Brief hello and thanks

Wanted to write a quick message to say hello to the newbies who’ve stopped by and/or commented the past few days at the blog. I can’t respond to comments as much as I used to, but I usually do try and give an ‘official’ greeting of sorts to anyone new. For the record, I plan on catching back up (as much as I can) on comments in the next couple of days as there have been some good ones – if only there were more time in the day ;)

Also, I’d like to say thanks again to those of you who continue to visit this blog on a daily basis – your support means a great deal to me. I enjoy reading your emails and comments, even though time dictates that I can’t respond to every one. Regarding comments, I know things occasionally get a bit testy here and there in some of the comments sections, but that’s the nature of debating politics sometimes. I try to step in when things look like they may be getting a little too heated … luckily, that hasn’t happened much. The good thing is we manage to keep things pretty civil and that’s the way I think it should always be. I think we have a good group of commenters here.

Logging off now to catch up on some much needed sleep. Have a good night, ya’ll.

“A pimp for fascism”

Heh. Chris Hitchens responds to the charges from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report that accuses George Galloway of lying before the committee regarding allegations he illegally profited off the Oil For Food program during his buddy Saddam Hussein’s time as president there:

For George Galloway, however, the war would seem to be over. The evidence presented suggests that he lied in court when he sued the Daily Telegraph in London over similar allegations (and collected money for that, too). It suggests that he lied to the Senate under oath. And it suggests that he made a deceptive statement in the register of interests held by members of the British House of Commons. All in all, a bad week for him, especially coming as it does on the heels of the U.N. report on the murder of Rafik Hariri, which appears to pin the convict’s badge on senior members of the Assad despotism in Damascus, Galloway’s default patron after he lost his main ally in Baghdad.

Yet this is the man who received wall-to-wall good press for insulting the Senate subcommittee in May, and who was later the subject of a fawning puff piece in the New York Times, and who was lionized by the anti-war movement when he came on a mendacious and demagogic tour of the country last month. I wonder if any of those who furnished him a platform will now have the grace to admit that they were hosting a man who is not just a pimp for fascism but one of its prostitutes as well.

Flashback: Check out blogger Uncle Jimbo’s interview with George Galloway in Madison, WI back from mid September. Good stuff!

Related Toldjah So post:

To the guys: would you be offended by this?

To the fine gents who visit this blog: Let’s say you were doing some online shopping for to find a nice gift for your wife, or your girlfriend, or your good buddy, and you came across a site who’s motto was:

” … because guys can’t shop”

Would that be offensive to you? The reason I ask is because of an email I rec’d from the proprietress of Romeo Shops, an online store devoted to helping guys who aren’t into the shopping thing find nice gifts for those in their lives who they care about. Apparently quite a few of the men who have visited the website have sent some not-so-nice emails to her complaining that guys are being unfairly stereotyped by the store motto. It should be noted what the “About Us” page reads:

Congratulations! You’ve just discovered the first online site dedicated to helping guys find the perfect gift. It’s not necessarily true that guys CAN’T shop, but that they don’t have the time, patience, or (dare I say??) the taste to select that perfect something. We are just a few girls from Minneapolis who know what it’s like when a guy gives a bad gift. There’s an uncomfortable pause, an insincere smile, and a “You shouldn’t have. Really”. We’ve heard all the horror stories of bad gifts- so we’re ready to arm guys with the knowledge and service of great gift selection and packaging!

Seems pretty clear to me that Romeo Shops is just trying to help out guys who don’t enjoy shopping and who may not have a good idea of what type of gift to get for their person they are shopping for – and are gently teasing guys with their motto in the process.

However, those are just MY thoughts on the matter – what are yours?

The 2,000 mark hype

The media has been marching to the steady drumbeat of the official 2,000th US troop death from the war in Iraq. The number of stories via Google News: close to 2,000.

What does this number signify? An artificial mark, according to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the force’s combined press center:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Shortly before U.S. military deaths in Iraq reached 2,000 on Tuesday, the chief spokesman for the American-led multinational force called on reporters covering the conflict not to look at the event as a milestone.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the force’s combined press center, described the number as an “artificial mark on the wall.”

“I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq,” Boylan said in an e-mail. “The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives.”

