Friday, August 13, 2004

Spengler: Tolkien's Ring: When Immortality is Not Enough

Asia Times Online

5 Jan 04

Alone among 20th century novelists, J R R Tolkien concerned himself with the mortality not of individuals but of peoples. The young soldier-scholar of World War I viewed the uncertain fate of European nations through the mirror of the Dark Ages, when the life of small peoples hung by a thread. In the midst of today's Great Extinction of cultures, and at the onset of civilizational war, Tolkien evokes an uncanny resonance among today's readers. He did not write a fantasy, but rather a roman-a-clef. I spoke too soon when I wrote a year ago that a "reasonably faithful cinematic version" of Tolkien's trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, was the "cultural event of the decade" (The Ring and the remnants of the West, Jan 11, '03). With the third installment in cinemas, it appears that director Peter Jackson has buried Tolkien's mythic tragedy under an avalanche of tricks. One wants to hiss along with Gollum: "Stupid hobbit! It ruins it!" We are left with a crackling good adventure, but have lost something precious.

Despite his huge readership, Tolkien during his lifetime never published The Silmarillion, the tragedy of immortals that underlies The Lord of the Rings. Instead he hit upon the genial device of leading the reader to the elements of his story through the eyes of the Little People who are entangled in it. It is as if Shakespeare had published something like Tom Stoppard's Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead rather than Hamlet.

The mortality of the peoples-

Tolkien took by the horns the great ideological beast of his time.
After the Great War, the newly-hatched Existentialist philosophers were shocked to discover that human beings fear for their mortality. In fact, it is quite a commonplace thing to die for one's country, provided that one believes that one's country still will be there. The pull of cultural identity is so strong that men will fling themselves into the jaws of death if they believe such actions will preserve their culture. But what if culture itself - the individual's connection to past as well as future - is in danger? Now, that is really being alone in the universe. Death to preserve one's people is quite a tolerable proposition.

The prospective death of the entire people along with its culture is what creates a particularly nasty type of existential angst, the sort that produces a Hitler or an Osama bin Laden. Small peoples of the Dark Ages, such as Beowulf's Geats, had to think about such things because extinction was the normal outcome. As it turned out, Tolkien's early medieval sources (he had translated Beowulf) mirrored the existentially-challenged world after the Great War, precisely because the subject of national extinction had forced its way back to the surface. The theme of national extinction permeates the entire work. "It is not your own shire," the High-Elf Gildor reproaches Frodo at the outset of his journey in the forests of the shire . "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more." A people vanishes from the earth when its language no longer is spoken. Tolkien did not simply invent languages, but recreated the linguistic maelstrom of the early Middle Ages, when the high speech of great civilizations faded from memory while the dialects of small peoples dissolved into larger language groups.

Tolkien's great philological skills created a unique means of portraying the temporality of the nations. As a foil to human mortality, Tolkien invented a deathless and noble race. His Elves suffer from saiety with immortal life. They no longer reproduce. We meet no Elf younger than a millennium. Tolkien's Fair Folk, endowed with marvelous powers of mind and body, possessors of a radiant high culture, merely mark the time before they must leave Middle Earth. Mercifully we are spared their private thoughts. Imagine what dinner-table dialogue would be like between Elrond and daughter Arwen, who will renounce immortality to marry the mortal Aragorn. "Why do you have to date Aragorn? What happend to that nice Elf boy you were going out with in Lothlorien?" "Daddy, I'm three thousand years old and I've dated all the Elf boys. They are so boring!" Minas Tirith, for that matter, houses only half the population it could comfortably hold, as its ancient race of men fails to bring children into the world. Gondor's military weakness stems from its declining population; the army Aragorn leads to the Black Gate in the last battle numbers fewer than the vanguard of the army of Gondor in its prime. Mordor encroaches because Gondor cannot man its borders. Declining population and crumbling empire is a theme as old as Rome, of course. Nor is it only Latin. In Tolkien's Anglo-Saxon sources, the extinction of the nation lurks behind every setback. The old woman's lament at Beowulf's funeral pyre, for example, foresees the destruction of his Geats after the death of its hero and protector. From the vantage-point of the trenches of the Great War, though, this echo of the Dark Ages took on a new and terrible meaning.

The peoples of Europe came out to fight for their predominance and nearly annihilated each other. Today's Europeans are willing themselves out of existence (see Why Europe chooses extinction, Apr 8, '03). The two world wars of the 20th century destroyed the national illusions of the European peoples, their pretension to strut and swagger upon the world stage. France was the first nation to misidentify its national interests with the fate of Christendom (The sacred heart of darkness, Feb 11, '03), emulated in far more horrible form first by Russia ("the God-bearing nation" in Dostoyevsky's words) and then by Germany. Why is it that radical Islam yet may defeat the West? Migrants from North Africa and the Middle East may overwhelm the shrinking population of Western Europe, without ever assimilating into Western European culture. Collapsing birth rates in formerly Catholic strongholds (including Quebec) coincide with negligible church attendance, and demoralization within the Church itself.

When immortality is not enough-

Here is a summary of the mythic tragedy behind The Lord of the Rings: Immortality was not enough for Tolkien's "Light-Elves" (Licht-Alben, precisely what Wagner calls his gods). Possessive love for their own works led them to tragic errors, first among which is Feanor's ill-advised quest for his stolen jewels, the Silmarils. That motivates the Elves' exile in Middle-Earth. Later, the Elvish Smiths of Middle-Earth accept the assistance of the evil Sauron in forging the Three Elven Rings of air, fire and water. In some way or other, the vague association with Sauron contaminates the Three Rings, such that when Sauron's One Ring is destroyed, the power of the three rings must fade as well. That means the end of the magical wood of Lothlorien, which Galadriel has preserved in a sort of perpetual spring, and the demise of Rivendell, which Elrond maintains as the last bastion of lore and art. Presumably Gandalf, who bears the ring of fire, will lose some of his power as well. Sauron furthermore corrupted the Numenoreans, a noble race of Men, by convincing them they could wrest immortality from the Valar (the gods) by invading their Blessed Realm, Valinor.

The Nine Rings granted to mortal Men produce a vampire-like caricature of immortality, as the bearers fade into wraiths. The One Ring bestows a perverse sort of immortality upon its owner, whose body ceases to age while his soul decays, like Dorian Gray's portrait. It is a warped version of the Elves' immortality within the mortal world of Middle-Earth. Once touched, it cannot easily be relinquished; Isildur, heir of the Numenorean "faithful", cannot bear to destroy it. The Hobbits' great virtue is the inner strength to part with the Ring. But all of the three Hobbits who have borne it, Bilbo, Frodo, and Samwise, ultimately must abandon Middle-Earth. Immortality, once tasted, poisons the joy of Middle-Earth even for Hobbits. Galadriel redeems herself by renouncing her works, although in consequence she and her people must leave the mortal realm, that is, Middle-Earth. She refuses the offer of the One Ring ("I will diminish, and remain Galadriel"). The "faithful" survivors of the ruin of Numenor, of whom Aragorn is the heir, accept mortality and thus are redeemed.

Tolkien clearly stated his intentions in his correspondence: "Anyway, all this stuff is mainly concerned with Fall, Mortality, and the Machine. With Fall inevitably, and that motive occurs in several modes. With Mortality, especially as it affects art and the creative (or as I should say, sub-creative) desire ... It has various opportunities of 'Fall'. It may become possessive, clinging to the things made as 'its own', the sub-creator wishes to be the Lord and God of his private creation. He will rebel against the laws of the Creator - especially against mortality. Both of these (alone or together) will lead to the desire for Power, for making the will more quickly effective, - and so to the Machine (or Magic)." The Faustian bargain and its resort to Magic were themes long elaborated in Western literature, but Tolkien added a terrible new dimension.
In Middle-Earth, as in Europe during the Great War, it was not the mortality of the individual, as in Goethe, but instead the mortality of nations. No serious critic will give Tolkien a place in the literary canon, because his characters generally are stick-figures speaking in stilted declamation. But that is beside the point. He has little time to waste on the petty concerns of the sort of character that populates modern fiction. His concern is the doom of peoples, or, to coin a phrase, the decline of the West.

Europe's decline

Immortality was not enough for the Europeans. That is, Christianity in the confessional, and universal Christian empire in politics, offered the Europeans a form of immortality beyond the existence of the nation. Europe fell from grace when its great constituent nations decided that this sort of immortality was not enough for them, and that they should instead fight for temporal dominance upon the earth. Exhausted from their wars, the peoples of Europe sank into a torpor that is destroying them slowly but with terrible certainty. Jackson's portrayal of Denethor, the feckless Steward of Gondor, doubtless reminded Americans of European defeatism with respect to Iraq and other venues in the Middle East. Out of context, the character has little motivation. Perhaps Jackson will provide the missing background of Gondor's decline in a future extended version. It is tricky, of course, to draw analogies between the pride and folly of Feanor or the Numenorians in Tolkien's fantasy, and the pride and folly of the European nations in World War I. But it was a commonplace observation after 1918 that the great European tragedy began with a misguided attempt to cheat mortality through the assertion of national supremacy.

One cannot make sense of Hitler's rise to power without observing that many Germans believed with all their heart that the existence of the Volk was in jeopordy. Martin Heidegger gave (and never retracted) his wholehearted support to Hitler, believing that immersion in the Volk was a legitimate answer to the Existential crisis. A tragic flaw was set in Europe's foundations, in the form of its Faustian bargain with paganism (Why Europe chooses extinction). Christianity offered salvation in another world; the Europeans wanted a taste of immortality in this one. By allowing the pagans to syncretically adopt their old gods into the new religion, Christianity left the Europeans forever torn between Jesus and Siegfried. Richard Wagner returned to the old pagan sources and found in them a foretaste of the Nihilism that would ravage Europe during its Second Thirty Years' War of 1914-1944.

