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Saturday, March 31, 2007

The KickAss Song - You Ain’t Gonna Touch This Wall

Cross Posted from Gathering of Eagles.

This MP3 contains two versions of the new song, written by Russ Vaughn and Lloyd Marcus, sung by country singer Bobby Meeks. JUST RELEASED - you can only get it here!!!

Lyrics are HERE.

If you would like to hear a sample of the song, please CLICK HERE. When the window launches press “Open” and it will play in your default media player.

The unedited version of the song may NOT be suitable for all audiences.

Proceeds from this song benefit the Gathering of Eagles organization.

Interview With Lt. Jason Nichols From Appeal For Courage

Lt. Jason Nichols is a Navy officer in Baghdad who is the head of Appeal For Courage, a group of active duty, Guard, and Reserve troops who are appealing to Congress to finish the mission in Iraq. He was my guest tonight on The Front Line, and he had some specifically good things to say about Gathering of Eagles, calling it something that was highly motivational–”A lot of guys heard about it.”

He also had this to say:

“The Gathering of Eagles effort is one of the best things I’ve seen, and it really is a case of, in large part, Vietnam vets. I don’t think they are so much “supporting the troops” as they are actively fighting a second front on this war, and they have come out of retirement basically to go into battle again on a front of this war that is just as important for victory as what we’re doing here.”

LT Jason Nichols from Appeal For Courage Sound Bite on GOE

You can hear the full show with Jason, including my conversation with Steve Schippert, managing editor of on the Iranian/British sailor news, here at BlogTalkRadio.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Gathering of Eagles update...

I said some time back that a great number of us who are veterans of our nations armed forces are fed up and disgusted with the cut and run, defeat and retreat mindset that has infected our media and is bleeding over into our nation.

We've had enough.

I know I don't speak for all veterans, as one frequent commentor on our site likes to point out, but I dare say that I do speak for the majority, and, with a tip of the hat to Victory Caucus, here is the proof; the Eagles are Gathering...:

Statement From the New Chairman of GOE, Captain Larry Bailey, USN (Ret.)
March 29th, 2007 | Category: Briefings
Thank you, Harry Riley, for the magnificent job you have done in getting “Gathering of Eagles” off to such an astounding start. Without you, the job wouldn’t have been done so well. You were just perfect for the job at hand, and America is in your debt. Thanks again.

Eagles, this has been one amazing trip, and it ain’t over. Just thinking about how swiftly thousands of patriotic Americans came together and assembled at The Wall in Washington blows my mind.

Harry Riley and I spoke by telephone in late January or early February and agreed that Jane Fonda’s and Cindy Sheehan’s March on the Pentagon was not going to be given a free pass as Fonda’s was in 1967. Less than two months later, thousands of us demonstrated that the leftists were not going to dominate US policy like they did in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

This time, America was going to register its disapproval, and, by goodness, WE DID! The tens of thousands of us who gathered near The Wall to protect that sacred memorial sent a resounding message to Fonda, Sheehan, and Code Pink that we will NOT stand idly by while the honor of our defenders of freedom is besmirched.

We honestly planned to be a “One-Note Charlie” and go home after registering our disagreement with the America-hating crowd that sullied the ground of our nation’s capital. However, the impact of the victory we experienced made us thirsty for more of the same.

It is therefore with great pleasure that I confirm to all of you that we are here to stay. We don’t know exactly what we will do or when and how we will do it, but you can be sure that America-loving patriots are going to be proud to be a part of our effort!

We intend to go on the offensive or defensive whenever our “kitchen cabinet” of Eagles from across the nation decides collectively that a time for specific action has come. We are currently looking at a major “Support the Troops” gathering back in DC over the Memorial Day weekend in conjunction with “Ride to the Wall,” “Free Republic,” “Rolling Thunder” and other like-minded organizations.

Having tasted victory on St. Patrick’s Day 2007, we intend to make a diet of it. Stick with us, and we will work miracles.


I also want to include a posting from Gunny Krueger stating his IN COUNTRY observations on the situation in Iraq:

A Message From GySgt Krueger
March 30th, 2007 | Category: Guest Authors
A word from [Gunnery]Sergeant Krueger, USMC, to Speaker Pelosi:

How can you even think of pushing forward legislation to set a withdrawal date for US forces from Iraq? Do you know how much you embolden the insurgency here in Iraq? YOU ARE JEOPARDIZING THE LIVES OF US SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN WITH YOUR ACTIONS. You and your fellow Democrats are causing the Al Qaeda supported insurgency to use more catastrophic attacks against us and Iraqi forces. You will see more SVBIED’s with chlorine gas, more VBIED’s against civilians and security forces every time you and other Democrats open your mouths. You will have to live with yourself and try to sleep at night knowing all the defeatist propaganda you have spewed forth is nothing more than ammunition for Islamic extremist groups around the world and more US deaths. The ! unsuspecting people who support you know nothing of what goes on over here; you fill their heads with nonsense and talk of pullout to appease them. The only thing that will happen is the establishment of an extremist Islamic state where sharia law is the law of the land and no one is safe.

Read the rest of Gunny Krueger's posting here, it's very moving and very on target.

Our veterans during the Vietnam era were confused and didn't know how to react, respond, or what to think when they saw the protests going on in our country, the degrading and vile treatment of their younger brothers returning home to be greeted with hatred. We live in a different time, a different generation. We will NOT sit idly by and be called "baby-killers" by the SAME people who are all FOR abortion. We will NOT sit idly by and allow our troops to become political tools.

We have a voice, and it's a rather large, firm voice. We expect to be listened to. Not to put too fine of an edge on it, but if it wasn't for us, Mrs. Pelosi, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Murtha, Mr. Reid, and all you others out there trying to use those of us who still wear the uniform as chess pieces, you wouldn't have a leg to stand on, politically, or the platform and structure that put you people INTO your offices...

Shape up.

Or we'll make sure you're fired next time around.

We are your veterans. We are the ones who offered to put ourselves on the line, in harms way, to protect the freedoms of this great nation. We expect to be listened to, and to be respected. We've never asked for it before, but that time is over. We will be heard.

Once and always, an American Fighting Man


Pelosi Does Everything in Her Power to Undermine America

Welcome to the locoringo forum members and thanks for letting me add my two cents in your thread last night. I hope you enjoy your visit.

[Updates below]
One of which is a letter to Pelosi from one of our troops in Iraq.

You can tell alot about a person by looking at who their friends are. (Pelosi's friend is Syrian President al-Assad, President of a state that sponsors terror)

Despite being told by General Petraeus and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that announcing a timeline for troop withdrawal would embolden the enemy and demoralize our troops, the first thing Nancy Pelosi did was ignore the commanders on the ground in Iraq to make a political statement by adding a timeline in the supplemental bill for emergency funds for our military.

Also despite Pace telling her:

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a House panel that a delay in funding would force the Army to curtail training and equipment repair necessary to prepare units for deployment, which could lead forces now in Iraq and Afghanistan to have their tours lengthened.

If the funds do not arrive in time, the Army will have to cut spending on National Guard, reserve and active units at home to give priority to soldiers fighting overseas, according to Pace and senior Army officials.

Despite being told this, not only did they pass a bill that they KNOW will be vetoed, it has been stated publicly quite a few times, not only did they fill the bill up with pork to "buy" and "bribe" the votes, but they also left for spring break before seeing to it that our toops have the money they need to keep themselves safe while they fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, despite Syria being a state that sponsors terror and terrorists, Pelosi decides to undermine America further by heading over to visit her new pal al-Assad, president of Syria.

Nancy Pelosi has done everything in her power to undermine this country and she continues to do so, not giving a damn about our troops, their families or their safety while they are overseas fighting for America.

Nancy Pelosi is an embarrassment to women and a traitor to her country.

In law, treason is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor.

Article Three defines treason as levying war against the United States or "in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

In my mind, Nancy Pelosi is guilty of treason and should be tried in a court of law or military tribunal for giving comfort and aid to the enemy.

From Wapo to remind us what Petraeus said:

ON TUESDAY nearly every member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warmly endorsed Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq, and a number wished him success or "Godspeed" in his mission. Yesterday some of the same senators voted for a resolution that opposes the increase of troops for Gen. Petraeus's command -- even though the general testified that he could not accomplish his mission without the additional forces and hinted that such a resolution could encourage the enemy. Such is the muddle of Congress on Iraq: A majority may soon go on record opposing the new offensive in Baghdad even while encouraging the commander who leads it.

Encouraging the enemy... one has to wonder why any America citizen would betray her country in this manner and why after being told this BY the Commanders ON THE GROUND, this is not considered yet another act of treason.

Congress was warned by General Petraeus and Gates, and they ignored them, went ahead and made a big show of a symbolic, non binding resolution and did, indeed, embolden the enemy, to the point where the enemy believes they do not have to win, they can wait for our politicians to force defeat.

SEN. LIEBERMAN: And a resolution -- a Senate-passed resolution of disapproval for this new strategy in Iraq would give the enemy some encouragement, some feeling that -- well, some clear expression that the American people were divided.

GEN. PETRAEUS: That's correct, sir.
Gates remarks:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that a congressional resolution opposing President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq undercuts U.S. commanders and "emboldens the enemy."

He also said the Pentagon was now studying whether it could accelerate the deployment of the five additional Army brigades that it has announced will be sent to Baghdad between now and May to bolster security in the capital.

At his first Pentagon news conference since taking office Dec. 18, Gates was asked his reaction to the debate in Congress over the effect of such a nonbinding resolution. "It's pretty clear that a resolution that in effect says that the general going out to take command of the arena shouldn't have the resources he thinks he needs to be successful certainly emboldens the enemy and our adversaries," he said

Traitors used to be prosecuted and they should be again. Encouraging the enemy, aiding them, giving them comfort and handing them a roadmap telling them exactly how to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat should be considered an act of treason and Pelosi should be brought up on charges of being a traitor to her country.

Now some will say, "but she has the right to disagree with the President" and I will agree, I disagree with him often enough, but I do not betray my country to do so. Others will say, but that is stifling free speech, and I never said she shouldn't be able to state any damn thing, no matter how stupid and ignorant it is, my point is that one can disagree without betraying her country and giving aid to our enemies and encouraging terrorism.

Congress has the option of completely defunding the military and they should have the balls to do it, then accept responsibility for their actions instead of playing games with our troops funds... that is their legal right and obligation if they are so convinced they are right.

To deliberately act in a manner that encourages our enemies instead of acting in a manner consistent with Congressional powers is TREASON and should be treated as such.

Please head over and read "Americans Are Not Scared Enough" from Right Truth.

[Update] My statements also go for any Republican playing footsie with al-Assad also.


[Update #2] Please Read Blood on their hands, written by Melanie Morgan who is Chairman of Move America Forward, the nation's largest grass-roots, pro-troop organization.

[Update #3] I wonder if Nancy Pelosi bothers to read her mail, because THIS was sent to her from [Gunnery]Sergeant Krueger, USMC, telling her how SHE is harming the troops and has emboldened al-Qeada already.

Others discussing this:
Hot Air, Sister Toldjah (she needs to tell us how she REALLY feels though and stop holding back), Counterterrorism Blog, Little Green Footballs, White House.

Tracked back by:
Pelosi to Syria (maybe she’ll stay) from The Crimson Blog...
Pelosi Shuns the British, Prepares Syria Trip from The Sandbox...


Democrats Embolden al-Qaeda

[UPDATE ON TOP] A must read letter from a soldier to Speaker Pelosi and for those that doubted what I posted here, read this and understand that it isn't rhetoric, our soldiers are TELLING US what is happening because of the Democratic party's actions.

How can you even think of pushing forward legislation to set a withdrawal date for US forces from Iraq? Do you know how much you embolden the insurgency here in Iraq? YOU ARE JEOPARDIZING THE LIVES OF US SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN WITH YOUR ACTIONS. You and your fellow Democrats are causing the Al Qaeda supported insurgency to use more catastrophic attacks against us and Iraqi forces. You will see more SVBIED’s with chlorine gas, more VBIED’s against civilians and security forces every time you and other Democrats open your mouths. You will have to live with yourself and try to sleep at night knowing all the defeatist propaganda you have spewed forth is nothing more than ammunition for Islamic extremist groups around the world and more US deaths. The ! unsuspecting people who support you know nothing of what goes on over here; you fill their heads with nonsense and talk of pullout to appease them. The only thing that will happen is the establishment of an extremist Islamic state where sharia law is the law of the land and no one is safe.

Sunni Moslems here are coming to our side and joining forces with the government to defeat Al Qaeda(AQI) here in Iraq, but they need our help and they need us to stay. I have spent the last 7 months(3rd tour) in Iraq. I have watched Iraqi citizens pick up weapons and form militias in areas to join forces with Iraqi police/Army. Common citizens who fight and die because we are standing next to them. Not cutting and running or talking of withdrawal. This started after the surge forces the President sent here arrived. We have lost Marines also and it hurts more than you will ever know but we have made a commitment to these people. And I for one will not abandon them and I have of a platoon of Marines who feel the same. I have no control over what happened in 2003 and why we invaded Iraq. That is another discussion, but we are here and they need our help to rid their country of these terrorists. Yes eventually we will leave but we need to do a phased withdrawal without a timeline. At least without a timeline that is published for the world to know. The citizens of Iraq need to see some solidarity in our government, Democrats and Republicans coming together and supporting our President in this war. There is a middle ground here for both parties, you all need to come together and work towards a solution. What we don’t need is more theatrics and clashes between the parties. AQI loves to see that it causes them to do more attacks and continue with the murder and intimidation campaign against Iraqi citizens.

Someone needs to step forward and bring the two parties together. Meet and talk about what you all can do and come to an agreement on the war. Like I said before we need a unified front to present to the world on the Iraq war. The Iraqi people need a morale boost, they need to see we are behind them and we will support them and not cut and run. The insurgency needs to see our resolve is strong and we will endure and defeat them. Extremist Islamist terror groups use our perceived weakness against us. They misunderstand our kindness for weakness. Weakness shown to the world brings more recruits to their cause; it causes more civilian deaths and violence.

Please I implore you to not push this agenda. I have watched you on television and you seem to be using this as a steppingstone to further your political career. STOP!!! More is at stake here. Our countries word is on the line, my word to many Iraqi citizens is on the line. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines lives are at stake. We know the risks and we face them daily. Don’t make our mission more difficult.

Gunnery Sgt. Stephen F. Krueger
Platoon Sgt 3rd Recon Bn

[End Update]

Just as General Petraeus and Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicted, the actions of the Democratic Congress and Senate have emboldened al-Qaeda.

They will try to deny it, their supporters will say Reuters is a conservative leaning news source (LOL) because of this headline, but it is accurAte and all their justifications cannot change the fact that they were warned, repeatedly and events on the ground are proving General Petraeus and Robert Gates correct.

There will be comments made to this stating that the new pork laden bills handing a roadmap to the terrorists had nothing to do with it, but those people will be speaking after the fact.

Petraeus and Gates told congress and the senate that the enemy would be emboldened. They have become emboldened.

Any excuses now are simply that, flat, dishonest excuses.

As I stated back on January 30, 2007:

Congress bears responsibility for the deaths that follow their interference and defunding of a war.... including raising the question of forcing withdrawal.

Prof. Robert Turner of the University of Virginia suggested that Congress had made itself responsible for the deaths of the 1.7 million Cambodians estimated to have been slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge, by denying funds for President Nixon to wage war inside Cambodia. Similarly, he said Congress bore responsibility for the deaths of 241 marines killed by a suicide bomber in Lebanon in 1983 because it raised the question of forcing a withdrawal there.

History and historians have a major advantage over us that are in the here-and-now. They can look back and take the consequences of the actions we make NOW into their accounts, as they have done with Vietnam and Lebanon.

