Archive for October, 2005

WaPo spins bombs II

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Then there is the selective foxhole view approach:

Right now they’re probably four times more powerful than when we first got here,” 1st Sgt. Stanley Clinton said, referring to the bombs. Clinton, 53, has been deployed for the past year in Kirkuk for Alpha Company of the 2nd Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team.
Clinton said that when the 116th combat team, an Idaho Army National Guard unit, arrived last December, the insurgents employed “backwoodsy stuff” — often tiny bombs fashioned from items as basic as Coca-Cola cans. Now, he said, they often consist of one or more 120- or 155-mm artillery rounds, 15 or 20 pounds of rocket propellant or shaped charges that concentrate the blast and punch through armor plating.

But the veterans of the first year in Iraq (March 2003 - 2004)can tell you all about “one or more 120- or 155-mm artillery rounds,” sometimes put together and sometimes spread out in a “daisy chain” to increase chances of catching at least one vehicle as convoys increased speed and intervals between vehicles. And the WaPo knows this as it was reported on at the time. So what you actually have is reporting from one location that the Islamofascists in that locale were relearning (December 2004) what others had already figured out over a year earlier. So the “insurgency” isn’t quite so uniformly adaptive as some would have you believe.
What is new is the shift to shaped charges. But that is a necessary reaction to U.S. armor defeating simpler charges. And the act of concentrating the blast means the lethal force is narrowly focussed — no good in a near miss, unlike a larger bomb that has a wider blast area. So, shaped charges should work at low speed in restricted terrain, but not so well when vehicles have room on the road and move at higher speeds.

WaPo spins bombs I

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Instead of going straight at the anti-US military body count celebrations staged by the MSM, I offer a two part critique. Let’s break down the deliberately defeatist spin of the Washington Post:

“The IEDs are the biggest threat we have,” said Lt. Col. John Walsh, commander of Task Force 1-163, a Montana Army National Guard battalion that is completing a year-long combat tour in Hawija, a Sunni Arab city about 30 miles southwest of Kirkuk. Walsh’s soldiers have encountered more than 600 roadside bombs, 60 percent of which exploded before they were detected. The unit has lost four soldiers, two from roadside bombs, and had 68 wounded, a casualty rate of 8.5 percent.

Let’s see:
60 percent of 600 is 360. So 360 roadside bombs went off as the soldiers of this unit passed by.
Over the course of an entire year, two soldiers in this battalion-sized task force were killed by the worst and supposedly increasingly effective efforts of terrorists“insurgents/militants.”
BREAK, I SAY AGAIN: “360 bombs, two dead.”
Notice, too, the dishonest or at best incompetent muddling of 4 deaths total (the number you are supposed to focus on) and 68 wounded. No interest in saying how many wounded from IEDs. No interest in saying how many wounded were returned to duty versus seriously injured. “Wounded” includes blown ear drums and lacerations, all the way up to horrific burns, head injuries, and amputations. This is a war against an adaptive enemy, and a combat arms battalion, after a year of patrols and raids in the Sunni Triangle, had only 4 soldiers KIA and had 68 WIA (no word on numbers actually evacuated). But the WaPo has an agenda Vietnam + Watergate = left-liberal ascendance and it gets in the way of facts, or facts can’t get in its way.
continued . . .

Hewitt and Hitchens, Part 2

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Hitchens on one of the real scandals and crimes around the Iraq front of the Global War on Terror.

(For a highly readable explanation of how the Oil-for-Food racket actually worked, see the Adobe Acrobat file on the site prepared by my brilliant comrade Michael Weiss and distributed as a leaflet outside the debate in New York.)
For George Galloway, however, the war would seem to be over. The evidence presented suggests that he lied in court when he sued the Daily Telegraph in London over similar allegations (and collected money for that, too). It suggests that he lied to the Senate under oath. And it suggests that he made a deceptive statement in the register of interests held by members of the British House of Commons.

Yet this is the man who received wall-to-wall good press for insulting the Senate subcommittee in May, and who was later the subject of a fawning puff piece in the New York Times, and who was lionized by the anti-war movement when he came on a mendacious and demagogic tour of the country last month. I wonder if any of those who furnished him a platform will now have the grace to admit that they were hosting a man who is not just a pimp for fascism but but one of its prostitutes as well.

See what I mean:
“the equivalent of a cyber faculty meeting meltdown over a tenure decision, on steroids.”
“a man who is not just a pimp for fascism but one of its prostitutes as well.”
Deliciously cutting and dismissive all at once. I’m just happy that I’m generally in agreement with these two gentlemen.

Hewitt and Hitchens, Part 1.

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Hugh Hewitt on the anti-Miars insurrection is becoming Hitchensian in his linguistic lethality:

The echo-chamber effect that plagued the Michael Moore Democrats last year may now be at work among conservative intellectuals who think they are seeing a rising, when in fact they are witnessing the equivalent of a cyber faculty meeting meltdown over a tenure decision, on steroids.

