Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dammit, Man! We're the New York Times. We don't have to make sense!

Heh. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at that editorial meeting.

I don't know if anything can save Republicans now, but they ought to keep talking about this one, just to drive a stake in the heart of the liberal media.

And be sure to read Michael Barone's analysis of the Times story. The left has been denouncing Bush's assertion since the Democrats decided that they needed to reverse themselves after voting to authorize force against Iraq. After trying idiotic excuses like "I was only voting for the threat of force," they settled on the equally false, but harder to disprove, claim that Bush lied in order to lure us into a war that was unnecessary. It now turns out that Saddam could have been testing nukes for two years since had we not destroyed his regime.

That really is a thunderbolt. The question is whether there is time for the fraud to sink in by Tuesday. If not, this will make the next two years as uncomfortable for the Dems and they've made the last 4 for George Bush.

How will they be able to tell?

As Saddam's verdict nears there is concern that a death sentence would create more sectarian violence. Don't kid yourself, the Sunnis think the Shiites were all born with saddles and stirrups to be ridden. They consider Shiites as apostates and worse than infidels. There will be violence whether Saddam gets hanged or not. I hope he does and soon.

The Greens who cry wolf?

The Collapse of the Fishing Industry seems to have more solid evidence than global warming, which is based mostly on computer models. Fishing is difficult to regulate because so many people have huge investments in boats and tackle that they can't pay for without catching more. I think that we'll eventually have to limit the number of permits and regulate many of the practices that overload the fish stocks.

Some experts think this is alarmist, but even they acknowledge the need for management. I'd hate to see repeats of the devastation of the cod fishery in the North Atlantic. This is one area where I tend to see logic in environmentalism.

Unemployment rate hits five year low.

The economy is rebounding in anticipation of Pelosi speakership.

While you were celebrating cutting Bush off at the knees, . . .

six more Arab states have joined the "rush to go nuclear."

Not to worry, though. Jack Murtha's got a plan. It has something to do with protecting our precious bodily fluids and building giant underground bomb shelters and only a limited number of men, chosen based on their intelligence, and as many nubile women as they can service.

'E's not dead. He's pinin' for the fjords!

That's Ted Haggard's story and he's sticking to it. Or, maybe, this was just his way of getting those drugs off the streets. Yeah, that's the ticket! He was on an anti-drug crusade, one gram at a time.

Terrorists endorse Democrats

I feel safer already.


The nation of Georgia is being bullied by Putin's regime in Russia. "Last January, the Kremlin cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine to punish Kiev. Is Tbilisi next?" It looks like Putin is betting that the West will let him get away with it. If Democrats win on Tuesday, I don't expect that they will be interested in starting up the Cold War again. They certainly don't have anybody like Truman or even like Hubert Humphrey any more. If Ted Kennedy is the best they have for an elder statesman, it's hard to be sanguine about their willingness to support freedom against the rebuilding of the Iron Curtain.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Et tu, Ted?

Glenn makes a good point about hypocrisy being the sin that liberals seem to love finding in others. He's wrong about Christianity not being about perfection though. See Matthew 5:48. Jesus had some pretty harsh things to say about hypocrites, too, but what he mostly seemed offended by was their judgmental attitude, their condemnation of others, when his mission was to make it possible to be redeemed if we repent. The Pharisees judged people more like John Kerry does, by thinking that their status in society made them more worthy in the next life, as well.

I don't know anything about Ted Haggard or his organization, but I do know that if he were in the LDS church, he'd be excommunicated. Upon a showing that he was fully repentant he could be accepted back. From Haggard's public statements, I don't think he's really repentant, but that's based more on my experiences as a criminal defense attorney. I noticed in a number of cases of sexual offenses a guilty person would acknowledge everything right up to the final act, but would then deny that, making his statement so damning that all I could do was plea bargain. I mean, Haggard says that he paid for methamphetamine from this man who claims he was also paid for gay sex, but denies that he ever used the drug.

I have never made much money, but I've often thought that if I had, I would have felt so guilty I've have been more depressed that I am. Evangelists today resemble salesmen more than people I'd want to take personal advice from, but I'm sure that the vast majority are honest strivers and ministers. I just don't know enough regular evangelical ministers to make a judgment. The really big names in evangelism have never impressed me though. They seem to be living too high off the hog.

