Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Roxana Saberi Still languishing in an Iranian jail!

On March 6 the Iranian press reported that Roxana Saberi, an American freelance journalist who was detained by Iranian authorities in January, "would be released within the next few days.”

I welcomed the good news at the time, but I noted that Miss Saberi should have been released long before that. The decision to release her came less than 24 hours after the Obama administration had announced it was inviting Iranian officials to attend an international conference on Afghanistan.

"Unfortunately," I wrote at the time, "the Iranians have learned a valuable lesson about the "Obama Doctrine" - otherwise known as the "Policy of Appeasement" - namely, that Obama can be bought off if you force his hand."

However, I got to thinking about Miss Saberi again today after reading the following news item in the Washington Post - h/t Atlas Shrugs:

Two American journalists detained last week by North Korean soldiers are likely to become bargaining chips for North Korea in its feuds with the outside world, according to analysts and politicians in South Korea.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters working for Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV, were seized at 3 a.m. March 17 after walking from China across the shallow Tumen River into North Korea... The two women have been moved to Pyongyang, the capital, where they were being interrogated as possible spies...

No matter what charges are made against the journalists, North Korea will probably use them... as leverage in negotiations with the United States and other countries over aid, nuclear weapons and, most urgently, the planned test launch in early April of a long-range missile, several analysts said...

Koh Yu-whan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, called the capture of the two Americans an "unexpected" new negotiating card in the missile dispute...

"North Korea is likely to make the most of this opportunity, especially prior to launching their rocket," Koh said. "This new card can be used for multipurpose tactics."

Koh said release of the journalists is highly unlikely until after the missile launch, as the North will probably want to use custody of the two women to put pressure on the United States to soften its complaints...
Apparently, both North Korea and Iran are keenly aware of America's new foreign policy, namely, "The Obama Doctrine" or the spineless "Policy of Appeasement". And undoubtedly, they're going to milk this 'appeasement policy' to the max.

Nevertheless, if Obama is choosing to appease the enemy and embolden rogue regimes by inviting them to international conferences etc., one would expect that he would at least get something back in return. You would think that Obama's recent heart-warming video-address to the Iranian people [in honor of the Nowruz holiday] would have melted the Mullah's hearts by now and that Iran's fist would be completely "unclenched".

But, as you will soon see, it seems Iran is in no hurry to reciprocate Obama's overtures. They're undoubtedly planning to squeeze even greater concessions from the president, and in all likelihood, they'll receive them too. Which leads me to Roxana Saberi.

The American detainees in North Korea got me thinking about her today. I wondered what had happened to her. Sadly, I discovered that she's still languishing in an Iranian jail cell, despite Obama's recent overtures to Iran and despite the Iranian regime's promise to release her within days of their March 6 announcement:
The father of an Iranian-American journalist imprisoned in Iran said Tuesday that officials had told her they would keep her in custody for months or even years, in what appeared to be a reversal of a pledge that she would be released shortly...

This month [on March 6] a judicial official in Tehran said she would be released in a few days. But according to her father, Reza Saberi, she said in a call to him on Tuesday that a prosecutor had told her otherwise. “She was so upset,” said Mr. Saberi. “We tried to tell her to be patient. She sounded very hopeless.”
She may have "sounded very hopeless", but Obama has plenty of hope for the Iranian regime, and apparently, that's all that matters.

Oh well, so much for Obama's 'policy of appeasement' and his "carrots and sticks approach"......

But in all likelihood, the Saberi situation will probably lead to even more "carrots" and additional concessions, in the hope of pacifying the enemy.

By the way, whatever happened to Obama's "sticks" approach? So far, I've seen plenty of sticks from the Iranians and only carrots from Obama - and a whole lot of carrots, for that matter.

P.S. More on Saberi from the AFP:

A US journalist who was supposed to have been freed from an Iranian jail has been reduced to a "dangerous" mental state by her continued imprisonment, her family said Thursday.

"She is under great psychological pressure and her condition seems to be dangerous now," Reza and Akiko Saberi wrote in an open letter begging Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to release their daughter.

"We are very worried about her health and fear that something tragic may happen to her."
"Hope" and "Change", indeed!

Update: Saberi's father "said on Tuesday that his daughter had become suicidal and threatened to mount a hunger strike as her confinement drags on."
"I am very worried. She is pretty suicidal," said the elder Saberi. "She is saying she will go on a hunger strike if they keep her there. I tried to calm her down. I told her we are doing everything and to just hold on. Don't give in. We will try to secure her release."

