Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bush's State Of the Union Speech

President Bush's state of the union speech was like most state of the union speeches...more notable for tone than for content. You can read a transcript here:
WLTX News 19 Transcript of President Bush's State of the Union

The weakest part of the speech was that President saw fit to take a mostly conciliatory tone throughout the speech, but to say the least, it was not appreciated or reciprocated by most the Democrats. I have never seen such blatant rudeness addressed towards a sitting president..ever.

Almost all of the Democrats in attendance spent the speech sitting on their hands and glaring at President Bush during his speech. Even his most patriotic statements and inocuous phrases about America supporting freedom, honoring the sacrifices of our troops and military families, promoting democracy and calls for America to become more energy self sufficient were met with sour looks and silent loathing by the majority of democrats in the gallery.

The exception was when President Bush briefly mentioned Social Security reform and said, in passing that "Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security..." and the Democrats interrupted him and rose in a body to applaud themselves for obstructing his attempts to deal with the problem of rising costs and entitlements.

Lovely. But it may backfire, as people in the American heartland watched this display of childishness and may draw their own conclusions come election time. Which may have been President Bush's intention all along.

President Bush once again saw fit to mention radical Islam as a force for totalitarianism and the engine behind global terrorism in spite of intense lobbying by CAIR and their allies. That's good, but he still seems to push the illusion that Islamism is `the perversion by a few of a noble faith into an ideology of terror and death.' Any American who even halfway keeps up with things knows that those `few' are in fact a decent percentage of Muslims, and part of Islam's mainstream rather than a small group.

It's troubling that Bush expects his fellow citizens to buy this.

Bush also made passing references to Iran, saying that it was a regime that sposored terrorism and that 'The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons.' While this kind of rhetoric was expected, to have it in a State of the Union address points up to the fact that the President has Iran very much on his mind.

He also addressed the knee jerk criticism and fault finding of the opposition withwhat I thought was one of the best lines in the speech `...there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy.'

Bush also reiterated that the new Hamas government `must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism and work for lasting peace.' That won't happen, but at least it's on the table and out in the open.

He also appealed for an extension of the Patriot Act. It's amazing that this should even be an issue.

On the domestic front, Bush rightfully cited America's economic progress, correctly pointing out that America has created more jobs than the EU and Japan combined. He also called for permanent tax cuts by Congress.

Two points of departure from the usual were Bush's take on border security and immigration and his calls for energy self sufficiency.

The President again seems bound and determined to push a guest worker plan on the US ..never mind that such programs have been a dismal failure in Europe. He barely mentioned the idea of secure borders for America.

Bush also called for energy self sufficiency utililizing alternative fuels and nuclear energy to lessen America's dependence on Middle East oil. Again an obvious feel good remark,ignoring the little fact that America has ample oil if we just bothered to drill for it ourselves and maybe even build a gasoline refinery or two...it's been 20 years since the US did that.

Like most State of the Union addresses, this one contained some nuggets hidden inside the usual pro forma remarks. It remains to be seen how President Bush handles some of the issues mentioned.

One thing is certain..if I were him, I wouldn't expect a whole lot of help from the Democrats in Congress. Nor would I waste much time appealing for bi-parisan coperation for the good of the country.

If you have to ask, it's already a waste of time.

Cindy Sheehan tossed out of National Gallery before State of the Union Speech

Tonight, at President Bush's State of the Union address, conspiracy theorist, terroist groupie, anti-Semite, anti-war `activist' and famed lecturer Cindy Sheehan was given a gallery pass by Bay Area Democratic Congresswoman Lynn Woosley late Tuesday, just hours before the planned speech. Sheehan was in Washington to protest the president during his national address, but then came word she was invited to see the speech live.

Jihad Cindy promised to listen respectfully and listen to the speech, but was obviously planning on breaking her word as she entered the gallery carrying a concealed banner (contrary to gallery rules) and was escorted out by Capitol Police.

She is not expected to be allowed back in....

Good riddance.

Iran threatens revenge if referred to the UN

Well, the mullahs didn't take kindly to being referred to the UN Security CouncilIran threatens revenge as nuclear row heads for UN - World - Times Online:

After America, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia agreed that they would vote at an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) tomorrow for the case to be sent to the UN, Iran reacted in anger.

“We will never abandon our rights to nuclear technology and, if referred to the Security Council, Iran will stop voluntary implementation of the additional protocol,” said President Ahmadinejad, quoted by state television.

According to an IAEA report, the Iranians are already beginning preparations for full-scale uranium enrichment. And Ali Larijani, the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator, also threatened to retaliate in the Middle East against the interests of those countries taking action against Iran. “If these countries use all their means ...to put pressure on Iran, Iran will use its capacity in the region,” he said.

Oscar Nominations Support Warm, Cuddly Terrorism

The Oscar nominations came out today, and they went pretty much as expected...mostly they went to films with a gay theme like `Brokeback Mountain', `TransAmerica' and `Capote', or they went to films that promulgate the image of warm, cuddly. `humanized' terrorists like `Munich' and `Syriana'.And Hollywood movers and shakers keep asking themselves why attendance is down!

On the bright side, none of the films nominated for best picture attracted anything like a mass audience, and they were mostly ignored by movie goers in a year that saw movie studio profits plummet as people avoided these out-of-the mainstream offerings.
`Big Momma's House II', grossed more in its opening week than `Munich' has grossed in its entire run..and `Munich' has been out for weeks, with heavy promotion.

The worst nomination was reserved for Best Foreign Film, which of course went to `Paradise Now' the Palestinian entry that shows the lighter side of homicide bombers.

I wish that the pampered academy members who voted for and applauded these films had actually experienced what one of these attacks is like. I wish they had the experience of what Islamic terrorism looks, sounds and yes, smells like up close. I'd want to see their faces as they watch grown men weeping as they pick up body parts of what used to be men, women and children in the street..with the sounds of the Palestinians celebrating, firing guns in the air and ululating clearly audible at the same time.

I'm surprised they can actually look in the mirror without being sick with shame.

You're quite right..I'm angry.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Agreement by Russia, China, EU and US on referral of Iran to UN Security Council

In the face of no meaningful concessions by Iran and increasing pressure by the US and EU, Russia and China finally agreed agreed to get on board at long last and back the referral of Iran's nuclear program to the UN Security Council at a Feb. 2 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, joining the U.S., U.K., France and Germany.

The ministers ``agreed that this week's Extraordinary IAEA Board meeting should report to the Security Council its decision on the steps required by Iran,'' a joint statement released by the U.S. said.

Sounds good, but here's the bad part: The ministers also agreed the UN Security Council should wait until another IAEA board of governors meeting on March 6 to take actual action, which could range from censure or sanctions.

As reported here, the Iranians reportedly have a nuclear weapons test scheduled to coincide with Noruz, the Persian New Year on March 2oth.

If the Iranians successfully test a nuclear weapon, that would make any sanctions the UN could apply moot and meaningless...assuming the Russians, the Chinese and others abided by them in the first place. I wouldn't bet on it. Not at all.

Oil's too good a lubricant for that sort of thing.

This isn't over yet, by any means.

Palestinian Economy implodes as Hamas takes over

I've received several reports that what's left of the Palestinian economy is exiting Palestine, particularly the West Bank as fast as it can be wired or withdrawn.

