Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Quick Takes for Tuesday August 21

Catching up on a host of procrastinated posts!

Quotes That Come in Handy

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
Winston Churchill

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. "
John Stuart Mill

"The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation. It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The world's millstone and pillar is in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate....The Whole World Is Watching This War And The Two Adversaries; The Islamic Nation, On The One Hand, And The United States And Its Allies On The Other. It Is Either Victory And Glory Or Misery And Humiliation."
Osama bin Laden 12/28/2004

Dem Campaign Gems

While not memorable or useful in the same sense as the quotes above, these little nuggets from two spouses in the Democrat presidential nominating campaign are illuminating:

"We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman."
Elizabeth Edwards, cancer-stricken spouse of candidate John Edwards said in an interview in August."

"If you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House." Michelle Obama told a campaign audience in Iowa. While not mentioning Hillary Clinton by name, the implication to the Clinton scandals is clear.

Hail Hillary: Surge is "Working"

In a sure sign that Hillary Clinton sees her nomination as the Democrat candidate for President as inevitable, she ignored the catfight her rivals spouses tried to start with her and demonstrated the unique Clinton skill of speaking out of both sides of her mouth simultaneously.

Hillary, who was FOR the surge, before she was AGAINST it now seems to be FOR it again now that it's working. Echoing her other recent public statements, when asked about the Surge in Iraq she told attendees at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City, Missouri : "It's working."

And she's repeated again that despite her desire to end the war, as posted at her web site, she continues to support an indefinite U.S. presence in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Hillary's been making hay running against the Bush Administration in her newest ad about people who are "invisible" to Bush (here at You Tube).

In the ad she parades the usual list of Democrat victims in desperate need of Federal help, without which life isn't worth living.

Lots of people have been having fun with this one. If you haven't heard the audio that our favorite radio talk show host added to the video, look here. It seems lots of people are invisible to Mrs. Clinton. The White House Travel Office employees she had fired, Juanita Broadderick, Paula Jones, Jennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky and MORE.... All invisible to Hillary.

In another of those interminable Democrat debates, Hillary was asked at a Sunday Iowa debate how she intended to counter the Republicans: " I have been fighting against these people for longer than anybody else up here." So apparently, "fighting" is a better way to address the concerns of the "invisible" than working with Republicans?

Watch any Democrat Town Hall style meeting on C-Span and you'll see and endless parade of victims complaining about poor education, health care, etc. Republicans are always blamed for whatever the victim of the day is talking about. And yet, trillions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on a massive bureaucracy and transfers of wealth to address every one of the issues Hillary's "invisible" voter has, and the problems still persist?

Seems to me that after so many years of Democrat promises their legacy of delivering, even when they control both Houses of Congress AND the White House is weak. Will we ever have an "exit strategy" for the War on Poverty or are a perpetual victim class more important to Democrats running for office?

One final hit from the VFW convention: Hillary said she wanted to restore America's image abroad. "People have to root for America," she said. "They have to want to be on our side."

Let's take a fuller look at that in the next item shall we?

French Foreign Minister in Iraq: New Page in U.S. Relations

Ten days ago, President Bush welcomed new French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was vacationing in nearby New Hampshire, to stop by the Bush family retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine. President Sarkozy pledged to restore the historic friendship between the French and America.

In a clear sign that this "new tone" in relations between France and the United States is more substantial than mere symbolism, French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, made a surprise visit to Iraq last Sunday (shown right with Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari ).

As co-founder of the Nobel prize-winning Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) Kouchner, regarded as center left in French politics, supported U.S. actions to remove Saddam Hussein (BBC bio here)

In Paris the foreign ministry said, Kouchner was in ''Iraq to express a message of solidarity from France to the Iraqi people and to listen to representatives from all communities." and to "turn the page" and look to the future.

"Everyone knows that the Americans cannot bring this country out of difficulty all alone," he told France's RTL radio from Baghdad.

"Now we are turning the page. There is a new perspective. We want to talk about the future. Democracy, integrity, sovereignty, reconciliation, and stopping the killings. That's my deep aim," Kouchner said after meeting with Iraq's foreign minister, Hosyhar Zebari.

In a hint of where France might engage in Iraq, Foreign Minister Kouchner visited the UN's Headquarters in Baghdad, which was the site of a horrific bombing that killed UN special envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and 19 other people. The two men were personal friends.

Bush Leadership: America Respected, Admired & Validated Abroad

Muse again on the statement of Hillary Clinton: "People have to root for America," she said. "They have to want to be on our side."

Like the perennial victim trot at every Democrat Town Hall meeting, implying America isn't respected in the world and needs allies is a constant Democrat campaign staple.

And yet, does that campaign theme recognize the reality of the last few years? The French example is just ONE of many. Just two months ago, President Bush concluded a European tour which ended in a euphoric visit to Albania. Only a Democrat could forget the statement of the Albanain Prime Minster:
"Among us is the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times, the President of the United States of America, the leading country of the free world, George W. Bush."

Courtyard Council of MinistersTirana, Albania June 10, 2007

In a post on that visit, I remarked on this incredible image:

Leaders of the G8 sit on a canopied bench after meeting with Junior G8 Student Leaders Thursday, June 7, 2007, in Heiligendamm, Germany. From left, and under their respective country flags, are: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan; Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada; President Nicolas Sarkozy of France; Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President George W. Bush of the United States; Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom; Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy, and Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. White House photo by Eric Draper

Go right down that row! Most of these leaders have been elected or re-elected in the last few years on a platform of more conservative, more pro-American policies. That's quite an achievement!

More Democrat Latecomers to Surge Success

And as the change in attitudes towards the U.S by formerly difficult allies like France continues to improve, the attitudes of previously defeatist Democrats, and Republican Iraq doubters also continues to soften:
Statement of Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator John Warner, Former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

We completed a very productive two-day visit to Iraq on August 18. We came to Iraq to assess the progress being achieved by “the surge,” whose purpose is to provide Iraqi politicians with the “breathing space” to achieve political reconciliation and to evaluate the extent to which they are taking advantage of the opportunity.
We have seen indications that the surge of additional brigades to Baghdad and its immediate vicinity and the revitalized counter-insurgency strategy being employed have produced tangible results in making several areas of the capital more secure. We are also encouraged by continuing positive results -- in al Anbar Province, from the recent decisions of some of the Sunni tribes to turn against al Qaeda and cooperate with coalition force efforts to kill or capture its adherents.
We note the continuing improvement in the ability and willingness of the Iraqi Army to conduct combat operations against the insurgents.
Reid, Pelosi Continue to Be Fleeced by Left "Supporters"

As Congressional poll approval numbers continue to plummet, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Reid continue to walk the tightrope between their radical defeatist supporters and the new reality emerging in Iraq.

Even their best friends on the left are turning on them as evidenced in this ad from the ACLU regarding their position on the terrorist monitoring law recently updated by Congress to allow the Bush Administration to track the communications of terrorists overseas.

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