American Elephants

While your attention was elsewhere, there were some good things happening in Iraq. by The Elephant's Child

Iraq’s leading Shi’a cleric, the Grand Ayatolla Ali Sistani, on Tuesday issued a call to his followers. He banned the spilling of Iraqi blood — especially of the Sunnis, and called on the Shiites to protect their brother Sunnis. “I am a servant of all Iraqis, there is no difference between a Sunni, a Shiite or a Kurd or a Christian,” the Ayatolla Sistani was quoted as saying during a meeting with a delegation of Sunni clerics from southern and northern Iraq.

Among the Islamic world’s Shi’a the Grand Ayatollah Sistani is seen as a direct competitor to Iran’s revolutionary and radical Ayatollah Khomeni. In contrast to Khomeni, Sistani sees possibility for a separation between mosque and government and room for democratic governance without theological conflict. Sistani’s support spreads beyond the borders of Iraq into Iran.

These are very promising developments. Did you hear about them?

Michael Yon reported earlier this month (reprinted at Belmont Club) on Christians and Muslims of Iraq placing a cross atop the newly re-opened St. John’s Church in Baghdad. They had retrieved the cross from storage and washed it carefully before carrying it up to the dome. Michael Yon wrote:

The Iraqis asked me to convey a message of thanks to the American people, “Thank you, thank you,” the people were saying. One man said, “Thank you for peace.” Another man, a Muslim, said, “All the people, all the people in Iraq, Muslim and Christian is brother.” The men and the women were holding bells, and for the first time in memory , freedom rang over the land between two rivers.

A lovely little story.  Did you read about it?

On October 29, Michael Totten posted a story about Iraqi Army officers in Besmaya  who raised a thousand dollars in donations for victims of the devastating fires in San Diego. A thousand dollars is a lot of money in Iraq. The average salary is only a few hundred dollars a month. This is a moment when the old saying “it’s the thought that counts” is really applicable.  (More..)  A moving account.  Did you hear about it?

These are small stories, underreported, or not reported because they don’t show the war in the necessary bad light, nor do they reflect badly on the administration–a necessary direction, it seems, for reporters who prefer spinning to reporting. It makes you want to weep, but there really are good stories out there…

Pop Quiz! by The Elephant's Child
November 29, 2007, 8:40 pm
Filed under: History | Tags:


Do you like quizzes?  I can’t resist.  Not the kind where you’re sweating it out for a grade, but the fun kind in magazines in the doctor’s office.   Just a little series of questions to see what you know.  Here’s one, just for fun.  What do you know about the famous ships of the world, and why they were famous?  I’ll bet it’s more than you think.  Identify as many as you can (click links for answers):

  1. HMS Victory
  2. Speedwell
  3. HMS Repulse
  4. USS Lexington
  5. Graf Spee
  6. USS Hornet
  7. Mayflower
  8. USS Enterprise
  9. USS Constitution
  10. USS Arizona
  11. Monitor
  12. Pinta
  13. RMS Titanic
  14. HMS Prince of Wales
  15. Akagi
  16. USS Maine
  17. Rainbow Warrior
  18. Flying Cloud
  19. Mary Rose
  20. Soryu
  21. Lusitania
  22. Empress of Ireland
  23. Andrea Doria
  24. Edmund Fitzgerald
  25. HMS Bounty

Iraq Wants America to Stay, United NATIONS to Leave by American Elephant

In a stunning rebuke of Democrat’s only stated Iraq policy preferences, the Iraqi government is expected to ask the United States to stay in Iraq, and ask the United Nations to leave.

Basically the only two suggestions Democrats have ever made: that we surrender and let the UN handle things from here, the Iraqi government says, “um, ARE YOU CRAZY???”

No, not crazy, just stunningly corrupt and monumentally wrongheaded.