Teleprompter vs. No Teleprompter - Original Version

Did you catch David Letterman's "Teleprompter vs. No Teleprompter" routine on Monday? Well, if you didn't, that's okay. You really didn't miss anything. Besides, a YouTube poster has posted what he calls "the rough cut and the original version which David Letterman refused to air, never before seen, until now!" So now you can see the original cut without all the editing:

Hmmm, I still can't figure out why Letterman refused to air the original cut. If anything, it was more accurate than the final version, and funnier too......

Previous post: Goodbye "Teleprompter", Hello "Massive TV Monitor"!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Goodbye "Teleprompter", Hello "Massive TV Monitor"!

The San Jose Mercury News notes that Barack Obama "has been criticized for relying heavily on a teleprompter, even for short speeches and brief appearances." Thus, at his prime-time news conference on Tuesday night, "the teleprompter was moved to the back of the room, out of sight of the cameras."

Bret Baier of Fox News points out that the normal glass teleprompter, usually positioned up front on both sides of the podium, was removed and a massive TV monitor was placed in the back of the room, out of sight of the cameras. But apparently, not out of sight of the Fox News' cameras....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Zogby: Obama’s job approval at about ‘50-50’

A new Zogby poll to be released tommorow morning will show the president's job approval rating continues to decline.

Americans are now split on the president’s performance by about 50-50, Pollster John Zogby told the Boston Herald on Monday.

Obama's Seeking "Exit Strategy" in Afghanistan? ALREADY?!

This is unbelievable! Barack Obama just sent 17,000 US troops to Afghanistan and already, he's reversing himself and seeking an "exit strategy" to bring the troops back home!

"There's got to be an exit strategy," the president said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS television's 60 Minutes program. "There's got to be a sense that this is not a perpetual drift."

Obama has also indicated that he'd be content even if democracy in Afghanistan falters, as long as "Al Qaeda is no longer a threat".

Talk about a bold and coherent foreign policy. Perhaps Obama believes it will be easier to enlist Iran's help in "stabilizing" Afghanistan if the Mullahs' fears about an emerging Democracy in the region are allayed.


And while we're on the subject of "exit strategies", let's take a look at Obama's "exit strategy" in Iraq and see how that's coming along.

According to a senior Iraqi intelligence official, “Al-Qaeda is preparing itself for the departure of the Americans [from Iraq]. And they want to stage a revolution."

Now that US troops are withdrawing from the region, Sunni insurgents under the umbrella of al-Qaeda are reconstituting themselves in the southern and western neighborhoods of Baghdad, the official said.

Iraqi Intelligence officials also say that the release of hundreds of prisoners from Camp Bucca, a U.S.-run prison in southern Iraq, has facilitated the revival of Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents in Basra, Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. But of course, these innocent terrorists are no longer considered "enemy combatants" in the eyes of the Obama administration.

Nevertheless, it's nice to see Obama's strategy of playing nice with the terrorists finally yielding some gains.......

Incidentally, during the "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday, the host, Steve Kroft, seemed a bit bemused by Obama's seemingly lighthearted demeanor when discussing America's economic troubles.
“You're sitting here. And you're— you are laughing," Kroft said. "You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money—’ How do you deal with— I mean: explain. . . Are you punch-drunk?"

Amid some more laughter with Kroft, Obama said it is necessary to have a measure of "gallows humor to get you through the day."
The president may have a point, gallows humor could be beneficial and some what therapeutic at times. Problem is, the noose around our collective neck is getting tighter and tighter each and every day - thanks to Obama's inept policies - and the "snapping" point may be imminent. Thus, the question arises: how much longer will be able to "hang" on before the inevitable "snap" occurs?

P.S. All puns and metaphors intended........

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama Dodges Questions Regarding AIG Campaign Contributions

Jonathon Karl of ABC News noted today that Barack Obama had received over $23,000 in campaign contributions from AIG executives after the insurance company received its first $85 billion in federal bailout funds late last year. [Obama collected a total of $130,000 from AIG in 2008]

Mr. Karl asks: "Was any bailout money used to make political contributions? And will the politicians who received AIG cash give the money back?"