Repudiating Wagner, Tolkien hoped to link an ennobling pagan past and the Christian present. In this respect he failed utterly. He is reduced to elegaic yearning for a lost agrarian past. He is a reactionary looking backwards, for his vision is too clear to allow false hopes for the European future. Tolkien kept faith with the original Christian message. Man must accept not only his own mortality, but the mortality of his nation, the extinction of his culture, the silencing of his mother-tongue, and look instead toward salvation beyond all mortal hope. That is what Christianity offered the pagans during the Great Extinction of Peoples after the collapse of Rome. Frodo knows that the entire race of Hobbits will become extinct. He begins his journey with Gildor's warning that one day others will dwell in the shire when hobbits are no more. Gildor is the first among the High-Elves he meets as he rides toward the Havens, in the company of Elrond and Galadriel, who, along with Gandalf, finally are revealed in their true capacity as the bearers of the Three Elven Rings. But the European nations threw off the bonds of universal Christian empire and, through Wagnerian nationalism, sought immortality within the mortal realm - the tragic flaw of Feanor, Galadriel and the rebel Eldar. The Great Wars and the fall of Europe were the consequence. Except in the imagination, there was no going back.

The sea-passage to the West, in Peter Jackson's interpretation, represents death.

It might just as well represent immigration to America. Unlike all other peoples, Americans need not fear the extinction of their cultural identity, because they have none to begin with. That is America's great weakness but also its abiding strength. It is the reason that America well may endure for all time while the Kulturnationen dissolve into the dust of the libraries. Americans bridle when told that they have no culture. But what can they name whose loss would destroy their sense of national identity? Erase the memory of Homer, and what becomes of the Greeks?

Forget Herman Melville, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and even The Simpsons, and Americans still are Americans. If German or French no longer were spoken, the concept of "Germany" or "France" would become meaningless. At the time of their revolution, Americans considered German as a national language. A century from now they might adopt Spanish. America can withstand the loss of the English language itself. As long as America's political covenant remains intact, Americans can change their "culture" as often as convenient. America may fulfill the Christian project, as an assembly of individuals called out of the nations, cut loose from their heathen heritage - an outcome Tolkien could not have imagined.

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Jan 5, 2004

The Complete Spengler

UNC Women's Soccer: Great Expectations

Friday, August 13, 2004
GREAT EXPECTATIONS: UNC women's soccer program sets the standard by which others are measured

By Chris Cowles

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When it comes to the University of North Carolina and success in women's soccer, people not only accept it, but expect it.
Based on the honors bestowed on the program over the years and the players it has produced - a who's who of women's soccer - there is no equaling the achievements at Chapel Hill.

The Tar Heels' trophy cases are brimming with hardware collected over the years, in part by players who also went on to represent the United States on the world's stage and to some of the greatest achievements in women's athletics.
"There's a certain aura that's been created for girls who play soccer," said Tony DiCicco, a former U.S. women's national-team coach. "They dream of two things: playing for North Carolina and playing for the U.S. national team."

A staggering 18 national titles and ACC crowns in 16 of the 17 seasons the league has recognized women's soccer as a varsity sport are numbers in the record books for Anson Dorrance, but the legacy the Tar Heels' coach has created has essentially helped transform the sport.
Despite failing to defend its World Cup title last year and its Olympics crown in 2000, the U.S. women's team remains the most successful and most consistent team in the world. From its humble beginnings in 1985 to its meteoric rise to international fame after the 1999 World Cup, players at North Carolina or those who did their time on Fetzer Field, have played a pivotal part every time the American team takes the field.
Whether wearing Tar Heel blue or a U.S. jersey, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, April Heinrichs, Carla Overbeck, Tisha Venturini and Shannon Higgins have helped the women's game flourish across the country, especially at the college level in the past decade.

Although the ongoing dynasty at UNC remains a work in progress, the pool of players for the national team -- once predominately culled from Chapel Hill - is now drawn from colleges from coast to coast.
"Anson (Dorrance) is a great motivator and a great recruiter," said Overbeck, a longtime defender at North Carolina. "He went out and found kids that he saw something special in, players that had a will to win. He went after kids like that. He continues to fuel that - their dreams and aspirations - within his players."

Dorrance took over the women's program at North Carolina in 1979, the year it became a varsity sport. He already had two years experience coaching North Carolina's men's team and would ultimately lead both teams until 1988, when his sole focus became the women's program. He finished with a 172-65-21 record with the men and the 1987 ACC title.
"We've evolved over time," Dorrance, 53, said in a recent interview with the Journal.
"Work ethic was always the most important aspect of every team I coached," he said. "The North Carolina kid is always exposed to a certain degree of combativeness and competitiveness on the field and that helps produce a quality of player that's unique.
"The North Carolina player never quits and really has a mental and physical preparedness that's unique. We challenge them, teach them and prepare them for every level of the game."

Dorrance's keen ability to recruit players over the years and develop them through disciplined training sessions that sharpened skills and tactical acumen has paid dividends.
Even more telling is the fact that less than 10 players have been cut or left the North Carolina team. The university's support of the team has also grown. In what has always been a basketball hotbed, North Carolina provided women's soccer only four scholarships for room and board in 1980. There are now 12 full-ride scholarships available.
"We got an early edge in the college game," Dorrance said. "Over time, we've become a beacon, in a sense, for elite female players. Once upon a time, if she wanted to be part of a pioneering program, this is where she came."

There was nothing set in stone that if a player went to North Carolina and succeeded that she would be assured a callup to a U.S. training camp or a place on a roster for a tournament, but the chances were certainly better.
"I would be surprised if any national team training standards are higher than ours," said Dorrance, who simultaneously coached the U.S. women's team and North Carolina from 1986 to '94.
"The level of international play was way above the college level," said Overbeck, who won four NCAA titles with UNC and would later be a captain on the U.S. team that took Olympics gold in 1996.
"We were always prepared under Anson," she said. "In the early days, we played some very good teams from Germany, Norway, Sweden and China. That was the start of great rivalries and we learned a lot."
Dorrance also learned.
"I used the international arena to see where we could improve," Dorrance said of both of his teams. "The international game was the one to model your team on. I knew the requirements of the international level and I trained the (UNC) team like it was the national team."

Dorrance said the physical challenges might be harder for players at UNC while tactical challenges might be harder internationally.
"Our teams have always been well prepared," he said. "The kids from North Carolina are in an environment that's a close replication of the international arena. We always try to play with the international speed of play and defensive precision."
In 1991, FIFA established the first women's world championship and Dorrance lead the U.S. team to China where it defeated Norway in the final. Of the 18 players on the squad, nine were Tar Heels. Five members of that team - Hamm, Lilly, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain and Joy Fawcett - are on the Olympics team trying to retake the gold medal it lost four years ago to Norway.
This time, six of the 18 players on the Olympics roster have UNC roots and three - Heather O'Reilly, Cat Reddick and Lindsay Tarpley - are students there now. Heinrichs, who was one of the most rugged forwards to ever play the game, coaches the U.S. team and is assisted by Tracey Leone, a UNC alum.

Tiffany Roberts, a former UNC midfielder who is an alternate on the Olympics team, made her first U.S. appearance in 1994 at the age of 16 when Dorrance was still coaching the U.S.
"I never experienced anything like that (training under Dorrance)," said Roberts, who initially wanted to attend a West Coast college.
"His love for the game and the way he made players better in that competitive environment, I felt that Carolina would provide that for me. So many players went through that program and were successful at the national team. I knew I had to go to that program."
Roberts would win two national titles at UNC and go on to score seven goals in 107 games for the U.S. She was on the 1996 gold-medal winning and 1999 World Cup team.
"Some players were probably shocked at how hard it was in national team camp," said Roberts. "I know I was prepared for that coming from North Carolina. Tony (DiCicco) always respected the type of players that had heart and were competitive. The North Carolina players knew what to expect at national-team camp."
Players from other colleges, according to Roberts, had a tougher learning curve. Roberts related a time when Kate Markgraf, who attended Notre Dame, came into a camp and nearly passed out during a practice.
"That was her (Markgraf) first time in camp," Roberts said. "We focused so much on fitness at North Carolina; we were always prepared for national-team camp."
The approach continues to make a difference.

"My goal with the national team was to win at any level we played at," said Dorrance who had a 65-22-5 record with the U.S. "Winning the first women's World Cup was wonderfully satisfying. We tried to build a national team with the elite players. I think we succeeded and that has been the focus since then."
In the famed penalty-kick shootout that decided the 1999 Women's World Cup final between the U.S. and China, the Tar Heels were well represented as Lilly, Hamm and Overbeck each hit their spot kicks.
"The bottom line is the recruiting, Anson gets the best players and he prepares them," said University of Connecticut coach Len Tsantiris whose team was routed, 6-0, in the NCAA final last year by North Carolina. Tsantiris is the second winningest coach of all time, behind Dorrance.
Dorrance begins his 26th season on Aug. 27 when the Tar Heels take on Nebraska at the adidas Invitational in Lincoln.

J. Laskin: Addressing the Left's Version of the Truth

A Litany of Leftist Lies

By Jacob August 13, 2004

Perhaps the least surprising moment of the recent Democratic National Convention—other than Michael Moore’s red carpet treatment—came when Ted Kennedy labeled Bush administration officials “false patriots.” Over the past several months, the “Liberal Lion” has done everything but accuse the President of treason, stating, among other things, that Operation Iraqi Freedom was fought “under false pretenses,” and that the plan to rid Iraq of Saddam was “cooked up in Texas” and sold with “lie after lie after lie.” Freeing Muslims from a murderous sociopath, Massachusetts' second most liberal Senator has bellowed, was “one of the worst blunders in the history of U.S. foreign policy.”

