Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New blog tracks unfolding Venezuelastan crisis

As the Venezuela crisis continues to unfold amid Washington's paralysis, I've started a new blog - Venezuelastan - to follow the issue. Thanks to so many of you who said they want to get a better spin on the annoying and dangerous regime in Caracas.

(Yes, that's a real, unaltered photo of Hugo in one of his costumes.)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Los Angeles Times picks up on ridicule as weapon

Weaponizing ridicule is an idea that's catching on. The Los Angeles Times commissioned this blogger to write an op-ed on the subject, appearing as "Larry, Curly and Osama" on May 21.

The piece begins, "Osama bin Laden says he doesn't fear dying. He says he fears being humiliated.

"So let's give it to him."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Abu Boo-Boo: Cutting Zarqawi down to size

US military forces in Iraq have improved their exploitation of battlefield intelligence for political and psychological warfare purposes.

The handling of the captured, unedited al Qaeda video of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - shown in a black ninja costume and New Balance sneakers, and asking for help because he couldn't operate a simple machine gun - was wonderfully choreographed and executed. (For a video of Major General Rick Lynch's briefing, click here.)

Zarqawi and other terrorists have controlled their images to the world through edited digital videos, portraying themselves as invincible tough guys.

They don't look so tough any more. In the unedited video, Zarqawi fumbles with his M-249 weapon, with its bipod down. He looks confused as he tries to switch it from single-shot to automatic. Someone calls in Arabic, "Go and help the sheik!" Zarqawi relies on a subordinate for help. He fires the weapon apparently against no target as a couple followers mill around. After firing the M-249 on full-auto, one of Zarqawi's lieutenants takes the rifle by the searing hot barrel, burning his hand.

This blog has long advocated using ridicule as a weapon of warfare. We Americans can take it. The terrorists and their friends, in their shame-based culture, cannot.

In a presentation to the world media, American soldiers juxtaposed the Bad Boy videos with the raw footage they recovered in Iraq.

The story has spread all over the world - no thanks to Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya satellite TV, which reportedly have tried to ignore the video, with at least one newspaper ridiculing Zarqawi as "Abu Boo-Boo."

It's important for us in the Christian world to mock the enemy and overcome our fears so that we won't become terrorized or demoralized.

The story has gotten great press worldwide, even on China's party-controlled media. During the news conference in Iraq, journalists praised Maj. Gen. Lynch for the briefing.

However, the US needs to ensure that the Zarqawi video with the appropriate commentary is broadcast RELENTLESSLY in the Arabic-speaking world.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone - the day the French were defeated by the Mexican army.

And while you celebrate, check out the new line of Vicente Fox T-shirts from our friends at the People's Cube. Tell the Mexican president to mind his own business about our immigration laws until Mexico is as welcoming of immigrants as we are.

And while you're at it, just for yucks, see if the State Department weenies will boot out the Mexican diplomats who have been covertly coordinating many of the illegal alien protests, among other things incompatible with their diplomatic status.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

US should bar Spanish firm from American defense contracts

Should the US buy military hardware from foreign companies that assist our nation's foes?

Apparently, some in Congress and the Pentagon think so.

So what should we do with the following situation: A Spanish subsidiary of a French and German defense giant is selling military transport planes to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, against strenuous US objections. The company is lobbying Congress to sell up to $40 billion worth of the same type of planes to the US Coast Guard, Army and Air Force.

Worse, Spain's socialist government colluded with Chavez in a nasty anti-American propaganda campaign, heaping abuse on the US while paid agents in Washington lobbied Congress to appropriate money to buy the aircraft in question.

What to do? Send a message: Help other companies prioritize whose side they want to be on by banning the Spanish company from selling to the US government.

It's an easy message to send, and it doesn't cost taxpayers a penny.

I discuss the issue in a new paper titled "When our allies arm our adversaries: What to do when diplomacy fails."

(Photo: Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of the Socialist Workers Party and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Do you like the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish? How about the Mexican national anthem in English?

Since the Mexican government is so active in trying to dictate American law, with its consular officials coordinating the recent illegal immigration protests in the United States, it's only fair to give Mexico some reciprocal treatment.

