The Echo Chamber
Friday, March 07, 2003
  7:37 AM

The Rush to Partisan Politics

The President of the United States has said that in his judgment, Saddam Hussein and his government represents a grave danger to the security of the United States. He has now said that if Saddam doesn’t disarm, he intends to disarm him by force regardless of the vote in the U.N. Security Council. Nevertheless, he is going to force the vote.

BUSH: No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. We want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security Council.

And so, you bet. It's time for people to show their cards, let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam.

Since they had already voted to give him the power to act, and since they felt that it was important to stand behind the President at this crucial hour, top Democrats responded with unanimous support for the President’s position Thursday night by saying their President was rushing to war.
Congress's top two Democrats yesterday pointedly criticized President Bush's Iraq policy, signaling a renewed Democratic willingness to challenge the administration's march toward war just as international opposition is hardening.

In separate Capitol Hill appearances a few hours before Bush's prime-time news conference, Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it would be premature to invade Iraq without trying to win broader international support.

Where were these two when Clinton attacked Iraq on the eve of his impeachment? Clinton didn’t have approval in the international community. He didn’t have the approval of Congress. He didn’t give anyone time to approve or disapprove. He just did it. Talk about a rush to war! Daschle and Pelosi were not critical then.
"Make no mistake that despite domestic political differences in the United States, the American people and Congress stand firmly behind the defense of our nation's vital interests," then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle added, in a joint statement with Gephardt.
What has changed since Clinton’s ineffectual wag-the-dog attack, Daschle? Here’s a rundown.
  1. Saddam has had more time to build weapons of mass destruction.
  2. Bush became President.
  3. On September 11 the United States was attacked by terrorists.
  4. Congress gave the President general authority to wage war against terrorist.
  5. Congress gave the President specific authority to wage war against Iraq.
  6. The Democrats were defeated in mid-term elections.
  7. The U.N. Security Council promised in “serious consequences” if Saddam didn’t disarm.
  8. To date, Saddam has not disarmed, in fact he continues to build weapons even now.
The only two items on this list that can logically explain Daschle’s new position on Iraq are “Bush became President,” and “The Democrats were defeated in mid-term elections.”

The Democratic leadership is playing games with our national security for partisan gain. 


Thursday, March 06, 2003
  9:02 AM

Unfiltered Islam

You want to understand what Islam is truly about? Here are some “Islamic Aphorisms” offered without comment quoted straight from Islam-World.net:

We live in a world developed in an atmosphere of 'western' secular materialism. We should not seek always to make Islam conform to the established world order, it is perhaps always better to reshape the world in accord with the Will of Allah.

A Muslim is responsible for any harm which befalls another Muslim if he does not do whatever is within his ability to stop that harm from occurring.

The consensus of the Ummah can never be wrong - if the Ummah has full and correct knowledge of the circumstances.

In the creation of a true Islamic state, and in regard to the place of non-muslims in that Islamic state, a fair first step is to be sure the non-muslims do nothing which is a bad influence on Muslims.

Islam is not consistent with democracy, at least it is not consistent with what is widely believed to be democracy in today's world. The only freedom that exists is the freedom to do anything that is in accord with the Will of Allah. To do anything that is not in accord with the Will of Allah is the exercise of license not freedom. Therefore there is to be no 'freedom' of choice outside of the range of behaviour that that is consistence with the Will of Allah. This means there can be no 'democracy' concerning that which is outside the Will of Allah. Only within the range of behaviour that is consistence with the Will of Allah can democracy exist, although ultimately our form of governance will most likely be an enlightened Islamic anarchy. On the way to that final state we may need to go through the stage of Islamic democracy.

Hat tip to “William” who commented at Little Green Footballs


Tuesday, March 04, 2003
  12:08 PM

The Limits of Dissent

Dr. Eric Muller has responded to my argument for prosecutorial discretion (see the February 28th post below) for voluntary human shield treason cases:

The question of whether it would be a wise exercise of prosecutorial discretion to charge a human shield with treason strikes me as a close one. I think that for me as a prosecutor, the question might well turn on the punishment I was choosing to seek. The value of a treason prosecution in a case such as this would be primarily its declaratory value about the limits on dissent during military conflict. (Of course, in the eyes of some, that would be its primary danger.) So I wouldn't think it appropriate to make somebody risk life imprisonment for this conduct. If I could couple the announcement of an indictment with a declaration that I was seeking only a modest term of imprisonment, I might be persuaded to go ahead and do it.
Good point.
 


Sunday, March 02, 2003
  11:49 AM

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has been captured!

Yes, but how important is this and what does it mean?

The Los Angeles Times published this long and informative article December 22, 2003 on this terrorist. The article states in part:

Mohammed has been linked to attacks against the United States as far back as 1993, but his importance in the Al Qaeda structure became clear only after Sept. 11 last year, U.S. officials say. Now, some officials say, stopping Mohammed is as important as capturing Osama bin Laden is, perhaps even more so...

Sometimes Mohammed's escapes have been abetted by the caution of his pursuers. In one instance, in 1996, U.S. intelligence had determined that Mohammed was in Doha, Qatar. Some American officials wanted to organize what they call a "snatch and grab," essentially a commando raid, to seize him.

"Good intel had placed him in Qatar. This was, 'Oh my God! This bastard is in Doha -- let's get him," said one person involved in the investigation.

This plan was defeated when high-level managers complained during a White House meeting that it was too risky and might result in American deaths, according to two people involved in the decision. They said this failure to act decisively characterized the U.S. government's lack of a serious approach to terrorism before the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Clinton administration had the opportunity to capture the chief military planner and architect of September 11 in 1996 but didn't do anything because "it might result in American deaths?"

Incredible. 


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