Many well connected Fatah `family' including ministers and security bosses have been transferring their assets out of the Palestinian Authority, particularly in the West Bank, where most of what's left of the Palestinian economy subsisted.

I've seen estimates of between $35 and $50 million US were transferred in just one day, January 30th. Much of this came from the Jordanian based Arab Bank, currently under suit inUS Federal Court for aiding and abetting terrorism against American citizens.

Of course, most of that money was directly or indirectly `aid' money, sent by the UN, the EU, USAid and other suckers..ahem..I meant donors.

Businessmen, doctors and the governing class are rapidly shifting their assets to Europe and the Gulf Emirates. There is little or no confidence by the elite that Mahmoud Abbas has any ability to limit the Hamas drive to grab full control of government and its assets. The elite classes also have to worry that the property of prominent figures will be impounded to make a show of the corruption and thieving practiced by the defeated Fatah. Or that it will be liquidated to help pay to run the Palestinian Authority by the new Hamas rulers.

And yet another hit on Jihad TV -Zawahiri goes postal!

Al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahri appeared on Jihad TV (AKA al Jazeera) in a particularly angry appearence. Obviously, just missing being turned into roadkill by a Hellfire missle seems to have upset him a wee bit..not to mention the 4 al Qaeda leaders who weren't so lucky.Bush 'butcher': al-Qaeda video - World - smh.com.au

You could practically see the spittle flying from his mouth as he called President Bush a "butcher" and a "failure", and also had some unkind words for British PM Blair. "Butcher of Washington, you are not only defeated and a liar, but also a failure. You are a curse on your own nation," he said, referring to Bush.

Zawahiri said the United States had ignored an offer from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden for `an honorable truce' and would face further attacks.

At one point Zawahiri invited Mr Bush to convert to Islam and saids his sins would then be forgiven!

And of course, ol' Z then tried to emphasize how safe and popular he was...

"Bush, do you know where I am? I am among the Muslim masses, enjoying God's blessing of their support, care, generosity and protection."

He also directed his speech to the families of British and US troops. "You, American mother, if the Pentagon calls to tell you that your son is coming home in a coffin, then remember George Bush. And you, British wife, if the Defence Department calls you to say that your husband is returning crippled and burnt, remember Tony Blair," he said.

Somehow, it doesn't sound like the sort of speech somebody on the winning side of things would give, now does it?

I give it 6 on a scale of ten, with a couple of points off for serious overacting. Though Hollywood would probably give Zawahiri an Oscar, just for calling President Bush few nasty names.

New Jill Carroll video aired on Jihad TV

Al Jazeera (AKA `Jihad TV') just aired a new videotape of kidnapped U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, showing her wearing an Islamic veil and weeping as she purportedly appealed for the release of Iraqi prisoners.

The video is dated Saturday, two days after the U.S. military released five Iraqi women detainees. U.S. officials said the release had nothing to do with the kidnappers' demands.

You can see Carroll's face is in the footage, and she is wearing a hijab and sobbing as she speaks to the camera.You can see the video here- MSNBC.com

This is the first sighting or news of Caroll since the January 20th deadline for her murder by Muslim terrorists in Iraq passed.

AT one point, the al-Jazeera newsreader said Carroll appealed to the U.S. military and the Iraqi Interior Ministry to release all women in their prisons and that this "would help in winning her release."

Draw your own conclusions, Freedom Fighters.

Steamed Rice: Us Secretary of State Rice says' robust negotiations needed on Iran nuclear deadlock '

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seems to be getting impatient with the negotiations with Iran and the EU aimed at dealing with the mullah's resumed appear to have failed... again.Rice says robust negotiations needed on Iran nuclear deadlock

"We believe that there is a lot of life left in the diplomacy," Rice said. "After all, going to the Security Council is not the end of diplomacy. It's just diplomacy in a different, more robust context."

European foreign ministers met earlier in Brussels on Monday with Iran's deputy nuclear negotiator, but said they had failed to make progress.

Rice was particularly skeptical of Iran's drawn out, on again off again response to a Russian proposal to move Iranian uranium enrichment to Russia and send the nuclear fuel back to Iran.

"It's not as if the Russians proposed this last week. This has now been several months."

Quote O' The Day

"Cutting off funds now will be a punishment of the Palestinian people, not of Hamas.

If the European Union countries and the American administration see this as a means that could lead to a change in Hamas' strategic position then they are dreaming and are mistaken. Hamas will never accept that."

-Mohammed Nazzal, member of Hamas' decision-making political bureau in Damascus, Syria in an interview with Al-Arabiya TV today.

Los Angeles Talk Radio host bites back at CAIR

Talk show host Bill Handel in Los Angeles has a satirical way of handling events, and last month he commented on the deaths of Muslims at the Haj pilgrimmage, describing it as a `stampede' and joking that they needed heliocopter traffic broadcasts similar to the ones made at his station to inform his listeners about conditions on Los Angeles' freeways.

Apparently that didn't sit well with the good folks at The Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR put out the word on its website and orchestrated hundreds of e-mails demanding an apology from Handel and from the station. They accused him of making light of the deaths, stereotyping Islam as a primitive religion and believe it or not, as an anti-Semitic religion!

Today, Handel responded. He pointed out that many of the e-mails came from places outside America where the chances of anyone hearing his broadcast were nonexistant, and that almost all the e-mails were identical in wording!

He then went over CAIR's background and history of involvement with Islamic terrorist groups and the conviction of a number of its executives and associates of terrorism charges here in the US.

He offered to apologize...but only if CAIR does the following:

Unequivically denounces all acts of terror, including terrorism against Jews and Israel.

Agrees that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to defensible borders.

And states that CAIR has no ties of any sort, financially or otherwise, to any terror organizations or individiuals, including but not limited to Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad or al Qaedah.

Handel stated that he had sent an e-mail to CAIR's communication director over the weekend with exactly those conditions, but had yet to receive a response.

It will be interesting to see what if anything happens, to say the least!

Islamic boycott of Denmark burns out of control

A fascinating story has developed over a world wide Islamic protest over cartoons depicting Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper late last year.

The Danish newspaper the Jyllands-Posten ran these caricatures of Mohammed as an exercise in freedom of the press after several Danish artists and artists expressed fear of reprisals for writing or depicting anything critical of Islam.

When Danish Muslims protested and demanded that the paper be punished, Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen refused to even meet with them, citing traditional Danish freedom of the press.

Denmark has also been much more hardline in its treatment of Islamic terrorists than some other EU countries, and in insisting that Danish Muslims integrate fully into Danish society. Denmark was also victimized by Islamic riots in Aalborg and other locations during le Jihad Francais last year.

A worldwide Islamic boycott has been launched against Denmark and its products.

And Saudi Arabia has recalled its envoy from Denmark, Libya has closed its embassy, and thousands of Palestinians marched in protest on Monday. Egypt is also considering recalling its ambassador. And the OIC and the Arab League have both called for Muslim boycotts of Danish goods and services.

Today, groups linked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction issued a statement saying, “We call upon all Danish citizens in (Palestine) to leave immediately.”

Hamas got into the act by urging Islamic countries to take “deterrent steps against idiotic Danish behavior”.

“We call on Muslim nations to boycott all Danish products because the Danish people supported the hateful racism under the pretext of freedom of expression,” it said in a statement.

Today, Denmark-based Arla Foods reported that two of its employees in Saudi Arabia were beaten by angry customers. Aid groups, meanwhile, pulled workers out of Gaza, citing the threat of hostilities. And armed terrorists shot up the outside of the European Union headquarters in Gaza City.