Congress now has death on its hands as they bicker within to reach a compromise on a bill they already know will be vetoed by the President, any soldier that dies because the funds were not given to them to keep them safe, is on Pelosi and crews head now.

Once again, they have been warned, and yet they will act all surprised when the veto pen is used.... do they think the world over hasn't heard about it?

Al-Qaeda certainly has.

Do they think their "surprise" will be believed?

Lets also remember that Congress, while bickering, not a single Democratic house member even bothered to show up for the first progress report from General Petraeus.

The don't care how things are going in Iraq... or someone would have made an appearance to actually find out, now wouldn't they?

Wapo says that Senate has set the stage for a showdown and I agree.

Krauthammer has a piece in Wapo today, a very good read with some interesting questions.

"Our bill calls for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq so that we can focus more fully on the real war on terror, which is in Afghanistan."

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, March 8

Of all the arguments for pulling out of Iraq, the greater importance of Afghanistan is the least serious.

And not just because this argument assumes that the world's one superpower, which spends more on defense every year than the rest of the world combined, does not have the capacity to fight an insurgency in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. But because it assumes that Afghanistan is strategically more important than Iraq.

Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents. One is in Afghanistan, a geographically marginal backwater with no resources and no industrial or technological infrastructure. The other is in Iraq, one of the three principal Arab states, with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure that, though suffering decay in the later years of Saddam Hussein's rule, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e., wrong) hands. Add to that the fact that its strategic location would give its rulers inordinate influence over the entire Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states. Then ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question.

Then he points out the one thing that the democrats run from, have not spoken a word about and are scared to even acknoledge.

Al-Qaeda has provided the answer many times. Osama bin Laden, the one whose presence in Afghanistan (or some cave on the border) presumably makes it the central front in the war on terror, has been explicit that "the most . . . serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War that is raging in Iraq." Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, has declared that Iraq "is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era."

And it's not just what al-Qaeda says, it's what al-Qaeda does. Where are they funneling the worldwide recruits for jihad? Where do all the deranged suicidists who want to die for Allah gravitate? It's no longer Afghanistan but Iraq. That's because they recognize the greater prize.


If our resources are so stretched that we have to choose one front, the Martian would choose Iraq. But that is because, unlike a majority of Democratic senators, he did not vote four years earlier to authorize the war in Iraq, a vote for which many have a guilty conscience to be soothed retroactively by pulling out and fighting the "totally just war."

But you do not decide where to fight on the basis of history; you decide on the basis of strategic realities. You can argue about our role in creating this new front and question whether it was worth taking that risk to topple Saddam Hussein. But you cannot reasonably argue that in 2007 Iraq is not the most critical strategic front in the war on terrorism. There's no escaping its centrality. Nostalgia for the "good war" in Afghanistan is perhaps useful in encouraging antiwar Democrats to increase funding that is needed there. But it is not an argument for abandoning Iraq.

He speaks to deaf ears because the Democrats do not care about conditions on the ground, success or any amount of progress, they care about politics.... PERIOD.

Oh, and lets not forget, they also care about their spring breaks even if it means this: (From Wapo)

But Congress now leaves town for a recess, with the House not returning until April 16.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a House panel that a delay in funding would force the Army to curtail training and equipment repair necessary to prepare units for deployment, which could lead forces now in Iraq and Afghanistan to have their tours lengthened.

If the funds do not arrive in time, the Army will have to cut spending on National Guard, reserve and active units at home to give priority to soldiers fighting overseas, according to Pace and senior Army officials.

Yes, by all means, go on vacation and leave our troops without the funds they need.

This is a part one, I will link part two here when it is finished.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spoken like a True Tennessean...

Those of us around the state who know anything about Charlie Daniels know this about the man: you can always count on him to shoot straight with you and tell it like it is. Someone sent me this in email, I went to to verify it (it sure as hell SOUNDED like Charlie, and sure enough, it WAS Charlie), and now I'm passing it along here with a GREAT big rebel yell...

Mexican Standoff 04/03/06

I don’t know how everybody else feels about it, but to me I think Hispanic people in this country, legally or illegally, made a huge public relations mistake with their recent demonstrations.

I don’t blame anybody in the world for wanting to come to the United States of America, as it is a truly wonderful place. But when the first thing you do when you set foot on American soil is illegal it is flat out wrong and I don’t care how many lala land left heads come out of the woodwork and start trying to give me sensitivity lessons.

I don’t need sensitivity lessons, in fact I don’t have anything against Mexicans, I just have something against criminals and anybody who comes into this country illegally is a criminal and if you don’t believe it try coming into America from a foreign country without a passport and see how far you get.

What disturbs me about the demonstrations is that it’s tantamount to saying, “I am going to come into your country even if it means breaking your laws and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

It’s an “in your face” action and speaking just for me I don’t like it one little bit and if there were a half dozen pairs of gonads in Washington bigger than English peas it wouldn’t be happening.

Where are you, you bunch of lilly livered, pantywaist, forked tongued, sorry excuses for defenders of The Constitution? Have you been drinking the water out of the Potomac again?

And even if you pass a bill on immigration it will probably be so pork laden and watered down that it won’t mean anything anyway. Besides, what good is another law going to do when you won’t enforce the ones on the books now?

And what ever happened to the polls guys? I thought you folks were the quintessential finger wetters. Well you sure ain’t paying any attention to the polls this time because somewhere around eighty percent of Americans want something done about this mess, and mess it is and getting bigger everyday.

This is no longer a problem, it is a dilemma and headed for being a tragedy. Do you honestly think that what happened in France with the Muslims can’t happen here when the businesses who hire these people finally run out of jobs and a few million disillusioned Hispanics take to the streets?

If you, Mr. President, Congressmen and Senators, knuckle under on this and refuse to do something meaningful it means that you care nothing for the kind of country your children and grandchildren will inherit.

But I guess that doesn’t matter as long as you get re-elected.

Shame on you.

Pray for our troops.

What do you think?

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels
April 3, 2006

HELL yeah, CD, you tell'em!

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Hostage Crisis Update

No real time to cover it at the moment, but you can find my thoughts on this affair in my previous posts, found here.

This is just a quick update on the hostage situation from todays news.

Daily Mail shows us "Iran releases hostage marine's 'anti-war' letter."

Sky News shows us 'Grave Concern' Over Iran'

AP says Britain will not negotiate.

AP also headlines with "Britain takes case against Iran to U.N. " (OH YEAH, that'll help)

Times of London
says "How Britons were conned by Iranian gunboat trick"

Sky News again.

Reactions to all of these updates, from both sides of the aisle, can be found at memeorandum.


"With friends like these..."

Some things stick out in your mind as being significant. A first kiss. A first date. An event that takes the lives of thousands...

I was thinking the other day, looking up at the sky for a moment while working, how that I remembered looking up after 9/11 and seeing something missing; aircraft. I'll also never forget the PR campaign put on by the Saudi's, all the little commercials saying how they as a nation were expressing their sympathy, and to remember that Saudi Arabia was a friend to the United States.

I often thought, in those days following the horrors of 9/11, how hollow it seemed to me for them to do that. I personally lost friends that day, as many others did. September 11th, for me, is a day that will forever be set aside to remember members of Fire Department New York that I knew from meeting different ones at different times in different places through the years. Perhaps not close friends, but brothers and sisters, nonetheless, because of the common bond of the fire service community.

That being said.

The Saudi's have finally shown their true colors, in my mind, and have laid aside the veil of hypocracy that I, personally, have always felt that they hid behind. I've never felt we had any friends in the Middle East OTHER than Israel, and in my opinion, King Abdullah has shown today exactly what kind of friends the Saudi's are to the U.S.A.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 28 — King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told Arab leaders on Wednesday that the American occupation of Iraq was illegal and warned that unless Arab governments settled their differences, foreign powers like the United States would continue to dictate the region’s politics.

The king’s speech, at the opening of the Arab League meeting here, underscored growing differences between Saudi Arabia and the Bush administration as the Saudis take on a greater leadership role in the Middle East, partly at American urging.

The Saudis seem to be emphasizing that they will not be beholden to the policies of their longtime ally.