I often think that Christianity today has gone so far in the direction of making faith attractive that it has neglected a lot of Jesus' own teachings, such as his statement that there will be many who come before him at the day of judgment claiming to have been his disciples but who never knew him.

I'm glad I don't have to be anybody's judge. Part of Christ's suffering was going through pains and sorrows and accepting punishments for the sins of all mankind, so that he could understand them and be able to judge them justly. That is really impossible for me or any mortal to even imagine what that must have involved.

I pay tithing, but I don't think I'd feel as good about it if it were going to pay for luxuries for any individual.

I've read La Shawn Barber's comments and she's right not to let this shake her faith. The Church of Christ is for the perfecting of the saints, meaning merely those who aspire to be holy. We're all at different places on the path. What counts is whether we're moving in the right direction.

Bush was right!

The NY Hearsay cites "proof" that Saddam was pursuing nuclear weapons, or at least had the plans for one. It thinks it's a huge scandal that the internet site created to make the trove of documents seized in Iraq available to the public revealed some detailed instructions about how to build a nuke, as if having a good set of plans is all that keeps terrorists from putting a few together.

The media's behavior during the past 6 years has been hypocritical and beneath contempt, particularly in light of all their talk about ethics. Our system of training and hiring reporters has brought about the antithesis of what a free press is supposed to do, provide vigorous debate from all points of view. The effect of media cynicism and opposition has caused this country to abandon one war it was winning, and is on the verge to repeating that feat by convincing two thirds of us to believe that the war we are fighting is already lost, despite the accomplishment of nearly every goal we've set. If the news media in the late eighteenth century had been like it is today, we'd still belong to the British Commonwealth.

The woman poised to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives has claimed that the only battleground against terrorism can be in Afghanistan. I'm sure that Al Qaeda will be glad to know that it's efforts to prevent a majority ruled republic in Iraq doesn't count.

America is at a tipping point which will determine whether we continue to be a force for good in the world or just settle in for the decline of our society, beliefs and values as we glut ourselves on everything our ancestors have made possible.

If Republicans are going to lose anyway.

Why not use this to get rid of dead wood in the house? Any more Mark Foleys lurking or other leadership challenged Republicans we could give the boot to?

More evidence that Democrats think we're all stupid

The NYTimes is going to shock us all with the fact that Saddam's government was working on a nuclear weapon. This was published on the web portal for the documents seized in Iraq, until someone noticed that one of the documents included instructions for building an atomic bomb. If this was to be the Times' November Surprise against Bush, well, is that all there is?

Democrats against Democracy

If Joe Negron wins in his run for Mark Foley's seat, some Democrats are arguing that he still could be deprived of it by a vote of the House of Representatives. Remember how Robert Toricelli lost his bid to be reelected? The last few years have demonstrated that the Democratic Party in this country cares more about winning than about honest elections.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Why John Kerry's gaffe matters.

If it were anybody else, the botched joke would be just that and forgotten, but it has stirred up a nest of hornets on the right because it conveyed a truth about the anti-war left, their elitism and contempt for America, its military and, well, pretty much everything about it except for the privileged lifestyle it has afforded them.

Kerry was supposed to put a little spin on an old familiar and condescending joke about the military being the ones who can't do anything else, but he forget the spin and said the line as he has said it most often. The problem is that everybody who didn't see it as a political foot-shot saw it for what it was and they recognized the same attitude of 1960s spoiled college kids who condemned everyone who served in Vietnam as some kind of inhuman killer. That is the background from which Bill and Hillary emerged. Just ask Michael Medved.

Jane Hamsher on Public Relations

Advice for Kerry and orders to the party:
First of all — I don't care if John Kerry was eating live babies on TV, one week out from an election you do not repeat GOP talking points. Ever. It makes you look like a big pussy who can't stand up to the Republicans, even when they're playing from an exceptionally weak hand on an issue you own.
Kind of makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, no?

Of course, that's exactly how Kerry responded to the first calls for him to apologize, and made the anger deeper and louder and longer. I prefer Hugh's First Rule of Holes: "When you're in a hole, stop digging." Kerry's indignant and defiant claim that he wasn't going to apologize to anyone, dug himself about one or two extra levels of underground parking. What his excuses and apologies can't make up for is that the "joke" is a very old one among the college-educated elite of the Vietnam era. I've heard it before, in the 1970s. That's why he "botched" it, he had intended to morph it into a personal insult toward President Bush, but force of habit led him to repeat the orginal formula.

