Archive for January, 2007

Scenes From the Palestinian Liberation CVII

The truce between Fatah and Hamass seem to be holding:

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Field Update
31 January 2007

Hussein Khayri El-Shobasi (30) from Khan Yunis was killed yesterday by unknown gunman in Khan Yunis; and Bashir Mohammad Issa (40) was injured in Gaza in similar circumstances.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 12:15 on Wednesday, 31 January 2007, Bashir Issa was moderately injured by several bullets in the feet. Gunmen traveling in a car fired at Issa, who works in Force 17, in Jala Street in Gaza City. He was taken to Kamal Odwan Hospital in Beit Lahia for treatment.

At approximately 14:30 on Tuesday, 30 January 2007, gunmen traveling in a car fired several bullets at El-Shobasi, who works in the Palestinian Naval Police, as he was standing near Nour Mosque in Quiezan El-Najjar area, south of Khan Yunis. He was killed instantly by bullets throughout his body. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at Naser Hospital.

Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions later issued a press release mourning El-Shobasi, the Imam of Nour Mosque in Khan Yunis.

It is noted that half an hour prior to the shooting, gunmen vandalized the library in the Nour Mosque.

Remember that the next time someone gets the vapors because an infidel sneezes within five miles of a mosque.

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Shut Up, They Explained

When it comes to debate on global warming, the Left wants us to put a lid on it:

Allow me to present a few names. Massachusetts Institute of Technollogy’s Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology Richard S. Lindzen complained to the Boston Globe about the “shrill alarmism” of Gore’s flick. Neil Frank, who was considered authoritative when he was the director of the National Hurricane Center, told The Washington Post that global warming is “a hoax.” Hurricane expert William Gray of Colorado State University believes the Earth will start to cool within 10 years.

University of Virginia professor emeritus Fred Singer co-authored a book, “Unstoppable Global Warming — Every 1,500 Years,” that argues that global warming is not human-induced but based on a solar cycle. Last year, 60 Canadian scientists signed a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in which they argued that there is no consensus among climate scientists.

Trust me, the fastest way to lose friends and alienate people is to cite this research. Better just to shake your head gravely.

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Appeasing as Fast as They Can

Give ‘em credit for trying:

Rapidly deteriorating conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip risk blocking the creation of a viable Palestinian state, MPs warn today in a thinly veiled attack on British policy in the Middle East.

The report by the all-party International Development committee criticises the UK-backed financial boycott of the Palestinian Authority and says that this is drawing Palestinians closer to Iran. “The committee doubts whether this is a development the international community would have intended,” it adds.

Hamas is boycotted because it refuses to recognise Israel, renounce violence or accept existing peace plans, including the near-defunct Oslo agreement. Hamas counters that Israel has ignored its own commitments. On Monday it described a suicide bombing in Eilat, the first such attack for nine months, as “legitimate”.

The MPs argue that more money is not the answer to the Palestinian crisis since it is Israeli measures – the expansion of settlements, its West Bank security barrier and checkpoints – that are eroding prospects of development. “Israel has genuine security concerns,” the report says, “but we question the proportionality of the measures it takes and their effectiveness in achieving … long term peace and security. The policy of isolating a democratically elected government is questionable under conditions of ongoing conflict.

I could expend a lot of bandwidth on the lies and half-truths in the reporting alone—the Eilat attack may have been the first suicide bombing in nine months, for example, but it was hardly the first attempt.

Let’s just see where all this furious appeasement has gotten the Brits, shall we?

Eight men were arrested under anti-terrorism laws in Birmingham early today over what reports said was an alleged plot to kidnap a British soldier.

The men were held in dawn raids on four addresses around the city as part of what the Home Office described as a “major counter-terrorism operation”.

The plot to kidnap a soldier sounds familiar. Can’t quite put my finger on where I’ve heard that before.

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I Ain’t Your Boy

Jeff Jacoby’s column today is so good, it should be evidence of a hate crime:

Running for Congress in Tennessee last spring, Jewish Democrat Stephen Cohen made an unusual pledge: If the mostly Christian voters of the Ninth Congressional District would send him to Washington, he would proudly seek to become the first Jewish member of the Congressional Christian Caucus. Cohen wanted voters to understand that while he might not be Christian himself, he would diligently represent the best interests of his Christian constituents — including by working through the Capitol Hill caucus that focuses on issues of particular concern to Christians.