They brokered a deal between the two main Palestinian factions last month, but one that Israel and the United States found deeply problematic because it added to the power of the radical group Hamas rather than the more moderate Fatah. On Wednesday King Abdullah called for an end to the international boycott of the new Palestinian government. The United States and Israel want the boycott continued.

In addition, Abdullah invited President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to Riyadh earlier this month, while the Americans want him shunned. And in trying to settle the tensions in Lebanon, the Saudis have been willing to negotiate with Iran and Hezbollah.

Last week the Saudi king canceled his appearance next month at a White House dinner in his honor, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The official reason given was a scheduling conflict, the paper said.

Mustapha Hamarneh, director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, said the Saudis were sending Washington a message. “They are telling the U.S. they need to listen to their allies rather than imposing decisions on them and always taking Israel’s side,” Mr. Hamarneh said.

In his speech, the king said, “In the beloved Iraq, the bloodshed is continuing under an illegal foreign occupation and detestable sectarianism.”

He added: “The blame should fall on us, the leaders of the Arab nation, with our ongoing differences, our refusal to walk the path of unity. All that has made the nation lose its confidence in us.”

King Abdullah has not publicly spoken so harshly about the American-led military intervention in Iraq before, and his remarks suggest that his alliance with Washington may be less harmonious than administration officials have been hoping.

Since last summer the administration has asserted that a realignment is occurring in the Middle East, one that groups Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon along with Israel against Iran, Syria and the militant groups that they back: Hezbollah and Hamas.

Washington has urged Saudi Arabia to take a leading role in such a realignment but is finding itself disappointed by the results.

Some here said the king’s speech was a response to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s call on Monday for Arab governments to “begin reaching out to Israel.”

Many read Ms. Rice’s comments as suggesting that Washington was backing away from its support for an Arab initiative aimed at solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel wants the Arabs to make changes in the terms, most notably the call for a right of return for Palestinian refugees to what is today Israel. The Arab League is endorsing the initiative, first introduced by Saudi Arabia in 2002, without changes.

The plan calls on Israel to withdraw from all land it won in the 1967 war in exchange for full diplomatic relations with the Arab world. It also calls for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Regarding the Palestinians, the king said Wednesday, “It has become necessary to end the unjust blockade imposed on the Palestinian people as soon as possible so that the peace process can move in an atmosphere far from oppression and force.”

With regard to Iraq, the Saudis seem to be paying some attention to internal American politics. The Senate on Tuesday signaled support for legislation calling for a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq in exchange for further funding for the war.

Last November, officials here realized that a Democratic upset could spell major changes for the Middle East: a possible pullout from Iraq, fueling further instability and, more important, allowing Iran to extend its influence in the region.

“I don’t think that the Saudi government has decided to distance itself from Bush just yet,” said Adel alToraifi, a columnist here with close ties to the Saudi government. “But I also think that the Saudis have seen that the ball is moving into the court of the Democrats, and they want to extend their hand to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.”

Turki al-Rasheed, who runs an organization promoting democracy in Saudi Arabia, said the king was “saying we may be moving on the same track, but our ends are different.”

“Bush wants to make it look like he is solving the problem,” Mr. Rasheed said. “The king wants to actually solve the problems.”

King Abdullah said the loss of confidence in Arab leaders had allowed American and other forces to hold significant sway in the region. “If confidence is restored it will be accompanied by credibility,” he said, “and if credibility is restored then the winds of hope will blow, and then we will never allow outside forces to define our future nor allow banners to be raised in Arab lands other than those of Arabism, brothers.”

The Saudis sought to enforce discipline on the two-day meeting, reminding Arab leaders and dignitaries to stay on message and leave here with some solution in hand.

“The weight of the Saudis has ensured that this will be a problem-free summit,” said Ayman Safadi, editor in chief of the Jordanian daily Al Ghad. “Nobody is going to veer from the message and go against the Saudis. But that doesn’t mean the problems themselves will be solved.”

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations gave a stark assessment in an address to the meeting, saying the region was “more complex, more fragile and more dangerous than it has been for a very long time.”

There is a shocking daily loss of life in Iraq, he said, and Somalia is in the grip of “banditry, violence and clan rivalries.”

Iran, which on Saturday had new sanctions imposed against it by the Security Council, is “forging ahead with its nuclear program heedless of regional and international concerns,” Mr. Ban added.

Having spent Monday and Tuesday in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Mr. Ban urged the new Palestinian government to demonstrate a “true commitment to peace.”

In return, he said, Israel must cease its settlement activity and stop building a separation barrier.

He concluded, “Instability in the Arab League states is of profound significance to international peace and security.”

Well now, isn't that special?

I know I'm probably not going to be on the state department's list of favorite people when I say this, but I'm sure many American citizens will be behind me as I say "Fuck you, King Abdullah..."

Once and always, an American Fighting Man

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This is not Bush's War-- It is America's Fight

From the comment section on my last post "Welcome Home President Bush... I Missed You While You Were Gone, we have a decent debate going on (when not interrupted with foul mouthed, attitude ridden trolls) and there were some important points made that I thought deserved front page attention.

Thanks go to Amy Proctor, because as usual she nails the core issue and she provided me the links I emailed her for.

This is for those on the left that have convenient memories and continue to insist that this is Bush's war. I will show you why this is America's war.

On October 31, 1998, President William J Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act:


Today I am signing into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998." This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.

Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are: The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.

My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.

In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council's efforts to keep the current regime's behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people. The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.

On October 21, 1998, I signed into law the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, which made $8 million available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition. This assistance is intended to help the democratic opposition unify, work together more effectively, and articulate the aspirations of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic, participa--tory political system that will include all of Iraq's diverse ethnic and religious groups. As required by the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY 1998 (Public Law 105-174), the Department of State submitted a report to the Congress on plans to establish a program to support the democratic opposition. My Administration, as required by that statute, has also begun to implement a program to compile information regarding allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by Iraq's current leaders as a step towards bringing to justice those directly responsible for such acts.

The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 provides additional, discretionary authorities under which my Administration can act to further the objectives I outlined above. There are, of course, other important elements of U.S. policy. These include the maintenance of U.N. Security Council support efforts to eliminate Iraq's weapons and missile programs and economic sanctions that continue to deny the regime the means to reconstitute those threats to international peace and security. United States support for the Iraqi opposition will be carried out consistent with those policy objectives as well. Similarly, U.S. support must be attuned to what the opposition can effectively make use of as it develops over time. With those observations, I sign H.R. 4655 into law.



October 31, 1998.

On December 16, 1998, President Clinton made a televised speech explaining why he attacked Iraq.

CLINTON: Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.

I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish.

Six weeks ago, Saddam Hussein announced that he would no longer cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors called UNSCOM. They are highly professional experts from dozens of countries. Their job is to oversee the elimination of Iraq's capability to retain, create and use weapons of mass destruction, and to verify that Iraq does not attempt to rebuild that capability.

The inspectors undertook this mission first 7.5 years ago at the end of the Gulf War when Iraq agreed to declare and destroy its arsenal as a condition of the ceasefire.

The international community had good reason to set this requirement. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.

The United States has patiently worked to preserve UNSCOM as Iraq has sought to avoid its obligation to cooperate with the inspectors. On occasion, we've had to threaten military force, and Saddam has backed down.

Faced with Saddam's latest act of defiance in late October, we built intensive diplomatic pressure on Iraq backed by overwhelming military force in the region. The UN Security Council voted 15 to zero to condemn Saddam's actions and to demand that he immediately come into compliance.

Eight Arab nations -- Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman -- warned that Iraq alone would bear responsibility for the consequences of defying the UN.

When Saddam still failed to comply, we prepared to act militarily. It was only then at the last possible moment that Iraq backed down. It pledged to the UN that it had made, and I quote, a clear and unconditional decision to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors.

I decided then to call off the attack with our airplanes already in the air because Saddam had given in to our demands. I concluded then that the right thing to do was to use restraint and give Saddam one last chance to prove his willingness to cooperate.

