March 25, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 03/25/2008

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Bush Says War's Outcome 'Will Merit the Sacrifice' - As the American military death toll in Iraq reached 4,000, President Bush conferred yesterday with top U.S. officials in Washington and in Baghdad and vowed in a public statement that the outcome of the war "will merit the sacrifice." (READ MORE)

Lawmakers Question NIH Handling of Data Loss - Lawmakers questioned yesterday why the National Institutes of Health waited almost a month to warn 2,500 patients enrolled in a federal medical study that some of their unencrypted medical information was in a stolen laptop computer. (READ MORE)

Pakistan Premier Frees Judges - ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 24 -- Pakistan's newly elected prime minister ordered the release Monday of top judges who had been under house arrest since last year, a dramatic challenge to the U.S.-backed president, Pervez Musharraf. (READ MORE)

Pakistani prime minister sworn in - President Pervez Musharraf swore in a loyalist of slain ex-leader Benazir Bhutto as prime minister today, while two top U.S. envoys held talks with Pakistan's old and new leaders in what some viewed as an ill-timed visit. (READ MORE)

Clinton: I 'misspoke' about Bosnia trip - Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said she "misspoke" last week when saying she had landed under sniper fire during a trip to Bosnia as first lady in March 1996. She later characterized the episode as a "misstatement" and a "minor blip." (READ MORE)

Iraqi security clashes with militias in Basra - Iraqi forces clashed with Shiite militiamen today in the southern oil port of Basra and gunmen patrolled several Baghdad neighborhoods as followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered a nationwide civil disobedience campaign to demand an end to the crackdown on their movement. (READ MORE)

Huckabee cites power of 'kingmakers'- Mike Huckabee can't definitively explain why he couldn't win the Republican presidential nomination, but he thinks the desire of Christian leaders to be "kingmakers," media coverage and Mother Nature all had something to do with it. (READ MORE)

China to relay torch in Tibet - China vowed yesterday to bring the Olympic torch through the heart of Tibet en route to the Summer Games in Beijing, again defying calls for dialogue by Tibetan exiles, the United States and much of the world. (READ MORE)

Detroit mayor indicted - Another day, and another scandal hits one of the Democratic Party's rising stars. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff were charged yesterday with a 12-count felony indictment that included perjury, obstruction of justice and official misconduct that could send them both to prison for up to 15 years. (READ MORE)

Study: 'Natural' goods have petrochemical - Feeling good about the earth, as well as your skin, when showering with pricey "natural" products? It turns out that many of those products have the same petrochemical compound found in less-expensive mainstream bath products, according to a recent study. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Cal Thomas: Typical - I am a typical white person, as Barack Obama might say, and did say, about his white grandmother. Like Rev. Jesse Jackson, I, too, have crossed the street to avoid a group of young black men who have a certain thug-in-the-hood look about them. Am I a racist? Only if Jesse Jackson is a racist. In fact, we are prudent. On his old CNN TV show, Rev. Jackson and I once debated affirmative action. He favored it. I opposed it. I asked him, "Do you think you have this show because you are good or because you are black?" Jackson was speechless (a rarity) and he went to a commercial to keep from answering. (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Bipartisan Primary Blues - Leaders of the Democratic Party and much of the media are wringing their hands over what to do about Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan, in order not to leave them out of the process of picking a nominee, and perhaps alienating them as for as the general election in November is concerned. Like so many things that politicians do that end up in a tangled mess, the current rules and practices may have been things that "seemed like a good idea at the time." There might be a lesson there about not getting carried away with rhetoric, and about the need to stop and think through the consequences before the consequences overwhelm you. (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: Why Do Palestinians Get Much More Attention than Tibetans? - The long-suffering Tibetans have been in the news. This happens perhaps once or twice a decade. In a more moral world, however, public opinion would be far more preoccupied with Tibetans than with Palestinians, would be as harsh on China as it is on Israel, and would be as fawning on Israel as it now is on China. But, alas, the world is, as it has always been, a largely mean-spirited and morally insensitive place, where might is far more highly regarded than right. Consider the facts: Tibet, at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world's oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own ethnicity. Over 1 million of its people have been killed by the Chinese, its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6,000 of its 6,200 monasteries have been looted and destroyed, and most of its monks have been tortured, murdered or exiled. (READ MORE)

