Wednesday, June 30, 2004

On behalf of the common good

Hillary's intentions:
Headlining an appearance with other Democratic women senators on behalf of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is up for re-election this year, Hillary Clinton told several hundred supporters -- some of whom had ponied up as much as $10,000 to attend -- to expect to lose some of the tax cuts passed by President Bush if Democrats win the White House and control of Congress.

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
As one pundit points out, "at least she's honest."

Hope for the future

An Iraqi on the transition of sovereignty:
Small party and great hopes.

...The hall was busy and everyone was chatting and laughing loud. They had Al-Jazeera on (something I never managed to convince them to stop doing). Then suddenly Mr. Bremer appeared on TV reading his last speech before he left Iraq. I approached the TV to listen carefully to the speech, as I expected it to be difficult in the midst of all that noise. To my surprise everyone stopped what they were doing and started watching as attentively as I was.

The speech was impressive and you could hear the sound of a needle if one had dropped it at that time. The most sensational moment was the end of the speech when Mr. Bremer used a famous Arab emotional poem. The poem was for a famous Arab poet who said it while leaving Baghdad. Al-Jazeera had put an interpreter who tried to translate even the Arabic poem which Mr. Bremer was telling in a fair Arabic! “Let this damned interpreter shut up. We want to hear what the man is saying” One of my colloquies shouted. The scene was very touching that the guy sitting next to me (who used to sympathize with Muqtada) said “He’s going to make me cry!”

Then he finished his speech by saying in Arabic,”A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq”! (Long live Iraq, Long live Iraq, long live Iraq).

I was deeply moved by this great man’s words but I couldn’t prevent myself from watching the effect of his words on my friends who some of them were anti-Americans and some were skeptic, although some of them have always shared my optimism. I found that they were touched even more deeply than I was. I turned to one friend who was a committed She’at and who distrusted America all the way. He looked as if he was bewitched, and I asked him, “So, what do you think of this man? Do you still consider him an invader?” My friend smiled, still touched and said, “Absolutely not! He brought tears to my eyes. God bless him.”

Another friend approached me. This one was not religious but he was one of the conspiracy theory believers. He put his hands on my shoulders and said smiling, “I must admit that I’m beginning to believe in what you’ve been telling us for months and I’m beginning to have faith in America. I never thought that they will hand us sovereignty in time. These people have shown that they keep their promises.”
(Link via David Green.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Biased Washington Post

A marine in Iraq comments.

Biased NY Times

Monday, June 28, 2004

Free Iraq

The President:
"We have kept our word" to deliver freedom and a new government to the Iraqi people...

"Fifteen months after the liberation of Iraq and two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a full sovereign and free Iraq."
I hope to God this works.

I thought digging into the Ryan divorce papers was inappropriate. And I think the same vis-a-vis Kerry's divorce papers. What better precedent to keep good people from running for office?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Liberal intolerance

Are mainstream liberals prejudiced towards conservatives?

This guy and this guy think so.

UPDATE: This guy has had similar experiences:
I'm a very unusual animal where I come from, sort of like a large reptile or rodent. Just a mild-mannered profession of non-Democratness is very disturbing to the equilibrium. For some reason, it's OK to wax polemic for a half-hour at a time if you are dissing Bush, but non-Democrats must stay in the closet.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Administration vindicated. Press buries the lead.

The Washington Post engaged in a bit of irresponsibly biased reporting today.

An article subtitled "9/11 Panel Finds No Collaboration Between Iraq, Al Qaeda" runs as follows:
In an overview of al Qaeda released in a separate report earlier this morning, the commission also found "no credible evidence" that al Qaeda collaborated with Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq on the Sept. 11 strikes or any other attacks on the United States. That finding comes in the wake of statements Monday by Vice President Cheney that Iraq had "long-established ties" with al Qaeda, and comments by President Bush yesterday backing up that assertion.
Guess what? The commission report in fact backs up Cheney's statements despite the Post's efforts to discredit the Vice President.

A more accurate story would have been headlined, "9/11 Panel Reveals Longstanding Collaboration Between Iraq, Al Qaeda -- Bush Administration Vindicated."

The report notes explicitly that at least one terrorist group from Iraq joined the "broader Islamic army" that Bin Ladin was seeking to build with al Qaeda as its foundation. (See page 3, second full paragraph.) It is not clear from the report when this happened, but it looks like it may have been ~1991.

In addition, the report reveals:

- Bin Ladin "explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan" (1991-1996). The Sudanese "arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Ladin in 1994. Bin Ladin is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons." (See page 5, paragraph 4.) Apparently, Saddam did not provide the camps and weapons.

- Further contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq were reported after Bin Ladin's return to Afghanistan in 1996. (See page 5, paragraph 4.) These contacts apparently persisted despite no overt collaboration at that point.

While the report does state, "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States," [emphasis mine] it nowhere states that Iraq and al Qaeda did not cooperate otherwise, or might not have cooperated in the future on attacks against the U.S.

Unsurprisingly, the Post is not alone in spinning the story against the Administration. An A.P. story on the NY Times web site today runs as follows:
Sept. 11 Commission Report Says Iraq Rebuffed Al Qaeda

Published: June 16, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks found ``no credible evidence'' of a link between Iraq and al-Qaida in attacks against the United States, contradicting President Bush's assertion that such a connection was among the reasons it was necessary to topple Saddam Hussein.

UPDATE: I have learned that since I quoted from the story in the Post, they have edited it to remove the disparaging remarks about Cheney. But I see no indication of the correction. I've e-mailed the reporter to inquire about the missing lines; I'll let you know if I hear anything.

'NOTHER UPDATE: Instapundit has a round-up of comments on the matter, including a link to this post. David M makes big time.

UPDATE: As of 11:15 a.m. EST, Jun. 17, I have received no reply from yesterday afternoon's inquiry to the reporter at the Post. In the meantime the article in question has been fairly significantly edited yet again, with no indication that there have been any edits or corrections. Does anyone have the Jun. 17 print version of the Post to see what version made it into the paper?

Four months hence

Safire, via Nixon, prognosticates:
Q: Where will the campaign be four months from now?

RN: That's Oct. 16, with jobs and the market rising, casualties contained, at least one terrorist attack in the U.S. Debates are over, with Kerry winning on points and Bush on personality. First, half of the swing vote, larger than expected, moves toward the incumbent, which puts Bush a couple of points ahead.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Two pics

Mr. and Mrs. Clinton catch up on some sleep at Reagan's funeral.

Bill Clinton and John Kerry reflect on the solemnity of the occasion at Reagan's funeral.

Is it fair to poke fun at public figures who are constantly in the spotlight and have a moment or two they'd prefer not be photographed? Of course not. But it sure is fun.

Perhaps it's my small way of reflecting on the emergence as front page news of President Ford's stumble.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Conference on Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia

Today's Arab News reports on a forum on women in Saudi Arabia.

It starts out promising enough:
The third National Dialogue Forum, which focuses on women’s issues, opened on Saturday with a call to respect the equality between the sexes granted by Islam.
The chairman of the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue which sponsors the event, sounds downright progressive:
“Islam guarantees equality and does not differentiate between people based on race, sex or color,” he said. “It is a natural state that is achieved through ensuring people enjoy the same legal rights, dignity and obligations.”
Soon however, we learn that the conference itself is segregated, with "separate rooms for men and women... linked by closed-circuit TV."


Later, "[w]hen the women’s turn came," presumably after respectful deference to the men who opened and led the conference,
Dr. Saliha Al-Hulais, of Umm Al-Qura University, promptly dismissed calls for equality between men and women.

Justice did not necessarily mean full equality, she argued.
Turns out the tone wasn't so progressive after all. Admittedly though, that the issues are being addressed at all is a step in the right direction.

But does respect for another culture imply acceptance of subjugation of half the population? I can't help musing a little more about women's rights in the Kingdom, a place where women
face government-sponsored discrimination that renders them unequal before the law - including discriminatory family codes that take away women's legal authority and place it in the hands of male family members - and restricts women's participation in public life.
Remember this shining example of the Saudi religious police at work?
Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom's powerful "mutaween" police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.
How about this quaint custom?
Infibulation is the term given to a primitive sexual operation in which the labia are approximated to obstruct the vagina. The custom persists in ... southern Arabia despite the obvious psychologic, obstetric, and gynecological problems that it creates. It can only be hoped that with increasing education and social enlightenment this mutative procedure will soon be abandoned.

And then there is this story about a man "who cut off the right leg of his wife, Amina. He accused her of infidelity, after 'over exposing' herself to a doctor to get an injection." The judge ordered the man's leg cut off as well.

