Hamden

WARNING: This is a rant. Do not search for well-defined arguments. This is a generalized rant.

I hate to take on Hamden here because I am no lawyer. But as it turns out, over the last week or so, I’ve been forced to argue on the side of the US (which I personally will call “good”) vs the side of the terrorists. (known to me as “evil”)
Gitmo may well have been invented to thwart the do gooders of this country and work around any fuzzy parts of the law. But since al-Qaeda and the Taliban were never signatories to the Geneva Conventions and since they don’t follow the conventions, it seems only logical to me that there is no requirement for us to do so either. That said, we are on the side of “good” and I’m thankful that we don’t treat our enemy combatants in the same way that ours are treated. And yes, I actually had to say that out loud the other day when someone equated our treatment of prisoners with the treatment of people kidnapped in Iraq.
(and I’m not all that comfortable with Guantanamo, but it isn’t a torture camp!)
Power – we have it. We exercise it in ways that are frankly “good”. And the world is served by that. Simply because we exist, most of the world doesn’t have to worry about their borders or getting attacked by some outlaw nation.
Israel has power. Let’s look at the recent goings on in Gaza. One of their’s was kidnapped and they intend to get him back. Why is it up to them to restrain themselves now? And yet they do. See? “Good” vs “Evil”. Rather than sending in warnings to Israel about how “bad” they’ve been by denying the Palestinians electricity and water and the problems that are bound to come up now, how hard would it be for the world to say,
“Listen Hamas. You have kidnapped Gilad and that has caused this problem. You can’t win militarily here because you don’t have the power and we are not going to involve ourselves, so quit your whining and give him back. IF Israel continues to attack at that point, then we will involve ourselves. But you took step one.”

Similar to our situation.
“Listen al-qaeda. You declared war on the US and they are now fighting you within tons of restraints. Quit while you are still alive. If they don’t go away after you’ve surrendered, then we’ll give them a call”.
Instead we are getting attacked for this war on terror. (except of course that most people don’t believe we really are at war or that terror is a problem) Apparently, to the world, terror is a legitimate means of fighting the big fish if that fish is the US or Israel.

We went into Afghanistan (which if you will remember was rebuked around the world) with moral authority and took out the Taliban. They are still there and we are still fighting and guess what? We have every right to continue that fight until they surrender! Why shouldn’t we?
We went into Iraq (soundly rebuked all over the place) for many reasons, but one was on the belief, backed by recent evidence, that Saddam was a threat in his help/partnership with terrorists. Ok – we’re still there and until they’ve stabilized their govt, we will need to be there. Al-qaeda, is still there and the war goes on. Until/unless they surrender. If Al-qaeda moves into Somalia, we’ll go there too. Why shouldn’t we? They declared it.
This war isn’t over. No one has said Uncle yet. In the meantime do we have to play by rules even though they don’t? Only because we are “good” and they aren’t and lucky for them. The President has been doing what he can to keep us safe. He doesn’t have a lock on Iraqi oil. He was a rich man before ever becoming President. He doesn’t need this trouble. And unlike in Amsterdam, he doesn’t get to just quit because he’s sick and tired of it. The supreme court said some things yesterday that need to be worked out, but he will follow what they said. That basically only means no war tribunal for Hamden without Congressional setup first. I think that’s great. Congress needs to get involved. They sit around up there and waste time and energy on the ridiculous like a flag desecration amendment or marriage definitions and then whine about what the President is doing during war. Well, get off your asses and involve yourself. Congress, you were briefed on the big phone scandal and ok’d it. You were briefed on the big bank scandal and ok’d it. Stand up for what you believe and quit being such a big bunch of pussies. Murtha is a friggin joke but at least he’s got opinions he’s willing to state out loud and put down on paper.
Now after Hamden may Congress be forced to actually help win this war on terror instead of sitting on the sidelines.
The following is from Rich Galen of Mullings. Sign up, he’s worth it.

Finally, and this is crucial, the decision neither caused nor averted a “Constitutional crisis.” It was simply another demonstration that, in our system, each of the Branches has a specific and equal role in maintaining a functioning society.
Bush didn’t challenge the decision; didn’t rebuke the Court; didn’t threaten to ignore the ruling. In fact, according to the NY Times coverage, the President said:
“The ‘Hamdan decision was the way forward,’ and that he would work with Congress to ‘have a tribunal to hold people to account’ while meeting the Court’s directive.”
That is the strength of our nation.

Campaign finance laws

I’m with George Will on this one.

Roberts asked the attorney general for an example to validate his assertion that campaign contributions from Vermont interest groups “often determine what positions candidates and officials take on issues.” The attorney general answered that he could not offer an example, and said that “influence” would be more accurate than “determine.” People trying to influence elections and government? Heaven forfend. In another clarification, sort of, the attorney general said the problem is “undue influence.” So there.

