October 29, 2004

Programming Note

Glenn Reynolds just emailed and asked Ann, Megan, and me if we want to stay on at Instapundit until the election. Of course I said yes.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 29, 2004 10:35 AM
Comments

Please visit www.varifrank.com and link to his site on instapundit. It NEEDS to be read..

Thank you.

Posted by: mjagmin at October 29, 2004 11:24 AM

Michael, I'm not surprised he asked you, you guys are doing awesome over there. I hope you don't find you like working without a comment section and decide you change yours? As far as I'm concern, your blog is about as good as it gets..

Posted by: Cathy at October 29, 2004 11:26 AM

Damn!

I'm agreeing with Cathy.

(Though I selfishly wish you were still writing here ;-) )

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 29, 2004 11:31 AM

Glenn Reynolds just emailed and asked Ann, Megan, and I if we want to stay on at Instapundit until the election.

You guys are having an election? I must have missed that in our newspapers.

Ha ha, I'm joking, of course. Have to say that I'm enjoying reading Instapundit way, way more than usual. Must be the moderate tone to it. Congratulations to you and your fellow InstaTroikanians.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 29, 2004 11:35 AM

Thanks, all.

Cathy - I'm keeping the comments section.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 29, 2004 11:51 AM

"'E's gettin' drunk wit power!"

You plublicty hound, you.

Have fun.

Posted by: Eric Blair at October 29, 2004 12:15 PM

Michael, I just re-read your Insta-linked "Hawks and the Presidency" article, and have a couple of questions:

(1) Were you saying that Bush will not have the political capital to take actions against even a conclusively-nuclear Iran? I don't understand the meaning of the "people will laugh" comment.

(2) The article deals primarily with how a Kerry presidency would affect the dems. But what about how it would affect the republicans? Wouldn't a Kerry presidency allow mainstream republican apologizing for Bush's barely-hawkish policy to evolve into something inclusive of truly hawkish talk? The idea is that Bush is now equated with hawkishness, so that true hawks are marginalized in the dem-repub arguments getting the most attention.

Hmmm, maybe I'm underestimating how hawkish you consider the Bush admin.

Posted by: Brad Williams at October 29, 2004 12:52 PM

Isn't it just a bit curious that right when Prof. Reynolds leaves the country we get a new video tape of OBL? Seems to me that nobody has seen those two to in the same room before. Mighty suspicious if you ask me.

Posted by: Rick Meyer at October 29, 2004 01:26 PM

Bin Laden sounds like a f*ckin' politician running for the Senate.

Who this helps: Bush, probably.
Although Kerry can try to spin it by noting how pretty he seems to be sitting, 38 months after bringing down 220 floors and four planes.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 29, 2004 01:42 PM

Osama bin Laden is nearly as big a media whore as Joe Biden.

Posted by: Xixi at October 29, 2004 02:02 PM

If that is Osama, he looks like he's aged about 20 years. Wow.

Posted by: mary at October 29, 2004 02:09 PM

Oops. I guess all your Osama is just "DNA on rocks" talk was just so much, so much, macho bullshit stuffed down your shorts much like Bush's bulge on the flightdeck.

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/000235.html

Thanks for helping us all feel so much safer f*cking up in Iraq when you could have helped us go after the real asshole, the murderer of 3000 in New York.

There is still time for you to enlist in our Armed Forces and actually do something for this country apart from spreading misinformation in the Fighting 101st Keyboard Brigade.

Posted by: anne.elk at October 29, 2004 02:42 PM

Michael, do you realize your site is still getting alot of spam in your archives? That post that anne leaves a reference to (jan.04) is loaded with spam. Some of it as current as (1) week ago.

Posted by: Cathy at October 29, 2004 04:02 PM

Cathy,

Oh yeah. I know. It takes a long time to clean up. I'm about half done now.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 29, 2004 04:03 PM

Osama bin Ladin? I thought that it was Karl Rove wearing a mask!

Posted by: David Thomson at October 29, 2004 04:45 PM

"Oops. I guess all your Osama is just "DNA on rocks" talk was just so much, so much, macho bullshit stuffed down your shorts much like Bush's bulge on the flightdeck."

