ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, September 07, 2007

Losing Hearts & Minds: Because we're not even trying

This news out of Hollywood demonstrates that we'll never win the hearts & minds of those outside of our country:

G.I. Joe to Become Global Task Force in Movie
Friday , September 07, 2007
By Catherine Donaldson-Evans

The popular all-American comic-book military man and action figure dating back to the 1940s is undergoing a significant transformation for the Paramount Pictures-distributed "G.I. Joe" film, which begins production in February and is scheduled for release in summer 2009.

No longer will G.I. Joe be a U.S. Special Forces soldier, the "Real American Hero" who, in his glory days, single-handedly won World War II.

In the politically correct new millennium, G.I. Joe bears no resemblance to the original.

Paramount has confirmed that in the movie, the name G.I. Joe will become an acronym for "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity" — an international, coed task force charged with defeating bad guys. It will no longer stand for government issued, as in issued by the American government.

And I know exactly who the bad guys will be... Paramount has already disclosed them to me:
  1. Evil Corporations
  2. Israelis, Jews, Neocons
  3. Evil CEOs
  4. Oil Corporations
  5. Health Insurance Company CEOs
  6. Christian fundamentalists

The studio won't elaborate, saying filming hasn't begun and details are still in the works, but the behind-the-scenes rumblings are that the producers have decided to change the nature of G.I. Joe in order to appeal to a wider, more international audience.

The word is that in the current political climate, they're afraid that a heroic U.S. soldier won't fly.
[...]

Because, you know... Hollywood doesn't actually think that there is such a thing as a heroic US soldier. When they think of the US military, they think of Abu Ghraib, My Lai, etc. They don't think of Travis Patriquin, Paul Smith, or any of the other thousands of soldiers who are true heroes - not just for the Americans that they defended, but also for the people in foreign lands that they liberated and saved.

We often talk about how we have to win the hearts & minds of those who are sitting on the fence. And those on the Left often talk about having to understand "why they hate usTM," which (if not a rhetorical question) suggests that the Lefties that pose that question are surprised that foreigners hate us - meaning that they think the hatred of the US is unwarranted. But, the best way to stop them from hating us is to demonstrate clearly why we shouldn't be hated - why we are good.

And what better opportunity than through entertainment that used to ostensibly be about American values and heroism.

We can't win the Hearts & Minds if we don't take any opportunity to persuade them. And when you start off the story-boarding of a movie essentially agreeing that foreigners are justified in their hatred of America - and that you don't dare offer something that might run counter to that belief - than you have already surrendered.

ProteinWisdom is asking for people to submit taglines for the movie - hilarity ensues.

*** Mark Steyn comments ***

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Strategery of Iraq

Ron Paul's idiocy in last night's debate has been like a small splinter, digging its way under my skin. As I mentioned earlier, his positions on foreign policy are closer to Dennis Kucinich than to anyone in the GOP. Heck, he even excoriated the presence of US troops in Afghanistan during last night's debate... Most of the moonbat Lefty's at least think we should stay involved there (while letting Al Qaeda gain strength in Iraq, apparently).

Anyway, Cliff May has this excellent article at NRO regarding our success in Iraq (despite the claims by some on the Left that our troops are doing a lousy job):

Al Qaeda’s Hope
Six years after 9/11, we have a chance to win a major battle; or we can retreat.

By Clifford D. May


As the sixth anniversary of September 11, 2001 approaches, we should be grateful: Al Qaeda has not successfully attacked Americans a second time on American soil. We also should be distressed: Americans are debating whether to fight al Qaeda — or whether to retreat from the one battlefield on which we have a chance to seriously damage al Qaeda, both militarily and ideologically.

That battlefield is in Iraq. True, a case can be made that had President Bush not invaded Iraq, we would not need to fight al Qaeda in Iraq. But that is irrelevant to the question policy makers need to decide: Do we continue battling al Qaeda in Iraq? Or do we stop — and let al Qaeda combatants in Iraq live to fight another day?

It’s also true that Iraq is not the only place where al Qaeda can be found. But, al Qaeda cells operate in secret in most countries. If we’re lucky, some of them are under surveillance by intelligence or law enforcement as, apparently, they have been in Germany.

Top al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, are believed to be living in the remote reaches of northwest Pakistan. Pakistani authorities have been unable — some would say unwilling — to do what is necessary to root them out. And American troops have not been invited to accompany Pakistani troops on search-and-destroy missions.

