Monday, March 27, 2006

The Future of the War on Terror

J. R. Dunn over at The American Thinker has reasoned it all out with brutal perception and honesty in a three-part series (1, 2, 3). There is both gloom and hope here.

Part I explains that the jihadis will fail militarily in the Middle East, but Part II describes how they may succeed in Europe via a will-sapping campaign of low-level violence and political pressure into tacit acceptance of sharia law and Islamofascist rule in concentrated enclaves. Although the author doesn't say so, this is close to the model bedeviling the Israelis, who believe they are "solving" it by withdrawing their civilians from the affected areas. The difference is that Europe is "debellicized" and its leaders may continue to appease aggressors politically rather than defend their civilization - though that may change with new elected leadership.

Part III asserts that the next attack upon the U.S. will involve WMDs, but suggests their effectiveness will be limited. The author notes that the jihadis are losing - according to their "Plan" we should have been reduced to cowering in fear by now - and that ultimately time is not on their side.

Yet the author points out that the West's biggest problem is that it is stuck in fashionable but mistaken modes of thinking that will cause its efforts to flag or be misdirected, whereas the Islamofascists are more persistent strategically and flexible tactically. The author predicts that President Bush's security initiatives will not survive his Administration because after a few years of war, the democratic cries for a "return to normalcy" are powerful.

Yes, the West may ultimately "win". But why should we permit our effort to flag until tens of thousands die as result of our laxity? The West should not just stay the course abroad, but actively promote a change of heart and bold thinking at home: a bold statement of moral and cultural superiority that it is we who are in the right, and the jihadis who are wrong.

Moral equivalence should be exposed for what it is: a cowardly fraud that kept the world from dealing with the Nazis as they deserved until the British developed a spine after Poland was overrun, and from dealing with the Taliban as it deserved until the Twin Towers were destroyed, and keeps the Europe of today from asserting truth in the face of lies, as it backpedals into the quicksand of anti-semitism and dhimmitude and thrashes about uselessly, or makes matters worse.

What makes Europe, especially, tremble at this thought? I believe it was French philosopher Bernard-Henry Levi (I can't find the quote) who stated that is was the prospect of a war without a definite end that so terrified and immobilized a Europe still scarred by the memories of two horrible World Wars. Just as Americans used to cite the spectre of Vietnam at the prospect of any participation in foreign wars.

Well, too bad. 9-11 demonstrated to Americans that it isn't necessary to send troops overseas to for America to suffer the from war. It is sufficient to do nothing and pretend that nothing is happening, and our enemies will take their war to us.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Something Rotten in Iraq

It was this picture posted by Zeyad earlier this month, that first filled me with foreboding. The moment when Iraqi mayors and police forces allied with sectarian militias marks the point where things started to fall apart. Deeds of the Shia Death Squads run out of the interior ministry aren't making things better. Stir in an Iran that desperately wants Iraq to become a mess thinking that this will distract or prevent the world from taking action against Iran's nuclear program and I perceive heavy pressures to make things worse.

My suggestion: if it is still possible, for coalition troops to resume supervision and even re-vetting of police forces. Coalition troops should resume and increase night patrols without local police cooperation if necessary. Iraqis and their politicians still have some distance to travel before they can accept the responsibilities and limitations of a free society: sectarian loyalties must not conflict with efforts of the united Iraqi government to forge a peaceful yet liberal, multi-denominational, and multi-ethnic country.

For now, ordinary Iraqis must hold their politicians responsible for much of the mess, yet call on coalition forces once more to protect them. If accepted, the corollary is that any political leaders who persist in violent strife-producing activities must be subject to arrest by coalition forces.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

2006 Kosher Wine Reviews

Purim is past and Passover is rapidly approaching. Many Orthodox Jews stock up on wine just twice each year, for Rosh Hashana and for Pesach. So it's time to buy!

I generally purchase months in advance, but my wife discovered a timely review of kosher wines by restauranteur Mark Tarbell here in The Arizona Republic. This is noteworthy for two reasons: it is only in the past twenty years or so that some kosher wines have started to match the quality of equivalent non-kosher ones, and it is interesting to see such reviews written for a community outside the major Jewish concentrations of New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.

