Tuesday, November 23, 2004
"Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss"
Upon hearing of Dan Rather's departure, I was reminded of the line from the Who's song Won't Get Fooled Again: "Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss".
After 24 years of shading his broadcasts to fit his personal agenda, he is reduced to promulgating outright lies in an effort to influence the presidential election. Is he fired in disgrace? No. Is he disciplined? No. CBS was to investigate itself concerning the shabbily forged documents that Rather employed in an effort to scuttle the President Bush's campaign, promising results "in weeks, not months." Have you heard any more about it? No. How long have they been "investigating"? Months.
While I wish Mr. Rather good riddance and bid him to not let the door hit him in the backside on the way out, I really don't think this changes much of anything. Mr Rather has made millions spewing his liberal bias and will, more than likely make millions more writing books based on his reputation as an "elder statesman" of journalism, even though he has never been anything more than a self-serving partisan hack.
Will he, or CBS, ever admit the truth; that Dan Rather couldn't have cared less whether the documents were real, as long as they could prevent President Bush's reelection? No way.
No admission. No disciplinary action. No firing. No real comeuppance whatsoever. In fact, CBS is keeping him on "60 Minutes", where the falsified documents were aired in the first place! So where is the justice in any of this?
As for his replacement, does anyone actually believe that he will not be replaced by someone with a similar mindset? Don't hold your breath. The rot at CBS did not begin and end with Dan Rather, he was only the smell.
They are not our ally, they are truly our enemy
I know, your initial reaction is "yawn, what else is new?" But, just when you think that the French have sunk to a new low, they excavate a new moral sub-basement in which to dwell.
This rather lengthy and authoritative piece is fully footnoted, and it clearly shows that the French are not only not with us, they are actively against us. Their smarmy, duplicitous nature has now fully bloomed, thus clearly illustrating President Bush's assertion that "you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists". The French have overtly cast their lot with the terrorists.
The perfidious French are keeping with their national character (or lack thereof) by actively supporting the idea that the Ba'th party should have a voice in the new govenment in Iraq. To this end, they have given refuge (and more than likely financial asistance) to Ba'thists in France. An excerpt:
With the defeat of the Saddam Hussein regime on April 9, 2003, the Ba'th ruling party was outlawed and a committee for the de-Ba'thification of Iraq was established.  However, the Ba'th's propaganda machine appears to have found a new abode in Paris, France, whence threats to the U.S. are issued regularly in three languages - English, French, and Spanish. Not surprisingly, the Ba'thist propagandists use the word "resistance" (in French, "la resistance") to underscore the association with the struggle against the Nazi occupation of France during WWII.
The resurrection of the Ba'th Party on French soil was further strengthened by France's proposal that representatives of "la resistance" should participate in any future conference that will be convened to discuss the future of Iraq. This position was clearly stated by Michel Barnier, the French Foreign Minister, in an interview with the French TV station " France Inter." In the interview, Mr. Barnier called for a political process in Iraq that would include "a number of groups and people who have today opted for the path of resistance through the use of weapons." 
The National Council for the Iraqi Resistance, also referred to as the United Council for the Iraqi Resistance, was born in June 2003, comprising Ba'th activists (referred to as militants), remnants of the Iraqi army and Republican Guard, and what are described as "heroes of the national security apparatus."
The membership of the leadership of the Council remains secret, although in an interview with the former Iraqi Vice President, Izzat Ibrahim Al-Duri, he was identified as the leader of the resistance. A press release identifies the forces operating under the umbrella of the Ba'thist Resistance. They include: 
- The Ba'thist Socialist Arab Party of Iraq (as a clandestine organization)
- The [Iraqi] "Resistance and Liberation" movement
- The Unified Council of Iraqi Resistance
- Many military forces like the "Fedayyoun of Saddam" and the "Second Army of Mohammad" 
Yes, France has allied itself with the very people who are killing American soldiers, sawing off heads and mutilating bodies in Iraq. How else would one define "enemy"?
Monday, November 22, 2004
Is this the standard of tolerance to which the yahoos in the Red States should aspire?
Awakened by a loud bang and the ring of their doorbell, an interracial couple peered out the front window of their Long Island home at 3 a.m. yesterday and saw a cross burning on the front lawn.
They said they immediately called the Suffolk County police, but by the time officers arrived, rain had doused the fire. The police removed the cross, which was three feet tall and made from the slats of a picket fence. By yesterday afternoon, the only remaining trace was a charred circle of grass outside the building, a two-family house in the southwest corner of Lake Grove.
Detective Sgt. Robert Reecks said that the police and the F.B.I. were investigating the incident as a hate crime, but that there were no suspects.
It was the county's first cross-burning since 1998, when a black family in Amityville returned home from church and found a burning cross on their
Saturday, November 20, 2004
"If you chose radical Islam you can leave, and if you don't leave voluntarily then we will send you away"
Yeah, he may sound a little radical, but he's really not. He's figured out that toleration of your enemy is simply not an option. Perhaps he's read "Not Just Presbyterians with Turbans", or, perhaps not.
One of the most popular politicians in the Netherlands said Friday the country's democracy is under threat and called for a five-year halt to non-Western immigration in the wake of the killing of a Dutch filmmaker by a suspected Muslim radical.
"We are a Dutch democratic society. We have our own norms and values," right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders told The Associated Press in an interview. "If you chose radical Islam you can leave, and if you don't leave voluntarily then we will send you away. This is the only message possible."
In his first interview with the foreign media since the slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh on Nov. 2, Wilders said his own life has been repeatedly threatened. He said he has begun living under state protection and has even had to stay away from his own home.
Wilders split with the free-market coalition partner Liberal Party two months ago because it backed the candidacy of predominantly Muslim Turkey for the European Union.
He formed his own conservative party, the Wilders Group, which has one seat in the 150-member parliament. But a recent poll suggested his anti-immigrant message was reverberating through the electorate, and he would win 24 seats if elections were held today -- up from 19 seats before Van Gogh's murder.
Wilders said that without swift, bold action, Islamic fundamentalism will topple the country's democratic system.
"The Netherlands has been too tolerant to intolerant people for too long," he said. "We should not import a retarded political Islamic society to our country. There is nothing to be ashamed of to say this. It's not Islam. I speak out against the facts."
In Brussels, Belgium, European Union leaders met Friday to discuss immigration, one of Europe's most pressing and sensitive issues. EU justice and interior ministers agreed to demand that new immigrants learn the language of their adopted countries and adhere to "European values" to guide them toward better integration.
Even as the number of immigrants arriving in Europe falls due to tougher policies, led by a sharp drop in the Netherlands, Wilders said closing the borders isn't enough. Newcomers should be forced to integrate.
"If in a mosque there is recruitment for jihad, it's not a house of prayer, it's a house of war. If it's not a house of prayer, it should be closed down," he said.
Wilders, known for his radical positions and peroxide-blond hair, has been a member of parliament since 1998. He was born and educated in the southern city Venlo, near the German border.
"I'm very tough on radical Islam. I have the toughest ideas on beating this problem and I'm proud of it. I say nothing wrong. I'm no racist, no anti-Islamist," he said.
Wilders and the police took the death threats more seriously following the slaying of Van Gogh, who had produced a television drama critical of how women are treated in some Muslim societies. The filmmaker was shot and stabbed to death, allegedly by a 26-year-old suspected Islamic extremist who holds Dutch and Moroccan citizenship.
The most recent threats were disclosed when two terror suspects, arrested Nov. 10 after a standoff in which several policemen were wounded by a hand grenade, were charged with threatening Wilders and other politicians, their lawyer said.
The latest video threat broadcast on the Internet -- in Dutch, with Arabic music in the background -- condemns Wilders for insulting Islam and offers the reward of paradise for his beheading.
Wilders' style and cause are reminiscent of Pim Fortuyn, a flamboyant political outsider who put immigration on the national agenda before the 2002 elections. Fortuyn was shot to death by an animal rights activist days before the vote, but major parties since have largely embraced his ideas.
Wilders said he is not opposed to mainstream Islam but is concerned by studies saying 10 percent of the Dutch Muslim population -- or about 100,000 people -- support radical Islamic views.
He cited a report by Dutch intelligence saying recruitment for jihad, or holy war, is taking place in as many as 20 mosques in the Netherlands, and said they should be closed and their imams, or preachers, arrested and deported.