That leaves Iraq, the theater in which we find al Qaeda’s most active and lethal members. Or rather, that was the situation until very recently. A year ago, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was firmly in control of Anbar and other Sunni areas, and sections of Baghdad as well.

Then, this summer, Gen. David Petraeus took command of the 28,000 reinforcements he needed in order to change course in Iraq. He decided to target the root cause of the sectarian violence: the AQI terrorists who were suicide-bombing mosques and markets in an attempt to foment a civil war from which they expected to benefit. He also began to challenge the Iranian-backed Shia militias that had gained power by responding to the AQI attacks.

Now, American troops, working with Iraqi Security Forces, have eliminated AQI command structures, safe havens and bomb factories in and around Baghdad, Baqubah and other former strongholds. They have killed thousands of AQI members. Among them: Mehmet Yilmaz, a Turkish-born al Qaeda leader, and a close associate of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11/01 attacks. Yilmaz was killed on June 23 — just five days after the last of Petraeus’ reinforcements arrived in Iraq.

Petraeus has redeployed American troops out of fortified Forward Operating Bases and into such cities as Ramadi and Fallujah. It was widely expected that putting more Americans in more vulnerable places would mean more casualties. In fact, American combat deaths have dropped by half in the three months since the U.S. forces reached full strength.

Why? Petraeus has provided security for Iraqis — a mission that American troops were not performing before his arrival. In return, Iraqis are helping provide security for American troops. They also have been providing the actionable intelligence needed to fight effectively against AQI, the common enemy.

And that brings us to the other way the U.S. is now damaging al-Qaeda: in the war of ideas. The news is getting out that Iraqi Arab Muslims are freely choosing to align with Americans and against al Qaeda.

This calls into question al Qaeda’s ideology and even its legitimacy — its claim to be the champion and protector of the world’s Muslims. If Muslims in the heart of the Middle East reject al Qaeda and side with Americans, that sends a message to Muslims around the world that al-Qaeda is neither invincible nor unchallengeable. If the tribes of Anbar are not giving up their traditions and customs to embrace bin Laden’s version of Islam, why should Indonesians and Bosnians?
We now have a chance to seriously degrade AQI — which American intelligence calls the “most visible and capable [al Qaeda] affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the [U.S] Homeland.” We now have a chance to deliver a painful physical, psychological and intellectual blow to global al Qaeda — to demonstrate who the “strong horse” really is.

Al Qaeda’s hope: that Congress will save them by legislating America’s retreat from Iraq; that lawmakers in Washington will vote to stop fighting al Qaeda in Iraq and to abandon those Iraqis who have been fighting with us and relying on us.
Six years after 9/11/01, in the midst of a global conflict against al Qaeda and its enablers, is there a more serious mistake we could make?

Of course, Al Qaeda recognizes that the US policy is not decided by what's best for America's long-term interests, but rather what is best for individual politicians interests and the interests of the media has a distorted view of most issues.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Kook-cinich Keepin' It Real with Assad

Ok, now that Karl is secured in an undisclosed location for the remainder of the year, time to post.

Why is it that Dennis Kucinich is more willing to trust dictators who wish us harm than elected Presidents here at home? (I know, I know... Bush wasn't actually elected in Kookcinich's mind, which is the entire reason the Dems have become so deranged over Bush.)

US Democratic hopeful Kucinich meets Assad, blasts Bush
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST Sep. 6, 2007

US Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich, on a Mideast visit that included a stop in Syria, said the country lambasted by the Bush administration deserves credit for taking in more than a million Iraqi refugees.

Kucinich, a strong anti-war opponent who trails far in the US presidential polls, also said he won't visit Iraq on his trip to the region because he considers the US military deployment there illegal.

"I feel the United States is engaging in an illegal occupation ... I don't want to bless that occupation with my presence," he said in an interview in Lebanon, after visiting Syria. "I will not do it."

Kucinich, who accused the Bush administration of policies that have destabilized the Mideast, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad during his visit to Damascus. He said Assad was receptive to his ideas of "strength through peace."
Assad was also receptive to Kucinich's domestic policy programs, namely his "Universal Healthcare through rationed practicing of medicine" and his education policy of "Improved Education through lowered expectations."
He also praised Syria for taking in Iraqi refugees.

...

