Saturday, January 22, 2005

Protesters In Berkeley Chant
"Don't believe the news, it's controlled by the Jews!"

More photos of the anti-Semites at the rally in Berkeley the other day.

What do you know? The rally included a chant. Here it is:

Don't believe the news, it's controlled by the Jews!
Don't believe the news, it's controlled by the Jews!
Don't believe the news, it's controlled by the Jews!
Don't believe the news, it's controlled by the Jews!
Don't believe the news, it's controlled by the Jews!
Don't believe the news, it's controlled by the Jews!

Why do you think the liberal, diversity-loving, human rights activists in Berkeley aren't out in the street protesting against the anti-Semites in their midst? Do you think it's because these anti-Semites and the liberal, diversity-loving, human rights activists are one and the same people?


The reason the anti-Semites are so bold in Berkeley is because they know they're tolerated. Hell, I'll bet they're even celebrated.

Germany Is Kicking It Old School

A new poll, from the London Times, via LGF, indicates Germans might be returning to their roots. First off, they don't are sick of being reminded of the whole Holocaust. Second, they think the Jews are perpetrating a "war of extermination" against the Palestinians. And third, they think there's just too damn many foreigners in their country:

Some 62% of the 3,000 people questioned by researchers from the University of Bielefeld agreed they were “sick of all the harping on about German crimes against the Jews”.

Most said they wished to consign their country’s Nazi past to the history books. Well over half also thought there were too many foreigners living in Germany.

The poll horrified Lord Janner, a spokesman for British survivors of Auschwitz. “It’s appalling,” he said. “It raises fears that the current generation are not ready to pass on the history and lessons learnt from those events to their children.”

Political analysts believe the findings reflect a growing feeling among younger Germans that they have atoned sufficiently for their grandparents’ crimes and now have the right to bury the past. Their attitude has been fuelled in part by books and documentaries showing the destruction caused by Allied second world war bombing raids.

“This trend began with revisionist historians telling Germans they were really the victims of the war rather than its perpetrators,” said Abraham Cooper, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The poll also highlights anti-Israeli feeling in Germany. More than two-thirds said they believed that Israel was waging “a war of extermination” against the Palestinians.

This is more evidence that the opprobrium directed at Israel these days is merely cloaked anti-Semitism. What better way to make yourself feel that it's ok to hate Jews than to blame them for a "war of extermination", in effect, a genocide?

Think about what a "war of extermination" would look like. Wouldn't that mean that Israeli soldiers would go into a city and round everyone up and shoot them? Or maybe just make it easy on themselves, and carpetbomb the entire city, and then shoot everyone who was running away?

Genocides are not that hard to commit. The Rwandan maniacs killed 800,000 people with machetes, for God's sake. Israel certainly has better tools at their disposal than knives. Stalin killed a million Ukranians by starving them. This is also the tactic Kim Jong Il uses against his own people. It would be easy enough for Israel to simply seal off the borders and disallow food imports.

The idea that Israel is committing a systematic genocide against the Palestinian people is preposterous. It is simply a word construct with no basis in reality. In other words, it's a lie, a slander of monumental proportions. Anyone who would utter such nonesense is proving themselves to be completely irrational. And yet, two-thirds of Germans think this way. When was the last time the majority of Germans became so unhinged from reality?

It is a dangerous development, and evidence of a serious sickness in their society, that the German people are telling each other such outlandish lies.

The Palestinian Peace Process

I'm going to just blatantly rip off the master blogger at Little Green Footballs. Here's his post on the Palestinian Peace Process:

New Palestinian “president” (or is he “chairman?”) Mahmoud Abbas/Abu Mazen, the “moderate” Holocaust denier, prepares for peace as his death squads murder anyone suspected of collaborating with Israel, usually in public to serve as an example: Jenin gunmen murder suspected collaborator.

Masked gunmen murdered a Palestinian man on Saturday afternoon near Jenin, Army Radio reported.

The man, identified as Ali Abu Hassan, was accused of collaborating with Israel.

According to the report, Hassan was shot dead near his home.

Meanwhile, the death squad held a press conference and said they would agree to a cease fire.
Just one small condition: Israel has to release all the killers and terrorists they’re currently holding in prisons.

The Al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades will agree to a mutual cease-fire if Israel pledges to halt its attacks on the Palestinians, the group’s spokesman announced Saturday.

A masked Abu Mohammed, Al Aksa’s spokesman in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, made the announcement at a Gaza news conference. Flanked by gunmen, Abu Mohammed - using a nom-de-guerre - said the armed group would accept a truce “if it is mutual and if Israel also commits to it.”

However, Abu Mohammed said Israel must agree, under the terms of a cease-fire, to release Palestinians prisoners from its jails.

The word “farce” is inadequate to describe this perverted travesty of a political process.

Open Source and Truth
The Media Reformation

The clash between bloggers and the Main Stream Media is one of the most important developments of our time. Wretchard comments on the Harvard Conference on Blogging, where prominent bloggers and members of the MSM squared off:

The Buzz Machine is posting live from a conference on blogging at Harvard. I've left the typos in and excerpted a few lines. One eye catching exchange goes as follows:

: Jimbo Wales, founder of Wikipedia, says that a few years ago, nobody could have predicted that a bunch of unpaid citizens could replace the Encyclopedia Brittanica with its budget of $350 million but it happened. He said that the business model of The New York Times is not sustainable. Abramson shudders, of course. Kaplan said Wales doesn't know what he's talking about; he has not been in a place like Baghdad and does not know the dififculty of getting information there and does not know how the existing system can be replaced.

:Hinderaker goes back to Bill Mitchell's question from his presentation, in which he asked what tool we need to help build trust. Hinderaker says it would help to show us the material behind the story. The attitude bloggers have is -- via the link: "See for yourself. Don't take our word for it."

Then somewhat later.

: Jill Abramson, an editor at the NY Times, and Dave Winer, get kerfluffling together and I can't summarize it well. But I entered in when she went on about the expense of keeping journalists in Iraq -- which is true and for which we are grateful. But I started telling the story of Zeyad (Iraqi blogger) taking his camera to cover an antiterrorism demonstration last December that The Times didn't cover. As soon as I mention it, Abramson starts shaking her head and looking away.

: Abramson said that it is "completely contrary" to the histyry and standards of The Times to run content that they do not vet.

I would have given anything to have asked whether Abramson of the Times preferred an unidentified AP stringer taking pictures of Iraqi election workers being executed on Haifa Street over Zeyad, and why.

Wretchard sums it up:

The really interesting question was posed by Jimbo Wales. The engine that enabled Wikipedia to overtake Brittanica at the encyclopedia game was self-evidently a powerful one; a phenomenon, which I am tempted to surmise may structurally resemble asymmetrical warfare. Abramson shuddered and well she should. But at what? What was out there in the dark about which these conference participants are talking? It is a something that has already swallowed Brittanica. No one is quite sure what it is, but everyone should be quite certain that it will strike again.

I don't think it is as "out there in the dark" as Wretchard believes. It is merely that more and more people are being added to the cultural dialogue. What is happening is akin to the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Bishop's door, stating that the people would no longer need a Priest to mediate their relationship with God. So it is now, with blogging that the people are telling the Media Priests that we do not need them to mediate our understanding of the Truth.

What is the mechanism that is making this possible? As Belmont Club commenter Meme Chose says:

It is, at the core, really (REALLY) low cost computing. Systems designed and built cheaply, and which don't require thousands of people to operate. This is how both Google and eBay started, and it's disruptive impact is only just beginning to become apparent.

True. I have friends who have elaborate recording studios in their homes entirely run through their MacIntosh computers. What was once would have cost millions of dollars can be had for several thousand. This enables more people to create more music and, once again, without the mediation of the whole studio owner/engineer/producer superstructure.