I made it very clear at that time what unconditional cooperation meant, based on existing UN resolutions and Iraq's own commitments. And along with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully, we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning.

Now over the past three weeks, the UN weapons inspectors have carried out their plan for testing Iraq's cooperation. The testing period ended this weekend, and last night, UNSCOM's chairman, Richard Butler, reported the results to UN Secretary-General Annan.

The conclusions are stark, sobering and profoundly disturbing.

In four out of the five categories set forth, Iraq has failed to cooperate. Indeed, it actually has placed new restrictions on the inspectors. Here are some of the particulars.

Iraq repeatedly blocked UNSCOM from inspecting suspect sites. For example, it shut off access to the headquarters of its ruling party and said it will deny access to the party's other offices, even though UN resolutions make no exception for them and UNSCOM has inspected them in the past.

Iraq repeatedly restricted UNSCOM's ability to obtain necessary evidence. For example, Iraq obstructed UNSCOM's effort to photograph bombs related to its chemical weapons program.

It tried to stop an UNSCOM biological weapons team from videotaping a site and photocopying documents and prevented Iraqi personnel from answering UNSCOM's questions.

Prior to the inspection of another site, Iraq actually emptied out the building, removing not just documents but even the furniture and the equipment.

Iraq has failed to turn over virtually all the documents requested by the inspectors. Indeed, we know that Iraq ordered the destruction of weapons-related documents in anticipation of an UNSCOM inspection.

So Iraq has abused its final chance.

As the UNSCOM reports concludes, and again I quote, "Iraq's conduct ensured that no progress was able to be made in the fields of disarmament.

"In light of this experience, and in the absence of full cooperation by Iraq, it must regrettably be recorded again that the commission is not able to conduct the work mandated to it by the Security Council with respect to Iraq's prohibited weapons program."

In short, the inspectors are saying that even if they could stay in Iraq, their work would be a sham.

Saddam's deception has defeated their effectiveness. Instead of the inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors.

This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.

And so we had to act and act now.

Let me explain why.

First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years.

Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community -- led by the United States -- has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday -- make no mistake -- he will use it again as he has in the past.

Third, in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed. We will not only have allowed Saddam to shatter the inspection system that controls his weapons of mass destruction program; we also will have fatally undercut the fear of force that stops Saddam from acting to gain domination in the region.

That is why, on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team -- including the vice president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the secretary of state and the national security adviser -- I have ordered a strong, sustained series of air strikes against Iraq.

They are designed to degrade Saddam's capacity to develop and deliver weapons of mass destruction, and to degrade his ability to threaten his neighbors.

At the same time, we are delivering a powerful message to Saddam. If you act recklessly, you will pay a heavy price. We acted today because, in the judgment of my military advisers, a swift response would provide the most surprise and the least opportunity for Saddam to prepare.

If we had delayed for even a matter of days from Chairman Butler's report, we would have given Saddam more time to disperse his forces and protect his weapons.

Also, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins this weekend. For us to initiate military action during Ramadan would be profoundly offensive to the Muslim world and, therefore, would damage our relations with Arab countries and the progress we have made in the Middle East.

That is something we wanted very much to avoid without giving Iraq's a month's head start to prepare for potential action against it.

Finally, our allies, including Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain, concurred that now is the time to strike. I hope Saddam will come into cooperation with the inspection system now and comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. But we have to be prepared that he will not, and we must deal with the very real danger he poses.

So we will pursue a long-term strategy to contain Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction and work toward the day when Iraq has a government worthy of its people.

First, we must be prepared to use force again if Saddam takes threatening actions, such as trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, threatening his neighbors, challenging allied aircraft over Iraq or moving against his own Kurdish citizens.

The credible threat to use force, and when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam's weapons of mass destruction program, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War.

Second, so long as Iraq remains out of compliance, we will work with the international community to maintain and enforce economic sanctions. Sanctions have cost Saddam more than $120 billion -- resources that would have been used to rebuild his military. The sanctions system allows Iraq to sell oil for food, for medicine, for other humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people.

We have no quarrel with them. But without the sanctions, we would see the oil-for-food program become oil-for-tanks, resulting in a greater threat to Iraq's neighbors and less food for its people.

The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world.

The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. We will strengthen our engagement with the full range of Iraqi opposition forces and work with them effectively and prudently.

The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm's way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq's military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties.

Indeed, in the past, Saddam has intentionally placed Iraqi civilians in harm's way in a cynical bid to sway international opinion.

We must be prepared for these realities. At the same time, Saddam should have absolutely no doubt if he lashes out at his neighbors, we will respond forcefully.

Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.

And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.

Because we're acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future.

Let me close by addressing one other issue. Saddam Hussein and the other enemies of peace may have thought that the serious debate currently before the House of Representatives would distract Americans or weaken our resolve to face him down.

But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America's vital interests, we will do so.

In the century we're leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community, fear and hope. Now, in the new century, we'll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past, but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace.

Tonight, the United States is doing just that. May God bless and protect the brave men and women who are carrying out this vital mission and their families. And may God bless America.

These two links and statements were what Amy Proctor posted in the comment section of my last piece and the point is that Clinton did the right thing with the Iraq Liberation Act and Bush has followed through with it in his two terms as President.

Lets take this a step farther for those that wish to rewrite history and claim that WMD's were the only reason we toppled Saddam Hussein, here is the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.

For those that do not have the time to read the whole thing, here are seven OTHER reasons contained in the Joint Resolution linked above.

Hat Tip to Ankle Biting Pundits for listing the seven additional reasons, excluding the issue of WMD's that are part of this resolution.

1. Iraq's harboring of Al-Queda terrorists
2. Iraq's support for International Terrorism
3. Iraq's "brutal repression" of its citizens
4. Iraq's failure to repatriate or give information on non-Iraqi citizens detained and captured during Gulf War I, including an American serviceman;
5. Failing to properly return property wrongfully seized during the Kuwait invasion
6. The attempted assassination of former President Bush in 1991
7. America's national security interests in restoring peace and stability to the Persian Gulf

Read those two statements in full, every word of them, then read the Joint Resolution in full.

Saddam Hussein needed to be dealt with and he has been, that was agreed on by members of both sides of the aisle. We now OWE it to the Iraqi people to help them in their reconstruction phase, which by looking into our own history, takes years, patience and two steps forward then one backwards and continues along that same vein until it is done.

A Democratic President did the right thing with the Iraq Liberation Act and a Republican President has followed through with it.

This is not a Democratic or a Republican war... This is America's fight and surrender is NOT an option.

I will leave you with my new heading from the top of the the immortal words of John F. Kennedy:

"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."... John F. Kennedy

ANY price. ANY burden. ANY hardship.

I truly do not think he meant, UNTIL we lose patience, or UNLESS it costs money, or any number of reasons that the Democratic party wishes to spew forth.

He believed people deserved to be free... 12 MILLION Iraqi's risked their lives and those of their families in agreement.

Do we really wish to abandon them?

One last point, do we really wish to give Iraq over to al-Qaeda so that they have a safe haven to build their training camps and so that they can come to the US again and attack us, perhaps costing us more than 3,000 lives next time?

[UPDATE] Two links I would suggest at this time. The first is to John McCain's site with a petition stating Surrender is NOT an option. Please go sign that.

The second is to a LA Times article called "Congress isn't commander in chief" (Can you BELIEVE that this is in the LA Times?... Hell must have somehow froze over).

[End Update]

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Welcome Home President Bush... I Missed You While You Were Gone

Hat Tip to Amy Proctor of Bottom Line Up Front for the heads up and she has the video.

He comes out swinging.

I am skipping the beginning of his speech, but the whole text of his speech can be found here.

Just as our prosperity depends on rejecting economic isolationism, so, too, our security depends on rejecting calls for America to abandon its leadership in this world.

