LONDON, June 30 — One day after the British police discovered what they called a double car-bombing plot in London, two men slammed a Jeep S.U.V. that caught fire into the departure doors at Glasgow Airport as thousands of people awaited flights on the first day of school summer vacations.
Watching the vehicle burn on TV it looks like it has a large quantity of flammable materials. But the materials were not packaged in a way that could cause explosive burning that would kill lots of people. The Muslims in Britain do not yet have the level of skills that the Muslims in Iraq have for causing mayhem. That is likely a learning curve that they'll be going up.
Police subdued the driver and a passenger, both described by witnesses as South Asian—a term used to refer to people from Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries in the region—arresting them and taking one to the hospital. Witnesses said one of the men was engulfed in flames and spoke "gibberish" as an official used a fire extinguisher to douse the fire.
William Rae of Strathclyde Police said in a news conference that the police had no indication that Glasgow was targeted. With a large Muslim subpopulation how can the British police watch them all or even a substantial minority of them? Police surveillance is very labor intensive.
The string of attempted and successful attacks continues. In this latest round so far 2 vehicles were found near a London night club before they were detonated and this third vehicle went off at Glasgow airport but not very effectively. They do not yet have the technical ability characteristic of, say, Jihadists in Iraq. But we should expect them to learn from their mistakes and develop better bombing methods.
Another thought: The danger in Britain isn't limited to Londonistan. The whole country can get ruined by Muslim immigration.
Andrew J. Bacevich has an essay in the (otherwise usually reasonable) Christian Science Monitor arguing that we should let in massive numbers of Iraqi refugees: What America owes the Iraqis: Offering sanctuary is a good start.
Americans, wrote Robert Kagan and William Kristol in September 2004, "have a profound moral obligation to the Iraqi people." In this one instance, the two well-known neoconservatives got it exactly right. Today we confront the question of how best to acquit that obligation.
The correct response to all radical neoconservative claims: Figure out which false assumptions and errors in logic they used to get to their conclusions.
Bacevich assumes we have moral obligations to people who are very hostile toward us. Never mind that our attempts at help elicit mostly roadside bombs and sniper attacks.
How, if at all, can the US discharge its obligations not only to the people of Iraq but to our own soldiers as well?
Which people of Iraq does Bacevich speak of? The Sunnis who overwhelmingly believe that Sunnis should rule over Shias? Or the Shia majority who overwhelmingly believe that the Shias should rule over the Sunnis? And among the Shias do we have more obligations to? The Shias who follow Muslim cleric Sadr or those who follow the religious party SCIRI?
Perhaps Bacevich imagines there are massive volunteer Iraqi Freedom Brigades fighting to protect the religious rights of Christians and for the equality of women. How else can one conclude that there is a group in Iraq who we both owe something to and who would make good American citizens?
At various times, the Bush administration has described US strategy in Iraq this way: As they stand up, we will stand down. At present, a more apt formulation is this one: As we depart, they can come along. To Iraqis seeking to escape the brutality and chaos that we have helped create, the "golden door" into the New World should open. Call it Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
If freedom was important to Iraqis (i.e. if their moral code was similar to ours) then the Iraqis could conduct their own Operation Iraqi Freedom by taking up arms en masse to hunt down and kill the tribal and religious and criminal factions that are fighting for power in Iraq. But freedom does not move the Iraqi people to make sacrifices on the field of battle. No, they are motivated by their conflicting interpretations of the Koran and their family ties from the practice of consanguineous marriage. They are motivated by their desire to make each other submit to their will. Islam gives them the model of submission as core to all human relations and this idea is not compatible with Western freedoms.
Bacevich must really hate his fellow Americans.
How many Iraqis will accept this invitation is impossible to say. In all probability, they will number in the millions.
How lunatic. If millions of Iraqis are sufficiently ardent lovers of freedom that they are compatible with American society then why aren't they all out there in millions on the streets of Baghdad hunting down and killing the religious and tribal militias? If millions of Iraqis were ardent lovers of freedom then the forces of theocratic repression and tribal score settling wouldn't stand a chance and the civil war in Iraq would already be over. But the reality is that freedom-lovers are scarce on the ground in Iraq because the Iraqis have hierarchies of values that are radically different than our own.
The current Muslim population in the U.S. is about three million. So Bacevich is talking about, at the least, instantly doubling or tripling the U.S. Muslim population. To say, as Bacevich does, that the moral response to the ruin of Iraq is to ruin America is insane. Even if the Iraq mess were all our fault, we cannot as a matter of our national safety and survival afford to take these people in. We must not take them in. We must either find other homes for them in the Mideast, or lead a plan to partition Iraq so that the respective groups can live without violence, as Randall Parker has urged.
Yes, I agree with that Randall Parker guy who argues that we should partition Iraq so that at least each religious group does not have to live under the majority rule of another religious group. Though if the Iraqis insist on war between their partition zones I say let them fight their war and get American troops out of their way.
Police have confirmed they are now investigating the discovery of two car bombs in the West End of London.
Police said the second device had been found in a Mercedes hours after the car was given a parking ticket in Cockspur Street and towed to Park Lane.
Another Mercedes, with a bomb made up of 60 litres of petrol, gas cylinders and nails, had been found outside a nightclub in Haymarket at 0130 BST.
As demonstrated recently with their horrible proposal on immigration reform, America's Imperial Senate does not place much importance on border security or on controlling who gets to live in America. But if we do not want to live in Jihadist front line battle cities like London has become we need to force the Imperial Senators to stop pretending that all the peoples of the world would make good American citizens.
The discovery of two bombs, doubling the available forensic evidence available to the police, strengthened speculation among counterterrorism experts that the devices — based on a simple technology but capable of causing great harm — were the work of a cell with links to jihadist groups keen to signal their continued commitment to extremism.
Separationism is the answer. France shows on a smaller scale what we could do: Pay Muslims to go back where they came from. Go home. Yes, pay Muslims to leave.. Of course, the illegal immigrants ought to get rounded up and booted out with no pay. But legal resident and citizen Muslims could be offered buy-outs like corporations do when downsizing.
WASHINGTON — The Senate on June 28 drove a stake through President Bush's plan to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.
The bill's supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to undocumented immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.
Keep in mind that some of the Senators who voted against this version of amnesty happily voted for other previous amnesties and can not be trusted. Dozens of Senators need defeat in their next primary campaigns for reelection.
Pete Domenici, an Albuquerque Republican, supported the initial compromise version of the bill but said it is now "neither workable or realistic" and is likely "dead on arrival" in the House.
Jeff Bingaman, a Silver City Democrat who voted for last year's immigration-reform bill, said he could not support this one.
But on the bright side Bingaman and Domenici were willing to back out of support for this bill when popular outrage became loud enough. The amnesty supporters we should most want to defeat for reelection are those who knew about the intensity of the opposition to amnesty and yet voted for cloture anyway.
How effective was popular outrage toward this bill? Almost one third of Senate Democrats voted against cloture.
Only 33 Democrats, 12 Republicans and one independent voted to advance the bill, while 15 Democrats joined 37 Republicans and one independent to block it.
Five of the six senators running for president voted in favour of the overhaul: Republican John McCain and Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd and Joe Biden.
Hillary Clinton voted for this monstrous bill and therefore is unfit for the Presidency. Ditto Obama and McCain. Next time you hear someone say that McCain is a courageous independent Republican remind them that McCain voted for an immigration amnesty bill that would change the demographics of America for the worse.
So at least one dozen Republican Senators should be targeted for defeat in primaries when they next run for reelection. Ditto the Democrats who voted for it.
Only 13 percent of those in a CBS News Survey taken earlier this week said they supported passage of the bill. Almost three times that number, 35 percent, opposed it. Even more, 51 percent, said they did not know enough about the immigration legislation to say whether they supported passage.
See these post comments for lists of who voted for and against cloture (which is effectively for and against immigration amnesty). Note that some Senators who voted against cloture really wanted this bill to pass but jumped ship once they saw it was going down.
"Enforcement first," or even "enforcement only," is how opponents of the Senate bill describe their alternative to immigration reform. That is, enforce the laws already on the books, and life in the US will become uncomfortable enough that many of the 12 million illegal immigrants now here will leave of their own volition. Beef up the border, and fewer will make it into the US in the first place.
"What we'd like to see is [government officials] enforce the laws that currently exist, which they have never done," says Ira Mehlman of The Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in Washington. "Most Americans fundamentally find objectionable that to even consider enforcing our laws we have to first make a deal with the people who break the laws."
Mickey Kaus says we need to create proto-campaigns against pro-immigration amnesty politicians to scare them to switch positions (and ParaPundit adds that we should defeat some of them too)
What They Understand: Hot Air has a video plan of action for Republicans who want to do something more than phone or email their Senators. It's simple but could be high-impact. ...
P.S.: The ad says,
"Money seems to be the one thing our politicians understand."
That's a good shot at the pro-comprehensive business lobbyists. But actually, the prospect of political defeat is the thing politicians most understand. (The money helps them avoid the defeat.) That means the most effective thing that could be done to pressure pro-comprehensive Senators is to start organizing actual campaigns against them--primary challenges, but also general election challenges to Republicans from anti-comprehensive Dems, and vice-versa. It's easy to organize on the Web, and by organizing now you might get your Senator to change his or her vote. Once the vote is cast it's too late. ...
P.P.S.: According to WaPo, Sen. Lindsey Graham now insists he won't vote for an immigration bill that doesn't add a (phony) "touchback" provision forcing illegals to leave the country briefly in order to get their Z visas.** This is a hilariously fresh get-tough posture for Graham, whose precious Grand Bargain somehow failed to include this essential element. But it's also a sign of fear. What's he scared of? Maybe this. ...
Update: Mark Krikorian suggested I'm skeptical of the Hot Air plan (to demand refunds of RNC contributions). I'm not. It's a good idea. It's legitimate--but it could really screw them up! I just think the politician's ur-fear--fear of losing office--could also be triggered quickly by relatively easy, Web-based proto-campaigns. If Graham's worried, others can be made to worry. ...
I think Mickey is right. A search on Lindsey Graham on YouTube ought to turn up a bunch of anti-Graham amateur ads excoriating him for his position on immigration. Well, some YouTube entries for Lindsey Graham immigration look promising. MIckey points to this anti-Graham ad.
Which immigration amnesty proponents in the Imperial Senate are up for reelection in 2008? We need to start targeting them now.
Conservative leaders among House Republicans say that President Bush's upcoming showdown with them on immigration could threaten support for the Iraq war as well as for the president's other top policy goals.
"The White House should keep in mind that if they have a direct confrontation with House Republicans on [immigration], it could affect the vote on the Iraq appropriation in September," said Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican. "It will not affect me. I intend to stand by the president. But I do think it is something they should keep in mind for other Republicans who are borderline."
King has introduced an enforcement-only immigration bill in the House. He obviously wants no part of Bush's immigration policy and he's probably quite eager to play good cop-bad cop with other House Republicans to pressure Bush to abandon his push for amnesty.
This week President Bush's approval rating took a further tumble from a position that was already below sea level. At 28 percent in a Newsweek poll, it has collapsed to Jimmy Carter's level during the Tehran hostage crisis. Worse, it is now only five points ahead of Richard Nixon's during Watergate.
That's small comfort to Democrats. As they emerged as Bush's crucial allies on immigration, they have shared his unpopularity. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has seen his approval rating fall to 19 percent. The Democrat-controlled Congress has reached levels of unpopularity that it took the GOP more than a decade of scandals to hit.
As Bush has demonstrated on Iraq he doesn't learn from his mistakes. He places far too much emphasis on his personal experience and personal judgment. Since he's not a big book learner and at the same time he wants to think that he understands the world he downplays the importance of empirical studies and trusts his own gut feelings over advice from those far more knowledgeable.
Congress critters need strong reminders that, yes, they should oppose Bush on immigration. Many are thinking this already. Tell them you expect them to vote against amnesty or else you will vote against them and tell all your friends and family to do likewise. Contact your Senators. Then contact your Representative in House and do the same.
