Archive for August, 2006

Not to Worry – Iran Will Cure Cancer, AIDS

Some silly people are all upset because the Iranian regime has officially announced the production of heavy water which is necessary for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. They needn’t be concerned. Iran is a pieceful nation, with no plans to blow large chunks of the Zionist Entity off the map, despite what you may have heard:

“Iran is not a threat to anybody, not even to the Zionist regime,” he said, using the Islamic Republic’s term for arch-enemy Israel, which it does not recognize.

The Iranian president affirmed Iran’s right to develop nuclear technology even if sanctions are imposed.

“They may impose some restrictions on us under pressure. But will they be able to prevent the thoughts of a nation? Will they be able to prevent the progress and technology of a nation? They have to accept the reality of a powerful, peace-loving and developed Iran. This is in the interest of all governments and all nations whether they like it or not,” he said.

As usual, the Israelis are jumping to conclusions:

…Likud MK Silvan Shalom called on the world to stand up against the Iranian threat.

“This is a crucial time for the international community. Will it once again cave in to the Iranians or will it put an end to the dangerous plans of Iran?” he said. “It would be best for the world to express its determination today at the very last moment before it is exposed to an existential threat. Israel must prepare so that it can prevent the dangerous developments if the world continues to waffle.”

Labor MK Ephraim Sneh warned in a statement that Iran’s heavy water production marks “another leap in Iran’s advance toward a nuclear bomb.”

Sneh, a former deputy defense minister, said Iran’s progress shows that international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons are insufficient. “Israel has to draw the conclusions and to prepare itself militarily,” said Sneh.

But the Israelis have spent too much time listening to the evil Karl Rove!

…Iranian Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who also heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said the plant’s production is 16 tons of heavy water with a purity of 15 percent per year, and 80 tons of heavy water with a purity of nearly 100 percent. He said the facility will be used to treat AIDS and cancer and for other medicinal and agricultural purposes.

What a relief. There will be peace in our time.

-Aggie

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The Anti-Semitic Wing of the Party

Some people collect stamps and some people collect vintage platform shoes from the ’70′s, but I like to collect anti-Semitic behavior on the part of Democrat politicians. Sometimes these things are so easy to find, its like shooting fish in a barrel. Take Cynthia McKinney for intstance. When she lost her primary battle, her aids were filmed blaming the Jews. And then there’s Michael Moore blaming Cheney, Israel and Halliburton for the world’s problems in just one sentence. Or Jimmy Carter who recently told a respected German magazine that Israel had no right to protect herself against Hizballah aggression and that we can all forgot the Holocaust – get over it already!

But I got a find today that is really obscure and highly entertaining. We’ve all heard (over and over and over) that George Allen referred to an aid of his opponent as a “macaca” or something like that. There was endless speculation that he was calling the dark-skinned young man a monkey, because the word sounded close to a word for a certain type of monkey. But, the media forgot to tell us about his opponent, Jim Webb, and his obviously anti-Semitic flyer.

Jim Webb’s primary opponent was a Jewish business man named Harris Miller. And his flyer portrays Mr. Miller as a hooked-nosed Jew with money stuffed into his pocket. The text makes reference to the anti-Christ. And, yes, Webb went on to win his primary.

“That doesn’t look so good. There’s no question to me that’s replete with anti-Semitic stereotypes,” said Mark Feldstein, an associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University. “I’m not someone who readily cries anti-Semitism, but I think it’s hard to look at this and not see a number of anti-Semitic stereotypes plugged into this ad, from the hook nose to the ‘antichrist’ to the money-grubbing character.”

Bruce Newman, a professor of marketing at DePaul University and editor of the Journal of Political Marketing, said it reminded him of 1930s German propaganda, where the Jewish character was subtly made out to be the thieving villain.

“It very much crosses the line,” said Newman, who is Jewish. “I’m speaking with my professional hat on now. It’s a modern-day caricature of the quote-unquote villain, the one who’s out to make life difficult and hurt people in the town. I’ve seen literature from those days and this offends me quite a bit.”

Nice. Very Nice. And yet another reason to wonder what has happened to the Democrat Party.

-Aggie

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Multicultural Somalia

Multiculturalism means a healthy respect for the traditions and cultures of others, but I have a hard time accepting this.

Fundamentalists flog Somali woman in public
Strict religious punishment raises fears of Taliban-style regime

Thursday, August 24, 2006; Posted: 11:29 a.m. EDT (15:29 GMT)

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Islamic leaders in Mogadishu gave a woman 11 lashes for selling cannabis Thursday, the first female to receive such punishment since the fundamentalist rulers took over the capital in June.

The woman, who throughout the beating insisted she was innocent, was flogged alongside five other men at the Yassin Square in Mogadishu in front of several hundred people. The small bundle of cannabis, worth around $1 on the streets in the capital, was burned before the crowd.

Everytime I read a story about Sharia law and the treatment of women – or men or children for that matter – I long to hear the voices of feminists, human rights activists, ethical religious leaders, and Democrat politicians speak out. But I just hear the rain outside my window. They’re all still sleeping.

There have been scattered stories in the media about parts of Europe and even Canada accepting Sharia law for domestic issues in certain neighborhoods. It’s a slippery slope.

-Aggie

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Europe Is Much More Civilized

I don’t know about you, but I get so tired of hearing about how we Americans are “losing our rights”, and especially about the superior European system of law and justice. Here’s a
perfect example of how upside down the conversation has become.

Human rights groups called naive for objecting to deportation of Algerian

Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Friday August 25, 2006
The Guardian

Special immigration judges yesterday delivered a major, and rare, legal victory for Tony Blair’s anti-terror campaign when they cleared the way for foreign terror suspects to be sent back to Algeria despite fears that they could be tortured.

Human rights groups, including Amnesty International, last night condemned as “an affront to justice” the decision involving an Algerian who has already been acquitted in an Old Bailey trial of involvement in the so-called “ricin poison plot”. In a highly unusual move three of the jurors involved in that trial issued a statement last night saying they were shocked by such an “unfair and unjust sequence of events”.

But Lord Carlile, the independent watchdog on the anti-terror laws, accused Amnesty of being “thoroughly naive”. He argued that acquittal in a criminal trial did not mean it was in the national interest for that person to remain in Britain.

Oh, I don’t know, maybe they should be allowed to stay and continue their kitchen science. Why the hissy fit?

And how long will it be before other European countries follow suit? Aunt Agatha’s evil twin hopes not too long, only because the silly, hairsplitting excuses will be so entertaining. Can you imagine the subtle nuance of the French explanation for why they are throwing their young terrorists to the wolves? Maybe we can make bumper stickers for this occasion: Europe, Show Restraint or One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter! We could sell them as a fund-raiser for the IDF.

-Aggie

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Hitler Restaurant Owner in Hiding

The uproar over Hitler’s Cross, the Mumbai (formerly Bombay) restaurant and bar, is reaching proportions not seen since the Muhammad cartoons incident in Denmark. Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of angry Jews are rioting, setting posters of the owners of the establishment ablaze, threatening to murder anyone who stops at the restaurant for a carmel machiaato, or even a cold beer. What began as small, peaceful street protests in Mumbai, has grown steadily more furious as citizens in Los Angeles and Tel Aviv and Paris and New York demand respect. Entire neighborhoods have been cordoned off and the newspapers are filled with stories of harrowing escapes from angry rioters. So far, two protestors and one police dog have died in the chaos.

Indian authorities have taken the owner, the waitstaff, and the graphic designers associated with the project into protective custody. Although we at BTL are unable to ascertain their locations, we have been told that they are in safe houses and never sleep in the same location twice. We hope that reason will prevail soon.

-Aunt Aggie

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I Will Always Love You

So Osama bin Laden (known here by his nom d’anagramme Blind Noam) had the hots for Whitney Houston, huh?

Who didn’t?

Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, was obsessed with the singer Whitney Houston and wanted to marry her, a new book claims.

Kola Boof, a Sudanese poet and novelist, who says she was kept against her will as the terrorism mastermind’s mistress in 1996, writes in her autobiography that he wanted to give the star a mansion and make her one of his wives.

“He told me that Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen,” Boof claims in Diary of a Lost Girl, excerpts of which are published in Harper’s magazine.

But bin Laden had less respect for Houston’s husband Bobby Brown, apparently talking about the possibility of having him killed.

“He said that he had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston and although he claimed music was evil, he spoke of some day spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar,” Boof writes.

“He said he wanted to give Whitney Houston a mansion that he owned in a suburb of Khartoum.

“He explained to me that to possess Whitney, he would be willing to break his colour rule and make her one of his wives.”

Bin Laden would speak constantly about “how beautiful she [Houston] is, what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American culture and by her husband – Bobby Brown, whom Osama talked about having killed, as if it were normal to have women’s husbands killed.”

Boof, who also says the al-Qaeda leader would “ramble on” about his favourite TV shows, The Wonder Years, Miami Vice and MacGyver, adds: “In his briefcase, I would come across photographs of the star, as well as copies of Playboy … It would soon come to the point where I was sick of hearing Whitney Houston’s name.”

Bin Laden was first married in 1974, at the age of 17, to Najwa Ghanem, his mother’s niece.

That would be his cousin, then. Blind Noam married his cousin at 17. Not that there’s anything wrong with that–in West Virginia.

But you can’t really blame him with Whitney Houston. Remember, this is the Whitney of ten years ago, before the bloom came off that rose. These days, Noam himself looks better.

But some of the other details are fascinating. “The Wonder Years”? Come on, Noam. Nobody watched that show. At least nobody admitted to watching that show. I like “Project Runway”, but you think I’m going to tell anyone? (Damn!) And what about Whitney struck him as “truly Islamic”? Because when I used to watch her videos on MTV, dressed in no burkha like I’ve ever seen, I wasn’t thinking about praying five times a day, if you know what I mean (and you can bet Noam does).

But what has to be truly humilating is that Blind Noam, the biggest daddy of them all, had to keep a sex slave to get any action. Zarqawi was beating the ladies off with sticks (like his wooden leg). Women always like the action guys over the theoretical geeks, Noam. Always have, always will.

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Abu Patton

Mahmoud Abbas channels ol’-blood-’n'-guts on the battlefields of Gaza:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was forced earlier this week to call off plans to deploy PA security personnel in the northern Gaza Strip when several armed groups, including militias from his own Fatah movement, threatened to attack these forces, PA officials here told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Abbas had planned to deploy several hundred PA policemen and security officers in an attempt to stop the armed organizations from firing rockets at Israel, the officials said, noting that the proposed move had won the backing of the US and Israel.

“Those who are firing Kassam rockets at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip are acting against the interests of the Palestinian people and are providing Israel with an excuse to continue its aggression in the Gaza Strip,” said one official. “President Abbas has a serious plan aimed at stopping the rocket attacks, but the armed groups are refusing to cooperate.”

Last week, Abbas announced that the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip had accepted his call for a unilateral cease-fire with Israel. The announcement came after a series of meetings Abbas held in Gaza City with PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and a number of Hamas officials.

Another PA official told the Post that Hamas was the only group that had accepted Abbas’s proposal to halt rocket attacks. “The main problem we have is with Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, and with Islamic Jihad, which have rejected the cease-fire proposal,” he said.

According to the official, Abbas and the rest of the Fatah leadership have almost no control over the various Fatah militias operating in the Gaza Strip. “Fatah has at least seven or eight armed groups in the Gaza Strip and some of them are receiving financial aid from Hizbullah, Syria and Iran,” he said. “The situation in the Gaza Strip is very problematic.”

A statement issued by the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Gaza City said the group “categorically rejects plans to deploy Palestinian security forces in the northern Gaza Strip.” According to the group, the plan would have “negative” implications for Palestinians because it is aimed at protecting Israeli “settlements” inside Israel proper from rockets.

“How can we stop the rocket attacks while Israel is continuing to attack our people from the air, land and sea?” the group asked. “Why should we give Israel free gifts at a time when its army is perpetrating ugly crimes against our people in the Gaza Strip?”

Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, said in a separate statement that “Palestinian policemen will never again serve as defenders of Israel.” It continued, “The Palestinians’ armed groups and the security forces were established to protect the Palestinian people, and not Israel. The Palestinian security forces can only be deployed in the northern Gaza Strip if Israel halts its attacks and incursions [into the Strip].”

The leaders of three other armed groups – the Popular Resistance Committees, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – also announced their strong opposition to the deployment of PA security forces in the northern Gaza Strip and warned Abbas against trying to stop the rocket attacks on Israel.

Meanwhile, PA Attorney-General Ahmed al-Mughni said the authority’s leaders and security forces were responsible for the growing state of anarchy and lawlessness in the Strip. “The security chaos crisis is a general problem and is the result of a lack of respect for the rule of law,” he said.

He blamed unruly militias and the absence of a strong judicial system, as well as rivalries between the various factions, for the anarchy in Gaza.

I’ve quoted this in full because there’s nothing I can cut. Here we learn that Fatah is no more a partner for peace than is Hamas, that Abbas has no control (and no balls), that Gaza–the only fully autonomous Palestinian territory on earth–is more lawless than Tombstone, Arizona. And there’s nothing anyone can do about any of it.

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Scenes From the Palestinian Liberation LIX

I’ve been away for, what, five days, and look what they get up to:

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Field Update
20 August 2006

One Palestinian was killed and four others were injured on Friday, 18 August 2006, in three incidents of armed personal and clan clashes in Rafah and Khan Yunis.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 18:30 shots were fired during a clash between members of Zannoun clan near the UNRWA clinic in Rafah. The shooting resulted in the death of Ismail Khalil Qishta (19). He was killed by a bullet to the abdomen by mistake as he was sitting in front of the house of his friend, Ra’ed Abdel Hakim Zannoun (22). Ra’ed was moderately injured by a bullet in the left hand. In addition, Ramzi Awad Zannoun (24) was moderately injured by a bullet in the left thigh. The victims were taken to Mohammad Yousef El-Najjar Hospital. Qishta was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

At approximately 20:00, Ahmad Zuheir Osrof, a 22-year old resident of Khan Yunis, was admitted to Naser Hospital in the city. He was moderately injured by two bullets in the legs. A gunman fired the bullets at Osrof during a dispute between them on the Khan Yunis beach.

And at approximately 22:00, a dispute between members of El-Shawwaf clan in Greater Abasan, east of Khan Yunis, escalated into an armed clash. Three members of the clan were moderately injured during the exchange of fire. They were taken to Naser Hospital for treatment.

The UNRWA clinic was a nice touch. Big help, as usual.

But we’re just getting started.

Field Update
20 August 2006

Four Palestinians were killed over the past two days in Jenin and the town of Kufr Laqif, near Qalqilya, in incidents of misuse of weapons.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 03:00 on Friday, 18 August 2006, a large explosion was heard in the Marj Bin Amer Park and Swimming Pool, owned by the Yassin family from Deir Abu Da’if, northeast of Jenin. Ambulances arrived at the scene and transported the torn bodies of 3 Palestinians to Khalil Suliman Hospital in Jenin….

It is noted that the three were agricultural engineers. It is believed that they were preparing an explosive device. They were members of Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions, the armed wing of Hamas….

The Centre calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to seriously investigate these incidents and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Sounds like they’ve already been brought to justice. Ah well, onward and downward with another “agricultural engineer”:

Field Update
17 August 2006

Yesterday evening a Palestinian was killed and 6 others were injured, including 6 children, in three incidents of misuse of weapons in the El-Bureij refugee camp, Zaitoon Quarter in Gaza City, and the village of Yasid near Nablus. One of the injured is in coma.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 19:00 on Wednesday, 16 August 2006, an explosion rocked Zaitoon Quarter in Gaza City. The explosion was in a 3-story house belonging to a Hamas activist near El-Farouq mosque. The explosion killed Wa’el Dawoud Abu Sultan, a 27-year old resident of Rimal Quarter in Gaza City. He was an activist in Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions, the Hamas armed wing. He was inside the house at the time of the explosion. In addition, three others who were inside the house were also injured. Eyewitnesses stated that the explosion causes extensive damages to the walls and contents in the first floor of the house. The explosion was caused by mishandling explosive materials inside the house.

It is noted that Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions distributed a leaflet in Gaza City mourning Abu Sultan and stating that he is one of their activists. The statement indicated that he died of a mysterious explosion.

Another explosion was reported in a house in El-Bureij refugee camp without causing any injuries. At approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 16 August 2006, an explosion rocked the house belonging to Mohammad Abdallah Ibrahim El-Shaf’i (31). The house sustained partial damages; but no injuries were reported. Palestinian Police indicated that the explosion was caused by the detonation of a small explosive device in the house.

At approximately 23:45 on the same day, a gunman fired a rifle during the wedding celebration of Husam Thieb As’ad Mashaqi in the village of Yasid, near Nablus. Three children were injured.

I sense a sequal to “The Wedding Crashers” on the horizon. If there is one place more dangerous for children than a Palestinian wedding, it is a Palestinian wedding in Khan Yunis:

Field Update
17 August 2006

Yesterday evening a Palestinian child was killed and four were injured in armed clashes between members of Fatah on one hand and the Palestinian Ministry of Interior Executive Force and Hamas activists on the other. The clashes took place in the town of Greater Abasan to the east of Khan Yunis.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 17:30 on Wednesday, 16 August 2006, a dispute broke out between Fatah members from Qudeih clan on the one hand and members of the Executive Force and Hamas activists on the other. The latter were deployed in the vicinity of the house of mourning of Motasim Qudeih, an activist in Al-Quds Battalions (the armed wing of Islmic Jihad), who was killed in clashes with Israeli forces. The Executive Force was deployed to secure the area, near El-Nour Mosque in Greater Abasan, in preparation for the arrival of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya to give his condolences. Haniyya was scheduled to arrive after giving condolences to the Sha’ath clan, who had two members killed by Israeli forces in Khan Yunis.

The verbal dispute escalated into armed clashes. The child Suliman Yunis Suliman Abu Naser (14) was hit by a bullet in the abdomen. He was taken to Naser Hospital where he died shortly after arrival. Four others were injured.

And while Khan Yunis may be the armpit of the earth, East Jerusalem isn’t exactly Eden either:

The Shin Bet security service announced Saturday that it had apprehended a Palestinian youth, a resident of the West Bank village of Kabatiya south of Jenin, who confessed to the stabbing death of an Italian tourist in Jerusalem last Thursday.

The suspect, linked with the Islamic Jihad organization, was arrested in a joint operation by the Shin Bet and Jerusalem police.

The foreign ministry in Rome has identified the victim as a 25-year-old Italian, Angelo Frammartino, who had travelled to Israel last week to do volunteer work.

The victim was stabbed while walking with three or four other tourists on Salah a-Din street in East Jerusalem. When they reached the Flower Gate to the Old City, the assailant stabbed Frammartino in the back, and then fled the scene.

What, did he think he was Jewish? If he was walking with friends, he was doubtless speaking Italian. Doesn’t sound a thing like Hebrew.

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From the Suggestion Box

Those of us who supported the President’s decision to replace Saddam may feel we have to answer for what has taken the place of the Butcher of Baghdad. We will do so here, in time. But when the opposition can offer up only this lame suggestion for Lebanon, why bother?

THE CEASE-FIRE in Lebanon has begun to seem all too tenuous, threatened by Israel’s weekend raid of a Hezbollah stronghold in the Bekaa Valley and by renewed arms shipments to Hezbollah from Iran and Syria. At the same time, European governments are hesitating to commit peacekeeping troops to Lebanon, fearful of plunging into a perilous mission without a clear mandate.

To preserve the cease-fire, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan should issue a public warning to Iran and Syria to cease rearming Hezbollah.

A public warning…a public warning…a public…. I don’t even know what to say anymore. Who can take this seriously? Iran and Syria never stopped arming Hezbollah; how can they renew them? How can Europe bring the same resolve to keeping the peace as Israel and Hezbollah do in trying to end the war? And who the hell is Kofi Annan?

Whoever he is, the Boston Globe feels he should be fair in his “public warnings”:

Annan should also remind Israel that no UN peacekeeping force will be able to fulfill the terms of the Security Council resolution calling for the disarming of Hezbollah without an end to Israeli military operations inside Lebanon.

Why not? If Israel disarms them from the rear and the UN disarms does whatever it does from the front, won’t that be better than the UN doing nothing whatever it does by itself?

But the Glob is just getting warmed up:

For his part, President Bush should call on Israel to refrain from further military actions while it waits for UN peacekeepers and Lebanese troops to arrive in southern Lebanon. At a news conference yesterday, Bush spoke of “doing all we can” to make the UN peacekeeping mission “a success.” The most practical way for Bush to pursue that goal would be to prevail on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to suspend all attacks on Hezbollah. In this way, Bush could help create conditions on the ground that might encourage the Europeans to send peacekeepers. He would also be doing Olmert a political favor….

Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made it plain they backed Israeli war aims by delaying consideration of a war-ending UN resolution until Hezbollah’s forces and its Iranian and Syrian-supplied weapons were amply degraded. So the administration has an obligation to do everything it can to mitigate the after-effects of a war that appears to have backfired — on Israel and on the United States.

The sooner Israel halts military operations, the sooner Hezbollah, and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors, will be held responsible for keeping the peace. At that point, the underlying realities in the region, such as Arab states’ wariness of Iran’s ambitions and Lebanon’s internal political rivalries, are sure to revive. It will then be clear that Israel, the Palestinians, and most Arab states share an interest in preventing another war and in countering the influence of Iran and Islamist radicalism.

The age-old lament lives another day: it’s the Jews’ fault. Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran are not responsible for keeping the peace; how can they be with Israel’s pushy, aggressive (read Jewish) behavior? The tone suggests that Israel’s national security is just another prime parking space or last sale-item up for grabs. And you know how grabby those people are.

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Just Enough to Lose

Back from my Undisclosed Location (what sun, Aggie?) for less than 24 hours before I’m off again–but just had to post this.

It’ll make you cry.

We, fighters and commanders at the Spearhead [Hod Hachanit] Brigade, were called up to enlist under an emergency mobilization order [Tzav 8] on July 30, 2006. Our attendance was complete in all battalions.

As we were signing on the battle equipment and weapons, we knew that we were signing for much more. We left behind wives and children, girlfriends and families. We put aside our jobs and livelihoods; we were prepared to carry out our mission under the most difficult of conditions, in heat, thirst or hunger.

At the back of his mind, each and every one of us knew, that for the just cause of protecting the citizens of Israel, we would even put our lives on the line.

But there was one thing we were not and would not be willing to accept: We were unwilling to accept indecisiveness. The war’s aim, which was not defined clearly, was even changed in the course of the fighting.

The indecisiveness manifested itself in inaction, in not carrying out operational plans, and in canceling all the missions we were given during the fighting. This led to prolonged stays in hostile territory, without an operational purpose and out of unprofessional considerations, without seeking to engage in combat with the enemy.

The “cold feet” of the decision-makers were evident everywhere. To us the indecisiveness expressed deep disrespect for our willingness to join the ranks and fight and made us feel as though we had been spat on, since it contradicts the principles and values of warfare upon which we were trained at the Israel Defense Forces.

The heavy feeling that in the echelons above us there is nothing but under-preparation, insincerity, lack of foresight and inability to make rational decisions, leads to the question – were we called up for nothing?

We are now on the day after, and it seems that the immorality and the absence of any shame are the fig-leaves to be used in order to cover up for the blunders. The blunders of the past six years and the under-preparation of the army have been carried on our backs – the backs of the fighters. In order to face the next battle prepared – and this may happen soon – a thorough and fundamental change must take place.

The crisis of confidence between us as fighters and the higher echelons will not be resolved without a thorough and worthy investigative commission under the auspices of the state. When the commission completes its task, conclusions must be drawn both on the level of strategic planning and national security, and on the personal level of the parties involved.

We paid a heavy price in order to fight and come out of the battle victorious, and we feel this has been denied of us. We will all attend calls to enlist in the future for any mission we will be required to complete, but we would like to know that these missions will be part of a clear objective and will be carried out by striving to engage in combat.

When they let Israel win its wars, peace prevails for a while anyway. This travesty of a mockery of a sham will lead only to more dead people. May they not be Israelis.

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Religion of Piece

The British have just announced the preliminary results of their investigation, and it seems that they have discovered a lot of peaceful material, including martyrdom videos, bombmaking materials, and explosive chemicals. All for peaceful purposes, we have to assume. Or perhaps to spread pieces of all of us across the friendly skies. -Aggie

…The charges stem from a cache of information seized during the months-long investigation into the plot, including “highly significant video and audio recordings” taken before August 10, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said.

Those recordings include what are called “martyrdom videos,” Clarke said.

British authorities have carried out a total of 69 searches of residences, businesses, vehicles and open spaces, which have netted bomb-making equipment and chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, Clarke said.

“As well as the bomb-making equipment, we have found more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones and 8,000 items of removable storage media such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs,” he said.

“So far, from the computers alone, we have removed some 6,000 gigabytes of data.”

It will take “many months” for investigators to analyze all of the data, he said.

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French Honor

The French are so entertaining. Here is our daily comedy routine.

With doublespeaking France, honor gets lost in translation
By Jules Crittenden
Boston Herald City Editor
Sunday, August 20, 2006

French is the traditional language of diplomacy. Diplomacy is the art of saying one thing while doing another.

In recent weeks, France stepped forward to act as a broker of peace in Lebanon. “Act” is the key verb in that last sentence, as it now would seem that the only other verifiable part of the sentence is “in recent weeks.”

To correctly parse that sentence, one must understand that when France suggested it wanted to broker peace in Lebanon, it did not necessarily mean “broker” or “peace” or “Lebanon” in the way we might understand those words. The same is true when France further suggested it wanted to “lead” a “strong” “multinational” “force” there.

I don’t speak French, so I have no idea what the actual French words are for those concepts or what possible nuances there may be. I’ve been relying on news reports in English, which now inform me that the French do not intend to send any significant number of troops to what is supposed to be a force of 15,000 in Lebanon, like everyone thought they said they would.

The heady moment of peace brokering having passed, upon sober reflection, the French now say they already have a general and some staff in south Lebanon ordering about UNIFIL, the U.N. monitoring entity there. That’s plenty of leadership, the French suggested: All France needs to contribute now is another 200 combat engineers.

In tactical terms, when it comes to securing a Middle East conflict zone, that can be referred to as “squat.”

The United Nations, which is trying to salvage what is left of its own self-respect after the utter failure of UNIFIL in Lebanon, is now publicly begging European nations to contribute troops.

To find the last plain-speaking French leader, it is necessary to go back to Napoleon Bonaparte. He said he was going to take over Europe, and proceeded to do so. No, scratch that. He said he was going to bring French liberty and equality to Europe, then crowned himself emperor. Subsequent French history offers us a sordid string of third world colonizations followed by bloody wars to hang on long after the time to relinquish colonies had passed, setting the stage for corrupt government and prolonged conflict in places like Vietnam.

More recently, we’ve seen the naked hypocrisy of Dominic de Villepin in the United Nations, braying about his humanitarian concerns for the Iraqi people, while trying to ensure mass murderer Saddam Hussein remained in power to honor his French contracts.
The shamelessness of France knows no bounds. They have a domestic Arabic population and business interests in the Mideast to satisfy. They desperately want to be taken seriously as a major power. So they sat down with the United States and hammered out a peace plan. Then, before the ink was dry, they shrugged a Gallic shrug.

I wish I could be charitable here and find some good excuses for the French. Ernest Hemingway, who had a soft spot for them, used to like to say, “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk.” But Hemingway, unlike the French, had a sense of honor. French was once the lingua franca, back when men wore powdered wigs and France was a power to be reckoned with. None of those things are true now. French has been replaced by English as the language of foreign policy, business, tourism, the Internet and just about everything else.

If we, those of us who enjoy conducting business in English rather than say, Chinese or Arabic, want it to stay that way, I’d suggest step one is that we should continue to state clearly our intentions and do what we say we aregoing to do. Even when the world doesn’t necessarily like what we are saying.

That is our French lesson for the day.

We shouldn’t be so hard on the the French – what ever would we do without them? -Aggie

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