Truth be told, at a White House news conference on Wednesday, a reporter asked Obama what he planned to do with AIG's campaign contributions, but Obama craftily ignored that question and went on to answer a different question.
Q: Mr. President you received $100,000 from AIG during the campaign. How do you feel about those contributions today? Do you plan to do anything about it? And at least one member of Congress has now called for your Secretary of the Treasury to resign. Your thoughts.
Obama replied that he had full confidence in Geithner, and that Geithner was "making all the right moves", but he completely ignored the first two questions.

However, to be fair, Obama probably found it difficult to answer those questions before he even had a chance to express his outrage over the money he had received.

Though, on the flip side, the reporter first asked the president: "How do you feel about those contributions?" and then asked him if he planned "to do anyting about it." Obama could have simply said: "I feel a deep sense of outrage for taking the money, and hopefully, I won't do it again."

Who's telling the truth? Obama or the AP?

Yahoo news:
Sources in the Obama administration Tuesday said that... administration officials did not know until a couple weeks ago that the officials of the controversial AIG Financial Product Division were set to receive $165 million in bonuses...
Cue the outrage. For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn't until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back...

The bonus problem wasn't new, as many lawmakers and administration officials knew only too well. AIG's plans to pay hundreds of millions of dollars were publicized last fall, when Congress started asking questions about expensive junkets the company had sponsored...
I'm not sure who to believe. Credibility-wise, neither Obama or the AP have the greatest track record. But in this instance, I think the evidence is clearly in favor of the AP.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gibbs' Defense Neither 'SOUND' Nor 'STRONG'

Yesterday the AP noted the seeming contradiction between Barack Obama's recent declaration that the fundamentals of the US economy are 'sound' and his relentless criticism of Sen. John McCain - during the presidential campaign - for essentially saying the same thing.

However, White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs on Monday tried to smooth over this seeming contradiction by asserting that Sen. McCain had characterized the economy as being fundamentally "STRONG", whereas the president had merely characterized the economy as being fundamentally "SOUND".

Now, aside from the fact that Mr. Gibbs' contention is nothing more than a childish play on words and pure chicanery at best, it also happens to be patently skewered.

For indeed, during the first presidential debate in September, Barack Obama specifically stated that Sen. McCain had said the fundamentals of the economy were "SOUND" - not "STRONG". [although McCain had used the word 'strong', Obama thought he had used the word 'sound'] Obama then went on to say that he disagreed with McCain and that he did not think the fundamentals of the economy were 'SOUND':

OBAMA: And there are folks out there who've been struggling before this crisis took place. And that's why it's so important, as we solve this short-term problem, that we look at some of the underlying issues that have led to wages and incomes for ordinary Americans to go down.... because, you know, 10 days ago, John said that the fundamentals of the economy are SOUND.

MODERATOR, JIM LEHRER: Say it directly to him [to McCain].

OBAMA: I do not think that they are ['sound'].

LEHRER: Say it directly to him.

OBAMA: Well, the -- John, 10 days ago, you said that the fundamentals of the economy are SOUND. And...

MCCAIN: Are you afraid I couldn't hear him?


LEHRER: I'm just determined to get you all to talk to each other. I'm going to try.

OBAMA: The -- and I just fundamentally disagree...
So, Mr. President, I'm not really sure if you believe the fundamentals of the economy are 'sound' or not, but I am certain of one thing:

You and your minions need to spruce up your act a tad bit. This latest bout of chicanery emanating from the White House is neither "Sound" nor "STRONG", if anything, it's pretty "LAME".....

Sorry Mr. Gibbs, you're a deceitful charlatan at best - but nice try anyway.......

Sunday, March 15, 2009

White House says Economy is sound despite 'Mess'

At a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida - on September 15 - Sen. John McCain issued the following statement:
"There's been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street and ... people are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think, still the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times. And I promise you, we will never put America in this position again..."

On that same day, at a campaign stop in Junction City Colorado, Barack Obama hammered Sen. McCain for saying the fundamentals of the economy are strong:
"We just woke up to news of financial disaster and this morning he [McCain] said that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong! Sen. McCain, what economy are you talking about?!”
Soon after, the Obama campaign released the following campaign ad:

But apparently, Barack Obama not only approves of that message, he also approves of his own hypocrisy, as evidenced by the fact that he and his minions are now in complete agreement with Sen. McCain:

From the AP - "White House says economy is sound despite 'mess'" - h/t - Legal Insurrection:
The economy is fundamentally sound despite the temporary "mess" it's in, the White House said Sunday in the kind of upbeat assessment that Barack Obama had mocked as a presidential candidate...