According to the Associated Press, Iraq’s government will soon ask the U.S. to keep troops in that country long-term to guarantee its security against terrorists and predatory neighboring states such as Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

It’s all part of a new “strategic partnership” between the U.S. and Iraq, according to what the AP described as two “senior Iraq officials” from different political parties.

The Iraqis also will ask that the United Nations end its involvement inside the country, go home and wrap up its role in deciding Iraq’s fate — a job it has had since the first Gulf War in 1991. The U.N.’s official mandate expires next year.

All this is good news, both for Iraq and the U.S.

For Iraq, it means long-term stability for its democratically elected government and its successors; for the U.S., we gain a permanent presence in the Middle East from which to defend our interests. Both are vital for our security.

Iraq has even hinted, without saying so explicitly, that it will give the U.S. a piece of its oil pie — its reserves of 115 billion barrels are the world’s fourth-largest — in exchange for helping to protect it.

As the AP noted, the deal would “include preferential treatment for American investments” — code for putting the U.S. at the head of the line when it comes to helping Iraq’s oil industry to grow. [read more]

Democrats: wrong on every major foreign policy/national security issue since Vietnam.

Democrats’ Iraq Disaster by American Elephant

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi

Democrats oppose the war in Iraq. We all know that…now.

They were for it — when it was going well — when it was popular. But when the going got tough, as it always does in war, Democrats saw an opportunity — Democrats got going.

They campaigned in ’06 promising to change direction in Iraq. They refused to say what that new direction would be, but when they won, they nevertheless claimed a mandate to pull out of Iraq.

The problem that has arisen for Democrats since then is that America has changed course in Iraq — things have gotten dramatically better on the ground, Iraqis are joining with America to fight terrorists and insurgents alike, Iraqis who had fled are returning in droves, and violence of all kinds has dropped exponentially.

In other words, thanks to President Bush and General Petraeus, the man Democrats smeared as a liar and betrayer of the nation, we are winning! And Democrats have fought that victory kicking and screaming every step of the way.

Now the Democrats are pinning all their hopes on the heretofore “lack of political reconciliation” in Iraq. (This from the party that has blocked desperately needed energy policy, social security, healthcare and other reforms for seven years.)  But the idea that America should leave an increasingly peaceful Iraq to descend into chaos, dragging the greater middle east with it because Iraqi politicians are guilty of being not even as viciously partisan as Democrats, will never fly with the American people. Nor should it.

I have little doubt now that Iraqi leaders will work out their differences. Not simply because reports suggest that that is precisely what is going on behind the scenes, but because they must. The Iraqi people have shown by joining the fight, that they will not accept anything less.

The fact is that Democrats have completely boxed themselves in.

They have proven with their opportunistic vacillating that they are unfit to command the nation’s defenses. National security requires strength and resolve. Democrats have exposed themselves as weak and untrustworthy.

They long ago declared the increasingly successful war, “lost”. They have since done nearly everything in their power to bring about that result. They branded the highly successful surge a “failure”.

President Bush and Republicans are on the way to turning an avowed enemy of the United States with the capability to produce and disperse WMD into a moderate democracy and ally to America.

Democrats will never be able to claim any responsibility for success in Iraq — they are long past the point of no return on that flip-flop. And most importantly, the American people will hold them responsible for trying their best to scuttle it.

“Kharma” is coming for the Democrats, and it’s not happy.

Democrats Embrace Failed Abu Ghraib General, Trash Successful One by American Elephant
November 28, 2007, 5:13 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Politics | Tags: , , , ,

General Ricardo Sanchez

Jack Kelly makes an excellent point on Real Clear Politics.

In rebuttal to President Bush’s weekly radio address thanking the troops for their service (yes, apparently Democrats felt that gratitude required a rebuttal), Democrats had retired 3-star General Ricardo Sanchez criticize what is now almost universally recognized as monumental progress in Iraq as a failure, and call for America to leave Iraq. (This just as Iraq is about to ask the US to stay)

General Sanchez, Kelley points out, was forced to retire (translation: fired) because he was the General in charge of the Abu Ghraib fiasco and was also the General in charge of operations in Iraq when the insurgency took root.

