Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

Talking about my favorite candidate, …

…here is a couple of ads:

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November 22, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One of my favorite authors…

…supports my favorite Presidential Candidate.  I am talking about Vince Flynn, the author of "Memorial Day" and numerous other novels about Mtch Rapp, an American counter-terrorism operative who knows what needs to be done in the current war.  His latest book, "Protect and Defend", deals with Iranian threat.  I have yet to read this book.  For now here is Vince Flynn’s interview that he gave to "Washington Times" upon release of his new book:

A page from his book

November 16, 2007

By Audrey Hudson – Novelist Vince Flynn’s hot new political thriller featuring CIA superspy Mitch Rapp hit the New York Times best-seller list at No. 1 this week.

In "Protect and Defend," Mr. Flynn pushes the political debate on the use of torture in the war on terror as he pits Rapp against master terrorist Imad Mukhtar.

The following are excerpts of a recent telephone interview with Mr. Flynn:

Question: In the real world, how effective do you think torture is with Islamic terrorists?

A: Far more effective than liberals would have you believe. Congress really upset me with how they treated Attorney General Michael Mukasey and how the media pushed this question. Why aren’t reporters forcing senators and Congress to answer the same questions about torture? What do you think we should have done? Given them a lawyer, three square meals a day and let planes get hijacked?

I think it should be done in the rarest of situations. Anybody who says torture doesn’t work hasn’t studied the history of torture. Torture, or aggressive interrogation, is only as good as the interrogators. Take Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for instance. He got waterboarded and he sang like a canary … he ended up naming operatives and giving up a treasure trove of financial secrets as well as plans for future attacks. This was not Uday and Qusai Hussein at work. This was done with clinical precision, not brute force. There are multiple interrogators, lie detectors, doctors and a group of analysts in the next room connected to every friendly western intelligence agency to check everything the subject says.

That’s a far cry from what Senator [John] McCain experienced, and he says that torture does not work. I have a lot of respect for the man, but when he was in the Hanoi Hilton, he was brutally tortured to give up names, so he gave them the starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers. Back then, it would have been difficult to verify; but today, it’s called "Google."

I’m not talking about pulling people out of cafes in Baghdad, torture has to be reserved for high-value targets.

All of these men and some women who happen to participate in the program have to be waterboarded themselves, they’ve gone through it and they know how terrifying it is. I know Amnesty International would disagree with me, but every American needs to ask themselves, "If you could turn back the clock one week [before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks] would you want Zacarias Moussaoui to have been interrogated by waterboarding?"

Q: How can we win the war on terrorism when many cannot acknowledge who the enemy is?

A: That’s a tough question. I’ll waffle on this. As a society, we need to start demanding a few things. We have embraced liberty, equality in the sexes and religion — we believe in all of this. If you want to come to this country and you are Muslim, you had better agree and be fine with the Christian and Jewish faith. But if you are going to come over here and preach hatred and raise money for Hamas and Hezbollah, we’re going to kick you out of the country.

As an Irish-Catholic kid in the 1980s, I remember being disgusted with the thugs and the terrorists in the [Irish Republican Army] and I don’t remember anyone who was Irish-American saying to [novelist] Tom Clancy after "Patriot Games": "How dare you portray people in the IRA for what they were, a bunch of thugs and terrorists?" What drives me nuts is people like [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] who, any time somebody in fiction or on TV has a villain who happens to portray what is going on in the world today — Islamic radicals who embrace a cult of death and are running around killing innocent women and children — they get upset about it. CAIR would better serve American Muslims if they spent more time criticizing these Islamic terrorist groups.

Q: If Americans are so opposed to torturing our enemies, how do you explain the popularity of Mitch Rapp?

A: They’re not opposed to torturing men like Sheikh Mohammed, but they don’t want to run around and talk about it in public. Look at Hollywood. They all detest President Bush because their friends will think they are smarter by hating him. They wear it as a badge of honor. They try to prove to people they are smart and compassionate and enlightened, so people will like them. But instead, they make these movies the American people don’t want to see, because deep down inside, the American public does not want to see a movie that bashes America. People like Rosie O’Donnell say they love America, but they have a funny way of showing it.

People want a guy like Mitch Rapp looking out for them. People want to believe there are guys like this out there protecting us.

Q: This year has seen a surge of antiwar films, which are flopping like dominoes, while "Protect and Defend" is the No. 1 book this week. Is Hollywood ready for Mitch Rapp yet?

A: I don’t think we are quite there. Hollywood is now saying people don’t want to watch movies about war. No, Americans don’t want to watch [bad] anti-American movies about war. Americans would love to watch a great movie where Mitch Rapp is meting out punishment to these crazy zealots, but I don’t know if Hollywood has the guts to do it. If Democrats take the White House, Hollywood will make a movie like that in a heartbeat.

