American Elephants


Here come the Uighurs, we just don’t know where yet. by The Elephant's Child
April 25, 2009, 12:19 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

After the Inauguration, President Obama was very anxious to appear to “hit the ground running.”  He hastened to sign all sorts of Executive Orders to undo whatever George Bush did. Believing that one reason for anti-Americanism in the world, was international disapproval  of our detention center at Guantanamo Bay, he ordered Guantanamo to be closed within a year.  Unfortunately, he had no idea what to do with the detainees.

We have released many of the detainees, those who were thought to be less dangerous.  It has been widely stated that those who are left are the “worst of the worst.”  Aside from the fulminations of the human rights crowd, and the not very believable claims of the detainees themselves through their court-assigned lawyers; there have been many visitors to the detention center who describe the place as a model prison run with extreme care for the rights of the detainees.

The Uighurs are Chinese Muslim jihadists, trained in explosives and assassination tactics, and anxious enough to be trained that they traveled from China to Afghanistan to become more effectively lethal.  They were trained by Abdul Haq, a member of al Qaeda’s inner circle.  They were sent to Guantanamo in 2002 after being captured in Pakistan.  Some former U.S. officials have said that government information indicates that the Uighurs may pose a danger if released.  Other officials and human rights organizations insist they pose no threat to Americans.

They cannot be returned to China; they oppose the Chinese government, and presumably the Chinese government returns the favor.  The position of “detainee” is apparently incomprehensible.  (The idea is to keep them from returning to jihadism and killing Americans).

Guantanamo Bay was chosen and developed as the best possible solution to a difficult problem, after a great deal of searching and study.   I find the administration’s exquisitely delicate feelings for the opinions of European journalists a little hard to stomach.

The Uighurs are to be released in this country, probably in Virginia suburbs where some Uighur immigrants from China have settled.  The thought is that they should be near others who speak their language and understand their customs.  I don’t know if anyone has asked the immigrants if they want the detainees.

This is now Obama’s problem, and his risk.



Administration allows media coverage of war coffins. by The Elephant's Child
February 26, 2009, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Liberalism, Media Bias, Military | Tags: ,

The Pentagon will lift its ban on media coverage of flag-draped coffins of military dead returned from war zones to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.  The ban was put in place in 1991.

More than 64% of military families believe that the ban should not be overturned.  Families were apparently not consulted nor their wishes honored when the decision was made.

This has always been not only an odd, but a rather smarmy debate. Grieving  families understandably want their privacy uninterrupted by media lights, cameras and noisy intrusion.

The only possible  reason for the presence of the media is the propaganda value to anti-war activists.  Photographs of large numbers of coffins might enhance their anti-military cause.  Families, quite naturally, don’t care to have their loved ones used.

The Obama administration seems childishly insistent on overturning any policy that was associated with the Bush administration, whatever its value.  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reviewed the policy at the request of President Obama, and came up with the compromise of leaving the presence of media up to the families involved.

The Defense Department statement is here. CNN’s take is here.

I’m with the families.  There is class, and there is classless.  If you were not able to see the HBO special “Taking Chance”, take a few moments to read the story on which the movie was based which was posted by Blackfive in 2004.  It is a beautiful story.



Criminalizing Political Speech, In America? by The Elephant's Child

There is an unpleasant streak in the progressive left of totalitarianism. You must not disagree with them. They will not tolerate dissent. Apparently unacquainted with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, if you say something that displeases them, you must be punished by law. And if the law won’t punish, then the laws must be fixed so they will eliminate the dissent.

Ralph Peters wrote recently in the New York Post that, after a lecture to the Marine Memorial Association, a reporter thrust a microphone towards him and asked if Peters thought he should be tried for war crimes for his columns in The Post supporting our military.

In theory, no one is more aware of the First Amendment to the Constitution than reporters. Do you suppose they just read the phrase “abridging the freedom of the press” and skip the rest? Or is it that they just don’t think about the Constitution at all.

Katrina van den Heuvel, editor of The Nation, said that when she interviewed Nancy Pelosi about her new book, she asked Pelosi “how could she take impeachment “off the table?”. “[Progressives] believe holding this administration accountable for its staggering abuse of power is essential for preserving our Constitution.”

