Though not classified, according to sources, this has been going on for a while. We're calling it "hot pursuit," and it apparently doesn't include independent, planned ops against known terrorist sites. Which, if you think about it, would include Bashar Assad's home and office. Just a suggestion, guys.
The Spectacle Blog
Debkafile was reporting yesterday that American forces had penetrated the Syrian border and were engaged directly with Syrian troops west of the city of al-Qaim. Al-Qaim is a border town on the Baghdad to Damascus highway, where very heavy fighting took place during the 2003 Iraq invasion between US forces and fleeing Saddam forces going to Syria.
As of 0820 today, Defense Department sources could not confirm and would not deny the truth of the Debkafile report. If it true, it is of enormous significance. We have tolerated terrorist sanctuaries in Syria for almost two years. We know where many are. The fact that we have not hit them yet (at least before yesterday) is a major failure in our prosecution of the war. Stay tuned.
Jonathan Chait wonders what poll respondants who describe themselves as "liberal" can mean by saying that Bush's Supreme Court picks are "too liberal." I can think of two reasons a liberal might think that.
One: A self-identified liberal might equate judicial liberalism with "judicial activism," and understand that term the way Cass Sunstein, Jeff Rosen and others have worked to tendentiously redefine it: to mean striking down laws and/or precedents (including when the Constitution requires doing just that). This is, of course, an example of one of liberals' many attempts to claim the mantle of "real conservative." (This phenomenom pops up a lot in fiscal policy debates. Just this week, Shawn Macomber noted Mark Warner casting his tax-hiking self as "the true definition of a conservative.")
As the ravening family horde descends (3 of 4 sons, 2 with ladies in tow) and before those of us who have galley duty all day chain ourselves to the stoves, ovens and barbecue grills, it's time to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. While we enjoy our feasts, let's take a moment to remember all of those guys and gals eating MRE's today, not sitting in front of the tube watching football, and missing their families with every ounce of energy we are enjoying ours. To each of them, let us say thanks. But for them and those who have gone before, we'd have a lot less to be thankful for.
No better place than our brand-new blog for me to thank TAS, Wlady, and Bob for the chance to be exactly what I've always wanted to be, a general interest columnist. It amazes me every week to be able to write for the site.
This Thanksgiving, we are joining what apparently is a growing trend in the U.S., of families who have forgone cooking and simply ordered their dinner out in a whole package from a grocery store or specialty food provider of some kind. We have an excuse. The cook -- that's me -- was in the hospital Tuesday for two pieces of minor surgery.
I suspect that what most people remember most about Thanksgiving cooking is the presence on table of some dish treasured by some one family member, but hated by all the rest. For years, my wife insisted on making creamed onions. Only last year did I find out that no one but me likes cranberries -- in any form, of any kind.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.
Who needs Cindy Sheehan when you have Daniel Ellsberg? The media's best-loved leaker of national defense secrets joined a gaggle of unwashed lefties with no Thanksgiving plans outside the Bush ranch for another round of demands that American foreign policy match the pictures they see inside their heads. Where was Cindy? Tending to "a family emergency," we're told, though what would qualify for such at this point is unclear. Sheehan has long since made her break from Burke's little platoons. She belongs to the People now.
One demonstrator held a sign that read, "Give me liberty or give me a ditch."
I better not comment further.
Just in time for some good holiday reading by the fire, the December 2005/January 2006 issue of The American Spectator is now available to print and digital subscribers! Our special double issue features Michael J. Horowitz, Grover Norquist, Dan Peterson, I.C. Smith, and RET and the AmSpec regulars.
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Not sure what to give your favorite conservative for Christmas? How about a gift subscription to The American Spectator.... Just $29/year and your recipient will be both merry and well-informed!
The WSJ editorial page returns fire at those criticizing President Bush for visiting Mongolia:
The press corps had a high old time mocking President Bush for visiting Ulan Bator this week, but Americans are lucky Mongolians aren't as cynical as journalists. Despite its small population, the country is keeping 150 of its troops in Iraq. As recent converts to democracy, Mongolians have a better appreciation for freedom's struggles than do certain Europeans we know.
Dave: As Diogenes points out at Catholic World News, the new Vatican instructionÂ isÂ not a liberalization of the 1961 ban onÂ homosexuals in the priesthood. ItÂ in effect upholds that wise ban, theÂ abandonment of whichÂ in practice has led the Church into endless headaches, doctrinal relativism, and a lampooned priesthood. Some people will spin the document as draconian; others will spin it as the Church's minor evolutionary step away from tradition. The truth is that it just reiterates the rationales of the 1961Â ban.
It's not likely to generate a sympathy call from Dubya, but Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has struck out for the third time trying to get a nominee for oil minister confirmed by Iran's parliament. Mohsen Tasalotti -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's third pick for Iran's oil minister post -- is no Harriet Miers. His nomination was rejected by the Majlis according to the Beeb's report not because of his qualifications but as a result of rumors about his personal life and fortune. And how could such rumors be spread in a totalitarian state? On the internet, of course.
Taking a short break from planning the nuclear obliteration of western civilization, Ahmadinejad said, "The government respects the choice of parliament, but unjustly accusing a brother on an unknown internet site... is not fair." There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Ahmadinejad has hired Dan Rather and Mary Mapes to produce shows for Iranian TV entitled, "Only Infidels Blog," and "Why the UN should control the internet."