Mitch Rapp has taken on a cult following, but Hollywood doesn’t get it for the same reasons they don’t understand talk radio, Wal-Mart or NASCAR.

Q: Who are you backing for president?

A: Rudy [Giuliani]. He’s a bit of a moderate and can unite the country and get the country focused on the war against terrorists. He symbolizes the gravity of the situation, and I don’t think the guy will back off for a moment having witnessed September 11. I don’t think the man will waiver. If he gets ahold of Osama bin Laden, he will throw everything he can at the guy.

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November 22, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heil Putin?

In light of the current war against Islamo-Fascist ideology I was willing to give Russian President Putin a benefit of a doubt, despite his clearly dictatorial tendencies.  I was willing to view him as a Russian version of Spain’s Franco or Chile’s Pinochet, a dictator whose goal is to prepare his country for true constitutional democracy.  Unfortunately it looks more and more like I have been wrong.  A friend e-mailed me this disturbing article:

Russia: ‘National Leader’ Idea Gains Strength

By Brian Whitmore

Russia — Members of the Vladimir Putin Fan Club participate in a rally in Moscow, 25 Oct 2007
Recent rally supporting Putin

November 18, 2007 (RFE/RL) — Russia has a hot new catchphrase that is obsessing the political elite and is being chanted like a mantra by the media: National Leader.

More than 700 delegates from across the country turned up for a well-orchestrated pep rally in the city of Tver on November 15 to pledge allegiance to President Vladimir Putin and implore him to remain in power after his term ends next year.

Since Putin is constitutionally forbidden from seeking a third consecutive term as president, the event’s organizers are proposing to grant him a sort of elevated mythological status as Russia’s supreme ruler who would lord over any future president or prime minister — unburdened by troublesome term limits and pesky constitutional restrictions.

The meeting, held in a local theater adorned with Russian tricolor flags and banners reading "For Putin!," followed a wave of demonstrations in support of the president in numerous Russian regions. It resulted in forming an organization called the "All-Russian Council of Initiative Groups to Support Putin."

"We are gathering not for a third term," Pavel Astakhov, a prominent attorney who was elected the organization’s leader, told RFE/RL’s Russian Service. "We respect the president’s word and we believe him when he says he will not change the constitution. And since he will not change the constitution, we need to find a new configuration of authority."

Astrakhov later told reporters that his group has gathered 30 million signatures in support of Putin remaining in power as Russia’s "national leader." (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit)

He insists that that the recent groundswell of pro-Putin demonstrations is a genuine grassroots movement and is not being orchestrated by the Kremlin. Press reports and critics of the Kremlin, however, have alleged that students and state employees have been pressured to attend the rallies.

Read the whole thing.  So, it looks like Russia is moving from a Communist dictatorship to a nationalist totalitarian dictatorship.  I don’t call it "Nazi" only because there seems to be no "socialist" part of it.  A country that is looking for some national idea and finding only nationalism, but lacking any moral foundation and failing economically and demographically, may blame others for its failings and lash out to prove its greatness.  That is very dangerous.  We might still find Russia allied with our enemies, even though it does not make any sense at this point.

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November 22, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am re-posting my Thanksgiving post from last year.  There is one notable addition to those whom I should give my thanks.  That group of people I most definitely meant to thank last year, but forgot to mention them by name.  I am talking about members of the American Armed Forces, past and present.  Thanks to them, we all have the lives we have.  So, thank you, American Military.

Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday.  So, what am I thankful for?  I am thankful for my family, for my wonderful wife and 2 beautiful girls.  I am also thankful for the generally pretty good life I have.  But who should thank for all this?  The religious people thank G-d for all their blessings.  But I am not religious enough in order to do that.  And then it dawned on me.  I should thank this wonderful country called United States of America and its wonderful people.

So, thank you, America, for existing, for being a beacon of freedom in the world where freedom is far from being commonplace.  Thank you for making freedom your “national idea”, if you will.

Thank you, America, for accepting me as your own.  You welcomed me, my family and friends and made us all Americans, part of your great people.  You accept anybody who is willing to be accepted.  You made acceptance and tolerance part of your ideology too.

Finally, thank you, America, for defending “liberty and justice for all” all over the world.  Your young people volunteer to go and fight for what’s right and moral.  If I were 20 years younger I would have joined them (lame excuse really, but that’s the only one I have).  Winston Churchill once said: “The Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they had exhausted all other possibilities”.  He knew what he was talking about.  It is only natural to try “all other possibilities”: people always look for easy solutions.  But in the end Americans do the right thing, no matter what the cost, for doing the right thing is a part of American ideology too.

Thank you, America.

This is a modified WW2 poster.  The modern American soldiers in Iraq were added to the original by the San Diego Chapter of Protest Warrior.

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November 22, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment