Thursday, November 30, 2006

State Of Ignorance

With is favored party controlling Congress, the State Department is free to step up its attacks on US allies.

First the Brits:
A senior American official has spoken of "the myth of the special relationship" between the United States and Britain, arguing that Tony Blair got "nothing, no payback" for supporting President George W Bush in Iraq.

Kendall Myers, a leading State Department adviser, suggested that Mr Blair should have been ditched by Labour but the party had lacked the "courage or audacity" to remove him.

David Cameron, the Conservative leader, was "shrewd, astute" to have distanced himself from America.

Mr Myers, a senior analyst with the State Department's Bureau of Analysis and Research, was speaking in a lecture in Washington at the School of Advanced International Studies, part of Johns Hopkins University.

A State Department spokesman said: "The views expressed by Mr Myers in no way represent the views of the United States government."
At least State admits it's not part of the US government - rather supporting America's enemies.

Next Israel:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, standing alongside Abbas at a joint press conference in the West Bank city of Jericho, said the US hopes to accelerate efforts to find a solution to the Israeli-Paelstinian conflict and to extend the scope of a recently declared ceasefire between the two sides.

Rice also said the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, including what she called "humiliations," must be eased.

In a gesture of support for Palestinian aspirations, Rice said any future Palestinian state should be "viable" and "contiguous" and said no actions should be taken now to prejudge the outcome of a final peace deal. That was an apparent reference to Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

Rice doesn't mention that the "humiliations" would stop if the elected Palestinian government would stop "killing" and "kidnapping" Israelis.

And the fledgling Iraqi democracy:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki abruptly canceled the first round of face-to-face meetings scheduled here last night with President Bush, just hours after publication of a classified memo from the president's top security aide that says the Iraqi leader is either "ignorant," devious or incapable of governing right now.

The cancellation and the leaked memo by National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley set off a day of "background" briefings by White House officials who refused to be named but tried to explain the ups and downs of diplomacy.

Actually this is about betrayal, not "the ups and downs of diplomacy".

These three episodes damage vital US interests, while revealing the monumental ignorance of the US diplomatic elite. These are the three realities they don't get:

1. The Brits (and Canadians and Australians) don't support the US because it's always right, but because we're joined in blood.

2. If the US forces Israel to concede territory to terrorists, they'll use it to kill Jews, making a Mideast nuclear war not just probable but certain.

3. The poor bloody Iraqi PM is no more able to control what goes on in Iraq than the Coalition. Demanding that he magically sweep away the Iranian and Syrian sponsored killers is beyond his means.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm Hanging On To My Dollars

I predict the dollar's drop against the Euro will continue, will cause nasty consequences for the bad guys, and will be reversed when Americans elect a financially responsible Congress or Europe goes under.

Here's the WSJ ($):
When U.S. economic policies look like they might take a turn for the worse, dollar-denominated assets lose some of their allure. So, for example, when the new Democratic majority in Congress talks about raising taxes on capital gains and dividends, investors in U.S. financial and corporate assets get the jitters.
The good news is a weak dollar will tank the Euroweasels and China, because the US won't be able to import from them.

It shouldn't effect US energy prices because oil is priced in dollars. But even if that changes, it'll just trigger the US to drill for its own oil and/or build nuke power stations.

And when a new US Congress goes back to cutting taxes, and/or the weasels gets nuked by their Iranian buddies, the dollar will pop back up again.

What's not to like?

Civil War Stories

The usual suspects are dishonestly painting Iraq as a civil war. That's so they can justify leaving the people of Iraq to the mercies of the brutal dictatorships in Iran and Syria.

Here's OpinionJournal:
Which brings us back to the alleged "civil war." The term seems to have acquired a totemic meaning in Iraq, although the U.S. has intervened successfully in civil wars before: the Balkans and Afghanistan, most recently. Regarding Iraq, the goal of the "civil war" chorus seems to be to delegitimize the war by painting what is a false picture of the balance of power and legitimacy between the Iraqi government and the terrorists.

The sectarian violence is a horrible problem. But by any reasonable definition, a "civil war" implies at least two militarily strong factions with a popular claim on political leadership. Neither of those conditions exists in Iraq.

The country's elected, pan-sectarian government and its several hundred thousand security forces remain the only legitimate power center. The Sunni insurgents, meanwhile, are a mix of Islamists and Baathists who enjoy little support and are capable only of terrorist-style attacks.

But the MSM is energetically promoting the false description:

NBC News has decided...that the situation in Iraq, with armed militarized factions fighting for their own political agendas, can now be characterized as civil war.
The above is quoted approvingly by lefties who conclude:
Now that everyone agrees we can't solve Iraq's problems, and since the country wasn't a threat to us in the first place, can we just go home now?
Kofi Annan adds his words of wisdom:
“At some stage, I think it would be helpful to have a conference, a conference that brings everybody together, along the lines of what we did in the former Yugoslavia and others, but I think we need to work slowly to get there...”.
Of course the sole contribution of the UN to the Yugoslavia civil war was to help the Serbs commit genocide in Bosnia.

Naturally the NYT has piled in:

"After consulting with our reporters in the field and the editors who directly oversee this coverage, we have agreed that Times correspondents may describe the conflict in Iraq as a civil war when they and their editors believe it is appropriate," Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, revealed in a statement. "It's hard to argue that this war does not fit the generally accepted definition of civil war.
We can safely assume that assertions made by NBC, Kofi Annan and the NYT will be both false and intended to provide aid and comfort to our enemies.

Indeed the excellent Flopping Aces showed how AP creates "civil war" stories using quotes from fake Iraqi police officers, causing Centcom to write AP thus (my emphasis):

Dear Associated Press:

On Nov. 24, 2006, your organization published an article by Qais Al-Bashir about six Sunnis being burned alive in the presence of Iraqi Police officers. This news item, which is below, received an enormous amount of coverage internationally.

We at Multi-National Corps - Iraq made it known through MNC-I Press Release Number 20061125-09 and our conversations with your reporters that neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. A couple of hours ago, we learned something else very important. We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee.

We verified this fact with the MOI through the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team.

Also, we definitely know, as we told you several weeks ago through the MNC-I Media Relations cell, that another AP-popular IP spokesman, Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq, supposedly of the city’s Yarmouk police station, does not work at that police station and is also not authorized to speak on behalf of the IP. The MOI has supposedly issued a warrant for his questioning.

This dishonesty is systemic - here's the London Times yesterday:

Hassan Mahmoud has the build of a bouncer. But as he sits on a couch and talks about Iraq’s secret religious prisons his broad frame shakes, he clutches himself and weeps.

“It hurts me when I remember what happened,” he says, recalling his brush with death inside a Shia prayer room where he witnessed the beheading of a fellow kidnap victim.

The story is not tied to a single objective report, so is impossible to verify.

We must pray the president has the strength to stand by the people of Iraq.

Travel Tips From The Lying Imams

Reports of the airplane security probe by six US Muslim "clerics" provide us with useful hints on recognizing and defeating hijackers.

The six were part of a group of 140 US Muslim leaders who met with a new Muslim Congressman in Minneapolis last week. On their US Air flight out they either set up an actual hijack or probed for one - gathering information on the effectiveness of airline and ground security.

These "Flying Imams" were removed from the flight and claimed discrimination - hence the post title. This is what you can do faced with the same situation.

Be alert for Muslim males behaving oddly at the departure gate

Muslims are most likely to be of Mideast or Pakistani appearance, but bear in mind that one of the London killers was a black convert and Richard Reid was a white one.

This was the odd behavior of the lying Imams:
...three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted "Allah" when passengers were called for boarding...
If you see such behavior, alert your traveling companions. If one of you has a cellphone with camera, discreetly record the behavior - the cops will need it later.

On boarding, look for the group splitting into hijack formation:
...the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.

...a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous (explained). "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."
The team appropriated 2 first class seats:
...The gate agent told police that when the imams asked to be upgraded, they were told no such seats were available. Nevertheless, the two men were seated in first class when removed.
On boarding, you should be alert for arguments with flight attendants and passengers as the pairs take seats not assigned to them. If that happens and you can see the group has split into pairs in the front middle and back of the plane, you are now at high risk of hijack. If possible, start taking discreet photos with your cell.

Look for the team arming itself

In this case:
Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight attendants told police the men were not oversized... Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor...
The seat extender makes an effective flail - like the "can in a sock" you use in unarmed combat - and in a hijack it would be used to subdue unarmed flight attendants and passengers.

Look for co-ordination


In this case:
A flight attendant said one of the men made two trips to the rear of the plane to talk to the imam during boarding, and again when the flight was delayed because of their behavior.
Look for aggressive behavior

In this case:
...witnesses told law enforcement that the men spoke in Arabic and English, criticizing the war in Iraq and President Bush, and talking about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
That tells you it's probably a security probe - in an actual hijack they'd stay quiet. Still, real hijackers might calculate that an aggressive display reduces their chances of being ejected.

What to do


Raise the alarm immediately the group splits into the hijack seating formation. If the crew won't eject the team, you should deplane, explaining why. On your way out try to use your cellphone to take pictures or the the team and its weapons.

If you can't deplane, use your cellphone to call 911 (112 in Europe, 999 in the UK) and ask the cops to stop the flight. Send them any pictures you've taken to help make the case.

If the cops can't or won't stop the flight, work with the other passengers to prepare for a United 93 type battle. Fit and well trained passengers should re-seat themselves behind the rearmost pair, disable them, then work forward.

None of which is an incitement to go round attacking innocent Muslims - but if they pass all of the above tests, they aren't innocent.

Finally, the safest thing to do right now is fly US Air.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

BA Re- Nationalized

Turns out the CEO of British Airways thinks it's a government department (my ellipsis):
Last week Mr Straw (a minister in Blair's government) attacked the airline’s stance (of banning employees wearing Christian symbols but letting them wear Hindu and Muslim symbols) as “quite intolerable”.

Mr Broughton (the CEO) asked Mr Blair: “Given that the police, the army and other government uniformed staff have an identical policy to BA in relation to crosses outside of the uniform, do you find the Government’s policy wholly inexplicable?”

Monday, November 27, 2006

GOP Denial

To recover in 2008, the GOP needs to clearly understand why its base didn't support it in the mid-terms. Instead, it's in denial.

My ten cents is that the GOP voters objected to three things:

1. The failure to fight the GWOT aggressively (e.g. letting the NYT and other enemy combatants off the hook).

2. The failure of the GOP-controlled Congress to control spending.

3. The Senate/Presidential illegal immigrant amnesty/open borders campaign.

Here's OpinionJournal in denial on the third issue:
Everyone knows that Intel, Yahoo, Google, eBay and Sun Microsystems are wildly successful U.S. technology companies. Less well known is that immigrant entrepreneurs played a role in founding each one--and a whole lot of others....
The piece goes on to make the legitimate case for increasing the number of visas the US grants to skilled workers. But its conclusion shows it just doesn't get why GOP voters are riled about illegals (my ellipsis)
:
It's unfortunate that so many of...GOP (Congressmen)...were more interested in using the immigration issue (in the mid terms) to help demagogue their way into the minority. They'd have been better off embracing immigration as a major source of American economic vitality.
If a GOP supporter like the WSJ can't understand the gut distaste of the GOP voters for illegal acts, both paper and party deserve to be marginalized.

UPDATE

There's a chink of light on issue 2 above elsewhere in OpinionJournal (my ellipsis):
Mr. Coburn (R Oklahoma) says...Republicans are learning some lessons from their stinging loss of Congress three weeks ago. "By either staying home or not voting Republican, many voters were sending a message that they don't want to give the spending favor factory that Congress had become their stamp of approval," ...

Overall federal spending has gone up by 49% since 2001...

Israeli Missile Defense

The latest Palestinian truce will be no more reliable than its predecessors, and Kassams will soon be falling again. Israel needs to stop this pest without diverting the IDF from its prep for the big war. And that needs an anti-Kassam defense - here's some analysis of its feasibility.

A recent post suggested the land derivative of the Phalanx anti-missile system should knock down most Kassams. Now StrategyPage, that most useful source of weapons information, suggests the system won't work on the Kassam. I don't agree, but could be wrong, so here are the arguments.

StrategyPage (my ellipsis): I
Israel is urgently trying to get their hands on an aid defense system that will knock down the home-made Kassam rockets Palestinians are firing from Gaza into southern Israel. So far, the biggest obstacle has been the poor construction quality of the Kassam rockets, and the resulting erratic flight path that misleads most radar systems designed to spot and predict the path of rockets and artillery shells. Professionally made projectiles are more accurate, and fly a more predictable path, which makes interception more likely.

...a U.S. adaptation of (the) Phalanx naval 20mm autocannon (which works) against conventional artillery, mortar and rocket projectiles (has) trouble with the erratic Kassams.
I'm skeptical of this because the Kassam's unpredictability must be confined to its boost phase. That's in the few seconds when the rocket engine is burning, probably unevenly, causing the weapon to jink and show varying acceleration.

But after this brief burn the weapon follows a ballistic trajectory which be predicted with basic math. The Kassam launchers pictured show an approximately 45 degree elevation, probably for maximum range. That means a flight time of tens of seconds, of which well over half is ballistic - plenty of time to spot the weapon by radar and shoot it down.

The Kassam might tumble during its ballistic phase, which would cause some drag-induced course deviation, but predictive software should be able to correct for that.