Patrick J. Buchanan: The "Isms" That Bedevil Bush - On reading George Bush's discourse to the New York Economic Club last week, Cicero's insight came to mind: "To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child." With Iraq entering its sixth year, the dollar sinking to peso levels, the economy careening into recession, and 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens roosting here, Bush alerted us to what really worries him: "I'm troubled by isolationism and protectionism ... (and) another 'ism,' and that's nativism. And that's what happened throughout our history. And probably the most grim reminder of what can happen to America during periods of isolationism and protectionism is what happened in the late -- in the '30s, when we had this America First policy and Smoot-Hawley. And look where it got us." (READ MORE)

Chuck Norris: Guns, God and Gays - Reading the news this past week, one easily could conclude we have lost our minds, as well as any remaining connection with our Founding Fathers. There were three stories that thrice prove we are heading down three wrong roads. First, there was the Supreme Court's wrangling with the Second Amendment. Should it allow private citizens or only public servants ("state militias") "to keep and bear Arms"? Is someone joking? Could 27 words be any clearer?! "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (READ MORE)

Bill Steigerwald: Second Amendment Optimism: An Interview - Fans of gun rights and scholarly defenders of the U.S. Constitution alike were left pleased and optimistic by what they heard U.S. Supreme Court justices say March 18 during oral arguments for a case challenging Washington, D.C.'s, sweeping, super-strict gun law. The plaintiff in District of Columbia v. Heller argues that D.C.'s ban -- which essentially makes it illegal for private citizens to own handguns at all or possess rifles that are assembled or unlocked and ready to use -- violates the Second Amendment. Robert Levy of the Cato Institute agrees. The senior fellow in constitutional studies at the libertarian think tank spent a lot of his own money and five years of legal plotting to make sure Heller -- the first Second Amendment case heard by the Supreme Court since 1939 -- made it to the high court. (READ MORE)

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.: Disarmed in the War of Ideas - On March 19, President Bush spoke directly to an audience that may prove to be among America’s most important allies in the War for the Free World: the Iranian people. He did so by associating himself and his country with their long-denied aspiration for freedom – an aspiration that continues to be suppressed, in his words, by “a regime that says they have elections but they get to decide who’s on the ballot, which is not a free and fair election.” Mr. Bush added, “The people of Iran can rest assured that the United States – whether I’m president or [it’s] the next president – will strongly support their desires to live in a free society.” What happens in the next eight months may determine whether these words amount to empty rhetoric, or a real program for undermining the Iranian mullahocracy that survives a presidential transition. (READ MORE)

Rich Galen: When Campaigns Go Bad - Anyone who has been in politics for any length of time has been involved in a campaign which, for no good reason, suddenly goes bad. If you don't believe me; ask Sen. Barack H. (!) Obama. For the first 15 months of this Presidential primary season, Obama could do nothing wrong. If Ronald Reagan was Teflon because nothing stuck to him, then Obama has been Teflon sprayed with Pam then coated with butter. Then, in late February the New York Times (and others) reported that Obama's senior economic policy adviser had told a Canadian official that the strong anti-NAFTA position Obama had been espousing in the run-up to the Ohio primary on March 4th was "more reflective of political maneuvering than policy." (READ MORE)

