Last week, I had the pleasure to see a Disney-produced 45-minute documentary - “THE MARS ROVERS” - about the entire Mars exploration project.

This wonderful IMAX film shows the young American scientists who conceived the Mars mission - from theory right through to the landing, deployment and amazing successes of two robot vehicles driving around the two sides of Mars.

What a feat!

These young men and women are truly the best we have to offer - and their scientific and engineering accomplishments are the product of the American system: free thinking, exploration and experimentation all under the rubric of aiming high to achieve a dream.

American technological successes are inspiring. We lead the world in these breakthroughs and advances.

Now, half way around the world, a bunch of crazed Hezbollah killers launch missiles into Israel to provoke a war. Massive killings of innocents follow.

The human race is strange, isn’t it?

Some people devote themselves to launching rockets to Mars; others launch to randomly kill our fellow man.

And for what?

To provoke yet another war between Arabs and Israel - all concocted out of hatred and bitterness.

The Arab mentality is the reason they are mired in medieval times. Instead of overcoming their problems with the Jews and learning to live together and aim for a better future, the Arab leadership (and Muslim leadership) is missing out on all the wonderful progress the human race has made in the last fifty years.

Medicine, science, health care breakthroughs, agricultural and irrigation advances that can feed millions - many of these advances pioneered by Jews, by the way, and none by Arabs - are available to all mankind.

To spend your life killing your neighbors is ridiculous; the human race is moving forward at an exponential rate. And the world is dividing into those who look forward and those who look backward.

The USA, China, India, Israel and some in Europe are the pioneers into new science and new vistas; the rest of the world basically chooses to wallow in their own backwardness.

While we are driving remote-controlled cars around Mars, Iraqis and Palestinians are blowing up cars in Baghdad and Jerusalem.

What a waste.

Now, my fellow Americas, we need to get our focus back on what we do right - and stop what we do wrong:

• We need to ‘clean up our own act.’ Under GW Bush, we have gone from the most admired nation in the world to the most despised. Why?

• Because instead of trying to be Ronald Reagan’s ‘Shining City on the Hill,’ we have become the arrogant, know-it-all, condescending bully who tells the world “you are either with us or against us.”

• We need to work toward setting a positive example for the world. This means not trying to run other countries when we can’t repair New Orleans - or even account for the billions allocated for Iraq reconstruction.

• We need to use our best brains to develop new technologies to get us off our reliance on imported oil. And we need to make this our number one political objective. Why? Because every time you fill your car and pay $3.55 a gallon, much of that money ends up in the pockets of our mortal enemies - criminals like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and corrupt Arab leaders who use that money to pay for ‘protection’ from Al Qaeda, i.e. we are in fact financing the very terrorists who attack us. How crazy are we to continue this inevitably fatal habit?

• No, we need a Manhattan-style national project - called Project Independence - to get a new source of energy ASAP. We need to stop financing our enemies; instead we need to lead the world through a positive new scientific breakthrough that will change the politics of the Earth.

• Greedy pessimists must not be allowed to forestall this project; they may want to maintain the status quo because they own oil stocks or they can’t see into the future far enough to envision cars and trucks powered by something other than imported petroleum. But our young brainy scientists are dying to attack this problem because they know it is one of the keys to our future.

This country is in deep, deep trouble. Make no mistake about it.

Our government is off-track. The two national political parties are as backward as the warring factions in the Mideast: so obsessed with ‘settling scores’ that they can’t see the Bigger Picture.

The American people - as usual - are way ahead of their government. And they know we are in Big Trouble.

We need new leadership - not the same old tired hacks and DC insiders who have endangered this country through their short-sightedness. Enough of these two ‘Royal Families - the Bushes and the Clintons - dominating our two parties.

Let’s band together and demand new leaders, new priorities and new goals.

If we can drive cars on Mars, we can do anything.