I have tasted several of the wines listed and offer my comments:

2004 Dalton Canaan, Galilee The 2002 I purchased was just as good. Dalton is one of the best-kept secrets in the kosher wine business. That's because Royal controls most of the kosher wine distribution in this country, but Dalton and a few others distribute separately. When most kosher wine retailers advertise, even if they stock Dalton, often only products under the Royal Wine umbrella are listed.

Is this due to a fee-sharing arrangement between the retailer and distributor: "You leave out the Dalton and we'll give you a better price on our product"? If so, does this violate anti-trust or fair trade regulations?

Manischewitz Concord Grape The sweet and "foxy" wine I grew up with, I find its taste comparable to Robitussin. Retailers near me say they stock it because alcoholics find it a cheap and quick way to get their buzz on.

Indeed, I only see non-Jews purchasing this stuff nowadays. I have banished it from my house, and I never see it at the homes of my friends.

2004 Bartenura Pinot Grigio Tarbell's description is entirely accurate, but doesn't do this wine justice. 2004 was not a good year. My 2001 and 2002 bottles were absolutely marvellous! A perfect match with roasted turkey. I expect to taste the 2005 next month courtesy of a friendly distributor; if readers are interested, I'll report back.

Tarbell's reviews are far from complete, and perhaps oriented towards choosing for his restaurant's cellar. Other "hot" kosher wine brands include Galil Mountain and Yarden. I consider Yarden's Mt. Hermon Red 2003, a bordeaux-type, the best value on the market today. Better yet, get the 2001 - if you can still find it.

Australian kosher wines have gained in popularity, though they aren't my cup of tea. The Alfasi range of Chilean wines is notable for its cheapness. Decent Spanish and Portugeuse kosher wines have been around for a while, and I first started to see products from South Africa last year. The varieties of kosher wines available continue to increase, and new brands like Victor (French) are entering the market.

Even so, retail prices remain high. Kosher consumers are becoming more discriminating, and everyone benefits.

Addendum 3/24

How could I forget these? Our favorite sweet white wine is Moscato di Carmel: sweet, bubbly and fresh. If I desire a heavier but still refreshing white wine I choose a Sauvignon Blanc.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"Why I Hate Islam"

...The behavior is nothing short of a breathtaking view of what happens when even the most basic moralities are co opted by evil. With the help of self serving political and religious leaders, Islamic leaders have conveyed the notion that the situation Arabs find themselves in is because of, a) a 'weakness' in their faith and, b) because they are so superior by virtue of their faith, they have every right to impose at will whatever indignities they see fit at any time. They are victims and they can extract revenge as they see fit.

Notwithstanding all the billions of words written to date and the billions more that have yet to be published, the two reasons referred to are the cause of Arab and Islamic discontent.

My hatred for all things Islamic stems from the truth that one of the people I admire most in the world is a Muslim. After 10 plus years, I can say my friend is the singularly most decent, honest and kindest person I know.

My friend believes in God, without equivocation, and my friend is outraged at yoke that must be borne by true Muslim believers because of the disintegration of Islam. The shame of many- but not all, who go to mosques to pray, cannot be measured. My friend describes an unwritten code and language decent Muslims share, so that they might find each other. They are too frightened to speak freely and they are too frightened to stand up to the bullies that have taken over the mosques and Islamic schools. They are the messengers of those that have redefined Islam...These people have stripped Muslims of almost all their dignity by stripping away even their faith...Islam has been replaced by a new faith that has come to worship death and destruction as the highest ideals of man.

...My friend bitterly, if quietly, jokes that Israel doesn't need the Arab world- it is the Arab and Muslim world that need Israel, because Israel is the mirror that fuels the self hatred, highlights their own ugliness. In fact, that emotion of self hatred runs so deep, that it cripples the Arab and Islamic world from moving forward -

I have refrained from reprinting the post in its entirety. Nevertheless, SigCarlFred's powerful yet reasoned rant is required reading for everyone.

Perhaps victory in the Global War on Terror cannot be achieved until we hold Islam to as high a standard as our own culture and thus expose it to such criticisms worldwide, not just at home, enforcing such tolerance and freedom with military action as required. Until then, how can the quiet moderation of G-d-fearing Muslims prevail?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Remarkable Dr. Sultan

"We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."

She concluded, "Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."