Listening to Kennedy and his Democratic cronies, one would never guess that deposing Saddam Hussein used to be a bipartisan concern. From the moment the Clinton administration signed the 1998 Iraqi Liberation Act, which codified “transition to democracy in Iraq” as official policy, to the October 2002 vote authorizing the president to use force against Iraq—a vote backed by 29 Democratic senators and 126 Democratic representatives—the necessity of regime change in Iraq was a rare point of agreement between the two parties.

But in the heat of this year’s presidential campaign, that principle has become disposable. Kennedy’s wanton demagoguery reflects the chief article of faith of the Left, that the justifications for war—especially Iraq’s pursuit of WMD’s and the Baa’thist regime’s ties to terrorism—are no longer defensible.

They couldn't be more wrong.

Lie #1: President Bush intentionally misled the nation when he stated that Saddam had sought yellowcake uranium in Niger.

This was the first major accusation levied at the Bush administration by the Left in order to undermine the President’s—and the War’s—credibility. Following the disclosure last summer that some of the documents the administration had used as evidence of the Iraq-Niger link were forgeries, the liberal media insisted that charges made by the President during his January 2003 State of the Union address—in which he said Iraq sought to buy enriched uranium from Niger—had been thoroughly refuted. News articles, like a July story in, casually refer to it as that “since-discredited line.” Democratic critics have also seized on Bush’s “16 words” to question the administration’s underlying credibility on the Iraq war. Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has recently said, “The misleading statement about African uranium is not an isolated issue.” That British intelligence services firmly stand by their assertion of the Iraq-Niger connection has not swayed liberal detractors like Levin at all. As recent reports make plain, however, the connection was very real.

The popular disbelief in that connection owes much to the utterances of former Ambassador Joe Wilson. After a February 2002 visit to Niger, during which Wilson investigated reports that Iraq sought to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program using uranium from Africa (often at poolside), Wilson made a great show of publicly rejecting the link. In Wilson’s version of events, Saddam Hussein did not seek to purchase yellowcake uranium in Niger, nor did he have a nuclear weapons program to speak of. The flap over who revealed the identity of Wilson’s wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame (besides Plame herself), only lent credence to Wilson’s claims that Iraq posed no threat whatsoever.

As for Wilson’s much-publicized charges—that his trip resoundingly dashed any theory that Iraq sought uranium from Niger, and that the Bush administration doctored intelligence findings to bolster its case for war—they threw serious doubts on the administration’s allegation that Iraq purchased Niger uranium. When the administration retreated from the connection amid a critical storm, Wilson’s was taken as the last word on the subject.

That is, until the release of the bipartisan-prepared 9/11 Commission Report. That bipartisan report exposed Joe Wilson as a liar on multiple fronts, and the Niger uranium story took on new life. The committee noted Wilson’s original findings were highly suspect. Wilson had maintained that the Niger intelligence was based on forged documents, a conclusion he defended by claiming that “the dates were wrong and the names were wrong” on the documents he saw. The Senate committee also saw signs of fraud. “Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the ‘dates were wrong and the names were wrong’ when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports,” the report stated. Wilson hadn’t seen the reports for a very simple reason: they were not available until eight months after his intelligence trip to Niger.

And the report was not finished yet. Debunking Wilson's allegation that CIA analysts pressed the White House to excise the 16 words relating to the Iraq-Niger link that made it into President Bush's address, the report went on to cite several credible pieces of intelligence affirming the link, including reports from a foreign service and the U.S. Navy about uranium from Niger headed for Iraq and stored in a warehouse in Benin. (This revelation went unnoticed by the Democratic National Committee; on its website, the DNC still contends the Bush administration intentionally overrode CIA objections to the uranium line, claiming that the “Bush Administration Knew Claim Was False.”)

But not all media outlets are so mendacious. The Financial Times, having waged an editorial campaign against the Iraq war, set the record straight. FT quoted senior European intelligence officials to the effect that illicit sales of uranium from Niger had been negotiated with five states during the three years before the U.S.-led war in 2003. One of those states was Iraq. The magazine also reported that three European intelligence services suspected Niger was skirting UN sanctions to illicitly traffic in uranium between 1999 and 2001: “Human intelligence gathered in Italy and Africa more than three years before the Iraq war had shown Niger officials referring to possible illicit uranium deals with at least five countries, including Iraq,” the Times noted. And, just this week the UK Butler Report further finds reporting on attempts to obtain uranium Niger as credible and accurate:

We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought sign cant quantities of uranium from Africa was well-founded.

Some critics have claimed the mere possession of uranium “yellowcake,” without the ability to convert it fissile material, would not qualify Iraq as an imminent threat. (See Lie #2.) But it is not at all clear that Iraq lacked this ability. Indeed, there were some in Iraq with this nuclear know-how. According to a July Reuters report, after recovering 1.8 tons of uranium stolen from a UN facility last year, an IAEA team discovered that some 90 pounds of the uranium had been enriched to 2.6 percent uranium-235—a level of enrichment that would make it a likely ingredient for a dirty bomb. Further enrichment would have turned the uranium into a full-fledged nuclear weapon. Little wonder, then, that a U.S. team last week acted to remove the recovered uranium from the country.

Lie #2: “Bush claimed Iraq was an imminent threat.”

Opponents charge the Bush administration with trumping up the case for war by casting Iraq as an “imminent threat.” Claims Rep. Dennis Kucinich, “This administration led this nation into a war based on a pretext that Iraq was an imminent threat, which it was not.” Sen. Robert Byrd seconds this assessment, saying, “(Bush) presented an imminent threat to the United States.” The Center for American Progress, headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, has carried on a determined campaign to prove that the administration did in fact use the phrase, “imminent threat” to make the case for war. The closest the leftist think-tank came to conclusive evidence was a February 10, 2003. remark by White House spokesman Scott McClellan: “This is about an imminent threat.” But while the quote is reproduced faithfully, its context is not. A review of the press conference transcript shows McClellan’s comment was directed to a specific question—about Turkey, not Iraq.

In fact, White House officials took great pains to stress that Saddam Hussein’s regime must not be allowed to become an imminent threat. The president’s 2003 State of the Union Address accented this very point. “Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent,” Bush said. “Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.”

Not surprisingly, the war’s critics, generally eager to use the administration’s words against it, have shied away from referencing the president’s address. Thus, the myth of the “imminent threat” faces no imminent threat. Just last Friday, Detroit Free Press liberal columnist Brian Dickerson groused that “Iraq has failed to live up to its billing as an imminent threat to U.S. security.” Lost on Dickerson is the fact that it was never billed as one—and that, thanks to the intervention of coalition forces, it never will be.

Lie #3: “Saddam had no ties to al-Qaeda.”

According to the antiwar Left, Iraq was “the wrong war at the wrong time,” an exercise in oil-driven greed by the Bush administration rather than a vital facet of the War on Terror. Indeed, the antiwar Left and their political partisans in the Democratic Party deny that Saddam Hussein had any connections to al-Qaeda or to terrorism in general. Here is what they fail to mention: for years, Saddam’s regime offered $25,000 in blood money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Saddam harbored prominent terrorist figures like Abu Nidal, responsible for the deaths of American citizens, and Abdul Rahman Yasin, an Iraqi who helped hatch the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. He also sponsored Ansar al-Islam, the al-Qaeda spin-off group headquartered in northern Iraq. And these troubling ties do not begin to cover Saddam’s extensive links to terrorism.

In his new book, The Connection, author Stephen Hayes culls countless sources, including Iraqi intelligence documents, confessions of Iraqi intelligence personnel, intercepted telephone conversations, allegations of counterterrorism officials in the Clinton administration, and even satellite photographs, to make a convincing case for connections between Saddam and terrorists, in particular al-Qaeda. At a minimum, Hayes lays out a cogent argument that those who dismiss the al-Qaeda/Saddam link outright are advancing little more than partisan interests.

Significantly, Hayes’ case was buoyed last week by the release of the 9/11 Commission report. While the commission’s interim report had flatly dismissed any “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al-Qaeda, the commission’s final report was far more circumspect, stressing that it found no evidence only of a “collaborative operational relationship.” (It should be noted that the Bush administration never claimed Saddam Hussein had any hand in planning the 9/11 attacks.) But the 9/11 Commission has shown that Iraqi officials had contacts with Osama bin Laden’s aides throughout the ‘90s. These meetings, the report says, were “apparently arranged through Bin Laden's Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis.” The report goes on to note that the Iraq/al-Qaeda relationship climaxed in 1999, when, during a brief falling out between the Taliban and bin Laden, Iraqi leaders offered the terror kingpin safe haven in Iraq. Confident of more generous patronage from the Taliban, Osama declined the offer; but the commission report makes clear that in their mutual hatred of the United States, Iraq and al-Qaeda found a binding theme. As for the theory, widely embraced by the war’s opponents, that Iraq’s Ba’athist secularism militated against a collaborative relationship with Islamic fundamentalists, the commission’s rich findings suggest that this is a singularly inadequate explanation of Iraq and al-Qaeda’s history.

Another interesting aspect of the antiwar Left’s stance on Iraq is that in opposing the war, they have taken the odd tactic of posturing as ultra-hawks—for every war except Iraq. “Make war on al-Qaeda,” they argue, “not Saddam.” Indeed, they claim Iraq has “diverted” resources from the real War on Terrorism, which they claim to support. Innumerable reports of terrorists swarming to Iraq to battle U.S. troops give the lie to the diversion theory. From accounts that the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has funneled mujahedeen through porous Syrian borders, to intelligence intercepts establishing the presence of Iranian and Saudi jihadists, to the bloody handiwork of Jordanian al-Qaeda operative Abu Musad al-Zarqawi, it’s increasingly apparent that Iraq is at present the main front in the War on Terrorism. Not that the war’s opponents see it this way. “One of the silliest arguments for the invasion,” writes Reason magazine managing editor Jesse Walker, a libertarian critic of the war, “held that our presence in Iraq was a ‘flypaper’ attracting the world's terrorists to one distant spot.” Who claimed this would be a side benefit of the invasion? Walker cannot produce a shred of evidence to support this proposition. It would be more reasonable to conclude that “silliness” is a quality best embodied by those of the war’s critics who, like Walker, willfully ignore the terrorist presence in Iraq.