America's North Shore Journal: The Full Story About Those 4,000 Dead in Iraq - The 4,000th American has died in Iraq. The media have made this a milestone. As sad as this is for the family of that soldier, sailor, Marine or airman, it is just a number. Much was made of number 3,000, only for the media to have discovered later that through a combination of miscounting and delayed reporting, that man was number 2,996 or 2,997. 4,000 Americans have died. 81.5 percent were killed in combat, 18.5 percent by accident, illness, murder or suicide. 97.6 percent of these Americans were male. 74.8 percent were white, 10.7 Latino and 9.5 percent were black. 50.6 percent of those killed were under 25. 11.8 percent were over 35. Excluding the partial years of 2003 and 2008, the average losses were 21.9 percent per year, with a low of 20.7 percent in 2005 and a high of 23.4 percent in 2007. IED deaths account for 47 percent of the combat fatalities. These are very dry numbers to represent the blood of Americans. Yet, there are some numbers you will not see, numbers that have been kept hidden. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Broken Promises - The TSA and the federal government promised to improve air security and to expand the air marshal program, which was designed to thwart terrorists from hijacking planes. Well, only about 1% of all daily flights in the US have an air marshal on board. “That means that a terrorist or other criminal bent on taking over an aircraft would be confronted by a trained air marshal on as few as 280 daily flights, according to more than a dozen federal air marshals and pilots interviewed by CNN. The investigation found those low numbers even as the Transportation Security Administration in recent months has conducted tests in which it has been able to smuggle guns and bomb-making materials past airport security screeners.” (READ MORE)

Jimmy Z: The left seeks to demean those who sacrifice all - First, listen up; I want to be perfectly clear here: Every life lost in battle with America's enemies is a tragedy. Every soul who gives his or her life because they love liberty and freedom more than than love their own safety is a hero. Every family that has sacrificed a loved one is in pain, and grieves. Every number, including the number one, is too many. That being said, the leftist media has been on a !@?$&! rampage all day, on television and radio; in the left wing blogs and in the newspapers, about an arbitrary number. The number? Four-thousand. One of our heros fighting terrorist scum overseas has died, and it is the four-thousandth such death in 5 years of fighting. All day, at the top of the hour and at the 30 minute mark, the left celebrated the four-thousandth death. Yes, that's right, I said it and I meant it - they have celebrated this number. We Americans should be thankful that so few have died. (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Negative Media Reports Linked To Increased Insurgent Attacks - We, as well as other milblogs have often discussed how the negative bias of the media in regards to the war in Iraq, causes many problems for our military. It causes anger and resentment among citizens, who often have no real clue what’s going on in Iraq. It spawns groups such as Code Pink and A.N.S.W.E.R. and their hate-filled protests. We’ve often said as well, that the negative reports in the media, encourages the insurgency in Iraq to continue doing what their doing and how the insurgents will manipulate the members of the media to gain more attention. When we’ve said those things, the trolls have come out in full force, ranting and screaming that we don’t know what we’re talking about. Perhaps this information, will provide them with the credibility, that they claim we don’t have. (READ MORE)

Gabriel Malor @ Ace of Spades HQ: Obama Stubbornly Persists in Foreign Policy Naivete - So we have these two articles published on the same day. The first, what is supposed to be a triumphant announcement of a certain presidential candidate's grasp of foreign policy, "The Obama Doctrine", which includes this: “‘There is a popular notion that Democrats have to try to appear like Republicans to pass some test on national security. The fact that that's still the case after Iraq is absurd,’ says one of Obama's closest advisers. ‘So you break from that orthodoxy and say “I don't care if the Republicans attack me because I'm willing to meet with the leadership in Iran. We haven't for 25 years, and it's not gotten us anywhere.”’” The second, an unfortunate dose of reality: (READ MORE)

