Archive for January, 2006

Filibuster Brown Shoes

Filibuster Brown Shoes

I’ll admit it: I love a good filibuster. Have ever since my high school days when I first saw “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Now, God knows John Kerry is no Jimmy Stewart–especially when he phones in from an anti-Semitic conference in Davos, Switzerland, as Cynical Nation so aptly noted–but the prospect of one lonely David against an indifferent or hostile Goliath never fails to give me a chill. Okay, so maybe this David had his chance to defeat Goliath in 2004, and missed. Maybe he’s only got a pea-shooter now, instead of a sling. And maybe he’s only doing it to position himself as the anti-Hillary in 2008–a position even Hillary herself is trying to stake. But, dammit, didn’t he look fine staring resolutely ahead, jaw set, a stiff wind barely mussing his orderly mane. This boy stood on the burning deck whence all but he had fled and flapped hims gums to the embarrassment of all–even in Massachusetts–and that takes some guts (and skill!), I’ll tell you. I can hear the slogan now: John Kerry in ’08, making a pain in the ass of himself for the little guy.

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A man, a plan, Iran, pandemonium!

A man, a plan, Iran, pandemonium!

Aunt Agatha draws our attention to this from the Jerusalem Post:

JPost.com Jan. 31, 2006 10:55
Iran already has the bomb
By URI DAN

Rafi Eitan suspects that Iran already has enough enriched uranium fissionable material to manufacture at least one or two atom bombs of the Hiroshima type. “Otherwise Iranian President Ahmadinejad would not have dared come out with his declaration that Israel should be wiped off the map,” repeating it in various versions. His efforts at denying the Holocaust in which six million Jews were slaughtered prove that there is method in Ahmadinejad’s madness. “Don’t treat him like a madman,” Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz recently cautioned.

There’s more, but it sounds more like tea-leaves than hard intel. Still, I wouldn’t doubt it. Surely there’ll be more to this.

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Carnival Barkers of West 43rd

Carnival Barkers of West 43rd

How come, when they’re merely allegations, NY Times stories of US torture scream in bold type, above the fold–but when the facts come in, they’re buried deep within the A section?

ASIA
AFGHANISTAN: U.S. SOLDIER SENTENCED TO 6 MONTHS FOR ABUSING DETAINEES Sgt. Kevin D. Myricks has been sentenced to six months of confinement and a reduction in rank after a court-martial found him guilty of beating two Afghan detainees at a base in Uruzgan Province in July, the United States military said. The conviction comes three days after another soldier, Specialist James R. Hayes, was convicted for mistreating the same two detainees and sentenced to four months in prison. (AP)

Could it be proof of their contention that, counter to charges from knuckle-draggers like me, they do indeed support the troops? Or is it, rather, that the truth, when it is rigorously and relentlessly rooted out, falls so short of the lurid allegations? The New York Times is no better than a carnival barker who promises proof of alien life inside the tent, but only delivers a cow fetus suspended in a jar of liquid.

US troops have abused prisoners, and they have been punished. End of (evidently not very interesting) story.

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Al Qaeda’s Number Two

Al Qaeda’s Number Two

I’ll say they are. Hey, don’t accuse me of scatalogical name-calling. That’s what Agence France Press calls Ayman al-Zawahiri. I prefer to call him Zany Ira (after his explosive anagram A wham ail zany Ira). Aren’t the French supposed to be known for their diplomacy?

After our failed attempt to acquaint him with an assortment of six dozen virgins, Zany Ira popped up on TV with the Arabic equivalent of “Missed me, missed me, now you’ve got to kiss me!” (Personally, I’d rather welcome back the caliphate, but to the story:)