The problem of tracking missiles with irregular boost trajectories and some ballistic instability is not new. Modern ICBMs use both to reduce the effectiveness of BMD systems, by "stuttering" the engine during boost and using gas thrusters during the ballistic phase.

Israel has the world's first mid-course BMD, the Arrow system, so should have software to deal with these problems.

If not, it has to develop it ASAP, not only for Kassam defense, but to keep Iranian Shahabs from nuking its cities.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Coalition soldiers in Afghanistan have started posting combat videos on YouTube, where the IDF posts videos of captured Hizbollah bunkers. Even the enemy gets to post too. So - just like that - AP, Reuters and AFP have lost their monopoly, and our enemies their propaganda arm.

London's
Sunday Telegraph explains how Brit soldiers improvise helmet-mounted digital cameras, and give a couple of examples:
Under a clear blue Afghan sky an enemy position comes into focus. Ulster accents are heard as one soldier asks another the whereabouts of the RAF. Suddenly, there is a roar of aircraft engines, the briefest glimpse of a bomb, and the scene explodes.
This clip tells more about the quality of Brit close air support than the proverbial thousand words.

Try browsing YouTube under News and Blogs - there's even a
funky post from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry!


Gathering Storm (1)

Israel is quietly mobilizing.

The London Times (my ellipsis)
..the Israeli armed forces have launched a programme to correct their failings. Many Israeli officers regard this year’s battles as a “dress rehearsal for the real thing” — a war against the combined might of Hezbollah and Syria, and possibly Iran.

A big effort is already under way to improve training in the battle brigades. “We can’t afford to send our paratroops to chase Palestinian kids in the West Bank,” said the source. “They should train day and night for a real battle.”

The Jerusalem Post:

The Givati infantry Brigade, which had been conducting anti-Kassam operations, left Gaza early Sunday morning.

The IDF was still holding a defensive posture, however, along the Gaza security fence.

Israel still as a lot to do, and I'm guessing State will block the US providing much help. So Israel's ordnance factories will be running flat out to build inventory of the 10 different weapons the IDF is going to need.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Waiting Out Russia

By 2050, Russia will be a mid-sized half Muslim nation with a Palestinian-quality economy. But as it disintegrates, it'll do a lot of damage - here's how we minimize it.

"We" are the Anglosphere and the old Soviet satellites - from the Baltic states through Poland and Georgia to the Caucasus. The weasels - Germany, France, Spain, some Nordics, Belgium, and maybe Italy will stay pusillanimous, so won't make it.


1. Support The Ex Soviet Satellites


NATO is led by an
idiot and a leading member gives Russian-backed Hizbollah air cover, hence NATO can't be relied upon. The US and UK need to provide bilateral security guarantees to these nations that Russia's dictators will try to re-incorporate

2. Embargo Technology Transfer


The Russian are great missile designers - I learned weapons control systems design from a Russian textbook. But their centralized society produces lousy computers and software.


When the USSR collapsed, the West relaxed its technology embargoes on Russia, enabling its designers to carry out huge upgrade to use our computer systems. For example the TORs they're installing to keep the Israelis off the Mullah's nuke plants:
The computer control of the Tor system is a giant leap for Soviet\Russian technology. The digital computers allow for a high degree of automation, similar to the US Patriot missile system. Target threat classification is automatic and the system can be operated with little input from operators required, if desired. This is one reason for the high degree of accuracy, ability to intercept small, fast and highly maneuverable targets, and the very fast reaction times of the system.
We need to turn off the faucet, fast, denying them the IT technologies they need to stay current.

The US and UK also need to impose technology embargoes on their NATO "allies" - otherwise the likes of France and Germany will keep Russia current, for money.


3. Beef Up Our Security Services


MI5 performed better than the spy-infested, politicized, CIA during the Cold War. But now MI5 is focused on Islamic terror and needs more money and people to swing its attention back to the Russians. If the CIA can be rescued, that needs more money too.


4. Switch To Nuclear Power


Nuke plants are the most secure way the UK can protect its energy supplies. It should also encourage and protect the new non-Russian oil sources and pipelines
Dick Cheney negotiated. But it can't rely rely on them - few "accidents" to these pipelines will leave the UK high and dry.

The US has plenty of indigenous oil and gas, but vested interests (beginning with the letter "D") prevent its exploitation. When oil goes through $200/barrel, voters will no doubt change the pols or their attitude.


5. Keep The UK Out Of Any EU Energy Policy


The UK is the only major gas and oil producer in the EU.


When Russia tightens its energy knot on Europe, the weasels will start howling for the Brits to "share" their energy resources, under the guise of EU solidarity. Most of those nations are doomed, and the UK must resist the impulse to throw good money after bad.


6. Rebuild Our Militaries


The UK now
spends just 2.32% of its GDP on defense, compared with the US 3.2% (even France spends 2.57%).

During the Cold War, both the US and UK were spending between 4% and 5%, and they need to return to these levels. That isn't hard - just a matter of turning pork into guns.

The money is needed for bigger missile defense systems, more space defenses, more and better planes and much bigger air-mobile armies.


****


Nations take a while to notice new threats - Churchill's Iron Curtain speech was a year after the Soviets turned the lights out in Eastern Europe. So none of this will happen immediately. But happen it must.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Europe's Peril

With Russia now a rogue state, expect the euroweasels to start howling for US protection - which of course it should refuse.

Today Russia pulled off a double nuclear whammy. As well as apparently poisoning a dissident with
Polonium (an element commonly used as a neutron booster in A-bombs), it started installing its anti-air defenses around the Iranian nuke plants, to stop the US or Israel taking them out.

That's as well as building the Mullahs a big nuclear reactor, which will give them Plutonium and hence a second route to their A bomb if they can't get their Uranium cascades to work.


Even if the US administration wanted to defend the European ingrates, the isolationist Dem Congress will stop it.

Germany and France had better look to their defenses.

Dutch Language Primer

The current head of NATO is a Dutchman named Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and he wants NATO's resident weasels to send fighting troops to Afghanistan. They won't of course, so his plan B is for the US and Brits to cut and run from Iraq - to Afghanistan. So now we know "Jaap de Hoop" is Dutch for "total idiot".

It's
well known that only the Anglos (US, Canadians, Brits & Australians) plus soon the Poles are actually fighting in Afghanistan.

Jaap de Hoop's Plan A is to get the weasels to
step up to the plate:
Unless nations including France, Germany, Italy and Spain agreed to drop the many caveats that prevent their combat troops from fighting in the most perilous areas, Afghanistan would again become “a black hole for terrorism”.
Absent the weasels, he suggests:
It would “of course make a difference” if Britain and America was able to draw down several thousand troops from Iraq and make them available for Afghanistan, he added.
He's dead right it would "make a difference" - Iran, Syria and Al Qaeda would switch their victorious forces to finish off NATO in Afghanistan.