Lie #4: “Operation Iraqi Freedom has increased the terrorist threat to the United States”

If the rhetoric of some Democrats is to be believed, even after Saddam Hussein’s ouster, the United States is no safer than it was on September 12, 2001. As Sen. John D. Rockefeller recently put it, “Our standing in the world has never been lower. We have fostered a deep hatred of America in the Muslim world, and that will grow. As a direct consequence, our nation is more vulnerable today than ever before.” Likewise, presidential candidate Howard Dean famously claimed America was “less safe” after the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Even omitting the momentous fact that there has been no attack on American soil since 9/11, a possibility few envisioned in the aftermath of that day, Rockefeller’s assessment strains credulity. The diminishing fortunes of al-Qaeda are a case in point. Since ousting the Taliban from Afghanistan in 2002, which dispossessed al-Qaeda of its strategic base of operations and training grounds, the United States has conducted a stunningly successful crackdown on Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organization. Scores of top al-Qaeda military planners – including strategists behind the 9/11 attacks like Ramzi Binalshib – have been killed. Some 3,400 al-Qaeda operatives in more than 90 countries have been detained. The terrorist group’s ability to mount attacks has been crippled. At the same time, the United States has steadfastly worked with Middle Eastern governments to frustrate terrorist financing by cracking down on terror-aligned charities and to snuff out Islamic extremism by shuttering extremist madrassahs. This cooperation, even where it is limited, is nothing short of historic. On the domestic front, meanwhile, legislation like the Patriot Act has jolted an ossified intelligence bureaucracy, allowing for unprecedented levels of cooperation in intelligence gathering between federal, state and local law enforcement. Consequently, U.S. officials have had great success breaking up al-Qaeda-aligned terrorist cells.

In light of these results, to maintain that the United States today faces a greater terrorism threat is not merely an insult to reason—it is a slight to the impressive achievements of American troops, the cooperation of our allies, and the concerted efforts of our police and intelligence officers.

Lie #5: “There were no WMDs in Iraq.”

According to The Nation's David Corn, Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction make up “one of the administration’s Big Lies of the war on Iraq.” Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin goes further, asserting that American soldiers sent to rid Iraq of WMDs have been killed for a lie: “George Bush told lies and they died.” The fashionable leftist bumper sticker parrots that theme: “GW Lied; GI’s Died.”

For Corn, Breslin and the rest of Left, these claims are becoming harder and harder to sustain. They require, for instance, glossing over last month’s report that Polish troops in Iraq uncovered warheads believed to contain Sarin or mustard gas, exploding the notion that Saddam’s regime had fully dispensed of its chemical weapons. Later tests revealed the truth was graver yet: the warheads contained Cyclosarin, an agent far more toxic than Sarin.

These are not the only chemical weapons thus far found in Iraq. Hans Blix, the former UN weapons inspector who opposed military intervention, has conceded that in the run-up to the war, his inspection team found 16 Iraqi warheads marked for use with Sarin. Meantime, the Iraq Survey Group, an outfit tasked with searching for WMD, has confirmed that a roadside bomb detonated in May near a U.S. military convoy was also packed with Sarin nerve agent. That bomb, reports the ISG, is one 550, for which Saddam Hussein failed to account prior to the war.

Sarin bombs count among a class of ordnance the Ba’athist regime claimed to have destroyed before the 1991 Gulf War. United Nations decrees like Resolution 1441 had also called on Iraq to surrender such weapons to UN monitors. But inspector David Kay and his WMD task force have confirmed the Iraqi regime violated 1441 with impunity, regularly finding new ways to sidestep its provisions. Saddam’s enduring evasiveness, coupled with an aggressive last-ditch bid to cover up its militaristic aims by barring international inspectors from sensitive sites, kept inspectors from discovering Iraq’s three illegal missile programs (among many others).

Still more proof that the Iraqi regime was actively engaged in dodging international censure while working secretly to retain its WMD capabilities comes in the form of hidden weapons depots recently uncovered by officials in Iraq. Already, officials have revealed some 8,700 such weapons depots; recent estimates place their inventory between 650,000 and 1 million tons of arms. New weapons depots continue to be uncovered. Each of these programs was aimed at building missiles with a range of more than 93 miles. Clearly, prewar Iraq had designs on the region at large. Indeed, banned weapons components are even showing up overseas.

There should be no mistake: Absent a military campaign to depose Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s WMDs would have remained permanently elusive. So long as the Iraqi regime carried on its shell game of supposedly destroying its weapons arsenals while offering zero evidence that it had done so, a full disclosure would have remained the impossible goal of the international community...until Hussein chose to visit them upon his neighbors, or offered them to terrorists willing to explode them in our midst.

Many on the Left claim that, although Iraq had some raw nuclear material, they had no meaningful program. The evidence shows, on the contrary, that Saddam was knee-deep in nuclear trafficking. In the months prior to the war, Iraq shelled out $10 million to North Korea for medium-range Nodong missile technology, before U.S. pressure caused the North Koreans to back off from the sale. A company led by the cousin of Syrian strongman Bashar Assad proved more successful: For three years prior to Saddam’s ouster, the company smuggled millions of dollars of sophisticated arms and equipment into Iraq. At least one such arms shipment was completed with the aid of the Syrian government—a rank violation of a UN arms embargo.

Unquestionably, a great deal more remains to be said about Iraq’s WMD capabilities. It bears noting, however, that exposing these capabilities and halting their construction made up only one part of a far more comprehensive case for war. There was also the humanitarian issue. Here we have some consensus: Even most of the war’s critics allow that freeing Iraqis from the tyranny and systematic torture of the Saddam Hussein regime was, of course, a good thing…only war was the wrong way to secure their freedom, they insist. Yet these critics have yet to put forward a pacifist solution to abbreviating Saddam’s 30-year reign and sealing the mass graves that had already claimed 300,000 Iraqis. Quiet, too, are the once-prominent champions of UN sanctions, those declarations which failed to moderate Saddam Hussein while prolonging the suffering of the Iraqi people and providing convenient recruitment propaganda for the likes of Osama bin Laden. Add to this list Saddam Hussein’s unabashed anti-Americanism, and his proven ties to terrorism, and you have a compelling case for regime-change.

Lie #6: “We have no allies in our war on Iraq.”

The war’s Democratic opponents also claim our efforts in Iraq are insufficiently multilateral. Even so, their charge that the Bush administration is guilty of “go-it-alone” arrogance rings false: the U.S. has successfully rallied plenty of support for its mission to establish a stable and free Iraq. Three-dozen countries are currently contributing military forces to the country, and several creditor nations have forgiven Iraqi debt and pledged reconstruction funds. Nonetheless, it remains the case that the aging regimes of Western Europe have not been pulling their weight in the war against terrorism, most likely due to their deep economic ties to Iraq. For example, how do the Democrats propose to get France—a staunch ally and shameless enabler of the Saddam regime and certainly no friend of the U.S.—to support our efforts in Iraq? Particularly when the French government has stated repeatedly that it would not support military action against Iraq under any conditions (a stance due no doubt to the fact that members of the Chirac government resided for years on Saddam’s payroll)?

The “multilateral” approach to rogue states, so idealized by critics of the Iraq war, has been a consummate failure. One is hard-pressed to draw any other conclusion from the Washington’s policy toward Iran. Bowing to pressure, the Bush administration sought to check the Islamic Republic’s zeal for WMD’s by adopting the very strategy that, according to the critical consensus, it ought to have used in Iraq: toning down its “axis-of-evil” rhetoric, backing a European Union initiative to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully, and deferring to French and German diplomats at every turn.

The result, confirmed by last week’s 9/11 Commission report, is that Iran is now more dangerous than ever. Nine months of indulgent diplomacy has allowed the Tehran regime to acquire enriched uranium and further its nuclear program, threaten American allies like Israel with nuclear annihilation, sharpen its anti-Americanism, and sponsor an array of terrorist groups, from Hezbollah and al-Qaeda to jihadist mercenaries in Iraq.

Now, as the urgency of dealing with Iran intensifies, the administration finds itself weakened by the relentless propaganda assault on its tough-minded tack in Iraq. The Left’s attacks have rendered President Bush unable to respond militarily to Islamic nuclear aggression, should he need to do so. Thus, while Democrats like Robert Byrd accuse the Bush administration of basing the Iraq war on “a house of cards, built on deceit,” Iran diligently develops its nuclear program. If the Democratic Party has repeatedly failed to prove that the Bush administration lied about Iraq, they can nevertheless claim credit for this dubious achievement. In their burning desire to discredit the Iraq War effort for crass and fleeting political advantage, they have given the mullahs their best hope of realizing their nuclear dreams.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

T. Lipscomb: John Kerry's Bodyguard of Lies

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By Thomas Lipscomb
Published 8/12/2004 12:08:38 AM

NEW YORK -- Winston Churchill often repeated Stalin's observation that "in wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended to by a bodyguard of lies." And now that the Democratic National Convention has ended with Kerry's acceptance speech concentrating on his four-month service in the Vietnam War 35 years ago, rather than his service during the past 35 years, it appears particularly appropriate. One of the pesky IRS Code 527 organizations that now buzz through the campaign atmosphere like insatiable horseflies in the aftermath of McCain-Finegold reforms has had the presumption to raise some serious questions about the truth of John Kerry's Vietnam wartime service. Called "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth," the group has a website, airs TV ads running in key "battleground" states, and has published a book. The conniving and self-promoting lies of the John Kerry it portrays make Sammy Glick look like a rank amateur.

