Friday, April 30, 2010

Did Netanyahu Cave On Jerusalem? Yes And No..Bibi's New Plan.

The latest moves out of the Middle East lead me to some interesting conclusions on future developments.

In the latest game change, the Palestinian Authority's capo del Ramallah Mahmoud Abbas did a complete about face after 15 months of stonewalling on restarting talks with Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu.

In an interview with Israel Channel 2 TV's Ehud Yaari, Abbas stressed his willingness to go back to talks with Netanyahu if the Arab League approves it in their May 1st summit.

"I want to work with Netanyahu," he said. "Try me."

"I say on behalf of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, that we are prepared for an agreement."

Even more interestingly,Abbas indicated that Netanyahu’s demands that any future Palestinian state to be demilitarized might be acceptable, provided a US or NATO could be deployed on the borders.

He also mentioned that he might be amenable, in principle, to territorial swaps that would enable Israel hold on to the major Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria ( AKA the West Bank, and the fact that the Palestinian demand for a “right of return.” might be withdrawn.

Why the sudden turn around after such a long display of stalling and intransigence?

A number of observers have come up with the obvious solution, that Netanyahu caved on a building freeze in East Jerusalem and that's why Abbas is suddenly so reasonable. The reality is a lot more complex than that, and it encompasses the needs and strategies of Netanyahu, Abbas and yes, Barack Hussein Obama.

We'll start with Obama.While the president's disdain for Israel and Bibi Netanyahu is palpable,he never expected to be hit with the firestorm he was hit with for his treatment of the Jewish State and its leadership. Obama found out to his shock that both Congress and the American public are very a better than two to one margin in the case of the latter. Even his efforts to promote an anti-Israel Jewish coalition in the form of J-street essentially failed. And when even a reliable Democrat soldiers like Senator Chuck Schumer went off the reservation publicly over the president's Israel policy,Obama belatedly realized that he needed to make a major change in his MidEast policy..which wasn't working anyway.

Next, let's look at Abbas. Why the sudden turnaround?

Mahmoud Abbas was apparently given every reason to believe - most likely by George Mitchell or perhaps Hillary Clinton - that all of the Palestinian's demands were going to be delivered to him on a silver platter by Obama. This made him even more intransigent and unwilling to negotiate in the least.

Unfortunately, Abbas has run into two problems, one external and one internal. The internal one comes from the younger Fatah commissars that are challenging Abbas' leadership and the cronyism of the older Fatah leadership Abbas represents. They point out that Abbas' actual term ran out over a year ago.

In reality, Abbas has very little real power on the ground in the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria ( AKA the West Bank) and what power he does possess comes from his relationship with the West. In Gaza, of course, Abbas has no power whatsoever and Gaza's Hamas rulers challenge his authority to make any kind of deal with Israel - quite correctly, if one looks at the the results of the last Palestinian elections.

The external one is that Obama overestimated his leverage on Israel and underestimated the political fallout domestically in the US. With the midterms coming up and already looking grim for the Democrats, the last thing Barack Hussein Obama needs is yet another political cause to galvinize US voters to vote for the Republicans, who are seen as stronger on national security and on Israel.

Obama severely misjudged his handling of Netanyahu and Israel.

The Obama Administration's earlier unilateral trashing of the agreement under which Israel signed on to the Road Map, its de facto arms embargo on Israel, Obama's demands that Israel forbear seeking to protect it's religious shrines as part of its heritage, his demands on Jerusalem, his open courting of the Muslim world and his treatment of Israeli PM Netanyahu all combined to convince the majority of Israelis that the current regime in the White House is not to be trusted one iota. ironically, as Obama sought to weaken Netanyahu, he actually strengthened him as the majority of Israelis united behind Netanyahu's government.

The Israelis, to be blunt about it, have been here before, with Oslo and with Gaza and they are simply not inclined buy the same shoddy merchandise a third time, especially from Barack Hussein Obama.

In addition to all this, so far the Obama Administration has dropped the ball on the one major issue Netanyahu and most Israelis care most about - preventing a nuclear armed Iran.

In short, while the Israelis obviously care very much about keeping their strategic alliance with the US going, the leverage Obama now has to pressure them into unsafe or politically unpopular concessions 'for peace' are severely limited. They have no pressing need to move forward

Presented with this status quo by Obama, Abbas has belatedly realized that after the November US elections he is unlikely to get anything like the deal he might get now from Obama by appearing cooperative. It also reinforces Abbas' cachet as the West's preferred 'Palestinian' leader to the Young Guard at home that increasingly wants to take over from the old Fatah mafiosos Abbas represents.

And now we come to the third member of this troika, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. By this time, Netanyahu can certainly be under no illusions about the basic hostility of the Obama Administration, but the realities of the situation demand skill and a certain amount of face saving from both Israel and Obama.

Picture them as two relatives who detest each other attending a family gathering who are compelled to make certain gestures to keep the peace and reach certain goals they both want.

Obama, having bumbled the Middle East peace process through his own ineptitude needs to convince the Arab world that he's capable of leaning on Israel, and at the same time he badly needed to turn the heat down on Israel for his own domestic political purposes. To do that, both practically and temperamentally (President Obama is not without a considerable ego), he needed some kind of face saving concession from the Israelis to take to Abbas to get him back to the proximity talks.

There are a great many reports out there that Netanyahu and his government made some kind of short term under the table concession on building in Jerusalem to Obama in order to allow the president to give Abbas the leverage to come back to the table. My sources tell me that it involved a moratorium of building permits for six weeks, although one source said 8 weeks and the notoriously unreliable Ha'aretz said their 'sources' told them 4 weeks. Abbas will now go to the upcoming Arab League summit, brag about how the Jews caved in to his demands and seek an Arab League endorsement of his re-entering the proximity talks.

The thaw in US-Israeli relations was immediately perceptible. When Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak went to the Pentagon last week, he was received with full military honors, a far cry from the way Netanyahu was treated.

Some observers see in this an attempt by Obama to sideline Netanyahu and bring in a Labor/Kadima coalition that would do Obama's bidding. While there's no doubt it might be Obama's intent, it once again shows that he has little or no understanding of Israeli politics.
Aside from the fact that Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and Labor's Ehud Barack have hated each other for years, Kadima and Labor simply do not have enough seats to pull a coalition government off - and in a country where President Obama's approval ratings are insingle digits, no Israeli politician is going to risk hitching himself to Obama.

What Netanyahu gets out of this I think, aside from a thawing of US-Israel relations is leverage in several matters.

While Bibi obviously does not want to appear as the unreasonable party ( and in fact, it has always been the Palestinians and not Netanyahu who have refused to begin negotiations) based on the past he he is largely skeptical of the 'Palestinians' ability to come to an agreement and keep it . And in any event, his main focus right now is not on Abbas but on Iran and its proxy allies Hezbollah and Hamas. That's where Israel's main security threats exist, and Netanyahu knows it.

As Israel gears up for strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, Netanyahu essentially seems to be creating an implicit deal with Obama - the building halt in Judea and Samaria and continued progress in negotiations with the 'Palestinians' will continue as long as the US supports Israel's strike on Iran and not a minute longer.

Not only is this sort of bargain something Netanyahu can sell domestically to his current coalition partners, but it's one Obama would have major problems crossing him on.

Can you imagine the domestic American political feedback if Obama betrays the Israelis and leads the charge against Israel in the UN? Not only would Obama be derided for betraying an ally who took the initiative to stop Iran from going nuclear after he fumbled the ball, he would have the onus of being the one who destroying the peace process so beloved in DC as well.

All this is highly speculative, but given how little leverage Obama has on Israel and given Israel's need to deal with Iran decisively - after all, somebody has to - it seems a reasonable bet.

And in the end, all the players might just end up getting at least some of what they want.

We'll see more as the chess moves continue.

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Arizona Legislature Passes Bill to Curb 'Chauvanism' in Ethnic Studies Programs

MeCha and La Raza definitely won't like this one:

After making national headlines for a new law on illegal immigrants, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.

The bill, which passed 32-26 in the state House, had been approved by the Senate a day earlier. It now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature.

The new bill would make it illegal for a school district to teach any courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

The bill stipulates that courses can continue to be taught for Native American pupils in compliance with federal law and does not prohibit English as a second language classes. It also does not prohibit the teaching of the Holocaust or other cases of genocide.

Schools that fail to abide by the law would have state funds withheld.

State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tom Horne called passage in the state House a victory for the principle that education should unite, not divide students of differing backgrounds.

"Traditionally, the American public school system has brought together students from different backgrounds and taught them to be Americans and to treat each other as individuals, and not on the basis of their ethnic backgrounds," Horne said. "This is consistent with the fundamental American value that we are all individuals, not exemplars of whatever ethnic groups we were born into. Ethnic studies programs teach the opposite, and are designed to promote ethnic chauvinism."

Horne began fighting in 2007 against the Tucson Unified School District's program, which he said defied Martin Luther King's call to judge a person by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Horne claimed the ethnic studies program encourages "ethnic chauvanism," promotes Latinos to rise up and create a new territory out of the southwestern region of the United States and tries to intimidate conservative teachers in the school system.

As anyone who has spent any time at all at one of our public universities knows, many of the Ethnic Studies classes do indeed promote and what Horne calls 'ethnic chauvinism' 'racial consciousness' and the balkanization of America's populations at the expense of critical thinking and national unity. This is a welcome and long overdue move, and one that will hopefully be copied by other states.

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Hate Filled Bigot Mouths Off About Arizona Immigration Law

The unmitigated gall of some jerk off foreigner..and especially someone like Desmond Tutu, of all people to talk about someone else's racism.

How ironic for such a is a well known Israel basher, anti-Semite and terrorism supporter to claim moral legitimacy!

You see, like most of the rest of the ANC, the good Bishop was noted for his friendliness with Palestinians and Yasir Arafat (the Palestinians supplied the ANC with weaponry and terrorist training) and his frequent comparison of Israel with apartheid South Africa.

During the first UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Durban in 2001 (known as Durban I) Tutu led the charge on what became an anti-Semitic orgy inside and out that stank so badly that even the Americans and European delegations left.

Here's a few choice Tutuisms uttered at a conference in Boston back in 2002:

"Israel is like Hitler and apartheid."

"The Jewish lobby is very powerful..People are scared in this country [the U.S.], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful."

There's lots more where that came from.

While Bishop Tutu was the head of the Investigative Commission for the notorious UN Human Rights Commission, it never found time to investigate a single other state for `human rights violations' but Israel.Not even a word on Darfur, for instance.

Too bad for PuffHo that Yasir Arafat isn't still around. I guarantee you that they'd be printing the ranting old coward's op-eds too.

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Watcher's Council Results, 4/30/10

The Council has spoken! Here are the results of our weekly Watcher's Council contest.

This week's council winner was Wolf Howling for The Roots Of Slavery & The Races Hustlers’ Holy Grail – Reparations , a response to professor Henry Louis Gates Jr's call for reparations for slavery.

Our non-council winning post was The Washington Monument by Wretchard of the Belmont Club (at Pajamas Media). I linked to this essay earlier this week on Joshuapundit and I'll repeat what I said's one of the best explanations I have read of the tea party movement and why most of the political and media elites simply don't get it .

Here are the full results:

Council Winners

Non Council Winners

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obama's Tears At A Funeral Raise A Question About Segregation

Above, we see a photo of President Obama weeping at the funeral of civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy Height, who just passed away at the age of 98.

The sentiment is attractive as it shows the president revealing his true, unscripted human feelings for a change.

But it is curious. Why would someone who is so obviously moved at Dr. Height's long fight against segregation directed at blacks be so enthusiastic about championing segregation for Jews in the Holy Land? Why would someone who claims to be so concerned about liberty and equality be so insistent on creating yet another part of the world where Jews are forbidden to set foot?

Like I said, curious. Although I have a feeling Jeremiah Wright would understand.

You can never know men's hearts for sure.But their actions? Those are an open book.

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Obama's proposed Iran Sanctions Would Exempt Russia And China!

Simply unbelievable:

The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in "cooperating countries," a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran.

The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act is in a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to reach President Obama's desk by Memorial Day.

"It's incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of "cooperating countries" in the legislation.

Translation? Russia and China would still be allowed to sell gasoline, weaponry and nuclear technology to Iran with Obama's blessing.

This, I guess, is what the Administration meant when they talked about Russia and China 'coming on board for sanctions'!

While Iran is a major oil producer, it lacks adequate refineries and is forced to rely on imported gasoline. The regime has had rationing in place for a very long time, and while we dither is is furiously working on transforming its military vehicles to run on natural gas.

Bottom line? Obama has no plan for Iran, exactly as SecDef Gates finally admitted.

Rather than admit it, Obama is willing to settle for phony sanctions with loopholes large enough to drive a truck through so he can say he 'did something.'

Ultimately, Obama is willing to live with a nuclear Iran no matter what it does to peace in the region, US security or our economy when the mullahs decide to shut down the Persian Gulf.He's simply voting 'present' on the matter to avoid th etough decisions.

Voltaire had the right of it when he said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Except that this is both.

In the mean time, the centrifuges keep spinning.

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Why Arizona Drew A Line...

Kris W. Kobach is a law professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City who was also the US Attorney General's chief adviser on immigration law and border security from 2001 to 2003. Here, he writes a reasoned defense of Arizona's new immigration law, which he helped draft. And here is the entire piece as it appears in *gasp* The New York Times no less, along with a few comments by yours truly:

On Friday, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed a law — SB 1070 — that prohibits the harboring of illegal aliens and makes it a state crime for an alien to commit certain federal immigration crimes. It also requires police officers who, in the course of a traffic stop or other law-enforcement action, come to a “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal alien verify the person’s immigration status with the federal government.

Predictably, groups that favor relaxed enforcement of immigration laws, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, insist the law is unconstitutional. Less predictably, President Obama declared it “misguided” and said the Justice Department would take a look.

Presumably, the government lawyers who do so will actually read the law, something its critics don’t seem to have done. The arguments we’ve heard against it either misrepresent its text or are otherwise inaccurate. As someone who helped draft the statute, I will rebut the major criticisms individually:

It is unfair to demand that aliens carry their documents with them. It is true that the Arizona law makes it a misdemeanor for an alien to fail to carry certain documents. “Now, suddenly, if you don’t have your papers ... you’re going to be harassed,” the president said. “That’s not the right way to go.” But since 1940, it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them. The Arizona law simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime. Moreover, as anyone who has traveled abroad knows, other nations have similar documentation requirements.

The professor is exactly right. All SB 1070 does is to mirror existing US law.And speaking of fair is it to break the law and jump in line ahead of thousands of other people who desperately want to come to America simply because you can?

“Reasonable suspicion” is a meaningless term that will permit police misconduct. Over the past four decades, federal courts have issued hundreds of opinions defining those two words. The Arizona law didn’t invent the concept: Precedents list the factors that can contribute to reasonable suspicion; when several are combined, the “totality of circumstances” that results may create reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.

For example, the Arizona law is most likely to come into play after a traffic stop. A police officer pulls a minivan over for speeding. A dozen passengers are crammed in. None has identification. The highway is a known alien-smuggling corridor. The driver is acting evasively. Those factors combine to create reasonable suspicion that the occupants are not in the country legally.

Got that? A policeman can't randomly pull someone over or stop them simply because they 'look Latino.'

The law will allow police to engage in racial profiling. Actually, Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in making any stops or determining immigration status. In addition, all normal Fourth Amendment protections against profiling will continue to apply. In fact, the Arizona law actually reduces the likelihood of race-based harassment by compelling police officers to contact the federal government as soon as is practicable when they suspect a person is an illegal alien, as opposed to letting them make arrests on their own assessment.

It is unfair to demand that people carry a driver’s license. Arizona’s law does not require anyone, alien or otherwise, to carry a driver’s license. Rather, it gives any alien with a license a free pass if his immigration status is in doubt. Because Arizona allows only lawful residents to obtain licenses, an officer must presume that someone who produces one is legally in the country.

State governments aren’t allowed to get involved in immigration, which is a federal matter. While it is true that Washington holds primary authority in immigration, the Supreme Court since 1976 has recognized that states may enact laws to discourage illegal immigration without being pre-empted by federal law. As long as Congress hasn’t expressly forbidden the state law in question, the statute doesn’t conflict with federal law and Congress has not displaced all state laws from the field, it is permitted. That’s why Arizona’s 2007 law making it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized aliens was sustained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

I might also add , as Governor Jan Brewer stated in an interview with FOX's Greta Van Susteren yesterday that none of this would have been necessary if the Feds had been fulfilling their responsibility to protest our borders.

In sum, the Arizona law hardly creates a police state. It takes a measured, reasonable step to give Arizona police officers another tool when they come into contact with illegal aliens during their normal law enforcement duties.

And it’s very necessary: Arizona is the ground zero of illegal immigration. Phoenix is the hub of human smuggling and the kidnapping capital of America, with more than 240 incidents reported in 2008. It’s no surprise that Arizona’s police associations favored the bill, along with 70 percent of Arizonans.