Augean Stables: The Prophetic Stream, Conspiracy Theory and Paranoia: What’s Wrong with African-American Preaching - There’s a brouhaha about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. which deserves close consideration. I have written a good deal about self-criticism, and its origins in the prophetic tradition of the Hebrew Bible. Recently I have been hearing a consistent invocation of this “prophetic tradition” among those explaining (if not justifying and admiring) Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr.’s preaching style. Reverend Joseph Lowery explained on CNN that Wright’s sermons were only “divisive” in the sense that they distinguished between people who were in this prophtetic tradition and those who weren’t “in the community of faith” defined by that tradition. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Democrat: War Without Fascism... What's the Point? - No, that's not what freshman senator and longtime congressman Robert Menendez (D-NJ, 90%) intended to say; but if he knew anything about either economics, military strategy, or history, he would have realized what his actual point was: “With U.S. troops entering their sixth year of combat in Iraq, New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez demanded Saturday that President Bush give an honest assessment of the costs of the conflict.” You keep using that word, "honest." I do not think it means what you think it means. “Menendez responded, ‘President Bush should tell us the truth -- that after thousands of lives lost and perhaps [he's not sure?] trillions of American taxpayer dollars, Iraq remains crippled by violence and corruption, still light-years [sic] from building a stable government or a lasting peace.’ [Does Menendez think a light year is a measure of time?]” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The mask drops to the ground - With Hillary's admission that her trip to Bosnia wasn't exactly the danger-filled mission she made it out to be the contest between her and Barack Obama is degenerating into a matter of pure identity politics. The Washington Post reports the myth: “Hillary Clinton has been regaling supporters on the campaign trail with hair-raising tales of a trip she made to Bosnia in March 1996. In her retelling, she was sent to places that her husband, President Bill Clinton, could not go because they were ‘too dangerous.’ When her account was challenged by one of her traveling companions, the comedian Sinbad, she upped the ante and injected even more drama into the story. In a speech earlier this week, she talked about ‘landing under sniper fire’ and running for safety with ‘our heads down.’” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Despite Campaign Claims Hillary Lied About Bosnia - The Clinton campaign is in damage control mode because the queen herself has been caught in a big lie. Hillary discusses a trip she and her daughter went on accompanied by Cheryl Crow and Sinbad. She said they were shot at by snipers and that they had to run to awaiting cars. The biggest problem with all this is that it is fabricated. Sinbad recalls no such thing and there is video footage of Chelsea and the queen walking across the tarmac smiling and waving. Hillary lied to people about the experience and her campaign is now saying that she misspoke. Some advisers are saying that it is hard to remember all the details when there have been so many trips and it was so long ago. Bull crap! If you are shot at you will never forget it. If you have to take evasive maneuvers you will never forget it. If your child is in that kind of danger you will never forget it. Hillary Clinton lied and that is the plain truth. (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo @ Blackfive: The left has no heroes - Apparently the left doesn't have any heroes, they believe that anyone in or out of uniform who is not protesting or telling tales of atrocities remeniscent of Jenjis Khan, is simply a tool of the vast right-wing conspiracy. In the La La land inhabited by the liberals in Minneapolis the voices of our heroes cannot be heard unless countered by the progressive voices of the anti-war crowd, and even then they are not suitable for High School children. I mean God forbid they gain a positive view of our military or hear that brave deeds have been done in support of Bush's illegal war. The National Heroes Tour is in Minneapolis today for a number of events however we will not be visiting Forest Lake High School, because the right of whiny left-wing buttheads to censor the troops out weighs the right of American students to hear from and meet the folks who have risked their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy. (READ MORE)

LTC Bob Bateman: War? What War? - (At least that’s how it looks from the J-Schools) This is my contribution to an book club exchange between Greg Mitchell, Joe Galloway, Jay Rosen, Paul Rieckhoff, Spencer Ackerman and myself on Talking Points Memo Cafe. The discussion is being led by Mitchell and is focused on his new book, So Wrong For So Long: How the Press, the Pundits — and the President — Failed on Iraq (Union Square Press, 2008). Spencer Ackerman makes a point about the evolution of consensus which, while I had not thought about it in the past, makes perfect sense. It is one of those observations which in hindsight seem so obvious that one slaps oneself on the forehead and says, “yea, well duh…” (and then, “why didn’t I think of that?”) (READ MORE)