1. An aversion to working with numbers is common among intellectuals and media types. For instance, it’s of some relevance to crafting immigration policy to know that 5 billion people live in countries with lower average per capita GDPs than Mexico. About a fifth of the 135 million people in the world of Mexican descent now reside in America, and another 40 million Mexicans tell pollsters they’d like to immigrate here. That suggests that if the Wall Street Journal editorial board had its way, and there were a constitutional amendment declaring, “There shall be open borders,” at least a billion foreigners would try to move here. At a minimum, this quick estimate suggests that the WSJ’s immigration views are mad. Yet these numbers are not at all well-known because few in public life have bothered to do the simple calculations required.
2. Views on illegal immigration may be the surest status symbol. A blithe attitude toward illegal immigration conveys your self-confidence that you don’t have to worry about competition from Latin American peasants and that you can afford to insulate your children from their children. Moreover, your desire to keep down the wages of nannies, housekeepers, and pool boys by importing more cheap labor advertises that you are a member of the servant-employing upper-middle class.
3. While libertarians enjoy displaying their feelings of economic superiority— their Randian confidence that they can claw their way to the top of the heap no matter how overcrowded it gets—liberals feel that laxity on illegal immigration shows off their moral superiority. Celebrating diversity has been promoted for a generation now as the highest imaginable ethical value, so the ambitious compete to be seen espousing most fervently the reigning civic religion and damning most loudly any heretics who dare to speak up.
The desire for higher status is a huge motivator for human behavior. Some whites attempt to signal their higher status by acting insouciant about things that make life much more difficult for lower class whites.
Since the New York Times doesn't report on the large ethnic crime rate differences our elites do not see fit to make immigration policy based on ethnic and racial crime rate differences.
6. Among the privileged, if a tree falls in the forest but it’s not reported in the New York Times, it never happened. For example, the best estimate is that the Latino crime rate is roughly triple the Anglo white rate, which would not come as much of a surprise to anybody who doesn’t live in a cave. Yet because the major media won’t note differences in mean crime rates by ethnicity, this fact is considered outside the limits of acceptable discussion of immigration.
Yet the upper class liberals know that the crime rates differ by race and therefore spend big bucks to live in neighborhoods that contain few if any members of high crime racial groups. They also spend big bucks to shield their kids from the lower IQ and higher crime ethnic groups in schools. They use euphemisms such as "failed schools" rather the far more accurate "bad students" to describe their motivations for doing this.
Read Steve's full list of reasons why our public intellectuals and rulers take up positions on immigration that mostly range from useless to damaging.
As for the desire of the rulers to avert their gaze from the truth: do not let them. Contact your Senators and tell them that on immigration you want them to represent you and not their own class interests. Then contact your Representative in House and do the same.
Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies has a new report out showing native less skilled workers in Georgia are getting driven out of the labor market by immigrants.
Remember when market advocates used to argue that a rising tide lifts all boats? They can't pretend to make that argument any more. Fewer natives are working and while living standards for the upper classes rose rapidly the wages for those at the bottom stopped rising.
Think about what that means. Fewer work. Those who work do not get paid any more. So the total number of dollars flowing to lower skilled blacks has declined. A rising tide of Hispanic immigrants sinks black boats.
These results demonstrate just how unfair and foolish our elites are to let in so many lower IQ immigrants who will do manual labor for cheap. The predominately black workers who are getting out-competed by Mexicans and El Salvadorans do not have some other place to run to. The Hispanic illegal alien deluge is speading across the Old South. Blacks are already pouring out of California back to the Old South. Where are the blacks supposed to go next?
Also, as my grandmother used to say "Idle hands are the devil's workshop". Our foolish immigration policy is producing a growing legion of idle hands.
The people in Georgia had best start approving bonds to build more prisons. The Hispanics (especially starting in the second generation) commit crimes at 2 to 3 times the white crime rate. Plus, idle blacks will commit more crimes. You people in Georgia need to protect yourselves from at least some of the problems that our traitorous elites have inflicted upon us.
What else you should do and rather more quickly: Contact your Senators and tell them you are opposed to immigration amnesty.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R AL) says the Senate immigration amnesty bill (now S.1639) will not decrease illegal immigration by much even with the $4.4 billion in funding for what is supposed to be increased immigration enforcement.
WASHINGTON— U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made the following comments regarding the $4.4 billion included in the immigration bill Sen. Reid reintroduced yesterday:
“If we assume that the Administration and the bill’s drafters were serious about their commitment to enforcement, the recent promises of guaranteed funding are unnecessary.
“The only significance of the promised funding is to effectively say ‘we’re going to fund what we already promised to fund.’ The $4.4 billion will not build additional miles of fencing, provide any new technology, hire additional agents or acquire more detention beds than already promised by the President and included in the bill’s provisions that trigger amnesty.
“Let me emphasize that this money will do nothing more than fund the enforcement trigger in the bill, which was already a solemn promise to the American people. The real problem is that the enforcement trigger does not go far enough. It will not adequately secure the border or restore the rule of law.
“The trigger remains very weak. It does not ensure – and the mandatory spending does not provide for – construction of the 700 miles of fencing already authorized by current law. The immigration bill only provides for construction of a total of 370 miles. A mere 87 miles of fencing exist today on our 2,000 mile southern border. Likewise, current law requires 43,000 detention spaces by the end of fiscal year 2007, but the bill’s enforcement trigger provides for only 31,500. The trigger does not require completion of the U.S. VISIT exit system, which is absolutely critical to ensure that foreign workers and visitors do not overstay their visas. To assert that these enforcement items are an assurance to the American people is disingenuous.
“Most significantly, the $4.4 billion will do nothing to change CBO’s conclusion that the bill will only reduce illegal immigration by 13 percent. CBO assumed the bill’s enforcement items would be funded when it published its June 4th cost estimate. If the Senate bill is enacted, CBO projects an additional 8.7 million new illegal immigrants will be in the U.S. in 20 years. These new promises do nothing to prevent that.”
Congress has repeatedly pretended to adopt policies that will reduce illegal immigration. The fact that advocates of increased immigration are prominent supporters of this latest bill provides a strong indication that they are pretending and trying to deceive us yet again. Do not be deceived.
If Congress was serious about cutting illegal immigration they wouldn't let their amnesty trigger kick in till illegal crossings of the border dropped by 99%. But why have an illegal alien amnesty in the first place. We can and should deport all the illegal aliens. We should also reduce legal immigration and set high requirements on who gets to come to America.
Update: If you want to follow the shifts in voting positions by US Senators on whether to vote for cloture on this bill (and 60 votes for cloture would assure the bill's passage) then read Noam Askew's cloture vote counting page. The vote is probably coming on Tuesday. So you should call your Senators early Monday morning and tell them you are opposed to S. 1639. Also, check out the Numbers USA web site and follow their recommendations on how to oppose this bill. You can use their site to send faxes to your Senators.
Hey there immigration restrictionists, your opposition to importation of a large and growing low skilled labor force has spurred growers associations to fund development of fruit picking robots.
As if the debate over immigration and guest worker programs wasn't complicated enough, now a couple of robots are rolling into the middle of it. Vision Robotics, a San Diego company, is working on a pair of robots that would trundle through orchards plucking oranges, apples or other fruit from the trees. In a few years, troops of these machines could perform the tedious and labor-intensive task of fruit picking that currently employs thousands of migrant workers each season.
The robotic work has been funded entirely by agricultural associations, and pushed forward by the uncertainty surrounding the migrant labor force. Farmers are "very, very nervous about the availability and cost of labor in the near future," says Vision Robotics CEO Derek Morikawa.
If we can defeat the Imperial Senate's immigration amnesty bill and deport all the illegal aliens we will see a boon in investments in robotic technology to automate manual labor. This will raise living standards and improve the quality of products and services. The Imperial Senators are effectively Luddites who prefer a large human servant class to robots.
Thanks to Ivan Kirigin for cherry picking this story for me.
US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has decided to vote against the Senate immigration amnesty bill.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, who has been under intense pressure from the White House and Republican leadership to support a sweeping immigration overhaul, nevertheless announced today that she will vote against reviving the legislation when it returns to the Senate floor next week.
She was joined today by the state's other senator, Republican John Cornyn, who had been expected by the bill's supporters to take such a stance. They had aggressively lobbied Hutchison in hopes of adding her vote to the 60 necessary to revive the stalled legislation.
Members of the Imperial Senate are obviously under a lot of pressure from the core population of the empire. Cornyn says he favors "comprehensive" immigration reform. That term "comprehensive" is a tip-off that he's only opposing this bill due to pressure from constituents.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he is wavering on whether to vote for this bill.
But in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, McConnell said he would not decide how to vote on the measure until a long series of amendments are disposed of next week.
``The bill on the merits is a mixed bag,'' said McConnell, who had brushed aside reporters' questions on immigration Tuesday and Wednesday. ``I'm not uniformly enthusiastic about it.''
``At the end of the process,'' he said, ``we're going to have to make a call as to whether this is an improvement over the status quo. I'm not ready to make that call yet.''
McConnell would probably vote for the bill if he wasn't afraid of what his constituents will do when he runs for reelection.
Keep the pressure on your Senators and call some House Reps too. Contact your Senators and make them switch to oppose the immigration amnesty too. Time for immigration law enforcement and mass deportations of illegal aliens.
Mickey Kaus (who does great coverage of the immigration battle) pointed out a foolish thing Senator Ted Kennedy (D Mass) had to say about the price of labor for plucking chickens.
"I would like the chicken pluckers to pay $10 or $15 an hour. They do not do it. They are not going to do it. Who are you trying to kid? Who is the Senator from North Dakota trying to fool?
These are the realities, the economic realities. No one has fought for increasing the minimum wage more than I have. But you have got realities that employers are not going to pay it."
The way to raise the wages of chicken pluckers is to reduce the supply of low skilled laborers.
Remember when the Democrats were the party that wanted to restrict the supply of labor in order to drive up wages? That's what unions do. Nowadays, the upper class Democrats appear to be more worried about getting cheap gardeners, cheap nannies, and cheap maids. Plus, the Democrats have allied themselves with the owners of capital to drive down the value of labor versus capital. Mickey wonders if Ted supports the import of cheap laborers to break strikes and unions.
Weren't Democrats (especially liberal Democrats) the people who wanted chicken pluckers--and others doing lousy jobs at the bottom of the pyramid--to be paid $10 an hour? Yet here we have the putative lion of liberalism declaring this modest goal (less than $3/hour above the new scheduled minimum wage) to be impossible. Employers just won't do it! They'll hire illegals instead. But what if the flow of illegals is curtailed--something Kennedy's immigration bill promises to do. Why not see if a tight labor market can boost wages above the new $7.25 minimum--instead of caving and providing employers with cheap temporary "guest workers" from abroad? If chicken pluckers organized and their union went on strike demanding $10 an hour, would Kennedy ask them who they were "trying to kid" (and support breaking the strike with "temporary" employees)? They told us in the '60s that Kennedy was the tool of the bourgeoisie!
Maybe Ted Kennedy just isn't capable of logical consistency in his thinking? Maybe long chains of cause and effect (those involving more than 2 steps) are just beyond his ken?
I say we should look a lot more at track records of people who advocate policies. For example, George W. Bush has been so wrong on Iraq regime change, Iraqi democracy, Palestinian democracy, and assorted other subjects that discounting his advice of the "just trust me" sort seems very wise. Similarly, when Ted Kennedy spouts obvious nonsense about the unskilled labor market while advocating for a massive illegal alien amnesty it is very useful to remember how monumentally wrong Ted Kennedy was about the 1965 labor law revision.
In 1965, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., was chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization.
He ushered through the Senate the immigration policy of President Lyndon B. Johnson, stating Feb. 10, 1965:
"I want to comment on ... what the bill will not do. First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. ..."
"Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. ... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [this bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area. ..."
"Thirdly, the bill will not permit the entry of subversive persons, criminals, illiterates or those with contagious disease. ... As I noted a moment ago, no immigrant visa will be issued to a person who is likely to become a public charge. ..."
His enormous wrongness goes on beyond my excerpt. This is a man whose position we should listen to in order to find out what not to do. Ted's for it? You should probably oppose it. Ted and Dubya are both for it? Rarely do indicators line up so strongly to tell you to march in the opposite direction.
Johns Hopkins University political scientists Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg argue in a new book that the American Presidency has become too powerful (and I agree)
Picking up where Crenson and Ginsberg's first co- authored book, Downsizing Democracy, left off, Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced explains the exponential growth of the White House's authority since the second half of the 20th century. Writing for a general audience, they approach their subject as they would a murder mystery, looking at the motives, means, and opportunities leading to the aggrandizement of the commander-in-chief.