...

but he failed to criticize Syria for sending those refugees back into Iraq as suicide bombers.... sure it slipped his mind.
"What most people are not aware of is that Syria has taken in more than 1.5 million Iraqi refugees," Kucinich said. "The Syrian government has actually shown a lot of compassion in keeping its doors open, and being a host for so many refugees."

it also has been a host for terrorists... and I seem to recall something about either being with us or your with the terrorists, but I digress.
Kucinich said he would ask UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to follow up on the "dire conditions" in southern Lebanon, especially Israeli cluster bombs leftover from the war that have killed more than 30 and injured at least 200 since the fighting's end.

"There has to be a commitment to cleaning up these cluster bombs," Kucinich said.

Normally, when countries go to war, whoever is holding the terrority at the end is responsible for the cleanup, especially if the causus belli for the war was raining rockets into civilian centers.

But, of course... Kook-head wouldn't ever think to ask Assad to clean up the Hezbollah probem that he's encouraging in Lebanon. Nor would he mention anything about the Assad-directed assassination of a pro-democracy leader in Lebanon.

nope... Syria is just soooo compassionate.

And you know what is really frightening? Ron Paul and Kook-cinich really aren't that far apart when it comes to foreign policy. And why is it that they both have that wild-eyed, crazy uncle stare to them?

Just curious...

***UPDATE***
Don Surber is covering as well

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Communist brainwashing starts young

Oh what an interesting place the Web can be. You never know what your going to find. In an interesting article over at protein wisdom about the banning of tag at a Colorado elementary school*, there was in the in the comments section, a link to an article at Rethinking Schools banning of all things... Legos.

"I'm making an airport and landing strip for my guy's house. He has his own airplane," said Oliver.

"That's not fair!" said Carl. "That takes too many cool pieces and leaves not enough for me."

"Well, I can let other people use the landing strip, if they have airplanes," said Oliver. "Then it's fair for me to use more cool pieces, because it's for public use."

Discussions like the one above led to children collaborating on a massive series of Lego structures we named Legotown. Children dug through hefty-sized bins of Legos, sought "cool pieces," and bartered and exchanged until they established a collection of homes, shops, public facilities, and community meeting places. We carefully protected Legotown from errant balls and jump ropes, and watched it grow day by day.

After nearly two months of observing the children's Legotown construction, we decided to ban the Legos.

A great Lego city has been constructed. Hints of an economy, for the 'cool pieces' if you will, sprang up, useful real-world skills of negotiation and planning are being learned. And the 'teachers' had to put a stop to it.

A group of about eight children conceived and launched Legotown. Other children were eager to join the project, but as the city grew — and space and raw materials became more precious — the builders began excluding other children.

Occasionally, Legotown leaders explicitly rebuffed children, telling them that they couldn't play. Typically the exclusion was more subtle, growing from a climate in which Legotown was seen as the turf of particular kids. The other children didn't complain much about this; when asked about Legos, they'd often comment vaguely that they just weren't interested in playing with Legos anymore. As they closed doors to other children, the Legotown builders turned their attention to complex negotiations among themselves about what sorts of structures to build, whether these ought to be primarily privately owned or collectively used, and how "cool pieces" would be distributed and protected. These negotiations gave rise to heated conflict and to insightful conversation. Into their coffee shops and houses, the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive. As we watched the children build, we became increasingly concerned.

Faced with observing an experiment that demonstrates how the real world actually works, the teachers weren't awed by the skills their pupils were learning. Rather they became"concerned" about how that experiment was not reflecting their preconceived notions of an ideal society.

Hilltop is housed in a church, and over a long weekend, some children in the congregation who were playing in our space accidentally demolished Legotown.
We met as a teaching staff later that day. We saw the decimation of Lego-town as an opportunity to launch a critical evaluation of Legotown and the inequities of private ownership and hierarchical authority on which it was founded. Our intention was to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation. We knew that the examination would have the most impact if it was based in engaged exploration and reflection rather than in lots of talking. We didn't want simply to step in as teachers with a new set of rules about how the children could use Legos, exchanging one set of authoritarian rules with another. Ann suggested removing the Legos from the classroom. This bold decision would demonstrate our discomfort with the issues we saw at play in Legotown. And it posed a challenge to the children: How might we create a "community of fairness" about Legos?
The rest of the article goes into some detail about their idea of community of fairness, and how the kids that were playing with the Legos the most had some sort of 'unearned' power that was oppressing the other kids.

Especially interesting is the "value system" they say they learned from the kids, which magically intersects with their own preconceived notions of fair and "social justice".

*as to tag banning. I'll bet within 10 minutes the kids had already thought up a new game of 'tag' complete with rules. Kids ALWAYS keep score.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian