if fact, several years ago with the pro-America, pro-Bush leadership that was elected in Germany, France, even recently in Italy, as well as elsewhere.

 

And the views on involvement in Iraq has steadily changed too, with the enlightenment of the electorate of those countries upon discovery of the old “anti-Bush”, “anti-America” leaderships personal involvement with corruption and their underhanded dealing with Iraq and Hussein in various business deals that went against U. N. Sanction. If you kept up with the news at all I know you’ve heard of the ‘Oil for Food’ scandal… which explains the reason behind those countries security and intelligence  forces supporting the invasion, while the leadership did not. And now, beyond all expectation and proclamation by those that opposed it, we are winning! Things are going, not Bush’s, but OUR way. Democracies way. AMERICA’S way.

 

We are building a friend and ally in a part of the world where we so badly need one… yet people still wish to turn back the clock and undo the good that has been, and continues to be done. Everyone should certainly know the value of freedom to mankind. And they must realize that that freedom comes with a price. A price best paid on foreign soil in my humble opinion. Free men cannot remain free if unwilling to do what is necessary to guard and protect that freedom. Those “right’s” that we so cherish become meaningless when left unprotected from those that would allow no rights at all.

 

It appears that many staked their politics to the position that President Bush ‘lied’ to get us to war. That this is somehow something that all came to be on President Bush’s watch. Actually, that in itself is the lie, and I’ve ample evidence presented below that well indicates the seriousness of others views toward Iraq, and our very legitimate reasons to invade, … all well before President Bushes election in 2000.

 

I’d also like to note here that the misconception of this somehow being a way to “get their Oil” is borderline…, no not borderline, IT FULLY WELL IS delusional. Had we just “wanted their oil” we could have easily gotten it (and at a far far less cost then that we’d have known we’d have to pay) by just allowing the removal of the U. N. Sanctions that we ourselves pressed for and supported. We could easily have dove deeply off into that before mentioned ‘Oil for Food’ program, had that been our reason and desire… But it wasn’t. We went to war, not for any “fact” that Saddam had WMD’s, or any known connection to al Qaeda (which, as you’ll see, there was), but because the threat of what would or could happen was just too great to ignore… especially in light of what had happened on September 11, 2001. Saddam was no friend of peace, and he had more than proven his capability to do harm. And desire us and others harm he truly did.

 

Also one would do well to remember, that even without any weapon of mass destruction on hand, he still had all of his scientists, all of his laboratories, all of his command and control, AND all of the raw ingredients to produce one. And how many more than one would be too many? …Yes, even just one.

 

Was Saddam a threat…and was that threat real? Let’s let those that came along before George W. Bush answer in their own words:

“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.” –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998 (years prior to Bush becoming President)

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.” –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998 (years prior to Bush becoming president)  

“Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”–Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998 (almost three years prior to Bush becoming President)

He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”–Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998 (almost three years prior to Bush becoming President)

“[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
– Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998 ( over two years prior to Bush becoming President

“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”-Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998 (two years prior to Bush becoming President)

Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.” – Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999 ( a year prior to Bush becoming President)

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Well, that’s the view of the leadership of our country before Bush’s election. And that is very telling… but what about the view from the top of the Democrats side of things after the election? After all, these people, as the top leadership of our country, are privy to most every bit of the classified information that is presented to the President… very little is withheld from the bunch incase of some drastic circumstance, you know. Here’s the words from those that were ‘in the know’:

 

There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”
Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
– Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

“We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.” – Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

“Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
– Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” – Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…” – Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” – Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do”
– Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
– Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

“We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.” – Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

“[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…– Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

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Well now, that is from the horses mouth one might say. And this group, as associated as they were with the past administration, would certainly recognized having the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes.

 

I know, your probably making excuses why all this doesn’t matter, or relate to what’s happening now… But the story persists that Bush lied about a bunch of things, and supposedly the Democrats where in a position to find out. And they put together a commission to do just that. Ran by Jay Rockefeller I believe. And we have heard time and time again about this and that, and what supposedly “proves” this and that about Bush lying to us all… but, can you believe what you hear? Apparently not! Read below what an editor for the Washington Post has to say about that report… and the truth it revealed.

Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt will no doubt upset liberal bloggers with his Monday column underscoring something the rest of the national media elite hasn’t exactly underscored: that the “Bush lied, people died” line doesn’t match what Democrats on the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence found and some media outlets forwarded. For instance, on Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams announced: “In a long-awaited report, the Senate Intelligence Committee today concluded that President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials exaggerated and misrepresented the intelligence about Saddam Hussein and his possible connections to al Qaeda in making the case for war in Iraq. Most of the Republicans on the committee notably and sharply disagreed with some of the report’s findings.” But dive into [Sen. Jay] Rockefeller’s report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.

On Iraq‘s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”

On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.”

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you’ve mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq‘s support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda “were substantiated by the intelligence assessments,” and statements regarding Iraq’s contacts with al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” The report is left to complain about “implications” and statements that “left the impression” that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

Hiatt concluded that the problem was not that Bush overstated the intelligence as much as the intelligence was so off-kilter, which is a danger for a President of either party.

Tim Graham, newsbusters.org

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It’s easy to draw a line in the sand on a particular side of an issue, especially when it seems to be the “popular” side. But it would do you well to remember that often history puts things into perspective and people often find that the side they chose ends up being on the wrong side… and history (and TRUTH) stays around for a good long while once the dust settles. Get all the facts before you nail the door shut on Bush and the current administration. Once upon a time in Europe, Churchill, you might recall, was thought to be the “evil” one…

-Al 





That future is now…

20 06 2008

I always knew that Washington was it’s very own environment, and creates it’s own sphere of self perpetuating influence, but it’s become quite clear of late just how out of touch with America it is. Or, they are. There has always been a huge difference between the coasts and the heartland, or the flyover or whatever it is they refer to it as. But Washington, it seems has taken the abstract differences to the max. For YEARS people have pressed for energy independence. Often it has been the democrats doing the talking about alternate forms of energy, and accusing the republicans of stalling that progress. The republicans have always pushed for more relaxation in regulation over the industry, the idea being that the Capitalist Way and free enterprise would lead to these new sources if allowed, but that allowance has always been blocked by special interests and environmental concerns… No-one really pressed the issue because gasoline was fairly cheap and it would take years to satisfy government regulations which pushed the benefits back years off into the future.
Now that the future has caught up with us, the democrats use the tired excuse that any benefit would (again) be years down the road… but, to a public that hurts, those words ring hollow. After all, if it had been done then, it would be available NOW. And if we do it NOW, it will still be available someday, not never if we don’t. That oil that sits underground will NEVER be available, if we put off drilling for it because of the length of time it would take to get it out of the ground. What we are using now, somebody back then decided to drill for. They didn’t wait!
A lot of the other excuses that the democrats give for not drilling for those known quantities of oil don’t hold water either. Sure, some of these oil fields only hold enough for a few years usage… but that assumes that that would be the only oil pumped anywhere in the world. Most of the known oil fields in the world would only last for short periods of time if we were to pump them individually – one at a time. But that isn’t how it works. Oil comes from many sources, which combined make many years worth of reserves. Adding ‘years’ worth’s of oil here, and ‘years’ worth of oil there, all adds up to many many years worth of oil. But if you don’t drill for it, it adds nothing. There are years worth of oil in ANWR.
There are years worth of oil off the coast of California. There are years worth of oil off the coast of Florida. Years worth off the east coast. Years worth in the Gulf. The democrats will tell you that there are many acres of leases undrilled upon, but we don’t “carpetbomb” those leases. That would lead to environmental problems. Also they talk about spoiling the beauty and disrupting the wildlife in the Artic Reserve, but in actuality the total amount of land mass that would be effected (by government account) would be about 2000 acres. And where we have oil fields and pipelines in Alaska now, wildlife thrives.
Sure there can be spills and such. But that isn’t excluded anyway as ships move across our oceans caring the stuff in bulk. Or as railroads or pipelines carry much of those products and are certainly subject to accidents and such themselves, the environment is open to harm from there. Safety is in fact a large and important part of the industry now.
There is no real excuse to put off the quest for greater energy independence. Sure there are concerns and drawbacks (there is with everything), but those concerns and drawback can be addressed. We’ve address many environmental concerns successfully of the years and there is no reason to think we can’t be successful here.
There is much to be done on all fronts, conservation, new types and sources, AND producing more oil domestically. But burying your head in the sand and crying “It can’t be done! It can’t be done!” gains us nothing. It CAN be done. And we need to start NOW. The democrats need to get up off of there rears (and out of bed with the special interests) and actually do something for AMERICA.
President Bush told us in 2001 we needed to do this, but the democrats said it would take at least 7 years to do, so it wasn’t worth the doing. But how long ago WAS  2001 anyway?