It would seem that we no longer need to buy indulgences in order to work out our salvation.

Another component of the mechanism making this possible is described by another Wretchard commenter, Marcus Cicero, at his fine blog Between Hope and Fear:

The Blogosphere is proud these days, in the wake of their collective defrocking of a news media institution. As well they should be. The Killian affair reveals traditional news media as tottering toward irrelevance. There are parallels between the Blogosphere’s decentralized participatory structure and an ongoing software development trend started by Linus Torvalds, known as Open Source.
A 1997 essay by Eric Steven Raymond identified the strengths of developing complex software in an open, collaborative environment---The Cathedral and the Bazaar:
Linux overturned much of what I thought I knew. I had been preaching the Unix gospel of small tools, rapid prototyping and evolutionary programming for years. But I also believed there was a certain critical complexity above which a more centralized, a priori approach was required. I believed that the most important software needed to be built like cathedrals, carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation, with no beta to be released before its time.
Linus Torvalds's style of development---release early and often, delegate everything you can, be open to the point of promiscuity---came as a surprise. No quiet, reverent cathedral-building here---rather, the Linux community seemed to resemble a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches out of which a coherent and stable system could seemingly emerge only by a succession of miracles...The Linux world not only didn't fly apart in confusion, but seemed to go from strength to strength at a speed barely imaginable to cathedral-builders.
Mr Raymond identifies an efficacious method of managing code design, debugging and implementation through a committed open developer community. The Cathedral and Bazaar model is applicable not only to software design, but to the analyzation and dissemination of all information, including news. By Mr. Raymond’s analogy, the ‘cathedral’ in the Killian case is CBS News---established, esoteric, top-down, institutional and stodgy---extremely protective of its sources and fact-gathering processes. The ‘bazaar’ is the Blogosphere.
News blogs are self-correcting systems composed of broad bases of readers who also contribute knowledge to issues. The bloggers themselves provide focus as guides and inspiration, much like Linus Torvalds provided leadership to the legions of volunteer coders building Linux.
Mr Raymond contrasts the different approaches of 'cathedral' and 'bazaar' knowledge building. Though he is talking about software development, he might just as easily be talking about news gathering and analysis in the Blogosphere:

Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone. Or, less formally, "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.'' I dub this: "Linus's Law''.
In the cathedral-builder view of programming, bugs and development problems are tricky, insidious, deep phenomena. It takes months of scrutiny by a dedicated few to develop confidence that you've winkled them all out [leading to] long release intervals.
In the bazaar view, you assume that bugs are generally shallow phenomena---or, at least, that they turn shallow pretty quickly when exposed to a thousand eager co-developers pounding on every single new release. Accordingly you release often in order to get more corrections, and as a beneficial side effect you have less to lose if an occasional botch gets out the door.
Sociologists years ago discovered that the averaged opinion of a mass of equally expert (or equally ignorant) observers is quite a bit more reliable a predictor than the opinion of a single randomly-chosen one of the observers. They called this the Delphi Effect.
Contributors for any given [Linux] project are self-selected. Contributions are received not from a random sample, but from people who are interested enough to use the software, learn about how it works, attempt to find solutions to problems they encounter, and actually produce an apparently reasonable fix. Anyone who passes all these filters is highly likely to have something useful to contribute.
The Delphi Effect appears to be affecting news gathering and analysis, and the promulgation of knowledge in general. There are armies of volunteers brought together on blogs whose averaged opinions and knowledge create a formidable challenge to traditional cathedral-style news organizations. The trend extends into other areas of knowledge, such as the Wikipedia---a collaboratively developed free encyclopedia that is created and updated by its users. No article is finished in the Wikipedia. It has a self-healing quality that gradually extracts false data. The Delphi Effect keeps the Wikipedia current, accurate and dynamic. Wikipedia’s competitors are centuries-old cathedral-style knowledge bureaucracies like Encyclopedia Brittanica. They spend millions maintaining their knowledge base, releasing it in large, expensive sets once a year. Wikipedia costs little to maintain, is far more dynamic, current, and perhaps covers a broader knowledge gamut.
We are seeing the Delphi Effect route around faulty news evidence from CBS just as it does buggy code, rendered anachronistic. Competing against CBS’s ‘cathedral’ style of news gathering and reporting is a vibrant, stealthy and reliable watchdog: blogs. Where CBS stonewalls over time, blogs self-correct, nearly instantaneously.Mr Raymond distills the basic laws behind the Open Source movement:

Release early and often;

Grow a beta list by adding to it everyone who contacts you;

Send chatty announcements to the beta list whenever releasing, encouraging people to participate;

Listen to beta-testers, polling them about design decisions and stroking them whenever they sent in patches and feedback;

If you treat your beta-testers as if they're your most valuable resource, they will respond by becoming your most valuable resource.
We should expect to see the Delphi Effect continue to challenge traditional strongholds of knowledge. We should also be aware of potential pitfalls with Blogospheric news. There are questions that should be considered as we move into the Delphi Age:

Is Al Qaeda an example of the Delphi Effect applied to extremists? Does this account for much of their power to challenge sovereign nations?

If so, is a sovereign country a 'cathedral' to the terrorist's 'bazaar'? In other words, can Delphi-style terrorists be defeated by traditional top-down applications of power?

Dan Rather's 'cathedral' career is on the line; is there equivalent accountability in the Blogosphere, where most users are anonymous?

Is the war on terror a war against asymmetrical opposition? If so, how can we embrace asymmetry in technological and social development while we fight it's darkest sociological side-effects?

Does the power of evaluation created by blogs always serve the cause of truth? What about Al Quaeda’s blogs, or ones in the Arab world?
No doubt that in those blogospheres Jews are pigs and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is the de facto truth. Can the Delphi Effect work against itself in a bazaar composed of closed minds laboring under a consensus of delusion?

Can the Blogosphere become the ultimate medium for a new kind of demagoguery? With over 100,000 readers a day, could someone like Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs organize the ultimate flash mobs, if so inclined? That's real power in this era. What are the limits of power available to bloggers?
We live in momentous times.

We do live in momentous times. As I said, these times are akin to the Protestant Reformation. I think the most pertinent question to have arisen out of Marcus Cicero's post is, does the open source process in blogging serve truth? I highlighted that question, and the statement about Wikipedia having no finished articles, in orange because those two ideas go together.

Open Source works in the development of software because software is more akin to mathematics, where there are real correct answers. In other words, if there is a bug in the software, a solution, once found, is self-evident.

Truth, and here I am speaking of moral Truth, is not self-evident. It does not always appear as a fix. Many times moral Truth leads us down a road which seems to become ever darker. To someone working under the rules of Open Source, such an outcome would indicate a mistake had been made. But, in the realm of moral Truth, it would seem that such an outcome is almost par for the course. There needs to be a objective set of agreed-upon values which carry us through these dark times. That is what moral Truth is.

Read the following, by Dennis Prager, and as you do, substitute the words "Open Source", or "blogging", or "Wikipedia", for his word "reason". "The Case For Judeo-Christian Values":

There are four primary problems with reason divorced from God as a guide to morality.

The first is that reason is amoral. Reason is only a tool and, therefore, can just as easily argue for evil as for good. If you want to achieve good, reason is immensely helpful; if you want to do evil, reason is immensely helpful. But reason alone cannot determine which you choose. It is sometimes rational to do what is wrong and sometimes rational to do what is right.

It is sheer nonsense -- nonsense believed by the godless -- that reason always suggests the good. Mother Teresa devoted her life to feeding and clothing the dying in Calcutta. Was this decision derived entirely from reason? To argue that it was derived from reason alone is to argue that every person whose actions are guided by reason will engage in similar self-sacrifice, and that anyone who doesn't live a Mother Teresa-like life is acting irrationally.

