Two days ago I read this story:
CARACAS, Venezuela — Hugo Chavez has just about everything a president could want: popular support, a marginalized opposition, congress firmly on his side and a booming economy as he starts his new six-year term.
Now, he’s about to become even more powerful _ the all-Chavista National Assembly is poised to approve a “mother law” as early as Wednesday enabling him to remake society by presidential decree. In its latest draft, the law would allow Chavez to dictate measures for 18 months in 11 broad areas, from the “economic and social sphere” to the “transformation of state institutions.”
Chavez calls it a new era of “maximum revolution,” setting the tone for months of upheaval as he plans to nationalize companies, impose new taxes on the rich and reorient schools to teach socialist values. With near-religious fervor and plenty of oil wealth, Chavez is mobilizing millions of Venezuelans, intent on creating a more egalitarian society.
Already, profound changes can be seen throughout Venezuela. Those who felt left out of the old system are thrilled at the prospect of having a voice in politics. Others are horrified, predicting that doors will close on their personal freedoms under one-man rule, although exactly what Chavez will do with his power remains unclear.
Outside the Spanish Embassy, dozens line up with documents in hand. Many plan trips for tourism or study, but Henry Krakower is thinking darker thoughts. He wants a passport for his 10-year-old son in case they need to leave for good.
“I don’t really know what all the coming changes are, but I don’t think it’s the best idea to give all the power to a single person for him to decide on my behalf,” says Krakower, the son of a Polish concentration camp survivor who found a haven in Venezuela after World War II.
Government officials insist there will be total freedom of religion and speech and that private property will be safe, but the Krakowers aren’t so sure. Listening for clues to what lies ahead, they worry about economic restrictions and ideology in education. At their son’s private Jewish school, some parents are talking about how and when to leave the country.
“I think the president is going to do what he wants to do, because he will have all the power to decide on all things,” Krakower says. “I think we’re headed toward totalitarianism.”
How much say the public will have in how Chavez uses the “enabling law” remains unclear, but lawmakers have been holding assemblies to gather public input.
“If there is no popular participation, there will be no socialism,” lawmaker Dario Vivas said at one meeting. “Socialism is, definitively, giving power to the people.”
I did not have time to post on it two days ago, but now it has happened:
CARACAS, Venezuela — A congress wholly loyal to President Hugo Chavez approved a law Wednesday granting the Venezuelan leader authority to enact sweeping measures by presidential decree.
Meeting at a downtown plaza in a session that resembled a political rally, lawmakers unanimously approved all four articles of the law by a show of hands.
“Long live the sovereign people! Long live President Hugo Chavez! Long live socialism!” said National Assembly President Cilia Flores as she proclaimed the law approved. “Fatherland, socialism or death! We will prevail!”
Chavez, who is beginning a fresh six-year term, says the legislation will be the start of a new era of “maximum revolution” during which he will consolidate Venezuela’s transformation into a socialist society. His critics, however, are calling it a radical lurch toward authoritarianism by a leader with unchecked power.
Chavez, a former paratroop commander who easily won re-election in December, has said he will use the law to decree nationalizations of Venezuela’s largest telecommunications company and the electricity sector, slap new taxes on the rich and impose greater state control over the oil and natural gas industries.
The law also allows Chavez to dictate unspecified measures to transform state institutions; reform banking, tax, insurance and financial regulations; decide on security and defense matters such as gun regulations and military organization; and “adapt” legislation to ensure “the equal distribution of wealth” as part of a new “social and economic model.”
Now, let’s compare:
The Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz in German) was passed by Germany’s parliament (the Reichstag) on March 23, 1933. It was the second major step after the Reichstag Fire Decree through which the Nazis obtained dictatorial powers using largely legal means. The Act enabled Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his cabinet to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag.
While there had been previous enabling acts in the earliest years of the Weimar Republic, this one was more far reaching since Article 2 allowed for deviations from the constitution. The law therefore formally required a two-thirds majority in the Reichstag.
Though the Act had formally given legislative powers to the government as a whole, these powers were for all intents and purposes exercised by Hitler himself; as Joseph Goebbels wrote shortly after the passage of the Enabling Act:
The authority of the Führer has now been wholly established. Votes are no longer taken. The Führer decides. All this is going much faster than we had dared to hope.
Formal cabinet meetings were rare during the whole Third Reich and non-existent during World War II.
It is indicative of the care that Hitler took to give his dictatorship an appearance of legality that the Enabling Act was formally extended twice by the Reichstag (by then a puppet of Hitler) beyond its original 1937 expiration date.
The passage of the Enabling Act reduced the Reichstag to a mere stage for Hitler’s speeches. The opposition parties were suppressed or banned, and eventually even the parties making up Hitler’s coalition yielded to government pressure and dissolved themselves. On July 14, 1933 the government decreed a law eliminating political parties other than the Nazi Party. By this, Hitler had fulfilled what he had promised in earlier campaign speeches: “I set for myself one aim … to sweep these thirty parties out of Germany!”.
…[P]resident Paul von Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934. Rather than holding new presidential elections, Hitler’s cabinet passed a law proclaiming the presidency dormant and transferred the role and powers of the head of state to Hitler as Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor). Thereby Hitler also became supreme commander of the military, which then swore their military oath not to the state or the constitution but to Hitler personally. In a mid-August plebiscite, these acts found the approval of 84.6% of the electorate. Combining the highest offices in state, military and party in his hand, Hitler had attained supreme rule that could no longer be legally challenged.
So, what is the Spanish for “Führer”? While the crazy American Left screams at the Bush administration and compares the President to Hitler, their new darling Hugo Chavez quite literally follows Hitler’s rise to power.
I think I’ve said it before: current combat in Iraq in Afghanistan will be compared to the war that is coming like American involvement in Nicaragua in the late 1920s – early 1930s can be compared to World War 2. And this coming war we might actually have to fight on our soil. Not just in Aleutians, but actually in the continental US.
The dishonor of America Jewry
Caroline Glick takes on jewicidal American Jews – self loathing, “enlightened” and reminiscent of the German Jew before the “extermination.” It’s open season on the Jews and the Islamists here in America can smell blood, as evidenced here.
Glick ran it in the Jewish Press. One can only hope that those Jewish schmucks that vote Democrat (87% of Jews vote Democratic!) read it and think. JEWS PAY ATTENTION TO THIS.
The link to Caroline Glick’s article follows:
It would seem that American Jewry has lost its sense of honor. In early 1984, as he sought the Democratic nomination for the presidency, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson made a major misstep. In a conversation with African-American Washington Post reporter Milton Coleman, Jackson referred to Jews as “Hymies,” and to New York City as “Hymietown.”
When the remarks were reported, a storm of protest erupted. Jewish leaders and organizations issued uniform demands that Jackson publicly apologize for his remarks. Jackson accused Jews of conspiring to defeat him. Appearing on a radio broadcast with the notorious anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Jackson was silent as Farrakhan threatened Coleman and then issued a public warning to Jews: “If you harm this brother [Jackson], it will be the last one you harm.”
Yet the Jews of America did not relent. And the U.S. media also did not relent. In February 1984, Jackson belatedly issued a public apology to Jews in a synagogue in New Hampshire. But his electoral prospects had dried up by that point. When he ran again for president four years later, then-New York mayor Ed Koch said ahead of the New York Democratic primary, “Jews and supporters of Israel who are not Jewish would be crazy to vote for him.” Jackson lost big in New York and shortly thereafter retreated from the race.
Compare the properly angry and unforgiving response of American Jewry in 1984 to the American Jewish response earlier in the month when General Wesley Clark made a similar anti-Semitic slur in remarks to the press. Clark, who ran in the Democratic presidential primaries in 2004 and has made noises about another run in 2008, expressed his anger to popular left-wing blogger Arianna Huffington over reports that the Bush administration may order preemptive military strikes against Iran’s nuclear installations.
When asked why he felt that the administration is heading in that direction, Clark responded, “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”
Clark’s anti-Semitic attack received precious little attention in the mainstream media. Jewish organizations have uttered no significant outcries against him. Clark put the remark behind him by writing an abject letter to Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman, but the ADL’s website makes no mention of the incident.
From the perspective of the American Jewish leadership, apparently, Clark’s obscene attack on Jews was a non-incident.
Unfortunately, Clark’s attack was anything but unique. Indeed, it fits into a larger trend in which politicians and public figures feel an unacceptable level of comfort in attacking Jews and accusing both Israel and its American Jewish supporters of nefariously subverting America’s national interest in order to advance Israel’s security interests.
Read it all. When will my fellow Jews in this country finally realize who their friends are? As for Clark’s controversy, the irony of it is that Clark is himself essentially half-Jewish. Among anti-Semites, those with the hint of Jewish blood are often the worst. It’s like they want to prove to themselves and everybody else their anti-Semitic bona fides. For example, the ruthless inquisitor Torquemada had Jewish roots. Another example is Karl Marx, who promoted the anti-Semitic stereotypes of the worst kind.
Two days ago I passed another milestone as a blogger: somebody left a comment in disagreement with my post on the mirror site of this blog, but smart, articulate and definitely worthy of debate. Since that post is rather old, I decided to reply to that comment on the front page.
To re-cap, the post was about an article by Vladimir Bukovsky on the subject of torture. Acknowledging some good points Bukovsky was making in his article, I commented that, unlike Stalin’s “interrogators”, our counter-terrorism operatives are trying to get some useful information, rather than false “confessions”. Thus, they probably know that real physical torture is counter-productive for the most part. So, here is the comment by Anonymous:
Then how can you explain extraordinary rendition? Your argument is that we can trust “our” guys to be given free reign in interrogation. The problem is, once we take free reign, so will everyone else, and exonerate themselves with a finger pointed directly at us.
I truly don’t understand why that person would not sign this comment. But, aside from that, here is my answer:
First of all, why would you think that it matters to our enemies what we do? Do you really think that whoever they capture would treated humanly, if we treat terrorists humanly? There is only one reason to treat those in our captivity humanly: for our own sanity.
Second, nobody is given a “free reign”: those not employing productive methods of interrogation will not get results. Thus, useless torture will be and is punished.
Finally, please provide some evidence of those “extraordinary renditions”. I’ve heard a lot of talk about it, but so far I don’t know of any detainee transfered to someone like Jordanians or Egyptians, just so that they could do the dirty work for us. Those captured by us, but wanted in Jordan or Egypt, if there are any, don’t count: why would you not extradite those wanted people to the countries they are wanted in?
the rumors of those renditions persist because of 3 reasons:
1. They might be true;
2. They are invention of the Left;
3. They are (the rumors) a useful interrogation tool. Why? Because mind games are probably much more productive than physical torture.
For example, let’s say our guys captured 2 terrorists. One is very hard core, very strong personality. He won’t talk, no matter what our guys do. The second is weaker. So, our guys determine which is not likely to talk, and in front of the weaker guy announce that the guy that is not talking is being transfer to Jordanians, for example. They will make him talk. And then he led away. At this point it is not necessary to actually transfer the stronger guy to Jordanians: the threat of such transfer will make the other guy talk. But in order for this threat to be convincing, you and I also have to believe that such transfers are practiced. The Left has to scream about it. Otherwise nobody would believe it.
The bottom line, an Al Qaeda terrorist will never all of a sudden see the error of his ways and spill the beans. You have to trick him into doing that. The mind games, including the threat of torture and bad hard rock music, are necessary for that.
Three interesting things have happened since President Bush announced plans to “surge” U.S. troops.
First, al Qaida appears to be retreating from Baghdad. A military intelligence officer has confirmed to Richard Miniter, editor of Pajamas Media, a report in the Iraqi newspaper al Sabah that Abu Ayyub al Masri, the head of al Qaida in Iraq, has ordered a withdrawal to Diyala province, north and east of Baghdad.
Mr. al Masri’s evacuation order said that remaining in Baghdad is a no-win situation for al Qaida, because the Fallujah campaign demonstrating the Americans have learned how to prevail in house to house fighting, Mr. Miniter said.
“In more than 10 years of reading al Qaida intercepts, I’ve never seen (pessimistic) language like this,” he quoted his intelligence officer source as saying.
Second, the radical cleric Moqtada al Sadr, whose Iranian-subsidized militia, the Mahdi army, is responsible for most of the assaults on Sunni civilians in Iraq, is cooling his rhetoric and lowering his profile.
“Mahdi army militia members have stopped wearing their black uniforms, hidden their weapons and abandoned their checkpoints in an apparent effort to lower their profile in Baghdad in advance of the arrival of U.S. reinforcements,” wrote Leila Fadel and Zaineb Obeid of the McClatchy Newspapers Jan. 13.
Third, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki is putting more distance between himself and al Sadr, upon whose bloc of votes in parliament he had relied for political support.
Last Friday al Sadr ordered the 30 lawmakers and six cabinet ministers he controls to end the boycott of the government he ordered two months ago. AP writer Steven Hurst described this Monday as “a desperate bid to fend off an all out American offensive.”
Despite this, Mr. Maliki consented to the arrest that same day of Abdul Hadi al Durraji, al Sadr’s media director in Baghdad. Mr. Sadr said Saturday some 400 of his supporters have been arrested in recent days.
So success hinges on the attitude of the Iraqi government.
“Al Maliki realized he couldn’t keep defending the Mahdi army because of the information and evidence that the armed group was taking part in the killings, displacing people and violating the state’s sovereignty,” Mr. Hurst quoted one of those officials as saying.
But Mr. Maliki would have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to have recognized from the get go that the Mahdi army is one gigantic death squad. I suspect Mr. Maliki is only seeing the light now because President Bush finally is applying some heat. Mr. Maliki has tried to walk a line between the Scylla of the Americans and the Charybdis of the Iranians, but the steps he’s taking now will be difficult to retrace.
“He knows that his personal risk increases with each Shiite militia commander he arrests, and eventually he will pass through a door through which he cannot return,” said the Web logger Tigerhawk.
Though they may turn out to be fleeting, the troop surge, though barely begun, already is producing beneficial results. Efforts to write it off in advance as a “failure” are, at best, premature.
Read it all. Hopefully pretty soon Al Sadr will join Saddam at a little campfire in Hell. Of course, what is being done now should have been done at least 2 years ago, but better later than never. This is Bush’s (and ours) last chance to get some victory before the Democrats force the pullout.
I found this story a couple of days ago:
WASHINGTON — In a revealing new book on politics, Sen. Charles Schumer comes out with guns blazing — not at President Bush, but at his own Democratic Party.
Schumer, one of the most powerful figures in Washington, rips his party for being in the clutches of special-interest groups for too long and for losing touch with the middle class.
“Washington Democrats too often took their cues from interest groups without considering the needs of the average person,” he writes in “Positively American,” which is due to hit stores next week.
“Group identities around the country were less important, but those claiming to represent group interests in Washington were stronger than ever,” Schumer wrote. “Democrats had lost touch with their base — the middle class.”
Some people might ask why I would be interested in anything Schumer has to say, since I usually vote Republican. The main reasons are that I like a serious opposition in order to get the best ideas out, and the country does not go downhill in case my side loses.
Schumer is usually considered pretty left-wing. However I am not aware of him being too critical of the war effort. He seems genuinely concerned about security: his pet issue was security of our sea ports ever since 9/11, which is a real issue. So, whenever a Democrat displays some sanity, it gives me hope that not everything is lost, even when Democrats win.
I also keep thinking: the sanity among Democrats: is it a Jewish thing? Ah, forget it: Senators Feingold and Boxer are Jewish too, and they are crazy moonbats. Although, Boxer did display some sanity recently. So, maybe there is something to it. You know, thinking back to those cattle cars and gas chambers tends to get your attention.
Are the American people ready for an elected president who was educated in a Madrassa as a young boy and has not been forthcoming about his Muslim heritage?
This is the question Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s camp is asking about Sen. Barack Obama.
An investigation of Mr. Obama by political opponents within the Democratic Party has discovered that Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia. Sources close to the background check, which has not yet been released, said Mr. Obama, 45, spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia.
“He was a Muslim, but he concealed it,” the source said. “His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign.”
When contacted by Insight, Mr. Obama’s press secretary said he would consult with “his boss” and call back. He did not.
