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FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, September 05, 2008


By Nate Beeler

Political Cartoon by Nate Beeler




By John Hinderaker

Barack Obama will appear on Bill O'Reilly's show tonight. Reportedly, he will say that "the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated. I’ve already said it’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."

I must have missed that speech. Of course, Obama still says he was right to oppose the surge, notwithstanding its now-acknowledged success.

The Republicanization of Barack Obama continues:

Speaking on other national security matters, Obama said he would not take military action off the table in dealing with Iran, but diplomacy and sanctions can’t be overlooked.

The Islamic republic is a “major threat” and it would be “unacceptable” for the rogue nation to develop a nuclear weapon, he said.

“It is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon, it would be a game changer,” Obama said. “It’s sufficient to say I would not take military action off the table and that I will never hesitate to use our military force in order to protect the homeland and the United States’ interests.” ...

Obama said he “absolutely” believes the United States is fighting a War on Terror, with the enemy being, “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, a whole host of networks that are bent on attacking America, who have a distorted ideology, who have perverted the faith of Islam.”

I like to see this, but not because I think Obama means it. I often worry that the country is sliding to the left, but during election season Republicans never try to sound like Democrats, whereas Democrats often try to sound like Republicans. It's good to see that Democrats still find this to be necessary, on some issues, at least. Thursday, September 4, 2008




By Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez




By Ed Morrissey

Ever since signing up for Barack Obama’s magic text message announcing his running mate — in the middle of the night — I’ve been plagued by e-mails on a daily basis. It gives one a good look at the workings of the campaign and how they use events for fundraising, the real purpose of the gimmicky announcement mechanism. Today, the campaign sent out an appeal based on the fact that Sarah Palin kicked Barack Obama’s rear end in her speech last night, after having it tenderized by Rudy Giuliani first.

Let’s step through a few of the passages from David Plouffe:

I wasn’t planning on sending you something tonight. But if you saw what I saw from the Republican convention, you know that it demands a response.

In other words, the Obama campaign will fall into the trap of having the top of its ticket get into a debate with the bottom of the GOP ticket.

I saw John McCain’s attack squad of negative, cynical politicians. They lied about Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and they attacked you for being a part of this campaign.

In other words … Mom! Mom! Sister hit me back! After constantly referring to the governor as the “mayor of Wasilly“, Obama has no room to talk about negative and cynical.

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack’s experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed. …

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

Well, no, they mocked the notion that that experience somehow trumps being a mayor. You see, mayors get held accountable for their policies and their ability to remain in touch. Palin managed to do so well that she got re-elected, and then elected Governor.

By the way, which of the two has actually risked their career to reform the system to kick out-of-touch politicians out of the system? Barack Obama played along with the Daley machine in Chicago. Palin fought her own party to end corruption in Alaska. Which one is the friend of out-of-touch politicians?

It’s now clear that John McCain’s campaign has decided that desperate lies and personal attacks — on Barack Obama and on you — are the only way they can earn a third term for the Bush policies that McCain has supported more than 90 percent of the time.

You know, it’s funny, but nowhere in this e-mail does Plouffe (or his flunky who wrote this, more likely) ever actually identify a single lie in either speech last night. They complain about Giuliani and Palin making fun of Obama, which they certainly did, but never do they refute one factual statement they made. Plouffe et al just like calling Palin a liar — while their allies keep spinning myths about her political affiliation, the maternity of her last child, her marital fidelity, and her ability to manage her family.

Mom! Mom! Sister hit me back … and she hits too hard for a girl!

Update: Andrew Malcolm has a good post on the Palin speech, and the entire text of it. See if you can find any lies. The only thing I find is a pretty good diagnosis of Obamamania. Thursday, September 4, 2008




By Ed Morrissey

Perhaps the media and Democrats would have been better advised to set expectations high for Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech tonight at the Republican convention. After ridiculing her as a small-town yokel for the better part of three days, Palin would have looked good if she managed to avoid drooling during her speech. In the event, though, they could have set expectations as high as a Barack Obama acceptance speech, and Palin would still have exceeded them in a tremendous debut on the national stage.

Palin made it clear to the condescending media and her Democratic critics that she is no pushover, no cream puff. Her nickname, “Sarah Barracuda”, seems a lot more fitting after tonight. Not only did she defend her small-town upbringing, she attacked Barack Obama on almost every possible front, and for good measure went after Joe Biden and the mainstream media as well.

For instance, she sought to underscore Obama’s hypocrisy in talking about his love for working-class families while belittling them behind their backs, and included Biden in that criticism:

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

And on Obama’s lack of any real reform in his entire career:

We’ve all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers.

And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate.

Palin also took a shot at Obama’s rather grandiose view of himself:

But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed … when the roar of the crowd fades away … when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent’s plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet?

She didn’t forget the media, either:

I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

In the moments after the speech, I told our on-air listeners that this was the kind of speech Zell Miller could have delivered. Palin didn’t deliver it in a shrill manner or sound like she had a chip on her shoulder, though. She sounded like she relished the opportunity to engage. Palin has no intention of allowing herself to get steamrolled by Barack “Sweetie” Obama, Democrats in general, or a mainstream media that suddenly found itself becoming the echo chamber for anonymous Kos diarists.

She didn’t just play the role of attack dog, although her description of hockey moms as pit bulls with lipstick played very well with the crowd. Palin delivered a stirring defense of small-town values and middle America, and told Americans that she’s one of them — just a mother who started off wanting a better education for her kids, then wanted to improve her community, and just kept succeeding all the way up the ladder.

Palin also delivered for John McCain as well. She gave this quote which will certainly resonate for weeks:

In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.

And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

They’re the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals.