At the Netroots Nation gathering in Austin, Texas, Byron York reported that Dahlia Lithwick of the Washington Post owned website Slate, described a panel discussion she had participated in on what is known as “the first 100 days of accountability”

We’re already falling into this trap of either positing Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunals, or nothing, immunizing everyone from John Yoo up and down…but everybody says there’s a lot of gray area in between that, and that accountability doesn’t necessarily mean Nuremberg, it doesn’t necessarily mean nothing, it means possibly a truth commission, possibly appointing a special prosecutor …

In this constitutional republic, there is no place for “truth commissions” or “gray areas.” This is Stalinism, pure and simple, and there is no place for it in any political party.

Lithwick went on to recommend a massive retrospective investigation of the Bush administration, going through every piece of paper, before moving forward. But she recognized that some might think such an action might be divisive:

We talked a lot about this notion that it’s bad for America , that it will rip America apart if we have hearings or we have criminal trials or if we have war crimes tribunals. And I think it’s really worse for America if we don’t.

These people are serious. Bush Derangement Syndrome has gone so far that people who disagree are to be eliminated. Tried, condemned and executed.

Lawyer and author Vincent Bugliosi has called for George W. Bush to be prosecuted for murder based on his decision to invade Iraq.  Mr. Bugliosi apparently has never read the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq  Resolution of 2002″, or any of Bush’s speeches.  He is just overcome with BDS. 

In Canada, columnist Mark Steyn has been put on trial for quoting the words of an author in a commissioned book review, because a Muslim claimed the words to be offensive.  But they were not Mark Steyn’s words.  No matter.

Obama’s plan for imposing “Unity” on the nation after he takes office apparently includes a close look at war crimes trials for Bush Administration officials. Thomas Lifson notes an interview with Obama that appeared on a Philadelphia Daily News blog.

Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to “immediately review the information that’s already there” and determine if an inquiry is warranted — but he also tread carefully on the issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He worried that such a probe could be spun as a”a partisan witch hunt.” However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because “nobody is above the law.”

We have heard James Hansen, NASA scientist, calling for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature because they were actively spreading doubt about the reality of global warming.  What!

Columnist Ellen Goodman wrote that “global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.” Imagine.  Disagreeing with computer climate models that have increasingly been proven to have no predictive value is the equivalent of denying that Hitler killed 6 million Jews.  You may believe something passionately, Ellen, but nobody is required to agree with you. And there is always the possibility that you are wrong.  Completely wrong.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called climate skeptics “traitors”.  The Grist website called for Nuremburg type trials for those who do not adhere to the IPCC dogma.  NASA’s Dr. James Hansen has called for their trials for treason. 

Journalists have attacked Sarah Palin and her family with an unfathomable fury that puts the lie to any pretense of media balance or impartiality. They have no interest in fairness, they clearly want to destroy her.  Many of the accusations and speculations are so ugly that I will not repeat them here.

The founders believed that we should debate and argue.  They established three branches of government with differing responsibilities, and set the legislative branch the task of arguing and debating to determine the content of the laws that they passed. But silencing the opposition?  Bringing the opposition to trial for disagreeing?  And, in actuality, refusing to debate? 

As John Bolton wrote recently:

[T]he pernicious idea is that, based on their own moral self-evaluation, people can take the law into their own hands and determine who is a criminal.  At a minimum, this approach is intended to deny legitimacy in the public square to opposing points of view, and taken to the next level — the threat of physical force — is intended to intimidate those views into silence.  This is, in the worst case, the path first to anarchy and then to fascism.



Oh come on, people. Have a sense of humor. by The Elephant's Child

What a Convention!  As partisan people — and of course we are — we watched both conventions and are looking forward to tonight.  Sarah Palin’s speech was a triumph, she held the audience in the palm of her hands. Rudy Guiliani was the best I have ever seen him.   But the most compelling moment of the whole convention was when little Piper Palin, holding the baby Trig, licked her palm to slick down the baby’s hair.

Utterly human.  No director could have planned such a charming, ordinary moment, nor so completely repudiated the sneers of the elite media.  And that’s the difference.

The glitter and gloss of the Democrat convention was impeccable theater.  Famous bands, Roman temple, oval office carpet, immense stadium, fireworks, confetti.