It made no sense for Osama to be quiet until now---unless he had serious medical problems. I have always argued that either he was just "DNA on rocks" or suffering a debilitating illness. Osama had no rational reason to keep a low profile.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 29, 2004 04:53 PM

Curious that David Thomson is arguing that Osama Bin Laden is a rational being.

Me, I think he's an insane terrorist asshole with very deep pockets. If only mein President had truly been concerned with him....

Posted by: anne.elk at October 29, 2004 05:00 PM

Anne – your complaint sounds like this bit from Osama’s speech:

It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the country would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone ... because he thought listening to a child discussing her goats was more important,"

What was Bush supposed to do, run into a telephone booth, put on his cape, fly at lightspeed and extinguish the blaze with a terrific gust of his super-breath?

I’ve never met you, but you’ve often expressed disdain for those who do not posses powers that are not given to most mortal men. Who knows, you may have super powers, but most of us are limited by our non-X-ray eyes and our inability to transcend the earth’s gravitational field.

When we assume that Osama is dead, we’re guessing to the best of our abilities. We each contribute to the fight against terrorism as best we can. Why do you have a problem with that?

Posted by: mary at October 29, 2004 06:02 PM

I think the guest blogging has worked out extremely well. Three guest bloggers from different parts of the countries (all from leftist strongholds by my tally), one a libertarian who matches up with Glenn's own political leanings, and two others without a label, unless MJT wants the liberal tag and Ann wants the conservative one.

Very entertaining and informative.

Posted by: Peter G at October 29, 2004 06:17 PM

Mary,

The problem with the 'DNA on rocks' theory is that it was not a 'best guess'. In any sort of deductive process, we must assume nothing, unless we have some evidence that supports the guess. Otherwise it's not a Best Guess, its just a guess.

In this case it was wishful thinking.

There has never been any evidence (that's been released to the public) to support Bin Laden's demise. In fact, there has always been evidence that he was, in fact, alive and well (including a number of audio tapes).

When I deal with threat scenarios at work, I must plan for the worst-case scenario, and hope for a best case scenario. The administration doesn't seem to ever plan for WCS, so I can understand the supporters of the administration looking at things in rose colored glasses.

The fact that this is the second video released from Al-Q in 45 days or so... indicates to me, that they apparently feel as though the threat to themselves is over, that they're secure and that they're ready to attack again.

It's not rosey, but its based on evidence.

I hope I'm wrong.

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 29, 2004 06:35 PM

Tosk - Despite the fact that I’d always believed that the narcissistic bin Laden had to be dead if he wasn’t appearing on videos, I never believed that his death would have any effect on the number or strength of terrorist attacks. Al Qaeda and other Islamist paramilitary groups around the world are still receiving the same amount of funds as they always have, Saudi sponsored madrassas supply them with a steady stream of recruits, that won’t change if he’s dead.

I believe that America hasn’t been directly attacked since 9/11 because al Qaeda’s sponsors, Saudi Arabia, suffered a net loss of income after the attacks (fewer airline flights, less oil used).

Their generous sponsorship of the Iraqi insurgency has given them a very large net profit, and so they’ll probably continue that tactic. But that’s just my guess. If they feel that they can kill more thousands of Americans without a severe loss of income, they'd probably be happy to do so. The threat has always been there.

Posted by: mary at October 29, 2004 08:51 PM

Micheal,

Your links on Instapundit concerning the missing weapons at Al qaqaa all seem to argue that maybe these disappeared before the liberation of Iraq. The point is still that the US military didn't secure these weapons depots after the war. Otherwise their would be no debate. The pentagon would produce the officer in charge of the unit that was there from soon after the fall of Iraq to today with their report that the weapons were not there when they arrived or they found them and dispposed of them.

Why don't you link to the story in the Oregonian about the Oregonians that reported Iraqis stealing weapons form Ukhaider Ammunition storage area in October!!! 2003. Sorry I don't have the link but I'll look for it.

Posted by: Mark Hamm at October 29, 2004 11:07 PM

Peter G,

I would no longer use the liberal tag to describe myself. But Ann might. (Not sure.)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 30, 2004 12:37 AM

“The point is still that the US military didn't secure these weapons depots after the war. Otherwise their would be no debate.”

