War Blog
By: FrontPage Magazine
Monday, April 28, 2008

Rev. Wright in full unedited context, and lefties seething over Obama on Fox...

By Charles Johnson

The full video of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s now-infamous “God Damn America” sermon has been posted by Fox News here, in three parts: Sermon Video Presents Obama’s Former Pastor in His Own Words.

Watch the whole thing—because despite the outcry from mainstream media and Obama supporters (there’s a difference?) that Wright’s vile comments were taken out of context, when you watch his complete sermon it’s even worse.

And now we have more examples of completely in-context hate speech, from other sermons by Rev. Wright, at Hugh Hewitt’s blog: Providing Context For Reverend Wright: The New Audio Of His SermonsSunday, April 27, 2008




By Michael Ramirez




By Ed Morrissey

Did Barack Obama make a payoff to a campaign contributor with a state grant? The Los Angeles Times reports on a one-hand-washing-the-other relationship with Robert Blackwell Jr, who employed Obama as an advisor while he served in the Illinois state senate. In return, Obama pushed the state tourism board to send a $50,000 grant to Blackwell’s company (via Rick Moran):

After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama faced serious financial pressure: numerous debts, limited cash and a law practice he had neglected for a year. Help arrived in early 2001 from a significant new legal client — a longtime political supporter.

Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell Jr. paid Obama an $8,000-a-month retainer to give legal advice to his growing technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. It allowed Obama to supplement his $58,000 part-time state Senate salary for over a year with regular payments from Blackwell’s firm that eventually totaled $112,000.

A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin.

Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin, the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments.

Obama’s staff said the senator advocated only for the first year’s grant — which ended up being $20,000, not $50,000. The day after Obama wrote his letter urging the awarding of the state funds, Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell.

This looks like a rather obvious quid pro quo. Coming from someone who casts himself as a representative of a new brand of politics, the Blackwell connection — especially the campaign donation — reveals something much less new and much more Chicago about Obama’s politics. In exchange for $118,000 in salary, Blackwell received $320,000 in state taxpayer money and influence at the highest level of state politics.

And it recalls another Chicago connection for Obama, his relationship with Tony Rezko and the purchase of his house. When Obama wanted to buy his current residence, he needed another buyer to come in with him to purchase an adjoining lot. Enter indicted fixer Rezko, who despite having all sorts of legal and financial problems at the time, comes up with $125,000 in a down payment and qualifies for a $500,000 mortgage in order for the Obamas to get their home. It turns out that Rezko got the money from shady Iraqi financier Nadmhi Auchi, after meeting Obama at a reception thrown by Rezko for Auchi to meet the power clique in Illinois.

The media has apparently just decided to start vetting Obama, fifteen months after his entry into the presidential campaign as a neophyte and a political cipher. Better late than never, but unfortunately for Obama, they have plenty of time to keep digging into his political connections.  Sunday, April 27, 2008




By Charles Johnson

Barack Obama’s decision to appear on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (today at 11am/3pm Pacific) has provoked a round of extreme seething among the leftist blogs.

Open Left has Obama figured out; he’s a right-wing undercover operative.

Obama is sucking up to Fox News, and beyond that, the campaign operative who said he would just out and out gave false information.

You can’t trust the Obama campaign, they will lie to you to promote right-wing institutions.

And a Kos Kid swears not to vote for Obama, now that he has Fox cooties on him: Daily Kos: Obama Lost My Vote By Going on Fox.

Obama’s appearance on Fox news was a tactical mistake of massive proportions. In addition, it legitimized the greatest threat to our country — fact free debate. As such, Obama has lost my vote.

Fox News — the greatest threat to our country!

UPDATE: Another Kos Kid pleads for them to be pragmatic: Daily Kos: This is Who Obama Is.

At the core of Obama’s political philosophy is the belief that real divisions should not stand in the way of conversation. He has always believed that it is right and necessary for us to speak to folks on the other side of the aisle, to speak with our enemies. That to do so is a sign of strength, of problem-solving, and that it can be done without having to compromise any of our own values in the process.

I don’t agree with this strategy. At all. But I respect it. I understand it. And I made my peace with it long ago when I came around to openly supporting Obama’s candidacy at the beginning of the year. For progressives to suddenly complain about this suggests they either haven’t been paying attention to Obama’s core values, or have conveniently decided to only remember them now in order to beat him over the head.

The irony here is completely off the scale. These are people who advocate speaking with our real mortal enemies, enemies who chant “Death to America” and kill American soldiers and civilians, but they’re unyielding when it comes to ... Fox News?  Sunday, April 27, 2008




By Glenn McCoy



Click the image to view the slideshow several caches of Iranian-made weapons seized in February and March. Images courtesy of Multinational Forces Iraq.

