Today is Memorial Day, the holiday created for reflection and remembrance of those who fought and died for our freedoms. It is not an empty rhetoric for me. In my mind this holiday is also closely associated with the Victory Day, the only Soviet holiday I respect to this day. Since I am Jewish, this day signifies the survival of my family. Both of my grandfathers fought in the Soviet Army during World War 2. So, I always try to visit my grandpa’s grave here in San Diego some time in May. Media tends not to report on heroic deeds of our soldiers in the current war. But I got this link via Republican Jewish Coalition newsletter:
…This lack of reported stories of heroism on the part of America’s fighting men and women is not due to a lack of media access to the military. On the contrary, Operation Iraqi Freedom has begun a new era of access for journalists with the advent of the Department of Defense’s media-embed program. Nor has the lack of relevant reportage been due to a deficiency in individual gallantry displayed by our soldiers on the field of battle; there have been numerous cases of exceptional courage under fire to this point in the War on Terror, and there will doubtless be many more before this conflict has drawn to a close.
Every man and woman fighting for America deserves respect and acknowledgment. There are some, though, who go above and beyond even the bravery and valor shown by the “average” soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who puts his or her life on the line, day in and day out, in defense of America and in pursuit of the nation’s goals. Here is a selection of four exceptional warriors — one from each branch of service — whose names and deeds every American should know. Each of these men is a true hero in every sense of the word, having fought in defense of America and having made the ultimate sacrifice for his mission and for his fellow men.
Michael Monsoor, United States Navy
Michael Monsoor of Garden Grove, California, felt the same call to serve his country that had led his father and brother into the Marine Corps. He was pulled in a different direction from his family members, though — he was drawn to the U.S. Navy, not out of a desire to serve in the fleet, but out of a burning ambition to serve as a Navy SEAL, one of America’s special-operations elites.
Jason Dunham, United States Marine Corps
Jason Dunham, of Scio, New York, shared a birthday (the day before Veteran’s Day) with the United States Marine Corps. A Corporal in the Corps, he was killed in Iraq in 2004, at the age of 23. Had Dunham not given his life for his comrades three years ago, he would have turned 25 last fall on the day that the USMC, which has been fortunate beyond measure to have contained men of Dunham’s quality for over two centuries, turned 231.
Ross McGinnis, United States Army
When most young men are turning 17, they are thinking about their upcoming senior year of high school, their sports career, or their choice of college. When Ross McGinnis, of Knox, Pennsylvania, turned 17, he marched down to the recruiter’s office and joined the Army via the delayed enlistment program.
Jason Cunningham, United States Air Force
Jason Cunningham of Carlsbad, New Mexico, joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 19, but he didn’t stay long. After just under four years in the fleet, Cunningham decided on a radical career change, setting his sights on joining an elite Air Force fraternity known as Pararescuemen. The USAF has fewer than 1,000 of these medical professionals whose job is to deploy by any means necessary — sea, air, or land — to rescue downed aircrew members and injured special operators.
No Greater Love…
These four men exemplify a mindset that is both incomprehensible and unimaginable to all who have not been in such a situation. When faced with a life or death situation, with an escape route both simple and available, every one of them chose death, against every instinct of self-preservation. And, in doing so, they allowed the men with them, marked for death, to keep their lives.
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I got this article via Republican Jewish Coalition newsletter. In it Rich Lowry writes this week the importance of military history and how it’s vanishing from academia today. I am not going to excerpt anything from this article because the publishers require people to ask permission for it. But just go and read it.
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Somehow I have to find a way to deal with constant lack of time. For now, here are some quick links, with the usual recommendation to read these articles in full:
Thank you so much for that kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be here among so many friends.
Now, I know there are some who are probably wondering—what is a nice Independent Democrat from Connecticut doing at a Republican event like this?
Well, a funny thing happened on the way to reelection last year… And as Rabbi Hillel said, the rest is commentary.
Let there be no doubt—an American defeat in Iraq would be a victory for Al Qaeda and Iran… the two most threatening enemies we face in the world today. It would vindicate the hope of our enemies that America is weak and that we can be driven to retreat by terrorism, and it would confirm the fear of our friends—not only in Iraq, but throughout the world—that we are unreliable allies who will abandon them in the face of danger.
The fact of the matter is, you cannot claim to be tough on terrorism while demanding that our military withdraw from Iraq, because it is the terrorists—particular Al Qaeda—that our military is fighting in Iraq.
You cannot claim to be committed to defeating Al Qaeda, while demanding that we abandon the heart of the Middle East to Al Qaeda.
And you cannot claim to be tough on Iran, while demanding the very thing that the mullahs want most of all—the retreat of the American military from the Middle East in defeat, leaving a vacuum that Iran will rush to fill.
There has hardly been an Arab peace plan in the past 40 years — including the current Saudi version — that does not demand a return to the status quo of June 4, 1967. Why is that date so sacred?
Because it was the day before the outbreak of the Six Day War in which Israel scored one of the most stunning victories of the 20th century. The Arabs have spent four decades trying to undo its consequences.
The real anniversary of the war should be now, three weeks earlier. On May 16, 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Nasser demanded the evacuation from the Sinai Peninsula of the U.N. buffer force that had kept Israel and Egypt at peace for ten years. The U.N. complied, at which point Nasser imposed a naval blockade of Israel’s only outlet to the south, the port of Eilat — an open act of war.
The world will soon be awash with 40th-anniversary retrospectives on the war — and on the peace of the ages that awaits if Israel would only return to June 4, 1967. But Israelis are cautious. They remember the terror of that unbearable May when, with Israel possessing no occupied territories whatsoever, the entire Arab world was furiously preparing Israel’s imminent extinction. And the world did nothing.
Although many persist in denying it, I continue to believe that what September 11, 2001 did was to plunge us headlong into nothing less than another world war. I call this new war World War IV, because I also believe that what is generally known as the cold war was actually World War III, and that this one bears a closer resemblance to that great conflict than it does to World War II. Like the cold war, as the military historian Eliot Cohen was the first to recognize, the one we are now in has ideological roots, pitting us against Islamofascism, yet another mutation of the totalitarian disease we defeated first in the shape of Nazism and fascism and then in the shape of Communism; it is global in scope; it is being fought with a variety of weapons, not all of them military; and it is likely to go on for decades.
What follows from this way of looking at the last five years is that the military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot be understood if they are regarded as self-contained wars in their own right. Instead we have to see them as fronts or theaters that have been opened up in the early stages of a protracted global struggle. The same thing is true of Iran. As the currently main center of the Islamofascist ideology against which we have been fighting since 9/11, and as (according to the State Department’s latest annual report on the subject) the main sponsor of the terrorism that is Islamofascism’s weapon of choice, Iran too is a front in World War IV. Moreover, its effort to build a nuclear arsenal makes it the potentially most dangerous one of all.
The Iranians, of course, never cease denying that they intend to build a nuclear arsenal, and yet in the same breath they openly tell us what they intend to do with it. Their first priority, as repeatedly and unequivocally announced by their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is to “wipe Israel off the map”—a feat that could not be accomplished by conventional weapons alone.
But Ahmadinejad’s ambitions are not confined to the destruction of Israel. He also wishes to dominate the greater Middle East, and thereby to control the oilfields of the region and the flow of oil out of it through the Persian Gulf. If he acquired a nuclear capability, he would not even have to use it in order to put all this within his reach. Intimidation and blackmail by themselves would do the trick.
Nor are Ahmadinejad’s ambitions merely regional in scope. He has a larger dream of extending the power and influence of Islam throughout Europe, and this too he hopes to accomplish by playing on the fear that resistance to Iran would lead to a nuclear war. And then, finally, comes the largest dream of all: what Ahmadinejad does not shrink from describing as “a world without America.” Demented though he may be, I doubt that Ahmadinejad is so crazy as to imagine that he could wipe America off the map even if he had nuclear weapons. But what he probably does envisage is a diminution of the American will to oppose him: that is, if not a world without America, he will settle, at least in the short run, for a world without much American influence.
Not surprisingly, the old American foreign-policy establishment and many others say that these dreams are nothing more than the fantasies of a madman. They also dismiss those who think otherwise as neoconservative alarmists trying to drag this country into another senseless war that is in the interest not of the United States but only of Israel. But the irony is that Ahmadinejad’s dreams are more realistic than the dismissal of those dreams as merely insane delusions. To understand why, an analogy with World War III may help.
In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush made a promise:
We’ll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.
In that speech, the President was referring to Iraq, but he has made it clear on a number of subsequent occasions that the same principle applies to Iran. Indeed, he has gone so far as to say that if we permit Iran to build a nuclear arsenal, people 50 years from now will look back and wonder how we of this generation could have allowed such a thing to happen, and they will rightly judge us as harshly as we today judge the British and the French for what they did and what they failed to do at Munich in 1938. I find it hard to understand why George W. Bush would have put himself so squarely in the dock of history on this issue if he were resigned to leaving office with Iran in possession of nuclear weapons, or with the ability to build them. Accordingly, my guess is that he intends, within the next 21 months, to order air strikes against the Iranian nuclear facilities from the three U.S. aircraft carriers already sitting nearby.
But if that is what he has in mind, why is he spending all this time doing the diplomatic dance and wasting so much energy on getting the Russians and the Chinese to sign on to sanctions? The reason, I suspect, is that—to borrow a phrase from Robert Kagan—he has been “giving futility its chance.” Not that this is necessarily a cynical ploy. For it may well be that he has entertained the remote possibility of a diplomatic solution under which Iran would follow the example of Libya in voluntarily giving up its nuclear program. Besides, once having played out the diplomatic string, and thereby having demonstrated that to him force is truly a last resort, Bush would be in a stronger political position to endorse John McCain’s formula that the only thing worse than bombing Iran would be allowing Iran to build a nuclear bomb—and not just to endorse that assessment, but to act on it.
Iran should be attacked – as a last resort – before it develops nuclear weapons, former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
"It’s been conclusively proven Iran is not going to be talked out of its nuclear program. So to stop them from doing it, we have to massively increase the pressure.
"If we can’t get enough other countries to come along with us to do that, then we’ve got to go with regime change by bolstering opposition groups… that’s the circumstance most likely for an Iranian government to decide that it’s safer not to pursue nuclear weapons than to continue to do so. And if all else fails, if the choice is between a nuclear-capable Iran and the use of force, then I think we need to look at the use of force," Bolton told the Telegraph.
DAMASCUS, SYRIA—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria last month, and the related question of whether or not the U.S. should formally re-engage this Baathist republic, remains as controversial a topic on the streets of Damascus as it was in the days afterwards among Beltway bloggers. And, perverse as it may seem to some American liberals, it is the Syrians who are most sympathetic to their progressive values who have been most critical of Ms. Pelosi’s attempts to begin a dialogue with Syria’s government.
Many Syrian dissidents and pro-democracy activists have privately expressed dismay at Ms. Pelosi’s message of friendship to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They say that Ms. Pelosi’s visit, no matter how well-intentioned, has effectively pulled the rug out from under them, critically damaging their efforts to create momentum for reform from within.
“Pelosi’s visit made the regime feel that Americans were divided on how to deal with Syria,” said a Damascus-based women’s-rights activist who, like five other activists interviewed for this article, asked that his name be withheld because he feared punishment. “This sends a message to the regime that the pressure is off, that it can do what it likes.”
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People who think the Bush years have usurped freedoms and reversed decades of progress “don’t even begin to know what junta really means nor what it feels like to live in a dictatorship.” Part one of a moving first hand account of the death of the Soviet dictatorship, what came after, and what it means to us today in Iraq.
by Oleg Atbashian
…Yeltsin and his supporters resisted the putsch directly. They barricaded themselves inside the Parliament Building. A human wall made of thousands of Muscovites encircled the white multistoried structure to which they jokingly referred as the White House. I regretted I wasn’t in Moscow but it was not possible to get there. The coup leaders had had enough forethought to suspend passenger transportation in and out of the capital. If they hadn’t the human shields would count in hundreds of thousands, standing in the way of the army to protect their new freedoms. But the army was made of people too; some tank units disobeyed orders and joined the protesters.
Today’s anti-Bush rallies in the U.S. demand the very opposite of what the pro-freedom Soviets rallied for. By advocating for the government control of economy, the ideological monopoly of the Left, and massive redistribution of wealth, American leftists espouse the same ideas as the backward Soviet hardliners – same song, different verse.
These self-absorbed “progressives” don’t want to hear about the strife of the Soviet people who had learned the hard way that these ideas only result in massive poverty and loss of freedoms for everyone involved. In effect, the leftist rallies spit in the face of every victim of communist oppression, living or dead. That count is in the hundreds of millions.
There’s nothing heroic in disparaging democratic institutions, dishonoring the American flag, and carrying placards with anti-capitalist, anti-American slogans pre-printed for them by communist front groups with the money donated by corrupt foreign dictators. The protesters absurdly accuse this free country of being a fascist dictatorship, fully aware that an hour later they’ll be drinking expensive coffee at Starbucks – and not dragged to a political prison and getting their teeth knocked in – a likely prospect for dissidents in the countries whose leaders they idolize.
They may believe their protest leads to more freedom – but freedom can’t be increased by abusing and disparaging it. Objectively, they diminish freedom by providing hope and moral support to dictators, helping tyrants to brainwash their populations, and knocking the ground from under the feet of real fighters for freedom. That makes them a tool in the hands of a reactionary totalitarian ideology. As if supporting communist dictatorships were not enough, “progressive” rallies now also feature slogans backing the Iranian regime that imprisons and tortures its own dissidents.
Every immigrant in this country who had experienced political tyranny understands that true heroism is in standing for freedom and human rights against a real blood-stained dictatorship – not against an America that gives the hope of freedom to all those suffering from tyranny worldwide. Likewise, true journalistic courage is in risking imprisonment or even death for speaking against a real tyrant – not in peddling fabricated documents from a comfortable TV studio in Manhattan with the hope of swinging elections towards a “progressive” candidate.
Just like the corrupt Stalinist apparatchiks, the American leftists will justify anything by invoking the notion of “progress,” which in their Orwellian minds is the opposite of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Their utopian ideal of a benevolent government caring for the unwashed masses is nothing but a modernized version of a feudal lord caring for unwashed peasants. That’s hardly a progress by any standard.
And from Part 2:
…The anti-Yeltsin riots took 187 lives and left 437 wounded. Despite some media reports, none of the “People’s Deputies” responsible for the violence were injured. Two of their leaders were charged and imprisoned, but released in less than a year, after Yeltsin’s standing had become more secure. Another persistent myth was that Yeltsin fired at defenseless and unarmed elected legislature. But the count of weapons confiscated from the rebels included 1,132 rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, pistols, mines, and explosive devices, as well as 196,000 rounds of ammunition.
The Americans with whom I discussed these events were surprised at hearing about the high death toll. They didn’t realize it was this bad, nor had they been informed about the anti-Semitic nature of the riots. It seems the media had failed to do its job, which is strange considering that Moscow was swarming with foreign journalists. As far as I can remember, my personal impressions at the time were that in an attempt to stay objective, the Western journalists chose some questionable middle ground – which made their coverage anything but objective.
Some of the Western journalists were even trying to see the events through the eyes of the attacking mob. They did it even after the deadly assault on the TV Center and the killing of its journalists. They continued to do so even after a rebel sniper shot and killed a British cameraman, even when several other Western reporters were wounded, including a New York Times photographer. For some inexplicable reason they refused to see the irrational nature of the extremists they tried to empathize with. All they seemed to be interested in was, feeding on people’s grievances.
Apparently, in their minds, a fascist must always have a swastika prominently displayed on the sleeve at all times – otherwise he’s just a victim working out grievances. These journalists wouldn’t recognize fascism if it smacked them over the head with a hammer and sickle, which is the Soviet version of swastika. They probably wouldn’t have believed me if I were to tell them that in the twisted minds of these ultra-nationalist maniacs, all Westerners were under the suspicion of being Zionist running dogs working to enslave and destroy Mother Russia. To appreciate just how crazy they were, consider the fact that one of their worst imaginary Zionist enemies was Bill Clinton.
I can’t help but think about this media tendency every time I see a Western journalist trying to explain the mindset of a foreign extremist. Quite predictably they end up with projecting Western biases, including the Bush derangement syndrome.
A memo to Western reporters: the extremists hate you and want to kill you just for that little uncomplicated image of you they keep in their hateful delusional minds – that’s why they are extremists, and you have absolutely no control over that. Spare them your personal struggles and complexes. Anything you say will only reinforce their conviction that you are an agent of the international Zionist conspiracy. The more believable your story is, the more cunning and dangerous agent they’ll think you are.
Under pressure from concerned Western leaders, media, and liberal intellectuals, Yeltsin lifted the ban some weeks later. Whatever the reason for the Western concern was, the criticism was unfair because Yeltsin was known to be tolerant of opposing media opinions and never denied interviews to those journalists who he knew disapproved of his policies, as long as it was a rational and civil discourse.
About three years later, when I already lived in the States, I came across an open letter to Boris Yeltsin, written and signed by the New York Times editors and other leading liberal intellectuals. Printed in large letters across an entire page in the Sunday edition of the New York Times. The letter derided Yeltsin for allowing rabid anti-Semitic publications to exist in Russia and to spread their paranoid conspiracy theories that cultivated ethnic hatred.
Do you ever get the feeling that you don’t know whether you should laugh or find a New York Times editor and slap him silly? The letter named names, giving a list of National-Bolshevik magazines and newspapers – the same ones Yeltsin had banned after the fascist riots but was then forced to lift the ban under pressure from probably the same group of New York Times editors and leading liberal intellectuals who at the time were concerned with the rights of leftist organizations in Russia having no freedom of speech.
The bottom line: a democracy has to be able and willing to defend itself. Otherwise it is going to be destroyed.
On a side note: Atbashian is an Armenian last name. So, he is an ethnic Armenian who lived in Ukraine. Could he be from Odessa, my home town? Since the end of 19th Century Odessa had a large percentage of ethnic Armenian population, the refugees from the Ottoman Empire. Just an interesting coincidence.
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Rudy Giuliani doesn’t care whether the Palestinian government is run by Hamas, which is recognized by the US as a terrorist organization, or Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of Fatah who is regarded by the Bush administration as a moderate.
"Hamas or Abbas, it makes no difference (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit). The ball is in their court, and we just have to show patience and not push any peace process until they do what they have to do," said Mr. Giuliani.
What they have to do, he said, is, at the very minimum, to recognize Israel’s right to exist and to renounce terrorism. Then, he said, Israel and the US should sit back and see if they mean it.
"They don’t just have to say the words. Anyone can say the words. They have to show that they are ending terrorism; they have to show that they are doing what they have to do to end terrorism. I’m a strong proponent of the philosophy that we can trust, but we have to verify," he said. "If all that happens, then it will lead naturally to a peace process, but we have to wait patiently until they are ready to make it happen. And no one should make any concessions to the Palestinians until they take those steps."
Mr. Giuliani told his supporters he was running for President because he believes he understands terrorism better than any other candidate currently running to hold the office.
He pointed out that, as far as he is concerned, Islamist terrorism against the West began in 1972 at the Munich Olympics when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and murdered 11 Israeli athletes.
He said he remembered being appalled when the German authorities, who had arrested some of the terrorists, quickly released them. "They let them go because they were afraid if they did not, there would be more terrorist attacks in Germany," he said, pointing out that many European countries followed Germany’s example.
He found it especially galling, he said, when Italian authorities released the murderers of Leon Klinghoffer, the 69-year-old disabled New Yorker who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists who had hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985.
"The Italians captured the terrorists and then released them two hours later, because they were afraid," said Mr. Giuliani.
As a US Attorney in the Reagan administration, Mr. Giuliani investigated the Klinghoffer case, and, he said, he became convinced that Yasir Arafat personally was responsible for the murder.
Ten years later, as mayor of New York, Mr. Giuliani threw Mr. Arafat out of a concert he was hosting at Lincoln Center (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit) for world leaders who were in Manhattan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UN. "I didn’t forget what he had done to Leon Klinghoffer," said Mr. Giuliani.
Rudy is not shy about taking a stand and does not apologize for it. It’s not just in regard to Israel. Rudy understands the enemy. To be fair, I would feel comfortable voting for 9 out of 10 Republicans in the General Election. (I think I might prefer Hillary to the isolationist Ron Paul, so, if G-d forbid, it will be Hillary vs. Ron Paul, I will not vote for either). But I trust that Rudy will not stop being blunt about what he believes. I also happen to agree with him on pretty much everything, including his stand on abortions (hate them personally, but don’t think the Government should be involved in this issue). So, he is my ideal candidate. Add to it the issue of electability, and my choice become very clear.
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Instead coming up with ideas to help the US Democrats are trying to stop the effort to stabilize Iraq and rescue the Middle East from a catastrophe.
I am an Iraqi. To me the possible consequences of this vote are terrifying. Just as we began to see signs of progress in my country the Democrats come and say, ‘Well, it’s not worth it.Time to leave’.
To the Democrats my life and the lives of twenty-five other million Iraqis are evidently not worth trying for. They shouldn’t expect us to be grateful for this.
For four years everybody made mistakes. The administration made mistakes and admitted them. My people and leaders made mistakes as well and we regret them.
But now, in the last two months, we have had a fresh start; a new strategy with new ideas and tactics. These were reached after studying previous mistakes and were designed to reverse the setbacks we witnessed in the course of this war.
Of course, read it all.
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Remember, there was a movie called "So I Married an Ax Murderer"? Well, this article is called
So I Married a Terrorist . . .
Saraah Olson’s strange trip through the U.S. war on terror
By NICK SCHOU
Thursday, April 19, 2007 – 3:00 pmSaraah Olson and her daughter, Ala. Photo by John Gilhooley
The first time Saraah Olson called the FBI about her husband was on Feb. 26, 1993. At 12:27 p.m. Eastern time, a truck bomb had exploded inside the garage of New York City’s World Trade Center.
While working on a term paper at her Garden Grove apartment, Olson turned on her television and saw coverage of the explosion, which killed six and wounded 1,042 people. She immediately called her husband, Hisham Diab, an Egyptian immigrant and insurance salesman for MetLife whom she had married two years earlier. She reached Diab at his office in Carson, California.
“They blew up the Trade Center,” Olson told him, her voice frantic with disbelief. “They keep saying, ‘The Arabs did it; the Arabs did it. They are blaming Arabs.’” Olson recalls that her husband didn’t seem the least bit surprised.
He uttered exactly two words. “They should,” he said. Then he hung up the telephone.
Olson had been growing suspicious about her husband for several months, ever since Diab had invited a blind Egyptian cleric to stay in their apartment building for three days while he gave inspirational sermons at the local mosque. The cleric, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, would later be charged in connection with the Trade Center bombing. But more than anything, it was Diab’s apparent lack of surprise and cold reaction to the Trade Center bombing that led Saraah Olson to call the FBI.
“I was like, son of a bitch,” Olson says. “What kind of person would say, ‘they should’ unless they know something they’re not supposed to know?”
Immediately after calling Diab, Olson dialed the number of the Santa Ana office of the FBI. A nice-sounding woman answered the telephone and asked how she could help. “I need to give someone some information,” Olson said. “I don’t know who I should talk to. I married an Arab. He’s Egyptian. He’s a friend of the blind cleric. He has some extreme political beliefs, and I just told my husband they blew up the Trade Center and are blaming Arabs, and he said they should. I just think somebody should look into that.”
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First it was Johnny Muhammad, now it was Cho Sueng Hui aka Ismail Ax. Precisely how many mass shooters have to turn out to have adopted Muslim names before we get it? Islam has become the tribe of choice of those who hate American society. I’m not talking about people who grew up as Muslims, confident and secure in their faith, good fathers, sons and neighbors. I’m talking about the angry, malignant, narcissist loners who want to reject their community utterly, to throw off their ‘slave name’ and represent the downtrodden of the earth by shooting their friends and neighbors.
This morning I read that the Virginia Tech shooter died with the name Ismail Ax written in red ink on his arm. The mainstream press doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what this might mean. To quote Indiana Jones, "Didn’t any of you guys go to Sunday School?"
The author is absolutely correct: those who hate America identify with Islam one way or the other. Back when the Soviet Union was around, it was Communism. Now they pick Islamism as their ideology. Many Muslims might not want to be associated with America-haters. But they are not the ones making that choice. America-haters identify with Islam, whether normal people who happen to be Muslim like it or not.
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The title of this post duplicates the title of an article I stumbled upon:
By David Boaz:
…Anti-Nazi movies keep coming out, from Confessions of a Nazi Spy and Hitler, Beast of Berlin in 1939 and on through The Great Dictator, The Mortal Storm, The Diary of Anne Frank, Sophie’s Choice, Schindler’s List, right up to the current Black Book. And many of these have included searing depictions of Nazi brutality, both physical and psychological.
But where are the anti-communist movies? Oh, sure, there have been some, from early Cold War propaganda films to such artistic achievements as The Red Danube, Ninotchka, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Killing Fields, East-West, and Before Night Falls. But considering that National Socialism lasted only 12 years in one country (and those it occupied), and Communism spanned half the globe for 75 years, you’d think there’d be lots more stories to tell about Communist rule.