Still, at least now we know what Jaap de Hoop means in English.

UPDATE: Dutch special forces are fighting in Afghanistan, so they're clearly not Jaap de Hoops.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgivings in the US have always cold and wet, and this year is maintaining that tradition without our presence.

But the natives are snug in
Grandmother's house, so indifferent to the weather.

Lacking a local grandmother, I once made the mistake of introducing Mrs G to NYC by taking her there for the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.

Since then she has stubbornly refused to return, insisted that this great city is lacking in restaurants, deserted, cold, and rainy. So it goes.

BA Forgets We Have a Choice

British Airways (BA) is going through another authoritarian phase and should be avoided if you're a male Christian.

Until 1987 BA was a typical customer-hostile state enterprise - our kids called its ratty flight attendants "Grims". Then
Mrs T privatized it and it flowered as new managers put the customer first. By the early 90s it was the world's most profitable airline and my lifeline between San Francisco and London - vastly better than United and American.

But the new managers died or retired and BA has been losing passengers
since 2002 as it reverted to its old ways - here are two examples.
In October 2006...a Christian employee of British Airways, was asked to cover up a necklace which depicted a Christian Cross and was placed on unpaid leave when she refused to do so... Christian groups accused British Airways of double standards, as Sikh and Muslim employees are not prevented from wearing religious garments at work.
This is a wonderfully ignorant policy - the flag BA flies is made up of the Christian crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick. And BA's competitors capitalize on their national dress - Emirates flight attendants wear cute headscarves and JAL's wear natty Kimonos. Now even Brit Members of Parliament are protesting.

To BA, not just its national religion is toxic -
male passengers are too!
...British Airways has a policy of not seating adult male passengers next to unaccompanied children, even if the child's parents are elsewhere on the plane....The policy came to light following an incident in which ... a retired journalist, was asked to move from his seat next to a 9-year-old girl...
The poor guy (he's 76) commented (my ellipsis):
"The discussion (with the flight attendant) went on for several minutes but she refused to back down and said we could not take off until the problem was sorted out. I heard her muttering to a colleague that everyone would have to disembark.

"She didn't seem embarrassed - just rather irritated that it was taking up so much time.

So BA is back to being Grim - thus do incompetent managers destroy shareholder value.

Male Christians (and everyone else) can find better airlines than BA here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Unintended Consequences Of "Realism"

The "realists" - Blair and Baker - while encouraging Syria and Iran to kill Mideast democracy may have inadvertently strengthened it.

Natan Sharansky, a survivor of the Soviet Gulag explains that dictatorships are just gangs that use force to monopolize a society's wealth. That means dictators have no way of retiring - having killed, mutilated and raped to stay in power, they have millions of sworn enemies and can't retire to a condo on the Euphrates.

That makes democracy a death sentence for dictators. They used to escape to London and Paris, but globalization makes these no longer safe even for good guys. So dictators have to hang on to power.

That means they have good reason to hate and fear the growth of democracy in neighbors - they set a bad example to their own subject people. That's why Iran and Syria are destabilizing the new Iraqi democracy, and why Syria is killing Lebanese politicians and has nourished Hizbollah as its army of occupation.

The "realists" don't get this because they can retire without being killed - after Blair leaves power, he's safe on the Anglo lecture circuit, and Baker has survived comfortably in spite of his complicity in the policies of Bush 41. So in offering deals to the dictators of Syria and Iran, they don't understand these folks have no choice but to eliminate all trace of democracy from their neighborhoods.

But good may come of their ignorance. By encouraging the Syrian dictator to return to his murderous ways, they've made a Lebanese civil war almost inevitable. Here's the leader of the Lebanese Druze (my ellipsis):
Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the country's Druze community who has turned against Syria in recent years, said he expected the regime of (Syrian) President Bashir al-Assad to carry on attacking troublesome MPs.

"We have to expect, and this is my impression unfortunately, more assassinations of ministers and parliamentarians," he told a news conference. "It seems the Syrian regime will continue with the assassinations. I expect more assassinations but no matter what they do, we are here and we will be victorious."

Israeli Druze contribute the most admired fighters to the IDF, hence getting their Lebanese brothers mad is foolish in the extreme. Not to mention the 39% of Lebanese who are Christian:

Schools and shops were closed in Beirut and there was little traffic on the roads as Gemayel's coffin, covered in the flag of the Phalange Party, the leading Christian party founded by his grandfather, was brought to the family's home village of Bikfaya in the Metn mountains east of the capital.
So this is shaping up to be a bloody civil war, in which the Israelis will give aid and comfort to the Druze and Christian communities while taking a whack at the Syrians to keep them out of the fight. If democracy prevails and Syria is humbled the Iraqi democrats will gain heart. And maybe the oppressed Iranians too.

In that case Blair and Baker will go down in history not as appeasers but liberators.

But if Mideast democracy is destroyed, millions of Middle Easterners will curse the names of Blair and Baker - and maybe the lecture circuit won't be quite so safe after all.

On Being Feared Rather Than Loved

Two reports today confirm the truth of Machiavelli's maxim.

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with.

First the US INS:

The survey of visitors from 16 countries showed that the US was ranked "the worst" in terms of visas and immigration procedures by 39 per cent, twice as many as the next destination considered unfriendly, the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent.

More than half of those surveyed said US immigration officials were rude and two thirds said they feared they would be detained on arrival for benign mistakes in paperwork or for saying the wrong thing to Customs and Border Protection staff, whose motto is Vigilance, Service and Integrity. The DAP said travel to the US from countries other than Mexico and Canada was down 17 per cent from its high in 2000.

In my experience, US Immigration officials have been surly for decades, although less so than their German counterparts. And once you're through US immigration, the natives are friendly, whereas your immigration experience is often the high point of your visit to Germany.

But even if the INS is the surliest in the world, so what? It's likely that the increasing harassment at immigration has prevented more 9/11s, in which case losing 17% of (non Mexican!) visitors is cheap at the price.

Next Israel:

Israel is the worst 'brand' in the world, according to a poll that measured the international perception of 36 nations in a quarterly index.

The Index surveyed over 25,000 online consumers across 35 countries about their perceptions of those countries across six areas of national competence: Investment and Immigration, Exports, Culture and Heritage, People, Governance and Tourism.

Israel was ranked last, coming in after countries such as Indonesia (34), Egypt (29) and China (19). The United Kingdom was ranked first, followed by Germany and Italy.

Israel's lowest scores gave from Egypt, who ranked Israel at the bottom of the list in all categories, save contributions to science and technology.

Surprisingly, the Russians gave Israel its highest scores in almost all categories.

You'd have to be very ignorant to rank democratic, history-soaked, beautiful, post-industrial Israel below the brutal and corrupt third world dictatorship of Indonesia. So the respondents are just expressing dislike stemming from fear.