The al-Hisbah website, a popular cyberstop for Islamic radicals carried a black banner bearing the address of another site, www.no4denmark.com, that showed pictures of products consumers should shun. These include Lego toys, food products, cosmetics and pump manufacturer Grundfos.

Saudi Arabia is a member of the WTO and EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson warned Saudi Arabia that it would take WTO action if the Riyadh government supported a boycott of Danish goods. The Saudi government, of course, denied any `official' encouragement of the boycott.

Islamists counting on Denmark knuckling under to pressure should remember thatthis brave nation defied Hitler, even when his armies occupied their country.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has repeatedly rejected calls to apologize or give in to this blackmail. There's hope for Europe yet.

Connecting the dots on Iran, funding for the Palestinians...and the Saudis

As those of you whom follow Joshuapundit know, I reported last week on a story that got very little attention...the historic trip by Saudi King Abdullah to Asia, which included stops in Pakistan, India and China.J O S H U A P U N D I T: Connecting a few dots on Iran

End result? Musharref in Pakistan announces that Iran should not have nuclear weapons and should be subject to sanctions if it does, India and Saudi Arabia announce plans for closer ties and China sudenly moderates it's views on sanctions for Iran.

How did this magic take place? If we read between the lines,it's obvious Abdullah went on the road for the US to help isolatate Teheran and promise the Indians and Chinese a backup in case of any shortfalls in Iranian oil supplies for their economies.

Now why would King Abdullah go to all that trouble? What did he get out of it?

I think, among other things, King Abdullah got a guarantee from President Bush to push the Palestinian elections through.

If you remember, President Abbas was going to postpone the elections until President Bush twisted his arm.

Hamas gets elected and suddenly needs money to keep the dysfunctional Palestinian Authority running....and look who pops up! Jerusalem Post | Saudis promise Palestinians $100M

Yup, the Saudis. And that's in addition to whatever promises Iran's Ahmadinejad made to Hamas in Damascus last week.

So America gets Saudi backup and assistance on isolating Iran, the US (and possibly the EU) get to disengage from a financial and diplomatic rathole in the Palestinian Authority and the Saudis get some influence over an Islamic, Sunni government of Hamas as a counter to Shiite Iran.

The latest on aid to the Palestinian Authority

Once again, some daylight has emerged between the American and EU positions on aid to the new Palestinian Hamas led government. The EU has temporarily decided to continue aid to Hamasistan.EU Says Hamas Must Change to Win its Support | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 30.01.2006

“We give them three months to assess the situation. We don’t want chaos and we want to go on with the peace process,” said EU foreign executive, Javier Solana at the end of the foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

"They have been a terrorist organization. They have to change their methods and they have to accept that violence is incompatible with democracy," Solana told AFP as he arrived for a day of talks in Brussels.

"They have to also recognize Israel, because in the end what we are trying to do is construct a two-state model and to do that, you have to talk to the other," he added.

US Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice expressed the US position, which is less `nuanced' and more hardline. "Supporting a peace process on the one hand... and on the other hand, supporting the activities of a partner in that set of negotiations which does not recognize the existence of the other partner, it just does not work," she said.

"I do think that it is important that Hamas now has to confront the implications of its government if it wishes to govern."

She also pointed out that both the EU and the US have listed Hamas as a terorist organization, and that US law forbids funding terrorist organizations.

For the story behind the story, read Joshuapundit on the Saudi offer to finance the PA....

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Some common sense from Israel - at last!

Apparently Israel has come to its senses and will now refuse to transfer this past month's tax revenues earmarked for the Palestinian Authority. Ha'aretz - Israel to withhold PA tax money -title

The PA was due to receive a total of NIS 200 million this coming Wednesday for the month of January. The new Hamas PA government had threatened Israel with war if the money was not handed over.

Netanyahu and the Likud were shredding existing Israeli PM Olmert over this, and in view of the coming election, Olmert decided to act responsably, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

Legally, halting payments would not constitute a violation of agreements with the PA, because Israel agreed to transfer tax money solely to former PA Finance Minister Salem Fayyad. Since Fayyad resigned, the agreement is no in force.

Israel will undoubtedly put the money in escrow, as they did during the intifadeh to be returned to the Palestinians if and when they forswear violence and recognize Israel's right to exist.

Only an idiot gives his sworn enemy money to buy bullets to shoot him with!

Chaos in the Palestinian Authority

Wide spread riots and violent protests by Fatah activists have occurred throughout the weekend in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was planning a visit to Gaza to discuss a new cabinet with Hamas but called it off for `security reasons'. Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World

Arafat 2 is outliving his usefulness very quickly. I give him 6 months at best.

What's behind the riots, of course is the probable termination of cash stipends and government subsidies and monopolies to Fatah loyalists. As I've said before. this is a turf war and the best way to understand the Palestinian Authority is in terms of mafia scenarios like `The Godfather'.

Case in point was the tiff between Hamas kingpin Khaled Mashaal and Fatah warlord and security chief Jibril Rajoub over Mashaal's remarks on creating a Palestinian `army and merging Hamas' armed terrorists into it."We are ready to unify the weapons of Palestinian factions, with Palestinian consensus and form an army like any independent state," he said. Hamas suggests creating Palestinian army with militants

Fatah loyalists, recipiants of years of patronage from Arafat and Abbas were furious over the thought of possibly losing their mealtickets. Armed gunbattles have already broken out between Fatah and Hamas loyalists.

"Hamas has no power to meddle with the security forces," said Jibril Rajoub.

Dozens of armed police officers briefly stormed the legislature building in Gaza City, calling for Hamas members who killed police in fighting in recent months to be brought to justice.

In Ramallah, hundreds of Fatah loyalists, including gunmen and security officers, marched into Abbas' compound and prayed at the grave of the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.

"We came to you Abu Amar to forgive us for what happened," they chanted, referring to the Beast by his nickname.

You can tell a lot about people by what and whom they worship and adulate.

The mob moved toward Abbas'offices in the Mukhata but Abbas' body guards prevented them from approaching his office.

"We'll show them hell as an opposition and we will turn the Palestinian Authority security forces into armed militia led by Al Aqsa," Ramzi Obeidi, a leader of the Fatah-allied Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, told the crowd.

Sounds like a man who's paycheck is on the line....

Hamas takes hard line on `donor blackmail'

In response to a number of statements by World leaders conditioning future aid on Hamas rejecting terroism and recognizing Israel's right to exist, Hamas leaders essentially told them to go pound sand.BBC NEWS | Middle East | Hamas rejects donor 'blackmail'

Foremost among them was Ismail Haniya, who headed Hamas' election list (and is also wanted by Israel for his involvement in terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians).

Haniya told al-Reuters "This aid cannot be a sword over the heads of the Palestinian people and will not be material to blackmail our people, to blackmail Hamas and the resistance. It is rejected."

President George Bush told CBS news that the US would freeze aid unless Hamas renounced violence and stopped calling for Israel's destruction.

"If they don't, we won't deal with them," he told US TV channel CBS News. "Aid packages won't go forward... It's their choice."

Part of Hamas' confidence in taking the hard line against the US and EU no doubt comes from Iranian assurances to make up any shortfasl in financing. I'm certain this was one of the topics discussed in President Ahmadinejad's meeting for Hamas kinpin Khaled Mashaal, as reported here previously.J O S H U A P U N D I T: Terror conclave in Syria

Yet more Mark Steyn: `Who cares about Osama anymore?"