September the 11th is an important moment in this country's history. It's a sad moment. But it should serve as a wake-up call to the realities of the world in which we live. On September the 11th, we saw problems originating in a failed state some 7,000 miles away that affected how we live. See, September the 11th was not only a day we were attacked, it is a day that our country must never forget, and the lessons of that day must never be forgot, that what happens overseas matters here at home. It may be tempting to say, oh, just let it run its natural course. But for me, allowing the world to run its natural course, which could lead to more violence and hatred, would end up reducing the security of the United States, not enhancing the security. And our biggest job in America, the biggest job of this government, is to protect you from harm.

I think about it every day, and so do a lot of other good, decent citizens of this country. The best way to protect this country is to defeat the enemy overseas so we don't have to face them here at home. (Applause.) And for the long-term peace and security of this country, we must advance an ideology that stands in stark contrast to the ideology of the killers. The best way to secure this homeland is to stay on the offense, and in the meantime, encourage the spread of liberty as an alternative to tyranny.

And it's hard work, but it is necessary work. We went into Afghanistan, and we did so to remove a vicious tyranny that had harbored terrorists who planned the 9/11 attacks on our country. Our message was, if you provide safe haven, if you provide comfort to an enemy, you're just as guilty as the enemy. And so, along with allies, we captured or killed hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters; we closed down their training camps; we helped the people of Afghanistan replace the Taliban regime with a democratic government. And it's in our nation's long-term interests that we help the people of Afghanistan survive the threats and onslaughts by people who want to reinstate tyranny.

And then we went into Iraq. And we removed the dictator who was a threat to the United States and to the world. And now we're undertaking the difficult and dangerous work of helping the Iraqi people establish a functioning democracy that can protect their own people and serve as an ally in this global war against those who would do America harm. [NOTE from spree: This is called Reconstruction for those that haven't learned what that means]

In 2005 -- I want you to remember -- in 2005, the Iraqi people held three national elections. Oh, it seems like a decade ago, doesn't it? And yet in the march of history, it's not all that long ago that the Iraqi people showed up at the election box, after having lived under the thumb of a brutal and murderous tyrant, to express their will about the future of their country. They chose a transitional government. They adopted the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world. And then they elected a government underneath that constitution. Despite the endless threats from killers, nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens came out to vote, in a show of hope and solidarity that the United States should never forget.

A thinking enemy watched all this. See, there are some who can't stand the thought of a free society emerging in their midst. And this enemy escalated attacks. Al Qaeda is very active in Iraq. And they and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam, the Golden Mosque of Samarra. Why did they do that? They did that to provoke retaliation. They did that to cause people to take up -- arm themselves. And they succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom have received support from Iran, increased their support of death squads, and then the situation began to escalate.

And so I had a choice to make. Last fall, I looked at the facts, I consulted with a lot of folks in Congress, and our military commanders. And my choice really boiled down to this: Do we withdraw our troops and let violence spiral out of control, let this young democracy fail, or do I send reinforcements to help the Iraqis quell the violence and secure their capital? In other words, do we give them breathing space to get on the path of reconciliation so that this young democracy could survive?

Well, I weighed the options, and the military commanders and I concluded that the consequences of withdrawal would be disastrous for the United States of America. And let me tell you why. If we were to step back from Baghdad before it was more secure, before the government could secure its own capital, it would leave a security vacuum. And into that vacuum could quickly come Sunni and Shia extremists, bolstered by outside forces. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country, and in time, the violence of these emboldened extremists could affect the entire region. The terrorists could emerge from chaos -- see, they benefit when the situation is chaotic -- with new safe havens to replace the one they had lost in Afghanistan.

There's no doubt in my mind that their intention is to try to strike us again, and they need the resources and the safe haven to do so. If we were to abandon this young democracy to chaos, it would embolden these extremists. It would enable them to be able to recruit more. It would give them new resources from which to plot and plan. I believe the consequences of failure in Iraq affect the security of the United States of America, and that's why I made the decision I made. (Applause.)

And so instead of retreating, we reinforced -- troops led by a capable commander named General David Petraeus. The Iraqi government saw our firm support, and they're now beginning to carry out an aggressive plan to secure their nation's capital. And the plan is still in the beginning stages. I mean, General Petraeus had been on the ground just for about two months. Only half of the reinforcements that he needs have arrived. And he says it's going to be early June before all the troops that are dedicated to the operation are even in place. In other words, I've sent reinforcements into Baghdad with a new commander, with a plan to help the Iraqis secure the plan, a plan that we believe will be successful. He's been there for about two months. Half the troops that he needs have arrived.

And, look, I recognize it's going to require a sustained, determined effort to succeed; I know that. And there are some early signs that are encouraging. For example, the Iraqi leader has appointed a commander for Baghdad who is working closely with our generals. The last of the nine Iraqi surge battalions arrived in the Iraqi capital. In other words, they said, we're going to commit troops to this plan to secure the capital, and they're delivering. Iraqis are showing up. Iraqi leaders have lifted restrictions that once prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into areas like Sadr City. You've been reading about Sadr City; well, my attitude is, murderers are murderers, and they ought to be brought to justice. And so any political restrictions preventing our people are being lifted. Iraqis are in the lead, we're helping them.

We're now setting up checkpoints across Baghdad. When I say "we," that is the Iraqis, with American help. They're hardening perimeters around markets and areas that have been targets for these spectacular attacks, all aimed at shaking the confidence of the American people and shaking the confidence of the Iraqi people. We've got joint security stations throughout the Iraqi capital. In the past, we would clear an area, and then we'd go home, and then the insurgents or killers would move back in. Now we've got a strategy of clear, hold -- that's what that means -- and then using money to help reconstruct Iraq. By the way, most of the money is coming from the Iraqis -- he's put out a $10 billion reconstruction budget. That's what we expect. A government of and by the people should be spending the people's money to help rebuild their country.

American forces are now deployed 24 hours in these neighborhoods, and guess what's happening. The Iraqi people are beginning to gain confidence. Support from the Iraqi people can be measured by the tips our people get. In other words, people saying, so-and-so is over here; a cache of weapons over there. And we're using the tips to aggressively pursue. We've launched successful operations against Shia extremists. We've captured hundreds of fighters that are spreading sectarian violence. In other words, we're after killers. We're after -- we don't say, this religious group, or this religious group. We're saying, if you're trying to destabilize this young democracy, the Iraqis, with coalition help, are coming after you.

Last week, we captured a Shia extremist leader and his associates who were implicated in the kidnaping and murder of five U.S. soldiers in Karbala. Last month, American and Iraqi forces uncovered more than 400 weapons caches. We're conducting dozens and dozens of operations on a daily basis throughout that country, with the Iraqi forces.

See, ultimately, the Iraqis are going to have to defend themselves. Ultimately, it is their responsibility. That's what the 12 million people who voted want. We just need to give them some breathing space so they can gain their confidence and have the capabilities necessary to protect this country.

We're destroying bomb factories. Just last week, we captured the head of the al Qaeda bomb network, responsible for some of the most horrific bombings in Baghdad. It's interesting, I mentioned al Qaeda; al Qaeda wants us to fail in Iraq. This is what their leaders have clearly said, and they're willing to kill innocent women and children to achieve their objectives.

The missions I described are only the opening salvos in what is going to be a sustained effort. Yet, the Iraqi people are beginning to say -- see positive changes. I want to share with you how two Iraqi bloggers -- they have bloggers in Baghdad, just like we've got here -- (laughter) -- "Displaced families are returning home, marketplaces are seeing more activity, stores that were long shuttered are now reopening. We feel safer about moving in the city now. Our people want to see this effort succeed. We hope the governments in Baghdad and America do not lose their resolve."

I want to read something that Army Sergeant Major Chris Nadeau says -- the guy is on his second tour in Iraq. He says, "I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. I'm a soldier. The facts are the facts. Things are getting better, we're picking up momentum."

These are hopeful signs, and that's positive. Yet at the very moment that General Petraeus's strategy is beginning to show signs of success, the Democrats in the House of Representatives have passed an emergency war spending bill that undercuts him and the troops under his command. This bill would damage our effort in Iraq three ways. First, the House bill would impose restrictions on our commanders in Iraq, as well as rigid conditions and arbitrary deadlines on the Iraqi government. It would mandate a precipitous withdrawal of American forces, if every one of these conditions is not met by a date certain. Even if they are met, the bill would still require that most American forces begin retreating from Iraq by March 1st of next year, regardless of conditions on the ground.

