Congrats to the Steelers!

Final score: 27-23, after a thrilling fourth quarter. They become the first NFL team in history to win 6 Super Bowls. Nice work!

Here was the game winner:

Caption: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes (L) keeps both feet
in the endzone as he beats Arizona Cardinals safety Aaron Francisco to catch
the game winning touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the NFL’s Super Bowl XLIII
football game in Tampa, Florida, February 1, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)

Watch a picture slideshow of Super Bowl XLIII here.

Update – 10:31 PM: Did any of ya’ll catch any of the Puppy Bowl tonight? How adorable! :D

Where is your thank you, President Obama?

Fox News reports that President Obama is talking about how many American troops will be home from Iraq by the next Super Bowl:

A “substantial” number of the 140,000 troops in Iraq will be able to return home by next year’s Super Bowl, President Obama said in an interview on Sunday before Super Bowl XLIII kicked off in Tampa, Fla.

After conversations with joint chiefs and commanders on the ground, Obama told NBC News that America is in a position to put more responsibilities on Iraq following the country’s “significant election with no significant violence.”

“We are going to roll out in a very formal fashion what our intentions are in Iraq as well as Afghanistan,” Obama said. “It’s good news not only for the troops on the field but for the families who are carrying an enormous burden.”

And welcome news for a President who, as a candidate, talked down this war from the start, and opposed the surge … twice. The first time during the actual vote, the second time after he was asked last summer if he would have supported it knowing how successful it would actually turn out to be. His answer was no. In fact, if Barack Obama had had his way, all combat brigades would have been out of Iraq by March of last year, and the elections that took place this weekend wouldn’t have happened.

How ironic that the surge he consistently opposed has made it so that the conditions on the ground are conducive for the withdrawal he promised during his campaign? It was such an embarassing position for him to take last year that Team Obama actually purged his opposition to the surge from his campaign website.

Will now be the time that President Obama finally openly acknowledges that the surge he opposed has been a big success? Will now be the time that President Obama gives thanks to those – including General David Petraeus, who implemented the plans that Obama opposed, plans that have made it so that political reconciliation can take place in Iraq, have made it so that security there is better than it has been since Baghdad fell in April 2003?

Some might suggest that conservatives just “let go” the fact that Obama admitted he would have still opposed the surge even knowing at the time of the vote what he knew when he was asked about it last summer. I will not. This man is the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces, and the opposition position he took last year on the surge was reckless, dangerous, and counter to what the United States military is all about: protecting America and her interests, both home and abroad. Not only that, but two years ago, he called troop deaths in Iraq “wasted” troop deaths. The US military might be able to forgive him for his slips of the tongue, and his unwillingness to admit the error of opposing the surge, but I doubt they will forget.

I know I won’t.


Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog on Sundays for John Hawkins.

Comments editor plug-in fixed

I’m happy to report this morning that the comments editor issue in IE has been resolved, so if you view this site in IE now you can edit your comments for up to ten minutes after you post them (the feature was already working in other browsers).

Do not thank me for this. ST reader and WP code genius steveegg figured it out himself and emailed me the code I needed to use in place of the header image rotator plug-in (which has now been disabled), so he is the one who deserves the praise.

steve, I owe you big time for this! ^:)^ =d>

Super Bowl Sunday Open Thread

Ok ya’ll – who is going to win this one? I’ve not read any of the sports talking head reports, but I suspect most bets are on the Steelers winning it all. Even if they do, you have to hand it to the Cards. Did anyone at all predict that the Cards would even come close to making it to the Super Bowl this year? What a dream come true for them.

Oh – and how many think that the halftime show will actually be worth watching this year (Bruce Springsteen will be the halftime entertainment)?

A word on Obama’s interview with Al Arabiya

I talked briefly on Friday about Obama’s interview he did with Al Arabiya earlier last week, but wanted to expand on it more tonight.

First things first: How many of you think it was ok that the first interview he did as President of the United States was with a foreign media outlet? The left seems to be ok with it but I, for one, am not. A president’s first interview should be with and in the country that elected him in the first place, rather than sitting down with another and apologizing for how ‘awful’ we’ve supposedly treated Muslims over the last 30 years. We’ve got a national crisis going on with our economy, we’re also a country at war, and this country is the country that deserved the first interview he did as President.

Secondly, my biggest objection – even more so than the fact that he didn’t bother to address the American people via an interview first, is the fact that he threw the Bush administration under the bus as it relates to how Bush’s tried to reach out to the Muslim community in the aftermath of 9-11. His entire “interview” was based on trying to tear down the last 8 years of Bush administration Muslim outreach efforts and make it look like what Bush and his administration did was broadbrush all Muslims as evil. Bush repeatedly reminded people during his administration that not all Muslims were the enemy, and repeatedly said that Islam was a “religion of peace” but also acknowledged that there was a segment of followers of Islam who were dangerous thugs who needed to be dealt with. Bush’s Muslim outreach efforts went almost overboard to some people who understood his need to do it, but at the same time thought he went too far. Barack Obama spent that interview apologizing for the last 20+ years of America’s relationship with the Muslim world, in particular the Bush administration, and I find that deeply offensive – not to mention dishonest.