During the fall campaign, Obama relentlessly criticized his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, for declaring, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong." Obama's team painted the veteran senator as out of touch and failing to grasp the challenges facing the country.

But on Sunday, that optimistic message came from economic adviser Christina Romer.

When asked during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" if the fundamentals of the economy were sound, she replied: "Of course they are sound."

"The fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology," she said. "We know that — that temporarily we're in a mess, right? We've seen huge job loss, we've seen very large falls in GDP. So certainly in the short run we're in a — in a bad situation."

Just a week ago, White House Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag declared that "fundamentally, the economy is weak." Days later, Obama told reporters he was confident in the economy.

"If we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy, all the outstanding companies, workers, all the innovation and dynamism in this economy, then we're going to get through this," Obama said, striking a tone that his top aides mimicked.

"There's a reason why even in the midst of this economic crisis you've seen actual increases in investment flows here into the United States," Obama said Saturday in the Oval Office. "I think it's a recognition that the stability not only of our economic system, but also our political system, is extraordinary."
To paraphrase Barack Obama's campaign ad: "How can John McCain Barack Obama fix our economy, if he doesn't understand its broken?"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obama sends an Olive Branch to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Barack Obama has proven once again that he's a man of his word. One of the centerpieces of his presidential campaign was his pledge to engage in diplomatic negotiations with America's enemies, and lo and behold, he's about to keep good on that promise:
The Obama administration is leaning toward making a major diplomatic overture to Iran before the country's presidential elections in June, possibly in the form of a letter from President Obama to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to two senior European diplomats who have met in recent weeks with key State Department officials.

The letter would be aimed at initiating talks over the Iranian nuclear program and Iran's role in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity...

Earlier this week, State Department acting spokesman Robert Wood told reporters: "We have offered our hand to the government of Iran, and we hope to be able to engage this government on a whole range of issues...."

US officials have already begun testing the waters of engagement. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently announced that Iran would be invited to an upcoming multinational conference on Afghanistan, and Iranian officials have reportedly signaled that they will consider attending.
But I thought Iran was allied with Al Qaeda! Oh well, just a small bump in the road, I suppose. No big deal......
However, some European officials have long warned that a major gesture toward Iran before the June presidential election risks influencing its outcome, perhaps improving the chances of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, running for re-election.

But others say that holding off on a diplomatic overture until after the election carries even bigger risks.

"It is a good idea to send the message that they are engaging a government and not an individual," said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council.
Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council? But isn't he just a puppet of the Iranian regime? And isn't the National Iranian American Council just a front organization for the Iranian mullocracy?

Yes, that's correct, but if Obama is reaching out to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he might as well listen to what his puppets have to say....
Separate media reports claimed on Wednesday that Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who is in Tehran to attend the summit of Organization for Economic Cooperation, passed on a "verbal message" from the White House regarding US-Iran relations to his Iranian counterpart.

According to Turkish media, following his closed-door meeting with President Ahmadinejad, the Turkish president said, "The ice of US-Iran relations has been broken, but it will take time to normalize the situation."
Ah, the ice has been broken at last! What a relief!

Bush Shoe-Thrower trial Resumes, Ahmadinejad Gets a Shoe and Hat thrown at him!

I must have missed this one!:
The trial of Muntader al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who was thrust into the global spotlight after throwing his shoes at George W Bush, resumes on Thursday in Baghdad after a three-week break.

The hearing against the 30-year old journalist opened at the Iraq Central Criminal Court on February 19, but was adjourned 90 minutes later to determine the nature of the former US president's visit to Iraq on December 14.

"We have postponed the trial so that we can contact the prime minister's office to find out if the visit of the ex-American president Bush was an official visit or not," Judge Abdulamir Hassan al-Rubai had said...

Zaidi is charged with aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit and the issue of whether Bush's visit was actually official could affect the outcome of the trial...
Apparently, since the president was only there on a farewell visit, it could be deemed as an unofficial visit, and thus, affect the outcome of the trial.

Of course, this a totally lame and senseless argument, but the judge is obviously looking for a way to free this guy, or at least reduce his jail-time to the bare minimum.

And here's another shoe-throwing incident that I seemed to have missed:
A shoe was recently hurled at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while he was in the city of Urmia, an Iranian Web site has reported.

The incident in the Iranian city was an apparent imitation of a similar attack on former U.S. president George Bush in Iraq last year.

