Archive for May, 2006

Appeasing and Opposing at the Same Time

Appeasing and Opposing at the Same Time

The UN gets half of Scott Fitzgerald’s quote right: “The test of the first rate mind is the ability to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time while still retaining the ability of function.” Now, if only it could function.

The United Nations called for an 80 percent increase in emergency humanitarian aid to Palestinians on Wednesday, citing a deepening crisis that follows a freeze in Western assistance to the government.

The United Nations and aid groups said in a statement they had revised an emergency aid appeal for 2006 to $385 million from an original estimate of $215 million. The money would help pay for employment programs, food aid and health care.
Western countries cut off direct aid to the Palestinian Authority after the militant Islamist group Hamas, which is sworn to destroy Israel but has largely abided by a truce for over a year, took over the government following elections in January….

Western powers have called on Hamas to recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by existing peace agreements if it wants contacts or aid to resume. Hamas has so far refused.

So we shouldn’t give them money because they won’t renounce violence or recognize Israel–but at the same time we should increase aid 80%. I’d support the UN if it proposed an 80% increase of nothing. Hell, I’d even go further. I’d double it.


L’été Long et Chaud

L’été Long et Chaud

Looks like the streets are heating up in France.

Riot police deployed in force to a troubled Paris suburb Tuesday night after youths hurled gasoline bombs at public buildings and pelted police with rocks, a stark reminder of last year’s more widespread violence.

Dozens of vans carrying riot officers were stationed in Montfermeil, just 10 miles east of such Paris landmarks as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, and in the nearby suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, the flash point of riots last year. A surveillance helicopter buzzed over the region.

While there were no immediate reports of a repeat of the violence of the night before, a firebomb was thrown inside a police vehicle, setting it ablaze late Tuesday. Officers inside escaped and there were no injuries.

The first overnight clashes Monday and the tensions again Tuesday were a stark reminder of the anger that smolders in depressed French suburbs, despite new government efforts to tackle high youth unemployment and racial inequalities following the three weeks of similar, albeit far worse, rioting last fall that shook the country.

Full ImageNational police said nine officers suffered light injuries, mostly from rocks and other projectiles, during the three hours of unrest in Montfermeil on Monday.

Police said they made three arrests and fired rubber pellets to try to disperse the roughly 100 youths.

The trigger was the arrest Monday afternoon of a suspect in the beating of a bus driver earlier this month, the mayor’s office said.

Mayor Xavier Lemoine said he witnessed that first attack on the driver and had interceded to stop it.

He told The Associated Press that about 100 people headed toward his house shouting insults, but police interceded.

Full ImageHe said gasoline bombs were thrown at city hall and that a separate municipal storeroom was partially burned. City hall also suffered two broken windows.

Yep, sounds like high youth unemployment and racial inequalities at work again. Why else would someone beat a bus driver or torch city hall?


Iranian Diplomacy–er, Duplicity

Iranian Diplomacy–er, Duplicity

The US essentially declines to succumb to Iran’s protection racket:

President George Bush was said to have rejected an Iranian offer to limit funding to Palestinian insurgency groups.

Teheran was said to have relayed the offer to Bush in 2003 in an attempt to win U.S. recognition for Iran’s regional dominance and the removal of sanctions by Washington. A two-page proposal leaked by Teheran outlined its pledge to end hostilities toward Israel and halt funding to Palestinian insurgency groups.

“The negotiating proposal indicated clearly that Iran was prepared to give up its role as a supporter of armed groups in the region in return for a larger bargain with the United States,” Gareth Porter, an analyst who obtained a copy of the document, said. “What the Iranians wanted in return, as suggested by the document itself as well as expert observers of Iranian policy, was an end to U.S. hostility and recognition of Iran as a legitimate power in the region.”


Israel has reported the transfer of an advanced Iranian-origin rocket to Hizbullah.

Israeli officials said the unnamed rocket was the most advanced in Hizbullah’s arsenal and could strike major population centers. They deemed the rocket the first strategic weapon of Hizbullah.

“Iran is providing Hizbullah with the best and latest of its weapons,” an official said. “It’s clear that Iran sees Hizbullah as its strategic arm in the Middle East.”

The unguided rocket was believed to be an advanced version of the Fajr-5, with a range of more than 100 kilometers. Officials said the latest weapon for Hizbullah has a range of 200 kilometers and is propelled by solid fuel.

And they are to be trusted with nuclear weapons? I’m thinking not.


