Saturday, January 08, 2005

New York Times
Editorial Staff
Disgraces Itself

From the New York Times, via Little Green Footballs:

Fatah was founded by Mr. Arafat. The name means “conquest,” and is a reverse acronym for the Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine. It has a nationalist rather than Islamist foundation, with the stated goal of an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, leading to Israeli and Palestinian states side by side.

Charles Johnson at LGF points out that the Fatah Charter, which is freely availalbe online, makes it very clear that Fatah goal is the destruction of Israel:

Article (12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.
Article (19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.

Now, let's think about this for a second. Is it possible that the New York Times writer, Steven Erlanger, is unaware of the clearly stated goals of Fatah? I don't believe it is possible. His whole life is reporting. He's highly educated, and immersed in a culture that traffics such information.

I, on the other hand, am a goofy ex-rock n' roll musician, who became aware of these issues just three years ago. I probably shouldn't admit this, but I have never read an entire book on history. I almost never received better than a B grade in any history class. My interests and degrees are in Philosophy and Literature. Neither one of those studies provided me with any information on the history of the Middle-East, or anti-Semitism.

And yet, somehow, I am aware that the Fatah constitution states that their goal is the destruction of Israel. Somehow I, and not the Main Stream Media, am able to keep it firmly in my mind that leaders of Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority, frequently call for "death to the Jews". Somehow, I know that the Charters of both Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority, call for the destruction of the state of Israel. And that the Palestinian Authority Charter, which does so, is posted on the PA's United Nations web page.

How could this possibly be? I am not smarter than these people. I am not better educated. I have no friends (other than those who are members of CUANAS, which is a organization I formed) who are interested in political issues. One would not think that I would have access to info which a sophisticated reporter for the NY Times does not.

My conclusion is that Steven Erlanger, and the editorial staff at the New York Times, are simply lying. Their reason is a wish for peace through appeasement. They would call it compromise, but it isn't compromise when one is willing to allow a whole nation, and it's people, to be destroyed.

At the core of it, however, the truth is Steven Erlanger and the NY Times editorial staff care so little for Israel, and the Jews who live there, that they choose to spread propoganda which is anti-Semitic in effect, if not intent.

UPDATE: American Report has also recently posted an article critical of Steven Erlanger.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Fine Distinctions
Between Good And Evil

From Nonie Darwish (whom I link to on my blogroll) comes this:

I am overwhelmed with sadness over the state of the Muslim world. I am looking at the photograph of an Iranian woman about to be stoned to death in Iran, buried to her waste in dirt to keep her from running away.

A few weeks ago, I read about a 14 year-old Iranian boy who died after receiving 85 lashes for the ‘sin’ of eating in public in the month of Ramadan. Salah Uddin Choudhury has been in prison for one year in Bangladesh for the ‘crime’ of urging his nation to recognize Israel and advocating interfaith dialogue among equals as well as warning against the growing power of Islamists in Bangladesh.

What are Muslim community activists in America doing about their homegrown brutal human rights violations? They are silent.

The picture of the stoned woman has been seen by some Muslims I know in the Middle East and also fellow Americans, Christians and Jews. The first reaction by the Muslims was “what did she do?” while the first reaction by Americans was “How could this happen?”

Got that? The first reaction of the Muslim community is to attempt to find some justification for this outrageous crime. Why would that be? Because they know their religion, as it is taught, advocates such crimes as righteousness.

Meanwhile, Americans are dumbfounded in the face of such evil. Why would that be? Because they can not imagine that there is a society on Earth, in this modern age, who would tolerate such abuses of human rights.

Such are the fine distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil.

It's not that hard, is it?

Palestinian Nazism
Sometimes You Just Gotta Love Your Enemies

From Front Page Magazine:

For years, the PA religious establishment has repeatedly portrayed the killing of Jews as a religious necessity. Today, PA TV chose to rebroadcast this same call to genocide as a historical necessity -- this time from a senior PA academic rather than from a religious leader. Dr. Hassan Khater, founder of the Al Quds Encyclopedia and a TV lecturer, cited the identical Hadith - Islamic tradition attributed to Mohammed - that the religious leaders have used to demand this genocide. This was part of a lecture focusing on what he described as the war of the Jews against Palestinian trees.

These were his words quoting the Hadith:

"Mohammed said in his Hadith: 'The Hour [Day of Resurrection] will not arrive until you fight the Jews, [until a Jew will hide behind a rock or tree] and the rock and the tree will say: Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'" PA TV Dec. 27, 2004 [Rebroadcast from July 13, 2003]

The continued teaching that this Hadith applies today could well be a dominant factor driving terror against Israeli civilians. By depicting redemption as dependent on Muslims' killing of Jews, the PA world view presents this genocide as a religious obligation and historical necessity -- not related to the conflict over borders, but as something inherent to Allah's world.
Here is the most recent call to genocide.

Here is the same call to genocide expressed in Sheik Ibrahim Madiras's Friday, Sept. 10, 2004 sermon on PA TV.

"The Prophet said: the Resurrection will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them. The Muslims will kill the Jews, rejoice [in it], rejoice in Allah's Victory. The Muslims will kill the Jews, and he will hide.

"The Prophet said: the Jews will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: oh servant of Allah, oh Muslim this is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!. Why is there this malice? Because there are none who love the Jews on the face of the earth: not man, not rock, and not tree everything hates them. They destroy everything they destroy the trees and destroy the houses. Everything wants vengeance on the Jews, on these pigs on the face of the earth, and the day of our victory, Allah willing, will come."

You just gotta love your enemies when they tell the truth like this. I mean, that guy just layed it all out there, didn't he? No, hiding behind diplomatic doublespeak, or subtle euphemisms. Nope, just kill the Jews.

Uh, wow. Good job, bro.

Where else in history have we found members of the government of a nation calling for the death of an entire race of people?

How is it that anyone can deny that the Palestinian Authority/PLO is anything but a Jihadi-version of a Nazi government?

Imagine A World Without America

From National Review comes Victor David Hanson's brilliant column:

Imagine a world in which there was no United States during the last 15 years. Iraq, Iran, and Libya would now have nukes. Afghanistan would remain a seventh-century Islamic terrorist haven sending out the minions of Zarqawi and Bin Laden worldwide. The lieutenants of Noriega, Milosevic, Mullah Omar, Saddam, and Moammar Khaddafi would no doubt be adjudicating human rights at the United Nations. The Ortega Brothers and Fidel Castro, not democracy, would be the exemplars of Latin America. Bosnia and Kosovo would be national graveyards like Pol Pot's Cambodia. Add in Kurdistan as well — the periodic laboratory for Saddam's latest varieties of gas. Saddam himself, of course, would have statues throughout the Gulf attesting to his control of half the world's oil reservoirs.

Europeans would be in two-day mourning that their arms sales to Arab monstrocracies ensured a second holocaust. North Korea would be shooting missiles over Tokyo from its new bases around Seoul and Pusan. For their own survival, Germany, Taiwan, and Japan would all now be nuclear. Americans know all that — and yet they grasp that their own vigilance and military sacrifices have earned them spite rather than gratitude. And they are ever so slowly learning not much to care anymore.

In fact, an American consensus is growing that envy and hatred of the United States, coupled with utopian and pacifistic rhetoric, disguise an even more depressing fact: Outside our shores there is a growing barbarism with no other sheriff in sight. Any cinema student of the American Western can fathom why the frightened townspeople — huddled in their churches and shuttered schools — almost hated the lone marshal as much as they did the six-shooting outlaw gang rampaging in their streets. After all, the holed-up 'good' citizens were always angry that the lawman had shamed them, worried that he might make dangerous demands on their insular lives, confused about whether they would have to accommodate themselves either to savagery or civilization in their town's future, and, above all, assured that they could libel and slur the tin star in a way that would earn a bullet from the lawbreaker. It was precisely that paradox between impotent high-sounding rhetoric and blunt-speaking, roughshod courage that lay at the heart of the classic Western from Shane and High Noon to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Magnificent Seven.

The U.N., NATO, or the EU: These are now the town criers of the civilized world who preach about "the law" and then seek asylum in their closed shops and barred stores when the nuclear Daltons or terrorist Clantons run roughshod over the town.

Go read the rest. Here's a link, if you are interested.

The Effects Of The Propoganda Machine

Taking into consideration the post below, entitled The BBC Vs. Reality, now let's look at what the effects of a Propaganda Machine like the BBC are. From an article by Melanie Phillips:

A friend went into Blackwells university bookshop in Oxford and asked the counter clerk: 'Do you have a copy of Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel?' 'There is no case for Israel', the counter clerk replied.

A distinguished and influential military figure confided to me that Rupert Murdoch had given a personal order that articles in the Times against the Iraq war should be drastically limited — and that he had done so ‘on the instruction of the Jewish lobby in America’. Furthermore, George Bush had invaded Iraq because ‘he had Ariel Sharon’s hand up his back’.

At a recording of the BBC radio panel show Any Questions, in the solid Conservative heartland of Wokingham in Berkshire, an overwhelmingly conservative audience applauded and cheered the veteran far left activist Tariq Ali when he said that that America was the fount of world terror, that George Bush was more of a danger to the world than Saddam Hussein, and that if any country was a menace to world peace through its weapons of mass destruction it was not Iraq but Israel.

How has Middle Britain come to applaud the view – hitherto confined to the most extreme left-wing circles -- that the President of the United States is more of a danger than an unbalanced dictator with a terrorist history? How have such solid citizens come to view a democracy – Israel – that has been under attack since its foundation as the greatest threat to world peace? And how has the ancient libel of sinister global Jewish power been allowed to rear its head so openly once again?

Britain is gripped by an unprecedented degree of irrationality, prejudice and hysteria over the issues of Iraq, the terrorist jihad and Israel. All three are intimately linked; all three, however, are thought by public opinion to be linked in precisely the wrong way. This is because all three have been systematically misreported, distorted and misrepresented through a lethal combination of profound ignorance, political malice and ancient prejudices.

This systematic abuse by the media is having a devastating impact in weakening the ability of the west to defend itself against the unprecedented mortal threat that it faces from the Islamic jihad. People cannot and will not fight if they don’t understand the nature or gravity of the threat that they face, so much so that they vilify their own leaders while sanitising those who would harm them.

There's more, where that comes from. Here's a link (scroll down to her January 1, 2005 article), if you are interested. Melanie Phillips is a very brave woman in my opinion.

The BBC Vs. Reality

From National Review:

The BBC: Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais, from Saudi Arabia, who opened London's biggest mosque last Friday, is a respected leader who works for "community cohesion" and "building communities."

Not mentioned on the BBC: Some of the views of Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais. In his own words: In the name of Allah, the Jews must be "annihilated." They are "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world... the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs."

The BBC's Charter and its Producers Guidelines state: "Due impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC. All programs and services should be open minded, fair and show a respect for truth... [BBC reports should] contain comprehensive, authoritative and impartial coverage of news and current affairs in the United Kingdom and throughout the world...."

The BBC makes many good programs when it comes to drama, comedy, sport, and science. But its enormous news division — by far the world's biggest — is another story. Using lavish public funding (courtesy of the British taxpayer) and an unprecedented worldwide news reach (its radio service alone, broadcasting in 43 languages, attracts over 150 million listeners daily), it is — in blatant breach of its own charter — virtually conducting its own anti-American and anti-Israeli foreign policy. Anyone who doesn't agree with its policies (Tony Blair, for example) finds himself at the mercy of BBC news coverage.

"B" MOVIE ACTORLast week, for example, almost every other news organization in the world (including those in the former Communist states) began their obituaries of Ronald Reagan by saying that many (including Mikhail Gorbachev) credit Reagan with helping to bring about the end of the Cold War. But the BBC online obituary ("World Edition," Sunday, June 6, 2004, titled "Reagan's mixed White House legacy," and running to almost 1,000 words — that's a full four pages if you print it out from the BBC website) didn't even mention the Cold War, let alone Reagan's calls to "tear down" the Berlin Wall.

Instead the BBC reminded us that Reagan was "a B movie actor," and stated that as president his "foreign policy was criticised for being in disarray." Accompanying photos were not of Reagan meeting Gorbachev, but of Oliver North, and of the invasion of Grenada ("a clumsy sham," according to the BBC text).

Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais (referred to in the introduction to this article, and whose surname has also been transliterated by MEMRI and others as Al-Sudayyis [1]) is not just any imam, and his hate-filled sermons are not just delivered in some peripheral setting. He is the preacher at the Grand Al-Haraam mosque — the most important mosque in Mecca, the very heart of Islam.

"Read history," implored al-Sudais to his massed ranks of followers in another of his sermons, on February 1, 2004, "and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring, infidels ... calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers...the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs.... These are the Jews, a continuous lineage of meanness, cunning, obstinacy, tyranny, licentiousness, evil, and corruption...."

Al-Sudais has repeated these words, or close variations of them, at several other sermons in recent years. It is because of these and other calls for violence against Christians, Hindus, and Americans, that the Canadian government last month denied al-Sudais a visa to enter Canada.
But none of this seems to have penetrated the BBC bubble. In its reports last weekend on TV, radio, and online, on Sheikh al-Sudais's visit to Britain, in which he lead 15,000 worshippers at prayer at the opening of the enormous new six-story Islamic center in east London, the BBC mentioned none of this.

BBC Online for example, last Saturday, gave the impression that al-Sudais was nothing but a benign, kindly cleric promoting (to quote the BBC) "community cohesion" between Muslims and their neighbors.

"The centre was opened as Friday prayers took place, led by one of Islam's most renowned Imams, and celebrations will continue throughout the weekend," said the BBC. "Worshippers had come to hear Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais, Imam of the Ka'ba, Islam's holiest mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.... With many unable to enter the new centre, some worshippers took to praying on a street behind the mosque using prayer mats and even newspapers." We are told that the center "will bolster London's reputation as a vibrant and diverse international city" and has a "spirit of modesty."

At the side of the BBC website, a video clip was flagged with the caption: "The BBC's Mark Easton: 'Events like today offer grounds for optimism.'"

It would be hard to imagine the BBC completely omitting diatribes such as al-Sudais's had they been made by a Christian leader — or had a prominent Israeli rabbi said anything similar about Muslims.

Go read the rest. It's amazing that the BBC is considered a credible news source. It is, in fact, a propaganda machine.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Insurgents Fighting Against Democracy

From an article in the Internation Heral Tribune, by Thomas Friedman:

There is much to dislike about this war in Iraq, but there is no denying the stakes. And that picture really framed them: This is a war between some people in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world who - for the first time ever in their region - are trying to organize an election to choose their own leaders and write their own constitution versus all the forces arrayed against them.

As the Johns Hopkins foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum so rightly pointed out to me, "These so-called insurgents in Iraq are the real fascists, the real colonialists, the real imperialists of our age." They are a tiny minority who want to rule Iraq by force and rip off its oil wealth for themselves. It's time we called them by their real names.

However this war started, however badly it has been managed, however much you wish we were not there, do not kid yourself that this is not what it is about: People who want to hold a free and fair election to determine their own future, opposed by a virulent nihilistic minority that wants to prevent that. That is all that the insurgents stand for.

And, here's a short story and photo that prove it.

A suspected insurgent asks residents for mercy after they caught him planting explosives under civilian vehicles, at a busy area in Baghdad, January 3, 2005. Insurgents killed 17 Iraqi police and National Guards on Monday in another bloody spree of ambushes, bombings and suicide attacks aimed at wrecking Iraq's January 30 national election.

Roger Simon comments:

He's a "suspected insurgent." We don't know for sure from this photo whether the fellow can officially be elevated to the exalted plain of full "insurgent" - a veritable Emiliano Zapata perhaps. Never mind that workaday Iraqis might call this dude a "terrorist" because he is about to blow as many of them to smithereens as possible ... Reuters knows best. Only through impartiality can one arrive at "the truth."

Of course that is a Big Lie. Reuters is no more impartial than I am. Language itself is not impartial--it always seeks to persuade, covertly or overtly. The word "insurgent" glamorizes fascists and its use assists the fascist cause. Do I go too far? Let me ask the people at Reuters a simple question, although I am dubious any of them would respond. Can they identify one single Iraqi "insurgent" whose politics was not Baathist or Jihadist, both different sides of the fascist coin?

Chirac Accuses U.S. Of Helping
Tsunami Victims To
Change It's Image

Thanks to Marlowe's Shade for making me aware of this, from

"Bush is making propaganda by deploying huge resources. He is using it as an opportunity to give the United States an image other than that of the Iraq war."

We must understand that, for a French person, it is a natural leap to make such a connection. Because, for the French, everything is about fashion and image.

For instance, the French have a big problem with the growing militancy of their Muslim population. So what do they do? They declare a fashion emergency, and order that girls not wear headscarves anymore.

That oughta calm down the savages. Right?

Agence French Press Calls Abbas
Campaign "Dovish" The Day After
He Calls Israel "Zionist Enemy"

From Agence French Press, via Little Green Footballs:

NABLUS, West Bank (AFP) - Palestinian presidential favourite Mahmud Abbas hammered home his dovish message on the penultimate day of campaigning, as Israel denied prisoners the right to vote and settlers threatened to hamper the polls in east Jerusalem.

This is the very next day after Mahmoud Abbas referred to Israel as the "Zionist enemy". How else can you explain the cognitive dissonance other than to baldly say that Agence French Press is willing to shill for anti-Semites. And if they are willing to shill for anti-Semites, doesn't that make them anti-Semitic themselves?

America Is A Crusader Nation
A Tsunami
Of Compassion, Care, and Hope

I hope SomeGuy, over at Mystery Achievement doesn't mind, but I think his post from today is so excellent, I'm just going to lift the whole thing. If you start to read, and are interested, click over and read his site daily, it is thoughtful and full of information on a continual basis:

All you'll ever need to read about the catastrophe that has devestated South Asia (as it pertains to the moral and spiritual condition of the West) is found in two posts.Via The Anchoress, Varifrank recounts what deserves to be a historic moment in European-American diplomacy:

Today, during an afternoon conference that wrapped up my project of the last 18 months, one of my Euro collegues tossed this little turd out to no one in particular:"

See, this is why George Bush is so dumb, theres a disaster in the world and he sends an Aircraft Carrier..."

After which he and many of my Euro collegues laughed out loud.

And then they looked at me. I wasn't laughing, and neither was my Hindi friend sitting next to me, who has lost family in the disaster.

I'm afraid I was "unprofessional", I let it loose -"Hmmm, let's see, what would be the ideal ship to send to a disaster, now what kind of ship would we want?

Something with its own inexhuastible power supply?

Something that can produce 900,000 gallons of fresh water a day from sea water?

Something with its own airfield? So that after producing the fresh water, it could help distribute it?

Something with 4 hospitals and lots of open space for emergency supplies?

Something with a global communications facility to make the coordination of disaster relief in the region easier?

Well "Franz", us peasants in America call that kind of ship an "Aircraft Carrier". We have 12 of them. How many do you have? Oh that's right, NONE. Lucky for you and the rest of the world, we are the kind of people who share. Even with people we dont like. In fact, if memory serves,once upon a time we peasants spent a ton of money and lives rescuing people who we had once tried to kill and who tried to kill us.

Do you know who those people were? that's right Franz, Europeans.

The second is from The Diplomad (Hat tip: TechCentralStation), who reproduces a SITREP written by a Dutch official at an EU team meeting at one of the disaster sites:

The US military has arrived and is clearly establishing its presence everywhere in Banda Aceh. They completely have taken over the military hospital, which was a mess until yesterday but is now completely up and running. They brought big stocks of medicines, materials for the operation room, teams of doctors, water and food. Most of the patients who were lying in the hospital untreated for a week have undergone medical treatment by the US teams by this afternoon. US military have unloaded lots of heavy vehicles and organize the logistics with Indonesian military near the airport.

A big camp is being set up at a major square in the town. Huge generators are ready to provide electricity. US helicopters fly to places which haven't been reached for the whole week and drop food. The impression it makes on the people is also highly positive; finally something happens in the city of Banda Aceh and finally it seems some people are in control and are doing something. No talking but action. European countries are until now invisible on the ground. IOM staff (note: this is a USAID-funded organization) is very busy briefing the incoming Americans and Australians about the situation.

In the TCS article its author, Jay Currie, uses a parable of a broken-down car to make a startling point:

Donald Rumsfeld famously talked about "the Old Europe". At the time he was taken to mean the ponderous unwillingness to commit to the Iraqi project exhibited by the French and the Germans in particular. However, in retrospect, he was making a cultural observation of much broader implication.[...]

Between the "can do", "let's try it" world and the carefully measured, sophisticated, "precautionary principle" world there is a canyon sized chasm. One world is brash, the other timid. One world learns from its mistakes knowing it will make more, the other vows never to make a mistake again.

To extend Jay's analogy: One world still has faith in a God of love and grace to whom one's response of gratitude for same is expressed (in part) by good works as an integral part of its self-understanding. The other has faith in a yet-to-be-born utopia founded on atheistic humanism where neither love, nor grace, nor the forgiveness of sins is possible. In the former, even the avowed non-believer is capable of uncommon valor. In the latter, even the believer himself is too afraid to do what he knows he should.

I don't know what disaster befell Catholic Europe that led to this present state of affairs. But I have a naseous feeling in the pit of my stomach that the damage it has wrecked will be much harder to repair than what happened in South Asia on St. Stephen's Day.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Palestinian Nazism

These are the kinds of photos all our friends on the left need to see. Explain that away my friends.

Also, get a load of Reuter's and their neutral-language caption. The boys in the "Fatah Youth Movement" were just "chanting slogans".

France Isn't Worth The Trouble

From an article by John Miller in the International Herald Tribune:

Shortly after Bush's re-election, the current French president, Jacques Chirac, called the post-Saddam Hussein world "more dangerous," announced that the United States doesn't "return favors" to Europe and even accused Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of "a lack of culture."

Chirac managed to stuff all these comments into a single interview, which happened to coincide with Bush's firm support for a French military crackdown in the Ivory Coast, where antigovernment insurgents have endangered French citizens.Yet it's a mistake to assume that Chirac's rhetoric was just a clumsy expression of pent-up frustration with American voters.

For decades France has viewed the United States as a unique threat.

The root of the problem is Gaullism itself. More than just a form of nationalism, Gaullism insists that France must exert an outsized influence on the course of human events. During the cold war, de Gaulle spoke of his country leading Europe as "one of three world powers and, if need be one day, the arbiter between the two camps, the Soviet and the Anglo-Saxon." Hence de Gaulle developed a nuclear arsenal, threatened to destabilize the dollar and criticized American military actions.

Chirac and his neo-Gaullists recognize that France can no longer serve as a fulcrum between East and West, but they believe their country still has a vital role to play in containing the world's "hyperpower," in their pejorative labeling of the United States.

Before the invasion of Iraq, Paris didn't just express reservations - it tried to sabotage American goals in every feasible venue, from the chambers of the Security Council to the committee rooms of NATO. Since then, it has issued a raft of demands, including the hasty transfer of sovereignty to an ad-hoc Iraqi government, as well as a date certain by which the United States will remove its troops, no matter the circumstances.

Chirac's diplomats even spent October lobbying unsuccessfully for Iraqi insurgent groups - the ones now killing American troops and Iraqi civilians - to be represented at the international meeting in Egypt in November. It is difficult to see how French interests are furthered in any way by this behavior, unless France is understood to believe that its own aims are advanced whenever American ones are thwarted.

Condoleezza Rice, now Bush's nominee for secretary of state, was quoted in 2003 as telling colleagues that the United States should "punish France." This is a tempting tactic, for it holds out the promise of vengeful satisfaction.

... (but) making an example of the French is precisely the wrong approach because it elevates France in the eyes of the world's anti-Americans, who will always be with us. The one thing France and the neo-Gaullists can't possibly abide is being ignored. Perhaps that's punishment enough.

... (but) why should its views matter any more than, say, Italy, whose population and economy are nearly the same size?

I agree with Miller's points, but not wholly. For one thing, France does not really have the guts to set itself up as a wedge against the U.S. at the expense of it's own national interests. However, it does serve France's national interest to be against us most of the time. Being anti-American is there niche, kind of like how a parasite's niche is to suck the blood of it's host.

I also don't wholly agree with his assertion that France's machinations are not damaging to the United States. It is true that France's long term effect on the United States is small but, in the short term they slow us down by hypnotizing our left wing with their siren song.

The Whore Of Babylon?
U.S. Government Gives Over
$1 Billion To "Faith-Based" Charities

From Associated Press:

WASHINGTON - The government gave more than $1 billion in 2003 to organizations it considers "faith-based," with some going to programs where prayer and spiritual guidance are central and some to organizations that do not consider themselves religious at all.

Many of these groups have entirely secular missions and some organizations were surprised to find their names on a list of faith-based groups provided to The Associated Press by the White House.
"Someone has obviously designated us a faith-based organization, but we don't recognize ourselves as that," said Stacey Denaux, executive director of Crisis Ministries, a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Charleston, S.C.

Other grant recipients are religious, offering social service programs that the government may have deemed too religious to receive money before President Bush (news - web sites) took office.

Visitors to TMM Family Services in Tucson, Ariz., which received $25,000 for housing counseling, are greeted by a picture of Jesus and quotes from the Bible.

"We believe that people being connected to the faith of their choice is important to them having a productive life," said Don Strauch, an ordained minister and executive director of the group, which offers a variety of social services. "Just because we take government money doesn't mean we back down on that philosophy."

You just keep telling yourself that Mr. Strauch. What about when that 25 grand becomes 50, and then a hundred, and then a million? And what will happen when another administration, with different ideas comes in and suggests that you can keep the cross, and hand out "small pamphlets", but you can't "preach the word"?

In my opinion, the mixture of church and state is the "merchants in the temple".

Jesus would come in and turn over all the carts, and remind you that His "Father's house is to be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves."

Anchoress Diagnoses the UK's
Psychological Disorder

Anchoress notes Carol Gould's horrifying recitation of her experiences as a Jewish American in Britain over the past few years. Anchoress offers her own ideas on what might be going on:

Reading her horrifying descriptions of shrill and menacing encounters by Brits toward Americans and Jews, I can only think that the British are suffering from the sort of transference we learn about in Psych 101. They're terrified. They're subconsciously hyperventilating from fear, because they know the world is dangerous, and they know what the danger is. They know they have Muslim clerics standing outside of mosques advising jihad. They hate knowing it. They would rather not have jihad preached in their country - it makes them very unsettled. And so they must lash out, in fear.

But they can't lash out at the Muslims, not at the ranting Islamofascists, nor at the more moderate types. To do so risks being called "racist" or "bigoted" in a society that severely punishes anyone who dares not preserve all manner of polite fictions, who becomes labeled with those anathemic labels. Or worse, it risks being exposed to a violence that will force them to shake off the complacency that has enveloped Europe over the last 50 years - a complacency that says, "if we are just tolerant and reasonable and sweet to everyone, and if we give everyone access to government programs...why we'll be fine, just fine."

England knows there is a potential and deadly enemy growing in her back garden, and she really, really doesn't want to deal with it.

She also knows that Israel and America will never attack her, never punish her, never call her to task for her bad manners...whereas, the Islamofacists might respond to their tirades with a bomb under Big Ben, or a machete to their five-year old's solar plexus. And so they transfer the fear, transfer the hate, to safer parties.

It's safe to hate Jews, it's safe to spout off to the Americans, because Jews and Americans are notoriously forgiving.

I almost hope Carol Gould's story is false, that it's wildly exaggerated or proved to be a terrible misrepresentation of the climate in England, because I've always loved England, and because it would be so much easier to sleep knowing it was all a distortion or a lie.

Barring distortions or outright lies...I will content myself to believe that this is simply misplaced anger born out of a transference of fear. These people sound terrified, I think. And they haven't even been attacked, yet.

UPDATE: A reader with a PhD in Psychology has kindly corrected me. While she generously notes that my conclusion is credible, she informs me that what I am calling Transference is actually Displacement. As she writes:

Transference is reacting to a person in the present as though he or she is a person in ones past. Displacement is the psychological process by which feelings are transferred from an unacceptable target to one that is more acceptable...Who would you prefer to be afraid of: The killers sawing off heads on Al-Jazeera TV or the Republicans next door?

I wonder what The Anchoress means by "distortions and outright lies". As far as I'm concerned, the British are not beyond such things. If you read Melanie Phillips who criticizes such things in British, or the Guardian, who promulgate such things, you will know that much of Britain has already moved beyond the pale, and most of the rest are willing to tolerate it.

By the way, Anchoress, I love that line about the "deadly enemy growing in the garden". That's very British.


We Finally Comprehended How Little
We Have In Common
With These "Peace Activists"

An Iraqi speaks out against the "Peace Activists". From Front Page Magazine:

Before the last war, we Iraqis spent decades cut off from the outside world. Not only did the Baathist regime prevent us from traveling during the Iran-Iraq conflict and the period of the sanctions, but they punished anyone possessing satellite television. And of course, internet access was strictly limited. Because of our isolation, most of us had little idea or sense about life beyond our borders.

We did believe, however, that democracy and human rights were important factors in Western civilization. So it came as a shock to us when millions of people began demonstrating across the world against America’s build-up to the invasion of our country. We supposed the protests were by people who had no idea about the terrible atrocities that the regime had inflicted upon us for decades. We assumed that once they learned what had happened in Iraq, they would change their minds, or modify their opposition to the war.

My first clue that this would not happen was a few weeks after Baghdad fell. I had befriended a French reporter who had begun to realize that the situation in Iraq was not how the international media or the so-called “peace camp” described it. I noticed, however, that whenever he tried to voice his doubts to colleagues, they argued that he was wrong. Soon afterwards, I met a Dutch woman on Mutinabi Street, where booksellers lay out their wares on Friday morning. I asked her how long she’d been in Iraq and, through a translator, she answered, “Three months.”

“So you were here during the war?”

“Yes!” she said. “To see the crimes of the Americans!”

I was stunned. After a moment, I replied, “What about the crimes of the regime? It killed millions of Iraqis. Do you know that if the regime was still in power, the conversation we’re having now would result in our torture or death?”

Her face turned red and she angrily responded, “Soon will come the day that the Americans will do worse.” She then went on to accuse me of not knowing what the true facts were in Iraq—and that she could see the situation better than me!

She was not the only “humanitarian” who expressed such outrageous opinions. One afternoon, I was speaking to some members of
the American anti-war group “Voices in the Wilderness.” One of the group’s members declared that the Iraqi Governing Council (then in power at the time) were “traitors.” I was shocked. Most of the Council were people whom we Iraqis knew had suffered and sacrificed in a long struggle against the regime. Some represented opposition parties who had lost ten of thousand of members in that struggle. Others came from families who had lost up to 30 loved ones to the Baathists.

After those, and many other, experiences, we finally comprehended how little we had in common with these “peace activists” who constantly decried American crimes, and hated to listen to us talk about the terrible long nightmare that ended with the collapse of the regime. We came to understand how these “humanitarians” experienced a sort of pleasure when terrorists or former remnants of the regime created destruction in Iraq—just so they could feel that they were right, and the Americans wrong!

Worse, we realized it was hopeless to make them grasp our feelings. We believed—and still believe--that America’s removal of the regime opened a new way for democracy. At the same time, we have no illusions that the U.S. came to Iraq on a white horse to save our people. We understand this war is all about national interests, and that America’s interests are mainly about defeating terrorism. At this moment, though, U.S. interests are doing more to bring about democracy and freedom in Iraq than, say, the policies of France and Russia—countries which also care little for the Iraqi people and, worse, did their best to save Saddam from destruction until the last moment.

It’s worth noting, as well, that the general attitude of peace activists I met was tension and anger. They were impossible to reason with. This was because, on one hand, the sometimes considerable risks they took to oppose the war made them unable to accept the fact that their cause was not as noble as they believed. Then, too, their dogmatic anti-American attitudes naturally drew them to guides, translators, drivers and Iraqi acquaintances who were themselves supporters of the regime. These Iraqis, in turn, affected the peace activists until they came to share almost the same judgments and opinions as the terrorists and defenders of Saddam.

This was very disappointing for someone like me, who thought for decades that the Left was generally the progressive power in the world.

In the end, they proved to me how dogma and fanaticism had transform peace activists into—lifeless peace “statues.”

I share this man's shock and disappointment.

I believe that I am, sometimes, somewhat shrill on this blog. And sometimes, I'm somewhat dogmatic, in that I only present one side of the story. If anyone knew me personally, they would know that I am a guy who can always see, and argue, for both sides of the story.

But, the thing is, I woke up on 9/11, when my relative called from Europe to explain to me, in only somewhat diplomatic terms, why America deserved what it had gotten. And over the next six months, when I started to see the rise of anti-Semitism, and I became aware that it already had completely permeated the Middle East, AND I came to realize that Western journalists were willing to put up with it, then I became deeply angry.

I've been waking up spitting with anger ever since.

In other words, you don't get the half of it here on this site. But, I shouldn't make this blog about me. It's just that this article hit the nerve just right. The things this man describes are exactly what I am so angry about.

It's time for these people to grow up and dispense with their chic anti-Americanism. It may win them brownie points with their friends, it may have gotten them kudos and good grades from the professors, it may be just the oh-so-trendy thing to say at the Hollywood parties, but enough is enough.

If America is so bad that Hussein is preferable, then please, really, stop benefiting from what America has to offer. Boycott America. Please!

Stop coming here. Stop using our medications. Stop going to our schools. Stop listening to our music. Stop wearing our jeans, and shoes. Stop worshipping Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Stop playing our video games. Stop seeing our movies. Stop. Stop entirely.

Because all these things come out of the totality of America.

They are not the results of some "decent" Americans working in an isolated corner cut off from all the fat, racist, belligerant, arrogant cowboy Americans that you freaks imagine all around you. Everything you like about America comes from what America is at it's heart. We are a whole big dysfunctional family sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table together arguing, cursing, saying whatever we want to say (because we can).

Aunt Susie is trying to pick up her niece's boyfriend. Uncle Malcolm has a gun tucked under his belt. Sister LaShonda is spouting Bible verses and "Praise the Lords" left and right. Grandpa is getting quietly smashed right now, but later in the evening he'll break out the "n" word for a few laps around the track. Cousin Pete is waxing on about his "Research" work and his calculations and his degree in Math from Berkeley. Sister Edwina won't stop talking about Politics, and keeps trying to impress everyone with who she knows in the music business. Aunt Sarah is complaining that Medicare won't cover her reading glasses, or some crap like that. Cousin Sunshine is high on heroin and will probably wind up a homeless prostitute. And Ma is just trying to keep the peace and make sure everybody gets enough turkey and stuffing.

Yes, we are freakin' insufferable, but it's part and parcel of who we are, and what we produce.

Here's a clue for all of you who think that America is an uncultured, illiterate, boorish, belligerant, drunken teenager of a country;

Freedom Is Cacaphony.

You can't have one without the other. Do we like it? Not really. Does anybody like going to Thanksgiving dinner with their entire dysfunctional clan. Not really. It's tough.

But, if we didn't have everybody doing what they want, and complaining about it the whole time, then we wouldn't produce all the stuff you like.

So, take it or leave it, and leave us be. We love America, no matter what our trendy leftists tell you. They love it too.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Pass The Advil

A tremendously depressing day on the anti-Semitism front, all from Little Green Footballs. I find, for whatever reason, I just don't have it in me to write about all this today, so I'm just going to link.

For God's sake, you might as well just go and read LGF.

But here is:

Mahmoud Abbas, the Holocaust Denier, seems to have surprised the whole world (strangely, it doesn't surprise me) by calling Israel, "the Zionist enemy". Reuter's lies for him, calling it "the first time" he has ever said anything of the like. Yeah, right.

Not wanting to be outdone (at shilling for terrorists) by their rivals at Reuter's, Associated Press promotes the "Right Of Return" for "Palestinian refugees".

Meanwhile, in Britain, they think Israel is one of the "least democratic country in the world", and the "least deserving of respect". The fact is, Israel is the only Democratic country in the Middle-East. And, it is the only country in the Middle-East where Arabs can freely and regularly vote for their own representatives.

This survey comes, of course, just a few weeks after a poll revealed that nearly half of Britons don't know what happened at Auschwitz.

And finally, in Switzerland, they've decided that, of all the problems Europe faces, one of the biggies is "Jewish Extremism".

All righty, then.

The Gun Behind the Negotiations

While Europe negotiates to see if they can convince Iran to discontinue it's nuclear programs, the U.S. Air Force is, apparently, flying intelligence sorties over Iranian air space. These sorties accomplish two things at once:

1) A threat to Iran, letting them know what is coming if they don't settle.

2) The gathering of real intelligence in preparation for a real attack.

The United States is the "bad cop" to Europe's "good cop". We are the gun behind the negotiations. From World Net Daily:

WASHINGTON – U.S. military warplanes flew over Iranian air space, raising Tehran's concerns preparations are being made to knock out its nuclear facilities, according to Iranian news media reports.

The U.S. jets reportedly flew out of bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the latest coming Saturday when a fighter buzzed at low altitude an area in the northeastern province of Khorrasan, which borders Afghanistan.

Other reports of overflights cited intrusions by F-16 and F-18 fighters over the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which borders southern Iraq. Papers said the planes appeared to be spying on nuclear sites.

The U.S. military was silent on the veracity of the reports. However, one source said he would not be surprised if the reports were accurate, given the building international tensions over the state of Iran's nuclear weapons program. "The circular maneuvering of the two American fighters indicated them as carrying out spying sorties and controlling the borders," said an Iranian official.

Less than a week earlier, Iranian air force chief Brig. Karim Qavami was quoted as having ordered his forces to open fire and shoot down any unidentified aircraft violating the country's airspace.

"Given that the intrusion of enemy aircraft over Iran's airspace is possible, all fighter jets of the country have been ordered by the army chief to shoot them down in the event of sighting them," he said.

In August, five U.S. warplanes entered Iranian airspace from the southwestern Shalamcheh border and overflew Khorramshahr. Iranian military specialists believe the intrusions are designed to assess the capabilities of Iran's anti-aircraft defenses.

Army chief Gen. Mohammad Salimi also said the Iranian air force has been ordered to defend the country`s nuclear sites in the event of an attack.

"The air force has been ordered to protect the nuclear sites, using all its power," the daily Iran quoted Salimi as saying, adding the air force had temporarily suspended all its maneuvers to focus its capabilities on patrolling the skies over Iran.

Such statements have raised the stakes in a war of words amid foreign press speculation about possible Israeli and American attack on Iran`s nuclear facilities. Iranian military commanders have warned of grave consequences if any such attack takes place.

The fact that that threat of "grave consequences" could actually be true already is why I say I think we might be in for quite a roller coaster of a year.

I am convinced that George Bush is a man who does what he says. He said, in an interview with Bill O' Reilly that his policy is that "they (Iran) will not have a nuclear weapon."

I don't believe for a second that Iran is going to come to an agreement in their negotiations with Europe. So, what will happen? File me under "Frightened".

Richard Gere Works For Democracy
With His Anti-Semitic Friends

As Charles Johnson over at LGF points out, Richard Gere has appointed himself spokesman for the "entire world":

Gere, together with an Islamic cleric and a Greek Orthodox Church official, recorded a public service announcement calling on the Palestinians to vote in the Jan. 9 election to replace Yasser Arafat.

“Hi, I’m Richard Gere and I’m speaking for the entire world. We’re with you during this election time. It’s really important: Get out and vote,” Gere said, according to a transcript of the announcement obtained by The Associated Press.

Gere ended the 80-second announcement produced by the pro-peace group, “One Voice,” with an appeal in Arabic: “Take part in the elections.”

Well, democracy is a good idea. Although, in a society as sick as that of the Palestinian's, it's almost sure to produce horror.

But, that's beside the point here. Check out who Gere's friends are:

Joining Gere in the announcement are Sheik Taissir Tamimi, the head of the Islamic court in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Atallah Hanna, the spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

In the broadcast transcript Tamimi said, “To the Palestinian people, it is a vital process, national necessity and religious obligation.”

“We want democracy in our country, a place with freedom, and freedom of speech,” Hanna said in the ad. ...

Even though he evidently is not familiar with Hollywood superstars, Hanna has his own heroes, according to the Jerusalem Post, which quoted him as praising suicide bombers: ‘These martyrdom freedom fighters are the heroes of the people and we are proud of them. We categorically reject suspicious attempts to cast suspicion on their deeds. They are not suicidal, as some are claiming. Nor are they terrorists, as others are claiming. They are resisting the occupation.’ According to the report, he also called for the liberation of Palestine ‘from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river.’

One of Gere’s co-stars, Sheikh Tamimi, was quoted in 1994 as saying: “the Jews are destined to be persecuted, humiliated and tortured forever, and it is a Muslim duty to see to it that they reap their due. No petty arguments must be allowed to divide us. Where Hitler failed, we must succeed.”

Can you kind of see where they are going with this?

Monday, January 03, 2005

Who Runs The UN?

Nelson Ascher also shares his thoughts on the UN:

Who profits from the existence of the UN? Let's take the five member of its Security Council.

The US? Hardly. It pays the bills while the UN has become an mechanism to try and contain its power.

Russia? It doesn't care much for it, nor does China.

The Brits? They, probably, least of all. The UK being a honest country, follows the rules, doesn't use nor abuse of its position which is frequently used by its internal and external enemies to actually reduce its legitimate influence.

Thus we're back to the usual suspect: France.

The UN is an institution the function of which nowadays is to potentialize France's declining influence in the world. They know how to deal with bureaucrats in general and with Third World bureaucrats in particular, the French. They also know how to set up and how to manipulate already established NGOs. They know how to make rules that are advantageous to themselves and how to bend them when needed. The UN is basically France's megaphone nowadays.

Who else profits from it?

The Muslim coutries who actually act as a bloc and have a little less than 1/3 of the General Assembly's vote. If we take into consideration that the EU foreign policy is more or less ruled by the French and that their main goal is to implement the anti-American Eurabian project, then we'll see that the two most important blocs, the Euro and the Islamic one, actually run the whole show.

And what's the role of the rest of the Third World? Well, thanks to the Eurabian bloc, their diplomats and elites get attention, jobs, positions and so on and, thus, vote along with the Euros and Muslims. What do they have to lose?

Now, let's see: did the League of Nations have the post of Secretary General? If it did, can anyone remember who used to fill it? Well, that's where the UN is headed. But it cannot be dismantled before it is unveiled and unmasked. For all the MSM have been doing to prove the opposite, the invasion of Iraq has actually been pivotal in the process of demoralizing the UN, of proving its impotence. The tsunamis will, in a similar way, prove its incompetence. If last year's main target of the blogosphere was the MSM, this year's central target will be the UN. I don't envy Kofi Annan.

2004 A Year In Review

Nelson Ascher from Europundits adds up the good things that have come out of 2004:

... there has been an almost unbroken series of tactical victories, from Al Najaff and Al Fallujah to many others we can only guess at through the absence of major attacks on American targets and interests around the world. Probably more Jihadis have been killed, captured or neutralized in that single year than throughout the 90s. Pessimists in general like to repeat that America’s actions have multiplied the number of Jihadis. I’m tempted to agree: yes, in the morgues.

The Mainstream Press has been seriously demoralized. Remember that John Kerry’s presidential campaign was planned to be based on his past exploits in Vietnam. This strategy, that had the full backing of the US liberal media, was defeated thanks to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the megaphone the blogosphere provided them. Dirty tricks like those of Dan Rather were quickly exposed and defeated ... the MSM, in the eyes of the US public, are publicly cooking in their own stew. They made their riskier bet of the last 20/30 years. And lost it.

That disastrous and corrupt international institution, the UN, has come under the American tax-payer’s spotlight. That organization’s reputation works in the same way as that of a woman or that of French wines. Once people stop taking it for granted and begin asking questions, it is very, very difficult indeed to bet back to how things were before. French wines were considered the best and simply to dispute this was in bad taste. But, as soon as consumers tried out Spanish, Chilean, Italian, Australian and other wines, the questions about cost/benefit became quite natural. French wines were desacralized much in the same way as Sean Connery was in “The Man Who Would Be King” when, after being bitten by his bride, his subjects discover he’s not a god because he bleeds. And the UN went the same way as the French wines.

Old Europe has been unmasked. For decades it played at being a grateful ally that shared the same values as the US. Its recent diplomatic actions coupled with its stupid anti-American public discourse gave it no strategic or tactical advantage but helped render it transparent to millions and millions of Americans. Its famed diplomacy proved to be a disaster of epic proportions. Opportunistic politicians burned the goodwill of the world’s sole superpower for no visible gain. Old Europe is now quite rightly seen by a large part of American public opinion as, in the best case, a nasty and envious rival, and, in the worst, as an enemy and a covert ally of the most obscurantist forces of the Muslim world.

Israel has beaten the Palestinian Intifada and the Palestinians’ main symbol, Yassir Arafat, is gone. Thanks to Arafat, the whole “Palestinian cause” became a synonym of his person. Without his completely uncharismatic personality that decades of propaganda transformed into a charismatic leader, the so-called “Palestinian cause” loses not only its media visibility, but many of the propaganda triumphs it has accumulated since the 60s. And Israel wisely took care of all other possible symbols that could have emerged, like the Hamas leadership. A symbolic cause, like the Palestinian one, when deprived of its main or perhaps only symbol loses much of its effectiveness.

Pressured both from the outside and the inside, the core revolutionary leadership of the Anglosphere, Bush in the US, Blair in the UK and Howard in Australia, managed to defuse all the landmines planted on its way and to strengthen its influence at home and abroad.

Each of the events above could be considered modest in its scope but taken all together they imply wide and deep changes in the international political landscape. It’s the unfolding of these that we’ll be witnessing and following this year.

At the beginning of 2004 I wondered how we would pull it out. The odds seemed insurmountable. Just as they do now, going into 2005.

Certainty of death? Small chance of success? What are we waiting for?
- Gimli, from The Return Of The King

Iraqi Poll Shows Iraqi's
Support The Elections

Little Green Footballs reader Haider Ajina emailed Charles Johnson the results of a poll published in the Iraqi Arabic newspaper Alsabaah, showing that the mujahideen have failed to dissuade Iraqis from voting From LGF:

The poll was of 4974 Iraqis living in and around Baghdad. The following is the translation of the poll and the results:

“Will the security problems cause you to?

Not come out and vote the day of elections = 18.3%
Come out and vote the day of elections = 78.3%
No opinion = 3.4%

“Do you support the Iraqi Government having its own official newspaper?
Yes = 67.7%
No = 30.9%
Do Not know = 1.4%”

“Do you support military action against the terrorists?
Yes = 87.7 %
No = 11.1%
Don’t Know = 1.2%

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Bush Has A Lot On His Plate

From USA Today:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The three countries President Bush called an "axis of evil" in his first term are at the top of his foreign policy to-do list in the second, along with a revitalized Mideast peace process and continued efforts to repair European alliances frayed by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

War and reconstruction in Iraq are likely to continue to command more attention than any other international issues, at least for the first couple of years of Bush's new term.

"The first priority has got to be getting Iraq right," said Max Boot, a conservative expert on national security at the Council on Foreign Relations.

On Iraq, the administration will get a real and perceived boost in credibility if elections scheduled there for the end of this month come off well, Boot and others said. Another round of elections is planned for later in 2005.

The alternative — protracted turmoil and violence that the United States cannot control — would complicate U.S. foreign policy far beyond Iraq.

"The odds are in our favor, but defeat is not out of the question," Boot said. "I think it's 60-40 in our direction."

American patience with the war will soon wear thin, and doing the reconstruction job correctly could mean U.S. troops stay in Iraq far longer than the public expects, he said. That leaves two options for Bush as he begins his second term, Biden said.

"We muddle through for the next year, declare victory after the second election and leave, and then there would be chaos," Biden said. Or, "level with the American people and tell them we're going to be muddling through for the next four years, or longer."

Bush seemed to acknowledge that Iraq remains Job No. 1 during a year-end news conference.
"We have a vital interest in the success of a free Iraq. You see, free societies do not export terror," Bush said.

Iran and North Korea, the other two countries in Bush's famous axis, loom nearly as large as Iraq. The United States suspects both countries are on their way to possessing nuclear weapons, or already have them. Both have repressive or authoritarian governments that could interfere with their neighbors or worse.

U.S. policy in all three nations is yoked to the continuing war on terrorism, since all three are potential training grounds or arsenals for terrorists.

Bush must decide how much to push Iran and North Korea diplomatically; how much to cooperate with European efforts to contain the nuclear threats; and how much to listen to hawks in his own government who may press for a limited airstrike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

At the same time, Bush may play a central role in the next phase of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. For now, Britain is taking that lead while all sides await the outcome of Jan. 9 elections to choose a successor to Yasser Arafat.

China will probably also be a major focus of U.S. economic and diplomatic efforts during Bush's next four years, and not just because of its vast size and resources. China could help contain or confront North Korea, said Patrick Cronin, a foreign policy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Bush will also have a wary eye on Russia, the Cold War nemesis turned ally in the war on terror. The administration chose mostly to hold its tongue as Russian President Vladimir Putin consolidated political and economic power while muting independent media organizations, but may now adopt a harder line.

Notice how Max Boot, of the CFR, says odds are 60-40 in our favor. How about that? I think he's right. I wonder what it seemed like our odds were back during World War II. It must have looked even worse, I would imagine.

There's no getting around it; war is frightening. I expect, as I said in my New Year's Eve post, that the coming year is going to prove to be quite a roller coaster ride.

Online Libraries Will Make Bloggers
Yet More Relevant

Roger Simon discusses the beautiful new library in Seattle:

I am not sure I would want to do much research there and I doubt I would want to work there. Not that I have spent a lot of time in libraries lately. Like many people, I do most of my research online. This is the trend even in schools. A friend recently told me that his daughter's teacher in a fancy NY private school instructed the students speicifically not to go to the library for their term papers, but to build their more useful Internet search skills. (The friend is a publisher and was distressed by this advice.)

The announcement by Google that they are making the contents of Stanford, Harvard, Michigan and Oxford libraries available on line along with parts of the gargantuan New York Public can only increase this trend. Soon libraries may function like book museums.

I'm so glad Roger brought this up, because I've been thinking about the same thing quite a bit lately. A boardmember of CUANAS is currently in the final stages of finishing his doctoral dissertation in American History. He and I were discussing such work, and I remarked to him that I am amazed at how much faster I can work online when compared to the old-school "Dewey Decimal" referencing of books, and elaborate footnoting.

We were reminiscing that the first paper we ever produced for CUANAS was just three pages, but it took us a good week to put it out. I told him that I write the equivalent, or more, between five and ten times every week now, in between everything else I am doing.

Clicking, cutting, pasting, and linking, are just so much easier. For me, libraries and footnoting are the tedium of academic work. I can't wait until libraries become available online. That will change the depth of work I can do here on CUANAS. I just hope the subscriptions aren't too expensive.

A New Spirit Of Cooperation
Between Europe and The United States

The Houston Chronicle details the ways in which things are falling into place to insure that Europe and the U.S. will start working together again, instead of sniping at each other:

One is the death of Yasser Arafat. No issue divides Europe and the United States more keenly than the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. For the last few years, Europeans have criticized Bush for failing to put enough pressure on Israel to get out of the occupied territories and for refusing to deal with Arafat. But since Arafat's death, Europeans and Americans have been able to find common ground: supporting Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza, putting pressure on Israel to let the Palestinians hold elections and, covertly, backing Mahmoud Abbas to become the next Palestinian leader.

A second reason is Europe's growing worries about Islamic terrorism. The murder in November of Theo van Gogh, a provocative Dutch filmmaker, at the hands of an Islamic militant has been called Europe's 9/11. Though the two events are obviously not fully comparable, it is certainly true that American conservatives, such as Francis Fukuyama and Bernard Lewis, have found a wider audience recently for the idea that radical Islam is inimical to European traditions of tolerance.

The third force is the reappearance, albeit in a milder form, of the threat that kept the trans-Atlantic alliance together for half a century. The Russian bear is growling again. The Ukrainian election — complete with its KGB-style poisoning of the opposition leader and heavy-handed electoral fraud — has reminded European diplomats of Vladimir V. Putin's determination to control his "near abroad."

European bankers, who have invested a fortune in Russia, have been spooked by the state-sponsored bankruptcy of Yukos, once hailed as Russia's most Western company. These worries are magnified by the growing influence of the eight new members of the European Union from Central Europe, all of which are instinctively much more anti-Russian (and pro-American).

If these three things have prompted Europeans to reconsider Bush, European leaders also claim that the White House is reconsidering them, particularly in the light of the Iraqi quagmire. They point to the relatively warm response from Washington to the EU's attempts to negotiate with Iran (something Bush might well have previously dismissed as pointless). One former prime minister points out that second-term presidents have generally been more conciliatory figures, less interested in posturing and more in horse-trading. He cites Ronald Reagan as an example.

There is a personal edge to all this. Just as the snooty continentals eventually came to admire the gormless Hollywood actor, there is a grudging willingness to rethink some prejudices about the inarticulate Texan.

I am glad Bush is staying out of the negotiations with Iran, but, let's face it, everybody knows, whether they will admit it or not, that America is the gun behind Europe's negotiations. The Euros will act surprised if the day comes when America does actually have to attack Iran. But, make no mistake about it, they know the truth. Bush said categorically, that Iran will not have nuclear weapons. Do you think the leaders of European nations are not aware of that fact?

Come on, now.

Frank Fregosi Drives A Hard Bargain

Little Green Footballs brings us this excerpt from an interview with Frank Fregosi, a researcher for the European Society, Law and Religion Center at Strasbourg's Robert Schuman University:

Q: Must these Muslim communities adapt to fit into Europe?

The question, indeed the challenge, is not so much one of adapting Islam to our European society but of adapting our society to Islam. Discriminatory attitudes against the Muslim community increase Muslim frustration and harden the resolve of certain groups who turn to radicalism. The challenge for us is to create a framework in which Muslims may be integrated into our society as fairly as possible. Most European states use public money to fund religious groups yet Islamic groups very rarely actually receives such money. European mentalities and bureaucracies need to change. In Belgium, for example, Muslim groups cannot receive public funds because the authorities do not acknowledge them as representative bodies.

Q: Is Islam compatible with European humanist values?

The concept of ‘values’ is a complex one. We need to ask ourselves what ‘values’ this question presumes. Christianity has long defined itself in opposition to Islam. Yet Islam and Islamic culture have deeply affected European history. The famous Islamic architecture in Andalusia remains as a testament to this. At one stage three quarters of the Spanish population were Muslim and parts of the Balkan region still are. This area was at one time part of the Ottoman Empire, the “sick man of Europe” at the beginning of the 20th century. Today we need to look beyond this binary division of history and the systematic opposition of Islamic and Christian Europe. By this more comprehensive yardstick, Turkey’s entry into the European Union is hardly outrageous. Its accession to the EU would simply represent for Muslims a slightly more important place for Turkish Islam within Europe.

Cue stupid American Cowboy: That sounds like some of that there fancypants nuancin' if you ask me.

I like how the guy refers to Spain as "Andalusia". That's like Hilary Clinton referring to Bill as "Monica's boyfriend".

I'd love to work out some real estate deals with this dude. "Hey Frank, how about if I buy your property under terms of a little thing I like to call the Screaming Memes Reverse Mortgage. Well, yes, in effect that does mean you pay for it, but my bank carries the loan, so you won't have to make the arrangements. How's that?

Good man, I'm glad you're so reasonable."


What a dweeb.

Palestinian Resposibility

From Power Line:

I have some addtional thoughts on Trunk's post from earlier today regarding the piece about the Palestinians by Dennis Ross in today's Washington Post:

In a world where Simon Peres, co-architect of the catastrophic Oslo accords, is back in the Israeli government, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Dennis Ross, Peres' accomplice, still has a significant platform on which to tell us about peace "stirrings" within the breasts of Arafat's successor. But surely it's reasonable to consider the source. Ross thinks we should:

"As someone who probably dealt with Yasser Arafat more than any non-Palestinian, I can safely say that Palestinian responsibility was never on his agenda."

Now you tell us, Dennis. Why on earth did you set the non-Palestinian record for time spent with Arafat when you knew that "Palestinian responsibility was never on his agenda?" Were you really asking (and pressuring) Israel to make major concessions in exchange for promises from a "peace partner" you knew thought the Palestinian side had no responsibility?

But, with Arafat gone, shouldn't we be excited that many Palestinians are now saying that the violence they directed at Israel during the past few years was a "mistake?" Only, I think, if we find truisms exciting. The past few years of violence against Israel have resulted in another unmistakable defeat for the Palestinians. Israel has inflicted crushing damage on Palestinian terror organizations, virtually ended (for the moment) their ability to inflict damage on Israel, and disengaged from "peace" talks. So the defeated party wants to return to something like the Oslo model -- new Israeli concessions in exchange for promises -- but is unwilling, as Trunk noted, to take any action against those who wish to continue the violence.

Ross writes:

When I declared that there would be no Palestinian state born of violence -- with the leading proponents of that violence sitting there -- several Palestinians responded by saying that violence was a mistake and nothing would be achieved by it. What struck me about these comments was that there was no hesitancy to make them. With the opposition sitting there, with the entire conference being conducted in Arabic and televised throughout the Middle East, declaring that violence against the Israelis was wrong bore no stigma and apparently little risk.

But, by Ross' account, the Palestinians didn't say the violence was "wrong," they said it was a "mistake."

Mahmoud Abbas, the Holocaust denier, is now going around gladhanding and backslapping with the leaders of Hamas and al-Aqsa. Why should we expect that things will get better when he is the probable winner of the upcoming election. Why should we expect things to get better when 70% of Palestinians oppose disbanding the terror gangs?

The only reasonable answer to me, for the time being, is for Israel to unilaterally withdraw from the Palestinian territories, forcing them to take responsibility for themselves. That way, maybe they can grow into being a real state.