December 23, 2005

James Lileks on Hollywood

A great post from James Lileks:


Setting: the office of B., a Hollywood producer. A writer we shall call “K.” enters.

B: Loved the script, powerful and timely. I know your agent has gone over the changes – we swapped out the Muslim terrorists for Mormon Nazis, and instead of trying to set off a nuke in New York they’re to assassinate a new Supreme Court nominee who’s pro-choice. Streisand is totally on board for the role and everyone smells Oscar. Anyway. There’s this scene here at the Department of Central Security – is that real?

K: It’s a composite.

B: Right, right, super-secret stuff. I see lots of monitors on the walls and really dim lighting and James Earl Jones grabbing phones and barking stuff like “Get me our man in Beirut,” right? Except in this case it would be, I don’t know, Beirutah, ‘cause they’re Mormons. Hah! Work that in. Anyway. It’s on page 35. The hero – we changed the ex-SpecOps guy to a dis charged transsexual Navy sniper whose pregnant daughter was raped by a GI who came back from Iraq all bent. We kept the name, though. Anyway. She’s watching this board where they track outgoing calls, catches a call going from a known terrorist in Washington to another terrorist cell in Hamburg, and she picks up and listens. Don’t get my wrong, I have the highest respect for your talent, but, uh, don’t you think this is a little far fetched?

K: Which part?

B: You expect audiences to accept they’ll just tap a call without a court order? We want them to like these guys.

K: (Scowling) Well, if the movie had to wait for the warrant they would have never stopped the bombing plot in the last reel, so unless you want them sitting around playing sudoko –

B: My wife loves that game! She’s addicted!

K: I’ll arrange an intervention. Look, I researched this. The president can order a tap if Bad Guy A in Kansas calls Bad Guy B in Wackostan with details on tonight’s bombing. Why worry about that? This town makes 200 cop movies a year and the closest you get to Miranda, let alone a warrant, is saying “you have the right to remain dead” after shooting a suspect. C’mon. This is what people want. It makes them feel better to think there’s smart people sitting around a dark room plugged into satellites, intercepting plans by sleeper cells and saboteurs to destroy America. It’s something they expect the government to do.

B: I know, I know, but what if we went “Munich” on this one here, showed the emotional toll of all this? Say the call was innocent. Hey Bob, how you doing, howza wife and kids. And then we pick up the story ten years later where the government is tapping everyone’s phones and the hero realizes, my God or Buddha or whatever, I am responsible for this. It’s like that old saying, first they came for the library records under the Patriot Act and I said nothing, because I didn’t use the library, and so on. You know?

K: So the former Marine intelligent officer fighting Islamic terrorism is now a transgendered Buddhist so concerned about the effect of no-warrant intercepts she lets Barbara Streisand get assassinated.

B: Well, we’ll send out the last act to some script doctors, but yeah. Basically. These are different times.

K: You make it sound like you’d end Casablanca with an arrest warrant for Claude Rains because he shot the Nazi.

B: Hey, things were different then. That was war.

K: And this isn’t?

(Producer looks out the window)

B: I don’t see anything on fire. Do you?

An Interesting Take On Steven Spielberg's Munich

Another take on Steven Spielberg's Munich:


Soon after watching an advance screening of Steven Spielberg's new film, "Munich," journalist Aaron Klein could barely conceal his amusement.

"In the beginning it said it was inspired by real events — I think that's the understatement of the year," Klein said about Spielberg's film, a recounting of the Israeli response to the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. "It's much more than 'inspired' — it's invented!"

The film, which appears in theaters this week, has already drawn a good deal of criticism from Israelis and defenders of Israel who say that Spielberg relied too heavily on a widely discredited book about the Olympics and their aftermath by George Jonas titled "Vengeance." But Klein, a reporter for Time, can speak about the issue with the authority born of just having authored his own, exhaustively researched book about it, "Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response."

Unlike Spielberg, Klein went directly to the Mossad and military intelligence officers who were involved in the reprisals, and ended up speaking with more than 50 of them. What results is a gripping play-by-play of each shadowy maneuver by the famed Caesarea unit of the Mossad, as they sneak up on terrorists in their hotel rooms and bedrooms snuffing them out one after another and then slipping away into the night. The narrative is considerably different from the one offered by Spielberg.

"He's an artist," Klein told the Forward. "He's a great director and I really appreciate him for that. But... the true story is far from what you see in the movie." ... It is with his telling of the attack's aftermath, though, that Klein version begins seriously to depart from Spielberg's. As Klein began talking with former Mossad officers, he said, he quickly realized the holes in Jonas's book, whose central theme is that Mossad operations were driven by a desire to avenge the Munich deaths. Interviews led Klein to a different conclusion, he said. Revenge was a factor in planning the Caesarea operations, but it was much less important than calculations about how much of a threat a specific target would be in the future. In the end, Klein's research showed that two of the Munich plot masterminds were never hunted by the Mossad aggressively and one is still alive today...

"I grew up with this myth of revenge," Klein told the Forward. "It was amazing for me to find out it was almost not true at all."

On a smaller scale, Klein said he discovered that Israeli agents never bought intelligence from French citizens, as Jonas asserts and Spielberg accepts. And the Mossad agents whom Klein interviewed admitted to none of the soul searching found at the heart of Spielberg's film.

December 22, 2005

Greg Gutfield - A Note To Tookie Supporters

Another great post from Greg Gutfield (a/k/a the only readable columnist on the Huffington Post):

We know the death penalty is racist. I just hope death penalty opponents ARE NOT - and will rally their support behind caucasian crime king Clarence Ray Allen. His execution date of Jan. 17 comes after his 76th birthday. Sure, Allen was convicted of arranging the murder in 1974 of his son's girlfriend, Mary Sue Kitts, who was a witness against him in a burglary case.

While serving life at Folsom for Kitts' murder, he paid another inmate, Billy Ray Hamilton to kill eight people who testified against him. Hamilton managed to kill a few- but we don't need all that information now. It happened a long time ago and Clarence is really old.

The point: You can still impress girls at swanky parties by campaigning to save other death row inmates - even the non-black ones who didn't write children's books!

