Wednesday, July 23, 2008
"I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence" in Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said in January 2007. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."In Baghdad yesterday, after a day spent witnessing the reduction in violence in Iraq, Obama was asked by ABC News' Terry Moran if he was wrong..
"I think that, I did not anticipate, and I think that this is a fair characterization, the convergence of not only the surge but the Sunni awakening [which was enabled buy?]. Had those political factors not occurred, I think that my assessment would have been correct.""Well, you were saying that it would not make a significant dent in the violence," Moran said.
"In the violence in Iraq overall, right," Obama acknowledged. "I am glad that in fact those political dynamic shifted at the same time that our troops did outstanding work." [ah, just a coincidence then]Moran asked what Iraq would look like now if Obama's policy of withdrawing in the face of the violence had been implemented.
"That is a hard thing to speculate..." [not really...]
If you had to do it over again, Moran asked, knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?
"No" Obama said.READ MORE
In an interview yesterday with Senator Obama, ABC’s Terry Moran listed just a few of the by now seemingly endless data points demonstrating that the so-called surge, which Obama opposed at the time it was announced, is a success. Moran then asked this (excellent) question: Knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?”
Obama’s answer was, “No.”
That Obama opposed the surge is bad enough — but that opposition was not itself irresponsible or unforgiveable. It was understandable, if in retrospect quite wrong, to believe that Iraq, caught in an apparent death spiral in the latter half of 2006, was unsalvageable. Critics of the surge argued that we were sending American troops to die in a lost cause.
It turned out that Iraq was redeemable and that the President’s strategy, brilliantly executed by General Petraeus and the American military, worked faster and better than anyone thought possible. To say that he would oppose a military plan that one day may well rank as among the best in our history is stunning.
Whatever would motivate Obama to say what he did — political cowardice, willful denial, astonishing blindness to the facts, or the mindset of an ideologue — it ought to cause Americans to rethink, in the most fundamental way, whether Obama is responsible enough to be President...
[T]here is no doubt that security has improved. And there's no doubt that the extraordinary sacrifices of American men and women in uniform have contributed to that success. In terms of, my conversations with General Petraeus, there's no doubt that General Petraeus does not want a timetable. I think he has said that publicly. And he is, and as I said, in his role, he wants maximum flexibility to be able to do what he believes needs to be done inside of Iraq. But keep in mind, for example, one of General Petraeus's responsibilities is not to think about how could we be spending some of that $10 billion a month to shore up a U.S. economy that is really hurting right now? If I'm President of the United States, that is part of my responsibility.Sorry, General. Your concerns about flexibility to secure what we've gained by the surge will have to take a back seat to President Obama's spending priorities.
GRAPEVINE, Texas- On a pedestal in a Texas intersection hundreds of miles from where terrorists crashed planes seven years ago, two flight attendants and two pilots, rendered in bronze, now care for a traveling child.The sculpture was dedicated Friday, the Fourth of July, to honor the 33 airline crew members killed when terrorists hijacked and crashed two American Airlines flights and two United Airlines flights in the East on Sept. 11, 2001. [snip]
Thompson said the foundation raised about $300,000 of the cost in a grass-roots effort which consisted of numerous $1 and $5 donations. The city of Grapevine and a developer donated the land and labor for the project.
On the Net: Crew memorial: http://www.911flightcrewmemorial.org
Are the signs of increased violence in Pakistan/Afghanistan a sign hat AQ is on its last legs, and that they have lost their grip in the Arab world? Ralph Peters, writing in the New York Post, thinks AQ is on the ropes:
Where do Osama & Co. stand today? They're not welcome in a single Arab country. The Saudi royals not only cut off their funding, but cracked down hard within the kingdom. A few countries, such as Yemen, tolerate radicals out in the boonies - but they won't let al Qaeda in. Osama's reps couldn't even get extended-stay rooms in Somalia, beyond the borders of the Arab world. [....]Al Qaeda isn't fighting to revive the Caliphate these days. It's fighting for its life.
[no military solution to GWOT? perseverance]
Hamas has taken advantage of the cease-fire with Israel to plant mines across widespread areas of the Gaza Strip, the head of Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Yuval Diskin, said Tuesday. (Snip) Diskin repeated his opposition to the truce, saying Hamas has benefited from it, as it has enabled the group to build itself up and reinforce itself. He said that, despite Israeli demands, arms-smuggling into Gaza has continued unabated...
At least eight women and one man are reported to have been sentenced to death by stoning in Iran. The group, convicted of adultery and sex offences, could be executed at any time, lawyers defending them say. (Snip) Under Iran's Islamic law, stoning to death is the punishment for the crime of adultery.
China has warned U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil Corp. to drop an oil exploration deal in the seas off Vietnam and said the project could threaten any future mainland contracts, a Hong Kong newspaper reported Sunday.
Diplomats in Washington have contacted senior figures in the world's largest oil firm to protest the deal, which they say could be a breach of Chinese sovereignty...
[this from the nation drilling 60 miles of our Florida coast]
Meiendorf Castle, Russia - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday hailed closer relations with Venezuela's socialist leader Hugo Chavez, signing a raft of business deals bringing the two key oil producers and rivals of the United States closer together.
