Wednesday, April 04, 2007


In light of the increasing noise from the fifth column in America, it is a serious question whether President Bush would have the will to deploy military force even to stop a deadly serious threat to the United States.

I'm speaking, of course, of Darfur.

Saddam's barbaric rape rooms, chemical attacks and torture -- those, liberals could live with. But now they want us to send troops to Darfur, a country from which no one anticipates terrorism anytime in the next millennium. If you're looking for a good definition of "no imminent threat," Darfur is it. The climate change "emergency," set to start taking effect sometime during the next century, is a more imminent threat to the United States than Darfur.

These people can't even wrap up genocide. We've been hearing about this slaughter in Darfur forever -- and they still haven't finished. The aggressors are moving like termites across that country. It's like genocide by committee. Who's running this holocaust in Darfur, FEMA?

This is truly a war in which we have absolutely no interest. But liberals want our boys to go fight scimitar-wielding dervishes. While the Democrats hold pointless hearings into what George Bush had for breakfast, Republicans should pass a law prohibiting liberals from mentioning Darfur until Horace Mann and Dalton are prepared to put up a battalion.

So no, Darfur is not the threat I was imagining.

I haven't even told you what that threat is -- though a hostage-taking, Holocaust-denying lunatic who doesn't own a necktie but is within two years of having a nuclear bomb comes to mind. You can already hear Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi saying, "If the Democrats were in charge, the use of military force wouldn't be necessary because we'd constructively engage them and appease their stated desire to kill us."

Damn that Bush! He's made people who hate our guts not like us.

In uplifting thought No. 57 about the war, liberals keep telling us that Iraqis are genetically indisposed to freedom, which I would characterize as the hard bigotry of low expectations. On this week, let us remember the message of Passover is that freedom doesn't come easy.

Moses had to grab Jews by the scruff of their necks and drag them to the desert for 40 years to get a generation capable of living in freedom -- and even then the Jews were complaining about it being too drafty. The first "stiff-necked" generation didn't even want to leave Egyptian captivity.

Once free, they complained about the food, which apparently compared unfavorably to the food back in Egypt. Kind of reminds you of liberals talking about Saddam's rape rooms.

Even in the desert, the Jews would not stop with the golden calves. God nearly let the whole lot of them perish in the desert, he was so angry about their idolatrous ways. Only when he had a new generation, born in freedom, that didn't complain about the food, did he lead them to the promised land. For you liberals still reading, this is all extensively covered in a book known as the "Bible."

(Also this week, we celebrate a fast-track to freedom that doesn't require 40 years in the desert, but as I recall, the suggestion that we convert Muslims to Christianity was shot down early on in this war.)

If you want a shorter rebuilding process, then we're going to have to wage less humane wars. The enemy -- as well as innocent civilians -- must be bombed into quivering terror. Otherwise, we displace aggression but don't destroy it.

Americans are weaker for having seen that kind of carnage in World War II. Recall that the Worst Generation was raised by the Greatest Generation. That tells you how awful war is. The Greatest Generation was so exhausted by the war, it didn't have the spine to stand up to pot-smoking, draft-dodging hippies occupying administration buildings. But enough about Bill Clinton. If we're going to have humane wars, they are going to take a little bit longer.

That wouldn't be so bad, except that it gives fifth columnists more time to demoralize Americans and convince them that we are losing a war in the paramount struggle of our time.


In the Shiite theocracy of Iran, the people elect the parliament and president, but the nation is not a democracy.

That is because a 12-man Council of Guardians -- half of whose members are clerics appointed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei -- vetoes candidates and nullifies legislation.

In post-invasion Iraq, a simpler theocratic system has evolved. One man holds the veto. He is Ayatollah Ali Sistani, an Iranian by birth, who is Iraq's pre-eminent Shiite clergyman.

Although Sistani has no formal governmental authority, in practical terms his word has been law in Iraq ever since U.S. forces overthrew Saddam Hussein.