Machiavelli would recognize this as a perfect example of his maxim - Israel survives only by causing its overt Muslim enemies and covert European enemies to fear it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bring Back Rummy

If you think DU is too hard on James Baker, here's Michael Young - a Lebanese national - in today's WSJ ($, my ellipsis).
In 1990, (Baker) was a leading light in President George H.W. Bush's administration, which ceded Lebanon to Syria in exchange for President Hafez Assad's agreement to be part of the international coalition against Iraq. An inveterate "realist," Mr. Baker is not likely to balk at negotiating with Mr. Assad if it means the U.S. can buy some peace of mind as it transforms its presence in Iraq.

His proposal is unpopular at the White House, and last week Mr. Bush made that known to Mr. Baker and his colleagues. However, because of his electoral defeat, the president, pressed by a Congress avidly searching for new ideas, might find less latitude to ignore Syria down the road.

Mr. Baker and his fellow realists, custodians of stalemate in their own way, want the U.S. to return to its previous approach to the region, where interests defined behavior more than values -- particularly democracy.

But if engagement with Syria, or even Iran, is on the cards, then the U.S. might have to surrender the one genuine triumph it can point to after Mr. Bush formulated a democratic project for the Middle East: the peaceful, popular overthrow by the Lebanese of Syria's debilitating domination.
If the president wants to avoid a legacy of the bloody collapse of Mideast democracy and a nuclear war between Iran, Israel and maybe France, he has to get a grip.

He should start by bringing back Rumsfeld to oversee Gates - perhaps via a recess appointment.

NASDAQ + SOX << LSE

NASDAQ wants to buy the London Stock Exchange to follow the money that's fled the US Sarbanes-Oxley plague. But if their hostile bid prevails, they'll just spread the contagion, so the Brit government needs to protect the LSE.

Here's the WSJ ($):
Another place merger money is going is overseas. This may help explain Nasdaq's $5 billion hostile bid for the London Stock Exchange, which was rebuffed yesterday. As more and more international companies list their shares overseas rather than in New York, having a foothold outside the U.S. has come to be seen as a survival strategy for the formerly comfortable U.S. stock exchanges. They have to follow the money if the money won't come here.
There's nothing wrong with Nasdaq - I once participated in a listing there, and it went swimmingly. The problem is the SEC:
America's Securities and Exchange Commission is the federal regulatory agency and can be over-zealous, prescriptive and intrusive – all things that the City of London can do without.

Yet the SEC will not think twice about extending its regulatory activities to the City of London should Nasdaq take over the London Stock Exchange, arguing that the New York-based exchange is part of its bailiwick wherever it may set up shop.
I wouldn't trust assurances from the SEC - it'll be led by a Dem appointee eventually, and we all know what they think about foreign competition - here's Rep. Frank, hat tip OpinionJournal (my emphasis):
Representative Barney Frank has proposed in a series of meetings with business groups a "grand bargain" with corporate America: Democrats would agree to reduce regulations and support free-trade deals in exchange for businesses agreeing to greater wage increases and job benefits for workers...

Frank casts his proposal as a way for capitalists to quell some of the populist fervor that was expressed in last week's election, when many Democrats vowed to crack down on companies moving jobs overseas.

The Brit government must plant a poison pill in the LSE. ASAP.

Baker's First Deal

James Baker must be proud of his quick start on his task of restoring the Mideast to the mess he left it in - shame about the Lebanese.
Sat Nov 18, NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, co-chairman of the bipartisan , co-chairman of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group examining strategic options in Iraq, has met several times with Syrian officials to discuss cooperation with the United States, The New York Times reported in Saturday editions."

The Syrian ambassador told the newspaper in an interview on Friday that Baker has asked Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem during a meeting in New York in September: "What would it take Syria to help on Iraq?"
Baker's deal appears to be that Syria recognizes Iraq (which, with a dollar, will buy the US a cup of coffee), and in return Syria gets the Lebanon back:
Pierre Gemayel, the Lebanese Industry Minister and a prominent anti-Syrian Christian politician, has been assassinated in a Beirut suburb, security sources confirmed this afternoon.
Baker's a fast worker - at this rate, MidEast democracy will be gone in a year.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Russian Advertisement For Brit Nuclear Power

Brits concerned that Putin is poisoning enemies in London should worry more about their future energy supplies - in 20 years they'll be dependent on his gas. Fortunately there's a way out.

The
alleged poisoning:

Britain will be plunged into its worst crisis with Russia since President Putin came to power if a Scotland Yard investigation into the poisoning of a former Russian security agent leads back to the Kremlin, diplomats said last night.

People who oppose Putin have been meeting a variety of violent ends as Russia slides into dictatorship. One of the triggers of this slide is Russia's collapsing population:
Russia has a population of about 142 million, eight million fewer than in the mid-1990s. The United Nations has forecast that there will be fewer than 100 million Russians by 2050.
Dictatorships like to dictate - Europe tasted that earlier this year when Russia shut down its gas supplies during a spat with the Ukraine:
* France– supplies down by 25–30%
* Germany – supplies down by an unspecified amount
* Italy – Russian imports down 24% (6% of total imports)
* United Kingdom...expressed concern that there would be a drop in their supplies in the near future...
Next time the Brits won't be so lucky - their North Sea gas is running out, and their coal fueled power stations are obsolete (my ellipsis):
In 10 years, a third of (Brit) power stations will be worn out or against EU pollution laws.
But the solution is easy - build nuclear power plants:
The UK needs to start building (not designing, or arguing about in ten-year planning inquiries) 12 nuclear power stations this year.
This is the single most important challenge facing the Brits. If they dodge it, their kids will depend on Muslim nutters for their oil and Russian nutters for their gas.

No More Wake-Up Calls For Hamas

Fortunately for the civilized world, Islamic terrorists are remarkably incompetent - here's the latest example.

Israel was for the first time forced to abandon an airstrike against a Palestinian militant in the Gaza Strip yesterday, after hundreds of civilians gathered to protect his home.

The human shield formed at the home of Mohammed Baroud early yesterday morning after the Israeli military telephoned to warn him that he had 10 minutes to leave before it was blown up.

Israel often uses unannounced (sic) airstrikes in Gaza to assassinate militants. Sometimes it targets their homes, weapons laboratories or arms caches and issues warnings to keep down the numbers of civilian casualties.

Until now the warnings have been quickly heeded. But this time, Mr Baroud – a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees that have been firing rockets into Israeli towns near Gaza – ran to a mosque and appealed for help over the loudspeakers used for the Muslim call to prayer.

Hundreds of people flocked to his house, with some taking up positions on his rooftop. As dawn broke a spokesman for the Israeli military confirmed that the airstrike had been cancelled.

"We don't want to hurt uninvolved civilians," the source said. "The terrorists are using uninvolved civilians as human shields."