This line of thinking is ultimately one of a pacifist. They are not too subtly arguing that we should to do nothing---unless the combat operations can be carried out perfectly. Since this is inherently impossible, leaving alone a Saddam Hussein is the best policy.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 30, 2004 01:24 AM

Walter Cronkite: "I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing."

I was only joking yesterday. Walter Cronkite is apparently as serious as a heart attack. We should never forget that Cronkite is greatly responsible for America's defeat in Vietnam. The man is truly vile. He represents just how liberal are the MSM---and why they cannot be trusted.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 30, 2004 08:05 AM

David,

You say my comment is one of a pacifist, actually I am for the war. I remember a radio show host saying before the war that the effort would take two weeks at the most. I think Rumsfeld himself may have believed this or soemthing close to it. THis was plain stupid and put our troops in an unnecessarily dangerous position. This 'you're either with or against us' political atmosphere is stupid as well.

Posted by: Mark Hamm at October 30, 2004 10:10 AM

“You say my comment is one of a pacifist, actually I am for the war.”

I do not doubt your sincerity. However, demanding that a war is fought perfectly is on a practical level an antiwar argument. No war in American history has been prosecuted in a flawless manner. By the current criteria employed against President Bush, both Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. roosevelt were grossly incompetent---along with our British cousin, Winston Churchill.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 30, 2004 10:32 AM

David:
"...demanding that a war is fought perfectly is on a practical level an antiwar argument. No war in American history has been prosecuted in a flawless manner. By the current criteria employed against President Bush, both Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. roosevelt were grossly incompetent---along with our British cousin, Winston Churchill."

You are absolutely right. If our military in WWII had received the same level of critical scrutiny they are getting in Iraq, the Nazis would still be ruling half of Europe. And if we had done the right thing and "pre-empted" Hitler before Munich, there'd be a bunch of "smart" historians telling us now what a mistake that was.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at October 30, 2004 11:16 AM

“If our military in WWII had received the same level of critical scrutiny they are getting in Iraq, the Nazis would still be ruling half of Europe.”

I have repeatedly praised the Democratic administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt for probably saving civilization. The isolationist “America First” Republicans disgraced themselves during this era. It is ironic that today the Democrats are endangering our lives and liberty.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 30, 2004 11:46 AM

Peter G,

I would no longer use the liberal tag to describe myself. But Ann might. (Not sure.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 30, 2004 12:37 AM

Posted by: Maggie at October 30, 2004 03:58 PM

I would no longer use the liberal tag to describe myself. But Ann might. (Not sure.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 30, 2004 12:37 AM >>>>>>>

I'm curious, is there a tag that you'd use now to describe yourself?

Sorry about the previous post. That's what I get for not using preview.

Posted by: Maggie at October 30, 2004 04:00 PM

If anyone thinks things are peachy in AQ-land, read the whole (18-minute) transcript. The parts that really help Bush were conveniently omitted.

I do have one question that may seem, um, out there.

Is there anything in that tape that could not have been easily predicted shortly following 9/11?

Anyone know if the OBL reading Asimov's Foundation series (Al-Qaeda meaning Foundation in Arabic, et. al.) meme is just an urban myth?

If not, the video could be a Selden...

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at October 31, 2004 07:35 PM

I'm curious, is there a tag that you'd use now to describe yourself?

My suggestion is "Clash of Civilizations Fundamentalist".

I think that nicely sums up both his policy aims and the mindset and method he brings to the task.

Posted by: Mork at October 31, 2004 09:25 PM

Just trolling my favorite Poll for undecided voters;

Since 1956, Weekly Reader students in grades 1-12 have correctly picked the president

http://www.weeklyreader.com/election_vote.asp

Weekly Reader kids select Bush in Presidential Poll

The students who read Weekly Reader’s magazines have made their preference for President known: they want to send President Bush back to the White House.

The results of this year’s Weekly Reader poll have just been announced, and the winner is President Bush. Hundreds of thousands of students participated, giving the Republican President more than 60% of the votes cast and making him a decisive choice over Democratic Senator John Kerry.

Since 1956, Weekly Reader students in grades 1-12 have correctly picked the president, making the Weekly Reader poll one of the most accurate predictors of presidential outcomes in history.

Posted by: trollobot at November 1, 2004 06:45 PM
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