And his failure to jump on it and correct it quickly made this message from the troops possible and infinitely more effective. This was Kerry's finger-wagging moment to match Bill Clinton's meltdown on Fox News Sunday. He wasn't reacting to what he had actually said, which was not what he wanted to; he was reacting to the Swift Boat vets who responded to his attempt to cast himself as a proud war hero, when he had actually launched his political career slandering most of his fellow servicemen in Vietnam. He's the one who stepped up with the phoney salute and "reported for duty," just asking for his testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971 to be pulled out and played over and over.

So, keep on getting your PR advice from Fire Dog Lake, John. You're the gift that keeps on giving.

Update: Mark Steyn agrees that this was a Freudian slip--Kerry said what he was really thinking:
I find the . . . line . . . that Senator Kerry was making a joke about Bush, highly implausible. If you talk to Democrats of the middle-class and upper-middle-class and (in John Heinz Kerry’s case) the neo-Gulf-emir-class, you’ll have heard the same thing a thousand times: these poor fellows in Iraq, they’re only there because they’re too poverty-stricken and ill-educated so they couldn’t become Senators and New York Times reporters and tenured Queer Studies professors like normal Americans do. That is, in fact, what they mean by the claim that they “support our troops”: they want to bring them home and retrain them so they’re not forced into taking jobs as Bush’s torturers and thugs. It’s part of the same condescension as describing soldiers as “our children”. If a 22-year old intern wants to drop to the Oval Office broadloom, she’s a grown woman exercising her freedom of choice. But, if a 28-year old guy wants to serve in Iraq, he’s a poor wee misguided Grade Six drop-out who doesn’t know any better. John Kerry’s soundbite is interesting not because it’s the umpteenth self-inflicted wound by Mister Nuance but because it gets right to the heart of the Democrats’ “support” for the troops.

With apologies to Ireland

"Tom Paine" at The Last Ditch:
[W]hen someone says he's a Green and wants to "save the planet", that translates to me as:

"I am a puritanical killjoy with no concept of the scientific method and a burning desire to decimate my fellow-men so that the ugliest remnants of humanity can live the short, miserable, disease-ridden, brutal lives of medieval peasants in a spirit of smug self-satisfaction born of the sense that we have condemned billions of tediously aspirational humans to poverty or death."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

To heck with Longevity, we want immortality. All longevity accomplishes is to make Social Security go broke faster and accelerate the war between the generations, which will end with everybody being fed to the furnaces at retirement age.

"the greater freedom which is martyrdom"

Those are words from Ayatollah Khomeni. He combined Marxist revolution theory with Shiite fundamentalist religion and took over the government of Iran. Most traditional Shiites don't believe that clerics should be in government. It was these revolutionary mullahs who invented suicide bombers, now being used by Muslim terrorists to send weak-minded ideologues to their death regardless of Shia or Sunni.

The stuff we see being reported from Iraq and Palestine pays little attention to the sectarian divide between Sunnis and Shiites. Vali Nasr's thesis is that the division is much deeper and mover divisive that the West realizes and that the U.S., by deposing Saddam and imposing one-person-one-vote elections, has let the Shias feel the powere of their numbers and that there is no going back. He predicts that if they can't work out a stable system in Iraq which governs according to democratic principles, read "Shiite majority", it will be likely to produce a struggle between Iran and Shiite communities elsewhere against the Sunnis who are mostly Arabs. It could engulf the entire Muslim world.

The question is whether we can direct matters, or will get dragged along by them. We won't want to choose between Shia and Sunni, but we may not have a choice. Our principles most closely align with those of Ayatollah Sistani, but Saudi Arabis is the home of Sunni fundamentalism which considers Shiism as apostasy and worse than being Christian or Jewish. Iraqis are Arabs but the Shiites have many ties to Iran and other Shia communities. They live on top of great oil reserves, and therefore threaten the Sunnis who have governed in the past, and assume that being "true" Muslims entitles them to do so forever.

Nasr says this is why the Iranians really want nuclear weapons, to balance out the "Sunni bomb," developed by Pakistan. I've seen a documentary about A. Q. Khan and his network of Muslim states with whom he shared the secrets of building a bomb. If he discriminated between Sunnis and Shiites, it wasn't mentioned.