She extolled the virtues of McCain, calling him the real agent of change in Washington. Palin talked about the remarkable story of an American hero who may just finish the final steps of a journey from from a cell at the Hanoi Hilton to the White House, and what that says about his honor and our country. She evoked a stir of emotions when Palin noted that small towns across America have memorials to men just like John McCain, only he made it home — and that middle America understands McCain because of that.

Palin showed her mettle tonight. Alaskans tell us that she is “tough as nails” and doesn’t run from a fight. Tonight, she challenged Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and the media elite to a fight to the finish. And she has bad news for them: she has no plans to quit.

Republicans should feel cheered and elated by this event tonight. No matter what happens in this race, we have seen the future of the party, and it looks bright indeed. Thursday, September 4, 2008




By Charles Johnson

The Saudi-funded, Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seething over the references to “Islamic terrorism” in last night’s speeches: U.S. Muslims Urge McCain, Palin to Offer ‘Inclusive’ Speeches.

In a statement, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“We urge Senator McCain and Governor Palin to offer inclusive speeches at this week’s Republican convention and ask that they both avoid divisive Islamophobic rhetoric. It is all too easy to use hot-button terms to garner votes, but true leaders do not exploit fear or stereotypes for political gain. We hope to hear Senator McCain and Governor Palin say they will defend the civil and religious rights of all Americans, work with the American Muslim community in making our nation both free and secure and help build better relations with the Islamic world.”

He suggested that McCain and Palin reflect the Republican Party Platform, which states: “The struggle in which we are engaged is ideological, not ethnic or religious. The extremists we face are abusers of faith, not its champions. We appreciate the loyalty of all Americans whose family roots lie in the Middle East, and we gratefully acknowledge the contributions of American Arabs and Muslims, especially those in the Armed Forces and the intelligence community.”

Awad added that Muslims have called on candidates of all political parties to reject Islamophobia and believe using phrases such as “Islamic terrorism” may unintentionally provide religious legitimacy to terrorists.

Coming from the leader of a group that is listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas funding trial, a group that intentionally and relentlessly makes excuses for Islamic terrorists, this is shameless. But it’s what CAIR does.

Interestingly, this paid press release doesn’t come through CAIR’s usual outlet, PRNewsWire, but through Market Wire. That’s why it shows up in Yahoo’s “Finance” section. Did PRNewsWire finally pull the plug on CAIR’s deceptive propaganda? Thursday, September 4, 2008




By Bill Roggio

The US has conducted another airstrike inside Pakistani territory, according to reports from Pakistan. This is the fourth US cross-strike inside Pakistan in five days.

Four people were reported killed in an attack on a home in village of Char Khel in North Waziristan, anonymous intelligence officials told AFP. The owner of home is known to "host foreigners," a local told the news agency.

It is unclear if any senior al Qaeda or Taliban leaders were killed in the attack.

The village of Char Khel lies about four miles from the Afghan border. The village is in territory run by the powerful Haqqani family.

The Haqqani family is closely allied with the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Haqqanis run a parallel government in North Waziristan and conduct military and suicide operations in eastern Afghanistan. Siraj Haqqani, the son of Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, has close ties to Osama bin Laden and is one of the most wanted terrorists in Afghanistan.

The US military targeted the Haqqani network several times this year. On March 12, the US military fired guided missiles from Afghanistan into a compound run by Siraj Haqqani, the wanted Taliban leader behind numerous attacks in Afghanistan. The attack is believed to have killed three senior Haqqani network commanders and "many" Chechen fighters.

Cross-border strikes increase during 2008

There have been 11 confirmed cross-border attacks by the US in Pakistan this year. Five safe houses have been hit in South Waziristan, four have been hit in South Waziristan, and two have been targeted in Bajaur this year. Only 10 such cross-border strikes were recorded in 2006 and 2007 combined.

Today's attack is the fifth cross-border strike since Aug. 20 and the fourth since Aug. 31. Two Canadians of Arab origin were killed in a strike in strike in South Waziristan last weekend.

US forces launched a controversial helicopter strike in South Waziristan in a village just one mile from the Afghan border just two days ago. A senior US military intelligence official and a US military officer, both who wished to remain anonymous, told The Long War Journal the strike involved a "handful" of US helicopters and special operations teams. The official and officer would not comment on the target of the raid.

The Pakistani government has condemned the attack as a violation of "territorial integrity." Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi described the attack as an "unforgivable incident," claiming only women and children were killed in the assault.

The US government and military have not commented on the attack.

Background on this year's attacks

Three senior al Qaeda operatives have been confirmed killed during this year's cross-border strikes in Pakistan.

Abu Khabab al Masri, al Qaeda's bomb expert and weapons of mass destruction chief, was killed South Waziristan on July 28. Abu Sulayman Jazairi, al Qaeda's external operations chief, was killed in Bajaur on May 14. Abu Laith al Libi, a senior commander in Afghanistan and the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, was killed in North Waziristan on Jan. 28.

While the strikes have disrupted al Qaeda's senior leadership, they have done little to disrupt the growth of al Qaeda and the Taliban in northwestern Pakistan.

The Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied terrorist groups have established 157 training camps and more than 400 support locations in the tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province, US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.

The Taliban has organized some of its fighters into military formations. Al Qaeda has reformed the notorious 055 Brigade, the Arab legion of al Qaeda fighters that was destroyed during the initial US assault in Afghanistan in late 2001. Additional al Qaeda brigades have been formed, intelligence officials informed The Long War Journal.

Foreign al Qaeda fighters have flocked to the Pakistani border regions. On July 23, Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani and his cabinet were told that more than 8,000 foreign fighters were operating in the tribal areas. Thursday, September 4, 2008



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