Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day Quote

"That which is right and good in this world has always been at war with the horrific evil permitted by human indifference."

- Ehud Olmert, Israel's Prime Minister, speaking before the U.S. Congress on May 24th, 2006. (Quoted from Atlas Shrugs.)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Jews Ashamed to be Jews

Most Jews act as they see other Jews react around them. They seem to seek more to be accepted in order to get respect, instead of gaining respect by strength and honor.
Ouch! Additional commentary over at Seraphic Secret.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Big Pharaoh Speaks II

Commenting on a poll that "62 percent of Israelis support government-backed Arab emigration" - not a current policy of the Israeli govenment - BP simply writes:
It doesn't matter what political reasons there are, a citizen is a citizen. Israel's relation with its Arab citizens is a shame.
My response:
Face it: Israel has nothing to be ashamed about in the way it treats its Arab citizens compared to its neighbors.

BP, I know you know this. However, you’ve fallen for the usual anti-Israel propaganda. That’s the thing about propaganda; even if you don’t believe in the specifics, repeated messages worm their way into your mind eventually and overcome all reason.
prompted his "update" in reply:
It is a known fact that Israel, in spite of the ongoing conflict, treats its Arab minority much better than its neighbours. However, it is not right to compare Israel with the surrounding Arab countries. If Israel wants to call itself the Middle East's only democracy than it should live up to this standard...
My rebuttal:
Of course Israel must be held to the standards of democracies - with allowances made for the security situation it is in, just as Americans have had to modify things after 9-11. The extent of such allowances is the correct issue to debate, not blind vilification of Israeli policies in general.

But all this anti-Israel propaganda has befuddled people’s minds. Why should more attention be paid to Israel’s comparitively minor transgressions than to those of its authoritarian neighbors? The answer is twofold: one, it is easier and safer to report from Israel than elsewhere, and two, it distracts the oppressed populations of neighboring countries from their true oppressors, and those in Western nations from taking action against more severe violators of human rights.

Human rights in Arab and Muslim countries should be the priority. Why complain about an opinion poll when people are getting arrested, shot, or their heads chopped off just so authoritarians or bullies can perpetuate their rule or terror?

This is the propaganda trap liberal Arabs like BP have fallen into: even if they don’t believe it at first, pervasive propaganda controls the agenda of public debate and blanks out other issues from people’s minds.

Luckily, there are people who are both clever and modest enough to recognize this, once it is pointed out to them.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Public Diplomacy Key in Battle Against Terror

"The values we promote are universal," Hughes said, "meant for people everywhere and we seek to promote them with other nations and peoples in a spirit of partnership and respect."
- the words of Karen Hughes, the U.S. under secretary of state for public diplomacy.

I also believe that Public Diplomacy is vital. But during World War II, one union leader demanded of President Roosevelt, "How do you ever think we can win this war unless railroad porters get a wage increase?" My point isn't to diss public diplomacy or Karen Hughes, but to point out that PD isn't the end-all and be-all either. I think of PD as more analogous to logistical support, but for ideology, not armed battle. Policymakers must direct resources appropriately to accomplish the desired ends. If that means more for PD, I'm all for it! Just don't ignore other fields of battle the way PD was ignored for years.

And because PD is changing and expanding, it will certainly need more funding. It isn't your Cold War Radio Free Europe any more. Hughes describes transformational public diplomacy as "fundamentally changing the way we do business" in six specific areas:

1) Increased funding for effective exchange programs
2) Improved government communications and State interaction with local media
3) Public Diplomacy officers now help shape policy
4) Public-private partnerships are being created.
5) State's new use of the Internet to help accomplish its purposes
6) Finally, at the religious level, "U.S. ambassadors have been asked to use ecumenical gatherings in the countries where they are assigned to deliver the message that all of the world's great religions teach the sanctity of innocent human life."

These strike me as big changes. It has been decades since the U.S. has been willing to boldly assert its values in such a manner. Did the old USIA have any more input to actual policy-making processes than a pencil influencing the contents of an essay?

This is the sort of ideological offensive that can help win the GWOT, not just blindly and reactively filling reporters' every request for titillating information. That only feeds the beast; we want to slay it instead.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Quo Vadis?

Could we ever believe that someone would be arrested, tortured and imprisoned for long 17 months just for being in favor of global peace, inter-faith dialogue, ending religious hatred and thinking of everything good and noble for mankind? In my case it did crime is: I am a living contradiction to today's phenomenon in the Muslim world, a Zionist, a defender of Israel and a devout, practicing Muslim living in the second largest Muslim country in the world.
I knew Muslims just like this in my youth. Nowadays their home countries imprison them!

Where do they go from here? What are their prospects? Read and find out!