So here we have Democrats putting forth the man who is in large part responsible for our most grievous failures in Iraq as their spokesman just shortly after viciously smearing and trashing General David Petraeus as a liar. Petraeus is the General responsible for cleaning up after Sanchez, responsible for perhaps the most successful counter-insurgency ever, and who is currently winning the war.

Democrats once again prove they are determined to undermine America for their own political gain at any cost.

I encourage you to read Kelly’s entire piece here.

Terrorists Target Army Base — in Arizona by American Elephant
November 28, 2007, 4:14 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy | Tags: , ,

fort huachuca

Frightening story from the Washington Times:

Fort Huachuca, the nation’s largest intelligence-training center, changed security measures in May after being warned that Islamist terrorists, with the aid of Mexican drug cartels, were planning an attack on the facility.

Fort officials changed security measures after sources warned that possibly 60 Afghan and Iraqi terrorists were to be smuggled into the U.S. through underground tunnels with high-powered weapons to attack the Arizona Army base, according to multiple confidential law enforcement documents obtained by The Washington Times.

A portion of the operatives were in the United States, with the remainder not yet in the United States,” according to one of the documents, an FBI advisory that was distributed to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, Customs and Border Protection and the Justice Department, among several other law enforcement agencies throughout the nation… [read the whole thing]

So now we know terrorists are indeed entering the country through the pourous Mexican border with the intent to kill Americans.

Um, can we secure the border now?

So Much for THAT Narrative! by American Elephant

Hillary Clinton

Those rascally reporters in the “mainstream” media have been working double-time to convince us for over a year now that ’08 is a lock — you may as well stay home, because Americans hate Republicans and will never, ever, ever elect one ever, ever again!

Many Republicans were even falling for it.

Not so fast.

Forget for a moment that the top Democrat candidates are all completely inexperienced, unqualified boobs. Forget also that their current front-runner has a track-record of corruption ten times the length of her resume. And remember that the media always tell us the election is the Democrat’s to lose. Both Al-Gore and John Heinz-Kerry were at one point or another inevitable victors according to the liberal media.

But wishful thinking is no substitute for factual reporting no matter how much the beltway propaganda-slingers wish it were so.

The conventional wisdom is horse-hockey.

The latest Zogby poll shows her thighness, Hillary Rodham, losing to all top 5 Republican contenders. Not just Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, but John McCain, Fred Thompson and even Nanny Huckabee.

The more Americans see the Democrat party, the less they like what they see.

I have been saying for some time now that Democrats will not nominate Hillary. I have suspected that they will panic, decide she is unelectable, and throw her under the proverbial, unionized, bus. This poll, I think, makes that possibility more likely.

America Loses Key Ally by Emerald City Elephant
November 27, 2007, 4:43 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Politics | Tags:

Australian Prime Minister John Howard

In case you missed it, Australia just held elections this past Saturday, and after an eleven-year run (the second longest in that nation’s history), Prime Minister John Howard and his ruling Liberal party were defeated by a healthy 7% margin.

Howard, a strong conservative, has been a stalwart ally of the United States, especially in the war on terror and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has led Australia into a robust economy with full employment and a stunning 11 consecutive years of growth.

If Americans could elect foreign born presidents, John Howard, not Schwarzenegger, is the man I would want to recruit.

Howard’s replacement, the Labour Party’s Kevin Rudd, has apparently committed to pulling Australia’s troops slowly from Iraq, beginning in 2008. (The election had very little to do with Iraq and more to do wtih a desire for change after 11 years of the same leader) The editors at national Review suggest Rudd’s domestic policies will resemble those of Tony Blair in Great Britain — not good news for Australia if you ask me.