The Democrat convention was an angry convention. Delegates heard a description of an America at the brink of another Great Depression, of lost jobs, lost homes, lost health, lost war, lost friends.  What is the matter with these people?  They live in the freest country with the greatest opportunity and the least class consciousness in the world and they yearn to turn it into — France?

Democrats are angry because humanity doesn’t live up to their expectations. These are people whose idea of high humor has been to stick a Hitler moustache on George W. Bush and a Nazi uniform on Dick Cheney.  They are not amused by humanity.  If only you will give them power, they will fix things and make them perfect.

But humanity is. It cannot be fixed. Real people struggle, make mistakes, do foolish things as well as noble things.  Half the population, by definition, has less than average intelligence.  To get through life, you neeed a healthy sense of humor and a goodly amount of stoical resignation. We’re a mess, the lot of us; but we work at getting better, and fairly often we succeed. And we do not need Government to fix things for us.   We have to learn to pick ourselves up and try once more.  It helps when we have candidates who grasp the nature of humanity, and have a sense of what government can do and what it can’t.

That’s why Republicans had a happy convention.  Yes, they made fun of the Democrats, but they weren’t angry about it.  They were laughing.  That’s probably what made the liberals so angry.

If you watched the Palin family, Willow held the baby while Bristol held her fiance’s hand.  Then Cindy McCain held the baby, then Todd Palin took over.  Even little babies get heavy after a while.  Then Todd had to stand up, so he passed the baby to Piper.  This is how normal families work.  When one member of the family has to do something different, everybody pitches in — because it’s family. The family is enriched by the success of another member, whether it is winning a snowmachine race or negotiating a pipeline.  That’s the real America.



Liberal Media Unhinged by American Elephant
August 21, 2008, 5:15 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Liberalism, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Local sheriff’s deputies botch a drug raid, Newsweek blames….BUSH! I kid you not:

While rare, these cases say something about our culture. A country is not just defined by big sweeping events like wars and treaties and elections. It’s defined by what goes on in neighborhoods, towns, homes. In the past eight years, we have seen our privacy invaded in the name of “homeland security.” We have all been living in a climate of “shoot (or accuse) first, ask questions later.” And that attitude is contagious….

The next president will not only have to deal with the economy, with global warming, with wars in other countries … he will have to deal with fear and rage at home. A country does not only lose itself by what happens on other shores; it loses itself in living rooms, kitchens, backyards. America will lose itself when we look around us and nothing feels like home anymore. [read more here if you can bear it]

Patti Davis (yes, that Patti Davis) writing for Newsweek.

Has Newsweek forgotten what happens to Americans when Democrats run the White House?

and we’re supposed to be afraid of Republicans because of a local matter they had absolutely nothing to do with?

No thanks Newsweek, I’m sticking with the GOP where it’s safe!



Nutroot Schadenfreude by American Elephant

Democrats have finally capitulated, after years of lies and demagoguery, to President Bush’s and Republican’s view of FISA laws and presidential authority to conduct warrantless wiretaps in the interests of national security. The 69-28 vote wasn’t even close. Obama’s promised filibuster didn’t materialize. Indeed, he voted for it.

But why did it pass so overwhelmingly when Democrats have been so hysterical over it? How is it possible that president Bush could win when his approval ratings are so low, you ask?

Because Democrats were pandering to their deranged base, they put the nation through all this division and animus for political expediency, and because in the end, President Bush was right, Republicans were right, Democrats were wrong, and they knew it all along.

Naturally, there is much wailing, rending of clothes, pulling of hair, and gnashing of teeth among the MoveOn and Dailykos types.

To which all I can say is: NEENER NEENER NEENER!!!!!



Dissent for WE, but not for thee! by American Elephant

Whatever happened to the left’s mantra that, “dissent is the ultimate form of patriotism?” Mind you, it was an asinine mantra to begin with; nevertheless, it was theirs.

But the deranged left is out to prove once again, that in their world, dissent is a one way street:

First the rabid Democrat base tossed Joe Lieberman out of the party entirely, now, despite being re-elected by the overwhelming majority of his state, nutroots are demanding he be stripped of his committee chairmanship. It’s a tiny tent on the left indeed.

