pulls anti-war ad

Probably over the embarassing fact that they apparently think everyone else is so stupid that they wouldn’t catch that the pictures of the soldiers they have in the ad on their webpage had been altered to make them look like American soldiers … even though they are actually British soldiers! CNS News reports:

( – The liberal political group has yanked a video ad from its website after being criticized for using images of British soldiers to represent Americans in Iraq.

The 30-second ad, which also began running on CNN and cable stations during the Thanksgiving weekend, stated that “150,000 American men and women are stuck in Iraq” this holiday season.

But the ad showed soldiers who were “not wearing U.S. uniforms,” according to a Pentagon spokesman who was interviewed by Cybercast News Service Wednesday, approximately two hours before the Internet version of the ad was pulled from the website.

“Some folks won’t be home this holiday season,” the 30-second spot declared before showing a video pan of a group of soldiers getting military rations. The narrator then stated that “150,000 American men and women are stuck in Iraq.”

Todd Vician, a spokesman with the U.S. Defense Department, told Cybercast News Service after viewing the ad that none of the men featured in the photograph was wearing U.S. uniforms. “We don’t have that style of desert camouflage,” he said.

James Taranto:

Yesterday we got an e-mail from an old friend who is a captain in the U.S. Army. He writes:

“I just got back from my third deployment from Iraq on Friday, and I happened to be at the dentist and saw a completely offensive ad from the idiots at this morning. Anyway, it is a Bush-bashing ad that pretends to be arguing for American soldiers families as they will miss the holidays and it shows turkey and crying wives and blames Bush for it all. Here is the crucial part of the ad that I would like to bring to your attention. As they pretend to argue on my behalf, they show a group of soldiers standing around a table in the Middle East.

These are not your normal everyday U.S. soldiers though. If you look at the frame they are actually British soldiers. One is in shorts (we don’t have shorts as a normal combat uniform) and the others are all clearly wearing British pattern fatigues. So, my point is that these [turkeys] pretend to argue on my behalf and bash the president in the name of my crying wife, and they don’t even know what an American soldier looks like! Anyway, it really [ticked] me off.”

Jason at Generation Why? has the photos.

So THIS is how supports the troops?? Pathetic.

Read more via Michelle Malkin here and here, Say Anything, Mark in Mexico, Bad Example, Myopic Zeal, GOP and the City, GOP and College,

De Villepin: “I am not sure you can call them riots”

Startling, I know, but that was an exact quote from French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, regarding the French riots. First, to recap the damage caused from the French riots:

Unrest has continued among mainly Arab and African communities on rundown housing estates for 17 nights since the accidental deaths of two teenagers on 27 October, who were reportedly trying to hide from police.

About 8,400 vehicles have been burnt nationwide along with dozens of public buildings including schools and gyms, according to a tally released by the French state news agency AFP on Sunday.

Dozens of people including residents, police and firefighters have been injured, while one firefighter received serious facial injuries from a petrol bomb and a disabled woman suffered serious burns when a bus was set alight.

The death of a 61-year-old man in a street assault has been connected by some to the riots.

Police have arrested 2,652 people, the youngest of them aged 10, and 592 were remanded in custody.

Now, De Villepin’s comments in context (emphasis added):

Amanpour: You know, many people, after hurricane Katrina struck the United States said, that it exposed the poverty and racism that exist in the United States. Many people in France said that … around the world said it. Many people also said that the riots in the ghettos if you like… in the suburbs …

De Villepin: I am not sure you can call them riots. It’s very different from the situation you have known in 1992 in L.A. for example. You had at that time 54 people that died, and you had 2,000 people wounded. In France during the 2 weeks period of unrest, nobody died in France. So, I think you can’t compare this social unrest with any kind of riots.

Amanpour: What do you call it then?

De Villepin: Social unrest, you have to understand also, there were no guns in the streets. No adults; mostly young people between 12 and 20 … so it is very special movement.

