American Elephants


Why Iraqis Back McCain by American Elephant

It’s clear that liberal effetes, appeasers and pacifists the world over think Obama would do a better job with Iraq. So do Iraq’s enemies. But Bret Stephens points out in The Wall Street Journal what I think is obvious: if you ask the people who are most invested in success in Iraq, who have the most to lose – the Iraqis themselves — they overhwhelmingly support John McCain:

Today, the governor speaks with a mixture of confidence and foreboding. He insists al Qaeda has been vanquished. But, he adds, “Iraq is in a strategic location and has huge resources. There are a lot of eyes on Iraq.” Later in the conversation, he makes his point more precisely. “Liberating Iraq is a very good dish. And now you are going to hand it over to Iran?”

…The Iraqis are even more incredulous about Mr. Obama’s willingness to negotiate with Iran, which they see as a predatory regime. “Do you Americans forget what the Iranians did to your embassy?” asks the governor. “Don’t you know that Ahmadinejad was one of [the hostage takers]?” 

…Throughout our interview, the men did not stop fingering their prayer beads, as if their future hinges on their ability to make their case to the American public. They’re right: It does. Which is why Iraq, all but alone among the nations, will be praying for a McCain victory on the first Tuesday in November.[read more]

It’s an important point. I encourage you to read the entire column.



Winning the War on ALL Fronts! by American Elephant

Reports from the Pentagon, CIA, the British, and corroborated by independent terrorism experts conclude that the United States military, under General David Petraeus and President Bush is winning the war on terror, and winning big:

Al Qaeda virtually defeated in Iraq, Saudi Arabia:

Less than a year after his agency warned of new threats from a resurgent al-Qaeda, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays the terrorist movement as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda’s allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group’s core leadership. [read more]

Taliban in Afghanistan on brink of defeat:

Missions by special forces and air strikes by unmanned drones have “decapitated” the Taliban and brought the war in Afghanistan to a “tipping point”, the commander of British forces has said.

The new “precise, surgical” tactics have killed scores of insurgent leaders and made it extremely difficult for Pakistan-based Taliban leaders to prosecute the campaign, according to Brig Mark Carleton-Smith.

In the past two years an estimated 7,000 Taliban have been killed, the majority in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But it is the “very effective targeted decapitation operations” that have removed “several echelons of commanders”. This in turn has left the insurgents on the brink of defeat, the head of Task Force Helmand said. [read more]

US Troop Deaths in Iraq at All Time Low:

BAGHDAD, June 1 (Reuters) – U.S. troop deaths in Iraq fell to their lowest level last month since the 2003 invasion and officials said on Sunday improved security also helped the country boost oil production in May to a post-war high. [read more]

US-Backed Government and Army May be Winning the War:

THERE’S BEEN a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks — which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. While Washington’s attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have “never been closer to defeat than they are now.”

Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained “special groups” that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans. [read more]

Bin Laden, Al Qaeda Losing Support Among Muslims:

Important Muslim thinkers, including some on whom bin Laden depended for support, have rejected his vision of jihad. Once sympathetic publics in the Middle East and South Asia are growing disillusioned. As CIA Director Michael Hayden said last week, “Fundamentally, no one really liked Al Qaeda’s vision of the future.” At the same time, and potentially much more important over the long run, a new vision of Islam, neither bin Laden’s nor that of the traditionalists who preceded him, is taking shape. Momentum is building within the Muslim world to re-examine what had seemed immutable tenets of the faith, to challenge what had been taken as literal truths and to open wide the doors of interpretation (ijtihad) that some schools of Islam tried to close centuries ago. [read more]

Let’s be sure to give credit where credit is due. This is all due to the hard work of our military men and women, to the strategy of General Petraeus and military leadership, and to the vision and steadfast leadership of President Bush, his administration, Republicans and the independant Joe Lieberman. Let’s also be clear, because President Bush will never say it, but this success is also very much despite the Democrats and their ceaseless efforts to sabotage the Commander in Chief and the war effort itself for political gain.



The Perilous Fight by American Elephant

For over 230 years, far better men than I have risked everything fighting for our independence, fighting to keep us together, putting themselves between America and the evils of the world. They are doing so now.

To a man they knew the dangers. To a man they went anyway.

Today we honor those who have fallen to keep us safe and free. We are forever in their debt.