Gaza

I think that Israel acted in the only way it could under the circumstances. There is no way they can allow capture of their military without retaliation. Turning the other cheek is all fine and good as long as you don’t mind being wiped off the face of the earth little by little. It’s important that it’s known, loud and clear, that some things are not acceptable. And when you have the power, even though it may not be politically correct to use it, you absolutely will in order to secure your citizens.
The Jerusalem Post has a quickie analysis of what happened with Lebanon 18 years ago and how it relates now.

The BBC is on the story. Of course it’s our fault.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, of the governing Hamas party, criticised Washington for giving approval to the Israeli incursion.

Mr Haniya said Washington had “given the green light to aggression” and called on the United Nations to step in to prevent an escalation in violence.

and

Mr Haniya has urged the UN Security and the Arab League to move to end the crisis in Gaza.

“The Israeli occupation must put an end to its aggression before the situation gets complicated and the crisis gets worse,” Mr Haniya said.

So the Prime Minister wants the UN and the Arab League to “do something to make them stop”, but doesn’t want to just give up this soldier.
Let’s take a look at a couple of Arab papers…
I’m sure this link won’t hold up overnight but Emirates Today from Dubai has their front page taken up with “School Ban on Mobiles may be lifted”.

The Islamic Republic News Agency doesn’t have a word about Gaza on their front page. (again, I have no idea how to link to a particular date’s front page)
Don’t hold your breath for help there Mr. Haniya.

Drudge has a report up saying that the al Aqsa have claimed to have fired a chemical weapon into Israel. No confirmation yet.

Drudge also has this article about Gilad, the kidnapped soldier.

Friends describe Gilad as studious, good at physics and a little shy.

If Corporal Shalit is killed while in the hands of militants linked to Hamas, any prospect of a rapprochement between Israel and a Hamas-led Palestinian Government will vanish for years to come, perhaps for ever.

(I pretty much thought that was over after Hamas was elected anyway)

Hamas officials have been captured now. Captain Ed has the scoop.

The arrests of the Hamas officials puts quite a different spin on the hostage negotiations now. Since Hamas has taken responsibility for the kidnappings and refused to intercede to release Gilad Shalit, and since the Palestinians keep committing acts of war against Israel, then their political leadership becomes fair game in war. Now that a few dozen Hamas leaders sit in Israeli jails, the terms of the kidnappers may be changing soon.

UPDATE: Good for the UN. Annan asks for the release of Gilad in order to not escalate the situation.

Mr Annan said he spoken to the Palestinian and Syrian leaders on Tuesday and the Israeli prime minister on Wednesday trying to obtain the release of the Israeli soldier and to defuse the situation.

“We need to be very careful, not only not to escalate, but not to expand the area of conflict,” he said late on Wednesday.

The key to defusing the situation, he said, was the release of Israeli Cpl Gilad Shalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid on Sunday by Palestinian militants.

UPDATE: Well still no confirmation of a chemically tipped weapon landing in Israel, so I’m going with the Reuters/Drudge/my story was just a rumor.

General links

Because I’m running late, again.

Iraq the Model’s feelings on the general amnesty plan for the Iraqi insurgents. He thinks it’s great so long as the caveat exists that there is no amnesty for those who’ve killed.

With trigger-pullers excluded, maybe amnesty will be given to the facilitators and sympathizers; those who provided safe houses, transportation and facilities to the insurgents. If this is the case and if those facilitators accept the offer I think it will significantly reduce the ability of insurgents to carryout their operations and the effect will be more profound on foreign terrorists who depend largely on local facilitators.

Apparently 3 other groups have signed on.

The Captain has a good write up on the happenings in Gaza this morning.

The BBC interviews that piece of s*** Joseph Kony.

Samarra Bombing

It looks like Iraqi’s have caught one of the people responsible for the Samarra Mosque bombing. From Iraq the Model:

The terrorist of Tunisian origin confessed that he was responsible for the attack that destroyed the Askari Shrine in Samarra back in February 22 of this year.
Muwaffak al-Rubaie said the security forces are still searching for Haitham al-Badri who is believed to be the field commander under whom Abu Qudama was operating.

This is awesome.
Hugh Hewitt interviewed the guy in charge of training Iraqi’s yesterday. It’s not up yet, but I’ll add the link when I see it. It was very interesting. And things are going well. See evidence above!

UPDATE: Here’s the interview with Lt. Gen. Dempsey. It’s well worth your time.

Waaaay Cool!

Barcepundit has the video of a GM hydrogen car.
(the first bit is goofy, but watch it!)

The Hy-wire’s fuel cell propulsion system is housed entirely in an 11-inch thick skateboard-like chassis. By-wire controls attached to the chassis through a single docking port use electrical signals instead of mechanical links of hydraulics to control steering, acceleration and braking. Without an engine, steering column or other conventional vehicle components, this concept provides unprecedented design freedom.