"If we don't do anything ... we will lose the country that we have known for centuries. People don't want the Netherlands to be lost, and this is something that I get angry about and I am going to fight for, to keep the country Dutch," he said.
Friday, November 19, 2004
And Ali Wins by a Knockout in the First Round
A couple of days ago, I posted about an Iraqi blog called "Iraq the Model", run by three Iraqi brothers who work to get the truth out about Iraq. Today one of the brothers, Ali, lays waste to Jacques Chirac. I am reprinting his post below, without comment, except to say, I really really like this guy:
Stupid British!I heard what Mr. Chirac said few days ago and read about it everywhere I turn my head to. At first, it was something I felt I shouldn't even bother to listen to. It was something like what Al Jazeera keep showing us or what Arab leaders say all the time. But again this was a president of one of the most advanced and civilized countries in our times. It wasn't Kaddafi or Assad and it made me sad and furious.
The French government keep surprising me with their intentionally stupid and vicious arguments and I don't know what to say about it or if it's even necessary to say something at all. But then I'm an Iraqi citizens and these people are taking about Iraq and usually how the war brought nothing good to Iraq or the world, and I just can't stay silent about it. I know there's almost no chance that you'll read my words Mr. Chirac, but it doesn't matter, as I'm not writing for you ayway.You live in a different world.
In the past, I used to swallow my anger and frustration because I could get killed if I messed up with one of Saddam's personal friends, but now Saddam is gone and I'm not afraid and I won't stay silent anymore. This is a difference Mr. Chirac, and it's a great one, probably just to me and the rest of Iraqis but not to you, and you just have to understand that it's not all about you and your European dream which no one want to steal from you by the way.
The world is certainly not a better place after the war Mr. Chirac, but that's your world, while our world, Iraqis as well as tens of millions of oppressed people everywhere who are dying for some help, is certainly MUCH better now, and I'm sure the Americans and the British world as well as most countries (including yours) is better and safer and will keep getting better. However I agree with you, as your world, your own personal world, the world of your fellow corrupt politicians in France, Russia, Germany, China and the stinking UN, your fortune and your influence is definitely suffering. I'm even surprised that you 'saw' that Saddam's departure was positive "to a certain extent", and I can't wonder why is that! Is it because it left you with some bills you don't have to pay?!
Is my language too offensive?! Not as half as offensive and irritating as yours and I will NEVER apologize, not even after you apologize and pay the Iraqis back all the money you have stolen from us in return for supporting your partner, Saddam and
keeping him in charge for few more years.
You see, your problem and what separate you from men like Tony Blair is that you look only for what you might gain, and again "you" is not the French people, but rather you in person and the bunch of hypocrites that so sadly control the French people and manipulate them through lies and silly arguments. You never cared what would happen to Iraqis and the rest of the world had Saddam stayed in power, while Tony Blair did. Do you know why? Because he and the British government with all the brave British people live in our world, while you don't.
Stupid British! Why should they care for us, America or their own kids when they can do exactly like you; take advantage of America's need, blackmail her, support Saddam without taking much risk and gain billions of dollars.Stupid British!Haven't they learned from WW2 when you got your country back and even decided the fate of other nations on victory even though half of you made peace with the Nazis!? You certainly don't owe the British and the Americans anything for that, as it was just their own stupidity not to do the math and see how much would they gain. Their lands weren't invaded and the Nazis were trying to make a peace with them, yet they refused and fought as hard as men and women can fight to free your country for you, so that your troops could march victoriously in Paris! And you dare say that the US doesn't repay favors!??
If you don't like the world after Saddam, and if you miss him that much, you can keep living in your own world and we won't bother you...at all.
VIENNA, Austria - Iran is using the last few days before it must stop all uranium enrichment to produce significant quantities of a gas that can be used to make nuclear weapons, diplomats said Friday.Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran is simply unacceptable. Simply unacceptable.
Iran recently started producing uranium hexafluoride at its gas processing facilities in Isfahan, the diplomats told The Associated Press. When introduced into centrifuges and spun, the substance can be enriched into weapons-grade uranium that forms the core of nuclear warheads.
Iran last week agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and all related activities in a deal worked out with Britain, France, Germany and the European Union. The deal, which takes effect Monday, prohibits Iran from all uranium gas processing activities. But the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Iran was exploiting the window until Monday to produce uranium hexafluoride at its plant in the central city of Isfahan.
Asked about quantities, one diplomat said "it's not little," but he declined to elaborate.
Victor Davis Hanson on Progressive Change in a Regressive Region
It is clear, or it should be, that the main goal in the Iraq war is that of the liberation of it's people and the installation of self-governance. Yes, the impetus that set us on this course was the WMD question which endangered the region's security as well as our own. The long view, however, is that a free and democratic Iraq will set an example that will inspire revolution in neighboring countries, or fundemental change on the part of the governments due to the threat of revolution.
The indepensible Victor Davis Hanson eloquently and astutely lays out the challanges and enormous opportunities that lie ahead as this unfolds:
Just as the breakdown of a few Communist Eastern European states led to a general collapse of Marxism in the east, or the military humiliation in colonial Africa and the Falklands led to democratic renaissance in Iberia and Argentina, or American military efforts in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Panama City brought cnsensual government to Central America, a reformed Afghanistan and Iraq may prompt what decades of billions of dollars in wasted aid to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians, the 1991 Gulf War, and 60 years of appeasement of Gulf petrol-sheiks could not: the end of the old sick calculus of Middle East tyrannies blackmailing the United States through past intrigue with the Soviet Union, then threats of oil embargos and rigged prices, and, most recently, both overt and stealthy support for fundamentalist killers.While the costs of this endeavor may seem high, the costs of having done nothing would have been infinitely higher and the cost of failure or withdrawl, now that we have begun, are unthinkable. Do read the article in it's entirety as it makes the case far better than I ever could.
The similar effort to isolate Arafat, encourage the withdrawal from Gaza, and allow the Israelis to proceed with the fence have brought more opportunity to the Middle East than all of Dennis Ross's shuttles put together, noble and well-meant though his futile efforts were. The onus is on the Palestinians now either to turn Gaza into their own republic or give birth to another Lebanon - their call before a globalized audience. They can hold elections and shame the Arab League by being the embryo of consensual government in the Middle East, or coronate yet another thug and terrorist in hopes that again the United States will play a Chamberlain to their once-elected Hitler.
In an amazing display of overt racism, elements of the left continue their assault on Condoleeza Rice, using her race as the fulcrum of their argument. Were this an isolated incident, one could attribute it to a "shock jock" trying to make a name for himself, but it's an alarming trend (click here for a list of political cartoons ,employing every racial stereotype known, to discredit Dr. Rice.)
MILWAUKEE - A radio talk show host drew criticism Thursday after calling Condoleezza Rice an "Aunt Jemima" and saying she isn't competent to be secretary of state.We are in the midst of a war, and the roles of National Security Advisor and Secretary of State are seen by this guy to be "subserviant" roles in the administration?
John Sylvester the program director and morning personality on WTDY-AM in Madison, said in a phone interview Thursday that he used the term on Wednesday's show to describe Rice and other blacks as having only a subservient role in the Bush administration.
Mr. Sylvester's towering ignorance is self-evident, so I'll not waste pixels in it's refutation. I will say that Dr. Rice is a remarkable woman who is an inspiration to people of all races and she deserves much more than this. These attempts to destroy her reputation as a means of criticizing the president are beneath contempt.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
I watched a bit of the television coverage of the Clinton Presidential Library today and I was struck, as I often am at such events when past and present presidents convene, at the warmth that exists between these men. I particularly noted an exchange between Bill Clinton, George H.W Bush, and President George W. Bush, that was marked by jovial and light hearted laughter and playful shoving, as men do. Of course, there was no audio of the conversation they were having, but it was clear that their feelings were genuine and that they shared someting that no one else at that gathering could possibly understand. They are members of the most exclusive club in the world. The former presidents had relinqushed their power, peacefully, and passed the baton on to their successor, as will the current president.
As they stood there, there were no Republicans and there were no Democrats. At that moment, the political battles were done and all that remained were men who had done what only 43 men had ever done, and only they fully understood what it really means to be President of the United States.
It made me very proud of our country that it inspires such honor among men. It also suggested that this is an example we should all follow.
Yes, the partisan battles will continue to rage on, and I am more partisan than most. But let us take a moment to appreciate the wonder and beauty that is the peaceful transfer of power for more than 225 years. Let us continue to fight our partisan battles with vigor, but let us never lose sight of the true purpose of our fight; the preservation and continuation of of the ideals on which our country was built. If we do these things, God will continue to bless the United States of America.
From Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner comes this interesting piece of scapegoating:
From Roll Call:Oh, would that be anything like John Kerry's repeated campaign speeches on Sunday mornings in black churches, complete with the congregation cooling themselves with fans emblazoned with "Kerry-Edwards" logos, hmmmm? Would it be anything like that?
You gotta blame somebody when your party loses the White House, the Senate and the House. So why not blame the Catholics?
That's sort of what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did in a letter sent this week to major donors to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee....In the second paragraph of the letter, Pelosi said the election outcome showed a distinct pattern-that "the Democratic message was eclipsed by so-called values pronouncements."
"As a devout Catholic, I observe with great regret the intervention of some Catholic bishops who joined evangelical leaders in the political arena," Pelosi said. She said the bishops' actions helped to blur the separation of church and state, "and that is wrong."
It would appear that Ms. Pelosi's fallacious "Church and State" blurring is only a problem when it increases Republican votes.
While I think that Kerry attending black churches during the campaign smacked of shameless pandering it had nothing to do with blurring "the separation of church and state", and neither does any public political positions taken by Catholic bishops. The Pope himself has been highly critical of the president's actions in Iraq, as have many Catholic bishops. The fact is, just because one dons a collar, one is not rendered devoid of political opinions or stripped of one's First Amendment rights. Ms. Pelosi needs to get over it and stop whining.
Former President Clinton indicates that he shares Sen. Kerry's inability to distinguish between leading and following:
LITTLE ROCK, United States (AFP) - Former president Bill Clinton slammed the handling of the war in Iraq by his successor George W. Bush, saying the conflict alienated the United States from the world.First, why do these people put so much faith in "the World" and the UN as though the approval of these pseudo-leaders is some sort of Holy Grail? Even as you read this, the revered UN is up to it's eyeballs in corruption as a result of the "Oil for Food" program, which was Saddam's method of buying off the UN as well influencial members of the governments who have actively sought to obstruct our actions in Iraq. The beneficiaries of this scam are the people whose favor we are supposed to be currying? The collective "wisdom" of Europe has done nothing, nothing to solve a single problem on it's own continent, much less the world at large, since.......well, have they ever? They carp and they preen and then they enjoy the fruits of the heavy lifting done by someone else, and that someone else is generally the United States. When was the last time any of the countries that have been so vehement in their opposition to our action in Iraq made the right call on anything? The most vocal of our critics, France, has made bending over and spreading 'em an official diplomatic position for as long as anyone can remember.
"I supported giving the president the authority to take action against Saddam Hussein if he did not cooperate with the UN inspectors or if he was found to have had weapons of mass destruction he wouldn't give up," Clinton, at the inauguration of his presidential library here, told ABC television.
"I did believe that the administration made a mistake going to war when they did, and that's what alienated the world. And most Americans still haven't focused on this," Clinton said.
Most recently, every one of these weasels (including Kofi Annan) lined up to celebrate the glorious life of Yasser Arafat, one of the most vile creatures that has ever trod the Earth.
And Mr. Clinton laments our alienation from the world? We should wear that alienation as a badge of honor!
Secondly, how do they ignore the fact that we have liberated Iraq from the clutches of a brutal dictator, is that worth nothing? Would the weapons inspectors have created the environment for freedom and self-rule that we have created with the war? In all of this dicussion, they never seem concerned in the least with the people who are no longer being bulldozed into mass graves by the hundreds of thousands. They don't seem to see that the Iraqi people rejoice in our actions and it is only those with a vested interest in chaos and tyranny who are fighting us and, unfortunately, Democrats such as Mr. Clinton seem to be part of that group.
In a testament to the sometimes impenetrable insulation that exists in corporate suits, Target has chosen to ban Salvation Army bellringers from their premises:
What in the world are they thinking? I've always considered the bellringers to be an integral part of the Christmas Season. In fact, think of the classic Christmas movies; practically all of them included a scene outside a department store that included a Salvation Army bellringer.
This holiday season's retail conundrum: to silence the bells, or let them ring.
As the Salvation Army kicks off its annual red-kettle program today, a growing number of retailers, from Best Buy to Target, are banning Salvation Army bell ringers from their doors -- to avoid having to choose between competing charities and out of concern for customers, they say.
That's created a schism in the retail world, with rival chains banking on kettle-carrying volunteers to set them apart as more civic-minded.
''The Salvation Army has a remarkable history of providing year-round service to families, and Big Lots is proud to continue our tradition of helping with their fundraising goals," said the Columbus, Ohio, discounter in a statement issued last month after Target Corp. said it was banning the bellringers.
Upon hearing of the Salvation Army's woes -- Target kettles brought in about $9 million last year -BJ's Wholesale Club decided to put the nonprofit group's signature red donation kettles in its stores during the holiday season. Auto parts chain Auto Zone and Books-A-Million the nation's number three book retailer, also opened their doors to the Salvation Army.
The "charity" industry in this country is all too often populated by rogues and charlatans, but the Salvation Army has always been a beacon of integrity and, as a result, it's respect is universal. Its history is one of helping the least fortunate among us and it deserves better than the 'bum's rush" from the clueless suits that inhabit the corporate suites of Target.
I have a feeling that the backlash will be swift and furuous and this thick-headed decision will quickly be reversed.
A Pearl of Wisdom
Theodore Dalrymple has written an interesting piece concening the "reasoning" behind the murder of Theo Van Gogh on the streets of Amsterdam. His feeling is that it stemmed from Van Gogh's failure to tolerate an inherant tenet of the Islamic faith; the abuse of women. The Dutch people and their government have built a society with no limits to its tolerance and in doing so have given a home to the most intolerant ideology on earth; Islam. His first paragraph is very insightful and should serve as a warning to those who worship tolerance above all things:
The slaughter of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on the streets of Amsterdam, in broad daylight, by a young man of Moroccan origin bent on jihad, has at last dented Dutch confidence that unconditional tolerance can be on its own the unifying principle of a viable society. For tolerance to work, it must be reciprocal; tolerance appears to the intolerant jihadist mere weakness and lack of belief in anything. Unilateral tolerance in a world of intolerance is like unilateral disarmament in a world of armed camps: it regards hope as a better basis for policy than reality.
The balance of his piece details the special appeal that traditional Islam holds for young men-the sanctioned abuse of women, and why Van Gogh's open criticizim of this barbaric mindset cost him his life:
Like most people in Western democracies, Van Gogh, by all accounts a brash and combative man, took his freedom of expression for granted. Most of us most of the time do not reflect much on the fact that such freedom is an historical exception rather than an historical rule, a reversible achievement rather than a free gift of God. There are still many who would rather kill than brook any contradiction of their opinions or beliefs, even while they live in the most tolerant of societies.Islam is a religion that is rotting from the inside. It is totally inconsistant with modernity which is why Islamic theocracies, without fail, codify societal regression. The precepts of Islam are deeply rooted in a world that, fortunately, no longer exists. It is literally incapable of moving beyond its barbaric practices and beliefs and any questioning, much less criticizm, of these practices and beliefs are met with the most horrific forms of violence.
But why kill Theo Van Gogh, of all the people who have expressed hostility to radical Islam? Perhaps it was mere chance, but more likely it resulted from his work's exposure of a very raw nerve of Muslim identity in Western Europe: the abuse of women. This abuse is now essential for people of Muslim descent for maintaining any sense of separate cultural identity in the homogenizing solution of modern mass society.
In fact, Islam is as vulnerable in Europe to the forces of secularization as Christianity has proved to be. The majority of Muslims in Europe, particularly the young, have a weak and tenuous connection to their ancestral religion. Their level and intensity of belief is low; pop music interests them more. Far from being fanatics, they are lukewarm believers at best. Were it not for the abuse of women, Islam would go the way of the Church of England.
The abuse of women has often, if not always, appealed to men, because it gives them a sense of power, however humiliated they may feel in other spheres of their life. And the oppression of women by Muslim men in Western Europe gives those men at the same time a sexual partner, a domestic servant, and a gratifying sense of power, while allowing them also to live an otherwise westernized life. For the men, it is convenient; interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, almost the only openly hostile expressions toward Islam from British-born Muslims that I hear come from young women, some of whom loathe it passionately because they blame it for their servitude.
Religious sanction for the oppression of women (whether theologically justified or not) is hence the main attraction of Islam to young men in an increasingly secular world. This explains why a divide often opens between brothers and sisters in the same European Muslim family; the sisters want liberty, but the brothers enforce the old rules. They have to, or the whole gratifying system breaks down.
This, I suspect, is the source of the rage against Theo Van Gogh.
Tolerance, as we have been shown time and time again, is simply not an option.
Didn't "they" say that the invasion of Iraq would enrage the whole Arab World? Well, it would appear that Iraq's neighbors may be feeling a little heat and suddenly have become amazingly conciliatory:
Iraq's Neighbors to Hold MeetingThis sounds an awful lot like "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" to me. Maybe the American press will not admit our burgeoning success in Iraq, but it seems like the Arabs are.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
TEHRAN, Iran -Interior ministers of Iraq's neighboring states plus Egypt are to convene for a two-day meeting in Tehran on Nov. 30, Iran's official news agency reported Saturday. Such a meeting was agreed to in July, but no date was set. The ministers are expected to be accompanied by senior security officials who can share intelligence on militants and other people suspected of being linked to the insurgency in Iraq.
Egypt and Syria have said their interior ministers will attend, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Analysts say Iran hopes that by hosting the meeting, it will send a signal, particularly to the United States, that it recognizes the threat the Al Qaeda terror group poses both to Iraq and to itself. Al Qaeda, which is led by Usama bin Laden, has strong ties to the major Iraqi insurgency group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
"Iran wants to show that it is willing to have a better and more positive position on Iraq," said Iranian political analyst Saeed Laylaz.
There have been several meetings of Iraq's neighbors, plus regional heavyweight Egypt, since the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in April 2003. Most recently, Egypt hosted a meeting of the neighbors' foreign ministers in Cairo in July.
This blog; "Iraq the Model" is run by three Iraqi brothers and may well be one of the best sources of information as to what is really going on in Iraq. Is has been up for a year, detailing the changes and the challenges that face this country as it emerges from the "Dark Age" of Saddam's brutal dictatorship. There are also links on their site to other Iraqi bloggers. Do check in with it often as it is very, very informative. The media will have you believe that Iraq is descending into chaos and the people are violently opposed to the American "occupation." Nothing could be further from the truth. I would suggest you bookmark it and read it often.
Then again, if you insist on relying on the media and such intellectuls as Michael Moore and Linda Ronstadt for your information, go back to sleep and enjoy your blissful ignorance.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Lovely Voice, Hopelessly Muddled Brain
What the hell is she talking about?
"People don't realize that by voting Republican, they voted against themselves," she says. Of Iraq in particular, she adds, "I worry that some people are entertained by the idea of this war. They don't know anything about the Iraqis, but they're angry and frustrated in their own lives. It's like Germany, before Hitler took over. The economy was bad and people felt kicked around. They looked for a scapegoat. Now we've got a new bunch of Hitlers."
The vacuum inside her skull must be so intense that it is truly a miracle that her head does not violently implode. It must be very painful.
A Neverending Cavalcade of Psychotic Barbarity
Via LGF comes this story that is yet another example of the utter madness that has metastasized in Islam, this time in Iran:
A 14 year old boy is sentenced to 85 lashes for breaking his Ramadan fastI know, I guess that I should be more "tolerant" of people who have different beliefs. After all, who am I to judge, right?
A 14 year old boy died on Thursday, November 11th, after having received 85 lashes; according to the ruling of the Mullah judge of the public circuit court in the town of Sanandadj he was guilty of breaking his fast during the month of Ramadan.
The Kurdish site Rojeh'heh Lat reports that the young man's identity has not been disclosed. He was scheduled for burial on Saturday, November 13th (after 3 days at the local morgue), in the cemetery of Beheshteh Mohammadi in Sanandadj. However due to the public's realization of the events surrounding the boy's circumstances the cemetery was stormed [in protest] and his burial did not take place.
According to informed sources, supervisors have instructed that the burial take place in the presence of his closest relatives, surveyed by security forces.
Vatican praises Arafat for Palestinian vision
I'm not at all sure how this got past me, but I am compelled to comment on it now. It would appear that no less than the Vatican has chosen to bow at the altar of the malignancy that was Yasser Arafat:
The Vatican has praised Yasser Arafat as a charismatic leader who struggled to win independence for his people, and repeated its support of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Pope John Paul, who last met Arafat in 2001, retreated into private prayer when he was told of the death of the Palestinian leader earlier on Thursday in Paris, a Vatican source said. The Pope, who made a historic trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2000, sent a message saying he was particularly close to the Palestinian people "in this hour of sadness".
The 84-year-old Pope's message said he prayed that the "star of harmony" would soon bring peace to the Holy Land and that both Israelis and Palestinians could live "reconciled among themselves as two independent and sovereign states".
Earlier, a statement by the Vatican's chief spokesman called Mr. Arafat the "illustrious deceased" and asked God to grant eternal rest to his soul.
"The Holy See joins the pain of the Palestinian people for the passing of President Yasser Arafat. He was a leader of great charisma who loved his people and tried to guide them towards national independence," said the statement by chief spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
The official statement was bound to displease Israel because it made no mention of militant attacks, which the Jewish state blamed on Mr Arafat and insists must stop before the stalled peace process can get back on track.
First of all, I just love the way the press continues to sanitize Arafat, while casting a somewhat suspicious eye on Israel; ".....militant attacks that the Jewish State blamed on Mr. Arafat". Blamed? BLAMED?!?!
As for the Vatican - what in the world are they thinking? This is the same Vatican that has made their displeasure over our liberation of Iraq clearly known. Have they lost the ability to recognize the face of true evil when they see it? As a Catholic, I find their willingnes to ignore Arafat's crimes against humanity disturbing in the extreme. This is outrageously offensive to Israel and specifically so to the memories of the thousands, thousands of innocent Israelis that died at this monster's bloody hands. Pope John Paul II is the man who, in an act of uncommon courage and nobility, faced down the Soviet Union! How is it that he now pays homage to a mass murderer and a common thief who enriched himself by impoverishing his own people? I will stipulate that it may be unseemly for the Pope or the Vatican to be triumphal in the demise of anyone, even this fiend (I will gladly handle that task.) I do think, however, that this is one of those times when silence may have been truly golden.
The Holy Father himself may well be so addled that he may not fully understand the murderous nature, and hideous life story of the man he lauds. If that is the case, it may well be past time for him to step down and may God bless him. He has truly been a giant among men and a faithful servant of God. As for the rest of "the Vatican", I think that it's past time for them to start rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.
When clergy lose the ability to distinguish between good and evil, maybe they should revisit the fundementals.
Q: What do you call 10,000 liberals fleeing to Canada because of their dejection over Bush's re-election?
A: A good start!
This is a very illuminating account from the London Times regarding the operation in Fallujah. To the apparent dismay of much of the American media, this operation is looking like a rousing success. Most importantly, the "insurgents" are quickly being recognized, not only by Iraqi citizens, but by the Arab world, as the monsters they truly are.
Final Steps of Dead Men Walking
From James Hider in Fallujah
Fleeing rebels are tracked by aircraft and killed by US
THE last hours of the mujahidin are terrifying. With the city they once ruled with the absolute authority of medieval caliphs now overrun by American and Iraqi troops, they have to keep moving. To pause even for a few minutes can mean instant death from an unseen enemy.
A group of 15 fighters dressed in black and carrying an array of weapons ducked into a two-storey house in war-torn southern Fallujah yesterday morning. Their movement was picked up by an unmanned spy plane that beamed back live footage to a control centre on the edge of the city. Within minutes, an airstrike was called and the house disappeared in a giant plume of grey smoke.
From a house across the road, the explosion flushed out another group of guerrillas. Deafened by the blast, they stumbled out into the street, formed a ragged line and started off on the marathon to postpone their deaths, the drone dogging their every step.
"The rats are trying to move about,"Major Tim Karcher, of the Second Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, said as the figures flitted from street to street, seeking cover close to walls.
Sometimes they can throw off the drone, ducking out of sight of the men in whose power it is to summon FA18 fighter-bombers or 155mm artillery strikes. But they have no way of knowing. And, increasingly, as they run they are coming into the crosshairs of American snipers, crackshots such as Sergeant Marc Veen and his long-barrelled rifle, Lucille. Yesterday morning he spotted a black- clad man with an AK47 assault rifle peering round a corner 500 yards from the villa where Cougar Company of the Seventh Cavalry has set up a forward base.
He shot the man in the stomach: he fell, but kept crawling, so Sergeant Veen shot him again in the shoulder. Still the man tried to move away, so the sergeant blasted him with his 50-calibre machinegun.
"There's pretty much no feeling,"the 24-year-old from Chicago explained, perched on the parapet of the house, the shell of the killer bullet tucked as a trophy into his flak jacket. "If I didn't get that guy, that guy would get one of my buddies some time later."
The battle for Fallujah is all but over. The main north-south road in the once-dreaded Jolan district is a US military highway. Any guerrilla who could make his way back up from the last pockets of resistance in the south would see the mujahidin graffiti "Jihad, jihad, jihad, God is Greatest and Islam will win" replaced by slogans daubed by the US-backed Iraqi Army, posted the length of the route.
Standing on a street reeking of decomposed bodies, the ruins of a five-floor building silhouetted behind him, Lieutenant Fares Ahmed Hassan said that the destroyed city would send a strong message to a nation where force has long been the lingua franca of government. "When the people of Fallujah come back and see their houses, they will kick out any terrorists. This will be an example to all Iraqi cities," the Kurdish officer said.
Apart from a few women and children, the only civilians he had seen were men of fighting age, about 500, detained for vetting. He said that some civilians had said that insurgent snipers had shot anyone trying to leave their homes. As US troops sweep through the houses, they are unearthing the insurgents' horrifying Secrets "more akin to the handiwork of serial killers than guerrillas or even terrorists" that have shocked the world and explain why this offensive has met with so little opposition from the Arab world.
In the south of Fallujah yesterday, US Marines found the armless, legless body of a blonde woman, her throat slashed and her entrails cut out. Benjamin Finnell, a hospital apprentice with the US Navy Corps, said that she had been dead for a while, but at that location for only a day or two. The woman was wearing a blue dress; her face had been disfigured. It was unclear if the remains were the body of the Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan, 59, or of Teresa Borcz, 54, a Pole abducted two weeks ago. Both were married to Iraqis and held Iraqi citizenship; both were kidnapped in Baghdad last month.
US and Iraqi troops have discovered kidnappers' lairs filled with corpses or emaciated prisoners half-mad with fear, and piles of bodies of men who had refused to fight with the insurgents. As the guerrillas run their last sprint from death, sympathy for their cause is running out among Iraqis.
New Sheriff in Town
I couldn't be more pleased with President Bush's selection of Condoleeza Rice to take the reigns at the State Department. She's tough, she's smart and more importantly, she shares and fully supports the president's foreign policy vision and philosophy.
Colin Powell is a man worthy of great respect and he has served his country and his president with distiction during a most difficult time. Unfortunately, disagreements (either real or manufactured by the media) tended to diminish the presentation of a united front.
I would hope that Dr. Rice's first order of business would be to clear out the entrenched career diplomats whose mission has seemingly been to maintain the status quo. "Keeping a lid on it" has been the primary mission of the State Department for decades and in many ways and it has operated as an autonomous entity rather than a tool to be used by the president to implement foreign policy. I think that the president has clearly demonstrated his belief that America should take a proactive role in world affairs, and in naming Rice to this post he is serving notice to his opponents, both foreign and domestic, to expect more rather than less. Bravo!
Sunday, November 14, 2004
No Matter From Where It Comes. But..........
This is troubling, yet curious:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -The Presbyterian Church (USA) has stepped up security at its headquarters and advised its churches to be on alert after receiving a letter threatening arson attacks because of its policies in the Middle East.
The handwritten letter, received Wednesday at the church's Louisville headquarters, threatened to set churches on fire while people were inside in retaliation for "anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes," Jerry L. Van Marter, director of the Presbyterian news service, said Saturday.
The letter had no return address, but it was postmarked from Queens, N.Y., Van Marter said. The letter gave a Nov. 15 deadline for the church to reverse its Middle East policies, he said.Church officials are taking the threat seriously and have contacted law enforcement authorities in Kentucky and New York, Van Marter said.
By way of disclosure, I am a committed supporter of Israel but, if this is some sort of pro-Israel terrorism I, as I believe all resonable people should, codemn it in the strongest possible terms. Terrorism and murder is terrorism and murder, no matter the cause.
There is, however, something that just doesn't smell right about this. Burning churches and random murder of innocents just doesn't seem to fit the profile of even radical pro-Israel groups. In retaliation for "anti-Israel and anti Jewish attitudes"? Israelis have been taking the wholesale murder of Jews by Palestinians for years without a hint of this type of retaliation, and now they are prepared to randomly murder Presbyterians over attitude on U.S. soil? I may be letting my pro-Israel stance cloud my views on this, but there's something here that simply does not pass the smell test. What better way to discredit the Israeli cause, in the eyes of the Americans, than to portray its proponants as just as prone to random violence as the Muslims, hmmmm?
Oh, and for some reason, I feel compelled to direct your attention to "Not just Presbyterians with Turbans", written some time ago. At some level, it does seem relevent.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
The World Prostrates Itself Before a Monster
As expected, the world is lining up to laud the father of terrorism and murderer of thousands, Yasser Arafat. In doing so, they say more about themselves, than I could ever hope to.
What more do you need to know about Kofi Annan and the UN?
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan praised Arafat's struggle to win international recognition for the Palestinian cause, as he ordered flags to fly at half-mast at the United Nations, even though the Palestinians only have observer status at the world body.
By signing the 1993 Oslo peace accords, Arafat "took a giant step towards the realization of this vision. It is tragic that he did not live to see it fulfilled."
Or, Jacques Chirac?
French President Jacques Chirac visited the Percy military hospital to bid a final farewell to Arafat, pledging that his country would continue to work to achieve a settlement in the Middle East.
"I have come to bow before president Yasser Arafat and pay him a final homage," he said after the 25-minute visit.
Or, Jimmy Carter?
Former US President Jimmy Carter called Yasser Arafat "a powerful human symbol and forceful advocate" who united Palestinians in their pursuit of a homeland.
"Yasser Arafat's death marks the end of an era and will no doubt be painfully felt by Palestinians throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world," Carter said.
"He was the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement. A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate, Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland," he said in a statement distributed by his Atlanta, Georgia-based Carter Center.
What is the true legacy of this man of whom they speak so fondly? In part:
In fact, groups under Arafat's direct or indirect command - including Fatah, Black September, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade -were responsible for hundreds of bombings, hijackings, assassinations and other attacks, including the 1972 murder of 11 of Israel's Olympic athletes in Munich, the 1973 murder of the American ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel, and the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruiseship (resulting in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer).
As we mark the death of this tumor on humanity, let us pause to remember the victims of his reign of terror. Here is a list of those murdered by Palestinian terror, just since September, 2000.
Do click on it, scroll down and think of this list as you keep the mental picture of Jacques Chirac "bowing down before Yasser Arafat and paying him homage". Scroll down and picture the UN flag flying at half mast in honor of this abomination. Scroll down thinking of Jimmy Carter calling him a "powerful human symbol".
These are people, among others, who have been highly critical of our conduct of the War on Terror, but now choose to heap praise and lionization upon the very father of modern terrorism! If one can truly be judged by one's enemies, our judgement is favorable indeed. If one can be judged by one's friends, their judgement may not be so favorable.
(Tip o' the hat to LGF for the links)
The Iraq War is Necessary and Crucial
I have lost patience with the "No War On Iraq" crowd. Surely, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that entitlement does not guarantee that all opinions are equal. The "No War On Iraq" opinion is left wanting on both practical and moral grounds. One need only look at the phrase "No War ON Iraq" to grasp the staggering lack of understanding that inspired it.
For the record, I think it's clear that the Iraq war is exactly the right war, in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. For far too long, we have taken a passive stance in the Middle East, ostensibly out of fear of destabilizing the region, when the evidence was clear that the region has long been dangerously unstable.
On September 11, 2001, we paid dearly for our passivity and the effects of that instability resulted in the deaths of 3,000 Americans.
Certainly, had it not been for the 9/11 attacks, the actions that we have taken Afghanistan and Iraq would have been politically impossible. Those attacks, however, left us at a crossroads as to our response; focus narrowly on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda or take a wider view and include all of Islamic terrorism and its state sponsors as our targets. To me, it's the difference between pulling the leaves from a weed and destroying its root system; one is a temporary and mainly cosmetic fix, the other is a permanent solution. With an eye on the future, George W. Bush chose the permanent solution.
No rational person chooses war as a first option, but when faced with a bloodthirsty ideology that spans an entire region and saturates one of the world's most populous religions one's options are severely limited. When that ideology is bent on our very destruction and demonstrates that bent on numerous occasions, culminating in coordinated attack that results in the deaths 0f 3,000 innocent civilians and a smoldering holes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, one is left with only two options; kill or be killed.
From where does this ideology originate? It originates in the Middle East, a region populated exclusively by despotic regimes that oppress and loot their people, are antithetic to any type of progress and from whom emanates a constant stream of hatred of all things western-and Jewish.
For years, I have heard people on the Left speak of "root causes" on domestic issues such as poverty, racism, education, etc. Why is it so difficult for them to see the "root cause" in this case? I would suspect that they do, but feel that the challenge is too great, and the costs too high. We have seen the cost of decades of peace agreements that yielded no peace and sanctions that have been subverted to enrich and embolden the despots. Our efforts at appeasement have inspired simply more intransigence from the appeased and the further spread of Islamic bloodlust even beyond the boundaries of the Middle East.
Simply put, there is a mortal disease afoot in the Middle East that has metastasized and now threatens to infect the entire world. The cost of further passivity in the face of this menace is far too horrible to imagine.
In all fairness, our enemies have been quite forthright as to their intentions; they want nothing less than the destruction of Israel as well as the destruction or conversion of the United States into an Islamic state. Our mistake has been our failure to recognize the severity of the problem until the crisis was no longer possible to avoid.
All of which brings us to Iraq. The Left will have you believe that our response to 9/11 should have begun and ended with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, since he and they was the perpetrators of the act. What they fail to do is to recognize that bin Laden and al Qaeda were simply the most visible symptoms of a much larger problem; that of worldwide Islamic radicalism.
Without a doubt, Saddam in particular and Iraq in general are secular in nature. But to believe that Saddam's regime was not a haven, and source of funding for radical Islamic terrorist groups is to simply ignore the facts. To believe that Saddam was not actively seeking nuclear weapons is to ignore his megalomania. To believe that anything short of his removal was necessary as a beginning of our efforts to secure the region is to ignore his history.
Our only hope of stabilizing the region thus eliminating the environment that breeds Islamic radicalism is the propagation of freedom and democracy, a process that we have already begun in Afghanistan and are now continuing in Iraq. Iraq's neighboring despots are desperately hoping for failure and are actively sabotaging our efforts because the success of democracy in the region means that their days are numbered. Iranians have already staged massive protests and seems to be teetering on the verge of a revolution against the Mullahs.
A bold vision you say? Absolutely, it is no less than breathtaking. Impossible, you say? I wouldn't be so sure. Iraq, in particular, is a fairly educated and literate oil-rich country whose poverty was artificially created by Saddam's kleptocracy. Once the Iraqis form a working society in which people have hope and a stake in their country's success, they will have the basis for prosperity. Free, prosperous people simply have little taste for terrorists or terrorism.
"No War ON Iraq", indeed. This is not a war ON Iraq and anyone who honestly believes that Iraq, or the world, was better off with Saddam in power, or it would be better off if we abruptly withdrew tomorrow is either sand-poundingly stupid or devoid of even a scintilla of human compassion. Simplistic ignorance masquerading as intellectualism combined with an abject refusal to understand the obvious is a toxic mix that has left these people with "we hate Bush" as the central issue in their universe, around which all else revolves.
Many people talk about "changing the world", but few have the vision or the wherewithal to actually do it, George W. Bush has both. Success in this endeavor will change the world in ways that it is now hard to imagine. This task will not be accomplished easily or quickly, but accomplish it we must. Islamism has literally erased centuries of progress, and caused untold suffering in the countries that it has overtaken and its dark tide has already lapped at our shores.
Our mission is clear and the time is now.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Now begins the sickening spectacle of much of the world paying their respects to this unrepentant terrorist. His life was a curse and his death a blessing, may his victims find peace and may we rejoice that there is one less evil in the world.
Infighting or Healthy Debate?
Jonah Goldberg of The National Review has an interesting piece today entitled "No Party Man" in which he qualifies his philosophy as being "Conservative" rather than "Republican." I'm a big fan of Jonah, being generally in accord with his take on matters political and I am no less in this case - with what may be a personal qualification. Perhaps I would just like to use his insightful piece to clarify some issues, having to do with Republicanism, that have been bothering me for some time.
At some level, I think the difference between "Conservative" and "Republican" is one without practical distiction. If one has conservative priciples, where else is one to go, other than the Republican party? Certainly, within every party, there is a "party line" and it is no less so for Republicans. That is to be expected. Political parties are simply collections of people with similar views on the major issues, not an army marching in lockstep - nor should they be. The future of the "Republican majority" lies in our ability to accept candidates with varying views on certain issues as long as they, in the long run, are "moving the ball forward."
We should not fear healthy debate on every issue within our party. There is whole range of issues and we should not expect every Republican to agree on every issue. Can there be Pro-Choice Republicans? Yes, I believe there can be. Can there be Pro-Gay Marriage Republicans? Yes, I believe so. Can there be Anti-Iraq War Republicans? Yes. Certainly, if one is at odds with virtually all of the many different issues that define the Republican political philosophy then some sort of critical mass is reached and it becomes evident that he or she is, effectively no longer a Republican. When that critical mass is reached that person generally leaves the under their own steam (i.e. Jim Jeffords) well after they are perceived as being a RINO (Republican In Name Only).
The Republican party is collaboration of, but not limited to, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, foreign policy hawks, strict constitutionalists and any number of combinations thereof. I think that this collaboration gives the party an ability to grow while still moving the country in the "Right" direction. The people I fear are those who are "single issue voters" who choose to "punish" a Republican candidate who does not strictly adhere to his or her pet issue, even though the given candidate generally conforms to a wide range of other "conservative" positions. No candidate will ever satisfy all of the requirements of all of the factions within the party and we have to be mature enough to understand that half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. Progress is incremental and we need patience to achieve our common goal of a more conservative country.
The "soul if the party" lies in those things on which we agree, not in those thing on which we disagree and only in voting accordingly will we see actual progress.
A Test of Patriotism
Since the election, there has been talk among "Blue Staters" about the possibility of secession. It would appear that those who hold this view simply cannot bear to exist in the same country with those ignorant "Red Staters" who seem unduly encumbered by "values" and religious faith . Granted, this is foolish talk and should not be taken, in any way, as a serious threat to the Union. It does, however, uncover a serious question: Doesn't the very idea of secession call into question the patriotism of those who hold it?
This discussion brings to mind the biblical story which illustrates the wisdom of King Solomon of Israel:
Solomon's wisdom is proverbial. The following famous story illustrates his wisdom as a judge. Two women came to his court, each claiming that she was the mother of the same baby. Solomon threatened to split the baby in half. One woman was prepared to accept the decision, but the other begged the King to give the live baby to the other woman. Solomon then knew the second woman was the mother.
Granted, the use of a biblical story as a metaphor may well reaffirm the "Blue Staters" exasperation with religiosity, but I think that this timeless story of love is useful in determining whether this secession talk is rooted in "love of country" or unvarnished narcissism. Liberals bristle at any suggestion that their patriotism is anything less than absolute, but true patriotism sometimes requires one to put one's country above one's personal feelings. This is why men and women have fought and died for this country over more than two centuries.
Simply put, would they destroy the country in order to further their cause? If the answer is "yes", then their partriotism should rightfully be questioned.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Rumors of His Life Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
A ruthless terrorist, a murderer of countless innocents, a common thief who stole from the poorest of his people, an intractible impediment to peace, a monster in every sense of the word. This is his legacy. That this piece of human debris was actually awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is an outrage beyond description. That he walked the earth is an abomination, that he no longer does is a blessing.
May God, in His infinite wisdom, deal with him as He will, may the world breathe easier now that he's still.
Just What We Need; Another "Syndrome"
Of all of the self-indulgent crap that Ive heard of, this takes the prize......at least for today:
Traumatized Kerry supporters in Florida seek therapy: report
MIAMI (AFP) - Shocked supporters of defeated US presidential candidate John Kerry are seeking help from psychologists, who refer to their condition as "post-election selection trauma."
The Boca Raton News reported Tuesday that Palm Beach, Florida trauma specialist Douglas Schooler alone has already treated 15 clients and friends with intense hypnotherapy since the Democratic candidate conceded on November 3.
"I had one friend tell me he's never been so depressed and angry in his life," Schooler said. "I observed patients threatening to leave the country or staring listlessly into space. They were emotionally paralyzed, shocked and devastated," he told the daily.
"We're calling it 'post-election selection trauma' and we're working to develop a counseling program for it," said Rob Gordon, the Boca Raton-based executive director of the American Health Association.
"It's like post-traumatic stress syndrome, but it's a short-term shock rather than a childhood trauma," he told the daily.
"Post-Election Selection Trauma" (PEST)? Perhaps the PESTs have been mis-diagnosed and should undergo tests for CHIBS (Chronic Head In Butt Syndrome).
Sometimes I have difficulty distinguishing between real life and a "Saturday Night Live" skit, I really do.
Will Anyone on the Left Listen?
Christopher Hitchens is an avowed liberal and an atheist. He is also a man who was forever changed by 9/11 and he has consistently proven that he has learned the lesson of that day very well. He has often chastised his fellow Leftists for failing to learn, or ignoring the lesson. In "Bush's Secularist Triumph" he proves that some (at least one) on the Left have not lost their ability to think clearly. He writes, in part:
So here is what I want to say on the absolutely crucial matter of secularism. Only one faction in American politics has found itself able to make excuses for the kind of religious fanaticism that immediately menaces us in the here and now. And that faction, I am sorry and furious to say, is the left. From the first day of the immolation of the World Trade Center, right down to the present moment, a gallery of pseudointellectuals has been willing to represent the worst face of Islam as the voice of the oppressed. How can these people bear to reread their own propaganda? Suicide murderers in Palestine-disowned and denounced by the new leader of the PLO-described as the victims of "despair." The forces of al-Qaida and the Taliban represented as misguided spokespeople for antiglobalization. The blood-maddened thugs in Iraq, who would rather bring down the roof on a suffering people than allow them to vote, pictured prettily as "insurgents" or even, by Michael Moore, as the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers. If this is liberal secularism, I'll take a modest, God-fearing, deer-hunting Baptist from Kentucky every time, as long as he didn't want to impose his principles on me (which our Constitution forbids him to do).
One probably should not rest too much on the similarity between Bin Laden's last video and the newly available DVD of Fahrenheit 9/11. I would only say that, if Bin Laden had issued a tape that with equal fealty followed the playbook of Karl Rove (and do please by all means cross yourself at the mention of this unholy name), it might have garnered some more attention. The Bearded One moved pedantically through Moore's bill of indictment, checking off the Florida vote-count in 2000, the "Pet Goat" episode on the day of hell, the violent intrusion into hitherto peaceful and Muslim Iraq, and the division between Bush and the much nicer Europeans. (For some reason, unknown to me at any rate, he did not attack the President for allowing the Bin Laden family to fly out of American airspace.)
George Bush may subjectively be a Christian, but he-and the U.S. armed forces-have objectively done more for secularism than the whole of the American agnostic community combined and doubled. The demolition of the Taliban, the huge damage inflicted on the al-Qaida network, and the confrontation with theocratic saboteurs in Iraq represent huge advances for the non-fundamentalist forces in many countries. The "antiwar" faction even recognizes this achievement, if only indirectly, by complaining about the way in which it has infuriated the Islamic religious extremists around the world. But does it accept the apparent corollary—that we should have been pursuing a policy to which the fanatics had no objection?
Secularism is not just a smug attitude. It is a possible way of democratic and pluralistic life that only became thinkable after several wars and revolutions had ruthlessly smashed the hold of the clergy on the state. We are now in the middle of another such war and revolution, and the liberals have gone AWOL. I dare say that there will be a few domestic confrontations down the road, over everything from the Pledge of Allegiance to the display of Mosaic tablets in courtrooms and schools. I have spent all my life on the atheist side of this argument, and will brace for more of the same, but I somehow can't hear Robert Ingersoll or Clarence Darrow being soft and cowardly and evasive if it came to a vicious theocratic challenge that daily threatens us from within and without.
There are a few reasonable liberals; it's just a pity that their voices seem to be drowned out by the psycho wing of the party. I would disagree with most of most of Mr. Hitchens' positions, but on the central issue of our time, I stand with him shoulder to shoulder.
Here Is The Soul of The Left, and It's Not Pretty.
In his column; "A Lingering Sense of Loss", Gersh Kuntzman walks us through the stages of his acceptance of the 2004 election. It's naked condescention is indicative of a New York liberal's view of "Red State" America and clearly illustrates that the Left is becoming incapable of any type of rational discussion.
And I wasn't alone here in New York City, where nearly 80 percent of the voters supported Kerry. Mostly, we were disgusted to discover that our fellow Americans were not our fellow Americans at all, but a bunch of strangers who cite "moral values" as the biggest issue. That made me angry.
My first reaction to it was: "F*$@ you and your f%!#&^% moral values!"
My second reaction was: Since when are liberal values immoral? If you take the central issues that liberals fight for-a clean environment, fair wages for working people, expanded civil rights, the rights of homosexual adults to copulate freely-these are ultimately American values. Yes, we liberals sometimes think we know better than you do-but, unlike the president, we don't make it the central pillar of our campaign.
Ah yes, the right of homosexual adults to "copulate freely" is number four on his list of liberal "values", in fact it is ultimately an American value! The land of free homosexual copulation and the home of the brave! I must have missed the "anti homosexual copulation" plank in the Republican platform.
And what is his opinion of the "Red Staters" that re-elected President Bush?
Canvassing in a lower-middle-class white neighborhood outside of Cincinnati with its broken pickup trucks and outdoor furnishings that looked like they came from Home Repo, not Home Depot, I thought I was in hostile territory. And sometimes I did feel like an anthropologist cataloguing other species. In a trailer park outside of Reading, I met the species known as Militarus Angerarius, who started screaming at me sometime between the first and second syllable of the Democrat's surname. In another town, I met Moralius Valuarium, who told me she supported everything Kerry supported, yet worried that he didn't share her faith in God. I also met Knowatus Nothingum, who said she was pleased that the Iraqis looted that explosives bunker because it proved that Bush hadn't lied about weapons of mass destruction. And I met Bizarrus Rationalizationus, a cab driver who told me he supported Bush because, "it's his mess, so he should be forced to clean it up."
Well, there you have it. In Mr. Kuntzman's eyes, we're not just political opponents with a different point of view, we're practically a different species which, when encountered, makes Mr. Kuntzman feel as though he were an anthropologist. You can almost see the sneer on his face as he vomits forth his bile.
Well, perhaps we are a different species, Mr. Kuntzman. Perhaps we have evolved, intellectually, beyond the same tired platitudes that have emanated from the Left for decades. Perhaps it is we who have moved on and it is you who are hopelessly mired in the tarpits of the past. It's not that we don't understand, you pompous ass, it's that we understand far to well.
PARIS (Reuters) - Yasser Arafat may have only hours to live, a Palestinian source said after Palestinian leaders discussed the president's health Tuesday with doctors who are treating him at a French military hospital.
"They spent about one hour with the French doctors and heard a detailed report on his medical condition. He is not dead but we are counting the hours," the source said.
As are we, as are we. Is there nothing that can be done to speed the process? Which reminds me of a joke:
It has been fortold that Arafat would die on a Jewish holiday. Which Jewish holiday? Any day he dies will be a Jewish holiday!
Monday, November 08, 2004
Is He Saying What I Think He's Saying?
A column, published by Dean Muphy in the New York Times yesterday, seeks to draw historical parallels between the administrations of Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley and George W. Bush. Lincoln, like Bush, freely spoke of God. Lincoln, like Bush was roundly criticized for his references to the Almighty. McKinley, like Bush, sought to create an era of Republican political dominance.
Both Lincoln and McKinley were assasinated in office.
On comparing Bush to Lincoln, Murphy writes:
Now, with George W. Bush's re-election, God and a newly triumphant Republican president are once again in the headlines. And there are signs that the present national divide, between the narrow but solid Republican majority and a Democratic party seemingly trapped in second place, may be hardening into a pattern that will persist for years to come.