Love it!

The Spectator.co.uk

Iran and EU talks continue tommorow

The dance continues.Bloomberg.com: Top Worldwide

Remember that Iran has already suggested that talks about the Russian enrichment proposal be continued in March..exactly when Iran is scheduled to do its first nuclear weapons test, as reported here...J O S H U A P U N D I T: Ahmadinejad "Islam must prepare to rule the world ..."

Mark Steyn `At least Hamas is open about its evil intentions'

At least Hamas is open about its evil intentions

A fine read, as usual...

ABC Newsman Bob Woodruff and cameraman injured by Iraq IED

"World News Tonight" co-anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were seriously hurt in Iraq today by a roadside IED (improvised explosive device).
ABC News: ABC News' Bob Woodruff and Cameraman in Stable Condition After Iraq Attack
They remain in stable but serious condition and are expected to be evacuated to Americann military medical facilities in Germany tonight.

Joshuapundit extends its best wishes and prayers for a full and speedy recovery.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Handwringing over Hamasistan

Reading about the reaction to the Palestinian election of Hamas is like watching a someone trying to make a rope out of beach sand.

Predictably, there has been a great surge of wordage from the usual suspects. Jonathan Steele of the Guardian was particularly odious, but certainly not alone on how this was a Palestinian cry for help, a `vote for change' and a vote against corruption that of course must be respected since it was democratic.

And, oh yeah.. being in power is going to make Hamas more pragmatic, will modify its violent agenda and make it less prone to terrorism.

Funny, these were the same people who told us that putting Yasir Arafat in power was going to make him more pragmatic, modify his violent agenda and make the PLO less prone to terrorism.

Let's have a look at this, shall we?

Some of these apologists might think that the `Palestinians' voted for Hamas because they were `upset about corruption'.

Well, some did, but most of them voted for Hamas because they were frustrated at the lack of progress in the War Against the Jews, and wanted a change in that regard. And Hamas made no bones about promising that.

14 convicted terrorist murderers ran for the PLC from prison cells and got elected, including Marwan Barghouti, the head of Fatah's list. It's hard to be more nihilistic than to vote for a convicted murderer behind bars to represent you.

And expecting Hamas, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood to change its ideology is to expect it to eliminate its primary reason for existing. It won't. At best, expect a short-lived truce until Hamas consolidates power and the next phase of the War Against the Jews is ready.

I like this election. It was indeed democratic. It clarifies things. There was never much difference between Hamas and Fatah anyway, and the mask has fallen off.

And the apologists for Islamic terror will have to decide whether they are on board for Hamas' racist, violent agenda in the name of political correctness or not.

Their excuses will no longer wash.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Congratulations to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on his 250th! And thanks for all the music.

And a hat tip to Shabbs for the reminder!

Most Americans back a military strike on Iran

Several polls indicate that a clear majority of Americans view iran as a threat and would back a military strike against it.

According to an L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll 57% of Americans favor military intervention if Iran's Islamic government pursues a program that could enable it to build nuclear arms.Iran Focus-57% back a hit on Iran if defiance persists - Iran (General) - News

And according to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, Americans think Iran is the country that poses the greatest immediate danger to the United States today, with 91 percent of Americans say they are concerned it would sell them to terrorists.FOXNews.com - FOX News Polls News - FNC Poll - 01/26/06 FOX News Poll: The Threat From Iran

In addition, eight in 10 Americans are concerned Iran would use nukes to attack a neighboring country (54 percent very concerned), and 73 percent are concerned it would attack the United States (47 percent very concerned). And 59 percent support using "whatever military force is necessary," to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

A look at one of the new Palestinian legislators:Mariam Farahat, the homicide bomber mom

One of the new Hamas legislators now in control of the Palestinian Authority is Mariam Farahat, also known as Um Nidal, or Mother of the Struggle -- a mother who sent three of her six sons on Hamas suicide missions against Israeli civilians.ABC News: Suicide Bombers' Mother Elected to Palestinian Parliament

She is most famous for her presence in a Hamas video, showing her 17-year-old how to attack Israelis and telling him not to return. Shortly afterward, he killed five unarmed students in a Jewish yeshiva (religious school) before he was killed himself.

Welcome to the new Islamofascist state.

Hamas:Business as usual for a terrorist state with the West

In spite of direct statements by Israel that it would not deal with a Hamas government and in spite of direct threats by the EU and the US to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas won the election, the finessing and backtracking has already started, as I predicted.

Hamas has made some clever moves to make it even easier for the donor nations to continue funding the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas will remain, for the time being, as a front man for the Palestinian Authority, and according to Joshapundit's information has already been in contact with Hamas kingpin Khaled Mashaal in Damascus, fresh from his strategy meeting with Iran's president Ahmadinejad.

Abbas has said that he is not resigning but will collaborate in full with the new Hamas rulers.

Mashaal and Abbas came to an agreement on appointing to new government with a goal towards providing old, trusted Fatah faces to deal with the important task of keeping the cash flow from the EU and the UN coming in. Hamas vetted and accepted Fatah’s Nabil Shaath, Socialist Dr. Mustafa Barghouti and independent former finance minister Salim Fayyad as part of the new government in ministerial posts dealing directly with the Palestinian's external relations. Fayyad is particularly important as he would be the key in getting the EU to uinfreeze its contributions. Hamas will take control of internal security with control over Palestinian security forces and intelligence services. The new Palestinian ruler will also take over the PA’s television, radio and press. Very democratic, right Dubbya?

Mashaal will be relocating from Damascus to the Palestinian Authority to oversee Hamas' control of their new state and to be the power behind Abbas.

With outside figures in the posts of Palestinian prime minister and finance minister, Israel may see the Hamas-dominated state gaining international acceptance. Israel’s refusal to recognize or negotiate with the Hamas government is likely to come under extreme pressure.

A key indicator will be whether the scheduled transfer of NIS 200m in tax refunds to the new Hamas government next month goes through. Hours after its election victory, Hamas issued a threat that any holdups in funds transfers to the new Palestinian administration would be considered an act of war, and would result in attacks inside Israel designed todisrupt its March 28 elections...and prime minister Ehud Olmert’s election prospects in particular.

Critics in Israel say that the transfer of money to the Hamas-ruled administration sends a wrong signal to donor-countries for their relations with the terrorist regime. Gee, ya think so, PM Olmert?

Anatomy of Hamas' Victory- Caroline Glick

Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post has a good read here, as usual:The anatomy of Hamas' victory

Thursday, January 26, 2006

How Hamas is going to `moderate' itself- from the Hamas Charter "The Martyr's Oath'"

The calls from the international community for Israel to negotiate with the new Hamas government are already starting. The following may be helpful in clearing up why that's impossible....direct from the source.

"Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious...The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised...

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times...
It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned...

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kassam and his brethren the fighters, members of Muslim Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1968 and after...
The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: 'The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him...'

Resisting and quelling the enemy become the individual duty of every Muslim, male or female. A woman can go out to fight the enemy without her husband's permission, and so does the slave: without his master's permission...

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with...

The day The Palestinian Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies...

The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion... It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions...

We should not forget to remind every Muslim that when the Jews conquered the Holy City in 1967, they stood on the threshold of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and proclaimed that 'Mohammed is dead, and his descendants are all women.'
Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. 'May the cowards never sleep.'"