Totally clueless. So now we’re softening up the wording in order to describe rioters as partakers in “social unrest”? What a joke. Redefining and recharacterizing things as De Villepin did with what was obviously mass rioting is part of what I call the slow erosion of the definition of right and wrong. By redefining and recharacterizing things like, for example, rioting, to make it sound like if it was just a typical mundane example of social unrest, De Villepin is effectively diluting the meaning of ‘social unrest’ by his very denial that this was rioting. ‘Social unrest’ can mean many things. For example, there was social unrest in San Francisco around the time that Mayor Gavin Newsom decided to invent a law that allowed gay marriage. But you didn’t see any rioting out of it.

Social unrest can include rioting and sometimes it doesn’t. And when we’re talking about the massive amounts of damage done in France – not just to property but people as well, characterizing it as merely ‘social unrest’ just doesn’t cut it. It’s just a way for De Villepin to excuse the idiots who couldn’t control their desire to rip apart a beautiful country (which it is, even though I have big issues with their government) because of their displeasure with French policy towards Muslims and it’s also a slick attempt at downplaying what happened because he wants people to forget how lamely the French gov’t responded to this ‘social unrest’ – by making it sound like it was not that big of a deal to begin with. It was just “social unrest” and a “special movement.”

We know better.

Read more comments about this at Atlas Shrugs’ blog.

(Cross-posted at California Conservative)

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Another censoring of Christmas

Sigh. Via WND:

Teachers at a Georgia elementary school reportedly were told to nix any religious pins and refrain from referring to a party as a “Christmas” party, while the local district has censored certain religious Christmas songs from its “winter” program.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a religious-liberties law group, wrote a letter to the district yesterday informing the Jackson County School System in Jefferson, Ga., that it stands on shaky constitutional ground due to its actions.

“Frankly, it’s ridiculous that we’re even discussing whether it’s OK to say ‘Merry Christmas.’ I’m sure just about everyone would rather have a merry Christmas than a meaningless winter holiday,” said ADF senior legal counsel David Cortman in a statement.

Amen. I mean, Christmas is the NAME of the holiday. What the heck is wrong with these people? What’s next? Renaming Easter? I get so sick of this PC BS, but honestly sometimes I feel like it’s a losing battle trying to fight it. Not that I’ll stop battling, but it still gets very frustrating.

Hat tip: California Conservative

Crescent design replaced for 9-11 memorial


PITTSBURGH — Designers of a Flight 93 memorial have made a bowl-shaped piece of land its centerpiece, replacing a crescent-shape design that some critics had said was a symbol honoring terrorists, officials announced Wednesday.

The new design for the memorial, to be built on the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, crash near Shanksville, features most of the details of the original, which was unveiled in September after a worldwide design competition.

But a round, bowl-shaped area would replace a “Crescent of Embrace,” a crescent-shaped cluster of maple trees.

In September, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., criticized the design in a letter to the National Park Service Director, saying many questioned the shape “because of the crescent’s prominent use as a symbol in Islam _ and the fact that the hijackers were radical Islamists.”

Paul Murdoch, president of Paul Murdoch Architects, which designed the memorial, had called the criticism of the crescent an “unfortunate diversion,” but said they were sensitive to the concerns.

In both old and new versions of the design, a tower with 40 wind chimes welcomes visitors to the site, where they can then walk to a large circular field ringed by 40 groves of red and sugar maple trees, symbolizing the 40 passengers and crew who died. There will also be pedestrian trails, a plaza from which to view the crash site, and a white marble wall with the victims’ names inscribed.


Thurs. AM Update: Alec at Error Theory has examined the new memorial and makes a strong case that it still looks like an Islamo-fascist shrine. Worth a look-see.

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Bring back the CHRISTMAS tree

… and ditch the term “holiday tree” – suggests House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill:

If it’s a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capitol grounds in December, it’s a Christmas tree and that’s what it should be called, says House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert, R-Ill., in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, recommended that the annual Capitol Holiday Tree, as it has been called the past several years, be renamed the Capitol Christmas Tree.

“I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree,” Hastert wrote to Architect Alan Hantman.

His office said the tree began to be referred to as the Holiday Tree in the 1990s. Spokesman Ron Bonjean said the reasons were unclear.