Mon Jan 30, 3:31 PM ET
DUBAI (AFP) – Al-Qaeda’s number two Ayman al-Zawahiri said he survived a controversial US raid targeting him in Pakistan, according to a video broadcast on the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera. A January 13 attack on Damadola, a remote Pakistani village bordering Afghanistan, killed 18 civilians and was said by US intelligence sources to have targeted Zawahiri, the chief ideologue of Osama bin Laden’s network. “US planes launched a raid against the village of Damadola… under the pretext of wanting to kill me and four of my companions,” Zawahiri said, wearing a white turban and robe. “The entire world has discovered the extent of the American lies and of their ruin and of their savagery in their war against Islam and Muslims,” he said. “I will find death when God has decided it according to His will, but if my hour has not come, neither you nor any force on earth… could speed up my hour (of death) by one second…. Bush, do you know where to find me? I am among the masses of Muslims, rejoicing in their support, their attention, their generosity, their protection and their participation in jihad until we conquer you with the help and power of God.”… Zawahiri claimed that the raid was carried out in collusion with the Pakistani president, “the traitor and his security services, the slaves of Crusaders and Jews.”

Ah, those Crusaders and Jews–forever marching in lockstep, forever enslaving the free will of the world’s masses. Isn’t he a riot? He must be getting the cream of that reborn Afghan opium crop. The story says Zany Ira looked “healthy” and “comfortable,” but I’ll be damned (yes you will, Blood) if I can see it; maybe they meant just in comparison to Osama, who looks like he’s had about enough of Stouffer’s Cave Cuisine. Still, these guys know how to use the media better than Bush the Butcher. What’s he thinking giving the State of the Union opposite American Idol? Hmm, Paula Abdul or George Bush? I may be bloodthirsty, but at least I’m warmblooded.

UPDATE: American Idol runs only from 8 to 9 p.m. EST tonight, so if you want to watch someone stumble and make a fool of himself in front of millions, even after hours of rehearsal and coaching, you can watch both Idol and the State of the Union.

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Aunt Aggie writes

Aunt Aggie writes

This is a page about anti-Semitism in the Muslim world and how it is expressed in cartoons. I couldn’t get the Danish page to open, but they did a single cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb for a head (I think). In response the Muslim world is boycotting Danish goods.

And Bill Clinton, speaking from a conference in Doha, Qatar, is comparing the single Danish cartoon to the years and years of Jew hatred coming from the Muslim world. Way to go Billy.

This is just another example of the moral emptiness of the Left. Hillary in 2008? I think not.

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James Carroll, Ted, and Alice

James Carroll, Ted, and Alice

Not to be outdone, or outdrugged, by Kofi’s hallucinations, the Boston Glob’s James Carroll asks: Is America Actually in a State of War? (Hint: no.)

The so-called “insurgents,” who wreak such havoc, are not America’s enemy. They are not our rivals for territory. They are not our ideological antagonists. Abstracting from the present confrontation, they have no reason to wish us ill.

I am reminded of Bill Cosby’s early comic routine in which God speaks to Moses from the burning bush. All I can say is: “Who is this, really?” and “Right…” Carroll elaborates:

Americans who bother to imagine the situation from the Iraqi point of view — a massive foreign invasion, launched on false pretenses; a brutal occupation, with control of local oil reserves surely part of the motivation; the heartbreaking deaths of brothers, cousins, children, parents — naturally understand that an ”insurgency” is the appropriate response. Its goal is simply to force the invaders and occupiers to leave. Sunnis, Shi’ites, and Kurds have intrinsic reasons to regard each other as enemies, from competition over land and oil, to ethnic hatreds, to unsettled scores. No equivalent sources of inbuilt contempt exist among these people toward America. Taken as a whole, or in its parts, Iraq is not an enemy.

Is this the same “massive” invasion and “brutal” occupation that critics complain employed too few troops, deployed too respectfully, the same local oil reserves that remain local (else why our high gasoline prices)? He’s right about the deaths, however: they are heartbreaking. In wartime, all deaths are. But there were many sisters and their cousins and their aunts who died during the so-called “peacetime” of Saddam’s Iraq. Tortured, murdered, raped, starved, were their deaths any less heartbreaking? Or are those the above-mentioned “false pretenses”?

Of course Iraq is not an enemy–not anymore.