And since Mexico-backed activists have profaned the Star Spangled Banner with a phony Spanish translation that changes our anthem's meaning, it's only fair to take a peek at the Mexican national anthem, unofficially titled, Mexicanos, Al Grito de Guerra (Mexicans, To the Cry of War).

So here it is, the official version from the Mexican President's website, and an English translation that attempts to be faithful to the original. A very spirited martial song, the anthem was adopted in 1854 after Mexico lost a third of its territory - the part that millions of Mexicans today prefer as their home - to the United States.

Scroll down for an English translation, which others may re-word if they wish.


Mexicanos, al grito de guerra
El acero aprestad y el bridón,
y retiemble en sus centros la tierra
Al sonoro rugir del cañón.


Ciña ¡oh patria! tus sienes de oliva
De la paz el arcángel divino,
Que en el cielo tu eterno destino
Por el dedo de Dios se escribió.

Más si osare un extraño enemigo
Profanar con su planta tu suelo,
Piensa ¡oh patria querida! que el cielo
Un soldado en cada hijo te dio.



¡Guerra, guerra sin tregua al que intente
De la patria manchar los blasones!
¡Guerra, guerra! Los patrios pendones
En las olas de sangre empapad.

¡Guerra, guerra! En el monte, en el valle
Los cañones horrísonos truenen,
Y los ecos sonoros resuenen
Con las voces de ¡Unión! ¡Libertad!



Antes, patria, que inermes tus hijos
Bajo el yugo su cuello dobleguen,
Tus campiñas con sangre se rieguen,
Sobre sangre se estampe su pie.IV

Y tus templos, palacios y torres
Se derrumben con hórrido estruendo,
Y sus ruinas existan diciendo:
De mil héroes la patria aquí fue.



¡Patria! ¡patria! Tus hijos te juran
Exhalar en tus aras su aliento,
Si el clarín con su bélico acento
Los convoca a lidiar con valor.

¡Para tí las guirnaldas de oliva!
¡Un recuerdo para ellos de gloria!
¡Un laurel para ti de victoria!
¡Un sepulcro para ellos de honor!


Mexicanos, al grito de guerra
El acero aprestad y el bridón,
Y retiemble en sus centros la tierra
Al sonoro rugir del cañón.

An unaltered English translation follows:


Mexicans, at the cry of war,
prepare the steel and the steed,
and may the earth shake at its core
to the resounding roar of the cannon.


Gird, oh fatherland, your brow with olive
the divine archangel of peace,
for your eternal destiny was written
in the heavens by the hand of God.
But if some strange enemy should dare
to profane your ground with his step,
think, oh beloved country, that heaven
has given you a soldier in every son.



War, war without truce to any who dare
to tarnish the country's coat-of-arms!
War, war! Take the national pennants
and soak them in waves of blood.
War, war! In the mountain, in the valley,
the cannons thunder in horrid unison
and the resonant echoes
cry out union, liberty!



Oh fatherland, 'ere your children
defenseless bend their neck to the yoke,
may your fields be watered with blood,
may they trod upon blood.
And may your temples, palaces and towers
collapse with horrid clamor,
and their ruins live on to say:
This land belonged to a thousand heroes.



Oh, fatherland, fatherland, your children swear
to breathe their last in your honor,
if the trumpet with warlike accent
should call them to fight with courage.
For you the olive branches!
A reminder for them of glory!
A laurel of victory for you!
For them a tomb with honor!


(Note: To keep the translation derived from the Wikipedia link faithful to the Spanish original, this blogger has changed the English word "country" to the proper translation of the Spanish word "patria," which is "fatherland.")

State Department posts accurate translations of National Anthem

The State Department's Spanish-language website gives four reasonably accurate translations of the Star Spangled Banner, as opposed to the defiled ones now being circulated. To view them, click here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Weak military leaders + aggressive lawyers = wartime sabotage

One more instance of how weak military leadership has allowed aggressive lawyers to run amok and sabotage the war effort: British troops in Iraq are reportedly afraid to open fire on the enemy lest they be prosecuted.

British forces, according to a confidential Ministry of Defence report, "lack the confidence to open fire" because of a "fear of prosecution," according to the Sunday Telegraph.

The report "confirms that soldiers believe that if they shoot dead insurgents they will become embroiled in a 'protracted investigation' and if prosecuted will receive 'no support from the chain of command.'"