How did the world's most powerful democracy wind up delegating so much power and influence to just one person, despite our system of checks and balances? Crenson and Ginsberg point to a convergence of factors, including fractured political parties, a weak Congress and the return of national security issues and foreign policy matters to the center of American politics.
The American people also are responsible for strengthening the executive branch, thanks to waning citizen activism and a general lack of participation in politics. All this fuels presidential candidates who are pathologically ambitious, making the modern approach to electing a president much more cynical and calculated than in the past. Today, the authors say, a president is borne on the shoulders of an inner-circle of handlers and image-makers who fashion the candidate into an electable figure. Gone are the days when the candidate's political party shaped a candidate's character or the groundswell of a popular vote mattered. Crenson and Ginsberg call this "institutionalized ambition."
"Because of the way elections are orchestrated today, we have people running who are 'monsters,' to quote Mike Kelly of the Washington Post," Crenson says. "They spend their whole lives running for office. The party they belong to is irrelevant." Though the George W. Bush administration has capitalized on this situation, Crenson and Ginsberg are quick to note that it didn't create it. Presidential Power traces more than 200 years of political and presidential history, outlining how past presidents were chosen, elected and ultimately exercised their power.
I think the sheer size of the American population causes more power to concentrate in the center. As the population grows the vote of each person coulds for less and less. This breeds apathy. As the federal government cuts into the turn of state and local governments the authority of local leaders declines and this breeds even more apathy.
Look at the Iraq war for an example of too much power to the Presidency. Congress authorized the use of force in Iraq and now has no way to take back that power since it can't muster veto-proof majorities in both houses. So the war becomes ever more unpopular and get the US presence continues.
I see the promotion of national security issues to an exaggerated degree as harmful to the Republic. Not every potential fear amounts to much. Commentators who see dangers everywhere help to make the Presidency even stronger and much stronger than it needs to be.
If we simply kept the Muslims out of the United States our risk of terrorist attacks would decline dramatically. We wouldn't need to spend as much time thinking about threats emanating from the rest of the world. The resulting decline in fear would cause a big redistribution of power away from the center. That would be very healthy for the Republic.
...The founders of Massachusetts, unlike rulers of other European colonies, deliberately excluded an aristocracy from their ranking system.
At the same time, the leaders of Massachussets also made a concerted and highly successful effort to discourage immigration from the bottom of English society. They prohibited entry of convincted felons (many of whom ahd been punished for crimes of poverty) and place heavy impediments on the path of the migrant poor. A series of poor laws were enacted in Massachusetts, which rules of settlement and "warning out" that were even more strict than in England.
The pro-Open Borders crowd wants us to believe that we are a nation of immigrants and that therefore immigration is an unalloyed blessing. Mark Krikorian has pointed out at The Corner that the phrase "nation of immigrants" was created relatively recently in order to attack an earlier conception of America and American culture.
JPod: Sure, many phrases are no longer connected to their origins. Few people saying "writing on the wall" are even aware that it's a reference to the Book of Daniel, let alone trying to make a point about the king of Babylon.
But "nation of immigrants" is not that kind of phrase. It has an ideological purpose, to downgrade and delegitimize America before the beginning of mass immigration in 1848, or maybe even before 1880. It is, in a sense, the unofficial motto of multiculturalism. America is much more a "nation of settlers" and a "nation of slaves" that it is a nation of immigrants. As important as some immigrant groups have been in shaping the ongoing development of American culture (especially Germans, Italians, and Jews), the template was established by English and Scottish settlers, as well as by the reinterpretation of Anglo-Celtic culture by the African slaves. Immigrants may be the frosting — but the cake was baked long before they arrived.
Settlers who bring their own culture and legal system with them to live in their own self-organized societies do not play the same role as immigrants who move to live in an already organized much larger society. The advocates of mass immigration today seek to break the template for American society created by the original settlers. They've certainly greatly weakened that template. I say they've done enough damage and it is time to stop immigration for a few generations.
There is only one provision that has unanimous support: stronger border enforcement. I've seen senators stand up and object to the point system, to chain migration, to guest workers, to every and any idea in this bill - except one. I have yet to hear a senator stand up and say he or she is against better border enforcement.
Why not start by passing what everyone says they want? After all, proponents of this comprehensive reform insist that the current situation is intolerable and must be resolved. It follows, therefore, that however much they differ in the details of how the current mess should be resolved, they are united in the belief that such a mess should not be allowed to happen again. And the only way to make sure of that is border control.
So why not pass it, with the understanding that the other contentious provisions would be taken up subsequently? Because for all the protestations, many of those who say they are deeply devoted to enforcement are being deeply disingenuous. They profess to care about immigration control because they have to. But they care so little about the issue that they are willing to make it hostage to the other controversial provisions, most notably legalization.
In a nutshell: our elites are holding border security hostage to their desire to bring in more cheap labor.
People understand they are being lied to. An article in the New York Times reports on Georgians who do not trust or believe what politicians in Washington DC are telling them on immigration.
“It’s all window dressing,” said Mark A. Johnson, a real estate lawyer in this fast-growing suburb of Atlanta. “We don’t believe the government has the will to enforce any of these promises. Everybody can see the folly of it, everybody but the politicians.”
“It really upsets me to find out that my government says, ‘Yes, we can secure the border, we can detain illegal aliens, we can take all sorts of actions to enforce the law, but we will do so only if Congress provides legal status to those who are here illegally,’ ” Mr. Dean said.
Reagan Dean understands.
A majority of Democrats in Georgia oppose the Senate immigration amnesty bill.
Louis S. Hunter, a pollster and political analyst based in Atlanta, said, “Congress and the president are completely out of touch with how people here feel about illegal immigration.”
Senator Chambliss, who is up for re-election next year, was booed last month when he defended the bill at the state Republican convention. In nearby Gwinnett County, the local Republican Party adopted a resolution last week urging both senators to “vote no on this amnesty bill.”
Jane V. Kidd, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, said: “This is not a partisan issue in Georgia. A small percentage of Democrats are supporting the bill as it stands, but a majority of Democrats and Republicans in the state do not like it.”
Saxby Chambliss ought to get defeated in his next run for reelection. Some Democrats might try to run his right on immigration to beat him.
Three Democrats who hope to unseat Mr. Chambliss have criticized the bill and his role in drafting it, Ms. Kidd said.
This is what we need: throw the bums out. Among the Republicans who should go down against Republican primary challengers: Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Johnny Isakson also of Georgia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and John Kyl of Arizona all should go down to defeat in their next elections.
Lawrence Auster argues if opposition to illegal immigration is seen by Hispanics as anti-Hispanic then they are putting their loyalty to their group ahead of loyalty to the United States. (my bold emphasis added)
The pro-legalization Republicans keep saying that if the Republican party doesn't support the legalization of illegals, Hispanics will take that as an insult to Hispanics and never vote Republican again, dooming the GOP. The pro-legalization Republicans don't realize what they are saying. They are saying that the U.S. Hispanics (meaning legal Hispanic immigrants and their descendants) are people who demand the legalization of Hispanic lawbreakers as a condition of giving a party their political support--they are saying that U.S. Hispanics are people who regard as "anti-Hispanic" any failure by the U.S. political system to support the illegal immigration of Hispanics and the resulting destruction of our laws and sovereignty.
In short, the strongest supporters of large-scale Hispanic immigration, including Hispanics themselves, are saying that Hispanics are a deeply ethnocentric group that is hostile to the laws and sovereignty of the United States. That being the case, why should we admit any more Hispanic immigrants into this country?
Why should we put them ahead of our own interests? This is the part I do not get. Why should I sacrifice the interests of citizens for the interests of an ethnic group many of whose members put the interests of their ethnicity ahead of the interests of the rest of us?
Commencement weekend is hard to plan at the University of California, Los Angeles. The university now has so many separate identity-group graduations that scheduling them not to conflict with one another is a challenge. The women’s studies graduation and the Chicana/Chicano studies graduation are both set for 10 AM Saturday. The broader Hispanic graduation, “Raza,” is in near-conflict with the black graduation, which starts just an hour later.
Planning was easier before a new crop of ethnic groups pushed for inclusion. Students of Asian heritage were once content with the Asian–Pacific Islanders ceremony. But now there are separate Filipino and Vietnamese commencements, and some talk of a Cambodian one in the future. Years ago, UCLA sponsored an Iranian graduation, but the school’s commencement office couldn’t tell me if the event was still around. The entire Middle East may yet be a fertile source for UCLA commencements.
I've had enough Balkanization already. I say build a really big wall on the US border with Mexico, deport all the illegal aliens, way scale back legal immigration, and wait a few generations for assimilation. If assimilation still doesn't happen then pay the unassimilated to leave.
An unrealistic typical inside-the-dogma-boundaries debate about race, this one at The New Republic, ellicits a response from Razib at Gene Expression. Razib says race is not simply an ideological construct.
Race is a social construction. But it is not one constructed purely from human ideology. That many perceive Greeks as white and Turks as non-white is a reflection of social axioms (Christians are white, Muslims are brown). That may perceive Greeks as white and Thai as non-white is not a reflection of social axioms (Greeks exhibit physical characteristics of the white race, Thais do not). Humanists are well schooled in the interplay between ideology and facts in generating a narrative of the world. To pretend as if there is no factual basis in the outlines of an ideology is a denial of reality, which would less concerning if not for the fact that most Americans parrot this very line about race as if it was universally accepted.
I like to cite the example of dog breeds. Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois are different breeds. Some dogs sit clearly inside the definition of Border Collie or Aussie or Malinois. Others are mixes. Just because mixes exist does not mean that the group average characteristics of each breed isn't unique. Just because mixes exist doesn't mean that breeds do not exist or that breed labels are not useful. Breed names have real world utility. If you are near Golden Retriever who is barking at you your odds of getting bit or even killed are a lot lower than if you are near a Rottweiler that is barking at you. Group average differences in behavior rationally should influence your choices about house pets, guard dogs, or defensive behavior when challenged by a stranger dog.
Responding to the same TNR discussion Steve Sailer repeats his common sensical definition of race: "a partly inbred extended family".
I've long felt my single biggest contribution was coming up with a definition of "racial group" that was both rigorous and common-sensical ("a partly inbred extended family"). Simply having a useful definition should do much to dispel the hysteria, bad-faith, status-seeking, and general air of nonsense surrounding the topic of race.
On the other hand, my definition hasn't exactly swept like wildfire through the intellectual world as Chowkwanyun's essay demonstrates. But that's the way it generally is. You don't persuade famous thinkers, like, say, Richard Rorty. You outlive them. A new generation then comes along that doesn't have their egos invested in bad old ideas.
So, I was pleased to see in TNR a reply to the article by Justin Shubow that demonstrates a good familiarity with state-of-the-art thinking on the subject.
Why is Steve seeing a sensible idea getting adopted more quickly? I think the internet has accelerated the speed at which ideas spread. New ideas (or previously marginalized ideas) get put in front of many more pairs of eyes and lots of people who do not have vested interests in the current conventional wisdom decide the current conventional wisdom is wrong.
My guess is that the gap between the conventional wisdom and empirical reality is going to get narrower because the gatekeepers of the conventional wisdom are experiencing a reduced ability to control what people read and hear. Some of the middlemen in the markets for ideas are getting automated out of existence just as distributors of many physical products have gotten replaced with computer systems that allow more direct shipments.
Some pessimists think the defenders of conventional wisdom are still holding the line and keeping everyone in line. But my sense of it is that the intellectual building they constructed to hold everyone inside of might still look strong but it has termites. A lot of people are still afraid to publically speak their minds. But a growing number are changing their beliefs in the privacy of their own minds (or hiding behind pseudonyms as bloggers and blog commenters) and they are waiting looking for signals for when to all start speaking truthfully all at once. Those signals for when honesty becomes possible are coming soon and will come in the form of scientific evidence from DNA sequencing studies.
Just 20% of American voters want Congress to try and pass the immigration reform bill that failed in the Senate last week. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 51% would like their legislators to “take smaller steps towards reform” while 16% believe they should wait until next year. The survey was conducted on Monday and Tuesday night as the President was publicly attempting to rally support for the legislation.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters would favor an approach that focuses exclusively on “exclusively on securing the border and reducing illegal immigration.” Support for the enforcement only approach comes from 84% of Republicans, 55% of Democrats, and 69% of those not affiliated with either major party.