Of course one can always discuss the potential of women serving in the Saudi parliament:
"Appointing women as parliament members is out of the question. Nobody even thinks about it, because the issues the parliament deals with are public matters under the responsibility of men."
Or perhaps not.

Some Saudi women think their lack of rights is overplayed, as shown here. (Click on essay #1):
Reporters make a lot of fuss about the fact that women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, but it keeps 500,000 men in work as chauffeurs! Also, people from elsewhere go on about wearing the hijab (veil) but most of us are happy with it. Surely there are more important things to write about.
Al Jazeera reported just last week, in an article on the progress Saudi Arabia is making on women's rights,
Women in Saudi Arabia have to be covered from head to toe in public and cannot mix with men other than relatives. They are also not allowed to drive or travel alone.
In a country where "Jewish" Barbie dolls are a moral threat, women still are seeking their "right to citizenship."

Are the rights of Saudi women the top item on my agenda? Far from it. If the Saudis would reign in their financial support for terrorists and the schools that breed them, it would be a great start. But I figure it does no harm to shine a bit of light on the ways of the Wahhabis.

Reagan Eulogies

President George W. Bush's Eulogy to Ronald Reagan

Vice President Richard Cheney's Remarks at Ronald Reagan's State Funeral Ceremony

Baroness Margaret Thatcher's Eulogy to President Ronald Reagan

Former President George H.W. Bush's Eulogy to Ronald Reagan

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's Remarks at the State Funeral of Ronald Reagan

President Pro Tempore Senator Ted Stevens' Eulogy to Ronald Reagan

Brian Mulroney's Eulogy to Ronald Reagan

Patti Davis, Ron Reagan and Michael Reagan's Remarks at the Burial Service of Their Father

Sunday, June 13, 2004

CNN: We failed the American people with our coverage of Reagan during his presidency

Rigth after the funeral, Bernie Shaw admitted on CNN that the newsmedia failed the american people by not recognizing Reagan during his presidency--and Wolf Blitzer and Paula Zahn agreed:
Bernie Shaw: “I’d just like to say something…We failed the American people with our coverage…I certainly missed a lot.”

Wolf Blitzer: “We’ve learned a lot about this presidency since his two terms in office.”

Paula Zahn: “I just wanted to add, Wolf, I do think there is new material coming out now about Ronald Reagan. With the distance of years we have the ability to get information…
Now might be a good time for them to examine their coverage of George W. Bush, so Bernie won't need to apologize again several decades hence.

(Link via Betsy's Page.)

Friday, June 11, 2004

NPR: Our taxes at work

My uncle has a sort of game. He listens to NPR on the way to work and sees if he can tolerate it for the full commute (typically about 12 minutes -- needless to say he's not a New Yorker) before turning it off in disgust.

This afternoon I did the same. First was a short news report on the Reagan funeral. Then a brief quote from Bush père on Reagan's humor: When I asked him how was Tutu, he said so-so.

Then an in-depth segment on the Iranian reaction to Reagan's death. Statements about Reagan being the Great Satan. Connections between Reagan and Saddam. Man on the street interview with a first-name-only Irani who did not like Reagan. Quotes from the government-controlled Iranian press on how bad Reagan was.

End of segment. End of my listening to NPR for the day.

You don't say

"Undecided Voter Is Becoming the Focus of Both Political Parties"--headline, NY Times, Jun. 11, 2004

Sure, it belongs in the "duh" category, but perhaps we should be grateful: a Times headline with no apparent bias.

(With apologies to Taranto.)

UPDATE: I'm not the only one who noted the self-evident platitude.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

"In France this season, Jew-hating is all the rage"

In May 2003, President Bush visited Auschwitz. He saw the baby shoes of the slaughtered innocents. He said, "Never again."

Addressing the media afterwards on the eve of his visit to France, he stated that Auschwitz serves as a reminder of why it is so important to fight anti-Semitism today in France.

He was disappointed that his statement on anti-Semitism received little notice in the press, particularly in the French press. He had wanted to serve notice to France that the resurgence of anti-Semitism there was not acceptable.

And now, a year later, pieces like this article by Carole Raphaelle Davis appear.
In France this season, Jew-hating is all the rage — literally.

Attacks against Jews and their property have escalated to an alarming extent. The French Jewish community... is living in a state of anxiety.... Here are just a few examples from the last few weeks:

...[Follow the link for a recitation of acts of anti-Semitic savagery.]