Speaking of the master, do read this for context in the midst of “Plamegate” (it is a Crime against the State to call out career bureaucrat Democrat operatives when they lie or connive with their spouse to affect elections) and the “2000 reasons to abandon another region populated by brown-skinned people to thugs” festivities.

Fund-amentally Miared

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

John Fund’s continued assault on the President continued with What Went Wrong: Lessons the White House should learn from the Miers debacle. As Hugh Hewitt has noted repeatedly, the discourse of the anti-Miars crowd has become so heated that respected conservatives have gone off the rails in their recent writings. I enter the last graf of Fund’s latest screed column as supporting evidence:

But he may soon have a chance for a fresh start and no choice but to have a fight over substance. When Douglas Ginsburg asked to have his nomination to the Supreme Court pulled in 1987 after allegations he had used marijuana, Ronald Reagan won unanimous confirmation in a Democratic Senate for Anthony Kennedy, then a judge with a decade-long conservative track record on a federal appellate court. Similarly, Mr. Bush recovered quickly from losing Linda Chavez as his nominee for Labor Secretary and Mr. Kerik as Secretary of Homeland Security. The damage to his relations with his conservative base would blow over quickly if Mr. Bush were to quickly name a well-qualified nominee who was not a sphinx when it came to judicial philosophy. Perhaps this time he might even expand the talent pool to include–gasp–men.

Now just a minute, Fund is now citing Kennedy as an example of the value of a long conservative judicial record? Really? I think Fund just answered Hewitt’s question on where this BWAE commentator really stands on Roe v. Wade/Casey. That or his animus against this–gasp–woman has overpowered his ability to reason.

  1. From Center for Defense Information, Guantanamo Bay, Supreme Court Litigation - Rasul v. Bush.
    With a decision notably brief for the mountain of argument leading up to it, the U.S. Supreme Court in Rasul v. Bush held on June 28, 2004, that foreign nationals imprisoned without charge at the Guantanamo Bay interrogation camps were entitled to bring legal action challenging their captivity in U.S. federal civilian courts.
    Justice John Paul Stephens’ majority opinion was joined by Justices Sandra Day O’Conner, David Souter, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer. Justice Anthony Kennedy joined in the decision but disagreed sufficiently with the majority’s analysis to issue a separate concurring opinion. Justice Antonin Scalia authored a dissenting opinion, joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas.

    — So Fund is happy with the courts stepping into the War on Terror?

  2. From the OpinionJournal,
    Kennedy’s Vast Domain: The Supreme Court’s reverse Robin Hoods:

    The Supreme Court’s “liberal” wing has a reputation in some circles as a guardian of the little guy and a protector of civil liberties. That deserves reconsideration in light of yesterday’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The Court’s four liberals (Justices Stevens, Breyer, Souter and Ginsburg) combined with the protean Anthony Kennedy to rule that local governments have more or less unlimited authority to seize homes and businesses.

    — That conservative voting record really helped, right Mr. Fund?

  3. From the Daily Kos DKosopedia Anthony Kennedy - dKosopedia:
    Justice Henry Blackmun’s papers revealed that Kennedy nearly voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade but changed his mind at the last minute to cobble together a 5-4 majority opinion in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. In July 2003 he wrote a moving majority opinion overturning Bowers vs. Hardwick, saying “Bowers was wrong then and is wrong now”, and that, “it’s continuance as precedent demeans the lives of homosexual persons.”
    Due to these decisions, traditional conservative Kennedy, along with Sandra Day O Connor, is derided by some Republicans as a “liberal”, “judicial activist” and a betrayer of the legacy of their beloved hero Ronald Reagan.

    — But he had such a great record to recommend him!

  4. Kennedy’s Libertarian Revolution

    he more one ponders the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas, the more revolutionary it seems. Not because it recognizes the rights of gays and lesbians to sexual activity free of the stigmatization of the criminal law ó though this is of utmost importance. No, the case is revolutionary because Justice Kennedy (and at least four justices who signed on to his opinion without separate concurrences) have finally broken free of the post-New Deal constitutional tension between a “presumption of constitutionality” on the one hand and “fundamental rights” on the other. Contrary to what has been reported repeatedly in the press, the Court in Lawrence did not protect a “right of privacy.” Rather, it protected “liberty” ó and without showing that the particular liberty in question is somehow “fundamental.” Appreciation of the significance of this major development in constitutional law requires some historical background.

    — Libertarian or liberal will depend on whether he applies the same argument in future cases involving, say, religious liberty, or Second Amendment rights, or economic liberty — but wait, we already have the answer as to his left versus libertarian intent in Kelso.