Overall, just 21% are opposed to the enforcement-only approach.
Just 30% would favor legislation that focused “exclusively on legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States.” Fifty-seven percent (57%) oppose that strategy, including 63% of Republicans, 52% of Democrats, and 55% of unaffiliated voters.
The polls by assorted liberal media organizations that show more support for immigration and the Senate bill are designed to produce the answers they desired. Why? They want to convince opponents of the amnesty that the opponents are vastly outnumbered. They want to make the immigration restrictionists feel hopeless and helpless. Well, don't do it.
Contact your Senators and tell them to stop illegal immigration and slash legal immigration. Once you've done that: Think about how to change the US Senate. We've reached the point where we need to start defeating US Senators running for reelection. We need to impose a litmus test on all Congressional and Presidential candidates on the National Question. Advocates of cheap labor and Banana Republicans should be rejected.
BAGHDAD -- Private security companies, funded by billions of dollars in U.S. military and State Department contracts, are fighting insurgents on a widening scale in Iraq, enduring daily attacks, returning fire and taking hundreds of casualties that have been underreported and sometimes concealed, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and company representatives.
While the military has built up troops in an ongoing campaign to secure Baghdad, the security companies, out of public view, have been engaged in a parallel surge, boosting manpower, adding expensive armor and stepping up evasive action as attacks increase, the officials and company representatives said. One in seven supply convoys protected by private forces has come under attack this year, according to previously unreleased statistics; one security company reported nearly 300 "hostile actions" in the first four months.
The full article is long and provides many interesting details.
In order to hide the scope of the violence the casualty figures for private security services weren't reported at all for years and now they are only partially reported.
After a year of protests by Wayne and logistics director Jack Holly, a retired Marine colonel, the casualty figures were included. In an operational overview updated last month, the logistics directorate reported that 132 security contractors and truck drivers had been killed and 416 wounded since fall 2004. Four security contractors and a truck driver remained missing, and 208 vehicles were destroyed. Only convoys registered with the logistics directorate are counted in the statistics, and the total number of casualties is believed to be higher.
Since many contractors are not Americans (e.g. 500 Kurds who guard a large depot near Baghdad) the cost per soldier is probably much lower in many cases.
One British security company that guards one third of all non-military convoys has lost more people than all but 3 of the countries in the coalition.
The U.S. Labor Department reported that ArmorGroup has lost 26 employees in Iraq, based on insurance claims. Sources close to the company said the figure is nearly 30. Only three countries in the 25-nation coalition -- the United States, Britain and Italy -- have sustained more combat-related deaths.
That is just one of the security companies supplying mercenaries. When you hear about other countries which supposedly make the US presence in Iraq into a big coalition operation keep in mind that the mercenaries combined probably do more security work and fighting than Italy. With the Brits scaling back their Iraq presence the private military outfits probably are doing more than British soldiers as well.
The use of private armies comes at a cost to liberty: If governments estranged from their people can raise the money to hire private armies then the need for willing citizens to serve in militaries ceases to place a restraint on the actions of elites. The elites who want a single world government and the gradual weakening of state sovereignty have got to be looking at the performance of private armies in Iraq and wondering whether they'll serve as key elements of a new world order.
We need to take back control of the Senate. It has fallen into enemy hands. The United States Senate is not run for the American people. It is run by and for a clubby elite. John Hawkins at Right Wing News has an insightful account of how really only the cloture vote matters for the next round of the immigration amnesty fight.
First off, it does look like the Senate immigration bill is coming back. The conventional wisdom seems to be that it's going to be brought up right before the July 4th break, so that the Senate Republican leadership can try to use that as leverage to get votes (In other words, "vote for the bill or we'll have to waste your vacation time until you do").
This is despite the fact that the conservative leaders of the anti-amnesty movement are refusing to cooperate, and won't give Mitch McConnell a list of amendments that they want considered. My source tells me that the reason for this is that the game has now been rigged. McConnell is essentially promising to bring the amendments up in exchange for cloture votes, but Trent Lott is publicly saying that they will strip any problematic amendments out in committee.
The amendment game won't matter. Some Senators will vote for some of the amendments counting on those amendments to get stripped out in a House-Senate committee meeting to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the amnesty bill.
In other words, if the bill gets through the Senate and the House, the Democrats and the open borders Republicans will work together when the bills have to be reconciled in committee to strip out any amendments that the "grand bargainers" don't like. Therefore, at this point, it doesn't matter what amendments pass, because any tough enforcement provisions that slip through will be rendered toothless when the bills are reconciled.
Some "moderate" Senators who favor amnesty are going to be allowed to vote against the bill by Senate leaders because they are up for election in 2008 in close elections. So those Senators also need to be targeted for defeat in the next primaries and next election along with all the Senators that vote to end cloture.
Immigration restriction comes down to winning elections. We need to defeat some of the bad apples. Trent Lott and Mitch McConnell should be targeted with primary challengers. Any other Banana Republican who has voted for cloture who will vote for cloture in the next attempt to pass S.1348 needs to get defeated. The immigration restrictionists need to build up a national movement to defeat sitting members of Congress. In spite of intense pressure by constituents far too many US Senators of both parties are in contempt of the will of the electorate. We have a big problem with these people.
What I want to know: Will the right wingers who are disgusted with Bush and who see the Republican Party as broken join a movement and work to take back control of Congress? Or will their anger fade once this latest battle over amnesty is decided?
The Republican whip, Trent Lott of Mississippi, who supports the bill, said: “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.”
At some point, Mr. Lott said, Senate Republican leaders may try to rein in “younger guys who are huffing and puffing against the bill.”
The majority of Republican Senators should vote to remove Lott and McConnell from leadership positions. The majority of Republican voters should vote to replace these yahoos in Republican primaries.
Libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is the most consistent opponent of taxes and most consistent advocate of personal liberty in Congress. This makes him a fringe figure in the mainstream liberal media and the traditional gatekeeper editors in big media organizations If the next US Presidential election was fought on YouTube then Ron Paul wold win.
Then comes "Ron Paul."
The presence of the obscure Republican congressman from Texas on a list that includes terms such as "Sopranos," "Paris Hilton" and "iPhone" is a sign of the online buzz building around the long-shot Republican presidential hopeful -- even as mainstream political pundits have written him off.
Paul is solidly libertarian and yet he's opposed to open borders and wants immigration laws enforced. Tom Tancredo seems too supportive of the Republican status quo outside of immigration. Paul is a refreshing alternative. However, I'd take either of them over any other Republican currently in the 2008 US Presidential race.
Libertarians are probably online far out of proportion to their numbers in the general population. So Paul's popularity online might be a reflection of number of libertarians on the web.
Rep. Ron Paul is more popular on Facebook than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). He's got more friends on MySpace than former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. His MeetUp groups, with 11,924 members in 279 cities, are the biggest in the Republican field. And his official YouTube videos, including clips of his three debate appearances, have been viewed nearly 1.1 million times -- more than those of any other candidate, Republican or Democrat, except Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
No one's more surprised at this robust Web presence than Paul himself, a self-described "old-school," "pen-and-paper guy" who's serving his 10th congressional term and was the Libertarian Party's nominee for president in 1988.
The proliferation of web logs, social networking sites, and other methods of mass communication usable by the masses weakens the influence of the establishment media organizations. Views which the mainstream could marginalize in the past are harder to shut out today. You don't need to get a degree in journalism, impress gatekeepers in a job interview, and spend years writing at their direction in order to get your views heard.
The lowering of barriers to publication increases competition and serves up talented writers and insightful analysts who in previous eras would have gone unheard. Thought police are less effective. Writers who earn their livelihoods in other occupations can more easily express their views without fear of punishment.
The on-going battle over the Senate immigration amnesty bill S.1348 demonstrates that when a measure is favored by elites and organized in secrecy that the masses can organize to stop it. When the measure is strongly opposed by the majority we can organize electronically and put up a lot of resistance to elite machinations. Elites try to project a sense of inevitability to their plans in order to sew the feeling of defeat and weaken opposition. Online communities need to develop greater feelings of independence from elites. If they reduce their respect to elites they'll become more immune to elite psychological games.
Pressure from George W. Bush forced an election that brought Islamic fundamentalists to power in the Palestinian territories. Now that Hamas is wiping out (i.e. killing in street executions) Fatah members in the Gaza Strip Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post points out that Bush's push for democracy created the conditions that allowed Hamas to take over.
Five years ago this month, President Bush stood in the Rose Garden and laid out a vision for the Middle East that included Israel and a state called Palestine living together in peace. "I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror," the president declared.
Some people might see Bush's statement as in pursuit of a noble cause. But no. If one has a realistic view of human nature then seeing the probable result is not hard to do. Therefore Bush is either irresponsible or he is deluded. If he is deluded then the costs of delusions about human nature are once again demonstrated just as the costs have been demonstrated in Iraq and elsewhere.
The first step toward peace was really a first step toward civil war and Islamic theocracy.
The takeover this week of the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group dedicated to the elimination of Israel demonstrates how much that vision has failed to materialize, in part because of actions taken by the administration. The United States championed Israel's departure from the Gaza Strip as a first step toward peace and then pressed both Israelis and Palestinians to schedule legislative elections, which Hamas unexpectedly won. Now Hamas is the unchallenged power in Gaza.
Democracy brings Islamic fundamentalists to power in the Middle East. Western style freedoms and individual rights are not the unversal aspirations of all humanity.
In the Middle East people have different values and loyalties. Democracy does not bring peace between Sunnis and Shias. Democracy does not liberate women. Democracy does not increase Muslim tolerance of Christians, Baha'i, Zoroastrians, Druze, or Yezidi.
Pseudo-conservatives who embrace liberal delusions about human nature pursue policies that cause the same sorts of damage that liberal policies cause. The same idiotic assumptions about human nature that brought us the debacle in Iraq and the empowering of Hamas in Gaza are bringing us yet another illegal alien amnesty. We need to oppose the idiocy and call it for what it is.
Banana Republicans continue to work with their Democratic Party counterparts to turn America into a Banana Republic. The monster has been brought back from the dead.
Senators Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader from Nevada, and Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader from Kentucky, agreed on a timetable for the bill and for a limited number of amendments to be offered.
The agreement, coming after President Bush’s pledge earlier today to provide $4.4 billion for border security, revives a bill that had stalled in the Senate and was all but given up for dead.
“We met this evening with several of the senators involved in the immigration bill negotiations,” Mr. Reid and Mr. McConnell said in a statement. “Based on that discussion, the immigration bill will return to the Senate floor after completion of the energy bill.”
We need to stop this stupidity. Contact your Senators and tell them no to amnesty and demand real immigration law enforcement.
By contrast, The states are closer to the will of the American people and the states are adopting measures aimed against illegal immigrants.
Through mid-April, legislators in all 50 states had introduced a record 1,169 bills dealing with illegal immigrants – more than twice the number put forward in all of 2006. Eighteen states had enacted 57 of those bills as of April 19, two-thirds of the number of immigration laws adopted by states last year, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Washington.
"I would not be surprised to see an increase above this year's historic level [of state legislation] if there's no [federal] reform," says Sheri Steisel, an immigration policy expert at NCSL. "Clearly, in areas of employer documentation, education, and healthcare we'll see even more activity next year."
Cities take action, too
Cities, counties, and towns are grappling with illegal immigration as well.
"More than 90 cities or counties have proposed, passed, or rejected laws prohibiting landlords from leasing to illegal immigrants, penalizing businesses that employ undocumented workers, or training local police to enforce federal immigration laws," said Dennis Zine, a board member of the National League of Cities and the chair of its Immigration Task Force, in testimony before a US House Judiciary subcommittee in May.
We need to politically organize to defeat amnesty-supporting Senators in primaries and general elections. We need to do the same in House elections.
Update: The links above are more connected to each other than you might have guessed. Over at The Corner a reader writes to Rich Lowry and proposes a theory: the impetus behind the immigration amnesty comes from business fears that state and local governments will cut down on the supply of cheap illegal immigrant labor.
