Wednesday, September 12, 2007

AP Asserts That Iraq War "Bush Vendetta" for 9/11

Another from Newsbusters, this time about an AP "analysis piece" that asserts that the Iraqi war is Bush's "vendetta against Saddam" for 9/11.

The money quote:

In an "analysis" piece the AP put out today, "After 4 years of errors, Bush definition of ‘victory’ in Iraq is far more modest," Raum flatly states:

Bush’s decision to wage a vendetta against Saddam Hussein as retribution for the Sept. 11 attacks — six years ago Tuesday — led to many miscalculations and mistakes.

And what evidence does Raum offer in support of his astonishing theory that the Iraq war was Pres. Bush's "vendetta" against Saddam "for the Sept. 11 attacks"? Uh, Tom will have to get back to us on that . . .


Daily Kos Equates Reagan and Osama bin Laden

I don't often write about the Daily Kos, and thankfully this post on Newsbusters did it for me. This is regarding a recent Daily Kos post equating Reagan and Osama bin Laden.

The money quote:, the Left's most popular website and a key source of fund-raising for Democrats from coast to coast, says Osama bin Laden and Ronald Reagan have a lot in common:

So is Osama bin Laden truly "evil?" Most people who lost family members at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 would probably consider him to be evil. Was President Ronald Reagan evil? Most residents of Beirut who lost family members when the USS New Jersey rained 2,700 pound Mark 7 shells on residential neighborhoods in 1983 during the Lebanese Civil War probably considered Reagan to have been evil. Bottom line? Bin Laden is no more evil than other revolutionary leaders in other times or even than ordinary national leaders who propel their countries to war for "national honor," or to acquire the resources of others, or even to "do good."

To translate Kos-speak: Osama bin Laden isn't a terrorist, he's a freedom fighter. And Reagan wasn't a freedom fighter - he was a terrorist.

Read the rest. It says a great deal about the Left and its attitudes about America.

The Objective Standard on Edwards' Health Plan

The Objective Standard goes after Presidential Candidate John Edwards oppressive, paternalistic healthcare plan, and does its typically great job.

A quote:

Under Democratic presidential contender John Edwards's "universal" health-care proposal, every American would be required to go to the doctor for preventive care in order to keep health-care costs down. In a similar proposal, a Tory panel in Britain suggested that, in order to control the spiraling costs of its socialized health-care system, Britons should be forced to adopt a government-prescribed "healthy lifestyle" or else be denied certain medical treatments. Britons who improve their health by, for example, quitting smoking or losing weight would receive "Health Miles" that could be used to purchase vegetables or pay for gym memberships.

"These proposals are the reductio ad absurdum of nanny-state paternalism," said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. "According to these politicians, instead of having a government that protects our right to live our own lives, we are to be treated like incompetent children who need someone to force us to visit the doctor and eat our veggies.

Read the whole thing.

Putin Complains About US Restrictions on Foreign Investment

Here's an interesting story in the International Herald Times about Putin's complaints over recent US legislation increasing national security oversite over foreign investments in the US. It's interesting from a few perspectives.

First, Russia has shown that it can't be trusted with regard to foreign investment in Russia:

In recent months, foreign oil companies have been forced to cede control of a number of major projects which they acquired in the 1990s, most notably with the sale by Royal Dutch Shell of a controlling stake in the Sakhalin-2 project, and BP's sale of its stake in the Kovykta gas field.

The Russian state-run natural gas monopoly Gazprom was the buyer of both.

Second, and on a related note, I have to agree with limitations on purchases of American businesses by foreign state-owned companies. I have less concern about purchases by purely private entities in nations that recognize property rights.

Regarding the general concept of government limits on foreign investment, I'm a bit more undecided. On the one hand, there certainly can be national security interests, be it regarding infrastructure (such as energy companies) and high technology. It likely makes sense for such investments to be vetted.

But ultimately, that Putin would make such a complaint is a bit hypocritcal. As a wannabe dictator, Putin has very little room to talk.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 4929 Diggs, is a link to a YouTube clip of a gay (20-something? teenager?) wailing over the treatment of Britney Spears. One wonders whether it's a parody or for real--but only if one has so little else to do.

Ultimately, it's further testament that the Internet, for all its incredible usefulness, has a useless and seedy side, for which Digg and YouTube continue to provide ample evidence.

France Backs Up US on Iranian Stance

I think I've said it before, but in case I haven't: I'm very pleased that France has a leader with at least some reason about him. The West needs to be together against Islamic fundamentalism, and having France with us once again--at least against Iran--is a positive.

Here's a story in the Asian Times that makes a few interesting points. Although American diplomacy with Iran has been lacking, the story says, we've done a good job of bringing the West together. While I agree with the former statement, I'm sure my position would be the polar opposite: I don't believe we should have any "diplomacy" with Iran, any more than we should have had "diplomacy" with Japan on December 8, 1941.

The latter statement, though, might be of most importance. Again, at least with France, the West seems to be coming together. Some quotes:

Only a week earlier, Sarkozy brought French policy into alignment with the United States, warning, "Iran with a nuclear weapon is not acceptable to me. I want to underline France's total determination on the current plan linked to increasing sanctions, but also being open to talks if Iran chooses to respect its obligations. This initiative is the only one that can allow us to escape an alternative that I can only call catastrophic: an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran."

That's a bold statement for France to make: "...I can only call catastrophic: an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran." That's important: it's necessary for some other Western nation to assert that Iran will be bombed before it's allowed to make a nuclear weapon.

Then, about the West:

America's miserable performance in Iraq should not obscure the success of Washington's efforts to align the West against Tehran. Sarkozy has shifted French policy in a way that leaves Iran no wiggle room. Although Berlin has been very quiet in recent months, Rafsanjani's main ties to the West run through Germany, and it can be assumed that US President George W Bush is working closely with Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as with Sarkozy.

It seems quite probable that the prospect of a West united in its resolve to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and resigned to enforcing this by military means, shifted the balance within Iran's clerical assembly to the former president. To be sure, Rafsanjani's return to a position of influence, if not yet power, embarrasses Ahmadinejad but does not yet restrain him.

It's an interesting story, and worth a read.