Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Question <i>Du Jour</i>

The blogosphere is abuzz with this question: Why is it that our MSM have no hesitation about inflaming Muslim anger by showing the latest Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse photos, but they steadfastly refuse to show the cartoons which have incensed Muslims around the world?

Could it be that the media movers and shakers aren't concerned about the welfare of those against whom Muslim outrage over the Abu Ghraib photos may be directed, but they are very much worried that they would be targeted by furious Muslims if they ran the Muhammed drawings? Is the decision to run one and not the other a matter of being willing to fight to the death to defend the right to free expression as long as it doesn't really mean having to face literal harm?

The MSM seems indifferent to the danger to which they expose others by running inflammatory photos, but don't ask them to put their own necks on the line. Little wonder so few admire the work they do.

Abusing Others' Generosity

This piece at The Smoking Gun will make you feel all warm and fuzzy about having contributed your hard-earned money to relief for victims of Katrina:

Some victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita used federal assistance money to pay for "adult erotica," a pistol, strip club fees, and at least one $450 tattoo, according to a new government audit. A Government Accountability Office review of weaknesses in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's distribution of aid describes some of the abuse connected with FEMA's dispensing of $2000 debit cards. While most of the February 13 GAO report addresses the use of multiple social security numbers to secure unwarranted handouts, auditors also examined where some of those funds were expended.

This is just one more reminder that throwing money at people is no way to help anyone. It provides a disincentive for those in need to do what they can to help themselves and makes the providers of the largesse cynical about the recipients. Wouldn't it have been better to use some of the $60 billion or so that's gone south to set up an oversight agency to make sure that it's going to meet real human needs and not just to gratify human wants?

And while we're sounding like churlish curmudgeons, why is it that taxpayers are still paying to put storm evacuees up in hotels? Six months after the storm shouldn't these people be expected to find their own accomodations? Don't they have friends or family who can help them get resettled? Who is ensuring that recipients of taxpayer munificence are out looking for work so that they no longer rely on public help? Or is there simply no incentive to resort to self-reliance and extended family when taxpayers are standing by to give you what you need for free?

Liberating Mordor

The Mudville Gazette has a copy of a letter sent from the Mayor of Tall 'Afar, Iraq to the men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and their families:

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall' Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi's followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven't the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.


Mayor of Tall 'Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

Mudville Gazette informs us that members of the regiment are now returning home to Ft Carson, Colorado.

We're waiting to hear the inevitable "Yes, but...." from the antiwar left whose catechism instructs that Americans are universally hated and despised by Muslims in the Middle East, and justly so because all that we've accomplished there is violence and destruction. Letters like the above are for them cognitively unassimilable aberrations which can safely be dismissed as military propaganda.

We're also waiting for the MSM to read this letter to their viewers and suscribers, if they can manage to squeeze it in amongst their reports on prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

If the John Murtha/Nancy Pelosi Democrats had had their way American troops would have pulled out of Iraq long ago, and Tall'Afar, and virtually every other town in Anbar Province, would still be the fear-ridden havens for butchers and savages that they were before American troops showed up. Thank goodness people on the left-wing of the Democratic party have no real power. If they did the whole Middle East would soon look like the land of Mordor in Lord of the Rings.

The Left's Golden Opportunity

Those who think that the current media excitations over the Dick Cheney shooting mishap are simply due to media narcissism and pique at having been kept in the dark are, in my opinion, misreading this affair.

The left once again has had their hopes and expectations raised to the point where they can scarcely contain themselves. Maybe Cheney was drunk. Maybe Mr. Whittington will die. Maybe this will be a case of negligent homicide. Oh, if only. Then Cheney can be removed from office, and the way would be clear to impeach Bush, if they win the Senate in November, without having to worry about Cheney taking over. What a godsend!

Look for the left-wing media to refuse to let this episode go. It has breathed new life into their heretofore moribund hopes for toppling the administration and exacting the desire for revenge that has lay festering in their hearts since January of 2000. All their other anticipations and fantasies have come to naught. Like Wile E. Coyote trying to dynamite the RoadRunner, their machinations keep blowing up in their face, but maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time the stars are favorably aligned.

It is sad, though, that the left seems always reduced to having to hope for calamity in order to gain a political triumph. They have to hope for failure in Iraq, a faltering economy with people out of work, and now the death of a 78 year old gunshot victim. If you think this is too cynical, ask yourself this: How many leftists would be delighted at a complete success in Iraq and a booming economy, if these developments made Bush look good, and how many would view Mr. Wittington's potential death as a tragedy if it made Dick Cheney vulnerable to criminal prosecution?