Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Does the Judgment Make The Grade

As Obama swings his campaign toward the general election I keep hearing how Obama had the judgment to oppose the war in Iraq. Why, "(a)s a candidate for the United States Senate in 2002, Obama put his political career on the line to oppose going to war in Iraq," when he gave his, "Dumb War," speech. (In January 2003 Obama formally announced he was running for the US Senate seat --- wait, 2003, well in 2002 he really was risking it all wasn't he.)

What I don't hear is what he actually said in that famous speech.

What did he say that confirms his judgment claims today? Was he accurate and knowledgeable and is he consistent today? Does that speech demonstrate that Barack Obama knew the right thing to do when all the rest were flailing around for an answer?

Lets take a look at the key points in Barack Obama's now famous (but rarely quoted) 2002 Iraq speech:
Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

Check, We know today that that Obama was right about one thing, Saddam was a brutal, ruthless, butcher and the world would be better without him!

(+1 Obama Judgment point (OJP))

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
Obama was wrong about the containment policy working against Saddam. In addition Saddam's hold on his people wasn't even close to weakening. As a matter of fact thanks to Oil for Food the only thing that was weakening was the resolve of the UN.

We also know that petty dictators:
For the most part, dictators tend to stay in power for a very long time. Or they're deposed only to be replaced by another dictator. It takes a long time to change an entire governmental structure, and often it doesn't happen without the intervention of the United Nations, the United States or other governmental organizations. Currently, more than 70 countries in the world are ruled by dictators. Many of them are guilty of atrocities against their own people. (How Stuff Works -- To End Dictatorships)

(Oow, sorry that is -1 OJP. Since the President said we needed to act before Saddam was an imminent and direct threat that is not scored.)

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

Well, he was right about that -- but strangely he is willing to ignore his own judgment on this one. He said REQUIRE, but is now willing to forgo that requirement for the sake of political posturing.

(-1 OJP = +1 for accuracy, -2 for ignoring his own advice)
I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the middle east, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Queda.

Well, the middle east didn't erupt in flames, to the contrary, the Arab world proved quite rational overall.

(-1 OJP)

This week the US Ambassador to Iraq stated that Al Qaeda in Iraq has nearly been eliminated (something time will tell) and Bin Laden's most recent tape indicated he was diverting his resources from Iraq, what he had called the central battle against the US, to the support of the Palestinians.

Recruiting of foreign fighters may have increased as they went to Iraq to help the Jihad, however this appears to have had the affect of draining the jihadi swamp in a manner advantageous to the US as our trained forces were able to deal with them in Iraq rather then worldwide or at home. In addition many, including Bin Laden himself believe a defeat in Iraq will damage al Qaeda.,

(-1 OJP)
I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.
So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president today.

The key word in this sentence is WORLD. Let's remember what Obama said earlier, a few short paragraphs earlier:

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

Would leaving a brutal, ruthless, butcherer who thwarted the world's attempts at eliminating the danger, developed chemical weapons and coveted nuclear capacity -- A BAD GUY who the world would be better off without -- really have left a just more secure world? Does Obama really believe that? How DOES he define just and more secure, because it seems he really mucks this one up.

Is this the lesson he took away from the stories of his Grandfather and Great Uncle liberating Nazi death camps in Europe? Is that the lesson you or I would have gotten from their honorable service in a horrific liberation of people oppressed by a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butched his own people. A man who repeatedly thwarted the world's attempts at peace?

(-3 OJP = -1 for just and -1 for secure and -1 for his interpretation of his own family history!)

So, as far as the infamous speech that has made Obama the candidate with the judgment, how does he score?

Final Score -- Minus 6 -- Obama Judgment Points.

Sorry, but even in public school that is a failing grade.

Freeport School District To Hold Graduation -- Special Security Measures In Place

The graduation ceremony for the class of 2008 will be held as scheduled on May 31, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. With the support of the FSD 145 Board of Education, central office personnel, FHS personnel and law enforcement agencies the following security protocols will be used:

1. The graduation ceremony for the FHS class of 2008 will be held in the gymnasium. This facility is easier to supervise and secure.

2. School personnel, law enforcement agencies, and/or trained canines will make multiple searches of the high school buildings and grounds. Admittance to our facilities will not be granted until the law enforcement agencies advise us that it is safe.

3. Only indoor ticket holders will be admitted to the gymnasium and may begin entering at 1:00 p.m. Purses, bags, camera cases, beverage bottles or cans, coolers, and clothing that could conceal other items are prohibited. Cameras outside of the cases may be brought into the gymnasium. Law enforcement officials and school personnel will do a visual check of everyone entering the ceremony. All indoor ticket holders will enter the gymnasium through the Empire Street entrance. Anyone choosing to leave the high school will not be readmitted. Ticket holders will not be admitted after 2:00 p.m.

4. Graduating students may enter the cafeteria only through the North West doors located in the west teacher’s parking lot beginning at 1:15 p.m. Students will not be admitted to the cafeteria after 2:00 p.m. Students are instructed to carry their graduation robes into the cafeteria. School and law enforcement personnel will do a visual check of everyone entering the cafeteria. Students that leave the high school after they have checked in will not be readmitted.

5. Diplomas will be distributed at the conclusion of the ceremony in the cafeteria. Only the graduates will be permitted in the cafeteria at this time.

6. The Freeport Police Department will block off Empire Street from West to Locust at 2:00 p.m. Parents and guardians may meet their FHS graduates in this area at the conclusion of the ceremony.

7. Vehicles will not be permitted to park or stand in the fire lanes around FHS.

8. Bottles of water will be available in the gymnasium lobby compliments of Freeport High School and Freeport High School Black Alumni.

