Dementor, Harry Potter version:
American and Latin American Politics, Society, and Culture
You’re going to love Joe Lima’s Tio Chano:
Much of it will sound familiar if you’ve been reading Michael Totten’s dispatches.
Elsewhere, the Telegraph: Paper backs off Maliki-Petraeus row because they made up the story.
UPDATEFrom today’s White House Briefing: (emphasis added)
Points From Rear Adm. Fox Briefing, Baghdad , Iraq : July 30, 2007
Our offensive operations continue with increasing evidence that the surge is pressuring terrorists, keeping them off balance, and eliminating safe havens. We have established a degree of tactical momentum that we will continue to build on.
· We continue to pressure former sanctuaries in the Baghdad Belts, around Ramadi and in and around Baqouba.
· We are denying al Qaeda Iraq (AQI) freedom of movement and disrupting extremist secret cells while increasing local citizens’ confidence in the Coalition and Iraqi Security Force.
The number of caches found and cleared continues to grow.
· In the last week, Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces seized more than 120 weapons caches.
· We have seized more weapons caches in the first six months of this year than all of last year combined.
Leads and tips received from Iraqi citizens are up and helping us discover these weapons caches. Last month there were some 23,000 tips a month, four times the number at this time last year.
We are seeing more and more Iraqis turning against violence.
· On July 7, 100 Sheikhs and 400 religious and political leaders met in Ramadi for a conference called “Promise of the People.”
o They agreed to “The Ramadi Covenant” – a solemn agreement between tribes and most importantly with the Government of Iraq that is a clear sign the people of Iraq are rejecting the hatred, violence, sectarianism and Taliban-like state offered by AQI.
· In Baqoubah, 50 tribal leaders met at the governor’s house on July 14 to discuss security, services, and pledged to work together in the Muqdadiyah Tribal Conference.
· On July 16 in Taji, Sunni and Shia shieks pledged unity to one another to stop the sectarian attacks, each signing a map next to their village.
· On July 23, 16 local shieks and tribal leaders in Khalis pledged on behalf of some 75 shieks to work to end the violence.
now liberals are accusing the Bush Justice Department of cooking up spurious claims of voter fraud in the 2006 elections and creating what the New York Times calls a “fantasy” that voter fraud is a problem.
Instead, Sen. Leahy and other liberals are busy dismissing concerns about voter fraud, no doubt in an effort to make certain the Justice Department drops the issue as a priority before the 2008 election. But the blunders and politicization of parts of the Bush Justice Department notwithstanding, voter fraud deserves to be investigated and prosecuted. The Justice Department may be dysfunctional and poorly led, but the Democratic Congress seems more interested in paralyzing its activities than helping to fix the problem.
My first BTR show with GoV and SC&A was fascinating and very popular, and I’m sure this one will be, too.
Please join us!
Captain Ed liveblogged the party, while Jon Swift says Harry Potter is a brat.
I’m eagerly waiting for the book to arrive in the mail.
Other than that, if you haven’t bought it yet, buy here:
About 45 minutes into the film, Harry and his classmates are subject to their new ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts’ instructor, Dolores Umbridge. Umbridge was recently appointed by the Minister of Magic (Cornelius Fudge). Her role at Hogwart’s is to not only teach a watered-down version of the class, but likewise to play down the fears of Lord Voldemort’s return and act as a shill for the Ministry of Magic, helping to whitewash the perceived threat.
The wonderfully sardonic, condescending and controlling Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton, seemed to embody every shameful ounce of Democratic obfuscation and denial when it comes to the war on terror. She contained elements of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Jack Murtha, and John Edwards in her persistent and eager desire to reduce any hint of danger to mere understanding or hyperbole, seeking to silence dissenters (Through the implementation of tortuous quills, if necessary).
More on the Congressional temple of democratic denial at Gateway Pundit, who also has the al-Qaeda map. Ralph Peters:
Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq is suffering a humiliating defeat, as fellow Sunni Muslims turn against the fanatics and help them find the martyrdom they advertise. Yet for purely political reasons – next year’s elections – cowards on Capitol Hill are spurning the courage of our troops on the ground.
While Congress waves the white flag and we’re watching movies, Iran Celebrates US Congressional Resolution. Jules asks if the media’s Lazy, Stupid or Willfully Ignorant?
Here’s one from the AP yesterday about a contested village north of Baquba. The story is all about failure. The failure to control this village. The failure of Iraqi forces to provide follow-on security in areas U.S. troops have cleared. It tells us, “Fleeing insurgents appear to be trying to capture more territory farther north in Diyala, where Iraqi security forces are fewer.”