Urmia News, the Iranian site, reported that Ahmadinejad was in a car en route to an election rally when the shoe was thrown. Ahmadinejad was traveling to a local stadium where he was meant to deliver a speech ahead of upcoming presidential elections...
Hey, does this mean that Ahmadinejad is a "shoo-in" to win the election?....
According to the report, a hat was also thrown at the Iranian president before his convoy sped away from the scene.
Looks like someone else has decided to throw his hat into the ring.....
The incident was not reported by Iran's major news outlets. But it has been widely commented upon in the Islamic Republic's blogosphere, which is viewed as one of the most developed in the world. It is one of the key tools for disseminating information that contradicts the position of the regime. The government controls Iran's traditional media...

Urmia News said the incident occurred after riots erupted in the city in response to an incident in which an elderly pedestrian was harmed by Ahmadinejad's convoy. He had reportedly sought to hand the Iranian president a letter...
Don't expect the Liberal blogosphere to applaud this shoe-thrower the same way they applauded Muntader al-Zaidi.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is well-respected and highly revered among the Liberal elite here in the US. They wouldn't even dream of mocking him. It would be both a breach of etiquette and a violation of their moral principles!

Media Neglects its Journalistic Duty, Refuses to Challenge Obama

Jason Whitlock - a Kansas City Star sports columnist - recently chided the Kansas City media over its reluctance to criticize Scot Peoli, the new general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs' football team. Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday aptly noted that the article is a perfect analogy to the media's reticence in criticizing Barack Obama's socialist economic policies.

In the article, entitled "It’s OK to question Pioli and the Chiefs", Whitlock cites a local sports-talk radio host in Kansas City as a case in point to his argument:
The [host] and his trusty sidekick spent several minutes telling their listeners that we should trust Pioli implicitly and not waste emotion or energy worrying whether Pioli reveals himself, his plans or his players to the media.
Whitlock then goes on to make his point:
Supporting the new regime [of the Kansas City Chiefs] does not equate to rejecting the primary (and redeeming) role of the media.

It’s our job to acquire information and pass it along to you. Based on what we’ve seen in our first two months with Pioli, gathering pertinent and enlightening information about the Chiefs is going to be rather difficult...

Over all, we attempt to be a watchdog of those with power. When we fail to play that role, generally speaking, terrible things happen...

If we neglect our journalistic, democracy-ensuring duty to challenge Pioli, there’s a far better chance [for failure].

Unchallenged leaders are dictators and quickly turn unethical...

Pioli still needs to publicly explain [his decisions], and it’s our job to seek a detailed explanation. We shouldn’t accept a brief statement on a press release...

It’s in your best interest to demand better from us. Don’t be fooled into believing we should go away or act as a propaganda machine for some newly-elected, popular-in-comparison-to-Peterson (or Bush) leader...
Sadly, Mr. Whitlock contends that the media's coddling of Mr. Pioli is analogous to the way it treated George W. Bush. Rush chided Mr. Whitlock for making that comparison instead of noting the real and more obvious analogy, namely, the media's subservience and cowing to Barack Obama.

P.S. In case you haven't read this recent article from Fox News, entitled, "Carville wanted Bush to fail", here's an excerpt:

“On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just minutes before learning of the terrorist attacks on America, Democratic strategist James Carville was hoping for President Bush to fail, telling a group of Washington reporters: ‘I certainly hope he doesn’t succeed’.”

Minutes later, as news of the terrorist attacks reached the hotel conference room where the Democrats were having breakfast with the reporters, Carville announced: "Disregard everything we just said! This changes everything!"

The press followed Carville's orders..., months and even years later, the mainstream media chose to never resurrect those controversial sentiments...

That omission stands in stark contrast to the feeding frenzy that ensued when radio host Rush Limbaugh recently said he wanted President Obama to fail. The press devoted wall-to-wall coverage to the remark, suggesting that Limbaugh and, by extension, conservative Republicans, were unpatriotic.

"The most influential Republican in the United States today, Mr. Rush Limbaugh, said he did not want President Obama to succeed," Carville railed on CNN recently. "He is the daddy of this Republican Congress."

Limbaugh, a staunch conservative, emphasized that he is rooting for the failure of Obama's liberal policies.

"The difference between Carville and his ilk and me is that I care about what happens to my country," Limbaugh told Fox on Wednesday. "I am not saying what I say for political advantage. I oppose actions, such as Obama's socialist agenda, that hurt my country."