The new Hamas government..Thugocracy at work!

5 Iraqi prisoners released; could be a key to Jill Carrol's return from captivity

The US military frees five Iraqi prisoners from captivity today. Four of those demanded by the kidnappers of US rporter Jill Carroll still remain in custody. The release was unrelated to her abductors’ demands, a US official said.


While all of us hope for Ms. Carroll's safe return, I wonder how this will affect the safety of other Western nationals in Iraq and elsewhere. Kidnapping of westeners appears to be becoming a growth industry in Iraq, Gaza and elsewhere. The latest spate started with the kidnapping in Gaza of `activist' kate Burton and her elderly parents, who were released for a heavy 7 figure ransom paid by the British government through its M1-5 office in Rafah, Gaza.

Connecting a few dots on Iran

Some seemingly unrelated events offer some interesting possiblities on Iran.

The first was the US warning to India that its failure to back sanctions on Iran could lead to `difficulties' with the new US/India nuclear energy program The Hindu : National : Left condemns Mulford statement as reported in these pages J O S H U A P U N D I T: INDIA, US ON TRACK FOR NUKE DEAL, STRATEGIC TIES

The second was King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia's visits to both India and ChinaSaudi King in Delhi with a 250-strong delegation pledging new ties and even hinting that India could get observer status at the OIC (India has a population of 100 million Muslims).

Sounds like the carrot and the stick aproach to me. Is King Abdullah helping Bush shore up support for sanctions against Iran by guaranteeing to replace the Iranian oil these rapidly growing economies depend on?

In other news, the Iranians were said to be `warming' to a Russian proposal to enrich uranium on Russian soil.
Top News Article | Reuters.com

In reality, the mullahs have very little to lose in okaying the Russian proposal and only time to gain. The Iranians might seriously explore the Russian option, to find out what they can learn from Moscow to improve their enrichment techniques. And enrichment in Russia wouldn't stop the Iranians fom continuing further research and development towards nuclear weapons on their own, especially considering that a certain amount of cheating and dissembling with the Russians - for a price- can be expected.

Obviously the Russians, Chinese and the EU seem anxious to find a way to avoid any difficult decisions on a nuclear Iran.

It remains to be seen what the US and/or Israel will do in this situation.

Subscribe to Joshuapundit

This site now has an RSS feed so that you can get the latest 0n the war against jihad, aong with the Freedom Fighter's pungent commentary delivered to you hot n' fresh every day. Just click on the `chiclet' logo on top of the links list.

Hamas wins Palestinian Parliamentary elections; Abbas asks Hamas to form a government.

In a result that shocked most observers, Hamas appears to have won a decisive majority in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.

It astounds me how news pundits and commentators have bought in to the supposed importance of this event, using terms like `historic' and `unprecedented' and casting it as an epic battle between Fatah `moderates' and Hamas `militants'.

In reality, there was never much difference.

Hamas and a coalition of Fatah hardliners always controlled Abbas, and he was only useful as a front man to bring in money from the EU and to a lesser extent, from America.

That usefullness is almost at an end, thanks to the EU freezing donations to the PA 3 weeks ago because of the PA's bloated payroll and lack of financial transparency once Palestinian Finance Minister Selim Faya’d was ousted afew months ago. That's what REALLY determined the election results.

Will Hamas `mature' as they embrace power? Don't bet on it. Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideology is written in stone. And the Palestinians have ratified that ideology.

Hamas control of Palestinian government brings the the Muslim Brotherhood into power by the ballot for the first time in Middle East history.But probably not for the last time, when you look at Egypt and consider what could happen when octegenarian president Mubarak passes from the scene.

Hamas will be the new Palestinian government and Fatah hardliners, led by jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti and al Aksa will work with them. Abbas, as always, will do what he's told until the time comes for him to `resign'.

In reality, this election signifies no great changes. The basic nature of the Palestinian government will be no different in its ultimate aim of destroying Israel.

If anything, at least Israel will be spared the futility of trying to talk to a Palestinian government with no real power any longer. Hamas is up front about it's objectives.

Both the EU and US emphatically stated that they would not deal with a government that had Hamas as a member, but the finessing has already started. Will Bush and the EU continue to fund and support the PA with a government led by an organization both have labeled as terrorists? An open question.

The biggest problem with the Muslim brotherhood taking over from the stand point of the war on jihad is that thanks to the Israeli pullbacks from Gaza, the terrorists have a ready made base and another state sponsored haven. Denying them this was what the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were really about.

As for Israel, allowing the Hamas terrorists to take part in the Palestinian election - after its takeover of the Gaza Strip – was a major blunder. And one they will have to decided how to deal with.

Israeli PM Olmert now looks increasingly ineffectual after yesterday's statements; attempting to entice the Palestinians into `voting correctly' by allowing non-Israeli Arabs to vote for a hostile government in Israeli sovereign territory, hinting at more Israeli withdrawals and jailing a group headed by MK Effie Eitam who were peacefully protesting the Israeli government's cave-in on allowing Arabs in East Jerusalem to vote in an election between terrorist entities.

The Israeli government made a huge blunder, and will be faced with some hard and increasingly limited choices. Particularly if it comes under pressure from the International Community to `negotiate' with Hamas.

One of the big winners in the Palestinian election? Bibi Netanyahu.

Happy Australia Day!!

All the best to my friends and fellow freedom fighters in Oz!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Don't demonize Joel Stein, an honest leftist

Columnist Joel Stein wrote a column in the L.A. Times yesterday entitled "Warriors and Wusses"
Warriors and wusses - Los Angeles Times

It started out with these words:

'I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.'

Mr. Stein goes on to make various vacuous remarks about the military...which he now admits he knows nothing about.Radio Blogger

But the essential core of his piece deserves to be commended. It's not often one finds an honest Leftist willing to say these sort of things straight out.

`... I'm not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition. It's as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward.'

`..The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they're following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be inefficient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying.'

`...when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you're not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse.'

I won't waste time dealing with Stein's obvious view of America, the American military or his obviously clueless leftist beliefs. I will simply commend him for being honest enough to articulate the beliefs of himself and his peers...most of whom are just as unpatriotic and disloyal as he but lack the fortitude to admit it.

The Palestinian election

Today, the Palestinians began voting in their election. It is part of President Bush's agenda for democracy in the Arab world and it is supposed to lead to the development of a democratic,peaceful state next to Israel.

It astounds me how news pundits and commentators have bought in to the supposed importance of this event, using terms like `historic' and `unprecedented' and casting it as an epic battle between Fatah `moderates' and Hamas `militants'.

In reality, the election is totally insignificant and not actually an election at all, as we in the West think of one. The Fatah security forces voted in advance in their barracks under the watchful eyes of their officers and things like secret ballots and unimpeded access to the polls are not exactly what you'd call uniform in all parts of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition, there the matter of how much of the $2M received by the Palestiinian Authority went for poll fixing and vote buying.

It's a turf battle over spoils and patronage, and one where the outcome was likely preordained and the end result wouldn't matter anyway even if it WAS an actual election.

My prediction for the end result is that Hamas will capture the control of Gaza and a few select enclaves in the West Bank like the Arab part of Hebron while the Fatah gang bosses divvy up the rest. Things will be set up so that Abbas and Fatah maintain just enough of an edge over Hamas in the new government so as to allow the EU and the US to continue to fund the Palestinian Authority..thus conferring legitimacy and de facto recognition of Hamas as a political force as well as a terrorist group.

