There is an old Russian joke, dating back to the Soviet Union’s heyday when the two government newspapers were called Izvestia and Pravda. Izvestia means “news,” and Pravda means “truth,” leading to the joke, “There’s no news in the Truth, and no truth in the News.” At times I look at the major media here in the United States, and I wonder if we could say the same thing.

On June 16th, the 9-11 Commission held meetings and, as the New York Times put it, “Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie“. Here is a quote from that Times article: “However, the commission said in a staff report, ‘We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.’” Oddly, the quoted phrase shown in the Times does not appear in any of the pdf files released by the 9-11 Commission on June 16th. The Times article says in its first paragraph, “[T]here did not appear to have been a ‘collaborative relationship’ between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.” It is again interesting that the phrase “collaborative relationship” does not appear in a search of the four pdf files released on Wednesday.

But here is a quote from another New York Times article: “Both indictments offer new information about Mr. Bin Laden’s operations, including one deal he is said to have struck with Iraq to cooperate in the development of weapons in return for Mr. Bin Laden’s agreeing not to work against that country. No details were given about whether the alleged deal with Iraq led to the development of actual weapons for Mr. Bin Laden’s group, which is called Al-Qaeda.” This article was published on November 5, 1998, and it certainly reads as a “collaborative relationship” to me.

Here is what former Illinois governor and 9-11 commissioner James Thompson said the next day on CNN with Soledad O’Brien:

In fact, the report says that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are correct. It’s a little mystifying to me why some elements of the press have tried to stir this up as a big controversy and a big point of contradiction because there is none. We said there’s no evidence to support the notion that Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein collaborated together to produce 9/11. President Bush said that weeks ago. He said it again yesterday. The vice president said it again yesterday. I said it again yesterday in television interviews. What we did I say was there were contacts between Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi administration of Saddam Hussein, and the president has said there were contacts. The vice president has said there were contacts. They may be in possession of information about contacts beyond those that we found, I don’t know. That wasn’t any of our business. Our business was 9/11. So there is no controversy; there’s no contradiction, and this is not an issue.

But it is an issue, because the liberal media has spun the story to convey information quite different from the commission’s actual findings. Vice President Cheney met on CNBC’s “Capitol Report” show with Alan Murray and Gloria Borger. The following is a transcript of this show:

BORGER: But obviously first the news of the week is the 9-11 Commission report. And as you know, the report found, quote, “No credible evidence that al-Qaida collaborated with Iraq or Saddam Hussein.” Do you disagree with its findings?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I disagree with the way their findings have been portrayed. This has been enormous confusion over the Iraq-al-Qaida connection, Gloria. First of all, on the question of whether or not there was any kind of a relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It’s been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming. It goes back to the early ’90s.

It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials. It involves a senior official, a brigadier general in the Iraqi intelligence service going to the Sudan before bin Laden ever went to Afghanistan to train them in bomb-making, helping teach them how to forge documents. Mr. Zarqawi, who’s in Baghdad today, is an al-Qaida associate who took refuge in Baghdad, found sanctuary and safe harbor there before we ever launched into Iraq. There’s a Mr. Yasin, who was a World Trade Center bomber in ’93, who fled to Iraq after that and we found since when we got into Baghdad, documents showing that he was put on the payroll and given housing by Saddam Hussein after the ’93 attack; in other words, provided safe harbor and sanctuary. There’s clearly been a relationship.

But after a clear answer like that, Gloria Borger continued to harangue the Vice-President about this issue. Clearly, some liberal leftists in the media are creating a political mountain out of a non-existent molehill. Why are they doing this? Quite simply, because they disagree with the President’s agenda.

In a world where the enemies of this nation have cut off the heads of American noncombatants simply because they are Americans, we need to be united in our response to terrorist murderers. Instead the liberal press portrays to the world, and to al-Qaeda, a weak and divided America. The media will fill up the papers and airwaves with outrage over the mistreatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib Prison for months, but when truly horrific events such as the September 11 attacks and the decapitation of Paul Johnson and Nicholas Berg occur, they will hold off publishing the evidence. Why? Because such information would put steel in the backbone of Americans, and we would unite behind our President as he directs the war against this evil. And the press can’t allow that to happen.

Steven Den Beste has written an article about the misuse of antibiotics to treat infectious diseases. Tuberculosis is one of those diseases that can require many months of treatment to cure, while many more common ills only need a few weeks of antibiotic treatment. When I had a strep or ear infection, I only needed to be on antibiotics for about two weeks to be cured, but tuberculosis cannot be treated that quickly. One problem with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases is how some people stop taking antibiotics mid-way through the cure. Too often people will discontinue the drugs before the treatment is complete because they start feeling better and think they no longer need treatment.

