Secretary-General Kofi Annan is deeply concerned over the recent deterioration in the security situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and the increase of intra-Palestinian violence.
“Sure,” emails reader Dr Sam, “but occupied by whom? [Umph added by TAB]
"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."
Saturday, December 16, 2006
THE ROOT CAUSE OF VIOLENCE IN GAZA
MASSIVE RIOTS IN COPENHAGEN - UPDATED WITH VIDEO-LINK
If you stick to the mass media you may hear about this tomorrow - but TAB thinks you might want to know today:
Approximately 300 rioters have been arrested after street battles with the Police in and around Norrebro. Danish media is referring to it as a war zone.
But wait a minute - it's not a battle with immigrant youths, a la the Paris Intifada. No - this time it is a skirmish between Law and Order and Left-wing anarchist holdovers from 1968 (more likely their children).
UPDATE: MUST SEE VIDEO HERE.
UPDATE #2: PHOTO SERIES WITH 29 PHOTOS FROM POLITIKEN - DANISH NEWSPAPER HERE.
Reliapundit WELCOMES BLUE CRAB BOULEVARD READERS! Gaius at BCB makes a good point by emphasizing the link these rioters have with the 1968 mindset. What is it about the Left that makes them think it's still the late 1960s?! I think it's the fact that they feel that the years 1968-1974 (and Watergate) were their finest, and they want to re-live those years forever - and forget that the USSR fell, China became a free market, and that Reagan and Thatcher were right about socialism and taxes!
HAPPY SECOND NIGHT OF HANUKAH!
The REAL, TRUE story of Hanukah HERE.
RUSSIAN RIOT POLICE DOMINATE AT OPPOSITION RALLY
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's fragmented opposition marshalled its thin ranks against President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, but a modest turnout at a Moscow rally -- dwarfed by the police presence -- only underscored his grip on power.
Around 2,500 protesters, their numbers flattered by scores of journalists, were boxed into Triumfalnaya square by several ranks of police with orders not to let them march along the traditional route toward the Kremlin.
"It's just laughable. So many dogs, so many police, all the streets closed off, helicopters flying around. For me, it's paranoia," said former presidential candidate Irina Khakamada.
Great post, JR. Also in attendance was a former PM and potential presidential candidate Mikhail Kasyanov. This rally is the opening salvo in the upcoming presidential elections.
Maybe -with our help (as we helped in Ukraine and Georgia and Serbia) - an opponent of Putin's can win? More HERE and HERE. AND HERE, TOO.
ON MIDDLE EAST TRIP, BLAIR MISTAKENLY FOCUSES ON ISRAELI-ARAB STRIFE
Blair: Peace Talks Critical for Mideast
-- CAIRO, Egypt - British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Egypt for Middle East peace talks Saturday, saying the next few days and weeks would be critical in determining whether Israel and the Palestinians can break their cycle of violence.
... He met earlier with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who Blair sees as a key ally in the quest for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement that could stabilize the whole region.
FACT: Two THOUSAND (2000) Thais have been murdered by jihadists since 2004 - more than in the Holy Land. But Blair and Baker and Carter ARE FREAKIN' SILENT on that issue. And the rest. And this hurts our side. REPEAT: The focus on Israel and silence on the other war-zones hurts our side because WW4 is NOT about the lack of a two-state settlement between Jews and Arabs. WW4 is about global jihad.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, the photo accompanying this post is from a 2001 BBC article TAKEN WHILE BLAIR - (photographed with the serial assasinator-in-chief of Syria - and its dictator, Bashar Assad) - WAS ON ANOTHER MIDDLE EAST TRIP - RIGHT AFTER 9/11! Here's a snippet (BBC - 11/1/01):
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has travelled many thousands of kilometres since the 11 September attacks - round after round of intensive shuttle-diplomacy in the effort to convince wavering governments that the war against terrorism is a good thing.WRONG THEN; WRONG NOW! And this mistake - to always focus on the JOOOOOZE instead of the enemy - is one reason we are NOT making fast enough progress in the GWOT/WW4 in this the fifth year of our counter-attack against global jihad.
He is now in the Middle East - Syria was first, next Saudi Arabia and Jordan - and then Israel, where he was expected to repeat his call for a return to dialogue between the Israelis and Palestinians.
And that's what WW4 REALLY is: WW4 is the War against Global Jihad. The sooner we focus on the enemy and not pressuring our ally israel the sooner we will WIN.
UPDATE: TRUTH ABOUT ISRAEL HERE, courtesy of VDH, as always...
THE POLITICAL BATTLE FOR NEW TRIDENT SUBS SAYS A LOT ABOUT EUROPE - and it ain't good...
A majority of Scottish MPs are opposed to Tony Blair's plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system, a BBC survey has found.Scots are very left-of-center if not Left-wing. They are as anti-defense now - in the middle of the GWOT/WW4 - as they were in the middle of the Cold War/WW3, when they advocated unilateral disarmament. Gordon Brown is inheriting a Labor Party which may be more like Michale Foot's than Tony Blair's. (More on the burgeoning Labor Party rift HERE.)
Thirty of the 59 MPs said they were either "definitely" or "probably" against the Prime Minister's proposals.
The survey also showed a majority of Scottish Labour backbenchers disagreeing with the plans. It found 25 MPs with constituencies in Scotland were definitely against the proposals.
A further five said they were probably against.
Only 10 MPs said they were definitely or probably in favour.
This reluctance to build new Trident subs is a harbinger for the UK - and continental Europe, and it spells disaster. Coupled with NATO's recent reluctance to shoulder their fair share of the burden in Afghanistan it truly spells DISASTER IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Combined with their low birth-rates and extremely low church attendance rates and HIGH emigration rates for their ambitious youth - and high immigration rates for Muslims IT TRULY SPELLS THE END OF EUROPE.
THIS IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION: If they won't reproduce or transmit their religion/civilization to the next generation, or defend themselves from the insidious creep of islamic colonization and the ensuing islamicization, then it is truly over for Europe in the next 20 years.
The sorrow and the pity of it all... If they'd only act now, then maybe it can be avoided... But the signs are bad... very VERY bad...
Europe needs another Thatcher - AND NOW! (BTW: Thatcher was re-elected PM in that 1983 election.)
Sadly, as Labor returns to the failed policies of Michael Foot's Leftism, there is nothing close to a Thatcher in the Tory Party.
Hence my belief that only Sarkozy can possibly lead Europe back from the brink.
Friday, December 15, 2006
ARE WE CATCHING OUR SECOND WIND?
Japan's conservative government chipped away at two pillars of the country's postwar pacifism, requiring schools to teach patriotism and upgrading the Defense Agency to a full ministry for the first time since World War II.KUWAIT:
The U.S. military is planning to move a brigade of troops into Kuwait in what could be the first step of a short-term surge of American forces into Iraq to stabilize the violence. The 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division is expected in Kuwait shortly after the new year, a senior Defense Department official told The Associated Press on Friday. The official requested anonymity because the plans had not yet been announced.
Anyone who takes even ten minutes to read the actual history of the Maccabean revolt will see similarities between its priestly leaders (most conspicuously, the great commander Judah Maccabee, son of Mattathias) and today’s prominent figures in the Religious Right. The Maccabees insisted on re-affirming ultimate right and wrong, and saw their battle as part of a timeless struggle of good and evil. They demanded a return to the old ways, to the authentic, uncompromising laws of God and the Torah, and they felt only contempt for the Hellenizing modernists who fought against them.RTWT.
The rebels represented the common people – the poor and the humble artisans and the struggling farmers who remained loyal to the ancient faith – while their enemies represented the pampered urban elites, over-educated in the cosmopolitan ways of Judea’s Greek overlords. Again, the basic prayer of the holiday makes clear the essential nature of the struggle,“In the days of Mattathias….and his sons, when the wicked Greek kingdom rose up against your people Israel to make them forget Your Torah and compel them to stray from the statutes of Your Will, You in Your great mercy stood up for them in the time of their distress. You took up their grievance, judged their claim, and avenged their wrong. You delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the wanton into the hands of the diligent students of Your Torah.”In other words, the Religious Right of ancient Judea won a startling victory and we’re meant to celebrate its lessons some 2200 years after the fact.
COULD LITVINENKO HAVE BEEN MAKING A NUCLEAR BOMB INSIDE BRITAIN?
Now, I would imagine that not all the parts of a nuclear weapon decay at the same rate. For instance, we can assume the shell - which is probably made of metal or plastic - does not decay rapidly. So, it is something within the bomb which decays.
Of course, heavy metals themselves are unstable and emit radiation, so it could be that more uranium or plutonium needs to be added to the core periodically. But, I don't have enough information to know if this is the case.
Here's what I do know, from what I have read about the Litvinenko case. Polonium 210 is the trigger that starts the chain reaction within the uranium or plutonium core in a nuclear weapon. In other words, you have a core of plutonium or uranium and you need a trigger which is packed around the core, which itself explodes with enough force to compress the plutonium to the point that a chain reaction will ensue.
Could it be that Polonium 210 is the unstable element of a nuclear weapon which needs maintanence?
Could it be that our Muslim friend Litvinenko was smuggling polonium into Britain so that they could bring an already existing nuclear device back into working form?
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA JUNIOR'S VERY LARGE EARS
Rush Limbaugh - a man who knows something about largeness - also commented on "ODUMBO's" on his show and his website.
Barack Obama Is Not Ready To Be President
Barack Obama: "You talked about my ears, and I just want to put you on notice: I'm very sensitive about -- What I told them was, ''I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my big ears.'"
C'mon, this is kids' stuff. Obama has to get over stuff like this before he can seriously consider attempting to become the most powerful man in the world. It sounds like Barack Obama would do better to spend the next few years in psychotherapy, and maybe going to Tony Robbins seminars, rather than campaigning for President. But, should he decide to run for President in 2008, I will say this, it's going to be friggin' hilarious.
BOLTON CALLS TO BRING AHMADINEJAD TO JUSTICE
EVENTS TO WATCH THE NEXT FEW DAYS...
Garry Kasparov, one of the organisers of the protest ... vowed to go ahead with Saturday's protest march against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, despite an official ban. The rally is being organised by former chess world champion Garry Kasparov, who has said its participants would try to avoid any possible provocations. The march is against what protesters describe as rampant corruption and a Kremlin crackdown on democracy.ASIDE: TAB linked to an IHT story on the raid against Kasparov's HQ last week. Obviously ordered by Putin to intimidate Kaparov. Nobody else picked up on this story then, maybe they will now - or after the protest, (depending on how it turns out)? Stay tuned...
IRAN: Iranian polls to test Ahmadinejad -
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iranians are set to vote in two elections seen as the first test of public support for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad since he came to power.Maybe Ahmadinejad won't do well at the pollls? Maybe the recent student protests against him were good indicators of this? We'll see. Stay tuned...
On Friday, voters will elect new local councils and a powerful clerical body known as the Assembly of Experts. Reformists are hoping for a comeback following comprehensive defeats by conservatives in recent years.
EGYPT: Egypt cracks down on Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood member holds up Koran during protest in Cairo in September One of the top leaders of Egypt's opposition Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, has been detained. Police also rounded up about 10 other prominent members and dozens of students in dawn raids.Egypt is losing patience with its own jihadists, and those of Hamas. Maybe Mubarak will become a better ally, now that Gaza is in a nearly full blown Civil War, and with the Iranian Shias and Lebanon's Hizballah Shias threatening the entire region.
We'll be watching how these events develop over the next few days. Maybe things wil turn our way? We'll see. Stay tuned...
Thursday, December 14, 2006
THREE WEEKS LATER AND INSTAPUNDIT NOTICES SOMETHING STALE IN THE BLOGOSPHERE: COW FARTS!
The came DRUDGE with his link to the story as related by a newspaper in the UK. That was TEN days AFTER The Astute Bloggers.
Now comes Glenn - ANOTHER FOUR DAYS LATER. And he links to another blogger who first posted on this TWO DAYS AGO - long after we FIRST related the story.
As a matter of fact, if you GOOGLE "cow farts greenhouse" TAB comes up FIRST. (I'm SO PROUD!)
What does all this prove!?
The Astute Bloggers is one of the best blogs for interesting and relevant news - reported fast, and with great analysis and original, hard-hitting commentary.
BUT YOU KNOW THAT! NOW SPREAD THE WORD!
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA JUNIOR SHOULD WAIT UNTIL 2016 OR 2020
The experience Reagan earned from 1964 to 1980 served him well - and the nation, too. And the ENTIRE Free World. AND THOSE WHO SUFFERED UNDER SOVIET TYRANNY!
Similarly, Obama made a name for himself in national politics in 2004 with a great speech - his in favor or John "Francois/Genghis Khan" Kerry. He is obvioulsy a polished orator, and a smooth TV personality. Almost as smooth - or slick - as Clinton! Barack Hussein Obama Junior is so smooth that SOME FOLKS ARE PUSHING HIM TO RUN IN 2008!
I think he should wait and run in 2016 - at the earliest.
And between now and then, maybe he should run, win and serve as a governor of Illiinois. The POTUS is, after all, more than a speech-maker. He's the Commander in Chief and Chief Executive of the Executive branch.
ASIDE: OH.... BY HE WAY: Barack Hussein Obama Junior never served in the military.
DOES THAT MEAN HE'S UNQUALIFIED FOR THE OFFICE?
UPDATE - 11/16/06: I actually feel that Obama is morally unfit for office. Here's why. And HERE and HERE and HERE.
IDIOTARIAN PSEUDO-REALISTS AND LEFTISTS PUSH "DIALOG" WITH IRAN AND SYRIA AS IF WE HAVEN'T ALREADY BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT
“I think it’s important to talk and have dialogue, but you don’t give up your principles and you don’t make deals that are against your larger interest,” Kerry told reporters after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.BEGIN A DISCUSSION?! Where the eff has this as**ole been for the last 2 decades!?
“Syria needs to understand that and Iran needs to understand that, but I think it’s important to begin a discussion,” added Kerry, a Massachusetts senator.
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
Clinton met Arafat - IN THE FREAKIN' OVAL OFFICE - more often than ANY OTHER FREAKIN' PERSON.WHAT DID ALL THIS FREAKIN' "DIALOG" GET US!?!?
And Clinton's first Secretary of State - Warren Christopher - met with Assad more often than with any other foreign leader.
(And Clinton's second Secretary of State even flew to North korea and had champagne with Kim Jong Il.)
It got us a Second Intifada, a nuclear North Korea, and 9/11 - that's what!
People like Baker and his ISG, and like Kerry, who think we can make ANY progress by talking to Assad or Ahmadinejad or even Kim Jong Il ARE FREAKIN' IDIOTS who have completely forgotten recent history. Idiots, I might add, who have NO FREAKIN' PRINCIPLES. If they did, then they'd refuse to "dialog" with these treacherous and genocidal tyrants. Scum like Assad and Ahmadinejad deserve to be overthrown, not appeased.
[ASIDE: Bush has used the Six Party talks with North Korea and the EU with Iran PRECISELY because of the past failures in direct talks. (BTW: The Left LOVES to call Bush a UNILATERALIST, but the Six Party talks and the EU/Iran talks -- which have been going on (and off and on again) FOR FREAKIN' YEARS! -- are all examples of true MULTIATERALISM. As are our military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq - if you look at the facts.]
THE DOCTOR AGREES: KERRY IS AN IDIOT. RTWT.
YES, SYRIA IS STILL DANGEROUS - AND GETTING MORESO
DEBKAfile’s military sources quote two statements by Israeli generals Sunday, Dec. 10 to the Israeli cabinet: OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen Gadi Eisenkott denounced as irresponsible talk of a war with Syria and Hizballah in the summer of 2007. Brig. Gen Yossi Baidatz, military intelligence chief of research, reported that Syria had increased its production of long-range missiles (picture) and was building up its anti-tank rocket units on the Golan border with Israel.They may not go to war today, but that doesn't mean they won't go to war tomorrow. It's clear that the Syrian dictatorship is still as plagued with jihad as it can be.
This information is not proof in itself of a Syrian intent to go to war. Gen. Eisenkott says he sees no tangible war preparations on the Golan and Hermon despite the aggressive rhetoric coming out of Damascus, whereas it is Brig Baidatz’s job to count the missiles coming off Syrian production lines in the northern city of Homs. The volume in Nov. 2006 was 20% greater than the output of Nov. 2005. The key question neither Israeli officer answers is this: How many missiles are destined for Syrian use and how many for the strategic reserve Iran is stocking in Syria. According to DEBKAfile’s military sources, Syria’s missile output is not determined by the heads of its military industry, but by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards sitting on the industry’s executive boards and incoming investment funds regulated by Tehran.
All the departments of Syrian’s military industry merged last year with Iran’s manufacturing complex and are run as a single corporation. Therefore, it may be said that it is very much up to Tehran to determine if and when Bashar Asad goes on the offensive on the Golan front.
Asad is not obliged to dance to Tehran’s tune. He can decide he no longer wishes to coordinate his military and diplomatic strategies with Tehran. This would mean the breakup of the close Damascus-Tehran alliance. For the moment, there is no sign of any breach. Quite the reverse; intelligence data indicate a tightening of the partnership on all shared fronts. This again is no proof that the widely-predicted summer 2007 war is inevitable. It does mean that Tehran means to hold on to Syria, Hizballah and Hamas as proxy whips against the Americans in Iraq and Israel until such time as its clerical rulers find a war move expedient.
DECEMBER 15: BILL OF RIGHTS DAY
This day was signed into practice by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on December 15, 1941, one hundred and fifty years after the actual signing of the Bill of Rights by our forefathers. Ironically, he proclaimed the holiday just one week after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor initiating the United States' involvement in World War II where freedom issues were at the core of wartime dogma.... While the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, it wasn't until two years later that the ten Bill of Rights were incorporated into the governing document.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
ON THE ROAD TO SERFDOM IN AFRICA: MORE STATE-SANCTIONED LOOTING IN ZIMBABWE
President Robert Mugabe has already presided over a grab of white-owned farms without compensation -- not to help rural peasants but to hand over assets to his supporters. Those farms are not being run efficiently as they were by their white owners. A kleptocratic government that inherited a country once seen as the southern African region’s bread basket is now responding to the fact that the state-owned granaries have less than a couple of weeks’ stocks of wheat by putting the army on high alert as a precaution against food riots.RTWT. (Allende would've done this to Chile.)
Non-agricultural industry, too, is all but moribund as private-sector firms close down because of the chronic shortages of raw materials and foreign currency that the Mugabe regime has inflicted on them. ... Now, the Zimbabwean mining industry is facing the threat of expropriation. Mugabe’s cronies want an immediate handover of 25% of all mines to be followed by a further 26% by the year 2009. Sure, the 26% will be paid for, but payment will be in virtually worthless Zimbabwean dollars ... Effectively, then, this is confiscation. And will Mugabe’s looters stop there?
WHEN WILL THE WEST PREEMPTIVELY ATTACK IRAN AND DESTROY ITS NUCLEAR ASSETS?
I have felt for a long time that Bush would not leave this problem to the next president. And I felt for a long time that Sharon withdrew from Gaza IN PART in order to be able redeploy the IDF which had been stationed there, and to redploy them closer to major population centers and more strategic locations in order to withstand a likely pan-Arabic counter-attack after the preemptive attack. (I feel that the recent Hizballah War served this end too: wiping out or at least greatly reducing Hizballah's stockpiles - and the stocks of Hizballah's suppliers - in anticipation of the next round with Iran.)
'Barrier will be done by end of 2008'Just in time. Just about when the West will have to make a move. The West, meaning either the USA or Israel, or NATO or all of the above. If it's the USA, then Israel might be the only nation in the world to get a heads up. (I would've included the UK if Blair had managed to stay on, but he'll be gone by then, and on the GWOT his replacement - Gordon Brown - is an unknown quantity.)
Construction of the West Bank security barrier will be completed by the end of 2008, a senior defense official involved in the project told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
The only thing which can prevent this preemptive attack from happening is a democratic revolution in Iran. And there is no sure sign that this will happen in time - though it might if student protests can gather a lot more momentum. Sadly, Iran - like China - is enough of a police state to really make this REALLY difficult. Remember Tiananmen? It failed - in part because of surrender-monkeys like James A. Baker - who was Secretary of State at the time. (He also left Saddam in power, too - and also abandoned the Shias in 1991. He was a disaster then, and his ISG Report would be disaster for us now, too.)
BOTTOM-LINE: The withdrawal from Gaza and the fence were not two isolated decisions, each made in a vacuum; they're part of a coordinated effort to strengthen Israel's defenses in advance of a MAJOR war between Israel and her neighbors - the likes of which we haven't seen in a long time. I feel that this war will likely start in the aftermath of the West's preemptive strike against Iran, and that this will not be later than 12/31/06.
WHAT DO DAVID DUKE, HARVARD'S JOHN MEARSHEIMER, AHMADINEJAD, JIMMY CARTER AND JAMES BAKER HAVE IN COMMON?
As the Kid From Brooklyn says, "TINKABOUDIT!"
IMHO: Anyone who agrees with either Duke or Ahmadinejad on anything must be suspect. To agree with them BOTH makes one dangerously wrong - and obviously on the enemy's side, too.
More on Duke and Harvard HERE. More on Duke and Assad HERE. More on Duke and Ahmadinejad HERE. And check out the video at Hot Air - LINKED TO IN THE PHOTO.
OLMERT'S BIG MOUTH
He needs to be replaced, and soon.
FLYING WHILE MUSLIM
American Muslims making a religious pilgrimage to Mecca are being encouraged to file civil rights complaints if they feel discriminated against by airlines.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), citing what it called the "airport profiling" of six imams removed from a recent flight, yesterday said Muslims traveling this month to the holy site in Saudi Arabia need to be aware of their rights.
"Given the increase in the number of complaints CAIR has received alleging airport profiling of American Muslims, we believe it is important that all those taking part in this year's hajj be aware of their legal and civil rights," said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR spokesman. [emphasis added - AOW]
Read the rest at Always On Watch.
UPDATE: Two hours after TAB, POWER LINE weighs in on the story.
Proving once again that TAB is the place to be!
HOLOCAUST STORY SAVES MILLIONS OF MUSLIMS
Without wading into that debate I would like to examine the Holocaust in the context of the current situation. And where are we today? After thousands of years of bloody history, capped by a century which included death and destruction on a horrendous scale, we live in an era that is on the brink...of what? Probably on the brink of something even more horrendous.
Today the oil producing nations have the money! Today the Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab League, and al Qaeda are the visible parts of a clandestine network bent on destroying the USA, Israel, and western civilisation! And the Jihadists openly proclaim that they intend to resurrect the Caliphate and subdue the non-believers!
We know what terrible deeds mankind is capable of. We know how terrible war and murder is - and our enemy celebrates murder in the name of Jihad. Some of us are ashamed of our past glories - nor accept the burdens of our power. Our enemies interpret this trepidation as a sign of weakness.
THE ULTIMATE ROOT CAUSE OF THE GWOT
Qualities of the BelieversThe enemy hates us because of who we are and what we believe, NOT because of our foreign policy. The enemy hates us because we are not Muslims. The enemy wants us to convert or become dhimmis. Or die. This is what THEIR religion tells them they MUST do. If we want to remain free and modern, then we must defeat them. Utterly. Then we will be free and at peace. Until then, we will be at war - a war they started 1400 years ago. (This enemy has also been killing other "lesser" Muslims since then, too: Shias; Sufis et al.)
[Koran - 48:29] Muhammad - the messenger of GOD - and those with him are harsh and stern against the disbelievers, but kind and compassionate amongst themselves.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
EARLY ALLY - THEN LIFELONG CRITIC - OF CASTRO DIES
Mario Llerena, a Cuban intellectual who was an early representative of Fidel Castro in the United States but who broke with him before he took power because of Mr. Castro’s shift toward Communism, died Sunday in Miami. He was 93.He wrote a book about Castro. May Llerena Rest in Peace. (I have a feeling that he's going somewhere Fidel will never step foot in!)
12/13/06 UPDATE: 14 hours later and BABALU BLOG - rightly regarded as the PREMIER "free Cuba" blog - cites the same obit. YUP: TAB beat the best! Proving once again that TAB is the place to be for the best in news bloggin' with unsurpassed analysis and commentary!
HOW BAKER, HAMILTON AND THE ISG WEAKEN AMERICA
The operative word in the ISG report is "should," which is what grammarians call a defective verb.
The report easily contains more than 100 shoulds, varying tonally from hectoring to plaintive to nitpicking. The report's ninth recommendation, for instance, stresses that "Iran should be asked to assume its responsibility to participate in the Support Group" while the 23rd says "the President should restate that the United States does not seek to control Iraq's oil." Only rarely do the ISG authors employ different language, such as when they say "there must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace." Like an editorial in the New York Times, this is an exercise in homiletics, not persuasion.
By contrast, the word "honor" appears just once: "We also honor the many Iraqis who have sacrificed on behalf of their country," write ISG co-chairmen James Baker and Lee Hamilton, who also put in a kind word for our Coalition allies.
But honor isn't simply a sentimental verb. It is a decisive principle of action in all foreign policy, never more so than in the honor-obsessed Middle East. It is not about good intentions, wisdom or virtue, but about appearances and perception: "Honor acts solely for the public eye," wrote Tocqueville. In practice, it means standing by one's friends and defying one's enemies, whatever the price. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War Richard Nixon ordered the military resupply of Israel in its hour of need not because he was sympathetic to Jews -- he wasn't -- but because he understood that the U.S. could not be seen to let a client down. Nine months later, he was accorded a ticker-tape parade through the streets of Cairo.
How does the ISG report meet the test of honor? Mainly by failing it. The report is chiefly notable for declaring in its first sentence that "the situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating." This statement of fact is being celebrated by sundry commentators as a bold and necessary act of speaking truth to power. This may be true in Washington, but what does it actually achieve in Iraq? The invaluable translation service Memri offers a clue in the form of a response to the ISG report on Islamist Web sites connected to the Iraqi insurgents: "Now that its wager on the Shi'ite government [of Iraq] has failed [to pay off]," goes the message, "the American administration [is striving] to foil . . . any attempt to [establish] . . . an Islamic State in the form of a Caliphate in Iraq . . . "
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to ensure the survival and the success of liberty."
APPEASEMENT NEVER WORKS
The men — 10 Spaniards and a Moroccan — were detained in pre-dawn raids and included two brothers of a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Police said the operation was ongoing, and more arrests were expected.
The suspects were believed to be aligned with the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, according to Spanish news reports. Members of the extremist organization have been linked to the 2004 train attacks in Madrid and bombings in Casablanca in 2003. Two other suspected members of the group were arrested in November in Melilla, another Spanish enclave on the African coast.
The Ceuta cell had recently begun discussing taking action to launch an attack, although they were in the early stages and are not believed to have selected a target, said Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, who was traveling in Algeria.
Reliapundit asks: When will Leftist appeasers like Zapatero learn this lesson?
IS SOMEBODY AT THE WASHINGTON POST READING THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS?
It's hard not to notice, however, that the evil dictator leaves behind the most successful country in Latin America. In the past 15 years, Chile's economy has grown at twice the regional average, and its poverty rate has been halved. It's leaving behind the developing world, where all of its neighbors remain mired. It also has a vibrant democracy. Earlier this year it elected another socialist president, Michelle Bachelet, who suffered persecution during the Pinochet years.
Like it or not, Mr. Pinochet had something to do with this success. To the dismay of every economic minister in Latin America, he introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chilean economic miracle -- and that not even Allende's socialist successors have dared reverse. He also accepted a transition to democracy, stepping down peacefully in 1990 after losing a referendum.
By way of contrast, Fidel Castro -- Mr. Pinochet's nemesis and a hero to many in Latin America and beyond -- will leave behind an economically ruined and freedomless country with his approaching death. Mr. Castro also killed and exiled thousands. But even when it became obvious that his communist economic system had impoverished his country, he refused to abandon that system: He spent the last years of his rule reversing a partial liberalization. To the end he also imprisoned or persecuted anyone who suggested Cubans could benefit from freedom of speech or the right to vote.
The contrast between Cuba and Chile more than 30 years after Mr. Pinochet's coup is a reminder of a famous essay written by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, the provocative and energetic scholar and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who died Thursday.
In "Dictatorships and Double Standards," a work that caught the eye of President Ronald Reagan, Ms. Kirkpatrick argued that right-wing dictators such as Mr. Pinochet were ultimately less malign than communist rulers, in part because their regimes were more likely to pave the way for liberal democracies. She, too, was vilified by the left. Yet by now it should be obvious: She was right.
Reliapundit made a similar comparison of these two Latin American leaders way back on Saturday.
Reliapundit adds: And I proudly wrote it while Pinochet lived.
HAJJ 2006-7: IS SOMETHING UP?
Do you think the enemy will plan something big during that time? Or during Hanukah or Christmas? I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not. They ALWAYS want to whack us; during a holiday'd just be icing on the cake for these genocidal-maniacs!
In a perhaps unrelated matter... the Saudi Ambassador to the USA abruptly quit and went home this week. He used to run the Saudi CIA. Maybe he knows something's up? It seems odd to most observers that he left so abrubtly. Some guess that there's trouble back home in the ruling family. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the Saudi's are expecting a jihaditerror attack there - during hajj -- by the Iranians, or (al Qaeda) --- THE IRANIANS'VE DONE IT BEFORE! (Scroll down.)
Anyway, I hope the NSA is listening-in now, realll REALLY closely ... WHILE THE DEMS IN CONGRESS LET THEM! They just might discover something before it's too late!
ASIDE: Around 3,000 people have died in incidents on the hajj in the last 20 years. Previous disasters in recent years include:
February 1 2004
244 pilgrims killed and a similar number injured at al-JamaratMarch 5 2001
35 people killed in stampede at al-JamaratApril 9 1998
Around 180 pilgrims trampled to death when panic erupted after several fell off an overpass at al-JamaratApril 15 1997
Fires driven by high winds tear through a sprawling, overcrowded tent city at Mina, trapping and killing more than 340 pilgrims and injuring 1,500May 23 1994
270 pilgrims, most of them Indonesian, killed at al-JamaratJuly 2 1990
1,426 pilgrims, many of them Malaysians, Indonesian and Pakistanis, killed in stampede in overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to holy sites in Mecca in the worst hajj tragedy of modern timesJuly 9 1989
Two bombs explode in Mecca, killing one pilgrim, and wounding 16 others. Saudi authorities blame Iranian-inspired terrorists and later behead 16 Kuwaiti Shia Muslims for bombings. Iran denied involvement.July 31 1987
402 people, mostly Iranian pilgrims, killed and 649 wounded in Mecca when security forces clash with Iranians staging illegal anti-US demonstrationThis record of mayhem is pretty bad. It seems to me that the only time other religions have deadly pilgrimmages it's when there're Muslims involved. FACTS: here and here and here and here and so on... and of course who could forget the daily headlines from Iraq: Shias and Sunni MUSLIMS killing each other by the truckload! For those who follow the koran, killing and faith sure seem to go hand-in-hand.
PUTIN'S OPPONENT'S OFFICES RAIDED
I GUESS THIS PROVES THAT PUTIN DOESN'T HAVE TO ALWAYS RESORT TO MURDER. THERE ARE, AFTER ALL, OTHER FORMS OF INTIMIDATION.
This also proves, once again, that Putin learned well during his years as a KGB agent.
Norm Coleman: Annan’s legacy will be one of missed opportunity and failed leadership at a time when the U.N. needed to play a critical role in the developing global community.Niles Gardiner: His ten years in power have been a monumental failure, and he leaves behind an institution whose standing could barely be lower and a legacy that is a testament to mismanagement, corruption, and anti-Americanism. He is probably the worst secretary-general in the history of the United Nations, a staggering achievement considering the intense competition.Pedro Sanjuan: Annan bribed the Volker commission with $34 million of Iraqi money to whitewash his complicity in the Oil-for-Food scandal, the largest robbery in the annals of the U.N.Brett Schaefer: Indeed, after years of talk and multiple reports on reform, the U.N. is little changed from the organization that allowed the Iraq Oil-for-Food scandal, the despicable peacekeeping abuses in the Congo, and the extensive cases of fraud and abuse in procurement to occur.
Kofi Annan will forever be remembered as the secretary-general who presided over the biggest and most insidious hijacking of the global agenda which has ever occurred. With the defeat of Communism, there was a chance that the U.N. could come to be not the tool for developed to triumph over developing, — but the instrument that permitted democratization and the protection of human rights to step out from behind the shadows as the sine qua non of progress in our time. Instead, over a decade with Kofi Annan at the helm, the U.N. has become an instrument of terror. A place which has no definition of terrorism because the terrorists and their allies run it, while democracies pay the bill.
During my decade as secretary-general, and indeed for some time before that, I have indulged in more than my share of half-truths, quarter-truths, cover-ups, immoral inanities and staggering hypocrisies. I have shuffled paperwork while ignoring genocides, I have rushed to shake hands with tyrants while deriding democrats; I have suffered from memory gaps while adroitly recalling just enough to know what needs covering up.
I took office promising to reform the U.N., and instead produced a record that deserves to be summed up by such phrases as peacekeeper rape, procurement bribery, and Oil-for-Food.I have praised a “reformed” Human Rights Council that functions as a complete farce. I have demanded “peace” deals and pushed for a brand of morally blind diplomacy that has paved the way for a terrorist takeover of Lebanon, worsening turmoil in the Middle East, and a nuclear-armed Iran.
In contradiction of the U.N. charter, which describes my role as the U.N.’s “chief administrative officer,” I have styled myself, in my own phrase, as “chief diplomat of the world,” setting up a vast array of opaque trusts, projects, partnerships, and programs which have massively expanded the U.N. beyond any provisions for oversight, while providing me with opportunities for patronage, and places to park my cronies. At the same time, while entrusted with a budget of billions, and a world stage, I have shirked all responsibility for my own failures, shifting blame especially to the United States.
IF KOFI WAS BRAVE, THEN HE'D CRITICIZE THE ENEMY
BUT KOFI IS A COWARD WHO BASHES THE USA. Just once I'd like to see one of these so-called "progressives" - like Sheehan and Kofi and Kucinich - attack the vicious jihadists who murder children in Gaza and the unemployed in Baghdad. THEY NEVER HAVE. In fact, these so-called "progressives" compared the enemy to our founding fathers! If they were really brave, then these so-called "progressives" would speak truth to the evil and powerful enemy, (and not the USA which hey know is a safe target to attack).
Why do so many so-called "progressives" insist on bashing the USA and Bush while the West is under attack by jihadoterror?!? And why do they fail to attack the enemy in the same manner?!? Why do they brown-nose the enemy?
SHORT ANSWER: Post modernism has disarmed much of the West and made them self-loathing cowards incapable of defending modernity.
FULL ANSWER: From VDH, HERE.
JIHADOTERRORIST SUICIDE BOMBERS TARGET IRAQ'S UNEMPLOYED
Proving once again that these jihadists are vicious scum.
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH: They do this exactly one day after the US military announces that helping the unemployed would be a good way to reduce terror there.
I guess this also proves that the enemy is listening. And adapting their tactics accordingly.
THE ANTI-IRAQ WAR CROWD HAS SOME EXPLAINING TO DO
Latest Bombing in Baghdad ... targeted “day laborers looking for work.” At least 57 murdered.Reliapundit: Obviously the anti-war crowd has NO GOOD ANSWER for any of these questions. The fact is that US presence in Iraq is right and good and noble - and according to UNSC Mandate, too. Abandoning Iraq's nascent democracy would be WRONG. And it woiuld make the West less safe.
Would someone in Europe or on the Left (do I repeat myself?) please explain how slaughtering innocent working men can be seen as “resistance to foreign occupation”?
Would someone explain why these mass murders elicit no outrage against those responsible: those ordering the killings and supplying the weapons?
Does someone want to explain why stopping such Muslim-on-Muslim killings is not as imperative as, say, stopping the Muslim-on-Muslim killings in Dafur?
Does someone want to explain how the withdrawal of American forces would do anything other than empower those dispatching the suicide-bombers and make it more likely that they will fulfill their ambitions?
This might not stop the Leftie dove dominated Democrat Party in Congres from attempting to abandon them, though - as they did the South Vietnamese and the Contras.
SIX-PARTY TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA TO RECONVENE
BTW, does anyone know how many times they have met already? I believe it is the 8th time, although it may be referred to as the second phase of the 5th round.
Is it me? or does it feel like we're cruising towards an iceberg? Hey Jimmy boy, pass the peanuts.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Kofi Annan used the opportunity of a farewell speech to lambaste the United States, the ultimate source of most of the lucre he and his henchman have undoubtedly skimmed from the UN's "Koffers" during his tenure.
He published an op-ed version of his speech in the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, let us reflect on some of his other accomplishments at the UN:
1) Facilitating the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 when as UN official in charge of peacekeeping, he ordered General Dallaire's "peacekeepers" to stand down.
2) Serial episodes of rape and pedophilia by UN peacekeepers in Africa and Asia.
3) A well-orchestrated orgy of anti-Semitism at the Durban Conference on Racism.
4) Arranging the Oil-for-Food scam ("UNSCAM") which may very well be the most extensive and lucrative act of official corruption in the world's entire history. Not to mention the corrupt involvement of his son, Kojo.
5) Facilitating the Srebrenica massacre in 1995.
6) Facilitating genocide in Darfur by appeasing the Sudanese jihadi government and janjaweed militias.