John Howard was a great friend of the United States, an outspoken ally, and a great leader of the Australian people. For that we are VERY grateful and very sorry to see him go!

God Bless That Ticker! by American Elephant
November 27, 2007, 3:29 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

Vice President Dick Cheney

Vice President Cheney was taken to the hospital today for evaluation of his heart, after doctors performing an exam detected an irregular heart beat.

May God keep him healthy and well, and may he continue to drive liberals nuts for decades to come!

Novak Joins Conservatives Warning Against Huckabee by Emerald City Elephant
November 26, 2007, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags:

Mike Huckabee and Bill Clinton

As Iowa edges closer to the polls, columnist Bob Novak has joined the ever-lengthening list of conservative icons speaking out against Mike Huckabee. A list that is quickly becoming a who’s who of the conservative movement’s leaders and brightest thinkers. So far the list includes, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, Phyllis Schlafly, National Review, The American Spectator, The Club for Growth (Huckabee White Paper here), The CATO Institute, The Economist, Ann Coulter (on the Michael Medved Show), Rich Lowry, and now Bob Novak slams Huckabee as,

“…a high-tax, protectionist advocate of big government and a strong hand in the Oval Office directing the lives of Americans.”

Novak goes on, as others have, to describe Huckabee as a man with a nasty, vindictive streak. Just what American politics needs! More nastiness!

And like others who have said Huckabee is much closer to a Bill Clinton type than a Ronald Reagan, Bob Novak points to Huckabee’s record as governor of Arkansas, positions and public record to prove his point:

There is no doubt about Huckabee’s record during a decade in Little Rock. He was regarded by fellow Republican governors as a compulsive tax-and-spender. He increased the Arkansas tax burden 47 percent, boosting the levies on gasoline and cigarettes. When he lost 100 pounds and decided to press his new lifestyle on the American people, he was hardly being a Goldwater-Reagan libertarian.

…Huckabee simply does not fit within normal boundaries of economic conservatism, such as when he criticized President Bush’s veto of a Democratic expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Calling global warming a “moral issue” mandating “a biblical duty” to prevent climate change, he has endorsed a cap-and-trade system that is anathema to the free market…

Huckabee clearly departs from the mainstream of the conservative movement in his confusion of “growth” with “greed.” Such ad hominem attacks are part of his intuitive response to criticism from the Club for Growth and the libertarian Cato Institute about his record as governor. On “Fox News Sunday” on Nov. 18, he called the “tactics” of the Club for Growth “some of the most despicable in politics today. It’s why I love to call them the Club for Greed, because they won’t tell you who gave their money.” In fact, all contributors to the organization’s political action committee (which produces campaign ads) are publicly revealed, as are most donors financing issue ads.

That record is providing a clear picture of the direction Huckabee would take America and the Republican party in stark contrast with the image the candidate is trying to portray. A direction neither America nor Republicans can afford to pursue.

Cool Site of the Day by Emerald City Elephant
November 26, 2007, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Blogging | Tags:

Cat on Keyboard

It doesnt take fancy flash graphics or big budget design to become our Cool Site of the Day. Sometimes all you need to do is make us chuckle.

And anyone who owns or loves cats should get a good chuckle from the universal truths found on this page of Cat Haiku.

You’re always typing.
Well, let’s see you ignore my
sitting on your hands.

Forget the Climate — Humans are Destroying the Universe! by American Elephant
November 25, 2007, 8:59 am
Filed under: Science/Technology | Tags:

the Bubble Nebula

So say American cosmologists, Lawrence Krauss and James Dent, according to the London Telegraph.

No doubt Democrats will want to take immediate action that involves trillions in new government spending, astronomical new taxation, official resolutions apologizing for America’s leading role in the destruction of space/time, a benefit concert, the impeachment of George W. Bush, further relinquishment of American sovereignty, and a whole new galaxy of regulations on your personal freedom.

And why shouldn’t they? It’s their answer to everything else!

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