Just say this:

"Clarence Ray Allen is very old, and suffering from a complicated stew of age-related diseases. It would be an outrage to execute a man in this state. In a way, Mr. Allen is suffering MORE than his victims -- their deaths by his hands prevented them from suffering the kind of health problems Clarence is now experiencing in death row. If anything, Mr. Allen is kind of a martyr. Not unlike Tookie. "

Then add:

"Mr. Allen just had angioplasty and the stress of an execution could damage an already fragile heart."

You'll be, like, totally in!

Somehow, I doubt that Mr. Allen has the same appeal as Tookie did...

Things Could Be Worse

Tired of anti-American rants by liberals? Check out Beautiful Atrocities for a more optimistic view of life in the United States:


America is a many-faceted cesspool: a rogue state (Andrew Sullivan), a gay dungeon master (Jesse Jackson), morally repugnant & not worth fighting for (Cindy Sheehan), a police state (Rep. Ron Paul), passionately racist (Susan Sontag), ignorant (Michael Moore), the torture & political murder capital of the world (Noam Chomsky), a dumb puppy with big teeth (Johnny Depp), insulting (Janeane Garofalo) & a nightmare of hysteria, ignorance, stupidity, & belligerence (Harold Pinter).

However, it could be worse. We could, for example, be living on Jupiter's moon Io, where geysers spew sulfur 300 miles high, so you can imagine the stink. Frenchmen on Io would be insufferable, sulfur-farting surrender monkeys . Also, we would have to learn to live without many things we take for granted, like oxygen & Desperate Housewives.

Priceless. Absolutely, priceless....

A Look At the Past Year

Check out the Environmental Republican's "Year In Pictures". Very well done.

The Saddam Trial

From the Washington Post:


Hussein Claims Abuse at Hands of U.S. Captors
Witnesses at Trial Describe 1982 Killings and Torture

By Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, December 22, 2005; 7:12 AM

BAGHDAD, Dec. 22 -- Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants Thursday restated accusations that they were physically abused in U.S. custody, called American denials of the beatings "lies," and accused the court of undermining its legitimacy by preventing outbursts from the defense from being aired on television.

During a raucous session of the trial for crimes against humanity, a pair of witnesses shrouded by curtains to conceal their identities testified about killings and torture inflicted upon the people of Dujail, a town north of Baghdad where more than 140 people were allegedly killed after a failed assassination attempt on Hussein in 1982.

Notice how the headline reads "Hussein Claims Abuse at Hands of U.S. Captors" while the subheadline reads "Witnesses at Trial Describe 1982 Killings and Torture"? Shouldn't the headline be about the testimony concerning the 1982 killings and torture? Why focus on the rants of Saddam Hussein?

Patriot Act Is Extended....Temporarily

From the Washington Post:

A much-debated domestic surveillance law won a reprieve last night when senators agreed to continue it for six months to allow House and Senate negotiators to resume efforts next year to rewrite it for the longer term.

Some top Democratic and Republican senators said they were confident the House would agree to the compromise to prevent major provisions of the USA Patriot Act from expiring on Dec. 31. The Senate approved the extension on a voice vote.

This is good news. We have avoided a repeat of 9/11 for over 4 years now...due in large part to the Patriot Act.

George Clooney - A Neocon?

An interesting analysis of George Clooney's movies from "Faces from the front".

So what is the Foreign Policy of George Clooney's movies?

It rejects Realism and maintaining the status quo. At one point it advocates the use of force to topple Saddam. It excortiates the optomism of getting Iranian Mullahs to accept liberty without force. It blames Realism for the malaise in the Gulf region by squealching those who would upset the status quo in favor of reform.

The foreign policy of Archie Gates and Robert Barnes could be implemented unilaterally and by force. It would not seek to maintain the status quo. It would export liberty, economic freedom and democracy or allow and encourage liberty, freedom and democracy, even if it may lead to unpredicatbility in the short.

The foreign policy of Clooney's charachters in Three Kings and Syriana is actually very similar to the one he and Hollywood often denigrate--neoconservativism.

Read it all.

Hollywood Sympathetic To Terrorists

From Yahoo News:


Hollywood is showing a new side of terrorism.

And it's a human one.

To the dismay of some critics, several films are offering humanizing portraits of extremists, including suicide bombers
:

Paradise Now tells the story of two men recruited for a suicide bombing mission in Tel Aviv. The film, which opened in October, received a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign picture and has taken in about $1 million domestically.

Syriana, the George Clooney political drama that opened Nov. 23, paints a sympathetic portrait of a young man recruited into a radical Islamic group planning an attack on a U.S. oil firm. The movie has taken in about $23 million and earned two Golden Globe nominations.

Sleeper Cell, a 10-hour Showtime miniseries that began Dec. 4, is about an al-Qaeda-like group planning an attack in Los Angeles.

Munich, which opens Friday, is Steven Spielberg's examination of the 1972 Olympics massacre and offers the perspective of both Israeli soldiers and members of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Clooney, who produced Syriana, says the trend stems largely from growing American displeasure with the Iraq war.

"I've been called a traitor for questioning the war," he says. "But more people are beginning to look critically at what our government is doing, who we're fighting. And that's the most patriotic thing you can do."

Syriana, for example, "simply doesn't want to paint things in black and white, because the world isn't that way," Clooney says. "The world is complicated, and good movies try to show that."

But some film observers, including critic Michael Medved, say the films are less concerned with artistic integrity than with demonstrating Hollywood liberalism.

"The entertainment industry very clearly tilts to the left," he says. "And the left has been skeptical of the current war on terror."

Randy Roberts, a professor of history at Purdue University, says the motivations could be simpler. Studios may be trying to capitalize on anti-war sentiment.

"Hollywood is a business," he says. "They are good at gauging when the luster is off. Maybe they ... want to try to do something new to make more money."

But will they? None of the films has yet caught fire with the public.


Maybe, the films have not "caught fire with the public" because the public doesn't have its collective head up its ass like Hollywood does. The American public understands that suicide bombers are not heroes or sympathetic characters. Suicide bombers are mass murderers.

December 16, 2005

A Critique of Syriana

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I saw Syriana with a few friends last Friday. My initial reaction was that it was not a very good movie. However, I have delayed posting any real substantive commentary on Syriana because I wanted some time to further reflect upon the movie and the messages presented therein. After all, I do believe that Syriana attempts to tackle some very important and highly relevant issues.