"I deal in principles, not polls," Limbaugh added. "Carville and people like him live and breathe political exploitation. This is all a game to them. It's not a game to me. I am concerned about the well-being and survival of our nation. When has Carville ever advocated anything that would benefit the country at the expense of his party?"

Carville told Politico that focusing on Limbaugh is a deliberate strategy aimed at undermining Republicans. - End of excerpt -

P.S.S: I hope Carville fails..........

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No Room in Obama's Budget for Modernizing Defense Systems

Apparently, Barack Obama has enough money in his budget to fund just about every spending proposal under the sun, except when it comes to matters of defense:
The White House has given the Pentagon guidance to delay procurement of aerial refueling tankers by five years and cancel plans for a new long-range bomber, according to three sources close to the discussions.

No final decisions have been made, and the recommendations are part of negotiations between the Office of Management and Budget and the Defense Department over possible budget trade-offs this year, the sources said...

[However], inside the military, the prospect of a delay in the tanker program and a cancellation of the long-range bomber is seen as a dangerous gamble that current fleets can be maintained despite their age.

“Next-generation tanker and bomber decisions today will have tremendous impact on our security in the future — and on America’s continued role as the world’s sole superpower,” said one senior Defense official, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss budget matters.
In July of 2008, Defense Secretary Robert Gates emphasized the pressing need to field new refueling tankers, saying "there are few procurement programs in the department that are as time-critical."

And several weeks ago, Reuters reported as follows:
The U.S. general in charge of transportation needs for the U.S. military said on Wednesday that replacing the aging fleet of KC-135 aerial refueling tankers was his No. 1 modernization priority.

Any further delays in replacing this aircraft would add significant risk to the U.S. military's ability to move troops and firepower rapidly to a combat zone, U.S. Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, told a joint hearing of the seapower and air and land forces subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee...

"Further delays in replacing this aircraft will add significant risk to our ability to rapidly project combat power to support the nation and our allies," he said.
But I suppose Barack Obama is merely fulfilling his campaign pledge to eliminate "wasteful spending" on matters of defense:

Aerial refueling tankers? Long-range bombers? Hey, that's nothing but pure pork!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama Should Repudiate Dems for saying they wanted Bush to Fail

Over the last several weeks, the president and his minions have mercessly attacked conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh, for stating that he wanted the president's socialist agenda to fail.

Obama recently told a group of Republican senators to "stop listening to" Mr.Limbaugh. And Obama's lackeys continue to demand that Republican leaders distance themselves from Limbaugh and repudiate his statements. Brad Woodhouse - the head of "Americans United for Change" and a close confidante of Obama, - recently aired a number of TV ads all across the country, smearing Mr. Limbaugh and demanding that Congressional Republicans accept the president's economic proposals.

But where was the outrage from Democratic leaders when their own constituents wished failure upon President Bush?

In a 2006 Fox News poll, 51% of Democrats said they did not want see President Bush succeed. And in January of 2007, when asked, "Do you personally want the Iraq plan [the troop surge] that President Bush announced last week to succeed?" 34% of Democrats said no and 15% said they weren't sure.

Where was the outrage from Barack Obama and Democratic leaders when their own supporters expressed their desire to see president Bush and the troops fail?

It is time for the president to prove to the American people once and for all that he is not a hypocrite. If the president is truly sincere about his convictions, he should address the American people in a live televised speech and repudiate all those who said they wanted President Bush and the troops to fail.

Admittedly, this will not be an easy thing to do, but it's certainly the right thing to do. Hopefully, the president will heed my advice, I'd really hate to see him fail......

Friday, March 6, 2009

Roxana Saberi to be Released Within Days

Iran announced on Friday that Roxana Saberi, an American freelance journalist who was detained by Iranian authorities in January, will soon be released.

This is great news and I wish Roxana and her family all the best. But Miss Saberi should have been released weeks ago. The Iranians finally decided to release her after the the Obama administration announced on Thursday that it was inviting Iran to an international conference on Afghanistan.

As I noted in my previous post, Iran is intimately connected to Al Qaeda, and offering them a role to play in the future of Afghanistan will ultimately reverse whatever gains we have made in the region.

Unfortunately, the Iranians have learned a valuable lesson about the "Obama Doctrine" - otherwise known as the "Policy of Appeasement" - namely, that Obama can be bought off if you force his hand.

P.S. Don't forget to read my previous post about Iran's ties to Al Qaeda.

