Friday, September 09, 2005


Look for My opinion piece in Sunday morning's NY Post.
It's a celebration of a few real heroes I know!!!!

Lincoln must be weeping!

Cooper Union once a proud American cultural and intellectual institution has joined the ranks of the Blame America First movement. The college once hosted Abraham Lincoln as he made his decisive 1860 anti-slavery speech that defined his campaign, defined the Republican party and set the stage for the Civil War and eventual defeat of America’s most shameful social institution .

According to today’s NY Post the college is now hosting an art show that shames the school itself in it’s anti-american tenor. The show is sponsored by the despicable Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. This is the same group that hopes to put its anti patriotic sponsored museum at the WTC site when it is finally reconstructed. The exhibit includes works that bash the president and his cabinet as well as the military. According to the Post:

"One piece at Cooper Union shows Bush and his top Cabinet members as if they are in black-and-white police mug shots.
NFL star Tillman, who joined the military after the 9/11 attacks and was killed apparently accidentally by fellow Army Rangers in Afghanistan, is featured in what appears to be the cover of a mock magazine called "Friendly Fire."
"My death was tragic. My glory was short-lived. Flawed perceptions of myself, my country and the War on Terror resulted in the disastrous end to my life," a faked quote reads in the piece that pokes fun at a national hero."

While making fun of the president is something of an American pastime, it is outrageous that a major Academic institution be a party to something so disrespectful and accusatory. Worse is the portrayal of Tillman. The fact that Pat Tillman was killed by Friendly Fire doesn’t make him any less of a hero. He gave up a pro-football career because he believed in something bigger than himself. He believed there was something more important than making big money. That something was the United States of America and the freedom that we as a nation stand for.

Freedom that once resonated in the words Abraham Lincoln at Cooper Union. Yes the very freedom that gives the school and the LMCC creeps the right to display this exhibit however poor its taste and inaccurate it message is. But that doesn’t mean it is right. It’s the same freedom that allows the Ward Churchills and Nick deGenovas of the world to stand up and express there insane world views.

The rest of us have rights too. We have the right to see that views like these no longer overwhelm the ivory tower and poison the mind of college students with one sided and dishonest accounts of America’s story. We have the right protest to Cooper Union and every other American college and university that we are tired of this, that it is unacceptable to present this distorted, biased and hateful message without balancing it with the truth.

We have the right as Americans and particularly those of us who are New Yorkers, to protest the inclusion of these people’s ideas at the ground zero memorial. Make your voices heard. Tell those who hate America that if they don’t like it here, we’d appreciate it if they kept it to themselves, because most of us in this country recognize freedom and heroes when we see them.

To express your views to Cooper Union email:

To express your views to the Lower Manhattan Development Council and keep these people off our memorial go to:


To tell the left wing America hating artists of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, that they’re plain wrong email:

For more Memorial Stories see:

Mudville Gazette

Michelle Malkin

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Why I Hate Hillary #42!

In yesterday’s NY Post Hillary Clinton once again demonstrated her total lack of real concern for New Yorkers. In a “Hurray for Me” brag piece on the op-ed page Hillary plays up her role in keeping NY State bases open. First of all while I certianly agree with a strong defense, I loathe seeing that ideal perverted into a save my base, so I can keep my office, scramble. In the case of the recent BRAC hearings and suggestions, I think that the commission used a flawed methodology, and it was wise to adjust some of their proposals.

That said, Hillary makes a poor case for why these particular bases needed to be kept open. And she names bases that were never really in danger from the axe anyway. What’s worse is she brags about how much she cares about New Yorkers in the military.

Let’s see how much she cares about real New Yorkers in the military. She doesn’t once mention the number of NY National Guardsmen or reservists who have bravely deployed to Iraq. This is despite the fact that most of these people have families and roots in NY. She does mention her darling unit, the 10th Mountain division’s, deployment to Afghanistan. Hey the 10th is a great unit; I’ve worked with them. But it’s interesting how Hillary has adopted them, she mentions them in the article, she’s visited them in Afghanistan.

That’s better treatment than our homegrown citizen soldiers get from her. Since 2003 thousands of New Yorkers in National Guard and reserve units have deployed to Iraq, and to Afghanistan. Among the units she can’t seem to remember to mention are three National Guard and one Reserve MP company all of whom have seen action in Iraq.

She also neglects the headquarters unit of the 42nd ID (the storied rainbow division) now in Iraq. She snubs the recently returned 2-108th Infantry battalion, as well as the famous fighting Irish of the 1-69th Infantry, returning this week. That’s right fourteen fallen heroes later Senator Clinton couldn’t think to mention the fighting 69th’s upcoming homecoming.

Of course, I’m sure she had no plans to welcome them home anyway. At least that’s the treatment we got. I returned with the 2-108th In. in January. Upon our return we had re-deployment ceremony on January 2. This was the first NY Infantry battalion deployed to fight overseas in fifty years. We lost three brave soldiers and sent home a dozen more wounded. Clinton didn’t come. She didn’t send a representative. She couldn’t even be bothered sending a message to be read.

