We Need To Really Think About Who Best Can Protect America
In light of Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan being assassinated we had better think long and hard this election about who can best defend and protect America.
I'm thinking now about who has the most foreign policy experience on BOTH sides and this is who I think the choices are at the moment 'Foreign' Policy Experience wise because it seems to me unless we all elect someone who can keep up the war on terror and new leaders that want to be friendly with America somehow find a way to protect them from Al-Qaeda.
That's it for the Dems.
That's it for the Reps.
We cant afford to have a Country almost out of control, filled with Al-Qaeda that is Nuclear Armed! I think this is our worst nightmare. And this situation in Pakistan is not one to be taken lightly. We all really must think about our choices in who best will protect America. First and Foremost.
There may be some other candidates that I didnt name that MAY be able to protect us, but let's face it. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich will get us all killed!
Here is a clip from Hot Air on Raul Paul's Response to the Bhutto Asssassination: *snip*
But in Ron Paul’s world, all problems are the result of the US taking action. Any action. Anywhere. Against anyone, doing anything. In the case of Pakistan, he says we should cut off aid to our “puppet” in Pakistan and make sure not to march in there with troops. There is, of course, at most a neglible possibility that we’ll send troops into Pakistan to do anything beyond taking on al Qaeda or securing the nukes. India might, but even that’s highly unlikely. And never mind that Pakistan’s history with democracy is sketchy, to say the least. Should we not have attempted to work with Musharraf against al Qaeda, Patriot Paul? Paul also tosses out the canard that we supported Osama bin Laden. Someone really needs to disabuse him of that notion one of these days. Someone should bone him up on the history of al Qaeda as well. It didn’t form because we support Musharraf, as Paul seems to think. Paul doesn’t even offer a pro forma statement of condolences either for Bhutto or Pakistan. As a doctor, he must have had splendid bedside manner.
If that doesnt make you think, I dont know what will. Ron Paul is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and this is our Country and our people at stake here!
Fred Thompson With A Christmas Tribute For The Troops
I dont see any other candidate having a Christmas Tribute for the Troops!
I'm not sure any other candidate supports the Troops like Fred does and that's a big plus for me :-) I'm all about the Troops, if you guy's havent noticed by now!
If anyone knows of any other Tribute to our Troops by another Candidate besides Fred Thompson I sure would like a URL or some kind of link to it!
So far I have only seen Fred supporting the Troops and that tells me alot! ******************
I am adding a poem my youngest daughter sent me :-)
A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight. The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep. In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near. Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear, "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.. To the window that danced with a warm fire's light Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
"I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night." "It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times. No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December," Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ', And now it is my turn and so, here I am. I've not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue... an American flag. I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life for my sister or brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall." "So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright, Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least, "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast? It seems all too little for all that you've done, For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, "Just tell us you love us, and never forget. To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled. Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
In a brief foray into politics, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday denounced comments by a leading Republican presidential candidate that the Bush administration's foreign policy is arrogant and unilateral.
"The idea that somehow this is a go-it-alone policy is just simply ludicrous," she said at a State Department news conference. "One would only have to be not observing the facts, let me say that, to say that this is now a go-it-alone foreign policy."
Her remarks came in response to a question about criticism from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has surged in the polls to become a front-runner in the upcoming Iowa caucuses for the GOP presidential nomination. Huckabee recently said the administration's foreign policy was characterized by a "bunker mentality."
Rice did not mention Huckabee by name in her response and at first declined to respond, saying dismissively: "Look, I don't comment on other people's comments. I don't have time, all right. I really don't have time to worry about this."
But she then launched into a vigorous defense of the administration's multilateral diplomatic efforts on Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran, and pointed to improving ties with traditional allies in Europe, some of which were strained by the Iraq war.
"We have right now probably the strongest trans-Atlantic relations ... I would say in a very long time," Rice said, noting in particular Britain, France and Germany.
"We're working with allies in Europe, Russia and China on Iran. The (NATO) alliance is mobilized together in Afghanistan," she said. "We had 50-plus countries at Annapolis to launch the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. We're working together with allies in Lebanon.
"I can go on and on and on and on," Rice concluded. "And so, I would just say to people, look at the facts.
Story Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just what the hell is Huckabee talking about? Go it alone? Since when? We havent been alone since 9-12-01. We have some 63 Countries involved Militarily in the Global War On Terror, who know's how many others with intelligence, covert, overt oprations. We have 31 Colaition allies in Afghanistan and 32 or 33 coalition forces in Iraq! I would think most clear thinking people would call that a "COALITION"! I hardly call that "Going-It-Alone"!!
Not to mention through all this Lybia has dissarmed, North Korea is  close to disarming, and have allowed US and UN inspectors back in to monitor the situation, and Chia Pet has settled down quite a bit.