Chertoff and Kyl both seem to have answered that question recently, Kyl in his Wall Street Journal interview and Chertoff on Fox News yesterday: because businesses are starting to worry about efforts to enforce immigration laws at the local level. One state in the vanguard of that effort is Kyl's (and McCain's) home state of Arizona, where the legislature has passed numerous laws (usually vetoed) on the issue, and where the public voted for Prop 200 back in 2004.
To me that says something far more ominous than that Congress is being disingenuous or naïve on the matter. Far from simple being empty promises, this amnesty bill is actually a blatant attempt to head off any attempts at enforcement at all.
Think about that. The Democrats then are the party of big business, not the Republicans. The Democrats more clearly represent the interests of capital over that of labor!
It also means the current immigration debate isn't as important as obsessive bloggers have been making it seem. It's more important! And it's not important to the GOPs so much as the Dems--because it means business is acting now to avoid what it perceives as a coming labor shortage in which it will have to substantially raise wages at the bottom, altering the economic contours of the economy in favor of unskilled workers and their families. You wouldn't think that--whatever Republicans do--a Democrat like Harry Reid would really want to move a bill that would prevent such a dramatic, progressive shift, would you? ...
Big money owns both the political parties. We need to get them back.
Update II: Thanks to "tommy" for putting the term "Banana Republicans" into my head. The term works. I suggest other bloggers pick up on it when talking about amnesty and North American Union supporting Republicans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Key Republican and Democratic senators are reaching for a deal to resurrect their stalled immigration compromise by requiring that some $4 billion be spent on border security and workplace enforcement.
The mandatory security funding is part of a plan to attract more Republican support for the measure, which grants legal status to millions of unlawful immigrants.
In private meetings Wednesday, the bipartisan group that crafted the delicate compromise was hammering out a plan to allow votes on a limited set of Republican- and Democratic-sought changes in exchange for a commitment from GOP holdouts that they will back moving ahead with the bill.
Republican architects of the measure, which grants legal status to millions of unlawful immigrants, expressed confidence that such an agreement was possible as early as Thursday.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) says S.1348 would reduce the rate at which people enter and stay illegally by only 13%.
Everyone becomes legal at once under this bill and stays there, no matter what happens. But even the new reforms in it take place — according to the Congressional Budget Office, we would only have about a 13 percent reduction in illegality. So that's just not sufficient. I mean, I think most American people think we'd have a dramatic improvement in reducing the flow of illegality if we have, as this bill does, a substantial increase in legal immigration.
Meaning that you think there will still be illegal immigrants coming across the border?
Oh, absolutely ... They predicted that we'd have a 25 percent reduction in illegality at the border. But we would have a substantial increase in visa over-stays, because we have a lot more people coming to the country on temporary visas.
13%. What a joke. It is an even bigger joke when we look at just how much worse the illegal immigration problem has gotten since George W. Bush took office. Ed Rubenstein has the facts:
But Steve Sailer says the masses have one big thing going for them in their battle with the elites on immigration: the internet lets us communicate and learn about whatever the Washington folks try to do outside of our sight.
Fifth, the Achilles heel of the Axis of Amnesty’s putsch was that the bill had to be posted on the Internet.
The legislation was written in secret. Committee hearings on it were blocked. It was far too long for many busy Senators and their staffers to read.
But networks of highly intelligent citizens examined it carefully and emailed each other with what they found. For example, Thursday's VDARE.com article, Ten Reasons The Amnesty/Immigration Surge Bill Is Appalling, by 'An Economist,' grew out of an email list utilized by a brilliant economist-turned-highly successful businessman, who has been devoting a lot of his extraordinary energy to immigration.
Contact your Senators and tell them to stop illegal immigration and slash legal immigration.
You are probably as bored of Palestinian violence and the Arab-Israeli conflict as I am. Really, hasn't this series produced enough episodes by now? Can't we experience it through reruns in syndication? But the writers have thrown a new twist in it with civil war between Palestinian factions reaching a climax. Hamas is emerging triumphant over Fatah in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas fighters launched a fierce offensive on Gaza City Wednesday, firing mortars and rockets at Fatah's main security bases and the president's compound as the Islamic group appeared close to taking control of the entire Gaza Strip.
Fatah's forces were crumbling fast, with some fighters seen fleeing their security posts and hundreds of others surrendering, hands raised, to masked Hamas gunmen.
Hamas' control of Gaza and Fatah's control of the non-Israeli parts of the West Bank effectively split the Palestinian state into two separate states.
Some nutcases tried to have a peaceful protest. Didn't anyone tell them that all protests much use violence? Don't they know the rules? Or are they some sort of trouble makers?
Among those killed Wednesday was a man shot when Hamas gunmen fired on a peaceful protest against the violence, witnesses said.
The President of the two Palestinian statelets is a member of Fatah and he is not happy.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah called the fighting "madness" and pleaded with the exiled leader of Hamas to halt the violence.
Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas issued a joint statement after nightfall, calling on all sides "to halt fighting, and to return to language of dialogue and respect of agreements," according to a statement from Abbas' office. The call was broadcast on Palestinian TV.
I'm guessing maybe the greater Israeli control over West Bank will prevent Hamas from taking over there as well.
Should we care one way or another about all this? If so, why? I'm just asking.
The Palestinians Authority's security forces, accompanied by Fatah members, began arresting senior Hamas members in the West Bank on Wednesday night.
The operation was launched in Ramallah, and the list of detainees contained 1,500 names of senior Hamas members and activists.
It will be interesting to see if Hamas and Fatah can quickly consolidate their power in their respective territories and put down all opposition. If so, one might ask why the civil war in Iraq is taking so much longer to finish.
John Derbyshire answers questions on the 2008 Republican Presidential candidates.
DG: In your commentary on National Review Online, you often, at least indirectly, allude favorably to the GOP frontrunner, Rudy Giuliani. What are your thoughts on the mayor? Do you believe he is an acceptable presidential choice for conservatives?
JD: Yes, I like Rudy. He’s an arrogant, ruthless son of a bitch, a power-hungry bully with a mean streak the width of the Asteroid Belt. I like that in a presidential candidate. Ronald Reagan gave me a lifetime’s supply of sappy uplift delivered with actor-school Throaty Voice No. 5. Poppy Bush convinced me that affectless managerialism can do nothing to advance conservative interests. Bill Clinton proved that boomers are scum, as if it needed proving. Bush Jr. I looked forward to as an empty suit with an empty head, but basically sound instincts—patriotic and so on—who would do a lot of nothing, nothing being the thing I most wanted my president to do at that point. Well, see how that worked out. Let’s try the son of a bitch.
I would gladly put up with large doses of sappy uplift if it was delivered by a President who was deeply realistic and pragmatic. Spout platitudes galore while governing with a brutally accurate model of human nature. Placate the people who want to hear happy talk but make decisions based on accurate appraisals of reality.
As for Rudy Giuliani: I suspect he's not smart enough for the job. Also, I don't see compelling signs that he's be all that conservative. Plus, Guiliani's response to Tancredo in a debate suggests he's wrong on immigration:
MR. GIULIANI: No, I’m very uncomfortable with it. I mean, the reality is, it’s one thing to be debating illegal immigration. It’s a very complex subject. I think we’ve had a very good debate about it. And I think the bill needs to be fixed in the way that I’ve indicated. But we shouldn’t be having a debate about legal immigration.
Derb's own position on immigration would serve as a useful litmus test for all Republican Presidential contenders:
DG: Every single GOP presidential contender not named McCain has voiced opposition to McCain’s immigration bill. What sort of immigration legislation would you prefer the GOP candidates to spearhead?
JD: First and foremost, I want a president who will vigorously enforce current laws against illegal entry and visa over-stayers. Then I’d like to see legislation to (A) abolish EOIR —deportation first, due process later, (B) end chain migration—spouse and dependent children only, (C) end birthright citizenship, and (D) set very low numbers, and very high standards, for settlement. We need another 40-year pause, like the one from 1924 to 1965, so we can get some assimilation done.
Of course, even worse than Giuliani on immigration is McCain and Derb sees this clearly:
DG: Which Republican presidential candidate would you LEAST like to see win the nomination? Are there any candidates who would make you consider voting Democratic, or perhaps for a third-party candidate in the general election?
JD: John McCain, just for his blinkered stupidity on immigration. I can’t actually imagine voting Democratic, even in a Gravel-McCain matchup. I can imagine not voting, though, and I can certainly imagine voting for a Third Party candidate. I’m a conservative. The GOP is not really, most of the time, a very conservative party. It’s only that once in a while they will throw a bone to conservatives, while the Dems never will. I feel no strong loyalty to the GOP—a thing that sometimes gets me into trouble at National Review. A real conservative, of proven executive ability and clear principles, running on a Third Party ticket, would get my vote. Alas, no-one comes to mind.
Bring back Eisenhower. He's got the best track record on immigration of any President in the last 60 years at least. Anyone know any magic spells for bringing people back from the dead? Short of magic Tom Tancredo is our best bet on immigration.
The Republicans face one really big problem with the 2008 election: Iraq. If they were wise (which they aren't) they'd let the Democrats force a US withdrawal real soon. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 61% of Americans think the Iraq war was not worth fighting. But any Republican Presidential candidate faces the problem that 37% of mostly Republicans still think the war was a good idea. If a Republican supports continuation of the war and manages to win the Republican party's nomination then that candidate will carry that war support as a burden in the general election.
For the general election the Republicans need a candidate who claims he wants to drastically cut back on troops in order to force the Iraqis to fight their own civil war.
Coming from the folks at the Center for Immigration Studies, here is one reason (there are others) why libertarian advocacy for high immigration is a huge mistake. Mexican and other Latin American immigrants are big welfare state users.
45% of all Latin American immigrant households use at least
one welfare program and 24% use more than one program.
– 32% use food assistance, 31% use Medicaid, 6% use cash assistance.
20% of native households use at least one welfare program
and 11% multiple programs.
– 11% use food assistance, 15% use Medicaid, 5% use cash assistance.
Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and some of the Republican supporters of immigration amnesty think that giving immigrants amnesty will turn them into Republicans! An amazingly deluded theory. The 1986 amnesty did not create a huge Hispanic Republican horde. Hello? Karl Rove? How do you explain that? Or, rather, how do you ignore that? Ignoring evidence is more the Bush Administration's style. Bush's crowd looks down on the "reality based community".
It makes sense that the last immigration amnesty didn't turn Mexican and other lower IQ Amerind immigrants (see the section on chapter 12 Amerindians here) into Republicans. People who use welfare state benefits tend to vote for the Democrats. A group that makes extensive use of the welfare state is a group that will vote for liberal Democrats who will tell them their poverty is not due to any shortcomings in their ability or character.
Turning illegals into legals via amnesty will further increase their already high level of welfare program usage.
Among Mexican and Latin American households, welfare use is somewhat higher for households headed by legal, as opposed to illegal, immigrants. Thus legalization will likely increase welfare costs still further.
90% of Mexican and Latin American households have at
least one worker. Their heavy welfare use reflects their low education levels
and resulting low incomes – and not an unwillingness to work.
– 61% of all Mexican immigrants have not graduated high school.
– 48% of all Latin American immigrants have not graduated high school.
Of course the liberal nostrum for this state of affairs is education, education, education. That's supposed to be the cure-all. But it does not work. Their scholastic performance does not improve much in the second generation and after the second generation does not improve at all. See the table in the update at that link. So of course they are going to remain low skilled and low income and big welfare state users.
There is a common but mistaken belief that welfare programs are only for those who don’t work. Actually, the welfare system is designed to provide low-wage workers, or more often their children, things like food assistance and health care.
It is the presence of their U.S.-born children coupled with their low education levels that explains why so many immigrant households use the welfare system.
Most recently arrived immigrants are barred from using welfare programs and this would likely apply to those legalized by the Senate bill – however this is not true in every state, nor does not apply to all programs. Most important, the bar does not apply to the U.S.-born children of immigrants, who are immediately eligible.
How to save money and roll back the welfare state? Ship the illegal aliens back home.
The American Chamber of Commerce and other facets of the cheap labor lobby would rather we pay more in taxes to support low skilled and low IQ illegal aliens so that they can get cheap labor for themselves. They want larger private profits by shifting more costs onto the taxpaying public. Congressional representatives and Senators who buy their arguments are fools.
