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From the September 23, 2003, edition of NPR's All Things Considered (accessed from the Nexis database):
FRIEDMAN: Well, there were, I believe, three great bubbles in the 1990s. You know, there was the Nasdaq bubble. There was the Enron bubble, the corporate governance bubble. And there was the terrorism bubble. And all three were based on creative accounting. The terrorism bubble was based on moral creative accounting. And the terrorism bubble really began to inflate with the attack on American troops at Khobar Towers, then East African embassies. And it reached its apex on 9/11. And the terrorism bubble basically said that plowing your planes into the World Trade Center is OK. Wrapping yourself in dynamite and blowing up Israelis in pizza parlors is A-OK. Having your charities raise money for people who do those things is just fine and dandy. And calling people who do those things martyrs in your own press and houses of worship is just wonderful.
And not did many, many people in the Middle East believe that was all OK, they believed it was actually going to level the balance of power between them and us. And I believe that bubble, that bubble motivating people to do things that threaten us, was a fundamental threat to our open society. And there was no wall high enough, no metal detector smart enough, no border guard efficient enough to protect us ultimately by people motivated by that bubble, and what we had to do, I believe at some point, was to go into the very heart of that world and burst that bubble. And the message was, 'Ladies and gentlemen, which part of this sentence don't you understand? We are not going to sit back and let people motivated by that bubble threaten an open society we have built over 250 years. We really like our open society. We mean no ill to you, OK? But we are not going to sit back and let that bubble fundamentally distort our open society and imprison us.'
And that's what I believe ultimately this war was about. And guess what? People there got the message, OK, in the neighborhood. This is a rough neighborhood, and sometimes it takes a 2-by-4 across the side of the head to get that message. But they got the message and the message was, 'You will now be held accountable,' and one can see that in Syria. One can see it in Saudi Arabia. I think one can see it in Iran.
From the May 30, 2003, edition of PBS' The Charlie Rose Show:
ROSE: Now that the war is over, and there's some difficulty with the peace, was it worth doing?
FRIEDMAN: I think it was unquestionably worth doing, Charlie. I think that, looking back, I now certainly feel I understand more what the war was about . . . . What we needed to do was go over to that part of the world, I'm afraid, and burst that bubble. We needed to go over there basically, and take out a very big stick, right in the heart of that world, and burst that bubble. . . .
And what they needed to see was American boys and girls going from house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, and basically saying: which part of this sentence do you understand? You don't think we care about our open society? . . . .
Well, Suck. On. This. That, Charlie, was what this war was about.
We could have hit Saudi Arabia. It was part of that bubble. Could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could. That's the real truth.
Get ready for this talking point tomorrow to be repeated ad nauseam Wednesday: Obama never mentioned the word "victory" in his speech on Afghanistan.
Here's Red State's Erick Erickson: "In 4608 words, he did not once mention the word "victory" and the closest he came to using the word "win" was those three letters appearing in the word 'withdrawing.' "
And the Fox Nation loudly proclaimed: "Major Wartime Speech But Obama Doesn't Say 'Victory' or 'Win'?"
Apparently, Obama wasn't clear enough in the very beginning of his speech:
"To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our armed services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan - the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my Administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion."
Given the right-wing's insistence that Obama mention "victory," George Bush must have used the word in his speeches more times than Johnny Drama, right?
In announcing the attacks on the Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, Bush never mentioned victory. Not once.
Nor in his January 28, 2002 statement with Hamid Karzai on a "new partnership" between the two countries.
Bush's second inaugural speech - nada.
Bush's September 24, 2008 speech to UN general assembly - nope.
Bush's farewell address - nope.
In his 2006 State of the Union speech, Bush did use the word or its variants a whopping six times. Just not about Afghanistan - only to Iraq. In fact, he devoted only two sentences to the war in Afghanistan while devoting significantly more to the one in Iraq.
But then, I guess that's kind of illustrative of why we're in this mess in the first place.
And why words like "victory" are meaningless if you do nothing for seven years to actually accomplish victory. (Hell, even Sarah Palin didn't fall for this foolishness, titling her latest Facebook post: "Finally, a Decision for Afghanistan: We're In It to Win It.)
Or if you fail to send adequate troops to Tora Bora to finish off Osama Bin Laden. Wonder how many times "Tora Bora" will be mentioned in the media tomorrow?
From Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online:
MSNBC reached a new shameful low tonight when Chris Matthews referred to West Point as an "enemy camp." He was trying to convey his surprise that Barack Obama would go to such a place, somewhere, he said, where Paul Wolfowitz would be more comfortable.
Chris, he's commander-in-chief.
In a November 30 piece, FoxNews.com contributor John Lott joins the conservative freak-out over "climate-gate," claiming that "CRU's temperature data and all of the research done with it are now in question" and "[t]here is no precedent for so many academics engaging in coordinated efforts to distort research for political ends."
We've already debunked much of the hysteria over "climate-gate," but Lott probably isn't the best person to complain about research integrity.
In 2003, it was revealed that Lott had been defending the integrity of his own research online over the previous three years under the pseudonym "Mary Rosh." In one posting, Lott/Mary gushed: "I have to say that [Lott] was the best professor I ever had." Lott was trashed by liberals and conservatives alike; Michelle Malkin wrote that "Lott's invention of Mary Rosh to praise his own research and blast other scholars is beyond creepy. And it shows his extensive willingness to deceive to protect and promote his work." Lott has also been caught using fraudulent data for his research.
More recently, Lott was criticized for botching research to cry voter fraud in the Franken-Coleman recount. Veteran Minnesota reporter and media critic David Brauer called Lott's purported research "baseless sliming" and "disgusting," while Minneapolis Star Tribune editor Glenn Howatt said that Lott's "numbers are simply wrong."
Commenter M. Rosh, however, calls Lott's "climate-gate" piece "brilliant."
The New York Times today has a rundown on the latest woes at the Washington Times, which, astonishingly, now has a disappearing circulation of just 67,000 readers. That's right, 67,000. There are probably penny shoppers with bigger circulation that today's WashTimes.
The NY Times details what others have been reporting in recent weeks, that a family feud among the children of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, has put the Times in the middle of the battle, with Unification Church money from Asia that keeps the Times afloat reportedly being cut off.
What caught my eye was the vague way the NY Times described Rev. Moon and his relationship with the newspaper:
The Washington Times has always been something of a vanity project for Mr. Moon, the father, who was endlessly willing to lose money on his paper and its editorial page.
Vanity project? That's an understatement. By some estimates, Moon has lost more than $1 billion on the Times, which strikes me as something more than a "vanity project." And who exactly is Rev. Moon? According to the NYT article, he's simply the "founder" of the Unification Church. i.e. A man of God.
Why the traditional press regularly ignores the truth about Rev. Moon remains a mystery. After all, neither Moon nor his followers have ever been shy about his messianic ways.
For instance, from trueloveking.net [emphasis added]:
Here you are invited to discover why Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon was chosen by God and called by Jesus Christ to fulfill the mission of the Messiah, Savior and Lord of the Second Advent with the responsibility to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Together with his loving wife, Mrs. Hak Ja Moon, they are the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and all humanity who embody the true love of God.
Wouldn't that strike most journalists as rather odd, the fact that the man Jesus Christ chose to save mankind is now running a money-losing daily in Washington, D.C.? Shouldn't that be part of any story about the Times' fate, the fact that its founder was sent by God to create a new kingdom here on earth?
But today's New York Times, like most news outlets covering the loopy Moonie newspaper, politely looks away from Moon's odd proclamations and simply describe the newspaper as being "conservative."
BTW, here's an insider's view of the WashTimes:
Yep, more Kenneth Gladney fiction from a right-wing crowd that simply will not stop making stuff up about a long-forgotten St. Louis incident that for some reason has been elevated into right-wing folklore, facts be damned. (For background see here, here, here, and here.)
But here's the latest: Breitbart and his "journalism" site Big Government, along with Glenn Beck and his trusty legal analyst Judge Napolitano, all suggest that hate crime charges ought to be brought against the union "thugs" who are charged with beating up Kenneth Gladney outside a town hall health care forum in August.
They're the same SEIU reps who last week were charged by St. Louis prosecutors with "misdemeanor ordinance violations," even though Breitbart and his fervent fiction writers had been claiming for months that Gladney had been savagely beaten and kicked and dragged around by the union "thugs" who were under direct orders from the White House to beat people up. (I kid you not.)
County officials didn't see it that way and instead slapped the SEIU union reps with very light charges. So now, Breitbart and company insist Gladney was the victim of a hate crime. Of course, nobody has been charged with that offense, but Big Government and Glenn Beck don't care because they have proof a hate crime was committed!
