Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ongoing OPs

Bill Roggio writing for Winds of Change updates us on some of the ongoing military operations in Iraq. Here's part of his post:

Security operations continue in the wake of Operation Matador. In the vicinity of Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad along the Euphrates River, a joint Coalition - Iraqi operation dubbed Squeeze Play is under way. The assault force is comprised of 4 battalions of Iraqi infantry, 3 battalions of Iraqi Special Police Commandos and elements of the 10th Mountain Division's Task Force 2-14. This is an Iraqi-heavy operation and has yielded great success on the first day. Over 285 terrorists have been detained.

In the Kerbala province (south of Baghdad), a brigade of Polish and a brigade of Iraqi infantry execute Operation Peninsula and round up 184 terrorists and uncover a significant weapons cache.

Operations continue in the Mosul region, one of the insurgency's major rat lines from Syria. In the latest news, 18 suspects have been detained.

There's much more at the link.

Meanwhile, the 28th edition of Arthur Chrenkoff's Good News From Iraq is up. It's an outstanding summary of what's being done to create a viable society in Iraq with emphasis on the news from the last two weeks.


Pat Buchanan notes that if President Bush had nominated John Paul II to a federal judgeship he would have been filibustered by Senate Democrats who would have fought to kill his nomination on the grounds that his pro-life Catholicism places him too far out of the mainstream.

David Limbaugh asks why John Bolton's criticism of the United Nations should make him any more unsuited to serve as our ambassador to that august body than the criticism of leftist Democrats of the United States makes them unsuited to hold political office.

Good observations, both.


Joe Knippenberg at No Left Turns offers some advice to the Republicans in the wake of the filibuster "compromise".

If I were doing the spinning on the Republican side, here's some of what I'd say. Democratic happiness over this deal gives the lie to the rhetoric of extremism they have used to smear three worthy nominees--Priscilla Owen, William Pryor, and Janice Rogers Brown--and which they will of course use to smear others. Their principal goal all along has been simply obstructionist, not a matter of principle. Since their charges of extremism were in this case so lightly abandoned, no one ought to take them seriously again. Let's portray the Democrats as they are: not principled defenders of judicial activism (a position we'd love to debate and put in its place), but opportunistic and unprincipled partisans, willing to go to any lengths to stymie a President, for whose person and office their contempt knows no bounds. We have for the moment preserved the forms, but not the substance, of Senate procedure. We will hold the Democrats to their side of the agreement, which we think will take some doing, given their record. And we will continue to remind them of the "flexibility" they displayed today regarding their judgments of judicial extremism. If a judge like Janice Rogers Brown, someone who allegedly would have taken us back to the 19th century, deserves an up-or-down vote, so does any conceivable Supreme Court nominee.

Of course, this would be to tell the truth and telling the truth can be nasty and the last thing Republicans want is for the media to portray them as "mean".

Meanwhile, Captain's Quarters deconstructs the deal and comes to this conclusion:

In short, this could be merely objectionable and not a debacle, depending on how the GOP signatories interpret "extraordinary circumstances". One must suspect that this has already been defined confidentially within the group, and like Sean Rushton surmises, ideology doesn't play a part in it any longer. Under no circumstances can this be seen as a good deal for the Senate majority or for Constitutional rule. The net effect is that an even smaller minority in the Senate has hijacked the confirmation process than we saw during the filibusters -- and like all tyrannies, we can only hope for benevolent despotism rather than disaster.

And we can thank Bill Frist for his lack of leadership and resolve for taking a majority and turning it into a minority. Not One Dime for the NRSC as long as Frist remains majority leader, or for the Seven Dwarves ever. Patterico is on board with that pledge as well.

Captain Ed is harder on Frist than I think the majority leader deserves. I'm not sure that anyone could have kept those seven Republican senators in line. Nevertheless, I agree with the sentiment that the rank and file need to send a message to the party by withholding their contributions. In our opinion, there should be no donations until all of Bush's Supreme Court nominees are confirmed, and anyone who calls to solicit contributions should be emphatically told why their wasting their time.


Froma Harrop of The Providence Journal makes a persuasive case for the Central American Free Trade Agreement. She argues that the jobs which would be lost are going to be lost anyway. It's much to our interest that they migrate to Central America than that they go overseas to China and India. Here are a few highlights from her piece:

Some labor critics point to NAFTA as a reason to shoot down CAFTA. The 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement covered the United States, Canada and Mexico. Foes of these accords note, for example, that there were 127,000 textile and apparel jobs in South Carolina before NAFTA. Now there are 48,000.

The truth is the United States was bleeding these kinds of factory jobs decades before NAFTA. And it's unclear how large a part NAFTA has played in the years since.

It costs $135 to make 12 pairs of cotton trousers in the United States. It costs $57 to make the trousers in China and ship them here. It costs $69 to do so in other parts of the world.

Americans would be better off if their imports came from Managua, rather than Guangdong. After all, our Latin neighbors are more likely to buy the things we have to sell. That's why farmers producing beef, pork and corn are all for these treaties. So are U.S. companies that make machinery, especially for construction.

CAFTA partners would include very poor countries with fragile democracies. More trade with the United States could stabilize them -- and reduce the pressures on their people to come here illegally. And if the workers make more money, they'll be able to buy more American goods.

There's more at the link. We don't know whether she's right about all this, but it certainly does seem clear enough that American workers making $20 an hour are not going to be able to compete with those making a dollar an hour. Perhaps we can protect our jobs with tariffs, but it's not clear that that is a viable long term strategy. It simply builds anti-American resentments and invites retaliation, which hurts our exporters and consumers.

Maybe some of our readers have a helpful thought or two on this.