7) Helping Hezbollah terrorists during the 2006 fighting in Lebanon.
SARKOZY UNAMBIGUOUS ABOUT DEALING WITH JIHADISTS AT HOME AND ABROAD
... Sarkozy, told Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres in Paris on Monday that he views Hizbullah as a terror organization with which he has no intention of dealing of. Sarkozy also said that he would not deal with Hamas as long as the organization refuses to recognize Israel...He said this as the Police Chief of Paris warned that the threat of terror in Paris is still quite high:
IHT: PARIS: The Paris police chief said Monday that the threat of a terror attack on the French capital remains high, requiring continued intelligence and surveillance efforts. Pierre Mutz, speaking at a city council meeting considering the police budget for 2007, did not name any specific new dangers, but said "The threat remains high."Instead of coddling and appeasing islamothugs, Sarkozy will counterattack them and he won't undercut Israel for doing the same - as Chirac is doing right now in Lebanon! (More on why Sarkozy is good HERE.)
The government ordered extra military patrols on public transport before the Christmas and New Year's holidays, when visitors and tourists pack Paris.
THE REAL REASON ISLAMOFASCISTS DEMAND THE VEIL BE WORN BY WOMEN
For Islamists, the imperative to veil women justifies almost any means. Sometimes they try to buy off resistance. Some French Muslim families, for instance, are paid 500 euros (around $600) per quarter by extremist Muslim organizations just to have their daughters wear the hijab. This has also happened in the United States. Indeed, the famous and brave Syrian-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan recently told the Jerusalem Post that after she moved to the United States in 1991, Saudis offered her $1,500 a month to cover her head and attend a mosque.And there we have an answer: because they see it as a way of controlling women and ensuring that they are slaves. That's what the veil/burka/niqab symbolizes, and that's one of the reasons why it needs to be banned.
But what Islamists use most is intimidation. A survey conducted in France in May 2003 found that 77 percent of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups. A series in the newspaper Libération in 2003 documented how Muslim women and girls in France who refuse to wear the hijab are insulted, rejected, and often physically threatened by Muslim males. One of the teenage girls interviewed said, "Every day, bearded men come to me and advise me strongly on wearing the veil. It is a war. For now, there are no dead, but there are looks and words that do kill."
In light of this, wearing the hijab may or may not be a manifestation of the free exercise of religion. For any individual, it may reflect the very opposite--religious coercion. In fact, millions of women are forced to wear the veil for fear of physical retribution. And the fear is well founded. According to Cheryl Benard of RAND, every year hundreds of women in Pakistan and Afghanistan alone are killed, have acid thrown in their faces, or are otherwise maimed by male fanatics.
Given the Islamists' ferocious determination on this point, it is worth asking: Why exactly is covering the female so important to them? The obvious answer is that it is a means of social control. Not coincidentally, it is one of the only issues on which Sunni and Shia extremists agree. It's not by chance that use of the hijab really took off after Iran's Islamic regime came to power in 1979. Some Shiite militias in Iraq have actually started forcing women--Muslim or not--to wear the veil or face the consequences.
It's amazing that the country most opposed to the niqab today happens to be Tunisia. One thing for sure is that all countries taking steps to ban the veil in public are doing women a lot of good, and for Muslim women, a very big favor and kindness.
RELIAPUNDT ASKS: Does anyone out there know the recent history of the hijab? Please answer in the comments sections...
A PREVIOUS "DRY RUN" BY A BUDDY OF THE LEADER OF THE "MINNESOTA IMAMS"
By engaging in patterns of behavior which they evidently knew were considered by airlines and federal air marshals to indicate an imminent terrorist operation, the imams were inviting their removal from the flight. Their purpose in then claiming discrimination is to make it impossible, or at least much more difficult, for the airlines to remove Muslim passengers who do the things that terrorists are expected to do. In other words, the imams took an action calculated to make it more difficult for the airlines and the TSA to prevent another terrorist attack on American airliners.Now Katherine Kersten reports in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that an associate of Omar Shahin participated in a similar escapade way back in 1999:
At this point, let me just add that deportation of the Minnesota Six would be entirely appropriate today.
Another incident of interest occurred during Shahin's tenure at ITC. On June 13, 2003, the FBI arrested Muhammad Al-Qudhai'een, who was active at the mosque, and transported him to Virginia to testify as a material witness before a federal grand jury investigating 9/11.
Earlier, the FBI had investigated Al-Qudhai'een's involvement in a 1999 incident. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Al-Qudhai'een and Hamdan al Shalawi, a fellow Saudi, were removed from an America West flight after engaging in what the flight crew considered suspicious activity. The crew asserted that Al-Qudhai'een had twice attempted to open the plane's cockpit door. After 9/11, FBI agents in Phoenix considered whether the incident had been a "dry run" for the attacks. The 9/11 Commission noted that Al Shalawi had reportedly trained in Afghan terrorist camps in November 2000, learning how to conduct "Khobar Towers"-type bombing attacks.
The America West incident attracted national attention in 1999. In 2000, the two Saudis filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by the airline. "What happened to us was based on racial and religious discrimination," al Shalawi told the Arizona Republic. CAIR hired the Saudis' attorney for them, and urged a boycott of the airline. America West won the lawsuit. Al-Qudhai'een was later deported to Saudi Arabia.
UPDATE: Welcome RCP/FOX Buzztracker readers. NOTE: 12 hours later and LGF notes the story, too. Proving once again that if you want to most current links to the hottest news with the sharpest analysis and commentary, that TAB is the place to be!