9. Convocation and graduation practice for the class of 2008 will be held on Thursday, May 29 as scheduled. Practice at 9:30 a.m. in the gym and Convocation at 7:00 p.m. at the Jeannette Lloyd Theatre. Additional security will be provided for both of these events.

10. Other security protocols are listed on the FHS website:

These security measures that are in place will be strictly enforced and are necessary to ensure all of our safety as we recognize and honor the graduates of the class of 2008.


Freeport High School

Garbage In -- Global Warming Out

In the web site of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, Fred Singer offers an excellent summary of the skeptics' view of anthropogenic global warming. If you haven't followed the issue in detail and want to review the basics, it's a good place to start.

Singer makes one point that cannot be repeated too often: the AGW theory depends entirely on computer models, but we know for sure that those computer models are wrong. They do not accurately explain either the Earth's climate history, or the present distribution of global temperatures. This simple diagram shows how the "fingerprint" predicted by AGW models fails to conform to observed atmospheric conditions; click to enlarge:

If you think about it, it is rather remarkable that Al Gore and his confederates have been able to stampede millions of voters, based on computer models that are indisputably contradicted by the facts.

I have repeated the entire post because there was really no way to clip it and still get the point and the image.
Powerline -- Global Warming: A Primer

What Are The Ties?

Just One Minute -- Obama's Tie To The Ayers' Family


London Frees Itself From Strongman Chavez

New London Mayor Boris Johnson wasted no time in taking his city off Hugo Chávez's PR payroll.

Elected earlier this month, Mr. Johnson has announced that the city won't renew a deal with the Venezuelan strongman to get cheap oil to subsidize bus fares for London residents. "I think many Londoners felt uncomfortable about the bus operation of one of the world's financial powerhouses being funded by . . . a country where many people live in extreme poverty," the Conservative Mayor explained Sunday.
Throughout history corrupt leaders have found ways to spin public opinion and Chavez is no different. Often it seems the far left, as the previous mayor of London was, tend to be willing.
American Thinker -- Getting off Hugo Chavez's payroll

Is McCain The Answer for Republicans

John McCain, for all his faults, is the one Republican candidate who can lead us through our wilderness. Mr. McCain is not running on a messianic platform or as a great healer of dysfunctional Republicans who refuse to help themselves. His humility is one of his great strengths. In his heart, he’s a soldier who sees one more hill to charge, one more mission to complete.

Hot Air -- Coburn to GOP: Stop Start acting like Republicans, and follow … McCain?

Osama Located? Taliban Says No.

I can't really excerpt this one, go to Gateway Pundit to read this whole post -- including the updates.

He is either in a Himalayan range, or dead, or in the northern Pakistan/Afghanistan region.

Why Won't Al Gore Debate?

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Tuesday he is ready to debate Al Gore about global warming, as he presented the English version of his latest book that argues environmentalism poses a threat to basic human freedoms.

'I many times tried to talk to have a public exchange of views with him, and he's not too much willing to make such a conversation,' Klaus said. 'So I'm ready to do it.'

Klaus was speaking a the National Press Building in Washington to present his new book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles - What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?, before meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday.

'My answer is it is our freedom and, I might add, and our prosperity,' he said.

Klaus, an economist, said he opposed the 'climate alarmism' perpetuated by environmentalism trying to impose their ideals, comparing it to the decades of communist rule he experienced growing up in Soviet-dominated Czechoslovakia.

'Like their (communist) predecessors, they will be certain that they have the right to sacrifice man and his freedom to make their idea reality,' he said.

'In the past, it was in the name of the Marxists or of the proletariat - this time, in the name of the planet,' he added.

M&C Czech President Klaus ready to debate Gore on climate change

Even The IAEA Doesn't Trust Iran -- What Say You Mr. Obama?

Note to Iran apologists: Even the United Nations nuclear watchdog - a notoriously anti-American group and obsessively non-confrontational - isn't satisfied with Iranian explanations about its nuclear enrichment activities:

American Thinker Blog --
IAEA Takes Iran to the Woodshed over Nuke Program

Iraq Violence Drops To 4 Year Low

The U.S. military said Sunday that the number of attacks by militants in the last week dropped to a level not seen in Iraq since March 2004.

Hot Air -- Iraq violence at a four-year low

McClellan's Book

Scott McClellan, the former Press Secretary for the Bush Administration has a new book out that is reported to be scathing.

My opinion? I don't know and don't really care what he writes. What I do know is that there wasn't a week that went by that I didn't wonder how he got and how he kept his job.

He did the President a disservice every time he opened his mouth to whine about something. He wasn't convincing and just seemed to get frustrated rather then being able to communicate the administration's positions. In my opinion, McClellan and his inability to communicate had a major role in the administration losing the war of popular opinion.

So, read his book if you want, but if is anything like his press conferences it will be a poorly communicated and painful experience.

That Obama Gaffe

Okay, so we have supposedly learned that it was Obama's Great Uncle that liberated a sub-section of Buchenwald, not an uncle at Auschwitz. But if sources are correct and unless there's some arcane military history in his favor, Obama still has a problem.

His only Great Uncle is Charles W. Payne. It at least appears that no one by that name from Kansas served in the Army during WWII.

Charles W. Payne of Kansas, with a similar birth era, served in the Navy during WWII.

Riehl World View -- A New Problem For Obama

I have no idea how accurate the sources for this post are, but if they are accurate then it means that this story was either a family myth or was really embellished.

Of course, since he used a similar story about his grandfather in a previous speech that he has on his website:
My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don't oppose all wars.

Strange he didn't mention his uncle then.

Is This A Preview of 2009?

Wonkette: Dissent is terrorism.

Since 9/11 the lefty mantra has been “dissent is patriotic.”

Proving Sam Johnson right; patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

But Wonkette let out of the bag what to expect once President Obama is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009.


Don Surber -- 2009 Preview

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License