Saturday, October 02, 2004

Would John Kerry Have Used Preemptive Force Against Hitler?

Really think about it. It's not a totally absurd question. After all, Europe was split down the middle on the issue.

Thanks to Medienkritik (Media Critic on my blogroll) for this great piece putting one of John Kerry's debate points into perspective:

"The terrorism czar, who has worked for every president since Ronald Reagan, said, Invading Iraq in response to 9/11 would be like Franklin Roosevelt invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor. That's what we have here." ---John Kerry, from the first presidential debate.

Recently the Kerry campaign has accused the Bush administration of taking its “eye off the ball” on Al-Qaeda by going into Iraq instead of focusing on Afghanistan. Mr. Kerry also stated during the first presidential debate that invading Iraq after 9/11 would have been like invading Mexico after Pearl Harbor. This naturally invites us to ask the question: How so Mr. Kerry?

Kerry's 'Mexico 1941 - Iraq 2003' Comparison an Insult to Mexico and Mexicans Everywhere

After all, Mexico in 1941 was not a nation ruled by a tyrant responsible for the mass murder, torture, imprisonment and suppression of hundreds of thousands of his own people. Mexico was not a nation dotted by mass graves. Mexico had not launched invasions of two neighboring countries and fired missiles at numerous others in its recent past. Mexico in 1941 had never possessed or used weapons of mass destruction nor did it have the plans or infrastructure to develop them. The Mexican government did not support the families of terrorist suicide bombers with $25,000 payments nor did it serve as a haven for terrorists. The government of Mexico had not violated a string of 17 international resolutions on arms control for more than a decade. The government of Mexico had not fired upon US aircraft enforcing no fly zones.

No. That was not Mexico in 1941. What other nation of that period then, murdered, tortured, suppressed and imprisoned the innocent? What other nation was ruled by a militant, National-Socialist tyrant? What other nation grabbed land and invaded her neighbors? What other nation sought to build long-range missiles and an atomic bomb? What other nation had repeatedly violated arms agreements while the world looked on? It wasn’t Mexico: It was Germany.

So when America was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941 at Pearl harbor, was President Roosevelt “taking his eye off the ball” by committing so many of the nation’s resources and troops to the fight against Germany and her Axis allies in North Africa and Europe, thousands of miles away from Japan? After all, Japanese, not German planes dropped the bombs and torpedoes that killed over 2,000 Americans on that fateful morning in Hawaii. Roosevelt’s decision meant that it would take far longer to defeat the Japanese, those actually directly responsible for the attacks on the United States.

Would Mr. Kerry have accused Roosevelt of pursuing the “wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time” in the presidential campaign of 1944?

The Defining Photograph Of The Presidential Election 2004

Go to Little Green Footballs for the photo.

The Letter of Truth: I Hope You Can Handle It

Stop the presses! Britney Spears has composed the most amazing letter she has ever written in her whole life, ever,:

Britney Spears (news) has penned "the most amazing letter [she] has ever written."

This, according to the author herself, who tells Britain's OK! she has drafted a missive explaining the state of her union, marital and otherwise.

"It's called 'The Letter of Truth: I Hope You Can Handle It,' " Spears says in OK!
As of late Thursday, the "letter of truth" had not been posted on Spears' official Website,

The site, however, promised that the pop star turned wordsmith was "putting the finishing touches" on the communique.

Oh, and one other thing, the site said: If you'd like to read "exclusive content," such as Spears' "letter of truth," Spears would like it if you'd commit to her fan club.

Commitment runs about $24.98 these days. Major credit cards accepted.

A call to Spears' publicist was not returned Thursday.

There were no details on the revelations to be featured in Spears' letter. But there was little doubt, to the entertainer at least, of its import.

"It was a life-changing letter for me, and I just want my fans to read it," Spears says in OK! "It really states where I am in my life right now. It is making closure with a lot of things and I think this is my ultimate truth."

It sounds as if Spears' dancing beau, Kevin Federline, has been suitably supportive of the singer arriving at her ultimate truth. Federline tells OK! that Spears worked on the letter "every day for the last week and a half."

Chimes in Spears: "I feel like I am at Harvard!"

I don't blame Britney for being concerned about whether we can handle "The Letter Of Truth." And, in fact, it's probably a good idea that she's charging for access because that will help to weed out most of the weaker people who might otherwise wilt in the blinding light of the Truth, when it is finally revealed.

I wonder what it will be. I wonder if it will be a Truth which can be spoken. Or will it, by necessity, take an elusive poetic form? And although she makes the qualification that the Letter Of Truth is her Truth, is it possible that it will contain Truth which will have implications for all of us? Will the Truth seep out from the initiated to the public at large? Will the initiated have to go to a special school, or seminar so that they can learn to deal with the Truth, and impart it to the rest of us?

We live in interesting times.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Speaking Of Sarcasm

I have nothing to add to this sarcasm, from Iowahawk:

Classic TV Scripts: ‘Johnny Nuance’

Although it ran a scant 13 episodes, the western series ‘Johnny Nuance’ still prompts fond memories among baby boomers who followed the exciting weekly adventures of the treaty-slinging frontier diplomat. Featuring former matinee idol Lash LaDouche in the title role, the series debuted on CBS on March 4, 1958 as a mid-season replacement for the low rated ‘Walter Cronkite Presents Hackleigh Rich Tobacco Flavor Playhouse.” After its brief run, it was replaced by the SciFi classic ‘Enigma Sector.’

Lash LaDouche went on to star in several other short-lived CBS series, including the 1964 sitcom ‘I Married a Hag,’ the 1968 variety show ‘Flip Out,’ and the gritty 1975 police drama ‘Torino Squad.’ He retired from acting in 1978 to found the LaDouche Winery in St. Helena, California, but is still frequently recognized by fans -- an experience he relishes.

"I am proud of my work on Johnny Nuance," says LaDouche. "The scripts might have been awful, but we taught youngsters that you didn't have to be violent, or foolhardy, or particularly courageous to be a hero."

THEME (sung by Eddie Fontaine and the Frontiersmenaires)

Johnny Nuance! Johnny Nuance!
From the shores of Martha’s Vineyard he rode his horse out West,
With a treaty in his holster and a medal on his chest,
Bringing law and justice to a wild and violent land,
Talking was his creed and sanctions were his brand!
Johnny Nuance! Johnny Nuance! (Hyahhh!)
Outlaws feared his blazing pen!

There's more.