Did those non-Jews in Europe who risked their lives to save a Jew during the Holocaust act on the dictates of reason? In a lifetime of studying those rescuers' motives, I have never come across a single instance of an individual who saved Jews because of reason. In fact, it was irrational for any non-Jews to risk their lives to save Jews.

Another example of reason's incapacity to lead to moral conclusions: On virtually any vexing moral question, there is no such a thing as a [missing] purely rational viewpoint. What is the purely rational view on the morality of abortion? Of public nudity? Of the value of an animal versus that of a human? Of the war in Iraq? Of capital punishment for murder? On any of these issues, reason alone can argue effectively for almost any position. Therefore, what determines anyone's moral views are, among other things, his values -- and values are beyond reason alone (though one should be able to rationally explain and defend those values). If you value the human fetus, most abortions are immoral; if you only value the woman's view of the value of the fetus, all abortions are moral.

The second problem with reason alone as a moral guide is that we are incapable of morally functioning on the basis of reason alone. Our passions, psychology, values, beliefs, emotions and experiences all influence the ways in which even the most rational person determines what is moral and whether to act on it.

Third, the belief in reason alone is itself based on an irrational belief -- that people are basically good. You have to believe that people are basically good in order to believe that human reason will necessarily lead to moral conclusions.

Fourth, even when reason does lead to a moral conclusion, it in no way compels acting on that conclusion. Let's return to the example of the non-Jew in Nazi-occupied Europe. Imagine that a Jewish family knocks on his door, asking to be hidden. Imagine further that on rational grounds alone (though I cannot think of any), the non-Jew decides that the moral thing to do is hide the Jews. Will he act on this decision at the risk of his life? Not if reason alone guides him. People don't risk their lives for strangers on the basis of reason. They do so on the basis of faith -- faith in something that far transcends reason alone.

Does all this mean that reason is useless? God forbid. Reason and rational thought are among the hallmarks of humanity's potential greatness. But alone, reason is largely worthless in the greatest quest of all -- making human beings kinder and more decent. To accomplish that, God, a divinely revealed manual and reason are all necessary. And even then there are no guarantees.

Blogs deal with facts well, and they serve as Open Source correction machines in that sense. But blogs also deal in the realm of Moral Truth. The decision of whether to go to war or not is a decision which is largely moral. There are facts surrounding the decision (Saddam was violating the sanctions established by the UN, so legally there was a case for going to War) but, ultimately, the decision comes down to the question of whether the world, and Iraq, will be a better place (i.e. more Good) if Saddam and his regime are removed from power?

Such a question requires us to make moral judgements. What is Good? Is the desire for Freedom inherent in the nature of man? How many deaths will ensue from military action? Are these deaths acceptable given the objective?

As Marcus Cicero wrote, "No article is finished in Wikipedia." If nothing is ever concluded then how are decisions to be made on largescale issues of life and death? The answer is they can only be made, ultimately, according to one's values. And values are articles of Faith. There is no getting around that.

With that said, let us be clear that while one may believe, as I do, that the Bible is the source for Truth, an Open Source refining system is still needed. When I read the Bible, I will inevitably understand it differently from others. So, while we may have the Truth at our disposal, we will, as humans, argue about it until the end of time.

Blogs open up the cultural dialogue on Truth just as much they do on facts. I believe this is a good thing, ultimately, as long as we are able to keep it firmly in mind that we can't use mere pragmitism and expediency as a fact-checker on Morality.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Victor David Hanson On
The Neocons

From Victor David Hanson, at the National Review:

Neo- is a prefix that derives from the Greek adjective veos — "new" or "fresh" — and in theory it is used inexactly for those conservatives who once were not — or for those who have reinterpreted conservatism in terms of a more idealistic foreign policy that eschewed both Cold War realpolitik and the hallowed traditions of American republican isolationism.
But the accepted definition has given way in practice to refer to the more particular proponents of the use of military action to remove threatening governments, and to replace them with democratic systems — hence the occasional sobriquets of "neo-Wilsonian." But for a number of detractors, "neoconservative" is also little more than generic disparagement, and (off-the-record) it is synonymous with American Jews who seek to alter American foreign policy to the wishes of the right-wing Likud party of Israel.

Yet note the misinformation about its meaning and usage. The five most prominent makers of American foreign policy at the moment — George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld — are (1) not Jewish, (2) hard-headed and not easily bamboozled by any supposed cabal, and (3) were mostly in the past identified with the "realist" school and especially skeptical of using the military frequently for anything resembling Clintonian peace-keeping.

So, for example, while Secretary Rumsfeld signed the now-infamous 1998 letter to President Clinton calling for the de-facto preemptive removal of Saddam Hussein, George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice did not. Yet Richard Armitage — considered a stalwart in the Colin Powell camp — was a signatory. Thus there seems no hard ideology or past litmus test to neoconservatism other than a coalescence of once-differing views after September 11.
Second, this new version of neoconservativism was predicated on the end of the Cold War, at least in its present approach to foreign policy. Nearly thousands of nukes pointed at the United States, coupled with global Communist-inspired national-liberation movements, did not leave much room for American idealism — or at least it was so felt. But with the fall of the Berlin Wall, former realist conservatives deduced that the advocacy of democracy was both practicable and in the long-term interest of the United States, as part of its promotion of international free markets and consensual government. Meanwhile, some liberals saw military action as not so odious if aimed at right-wing authoritarians rather than Communists masquerading as socialists (e.g., Noriega, Milosevic, the Taliban, or Saddam Hussein rather than Castro). Why the latter were not called neoliberals is unexplained.

Third, Iraq is not the sole touchstone of neoconservative thought. Many traditional conservatives, both Democrats and Republicans, who favor balanced budgets, an end to illegal immigration, and more sober judgment on entitlements, came to the conclusion after September 11 that the many lives of Saddam Hussein had run out. Indeed, one of the ironies of this war is the spectacle of many who called for the removal of Saddam Hussein in the late 1990s now turning on the war, while many who would have never supported such preemption before 9/11 insist on giving the administration full support in the midst of the present fighting.
Fourth, traditional conservatives especially distrust neoconservatives because, well, they are not entirely conservative and confuse the public about the virtues of the hallowed native reluctance to spend blood and treasure abroad for dubiously idealistic purposes. In contrast, progressives dislike them because their promotion of democracy can complicate liberalism, as if it were a fine and noble thing to insist on elections in the former Third World, even if need be through force. And every ideology saves its greatest venom for the perceived apostate: Thus Zell Miller infuriates liberals in the way John McCain or Chuck Nagel does conservatives.
Fifth, the battlefield adjudicates perceptions. Before the Iraqi invasion, neoconservatives took a beating in the acrimonious lead-up to the war about which scenarios were proffered about millions of refugees and thousands of American dead. Yet after the three-week victory, even television hosts were boasting, "We are all neoconservatives now." Then the messy post-bellum Iraqi reconstruction brought back disdain, while successful elections and a consensual government could well win admiration.

Finally, radical foreign-policy changes always upset the status quo and beg for conspiratorial exegesis. After 1948, the Cold Warriors were felt to have appropriated the Democratic party from the Henry Wallace wing, and they suffered abuse both from the naïve Left who saw them as veritable McCarthyites, and from the isolationist Right who did not want to continue the sacrifices of internationalism endlessly on into the postwar peace.
The old border-state pragmaticism of Lincoln was felt to have been hijacked by the "Black Republicans," when the bumpkin candidate "came east" to get briefed. In such conspiracy thinking, clever abolitionists from their New England pulpits and snooty colleges saw Lincoln as a suitable and naïve emissary of their radical agenda. Indeed, in some sense almost all the charges that the Texas realist George Bush was brainwashed by neoconservative Israeli apologists are not that different from the writ against Lincoln.

These Amps Go To Eleven

Iran's spiritual leader renewed the Fatwa against Salman Rushdie. The British government isn't too concerned. From Little Green Footballs:

A FATWA against the author Salman Rushdie was reaffirmed by Iran’s spiritual leader last night in a message to Muslim pilgrims.

British officials anxiously played down comments after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Muslims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Rushdie was an apostate whose killing would be authorised by Islam, according to the Iranian media.

His words came during a lengthy tirade against “Western and Zionist capitalists” and the US-led War on Terror.

However, senior British officials swiftly made plain last night that the Iranian Government, which had disassociated itself from the fatwa in 1998, had not changed its position.They pointed out that because the fatwa was issued in February 1989 by Iran’s revolutionary founder and Khamenei’s predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini, who had since died, it would always remain in existence.

They insisted that the move did not presage a further deterioration in the already tense relations with Iran over its nuclear programme. “This should not be taken as a new development,” one said.

Ok, so someone threatens to kill you. The police protect you. The guy dies. The police pull their protection.

Then someone else threatens to kill you. You call the police and they say, "Yeah, but that guy died."

You say, "But, this is a different guy."

The police say, "Yeah, but the other guy died."

That's some logic. Must be some of that gosh durned Europeen nuancin' again.

Saudi Arabia
"No Jews Allowed"

From Front Page Magazine:

One of the most common forms of anti-semitism embraced in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, is the phenomenon of blaming everything on Israel, Zionists, and Jews (and in recent years the U.S., too). As Sheikh Abd Al-Qader Shiba Al-Hammad stated on Saudi MBC TV on August 6th: “There is no evil in the world that the Jews are not behind… In the depths of history and in the future, and you will find that the finger of the Jews … is behind everything.”

The magazine ‘Al-Jundi Al-Muslim’ (The Muslim Soldier), published by the Religious Affairs Department of the Saudi armed forces, released an article on May 1 in its ‘Know Your Enemy’ section which stated: “The majority of revolutions, coups d'etat, and wars which have occurred in the world … are almost entirely the handiwork of the Jews … in order to implement the injunctions of the fabricated Torah, the Talmud, and the 'Protocols [of the Elders of Zion'], all of which command the destruction of all non-Jews in order to achieve their goal - namely, world domination.”

Blaming the Jews/Zionists/Israel for the world’s ills begins in the upper echelons of Saudi society. Interior Minister Prince Nayef publicly blamed 9/11 on “the Zionists.” Following terror attacks in Saudi Arabia last year, Crown Prince Abdallah blamed “Zionists,” a position that was supported by the most prominent members of the royal family. Prince Nayef explained at the time: “Israel and Zionism are behind Al-Qa’ida.”

It has been documented by official Saudi government sources that committees created by leading princes such as ‘The Popular Committee for Assisting the Palestinian Mujahideen’ and ‘The Support to the Committee for the Al-Quds Intifada,’ which are now the subjects of numerous lawsuits from victims of terrorism,
have given more than $4 billion to “mijahideen fighters” and “families of martyrs.”

The daughter of King Saud, Saudi Princess Fahda is the historian of her father's reign and wrote an article last year which stated: “… King Saud made the right diagnosis: 'The Zionist threat is like cancer — in dealing with it neither medicine nor surgery will do any good.' This royal statement was meant to emphasize that the Arabs do not, and will not, accept an Israeli state amidst them.'” She added that under the leadership of King Saud,
the Saudi representative to the United Nations called for the U.N. to establish an agency “to help resettle Jews [now in Israel] in their former European homes.”

Saudi Dr. Abdallah Al-Quba wrote in the journal ‘Saudi Foreign Policy’ in 1986 about the official Saudi policy of jihad against Israel: “We will not be blamed if we undertake the method of holy jihad. The racist military religious war that Israel wages … will not come to an end but by jihad. The meaning of holy jihad is a sole … Islamic confrontation, where we would replace our entire spiritual, educational, diplomatic … and military capabilities … into it, for a long persistent jihad.”

All aspects of Saudi culture, including schoolbooks, sermons, media, and government institutions espouse hatred of the Jews. In a show on Iqra TV on August 26, a reporter on the streets asked passersby: “Would you shake hands with a Jew?” Answers included: “No. Because the Jews are eternal enemies;” “Of course not, so I wouldn't have to consider amputating my hand afterwards.” Next, the interviewer asked “If a child asks you who ‘who are the Jews,’ what would you answer?” The interviewees responded: “The enemies of Allah,” and “Allah's wrath is upon them, as the Koran says…
They are the filthiest people on the face of this earth… The solution is clear… If only [the Muslims] declared Jihad.”

A statement posted on the Saudi embassy in D.C.’s website detailed that the Saudi terror conference will focus on “the concepts and causes of terrorism.” It was also reported by Saudi officials that all countries impacted by terrorism will be invited. Israel’s exclusion could be because, according to Saudi law, no Jews are permitted to set foot inside Saudi Arabia, as the Saudi Ministry of Tourism website stated last year. It also could be due to the fact the Saudi royal family has always supported Jihad against Israel, and as many of its princes have repeatedly stated, suicide attacks against Israel are legitimate acts of resistance, and not terrorism.

One would hope that the State Department is aware of the Saudi position calling for Jihad against Jews and that any U.S. participation at the conference may unwittingly imply support of this policy.

I wonder if the Euros realize that it is the policy of the Saudi State that all Israeli Jews should be resettled in Europe. That's funny. I guess they oughta go back to Germany, huh? Hey, France you wanna resettle six million Jews? How about you Britain? Belgium? Anybody? Anybody?

Why, in the modern world, is it accepted that Saudi Arabia has an official state policy of "No Jews Allowed"? Imagine if the United States enacted as it's official state policy, "No Arabs Allowed". Or, imagine if Israel didn't allow Arabs into their country.

Palestinians complain about the "checkpoints" at the border, but the reality is, they are allowed into Israel, even though many of their people have entered only to blow up Israeli women and children.

There is no room for this medieval Saudi behavior. It should not be tolerated for a second, but it is. And meanwhile, the sweethearts on the Left circulate petitions calling for divestment from Israel because it is an "apartheid" state, which it isn't. Arabs are allowed to vote, own property, businesses, be members of Knesset, go to schools, and speak freely. In fact, Arab people literally have more rights, are more free in Israel, than in any of the 22 Arab nations.

Notwithstanding these facts, it is Israel who is singled out for condemnation, while we all ignore Saudi Arabia. We ignore the fact that the other 21 Arab nations will all attend this Saudi conference on terrorism and work with the Saudi's, because at bottom they agree with the Saudi's. We ignore the fact that anti-Semitic rhetoric in Saudi Arabia is echoed in many other Arab countries, among them Iran, Syria, Egypt and the Palesitnian territories.

Ah, but it's the Jews who deserve condemnation and isolation by the West, right?

Think about that. "It's the Jews." If you think it is Israel who is more to blame, and thus needs to be singled out for condemnation, then just roll that phrase around on you tongue a few times. How does that feel? Does it feel good? Do you feel good about yourself?

Bush Is A Stupid Cowboy

George Bush, from an interview in Washington Post, on the situation in Iraq:

... sovereignty was transferred in June of 2004. So this has been a sovereign nation in its new form for less than a year. I'm optimistic about it, and so are a lot of other people who were there in Iraq — optimistic about that, being optimistic about the emergence of a free government.

I'm also mindful that it takes a while for democracy to take hold. Witness our own history. We weren't — we certainly were not the perfect democracy and are yet the perfect democracy. Ours is a constitution that said every man — a system that said every man was equal, but in fact, every man wasn't equal for a long period of time in our history. The Articles of Confederation were a bumpy period of time. And my only point is, is that I am realistic about how quickly a society that has been dominated by a tyrant can become a democracy. And therefore, I am more patient than some, but also mindful that we've got to get the Iraqis up and running as quickly as possible, so they can defeat these terrorists.

What a stupid cowboy.

Democracy In Iraq
You Can't Keep A Good Man Down

Well, at least the Washington Post gave it a shot, anyway. From Roger Simon:

Like "good burghers" of the Mainstream Media, the Washington Post buries what is surely the most important story (other than the inaugural) of January 21, 2005--"Most Iraqis Remain Committed to Elections, Poll Finds"--on page thirteen of their newspaper. You can't even find it on the front page of their website where such "important" matters as "Homeless Man Poses as Student" are linked. You have to do a full search to locate it, but it's there -- although it is more than a little bit understated, because you'd think, when the WaPo's headline reads "Most Iraqis Remain Committed..." they were talking about fifty-two or three percent of the vote, maybe even sixty, but they're actually talking about 80%! The actual writer of the article is far less circumspect.

An overwhelming majority of Iraqis continue to say they intend to vote on Jan. 30 even as insurgents [sic] press attacks aimed at rendering the elections a failure, according to a new public opinion survey.

The poll, conducted in late December and early January for the International Republican Institute, found 80 percent of respondents saying they were likely to vote, a rate that has held roughly steady for months.

Well, gag me with a spoon. Maybe Omar and Mohammed were right when they assured the group that had come to meet them at my house that most Iraqis were actually interested in democracy, some of them even grateful that they had been liberated from a homicidal dictator.
Maybe the nay-sayers, the various Boxers and Moores, were on the wrong side of history all along, were indeed reactionaries wearing the "false flag" of progressives like wolves in trendy sheep's clothes. But I don't want to gloat... especially not now... Victory in this war is a long way off and actually I'm glad the WaPo buried the story on page thirteen. We don't need to hear about it now. The expectation game is going to be played to a fare-the-well with the Iraqi election and you can bet that if only 70% percent of eligible Iraqis vote, some self-righteous schmuck will take the 80% percent figure and declare the election a disaster, when we all know that it's been a long time since more than 70% of the population came out to vote in Brooklyn or even Brentwood.

CORRECTION: The link to this article is now on the front page of the WaPo website with the headline: IRAQIS COMMITTED TO ELECTIONS. The "MOST" is gone.

Looks like things might not work out the way the Democrats and "peace" activists planned.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Ideas Whose Time Has Passed

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

Top Ten Wrong Ideas that People Around the World Still Believe (edited):
1) There's some magic "Third Way." Even one of our best allies in the world, Tony Blair, believes in this. This is a shame, because we like Blair. It was much worse when Bill Clinton was president because he believed in it, too (well, to the extent that Clinton believed in anything.) He and Blair held hands, sang Kumbaya, and preached "Third Way" to others. There's no third way that works. Communism is an obvious failure; prosperity is directly proportional to free markets. More capitalism equals more prosperity. (Note: Please remember this "Wrong Idea" as in a subsequent post we review some new UN UNsanity.)
2) Foreign Aid Helps Poor People. No. Foreign aid largely helps the High Priest Vulture Elite, airlines, restaurants, hotels, car-rental companies and other service industries that cater to the HPVE. Freedom, trade, capitalism and education help poor people. Plus it also matters that their culture teaches them a work ethic (see number 8 below). The old saw that "foreign aid is when the poor people of a rich country give money to the rich people of a poor country" has more than a kernel of truth. BTW, try to name any country that has been developed by foreign aid.
3) If the USA Pressured Ariel Sharon, there'd be Middle East Peace. Middle East peace will happen when the culture of violence changes on the Arab side of the equation and the Arabs drop the goal of destroying Israel. The Palestinian "right of return" is part of destroying Israel. We see Yasser Arafat's death as a good start; and Mahmoud Abbas getting elected. But let's not put a halo over his head just because he's not Arafat.
4) You can't make a country democratic by force. This is anti-Americanism and anti-Iraq-invasion thinking mixed with historic amnesia. The Brits conquered India and left it democratic. We bombed Germany and Japan to smithereens, occupied them by force and left them democratic. We invaded and occupied Afghanistan and it's on the way to being democratic. We have a better than even chance of doing the same with Iraq.
5) The United Nations is the hope for the future of mankind,and its corollary, if we didn't have the UN we'd have to invent it. If this is true, mankind has a bleak future. Anybody with an IQ larger than his shoe size (American shoe size) knows that trusting the UN with our hopes for the future is wrong; we have seen this day after day. But this idea is still out there, and accepted as politically correct and believable by large swaths of countries. It's the official line of the whole European Union, which is frightening, since some of those countries individually are good allies and have intelligent people who should know better.
8) No cultures are superior to any others. If you're accused of even thinking that cultures are unequal, then you are branded as a racist, and at State you can have your career ruined. But by any objective measure of success, western civilization is superior. This is actually not racist, since Japan, Singapore, and South Korea have internalized the best of the west, and essentially joined it.

There's more. Click on the link at the top for the rest.

On the subject of no culture being better than any other, I finally figured out a way to explain that one to people who are mired in PCtopia. Think about it this way; When the United States stopped enslaving black people, enfranchised women, and then, finally, made major strides in civil rights, did it not become a better culture?

If you can answer no to that question, then, jeez, I just don't know what to say.

The French Do The Right Thing
French Muslims Aren't Too Happy

From Reuters:

PARIS (Reuters) - "Filthy Jew!" schoolchildren howl at a classmate. "Jews only want money and power," they tell their teachers. "Death to the Jews" graffiti appear on school walls outside Paris and other French cities.

These are not scenes from the wartime Nazi occupation or a fictional France where the far-right has taken control. Outright anti-Semitism like this is a fact of life these days in the poor suburbs where much of France's Muslim minority lives.

After a slow response when this "new anti-Semitism" flared four years ago, France has made fighting prejudice against Jews into a national priority. Holocaust education in state schools now starts with pupils as young as nine years old.

But even the best plans for teaching about the Nazi massacre of Jews can fall short when confronted with an Islamic identity spreading among a minority of France's five million Muslims.
"It works with those who are ready to listen," said Iannis Roder, a history teacher in the tough northern suburbs of Paris. "But it doesn't work with those who won't listen. They have their minds made up."

Roder is one of several history teachers who sounded an alarm in 2002 about a wave of anti-Semitism among Muslim pupils, much of it a reaction to the uprising by Palestinians against Israeli control of their lands.

Their outspoken book "The Lost Territories of the Republic" opened France's eyes to classrooms where some Muslim pupils openly denounced Jews, praised Hitler and refused to listen to any non-Muslim teacher talking about the history of Islam.

Such tension has prompted Jewish pupils in these areas to switch to private Jewish or even Catholic schools.

"Muslim pupils react less now to what happens in the Middle East," Roder said. "But the situation hasn't really changed. As soon as you talk about Jews in some historical event, there are (anti-Semitic) comments."


After being heavily criticised for its initial slow reaction to rising anti-Semitism, France has cracked down on anti-Semitic violence and multiplied efforts to teach tolerance in schools. The American Jewish Congress (AJC) lauded France in September for its toughened stand on anti-Semitic crimes and its plan to ban the virulently anti-Jewish satellite television Al-Manar, run by Lebanon's Hizbollah guerrillas.