The proof? On that August night Gladney told police that one of the union reps, just prior to hitting him, said, "What kind of nigger are you"? (Gladney is black.)
According to Beck and Breitbart and Judge Napolitano, that means Gladney was the victim of a "hate crime." (See below.) After all, here's the legal definition that's most often used to describe the crime [emphasis added]:
A hate crime is usually defined by state law as one that involves threats, harassment, or physical harm and is motivated by prejudice against someone's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.
In this case, the right-wing claim is that the union rep in question was prejudiced against Gladney's race.
A compelling case, right? Except here's the part the amateur Perry Mason's always leave out of their sudden (and previously well-hidden) desire to see hate crimes prosecuted: the union rep charged with hitting Gladney -- the same union rep who allegedly called Gladney a "nigger" -- is also black. His name is Elston McCowan.
Meaning, Gladney, a black man, was allegedly punched by McCowan, a black man, and now Breitbart and Beck want prosecutors to file hate-crime charges because McCowan was prejudiced against Gladney's race; because McCowan's assault was driven by his hatred of Gladney's race. That, despite the fact that Gladney and McCowan share the same race.
I'm no legal eagle, but I'm pretty sure I know why prosecutors didn't file hate crime charges in this case.
UPDATED: Breitbart sure does have a tough time trying to decipher the law.
UPDATED: Breitbart's star witness, a far-right ideologue who earlier told his Gladney tale on Breitbart's Big Government site, has now changed his story about what happened that night in St. Louis. Suddenly the witness did not see Gladney get punched in the face. Gee, think lawyers for the charged union reps will make a big deal about that when it's time to adjudicate the case?
From WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah's December 1 column:
Imagine any previous president appointing an "anti-Semitism czar" who blames Israel in its fight for survival in the roughest neighborhood in the world as not the victim of anti-Semitism but the cause of at least some of it.
That's what happened last week when Barack Obama, the man who doesn't believe Jews in Israel have an inherent right to build and repair homes and offices, appointed Hannah Rosenthal to this newly created post.
"I'll tell you point-blank: I have two grown daughters, and I didn't think that my kids were going to have to deal with some of the same anti-Semitism that I did as the daughter of Holocaust survivors," Rosenthal said. "It's a scary time, with people losing the ability to differentiate between a Jew, any Jew, and what's going on in Israel."
How would you interpret that statement?
Here's how I would explain it: "It's wrong to condemn Jews per se, but attacking the one and only Jewish state, home to half the Jewish population, isolated as it might be among a world of Jew-haters, is fair game."
What else should we expect from Obama?
This is the president who publicly supports ethnic cleansing in the Middle East against Jews - not just in Gaza, not just in Judea and Samaria, not just in East Jerusalem, but in solidly Jewish neighborhoods of the capital of the Jewish state never before placed on the table for negotiations with the Jew-haters who demand a "Palestinian state" free of all Jews.
It would seem if you were sincere about fighting the worst kind of anti-Semitism in the world today you would be working for the removal of Barack Obama from office, not promoting his policies.
But Hannah Rosenthal is beguiled by Obama's demands for Israel to lay down and be carved up by those whose history of political involvement places them as the political disciples of Adolf Hitler's Nazis.
Now Obama has appointed an "anti-Semitism czar" who believes even Israel's most appeasement-oriented leaders were warmongers.
I admit I never expected any president to name an "anti-Semitism czar." Yet, I kind of expected that if one were ever named, the purpose would be to fight anti-Semitism, not spread it.
From a December 1 New York Times blog post:
Lou Dobbs, who is likely to make a decision about his post-CNN career this month, has held talks with the business news network CNBC in recent weeks, two people with knowledge of the discussions say.
Mr. Dobbs, a free agent whose exit from CNN last month prompted speculation about plans for a political bid, could conceivably host a prime time program for CNBC. He could also become a commentator for the business news network.
The people who spoke about the talks requested anonymity because they were not authorized by their employers to speak about it.
What other message are viewers supposed to take away from the fact that Rupert Murdoch's Fox TV, after refusing to air President Obama's primetime address to Congress in September about health care reform, has decided it will air Obama's primetime address tonight about future U.S. plans for the war in Afghanistan?
This is just amazing. Will Murdoch's Fox TV now decide, based on the topic being addressed, whether it will grant the President of the United States access to its airwaves?