Jack Wacks Back

Thanks to my friend Jack, over at Jack Of Clubs, for making me aware of this ridiculous example of the lack of depth to which the Islamofascists take their anti-Semitism:

An international couscous festival billed as a bridge-building event among "cooks for peace" degenerated into recriminations when Palestinian chefs accused their Israeli counterparts of using chicanery to obtain a prestigious prize."

The Israelis stole my land and my country, now they are even stealing our recipes," Palestinian delegate Mohammed Kebal complained to reporters. "The hand of Mossad is at work here. We will never take part in the contest again."


Mr. Najeeb, a chef at Jerusalem's famed American Colony Hotel, said it was "an insult" to the Arab origins of couscous to declare an Israeli dish the most original.

Jack commented:

Sorry, Mohammed. He was going to make some of those special purim pastries but I guess they were just out of Arab children's blood at the grocery store.

So much for "bridge-building", eh?Sorry for the sarcasm, but a sober discussion of Anti-Semitism just doesn't seem to do justice to this sort of vileness.

Actually, Jack, I have to say thanks for the sarcasm. Every time I post on this subject (anti-Semitism) I ask myself why I must be so sarcastic.

I truly do wake up every morning and go to bed every night thinking, "What's wrong with me? Why am I so angry?" I feel guilty about representing a Christian organization (CUANAS) with such sarcasm. I doubt that I am doing the right thing. But, for the life of me, and the Guy who died to save my life, I can not figure out another honest way to respond to the events of our current world. In my more ridiculous, yet forgiving, dreams, I hear the voice of Yeshua (Jesus) calling out,

"Blessed are the sarcastic, for they will see the pristine clarity of the Kingdom of Heaven."

This probably sounds crazy, but just chalk it up to the relentless emotional devastation I feel from dealing with this issue on a daily basis.

Poor me.

I think I'll go read The Iraq War Is Wrong Blog. That always cheers me up.

UPDATE: My wife says that "emotional devastation" is overstating it, by quite a lot. She says that I am minimizing the suffering of people who are actually victimized by anti-Semitism. She says that I'm making it all about me, that I'm being a "drama queen".

God, I hate it when my wife is right.

So, what words should I use? Ok, I experience "frustration". How's that? Is that good enough for you, Mrs. "Let's just perfectly reduce my husband back down to size with a few precisely targeted words."

Oh no, now she says, "There you go again."


Mark Steyn, from the Telegraph:

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian is demanding a ballot for November 2 on the grounds that, "if everyone in the world will be affected by this presidential election, shouldn't everyone in the world have a vote in it?"

You might want to try that argument closer to home, dearie - say, in Brussels, where plans are already well advanced to ignore any "no" votes on the constitution and where the "democratic deficit" is, as the computer types like to say, not a bug but a feature.

But, according to Freedland, in demanding the same rights as New Hampshire and Arkansas, "the human race would be making a declaration of dependence - acknowledging that Washington's decisions affect us more than those taken in our own capitals."

Yes, but that was your conscious choice - a choice not to keep up, technologically, militarily, economically, because you preferred 35-hour weeks, two months of vacation, cradle-to-grave welfare, etc.

And even today you Eurofetishists still trumpet all that as the core of European identity. And, if the core of European identity turns out to have made you impotent, you ought to treat the disease rather than demand free Viagra from Washington.

Freedland calls his request for a global anti-Bush vote a "modest proposal" - echoing his fellow Jonathan, Swift. But another passage from Swift seems more pertinent here. The European arithmetic doesn't add up: it leads to high taxes, high unemployment, high crime, disastrously low birth rates.

Yet the Eurofanatics insist that, au contraire, it's the way of the future. As Gulliver observed of the Liliputians: "They bury their Dead with their Heads directly downwards, because they hold an Opinion that in eleven thousand Moons they are all to rise again, in which Period the Earth (which they conceive to be flat) will turn upside down, and by this means they shall, at their Resurrection, be found ready standing on their Feet."

That's modern Europe, with its head in the sand but convinced that it's the only one holding the map the right way up.

Mark Steyn is just so mean.

I'll Vote For Malbec

I spent too much time reading Roger Simon this morning. Not that I don't agree with him on the issues of the debate, not that I don't find him to be informed, but I have to say I believe his analysis to be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Why, because the debate only means as much as the audience can understand of it.

Kerry conncected the dots on the level at which the audience understands the War on Terror. Bush did well playing to his constituents, but this was Kerry's first real opportunity on the national stage, and he did well. He articulated his opinions (his b.s.) in a way that would make sense to the general public given what they know. The general public would not have a reason to understand how Iraq is connected to the War on Terror, especially given the fact that we have found no WMD's.

Whatever though, you can debate the issues, but you're debating with yourself.

The most important thing to come out of Roger Simon's analysis is this:

Time to pour a good Central California Malbec and settle in.

I'm glad to hear that someone, other than me, is in on the wonders of the Malbec grape.

John Kerry's Jewish Roots

Thanks to Roger Simon for making me aware of this:

Even the best friends of Senator John Forbes Kerry, a practicing Catholic from Massachusetts (the state which contains America’s largest Irish Catholic population), thought of him as an American Irish Catholic through and through.The discovery of Kerry’s European Jewish roots has surprised many people, including the senator himself. Benedikt Kohn (Great-Grandfather)Benedikt Kohn, the great-grandfather of Senator John Kerry, was born about 1824 in southern Moravia. Benedikt was successful as a master brewer of beer.

In 1868, after the death of his first wife, he moved to Bennisch (today called Horni Benesov) and married Mathilde Frankel Kohn. Benedikt and Mathilde Kohn were two of the only 27 Jews living in Bennisch, which is listed as having a total population of 4,200, in 1880. Soon after Benedikt died in 1876, Mathilde moved to Vienna with her children Ida (7), Friedrich "Fritz" (3) and Otto (newborn). Fritz Kohn/Fred Kerry (Grandfather)Fritz and Otto excelled in their studies in Vienna.

However, like other Jews, they suffered greatly from the anti-Semitism that prevailed in Europe at this time. As a result, both Kohn brothers abandoned their Jewish heritage and converted to Roman Catholicism. In addition, in 1897, Otto decided to shed the Jewish-sounding name of Kohn. He chose a new name by dropping a pencil on a map. The pencil landed on Ireland's County Kerry. In 1901, Fritz followed his brother’s example and officially changed his name to Frederick Kerry. Fred, who worked as an accountant at his uncle's shoe factory, married Ida Loewe, a Jewish musician from Budapest.

