George Bush won the war on Radical Islam – deal with it!

In case you missed it, there was just a huge election in Iraq. 61% turn out is a nearly impossible feat in the US, where the recent Illinois primary saw a whopping 72% of the electorate stay home. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Iraqi elections where more honest as well.

We now have a functioning democracy in the heart of the Middle East. This is a phenomenon that will slowly, but surely eat away at the regimes like Saudi Arabia (already moderating) and Iran (in the process of another ‘revolution’).

Bush was right.

Mission Accomplished, Indeed

RONALD REAGAN liked to say that there was no limit to what a man could accomplish if he didn’t mind who got the credit. The transformation of Iraq from a hellish tyranny into a functioning democracy will be recorded as a signal accomplishment of George W. Bush’s presidency, and he probably doesn’t mind in the least that the Obama administration would like to take the credit.

This week’s parliamentary elections in Iraq brought 12 million voters to the polls – a remarkable 62 percent turnout, notwithstanding a wave of Election Day bombings that killed 38 people.

“Iraqis are not afraid of bombs anymore,’’ a middle-aged voter named Maliq Bedawi told a New York Times reporter as they stood amid the rubble of a Baghdad apartment building destroyed by a Katyusha rocket. If anything, the jihadists’ violence only intensified the refusal of ordinary Iraqis to be intimidated. “Everyone went’’ to vote, Bedawi said. “Even people who didn’t want to vote before, they went after this rocket.’’

How Bush won the War on Radical Islam

Absent the opportunity to see what a Democratic Government might look like (Iraq / Afghanistan), the article below never happens. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will go down in history as the beginning of the “reformation” of Islam.

Only Bush would have seen this through. Reagan punted in 1983, and Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Obama would never have even started. Realpolitik isn’t real, and it isn’t politik. It’s status quo, and only an idealist can drive real improvement.

Islamic Scholar Issues Anti-Terrorism Fatwa

A prominent Islamic scholar will use a speech in London to issue a 600-page religious edict, denouncing terrorists and suicide bombers as “unbelievers”.

Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri is a leading figure who has promoted peace and interfaith dialogue for 30 years.

He said he felt compelled to issue the fatwa because of concerns about the radicalisation of British Muslims at university campuses and because there had been a lack of condemnation of extremism by Muslim clerics and scholars.

Ul Qadri says his fatwa, which is aimed at persuading young Muslims to turn their backs on extremism, goes further than any previous denunciation.

“This is the first, most comprehensive fatwa on the subject of terrorism ever written,” said ul Qadri, who has written about 350 books on Islamic scholarship.

He is a scholar of Sufism, a long tradition within Islam which is widely seen as focusing on peace, tolerance and moderation.

Is this the end of the $tem $ell $cam?

Let’s hope so. Regardless, just another thing the evil Bush was 100% right about.

California’s Proposition 71 Failure

Supporters of the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, passed in 2004, held out hopes of imminent medical miracles that were being held up only by President Bush’s policy of not allowing federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) beyond existing stem cell lines and which involved the destruction of embryos created for that purpose.

Five years later, ESCR has failed to deliver and backers of Prop 71 are admitting failure. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state agency created to, as some have put it, restore science to its rightful place, is diverting funds from ESCR to research that has produced actual therapies and treatments: adult stem cell research. It not only has treated real people with real results; it also does not come with the moral baggage ESCR does.

To us, this is a classic bait-and-switch, an attempt to snatch success from the jaws of failure and take credit for discoveries and advances achieved by research Prop. 71 supporters once cavalierly dismissed. We have noted how over the years that when funding was needed, the phrase “embryonic stem cells” was used. When actual progress was discussed, the word “embryonic” was dropped because ESCR never got out of the lab.

Prop 71 had a 10-year mandate and by 2008, as miracle cures looked increasingly unlikely, a director was hired for the agency with a track record of bringing discoveries from the lab to the clinic. “If we went 10 years and had no clinical treatments, it would be a failure,” says the institute’s director, Alan Trounson, a stem cell pioneer from Australia. “We need to demonstrate that we are starting a whole new medical revolution.”

The institute is attempting to do that by funding adult stem cell research. Nearly $230 million was handed out this past October to 14 research teams. Notably, only four of those projects involve embryonic stem cells.

As with Global Warming, this site has been a consistent critic of the fake science and politicized campaigns of the left. I was right about the “embryonic stem cell” debate, and so was George W. Bush.

Unilateral Disarmament

It bodes poorly for the Republic when you read that we actively avoid the use of information that can save our lives.

Intelligence Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Intelligence about terror threats rarely comes on such a silver platter: A Nigerian banker went to the U.S. Embassy in Lagos to warn that his son had fallen under “the influence of religious extremists based in Yemen” and was a security risk. This came after months of U.S. intelligence intercepts about al Qaeda plans for an attack using a Nigerian man. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab paid for his ticket with cash and didn’t check any luggage.

Yet a headline in the Washington Post summed up the current state of our intelligence: “Uninvestigated Terrorism Warning About Detroit Suspect Called Not Unusual.”

The Obama administration has leaned toward treating terrorism as a matter for domestic law enforcement, such as trying terrorists in civilian courts instead of in military tribunals. But this legalistic culture also undermined intelligence in the Fort Hood case in November. The FBI knew that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had been exchanging emails with a Yemen-based imam with ties to the 9/11 hijackers. The agency, operating by the standards of domestic law enforcement instead of applying information to prevention, surmised that the “content was explainable by his research” and failed to warn the Army of its potential risk.

If there is any one thing Bush got right, more so than any of his competitors and detractors, it was understanding that this was a ‘war paradigm,’ not a ‘law enforcement paradigm.’ Obama seems eager to reverse that policy, and people are going die unnecessarily because of it. Indeed, using the Fort Hood shooting as an example, they already have died because of it.

Al Gore, Blithering Idiot

It’s getting decidedly cooler for Al Gore…

Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don’t add up

In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.

“It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

…[in the "master of the obvious" category]

Perhaps Mr Gore had felt the need to gild the lily to buttress resolve. But his speech was roundly criticised by members of the climate science community. “This is an exaggeration that opens the science up to criticism from skeptics,” Professor Jim Overland, a leading oceanographer at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

Relative to Gore, Bush was genius.

The “Nobel War Prize” Speech

One speech doth not a turn around make, particularly from this President. That said, few articles hit the nail on the head as well as this one.

Obama can blame Bush for today’s troubles all he wants. During the Oslo Speech, Obama channeled Bush so effectively that you could barely tell the speeches apart. The icing on the cake is that he delivered these words to a the Peace Prize audience. I posted an excerpt from the end of the linked piece. The irony is delicious.

The Nobel War Prize

At the end of the speech the president went even farther in claiming grounds for military intervention, adding that “a just peace includes not only civil and political rights—it must encompass economic security and opportunity” as well as “swift and forceful action” against climate change. He ominously asserted that economic development “rarely takes root without security” and that “military leaders in my own country” believe that “our common security hangs in the balance” so long as climate change is not swiftly and forcefully addressed.

In a crowning irony, Obama attacked the believers of absolute, universal truth for “the murder of innocents.” No “Holy War”, he said, “can ever be a just war.” For “if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint—no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or the Red Cross worker, or even a person of one’s own faith.” Such total adherence to belief is “incompatible with the concept of peace.”

Given Obama’s orders as commander-in-chief, their deadly consequences for civilians and U.S. soldiers, and his justifications for them, one might say, indeed.

Whether you disagree with Mr. Thaddeus Russell or not, he basically nails it. America has been engaged in a ‘Holy War’ promoting its values since its inception. Whether it’s Communism, Islam, or something else in the future, you will either accept our “universal truths” or end up in a fight with the most dangerous nation.

Obama’s first decent speech…

…Sounded an awful lot like George Bush

Obama’s Nobel Remarks (Barrack Obama, 12/10/09)

We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: “Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King’s life work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there’s nothing weak — nothing passive — nothing naïve — in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

I raise this point, I begin with this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter what the cause. And at times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world’s sole military superpower.

But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions — not just treaties and declarations — that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest — because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others’ children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another — that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier’s courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such.

So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly inreconcilable truths — that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. “Let us focus,” he said, “on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions.” A gradual evolution of human institutions.

What might this evolution look like? What might these practical steps be?

To begin with, I believe that all nations — strong and weak alike — must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I — like any head of state — reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don’t.

The world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense. Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait — a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.

Furthermore, America — in fact, no nation — can insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves. For when we don’t, our actions appear arbitrary and undercut the legitimacy of future interventions, no matter how justified.

And this becomes particularly important when the purpose of military action extends beyond self-defense or the defense of one nation against an aggressor. More and more, we all confront difficult questions about how to prevent the slaughter of civilians by their own government, or to stop a civil war whose violence and suffering can engulf an entire region.

I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That’s why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace. [...]

I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. Pent-up grievances fester, and the suppression of tribal and religious identity can lead to violence. We also know that the opposite is true. Only when Europe became free did it finally find peace. America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America’s interests — nor the world’s — are served by the denial of human aspirations.

So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal. We will bear witness to the quiet dignity of reformers like Aung Sang Suu Kyi; to the bravery of Zimbabweans who cast their ballots in the face of beatings; to the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran. It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation. And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear that these movements — these movements of hope and history — they have us on their side.

You mean Bush was right?

Waking from its sleep

A quiet revolution has begun in the Arab world; it will be complete only when the last failed dictatorship is voted out

WHAT ails the Arabs? The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week published the fifth in a series of hard-hitting reports on the state of the Arab world. It makes depressing reading. The Arabs are a dynamic and inventive people whose long and proud history includes fabulous contributions to art, culture, science and, of course, religion. The score of modern Arab states, on the other hand, have been impressive mainly for their consistent record of failure.

They have, for a start, failed to make their people free: six Arab countries have an outright ban on political parties and the rest restrict them slyly. They have failed to make their people rich: despite their oil, the UN reports that about two out of five people in the Arab world live on $2 or less a day. They have failed to keep their people safe: the report argues that overpowerful internal security forces often turn the Arab state into a menace to its own people. And they are about to fail their young people. The UNDP reckons the Arab world must create 50m new jobs by 2020 to accommodate a growing, youthful workforce—virtually impossible on present trends.

Arab governments are used to shrugging off criticism. They had to endure a lot of it when George Bush was president… [...]

In almost every Arab country, fertility is in decline, more people, especially women, are becoming educated, and businessmen want a bigger say in economies dominated by the state. Above all, a revolution in satellite television has broken the spell of the state-run media and created a public that wants the rulers to explain and justify themselves as never before. On their own, none of these changes seems big enough to prompt a revolution. But taken together they are creating a great agitation under the surface. The old pattern of Arab government—corrupt, opaque and authoritarian—has failed on every level and does not deserve to survive. At some point it will almost certainly collapse. The great unknown is when.

We beat communism, we are in the process of beating Islamic fascism, and maybe someday we will beat teacher’s unions.

Hold a mirror to their faces, and or rub their noses in their poop. Eventually, they will relent.

More evidence that Bush won the War against radical Islam

For those new to this site, let me clue you into my general opinion on the Iraq invasion. As a standalone invasion against a nation perceived as a threat, it made little sense. As a bold destabilization of both Saudi Arabia and Iran, it was the obvious choice, as it would be the easiest Middle East nation to democratize, and if successful, a permanent and fatal threat to Saudi and Iranian radicalism.

Once you realize this, the bungling of the “occupation” is a side issue weighed against the over all objective.

The first bit of evidence that a form of ‘normalization’ is taking place is the recent elections, and how smooth they went. I’ve also posted numerous articles like the ones below. The “threat” of Democracy is working its effect, just as expected. If you think about it, we could have avoided all this if Bush 1, poorly advised by Cheney and Powell, had ignored the Turks and Saudis, and let Saddam fall in 1991.

Let President Obama carp about the “failed policy of the past all he wants.” At the end of the day, he may be lucky enough to spend the “peace dividend” handed to him by Bush. Forward this post to all your Democratic/Liberal friends suffering from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome).

Saudi Arabia appoints first female minister (Julian Borger, 2/16/09, The Guardian)

In his first reshuffle since assuming the throne in 2005, King Abdullah also replaced two powerful enemies of reform, the chief of the Saudi religious police, Sheikh Ibrahim al-Ghaith, and the country’s most senior judge, Sheikh Salih Ibn al-Luhaydan. Ghaith, who runs the commission for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice, known as the mutawa, which enforces bans on alcohol and drugs, has gained a reputation for brutality. Luhaydan ruled last year that it was permissible to kill owners of satellite television channels broadcasting “immoral” programmes. Several other hardline judges were sacked as part of a challenge against the kingdom’s hardline religious establishment.

The grand Ulema commission, an influential grouping of religious scholars, will be reconfigured and opened to moderate clerics, breaking the grip of the ultra-conservatives.

King Abdullah also appointed a new head of a 150-seat consultative body, the Shura council, and replaced his ministers of education, health, justice and information.

_____


Step by step for Middle East women

Steady but small steps toward women’s rights and freedoms are necessary in a culture with a strong history of laws and Islamic practices that are patriarchal and define social roles. Sadly, women may still require a male’s permission to marry, divorce, or work; domestic violence is a serious problem.

But the Middle East is not the same place for women that it was even five years ago.

That at least is the conclusion of a study released last week by Freedom House, a Washington-based group which tracks liberty’s advance (or retreat) around the globe. From 2004 through last year, all six countries in the study advanced women’s rights, making “small but notable gains” in political, economic, and legal rights.

Of the countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates), Kuwait and the UAE made the most progress. In Kuwait, for instance, women voted and ran for the first time in local and national elections in 2006. (Recent regional elections in next-door Iraq required 30 percent of candidates be women.)

Meanwhile, al Qaeda is stuck in the mountains of ungovernable Pakistan/Afghanistan, waiting to be picked of by missiles fired from Predators and attacked by Allied forces led by US Marines.

[Note: My fine young son, a recent graduate from USMC boot camp, is currently training in Camp Pendleton, and may soon be there, giving me a great deal of pride coupled with no small amount of fear.]

While still quite dangerous, the rest of the WOT is basically a ‘mop up’ operation, which is a far cry from the mess it would be if handled as a “law enforcement issue,” as the endearingly naive, but mostly silly left, would have foisted up on us.

Bush won. Deal with it.

Iraqi Election a Clinton-Bush Legacy

I was just surfing around, and I found this little tidbit on Wikipedia…

Iraq Liberation Act – 1998

As I’ve often reminded my many liberal friends, “Regime Change” in Iraq has been US policy since 1998.

This reminded me of the quiet news item on Iraq’s recent (like Yesterday!) elections.

Bush won, no matter how much you all hate him.

Deal with it.