Saturday, January 26, 2008

No Saddam WMD - Indigo Red, March 2006

Saddam Hussein didn't have Weapons of Mass Destruction. Saddam, and only Saddam, lied to the world about his 'stockpiles' of deadly chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. That's what the CBS program, 60 Minutes and Scott Pelley will tell the nation Sunday night.

In an interview with FBI agent George Piro, Pelley will also reveal "Saddam Hussein initially didn't think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen."

All this and Andy Rooney.

There's just one problem: we already know the story, at least those of us who were paying attention and not inanely shouting "Bush Lied, People Died' to anyone who agreed with the the lunatic fringe. Apparently it's only news to liberals and the MSM (with the ironic exception of The New York Times.) It is quite obvious from Scott Pelley's reactions to Agent Piro's statements that Pelley was ignorrant of the truth until now. Watch the 60 Minutes video clip here.

In the pages of Indigo Red, Saturday, March 11, 2006, War Plans, WMD, & Saddam, I wrote the

" entitled "Iraqi Perspectives on Operation Iraqi Freedom, Major Combat Operations," shows that Saddam dismissed the possibility of a full-scale American invasion. "A few weeks before the attacks Saddam still thought the U.S. would not use ground forces," former Iraqi deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, told the Americans. "He (Saddam) thought they would not fight a ground war because it would be too costly to the Americans."
( ... )
"When it came to WMD, weapons of mass destruction, the interrogators were told Iraq didn't have any. So secretive was the Iraqi dictator and tightly compartmentalized was information that his top military commanders were stunned when told by Saddam in December 2002, three months before the war started, that Iraq possessed no stockpiles of poison gas, no germ weapons, and no nuclear bombs. The commanders were completely demoralized. They had planned the defense of Iraq around those weapons and late in the game they were told the WMD did not exist.

"The WMD were lies Saddam concocted to deter Iran and homegrown enemies. He had hoped the possibility of WMD would also deter the US and the Coalition forces. The goal Saddam sought was cooperation with the UN inspectors while preserving WMD ambiguity. General Hamdani of the Republican Guard called the strategy "deterrence by doubt."
In the comments section, Indigo Red wrote:

My original supposition about Saddam was that there were large quantities of WMD in Iraq. Then, after an e-mail exchange (which I foolishly deleted) with an Iraqi physicist, Imad Khadduri, before he got famous, I started seeing other possibilities, but none could be proved without full access to the Iraqi records. Obliquely, he told me things were not as they seem in Iraq, that the science sector knew things that others didn't, that the scientist were pocketing most of the research money and telling the military overseers the weapons programs were right on target.

It was then possible to think the scientists were hiding the truth from Saddam with the collusion of the top brass. That was hard to believe given the security apparatus Saddam had set up.

With the new evidence from translated documents, it is very plausible and easier to believe that Saddam was fooling his Army with the cooperation of the scientists. So long as the world, particularly Iran, thought there was the smallest chance of WMD and SH would use them kept his international and internal enemies at bay.
It's a good story, Mr. Pelley, one well worth tell and retelling. But the fact is, 60 Minutes, you, and the Liberals to whom this is news, you are all late to the dance. The story is almost two years old and told already. I can understand that my little ol' blog wouldn't be read by the likes of 60 Minutes, but not reading The New York Times! My goodness. The NYT, from which I got the story, is a Newspaper of Record. Was it simply that the NYT was telling a story that backed the President and all you Liberals out there didn't want to hear the truth, or were you off to some rally to shout Bush Lied, People Died?

Now that CBS, 60 Minutes, and even Katie Couric has discovered the story, it is now gospel - Saddam Lied, People Died.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Nancy Pelosi Unsatisfied with President's Package

Speaker Pelosi said, "I can't say that I'm totally pleased with the package, but I do know that it will help stimulate the economy."

"This package has the right set of policies and is the right size," Bush answered in the White House briefing room.

