According to Dan Drezner (according to Tigerhawk), this is the line that will be hardest for President Bush to rebut:
“As President, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system - so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as President, I will bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to; we only go to war because we have to.”
Let’s just say you’re the President of the United States, and you face a grave and growing threat. (You’re not sure if it’s imminent or not; that’s the point. Get it?) For the sake of discussion, let’s say we’re talking about Iran. It’s 2006 and the mullahs have just ripped the seals off the IAEA-inspected centrifuges (Oops! That happened just last week. Well, relax, it’s only a hypothetical.) We are afraid Iran is within a few months +/- of developing several atomic warheads. You turn to your 17 heads of federal intelligence agencies and say,
“I’m John Kerry and I demand hard evidence!”
And they talk of communications intercepts and show you some suggestive satellite photos (not that kind of suggestive, Rooney!) and you say,
“I’m John Kerry and I demand hard evidence!”
And they say, “Sorry boss. We don’t have any. We haven’t had any genuine US American citizen spies in Iran for more than twenty yeaars. We have a lot of stuff from various Iranian expatriates, but we don’t know for sure if they’re feeding us crap in hopes of reward or of seizing power for themselves in Iran after we’ve cleaned out the mullahs for them. The satellites can’t see inside buildings, much less hearts and minds. We have loads and loads of evidence, most of it corroborated by French, British, Russian, and Israeli intelligence agencies. Also, all the new stuff we're getting agrees with all the previous administration's stuff. But if you want “hard evidence”, then, sorry, we got nothing.”
Then, if you’re George Bush, you say, “I see a threat. Let’s roll.”
If you’re John Kerry, you say, “America will never go to war because it wants to.”
And that should just about do it for this election.
[Wretchard has more to say on point. Go to the continuation to check it out.]
Want more? Well what about this? Democrat nominee John Kerry also said in his acceptance speech:
“And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn't make it so.”
For the last time, the ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign was on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, which had spent a record (or near record, I forget) time at sea. The ship and her crew had damn well accomplished their mission. It was not the White House’s sign; it was the Lincoln’s. Only the Moore-ass-kissing people have blanked this out of their minds; the rest of us are sick of hearing it.
Then there’s this line from the acceptance speech:
“Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so.”
No, but conquering a despot and his army in a few weeks and then turning the country back over to its rightful owners, the people of Iraq, in less than two years damn well does make it so.
It worked, therefore Rumsfeld was right and his critics are wrong. At least, they were wrong to the extent they said Rummy’s way was impossible and wouldn’t work. Would flooding the nation of Iraq with a couple of hundred thousand (imaginary) extra troops have worked better? We’ll never know, but compared to all other wars in the history of the US, if not the world, this one was a miracle of speed and mercy. If John Kerry wants to say he could have done better than the all-time greatest hit, then the burden of proof is on him.
Incredulous voters will, at the very least, demand a detail or two.
So with all due respect, M. Drezner, if that’s the best the Democrat nominee has got, then he ain’t got much.
Take your time, people. Let's make absolutely sure it's a genocide before you step in and put a stop to mass murder.
The United States circulated a Security Council resolution on Thursday threatening sanctions against Sudan if it does not arrest the leaders of marauding militias responsible for a wave of violence in the Darfur region....
Days after the American secretary of state and the United Nations secretary general ended their tour, witnesses said, gunmen stormed a girls' school in the desert region of Darfur, chained a group of students together and set the building on fire. The charred remains of eight girls were still in shackles when military observers from the African Union arrived on the scene....
The genocide debate continues.
The question is more than academic. The Genocide Convention, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, calls on signers to "prevent" and "punish" genocide. If what is happening in Darfur is genocide, as many contend, the United States and other governments would be compelled to step in and put a stop to it....
But when it comes to applying the "G-word," as Adam Ereli, a State Department spokesman, recently referred to genocide, disagreement is deep. On this issue, even Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say that more evidence is needed.
The African Union similarly said that the threshold for genocide had not been reached. "Even though the crisis in Darfur is grave, with unacceptable levels of deaths, human suffering and destruction of homes and infrastructure, the situation cannot be described as a genocide," the group of African states said....
On Thursday, the House and Senate passed measures declaring that the atrocities unfolding in Darfur constituted genocide....
Small steps continue. Meanwhile, people die.
Thanks to Winds of Change No thanks to the United Nations or to any group of African "states".
European satellites have given confirmation to terrified mariners who describe seeing freak waves as tall as 10-storey buildings, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.
Around 30,000 separate "imagettes" were taken by the two satellites in a three-week project, MaxWave, that was carried out in 2001.
Even though the research period was brief, the satellites identified more than 10 individual giant waves around the globe that measured more than 25 metres (81.25 feet) in height, ESA said in a press release.
The waves exist "in higher numbers than anyone expected," said Wolfgang Rosenthal, senior scientist with the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany, who pored over the data.
Call my yacht broker and put the new sailboat on hold.
The Baron Rothschild had two sayings, my French professor Doctor de la Menardierre taught me, about making money:
1. Buy too soon; sell too soon, and
2. Buy when blood is running in the streets
You see, Baron Rothschild made the family fortune by buying up property when the 30 Years War was about to roll into town, when the Protestants and the Catholics were slaughtering each other across France a couple hundred years ago. With a rampaging army just over the hill, desperate sellers would part with their land at bargain prices. Once the war had passed, the land value would rebound and the Baron sold at huge profits.
So it was with amusement I read this story in the St. Pete Times on Wednesday, July 21, 2004:
For Sale: Baghdad Beauty
Baghdad --- On the east bank of the Tigris River, a house is for sale…. In a nation with no mortgage lending, an estimated yearly per capita income of $1,600 and deadly attacks daily, real estate prices in the capital are flying high.
The unlikely flourishing of real estate is another example of how postwar Baghdad doesn’t live by the rules…
Wealthy Baghdad residents, it seems, are as bullish as millions of Americans when it comes to property…
(Sorry for lack of hyperlink. Despite this being the St. Pete Times’ front page above the fold story, dang if I can find it on their website. Wait one, found it at the LA Times, but registration required so don’t bother.)
I’m guessing the author of the story has never heard of the Baron Rothschild or his maxim BUY WHEN BLOOD IS RUNNING IN THE STREETS.
It goes along with The Happy Carpenter’s secret to success: HAVE THE COURAGE TO SEE THE OBVIOUS.
To anyone thinking clearly, it was obvious that a nation awash in oil money but screwed up beyond belief by tyranny and corrupt Arab ways would turn around in a huge way with a few billion US American dollars and 1,000 US American lives, +/-. You can confirm this with The Happy Wife: I wanted to buy real estate in Baghdad last year. Only problem (actually one of many): no excess money. Oh well, it’s not too late. The Iraqi stock market is back in business, and Iraqi banking is taking off. (I’d really like to know more about how Muslims conduct banking while observing Islam’s prohibition against interest charges.)
There’s still enough blood around that town to keep prices down. But not for long. Act NOW before the market matures and you find yourself out in the cold… AGAIN.
It would be wrong to speculate on Sandy Berger's ultimate motive for removing classified documents from the National Archives. Working with insufficient information is the best way to mislead one's self. However, there might be some value to adopting a preliminary framework for understanding new information as it comes to light. The model that comes readily to mind is to regard Berger's escapade as a kind of information countermeasure. The most common ways to conceal information are to 1) create a decoy signal; 2) generate enough noise to blot out the underlying information; and 3) to reduce the signal of the original information which you want to conceal.
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.