A full month later, Dr. Wafa Sultan's interview (1, 2, 3) on Al Jazeera which left her two imam interlocutors sputtering and speechless, continues to make waves, at least in the West. MEMRI claims it was seen by millions of Arabs throughout the world. Alhamedi is thrilled with her, Big Pharaoh is not. To American conservatives, she is a Profile in Courage and strength:
Is she just another drop in the ocean, or is she something more? Time will tell.

Addendum, 3/22

An article by Hesham A. Hassaballa in suggests not. I find the thinking process of the author fascinating:
At first, I had hope in Dr. Wafa Sultan and her stinging criticism of the Muslim World. I had hoped she would shed light on the darkness in which the Muslim World today is wallowing and help it out of this darkness by showing it the light of true Islam...As I listened to her speak about the crimes committed by Muslims throughout the centuries, I thought to myself, "Here we go again, another one of those." Her story is typical...her response to a question about who started the Crusades left me near speechless...The more I listened to what she had to say, the more I realized that she was simply the latest of a legion of critics who reflect upon the religion of Islam the sins of some of its followers. It is a tired, old tactic, but in today's age, people who do so are in no shortage of an audience.

While the broadcast initially stimulated Mr. Hassaballa's interest, he soon reverted back to the old only-some-muslims-are-bad argument and the proper response is that these Muslims should be encouraged to "an open, honest, and forthright debate" instead.

Debates where your opponent holds and is willing to use a deadly weapon as his primary argument tend to be short affairs. Absent is the suggestion to follow the course of activity the West has proven it undertakes in Bosnia and elsewhere: that the extremist perpetrators of evil deeds must be rooted out and defeated by the military force of the moderates.

Although Mr. Hassaballa is not himself an extremist jihadist, he is not ready to reject or reverse the results of their deeds - indeed, this idea entirely absent. He remains firmly in the orbit of passively accepting Islamofascism. If one follows the principle that fighting out of self-defense is valid, then by his omission Mr. Hassaballa justifies all wars against expansionist Islam from the Crusades to the present day.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Personal Statement Terrorism - Again

Another episode in what I'm sure will be a long-lived series - as long as we don't treat it seriously. My previous commentary on the subject is here.

Newish, Blueish, and Entirely Jewish

That's Seraphic Secret, the blog of Orthodox Jewish screenwriter Robert Avrech, who blogs, he says, to help cope with the death of his son.

Mr. Avrech's studies of history put history professors to shame. His view of the show business should be required reading for aspiring actors. Until I discovered Seraphic Secret I thought all screenwriters were stupid. Mr. Avrech corrected me: he suggests that only the stuff I like to watch is written by screenwriters who are stupid!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Speaking Truth to Power

She repeated in front of me again that she works with these terrorist groups “nonviolently,” then complained that as a “Palestinian” with Israeli citizenship through her father she could not “go back to the village she came from.”

“But, Huwaida,” I replied. “You were born in the United States. Besides, Arab-Israelis have equal civil rights by law in Israel and you know it.” Stunned at my reply showing I knew her real history, she said, “As an Arab I am discriminated against whenever I go to Israel.” I replied, “Huwaida you go in and out of Israel constantly for the ISM urging the end of Israel, so your claims of discrimination are just not true.” Suddenly, she had to dash away.

Terrorist supporters wither under assault by the light of truth and freedom. Not the doings of the mainstream media, of course, but Lee Kaplan in action.

the ISM have confirmed they function as human shields for Palestinians who engage in terrorism. The penetration of terror supporters into the Georgetown U. administrative infrastructure is truly astonishing:

...According to witnesses inside, Maniaci had asked twice from the audience why the panel had still not answered his question about the Conference’s official position on suicide bombings when Student Affairs Administrator Todd Olson called out “Remove him!” Maniaci, who already needed a cane to walk was dragged from his seat, thrown on the floor, then literally thrown head first through wooden doors to where I and Eric Smulson were outside...A still photographer had appeared to photograph the beating by campus police, but Smulson, the Georgetown public relations flack, waved his hands in front of her camera preventing her from taking any pictures and telling her she was not in a designated area for the press...but a film crew from PBS photographed the attack and pictures and medical treatment records at Walter Reed Army hospital for Maniaci later confirmed he had been severely beaten.