They were speaking about the so called economic stimulus package, according to the Washington Post. Under the plan agreed to by the White House and Congressional leaders, $150 billion will be returned to taxpayers and non-taxpayers alike. Most folks who got a paycheck in 2007 will receive an IRS check for $600 per individual, $1200 for legally hitched couples. Children are worth an extra $300 apiece. Workers who made at least $3000 will get $300. The payments do not apply to individual adjusted incomes above $87,000, $174,000 for couples.

Agreement on the stimulus package came when the White House said they would send checks to non-taxpayers if the Democrats dropped all spending proposals. Pelosi was immediately intrigued and agreement came about within hours. Pellosi said of the plan, "I do know that it will help stimulate the economy." She further warned, "...if it does not, then there will be more to come."

Bernard Baumohl, Economic Outlook Group, believes the bipartisan comity [or comedy, I'm not sure] "would have a positive psychological impact on markets and investors." Bernie continued, "Practically speaking, this plan is not expected to have any meaningful impact on the economy until much later this year, perhaps in the fourth quarter. Even then, it's unlikely we'll see more than an extra blip in GDP growth."

That's what I wrote on January 20 in the post Lost and Found Department, "...the candidates and the President promise bread and circuses when we all know that the actions taken by the government will be for naught, and, in any case, too late."

And one more thing - the rebate money will be borrowed, thereby increasing the federal deficit.

So enjoy your free money. As for me, I will give the money back to the government in April because, well, I'm a giver, if not a stimulator.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ti-i-i-i-ime Was on His Side

Keith Richards finally got some satisfaction after 31 years. On November 9, 2006, Mike Huckabee, then Governor of Arkansas and current presidential contender, pardoned the Rolling Stones guitarist on a misdemeanor reckless driving charge.

Richards, the cute one, was driving down the road a piece with fellow bandsman, Ron Wood when he was stopped by a Fordyce, Ark. police officer who saw Richards' car swerve. Richards claimed he was adjusting the radio, but was charged with reckless driving and possession of a concealed knife. He pled guilty to reckless driving, paid the $162.50 fine, and the knife charge was dropped.

In September of that year, Gov. Huckabee issued an intent to pardon notice starting a 30 day period for public comment; essentially, can I get a witness? Huckabee made note that no one - judge, police officer, or down home girl - objected to the executive clemency.

Flash forward two years to 2008 and this story is running just as Mike Huckabee is running for the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States. The Governor plays guitar at many of his campaign stops and could pick up some votes for his pardon of Richards. Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. If not, it's just another cheap attempt at winning ugly. If the stunt backfires, the Huckster might learn that you can't always get what you want.

The Morning News

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kallan is Born in Homer

Homer, Alaska has good news for the world.

January 23, 2008
Kallan Catherine Johnson, a baby girl weighing 7-pounds, 2-ounces, was born at 3:28 p.m. on Jan. 19, to Doug and Jacky Johnson. Grandparents are Jack and Judy Johnson of Kodiak, and Diane Hivelly of Homer and Wes Hively of Blue River, Oregon.
You don't know me, Kallan, and I don't know anyone in your new family. I saw the announcement of your birth in The Homer Tribune and thought it would be nice to welcome you to the world.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why Not McCain Expanded Edition

The Republican candidate slate got shorter today when Sen. Fred Thompson bowed out of the process. Too bad. So what are the remaining choices?

Ron Paul is a loon, if not a lunatic. Rudy Giuliani had a good day on 9/11 and all the other days are to be ignored; Mitt Romney has already done the don't-judge-me-by-my-religion schtick ala John Kennedy and just today played the vote-for-me-because-my-wife-has-MS card ala John Edwards; John McCain is a bona fide war hero because ... because, umm ... he was shot down and spent most of the Vietnam War as a prisoner.

Immediately dismissing Ron Paul, I'm undecided amongst the other three - Rudy, Mitt, and John. I've pretty much ruled out McCain (unless he's the only one left.) Previously in these pages, a short list of reasons not to vote McCain was presented. Investors Business Daily expands and explains those reasons more clearly.

Consider Michigan, home of the beleaguered American auto industry. McCain, together with Democrat John Kerry, were initial co-sponsors of the 35-mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate that just passed Congress. Estimates are that it will cost the domestic auto industry $85 billion over a decade and imperil thousands of jobs.