The U.S. military death toll reached 2,000 with the death of an Army sergeant who was wounded by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad and died in Texas last weekend. A Pentagon announcement Tuesday said Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., 34, of Killeen, Texas, died in San Antonio, Texas. The death raised the Associated Press tally of military fatalities in the Iraq war to 2,000.

Alexander was wounded Oct. 17 in Samarra, a town 60 miles north of the Iraqi capital. He was assigned to the 1st Batallion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga.

“The 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations,” Boylan wrote.

He complained that the true milestones of the war were “rarely covered or discussed,” and said they included the troops who had volunteered to serve, the families of those that have been deployed for a year or more, and the Iraqis who have sought at great risk to restore normalcy to their country.

Amen.

Here’s more perspective from Major Chaz over at the Big2K blog:

First, being in the military is a high-risk enterprise, even when you are not in combat. Humvees roll over, helicopters crash, people commit suicide, people get hit by vehicles. People die. But in this instance, since they happened in a combat zone, they fit neatly into the meme of the leftists that “Bush Lied, People Died”. They would have you believe that all of these brave souls died as victims of imperialist government fighting in an illegal war. Bringthemhomenow.org says “So far, more than 1950 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq ….”

But only slightly more than 1500 have actually died from hostile fire. More than 400 military members have died due to non-combat causes. And not all of the almost 2000 deaths have actually happened in Iraq. If a military member dies in the AOR, on orders for OIF, his/her death is counted towards “the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq”.

God be with our men and women in uniform as they continue on their noble missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan, while hopefully ignoring an (I hate to say) almost gleeful press.

One more note to the military: please never forget that we support you!

Hat tips to Little Green Footballs and Michelle Malkin.

Sen. Coburn still fighting the good fight

… on the fiscal front, along with Senators Brownback (R-KS), DeMint (R-SC), Ensign (R-NV), Graham (R-SC), McCain (R-AZ), and Sununu (R-NH). To help offset Hurricane Katrina relief effort costs, they unveiled today a proposal to that would cut up to $115 billion of pork in the federal budget over the next two years. Click here to read more about their ideas (Adobe req.).

You may not agree with everything on that list they proposed, but at least they are trying. If you’re on board with their efforts, send your Senator an email and urge them to support this proposal.

Related Toldjah So posts:

(The above are two separate amendments, BTW)

RIP, Rosa Parks

Via AP:

DETROIT — Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, died Monday evening. She was 92.

Mrs. Parks died at her home during the evening of natural causes, with close friends by her side, said Gregory Reed, an attorney who represented her for the past 15 years.

Mrs. Parks was 42 when she committed an act of defiance in 1955 that was to change the course of American history and earn her the title “mother of the civil rights movement.”

At that time, Jim Crow laws in place since the post-Civil War Reconstruction required separation of the races in buses, restaurants and public accommodations throughout the South, while legally sanctioned racial discrimination kept blacks out of many jobs and neighborhoods in the North.

The Montgomery, Ala., seamstress, an active member of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (search), was riding on a city bus Dec. 1, 1955, when a white man demanded her seat.

Mrs. Parks refused, despite rules requiring blacks to yield their seats to whites. Two black Montgomery women had been arrested earlier that year on the same charge, but Mrs. Parks was jailed. She also was fined $14.

God bless you, Mrs. Parks.

La Shawn Barber writes a nice piece about Mrs. Parks, and includes a link roundup of other bloggers who are discussing the life of the lady who is considered the mother of the civil rights movement.

Putting Pre-Iraq War Reporting In Context

Robert Kagan has a column up today in the Washington Post that puts pre-Iraq war reporting in context, starting with the headline “It Wasn’t Just Miller’s Story”. From the column:

The Judith Miller-Valerie Plame-Scooter Libby imbroglio is being reduced to a simple narrative about the origins of the Iraq war. Miller, the story goes, was an anti-Saddam Hussein, weapons-of-mass-destruction-hunting zealot and was either an eager participant or an unwitting dupe in a campaign by Bush administration officials and Iraqi exiles to justify the invasion. The New York Times now characterizes the affair as “just one skirmish in the continuing battle over the Bush administration’s justification for the war in Iraq.” Miller may be “best known for her role in a series of Times articles in 2002 and 2003 that strongly suggested Saddam Hussein already had or was acquiring an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.” According to the Times’s critique, she credulously reported information passed on by “a circle of Iraqi informants, defectors and exiles bent on ‘regime change’ in Iraq,” which was then “eagerly confirmed by United States officials convinced of the need to intervene in Iraq.” Many critics outside the Times suggest that Miller’s eagerness to publish the Bush administration’s line was the primary reason Americans went to war. The Times itself is edging closer to this version of events.