After meeting Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Justice Minister Dominique Perben, AJC Executive Director David Harris said they were "people who understood the magnitude of the problem and were determined to do something about it."

Good job, France. If I could, I'd give every one of you a big, sloppy, American kiss on the cheek.

French Filmaker
Tells the Truth About Israel

Why don't we do a little "dog bites man" and report some positive news on the French today. How's that? French filmaker Pierre Rehov has produced seven documentaries, over the past four years, which have detailed Israel and it's relations with the Palestinians. The kicker here is, he tells the truth. From Alyssa Lappen, via Front Page Magazine:

Six months ago, filmmaker Pierre Rehov sat in an Israeli jail, interviewing a 16-year-old Palestinian. The boy wanted to be a martyr, he told Rehov, because "the Jews killed the prophet Mohammed." Told that this is not in the Koran, the illiterate boy insisted that it was. He wanted nothing but to die in the act of murdering others.
Rehov's forthcoming film, Suicide Killers, will be the seventh in a series of documentaries on Israel produced since 2000. In that year, on September 30, Rehov flipped on the television at his home in France and saw photographs of young Mohammed Al Durrah. As an experienced filmmaker, Rehov recalls, he realized instantly that "news" of the child’s death at the hands of Israeli soldiers in Gaza had been faked.
He recognized in the Al Durrah story traits of the false charges leveled against Jews throughout history. In 2000, Rehov had just finished researching a book project on a 12th-century blood libel -- one of the first ever -- against the Jews. In March 1144, a tanner's apprentice named William was found murdered in Norwich, England. Blame landed on the Jewish people. On Passover, it was rumored, Jews seized Christian children and drained their blood to bake in matzo (unleavened Passover bread).
The frequency of such charges against the Jews increased throughout medieval times. In the Islamic world, too, blood libels sparked anti-Semitism, most notably in Damascus in 1840. Scholars like Jacques Ellul believe that such legends actually originated in Islam and passed to Europe during the Crusades. The West in our time largely rejects blood libel as myth, yet it remains a fixture in Islamic societies.
"I got into films because of Mohammed Al Durrah," Rehov said this week, on the eve of a three-night New York City film festival that drew more than 600 spectators and generated dozens of news articles on the French filmmaker.
Rehov's newest film explores the motivations of suicide killers. "I interviewed a few cases of survivors of terror -- young, beautiful girls. But the deeper I got into the film, the more I realized that I did not want to make a film like everyone else," he says now. "This will not be a film about how you build a new life. What every one wanted to talk about," -- and the thing that ultimately captivated Rehov as well -- "was the smile and the behavior of the terrorist before he blew himself up. I wanted to be in him; I wanted to know what he feels the second before detonating."
So Rehov has interviewed psychologists, political analysts, religious scholars and others to discuss the psychopathology of the bombers. Unexpectedly, he found that sexuality has a great deal to do with it. "In their society, young men are forbidden to have a real relationship with a woman. So when you ask them what they are going to become, they are not trying to become engineers, doctors or professionals. Their entire society believes that a man becomes a hero by blowing himself up. They believe that the next second, they are in heaven, surrounded by women. It is pure sexual fantasy."
When he began working on Suicide Killers, Rehov fought an uphill battle. He first sued the TV station France 2, along with Talal Abu Rahmah, the reporter who had managed the Al Durrah coverage. Rahmah's uncle had helped to write the Palestine Liberation Organization Charter, Rehov noted. The French court threw out Rehov’s lawsuit within six weeks.
Undaunted, Rehov decided next to fight fire with fire. If Arab Palestinians and the global media could use imagery so effectively to malign Israel, Rehov could use the same medium to tell a different side of the story. He produced The War of Images, a documentary exposing the level of daily incitement to hatred in Palestinian Authority television and other media. The low-budget film was completed in six weeks, and it quickly sold more than 50,000 copies worldwide.
Next came Rehov’s two-part film, Holy Land: Christians in Peril, and The Trojan Horse. The former described the diminution of Christians in the Arab world from 10% of the population to less than 2% now, and showed the ways in which Christians have been forced out of traditionally Christian towns like Bethlehem and Nazareth. The film’s second part exposed the early planning of Yasser Arafat's Al Aksa war before and during Camp David II. Rehov sold both films through, which has distributed tens of thousands of copies.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Was The Murder Of New Jersey Family
America's Theo Van Gogh?

A few days back an entire family of Coptic Christians were murdered in New Jersey. Investigators believe they were murdered by militant Muslims who were angry with the family for arguing against Islam and attempting to convert Muslims. This is all speculation thus far. However, a friend of the murdered family contacted writer Robert Spencer and fed him the following information. From Jihad Watch:

A close friend of the Coptic Christian brutally murdered in New Jersey along with his family, Hossam Armanious, is the source of this information, which comes to you exclusively from Jihad Watch:

The Armanious family had inspired several Muslims to convert to Christianity — or thought they had. These converts were actually practicing taqiyya, or religious deception, pretending to be friends of these Christians in order to strengthen themselves against them, as in Qur'an 3:28: "Let believers not make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful -- he that does this has nothing to hope for from Allah -- except in self-defense."

Of course, the family, not suspecting the deception, was happy to see the "converted" men and willingly let them in to their home. That's why there was no sign of forced entry. Then the "converted" Muslims did their grisly work.
Many Copts are regarding the murders as a warning to the Coptic community as a whole, related to the increasing strife between Copts and Muslims in Egypt and the Copts' energetic efforts in America to get the truth out about the differences between Middle Eastern Christians and Muslims -- differences that the Islamic lobby, with its disingenuous talk of "Arab Americans," routinely glosses over and hopes you don't notice. The Copts, to their immense credit, have been particularly outspoken among Middle Eastern Christians about Muslim oppression. And yes, many are active on Pal Talk debating Muslims.

The nature of the warning? The murders send a signal from the Muslims to the Copts: we are going to behave here the same way we behaved in Egypt, and the First Amendment and American law enforcement will not protect you. Don't expect America to keep you safe from us. The oppression and harassment you thought you had left behind in Egypt has now come to you.

This means, if Armanious's friend is correct, that this is indeed America's Theo van Gogh murder: indication that all Muslims in the nation do not, as we are supposed to believe, unanimously accept the parameters of American pluralism. That at least some are willing to enforce Sharia penalties right here, right now.

But there are so many nominees for the Walter Duranty prize this time that most Americans have no clue of what's going on. Duranty, of course, was the New York Times reporter who knowingly covered up information about the genocidal famine Stalin caused and fueled in Ukraine, and won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts. The Pinch Sulzberger Times of these dark days should dedicate the whole paper to Duranty's honor, and put his picture on the front page right next to "All the News That's Fit to Print."

Hey Democrats
Stop The Temper Tantrum
And Come Back To The Table
We Need You

The Anchoress writes about a subject I was thinking about all day yesterday:

The press and the democrats are wrapping themselves up into a double-suicide pact, and it is all-too-painful to watch. Incurious about anything that does not advance their agendas, they promote illusions, set up memes and do all they possibly can to protect their quarterbacks. They do the America-bad-anyone-else-good thing 24/7 and frankly give aid and comfort to our enemies. They offer nothing - NOTHING - by way of policy ideas which might provide viable alternatives to what is now in place...and the saddest part about it all - the saddest, meanest, most pathetic part of it all, the dirty little secret behind all of this ranting and hating and undermining must be told: they do all of this because the President of the United States has an R after his name, instead of a D.
The fact is, if the President of the United States had a D after his name, instead of an R, the liberation of millions of people over the past three years would be hailed - quite rightly - as the victory of a visionary. The re-emergence of a robust American economy on the heels of a recession, an attack on our shores and our economy and two wars would be touted as an astounding acheivement. The second inaugural party of such a president, with a D after his name, would be hyped as a "well-deserved celebration for the whole nation."
But the press - no longer run by men who understood how to show a grudging respect to someone who has beat them at their own game - cannot restrain itself from its barking hate. They and their cohorts in the Democrat party reveal themselves, increasingly, to have hearts that are shrivelled and mean-of-spirit. They've shown that they utterly lack both humor and good will, and seem to be and willing to walk with any demon if it promises to allow them to spew more vomit toward the Republican President and his Red State Minions.

The reason I was thinking about this all day yesterday is because it kept coming up in the media in various ways. For instance, what set The Anchoress off, on this well-written mini-rant, was an article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune entitled "Some In Black Ties, Some In Body Bags". Yes, that title is referring to the fact that the Inaugural festivities are taking place during a war. Last night, Powerline linked to a piece stating that ABC News was looking for a military family who might be burying their son or daughter on the day of the Inaugural. Got that? ABC News was trowling for a good death to report, with the insane notion that that would provide some "balance" to the Inaugural festivities.

Quite simply put, they must be out of their freaking minds, if they think, even for a second, that that sounds like good journalism.

Framing these different egregious stories of liberal idiocy, I heard two prescient analyses of the current dynamic between the Democratic and Republican Parties. Now, listen up Dems, because you really need to hear this. Currently, you are like the guy down the street who is always beating his wife, and screaming at his children; everybody on the block knows, but you don't know they know.

In the morning I was listening to Rush Limbaugh (disclosure, I only listen to Rush during Dennis Prager's commercial breaks, so I didn't hear the context of this statement) and he was saying that Bush is attempting to deal death blows to the Democratic Party by stealing their issues, and then letting them make fools of themselves by criticizing him for doing what they always wanted to do. In other words, "You guy want AIDS Research funding? Well, I'll give it you, and watch you scream about how horrible I am for doing it."

Then, last night, I heard Bill O'Reilly say that Bush is playing Rope-a-Dope with the Democratic Party. In other words, he lands a couple of blows, and then he just covers up, lays back on the ropes, and lets the angry Dems flail a wild series of uppercuts and roundhouses, thus expending all they've got, and looking like Dopes in the process.

Like I said, listen up Dems. Because this is what is really going on. You are being made fools of. You are being set up, and everytime you take the bait and set off into an insane temper tantrum. You look like crazy people. You know, like straight jacket time. Think Ophelia from Hamlet. Think Daffy Duck running away tearing his feathers out. You look like you are out of your freaking minds.

Get a grip on yourselves. It's unbecoming. It's embarassing. Especially to someone like me, who used to be one of you, and would still be, if you hadn't gone completely off the edge.

The net effect of your behavior is that the sane people will not want to be around you anymore. As you lose your minds, you will lose all the real brains among you (I'm not counting myself in that group). You will lose your ability to function at a high level. You will lose your power.

This state of affairs is not good for America. I do not share Rush Limbaugh's merriment at the oncoming demise of the Democratic Party. I believe the two-party system is essential to progress, to fairness, to ensuring that the whole country doesn't go bonkers, frankly.

We need two viable parties so that we can have a cultural dialogue on issues before we try to enact legislation on social issues, or make big decisions, like going to war. Do you understand?

There is a big decision coming up. Iran is building nuclear weapons. We can not allow that to happen. Bush has said all options are on the table. Bush is building bunker-busting nuclear weapons. Many have speculated that he is building them to use on Iran's nuclear facilities.

We need to discuss this before we make such a monumental decision. If all you bring to the table is, "Bush is evil. Bush is Hitler," then you, in effect, remove yourself from the conversation. You have to have alternative ideas. And, if the alternative idea is, "Let the UN handle it," well, that isn't going to fly either. The UN has proven itself unable to handle anthing, except, of course, 13 year old Congolese girls.

I, for one, do not think using bunker-busting nuclear weapons on Iran's nuclear facilities is a good idea. We have had the good fortune to have been able to shut Pandora's box, and sit on the lid, ever since Nagasaki. We need to keep it that way.

Now, take your thorazine, sit down at the table and help us out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Anti-Anti-Terrorism Rally
More Jew-Hatred In The Streets Of Berkeley

Via LGF, here's a link to a site carrying photos from the latest anti-Semitic rally in Berkeley. Well, actually this rally began as a rally organized by a Israel-supporing group who were protesting against terrorism. Could we have really expected the Kaffiyeh wearing crowd to have refrained from open display of Jew-hatred?

Front Page Magazine comments (with more photos):

Held on Sunday, January 16, at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park, the Rally Against Global Terrorism almost never took place. The city of Berkeley constantly stalled on a permit until the organizers were interviewed on KNEW conservative talk radio host Jeff Katz’s talk show. What followed was enough public outrage that a flurry of emails to City Hall got the permit granted the very next day. Katz became one of the keynote speakers that day giving a rousing call to define terrorism for what it really is: a crime against humanity and not something to be regarded as justified in any way.

As centerpiece for the rally and to bring the reality of terrorism closer to home, the wreckage of Jerusalem Bus #19, destroyed last year in a suicide bombing that killed 11 and wounded 45 passengers, was on display to show the horrors of terrorism up close. The back of the bus was completely blown away along with parts of the front roof. The interior of the bus was all burned and made any sensitive viewer understand the agony of those inside the bus that fateful day the attack occurred.

“Most of those passengers were simply people going to or from work,” Katz told the sympathetic crowd. A large portable mural displayed photos of many of those killed in over 50 suicide bombing attacks on buses in Israel.
700 people attended the rally to protest terrorism worldwide and listen to a diverse group of speakers representing different religious, ethnic, and political points of view. This was an event for Muslims, Jews, Arabs, Hindus, Christians and others who all joined that day to oppose terrorism worldwide. Even some of Berkeley’s homeless joined in. A large portable mural displayed photos of many of those killed in terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately, the day was marred by the bellicose presence of protesters against the bus’s presence in Berkeley because it shows the world the damage that can be done by a suicide bomber. Word got out quickly and even before the rally officially began at noon, a crowd of 300 pro-Palestinian and radical communist and anarchist groups such as
International Answer and the International Socialist Organization showed up determined to disrupt the event. They gathered across the street to express their outrage that Jews, Christians, and other supporters of Israel and America had dared to gather and speak out against terrorism.

Groups such as the Justice in Palestine Coalition, Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), East Bay Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, and the International Solidarity Movement
(ISM) were present. Paul La Rudee, the leader of Norcal ISM who once wrote about his experiences sleeping in the bed of a suicide bomber , was also present as a leader. As evidence of just where the sympathies of Berkeley’s political establishment lay, Berkeley City Councilman Max Anderson was also part of the crowd.

Around 40 pro-Palestinian college students, the women wearing hijabs and the men sporting Arafat-style black and white checkered keffiyehs (in some cases covering their whole faces, terrorist-style), waved Palestinian flags and used bullhorns to chant “Down with Israel!” and “ Down with the U.S.A!.” They yelled “Free Palestine!” in an attempt to drown out the anti-terrorism speakers on the platform.

Members of San Francisco State University’s General Union of Palestinian Students and UC Berkeley’s Muslim Student Association also joined their ranks and became the most vocal and rowdy of the bunch. They unraveled a large banner reading “United States and Israel: Terrorists Against Humanity.”

One has to wonder at the logic of people who would protest a protest against world terrorism in the name of “humanity.” The demonstrators even brought small children who stood alongside them, shouting slogans and imitating their behavior.

Despite constant catcalls that those present protesting terrorism that day were “Nazis,” it was the pro-Palestinian demonstrators, as usual, who were the only ones in attendance displaying swastikas.