Again no surprise! She gave us the same snub before we deployed avoiding that ceremony in February of 2003, the same month she took a photo op in Afghanistan with the 10th. I won’t swear to it but I’m pretty sure she gave the 69th and the 42nd and all those smaller units the same treatment. Her senior partner Chuck Schumer was just as silent, but at least he’s had the decency to stay silent on this issue. Did I just use Schumer and decent in the same argument? Oh my! I guess Hillary really has me worked up.

I have to wonder why we’re so invisible to her. She seems to LOVE the 10th Mountain. Maybe it’s because like her, they are essentially just visiting NY, passing through on the way to somewhere else. Hopefully a promotion! Is that why she ignores the real NY citizen soldiers? Because she’s over us already, on her way to a bigger better national constituency?

I guess I’ll never know for sure. But I know she shouldn’t be bragging about how much she cares about NY State and its military. Except as press-bait, I can’t see, that she cares for NY soldiers at all.

For a great piece on the Justice of War see Random Jottings

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Iraqi Justice (Briefly)

So how does the revolving door of Iraq’s so called justice system help explain the new constitution? It comes down to legal experience. When America drafted its constitution, we already had a tradition of legal scholarship. The constitutional convention was primarily a gathering of lawyers. While it is true that during colonial rule, British appointed judges were singularly loyal to the crown, the adversarial system encouraged diversity of legal outlook.

Additionally the broad range of economic and social systems, and variety of political philosophies co-existed in the colonies. They all were flavors of the enlightenment thinking of the era, and heavily influenced by the tradition of common law inherited from Great Britain. Thus the American legal tradition was born in a society with a broad consensus of values, but an equally broad range of political particulars.

None of these factors exists in Iraq. Today the judgeships are still primarily held by former Baath party members. This is one reason that today we still can’t keep Insurgent forces in custody. Judicial participation is also required to conduct police investigations. Baathist judges often decline to participate in any inquiries. And many are corruptible by our standards.

In Dujail, a Baathist judge participated in the 1982 mass murder of Shiite men. A judge was on hand for the 1991 rape and torture of an entire family of women. Last year the sole Baathist judge in the city told a US Dept. of Justice Lawyer and a US Army Captain with legal experience, that he missed Saddam. He blamed the lawless spree on the US for outlawing judicial torture.

Baath party membership was not only a prerequisite for a judgeship under Saddam, it was also required for entry into the legal profession at all. Iraqi lawyers who were not Baathists are a rarity. The Shiites in particular were prevented from participating in the legal system.

So the Shiites, still a majority in Iraq, have sought refuge in the legal traditions they know and trust. The constitution provides for a very western set of rights and freedoms summed up in Article (14):

Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination because of sex, ethnicity, nationality, origin, color, religion, sect, belief, opinion or social or economic status.

But the Shiites need a fallback position. They need to be able to participate in the judiciary. Hence they plan to rely on Sharia as a source of law, and on Islamic scholars as a source for the judiciary. Islam like Judaism is legalistic religion. The textual scholarship of the Koran is similar to constitutional scholarship. Especially as much of the Koran is prescriptivist in nature.

The Koran has long been a source of legal thinking in the Islamic world. Just as the Judeo-Christian tradition has informed ours. While we now forthrightly ban references to religion, it is silly to deny the influence of the Ten Commandments on western values, and the law is an embodiment of society’s values.

Islam’s values as embodied in the Koran are essentially humanistic. While man is meant to be subservient to the rule of God, man is also meant to live in peace. It is true that the tradition of Islam has not been fair to women, but that was long true of Christianity as well. And Islam has a much better record of dealing with other diversities of humanity. Color was not an issue under the Caliphate.

So the Shiites with nowhere else to turn see Islamic law as a buttress against Sunni dominance of the new court. This is an attempt to balance the scales of justice. For them there is nothing particularly troublesome about reliance on Islamic law. Iraqi Shiites often seek civil settlements amongst themselves from Imams rather than the Sunni dominated courts. The Imams are likely to be fairer and more impartial than the tribal justice system. When seeking tribal verdicts, paying bribes is an integral part of the process. For most Shiites, the Imams are the only even handed authority they know.

This also explains Sunni resistance to the constitution. After years of dominating the judiciary, they are loath to cede over the only branch of government they had a hope of retaining. In the long run Shiites will be able to develop a legal scholarship, that may or may not be so reliant on Sharia. For now they are wisely ensuring that the judiciary includes the closest thing to jurists that represent them. The Sunnis, again were probably grandstanding. I’m still predicting that the constitution will not be vetoed by Sunni voters. Unless it fails to pass, there is hope for further evolution of Iraqi law through compromise and process, the way democracies do it.

Worth a look today:

TMH's Bacon Bits