The human shield was the first to halt an airstrike in Gaza, but appears destined to become a new tactic. "This is a victory for the Palestinian people. It is a defeat for the Israeli F-16s," said one Palestinian militant at the house. "Every time the Israeli military call from now on, no one will leave their homes."

Actually, all the Palestinian "militants" have defeated is Israel's practice of warning them before whacking them.

So now there'll be no more wake-up calls, and the terrorists will have to move to uncomfortable and insanitary spider holes.

Duh.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Bloody Legacy Of Bush 41, Baker And Gates

The President should not rely on his father's advisers - they're responsible for millions of deaths and permanent damage to the reputation of the US.

OpinionJournal lists Bush 41's achievements:
The senior Mr. Bush is justly remembered as the architect of the broad coalition that evicted Saddam Hussein from Kuwait--and of the Coalition of One that took down Manuel Noriega of Panama.

Bush 41 also deserves great credit for engineering the North American Free Trade Agreement and supporting German reunification when it was opposed by the likes of Margaret Thatcher.
But without Mrs. T, Bush 41 would likely have "gone wobbly" and left Saddam to grow fat on Kuwaiti oil and build his nukes. And most everyone in the old West Germany now agrees with Mrs T that reunification is a disaster. And NAFTA was supposed to make Mexico's economy grow, which it has manifestly failed to do - hence the increased flow of illegals.

After this faint praise, OpinionJournal lists the bad things Bush 41 and his advisers did.

They undermined Israel
(my ellipsis):
..."1-202-456-1414," (is) the number for the White House switchboard. As secretary of state, Mr. Baker read it aloud in congressional testimony in 1990, ostensibly for the benefit of Israelis once they got "serious about peace."

A year later, and for much the same reason, the Bush administration threatened to withhold $10 billion in commercial loan guarantees, which Israel needed to cope with the influx of some one million Russian Jews--fully a fifth of its population.

Mr. Baker fostered the fatal perception that the failure of Arabs and Jews to make peace was the root of the region's problems, not a symptom of them, and that the obstacle to peace was intransigent Israel, not militant Islam. Bob Gates (the new SecDev) later gave voice to that perception when he wrote, in a 1998 New York Times op-ed, that the road to Mideast peace must "not kowtow to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's obstructionism."
Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have died as as result of the actions of these ignorant, foolish and arrogant men, and the mess they left is now unresolvable.

They supported the Serbian genocide:
...take "Lawrence of Serbia," the moniker Mr. Eagleburger earned for his initial indulgence, as the State Department's point man on Yugoslav affairs during the early 1990s while the country was coming apart, of Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic.

Mr. Eagleburger, who had longstanding business ties in Belgrade, spent the early period of the war largely ignoring Mr. Milosevic's depredations on his neighbors, including paramilitary slaughters in Vukovar and concentration camps in Omarska.

"There was a kind of preference for stability and an attachment to the old Yugoslavia over our interests in human rights," Patrick Glynn of the American Enterprise Institute told Newsday in 1992, adding the administration had "been standing by, waiting while the final solution is played out."
It was indeed a "final solution" - Serbs killed hundreds of thousands or Croats, Bosnians and Kosovars. The slaughter of the Bosnians fueled Islamic hatred of the US.

They tried To sustain Soviet tyranny
:
The U.S. was the 39th country to re-establish diplomatic ties with Lithuania, after Iceland and Mongolia had already paved the way.

Once Mr. Gorbachev was gone, Mr. Bush was equally reluctant to help the new Russia get on its feet, prompting Richard Nixon to complain about the administration's "pathetically inadequate response in light of the opportunities we face in the crisis in the former Soviet Union."
Ex-Soviet subject nations must view with horror the return of Baker and Gates to power.

They betrayed the Iraqi Kurds and Shias:

(In an) apparently flip suggestion, following "victory" in the Gulf War, (Bush 41 said) that the "Iraqi people . . . (should) take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step down."

Tens of thousands of Shiites and Kurds took him seriously, and tens of thousands paid with their lives as Saddam quelled the revolt while the Bush administration stood by, lest it exceed its U.N. mandate.
This is what happened:

...Saddam Hussein responded to the uprisings with crushing force. According to Human Rights Watch:

In their attempts to retake cities, and after consolidating control, loyalist forces killed thousands of unarmed civilians by firing indiscriminately into residential areas; executing young people on the streets, in homes and in hospitals; rounding up suspects, especially young men, during house-to-house searches, and arresting them without charge or shooting them en masse; and using helicopters to attack unarmed civilians as they fled the cities.

Some civilians were tied to tanks and used as human shields. In Karbala, some of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines were destroyed. Others were used as centers for murder, torture and rape. In Najaf, residential areas were bombed, and hospital staff and patients were murdered. The homes of suspected rebels were destroyed while the suspects were executed in the streets.

More than 2 million Kurds fled into the snowy peaks between Iran and Turkey. Children died from typhoid, dehydration and dysentery...At one point in 1991, an estimated 2,000 Kurds were dying every day.

Iraqis remember this betrayal and its horrible consequences, and that memory fuels the insurgency that followed the coalition victory in Iraq. The Sunnis expect that the US will again leave the Kurds and Shias to their fate, and all parties act accordingly. As a result tens of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Coalition soldiers have died.

So the legacy of Bush 41 is malign, and importing his worthless advisers into our world guarantees more slaughter, destruction, and American shame

The Self-Loathing French

The current French mood is much as it was in 1938 - they're demoralized and trying to compensate by bullying Jews. That was lousy strategy then, and an even worse one now the Jews have nukes.

The mood (my ellipsis);
Whoever wins (the coming Presidential election) will face a particularly daunting dilemma: how to revive the world’s sixth largest economy and restore optimism to a country going through a crippling bout of self-loathing.

Signs of the malaise are everywhere, from the welter of doom-laden titles in bookshops to the political protests and riots that set ablaze the immigrant suburbs last year in the worst street violence for four decades.

The all-powerful state that once seemed to serve France well under the so-called dirigiste model has become bloated and inefficient.

Unemployment is stubbornly high and growth is sluggish — French GDP has been surpassed by Britain’s. France has lost its footing in so many domains that it once dominated, from diplomacy to cooking, that people are growing dispirited and restless.

Many French people fear that despite its nuclear weapons, seat on the United Nations security council and privileged place at the bosom of Europe, the country risks becoming irrelevant, a depressing prospect for a proud people with a deep- rooted attachment to the concept of national glory.

In an attempt to revive that glory, the French Army is threatening Israel (hat tip LGF):

TYRE, Lebanon (AFP) - French UN anti-aircraft batteries have taken "preparatory steps" to respond to Israeli jets violating Lebanese airspace, despite global criticism of such incursions.

