politics, history and the war on terror
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
From the Beach 

Once I get some good photos together, they will be posted. Trying to get the kids to look at the camera at the same time (or even get them in the same frame) is the equivalent of herding cats. They are having lots of fun so far, with plenty of pool, puddle and beach activity.

Many thanks to Daniel Drummond for putting together “The Poll Vault”. Daniel will post a couple times a month and I am happy to have him contribute to the fourth rail.

I never realized how much I valued cable and DSL internet connections. Using a phone modem is impossible for my temperament, web surfing is not going to happen. Having to rely on the traditional news outlets is painful. This is my best take on the news of the past several days without access my usual internet sources.


The Iraqis received their sovereignty a few days early, much to the shock and dismay of the media and al Qaeda, for different reasons. The press corps wanted the pomp & circumstance, the photo op, the planned “Iraq Transition 2004” graphics for network and cable news with the appropriate talking heads discussing the meaning of transition for Iraqis and Americans. By jumping the gun, the United States and Iraq’s interim government ruined the preplanned media spectacle. Al Qaeda, on the other hand, has lost the chance to destroy Iraq’s transition to freedom. No longer can al Qaeda claim it is fighting the occupation; Iraqis are now responsible for the direction of their nation and any attempt to interrupt the change to a democratic society is a direct threat to the nation of Iraq. This is a major defeat for al Qaeda. The Iraqi government is likely to take tougher measures to achieve their security, such as curfews, beefed up security and martial law in areas that need it. Al Qaeda will not give up the fight easily, we can expect much violence in the future.


Europe sits on the sidelines as the war rages around it. The NATO meeting in Turkey ended and surprise, surprise, France and Germany opposes active NATO participation in assisting with Iraq’s security. NATO will provide help with training Iraq’s security services, but outside of Iraq’s borders. That is helpful, I am sure it is logistically possible to move the tens of thousands of Iraqis outside of their country for training. Europe and NATO’s relevance declines daily, as the European member nations refuse to invest in their military and are both unable and unwilling to project meaningful force outside of continental Europe. America naturally has created new alliances with countries that understand the threat we face, such as Korea, Japan, and Poland in order to make up for NATO’s intransigence. And America continues to sacrifice blood and treasure for the ungrateful Europeans that have forgotten the meaning of friendship, honor and freedom, as well as the evil that stares civilization in the face. We defend them still because it is who we are.

Hamdi, Padilla and SCOTUS

It appears the Supreme Court has decided the President’s powers to declare American citizens as enemy combatants are not unlimited. As distasteful as it may seem, I am in agreement. This problem stems from the failure of the United States Congress to declare war after the 9/11 attacks and pass the appropriate laws to deal with the likes of Hamdi and Padilla. While I am in complete agreement with the Patriot Act, I have always been concerned with allowing the executive branch over government to detain American citizens without due process. Had war been declared and laws been passed to create the appropriate methods to deal with security problems inherent with the prosecution of terrorist in civil courts, we would not be in this mess. Now the Department of Justice will be forced to charge them with some crime in order to keep them in jail. Here’s an idea: the Constitution has a section where it describes treason. Let Hamdi and Padilla try that on for size, the sources and security be damned.

More Chemical Weapons that do not exist, and uranium too!

Charles Deulfer of the Iraq Survey Group has stated to Fox News that up to twelve chemical weapons have been discovered. Nothing but silence from the mainstream media as this question has already been answered from their perspective. Oh, and by the way, remember the claim that Iraq didn't try to purchase uranium from Nigeria? Joe Wilson's 15 minutes of fame? It turns out that wasn't quite accurate as well. European intelligence stands by the claim Iraq did attempt to purchase the uranium from Niger (hattip to Brian Scott of RadioBS for emailing the link). One day the media will be forced to eat their words.

Another one bite the dust

Israel whacks the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the most wanted terrorist on their list. Unlike the recent beheadings by al Qaeda, Israel’s brand of decapitation has real consequences on the prospect for victory. As Palestinian terror groups conduct internal struggles to replace their leadership, Israel strengthens their intelligence and isolates the Palestinian Authority. The PA will find it more and more difficult to attempt to appear neutral. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa and others will not accept the PA’s weakness forever and will eventually turn on the PA host.

Posted by bill roggio @ 12:18 PM