But Carroll is not done dismissing America’s enemies as so many bad acid trips:

If Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda are not an enemy, what is? True enough. But the war on terrorism is not real war either, since the Pentagon has proven itself incapable of actually engaging Al Qaeda. That, of course, is because Al Qaeda is a free floating nihilism, not a nation, or even a network. Al Qaeda is a rejectionist idea to which deracinated miscreants are drawn, like filings to a magnet, but that drawing power is generated in Washington. Bin Laden was a self-mythologized figure of no historic standing until George W. Bush designated him America’s equal by defining 9/11 as an act of war to be met with war, instead of a crime to be met with criminal justice. But this over-reaction, so satisfying at the time to the wounded American psyche, turned into the war for which the other party simply did not show up. Which is, of course, why we are blasting a substitute Iraq to smithereens.

Where’s Fred Rogers when we really need him? “Can you say ‘free floating nihilism’ and ‘deracinated miscreants’? I knew that you could.” The only free floating nihilists I know of are the ones vaporized by the Predator drones in Pakistan and Yemen. I don’t know what a deracinated miscreant is, but Saddam and Kalil Sheikh Mohammed are deloused miscreants, which is close enough.

To James Carroll, 3,000 deaths belong on a police blotter, not in the Situation Room. (How’s that Saddam trial going, by the way?) Terrorsists (my name for the misfloating nudniks, or whatever he calls them) are simultaneously drawn to battle, yet never show up. They bomb mosques, schools, Christians, Muslims, foreigners, and Iraqis–yet, to Carroll, we are the ones blasting Iraq to smithereens.

In sum, James Carroll’s brain is so addled by addiction to liberal tropes, he’s like the aged Timothy Leary or Hunter S. Thompson–writing decades beyond the time when he last made sense. Which is why…

James Carroll’s column appears regularly in the Globe

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Kofi says: Ain’t no thang

Kofi says: Ain’t no thang

Courtesy of IMRA, Kofi Annan, bearing Tupperware containers of fruit ‘n’ jello salad, three-bean casserole, and iced tea, parks the UN Welcome Wagon in front of Hamass’ headquarters. With his unerring sense of timing, the UN Sucky-Gen’l congratulates them for running the election all peaceable like–while Fatah and Hamass sling lead at each other. Say what you will about the job, but head of the UN must have his choice of the finest mind-altering drugs on the planet. There must be some potent hash in those brownies.

“26/01/2006
Secretary-General
SG/SM/10324
PAL/2040
www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sgsm10324.doc.htm
Department of Public Information . News and Media Division . New York

“Secretary-General says peaceful Palestinian legislative elections important
step towards achievement of Palestinian state.

“The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan:”

The Secretary-General telephoned President Mahmoud Abbas to congratulate him and the Palestinian people on the peaceful and orderly conduct of the legislative elections. He expressed his appreciation of the work of the Central Election Commission, which received assistance from the United Nations for the preparatory electoral work. The Secretary-General views these elections as an important step towards the achievement of a Palestinian State. He looks forward to the publication of the results of the elections over the coming days, and to discussing them with Quartet partners.

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Imagining Hamass

Imagining Hamass

When listening to American apologists for Hamass, like former President Carter, imagine Al Qaeda winning the Canadian election of last week, and being told that the democratic voice of the Great White North must be respected.

When listening to European apologists for Hamass, like Jonathan Steele, imagine the Germans electing the National Socialists (Nazis to their friends) to run their country, and being told that grinding poverty and unfair restrictions made them do it (hey, it worked the first time).

Hamass combines the nation-destrying ethos of Al Qaeda with the racial loathing of the Nazis. Now imagine being Israel.

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Will Terrorism Pay?

Will Terrorism Pay?

It will, if Jimmy Carter has his way. From the Jerusalem Post (via LGF):

“The Palestinian Government is destitute, and in desperate financial straits. I hope that support for the new government will be forthcoming,” Carter said at a Jerusalem press conference.

He added that if international law barred donor countries from directly funding a Hamas-led government than the US and the EU should bypass the Palestinian Authority and provide the “much-needed” money to the Palestinians via non-governmental channels such as UN agencies.

“Regardless of the government, I would hope that potential donors find alternative means to be generous to the Palestinian people [even] if the donor decides to bypass the Palestinian government completely,” Carter said, stressing that his main concern was to avert the “suffering” of the Palestinian people, which he said could lead to a new cycle of violence.