Ida was a descendant of Sinai Loew, a brother of Rabbi Judah Loew, the famous Kabbalist, philosopher and Talmudist known as the "Maharal of Prague" who some say invented the character of the Golem. Two of Ida's siblings, Otto Loewe and Jenni Loewe, were killed in Nazi concentration camps. Fred, Ida and their first son Erich were all baptized as Catholics. And in 1905, the young family immigrated to America. After entering through Ellis Island, the family first lived in Chicago and then settled in Boston. Fred and Ida had two more children in America, Mildred (1910) and Richard (1915).

Fred and Ida and their three children lived in Brookline, where Fred became a prominent man in the shoe business and regularly attended Sunday Catholic church services. Fred did not tell and no one would have guessed that the family had Jewish roots. In 1921, Fred Kerry, at age 48, entered a Boston hotel and shot himself in the head. Some say the suicide was due to financial stress or depression. Perhaps the transition from Czech Jew to American Catholic was too great and unsupported a spiritual, psychological and social change.

Richard Kerry (Father)Richard was six years old when his father committed suicide. It has been said that he dealt with the tragedy by ignoring it. Richard attended Phillips Academy, Yale University and Harvard Law School.

After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Kerry worked in the U.S. Department of State and later the Foreign Service. He married Rosemary Forbes, the beneficiary of the Forbes family trusts. The Forbes family amassed a huge fortune in China trade.Richard and Rosemary had four children: Margery (1941), John (1943), Diana (1947) and Cameron (1950). John, a Massachusetts Senator, is the 2004 Democratic Nominee for President. Cameron, who married a Jewish woman and converted to Judaism in 1983, is a prominent Boston lawyer.

In 1997 Secretary of State Madeleine Albright learned three of her four grandparents were Jewish. Then Wesley Clark announced that his father was Jewish. And now a researcher has discovered that John Kerry is really John Kohn.

So what if John Kerry has Jewish roots? If the discovery had been made in Europe in the 1940’s, Kerry would have been sent to a Nazi concentration camp. If the discovery had been made in America in the 1950’s, Kerry’s political career would have been negatively affected. Today, however, the discovery of Kerry’s Jewish roots seems inconsequential and unlikely to affect the 2004 presidential race.

The story of Kerry’s Jewish past is of interest because it reflects the story of many European Jews who shed their Jewish heritage en route to America at the turn of the century. The story makes one wonder how many Americans today have Jewish roots of which they are unaware.

I believe the fact that one would have been sent to their death in Nazi Germany would have to have a strong effect on a person who discovers their Jewish roots later in life. As Samuel Johnson said, "The Gallows doth powerfully concentrate the mind."

For non-Jews, the Holocaust happened to other people. As a goy (non-Jew) I must admit that it took a lot before I ever had any visceral feeling about the devastation Jews experienced as a result of the Holocaust. All of us goyim are disgusted by the Holocaust, the same way we are disgusted by the carnage of a major train accident, or other disaster. But, speaking for myself while imagining that many feel like the same as I do, it's hard to take the Holocaust personally the way Jews do.

The thing is, I have had experiences that many do not have. I went to "Christmas" dinner at my Jewish girlfriends house when I was about 20 years old and saw that one side of the family was significantly underrepresented. "Why? Do they live back East. No, most of them died in the Holocaust."

Or, take the story of another girlfriends family. "Why does your Dad insist he's Mexican, when he has a German name and a German accent? Because his family is Jewish, and they fled to Mexico during the Holocaust. He liked Mexico better, so he considers himself Mexican"

If you are sensitive, which I sometimes am, you put two and two together. You hear these stories, and you see the dread and horror still etched on the faces of these family members (thirty, forty, fifty years later) and you start to take it personally as well.

The thing is, I lived with these people for a number of years, as if they were my family. I don't think most non-Jews have that experience.

Anyway, back to the point. What is the point? So what if John Kerry is Jewish? Yeah, so what, huh? Yeah, so what, Yasser. So what, Osama.

I don't think John Kerry would be a good President, but I do think it would be hard for him to deal with the anti-Semitic monsters of the Islamofascist world and not take it personally.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

John Kerry Won

I will not analyze the content of the first debate. I don't think debates of this nature are as much about content as they are about which candidate plays the strings of the broader consensi (sic?) better than the other.

Kerry, even when he veered into what I would call Michael Mooresque lunacy (Halliburton, soldiers without proper uniforms, etc.), still played those issues well. He did not look wild-eyed. He presented only plausible sounding ideas. He didn't say Bush went to war for Halliburton. Instead, he intimated that Halliburton has been a motivating factor in the Bush's decisions surrounding the War and it's aftermath. That sounds plausible and, really, how could Bush argue against the idea? It would be like arguing against the accusation that one is gay. The more one protests the more one digs ones own hole, so to speak.

Similarly, with regards to the insufficient uniform assertion. It is not possible to deny Kerry's assertion that some parents of soldiers have come to him on the campaign trail and told him that they bought extra protection for their sons and daughters to wear while in Iraq. That sounds perfectly plausible. In fact, it sounds like something I would do if my kid was in Iraq. It doesn't mean that the uniform that the U.S. Armed forces provides is insufficient. It just means that there could be more that an individual could wear, if they choose, and if they are capable of carrying the extra weight.

Anyway, Bush was his usual self, seeming sometimes steadfast and self-assured, and sometimes in the grip of a petit mal seizure as he hunts for the words in the vast Texan deserts of his mind.

Kerry looked as Presidential as Bush tonight, if not more. Bush really only has his track record to prove he's more Presidential. But, a debate is won by the calm and concise articulation of one's track records and ideas, not by the track record itself. Kerry articulated well, and Bush articulated, uh, well, uh ... only half well.

Democracy Vs. Islamofascist Dictatorship
International Herald Tribune Has Trouble With The Distinction


Jonathan Power in the International Herald Tribune (9/22) compared the Iranian nuclear program to Israel's and concluded that 'It is the Arabs who should be worried by Israel's might, rather than the other way around.' Power, a foreign affairs columnist syndicated in dozens of papers worldwide, makes three main points:

1) The West applies a 'hypocritical' double standard by insisting that Iran stop its nuclear program while allowing Israel to have the bomb.
2) Power blames Israel for Iran's emerging nuclear program, asking: '[W]here is the source of the threat that makes Iran... feel so nervous that it must now take the nuclear road? If Saddam Hussein's Iraq, with its nuclear ambitions, used to be one reason, the other is certainly Israel.'
3) Power claims that Israeli nukes never had deterrence value, and certainly don't today, as Israel faces no 'catastrophic' threat.

