I haven’t written anything about the fighting between Hamas and Fatah, but Cox and Forkum do a masterful job in showing the difference between these two groups. In case you miss it, they follow up with a clear explanation.

Six of One

“Palestinian moderates”? It was Fatah’s Abbas who refused to disarm Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas and the “armed wing” of his own party, even after continued terrorist attacks. It was Fatah terrorists who claimed joint responsibility with Hamas for the suicide-bombing mother who murdered four people. Abbas has called Israel the “Zionist enemy”. It is Fatah whose name means “conquest” and whose logo still includes an AK-47 and a grenade.

There’s so little difference between Hamas and Fatah that you can barely tell them apart: Fatah photo and Hamas photo. The only real difference is that Hamas is more open about its intent to destroy Isreal.

It’s no surprise to read reports that Iran has been involved with the fighting in Iraq. If you have been following the reports of Iraq,
this news shouldn’t be a surprise at all.

So knowing that Iran has been involved in the fighting in Iraq, I was glad to read that Iraq has closed its border with Syria and Iran, but that’s not an easy thing to do when you have over 2,000 miles of border to secure. But it is a good start.

But it’s only a start. If we were really concerned about getting rid of the terrorists and militants in Iraq and turning that country around, we’d let the military do what it does best. For far too long they have had their hands tied. The surge of 20,000 new troops into Iraq is a good plan, and it has already yielded good results with Moqtada al-Sadr fleeing to Iran.

But our Democrat “leadership” is fighting the surge, but they have already shown that they have no victory plans for Iraq.

That’s about what I expect from Democrats, but what really troubles me is the comments President Bush has made that we can negotiate diplomatically with Iran to solve the conflict there. If Neville Chamberlain were alive today, I believe he could offer some advice to President Bush about achieving “peace for our time” when negotiating with madmen. Cox and Forkum have sadly nailed our President’s idea of limited engagement with those who are fighting us.

Limited Engagement

The next time you talk to a liberal who is complaining about the war in Iraq, try this — ask him to define the Democrat party’s plan for victory. I guarantee you that the responses you hear will boil down to one common theme: pulling out of Iraq. Cox and Forkum nail this “victory” strategy well:

Losing Strategy

Pulling out of Iraq is not a strategy for victory. It is what is generally known as “running away,” which is a synonym for “losing.” When you point this fact out to your liberal friend, be prepared to hear all manner of reasons why “advancing to the rear” is not the same as “running away.” But liberals don’t have to feel alone in running away from a fight. President Reagan did it when he ordered the troops out of Lebanon after the 1983 Beirut bombing, and President Clinton did it when he pulled the U.S. forces from Somalia after the battle of Mogadishu. These “retrograde motions” confirmed in the mind of a certain Saudi the idea that the United States military was a paper tiger. He said, “After a few blows, [America] forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers.”

Do you really want to encourage the people who want to see you dead? I don’t, but the Democrats in Congress do, as Cox and Forkum again make clear:

War Power

The Democrats in Congress don’t have a strategy for winning in Iraq. Heaven help us if they muster the numbers needed to pull the plug and show to our enemies that we are indeed a paper tiger.

Are you as tired as I am of hearing news stories about how wonderful life is now that a woman is Speaker of the House? Yes, Nancy Pelosi is the first woman to be Speaker of the House. Did you know she is a woman? Aren’t you impressed at how we, as a nation, have become so progressive as to have a female Speaker of the House? Oh, and she is a woman.

I believe that our nation will have reached a state of true gender equity when we don’t focus on the gender of the person holding a position of power. Frankly, I believe the mainstream media are more enamored with Speaker Pelosi because she is a Democrat, not because she is a woman. When Condoleezza Rice became the Secretary of State, her particular first was not lauded like Speaker Pelosi’s has because Secretary Rice is a Republican. Apparently it’s OK to call her an “Oreo,” “Aunt Jemima,” or to caricature her in a derogatory — dare I say racist — way. It’s all right for the media to do this because they are only “speaking truth to power” against those evil Republicans.

At this point, when it comes to Speaker Pelosi, I’m like Mr. Waturi in Joe Versus the Volcano: “I know she can get the job, but can she do the job?” That is the question. Here’s Cox and Forkum’s take on Speaker Pelosi taking up the gavel:

Madame Speaker

Today Rep. Nancy Pelosi made history by becoming the first female Speaker of the House. Yesterday

[S]he alluded to one of the reasons women have been slow to climb the political ladder, saying federal policy has never recognized women’s need for child care. “This Congress is going to be about children,” she said.