"The anti-aircraft unit of the (French) battalion took initial preparatory steps to respond to these actions," Milos Strugar, spokesman for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) told AFP on Friday

He said "UNIFIL observed and reported 14 Israeli air violations this morning, on November 17, 2006, and 11 of these violations occurred in the area of operation of the French battalion with UNIFIL."

UNIFIL Force Commander General Alain Pellegrini "strongly protested to the Israeli authorities and asked them to cease these actions which are unacceptable and in violation of Resolution 1701," the spokesman said.

Strugar said the French battalion took action to respond "in accordance with UNIFIL rules of engagements and UN Security Council Resolution 1701."

Of course resolution 1701 requires the French-led UNIFIL to disarm Hizbollah, which France has declined to do, and the Israelis are monitoring their complicity. Still, the French army has fairly good anti-air missiles, so what if they shoot down an F-15I or F-16I?

The IAF will just take out all the French radars, missiles, and supporting troops with anti-radiation and GPS-guided missiles - just as the USAF and RAF did to Saddam's anti-air in the old No-Fly zones. That will embolden the rearmed Hizbollah to fire more Katyushas at Israeli civilians, and the IDF will respond with the nasties it's been cooking up since the ceasefire.

Then you have a full-scale Mideast war in which UNIFIL has declared itself an enemy of Israel, thus allowing the IDF to continue, unhindered by the UN, until it has achieved its objectives.

And that will really depress the French.

Accommodating Muslim Cab Drivers

Muslim cab drivers in Vancouver won't carry dogs - that's OK, Minneapolis shows how to accommodate their beliefs.

Vancouver:
Bruce Gilmour filed the complaint after a cab driver from North Shore Taxi refused to let his guide dog into the cab in January of this year. Gilmour, who says it's not the first time he's been refused service by a taxicab, is complaining that North Shore taxi discriminated against him on the basis of physical disability.

But the taxi driver...is arguing his Muslim religious beliefs will not allow him to take dogs in his taxi, because Muslims can't associate with dogs.

According to documents filed with the Human Rights Tribunal, North Shore Taxi said about half of their drivers are "unable to take animals in their taxis due to medical or religious reasons."

Minneapolis:

For some time, hundreds of Muslim cabdrivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have been refusing fares that they know are carrying alcohol.

These fare refusals happen frequently enough that the airport and drivers have "worked out a proposal that calls for cabdrivers who won't carry alcohol to have a cab light that's a different color. That way, the airport workers who hook up travelers with taxis can steer alcohol-carrying fares to cabs that will take them."
But Minnesotans objected:
Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan reported that the Commission received 400 e-mails and phone calls, almost all of which opposed the proposal. Thus, the Commission rejected it, leaving the current policy in place. As USA Today reports, the current policy "says drivers who will not transport alcohol must go to the back of the taxi line."
Both solutions work for Vancouver - Muslim cab drivers just need to show a special light to warn fares hailing them on the street that they won't carry dogs, alcohol, inappropriately dressed women, etc. And if they refuse a fare at the airport, they get sent to the back of the line.

This way Muslim passengers get to choose Muslim cabbies, and the rest of us can avoid them.


What's not to like?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Quality Control On Immigration

The US debate on immigration addresses the wrong question. The issue is not whether or not millions of illegal Mexican immigrants add value but whether they best benefit the US. This post summarizes an excellent analysis in City Journal by Steven Malanga. I don't usually include lengthy quotes, but this is worth it.

First, here's
Art Laffer - rather surprisingly - stating the establishment view(WSJ, $):
"illegal immigrants are the lifeblood of our society."
If so, the blood is anemic (my ellipsis):
A study by Harvard economists...noted that 63 percent of Mexican immigrants are high school dropouts who on average earn 53 percent less than native workers when they enter the United States.

High school graduation rates among the American-born children of Hispanic immigrants are much lower than the average in the rest of the native-born population, while census surveys have begun to record growing numbers of native-born Hispanics who don’t have English-language proficiency—nearly 3 million in the 2005 American Community Survey.

...a 1997 study by economists for the National Academy of Sciences estimated the net benefits of immigration at only $10 billion in our $8 trillion economy, while the next year an NAS study of the social costs of immigration reported that in California each native-born family paid nearly $1,200 more in taxes to support government services that went to immigrants.

Enacting amnesty for illegals already here, as well as creating a new guest-worker program (could) eventually add some $46 billion a year in social costs—including welfare—to the federal government.
These poorly educated, unskilled immigrants are a new phenomenon:
The popular image of the 24 million who came during the first great migration, from the 1880s to the 1920s, is that they were Europe’s “tired” and “poor” masses, desperately escaping political or religious persecution and stagnant economies, making their way here with a few threadbare possessions.

But...many were also skilled workers. A 1998 National Academy of Sciences study noted that the immigrant workers of that era generally met or exceeded the skill levels of the native-born population, providing America’s workforce with a powerful boost just when the country was metamorphosing from an agrarian into an industrial economy.
The author draws on recent Australian and Canadian experience to make the following proposals.

1. Limit Family Unification Visas

Current law allows not only the spouses and minor children of permanent residents and American citizens—both native-born and naturalized—to come here, but also their adult sons and daughters, as well as the parents and adult siblings of citizens. This chain of relations accounts for some 600,000 legal visas a year and has prompted a backlog of some 4 million visa applicants. By restricting the family unification category to the spouses and minor children of citizens, the United States could cut family unification visas in half.

(In Canada) residents who want to sponsor a relative under the country’s family reunification program must also prove that they have the resources to support the immigrant. (America makes a similar demand that those who sponsor immigrants pledge to support them in case of need, but it doesn’t require sponsors to honor the promise.)
2. Limit Immigration To Skilled Workers

That's not just PhDs:
Reducing family visas would allow for a shift toward skills-based immigration without increasing the number of newcomers. To determine what kinds of workers would receive skills-based visas, the United States would shift away from its current system in which those visas—totaling only 77,000 last year—now almost entirely go to highly educated workers, such as technology specialists, whom companies request, but not to skilled tradesmen who might also be in short supply.

...today 70 percent of Australia’s permanent visas go to skilled workers. As a result, Australian immigrants do far better than American immigrants. A 2006 study by the Australian Productivity Commission...shows that on average Australian immigrants earn about 6 percent more than the median income of the native-born population, because immigrants typically have higher levels of education and skills.
3. Remove The Magnet Effect Of Modern Welfare
Today’s immigrants are more than twice as likely to use government programs as native-born Americans...Milton Friedman has said: “It’s just obvious that you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”

(So) developed countries uniformly prohibit illegal aliens from receiving social benefits, and many restrict those benefits for legals, too. Australia, for instance, prohibits legal immigrants from participating in social programs for two years.

Though the federal government bans illegal aliens from receiving many benefits, several states and cities have made themselves immigrant havens by providing government services through a don’t-ask, don’t-tell policy.