It doesn’t say why. Because they have been run out of Baquba, after being run out of Baghdad and Anbar. The three-week operation to clear Baquba has been highly successful, with the loss of one soldier, according to Michael Yon. Can this possibly be true? One soldier killed in three weeks of what is routinely described as bitter fighting in Baquba, fighting that has run al-Qaeda out of the much-vaunted IED-saturated stronghold where al-Qaeda was executing people in the city square. How is that not a screaming headline?
As Steve Gilbert realizes,
But you can’t blame our media too much.
It is their job to make US lose this war. Their Democrat masters insist.
Victor Davis Hanson fisks the NYT editorial clamoring for surrender, and concludes:
The truth is that Iraq has upped the ante in the war against terrorists. Our enemies’ worst nightmare is a constitutional government in the heart of the ancient caliphate, surrounded by consensual rule in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Turkey; ours is a new terror heaven, but with oil, a strategic location, and the zeal born of a humiliating defeat of the United States on a theater scale. The Islamists believe we can’t win; so does the New York Times. But it falls to the American people to decide the issue.
Go read the full article.
This is what passes for leadership in Washington:
Even Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) admitted that the Democrats’ bill was a political charade, telling reporters yesterday that Democrats had to bring the bill to the floor to pacify antiwar groups: “If we don’t do anything, these groups will feel like we haven’t done anything.”
Lord Voldemort, and Wahhabism: let’s call them by their names:
The Sunni radicals have a name. They are Wahhabis and they are backed by a powerful faction within Saudi Arabia, Iraq’s southern neighbor. The MSM continues to dance around a reality that has been visible since the Coalition took Fallujah in late 2004 – almost three years ago [see here.] As I wrote then on TCSDaily, Fallujans had turned against the Arab Sunni extremists who invaded their city and “set up a Taliban-style dictatorship, in which women who did not cover their entire bodies, people listening to music, and members of spiritual Sufi orders… were subject to torture and execution… [The radicals] were financed, recruited, and otherwise encouraged by Wahhabism, the state religion in Saudi Arabia.”
The missing truth in the MSM about Ramadi is the same as that in Fallujah, and although habitually elided from Western reporting, it is known to Muslims, if they pay attention to Iraqi events. The Sunnis of Anbar, both sheikhs and ordinary folk, deeply resent the attempted imposition of an extreme Sunni order on them and are prepared to conciliate with Iraqi Shias and cooperate with the U.S.-led coalition to prevent it from happening.
Why do Westerners remain so reticent about Wahhabism and its Saudi backers?
Read it all.
Read Obi’s Sister’s post, The Voldemort war and Alice the goon
Special thanks to Larwyn.
I’ll post more about Venezuela later today, but here’s the morning round-up:
Did you listen yet?
Last Monday my guests were Dymphna and Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna and Siggy co-hosted. Listen to a most enjoyable podcast, and tell your friends. If you listened already, go back and listen again.
Soldier’s Family Needs Immediate Help
Victor Davis Hanson writes about The Global Immigration Problem
The moment illegal immigrants arrive, a sort of race begins: Can these newcomers become legal, speak the host language and get educated before they age, get hurt or lose their job? If so, then they assimilate and their children are held up as models of diversity. If not, the end of the story can be welfare or jail.
Governments in countries such as Mexico and Morocco usually care far more about their emigrants once they are long gone. Then these poor are no longer volatile proof of their own failures, but victims of some wealthy foreign government’s indifference. And these pawns usually send cash home.
Don’t miss also The Legal Visa Crunch: The Senate bill is worse than current law for skilled immigrants.
Investor’s Business Daily continues its series on Jimmy Carter, Friend of dictators
Via Red State, Sen. Byrd: “Allowing the public to actually see earmark requests…isn’t a good idea”
We beat global warming, and “Al’s the guy!”
Via Larwin, Ace posts that Jon Corzine didn’t think of wearing a seat belt, and zoomed down the turnpike going 90 miles an hour, but he’s going to keep you from getting fat. Maybe Corzine should call Michael Moore for diet tips.
Mitt gets heckled in New Hampshire for being a Mormon. Harry Reid better stay away.
Also from Ace, some fool at Newsweek thinks wussy men are hot. Where is Pullo when we need him?
Here’s a short list of other non-wussies. And the ever-popular Swiss.
Speaking of wusses, Betsy has The humbug that is John Edwards, who, by the way, may have some trouble getting some of the treasure money as Spain sues over shipwreck bonanza
Harry Potter theme park planned in Orlando. It’ll take real magic to duplicate the terrain and the weather, for sure.
And last, but not least, The Studied Linguist (a poem)