It's unclear what the military significance of this date is. What is clear is that the consequences of imposing such a specific and random date for withdrawal would be disastrous. If the House bill becomes law, our enemies in Iraq would simply have to mark their calendars. They'd spend the months ahead picking how to use their new -- plotting how to use their new safe havens once we were to leave. It makes no sense for politicians in Washington, D.C. to be dictating arbitrary time lines for our military commanders in a war zone 6,000 miles away. (Applause.)

I want to read to you what a major newspaper editorial page said -- and by the way, this editorial page, like, generally not singing my praises -- (laughter) -- "Imagine if Dwight Eisenhower had been forced to adhere to a congressional war plan in scheduling the Normandy landings -- or if, in 1863, President Lincoln had been forced by Congress to conclude the Civil War the following year. This is the worst kind of congressional meddling in military strategy." (Applause.)

Second, the House bill also undermines the Iraqi government, and contradicts the Democrats' claim that they simply want to help the Iraqis solve their own problems. For example, the House bill would cut funding for the Iraqi security forces if Iraqi leaders did not meet arbitrary deadlines.

The Democrats cannot have it both ways. They can't say that the Iraqis must do more, and then take away the funds that will help them do so. Iraq is a young democracy. It is fighting for its survival in a region that is vital to our security. The lesson of September the 11th must not be forgot. To cut off support for the security forces would put our own security at risk.

Third, the House bill would add billions of dollars in domestic spending that is completely unrelated to the war. For example, the bill includes $74 million for peanut storage, $25 million for spinach growers. These may be emergencies, they may be problems, but they can be addressed in the normal course of business. They don't need to be added on to a bill that's supporting our troops. There's $6.4 million for the House of Representatives' salaries and expense accounts. I don't know what that is -- (laughter) -- but it is not related to the war and protecting the United States of America. (Applause.)

This week the Senate is considering a version that is no better. The Senate bill sets an arbitrary date for withdrawal. It also undermines the Iraqi government's ability to take more responsibility for their own country by cutting funds for Iraqi reconstruction and law enforcement. And just like their colleagues in the House, Senate Democrats have loaded their bill with special interest spending.

The bill includes $40 million for tree assistance. You know, all these matters may be important matters. They don't need to be loaded on to a bill that is an emergency spending bill for our troops. There's $3.5 million for visitors to tour the Capitol and see for themselves how Congress works. (Laughter.) I'm not kidding you. (Laughter.)

Here's the bottom line: The House and Senate bills have too much pork, too many conditions on our commanders, and an artificial timetable for withdrawal. (Applause.) And I have made it clear for weeks, if either version comes to my desk, I'm going to veto it. (Applause.) It is also clear from the strong opposition in both houses that my veto would be sustained. Yet Congress continues to pursue these bills, and as they do, the clock is ticking for our troops in the field. Funding for our forces in Iraq will begin to run out in mid-April. Members of Congress need to stop making political statements, and start providing vital funds for our troops. They need to get that bill to my desk so I can sign it into law.

Now, some of them believe that by delaying funding for our troops, they can force me to accept restrictions on our commanders that I believe would make withdrawal and defeat more likely. That's not going to happen. If Congress fails to pass a bill to fund our troops on the front lines, the American people will know who to hold responsible. (Applause.) Our troops in Iraq deserve the full support of the Congress and the full support of this nation. (Applause.)

I know when you see somebody in the uniform, you praise them, and I thank you for that. We need to praise those military families, too, that are strong, standing by their loved one in this mighty struggle to defend this country. They risk their lives to fight a brutal and determined enemy, an enemy that has no respect for human life.

We saw that brutality in a recent attack. Just two weeks ago, terrorists in Baghdad put two children in the back of an explosive-laden car, and they used them to get the car past a security checkpoint. And once through, the terrorists fled the vehicle and detonated the car with the children inside. Some call this civil war; others call it emergency [sic] -- I call it pure evil. And that evil that uses children in a terrorist attack in Iraq is the same evil that inspired and rejoiced in the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. And that evil must be defeated overseas, so we don't have to face them here again. (Applause.)

If we cannot muster the resolve to defeat this evil in Iraq, America will have lost its moral purpose in the world, and we will endanger our citizens, because if we leave Iraq before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here. Prevailing in Iraq is not going to be easy. Four years after this war began, the nature of the fight has changed, but this is a fight that can be won. We can have confidence in the outcome, because this nation has done this kind of work before.

You know, following World War II, after we fought bitter enemies, we lifted up the defeated nations of Japan and Germany and stood with them as they built their representative governments. We committed years and resources to this cause. And the effort has been repaid many times over in three generations of friendship and peace. After the Korean War, had you predicted that Korea would have been a major trading partner in the world, or Japan would have been a major trading partner and vibrant economy, or China would be developing an open market, and the Far East would be relatively peaceful, they'd have called you a hopeless idealist. And yet, because of America's presence and influence, the Far East has emerged as I've described it.

The stakes are high in the efforts we're undertaking in Iraq. It's a part of a long ideological struggle against those who spread hatred, and lack of hope, and lack of opportunity. But I believe, with patience and resolve we will succeed. The efforts we're undertaking today will affect a generation of Americans who are coming up in our society.

You know, it's important for you to understand that the Iraqi people want to live in freedom and peace. I believe strongly in the universality of liberty. I believe people want to be free, and if given a chance, they will take the risks necessary to be free. And that's what's happened in Iraq. We see the desire for liberty in Iraqi soldiers who risk their lives every day. We see the desire in the shopkeepers and civic leaders who are working to reform their neighborhoods. We see it in the desire of Iraq moms an dads who want the same thing for their children that we want for our children.

If we stand by the Iraqi people today and help them develop their young Iraqi-style democracy, they're going to be able to take responsibility for their own security. And when that day comes, our forces can come home, and that we will leave behind a stable country that can serve as an example for others, and be an ally in this global struggle against those who would do us harm.

It's tough work, but it's necessary work -- work the United States has done before, and work the United States will complete now.

God bless you. (Applause.)

(Emphasis mine)

Welcome Home Mr. President, good to see you and about damn time.

Memeorandum has the Fox news article on this with reaction that I would name, insanity from the left.

They really get deranged when he delivers a punch right to the chin!!! HEH.


Britains Hostage Crisis Updated

[More Updates below]

Updating on my previous three pieces on Iran found here, here and here, things are moving along pretty fast now it seems.

The UK is revealing the evidence, from satellite data, that the Navy personnel and Marines that were kidnapped by Iran were 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraq waters at the time of their capture. (Via BBC)

The UK forces were based on the HMS Cornwall and as you can see from the map it was well within Iraq waters, thus disproving Irans false claims that they had entered Iranian waters.

At a briefing in London, the Ministry of Defence said it "unambiguously contested" Iran's claims that the Royal Navy personnel had strayed into Iranian waters.

Speaking later, Mr Blair told MPs it was time to increase pressure on Iran "in order to make sure the Iranian government understands their total isolation on this issue".

The seizure of the personnel was "unacceptable, wrong and illegal" and the UK was now in talks with all its key allies and partners, he said.

America, being one of those key allies and partners is also showing that we stand with the UK on this issue and according to Wapo, we have "flexed" our muscles in the Persian Gulf.

ABOARD THE USS JOHN C. STENNIS -- American warplanes screamed off two aircraft carriers Tuesday as the U.S. Navy staged its largest show of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, launching a mammoth exercise meant as a message to the Iranians.


"These maneuvers demonstrate our flexibility and capability to respond to threats to maritime security," said Navy Lt. John Perkins, 32, of Louisville, Ky., as the Stennis cruised about 80 miles off the United Arab Emirates after entering the Persian Gulf overnight.

"They're showing we can keep the maritime environment safe and the vital link to the global economy open."

Britain has also stepped up pressure on Iran by freezing all ties with Tehran until the British hostages are released.