Sadly, but not surprisingly, if one speaks in support of Israel at French dinner parties, one is shouted down. Even at my own dinner table, when I told a guest of my fears about living in Paris in such a climate of anti-Semitism, he insisted, "There is no anti-Semitism in France, don’t be ridiculous."

When I told him about everything I had read about the rising tide of anti-Jewish hatred, he told me I was being "influenced by the Jew lobby" and that whatever I was reading was "Jewish propaganda."

When I told him that among other papers, I was reading The New York Times, he said, "You know, The New York Times is a Jewish paper and Jews control all the media."

He said it with a smile, even knowing that I am a Jew. What made his comments especially chilling is that he is on the Catholic Board of Education of Paris.
(Bush anecdote via Ari Fleischer. Article link via LGF. )


I have recently discovered Thomas Sowell through his books. Turns out I like his columns, too.


Video highlights of Ronald Reagan here.

Not to be confused with this dyslogy from Truthout's William Rivers Pitt. (More on dislogy below.) Turns out Reagan is responsible for all the evils in America.
The truth is straightforward: Virtually every significant problem facing the American people today can be traced back to the policies and people that came from the Reagan administration. It is a laundry list of ills, woes and disasters that has all of us, once again, staring apocalypse in the eye.
And to think, one of my closer friends tells me Truthout is his primary reading for political opinion.

Mindles Dreck called Pitt's piece a dyslogy, and so I went fishing for a definition. In this glossary dyslogy was nestled comfortably between dolorifuge and ergasiophobia:
Dyslogy n.
Dispraise; uncomplimentary remarks. The opposite of "eulogy." "Okay, everyone, let's hear it for the retiring President! Let's give him the dyslogy he so richly deserves!"
Perhaps my ergasiophobia is a subconscious quest for dolorifuge, he mused in a moment of fustian sesquipedalianism.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Brokaw edits the President

An interesting look at how NBC edits an interview with the President. The entire interview transcript is there, including the bits that were edited out of the video.

Several questions and answers are edited out altogether (understandable practice). And some of Bush's answers are given in part, at times detracting from the content of the answer. Read the original post.

The blogger concludes,
Just keep all of this in mind the next time you are watching an interview on TV. It doesn't surprise me that this happens, but one would think that the President talking about war and peace would get a little more leeway in having his whole answers presented to the American people. Especially since these same elites in the media will be the first to complain that the President doesn't answer their questions often enough.

Chirac defies Bush multilateralism

The A.P. reports today,
Seeking to build on rare harmony with Europe after a U.N. vote, President Bush proposed a wider but unspecified role for NATO in post-occupation Iraq. But French President Jacques Chirac immediately objected.

UPDATE: Ann's Fuse Box weighs in with a few definitions:
So when the US goes it alone--with a coalition of over 70 countries--we are unilateralist, international-lawbreaking, evil, hegemonist, and imperialist.

And when the US gets multilateral agreements, we are just international-lawbreaking, evil, hegemonist, and imperialist.

U.S. Soldiers abroad proving themselves anything but ambassadors of good will (in 1945)

Life, Nov. 26, 1945 (p. 29):
In France the hard feelings between the French people and the U.S. soldiers were boiling over in riots and mutual recriminations. GIs in Le Havre, angrily impatient to get home, rampaged throughout the town. The French were complaining that GIs acted more like conquerors than allies. The soldiers were replying bitterly that the "frogs" were cheating and over-charging them outrageously. General Eisenhower acknowledged that U.S. Soldiers abroad were proving themselves anything but ambassadors of good will. Among both French and Americans the friction was deplored, although it was not entirely unexpected of a war-battered people and an idle army.

Natan Sharansky's tribute to Reagan

A former Soviet prisoner expresses his deepest gratitude to the leader who helped him and millions of others win their freedom:
In 1983, I was confined to an eight-by-ten-foot prison cell on the border of Siberia. My Soviet jailers gave me the privilege of reading the latest copy of Pravda. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of President Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire." Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, word of Reagan's "provocation" quickly spread throughout the prison. We dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth – a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us.

At the time, I never imagined that three years later, I would be in the White House telling this story to the president. When he summoned some of his staff to hear what I had said, I understood that there had been much criticism of Reagan's decision to cast the struggle between the superpowers as a battle between good and evil.
Well, Reagan was right and his critics were wrong.