Blogmeister USA: Connecticut Legislature to Exonerate 16th Century Witches - From the "I can't believe my tax dollars are paying for this" department: “Eleven Connecticut witches executed in the 17th century would finally be exonerated under legislation pending in the Judiciary Committee. While records are incomplete, an estimated nine women and two men were hanged after being convicted of witchcraft between 1647 and 1663, in an age of superstition and religious intolerance. The pending resolution would not pardon the executed colonists for the imagined crimes of 350 years ago, but would express the state's shock and distress at the state's witch trials. Committee leaders said Thursday they're likely to approve a resolution on Monday, the day of its legislative deadline.” Well, no wonder nothing ever gets done in this state...the shock and distress has been paralyzing the legislature for going on 400 years. I'm so relieved that something will finally be done about it! (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: Obama & Special Interests - There is a Barack ad here in Pennsylvania that is running on TV every 6.3 seconds...well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it feels that way. The entire ad touts Obama's refusal to accept money for special interest groups and him proclaiming special interest will have no hand in his presidency because he won;t woe them anything. I knew I had read that NOW/NARAL was a contributor to his Senate campaign (definitely a 'special interest'), so I thought I'd check the facts on that commercial... (The ad linked is not the exact ad, but similar). “...Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has pledged to create a new brand of politics in the Democratic presidential primary by rejecting contributions from lobbyists and political action committees (PAC), but his fundraising records show that he relies on donors with special interests.” (READ MORE)

Farhana Ali: Female Suicide Bombers in Iraq: Why the Trend Continues - As the war in Iraq continues, more Iraqi women will be ready to make the ultimate sacrifice: to use their bodies as human shields. The U.S. Government and other experts are asking: Why now? Why has there been a spike in attacks in Iraq committed by women? More importantly, how will the new role of women as suicide bombers change the nature of this conflict? Since March 2003, when the war began, Iraqi women’s participation in suicide terrorism has increased by nearly 30%. This year, alone, there have been eight attacks committed by women, compared to six in 2007. The exponential increase in female suicide bombings suggests the trend will continue to rise, unless security officials, the Iraqi Government, and the international community seek new solutions to counter the rising violence by an important non-state actor. (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Bottoming Out Too Soon? - The Dow was up 187 yesterday, mostly on news that (existing) home sales went up by 3% in February, and that JP Morgan Chase was looking to up it's Bear Stearns offer from $2 to $10 per share. That in turn lead to a rise in the dollar, and a fall in oil prices, all good things for the economy. The Bear Stearns news was a psychological boost for investors. If JP Morgan was upping the offer to $10 per share to appease Stearns investors, there had to be an "on paper" reason for it. Let's call the reason sanity. When actual money driven accountants started looking at all that paper Stearns was holding that said "mortgage secured debt" they ran the numbers and found out what's been said for months, the subprime meltdown is only a small fraction of the mortgage industry. A lot of that paper is worth more money that the news would have the emotion driven investors and politicians believing. (READ MORE)