French Duplicity–er, Diplomacy

French Duplicity–er, Diplomacy

You want to know why Europe has nothing–NOTHING–to say to Israel? Here’s why:

We deplore the Israeli incursion into Gaza, a territory under the control of the Palestinian Authority. We call on the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary measures to stop the firing of rockets into Israeli territory. We call upon the two parties to put a halt to all violence and to restore calm and restraint…. I’m not going to get involved in a discussion on what motivated it.

No? Then what good are you? No wonder Europeans see Israel as the villain. Their actions never seem to have a cause–like no Qassam missile or Katyusha rocket fired from Gaza ever hit a house or a kindergarten. Go away, Europe.


GOP: Get Out Pronto

GOP: Get Out Pronto

Another prominent conservative who won’t be voting Republican:

The crumbling GOP base
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist  |  May 31, 2006

LIKE A LOT of conservatives, I won’t be voting Republican in the congressional elections this fall. Admittedly, I won’t have a choice — in Massachusetts, Republican candidates for Congress generally spare voters the trouble of defeating them by not bothering to run in the first place.

But millions of conservatives will have a choice. And the closer Election Day draws, the clearer it becomes that plenty of them will choose not to vote Republican. Unless something changes dramatically — and soon — the GOP is poised to lose its most reliable voters, and with them any hope of keeping its congressional majority.

How disgruntled is the party’s base? In recent polls, fewer than 70 percent of registered Republicans said they approve of the way President Bush is handling his job, a sharp drop from the 90 percent support on which he once could count. Among self-identified conservatives, Bush’s standing is even lower: Just 51 percent rate his performance favorably, according to the latest New York Times/CBS poll. At a time when the president’s support among Democrats has shrunk to single digits, and when only 1 independent in 4 gives him a positive job rating, the last thing he can afford to lose is the goodwill of his core supporters. But he is losing it.

One hears a lot of this, and Jacoby’s examples of Republican largesse and mismanagement are irrefutable. But I became a Bloodthirsty Liberal, and a supporter of the President, on September 11, 2001 because he clearly articulated (yes, I said Bush clearly articulated) the natures of the attack and of our enemies. Few were as brave as he then to speak of moral absolutes; precious fewer since. I have remained loyal (here and in the voting booth) out of gratitude for his leadership at that time–when I fell to my knees to thank God that Al Gore, for whom I had voted, hadn’t been elected.

Bush said then, and has repeated consistently, that we are engaged in a long-term war. He once termed it a war on terror, but now refers to it more accurately as a war against Islamic facism. I agree, and I am not ready to turn that war over to the feckless, opportunistic Democrats, whose foreign policy ranges from appeasement to isolationism. Will the duties of office change their approach to something more responsible? Possibly. But to reward their craven, demoralizing, self-loathing behavior with political victory would make me nauseated, and would hardly send them the message to get real.

I realize Jacoby is talking only about the congressional elections this fall–not the presidential race in ’08–and that a protest vote in Massachusetts won’t change the preordained outcome. Neither do I expect to see a “Hillary!” bumper sticker on his car. But as a former Democrat, I had to put up with a lot worse crap than this (partial-birth abortion, lukewarm friendship–if not hostility–toward Israel), and I held rank. It was only their borderline treasonous behavior that drove me first to defend the President, and then to vote for him.

I have come to admire Jacoby and many other conservative columnists (see my tiresome paeans to Mark Steyn), but I won’t be joining any protest votes. I’ve already voted for enough Democrats in my lifetime.


“If You See Your Friend Get Killed…”

“If You See Your Friend Get Killed…”

A member of the Marine unit under investigation for an alleged atrocity (who was a casualty of the roadside bomb which began the incident) speaks:

The incident began November 19 when the Humvee that North Bend, Wash. native Lance Cpl. James Crossan was riding in was blown up by a roadside bomb.

He was seriously injured and one of his good buddies died.  Lance Cpl. Miquel Terrazas, TJ, was  killed by the blast.

“He was my point man and he was pretty much the guy that I went to if I needed anything,” Crossan says now.

Terrazas was so admired that Crossan tattooed his name on his leg as he recuperated from the broken back, shattered bones, and perforated eardrums he suffered in the blast.

Now some, including Crossan, believe the anger his colleagues felt over that attack may have driven them to kill innocent civilians.

I know in my heart if I was there I possibly could’ve stopped what happened,” Crossan said.

Lance Cpl. James Crossan, or North Bend, Wash. was severely injured in Haditha last November in an incident that may have provoked an alleged massacre of Iraqis by members of Crossan’s group.