Nothing Say's Merry Christmas Like A Good Old Fashioned Brawl At A Christmas Play
Ha! This say's Merry Chrsitmas doesnt it? I have heard of parents fighting with one another at a Soccer Game, but a Christmas Play?
*snip* Chairs Thrown During Parents' Fight at School Christmas Program
An apparent ongoing dispute between three parents erupted into a physical fight at an elementary school's Christmas program Tuesday night.
Children in the first through third grades at Oak Hill Elementary School had just completed about three-quarters of the program when three parents began fighting.
Witnesses said the fight lasted about 10 minutes, and, according to an account by principal Sara Roberts, started when a father approached a student about pushing his daughter while on stage:
According to witnesses, the argument started by a father who approached another student about pushing his daughter while on stage. The one parent (not of the student who pushed) told the father to not talk to a child about that but to take it up with the principal. At that point, two other parents (twin sisters) began yelling and shouting. I had to stop the program and remind everyone to be respectful to the children on stage. However, the yelling escalated further and thus the fight began.
The police were called to help by multiple members of the audience as well as a staff member who was directed to call by me. Once the police arrived, only a few people who were actually involved were questioned. However the twin sisters had left the school property by then.
In the account, Roberts writes that chairs were thrown, obscenities were yelled and three mothers physically punched each other while two other mothers attempted to break up the fight.
Several people called police, but the twin sisters involved in the fight had left by the time they arrived, according to Roberts.
An e-mail from Superintendent Terry Grier to media Wednesday morning said that the three female parents involved had a history of disliking each other.
The principal banned each parent involved in the fight.
According to Roberts, a parent reported that her child was hit in the head with a chair during the melee, but was uninjured. An accident report is being filed.
"My daughter was on stage singing at the time when my sister-in-law realized they were arguing," said Marseddez Lopez, who captured the argument on her camcorder. "We were gathered there to see our children perform. It's not fair to them."
Lopez said from what she saw, the fight involved two parents and another person she described as a school volunteer.
By the time High Point police arrived at the school, the fight had ended and many people had already left. Police have cleared the scene and no arrests were made. No one was seriously hurt in the fight.
Idiots ALL! It's a Christmas Play for the Love Of God!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Meanwhile Santa Got Decked in Seattle
*snip* A man dressed as Santa Claus was knocked unconscious by a thrown object that hit his face while he was riding on the back of a truck decorated as a sleigh. Kevin Smith says he never saw what hit him Saturday. Whatever it was, it broke his nose and gave him a concussion and two black eyes.
"One second I was up there waving to people, and the next minute I wasn't," Smith said.
He was taking part in Santa Run, sponsored by the firefighters union, which features off-duty firefighters who dress up as Santa and ride through residential areas handing out candy to children.
Other volunteers realized something was wrong after they hadn't heard from Smith for a few minutes. They stopped the truck and found him lying unconscious.
"It pretty much cold-cocked him," fire Lt. Scott Himelspach said.
Smith awoke in the back of the sleigh.
"They thought I'd spilled my hot chocolate, but then they realized it was blood," Smith said. "The rest of the night was kind of hazy."
Smith, a firefighter for eight years, said he hoped to return to work on Christmas Day.
Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said an assault report was filed with police but that no witnesses have come forward.
Story Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This beats all. I've heard of the "War On Christmas" but this takes it to a whole new level! Something has to be done when they start decking Santa Claus.
I think I am going to start my own person of the year.
Marie's Two Cents pick for person of the year 2007 is 'General David Patraeus'.
This man took what seemed like an impossible situation in a Country rampant with Insurgents from all over the Middle East, that wreaked havoc constantly and made life impossible to live on a daily basis for everyone who lived there.
Alot of people fled the Country as not to get thier family blown to bits by Al-Qaeda or influenced by the enemy and are streaming back home now because American and Coalition forces under General David Patraeus control has made that Country 90% stable again and calm is beginning to reign all over the Country, and that Country is Iraq.
The citizens of Iraq under General David Patraeus control work with the US Forces, turn in the enemy, and help to stabalize thier nation. That is called Progress!
The Iraqi Government who is now in the process of stabalizing thier own governing system since violence has almost ceased altogether are making progress.
I dont know anyone more deserving of Person Of The Year besides General David Patraeus for turning a losing situation into a win for the USA, the Coalition Forces and most importantly the Iraqi People.
By The Way, If any of you have a pick for "Person Of The Year", add it :-)
*snip* The Democratic-controlled House is expected to give President Bush an end-of-session victory in his yearlong battle with anti-war lawmakers over Iraq by approving $70 billion for U.S. military operations there and in Afghanistan.
The vote Wednesday also would represent the final step in sealing a deal between Democrats and Bush over how much money to provide domestic agencies whose budgets are set each year by Congress. The Iraq funds have been bundled with an omnibus appropriations measure to create a massive $555 billion package that Bush has signaled he will sign.
