Monday, November 14, 2005

Blog Roundup 11/14; Bush's Speech

Just a few quick hits today:
LGF points to a disturbing photo from the BBC - and notes their despicable, biased caption.

UPDATE: They've changed the caption. Here's the original:
Palestinian children learn at a young age about the struggle for freedom. To some, the Palestinian martyrs are heroes. Here a child poses for a photograph at a rally organised by militants.
Instapundit continues to discuss the Republican pushback regarding 2002's intelligence information, and links to a great post by TigerHawk on Ted Kennedy's comments on Meet the Press. Tim Russert trapped Kennedy into bashing comments - only to inform him of who said them. I wish I could see Kennedy's face...

Michelle Malkin has a wonderful excerpt from President Bush's speech in Alaska today.
Some interesting parts of Bush's speech:
Reasonable people can disagree about the conduct of the war –­ but it is irresponsible for Democrats to now claim that we misled them and the American people. Leaders in my Administration and members of Congress from both parties looked at the same intelligence on Iraq –­ and reached the conclusion that Saddam Hussein was a threat. Let me give you quotes from three senior Democrats: First, quote, “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons.” End quote. Here’s another one, quote, “The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as [Saddam Hussein] is in power.” End quote. And here’s the way another Democratic leader summed it up, quote, “Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think that the President's approaching this in the right fashion.”
It has been interesting to see the President using Democrats' words against them. Personally, I would love for people to recognize that Saddam Hussein was a threat; intelligence that everyone had, including Clinton, pointed to his being a threat; and that the world is a far better place with him removed. Then, everyone should move on and focus on the future. I believe that is what the White House and RNC are hoping for at this point as well.

On the other hand, certain aspects have been quite eye-opening in the face of the "Bush Lied!" theme that's been running around. Here's President Bush today:
Some of our elected leaders have opposed this war all along. I disagree with them, but I respect their willingness to take a consistent stand. Yet some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They are playing politics with this issue and sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. That is irresponsible.
Here's Ted Kennedy, who did vote against the war, last Sunday:
Kennedy (with a stricken look): The fact is -- and I voted against the war -- because every military leader, highly decorated military leader, said it was foolish to have a military intervention. General Hoar, with the Marines, General Hoar who has more silver stars than you could possibly count, said that if we go into Baghdad, it will look like the last five minutes of Private Ryan. So, we know we had enough information to vote against it, I believe.
This should play into an internal Democratic Party battle: Why did most Senators vote for the war, with statements such as the one Bush and Tim Russert quoted, when Senator Kennedy says there was enough information to not go to war? Which one is correct? Granted, the other quotes are regarding intelligence, and Kennedy is talking about planning - but even from a planning perspective, Kennedy is asserting that we knew we should not have gone to war. If this is true, the other Senators should have held out until they were reasonably assured that the plans were wise and feasible.

As a note: General Hoar was wrong. Less than 1,500 troops have been killed in combat or terror attacks in the last 2 and a half years in Iraq; most of those after the Hussein regime was overthrown. [The 2,000 mark includes accidents.]


  1. Saying that the Hussein regime was overthrown is an anachronism. Indications (strong indications) are that a part of the Iraqi military conducted an insurgency under orders.

    We accomplished a Schlieffen plan in seizing Baghdad, but it did not end the war -- nor did it accomplish the mission.

  2. But one can see a distinct difference between the fighting from 2 years ago and now. Much of the fighting now is conducted by foreigners; none of the fighting is done by people wearing uniforms. Even if they were originally under orders, they are all aware of Saddam's capture - and are carrying out attacks not because of orders, but because of personal beliefs.

  3. True, the fighting has changed in a number of important ways.

    But, "much" of the fighting is not conducted by foreigners. Though, in financing and training they may play an important role -- greater than their percentage of combatants. I have read that most raids of insurgents nab about 4 - 10 percent of foreigners. The majority are Sunnis. The effective units (if we can refer to them as that) are Sunnis supported by Baathist officers (many intelligence officers).

    It is a bad sign that the foreigners and the Baathists have united (at times).

    Your points are valid. They are not wearing uniforms and as such violate the rules of warfare.

    Here's hoping our efforts work out and soon...

  4. Oh, as for Saddam's capture, the removal of the head of state does not mean the end to a war -- just like the seizure (albeit tentatively and undermanned/secured) of a capitol does not mean an end to combat operations. Those would be two traditional signs to end hostilities for Western forces, but we are not in Europe.

    But, like you said, they have thrown off the uniforms and do not conduct themselves as an army.

  5. Biased caption? What the hell are you talking about?

    This is what appears beneath the picture:

    To some, the Palestinian bombers are heroes. Here a child poses for a picture wearing a fake suicide bomb belt at a rally organised by militants.

    What's objectional about that??

  6. That's not the caption that was there earlier. Presumably, they heard the criticism and changed it. Go to the LGF link to see the caption I saw.