But the military is now investigating whether other members of the close-knit unit expressed their grief in a more immediate and lethal manner.

Several are now under investigation for the murder of 24 civilians immediately after the blast, several of them women and children, some of them in their beds.

Crossan said he doesn’t think much about those who were killed.

“Probably half of them were bad guys and we just never knew, so it really doesn’t cross my mind.”

Crossan said the guys in his unit were young and that he was often the calming influence.

While he doesn’t condone the apparent rampage, he says he understands why it happened.

“If you see your friend get killed… you’re going to do something irrational and all that stuff and they probably just weren’t thinking and they killed a bunch of people,” he said.

“I feel bad for the guys because they are going to get in trouble and… but other than that I really don’t have any emotions for it,” he said.

Sounds like the PTSD docs will be needed for this young man. Video here.

Until the details become known, this is about all I have to say. I have said before that this sort of thing happens in war, and that we have a history of punishing the guilty. I take no solace or comfort in that, however.


You Think Immigration is Bad Now?

You Think Immigration is Bad Now?

Daniel Pipes paints a bleak picture of the future:

The illegal immigration of non-Western peoples, I predict, will become an all-consuming issue in every Western country.

As Western birth rates plummet, as communication and transportation networks improve, and as radical Islam increasingly rears its aggressive head, Europeans, Americans, and others worry about their economic standards and the continuity of their cultures. After ignoring this issue for decades, reactions in Europe especially have sharpened of late.

* The French lower house of parliament passed a tough new immigration law.

* Austria’s interior minister, Liese Prokop, has asserted publicly that 45% of her country’s Muslim immigrants “cannot be integrated,” and admonished them to “choose another country” in which to live.

* The Dutch minister of immigration, Rita Verdonk, has withdrawn citizenship from Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim-born immigrant who became renowned as a critic of Islam.

But the most dramatic, agonizing, and consequential developments for immigration to the West are taking place along the remote west coast of Africa. The area has emerged as a main springboard for would-be emigrants to access the riches of Spain and then all Europe.

West Africa’s role is a new one. Until late 2005, emigrants gravitated to Morocco, in part because, separated by the Straits of Gibraltar, it is a mere eight miles away from Europe. Also, they could easily sneak into the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. At worst, they could reach the Canary Islands, a Spanish territory 70 miles off the coast of West Africa. All of these served equally well as a gateway to all of Europe….

Rickard Sandell of the Royal Elcano Institute in Madrid has predicted that the migration now under way could signal the prospect of an African “mass exodus” and armed conflict. What one sees today “is only the beginning of an immigration phenomenon that could evolve into one of the largest in history. … the mass assault on Spain’s African border may just be a first warning of what to expect of the future.”

Thus begins the first chapter of what promises to be a long and terrible story.

This isn’t immigration; this is a mass refugee movement. And the world isn’t ready for it.


Scenes From the Palestinian Liberation XXXIV

Scenes From the Palestinian Liberation XXXIV

Elections? Check.

Armed militia? Check.

Justice system? Check.

They’re ready for statehood!

Palestinian gunmen said they shot dead a man and a woman accused of collaborating with Israel in the West Bank on Tuesday.

Abu Ala, a local commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Nablus, said the two were killed in separate shootings in the city.

Gunmen killed Jafal Abu Tzrur, 24, in a refugee camp and the woman, 27, outside a hospital. Abu Ala said the two were lovers.

“We carried out the death penalty after we were sure they were both collaborators with Israeli military intelligence,” Abu Ala told Reuters.

He said the couple passed on information that enabled Israel Defense Forces soldiers to kill three Al Aqsa militants in the Balata refugee camp in March.

The gunmen said Tuesday that they handed the woman, a mother of four, to her family. They said she was killed by a group that included her brother on grounds that she shamed her clan.

One of the militants killed by IDF troops was the woman’s husband, he added.

Palestinian militant groups periodically kill people accused of collaborating with Israel.

Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement.

Aunt Agatha: “Real insight into the type of society that is being built. This was done by a group affiliated with Abbas, not Hamas. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. I know that there are “honor” killings, i.e., a male relative murders a daughter or sister or cousin because she is having relations with an unapproved man, so this is just another twist to the story. These honor killings are happening with increasing frequency in Europe also.”

BTW, isn’t Abu Ala the nom de guerre of Mahmoud Abbas?


Prager Nails It

Prager Nails It

Let him say it:

Imagine someone saying that he seeks the destruction of Italy because he regards Italian national identity as racist. Further, imagine that this person constantly denies being anti-Italian, because he does not hate all Italians, only Italy and all those who believe Italy should exist.