When people stop taking antibiotics too early, the initial drug treatment starts to kill off the bugs in their system, but there hasn’t been enough time to complete the removal of the disease. The bugs most susceptible to antibiotic treatment have died, but the strongest bugs are still around, and if they aren’t killed off they will breed and pass on their antibiotic resistance. As Nietzsche said, “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” The over-prescription and misuse of antibiotics has generated strains of “superbugs” that are resistant to our modern medicines. Since tuberculosis is difficult enough to treat as it is, being infected with a highly resistant strain of tuberculosis is in effect a death warrant. And if you land in this most unfortunate circumstance, you may blame those who failed to follow their doctors’ direction and stopped taking their antibiotics before it was time.

This brings me to my main point: we are at war. You may not recognize this based on what you hear in the press and what the liberals in government are saying, but our nation is at war. Arguably, the first blow by terrorists against the U.S. came when Ramzi Ahmed Yousef plotted the bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993. Since that time, terrorists have continued to attack Americans both at home and abroad, but the fact that these terrorists had declared war on the U.S., the West, and all non-Muslims around the world didn’t ring loud and clear until Mohammed Atta slammed the first jet into the World Trade Center on a September morning in 2001. At this point, we could no longer ignore the existence of a wide-ranging body of people who hate the West and who want to see us dead.

Recognizing that we had been attacked, President Bush set out to deny a secure base of operations to these terrorists. This is why the U.S. removed the Taliban government from Afghanistan because the Taliban actively supported al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The nation of Afghanistan supports them no more. This is why the U.S. removed Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq because Saddam actively supported al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The nation of Iraq supports them no more.

This nation is at war, and as such there will be battles. People will die. As much as we value human life in the United States, there are those who do not feel this way. Omar Bakri Muhammad on April 18th: “We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity.” This comes from a cleric in the “Religion of Peace.”

There will be more attacks by terrorists. You can bank on it. We have been blessed with almost three years of no 9/11-type attacks on American soil, but we cannot assume this peace will last forever. In the three years since the attack in September, al-Qaeda has been busy attacking here, here, here, here, here, and here. Will al-Qaeda hit America again? It is not a question of if, it is a question of when. And it will happen this year. Count on it. Since the terrorists were so successful in terrorizing the Spaniards just before their elections, you can take it to the bank that they will strike the U.S. before our national elections in November.

What will be our response to the next big strike? Will we bury our dead, roll up our sleeves, and proceed to clean out the human cesspool that is terrorism? Or will we follow Spain’s lead? After the March 11th bombings, Spaniards marched in the streets shouting their anger and will to fight. But mere days later, they crawled to the voting booth and voted for a Socialist leader who pulled them out of Iraq and cried, “Don’t hurt us!” First they stood tall, then they rolled over on their backs and pissed themselves in fear. If this wasn’t a victory for the terrorists, what would be?

So when we get hit before the election, will we as a nation grit our teeth and strengthen our resolve to rid the world of this menace? Or will we give up and let the terrorists win? Having started the world-wide anti-terrorist medicine, will we see it through to the end when the terrorists are destroyed, or will we stop our treatment early and breed ourselves a group of “super-terrorists” who have survived our first wave of attacks and are that much stronger?

I guess you must ask yourself a simple question: will you stand up and fight, or will you die screaming as they cut off your head?

In an off-the-cuff comment, I heard someone say that President Bush should be “nicer to his neighbors” this upcoming year. I guess it all depends on what you mean by “nice.” If liberating over 25 million people from the control of an evil dictator is being “nice,” then President Bush has been a resounding success. And I would be all for him being “nicer to his neighbors” in 2004. But I do not think this is what was meant by this comment.

“There has been no proof that Iraq was ever involved with the September 11th attacks!”
I hear this comment often, but what do people mean by “no proof”? The UK’s Telegraph published this story about how Mohammed Atta, the mastermind behind al-Qaeda’s attacks on September 11th, was trained in Iraq by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. I’m sure you heard all about this on the nightly news. What? You mean to say that Jennings, Brokaw and Rather did not broadcast this information? For shame! Allow me to fill you in.

A handwritten memo was discovered in Iraq showing that Mohammed Atta was deeply involved with Iraq in carrying off the September 11th attacks. In the memo, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, stated that Mohammed Atta “displayed extraordinary effort.” Any guesses as to what this effort was going towards? This Iraq visit took place in the summer of 2001, and Atta showed that he had the leadership skills needed to be “responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.” A few weeks later, Mohammed Atta’s leadership succeeded in striking three targets that tragic autumn day. “We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam’s involvement with al-Qaeda,” Dr. Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq’s ruling seven-man Presidential Committee, said. “But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks.”