...As soon as I entered I was confronted by another Georgetown administrator named Jim Welsh. He told me someone had said I was taking pictures of the proceedings in Gaston Hall and he wanted to take my camera away if I had done so. I denied having a camera. When I asked him what his position was at Georgetown he told me he was Director of Student Health Services.

...I ran into Dr. Porterfield at one point. I had gone up against him on the Bill O’Reilly Show. I asked him who it was he had spoken to at the FBI and Homeland Security who told him the PSM was in no way involved with terrorism. He admitted he hadn’t spoken to anybody and referred me to GU’s Vice President for Student Safety Dave Morrell. Morrell refused to tell me who he spoke to about the nearly 50 or so groups that make up the Palestine Solidarity Movement that Porterfield had said on TV were cleared by national security agencies.

Hello, Homeland Security? Hello, police? The Patriot Act is clear about not lending logistical or any other type of aid to any terrorist group. Clearly that's what the ISM/PSM is up to. But it now seems right to ask if the named personnel at Georgetown University are guilty of this offense as well.

If you don't find my excerpts convincing, read it all and find out how the U. administration behaved on the SECOND day of the terror-supporters' conference.

In the end, the terror-supporters failed utterly:

as the Conference broke up and the attendees saw this crowd, something not seen lately on college campuses—really angry Jews and Christians—they ran away in fear. Jewish students from George Washington University and the Russians called after them to engage some of them in debate, but the ISM activists would have none of it. They just ran.

They ran away. Most terrorists and their supporters betray a prideful attitude of invincibility: "I belong to a conquering movement that no one can stop!" This frightens many people into submission. But that didn't happen at Georgetown last month. The terror-supporters ran off frightened and defeated. The West won a round in the war of ideas. And it was students, retirees, housewives, and devoted church-going and minyan-attending Americans that organized and did it.

Many of the terror-supporters are relatives of terrorists themselves and are attending U.S. law schools. Their first intent is to litigate Israel to death and, Lee Kaplan writes, the U.S. after that. Kaplan repeatedly points to Saudi money as the root of all this, and predicts that as long as Saudi funds flow to these groups, their efforts to recruit terror-supporters, divest from Israel, and infiltrate America's educational and organized religious institutions will continue.

This is Not the Day to Read this Blog!

Because the Saddam Files are out, and they are scorching! The link to the Leavenworth archive is here.

Omar of Iraq the Model translates this September 15th, 2001 document warning that America has learned of terror cooperation between Iraq and Osama Bin Laden here.

Don't miss the dastardly 2003 plot to use Kuwaiti POWs from the 1991 war as human shields against the expected U.S. invasion.

I'll check the site every couple of days. Michelle Malkin is following the releases and the efforts of blogger-translators. Check out her trackbacks for even more.

Less than three percent of the trove of documents have been translated. Is it any wonder why we can't "find" the paper evidence of Saddam's WMD programs? However, I suspect the Iraqis themselves will be most interested in the documents that might inform them of the fate of missing family members.

Kudos to Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard, for the releases of these documents are the fruits of his efforts.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Republicans, You are Warned!

Some Americans are very confused! Not just the daffy sorts one sees in the news or at the Academy Awards. This morning I saw a perfectly ordinary minivan with two bumper stickers. The first advertised the Punkin Chunkin World Championship in nearby Delaware. What is Punkin Chunkin, you ask? At a Punkin Chunkin a bunch of guys (and a precious few women) get together to see whose contraption can toss a pumpkin the farthest. Why? Just for fun! The ingenuity is amazing and the spectacle is worth the trip. It's a man thing to do.

Nothing really daffy about that, nothing out-of-the-ordinary for an American anyway. That same fun-loving, tech-tinking, innovative spirit led Henry Ford to develop the automobile, Thomas Edison the light bulb, and Steve Jobs the personal computer. No, it was the juxtaposition of this bumper sticker with the other one that made me blink:

Many conservatives believe the 2004 election marked a turning point. I am not convinced. The election was quite close and if Kerry had only listened a bit more that could have swung enough votes to put him in the White House. How that could result in a "stronger America" is beyond me, save for my deepest nightmares.

The minivan with the dissonant bumper stickers is symptomatic of an America that would rather the Global War on Terror didn't exist at all. Would that we all could just keep on chunkin.