If the incidents it details are true, Kerry was a coward who fled in battle having unintentionally thrown his current supporter, Jim Rassmann, overboard in his panic. Kerry tried to get his first Purple Heart on the basis of a tiny self-inflicted wound from his own grenade. His supporter, Max Cleland, accidentally blew both his legs off and one hand off with one of his own grenades, but never asked for a Purple Heart because, just as in John Kerry's case, there was no enemy action at the time. Kerry went behind the back of the commander who refused his medal request and the doctor who had treated him, and got one anyway. Swiftvet officers watched this kind of behavior for four months into Kerry's 12 month "tour of duty." Then three of them told him pointedly that he'd better use the three Purple Heart escape clause and return to the States fast. Kerry left the next morning. And those are just a few of charges the Swiftvets are making.

It certainly is a very different picture of the war hero than his campaign has been painting of their JFK: John Forbes Kerry -- but this time as John "Flashman" Kerry."CONSIDER THE SOURCE" INVITED Kerry campaign spokesman Luis Vizcaino. And last week Marc Elias, General Counsel for Kerry-Edwards 2000, and Joseph Sandler, General Counsel for the Democratic National Committee sent a hurried and semi-hysterical letter warning television stations not to run Swift Boat Vets ads setting out their definition of "the source" It is well worth reading as a reductio of Kerry campaign logic."The group is a sham organization," it points out. Yet the Swift Boat Veterans had been organized months earlier with the IRS and Federal Election Commission, just like and dozens of other 527s, and was no more "sham" than they were. As a matter of fact they had elected to remain unincorporated under the regulation and take the risk of being perhaps the only 527 in which its members were willing to accept personal liability for their actions, unlike MoveOn which had compared Bush to Hitler.

The Swiftvets are either very brave or very dumb."The advertisement contains statements by men who purport to have served on Senator Kerry's SWIFT Boat in Vietnam… they pretend to have served with Senator Kerry… ." Actually nothing in the ad calls any of the men it cites as being Kerry's crew members. And there can be no doubt they "served with Senator Kerry" in the same Coastal Group 11 at the same time. Worse still, 16 out of the 23 surviving officers and commanders who served with Kerry at the base now claim he is unfit for command, much less to become commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. And the Swiftvets claim to have a total of 254 members who served from Seaman to Admiral in Kerry's Coastal Squadron 1, including several of Kerry's commanding officers and some sailors who had been on Kerry's boat. "Fake 'witnesses' speaking on behalf of a phony organization…"?

Swiftboat service was not a lone wolf operation. Kerry's boat ran in tandem with other Swiftboats who were anywhere from 10 to a couple of dozen yards away, rather like World War II aircraft using formations to protect one another in combat. So the crews and commanders of other boats during Kerry's operations were witnesses all right. They kept a keen eye on anything another boat was doing, right or wrong—particularly since the mistakes of another boat could threaten their own survival. And boat commanders like Kerry, rather than enlisted crew members of his or any other crew, were more likely to have the best understanding of how the mission was being performed by another commander."The entire advertisement, therefore, is an inflammatory, outrageous lie"… and should stations run it anyway…"your station is responsible for the false and libelous charges made by this sponsor." Remarkable. On the face of the simple facts recited above, Elias and Sandler may have written the first legal letter in campaign history that actually commits the violations it charges its target with… making "false and libelous charges." It also raises a clear question of tortious interference with existing and proposed contracts between Swiftvets and the stations they had lined up to run the ads.

THEN THERE ARE THE "chilling effect" First Amendment violations of Swiftvets' perfectly ordinary 527 conduct in using its donors' funds to make its point of view heard without supporting a particular candidate. Ironically the real question is, who do Elias and Sandler represent? Who retained them? From their signatures as General Counsel it appears that both are working on behalf of and being paid by the taxpayer-funded Kerry campaignBut to do what? To threaten television stations that they may be sued for libel, purely on the basis of Kerry campaign assertions of false statements by individuals who are likely lack actual malice and were certainly in a position to have relevant opinions, if fallible memories, of events that happened 35 years ago? This is long before Kerry had any professional association with the Democratic Party. Let's assume Elias and Sandler are absolutely correct in their assertions and there is no statute of limitations on this kind of outrageous libel (there is, and it has passed). Isn't this Kerry's personal case to prosecute, not the Democratic Party's?What if, for example, the Democrats had decided to run commercials based on what they felt was valid information attacking Richard Nixon for getting rich by cheating his shipmates at poker on those boring supply runs in the South Pacific during his naval service 25 years earlier and perhaps running a black market operation on the side out of naval stores at various ports? Should the Republican Party have used donor money to prosecute a case that has nothing to do with Nixon's political service?

Whatever the truth of the Swiftvets charges, they are a credible organization and their members were certainly in a position to have informed opinions. And in their unincorporated 527 status they are easy to sue and they are now on the record. So where are all the lawsuits against them for libel? Imagine the awards John Edwards' trial lawyer buddies can get out of an operation which, according to Al Hunt -- in one of his most embarrassingly often wrong but never in doubt rants, is "significantly funded and directed by Texas fatcats and political operatives." In the New Republic yesterday, a naif named Kenneth Baer begs the Democratic Party to commence a major lawsuit against the Swiftvets for libel, lèse majesté, whatever. And given the sloppy work Elias and Sandler have done so far, that would be the answer to the Swiftvets' prayers. Wait till those expedited depositions start to leak -- forget the trial. Baer was a speechwriter for Al Gore. He runs "a Democratic consulting firm." The GOP should be so lucky as to have him gain influence.In the meantime, Dick Morris, John McCain, Bill O'Reilly and others should stop twittering about how rude and crass and dishonorable and counterproductive it is to even explore such nasty possibilities in public and take a look at the charges and supporting documentation brought forth by the Swiftvets. Does it matter whether they are funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, George Soros, or The Tooth Fairy? What does matter in a close presidential election is if there is significant evidence that some or all of the Vietnam service Kerry has elected to make the center of his campaign to move from "war hero" to "war president" is a tissue of lies.And it is time for the press to look into the charges brought by the Swiftvets. The Swiftvets have depositions, phone numbers, on the record statements, and for all of the innuendo from the Kerry apparatchiks, not one of the Swiftvets has enjoyed a fancy hotel room paid for by the Bush campaign, much less gone on a campaign tour with the candidate. It is easy to see what the nine Kerry crew members are getting out of their 15 minutes of fame. But what's in it for the 254 Swiftvets? It is important to answer that question in considering their charges. Thomas Lipscomb was the chairman of the New York Vietnam Veterans' Leadership Program which worked to develop employment of heavily minority area veterans. He is the founder of Times Books.

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We're getting rather fed up with John "Swifty" Kerry and the many efforts his goons in the DNC and media to suppress dissenting opinion on his Vietnam heroics. At this point we're tempted to take all the Enemy of the Week medals we've conscientiously awarded him in recent months and heave them into the blue Potomac, where they might nourish the dread snakehead and other of his advisers. According Matt Drudge, the acting director of national intelligence who broke the story on Unfit to Command and the resistance of Vietnam Veterans to co-optation by the current Kerry crew, "Kerry supporters are comparing the effort by the veterans to the Arkansas State troopers tell-all against Bill Clinton." That says it all. Since the troopers spoke to the truth, these veterans are obviously doing no less. Kerry sycophants, like Clinton's, know as much. Their only defense is to make it a political crime to expose the lies keeping their man afloat. That's the problem with these people. They've been living lies so long they can't conceive of other ways to live.

Ann Coulter: Brothers Band Together Against Kerry
August 12, 2004

Democrats haven't been this upset about an American engaging in free speech since Juanita Broaddrick opened her yap.

Two hundred fifty-four Swift Boat Veterans have signed a letter saying John Kerry is not fit to be commander in chief, a point developed in some detail in the blockbuster new book by John O'Neill, aptly titled "Unfit for Command." At the 2003 reunion of Swift Boat Veterans, about 300 men showed up: 85 percent of them think Kerry is unfit to be president. (On the bright side, Kerry was voted, in absentia, "Most Likely to Run for President on His Phony War Record.") Fewer than 10 percent of all Swift Boat Veterans contacted refused to sign the letter.

Kerry was in Vietnam for only four months, which, coincidentally, is less than the combined airtime he's spent talking about it. It takes a special kind of person to get that many people to hate your guts in so little time. The last time this many people hated one person after only four months was when Margaret Cho had her own sitcom.

But our young Eddie Haskell managed to annoy other servicemen even before he came home and called them war criminals. About 60 eyewitnesses to Kerry's service are cited in the book, describing Kerry fleeing comrades who were under attack, disregarding orders, putting others in danger, sucking up to his commanders, creating phony film footage of his exploits with a home-movie camera, and recommending himself for medals and Purple Hearts in vainglorious reports he wrote himself. (This was apparently before the concept of "fragging" put limits on such behavior.)

After three months of combat, Kerry had collected enough film footage for his political campaigns, so he went home. He even shot three different endings to the episode where he chases down a VC guy after test audiences thought Kerry shooting a wounded teenager in the back was too much of a "downer." After filming his last staged exploit, Kerry reportedly told a buddy, "That's a wrap. See you at the convention in about 35 years."

Kerry is demanding to be made president on the basis of spending four months in Vietnam 35 years ago. And yet the men who know what he did during those four months don't think he's fit to be dogcatcher. That seems newsworthy to me, but I must be wrong since the media have engineered a total blackout of the Swift Boat Veterans.

In May, the Swiftees held a spellbinding press conference in Washington, D.C. In front of a photo being used by the Kerry campaign to tout Kerry's war service, the officers stood up, one by one, pointed to their own faces in the campaign photo, and announced that they believed Kerry unfit for command. Only one officer in the photo supports Kerry for president. Seventeen say he is not fit to be president.