Can’t say as I blame him. What do you think?

50 babies a year are alive after abortion

Read this and weep. I literally did:

A GOVERNMENT agency is launching an inquiry into doctors’ reports that up to 50 babies a year are born alive after botched National Health Service abortions.

The investigation, by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH), comes amid growing unease among clinicians over a legal ambiguity that could see them being charged with infanticide.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which regulates methods of abortion, has also mounted its own investigation.

Its guidelines say that babies aborted after more than 21 weeks and six days of gestation should have their hearts stopped by an injection of potassium chloride before being delivered. In practice, few doctors are willing or able to perform the delicate procedure.

For the abortion of younger foetuses, labour is induced by drugs in the expectation that the infant will not survive the birth process. Guidelines say that doctors should ensure that the drugs they use prevent such babies being alive at birth.

In practice, according to Stuart Campbell, former professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s hospital, London, a number do survive.

“They can be born breathing and crying at 19 weeks’ gestation” he said. “I am not anti-abortion, but as far as I am concerned this is sub-standard medicine.”

The number of terminations carried out in the 18th week of pregnancy or later has risen from 5,166 in 1994 to 7,432 last year. Prenatal diagnosis for conditions such as Down’s syndrome is increasing and foetuses with the condition are routinely aborted, even though many might be capable of leading fulfilling lives. In the past decade, doctors’ skill in saving the lives of premature babies has improved radically: at least 70%-80% of babies in their 23rd or 24th week of gestation now survive long-term.

Abortion on demand is allowed in Britain up to 24 weeks — more than halfway through a normal pregnancy and the highest legal limit for such terminations in Europe. France and Germany permit “social” abortions only up to the 10th and 12th weeks respectively.

There’s so much to be sad about after reading that article that I hardly know where to begin.

Hat tip to Stoo and Toad for the link.

Update: Read more via Charmaine Yoest.

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Hitchens vs. Ritter

Another smackdown delivered by Chris Hitchens is in the making:

Scott Ritter vs Cristopher Hitchens on the Iraq War – 12/20/2005, 7:00 pm

The debate to end all debates: the brash and controversial Scott Ritter against the legendary Christopher Hitchens on the War that divides America and the World.

After 30 months of fighting, estimates range from 30,000 to 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians, and upwards of 2,100 dead American troops. Many questions linger. Saddam’s reign is history, but is Iraq better off? Why did we go, and why are we still there? When should we pull out?

Come ponder our country’s foremost foreign policy issues, moderated by Air America’s brilliant Laura Flanders!


Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair columnist and America’s favorite British contrarian, wields a crowded kebob skewer displaying the charred likes of Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Mother Teresa, and Bill Clinton. He was recently voted the world’s 5th Top Public Intellectual by Prospect Magazine. Hitchens has written over 60 books and is a proud enemy of all Religions. Abandoning most of his former comrades on the Left, Hitchens vehemently supports Bush’s war on Iraq.

Scott Ritter is the straight-talking former marine officer who the CIA wants to silence. During Desert Storm, he served as a ballistic missile advisor to General Norman Schwarzkopf. In the mid 1990’s, Ritter helped lead the UN weapons inspections of Iraq and found himself at the center of a dangerous game between the Iraqi and US regimes. In 2000, Ritter wrote that Iraq had no militarily significant stocks of prohibited weapons. He strongly opposes Bush’s war on Iraq.

The debate will be held at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY. If any of ya’ll go, please let us know how the debate goes :) Hopefully it’ll be broadcast on CSPAN.

(Thanks for the heads up, FT)

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A Congressional Dem who makes sense

I’m beginning to think Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is about the only Democratic Senator left with any common sense as it relates to Iraq:

I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and can report real progress there. More work needs to be done, of course, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood–unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.
Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress.

There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National Assembly. People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it.

It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.

Read the whole thing. Mr. Lieberman manages to put the war in Iraq in the proper perspective that his fellow Democrats in Congress, many of whom are are now playing politics with the Iraq war in the most shameful of ways, cannot – or will not.