Those same critics used to love calling Reagan a simpleton who saw the world through a primitive ideological prism and who would convey his ideas through jokes and anecdotes. In our first meeting, he told me that Soviet premier Brezhnev and Kosygin, his second-in-command, were discussing whether they should allow freedom of emigration. "Look, America's really pressuring us," Brezhnev said, "maybe we should just open up the gates. The problem is, we might be the only two people who wouldn't leave." To which Kosygin replied, "Speak for yourself."

What his critics didn't seem to understand was that the jokes and anecdotes that so endeared Reagan to people were merely his way of expressing fundamental truths in a way that everyone could understand...

The legacy of president Reagan will surely endure. Armed with moral clarity, a deep faith in freedom, and the courage to follow his convictions, he was instrumental in helping the West win the Cold War and hundreds of millions of people behind the Iron Curtain win their freedom.

As one of those people, I can only express my deepest gratitude to this great leader...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Reuters "reports" on U.N. resolution

Reuters reports on the incredible progress in Iraq, as exemplified by today's U.N. resolution:
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to adopt a U.S.-British resolution that formally ends the occupation of Iraq on June 30 in a move hailed as an historic victory for the people of Iraq.
Oops, I forgot it was Reuters reporting the story. My bad. Here's how the article actually starts:
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to adopt a U.S.-British resolution that formally ends the occupation of Iraq on June 30 but few believed the action would stop the daily bloodshed.
I briefly descended into a dream world where Reuters would depict a positive story on Iraq as, well, a positive story on Iraq. I'm back now.

UPDATE: Rantingprofs dissects the NY Times coverage of the story.

Monday, June 07, 2004

"Americans are losing the victory"

Life magazine, Jan. 7, 1946:

Americans are Losing the Victory in Europe
Destitute Nations Feel That the U.S. Has Failed Them

...The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick."

A tour of the beaten-up cities of Europe six months after victory is a mighty sobering experience for anyone. Europeans, friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face an tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an American. They cite the evolution of the word "liberation." Before the Normandy landings it meant to be freed from the tyranny of the Nazis. Now it stands in the minds of the civilians for one thing, looting...

Never has American prestige in Europe been lower. People never tire of telling you of the ignorance and rowdyism of American troops, of our misunderstanding of European conditions... They tell us that our mechanical denazification policy in German is producing results opposite to those we planned. "Have you no statesmen in America?" they ask.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Now and then


"U.S. Military Struggles to Maintain Adequate Troop Levels"--headline, ABC News, Jun. 4, 2004, commenting on the U.S. occupation of Iraq


MacArthur is having his troubles. He is short of competent personnel because Americans won't leave home these days even for a good cause.--editorial, Life magazine, Feb. 19, 1946 (p. 32), commenting on the U.S. occupation of Japan

Update: Thanks for the link, Prof. Reynolds.

U.S. treats POWs worse than dogs

From an article entitled "Report on the Occupation... reconstruction stands still and victors are as glum as vanquished" in the March 11, 1946 issue of Life, penned by John Dos Passos:
The lieutenant worked in Intelligence. He was a young man from Brooklyn with a thoughtful ruddy face and full lips....

He got up and began to walk back and forth. "I've been interrogating German officers for the War Crimes Commission and when I find them half starved to death right in our own PW cages and being treated like you wouldn't treat a dog, I ask myself some questions. All these directives about don't coddle the Germans have thrown open the gates for every criminal tendency we've got in us. Just because the Germans did these things is no reason for us to do them. Well, I know war isn't a pretty business but this isn't war any more. This is peace."
Interestingly, the description of the alleged maltreatment of POWs is on the last page of a nine-page article. Imagine the same report from Iraq today.

(Sorry, no link. I transcribed the article myself when I could not find a copy on-line. I've been spending time lately at the local library reviewing Life issues from the mid-40s. Stay tuned for more.)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

The President understands what's at stake in the war on terror

Remarks by the President at the United States Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony:
Like the Second World War, our present conflict began with a ruthless, surprise attack on the United States. We will not forget that treachery, and we will accept nothing less than victory over the enemy.

Like the murderous ideologies of the 20th century, the ideology of terrorism reaches across boarders, and seeks recruits in every country. So we're fighting these enemies wherever they hide across the earth.

Like other totalitarian movements, the terrorists seek to impose a grim vision in which dissent is crushed, and every man and woman must think and live in colorless conformity. So to the oppressed peoples everywhere, we are offering the great alternative of human liberty.