Some have said that even though Bush did reach out to the Muslim community, the fact that he went to war with Iraq, and created Club Gitmo, and then on top of that the problems that happened in Abu Ghraib are part of the reason why Muslims ‘don’t trust’ the US. I beg to differ. Our invasion into Afghanistan outraged the Muslim world, and most of us will agree that that was a necessary action, so that point about Iraq is moot. The president felt as prior presidents did about Iraq (Clinton, and Bush I) and took decisive action in a post-9-11 world to deal with it. That is a president’s job, regardless of “world opinion.” Re: Abu Ghraib and other isolated instances of abuses of power within the military, once these incidents were reported Bush made it very clear that they were actions that would be punished to the fullest extent of the law and that the attitude displayed by those who perpetuated those acts did not represent the sum total of how the US (and the military) viewed Muslims. Re: Gitmo, again, Bush made it clear that the only people that would be put there were thugs picked up on foreign soil in the heat of battle who flew no country’s flag.

What elevated the “outrage” meter on Gitmo was the fact that, instead of being diplomatic about their responses to the Euro-outrage on Gitmo, many on the left (like Dick Durbin, for example) openly sided with the European elites who treated Bush with utter contempt simply because he wanted those picked up in the course of battle off the battlefield so that they couldn’t harm anyone else. Yes, there were going to be legit disagreements about Gitmo, but instead of defending him against the myth that he was a rights-stealing villain who hated anyone with brown skin, the left perpetuated the myth with their comments about Gitmo, further causing outrage in the Muslim world. The left likes to talk alot about how their patriotism was questioned over the last 8 years, but they will rarely acknowledge how they in turn did the same thing to Bush WRT claiming he wanted to tear up the Constitution. Do they feel that way about FDR? Lincoln?

Another argument exists that even though Bush did reach a hand out to the Muslim community, that there was the “perception” that Bush was anti-Muslim and that Obama didn’t want to be part of that perception. Well, you don’t have to make yourself part of that perception to be able to give credit where it is due. He didn’t have to heap praise on Bush, didn’t have to even mention his name, but he could have done as Bush did over criticisms of Bill Clinton’s counterterrorism approach, which was to describe past efforts as “good faith efforts that didn’t work.” Of course some of them did work, but Obama doesn’t believe that – and that’s beside the point, anyway. We all read and watched the reports about how Bush invited Obama to the WH and that, between those two and other advisors over the course of two months, that it was clear that Bush wanted Obama to understand and have every tool at his disposal to fight terror, to get him to see what Bush saw everyday of his presidency, especially after 9-11, about the threats that were out there.

There’s no question that Bush made a lot of mistakes related to the GWOT, and overreached in some areas in attempting to protect this country, but in that regard, he’s no different from Lincoln or FDR. Yet he was treated like Hitler by many of his detractors both here and abroad. He’s had to wake up every day since 9-11 remembering the nightmare that 3K people were murdered in one morning on his watch, most of them Americans, and as a result he took actions that he felt were necessary and appropriate. They might not have always been the right ones, but in the end it was always about making a “good faith effort” to protect this country. These are things I have no doubt Bush wanted to get Obama to understand before he took the oath of office. Obama and his wife both spoke almost gushingly about how Bush and his admin were helpful with them in every way possible. Yet in his very first interview, Obama stabbed Bush in the back when he talked about “restoring” and “making a clean break from the past” as if Bush had never engaged in good faith efforts to both protect this country and at the same time be accommodating towards the Muslim world.

I’m also concerned that Obama is apparently a man whose knowledge of world events is evidently sorely lacking for a man of his intelligence. Let’s not forget what he said during the campaign trail in how he referenced Kennedy’s meeting with Khrushchev as an “example” of how American heads of state should “reach out,” apparently forgetting what an utter failure that meeting was (and that’s not the only thing he got wrong regarding past presidents meeting face to face with the enemy). The comments he made in the interview with Al Arabiya as it relates to the alleged ‘good relationship’ we supposedly used to have with the Muslim world 20 and 30 years ago (Krauthammer touched on this at length yesterday, which I noted in my prior post about this) remain mystifying. I’m still waiting for SOMEONE in the American press to question him on exactly what he was talking about: The bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, or the Iran hostage crisis?

As I’ve said before, I want to support Obama on decisions related to our national security provided he shows that he understands the nature of the conflict, realizes he can’t be ideological about it, and provided that he doesn’t view the US as the problem more so than Islamofascism. After reading this interview, I’m deeply concerned that he still doesn’t get it.