Hillary is of course a right-winger in comparison to Obama. She is also much more likely to prosecute the war as necessary, if she deems it politically beneficial for her. As for Obama, his Muslim connection might be nothing. He truly might be no longer Muslim. Furthermore, there are many American Muslims who are loyal Americans. I even personally know a couple. There are also organizations like Free Muslims Coalition and American Islamic Forum for Democracy which are very pro-American. In fact, pro-American is probably the wrong word: they are American to the core.
However, during the time of war this particular detail about Obama does not engender trust, especially considering the fact that he avoids the subject. Because if there really is nothing to it, then he should say something like: “So, I went to some Islamic school as a kid in Indonesia. So, what? It was the closest to my house.” As of now, his behavior reminds me of the infiltration described in the book “Prayers for the Assassin” by Robert Ferrigno.
Anyway, Obama is so far left, I will be rooting for Hillary in the Democratic primaries.
Negev rancher Shai Dromi is now charged with murder after having fired at four men who trespassed on his property, poisoned his guard dog (not the first such occurrence) and broke his sheep-pen locks. They were about to get away with his entire herd, in which everything he had was invested. The loss of the herd would have meant ruin.
Dromi had been robbed of his livestock in the past, and barely managed to rehabilitate his small agricultural enterprise. The fear of repeated thefts was so tangible that he had taken to spending the bitterly cold desert nights with the sheep in their pen to prevent rustlers from destroying his livelihood and life’s work.
He isn’t the only one. No Negev farmer is exempt from the reign of terror imposed by Bedouin gangs. The police do little, and rarely arrive even when summoned. Insurance companies will have nothing to do with the beleaguered farmers. Their only alternative is to pay exorbitant “protection” money to Bedouin “guards” to prevent them from absconding with equipment, livestock and produce. This situation, as The Jerusalem Post warned in these very columns last week, is plainly untenable.
Dromi’s case was a disaster waiting to happen, as noted in that same prescient editorial on January 10 – several days before the incident at Dromi’s ranch. We titled that article “The Wild South” – the prevalent appellation for the lawless Negev, where no entrepreneur, homeowner or driver is safe from Bedouin gangs.
Dromi is clearly not criminal material. He attempted to warn the rustlers away but then feared that if discovered, they’d murder him. He didn’t shoot to kill, aiming at their feet. His misfortune was that one of his bullets hit Khaled al-Atrash’s leg artery. Dromi desperately attempted to resuscitate Atrash, who had just been released from a four-year prison stretch for farm thefts.
Shai Dromi says he regrets killing Khaled al-Atrash, 31, when he and three other Bedouin tried to rob his northern Negev farm on Saturday morning, but insists he acted in self-defense.
Dromi critically wounded a second alleged burglar, and police are searching for the other two. On Sunday, the Beersheba District Court extended his remand for four days.
“I apologize for the loss of human life, and I send my condolences to the man’s family,” Dromi told reporters in the courtroom. However, he insisted that he had acted to protect himself, firing at the legs of the thieves after he caught them in the middle of the latest theft of equipment and animals at the Shai ranch in the northern Negev’s Yatir forest.
Dromi reportedly told police that four men arrived at his farm, poisoned a guard dog, and broke a lock on one of the sheep pens.
Dromi was distraught during his initial questioning, a detective said. Wire cutters and a snapped locked were found on the property.
Police said they were considering charging Dromi with murder, firing a weapon in a residential area, and using a rifle without a license.
This story has nothing to do with the current war against Islamist terrorism. But it has everything to do with self-defense against a good old robbery attempt. The Left and the Islamists took over this case just because the guy killed was a Muslim and an Arab. The irony of it is that he was a Bedouin. Israeli Bedouins are loyal Israeli citizens and serve in IDF. This particular guy was just a thug. What is interesting about this story is that it is indicative of political correctness run amok. Transplanted on American soil, it becomes the story of Border Patrol agents sent to jail for shooting a drug smuggler – essentially doing their job of …protecting the border.
If we do lose this war, it will be because of stupid political correctness.
Royal Marines carried out a dramatic rescue attempt of their comrade, Lance Corporal Mathew Ford, in Afghanistan on Monday 13 January 2007. It was with great sadness that they later discovered he had been killed in action.
Lance Corporal Ford, from 45 Commando Royal Marines, died when his UK Task Force attacked a major Taliban fort in southern Helmand Province.
The attack began at dawn on Monday 15 January 2007, on the Taliban base of Jugroom Fort, south of Garmsir. Z Company 45 Commando, mounted in Vikings and supported by C Squadron, Light Dragoons, crossed the Helmand river to the south west of the fort.
The UKTF met ferocious Taliban fire from all sides. As planned, Z Company then withdrew back to the far side of the Helmand river having successfully completed their objective. The engagement lasted for approximately five hours.
It is believed a number of Taliban targets were killed but it is not possible to say how many.
Having fought for a period, the Marines regrouped. When they discovered Lance Corporal Ford was missing they flew back, strapped to Apaches, to find their fallen comrade in a unique rescue mission attempt.
An initial plan was hatched to use Viking vehicles but they eventually concluded that the Apache WAH-64 attack helicopters would provide a quicker and safer means to get him out and back to safety.
And so four troops were strapped to the small side ‘wings’ of two Apaches, two to each helicopter. A third Apache provided aerial cover, and further units laid down a mass of covering fire while the other two Apaches landed.
All four men got off, as well as some of the aircrew, to provide additional firepower and to assist with the recovery of Lance Corporal Ford.
UK Task Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Rory Bruce, said:
“It was a leap into the unknown. This is believed to be the first time UK forces have ever tried this type of rescue mission.
“It was an extraordinary tale of heroism and bravery of our airmen, soldiers and marines who were all prepared to put themselves back into the line of fire to rescue a fallen comrade.”
This story stands in history next to the exploits of the RAF during the Battle of Britain as well as British commando raid on the docks at St. Nazaire, the capture of Pegasus Bridge and the heroic fighting of the British paratroopers at Arnhem Bridge during unsuccessful Operation Market Garden. So, as I’ve been doing a lot lately, let me yet again quote my favorite statesman:
That, by the way, applies to our Armed Forces as well.
Today is the day of my rite of passage as a blogger: this blog experienced the first leftist attack. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Some leftist signing as JOHN FREEMAN posted a derogatory comment on the page where I explain the title of this blog and argue that the classical dictionary definition of liberalism today applies to those who are right-of-center. JOHN FREEMAN apparently disagreed with what I wrote and demonstrated his debating skills thus:
I THINK YOUR INSANE AND NEED TO STOP CALLIN YOURSELF A TRUE LIBERAL YOU F-ING MEATBALL
I kept his spelling, except for the f-word. Although, that one was also misspelled: it was missing a “c”. Maybe he did that on purpose, in order to get around of language filters that some people have on their sites. As for the rest of it, maybe he was so angry that he could not help himself.
Anyway, JOHN FREEMAN, if you are reading this (I hope you are), here is the deal:
If you can present a fact-based argument in opposition to my article, please do so. Otherwise, don’t come here insulting me with your foul language. Let’s see if your debating skills go beyond personal insults.
Since my blog states in the comment section that commenters’ e-mails will not be published, I will not post JOHN FREEMAN’s e-mail here. But I will e-mail him this post. Let’s see what he will do.
JOHN FREEMAN did not enter his real working e-mail in his comment. So, unless he visits this blog, we really will have to assume that his debating skills indeed do not go beyond personal insults.
“In war, there are two exit strategies. One is called victory. The other is called defeat.” – Senator Joe Lieberman
Senator Joe Lieberman is a liberal. He and I would not agree on much. The difference between him and many of his political colleagues, liberal and conservative, is that he gets it. He understands that the outcome in Iraq, our pivotal battle in a global conflict, affects the security of the United States and will further define us in the eyes of our enemies for decades to come. How we leave this fight will brand us as a nation that pursues it enemies to the end or one that lacks the will to sustain tough battles. Our political failure and loss of national will in Vietnam three decades ago stand as evidence of that.
Read it all. J. D. Pendry is, of course, correct in his assessment. He might be mistaken on one issue: I suspect that he and Joe Lieberman might agree on a bunch of things, the war effort being the most important of them. That is because Senator Lieberman is the last member of the Democratic Party to whom the classical definition of liberalism still applies. You know, the classical liberalism that is mostly found on the Right nowadays. Oh, wait! Senator Lieberman is no longer a member of the Democratic Party. He was kicked out! Well, I guess, there are no more real liberals in the Democratic Party.
But back to the quote. I found it in full:
“In war, there are two exit strategies. One is called victory. The other is called defeat and America has too much on the line in Iraq to accept defeat.”
Kind of explains the essence of the exit strategy, doesn’t it? But just to reiterate, let me again quote good old Winston Churchill, whom I consider one the greatest statesmen of all times:
…You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
There. How is that for the “exit strategy”?
Iran: A Threat to Israel and the World
The world can no longer ignore the threat posed by Iran.
Although most of the world press has done an admirable job reporting on the developments of the Iranian nuclear program, the threat to both Israel and the world that Iran presents cannot be understated. This special report has been produced as a resource to use when discussing the Iran threat. It is currently unclear what actions, diplomatic or military, will eventually be used to stop the Iranian nuclear program. Nonetheless, everyone should be aware of the threat and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability.
IRANIAN POLICY — NO MORE ISRAEL
Time and time again, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that Israel should not exist. Moreover, he has done so with no significant domestic dissent. When the leader of a sovereign nation makes unequivocal statements without domestic opposition, those statements serve as the basis of national policy. It is critical to note that Ahmadinejad’s statements go beyond opposition to Israeli policies, he is speaking of Israel’s very existence.
IRAN’S POLICY — DEVELOPMENT OF LONG RANGE MISSILES
Years before the current controversy involving Iran’s attempts to develop nuclear power and (according to almost all experts) nuclear weapons, Iran invested heavily in the acquisition of long range missile systems. When coupled with nuclear warheads, these missiles would give Iran the ability to threaten countries far from its borders.
The Iranian Shahab 3 missile (domestically produced within Iran) can threaten either Tel Aviv or Riyadh from the same launch point. The newer Shahab 3ER, with its 2,000 km range, can reach Ankara in Turkey, Alexandria in Egypt, or Sanaa in Yemen from one single launch point deep within Iran. Thus, Iran does not have to move its launchers to project power, making its missile arsenal more survivable.
IRAN POLICY — DEVELOPMENT OF NUCLEAR POWER/WEAPONS
Iran’s efforts are clearly aimed at the production of nuclear weapons. Iran’s declarations that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes lacks any credibility. In August of 2004, former U.S. Representative to the United Nations John Bolton testified that:
Cover stories put forward by Iran for the development of a nuclear fuel cycle and for individual facilities are simply not credible. For example, Iran is making an enormous investment in facilities to mine, process, and enrich uranium, and says it needs to make its own reactor fuel because it cannot count on foreign supplies. But for at least the next decade Iran will have at most a single nuclear power reactor. In addition, Iran does not have enough indigenous uranium resources to fuel even one power-generating reactor over its lifetime — though it has quite enough uranium to make several nuclear bombs. We are being asked to believe that Iran is building uranium enrichment capacity to make fuel for reactors that do not exist from uranium Iran does not have.
THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE
While even the “smallest” nuclear attack anywhere is an unimaginable horror, because of its size and population, it would be almost impossible for the country of Israel to survive a single nuclear attack.
IRAN — A THREAT TO ISRAEL AND THE WORLD
The destruction of Israel is a stated goal of the government of Iran. In light of Iran’s relentless drive to acquire nuclear weapons, it is clear that action must be taken to avert the threat. Since ensuring survival is the prime obligation of a sovereign state towards its own citizens, diplomatic or other actions against Iran should be considered legitimate acts of self-defense and supported by the world community.
Do read the whole thing. I am afraid the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan will be in the future compared to the big one that’s coming like the American involvement in Nicaragua in the 1920s and 1930s can be compared to World War 2.
I found this through a friend’s e-mail:
In perhaps the surest sign that conservative favorite Newt Gingrinch may not throw his hat in the ‘08 ring, the former speaker (and according to most polls, third place contender in the early GOP primary states) links arms with co-frontrunner Rudy Giuliani in a Wall Street Journal editorial endorsing a new strategy for Iraq.
Has Gingrich already made a decision on who he’s backing? Regardless whether he has or not, such an article will do little other than ignite rumors that Gingrich views Giuliani as the best vehicle in the GOP primary to carry his concepts of conservative reform – an odd choice to say the least given the Right’s suspicion of Hizzoner’s socially liberal views. But Gingrich has never been known as a prominent social conservative any may understand better than he lets on that the best chance for him to enact change is through someone else.
I personally like Newt and think he would make an excellent President. But he will have no chance in the general elections: he was demonized too much by the Left, and a lot of it stuck to him. On the other hand, the prosecution of the war is the most important issue for many years to come, and for that Giuliani’s views on abortion and gay marriage are irrelevant. In regard to the current global conflict against Islamism, he is a proven leader and a fighter. Giuliani also has the best chance to win in the general elections. Thus, at this point I prefer him to anybody else.
My co-worker’s mom works at the American school in Romania, where kids of the embassy staff go. So, with his permission I am posting his mom’s e-mail that he got the other day (I am not disclosing his mom’s name of course):
Dear Family and Friends,
We had an emergency meeting after school on Friday. It seems as though the school has received 2 bomb threats in th past week. The first was received before we returned from the holidays and the latest was received 9pm on Thursday evening. In both cases there were very few people on campus. The meeting was to tell us how things would be handled if another was received during the school day. It sounds scary to me. They said they can’t trace the calls since they were placed from a cell phone with a pay as you go card. I’m not sure I want to be here now after hearing this is consider a high risk post. I wish I was told that before moving here in the first place. Hopefully everything will go well and it’s just a prank and this will be the end of it. I also worry because my car has embassy plates on it and maybe that isn’t a safe sign either.
I’m in the middle of writing student reports, which are in complete narrative form and thus it takes forever to complete. I worked all day yesterday on them and will work all day today. Hopefully I will complete them before Monday.
I hope everyone is well and doing fine. I would love to hear from all of you. I will write again once I’ve completed my reports.
Note that the bastards were targeting our embassies long before we went into Iraq. The threat is very serious, global, and we can’t hide from it. However, we can and should confront it.
It took me a couple of days to get to it, but finally I got around to posting my comments on the latest President’s speech on the war. So, let’s start from the beginning:
When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation. The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together – and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.
But in 2006, the opposite happened. The violence in Iraq – particularly in Baghdad – overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made. Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq’s elections posed for their cause. And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis. They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam – the Golden Mosque of Samarra – in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq’s Shia population to retaliate. Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today.
The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people – and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.
So, he is essentially saying “The Buck Stops Here“. That is something that usually earns respect from normal people (the crazy moonbats are unreachable anyway). Then he outlines the new strategy that makes sense:
The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq’s sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.
Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.
Let me explain the main elements of this effort: The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital. The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad’s nine districts. When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi Army and National Police brigades committed to this effort – along with local police. These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations – conducting patrols, setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.
This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence – and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I have committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq. The vast majority of them – five brigades – will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.
Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents – but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods – and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.
I have made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq’s other leaders that America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people – and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this. Here is what he told his people just last week: “The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation.”
Looks like Al-Sadr will soon be joining Saddam. It is about damn time. Bush also lays out the strategy. This strategy in large part depends on the steadfastness of the American people, along with the Iraqis fighting for their future. So, let’s compare:
We, the aggrieved and belligerent Powers who are waging war against Germany, have no need to ask for respite. Every week our commerce grows; every month our organization is improved and reinforced. We feel ourselves more confident day by day of our ability to police the seas and oceans and to keep open and active the salt-water highways by which we have; and along which we shall draw the means of victory. It seems pretty certain that half the U-boats with which Germany began the war have been sunk, and that their new building has fallen far behind what we expected. Our faithful Asdic detector smells them out in the depths of the sea and, with the potent aid of the Royal Air Force, I do not doubt that we shall break their strength and break their purpose.
So, what is this war about? Here is President’s answer:
The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy – by advancing liberty across a troubled region. It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom – and help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.
Again, a comparison:
This is not a question of fighting for Danzig or fighting for Poland. We are fighting to save the whole world from the pestilence of Nazi tyranny and in defense of all that is most sacred to man. This is no war of domination or imperial aggrandizement or material gain; no war to shut any country out of its sunlight and means of progress. It is a war, viewed in its inherent quality, to establish, on impregnable rocks, the rights of the individual, and it is a war to establish and revive the stature of man. Perhaps it might seem a paradox that a war undertaken in the name of liberty and right should require, as a necessary part of its processes, the surrender for the time being of so many of the dearly valued liberties and rights. In these last few days the House of Commons has been voting dozens of Bills which hand over to the executive our most dearly valued traditional liberties. We are sure that these liberties will be in hands which will not abuse them, which will use them for no class or party interests, which will cherish and guard them, and we look forward to the day, surely and confidently we look forward to the day, when our liberties and rights will be restored to us, and when we shall be able to share them with the peoples to whom such blessings are unknown.
The President is very grateful to our military and insists that their sacrifice should not be in vain:
In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us. These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary – and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time. They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table. They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty. We mourn the loss of every fallen American – and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.
The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few (italics mine).
What are the consequences of failure? Here is Bush’s answer:
The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.
And here is what’s required from all of us:
Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a Nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed. Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can and we will prevail.
We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours.
Again, let’s compare:
…I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, “come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.”
There is not much left to add, but I’ll add one more quote, just to make a point:
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…
The reason I keep comparing this particular Bush’s speech to Winston Churchill speeches is because it can be compared. This is one of his best speeches. I wish he would give a speech like this at least once a month. One of my big problem with President Bush and his administration is that public relations efforts are non-existent. They just decided that they will do their thing, and the public will support it. But the current war is in large part a public relations war. You lose public relations, and you lose the war. I hope they learned their lesson. I also hope that the next President, whoever that will be (I have my preferences, and it’s not a Democrat), will have learned this lesson as well. Finally, I hope that “we shall never surrender” spirit exists in our country today.
I liked it. It makes sense. I’ll post more tomorrow.
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert now admits that Israeli’s unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip did not work.
In an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua, Olmert said he believes in the establishment of a Palestinian state, which will require Israel to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank. But he said he does not believe such a move can be made unilaterally.
“A year ago, I believed that we would be able to do this unilaterally,” Olmert was quoted as saying. “However, it should be said that our experience in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip is not encouraging. We pulled out of Lebanon unilaterally, and see what happened. We pulled out of the Gaza Strip completely, to the international border, and every day they are firing Kassam rockets at Israelis.”
Israel withdrew its troops from a buffer zone in southern Lebanon in 2000, leaving a vacuum that was filled by the Iranian-backed Hizballah. Hizballah launched more than 4,000 rockets at northern Israel during a 34-day war this summer.
Israel uprooted 21 Jewish communities and withdrew all of its troops from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2005, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by Hamas, which openly calls for the destruction of Israel.
Now, let’s clarify some terms, shall we? What we came to call “unilateral withdrawal” actually should have been called “evacuation of Israeli civilians from hostile territory”. At the time it was done, I actually supported the idea. Why? Because those civilians were potential hostages and potential victims of friendly fire. The only way Israel could hold that territory was by deporting every single Arab from there. While some people would argue that this is exactly what should have been done, this is simply unrealistic. For starters, which country would take those people? By doing what was done Israel was actually gaining some moral ground, even a little bit that the European anti-Semites were willing to give it. Now some people ask me if I changed my mind. The answer is no, because I sure didn’t support the crap that actually happened. I expected that evacuation of Israeli civilians from Gaza would untie IDF hands. What I thought should happen was that after the Palestinian Arabs given the chance to govern themselves in Gaza, the very first attack against internationally recognized Israeli territory, be it rocket, kidnapping or any other terrorist attack, should be followed thus:
1. Media campaign starts, in which Israel declares that it has been a victim of aggression by a hostile neighbor. Then Israel asserts the right to defend itself and vows to push the aggressor back.
2. Within hours tanks are rolling in, perhaps preceded by a massive artillery bombardment. Special Forces move in ahead of tanks, hunting down the terrorist leaders, including those in the local government. The regular troops are battling the rank-and-file terrorists. Since the members of the terrorist organizations usually do not wear uniforms, they are considered illegal combatants, according to Geneva Convention. Thus, no prisoners are taken. That applies to the leaders as well. Of course, those capable of providing useful intelligence and cooperating should be spared.
3. After every possible terrorist is hunted down and bomb and rocket factories are destroyed, Israel temporarily re-occupies the territory and restores the damage to civilian infrastructure. Why? Because the contrast between being friendly and hostile to Israel should be demonstrably stark. It has to be shown that any individual or group attempting to kill Israelis will meet certain and unglamorous demise. But simply leaving the Israelis alone will allow those individuals to lead normal lives. For those who disagree with this specific point I would recommend these books:
Small Wars Manual by United States Marine Corps;
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power by Max Boot.
I have just finished the second one. I’ll probably post the review over the weekend.
But back to the Israeli situation. Everything I wrote applies to Lebanon, except there were no Israeli civilians. Thus, in hindsight, the withdrawal was a mistake. But given that it was done back in 2000, the very first attack from there should trigger the same response as any attack from Gaza. My friends at Jewish Russian Telegraph seem to think that Olmert regrets the withdrawal. But I am afraid it is much worse than that:
But given Israel’s experiences in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, he said, “it would be more practical to achieve a two-state solution through negotiations rather than [unilateral] withdrawal.” (italics mine).
Could please someone tell me, who Mr. Olmert is going to negotiate with? And what is he going to negotiate away? The rest of Israel?
It looks like some people in our Government are not ready to give up yet:
WASHINGTON — President Bush will tell the nation Wednesday night that a gradual “surge of 20,000 U.S. troops” to Iraq will begin later this month, and that the administration expects the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to seize control of all 18 provinces by November, senior U.S. officials confirmed to FOX News.
Roughly half of the troop surge would be sent to Baghdad, which has been consumed by sectarian violence, while another 4,000 would head to the western Anbar Province, a base of the mostly Sunni insurgency and foreign Al Qaeda fighters, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and others said following a White House session with Bush.
Officials stressed, however, that the timing of the troop deployment ultimately is up to Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
It is widely expected that the first wave of the build-up will be comprised of the 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, which arrived in Kuwait earlier this week.
Will this be sufficient? I don’t know. But I like the fact that we are not withdrawing. I am reading a book now titled “The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power”, by Max Boot. It seems to have some ideas on winning, based on history. I’ll post a review when I finish it.
Incidentally, I heard Dr. Laura today say that she is “proud mother of soon-to-be deployed American paratrooper”. I wonder if her son is in the 82nd Airborne. This is one of the examples that should be putting the myth of only poor people fighting in wars to rest. Our thanks to Dr. Laura’s son and to Dr. Laura herself for raising such a son.
I heard this in the morning on Fox News:
Authorities initially said the men — two Iraqis and one Lebanese national who are legal permanent U.S. residents — had been caught trying to slip past a checkpoint at the port’s entrance.
A port security officer became suspicious when the truck driver could not produce proper paperwork in a routine inspection to enter the port about 8 a.m., Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Nancy Goldberg said.
The driver also indicated he was alone in the truck, though security officers found two other men in the cab, she said.
“Due to a miscommunication between the gate security personnel and the truck driver, we believe there was a discrepancy in the number of people in the vehicle attempting to enter the Port of Miami,” Goldberg said. “This, and the fact that one of the individuals did not have any form of ID raised our level of concern.”
…I despair of getting any ideology to take responsibility for the totalitarianism committed in its name. Perhaps its just an artifact of my being a Jew, but as a member of a religious group that has been subject to uninterrupted centuries of condescending tolerance, implacable hatred and occasional outbursts of savage genocide at the hands of nearly every political party, religious group, chowder society and social club on the planet, I am less concerned with the ideological orientation of the perpetrator than I am with the fearful mechanism by which intelligent people who kiss their babies goodnight and pat their dogs lovingly become capable of lining other human beings up beside trenches and shooting them in the head (the Nazis) or hacking them with machetes (the Hutus, the Khmer Rouge and the TonTon Macoute)or putting explosive jackets on their children and setting them loose on innocent civilians (Palestinians) or flying airliners loaded with passengers into skyscrapers filled with white collar workers(Al Quaeda). The perpetrators of these and so many other horrors are blind not simply because of the ideology they profess. Of course, their beliefs are idiotic, but that’s not the point, all totalitarian systems are based on nonsensical ideas. Approached ideologically, there is only a tautology- they don’t see because of their blindness; they are blind because they are convinced of something that is impossible and they are so committed to that idiocy that anyone who is not part of their system, especially one who that sees the stupidity of what they believe, is a threat to their entire universe of denial.
That is what Totalitarianism is.
Yaacov is both right and wrong. The current Islamist, or Islamo-fascist, ideology does not fit exactly into the mold of European totalitarian ideologies. But European totalitarian ideologies are all leftist. Yes, that includes the Nazism (also here) and Fascism. Do follow both of these links, and you’ll see that the policies advocated by both German National-Socialists and Italian Fascists are very similar to those advocated by the acknowledged leftists like Socialists and Communists. My late grandfather repeatedly told me how, after infamous Moloto-Ribbentrop Pact was signed, the Soviet newspapers were constantly praising it as a treaty of friendship between two socialist countries. On the other hand, Hans Bernd Gisevius in his book “To the Bitter End: An Insider’s Account of the Plot to Kill Hitler, 1933-1944” describes how the former Communists eagerly joined the Nazi Party and became so called “beefsteak nazis” (red on the inside, brown on the outside), because there was not much difference between their ideologies. The opposition, in which Gisevius participated, came from the Right because the Right deplored the Nazi disregard for the rule of law. The tradition of placing the Nazis and the Fascists on the right side of political spectrum comes from the fact that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany ended up on the opposite sides of World War 2 after June 22, 1941. It is also a product of the successful Soviet propaganda, that the western leftists are too eager to repeat: they would rather forget those compromising 2 years of alliance between the Communists and the Nazis. I am not even calling it “shameful” because supporting the Communist ideas is shameful in its own right. To be sure, there were and are rightist totalitarian regimes, but they lack ideology. Their only reason for being is the opposition to the leftist ideology. They are also necessarily more free than the leftist totalitarian regimes, since they seek to preserve private property and free enterprise. The economic freedom provides at keast some political freedom. Besides, I can name at least 2 rightist totalitarian regimes that were specifically designed to transform the rightist dictatorships into representative democracies: Franco’s regime in Spain and Pinochet’s regime in Chile. I am not saying that the rightist dictatorships are somehow good, but merely suggesting that the leftist ideological dictatorships are inherently much worse precisely because of the presence of ideology. Besides, can you name a leftist dictatorship that had a transfer of power in mind from the outset and gave up power on its own when the time came?
But back to the beast of Islamist totalitarianism. As I said, it does not fit into the mold of Western totalitarian ideologies. As far as I know, Islamist ideology does not advocate the abolition of private property. It is similar to Nazism in its genocidal anti-Semitism. It is similar to Communism in its international character. Indeed, they will take you in, no matter what is your ethnic origin, as long as you adopt their ideology. As an example, look at the Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn, who is half-Jewish (my G-d, what a shame!). Should Islamist ideology win, it will be just as deadly to the American Left, as it will be to the American Right. Yet in this country the support for the Islamists comes primarily from the Left, even if it is just in the form of propaganda and active rejection of resistance. The Left-Right debate in this country is no longer about the extent of the economic safety net. That debate takes place now exclusively to the right of center. Joe Lieberman is the last relic of that debate. The debate now is whether to surrender to Islamists or resist and achieve victory. The Left does not think our civilization is worth the sacrifice necessary for the fight. During the Cold War they used to say: “Better Red than dead”. Perhaps now they should re-phrase it: “Better Islamist than dead”. The trouble is, they will be Islamist and still dead: do you think those Hollywood idiots would survive the Islamist takeover? As for those of us who think that the fight is worth it, that places us right of center on the current political spectrum. Our victory is not assured. All we can do is try our best, “for without victory there is no survival“.
When many people, including myself, criticized Baker-Hamilton Report, they all thought he was pro-Arab appeaser, dhimmi, isolationist, anti-Semite etc. But it turns out, there is more to it. This is what I found, thanks to Jewish Russian Telegraph:
Former Secretary of State James Baker was involved in a cover-up of illegal trading by his law firm with the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, according to a former contractor who did work for Mr. Baker’s firm.
Mr. Baker used non-Americans to help acquire funds from Iraq in violation of the United Nations embargo and U.S. law, the former contractor said.
Nir Gouaz, an Israeli security veteran, said that in 1999 Mr. Baker’s leading deputy at the law firm of Baker Botts ordered him to destroy all documents that detailed how he obtained from Iraq more than $250 million for a client.
Mr. Baker’s firm has denied Mr. Gouaz’s account.
But the Israeli said he has documents that could destroy Mr. Baker’s reputation. He said he has been angered by Mr. Baker’s attempt to press the Bush administration to impose an anti-Israeli policy in an attempt to win Arab cooperation to help stabilize Iraq. Mr. Baker, appointed by President Bush in 2003 as his envoy to recover debts from Iraq, has also co-chaired the Iraq Study Group, which on Dec. 6 issued 79 recommendations on U.S. policy in Iraq.
“When I heard the Baker recommendations, I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy,” said Mr. Gouaz, president of Caesar Global Securities, who worked for Mr. Baker’s law firm in Washington for two years. “In his eyes, the diplomatic vision for the Middle East is actually an economic vision. A person like that wouldn’t stop at anything to reap profits and dictate to Israel how to behave.”
Mr. Gouaz said he began working for Baker Botts, a leading Washington firm with more than 700 attorneys, in the late 1990s. He was assigned a case by Mr. Baker’s aide, Jeffrey Stonerock, to help recover an $880 million Iraqi debt to South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering, which completed infrastructure projects in Iraq.
As always, I recommend reading it all. What I did not expect was that Baker is corrupt, in addition to being anti-Semitic. But forget Israel, what about United States? Does he really believe that getting out of Iraq now is in the best interest of this country? I guess, it is all just a matter of price for James Baker. Hey, can we pay him enough to be nice to Jews? Forget it, that never works.
ARE YOUR CHILDREN READY?Jewish parents paying bloody money for their kids’ universities, have no clue what is served up there under disguise of education. For four years I had a unique opportunity, as adult student, to observe what kind of education our children are getting. Here are my notes from the Social Science 105 class at San Francisco State University.
Tatiana Menaker (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Jurassic Park of Marxist Israeli Haters.
I badly needed my Soviet dissident-refusenik tough skin to attend Social Science 105 class forced on students as anti-Israel propaganda road show called “Education under Occupation.” It was a Jurassic Park experience to see these Marxist professors, crazy aged ladies, mentally masturbating while looking with psychotic adoration not even at Lev Trotsky, Castro, or Che Gevara, but at a phony Palestinian “freedom fighter.” This Smart Alec, political gigolo, on alert for his aging clientele needs, declared “St-r-r-r-r-uggle!” against Israeli occupation and ladies almost fainted with pleasure. They begged him, saliva dropping from anticipation, for more details of “libe-r-r-r-ration!” heroism and tortures and he more, and more, and more satisfied them improvising tales of his adventures.
The unbearable part of it was that passionate Israel hater, lecturer Debora Gerson, who made it to self-Hating Israel-Threatening Jews national list: http://www.masada2000.org/list-G.html, brought her 18-year old students as a part of General Education Social Science 105 class, where she is lecturing. Poor children were disgustingly lied to, and there was no one there to defend them.
It was funny, but Palestinians themselves were not so aggressively anti-Israel as their bloodthirsty liberal Jewish professors. Obviously Palestinians understand the reality of Israel’s existence much better than the educated ignoramuses, blinded by anti-Israel passion. For the Palestinian Arab on the stage Israel was the place where his father went to work and from where he used to bring bread and money. For professor Gerson, the crazy Jew from Jewish Voice for Peace, who organized this circus, Israel is the most significant symbol of hated Judaism she wants to destroy so badly.
Unfortunately, parents who send their children off to American universities can’t imagine grim reality of anti-Israel propaganda bordering with open anti-Semitism on campuses. And guess what? The main sources of most passionate hate against Israel are Jewish International Socialists a.k.a. communists who sometimes represent almost 50% of faculty in many universities, particularly in humanities. Without them after Holocaust no one would make a peep against Jews. Compare the amount of Jewish professors on campuses and the amount of anti-Israeli events and you will find them in direct proportion.
Very few people recognize that these “Jewish” professors are not Jews anymore, they are mutants. Beaten, as Noam Chomsky, by anti-Semites in their childhood, they got scared to be Jews. They became converts and found refuge in International Socialism. They hate Judaism and its sacred symbol Israel as a reason of their childhood suffering. Isaac Bashevis Singer in one of his stories described the whole shtettl stricken by horrible fear after learning that one of them converted. “Everyone knew that converts soon became enemies of Israel and invented all kinds of accusations against their former brethren.”
Read the whole thing. And be worried about what your kids might learn in school. You have to monitor your kids curricula relentlessly, especially the humanitarian subjects. Obviously, math or physics don’t leave much room for brainwashing, but English, Social Studies or Law School have plenty of that. So, beware, if you want to send your kids to Law School.
I found this article on New York Sun blog. While it concentrates on the attacks by New York Times against the most electable potential Republican Presidential contender, what is interesting to me is this:
Our favorite is this March 12 1996 editorial on Giuliani’s trip to Jerusalem:
…Unhappily, that is what the Mayor did when he told Israelis on Sunday to be more cautious in their dealings with Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader.
“Don’t go romanticizing,” the Mayor warned during his visit to Jerusalem. “Remember if you are asking something of him you need more proof that it is going to be carried out than if you asked that of someone else.” …
The Mayor’s clumsiness does not come entirely as a surprise. Last fall he rudely evicted Mr. Arafat from a Lincoln Center concert during the United Nations’ 50th anniversary commemoration. Such stunts may win points among some of Mr. Giuliani’s conservative Jewish supporters, but they demonstrate why most New Yorkers prefer to leave foreign policy to Presidents and secretaries of state.
Would love to see the Times reprint that editorial today.
So, the article quotes NYT criticizing Giuliani for being skeptical about Oslo Process. By the way, the Russian-speaking Jews often call it “Oslinny process”, since ‘osel’ in Russian means ‘donkey’. But anyway, NYT criticism proves to me that Giuliani is exactly the leader we need to fight this war.
WASHINGTON — Iran is supporting both Sunni and Shiite terrorists in the Iraqi civil war, according to secret Iranian documents captured by Americans in Iraq.
The news that American forces had captured Iranians in Iraq was widely reported last month, but less well known is that the Iranians were carrying documents that offered Americans insight into Iranian activities in Iraq.
An American intelligence official said the new material, which has been authenticated within the intelligence community, confirms “that Iran is working closely with both the Shiite militias and Sunni Jihadist groups.” The source was careful to stress that the Iranian plans do not extend to cooperation with Baathist groups fighting the government in Baghdad, and said the documents rather show how the Quds Force — the arm of Iran’s revolutionary guard that supports Shiite Hezbollah, Sunni Hamas, and Shiite death squads — is working with individuals affiliated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sunna.
Another American official who has seen the summaries of the reporting affiliated with the arrests said it comprised a “smoking gun.” “We found plans for attacks, phone numbers affiliated with Sunni bad guys, a lot of things that filled in the blanks on what these guys are up to,” the official said.
Read the whole article. It seems that Iranian regime is pretty much engaging in clandestine warfare against our forces. When are we going to start fighting back?
First, a state government in Mexico is reportedly intending to handout portable GPS devices to illegal immigrants this year to help them arrive safely in the United States. No – I am not kidding you. Apparently, the main illegal entry route into Arizona — oh hey, there’s Arizona again! — is actually tough to navigate so they need a little satellite help to get there.
Now, this I can actually understand, even though I don’t like it: it’s their government. But here is a really crazy thing:
But here’s where things get insane. After breaking into the country and using fake documents to secure work, an illegal may soon be able to actually claim social security benefits! A new agreement, if signed by the President, would allow an illegal alien who subsequently becomes legal, to claim benefits for the work they did prior to becoming a citizen. Put another way — we’ll ignore how you got here and how you got your job, as long as you do it the right way later.
Are you outraged yet? Well what if I told you that while most Americans need ten years of work to qualify for benefits — Mexicans would qualify with as little as 18 months of work! NOW are you getting that rage back? I hope so, because our leaders have once again proven that the only way this insanity will end is through the will of the people.
The often used euphemism for illegals is “undocumented aliens”. So, if they are “undocumented”, they work for cash. That is actually the whole incentive for some people to hire them: you can pay them below minimum wage and don’t have to pay any taxes for them. But in this case they don’t pay into the system and cannot claim Social Security benefits. If, on the other hand, they are paying into the system, that means that they do have some sort of documents. But they are illegally in the country! So, they are no longer “undocumented”. Instead, they are “fraudulently documented”. Furthermore, those people often use fake IDs, but real Social Security numbers that belong to somebody else. Thus, they are stealing somebody’s identity. Maybe I am missing something again, but I thought that fraud and identity theft were crimes. Are they not? Or those are not crimes only if you sneak across the border from Mexico?
Back in November of 1989, when my parents and I came to this country, we had to apply for Social Security numbers and then, with a letter from the Social Security Administration, we could go and apply for Medi-Cal. In both cases our documents were thoroughly checked. Is it no longer the case?
So, everybody is breathlessly talking about Nancy Pelosi being a first female Speaker of the House. I have this silly question: how is the fact that she is a woman relevant to her duties as a Speaker? Maybe I am missing something. You know, having grown up in a different country and all.
In all seriousness, the fact that she is a woman is absolutely irrelevant to her position of the Speaker. What is very relevant is the fact that she is a San Francisco Leftist and does not have any understanding of the global threat we are facing. That is why I would prefer that she wasn’t the Speaker of the House. Whether she is a woman, a man, or a trans-sexual, does not change this fact.
Among supporters of the current war effort, people who think that Saddam got what he deserved, I am not the only one who is asking: why weren’t trials for Saddam’s other crimes against humanity completed before he was executed? Here is an article by Christopher Hitchens:
…How could it have come to this? Did U.S. officials know that the designated “executioners” would be the unwashed goons of Muqtada Sadr’s “Mahdi Army”—the same sort of thugs who killed Abdul Majid al-Khoei in Najaf just after the liberation and who indulge in extra-judicial murder of Iraqis every night and day? Did our envoys and representatives ask for any sort of assurances before turning over a prisoner who was being held under the Geneva Conventions? According to the New York Times, there do seem to have been a few insipid misgivings about the timing and the haste, but these appear to have been dissolved soon enough and replaced by a fatalistic passivity that amounts, in theory and practice, to acquiescence in a crude Shiite coup d’état. Thus, far from bringing anything like “closure,” the hanging ensures that the poison of Saddamism will stay in the Iraqi bloodstream, mingling with other related infections such as confessional fanaticism and the sort of video sadism that has until now been the prerogative of al-Qaida’s dehumanized ghouls. We have helped to officiate at a human sacrifice. For shame.
In Baghdad last week, I missed the best chance I shall ever have to mention rope in the house of a hanged man. The house belonged to Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam’s repellent half-brother and one of the two men who are now scheduled to follow him through the trapdoor. These days, it serves as the office of President Jalal Talabani, with whom I was invited to take lunch. The television was showing the trial of Saddam and his associates for the Anfal campaign, that ruthless and mechanized devastation of Iraqi Kurdistan and the systematic slaughter and clearance of its people by conventional and chemical weaponry. Every Kurd I know was eager to see this episode properly aired in court and placed on the record for all time, with its chief perpetrator on hand to be confronted with his deeds. Instead, the said chief perpetrator was snatched from the dock—in the very middle of his trial—and thrown as a morsel to one of the militias. This sort of improvised “offing” is not even a parody of the serious tribunal that history demands.
Here is another one, by Micah Halpern:
…What happens during a trial? Events are read into historical record. Witnesses offer testimony while their memory is still fresh, while the pictures are still clearly defined in their minds, while the wounds still ache. Documents are produced and validated and offered into evidence. Then comes justice. Trials are not convened for the purpose of legitimizing revenge, trials are the instruments of justice.
History and justice. The two go hand in hand. To deny one is to diminish the other. History and justice. It is our responsibility to record, to pursue and to preserve. The rest is irrelevant.
Now back to Saddam Hussein. What a colossal mistake. What injustice.
It was a mistake because Saddam Hussein was tried and convicted for perpetrating a mass murder that took place in 1982 that killed 148 Shiite Muslims in the northern town of Dujail. Just one incident involving one case of mass murder. Saddam Hussein was guilty of tens of thousands more incidents of mass murder.
The only way to actually right the wrong that Saddam perpetrated on the Iraqi people would have been to try him for every event and enter every event into the court record and convict him of every murder. This mass murderer should have been held accountable for more than one single event.
Read both of these articles. Both authors are supporters of the war effort. Both authors think that Saddam got what was coming to him. But both authors think that it should have happened after all the trials were over. I have to say that I agree with them. Now brace yourselves for the industry of Saddam’s crimes denial and conspiracy theories suggesting the we had something to hide and that is why Saddam was executed now.
Some people think that this was done in order to throw a bone to Shias and then go after Al-Sadr (hat tip: Bill Faith). Perhaps. But it seems that Al-Sadr might have grown stronger because of this. We should take him out anyway. And the Shias would have gotten their “bone” anyway, when Saddam would have been executed eventually for all of his crimes, not just one.
So, why would democratically elected leaders of the United States ever want to legalize what a succession of Russian monarchs strove to abolish? Why run the risk of unleashing a fury that even Stalin had problems controlling? Why would anyone try to “improve intelligence-gathering capability” by destroying what was left of it? Frustration? Ineptitude? Ignorance? Or, has their friendship with a certain former KGB lieutenant colonel, V. Putin, rubbed off on the American leaders? I have no answer to these questions, but I do know that if Vice President Cheney is right and that some “cruel, inhumane or degrading” (CID) treatment of captives is a necessary tool for winning the war on terrorism, then the war is lost already.
Mr. Bukovsky raises a number of very good points in his article, but he misses one: unlike Stalin’s “interrogators”, our anti-terrorist operatives are looking for some real information, not false “confessions”. I would imagine that they would know how to get the real stuff, as opposed to what their prisoners might think they want to hear. Mind games are necessary for interrogations. I don’t think real torture is productive tool for getting information. I also think that our operatives know that too.
During the Cold War, the behavior of Western politicians in their contacts with the Soviets varied quite widely, from hostile polemics to shameless collaboration. What was Senator Kennedy’s place in this wide spectrum?
Of course, Kennedy was not the only U.S. senator to visit the USSR. A few exceptions aside, however, they usually came as a group. As far as we can see in the documents, Kennedy always came alone.
Then, no other senator contacted the Soviets as often as Kennedy did. Nor were his relations with Moscow at all restricted to official visits. His chief of staff, Larry Horowitz, would journey there on Kennedy’s instructions several times a year. No other U.S. senator had a similar envoy.
The document, first released in the Sunday Times by Tim Sebastian in 1992, reveals how Kennedy secretly offered the KGB to work together to undermine President Reagan. This proposal was conveyed to the Soviets by former senator John Tunney in 1983.
That was not the only time when Tunney got involved in Kennedy’s games with Moscow. Another top-secret KGB report, published in 1992 in Russian Izvestia newspaper, says that in 1978 Kennedy “requested the assistance of the KGB to establish a relationship” between a firm owned by Tunney and the Soviets. The KGB report recommended the CPSU Central Committee to agree, because Tunney’s firm was already connected to one David Karr, a KGB agent in France (See, for example: Ted Kennedy was a ‘Collaborationist,’ by Herbert Romerstein. Human Events, December 8, 2003).
More secrets about Kennedy’s collaboration with Moscow became known after the famous defector Vasiliy Mitrokhin smuggled his invaluable archive of secret KGB documents to the West. In 2002, he publicized some of them in The KGB in Afghanistan working paper, published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In 1980 Kennedy attacked President Carter over the latter’s tough opposition to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As Mitrokhin reveals, the senator had evidently coordinated that with Moscow several weeks before — through Tunney and Egon Bahr, West Germany’s top Social Democrat who often had secret contacts with the KGB.
The article is pretty long. Read it in full, and you’ll be horrified that Ted Kennedy remains a prominent politician instead of roting in jail. Essentially, Senator Kennedy was an agent of influence for the Soviet intelligence. To be sure, he was not in direct employ of any Soviet intelligence organization. Rather, he was helping them in order to gain political advantage for himself. This is similar to the way the Germans and the Bolsheviks used each other during World War 1. In essence, instead of receiving a monetary reward for his work for the foreign intelligence, Kennedy worked for political reward. It is still treason.
Those people, who know me, know that I am active in the San Diego Chapter of Protest Warrior, a national organization that counters leftist demonstrations in order to show the existence of the opposite opinion. About 2 years ago the Protest Warrior site was hacked by an “anarchist hacker”, and all the personal information of the members across the nation was stolen. I even talked to FBI because of that. After all, I was one of the victims. Well, recently a fellow Protest Warrior directed me to this:
In a victory for free speech and property rights, Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to two years in federal prison to begin in January 2007. He must also pay $5,250 in fines and restitution and is barred from consorting with other “hacktivists” for three years following his sentence. Despite the light sentence, Hammond’s imprisonment will undoubtedly send a message to would-be hackers that property rights and rule of law still apply.
The light sentence may be explained by unusual statements of fact and character that were made by Judge James B. Zagel during the sentencing hearing. As reported in the Chicago Tribune, Zagel brushed aside Hammond’s plans to rob victims out of millions of dollars as a lapse in judgment rather than willful and malicious credit card fraud, saying, “all 19-year-olds are idiots.” He also characterized the theft itself as “countering speech [Hammond] found wrong .” Considering Hammond’s history of violence and crime, Zagel’s bizarrely euphemistic characterization of Hammond’s actions reveals a misplaced compassion.
Before Hammond’s trial, he used the now-defunct website freejeremy — archived here — to plead with the Internet community for support. In his pathetic attempt to sway public opinion, he denied the allegations and claimed that he was “being targeted [sic] by law enforcement for his political activism.” Hammond even went so far as to accuse Protest Warrior of fabricating the entire story. Fortunately, the evidence against him was so strong that even the most “compassionate” judge couldn’t save him from a conviction.
During the course of the investigation, Protest Warrior intercepted a number of chat logs between Hammond and his anarchist cohorts. The logs include detailed plots to charge millions of dollars in fraudulent transactions, to publish personal and financial details of political activists, and to execute similar attacks on other conservative websites. Now that the trial is over and Hammond is about to be thrown in prison, Protest Warrior is preparing these logs for release to the public.
So, here is the moral of this story: protesting is OK, even if you hold brain-dead suicidal views of the Left. But hacking, stealing other people’s personal information and threatening them with violence is illegal. You will go to jail for that.
On Christmas Day, Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) arrived in Damascus for meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior regime officials. He becomes the fourth senator in recent weeks to break an informal travel embargo and visit the Syrian capital, following visits this month by Sens. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), John Kerry (D., Mass.), and Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.).
When Specter announced his intention to visit, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned to ask him not to go, but the senator refused.
“I deferred to them a year ago, and I deferred to them last August,” Specter told the Associated Press. “If there were any signs the administration policy [in the Middle East] was working, I’d defer to them again.”
But is blind engagement any better? Specter’s trip was his 16th taxpayer-funded visit to Syria since 1984. While he may relish the image of statesman, Specter has little but failure to show for his efforts.
On each trip, Syria’s state-controlled television broadcast Specter’s meeting with the Syrian president. Specter may believe his words are tough, but the Syrian government twists them to imply endorsement. On Jan. 5, 2003, for example, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported that “the U.S. Senator… voiced the United States’ appreciation for Syria’s positions and efforts aimed at making the Middle East more secure and stable, adding that his country views Syria’s positions as principled and rational.”
On Dec. 26, 2006, Syrian television reported that Specter “stressed… Syria’s pivotal role in the region.” Bolstering the sense of importance and confidence of state sponsors of terrorism does not help regional diplomacy.
For all their travels, the senators who visited Damascus would be hard-pressed to name any Arab dissidents whose freedom they won. When Specter met Assad in January 2003, he did not raise the case of Ibrahim Hamidi, the Damascus correspondent for the London-based al-Hayat daily, whom the Syrian regime had ordered imprisoned just two weeks before for publishing material not cleared by state censors. Today, prominent dissidents such as Aref Dalila, Michel Kilo, Anwar al-Bunni, Mahmoud Issa, and Kamal Labwani remain imprisoned.