Hamas will continue its makeover for the West, posing as a legitimate political party with one hand while continuing terrorism against Israel with the other. It's already working...no less than our old friend Jimmy Carter is already on board, predicting that Hamas will `mature' as they take political power and comparing them with ex-Israeli PM Menachim Begin, who began his career in politics as leader of the Jewish militant group, the Irgun.

Only thing is, the Irgun targeted British troops rather than innocent civilians and Israel disarmed them before independence, saying that there couldn't be seperate armed factions in a democratic state. But then, I wouldn't expect Jimmy Carter to know that. Or care, even if he did.

It remains to be seen whether the US and the EU will actually adhere to their pledges not to support or deal with a government in which Hamas is a part. My guess is that they won't, but I'd love to be surprised.

The basic nature of the Palestinian Authority isn't going to change no matter whom is in charge. All one has to do is look at who's running at the head of the `moderate' Fatah parliamentary list - convicted terrorist and murderer Marwan Barghouti, now in an Israeli prison serving five life sentences for his involvement in terrorist attacks that killed five innocent civilians.

Actually, there are some 31 Palestinian terrorists running for office from jail. Most of them are considered to be pretty good bets for election. As a matter of fact, running from a jail cell after being convicted of murdering Israeli civilians seems to be a pretty good qualification for a seat on the Palestinian legislative Council.

One thing no one has commented on, with all the reams of print expounded on this subject is the fact that there is no such as a Palestinian peace movement or even a peace candidate running in this election. There isn't even a single candidate offering any `concessions' in exchange for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Yet the Bush Administration is spending $2M of our tax money to push the election of `moderate' Fatah and Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is already promising further concessions to the Palestinians if they put the same old terrorist regime back in power as opposed to a different set of terrorists!

It doesn't really matter who wins. The Palestinians sense the wavering and lack of leadership in Israel and are gearing up for the next stage of the war against the Jewish State.

That lack of leadership was evident in Olmert's attempting to bribe the so-called `electorate' with a promise of further Israeli pullbacks before the voting started and the jailing of MK Effie Eitam and a few other Israelis peacefully protesting the Israeli government's caving in on allowing Palestinians to vote in an election for a hostile government..on Israeli soil.

In spite of all the pious rhetoric, the awful truth is beginning to become apparent that there isn't any basis for a second Palestinian state in the region...not politically, not economically and certainly not based on any consideration for peace in the region.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A New Feature...Caption this photo

No reason we can't have a little fun with this stuff!

The New York Times' earnings fall again...

The New York Times Co. admitted today that its fourth-quarter earnings fell 41 percent from the same period a year ago.N.Y. Times Earnings Plunge on Charges - Yahoo! News

The Times, which also publishes The Boston Globe and the International Herald Tribune, earned $64.8 million or 45 cents per share in the three months ending in December, compared to $110.2 million or 75 cents per share a year ago.

I guess the market for leftist sedition isn't what it used to be.

Canada moves to the right - Conservatives win

Stephen Harper is the new Canadian PM as the Conservatives sweep the Liberals from power. Canadians Move Right, Elect New Leadership

The returns showed the Liberals dropping to 103 seats, while the Conservatives captured 124 seats, up from the 98 seats they hold in the current Parliament.

The Bloc Quebecois won 51 seats and the New Democratic Party garnered 29. One seat went to Independent.

Harper, an economist and conservative from Calgary, Alberta is a centerist who made a campaign point of his desire to curb multiculturism and promote a unified Canadian identity and to work more closely with America on strategic concerns.

As jihad intensifies, people slowly, slowly perceive the threat and vote for people they feel more confident will defend their countries...first George Bush, next John Howard and now Stephen Harper...I wonder who's next.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Brokeback Diplomacy

The Mullah's Human Shield...

This picture of Iranian women protecting their oppressors property at the Ishfahan nuclear facility speaks for itself.

IAEA drops the ball again..

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief, our own Inspector Clouseau Mohamed ElBaradei refused to have a report ready Iran's disputed nuclear work in time for a February 2 IAEA crisis meeting. Top News Article | Reuters.co.uk

The US and the EU wanted Le Inspector ElBaradei to make a broad accounting of Tehran's nuclear project to the special IAEA meeting they called for February, rather than wait for a regularly scheduled March 6 session.

"Due process, therefore, must take its course before (we are) able to submit a detailed report," he said in a letter to the U.S., British, French and Australian ambassadors to the IAEA. In other words, his valuable insights can't be hustled up a month!

In other news, US UN Ambassador John Bolton spoke via sattelite link to the Herzliya conference in Israel I reported on yesterday with a VERY diffeent message than the ones Israel got from the European delgates.Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World

Bolton said that Bush was determined to pursue the issue through peaceful and diplomatic means, "but has made clear that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable."

According to Bolton, Bush worries that a nuclear-equipped Iran under its current leadership could well engage in a nuclear holocaust, "and that is just not something he is going to accept."

Let's hope so.


The Palestinian election is 24 hours away, and the scramble is going on even now as we speak for the EU and even the US government to finesse dealing with an organization both have branded as terrorists but who are expected either to win the Palestinian elections outright or to make a strong enough showing to be a part of Abbas' new government.

As I've said, I think Hamas still is looking to use Abbas as a stoodge and frontman to garner money from donor nations, especially in the EU. But since the EU has now frozen its stipend to the Palestinians due to corruption, inflated `payrolls' and creative accounting, the role of Abbas is increasingly marginalized.

Tony Blair led the parade, saying that Britain will not deal with a Palestinian government containing Hamas members - unless the militant group renounces violence, of course.We will not talk to a terrorist Hamas, says Blair - World - Times Online Kind of like Arafat did at Oslo. I can see Hamas now.."it isn't us..it's those crazy `militants' who we can't control..not that you can't understand the rage, right?"

That has a familiar ring to it.

Of course, Hamas played on this by raising the possibility of `negotiations with Israel'World News Article | Reuters.co.ukwhich was gobbled up by the main stream press like the absolute swill that it was.

What Tony and his friends don't understand is that Hamas, as part of the Muslim Brotherhood has NO ideological basis to recognize Israel, to live with the idea of Jews living in `Muslim Land' in peace and equality or to finalize the conflict short of a Muslim victory over the unbelievers, just like the Qu'ran says.

The Damascus meeting last week with Ahmadinejad of Iran, Assad of Syria, Hizboallah and the heads of the various Palestinian terrorist groups including Hamas was designed to solidify a unified startegy towards that goal.

Of course, in my opinion, the `elections' are already a done deal, and mafia-like sitdowns to parcel out spheres of interest and patronage ar already in progress.

Sorry about the light blogging today!

Heavy winds here resulted in a power outage...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Multiculturism du jour - An interesting legal defense, to say the least!

Finsbury Park Jihad Imam Abu Hamza's new defense in his trial for hate speech and incitement is that he was merely praching his religion. Copies of the Qu'ran were handed to jurors in the trial yesterday as his defense argued that some of the cleric’s offensive statements were drawn directly from Islam’s holy book.
Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for the defence, said that Abu Hamza’s interpretation of the Koran was that it imposed an obligation on Muslims to do jihad and fight in the defence of their religion.

He added: “It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.”

Not that there's anything wrong with that, right Mr. Fitzgerald?

I sincerely wonder where these people's common sense went to.

Multiculturism Uber Alles!

Whoopsie. Another jihad work accident in Gaza...

A bomb blast in a vehice killed Abd al-A’el, the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees leader in charge of Qassam missile campaign against Israel. 3 to 6 people were killed in the explosion. Apparently a bomb in the car exploded prematurely. Another guy who gets an `F' on his shaheed report card...

In other news, the IDF took out two armed Palestinians attempting to steal through the Gaza-Israeli border barrier. One was hit near the Karni crossing, the other opposite Kibbutz Raim. Good shootin' tzahalim!

Here's a photo of the funeral of one of them, Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorist Moaman Iwshah:

Note the Hamas and Fatah flags, all friendly and flying together.......

Quote O' The Day

"Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing."

-Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Defense Minister at the Herzliya Conference, January 22nd, 2006

Canada's Conservatives are set to win the January 23rd elections.

After 12 years in the wilderness, Canada's Conservatives are on the eve of an election victory expected to end Liberal rule, move Canada to the right and improve ties with the United States.Canada's surging conservatives | csmonitor.com

Stephen Harper, if elected, would be Canada's first PM from the conservative West of the country. While more to the left on some social issues than the American idea of conservatism, Harper has been rock solid on the idea of one Canadian identity, as opposed to multiculturalism and in support for the war against jihad. This represents a MAJOR change for Canada.

"This country has the opportunity of electing a new government, to bring the country together, East and West, English and French, city and farm, new Canadians and old. Only one party can do it," Conservative leader Stephen Harper told a morning rally the day before Monday's vote.

Well said...and it's about time.

Russia is in retreat

An eminently sensible article onthe Big Bad Bear from of all places...The Guardian!

A must read. Hopefully we'll be hearing more from Mark Almond on the subject

"What did you do during the new cold war? Blink and you missed it. On New Year's Day, Russia was an energy superpower with its icy grip around western Europe's gas pipes. Alarmist strategists reported that Moscow was on the march. Estonia or Poland may be in Nato and the EU, but they were perilously vulnerable to energy blackmail. The Russian president was portrayed as a judo blackbelt with a chess grandmaster's geostrategic grasp.

The murky Swiss-based arrangements for divvying up the compromise price agreed between Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled gas company, and its Ukrainian partners cannot disguise the reality that Russia lost out in the quarrel. The EU rallied against its major energy partner, and behind Washington."
Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | Russia is in retreat

Russia is a dying nation who's one hope for survival is to cling to the West tenaciously. Instead, Putin stupidly attempts to work both sides of the street. One would think he would have actually learned something from the al Qaeda/Iranian sponsored atack on Nalchik last year....

Your tax dollars at work

The Bush Administration has invested $2M in bolstering the image and campaign of Fatah for the Palestinian elections, according to the Jerusalem Post. The money has been channeled through USAid and is aimed `reportdly' at publicizing recognition of Fatah and the PA for a number of popular projects.

Those numbers seem a bit high to the Freedom Fighter for the cost of buying ads and printing a few leaflets and signs.

Given the nature of what the Palestinian Authority has become and the impoverishment of most of the people there, I have a feeling that a piece of that $2M (the part that hasn't been skimmed off into various European bank accounts) went to purchase a few votes. In other words... bribe city, baby.

So much for the Bush Administration's committment to Arab democracy! Lovely idea, but not always applicable. And democracy takes more than just the abilty to cast a ballot, Dubbya.

Hamas is going to either be a significant part of the Palestinian Authority
(in conjunction with hardliners like al Aksa and Marwan Barghouti) or will actually BE the Palestinian Authority in less than a week.


Inquiring minds really want to know.

A wee bit of disagreeement on Iran's nuclear threat to Israel

An interesting and very revealing report from the Herzliya conference in Israel, held between Israseli and EU think tank inhabitants.Jerusalem Post |Differing views on Iran nuclear threat

When it came to discussing the threat of Iran's nukes,Israeli and European experts called for economic sanctions to be placed on the Islamic state. But that's where the sweetness and light ended.

The Israelis saw the concept of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons as an existential threat..and understandably so, considering what the Iranian leadership has had to say on the subject. The Europeans expressed a lot less concern on the subject.

The EU delegates were particularly incensed at the idea of Israel actually defending itself through means of a preemptive strike.No surprises there!

The French and others were all for allowing the long slow process of diplomacy to take its course...apparently the last 4 years of negotiations with Iran and Iran's thumbing its collective nose at the IAEA and the UN need further study!

"We are just at the beginning of a long confrontation and we must keep our heads cool," said Phillipe Errera, the deputy director for the French Foreign Ministry's center for analysis and prevision. "Multilateralism may be maddening and slow but it is indispensable."

Sir Michael Quinlan, a consulting senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, went a step further, saying that even if Iran went nuclear, attacking it would not be the correct move. A military option would not prove
sustainable in the long-run, he said, adding that the prospect of "Iran using a nuclear bomb on Israel is absurd. Although, I can say that sitting safely in the UK."

Rather than planning an attack on Iran, Israel should support the UN Security Council in putting together a basket of aggressive economic sanctions against Iran. Ultimately, he said, Israel must "look reality in the face" and realize that the international community does not regard Iran's nuclear program in the same "unacceptable" terms as Israel does.

Quinlan further suggested that if Israel wanted to seriously diminish future nuclear threats, it should be prepared to negotiate the status of its own nuclear program "once it existed in secure and settled borders, accepted by all neighbors in an agreement underwritten by the UN Security Council."

No one asked Quinlan, but I would have loved to hear his answer to the following:
In 1948, Israel boundaries WERE guaranteed by the UN security council and accepted by a majority of members. Did the UN do ANYTHING to defend Israel from the jihad launched against it by the Arabs in 1948?

Has the UN done anything since to defend Israel, or punish Arab members of the UN who engaged in aggression against it?

Has the UN ever spent a penny on the almost one million Jewish refugees ethnically cleansed from the Arab world after 1948?

Quinlan's comments pretty much echo British Foreign Minister Jack Straw's. I get a real sense that many Europeans would be publically saddened but privately gratified if the Iranians took care of the `problem' of Israel once and for all. For `peace', you understand.

This is not the first time Europe has been willing to sacrifice an ally to try and buy peace and quiet.J O S H U A P U N D I T: History Bites Back

I hope the Israelis have more sense than to trust in the good will of the `international community'.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Terrorist's deadline on Jill Carrol passes. Still no news.

The 72 hour deadline on the life or death of Jill Carrol, the American freelance reporter kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq passed last night without any additional news.

The reporter was taken at gunpoint by a group calling itself `The Revenge Brigade' and the translater she was riding with (an Iraqi Christian) was shot dead and dumped in the street.

The `Revenge Brigade' releasd a video on al Jazeera (where else but Jihad TV?) showing her helpless and in their power and threatening to murder her within 72 hours unless 8 terrorist prisoners in Iraqi custody were freed. That deadline passed last night.

The Iraqis have scheduled the release of six of the prisoners for Monday, January 23rd, though they are claiming this was unrelated to Carrol's kidnapping. I personally don't buy that in the least.

Several Muslim clergymen have called for her release and even the American Group CAIR has become involved in the negotiations, which are characterized as `continuing'.

I wonder: does that mean that the negotitors are in contact with the kidnappers and know who's holding Ms. Carrol? Is there a reason that the identity of whom the kidnappers are has largely been witheld?