Power errs on each of his points:


Indeed, there is a double standard applied to Israeli vs. Iranian nuclear programs -- an entirely justified double standard.

Israel is a thriving democracy, where all citizens participate in government and have a voice, where even the most disenfranchised can climb the social ladder, and where injustice can be righted. Democratic nations are characterized by accountability, checks and balances, and recognition of fundamental human rights -- essential elements for responsible nuclear programs.

Iran, on the other hand, is a pure theocracy that institutionalizes dhimmitude (subjugation of non-Muslim peoples), engages in modern anti-Jewish witch hunts under the pretext of stopping 'Zionist conspiracies,' and hangs 'promiscuous' teenage girls in public squares with impunity.

Iran does not just happen to live in 'one of the world's most dangerous neighborhoods,' as Power claims. Iran, along with Syria (see HR Special Report), has created this danger. The U.S. State Department recognizes that Iran has provided financial aid, arms, training camps, and safe haven to the deadliest terror groups -- Hezbollah (Iran's proxy in Lebanon), Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

And while the free world increasingly fears WMDs and 'dirty bombs' falling into the hands of Islamic terrorists (half of those surveyed in a recent AP-Ipsos poll say they 'have concerns that terrorists may be winning'), Iran maintains strong, supportive ties with those terrorists.

As a theocracy with a fundamental lack of accountability, Iran's nuclear program brings the free world's great nightmare -- WMDs falling into the hands of Islamic terrorists closer to reality.


While Power cites an Israeli 'threat' as the motivation for Iran's nuclear program, in fact Israeli leaders had never challenged Tehran before that program advanced, nor did Israel ever contribute to an armed attack on Iran.

By contrast, the Iranian Mullahs have been clamoring for Israel's demise since the day they seized power in 1979. Witness the Iranians' more recent calls for the extermination of 'the Zionist Entity':

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenai explained in Jan. 2001 that 'the foundation of the Islamic regime is opposition to Israel, and the perpetual subject of Iran is the elimination of Israel from the region.'

Khamenai said in a recent sermon that 'the cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region.'

In Dec. 2001, former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani called the establishment of the Jewish state 'the worst event in history,' and declared his intention to decimate Israel, clarifying that 'one [nuclear] bomb is enough to destroy all Israel,' and that 'in due time, the Islamic world will have a military nuclear device.'

Unfortunately, it's not just talk. Iran actively supports anti-Israel terror through Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. And recall that in January 2002, Iran attempted to smuggle 50 tons of ammunition to Palestinians aboard the ship Karin A. Iran's nuclear program is clearly an extension of that aggression.

To claim, as Power does, that Iran is developing its nuclear program in response to an Israeli 'threat' is simply a fabrication of the historical record.

3) DETERRENCE AND ONGOING MORTAL THREATPower claims 'there is no evidence that Israel's nuclear weapons have deterred the Arabs from more limited wars or prevented Palestinian intifadas and suicide bombers. Nor have Israel's nuclear weapons influenced Arab attitudes toward making peace.' Power cites the 1973 Arab war against Israel and the 1991 Gulf War as cases in point.

But Gerald M. Steinberg, director of the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Bar-Ilan University, indicates that over three decades
Israel's nuclear deterrent is widely credited with offsetting the asymmetries that encouraged major attacks, creating a degree of stability, and convincing some Arab leaders, including Sadat, of the need for peace.

Steinberg also credits the policy with forcing Egypt and Syria to limit their attacks in the 1973 war, and with deterring Saddam Hussein from using chemical warheads in the 1991 missile attacks against Israel (when 39 of Iraq's conventional Scud missiles actually landed in Israel).
Regarding today's threats, Power brushes them off, stating 'there is no evidence that Arab states have invested the financial and human resources necessary to fight the kind of war that would be catastrophic for Israel.'

But as any student of the Mideast knows, the one issue that unites the Arab states -- the illegitimacy of 'the Zionist Entity' -- could at any time erupt. That eventuality must remain a cornerstone of responsible Israeli defense policy.

Praise Be To Allah, Creator of Worlds
For Showing Us How The Media Lies To Us


Here's a tip from the creator of worlds to the many new bloggers Rathergate hath wrought. Lean in close because this is important:

Whenever you see the mainstream media referring to someone as "Sheikh", you're duty bound to do a search for that person on

I'll show you why. Tonight in Loseweek, Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball warn that the U.S. occupation of Iraq is
radicalizing moderate Muslims. Moderate Muslims like "Sheik" Yusuf al-Qaradawi. To be sure, say M&M, Qaradawi isn't a moderate on every issue. For instance, he doesn't have a big problem with blowing up Jews. He's also suspected of having ties to terrorist financing networks. And yes, sure, he happens to be the "spiritual leader" of Egypt's most prominent fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. But that doesn't mean he's not a moderate at heart:

In the days after September 11, for example, Qaradawi denounced the murders of innocent civilians and encouraged Muslims to donate blood to the victims. "Our hearts bleed" for those who died in the attacks, Qaradawi said at the time.

But in recent months, Qaradawi has become one of a growing number of Muslim clerics outside Iraq who have sided ever more forcefully with resistance fighters the Bush administration has presented as indistinguishable from the terrorists of Al Qaeda. Just last month, Qaradawi was among more than 90 leading Islamic clerics who issued a proclamation—released by the offices of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood—calling on Muslims to opposed [sic] American forces in Iraq as well as the U.S.-appointed government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, a Washington-based advocacy group, says he's not surprised by the radicalization of moderates such as Qaradawi.

Now let's see what turns up when we do our mandatory MEMRI/LGF search.

July 27, 2004: Muslim journalist Abdel Rahman al-Rashed: "When it comes to political matters, Al-Qaradhawi represents the utmost degree of extremism."
March 9, 2004: "We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America!"
June 27, 2003: Condemned the Al Qaeda bombings in Riyadh and Casablanca because "[n]ot everyone who was killed in Riyadh was American and not everyone who was killed in Casablanca was American or foreign."

Hmmm. Doesn't sound so moderate. On the other hand, these quotes all date from after the invasion of Iraq. Maybe, as Loseweek suggests, the occupation had him feeling grumpy.

Let's go back a bit further to those halcyon days before the crusade and see if his views of Americans were any rosier.

November 3, 2002: From a sermon at the Umar Bin-al-Khattab Mosque in Doha, Qatar. "O God, give us victory over your enemies, the enemies of Islam. O God, protect us from their evils, weaken them, wipe them out, destroy their power, and prevent them from committing aggression against your servants. O God, destroy the aggressor, treacherous Jews. O God, destroy the aggressor Americans. O God, destroy the fanatic pagans. O God, destroy the tyrannical Crusaders."

There's more. You can go read it for yourself at

Now America Is Getting The Hang Of It

David Brooks wrote a scathing and satirical critique of U.N. multilateralism for the New York Times. Here's an excerpt:

Another Triumph For the U.N.

By DAVID BROOKS Published: September 25, 2004

And so we went the multilateral route.

Confronted with the murder of 50,000 in Sudan, we eschewed all that nasty old unilateralism, all that hegemonic, imperialist, go-it-alone, neocon, empire, coalition-of-the-coerced stuff. Our response to this crisis would be so exquisitely multilateral, meticulously consultative, collegially cooperative and ally-friendly that it would make John Kerry swoon and a million editorialists nod in sage approval.

And so we Americans mustered our outrage at the massacres in Darfur and went to the United Nations. And calls were issued and exhortations were made and platitudes spread like béarnaise. The great hum of diplomacy signaled that the global community was whirring into action.

Meanwhile helicopter gunships were strafing children in Darfur.

We did everything basically right. The president was involved, the secretary of state was bold and clearheaded, the U.N. ambassador was eloquent, and the Congress was united. And, following the strictures of international law, we had the debate that, of course, is going to be the top priority while planes are bombing villages.

We had a discussion over whether the extermination of human beings in this instance is sufficiently concentrated to meet the technical definition of genocide. For if it is, then the "competent organs of the United Nations" may be called in to take appropriate action, and you know how fearsome the competent organs may be when they may indeed be called.

The United States said the killing in Darfur was indeed genocide, the Europeans weren't so sure, and the Arab League said definitely not, and hairs were split and legalisms were parsed, and the debate over how many corpses you can fit on the head of a pin proceeded in stentorian tones while the mass extermination of human beings continued at a pace that may or may not rise to the level of genocide.

For people are still starving and perishing in Darfur.

Thanks to the dudes over in France (No Pasaran) for making me aware of this article, by the way.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Reason No. 2 To Vote For George W. Bush For President of the United States

From the Persian Journal, all praises be to Allah:

Bush: Iran will not get nuclear weapon Sep 26, 2004, 17:06AFP

US President George W. Bush says "all options are on the table" for making sure Iran dismantles its nuclear program, and that Washington will never let Tehran acquire atomic weapons. "My hope is that we can solve this diplomatically," Bush said in a three-part interview with Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" program ...

The Bush administration has charged that oil-rich Iran does not need a civilian nuclear program for energy and that Tehran is actually seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Asked whether the United States would let Iran develop that capability, Bush replied: "No, we've made it clear, our position is that they won't have a nuclear weapon."

I know. I know. You're wondering to yourself, "If that's Reason No. 2 then what's Reason No. 1?Reason No. 1 to vote for George W. Bush for President of the United States is

Kerry's ideas.

Christian Anti-Semitism?

Thanks to Jack Of Clubs for making me aware of this report from the Institute for Religion and Democracy:

We analyzed human rights criticisms made by four mainline Protestant denominations (the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.) and two ecumenical bodies (the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches) over a period of four years (2000-2003) to determine which nations were criticized for human rights violations and why. We used the 2004 human rights assessments published by Freedom House as a benchmark for human rights in nations analyzed. A given church statement or document was considered to have criticized human rights in country X when, in the context of a discussion of human rights in country X, it passed negative judgment on specific current policies or actions of the government of X.


Overall, criticisms of Israel amounted to 37 percent of the 197 human rights criticisms offered by the churches during those years, only slightly higher than the 32 percent of criticisms leveled at the United States. The remaining 31 percent of criticisms were shared by twenty other nations. For every one criticism of any other foreign nation, one criticism was made of the United States and one of Israel. Nearly all churches demonstrated this focus on the United States and Israel in their legislative actions, their statements, their news sources, or all three.

As a result, nearly three out of four human rights criticisms were made of nations designated as free (mostly the United States and Israel) by the Freedom House assessments. Those rated not free totaled 19 percent of criticisms, while partly free nations totalled only 8 percent of criticisms. Of the fifteen worst human rights offenders in the world, only five were criticized by the churches during the four year period studied.

Regions like the Middle East (apart from Israel) and Central Asia (former Soviet republics) were the most notable areas ignored by the churches in their human rights advocacy. Partly free nations, where church influence might be most effective in widening the limited civic space already open to indigenous Christians and other citizens, received the least attention.


The mainline churches are not adequately addressing the wide range of human rights abuses taking place in the world. Denominations are focusing on the United States and Israel as the primary perpetrators of human rights violations. Great attention to the United States may be expected from churches that find their homes there. But the dramatic focus on Israel as opposed to many more repressive regimes, including other U.S. allies known for human rights abuses (such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt), must be challenged.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the churches made the mistake of supporting oppressive Soviet-sponsored liberation movements around the world. They largely ignored human rights abuses in the Soviet Union and its satellite states, instead focusing on U.S. policy as the primary source of abuse. It appears that mainline denominations may be making the same mistake today with the Arab and Muslim worlds, ignoring many of the most serious abuses while apparently laying heavy blame upon the United States and Israel not only for their own lesser abuses, but also for the abuses of others. . . .

Dare I call this anti-Semitism? Well, yeah, what the heck.

I have to acknowledge that the mainline churches are merely following, like sheep, behind the rest of the world. I mean I don't think they would come up with this all on their own. I wouldn't accuse them of that. No, they follow the lead of the U.N., and Europe, and the Islamofascists, just like all the other anti-Semites. It's just the tide of world opinion.

Far be it from me to accuse mainline church organizations of thinking for themselves.

What Would Jesus Do?

Clear out the temple? Hmm.

Saudi TV Does Man-On-The-Street Interviews
What Do You Think Of The Jews?

Praise be to Allah for making me aware of this, from

Interviewer: "Would you refuse to shake hands with a Jew?"

"Allah's wrath is upon them, as the Koran says. Allah's wrath is upon them and they all stray from the path of righteousness. They are the filthiest people on the face of this earth because they care only about themselves - not the Christians, not the Muslims, nor any other religion.

"The solution is clear, not only to me but to everyone. If only [the Muslims] declared Jihad, we would see who stays home. We have a few countries… There is one country with a population of over 60-70 million people. If we let them only march, with no weapons even, they would completely trample the Jews, they would turn them into rotten carcasses under their feet.

Uh, wow. The guy came up with that right off this top of his head. I mean the dude was ready.

Go, read the rest. There is much venomous quoting of the Koran and absolute dogmatic self-assuredness. It's a stunning display of hateful pyrotechnics.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

There's Something Strange And "Suttle" Going On Over At
The Iraq War Was Wrong Blog

You know, I ask IraqWarWrong a simple question; "Am I a Neo-con", and he goes off on some ridiculous rant, accusing me of Freudian slips, and any other hippy-dippy effluvia that burbles to top of his psilocybin-laden brain.

And then he decides he has to go and pseudo-analize me. Whoops, I meant psychoanalyze. Jeez, that's disgusting, what a mess. Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, well.

Listen, the only reason I asked IraqWarWrong if he thought I was a Neocon is because I've noticed an ever so "suttle" trend developing over there at his blog. It seems that he sometimes uses the word Neocon as a synonym for Jew. Like when he wished a happy Rosh Hashanah to all his Neocon friends. Hmm.

I'd just like to know what exactly he means by that.

Does he mean that all Jews are Neocons, and all Neocons are Jews? And if that's what he means, then what's up with this recent Clash Blogging post :

I think the [NeoCons] got a weather machine
I think they're planning a takeover scheme
Doin' a good job on our countryside
They want to be our friends, but it's an obvious lie

They buried [Fallujah] and they drowned [Najaf]
Sometimes I wonder if I'll see the next day
I know the [NeoCons] are behind this shit
No ones goin' to know it until it's too late

Takeover they're taking over
How long till they get everyone?
Takeover they're taking over
How can we be so dumb?
They asked us for our help to rip [Saddam's Iraq] down
They want to rule every city want to rule every town

Do I detect a brand new form of anti-Semitism here? A kind of parabolic prejudice.

Very dangerous. Very dangerous indeed.

Hitler 2004

It's fashionable to call President Bush "Hitler" and to imply that the U.S. and Israel are like Nazi Germany. But, do you want to see what Hitler Circa 2004 really looks like?

Click here, then scroll down about a third of the page and click on the word "Sheikh".

That's from official Palestinian State TV.

Cat Stevens Ride On The Peace Train

From The National Post:

TORONTO - Yusuf Islam, the British singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, was the guest of honour at a Toronto fundraising dinner hosted by an organization that has since been identified by the Canadian government as a "front" for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

In a videotape of the 1998 event obtained by the National Post, Mr. Islam describes Israel as a "so-called new society" created by a "so-called religion" and urges the audience to donate to the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services to "lessen the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Palestine and the Holy Land."

Another peaceful Jihadi.

Islamic Writers Acknowledge What The Western Media Seems Incapable Of Acknowledging

From Front Page Magazine:

... while Islamic terrorists intimidate Western Press agencies into not using the T-word and Arab and Muslim lobbies in North America agitate racism accusations at those journalists and media enterprises objective enough to call a cat a cat, a growing number of Arab journalists and intellectuals are not only calling Islamic terrorism by its name, but are courageously assessing its “root causes.” And far from shying away from the use of the T-word in connection with Islam, they go as far as explaining that Islamist terrorism is a result of the Islamic culture’s failures in the modern age.

Here are a few telling examples of the honesty which these leading Arab journalists use in taking a long, hard look at their societies without tip-toeing around semantics:

* In the aftermath of the Beslan tragedy, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, former editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote under the headline “The Painful Truth is that All of the Terrorists are Muslims” that “Islam has suffered an injustice at the hands of the new Muslims. We will only be able to clear our reputation once we have admitted the clear and shameful fact that most of the terrorist acts in the world today are carried out by Muslims.” (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, September 4, 2004)

* Under the title “Butchers in the Name of Allah,” Khaled Hamad Al-Suleiman wrote in the Saudi government daily Okaz: “The propagandists of Jihad succeeded in the span of a few years in distorting the image of Islam, while the enemies of Islam did not succeed in doing this [even] in the course of hundreds of years. They turned today's Islam into something having to do with decapitations, the slashing of throats, abducting innocent civilians and exploding people.” (Okaz, September 5, 2004)

* More recently yet, Syrian scholar Mundir Badr Haloum wrote in the Lebanese daily Al-Safir: “Islam is in the names of all of the organizations that decapitate using knives, all the while saying the Fatiha [the first chapter of the Koran, said as a prayer] before the slaughter (...) Indeed, we as Muslims produce terrorism, succor it, and praise it. We condemn it only when forced to. Motivated by considerations of power, interests, and diplomacy, we wear a pained expression on our faces but in our hearts we rejoice at the brilliant success - a large number of casualties.”

* Journalist and former Kuwaiti communications minister Dr. Sa'ad bin Tefla said on Jordanian television: “Slaughter, destructive abuse, anarchy, and bloodshed in no way resemble Jihad according to Shari'a and resistance. These are anarchy and terrorism [and not Jihad ], and they are indications of frustration and of a culture of collective suicide reminiscent of whales (...) I maintain that we are all responsible for this culture, and that Zionism and imperialism have nothing to do with it (...) I maintain that there is, unfortunately, a culture of violence that existed before the Americans came to Iraq and the Gulf, even before the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and before the American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.”

* Columnist Bater Wardam, wrote in the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour that “It is always easy to flee to illusions and to place responsibility for the crimes of Arabic and Muslim terrorist organizations on the Mossad, the Zionists, and on American intelligence, but we all know that this is not the case and that those who murder innocent civilians in Iraq after having kidnapped them, those who turned civilian airplanes into destructive bombs, those who exploded trains crowded with innocent civilians and those who fired on children in a school in Ossetia - they came from our midst. They are Arabs and Muslims who pray, fast, grow beards, demand the wearing of veils, and call for the defense of Islamic causes.” (Al-Dustour, September 5, 2004)

It's nice to see an Arab writer, living and writing in the Arab world, to acknowledge what our Western has been incapable of acknowledging; that the Beslan Massacre was perpetrated by Arab Muslims.

Monday, September 27, 2004

A Must-Read Little Green Footballs Post On French Idiocy

I don't have anything to add to Charles' points on this one, so I will merely say,

Please click here.

Islamic Terrorism? "It's The Jew's Fault," Say the Saudi's

Thanks to Little Green Footballs for making me aware of this, from the Jerusalem Post:

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced it would host an international conference on combating terrorism, but warned that peace and security in the Middle East will fail if Israel holds on to policies "totally incompatible with the fundamental principles of the peace process."

Saudi Arabia's "strategy of pre-emptive actions to forestal criminal acts has been successful in the fight against this vile epidemic," Nizar Obaid Madani, Saudi Arabia's deputy foreign minister told world leaders and diplomats at the U.N. General Assembly's ministerial meeting.

While denouncing terrorism, Madani said terrorists' actions should not be used as a pretext for linking Islam with terror. (Editorial comment: Okey doke Nizar)

Madani said that the Saudi government will host the international conference to combat terrorism, from Feb. 5-8. It was unclear exactly which countries were invited or if any had said they would attend.

The aim of the conference is to "exchange information and experience in the field of combating terrorism" and to foster cooperation in the fight against "this universal threat."

But Madani, in language echoed by Arab countries and many others, said that mounting violence and extremism in the Middle East "are largely due to the Israel government's pursuit of policies that are totally incompatible with the fundamental principles of the peace process."

George Bush - Standup Guy

From Reuter's:

The first presidential debate on Thursday in Coral Gables, Fla. will focus on foreign affairs and may be pivotal to the outcome of the Nov. 2 election.

At an Ohio campaign event, Bush referred to his practice sessions for the debate, which he has been holding at his Texas ranch over the weekend.

"It's been a little tough to prepare because (Kerry) keeps changing positions on the war on the terror," he joked.

"He voted for the use of force in Iraq and then didn't vote to fund the troops," Bush said. "He complained that we're not spending enough money to help in reconstruction in Iraq and now he's saying we're spending too much. He said it was the right decision to go into Iraq and now he calls it the wrong war."

"He could probably spend 90 minutes debating himself."

Boy, I'll tell ya, George Bush don't get no respect.

John Kerry Channeling Jim Morrison

For months now John Kerry's elevated public-speaking voice has been ringing in my head, and I keep thinking, "I know that voice."

Well, here it is. Video from John Kerry's convention speech. Listen to just a bit of it, and then go here and click on the audio for the poem American Night.

John Kerry is channeling Jim Morrison. It's really magical and mystical, isn't it?

It shouldn't surprise considering his Apocalypse Now fixation.

Can God Use Madonna?

Thanks to Jack, over at Jack of Clubs for making me aware of this Madonna story:

Madonna's Flight to Egypt Cancelled

From al

Egyptian Parliament members have submitted an order to Government demanding that American singer Madonna be prohibited from entering Egyptian soil. Parliament members also included a number of other international singers on their list of people forbidden from entering Egypt and called on all their embassies abroad to not grant any of them visas into Egypt or be allowed to shoot any of their music videos on Egyptian soil.

The demand came after Madonna announced that she will celebrate the Jewish New Years in Israel and that she had converted to Judaism....

Then, Jack comments:

Nothing terribly new here. We already knew that you couldn't enter Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE or Yemen with an Israeli-stamped passport. Now Egypt jumps on the band wagon (at least for high-profile jews). Big surprise.

It might not be a big surprise to many of us, but it should come as a moral shock to our souls that there are entire countries, here in the 21st century, who are hanging a sign on their front door that says,


I've always disliked Madonna's courting of controversial subject matter for the sake of publicity. It seems to me that Madonna has never really cared about the issues on which she speaks, but instead merely uses them like pawns in her game of world media domination.

Finally now, I can see a use for Madonna. I would imagine she's angry and disgusted by this situation. I'm guessing that maybe, even though Jack isn't surprised by the reality on the ground in the Arab world, Madonna might be almost wholly unaware of what's going on. Madonna probably thinks the Burkhas is a marvellous fashion statement.

Now that Madonna is a Jew, or whatever ever she is, she might recognize that this puts her in a real line of fire for the first time in her blessed life. All these years Madonna has ground her hips in protest against the oppression of women and minorities here in the United States, she's done so in complete freedom, with fabulous wealth and accolades for her efforts. In other parts of the world, Madonna would be showered with stones for her behavior, not riches.

Maybe this Jew thing will finally bring it home to her and her fame and fortune can be used by God to do what a thousand screaming blogger and the ADL, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Holocaust Museum, etc. have not been able to do. That is, make people aware of the plain fact that the Arab world is possesed by the terrible evil of anti-Semitism and the situation is frightening.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Why Bill Clinton Was A Great President

A friend of mine, who reads my blog, wrote to me to take issue with my assertion that Bill Clinton was the greatest Peace-time President in the history of the United States. First off, let me say, I'm happy I have a friend who has read my blog and remained a friend. That would not be the case with most of my friends. Since 9/11, I have a new way of looking at world events and, unfortunatley, I've lost friends because of it.

Besides that, I can't say I blame my friend for taking issue with the assertion that Clinton was "the best Peace-time President ever." Let me clarify. It's actually absurd for me to make such an assertion considering my understanding of American history really only goes back to World War I with a little Civil War and American Revolution thown in. So, if there was a better Peace-time President before World War I, I wouldn't have any idea. Besides that, as my friend points out here, the idea seems absurd on it's face anyway:

I gotta say, I don't know if I would say Clinton was
the best peace time president ever. I would have to
go back to my history books to find a better one, but
what I think of Clinton is this...I can't really think
of anything he DID. He HAPPENED to be sitting pres.
when the internet, telecom, and, well, the stock market in
general, went skyrocketing upward, creating a vast
amount of wealth for the country. But, as in pool,
you gotta call your shot.

He needs to thank the Bill
Gates' of the country for that. I will give him
credit for reappointing Greenspan when he became
pres., but that's about it for that. Also, if Clinton
is going to take credit for such prosperity, why is he
not taking credit for the crash? That too happened on
his watch.

I just wish the record would show that he
was either responsible for both, or neither.
Especially since with an economy of our size, you
really won't see the affect of your policies until
late in your first term, or early second term.

Well, my friend, I believe you are correct. Bill Clinton was responsible for the Stock Market crash as well as the expanding economy. They both happened well into his Presidency and were the results of his policies. In addition, the Budget surplus was the result of his policies, as well as the fact that that Budget surplus has gone the other way under Bush. That it has gone the other post-Clinton is the result of Clinton's policies themselves, as well as 9/11 and George Bush's policy of Tax Cuts during Wartime.

But, while I believe the economy is a positive part of Clinton's legacy (overall the Economy, including jobs, stock market, GDP, and budget, were in a much better place, even post stock market crash and post 9/11) I do not make the assertion that Clinton was a great Peacetime President because of the economy.

Here is a portion of a post from June, wherein I explain my reasons for why I believe Clinton was a great President.

Charles Krauthammer has written:

What appalled me then (about Clinton as well as his auto-biography), is the smallness of a man who granted equal valence to his own indulgences on the one hand and to the fate of nations on the other. It is the smallness that disturbs. It is that smallness that history will remember.