Democrats, especially, are left to wonder: What will it take to break the pattern - an act of God?
On Comparing Bush to McKinley at the end of the column, Murphy concludes:
Professor Wilentz of Princeton said that even if the 2004 victory was an incremental one, that should not comfort the Democrats. He said Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush now have a chance to do what Hanna and McKinley never did: Lay the foundation for lasting Republican dominance.
"The Republicans are basically unchecked," Professor Wilentz said. "There is no check in the federal government and no check in the world. They have an unfettered playing field."
Until the next act of God, that is.
Do read the entire column as the writer clearly seems to theorize that the only way to reverse the conservative trend is for President Bush to suffer the same fate as Lincoln and McKinley. Is this the current state of the discourse from the left? What have they become?
We Know He's a Murderer, Should It Surprise Us That He's Also a Thief?
While Yasser Arafat has, for decades, been bloviating about the plight of the Palestinian people and laying their pathetic state at the feet of the Israelis, he has been amassing an obscene fortune for his trouble:
Arafat's secret assets have been estimated at anywhere between $200 million (Forbes magazine) and $6 billion (U.S. and Israeli intelligence). Forbes listed him ninth in its ranking of the world's wealthiest heads of state -- even though he is a ruler without a country and many of his people are refugees.
From where did the majority of the money come? Well, it came from well-intentioned efforts to provide relief to the Palestinian people who live in abject squalor:
With Arafat apparently near death, questions linger about what has happened
to the billions in aid money from the international community to build the nascent Palestinian state. Many suspect that Suha Arafat's luxurious lifestyle -- as well as the cars, villas and expensive education of other prominent Palestinian families -- was bought with cash stolen from international donors and tax revenues.
In 1997, the Palestinian Authority's own officials found that $323 Million -- more than a third of the total budget -- had gone missing. The International Monetary Fund said last year that $750 million had been "diverted" from the Palestinian budget up to the year 2000.
Of course, some of the money came from the Palestinian people themselves:
Two years ago, American accountant Jim Prince told CBS' "60 Minutes" that part of the Palestinian leader's wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion, with investments in companies such as a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the United States and the Cayman Islands.
Although the money for the portfolio came from public funds, including Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat, Prince said, adding that none of these dealings was made public.
Like any good businessman, Yasser sought out an impressive collection of business partners:
Al-Jazeera said some of Arafat's businesses are in partnership with Arab Politicians, former officials and entrepreneurs, including Rifaat Assad, a brother of the late Syrian President Hafez Assad, and Barzan Al-Takriti, a half-brother of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Al-Takriti now is under arrest in Baghdad.
Now, tell me again what a great man Yasser Arafat is for standing up to the Israeli oppressors "for his people." Tell me again how the problems in the Middle East are the fault of "the Jews" and the west. This is but another example of whiney Middle Eastern Arabs blaming their problems on anyone but themselves. They incite their people to mass murder and suicide while they enrich themselves from the sweat of those same people. They pocket the billions we send to ease their people's suffering and call for "global Jihad" against us.
And the French? Their lionization of this despicable piece of Arab trash simply underscores the fact that they can never be part of the solution because they are an innate part of the problem. They, in concert with the rest of the Euroweenie Axis of Corruption are so busy demonizing George Bush that they can not see, or will not see, that they have aligned themselves (once again) with one of history's vilest of creatures.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
WASHINGTON - Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, was diagnosed with breast cancer the day her husband and Sen. John Kerry conceded the presidential race.
I certainly pray for Ms. Edwards recovery, as for Sen. Edwards and their family during this difficult time.
Time Appears to be Growing Short
Not a minute to soon, as I have recently written. My only regret is that, upon his death, he will be lauded as a great leader. This will be particularly so in France, where Jew-hatred seems to be especially prevalent, and becoming more so each day.
In "Julius Caesar", Shakespeare wrote "the evil men do live long after them, while the good is oft interred with their bones." Unfortunately, I am certain that the opposite will be true with Arafat.
UPDATE: Arafat is apparently dead.
UPDATE II: Or, perhaps not. It looks like he may well become a latter-day Generalissimo Francisco Franco! (If you don't get the joke, read this.)
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Oh, how nice. They're all lining up to express their jubilation on President Bush's re-election:
World leaders rushed to congratulate US President George W. Bush on his re-election to a second four-year term and pledged cooperation with Washington to heal deep divisions over a host of international issues, notably Iraq and the
In Brussels, the European Union's executive arm extended "warm congratulations" to Bush on his re-election and pledged Europe's renewed commitment to the transatlantic link.
EU nations were deeply split over Washington's unilateralist policies, notably on Iraq, in Bush's first term in office, but are now coming together to work for the shattered country's reconstruction.
"The United States and the European Union are linked by strong cultural, economic and political ties, and by our shared values. This makes us each other's natural and indispensable partners," said Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who holds the EU's rotating presidency.
"Together, Europe and the United States face many critical challenges in the years ahead. As in the past, our best hope for success lies in common action," EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana said in a statement.
Congratulatory messages also poured in from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and leaders from Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland and South Africa among others.
Annan said through his spokesman that he was "committed to continuing to work with President Bush and his administration on the whole range of issues facing the United Nations and the world."
Relations between Annan and Bush have been less than easy at times, particularly since the Iraq war, which Annan described as illegal, as it was waged without a UN green light.
French President Jacques Chirac, a strong opponent of the US-led war in Iraq, expressed hope that Bush's second term "will provide an opportunity to reinforce France-American friendship" and the transatlantic partnership.
"On behalf of France, and on my personal behalf, I would like to express to you my most sincere congratulations for your re-election to the presidency of the United States of America," Chirac wrote in a letter to Bush. I hope that your second term will provide an opportunity to reinforce the Franco-American friendship."
Nothing succeeds like success. These weenies need us a lot more that we need them, they know it and President Bush knows it too. What I find reassuring is that I know that Bush doesn't trust any of these bozos and a "President Kerry" would have.
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday welcomed a victory for George W. Bush in the U.S. presidential race, saying it meant Americans had not allowed themselves to be cowed by terrorists.
"If Bush wins, then I can only feel joy that the American people did not allow itself to be intimidated, and made the most sensible decision," Putin said at a Kremlin news conference after talks with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
By George, I think he's got it! Too bad the Euroweenie cowardocracy is still clueless.
Kerry Calls President Conceding Election, To Make Concession Speech To Nation.
It's an overcast, rainy day here, but for some reason feel the sun shining brightly upon my face and I can't stop humming "Hail to the Chief." What a wonderful day to be an American.
Oh, by the way, to France, Germany and the rest of the Euroweenie consortium as well as Kofi Annan and the corrupt UN: Shut up and sit down. We don't need your advice and we thank you to keep your mouth shut when we are conducting our affairs. Your decades of appeasement has created a dangerous world that we are now in the process of cleaning up, just as we have always cleaned up your messes in the past. If you can't offer help, or a little gratitude, then the least you can do is be quiet and stay out of the way.
To CBS, The New York Times and the rest of the News Media for Kerry consortium: Your conduct during this election has been disgraceful. You have fabricated stories and peddled your lies as news for the express purpose of defeating the president. You are not journalists, you are pompous hacks who have little respect for the people and, as a result, the people are fast losing respect for you. Take your intellectually superior attitude and shove it.
To the Hollywood airheads: You are fortunate to live in a country that allows you to make millions of dollars by pretending to be someone else. You live charmed lives and maybe a little gratitude might be in order. Make no mistake, you have every right to voice your opinions, however ill-formed and outrageous those opinions may be. Just don't cry "McCarthyism" and "blackballing" when the people who buy your movies or your records choose to go elsewhere for their entertainment because they find you, personally, to be distasteful and annoying. Your job is popularity and when your public pontifications make you unpopular you have no one to blame but yourself.
To Michael Moore: You are a despicable liar who has chosen to make millions from the deaths of 3,000 Americans. You are simply beneath contempt.
Each of you, in their own way, contributed to the concerted effort to depose a genuinely good man from the presidency. To do so through legitimate and honest disagreement is the essence of the American system, but you chose to due so through subterfuge, lies and deception. You should be ashamed of yourselves, if you were capable of such an emotion.
All of you were similarly repudiated by yesterday's election as a majority chose to ignore you and follow their hearts rather than your distorted fictions. Well done, America. Well done indeed.