There is a big problem with this simple narrative. It is that the Times, along with The Post and other news organizations, ran many alarming stories about Iraq’s weapons programs before the election of George W. Bush. A quick search through the Times archives before 2001 produces such headlines as “Iraq Has Network of Outside Help on Arms, Experts Say”(November 1998), “U.S. Says Iraq Aided Production of Chemical Weapons in Sudan”(August 1998), “Iraq Suspected of Secret Germ War Effort” (February 2000), “Signs of Iraqi Arms Buildup Bedevil U.S. Administration” (February 2000), “Flight Tests Show Iraq Has Resumed a Missile Program” (July 2000). (A somewhat shorter list can be compiled from The Post’s archives, including a September 1998 headline: “Iraqi Work Toward A-Bomb Reported.”) The Times stories were written by Barbara Crossette, Tim Weiner and Steven Lee Myers; Miller shared a byline on one.

[…]

As we wage what the Times now calls “the continuing battle over the Bush administration’s justification for the war in Iraq,” we will have to grapple with the stubborn fact that the underlying rationale for the war was already in place when this administration arrived.

Read the whole thing.

The press has turned on Judith Miller (who they once praised repeatedly for being a hero because, in their view, she stood up for ‘journalistic integrity’ after she went to jail for refusing to reveal her Plamegate sources) for several reasons, chief among them is the fact that she didn’t deliver the goods they wanted on Scooter Libby, and because in retrospect they view her as too ‘administration friendly’ and want to fault her reporting, in part, for the administration’s ‘rush to war’ – a war that they (the press) did not and still do not support. Kagan’s column makes two things clear: 1) the MSM is just using Miller as a convenient scapegoat on which to place the blame for helping to convince the American people that Saddam Hussein had to be removed from power when in actuality 2) long before Miller, the Times, along with other top news outlets like the Washington Post, reported stories about Saddam Hussein’s weapons capabilities and ties to terror. The liberal establishment at the NYTimes unfortunately seems to suffer from P2HD – otherwise known as Pre-2001 History Disorder. They tend to want to forget that there actually is an established history of this country prior to President Bush getting elected, and that history includes articles from their very own paper regarding the danger the prior administration felt was posed to the world by Saddam Hussein and the WMD everyone thought he possessed.

If there’s a doctor in the house who has discovered the cure for P2HD, please ship several boxes of the treatment to the NYTimes … and to many other liberals, many of whom also seem to suffer from this problem when it comes to discussions about the reasons we went to war with Iraq.

(Cross-posted at Blogs For Bush)

Just in time for Halloween

Galloway the ghoul lied under oath over Iraqi oil payments, according to a new U.S. Senate subcommittee report:

George Galloway, the British MP, was last night accused of lying by a US Congressional committee when he testified earlier this year that he had not received any United Nation food-for-oil allocations from the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

In a report issued here, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman and his colleagues on the Senate Subcommittee for Investigations claim to have evidence showing that Mr Galloway’s political organisation and his wife received vouchers worth almost $600,000 (£338,000) from the then Iraqi government.

“We have what we call the smoking gun,” said Mr Coleman, who will send the report to the US Department of Justice and the British authorities. The MP could face charges of perjury, making false statements and obstructing a Congressional investigation. Each charge carries a possible jail term of five years and a fine of $250,000.

To the charges, Mr. Galloway responded:

“Charge me, please; prosecute me and I’ll be on the next plane to America,” Galloway said today.

Yes. Let’s!

As a side note, wouldn’t it be cool if Chris Hitchens could escort goulish George into the courtroom? ;)

Hat tip: ST reader Fat Tone

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