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Meet Barack Obama’s Spiritual Mentor and Moral Compass

If you ask the average supporter of Barack Obama why they support him for President, I bet most of them will say something about “change” and echo one of his many empty platitudes. Most of them actually have no idea what are Barack Obama’s policies on anything (save for “change”) and have no idea about his background.

I bet the idea that he is a racist would surprise many people. But that is what I take from the fact that he chooses to attend a racist church and has a racist as his spiritual mentor and moral compass: Obama’s ‘Mentor’ Gave Farrakhan An Award

An exerpt from the report by Steve Gilbert at Sweetness & Light:

Lest we forget, Jeremiah Wright is the man Mr. Obama calls his “spiritual mentor.” He is the man Obama credits for getting him into politics.

Obama calls Wright his moral compass, as was noted last year by the Chicago Tribune:

Pastor inspires Obama’s ‘audacity’

By Manya A. Brachear
January 21, 2007

When he took over Trinity United Church of Christ in 1972, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. was a maverick pastor with a wardrobe of dashikis and a militant message.

Six years later, he planted a “Free South Africa” sign on the lawn of his church and asked other local religious leaders to follow his lead.

None took him up on the invitation.

The sign stayed until the end of apartheid, –long enough to catch the eye of a young Barack Obama, who visited the church in 1985 as a community activist. Obama, was not a churchgoer at the time, but he found himself returning to the sanctuary of Trinity United. In Wright he had found both a spiritual mentor and a role model.

Wright, 65, is a straight-talking pragmatist who arrived in Chicago as an outsider and became an institution. He has built a congregation of 8,500, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey and hip-hop artist Common, by offering an alternative to socially conservative black churches that are, Wright believes, too closely tied to Chicago’s political dynasties…

Obama says that rather than advising him on strategy, Wright helps keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated.

“What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice,” Obama said. “He’s much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I’m not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that’s involved in national politics.”

The rebellious son of a Baptist minister, Wright was hired by Trinity United when he could find no Baptist church to take him. The congregation on 95th Street, then numbering just 87, had recently adopted the motto “Unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian.” They did not mind his fiery red Afro and black power agenda

[Wright] eventually returned to Howard University to finish bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English with a focus on African spirituals. At the University of Chicago Divinity School, he earned another master’s in the history of religions with a focus on Islam

In his 1993 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Obama recounts in vivid detail his first meeting with Wright in 1985. The pastor warned the community activist that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation.

When Obama sought his own church community, he felt increasingly at home at Trinity. Before leaving for Harvard Law School in 1988, he responded to one of Wright’s altar calls and declared a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Later he would base his 2004 keynote speech to the Democratic National Convention on a Wright sermon called “Audacity to Hope,” –also the inspiration for Obama’s second memoir, “The Audacity of Hope.”

Though Wright and Obama do not often talk one-on-one often, the senator does check with his pastor before making any bold political moves.

Last fall, Obama approached Wright to broach the possibility of running for president. Wright cautioned Obama not to let politics change him, but he also encouraged Obama, win or lose

Indeed, Obama says the Reverend Wright is the man who gave him the (vacuous) phrase “the audacity of hope,” which he used for his self-scribed hagiography.

Well, it would seem that Mr. Wright has the audacity part down pat. But it’s more like the audacity of bigotry and ignorance.

January 10, 2008 , 11:59PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, Louis Farrakhan, Trinity United Church of Christ | Comments Off on Meet Barack Obama’s Spiritual Mentor and Moral Compass

Continued Success and Progress in Iraq

First, let’s get the depressing bullcrap out of the way. Here is what the Democrat Party thinks of the progress and success accomplished by our men and women of the United States military in Iraq:

[ … ] The president said that last year, particularly at the end, “has become incredibly successful beyond anybody’s expectations.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took issue. “It is a failure of leadership when our president calls 2007 incredibly successful beyond anybody’s expectations when the Iraqi government has done so little to achieve stability and it has been the most lethal year yet for American troops,” they said in a statement.

But, do not forget, they ‘support the troops’ and we should never, ever question their patriotism.

Of course let us not forget what the Democrats were saying about the plan for Iraq last year:

“It’s interesting. We have had, this week, the colonel in charge of Anbar Province say that it’s a civil war; it’s been lost.”

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
September 13, 2006

“I oppose an escalation of U.S. troops, which I do not believe will contribute to long-term success in Iraq.”

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
January 18, 2007

The article referenced below outlines exactly what I’ve been saying over the past two years — “We haven’t been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically — and that’s where wars are won and lost.”