Providing the war funds was a bitter pill for most Democrats, who on Monday sent the Senate a bill limited to $31 billion for U.S. operations in Afghanistan, which have much broader support than the unpopular mission in Iraq.
Story Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I LOVE that the Troops got thier funding they needed so badly before they started running out of things, but I have a problem with this funding bill AGAIN!!! Last time the Democrats stuffed I forget how much pork in the bill, remember funding for "Spinach Farmers"? I have nothing against Spinach Farmers mind you, I just think it should have been included in a different spending bill instead of a Troop funding bill.
This time, there are something like 9000 earmarks in this bill which I suppose Bush had to sign in order to get the Troops funded. One sticks out for me, if I knew all the rest I'm sure more would put a hitch in my git along, but why in the HELL are we going to spend 3 million dollars for TREE SNAKE CLEANUP IN GUAM? Guam has NO representation in the House or the Senate, they arent a state, yet they get to vote in our elections. I know it's American territory and we protect them, but since they have no representation in this Country why the hell are we cleaning up thier Tree Snakes? 3 million dollars worth of cleanup? Cant they just pick up the dead snakes and have a big bon fire and be done with it? Just ranting about another earmark that pisses me off!!!
What do Rudy Giuliani's messy personal life, John McCain's temper and Hillary Clinton's inability to seem authentic have in common? Maybe nothing. They may be just overblown issues in the otherwise normal lives of candidates under the political microscope.
Such symptoms, however, may mean a lot -- such as evidence of underlying brain dysfunction. Sometimes people with messy personal lives have low prefrontal cortex activity associated with poor judgment; sometimes people with temper problems have brain damage and impulse control problems; sometimes people who struggle with authenticity have trouble really seeing things from someone else's perspective.
Is the brain health of a presidential candidate a fair topic in an election year? Certainly Dick Cheney's heart condition wasn't off-limits in 2000, nor have questions about McCain's age been considered out of bounds. The White House issues a complete medical history of the president each year -- detailing everything from his seasonal allergic rhinitis to his adenomatous colon polyps. Clearly we care about the health outlook for our elected leaders. Should we go so far as to do brain scans? Of candidates for the Oval Office? Some people might consider discussing brain health a ridiculous idea.
How do you know about the brain health of a presidential candidate unless you look? The brain is involved in everything humans do: how we think, how we feel, how we get along with others, how we negotiate, how we pay attention in meetings and how we turn away the advances of White House interns or decide to invade a country based on contradictory intelligence.
Three of the last four presidents have shown clear brain pathology. President Reagan's Alzheimer's disease was evident during his second term in office. Nonelected people were covering up his forgetfulness and directing the country's business. Few people knew it, but we had a national crisis. Brain studies have been shown to predict Alzheimer's five to nine years before people have their first symptoms.
President Clinton's moral lapses and problems with bad judgment and excitement-seeking behavior -- indicative of problems in the prefrontal cortex -- eventually led to his impeachment and a poisonous political divisiveness in the U.S. The prefrontal cortex houses the brain's supervisor, involved with conscience, forethought, planning, attention span and judgment.
One could argue that our current president's struggles with language and emotional rigidity are symptoms of temporal lobe pathology. The temporal lobes, underneath your temples and behind your eyes, are involved with language, mood stability, reading social cues and emotional flexibility.
A national leader with brain problems can potentially cost millions of people their lives. Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein give us recent historical examples. Both of Milosevic's parents committed suicide, he had serious bouts of depression and reportedly drank heavily -- all signs that point to brain problems. He was found to be unreasonable and unreliable in negotiations and heartless as a political leader. Hussein was described as paranoid and without empathy, also symptoms pointing to poor brain function. His mother suffered severe bouts of depression and attempted suicide while pregnant with him, which is known to affect a baby's developing brain. He was physically and emotionally abused by his stepfather. All of these stresses must have been involved in shaping his paranoid brain into a mind that could torture dissenters, murder relatives and launch chemical attacks that killed thousands.
Functional scans, such as Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, provide a window into the brain. Doctors can now see healthy or dysfunctional brain patterns, much as we can assess the strength of a heart or measure hormone levels, and recognize trouble. All doctors might not agree on the interpretation, but there is a growing body of scientific literature establishing what these scans mean, such as attention deficit disorder or a predisposition for Alzheimer's.
Ensuring that our president has a healthy brain may be more than an interesting topic of conversation. It can be important information to put into the election equation. A president with brain problems could wreak havoc on the U.S. and the world at large. Maybe we shouldn't leave the health of our president's brain to chance. We have the tools; shouldn't we look? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Maybe we should demand a brain scan from our possible leaders. I would like to know what would be going on in thier minds for the next 8 years! That could also be an electibility issue. I think this for sure needs further looking into. I Mean, say the elected leader did turn out to be Hillary (God Forbid) I would like to know is she going through Menopause? Does she get PMS? Is she on medication? Does she own a gun? I mean there could be some serious issues to this.