Clashes between the Mahdi Army and US and Iraqi forces continue in northern and eastern Baghdad over the weekend despite a call by Muqtada al Sadr for his fighters to cease attacks. US air weapons team killed seven Mahdi Army fighters in Sadr City on Saturday and early Sunday morning while the Mahdi Army attacked a police patrol in the Sha'ab neighborhood and launched mortars at the International Zone. Meanwhile, an Iraqi general has said Iran is involved with arming and training Shia terrorists to conduct attacks in Iraq.

The Seven Mahdi Army fighters were killed in four separate engagements in Sadr City on April 26 and 27. The Mahdi Army fighters were observed by unmanned aerial vehicles as they transported weapons and plant roadside bombs in the Mahdi Army stronghold.

US and Iraq troops have used unmanned aerial vehicles and manned helicopter teams to strike at Mahdi Army fighters planting roadside bombs and launching rocket and mortar attacks against the International Zone. The Mahdi Army took advantage of a sandstorm in Baghdad to launch 10 mortars at the International Zone on Sunday. No casualties were reported in the mortar attack. US manned and unmanned aircraft were grounded as conditions made flying unsafe.

Outside of Sadr City, Mahdi Army fighters ambushed an Iraqi police patrol in the Sha'ab neighborhood. Three police were killed and 14 Iraqis, including seven police, were wounded in a roadside bomb attack near a playground, Voices of Iraq reported.


Map of Baghdad neighborhoods. Click to view.

The Sha'ab neighborhood hosts a dangerous Mahdi Army group led by Arkan Hasnawi. A brigade commander in the Mahdi Army, Hasnawi has been linked to multiple attacks on US and Iraq security forces. He was behind the kidnapping of Shia and Sunni tribal leaders in Diyala province in October 2007. His network was also behind the kidnapping of six Sons of Iraq from a checkpoint in Baghdad’s Ur neighborhood on Feb. 7. US and Iraqi forces fought multiple battles with the Hasnawi network in February and captured a key lieutenant during a raid.

The Sha'ab neighborhood (numbers 21-23 on the map) sits to the northwest of Sadr City (numbers 26-28). Iraqi and US troops currently control the Ishbilya and Habbibiyah neighborhoods (numbers 26 and 27) and have walled off these areas to restrict the movement of weapons and supplies. The Mahdi Army has used these neighborhoods to launch mortar and rocket attacks against the International Zone (made up of parts of numbers 50-52). Last week, General Abud Qanbar Hashim the chief of the Baghdad Operational Command said 82 people had been killed and 476 wounded in rocket and mortar attacks since fighting began on March 25. A large majority of the mortar and rocket strikes were launched from Sadr City.

The Iraqi government and military have begun to connect the fighting in Baghdad and the South with Iran. Major General Qasim Atta, a spokesman for the Iraqi military, said Iranian-made weapons, including rockets, mortars, and the deadly explosively formed projectile roadside bombs, have been used in attacks inside Baghdad. "We have found many Iranian-made weapons -- Katyusha and Grad rockets, and smart roadside bombs and smart bombs. We have also seized some documents and identified some people," Atta said. "In the past month 712 rockets and mortars have been fired. Most of these were Iranian-made."




By Ed Morrissey

Give Barack Obama this: he performed a lot better on Fox News Sunday today than he did in the debate on April 16th. He stammered less when challenged, allowed his considerable personal warmth to surface, and kept his annoyance and anger in check. On the other hand, he offered about the same level of commitment to his answers as he did in Philadelphia, and gave at least a couple of whoppers.

One of the more interesting answers came in regards to Jeremiah Wright. He called Wright a “legitimate” campaign issue, which will seem rather shocking to the New York Times, the McCain campaign, and others who have demanded an end to the North Carolina GOP’s television ad. Obama complained that people took Wright out of context, but said Americans were honestly offended by Wright’s remarks, and that his relationship with Wright can inform voters of his values — but that voters should take into consideration the totality of Trinity United and Wright on those issues, and not just sound bites.

Obama sounded a lot less convincing when it came to responding to the William Ayers controversy. He called Ayers “tangential” to his life and suggested that Chris Wallace probably serves on boards with people whose politics he otherwise detests. Unfortunately for Obama, Wallace doesn’t devote a web page on his site defending those people as “mainstream”, as Obama does for Ayers and Dohrn. The pair still talk about overthrowing capitalism and parts of the government they find objectionable, and approvingly quote Mao lieutenant Chou En-lai while railing against the “unimaginable authoritarianism” of the American government. His answer, intending on freeing himself of the charge of equating Coburn and Ayers/Dohrn, instead made it clear that he sees both as political activists, morally equivalent at least in the present.

His final gaffe — and one that may make a few Republican commercials — came when Wallace challenged Obama to come up with real examples of bipartisanship and compromise on tough issues. He claimed he would have supported the partial-birth abortion ban if Congress had included an exception to protect the mother’s health, which would have been used as a dodge around the ban in every instance. Other than a single vote on tort reform, he could come up with no example of a time when he bucked Democratic leadership.