I partially agree with Krauthammer. However, the smallness is not the moral failing many of his critics claim. Clinton's vision was as large as the time required.

George Bush, whom I also like as a President came into office with a small vision. I recall the Presidential Debates of 2000 and the endless tedium about Prescription Drugs. I recall George Bush stating repeatedly that he was not into "nation-building." George Bush's vision grew because of Sept. 11th. In my opinion, George Bush has grown into a possibly great President on the order of magnitude of Reagan and Roosevelt. However, it remains to be seen.

I will not claim that Clinton would have grown as Bush did when challenged. We just don't know. Truthfully, I doubt it. However, I will claim this. Clinton just might be the greatest President we've ever had who was not challenged by a major event or set of events.

His legacy will lie in NAFTA, and the economy, for which Krauthammer rightly gives him the credit he deserves. However, there are two other larger, but subtle, things for which Clinton commonly does not get the credit he deserves. One Krauthammer mentions, but does not truly acknowledge. That is welfare reform.

Krauthammer comments that Clinton "signed" the welfare reform bill. You will often hear conservatives make the claim that Clinton did not want to sign the bill. In fact, if I am not mistaken, he did not sign it the first two times it was presented to him.

Now, I, obviously, am not a historian. In fact, I am a bit of a goofball. But, I do have a pretty decent memory. And, one thing I remember (but am unable to find on Google) is that, in 1992, Clinton gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine wherein he outlined his plans for Welfare Reform, including an idea he called "workfare" which meant that people would be exected to contribute something in return for the "hand-up" they were being given. The bill that Clinton eventually signed was almost identical to what he outlined in the interview.

It is my opinion, based upon my recollection of the Rolling Stone Interview, that, when Clinton did not initially sign the Welfare bill, he was playing the fox with Congress. Clinton knew that Congress would want to pass something even more stringent than what he wanted so he negotiated by offering something less stringent than he wanted. In the end, he got what he wanted.That's a pretty darn good President, even if it isn't huge vision.

I believe it is true that only under a Clinton Presidency could such a Welfare Reform bill been enacted. And that is because of the other, more important, legacy of the Bill Clinton Presidency. And this part of his legacy will probably not be recognized for some years to come, because it had nothing to do with policy, but instead it had to do with his personality, and his vision, and how they fit, and shaped, the zeitgeist of our nation.

Bill Clinton was the first American President who truly believed that all people who are citizens of America were truly equal human beings, whether they were black, brown, yellow, or white.

Clinton did have an unspoken equality intiative. His appointments to his cabinent included blacks, Hispanic, Jews, etc. However, that would have appeared to be bowing to the politically-correct era if it had not been for the fact that Clinton clearly looked comfortable with all these different people (Oops, I said "these people"). He actually liked them (oops, there I go again), not because of the color of their skin, but because of the content of their character.

While Clinton's equality initiative did not have a direct effect on public policy, the power of his initiative can not be overstated. However rarely it is acknowledged.

Similarly, Ronald Reagan had a powerful impact on the attitude of the country. Reagan gave us hope, where there had been malaise. Reagan got people believing in the American Dream again. Just as with Clinton, this was not a matter of policy, but a matter of his personality and his vision.

Why is it that commentaries on Reagan always acknowledge this aspect of his Presidency, yet Clinton's impact of racial equality is not acknoledged?

I think there are several reasons. One, is that the preponderence of people, who are white, believed that they, as a people, had already left racism behind. However, feeling "uncomfortable" with whole groups of people because of their skin color effects the way one treats those groups of people. It effects decisions of employment and marriage and friendship. That amounts to racism in effect, if not intention.

Another reason Clinton's Equality Initiative is not acknowledged is, I believe, a residual momentum of the trivialization and hatred of Clinton which was fomented during his Presidency. To put it mildly, Clinton got a lot of bad press. Almost as if there had been a vast right-wing conspiracy to bring down his Presidency. I recall Rush Limbaugh running commercials for a video explaining Clinton's closeness to the mysterious deaths of dozens of people. I recall Rush Limbaugh giving lip service to such ideas. That's some mainstream hatred.

I think it needs to be acknowledged that George Bush is getting similar treatment now, with all the "Bush is Hitler" propoganda. Almost as if there is a vast left-wing conspiracy to bring down his Presidency.

Bill Clinton actually moved two mountains during his Presidency. The Welfare Reform Act, with it's stipulation that one could only collect welfare for two years, reversed the momentum of increasing benefits and changed the way Americans view welfare. Welfare is a "handup, not a handout." In addition, Clinton, with his openess and yes, "feeling", helped Americans redefine the way we view and treat people of color.

America is a much better place because of Bill Clinton's Presidency.

The French Retreat

Thanks to No Pasaran for making me aware of this article from the International Herald Tribune:

In the latest sign that France, the most vocal opponent of the American-led campaign in Iraq, is not immune to the wrath of Islamic extremists in the war-torn country, two major French television networks pulled their crews out of Baghdad this week for fear of seeing them taken hostage.

Within two days of each other, TF1, France's main commercial TV network, and the state-financed rival France 3 announced that teams returning from Iraq would not be replaced until the security situation improved.

More than 100 foreigners have been abducted since April in what appears to be a deepening campaign aimed at civilians. Most hostages have been released, but about 30 have been killed.
French news media companies are not the only ones to flee Iraq.

Germany's biggest television network, ARD, said Friday it also planned to bring home its two correspondents in Iraq after the Foreign Ministry warned that German journalists could be at risk. Like France, Germany opposed the war in Iraq.

Separately, the Spanish government has urged television stations and newspapers to pull out their correspondents, the newspaper El Mundo said on its Web site. The EFE news agency of Spain has withdrawn its only Spanish correspondent from Baghdad.

According to Catherine Nayl, deputy news editor at TF1, being French no longer protects journalists, who have increasingly become "pawns" in a conflict devoid of any rules.

"Until three or four months ago, our journalists still felt relatively safe, being French," Nayl said. "But a French passport doesn't protect you anymore."

At France 3, Ulysee Gosset, news director, agreed.

"French nationals are not out of harm's way," Gosset told the French radio station Europe 1 on Friday. "France is not an enemy state for the Iraqis, but it's a Western country, and all Westerners, including journalists, are now potential targets."

Welcome to our world France. I know it's hard for you understand, but America did nothing to acquire an enemy like Bin Laden. He's mad at us because our troops were in Saudi Arabia. Is that rational?

And, of course, the Germans and the Spanish are retreating as well.

I have to admit, I am laughing