Fred Thompson Picks Up Most Important Endorsement, The Troops
Fred Thompson is about to embark on a campaign blitz that will take him all over Iowa. And after his performance at the last debate the "show of hands" game the moderator tried to get the candidates to play that Fred Thompson was'nt having any part of and let her know it, show's he's got his old gumption back and isnt there to play games.
Along the way Fred has picked up the most important endorsement of all that really counts, The Troops! If they want him to be thier Commander-In-Chief then that's good enough for me.
Here is a *snip* of a letter from one Soldier To Another:
Vets For Fred
Dear Fellow Veteran:
While most of us are stateside enjoying the comforts of home with family and friends during this holiday season, hundreds of thousands of brave men and women will remain abroad defending our freedom and that of others.
We are in the trenches stateside helping Fred Thompson run for President because he is the most experienced and consistent conservative leader of the major candidates. It is imperative to have a solid Commander-in-Chief to lead our nation during time of war, and Fred is that man.
Some of our troops in Iraq agree, and are showing their support for Fred there. You can see more on the Vets for Fred site.
Last month, Fred rolled out his plan to revitalize our military in a speech at the Citadel entitled: "Four Pillars of a Revitalized National Defense" which you can review by clicking here. His plan is being widely hailed as a substantive and sound policy proposal.
Fred's plan increases the defense budget to 4.5% of GDP and builds a "million member" ground force with and Army end strength of 775,000 organized into 64 brigade combat teams and increase active duty Marine Corps forces by 50,000 to 225,000. This will enable us to handle peacetime and wartime missions without wearing out our troops or increasing the vulnerability of the United States. As Fred stated, "Half-measures and small increases will no longer do."
Here is what a people have said about Fred's plan:
*Investor's Business Daily:
"Fred Thompson wants a million-man ground force and more modern equipment on the ground, in the air and on the water. The arsenal of democracy needs some retooling....Once again the U.S. military is depleted and exhausted...It may be time for another buildup like Reagan's that brought down the evil empire and gave us the means for victory in Desert Storm."
*The Weekly Standard:
"Fred Thompson staked out a Reaganesque position on defense spending and the need to increase the size of the military... Thompson is talking about a real build-up of the kind that this administration should have undertaken from the moment it entered office, but failed to do even after the attacks on 9/11."
*The National Review:
"While most candidates have called for increasing the size of the military, Thompson laid out a detailed plan to achieve that end...Thompson has set a standard of specificity, conservatism, and soundness that we would like to see the other Republican candidates measure up to."
Our troops, veterans and their families deserve a Commander in Chief who is ready on Day One, not someone who needs on-the-job training when it comes to foreign affairs and national security.
Fred Thompson will be ready to lead the minute he is sworn in, and that is why we are supporting him for President.
James E. Livingston Co-Chairman Veterans for Fred MAJGEN, USMC (Ret.) Medal of Honor Recipient
Joe Repya National Executive Director Veterans for Fred LTC, USA (Ret.)
Thompsons Troops ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Make History with Fred Thompson As we head into the final 20 days before the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses, the campaign is asking for the help of its strong grassroots organization to carry Fred across the finish line on caucus night. This campaign began as a grassroots attempt to bring Fred Thompson into the race, and this campaign will continue to work with those same grassroots activists to ensure a strong performance on January 3rd in Iowa. Join:Thompsons Troops
Reid/Pelosi's Houses Crumble-Democrats Blame Each Other For Failures
Democrats Blaming Each Other For Failures
AMERICANS CALL FOR PELOSI AND REID TO RESIGN
(This is truly rediculous, not only has the Congress enjoyed the Lowest Approval Rating In History, and havent gotten anything done (Except for a minimum wage increase), but now they are blaming each other, which is correct, there is enough blame to go around in the Democraticaly Controlled Congress for everybody. Their first 100 Hours has now turned into a year with nothing to show for it. Here a *snip* of a story I read today)
*snip*When Democrats took control of Congress in January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to jointly push an ambitious agenda to counter 12 years of Republican control.
Now, as Congress struggles to adjourn for Christmas, relations between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate have devolved into finger-pointing.
Reid, in turn, has taken to the Senate floor to criticize what he called the speaker's "iron hand" style of governance.
Harry Reid D-NV
"If there's going to be a filibuster, let's hear the damn filibuster," Rangel fumed. "Let's fight this damned thing out."
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called it a "hold and fold" strategy: Senate Republicans put a "hold" on Democratic bills, and Senate Democratic leaders promptly fold their tents.