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Quoting a Washington Post Article

September 11, 2006

“The violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al-Qaida said to these tribes, ‘We have to fight al-Qaida ourselves.’ It wasn’t that the surge brought peace here.”

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
September 4, 2007

But, again, don’t you dare question their patriotism or their faith in and support of the United States military.

But anyway, now on to some analysis from people who do not have their heads shoved firmly and snugly up their effing asses…

Gateway Pundit: SURGE SUCCESS!!… Anbar Province Will Be Handed Over In March

Gateway Pundit: Iraqi Newspapers Go On Attack Against Al-Qaeda

Gateway Pundit: 64,000 Iraqis Return Home From Syria

Gateway Pundit: 3 Iraqi Heroes Sacrifice Their Lives For Fellow Soldiers & Civilians

Jules Crittenden: Fixing Potholes

Michael Yon: Moment of Truth in Iraq

[ … ] There’s only a small group of writers who honestly spend enough time in Iraq to make serious claims based on firsthand accounts. But I’ve seen the Iraqi Army with my own eyes. I’ve done many missions in 2005 and 2007, in many places in Iraq, along with the Iraqi Army: please believe me when I say that, on the whole, the Iraqi Army is remarkably better in 2007 and far more effective than it was in 2005. By 2007, the Iraqis were doing most of the fighting. And . . . this is very important . . . they see our Army and Marines as serious allies, and in many cases as friends. Please let the potential implications of that sink in.

We now have a large number of American and British officers who can pick up a phone from Washington or London and call an Iraqi officer that he knows well — an Iraqi he has fought along side of — and talk. Same with untold numbers of Sheiks and government officials, most of whom do not deserve the caricatural disdain they get most often from pundits who have never set foot in Iraq. British and American forces have a personal relationship with Iraqi leaders of many stripes. The long-term intangible implications of the betrayal of that trust through the precipitous withdrawal of our troops could be enormous, because they would be the certain first casualties of renewed violence, and selling out the Iraqis who are making an honest-go would make the Bay of Pigs sell-out seem inconsequential. The United States and Great Britain would hang their heads in shame for a century.

[ … ]

Throughout most of 2007, as I’ve watched General Petraeus’ strategy being implemented, I have observed the impact his change in strategy was having on our soldiers, on Iraqi security forces, and most importantly, on Iraqi people including some who were formerly our avowed enemies. I have seen how our own military morphed into something much more agile, and I came to see how American commanders tended to be the most trusted voices in Iraq for many Iraqis.

To be sure, the “Anbar Awakening” and other signs of progress were underway before the massive strategy overhaul occurred, and nobody can track and trace all the factors involved in this fantastically complex war, but one thing was certain: the momentum was shifting in favor of a stable Iraq for the first time. The institutional knowledge reservoir was becoming vast, and success was touted and shared. It may have been true that Americans knew very little about Iraq before the invasion, but it was for certain that American commanders had now developed an intimate understanding of the goings-on. It can be said with confidence that as a group, no non-Iraqis know more about Iraq than the US military.

Michael Totten: The Rings on Zarqawi’s Finger

For all the hatred in the Middle East, there is also forgiveness, and moderation. Where are the moderate Muslims? ask many Americans. I find the question bizarre. I meet them every day in Iraq, and everywhere else in the Middle East, too. The problem is they have a hard time getting attention in newspapers and magazines that wallow in sensationalism.

“What happened before, happened,” said Omar, returning to the discussion of the American invasion with the Iraqi Police. “One mistake was committed, but it’s gone. Let’s just close it and not keep analyzing the same problem again. According to our analysis, American troops are now here to help Iraq.”

Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha made similar points, a bit more eloquently, to Johns Hopkins University Professor Fouad Ajami: “Our American friends had not understood us when they came. They were proud, stubborn people and so were we. They worked with the opportunists, now they have turned to the tribes, and this is as it should be. The tribes hate religious parties and religious fakers.”

“We have promised to work with the Americans against Al Qaeda,” Ahmed continued. “And that’s it. That is all we are allowed to say about politics. But I can say that I feel the sincerity in the American support for the Iraqi civilians here. I am not going to say any bad words about Americans. I can feel that they really are eager to accomplish that mission.”

Bill Roggio: Operation Phantom Phoenix Targets al Qaeda Havens

Despite the recent success in reducing the violence in Iraq, the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Shia extremist terror groups is not over. Coalition and Iraqi forces have launched Operation Phantom Phoenix, a new operation targeting the terror groups throughout Iraq.

