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FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 25, 2008


By Eric Allie




By John Hinderaker

Maybe there is another explanation for Barack Obama's trouble with the truth, but I'm not sure what it would be. He did it again today, loosing a palpable falsehood on NBC. Not that it's a surprise; Obama coming out with a whopper has become pretty much a daily occurrence. Here is Obama being interviewed by Brian Williams. Williams asks him about the surge, and whether it hasn't been a success. Obama claims that "even at the time of the debate," everyone knew that "of course it's going to have an impact." Here it is:

Actually, though, that's the exact opposite of what Obama said at the time of the debate on the surge. He predicted that the surge would worsen, not improve, the level of violence in Iraq:

Someone needs to tell Obama about YouTube. Someone also needs to tell him that, in the words of the old adage--nowhere near cool enough, perhaps, for a "rock star"--honesty is the best policy.  Thursday, July 24, 2008




By Jerry Holbert


By Michael Ramirez




By Allahpundit

Via Conservative Punk, it’s a few months old but potentially significant enough to earn a belated link, especially since (for once) the credentials of the people involved are solid.

The prototype so-called scrubber will be small enough to fit inside a shipping container. Lackner estimates it will initially cost around £100,000 to build, but the carbon cost of making each device would be “small potatoes” compared with the amount each would capture, he said.

The scientists stress their invention is not a magic bullet to solve climate change. It would take millions of the devices to soak up the world’s carbon emissions, and the CO2 trapped would still need to be disposed of. But the team says the technology may be the best way to avert dangerous temperature rises, as fossil fuel use is predicted to increase sharply in coming decades despite international efforts…

He added: “Our project has reached the stage where it is quite clear we can do it. We need to start dealing with all these emissions. I’d rather have a technology that allows us to use fossil fuels without destroying the planet, because people are going to use them anyway.”

The breakthrough, if I understand it correctly, lies not in capturing the carbon dioxide but in disposing of it. Until now, the energy involved in processing it from the scrubber made the device prohibitively inefficient; now, thanks to some voodoo involving humidity changes, they can do it with one-tenth the amount. Even better: “The patent suggests the scrubber could be connected to greenhouses, where the CO2 would boost plant growth. Or the gas could be used to grow algae, for food, fertiliser or fuel. The latter could ‘close the carbon loop,’ Lackner said.”

Coming soon to a liberal bumper sticker near you: We can’t carbon-suck our way out of this problem. Think I’m kidding? Via Conservative Punk again, go see what Greenpeace et al. think of the device. In so many words, it’s simply not a punitive enough solutionThursday, July 24, 2008




By Scott Johnson

In his sermon to the Germans, Barack Obama presents himself both as Barack the Baptist and the Obamessiah. Nevertheless, Americans naturally root for for the underdog to prevail. For pride to take a fall. Don't we instinctivelyy seek to puncture the grandiose pretensions of a blowhard? It seems to me that this is the question that Obama's speech elicits.

And one more question. I wonder if Americans will appreciate Obama's deprecation of the United States on foreign soil for his own self-aggrandizing purposes. Surely one does not need to be a conservative Republican to recoil from this display.


By John Hinderaker

I didn't think Obama's Berlin speech was as bad as Scott did. Actually, I could have given large chunks of it myself, although perhaps not with a straight face. It will no doubt contribute to the dawning realization among Obama's nutroot fans that he doesn't need them and doesn't much care what they think.

There were, of course, problematic parts, like introducing himself as a "citizen of the world." These carefully-chosen words, loaded in the context of the current campaign, were obviously intended to advance the image that Obama wants to present to American voters. It's far from clear, however, that "citizen of the world" is at the top of the list of qualities voters are looking for this year.

Much of what Obama said about Berlin was good, but he drew a perverse conclusion from the city's history:

People of the world, look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.