Monday, March 13, 2006

George Bush, The Indian Nuclear Agreement and International Law

In the opinion of most of the world, no doubt the defining moment of the Presidency of George W. Bush was his response to the events of September 11th, 2001.

I respectfully disagree. The defining moment of his presidency, marked by a major news conference on August 9, 2001, was his decision to ban additional stem cell harvesting while letting research on those cultures already in existence continue.
My administration must decide whether to allow federal funds, your tax dollars, to be used for scientific research on stem cells derived from human embryos. A large number of these embryos already exist. They are the product of a process called in vitro fertilization, which helps so many couples conceive children. When doctors match sperm and egg to create life outside the womb, they usually produce more embryos than are planted in the mother. Once a couple successfully has children, or if they are unsuccessful, the additional embryos remain frozen in laboratories.

Some will not survive during long storage; others are destroyed. A number have been donated to science and used to create privately funded stem cell lines. And a few have been implanted in an adoptive mother and born, and are today healthy children... all Americans, I have great hope for cures. I also believe human life is a sacred gift from our Creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your President I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world. And while we're all hopeful about the potential of this research, no one can be certain that the science will live up to the hope it has generated.

I have decided we must proceed with great care....I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines, where the life and death decision has already been made.

Everything one needs to know about President George W. Bush is contained in that press release. He weighed the moral issues carefully and did not take the absolutist position of banning stem cell research entirely, but the middle-of-the-road position to continue research with the current lines, while halting the harvesting of new ones, because that is the point where the crucial moral decision is made.

President Bush doesn't believe necessarily that individuals or societies should suffer for past misdeeds, only that they should stop right now. (We didn't see anyone from the Clinton Administration prosecuted for trashing the White House computers in 2001, did we? Or analysts fired for failing to predict 9-11?)

So the President liberated Afghanistan rather than destroyed it, and corralled Pakistan into semi-cooperation rather than going to war against it. So President Bush liberated Iraq rather than follow the Ann Coulter prescription to "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Hence the President's decision on "Our Opportunity With India". On the one hand, it was argued that shunning India would enhance the stature of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and international law. Of course, that would also mean snubbing the world's largest democracy and alienating an ally in the Global War on Terror.

Considering that the Non-Proliferation Agreement has proved difficult to enforce upon the rogue regimes (like Iran and North Korea) that abuse it most dangerously, and that shunning India could only add to short-term and long-term world tensions, President Bush made the decision to resume nuclear cooperation with India for "peaceful" purposes. I'm sure that I would have made the same decision.

So India gets away with it once again, as it did with the conquest of Goa, the war that split Pakistan, and numerous other issues. Pundits who object should ponder the nature and utility of international law. Domestic laws are policed and enforced, but international law reflects and codifies the current status quo for the convenience of those who profess to follow it themselves or desire to impose it upon others.

The ability to enforce international laws vary, and from country to country, as the world situation changes, so does the desire anto enforce international law. It is a self-policing system, its constitution the law of the jungle.

Is the solution a supra-national world government? Ah, but who would set the agenda of such an organization? Would the majority impose its will upon the minority? Would a minority impose its will upon everyone else? Would regional differences vanish? How could that happen except through long and terrible wars?

If human rights as we know them are to be preserved, it is at best far too early to think of a world government, or even a U.N. running its own enforcement and tax-collection. For now, until and unless humanity matures further we are stuck with muddling along.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Zarqawi Was Here

Michael J. Totten's latest article, reporting from a formerly Al Qaeda-ruled town in Kurdistan:
“How do you feel about the U.S. bombing this mosque?” I said [to the caretaker].
“I don’t know,” he said, as if he had never even pondered the question. “It’s okay, I suppose. I am grateful. If they had not done it this place would still be a toilet.”

Who am I to dispute such a statement?

Mr. Totten was also abashed that the PUK's Interior Minister sent twenty armed men to escort him to this area:
My Peshmerga weren’t really necessary. I told my translator Alan that I was embarrassed so many military resources were being spent on my account. I probably didn’t need any.

“It’s too much,” Alan said and laughed. He, too, was clearly embarrassed. “It’s too much. The minister is doing this to be nice. He wants you to know that he cares about you.”

I explained in the comments:

I admit I'm spending a fair amount of time chuckling.