“Carter, who has long supported the participation of Hamas in the Palestinian elections, voiced the hope that the Islamic terror group would act “responsibly” now that it had won the elections.

Themes echoed in an op-ed in today’s NY Times:

Hamas at the Helm

By Fotini Christia and Sreemati Mitter

[...]The practical reality, however, is that Hamas is a pivotal player in Palestinian politics, and no peace process can succeed without at least the tacit acceptance of its leaders. Moreover, Hamas’s participation in Palestinian politics is not necessarily a bad thing, and resisting it will very likely do more harm than good.

As a political party, Hamas revealed itself to be disciplined, pragmatic and surprisingly flexible. It fielded well-regarded candidates, including doctors and academics. In some cases, Hamas aligned itself with independents once affiliated with the secular Fatah party. And although the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the liberation of Palestine “from the river to the sea,” the party’s campaign manifesto made no mention of these goals. [...]

In any case, the United States and Europe cannot trumpet democratic ideals abroad and then ignore the popular will of Palestinian voters, 78 percent of whom turned out for this election. Refusing to engage with Hamas, however skeptical one may be of its intentions, will only further legitimize the party; it could even give rise to violence. Moreover, cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority, which is already in a fiscal crisis and enormously dependent on foreign aid, could bankrupt it, further destabilizing the region.

Where to start? First of all, the Hamass charter does not call merely from the “destruction of Israel”, although that alone would disqualify them as reasonable partners for peace. No, as noted here yesterday, Hamass believes:

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.[...] There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.[...] Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. “May the cowards never sleep.”

They’re out for Jews and Judaism, not just Israel, yet Carter smiles his toothful and beneficent smile upon them, and calls for their financial support. One has to wonder if he would he have started a legal defense fund for Adolf Hitler after reading Mein Kampf.

Second, we are warned of dire instability if bills are not paid. Gosh, you don’t suppose people could be so ground down by poverty and oppression that they could strap bombs onto themselves and blow up in crowded places, do you? Seriously, paraphrasing Mark Steyn, we could do with less stability. Everyone told the Palestinians that they’d forfeit the international dole if the elected Hamass, yet they elected them overwhelmingly.

There are two ways to think of the Palestinians: one, as a mature people who made a decision and are willing to abide by its consequences; or two, as an immature, people, irrational and dangerous to themselves and others. In either case, I’d rather protect the poor people of Darfur, victims of Islamic terror, than the Palestinians, perpetrators of Islamic terror.

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Pledge of Allegiance

Pledge of Allegiance

From Aunt Agatha, this from the Jerusalem Post:

Hamas’s charter: The martyrs’ oath

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious…The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realised…

Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. “May the cowards never sleep.”

Aggie: Notice the first sentence… not our struggle against Israel but our struggle against the Jews… and the last sentence: Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. “May the cowards never sleep.”

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Hello Mother, Hello Fatah

Hello Mother, Hello Fatah

Aunt Agatha brought this piece from ABC News to my attention:

Suicide Bombers’ Mother Elected to Palestinian Parliament

Mariam Farahat, who was elected to the Palestinian parliament, can work a crowd like a veteran politician–shaking hands and greeting supporters. When she gets on the stage at a Hamas rally, she is the star attraction. She was one of Hamas’ most popular candidates in Wednesday’s election.

In Gaza, Farahat is known as Um Nidal, or Mother of the Struggle — a mother who sent three of her six sons on Hamas suicide missions against Israeli targets.

“We consider it holy duty,” she told ABC News.

Holy doody, indeed.

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Israel to the Rescue

Israel to the Rescue

Anybody know anything about this story (thanks to IMRA)?

British civilian experts and members of the elite Israeli military team launch ultra-sound equipment as they search for survivors at the scene of a collapsed building in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, January 25, 2006. Rescue workers have lost contact with two people buried alive under the building that collapsed three days ago, as officials expect the death toll to rise as workers dig deeper into the rubble of the six-storey building which was under construction. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

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