McCain's campaign says he has never voted to increase taxes. Yet General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says the bill will add an average of $6,000 to the price of a new car, in effect a 21.4% tax hike on current average car prices.

It gets worse. McCain supports an energy tax in the form of a bill co-sponsored with Joe Lieberman that would cap the amount of carbon dioxide that energy-producing companies could emit. It is essentially an energy-rationing scheme not unlike Bill Clinton's infamous BTU tax.

Companies wishing to increase energy production above the cap would have to purchase unused emission credits from other companies. In a letter to McCain in July 2007, the EPA estimated that the "tax" would amount to 26 cents per gallon by 2010 and 68 cents by 2050. The EPA says the McCain energy tax would increase electric bills by 22% in 2030. This is hardly the way to avoid a recession.

It gets worse. In April 2002, McCain joined John Edwards and Hillary Clinton in defeating a measure to open an area the size of Washington-Dulles Airport in the frozen tundra of ANWR to energy production.

He has voted against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge no fewer than four times. In expressing his opposition, McCain equated ANWR with the Grand Canyon, a national monument. But as we have said repeatedly, the drilling area is in fact what hell would look like if it froze over.

Aside from supporting higher taxes and energy dependence, McCain shares the disdain of Democrats for America's pharmaceutical industry. Never mind the miracles it has produced.

In ABC's New Hampshire debate. McCain asked: "Why shouldn't we be able to re-import drugs from Canada?" He blamed high drug costs not on regulation and litigation, but on "the power of the pharmaceutical companies." When Mitt Romney argued that they weren't "the big bad guys," McCain replied, "Well, they are."

McCain has joined forces with Ted Kennedy to support amnesty for illegal aliens and with Russ Feingold to restrict political speech. He also backed the Sarbanes-Oxley monstrosity that makes American business less productive and competitive.

"John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side," former Sen. Rick Santorum noted recently. "There's nothing worse than having a Democratic Congress and a Republican president who would act like a Democrat in matters that are important to conservatives." And to all Americans.
Except for Paul the loon, the remaining Republicans have all shown clear Liberal governing and personal tendencies. At the moment, RINO vs Democrat Liberal is really just a Hobson's Choice. With a RINO one votes for one thing and gets another, sort of a bait and switch scam. With Democrat Liberals, one gets exactly what one votes for - an authentic scam.

We can still draft Fred at the Convention, can't we?

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Government of Madmen Commits Suicide

Apropos to yesterday's post, the Italian government is near collapse. Italy's 61st government since 1945, the government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi, suffered a staggering blow after Justice Minister Clemente Mastella resigned when his wife was Sandra Lonardo was put under house arrest.

Lonardo, a politician in Compania, is being investigated in connection with an alleged corruption scandal in the Campania region healthcare system. Mastella claims his wife is innocent and the order to detain his wife was a "violent and unjust attack." Mastella is head of the Catholic Udeur party, part of the center-left alliance, the foundation of Prodi's government. Prodi held only a one-seat majority in the Senate.

Canny elder statesman and seven time Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti, 88, told La Repubblica "I really didn't calculate this ... I didn't understand that without my vote, the government would fall."

For the entire nine months of Prodi's most recent government, internal bickering plagued his ability to get anything done. While the garbage piled-up in Naples to such levels Hercules would be hard pressed to clear the mess, Rome fiddled with maintaining troops in Afghanistan and the expansion of a US military base in Italy. Two Communist Senators refused to back the Prodi government that triggered a series of events that ended with Mastella's resignation.

The conservative newspaper, Il Foglio, ran the headline "Government Commits Suicide: Italy Humiliated". Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said, "We are a nation of madmen."

Italy's business lobby leader, the chairman of Fiat and Ferrari, Luca Montezemolo, said that the parts of the country that are working well are leaving Italian politics behind. With the economy growing, it is the businessmen who are exhibiting the excellence of which the nation is capable.