No atrocities, maybe? Nazis and Brits were vicious, but Communists were just intellectually misguided? Well, that seems implausible. They murdered several times as many people. If screenwriters don’t know the stories, they could start with the Black Book of Communism. It could introduce them to such episodes as Stalin’s terror-famine in Ukraine, the Gulag, the deportation of the Kulaks, the Katyn Forest massacre, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, the Hungarian revolution, Che Guevara’s executions in Havana, the flight of the boat people from Vietnam, Pol Pot’s mass slaughter—material enough for dozens of movies.
Do read it all. I agree, we do need anti-communist movies in order to explain to young people that it really was (and is) a bad idea. But, besides the leftist bias of many Hollywood filmmakers, I think I can guess another reason why there are very few movies about the struggle against another totalitarian ideology of the 20th Century. You see, at least in the former Soviet Union Communism lasted so long, it is very hard to produce a movie with a happy ending. On the other hand, if you take a time frame that encompasses the fall of Communism, the happy end is possible. I hope there will be people that take it up.
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I am very busy at work and have to work on weekends, so I haven’t posted for a while. However, I have a little bit of time now, so this is my attempt to catch up. My first post today is about a fairly old article by Melanie Philips about Saddam’s WMD:
It’s a fair bet that you have never heard of a guy called Dave Gaubatz. It’s also a fair bet that you think the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found absolutely nothing, nada, zilch; and that therefore there never were any WMD programmes in Saddam’s Iraq to justify the war ostensibly waged to protect the world from Saddam’s use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
Dave Gaubatz, however, says you could not be more wrong. Saddam’s WMD did exist. He should know because he found the sites where he is certain they were stored. And the reason you don’t know about this is that the American administration failed to act on his information, ‘lost’ his classified reports and is now doing everything it can to prevent disclosure of the terrible fact that, through its own incompetence, it allowed Saddam’s WMD to end up in the hands of the very terrorist states against whom it is so controversially at war.
Read the whole thing. The evidence that Saddam did have both WMD and research program to create more WMD are overwhelming. Yet, the Bush Administration seems to be quite willing to self-flagellate about being mistaken about their existence. Why? The other day Rush Limbaugh echoed my thoughts on this subject. He suggested that it might be easier for many people in the administration to admit to a lesser screw-up of being too paranoid about the WMD that weren’t really there, rather to admit to much bigger screw-up failing to find the existing WMD, which now obviously got into the wrong hands. Yes, Syria would be those wrong hands.
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It took me a while: I am very busy at work and had to work last weekend. But here it is, my letter to Senator Lieberman that I intended to write since my last post.
Dear Senator Lieberman.
First of all, I’d like to thank you for your steadfast support of our troops and their mission, as well as for your overall support of our war effort against this new totalitarian enemy known as Islamism (different from Islam).
Although I do not live in Connecticut, I write to you as a fellow American and a fellow Jew. Just like previous generations of your family, I am a naturalized American, originally from the former Soviet Union. Having grown up in the former Soviet Union, I have a very special appreciation for this country: I have something to compare it to.
I am now embarrassed and horrified by the actions of the Democratic Leadership in the US Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently stated that the war is lost. He stated this in the middle of the war, while our troops are in combat. This basically amounts to spreading enemy propaganda. People went to jail for things like this at the end of World War 2. Some, like "Lord Haw-Haw", were even executed. So, it is a disgrace that Harry Reid remains in the leadership position of the US Senate. The Democratic Party kicked you out. Ironically, you are the only one who remained true to the ideals of the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy. In fact, it seems that those ideals found their home in the Republican Party of today. By aligning yourself with the modern incarnation of the Party of FDR, the Republican Party, you can change the leadership of the Senate and ensure more effective prosecution of the war against Islamism. I implore you to do just that.
Thank you very much.
On a related note, a commenter to my last post suggested that, since Bush Administration committed numerous blunders in Iraqi Theater of operations, we should just let it go and give up. My answer to that is that mistakes are made in any war. For example, World War 2 was no exception. However, those blunders are certainly not the reason to surrender. Especially, since they did not result in military defeat. They may still result in political defeat, but only if we do give up. I am trying to make my small contribution to preventing such outcome.
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