Clinton & Obama extend an olive branch to Iran & Al Qaeda

Earlier this week, I stated sarcastically that "if President Obama fails to reward the Iranian regime for its recent goodwill gesture" - namely, the arrest and detention of Roxana Saberi, an American freelance journalist working in Iran - "it could have broad repercussions for future US/Iranian relations."

Little did I know the Obama administration would take me so seriously!

Barack Obama's administration yesterday reached out to Iran by inviting it to an international conference on Afghanistan. In a break with US policy under former President George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, told a NATO meeting in Brussels that Iran was likely to be invited to the conference, penciled in for later this month. US officials later confirmed that Iran would be invited...

"If you are going to have a regional conference with Afghanistan you have to include the country that it is on their western border," said one administration official. "Whether or not Iran is prepared to play a positive role is another question."
I've already noted on several occasions that Iran happens to be a staunch ally of Al Qaeda.

From Time Magazine:

Between eight and ten of the 14 "muscle" hijackers—that is, those involved in gaining control of the four 9/11 aircraft and subduing the crew and passengers—passed through Iran in the period from October 2000 to February 2001...

{9/11] Commission investigators found that Iran had a history of allowing al-Qaeda members to enter and exit Iran across the Afghan border. This practice dated back to October 2000, with Iranian officials issuing specific instructions to their border guards—in some cases not to put stamps in the passports of al-Qaeda personnel—and otherwise not harass them and to facilitate their travel across the frontier...

Iranian officials approached the al-Qaeda leadership after the bombing of the USS Cole and proposed a collaborative relationship in future attacks on the U.S., but the offer was turned down by bin Laden because he did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia.

The Iran-al Qaeda contacts were discovered and presented to the Commissioners near the end of the bipartisan panel's more than year-long investigation into the sources and origins of the 9/11 attacks...
The ties run even deeper than that. You can read the rest here, if you wish.

And several weeks ago, the New York Times reported as follows:

Eleven Saudis who were released from Guantánamo Bay, and then passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists are now believed to have fled the country and joined terrorist groups abroad...Their names were on a list of 85 wanted terrorism suspects made public Tuesday by the Saudi Interior Ministry...

Saudi officials made a striking accusation: one of the men on [the list], Abdullah al-Qarawi, is a Saudi who has been operating from Iran for three years...

Known to followers as “the Star,” Mr. Qarawi is in charge of leading Al Qaeda’s operations in the Persian Gulf and Iran, and of bringing new members into Afghanistan, the official said. He is believed to have more than 100 Saudis working for him in Iran, where they move about freely, the official added....
I'm sure we can dig up additional information on the Iran/Al Qaeda connection, but it is it really necessary? The ties are pretty obvious.

Okay, so you're probably wondering why would Obama offer the Iranians a role in determining the future of Afghanistan when they are in cahoots with Al Qaeda? Beats me!

When Obama tapped Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State and conservative pundits seemed ecstatic over the pick, I noted that Clinton wasn't the "Hawk" they were making her out to be. I quoted Peter Beinart of Time magazine, who seemed to concur with my assessment:

"Jones, Gates and Clinton's foreign policy positions aren't really that much different than Obama's. It's just that their positions are perceived to be different, and more hawkish. Thus, "what distinguishes Gates, Jones and Clinton isn't their desire to shift Obama's policies to the right; it's their ability to persuade the right to give Obama's policies a chance."

"To give himself cover for a withdrawal from Iraq and a diplomatic push with Iran, he's surrounding himself with people like Gates, Clinton and Jones", who are perceived [naively] to be to the right of Obama.
Well, I can tell you one thing: I'm not sure what kind of Kool-Aid the Obama administration is drinking, but I'm sure glad I'm not drinking any of it!

Sadly, the world is crumbling before our very own eyes and all we can do is watch in horror as Obama and his zombies drag all of us over the edge of a very steep cliff.....

You know something, maybe I'll have some of that Kool-Aid, after all - if it'll make be feel a tad bit better about the future.


Update: Iran said on Friday that Roxana Saberi will be released within the next few days.

Ultimately, the Iranians forced Obama's hand by detaining Saberi and extracting concessions from him. That's exactly how "appeasement" works. But the question remains: can we really afford to give Iran and Al Qaeda a piece of the Afghani pie?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

An Open Letter to the President: Please Accept Rush Limbaugh's Invitation

Dear Mr. President,

I have often heard you talk about the need for more bipartisanship in Washington and about your desire to work hand in hand with Republican leaders. Unfortunately, there's one sticking point that makes all of this virtually impossible:

You and members of your administration contend that the leader of the Republican party is none other than Rush Limbaugh, the popular conservative-radio icon. And yet, even as Mr. Limbaugh continues to reach out to you and your administration, you have chosen to disparage him rather than reciprocate his peaceful overtures.