Ironically, this group calls itself “Brave New Films.” The scary Aldous Huxley reference aside, I would say real bravery is not a faceless online petition, to quote Albus Dumbledore, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Joe Lieberman is doing both.



Tell it to the Marines! by The Elephant's Child

Speaking of war protesters, the anti-war loony left continually amazes in their crass ability to offend public decency.

The ever-yearning-for-attention Berkeley City Council had, I thought, crossed the line when they attempted to banish the Marine Recruiting Office from downtown Berkeley, and gave Code Pink a parking place directly in front of the office. That all dissolved in a fit of giggles when Code Pink Princess Medea Benjamin was spat upon by an angry veteran and she started screaming for help from — the Marines! Bwa ha ha ha!

It appears, however, that attacks on military recruiters are not isolated incidents, but an ongoing campaign by the left. Michelle Malkin details the attacks which have been taking place since 2003.

Now, on March 19, the Pittsburgh Organizing Group intends to evict the Marines from their Pittsburgh recruiting office, “and everything inside it, occupy the location and transform it into something useful for the community. We’ll also be bringing a movable cage in which to confine military recruiters until they no longer pose a danger to our friends and neighbors.”

Goodness. And who do you suppose will defend their right to freedom of speech and their right to demonstrate? And who will, if necessary, save their sorry butts? The Marines.

American Elephant Adds: Code pink and other anti-war activists spend a lot of time harassing, protesting and insulting our military men and women. Why not take a moment and write a short email to tell our armed forces just how much you appreciate and support them:

(Just click the “America Supports You” button, then click the button for “Thank the troops”. You can be as brief or as long-winded as you want. It’s not hard, and they’ve certainly earned it.)

America Supports You!



Democrats — Still Crazy After All These Years by American Elephant

Almost eight years later, Democrats in Washington State are still grousing about President Bush preventing Algore from stealing the 2000 election. (They later used precisely the same tactics ruled unconstitutional by a 7-2 vote of the US Supreme Court to successfully steal the gubernatorial election from the winner, Dino Rossi.) The state senate has just voted to potentially disenfranchise the majority of Washington voters:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – State senators have approved a bill that would deliver the state’s electoral votes to the U.S. presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

The bill, which passed 30-18 Monday, now heads to the House.

The bill would change Washington’s current system of typically giving all of the state’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the statewide election to awarding all of the state’s delegates to the national popular vote winner. [read more]

So bitter are they still over the 2000 election results, that they are incapable of envisioning a situation where Washington State might vote for someone who does not win the popular vote, even though that is precisely what happened in 2004.

Had this ridiculous plan been enacted then, Washington State’s electoral votes would have gone to George W. Bush, even though the majority of voters in our state voted for Kerry.

In fact, as liberals are fond of pointing out, if Kerry had won just a few hundred thousand votes here, and a few hundred thousand votes there, he might have won the presidency even though Bush won the popular vote.

In other words, they would be handing the election to the opponent of the candidate the majority of their constituents voted for, disenfranchising the millions of people it is their job to represent.

Bush Derangement Syndrome.



Still a Proud Bush Supporter! by American Elephant

First Lady Laura and President George W. Bush

…and so is the Anchoress, who takes us down memory lane in an excellent post recalling all the great good President Bush has done for conservatives, for America, and for the world. In the face of the most evil vitriol and venom the hysterical left could muster, President Bush has exemplified the very best in grace and character.

In this poisonous atmosphere — where it has become de rigueur for cowed conservatives to qualify their support of the President with caveats like, “well, I don’t agree with everything Bush has done” (Of course you don’t you ninnies!) — there are some on the right who would greatly benefit from (and should be somewhat shamed by) this reminder of what a great man with the courage of his convictions looks like.

The left is hopeless. They are hysterical, ignorant, and naive. They loathed President Reagan much the same way, and look how stupid history has proved them to be. I have no doubt that history will record President Bush as near-great, and the Anchoress recalls many of the reasons why.

Read the entire post.



Democrats Have More Mental Problems, say Democrats! by American Elephant
December 2, 2007, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying any attention, but libs are nuts. All you have to do is look at one of their protests or conventions, or read their rantings on the Daily Kos to come to that conclusion.

