Jun 17 2008

Guilty until proven innocent: US Marines

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 10:02 pm

A look back, and a look forward. The Haditha Marines have mostly been cleared. They behaved professionally and responsibly, doing the best they could in a very difficult situation.

Rep. Jack Murtha (D) is a pig, whose porcine nature is shared by the snuffling press who feed from the same trough of lies and distortions. I donated a little money to the Marines’ defense, as did about a zillion others. I am proud of the fact. Whatever honor Murtha derives from his own military service has been squandered on this debacle. He should spend about a week in sackcloth and ashes in front of the Capitol Building.

And the look forward: no apology will be forthcoming from Murtha or the press. Or, almost worse, there will be a very brief, almost anonymous release from Murtha’s press flacks, and it will get almost no coverage in the media. Perhaps the New York Times will apologize on page 23 just below the used car ads…. but probably not.

Michelle Malkin’s take:

Haditha prosecution goes 0-7. But you won’t see that headline in the same Armageddon-sized font The New York Times used repeatedly when the story first broke.

The Times, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa, and the rest of the anti-war drum-pounders who fueled the smear campaign against the troops two years ago should hang their hands in shame. They won’t, of course. Perpetuating the “cold-blooded Marines” narrative means never having to say you’re sorry.

It means never having to look Lt. Col. Chessani (charges dismissed), Lt. Andrew Grayson (acquitted), Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum (charges dismissed), Capt. Lucas McConnell (charges dismissed), Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt (charges dismissed), Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz (charges dismissed), Sgt. Frank Wuterich (awaiting trial) and their families in the eyes and apologize for the preemptive character assassination they all faced at the hands of the hyperventilating, noose-hanging press.

Read the whole thing. Ask yourself how you’d feel if the accused was your son, or nephew, or brother, or uncle…. or father. And if, God forbid, the accusations turned out to be true (which, it is becoming very clear, is not the case here), would you feel that your loved one had been fairly treated by Murtha and the press? A Marine who had over-reacted under stress would not deserve this treatment.

These guys were character-assassinated by the very best.

I wonder how Murtha is sleeping these days. Does he have some fantasy where he thinks all the accusations were true, but couldn’t be proved? Does he think he has some special bit of insight and secret information? Is he hopelessly partisan, deep in Bush hatred, or just crazy as a loon? Impossible to say.

This would be a good time for decent people to pray for the falsely accused to be able to reassemble their lives.

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Jun 17 2008

Maybe the entire EU polity is not a moral black hole

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 7:40 pm

The EU member governments, especially the old-line EU (as opposed to the newer entrants from the former Soviet block), seem to practice an extreme form of moral equivalence more often than not.  In particular, they have been irrationally hostile to Israel, the only representative, liberal democracy in the middle east (excepting Turkey, which is getting less liberal all the time, and Iraq, which is embryonic at best).

The EU parrots so much Arab propaganda about Israel that I’m sure Israeli officials are frequently pretty frustrated.

So, a bit of good news.  It seems that the EU is actually going to upgrade the quality of its contacts and relationships with Israel.

The European Union, turning aside Palestinian objections, has announced upgraded relations with Israel in the form of a range of steps involving commerce, the economy, and academic ties as well as improvements in the diplomatic dialogue between the sides.

Perhaps it has finally sunk in that Israel simply moved out of Gaza, and the rocket attacks increased, Hamas was elected, and so on.

One wonders if the EU officials finally lifted up their blindfolds, just a tiny bit, and saw something they previously could pretend not to know.

Maybe this is a beginning. 

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Jun 17 2008

Oil doesn’t just come from olives

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 5:38 pm

Oil executive on upcoming TV show

During the past four decades or so, people in the oil business usually have been shown as greedy, manipulative, opportunistic villains who value money over conscience. From J.R. Ewing on TV’s Dallas to Daniel Plainview in the recent film There Will be Blood, it is easy to find examples of stereotypical oilmen.

It is true that the oil industry, just like any other business, has those who exploit others for personal gain. In my 30 years of experience in the oil patch, however, I have found that 99 percent of those who work in the business are hard-working, values-minded, patriotic people who just want to make a living.

Television and movies rarely show the thousands of people in the industry who lose their fortunes — or even lives — in the search for crude oil. Beyond Hollywood, elected officials at all levels often attack the industry, using partial facts or incomplete knowledge of the industry.

Read the whole thing.

Generally, only the military and religious folk are more likely than the oil industry to be vilified by Hollyweird. I hope this man’s hopes aren’t dashed on the cutting room floor.

Jun 17 2008

Israel plays chicken part two

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 5:30 pm

Israel’s Vice Premier Haim Ramon says the Truce with Hamas is a ‘triumph for radical Islam’

“I am against a truce, because it is another triumph for radical Islam. It won in Lebanon and now it is about to win in Gaza. So what is the point of being moderate? Why would Hamas be interested in a resolution?” said Ramon at a Haifa University conference.

Ramon, together with Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz and Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, abstained from a cabinet vote last Wednesday to refrain from embarking on a large-scale military operation in Gaza and instead to give more time to Egyptian-mediated truce efforts, although none of the ministers voted against the decision.

Ramon said that the Gaza truce deal must be brought to for a referendum. “The government must reach the framework of an agreement and then bring to a vote,” he said. “Any significant agreement with the Palestinians requires a referendum.”

National Religious Party MK Zevulun Orlev called the agreement “a balloon that will burst” and added that “A ceasefire agreement without Gilad Schalit is a moral crime that conveys the message of abandoning the kidnapped soldier to his fate.”

MK Arye Eldad of the National Union/National Religious Party said that “Because of a corrupt prime minister and an insecure defense minister Israel is capitulating to Hamas and accepting upon itself a cease-fire that will allow Hamas to hit Ashdod and Kiryat Gat later on. The residents of Israel will take note today of who is to blame when the entire center of the country turns into a war zone because of Olmert and Barak.”

Pray that the nay-sayers are wrong… but they probably aren’t.