Tragically, he is now trying to stop a draft law aimed at reforming Iraq's de-Baathification policies. The measure was proposed by Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki, a Shiite, and President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd. It would allow most former members of the Baath Party who served in Saddam's government to collect their pensions or return to public service, as long as they had not been indicted or convicted of a crime and were willing to pledge not to speak out against the new government.

This reform is indispensable to reconciling Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites. That is because Iraq's indigenous Sunni insurgency -- as opposed to al Qaeda in Iraq -- is believed to be significantly manned by former Baathists. They resent being thrown out of the military and government service by Ambassador Paul Bremer, who ran Iraq for the United States before Iraqi sovereignty was restored.

Without reconciliation between former Baathists and Iraq's Shiite-dominated government, a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is likely to lead to an escalating civil war, which could in turn lead to a broadening of the conflict to neighboring oil-rich Persian Gulf Arab states, where, as in Saddam's Iraq, Shiites live beneath autocratic Sunni governments.

As Iraqi reconciliation is delayed, U.S. troops are killed and wounded.

On March 26, Maliki and Talabani announced their de-Baathification reform. Last Sunday, Ahmed Chalabi -- who managed the original de-Baathification process directed by Bremer (and who previously was the favorite of some administration officials to become the post-Saddam leader of Iraq) -- met with the reclusive Sistani. After the meeting, a Chalabi aide told The Associated Press that the ayatollah "rejects passing this law because it allows Baathists to return to top state posts."

The next day, a Sistani aide confirmed to The New York Times that the ayatollah did indeed reject the de-Baathification proposal.

This is only Sistani's latest power play. In 2003, the ayatollah rejected a U.S. proposal that an appointed committee draft Iraq's constitution, insisting on elections for an interim government to write it, instead. When those elections were held, the ayatollah put together and endorsed the United Iraqi Alliance, a coalition dominated by Shiite Islamist parties. When that coalition won the election and dominated the constitution-writing process, the ayatollah insisted that the constitution include language preventing any legislation that contradicted Islam. The final draft: "No law can be passed that contradicts the principles of Islam."

When the ayatollah endorsed the draft constitution, more than 90% of voters in predominantly Shiite regions cast ballots to ratify it, while more than 90% of voters in predominantly Sunni regions voted against it.

The ayatollah's favored Shiite-Islamist coalition now runs Iraq under a constitution overwhelming rejected by the country's Sunni minority.

Meanwhile, Sistani has published decrees on his multilingual Website elaborating theological views that were suppressed during Saddam's rule. These include his view that a husband can forbid his wife from going out, that a man can contract to marry a "temporary" wife for a period as short as one hour, and that singing and the game of chess are forbidden.

Most important to the U.S. troops who liberated Iraq, and the U.S. diplomats trying to politically stabilize the country, is Sistani's nagging suspicion that Christians and Jews might be "najis" (impure), as opposed to "pak" (clean).

"As regards the people of the Book (i.e., the Jews and Christians)," the ayatollah decreed, "... they are commonly considered najis, but it is not improbable that they are pak. However, it is better to avoid them."

Still, Sistani has had defenders in the United States who have argued that all this ayatollah really wants is a democratic country where people of all religions can live in peace and equality. Then-CIA Director George Tenet exemplified this thinking when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9, 2003, that Sistani's "praise for free elections and his theology reflect, in our reading, a clear-cut opposition to Iranian-style theocracy."

The Presidential Medal of Freedom winner was right in one sense: In an Iranian-style theocracy, it takes a whole committee of ayatollahs to tell the elected government what to do.


By Gerry J. Gilmore

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2007 – Further congressional delay in forwarding an appropriate emergency war spending bill to the White House will damage military readiness and morale as well as endanger the nation, President Bush told reporters today at a White House news conference.

Photo: President George W. Bush discusses the emergency supplemental bill with the press Tuesday, April 3, 2007, in the Rose Garden. White House photo by Eric Draper “Congress’s failure to fund our troops on the front lines will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines, and others could see their loved ones headed back to the war sooner than they need to,” Bush said.