You appear to have reported accurately, but I'm not sure you understood the import of what was happening! It's the common failing of writers that they think other people think they are important enough to be the center of the universe!

Of course sending twenty men to "guard" you wasn't justified - everybody agreed on that. I doubt they ever pondered the question of you being a "wimp" or not. Try this on for size: you weren't using the PUK. They were using you.

You see, "guarding" you provided an excuse for the PUK to assert its authority. This was a show of force: the PUK demonstrating that it, not Ansar-Al-Islam, was in control of the territory. According to you, people still say they are afraid of Ansar-al-Islam. What better way to allay their fears and assert the PUK's dominance than by escorting one of Zarqawi's "enemy infidels" through the area and making sure that this "target" departs unharmed?

In the future, don't be worried if the Interior Minister sends twenty men to "protect" you. Worry if he only sends five. Chances are he'll be trying to deploy you as a temptation to flush the enemy out into the open.

Michael Totten's reporting is supported in part by readers of his blog. Hit that tip jar, people!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Lesson of The Enlightenment

The Big Pharaoh makes an impassioned plea for secular government [Warning: the accompanying pictures are gruesome]:
...we as a nation are returning back to superstitions and religiously inspired fantasies as a result of us allowing religion to invade every material aspect of our life. In the past, during the golden liberal age, the educated upper and middle class used to mock the superstitions that the poorer peasants engaged in. Now we’ve got educated middle class people using modern inventions such as e-mail or mobile multimedia messages to disseminate fantasies and other unrealities...we will only develop and move forward when we split the material and the spiritual world.

Careful. The American Revolution divided religion from government and succeeded. The French Revolution divided religion-based morality from government and the result was a bloodbath followed by nationalist/ideological fervors and finally today's decline and apathy.

What is the lesson? Secular government can improve things but ultimately fails without some sort of shared spiritual foundation. That foundation may need to change, but its ideals should only be advocated by society and political leadership, rather than individuals being compelled to follow them.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Visit The Fourth Dimension!

I grew up a Muslim, and therefore know almost all there is to know about Islam and most importantly Muslims. As I grew up, I learnt the golden rules that seem to embody almost all religions that exist in the world today, that is, tolerance, patience, good will, good intentions, etc. I became very fond of Islam. It is only today, I realize so many aspects of Islam that have NEVER been spoken of. Just today, after socializing with soo many Muslims realised the clear distinction between Islam and Muslims...

When 9/11 occured...I was still in high school. I remember how many teachers were happy about it and students encouraging it. Our Islamic teacher went to the extent of saying that those two towers were mostly filled with Jews, and therefore it was a conspiracy... Everyone hailed osama as being the shepherd of islam and those who die in palestine....

4D's young writer, Ouzian, is still growing and changing. He calls himself "a candle set in a hurricane". May your light increase and shine through the storm, Ouzian.

The Walrus and the Grrrlll Blogger

Pamela of Atlas Shrugs snagged an interview with U.N. Ambassador John Bolton:

What I most admire about John Bolton is his steely demeanor and moral clarity...

JB: ...Well, the president has used this phrase enough times, I don't know if he ever used it in a speech, but he talks about his concern about a Nuclear Holocaust -- that's his phrase.

Atlas: He's right.

JB: He's got Iran specifically in mind. That's why I am confident over time that whatever happens at the State Department, the President knows what he needs to do...

Atlas: It it seems to me you like Jews.

JB: [Hysterical laughter]

Astonishing, even upbeat. Read the whole interview. Maybe Iran - whose leaders now boast of their success at duping the Europeans - won't have to be nuked after all?

Monday, March 06, 2006

“I was ten years old. But they changed my age to 18 for execution.”

Independent writer Michael Totten reports from the Genocide Museum in Iraqi Kurdistan. Saddam executed even very young children. Sickening stuff.

The Talmud tells us that when Abraham sent Ishmael (progenitor of the Arabs) away the angels asked G-d why, knowing what evils would ensue, did not G-d invoke the death penalty immediately. G-d's reply was that each individual is judged in his own time and not by his descendants.

That's why Jews don't call for "vengeance" upon the progeny of their oppressors, not if they refrain from committing the crimes of their ancestors. Such children are always given the benefit of the doubt.