We must always remember what they’ve done for us. Too many take it for granted. Still others really have no idea. That makes it even more important that the rest of us remember and honor them.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Of all the Memorial Day tributes I found, this was my favorite, but it is one that I can’t embed on our page, so I hope you’ll click the link and watch it. These were also very moving tributes…

Thank you to all who serve. God bless and keep those who gave all.



Educating Obama by The Elephant's Child

Barack Obama

Barack Obama has entranced Americans with his ability to inspire an audience. He is the finest orator in recent memory. It’s when he doesn’t have a teleprompter that things get a little dicey. Which may be the reason for his refusal to debate in South Carolina in favor of town hall style meetings.

“Yes, We Can”, and “We are the change that we seek”, in that resonant voice, are magical phrases that promise, well, something swell anyway.

But the primary responsibility of a president is not oratory, although that can help, it is the foreign policy and security of America. Obama has, perhaps with appreciation for his own speech-making ability, promised to talk to almost everybody. He wants to speak to a summit of Muslim nations, to find out what is bothering them. The thing is, he seems a little confused about what we are doing and what we have done.

Michael Ledeen points out that “Senator Barack Obama wants to talk to our Middle Eastern enemies, notably Iran. He can’t imagine a happy resolution of the war without such talks. And he seems to think this desire is something new, maybe even revolutionary.”

He apparently does not know that it is not at all new, and certainly not revolutionary. It is instead the fully tested “policy” of the United States for the past thirty years, ever since the seizure of power by the mullahs in 1979. We have had high-level and low-level talks, public and private talks, talks conducted by diplomats, by spooks, and by a colorful array of intermediaries ranging from former Spanish President Felipe Gonzales to nephews of Rafsanjani, Iranian-American businessmen, former NSC and CIA members, and others with more dubious qualifications.

All failed. [Read the whole thing]

Obama has said that “foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain”. That experience, apparently, comes from living in Indonesia for four years when he was in the early years of grade school. Knowing the leaders, he asserted, is not important. I’m not clear on this. Because you negotiate with…?

He also believes that al Qaeda was not in Iraq until we invaded, that we shouldn’t be in Iraq because al Qaeda is only in Afghanistan. Never mind that al Qaeda in Mesopotamia is called that because they are in Mesopotamia — Iraq. He’s said he would invade Pakistan in pursuit of Osama bin Laden, although we cannot cross the border into Pakistan, particularly now when there is such unrest in Pakistan. He believes that the Sunni Anbar Awakening occurred only because of the “Surge”, though it was well advanced before the surge began. And that there was no military solution to the conflict between Sunni and Shi’ia factions.

In South America, Columbia is a solid ally that has made great progress, yet is facing terrorism from Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and Ecuadorian Marxist leader Evo Morales. Obama opposes a free trade agreement with Columbia to please U.S. unions who are big donors. He also wants to “re-negotiate” the NAFTA treaties with our closest allies and neighbors — also a union demand.

It is encouraging that Obama is confident about his foreign policy abilities. I wish I were.



Only Because Obama Hasn’t TALKED to Them Yet! by Emerald City Elephant

Obama's Childish Foreign Policy

From the Washington Post:

THREADED through the reports of progress in Iraq by Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker last week was the story of a larger failure: the inability of the United States and its allies to contain the growing aggressiveness of Iran. Since Gen. Petraeus and Mr. Crocker last reported to Congress seven months ago, Iranian-backed militias and “special groups” in Iraq have evolved from a shadow force into the largest remaining threat to U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. It was Iranian-supplied rockets that slammed into the Green Zone in recent days and Iranian-trained militants who stiffened the resistance to Iraqi government forces trying to gain control over the southern city of Basra. [read more]

Never fear! HOPE is here! If only Obama would TALK to them!

Good thing al Qaeda isn’t in Iraq!



A Movie Hollywood Won’t Make, and Liberals Won’t Watch by American Elephant

And one people should see. Especially liberals — if only they’d pull their heads out of the sand long enough.

This is the highly anticipated “Fitna”, a short-film (15 minutes) from Dutch politician Geert Wilders. As you may recall, the Netherlands has been besieged by violence from Islamic fundamentalists angry over cartoon depictions of Mohammad and criticism of Islam. This is his answer. He describes it as “a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization.”

YouTube cuts the film into two parts. Keep in mind, “Fitna” addresses Islamic fundamentalism and as such shows graphic violence. Powerful. Do watch.



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!



9 out of 4,700 Retired Military Leaders Endorse Obama by American Elephant

Obama Plays Make Believe

Context is everything.