In other words, congress is going to be about expanding socialistic entitlements, and children will be used as the rationalization.

And hey, did you know she’s a woman?

Well, Election Day 2006 has come upon us. Regardless of the outcome in local, state and national elections today, I’m looking forward to one good result: no more annoying telephone solicitors calling me and urging me to vote, or to vote for their specific candidate. I will be most happy when they stop calling us multiple times a day.

And speaking of voting, I have a standing guideline that if ever somebody is running unopposed, and I do not know that sole candidate’s position, views and history, I will always check the write-in ballot option and put someone there rather than leaving that section blank. This prevents my ballot from being easily tampered with by anyone. This does mean, however, that my wife has had votes cast for her before, and she occasionally votes for me. She has also admitted to writing in “Mighty Thor, God of Thunder” for the local electric board. (Obviously he would be the perfect man for the job.)

Politics, like sports, is boring unless you know the players and have picked a team to root for. I read that in a book, but for the life of me, I can’t find the quote! But I think there is some truth to the phrase. Unless you care about one team or another, there may not be much there to inspire you to vote. And contrary to what some people may say, I don’t believe that everyone should vote. But that’s just me.

And as a humorous aside, you can watch the South Park episode satirizing the 2004 election as a vote between a giant douche and a turd sandwich here at allabout-sp.net.

And now here are both graphics and text from the duo of Cox and Forkum:

Election 2006

However, I do know this: The enemy is already actively waging war against us, and absent a Democrat alternative for waging the war better, a retreat in the face of that war seems to me more suicidal than half-fighting. Half-fighting itself is no doubt encouraging the enemy, so it’s not much better than not fighting at all. It could even be argued that in some ways it’s worse. But to the extent that half-fighting has encouraged the enemy, it has done so because it’s taken as a sign of weakness. And I can think of no stronger sign of weakness than a retreat motivated by a desire to disengage from the battle.

UPDATE (11/7/2006 11:13:43 PM): Well, the cheering you hear is the combined voices of Democrats celebrating that they have taken control of the House. I’m not one for making predictions since I am so often wrong, but I’ll make the following three predictions: 1) the Democrats will begin serious discussion about impeaching President Bush, partially because they hate him in their BDS way, but also as pay-back for the impeachment of President Clinton. It will require a simple majority of the House to pass articles of impeachment, and now they have those votes in their Democrat majority. It won’t fly in the Senate as long as there are not 60+ Senators willing to confirm the impeachment. 2) The Democrats will claim their taking back the House as a validation of their anti Iraq war stance. Much will be ballyhooed about their “mandate.” It will be the catch phrase for the rest of the week at least. And 3) the Democrats will use their mandate to shaft the military currently serving in Iraq. Last time this happened, the Democrats stopped funding the Vietnam war, and we know how well that region turned out after a strong U.S. presence left.

The Ornithophobe wrote her take on what every vote for Democrats meant:

If the dems have their way and we pull out of Iraq, then we will have delivered a clear message to those who want to kill us. It is an engraved invitation to another 9/11, more bombed embassies and ships, more hijackings, and more beheaded Americans abroad. When Bush1 pulled out after the Gulf War, he left our allies to be slaughtered and dumped like garbage into mass graves. Hussein is one part on a multiheaded hydra; we cut him out and more grew in his place. They will carry on his atrocities. And anyone who has helped us fight this war has a deathmark. When we leave, they are as good as dead. We promised our soldiers and our allies that we would stand by them, we would support them.

And every vote for the democrats today was a vote not to keep our word. It was a vote for Sharia law.

Read the whole thing.

Just before the 2004 election, a Johns Hopkins research study was released stating that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died in the year and a half after the invasion of Iraq. The “research” announced in 2004 was conducted by talking to about 900 Iraqi families. Based on what they said about births and deaths, the “research” estimated the death rate for Iraq to be between 8,000 and 194,000 deaths. How did they come up with the announced 98,000 deaths? Well, if you divide 194,000 by 2 and round up, you arrive at the magical number. Not surprisingly, this figure was accepted as gospel truth by people who hate President Bush and our actions in Iraq.

Roll the clock forward to another election year, and — surprise, surprise — there is another Johns Hopkins research study released, this time claiming that 655,000 Iraqis have died because of the U.S. invasion and aftermath. Here is the way Gilbert Burnham, a researcher for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland, explains the methodology behind the new numbers:

Our total estimate is much higher than other mortality estimates because we used a population-based, active method for collecting mortality information rather than passive methods that depend on counting bodies or tabulated media reports of violent deaths.