The press covered it much as they covered Paula Jones' first press conference.

With the media playing their usual role as Truth Commissar for the now-dead Soviet Union, the Swiftees are having to purchase ad time in order to be heard. No Tim Russert interviews, no "Today" show appearances, no New York Times editorials or Vanity Fair hagiographies for these heretics against the liberal religion. The only way Swift Boat Veterans for Truth could get less attention would be to go on "Air America" radio.

If the 254 veterans against Kerry got one-tenth as much media coverage for calling Kerry a liar as Clown Joe Wilson did for calling Bush a liar, the veterans wouldn't need to buy ad time to get their message out. (Wilson, you'll recall, was a media darling for six or seven months before being exposed as a fantasist by Senate investigators.)

With their commitment to free speech and a robust exchange of ideas (i.e., "child pornography" and "sedition"), the Democratic National Committee is threatening to sue TV stations that run the Swift Boat Veterans' paid ads. Sue? Can you tell already that there are two lawyers at the top of the Democratic ticket? These are the same people who accuse John Ashcroft of shredding the Bill of Rights. WHY ISN'T THE PRESS COVERING THIS??? Wait, now I remember. OK, never mind. (Contribute to the Swift Boat Veterans here.)

The threat to sue is absurd, but will allow the very same TV stations that are already censoring the Swiftees to have an excuse to censor even purchased airtime.

Leave aside the fact that Kerry is a presidential candidate and – judging by the ads being run against George Bush – I gather there's nothing you can't say about a presidential candidate, including calling him Hitler. After reading "Unfit for Command," I am pretty sure Kerry doesn't want a neutral tribunal deciding who's telling the truth here.

The Swift Boat Veterans provide detailed accounts from dozens and dozens of eyewitnesses to Kerry's Uriah Heep-like behavior – which "Unfit for Command" contrasts with Kerry's boastful descriptions of the exact same incidents.

By contrast, Kerry's supporters have their usual off-the-rack denunciations of any witness against a Democrat. The veterans are: liars, bigots, idiots, politically motivated, and I was never alone in a hotel with Paula Jones.
Ron Brownstein, Los Angeles Times reporter and Bill Clinton's favorite reporter, compared the Swift Boat Veterans' ad to a "snuff film." He claimed the veterans have "strong Republican ties."

Apparently, before being permitted to engage in free speech against Democrats in this country you have to: (1) prove that you are not a Republican, (2) take a vow of poverty, and (3) purchase the right to speak in a TV ad. On the basis of Clown Wilson, Michael Moore, George Soros,, etc., etc., etc., I gather the requirements for engaging in free speech against a Republican are somewhat less rigorous. Hey! Maybe John Edwards is right: There really are two Americas!

O'Neill, the author of "Unfit for Command" and founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, can be heard on the Nixon tapes – unaware that he was being taped – telling Nixon that he came from a family of Democrats and voted for Hubert Humphrey in the prior election. Unlike Joe Wilson, Anita Hill or Richard Clarke, Woodward and Bernstein, et al., O'Neill has said he will take no royalties on his book but will donate all his profits to the Navy. So I think even under liberals' rules, O'Neill is allowed to have an opinion.
Before the book was released and O'Neill could appear to defend it, liberals were on television denouncing the book. If memory serves, the last book Democrats tried this hard to suppress was the Bible. The DNC is threatening to sue to prevent the Swift Boat Veterans from buying ad time. When Democrats are this terrified of a book, it's not because they have a good answer. Howard Dean can accuse Ashcroft of book-burning all he wants, but it's the Democrats who are doing everything in their power to prevent you from reading "Unfit for Command." In bookstores beginning this week.

Ann Coulter is host of, a member group.
©2004 Universal Press Syndicate
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Monday, August 09, 2004

Stephen Hunter: Film Review of 'Napoleon Dynamite'

Here is a review of a hilarious and touching film by one of my favorite film critics and also one of my favorite writers of macho, action lit...the one and only Stephen Hunter. Check out his series of books revolving around the character of Bob Lee Swagger beginning with 'Point of Impact'. Bob Lee's got guns and he knows how to use 'em. Some of the books take place earlier in time and center around Bob Lee's father, Earl who was a WWII hero and a state trooper in Arkansas. Other titles that deserve your attention inlcude 'Dirty White Boys', 'Time to Hunt', 'Blacklight', 'Hot Springs', and 'Pale Horse Coming'. - jtf

'Napoleon Dynamite': Misfits Like a Glove
By Stephen Hunter, Washington Post Staff Writer. Friday, June 18, 2004; Page C05

You haven't seen anything till you've seen Napoleon Dynamite do the funky chicken.
Well, all right, it's not the funky chicken. You can see some funky chicken buried in it if you look carefully, though most of the moves show the influence of the Los Angeles dance masters Popin' Pete and Kool DJ Herc. Napoleon's freezes do need some work, and his back swipes and corkscrews could be a little smoother.
Still, you can't miss him. Not because he's a great dancer, but because he's about seven feet tall, he has a red Afro, his mouth is half open and his eyes are half shut, and most of the other boys like to beat up on him. And he's the most E.T.-looking white kid you ever saw.

Napoleon is big but weak, so soft he can't ball his hand into a fist. That makes him the clown prince of Preston, Idaho, and, as played by Jon Heder in the magnificent "Napoleon Dynamite," he's one of the most winning movie creations in years.
Of Napoleon it cannot be said that he marches to a different drummer. No, what he marches to is an instrument so unique it has no name and its melodies are beyond the capacity of the human ear to receive. Napoleon, maybe 17 (though Heder turns out to be 26), has a stretched-out, pillowy body that he cannot quite control and that keeps ramming into things. He has the eye-hand coordination of a Ukrainian weightlifter pickled in a vat of vodka. When he runs -- slowly, tragically, like a glacier melting -- he holds his elbows close to his body as if they're made of porcelain and will break. No wonder it's so much fun to crush him against a locker on the way to math class.
As a consequence of his advanced studies in exile, loneliness and disconnection, exacerbated by a family whose dysfunction is epic, Napoleon has cultivated a rather thorny personality. He's extremely acerbic; he's cruel and unsupportive; he's a chronic liar, a teller of self-aggrandizing tales so lame you wonder why he tries. ("My girlfriend's in Cleveland and she was going to fly in but she had a modeling assignment.") He's also transparently needy, throwing himself at those he suspects are snacks in the high school food chain. So what's not to love about a misfit so galactically misfitted as this?
It's a signal irony that a movie shot for $200,000 by a Mormon couple (director Jared Hess and his wife, Jerusha Hess, also the co-writer) in Idaho opens nationally on the same day as Steven Spielberg's $100 million "The Terminal" and that "Napoleon Dynamite" is every inch the superior product. It's tight, resonant, funny as hell, seriously bent and whacked, and also wonderfully healing.

That's because it's about diversity, really. Its text may be whiteness, but its subtext is blackness. It's about a couple of mutant white kids pushed to the margins of their own tribe who embrace black culture and find liberation, peace and dignity, to say nothing of emotional nourishment. It ends up saying, quietly and without strutting, this great American thing: We are each other and we are more alike than different, and we can profit so much from that connection.

Napoleon and his even more pathetic brother Kip (hysterical Aaron Ruell), a 32-year-old bespectacled pervert in Bermudas and knee socks trolling the chat universe for undercover officers to talk dirty to, live in a tiny house in a West so vast and barren it makes you yearn for a friendly McDonald's. The far-off mountains are picturesque but between here and there lies a Siberian plain the color of dead goats. The brothers are nothing, they have nothing, they do nothing, they are going nowhere slow. Their one connection to the galaxy is grandma, who in the early going breaks a bone in a dirt-bike accident (Granny has a life!) and so Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) -- a loser so big, his hobby is videotaping himself throwing a football to recall the glory day in 1982 when he almost got into the game -- moves in for the free lodging.

As a director, Hess's specialty is the deadpan announcement. He sets the camera down, lets his characters enter the frame at their own pace, make an announcement freighted with serious dementia, and then he cuts rapidly away, so that you're really laughing not at what was said, but at his refusal to underscore it in a conventional way.

Plot? Not a lot. But enough. Napoleon, desperate for friends but too repressed to be friendly, clumsily engages Pedro, a transfer played equally deadpan by Efren Ramirez; his outstanding trait is that he owns the only mustache in school. Pedro is also either foolhardy or clueless as he tries to date girls way up the social ladder and then finally runs for class president against Summer Wheatly (Haylie Duff), the coolest of the cool girls.
So you might say that the film is about the revenge of the nerds: how Napoleon and Pedro usurp the high school pecking order. But it doesn't concentrate on that. The Hesses' storytelling style is whimsical, episodical, in the end anecdotal, and almost, but not always, winning. We follow Kip's attempts to woo a woman in a chat room who turns out to be the savior of his life; we go with Kip and Uncle Rico as they try to sell Tupperware to farmers' wives; we go with Napoleon to a new job at a chicken farm and behold the horror of a million squawking eggbirds in a stalag of mesh wire under a corrugated tin roof.
Mistakes are made. A riff about a time machine that Uncle Rico orders off the Internet to get back to 1982 is ridiculous, even if Gries (son of the excellent director Tom Gries) is always funny, with his hairpiece and his entrepreneurial delusions and his eternal overestimation of his charm.

The manipulations by which it turns out that Napoleon must dance before the whole school in order to deliver the election for Pedro are quite thin, though it's organically rooted in the plot as part of Napoleon's secret plan to de-geekify himself by studying a hip-hop dance tape. But the movie builds to the moment when Napoleon, in his space boots and T-shirt, with his red foam of hair and his tiny eyes blown up by his aviators, must do the thing itself . . . the music comes on . . . the feet begin to twitch, the legs begin to shimmy, the hips begin to pump.