Yesterday, Barack Obama veered off his usual, platitudinous campaign theme of, “Believe!” and deep into the realm of make-believe.

Having served only one-half of one term in the senate (most of which he has spent on the campaign trail), the self-styled messianic candidate has been damaged by claims that he lacks the knowledge and experience necessary to be President and Commander in Chief.

Gee, do you think?

Seeking damage control, Obama held a carefully staged press-conference/photo-op from a museum in Chicago. I don’t know if rooms can have doppelgangers, but this one bore an uncanny resemblance to the East Room of the White House.

The staging was meticulous.

Surrounded by American flags and the flags of the military, atop a carpet of presidential blue, and from behind the closest approximation of the presidential lectern his stylists could jury-rig, Barack fielded questions and pointed his finger, looking very much the part.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I guess the more important question is how much inexperience does one make up for?

Obama then introduced nine retired military leaders who universally agreed that, even in the absence of any executive experience whatsoever, the neophyte senator has the judgment and temperament necessary for the most powerful job in the world.

By comparison, Hillary has 30 such retired military officers supporting her campaign, for a grand total of 39 between the two Democrat front-runners.

Americans should be interested to know then, that according to the best estimates, there are approximately 4,661 Retired Generals and Admirals who have for various reasons not endorsed either Hillary or Barack Obama. Or to put it another way, the Democrats have garnered the endorsements of 0.8% of retired military brass — the other 99.2 percent? Eh, not so much.

Not so impressive when you put it in context.

…oh, and as to the claims that Barack is qualified to be commander in chief solely because he opposed the Iraq war from the beginning? With all due respect Generals, so did these people…

.

Just as qualified as Barack Obama



Real Hope — John McCain Style by American Elephant

Excellent new campaign ad from John McCain.

This election is about many important issues — the economy, health care, energy, etc… All of them vital, all of which Republicans have better answers for than Democrats.

But John McCain reminds us that there is one issue more important than all the rest. He reminds us that real hope does not come from turning your back on reality and wishing it away. Real hope can never come from surrender. Real hope comes when you face the challenges the world presents you, when you have prepared yourself for them, and when you then put everything you have into overcoming them:

America, the last, best hope.

“We will never surrender — they will!”

Support John McCain for President.

(h/t Black Five)



A Word for our Friends by The Elephant's Child

John Howard

John Howard, the former prime minister of Australia, was honored by the American Enterprise Institute last Wednesday at a gala dinner, where he delivered the Irving Kristol lecture.

In the protracted struggle against Islamic extremism there will be no stronger weapon than the maintenance by western liberal democracies of a steadfast belief in the continuing worth of our own national value systems. And where necessary a soaring optimism about the future of freedom and democracy .

We should not think that by trading away some of the values which have made us who we are will buy us either immunity from terrorists or respect from noisy minorities.

If the butter of common national values is spread too thinly it will disappear altogether.

We should not forget that it is the values of our societies that terrorists despise most. That is why we should never compromise on them.

The entire speech is available here. It is worth reading the whole thing. Prime Minister Howard has been a very good friend to the United States. We don’t express our appreciation for the Aussies often enough or loudly enough, just as we often forget to show our gratitude to our own family members. Thank you, dear friends.



Obama: Spam, Spam, Hope and Spam! by American Elephant

Obama mania

Barack Obama sure talks a pretty talk.

To me, however, and almost anyone I’ve encountered who no longer has the suffix “teen” included in their age, it has been almost universally decried as empty, vapid and disturbingly ignorant. Even my staunchly liberal friends tell me they are frightened by his utter lack of qualification and the cult-like following he has developed in spite of it.

Obama loves to talk about hope. Hope and change, and change and hope. Hope, hope, change and hope. He uses the word “hope” like  the Monty Python players use the word “Spam“.

And his followers eat it up.

He likes to talk about uniting America. “We are not red-states and blue-states,” he says to deafening cheers, “but the United States!” And yet, as the non-partisan National Journal has verified, Barack Obama has the singular most liberal voting record of anyone in the senate. Which by implication also means he has among the most, if not the most partisan voting record of anyone in the senate. Indeed, despite all his flowery rhetoric, Obama hasn’t co-sponsored one single bill with a Republican.

He has flatly refused to reach across the isle, he has zero experience uniting anyone but the far-left wing of the Democrat party, and has proven he is as partisan as they come. Yet his followers believe he will change Washington and unite America.