Montezemolo told reporters in Bologna, "The risk is that there may be Italians, but there may not be an Italy."

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lost and Found Department

We have lost something in what we have gained...

(This post began as a comment at Right Thinking, a blog written by the lovely and talented Rivka. The questions being asked by many are, 'what has become of conservatism; what do we know of it today; why does conservatism of today look so much like liberalism of yesterday; is the conservative spirit and movement dead?')

We have gained a large addition into adult society - college graduates who have learned from liberal Marxist professors that our rights include the right to be free from risk and failure, the right to be made whole when we lose our fortunes and homes, the right to demand our president be the weeper in chief, and the right to be free from anything which may hurt our feelings.

We have gained a large influx of immigrants, legal and not, who bring with them, not a desire to partake in the freedoms bestowed upon this nation, but to take advantage of those freedoms for their own benefit while maintaining their old and destructive traditions. These newcomers don't come to further the American experiment, but to instill in us the traditions and practices of the governments they have left behind. In most countries, governments and constitutions are as changeable as the seasons. The newcomers, with the encouragement of the Democrat Party, insist that the US Constitution is as fungible as any constitution anywhere and just as pedestrian.

The Democrats have monopolized the dialogue to change the Constitution to something the Founders would neither recognize, nor pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to defend. When Conservatives join the dialogue it is only to out-promise government give-aways. The dialogue is but a two-way monologue promising the same bromides only in differing dosages.

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide," said John Adams. We are rapidly approaching a government of Democracy and leaving the promise of Republic in the polluted and mushy thinking of the nanny state.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." We are directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, and indeed, what to sow. The Federal farm programs meant only as stop gap measures in the Depression and Dust Bowl years have been reserved to provide fortunes for farmers who, like the lilies-of-the-valley, neither sow nor reap and do so at governmental behest.

Today, this nation is experiencing a financial meltdown, particularly in the mortgage industry. The established government cries out for a bail out package of $142 billion. The presidential candidates are falling all over themselves and each other promising billions of dollars of the people's money far and above what the President has promised, all of it more than the people can afford, just to save the homes of decent, but ignorant and stupid Americans who borrowed more money than they could possibly make in their lifetimes to buy homes more suited to Louis XIV than the American Joe Sixpack so very (and vainly) proud of his averageness.

While the crisis continues, the candidates and the President promise bread and circuses when we all know that the actions taken by the government will be for naught, and, in any case, too late. We also know in our hearts that the proper action for the government is to do nothing. Lenders and borrowers got themselves into financial trouble, dragging the rest of us down with them. I feel neither compulsion nor compunction in rescuing the greedy and the stupid. Through the dubious promises of bailout packages and tax rebates made by presidential candidates, the people have found they can vote themselves money just as Benjamin Franklin warned, "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." Bin Laden and the jihadis need do nothing more than wait patiently.

Two things are worth remembering - no Democracy has lasted longer than ten years. The only Democracy that endured for a decade ended with the forced suicide of Socrates; in the nearly 220 years since the Constitutional founding of this nation in 1789, no country anywhere has adopted the governmental form, political institutions, or social traditions of the United States of America.

The Democrats will respond that they are far smarter than any ancient Greek. And besides, Athens was often under siege from militaristic governments like Sparta, so Athenians never had an opportunity to develop a full fledged working democracy. To the second they will respond that the fact that no country has adopted our forms, institutions, and traditions only proves how inadequate our government, constitution, and we, the people, really are. All other democratic republics have molded themselves around the French Republic, of which there have been five since 1792, each with its own constitution far different from the last, and freely elected, of course. Or they have favored the Spanish Empire model of frequent changes of military dictators - freely elected, of course. Sometimes, the English parliamentary system is introduced, but one can presume only for comic relief because nearly every one has fallen to some form of dictatorship - freely elected, of course.

Only the Country and Constitution of the United States of America has weathered its own history and the vagaries of world politics and self-aggrandizing international wars of others to make itself and the world a better place to live only to blamed for every ailment and sneeze in the international order. The question no longer is, 'Will conservatism survive?" It is now, "Will America survive?"

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.