Like enemies of the past, the terrorists underestimate the strength of free peoples. The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent, and with a few hard blows will collapse in weakness and in panic. The enemy has learned that America is strong and determined, because of the steady resolve of our citizens, and because of the skill and strength of the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and the United States Air Force. (Applause.)

And like the aggressive ideologies that rose up in the early 1900s, our enemies have clearly and proudly stated their intentions: Here are the words of al Qaeda's self-described military spokesman in Europe, on a tape claiming responsibility for the Madrid bombings. He said, "We choose death, while you choose life. If you do not stop your injustices, more and more blood will flow and these attacks will seem very small compared to what can occur in what you call terrorism."

Here are the words of another al Qaeda spokesman, Suleiman Abu Gheith. Last year, in an article published on an al Qaeda website, he said, "We have the right to kill four million Americans -- two million of them children -- and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons."

In all these threats, we hear the echoes of other enemies in other times -- that same swagger and demented logic of the fanatic. Like their kind in the past, these murderers have left scars and suffering. And like their kind in the past, they will flame and fail and suffer defeat by free men and women. (Applause.)
(Via LGF.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Get us out of this quagmire!

The NY Times has carefully deliniated the quagmire-like qualities of the post-invasion U.S. occupation.

Of Germany, that is.

Mark Levin's article in NRO documents it all:
"Germans Reveal Hate of Americans," October 31, 1945

The German attitude toward the American occupation forces has swung from apathy and surface friendliness to active dislike. According to a military government official, this is finding expression in the organization of numerous local anti-American organizations throughout the zone and in a rapid increase in the number of attacks on American soldiers. There were more such attacks in the first week of October than in the preceding five months of the occupation, this source declared....

"Loss of Victory in Germany Through U.S. Policy Feared," November 18, 1945

Grave concern was expressed today by informed officials that the United States might soon lose the fruits of victory in Germany through the failure to prepare adequately for carrying out its long-term commitments under the Potsdam Declaration. Government failures were attributed in part to public apathy. The predictions of a coming crisis are predicated upon three points:
1) The failure to start training a civilian corps of administrators to take over when the Army's Military Government pulls out of Germany by June 1.

2) The failure of the Government to set up an expert advisory group, such as that which existed in the Foreign Economic Administration's Enemy Branch to back up the American administrators of Germany with informed advice and provide a focal point in Washington for policy-making on the German question.

3) The failure of the Allies to decide together, or the United States for itself, the crucial economic question raised by the Potsdam Declaration; namely what level of German economic activity is desired over the long term?

"Germans Declare Americans Hated," December 3, 1945

An exhaustive compilation of opinions of Germans in all walks of life on their reaction to the United States occupation of their country was released this afternoon from the confidential status under which it was submitted to officials of the United States Forces in the European Theatre recently.
Bitter resentment and deep disappointment was voiced over the Americans' first six months of occupation, though there was some praise for the improvements in transportation, health conditions, book publishing and entertainment.
With attitudes like these, it's a wonder the U.S. ever extricated itself from the quagmire that was Europe. With cowboys like FDR, Truman and Eisenhower in charge, American imperialism just ran rampant (under the guise of course of idealism and national security), leading to a whole new generation of American-hating Hitlers and Nazis.

Oh, wait, that's not how it happened. Never mind.

Hat tip: Betsy's Page.

2 of 20 in Kerry ad pic support Kerry

According to, of the 20 men pictured in a Kerry campaign photo, two support Kerry, one is Kerry, eleven condemn Kerry, four are neutral and two are deceased:
[T]he photo in Kerry’s national campaign ads contains 20 officers, including Kerry, 11 of whom signed a letter condemning Kerry yet their image is being widely used in his own campaign. It was taken on the island of An Thoi on January 22, 1969. These officers together with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth call upon him to cease the unauthorized use of their photo by his campaign. They are jointly submitting the attached letter to John Kerry....

Of the remaining eight officers in the photo: two are deceased and four do not wish to be involved in any manner; only two of the 20 are believed to support Kerry.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Singapore prime minister on winning against terrorism

This Williams College alumnus seems to understand. (Via Athena.)

Beware Polls

A CBS News poll published May 24 states,
Overall, 49 percent of registered voters now say they would vote for Kerry, 41 percent for Bush.
The poll, which contained other bad news for Bush as well, saw a lot of media play.

But Captain's Quarters says the poll overweights Dems and is hence biased.
Just to put the polling in context, take a look at the Rasmussen poll, which shows a continual dead heat between Bush and Kerry, even on a head-to-head basis, using a sample of 3500 likely voters, with the last data reported 5/29. Quinnipiac has Bush ahead by one point in a three-way race, 43-42-6, as of 5/26, using a sample of 1160 registered voters. While you're there, take a look at the trends; Bush's favorability rating has stabilized at 40% over the past two months, while Kerry's has dropped four points and is below Bush's number.

The CBS poll, on the other hand, uses only 1113 registered voters, broken down in an unusual manner: 346 Republicans, 390 Democrats, and 377 independents. Since when are there that many more Democrats than Republicans? The poll then shows its "weighting" (although it doesn't explain what it means), and the numbers get even worse: 330-R, 401-D, 381-I. According to the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, Republicans accounted for 32.5% of the registered electorate, while Democrats accounted for 33.7%. In a sample of 1113 voters, you would then expect to see 361-R, 375-D, 376-I. The result of CBS's sample is to throw off representation for Republicans by 8.6%, while bolstering Democrats by 7% and independents by 1.3%, using CBS' weighting.

The outcome, therefore, should hardly surprise anyone -- overreported Democrats are surely likely to support John Kerry, while the underreported Republicans depres Bush's ratings. It could hardly escape anyone's notice that CBS' result differed dramatically with other polling taken at the same time, using larger samples and better vetting, such as Rasmussen's 3,500 likely voters -- or could it?

Only RealClearPolitics remarked on the CBS sampling problems, noting that it represented a solid trend at the Tiffany Network:

If you go back, as I did this morning, and look at job approval numbers from the same group of pollsters for the first five and a half months of 2004, you can see the consistency of the CBS/NYT bias more clearly.

In every instance except one this year (and a very iffy one at that), CBS/NYT produced the worst job approval number of any of the three polls during a comparative time period.
And then Tom Bevan gives you a handy table demonstrating the phenomenon. All other news sources, however, gave CBS numbers straight, without any mention of its rather anemic sample -- you'd think a broadcast network could afford to poll larger -- its unreliable sample type, and its poor representation of the electorate. The lesson is that in order to analyze the polling numbers, you have to actually do some work and check the samples.
Update: Turns out weighting by party ID may be a bad idea. See Mystery Pollster and Kausfiles for more details.

Memorial Day

Excerpt from remarks by the President at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday:
This weekend, we dedicated the World War II Memorial, which will stand forever as a tribute to the generation that fought that war and the more than 400,000 Americans who fell. (Applause.) Some here today can turn their minds back across 60 years and see the face of a buddy who never made it home. You are veterans who have not forgotten your comrades. And America will always honor the achievements and the character of your brave generation. (Applause.)

Through our history, America has gone to war reluctantly, because we have known the costs of war. And the war on terror we're fighting today has brought great costs of its own. Since the hour this nation was attacked, we have seen the character of the men and women who wear our country's uniform. In places like Kabul and Kandahar, in Mosul and Baghdad, we have seen their decency and their brave spirit. Because of their fierce courage, America is safer, two terror regimes are gone forever, and more than 50 million souls now live in freedom. (Applause.)

Those who have fought these battles and served this cause can be proud of all they have achieved. And these veterans of battle will carry with them for all their days the memory of the ones who did not live to be called veterans. They will remember young soldiers like Captain Joshua Byers, a West Point man born in South Carolina who died in Iraq. When this son of missionaries was given command of a 120-man combat unit, he wrote this to his parents: "I will give the men everything I have to give. I love them already, just because they're mine. I pray, with all my heart, that I will be able to take every single one of them home safe when we finish our mission here."

Hat tip: LGF.

Kerry and Abby

Dear Abby recently published a letter from John Kerry.

Abby wrote,
DEAR SEN. KERRY: To say that you are a busy man these days is an understatement. That you would still reach out to help a child says volumes about you as a person.
Does Abby see Kerry's letter, sweet though it might be, as a magnanimous act rather than a calculated political move? While it has been a couple of decades since I was a reader of Abby, I thought she -- or was it her mom? -- was shrewder than that.

Not to pick nits, but Kerry seems to think the U.S. is on Mars, or perhaps Venus, when he states,
That is what makes our country unlike any place on Earth.
How about "any other place on Earth," John?