"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Bush Wrongly Blames America

From J.R. Dunn at the American Thinker.

I take second place to no one in my admiration for George W. Bush. But there are times when he comes out with something so obtuse, so ill thought out, that it simply grates on the brain. Remarks of the "I have gazed into Putin's soul" variety. (I gazed into Putin's soul too. I needed two weeks of electroshock to straighten me out afterward.)

Last week gave us yet another example. Visiting Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum and memorial, a deeply moved Bush was heard to say, "We should have bombed Auschwitz."

Mr. Dunn goes on to explain how with 1940's technology bombing Auschwitz would not have prevented (or even slowed) the Final Solution. In fact, he notes it was bombed (accidentally) once.

The final irony, clear evidence that history holds all the cards and lays them down in exactly the order she pleases and none other, lies in the fact that Auschwitz was bombed. In late 1944 U.S. bomber forces carried out a strike against Buna, a camp only a few miles away from Birkenau. It was a synthetic rubber plant, a prime target, using slave labor from the rest of the Auschwitz complex. (There were several dozen camps in the entire system.) Somehow a stack of bombs, and perhaps more than one, found its way into Birkenau, an example of the CEP in action. The bombs blew up a number of buildings and killed several hundred people. All of them Jews. (emphasis added)

I too, like J.R. Dunn, believe the Allies did everything in their power to not only prevent the Final Solution, but also to end the Nazi regime that was responsible for it. Statements like this made by the President do not do justice to the memory of the quarter million Americans which fought and died to prevent things like the Final Solution.

For a full read, click here.

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Middle East indebted to Bush

From Salim Mansur at the Toronto Sun.

This week's journey of U.S. President George W. Bush to the Middle East -- the itinerary beginning with Israel includes visits to the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt -- is greatly significant and yet, in keeping with his temper, a low-keyed affair as the last remaining months of his presidency unfold.

We likely can surmise there is one more visit to the region still to be made by Bush.

This will be a visit to Baghdad with an address to Iraq's democratically elected parliament before Bush takes leave from the White House for his ranch in Crawford, Tex.

When Bush stepped into the Oval Office -- a long time ago now it seems on that cold January morning in 2001 -- the Arab-Muslim world was furthest from his mind as it was from the minds of most Americans.

But the malignancy of the Middle East, ignored by the West and the previous occupants of the White House, would strike New York City, bringing the Arab-Muslim world's politics of fanatical hate, deep-seated resentment and a mountain of grievances to the shores of the United States.

The Arabs had squandered the 20th century just as they slept through much of the previous four centuries, while the West created a whole new world of science and democracy.

The independence won for the Arabs from the rule of the Ottoman Turks by Britain and France at the end of the First World War eventually became a cruel mockery with a people -- despite the resources and goodwill available -- incapable of lifting themselves up from the broken ruins of their tribal culture.

This is the root cause of Arab failure, and instead of embracing the modern world by reforming its culture the Arab political class has indulged in blaming others, most particularly Jews and Israel.

George Bush could have remained indifferent to the Arab-Muslim world's malignancy, mouthing pieties as members of the ever fashionable lib-left political class in the West endlessly does, while watching the Arabs sink deeper into the political squalor of their making.

Instead, Bush struck directly at the most rotten core of the Middle East -- Iraq, the land of two rivers, choked to death by the vilest of Arab tyrants in recent memory, Saddam Hussein -- to give the Arabs an opportunity one more time to make a better future.

Regime change in Baghdad has brought a new Iraq to emerge with American support despite the fanatical opposition of the most backward tribal warriors of the Arab-Muslim world.

Iraqis -- Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds -- now bear responsibility that comes with freedom to write a new history for Arabs as, for instance, the far more populous and ethnically diverse people of India are doing.

The Arab leaders greeting Bush remain frozen in their hypocrisy, unable to say publicly what they will say privately, being relieved in knowing the United States remains committed to maintaining order and security in the Persian Gulf region.

But free Iraq looms large in the capitals of the Arab states, and if Iraqis keep progressing in freedom their example will be an irresistible attraction for the Arab-Muslim world spread between the Atlantic and the Persian Gulf.

A democratic Iraq is George Bush's formidable legacy, and the Arabs will be talking about him long after his contemporary critics bite the dust and are forgotten

I could not have said it any better myself.

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Sorry, Barack, You’ve lost Iraq.

From Michael Hirsh at Newsweek.

The U.S. will be entering a strategic partnership with Iraq, much like the strategic partnership that exists with Germany, Japan, and Korea. The UN mandate for Coalition presence in Iraq ends in December 2008. The significance of this partnership is explained.

Most significant of all, the new partnership deal with Iraq, including a status of forces agreement that would then replace the existing Security Council mandate authorizing the presence of the U.S.-led multinational forces in Iraq, will become a sworn obligation for the next president. It will become just another piece of the complex global security framework involving a hundred or so countries with which Washington now has bilateral defense or security cooperation agreements.

This strategic agreement is expected to be in place no later than July 2008. Commenting on how many troops would remain in Iraq, a Pentagon contractor working on the strategic relationship stated,

....the administration is considering new configurations of forces that could reduce troop levels to well under 100,000, perhaps to as few as 60,000, by the time the next president takes office.

While presidential candidates are still looking at Iraq as a quagmire, reality on the ground says Iraq and the U.S. are entering a long-term political, military, economic, and diplomatic relationship that will endure for decades and will ensure a stable Middle East in those decades to come.

For a full read, click here.

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