Now substitute “Jewish” for “Italian” and “Israel” for “Italy” and you understand the absurdity of the argument that one can be anti-Zionist but not anti-Jewish.

Among the many lies that permeate the modern world, none is greater — or easier to refute — than the claim that Zionism is not an integral part of Judaism or the claim that anti-Zionism is unrelated to anti-Semitism.

In order to understand why, it is first necessary to explain Zionism and anti-Zionism.

A modern secular movement called Zionism was founded in the 19th century, but the belief that Jews belong in Zion (the biblical term for Jerusalem) is as old as the Jewish people. (See “So many types of Jews, so little clarity” for a discussion of why Jews are a people and not only a religion.)

Starting with the destruction of the first Jewish state, Jews were already Zionists in that they fervently prayed to return to Zion. While the movement known by the specific name “Zionism” is modern, the movement of Jews returning to Zion is more than 2,500 years old. That is why the claim that Zionism — the return of the Jewish people to Zion — is not part of Judaism is a theological and historical lie.

Judaism has always consisted of three components: G-d, Torah and Israel, roughly translated as faith, practice and peoplehood. And this Jewish people was conceived of as living in the Jewish country called Israel. One can argue that the modern state of Israel was founded at the expense of Arabs living in the geographic area known as Palestine (there was never a country or a nation called Palestine); but that in no way negates the indisputable fact that Zionism is an integral part of Judaism. Nor does the fact that some Jews who have abandoned Judaism are opposed to Zionism, nor that a tiny sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews (Neturei Karta) believe that only the Messiah can found a Jewish state in Israel.

When anti-Israel Muslim students demonstrate on campus chanting, “Yes to Judaism, No to Zionism,” they are inventing a new Judaism out of their hatred for Israel. It would be as if anti-Muslims marched around chanting, “Yes to Allah, No to the Quran.” Just as Allah, Muhammad and the Quran are inextricable components of Islam, so G-d, Torah and Israel are of Judaism.

But, one might argue, even if Zionism is as much a part of Judaism as any other part of the Hebrew Bible, the modern Jewish state of Israel has no right to exist because it displaced many indigenous Arabs, known later as Palestinians.

Before responding to this, it is crucial to understand that this argument — that Israel’s founding was illegitimate — is completely unrelated to anti-Zionism. An intellectually honest person who believes Israel’s founding is illegitimate would still have to acknowledge that Zionism is an inseparable part of Judaism.

But the argument that Israel is illegitimate because its founding led to 600,000 to 700,000 Arab refugees is as anti-Jewish as is anti-Zionism. Virtually every country in the world was founded by displacing some of the people who had lived there, and many of those countries did far worse to far more people than Israel did. Therefore, anyone who calls only for Israel’s destruction had better explain why, of all the states on earth whose founding was accompanied by the displacement of others, only the Jewish state is illegitimate.

Take Pakistan, for example. Unlike the Jewish state of Israel, which had existed twice before in history, there was never a country called Pakistan, nor was there ever any other independent Muslim country in the part of India that was carved out to create Pakistan. Moreover, if the Jewish state of Israel is illegitimate because it created 700,000 Arab refugees, why isn’t the Muslim state of Pakistan, which created more than eight million Hindu refugees, illegitimate?

The answer is obvious. When people isolate the one Jewish state in the world for sanctions, opprobrium and delegitimizing, they are doing so because it is the Jewish state. And that, quite simply, is why anti-Zionism is simply another form of Jew-hatred.

You can criticize Israel all you want. That does not make you an antisemite. But if you are an anti-Zionist or advocate the destruction of the Jewish state, then let’s be clear: You are an enemy of the Jews and of Judaism, and the word for such a person is anti-Semite.

I quoted this in its entirety because I couldn’t find a reasonable place to drop his argument. Talk about clear and concise! And he didn’t even mention the number of Jews who have been displaced even since the rise of the modern Zionist movement (100-plus years)–or even since the founding of Israel!


Persian Punks

Persian Punks

Ahmajid..Ahmanijinsky…Ahmadashell–Bob Denver has a lot to answer for:

A leading Iranian pro-democracy and women’s activist, who was jailed on trumped-up charges last year, has revealed how the clerical regime cynically deploys systemic sexual violence against female dissidents in the name of Islam.