Which finally made me understand Obama’s appeal. (Aside from the fact that he’s the first viable candidate Democrats have had in 12 years with any semblance of a personality.)

Obama is the candidate who won’t make you feel bad that you don’t know anything about anything — because he doesn’t talk about anything. He doesn’t talk policy, he talks about feelings.

He is Oprahbama.

When Obama recently held a rally for 20,000 people in my area (Seattle), reporters asked a supporter what she thought the average age of attendees was. She guessed 16-22. Judging from the footage, and other reports, I would say she was right.

A recent survey shows that two-thirds of people in this age group can’t even find Iraq on a map after three years (at that point) of war. Yet Obama’s supporters are universally certain we should not be there — wherever there is. Twenty-nine percent couldn’t locate the Pacific Ocean, yet are convinced man is causing global warming.

No wonder they love Obama! He doesn’t require them to know anything about the issues, he only asks them to “hope” and “believe“. There won’t be any knowledge of math or history required and no one will ask them to find anything on a map!

Everyone will prosper if only we raise taxes enough! The reason healthcare is so expensive is because government doesn’t regulate it enough! Everything would be better if only we would abandon our fledgeling democratic ally in Iraq and allow terrorists to take it over!

These are the fantasies people believe when they “hope” instead of think.

And yet, if his naive followers get their way, with his $900 billion in new spending proposals (thus far), mammoth tax hikes, his Carter-era advisers, and dangerously naive foreign policy prescriptions, if Obama were to get elected, it will be the rest of America, and the world, that will be in very serious need of hope.



The Surge is a Success — Democrats Are The Failure! by American Elephant

Nancy Pelosi Failure

Let’s take a short, but very important walk down memory lane:

In the run-up to the 2006 election, Democrats claimed it was time for a new strategy in Iraq. They refused to tell the American people what their new strategy would be, and then when they won, claimed the war was lost and that they had a mandate to pull the troops out of Iraq.

This despite the fact that President Bush had already announced a new strategy, which became known as the surge, and that Democrats had just unanimously confirmed General Petraeus who made his support for the surge central to his confirmation hearing.

Then, before the Surge troops had even all arrived in Iraq, Democrats declared it was a failure.

When General Petraeus was set to report to congress on the considerable success he had been having, first Nancy Pelosi refused to meet with him, then Democrats accused him of being a liar who was nothing but a mouthpiece for President Bush. MoveOn.org. one of Democrats most powerful special interest groups accused Petraeus of being a traitor to the country for daring to report the truth of the Surge’s success.

Remember that this November! The base of the Democratic party called General Petraeus a traitor to America because he refused to deliver them the defeat they so desperately lusted for for their own political gain!

When Democrats could no longer feasibly deny that the Surge was working, and working dramatically well, determined to secure defeat for their political gain, they again changed their defeatist propaganda. Now, they said, the troops have done a great job, but the Surge is still a failure because there has been no political progress.

One month ago Harry Reid claimed precisely that at almost exactly the same time the Iraqi Parliament passed one of the most contentious benchmarks, a de Ba’athification law allowing former members of Saddam’s ruling party to seek employment in the government.

Just eleven Days ago, Nancy Pelosi repeated her party’s talking point — again calling Iraq a failure. The problem is, she did so just one day after the announcement that one of al Qaeda’s top leaders has himself said that al Qaeda in Iraq has been devastated by the surge.

Now, just a few short days after San Fran Nan’s latest ejaculation of, “FAILURE!” the Iraqi Parliament has once again proved itself more able to compromise than the US Democrat party:

Within the last week the Iraqi parliament passed key laws having to do with provincial elections (the law devolves power to the local level in a decentralization system that is groundbreaking for the region), the distribution of resources, and amnesty. And those laws follow ones passed in recent months having to do with pensions, investment, and de-Ba’athification. [read more]

That is more progress and more compromise in one week than Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the bitterly partisan Democrats have shown since the war in Iraq began.

Saddam Hussein is dead and gone. Iraq is turning from an avowed enemy of the United States into a democracy and an ally of the United States. And while Democrats voted for the war, they have done everything in their power since to ensure it fails.

If President Bush had not stood up to them, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the power-hungry Democrats would have had us out of Iraq by now, almost ensuring the nation would once again become a tyranny, a danger to the region and the world, a stronghold of al Qaeda and an enemy of the United States.

But despite their best efforts to ensure just such a defeat for their political gain, the Surge is a Success! Democrats are the Failure!




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