But the "world" didn't "stand as one" during the Cold War, the West did. The world was divided into armed, hostile camps that fought a series of proxy wars. The Berlin airlift, and later the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, exemplified the West's determination to hold firm against an implacable foe, not some kind of mystical world-wide unity. Obama's apparent failure to understand this, although it is implicit in other sections of his speech, is disconcerting.

Obama's pontifications are sometimes harmless, but on other occasions they threaten disaster. Like this one:

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.

No, actually, they aren't. But here's where the rubber meets the road on Obama's "citizen of the world" bloviation. Obama has already said that other countries may not allow us to continue using so much energy. As President, he apparently would be sympathetic to the idea that we need to shut down those cars in Boston. But, while Obama may be a citizen of the world, he'll only be President of the United States, so he won't have any influence over factories in Beijing. That's one of many reasons why our President needs to be clear on where his citizenship, and his loyalties, lie.

Obama added this:

This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children to a world where the oceans rise, and famine spreads, and terrible storms devastate our lands.

Let us resolve that all nations, including my own, will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere.

In truth, reducing the world's carbon consumption will have zero effect on the oceans or on storms, but it will greatly exacerbate famine. Hunger is caused by poverty, and less energy consumption means more poverty and less agricultural production.

What is really significant about these ruminations is that Obama continues to cement himself into an anti-drilling position. During the weeks to come, his resistance to energy development will hurt his campaign much more than images of cheering Germans will help it.  Thursday, July 24, 2008




By Ed Morrissey

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has laid down the gauntlet to Majority Leader Harry Reid on energy, according to The Hill.  Following the efforts of Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint, the Republican caucus has promised to obstruct any bills not pertaining to energy until the Senate votes on removing the remaining restrictions on off-shore drilling.  It promises to make the Senate the focus of high-profile political brinksmanship, and puts the Democrats in a tight spot with fuel prices impacting every aspect of the American economy:

Senate Republicans have threatened to block nearly all other bills pending before the August recess if Democrats refuse to vote with them on expanding offshore drilling.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said bills that do not pertain to energy can wait until after the August recess, with gas prices now surpassing $4 per gallon. McConnell and top Republicans indicated Wednesday they would oppose any procedural votes to take up other legislation, which require 60 votes to succeed. …

Following swift Senate action on the narrow energy bill, Reid wanted the Senate to approve a massive defense authorization bill, an overhaul of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, legislation to protect reporters’ sources, an extension of expiring energy tax incentives, and a major package of 33 bills held up by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

But Republicans are planning to keep the Senate on the energy issue until their demands are resolved. The massive housing-rescue package might be the only other measure that gets valuable floor time before the August recess.

Reid wanted to buy off enough Republicans to keep them from forcing a vote on drilling. As I noted yesterday, the omnibus spending bill Reid has pushed includes a large number of bills co-sponsored by Republicans. Coburn told me yesterday that he thought he had enough Republican votes to stop the bill, and McConnell’s actions later proved him right.

It’s not even clear that Reid can keep all of the Democrats on board. Coburn predicted that Reid would whip his caucus hard to keep all 51 Democrats behind him while he tried to bribe ten Republicans away, but fuel prices have made Reid’s obstructionism on drilling a losing cause.  No one wants to go back home in August to explain to constituents why they blocked drilling in the OCS and the interior while people are paying twice as much for gas as they did before Reid and Nancy Pelosi took control of Congress.  Democrats know that Republicans are poised to expose this on a national basis, and that the electorate is angry enough about Congressional inaction on energy policy to listen.

Two-thirds of all voters support drilling in the OCS and going after shale in the interior.  Reid’s “coal and oil make us sick” nonsense has backfired.  Do Democrats want to explain how they supported that with a national election around the corner?

The GOP has a winning hand on energy.  Democrats have obstructed domestic production for decades while promising that alternative energy sources were just around the corner, and the bill for their short-sighted policies just came due.  Reid will have little choice but to accede to a vote on drilling — and expect it to have overwhelming bipartisan support when it occurs.  Thursday, July 24, 2008




By Chuck Asay




By Paul Mirengoff

I've alluded to the Washington's Post outstanding editorial from yesterday about Barack Obama and Iraq, but it merits more attention than that. I'd like to focus in particular on two points that may not have received sufficient emphasis on this blog and others.