About two hours into the rally, all hell broke loose. Up until that point, the Berkeley Police Department—as is customary at these events—had kept the two sides separate, with pro-Palestinian protesters, as boisterous as they were, remaining a safe distance across the street throughout most of the day. But all of a sudden, a police officer crossed the street and could be seen talking to some of the protesters. Onlookers assumed he was telling them to settle down, but instead he appeared to motion them towards the anti-terror rally. Pro-Palestinian and radical demonstrators from the International Answer and ISO do this as tactic at all counterdemonstrations they do. That is, they mingle within the opposing crowd with Palestinian flags and anti-U.S. and anti-Israel signs so when the media takes pictures it looks like their numbers are greater. That the Berkeley police would cooperate with them in this technique is disturbing. Around 30 young Palestinian men headed across the street and straight into the anti-terrorism crowd. The police officers, inexplicably, seemed to be escorting them rather than maintaining crowd control.

Once on the other side of the street, the remaining police officers parted ways and allowed the unruly mob to disrupt the anti-terror rally. Screaming “Allahu Akbar!” and pushing their way through the crowd, the pro-Palestinian protesters appeared as menacing as a similar crowd in the Middle East. But still the police did nothing to stop them. Some members of the anti-terror rally shouted at the police officers, “Why aren’t you doing anything?” or “Why don’t you stop them?” The police officers ignored them as some of the pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted their desire to be “martyrs.”

Local television news inaccurately portrayed the conflict that day as being between two sides that were equivalent. There was no mention of the fact that it was the pro-Palestinian protesters who disrupted the rally. At the end of the day, the fact that the local “pro-Palestinian” activists chose to protest an anti-terror rally, was eloquent in itself. Indeed, what stood out the most were their vehement objections to the simple showing of the bombed bus. When interviewed by the media, many of them made a claim that the bus was “propaganda” and “one-sided,” as if there were two sides to the bombing of civilians peacefully using public transportation.

Opponents of terrorism shouldn’t have to worry about offending the sensibilities of those who evidently support it. Not even in Berkeley.

ACLU Removes a Jot
And a Tittle From The Constitution

From American Digest, via Jack of Clubs:

Three little dots mark the hole in the American Civil Liberties Union's head.

You can find this statement at the top of the ACLU's web page:

"It is probably no accident that freedom of speech is the first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The Constitution's framers believed that freedom of inquiry and liberty of expression were the hallmarks of a democratic society."
Now I... love... a ... good ... elision... as much as the next writer. Those three little dots ... make it easy to leave out things that don't really buttress the case you are trying to make. But to try and slip a fast one over on people when it comes to the First Amendment is so low and craven and stupid you might think you were dealing with an organization like... well... the ACLU.

For the record, the actual text reads, in toto:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So, using the ACLU's own metric the accurate statement would be: "It is probably no accident that freedom of religion is the first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment...."
Then again, that might run against the ACLU's current message. Yes, just a tad.

Jack adds:

Interestingly, an online ad on their page has this statement from Holly Hunter:

"I AM NOT AN AMERICAN who believes that questioning of criticizing my government is unpatriotic."
I wonder how much trouble we would get in if we elided all but the words in capital letters:

Not that we would do that or anything. Just, you know, asking.

Bravo Jack.

German Magazine "Stern"
Uses Racial Slurs Against Condoleeza Rice
And Slanders Both Bush and Rice

From Medienkritik:

In an article published on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Stern magazine labels US National Security Advisor and future Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "The Voice of her Master.” And if that weren’t bad enough, a picture intended to make Stern's condescending message unmistakably clear accompanies the article:
Rice is portrayed as a loyal servant of the Bush family who has been installed as a "yes" (wo)man for the second term. Stern author Katja Gloger writes:

"Condoleezza Rice, loyally devoted to President Bush, will take over as the second women to be Secretary of State, a PR measure of the special sort. She is to propagate the vision of democratization in the world. She has yet to say what she herself thinks."

And, if it's not bad enough that they offer opinion instead of facts in their description of Rice, they then go on to outright make up the rest of the story, and slander both Bush and Rice in the process:

"They pray together and in the case that George W. Bush wishes it, Condi explains the conflicts of this world to him in clear, simple words. Most of the time the godly mission of America plays an important role. But what she really thinks, the convictions that she really holds are things that she has yet to reveal. (...)His clear election result strengthens Bush in his conviction: America must change the world in a godly mission, as, for example, in Iraq."

I call this slander because George Bush has never made any statement wherein he supported any position in foreign or domestic policy by citing the Bible. In fact, as Medienkritik notes, Goerge Bush has clearly articulated that he never would do such:

Unfortunately, her statements have little to do with Mr. Bush's true thoughts on faith and foreign policy. Here again, she has failed to research the issue. In a recent interview with Brit Hume, the President had the following to say when asked what role, if any, his faith played in foreign policy decisions:

"HUME: How do you hold the situation in Iraq in juxtaposition to your faith?

BUSH: Well, I -- first of all, I would never justify -- I would never use God to promote foreign policy decisions."

The Real Meaning
Behind the Name "Arafat"?

Little Green Footballs posted a couple articles this morning about the "pilgrims" making the annual Hajj journey to Mecca. Charles points out that the Hajj demands "purity of soul, body, mind, and dress." Apparently, it is also a spiritual journey with room for hatred of Americans and Jews. Does that surprise you?:

Amer Abbas, 45, came from war-ravaged Iraq to find serenity in the spiritual journey.

“I beg God to make the Americans leave our country and put an end to the occupation.
The Americans are responsable for all the destruction that has hit out country,” said Abbas, who is from “Diyala, in the Sunni Triangle which resists the occupation.”

Yeah, it's the Americans, not Hussein. Not the Iraqi's themselves. Right. Somehow, the people of Iraq, unique among all the peoples of the Earth, themselves have no responsibility for their position in the world. And somehow the evil Americans control all. Think about it, Amer. What does that say about your people?

And then, we've got Ahmed:

Ahmed AbdelKarim, an Egyptian building painter based in Saudi Arabia, was performing the hajj for the eleventh time. But lacking the Saudi approval necessary to carry out the pilgrimage, the 37-year-old had no place in the camps and spent the day in a tiny tent on the pavement.
“I want to pray that God rids Palestine of the Jews,” AbdelKarim said.

Now, I find this an interesting quote, because the title of the AFP article from which this quote is lifted is "Two million Muslims stand on Mount Arafat in hajj climax."

While it is notable that such a sentiment would be expressed on a mountain called Arafat, that is not actually why I find this a particularly interesting quote. The truly intereting thing about the quote is what it reveals about Arafat, his goals, and who he must have thought he was to his people.

Apparently, Mt. Arafat overlooks Mecca, which is the destination of the spritual journey of the Hajj. Does that sound familiar? At the end of Moses' life, God took him to the top of Mount Nebo, so that he could look down on the Promised Land just before he died. So, the Muslims climbed to the top of Mt. Arafat, just before they descend to the final destination of their Hajj Pilgrimage; Mecca.

Yasser Arafat's given name was not Arafat, it was al-Huesseini. The name al-Husseini was also the surname of Arafat's mentor Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the period of the 1930's and 1940's. The Grand Mufti worked with Hitler to insure that as many Jews as possible be put to death. Here is a photo of the Mufti with Hitler.

The reality is, Yasser Arafat adopted the name Arafat at a later date. We are left to assume that the name Arafat meant something to him, if he was willing to abandon the name of his mentor to assume the new name of Arafat. I'm guessing he thought of himself as a kind of Moses leading his people to the promised land.

It is interesting to note that in his mind the final piece to the puzzle which must be completed before his people were able to reach the spiritual Mecca, was the removal of the Jews from the land of Palestine.