Roya Tolouee, 40, was beaten up by Iranian intelligence agents and subjected to a horrific sexual assault when she refused to sign forced confessions. It was only when they threatened to burn her two children to death in front of her that she agreed to put her name to the documents.
Perhaps just as shocking as the physical abuse were the chilling words of the man who led the attack. “When I asked how he could do this to me, he said that he believed in only two things – Islam and the rule of the clerics,” Miss Tolouee told The Sunday Telegraph last week in an interview in Washington after she fled Iran.

“But I know of no religious morality that can justify what they did to me, or other women. For these people, religion is only a tool for dictatorship and abuse. It is a regime of prejudice against women, against other regimes, against other ethnic groups, against anybody who thinks differently from them.”

Miss Tolouee’s account of her ordeal confirms recent reports from opposition groups that Iranian intelligence officials use sexual abuse against female prisoners as an interrogation technique and even rape young women before execution so that they cannot reach heaven as virgins.

Oh, it’s just Bush trying to scare us again. Only this time WMD stands for Women Malevolently Deflowered.


The Problem With Jews Is…

The Problem With Jews Is…

Let Hizbullah Secretary-General Sheikh Nasrallah tell you:

Another weakness is that both as individuals and as a collective, they are described by Allah as ‘the people who guard their lives most.’ Their strong adherence to this world, with all its vanities and pleasures, constitutes a weakness.

Muslims, on the other hand, have it right:

In contrast, our people and our nation’s willingness to sacrifice their blood, souls, children, fathers, and families for the sake of the nation’s honor, life, and happiness has always been one of our nation’s strengths.

Oh, and another thing:

Another of its weaknesses is the fact that its society is not homogeneous. Some Falasha Ethiopians, some from Russia, and some from I don’t know where… They are bound together by a baseless and unfounded myth

Boy, are the going to feel silly when they figure that out, eh Sheikh?


Move the S

Move the S

“Lie skill” becomes “lies kill“. Caroline Glick explains:

Abbas’s plan has two central components. First, he wants to get the PA’s Hamas government to accept the document authored by convicted murderers and attempted murderers. Second, Abbas wants Israel to allow him to raise, arm and field a new militia with 10,000 soldiers to supplement the 20,000 soldiers Abbas already hired in the lead-up to the Palestinian elections in January.

Both the Israeli and the international media have referred to the convicted terrorists’ declaration as a “peace plan.” London’s Daily Telegraph’s summation of what its editors considered the main points of the declaration represents more or less what all the mass media organs in Israel and abroad have been saying.

The Telegraph’s report claims that the plan has six main components. In its words, those components are: “A negotiated settlement with Israel if the Jewish state withdraws from land occupied since the 1967 Middle East war; continued resistance, focusing on peaceful means, on land occupied since 1967 – the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem; an independent Palestinian state on all land occupied since 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital; a unity Palestinian government uniting all factions, including Hamas and Fatah; guarantee the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their former homes inside Israel and the release of all Palestinian
prisoners in Israel; speeding up efforts to incorporate Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which has negotiated past interim peace accords.”

IF ONE were to take these terms at face value, perhaps this could be seen as a step forward. But just the barest scrutiny shows that what the jailed terrorists announced was nothing more than a new restatement of their declaration of war against Israel and a recommitment to their goal of destroying the Jewish State.

It is true that the document speaks specifically of Israel’s retreat from Judea and Samaria as well as Jerusalem. Yet led by convicted mass murderer, Fatah head and darling of the Israeli Left, Marwan Barghouti, the terrorists reiterated the “liberation of the land,” that is, all of Israel, as their real objective.

The Telegraph’s assertion that the “resistance” to Israel is supposed to be largely by “peaceful means” leads a reader to assume this means that the terrorists are calling for an end to terrorism. Nothing could be further from the truth. In six separate clauses of the declaration, the terrorists make clear their continued commitment to carrying out acts of terrorism against Israel as part of their strategy for destroying the Jewish state. Those acts of terrorism are supposed to be conducted in conjunction with civil disturbances, negotiations with Israel run by Abbas (something that Iran and its client the Palestinian Islamic Jihad does not accept), as well as an international diplomatic campaign in cooperation with NGO allies intended to delegitimize and demonize Israel.

Far from calling for an end to terrorism, the terrorists called for the establishment of a new joint terrorist organization called the “Popular Resistance Front” that is to be composed of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah terrorists. As they put it in their declaration, this new group’s job will be “to lead and engage in resistance against the occupation and to unify and coordinate action and resistance and to form a unified political reference for the front.”

Like I’ve been saying, you shouldn’t let convicted killers make foreign policy for you. It’s like letting Charles Manson run a neo-natal clinic.


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