1) Iraq War impacts domestic campaigns: August 8 in Connecticut will be the first race where the Iraq War directly influences a domestic campaign. Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat obviously (duh..he was the 2000 Vice Presidential nominee), is being challenged by staunch anti-war candidate, Ned Lamont.

The polling on this race has shown a steady climb for Lamont - as the situation on the ground in Iraq sours.

The Democratic Party is worried about this race for a simple reason: if their own former Veep nominee is knocked off in a Democratic primary - and then keeps running as an Independent in the fall - what does the Democrat Party do? Who do they endorse? Do they support Ned Lamont - thus siding with the anti-war crowd even though most Democrats help get us into this war?

August 8 will be a decisive day in our politics - and have a big impact on the politics surrounding the Iraq War leading into this November’s elections.

2) Iraq itself: The situation there continues to deteriorate - so much so that US troop deployments and rotations have been altered to place more soldiers on the ground in Baghdad where things are getting out of control.

The Israeli-Hezbollah- Hamas conflict is distracting the media and the public from this deterioration - but it is happening nevertheless.

Leading into the fall elections here, the White House had hoped to have at least some modest, token troop withdrawals by October. Now that does not look likely; the impression of things spiraling out-of-control is not the image the Bush Team wants for the November elections. But reality is what it is - and civil war is obvious - and was always inevitable in Iraq.

The only question is this: will it hurt the GOP in the fall?

Note: Time Magazine’s Mike Allen is reporting this week that the White House believes the Democrats may win the Congress back and thus wants to fortify the White House Counsel’s office now to prepare for the inevitable investigations to come if the Democrats regain control of one house of the Congress.

(That doesn’t show much faith in their prospects in November, does it?)

3) Bill Buckley, one of the ‘fathers of modern day conservatism,’ came out on CBS News this weekend and blasted the War in Iraq as a failure - he has said that before but not on national TV - and also said “Bush is not a true conservative.”

You have read similar sentiments in this space for 7 years.

What type of ‘conservative’ spends federal money like this, runs up our national debt to astronomical figures, expands the Department of Education and creates a bloated Homeland Security Department, allows our borders to be run over with illegals, wants the Arabs to control our ports, and invades countries who didn’t attack us at a cost - according to the Congressional Budget Office - of a whopping $432 billion?

What about no ‘nation-building’? GW Bush made that pledge in the 2000 campaign - and yet here we are bogged down in Iraq trying to rebuild a country populated by people who want to rip it apart.

Clearly GW Bush is not a conservative; he is a Big Government Republican. And that is a prescription for disaster.

4) Katie Couric and CBS News: we are about seven weeks away from her September 5 takeover of the CBS Evening News and it is clear she will become the symbol of the left-leaning, so-called Mainstream Media (MSM). She is a total lefty and a pal and admirer of Hillary Clinton.

She will follow Dan Rather in using the news as a subtle way to try to move the nation to the Left.

No wonder the ratings and profits of all these MSM shows and papers and magazines are declining: they do not connect with their audience anymore.

America finally has alternatives - the Internet, Talk Radio and conservative Fox News Channel.

Katie Couric will start off with a bang - spiking ratings and huge publicity - but will soon fall back to second or third place as people return to their normal viewing habits.

And over time her liberalism will drive even more viewers away from CBS.

They never learn, do they?


We are on the brink of a wider - and more deadly - war in the Middle East.

Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s coordinated dual attacks on Israel - employing the same sneak-attack-and- kidnap strategy indicating close cooperation and timing - have sparked the very real possibility that this war could extend into Syria and even into Iran.

We would be making a mistake to underestimate the seriousness of this conflict: when Arabs and Persians start throwing around terms like ‘another Holocaust’ you have to wonder if this isn’t coordinated in Iran and Damascus.

Radical Islam - already on a Jihad against the United States - has now targeted Israel and is determined to provoke the Jewish state.

Their ultimate goal?

Who knows?

Yes, they’d like to “wipe Israel off the map,” as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said. Any logical mind, however, knows that isn’t going to happen.

But the Arab and Muslim mind is not a logical mind. It is clouded with hatred, opiates and genetic oddities due to generations of inbreeding. So trying to deduce what these misfits with rockets are up to isn’t easy.

If Hamas and Hezbollah were operating as independent terrorist groups, Israel could easily deal with them; they’d wipe out their leadership, as they’ve done in the past.

But it appears that Tehran and Damascus are in fact directing this war on Israel - and that changes everything. That makes this a full-fledged war between nations - and Israel has tough choices to make:

1) Hit sites in Syria connected to Hezbollah’s leadership plus the hiding places from the real Hamas leader;

2) Hit Syrian military sites - risking an expansion of the war;

3) Hit Tehran - perhaps even their nuclear development sites;

4) In Gaza, destroy the Hamas leadership - including the elected members of the Palestinian Parliament;

5) In sum, do now what they would have preferred not having to do until later.

Israel Defense Minister - and Labor Party Leader Peretz - said on Sunday that “everywhere I go, Israeli citizens say they wish this didn’t have to happen but now that it has, we should go and finish the job.”

“Finishing the job” is the debate today in Prime Minister Olmert’s cabinet.

Now, as the role of the United States: yes, President Bush was correct in saying that Israel was invaded and has every right to defend itself. And Secretary Rice was also correct - in geopolitical terms - to call for Israeli ‘restraint’ - even if we privately approve of Israel’s aggressive counterstrikes in Lebanon.

This battle is part of the world-wide Radical Muslim jihad against the USA and Israel. The only way to survive is to kill the leaders who ordered these attacks on Israel - and, of course, on the USA on 9/11.

Iraq has proven to be an ongoing disaster, a diversion from the real war we have been in since November 4, 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini’s so-called students seized our embassy in Tehran. Since then we have never really fought back.

Then came 9/11. We did indeed take down the Taliban Government and scatter the Al Qaeda leadership into caves and perhaps into Pakistani cities. But we haven’t finished the job! Osama lives on - and clearly is the spiritual and operational leader of this world-wide jihad.

Meanwhile, we are bogged down in a morass known as Iraq where big shot Iraqis are now being kidnapped daily. Yesterday it was the head of their Olympic Committee; today the head of their biggest oil company; last week a Sunni member of Parliament and her eight-man security team.

It never ends. Beheadings, retributions, assassinations, car-bombings, rapes, infiltrations of the Iraqi Army by militiamen loyal to radicals - the whole conflict is a mess we cannot fix.

The sooner we figure out that the Bush/neo-con dream of “planting the seed of democracy in the Middle East’ was unrealistic and impossible.

The Arabs are dominated - for a number of reasons - by a barbaric code of (mis)conduct that is not conducive to freedom and democracy.

In sum, it ain’t gonna happen over there.

It is high time we as a country wake up, pack up and come home.

And let the Arabs stew in their own misery.


Ronald Kessler’s excellent piece in Newsmax on Senator John McCain’s erratic and explosive temper is 100% dean on target. As someone who has known McCain for 32 years, I can unequivocally state that he should be no where near the Oval Office.

His behavior through the years tells us all we need to know: he is a spoiled brat-turned adult who demeans people who dare to disagree with him; he has an explosive temper that can erupt on a nanosecond’s notice; he is a total liar who will tell you something one day and then totally deny it the next (more on that below); he is a political chameleon who is enabled by the so-called Main Stream Media; he is also a megalomaniac whose former POW status has allowed him to get away with things - i.e. the Keating Five Scandal - that others would have gone to jail for.

In sum, McCain is a disaster waiting-to-happen.

Now, a story: in 1990-1991 I had the great privilege to meet and ultimately befriend retired Air Force Colonel Ted Guy. Ted had been a POW in Vietnam for over six years - after being shot down and captured in Laos and driven on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to Hanoi. Ted became famous as the war ended as he tried to bring changes against several of his fellow US POWs who he thought had cooperated with the North Vietnamese while in captivity; after coming home in 1973 his superiors decided not to press charges. But Ted was forever branded a “real hard ass” because of this incident.