Cohen eventually carried the district with 60 percent of the vote. But when the freshman congressman tried to keep his campaign promise, he was brusquely advised to forget it: Jews weren’t welcome in the Congressional Christian Caucus. “Mr. Cohen asked for admission,” one caucus member said coldly, “and he got his answer.”

Now, before you rise in outrage at the news that in this day and age a congressman can be blackballed on religious grounds by a congressionally authorized legislative organization, a confession: This didn’t really happen. There is no Christian Caucus, and Cohen hasn’t been excluded from anything because of his religion. If such a scenario had occurred, the uproar would be deafening.

But change “Jewish” to white and “Christian” to black, and virtually everything about the scenario above happened as described.

“Mr. Cohen asked for admission and he got his answer,” said Representative William Clay Jr. of Missouri.

Can’t you hear some jug-eared, red-neck cracker using the same line to deny a black person admission to…just about anywhere? And that’s just the background. Jacoby works it over like a middleweight title holder.

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Hot to Trot

Is it hot in here, or is it just me? I think I need to “take a stand” and get some air.

As 600 scientists meet this week in Paris to finalize the first worldwide assessment in six years of the evidence on global warming, lawmakers on Capitol Hill searched for a political consensus yesterday on how to address climate change.

In a prolonged Senate hearing that one senator compared to “open-mike night,” several lawmakers spoke in passionate terms about a need to put a cap on U.S. carbon dioxide emissions before global warming’s effects become irreversible, while others sketched out possible policy compromises on the contentious issue. In a separate House hearing, a bipartisan group of lawmakers questioned whether the Bush administration has been suppressing climate science.

Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee who has pressed to regulate greenhouse gases for several years, said he did not want his children and grandchildren chastising him for inaction in decades to come.

“I don’t want them to say, ‘What did you do about it? What did you do about it when you had an opportunity? Weren’t you in the Senate?’ ” Carper asked, adding that he hoped to tell them, “I tried to move heaven and Earth to make sure we took a better course.”

The panel’s chairwoman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), said several hours into the hearing that lawmakers would heed the warnings of Carper and others, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.): “I think this is the moment we will take a stand.”

Oh dear, she didn’t really say that, did she? Well, if Barack Obama says we have a problem, then how could I be audacious enough to hope otherwise?

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Mourning the Socialist Within

It’s a pretty safe bet when reading the expression “soaring rhetoric” (without accompanying quotation marks) that said rhetoric glides smoothly over reality, hovers above sense (but does not alight), and drifts pass reason. See Ted Kennedy’s 1980 Democratic Convention speech for the model.

I would argue the same warning label should apply to a “visionary speech”:

At the beginning of Tony Blair’s political career, his Tory opponents gave him the nickname “Bambi” because of his fawn-like appearance. Now at the end of his 10 years as prime minister, Blair is mocked in Britain as America’s “poodle,” a slavishly loyal supporter of George Bush and the Iraq war.

Blair had a bit of both animal instincts, deer and dog, but he also had the brilliant political gifts that might have made him a truly great prime minister and the defining politician of his era. That’s what makes his story so sad: This immensely talented politician was devoured by Iraq — and by his support for an American president he kept thinking, wrongly, he could dissuade from mistakes.

Watching Blair deliver a farewell address to the World Economic Forum in Davos last weekend, it was impossible not to think of what might have been. He gave a visionary speech about the values of global interdependence that will be necessary in the 21st century if the world is to survive.

I would like to have heard that speech because I can’t see the values of “global interdependence” from the top of a ladder with binoculars. But my quarrel isn’t with Tony Blair, who got most of the big things right (Iraq, Kosovo, severing Labor’s socialist ties). It’s with his eulogist. The “poodle” tag is old, mate. Needs to be put down. Was he Clinton’s poodle, by the way? That’s one lap I would not want to jump into.

People see in Tony Blair what they want to see: slayer of socialism, or socialist still at heart. That’s part of Blair’s weakness. He didn’t define himself, so much as define what he wished he were: all things to all people. I suppose he was devoured by Iraq, as was Bush—both after winning re-election. I think there was mutual distrust with Blair and Bush, but over time they came to see the world remarkably similarly. Blair’s job is done; he’s interviewing for the next one. Bush has a little further to go.

