Hoffa: Mexican Trucks Disaster For U.S. Highways

And if the immigration hordes aren't enough to register on your outrage scale, try wrapping your brain around this latest Bush plan for kissing up to Mexico to benefit his business buddies. The Teamsters Union said today it has been told by officials in the Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the first Mexican trucks could come across the border as soon as Saturday unless Congress gets involved. Tell Congress to block the Mexican trucks.

The union said Thursday it would ask a federal appeals courts to block the Bush administration's plan to begin allowing Mexican trucks to carry cargo anywhere in the United States. Teamsters leaders said they planned to seek an emergency injunction Wednesday from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

"What a slap in the face to American workers, opening the highways to dangerous trucks on Labor Day weekend, one of the busiest driving weekends of the year," said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa. Joining the Teamsters in seeking the emergency stay were the Sierra Club and Public Citizen.

"Before providing unconditional access throughout the country to tens of thousands of big rigs we know little to nothing about, we must insure they meet safety and environmental standards," Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said.

My opinion is that if Mexico wants to become part of the United States republic, it should apply to become number fifty-one. Then American laws and standards should apply across the board, and perhaps this land grab would work in both directions in a more appropriate way than it does now.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in a statement, said it was working closely with the department's inspector general "as his office completes an additional assessment of the program and we prepare a detailed response to that report."

The Bush administration said last week it would start the cross-border program once the Transportation Department's inspector general certifies safety and inspection plans.

Leslie Miller, a Teamsters spokeswoman, said attorneys for the federal truck safety agency advised the union's lawyers that they expect to get that certification on Friday. She said the Teamsters also were told by the agency attorneys that limited authority for trucks to begin crossing the border will be approved Saturday. Supporters of the plan say letting more Mexican trucks on U.S. highways will save American consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. Labor and driver-owner groups have been fighting the measure—part of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement—since it was first proposed, saying the program will erode highway safety and eliminate U.S. jobs.

A one-year demonstration project would allow 100 Mexican motor carriers full access to U.S. roads. It can begin as soon as the inspector general certifies that safety and inspection plans and facilities are sufficient to ensure the Mexican trucks are as safe as U.S. trucks.

My opinion is that if Mexico wants to become part of the United States republic, it should apply to become number fifty-one. Then American laws and standards should apply across the board, and perhaps this land grab would work in both directions in a more appropriate way than it does now. Of course this is a silly suggestion, but we all but have those conditions in play now, with open borders and undocumented foreign commerce operating on our highways.

War Theories & Wet Nurses

bob_dylan
Bob Dylan
Three opinions.

1. I hate to tell you, but it's not 1624 anymore. In 1624, due to a wide variety of historical factors that are no longer present, rulers of a population were far more able to retain a chokehold on that population. Today's rulers do not have the command over their population that the Algerian pasha did. The Algerian pasha controlled the government, had formed an alliance with the pirates, and was holding Dutch prisoners in state prison. The dynamic between the terrorists/insurgents and national leaders is far more complex today (except in Pakistan, where Musharraf has allied with the radical Islamists): In Lebanon, Hezhbullah waged a fairly successul Jihad against Israel even as the the Lebanese PM pleaded for an end to the violence. Hamas has also used the state-within-a-state model. Finallly, all those Saudis on 9/11 did just fine without engineering a coup d'etat against the government.

Unlike in 1624, today we are fighting a war not against governments and not against rulers, but against INDIVIDUALS. This means that our main task is to win over INDIVIDUALS—not to enrage an entire population by carrying out a grotesque killing. That worked in 1624, but there were no suicide bombers in 1624. Wake up. You're not in Algeria anymore.

2. I disagree. We can only defeat Muslims if we fight them in a way they'll understand. It is true that we are fighting against individuals therefore we must fight in a way that eliminates enemy individuals while discouraging other individuals from fighting.

The population of Algiers were outraged and, more important, distraught to see their loved ones hanged. They also knew the same would happen to them if they continued piracy. Right now, an individual who does a suicide-bombing in Tel Aviv knows he will be lionized while his family is financially rewarded by Saudi foundations. If he knew that his family instead would all be executed in the most viscous manner and then cremated, he might think twice before blowing himself up.