America is hurting Washington. Are you listening?

 

-Al





Tim Russert…

13 06 2008

…some mighty big shoes to fill.

Tim Russert came across as a man’s man. Yet he had a certain gentleness about him that took away the gruffness off some of his more probing questions. He was wonderful at controlling the chaos of interviewing some very interesting and volatile people. And he ran ‘Meet the Press’ superbly.

He was far more fair than most when quizzing politicians, yet could probe deep and often cut to the heart of the matter at hand. Sad is the fact that fairness in journalism took a huge hit today with his death. Love him or hate him if you want, but he offered a fair shake to each side, and was often a top choice when one decided to open themselves up to be interviewed.

Tim was NBC’s best hire in many many years, and would have been an asset anywhere lucky enough to have him on their team. The testimonies by his colleagues and friends as news broke of his untimely death speak to his lofty position among the professionals of jouralism and the high esteem in which he was held by his peers. And this high regard extended well beyond those peers and out into a world which he explored to bring us such indepth insights and opinions about that world around us. The hole he leaves behind in the world of journalism is enormous and will be extremely hard to fill.

I respected him. I may not have always liked the questions he asked, but he did allow those questions to be answered. And more often than not, those questions were worth the asking after all. I’ll miss him.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and many friends.

-Al





Why we are the way we are, …mostly.

11 06 2008

MOST people are lead by those that they are attracted to. That’s why we often find high school age youths following the pattern and ideals of their parents, then, as they get a bit older they become influenced by the MTV crowd. As they move on in life and go to college they fall prey to the liberal ideas that often are promoted by secularist and anti-establishment teachers and the professors there. Moving out into the “real” world they often become more influenced by the fields and professions that they find themselves in.

 Many times it is station in life that becomes the influence, or as is often the case, the region. East and West Coasters are often liberal due to the influence of the secular lifestyle of many there (often brought about by the influence of personal ‘liberation’ due to money and vice). In the Midwest we find a mixed bag between city folk and the rural inhabitants, with the rural often more conservative, while the city dwellers more moderate to liberal. Rural areas of the South tend to be conservative also, but race plays a bigger picture there, as there is a more rural ethnic population which has come under the influence of the governments “Great Society” programs of the past, and in effect having their loyalty bought to a degree toward the liberal “socialist” side, or influence.

The cities of the South range from conservative through moderate and on to a more liberal leaning, but often the most liberal Southerner would be considered a moderate in the North, East, or over on the West Coast. Often we find ethnic groups everywhere have more liberal leanings due to the issue of acceptance and integration into society. However many times we find that the more “established” an ethnic group becomes (especially as they gain wealth) the more conservative they become. The same is true for the individual.

 Out west it mostly can very greatly, depending on the influences of the ethnicity of the area. The vast rural areas of the West – parts of Colorado, parts of Texas, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, the Dakotas, are probably the most self focused and self influenced of the country due to the self reliance of present and past. But for the majority of us, well a lot of times it’s who your friends are that matters most.

-Al





Answer to a question…

9 06 2008

A while back, on another blog, a group of us were in a general discussion on the various happenings of the world when the topic turned for a bit to world terrorism and the war being fought against such. “Bush’s War” many called it. The following question was posed to me and I answered it straight away. But as sometimes happens on many message boards, forums, and such, one’s post will sometime disappear off into cyber space. It happened to me with my response to the question asked. But the question, to me at least, was legitimate, and an answer important, so I answered it later, again.

While cleaning up some ‘saved’ files on my old computer (which has died, come back to life, died again, and is currently on the endangered species list) I came across the post again. Being, I feel, important, AND with a bit of new information out on the subject, I want to post it here-

Al, how is a war with Iraq going to decrease terrorists? Could you give me a definition for terrorist? Many months ago a 10yo asked me what a terrorist was…I said somebody who hurts or kills other people. Seemed right at the time…but on this blog, people talk as if terrorists are only of Islamic faith. So…I guess I need help.

 

**** *. I tried to leave an answer for you this morning…where it went I haven’t a clue, but you do deserve an answer to the questions you pose.

