Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not quite good enough.

Tonight Obama gave a speech about Iraq. He basically got across that the combat phase has ended and that the Iraqi's need to step up to the plate. I'm with him on these two points.

He also praised our soldiers to a great extent, for which I am glad. And of course, this is what a president must do.

He also strayed a bit, pointing out early on that he was fulfilling his campaign promise to wind the operation down.

Um, no one gives a shit about your campaign promise sir, this isn't about you.

But overall, the speech was a good one. Beautifully written as always, and Obama is a master speaker. If his aim was to inspire Americans, overall, he succeeded.

So well done troops, well done Iraq, well done everyone and God bless us all.

And Columbo turns back at the last second...

Oh, one other thing. Two other things actually.

First of all, he gave zero, and I mean ZERO credit to George W. Bush.

No mention that the surge, which Obama said would fail, actually succeeded.

No mention that the entire drawdown plan, soup to nuts, was and still is entirely GWB's. Obama has literally kept exactly with the Bush blue print presented to him on his first day in office by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Fine. I didn't really expect our president to show grace in this matter. It's academic really, Bush will forever be the Dark Knight - hated, but ultimately 100% right when it came to winning the war and keeping us safe.

Second of all, and FAR more importantly.

He withheld from our troops a real victory by not specifically saying that they have achieved it.

He did praise the US and coalition forces profusely, which I thought was great, and despite my gut instincts, I don't judge his heart - I take him at his word. But he didn't go far enough.

Regardless of how one views the war, the simple fact is that our soldiers succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Iraq is stable, and has a real shot at remaining so. That, to me, is an indisputable victory.

Because as a Senator Obama was against the war, against the surge, and in my view against our soldiers, he now refuses to swallow his pride and do his job as president - give our soldiers the full honor they deserve - calling a victory a victory.

I understand he doesn't want to look like Bush on an aircraft carrier with a big banner of "Mission Accomplished" behind him.

But this isn't really about him, and tonight he failed to see that in spectacular fashion.

Edit: Here is a great little blurb from Hot Air that beautifully encapsulates what I wrote last night. I'm pretty proud that it basically restates (though much more elegantly) what I already came up with.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


This whole ground zero mosque business seems to have inflamed passions all around. The idea of a mosque not too far from the rubble of the WTC isn't that repugnant to me, if anything it seems like it might be a good idea to help build a bridge between cultures and demonstrate to the world that America values religious freedom above bigotry.

But this "Cultural Center" that is being planned is anything but just a mosque - it is a garish 13 story behemoth that will be the American headquarters for promoting Sharia law and will be spear headed by an Imam who blames the US for 9/11.

It is these facts, along with the mainstream media calling anyone who bristles at them Islamo-phobic, that have firmly placed me in the anti-ground zero mosque camp.

This is an issue that is, underneath, not at all about religious freedom. The forces behind this mosque are provocateurs of the most insidious kind. Their choice of location (the site of a building damaged during the 9/11 attacks) is just the first step at dividing Americans.

The planned "activities" for the center, which will likely include a sex segregated worshipping area, a non-admittance policy to non-Muslims into the mosque, and stern lectures from Sharia pushing Imams, will vividly illustrate the one way street that is "tolerance" in the "moderate" Muslim world.

Cultural elites view those of us who oppose the location of this indoctrination center (excuse me, I meant mosque) as intolerant bigots. The fact that women in most Muslim countries are at best second class citizens seems to be lost on them.

Can you imagine non-Catholics, or even non-Christians, being turned away from St. Paul's cathedral? Did you know that non-Muslims aren't allowed anywhere near the Haj in Mecca?

I've been to Muslim countries. A few hardcore (Egypt, Jordan) and a few moderate (Morocco, Indonesia). It was while I was in Indonesia early on a Friday morning that I asked our guide Mr. Malik if I could join him for services. He laughed and smiled. Absolutely not. I was "an infidel" (his exact words) in the eyes of his faith. Though he was kind to me and took great pains to explain and professed to not believe this himself, he was very clear. Absolutely not.

Indonesia is supposedly the most liberal Muslim country in the world.

Am I the intolerant one for thinking that the GZ mosque Imam is a bit of an asshole for wanting to plant his flag on the graves of people who were blown up in the name of his religion?

The main thing that seems to be missing from the pro-GZ mosque bunch is common sense.

I could care less about a radical dick-head wanting to build a center for his religion. He can go ahead and build it. It's what our country is all about. The right to be a douche, and have a douchey religion. But please, pick a different location. Try a mile or two away. Knock yourself out. If a radical Christian asshole, like the guy in Gainesville Florida who is going to have a Koran book burning this weekend wanted to build a church on or near Ground Zero, I'd say hell to the no as well.

Let's use our brains and not our knee-jerk politically correct self-loathing passions to guide us to the correct choice.

Show a little respect for the dead. Show a little class.