Didn't you ever wonder why Israel tolerates hostile Arab communities within and upon its borders?

Update, 2/18/08: Michael Totten visits a new Iraqi jail for a comparison: "The Dungeon of Fallujah".

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What Kind of Neighbor is Senator Hillary Clinton?

To answer that, first we should know something about where she lives. This "puff piece" from the London Daily Telegraph describes her Washington home in glowing, anticipatory terms:
The Neo-Georgian mansion in Washington is officially called Whitehaven, but it is already known by irreverent Democrats as the "White-House-in-Waiting"...The house will be Mrs Clinton's stage from which she will amass a war chest for her Senate re-election campaign next year and a likely White House bid in 2008...

Mrs Clinton also regularly hosts fund-raisers for other prominent Democrats..."It is an invaluable political tool for Mrs Clinton to invite people into the intimate personal environment of her own home..."

Mrs Clinton lives in the house during the week when the Senate is sitting...The consummate host, Mrs Clinton greets each visitor, shaking hands and posing for photographs.

It's a pretty house, isn't it? Yet I do not think this story ran in U.S. newspapers. This is a matter of courtesy in Washington, D.C.: the addresses of our political celebrities are unlisted and reporters don't publicize them. That allows politicians of all stripes to keep a private life and ensures that journalists don't offend important sources.

Now, if you please, click on THIS link to a Google satellite picture, zoom in, and examine it carefully.

Remember the "Support Denmark" demonstration across from the Danish Embassy last week? The entrance to the Danish Embassy is marked with the letter "B". Less than fifty feet away is a square three-dormer-per-side Georgian house, the only one of its kind on the block.

If you still have any doubts, just examine the background of this photograph of the demonstration.

Yes, Senator Hillary lives directly across the street from the Danish Embassy! All she had to do was step outside and she could have led the demo herself. Imagine the impact of such a statement: Senator Clinton "spontaneous" and unprompted, joining a demonstration in support of a free-press democracy beleagered by insulted Muslims throughout the world! What a brave thing to do! What an expression of moral courage!

With such a celebrity at its head, the demonstration would have been broadcast worldwide rather than the tapes being filed. She would have immediately garnered the loyalty of all Americans who feel threatened by Islamofascism, cutting Americans' support for President Bush and the Republican Party dramatically. Yet she did not do so. Was that a matter of choice, the busy Senator's schedule, or was it something else?

True, the demonstration was held on short notice. Perhaps the Senator was travelling? But in that case she certainly could have sent someone as her personal representative.

Not for a moment do I believe that the Senator was unaware of the upcoming demonstration. As ex-First Lady, she is entitled to as much Secret Service protection as she wishes. The Uniformed Division of the Secret Service is responsible for guarding embassies and anticipating such demonstrations. I can believe other government agencies may be incompetent, but derogatory jokes about the Secret Service ceased on that day in 1981 when Americans witnessed Secret Service bodyguards leaping into a fusillade of bullets to protect their President.

Why did Senator Clinton ignore the demonstration taking place in her own yard? (Look, she even pulled the blinds!) Why, in fact, has she been almost entirely silent on the Cartoon War front? The answer, I believe, lies in Hillary Clinton's convictions or lack thereof. She is silent because she is tasting the wind. Few Americans know what she stands for nowadays, but many are smitten by her glamour. Her ideals and native political initiative were completely expended by the end of her years as First Lady. All that remains is an enduring desire to experience once again those "glory days". Hillary thus seeks political advantage only and as she is uncertain whether supporting the Danes will be a plus, she has taken a low-key approach to this matter.

What does this have to do with what kind of neighbor Senator Clinton is? I also used to live next door to diplomats. They were also representatives of a democratic nation not one American in ten had ever heard of, and not one American in a hundred could point out on a map.

Yet whenever this country was mentioned in my presence, I leaped in to explain and defend it. Because every American is an ambassador of sorts. And because that is the sort of thing good neighbors do.

If Senator Clinton couldn't find it in herself to defend the freedom of her immediate neighbor, how in the world can we trust her to defend the freedoms of the United States of America?

Addendum, 3/6

Two articles covering a prior (Feb. 18th) protest-with-opposing-rally mention the Hillary-Danish Embassy connection: at The Redhunter and Free Republic. Pics of that event here. Michelle Malkin was also there.