Does this information make you any happier that President Bush invaded Iraq and shut down these training camps? The terrorist training camp of Salman Pak has been shut down, thanks to this war. It is a shame that Democrats hate the President so much that they are willing to ignore the proof of Iraqi involvement in terrorism.

“Bush said Iraq was an imminent threat.”
On September 18, 2003, liberal Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy said of Iraq, “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.” This is not a new position from Kennedy. Earlier in January he claimed that President Bush “did not make a persuasive case that the threat is imminent and that war is the only alternative.” There is a problem with these statements by Kennedy (and many others) about Iraq not being an imminent threat — President Bush never claimed that Iraq was an imminent threat. In January, only minutes before Kennedy’s silly statement, President Bush stated: “Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.”

Do you wait for the tiny lump in your breast to grow into an imminent threat to your life? Or do you have the doctor X-ray and remove it quickly? In this day of small but very deadly weapons, we cannot afford to wait until just before terrorists and evil dictators take the initiative to attack us. Giving terrorists this time is the same as giving that lump in your breast time to just go away on its own.

“Bush said the war in Iraq was over!”
I heard this comment from the same person who started off this article. I quickly pointed out that President Bush never said that the war in Iraq was over. His exact words were, “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” This does not translate precisely into “the war is over,” but it does not stop people from thinking and saying so. It is not uncommon to hear someone pontificate on the nightly news about how many people have died since “war ended” in Iraq. ABC News is guilty of this in a report by Dean Reynolds. Reynolds quotes the line above delivered by President Bush, and then completely misses the point by following up with, “That was May 1. But as any GI in Iraq can attest, the fighting goes on.” Earth to Reynolds! The key word in President Bush’s statement was “major.” In his article, Reynolds further illustrates that the American people think that the war in Iraq is over. Why would Americans think this, Dean? Could it be the poor reporting work by ABC News?

The echoes of “peace on earth, good will to men” still ring in my ears from the Christmas season. This is a noble goal, but we do not have peace today. The war on terrorism is far from over, and Iraq is just one stop of many on the road to lasting peace. America was content to ignore al-Qaeda and other terrorists before September 11th, regardless of how much they threatened us. But once they brought their fight to our soil, we could ignore them no longer. These terrorists will not wake up one day saying, “Gee, I guess America really isn’t that bad after all.” Since they will not stop, our war against them will continue. As we close out 2003, two years after al-Qaeda terrorists declared war on America in actions we could no longer ignore, I think we need to read again President Bush’s statement about the nature of this conflict: “We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win.”

Just posting a short rant this week because of the Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas, everyone!

America’s Christmas present arived early this year. With the capture of the mass-murdering Saddam Hussein, the United States struck a formidable blow in the war against terrorism. Secretary Donald Rumsfeld summed it up this way:

Here was a man who was photographed hundreds of times shooting off rifles and showing how tough he was, and in fact, he wasn’t very tough, he was cowering in a hole in the ground, and had a pistol and didn’t use it and certainly did not put up any fight at all.

In the last analysis, he seemed not terribly brave.

While some of the Democrats have praised this capture, most notably Senator Lieberman, the response from the liberal Left has been, uh, interesting, to say the least. Peter Jennings, the news anchor for ABC, claimed “There’s not a good deal for Iraqis to be happy about at the moment” because life for the Iraqis today is “not as stable for them as it was when Saddam Hussein was in power.” Well, Benito Mussolini was a murderous thug, too, but at least he made sure the trains ran on time. Life sure was terrible for the Italians after Il Duce toppled from power.

One evening as I was driving around, I heard Peter Weissbach guest-hosting for the Michael Savage radio show. He was asking to hear from people who felt sorry for Saddam, and the calls started coming in. One caller’s comments really stood out for me. This caller said that we could not blame Saddam since the man might have suffered a bad childhood. His comments were full of wishy-washy words like “might,” “possibly,” “could,” “maybe,” and “I don’t know.” Notwithstanding his uncertainty, he was steadfast in his desire not to blame Saddam. In this caller’s eyes, Saddam was an innocent victim. Precisely what he was a victim of, the caller wasn’t sure, but he certainly could not blame Saddam for the mass graves!

This idea of refusing to blame people because of possible childhood trauma does not make sense to me. Did Saddam’s hypothetical abuse as a child force him to abuse others? Either Saddam has free will and chose to abuse young children, or he is nothing but a rabid dog, snapping at others. If he is a free agent, then Saddam chose his fate; if he is merely a dog foaming at the mouth, then he deserves to be put down. We do not discuss the formative puppy years of dangerous animals.

The radio-show caller is not alone. There are plenty of other people who feel sorry for Saddam, or pity him. An interesting site to observe Saddamites of many different stripes is Democratic Underground. These folk are vitriolic in their hatred for President Bush, Republicans and their ilk. As much as I dislike Bill Clinton, it is mostly an intellectual dislike for his ideas and actions, but from what I’ve heard and read, the Bush-hating leftists have an almost visceral hatred for our current president. His mere continued existence is sufficient to drive them livid. This hate extends to others in the Bush administration. After the news of Secretary Colin Powell’s prostate surgury, one Democratic Underground regular posted, “I will dance on Powell’s grave as I would on all of the regime’s henchmen.” I find it interesting that this poster’s avatar icon is a picture of Karl Marx.

My favorite quote comes from Democrat Rep. “Baghdad” Jim McDermott of Washington State. On a radio interview, he claimed that our forces could have snagged Saddam earlier if they had wanted. When the radio host asked if this capture was timed to help President Bush, Baghdad Jim said, “Yeah. Oh, yeah. There’s too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing.” He also said, “It’s funny, when they’re having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something.” Trouble? Before Saddam was captured, the economy was roaring back, Iraq was steadily improving (despite what certain members of the press would have you believe), and President Bush’s approval ratings were going up. So what was the trouble?

In case you have forgotten, this is the same Jim McDermott who visited Saddam shortly before the invasion of Iraq and told the now-captured dictator that President Bush would lie to the United States to support the war in Iraq. The U.S. Constitution defines treason, in part, as giving “aid and comfort” to America’s enemies. If bad-mouthing the President in the home of the enemy on the very eve of armed hostilities is not treason, then it is treason’s blood brother. Feel free to argue against the Administration’s policies, you liberal Leftists, but don’t do so while overseas or visiting our nation’s enemies. This common-sense lesson seems to have gone unlearned by so many people, the Dixie Chicks included.

At 8:30pm on Saturday, Dec. 13th, a tyrant was captured. About 600 coalition forces launched Operation Red Dawn, which resulted in the capture of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. A haggard Saddam with a salt-and-pepper beard was found in the cellar of Adwar, a town 10 miles from Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown.

President Bush announced Saddam’s capture to the nation shortly after noon on Sunday. “The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq. It marks the end of the road for him, and for all who bullied and killed in his name,” announced the President.

I did not hear the good news about Saddam’s capture from President Bush’s announcement. I read it on the front page of as I was getting ready to go to church. I told my family about Saddam’s capture, and my wife suggested that this would be a good time to pray. So we knelt by our bed and offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God and asked that this capture might pave the way for a free and peaceful Iraq.

Now that Saddam is in custody, what will happen with him? The U.S. military could convene a military tribunal, but doing so would show that the military is in control of Iraq. Saddam could be handed over to the international community for a trial, but since countries like France, Germany and Russia did nothing to bring Saddam down or capture him, I do not see why they should spend any time in a tribunal judging him. The best option is to have the Iraqis judge and punish Saddam. A member of Iraq’s Governing Council, Ahmad Chalabi, said that Saddam will stand before an Iraqi trial. It is only fitting that Saddam be tried by the people he has repressed and killed for so many years.

And when Saddam is convicted, what will his sentence be? What should it be? I am not a bloodthirsty man, but I believe that Saddam should be put to death for his crimes. Ask yourself, are mass graves a sufficiently horrendous crime to warrant death? Is the murder of thousands of Iraqi Kurds with poisonous gasses and nerve agents a sufficiently horrendous crime to warrant death? The crimes committed by this man are serious enough that capital punishment is completely justified.

But I want to see Saddam die for his crimes because of another reason. While Saddam was still free, there was always the lingering concern that he would again seize power. The Iraqis who were afraid of Saddam’s return would not be too active in working for a new Iraq. They knew from sad experience what happened to Iraqis who had fought against Saddam before and lost. If Saddam is given a life sentence for his crime, there will always remain a chance that his few loyal followers would free him and reestablish him as the despotic leader of Iraq. With Saddam’s death, this painful chapter of Iraq’s history would be closed, and the repressed people could finally put this time of horror behind them.

For the people of Iraq to put Saddam and his horrors behind them, this captured tyrant needs to die. And may God have mercy on his soul.