Some claim that we either must give the illegals amnesty or allow them to stay here as illegals. The term "benign neglect" gets used to describe the latter option. But mass deportations are relatively easy to do and would yield a large net benefit for American citizens in the current generation and even larger benefits for future generations.
Some might object that I'm bringing up very ugly subjects by bringing up IQ differences. Leftists will shout "racism!". Well, I agree with "Katie's Dad" that if we can not speak honestly about group average differences in behavior and IQ then we can't maintain the Republic. The conventional conservatives have gone along with the lying myths of the Left and the result has been disastrous. We need more honesty and more frank discussion on immigration. We also need more than half measures. Time to stop immigration and deport the illegals.
Instead of “comprehensive” reform, Bush should choose a second option: consecutive reform.
This advocacy of "consecutive reform" amounts to the editors of the National Review advising Bush on how he can eventually arrive at a point where it becomes politically possible to institute an amnesty and guest worker program. These editors are not using the term consecutive to mean "first control the border and then start deporting the illegals". No, no. They are providing counsel to George W. Bush, enemy of the conservative base, on how he can eventually get his wishes over the strongly held beliefs of said conservative base which the National Review's writers claim to see as their own base.
During this debate, both the comprehensivists and their opponents have stressed the critical need to control the border and to give employers a reliable system to verify the legal status of their workers. There is no reason that either imperative should wait on resolution of the amnesty or guest-worker questions. The administration has often said that enforcement cannot work without an amnesty or guest-worker program; but it has refuted that claim by pointing out that its border-enforcement measures have brought the number of illegal crossings down.
Good point on the enforceability of border controls. This Bush administration improvement in border enforcement that they speak of was a cynical attempt by Bush to pretend to the public that he was finally going to stop illegal immigration and he was doing that only in order to convert the same level of illegal flow into an even larger legal flow of the same people. Why try to give strategic advice to someone so dishonest?
But they do not even go far enough in describing what is obviously true. Not only is enforcement possible, but role-back of the illegal horde is possible as well. Republican President Dwight "I like Ike" Eisenhower showed with Operation Wetback it was possible for a small group of immigration enforcement agents to round up and deport tens of thousands of illegal aliens and, by doing so, to spur hundreds of thousands to leave.
The National Review editors are merely "skeptical" about the wisdom of so-called "temporary" worker programs or amnesty.
When Americans are confident that the government is committed to enforcing any immigration laws, they will be more open to changes to those laws. We are skeptical about the need for a guest-worker program or a sweeping amnesty. But we would be willing to debate these policies in a few years’ time. They are not even worth debating, however, until we know that we are not merely legalizing millions of illegal immigrants while inviting millions more to be legalized in some future round of “reform.”
So what are they opposed to here? Are they only opposed to the invitation for millions more to come? Or are they also opposed to amnesty for the ones already here?
Still have doubts about whether the NR folks are wobbly? Well, consider some issue which evokes firmer reactions. How about gay marriage? Here's what you'll never see them write:
We remain skeptical about gay marriage. We believe that first we should strengthen the bonds of traditional marriage. Once we've done that we would be willing to debate gay marriage in a few years time.
They are far less ambivalent about where they stand on gay marriage than they are about Third World immigration, the expanded lower class it brings, and the inevitable shift leftward that it produces.
This NR ambivalence on immigration finds no equivalent among the mass of conservatives who overwhelmingly want less immigration period. The NR's editors are not taking their wobbly position on immigration due to some reflexively ambivalent approach to issues in general. By contrast, most of them are absolutely certain that neoconservative Lewis "Scooter" Libby should get pardoned for perjury and obstruction of justice. Check out here and here and here and even William F. Buckley here.. Though a couple of NR writers are less than nutty on Libby: Andy McCarthy and John Derbyshire (Derb again). While the recent attempt by US Senators to pass an immigration amnesty riled up conservatives (and quite a lot of moderates and liberals as well) to a level of anger not seen in many years Daniel Larison points out that what motivates the (at least supposedly) conservative elites is Lewis Libby. If only the NR crowd could get sustainably worked up about immigration restriction the way they do about Libby the nation would be much better off.
The NR crowd and other prominent (supposed) conservatives make recurring mistakes in their thinking. First off, they simply do not think enough about real evidence. They live in the realm of arguments and wordsmithing rather than in the realm of scientific evidence. Second, part of their failure to use evidence stems from accepting the boundaries of acceptable discussion that their supposed enemies the liberals set for them. Third, they trumpet narrow elite interests (e.g. Scooter Libby as compared to those two Border Patrol agents Compean and Ramos as candidates for pardon) over mass interests. Fourth, they put partisan politics (e.g. reflexive unthinking support for Bush as pack leader) ahead of positions arrived at through thinking. As a result, their priorities are consistently wrong and their positions are too often wrong.
The sharply divided Senate refused to limit debate on the fragile compromise hammered out by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House. The vote was 45-50, 15 short of the 60 votes needed to advance significant legislation in the 100-member body toward a final vote.
The huge volume of calls and mail from the public opposing this measure along with the uprising of mostly right wing commentators against this bill have taken their toll on the US Senators who thought they could safely vote this monstrosity into law. We haven't won yet but our odds of defeating this bill have improved considerably. Keep those calls and faxes coming.
5 Senators managed not to be there for the vote. How many of them are out running for President?
All but seven Republicans voted against ending debate, with many arguing they needed more time to make the bill tougher with tighter border security measures and a more arduous legalization process for unlawful immigrants.
All but 11 Democrats supported the move, but they, too, were holding their noses at provisions of the bill.
The Democrats must have received blistering criticism from their constituents for so many of them to break ranks and vote against an immigration amnesty. Let this be a lesson: A sufficiently angered populace which calls up and faxes and emails its elected representatives can pull them back from making a move that the masses oppose.
The 49-48 vote just after midnight on making the temporary worker program itself temporary came two weeks after the Senate, also by a one-vote margin, rejected an earlier attempt by Sen. Byron Dorgan to end the program after five years. The North Dakota Democrat says immigrants take many jobs Americans could fill.
Byron Dorgan is one of the more restrictionist Democrats in the US Senate. I'd rather have him than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama running for President.
Mexican mediocrity -- A chart in the NYT graphically illustrates the mediocrity of the human capital that recent Mexican immigrants (legal and whichever illegal ones the Census Bureau could find) bring. While over 40% of recent immigrants from India have an advanced degree, only about 1% of Mexican immigrants do. Over 60% of Mexican immigrants have less than a high school diploma. While about 20% of African immigrants work in "science, engineering, technology, or health," only about 1% of Mexicans do. Almost three times the proportion of Filipino immigrants claim to speak English "very well" as do Mexican immigrants.
We could and should stop all low quality immigration. We could demand that all immigrants have skills that make them highly productive and big contributors to the economic health of America. We could do this. But purveyors of lies do not want us to draw obvious distinctions between groups of people. We are supposed to believe the myth that we really are all created equal in ability and motivation and character.
Greater selectivity on who gets in would reduce the problems caused by immigrants.
I'm often denounced for drawing attention to the salience of race and ethnicity to immigration policy. Under an ideal immigration system -- limited numbers of legal immigrants chosen for their high human capital rather than for family connections -- race and ethnicity would be much less relevant a question. India, for example, is not high IQ region on the whole. If we imported millions of random Indians we would have trouble. But, because Indian immigrants tend to be selected for skills, assimilation into middle class America is less of a problem for them.
America is no longer a huge empty frontier. Even 50 years ago we had huge coastlines with few residents. But we have reached a population size where natives are moving away from the crowded costly coastal states and they are moving to get away from Third World immigrants. Immigration has ceased to be a net benefit. The frontier has closed. We should let in far fewer immigrants and do so far more selectively.
Heather Mac Donald argues that Republicans who think they can convert Hispanics into Republicans are deluding themselves - and Heather is absolutely correct.
George Bush’s political strategists have long promoted amnesty for illegal aliens as a device for increasing the Republican vote among Hispanics. They also warn that denying rights to illegal aliens will hurt the GOP. A Hispanic backlash in California after Proposition 187 (the 1994 voter initiative that denied illegal aliens many publicly funded services) turned the state from red to blue, they claim; a similar rout awaits the party if it does not embrace liberal immigration policies.
There is scant evidence for either of these ideas. The 1986 amnesty signed by President Reagan did not trigger a Latino surge into the Republican Party. And California’s Hispanics leaned as strongly Democratic before Prop. 187 as after it. Hispanic voting patterns in California have held steady since 1988—they vote approximately two-to-one for Democratic presidential candidates. California’s shift from red to blue would have happened with or without Prop. 187, as defense-industry whites left the state, replaced by liberal high-tech professionals, and as the Hispanic portion of the electorate tripled from 7 percent to 21 percent.
Hispanics have about twice the illegitimacy rate of whites. They do poorly in school and earn much lower salaries on average. Therefore they make great supporters and users of the welfare state.
This attitude of entitlement—not only among illegal aliens but also among legal Hispanic immigrants and their children—extends to the full array of welfare programs. In fact, welfare use actually increases between the second and third generation of Mexican-Americans—to 31 percent of all third-generation Mexican-American households.
If you want your taxes to go up, your neighborhood to become less safe. your school's quality to decay, and your government to become more corrupt then support the immigration amnesty that Bush and the US Senate want to foist on you. If you are a masochist who doesn't think you deserve what you have then mass immigration of low IQ Third Worlders can deliver lots of lowered quality of life.
In an article entitled "Immigration -- Bush's domestic Iraq" Mickey Kaus says "The rigid thinking leading us to failure in the Mideast spawned 'comprehensive immigration reform.'".
6. In both cases, the solution has failed before. The British failed to "stand up" democracy in Iraq. We failed to do the same in Vietnam and also failed to establish stable, trans-factional governing structures in Lebanon and Somalia. Likewise, the grand, bipartisan Simpson-Mazzoli immigration reform of 1986 had promised, and failed, to establish an effective immigration enforcement mechanism.
7. In both cases, some Bush plan enthusiasts may not really mind a chaotic end result. Iraq war foes argue that some important neocon supporters of the Iraq war weren't really bothered by the prospect of Sunni-versus-Shiite warfare — even seeing divide-and-conquer advantages. Similarly, there's the suspicion that many supporters of Bush's immigration plan won't really be bothered if the enforcement parts of the law fail to stop the flow of new illegals. Employers, for one, would get additional inexpensive, willing workers.
All of his 10 points are great. I recommend reading the whole thing.
The domestic debacle of Bush's immigration proposal would be even worse than the foreign policy debacle of Iraq.
10. In both cases the consequences of losing the grand Bush bet are severe. Bush himself is busy these days describing the debacle that his big Iraq bet has now made possible: a government "overrun by extremists on all sides … an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by Al Qaeda." Possibly "the entire region could be drawn into the conflict."
The equivalent disaster scenario on immigration would go something like this: "Comprehensive reform" passes. The 12 million illegals are legalized as planned. But the untested enforcement provisions prove no more effective than they've been in the past — or else they are crippled by ACLU-style lawsuits and lobbying (as in the past). Legal guest workers enter the country to work, but so do millions of new illegal workers, drawn by the near-certain prospect that they too, some day, will be considered too numerous to deport. Soon we have another 12 million illegals, or more. Wages for unskilled low-income American and immigrant workers are depressed. As a result, in parts of L.A., visible contrasts of wealth and poverty reach near-Latin American levels.
For people who want to live in a Latin American style society I have some simple advice: Go on a very extended vacation to one of those countries and take a real hard look at it. The United States of America is a far better place than Latin America. Or go for a ride through LA and look at the graffiti. Or follow the news in Santa Barbara about knife stabbings. Or read up on the one state that already has the demographics that Bush and our foolish elites want to make the United States into: New Mexico. What Bush wants is very bad for America.
Time to start thinking about how the United States will withdraw from Iraq. Iraqi employees of US companies, US agencies, and the US military want to leave Iraq when the US pulls out.
BAGHDAD -- With pressure building in Washington for an American troop pullout, Iraqis who have worked closely with U.S. companies and military forces are begging their employers for assurances that they will be able to leave with them.
"They must take care of the people who worked with the Americans," said Hayder, an Iraqi who has worked for several U.S. companies since coalition forces entered Iraq.