The most hilarious point came when Obama tried to claim credit for bipartisanship on the John Roberts confirmation vote — not because he supported Roberts. He voted against Roberts. However, Obama wanted credit for defending the few Democrats who did support Roberts on Daily Kos, and taking the venom of Kos’ readership for his defense. That’s bipartisanship — standing up to the Kos Kiddies? If that amounts to an act of courage for Obama, it tells you how bipartisan he will be prepared to be as President.

It wasn’t a disaster, but it still reveals Obama to be out of touch and hard to the Left. Don’t expect this to help in Indiana.  Sunday, April 27, 2008


By Ed Morrissey

The BBC reports today on the election run-off in Iran, in which the “conservatives” prevailed over the “reformists” and now hold an overwhelming majority in their parliament. Unfortunately, Auntie Beeb reports this as if it wasn’t a foregone conclusion, thanks to election-rigging by the Guardian Council. The British broadcaster glosses over the fact that the GC disqualified almost 2,000 so-called reformers before the elections:

Iran’s conservatives have consolidated their victory in the country’s parliamentary elections, after taking more seats in a run-off.

Conservatives now have 69% of all seats, reformists 16% and independents over 14%, the interior ministry says.

Eighty-two seats in which no candidate managed to win 25% of the vote in last month’s first round were contested.

The first round had already given conservatives a big majority, but many are critical of President Ahmadinejad.

Many reformist candidates had been disqualified from standing in the election by the country’s non-elected Guardian Council.

Many? Even NPR puts the number on it, showing the scope of the GC’s rigging to get exactly the result the BBC reports. Their disqualifications eliminated over 20% of the field, leaving Iranian voters little choice but to endorse the ruling clique’s politics. These elections are as free and fair as Cuba’s, where the only people allowed on the ballot are those who pass the Fidel Castro test of loyalty to the junta.

The BBC completely fails to mention another inconvenient fact: the Guardian Council holds all of the real power in Iran. The parliament has limited authority to handle day-to-day matters, but all policy and strategic planning gets handled by the mullahcracy. They handpick their parliaments like they hand-pick their presidents — to serve their interests and to act as a buffer for popular discontent.

That’s what makes their assertion that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces problems because of the parliamentary elections so ignorant. If Ahmadinejad has problems, it’s not with the parliament but with the mullahs of the Guardian Council. Ahmadinejad has lost popular support, and so the mullahs have rigged the assembly to allow a release of that discontent and criticism. It serves as a way to keep the pressure low so that the Iranians don’t push the mullahs up against the wall in a counter-revolution.

Ahmadinejad may get ousted in the next presidential election, not because the parliament will diminish him, but because the mullahcracy might consider him a liability at home and abroad. His successor will owe his position to the same forces that put Ahmadinejad, an obscure mayor, into the office in the first place — and those forces have nothing to do with the Iranian people.  April 26, 2008




By Charles Johnson

The incredibly biased wire service reporting from the Palestinian territories is relentless, no matter how often they’re criticized and caught lying. Today Associated Press propagandist Ibrahim Barzak reports on a clash between Hamas terrorists and the IDF in which a terrorist’s daughter was killed, and gets seven paragraphs into his slanted article before mentioning that the heavily armed thugs inside the house started shooting first: Palestinian girl killed in heavy Gaza clashes.

And of course, in risible pieces of agitprop like this, you’ll never find a hint of awareness that Hamas creeps regularly surround themselves with children on purpose, as human shields.

It’s a win-win for the terrorists. If the children get killed in the crossfire instead of serving their purpose as shields, Hamas still gets a propaganda bonus from the Associated Press.

The only real loser here is the 14-year old girl.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli forces grabbed a Hamas field commander from his Gaza home Saturday, setting off heavy fighting that killed the wanted man’s 14-year-old daughter and wounded 10 Palestinians, including seven gunmen.

The battle in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya pitted Israeli helicopter gunships and tanks against Hamas men with mortars, homemade bombs and automatic rifles.

The fighting illustrated that Egypt’s latest attempt to broker a truce between Hamas and Israel remains a long shot at best. Hamas has offered to hold its fire for six months, provided Israel ends its nearly yearlong blockade of Gaza, but Israeli officials have been cool to the idea.

Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Saturday that acceptance of a cease-fire would be merely a “tactic” in the group’s struggle with the Jewish state.

The target of Saturday’s arrest raid was Talat Hassan Marouf, a Hamas field commander in northern Gaza. Hamas did not provide details about Marouf, but as a field commander in the border area with Israel he would presumably be involved in firing rockets at Israeli border communities.

The Israeli military did not publish his name, saying only that troops had seized a wanted militant.

At some point, Israeli forces surrounded Marouf’s house, with the family inside, and heavy fighting erupted. The military said troops came under fire from inside the house.  Sunday, April 27, 2008