IMPORTANT: SPOILER ALERT. If you want to see this movie, then you may not want to read any further. Notwithstanding, come back after you have done so and let me know if you concur.

Why didn’t I like Syriana?

1. The characters were completely underdeveloped. This may be primarily due to the fact that the movie tracks many different “main” characters and several different interwoven story lines. As a result, you really have to listen closely to uncover any history or background on a given character. Nonetheless, I had no real reason to care for any of the characters (other than, of course, Matt Damon's character - what father could ever not feel his pain?). Why was Bob a hero? Clearly, you could sense the director's view that this was, in fact, the main hero of the story. However, when I go to a movie, I like to be able to come to that judgment on my own. I just didn't feel like rooting for anyone.

2. It was essentially TRAFFIC 2: BIG OIL. I realize that Syriana and Traffic were made by the same people. However, who likes watching the same movie? While I enjoyed Traffic and found it to be a very compelling movie, Syriana was presented in the exact same manner as Traffic. I kept being reminded of Traffic. For example, the use of interwoven story lines of several main characters. It was certainly exciting and revolutionary technique - now, it feels like re-hashing the same format. How about trying something new?

3. The movie came across as nothing more than a left-wing conspiracy theory. I mean really. For this movie to be believable, you have to believe that oil companies run our government and direct our foreign policy. While oil companies may have considerable influence, I have been unable to turn off my cynicism that keeps screaming - that is way too simplistic.

4. The idea that the CIA or the military is used to do the bidding of private oil companies was a bit too much to swallow.

5. According to Syriana, it is the United States and the oil companies that stand in the way of true democratic reform. Evidently, there are plenty of young heirs to Middle Eastern thrones that want to establish democracy, to provide freedom to their people, to establish women's rights and to enrich their subjects. Unfortunately, the evil United States kills such heirs before they can take power. While the United States does have a sordid past that includes supporting dictators when it was convenient to do so, the movie goes a bit too far. For example, the United States did support Saddam in his war with Iran. However, Iran was not then nor is it now a flagship for Arab democracy. Iran has been run by a brutal theocratic/authoritarian regime. Of course, we did support the Shah of Iran. However, the alternative was Khomeini, who was no civil libertarian either. So, the film essentially takes the United States' history and turns it on its head. Rather than merely portraying the United States support of Middle East dictators as the problem (which, clearly, it is a problem), the movie goes one step too far to argue that the United States has actually intervened to stop democratic reform.

Last time I checked, however, the United States has been in the business of exporting democracy to the Middle East. Iraq is the perfect example. Yet, I am sure that the United States intervention in Iraq, which freed over 24,000,000 people from a brutal dictatorship, will receive no credit by this filmmaker or any of his left wing fans. That is somewhat hypocritical, isn't it?? I guess democracy in the Middle East is good, unless, of course, the United States is responsible for bringing the democracy to Middle East

The movie totally ignores or downplays the fact that democracy is not spreading to Middle Eastern countries because such countries are, in fact, run by authoritarian groups, monarchies and theocrats - none of which are likely to relinquish their power any time soon. While U.S. support of these rulers may not be too helpful to the cause of democratic reform, aren't the existent of these rulers barriers too?

6. According to Syriana, unemployment leads to terrorism. The film portrays a group of Pakistani oil field workers being laid off from their work when a Chinese company buys the oil field in which they are working. After visiting a madrassa, two of these oil field workers are lured into a short-lived career as suicide bombers. The film's focus on economics as opposed to religious fanatacism is disappointing. The despair that is associated with unemployment and poverty may, in fact, play a role in some terrorist's entrance into the world of religious fanaticism. It is religious fanatacism, however, that leads to Islamic terrorism. The film downplays the role of religious fanatacism in favor of an economical explanation. Last time I checked, Bin Laden, Zawahiri, Zarqawi or Atta (and his gang of 19) were certainly not impoverished or from poor families.

7. In Syriana, the two young terrorists are essentially portrayed as sympathetic characters. Their suicide is portrayed heroically.

8. The terrorist group Hezzbolah is portrayed as a group of good samaritans that intervenes to assist an American CIA agent. Yeah, that would really happen...

9. The Iranian government is considered to be an enemy (true enough, although, the movie never explains why), but the Committee to Liberate Iran is viewed as a shadowy organization that is dangerous because it wants to overthrow the Iranian government. That makes little sense.

10. The movie dwelled on the alleged problem of corruption in government and our oil corporations, yet gave us no real hope that such corruption could ever be overcome.

11. The movie portrays the CIA as entirely incompetent (o.k., that may not be too far off) and unsupportive of its agents. George Clooney's character is sent on missions that appear to have very little value or importance - just to get him out of the office (evidently, his character writes a lot of memos). When the mission backfires, his character is disavowed. But, the film doesn't stop there. Rather, the CIA sicks the FBI on Clooney's character. Sorry, but I cannot imagine the FBI would really take the time to investigate an alleged attempted murder by an American CIA agent oversees when it is an attempted murder of an Iranian national on foreign soil. Jurisdictional issues, aren't there?

12. One of the central premises of the movie is that corruption is bad. Bribing foreign officials is, in fact, against the law. Yet, it is somehow o.k. for George Clooney's character to threaten to kill the head of a law firm and his family?

13. Iraq disproves the central theme of Syriana - i.e., that our foreign policy is based centrally open opening up oil markets for our oil companies. If our foreign policy was, in fact, so driven by the needs of our oil companies, then why in the world did we place an embargo on Iraq for over a decade? Why did we place sanctions on Iraq for so long? It would have clearly been in the oil companies' best interests to be permitted to freely trade and do business with the Saddam controlled Iraq. Yet, the United States government made it illegal.

14. The inclusion of Benet Holliday's father, the alcoholic, adds nothing to the movie. Maybe, it adds some humanity to Holliday by showing he has "real world problems". But, it certainly has little, if nothing, to do with the plot.