"I work with them, I support them, I protect them. They must give us something," he said as he sipped tea in a small cafe in the fortified Green Zone.
Like most Iraqis working with the Americans, Hayder insisted that his full name not be published. Those known to cooperate with U.S. forces and companies are regularly targeted, threatened and killed by both Sunni and Shi'ite extremists.
My simple but correct advice: No, do not bring these people to America. Keep Islam out of the United States.
I wonder if the US could make a deal with the Kurds to take in the Iraqi Arabs who currently work for the US. Kurdistan would be a safer place for them if the Kurdistan government would accept them. Another possibility is Jordan. The US could offer to pay cash for Jordan to take some Sunni Iraqi refugees. The Jordanians wouldn't want the Shias. For the Shias Iran might be an option.
What I want to know: Will the US even try to maintain an embassy in Baghdad when the US Congress finally forces the US military to start withdrawal? Will enough US forces remain to protect the Green Zone? I do not see how that could work. I'm expecting that supplying those forces will become extremely difficult. Absent a larger US force the drive of convoys from Kuwait to Baghdad will become too dangerous.
What I also want to know: Will Congressional Republicans shift against the war in the fall of 2007? Once the surge has clearly failed the Republicans have got to start thinking about their own political survival. How to avoid voter wrath in November 2008?
The Congressional Republicans need to break with Bush on Iraq and on immigration if they want to get reelected.
Since the Republican National Committee is following Bush's lead on immigration and since so many Senate Republicans are for open borders Republican donors are giving their money to state rather than national Republican organizations.
Tina Benkiser, chairwoman of the Republican Party in the president's home state of Texas, says raising money has been successful "in large part to our principled stance against illegal immigration." Since the beginning of 2006, when substantial immigration debate began, she says, "the Republican Party of Texas has experienced an exponential increase in direct-mail donations from supporters statewide."
Both phone and direct-mail fundraising remain strong for the party in Michigan, says state Chairman Saul Anuzis.
"In Michigan, seven out of nine congressional Republicans oppose the bill, our activists are publicly opposing amnesty, and we are also re-establishing our brand image by fighting a Democrat attempt to increase taxes," Mr. Anuzis says. "These issues are keeping our people engaged, where otherwise we could feel a [donations] drop-off."
Similar reports from other state Republican officials in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa and Delaware suggest that opposition to any form of amnesty for illegal aliens is a fundraising winner.
Meanwhile, Republican National Committee donations are tanking.
In the first three months of this year, the committee collected $24.6 million, down from $35 million in the comparable period last year, $32.3 million in the first quarter of 2005 and $46 million in the first quarter of 2004.
Also, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is raising half as much as its Democratic Party counterpart. Read the full article. State parties calling up for donations are pitching against the S1348 bill by calling it the Bush-Kennedy bill and getting big donations. Yes, they are pitching against a sitting Republican incumbent President and the fund raising pitch is working. The Republican base has moved on. Bush's approval rating has sunk to Jimmy Carter's level and that approval rating was measured before details of the immigration proposal Bush negotiated with US Senators became public knowledge.
The Republicans can do much better if they diistance themselves from Bush and adopt positions on immigration that align with both the conservative base and even with the majority of independents and Democrats.
Republicans, you are headed toward massive defeat in 2008. Change your foreign and domestic policies.
A poll of 600 likely Republican and 600 like Democratic Iowa caucus attendees (where they decide who to support as party nominees for President) were asked their views on continuing the war in Iraq. Bush has lost the Iraq war in Iowa.
5. Do you favor a withdrawal of all United States military from Iraq within the next six months? (Republicans Only)
8. Do you favor a withdrawal of all United States military from Iraq within the next six months? (Democrats Only)
The numbers on Bush compared to Reagan are even more damning for Bush and his war. Congressional Republicans should get a clue and turn against the war. Ditto for Republican Presidential candidates. The top 3 stories with highest interest with the American public at the moment are gasoline prices, Iraq, and immigration. The Republicans need to improve their policies on all of them.
In reaction to Peggy Noonan's column arguing Bush has betrayed and abandoned conservatives on immigration and other topics and they should treat him likewise, Rod Dreher points out that conservatives (at least those who supported Bush for years) bear a lot of responsibility for the failed Presidency of George W. Bush. I gotta agree.
I've got no strong objection to Noonan's analysis, and indeed I'm thrilled to see it. But it seems to me that we conservatives need to avoid falling into a historical revisionism that allows us to portray ourselves as passive victims of a feckless president. Not saying she does this, but I think as the last wheel comes off this presidency, and the GOP comes to grips with what this presidency has meant for the Republican Party and the conservative movement, there will be a strong temptation to resist owning up to our own complicity. Success has a thousand fathers, after all, and failure is an orphan. This failure is not President Bush's alone. The Republican Party owns it. The conservative movement, with some exceptions, owns it.
Bush supporters should take a hard look at themselves and how they came to support him for so long.
If we're looking to blame someone for the failure of Republican government and the conservative crack-up, look to the White House, yes, and look to the late, unlamented Republican Congress. But also look to the conservative talk show hosts, the conservative columnists, and finally, in the mirror. The only way we're going to rebuild after the present and coming political shattering is through honest reckoning, and taking responsibility for what we've done. It is tempting to blame Bush for everything. But it's not fair, and it's not honest. Bush is today who he always was. The difference is we conservatives pretty much loved the guy -- when he was a winner.
My one mistake with Bush was not to oppose the Iraq invasion before it happened. As soon as the looting started I started thinking the people like Eric Shinseki were right about needed troop levels. Then I started thinking that Greg Cochran's interpretation of the supposed WMD evidence was correct. I already disagree with Bush on immigration, border security, energy policy, the Medicare drug benefit, No Child Left Behind (which I call No Lie Left Behind), the nature of Islam, the prospects for democracy in Iraq (I never saw any such prospects), and many other topics.
Note that the exception Dreher links to is The American Conservative. Yes, the AmCon guys definitely did not drink the Bush Kool-Aid. Whereas the National Review folks drank it in large quantities and cried for more. The list of conservative commentators who supported Bush through thick and thin is quite long. I'm going to discount many of their views in the future. Though I can't say I spend much time reading commentary anyway, preferring mostly to read rawer sources of information with which to do my own analyses.
At this point I'd like to know: Who called Bush correctly early on? Who on the Right quickly figured out Bush's weaknesses and came to see his Presidency in a negative light? These are the people to pay attention to on other subjects. They have better track records in figuring out what really is. Of course, you can find people on the Left who saw Bush as terrible. But most of them would have done so regardless just based on a President's being a Republican. It is more useful to look at which commentators see someone clearly when they do not have partisan motives. So who saw Bush clearly? I'm thinking Greg Cochran, Lawrence Auster, Steve Sailer and some of the VDare writers.
Daniel Larison observes that the rhetoric that the Bush Administration is using against conservative opponents of immigration amnesty is very similar to the rhetoric Bush has used for years against liberals and anti-war conservatives.
In fact, this tendency in casting political disagreement as the result of the moral deficiency of the opponent dates back to the beginning of Mr. Bush’s first presidential campaign when he accused Congress of “balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.” The tendentiousness, the dishonesty, and the preference for liberal rhetorical tropes (”racist,” “sexist,” “elitist” are some of the favoured terms of abuse hurled by the administration and its lackeys) were all there from the start. They re-emerged on a regular basis: those who were against democratisation in Iraq were racists who believed Arabs were not fully human, or something of the sort; those against the appallingly bad Harriet Miers nomination were sexist elitist chauvinist pigs, and so on. In smearing antiwar conservatives, of course, Mr. Bush had, still has, many willing helpers in the movement. Then there were all those in positions of some influence who saw what was happening, knew it was wrong and said nothing. The betrayals and compromises of the previous five years were no less horrible, no less significant and no less damaging in their different ways to this country than this amnesty bill, but those things were all bearable so long as they greased the wheels and kept the GOP in power in Congress. That seems to be the thinking of more than a few pundits who are now outraged at the treatment of Bush’s immigration critics. Now, having lost Congress, there is a sudden discovery among Republicans that Mr. Bush and his loyalists are dishonest, obnoxious and buffoonish. It took them long enough to admit this.
So the conservatives who only now are finally outraged at Bush didn't object to those tactics until those tactics were directed at them. Well, we are lucky that Bush has so mistreated them. Else they'd still be defending him and we need their support against this immigration amnesty monstrosity.
As myriad liberals have been pointing out this week as conservative complaints about the rough treatment Bush and his allies have meted out to opponents of the amnesty bill, there is absolutely nothing new in the methods that the administration is using. Mr. Bush has a long record of attacking his enemies by disparaging their patriotism, decency and common sense. He has learned well from the example of the masters of deceit and chutzpah–Wilson, FDR, Clinton–who were always sure to accuse their political opponents of the very things of which they were far more likely to be guilty. Opponents of amnesty on the right, who have mostly been more tolerant of Mr. Bush’s other projects (and some of whom have actively joined in with Mr. Bush in his past attacks or have made the attacks on his behalf), have now discovered that vilifying political opponents, denigrating their good faith and intimating that they are possessed of hateful prejudices are undesirable and unacceptable methods of debating policy.
Again, I sympathise in this case, since I also find the amnesty bill appalling. A great many conservatives, be they enforcement-first or restrictionist or some mix of the two, are finally in agreement that the administration has gone mad. Of course, he has been intent on doing this since 2001. There are no surprises here. From the day Mr. Bush signed No Child Left Behind, he had declared his hostility to the beliefs and interests of large numbers of people in his coalition. Everything that followed was merely a continuation of this. Now Mr. Bush and his allies in the GOP leadership declare their own constituents bigots, and apparently, finally, those constituents have started losing patience with these frauds. It’s about time.
It was as if the conservatives didn't want to believe that a tough sounding hawkish fundamentalist Christian Texas Republican could possibly be their enemy. He sure fooled them.
Both Dreher's and Larison's posts are worth reading in full.
The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, The Washington Times has learned.
Faced with an estimated 40 percent falloff in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, fired staff members told The Times.
Several of the solicitors fired at the May 24 meeting reported declining contributions and a donor backlash against the immigration proposals now being pushed by Mr. Bush and Senate Republicans.
"Every donor in 50 states we reached has been angry, especially in the last month and a half, and for 99 percent of them immigration is the No. 1 issue," said a fired phone bank employee who said the severance pay the RNC agreed to pay him was contingent on his not criticizing the national committee.
But Bush hears what he wants to hear and his people filter out the rest.
"We have not heard anyone in our donor calls who supported the president on immigration," said a fired phone solicitor, who described himself as a Republican activist.
"We write these comments up from each call, and give them to a supervisor who passes them on to the finance director or the national chairman," he said. "But when I talked with the White House, the people there told me they got nothing but positive comments on the president's immigration stand."
So where are the Republican Presidential candidates on immigration? As for McCain, let me put it this way: the only way Senator John McCain could get elected President is if he switches to the Democratic Party.
"There's a part of the Republican base that feels very emotional and very strongly about this issue. I understand that," McCain said during a brief stop in Memphis. "But the majority of... ...Republicans and majority of the American people support this approach."
The Arizona senator described himself as the only Republican seeking the presidency who supports the plan, and he called on the others to come up with something better.
McCain is going down on the immigration issue. His career is over.
By contrast, former Senator and former TV show prosecutor Fred Thompson strongly opposes the immigration amnesty bill S.1348.
RICHMOND, Va., June 2 — In a preview of the themes he is likely to emphasize in a presidential campaign, Fred D. Thompson tossed some red meat to Republicans here Saturday night, assailing the immigration bill in Congress and warning of a mushroom cloud he said radicals around the world were waiting to see rise over the United States.
Romney, in outlining his immigration position, advocates three broad principles. He says he wants to secure the borders, establish a fraud-proof employee verification system, and offer no special residency or citizenship privileges to the estimated 12 million immigrants in the United States illegally. He objects to a provision in the current bill that would create a special "Z visa" allowing undocumented workers to remain in the United States and work legally.
A Republican can not win the Republican nomination if he supports immigration amnesty. It is as simple as that. He won't be able to raise funds. People in primaries won't vote for him - unless Democrats vote in Republican primaries.
If Republicans want to win elections in 2008 they need to do two things:
The Republicans need to put distance between themselves and the failed Presidency of George W. Bush. Otherwise they face electoral defeat.