President Obama and the Beltway crowd feel these problems can be taken care of with “comprehensive immigration reform” — meaning amnesty and a few other new laws. But we already have plenty of federal immigration laws on the books, and the typical illegal alien is guilty of breaking many of them. What we need is for the executive branch to enforce the laws that we already have.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has scaled back work-site enforcement and otherwise shown it does not consider immigration laws to be a high priority. It is any wonder the Arizona Legislature, at the front line of the immigration issue, sees things differently?

None of this is likely going to stop pro-Amnesty and open borders advocates from whipping up the troops, nor is it likely to stop AG Eric Holder and the Obama Administration from getting involved.

The politics are far too tempting, and the good of the country comes second with the present administration.

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Rock On! Ted Nugent Hearts Sarah Palin!

Young Ted high fives Governor Palin in a piece he wrote as part of TIME's 100 people Who Most Affect Our World:

If Sarah Palin played a loud, grinding instrument, she would be in my band.

The independent patriotic spirit, attitude and soul of our forefathers are alive and well in Sarah. In the way she lives, what she says and how she dedicates herself to make America better in these interesting times, she represents the good, while exposing the bad and ugly.

She embraces the critical duty of we the people by participating in this glorious experiment in self-government. The tsunami of support proves that Sarah represents what many Americans know to be common and sensible. Her rugged individualism, self-reliance and a herculean work ethic resonate now more than ever in a country spinning away from these basics that made the U.S.A. the last best place.

We who are driven to be assets to our families, communities and our beloved country connect with the principles that Sarah Palin embodies. We know that bureaucrats and, even more, Fedzilla, are not the solution; they are the problem. I'd be proud to share a moose-barbecue campfire with the Palin family anytime, so long as I can shoot the moose.

Kindred spirits, it would seem.

Nugent has it right, of course. Governor Palin is a throwback to our earlier values which is exactly why the Angry left is scared to death of her.

Ted's not running for anything and neither is Sarah - so far. But a Palin-Nugent ticket would definitely be ummm...right on target!

hat tip Soccer Dad

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hypocrisy In Full Flame Over 'Islamophobia'

The Daily Caller's Suhail Khan has a piece that is absolutely stunning in its moral relativism and he compares the plight of Muslims in America with that of the Jews in Holocaust era Germany:

“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then…they came for me … And by that time there was no one left to speak up.” -Pastor Martin Niemöller

Members of Congress plan to host a National Day of Prayer event in May featuring evangelist Franklin Graham. The invitation to Graham, who has described Islam as “a very evil and wicked religion,” came in the wake of an invitation extended to Graham for a similar event at the Pentagon the same week. Before being subsequently withdrawn, the invitation sparked widespread criticism from both within and outside the Pentagon. Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said inviting Graham to speak “would be like bringing someone in on national prayer day madly denigrating Christianity.”

Graham’s statements are nothing new. Following a report on a recent terrorist incident on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The 700 Club,” host Pat Robertson called Islam “not a religion, but a political system,” and called for Americans to treat its followers “as we would members of the Communist party, or members of some fascist group.” And after a report on Muslims in Minneapolis seeking religious accommodations at school and work, Robertson warned, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have to recognize that Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination of the world.” In yet another telecast, Robertson railed: “These people are crazed fanatics, and I want to say it now: I believe it’s motivated by demonic power. It is satanic and it’s time we recognize what we’re dealing with.”

Robertson and Graham are not alone in condemnations. Scores of politicians, columnists, various bloggers, radio and TV hosts, particularly since the 9/11 tragedy, have emphatically claimed that Islam as a faith calls on its followers to dominate the world through violence and terror. Are there some extremists who promote violence in the name of faith? No doubt, but zealots of all faiths have done so for time immemorial, and blanket condemnations of an entire faith community do nothing to help fight the murderous enemy we currently face and must defeat.

Anti-Muslim blogger Robert Spencer proclaims that the Muslim prophet Muhammad was a guilty of host of heinous crimes including the rape of a child because he was betrothed to Aisha when she was nine years old. Of course, most are keenly aware that a betrothal and actual marriage are two separate things and readers of the Old Testament recall that Isaac was betrothed to Rebecca when she was three years old. Like Wilders, Thomas, and Coulter, Spencer’s bigotry easily morphs into anti-Semitism.

Anti-Muslim bigotry is simply anti-Semitism on training wheels. Americans of the Jewish faith, Catholics, Mormons and so many others recognize this when they see it, and we can be thankful that the majority of Americans stand strong against this kind of divisiveness. Instead of making every effort to bring together all freedom-loving people, some seek to divide us, cynically questioning the ability of millions to embrace freedom based solely on their faith.

Uhhh…Mr. Khan? Do you think that some of the jihad events of the last few years (Beslan, Ft. Hood, the two WTC bombings, homicide attacks against Israeli civilians, Mumbai, Nigeria, Theo Van Gogh's murder on the streets of Amsterdam or a thousand others I could mention) might just have had something to do with how people perceive Islam? Just maybe?

Likewise, your attempt to misrepresent both the Qu'ran and the Bible at one shot. I will let everyone make their own judgments, but the hadiths clearly state( Sahih-al-Bukhari 5:58:236 is typical) that Mohammed married Aisha at six and consummated their marriage when she was nine. Rebecca, on the other hand is described in Genesis 24: 26 as a young woman who spoke as a young woman, not a child. And she was old enough to draw water from the well not just for Abraham's servant but for all all his camels, and old enough to be of the age of consent to make her own decisions ( Genesis 24:58).

What was that again about disrespecting someone's religion?

Oh, and your conflating genocidal, government sponsored violent attacks on Jews in Germany with the relatively mild response of Americans to Muslims, even those who have been found guilty of aiding and abetting jihadist terrorism is duly noted, sir.

If you really want to see fascism at work in today's world, look at Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hizb-al-Tahrir, The Taliban, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood or Ikhwan, Abu Sayef and a host of others, all populated by very devout Muslims.

You know where Pastor Neimoller’s little homily really fits nowadays? As a comment on the silence of far too many decent Muslims who refuse to actively work against Islamist violence and bigotry.

I'm speaking directly to you, Mr. Khan. You're a member of the board of directors of the Islamic Free Market Institute, a group founded by prominent conservative activist and Muslim revert Grover Norquist with the help of thousands of dollars from Hamas and Hezbollah supporter Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was later revealed as a top Brotherhood leader in the U.S. As you know, he was a major Hezbollah and Hamas operative involved in massive terrorism fundraising operations and is now imprisoned.

And what about the money that your group got from the International Institute of Islamic Thought,(IIIT) a Muslim Brotherhood front whose name should ring a few bells to people familiar with Islamist terrorism here in America. The IIIT also has an important connection to President Obama's new Brotherhood friendly ambassador to the anti-Semitic and Islamist Organization of Islamic Conference(OIC), your good friend Rashad Hussain. Have you ever had a single thing to say about any of that, Mr Kahn? Not to mention returning that blood money?

I hope it doesn't happen, but in the end, that kind of hypocritical silence is what might really lead to your fears about Muslims being victimized becoming a reality...not anything Robert Spenser, Geert Wilders or Frank Graham have to say.


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Controversy Over US WarShip Named For Murtha

Whew! Somebody got paid off here big time:

Murtha — “our dear Jack,” as Pelosi referred to him — deserved the honor as a tireless advocate for troops generally and Marines in particular, she said, and she recalled admiring his rapport with them.

“Whether on the battlefield, or on the bedside, he thanked them for their courage, listened to their concerns, and asked them for comment — and he answered their needs, and responded to their calls, whether it was for body armor, up-armored vehicles… radios, you name it,” Pelosi said. “In those minutes [together], he bonded with them especially because he would share his own personal military service with them, and cared for them as a father. They knew it, and they returned his respect.”

Oh barf! The guy who cuddled up to Code Pink, the same people who bragged about $600,000 to the enemies who shot at our troops in Fallujah? The guy who accused innocent Marines of being 'cold-blooded murderers' on national TV and leaned on the brass to put them through hell before they were even tried?

Apparently there are a lot of servicemen who aren't 'returning his respect'. Or rather, they're returning exactly the respect they received from Fat Jack Murtha:

..thousands of Web users remembered a different Murtha — the one who opposed the Iraq war and accused Marines in 2005 of killing Iraqis “in cold blood” — when reacting to the announcement about the ship named in his honor. A Facebook group called “People Against Naming A Navy Ship USS Murtha” had 1,336 members as of Monday morning, and it was becoming a clearinghouse for angry comments and homemade cartoons criticizing Murtha.

Posters on the Facebook page said Murtha, who served in the Marine Corps during the Korean and Vietnam eras, “betrayed the brotherhood,” that naming a ship for him was a “slap in the face” and that if the Navy wanted to name a ship for him, it should have chosen “a nice, stinky garbage scow.”

The Navy was getting angry responses even on its own official website, where visitors used the same page where the announcement appeared to criticize it. Visitors called the decision to name a ship for Murtha “an absolute disgrace,” “inappropriate” and said it was just as bad as naming a warship for Benedict Arnold.

“The naming of LPD 26 after John Murtha is inappropriate,” wrote David Martin. “There many men and women with greater records of valor and service to the country who deserve the honor of having a warship named in their memory before John Murtha has a warship [named] in his honor. He made sure there was an airport named after himself. What more does there need to be?”

Actually, there were close to 4,000 members on Facebook when I last looked.

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Crist To Bolt GOP,Run As Independent

No surprise here:

So the word is out: Gov. Charlie Crist is telling key financial backers that he's running for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation. The announcement is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg.

Well, you can't say you weren't warned.

Now, I wonder...will Crist be giving any of those campaign contributions back to those financial backers? Or to the National Republican Senatorial Committee(NRSC)?

You're kidding me, right? Erick Erickson has the dope on this:

One year ago today, NRSC backed Arlen Specter bolted from the GOP. Today, the media is reporting NRSC backed Charlie Crist is also bolting the GOP.

Seeing a trend here, aren’t we?

Charlie Crist will not only run as an independent in Florida, but he has also reserved all of his air time in Florida through November, or as much as he can.


Because he knows the Club for Growth is going to do what they did to Specter — fund an effort to have Crist donors ask for their money back. Well, because Crist has spent it all on television advertising holds that he may or may not later use, he can say he has none to give back.

Classy, Charlie.

Rubio should still win the seat handily, but without the huge majority he would have otherwise.

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The "Zionist Hindu Crusader Alliance"

Proof that great minds think alike, noted author Walter Russell Mead writes on the Islamists' worst nightmare:

Documents captured from radicals and terrorists in Pakistan warn darkly about a new axis of evil in the world: a ‘Zionist Hindu Crusader‘ alliance bringing Israel, India, and the United States together in a war on Islam. They are wrong about the last part; all three countries want peaceful relations with Islamic countries based on mutual recognition and respect. The alliance isn’t a closed club, and Islamic countries are welcome to join. Otherwise, however, the radicals have a point. The deepening relations between the United States, India, and Israel are changing the geopolitical geometry of the modern world in ways that will make the lives of fanatical terrorists even more dismal and depressing (not to mention shorter) than they already are. Israel and the United States are both in a better long term position than many Americans sometimes think; one of the main reasons is an Indian-Israeli connection that most Americans know nothing about.

Americans often underestimate Israel: we underestimate Israel’s ability to conduct a foreign policy independent of US support and we underestimate Israel’s long term prospects for success in its region. Indeed, Americans often talk about Israel as if we were the Jewish state’s only real friend — and that Israel is completely dependent on American goodwill.

That’s not true historically and it’s not true today. The Soviet Union (through its Czechoslovakian satellite regime) provided Israel with the arms that gave it the decisive advantage in its War of Independence. The British and French armed and supported Israel in the 1956 Suez War. France provided Israel with the core of its nuclear technology and France supplied Israel with the Mirage jets which destroyed the Arab air forces at the outset of the Six-Day War. During all this time the United States government did not provide Israel with much help; no Israeli prime minister was even invited to Washington until 1964 when Levi Eshkol met with President Lyndon Johnson.

While the United States today is unquestionably Israel’s most important ally and partner, we are not the only game in town. The United States isn’t the country where Israel enjoys its highest favorable ratings; according to a survey carried out for the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 2009, India is the country where people like Israel the most. According to the survey, 58 percent of Indians supported Israel; 56 percent of Americans in the survey felt that way. {...}

The relationship isn’t just about good wishes. India has the largest (reported) defense budget of any developing country; Israel is India’s largest supplier of arms. As two of the leading IT countries in the world, India and Israel also collaborate on a variety of high tech projects, some with military implications.

Although both India and Israel were born at the same time — a collapsing British Empire was hastily liquidating its overseas commitments — for many years they had little to do with each other. Britain’s inglorious scuttle from imperial responsibility left festering issues for both countries: Palestine and Kashmir. It was a strategic objective of Indian foreign policy to keep the Kashmir question away from the United Nations, and in particular to avoid a united Islamic bloc on the question. Siding with Israel seemed a good way to trigger exactly the hostility India wanted to avoid. Later in the Cold War period, India’s close relationship with the Soviet Union encouraged a distance between India and America’s close Middle Eastern ally. As a result, as a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, India was one of Israel’s toughest opponents, voting consistently with the Arabs to isolate Israel in international bodies (informally, ties were often closer, especially in business).

In one of the least-noted but perhaps more important shifts of the post Cold War world, that has all changed. Currently, Israel isn’t just popular in India. It is India’s largest supplier of high-tech weapons and the growing cooperation between the two countries is spreading into both economic and political fields. There is a strategic compatibility in their interests. Economically, the marriage of Indian and Israeli high-tech know how with India’s enormous force of educated, English-speaking labor, its vast internal market, and Israel’s marketing experience and connections with the advanced industrial economies make for a natural complementarity. Israel welcomes the rise of Indian economic and political influence in the Middle East and East Africa. Both countries view the activities of radicals in Pakistan and their use of Pakistan and Afghanistan for wider regional ambitions with deep concern.

There’s another connection. The United States increasingly favors the emergence of India as a world and regional power. In the context of the Middle East and Africa, Americans see India as a stabilizing, anti-extremist force. More broadly, while the United States isn’t (and shouldn’t be) operating a policy of containment against China, the growing prosperity and power of India in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East is an important positive factor in maintaining the kind of international order the United States wants to see. That means, among other things, that the United States is likely to look with more favor on transfers of technological know how and the sales of advanced weapons systems from Israel to India than from Israel to China. This preference reinforces the ties between the two most successful democracies to emerge from British colonialism in modern Asia. {...}

This “Zionist Hindu Crusader” alliance is a nightmare scenario for radicals and terrorists in the Islamic world. The emergence of closer relations between the American global superpower, the regional Israeli military, and technological superpower, and the rising superpower of India is a basic challenge to the worldview of the extremists. The radicals have imagined a world in which the west and especially America is in decline, Israel faces a deep crisis, and a resurgent Islamic world is emerging as a new world-historical power.

Suppose none of that is happening. Suppose instead that both the United States and Israel are going to prosper and grow, based in part on their economic relationship with India. Suppose that Israel’s extraordinary culture of high-tech innovation will be energized by the relationship with India so that Israel’s technological and scientific lead over its neighbors continues to grow over time. Suppose that Indian power will be returning to the Gulf and East Africa, and that not only Pakistan but the Arab world will be increasingly focused on accommodating the rise of a new regional, and ultimately global, superpower. Add to this that immense natural gas discoveries off Israel’s coastline are revolutionizing the country’s long term economic position and security strategy.

In that kind of world the arguments and the ideas of religious radicals won’t make much sense to most people. On the other hand, the economic dynamism created by the explosive growth of the Indian economy (assuming of course that the trend toward double-digit GDP growth continues) will offer the Arab world (and Pakistan) new opportunities for rapid economic development of their own. At the same time, the growing diplomatic and political influence that a rising India will have in the region will add new weight to American efforts to help the region move toward peace and reconciliation. In this kind of world, Islamic radicalism can’t deliver and its basic assumptions look shallow and unconvincing.

I would disagree with Mead in some important respect. While he is certainly correct in terms of the trend, the Obama Administration, because of its orientation towards Islam does not favor the growth of India as a regional power and in fact has attempted to intervene in Israel's weapons and high tech sales to India.However,I see this as an aberrant episode in a long time trend..if nothing else, because of the common enemies involved.

I would also disagree with Mead that the growth of India's economy offers opportunities for rapid economic development to Pakistan and the Arab world.If that were true, the Arab world would long since have abandoned its boycott of Israel and taken steps to normalize relations and economic cooperation.

Unfortunately, Islam and revanchist yearnings trump everything else when it comes to much of the Muslim world, and economic advantage isn't going to change that.

This is particularly true of Pakistan, a country that was formed almost entirely out of opposition to India.

Hat tip Carl

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Watcher's Council Nominations, 4/28/10

Welcome to the latest edition of the Watcher's Council, a group of some of the most incisive blogs in the`sphere. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one of their own and one from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The Council votes to pick the winners in each category and the results can be seen in this space on Friday morning.

Some great stuff this week as always...let's see what we have here:

Council Submissions

Non Council Submissions

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arizona's Ra-aaa-cism

Check this out:

Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

Can you believe Arizona's ra-aa-cism?

Oh, wait a minute.That's been a long standing part of the US Code of Justice for years!

It appears that the State of Arizona has merely made these statues a part of state law to give their police a mandate for enforcing them.

And while we're looking at laws, let's take a peek of some of Mexico's immigration laws:

Mexico welcomes only foreigners who will be useful to Mexican society:

* Foreigners are admitted into Mexico "according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress." (Article 32)

* Immigration officials must "ensure" that "immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance" and for their dependents. (Article 34)

* Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets "the equilibrium of the national demographics," when foreigners are deemed detrimental to "economic or national interests," when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and when "they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy." (Article 37)

* The Secretary of Governance may "suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest." (Article 38)


Foreigners with fake papers, or who enter the country under false pretenses, may be imprisoned:

* Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned. (Article 116)

* Foreigners who sign government documents "with a signature that is false or different from that which he normally uses" are subject to fine and imprisonment. (Article 116)

I certainly don't think I want to hear a single two-faced word out of the Mexican government or any of its officials about 'racism' or 'civil rights'.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Obama Plays The Race Card For 2010

So much for being the president of all the people...

The DNC just released this clip of Obama rallying 'young people, African Americans, Latinos and women' for the 2010 Congressional elections this year.

He calls for these groups " who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again."

Pure identity politics, and White males need not apply.

And old song by the Who comes to mind:

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Arizona Illegal Alien Bill Garners Protests And Lawfare FromThe Usual Suspects

As I'm sure you would have guessed, Arizona's new law mandating that police enforce US law and determine whether their 'customers' are in the country legally has sparked massive protests:

Hundreds of people gathered outside Arizona's Capitol building on Sunday in a largely peaceful protest against the state's tough new immigration law.

Chanting "Yes we can," waving American flags and holding signs reading "We have rights" and "We are human," demonstrators kept up a festive spirit as they denounced the bill signed Friday by Gov. Jan Brewer.

The new law requires police to determine whether a person is in the United States legally. It also requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally.

Apparently the protesters were tipped off to keep the Mexican Flags out of sight at this particular photo op.

Interestingly enough, according to Rasmussen 70% of Arizona's voters favor the bill, which given Arizona's demographics would have to include a number of Hispanics..

And in another interesting little factoid, long time Joshua's Army member, and correspondent Ellen G. is a Phoenix resident who happened to check out the rally and according to her,a lot of the protesters came in a fleet of buses with California plates and had political cadres from the like of MeCha and La Raza running the show.

And speaking of outside agitators, the protest managed to attract one of the top race pimps in America:

The Rev. Al Sharpton, along with leaders from the National Action Network and the Hispanic Federation, announced Sunday that he will legally challenge the law.

The law "is an affront to the civil rights of all Americans and an attempt to legalize racial profiling," Sharpton said in a statement after the bill's signing Friday. "As one who helped to make racial profiling a national issue and who has in the last year visited Arizona several times to rally against these draconian immigration policies, I am calling for a coalition of civil rights organizations to work with those in Arizona to resist and overturn this state law."

The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, a group that represents 30,000 Latino churches worldwide, also said Saturday it plans to file a lawsuit against the bill.

"In addition to this law being illegal, if this law goes into effect, we expect it to have a dramatic affect on the state with U.S. citizens, legal residents and others moving out of the state out of fear of being singled out," William Sanchez, an immigration attorney representing the coalition, said in a statement.

Now, when I say 'attract' that's simply a figure of speech. Rev Al is a professional, and he almost never makes appearances for free, as any union or group he's ever appeared with could tell you.Not unless he figures the PR value is going to add to his bottom line in the future.

You see, like most pimps what Rev Al's heart really bleeds for is the dollars, and the fact that the people who put on this show were willing to shell out for a slimy racist like the Rev says a great deal about whom they are.

Is the bill 'illegal'? Hard to see how,since it merely requires police to enforce existing laws and applies equally to a Mexican day laborer or a Swedish student who overstays his visa... unless an activist judge pulls the protection clause out of shape and determines somehow that the Constitution covers non-citizens here illegally.

Another point that shouldn't be ignored, especially for those legal Arizona residents who view this as 'racial profiling'.

Illegal aliens cost the state millions in social services that it never recoups, commit crimes out of proportion to their numbers and lower both the cost of labor and the chances of an unemployed or underemployed Arizonan finding work, especially in industries like construction.

It's something you might want to consider before being stampeded by people with an agenda who definitely do not have your best interests at heart.

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Democrats Move to Undercut Citizens United Ruling - And Inadvertantly Step In It Again

Upcoming this week, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Representative Mike Castle (Rino-Del.) plan to unveil legislation designed to attack the Supreme Court's landmark slapdown of McCain-Feingold..the Citizens United decision.

They even have a cute name for this, the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act(DISCLOSE).

I smiled when I read this, because I see what's coming. Let's look at some of the proposed bill's provisions:

1. Enhance Disclaimers: Make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for their ads.

If a corporation, union, section 501(c)(4), (5), or (6) organization, or section 527 organization spend on campaign-related activity, its CEO or organization head will have to stand by the ad and say that he or she “approves this message,” just like candidates have to do now. In order to seek out the real money behind the ad, this legislation will drill down several layers and require the top contributor directing the funds to also “stand by the ad.” Additionally, we require the top five contributors to an organization to be listed on the screen.

Hmmmm...does that mean that from now on, George Soros' name is going to be listed on the garbage aired by MoveOn and the DNC? Whoopsie!

2. Enhance Disclosures: It is time to follow the money.

Any covered organization must disclose within 24 hours to the FEC not just its campaign-related activity, but also transfers of money to other groups which can then be used for campaign-related activity. Additionally, a covered organization must disclose its donors and has two options: 1) it can disclose all of its donors $1,000 and above; or 2) it can set up a “Campaign-Related Activity” account and disclose only those political donors to that account $1,000 and above. If, however, the organization dips into its general account for funds, it must then disclose all its general treasury donors in excess of $10,000. In both options, the Act allows for organizations to “wall-off” donations if the donor does not want the money to go to campaign-related spending.

So union members will be allowed to 'wall off' donations to the Democrats from their union bosses if they want? Equal protection, you know. Double whoopsie!

3. Prevent Foreign Influence: Foreign countries and entities should not be determining the outcome of our elections.

Corporations that have either 1) a foreign entity controlling 20% of its voting shares; 2) foreign nationals comprising a majority of its board of directors; 3) a foreign national who directs, dictates, or controls U.S. operations; or 4) a foreign national who directs, dictates, or controls political decision-making are banned from spending in U.S. elections. If a corporation is under the direction or control of a foreign entity, it should not be able to spend money on our elections.

So...this means CAIR, MPAC ISNA and other Islamist organizations funded primarily by the Saudis and the UAE are out of business, no? There are some Democrat congressmen who are going to be very distressed by this.

4. Shareholder/Member Disclosure: We should allow shareholders and members to know where money goes.

This provision would mandate disclosure by corporations, unions, and other groups to their shareholders and members in their annual and periodic reports. This would also require these groups to make their political spending public on their websites within 24 hours after filing with the FEC.

No problem here.Bring it on.

5. Prevent Government Contractors from Spending: Taxpayer money should not be spent on political ads.

Due to the appearance of corruption and possible misuse of taxpayer funds, government contractors with a contract worth more than $50,000 will not be allowed to spend money on elections. Similarly, TARP recipients who have not paid back government funds are also banned from spending.

So, no more public employee union donations to the Democrats ever again! After all, don't these unions have government contracts worth more than $50,000? TRIPLE whoopsie!

6. Provide the Lowest Unit Rate for Candidates and Parties: Special interests should not drown out the voices of the people.

If a covered organization buys airtime to run ads that support or attack a candidate, then candidates, parties, and party committees get to take advantage of the lowest unit rate for that market. This provision is limited specifically to that media market. Additionally we improve the reasonable access provisions to ensure that candidates are not shut out of airtime.

Some animals are more equal than others, hmmm? Blatantly unconstitutional, in that it effectively mandates by law a discount for one side..and usually Democrats and only Democrats. If this is in the bill, I can hear John Roberts and Anthony Scalia chortling from here.

7. Tighten Coordination Rules: Corporations should not be able to “sponsor” a candidate.

Loopholes in current coordination rules would be filled, thereby banning coordination between a candidate and outside groups on ads that reference a candidate from the time period beginning 90 days before a primary and running through the general election. At the same time, rules limiting coordination between the party and the candidate are loosened a bit to allow for effective responses to the influx of corporate and special interest money.

"Outside groups"? So no more Trial Lawyer's Association, MoveOn, Code Pink or union backed ads 90 days before a primary and through the election? Quadruple whoopsie!

I actually hope these clowns try and push this through. It's hard for me to decide whether it would be better to let it pass and then demand that the obvious players be covered by this ridiculous piece of legislation or to simply tie it up and let it collapse in Congress.

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Obama Tosses Another Old ChiTown Buddy Under The Bus

This time, it's Obama's old basketball buddy and Illinois Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias who Obama is declining to campaign for in the race for the president's old senate seat:

At the moment, the White House seems open to the idea of losing Obama’s old seat rather than putting the president’s prestige on the line for Giannoulias, the brash and boyish Illinois state treasurer — and onetime Obama basketball buddy — whose campaign has been rocked by the financial meltdown of his family’s bank.

Durbin said Emanuel was sympathetic to his pleas but ultimately noncommittal, telling him that the White House was “considering the race, weighing their options and weighing a decision on what to do.”

Emanuel, a former congressman from Chicago, tried but failed last year to get Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan into the race. Now, he told Durbin, it’s up to Giannoulias to prove his campaign has enough “viability and strength” to warrant Obama’s involvement.

OK, here's the real story - Barack Hussein Obama is not about to get politically involved with convicted financier Tony Rezco's banker, whose family owned Broadway Bank was just closed by the Feds amid what can only be called massive 'irregularities'.

In fact, Obama is fighting right now to avoid being subpoenaed by ex-governor Rod Blagojevich's lawyers in his corruption trial, where the government's chief witness is Rezco and a number of interesting details could come out..about things like conversations Obama or Rahm Emanuel had about a certain senate seat in Illinois, Obama's connections through Rezco with Saddam Hussein's bagman Nahdni Auchi, illegal campaign contributions or how certain substandard housing developments built by Rezco with municipal funds were pushed through. A number of things could come to light once the president is sworn and has to testify under oath.

No, the last thing Obama wants is to be any more involved with his old cronies in Chicago than he already is.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Driver Wearing Islamic Face Veil Fined In France

This was not merely a hijab, but a niqab, which covers the entire face except for the eyes:

A woman driver wearing an Islamic face veil has been fined by French police for not having a clear field of vision. The fine was small, but it garnered big attention Friday and may illustrate what is to come as the president pushes to outlaw the veils nationwide.

Traffic police in the western city of Nantes fined the 31-year-old woman euro22 ($29) in early April, her lawyer said. The fine was based on a rule that says drivers should have freedom of movement and a sufficient field of vision, lawyer Jean-Michel Pollono said.

Pollono said Friday that he is protesting the decision, saying a veil is no different from a motorcycle helmet in terms of hindrance to vision.

The driver gave a news conference Friday—while wearing the niqab veil, which covers the entire face except for the eyes—and expressed "a feeling of injustice" over the incident.

No different than a motorcycle helmet!??!?

This case was apparently a big deal in France and provoked the usual Muslim seethe fest, especially with Belgium examining banning veils as well. The French parliament, if you remember had already banned Muslim headscarves and other "ostentatious" religious symbols from classrooms back in 2004.

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