One of Osama Bin Laden's sons just got married in London and lives free in the UK. An effective policy would be to round up all the family members of Al-Qaida, Hizbullah, and the Taliban leaders and start executing them until every terror organization is disbanded.

Ancient Carthage continually threatened Rome until the Romans finally slaughtered all the Carthaginians and resettled the city with loyal subjects. They also defeated the army of Boudaccia the same way. Of this latter conflict Tacitus wrote, "they made a desert and called it peace." Well, it was cruel to make that desert but it did bring peace.

3. The only thing I can think of at a time like this is a line from Bob Dylan. Well, what the hell, let's just go for the whole riffing song:

        They're selling postcards of the hanging
        They're painting the passports brown
        The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
        The circus is in town
        Here comes the blind commissioner
        They've got him in a trance
        One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
        The other is in his pants
        And the riot squad they're restless
        They need somewhere to go
        As Lady and I look out tonight
        From Desolation Row

        Cinderella, she seems so easy
        "It takes one to know one," she smiles
        And puts her hands in her back pockets
        Bette Davis style
        And in comes Romeo, he's moaning
        "You Belong to Me I Believe"
        And someone says," You're in the wrong place, my friend
        You better leave"
        And the only sound that's left
        After the ambulances go
        Is Cinderella sweeping up
        On Desolation Row

        Now the moon is almost hidden
        The stars are beginning to hide
        The fortunetelling lady
        Has even taken all her things inside
        All except for Cain and Abel
        And the hunchback of Notre Dame
        Everybody is making love
        Or else expecting rain
        And the Good Samaritan, he's dressing
        He's getting ready for the show
        He's going to the carnival tonight
        On Desolation Row

        Now Ophelia, she's 'neath the window
        For her I feel so afraid
        On her twenty-second birthday
        She already is an old maid

        To her, death is quite romantic
        She wears an iron vest
        Her profession's her religion
        Her sin is her lifelessness
        And though her eyes are fixed upon
        Noah's great rainbow
        She spends her time peeking
        Into Desolation Row

        Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
        With his memories in a trunk
        Passed this way an hour ago
        With his friend, a jealous monk
        He looked so immaculately frightful
        As he bummed a cigarette
        Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
        And reciting the alphabet
        Now you would not think to look at him
        But he was famous long ago
        For playing the electric violin
        On Desolation Row

        Dr. Filth, he keeps his world
        Inside of a leather cup
        But all his sexless patients
        They're trying to blow it up
        Now his nurse, some local loser
        She's in charge of the cyanide hole
        And she also keeps the cards that read
        "Have Mercy on His Soul"
        They all play on penny whistles
        You can hear them blow
        If you lean your head out far enough
        From Desolation Row

        Across the street they've nailed the curtains
        They're getting ready for the feast
        The Phantom of the Opera
        A perfect image of a priest
        They're spoonfeeding Casanova
        To get him to feel more assured
        Then they'll kill him with self-confidence
        After poisoning him with words

        And the Phantom's shouting to skinny girls
        "Get Outa Here If You Don't Know
        Casanova is just being punished for going
        To Desolation Row"

        Now at midnight all the agents
        And the superhuman crew
        Come out and round up everyone
        That knows more than they do
        Then they bring them to the factory
        Where the heart-attack machine
        Is strapped across their shoulders
        And then the kerosene
        Is brought down from the castles
        By insurance men who go
        Check to see that nobody is escaping
        To Desolation Row

        Praise be to Nero's Neptune
        The Titanic sails at dawn
        And everybody's shouting
        "Which Side Are You On?"
        And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
        Fighting in the captain's tower
        While calypso singers laugh at them
        And fishermen hold flowers
        Between the windows of the sea
        Where lovely mermaids flow
        And nobody has to think too much
        About Desolation Row

        Yes, I received your letter yesterday
        (About the time the door knob broke)
        When you asked how I was doing
        Was that some kind of joke?
        All these people that you mention
        Yes, I know them, they're quite lame
        I had to rearrange their faces
        And give them all another name
        Right now I can't read too good
        Don't send me no more letters no
        Not unless you mail them
        From Desolation Row

As they say, all's fair in love and war. Oh, I forgot. They don't say that anymore in the declassé world of war theories and wet nurses...