 

The war in Iraq will help decrease terrorist by creating a stable country which will be an example of how democracy can benefit the people of the area (which for the most part haven’t a clue as to what democracy is, how it functions, and how the benefits that are derived from it will positively effect their lives and future).  Also, by creating another ally in the region, they will come to know and understand us better and not fall prey to what others want them to believe about us, our country and people, which in turn makes us safer here at home. Misguided is a mild description of what they have been taught as to what we as a people are all about. WE know that more often than not it is us (the US of A, that is the first to respond when disaster strikes around the world, without thought to who, where or why. And we are by far number 1 when it comes to charity and offering a helping hand to the poor and downtrodden… but to them, we are THE CAUSE of those disasters and the reason for that need for help… because there are those that have taught them that, and it’s all they have ever heard. By expanding presence and influence the real “us” is shown. (That’s a short answer, anyway…)

 

What is a terrorist? You’re partially right…A terrorist is a person or group with a political or religious (i.e. bombing abortion centers for example) agenda that uses terror against people and infrastructure to influence and create desired results.

 

Most people here think of the Islamic terrorist because of the impact of 9-11 on their lives. However terrorism isn’t limited to race, country, nor religion. Right here in America we’ve seen recent examples of Eco-terrorist burning houses and business…or vandalizing automobile dealerships… all in the name of the environment.

 

One of the miss-conceptions about terror is that when Bush announced this war on terror it was all about Islamic fundamentalism and such. That wasn’t the case. When President Bush called for a war on terror it was a war against ALL terrorist and the use of terror as a weapon. Far too many old people had died in markets and too many kids had been killed as they made there way to school. Too many buses blown up… Too many Northern Irelands and Somalia’s and Beirut’s and Embassies getting blown to bits… the list goes on and on… hundreds of innocent people die every year for causes you’ve never even heard of.

 

9-11 was just the breaking point…the not gonna take it anymore…last straw.

This fight won’t end after Iraq, nor Afghanistan… but, if we are to someday be free form the constant threat… it must continue.

 

We didn’t go into Iraq because of terrorist… but because of the threat that Iraq would provide a tool for those terrorist to use. We know they sought a chemical or biological weapon… they still do. And we suspected Iraq might just supply one of those weapons. But even though a horde of those weapons was not found, as we thought would be, we DID find that the capability to produce one was still intact… The scientist still in place, the raw ingredients still there. And, also, the desire to do us harm… all still very much intact.

 

If a ten year old asks you again, “What is a terrorist?” answer with this: They are bad people that are willing to do bad things to good people. Like bullies, they want their way, and they don’t care about you, your family, your desires, your dreams, or your future. And we must always be on guard against them. For if we give in to them, and allow them to have their way, we will lose everything.

 

Freedom isn’t free… the cost is high. It is cheaper however, than the alternative…

 

 

Well, that was the answer I gave. What’s new is that a recent study has shown acts of terror, not only in Iraq, but worldwide, are down. Not just down but WAY DOWN.

 

What does it mean that terrorism is down? It means that all those people that said that Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ had made the world less safe were wrong. The world IS safer. And it isn’t because of some natural event or reason, but because WE ARE WINNING the war. We’ve killed hundreds of terrorists. We’ve established democracies in places that haven’t had them before and people in those places are now learning what it means to them and the benefits that it brings to them. Many of those people are now seeing an alternative to the status quo. They are seeing now the benefits of democracy and the lack of any benefit to what terrorism brings into there lives, so they are now standing up to terrorist themselves. They are weary of those that claim to be acting in their behalf killing their own people. They are tired of THEIR schools being blown up. They are tired of THEIR markets being carbombed. They are tired of their mothers and fathers and children dying in their own streets, by the hands of those that claim to be doing it for them.

 

Bush told us back in 2001 that this war would last a long time. Generations perhaps. Winning would be a long time coming. And it’s far from over, make no mistake about that. But we are winning. That can be measured now. This war on terror, ‘Bush’s war’ they liked to call it, hasn’t made the world more dangerous as they liked to claim, but far far safer. We aren’t out of the woods yet, the fight goes on, and I’m sure there will be setbacks and such. But the progress we’ve made is huge. Someday, because we chose to make the stand, the world will be a far better place for it.

 

Of course Bush won’t get the credit. That just might lead to too many other ‘things’ said about Bush needing correcting too…

 

-Al