First, Prime Minister Maliki's statements (which are not fully in line with Obama's anyway) do not reflect the views of Sunni leaders in Anbar province. As the Post notes (and Obama has acknowledged) these leaders say that American troops are essential to maintaining the peace among Iraq's rival sects, and that they are worried about a rapid drawdown.

Incidentally, this view badly undercuts Obama's efforts to minimize the impact of the surge by insisting that the "Sunni awakening" was the key factor. If Sunni leaders still believe that American troops are essential, even after al Qaeda has been routed, then the role of our troops, and of the new strategy associated with the surge, must have played a critical role in sustaining the "awakening" when al Qaeda was running rampant.

Second, the Post brilliantly takes on Obama's claim that Afghanistan is the "central front" in the battle against terrorism:

[T]here are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered. While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country's strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world's largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama's antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.
The Post calls Obama's position here "eccentric." I would have said "cynical, " and the last sentence in the quotation above hints at this, I think. Either way, Obama's position is misguided and dangerous.  Thursday, July 24, 2008




By Ed Morrissey

I guess this is a question of priorities.  Barack Obama apparently ran short on time in his visit to Germany today, and travelers know how schedules can slip during long tours, even without all of the events Obama had planned.  Those circumstances force people to prioritize their time, and eliminate less-useful stops.

So what did Obama cut today?  Der Spiegel’s blog reports on Obama’s priorities:

++ Visit to US Military Bases Cancelled ++

1:42 p.m.: SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. “Barack Obama will not be coming to us,” a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. “I don’t know why.” Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.

On the other hand, the campaign apparently has no problem in keeping this event on its schedule:

The message here is that thousands of screaming German fans at the Tiergarten take precedence over visiting Americans serving their country at Ramstein and Landstuhl.  Maybe one of the networks following Obama could interview a few of the soldiers about how they perceive that set of priorities from Obama.

Der Spiegel also notes that the French seem diffident about Obama’s visit to Paris, with none of the enthusiasm of the neighbors to the east:

++ Paris Left Cold by Obama Visit ++

3:30 p.m.: While Obama’s Berlin visit has caused a stir, hardly anyone is interested in his trip to Paris on Friday. There are hardly any French media reports on the eve of his visit. There is merely some grumbling about the extensive itinerary for his trip to Berlin. “A speech in Berlin, five little hours in Paris,” writes French daily Le Monde.

Heck, why didn’t Obama skip Paris?  He could have still worked in a visit to the American bases in Germany.  Apparently, even diffident French get priority over American military personnel.

Update: A number of Hot Air readers reminded me that Landstuhl’s mission includes treating the wounded from the war:

The Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) is an overseas military hospital operated by the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense. LRMC is the largest military hospital outside of the continental US. It is located near Landstuhl, Germany, and serves as the nearest treatment center for wounded soldiers coming from Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, it serves military personnel stationed in Germany as well as their family members.

A large proportion of serious casualties from the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters are treated here, flown in via the Ramstein Air Base.

So Obama’s priorities look even more askew than first thought.

Update II: Well, this gets better.  According to Jake Tapper, the problem wasn’t scheduling at all:

Obama noted that in a break from his whirlwind schedule, “we’ve got some down time tonight. What are you guys gonna do in Berlin? Huh? Huh? You guys got any big. plans? …I’ve never been to Berlin, so…I would love to tour around a little bit.”

Obama canceled a previously-planned stop to visit thousands of American service personnel, including troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan being treated at Landstuhl, so he could hold a political rally for Germans and go shopping in Berlin. Now that’s a nice set of priorities for a man who wants to become Commander in Chief.