Jizya And Latter Day Barbary Pirates

Exercising the Muslim tradition of extracting jizya from any and all, the Taliban demanded and South Korea paid $2.46 million to Taliban extremists in Afghanistan to secure the release of 19 hostages. Citing unidentified sources in Afghanistan, a Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun said Afghan mediators persuaded South Korea's ambassador in Kabul that there was no other way to end the six-week kidnap ordeal.

"Two million dollars were paid to release all 19 people," an Afghan mediator was quoted as telling the influential Japanese daily.

Officially however, the Asahi Shimbun said both a South Korean official and a Taliban spokesman contacted by the newspaper denied any payment. The Taliban, who earlier killed two of the hostages, freed the 19 Christian aid workers this week after South Korea promised to withdraw its military from Afghanistan as planned and ban missionary groups from the Islamic country. South Korean officials have not commented on whether a payment was made to any party to help secure the release.

In 1622 the Dutch entered into a treaty with the pasha of Algiers in which payments to the pasha would “buy the peace” and Dutch merchant vessels would be allowed to pass in the Mediterranean unmolested. By 1624 the depredations of the Algerian corsairs on Dutch ships returned to the pre-treaty levels.

Islam Will Dominate
Beware of Fake Friendships

The Algerians would capture the Dutch ships, seize their cargo as war booty and return to Algiers with the Dutch crews who would then be sold into slavery throughout the Islamic empire. All of which of course is sanctioned by the Islamic canon that enjoins jihad upon the non-Muslims wherever they may be encountered.

The Dutch leaders had their fill of the unprovoked jihad and so dispatched a squadron of warships under the command of Admiral Lambert Hendrickszoon (”Mooy Lambert”) to deal with the pasha. Admiral Lambert soon arrived at the mouth of the Algerian harbor with several Algerian corsairs in tow that he had captured along his way. He anchored his squadron in the harbor and sent word to the pasha that he demanded the immediate release of all Dutch citizens and return of their ships and cargo. If the pasha did not comply, the admiral would hang all of the Algerian officers and crewman in his possession. The pasha refused, believing that Lambert was bluffing. Lambert promptly turned his squadron out to sea with every one of the Algerian captives hanging from the spars as the Dutch squadron disappeared over the horizon.

The spectre horrified the Algerian populace and the city convulsed with wailing crowds and tumultuous clamor at the gates of the pasha’s palace. There was no time for the pasha and his officers to fully ponder the implications of the event as soon they beheld the return of Lambert’s squadron with a fresh collection of captured corsairs and their crews. Lambert again anchored in the harbor and repeated his demands with the same threat if they were not met. The pasha relented immediately, all the Dutch captives in the city were freed and their property restored. Admiral Lambert turned to sea and returned to Holland.

Unfortunately the victory of Lambert had only a temporary effect but it did demonstrate to all the Europeans that the jihad emanating from the Maghreb could be stemmed if the Europeans were willing to wield an uncompromising sword in their hand. It would be nearly two centuries before the United States, under the leadership of President Thomas Jefferson would adopt the Lambert solution to subdue the depredation on American merchant ships by Algiers, Tripoli, Tunisia and Morocco. It took the Americans nearly 15 years of intense and often brutal military effort to finally achieve a lasting cessation to the jihad. Consistent with over a thousand years of experience, it also proved again that the jinn of jihad can only be contained with direct and overwhelming force.

Thanks to Dr. Mack for this lesson of the Dutch fighting back against the Muslim pirates.

Hard Talk From Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich of Georgia speaks out against George Bush's "Phoney War" with a resolute directness and strength most welcomed here at the Two-Fisted Quorum nee Project Scenewash. I've always liked Newt. I realize the man has his problems, and takes on some positions I am vehemently against, such as man-made climate change as an excruciatingly important issue, but I like the way he speaks his mind, taking on his detractors from a very direct posture. I won't spoil the fun by revealing too much here. Just watch the video.