The scope of Phantom Phoenix is nationwide. The operation is “a series of joint Iraqi and Coalition division- and brigade-level operations to pursue and neutralize remaining al-Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist elements,” Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the commander of Multinational Corps Iraq stated. “Phantom Phoenix will synchronize lethal and non-lethal effects to exploit recent security gains and disrupt terrorist support zones and enemy command and control.”

The specific geographical locations targeted during Phantom Phoenix were not identified. Iraqi and Coalition forces will “pursue al-Qaeda and other extremists wherever they attempt to take sanctuary,” Odierno said.

Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive: Blackfive TV- Surge Anniversary & Big Bombing Day

John McCain and Joe Lieberman: The Surge Worked

Rudy Giuliani: War on Terror Conversations: Rudolph Giuliani [Video]

Deebow at Blackfive: Why am I only hearing about this now?

Subsunk at Blackfive: The Finest Ambassadors

[ … ] But it is a lesson which we need not have learned over and over again over the course of the last 7 years in our endeavors to change the radical Islamic approach to coexistence (“Good Muslims rule and Infidels and Apostates die” might be the simplest way to put that).

The Finest Ambassador from America will always be a United States Soldier with a rifle in one hand and candy in the other. No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy is a philosophy which is known and understood throughout the World. Even by Islamofascists.

“While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam’s oppression.” Got that?

Although imperfectly executed sometimes over the intervening years (as Mike Yon points out), you can plainly see that the underlying strategy involved in winning over our enemies has not changed one iota since the war began. Give a decent American soldier a chance to set the example, and the whole world will eventually beat its way towards your line of thought.

Any more talk of Defeat and Retreat merely means the Dhimmicrats and cowardly Rethuglicans of the same stripe don’t care if they undo everything the American Fighting Man has done over the last 6 years. More blood doesn’t mean a thing to them as long as they get reelected. Men will insist the War be Won and brought to an end the only way it can end. With a Victory.

Press on.

Subsunk out.

Matt Burden at Blackfive: Operations Continue…

Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard: They Can’t Handle the Truth – The Democrats and the Surge

And finally, hear from the Man of the Year himself, GEN David Petraeus [via Steve Schippert at NRO THE TANK]: One Man Caucus: 7 Questions for Gen. Petraeus

In what is an excellent interview published at Foreign Policy, Italy’s RAI asked David Petraeus seven questions. His answers are very informative and easy for average Americans to wrap their heads around, sans often wonkish and technical counterinsurgency lingo that so often loses many right out of the gate in such discussions.

General Petraeus even somewhat dispels the title of the interview, “Seven Questions: Gen. David Petraeus on Winding down the Surge.” He notes that it is proper to be more precise and note that it is a draw down of American forces in ‘The Surge,” but that with increasing Iraqi roles, “The Surge” will continue.

Once again, I encourage you to get all your military news and analysis of military matters from MILBLOGS. Journalists, politicians, political pundits and bloggers really do not know what they are talking about when it comes to military matters. They all speak about military matters through a political or ideological anti- or pro-military bias. If you want the best objective analysis, go visit the MILBLOGS.

January 10, 2008 , 10:45PM Posted by | al Qaeda, Democrats, General David Petraeus, Iraq, John McCain, Media Bias, Michael Yon, Military, Military Blogs, Nancy Pelosi, Rudy Giuliani, The Long War, War Effort in Iraq | 1 Comment

Fred Thompson Plan to Reduce Federal Government Spending

Imagine Rudy Giuliani’s great tax plan coupled with this plan to reduce government spending by Fred Thompson. Should be music to the hearts of all fiscal conservatives: Thompson Plan to Reduce Federal Government Spending

In 2007, the federal government’s spending rose to an astounding $2.8 trillion — the equivalent of $22,000 per household. Growth in federal government spending, however, rarely translates into better services for the American people. Solutions for many public policy problems are best found in the private sector, and then at the State and local level — not in Washington, DC. Indeed, the federal government loses billions every year due to ineffective programs, poor management, waste, and fraud. And, the problem is getting worse. Within the next five years, federal spending is expected to reach more than $3.2 trillion, or about 20 percent of our economy; more than half of this amount is mandatory spending for entitlements. Increasing government spending is not the answer to our country’s problems. It is time to get it under control with better solutions and better management of our federal government.

Go to the link to read the details of Fred Thompson’s plan.

January 10, 2008 , 9:16PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Taxes | Comments Off on Fred Thompson Plan to Reduce Federal Government Spending

Victor Davis Hanson on Illegal Immigration

Victor Davis Hanson nails it as always: Immigration 2008 – Tough Choices

[ … ] Mexico cares mostly about sending north those it won’t or can’t feed and house — so it can skim off from them billions in remittances once they arrive in the United States.

Mexico City, of course, could reform the country’s laws and economy whenever it wants. But it changes only enough to draw in tourists or Americans looking to buy vacation homes, not to better the lives of millions of its mestizo poor in the heartland.

The spin masters may think illegal immigration is an issue that pits conservative Republicans against liberal Democrats. But it doesn’t always.

Nowadays, worry about illegal immigration is just as likely to mean that African Americans are terrified of racist alien gangs in Los Angeles. Asian Americans are frustrated that their relatives with college degrees wait years to emigrate legally, while thousands without high-school diplomas to the south simply break the law to enter the United States.

And many Mexican Americans are probably tired of being expected to defend the indefensible of foreign nationals breaking immigration laws simply because they may share an ethnic heritage with illegal aliens.

To the extent Democratic candidates ignore illegal immigration, or demonize those who worry over hundreds of thousands of new illegal aliens each year, or talk of guest workers and amnesty before they mention closing the borders, it is a losing issue that could alienate millions of voters.

Democratic candidates can’t really claim that redneck racists are rushing to the border to clash with poor campesinos just crossing to better their lives, because many poor Democrats also resent how illegal labor drives down their own wages. It is mostly the American poor and middle class who worry about the sudden influx of thousands who don’t speak English and often need public assistance.

But the Republican candidates have to watch it, too. If blanket amnesty is a losing issue, so also is mass deportation — the practicality and morality of which are rarely considered by those rightly calling for an end to illegal immigration. Busing every illegal alien back to Mexico right now might resemble the past messy partition of India and Pakistan, and reopen the issue in a way that Democrats can legitimately exploit.

What then might an astute candidate advocate?

Close the border now through fencing, more agents, employer sanctions, enforcement of the law, and verifiable identification. Restore faith in the melting pot by insisting that new legal arrivals learn English and the customs and protocols of the United States.

Explain to the Mexican and Central American governments that using the United States to avoid addressing internal problems — while making easy dollars off the backs of their own expatriate laborers — is over.

Finally, deport aliens who have broken the law, are not working or have just arrived. Some illegal aliens will not like the new atmosphere of tough enforcement and will voluntarily go back home. Others may have criminal records or no history of employment and should leave as well.

But many millions of law-abiding, employed illegal aliens of long residence will wish to stay. We should allow these to remain in the United States while they apply for citizenship — if they are willing to learn promptly our language and customs.

Republican candidates must risk angering their base by ruling out mass deportation. Democrats should support closing the border tightly and quickly — and not cave in to open-borders pressure groups.

Making these tough choices now is what most voters want. The candidates of both parties in the next few months will either adjust accordingly or lose elections.

One quibble with Mr. Hanson here. The pro-illegal immigration crowd is not just full of Democrats. The two most prominent Republicans to lead the charge for Amnesty for Illegals over the past couple years have been President George W. Bush himself and 2008 Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain. And there are many more Republicans in their camp who are quite alright with illegal immigration in order to help Corporations have quasi-slave labor. So this is not just a Democrat vs Republican issue.

January 10, 2008 , 9:15PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Illegal Immigration, Victor Davis Hanson | Comments Off on Victor Davis Hanson on Illegal Immigration

Mike Huckabee Says Conservative Republicans are Shiites

As if I needed any more reason to dislike Mike Huckabee, now I find out that he feels I am the equivalent of Islamic Shiites. Brilliant.

Bryan Preston has the details at this HotAir post: Mike Huckabee and the “Shiite Republicans”

Here is the summary:

Add it all up. Huckabee campaigned with Democrats and hurt the Arkansas GOP, which hurt conservatism in that state. He smeared Arkansas Republicans as “Shiite Republicans.” He raised taxes rather than cut spending when confronted with that choice. He pushed a bill to grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens. He would close Gitmo and move the terrorists there to US soil, which is the same position that the ACLU promotes. He’s an Obama supporter’s choice to make trouble for other GOP candidates in the Michigan primary.

The guy may be nice and he may be a good, humorous speaker, but as far as I can tell he’s no conservative.

[ … ]

Huckabee says he wants to change the Republican party. Running with Democrats isn’t the way to do that.

I hope that Mike Huckabee’s supporters are seriously looking at this guy’s record. He is no Conservative and one could argue that he helps Democrats more than Republicans. He says he wants to change the Republican Party? Sounds like he wants to change the Republican Party to be more like the Democrat Party.

Again, I truly hope people are looking at this guy’s record.

January 10, 2008 , 4:12PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Mike Huckabee | Comments Off on Mike Huckabee Says Conservative Republicans are Shiites