The Oasis for
Rational Conservatives

Member Login

You are not currently logged in.

» Register
» Lost your Password?

Moroccan Magic

Ice Palaces and Jungle Tribes

Wheeler Expeditions

Member Discussions

Article Archives

L i k e U s ! ! !

TTP Merchandise


On Christmas day this week, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report which indicates Iranian oil production is about to plunge. Iran currently earns about $50 billion a year in oil exports.  Oil profits account for about 65 percent of Iranian government revenues.  But Iranian oil exports could decline by half within five years, and virtually disappear within ten, said the report's author Roger Stern, an economic geographer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The effect on Iran would be catastrophic. Thanks to mismanagement by the mullahs, and corruption on a scale so vast as to make even an Iraqi blush, Iran's economy is already a basket case.  Here's an example:  Iran, one of the world's largest oil producers, has to import 35% of its gasoline.  The fools haven't built new refineries and can't operate efficiently the ones they have.  So they have to import refined gasoline for their cars. Get ready for the next War For Oil in the Middle East.



Sir Thomas Gresham noted that: "bad money drives out good." A kind of Gresham's Law applies in politics and journalism. Bad advice drives out good.  The recommendations of the Iraq Study Group (composed of 10 famous people who know next to nothing about either the military or the Middle East) received enormous attention from the news media.  But the report last week from people who actually know what they're talking about received little. Aside from the surreal recommendation that we ask our enemies, Iran and Syria, for help in quelling the violence they are largely responsible for fomenting, the ISG recommended, essentially, that we do more of what hasn't worked very well.  President Bush has been asking a lot of people what he should do next in Iraq.  But he should have consulted with Travis Patriquin.



I panned the puerile recommendations of the Iraq Study Group in an earlier column, and will not re-plow that ground here.  But the mere existence of the ISG tells us some unpleasant things about ourselves that we ought to know, but evidently don't. First, there is the speed with which Congress palmed off its responsibility to conduct oversight of Executive  Branch policies to a private panel of has-beens.  It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges. Then there is the glee with which many in the Washington establishment -- particularly in journalism -- greeted the (glaringly obvious) finding that things are not going well in Iraq suggests an elite so insulated and out of touch that it sees no ill consequences flowing to themselves from a defeat being inflicted upon their country.  The appropriate response of serious people would have been concern, perhaps anger.  But an elite that sees a big setback in the war against Islamofascism chiefly in terms of its impact on domestic politics is not comprised of serious people.



President Kennedy once hosted a dinner for Nobel Prize winners.  At the dinner he reportedly said: "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined here alone." After reviewing the report of the Iraq Study Group, released Wednesday, New York Post editorial page editor John Podhoretz declared: "The nation's capital hasn't seen such concentrated wisdom in one place since Paris Hilton dined alone at the Hooters on Connecticut Avenue." T. F. Boggs, an Army sergeant recently returned from his second tour in Iraq, said the recommendations were a "joke" that "could only have come from a group of old people who have been stuck in Washington for too long."



In a story that attracted international attention, the Associated Press reported Nov. 24 that:

Shia militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near Iraqi soldiers who did not intervene, Iraqi Police Capt. Jamil Hussein said. The savage revenge attack for Thursday's slaying of 215 people in the Shiite Sadr City slum occurred as members of the Mahdi Army militia burned four mosques and several homes while killing an unknown number of Sunni residents in the once-mixed Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer said this sensational story was a trigger for the network's decision to refer to the conflict in Iraq as a civil war.  But two difficulties have emerged with the it: First, both the U.S. military and the Iraqi government say they can find no evidence the incident reported by Capt. Hussein ever occurred. Second, Jamil Hussein may not even exist.  He may be an invention of the Associated Press.  The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior says it has no police captain named Jamil Hussein.



Americans voted as they did in the midterm elections in large part because they are tired of the war in Iraq.  But to slightly paraphrase one of the founders of the Soviet Union, Leon Trotsky: "You may not be interested in the war, but the war is interested in you."  A major part of our problem in Iraq is that we think our problem is Iraq.  It's much bigger than that. We are at war with Islamic extremism, which is by no means restricted by the borders of Iraq.  Many in the Democrat Party think we can quit the war in Iraq at little cost to ourselves, as we did in Vietnam 30 years ago.  But this is a war that will follow us home. Our enemies hate us because we are not like them, and they will go on trying to kill us unless we become like them, whether we are in Iraq or not.  They cannot be appeased.  We can destroy them, or let ourselves be destroyed by them.  There are no other choices.



Nancy Pelosi has yet formally to become Speaker of the House, but she already is taking steps which could cut short her tenure - the first being her support of the extraordinarily corrupt Jack Murtha in his bid for majority leader over the current number two Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer. Mr. Murtha is known to most Americans as the chief tenor in the Cut & Run chorus. Ms. Pelosi said in her endorsement letter that she was backing Mr. Murtha because of his stand on Iraq. Exit polling indicated corruption was even more on the minds of voters than was Iraq.  Understandably so, because four GOP lawmakers were forced to resign because of ethical lapses.  But the current Democratic advantage on this issue is likely to diminish if voters come to believe that Ms. Pelosi's primary interest in corruption is to change its beneficiaries.



Dick Tuck was a Democratic political consultant whose pranks bedeviled Richard Nixon in the 1950s.  Mr. Tuck helped many clients to victory, but he got creamed in his lone bid for elective office, for the California state senate in 1964.  His defeat permitted him to make the most memorable concession speech in history: "The people have spoken...the bastards." Many conservatives share Mr. Tuck's sentiments in the wake of Tuesday's debacle.  How could an electorate whose judgment we praised in 2004 go so far off the rails in just two years? The truth is, they didn't.  The Republicans lost because they deserved to lose.  And we have Tom DeLay to thank for it.



Some of the Republicans likely to lose Tuesday -- like Rep. Don Sherwood in Pennsylvania's 10th district -- deserve to.  But when the public gets in a "throw the bums out" mood, some who get thrown out aren't bums. On July 26, 1945, less than two months after Germany's surrender, a British electorate weary of the demands of greatness replaced Winston Churchill as prime minister with  Clement Attlee, and Britain's swift decline as a world power began. The three GOP senators thought to be in the deepest kimchee are Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine of Ohio, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island.  The republic would miss Mr. DeWine only a little, and Mr. Chafee not at all. Rick Santorum is another story.



Why is the Moqtada al Sadr - nicknamed "Mookie" by our troops - still alive? That this question can still be asked illustrates why things are going south for the U.S. in Iraq. The Moqtada al Sadr is a creature of Iran, which funds his militia.  Twice before (in April and August of 2004) he ordered uprisings against U.S. troops.  At the time, there was a warrant out for his arrest for the murder of (the genuinely moderate) Shia cleric Ayatollah Abdul Majid al Khoei, who was gunned down by Mahdi army members in April, 2003. "Mookie" al Sadr has the blood of dozens of Americans, and thousands of Iraqis, on his hands.  There is evidence he has been coordinating with al Qaeda.  Yet al Sadr is not dead.  He is not in prison.  He is in the government.  And people wonder why U.S. policy in Iraq is failing.