So Johns Hopkins researchers do a better job because they have an “active” method of research of talking to a few people and then applying a WAG, while others use a clearly inferior and “passive” method of actually counting dead bodies and listening to news reports of dead bodies. How passé!

What do we have here? It is clear that the number this time is just as made up as the earlier number, and both announcements beg the question: where are all the bodies? If 1 out of 20 Iraqis have died violently in the last three years, why aren’t there dead bodies lying all over the place? How about this question — where’s the proof?

Since Johns Hopkins researchers feel it is fine to invent their “research” numbers, why are they releasing their guestimation now? Here’s a clue about the timing from the news report that announced the research:

The work updates an earlier Johns Hopkins study — that one was released just before the November 2005 presidential election. At the time, the lead researcher, Les Roberts of Hopkins, said the timing was deliberate. Many of the same researchers were involved in the latest estimate.

Note the part I bolded — this “research” was released just before elections in a blatant attempt to affect the vote. Because Johns Hopkins is willing to invent these numbers to influence the elections, how much are you willing to believe any other research that originates from Johns Hopkins in the future?

In closing, here is the cartoon created by Chris Muir of “Day by Day,” mocking the “research” by Johns Hopkins.

Day by Day

There’s only one problem with the cartoon — judging by the way the “research” from Johns Hopkins arrives just before an election, we can expect to see another report from them a month or two before the 2008 election, not in 2007.

UPDATE (10/13/2006 8:24:54 AM): And again Cox and Forkum do a wonderful job of showing the silliness of the “research.” They have some great links on their page.

Survey Says

I admire the combined skills of Cox and Forkum to clarify a complex situation with a single political cartoon. The latest example of their skill is titled “Bailing Out.”

Bailing Out

Whether or not you like the reasons for going into Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein, the fact is that we are there now. And we have two options: either we can finish the job, or we can cut and run. President Bush is calling for us to stay the course and finish the job, but the Democrats and liberals in this nation have been calling for the U.S. to run from Iraq. You can call this withdrawal whatever you like, but it would remain a failure for the U.S. and a victory for the terrorists who want to kill us.

Since this is my blog, I’m going to quote something I wrote over a year ago:

Jim Quinn of the Warroom radio show finds it interesting and telling how the Leftists in this country are aligning themselves with the very terrorists we are fighting. Who wants an immediate withdrawal of Coalition forces from Iraq? The Leftists and the terrorists. Who points out every death in Iraq as an American failure? The Leftists and the terrorists. And who wants the U.S. to fail in its goal of helping to create a free and peaceful Iraq? The Leftists and the terrorists. I can safely state that Leftist want the U.S. cause to fail because that is the way they have aligned themselves. They have not stood up for the fight, and there will be no political benefit from their opposition views if Iraq becomes a free nation. The only way the Leftists will get any political benefit from this war is if the U.S. suffers another Vietnam-like defeat. That is why they are yammering for a withdrawal plan — because they wish to make this war into another Vietnam.

Oh, but don’t you question their patriotism.

A generation from now, how will liberals respond when their grandchildren ask them what they did during the Iraq war? Will they admit that they stood for the terrorists and their rights? Will they stand proudly and proclaim how they did everything they could to oppose President Bush and the military? Will they happily state that they were more concerned with a faked story of a flushed Koran than with the real stories of videotaped beheadings?

I don’t question their patriotism — I question their allegiance.

The geniuses of Cox and Forkum have added another cartoon showing how America has been confronting terrorism since September 11th, 2001.

Confronting Terrorism

It’s been five years since Islamic nutjobs used airplanes to carry out acts of terror. Almost 3,000 people died because a radical branch of Islam claims that Allah said it was OK to kill infidels. On this anniversary, look around you and see how people are remembering this day. Are they remembering the terror they felt and steeling their resolve to remain free, or are they hiding their heads in the sand and pretending it didn’t happen?

What about you?

Well, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1701 calling for a ceasefire between Israel and the terrorist thugs of Hezbollah. Cue the news media’s orgasmic paroxysms of joy. Peace! Finally, we have peace for our time! Release the white doves and put flowers in the rifle barrels. Peace! We finally have peace!

Yeah, right.

The problem is that Lebanon’s army can’t force Hezbollah to disarm. Here is the news as reported in The Australian News site:

IT was supposed to be the day the maligned Lebanese army took control of the country’s borders and policed the UN ceasefire.

Instead, the military commanders were left humiliated and troops stranded as Hezbollah told them not to disarm its fighters.

The first infantry units were preparing to head south when Hezbollah showed who controls the area by announcing it would not surrender its weapons.

General Michel Sleiman, commander-in-chief of the Lebanese army, and his lieutenants had been invited to join cabinet meetings to finalise plans to deploy the 15,000-strong force south of the Litani River.

But they were lectured by Hezbollah’s two ministers in the coalition Government on what the army could and could not do.

What a surprise! Hezbollah appears to have its own agenda and doesn’t want to kowtow to the Lebanese government. This is something that Orson Scott Card wrote about back on July 16, 2006, before Israel launched its land campain:

If Israel sends its troops into southern Lebanon, you can be sure that it will be condemned as a violation of “Lebanese sovereignty.”

What Lebanese sovereignty?

Either the Lebanese government controls southern Lebanon or it doesn’t.

If it is sovereign Lebanese territory, then Lebanon as an entirety is responsible for the terror missile attacks launched against Israeli civilians by the Hezbollah forces that openly rule there. Therefore, Lebanon has committed acts of war against Israel, and Israel is perfectly justified in any military action it takes against the entirety of Lebanon.

But if the Lebanese government declares that it is not responsible for missiles launched from that region of their nominal territory, then by that admission they confess that it is hot territory for which the Lebanese government claims responsibility. In which case, Hezbollah is the ruler of that territory (which it is), and Israel, regardless of lines on a map, has a right to invade Hezbollah territory and destroy the capacity of that enemy to make war against them.

It appears that the Lebanese government doesn’t control southern Lebanon after all. Are you really surprised?

UPDATE (8/14/2006 4:39:48 PM): Looks like the dynamic duo of Cox and Forkum have identified this same problem:

Disarmed?

The useless U.N. Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1701 calling on a cease fire in Lebanon between the Israeli military and the Hezbollah thugs funded and armed by Iran.

Interestingly enough at the time of this writing, the lead graphic on the U.N.’s page for the “Situation in the Middle East”, has some text about the fighting in Lebanon, but contains a shifting image of an oil spill with the following caption highlighted by me: “The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is gravely concerned about the impact of an oil spill along Lebanon’s coast.”

UN wacky priorities

But I digress.

Every time I hear someone gush about how wonderful this resolution is, I get a flashback of Neville Chamberlain waving a bit of paper and proclaiming, “I believe it is peace for our time.” And I think this will be as effective as that resolution was. I’m not the only one who see this as meaningless. Hezbollah thug-in-chief, Sheik Hassan, also sees this as meaningless for peace:

He called continued resistance to the Israel offensive “our natural right.”

The Shiite cleric also predicted more hard fighting to come.

“We must not make a mistake, not in the resistance, the government or the people, and believe that the war has ended. The war has not ended. There have been continued strikes and continued casualties,” he said in a taped television address.

Claudia Rosett of National Review Online recognizes this cease fire for what it really is. It won’t be a time of Hezbollah beating their swords into plowshares and singing “Kumbaya” arm-in-arm with Israelis.

Unfortunately, if Resolution 1701 has any effect at all, its real meaning is that we now embark on a period in which Hezbollah will seize the opportunity to regroup and reload. The feeble and compromised mix of U.N. peacekeepers and the Lebanese army, which is the force authorized in this resolution, will fail to stop them. Iran and Syria will proceed apace with their terrorist infection and subjugation of Lebanon. The U.N. will wave around this latest piece of paper to try to prevent Israel from defending itself, or, for that matter, defending the rest of us against the “Death to Israel! Death to America!” Hezbollah agenda. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, enjoying yet another confirmation of the U.N.’s mincing impotence in the face of guns, bombs, rockets, and terror, will continue his fevered preparations to roll out the nuclear bomb.

Cox and Forkum sum it up well with their political cartoon titled, “Snatching Defeat”:

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

UPDATE (8/12/2006 10:25:54 AM): John Hinderaker of Power Line sees that this call for peace is destined to fail:

So Hezbollah is to be disarmed. By whom? When? How? The resolution is silent. In fact, the disarming of Hezbollah isn’t going to happen; it can’t, unless Hezbollah unilaterally decides to disband. And why would it do that? Likewise, the resolution decrees that no weapons will be shipped into Lebanon except with the approval of that country’s government. That isn’t going to happen either. Iran and Syria will continue to supply Hezbollah.

So the agreement will fail. Hezbollah will emerge with heightened stature as the first Arab force to fight Israel without being crushed. And Israel will have to renew the battle at some future date, under conditions that will almost certainly be more difficult than at present.

So it’s hard for me to see this deal as anything but a defeat for all who want to vigorously oppose the advance of Islamic imperialism in the Middle East and beyond.