Archive for December, 2006

Giving Credit

I couldn’t let the year end without shouting out a welcome addition to my blogroll–and the blogosphere in general.

Jules Crittenden.

Boston Herald columnist, and killer blogger, he’s been getting cited more and more. We’re hardly the first, and we won’t be the last–but let our voice join the chorus. Tis the Jules-tide season.

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They’ll Be Greeted As Liberators

Dick Cheney was right, only about the wrong country and the wrong liberators.

Ethiopia’s bringing it:

Somali government forces backed by Ethiopian troops, tanks and jet fighters edged toward the southern port town of Kismayu on Sunday to attack retreating Islamists who have dug in for a last stand.

Mines laid by fighters of the Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) across the routes to Kismayu have slowed the advance of the government forces. That has bought the Islamists time to prepare their defenses and rouse followers with vows of a holy war on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

“We will fight the Ethiopians, God willing, we will remove them from our land,” said SICC Kismayu area head of security Ahmed Ali from the frontline just north of the town.

Not according to Las Vegas, you won’t. Odds of the SICC-os winning this battle are longer than that of the Jets winning the Super Bowl.

Credit to the Lion of Judah for showing us Western lambs how it’s done.

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If You’re Wahhabi and You Know It…

…slap a Shi’ite:

An influential cleric of Saudi Arabia’s hardline Sunni school of Islam has denounced Shi’ite Muslims as “infidels” in a new religious edict that comes amid rising sectarian tension in the region.

“The rejectionists (Shi’ites) in their entirety are the worst of the Islamic nation’s sects. They bear all the characteristics of infidels,” Sheikh Abdel Rahman Al Barrak said in the fatwa, or ruling, distributed on Islamist Web sites.

“They are in truth polytheist infidels, though they hide this.”

You prepared to back that up, Abdel? There are more than a few polytheist infidels in Iran and elsewhere who would argue the point. And they’re going to have the bomb.

“The Sunni and Shi’ites schools of Islam are opposites that can never agree, there can be no coming together unless Sunnis give up their principles,” the fatwa said.

If you say so.

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Corrupts and Downs

So China strips a government official of power without saying why. Maybe he had 700,000 yuan in his freezer:

The Chinese government last week announced the disgrace of another senior Communist Party official accused of corruption. Du Shicheng, it said, was stripped of his posts as deputy party secretary of Shandong province and party secretary of Qingdao city because of a “serious discipline violation.”

Nothing was said about what misdeeds Du might have committed, but the announcement stated that his fall from power was “another sign of the central government’s tough stand against corruption.” The Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection was investigating the case, it added, but there was no word on whether he would be charged with a crime.

Du’s firing — the fourth of a major party figure this year — was another chapter in President Hu Jintao’s crackdown on the bribery and embezzlement that have become a big part of China’s economic expansion. But it also illustrated the limits of Hu’s anti-corruption drive. Despite repeated vows to weed out corrupt officials, the government’s campaign remains a self-cleansing operation by the Communist Party’s own bureaucracy, without monitoring by an independent judicial system or a free press.

Exactly. Still, at least the Chinese and the Republicans dispose of their corrupt officials. Democrats re-elect them.

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New UN, Same as the Old

Anne Bayefsky summarizes Kofi Annan’s last year:

Kofi Annan had a pet peeve – Israel. If only Israel would do this or that, terrorism would end, peace would come to the Middle East, harmony would reverberate around the world, and the reasons for hating the rest of us would wither away. It was, and is, a lie that has served the world’s worst human rights violators well, allowing them to escape scrutiny since the UN is otherwise occupied.

It therefore comes as no surprise to learn of the tally of condemnations coming from the General Assembly during the fall of 2006:

Resolutions condemning Israel for human rights violations: 25

Number of anti-Israel resolutions which are new this year: 4 (from the regular session) + 2 (from emergency sessions)

Resolutions condemning human rights violations in any other state: 4 from the General Assembly’s Third or main human rights committee directed at Myanmar/Burma, Democratic Republic of Korea, Iran, Belarus

How about Sudan? Nothing. Syria? Zip. China? Nope. Saudi Arabia? Zilch. And so on.

Number of 61st General Assembly resolutions mentioning, let alone condemning, human rights violations by Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad: you guessed it – zero.

Meanwhile, Israel just got Mooned:

“Mr. Ban said the Middle East ‘by far’ raises ‘the most important, or sensitive and complex, issues which the international community has not been able to resolve for the last six decades,’ adding that at the ‘core’ of the dispute is the ‘Israeli-Palestinian relations.’”

In the blink of an eye, the new Secretary-General has in effect decided that if only Israel would do this or that, Middle East peace would be upon us — ignoring the history of rejectionism of a Jewish state, the terrorist legacy of those rejectionists, and their racist motivations. These war-mongers have one thing in common – a hate for democracy, freedom and equality.

An inauspicious start for a new Moon.

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Shooting Themselves in Other People’s Feet

The old line about the Palestinians never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity actually never gets old:

The continued firing of Kassam rockets on the western Negev was the major reason Israel decided against releasing a symbolic number of Palestinian prisoners before the Muslim festival of Id al-Adha that began on Saturday, senior sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said after nightfall.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said that as early as Tuesday, when the Kassam rockets continued to fall despite the Gaza cease-fire, the feeling in Olmert’s bureau was that such a prisoner release would send the wrong signal.

Meanwhile, there’s one prisoner release I personally don’t expect to see happen:

One of the Hamas-linked groups holding Shalit said on Thursday that progress had been made toward a prisoner exchange, and media quoted PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas as saying Shalit would be released soon.

But neither said when a swap might take place, and previous claims of progress have not panned out.

To say the least. I’d love to see it, of course, but one rarely loses a bet placed against the Palestinians.

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So’s Your Ol’ Lady

Just Muslims talkin’ smack:

Osama bin Laden’s top deputy has urged Palestinians to turn against president Mahmud Abbas and his secular Fatah party, in an audio message posted on the Internet.

In it Ayman al-Zawahiri also implicitly criticised the Palestinian ruling Islamic movement Hamas for taking part in the political process.

“The Palestine-selling secularist traitors cannot possibly be your brothers, so neither confer on them legitimacy… nor participate with them in their Sharia-rejecting assemblies, nor sign with them the documents which throw away Palestine,” said the Al-Qaeda second-in-command on Sunday.

“How is it possible for Mahmud Abbas to be a brother of ours?”

Easy. You’re both sons of bitches. But Zany Ira (my nickname for Al Qaeda’s Numer 2) had better expect to receive as well as he gives:

Fatah spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khussa slammed Zawahiri’s words as “unacceptable”.

“A man like Zawahiri does not in any way represent the Palestinians. He’s behaving like a CIA spy…” he told AFP in Gaza.

Oh snap! That’s a kick right in the naqbas.

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Making Muslims Happy

It’s not as easy as you think. You’d think that Muslims would be delighted to hear that one of the greatest killers of their numbers–a true nasty piece of work–had been executed…by other Muslims!

But they’re pissed off:

Arab pilgrims in Mecca expressed outrage on Saturday that Iraqi authorities had chosen to execute former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on a major religious holiday, saying it was an insult to Muslims.

Sunni Arabs at the haj were shocked at Saddam’s hanging which followed his conviction for crimes against humanity against Iraqi Shi’ites.

“His execution on the day of Eid … is an insult to all Muslims,” said Jordanian pilgrim Nidal Mohammad Salah. “What happened is not good because as a head of state, he should not be executed.”

Point of fact, Nidal: he wasn’t a head of state. He was lucky he got to keep his head at all. I would have thought that every day he continued to draw breath was an insult to all Muslims. He killed his own people–Shia, Sunni, and Kurd; he killed Iranians; he killed Kuwaitis (and probably a few Saudis when he briefly crossed the border in 1991). On the plus side (as far as you’re concerned) he killed Israelis and Americans–but, really, does that make up for him being the biggest butcher of Muslims? Turn that frown upside-down, Nidal.

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The Bad Guys

I won’t pretend I know who’s right in Somalia, but enough bad things can’t happen to the Islamists:

Thousands of Somali and Ethiopian troops closed in Saturday on the last remaining stronghold of a militant Islamic movement in southern Somalia, as the prime minister called for talks to avoid further bloodshed.

Some 3,000 Muslim militiamen have taken a stand in the port city of Kismayo, wedged between the Kenyan border and the Indian Ocean, and the U.S. government believes they may include four suspects in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Islamic movement’s leader, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, pledged to continue its fight despite losing capital and other key towns in recent days. “I want to tell you that the Islamic courts are still alive and ready to fight against the enemy of Allah,” he told residents in Kismayo.

Good, then everyone agrees: the Ethiopians will slaughter you. Doesn’t necessarily make them the good guys (except by default), just so the bad guys get it.

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Men of the Collar Collared?

We reported yesterday about Chinese priests being thrown in the hoosegow.

There seems to be some dispute:

A senior official in China’s state-sanctioned Catholic church on Saturday denied his association was cracking down on churches loyal to the Vatican following an unconfirmed media report that nine priests were arrested this week.

AsiaNews, a missionary news service close to the Vatican, reported Friday that nine priests from the underground Catholic church in north China’s Hebei province were arrested by police Wednesday as they gathered to pray near the city of Baoding.

The report called the alleged arrests part of a campaign by the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association to subdue the underground church in Hebei, a traditional stronghold of Catholic sentiment in northern China.

“It would be impossible for our association to crack down on illegal or underground churches,” Liu said. “China has always provided education and assistance for underground priests.”

So maybe it didn’t happen. Then again…

A man who answered the phone at the Hebei Public Security Bureau said he had not heard of any arrests. He refused to give his name and hung up. The phone rang unanswered at the Baoding Public Security Bureau.

Sounds like the help desk at the IRS.

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Qassam Happy Just to Dance With You

I know I meet the definition of insanity, by repeatedly reporting on the ceaseless barrage of Israel by Palestinian rockets. But I’ve got this bizarre feeling, also possibly insane, that I’m the sane one:

A Kassam rocket caused damage to buildings in a kibbutz in the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council, Army Radio reported. There were no reports of injuries in the attack.

Up to eight rockets were fired towards the western Negev by Gaza terrorists since the morning.

Earlier, two rockets fell near near the Kissufim crossing, causing either damages or injuries. Two other rockets fell near the Karni goods crossing near Kfar Aza, and three more fell within an Eshkol regional council community and in open areas in the western Negev.

This was bad enough when it was one or two a day, but eight to ten? At some point, isn’t someone in charge supposed to do something? Isn’t that why they’re in charge? If Olmert isn’t up to the task of defending his people, no hard feelings, but get the hell out of the way, and make way for someone who can.

As for the Palestinians, I expect nothing, and they’ve never disappointed me. Two of their missiles nearly hit the Karni crossing, which, as we reported yesterday, is rather useful to them.

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Lies, Damned Lies, and The Nation VI

I stopped linking to The Nation when they stopped linking to blogs that linked to them. Why publicize their effluence without any chance of rebuttal?

But this story by that serial liar, Chris Hedges, must be answered:

Jimmy Carter, by publishing his book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, walked straight into the buzz saw that is the Israel lobby.

I’m sorry, but that’s all I can take. Do you seriously need to see any more? Just one more little thing first:

But it is in Gaza that conditions are currently reaching a full-blown humanitarian crisis.

Again, that’s the best I can do. Suffice it to say that whether Gaza is autonomous or occupied, the stench of Jews is just too much for Hedges. All you need to know about Jimmy Carter and Chris Hedges is that one defends the other.

Mostly:

…if there is a failing in Carter’s stance, it is that he is too kind to the Israelis…

Make sure you look up Hedges at CAMERA. He’s welcome to his anti-Semitism, but The Nation should be ashamed for printing it. Should be, but isn’t.

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