Update III: The spin on this has gotten so bad that T. Boone Pickens might want Team Obama in his new wind farm.  First, from Jake Tapper, the O-Team says a visit to Landstuhl would have been “inappropriate” for a campaign trip:

“During his trip as part of the CODEL to Afghanistan and Iraq, Senator Obama visited the combat support hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad and had a number of other visits with the troops. For the second part of his trip, the senator wanted to visit the men and women at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to express his gratitude for their service and sacrifice. The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign.”

And CBS gets the opposite story:

“Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen – a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world,” Obama said precluding the buzz that his speech today is a campaign rally.

So which is it? A campaign event or not a campaign event?  Thursday, July 24, 2008




By Charles Johnson

Some interesting testimony from an FBI interrogator in the trial of Osama bin Laden’s driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan.

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, July 23 — Osama bin Laden’s driver witnessed the al-Qaeda leader being briefed on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and overheard him express satisfaction that the death toll had exceeded expectations, an FBI interrogator testified Wednesday.

Salim Ahmed Hamdan, now held at the U.S. military prison here, had said under questioning six years ago that bin Laden was “happy about the results” of the terrorist strikes because he had expected “only” 1,000 to 1,500 people to die, former FBI agent Ali Soufan told jurors at Hamdan’s military trial.

During the 2002 interrogation, Hamdan “said he had heard bin Laden saying he didn’t expect the operation . . . would be that successful,” Soufan said. Nearly 3,000 people perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Hamdan, who is charged with participating in a terrorist conspiracy, is the defendant in the first U.S. military commission held since World War II.

According to Soufan, Hamdan said that on Sept. 11, 2001, he was present for a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, between the al-Qaeda leader; his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri; and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As the men viewed pictures of the 19 suicide hijackers, bin Laden “praised them and their courage and asked God to accept them as martyrs,” Soufan quoted Hamdan as saying.


By Charles Johnson

Despite the depraved content of the Arabic version of Al Jazeera, which openly supports terrorism, the municipally-owned cable system in Burlington, Vermont will continue to carry the slicked-up, sanitized English version: Vermont Cable System To Continue Carrying Al Jazeera English.

In a press release, Burlington Telecom said it was not disclosing the terms of its newly forged carriage deal with Al Jazeera English, the international channel based in Doha, Qatar.

The cable system has been offering the network since January 2007 on its “second-level tiers of channels,” not basic service, the statement said.

“We very much appreciate the support of our small but very significant audience in Burlington, Vt.,” said Will Stebbins, Washington bureau chief for Al Jazeera English. “It’s a testament to the fact that if you actually see our channel, it’s impossible to have any of the misunderstandings,” he said.

“All the misunderstandings and the mystery and the mischaracterizations about who we are disappear the moment that you see our channel,” he added. “We are a very valuable international news source, and that was clearly recognized in Burlington, Vt., by those who have actually had the chance to see us.”  

The Burlington Telecom Advisory Committee and the local Cable Advisory Committee have both recently reviewed whether or not the cable system should continue to carry Al Jazeera English, with at least one meeting in May.

As it turns out, both committees jointly and unanimously recommended that Burlington Telecom keep the channel. That recommendation was forwarded to the cable system, Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss and the city council. 

Al Jazeera English has struggled to secure distribution in the United States, only getting carried in a handful of systems, including Buckeye CableSystem in Toledo, Ohio.

(Hat tip: Dan Tanna.)  Thursday, July 24, 2008


By Charles Johnson

This depraved show alone should prevent Al Jazeera from ever being picked up by US cable channels, as the Arab “news network” throws a birthday party for released terrorist Samir Kuntar—who shot a child’s father in front of her, then bashed the little girl’s brains out with a rifle butt.

It’s almost unbelievable. They’ve let their thirst for blood and lack of decency trump even their political ends this time.

(Courtesy of MEMRI TV.)

Click picture to play video. Requires Windows Media Player; Mac users should install Flip4Mac.

