Monday, December 17, 2007

The 3rd Congressional District Candidates on Terrorism and National Security

As we are now in the middle of electing a new Congressman from the 3rd District, it is time to examine the positions of the candidates in terms of national security and terrorism. There is no doubt they are all good men and are probably very similar in their stands on most issues. As soldiers are currently in harm's way, one must consider how much thought they have given to fighting terrorism. Are they just going to march lockstep with Bush, regardless of the policy? Will they follow McCain's lead and support the overall policy but then have the courage to offer specific criticism of the Administration when needed? Will they buck the administration when it might be in our interests for them to do so? If they are going to vote on sending our friends and children to battle as well as making decisions to protect us from terrorists, then we need to ignore their statements about loving the flag, protecting our guns, going to church, and how much they love their families. What exactly do they have to say?

Greg Harper published the following statement about fighting terrorism on his website:
"The War on Terror is not a choice or political slogan, it is a reality and is necessary for the security of our country. To avoid another 911 catastrophe, we must:
·Fight terrorists abroad before they bring the fight to us.
·Make our country safe by continuing to address homeland security issues and supporting a missile defense program.
·Provide for the men and women of our military, giving them the tools they need to do their job! They are the guardians of our freedom."

It sounds nice and patriotic but is also pretty generic as a serious Democratic opponent will probably have something similar on his website. One can probably safely assume that the other candidates, regardless of party, make similar claims in their campaigns.

It is also unwise to state we are fighting terrorists overseas so they can't fight us here. This is a war and the enemy will retaliate here as Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations have sleeper cells already placed in this country. Several plots such as the one involving Fort Dix have been prevented. Saying that we are fighting the terrorists over in Iraq and Afghanistan so we don't have to fight them in America ignores the predictions of most terrorism experts. What we need is straight talk from our leaders, not sloganeering that has little thought behind it.

How exactly Mr. Harper will fight terrorism in Congress? Does he think the President should have the authority to intercept phone calls from terrorists overseas to America without a warrant? What does he think our strategy for Iraq should be? Should we expand the U.S. military or keep relying on the model that makes heavy use of the reserves? How should we deal with an Iran that is controlling Hezbollah, killing our troops in Iraq, threatening to wipe Israel out, and enriching uranium and improving its missiles? Has he actually read the National Intelligence Estimates? Before we invaded Iraq, less than ten Senators bothered to read the NIE that was used to justify the war in Iraq. Hopefully the candidates will ignore that tradition.

Although there are flaws in Mr. Harper's website and positions, they are an improvement over David Landrum's website, which says nothing about this issue, Yes, Mr. Landrum is a family man, a church-goer, and is a self-made businessman who has "our" values. However, there are troops in the field in a shooting war. We face a high risks of terrorist attacks in this country (see the current Newsmax on possible targets and scenarios. Scary stuff. and likely.) Al Qaida is not going to go away any time soon. After going through the website, one must ask HOW much he has thought about this issue. I know he supports the troops and is for national security, but once we get past the obvious cliches, what exactly are his positions? The same can be said for Charlie Ross, which somewhat surprises me, given his military background. Don't worry, the American flag is prominently displayed on his website so I guess I should feel reassured on this issue. (full disclosure: I voted for Charlie Ross for Lt. Governor.)

What do the candidates think about Bennie Thompson's opposition to giving immunity to anonymous civilians for tips involving terrorists? What do they think about instituting background checks for convicted felons working on the docks in sensitive positions as Bennie Thompson led the fight against such reasonable measures. I am not beating up on the candidates just to score points or for some cheap political theatre as I consider these to be very serious issues and want to know exactly where they stand. Are they going to go to Congress as backbenchers who merely cast votes or are they going to go to Congress seeking to openly oppose views held by Mr. Thompson and his allies? See

John Rounsaville is more specific on his website,, although it is still pretty weak:"We have learned that fighting Al-Quaida and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and turbulent regions around the globe means that we will not have to fight them on the streets of our own cities. America also learned that by spreading freedom and democracy to these regions, we give their citizens hope for tomorrow and a stake in their own peaceful and prosperous future......The struggle in Iraq has been difficult, but it is important that we put aside political differences and unite around the common goal of seeing our military defeat the terrorist insurgency and prevent chaos from spreading to an already volatile Middle East. This situation is too important to become further embroiled in partisan politics.We should also agree that under no circumstances should we allow Iran to build or posses nuclear weapons. The Iranian government has made clear their intention to inflict serious damage upon the United States and our allies, so we must act decisively to deny them this capability."

Hopefully as the campaign continues, the candidates will give us more details on how they plan to fight terrorism and improve national security if elected. It is clear that the Jackson media will not ask such questions of the candidates. Don't think one congressman can't make a difference. Right now, the head of the Committee on Homeland Security is Bennie Thompson. One congressman from Mississippi has led the fight against stopping terrorists. Since one congressman can matter, I would rather grill them now and elect the right man, then grill them the day after a catastrophe because I fell for the mom, hot dogs, and apple pie routine.

IF any of the candidates do read this and need source material, here are some links from my blog: (there is a link to a short Rand study. The author wrote the doctrine that is the basis for General Petraeus's current strategy in Iraq that is working. The general thoroughly studied Galula's work.) (best reporting from the field in Iraq);_ylu=X3oDMTE5Mjc4YzlrBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1BSMDA0XzgzBGwDV1Mx/SIG=134lpmo4s/EXP=1187531002/**, NYPD report on home-grown terrorism., (Bernard Lewis essays. Leading Middle East Scholar) Counter-terrorism blog, National Intelligence Estimate and commentary, Website of Walid Phares, terrorism expert

Feel free to add any useful links in the comments section.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS