Saturday, March 05, 2005

Conservatives Loonies
Sean Hannity and Professor Thomas Woods

From Front Page Magazine:

Conservatives often complain, with good cause, about America-hating left-wing radicals in academia. Yet in recent weeks, a college professor who co-founded an organization that refers to the United States as an ''alien occupier" in its manifesto -- and whose 2001 essay blaming the ''barbarism" of American policies for Sept. 11 was picked up by Pravda, the Russian communist newspaper -- has received gushing praise on the conservative media circuit.

Meet Thomas E. Woods Jr., assistant professor of history at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island and author of ''The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History." A main selection of the Conservative Book Club, it has been propelled to the New York Times best-seller list with help from talk shows such as Fox News's ''Hannity & Colmes."

The book's back cover promises a refutation of ''myths" written into textbooks and popular history books by left-wing academics. But don't expect a book that celebrates American heroes and American accomplishments as an antidote to hand-wringing over the sins of dead white males.

If there are any American heroes in Woods's book, apart from the Founding Fathers, it's the Southerners who fought for the Confederacy.
Abraham Lincoln is on the villain side of the ledger.

Woods makes the disclaimer that ''no one, of course, mourns the passing of the slave system."
(Pastorius note: "Some of my best friends are coloreds.")
However, he apparently thinks the Southern states should have been allowed to abolish slavery in due time without federal intervention. In any case, to hear Woods, the ''War Between the States" had hardly anything to do with slavery: The South really fought for self-determination, the North for its economic interests. (Ironically, on the latter point Woods is in agreement with most left-wing historians.)

The book's obvious sympathy for the Southerners and their suffering is matched by a lack of any acknowledgment of the horror of slavery -- or any moral revulsion at the fact that some Americans owned, and defended the ''right" to own, other human beings.

Much of the book's second half rails against the evils of American intervention abroad. As with the Civil War, the moral issues in World War II (Woods deplores US involvement) go virtually unmentioned. Woods rightly assails Franklin D. Roosevelt for his willingness to throw Eastern Europe to the Soviets -- then slams Harry Truman's strategy of assisting nations threatened by a communist takeover as more ''big government" liberalism. In one example of his selective approach to facts, he quotes an investigator's assertion in 1999 that no mass graves of ethnic cleansing victims were uncovered in Kosovo -- without mentioning that the remains of at least 4,000 were found by 2001.

You know, I've never liked Sean Hannity. I remember how in the days after Trent Lott was caught saying that if Strom Thurmond had been President we "wouldn't have had all these problems", that Hannity was on the air, every day, defending Lott, and saying what a great guy he is.

So with no further ado, what did Hannity say to the honorable Professor Woods:

HANNITY: Lincoln, slaves, Civil War. Why was it fought?

WOODS: Well, Lincoln fought the war to save the union rather than to end slavery.

And there are all kinds of issues that this conflict raises as to whether -- was a war necessary to do this? Was a war that led to 1.5 million dead, wounded and missing, that destroyed two centuries worth of a code of civilized war that had been instituted?

And the fact is that William Lloyd Garrison, the best-known abolitionist in American history believed that, if the northern states were allowed to withdraw from the union, they could become a haven for runaway slaves and you could have a peaceful resolution.

HANNITY: Chris Wallace had a great piece about this in his book, too. That they actually -- different points took different positions on the issue, correct?

WOODS: Well, I think Lincoln spoke out of both side of his mouth, basically. But the important thing that I would want to emphasize about the war is that...

HANNITY: Sort of like Al Gore?

So, Sean Hannity thinks Abraham Lincoln was like Al Gore? We know Hannity has an intense dislike for Gore. So, we can assume he also has an intense dislike for Lincoln.

One could argue that this was just an off moment for Hannity, but given his previous strong support for Trent Lott, I seriously doubt it.

We must ask the question, should Sean Hannity be idolized by the millions as he is? He doesn't sound like a very good man to me. Shame on all of you who put money in this man's pocket.

Pic Of The Day Posted by Hello

Another Bay Area "Activist". Or is he an "Insurgent"? "Gunman"? "Resistance Fighter"?

I'm sorry, it's hard for me to keep all the terminology straight. I guess I'm really not cut out to be an accredited blogger.

Thanks to Zombie for the photo.

Bill Clinton Is A Desolate Human Being

Last night I read the Little Green Footballs post about Clinton speaking at the Davos Conference and on the Charlie Rose show about how Iran was "Progressive" and how America needs to "apologize" to Iran.

I didn't believe it for a second.

In fact, I went to bed laughing and thinking that Amir Taheri (the man who wrote the original article) was nuts, and that Charles Johnson had dug himself a bit of hole by falling for this crap.

Well, I was wrong. Clinton really said these things:

Rose: (Referring to the Iraqi elections) Do you have confidence that this government, uh, will, as they write the constitution, will not be a mirror-image of the Iranian theocracy?

Clinton: Oh yeah. Yeah — the Shi’ites have been pretty smart about that. And if you look at the Iranian — Iran’s a whole different kettle of fish, but it’s a sad story that really began in the 1950s when the United States deposed Mr. Mossadegh, who was an elected parliamentary democrat, and brought the Shah back in [Rose says “CIA” in the background] and then he was overturned by the Ayatollah Khomeini, driving us into the arms of one Saddam Hussein. Most of the terrible things Saddam Hussein did in the 1980s he did with the full, knowing support of the United States government, because he was in Iran, and Iran was what it was because we got rid of the parliamentary democracy back in the ‘50s; at least, that is my belief.

I know it is not popular for an American ever to say anything like this, but I think it’s true [applause], and I apologized when President Khatami was elected. I publicly acknowledged that the United States had actively overthrown Mossadegh and I apologized for it, and I hope that we could have some rapprochement with Iran. I think basically the Europeans’ initiative to Iran to try to figure out a way to defuse the nuclear crisis is a good one.

I think President Bush has done, so far, the right thing by not taking the military option off the table, but not pushing it too much. I didn’t like the story that looked like the military option had been elevated above a diplomatic option. But Iran is the most perplexing problem ... we face, for the following reasons: It is the only country in the world with two governments, and the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami. [It is] the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for President; two for the parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralities.
In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70% of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.

Take back any good thing that I have ever said about Bill Clinton. I still believe that some good came from his Presidency, but he is so lacking in morality that no good can be said about him, other than it seems like he'd be a fun guy to hang out with at a bar.

I am saddened.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Moderate Mahmoud Abbas
And His Terrorist Regime

From Front Page Magazine:

Amid a wave of Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli targets, the Western and even the Israeli media continue to report that the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has resolutely condemned the terror and is working hard to stop it. Some developments show this version of events is not even remotely correct:

Voice of Palestine radio, the official mouthpiece of the Palestinian Authority (PA), went out of its way Saturday night and Sunday to trumpet the view that the Tel Aviv nightclub was really not a civilian target but a carefully calculated operation designed to attack “an elite Israeli army unit” and “a very senior military officer.”

Both Voice Of Palestine radio and official Palestinian Authority television downplayed any mention of “condemnation” of the attack but rather cited the official statement by the Palestinian news agency that criticized the “explosive operation” in Tel Aviv for “sabotaging” Palestinian policy goals, such as the early release of convicted Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails.

PA leader Abbas himself did not appear on radio or television to “condemn” the Tel Aviv attack. The word “condemn” actually did appear in an official statement “in the name of the Palestinian Authority” issued by the official WAFA News Agency, asserting that the PA “strongly condemns operations aimed at killing civilians be they Palestinian or Israeli.”

None of the Palestinian broadcast media or major newspapers—Al-Quds, Al-Ayyam, Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda—referred to the Tel Aviv attack as “terror.” They all referred to it as “amaliyyat tafjeeriyya” in Arabic—“explosive operation” — or even “amaliyyat istish-haadiyya”—“heroic martyrdom operation.” All three newspapers are tightly monitored and subsidized by Abbas and his top aides.

Two of the newspapers ran huge front-page pictures of the suicide bomber who murdered the five people in Tel Aviv, two of them women. One of the newspapers (Hayat al-Jadeeda from Abbas’s own Fatah organization) even described the bomber as “The operation operator, the Martyr Abdullah Badran.” [See picture and newspaper web site]

This media treatment and the Palestinian rendition of events were in line with the February 6th Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting headed by Abbas that called for an end to “operations against civilians” but specifically still called for “resistance operations” against Israeli civilians [“settlers”] in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Israeli military and police anywhere. The Fatah resolution—issued only two days before the Israeli-Palestinian Summit in Sharm al-Sheikh—also specifically called for attacks on those helping to build Israel’s security fence, even civilian workers.

The terror wave comes amid claims that Dr. Abbas, also known by his organizational nickname “Abu Mazen,” has worked feverishly to establish a ceasefire among various Palestinian terror groups such as HAMAS (The Islamic Resistance Movement), Islamic Jihad and his own Fatah organization’s “Martyrs’ Brigades.”

During this period, at least half a dozen attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers have occurred. For example, Palestinians tried to stab an Israeli soldier guarding the Jewish community in Hebron, the ancient West Bank town that was also King David’s first Jewish capital.

When the Israeli soldier shot the Palestinian assailant, the dead attacker was hailed as a “shaheed” or “martyr” in the Palestinian press, which called the man’s death “cold-blooded murder,” or “an execution.”

Similarly, the killing of a Palestinian school girl in a Gaza school yard on January 31 was declared to be the work of Israeli soldiers when, in fact, the girl was accidentally shot by Muslim pilgrims returning from Mecca who carelessly fired celebratory shots in the air. The Palestinian media “celebrated” the girl’s martyrdom for three days with inflammatory articles, front-page pictures and cartoons all depicting the Israelis as bloodthirsty child-killers.

In neither of these two cases — as in half a dozen others in the last six weeks — did the Abbas-controlled Palestinian media even try to tell the real story.

This use of the “atrocity story,” or what some might see as a “blood libel,” has come to replace the more crude use of bloody video film clips on Palestinian television that were a hallmark of the era of Yasser Arafat, the man who was the Palestinian leader for nearly 40 years.

Dr. Abbas, who studied in Moscow at the KGB’s “Patrice Lumumba University” in the 1980’s, is familiar with the Soviet tactics of disinformation and “peace offensives,” and he has spearheaded a policy of “hudna” (Arabic for a temporary ceasefire made with non-Muslims).

So far, this “hudna” (pronounced “hood-na”) has included several dozen attacks and attempted attacks including, within the last few days:

The bombing by the Islamic Jihad of a Tel Aviv night club early Sunday morning, murdering five and wounding more than 60;

The interception on a West Bank road Monday of another huge Islamic Jihad car-bomb with about 100 pounds of explosives;

And the shooting Tuesday of two Israeli civilian guards who apparently intercepted Palestinian terrorists trying to infiltrate the Israeli community of Menora near the West Bank Security fence.

Try to keep these inconvenient facts in mind when reading headlines such as The New York Times’s front-page “On the Air, Palestinians Soften Tone on Israelis.”

I had hoped that peace would break out. I never harbored any illusions that Abbas was a "moderate" as the Main Stream Media is so wont to tell us, but I thought, possibly, he was a practical man, who would want peace for practical reasons.

Alas, it seems that that was only a dream. He is doing the same thing Arafat did. He's trying to make us believe his left hand doesn't know what his right hand is doing. But these facts speak for themselves.

Scheuer Says Bin Laden a
"Generous, Talented Leader"
CBS Interviews Him As A Credible Bush Critic

From Melanie Phillips:

A thoughtful and timely article in Commentary by Gabriel Schoenfeld -- which the Wall Street Journal has thought important enough to reproduce -- asks how the CIA could have degenerated to such a point as to have ever employed Michael Sheuer as head of operations against al Qaeda between 1996-99 and then as a high-level counter-terrorism manager.

Sheuer, the once-anonymous author of a sensational book lambasting the Bush administration's war against terror, is here eviscerated by Schoenfeld. Sheuer ludicrously sanitises al Qaeda, which he says is simply engaged in a 'defensive jihad'; eulogises Osama bin Laden as a 'gentle, generous, talented, and personally courageous' leader; vilifies 'Israel’s crafty use of “diplomats, politicians, intelligence services, [and] U.S. citizen spies,” along with “wealthy Jewish-American organizations,” in order to “lac[e] tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to the Jewish state” '; and yet, while reserving special fury not only for America’s alliance with Israel but for its 'hallucinatory crusade for democracy', also lambasts Washington for being insufficiently hawkish in waging the war on terror. As Shoenfeld comments:

'Sentiments like these mark the author of Imperial Hubris as something of a political hybrid—a cross, not to put too fine a point on it, between an overwrought Buchananite and a raving Chomskyite...How did a person of such demonstrable mediocrity of mind and unhinged views achieve the rank he did in the CIA, and how could so manifestly wayward and damaging a work have been published by someone in the agency’s employ?'

My question is, how did the American News Media (CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post) take this guy seriously enough to trot him out during the middle of the Presidential campaign? These lunatic, Protocols of Zion ravings of his were in his book.

I'm sure they read the book. So, why did they still think he was worth interviewing?

Do they possibly think such ideas are credible? Maybe someone should ask them that question.

Selling Christians Down The River
For A Barrel Of Oil

From No Pasaran:

Lebanon and the European States

Relations between Lebanon and the European States deteriorated because the latter also tried to solve the Middle-East problem at the expense of Lebanon. In addition, many European countries had adopted the obsequious policy of fawning on the Arab States in order to secure their oil supplies. This was done, of course, at the expense of the Christians, of their security, their very existence. Bashir referred to both these factors:

“Europe and many other States are not able to digest the Christian presence in this corner of the world, because it is a stumbling-block to most of their ambitions in this area... The Americans and the West have not yet assimilated the fact that we, the Christians of the Orient, represent their last line of defense against a return to the dark ages, against terror and blind fundamentalism, against those who seek to annihilate all the values of civilization and of their culture... Today, they want to ‘sell us down the river’ for a barrel of oil!”...

These two factors led Bashir to condemn the West in these words : “The West, today, is showing signs of decadence in its policies, in its morals, in its economy.”

In his tirade, Bashir did not omit France, and he frankly blamed it for the servile attitude of its former Foreign Minister, Louis de Guiringaud. “Periodically, we were fighting in self-defense here while De Guiringaud and Mondale were criticizing us for standing firm and calling us all sorts of names, alleging that we were a band of outlaws who deserved to be punished...”

Yet, in spite of all this, Bashir reaffirmed Lebanon’s affiliation to the Western democracies : “We are a part of the Free World”.

Bashir Gemayel was assasinated by Syrian agents on September 14, 1982, mere weeks after the Parliament appointed him President of Lebanon.

Pic Of The Day Posted by Hello

"Peace Rally" in San Francisco, March 20, 2004.

Thanks to Zombie for the photo.

Something Remarkable Is Happening

Daniel Schorr, former Senior News Analyst with National Public Radio has written an article asking if Bush, maybe, Bush was right about Iraq after all. From the Christian Science Monitor, via Captain's Quarters:

WASHINGTON - Something remarkable is happening in the Middle East - a grass-roots movement against autocracy without any significant "Great Satan" anti-American component.

In Beirut, the crowds that massed in the streets and forced the resignation of the Syrian-controlled government were demonstrating for kifaya (change) and freedom from the Syrian military that has occupied their country for more than a quarter of a century.

The passionate protest had apparently been triggered by the assassination of the popular former prime minister, Rafik Hariri - an assassination that the Lebanese assume was engineered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In Egypt, too, the streets have been alive with the sound of kifaya. Apparently seeking to divert the movement for change, President Hosni Mubarak announced last weekend a change in the election law to permit competitive elections. But his likeliest challenger, Ayman Nour, is in jail for allegedly forging election documents. And this week there were demonstrations in the streets of Cairo in his support.

In the past the United States would have avoided criticizing Mr. Mubarak, a key figure in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But now Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has openly rebuked Mubarak and canceled a scheduled visit to Cairo.

In London this week, Secretary Rice said, "Events in Lebanon are moving in a very important direction."

The movements for democratic change in Egypt and Lebanon have happened since the successful Iraqi election on Jan. 30. And one can speculate on whether Iraq has served as a beacon for democratic change in the Middle East.

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said that "a liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region."

He may have had it right.

Gee, do you think?

As Captain Ed notes, Schorr has written that the Iraq War "lacked a rationale" and he has accused the Bush Administration of having a plan to flee from the Iraqi quagmire before the 2004 election. That accusation was a libel.

Sounds like someone owes someone an apology.

The "Charm Offensive" Continues

Why have I yet to hear anyone comment that the term "Charm Offensive" is an oxymoron? Or that the new kinder, gentler George Bush that we've seen since the beginning of the Eurotrip has merely been the same Bush with one minor qualification? See if you can spot it. From the New York Post:

WASHINGTON — President Bush told the New York Post yesterday that Syria must pull all of its troops out of Lebanon by May so that the now-occupied nation can have free elections.

"The subject that is most on my mind right now is getting Syria out of Lebanon, and I don't mean just the troops out of Lebanon, I mean all of them out of Lebanon, particularly the secret service out of Lebanon — the intelligence services," he said.

"This is non-negotiable. It is time to get out . . . I think we've got a good chance to achieve that objective and to make sure that the May elections [in Lebanon] are fair. I don't think you can have fair elections with Syrian troops there," the president said in a wide-ranging Oval Office interview with The Post's editorial board.

Asked if there is a threat of military action as an "or else" if they don't, Bush replied, "No. The 'or else' is further isolation from the world. You know, the president should never take any options off the table, [but] my last choice is military."

Yes, that's right. The only difference between the old "you're either for us or against us" Bush, and the new "Charm Offensive" Bush, is that now he says his last choice is military, but if, by any chance, he were to be forced into something, then "all options are on the table."


Gee, what else would he mean by "non-negotiable"? Syria is in big, big trouble. Because I predict they are going to behave just like Saddam and think we don't mean what we say.

Let's look at some more of the "scary, out-of-control" George Bush:

Bush, looking relaxed, sat in a blue-striped chair during the 35-minute interview. He pointed with pride to the gold-colored rug designed by his wife, Laura, saying it showed "an optimistic" person came to work in that office every day.

He also showed off his desk — used by John F. Kennedy — saying it makes him feel part of history. "Any president that thinks he's larger than history will fail," Bush remarked.

The president said change is coming so fast to the Middle East that he has to stop himself from getting "completely swept up in the rapidity of things right now" and remember that substantive change takes time.

Bush ticked off all the sudden steps toward freedom in the Middle East. He spoke almost in amazement at the idea of "street demonstrations in Beirut demanding the removal of Syrian troops."

He stressed that time has run out for Syria to play its old game of haggling over which troops will get pulled out or how far they will go.

"When the United States says something, it must mean it. That's what I meant when I said, 'Remove all your troops,' not remove 94 percent of them," the president said.

"Totally out of Lebanon — and that's very important for [Syrian] President Assad to hear. And it's more than just troops. I keep emphasizing this, but it's important for the world to understand that a Lebanon that is able to express itself freely at the ballot box needs to have no Syrian secret service."

And now, here's some fodder for his detractors.

Looking back to 9/11, Bush said his first thought was to prevent another attack, and he didn't envision the policy of spreading freedom throughout the world that has become the central theme of his presidency.

"It took me a while to fully understand what it meant to say that out of this evil will come some good," he said. "But it was hard to envision at that point in time the tremendous changes that take place as a result of democracy taking hold in a place like Afghanistan."

I can just hear them now, "See, the war wasn't about the freedom of the Iraqi people. It was all about oil. It's all about imperialism and American hegemony."

I would point people to history. Most wars begin as the result of one country feeling threatened by another. Only during the course of the war is the larger mission revealed. But, we can be sure that the larger mission is always there waiting to be revealed.

This is just a fact of the way the world works. Our world is the battleground of good and evil, with good and evil enmeshed in everything we do, as individuals and as nations.

When a war begins it reveals the good and evil in both sides. Because both sides do possess both good and evil within themselves, our vision is always cloudy at the time that events begin to unfold. However, war has a way of tearing down the walls with which we hide our evil, and leaving all our darkness exposed.

The Iraqi War has revealed the evil on both sides (Abu Ghraib, "renditions", the UN "Oil for Food" scandal, European anti-Semitism), but as could have been expected, Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime of thugs were, in fact, more evil than the West.


In fact, more has been shown to us by this war. As some people (such as Natan Sharansky, Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz) seemed to see well before the rest of us, the Wahaabi/Islamist-infested (think Taliban and Al Qaeda) Arab world has delivered a menace which must be destroyed.

The Jihadi-ideology is not compatible with freedom or progress. It produces human beings (women) who are miserable slaves. It produces men like Bin Laden and al Zawahiri who would literally use nuclear weapons on our cities, if they could get their hands on them. And finally, and most threateningly, it produces murderous regimes like Iran, who are about to build their first nuclear weapon.

We can not allow these things to go on anymore. And we are blessed to have a President who not only realizes these truths, but is ready and willing to do whatever he can to end the menace.

Read on:

Bush said that what began to convince him that dramatic change was possible was meeting people like Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who once woke up in exile to find axes at his throat as Saddam Hussein's thugs tried to kill him.

"Imagine what it was like — everyone's worst nightmare, a living horror movie," Bush said, adding that people like Karzai and Allawi show what courage and leadership can do.

"I believe that individuals can help shape the course of events. Leadership matters. Courage matters. And I began to get a sense of that courage when I met these people who love freedom," Bush said.

Now that freedom and hope seem to be racing across the Middle East, Bush said he sometimes has to remind himself to be patient.

"Certain countries can't move as fast as we would like. But, nevertheless, it is easier to imagine now that maybe things will happen quicker than I thought," he said. "But I'm not going to allow myself to get too enthusiastic."

George Bush is sounding awfully nuanced for the stupid, evil cowboy that he is.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Palestinian Terrorists Are Murderers
Whose Goal Is The Liquidation Of Israel

Considering the fact that within the last two weeks it appeared that we were finally making progress towards some sort of peace settlement between the Israeli's and the Palestinians, you have to ask yourself why, just after the truce was called, Islamic Jihad launched a series of attacks on Israel. Someguy, at Mystery Achievement, links to an article from TechCentralStation, which unmasks Palestinian Terrorism:

On the "Cycle of Violence":

So what is the phrase "cycle of violence" good for? Well, for deceiving ourselves into thinking that we can be even-handed and fair-minded in our approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since it is all just a cycle of violence, we do not need to take sides, or decide whose violence is justifiable. All violence is equally wrong, on this view; hence the role of the honest broker is to deplore both Israeli violence and Palestinian violence as if there were no difference between them.[...]
Psychologically, it is understandable why so many Westerners feel this way. Those, for example, who have gone back to the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict inevitably discover that their sincere efforts to solve the question, "Who started it?" are baffled by the bloody and violent historical track record of both Israelis and Palestinians. But, in fact, it is not necessary for us to try to determine the question of who started it. This is because, even when we cannot be clear about who started it, we can be reasonably certain about who is not trying to stop it -- and this is certainly true in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israelis retaliate against terror, and they try to prevent it; but they do not use acts of terror to deliberately disrupt attempts at a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the Palestinian terrorist organizations do.
They have for decades, and they continue to engage in such terror, despite Palestinian national elections and concessions made by the Israelis. Nor is there any reason to suppose that this terror will end, so long as there are Palestinian organizations whose very existence depends on maintaining a condition of anarchy and disorder. Any stable and peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would, in and of itself, rob the terrorist leaders and their followers of their power and importance. Thus, they have a vested interest in keeping uproar and violence alive.
On "The Legitimate Aspirations of the Palestinian People":
Cant talk of legitimate aspirations, when used in connection with Palestinian terrorism, deceives many well-meaning people into believing that such terror has a realistic and acceptable goal, namely, the fulfillment of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to have a state of their own, when in fact the only way to fulfill the aspirations of the Palestinian militants and terrorists is through the liquidation of Israel. That is why any Palestinian political organization that expects Israel, America, or the rest of the world to take it seriously must figure out a way not merely of controlling the terrorists, but eliminating them altogether. No one can take seriously the claims to political responsibility of a people whose elected leaders cannot control gangs of terrorist thugs -- a fact of which the current Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, appears to be painfully aware.

"Bush Is Hitler" Say the Mullahs
Iranian TV Reveals That Iran
Wants America To Die

From Front Page Magazine:

“If you [Americans] behave with disrespect even just a little bit, [the Iranian people] will punch you in the mouth so hard that all your devouring teeth will fall out.” So warned Iran's Ayatollah Mohammad Ememi-Kashani in a Friday sermon at Tehran University, which aired on January 28, 2005, on Iranian TV channel 1.

This statement, and countless other threats by leading Iranian political, religious, and military leaders, which are frequently made on Iranian government-controlled TV channels, were shown on March 2, 2005, at the U.S. Capitol building as part of MEMRI's Lecture Series. Translated segments from these channels can viewed on the website of MEMRI's TV Monitor Project.

Another recent call against the U.S. came from Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, the Secretary of the Guardian Council, who appeared on Iran Channel 1 on February 4, 2005. In response to a crowd of thousands yelling “Death to America,” he exclaimed, “Allah willing, as soon as possible, may the Lord hasten their death….”

Programming on Iranian government-controlled TV includes a complex propaganda campaign against the U.S. For example, the Iranian News Channel IRINN-TV covered a conference titled “The World Without America” held by the Islamic Union of Students in Iran on November 8, 2004, which sought to “clarify what is going to happen in the near future.” The head of the Iranian Islamic Student Union, Hamid Aqaii, told the channel, “We believe that according to the predication of the late Imam [Khomeini] and the honorable leader [Khamenei], signs of the decline and fall of America have begun to appear.”

Anti-American music videos are an important part of Iranian propaganda. One video appearing on Sahar TV on August 12, 2004, was entitled “Satan.” Images of President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Congress were shown with the words, “This is Satan, the source of tyranny.”

Another anti-American music video which appeared on Irinn-TV on August 12, 2004, produced by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards ... with a voice in the background singing: “light the pure flames to destroy the serpent…America is the enemy of God…America is the mad demon…O men of the seven continents, awake! awake! Light the pure flames to destroy the serpents; This impure octopus with seven heads…must be killed.”

A “seven-headed serpent” or “dragon” is the name frequently used by Iranian government institutions for America. Calling the U.S. “one of the heads of the seven headed dragon,” Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to Iranian students on live TV on February 3, 2004, and responded to President Bush's calling Iran the “worlds primary state sponsor of terror” by boasting, “Bush is the fifth U.S. president to want to uproot the Iranian nation…but he will be as successful as Jimmy Carter, [Ronald] Reagan, [George] Bush senior and [Bill] Clinton.”

Iranian TV devotes extensive coverage to personal attacks on President Bush, often comparing him to Hitler. This summer and fall, a series titled “The New Fascism” was aired on IRINN-TV. Images from the series depict President Bush with a swastika in the background.

Bush is Hitler. Where have I heard that before?

Well, at least the left can feel good about themselves knowing that they are in agreement with oppressed third-worlders like the Mullahs of Iran.

By the way, apparently the Iranian government is up on it's Bible prophecy. That seven-headed dragon to which they are referring is the Beast, or anti-Christ, of the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation. Really, being called such things by people as evil as the Mullahs is much more a mark of our goodnes than if we were to be awarded the Nobel Prize.

Pic Of The Day Posted by Hello

"Anti-War" protester, June 5, 2004

No War For Oil Yeah, That's Right!
This Ain't No War For Oil

Among the stupid things people tell me is the "real" reason for the Iraq War, is that it is a war of American Imperialism. You know so we could control the world's oil and stuff.

I guess we just aren't very good at our imperialism anymore. We knocked over two countries, killed countless billions of people, destablized the entire Middle-East, and the price of oil just keeps going up and up and up.

From Agence French Press:

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - Prices of crude oil could surge to as high as 80 dollars a barrel within the next two years but such a level would not last long, OPEC (news - web sites)'s acting secretary general was quoted as saying.

"I can affirm that the price of a barrel of crude oil rising to 80 dollars in the near future is a weak possibility," Adnan Shehab-Eldin told Kuwait's Al-Qabas newspaper.

"But I cannot rule out (the possibility) of oil prices rising to 80 dollars a barrel within the next two years," he said on Thursday.

Maybe we should play a little game: What would Noam Chomsky say?

Let me give it a shot:

Oil prices continue to rise as American hegemony tightens it's death grip on the world's oil supplies. OPEC is clearly a puppet organization, functioning as an arm of the United States Military Industrial Complex, at the behest of the Israel's and their shadow economic empire.

There, how was that?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

German Paper Says
Bush Is Loathed Because of
His Support For Freedom

From the International Herald Tribune:

On the final day of his visit last week to near-friends and kind-of continental allies, George W. Bush shook hands with a European who told him in no uncertain terms that he appreciated the role of the United States "doing a lot of things in the world."

Mikulas Dzurinda, the prime minister of Slovakia - a rather new, very small country with realities that include a border with Ukraine, a contingent in Iraq, and insecurities about its own eternal independence - said Slovakia "supports the policy of the United States based on advancing freedom and democracy."

Bush may have thought, finally a guy who wants to get the message. Three days earlier in Brussels, in a nine-page speech meant to set the underlying tone for the trip, Bush used the word "freedom" 22 times. There was no bludgeon in its delivery, but the president was telling Europe the United States owed it consideration and respect - although in the parameters of an American foreign policy he defined as advancing freedom in the world.

Perhaps because he did not catch the Schröders or the Chiracs rising to replicate his vocabulary, Bush upped the ante in a shorter talk here. My Freedometer clocked the president at 17 mentions of freedom or liberty, one in each paragraph of his text. A grateful-sounding Bush said of Dzurinda, "the prime minister understands that those of us who are free have a responsibility to help free others in order to make ourselves more secure."

In the case of Europe, not to mention the Middle East, Bush said this meant Moldova and Belarus, both still very authoritarian places to the west of Russia. Heard in other parts of Europe, but particularly in Germany, this translated into serious discomfort with the word freedom, an issue with roots deeper than the big boots resonance it has coming from George W. Bush's mouth.

A French reporter, who may have thought she was teeing up a sarcastic hole-in-one for Jacques Chirac, asked him to comment on Bush's "march towards freedom." Chirac chose the grand manner instead, saying he didn't see how anyone could not be receptive to a plea for freedom. After all, he recalled, liberté, égalité, fraternité .

But Gerhard Schröder? The F-word, as best as I could hear and read in Brussels and Mainz, did not come out of his mouth, although he has talked in recent years of Europe's emancipation from the United States. If Friedrich Schiller wrote magnificently of freedom in the Germany of the late 18th century, freiheit now has a leaden sound for the government there.

The issue of how much Bush and the United States' notions of advancing freedom trouble the German chancellor and his friends was brought into play by an acolyte of Schröder and Chirac, Guy Verhofstadt, a pol who has kept in line with those who see Europe's future role as a counterweight to the United States.

In Brussels, in Bush's presence, the Belgian prime minister, after a nod in liberty's direction, offered the world a reading of history that went straight to the throat of both America's role in the collapse of the Soviet Union and Bush's views of spreading freedom.

The Soviet Union imploded, Verhofstadt said, to a large extent through the pressure of the Helsinki Agreements. No mention of NATO. Exit the United States' staring down the Soviets as the essential element in Europe's remaking.

Decoded, the argument raised to both the level of sacrament and Europe's doctrine for the future the old West German approach to dealing with oppression and potential aggression, awkwardly translated as "change through rapprochement."

This surely is not the vision today of Eastern Europe, like the Poles, who raged when both Germanys, east and west, winking at Russia, scorned the Solidarnosc freedom movement. But it is becoming the not-so-subterranean justification in Germany for its caution about the Orange Revolution in Ukraine last year, and its frequent contempt for Bush's arguments on attaining freedom in the Middle East.

The fact is, Schröder, who fought against a United States daring to counter Soviet missiles in the early '80s (with the same vision he later summoned to argue against German reunification or creating the euro), may well have caught onto something in the German psyche and historical experience that prefers stability to freedom - and that he thinks can be made all of Europe's.

An article late last year in the Berliner Zeitung, no pal of the Bush administration, pointed to it, saying Michael Moore's ranting about Bush aroused far more excitement in Germany than the Ukrainians' struggle. "Why so cool?" it asked. "Does it have to do with the Germans themselves? West Germany was much more about stability than freedom."

Looking at Germany and Bush last week, the German daily Die Welt went as far as writing, "You almost get the impression that it's because of its support for the struggle for freedom, rather than in spite of it, that the Bush administration is loathed." And it offered a bet that hatred for America would subside sooner in the Middle East than in Europe.

Why would anyone hate someone else because of their support for freedom? That's hard for me to understand. I'd love to believe it's that simple. That would make me feel nice and comfy in my self-righteousness.

However, I'll bet you if you looked at stats for countries that produced the most patents per capita, you would find the most free and most hated countries (the United States, Israel, Britain, and Australia) right up there at the top.

So, what is the reason they hate us? It might have something to do with the consequences of freedom. I think freedom produces cocky, arrogant people. People who make a lot of noise. People who try to beat others all the time.

Maybe that's why they hate us, because they can't beat us.

Afghani Women On Their First Day Of School

Afghanistan Names It's
First Female Provincial Governor
Posted by Hello

That photo is from sometime last year, but I think it goes well with this story. I've had this photo hanging on my wall for a long time. It's incredibly moving to me. And so is this story, courtesy Michelle Malkin:

AFGHANISTAN today named its first female provincial governor, a step forward in the slow political progress of women since the fall of the Taliban more than three years ago.

The appointment of Habiba Sorabi as the new governor of Bamiyan was announced in a brief statement on state-run Kabul Television.

Ms Sorabi, who was picked from an all-female short list, served as women's affairs minister in the previous interim administration of President Hamid Karzai, which approved a constitution enshrining of equal rights for women last year.

Conditions for women in Afghanistan have gradually improved since the overthrow in late 2001 of the Taliban regime, which barred women from education and from venturing out of doors unveiled.

However, conservative Muslim beliefs mean women effectively remain second-class citizens in much of the country and few occupy senior jobs.

Mr Karzai's new administration, formed after his October election victory, contains three women ministers.

Ms Sorabi fled to live in neighbouring Pakistan during the Taliban's rule, only returning after US-led forces overthrew the fundamentalists after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

She has said in interviews that she aims to restore historical sites in Bamiyan and promote tourism there.

The provincial capital of the same name is best known as the site of two giant stone Buddhas which had stood for 1600 years until they were blown up by the Taliban in 2001, becoming symbols of the movement's religious intolerance.

Bamiyan's population is mainly made up of ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite Muslims and known for their greater acceptance of women's rights. The Hazaras were especially persecuted by the Taliban.

The announcement of Ms Sorabi's appointment comes a day after Mr Karzai courted controversy by naming General Abdul Rashid Dostum, a regional strongman implicated in human rights abuses, as his personal military chief of staff.

Ms. Sorabi sounds like the woman for the job.

The New Anti-Semitism

From Front Page Magazine:

The “new” racial anti-Semitism is built on the “old” Medieval one; the cycles of hatred towards Jews through Muslim and Christian writings still repeat many old anti-Semitic canards, but remains willing to embrace junk science and social Darwinistic tropes whenever possible. Europe today is seeing a slow but steady growth in anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism. Since 1945 there hasn’t been such a level of concern, anxiety, and even depression among European Jewry. As Robert Wistrich, the historian of anti-Semitism, explains, “Europe cannot fight anti-Semitism if it appeases terrorists or blackens Israel’s name. We need to insist that a linkage exists between blind Palestinophilia, being soft on terror and jihad, defaming Israel, and the current wave of anti-Semitic violence.”[1]

Historically, Christians were by far the more actively anti-Jewish group. Muslims came to their anti-Semitism late, and were for literally centuries much more concerned about financial rivalries than religion due to the large economic role Jews played in the Magreb – the medieval Muslim heartland of North Africa and the Middle East. With the post-Ottoman evolution of anti-Semitism, the Muslim world began to spread the racial anti-Semitism it absorbed from the West and the Christian world.

(Pastorius note: that would be starting in the 1920's. I know it's a "no duh" for lots of you, but many of us, who were stoned through school don't remember some pretty basic stuff :)

This most recent anti-Semitic evolution is primarily driven by the Muslim world’s engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the Arab media. The comparison of Israeli actions with Nazi actions trivializes the significance of the Holocaust: if the Israelis are no better than the Nazis, then the Nazis’ actions were no worse than the Israelis’. Such is the perception that the Arab world is trying to disseminate in the West.

(Pastorius note: And they are pretty darn successful at it. See photo two posts below.)

The Palestinian leadership uses these similarities to stimulate Arab and Western support and sympathy. Moreover, this emphasis on a similarity between Nazism and Zionism bolsters Palestinian claims of oppression by Israel.

From an Islamist’s perspective, the alliance between America and Israel is seen as the connection between Satans great and small. Historian Barry Rubin explains, “The PLO never saw Israel as the sole adversary but rather as a dependent of “world imperialism, under the direction of the United States of America.” Anti-Americanism was an integral part of its program and activity, but there was a contradiction since the PLO also spoke of isolating Zionism “from the centers of power” – in other words, persuading the West to abandon Israel.”

Thus, extremist terminology of big and small Satans creates an environment that stirs popular hatred towards Israel and America and perpetuates the linkage. The “satanic connection” can be seen in the Arab/Muslim world’s theory that the attack on the World Trade Center was carried out purposely by a “global Jewish conspiracy” to solely blame the Arab world.

Thus, the Syrian foreign minister Mustafa Tlass, author of The Matza of Zion, a book that argues that Jews ritually murder gentiles for their blood for use in Passover festivities, claimed during a meeting in Damascus with a delegation from the British Royal College of Defense Studies that the Mossad planned the ramming of two hijacked airliners into the WTC towers as part of a Jewish conspiracy. Former Egyptian ambassador to Afghanistan Ahmad Al-'Amrawi told the Palestinian Islamic Jihad mouthpiece Al-Istiqlal that the Zionist movement and American intelligence organizations planned the attacks. He said the aim was both to extricate Israel from its current crisis and to give the U.S. an opening to take over the oil reserves in the Caspian Sea.”

Hizballlah, which literally means the party of God, and which was inspired by Ayatollah Khomenini, has been operating in Israel promoting the idea that Jews are the enemy of the entire human race. Hizballah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad operate openly under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, eagerly promoting martyrdom through suicide bombings with the hope to “liberate” Palestine, destroy Israel and defeat the West. Sheikh Husayn Fadlallah, Hizballah’s most senior clerk, expressed his perception of Jewish world domination in these words, “Israel was not just a Jewish state in the formal sense of the word. It was the ultimate expression of the corrupt, treacherous, and aggressive ‘Jewish’ personality. Jews were indeed ‘the enemy of the entire human race,’ congenitally ‘racist’ and condescending in their attitude to other peoples, and ruthlessly bent upon global domination.”

This raises the question of whether there can ever be a sincere peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Any concept of peace is fallacious if the Arab-Muslim world truly believes that there is a global Jewish conspiracy such as the one described by the Protocols of Zion.

Finally, the cycle of anti-Semitism has occurred over and over with additions of radicalizations through religion, or genocide or a combination of both. The identification of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a primary source is significant, because when one wants to track anti-Semitism, all he has to do is look for “signs” from this document. Khomeyni, Hitler, pre-eminent Islamist intellectual Sayyid Qutb and Arafat are all graduates of the school of modern anti-Semitism, where they learned to circulate in many variations the Protocols’. A recent example of this very notion is described in the Palestinian weekly 'Al-Sha’ab’,

“The Jews are the decision makers and the owners of the media in most of the world’s capitals. Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Athens and finally Russia, where the Jews worked for a long time to crush it underfoot…”

From an Arab-Muslim perspective, the fact that the State of Israel was established right after the Holocaust illustrates the linkage between Nazism and the continuation of Jewish domination. During the period of the Oslo Accords, the possibility of reaching a plausible peace between Israelis and Palestinians created a reduction in violence and anti-Semitism. But the anti-peace camps on both sides continued to spread ideas that proved The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be true. The Protocols have attained the status of academic scholarship, not just a folk myth; this academic legitimacy fosters modern anti-Semitism, thereby, raising a new Arab-Muslim generation that religiously believes in these “facts.”

Finally, all of the above frame the Arab world’s characterization of the State of Israel and Jews. If any change is to be made in the Arab world it should be the anti-Semitic rhetoric that is so deeply rooted in the agenda of so many terrorist groups that yearn to commit more and more acts of violence against Jews.

I don't think the author did a very good job of demonstrating how widespread Arab belief in the Protocols is. Here's some information. Yasser Arafat kept a copy of the Protocols on his desk at all times. Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia have both been known to accuse Jews of murderous Protocols-like behavior. As was Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed. Egyptian President Mubarak continues to tolerate vicious anti-Semitic libels in the Egyptian media, never once speaking out against it. Hamas Charter openly quotes the Protocols. Am I forgetting anyone? Well, yes I am. Because the list goes on and on and on.

Read Memri if you want to get a glimpse behind the curtain. It's frightening.

Andrew Sullivan
Prodigal Son

Dave Budge notes that Andrew Sullivan is back on board with the Iraq War:

Andrew Sullivan has spoken of the war in Iraq as Bush’s lost opportunity on several occasions. As an agnostic on the issue, tormentedly so, I’ve critisized Sullivan for being a hand ringing reactionary who proxies as Chicken Little given his ardent support for the war in its beginings. Today, though, Andrew pops up with a somewhat optimistic view.

He writes:

THE BUSH REVOLUTION: I think even the fiercest critics of president Bush’s handling of the post-liberation phase in Iraq will still be thrilled at what appears to me to be glacial but important shifts in the right direction in the region. The Iraq elections may not be the end of the Middle East Berlin Wall, but they certainly demonstrate its crumbling.

The uprising against Syria’s occupation of Lebanon is extremely encouraging; Syria’s attempt to buy off some good will by coughing up Saddam’s half-brother is also a good sign; ditto Mubarak’s attempt to make his own dictatorship look more democratic. Add all of that to the emergence of Abbas and a subtle shift in the Arab media and you are beginning to see the start of a real and fundamental change.

Almost all of this was accomplished by the liberation of Iraq. Nothing else would have persuaded the thugs and mafia bosses who run so many Arab nations that the West is serious about democracy. The hard thing for liberals - and I don’t mean that term in a pejorative sense - will be to acknowledge this president’s critical role in moving this region toward democracy.

In my view, 9/11 demanded nothing less. We are tackling the problem at the surface - by wiping out the institutional core of al Qaeda - and in the depths - by tackling the autocracy that makes Islamo-fascism more attractive to the younger generation. This is what we owed to the victims of 9/11. And we are keeping that trust.

Welcome back Andrew. But, I must admit, as I much as I am happy to have you back, I am also laughing.

Pic Of The Day Posted by Hello

This was taken at a "Peace Rally" in San Francisco on February 16, 2003.

Thanks to Zombie for the Photograph

Fences Around The World

From the Atlantic Monthly, via Blue Octavo Notebooks:

This spring Israel is scheduled to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, but it plans to continue building a controversial 400-mile anti-terrorist barrier between itself and the West Bank. Though the International Court of Justice has ruled that the fence violates international law, it remains highly popular among Israelis—attacks have declined by as much as 90 percent in certain areas since construction began, two years ago.

Similar security barriers have been constructed throughout history, from the Great Wall of China to the lesser-known wall between Israel and Gaza that was built in 1994. Today the West Bank barrier is just one of many partitions around the world aimed at repelling invaders—whether terrorists, guerrillas, or immigrants. Here are the sites of other notable security barriers, in chronological order of inception.

1. North Korea/South Korea: Called "the scariest place on earth" by President Bill Clinton, this 151-mile-long demilitarized zone has separated the two Koreas since 1953 and is the most heavily fortified border in the world.

2. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Nicknamed the "Peace Line," this series of brick, iron, and steel barriers was first erected in the 1970s to curb escalating violence between Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. The barriers have more than doubled in number over the past decade, and currently stretch over thirteen miles of Northern Ireland.

3. Cyprus: A 112-mile-long construction of concrete, barbed wire, watchtowers, minefields, and ditches has separated the island's Turks from its Greeks since 1974. The Turkish Cypriot government reduced restrictions on cross-border travel in April of 2003.

4. Morocco/Western Sahara: Known as "The Wall of Shame," these ten-foot-high sand and stone barriers, some mined, run for at least 1,500 miles through the Western Sahara. Built in the 1980s, they are intended to keep West Saharan guerrilla fighters out of Morocco.

5. India/Bangladesh: Aiming to curb infiltration from its neighbor, India in 1986 sanctioned what will ultimately be a 2,043-mile barbed-wire barrier. It's expected to cost $1 billion by the time it is completed, next year.

6. India/Pakistan: In 1989 India began erecting a fence to stem the flow of arms from Pakistan. So far it has installed more than 700 miles of fencing, much of which is electrified and stands in the disputed Kashmir region. The anti-terrorist barriers will eventually run the entire 1,800-mile border with Pakistan.

7. Kuwait/Iraq: The 120-mile demilitarized zone along this border has been manned by UN soldiers and observers since the Gulf War ended, in 1991. Made of electric fencing and wire, and supplemented by fifteen-foot-wide trenches, the barrier extends from Saudi Arabia to the Persian Gulf. Last year Kuwait decided to install an additional 135-mile iron partition.

Blue Octavo comments:

The last structures in the list are being built by, respectively, the United States, Botswana, and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, you might recall, was one of the more vociferous critics of Israel’s security barrier. Shocking, we know.

What Should We Say Now?

From the Guardian, via Roger Simon:

Even so, it cannot be escaped: the US-led invasion of Iraq has changed the calculus in the region. The Lebanese protesters are surely emboldened by the knowledge that Syria is under heavy pressure, with US and France united in demanding its withdrawal. That pressure carries an extra sting if Damascus feels that the latest diplomatic signals - including Tony Blair's remark yesterday that Syria had had its "chance" but failed to take it and Condoleezza Rice's declaration that the country was "out of step with where the region is going" - translate crudely as "You're next".

Similar thinking is surely at work in the decisions of Iran and Libya on WMD and Saudi Arabia and Egypt on elections. Put simply, President Bush seems like a man on a mission to spread what he calls the "untamed fire of freedom" - and these Arab leaders don't want to get burned.

This leaves opponents of the Iraq war in a tricky position, even if the PM is not about to rub our faces in the fact. Not only did we set our face against a military adventure which seems, even if indirectly, to have triggered a series of potentially welcome side effects; we also stood against the wider world-view that George Bush represented. What should we say now?

Thank you would be a nice place to start.

Jon Stewart And Guest Openly Root
For Democracy To Fail In The Middle East

The Anchoress has the transcript.

Senator Wants The FCC To Be
King Of All Media

From the Associated Press:

Indecency guidelines that over-the-air broadcasters must follow should be extended to cover cable and satellite broadcasters, congressional Republicans who are influential on telecommunications issues said yesterday.

Most viewers do not differentiate between traditional TV and cable, so they do not know when they might be exposed to objectionable programming, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, the head of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, told the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington.

"In this country, there has to be some standards of decency," said Stevens, who said he would push for such legislation. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association, a trade group, said that people choose to pay for channels and, as part of their subscription, are able to block programming they do not want seen in their homes. Because of that, the group said, any legislation would face an uphill battle in court.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, supported the idea of indecency guidelines for cable and satellite and said he would consult with Stevens on possible legislation.

"It's not fair to subject over-the-air broadcasters to one set of rules and subject cable and satellite to no rules," Barton told reporters after a separate appearance before the broadcasters group.

Last month, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill to raise the maximum indecency fine from $32,500 to $500,000. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate but has not had a hearing.

Federal law bars nonsatellite radio stations and noncable television channels from broadcasting certain references to sexual and excretory functions between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when children are most likely be tuning in.

The Federal Communications Commission has no power to regulate cable and satellite stations, which are available to about 85 percent of the about 108 million U.S. households with televisions.

In December, the FCC rejected a request from a radio-station owner that the FCC begin imposing broadcast indecency regulations to subscription satellite services.

Last year, FCC Chairman Michael Powell told the broadcasters group that he did not "generally support the extension of content rules to cable and satellite unless Congress supports a statement asking us to do so."

The cable group referred to a Supreme Court ruling in 2000, which said that Congress violated free-speech rights when it tried to protect children from sexually oriented cable channels, such as Playboy Television.

Satellite and Cable Radio and Television are subscription-based services. In other words, a form of media that you choose to buy; the same as buying a book. Should the FCC be given control over publishing also?

The FCC monitors indecency based upon their opinion of what "community standards" are. That is unDemocratic. We the people run the government, and we do so by law. Unelected FCC representatives are running a portion of the government by their own "standards". That is a monarchy.

Additionally, it is a violation of the Constitution.

I would argue that not only does the FCC violate the First Admenment, but it also violates the fourth, which protects citizens against illegal searches and seizures. The FCC has the right to fine broadcasters $500,000. If they refuse to pay, and instead, decide to take the issue to court, they are left with the possibilty that an angered FCC will deny them licenses in the future. Therefore, FCC fines have a extortionist bent to them, that does amount to "illegal search and seizure".

If Congress wants to stipulate, by law, exactly what is indecent, then that would be ok. But, the fact that the FCC rules by standards is just plain wrong.

Are we a nation of laws, or are we a nation of standards? We must decide.

What Will Happen In Syria?

From David Frum at National Review:

Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute attributes the surge of democratic feeling in Lebanon to a "disappearance of fear." Nice phrase - and one that suggests what Syria's next move is very likely to be: the restoration of that fear.

Restoring fear has been the goal of the insurgents in post-Saddam Iraq: every time they kill, they hope to show Iraqis that it is they and not the new government of Iraq who control life and death. (Today they have served another such notice, by murdering a judge on the tribunal that will judge Saddam.)

So expect more terror in Lebanon - and of course in Israel as well, as Syria's terrorist proxies seek to destabilize the Abbas government in the Palestinian Authority and to warn Israel against lending its support to Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.

Will terror work? A fierce confrontation is already emerging in Lebanon, powered by these contending facts:

1) Syria cannot afford to set Lebanon free. Lebanon is by far the wealthiest portion of the Assad family domains, thanks in part to the Syrian-approved drug trade. Possession of Lebanon, which Syrian nationalists regard as a natural part of greater Syria, is also essential ideologically. Finally - and maybe most important - a retreat from Lebanon under American pressure would be interpreted in Syria and throughout the region as a confession of weakness: which is fatal to any dictatorship.

2) On the other hand, if Syria does not now withdraw after the joint American-French demand, it will be the United States that will have confessed weakness - repeating past mistakes in the region and inviting further attacks on American interests and American friends, like Rafiq Hariri.

3) The Syrian policy of covert war against the United States has failed. The Syrian-backed insurgency in Iraq did not drive US troops out of the country or defeat George W. Bush. Instead, it has provoked the US into intensifying its pressure on Syria itself.

4) Syria accordingly now faces a choice of options: Find some way to appease the United States short of true withdrawal from Lebanon - or else move from covert war to an all-out anti-American terror campaign.

5) Appeasement is the logical first strategy. Syria is full of terrorist operatives who can be handed over to the US. As well, Syria can in a pinch agree to withdraw its 15,000 troops from Lebanon. A Syrian troop withdrawal would look like a big concession, but would not much alter the power-dynamic in Lebanon, since Syria controls Lebanon through its intelligence agencies and its penetration of the Lebanese government and cabinet. Better still, a troop withdrawal might give France an excuse to end its uncomfortable association with the Bush administration - short of actually changing anything important in Lebanon.

6) The Bush administration is unlikely to be fooled by an appeasement policy. The joint US-French demand for Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon followed the surrender of Saddam's half-brother. And Condoleezza Rice made clear that both the Syrian troops and Syrian intelligence services must go.

But will the Bush administration press the point if the Syrians seem to meet them half-way? That will be a real moment of testing for the Bush policy.

Will the Bush administration hold firm? Will it insist on total withdrawal, including the spy services, on the full restoration of Lebanese sovereignty, and on genuinely free elections in May? If so, expect a furious response from Syria, from its ally Iran, and from the terrorist militias they control inside Lebanon.

Make no mistake: For the Syrians, Lebanese democracy means war. It's a war the United States can and must win.

Look at us Americans, always going around the world just looking for wars. We see an enemy on every street corner, don't we? And also, you know, if we do go to war with Syria, you'll just have to ask yourself, "Well, that wasn't one of Bushitler's 'Axis of Evil' countries, what is he trying to pull? Why isn't he attacking Iran or North Korea?"

Here, all you anti-war, Chomsky-brained appeasement monkeys, I'll do all your work for you up ahead of time. I'll lay it all out for you, so you'll have your whole ideology clear, so you can create your dumb bumper stickers, and protest signs, and slogans to chant.

There are so many dictatorships, why Syria? Why not Iran, or the Sudan? There you go. There's a genocide going on in Sudan, but we're not doing anything about that, are we? No, that's because they don't have any oil in the Sudan, isn't it?

It's all about oil. No blood for oil.

Oh yeah, and don't forget the timeless Jew-hating classic:

We're just doing it for the Jews. The Jews control American foreign policy. The only reason we are attacking Syria is because of Hizbollah. No war for the Jews.

Oh man, this litany is just going to go on and on. It will very likely get even worse than during the Iraq War. I might have to go back to regular posting on Screaming Memes, just so I can regulate my blood pressure.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Iraqi's Demonstrate Against Terrorism Posted by Hello

From Associated Press:

HILLAH, Iraq - Thousands of mostly black-clad Iraqis protested Tuesday outside a medical clinic where a suicide car bomber killed 125 people a day earlier, braving the threat of another attack as they waved clenched fists, condemned foreign fighters and chanted "No to terrorism!"

... shouting

"No to terrorism!"


"No to Baathism and Wahhabism!"

SS Trooper J Lo

I've been noticing the increasing use of the Iron Cross on t-shirts, skateboards, and bumper stickers over the past few years. It bothers me, not because I think it means people who display such imagery are Nazi sympathizers, but because I think it trivializes the evil of Hitler's Third Reich. Kids who wear such symbols do so because the imagery is "scary" and, kind of, threatening or anti-establishment. Maybe they think they are breaking rules and being anarchic. Oohh, we're all so afraid.

The thing is, I just never wanted to be the one to bring it up. But, now that Newsday has, via Drudge, well, here you go:

It's not exactly Britain's Prince Harry donning a Nazi uniform for a costume party. But the jacket Jennifer Lopez wore for a recent German TV spot might raise some eyebrows.
NEWSDAY reports on Tuesday: Detailed on the cuff of the white lambskin-with-rabbit-fur-hood jacket is a design with both German military and biker overtones: an Iron Cross, a lightning bolt and two skulls, a design that Los Angeles tattoo researcher Terisa Green suggests is reminiscent of the ``death's head'' patches worn by SS troopers during World War II. The wings emerging behind the heads were also elements in military symbolism.
The Iron Cross was once a proud symbol of courage among German soldiers. But in World War II, Adolf Hitler superimposed a swastika on the cross, and today even the traditional Iron Cross often evokes images of the Third Reich.
The designer of the one-of-a-kind, $2,300 jacket, Jeff Sebilia, says his imagery not only doesn't endorse Nazism, but is meant ``to make people aware of just how powerful imagery can be. We all know the swastika was a peaceful Hindu image, and we know what the Nazis did to that. I think we can use imagery that has stark emotion and make it our own.''

Here's an example of a company that is using the Iron Cross prominently on their clothing line, and in a very interesting way.

How do like that? Skin. Clever, isn't it? Oh, and so scary.

The fact is, the designers who design this stuff, and the kids who wear it, are just pieces of the machine that is busy obliterating history. Forgive them, they don't even know what they are doing.

Michael Schiavo Aquired A Court Order
Forbidding Terri's Parents To Visit Her

Someguy, at Mystery Achievement, was going through a list of petitions in support of Terri Schiavo when he discovered this information about Michael Schiavo's alleged mistreatment of his wife. Somguy says:

The one I just signed is a must-read. It's format is a little confusing (reverse chronological order). But it's yet more proof that her husband has essentially been torturing and trying to murder her.Think I'm getting carried away? Then read this:

RECENT RISKS TO HEALTH AND LIFE-- On 4/6/04, Florida AHCA (Agency for Health Care Administration) inexplicably declined to thoroughly investigate the hospice where Terri Schiavo is being neglected.
-- On 3/30/04, Michael Schiavo ordered that Terri Schiavo's family not be allowed to visit Terri for any reason, including to check on her health or safety, and that they not receive reports on her condition. Those orders still stand, despite an earlier court order to the contrary.
-- On 3/29/04, Terri Schiavo was hospitalized after being found with unexplained marks on her arms and in a disheveled condition. Michael Schiavo's attorney conjectured that Terri Schiavo may have been assaulted in some way, despite the posted police guard.
-- Earlier on 3/29/04, Terri Schiavo was found to have a second tooth missing, cause unexplained. As the tooth has not been found, it may have been swallowed. This would counter the claims by Attorney Felos that Terri cannot swallow. And a lost tooth left in Terri Schiavo's mouth could bring about potentially lethal choking.
-- On 3/26/04, the court of Judge Greer declined to find Michael Schiavo in contempt of an earlier and binding court order upon him to keep Terri Schiavo's parents apprised of her medical condition, despite his long-standing noncompliance. During this hearing, Judge Greer by his own questions of what had not been informed to the parents, as required by the subject court order to do so, validated and showed cause himself as to why he should find Michael in contempt of court, thereby necessitating his immediate removal as guardian per Probate Rule 5.650 (j) Disqualification.
-- About two weeks earlier, Terri Schiavo was found to have one tooth lost and missing, with no explanation.
-- Also two weeks earlier, and for some time before, since Terri Schiavo's move to Park Place assisted living, it has become evident to the Schindler family (Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings) that the facility was neglecting her personal care. On several occasions Terri Schiavo's parents observed that their daughter's hair was oily and she appeared to have not been bathed.
-- Michael Schiavo has ordered, and the care facility honors the order, that Terri Schiavo's parents not be allowed to provide any type of palliative care to Terri, even so much as to apply lotion to her skin or salve to her dried lips, or place a cloth in her tightened hands.
-- Recently Terri Schiavo had developed a decubitus ulcer in an area on her body which points directly to pressure and lack of her being repositioned as required by the state's own regulations regarding *Standards of Care.-
- Terri Schiavo's parents learned that Terri had suffered a recent attack of vomiting, something which has rarely occurred and which may be due to improper feeding or neglect. In a person disabled as is Terri, unattended vomiting is potentially life-threatening due to either choking, lung damage, or pneumonia resulting from aspiration of the fluids.