There he goes again

Another reversal for Barack. And this one’s a doozie:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Thursday backed off his firm promise to withdraw combat forces from Iraq immediately and instead said he could “refine” his plan after his trip to Baghdad later this month.

Earlier, a top Obama adviser had said that the senator is not “wedded” to a specific timeline.

Obama told reporters in Fargo, N.D., that he is “going to do a thorough assessment.”

“When I go to Iraq and I have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies,” he said, according to CBS News.

So now he is hedging on one of his primary campaign promises. Interesting timing on this as well — right at the end of the workday before a holiday weekend. Folks are less likely to be paying attention to the news and bloggers will not be as active.

Oh but we’re taking notes, Barry…

Full story below:

Obama to ‘refine’ Iraq plan


Sowell says it so-well

Conservative columnist, Thomas Sowell (one of the best in the biz) has called Barack Obama to task for the “cocky ignorance” he displayed in a political stunt which exploited the recent disturbing news reports about increased troop suicides overseas.

Now that Sen. Barack Obama has become the Democrats’ nominee for president of the United States, to the cheers of the media at home and abroad, he has written a letter to the secretary of defense, in a tone as if he is already president, addressing one of his subordinates.

The letter ends: “I look forward to your swift response.

With wars going on in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a secretary of defense might have some other things to look after, before making a “swift response” to a political candidate.

Because of the widely publicized statistic that suicide rates among American troops have gone up, Sen. Obama says he wants the secretary of defense to tell him, swiftly:

“What changes will you make to provide our soldiers in theater with real access to mental health care?”

“What training has the Pentagon provided our medical professionals in theater to recognize who might be at risk of committing suicide?”

“What assistance are you providing families here at home to recognize the risk factors for suicide, so that they may help our service members get the assistance they need?”

“What programs has the Pentagon implemented to help reduce the stigma attached to mental health concerns so that service members are more likely to seek appropriate care?”

Certainly these matters should be addressed. And I have no doubt they already ARE being addressed… with or without our hero Barack’s intervention.

Meanwhile, Sowell uses a lesser known statistic to put this sobering trend into better perspective:

No one needs to be reminded that suicide is a serious matter, whether among soldiers or civilians. But the media have managed to create the impression that it is military service overseas which is the cause of suicides among American troops, when civilians of the same ages and other demographic characteristics are committing suicide at an even higher rate at home.

Moreover, this is not the first time that military service overseas has been portrayed in the media as the cause of problems that are worse in the civilian population at home.

The New York Times led the way in making homicides committed by returning military veterans a front-page story, blaming this on “combat trauma and the stress of deployment.” Yet the New York Post showed that the homicide rate among returning veterans is a fraction of the homicide rate among demographically comparable civilians.

In other words, if military veterans are not completely immune to the problems found among civilians at home, then the veterans’ problems are to be blamed on military service — at least by the mainstream media.

The rest of Sowell’s excellent commentary may be found here.

Dennis dissects McClellan

Here’s a great take from recovering celeb-lib Dennis Miller on Scott McClellan and his new book. This is from a recent interview with Bill O’ Rielly:

O’REILLY: OK. Let’s get over to old Scott McClellan. Big interview here on Monday with him. Thousands of e-mails. We’re going to read some of them at the end of the broadcast tonight. What did you think?

MILLER: You know, I didn’t think that Scott McClellan was in the loop when he imagined himself to be the knot in the loop, quite frankly. I think he was a mercy hire. I think his life is sort of like a Kafka novella: it all happens out of earshot. I think whenever anybody’s around him, they probably, you know, tell him what he wants to hear. Bush did, Rove did. Now I’m sure Katie Couric will. But his whole life happens out of earshot.

Trust me, Scott, it’s not a pretty picture what everybody is saying about you. I know you’re never going to hear. It’s turned into some weird “Twilight Zone” episode for you. But to say that you’re an empty suit would do a disservice to clothes hangers, my friend. You know, you’re not all that respected by anybody.

O’REILLY: Well, that’s a good point. I said that to him. I said look, you know, forget about your former friends in conservative circles. I mean, they think you’re a traitor just like Bob Dole said. And your newfound friends are just going to use you. And then, you know, they don’t want to hear about you anymore. And the proof of that is the blogs. I mean, if you go to the far-left blogs, they hate this guy. I mean, they hate Bush, and they say, you see, but we hate him, too. And you know, he’s not getting any new friends.

But, you know, you can’t read people’s minds. I thought McClellan came across — I don’t think he was a bad man. I told him, “I don’t think you’re a bad man.” I thought he came across as weak, you know, and I think he was manipulated by his publisher.

I absolutely believe Ari Fleischer when Fleischer said: “Look, I talked to McClellan. He started off to write a book, to correct the record, stick up for Bush. They got him in a vortex. They, being a publisher, they convinced him that he wasn’t going to sell any copies, that if he were negative, he’d sell more, and that’s what he did.”

You know, I can’t be positive, but from talking with him, talking to Fleischer, I think that’s what happened.

MILLER: I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think the best thing he has going for him is his utter inconsequentiality. He should hit his knees and thank God he was never a great enough man to actually have to make any of these decisions that now he deems propaganda.

He’s a guy who hangs around the periphery. He’s like the old New Yorker cartoons said: He’s the Uh-oh Squad. Bad stuff happens and he goes “Uh-oh.” He’s Margaret Dumont. I don’t think it’s propaganda.