Asked about his decision on government funding, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.) groused to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call: "I'll tell you how soon I will make a decision when I know how soon the Senate sells us out." Senate Democrats have fired back, accusing Pelosi and her liberal allies of sending over legislation that they know cannot pass in the Senate, and of making demands that will not gain any GOP votes. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) noted that, this summer, Reid employed just the kind of theatrics Rangel and other House Democrats are demanding, holding the Senate open all night, pulling out cots and forcing a dusk-till-dawn debate on an Iraq war withdrawal measure before a vote on war funding. Democrats gained not a single vote after the all-night antics.
"I understand the frustration; we're frustrated, too," Bayh said. "But holding a bunch of Kabuki theater doesn't get anything done."
Their support plummeted as the liberal base grew outraged over the Democratic inability to counter the president on any war issue, while moderates and centrists looking for bipartisan kitchen-table accomplishments instead saw partisan gridlock.
Reid has let his own frustration show. After Republican senators accused Pelosi of lying about her intentions on a comprehensive energy bill, the majority leader offered a backhanded defense.
"I can't control Speaker Pelosi," Reid said on the chamber floor. "I hope everybody understands that. She is a strong, independent woman. She runs the House with an iron hand. I support what she does, but no one needs to come and tell me I didn't keep my word."
Some days Reid and Pelosi get down to business and quickly settle cross-chamber disputes, but other times it requires a different touch to deliver certain messages. After Tuesday's Senate Democratic leadership meeting, Reid dispatched deputies to inform Pelosi that the Senate would not stand for the latest offer to eliminate earmarks, as well as all war funds, from a year-end omnibus spending package.
"When Harry's done talking, the conversation's over. Boom," the Democratic senator said, mimicking someone hanging up the phone.
The 60-vote threshold has become the flashpoint for the intramural Democratic dispute.
Republicans, who spent 12 years in similar battles, are just enjoying the spectacle.
"Just let 'em stew for a while," said soon-to-retire Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.), a veteran of the GOP's own squabbles.
Story Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We warned you Democrat voters out there this would happen, but did you listen? NO! The sad thing is not only has Congress failed on ALL fronts, but they are taking America down with it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MEANWHILE: DEMOCRATS ARE LOST IN TIME ON IRAQ
Our view on war in Iraq:
Here is another *snip* of a story I read today
Surge's success holds chance to seize the moment in Iraq Instead, Democrats are lost in time, Bush lowers the bar for Baghdad. Iraq remains a violent place, but the trends are encouraging.
U.S. and Iraqi casualties are down sharply. Fewer of the most lethal Iranian-made explosive devices are being used as roadside bombs. In community after community, Sunni groups who were once in league with al-Qaeda have switched sides and are working with the U.S. forces.
On the Shiite side of Iraq's sectarian chasm, something similar is happening. About 70,000 local, pro-government groups, a bit like neighborhood watch groups, have formed to expose extremist militias, according to Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, seem lost in a time warp. They could try to impose new benchmarks that acknowledge the military progress. Instead, too many seem unable or unwilling to admit that President Bush's surge of 30,000 more troops has succeeded beyond their initial predictions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who in the spring declared the war lost, said last week that "the surge hasn't accomplished its goals." Anti-war Democrats remain fixated on tying war funding to a rapid troop withdrawal. Yet pulling the troops out precipitously threatens to squander the progress of recent months toward salvaging a decent outcome for the Iraqi's.
What's needed is acknowledgment that the surge is achieving what was intended: not complete military victory but enough stability to make political compromise possible.
So far, the Iraqis have missed just about every benchmark that Congress set early this year and Bush promised to enforce. According to the Generals on the ground all agree the Iraqi's need more time.
To some degree, the positive "bottom up" developments seem to be working. The Sunnis, for instance, have abandoned their political isolation and now want to participate in the government. But the Shiites' persistent resistance to letting them in makes a case for new, meaningful benchmarks, not trivial certainties such as simply passing a budget, one of the requirements the White House has set.
Military Progress has been a success. But More aggressive diplomacy of the kind advocated by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group would help — even a regional conference such as the one the United States recently hosted in Annapolis, Md., to restart Middle East peace talks.
Story Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So Not Only has Congress failed, they are also in utter confusion over Iraq. They said "If there was good news out of Iraq, and the Iraq War was being won, it would be a very BAD thing for us Democrats". I guess the success in Iraq has thrown the Democrats into utter chaos! It's time to replace the entire Democrat Congress, because they arent capable of running a War On Terror, Protecting this Country, or getting anything done at all.
Last Taliban Stronghold In Afghanistan Falls To UN/USA Control
NATO Forces Push Into Taliban Stronghold
Kandahar, Afghanistan -- Residents fled their homes on Friday as NATO forces mounted an offensive to retake the southern town of Musa Qala, which has been a haven for Taliban fighters since British forces abandoned it in October 2006.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force announced it had mounted an operation along with Afghan army troops to retake the town in the southern province of Helmand.