Regardless of which political party you belong to tell your elected representatives what you think of the Iraq war and immigration amnesty. Here's the US Senate contact list and the US House of Representatives contact list. Give a call, send an email, send a fax. Phone calls count the most.
I am amazed and surprised by the events of the last week in conservative circles. After years of watching conservatives offer very partisan defenses of Bush as a supposed fellow conservative I honestly did not expect them to reconsider. Bush's support for the Senate immigration amnesty bill S.1348 and his insulting defense of it is serving as some kind of final straw that broke the back of support for Bush from mainstream Republican commentators. Whoever thought that the mainstream sorta-conservatives would finally rebel at the latest revision of a plan for Electing a New People? Yet the split is now looking pretty deep. The New York Times has noticed what is happening in the right wing blogosphere and with right wing columnists.
WASHINGTON, June 2 — President Bush’s advocacy of an immigration overhaul and his attacks on critics of the plan are provoking an unusually intense backlash from conservatives who form the bulwark of his remaining support, splintering his base and laying bare divisions within a party whose unity has been the envy of Democrats.
It has pitted some of Mr. Bush’s most stalwart Congressional and grass-roots backers against him, inciting a vitriol that has at times exceeded anything seen yet between Mr. Bush and his supporters, who have generally stood with him through the toughest patches of his presidency. Those supporters now view him as pursuing amnesty for foreign law breakers when he should be focusing on border security.
Conservatives feel offended that not only do they oppose what Bush is for but Bush is insulting them.
This week, after Mr. Bush’s suggestion that those opposing the Congressional plan “don’t want to do what’s right for America” inflamed conservative passions, Rush Limbaugh told listeners, “I just wish he hadn’t done it because he’s not going to lose me on Iraq, and he’s not going to lose me on national security.” He added, “But he might lose some of you.”
Note to Rush: You are one slow learner. Bush lost me years ago.
Such sentiments have reverberated through talk radio, conservative publications like National Review and Fox News. They have also appeared on Web sites including RedState.com and FreeRepublic.com, where postings reflect a feeling that Mr. Bush is smiting his own coalition in pursuit of a badly needed domestic accomplishment, and working in league with the likes of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a co-author of the legislation.
Yes, right-wingers, Bush is smiting you. Try to remember this after the fight over S.1348 is over. He doesn't respect you. He is using you. He is a bad President of the United States.
Former Ronald Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan has taken a very firm position in opposition to the immigration bill cooked up by Bush and some US Senators. Noonan calls the bill a lie.
Naturally I hope the new immigration bill fails. It is less a bill than a big dirty ball of mischief, malfeasance and mendacity, with a touch of class malice, and it's being pushed by a White House that is at once cynical and inept. The bill's Capitol Hill supporters have a great vain popinjay's pride in their own higher compassion. They are inclusive and you're not, you cur, you gun-totin' truckdriver's-hat-wearin' yahoo. It's all so complex, and you'd understand this if you weren't sort of dumb.
What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker--"At this point the break became final." That's not what's happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.
The White House doesn't need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don't even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.
For almost three years, arguably longer, conservative Bush supporters have felt like sufferers of battered wife syndrome.
To the Bush supporters who feel like battered wives I say: stop torturing yourselves. Admit your mistake for having supported Bush in the first place. We all make mistakes.
Noonan has been developing her doubts about Bush for over 2 years and Noonan's critique is devastating.
The beginning of my own sense of separation from the Bush administration came in January 2005, when the president declared that it is now the policy of the United States to eradicate tyranny in the world, and that the survival of American liberty is dependent on the liberty of every other nation. This was at once so utopian and so aggressive that it shocked me. For others the beginning of distance might have been Katrina and the incompetence it revealed, or the depth of the mishandling and misjudgments of Iraq.
What I came in time to believe is that the great shortcoming of this White House, the great thing it is missing, is simple wisdom. Just wisdom--a sense that they did not invent history, that this moment is not all there is, that man has lived a long time and there are things that are true of him, that maturity is not the same thing as cowardice, that personal loyalty is not a good enough reason to put anyone in charge of anything, that the way it works in politics is a friend becomes a loyalist becomes a hack, and actually at this point in history we don't need hacks.
She sure has his number. Well Peggy, welcome to the ranks of the disaffected. You might want to take the time to read people who figured out Bush's character flaws years ago. Lawrence Auster had Bush pegged in 2000.
The most interesting development on the immigration issue comes from neoconservative disagreements with Bush. Many of the Jewish neocons have taken immigration positions more like those of Jewish liberals. But David Frum and Charles Krauthammer are part of a growing list of neocons attacking Bush on immigration.
But the campaign for legalization does not stop at stupidity and farce. It adds mendacity as well — such as the front-page story in last Friday’s New York Times claiming that “a large majority of Americans want to change the immigration laws to allow illegal immigrants to gain legal status.”
Sounds unbelievable. And it is. A Rasmussen poll had shown that 72 percent of Americans thought border enforcement and reducing illegal immigration to be very important. Only 29 percent thought legalization to be very important. Indeed, when a different question in the Times poll — one that did not make the front page — asked respondents if they wanted to see illegal immigrants prosecuted and deported, 69 percent said yes.
I guess it's legacy time over at the White House. The president is imitating Arnold Schwarzenegger now. Does the president have any conservative domestic initiatives that he's actively pursuing? If so, I'd like to know what they are. Richard Nixon tried this when his ratings were low. It didn't work.
Mr. President, the Left hated you the day you walked into the Oval Office, if not before. Their hate for you is frozen in time. If you actually believe in what you are doing, then I and many others misjudged you. You expanded the federal role in education, and we held our nose because of the war. You signed McCain-Feingold in the dead of night, and we held our nose because of the war. You expanded Medicare by adding prescription drugs, and we held our nose because of the war. You increased farm subsidies, and we held our nose because of the war.
So glad I didn't have to hold my nose due to support for the war. Bush was wrong on the war and the extent of his wrongness gets deeper with every passing day.
Levin does not like the feeling he gets when a Republican President attacks him.
Today you disparage us for opposing a massive amnesty program that endangers our economy and national security. Today you even embrace the religion of global warming, a stunning shift from prior policy (your administration even went to the Supreme Court and argued correctly that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant).
What's a conservative to do?
Mark, try dumping your remaining loyalty to the Republican President (assuming you have any) and put your loyalty to the United States of America first.
An amazingly large fraction of the National Review writers have begun taking positions on immigration like you find here, at View From The Right, and among VDare writers. For example, Mark Levin clearly understands many of the problems with illegal immigration and open borders:
Open borders do not promote free markets here or in Mexico. They promote big government here and corruption in Mexico. Nor do open borders promote limited government, sound fiscal policy, the rule of law, and a host of other fundamental conservative principles for which the Wall Street Journal editorial page once stood. Milton Friedman understood this. Tom Sowell understands it. And most Americans do as well.
I wish Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok would let themselves understand this.
Right wing commentator Laura Ingraham recently went on a tirade against Bush calling him a "neoliberal" (MP3 - worth a listen). Okay, yes, Bush is not a conservative. He's some sort of fundamentalist Christian neoliberal hawk - a rare hybrid which confuses everyone. But Laura, what took you so long? Though I guess I shouldn't be harsh on her. Better late than never.
The depth of Laura Ingraham's anger comes over clearly when she describes how opponents of the immigration amnesty feel about Bush's statements and position on immigration:
Is he kidding me with this? Here' s what I don't understand: This president will go out of his way to not question the motives of the Democrats who cut funding off from our troops. What does he always say? I'm not questioning your patriotism. What was that? If you ask me that was an implicit criticism of the patriotism of all the Americans out there who want our border enforced. They want the laws enforced. They want what's right for America Mr. President. I can tell you that. And they don't much like a President of the United States that they hit the pavement for and were ridiculed for supporting to turn his back on them. And not just turn his back on them, but throw, kick them to the curb. Oh you're just too stupid to understand this. That's what's underneath all this.
Bush's exact label on some ideological scale is less important than Peggy Noonan's remark: Bush lacks wisdom. One can be a conservative and be much wiser than Bush. One can be a liberal and be much wiser than Bush. The guy is unwise. He is uncurious. He's self righteous and convinced that he follows the will of God. Yet when he prays he obviously only listens to himself. He's a bad President.
I sense that Bush has overreached so far and has so insulted conservatives that we've crossed a Rubicon of sorts. But will their shock cause a permanent rupture between them and Bush? Have they learned a lasting deep lesson? Will the major mainstream conservative commentators stay disaffected toward Bush? Guesses anyone?
Ok, so Ingraham now understands that Bush is harder on his own Republican loyalists than he is on the Democrats. But I don't think she yet gets what that really means--that Bush at bottom respects liberals and despises conservatives, because Bush's own deepest orientation is to the left, not the right.
I agree with Larry about Bush's own deepest orientation. But I suspect Ingraham might also as well when she calls Bush a "neoliberal". Still, Ingraham has a long way to go to fully understand what recent events have revealed to her.
What's more telling about the history of conservative commentary since the late 1990s? The commentators put too much value on group loyalty and loyalty to leaders and do not try hard enough to understand what is true in reality.
Edward Wong, a New York Times reporter who has been covering Iraq, says the Iraqis see their war with each other in terms of absolute defeat or victory and are in no mood to compromise with each other and share power.
PERHAPS no fact is more revealing about Iraq’s history than this: The Iraqis have a word that means to utterly defeat and humiliate someone by dragging his corpse through the streets.
The word is “sahel,” and it helps explain much of what I have seen in three and a half years of covering the war.
It is a word unique to Iraq, my friend Razzaq explained over tea one afternoon on my final tour. Throughout Iraq’s history, he said, power has changed hands only through extreme violence, when a leader was vanquished absolutely, and his destruction was put on display for all to see.
This is why democracy can't work in Iraq. The Iraqis are not egalitarian. They understand submission and dominance, not equality. What is amazing about Wong's article is that it is published in the New York Times, the epitome of high church liberalism. Do the editors appreciate the underlying message of this article? Do the editors understand that the Iraqis are a massive advertisement against leftie multiculturalism and that the Gray Lady is basically running that advert in their reports from Iraq?
The Iraqis do not think with our values. They are very different from us. We should make decisions on Iraq based on this basic fact: The different cultures of the world really are different from each other.
The Iraqis are not weary of war. They hunger for absolute dominance over each other.
But in this war, the moment of sahel has been elusive. No faction — not the Shiite Arabs or Sunni Arabs or Kurds — has been able to secure absolute power, and that has only sharpened the hunger for it.
Listen to Iraqis engaged in the fight, and you realize they are far from exhausted by the war. Many say this is only the beginning.
President Bush, on the other hand, has escalated the American military involvement here on the assumption that the Iraqi factions have tired of armed conflict and are ready to reach a grand accord. Certainly there are Iraqis who have grown weary. But they are not the ones at the country’s helm; many are among some two million who have fled, helping leave the way open for extremists to take control of their homeland.
Read the whole article.
The United States should pull out of Iraq and leave it to the groups there to fight it out and for a victor to emerge. We could help the Kurds secede if we want to have friends in the area once we are gone. But what matters most is that we should leave. The Iraqis are going to fight it out once we are gone. If we leave tomorrow or next year or 5 years from now or 10 years from now they will still fight it out in a war where the factions see only total defeat or total victory as possible outcomes.
What should Americans learn from this war? That not all the peoples of the world are Jeffersonian democrats or liberals. That some peoples despise the idea of equality and prefer dominance and total defeat of other groups. That Western ideals are not Muslim ideals. That Arab Muslims are not compatible with Western democracy and freedom. Americans should learn that we need to keep Muslims out of the West as our best means to protect ourselves from their thoroughly illiberal religion.
We need to tell our elected representatives that we should leave Iraq. George W. Bush is beyond reason. Only Congress can get us out. Also see my post US Soldiers In Iraq See The War As Pointless.
The 127 US deaths in Iraq for May 2007 are surpassed only by April 2004 with 135 deaths and November 2004 with 137 deaths.
Whenever the US pulls out the Iraqis are going to go at it with each other to decide who gets to force which factions to submit. Equality is a foreign idea in Arab Muslim cultures. Most will submit and others will dominate. We are wasting lots of American lives to try to defend a myth and pretend otherwise.