I think if McCain wants to win this thing, he ought to do a little more propaganda. He ought to travel around with a tote board behind them, reminding everybody that it’s been 2,458 days since 9/11 and we haven’t had a terror attack on this soil.

Now, Scott McClellan, all of them can deem Bush a failure. That’s all I want out of this movement is to keep it from coming onto the home ground and we’ve done that. It’s not — there are worse failures.

O’REILLY: That’s absolutely, you know, a great point. Dennis, thanks very much. We’ll see you next Wednesday.

Some thanks
June 2, 08, 7:22 am
Filed under: Iraq, Iraq War, Marine, military, robbery | Tags: , , , , , ,

A marine on leave from Iraq has died as a result of a gunshot wound to the neck after being robbed by two punks whose freedom he defended.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — On leave from the violence he had survived in the war in Iraq, a young Marine was so wary of crime on the streets of his own home town that he carried only $8 to avoid becoming a robbery target.

Despite his caution, Lance Cpl. Robert Crutchfield, 21, was shot point-black in the neck during a robbery at a bus stop. Feeding and breathing tubes kept him alive 4 1/2 months, until he died of an infection on May 18.

Two men have been charged in the attack, and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said Friday the case was under review to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Seek it. With gusto.

Crutchfield was attacked on Jan. 5 while he and his girlfriend were waiting for a bus. He had heeded the warnings of commanders that a Marine on leave might be seen as a prime robbery target with a pocketful of money, so he only carried $8, his military ID card and a bank card.

“They took it, turned his pockets inside out, took what he had and told him since he was a Marine and didn’t have any money he didn’t deserve to live. They put the gun to his neck and shot him,” Holt told The Associated Press.

All I’m going to say is there is a SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL…

Story here:

Home from Iraq, wary Marine fatally wounded

A simmering Rice lashes back

So you’re an ex White House Press Secretary and you want to make an extra buck. And to make that extra buck you decide to publish a memoir which among other things levels stinging criticism at the Prez for his Iraq war strategy. And for extra measure you decide to include Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in your scathing appraisal of the war.

What you had better anticipate if you do this, Mr Scott McClellan, is that Condi will respond. And when she does, once again people will be reminded — whether they want to admit it to themselves or not — of just what an intelligent and eloquent woman she is. And you DO know, Mr McClellan, that when Condi defends herself with that intelligence and eloquence, YOU will end up looking like a bitter schoolboy who has just had his SpongeBob doll taken away. I’m sure you factored that in, right?

Rice set the record straight today:

“It was not the United States of America alone that believed that he [Saddam] had weapons of mass destruction that he was hiding,” Rice said, dismissing suggestions that the administration knew the intelligence was incorrect.

“The story is there for everyone to see, you can’t now transplant yourself into the present and say we should have known what we in fact did not know in 2001 and 2002,” she said. “The record on weapons of mass destruction was one that appeared to be very clear.”

Those who were skeptical should have spoken up at the time and argued against U.N. sanctions such as the oil-for-food program, she said.

“The threat from Saddam Hussein was well understood,” Rice said. “You can agree or disagree about the decision to liberate Iraq in 2003, but I would really ask that if you … believe he was not a threat to the international community, then why in the world were you allowing the Iraqi people to suffer under the terms of oil-for-food.”

What Condi is doing here is brilliant. Her point is threefold: first that we invaded Iraq based upon intelligence that was gathered years before Bush took office. Second, that the U.N. leveled sanctions in the 1990’s that were based on this same data. Third, that if anyone was guilty of exploiting the situation in Iraq, it was the U.N. with it’s horribly corrupt Oil For Food debacle.

Now, for the facts: after watching for years while the U.N. played footsy with Saddam Hussein, the U.S. under George W. Bush finally decided to actually do something about him. Not content with just dropping bombs from afar the way Bill Clinton had done earlier during “Monica’s War” (which, by the way, Billy-boy justified by citing the SAME WMD data), President Bush took the fight to the ground… and in the process pulled a murderous tyrant OUT of the ground and brought him to swift justice. As for WMD’s — I suspect most of them took a trip on the Baghdad Express to sunny Syria during the nine months we wasted dicking around with the U.N. before finally taking matters into our own hands.

Enjoy your 15 minutes, Mr. McClellan. The press will exploit you for a few weeks the same way you are exploiting the honored position you once enjoyed. And when they are finished, you and your book will find yourselves in the bargain bin of history, buried somewhere between John Kerry’s A Call to Service and Squiggles the Magic Glow Worm.

Columnist makes hay of Bolton event

George Monbiot

A columnist for The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper had to be restrained today as he attempted a citizen’s arrest on former UN ambassador John Bolton for supposed war crimes in Iraq. Columnist and activist George Moonbat Monbiot was blocked by two “heavily-built security guards” as he attempted to serve Bolton with a “charge sheet” at the end of a talk he was conducting at the Hay Festival in Wales.

After being released by the guards the columnist – a fierce critic of the 2003 American-led invasion – made a dash through the rain-soaked tented village in a failed attempt to catch up with Mr Bolton.

Click here for exclusive audio of the dramatic event as it unfolded.

The Telegraph continues:

A crowd of about 20 protesters, one dressed in a latex George Bush mask, chanted “war criminal” as Mr Bolton was ushered away.

Ah yes, what would an anti-war protest be without the obligatory dweeb in a Bush mask. Sure makes ME think long and hard about U.S. foreign policy.

Man it would have made for such a perfect ending if Bolton’s limo had made an illegal u-turn as he left the scene. Who needs TV Land when we have this kind of comedy? Thank God for activists.