That scenario is “unacceptable,” Bush said, noting he believes the American people would agree with him.

“Members of Congress say they support the troops. Now they need to show that support in deed, as well as in word,” Bush said. Congressional debate over the conduct of the war against terrorism “shouldn’t come at the expense of funding our troops,” the president said.

The Senate and the House of Representatives have both passed emergency war supplemental funding bills providing funding for U.S. troops, but the money is contingent on troops being withdrawn from Iraq according to a set timetable. Each chamber’s bill also contains unrelated domestic spending.

The president sent his recommended military spending bill to Congress almost 60 days ago. Bush has rejected the recent Senate and House legislation out of hand, saying he’d veto any military funding bill with set timetables for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Bush said he’d just received an update on the U.S. troop reinforcement, or surge, to Iraq from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Two of the five additional Army brigades involved in the surge are now operating in Baghdad, Bush noted, with another now making its way into Iraq from Kuwait.

“And the remaining two brigades will deploy in April and in May,” the president said. It’ll be early June, he said, before all five brigades and other U.S. reinforcements are in place in Iraq.

The U.S. Army brigades already in Baghdad are having a positive effect on reducing violence there, Bush said.

“And as more of those reinforcements arrive in the months ahead, their impact will continue to grow,” the president said.

The current House and Senate war spending bills “undercut the troops by substituting the judgment of politicians in Washington for the judgment of our commanders in the ground, setting an arbitrary withdrawal from Iraq, and spending billions of dollars on ‘pork barrel’ projects completely unrelated to the war,” Bush said.

If Congress fails to forward the White House a favorable war spending bill for presidential signature by mid-April, then, “the Army will be forced to consider cutting back on equipment, equipment repair, and quality of life initiatives for our Guard and Reserve forces,” Bush said.

Bush said those cuts would become necessary, “because the money would have to be shifted to support the troops on the front lines.” The Army also would have to consider cutting training for stateside-assigned Guard and Reserve units, he said.

That scenario would negatively affect unit readiness and might delay the affected units’ availability for missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush said.

Additionally, if Congress doesn’t pass and forward a favorable war spending bill by mid-May, then potential problems would become more acute, the president said. The Army would be forced to consider slowing or freezing funding for its equipment-repair depots, Bush said, or delay training of some active-duty forces for overseas deployment.

“If this happens, some of the forces now deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq may need to be extended because other units are not ready to take their places,” Bush explained. “The Army may also have to delay the formation of new brigade combat teams.”

Bush then read from a letter to Congress written by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, who informed legislators of the impending funding crisis for his service: “‘Without approval of the supplemental funds in April, we will be forced to take increasingly draconian measures which will impact Army readiness and impose hardships on our soldiers and their families.’”

A shortage of funds, Bush explained, would cause some stateside-based Army units to be unavailable for mobilization to Iraq and Afghanistan to replace units set for rotation back to their home bases.

The president acknowledged that some Americans are concerned about U.S. policy on Iraq, but he emphasized that failure to defeat terrorism there would doom the fledgling Iraqi democracy and endanger U.S. citizens.

American military forces serving in Iraq are providing its young government “breathing room” so that it can eventually defend and sustain itself against its enemies, Bush said.

If U.S. troops leave Iraq too early, it could become a “caldron of chaos, which would embolden” the Sunni, Shiite and other extremists who are now trying to tear the country apart, Bush said. Terrorists could then use Iraq as a safe haven, he pointed out, from which to launch new attacks against America.

Bush said his primary presidential task is to protect the American people.

“And, I firmly believe that if we were to leave (Iraq) before the job is done, the enemy would follow us here,” the president said.

Photo: President George W. Bush discusses the emergency supplemental bill with the press Tuesday, April 3, 2007, in the Rose Garden. White House photo by Eric Draper