Residents reached by telephone said people were evacuating Musa Qala after skirmishes began on the edge of the town and three bombs landed in the outskirts. Shopkeepers were packing up their goods because they were afraid of looting once Afghan troops arrived.
"The coalition troops are getting closer to Musa Qala town. They are just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) away," said Niamat Jan, a shopkeeper. "They dropped three bombs on the town. I don't know what the casualties were. All the entrances to the town have been blocked by them.
More than any other place in southern Afghanistan, Musa Qala has highlighted the difficulties and the mistakes NATO troops have made over the last two years in the face of a resurgent Taliban.
British troops deployed there in large numbers in the spring of 2006, but then made the mistake of trying to use small numbers of soldiers to protect district towns. They rapidly came under siege from Taliban fighters who poured into Helmand province in far larger numbers than had been anticipated.
The British have since been working to regain the upper hand, pulling out of places like Musa Qala and consolidating control of the central region around the provincial capital.
Since this spring, they have steadily been pushing outward from that central region, slowly securing key towns and districts and establishing Afghan forces to hold those areas before moving on.
Musa Qala was left alone even though commanders acknowledged that it was a haven for several thousand Taliban fighters. British troops pulled out under an agreement with local elders who were to ensure that Taliban fighters would also stay out of the town. But in February, just three months later, the Taliban overran the town and dismissed the ruling council of elders.
Since then, Musa Qala has become a base for Taliban fighters moving across northern Helmand and into provinces to the north. Large numbers of insurgents, including foreign fighters, flocked to the region.
Musa Qala is one of the only bases the Taliban hold, and it is not clear whether they will try to defend the town or pull back into the hills.
Afghan troops have been operating across northern Helmand since the beginning of November, the NATO statement said. Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, described it as a "massive multipurpose operation" in the north of Helmand province, Agence France-Presse reported.
"It includes a military operation, sweep-up operation, clearance, imposing the rule of law and providing an atmosphere for reconstruction," he said.
Residents reported fighting on the edge of Musa Qala on Friday.
"Several skirmishes have taken place nearby Musa Qala district," said Mahmood, a doctor living in the town, who uses only one name.
He said he heard a half-hour exchange of guns and rockets between NATO and Taliban forces in the afternoon.
Story Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As of December 11, 2007 Musa Qala, has fallen to the UN and American Forces!! The Last of the Taliban Forces in Afghanistan have fallen to UN/USA Control. The War In Afghanistan is just about over :-) Trying to find the story, will update as soon as possible.
66 Years Later U.S.S. Oklahoma Finally Get's Her Memorial
Memorial Dedication Set For USS Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY — For more than 60 years, the haunting memories of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor have been seared into the mind of Walter Becker.
Now 86, Becker was one of about 600 sailors who escaped with their lives on Dec. 7, 1941, when Japanese torpedoes sunk the battleship Oklahoma.
U.S.S. Oklahoma In 1941
On Friday, the 66th anniversary of the surprise attack, the 429 sailors and Marines aboard the Oklahoma who died will be honored with a memorial at the Hawaiian naval base.
“It’s about 60 years too late,” Becker said from his home in Casper, Wyo. “We’re losing a lot of [survivors]. They all have to be 80 years old or better by now, so there’s only a few of us lucky enough to live that long.”
About 18 of the estimated 90 living survivors who were aboard the Oklahoma are expected to join Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and other dignitaries for Friday’s dedication of the $1.2 million memorial.
The monument includes 429 white marble standards, each with the name of a fallen sailor or Marine, surrounded by black granite panels etched with a silhouette of the battleship and notable quotes from World War II-era figures that were selected by some of the survivors, said retired Rear Adm. Greg Slavonic, co-chair of the USS Oklahoma Memorial Committee.
The layout of the white marble standards, each about 7 feet tall, signifies sailors “manning the rail” in their white uniforms when a ship pulls into port, Slavonic said.
“It’s a very quiet, simple memorial, and when you think about sailors manning the rail, it’s a very fitting memorial,” Slavonic said. “It represents well what this committee was trying to do for these sailors, both past and present, to symbolize their service to our country.”
The black granite, purchased in Italy, and the white marble from Vermont were shipped to Oklahoma, where it was engraved and prepared for the memorial. The pieces were driven by truck to Long Beach, Calif., and taken by ship to Hawaii.
U.S.S. Oklahoma Memorial
Becker, whose wife has been ill in recent months, said he won’t be able to attend the dedication, but still remembers vividly the day the Oklahoma was attacked.
Twenty years old, Becker was catching up on some laundry in one of the ship’s engine rooms when the first torpedo hit. Even when word came to abandon ship, Becker hesitated to leave.