Don’t forget a plurality of Democrats believe 9-11 was an inside job. And then there’s Bush Derangement Syndrome! Yikes!

Republicans, on the other hand, report overwhelmingly excellent mental health.

No, its been clear for quite some time now that our liberal brothers and sisters are deeply deranged.

As we explained a while back, there’ve been scientific studies that at least in part may explain the mental instability of the left.

So please! For your own welfare, for America’s welfare …if you are one of the many deeply disturbed Democrats, be healed, be sane…become a Republican!

graph

PRINCETON, NJ — Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats or independents to rate their mental health as excellent, according to data from the last four November Gallup Health and Healthcare polls. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans report having excellent mental health, compared to 43% of independents and 38% of Democrats. This relationship between party identification and reports of excellent mental health persists even within categories of income, age, gender, church attendance, and education.



Top Democrat Blasts Democrat Party Over Partisan-Driven Foreign Policy by American Elephant

Senator Joe Lieberman

Says Democrats are betraying principles, poisoning politics, and undermining America’s interests for partisan gain.

The man the Democrat party so respected and admired that they made him their Vice-Presidential nominee just a few short years ago, has leveled a scathing rebuke at the Democrat party for abandoning the principles of Truman, Roosevelt and Kennedy, betraying America’s interests and poisoning the American political atmosphere for political gain. He has blasted the Democrat base for their hate-driven “paranoia…delusion and deception.”…

In other words Senator Lieberman (who was overwhelmingly re-elected by his home state of Connecticut despite an attempt by radical leftists to throw him out) has admitted what all Republicans and thinking-independents have known for a long time — Democrats intentionally changed their position on Iraq for partisan gain when the going got tough and have since done everything in their power to undermine the war effort and tear apart the country for their own political gain:

“Since retaking Congress in November 2006, the top foreign policy priority of the Democratic Party has not been to expand the size of our military for the war on terror or to strengthen our democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East or to prevail in Afghanistan. It has been to pull our troops out of Iraq, to abandon the democratically-elected government there, and to hand a defeat to President Bush.

Iraq has become the singular litmus test for Democratic candidates. No Democratic presidential primary candidate today speaks of America’s moral or strategic responsibility to stand with the Iraqi people against the totalitarian forces of radical Islam, or of the consequences of handing a victory in Iraq to Al Qaeda and Iran. And if they did, their campaign would be as unsuccessful as mine was in 2006. Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus’ new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, or even that that progress has enabled us to begin drawing down our troops there.

Part of the explanation for this, I think, comes back to ideology. For all of our efforts in the 1990s to rehabilitate a strong Democratic foreign policy tradition, anti-war sentiment remains the dominant galvanizing force among a significant segment of the Democratic base.

But another reason for the Democratic flip-flop on foreign policy over the past few years is less substantive. For many Democrats, the guiding conviction in foreign policy isn’t pacifism or isolationism—it is distrust and disdain of Republicans in general, and President Bush in particular.

In this regard, the Democratic foreign policy worldview has become defined by the same reflexive, blind opposition to the President that defined Republicans in the 1990s – even when it means repudiating the very principles and policies that Democrats as a party have stood for, at our best and strongest…

First, several left-wing blogs seized upon the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, offering wild conspiracy theories about how it could be used to authorize the use of military force against Iran.

These were absurd arguments. The text of our amendment contained nothing—nothing—that could be construed as a green light for an attack on Iran. To claim that it did was an act of delusion or deception.

On the contrary, by calling for tougher sanctions on Iran, the intention of our amendment was to offer an alternative to war.

Nonetheless, the conspiracy theories started to spread. Although the Senate passed our amendment, 76-22, several Democrats, including some of the Democratic presidential candidates, soon began attacking it — and Senator Clinton, who voted for the amendment. In fact, some of the very same Democrats who had cosponsored the legislation in the spring, urging the designation of the IRGC, began denouncing our amendment for doing the exact same thing…

there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.

There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base—even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.

For me, this episode reinforces how far the Democratic Party of 2007 has strayed from the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and the Clinton-Gore administration.

That is why I call myself an Independent Democrat today. It is because my foreign policy convictions are the convictions that have traditionally animated the Democratic Party—but they exist in me today independent of the current Democratic Party, which has largely repudiated them.” [read more] Continue reading




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