Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What Lessons Have We Learned in the Middle East?

Victor Davis Hanson, as usual, simplifies it for us:

It is difficult in history to find any civilization that asks as much of others as does the contemporary Middle East - and yet so little of itself. If I were to sum up the collective mentality of the current Arab Middle East - predicated almost entirely on the patriarchal sense of lost "honor" and the rational calculation to murder appeasing liberals and appease murdering authoritarians - it would run something like the following:

(1) We will pump oil at $3 and must sell it over $50 - and still blame you for stealing our natural treasure

(2) We will damn your culture and politics, but expect our own to immigrate in the thousands to your shores; upon arrival any attempt to integrate Muslim immigrants into Western pluralistic society will be seen as Islamaphobic

(3) Send us your material goods, whether machine tools, I-pods, or antibiotics. We desperately want them, but will neither make the necessary changes in our own statist, authoritarian, religiously intolerant, tribal, and patriarchal culture to allow us to produce them ourselves, nor will show any appreciation for the genius of others who can do what we cannot

(4) We ostensibly wish you to stop the killing of Muslims by ourselves and others - Milosevic murdering Kosovars, Saddam destroying Kuwaitis, Kurds, and Shiites, Russians killing Afghans and Chechnyans - but should you concretely attempt to do so, we will immediately consider your intervention far worse than the mayhem caused by others or ourselves.

(5) Any indigenous failure in the Arab Middle East will eventually be blamed on the United States or Israel

(6) Your own sense of multiculturalism must serve as an apology for our own violent pathologies, that can only be seen as different from, never worse than, your own culture.

(7) We must at all times talk of anti-Americanism and why we want you out of the Middle East; you must never become anti-Arab or anti-Muslim, much less close your borders to our immigrants and students.

(8) We will tolerate and often defend those who burn churches, ethnically cleanse Jews from our cities, behead priests, kill nuns, and shoot infidels as the necessary, if sometimes regrettable, efforts of our more zealous to defend Islam. But if any free spirit in the West satirizes Islam, we will immediately demand that Western governments condemn such blasphemy - or else!

(9) Material aid - billions to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, or the Palestinians - is our entitlement. Any attempt to curtail it is seen as an assault on the Arab nation

(10) We are deathly afraid of nuclear Russia, China, and India who have little tolerance for either Islamism or terrorism, and so will ignore their felonies, while killing you for your misdemeanors

Read it all here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

North Korea staged a chilling show of "anti-imperialist" defiance last night amid warnings from the US and Japan that the isolated communist leadership could be preparing to stage a second nuclear test.

Thousands of performers were corralled into the capital, Pyongyang, to take part in a spectacular synchronised torchlight display, in scenes reminiscent of the days of the Third Reich.

The event was orchestrated to mark the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Down With Imperialism Union, started by the "Great Leader" of North Korea, Kim Il Sung. Speaking at a commemorative meeting on Monday, a senior party leader, Kim Yong Nam, praised the "recent successful underground test", which he said would "contribute to preserving peace and stability on the peninsula".
Yet another "Gathering Storm" that we ignore at our own peril.
Well, it seems that the UN-imposed sanctions are having the effect that I expected-none. Make no mistake that Iran is watching this carefully drawing their plans accordingly.
Gorbachev compares proposed U.S. border wall to Berlin Wall

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev compared the United States' proposed 700-mile wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to the Berlin Wall during a Tuesday visit to Midland.

Addressing a Tuesday news conference at UTPB's Center for Energy and Economic Diversification, the JBS Public Leadership Institute Distinguished Lecture Series speaker was by turns serious and flippant prior to a reception with more than 100 people.

"You remember President Reagan standing in Berlin and saying, 'This wall should be torn down,'" said the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner. "Now the United States seems to be building almost the Wall of China between itself and this other nation with which it has been associated for many decades and has had cooperation and interaction with.

Eh, Mr. Gorbachev, does the fact that the Berlin Wall was constructed to keep people IN somehow escape you? This must be part of the "Re-Write History Tour 2006."
Forgive me, but the thought of the former leader of the Soviet Police State, formerly known as the USSR, lecturing in the United States about freedom and democracy (in Midland TX?) is one that I find at best surreal, and at worst repugnant.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Actor Wesley Snipes faces 40 years for alleged tax evasion

According to the indictment, Snipes, Kahn and Rosile tried "through dishonest means, to make it appear as if Snipes had no liability for federal income taxes, when, in fact, Snipes had such tax liabilities. As part of the scheme, the defendants allegedly prepared and filed two amended federal income tax returns for Snipes, fraudulently claiming refunds of 1996 and 1997 income taxes previously paid, totaling almost 12 million dollars."

What, like this guy didn't already have enough money? If this is true, they should lock him up for a long time - not one of those Martha Stewart slaps on the wrist, no probation. Hard time.

This is a man that never ceases to impress and amaze. Even his short posts on The Corner are quite suitable for being carved in granite, as is this one from today:

The Rise of the Therapeutic [Victor Davis Hanson]

One of the saddest developments in the last few years has been the easy moralizing that masks abject cowardice, hypocrisy, or fear.

The other day Bill Clinton was on the stump warning about right-wing extremism and its polarizing rhetoric - at about the same time a Hillary staffer started in on John McCain in Hanoi.

Then there was the de rigeur European outrage over Guantanamo, followed by refusal to accept its extradited prisoners to their countries of origin.