For a while Ted was the Senior Ranking Officer (SRO) in - I believe - The Plantation (a POW camp on the outskirts of Hanoi) in which John McCain was also being held.

The SRO kept the chain of military order among the POWs; they took orders from him and kept discipline that way.

When I got to know Ted Guy, the US Senate Select Committee on POWs was being organized; McCain was named a member. Ted Guy’s thoughts - then - about McCain? “John was a good troop in camp.”

Ted Guy - since repatriation in 1973 - had discounted any chance that living US POWs were left behind in Vietnam after the January 27, 1973 Paris Peace Agreements. In fact, by his own admission, Ted often became gruff with MIA family members who asked him if their loved one might have been left behind in captivity. “I told them there was no chance and they needed to get a life.”

This was the same message many of the former POWs were delivering to relatives of the thousands of men who did not come home in Operation Homecoming: “Forget it...we are the only living men...give it up and move on with your lives.” Of course, that was easy for them to say: they had come home!!!

The US Government never officially briefed the returning POWs about the egregious violations of the Paris Peace Accords - by both Hanoi and Washington DC.

Washington refused to pay the $4.25 billion President Nixon secretly promised in a February 1, 1973 letter to Premier Pham Van Dong - and kept hidden from the Congress for three years; Hanoi failed to release the other group of 600 US POWs they were holding as an insurance policy against these funds.

If the truth had been told to our returning heros, they would probably have led the charge for the return of their comrades; but they were not told. Instead they were sent out to America’s heartland as the war heros we so desperately needed - McCain and Ted Guy included.

Except that Ted Guy was intellectually honest enough to read all the new revelation that began surfacing in the 1980's; by 1991 he had seen enough. “I was lied to,” he told me. “I am now certain we knowingly left men behind in captivity.” Ted also got a fellow former POW, Terry Uyeyama, to join our little ‘group’ as we went around DC trying to get the US Government to reverse policy and negotiate for the living men still being held in Vietnam and Laos.

Then McCain entered the picture.

As the Senate Committee heated up - and more and more new information surfaced showing that indeed we did leave men behind held against their will in Vietnam and Laos - McCain began a long and vicious campaign to discredit and shoot down any new information or anyone advocating that the truth about our POWs be made public. Thus emerged for many to see the mean and ugly side of John McCain.

Ted Guy, his old Senior Ranking Officer and friend and admirer, soon changed his mind about McCain.

A series of odd phone calls to Ted in Missouri from McCain made him question the truthfulness and sanity of McCain. “John would call me one day and say something...and then he’d call a few days later and I’d ask him about what he’d said on the first call and John would completely deny ever saying it!”

So Ted Guy began recording all his phone calls from McCain. “I don’t trust him anymore,” said Colonel Guy. “I think he is a total liar.”

From these taped calls, Ted soon discovered a frequent pattern: McCain often denied things he has just said only a few days earlier!

How to explain this? A liar or a total nut? Or both?

Sadly, Ted Guy died of leukemia 7 years ago. A healthy Ted Guy today could have and would have stood up and told the truth about John McCain - and had the former-POW status to take McCain on.

McCain these days goes unchecked - either about his truthfulness or his sanity. Ron Kessler has opened the topic of McCain’s explosive and dangerous temper to further public scrutiny. In Ron’s story are traces of the lies and denials and admissions - all at the same time!

In sum, John McCain is not the man for the presidency. He is a fraud.

Yes, he would beat Hillary one on one. And we can’t have her either.

But before everyone rushes to sign up for McCain’s campaign, let’s take a break and learn more about McCain the man and his character.

Once you get to ‘know’ this man, you will agree: he must be defeated by a real Reagan conservative for the GOP nomination.


For those naive enough to believe we can change the Middle East for the better, look at these three recent items:

1) Israel vs. Hamas over the kidnapped Israeli soldier: What a total mess this situation is. A team of Hamas killers tunnels under Israel’s security fence into an Israeli military base where they kill two soldiers and kidnap Corporal Gilad Shalit.

They take him - it is believed - into the Gaza and immediately start using him as negotiating leverage. Why? Because in Israel - unlike here - the Israeli government will do virtually anything to recover their missing and captured soldiers. Do you recall the time they traded 1100 imprisoned terrorists for just 3 Israeli pilots?

So, despite these claims - “We won’t negotiate with terrorists” - in the end they’ll make a deal.

The problem here is that Hamas has already overstepped their bounds. Their radicalism knows no bounds; they still want to wipe Israel off the map. They are demanding that Israel release 6,000 imprisoned Palestinians.

Israel has apparently told Hamas, according to published stories, that if Gilad is harmed or killed, Israel will kill the Palestinian Prime Minister. They have already captured 8 leading members of the Palestinian Government - presumably for a trade.

And the Israeli Air Force buzzed the summer home of Syrian President Bashir Assad to send him a message: “We know you’re aiding Hamas and harboring their leader in Syria. There will be consequences to you, too, if Gilad is harmed.”

OK, that is the overall situation - subject to changes as the days go on. But here is the bigger picture: as noted TV journalist and Mid-East veteran, Liz Trotta, said, “As long as any of us can remember we have heard about “peace talks in the Middle East” and yet nothing changes - ever!”

So true.

Democracy in the Middle East is the key, says GW Bush? Oh yeah? What about the overwhelming electoral victory in January of Hamas among the Palestinians? How does this make things better?

Could it just be these are a people doomed to live lives of misery, hatred and fear?

Indeed, the Middle East is a barbarous place.

2) THE CIA has closed down its Bin Laden Bureau: Alec Station, the ten-year-long ‘special bureau’ aimed solely at killing or capturing Osama Bin Laden (set up long before the 9/11 attacks) has been closed by the CIA.

If this act doesn’t show our complete diversion by the war in Iraq, nothing does. We have devoted almost all our resources to getting Saddam, his sons and Zarquawi - all legitimate targets. But doing so at the expense of the world-wide terrorist leader shows a lack of focus in the War on Terror.

Seeing and hearing Osama taunting us week after week on audio and video tapes - almost 5 years after 9/11 is a total disgrace.

The America I love and believe in would never allow this bastard to run free for 5 years!

Whatever happened to President Bush’s boast - “We’ll get him dead or alive!”?

Iraq is what happened.

Never dreaming that we’d be bogged down for 3 ½ years in Iraq, Team Bush thought they could fight Osama and in Iraq at the same time - and win both.

They were wrong.

The result?

Iraq is a morass with no end in sight. And Osama is alive and free and still running Al Qaeda.

3) Government Kidnappings in Baghdad: twice this week high-ranking Iraqi officials have been kidnapped along with their entire security details.

Over last weekend a female Sunni Member of the Iraqi parliament was kidnapped along with her 8 body guards.

Then on July 4th, the assistant Energy Minister in charge of electricity was kidnapped with his entire 11-man bodyguard unit.

Both abductions followed a similar pattern: the kidnappers appeared wearing Iraqi Army uniforms, thus lulling the bodyguards into a false sense of security.

These events - along with the recent string of devastating car bombings in Shiite sections of Baghdad - highlight a painful fact: we are witnessing a civil war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. This is a war that we should not have a role in.

Our wonderful troops should not be caught up in this type of conflict.

The fact of the matter is that Iraqi sectarian strife - tribal, religious and mysterious - is typical of the entire Middle East. And it isn’t going to change.

Those Americans who think - or thought - that we could change this centuries-old behavioral pattern are naive. And they’re playing with precious American lives.

It is time to wake up: the Middle East is not going to change.

The sooner we get off their oil, stop putting our dollars in their pockets, and redirect our national focus to killing Osama before he unleashes an even more devastating attack the better.