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Scenes From the Palestinian Liberation CVI

I wanted to wait a few hours before congratulating the Palestinians on their latest ceasefire, just to make sure it held. But I gotta give it up to them. Prisoners released, hostilities ceased—everything’s copacetic now.

You guys made a believer out of—what’s that? They what?

Palestinian medical sources on Tuesday stated that a Palestinian citizen, 35 year old Hassan Al-Jumasi, was killed after unidentified gunmen opened fire at him in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis.

Palestinian security sources reported that the man is an operative of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement. He also worked as a lieutenant in the Palestinian navy.

Al-Jumasi was killed by gunmen from the family of one of the victims of Monday’s clashes. This is the first instance of violence since the ceasefire agreement between Fatah and Hamas was announced early on Tuesday.

Okay, you get one. Margin of error.

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I Got Your Führer Right Here

If you have the time and inclination, click over to watch a short film linking Ahmadangerfield to Hitler, and sign a petition to be presented to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

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Light a Match for Humanity

The jokes practically write themselves:

The top U.N. official for the environment asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday to convene an emergency international summit to combat global climate change, an official said, joining a growing chorus of world leaders and scientists calling for urgent action to cut greenhouse gases.

Ban met with the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, Achim Steiner, who recommended the summit take place later this year, an official close to the talks said.

Careful, fellas. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

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Welcome to Palestine

She’s Caroline Glick, and she’ll be your tour guide:

And so it is that as statesmen and activists worldwide loudly proclaim their commitment to establishing the sovereign State of Palestine, they miss the fact that Palestine exists. And it is a nightmare.

In the State of Palestine 88 percent of the public feels insecure. Perhaps the other 12 percent are members of the multitude of regular and irregular militias. For in the State of Palestine the ratio of police/militiamen/men-under-arms to civilians is higher than in any other country on earth.

In the State of Palestine, two-year-olds are killed and no one cares. Children are woken up in the middle of the night and murdered in front of their parents. Worshipers in mosques are gunned down by terrorists who attend competing mosques. And no one cares. No international human rights groups publish reports calling for an end to the slaughter. No UN body condemns anyone or sends a fact-finding mission to investigate the murders.

In the State of Palestine, women are stripped naked and forced to march in the streets to humiliate their husbands. Ambulances are stopped on the way to hospitals and wounded are shot in cold blood. Terrorists enter operating rooms in hospitals and unplug patients from life-support machines.

In the State of Palestine, people are kidnapped from their homes in broad daylight and in front of the television cameras. This is the case because the kidnappers themselves are cameramen. Indeed, their commanders often run television stations. And because terror commanders run television stations in the State of Palestine, it should not be surprising that they bomb the competition’s television stations.

My love for Caroline Glick is undying, but she gets one thing wrong. No one cares? What do you call SPL I – CV? I care, honey. If only you reciprocated.

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Maple Leaf Ragdolled

After a couple of references by Mark Steyn, I became an occasional visitor to Kathy Shaidle’s site, Relapsed Catholic. Now, I’m a regular.

What a joy it is, therefore, to see her written wit and intelligence brought to life on this clip.

You’ll have to translate from the original Canadian, and some of the issues also relate to life north of the 49th parallel. But it’s great fun. I haven’t seen a Canadian beat-down like this since Tie Domi hung up his skates.

For an unabashed American chauvinist, I’m awfully of fond of certain Canadians. It’s long past time to add Colby Cosh to my blogroll.

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Eureka!

Sarcasm, like legislation and sausage, is best made out of sight. But when I finally hit on the perfect nickname for Hugo “Tubby” “Skipper” “Chris Farley” “Fatty” “Huge-o” “The Refrigerator” Chavez, I think you need to know about it.

Here’s The Fridge’s latest:

Hugo Chavez has just about everything a president could want: popular support, a marginalized opposition, congress firmly on his side and a booming economy as he starts his new six-year term.

Now, he’s about to become even more powerful – the all-Chavista National Assembly is poised to approve a “mother law” as early as Wednesday enabling him to remake society by presidential decree. In its latest draft, the law would allow Chavez to dictate measures for 18 months in 11 broad areas, from the “economic and social sphere” to the “transformation of state institutions.”

How appropriate: a “mother law” for a motherf—you get the idea.

If the national anthem changes to “Rebels are we/born to be free/just like the fish in the sea”, you’ll know you’ve seen this movie before.

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