At that moment you realize how expertly Heder has hidden his true grace and how hard he has worked on finding a body and a style of movement for Napoleon and how totally convincing the artifice has been. Now, shedding it, he finds the magic. It's really the best six minutes of movie I've seen this year: the big ungainly boy seizing the moment, giving himself up to the music and transfiguring before our very eyes into something that, although still damned strange, is utterly compelling and even poignant.

"Napoleon Dynamite" rules.

Napoleon Dynamite (86 minutes, at the Cineplex Odeon Dupont Circle and Landmark Bethesda Row) is rated PG for what the MPAA calls "thematic elements," whatever that means.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Jamie Glazov's Interview With William F. Buckley Jr. (8/9/04)

Miles Gone By

By Jamie Glazov
August 9, 2004

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of National Review and the father of modern American conservatism. He has just published his literary autobiography, Miles Gone By (available in Frontpage's bookstore for a special offer of $23.95).

FP: Mr. Buckley. It is an honor to speak with you. Welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Buckley: Thanks very much, Jamie. I am at your service. You’re a very pleasant extortionist.

FP: I’ll try to take that as a compliment.

Let’s begin with your memoir. You start with how your father initiated piano lessons for you at a young age. You write very movingly about your eternal gratitude to him for this gift -- as well as to your piano instructor, Marjorie Otis (“Old Lady”).

What do you think your dad’s objectives and desired effects were in introducing music into your life?

Buckley: My father liked music, but was uninstructed in it. Most of his young manhood was spent in Mexico, and there he heard and reheard Mexican folk songs. He thought it appealing to hire a teacher, Mr. Pelaez, who would instruct his children in that repertory. We mastered about 12 songs, including lyrics. Father knew that there was great music there.

His choice of piano teacher was a matter of great luck, because she stayed a family friend for seventy years. Marjorie Otis would arrive at our house in northwestern Connecticut every Monday morning and stay until Wednesday afternoon. She was an inspiring figure, in part because of her mischievous and endearing personality, in part because of her extraordinary talent as a jazz pianist and as an organist.

Soon we were being taken to New York to recitals and operas and concerts of every kind. This went on for YEARS--I mean, right until college age--and left the brood of children permanently oriented to musical life. Father really accomplished what he intended, namely to root music in his children as a permanent legacy.

FP: What do you think your father had in mind in exposing you to music in this way?

Buckley: In such matters as these, my father was guided by two purposes. One of them was: It was vital for his children to engage in a discipline; the second, with his children having done so, was for us to profit from the effort.

My father was contemptuous of Americans who had the opportunity to learn a foreign language but didn't do so. He was himself bilingual in Spanish and English. Although his knowledge of French was extensive, he declined to speak it because he was a perfectionist.

In respect of music, he sensed the pleasures it brought to those who gave time to familiarizing themselves with it. His own curiosity stopped at popular music, but he knew there was an extensive world beyond that, which he wanted his children at least to know about.

We were taught piano above all, but also guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and banjo (so that we could make up our own orchestra). Father also hired a teacher to give us classes in music appreciation. She required us every afternoon to shut out other activity for one hour and listen to fine music on the great big Capehart phonograph kept in the schoolroom. The Capehart could take 78 rpm disks and turn them over, giving you 20 records without interruption.

These things never work out evenly. But eight of the ten children became pretty addicted to fine music, and two of us persevered for years with piano and harpsichord. I did 9 concerts as a soloist, playing the harpsichord, before I decided I wasn't good enough to pursue the instrument further. My younger sister was a soloist at Vassar and, before that, at Ethel Walker, though she gradually relinquished the piano, prodded by an infirm back.

FP: The essays in your book on your love of sailing and skiing are splendid. Tell us a bit about what sailing and skiing represent to you in your own life, in terms of, well, perhaps, metaphors for how we live – or should live. What is it about these activities, do you think, that brings you so much joy and satisfaction?

Buckley: The challenge here is to avoid the obvious, which cannot be avoided. What is it that constitutes a thrill? Dropping from an airplane at 3000 feet and surviving? Diving with air tanks and chasing fish at 120 feet below the surface? Yep. Add hurtling down a mountain in the snow at 60 miles per hour, and sailing with the wind at 8 knots as if the ocean decided to act for you like a skateboard. Oh, add this: skimming over frozen water on skates at 40 mph. You are both defying nature and dominating it. Okay, Glazov? Try it.

FP: Thanks, I think I’ll pass. I’m scared of that stuff.

Let me get back to music for a moment. I have always been fascinated and intrigued with those individuals and regimes that detest it, wondering why and what it says about them. We know that Lenin frowned on music, in part because he feared that it might reduce humans’ rage and make them disinclined to kill in a revolution. We know that Stalin was threatened by certain music that didn’t even have lyrics (e.g., Shostakovich, the Eighth Symphony of 1943). Khomeini despised music. The Taliban illegalized music. Etc. Why do you think many despots and totalitarian regimes are so petrified and threatened by music -- or certain kinds of music?

Buckley: Hitler adored music, and so, actually, did Stalin, though he thought some music counterrevolutionary. It's probably true that music is feared insofar as it is thought capable of affecting an individual wholly, but I know of no society -- or no Orwellian society---that has sought to simply suppress it.

FP: Fair enough. I’m just saying that Khomeini banned most music from radio and TV. The Taliban illegalized it. I’m interested in the utopian impulse to purify humans, which Islamism also is, and how this interrelates with demonizing music.

But let’s move on. What do you think: is militant Islam a greater threat to us than communism was?

I come from a family of Soviet dissidents and hate communism. But I would much rather live under communism than under Islamism, and would much rather have communists as enemies than Islamic fundamentalists.

At least under communism you can see women in society and appreciate their physical curves and beauty. You can have women as friends, and you can have intimate relations without fearing some kind of execution on a Friday. And you can get a bottle of vodka when you feel like it.

With communists as enemies, at least you have people that care about their own preservation. With what we are facing now, we have psychopaths who want to blow the whole planet up -- and themselves along with it.

It is very depressing, and it’s hard not to be pessimistic.

Your thoughts on this?

Buckley: Totalist ideologies are the enemy. In Communism, there were gradations. Under Stalin, to quote one historian, you were allowed to do anything that was not proscribed. Under Mao, you could do nothing except if specially permitted. Under Pol Pot, you were marked if you had ever learned how to read.

Anything in a totalitarian society that subtracts from the comprehensiveness of the things that are banned is welcome. If one wants to look for compensations, it would be to ask whether the proffered substitute provided substantial relief. Monks lead a spartan life, but their experience is the kind where they feel elation in other ways, which causes them to hang in there, which of course they do voluntarily. The Benthamite formula is simply inapplicable, so I'm not sure we should spend much time on it.

FP: Fair enough. So how do we fight militant Islam? What tactics will yield victory? If President Bush called you tomorrow and asked you what he should do next in Iraq specifically and in the War on Terror in general, what would you tell him?

Buckley: Divide et impera. We must vigorously pursue Muslim leaders who know of the sequential violations by Al Qaeda of the Islamic faith. The goal would be the honest one of charging with infidelity those who practice what Al Qaeda has been doing. Residual disputes on doctrine need to be treated as empirical challenges to co-existence as, we know from history, went on for many years among Muslims and Christians and Jews. In any such conversation with the president I would stress this point.

FP: Give us your report card on President Bush in the War on Terror.

Buckley: A grade given to Mr. Bush in the matter of the war on terrorism would require scales of performance by others in similar situations. The one tactile confrontation we all have is at airports, and I decline to believe ingenuity has been exercised there. Though that perhaps reflects my having to bare my toenails to somebody or other a couple of days ago. Another measure is a posteriori: If there are no terrorist attacks, progress is being made.

FP: The behavior of the Left in the War on Terror has really reached new pathetic and pathological lows. “Progressives” are now excusing, and even supporting, religious zealots who persecute women and gays -- and suppress all the democratic rights that are supposedly the center of progressive ideology.

This is nothing new, of course. The Left did the same with our totalitarian adversaries throughout the 20th century. But it completely boggles the mind how, for example, radical leftist feminists are now making excuses for regimes where they themselves would be executed simply for showing an ankle in public.

What is your insight into the leftist’s urge to promote regimes where his/her own existence would be extinguished?

Buckley: The Left has priorities, and the priority this time around is to damage the United States. Conversely, their fear is that to support our missions overseas would undermine their whole anti-US structure--so let the gays burn and the ladies be flogged. What does give me pause is their failure even to decry the crimes you mention.

FP: Anti-Semitism has become the new mantle of the Left. Much of the international community, except for the U.S. and a handful of other countries, now condemns Israel for trying to defend itself with a fence while it turns a blind eye to the mass murderers of our time. The U.N. completely condones anti-Semitism. What do you think is behind these pathological developments in regard to the new Jew-Hatred?

Buckley: No doubt some people who oppose the fence do so because they want to be anti-Israel; and some of these individuals are motivated by anti-Semitism. But my sense of it is that most believe the fence inordinate and opportunistic. In my book In Search of Anti-Semitism, I quoted Norman Podhoretz: If you are anti-Israel, you may well be an anti-Semite, but not all anti-Israelis are anti-Semitic.

FP: Mr. Buckley, clearly not all anti-Israelis are anti-Semitic. But the point here is that whoever believes the fence is “inordinate” and “opportunistic” lives in a delusional fantasy world. Israeli citizens are the victims of a pathological enemy that sends its young kids to blow themselves up inside Israeli cafes and shopping malls. Israel has a right and a responsibility to defend itself. The fence is not even half finished, and suicide bombings have greatly decreased.

My question is, why is Israel not allowed to defend itself? Why does the world protest a fence meant to keep terrorists out, while it remains silent at the grotesque inhumanity of suicide bombings? This is directly connected to the fact that anti-Semitism has become the new call of the Left. Could you comment on this phenomenon? Or do you disagree with my assumptions?