Meanwhile her distraught parents have been making the rounds of the Arab press begging for their daughter's release. One can hardly blame them and the Freedom Fighter's heart goes out to them, but Ms. Carrol's father speaking on al Arabiya and elsewhere saying that the terrorists have kidnapped the wrong woman and should release her for the 'betterment of their cause' is well..unfortunate. it can only up the ante for more kidnappings, which seems to be the new growth industry among Arab terrorists. As in so many aspects of Islamic terrorism, the Palestinians showed the way on this a while ago when they kidnapped a `Palestinian Human rights worker' and her elderly parents and traded them for a hefty ransom, paid by Britain's M1-5.
J O S H U A P U N D I T: Kate Burton and her parents freed by Gaza terrorists.

The pain Ms. Carrol's family must be going through is unimaginable.

Let us all pray for this young woman's safe return.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Ahmadinejad "Islam must prepare to rule the world ..."

"Islam must prepare to rule the world ..."

"We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It's a universal ideology that leads the world to justice..."

"We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world."

-President Ahmadinejad in a speech at the Holy Persian city of Qoms, January 5th, 2006

PS: Iran is reortedly scheduling a nuclear weapons test for March 20,2006 to coincide with Noruz, the Persian New Year A Daily Briefing on Iran: Tehran plans nuclear weapon test by March

Michael Ledeen..`Do the Right Thing' on Iran

Do the Right Thing
Let’s avoid making a catastrophe out of an embarrassment.

Bit by bit we are getting to the inevitable showdown with Iran. This administration, like every other Western government, has hoped against hope that it would not come to this. President George W. Bush, for reasons good and bad, threw in with the Europeans' phony-negotiation scheme, even though he knew it would fail. Like the others, he hoped that revolution would erupt, and that decisive action on our part would not be necessary. Like the others, he preferred not to face the hard fact that revolutions rarely succeed without external support. Had Ronald Reagan been around, he would have told W. that the democratic revolution that ended the Cold War only finally succeeded when the United States supported it.
read the rest here-Michael Ledeen on Iran on National Review Online

Osama speaks!

I've waited a bit to weigh in on Osama bin-Laden's latest offering, because I wanted time to really study the transcript and think about what was really behind it and what the actual words and circumstances signify. Here's a transcript of what was said:Full Text of bin Laden Tape - Yahoo! News

It's important to remember that the tape has been released at a time when it is widely rumoured that Osama bi-Laden is dead, when Zawahiri narrowly escaped death (though several other members of al Qaeda's high command did not) in Pakistan and when the terrorists in Iraq have suffered significant military reverses in Iraq.

Osama's latest message is almost entirely addressed to the appeasors and anti-war leftist political opponents of the Bush administration, and heavily utilizes themes prevalent in the Left wing press in the West and especially in America. Obviously, this was a bid for them to intensify their political efforts..a sign the military end of the war is not going well.

Osama starts out by directly addressing these people on `how to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan' and commenting on how well the war is going for the mujahideen, and how poorly it is going for the Americans...at one point even claiming that the only way out for American troops is suicide.

He then goes on to harp on all the usual leftist talking points: Abu Ghreib, the alleged `plot' to bomb al-Jazeera (AKA Jihad TV),polls supposedly showing opposition to the war, and the allegatons that Bush and his `cabal' have a conspiracy not to end the war 'for their own private, suspect reasons.'

This part of the speech could almost have been written by Cindy Sheehan or MoveOn and given by Barbera Boxer, Dick Durbin, George Galloway or Charles Kennedy.

He then goes on to talk about the attacks in Europe and to promise attacks in America:

"The proof of that is the explosions you have seen in the capitals of the European nations who are in this aggressive coalition. The delay in similar operations happening in America has not been because of failure to break through your security measures. The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your homes the minute they are through (with preparations), with God's permission."

Osama continues by offering what is translated in the transcript as a `truce', but is actually a hudna, Islamospeak for a temporary ceasefire accepted for strategic reasons, and abandoned as soon as it is no longer advantageous to the Jihad. The most famous one of these was Mohammed's truce with the Quraysh tribe, which was supposed to be a truce `for all eternity' but was kept by Mohammed only until he had the military strength to massacre the Quraysh.

He then goes on to cite `Rogue State' a leftist screed beloved by the likes of Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky as a guide for `further understanding'! That alone could get bin-Laden a professorship at Columbia or Harvard.

The tape is a frank appeal to the Left's isolationist anti-war proponents for assistance, with the promise of a `truce' held out as a carrot and the stick of attacks and `revenge' even if American arms are victorious..which plays right in to the common appeasement talking point that military victory `is impossible'.

Obviously, Osama disagrees and is working to enlist support from that section of the western electorate willing to play along.

As for the threat of attacks, they may very well be in the works. But that would be true regardless of any hudna Osama made with craven politicians here in America.

It remains to be seen if Osama's blatant political ploy bears fruit.

Meanwhile, the work continues.

Terror conclave in Syria

Damascus hosted a meeting of terrorists with President Assad of Syria and President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Among the lucky attendants were Khaled Mashaal of Hamas, Abdallah Ramadan Shalah, head of Jihad Islami, Ahmed Jibril, head of the radical PFLP-General Command, and Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah.

Obviously, they are there to plot strategy on Israel and the West. Look for increased coordination between the Palestinian terrorists, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.

Final Iraqi Election Results In!

Actually, the results bode well for a functioning democracy. The Shiite parties did not receive enough votes to govern alone and the Sunnis did better than expected.The Shiites will thus need a concensus and coalition partners..which protects everybody.

In the 275 man parliament, the magic number to rule without partners was 138. The Shiite parties got 128, the Kurds 53 and the two Sunni factions 58.ZAMAN DAILY NEWSPAPER (2006012028865)

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin on a similar occasion: "Gentlemen, we have a republic. If you can keep it."

Farewell, Soul Singer

The Freedom Fighter was saddened to hear of the death of singer Wilson Pickett,one of the legends of American soul music and R&B, who was famous for songs like `In the Midnight Hour,'' and ``Mustang Sally. He was 64 and died yesterday of a heart attack.

The old masters just seem to pass away, one by one....Mr. P., you'll be missed.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Homicide bomber injures 30 in Tel Aviv; Terrorism expected to increase in runup to Palestinian elections.

The attack occurred at close to 4 PM after Islamic Jihad's own Hafiz Antar entered the Rosh Ha'ir Shwarma stand on Rehov Salema 2 in the southern Tel Aviv neighborhood of Neveh Sha'anan disguised as a street seller.

In January 2003, 23 people were killed and some 120 were wounded in a double suicide bombing just around the corner from today's attack.

This creep went into the bathroom of a resturant to prepare his bomb, which apparently went off prematurely.The combination of a relatively small explosive device and the fact that the bomber chose a closed-in shop as his target, limited the damage and the number of wounded.

Islamic Jihad took the `credit'. Not that it matters..these people pretty much work together in these `operations'.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz held an emergency security meeting late this evening with defense officials in order to try to plan for Israel's security situation in what's expected to be an increase interrorist attacks in the runup to the PA elections.

Believe it or not, attacks like this are actually PA campaign activities, in a way...designed to impress the voters by showing who is most hardline with the hated Jews.

Israel can expect more attacks like this in the next week or so, I fear.

Lovely people. Give `em a state.