(Snip) Medvedev and Chavez signed four deals between Russian oil companies and Venezuela's state energy firm PDVSA. These allow the Russians to develop new oil deposits in the South American country...
Comments and reports about global warming are getting silly and even ridiculous. Al Gore says we have ten years left. We’re told cooling is due to warming. More rain and flooding and less rain and drought are both due to warming. More hurricanes are predicted while fewer occur. Global temperatures declined as much in the first few months of 2008 as they increased in the previous 100 plus years due to warming... [snip]
As more and more experts examine climate science they find it wanting at the most basic levels. Jim Peden wrote:
“As a dissenting physicist, I simply can no longer buy the notion that CO2 produces any significant warming of the atmosphere at any rate. I’ve studied the atomic absorption physics to death, from John Nicol’s extensive development to the much longer winded dissertation by Gerlich & Tscheuschner and everything in between, it simply doesn’t add up.--Qando.netIronically, the increasingly ridiculous statements and definitive claims of doom are a good sign.
Good because they are a sign of desperation as evidence accumulates that human CO2 is not causing warming or climate change. Good because people and governments are changing their positions faced with the evidence and the costs already incurred by wrong policies and actions. Good because governments are coming to their senses and getting their priorities right...
[as predicted: alarmists will get more shrill because time isn't on their side: they're being increasingly disproved by the day - if we don't enact legislation within the next decade Gore truly will be toast.
And it's not a 'hoax', those are for fun. It's a scam - those are for profit. ]
He's a former vice president of the United States, Nobel Prize winner and best-selling author, so the lavish news coverage of Al Gore's latest brainstorm was inevitable.
(Snip) Not just all new electricity, mind you, which would be impossible itself - but all existing electricity, too...
Less understandable is why an idea so irresponsible - in economic terms, in fact, just this side of deranged - attracted so little ridicule.
Brokaw started off his program lauding Gore, claiming that since losing the presidency to Bush in 2000, Gore has “since focused on his environmental crusade" and showed his personal beliefs on global warming by describing him as
“Nobel Laureate, Oscar winner and crusader for conservation of energy and attacking the climate change that we're all experiencing in this country.”[?]Throughout the interview, Brokaw talked about the need for Americans to sacrifice in order to fight climate change four times, once implying that everyone believes we must suffer pain for the cause:
"I don't think anyone doubts that we have to make some profound changes in this country and make some tough decisions and maybe even suffer some pain…[this interview was also reviewed on Glenn Beck's program - be he did so with a climatologist with him who, as usual, showed as laughably false every 'fact' that came out of Gore's mouth. But Brokaw's the bigger star, so I guess that science is settled.]
In a huge document released last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lays out the thousands of carbon controls with which they'd like to shackle the whole economy. The mess began in 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Mass. v. EPA that greenhouse gases are "air pollutants" under current environmental laws, despite the fact that the laws were written decades before the climate-change panic.
The EPA's 588-page "advance notice of proposed rulemaking" lays out new mandates for everything with an engine. The limits are so low that they would apply to hundreds of thousands of sources, consequently the EPA admits that the entire country would be in nonattainment.
Any climate tax [should] involve arguments about costs and benefits; voting to raise energy prices is not conducive to re-election. But if liberals can outsource their policies to the EPA, they can take credit while avoiding any accountability for the huge economic costs they impose...
[nowhere is the liberal mindset more dangerous [in part because they're appointed for life] than in the appointment of judges. The next President will likely appoint three Supreme Court Justices - please vote wisely]
Abundant energy will power future growth
Up! Up! Up! The world is consuming more and more energy and, as if by miracle, the amount left to consume grows ever higher. Never before in human history has energy been accessible in greater abundance and in more regions, never before has mankind had more energy options and faced a brighter energy future.
Take oil, the scarcest of the major energy commodities. In the Americas, proven oil reserves have increased from 170 billion barrels to 180 billion barrels over the last two decades, according to the 2008 Statistical World Review from British Petroleum. In Europe and Eurasia, proven oil reserves almost doubled, from 76 billion barrels to 144. Africa's proven oil reserves did double, from 58 billion barrels to 117. [snip]
Bottom line for the world: an incredible 36% increase in oil reserves during the two decades that saw the greatest globalization-spurred oil consumption in the history of mankind. And that doesn't include the 152 billion barrels in proven oil reserves obtainable from Canada's tar sands. [snip]
And this is not the end to it. Most of the oil we know about lies in the well travelled portions of the globe. But most of the world remains unexplored -- the interiors of Africa, Asia and South America have seen relatively little oil exploration. Oil exploration in the oceans, too, is in its infancy.
For all practical purposes, mankind has limitless oil supplies available to it...
[again: the history of oil use has been forever one of finding more oil faster than our growing demand - when we but look for it. I.e., contrary to environmental dogma, every indication is that oil is practically inexhaustible (and possibly literally, if the abiotic petroleum guys are right}. I.e.e., any verbiage to the effect that oil reserves have 'peaked' or we're 'running out' is pure propaganda by those who think the basis of our life style is somehow 'evil']