“I had just a couple of days before read an article in “Our Navy” magazine by an admiral who said it was impossible for an aircraft to sink one of our battleships,” Becker recalled. “I was just a kid, and if an admiral said something like that, it’s as if the Lord said it.
“Boy, he sure got proved wrong.”
By the time the ship started listing at about a 40-degree angle, Becker decided it was time to get out.
“I came up through a ventilator, through the machine shop, and just as I got to the surface, the shipped turned on over,” he said.
Becker found himself underwater, struggling to find the surface, and eventually lost consciousness. When he came to, he found himself in a life raft.
“I think there was probably an explosion nearby that helped blow me out of the water,” he said.
After finally reaching land, Becker said he learned that many of his shipmates were still trapped inside the ship. He said he spent the next two days working to try and free the trapped men.
“I don’t remember how many [survivors] we got out of there, but it seems like it was about 21 or so that we got out,” he said. “I left after two days, because there was no more rapping on the hull.”
Retired Navy Cmdr. Tucker McHugh, who co-chaired the USS Oklahoma Memorial Committee with Slavonic, said he thinks the memorial will bring some sense of closure to those that survived and even to those who perished.
“I think there’s been a void in the minds and hearts of these shipmates that their shipmates were never honored with a lasting memorial,” McHugh said. “Total closure might come when the last survivor passes away and they’re all reunited together.”
Besides survivors and Oklahoma dignitaries, others expected to speak at Friday’s dedication include Adm. Timothy Keating, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command; Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii; and Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle.
Beautiful Tribute To The New U.S.S. Oklahoma Memorial
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Finally! 66 Years Later the U.S.S. Oklahoma get's her Memorial from the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. God Bless All Those Who Perished On The USS Oklahoma, and the rest who perished that day. We Will Never Forget. A Day Of Infamy...
Global Warming Vote Comes With 2 Inches Of Snow On The Ground/Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) Is Getting Livid
Global Warming Vote on Snowy Day in Washington
Senate committee debates expensive climate change bill as two inches of snow blanket D.C.
Nothing inspires taking on the “planetary emergency” of global warming like the first snow of the winter in Washington, D.C.
As two inches of snow accumulated outside the U.S. Capitol, the Senate’s Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee debated “historic” global warming legislation sponsored by Sens. John Warner (R.-Va.)(What the hell happened to Warner?) and Joe Lieberman (I.-Conn.).
“We look around right now and see the snow on the trees – standing out here and say ‘Where is global warming when you need it?’” Sen. James Inhofe (R.-Okla.) said to the Business & Media Institute.
The pending vote is seen as historic because “the Senate would impose for the first time a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.”
According to a November 11 Washington Times editorial, the bill would require companies to scale back emissions, costing Americans $4 trillion to $6 trillion over the next 40 years.
That would work out to $494 a year from every man, woman and child – more than 303 million Americans – a significant burden on the U.S. economy.
Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the EPW Committee, said he was optimistic the bill wouldn’t make it into law, despite overwhelming support from committee members.
“We’re in there, it’s going to be marked up and then passed out right on party lines,” Inhofe said. “The thing I think that will kill this will be the same thing that killed the McCain-Lieberman bill two years ago and that is this constitutes – or that bill constituted – a tax increase 10 times greater than the Clinton-Gore tax increase of 1993. Now this is far greater than that, and yet there’s really no guaranteed benefits from it.”
Story Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has just about had enough of this crap. But he's right. Why should we pay for something that isnt even proven to be true science? As long as there is dissent and differing opinions about all this THEN NONE OF IT IS EVEN GOING ON UNTIL PROVEN SCIENTIFICALY!! This is rediculous and there will be severe job loss in this bill and more government up your butt. We had better do some emails and phone calls again.
Bush Calls on Iran to 'Come Clean' on Nuclear Activities
Alot of talk going on about this *New* Intelligence report on Iran and it's capability or non-capability to build a Nuclear Bomb. Bush isnt buying this report and frankly neither am I. Here's a snip of what President Bush had to say today *snip*.
President Bush, trying to keep pressure on Iran, called on Tehran Wednesday to "come clean" about the scope of its nuclear activities or else face diplomatic isolation.
Two days after a new intelligence report said that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago, Bush demanded that Tehran detail its previous program to develop nuclear weapons "which the Iranian regime has yet to acknowledge."
"The Iranians have a strategic choice to make," he said. "They can come clean with the international community about the scope of their nuclear activities, and fully accept the long-standing offer to suspend their enrichment program and come to the table and negotiate, or they can continue on a path of isolation."
“The annihilation of the Zionist regime will come... Israel must be wiped off the map... And God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism” “They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets.” “I officially announce that Iran has joined countries with nuclear technology.”Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The administration is worried that the new National Intelligence Estimate — representing a consensus of all U.S. spy agencies — weakens its leverage over Iran and its ability to build global pressure on Tehran to stop its uranium enrichment program.