Case in point: On his radio program earlier this year, Mr. Limbaugh proposed a bold and self-sacrificing initiative, called "The Obama-Limbaugh Bipartisan Stimulus Plan of 2009" .

Mr. Limbaugh's plan contained elements that would have satisfied both sides of the aisle, including plenty of pork for the Democrats and significant tax-cutting incentives for the Republicans. And yet, you never even took the time to respond to his plan.

Thus, the question begs to be asked: If, as you contend, Mr. Limbaugh is indeed the leader of the Republican Party, and you truly seek bipartisanship, why won't you even take the time to respond to Mr. Limbaugh's economic proposals?

On Wednesday, Mr. Limbaugh reached out to you [once again] and extended an invitation for you to appear on his radio program to debate him on the issues. This could be a golden opportunity for you to demonstrate bipatisanship by meeting with Mr. Limbaugh and working with him to tackle the pressing issues of the day.

Mr. President, now is not the time for political grandstanding or partisan rancor. The recent attacks against Mr. Limbaugh, emanating from you and members of your administration, are little more than mean-spirited, loathsome vituperations, and certainly not political discourse by any means! This is totally unacceptable!

Thus, I urge you to do away with the partisan attacks and to accept Mr. Limbaugh's invitation. Ultimately, it is imperative upon the leaders of both Parties - you and Mr. Limbaugh respectively - to work hand in hand to move this country forward.

Mr. President, you have often stated that you'd be willing to meet with the president of Iran. Is the leader of Iran any more deserving of bipartisan cooperation than the leader of the Republican Party?

If Mr. Limbaugh is indeed the leader of the Republican Party, as you maintain, and you truly seek bipartisan cooperation, it would behoove you to work together with Mr. Limbaugh, instead of demonizing him and deploying your minions to attack him.

Thank you for your time,
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
Darrin, Ed. in Chief - The Obama Report

Related news:

Rush Limbaugh's Statement to the Boston Herald

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Iran Hostage Crisis 2009?

It is now a little over a month since Roxana Saberi, an American Freelance Journalist, was arrested and detained in Iran, allegedly for purchasing a bottle of wine.

Saberi has been a strident critic of Iran's human rights violations - which is probably the real reason for her detention.

On Monday, a spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry said that Miss Saberi had been engaged in “completely illegal and unauthorized” work. Presumably, the spokesman was not referring to Miss. Saberi's "unauthorized" and iniquitous wine consumption.

On November 4, 1979, a group of Islamist students - which included the current president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [according to several of the former hostages] - took over the American embassy in Tehran and held 52 U.S. diplomats captive for 444 days. Jimmy Carter took a lot of heat for that debacle and his incompetence in dealing with the matter forever tarnished his presidency.

However, during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama stated that he wished to employ a carrot approach in dealing with Iran. And I would assume that the Iranians would be more than happy to release Miss Saberi in exchange for a few significant policy changes and a generous dose of appeasement.

Perhaps Miss Saberi's arrest is merely Iran's way of coaxing Barack Obama to the negotiating table. For even a well-intentioned leader and artful diplomat like Barack Obama sometimes needs a little bit of prodding to engage in diplomatic capitulation.

Nevertheless, if Obama is sincere about his oft-stated desire to reach out to the Iranians, now would be the opportune time for him to light up his peace pipe and reciprocate Iran's latest good-will gesture.

Ultimately, Miss Saberi's iniquitous swig of wine could inadvertently bring about an endearing relationship between Barack Obama and the Mullahs of Iran, and if that indeed happens, it will have been well worth the price of Miss Saberi's peaceful and benevolent abduction.

However, if Obama fails to reward the Iranian regime for its recent kidnapping and goodwill gesture, it could have broad repercussions for future Iranian/US relations.

But most importantly, Barack Obama would be wise not to follow in the footsteps of President George W. Bush who falsely maligned the Iranian regime and labeled it as part of the so called "Axis of Evil". For if anyone is evil, it is certainly not the ineffable leaders of Iran, but the iniquitous, wine-guzzling degenerate, Miss Roxana Saberi.