After five days of discreet but fruitless diplomacy, the offensive began with a press conference at the MoD at which Vice-Admiral Charles Style published satellite coordinates proving that seven Royal Marines and eight sailors were 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters when they were "ambushed".

He was backed up by the Prime Minister and by Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, who told MPs that Britain was immediately freezing all bilateral ties with Iran - except for contacts directly concerning the seized personnel.

"They should not be under any doubt at all about how seriously we regard this act, which is unjustified and wrong," Mrs Beckett said.

Message delivered.

In apparent response, Iran said that Leading Seaman Faye Turney, the only female detainee, would soon be released. "Today or tomorrow, the lady will be released," Manouchehr Mottaki, the Foreign Minister, said on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Riyadh.

Message received.

Vice-Admiral Style, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, displayed nautical charts showing the position of the group when they were seized. Vice-Admiral Style said that their coordinates had been confirmed by the skipper of an Indian-registered merchant vessel that the sailors had just inspected when they were seized.

The Navy chief said that the group were engaged in routine anti-smuggling patrols under a UN Security Council mandate at the time, operating with the authorisation of Baghdad.

He also accused the Iranians of having changed their story over the weekend after being told that the coordinates Tehran initially gave for the incident showed that the patrol boats were in Iraqi waters.

"It is hard to understand a legitimate reason for this change of coordinates," he said. "In any case, we unambiguously contest both coordinates given by the Iranians."


Their exact postition - 29' 50.36" N, 048' 43.08"E - was confirmed by a Global Positioning System (GPS) on one of the small patrol boats that was displayed on the Cornwall. It had also been confirmed on a subsequent fly-past of the site.

In a statement to the Commons, Mrs Beckett said that the Government had tried to deal with the crisis through "private, but robust diplomacy". When the Iranians' mistake over the coordinates had been established, she had suggested to her Iranian counterpart that the situation "could be easily resolved" by releasing the detained Britons.

But it was now clear that a change of tack was needed. Accordingly, Britain was mobilising diplomatic support to show Iran how isolated it was over the issue. The Foreign Secretary said that she had spoken to various world leaders, including the US Secretary of State, the Turkish Prime Minister and the foreign ministers of both Iraq and Iran.

Mrs Beckett said that the Government had "no doubts about the facts or the legitimacy of our requirements" - that Tehran state where the detainees are being held, grant Britain consular access to them and give details of their release.

But even if the British sailors had strayed into international waters - which they had not - she said that under international law, Iran would not have had the right to detain them. It could at most have asked them to leave those waters immediately.

A CNN article:

Iran insists the ship was inside its territorial waters and, according to Style, provided a map with coordinates on Saturday in attempts to prove the point.

Blair said those coordinates actually "turned out to confirm they were in Iraqi waters" and Iraq has supported that position.

Upon pointing that out Sunday through diplomatic contacts, Style said Iran then "provided a second set of coordinates" on Monday that were "in Iranian waters over two nautical miles" from the position shown by the HMS Cornwall and confirmed by the merchant vessel the British personnel boarded.

The "change of coordinates," Style said "is hard to legitimate."

There are the updates and they will continue throughout the day or week, however long it takes to resolve this issue.


I see that Jimmy Carter is offering his "expert" help with this crisis which is, at best, the joke of the year.

It took Jimmy Carter MONTHS to attempt a rescue during the Iran Hostage Crisis from 1979 to 1981.

Even that was a dismal failure and his handling of the affair, it is believed, was one of the major reasons he lost his next election.

Partly to counter the criticisms against him, as well as to free the hostages, President Carter ordered a military rescue mission code-named "Operation Eagle Claw." This mission was a total and complete failure resulting in the deaths of eight U.S. military personnel.

On April 24, 1980, units of the rescue force landed in the Iranian desert to refuel their aircraft before heading to Tehran. A confusing series of events took place at this refueling point, including failed equipment, and desert sandstorms which reduced visibility. As a result of these problems, the rescue was called off. During the retreat, one of the helicopters collided with a transport airplane, causing an explosion which killed eight members of the rescue mission. Several of the burned American bodies were later part of grisly street demonstrations protesting the abortive U.S. "invasion" of Iran.

A second rescue attempt was planned but never implemented, largely due to equipment failure.

On January 20, 1981, the hostages were formally released into U.S. custody after spending 444 days in captivity. The release took place just minutes after Ronald Reagan was officially sworn in as president.

The Bristish would do well to remember history and say "Thanks, but NO THANKS Mr. Carter."

Appeasement doesn't work when dealing with madmen.

This is something that some simply do not understand, you cannot make a deal when you are the only one that will honor that deal. You cannot negotiate with someone whose only requirement is your destruction. You cannot reason with someone who has no reasoning abilities and has but one goal, armegeddon.


As history should have taught us, appeasement does not work.

One example here was Bill Clinton and North Korea's Kim Jong-il, which was yet another failed policy in which Jimmy Carter once again failed dismally, back in 1998.

President Clinton elected to rely on former President Jimmy Carter and decided to appease the Marxist-Stalinist dictatorship.

Carter met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang and returned to America waving a piece of paper and declaring peace in our time. Kim, according to Carter, had agreed to stop his nuclear weapons development.

The Clinton appeasement program for North Korea included hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, food, oil and even a nuclear reactor. However, the agreement was flawed and lacked even the most informal means of verification.

In return, Kim elected to starve his people while using the American aid to build uranium bombs. The lowest estimate is that Kim starved to death over 1 million of his own people, even with the U.S. aid program.

Now, let me point out here, that Clinton did what had to be tried. I am not defending his actions, I am just trying to be objective enough to state that a President cannot know a certain course of action will fail until he has at least tried it.

Clinton tried appeasement. It didn't work.

Hopefully the world learned a couple lessons from that failed attempt.

Iran needs to be given a timeframe. Britain needs to tell them "either release the hostages by XXX date or we and our allies will act".

They need to then act if that timeframe has not been followed.

Letting Iran dictate terms would simply embolden the lil thug more and this type of behavior will continue.

Act firmly now on this matter and perhaps the lunatic will think twice before pulling a stunt like this again.

Others discussing this:
Glittering Eye with a very interesting question:

As I read it this means that the British account of things has been verified by the Iraqi authorities, Iraqi citizens, and the captain of an Indian-flagged merchant ship. Has any source other than the Iranians themselves confirmed the Iranian story?

Hot Air with constant updates.

Captain's Quarters asks Carter or Thatcher?

So far, though, Blair has not exactly been Margaret Thatcher in his approach. When the Argentinians seized the Falkands in the early days of her government, Thatcher told Argentina that they had two choices: withdrawal or war. She made good her threat, despite widespread skepticism that the British Empire could still fight a colonial war -- and she beat the Argentianians in their own back yard.

Sister Toldjah has a great roundup of reactions and links.

Quote of the day comes from QandO Blog's analysis of the situation:

Yeow. Other than the fact that they can do it, you have to ask why? What is the purpose of ratcheting up tensions even more? Prior to that incident Iran could claim to be the victim of unwarranted international pressure. Now, as it holds 15 hostages which appear to have been taken in Iraqi waters, even that slim claim is gone. If Britain chooses to act militarily, Iran hasn't a leg to stand on and certainly will be considered by most to have brought the military action upon themselves.


[UPDATE] 1:40pm- My interpretation of this Russian news story is that America is ready, willing and despite what the Democrats like to pretend, ABLE to back Britain up with whatever action they decide appropriate.

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.

"The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran "that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost."

He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said last week that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran's military infrastructure in the near future.

A new U.S. carrier battle group has been dispatched to the Gulf.

The USS John C. Stennis, with a crew of 3,200 and around 80 fixed-wing aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and Superhornet fighter-bombers, eight support ships and four nuclear submarines are heading for the Gulf, where a similar group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been deployed since December 2006.

The U.S. is also sending Patriot anti-missile systems to the region.

The Democrats may be willing to actively fight for our defeat and continue to bend over and take it up the ass forever, but BUSH won't. [End Update]