Following are excerpts from a birthday party organized by Al-Jazeera TV for released Lebanese terrorist Samir Al-Quntar. Al-Jazeera TV aired this segment on July 19, 2008

Interviewer: Brother Samir, we would like to celebrate your birthday with you. You deserve even more than this. I think that 11,000 prisoners – if they can see this program now – are celebrating your birthday with you. Happy birthday, brother Samir.

Samir Al-Quntar: Thank you.

Interviewer: Go ahead... There is a picture here... If the camera can show this... Let’s cut it... Does the camera show this clearly or not? We have a picture here... This is the sword of the Arabs, Samir. Don’t cut the picture, cut on the side.

Samir Al-Quntar: Here’s Abu Qassam [Marwan Barghouti].

Interviewer: Marwan is here.

Samir Al-Quntar: Abu Qassam is here with Ahmad Sa’dat. That’s our prison warden...

Interviewer: This one?

Samir Al-Quntar: Yes.

Interviewer: What is the warden’s name?

Samir Al-Quntar: His name is... Never mind.

Interviewer: This is when you were released. Here you are with Wafiq Safa.

Samir Al-Quntar: Yes, this is Wafiq Safa. This is the most beautiful picture – with Hassan Nasrallah. This is the most beautiful picture. There cannot be anything more beautiful. Me and the secretary-general – the most beautiful picture of me ever taken.  Wednesday, July 23, 2008



The Pakistani government has signed yet another peace accord with the Taliban in a settled district of the Northwest Frontier Province. Just one day after the military canceled an operation in Hangu, the provincial government cut a deal with the Taliban.

The peace agreement in Hangu largely mirrors the accords signed throughout the tribal areas, according to details published in Dawn. The Taliban are required to recognize the government’s writ, stop attacks on government security forces, and refrain from running a parallel government and legal system. In exchange, the government will withdraw the Army from Hangu and “pay compensation to people who were affected during the operation.” In the past the Taliban received direct payments from the government.

Both sides are required to release prisoners. The government detained seven Taliban, including three “high profile” leaders in mid-July, including Rafiuddin, a Taliban leader in Hangu and a deputy of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. The release of Rafiuddin is high on the list of the Taliban’s demands. An additional 30 Taliban fighters were detained during a one week operation in the district. The Taliban are currently holding 29 government officials and security officers.

The Hangu tribal jirga, which represented the Taliban during talks with the government, is said to be heading to the Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency to conduct talks with a Taliban commander named Mohammad Karim Khan. The government cut a deal with the Taliban in Khyber on July 9, and the extremist now control wide swaths of the tribal agency.

The military launched the Hangu offensive on July 16 after the Taliban conducted numerous attacks, including an ambush that killed 15 soldiers and a siege of a police station by more than 400 fighters. Peace negotiations were initiated in Hangu just five days after the military launched an operation purportedly to uproot the Taliban. Yesterday the military called off the offensive after claiming the objectives have been met and the Taliban have been cleared from Hangu.

Hangu is the fourth settled district of the Northwest Frontier Province where the government has negotiated a peace agreement with the Taliban this year. The government has also signed deals with the Taliban in six of the seven tribal agencies that border Afghanistan.

Background on recent peace agreements between the government and the Taliban

The security situation in northwestern Pakistan and in neighboring Afghanistan has rapidly deteriorated since the government initiated its latest round of peace accords with the Taliban and allied extremists in the tribal areas and settled districts in the Northwest Frontier Province. Peace agreements have been signed with the Taliban in North Waziristan, Swat, Dir, Bajaur, Malakand, Mohmand, Khyber, and Orakzai.

Negotiations are underway in South Waziristan, Kohat, and Mardan. The Taliban have violated the terms of these agreements in every region where accords have been signed.

The Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied terrorist groups have established more than 100 terror camps in the tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province, US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.

On July 23, Prime Minister Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani and his cabinet were told that more than 8,000 foreign fighters were operating in the tribal areas.  Friday, July 25, 2007


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