Pirate's cove: Even The Washington Post Notices That Anti-Iraq/WoT Films Suck - It’s been said so many times, but, during WWII, filmmakers were actually rooting for America to win. Now, they release films and put snarky commentary into TV shows to root for America’s defeat, and highlight how mean and bad and at fault we are (Washington Post) “After five years of conflict in Iraq, Hollywood seems to have learned a sobering lesson: The only things less popular than the war itself are dramatic films and television shows about the conflict. A spate of Iraq-themed movies and TV shows haven’t just failed at the box office. They’ve usually failed spectacularly, despite big stars, big budgets and serious intentions. The underwhelming reception from the public raises a question: Are audiences turned off by the war, or are they simply voting against the way filmmakers have depicted it?” Personally, I think they completely misunderstand their audience, which obviously does not include those who actually root for America to win. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Saddam’s terror links, etc. - It’s become popular in certain circles to aver that Iraq formed no rational part of the Global War on Terror until the US assault. That the kind of Islamist terror represented by, to use the NY Times stock phrase, ”al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the mostly home grown Iraqi insurgency tha the US military says is foreign led” is a post-Saddamite response to our presence in Saddam’s secular paradise. “The redacted version of ‘Saddam and Terrorism’ is the most definitive public assessment to date from the Harmony program, the trove of “exploitable” documents, audio and video records, and computer files captured in Iraq. On the basis of about 600,000 items, the report lays out Saddam’s willingness to use terrorism against American and other international targets, as well as his larger state sponsorship of terror, which included harboring, training and equipping jihadis throughout the Middle East.” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Was McCain Right About Iran Training al-Qaeda? - Last week John McCain made this comment as he toured the Middle East: “Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and is receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran.” He promptly corrected himself saying: “I’m sorry; the Iranians are training the extremists, not Al Qaeda. Not Al Qaeda. I’m sorry.” But was McCain right the first time? Is Iran training and aiding al-Qaeda in Iraq? In this interview aired on Al-Arabiya TV on January 18, 2008, former Islamic Army in Iraq leader Abu ‘Azzam Al-Tamimi discussed why an American troop withdrawal from Iraq would spell disaster, making Iran more dangerous. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Who Would Want to Waste It? - Bush vows, as long as he’s president, to ensure an outcome to “merit the sacrifice.” “And on this day of reflection, I offer our deepest sympathies to their families. I hope their families know that the citizens pray for their comfort and strength, whether they were the first one who lost their life in Iraq or recently lost their lives in Iraq — that every life is precious in our sight.” Washington Post rounds up yesterday’s conferences re troop levels. As amazing as it seems, there are people who would want to throw away the sacrifice of 4,000 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis, in the effort that removed a mass murderer and created the opportunity to bring new stability to the Middle East, a bulwark against other mass murderers seeking to dominate the region. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Wilders’s hosting company knocks Hezbollah’s site offline? - Note the question mark in the headline. After yesterday’s embarrassing fark-up I’m making no assertions, just hoping our techie readers might be able to confirm this for me somehow since Network Solutions (understandably) has had nothing to say about the matter. The facts as we know them: was up and running smoothly as of yesterday morning, then the righty blogosphere started complaining about NS registering domain names for terrorists while getting froggy with Wilders, then suddenly wasn’t online. Causation or coincidence? Report on Arrakis and the Jawas say it’s the former. I’m reserving judgment until one of you show me why it’s not the latter. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Iraqi Army, Sadr militia clash in Basra - The Iraqi Army has moved to establish central-government control of the southern city of Basra after the British pullout ignited a turf war between the Badr Brigades and Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. The Mahdis have resisted with force despite orders from Sadr to stand down, and four people have been killed in action this morning: “Fierce clashes between Iraqi security forces and militiamen loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday killed at least four people and wounded 18 in the southern city of Basra, police Major Abbas Youssef told AFP.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Obama vacation - So poor, they must spend spring break in St. Thomas and not the Bahamas. Michelle Obama on the middle-class squeeze: “We spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements. And summer programs… Do you know what summer camp costs?” Poor thing. No wonder she attends a church where the pastor said while whites sing “God Bless America,” blacks should sing, “God Damn America.” Nobody knows the trouble she’s seen. (READ MORE)

McQ: Is there an argument for a Clinton nomination? - Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton’s "Internet Director" uses the Huff Po as a platform to argue that three myths circulating about the primary are untrue. First he takes issue with the ’myth’ that Obama is running a "positive" campaign and is the candidate to ’unite’ and instead describes the "full assault" on Clinton’s character and provides examples. He then asks: “If Sen. Obama really is the prohibitive favorite some say he is, these negative attacks make absolutely no sense. Why would a frontrunner seek to attack and divide? If Sen. Obama can’t unify Democrats in a primary, how can he unify Americans in a general election?” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Misunderstanding Iraq and the War on Radical Islam - A great deal has been written in the last week concerning what meaning can be derived from our five year effort in Iraq. There is much made of the 4000 deaths we have suffered as of today. Much of the commentary concerns reasonable questions of whether or not the war has made us safer, whether or not we are winning, and whether or not Iraq can yet be stabilized as a democracy or proto-democracy. Many commentators concern themselves with the war's impact on our domestic politics or our standing in the world and/or our ability to shape events. Many speculate on the war's presumed negative effect on our ability to confront or contain Iran. Yet there are subterranean currents that will likely drive events and which have not been well articulated in the articles and posts I have read. These currents have to do with the ongoing conflict between modernity and the Muslim world and various, poorly discerned potential outcomes of the current clash between the West and radical Islam. (READ MORE)