Buckley: I don’t disagree with your assumptions, but they are incompletely elaborated. It’s correct that the Israelis should have their fence, but some critics persuasively argue that its shape is opportunistic--that it is being used to settle the settler problem. They are most definitely entitled to a fence or whatever else they deem useful to augment their safety. But they must not use the fence to close out territorial issues that are legitimately in question.

FP: What did you think of the Democratic National Convention? Carter struck me as especially pathetic. This is a President who lost two crucial allies of America’s, Iran and Nicaragua, to our enemies and who stood by when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. In many respects, the rise of militant Islam was spawned under – and because of – his incompetent presidency. And yet he is still lecturing – moralistically at that -- the Republicans on how to conduct foreign policy. What did you make of this in particular and of the DNC in general?

Buckley: Dear Jamie, you are answering my questions for me. Thanks. Carter is a lost cause, and lost causes don’t get any loster. For my views on the DNC, see my last two columns.

FP: Mr. Buckley, we have run out of time. It was a great honor to speak with you. Let’s close on your decision to relinquish ownership of National Review.

Everyone here at FrontPage would like to extend our immense gratitude to you for this priceless gift that you have given America – and the world -- for a half century.

Could you kindly give us a glimpse into your thoughts concerning what National Review has accomplished, and also your decision to depart?

Buckley: Thank you for your very kind remarks, Jamie. What I said to the New York Times when I retired was pretty much the whole story. Perhaps you will trouble to look at the current issue of National Review -- which is chock full of high-nutrient flattery. I so much appreciate your good wishes. National Review should continue to be interesting, readable, buoyant, and brightly aware of challenges ahead.

FP: Thank you, Mr. Buckley. We wish you the best and we are all grateful to you for who you are and what you have given us.

Buckley: Thank you very much, Jamie.

*Miles Gone By is available in Frontpage's bookstore for a special offer of $23.95

Previous Interviews:

Jed Babbin

Karl Zinsmeister

Ion Mihai Pacepa

Richard Perle and David Frum

Andrew Sullivan
Richard Pipes
Robert Dornan
Christopher Hitchens
Ann Coulter
Michael Ledeen
Daniel Pipes

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Soviet Studies. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s new book Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of the new book The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at "Connecting the South American Terror Dots"

By David August 9, 2004

Dot # 1: A Growing Threat in the Tri-Border Area of South America. (Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America. A Report Prepared under an Interagency Agreement by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, July 2003.)
Since the early 1980’s, Arab terrorists have been sending thousands of their cohorts to the almost inaccessible jungle and mountain region between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay (known as the TBA, Tri-Border Area or La Triple Frontera). Terror training camps and arsenals have been established, virtually out of the reach of local law enforcement or defense forces; and elements from Hezbollah, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the Lebanese Drug mafia operate in partnership, freely and openly in conjunction with local organized crime and corrupt government officials.

The TBA has become a virtual haven for Islamic terror groups and a base for terror operations against South American targets. The large and growing Arab population of these states (in excess of 750,000 by local estimates) provides a community highly conducive to the establishment of Islamic terrorist sleeper cells throughout the area. The attacks in Buenos Aires on the Israeli embassy (3/17/1992) and the Jewish Community Center (7/18/1994) are believed to have originated from terror bases in the TBA. Since the mid-90’s, government forces have foiled many more terror attacks against American, Jewish and Israeli targets, arresting some of the perpetrators.

CNN reported that an Islamic terrorist summit meeting was held in the TBA in late 2002, to plot attacks in South America and abroad. Security forces believe that future targets include USA and Israeli government offices, Jewish community buildings, hotels, tourism centers, airports and facilities of multinational corporations.

The TBA terrorist haven also operates an immense money-laundering project, reaping profits from their partnerships with the FARC and narcotics traffickers in the widespread South American drug trade. Government estimates place the total amount of money laundered since 1992 at more than 172 billion dollars.

There is currently no effective surveillance or containment of these terrorist activities.

Dot #2: Increased Terrorism in northern Venezuela (U.S. News & World Report, 10/6/03, pp. 18ff.)

Another South American hub of Arab terrorism has emerged recently in northern Venezuela near the border with Colombia. Thousands of terrorists now occupy an unknown number of camps in that region, and move about with the support and collaboration of the Venezuelan government. President Hugo Chavez plays host to a growing horde of Middle Eastern terrorists from some of the USA’s most notorious enemies, including Libya, Saddam’s Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan. Thousands of Venezuelan identity cards have been legally issued to these foreigners. Such cards can be used to obtain legal travel documents and passports for unimpeded entry into other South American countries and into the USA.

These terror groups are known to work in conjunction with the Colombian anti-government insurgency group, FARC. They offer FARC terrorists safe haven in mountainous and unpatrolled regions of Northeastern Venezuela. They may provide Hugo Chavez with a covert force that can be used to support FARC against the Colombian government. Venezuelan cooperation with these terrorists may buy President Chavez a guarantee that terror assaults will not be perpetrated in his country.

Currently there are no known terror attacks that can be attributed to these groups.

Dot #3: Illegal Immigration at the Southern Border…Not Just Hispanics, Anymore. (“U.S. seizes 77 Mideastern aliens in southern Arizona,” World Tribune, 8/2/04; “Two groups of middle-eastern invaders caught in Cochise county in past six weeks,” Tombstone Tumbleweed, 7/18/04; “Breaking silence over possible terror threat,” Defense Watch, 7/23/04.)

American border patrol agents arrested 158 illegal aliens in Cochise County, Arizona, on 6/13/04. One agent, who speaks Farsi and Arabic, overheard dozens of detainees speaking Arabic in the back of the detention vehicle. He counted 53 of Middle Eastern rather than Hispanic origin. His superiors told him to keep that information to himself; but he reported it to the local newspaper, the Tombstone Tumbleweed.

Just one week later, on June 21, 2004, another group of illegals were apprehended, including 24 Arabic speaking men. But at least as many or more escaped apprehension and disappeared into the United States.

Border Patrol officials deny that there have been any Middle Eastern illegals among those arrested, but individual arresting officers attest to the accuracy of that ethnic description.

Upon deeper investigation, the Tumbleweed editor learned that since October 1, 2003, Arizona border patrol agents have arrested 5,510 illegals from countries other than Mexico, Central and South America. In addition, the arresting officers noted that all of the Middle Eastern illegals sported identical haircuts and moustaches; and while their clothes were the typical illegal immigrant jeans, baseball caps and jerseys, the Middle Easterners all wore brand new clothes, still spiffy looking and clean (quite the opposite of the usual rather frazzled appearance of illegals).

Connecting the Dots:

We are witness to expanding Islamic terrorist bases in South America, operating with almost no interference from, or in collaboration with, the host countries’ governments; thousands of Arab terrorists training in these bases; and credible evidence that hundreds or even thousands of Arabic speaking illegals have been entering the USA through our porous border with Mexico for almost a year. Given the Border Patrol leadership’s refusal to divulge the ethnic or national identities of the 5,510 non-Hispanic detainees, we cannot know how many of these thousands are Arabs.

Why would Middle Eastern terror groups spend untold millions of dollars to set up bases in South America? Certainly to benefit from the drug trade and money-laundering opportunities that lax or corrupt governments afford. Clearly, to attack South American targets (inter alia, Israeli or American embassies, Jewish communities, and/or other institutions that are involved in South American financial, political, or military interaction with the USA). Probably also to facilitate the planning and execution of future terror attacks in South America or abroad.

Why would Arabs enter the United States in such large numbers? At least some of them are likely bona fide terrorists who, once they have eluded the Border Patrol, can connect with established contacts in the American Muslim community and lay the groundwork for future terror attacks within this country. It takes a minimum of five “support-staff” to launch one terrorist action. How many terror attacks can we expect, now that we know now that hundreds or perhaps thousands of Arab terrorists have entered this country illegally during the past year, and are completely untraceable by law enforcement or military agencies.

Why would hundreds of these Arab terrorists sneak into America illegally via the Mexican border? The credible scenarios are:

These Arabs are known terrorists who could not enter in a simpler and more direct fashion, via our legal ports of entry; or…
The terror planners and strategists foresee that if our legal ports of entry were suddenly flooded with dozens or hundreds of entrants recognizable as Arabs but bearing legal South American travel documents, our immigration officials might get suspicious.
Thus, to infiltrate very large numbers of terrorists into the United States in anticipation of future massive terror assaults, it would be necessary to create a base for the invaders in neighboring safe areas from which large numbers of terrorists could be transported en masse.


Why do the official spokespersons for the Border Patrol in Arizona refuse to acknowledge what their field force tells us? Surely corroboration by several different guards on different occasions warrants public concern.

Why are Border Patrol guards instructed to keep silent about the presence of Arabs and Iranians among the many thousands of non-Hispanic illegal aliens? Surely this unusual and alarming phenomenon merits the scrutiny of the Border Patrol’s leadership.

Why have no mainstream media outlets publicized this infiltration of terrorists into our country? Surely such a phenomenon is newsworthy.


Once we connect these dots, it becomes obvious that the presence of thousands of Arab terrorists in two separate areas of South America and the illegal entry of hundreds of Arabs via the Mexican border portend massive terror assaults against American and other targets in South America and within this nation.

It does not require much imagination to foresee that the many current Arab terror sleeper cells scattered throughout the USA and Canada today are being re-enforced with the influx of Arab terrorists from South America, an influx of such numbers that normal ports of entry cannot be used.
Can the purpose of this re-enforcement be other than an Arab terrorist plan to mount major attacks on numerous targets throughout North America? Such imaginative terror masterminds as Imad Mughniyyah or Osama bin Laden himself would surely have little difficulty figuring out how to best utilize an untraceable sleeper army of Arab terrorists waiting patiently for the signal to strike at centers of telecommunication, transportation, electric power, and even law enforcement and military bases.