Nasr's version of things is logically consistent with facts, but also with the view that terrorist fundamentalists don't care about sectarian jealousies when it comes to attacking Western societies. The trick, it seems to be will be keeping an eye on both as we apply pressure to adopt democratic politics on Islam. In most ways, we have already accomplished ninety percent of what we can realistically hope to. The sight of Iraqis voting has inspired Muslim populations around the world to wonder why they can't do the same. If we left Iraq tomorrow, that would still be a problem for the authoritarian Muslim regimes everywhere. But if we did, the Iraqi government is still too weak to stand against outside powers who will want to define its direction.

We must help the regime gain strength but not allow ourselves to get sucked into the sectarian battles between Sunni extremists and Shiite groups like Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Militia. By backing the government, we will be both supporting and opposing both sects. Will we be able to hold that line? What will happen if we follow the demands of Democrats like John Murtha and Nancy Pelosi? I guess that depends on whether we can live with scenes, not just of random violence, but of full scale civil war involving all the neighboring states.

Mighty Bigot of Him

The best roundup on the Kerry Botched Botch is here.

What kind of an explanation is it that you intended to make a scurrilous attack on the President's intelligence, a favorite theme of the anti-war left's, rather than the people under his command?


Dan Collins comments on this poll. Apparently AFP thinks that God is like Tinkerbell and needs humans to believe in him in order to survive.

His numbers are down, apparently. It's never been a matter of absolute certainty, though. That's why it's called "faith."

Why you can't dump a successful incumbent.

The Anti-war Left are doing bitter pre-mortems on the Ned Lamont campaign. By inciting anti-war activists to vote against Lieberman in their own primary, they miscalculated badly. What did they think would happen? They were attacking Lieberman on the single issue which the Republicans support him on. There aren't a whole lot of conservatives in Connecticut, but a lot of moderates. So, if you want to wash someone out of your party, maybe you ought to vote for his opponent in another party, and be prepared to live with the outcome of the election.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The "Third World Party"

Omar Fadhil (Iraq The Model):
But what's neither fine nor acceptable is to see politicians and decision-makers, who are supposed to be the leaders of the new world order, think and behave in the same manner as third world citizens.

All they seem to think about is how to get away from this debilitating conflict in Iraq no matter what the outcome would be. Even worse, few people seem to realize what the amplifications of a defeat in Iraq would be on the Middle East and the rest of our small global village.

Old Media Mark

Mark Halperin was on Hugh Hewitt's show again this afternoon. He's upset that Hugh called him a liberal and takes it as an excuse for personal insults and put downs. Hugh is talking about the role of the media and bias. Halperin talks like a smart aleck. I don't know what good he thinks this runaround will do him. He comes across as evasive and arrogant, and basically as obnoxious as the rest of the old media. Anybody who thinks he should have the last word on someone else's talk show just isn't all that bright.

No Apology. No Excuse.

Kerry said what he was thinking. And today he said this:
I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.
But, Senator, you're the one who came home and initiated your political career in the anti-war movement and testified that our troops were committing atrocities. And just this year you spoke of how our troops were entering houses terrorizing women and children. Yes, you were in the Navy, but you've been part of the liberal hate America left ever since.

Everybody knows how the left views our men and women in the military. This is the kind of thing Kerry's probably said and heard thousands of times in private conversations. As in Trent Lott's case, those lines just slip out sometimes when you're not sufficiently alert.

Update: Kerry is off the campaign trail. The story is burning up the blogsphere, both pro and con. He's being disowned by other Democrats. His story that his remark was a joke told wrong isn't going to wash. If he was trying to joke about Bush being dumb, how does he explain the fact that Bush had higher grades than he? On Imus' show, he insisted that he told the truth in the 1970s about Vietnam and that he's telling the truth now about Iraq. He's getting no traction whatsoever, and he doesn't seem to get what has happened.

He also doesn't seem to understand that our military these days are all volunteers and the armed forces doesn't take just anybody. There's too much technical training required.

Environmentalists using fear tactics to influence elections

That's how I see it, anyway. What makes them think that crippling the world's economy in a futile attempt to halt global warming would be any better?

I've considered this who subject, and the Kyoto Agreement wouldn't do a thing to set back global warming. The two biggest countries on earth, India and China aren't even affected by the treaty.

When the global warming theory was first popularized, I thought it had such a fundraising potential and was so insoluble that if it hadn't been proposed, the environmental movement would have invented it. Now I'm not so sure it didn't. GW is human-caused all right. It was dreamt up by people.

Tomorrow night, we're giving out Soylent Green to all the kiddies.

Peace, Peace, but there is no peace.

The madrassa destroyed today by the Pakistani military was being used as a training and recruiting center for Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Well, I've finished Vali Nasr's book, The Shia Revival, and it has given me a lot to think about. His point that the Sunni-Shia divide in Islam is far deeper and deadly than we understand doesn't tell us what we should do at this point, but it does suggest that we've already won all we could reasonably expect by unleashing the Shia to assert their majority status in Iraq and triggering a showdown between Iran and the rest of the Muslim world, principally Saudi Arabia. Americans don't really know the difference between Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. To Sunni fundamentalists, all Shiites are apostates from Islam, not Muslims with different traditions. This all began when the first Shia Imam, Ali was murdered, and the second, Hussayn, was murdered by the Caliph's troops. Even though it was Iranians who settled in Southern Iraq, their descendants see themselves as Arabs, not Persians, and as Shiites, not Sunnis. They comprise 60% of the population and they're not going to go peacefully back under the boot of the Sunnis. The Sunnis see is as their right as regular Muslims to rule over the Shia. They may have to be subdued like Georgia before Sherman's Army. I doubt we'd find many American troops shedding tears over them. Nevertheless, I think there are still people in the elected government who want to work out a peaceful system for their nation. I don't believe things are so bad that we have to get out. That may happen, but it isn't yet, and if we withdraw, we'll guarantee civil war and inflame the region. The Shia are not going to submit again to the tyranny they lived under for the past third-century.

Muqtada al-Sadr is trying to boost himself into a Khomeini-like status with his Mahdi militia. But he's a light-weight compared to Sistani and other traditionalists. These Shiite opportunists probably need to be brought down, but for us to do it would probably turn the Shia, both in Iraq and the moderates in Iran, against us. The Shia street is probably with us now, but it could get ugly fast if we are seen to be interfering with the Shia resurgence.

We have removed the oppressor from the Shiites. We have seen them through elections which gave them political power, and we've trained their army. We need to finish that job, and bring their numbers up to where they can keep the peace. That may be all they want from us or will allow from us without our sending in a few hundred thousand more troops. It was never our intent to actually occupy the country. That's what is wrong with most of the critics from the retired generals. They are thinking in terms of the post-war occupation of Germany and Japan. We have done a lot, but we don't have the troops in place to defeat a guerilla enemy being supported by the Saudis or by the Iranians.

It's never really been about race or gender.

If you're not a liberal, an inspiring life story isn't worth squat.

What's wrong with the economy?

Maybe this is why people think the economy isn't doing well. People read about retirees losing health benefits when the company go bankrupt. A lot of good your union does you then.

It looks like we're going to have to go back to real life, like the rest of the world.

It's not really Muslims per se who make me nervous

What makes me uneasy is olive-skinned young men glaring at everybody else. Gangsta Rappers make me nervous. White supremacists and Neo-Nazis do too. There's a Far Side cartoon with:
a rattlesnake in the top left hand corner, a puffed-up puffer fish in
the top right hand corner, a mad cat in the bottom left hand corner,
and a man wearing a trench coat, with a boot on his head, a child's
pool floaty around his middle and carrying a bazooka. The caption reads:
"How Nature Says, "Don't Touch""
Here's a clue. It isn't racist if you've seen people who look like this in clips from their martyrdom videos, or sawing off the heads of captives, or rioting, destroying buildings and yelling "Death to America!".

Polls Shmolls

Michael Barone explains the problems with polling and why this election won't be over 'til it's over. And if the Democrats win, they may still have lost on the real issues. By claiming that the voting was rigged in 2000 and 2004, they have suppressed black turnout. By recruiting moderate and conservative candidates in key districts, they may have given Bush a working bipartisan majority.

One thing we should all know: when you go to war you should win. When you retreat and abandon people who have trusted you, it gets easier the next time. Honor is like that. We have already won in Iraq, whether the media know it or not, because we have removed not just a dictator but a system where the Shiite majority of Iraq had no self-determination. They now have that power. We have let the genie out of the bottle and then broken the bottle, and the Muslim world will never be the same. Whether we achieve our final goal or leave it to the Iraqis to finish, we've made our point. I think that the rigid hold of Islam fundamentalism must eventually be broken so that its people can choose to believe or not for themselves. I don't know how it will play out, but I believe that every nation that denies freedom will eventually fall of its own inability to compete.

Democrats, in key races, says the lesser Times are "running to the right":
In their push to win back control of the House, Democrats have turned to conservative and moderate candidates who fit the profiles of their districts more closely than the profile of the national party.

One such candidate, Heath Shuler, was courted by Republicans to run for office in 2001. Mr. Shuler, 34, is a retired National Football League quarterback who is running in the 11th Congressional District in North Carolina. He is an evangelical Christian and holds fast to many conservative social views, like opposition to abortion rights.

“My guess is that if Democrats are in the majority, it’s going to be because of these New Democrat, Blue Dog candidates out there winning in these competitive swing districts,” Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, co-chairman of a caucus of centrist House Democrats, said in an interview.
What are we to make of this? That such candidates aren't really Democrats? If so, wouldn't that defeat the intent of having a majority? Are they are so intent on gaining "market share" that they're willing to concede the Republicans a working majority just to get a nominal one? They're anti-abortion, pro-gun ownership, anti-same-sex-marriage, everything the Kos Democrats hate?

I've lamented the system that protects incumbents in either party against reformers from that party. This sounds like the kind of Republicans conservatives want to see could come from the Democrats. What's the catch? How is this a win in any real sense for the Dems?

Maybe it's part of their search to understand "values" voters, which I've always found kind of pointless. The kind of moral values the exit polls told them that voters were concerned about in 2004 were pretty obvious, I thought. Things like not having to explain what oral sex is to your 6 year old or why it's on the news every night. Ditto for premarital sex, homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Moral values for Democrats mean not using the N-word, avoiding war at all costs, the right of privacy whenever you want it or to be indecent when you want to, and eliminating poverty through government policies. Liberals tend to think enforcing their moral values is just ducky, if the modern university is an indication. I don't think the Democratic base is really ready to accept conservative values. If they're after what I think they are, they should be recruiting libertarians, not conservatives.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Maybe it's because Republicans don't love the Lord.

70,000 dead people still on the rolls in New York and Democrats are four times more successful at voting while dead than Republicans. I've always thought that Republicans aren't as good at pulling off scandals, because they have qualms.


Caustic Politics

A quick perusal of Memeorandum reveals a lot hot air and bitchiness, but how much of the complaining and bitterness is based on anything more that an absolutist anti-war ideology and hatred of George Bush? The MSM are dishonest brokers who no longer bother to deny their partisanship. (Wolf Blitzer excepted. He claims CNN isn't biased even as it airs terrorists' propaganda.)

The Congressional Republicans are worse than useless. I'd call for a housecleaning if we had an alternative that wasn't worse. The only reason I'm still engaged is because I think that Bush deserves better. He has flaws, but they're not bad enough to warrant all the bashing and second-guessing, and he has qualities of greatness that are being ignored and demeaned. We mistreat our leaders at our own peril. The habit of criticism doesn't wear off with an election. We are divided in the face of our enemy. Many are acting like they want terrorism to win, pretending 9/11 didn't happen, denying that Saddam was the warmonger and terrorist he is, convincing themselves that they don't owe this country anything, if they don't get to run it.

That kind of stuff doesn't go away. It breeds retaliation and more contention. We now have a bigger problem in this nation than terrorism.

Times that try men's souls.

More Muslim on Muslim violence in Iraq. At times like this, I'm tempted to pull back and let Shiites and Sunnis duke it out. But I think that we need to steel our nerve and give them more time, keep training more security troops, and support a Shiite majority along the lines advocated by Sistani. We can't say how things will turn out, but we can certainly make ourselves felt if another terrorist-dictator emerges. We can't and shouldn't tell them what they must do, but we certainly can let them know what we won't allow them to do.

We've got way too many commentators telling Bush what to do and undermining his support, most of whom don't know what they're talking or writing about. Bush has a plan and he's pushing it forward. Americans should tell the media to take their sour attitude and eternal second-guessing and shove 'em.