Bush, arriving here on a campaign fundraising trip, said he had consulted with members of his national security team, who gave him a report about what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley have learned in talks during the past several days with their counterparts in Britain, Germany, France and Russia.
Fred Thompson Issues Statement On NIE Report *snip*
Iran, Nuclear Weapons, and the NIE Posted on December 5th, 2007 By Fred in Iran, Commentaries
The new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities doesn’t change my view of that we need to restrain Iran. The NIE confirms that as recently as the fall of 2003, Iran was covertly working to develop nuclear weapons. Perhaps they have since halted their covert nuclear weapons work, but meanwhile they continue to aggressively pursue a uranium enrichment capability, despite the fact that it makes no economic sense as a civilian program.
This program was begun secretly as part of their larger nuclear weapons program and could be converted to bomb-making in short order. The knowledge and equipment necessary to enrich uranium for civilian nuclear fuel is identical to that used to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb; making fissile material for an atomic weapon just takes a little longer. Iran developed this program covertly and illicitly (in violation of its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards obligations) and pursued it for years before the United States and others found out about it. Iran’s transgressions are numerous: it failed to declare its activities, hid key portions of its program, and acquired material and technology illicitly, among other things. Much of this continues to this day.
Is Akmenutjob playing us all for fools? What on earth would he need cetrifuges for? Why would this idiot enrich Uranium right out in the open? Did he really stop his program in 2003? Didnt he claim he got the secrets to make a nuke from A.Q. Kahn? Why does he throw out weapons inspectors like Saddam did? Is he making all this "Wiping America and Israel Off The Map" stuff up? Israel is not going to be blown off the face of the earth or marched off into the water over an NIE report. Is Nutball trying to fool us like Saddam did? Or is he making it look like he's been fooling us for quite a while when all along he really hasnt been, and everybody thinks he has and that's what he want's. I cant explain it, but something is fishy about all this.
*snip* “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous -– if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” President Bush said on Tuesday. Iran had a covert nuclear program before 2003 -- "What’s to say it couldn’t start another covert, nuclear weapons program?” Bush asked on Monday...
President Bush Yesterday 12-03-07 Giving A Speech On Getting Something Done In Congress, FUNDING THE TROOPS COMES TO MIND!
Bush Raises The Stakes
President Bush challenged Congress Monday to approve more money for the war in Iraq before leaving Washington for the holidays, setting up the prospect that he may call for a special session to force lawmakers to allocate those funds.
"It's unconscienable to deny funds to our troops in harm's way because some in Congress want to force a self-defeating policy, especially when we're seeing the benefits of success," Bush said at a Monday morning news conference in the White House Rose Garden.
His comments represent a little bit of legislative brinksmanship the day before members return to Washington for what promises to be a frenzied December session.
The president warned Congress that the Army would run out of money in March and the Pentagon would have to lay-off as many as 100,000 non-military support personnel to save money for the military effort.
Democrats and other outside budget groups have disputed those fiscal projections in the past, arguing the Department of Defense has the money necessary if officials re-allocate it properly.
Bush was clearly trying to capitalize, in part, on comments various Democrats made last week acknowledging the escalation of U.S. troops in Iraq over the summer has helped quell violence in the war-torn country, particularly those remarks by Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, a prominent critic of the war who also controls the Pentagon's budget.
"We changed our strategy and now even many of those who initially opposed the surge acknowledge that it is achieving results," Bush said. "It is time for members of Congress to meet their responsibility to our men and women in uniform, and they should stay in session until they pass these emergency funds for our troops."
Democrats quickly denounced the president's remarks.
“A sagging economy has left American families struggling on the homefront while thousands of American troops are risking their lives on the battlefront," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.). "This morning, the President called on Congress to approve plans for more the same. The status quo might be acceptable to the President, but this Congress will insist on a new direction.”
The Democratically-controlled Congress has a heavy slate of legislation to complete before wrapping up its business for the year, and Bush pressed on lawmakers to complete an update of the electronic surveillance law that expires in February, pass their remaining spending bills for the year and approve legislation to save millions of Americans from the alternative minimum tax before leaving town later this month.
Failing Congress Congress returns to work this week, and things continue to look bad for Democrats. When Democrats took power, they had three major goals: to end the war in Iraq, cripple Bush's presidency, and pave the way for a Democratic sweep next year. They have failed in all three respects. Our Republican delegation from Oklahoma deserves a lot of credit for sticking to their principles and giving Republicans a great shot at gaining seats in 2008.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well playtime is over now onto business. But by Congress not doing much before they went on recess how are they suppose to hurry up and do anything? More Gridlock, more Battles, oh it's so nice to have Congress back! Pfft.