France protests over Israeli overflights of Lebanon, and is silent at the violations by Syria and Hezbollah under its nose.

What all these incidents, foreign and domestic - Jimmy Carter is the best exemplar of the therapeutic sense - reveal is grandstanding morality followed by real silence instead of honesty: Bill could have said the resort to the invective has polarized our entire political landscape as we saw with the Durbin/Kennedy/Kerry remarks about Nazis, Abu Ghraib, and terrorist American soldiers; the EU could have said that in such an existential war there are no good choices in incarcerating non-uniformed terrorists; the French could have called for all sides to respect Lebanese autonomy, etc.

It's got to the point now anytime I hear of moral outrage, I automatically assume that the lecturer is himself amoral.

That is why Israel - aside from the political questions involved - is so important: it is a litmus test of contemporary character: without oil, international terrorists, or a half-billion people, its support rests on principled sympathy with democratic society; while opposition to it hinges on, among other things, realpolitik dressed up as "concern" for (fill in the blanks) "refugees", "reciprocity", "UN resolutions", etc. The latest to lecture us in moral terms on the dangers of tilting toward Israel, is, of course, the ever vacuous Gen. Clark, who can't distinguish between a democracy that was attacked and tried to strike back at military targets, and a terrorist cadre that attacked and targeted only civilians.

I mean, what more can you say? Exept, maybe, AMEN!
How Do They Do It?

I mean, how is it that the French have this uncanny ability to be on the wrong side of literally every issue that's placed before them? Consider (via LGF):

Peretz: French UNIFIL commanders say will shoot at IAF overflights

Commanders of the French contingent of the United Nations force in Lebanon have warned that they might have to open fire if Israel Air Force warplanes continue their overflights in Lebanon, Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

Peretz said that nevertheless, Israel would continue to patrol the skies over Lebanon as long as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 remained unfulfilled, adding that such operations were critical for the country's security, especially as the abducted IDF soldiers remain in Hezbollah custody and the transfer of arms continue.

Over the past few days, Peretz said, Israel had gathered clear evidence that Syria was transferring arms and ammunition to Lebanon, meaning that the embargo imposed by UN Resolution 1701 was not being completely enforced.

The French have repeatedly stated that they will not use force to disarm Hizballah or to inhibit the smuggling of arms from Syria that Hizballah is using to attack Israel. They will, however use use force to shoot down Israeli planes during overflights.

The French "peacekeeping" mission in Lebanon seems to be little more than to provide protection to Hizballah while it rearms for further attacks on Israel, all with the tacit approval of the UN. Could we expect any less from the French, or the UN?

Monday, October 16, 2006

China Inspects North Korean Cargo

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea appeared to slip further into isolation on Monday, as China - under intense pressure to enforce new U.N. sanctions - inspected cargo trucks bound for its communist ally and stepped up construction of a border fence.

Japan - once a major trading partner with the North Korea - said it was considering further sanctions, and Australia banned the North's ships from its ports.

The Chinese inspections at a border crossing with the North came amid concerns that Beijing would ignore the new U.N. sanctions leveled against the reclusive communist country for its proclaimed nuclear test. China is a major trader with North Korea and its support is key to the success of the new U.N. measures, which call for nations to check cargo leaving and arriving from North Korea.

Hmmm. Color me unconvinced. Expecting China to enforce UN resolutions on North Korea just seems a bit optimistic for my taste. While China may well not rise to the point of enemy, it is certainly in the adversary category. Both Russia and China had to be cajoled into signing on to these sanctions. That said, both of these countries may well have an incentive to put a leash on Kim Jong Il but I don't expect that leash to be particularly short, or secure.
Muslims Find Yet Another Reason to be Angered

Islam seems to be a bottomless pit of resentment and anger. In fact, it seems to be just about the only thing that really animates them. Now, they are highly offended that the west has been so insensitive as to schedule the 2012 London Olympics during Ramadan.

Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: "They would not have organised this at Christmas. It is equally stupid to organise it at Ramadan.

"It shows a complete lack of awareness and sensitivity.

"This is going to disadvantage the athletes and alienate the Asian communities by saying they don't matter.

"It's not only going to affect the participants it's going to affect all the people who want to watch the Games.

"They won't want to travel during Ramadan and they won't want to watch sport. It's a spiritual time."

Ah yes, a spiritual time. Is that why Ramadan tends to yeild higher levels of violence during this so-called "holy month"? As to the remark about the "....complete lack of awareness and sensitivity", let's face it, sensitivity is not exactly a hallmark of Islam.

I am just so over these whiney, violent, intolerant SOB's. I work in a 7 day a week industry and, as a result I regularly work on Christmas, Easter and any number of other holidays. The world does not revolve around Islam and every precaution should be taken to ensure that fact remain unchanged. This is just another way for them to weave their Islamic law into the fabric of western society and it must be resisted at all costs.

Alas, I would not be surprised at all if "Londonistan" relents to their ever-increasing Muslim population. If that happens, it will not be a victory for "tolerance", instead it will be a victory for the most intolerant people on earth.
The Welfare State Formerly Known as Great Britain

Great Britain's welfare state has evidently become so attactive, that Americans are beginning to show up in order to cash in on the largesse. Good news for the U.S., not so much so for the U.K..

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm not going to comment on the Foley scandal except to say that the guy is a creep and deserves pretty much what he got. The naked political motivation in the Democrats' feigned "outrage" over this incident however, says more about them than it does about Foley.