Friday, May 09, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Putin's Torture ColoniesAs we anxiously debate waterboarding and Guantanomo Bay, Bret Stephens shows us what the actions of a true tyrant look like.
Thanks for naming Putin the Man of the Year, Time magazine!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
An Iraqi Interpreter's StoryMichael Totten has posted a fascinating interview with an Iraqi interpreter. Here is the most interesting exchange (but read the whole thing if you get a chance):
MJT: What’s it like out there now for the average Iraqi?
Hammer: If you give average Iraqis electricity right now it will be enough. This is the most important thing. Give them power for seven days in a row and there will be no fights. After the US came and Saddam fell they earned 3 dollars a month. Now they earn between 100 and 700 dollars a month. Giving them electricity would reduce violence.
If you don’t believe me, ask yourself what would happen to this Army base if the power was cut off forever and the soldiers had to spend the rest of their lives in Iraq. Do think think these soldiers would still behave normally? Iraqis are paid to set up IEDs. They do it so they can buy gas for their generator and cool off their house or leave the country. Their hands do this, not their minds.
MJT: Is there a solution to the problem in this country?
Hammer: Nuke Iraq.
MJT: Be serious.
Hammer: I am serious. If you screen all Iraqis, 5 million of them would be good people. Clear them out, then kill everyone else. Syria and Iran would surrender[Laughs.] Right now they see 100 corpses every day in the streets. It’s not okay to kill the bad people who do that?
Ok, if you want a serious solution try this: Charge money to the families of insurgents. Fine them huge amounts of money if anyone in their family is captured or killed and identified as an insurgent. Make them pay. You can put it into law. Within one week they won’t do anything wrong because they want money. Their familes will make them stop. The militias pay them 100 dollars to set up IEDs. Fine them thousands of dollars if they are caught and their families will make them stop. Give them that law. Go ahead. Try it.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Russia Gone WildFor those of you keeping score at home, let's do a quick recap of Russia's recent activities:
1) Cyberwar against Estonia, following the removal of a Soviety WW2 memorial in Tallinn
2) Hostilities between Russia and Georgia in October 2006 (discussed here and here) with regard to Georgia's brief detainment of Russian intelligence officers caught in the act of spying
3) A cross-border attack on a village in Georgia in March 2007
4) Threatened to train Russia's nuclear missiles on Europe if the US missile defense shield were installed in eastern Europe
Meanwhile, all political power is being consolidated in the Kremlin, the state is nationalizing industry, foreign oil companies are being kicked out of the country, and those who dare to question President Putin are dying, repeatedly and dramatically. This is the type of country that is both threatening and unstable, and is searching for a familiar scapegoat to divert popular anger - the United States of America.
In Case You Were Curious...Here is one writer's running diary of the Live Earth concert this past weekend. I am terribly upset that I missed it. Honestly, how could you listen to Al Gore call for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases and not take the guy seriously? Such a thinker, so passionate, and with a fantastically persuasive environmental philosophy to boot.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Current Strategy in IraqSee Frederick Kagan's testimony to Congress on current Iraq strategy. He makes it clear that we are in the second phase of a three phase operation. The first phase was the surge in Baghdad and the establishment of outposts deep in what is considered to be enemy territory. The second phase is ongoing - Operation Phantom Thunder - which is aimed at disrupting Al Qaeda in the outer belts around Baghdad. The heaviest action is in Baquba, capital of the Diyala province which lies northeast of Baghdad. The third phase will be a clear and hold operation in Baghdad in late July or early August.
Therefore, pronouncing the new strategy a failure is foolish and shortsighted. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
An Unholy MessIt looks like the immigration bill of 2007 is going down the same path as Hillary's health care in 1993. The more the public finds out about the specifics of the bill (this article is helpful) the more distasteful it becomes.
The similarities are eerie. Hillary formed a super-secret task force to draft the legislation, letting out the details of her proposal at the last minute so as to avoid scrutiny. The Democrats and the Bush Administration formed this legislation together, without drafting the bill through the committee process (and thus subjecting it to debate), and tried to push it through at the very end of the legislative session. It was proposed right before the Memorial Day recess, and subsequently Harry Reid has been threatening senators that he would make them give up their July 4th (one week) break so as to pass this bill.
In both cases, conservative intellectuals dissected the actual language of the bill (brushing aside the hyperbole and ad hominem attacks of its proponents), exposed it to the American public, and the bill tanked almost immediately. The approval rating for this bill currently is at 22%, which is lower than President Bush (and higher than for the Democratic Congress!).
Stick a fork in the amnesty bill - it's done. While we're at it - let's stick a fork in President Bush, too. He made the decision to alienate his last supporters in this country, both verbally ("they don't want what's best for America") and legislatively, and he is reaping the whirlwind.