Must See Video From Horowitz

Savoring Their Religion  of Peace
Savoring Their Religion of Peace

What Really Happened: Israel has continued to be victimized by the Arabs and the world at large, despite the best intentions of the United Nations, Great Britiain, and her own people after World War II. Check out this video, a well-produced piece by Terrorism Awareness contradicting with detailed fact the foul propaganda of Jimmy Carter and the anti-Israel lobby. Not much news here for the truly informed, but the video is a powerful testament to the absurdity of the thinly veiled quasi-Palestinian argument.

Knowing Jihad: The threat is worldwide and coming to an explosion near you. Forget the mainstream media who raged against the CIA and FBI about missed connections of dots pre-911. Well, the MSM have a more than a few dots of their own they refuse to connect.

The Islamic Mein Kampf: Sure. It's again old news, but our hapless leadership bought and sold by Saudi petro-bribes and our far Left mainstream media watchdogs refuse to recognize that these connections are real, very real, very very dangerous, and very very much at war marching in goosestep or sneaking toward your door and mine. This news needs to be taken seriously. Watch this video. It's a bit weak in terms of not presenting all the wealth pf hard evidence I saw on a History Channel program about these Nazi-Islam connections, but it's a good start for those of you, who have no knowledge on the topic whatsoever.

All three of these videos are produced for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

The Myth Of Muslim Peacefulness

WHEN YOU DRAW A LINE AROUND the Muslim world, you draw a line through 90% of the conflict zones in the world. Teachers are routinely murdered in Thailand and the Phillipines; students are blown up in Russia; Christians are kidnapped in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as one atrocity follows after the other. Year in and year out Muslims with no so-called Al Qaeda links have committed heinous crimes against innocent people, mostly from other religious cultures in a perpetual religiously-ordained land grab, and among their own in an aggressive act of religious oppression.

Recently an Imam based in England said he would dance with joy if Iran nuked Israel. The death of 2-3 million people would cause this religious figure an orgasm of joy.

No other people in the world stake a claim to high morality and yet happily pursue the mass murder of others. Why are Muslims so full of hate and intolerance for others, except that this behavior is ingrained in their specific Islamic personality, as dictated by the Qur'an? In this day and age this is the only question worth asking in Islamic Studies. Studying the movements of Islamic Art and poetry are pointless to the main question of survival in the world today. Any Islamic studies course needs to make the connection between the conduct and teaching of Mohammad and the modern day conduct and attitudes of Muslims.

Five Reasons Why, Among the "Great Religions," Islam Is A Focus of Particular Concern:

Reason #1
Islam is unique among religions in having a developed doctrine, theology, and legal system mandating warfare against unbelievers. This is found in the Qur'an and Sunnah, as well as in Islamic jurisprudence. Many like to point to violent passages in the Bible as an alleged equivalent to this, but actually the Bible contains no open-ended, universal command for believers to wage war against unbelievers, as does the Qur'an (9:5, 9:29, 2:190-193, etc.).

Reason #2
Muhammad said, "If someone changes his Islamic religion, kill him." That bit of gentleness from Muhammad can be found here in the most canonical of hadith collections, Bukhari.

Reason #3:
Islamic texts encourage terror and fighting to a far larger degree than the original texts of other religions, concludes [Danish linguist] Tina Magaard. She has a PhD in Textual Analysis and Intercultural Communication from the Sorbonne in Paris, and has spent three years on a research project comparing the original texts of ten religions. “The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with," writes Magaard, adding, "Moreover, there are hundreds of calls in the Qu'ran for fighting against people of other faiths. If it is correct that many Muslims view the Qu'ran as the literal words of God, which cannot be interpreted or rephrased, then we have a problem. It is indisputable that the texts encourage terror and violence."

Reason #4
Since 9/11/01, thousands have died in Islamic terror attacks all over the globe.

Reason #5
But perhaps the greatest reason many people focus worried scrutiny toward Islam is that it commands Muslims to use persuasion (which would include voting), deception, terror, and demographic jihad (immigration and reproduction) to spread the rule of Islamic law all over the globe, and to subordinate non-Muslims to the status of debased, second-class citizens.

Qur'an, Chapter 9, verse 29: "Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection."

In response to worries about efforts to impose Islamic law around the world, and of late particularly in Europe some Muslim apologists respond that when Spain was dominated by Islam, it was a multicultural paradise for Christians and Jews.

Not so. An excellent reference is the book "While Europe Slept" by Bruce Bawer. Even noted Medieval scholar Maria Rosa Menocal in her extended whitewash of Muslim Spain called The Ornament of the World, as Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch has pointed out, admits that the laws of dhimmitude were very much in force in the great Al-Andalus [Muslim Spain]:

The dhimmi, as these covenanted peoples were called, were granted religious freedom, not forced to convert to Islam. They could continue to be Jews and Christians, and, as it turned out, they could share in much of Muslim social and economic life. In return for this freedom of religious conscience the Peoples of the Book (pagans had no such privilege) were required to pay a special tax—no Muslims paid taxes—and to observe a number of restrictive regulations: Christians and Jews were prohibited from attempting to proselytize Muslims, from building new places of worship, from displaying crosses or ringing bells. In sum, they were forbidden most public displays of their religious rituals.

About Muslim Spain, Andrew Bostom and Bat Ye’or write:

Iberia (Spain) was conquered in 710-716 AD by Arab tribes. Most churches were converted into mosques. It proceeded as a classical jihad with massive pillages, enslavement, deportations and killings.

Toledo, which had first submitted to the Arabs in 711 or 712, revolted in 713. The town was punished by pillage and all the notables had their throats cut. In 730, the Cerdagne (in Septimania, near Barcelona) was ravaged and a bishop burned alive. In the regions under stable Islamic control, Jews and Christians were tolerated as dhimmis—like elsewhere in other Islamic lands—and could not build new churches or synagogues nor restore the old ones. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, the Christian peasantry formed a servile class attached to the Arab domains.

The humiliating status imposed on the dhimmis [Christians and Jews under Muslim rule] and the confiscation of their land provoked many revolts, punished by massacres, as in Toledo (761, 784-86, 797). After another Toledan revolt in 806, seven hundred inhabitants were executed. Insurrections erupted in Saragossa from 781 to 881, Cordova (805), Merida (805-813, 828 and the following year, and later in 868), and yet again in Toledo (811-819); the insurgents were crucified, as prescribed in Qur’an 5:33.

The revolt in Cordova of 818 was crushed by three days of massacres and pillage, with 300 notables crucified and 20,000 families expelled. Thousands of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia [Muslim Spain], where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousand of Christian slaves brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women. Society was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the mullawadun converts and, at the very bottom, the Christians and Jews.

In Granada, the Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela and his son Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 to 1066, followed by the annihilation of the Jewish population by the local Muslims. It is estimated that up to five thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade.

The Muslim Berber Almohads in Spain and North Africa (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations. This devastation—massacre, captivity, and forced conversion—was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud, and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra.

Although Maimonides is frequently referred to as a paragon of Jewish achievement facilitated by the enlightened rule of Andalusia, his own words debunk this utopian view of the Islamic treatment of Jews: "The Arabs have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us. Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they."

Europeans came over and conquered America. In the conflict, both sides did bad things. But the smoke has cleared and most Americans honor the Country’s Indian heritage. I was involved in a construction project whereby the taxpayer built twenty-some nice new homes on the Reservation for Indian families, free of charge. Sports teams go by the names of Indian tribes. Look at the number of US towns named after the Indians. America’s premier coin is the $50 American Buffalo, with an Sioux warrior on the face side.

Compare Manifest Destiny with Islamic expansion where Buddhist statues are blown up, Jewish remains are destroyed, and locals are converted, subjugated, or killed. These Muslims can stand around and make direct threats, we see them posted in the news and on blogs all the time like: "UK your 911 is on the way!", meanwhile the infidels stand back, take it, with no visits to the courts.

Draw one cartoon and that schizophrenic religion is afire while the nihilistic Western dhimmis comment with awe about how these thugs are so passionate in their beliefs. Must be simply fabulous to be a Muslim, since neither he nor she has to worry about being politically correct. This outrage, any Muslim outrage is not about the pope, a Palestinian homeland, Israel, or any of the endless red herrings they toss out. It is about a belief system that would collapse under it own weight if the truth could be told without cities burnings and thousands, if not millions, of people dying.

Warrior Poets, Lord Byrons Each Of Them

"Poems From Guantanamo is a challenge for even overwhelmingly sympathetic reviewers," says online pundit Mark Steyn.

outrage

Well, I had occasion to pick up one of these books and browse through it just last weekend at Washington DC's ever so trendy Busboys & Poets diner and bookstore. The establishment is actually a hopping swell place to be, day or night, no matter what your take on world events, political dodge ball, or cheap but scrumptious food. Open mikes, poetry readings, diligent roundtables, sofa dining, locally-produced contemporary art on the walls, and extra friendly management all give dress up props to any controversy rolling in off the curb.

The book was thin, in hardcover, and driven with poems reeking of sentimental sour mash known to egg-eyed romanticists and incarcerated malcontents everywhere in a phenomenon generally known as the gnashing of teeth, in that former culturespeak now lost to multicultural scapegoating. Artistry? Perhaps. I can except these writings for what they are. I almost even laid out the sixteen bucks it would have cost me to walk out the door with those words. But I soon came to my senses when I leaned over to my wife with a whisper, "Yeah, well, you don't see any poems like these from coalition forces because they are all beheaded within days of their capture," and turned to put the book back on the shelf.

More from Mark Steyn...

The jacket of Poems From Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak shows a photograph by Paul J. Richards of Agence France-Presse: a close-up of the shackles that chain a man's ankles to the floor while he's being interrogated. But what rang a bell with me was the strip of carpet you can glimpse just above it. I visited Gitmo last fall—for Ramadan, as it happens—and, among other highlights, got to visit the interrogation room. The detainees are questioned while seated on a La-Z-Boy recliner or a sofa—blue plush with gold piping. I found this a sufficiently novel form of torture upholstery to ask the guard if he'd mind snapping a picture of me in the jihadist La-Z-Boy. It's sitting in a file at the Pentagon somewhere. But no doubt in 20 years' time I'll be running for public office and my opponent's oppo-research team will use it for an attack ad claiming I was a top al-Qaeda operative at the turn of the century.

There's no point debating Guantanamo anymore. Pretty much everyone's made up his mind. Some of us think the Americans have done the best they could given the unconventional nature of the enemy in this war (no uniforms, no serial numbers, all volunteers from many lands, including Canada). A much larger number of people think it's "the American gulag." Alain Grignard, who visited the camp on behalf of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, objects to the black hole of the detainees' legal status but declares that "it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons." Still, there aren't many takers for that position. If you think the detainees shouldn't be there, you generally incline, as Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International U.K., does on the back of this book, to the view that the prisoners are pretty much routinely tortured.

So I mention the La-Z-Boy recliner not to make a political argument so much as an artistic one. Presumably when Paul J. Richards snapped his pic for Agence France-Presse, either the La-Z-Boy or the sofa was in the frame. But the Iowa University Press chose to crop the furniture out of the cover shot. Why? You can figure they'd have left it in if there'd been a rickety wooden chair under a bare lightbulb swinging on a frayed cord. But a book with a La-Z-Boy on the front doesn't exactly shriek "Death camp!"

When I was down there, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, who runs the joint, observed that most of what we know about prison camps comes from "bad movies and worse TV shows." And it's striking how reluctant the anti-Gitmo crowd are to abandon the clichés. There was a film out last year called The Road To Guantanamo, and the poster showed the usual emaciated husk hanging in chains from the dungeon wall. One trusts the actor in question did the full Robert De Niro and lost 40 lb. to get himself looking that cadaverous. Back in the real Gitmo, Admiral Harris invited me to sample some of the fresh-baked baklava his pastry chef had made the prisoners for Ramadan. They were truly scrumptious, but a week or two of those and the poster for The Road To Guantanamo would either be showing a dimpled blubbery bloated whale or the entire dungeon wall would have collapsed. It's the only death camp where you put on weight. Average gain: 18 pounds.

Read the entire article here.