15. The tragedy that befalls Matt Damon's character was, in my opinion, completely unnecessary. At one point, it is insinuated that Matt Damon's company gets a lucrative consulting contract because the Arab Prince feels sorry for Damon. It is this consulting contract, which the filmmaker clearly disdains and uses to somehow show that Damon's character is either greedy or has sold out his principles. Is Damon's character supposed to turn the contract down on principle? If so, what is the principle? I really don't get it. Clearly, the death of the son of Damon's character was an unfortunate accident.

16. Contrary to what many have written, I did not find it too hard to follow. At the end of the day, I felt somewhat bored.This is not your ordinary everyday spy thriller. There is little, if any, action. Most of the intrigue takes place in spoken dialogue (if you can call it that - most of the speaking between the characters consists of, essentially, the characters making speeches).

December 15, 2005

Sunni Insurgents Suspend Attacks For Iraqi Elections

From the Washington Post:

BAGHDAD, Dec. 15 -- Iraqi voters turned out in force countrywide Thursday to elect a parliament to remake their troubled nation, with Sunni-led Iraqi insurgent movements suspending attacks for a day so that Sunni Arabs could vote en masse for the first time.

The voting appeared to split along sectarian lines as expected, with many Sunni voters in the Sunni-dominated far west saying they were voting for Sunni candidates. Long lines were reported among Sunnis, most of whom boycotted elections earlier this year or were frightened away by threats.

There were no boycotts this time and some insurgents were providing security at some polling places. In Ramadi, for example, guerrillas of the Iraqi Islamic Army movement took up positions in some neighborhoods, promising to protect voters from any attacks by foreign fighters.

Hamas Threatens To Increase Attacks If Israel Attacks Iran

Hamas has threatened to increase attacks on Israel if Israel attacks Iran:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Palestinian militant group Hamas will step up its attacks on Israeli targets if the Jewish state attacks its key ally in the region, Iran, Hamas chief-in-exile Khaled Meshaal said on Thursday.

"If Israel attacks Iran then Hamas will widen and increase its confrontation of Israelis inside Palestine," Meshaal told reporters in Tehran, where he has held three days of talks with top political and security officials.

The United States and Israel accuse Iran of arming and funding militant groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Iran says it only gives moral support to the Palestinian groups.

Meshaal also backed Iran's disputed nuclear program, which the United States and the European Union fear is to acquire nuclear bomb. Iran denies having any atomic arms ambitions.

"If we assume that Iran has a military nuclear program, what is wrong with that when Israel and others have them?," said Meshaal, whose remarks were translated from Arabic into Farsi.

Israeli officials have warned they could try to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities in the same way that Israel bombed Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor in 1981. Iran has said it will retaliate if attacked.

Hamas is already dedicated to the destruction of Israel, so this comes as no surprise.

Iranian President - Holocaust Denier and Rabid Anti-Semite

This just in: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "President" (or is dictator the appropriate title?) is a holocaust denier and rabid anti-semite:

Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh attack against Israel, describing the Holocaust as a "myth" and saying the Jewish state should be moved to Europe or North America. "They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets," the outspoken president said in a speech carried live on state television.

"If somebody in their country questions God, nobody says anything, but if somebody criticises the myth of the massacre of Jew, the Zionist loudspeakers and the governments in the pay of Zionism will start to scream," he said.

"Our proposal is this: give a piece of your land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska so they (the Jews) can create their own state," said Ahmadinejad, who was speaking to thousands of people in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

Anyone, who questions whether the Holocaust occured, is either incredibly ignorant or incredibly anti-Semitic.

It is looking more and more like Israel will, once again, be in the position of having to act against a rougue Arab state's nuclear ability because the world is too cowardly to do so. What other choice will they have? This guy has already called for wiping the State of Israel off the face of the Earth...with nuclear weapons, he can do so... Iran, in my opinion, is far more dangerous than North Korea will ever be under its current regime...
At one point in time, I thought that President Bush or America would intervene militarily, if necessary, to prevent Iranian nuclear proliferation. However, I now have very strong doubts.

December 13, 2005

New Democratic Strategy: Community

For months, I have been complaining about the Democrats' lack of a political strategy and overall lack of vision. Well, the Democrats have a new strategy:


To hear Democrats tell it, an anxious and isolated public craves a sense of national community and would galvanize behind a leader who asks people to sacrifice for the greater good.

"There is a hunger in America, a hunger for a sense of national community, a hunger for something big and important and inspirational that they all can be involved in," [Senator John] Edwards, the party's 2004 vice presidential nominee, told delegates at a weekend convention of Florida Democrats.

"Americans don't want to believe that they are out there on an island all alone," the former North Carolina senator said.

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean has commissioned confidential polling and analysis that suggest candidates in 2006 and 2008 should frame their policies — and attacks on Republicans — around the context of community.

It seems to be the emerging message from a party that has been bereft of one.


This is all they came up with? I would love to see the results of polling on this one.

So, let's assume that the Democrats are correct - Americans long for a sense of community and togetherness with fellow Americans. If that is the case, then does that mean that the Democrats will not spend so much time attacking Republicans, criticizing the President (and all his supporters), criticizing the efforts of our troops in combat, focusing on each and every American failure, or focusing on each and every American case of misconduct as if it were the greatest atrocity the world has ever seen(e.g., Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay)? Hopefully, so...

Hope that the consultants, who developed this strategy, are not too highly paid. They certainly didn't earn the money they likely received.

December 12, 2005

Syriana Sucks

My friends and I saw Syriana on Friday.
While the cinematography and the acting were great (George Clooney and Matt Damon are two of my favorite actors and each gave a great performance in their respective roles), the film suffered from many flaws in the script and the overall pace. It portrayed Americans and American intelligence in a very, very bad light. Not to mention, of course, that it offered a real misunderstanding of islamic terrorism and tended to oversimplify the problems in the Middle East (according to the film, Big Oil is the root of all Middle East problems).

Put simply, it was a huge disappointment from both a political perspective and a movie fan perspective.

I have to get back to work as my conference call is ending. However, I will post more about why I really did not like this movie.

The Most Obnoxious Quotes of 2005

Right Wing News offers a list of the 40 most obnoxious quotes of 2005. Check it out.

Here are a few of my favorites:


"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for..." -- Howard Dean

"The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself. All we need is one more liar." -- Helen Thomas

"And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the – of – the historical customs, religious customs. Whether you like it or not ... Iraqis should be doing that." -- John Kerry slams the troops again

"I felt like a n*gger." -- Ralph Nader on his run at the presidency in 2004.
"(The) idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong." -- Howard Dean

"For those of you who do, as a matter of principle, oppose war in any form, the idea of supporting a conscientious objector who's already been inducted [and] in his combat service in Iraq might have a certain appeal. But let me ask you this: Would you render the same support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit?" -- University Professor Ward Churchill on supporting soldiers who frag their officers

"Do our government's poorly paid contract killers deserve our "support" for blindly following orders?" -- Ted Rall

"Real freedom will come when [U.S.] soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors." -- Warren County Community College adjunct English professor, John Daly


Liberals unhinged... not a pretty sight.

Comparing Different Time Periods In American History

This is interesting:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Terrorist attacks, a war in Iraq and natural disasters aren’t so bad compared to other tough times in America’s past, from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War, history professors say.

Asked to compare eight difficult periods of the nation’s history, 46 percent of the 354 professors who responded to a nationwide survey agreed the current era was the least trying. The Civil War, 55 percent said, was the toughest.

Always good to view current events in light of historical context. As an amateur historian, I tend to agree with the results of the survey.
Well, not everyone agreed with the survey. I guess that the current times are worse if you are a 20 year old liberal arts student at a private university:

Kristina Hicks, 20, a Siena junior, said that while it’s true most of today’s Americans have not had to sacrifice like previous generations did, she disagrees with the poll’s findings.

‘‘I definitely think today is one of most trying times,’’ she said. ‘‘When I read about things like 9/11 and the war in Iraq in textbooks, it doesn’t actually portray the whole picture of what happened.’’

Good News From Iraq

If this ABC News Poll is accurate, Iraqi's are more positive about Iraq's future than the Democrats in America:

Dec. 12, 2005 — Surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local one, and expectations for the future high. But views of the country's situation overall are far less positive, and there are vast differences in views among Iraqi groups — a study in contrasts between increasingly disaffected Sunni areas and vastly more positive Shiite and Kurdish provinces.

An ABC News poll in Iraq, conducted with Time magazine and other media partners, includes some remarkable results: Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead.

Surprisingly, given the insurgents' attacks on Iraqi civilians, more than six in 10 Iraqis feel very safe in their own neighborhoods, up sharply from just 40 percent in a poll in June 2004. And 61 percent say local security is good — up from 49 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004.

Nonetheless, nationally, security is seen as the most pressing problem by far; 57 percent identify it as the country's top priority. Economic improvements are helping the public mood.

Average household incomes have soared by 60 percent in the last 20 months (to $263 a month), 70 percent of Iraqis rate their own economic situation positively, and consumer goods are sweeping the country. In early 2004, 6 percent of Iraqi households had cell phones; now it's 62 percent. Ownership of satellite dishes has nearly tripled, and many more families now own air conditioners (58 percent, up from 44 percent), cars, washing machines and kitchen appliances

Who would know better? The people in Iraq or Howard Dean?

Fourth Quarter Blues

Each and every year it does not fail...my fourth quarter is always insanely busy.
As an attorney, I work in a rather intense customer service environment. Most, if not all, of my clients are "Type A" personalities and tend to have unrealistic expectations as to what can be accomplished in an hour, a day, or a week. These clients do not focus upon the amount of work involved . Rather, they tend to focus upon the end result - i.e., they number of transactions to be completed prior to the end of the year so that they can earn their bonus. Too bad they were not focusing on that for the other 9 months of the year.
It is the price I must pay to earn their business, I guess... So, I tend to work an insane amount of hours at the end of the year- regardless of the personal cost.
Anyways, I bring this up because it has seriously cut into the amount of time that I have for blogging. At this point, I am stuck blogging whenever I get a free minute (e.g., a long, long conference call or lunch time).
I have not given up blogging yet... it just seems like it!

December 08, 2005

Football: Gary Barnett To Be Fired

It appears that the head coach for Colorado University, Gary Barnett, will be fired (although, the AD has yet to inform him of the decision).

From the Denver Post:

Boulder - Gary Barnett is on his way out as the University of Colorado's football coach.

A source close to contract negotiations between Barnett and CU indicated Tuesday that Barnett will not be retained as coach of the Buffaloes. Although there is no timeline for an announcement, CU athletic director Mike Bohn, who returns to Boulder today from meetings in New York, plans to talk to Barnett soon.

Barnett, whose record is 49-38 after seven seasons at CU, could not be reached for comment. A call to Barnett's lawyer, John Rodman, was not returned.

Colorado's poor finish was the breaking point, the source said. A month ago, Barnett was on solid footing in his search for a contract extension. Consecutive losses to Iowa State, Nebraska and Texas by a combined score of 130-22 placed a large amount of doubt on whether an extension would still be offered.

I am a huge football fan. I love college football.

However, am I the only one that finds it very ironic, if not moronic, that Gary Barnett is not being fired because of a recruiting scandal that involved parties with paid strippers for recruits and allegations of sexual harrassment by Barnett and rape by Colorado players/recruits from seven different women during recruiting parties? Rather, he is being fired because his teams were humiliated by Nebraska and Texas on the playing field?

While I am glad Colorado has finally come to its senses, I do have to say "why now if not then?" Colorado University's priorities are clearly misplaced.

Angry Alien Productions: A Christmas Story

You have to check out this 30-second recreation of "A Christmas Story" (in my book, the best Christmas movie ever - of course, take that with a grain of salt - I am Jewish after all and have a different perspective on what Christmas movies should be like....)

The Dilbert Blog

My favorite cartoonist, Scott Adams, has his own blog: The Dilbert Blog!!!.

Check out this post:

Yet another “third highest ranking al-Qaida leader” has been killed, this time by a rocket attack from an unmanned drone. There are a lot of jobs that I wouldn’t want, and “third highest ranking al-Qaida leader” is right at the top. But I can tell you for sure that if I ever got that job, the first thing I’d do is narc out one of the top two guys so I could move up a notch. Apparently one of the perks of being in the top two is having a really, really good hiding place. The number 3 through 10 leadership guys are pretty much scurrying between mud huts and looking at the sky a lot.

I know that war is Hell and all that, but I have to think that the guy who fired the rocket by remote control loves his job. I have an image of him sitting in an air conditioned headquarters someplace, feet up on the desk, a bag of Cheetohs on one side, a Budweiser on the other, staring at his computer screen. It’s about 1 am and everyone else is asleep. The order comes through on e-mail saying something like “Blow up mud hut #4,7855.” So he takes a break from playing Doom and plugs that number into the GPS system and soon his drone is hovering over said mud hut, missiles ready to go.

Maybe it’s just a “guy thing” but the idea of blowing up a mud hut by remote controlled drone sounds like the most fun thing I can think of. And if the number 3 al-Qaida leader happens to be inside, that’s a bonus. It certainly makes your story sound less nerdy afterwards.

I find it interesting that the guy with the best job in the world gets to blow up the guy with the worst job in the world. That’s really rubbing it in. But I guess it’s not so different from a CEO downsizing the auditing department. It’s one of those recurring themes in life.

Steven Spielberg's Munich: Moral Equivalency At Its Most Outrageous

Steven Spielberg's latest project is a movie based upon the Munich Massacre of Israeli athletes by the PLO and the Israeli efforts to track down and kill the PLO terrorists responsible.
This trailer would suggest that the central theme of "Munich" will be that when good guys kill bad guys, the good guys become the bad guys (or are at least as bad as the bad guys).
There is a difference. The PLO chose to murder innocent civillians for no other reason than they were Jews representing Israel in the Olympics. The Mossad, who was charged with finding and eliminating those responsible, were on a mission to ensure that those responsible could never hurt another innocent person again and to otherwise discourage further terrorist attacks. Let's make no mistake - if the Mossad did not eliminate those terrorists, they would have engaged in further terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish people. Does Spielberg not understand this? More innocents would have died. Also, it should not be forgotten or downplayed that if it not been for the PLO's actions, the Mossad would not have undertaken this particular operation.
Any movie that tries to equate the actions of the PLO and the Mossad is nothing more than disgusting moral equivalency, if you ask me.

Code Pink Takes On GI Joe

Code Pink is now harrassing Christmas shoppers by urging them to avoid buying "war toys":

WAR IS NOT FUN & GAMES!!!
Every holiday season manufactures prey on our children with pro-war propaganda disguised as innocent toys. Don’t let your child be a victim of G.I. Joe! As you’re out buying holiday gifts, make a point this year to show little ones that war is not game. Set an example for the children in your life and use the opportunity to teach them non-violence.
I guess if you are unsuccessful at putting an end to a real war, then a campaign to stop pretend wars is more their speed...

Actually, I was on the fence as to whether my son needed any further presents for Hanukkah. Now, I am determined to buy him the Millenium Falcon and loads of additional "Star Wars" paraphanelia.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

Bolton Criticizes Security Council For Failure To Condemn Attacks

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, shows why he is exactly the right person for the job:

Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations has criticized the Security Council for failing to condemn the latest terrorist attack in Israel.

The envoy singled out Algeria for blocking a U.S. drafted statement.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton issued a statement Tuesday unequivocally condemning the bomb attack in the Israeli town of Netanya that killed at least five people. The unusual action came after a U.S. attempt to have the statement issued by the Security Council was rejected.

Diplomats attending the meeting say several Council members raised concerns about language in the U.S.-drafted document. Ambassador Bolton, however, blamed Algeria for quashing the measure by objecting to a passage urging Syria to close offices of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which claims responsibility for the attack. “Other governments had questions about particular language. We were perfectly prepared to engage in discussions about constructive suggestions, but Algeria categorically refused to name Syria and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” he said.

The U.S. envoy later read the text of the statement to reporters, and lashed out at the Council for what he called “failing to speak the truth”.

He said “you have to speak up in response to these terrorist attacks. It’s a great shame that the Security Council couldn’t speak to this terrorist attack in Netanya, but if the Council won’t speak, the United States will.”

December 07, 2005

A Really Good Cause

The Environmental Republican today seeks your aid in helping get needed supplies to American troops.
More information can be found here. This is a very, very worthy cause - regardless of your feelings on George Bush or whether you believe the Iraqi War was justified. I strongly urge my readers to participate.

No National Consensus On Iraq

From Dick Morris:


After a newspaper ran Mark Twain's obituary, the story goes, he protested that the reports of his death had been "greatly exaggerated"; so, too, the media accounts of an emerging national consensus against the War in Iraq are considerably at variance with what Americans are actually thinking.

The most recent Fox News poll, completed Nov. 30, suggests that while half of Americans would like to see a schedule for withdrawal of U.S. troops, a majority feel the war has done good things — and a larger majority feel that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when Bush told us there were.

By 52 percent to 27 percent, Americans believe that "the world would be worse off if the U.S. military had not taken action in Iraq and Saddam Hussein were still in power." By 59-20, they feel Iraq would've been worse off if we hadn't acted.

Asked what they believe about WMDs in Iraq, 61 percent said there were still such weapons there or that there had been WMDs in the country but that they were destroyed or moved. Only 28 percent agree that Iraq had no WMDs.

These data show that Americans are still largely in sympathy with our objectives in Iraq and accepting of our reasons for entering the war — two good reasons for the Democrats not to overplay their hand in opposing it.

The irony of this war is that the normal definitions of words do not really apply. "Success," for example, does not mean military victory on the battlefield, but a political victory in creating a stable, democratic, elected government in Iraq that can wage its own war and protect itself against terrorists. For America, "peace" does not mean the end of fighting, it just means that an Iraqi government will be battling its own terrorists with less and less American intervention or support.

Similarly, "defeat" does not mean that the terrorists prevail militarily — but that they force a political decision to withdraw American troops before the Iraqi government and military can take over the task of self-defense.

Mel Gibson To Film Holocaust Movie

This is unbelievable.

From the same man who unapologetically portrayed the Jews as the killer of Christ in "The Passion of the Christ":

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 - Mel Gibson, whose "The Passion of the Christ" was assailed by critics as an anti-Semitic passion play - and whose father has been on record as a Holocaust denier - has a new project under way: a nonfiction miniseries about the Holocaust.

Mr. Gibson's television production company is developing a four-hour miniseries for ABC based on the self-published memoir of Flory A. Van Beek, a Dutch Jew whose gentile neighbors hid her from the Nazis but who lost several relatives in concentration camps.

It is not expected that Mr. Gibson will act in the miniseries, nor is it certain yet that his name, rather than his company's, will be publicly attached to the final product, according to several people involved in developing it. Nor is it guaranteed yet that the project will be completed and broadcast.

But Quinn Taylor, ABC's senior vice president in charge of movies for television, acknowledged that the attention-getting value of having Mr. Gibson attached to a Holocaust project was a factor.

"Controversy's publicity, and vice versa," Mr. Taylor said.

This cannot bode well...

December 06, 2005

Howard Dean - the United States Will Lose The Iraq War

It's official. Howard Dean declares that the United States will lose the Iraq War and that our forces should be immediately withdrawn:

(SAN ANTONIO) -- Saying the "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong," Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean predicted today that the Democratic Party will come together on a proposal to withdraw National Guard and Reserve troops immediately, and all US forces within two years.

Dean made his comments in an interview on WOAI Radio in San Antonio.

"I've seen this before in my life. This is the same situation we had in Vietnam. Everybody then kept saying, 'just another year, just stay the course, we'll have a victory.' Well, we didn't have a victory, and this policy cost the lives of an additional 25,000 troops because we were too stubborn to recognize what was happening."

Dean says the Democrat position on the war is 'coalescing,' and is likely to include several proposals.

"I think we need a strategic redeployment over a period of two years," Dean said. "Bring the 80,000 National Guard and Reserve troops home immediately. They don't belong in a conflict like this anyway. We ought to have a redeployment to Afghanistan of 20,000 troops, we don't have enough troops to do the job there and its a place where we are welcome. And we need a force in the Middle East, not in Iraq but in a friendly neighboring country to fight (terrorist leader Musab) Zarqawi, who came to Iraq after this invasion. We've got to get the target off the backs of American troops.

Dean didn't specify which country the US forces would deploy to, but he said he would like to see the entire process completed within two years. He said the Democrat proposal is not a 'withdrawal,' but rather a 'strategic redeployment' of U.S. forces.

What an asshole. What an idiot.

A few thoughts:

Good to see that the Democrats' position on the war will be announced soon...it has only taken almost three years. My confidence in the Democrats handling of national security is pretty much non-existent.

Every time Howard Dean opens his mouth, he makes it more than evident that he has no idea what he is talking about, nor does he have any concern as to the implications of the policy he is suggesting.

Moreover, it is clear he hasn't thought through his comments. He announces that we cannot win the war against Al Quaeda and the Bathists in Iraq, so the U.S. should immediately withdraw and re-deploy. Re-deploy to where? To fight Al Quaeda in Afghanistan (even though the majority of Al Quaeda operatives now appear to be fighting the U.S. in Iraq). But, didn't he just say that we couldn't defeat these same forces?
So, we should fight Zarqawi, who is in Iraq, by withdrawing from Iraq to a friendly neighboring country? That makes no sense. If you want to destroy an enemy, you usually have to go to where the enemy is to engage that enemy. Moreover, if the Democrat's argument is correct that Iraq became a terrorist battleground because of our presence, don't you risk turning that "friendly" neighboring country into the next Iraq?

On a side note, if you are a Democrat, aren't you at all concerned about losing the military vote?

Howard Dean then goes on to compare the Administration's handling of pre-war intelligence as another Watergate scandal... alleging that Bush lied, mislead and supposedly forgot to give the Senate intelligence that disproved the case for war... of course, without providing evidence to suggest that Bush knew there were no WMD's and ignoring the bipartisan commissions that have proven Bush did not mislead the Senate.

December 05, 2005

Blogging Vacation

Blogging will be light this week, yet again.... the fourth quarter is very crazy for me, and alas, I have to reasses my priorities..

December 01, 2005

Democratic Revisionist History - Part V

The Village Voice has posted Hillary Clinton's letter to constituents in which she claims that she voted for the war because she was duped. Here is my favorite excerpt:

In October 2002, I voted for the resolution to authorize the Administration to use force in Iraq. I voted for it on the basis of the evidence presented by the Administration, assurances they gave that they would first seek to resolve the issue of weapons of mass destruction peacefully through United Nations sponsored inspections, and the argument that the resolution was needed because Saddam Hussein never did anything to comply with his obligations that he was not forced to do.

Their assurances turned out to be empty ones, as the Administration refused repeated requests from the U.N. inspectors to finish their work. And the "evidence" of weapons of mass destruction and links to al Qaeda turned out to be false.

Maybe she is confusing the Bush Administration with the Clinton Administration:

"(Iraq) admitted, among other things, an offensive biological warfare capability — notably 5,000 gallons of botulinum, which causes botulism; 2,000 gallons of anthrax; 25 biological-filled Scud warheads; and 157 aerial bombs. And might I say, UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq has actually greatly understated its production." -— Text of President Clinton's address to Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff, Feb. 17, 1998

"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998

Well, isn't it funny that Ms. Clinton, herself, before the Iraq War vote was absolutely 100% certain that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction?

Now, I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20 thousand people....It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." Hillary Clinton's speech in support of Senate Joint Resolution 45 (i.e., the Resolution authorizing the Iraq War).

Hmmm.... isn't it fair to say that Ms. Clinton was hyping intelligence or pushing the case for war? Isn't it fair to say that Ms. Clinton's speech on the Senate floor may have swayed others?
My major problem with Hillary Clinton's "explanation" for her Iraq War vote is that she fails to take responsibility or otherwise own her vote. Rather than saying, we were all mistaken, she seems to be saying that she would not have voted for war if it had not been for the "assurances" of the Bush administration that such WMD's were present in Iraq.

So, her defense is that she is easily manipulated????? And, this woman wants us to believe she is qualified to be President of the United States???? Sorry, but a true leader would put more thought into such important issues as war than merely relying on the "assurances" of others. If my leader decides to go to war, that leader must act decisively and fight to win. Most importantly, a true leader would take responsibility for their actions-even the mistakes.

Her argument assumes that the Bush administration was in possession of evidence that was exculpatory to Saddam Hussein and did not reveal it to Congress or that the Bush administration "cherry picked" intelligence that it gave to Congress. As Michael Barone wrote, this argument is absolutely wrong:

Bush, Cheney and the administration have the truth on their side. Exhaustive and authoritative examinations of the prewar intelligence, by the bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004, by the Silberman-Robb Commission in 2005 and by the British commission headed by Lord Butler, have established that U.S. intelligence agencies, and the intelligence organizations of leading countries like Britain, France and Germany, believed that Saddam Hussein's regime was in possession of or developing weapons of mass destruction -- chemical and biological weapons, which the regime had used before, and nuclear weapons, which it was working on in the 1980s.

To the charges that Bush "cherry-picked" intelligence, the commission co-chaired by former Democratic Sen. Charles Robb found that the intelligence available to Bush but not to Congress was even more alarming than the intelligence Congress had.

The Silberman-Robb panel also concluded, after a detailed investigation, that in no instance did Bush administration authorities pressure intelligence officials to alter their findings.

Much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong.

But Bush didn't lie about it.

Further Proof That The Lessons of 9/11 Have Been Forgotten

The TSA is going to allow passengers to carry sharp objects on airplanes:


WASHINGTON - Airport security screeners are reportedly going to let passengers bring sharp objects on board airplanes again. Today's Washington Post says the Transportation Security Administration plans to announce security changes Friday. Sources quoted by the paper say the new rules will allow things like scissors in carry-on bags. The reasoning is that such items are no longer regarded as the greatest threat to airline security. Homeland Security Department officials are said to be more concerned about preventing suicide bomb attacks at airports. Officials want screeners to focus more on finding things that can explode rather than things that are sharp.

The Post reports the newly relaxed rules would allow scissors under four inches long and tools shorter than seven inches.

TSA spokeswoman says the new initiatives will be positive for both security and customer service.

Idiotic. Completely and utterly idiotic.

Democrats and National Security

Max Boot has an interesting column exploring why most Americans do not trust Democrats on national security issues:

Just a few years ago, it seemed as if the Democrats had finally kicked the post-Vietnam, peace-at-any-price syndrome. Before the invasion of Iraq, leading Democrats sounded hawkish in demanding action to deal with what Kerry called the "particularly grievous threat" posed by Saddam Hussein. But it seems that they only wanted to do something if the cost would be minuscule. Now that the war has turned out to be a lot harder than anticipated, the Democrats want to run up the white flag.

They are offering two excuses for their loss of will. First, they claim they were "misled into war" by a duplicitous administration. But it wasn't George W. Bush who said, "I have no doubt today that, left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons [of mass destruction] again." It was Bill Clinton on Dec. 16, 1998. As this example indicates, the warnings issued by Bush were virtually identical to those of his Democratic predecessor.

The Democrats' other excuse is that they never imagined that Bush would bollix up post-invasion planning as badly as he did. It's true that the president blundered, but it's not as if things usually go smoothly in the chaos of conflict. In any case, it's doubtful that the war would have been a cakewalk even if we had been better prepared. The Baathists and their jihadist allies were planning a ruthless terrorist campaign even before U.S. troops entered Iraq. Their calculation was that if they killed enough American soldiers, the American public would demand a pullout.

So far the terrorists' plan seems to be working. Even most Republican senators are demanding a withdrawal strategy. But it is the Democrats who are stampeding toward the exits. Apparently the death of about 2,100 soldiers over the course of almost three years is more than they can bear. Good thing these were not the same Democrats who were running the country in 1944, or else they would have pulled out of France after the loss of 5,000 Allied servicemen on D-day.

The Democratic mindset — cakewalk or cut and run — has already had parlous consequences. It is the reason why President Clinton did not take meaningful action against Al Qaeda in the 1990s. He figured that a serious military response — an invasion of Afghanistan or even a covert campaign to aid the Northern Alliance — would run steep risks, like body bags coming home. So he limited himself to flinging a few cruise missiles at empty buildings, leading our enemies to think that we were, in Osama bin Laden's words, a "paper tiger" that could be attacked with impunity. A precipitous withdrawal from Iraq today, aside from sparking a Balkans-style civil war in which hundreds of thousands might die, would confirm this baleful impression and encourage Islamo-fascists to step up their predations.

MoveOn.org Coverup

James Taranto, in yesterday's "Best of the Web" posted on Opinion Journal, has more information on MoveOn.org's decision to pull an anti-Iraq War ad that attempted to pass off images of British troops as American troops. It appears that MoveOn.org altered the scene in a still shot posted on its web site to make the error less obvious.

MoveOn.org Pulls Anti-Iraq False/Misleading Ad

MoveOn.org pulled an ad, which demanded an immediated pullout from Iraq, from circulation. Why? MoveOn.org cannot tell the difference between American and British Troops:

The liberal political group MoveOn.org has yanked a video ad from its website after being criticized for using images of British soldiers to represent Americans in Iraq. The 30-second ad, which also began running on CNN and cable stations during the Thanksgiving weekend, stated that "150,000 American men and women are stuck in Iraq" this holiday season.

But the ad showed soldiers who were "not wearing U.S. uniforms," according to a Pentagon spokesman who was interviewed by Cybercast News Service Wednesday, approximately two hours before the Internet version of the ad was pulled from the MoveOn.org website.

"Some folks won't be home this holiday season," the 30-second spot declared before showing a video pan of a group of soldiers getting military rations. The narrator then stated that "150,000 American men and women are stuck in Iraq."

Todd Vician, a spokesman with the U.S. Defense Department, told Cybercast News Service after viewing the ad that none of the men featured in the photograph was wearing U.S. uniforms. "We don't have that style of desert camouflage," he said.

Vician noted that combat fatigues worn by the Marines and the Army have "a pixilated design," and Air Force BDUs (Battle Dress Uniforms) have a different pattern than the uniforms shown in the spot.

In addition to the men wearing foreign uniforms, Vician stated that he had never seen U.S. soldiers using meal containers like those shown in the ad.

FARENHEIT 1861

You have to check this movie out.

Hat tip: Ace of Spades.