Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Churchill Gets the Boot

The DenverChannel.com News reports that:

The University of Colorado announced Monday that it will dismiss controversial professor Ward Churchill.

"Today, I issued to Professor Churchill a notice of intent to dismiss him from his faculty position at the University of Colorado Boulder," CU Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano said Monday afternoon.

Churchill has 10 days to appeal, which entails making a request to have the university president or chancellor forward the recommendation to the faculty senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure. A special panel will then conduct hearings on the matter and make a recommendation to the president on whether grounds for dismissal are supported.

Another committee found Churchill guilty of research misconduct and another panel recommended that he be fired because of "repeated and deliberate" infractions of scholarship rules.

Churchill should never have been hired in the first place, and his dismissal is a small, but welcome, rollback of the grip the hard left has on major American universities.

Supreme Court Pontifications

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 the other day to uphold a Kansas death penalty law. One aspect of the case that caught our especial attention was the dissent of Justice David Souter who wrote that the Kansas law was "morally absurd," and that maintaining a system like the one in Kansas "is obtuse by any moral or social measure."

This from the man who thought it perfectly appropriate and "moral" for a local government to take property from one private citizen in order to give it to another private citizen so that the second owner could make more money from it. Souter's vote in the Kelo case makes us wonder about his ability to recognize a law that is "obtuse by any moral or social measure."

It certainly has convinced us that the last thing Justice Souter is qualified to bestow upon the nation is a lecture on morality.

Did Iran Deliver Zarqawi?

If true, this report at Counterterrorism blog is major news:

A credible Moroccan newspaper, La Gazette du Maroc, is affirming that Zarqawi was caught thanks to Iran and was the first gift to the US.

Sounds like a conspiracy theory? Maybe not. Citing Iranian sources and Iraqi sources close to ex PM Alawi, the paper states that Jordanian intelligence may have gotten help from Iran in pinpointing Zarqawi's location. A few weeks ago the Iranian FM met with King Abdullah in Amman to allegedly negotiate the deal. Then a few days later the Iranian FM was in Bagdad meeting with Iraki PM AL Maliki and allegedly US Ambassador Khalilzad.

Coincidence or not the US position softened around that time when for the first time Secretary of State Rice announced a possible ouverture to Iran. People close to Reza Pahlavi, the Shah's son, also believe that Zarqawi was indeed handed by Iran as part of a package.

Keep in mind that this info is really very speculative but might not be as far-fetched as one thinks.

It certainly sounds plausible given, among other things, Zarqawi's atrocities against Shia Muslims and the fact that Iran is predominately Shiite. Add to that Zarqawi's attempts to foment war between Iran and the U.S., a war that Iran can't possibly welcome, and we have to say we wouldn't be surprised if this report were true.

What we'd like to know, though, is how Iran knew Zarqawi's whereabouts when nobody else did.

More Murtha

Okay. No more polite averting of our eyes at Rep. Murtha's embarrassing nuttiness. He has with this statement officially enrolled himself in the left-wing lunatic fringe:

American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said to an audience of more than 200 in North Miami Saturday afternoon.

Let's do a little thought experiment. Suppose one, and only one, of the three countries - the U.S., Iran, or N. Korea - could, and would, have nuclear weapons and a very powerful military. Which country would anyone with even a rudimentary hold on reality want it to be? Which of the three has threatened to destroy an entire country with nuclear weapons? Which of the three is ruled by a mentally deranged tyrant who deliberately starves his people and threatens his neighbors with incineration? Which of the three has in the last five years removed two cruel and oppressive tyrannical regimes in the Middle East and moderated the behavior of several others? To which of the three do suffering people throughout the world turn for hope and relief?

Statements like Mr. Murtha's really should disqualify him from being considered a serious voice in foreign affairs.

Iraqi Violence

Strategy Page has an interesting insight into the state of violence in Iraq:

June 22, 2006: The bloodshed in Iraq is getting worse, and involving U.S. troops less and less. In the last year, over 10,000 Iraqi civilians died from terrorist and internecine violence. That's about twice as many deaths as the year before. In the last year, fewer than 400 civilian deaths were the result of American military action, and some $20 million in compensation was paid out to the next-of-kin for those civilian deaths. This is four times as much as was spent in 2004, largely because the compensation program has been more energetically applied. These payments are a part of Iraqi culture. Even Saddam used them, during the war with Iran in the 1980s, and avoided a lot of ill-will because of it. Works for U.S. troops as well.

Iraqis have, over the last three years, come to accept the fact that this violence is an Iraqi problem. Until the last year, most of the killers were former Saddam enforcers. Those thugs are still around, but in the last year, most of the blood is being shed by Kurds and Shia Arabs seeking vengeance against Sunni Arabs in general, and known Sunni Arab thugs in particular. American troops are no longer feared as much as they used to be, for the Iraqi killers are more common and prolific. For Sunni Arabs, U.S. troops are often seen as protectors. Moreover, Iraqis have noted that when Americans stage a raid, there is rarely any gunfire at all. But Iraqi troops and police are much more trigger happy. The Americans like to come in quiet, and at night, with no lights (because of the night vision gear.) Iraqi security forces come in with lots of shouting, lights and gunfire.

The terrorists rarely get a shot at American troops any more. But Iraqi civilians are another matter, and the usual target these days are people who can't defend themselves.

I wonder if they even know why they kill each other anymore. It almost seems as if killing is just something Arabs do to relieve their boredom.