New York City, for instance, offers immigrants, regardless of their status, such benefits as government-sponsored health insurance, preventive medical care, and counseling programs. Some states have moved to ensure that illegals receive in-state tuition discounts to state colleges, even though out-of-state American citizens don’t qualify for those discounts.
4. Stop Giving US Citizenship To Children Born Of Foreign Parents
Currently, the children of our 11 million illegal aliens automatically become citizens with the right to apply for visas for their parents and siblings to immigrate here legally. And they have the right to government benefits, including “child-only” welfare payments, which vary greatly by state but can amount to up to $500 a month for two children in California.
5. Get Tough On Illegal Immigration
Though hardening the border is important, the real key is to lessen the economic incentives to sneak into the U.S. by ensuring that businesses don’t hire workers they know to be illegal and that government doesn’t provide them with services and benefits. The 1990s commission on immigration reform recommended establishing a national database for employers to verify the Social Security numbers of their workers. Now is the time to do it.

Though eliminating economic incentives will stem the flow of illegals and send many home, stricter enforcement also means more deportations. Canada has followed this policy, beefing up its Border Services Agency and increasing deportations, estimated to rise to about 10,000 this year in an illegal population of about 200,000. By comparison, the U.S. deports some 50,000 annually out of its 11 million-strong illegal population.
Of course an amnesty-obsessed Republican leadership allied with an illegal-friendly Dem Congress won't do any of this. But the next administration might.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Last Chances Before The Dems Rule

The lame duck Congress offers a small window for Republicans to strengthen the US economy to face the Socialist onslaught - here's an example.

WSJ ($):

Congress will return for one more lame-duck go-round after Thanksgiving, and if it wants an easy victory for the U.S. economy it'll whip through the offshore drilling bill that has passed the Senate and awaits action in conference.

The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, crafted by New Mexico's Pete Domenici, would open 8.3 million acres of the Outer Continental Shelf to oil and natural gas drilling.

As recently as 1995, the average cost for natural gas in the U.S. was about $1.70 per million British Thermal Units; by 2002 it was $3.54. It had climbed by 400% by last year, when it ranged from $11 to $14.50 per million BTUs. Japan, China, India and most of the rest of the world pay far less, putting U.S.-based companies at a huge global disadvantage...

The National Association of Manufacturers estimates that 3.1 million high-wage manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2000 largely due to inadequate supplies of natural gas...

All of this is reason for Congress to act now. Gulf Coast Democrats are supporting this Senate bill, largely because it offers their states a cut of the royalties. The House has passed a much stronger bill, and in a better world would prevail.

But with coastal, anti-drilling Democrats set to run Congress next year, now is the time for the House to swallow its pride, pass the Senate version without amendment to avoid a conference, and send it to President Bush.
This is just a start - there's plenty of gas on the outer shelf:
...the outer shelf is estimated to hold an extraordinary 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to keep the U.S. in affordable energy for decades.
But that'll have to wait until the next Republican Congress - or for Saudi oil to dry up...

The Saudi Biter Worries About Being Bit

Saudi Arabia is building a fence to keep out the terrorists it exports - we must hope it doesn't work.

GlobalSecurity
reports (my emphasis):
Saudi Arabia says it will begin construction next year of a hi-tech security fence to seal off its border with Iraq against extremists.

The fence – which will cost billions of dollars -- will take six years to complete.

Saudi Arabia's interior minister, Prince Nayaf bin Abdulaziz, says the project is part of a larger plan to also secure all the kingdom's other borders...

Neil Partrick, a regional expert with the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit, says Saudi Arabia is particularly concerned that Saudi and other Arab militants now fighting in Iraq may ultimately endanger the kingdom.

The analyst notes that officials fear Iraq has become the same kind of training opportunity for jihadists as Afghanistan was previously. He says the Saudis worry that -- whether Iraq remains chaotic or ultimately stabilizes -- these fighters will eventually return home.

Partrick says Saudi officials also view Iran as a regional danger. They hope the fence will help limit Tehran's contract -- via Iraq -- with the kingdom's own Shi'ite minority.

Saudi Shi'a, who feel disadvantaged in the officially Sunni kingdom, live mostly in an eastern province that is also home to the biggest-producing oil fields.

The Saudis have spent the last 40 years financing the militant Wahhabi strain of Islam, and have exported terrorists world wide, including 15 of the 19 9/11 murderers. They now seek to protect themselves from the monsters they've created.

If Saudi were to fall to its terrorists, the world's supply of oil would tank and its price would rocket. Then the west would have no alternative but to drill for its own oil and build lots nuclear power plants - so eliminating the billions that fund the Islamic threat.

Game over.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Something Odd In Israel

Israelis are still being killed and mutilated by Palestinian rockets. That's odd, because there's a good defense available - I suspect Israel is concentrating its defenses on Hizbollah's rockets, in preparation for the next war.

Here's the Israeli Prime Minister:
Olmert told reporters on his way back from Washington, adding that in the war against Kassam rocket attacks there would be no "quick fix."
That's not true - Phalanx guns would stop most of the Kassams:
The American Phalanx anti missile system sent to Iraq, were modified to destroy rockets and mortar shells fired into the Green Zone (the large area in Baghdad turned into an American base).

The Phalanx is a 20mm cannon designed to defend American warships, by destroying anti-ship missiles. Phalanx does this by using a radar that immediately starts firing at any incoming missile it detects.

The modified versions sent to Iraq, called the C-RAM (Counter-Rocket Artillery Mortar) system has had it's software modified to detect smaller objects (like 82mm mortar shells). The original Phalanx, it was found, could take out incoming 155mm artillery shells. This capability is what led to C-RAM. The other modifications include linking Phalanx to the Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar and Q-36 Target Acquisition Radar.

When these radars detect incoming fire, C-RAM points toward the incoming objects and prepares to fire at anything that comes within range (about 2,000 meters) of its cannon. C-RAM also uses high explosive 20mm shells, that detonate near the target, spraying it with fragments...

Tests showed that C-RAM could knock down 70-80 percent of the rockets and mortar shells fired at it.
That's against a mix of weapons - if you just have to hit Kassams, you can tweak the software to improve the kill rate.

The Green Zone is about 4 square miles (10 sq Km), whereas the primary Israeli Kassam target is the small town of Sderot, which covers just 5 sq Km.


So why aren't the Israelis deploying this? They have Phalanx systems, and have developed a very nifty miniature version for their tanks. They can't be letting Kassams through to attract international sympathy, since the world's "leaders" don't care about Israeli deaths.

My guess is they're concentrating their Phalanxes in the North to neutralize Hizbollah's more lethal Katyusha
s - if they're planning on taking down Iran's nukes soon, they'll need to suppress Hizbollah's counter-attack.