Hat tip Cyberella
Here’s a “gem” from a blog on the Barack Obama web site.
This person has it all backwards. It was the Jews who stuck out their necks for the blacks in the civil rights movement. Two of them got killed for it. And what do we get? We get Jesse Jackson with his Hymietown comment. We have Al Sharpton, who incited mobs to kill the Jewish owners of Freddie’s Fashion Mart in Harlem, and the “diamond dealing” Jews of Crown Heights. We have Louis Farrakhan who called Judaism a gutter religion, and who called Hitler a “great man.” And most recently, we have B. Hussein’s beloved pastor whose church published a Hamas screed.
OBAMANISM IS THE CURE FOR CLINTONITIS AND MIDDLE EAST STRIFE.
Obamanism is the cure for Clintonitis that has devastated America and I hope Jews all over US rally around Obama and support him to win both the nomination and the Presidency because after he wins, he would help the Jews and Israel as well as settle the Middle East problems.
However, if Jews betray Obama and he loses, Africans worldwide would consider it a betrayal to the whole African people and will never forgive world Jewry.
In retaliation, (eye for eye, remember!) Africa would consider expelling all Jews from Africa who have been mining African Gold and Diamond and enriching themselves for many centuries.
It was African gold and diamond that built international finance, trade and banking that the Jews (Rothschild, Warbug, Rockefeller and others) dominate.
It was African gold and diamond that built Jewish banks and wealth worldwide.
Thousands of years ago, when Jews were starving and nearly perished in Palestine, they took refuge in Egypt, Africa.
If Egypt and Africa did not feed the Jews, perhaps there would be no Jews today.
Jews also took all Egyptian and African science, technology and religious knowledge that have helped them to develop themselves and to get to where they are today: on top of most of the industries and corporations all over the world.
Jews owe Africa and Africans everything they have today because if Africa did not shelter them when they were homeless and starving, they would not be here today.
If Africa did not give them their religion, Judaism and science and technology of the ancient astronaut Anunnaki’s gods, they probably would have not prospered.
If Jews betray Africans by betraying Obama, there would be grave consequences that would shake the foundation of Earth.
Let Jews remember who their best friend is!
Hundreds of years ago during the Inquisition in Europe, the Catholic Church slaughtered Jews in Spain and all over Europe and forced most of them to convert to Christianity to stay alive.
Moreover, during World war 2, Hitler and his Nazi regime gassed and slaughtered them too.
When they escaped to America, they met opposition and discrimination everywhere.
They had to hustle to survive.
Again, Africa helped them by allowing them to continue mining all their gold and diamond.
African gold and diamond are the foundation of the wealth of world Jewry.
Abraham Foxman, we hope you remember that!
The only people who have been nice to Jews have been Africans.
It is now payback time and Africans hope you would not bite the hands that fed you and made you rich and the envy of the world today.
Being sick has its rewards: I have a little bit more time for blogging when I am not miserable. So, when a friend alerted me to an interesting article, I decided to post about it:
By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
The Washington Times | Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Even Americans knowledgeable about Europe’s growing accommodation to the totalitarian ideology known alternatively as Islamism, jihadism or Islamofascism tend smugly to believe the same thing can’t happen here. Think again.
Every day, new evidence appears of similar acts of submission — the Islamists call it "dhimmitude" — on the part of the U.S. government, judges, the press and leading corporations. Eurabia, meet the United States of Amerabia.
On May 4, an ominous alarm was sounded in a Pajamas Media column by Youssef Ibrahim, a former New York Times reporter. Mr. Ibrahim is an astute critic of the Islamists’ steady, tireless and increasingly effective efforts to impose — on Muslims and non-Muslims alike — the repressive theo-political-legal agenda they call Shariah law. He warned that "In the very real war on terror, a noisy squabble over ‘fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here’ clouds a simple truth: namely, that ‘they’ are here already. Indeed, Islamists are busy constructing a wing of jihad in America’s backyard."
Among the most worrisome of the "they" now operating inside the U.S. are various front organizations systematically established by the Islamist organization known as the Ikhwan, or Muslim Brotherhood. During last year’s federal trial of the Holy Land Foundation on terrorism-financing charges, the government introduced into evidence the names of many scores of such Ikhwan fronts. Identified also as unindicted co-conspirators were virtually every one of the most prominent Muslim-American organizations, including notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
May 4, 2008 – by Youssef M. Ibrahim
In the very real war on terror, a nosy squabble over “fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here” clouds a simple truth: namely, that “they” are here already. Indeed, Islamists are busy constructing a wing of jihad in America’s backyard.
A potential audience of one million Arab-speaking cable subscribers of Time Warner in the greater New York area can feast on the Arabic Channel known as TAC to choose a menu that includes:
- A daily dose of Islamic jurisprudence from a sheik — most often Egyptian Amr Khaled, who wears a suit instead of a robe, advocating “peaceful jihad.” He opines on how it is the duty of Arab-Americans to become first, second, and always members of the Muslim ummah. The softness of his jihad-chic demeanor belies its exclusionary message: segregation of Arab-American Muslims from fellow Americans.
- TAC also serves a nightly diet of Syrian TV News, direct from Damascus with Syria’s view of the world. In this diatribe of analysis and disinformation, Iraq is an American butchery, the Zionist regime of Israel is destined for obliteration, and Syria is the greatest gift to the “Arab cause.”
- For entertainment there is a sprinkling of pseudo-historic soap operas about the old Muslim empire of Europe. In Ramadan, the month-long fasting period, this proselytizing is revved up to new levels of intensity, removing footage of belly dancing and other “infidel” joys from the steady fare of old Egyptian movies.
On its website, TAC says it is now 14 years old and serves the “Greater New York City Metropolitan area, including Jersey City, Bergen County, NJ, and Mt. Vernon, NY.”
Again, read it all. And while you are thinking that those people have their 1st Amendment right to broadcast all this stuff which amounts to enemy propaganda, ask yourself this: "Can you imagine German American Bund operating its own radio station during World War 2?"
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One year ago, Automotive DesignLine and EETimes took a Toyota Prius fresh from the dealer and tore it down to see what makes it tick. The resulting series of stories became some of our best read features ever.
Today, with fuel prices continuing to soar, the hybrid cars are selling faster than ever. If you missed them then, or would like a review, here are direct links to features in that series—along with a time lapse video (at the end of the first article) of our crack engineers taking the vehicle apart, and a subsequent take on the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, targeted to debut in 2010.
Enjoy, my fellow nerds.
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Here are some quick links without my comments. Just read them.
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I got this in e-mail from Planet Analog, but unfortunately they did not have this editor’s note on the site, so I am posting it here in full. Many of us know how irresponsible media is. In addition to that, these journalists are also technically illiterate. So, what else is new?
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…Obama must have trusted the media NOT to read Dreams from my Father p.99-100. In it he specifically contrasts his views from those of a bi-racial woman named Joyce who refused to be categorized: (the italicization in the text is Obama’s)
One day I asked her if she was going to the Black Students’ Association meeting. She looked at me funny, then started shaking her head like a baby who doesn’t want what it sees on the spoon.
“I’m not black,” Joyce said, “I’m multiracial.” Then she started telling me about her father, who happened to be Italian and was the sweetest man in the world; and her mother, who happened to be part African and part Native American and part something else. “Why should I have to choose between them?” she asked me. Her voice cracked, and I thought she was going to cry. “It’s not white people who are making me choose. Maybe it used to be that way, but now they’re willing to treat me like a person. No- it’s black people who always have to make everything racial. They’re the ones making me choose. They’re the ones who are telling me that I can’t be who I am . . . . “
In other words Joyce is the person Obama tries to convince us that he is. But she is the person he rejected as a “sellout” in favor of an all out Blackness, the kind which will naturally lead him to Rev. Wright and to Michelle. For this is how he goes on –
The truth was that I understood her, her and all the other black kids who felt the way she did. In their mannerism, their speech, their mixed-up hearts, I kept recognizing pieces of myself. And that’s exactly what scared me. . . . I needed to put distance between them and myself, to convince myself that I wasn’t compromised – that I was indeed still awake.
To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk rock performance poets. . . . At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy.”
He goes on to explain that changing his name from Barry to Barack was part of the choice.
Read it all. Obama is no different than his crazy pastor.
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Here is an interesting technology article:
(04/30/08, 01:00:00 PM EDT)<!–
–>PORTLAND, Ore. — The long-sought after memristor–the "missing link" in electronic circuit theory–has been invented by Hewlett Packard Senior Fellow R. Stanley Williams at HP Labs (Palo Alto, Calif.) Memristors–the fourth passive component type after resistors, capacitors and inductors–were postulated in a seminal 1971 paper in the IEEE Transactions on Circuit Theory by professor Leon Chua at the University of California (Berkeley), but their first realization was just announced today by HP. According to Williams and Chua, now virtually every electronics textbook will have to be revised to include the memristor and the new paradigm it represents for electronic circuit theory.
Admittedly, this kind of stuff is interesting for the nerdy guys like me.
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WHY DOES AHMADINEJAD WANT RUSSIAN TROOPS IN IRAN?
by Amir Taheri
April 25, 2008
Why is the leadership in Tehran anxious to give Russia the right to land troops in Iran?
The question is not fanciful. The Islamic Republic is conducting a devious campaign to prepare public opinion for that eventuality.
The message is relayed through deliberately vague terms that diplomats understand immediately while the general public does not.
The device is to revive two treaties that most students of Iranian history thought were dead and buried long ago.
Why is an administration that pretends it has a mission from the "Hidden Imam" to liberate the whole world keen to give Russia a licence to land troops in Iran?
Obviously, only Ahmadinejad and his associates know the full answer. However, one could speculate that the Khomeinist president has decided that a war with the United States is inevitable. In such a war, the Americans may well seize Iran’s oilfields, an easy target for a surprise attack and a difficult asset for defenders to protect. Once that happens Russia could land troops in northern Iran and then go to the United Nations to ask for a generalized ceasefire and the fixing of a timetable for the withdrawal of "all foreign troops from all Iranian territory." The US would come under global pressure to cooperate with Russia in ending the conflict and paving the way for the departure of foreign troops and the restoration of Iranian sovereignty.
Do read it all. Amir Taheri always provides good analysis. I can add that it looks like the Iranians are trying to pit the Russian troops against Americans. Once again the jihadis are attempting to use the super-power rivalry for their own purposes. And once again they might succeed.
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Well, ACLU is a leftist organization and does not care about real civil liberties. They only get involved in the leftist causes. The same is true for ADL. This is from Jewish Russian Telegraph:
Mark Nystedt, Christian, indefatigable pro-Israel, pro-Jewish activist, was arrested last Wenesday the 30th. He is circulating his story, here in full:
As many of you know, I am an avid advocate for Israel. I have targeted liberal Christian denominations and individual churches that blame Israel and Jews for the hostilities in the Middle East (the so-called Arab-Israeli conflict) and who make excuses for those who wish exterminate Israel and kill Jews (Yesha Arabs, aka Palestinians, Arabs, and Persian/Iranians). This blaming of Israel and making excuses for Israel’s enemies fits the classic definition of anti-Semitism. It is often expressed with phases such as "Israel occupied Palestinian territory" and "Israel Apartheid." The West Bank is Israeli territory occupied by Palestinians, the consequence of Jordan attempting to exterminate Israel in 1967; and Israel is the most respectful nation in the Middle East of human/civil rights of its minority citizens while the misery that Yesha Arabs find themselves is the consequence of their ongoing 60-year struggle to kill Jews and exterminate Israel. Targeted anti-Semitic denominations include the Unitarian Universalists Association, the United Church of Christ, and the Episcopal Church.
My usual advocacy method is to sit on a folding chair in front of an offending church with signage, fliers, and booklets. I listen to the radio with earphones and have a pamphlet in hand offering it silently and seated to those who passby. Last year, 5000 people took fliers. [Occasionally, I will pro-actively hand fliers to pedestrians. Last year, in this mode, 4000 people took fliers.] Targeted offending anti-Semitic churches include: – the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul (138 Tremont Street, Boston, across Tremont Street from the Park Street subway station and where the Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts has his offices), – Old South Church (Copley Square, Boston, UCC, which hosted the Sabeel "Apartheid Paradigm in Israel-Palestine" conference in October 2007 and where Massachusetts Governor and Sen Barak Obama’s northeast campaign manager Deval Patrick attends, Sen Obama is a STILL member of Chicago’s infamous Trinity UCC) – the Unitarian First Parish in Cambridge (Harvard Square across from Harvard Yard), and – suburban Episcopal churches.
On April 30 2008, I was in front of the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul. Obviously, someone in Bishop Shaw’s office called the Boston Police with a complaint about me. An Episcopal Diocese NAG (National Association of Gals) employee was hovering to observe the anticipated events. A Boston Police paddy wagon arrived about 2:30. The officer warned me that protesters had to be mobile/walking and not seated and that if I remained seated that I would be arrested. There is no city ordinance that requires protesters to be mobile and this arbitrary requirement by the Boston Police Department denies me constitutional right to free speech.
On June 11 2007, I was in a similar situation. Then I chose to leave. See my on-line unpublished letter to the Jewish Advocate about the ACLU declining to help resolve this matter (google ‘ACLU anti-Semitism Nystedt‘). The ADL also declined to help as they have programming with the Episcopal Church.
So, when I returned to this location on April 30th, I was fully prepared to suffer the consequence of sitting. I sat and I was arrested for disturbing the peace.
Handcuffed, paddy wagon, booked, and overnight in Precinct 1 cell 7. 5×7 with a metal shelf for a bed. It reminded me of Christ’s tomb except that it had a combo toilet/sink an its walls were made of steal. Fortunately, I wore work boots, one of which doubled as a pillow. Didn’t some ancient Israel prophet sleep with a rock as a pillow? Being in this drum amplified my snoring which great annoyed the lockup’s other guests. I woke up at 2:30AM with the sound of the other lockup guests pounding on their walls. I told the arresting officer that I suffer from sleep apnea and need a CPAP machine. No allowance was made for that medical need. Obviously, I considered guilty upon arrest in violation of the the US Constitution. I was released at 3AM, now May 1st, with a summons to appear at the Boston Municipal Court (Edward Brooke Building, 24 New Chardon Street, West End) at 8:30AM, which I did.
The court got started about 9AM with 200+ cases to be heard. About one-third, with non-Anglo names, were no shows and issued warrants for arrest. A few were continued until lawyers could sort things out. The rest were either bailed or held without bail. My lockup buddies showed up wearing hand and ankle cuffs. About 1PM, my case was called. After 30 seconds of reading my file, the (Assistant?) District Attorney recommended that my case be dismissed. The Judge said "Case dismissed," I said "Thank you," and I left. The few dozen defendants still in court were taken aback.
Now, I am looking for a lawyer to sue the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Episcopal Diocese, and the individuals involved for denying me my constitutional right to free speech, harassment, etc, whatever. Any suggestions, except the ACLU and ADL, would be appreciated.
Thank you for listening/reading. Its been therapeutic writing this.
Mark Nystedt. Haverhill Massachusetts.
Please send ideas on how to help Mr. Nystedt.
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N.C. congresswoman releases 10-point list to tackle radical Islam threats
April 18, 2008 6:45 PM
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick wants America to ”wake up” and stop allowing terrorism to proliferate – and if that means revoking the passport of a former U.S. president or examining the preaching of prison chaplains, that’s what she’s prepared to do.
Here is Myrick’s 10-point plan to tackle threats posed by radical elements of Islam:
1. Investigate all military chaplains endorsed by Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was imprisoned for funding a terrorist organization.
2. Investigate all prison chaplains endorsed by Alamoudi.
3. Investigate the selection process of Arabic translators working for the Pentagon and the FBI.
4. Examine the non-profit status of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
5. Make it an act of sedition or solicitation of treason to preach or publish materials that call for the deaths of Americans.
6. Audit sovereign wealth funds in the United States.
7. Cancel scholarship student visa program with Saudi Arabia until they reform their text books, which she claims preach hatred and violence against non-Muslims.
8. Restrict religious visas for imams who come from countries that don’t allow reciprocal visits by non-Muslim clergy.
9. Cancel contracts to train Saudi police and security in U.S. counterterrorism tactics.
10. Block the sale of sensitive military munitions to Saudi Arabia.
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My older daughter takes figure skating lessons. She’s been a bit lazy lately (she is only 7), so in order to prop up her enthusiasm her coach suggested that she should prepare a short program with music. Her program would have to be only about a minute long, so any musical piece would have to be shortened. In trying to pick music for her I discovered that there is a song that I can listen to over and over, without getting tired of it. I am fascinated by the World War 2 history, so it is not a surprise that this song is from that era. The song is "Bei Mir Bist Du Shein", with lyrics originally written in Yiddish and then translated into English. In English it became a tremendous hit when it was performed by The Andrews Sisters. Of all the versions of this song I think that the Andrews Sisters is the best. Enjoy:
I actually still undecided, whether the Andrews Sisters or Benny Goodman’s version is the best. And here is Al Bowlly’s version, with lyrics addressed, properly, to a girl:
Which one do you like best?
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Russ Vaugn sent me this Old War Dogs link:
TIME Magazine, that bastion of objective news reporting, where journalistic ethics are disappearing even faster than their readers (circulation rates down 17.5% in 2007 from the previous year according to Wikipedia) has trashed an American patriotic icon with its latest cover:
The cover is insulting to all American warriors but constitutes absolute sacrilege to one particular branch of American fighting men. TIME’s clueless, liberal editors may have endeared themselves to Al Gore and his Green Lemmings but they have surely incurred the wrath of a far more formidable green organization, the entire present and past United States Marine Corps, the lean, mean Green Machine.
In this confrontation between boneheads and Jarheads, all I can say is Semper Fi!
There was nothing to excerpt from Russ’s Old War Dogs article, so I just repeated it here. But do go to the original Old War Dogs post because it has more links on this subject. Also, read the whole Investor’s Business Daily article. Just to give you an idea of what I call "in poor taste", here the idiotic picture from the Time Magazine:
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Just like the charge of racism, the charge of anti-Semitism is often leveled falsely against people on the Right. To be sure, there are many anti-Semites on the Right and on the Left, although the anti-Semitism is more prevalent on the Left these days. But such accusations should not be leveled lightly because there is no easy way to disprove them (and it is hard to prove a negative). So, the false accusation of anti-Semitism is just as bad as the false accusation of racism. As a Jew, I have a special responsibility to defend people falsely accused of anti-Semitism, not only because people’s good name should not be smeared, but also because such false accusations prevent the real thing from being taken seriously.
24 January 2008
By Daniel Finkelstein
It happened again the other day. It’s always happening. And I think it is time I said something.
Here’s what goes on. I make a joke to a Jewish friend about that Iranian lecturer who thinks that Tom and Jerry is a Zionist conspiracy thought up by the Jewish Disney corporation. And they reply: “That’s ironic. Walt Disney was an antisemite.”
It is remarkable how many Jews think this.
First, Disney hired Jews, lots of Jews. Disney was not himself Jewish, of course, but the success of his business owed a great deal to a Jew. The bedrock of Disney was Walt’s merchandising partner, the Jewish Kay Kamen, the man who helped make Mickey Mouse into a cult and who once remarked that Disney had more Jews in it than the Book of Leviticus. This was not an accident, occurring against Walt’s wishes. When Harry Tytle joined the studio as a production manager and told Walt that he was half-Jewish, Disney replied: “It would be better if you were all Jewish.”
Second, the supposed antisemite was a frequent contributor to Jewish charities — the Yeshiva College and the Jewish Home for the Aged among them. And in 1955, he was made Man of the Year by the Beverly Hills Lodge of B’nai B’rith.
Third, and most important, is what there isn’t. There just isn’t any serious evidence of antisemitism. And this is not a charge that can be waved about without proof. Jews can enjoy Walt Disney. He was an inspiration.
Read it all. And a message to my fellow Jews: be very careful with leveling the charge of anti-Semitism. There are plenty of real anti-Semite, some of them genocidal. We don’t need the false ones.
P. S. I don’t think I have accused Ron Paul or Barack Obama of anti-Semitism, although both enjoy support of anti-Semites. But I think I was very careful not to level such charges against these men themselves without any evidence, precisely for the reasons laid out in the beginning of this post and in the article I linked to.
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Poland was often called "The First Ally" by the British historian Norman Davies in his book "Rising ’44" about Warsaw Uprising in August of 1944. The Poles stay true to this history of theirs (via Gateway Pundit):
Polish MEPs demand from EU to regard Hezbollah as terrorist organization. It will be easier to invigilate them and monitor their financial transfers in EU – says Konrad Szymański (PiS), on of campaign initiators.
Hezbollach is listed as terrorist organization in US, UK and Israel. Brussels objected such decision so far. Some other organizations, as Council of Europe is against any terrorist lists at all, because people being charged for relations with terrorism do not have possibility to defend themselves. On the other hand experts say that Hezbollah gathers money in EU member states. Last days, Bulgarian parliamentary committee revealed that Bulgarian mafia bosses financed Hezbollah.
Szymanski states, that Hezbollah’s activity destabilizes situation not only in Lebanon or Israel, but also at the whole Middle East. First step of campaign will be debate on forum of European Parliament. Such proposal, signed by 40 MEPs should be filed in coming days.
Dzenkue, pan Szymanski (thank you, Mr. Szymanski).
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David Wurmser is a specialist on the Middle East and served as an advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney until recently. His prior positions included special assistant to John R. Bolton at the Department of State and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Wurmser is the author of numerous influential papers and three books, including Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein (AEI Press, 1999). In 2000, he contributed to the Middle East Forum’s Lebanon Study Group report, "Ending Syria’s Occupation of Lebanon: The U.S. Role," which condemned Syria’s occupation of Lebanon. He received a Ph.D. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Wurmser addressed the Middle East Forum on March 6, 2008 in New York City.
"Iran’s Stake in the Levant"
Mr. Wurmser calls Lebanon a "key battleground between the West as a whole and the forces that seek to drag the Middle East down." The situation in Lebanon must be viewed in the context of the larger conflict in the region, which is becoming far more dangerous. Two years after the Cedar Revolution in March 2005, which was brought on by the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese are still living through a tragedy. The inability to install a new president today is indicative of the situation. It is because of the size and success of the popular demonstrations by the Lebanese, however, that Lebanon has become the focal point of the enemies of the West, namely Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.
Mr. Wurmser focused on the Iranian strategy toward Lebanon, arguing that Iran is undergoing a transformation, not in the direction of reform as the West hopes, but from a pure theocracy toward a "theofascist state on the edge of an even more aggressive foreign policy." This transformation in Iranian politics, according to Mr. Wurmser, is being played out in Lebanon and in Gaza.
Top American officials have made statements to the effect that U.S. and U.N. sanctions have hurt the Iranian regime, and that the support for former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and other figures deemed "moderate" in the December 2006 elections indicated the weakening of the Iranian regime. Mr. Wurmser asserts that this perception is false because it ignores the real indicators. Rather, a new power structure is emerging in Iran that is closely aligned with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For example, Ahmadinejad fired many government officials and replaced them with a group of hard-core members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Mr. Wurmser singled out Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei, whom Ahmadinejad placed in control of Intelligence, who espouses an aggressive anti-Western foreign policy and supports terrorism; and Saeed Jalili, whom Ahmadinejad appointed as head nuclear negotiator for Iran, is a veteran of the IRGC who was mutilated in the Iran-Iraq war.
Mr. Wurmser traced several of Ahmadinejad’s actions to Jalili’s 1990 book, Foreign Policy of the Prophet, arguing that Jalili’s writings, though they describe the time of Muhammad, are a blueprint for Iran today. Jalili cites an episode in which Muhammad told his followers to proselytize, not negotiate. In this spirit, Ahmedinejad has fired ambassadors and replaced them with more proselytizing ones. Jalili wrote about how Muhammad and his successors sent letters out to other tribes telling them to "convert or you will face the sword," as well as to major powers in Byzantium and Persia. Mr. Wurmser linked this to Ahmedinejad’s sending similar letters to President Bush. He pointed out how the "language is lifted straight out of Jalili’s book, and that, in fact, "Jalili is the mind behind Ahmedinejad."
Read it all. It’s important.
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April 7, 2008
I hope Jews Against Obama will forgive for posting this post in its entirety here: there is nothing to excerpt. And I am linking to that site anyway. As for the Jews who vote for Democrats, at least they should know who they are voting for. Although, I suspect that they would vote for a candidate named Adolf Hitler if he had (D) next to his name.
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Back in 1996 and 1997, before John McCain was a presidential candidate or object of media fascination, Michael Lewis followed the Arizona senator around as he campaigned for Bob Dole and worked to reform campaign-finance laws. Lewis’ pieces for the New Republic and the New York Times Magazine portrayed McCain as a passionate, cantankerous, astonishingly honest political character who frequently acted in ways that brought him no political gain. In the recent back-and-forth over whether McCain is a regular politician or a true outlier, we remembered a wonderful moment from Lewis’ 1997 New York Times Magazine profile of McCain, "The Subversive." The passage below comes at the very end of Lewis’ article.
By 7:30 we were on the road, and McCain was reminiscing about his early political career. When he was elected to the House in 1982, he said, he was "a freshman right-wing Nazi." But his visceral hostility toward Democrats generally was quickly tempered by his tendency to see people as individuals and judge them that way. He was taken in hand by Morris Udall, the Arizona congressman who was the liberal conscience of the Congress and a leading voice for reform. (Most famously—and disastrously for his own career—Udall took aim at the seniority system that kept young talent in its place at the end of the dais. "The longer you’re here, the more you’ll like it," he used to joke to incoming freshmen.)
"Mo reached out to me in 50 different ways," McCain recalled. "Right from the start, he’d say: ‘I’m going to hold a press conference out in Phoenix. Why don’t you join me?’ All these journalists would show up to hear what Mo had to say. In the middle of it all, Mo would point to me and say, ‘I’d like to hear John’s views.’ Well, hell, I didn’t have any views. But I got up and learned and was introduced to the state." Four years later, when McCain ran for and won Barry Goldwater’s Senate seat, he said he felt his greatest debt of gratitude not to Goldwater—who had shunned him—but to Udall. "There’s no way Mo could have been more wonderful," he says, "and there was no reason for him to be that way."
For the past few years, Udall has lain ill with Parkinson’s disease in a veterans hospital in Northeast Washington, which is where we were heading. Every few weeks, McCain drives over to pay his respects. These days the trip is a ceremony, like going to church, only less pleasant. Udall is seldom conscious, and even then he shows no sign of recognition. McCain brings with him a stack of newspaper clips on Udall’s favorite subjects: local politics in Arizona, environmental legislation, Native American land disputes, subjects in which McCain initially had no particular interest himself. Now, when the Republican senator from Arizona takes the floor on behalf of Native Americans, or when he writes an op-ed piece arguing that the Republican Party embrace environmentalism, or when the polls show once again that he is Arizona’s most popular politician, he remains aware of his debt to Arizona’s most influential Democrat.
Read it all. Character does matter. This is why I respect and admire John McCain. This is also why I voted for him in 2000 Primary. And this is why I will vote for him in November with absolutely no hesitation, despite whatever political disagreements I might have with the man.
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Back in the 1930s there was a slogan in the Stalin’s Soviet Union: "Komsomol members! Man your airplanes!" So now, similarly to that one, I decided to issue my own: "Engineers – into politics!" Admittedly, this call is not the one I would myself heed. Nor would many of my fellow engineers be likely to do it. Because, although there many problems that need to be solved, and engineers are usually good at solving problems, there is much more to politics than just problem solving:
SAN FRANCISCO — Engineers elsewhere apply their talents to the political sphere, but those in the United States, unfortunately, don’t–and there are no signs the situation will change anytime soon. The overwhelming majority of American engineers choose industry and business, not government or policy, as their rightful place, even as their counterparts around the globe see no conflict between politics and their profession.
Engineers in China are acknowledged as key players in the country’s rapid economic rise. They’re overrepresented in the Chinese Politburo and among government ministers, said William Wulf, president emeritus of the National Academy of Engineering and a professor at the University of Virginia.
Their role on the political stage is a reason for the country’s success. "That’s a real part of why China is doing so well," Wulf said. Lawyers predominate in American government, and while their solutions often address the immediate problems, they don’t give much thought to future implications, he said.
The engineering mindset tends to focus on the long term. When you build a bridge that will be there for 100 years, you have to think about its impact, and its ability to absorb future traffic growth and adapt to new kinds of transport. "A lot of what we’re seeing in China’s astounding growth is that sort of long-term thinking," Wulf said.
There was a time when engineers played a greater role in U.S. public policy. NASA program directors–technocrats in the broadest sense–worked to get funding for the U.S. space program at its inception in the late 1950s. But even that effort doesn’t match the role engineers are playing in other countries, according to Wulf.
"Maybe they were program directors in NASA, but they weren’t in Congress, and you wouldn’t have heard them opining about the economy," he said. If not politically inclined, then what are engineers? In their own words, they’re logical, detail oriented and methodical. The profession attracts those who don’t mind working on their own and who are confident–maybe overconfident–about their own abilities, said Vivek Wadhwa, a Harvard University fellow and professor at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering.
"Common traits of engineers are that they tend to be introverts, they tend to be arrogant, they tend to be proud. That’s the stereotypical engineer," said Wadhwa, a former tech entrepreneur who started his career as a programmer.
Their primary characteristics are a love of detail and the ability to work independently, he said. "You start your career writing code or doing other types of design work. For the first few years, you’re really on your own. It’s not a social profession," Wadhwa said.
In Islamic and developing countries, engineering and medicine are the proven paths to success. Subjects such as social science, psychology or business are considered luxuries, Sahimi said. Drastically different social conditions mean the equation isn’t the same here. The United States has a large middle class, a democratic society and a developed economy.
"In the U.S., people who study engineering have the same characteristics [as engineers in the developing world], but they may not go into politics precisely because of the conditions the U.S. has," Sahimi said.
The view of the profession as a respected path toward success is shared by U.S. immigrants, according to Natalie Forood, a software manager at Ruckus Wireless in Silicon Valley. Forood, who emigrated from Ukraine at age seven, is the daughter and niece of engineers.
Having seen successful women engineers in Ukraine, and with encouragement to do well in math from her EE father, Forood felt confident she could grasp technical concepts. It wasn’t easy, though. Engineers need perseverance, she said. "An important trait in order to succeed in this field is to be persistent, and to work really hard at understanding concepts," she said.
A logical mind and the ability to think ahead are critical. It’s like a chess game, where you have to figure out what you’re going to do based on what your opponent is going to do, Forood said. The abilities to cope with pressure, to focus and to work hard are common personality traits in the profession, she added.
Forood disputed a common criticism made of engineers–that they think in black-and-white and narrowly focus on one solution. On the contrary, engineers collaborate, she said. "What I’ve observed is that people discuss several approaches and come up with the best one," she said.
The stereotype of engineers as more conservative than other professionals is based in reality, though, according to Forood. "By nature, I think most engineers are more reserved and cautious than people in other professions," she said. You don’t see many engineers doing extreme sports, for example, Forood said. They’re aware of the risks and aren’t willing to take them.
Nevertheless, being cautious or introverted shouldn’t stop engineers from playing a role on the larger stage of government, according to NEA president emeritus Wulf. The United States would be better off if they did, he said.
Only been two U.S. presidents, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter, were engineers, Wulf pointed out. The typical engineering attitude to a public-policy issue is, "Oh, that’s not a technical problem, so I have nothing to contribute," he said.
But in Wulf’s view, engineers have expertise in other matters, whether they acknowledge it or not. In one nontechnical area in particular–immigration and visas–engineers have plenty to contribute, he said.
"They have been essentially mute," Wulf said. "The contribution of foreign-born engineers has been profound. Somehow, legal and illegal immigration have been conflated in some people’s minds, and I think it’s just shooting ourselves in the foot."
Other countries benefit from engineers’ brainpower at the public-policy level and the United States could, too, he said. "In reality, they often have a lot to contribute. And in places like China, France and much of Latin America, they do contribute," Wulf said.
Now, at least one of the examples of US Presidents who were engineers suggests that perhaps it would be best if engineers stayed out of politics. And no, I am not talking about Hoover. But then, my grandpa often quoted one of his teachers who would always tell those students who failed a test: "You will never become a good engineer. You might become a Chief Engineer." So, maybe Jimmy Carter falls into that category of engineers. Or maybe he simply did not understand that there are things beyond his control, and there are people who are not rational. Anyway, do read the article.
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The USSR was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. What is the European Union? Quite recently, before the elections in Italy and Austria, it was almost a union of Socialist Republics. The Soviet Union was always very eager to keep its own model of socialism in place and if anyone tried to deviate, they were either invaded or put under enormous pressure. That method was called the Brezhnev doctrine. Now exactly the same has happened in Europe. When Austria deviated from the course of socialism it was ostracised. Milosevic’s socialism was somewhat different from the people in Brussels, so his country was bombed.
How was the Soviet Union governed? It was governed by fifteen unelected people who appointed each other and who were not accountable to anyone. How is the European Union governed? By two dozen people who appoint each other and are not accountable to anyone, and whom we cannot sack. How was the Soviet Union created? By coercion or very often with the military occupation of the Red Army. How is the European Union created? Admittedly not by armed force, but by coercion and bullying, making it impossible for any other country to live outside it economically. It is like a shot-gun marriage. The Soviet Union had in its constitution the right of secession for the constituent republics. It existed for propaganda purposes, particularly as there was no actual procedure and even to talk about it was considered a crime against the territoriality of the Soviet Union. I was amazed to discover that more or less the same situation exists in the European Union. You can enter it but you can’t quit. No one said so far you cannot quit but a procedure is not in place. That seems to be very similar to what I used to know.
The Soviet Union was a very aggressive country; it couldn’t exist unless it spread its own model of socialism further and further. The moment it stopped spreading, it started collapsing and I suspect that the same thing is true of the European Union. Although economically it makes no sense for them to attract more new countries, they impose enormous pressure on the half-developed Eastern European countries and some other European countries like Switzerland to join the union. It seems to be ideological. They used to be told in the Soviet Union that the purpose of its function was to create a new historic entity, the Soviet people. We were supposed to forget our nationalities, our ethnic traditions and customs. Growing up in Russia, you couldn’t tell a Ukrainian from a Russian; it was not supposed to be mentioned, for we were supposed to be one entity. The same seems to be true of the European Union. They don’t want you to be British or French. They want you all to be a new historic entity – European. One of the grand purposes of socialism was always the destruction of the national state. The old belief was that the state would wither away – with some help from them. And that’s exactly what we observe in Europe. The purpose of this agglomeration from Brussels is to absorb nation states, so that they should cease to exist.
Some might say my comparison is not accurate because the Soviet Union was an ideological state and the European Union is a practical, pragmatic arrangement. In reality the European Union today is based on a very firm ideology. It’s a statist ideology involving the preservation of socialism for ever but also the ideology of political correctness, which has become the rule. One might say that the Soviet Union had a gulag, and as long as a country doesn’t have a gulag it cannot be compared with the Soviet Union. I think we already have the beginning of a gulag in the European Union. At least we have an intellectual gulag. When anyone tries to speak his own mind on questions of race or gender, if their views differ from those approved, they will be ostracised, might not be able to occupy a professional job or to publish a book. This is the beginning of the gulag. The Home Secretary has tried to introduce a bill making ‘hate’ speech a punishable offence, something completely contrary to the common law of this country. The Treaty of Nice includes provisions for creating a European Police force which will have enormous privileges, including diplomatic immunity. Can you imagine, a policeman coming to you, beating you, taking whatever he wants, and you can’t even sue him because of his diplomatic immunity ? If you introduce some kind of subversive hate speech into a computer in one country, you might be extradited from your own country without any prior hearings and without any of your rights being defended by local law. I have seen myself how easy it is to lose your freedom and how difficult it is to get it back.
Again, read the whole thing.
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I am talking about Obama’s book. No, I have not read it, and not going to: I know everything I need to know about his positions to not vote for him, even if he did not have racist views. But here is Ann Coulter’s review:
Has anybody read this book? Inasmuch as the book reveals Obama to be a flabbergasting lunatic, I gather the answer is no. Obama is about to be our next president: You might want to take a peek. If only people had read "Mein Kampf" …
Nearly every page — save the ones dedicated to cataloguing the mundane details of his life — is bristling with anger at some imputed racist incident. The last time I heard this much race-baiting invective I was … in my usual front-row pew, as I am every Sunday morning, at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
Obama tells a story about taking two white friends from the high school basketball team to a "black party." Despite their deep-seated, unconscious hatred of blacks, the friends readily accepted. At the party, they managed not to scream the N-word, but instead "made some small talk, took a couple of the girls out on the dance floor."
But with his racial hair-trigger, Obama sensed the whites were not comfortable because "they kept smiling a lot." And then, in an incident reminiscent of the darkest days of the Jim Crow South … they asked to leave after spending only about an hour at the party! It was practically an etiquette lynching!
So either they hated black people with the hot, hot hate of a thousand suns, or they were athletes who had come to a party late, after a Saturday night basketball game.
In the car on the way home, one of the friends empathizes with Obama, saying: "You know, man, that really taught me something. I mean, I can see how it must be tough for you and Ray sometimes, at school parties … being the only black guys and all."
And thus Obama felt the cruel lash of racism! He actually writes that his response to his friend’s perfectly lovely remark was: "A part of me wanted to punch him right there."
Do read it all. And in case someone is quick to dismiss Ann Coulter as a Right Wing firebrand, one of my co-workers actually did read the book. It appears that everything Ann is saying is true.
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When the Pentagon report on Saddams Hussein’s links to terrorism came out not too long ago, the main stream media eagerly reported that Saddam did not have any links to anti-American terrorism in general, and to Al-Qaeda in particular. Well, guess what? MSM lied:
Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that an investigation into over 600,000 documents captured at the end of the invasion of Iraq showed no operational links to al-Qaeda — or at least, that’s how the media reported it. After a strange few days in which the Pentagon delayed the report, it finally hit the internet last night — and it’s clear that the analysis done by the media was superficial at best. If no operational “smoking gun” could be found, the report still shows that Saddam Hussein had plenty of ties to all sorts of terrorist groups, including radical Islamist jihadis.
For instance, how about their support for The Army of Muhammad, a known al-Qaeda subsidiary operating in Bahrain? On pages 34-35 of the report, we find communications between their Bahrain agent and IIS headquarters confirming Army of Mohammad’s loyalty to Osama bin Laden. What is the response from Baghdad?
The agent reports (Extract 25) that The Army of Muhammad is working with Osama bin Laden. …
A later memorandum from the same collection to the Director of the IIS reports that the Army of Muhammad is endeavoring to receive assistance [from Iraq] to implement its objectives, and that the local IIS station has been told to deal with them in accordance with priorities previously established. The IIS agent goes on to inform the Director that “this organization is an offshoot of bin Laden, but that their objectives are similar but with different names that can be a way of camouflaging the organization.”
AoM had ambitious plans — including attacks on American interests. On page 35, the Iraqis list their aims as attacking Jewish and American interests anywhere in the world, attacking American embassies, disrupting American oil supplies and tankers, and attacking the American military bases in the Middle East. The Iraqi support for AoM may not be an operational link, but it’s certainly a financial link that goes right to Osama bin Laden. The Iraqis certainly understood that much, and hoped to keep it quiet.
Read it all on Hot Air. And then spend some time and read the source itself. Note that it’s in PDF format. If this link to report stops working, let me know, and I will upload the whole report: I saved it on my computer. But basically this is the same as with the 9/11 Commission Report. The Commission found the links, and then the media reported that they did not, hoping that nobody will bother to read the thing. Why they keep doing it is beyond me.
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Here is an article by Senator McGovern:
Nearly 16 years ago in these very pages, I wrote that "’one-size-fits all’ rules for business ignore the reality of the market place." Today I’m watching some broad rules evolve on individual decisions that are even worse.
Under the guise of protecting us from ourselves, the right and the left are becoming ever more aggressive in regulating behavior. Much paternalist scrutiny has recently centered on personal economics, including calls to regulate subprime mortgages.
With liberalized credit rules, many people with limited income could access a mortgage and choose, for the first time, if they wanted to own a home. And most of those who chose to do so are hanging on to their mortgages. According to the national delinquency survey released yesterday, the vast majority of subprime, adjustable-rate mortgages are in good condition,their holders neither delinquent nor in default.
There’s no question, however, that delinquency and default rates are far too high. But some of this is due to bad investment decisions by real-estate speculators. These losses are not unlike the risks taken every day in the stock market.
The real question for policy makers is how to protect those worthy borrowers who are struggling, without throwing out a system that works fine for the majority of its users (all of whom have freely chosen to use it). If the tub is more baby than bathwater, we should think twice about dumping everything out.
Health-care paternalism creates another problem that’s rarely mentioned: Many people can’t afford the gold-plated health plans that are the only options available in their states.
Read the whole thing. And remember that Senator George McGovern is a member of the Greatest Generation. All the political disagreements aside, he most definitely deserves our thanks, respect and admiration.
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That is the title of an article about Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang. And it applies perfectly to those leftist idiot of the 1970s:
…Hopelessly incompetent, these terrorists were products of the Left-wing counter-culture of the Sixties, a group who railed against the Establishment and had bonded around casual sex, rock music and the ingestion of massive quantities of illegal drugs.
But despite their inadequacies, they left a trail of destruction and dead bodies in their struggle against the ‘capitalist exploitation’ of workers.
What is most shocking, though, is the support they attracted from the liberal-Left not just in Germany but throughout the western world.
The Baader-Meinhof story is a chilling lesson in the appeasement of terrorism by a Left-wing consensus so blinded by ideology that it glosses over horrendous crimes in support of its cause.
These terrorists were the lethal face of the radical generation who went on to occupy the heights of the liberal establishment across the western world.
In Britain, the Left-leaning universities, the arts, the BBC, and many more institutions are still dominated by survivors of an era whose ideologies – a disrespect for authority, contempt for the family unit, an emphasis on human rights not responsibilities – permeate every facet of our lives 40 years on.
Read it all. And remember them when you see young idiots of today wearing black bandanas over their faces at the leftist demonstrations.
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There are many Conservatives who plan to sit out the election in November. Even now, when it is very likely that the Democratic nominee will be the Socialist Defeatocrat Obama, with all his racist and anti-American ties, rather than pragmatic leftist Hillary Clinton, even now those people are willing to risk handing the Presidency to the Democrats. The damage that Obama’s Presidency will do to this country, even if it is only 4 years, will be so huge that Jimmy Carter will look like Reagan Republican in comparison to this guy. But those purists on the Right keep hoping that after all the damage a new Reagan will come along and somehow will rescue us all. But we still live with Carter’s damage (Iran). And what about Reagan himself? About a month ago there was this great article by Burt Prelutsky on World Net Daily, that only now I got around to posting about:
…But we don’t live in a perfect world so, several months ago, I came out in favor of Rudy Giuliani. My main reason for doing so was that I trusted him to deal in a serious way with our Islamic enemies. Unlike, say, George Bush, who couldn’t say enough nice things about Muhammad’s religion, Rudy didn’t seem to think he had to pussyfoot around the subject for fear of being politically incorrect. In other words, Giuliani made it clear that he was running to become president of the United States, and not the mayor of Dearborn, Mich. Perhaps he made it too clear.
I would have voted for him if he hadn’t bowed out, but that doesn’t mean that if Huckabee or John McCain gets the nomination, I plan to stay home and sulk on Election Day.
I happen to think that people who support Clinton or Obama have a screw loose, but they strike me as being far more rational than my fellow Republicans who are threatening to boycott the election. I can’t tell you how many people have written to me insisting that they’re sick and tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. I understand that they’re trying to convey their frustration, but I can’t help sniffing the undeniable stench of self-righteousness.
It’s as if they’re unaware that politicians are human beings, and not God. They’re people just like the rest of us, I point out, comprised in part of ambition, greed, arrogance and vanity, not to mention, on occasion, integrity, courage and even altruism. Let’s face the facts, ladies and gentlemen – even those politicians we agree with also want to ride in well-guarded limousines and fly on Air Force One, have everybody stand up when they enter a room, be able to give tongue-lashings to senators and congressmen, have "Hail to the Chief" as their theme song, and never ever have to press one for English.
If there’s a single thread that runs through the e-mails I receive from peevish Republicans, it’s that none of the current candidates possesses the conservative purity of Ronald Reagan. One could almost get the idea that Dutch was betrayed by Pontius Pilate and crucified on Calvary. But that wasn’t exactly the case. The fact of the matter is that Gov. Reagan gave Gov. Jerry Brown a run for his money – or should I say our money? – when it came to raising taxes here in California. But, in spite of the additional revenue, he was responsible in large part for the streets of our cities being turned into public latrines by the unwashed, the unwanted and the insane when, to save a few bucks, he oversaw the closing of California’s mental hospitals. He also signed the nation’s most liberal abortion bill. Although he had a change of heart a scant six months later, one never hears him condemned for flip-flopping on the issue.
And, lest we forget, as president, he opened the floodgates to illegal aliens by signing an amnesty bill in the mid-’80s and, for good measure, appointed Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court, neither of whom was the answer to a conservative’s prayer. Frankly, as admirable as Reagan was in so many ways, I suspect that if he were seeking the GOP nomination this year, he’d be dismissed as a RINO by many of the party’s zealots.
These are the nine men and women who have the final word on everything from abortion to eminent domain, and you’re going to let some left-winger make the call because you don’t like John McCain as much as you do Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee as much as Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Ron Paul or Duncan Hunter? If so, you really ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
The way I see it, before boycotting the general election, you owe it to your country just to suit up, play your heart out and win this one for the Gipper.
Read it all. I happen to agree with Mr. Prelutsky 100%.
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A while ago I posted about an article comparing suppression of Nazi resistance in post-war Germany and current counter-insurgency operations in Iraq. Today Sultan Knish provides some more information on this comparison:
While liberals commonly scoff at the comparison between WW2 and the Iraq War and prefer to dredge up their inevitable Vietnam references with even some conservatives joining in, the reality is that there is far more overlap between WW2 and the Iraq war than many realize.
Part of the problem is that most people have bought into the Spielbergized image of WW2 as a clean war with a clear enemy and for which victory brought a clean end. But the reality was quite different.
During the US occupation of Germany, American forces faced threats on two fronts. First the various elements of the Nazi party and particularly the SS, analogous to the Baathists in Iraq, also formed underground organizations with the aim of carrying on an active insurgency against America. The most famous of these was Operation Werewolf which functioned much like the original Sunni resistance did. In fact Saddam Hussein may have derived his plan for the Sunni resistance from Operation Werewolf. The irony then would be that both the US and the Baathists were replaying a modified version of a WW2 endgame with some tactical improvements.
Take your time and read the whole Sultan Knish’s article. Then go and read the article he linked to, comparing the Iraqi insurgents and Nazi Werewolves. Sultan did something even more incredible. I’ve heard many time that reporting about post-war Germany was just as defeatist and biased as the reporting today about Iraq. I might have even wrote about it myself. But I have never been able to find any actual articles from the late 1940s. Well, Sultan Knish did find just such an article:
…The lieutenant has been talking about the traffic in Army property, the leaking of gasoline into the black market in France and Belgium even while the fighting was going on, the way the Army kicks the civilians around, the looting.
“Lust, liquor and loot are the soldier’s pay,” interrupts a red-faced major.
The lieutenant comes out with his conclusion: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” You hear these two phrases again and again in about every bull session on the shop. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and “Don’t think I’m sticking up for the Germans, but….”
The troops returning home are worried. “We’ve lost the peace,” men tell you. “We can’t make it stick.”
A tour of the beaten-up cities of Europe six months after victory is a mighty sobering experience for anyone. Europeans. Friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face and tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an American. They cite the evolution of the word “liberation.” Before the Normandy landings it meant to be freed from the tyranny of the Nazis. Now it stands in the minds of the civilians for one thing, looting.
You try to explain to these Europeans that they expected too much. They answer that they had a right to, that after the last was America was the hope of the world. They talk about the Hoover relief, the work of the Quakers, the speeches of Woodrow Wilson. They don’t blame us for the fading of that hope. But they blame us now.
Never has American prestige in Europe been lower. People never tire of telling you of the ignorance and rowdy-ism of American troops, of out misunderstanding of European conditions. They say that the theft and sale of Army supplies by our troops is the basis of their black market. They blame us for the corruption and disorganization of UNRRA. They blame us for the fumbling timidity of our negotiations with the Soviet Union. They tell us that our mechanical de-nazification policy in Germany is producing results opposite to those we planned. “Have you no statesmen in America?” they ask.
Do read it all. This is indeed incredible. You replace the word "Germany" with "Iraq", and the date of the article could be 2008 instead of any time between 1945 and 1949. Ironically, this gives me even more hope: despite the leftist defeatism we will succeed, just like we did in the late 1940s. And it also shows just how idiotic the leftist media is.
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I am joining the long list of bloggers posting the film "Fitna" produced by the Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders. Undoubtedly, my readership is nothing compared to big blogs like Little Green Footballs. So, why am I bothering with this? Here are the reasons:
1. The more people see it, the better;
2. Out of solidarity with the other bloggers;
3. My way of saying "Screw you!" to the jihadists.
So, here it is (below).
Update – 3/28/08, 11:00 p. m.:
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.
We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
Meanwhile, I am replacing the 2-part Youtube video with one complete Google video below. Let’s see how it works. And to the jihadists: take your jihad and shove it up your ass!
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Last Monday Barack Obama gave his speech on race. On the Left people continue to view him as a Messiah, while on the Right people continue saying how inadequate it was. The speech seems to fail to convince anyone of anything. Rather, Obama’s support is dwindling after vile rants of his pastor were revealed. I heard parts of his speech while I was driving to work. It did sound good. And, ironically, Obama seemed to be saying: "Enough already talking about racial origins of people". At least, it seemed that way to me. I would never vote for someone like Obama based on his policies, but I could not care less about his race.
So, I started to think: "Is it fair to judge Obama by his associations?" I started thinking about people I know. Some of them harbor mistrust of Black Americans bordering on racism. Others suspect every non-Jew of being anti-Semites. I don’t hold either of these views, so I don’t think I should be judged by the views of those people. But then I realized something. Those people I know would not be able to promote those views in my presence without me arguing against them. And if they would sound as vile as Obama’s pastor, they would not be able to maintain their relationship with me. When I was looking for a Hebrew School for my older daughter to attend, I actually looked for the one I would be comfortable with. So, in my case, I ended up with Chabad, even though neither my wife nor I are religious, because any Reform Congregation would likely be, in the words of Michael Medved, "Democratic Party with candles". Furthermore, if a rabbi in my synagogue would ever say anything even remotely close to the kind of crap spouted by Obama’s pastor, I would never set my foot in that particular temple again, and my daughter definitely would not be attending Hebrew School there. I would never allow my kids to be exposed to that kind of crap. So, I guess, in my case, I really should not be judged by the views of the people I know.
But what about Obama? For 20 years he sat there and listened to this stuff. He picked this church, the church that reportedly Oprah Winfrey left, presumably because she would not stand for this crap. He was married there and allowed his kids to listen to his pastor as well. Some pundits on the Right are quick to say that, while they don’t accuse Obama of sharing his pastor’s views, they want an explanation of why he listened to Rev. Wright for 20 years. That is political correctness at its worst. I will not sugar-coat this. I suspect Obama of sharing anti-American, anti-Semitic and racist views of Rev. Wright. There are telltale signs of just that: his wife’s being ashamed of this country, his refusal to wear an American Flag lapel pin etc. The fact that he kept coming to that church for 20 years can be most easily explained by the fact that he felt comfortable listening to his pastor’s rants. There is no real way around it. And so, there you have it: we have a Presidential Candidate from a the Democratic Party who very likely hates this country, or at least finds the views of his pastor justifiable. Thus, I am not judging Obama by his association with his racist pastor. Rather, I am judging Obama by his own views that allowed him to call Rev. Wright his mentor. And those views are disgusting.
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Yesterday we visited out friend in Los Angeles. Her little girl is the same age as my older daughter, and she had a birthday party, so we went there. After the kids’ party we went to our friend’s house. Later in the evening her parents came over. We were sitting there and talking about life, politics, history etc. And in the course of the conversation my friend’s father told me a story, his story. It was a story I’ve heard before. No, not from him. But I’ve heard similar stories about members of my own family and about members of my wife’s family. I’ve read stories like this many times. Yet, when someone who lived through this and tells you about it is someone you know, someone sitting next to you at a dinner table, that tends to affect you much more…
My friend’s family is from Berdichev, a small town in Northern Ukraine. Her father, Mr. K., was 4 years old when the Nazis entered the city in the early July of 1941. The Jews comprised a very large percentage of the population, perhaps even a majority: the city was historically a shtetl and a center of the Jewish life in Ukraine. The city’s male population of military age was in the Soviet Army fighting the Nazis, including Mr. K’s father. The rest of the Berdichev’s Jews did not have time to evacuate and frankly did not think it was necessary. You see, Berdichev was already occupied by the German Army once before, in 1918. Back then the relationship between the Jews and the Germans was quite friendly. There were Jews in the German Army, and the Germans of 1918 preferred to deal with the Jews: Yiddish is close enough to the German language, so they simply could communicate easily. But in 1941 things were different.
According to Mr. K’s recollection, around mid-September of 1941 the Jews of Berdichev were rounded up and brought to the square in the center of the city, ostensibly to be moved somewhere. Mr. K was there with his mother, his 6 years old older brother and his 2 years old younger brother. His grandparents were also there. The rumor had it that those with the little kids would be left alone, and so Mr. K’s mom sent his older brother to be next to the grandparents. Soon Mr. K’s mom sensed that something was not right. She told her parents that she had a feeling they they were all going to be shot. So she decided to make a run for it. She picked her youngest one up, took Mr. K’s hand and told her oldest to keep running with her and not to stop no matter what happens. They ran. The Germans were shooting at them, but they kept running. Finally they got away far enough and hid in some orchard. Mr. K’s older brother was not with them. They have never seen him again. Perhaps he was hit while they were running. They were recaptured later that day, but by that time the Nazis were done with murder for the day. As they were recaptured, an auxiliary policeman from the locals hit Mr. K’s mom in the shoulder with his rifle butt. Ironically, a German officer intervened. They were brought to the market place and placed in a line with a bunch of other Jews they thought were recaptured like them. But it turned out that those people were the ones who had some skills deemed useful by the Germans: tailors, cobblers, jewelers, dentists etc. Amazingly, all those people were released for the time being. Mr. K with his mom and the little brother came back to their apartment. They hoped that the oldest kid might come there if he was alive, but he was not there. The apartment was already looted. The only thing left there was Mr. K’s father’s green army-style wool blanket. So, Mr. K’s mother said: "That’s it, we have to get out of Berdichev". They picked up the blanket and left. They figured that the further away from the city they get, the better chance they would have to survive. The Germans and the local collaborators would be further away: they tended to stay closer to the city. And the locals would be nicer.
They moved from one village to another for over 2 years, until the liberation. Mr. K’s mom could sew, and so they would stay with people in a village until she would sew clothes for them. Then the peasants would ask them to leave and go somewhere else. You can’t blame those peasants for that: hiding a Jewish family in occupied Ukraine was extremely dangerous. If discovered, the Jews had a chance of being sent to a camp: still some meager chance of survival. But people hiding them would likely be shot on the spot, the whole family. So, Mr. K with his mother and brother had to move around. In the summer they hid in the farm fields, and in the winter people hid them in their houses. They survived. When the Soviets came back, it was still a liberation: as bad as Stalin’s regime was, it was better than the Nazis. In 1944 they got that telegram dreaded by every soldier’s family: Mr. K’s father was killed in action.
So, there were only 3 people left out of a pretty large family: Mr. K, his little brother and their mom. They survived, thanks to Mr. K’s mother’s resourcefulness and her will to save her children. As for those Ukrainian peasants that hid them, there are no words to express my gratitude. Clearly, Mr. K’s mom’s sewing was very meager compensation for the risks they took. It had to be their simple humanity that prompted them to save this mother with her 2 young kids. I hope those people had long and happy lives.
In this country among Jews Ukrainians often regarded as universally anti-Semitic. There is some truth to it: from the time of Bogdan Khmelnytsky anti-Semitism was rampant in Ukraine. But there were people who were willing to risk their lives to save other human beings. They sometimes might bad-mouth Jews and even call them derogatory names, but they would still save them. In fact, I knew people like that.
This is history. But how is it relevant now? Well, for starters, there are some nuts that insist that Mr. K’s story never happened. And my and my wife’s family members were not murdered. Those nuts want the world to believe them, rather than Mr. K. They don’t want the world to believe the stories my grandpa told me. There is one nut in Iran that accuses Mr. K of lying, while he himself wants to acquire weapons to make it happen again. Look at this video that Judith Klinghoffer sent me:
While you are watching, pay close attention to those "salutes" so loved by Islamo-Fascists. And, to refresh what you saw, take another look at the pictures in this article of mine. There quite a number of people in the world that want to repeat Mr. K’s story once again, only this time ensuring that there are no survivors. To this I say:
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An Arab terrorist infiltrated Jerusalem’s Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva at around 8:30 Thursday night and murdered eight Jews. At least 10 students were wounded, including five in serious to critical condition.
Five of the dead were high school students in Merkaz Harav’s Yeshiva LeTze’irim, and three studied in the upper-school Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva.
I should have warned you: it’s graphic. The idiotic leftist media keeps talking about a "cycle of violence". Of course, there is no "cycle": as soon as the bastards leave the Jews alone, the violence will stop. Of course, those Nazis will not stop:
10:05PM: Abu Abir, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees:
“The only way that Israelis will have security is to get up and leave Palestine. All Palestinians will chase after every last one; we won’t leave them space to bury their dead. This is the first of many acts that the Palestinian resistance promised and started to carry out.”
I have an idea: let’s negotiate!
And so, we have to kill them before they kill us. But here are the differences between this latest school shooting and a bunch of recent school shooting in America:
1. This one was undisputedly an act of terrorism, rather than possibly violence perpetrated by a disturbed individual.
2. Unlike, say, in the case of Virginia Tech massacre, the number of victims of this shooting was limited, thank G-d and a guy named Yitzhak Dadon:
The part-time yeshiva student who first shot the terrorist, 40-year-old Yitzchak Dadon, said he was in the Yeshiva’s study hall when he heard the shots. "Everyone left through a side door," he said, "and I left through a window, and lied down on a roof overlooking the library… When he came out, I shot him in the head twice. I saw him start to stagger, and then David Shapira [a yeshiva graduate and paratroopers officer] arrived on the scene, shot him with his M-16 rifle, and then we emptied our magazines into him."
A good guy with a gun saved lives! What a concept! But of course the anti-gun leftist idiots would take away Yitzhak Dadon’s gun, so that piece of shit Nazi would be able to go hunting for Jewish teenagers unopposed. I also would not be surprised if some idiot calls for investigation of why Dadon and the other guy emptied their magazines into the terrorist. After all, that surely was a violation of his civil rights.
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Hi Eric, I think you are trying to use me to make a point that isn’t there. I’ve never seen any of these photos before and have nothing to say about them. I’ve made it very clear that I believe the Holocaust was one of the most horrific events in history. Now if that’s anti-Semitic, we have done a 180! Believing that the US needs a different, more just distribution of wealth is not an endorsement of Hitler.
I find your list shallow. And as for etymology, take the word gay. Now there’s a 180! Unless, of course, you think homosexuals are the world’s happiest people.
Now find somebody else to misquote and argue with. I have more important things to do than worry about your misunderstandings of racism in this country. You are so hung up on being Jewish, which is a fine thing to be, that you don’t recognize suffering in others.
Write all the open letters that you want, but this is my final answer. For what I believe, see my blog.
And having three copies of the same thing on the web won’t make it any more right.
So, nothing to say about those photos? Helen hasn’t seen the photographs of the Palestinian policemen and Hezbollah rising their right hands in Nazi salute prior to me showing her these photos. And because of that she has no comments. That is an iron-clad logic. Here they are, those pictures, in the post below, 2 of them with working source links! And she still can’t comment. To be perfectly honest, I did not expect an instant denunciation of the Palestinians or the leftist support for them. Something like "Wow!", or "Oh, my God!", or "I am shocked, I did not know!" would have been enough for me. You know, a mild expression of shock and outrage. But instead, she has nothing to say. And because I point out that the islamo-fascists are in fact the modern-day Nazis, because I point out the similarities between the Left and National-Socialism and because I point out the Nazi-like anti-Semitism often found on the Left, because of that I am too hung up on being Jewish. By the way, to answer another of Helen’s comments, Judaism is a religion, but "a Jew" is an ethnic definition. Jews have their own language and distinctive physical characteristics, Southern European or Middle Eastern, to be exact. Thus, in countries like Russia we are quite easily identified by the way we look, for example by my big nose. So, anti-Semitism of European kind has much more in common with racism than Helen could ever imagine in this great melting pot called America. But Helen would never know these details, because in a stereotypical leftist fashion she does not want facts to bother her, if those facts contradict her leftist views. Rather than confronting unpleasant facts, it is much easier to just say: "I have nothing to say". Dennis Prager often says that being on the Left means that you never have to say "Sorry", or change your views for that matter. He is right, of course. After all, if you are on the Left, your intentions are good. Who cares about facts or results!
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Some time ago I engaged in an argument with a nice leftist lady named Helen. The argument started in the comments section of the Bookworm blog post on the issue of racism and continued on this blog and Helen’s blog. In the course of this very civil argument I suggested to Helen that she might find my "Reclaiming the Terms" article interesting. She did read the article. At first she commented that she will write more later. I’ll take a liberty to offer her second comment here in its entirety:
After reading this again, Eric, I really don’t have much more to say. Etymology is an interesting field. But I do think it’s part of the reason the term “progressive” came into being. What you learned when you studied English has changed. All languages are living, dynamic, or else dead, like Latin. As times change, so does language. There are those who are mad because homosexuals use the term “gay.” They have to do what you have to do: Get over it.
It’s been a while, but it is time to respond.
It is a pity that you don’t have anything to say. Because unfortunately you missed my point entirely. What I said about English being my second language was meant as sarcasm. The article has nothing to do with etymology. You are right, the meaning of words often does change over time, but never to mean something 180 degrees opposite to the original meaning.
So, it is a pity that you don’t have any comments. I was especially eagerly awaiting your comment on so-called "liberal" support for those "saluting" Palestinian policemen. Let’s see that photograph again:
The link to the original Reuters page does not work any longer. But this Time Magazine link still does:
I call this photograph "Hezbo-Jugend", similar to "Hitler-Jugend. This one still works as well:
Here is the link directly to this last image. So, do you have any comments on the "liberal" support for these people?
You say that the meaning of words changes over time. Fine, let’s recap the meaning of the word "Liberal" in the modern sense, as you understand it.
1. Government-enforced redistribution of wealth, i. e. socialism.
2. Government-enforced limitations of speech, i. e. hate speech laws, political correctness etc.
3. Awarding of privileges based on race and ethnicity, i. e. Affirmative Action.
4. Support for racist organizations like "La Raza".
5. Support for the outright Nazis – see the photographs above.
6. Support for euthanasia, like in the Terri Schiavo case.
How do you like my list of "liberal" positions so far? In addition to this list you can also often find pretty wild anti-Semitism on the Left. In fact, 65 years ago there was a government that pretty much held all those positions. They even used that "salute", now appropriated by the Palestinian Arabs, those darlings of the Left. And, if you look at the videos of Obama rallies, they will remind you of those documentaries from 1930s Germany. So, there is only one more step that remains for the Left: to raise its collective right hand forward and repeat after those Palestinians: "Sig …"
I sincerely hope that you will have something to say, especially about those photographs.
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A commenter on the mirror site of this blog expressed a disagreement with my previous post on Feel-good racism. The comment was polite, but for some reason unsigned, which is very annoying. Nevertheless, it deserves some answers.
Whenever the subject of racism in America comes up, the Left laments on how bad it is, while the Right points out all the progress in inter-racial relations, while admitting that racism still exists. So, let’s agree what we call "racism". If racism means feeling of prejudice on the part of ignorant individuals toward other than their own racial or ethnic groups, then it does exist. There is no real way to combat this, other than point out the idiocy and irrationality of such prejudice. But if racism means prejudice practiced by the government or societal institutions, then it most definitely hasn’t been around for many years. Additionally, if racism is denying privileges or awarding privileges to certain groups based on their racial or ethnic backgrounds, then Affirmative Action is, in fact, racist.
Let’s get back to the subject I am more familiar with because of my own background: anti-Semitism. There are certainly anti-Semites in this country, plenty of them. Those who doubt that can go read any of the leftist blogs and find there plenty of ugly Nazi-like comments or posts. But anti-Semitism as an institutional or government practice does not exist.
The anonymous commenter said something about what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf. I doubt very much that he/she ever saw, let alone read Mein Kampf. For the record, I haven’t read it either. So, I am not going to attempt to quote from that crap. But I get very annoyed by people who heard something from somebody and then try to present it as fact. So, I don’t know what Hitler wrote. I do know, however, that Jews and Gypsies were targeted for extermination, not immediately after he rose to power, but later during the war.
The anonymous commenter wrote that it does not matter if some Black kids don’t perform in colleges, as long as they have a chance to go to college because of Affirmative Action. But in fact, it does matter. Perhaps it would be better if the kids from bad schools were offered preparatory courses in colleges, prior to attending regular classes. Interestingly enough, there was something like this in the old Soviet Union. That one of the very few things that were actually good there. Shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution they instituted so called "workers’ faculties". They were created precisely in order to prepare those who were underprivileged for college. My grandpa attended one of those. Later preparatory courses were offered to those who entered college after military service, since they often forgot the stuff they learned in high school. The inner city predominantly black schools are worse than suburban schools not because of some racist conspiracy, but simply because of poverty. I am sure there are predominantly white schools in small Midwestern towns that just as poor.
The Jews never had any Civil Rights movement in this country. They simply overcame the discrimination based on merits. The same could be true for the Black people. Any rational employer will hire the most qualified applicant for the job at the lowest possible price. Those employers who inject other considerations will simply lose in the market place.
I don’t care about people’s color. Neither do my kids. Why does the Left try to force me to pay attention to those irrelevant physical characteristics?
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Chronic Warrior Syndrome
One of the things I’ve come to love about writing for the Internet is the new friends I make whose perception sometimes make me smack my forehead in wonder that in all my years some insight they easily offer up had so completely eluded me until now. One such is a jarhead, and believe me, as an old paratrooper, I use that term with respect and brotherly affection. Old Leatherneck, Troy Watson, introduced me to the concept of Chronic Marine Syndrome, which as best I can determine is the inspiration of retired Marine Corps Brigadier General, Mike Mulqueen.
Reading the list of symptoms associated with Chronic Marine Syndrome, I realized quickly that the New York Times and other mainstream media organizations have been right all along that those who serve their country, and especially those who have actually fought in their country’s service have most likely developed a syndrome which, considering the moral fiber of the mainstream media and the nation of sheep they seek to form and lead, could accurately be categorized by them as pathological.
Russ also wrote in his e-mail to me that he would like to have a requirement of at least 3 years military service as an admission requirement for all the journalism schools in the country. That seems like a good idea to me, at least for those who cover the military and foreign affairs. So, do read the whole thing, either here or here. Enjoy! And while you are at it, be sure to visit this fine site: http://www.e27marines-1stmardiv.org/.
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I especially like the caption:
(AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)
Can someone in the media call this "salute" what it really is? Can it be any more clear that these are the Nazis of our time? Note that the link to the original picture works for now, but I saved the picture, just in case the link goes away.
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As an engineer, I get a bunch of professional newsletters. While most of the articles are of interest to high tech. professionals, some are interesting to the general public. So, I am going to make the articles that are interesting to the general public a regular feature of this blog. So, here are some articles from the site called "Planet Analog".
The world of analog engineering is the polar opposite of the way that politicians and pundits operate, and that’s why engineers don’t fit into that public realm
Its political season here, and the media (both old and new) are filled 24/7 with politicians, pundits, and consultants who are analyzing, assessing, and forecasting. I’m so sick of the meaningless energy dissipation that I have pretty much shut off the TV and radio, and restricted my web sites and surfing time severely.
It’s not that I am not interested in these elections in themselves; no doubt, they are important. But when I see the typical behavior and messages of the players, I get major mental aggravation.
Why? First and least offensive is their "spin", putting as good an interpretation on the facts as possible. It’s like the old joke about a race: "our guy came in second, while your guy only came in next to last"–but you don’t mention that it was just a two-person race!
Second, and more offensive, is the smooth way these people evade questions asked. Imagine your project manager asks, "hey, did you get that dissipation under budget?" and you answer "that’s a good question, but instead I’d like to point out that we did get the speed up 20% above plan."
Finally, there’s the absolute ease with which these people make predictions and then have no shame or contrition when they are repeatedly wrong. Instead, it’s just on to the next prediction. If you modeled system performance and were off by 50%, you’d not only try to figure out why, you’d likely hesitate before making your next bold statement.
This behavior is very far removed from the non-software world of analog designers. When a vendor gives you a sample part and data sheet, you should be able to get the part to do what the data sheet says (assuming you have the proper test setup and expertise). There’s no facile, glib suggestion to "ignore our 90 dB SNR claim, but look at that dissipation, and we promise an uncommitted internal op amp, maybe by next quarter."
This article is absolutely correct, from my perspective. Here is another one that I agree with completely:
Commentary: Maybe ‘they’ should study some science instead?
Feb 01, 2008 (3:32 PM)
Once again, engineers are being asked to spend more time studying the liberal arts ( "Engineering schools strive to serve up Pinter with Planck). Frankly, I’m tired of hearing this proposition, and it’s not due my disinterest in non-science subjects: I’d be happy to discuss Greek philosophers, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and William Shakespeare with anyone out there.
First, I see nothing other than anecdotal evidence that such purportedly well-rounded engineers will be better at their jobs than those who focus their studies on science and engineering. Second, as the clich goes, there are only so many hours in the day, and if you take time to study one thing, you’ll have to give up something else. The concern I hear from engineers and scientists at all levels is that there is already so much to know in their field that they are remiss at keeping up with even associated topics. Even more annoying, every time I hear some interest group with an agenda say something like, "Doctors should study more about nutrition/geriatrics/eating disorders, etc.," all I can say is, "OK, sounds good, but what would you have them not study, then?"
I am tired of the presumption that it’s the engineers who need to become "well rounded." The typical engineer has broader knowledge and interests than the average non-engineer, in my experience. Then look at the abysmal understanding the public has about basic science and engineering topics; it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. These are the same people who call upon the technical community to solve every problem quickly, painlessly, and without tradeoffs. Tell me: Who needs to learn more about the other side of life?
The split between the technical and the non-technical communities is not a new story. It was discussed widely even in the 1950s by physicist and novelist C.P. Snow, in his essays such as "The Two Cultures," among others. Since that time, the divide he deplored has become even more dramatic than he foresaw, as technology’s advance has accelerated while the understanding of it by the public which consumes it has declined.
There are many reasons for this decline, including the sheer complexity of today’s technologies, a lazy and jaded public, and the dumbing down of education (have you seen today’s high-school chemistry labs?), to name a few. But the basic principles of science and engineering are still vital and unchanged (force, power, gravity, the list could go on and on). Why should our community accept the premise that it is we who need to learn more about that non-technical side, rather than the other way around?
This "well rounded" BS always annoyed me to no end. Meanwhile, there are people who can’t cope with a simple task of programming their VCRs and have to call a handyman to replace a light bulb. This reliance on "experts" will doom us all. Here is another article that illustrates exactly this point:
The 2007 holiday gift-buying season again brought a major step-up in the sophistication and complexity of consumer goods. The technology embedded in these products is nothing short of astounding. As Arthur C. Clarke wrote in "Profiles of The Future": "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
But there’s a worrisome aspect to all this magic in a box. The very complexity of the technology makes it less necessary that users understand it. For example, today’s cars are much more reliable and easier to drive than earlier cars (Choke? What choke?), but they are also much more difficult to fix, unless you are trained and have specialized equipment and documentation. The good news, in theory, is that you no longer need to understand how the car works to keep it running; the bad news is that you couldn’t do much even if you wanted to.
This reminds me of a "cargo cult," a term originating with a story of Pacific Ocean islanders in WWII who built dummy replicas of radios, antennas and microphones, then called for the planes to land with their cargo, just as they saw military forces do. Physicist Richard Feynman referred to this in his insightful 1974 Caltech commencement address (www.cs.umbc.edu/www/graduate/feynman-cargo.shtml).
When I think about the trajectory of all this technology, I wonder: Will we increasingly become a society of largely ignorant consumers who happily use what is given to us but leave the design, development, debug and manufacturing to an ever-smaller group? Looking a decade or two out, will there be only a dozen experts who know how to design a decent power supply? Will these groups become like the alchemists of old, and be called upon because they are the only ones with the understanding of how things actually work?
We’ve come to a point where rap stars get accolades for "designing" cell phones, which really means they are prettying up the case, not the innards. How many people can actually design the phone, or the parts inside of it, and produce it?
Donald A. MacKenzie, professor of sociology at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), wrote in "Knowing Machines: Essays on Technical Change" that there is both "explicit knowledge," which is published and spread, and the very vital "implicit knowledge," which skilled practitioners know and bring to their work, but which is not recorded or even recognized by them.
With the combination of increasing internal product complexity and decreasing end-user understanding, are we reaching a point where the implicit knowledge may get lost, or be known to a smaller and smaller circle? Are we becoming something of a cargo cult ourselves?
Finally, I’d like to round this up with these 2 technology news articles:
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Sometime next year nurses may put active band-aids on hospital patients to wirelessly monitor as many as three vital signs. Startup Toumaz Technology (Abingdon, U.K.) described its custom chip to power such a disposable device at the International Solid State Circuits Conference here Monday (Feb. 4).
A chip in a band-aid is pretty cool, isn’t it? Just click on the title to read the whole thing.
PORTLAND, Ore. — An electromagnetic catapult, or railgun, is on track for deployment on U.S. warships around 2012, according to the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
A railgun, which uses electricity to magnetically accelerate munitions down a track, shoots metal projectiles that hit targets at supersonic speed. They can also cause more damage than a high-explosive without collateral destruction (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit). With GPS-enabled targeting accuracy of 15 feet, when shot from warships up to 275 miles away, the non-explosive railgun projectiles could also protect Navy personnel without requiring dangerous explosives onboard.
We create new weapons in the middle of the war and still think about minimizing civilian casualties, otherwise known as "collateral damage". How different this is from what our enemies do!
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Why You Should Vote for John McCain
It was 1991 and Edwin Edwards was running for reelection as the Governor of Louisiana. Edwards’ corruption was legendary and he had faced multiple trials and indictments. Now in 1991 he was running against David Duke and bumper stickers and signs went up reading, "Vote for the Crook. It’s important."
Well this time around John McCain is running against either Barack Hussein Obama or Hillary Clinton. Either one is as bad as David Duke. Obama is a Farrakhanite with a Muslim background, membership in a racist church and is backed by the Soros wing of the Democratic party. Hillary Clinton is a dogmatic far left wing activist with a socialist agenda that would turn America into the EU before she was done.
Vote for John McCain. It’s important.
Read it all. I have very little to add to this article, besides reemphasizing that the damage potentially done to this country by either Clinton or Obama Presidency will be impossible to repair completely. So, in full damage control mode, vote for McCain.
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Why I Became an Engineer
Why did you become an engineer?(06/24/07, 11:37:00 PM EDT)
–>Some years ago my son was tasked with a high school assignment to build a circuit to re-encode a bank of switches. The teacher expected a simple diode-based design, but I suggested tossing an embedded computer in, so if the problem changed the solution would be trivial.
Also, of course, the thought of tweaking the instructor was appealing. When Graham got the thing working, the flash of excitement in his eye was a tremendous reward. He built the project, he wrote a little code. And it worked.
That’s exactly why I became an engineer.
Engineering is the art of solving problems. "In order to make a machine that does X, I have to figure out how to design some hardware and firmware that does Y." Puzzling out these solutions is both an intellectual challenge and a game. Am I smart enough to do this? What will I have to invent?
Problem solving is its own reward. But it’s not enough, for me at least. I want to make something that works. Not push paper, not write proposals, not document someone else’s creation, though all of those tasks are an inescapable and wearisome part of this profession.
But I want the thrill of seeing the motor turn, the LEDs blink, or a message marqueeing across the display. No doubt that "I made that work" satisfaction is rooted somewhere in the same brain center that rewards gamblers and addicts.
A lot of developers work on large projects that take years of effort. More power to them, but I could never do that. I want to see something work, relatively soon. Invent solutions, see them implemented, and move on to the next project. You can have those big government projects that consume entire careers; the thought of being caught in that mill horrifies me. Thankfully others are more patient and will see these efforts through.
I sort of fell into the embedded space as it didn’t exist in the late 60s when I was in high school. An obsessive interest in electronics morphed into ham radio, but the important thing to me was always building something. First, learn the material, absolutely. But do start with just an infancy of knowledge and build a small project to get feedback, for fun, and to get a visceral learning that does not come from books.
Later I learned about programming (rather, became consumed with it), and when the first microprocessors came out was accidentally and fortuitously positioned with the right skills and interests.
To me, embedded is the best of all engineering fields. One person can design circuits. Write code. Often figure out the science, or at least its application. And then make something that works.
In the olden days some companies didn’t let engineers work on the hardware. Technicians soldered, scoped and instrumented under the direction of an engineer. Screw that – half the fun is working with the hardware!
The irony now is that hardware can be so hard to manipulate – I have a sub-inch-square chip on my desk with 1500 balls on it – that the required special equipment becomes a barrier to that intimate physical manipulation of a circuit that can be so satisfying. If that sounds like some sort of foreplay, well, perhaps there is a connection between those two parts of the brain, too.
What about you? Why did you become an engineer?
I am an engineer. And I love what I do. My Dad was an Electronics Engineer, and I saw first hand how much fun it was, while growing up. So, I followed in his footsteps and became an Electronics Engineer myself. You come up with an idea, you design something, implement it, and then it works! Problem solving is, indeed, its own reward. And then your stuff works! I just can’t describe this feeling. I guess, only a fellow engineer can understand why I get excited over some waveform on the screen of an oscilloscope. So, I have fun all day playing with things and get paid for it! What can be better?
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Like tossing a lit cigarette out the window onto a bit of dry California brush, some subjects are consistently inflammatory for engineers. If career issues always spark excited commentary, discussion about H-1B visas are like pouring gasoline on a wildfire.
The ACM and IEEE claim that enrollments in CS and EE curricula are falling precipitously. Yet readers respond that those organizations are fronts for industry; that cries of looming shortages are the tools of fat-cat employers to flood the market with cheap imported labor and drive salaries down. Is that paranoia, or does it show a firm grasp of market dynamics?
Others respond that any idiot can see there’s no shortage. "Just look at all of the unemployed engineers I know!" Unemployed friends and relatives make for powerful personal imagery, but just as a single cold or hot day says nothing meaningful about the global warming shoutfest, local and personal anecdotes are tragic but not statistically-significant. The IEEE says there’s practically full employment, but those who think they’re a shill for industry won’t believe them.
For the record, I personally think that all the H1B visas should be replaced with Green Cards, along with requirements to become American Citizens. But this is an interesting article, so do read it.
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…back in 1974, wrote this unflattering article about her:
I have just seen Hillary Clinton and her former Yale law professor both in tears at a campaign rally here in my home state of Connecticut. Her tearful professor said how proud he was that his former student was likely to become our next President. Hillary responded in tears.
My own reaction was of regret that, when I terminated her employment on the Nixon impeachment staff, I had not reported her unethical practices to the appropriate bar associations.
Hillary as I knew her in 1974
At the time of Watergate I had overall supervisory authority over the House Judiciary Committee’s Impeachment Inquiry staff that included Hillary Rodham-who was later to become First Lady in the Clinton White House.
After hiring Hillary, Doar assigned her to confer with me regarding rules of procedure for the impeachment inquiry. At my first meeting with her I told her that Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino, House Speaker Carl Albert, Majority Leader Tip O’Neill, Parliamentarian Lou Deschler and I had previously all agreed that we should rely only on the then existing House Rules, and not advocate any changes. I also quoted Tip O’Neill’s statement that: "To try to change the rules now would be politically divisive. It would be like trying to change the traditional rules of baseball before a World Series."
Hillary assured me that she had not drafted, and would not advocate, any such rules changes. However, as documented in my personal diary, I soon learned that she had lied (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit). She had already drafted changes, and continued to advocate them. In one written legal memorandum, she advocated denying President Nixon representation by counsel. In so doing she simply ignored the fact that in the committee’s then-most-recent prior impeachment proceeding, the committee had afforded the right to counsel to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
Read it all. But she is still better than Obama, in case she does become President.
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A couple of days ago Bookworm posted a story about kids in her daughter’s school saying that people should vote for Obama because he is black. This started a discussion, in which I participated. There was also a nice lady named Helen, also a blogger on WordPress. Helen is a leftist, or, as she prefers to call herself, a Progressive. She is very nice and polite, and generally a pleasure to disagree with. Helen defends the Affirmative Action practices and thinks that Obama’s race is important because racism still exists. There were others commenting on the Bookworm’s post, who disagreed with Helen and agreed with me, but still acknowledged existence of racism. That includes Bookworm herself. I, on the other hand, suggested that, save for few idiots on the fringes, racism does not exist in this country. As an example of real racism I described anti-Semitism in the old Soviet Union, something I faced personally. I also mentioned anti-Russian discrimination in many of the Soviet republics. What Helen and others missed in my argument was that, while there are some racist idiots in this country, the discrimination in the Soviet Union came from the government. This has not happen in this country for at least 40 years. Ironically, the biggest reason that caused any kind of discrimination to end was something that back in high school I was told was bad about America: the so-called "cult of dollar". But it only makes sense: if you need to hire someone for your business, you would want to hire the most qualified individual. Ethnic, racial or religious background are usually irrelevant to the person’s ability to do the job. There might be exceptions: if you are looking for a rabbi you will have to hire a Jew, while a pastor will have to be a Christian. But other than that, things like that are irrelevant.
By focusing on the race, ethnicity or gender the Left prevents these irrelevant characteristics from being viewed as irrelevant. In fact, the closest thing to government-sponsored discrimination is the Affirmative Action, so loved by the Left. Supposedly this rights some wrong that was perpetrated over 40 years ago. But as I commented, so I, as a Jew, was discriminated against in Odessa. Does this fact mean that I should condone anti-Russian discrimination in Tashkent?
The Left continues with this feel-good racism. In another post Bookworm showed the way Time magazine reported the breakdown of the Primary voters:
Republicans: McCain 40, Romney 36, Huckabee 18
Evangelicals: Huckabee 33, McCain 31, Romney 30
Conservatives: Romney 42, McCain 31, Huckabee 20
Those most concerned about:
Immigration: Romney 48, McCain 25, Huckabee 15
Economy: McCain 40, Romney 32, Huck 18
Iraq: McCain 51, Romney 20, Huckabee 15
Blacks: Obama 81, Clinton 17
Whites: Clinton 50, Obama 44
Hispanics: Clinton 62, Obama 36
White women: Clinton 57, Obama 45
Young whites: Obama 64, Clinton 35
The breakdown for Republicans is on the issues, while the breakdown for Democrats is along ethnic and gender lines. One commenter on the Helen’s post that was the result of the comments on the Bookworm’s post was thus praising the openness of our elections to everybody:
"I find it amazing that not only are a black man and a white woman running for president, but also a minister and a medical doctor and a soldier who survived years of torture."
So, she described the Republicans by what they do and their life experience. She described the Democrats by their racial and gender identities. Why? Who cares about Obama’s race and Hillary’s gender and race? How do their identities impact their ability to the President? Their race and gender are absolutely irrelevant to the job they might have to do (although I hope they won’t get to do that). I will not vote for either of them, but I absolutely don’t care about Obama’s blackness or Hillary’s femininity. I simply disagree with their ideas. I don’t think that anything approaching Socialism is a good idea to implement. I should know: I grew up with that. But their identities have nothing to do with that, although their party affiliation does.
The way to end racism is just to end it. My daughters are not capable of racism for one simple reason: they don’t know about racial differences. Oh, sure, they have all kinds of kids in school and preschool. But for them the racial differences are on the same level as the difference between someone with blond and brunet hair. I’d like to keep it that way.
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My Thoughts on Ron Paul’s Candidacy for President.
I used to be a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party. In fact, while I stopped paying membership dues years ago, I still have the Libertarian Party card in my wallet. I still hold many Libertarian views. But I cannot and will not vote for Ron Paul to be President. In fact, I probably would not vote for any Libertarian, despite holding many of Libertarian views. Why? There is a couple of reasons.
The main thing in the Libertarian philosophy that appeals to me is the basic principle of "live and let live". In my view it is not Government’s job to protect people from themselves. People should be free to do good or bad things to themselves, as long as they don’t harm others. Government also should not be in the business of helping people: there are charities for that. However, and this is where I part company with Libertarians, the Government should provide a minimal safety net. Because relying on charities does not always work. Here is why. My personal test for any policy that sounds good in theory is this: let’s take it to its logical conclusion in practice and see whether I still like it. In engineering this approach is called "worst case analysis". It basically checks whether a given system would still work under extreme circumstances. So, returning to politics, let’s say, for example, that someone who does not have health insurance and does not have a lot of money to pay for expensive treatment gets into a bad car accident. If no charity comes along to pay for that person’s treatment, that person has to be left to die on the side of the road. I don’t think that would acceptable in a civilized society. That is why guaranteed minimal safety net is necessary. And the only entity capable of guaranteeing such safety net is the government.
My other disagreement with the Libertarians is the view on foreign policy. And this is the main reason why I would never vote for someone like Ron Paul. Libertarians, Ron Paul among them, are uncompromising isolationists. Because the term "isolationist" is historically associated with pre-World War 2 isolationism in the face of Nazi aggression, they now came up with the term "non-interventionist". Can someone please explain the difference to me? Because I don’t see any. Maybe it’s the fact that English is my second language.
…Arab Muslims are tired of us.
Angry and frustrated by our persistent bullying and disgusted with having their own government bought and controlled by the United States, joining a radical Islamic movement was a natural and predictable consequence for Muslims.
We believe bin Laden when he takes credit for an attack on the West, and we believe him when he warns us of an impending attack. But we refuse to listen to his explanation of why he and his allies are at war with us.
Bin Laden’s claims are straightforward. The U.S. defiles Islam with military bases on holy land in Saudi Arabia, its initiation of war against Iraq, with 12 years of persistent bombing, and its dollars and weapons being used against the Palestinians as the Palestinian territory shrinks and Israel’s occupation expands. There will be no peace in the world for the next 50 years or longer if we refuse to believe why those who are attacking us do it.
This ignores the long history of conflict, starting with the Barbary Wars. Here is what the Tripoli’s Ambassador to London Abd Al-Rahman told Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in response to their question about why American ships were being attacked:
…Jefferson would perhaps have been just as eager to send a squadron to put down any Christian piracy that was restraining commerce. But one cannot get around what Jefferson heard when he went with John Adams to wait upon Tripoli’s ambassador to London in March 1785. When they inquired by what right the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping, enslaving both crews and passengers, America’s two foremost envoys were informed that “it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.” (It is worth noting that the United States played no part in the Crusades, or in the Catholic reconquista of Andalusia.)
Ron Paul ignores the teachings of Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. He seems to think that complying with jihadists’ demands will bring us peace. But the truth is that the followers of Islamist ideology cannot be appeased and satisfied. Ron Paul also ignores the history of Arab-Israeli conflict, in which multiple offers of peace by Israel were answered by more war from the Arabs. Not to mention the fact that Israel is tiny compared to the sea of Arab land, so what occupation are we talking about?
Ron Paul thinks that should mind our own business. He thinks we should just trade with everybody, no matter how horrible they might be, and respond only to a direct attack. By the way, in regard to direct attack, Ron Paul actually had a good idea. After 9/11/2001 he suggested that the Congress should issue Letter of Marque and Reprisal, introducing Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001. This power of the Congress seems to be specifically designed to deal with non-governmental hostile entities, such as pirates or terrorists, and is similar to Declaration of War. Thus, it would apply perfectly to our response to 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, Ron Paul’s suggestion did not pass. But back to my disagreements with Ron Paul. His idea taken to the extreme is analogous to a gun shop owner knowingly selling guns to a robber, as long as that robber does not rob his store. Or, in a schoolyard situation, continue playing with a schoolyard bully, as long as that bully does not bully you. But if he beats up your friend, well, that’s not your problem. You do not intervene.
You see, isolationism is immoral. And it always catches up with you. Because if you just keep telling the bad guys that you have no quarrel with them, they will see it as a weakness and will attempt to take advantage of you. You don’t need to go very far in history in order to see what attempts to avoid a fight at all costs lead to. Yes, I am talking about World War 2.
Ron Paul seems to get his support from outright nuts (also here, here and here). For the record, it is incorrect to say that Ron Paul is a Nazi. He might be an anti-Semite and a racist, although I would not know that for sure, but he is definitely not a Nazi. Why? Because Nazi is short for National-Socialist, and Ron Paul is most definitely not a socialist. But one has to at least ask why he is getting support from the Nazis and other nuts. But what really exposes Ron Paul as either a fraud or a nut himself is this solicitation letter. Just in case this link to New Republic goes away, I saved this letter here. The nutty conspiracy theories spouted in this letter remind me of idiotic claims about Y2K disasters. People were seriously talking about pacemakers stopping and cars not starting because of Y2K "because pacemakers and cars have computers inside". Of course, anybody familiar with computer technology and electronics would know that this is idiotic. But many people who always had problems setting up their VCRs believed these claims, and unscrupulous hucksters took advantage of them. Well, in this letter Ron Paul sounds just like one of those hucksters. So, either Ron Paul is one those unscrupulous hucksters peddling his crap and trying to basically defraud naive people out of their money, or he is a nut who believes this crap. Or, at the very least, he is incompetent to make those predictions that never came true. And if he would claim that he was not the one who wrote it, well, his name is on it. And if he can’t control what gets published in his name, then he is just as incompetent. Can you imagine a President giving a bad speech and then, as an excuse, saying that he wasn’t the one who wrote the speech? So, there you have it. I do disagree with Ron Paul on foreign policy. But this solicitation letter goes beyond disagreement. It simply kills my respect for the guy. So, despite his libertarian views, many of which I share, I prefer Hillary Clinton to this guy. Obama – that’s another story. He is too committed to his leftist views. So in case of a choice between him and Ron Paul I would simply skip voting for President. But lucky for me, this is not going to happen. John McCain is likely going to win the Republican nomination, so I will happily cast my vote for him in the general election. He is far from ideal choice, but at least he will keep us in the fight against the islamo-fascists until someone better comes along.
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This is a title of the article written by Russ Vaughn of Old War Dogs. Although I read this article already on the Old War Dogs site earlier today, since Russ was kind enough to e-mail it to me, I am posting it here, including his update. It looks like Russ will be contributing to this site on the regular basis. I certainly hope that this will be the case. So, here is Russ Vaughn:
I am troubled by tonight’s primary results, especially troubled by the prospect that I may be forced to vote for an unprincipled political chameleon like McCain in order to save our country from two politicians, Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are even more unprincipled, even to the point of felonious criminality. I wrote this piece this morning and tonight stand by it even more. Hillary just slapped my face and that of many other honorable veterans with her sneering, gratuitous reference to swift boating in her gloating victory speech. It just demonstrates how twisted their leftist thinking is when they use this term of honor as a pejorative.
I will follow the dictates of my old regimental motto: Honor and Country,
I was afraid this was going to happen when McCain started coming on stronger in the primaries. To an even greater extent than John Kerry, John McCain possesses the ability to politically divide American veterans more than any other presidential candidate. With Kerry, a key determinant of which way veterans’ loyalties fell was party affiliation. I’m sure there were many liberal Democrat veterans, particularly Vietnam veterans, who held their noses and supported a man they viscerally disliked because he was their party’s candidate and represented their overall liberal positions. It was easy for those of us who were politically conservative Vietnam vets to take a hard, unrelenting stand against the man we knew had smeared us because he was the candidate of the party whose positions we opposed.
Today, this division among veterans in general and Vietnam veterans in particular has been turned by McCain’s candidacy into a family fight among Republican veterans that threatens our already diminished prospects for victory in November. While virtually all of us admire and respect McCain’s military service and POW sacrifice, there are millions of us who feel that is simply not enough for him to be able to command our political loyalties four decades later. Setting aside the fact that McCain sided with John Kerry in 2004 and denounced those of us who dared to question Kerry’s very questionable war record, there are many reasons why we do not see John McCain as being someone we can trust to represent the mainstream views of the Republican party. I will spare you a Sean Hannity, rapid-fire recitation of the litany of McCain’s transgressions against his own party because I think there is a single issue far more compelling.
Go ahead and Google “McCain switching parties?” and look at the pages of hits which take you to articles from every sector of the media examining whether or not John McCain was preparing to switch parties as far back as 2001 and continuing into the 2004 campaign. The most chilling of all these reports is one from the Boston Herald in which McCain is quoted as responding to ABC’s Charles Gibson’s question as to whether he would even entertain the idea of running as John Kerry’s VP if Kerry extended such an offer,
“John Kerry is a very close friend of mine. We’ve been friends for years. Obviously I would entertain it.”
That is a very telling quote. In his own words, to further his political ambitions, John McCain would have considered abandoning his party and his supposedly conservative principles to serve on the ticket with one of the most liberal candidates ever to run as a Democrat presidential candidate. Even worse, reading down, one reads that Kerry now claims it was McCain’s people who initiated such a proposal, not that we’d be inclined to lend too much credibility to that particular source. Some very close friends, huh? No wonder then that McCain was able to denounce his fellow Navy Vietnam veterans as “dishonest and dishonorable” when they dared to attack Kerry’s self-promoting war record. McCain was selfishly attempting to curry favor with the man and the party which could do the most for his personal political future.
Now I ask you, just who was being dishonest and dishonorable here? Was it the sailors who served in combat with Kerry and raised issues with his war record that Kerry never successfully refuted and refused to release the Navy records which he claimed would do so? Or was it the self-serving maverick politician who was entertaining the possibility of forsaking his Republican party to fill the number two position on the Democrat ticket?
A good friend and fellow Old War Dog, Bill Faith, cites Mitt Romney’s contradictory and self-serving statements about not serving in Vietnam as proving Romney unworthy of his vote. To that I would respond that talking out of both sides of one’s mouth is congenital in politicians and that perhaps Romney might have gone AWOL on the issue. But Romney’s transgression completely pales against John McCain’s admitted willingness to “entertain” the possibility of full-fledged desertion to the enemy in the midst of political combat.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want a commander-in-chief who even entertains such considerations.
My own comment to this is that it appears from Russ’s update above the article itself that he will vote for John McCain, if McCain wins the nomination. I wholeheartedly agree with that position. Whatever McCain’s transgressions might be, he is infinitely better than any Democratic nominee.
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It is sad, but Rudy Giuliani has dropped out of Presidential Campaign. My second choice is Mitt Romney. Just like Rudy, he showed that he can be blunt and not politically correct when he denied state escort to the former Iranian President and when he suggested that mosques suspected of terrorist ties should be bugged by FBI. Here is what he has to say on the issues of keeping America safe, confronting radical jihad and nuclear terrorism from Iran. These are the most important issues in my opinion. Plus, Romney’s business experience should help strengthen our economy as well. But what if John McCain gets the nomination? Well on the most important issue of our time – the war against Islamo-Fascism – he is almost as good as Romney. In fact, Rudy Giuliani, who of all candidates was the best on this issue, seems to think that he is even better than Romney. So, should he get the nomination, I will vote for him in the general election without a slightest hesitation. I urge those who are concerned about the threat of Islamo-Fascism to our civilization to do the same. Please don’t sit the election out because you disagree with McCain on immigration. As bad as McCain might be on any issue, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will be much worse. After all, McCain does apparently have 80% conservative voting rating. So, please don’t let the Democrats win.
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Many of my fellow Republicans are now gloating at Hillary’s loss in Iowa. Hillary finished 3rd, after Obama and Edwards. But for those of my fellow Republicans who are happy to see Hillary defeated in the Democratic Primaries I have this to say: consider President Obama or President Edwards. As bad as Hillary is, all of her Democratic opponents are much worse, every single one of them. Hillary Clinton is an embodiment of all the worst characteristics of a politician. She is ruthless and unprincipled, and her only motivation in life is the hunger for power. But if I were voting in the Democratic Primary, I would have voted for her. Why? Because she is the sanest of them all. Because of her hunger for power she can at least be controlled by public opinion, Congress etc. It is pretty sad that one of the major political parties in this country can do no better than Hillary Clinton. But that is the reality we live in. I do not think she would the easiest to defeat in the General Election. In fact, I think she might be the hardest to defeat. But as much as I hope that Republican Party will hold on to the White House, I have to consider the possibility that the Democrats might win. And in that case I would much rather prefer to have a ruthless and unprincipled power-hungry politician as President than a naive appeaser or someone who just ponders to everybody in the world.
Oh, and one more thing. Despite sharing many of Ron Paul’s libertarian views, if I am given a choice between Ron Paul and Hillary Clinton, I would vote for Hillary Clinton. You see, I cannot vote for anyone who would appease Islamo-Fascists, whether on the Left or on the Right.
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Inside the Ring
January 4, 2008
By Bill Gertz – Coughlin sacked
Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism, has been fired from his position on the military’s Joint Staff. The action followed a report in this space last week revealing opposition to his work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.
Mr. Coughlin was notified this week that his contract with the Joint Staff will end in March, effectively halting the career of one of the U.S. government’s most important figures in analyzing the nature of extremism and ultimately preparing to wage ideological war against it.
He had run afoul of a key aide to Mr. England, Hasham Islam, who confronted Mr. Coughlin during a meeting several weeks ago when Mr. Islam sought to have Mr. Coughlin soften his views on Islamist extremism.
Mr. Coughlin was accused directly by Mr. Islam of being a Christian zealot or extremist "with a pen," according to defense officials. Mr. Coughlin appears to have become one of the first casualties in the war of ideas with Islamism.
The officials said Mr. Coughlin was let go because he had become "too hot" or controversial within the Pentagon.
Misguided Pentagon officials, including Mr. Islam and Mr. England, have initiated an aggressive "outreach" program to U.S. Muslim groups that critics say is lending credibility to what has been identified as a budding support network for Islamist extremists, including front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
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Scores of soldiers flying home from Afghanistan on Christmas leave were ordered to change out of their uniforms on a freezing runway before being allowed into a civilian airport terminal.
Troops were told not to be seen in public in their uniforms – which they had worn with pride while risking their lives during months of intense fighting against the Taliban.
Scroll down for more…
Fighting man: A British soldier in action in Afghanistan
Last night the Ministry of Defence and bosses at Birmingham International Airport blamed each other for the indignity suffered by the soldiers – which comes amid mounting anger over the treatment of British troops returning from war.
One soldier, who was ordered to undress for "security reasons", said: "It is an insult to the entire Army to force guys who’ve been fighting in Afghanistan to obey some jobsworth rule when all they want to do is get home to their families.
"So much for a nation proud of its servicemen. The temperature was Baltic on the runway but most of just wanted to get home so we cracked on."
What else can I say?
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It’s been a month since my last post. I’ve been very busy at work and had to work weekends. I am still busy, but have a little bit of time to post here. So, to start with, here is a great article by Judith Klinghoffer:
WORLD WATCHING AMERICAN ELECTION
Yes. The whole world is watching, frustratedly watching, the American election campaign. Many believe that they should have had the right to participate as the decision is bound to affect their own lives as well as American ones. Some living in democracies believe the Americans are too uncouth to be entrusted with such an important decision while those living in dictatorship are filled with hopeless wonder. Too many in the under developed world believe that America stands between them and an opportunity to made a similar choice. For in these difficult times the presidential candidates do offer Americans a real choice and it is a choice which will be understood by both friend and foe alike.
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I once had a boyfriend who liked me more than I liked him. He was a musician – with me so far? Good. I thought it best to end things rather than lead him on. He would not take no for an answer. No matter how firm and definite – he pursued with singular determination. He did not hear a word I said. No matter how many times. And so I refused to see him or talk to him. He would wait outside my building ………. until one day the cops had to be called because he had a rifle.
Fast forward Annapolis.
What part of NO don’t we understand?
The Palis, the Islamazis, the Arab world has been unequivocal in their refusal to recognize Israel. Every year, every decade, every war, every intifada ………. it has always been the same. Always. The Saudis would not even shake hands with Israel at Annapolis. Wishing and hoping and dreaming and praying and land givebacks and billions in aid and arms and food and medicine and all those delicious carrots the West is so good at handing over has made no difference. None. Today the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran calls for Death to Israel and Death to America.
And still we stalk. No matter what. We suspend our disbelief. We stalk for peace. We won’t fight for peace. We will beg, cajole, buy off, sleep with evil men, fund terror, ignore everything the enemy is insisting on …….. we will do everything, except what must be done to create a real peace – fight. Self defend.
The only time Israel had a modicum of peace was after she beat back the invasion of five Arab countries during the six day war and crushed the enemy. That’s the fact. And the international communitay has been punishing Israel ever since.
Read the rest. She is absolutely correct. They tell us to our face that they want to kill us, and we still ask: "Why can’t we get along?" Enough already.
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Jewish York students flee from mob
Posted On 11/27/07
By: Atara Beck
TORONTO – York University saw the worst antisemitic display ever on that campus last week, said Ben Feferman, senior campus coordinator for the Canadian region of Hasbara Fellowships, an Israel advocacy organization spearheaded by Aish Hatorah.
The Betar-supported Campus Coalition of Zionists (CCZ), together with Hasbarah, manned a table in Vari Hall, with permission from the university, with pamphlets and brochures about the danger emanating from Iran.
However, the situation became very difficult for the students who participated. They were vastly outnumbered by pro-Arab students who surrounded them, and eventually the pro-Israel activists fled. As they left, there was cheering by the pro-Arab mob.
According to Feferman, “I’ve never seen anything like this at York. We weren’t even discussing the issues anymore. It was pure Jew hatred. That’s what it’s come to.”
In fact, Feferman noticed an acquaintance there and said hello, but received no acknowledgement. She emailed him later that day to apologize, explaining that she didn’t want everyone to know she was Jewish. To Feferman, this episode is a red light. “We know there’s a crisis when a student on campus is afraid to reveal she’s Jewish and feels unsafe,” he said.
Another disturbing issue that day, according to Feferman, was that a Hillel executive was standing nearby, watching. Feferman can’t understand why he didn’t take action or get his students to help out.
When asked why they didn’t offer to support Hasbarah and CCZ, Tilly Shames, associate director, Hillel of Greater Toronto, did not answer the question directly referencing a program Hillel had held previously that experienced no protest.
They fled?! What the hell is that?! What were they afraid of? A confrontation? A fistfight? Only those who flee can be sent to the gas chambers. And this headline is adding insult to injury. I just want to hang my head in shame.
Someone might ask me: "What would you do?" Well, this is one of few instances when I know exactly what I would do: I’ve been in situations like this one. Suffice it to say, I would not "flee", and neither would my friends.
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OK, last Monday morning I did call the White House, the Israeli Embassy and the State Department. There was nobody, not even a machine, answering at the White House. After saying "hello" several times I heard a beep. I attempted to leave a message, but I think that that beep was the phone disconnecting. The Israeli Embassy did not call me back: for some reason the system on that web site did not work for the Israeli Embassy. The State Department call came through successfully, and I was able to leave my message. I did not get a chance to try this again. Of course, all 3 places can be contacted via e-mail, but the phone calls are usually more effective.
Now, some people are skeptical about making these phone calls, especially those who are originally from the former Soviet Union, like myself. They don’t believe that they can influence the Government. So I’d like to tell a story about people influencing their government in a very unlikely place.
Back in 1987 I was still living in Odessa, Ukraine. One of the historic streets in Odessa is Primorsky Boulevard (Seashore Boulevard). It has beautiful historic buildings on one side and a slope leading to the Black Sea shore and Odessa Sea Port on the other side.
Between these beautiful buildings and slopes are old trees and benches. Essentially, it’s a park. Well, in 1987 a Chief Architect of Ukraine decided that these trees block the view of the buildings from the see. So, he gave orders to dig the trees up and replace them with some bushes. The work had begun. But the people of Odessa protested and demonstrated against it. People even organized patrols to guard the trees during the night. One evening I also went there and confronted the representatives of the authorities. In the end the people won. The trees were left alone. Some bureaucrat from Kiev was not going to dig up our trees. So, if it was possible for the people to have influence in the old Soviet Union, don’t you think it is much more likely for the people to have influence in this country?
Returning to the subject at hand, here is an update from Jewish Russian Telegraph:
We Jammed State Department’s Lines
Thank you to all activists who responded to our and other groups appeal and made a call.
We jammed the lines and sent a message.
Coordinating Council for Jerusalem:
COORDINATING COUNCIL ON JERUSALEM FILLS STATE DEPARTMENT VOICEMAIL BOXES TO CAPACITY
Innovative Grassroots phone calling campaign overwhelms State Department
New York, NY/Washington, D.C. – November 28th, 2007 – The Coordinating Council on Jerusalem (www.ccjer.org) is proud to announce the phenomenal success of their revolutionary Internet activated grassroots phone calling system. Calls facilitated by the CCJ’s system are overwhelming operators at the White House, State Department and Israeli Embassy.
By visiting the website http://callsForJerusalem.org, and taking 90 seconds out of the day, anyone who opposes U.S. pressure on Israel and believes in the significance of maintaining a unified Jerusalem, will be connected directly and free of charge to the various agencies to send a simple message expressing their opinion to the U.S. and Israeli leadership participating in Annapolis. The website has been up for less than 48 hours and has already proven to be a vastly effective grassroots technique; over 10,000 calls have been made already.
“The results are very gratifying and the turnout is incredible for a virally marketed campaign.” says Jeff Ballabon, the political consultant coordinating the strategy of the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem. “We have created a new way literally to give a voice to the Pro-Israel community’s thoughts and the calling volume is growing every hour.”
Even groups not officially affiliated with CCJ have jumped on the bandwagon. “Everyone from the Rabbinical Council of America to G Gordon Liddy are utilizing and promoting our callsForJerusalem.org system to their bases,” says Ballabon. “We welcome them and encourage others to join.” In response to reports that the State Department has begun to advise callers that their mailbox servers have been filled, the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem will be requesting that the State Department increase the space in the voicemail boxes in order to accommodate the increasing number of Americans who want to petition their government against pressuring Israel.
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I just got back home from out of town. I found this urgent e-mail from Jewish Russian Telegraph:
…Our children will ask us — what did you do to defend Israel in Annapolis?
Time to call: Monday 11/26/07, during office hours
How to call: click http://jrtelegraph.callsforjerusalem.org/ for a completely automated calling system:
calls are free, courtesy of Coordinating Council for Jerusalem
Again, here is the link. It seems to be the same link that was posted on Little Green Footballs. This link allows you to call the White House, the State Department and the Israeli Embassy. I have just tried calling, but the offices are closed. They will send an e-mail tomorrow to remind me to call during the business hours. Please call also.
The mood is dark in the IDF’s General Staff ahead of next week’s "peace" conference in Annapolis. As one senior officer directly involved in the negotiations with the Palestinians and the Americans said, "As bad as it might look from the outside, the truth is 10 times worse. This is a nightmare. The Americans have never been so hostile."
On Thursday a draft of the joint statement that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are discussing ahead of the conference was leaked to the media. A reading of the document bears out the IDF’s concerns.
The draft document shows that the Palestinians and the Israelis differ not only on every issue, but differ on the purpose of the document. It also shows that the US firmly backs the Palestinians against Israel.
As the draft document makes clear, Israel is trying to avoid committing itself to anything at Annapolis. For their part, the Palestinians are trying to force Israel’s hand by tying it to diplomatic formulas that presuppose an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines and an Israeli acceptance of the so-called "right of return" or free immigration of foreign Arabs to Israel.
The Palestinians are also trying to take away Israel’s right to determine for itself whether to trust the Palestinians and continue making diplomatic and security concessions or not by making it the responsibility of outside parties to decide the pace of the concessions and whether or not the Palestinians should be trusted.
As the leaked draft document shows, the Americans have sided with the Palestinians against Israel. Specifically, the Americans have taken for themselves the sole right to judge whether or not the Palestinians and the Israelis are abiding by their commitments and whether and at what pace the negotiations will proceed.
But the Americans have shown themselves to be unworthy of Israel’s trust. By refusing to acknowledge Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party’s direct involvement in terrorism and indeed the direct involvement of his official Fatah "security forces" in terrorism, the Americans have shown that their benchmarks for Palestinian compliance with their commitments to Israel are not necessarily based on the reality on the ground. Then too, the US demands for wide-ranging Israeli security concessions to the Palestinians even before the "peace" conference at Annapolis have shown that Israel’s security is of little concern to the State Department.
IDF sources blame the shooting murder of Ido Zoldan on Monday night by Fatah terrorists on Israel’s decision to bow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s demand to take down 24 security roadblocks in Judea and Samaria. If it hadn’t been for US pressure, they say, it is quite possible that the 29-year-old father of two small children would be alive today.
But this is of no concern for Washington. As Rice has made clear repeatedly, the US wants to see "signs of progress." Since the Palestinians are taking no action against terror and doing nothing to lessen their society’s jihadist fervor, the only way to achieve "signs of progress" is by forcing Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. And so that is exactly what Rice and her associates are doing.
It is really upsetting to me as an American to read this. Unfortunately Caroline Glick is absolutely correct. Read it for yourself. And
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…supports my favorite Presidential Candidate. I am talking about Vince Flynn, the author of "Memorial Day" and numerous other novels about Mtch Rapp, an American counter-terrorism operative who knows what needs to be done in the current war. His latest book, "Protect and Defend", deals with Iranian threat. I have yet to read this book. For now here is Vince Flynn’s interview that he gave to "Washington Times" upon release of his new book:
A page from his book
November 16, 2007
By Audrey Hudson – Novelist Vince Flynn’s hot new political thriller featuring CIA superspy Mitch Rapp hit the New York Times best-seller list at No. 1 this week.
In "Protect and Defend," Mr. Flynn pushes the political debate on the use of torture in the war on terror as he pits Rapp against master terrorist Imad Mukhtar.
The following are excerpts of a recent telephone interview with Mr. Flynn:
Question: In the real world, how effective do you think torture is with Islamic terrorists?
A: Far more effective than liberals would have you believe. Congress really upset me with how they treated Attorney General Michael Mukasey and how the media pushed this question. Why aren’t reporters forcing senators and Congress to answer the same questions about torture? What do you think we should have done? Given them a lawyer, three square meals a day and let planes get hijacked?
I think it should be done in the rarest of situations. Anybody who says torture doesn’t work hasn’t studied the history of torture. Torture, or aggressive interrogation, is only as good as the interrogators. Take Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for instance. He got waterboarded and he sang like a canary … he ended up naming operatives and giving up a treasure trove of financial secrets as well as plans for future attacks. This was not Uday and Qusai Hussein at work. This was done with clinical precision, not brute force. There are multiple interrogators, lie detectors, doctors and a group of analysts in the next room connected to every friendly western intelligence agency to check everything the subject says.
That’s a far cry from what Senator [John] McCain experienced, and he says that torture does not work. I have a lot of respect for the man, but when he was in the Hanoi Hilton, he was brutally tortured to give up names, so he gave them the starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers. Back then, it would have been difficult to verify; but today, it’s called "Google."
I’m not talking about pulling people out of cafes in Baghdad, torture has to be reserved for high-value targets.
All of these men and some women who happen to participate in the program have to be waterboarded themselves, they’ve gone through it and they know how terrifying it is. I know Amnesty International would disagree with me, but every American needs to ask themselves, "If you could turn back the clock one week [before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks] would you want Zacarias Moussaoui to have been interrogated by waterboarding?"
Q: How can we win the war on terrorism when many cannot acknowledge who the enemy is?
A: That’s a tough question. I’ll waffle on this. As a society, we need to start demanding a few things. We have embraced liberty, equality in the sexes and religion — we believe in all of this. If you want to come to this country and you are Muslim, you had better agree and be fine with the Christian and Jewish faith. But if you are going to come over here and preach hatred and raise money for Hamas and Hezbollah, we’re going to kick you out of the country.
As an Irish-Catholic kid in the 1980s, I remember being disgusted with the thugs and the terrorists in the [Irish Republican Army] and I don’t remember anyone who was Irish-American saying to [novelist] Tom Clancy after "Patriot Games": "How dare you portray people in the IRA for what they were, a bunch of thugs and terrorists?" What drives me nuts is people like [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] who, any time somebody in fiction or on TV has a villain who happens to portray what is going on in the world today — Islamic radicals who embrace a cult of death and are running around killing innocent women and children — they get upset about it. CAIR would better serve American Muslims if they spent more time criticizing these Islamic terrorist groups.
Q: If Americans are so opposed to torturing our enemies, how do you explain the popularity of Mitch Rapp?
A: They’re not opposed to torturing men like Sheikh Mohammed, but they don’t want to run around and talk about it in public. Look at Hollywood. They all detest President Bush because their friends will think they are smarter by hating him. They wear it as a badge of honor. They try to prove to people they are smart and compassionate and enlightened, so people will like them. But instead, they make these movies the American people don’t want to see, because deep down inside, the American public does not want to see a movie that bashes America. People like Rosie O’Donnell say they love America, but they have a funny way of showing it.
People want a guy like Mitch Rapp looking out for them. People want to believe there are guys like this out there protecting us.
Q: This year has seen a surge of antiwar films, which are flopping like dominoes, while "Protect and Defend" is the No. 1 book this week. Is Hollywood ready for Mitch Rapp yet?
A: I don’t think we are quite there. Hollywood is now saying people don’t want to watch movies about war. No, Americans don’t want to watch [bad] anti-American movies about war. Americans would love to watch a great movie where Mitch Rapp is meting out punishment to these crazy zealots, but I don’t know if Hollywood has the guts to do it. If Democrats take the White House, Hollywood will make a movie like that in a heartbeat.
Mitch Rapp has taken on a cult following, but Hollywood doesn’t get it for the same reasons they don’t understand talk radio, Wal-Mart or NASCAR.
Q: Who are you backing for president?
A: Rudy [Giuliani]. He’s a bit of a moderate and can unite the country and get the country focused on the war against terrorists. He symbolizes the gravity of the situation, and I don’t think the guy will back off for a moment having witnessed September 11. I don’t think the man will waiver. If he gets ahold of Osama bin Laden, he will throw everything he can at the guy.
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In light of the current war against Islamo-Fascist ideology I was willing to give Russian President Putin a benefit of a doubt, despite his clearly dictatorial tendencies. I was willing to view him as a Russian version of Spain’s Franco or Chile’s Pinochet, a dictator whose goal is to prepare his country for true constitutional democracy. Unfortunately it looks more and more like I have been wrong. A friend e-mailed me this disturbing article:
Russia: ‘National Leader’ Idea Gains Strength
By Brian Whitmore
Russia — Members of the Vladimir Putin Fan Club participate in a rally in Moscow, 25 Oct 2007
Recent rally supporting Putin
November 18, 2007 (RFE/RL) — Russia has a hot new catchphrase that is obsessing the political elite and is being chanted like a mantra by the media: National Leader.
More than 700 delegates from across the country turned up for a well-orchestrated pep rally in the city of Tver on November 15 to pledge allegiance to President Vladimir Putin and implore him to remain in power after his term ends next year.
Since Putin is constitutionally forbidden from seeking a third consecutive term as president, the event’s organizers are proposing to grant him a sort of elevated mythological status as Russia’s supreme ruler who would lord over any future president or prime minister — unburdened by troublesome term limits and pesky constitutional restrictions.
The meeting, held in a local theater adorned with Russian tricolor flags and banners reading "For Putin!," followed a wave of demonstrations in support of the president in numerous Russian regions. It resulted in forming an organization called the "All-Russian Council of Initiative Groups to Support Putin."
"We are gathering not for a third term," Pavel Astakhov, a prominent attorney who was elected the organization’s leader, told RFE/RL’s Russian Service. "We respect the president’s word and we believe him when he says he will not change the constitution. And since he will not change the constitution, we need to find a new configuration of authority."
Astrakhov later told reporters that his group has gathered 30 million signatures in support of Putin remaining in power as Russia’s "national leader." (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit)
He insists that that the recent groundswell of pro-Putin demonstrations is a genuine grassroots movement and is not being orchestrated by the Kremlin. Press reports and critics of the Kremlin, however, have alleged that students and state employees have been pressured to attend the rallies.
Read the whole thing. So, it looks like Russia is moving from a Communist dictatorship to a nationalist totalitarian dictatorship. I don’t call it "Nazi" only because there seems to be no "socialist" part of it. A country that is looking for some national idea and finding only nationalism, but lacking any moral foundation and failing economically and demographically, may blame others for its failings and lash out to prove its greatness. That is very dangerous. We might still find Russia allied with our enemies, even though it does not make any sense at this point.
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I am re-posting my Thanksgiving post from last year. There is one notable addition to those whom I should give my thanks. That group of people I most definitely meant to thank last year, but forgot to mention them by name. I am talking about members of the American Armed Forces, past and present. Thanks to them, we all have the lives we have. So, thank you, American Military.
Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday. So, what am I thankful for? I am thankful for my family, for my wonderful wife and 2 beautiful girls. I am also thankful for the generally pretty good life I have. But who should thank for all this? The religious people thank G-d for all their blessings. But I am not religious enough in order to do that. And then it dawned on me. I should thank this wonderful country called United States of America and its wonderful people.
So, thank you, America, for existing, for being a beacon of freedom in the world where freedom is far from being commonplace. Thank you for making freedom your “national idea”, if you will.
Thank you, America, for accepting me as your own. You welcomed me, my family and friends and made us all Americans, part of your great people. You accept anybody who is willing to be accepted. You made acceptance and tolerance part of your ideology too.
Finally, thank you, America, for defending “liberty and justice for all” all over the world. Your young people volunteer to go and fight for what’s right and moral. If I were 20 years younger I would have joined them (lame excuse really, but that’s the only one I have). Winston Churchill once said: “The Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they had exhausted all other possibilities”. He knew what he was talking about. It is only natural to try “all other possibilities”: people always look for easy solutions. But in the end Americans do the right thing, no matter what the cost, for doing the right thing is a part of American ideology too.
Thank you, America.
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Many people who follow the world events, especially the current war against Islamo-fascist ideology are familiar with the Muhammed Al-Dura controversy. It was claimed that a 12 year old Palestinian boy was caught in a crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists and killed. The Islamists and their sympathizers in the West were quick to blame the Israelis for the death of the boy. I personally thought that the poor boy and his father were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time and were caught in the crossfire. However, slowly but surely the evidence were beginning to emerge first that the boy could not possibly have been hit by the fire from the Israeli position, and then that the whole thing was likely staged and nobody died. France 2 television channel that reported the alleged shooting showed a very small portion of the raw footage they had – only 59 seconds. Only 3 minutes were distributed to other news organizations. French journalist Philippe Karsenty attempted to expose France 2 and was sued by the TV channel. In one of the most biased court decisions he was convicted of libeling France 2. Karsenty appealed the court ruling, and was granted a hearing. The supporters of Philippe Karsenty created a petition demanding the release of 27 minutes of raw footage shot by France 2 Palestinian cameraman. At the hearing France 2 showed 18 minutes of raw footage, out of 27 minutes that were shot. While the questions remain about the 9 minutes that were not shown, it has been proven that, at the very least, nobody can say for sure whether the poor boy had been shot at all, much less that he had been shot by the Israelis. Thus, this modern blood libel has begun unraveling. I hope that at some point the whole 27 minutes of the raw footage will be released to the public. For now, here are some impressions of the people who were in the court room.
I can’t really add much to it.
Here is an essay on the subject by Yaacov Ben Moshe. And, on second thought, here is what I can add to everything already said on this subject: unlike the previous blood libels against Jews, this one was perpetrated by Charles Enderlin, himself a Jew. When the realization of this finally dawns on him, he will have to live with that.
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Sultan Knish, with whom I was having a friendly dispute over my recent book review responded to me several days ago. So, here is my reply. I’ll try to keep it short because I don’t want to keep dragging it along.
First of all, I strongly disagree that the Left was somehow less anti-Semitic than the Right. The only place where it applied to a very limited extent was the early years of the Russian Revolution and the Civil War, mainly because the Jews were often major figures on the Left. And even there the anti-Semitic atrocities committed by the Red 1st Cavalry Army were numerous and stopped only by the Army’s commissar Voroshilov, whose wife was Jewish. Later, during World War 2, according to some sources Soviet Partisan leader Ponomarenko issued orders not to accept Jews into partisan units (this varied from one instance to the next). The treatment of the Jews by the Soviet partisans described in "Defiance: The Bielski Partisans" by Nechama Tec, a book that tells the story of the Bielski brothers’ efforts to save as many Jews as they could. In Poland, according to the book I reviewed, as well as Dan Kurzman’s "The Bravest Battle", Polish Communist leader Gomulka also issued orders not to help Jews. In fact, according to both books, explicit orders to help the Jews came from the Polish Government in London, which controlled the Home Army. So, the amount of anti-Semitism was about equal on both Left and Right, as was the amount of help to the Jews. I am just trying to avoid giving the Left an undeserved credit.
I don’t think that Polish and Jewish nationalists found common ground in their respective nationalisms. I think the fact that the members of the ZZW were officers of the Polish Army and fought together with the Polish officers back in 1939 was much more significant for their cooperation. It is only natural: in an extreme situation, when survival is at stake, political considerations get replaced by the bond of combat, as they should.
Sultan’s analogy of white nationalists being OK with Israel, but still wanting to rid their countries of Jews, might be a good explanation of why European white nationalists are friendly to Israel. But I don’t think it applies to America. In this country white nationalists are aligned with Islamists. By the way, Sultan has a great analysis of the recent dispute within the anti-Jihadist movement.
The NKVD conspiracy may or may not be true, especially in view of Sultan’s recent revelation about the author of the article I mentioned in a private e-mail, but I don’t see how, even if it is true, it excuses post-war pogroms in Poland. After all, the fact that the pogroms in czarist Russia were often instigated by the government does not excuse the Russian anti-Semites.
Sultan mentions Russian military historians "claiming that Hitler was a Soviet agent". He must be talking about Vladimir Rezun, better known under his pen name of Viktor Suvorov. Suvorov indeed claims that Hitler was manipulated by the Soviets back in the 1920s, although I did not take this claim as meaning that he was consciously working for the Soviets. I think in this Suvorov takes his argument too far. But, for the record, I have to say that I subscribe to his theory that Stalin was getting ready to attack Hitler (this would not be necessarily bad). Suvorov describes his theory in "Icebreaker". In my opinion, this is the only theory that explains disastrous Soviet defeats in 1941 without portraying Soviet generals who eventually won the war in the East as complete idiots. This theory is also supported by the circumstantial evidence that I read about in sources totally unrelated to Suvorov, as well as stories my grandpa told me. But that is a subject of another discussion.
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I recently wrote a review of a book I have read: "Two Flags: Return to the Warsaw Ghetto" by Marian Apfelbaum. I submitted this review to the latest Jewish Blog Carnival. That is probably how a commenter by the name of Sultan Knish found me. His comment is 3rd there. He is a typical Jewish Conservative, with views very similar to my own. His blog is very good and nicely done. So it was very strange to read in his comment assertions typically coming from leftist Jews, not unlike frequent accusations of Christian Right of anti-Semitism. Although, I suppose I should not be surprised: I’ve heard many times from fellow Jews, including the ones from the former Soviet Union, who are usually on the Right, that anybody could potentially be an anti-Semite. So I would like to respond to his comment on the front page of this blog. I have to preface my response with this: Sultan Knish and I agree on more issues than we disagree on. In fact, we probably agree on almost everything. So this is a minor disagreement between friends (I am pretty sure we could be friends, had we met).
Sultan Knish begins his comment by asserting: "The Home Army was indeed anti-semitic". What is the basis of this assertion? Or, more to the point, what does it mean? Does it mean that Polish Home Army was an anti-Semitic organization, conducting anti-Semitic policies? Or does it mean that many its members were anti-Semites? Well, I have no doubts that many members of the Polish Home Army were anti-Semites. But so were many members of the US Army, and other Allied armies for that matter. Patton was known to say anti-Semitic things. But that does not make US Army anti-Semitic. As for the Polish Home Army policy regarding the Jews, that was most definitely not anti-Semitic. There is evidence that they did what they could under the circumstances. That includes evidence presented in the book I reviewed.
Sultan Knish also says that much of Poland was anti-Semitic. Again, it is true that anti-Semitism in Poland was rampant. But it is not fair to single out Poles for that. People often talk about Polish anti-Semitism, but forget about the Vichy French, who ran their own concentration cam in Drancy. People forget about Latvians serving in Arajs Kommando, Estonian SS Division, Lithuanian Nazis and Ukrainian SS Division. People forget about Dutch SS and Belgian SS. I am deliberately listing Nazis from the Allied countries. And those Nazis were quite numerous. So, in light of this, singling our Poles does not seem fair. Especially given the fact that among Righteous Gentiles Poles outnumber everybody else. This is really not surprising, since the Jews comprised about 10% of Polish pre-war population and since most of the Holocaust happened on Polish territory. But this also means that there were a lot of people willing to risk their lives to help the Jews, despite rampant anti-Semitism.
Finally, Sultan Knish brings up the notorious Kielce pogrom that happened after the war to prove general anti-Semitism of the Polish population. But there is no need to prove this: I agree that anti-Semitism was rampant in Poland. I mentioned that I read in a Russian-Jewish magazine an article that suggested that the Kielce pogrom was instigated by the Soviet intelligence (this is disputed in the Wikipedia link I referenced above). Even if that pogrom was indeed instigated by the Soviets, it does not mean that there were no Poles perfectly willing to kill the Jews in Kielce. Quite the opposite. The name of the magazine I read that article in is Alef (sorry, the link is in Russian). It is published by Chamah in New York. The author of the article was Vilen Lulechnik, a Jewish military historian from Russia, living in the US (sorry again, the link is in Russian again). But whether that pogrom was instigated by the Soviets or not, it is very hard to suspect the magazine and the author of the article in Polish nationalism. Suggesting that NKVD was involved in the post-war pogroms does not whitewash or excuse the original crime, but merely adds another set of criminals to already existing ones. Comparing my mention of an article in a Jewish magazine to Holocaust denial was a bit offensive (understatement here). It certainly was not my intent to whitewash the crimes of Polish anti-Semites. I am merely attempting to give credit where credit is due. Besides, the times have changed. After all, it was the Polish Members of the European Parliament who boycotted anti-Israeli anti-Semitic hatefest organized by UN. So, while condemning Polish anti-Semites, we should be grateful to those Poles who helped the Jews, who were and are on the side freedom, decency and Western Civilization.
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I haven’t posted for a while: between being very busy at work and San Diego wild fires I simply did not have time. I still don’t, but today a have a little bit of time for my blog.
If anyone is curious how my family faired during the fires, we did have to evacuate: it was pretty close to our house. But we are OK, and our house is OK too. Now it’s all back to normal.
I added this link below to my sidebar. Apparently Amazon now lets you rent or buy movies by simply downloading them to your computer. Then you can either watch them on your computer screen or, if you have an S-Video output on your video card, hook it up to your TV and watch a movie normally on TV. There is also a way to use TiVo in order to watch a movie on your TV. This is a great idea. For a very long time I was wondering when it would become available. Now it is. Check it out. This certainly beats going to a video store or waiting for a DVD to arrive in the mail.
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No, I don’t think she is anti-Semitic. But let me start from the beginning. A couple of days ago I read Bookworm’s post about Ann Coulter putting her foot in her mouth again. I’d like to add my own comment on the subject.
I know some of my fellow Jews who look for anti-Semites under every rock. They are not necessarily on the Left. But they just suspect every non-Jew of anti-Semitism. Somehow they think it’s natural. I often argue with them, saying that majority of American people consider anti-Semites simply as idiots. Now in response to my argument they will undoubtedly bring up Ann Coulter’s comment, undoubtedly distorted by the media. Additionally, whenever I would point out that anti-Semitism is prevalent on the Left, the now would say: "Look at Ann Coulter". It is much harder to counter a 20-second soundbyte with an exact quote of what Ann Coulter said and an explanation of why it is not anti-Semitic. By just blubbering something without thinking she put me and people like me on the defensive unnecessarily, and that’s why I am angry.
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I wanted to add Book Reviews category to my blog for a while. Finally I got around to doing so. The book I have just finished reading and would like to review is "Two Flags: Return to the Warsaw Ghetto" by Marian Apfelbaum.
I learned about this book only recently when I was researching my post about the Polish Members of the European Parliament boycotting anti-Israeli anti-Semitic hatefest organized by UN. The title of the book refers to the well documented episode during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, when the defenders of one of the fortified buildings in the Ghetto raised 2 flags: white-and-red Polish and white-and-blue Jewish. This book tells the story of a less known resistance organization in the Warsaw Ghetto called Żydowski Związek Wojskowy, or ZZW, which is Polish for Jewish Military Union. I first learned about ZZW when I read "The Bravest Battle" by Dan Kurzman. It was an organization formed by the Jewish officers of the Polish Army. They obviously had personal connections with the other Polish officers. Politically members of the ZZW were followers of my fellow odessit Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zionism, an ideology similar to the modern Likud party in Israel. Because of the personal links the ZZW members had with the Polish resistance and because they were not Communist, the ZZW received significantly more help from the Polish Home Army than the leftist-leaning ZOB. Political views of the ZZW members are pretty close to my own political views. So, I was very interested to read a book that tells their story.
So, what have I learned that I did not know before? Well, first of all it turns out that ZZW was founded much earlier than ZOB: November of 1939 vs. July of 1942. ZZW was not smaller than ZOB: about 500 core members, the same as ZOB. Thus, since ZZW was much better armed than ZOB and had better military training, they had to be much more effective. So, why did ZZW receive more help from the Polish Home Army than ZOB? I mentioned personal contacts and pro-capitalist ideology. But, as it turns out, it was more than that. ZZW was in fact a part of the Polish Home Army, so much so, that ZZW members were getting rank promotions from the Home Army. For example, the commander of ZZW, Dawid Apfelbaum, was a Porucznik (Lieutenant) in 1939. But during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising he held the rank of Captain, and after the uprising he was posthumously promoted to Major. By the way, to answer the obvious question, yes, the book author is related to the leader of ZZW.
Polish aid to ZZW was quite significant. The Poles formed a special unit dedicated to helping the Jews. It was ZOB whom they did not help much. And it is very hard to blame the Home Army for that. Besides ZOB pro-Soviet leaning, they were also viewed as political demagogues who would not be very effective soldiers. Given relatively limited resources of the Home Army (remember, they were operating in a country occupied by a ruthless enemy), it is hard to blame them for allocating their resources to ZZW, whom they had often seen perform in combat back in 1939.
The charge that ZOB were to a large extent political demagogues does have merit. ZOB was plagued by political in-fighting. The talks between ZOB and ZZW about uniting their efforts failed because ZZW suggested that combat leadership should have some combat experience. This suggestion seems very reasonable. But since combat veterans were members of ZZW for the most part, ZOB viewed this idea as a power grab. ZOB even went as far as calling their ZZW counterparts "fascists". Now it seems eerily similar to the present-day Left. The ZOB leaders were political leaders for the most part. On the other hand "ZZW recruited on the sole basis of previous military training, physical fitness and courage, deliberately seeking an apoliticalism that the left always found extremely suspect if not downright diabolical" (page 259). So, members of an armed resistance organization should have military training and courage and be physically fit?! What a revolutionary concept! ZZW in fact did not care much about political views of its members. For example, one of the ZZW units during the uprising was commanded by someone named Moishe the Bolshevik.
After the war the Communists took over in Poland. Thus, anybody associated with the non-Communist Home Army was a suspect. Most of the ZZW leadership died during the uprising. The fact that the leftist ZOB did not get enough attention from the Home Army suited the new rulers of Poland very well: now it was very convenient to accuse the Home Army of anti-Semitism. True Polish heroes, like Henryk Iwanski, whos 2 sons and a brother died while fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Jews during the uprising, were even initially jailed by the Communists. Many leftist Jewish historians in the West were happy to oblige the Communists. The Poles were accused of mass anti-Semitism. (As a sidenote, I read in a Russian-Jewish magazine that the post-war pogroms in Poland were in fact staged by the NKVD – the predecessor of KGB.) But while anti-Semitism was rampant in Poland, please tell me where it was not present at that time. Whenever someone like Henryk Iwanski would claim that they helped the Jews, these historians would dismiss such claim, saying that they are not confirmed by Jewish sources. In fact, Iwansky for a while was not recognized in Israel as a Righteous Gentile (it has been fixed since). And when people like Tadeusz Bednarczyk try to argue with such historians, they are accused of anti-Semitism. But even if Bednarczyk said something anti-Semitic in nature, still, he risked his life to help the Jews in Warsaw. As my favorite talk show host Dennis Prager often says, you know the man by his actions, not his words.
So, how is it all relevant today? Well, both then and now the Left demonizes its political opponents, even in the face of a ruthless enemy that would kill us all. Both then and now the Left is willing to lie in order to achieve some dubious political objective. This finally has to stop. Marian Apfelbaum says at the end of his book:
"Out of respect to the Warsaw ghetto uprising , the time has come to complete its history. As imperfect and provisional as this book may be, it is an attempt to break the silence".
To this I would like to add 2 more things. First, it is time to restore Poland’s honor. Second, it is time to finally realize that all the Left-Right political differences don’t mater when a ruthless totalitarian enemy is ready to kill us all.
Finally, read the book. I learned a lot from it and highly recommend it.
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I recently posted about Bill O’Reilly report on Special Forces soldiers charged with murder for killing one of the top 10 Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanstan. Yesterday Old War Dogs linked to an update and Col. David Hunt’s article:
Our generals are betraying our soldiers … again
Sorry, but I have to get your attention on this one. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States Army — not the much maligned “LIBERAL PRESS” or BILL CLINTON or the LIBERALS IN CONGRESS — NO, the UNITED STATES MILITARY is prosecuting its soldiers for doing their jobs. I have tried, I have yelled, I have used nasty words. I have even tried to use humor, but none of this is sticking. You either do not believe me … or much worse, you do not care.
We did one of these stories on O’Reilly last week. Two great Special Forces soldiers, along with their team, tracked down a terrorist who was on the 10 Most Wanted list in Afghanistan. The Special Forces soldiers were operating under the much-hated rules of engagement, which said to capture or kill the bad guy, who was a bomb maker and terrorist leader. The soldiers followed this killer to his house/compound, used guile and trickery and lured the waste of life out of his lair and put a bullet in his head.
It was a perfect operation — a “Nice going guys,” high fives, take the day off, “Get ready for the next one,” type of operation. So how do you think our Special Forces soldiers were rewarded — or if not rewarded, treated — after this? THEY ARE BROUGHT TO TRIAL, INVESTIGATED AND FORCED TO SPEND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR LAWYERS.
When the terrorist was first killed, the Army showed its trust in these bravest of the brave by investigating them twice. Both investigations, however unnecessary, found them innocent of any wrongdoing. So we now are so gun shy, so afraid and so massively politically correct, that we are treating combat like a police shooting. In most cities in this great country, if a police officer even shoots his weapon, he or she must face a board of inquiry. It makes the police officers crazy and causes all to look over their shoulders and to not trust their leaders — but that is in a peaceful city, not a damn war zone.
Woo Hoo! While Kev and I were gearing up to talk football, the phone rang. It was the best of news, all charges dropped against MSG Anderson and CPT Staffel for the shooting of a known terrorist in Afghanistan (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit). This was swift justice and sent a clear message about the actions they took. Our troops must know they have the support of their command when they make life and death decisions based on the rules of that same command. Enjoy your weekend BBQs gentlemen you earned them. We will follow up on just how charges of murder came up in the shooting of a terrorist.
Still read Col. David Hunt’s article. He makes very good points, in particular that you can’t treat combat like police shootings in American cities. And, as a matter of fact, I would like to see some heads roll as a result of this whole story: heads of those who brought the murder charges in the first place.
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Some time ago Glenn Beck reported on possible Al Qaeda plans to attack multiple American schools, in effect repeating the horror of Beslan on American soil. Now Bookworm posted a good historical analysis of Islamo-Fascist attacks on schools and posts this link:
Al Qaeda Targets Our Schoolchildren
While Democrats prepare witless campaign slogans blaming Republicans for millions of children not protected by health insurance, al Qaeda’s blatant threat to exterminate 2 million American kids remains unheeded. And it will likely continue to be, notwithstanding mounting evidence that there exists no peril on Earth our young need greater protection from today than merciless jihadist monsters.
Not lack of a national insurance plan. Not global warming. Not racial or cultural disparities. Not even the Patriot Act, any of its overplayed incursions into individual liberties, or any of the other countless silly and diaphanous liberal causes célèbres, but rather that which would abruptly and savagely end their innocent short lives.
Nearly 6 months have passed since I first challenged the inexcusable refusal by DHS and FBI authorities to publicly connect the obviously connectable dots representing an unnerving number of alarming events — particularly in the wake of the Beslan school massacre. These include:
- Videotapes confiscated in Afghanistan showing al-Qaeda terrorists training to takeover a school [newly available Video]
- Spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith‘s declaration of al-Qaeda’s "right" to kill 2 million American children
- An Iraqi national with known terrorist connections caught with a computer disk containing information detailing Department of Education crisis planning for U.S school districts.
- Two Saudi men – one wearing a black trench coat despite the Florida heat — terrifying a busload of Tampa schoolchildren by boarding a school bus and remaining for the entire ride to school, all the while laughing and speaking Arabic.
- A March FBI/DHS bulletin noting "recent suspicious activity" by foreigners who drive school buses, are licensed to drive them, or have actually managed to purchase them right here at home. Including "members of the unnamed extremist groups" who have obtained commercial drivers licenses with school bus endorsements.
- Osama bin Laden’s promise that the 2004 terrorist attack at Beslan will happen many times over in the United States.
In that time, little or nothing has been done to relieve parents’ understandable anxieties, despite the fresh dots which continued to accrue on this disturbing non-puzzle.
Dots like the seventeen full-sized yellow school buses reported stolen from charter schools, business schools and private bus companies in Houston, Texas, over the past few months. Connect to that and previous disturbing stories the fact that thousands of school bus radios have also been stolen (2000 in California in 2005 alone), and the images shaped should be triggering earsplitting alarms throughout all branches of media and law enforcement.
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Here is a good article by Oliver North:
Washington, D.C. — In 1982, Robin Williams and Glenn Close starred in a quirky R-rated movie entitled “The World According to Garp.” The offbeat “comedy” — honest, that’s what Tinsletown critics called it — was loosely based on John Irving’s dark novel with the same title. Those who missed the humor in the book and film now have a chance for some real belly laughs. Next week the Big Apple will host another “gut buster” — “The World According to UNGA.” If it were a flick, it would be a dark and depressing documentary combining the conspiratorial rantings of Oliver Stone, the eerie horror of Alfred Hitchcock and the antics of a Looney Tunes cartoon.
But it’s not a movie or an “off Broadway” show. And it isn’t a television program which will simply go away with the press of a button on your remote. Instead, it’s an annual extravaganza which “We the People” have subsidized with billions of our tax dollars for six decades. It could be called — with apologies to Barnum & Bailey — the “Most Ridiculous Show on Earth.” But next week it will be called “UNGA” — short for the United Nations General Assembly.
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FromSeptember 23, 2007
Israelis seized nuclear material in Syrian raid
Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem.
The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.
They confirmed that samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.
Israeli special forces had been gathering intelligence for several months in Syria, according to Israeli sources. They located the nuclear material at a compound near Dayr az-Zwar in the north.
Evidence that North Korean personnel were at the site is said to have been shared with President George W Bush over the summer. A senior American source said the administration sought proof of nuclear-related activities before giving the attack its blessing.
Diplomats in North Korea and China believe a number of North Koreans were killed in the strike, based on reports reaching Asian governments about conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials.
Syrian officials flew to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, last week, reinforcing the view that the two nations were coordinating their response.
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A lot of people are now talking about Columbia University speaking invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As it turns out, this kind of academic insanity is not a new phenomenon. This is via Little Green Footballs:
Columbia University has invited a representative of the world’s most antisemitic regime to speak on its campus. This week’s news? Try 1933.
Seventy years before this week’s invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Columbia rolled out the red carpet for a senior official of Adolf Hitler’s regime. The invitation to Iran’s leader may seem less surprising, but no less disturbing, when one recalls that in 1933, Columbia president Nicholas Murray Butler invited Nazi Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Hans Luther, to speak on campus, and also hosted a reception for him. Luther represented "the government of a friendly people," Butler insisted. He was "entitled to be received … with the greatest courtesy and respect." Ambassador Luther’s speech focused on what he characterized as Hitler’s peaceful intentions. Students who criticized the Luther invitation were derided as “ill-mannered children” by the director of Columbia’s Institute of Arts and Sciences.
Columbia also insisted on maintaining friendly relations with Nazi-controlled German universities. While Williams College terminated its program of student exchanges with Nazi Germany, Columbia and other universities declined to do likewise. Columbia refused to pull out even after a German official candidly asserted that his country’s students were being sent abroad to serve as “political soldiers of the Reich.”
Update via LGF:
Columbia Dean says: "We’d certainly invite Hitler".
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LONDON – Rudy Giuliani talked tough on Iran yesterday, proposing to expand NATO to include Israel (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit) and warning that if Iran’s leaders go ahead with their goal to be a nuclear power "we will prevent it, or we will set them back five or 10 years."
The former New York City mayor also rejected the possibility that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be allowed to visit Ground Zero accompanied by the New York Police Department, calling the idea "outrageous."
Giuliani’s implied threat of a U.S. or allied attack on Iran’s nuclear capabilities goes further than the hard line against Iran by most other Republican presidential hopefuls, and even exceeds the stern warnings of the Bush White House.
Invited here by British conservatives, Giuliani took advantage of every opportunity to burnish his image as an international leader, meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing St., his predecessor Tony Blair and iconic conservative Margaret Thatcher.
At a time when his presidential campaign poll numbers have dipped as U.S. conservatives search for a standard bearer, Giuliani reveled in his description by Winston Churchill’s granddaughter Celia Sandys as "Winston Churchill in a baseball cap" (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit) and accepted an award named for Thatcher from the U.S.-U.K. think tank Atlantic Bridge.
Last night, to a roomful of Tories that included the Iron Lady herself, Giuliani delivered a major foreign policy address that compared the war on terror to the Cold War.
America and Britain, with their special relationship, should lead the fight against radical Islamists threatening terror by creating stronger intelligence cooperation among Western nations, a massive U.S. military build-up, an expanded NATO and a redoubled effort in the "war of ideas," Giuliani said.
I consider Winston Churchill to be one of the greatest statesmen of all times, so I like this comparison very much. I hope it is accurate and I hope that our next President will be someone like Winston Churchill.
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Here is the link to Bill O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memo tonight:
This Talking Points Memo is now posted on the Fox News web site here:
…Now I have to tell you about a very disturbing situation. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, two Green Berets, Captain Dave Staffel and Master Sergeant Troy Anderson have been accused of murder. On October 13, 2006, the soldiers were in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. Sergeant Anderson is a sniper. And his gun was trained on a terrorist named Nawab Buntangyar, a bomb maker who was on a terrorist top 10 most wanted list.
At Captain Staffel’s order, Sergeant Anderson shot and killed Buntangyar. An investigation by the Army’s criminal investigation command concluded the shooting was justifiable because the terrorist was a killer.
However, Lieutenant General Francis Kearney ordered murder charges against the two Green Berets, saying the man, the terrorist should have been captured, not killed.
I also found this article on the subject:
FORT BRAGG, N.C., Sept. 17 — From his position about 100 yards away, Master Sgt. Troy Anderson had a clear shot at the Afghan man standing outside a residential compound in a village near the Pakistan border last October. When Capt. Dave Staffel, the Special Forces officer in charge, gave the order to shoot, Sergeant Anderson fired a bullet into the man’s head, killing him.
In June, Captain Staffel and Sergeant Anderson were charged with premeditated murder. On Tuesday, in a rare public examination of the rules that govern the actions of Special Operations troops in Afghanistan, a military hearing will convene at Fort Bragg to weigh the evidence against the two men, both Green Berets.
The case revolves around differing interpretations of the kind of force that the Special Forces team that hunted and killed the man, Nawab Buntangyar, were allowed to use once they found him, apparently unarmed.
To the Special Forces soldiers and their 12-man detachment, the shooting, near the village of Ster Kalay, was a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement. They said those rules allowed the killing of Mr. Buntangyar, whom the American Special Operations Command here has called an “enemy combatant.”
Mr. Buntangyar had organized suicide and roadside bomb attacks, Captain Staffel’s lawyer said. (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit)
But to the two-star general in charge of the Special Operations forces in Afghanistan at the time, Frank H. Kearney, who has since become a three-star general, the episode appeared to be an unauthorized, illegal killing. In June, after two military investigations, General Kearney moved to have murder charges brought against Captain Staffel and Sergeant Anderson — respectively, the junior commissioned and senior noncommissioned officers of Operational Detachment Alpha 374, Third Battalion, Third Special Forces Group.
On Oct. 13, 2006, when Captain Staffel learned that Mr. Buntangyar could be found in a home near the village where his detachment was guarding a medical convoy, he ordered a seven-man team to investigate the tip.
Driving toward Ster Kalay in two government vans, the Americans called the Afghan national police and border patrol officers to assist them, Mr. Waple said. Mr. Buntangyar had already been “vetted as a target” by American commanders, as an enemy combatant who could be legally killed once he was positively identified, Mr. Waple said.
After the Afghan police called Mr. Buntangyar outside and twice asked him to identify himself, they signaled, using a prearranged hand gesture, to Sergeant Anderson, concealed with a rifle about 100 yards away, Mr. Waple said.
From a vehicle a few hundred yards farther away, Captain Staffel radioed Sergeant Anderson, Mr. Waple said. “If you have a clear shot,” he told the sergeant, “take it.”
Confirming the order, Sergeant Anderson fired once, killing Mr. Buntangyar. The American team drove to the village center to explain to the local residents, “This is who we are, this is what we just did and this is why we did it,” Mr. Waple said.
So, a sniper kills an enemy and gets prosecuted for that? What the hell is happening? Are we really bent on losing the war?
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This is a title of an article by Victor Davis Hanson:
Who recently said: "These Jews started 19 Crusades. The 19th was World War I. Why? Only to build Israel." Some holdover Nazi?
Hardly. It was former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan of Turkey, a NATO ally. He went on to claim that the Jews — whom he refers to as "bacteria" — controlled China, India and Japan, and ran the United States.
Who alleged: "The Arabs who were involved in September 11  cooperated with the Zionists, actually. It was a cooperation. They gave them the perfect excuse to denounce all Arabs." A conspiracy nut? Actually, it was former Democratic U.S. Sen. James Abourezk of South Dakota. He denounced Israel on a Hezbollah-owned television station, adding: "I marveled at the Hezbollah resistance to Israel…. It was a marvel of organization, of courage and bravery."
And finally, who claimed at a U.N.-sponsored conference that democratic Israel was "much worse" than the former apartheid South Africa and that it "undermines the international community’s reaction to global warming"? A radical environmentalist wacko? Again, no. It was Clare Short, a member of the British Parliament and Tony Blair’s international development secretary.
Read it all. Jews are like a canary in a mine. I have to repeat: it is like 1939 all over again.
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Proof of cooperation between Iran and Syria in the proliferation and development of weapons of mass destruction was brought to light Monday in a Jane’s Defence Weekly report that dozens of Iranian engineers and 15 Syrian officers were killed in a July 23 accident in Syria.
According to the report, cited by Channel 10, the joint Syrian-Iranian team was attempting to mount a chemical warhead on a Scud missile when the explosion occurred, spreading lethal chemical agents, including sarin nerve gas.
Reports of the accident were circulated at the time; however, no details were released by the Syrian government, and there were no hints of an Iranian connection.
The report comes on the heels of criticism leveled by the Syrians at the United States, accusing it of spreading "false" claims of Syrian nuclear activity and cooperation with North Korea to excuse an alleged Israeli air incursion over the country this month.
According to globalsecurity.org, Syria is not a signatory of either the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), – an international agreement banning the production, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons – or the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Syria began developing chemical weapons in 1973, just before the Yom Kipper War. Globalsecurity.org cites the country as having one of the most advanced chemical weapons programs in the Middle East.
I wonder whether some of those chemical weapons came from Iraq. Incidentally, there was an earlier report from London Times about Israeli jets attacking shipment of nuclear materials from North Korea to Syria (via LGF):
IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.
At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.
Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.
Amid reports in the American media that the alleged Israeli raid into Syria 10 days ago targeted a North Korean-Syrian nuclear facility, John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN, told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend that "simple logic" suggested North Korea and Iran could have outsourced nuclear development "to a country that is not under suspicion" – namely Syria. Tellingly, he added: "Why would North Korea protest an Israeli strike on Syria?"
Bolton suggested that Syria, which he said has long sought a range of weapons of mass destruction, might have agreed to provide "facilities for uranium enrichment" on its territory for two allied countries which are being closely watched for nuclear development.
Bolton said he was also struck by the "hesitant way" in which Damascus had complained to the United Nations Security Council. "They have not pushed as hard as I know they know how to do in New York for condemnation. They have still not explained the nature of the attack. If it had been an attack on a Syrian military facility or civilians, they would have no problem explaining."
I am a World War 2 history buff. So, I can’t get over a feeling that it is 1939 all over again.
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TEHRAN, Iran – It is Iran’s version of "Schindler’s List," a miniseries that tells the tale of an Iranian diplomat in Paris who helps Jews escape the Holocaust — and viewers across the country are riveted.
That’s surprising enough in a country where hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned whether the Holocaust even took place. What’s more surprising is that government media produced the series, and is airing it on state-run television.
The Holocaust is rarely mentioned in state media in Iran, school textbooks don’t discuss it and Iranians have little information about it.
Yet the series titled "Zero Degree Turn" is clearly sympathetic to the Jews’ plight during World War II. It shows men, women and children with yellow stars on their clothes being taken forcibly out of their homes and loaded into trucks by Nazi soldiers.
"Where are they taking them?" the horrified hero, a young Iranian diplomat who works at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, asks someone in a crowd of onlookers.
"The Fascists are taking the Jews to the concentration camps," the man says. The hero, named Habib Parsa, then begins giving Iranian passports to Jews to allow them to flee occupied France to then-Palestine.
Based on a true story
Though the Habib character is fictional, it is based on a true story of diplomats in the Iranian Embassy in Paris in the 1940s who gave out about 500 Iranian passports for Jews to use to escape.
The show’s appearance now may reflect an attempt by Iran’s leadership to moderate its image as anti-Semitic and to underline a distinction that Iranian officials often make — that their conflict is with Israel, not with the Jewish people.
About 25,000 Jews live in Iran, the largest Jewish community in the Middle East after Israel. They have one representative in parliament, which is run mostly by Islamic clerics.
The series could not have aired without being condoned by Iran’s clerical leadership. The state broadcaster is under the control of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomenei, who has final say in all matters inside Iran.
Update: Reader Niko K. writes below that a Spiegel story on the miniseries sharply contradicts the AP’s account. So sharply, in fact, that I’m wondering now if the AP story is a deliberate whitewash. Writes Niko:
The article has it all wrong, and also the Wall Street Journal article that appeared earlier.
Mohammed Reza Kazemi cleared up the matter in a recent SPIEGEL article (link in German only, sorry). Main points:
* the major point of the series is that it was allegedly the German Jews themselves who collaborated with Hitler to kill those Jews who opposed the re-settlement of Palestine
* for example, a plot line shows that a Jewish researcher is in possession of documents that prove the connection between Hitler and Zionists
* the credits of each episode feature the work of anti-Semite Roger Garaudy as a “historical source”
* “historical adviser” to the series is Holocaust denier Abdollah Shahbazi who openly admits in his blog that he’s a denier
* director and screenwriter Hassan Fatthi alleged to SPIEGEL that according to “historical evidence” a majority of Hitler’s victims were those who opposed the re-settlement of Palestine
Niko on September 16, 2007 at 10:11 PM
So, basically it looks like Iran is trying to tell the story the way I’ve heard it back in the Soviet Union: the Zionists conspired with the Nazis. Indeed, the Soviets always proclaimed anti-Semitism to be wrong (even though they practiced it routinely). They always said that they were anti-Zionist, not anti-Semites. They even had so called Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public, chaired by a token Jew, General David Dragunsky. Incidentally, here is an article on the ideology of this kind of leftist anti-Semitism from Front Page Magazine:
…In that regard, two distinctly Soviet libels stand out, both of which still claim adherents on the contemporary left. The first concerns the Holocaust. Soviet revisionists engaged, not in the denial of the extermination itself, but in the transfer of responsibility for the extermination. The Zionist movement was accused of collaborating with the Nazis in the implementation of the Final Solution to such a degree that the Holocaust became “the autogenocide of the Twentieth Century.” This ugly distortion was echoed in parts of the Western left, most famously in the form of a play entitled Perdition, which almost came to the London stage in the 1980s and remains in active circulation among anti-Zionists today. Based on the 1954 libel trial in Israel involving Rudolf Kastner, who had been accused of collaborating with the Nazis in order to rescue Jews in occupied Hungary, Perdition was, in the words of its late author, Jim Allen, a tale of “privileged Jewish leaders” collaborating “in the extermination of their own kind in order to help bring about a Zionist state, Israel, a state which itself is racist.”
The second libel concerns the insidious essence of Judaism and, flowing from that, the global reach of Jewish and Zionist influence. The writings on Zionism churned out by the Soviet state apparatus, camouflaged as social science, portrayed the movement as an organic outgrowth of Judaism’s racist doctrines, notably the concept of the “Chosen People.” Although the Soviets developed and popularized this inversion of Jewish theology, one does not have to delve into Soviet archives to find examples of it. During the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in July 2006, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten published an article by Jostein Gaarder, a popular Norwegian author, alleging that Israel’s military actions in Lebanon were a demonstration of the conceit and hubris that comes with the status of “Chosen People.” From the Soviet Union’s standpoint, this notion of chosenness elevated Zionism into a transnational foe, along with “racism,” “imperialism,” and “militarism.” Standing in its way, however, were the peoples of Africa, the Arab states, Asia, and Latin America.
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A crop of Israel’s critics–most prominently Jimmy Carter and now Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, the authors of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"–have managed something of a feat: They express no concerns about the massive pro-Arab effort, funded in significant measure by foreign oil money, taking American Jews to task for participating in the American political process; meanwhile, they inoculate themselves against charges of anti-Jewish bias by pre-emptively predicting that "the Jewish lobby" will accuse them of it.
Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer, in particular, have been heralded by Israel’s critics for their "courage" in attacking American Jews, who have allegedly "strangled" criticism of Israel. Their case seems one part laughable, and one part eyebrow-raising.
An anecdote from my own experience with the anti-Israel lobby may shed some light on the absurdity of the Walt-Mearsheimer offensive. Not long after Sept. 11, 2001, I received a call from a major defense contractor asking for a favor. I was serving as president of the Boston chapter of the World Affairs Council, a national organization that debates foreign policy, and the defense contractor was one of the Council’s principal sponsors.
The Saudi Arabian government was sponsoring a national public relations campaign to cultivate American public opinion, and was sending Saudi emissaries around the country to make the case that Saudi Arabia was a tolerant, moderate nation worthy of American support. Would the Council organize a forum of Boston’s community leaders so that the Saudis could make their case?
While this was patently no more than a Saudi lobbying effort, we organized the forum, and it was well-attended by precisely the slice of Boston’s political and corporate elite that the Saudis and their defense contractor benefactor had hoped for. The Saudis maintained that their kingdom should be regarded as a promoter of Middle East peace, and that the abundant evidence that Saudi Arabia was in fact promoting a virulent brand of extremist Islam should be discounted.
Saudi Arabia paid for the trip of its emissaries to Boston, for the Washington-based public relations and lobbying company that organized the trip, and for the Boston public relations and lobbying company that handled the Boston part of the visit. And it drew upon the resources and relationships of the defense contractor, which sells hundreds of millions of dollars of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, to support and orchestrate its public relations effort.
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Senator Joseph Liberman wrote an article on 9/11/2007. It is pretty short, so I’ll just copy it here:
Washington’s Civilizational Choice
The freedom to survive.
By Joseph LiebermanToday we remember those who lost their lives on that horrible day six years ago. We also honor the sacrifices of Americans in uniform who have bravely fought in the war that began on September 11, 2001.
The fact is that all freedom-loving people throughout the world are engaged in a struggle against the barbarism of Islamist extremism. This is not a battle between civilizations, but rather a battle for civilization.
The cause which we are fighting for is not a Republican cause or a Democratic cause. Our cause is the cause of defending liberty and freedom against a totalitarian movement that is the evil heir to the twin totalitarian threats of the 20th century. Islamist extremism, like fascism and communism, seeks to eliminate all of the ideals that free peoples cherish.
Just as during the World War II and the Cold War, our challenge today, is not to relent in this fight for liberty. And the central front in this war today is Iraq. You cannot be serious and strong in defeating those who attacked us on 9/11 if you counsel retreat in Iraq.
To pull the plug on progress in Iraq would hand our two most dangerous enemies in the world — al Qaeda and Iran — an extraordinary military and strategic victory. These are fateful days and critical decisions we are making about Iraq. We must make them with our eye on the safety of America’s next generation. It is to the credit of President Bush that he has done that in the war against Islamist extremism. He has shown the courage and steadfastness to stand against the political passions of the moment.
As Ronald Reagan once said, now is the time for choosing. If we stand united through the months ahead, if we stand firm against the terrorists who want to drive us to retreat, the war in Iraq can be won and the lives of millions of people can be saved. But if we surrender to the barbarism of suicide bombers and abandon the heart of the Middle East to fanatics and killers, to al Qaeda and Iran, then all that our men and women in uniform have fought, and died for, will be lost, and we will be left a much less secure and free nation.
That is the choice we in Washington will make this fall. It is a choice not just about our foreign policy and our national security and our interests in the Middle East. It is about what our political leaders in both parties are prepared to stand for. It is about our soul as a nation. It is about who we are, and who we want to be.
Will this be the moment in history when America gives up — when al Qaeda breaks our will, when our enemies surge forward, when we turn our backs on our friends and begin a long retreat from our principles and promise as a nation? Or will this be the moment when America steps forward, when we pull together, when we hold fast to the courage of our convictions, when we begin to turn the tide toward victory in this long and difficult war?
History tells us that appeasement of evil leads to disaster. Our cause is freedom’s cause. Together, we must prevail.
— Joseph Lieberman is a United States senator (I.) from Connecticut.
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Alternative history is pretty much the only kind of science fiction that I like. It is a bit unusual for an engineer, but that’s the way it is. I like history, and I like analyzing "what if?" scenarios. One of authors specializing in alternative history is former Speaker Newt Gingrich. On September 10, 2007, he gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute on an alternative scenario of what might have happened had we took overall Islamist threat more seriously and confronted it more aggressively after September 11, 2001. Read it here. Or listen to it by clicking this image:
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With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Al-Qaeda on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a state of war has existed between the United States and the followers of Islamo-Fascist ideology along with their supporters.
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That is the title of an article in The Weekly Standard, sent to me by a friend. To be fair, the historical links between the Nazis and the Islamists are well documented. But this article was written by a German.
Jew-Hatred and Jihad
The Nazi roots of the 9/11 attack.
by Matthias Küntzel
09/17/2007, Volume 013, Issue 01
The idea of using suicide pilots to obliterate the skyscrapers of Manhattan originated in 1940s Berlin. "In the latter stages of the war, I never saw Hitler so beside himself as when, as if in a delirium, he was picturing to himself and to us the downfall of New York in towers of flame," wrote Albert Speer in his diary. "He described the skyscrapers turning into huge burning torches and falling hither and thither, and the reflection of the disintegrating city in the dark sky."
Not only Hitler’s fantasy but also his plan of action foreshadowed September 11: He envisioned having kamikaze pilots fly light aircraft packed with explosives and with no landing gear into Manhattan skyscrapers. The drawings for the Daimler-Benz Amerikabomber from the spring of 1944 show giant four-engine planes with raised undercarriages for transporting small bombers. The bombers would be released shortly before the planes reached the East Coast, after which the mother plane would return to Europe.
Hitler’s rapture at the thought of Manhattan in flames indicates his underlying motive: not merely to fight a military adversary, but to kill all Jews everywhere. Possessed of the notion that the whole of the Second World War was a struggle against an imaginary Jewish enemy, he deemed "the USA a Jewish state" and New York the center of world Jewry. "Wall Street," as a popular book published in Munich in 1919 put it, "is, so to speak, the Military Headquarters of Judas. From there his threads radiate out across the entire world." From 1941 on, Hitler pushed to get the bombers into production, in order to "be able to teach the Jews a lesson in the form of terror attacks on American metropolises." Towards the end of the war this idea became an obsession.
Sixty years later, it so happens, the assault on the World Trade Center was coordinated from Germany. Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian who piloted the plane that struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center; Marwan al–Shehhi, from the United Arab Emirates, who steered the plane into the South Tower; Ziad Jarrah, from Lebanon, who crashed United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania; and their friends Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni, and the Moroccan student Mounir al-Motassedeq had formed an al Qaeda cell in Hamburg, where they held regular "Koran circle" meetings with sympathizers.
What ideas propelled Atta and the others to act? Witnesses provided part of the answer at the world’s first 9/11-related trial, the prosecution of al-Motassedeq, which took place in Hamburg between October 2002 and February 2003. One participant in the Koran circle meetings, Shahid Nickels, said Atta’s Weltanschauung was based on a "National Socialist way of thinking." Atta was convinced that the Jews were striving for world domination and considered New York City the center of world Jewry, which was, in his opinion, Enemy No. 1. Fellow students who lived in Motassedeq’s dormitory testified that he shared these views and waxed enthusiastic about a forthcoming "big action." One student quoted Motassedeq as saying, "The Jews will burn and in the end we will dance on their graves."
Amazingly, neither the American media nor the international press took much notice of this testimony, largely refusing to report on Atta’s and Motassedeq’s explicit Jew-hatred. The above quotations come from the weekly Der Spiegel and from the detailed notes of the trial taken by journalist Michael Eggers, who attended every session and wrote about it for Reuters. If this had been the trial of a Ku Klux Klan member or someone from the far right such as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, reports of Nazi-like dreams of exterminating the Jews would probably have made the headlines. But in this case, involving attackers of Arab background, journalists apparently found the issue irrelevant. Moreover, this Jew-hatred was no quirk of the Hamburg cell. Osama bin Laden himself declared in 1998, "The enmity between us and the Jews goes back far in time and is deep rooted. There is no question that war between us is inevitable. . . . The Hour of Resurrection shall not come before Muslims fight Jews."
Even the 9/11 Commission Report, the summation produced by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States in July 2004, falls short in this regard. Its chapter on "Bin Laden’s worldview" makes no mention of his hatred of Jews. This silence is all the more surprising in that the commission quotes documents in which bin Laden unambiguously expresses his hatred of Jews. For example, in the "Letter to the American People" of November 2002, which the report repeatedly cites, bin Laden warns: "The Jews have taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense." Osama goes on: "Your law is the law of rich and wealthy people. . . . Behind them stand the Jews who control your policies, media and economy." Yet the report’s authors inexplicably fail to see the significance of these words and the ideology behind them. The report also ignores the history of Islamism. It accords the entire pre-1945 period just five lines. Yet it is precisely this period that fostered the personal contacts and ideological affinities between early Islamism and late Nazism–the linkage between Jew-hatred and jihad.
Read it all. While the author clearly shows the Nazi roots of Al Qaeda, he never explains why the Western media ignores those roots. He does hint to it though. In my personal view, which seems to coincide with the Mr. Kunzel’s view, the reason for Western media ignoring the Nazi connection is that acknowledging this connection would mean that no appeasement is possible and that we are in the fight for our very lives. Acknowledging the Nazi-Islamist connection would also be politically incorrect. Our "blame America first" media cannot do anything that is politically incorrect.
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This is a title of an article by William F. Buckley. The article is pretty short, so, rather than excerpting a portion from it, I will just go ahead and copy the whole thing here. You can comment here, or, if you want to comment on the original site, here is the link.
World War IV?
By William F. Buckley
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Some set the matter aside as being nothing more than verbal play for the benefit of word-men. What term properly designates what we are doing, and what we are enduring, in many parts of the world, the symbolic center of which is the Twin Towers site in Manhattan? Sometimes the words chosen can mean the justification of an additional measure of military power. Always they calibrate the public mood and the public perception of what is going on.
I am informed that French pacifists, ensconced in the French Academy in 1939 and determined to understate Nazi military exercises (even those being done as close by as Czechoslovakia), refused to acknowledge such a creature as a "bombardier." Right, "bombardier" would have meant "bomber pilot." The pacifists were prepared to use the word bombardier, but only as the flying instrument — an airplane from which one drops bombs. Since no such creature as a pilot who drops bombs from such an airplane was acknowledged to exist, the schoolmen of the academy at first refused to authorize that use of the word.
Norman Podhoretz, a gifted writer and analyst, does not cavil in these matters, and his new book is called "World War IV." By Podhoretz’s calculations, World War II ended with the surrender of Berlin and Tokyo. This was followed by another and very serious war, which we termed the Cold War. That pretty well ended when the Soviet Union allowed the gates in Berlin to open and, two years later, abandoned the Soviet flag. But the end of World War III did not augur an end to global warfare. The new enemy is referred to in certain quarters as Islamofascism. And Podhoretz is the chief taxonomist of that awful combine.
He quotes in his book Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum. Pipes is off to a rollicking and reassuring start in what becomes the deadliest paragraph in town. Begin with our military superiority, which would appear to make victory inevitable. "Islamists have nothing like the military machine the Axis deployed in World War II, nor the Soviet Union during the Cold War. What do the Islamists have to compare with the Wehrmacht or the Red Army? The SS or Spetznaz? The Gestapo or the KGB? Or, for that matter, to Auschwitz or the Gulag?"
A thoughtful answer to that question is sobering. The Islamists have:
— A potential access to weapons of mass destruction that could devastate Western life.
— A religious appeal that provides deeper resonance and greater staying power than the artificial ideologies of fascism or communism.
— An impressively conceptualized, funded and organized institutional machinery that successfully builds credibility, goodwill and electoral success.
— An ideology capable of appealing to Muslims of every size and shape, from Lumpenproletariat to privileged, from illiterates to Ph.D.s, from the well-adjusted to psychopaths, from Yemenis to Canadians."
Add to the above "a huge number of committed cadres. If Islamists constitute 10 percent to 15 percent of the Muslim population worldwide, they number some 125 million to 200 million persons, or a far greater total than all the fascists and communists, combined, who ever lived."
Recognition, then, of the scale of the pretensions of the Islamist enemy has to precede substantial measures against it. In the matter of Iraq, for instance, the ambiguity of our engagement and the enlarging political cry against it would alter dramatically if one accepted the premises of the Fourth World War so ineluctably spelled out in Podhoretz’s little volume, which takes time here and there to demolish such arguments as were mounted in protest against President Bush’s mention in his 2003 State of the Union address of yellowcake hunting in Niger.
Those critics who insist that it is only a small war-party faction of the Islamists that we have to fear might have been asked a generation ago if it was not merely a small number of Germans and Russians we were properly exercised about. Sixty million people were dead after that misreckoning.
William F. Buckley, Jr. is editor-at-large of National Review, the prolific author of Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography.
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Every Sunday a bunch of leftists gather at the corner of Pomerado Road and Twin Peaks Road and demonstrate "against the war". Apparently they are encouraged to do that by some Air America-affiliated radio show. A week ago on Sunday I and a couple of my fellow Protest Warriors staged a counter-protest. Later I was able to get an e-mail forwarded to a lady who is one of the organizers of the leftist demonstration, just to see her reaction and check whether she might be willing to debate based on facts. Below is that e-mail:
So, this nice lady actually suggested to you that people in Iraq were better off under Saddam? Because he maintained order and government services functioned? Wow! It always amazes me that people on the Left resort to "Under Mussolini trains ran on time" argument. I wonder if she calls herself "liberal". How can one be liberal and resort to this kind of argument? So, she read that some Iraqis said that life was better under Saddam. Well, I am sure there were a lot of Germans in 1945 that thought that life was better under Hitler. In the late 1980s, when Soviet Union was disintegrating, there were people who were nostalgic for Stalin. "Stalin maintained order", they would say. Does she think that they were right?
Now Iraq is a mess for a number of reasons, screw-ups of our administration being one of them. So, these people think that we should just pick up and leave that place to Al-Qaeda and Iran. Do they think there will be peace once we leave, or they simply don’t care? They keep saying that Al-Qaeda was not there before we went there. Although there are evidence to the contrary, including some findings by 9/11 Commission, for the sake of argument I will stipulate to that. But Al-Qaeda is there now. And it’s not propaganda: I personally talked to people who served in Iraq. Do so-called "anti-war" people think that abandoning the place to Al-Qaeda is a good idea? Now, when finally something is going right?
Last Sunday there was one lady there. She was very condescending to me. She wore a T-shirt with an Israeli and a Palestinian flags and a word "Dialog" under the flags. I think she was Jewish. She also mentioned some of her family members who were killed in wars and was blaming America for it. I wonder if World War 2 was one of those wars. So, I guess, while her family was safely in the US, she would suggest that my family should have a "dialog". I guess, she would suggest it to my grandma’s father who was hunted down and shot in occupied Odessa. Or to my wife’s great-grandparents who were murdered in Salaspils. Or to my first grade teacher who was lucky to survive the ghetto in Odessa. That lady probably simply does not want to know about all that. Would she join Charles Lindberg’s "America First" party? I’d love to ask her all these questions, but she did not really want to engage in conversation. As a Jew, I have to say that there is only one thing worst than Nazis: the suicidal Jews who enable them.
One of the signs I was holding had this George Orwell quote on it: "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." The anti-victory people said that it was facetious. Well, maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. But I happen to agree with it. There is only one way to make facetious: if you believe that in reality there are no bad guys who want to kill you. But as soon as you realize that there are people who wish us harm, then this quote becomes very accurate. Orwell’s "1984" was based on the Stalin’s Soviet Union. Don’t take my word for it, look here:
It is no wonder that "1984" was not available in the old Soviet Union. Neither was "Animal Farm". But I have been living in this country long enough, so perhaps I should have read "1984" by now. Why haven’t I? Well, first of all, I already know what life is like in a totalitarian society. Thus, there is very little for me to learn from this book. So, I’ve been concentrating on history books like Dan Kurzman’s "The Bravest Battle" or Winston Churchill’s World War 2 memoirs. I’ve been also concentrating on current event’s books like Yossef Bodansky’s "Secret History of the Iraq War" and 9/11 Commission Report. I think I can be forgiven for not reading "1984".
Anyway, I don’t want to sound like I am looking for excuses for not reading some book. My point is that, unlike the leftists, I always question my views and arrive to them based on the information I dig out from various sources.
So, this is what the people daring to call themselves "liberals" advocate: "Mussolini got the trains to run on time", appeasement and 1930s-style isolationism. That is very far from true liberalism, if you ask me.
You know what, I have an idea. Send this e-mail to that lady you got those e-mails from. It is unlikely that she will change her mind. But at least she might understand where I am coming from. At least maybe she will think of consequences of withdrawing our troops from Iraq now. While you are at it, send her also these links:
And my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s see what this lady has to say, or whether she will even follow my links.
Regarding that "dialog" with people who want to kill us: here is a "nice" story (via LGF):
…In total, seven Kassam rockets landed in and around the western Negev town as Sderot children started their second day of the new school year. The Islamic Jihad said they had fired nine Kuds-3 rockets, saying on their internet site that the attack was “a present for the start of the new school year.”
So, how do you talk to these people?
Apparently the nice peace-loving lady admitted that she would like to cut our losses and pull out, regardless of the consequences. And, being "liberal" and "open-minded", she decided not to engage in any debate or at least take a look at the links I sent her.
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This article by Senator Joseph Lieberman was published some time ago. Still, it is worth posting about it here.
The United States is at last making significant progress against al Qaeda in Iraq–but the road to victory now requires cutting off al Qaeda’s road to Iraq through Damascus.
Thanks to Gen. David Petraeus’s new counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, and the strength and skill of the American soldiers fighting there, al Qaeda in Iraq is now being routed from its former strongholds in Anbar and Diyala provinces. Many of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs, meanwhile, are uniting with us against al Qaeda, alienated by the barbarism and brutality of their erstwhile allies.
As Gen. Petraeus recently said of al Qaeda in Iraq: "We have them off plan."
But defeating al Qaeda in Iraq requires not only that we continue pressing the offensive against its leadership and infrastructure inside the country. We must also aggressively target its links to "global" al Qaeda and close off the routes its foreign fighters are using to get into Iraq.
Recently declassified American intelligence reveals just how much al Qaeda in Iraq is dependent for its survival on the support it receives from the broader, global al Qaeda network, and how most of that support flows into Iraq through one country–Syria. Al Qaeda in Iraq is sustained by a transnational network of facilitators and human smugglers, who replenish its supply of suicide bombers–approximately 60 to 80 Islamist extremists, recruited every month from across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and sent to meet their al Qaeda handlers in Syria, from where they are taken to Iraq to blow themselves up to kill countless others.
Obviously, read it all.
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A friend e-mailed me this:
IN a new outburst of antiwestern sabre-rattling, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has threatened Britain with “revenge” for the Falklands war of 1982. The belligerent Latin American leftist warned last week that his recent build-up of sophisticated Russian and Iranian weapons would be used to destroy the British fleet if it attempted to return to the South Atlantic.
Speaking on his weekly television show Alo Presidente (Hello, Mr President), Chavez denounced what he described as Britain’s “illegal occupation” of the Falklands and repeated his call for a regional military alliance against Britain and the United States.
“If we had been united in the last war, we could have stopped the old empire,” Chavez said, as he gesticulated to maps showing how Venezuelan aircraft and submarines would intercept British warships. “Today we could sink the British fleet.”
Chavez has often expressed support for Argentina’s claim to the Falklands, but his latest broadside was notable for both its antiBritish vitriol and its unprecedented threats. He declared that British history was “stained with the blood of South America’s indigenous people” and demanded revenge for the “cowardly” sinking of the General Belgrano, the Argentine cruiser.
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I’m not Jewish. No one in my family died in the Holocaust. For me, anti-Semitism has always been one of those phenomena that doesn’t really register on my radar, like tribal genocide in Rwanda, a horrible thing that happens to someone else.
But I live in a small town outside of Munich on a street that until May of 1945 was named Adolf Hitler Strasse. I work in Munich, a pleasant metropolitan city of a little over a million inhabitants whose Bavarian charm tends to obscure the fact that this city was the birthplace and capital of the Nazi movement.
Every day when I go to work, I pass by the sites of apartments Hitler lived in, extant buildings in which decisions were made to murder millions of innocent people, and plazas in which book burnings took place, SS troops paraded and people were executed. The proximity to evil has a way of concentrating one’s attention, of putting a physical reality to the textbook narratives of the horrors perpetrated by the Germans.
Then the little things start to happen that over a period of time add up to something very sinister. I’m on a bus and a high school boy passes around Grandpa’s red leather-bound copy of Mein Kampf to his friends who respond by saying "coooool!" He then takes out a VCR tape (produced in Switzerland) of The Great Speeches of Joseph Goebbels."
A few weeks later, I’m at a business meeting with four young highly educated Germans who are polite, charming and soft-spoken to say the least. When the subject matter changes to a business deal with a man in New York named Rubinstein, their nostrils flair, their demeanor attain a threatening mien and one of them actually says, and I’m quoting verbatim here: "The problem with America is that the Jews have all the money." They start laughing and another one says, "Yeah, all the Jews care about is money."
This is not good. The way things are going, we might have to fight another war in Europe, in addition to the Middle East.
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That is the title of the post by Yaacov Ben Moshe of Breath of the Beast. He also e-mailed it to me. I’ll just copy the whole thing here:
Free The Rushes!
Some of you have been wondering why the Breath of the Beast blog has been quiet for the past few weeks. One of the reasons is that I have had the pleasure and honor of being involved in helping with an initiative of tremendous importance.
Before the Pope’s remarks, before Gaza Beach, before the Mohammed Cartoons there was Muhammad al Durah, the 12 year old boy the allegation of whose death was one of the first triumphs of the Islamo-rage-aholic/Pallywood/humiliation-a-thon that has sucked in and manipulated the Western Media.
Richard Landes of Second Draft http://www.seconddraft.org/index.php and Augean Stables http://www.theaugeanstables.com/ who, many of you know, is a pioneer debunker of media complicity in the Arab/Islamist/Palestinian offensive of misrepresented and staged news has refocused attention on this prototypical travesty with a new effort to try to get France2 to release all of their video tapes from that fateful days activities.
Here is what we know:
On September 30, 2000, Charles Enderlin alleged that Israeli soldiers intentionally targeted and killed a Palestinian boy at Netzarim Junction. Enderlin, Middle East Correspondent for France2 television, used the footage and testimony of cameraman, Talal abu Rahmah as “proof” of what he claimed to be Israeli savagery
That allegation spread all but instantaneously around the world, sparking explosions of hatred and violence against Israeland Jews. It has been alluded to by Jihadis the world over, from Palestinian suicide bombers to Osama Bin Laden to the executioners of Daniel Pearl, to assorted radical Islamists in Europe.
Landes and others have succeeded in casting serious doubts about the reliability of the France2 report, including exposing compelling evidence that what is claimed to be the child’s death in the sequence is mere playacting. There is also evidence of the habitual and unashamed dishonesty of the photographer Talal abu Rahmah .
France2 immediately has released only the 3 minutes of their cameraman’s rushes they thought “relevant”, they have consistently refused to release the full "rushes" (all the footage shot by their cameramen) for inspection. They have blocked efforts in the courts to gain their release, and have allowed only screened viewers to see the tapes at their offices. Even some of those hand-picked viewers who have seen these "rushes" think that major sections of their “action sequences” are staged, and that a close look reveals unprofessional journalistic standards both for the cameraman and for the news broadcaster who used his work.
Charles Enderlin’s defense for running the story – "it corresponded to the situation in Gaza and the West Bank" – recapitulates the “False but accurate” attitude of many towards the Dan Rather forgery- a weak rationalization of disingenuous journalistic bias.
Keeping the full rushes of an event like this one secret can serve no conceivable purpose, other than to protect a guilty media outlet from being exposed in the act of fraud and libel. The honor and safety of the Israelis and everyone who wish for their fair treatment are endangered thereby. They and their embattled homeland are deprived of the chance to vindicate themselves without the evidence that France2 is withholding.
Richard has introduced a powerful and simple petition at the url below. Its wording and intent is broad and neutral enough that it should attract the sympathy (and deserve the signature) of any but the most blatantly anti-Semitic or radically Islamist reader. Anybody with a sense of fair play has to see the merit in this request. I believe it is of the utmost importance that we get behind this petition. Send it to your friends! Post it on your web sites! Sign It!
So, go ahead and sign this petition. This modern day Dreyfus Affair has to be stopped.
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"True, it is a fixed idea with the French that the Rhine is their property, but to this arrogant demand the only reply worthy of the German nation is Arndt’s: "Give back Alsace and Lorraine". For I am of the opinion, perhaps in contrast to many whose standpoint I share in other respects, that the reconquest of the German-speaking left bank of the Rhine is a matter of national honour, and that the Germanisation of a disloyal Holland and of Belgium is a political necessity for us. Shall we let the German nationality be completely suppressed in these countries, while the Slavs are rising ever more powerfully in the East?"
Have a look at the headline quote above and say who wrote it. It is a typical Hitler rant, is it not? Give it to 100 people who know Hitler’s speeches and 100 would identify it as something said by Adolf. The fierce German nationalism and territorial ambition is unmistakeable. And if there is any doubt, have a look at another quote from the same author:
This is our calling, that we shall become the templars of this Grail, gird the sword round our loins for its sake and stake our lives joyfully in the last, holy war which will be followed by the thousand-year reign of freedom.
That settles it, doesn’t it? Who does not know of Hitler’s glorification of military sacrifice and his aim to establish a "thousand-year Reich"?
But neither quote is in fact from Hitler. Both quotes were written by Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx’s co-author (See here and here). So let that be an introduction to the idea that Hitler not only called himself a socialist but that he WAS in fact a socialist by the standards of his day. Ideas that are now condemned as Rightist were in Hitler’s day perfectly normal ideas among Leftists. And if Friedrich Engels was not a Leftist, I do not know who would be.
Obviously, read the whole thing. And if this article is not available at the link I provided, let me know, and I will post it on my site. But what is of particular interest to me is this picture from the article:
So, how do you like this Russian swastika? In case someone thinks this has something to do with some Russian fascists, let me assure you it does not. Let me translate this. On the left side it says:
to troops of South-Eastern front
City of Saratov <date> November 1919
A shoulder patch is approved for Kalmyk units, according to the attached drawing and description.
The right to wear this patch is given to officers and Red Army privates of existing Kalmyk units, as well as the ones being raised, according to order of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic, this year, # 11<6>.
Below are the signatures of the front commander, the Member of the Revolutionary Military Council (the commissar) and chief of staff. On the right there is a description and the picture. Of interest are the Cyrillic letters R. S. F. S. R. inside the swastika. This abbreviation stands for "Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic", the official name of the part of the Soviet Union that is now Russia. By the way, even now the official name of Russia is Russian Federation. So, basically this is a Red Army shoulder patch with the swastika on it that was used during the Russian Civil War after the Bolshevik Revolution. My late grandpa told me many times that in 1939 after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact the Soviet newspapers kept praising the friendship between 2 socialist countries. Indeed there were very few differences between the two.
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…of one of the largest Jewish human rights organization, the Anti-Defamation League. To tell you the truth, I always thought of this organization as ineffective, but relatively harmless. ADL leans left and always keeps looking for enemies where very few left. They are the ones that seem to be suing municipalities for putting up Christmas trees. But they once in a while would have a thoughtful opinion piece. But recently they hit the bottom:
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)-sponsored campaign to combat bigotry and celebrate diversity (“No Place for Hate”) has sparked bitter resentment in Watertown, MA—a small town whose 8,000 Armenian-Americans comprise nearly 25% of the population. Local Armenians do not object to the initiative, rather the group behind it, the ADL and its director, Abraham Foxman—whom they charge, correctly, with denying the ugly established legacy of the World War I era Armenian genocide. Under the authoritarian Young Turk (Ittihadist) regime, the bulk of the Armenian population from the territories of the Ottoman Empire—some 1 to1.5 million Armenians—were purged by violent and lethal means, which reproduced the historical conditions of a classical Islamic jihad: deportation, enslavement, forced conversion, and massacre.
Mr. Foxman maintains that dismantling a program designed to fight hatred simply because the ADL does not share what he refers to as the “Armenians’ viewpoint”, would be “bigoted.” Moreover Foxman and the ADL, who have spoken out in recent times against ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the Balkans and the genocide against the syncretist black African Animist-Muslims in Darfur, are in effect oddly “neutral” on the Armenian genocide: “We’re not party to this, and I don’t understand why we need to be made party.” But even this morally-challenged “neutrality” is disingenuous. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (4/23/07, “Turks want genocide commission”), Mr. Foxman and the ADL are actively lobbying against the Armenian genocide recognition legislation in the Congress (HR 106) and the Senate (SR 106), including the presentation of letters from the Jewish community of Turkey complemented by, “their own [i.e., the ADL’s] statement opposing the bill.”
The national Anti-Defamation League fired its New England regional director yesterday, one day after he broke ranks with national ADL leadership and said the human rights organization should acknowledge the Armenian genocide that began in 1915.
Tarsy, 38, said he had been struggling with the national position for weeks and finally told Foxman in a phone conversation Thursday that he found the ADL’s stance "morally indefensible."
At least two prominent board members of the regional Anti-Defamation League have resigned in protest over the national ADL’s decision to fire the regional director for acknowledging the slaughter of Armenians during World War I as genocide.
Former chairman of the Polaroid Corp., Stewart L. Cohen, and City Council member Mike Ross told the Globe yesterday they could no longer be part of an organization with national leaders who refused to acknowledge the Armenian genocide and fired regional director, Andrew H. Tarsy, on Friday for taking a position in support of Armenian-Americans.
NEW YORK (JTA) — In a dramatic reversal, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director has issued a statement describing the massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as "tantamount to genocide."
Despite the shift on the genocide question, Foxman says he still does not support the legislative measure, which he described in his Tuesday statement as "a counterproductive diversion" that could threaten the Turkish Jewish community and "the important multilateral position between Turkey, Israel and the United States."
As a Jew, I find the ongoing efforts by Mr. Foxman and the ADL to deny recognition of the Armenian genocide morally repugnant, ignorant, and particularly inappropriate for an organization geared to reducing, as opposed to abetting and fomenting Antisemitism, and other forms of irrational hatred.
I can certainly sign my name under this statement.
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While we are on the subject, Bookworm links to this great idea of a Giuliani vs. Hillary commercial.
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Poland to this day is still getting a bad rap as a result of the Holocaust that largely happened within its territory. There are reasons for it: the anti-Semitism was rampant in Poland, and often Poles would betray Jews to the Nazis for a price. However, unlike Vichy French, some Lithuanians, some Latvians and some Estonians, Poles did not take a direct role in the actual murder of the Jews. In Yad Vashem the largest number of names of Righteous Gentiles are Polish. Home Army was reluctant to aid Mordechai Anielewicz’s left-leaning ZOB, which could be understandable, given the Soviet invasion of Eastern Poland in 1939. However, Home Army did support pro-capitalist ZZW, which had the ideology similar to the modern Likud Party in Israel. Home Army also created Council for Aid to Jews, which managed to save thousands of Jews. There were also Polish heroes like Henryk Iwanski, who fought shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish fighters during Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The Jews in the Ghetto fought under 2 flags: the red-and-white Flag of Poland and the blue-and-white with the Star of David. There were also heroes like Jan Karski, who delivered the evidence of the Holocaust to the Allies.
A conference of UN NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be hosted at the European Parliament this month, will be boycotted by Polish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the political spectrum, who say that the conference is biased against Israel.
"I will not take part in this conference. I saw the materials prepared by the organizers," Bronislaw Geremek, a Polish MEP, was quoted by Polish website, Europa21 as saying.
"Although there is no official statement that Israel must be pushed down to the sea there, the choice of subjects and the attitude towards the problems shows that it will be a biased, conflict generating conference. Actually we can call it anti-Israeli," he said.
"There is not the first such initiative. (The) Pro-Palestinian lobby is very active here. If in fact, the conference will become propagandist, Israelis can count on Poles," Boguslaw Sonik, another Polish MEP, said.
Konrad Szymanski, a third MEP, said: "Israel’s objections are fully justified. (The) UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is a platform for activity of various extremists. According to the most of them Israel should disappear."
"I am astonished that European Parliament allowed such activity to be placed in its building. If there is any activity against the conference, i.e. a petition signed by MEPs, I will be very glad to support it," Szymanski added.
Thank you, Poland.
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When will the West awaken? Of course, I am not talking about your ordinary citizen or soldier but about our Talking Heads and other gate-keeping chatterers who simply refuse to "get it."
Cambridge University Press not only recalls but has promised to pulp the book that authoritatively documents one Saudi billionaire’s funding of terror; many anti-jihadic writers and all our leading mainstream media have privately apologized to this same billionaire. Only Rachel Ehrenfeld has refused to "apologize" for telling the truth and has counter-sued him in an American court of law based on her First Amendment right to tell the truth. (She was initially sued in London where she lost by default; she chose not to appear in court).
At a recent conference in Los Angeles, sponsored by the American Freedom Alliance, Daniel Pipes announced his intention to start a legal defense bail fund for those who are sued by Islamists and their Western apologists for telling the truth. Not a moment too soon–although, regrettably, perhaps too late for Ehrenfeld. And, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has begun a process of legal intimidation against my esteemed colleague, Robert Spencer. Accordingly, David Horowitz has launched a legal defense fund for Spencer. I have pledged money to this and advise us all to do the same.
Before this war is over, we will each need legal defense funds. And that’s if we’re lucky. Those in the Islamic East need bodyguards and air-lifts to safety in the West. But there is a pattern emerging in the West which we ignore at our own peril.
Of course, read it all. Here is a scary thought. Consider the stories about public school madrassa in New York, Carver Elementary School in San Diego, Foot-Washing Basins for Muslim Students, Sharia in Britain etc. Can you imagine any of this prior to 9/11? It is scary, because it seems that Al-Qaeda succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. Even as our soldiers are chasing down the violent Islamists, our public officials are cowering in front of the Islamist front organizations like CAIR. As long as political correctness exists, the bastards are very skillful in using our laws against us. We need leaders who will shed any pretence of political correctness, and fast. We need to stand up to this legal jihad and say: "Enough is enough". And by the way, for once I would support litigation. For example, suing Carver Elementary would be the right thing to do. For once, let’s use our laws and political correctness to our advantage.
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When describing Iraq, the word "peace" is seldom used. Truth be told, the Americans have restored order to many parts of the county. But Iraq remains fractured, and where new schools are built today, bombs could explode tomorrow.
DER SPIEGEL / Agentur Focus / Tina Hager
The "Hands of Victory" in Baghdad’s Green Zone: The US military is more successful in Iraq than the world wants to believe.
The Iraq war came within a hair of returning to Ramadi in early July. The attackers had already gathered four kilometers (about 2.5 miles) south of the city, on the banks of the Nasr canal. Between 40 and 50 men dressed in light uniforms were armed like soldiers and prepared to commit a series of suicide bombings. They had already strapped explosive vests to their bodies and loaded thousands of kilograms of explosives, missiles and grenades onto two old Mercedes trucks. But their plan was foiled when Iraqis intent on preserving peace in Ramadi betrayed them to the Americans (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit).
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The United States will soon be referring to an Iranian military division as a “specially designated global terrorist,” the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Under Executive Order 13224, which President George W. Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps would be targeted in probes of terrorism financing, the Post reported.
The Bush administration has been debating whether to target the Revolutionary Guard Corps in full, or only its Quds Force wing, which U.S. officials have linked to the growing flow of explosives, roadside bombs, rockets and other arms to Shiite militias in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Post reported.
The Revolutionary Guard boasts such veterans as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and many Iranian business leaders.
I would question the wisdom of revealing this information. Of course, once Washington Post published it, there is no more reason to hide it. On the other hand, maybe our counter-terrorism expert find it useful to keep the Iranians on their toes, and leaked it deliberately. In any case, let’s hope that this will help the war effort.
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Today I received an e-mail from my friend George Mellinger of Veteran-American Voices, an author and historian. His e-mail contained the links to 2 documentaries about Vietnam War, attempting to correct the misconceptions about that war and explain the role of the media during that war. Apparently they are being posted on YouTube in pieces and also available for download in full.
The first documentary is called "Vietnam War – The Real Story":
Full 1-hour version is available for download here.
The second one is called "Vietnam War – The Impact of Media":
Full 1-hour version is available for download here.
So, why is the history of Vietnam War important now? Because then, as now, our enemies used our Left and our leftist-dominated media to defeat us. We need to learn from history in order to prevent this from happening again. In conclusion, let me quote a journalist who participated in these documentaries, Robert Elegant. He wrote an article entitled "How to lose a war". Obviously, I highly recommend reading the whole thing. The article is full of "money" quotes. But here is the conclusion:
…As long as the "Viet Nam Syndrome" afflicts the media, it seems to me that it will be virtually impossible for the West to conduct an effective foreign policy. It is apparently irrelevant that the expectations of paradise after Hanoi’s victory evoked by "the critics of the American war" became the purgatory the Indochinese people have suffered. Just as many denizens of the antebellum American South did not know that "Damyankee" was really two words, an entire generation in Europe and the United States behaves as if "the dirty, immoral war in Viet Nam" were an irrefutable and inseparable dogma. Merely equate El Salvador (or any other American intervention) to Viet Nam — and not only the American public but all "liberal" Europeans will condemn it without reservation. That is all they need to know. In its final effect — what has over the last decade been called "the paralysis of political will "— it will make it especially difficult for the United States to honor any political commitment anywhere in the world where small and threatened nations may expect American support for their independent existence. Before they fall to an aggressor, they will have been victimized by "the Viet Nam Syndrome."
It has long appeared to me that the medical and legal professions enjoy one enormous advantage. If they err, doctors and lawyers may be blamed. Yet, except in the most flagrant cases, the client or the patient pays them again for correcting their mistakes — if they can, and if he can. But the media on Viet Nam, it has become blatantly obvious, have enjoyed even greater advantages. Even in the most flagrant cases, they have not been blamed. They have, rather, been acclaimed for their errors. Who can, ultimately, prove it otherwise? The peoples of the non-Communist world have paid dearly for these errors — and may well continue to pay.
Let’s just hope that we can defeat that "Viet Nam Syndrome".
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A couple of days ago I received an invitation to participate in the Carnival of San Diego bloggers. I’ve never heard of such a thing as a Blog Carnival. Turns out, a blog carnival is a collection of articles from a bunch of participating blogs. It is not a bad idea: it allows you to essentially advertise your blog. Well, the requirement for the San Diego Blog Carnival was that an article has to have an emphasis on local coverage within the last month. I did not have anything specific to San Diego in the last month, so I did not have anything to submit to this particular carnival. However, there are many other blog carnivals. Interestingly, one of the is called "Carnival of the Liberals". Well, well, well, I consider myself a Liberal in the original sense of the word. Thus, I should be able to participate, right? So, in the finest tradition of Protest Warrior, I submitted my original "Reclaiming the Terms" article to the Carnival of the Liberals. Supposedly it will be hosted at the blog called "Neural Gourmet". The date it should be published is August 15. Let’s see what kind of reaction I will get from the Left.
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Goose Creek – Two men are being held in the Berkeley County Detention Center after police find explosive making devices in their car. The quantity of explosive making materials in that vehicle is unclear. The FBI (website) reports that there is no known link to terrorism. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office believes that among materials in the car’s trunk were a bomb and bomb making materials that include chemicals, fuses, and igniters. The men 21-year-old Yousef Megahed and 24-year-old Ahmed Mohamed were pulled over Saturday evening during a routine traffic stop near Myers Road and Highway 176. Few details about the suspects are known at this time. They are believed to be students at a Florida college. They are of Middle Eastern descent and are not US citizens. Neither man has been charged, but charges are expected Monday. A press conference will be held in Berkeley County on Monday morning. Possession of unlawful explosives is among the potential charges. Officials are not at this time releasing any additional information. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s office may confirm what exactly was found in that trunk during Monday’s press conference. Stay tuned to ABC News 4 and www.abcnews4.com for details as they become available.
So, here we have young Middle-Eastern men fitting certain profile with explosives. Am I profiling them unfairly? Could it be that the explosives make a large contribution to that profile?
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The big question about two live landmines found in a countryside culvert running under Inadale Drive between Strathroy and Mt. Brydges, Ontario yesterday is who put them there?
Appearing to be attached to timers, the landmines were likely of the type used to blow up tanks, according to Strathroy-Caradoc police.
Police yesterday swarmed a country creek where children cool off in heat waves like the one this week as Canadian Forces explosives experts detonated the landmines.
The creek would be a huge draw for children in the weatherman’s extreme heat alert on Ontario’s Simcoe Day long weekend.
“One mine was discovered by two teenaged girls Friday. They called police, and a second mine was found yesterday morning, only one metre away from the first.” (London Free Press, (London, Ontario) and Sun Media, August 5, 2007
I wonder what my Canadian cousins would have to say about this.
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How will we lose the war against "radical Islam"?
Well, it won’t be in a tank battle. Or in the Sunni Triangle or the caves of Bora Bora. It won’t be because terrorists fly three jets into the Oval Office, Buckingham Palace and the Basilica of St Peter’s on the same Tuesday morning.
The war will be lost incrementally because we are unable to reverse the ongoing radicalization of Muslim populations in South Asia, Indonesia, the Balkans, Western Europe and, yes, North America. And who’s behind that radicalization? Who funds the mosques and Islamic centers that in the past 30 years have set up shop on just about every Main Street around the planet?
Obviously, read it all.
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The immigration issues have not been in the news lately. But they will come back eventually. They always come back, until the issue will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. Thus, even though I got to this issue only now, it is useful to touch upon. This is a continuation of an idea that started this blog: a desire to reclaim the terminology of the English language. The large part of the following first appeared as a comment and then on front page of Bill Faith’s original blog. I’d like to have this all on my blog as well.
one that immigrates: as a: a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence b: a plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown
— immigrant adjective
However, in my view this definition omits a uniquely American meaning of the word "immigrant": someone who comes to a new country, learns the language of a new country, which is English in the case of USA, assimilate and become part of the new country. I personally resent when people marching and waving other country’s flags are called "immigrants" to this country. That is because I am myself a naturalized American, i. e. an immigrant. Those people waving Mexican flags and, as they say in Russian, pumping their right (kachat’ prava), are not immigrants. They are unassimilated migrants at best, and foreign invaders at worst, their legal status notwithstanding. Thus, we come to the core of the problem as I see it. The problem, in my opinion, is not "illegal immigration", as it is commonly called. The problem is unassimilated migration. The legal status of those migrants is absolutely irrelevant. I bet the majority of those people participating in so-called pro-immigrant demonstrations were in fact legal residents or citizens, many of them perhaps born and raised in this country. If you were illegal, would you risk attracting attention to yourself by going to such demonstration? Yet they cannot be called "Americans". As a country, we failed to assimilate certain segment of newcomers. We did it by allowing the Left to declare them a protected minority and pander to them. Why do we keep hearing that if you speak Spanish, you’ll get a better job? Better job doing what? Selling tacos in San Isidro? Every time I go to a polling place, there are ballots available in Spanish. Don’t you have to speak English in order to cast an informed vote? I am always tempted to demand a ballot in Russian. I actually did it once, just for laughs. The people at the polling place explained to me that there are not enough Russian-speaking immigrants, but if I want ballots in Russian, I need to write to San Diego Registrar of Voters and ask for them. The worst part of it is that had I demanded a ballot in Russian hard enough, I would probably get it. And that is really sad. And by the way, they do have ballots in Russian in Brighton Beach, which I resent just as much as the Spanish ballots. I can understand older people not being able to learn English. But people in their 20s and 30s? My wife, as a nurse, had patients who were disappointed, to say the least, when she could not speak Spanish with them. And they were themselves, or had family members who were young enough and have been in this country long enough to learn the language. Yet, they never did.
The Left made it even worse. They managed to brainwash the younger generation, whose parents came to this country to seek better life for their children, into hating this country. The leftist teachers distorted history, and now these young people do not see themselves as Americans, but identify with some other group that was supposedly wronged by America. Yet they were often born and raised in this country. To further illustrate the irrelevance of the legal status to this much deeper problem, who would you prefer: one of those kids waving Mexican flags and dumping on this country, or someone who sneaked across the border at the age of, let’s say, 17, and a year later, out of appreciation for America, using fake ID, enlisted into the Marine Corps and put his life on the line for this country? I would definitely prefer such an "illegal" Marine. In fact, I would give him US Citizenship. This is just a hypothetical, but I think it illustrates the point. And no, I am not excusing the illegal crossing of the border, I am just saying that it is irrelevant to the issue of loyalty and assimilation, which is much more important in the time of war.
So, now we have a problem. There is a segment of the population that is not loyal, and often openly hostile to this country. You can call them "5th column". How can we solve it? First of all, the bleeding has to be stopped. The border has to be secured. It does not necessarily mean a wall, but most definitely means some sort of border troops, similar to what the Soviets had. National Guard can play this role. There was never a wall around the Soviet Union. But there was a ploughed strip of land all around, where the footsteps were always visible, and there were border military patrols. The border was secure. By the way, as a side note, the Russians have now illegal migration problem on the Chinese border. This is not really new: back in the 60s and 70s the Chinese Government would send civilians across the border. The border dispute there is probably about 150 years old and it did at times escalated into an open border warfare. My dad once on a business trip ran into a guy who used to be a helicopter pilot for the Soviet Air Force. He told my dad that they were taken to hospitals treating Soviet soldiers mutilated by the Chinese and then given assignments to strafe those Chinese attempting to cross the border and destroy border villages. Back then it worked to stop the Chinese infiltration. But I don’t think they would do it now, so they do have a problem.
But back to our problem. It is possible to secure the border. Then the immigration process has to be streamlined. Ideally, the whole INS, or whatever it is called now, should be replaced, but this is just wishful thinking. Any kind of guest worker program or work visas should be eliminated and replaced with just Green Cards. So, for example, if some employer is willing to sponsor someone to come and work in this country, that person should get a Green Card instead of H1B Visa. There should be strings attached: if that person does not state his or her desire to immigrate and become an American, the Green Card should not be given, and that person should not be allowed to come to this country. Why? Because the temporary condition for that person that prevents assimilation should be eliminated. After 5 years, that person should be allowed and reminded to apply for Citizenship. A year should be given for that. Then another reminder should be sent, stating that if the Citizenship application is not filled up by the end of another year, that person will be deported and not allowed to come back ever, or for at least 10 years. If that person is caught in the country illegally, the prison sentence should be extremely stiff, like 10 years. You see, my idea is essentially that America should be for Americans, both old and new, native-born and naturalized. Dual Citizenships could be allowed, but only with friendly countries. The alliances come and go, so some friendly countries might become hostile. Should that happen, those holding dual citizenship with those formerly friendly countries should be specifically asked at that time where their loyalties lie. And if they choose that other country, they should be sent there.
So, if this is ever implemented, we will never have people who live here, but who will by definition never assimilate. The only people living in the country would be either loyal Americans or those who are waiting to become loyal Americans. So, what do we do with the people that are now illegally in the country? Well, after the border is secure, and it is actually easier to come to this country legally, than illegally, those who are already here can be given an amnesty. Why? Because the only alternative to it is to round them up, men, women and children, including the kids who were born in this country, and throw them out. Besides this being a logistical nightmare, I don’t think any of us are going to like what we see, if this is done. Thus, anything other than a complete legalization will still leave an unassimilated chunk of population. Any other idea, like requiring people to go to a country of origin and apply for Green Cards will not work: they are already here, they do not have a lot of money, and anything they would have to do to go back would cause tremendous disruption to their lives. Besides, even if we give them a promise that they will automatically get Green Cards in their country of origin, still they would not feel that they have any guarantees. So, they would just stay, and the problem will never be solved. And that is just because we don’t want to reward their law-breaking of entering the country illegally. Do we really want to keep a permanent 5th column in the country just for that? The goal should be not just an orderly immigration, but also a thorough assimilation of immigrants, the way it was done 100 years ago. So, what’s left? The criminal background check. That is a joke. You can only check criminal backgrounds of those who come from friendly Western countries, and there are not many of those. (Mexico is not a friendly Western country. It might not be hostile, but it is also not Western.) Instead, immigrants committing crimes should be designated as "foreign criminals", somewhat similar to spies. Now, that of course should apply only to premeditated crimes, not DUIs. They should be given extremely stiff sentences, like 20 years, and then deported. Perhaps, this should even include naturalized citizens. And citizens involved in Islamo-Fascist terrorism should be charged with treason. The punishment for treason during wartime is death.
Thus, here is my solution to the current immigration problem. We can call it "America for Americans". It does not stop immigration, but demands that every single immigrant assimilates and becomes a loyal American. What do you think? Did I solve "unassimilated migration" problem?
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Apparently, there are some intellectually honest "liberals". The only reason the word "liberals" is in quotes here is because I believe that true liberalism is now found right of center, while the authors of the article I am about to link are on the Left. Nevertheless, they seem to have enough intellectual honesty and integrity to write the article I heard about on the Dennis Prager Show, but only now got around to posting on it:
A War We Just Might Win
VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.
After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.
Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.
Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.
In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks — all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups — who were now competing to secure his friendship.
Incidentally, my friend’s brother, who is an Army Major and was in Ramadi with his unit, told me the same story. But anyway, read the whole article. Meanwhile, here is the Democrats in Congress say (via LGF):
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that a strongly positive report on progress on Iraq by Army Gen. David Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his party’s efforts to press for a timetable to end the war.
Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."
That is very tricky position to be in that the Democrats find themselves in: whatever is good for the country is bad for them.
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“Dear Blog Community, Welcome to the first Spirit of America (SoA) monthly update. A new outreach program designed to keep the blogger community informed of the projects that we engage in. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to helping our troops make a difference in the war torn countries of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Spirit of America facilitates the donation of humanitarian supplies that our troops distribute to civilians in those strategic regions of the world. This assistance is vital towards the creation of jobs and the restoration of public services like education and medical care. Thank you to the blogger community for your support. Sincerely, Spirit of America” This Month’s Topics:
Help us reach out to our Military
A Special Iraqi School Project
Quick Response to Afghan Farmers Request
Women’s Burn Unit & Maternity
Join our Mailing List, pass it on
REACHING OUT For our first blogger update we would like to ask for your help in order to reach out to our military personnel serving in Spirit of America’s theatre of operations (especially in Ramadi where our forces have had some huge successes recently). Many front line troops are not aware of the services that we provide to help them assist civilians living in those critical regions that they serve in. We can help facilitate their outreach to these civilians. Such humanitarian aid is vital to advance the cause of freedom, democracy and peace. Quite often our military personnel have requests for goods like school and medical supplies, sewing machines, hand tools, watches, water barrels, clothing, soccer gear and toys. Since 2001 we have successfully completed many of these supply projects and urge our servicemen and women to contact us to see if we can help them make a difference. Email Us SPECIAL IRAQI SCHOOL PROJECT Would you say that four years is a long time? It’s a fair chunk of change, but it’s hardly an extreme amount of time unless it is spent under extreme circumstances. In the case of Staff Sergeant (SSG) Steven Gardner you can say that he has experienced more in the last four years than most people have in their entire lifetimes. SSG Gardner has served his country in war torn Iraq since April 2003!!! For almost the entire conflict that has reshaped our times he has been deployed in many different provinces of the country. Throughout this time SSG Gardner witnessed how a brutal insurgency has victimized the Iraqi people. In order to give the Iraqis an alternative message of hope SoA is undertaking a special project with SSG Gardner to help a local school in the northern Iraqi city of Habur Gate. This endeavor is being conducted in the true spirit of our service men and women. It is something that is not fully appreciated by the general public. Consider the fact that last year 807 schools serving 322,800 students nationwide were completed using American funding and supervised by our military forces. In addition projects like “The America-Iraq School Partners Program” and many others have been completed by SoA to bolster what our troops have accomplished. Despite all of that hard work, this new project is made special by some very unique circumstances. While many of the military personnel that work on humanitarian relief projects with SoA are very enthusiastic about these efforts, few can say that they have been serving continuously in Iraq for so long. As much as we are concerned about how our soldiers and their families will have to endure extended tours as much as 15 months long, SSG Gardner won’t be going home to his family until 2008. That will make his tour of duty five years long!!! And as if that isn’t enough, he wants to contribute even more to the people of Iraq.
“All of this started because of what I have seen and been through. I want to leave here knowing I came, I fought and I made a difference in someone’s life here. This area is safe or reasonably so. The people are good.” “The kids are great and the teaching staff try and make do with what they have but with funds and materials not available, they can only do so much. The school is set-up so that the kids attend from middle school through high school. The blackboards are a wreck. No fans or cooling systems in the classrooms. No computers. No sports equipment. There are no sports uniforms (they take a lot of pride in soccer). No art supplies to speak of. Basically, they need an overhaul.” There can be no better example of the quality of our men and women serving in Iraq than SSG Gardner. SoA is proud to support such an American patriot and friend to the Iraqi people. He doesn’t ask for glory or any form of undue attention, he only desires to help those in need. Please visit our project page to learn more. QUICK RESPONSE TO AFGHAN FARMERS REQUEST WOW!!! Due to your overwhelming show of support, this project is already well underway. Here is the Sergeant Major’s response when told that we had raised $13k in the first five hours: “I didn’t expect the project to be such a big hit. I am really pleasantly surprised that the project has raised so much already!”
SoA is also working to find the zargol type of saffron which prospers in Iraq. If you have information on where these bulbs can be found or would like to donate saffron bulbs for these farmers, please send an email to us with the subject: Saffron Bulbs for Afghanistan. The Sergeant Major says: “The amount of heroin that is produced from this country (about 90% of total world’s production) is unbelievable. Poppy fields stretch for miles. The Taliban use poppy grown in Afghanistan to generate funding for their activities… …This region is where saffron originally came from, before cultivation spread to Europe. Right now Afghanistan’s neighbor in the west, Iran, grows the largest quantities of saffron, that it exports globally as the world’s most expensive spice by weight… …I think that if it were more available, saffron would be grown here in greater quantities, taking cash away from the Taliban.” Please visit our project page to learn more. WOMEN’S BURN UNIT & MATERNITY After the rule of the Taliban and decades of war, Afghanistan’s healthcare system has been neglected. Equipment is in short supply and hospitals are in disrepair. Army Colonel Wendell Hickman in cooperation with attorney Melinda Lord seeks your help in improving conditions for at least one community – Herat, Afghanistan. Nearly two-thirds of the Afghan population is without access to basic health-care facilities. Women and children are especially affected as Afghanistan has one of the word’s highest maternal and child mortality rates. Some studies estimate that an Afghan woman dies giving birth every 30 minutes. In addition, women are often burn victims either at the hands of angry relatives or self-inflicted as a protest against harsh circumstances. The 400-bed Herat Hospital is the only non-military hospital in this entire province in Western Afghanistan. Supply needs are critical for the Burn Unit where cream, bandages and IV saline are the only solace available for patients, some of whom are tragic victims of the difficult intentional burnings. Your support of this project will enable SoA to contribute critical supplies to the Herat Burn Center, Gozahra Clinic and similiar facilities throughout Western Afghanistan. In addition to the items listed above which SoA will provide with your help, we will partner with Orchard International in shipping an ocean container of supplies donated specifically for Herat Hospital including incubators, baby warmers, and vitamins.
A very sparse Delivery Room in Herat You can visit our project page to learn more. PLEASE ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO JOIN OUR MAILING LIST Our recent drive for signups to our mailing list only netted about 65 new subscribers. We are hoping that by reaching out to bloggers that we jump start this effort. There’s no risk to pass it on to family and friends, we never share your email address. It’s also very easy for you, at any time, to unsubscribe on our site. Bloggers please contact us if you wish to publish these monthly updates on your blog or volunteer your time in any way. We are looking for a volunteer Web Technology Director, volunteer Administrative staff and volunteer writers. If you would like to post this article on your blog please contact us by clicking on the email link below. We will email you the text and html so you can just copy it into a new post on your blog. Thank you for taking the time to read our project update. The War on Terror is beginning to pick up steam and our country has finally been able to get out the word due to the contributions of the blogger community. Bloggers like Michael Yon, Bill Roggio and Michael Totten are bringing America’s side of the story directly to the people. In the past when we won important victories like the capture of Saddam Hussein, the conclusion of successful elections, the recapture of Fallujah and many others – the significance was lost on the general public because of the lack of awareness about what is really going on. That ignorance has led some Americans to remain unaware that our troops do more than just kill the enemy. They spend much of their time building relationships with Iraqi communities, assisting them to defend themselves, coordinating reconstruction projects and distributing humanitarian aid. Now that we have found our voice it is time to step up our efforts. The blogger community has done a great job so lets keep up the good work. We have a long way to go. Email Us All the best, The Spirit of America Team http://www.spiritofamerica.net/
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The reason I am writing on this subject is because some time ago I got an e-mail on this subject from from somebody I respect. Thus, although normally I would not dignify any conspiracy theory with an answer, in this case I felt that I needed to respond.
Friendly fire happens in wars. The Wikipedia article I link to lists numerous examples of friendly fire incidents throughout history. The most well known recent incidents are the accidental killing of 4 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and the death of Pat Tillman. It is always sad and tragic. In some instances friendly fire happened between future foes. For example, the highest-scoring Allied Ace Ivan Kozhedub is officially credited with 62 aerial kills. Yet his real score is 64. His 2 additional kills are American P-51 Mustangs. Apparently late in the war, while on a fighter sweep mission, he spotted a formation of American B-17 Flying Fortresses under attack by German fighters. He went in to lend a hand to the Allies and opened fire on the Germans. The Germans retreated, but Kozhedub found himself under attack by P-51 Mustangs escorting the bombers. Why? You see, Kozhedub flew Lavochkin La-7 fighter, which could be easily mistaken for the German Focke-Wulf FW-190. Look at the pictures for yourself:
Fig. 1. Kozhedub’s Lavochkin La-7.
Fig. 2. Focke-Wulf FW-190-A8. Spring of 1945.
In heat of battle it is pretty easy to mistake one of these aircraft for another. And if you have ever flown any Combat Flight simulator, you know that it is almost impossible to see the markings. Mustang was slightly faster than La-7, so the only way for Kozhedub to avoid being shot down by the unrelenting Mustangs was to shoot the Mustangs down. Unfortunately one of the Mustang pilots was killed. But the other managed to bail out and land in the area of Kozhedub’s airfield. When Kozhedub landed, he thought he was in huge trouble, but lucky for him, when the American pilot was asked who shot him down, he replied that he was shot down by a Focke-Wulf with a red nose. Thus, the incident was hushed up.
Sometimes friendly fire occurs when a party not participating in the conflict tries to gather intelligence on both sides. American Wayne Peake shot down an RAF Mosquito, while flying for Israeli Air Force during Israel’s War for Independence. The Mosquito was flying from Iraq. Aparently the British denied that they were flying there. So, an assumption that it was a hostile aircraft was very reasonable. There was another incident, also described here, when RAF Spitfires went down to the ground to look at the Israeli convoy just strafed by Egyptian Spitfires which fled the area. Needless to say, they were immediately engaged by the IAF, also flying Spitfires. 3 or 4 RAF pilots were shot down.
What all these incidents have in common is the fact that they are all regarded for what they are: unfortunate and tragic accidents that often happen in wars. There is however one such incident that is surrounded by conspiracy theories that even now, 40 years later would not go away. I am talking about the USS Liberty incident. Anti-Semites on the Left and on the Right are eager to scream about deliberate Israeli attack. For the Left this incident also presents a rare opportunity to be on the side of American military, just like the story of SS St. Louis gives them a chance to defend the Jews. In the case of SS St. Louis they get to defend the Jews, while blaming America. In the case of USS Liberty they get to defend American military, while blaming Israel. The incident was investigated in both countries. But it does not matter: the conspiracy lives on. Just like with 9/11 conspiracy theories, there people who believe that huge numbers of people in both countries are in on it. There are even people who actually justify a deliberate attack by Israeli forces on USS Liberty, as described on this conspiratorial site. Here the proponents of the conspiracy theory use a straw man argument, saying that those who justify the attack claim that USS Liberty was spying on Israel, and then go on to say that there were no Hebrew linguists on board, but only Arabic and Russian linguists. Yet then they go on to quote one of the survivors saying: "We heard their (Israeli pilots – Eric-Odessit) communications". So, which is it? The last time Israeli pilots communicated in English was during the War for Independence, when they all were American, Canadian and other British Commonwealth nationals. And those who were born in Israel, like Modi Alon and Ezer Weitzman, were RAF veterans. But in 1967 the language used by IAF was Hebrew. So, whatever survivors of the attack might have heard, they could not understand. In June NSA released the declassified intercepts of Israeli helicopter pilots participating in the rescue efforts. Here are the links to those transcripts in English:
It is very clear that the helicopter pilots and their commanders did not know who the ship belonged to, although by that time they were already worried that a tragedy had occurred. The fact that there are no intercepts prior to the rescue efforts suggests that indeed there were no Hebrew linguists on board, and Liberty was not spying on Israel. So, what the hell did the survivors hear? Read the rest of the NSA document dump. Apparently, USS Liberty was ordered out of the area, but somehow did not get the message. Yet, the Israelis were assured that there were no friendlies in the area. Now put yourself in the place of Israeli commanders. You are assured that the only ships in the area are hostiles. You know that your enemies are not shy about using illegal tricks, like flying false colors. You would order an attack even if if you did see the friendly flag. In fact, I suspect the ship would have been attacked even if it was flying an Israeli flag. And by the way, if you have a combat flight simulator (any of them), try attacking a ship in it. By the time you the flag, you’ll be crashing into the ship.
On the other hand, what would be the motivation for Israel to attack an American ship? The conspiratorial site I linked to, as well as other sites like that one, mention some tactical reasons for it. But again, put yourself in the position of Israeli leaders at the time. Your tiny country is surrounded by enemies. The country that was your sole supplier of sophisticated weapons, like aircraft, just decided that they would be better off if they were friends with the Arabs. Yes, that was France. They even used your preventive strike on your enemies preparing to attack as an excuse to stop the shipment of Mirage fighter that you had already paid for. Out of 2 world superpowers, one – the Soviet Union – is openly hostile and supports your enemies bent on your annihilation. The other superpower – the USA – is somewhat friendly. You would hope to cultivate that friendship, and you have a good chance to do just that, since the rival superpower happens to support your enemies. Why would you risk alienating America and blow your chance for American support, even if you think that an American ship is spying on you? Les Kinsolving of World Net Daily wrote a couple of articles on the subject. In one he wrote:
…the theory that Israel, during the Six Day War in 1967, would have deliberately attacked the U.S.S. Liberty is utterly preposterous.
It is as preposterous as the idea that Capt. John Paul Jones would have been ordered by Gen. George Washington to sink the French troop ships bringing soldiers and artillery to help us win our war of independence. (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit)
This is exactly my thought.
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Actually, I am not 100% sure that it is his last interview as a Prime Minister. But it is close to it, and very relevant (via LGF):
Blair here is very eloquent and pretty blunt. He also threw out political correctness, perhaps because he does not care any more.
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