Saturday, May 20, 2006


Want Some Good News About Iraq?

Victory in Iraq is Coming ( Excerpted from The Belmont Club)

""We all know" that Iraq is the worst American defeat since Vietnam but Amir Taheri's in "Commentary" points out that even catastrophes have their bright side.

Since the toppling of Saddam in 2003, this is one highly damaging image we have not seen on our television sets and we can be sure that we would be seeing it if it were there to be shown. To the contrary, Iraqis, far from fleeing, have been returning home. By the end of 2005, in the most conservative estimate, the number of returnees topped the 1.2-million mark. Many of the camps set up for fleeing Iraqis in Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia since 1959 have now closed down. The oldest such center, at Ashrafiayh in southwest Iran, was formally shut when its last Iraqi guests returned home in 2004.
A second dependable sign likewise concerns human movement, but of a different kind. This is the flow of religious pilgrims to the Shiite shrines in Karbala and Najaf. Whenever things start to go badly in Iraq, this stream is reduced to a trickle and then it dries up completely. From 1991 (when Saddam Hussein massacred Shiites involved in a revolt against him) to 2003, there were scarcely any pilgrims to these cities. Since Saddam’s fall, they have been flooded with visitors. In 2005, the holy sites received an estimated 12 million pilgrims, making them the most visited spots in the entire Muslim world, ahead of both Mecca and Medina.

Over 3,000 Iraqi clerics have also returned from exile, and Shiite seminaries, which just a few years ago held no more than a few dozen pupils, now boast over 15,000 from 40 different countries. This is because Najaf, the oldest center of Shiite scholarship, is once again able to offer an alternative to Qom, the Iranian holy city where a radical and highly politicized version of Shiism is taught. Those wishing to pursue the study of more traditional and quietist forms of Shiism now go to Iraq where, unlike in Iran, the seminaries are not controlled by the government and its secret police.

A third sign, this one of the hard economic variety, is the value of the Iraqi dinar, especially as compared with the regions other major currencies. In the final years of Saddam Husseins rule, the Iraqi dinar was in free fall; after 1995, it was no longer even traded in Iran and Kuwait. By contrast, the new dinar, introduced early in 2004, is doing well against both the Kuwaiti dinar and the Iranian rial, having risen by 17 percent against the former and by 23 percent against the latter. Although it is still impossible to fix its value against a basket of international currencies, the new Iraqi dinar has done well against the U.S. dollar, increasing in value by almost 18 percent between August 2004 and August 2005. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis, and millions of Iranians and Kuwaitis, now treat it as a safe and solid medium of exchange.

My fourth time-tested sign is the level of activity by small and medium-sized businesses. In the past, whenever things have gone downhill in Iraq, large numbers of such enterprises have simply closed down, with the country’s most capable entrepreneurs decamping to Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states, Turkey, Iran, and even Europe and North America. Since liberation, however, Iraq has witnessed a private-sector boom, especially among small and medium-sized businesses.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as numerous private studies, the Iraqi economy has been doing better than any other in the region. The country’s gross domestic product rose to almost $90 billion in 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available), more than double the output for 2003, and its real growth rate, as estimated by the IMF, was 52.3 per cent. In that same period, exports increased by more than $3 billion, while the inflation rate fell to 25.4 percent, down from 70 percent in 2002. The unemployment rate was halved, from 60 percent to 30 percent."

It is apparent from this reporting that we have been denied significant insights into how well the Iraqi War is going for our side. The blame for this rests entirely on our Mainstream Media, and the opposition to Bush: i.e. the Democrats. This is intolerable!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Bush and the Illegals

Some Will Stay, and Some Will Go.

After putting a few troops down on the border to help the Border Patrol, and after using 'high tech" surveillance gear to detect crossers, we have left a border that is still porous, poorly manned and upwards of 12 million illegals remaining in the country.

After setting up an ID system, and forcing employers to check them, we will begin to stem the tide of illegals, perhaps by 2020. I heard the fence word once in conjunction with the phrase "high tech", which is subject to several interpretations. Is it a fence with high tech devices around it, or is the surveillance gear itself creating the "fence". If it is the latter, we lose again.

Without sufficient BP and troop numbers at the ready, detecting intrusions is worthless. The 6,000 NG troops are woefully insufficient to back up the BP.

Everyone is still chanting together that deporting millions of illegal immigrants is not possible and is off the table. I have pointed out before that in WWII, we mobilized over 10 million men and women, fed, clothed and housed them, and transported them all over the world. Not a bad model for the deportation task. This is simply a matter of will to perform the job over a few years, say 5 or 6.

We can conclude that Bush will not force very many resident illegals to be deported. He will find ways to keep the lot here, serving the business interests that exploit illegals, and trying to garner the hispanic vote for the Republican party.

The Senate will do even less, and the conference between the House and Senate will break down.
Or, we will have a toothless bill that condemns us to cope with 30 million illegals, or amnesty-tagged illegals, by 2012.

Good luck to us.

Friday, May 12, 2006


NSA Databases

Get a Grip, Lefties

For most Americans, the fact that their phone calls are recorded, in skeleton form, in a NSA dastabase is not terribly troubling. In fact, the public in general seems to be far more concerned that the Left will succeed in having the practice stopped, much to our ultimate regret. Many are not concerned if their entire chats are recorded, if held to the purpose of stopping terrorist attacks. Yes, one has to give up certain privacy provisions as the price for vigilance. But, in order to assure NSA's purity of purpose, we do not have to give up thorough and impartial supervision of its activities.

The same holds true for the NSA listening in on phone calls from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or any other Islamic nation, to people in America. Eventually, I hope they monitor ALL calls from foreign countries, since the terrorist threats can be originated from any place in the world.

Denying terrorists unfettered access to communications should be a no-brainer.

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