Warner Todd Huston: Jewish Man Attacked in Brooklyn By Muslims Yelling ‘Allahu Akbar,’ Media Silent - On March 19th, I found a story on The Jerusalem Post detailing an attack by Muslim youths on a rabbinical assistant that occurred at a Brooklyn, New York subway station. The youths grabbed Uria Ohana’s yarmulke off his head then ran off yelling “Allahu Akbar,” which is Arabic for “God is great.” I have waited four days to report this story myself to see what other news outlets decide to cover the incident and how they would cover it. So far, the only U.S. news outlet that covered it was the New York Post. It has been nearly ignored by the rest of the media. The dearth of coverage is curious because it seems a natural story for the left to get their “hate crimes” dander worked up over. After all, we have a Muslim gang attacking a lone Jew right in the middle of Brooklyn! Yet, the news gives us zip for coverage. (READ MORE)

The Sundries Shack: Undisguised Biased Headline of the Week - You have to love the calm objectivity of McClatchy News Service headline: “Is ’success’ of U.S. surge in Iraq about to unravel?” Now why on Earth would McClatchy, whose motto is “Truth to Power”, be wondering such a thing with a hope-filled headline like that? As it turns out, Moqtada al-Sadr, the guy who has been the single largest thorn in the side of peace in Iraq, is kicking up his heels once more. He’s doing that because the Iraqi government is kicking the dogsnot out of his Mahdi Army in Basra right now. So, with more and more of his fighters getting sent to the Great Virgin Depot in the Sky, he’s becoming a more desperate man. His latest temper tantrum, and that is all this is, shows his desperation and not an unraveling of the surge. (READ MORE)

Soccer Dad: It’s all in the branding - We noted the other day that allied forces have been wreaking havoc with the PR arms of Al Qaeda.In turn this has contributed to a decrease in the number those volunteering to fight the infidels in Iraq. “So the al Qaeda recruiter, often working out of a local mosque, makes a free trip to Iraq, ending in a glorious death for the cause, sound like a solution. But over the last year, the number of such volunteers has declined from 120 a month, to about 40. The main reason for this is bad news, and some survivors, coming back from Iraq. Not many of these losers make it back, but the word gets on to the Internet, and this has caused quite a commotion on pro-terrorist web sites and message boards. There’s also been a sharp drop in pro-terrorist combat videos coming out of Iraq. This is largely due to the death or capture of the people responsible for getting those videos onto the Internet.” If you can’t romanticize self-destruction you won’t have a lot of volunteers for suicide missions. (READ MORE)

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred: The Doctrine of Proportionate Response - ‘Disproportionate’ is a word that has come into vogue when discussing Israel and her response to terror and violence. We have reached the point where no matter what the Israeli reaction or response to terror might be, the discussion always centers around what is a disproportionate response, what was a disproportionate response or what may be a disproportionate response. The media fascination- and obsession- with the idea of ‘disproportionate response’ is understandable, because ‘proportionate response’ contributed to the deaths of millions in Rwanda, Sierra Leonne, the Congo and Darfur. These atrocities are allowed to go one because just about any kind of response and or intervention are considered ‘disproportionate’ by one side or the other. Somehow, proportionate response- even if that leads to the deaths of millions- must be seen as the moral response. (READ MORE)

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