Friday, November 30, 2007

One Of G-d's Small Miracles, 11/30/07

From time to time, I'm going to try and post items that may not have much to do with the overall theme of this site...or then again, they may everything to do with it.

This week's miracle comes from southern California, where a young boy who was despicably ambushed and left for dead is being healed, thanks to G-d's mercy and the divinely inspired kindness,mercy and skill of his fellow humans.

Little Youssif, 5, was playing outside of his home in central Baghdad last January when he was suddenly grabbed by unknown `men',(I can barely dignify these scum with the name) doused in gas, and set on fire.

He lived, but was horribly scarred, disabled and in constant pain.

After his story was broadcast on American television, The Children's Burn Foundation agreed to pay for Youssif and his family to come to the United States for medical treatment where he's being treated by Dr. Peter Grossman, a plastic surgeon with the Grossman Burn Center who's donating his services.

Youssif is on the road to recovery after an amazing surgical technique in which Dr. Grossman inserted saline balloons in Youssiff's neck and face to provide more `good skin' by stretching it, so the worst of the scar tissue could be removed..and after surgery that took 3 1/2 hours, Dr. Grossman successfully removed the worst of Youssiff's scars and repaired his lower lip.

Doctor Grossman was amazed at how thick the scar tissue was -- about half an inch thick and "hard as wood."

When the tissue was removed, Youssif's jaw immediately relaxed, meaning that for the first time since he was attacked,there's hope he may soon be able to eat normally again. In a few weeks, when the swelling subsides, there will be other surgery to work on Youssif's looks...but this was the major one, and it went incredibly well.

"For a 5-year-old boy, he has shown a lot of courage in this process," Grossman said. "I mean he does not like it at all. But he knows this is a necessary evil."

He added, "My hope is that I can show him that it was worth it."

And Youssif's mother, Zainab? "I thank the Americans so much.They really helped my son in ways no one else did."

It is one of G-d's small miracles that the plight of a small boy in a faraway country could move people in this way..and proof again that Americans are some of the kindest and most generous people on the planet.

Take that, bin-Laden. Back at you, al-Sadr, Ahmadinejad and Zawahiri....

Have a peaceful Sabbath.

Death To The `Teddy Bear' Teacher!!

Violent demonstrations have broken out in Khartoum, Sudan, with thousands of knife and axe wielding Muslims demanding death for Gillian Gibbons the 54-year-old teacher who allowed her class of seven-year-olds to name a teddy bear `Mohammed'.

She was convicted yesterday by one of the Sudan's sharia courts of `blasphemy' and `insulting religion' and missed out on the usual sentence, forty lashes and six months in prison as I predicted she would be. Instead she was sentenced to 15 days in a Sudanese jail and deportation.

Pick-up trucks drove around Khartoum blaring out messages and inciting the demonstrators..protesters chanted: "No tolerance: execution" and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad".

There were apparently a number of riot police deployed on the periphery of Martyr's Square, where the main demonstration took place, but they made no move to stop the festivities.

Again, knowing the usual pattern these people work by, I'm positive this is intended by the Sudanese government to increase the squeeze for concessions and quite possibly a ransom from the British government...perhaps a much softer line from Britain in the UN towards the ongoing genocide the Sudanese government is committing in Darfur?

Hey, it worked for Hamas with Alan Johnstone and for Iran with those British sailors, among others...why shouldn't the Sudan try it?

There's additional proof that British diplomats are still working towards getting Gibbons an `early release'. Apparently David Miliband, Britain's foreign secretary, met with the Sudanese ambassador, Omer Siddig twice yesterday, one time for over 45 minutes. While Miliband says he expressed concern at the jailing of Gibbons "in the strongest terms", I also venture to think that a certain haggling over a price was also a topic of discussion.

It's also interesting that many British Muslims have largely remained silent over the imprisonment of their fellow countryman. Which should also provide some food for thought to my readers in the UK.

15 days in jail in a hellhole like the Sudan is bad enough, but for an infidel blasphemer ( and a mere woman to boot) like Ms. Gibbons, there's a fair chance she might not make it home alive unless the Brits are prepared to come through with an appropriate baksheesh.

Another piece of news about the case that's come out is that it wasn't the students or their parents who complained about the was one of the staff at the school where Gibbons worked,Sara Khawad, an office assistant who was named as the complainant and who was the key prosecution witness.

There's not much more to say about this, except that hopefully it will be a wakeup call to westerners pushing multiculturalism.

And as for Ms. gibbons, I hope she gets home all right but she should have known what she was getting into by going to the Sudan in the first place. In a way, she was almost endorsing these barbarians by treating them as a normal society.

Watcher's Council Results for 11/30/07

The Council has spoken! A complete list of results can be found at the site of our fearless leader, the infamous Watcher of Weasels

This weeks' winner is:
Right Wing Nuthouse: Buchanan's New Book: “Prepare Ye for the End” Rick's well written critique of Pat Buchanan's new book.

In second place was The Glittering Eye:The Visual Imagery Society Dave's interesting speculation on how more and more information is transmitted visually, and what that might presage for the future.

For non-Council, the winner was Wolf Howling:Have Our Copperheads Found Their McClellan in Retired LTG General Sanchez? A fine post that draws a parallel between the Democrat's 1864 embrace of McClellan and the modern anti-war Left's new hero, General Sanchez. Personally,I think 2004 was more of a parallel,with `war hero' John Kerry in the McClellan role..although I hate to compare someone like Kerry with an honorable soldier like McClellan, who won the turning point battle of Antietam for the North in spite of massive screwups by his subordinates.

In second place for non-Council, the winner was:

Michelle Malkin:Letter from the Front: Turkey Day in Tikrit a fine, fine `letter from the troops' post from Iraq that I personally liked very much.

Hearty Kudos to all the winners!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Natan Sharansky: Annapolis May Be A Catastrophe For Israel

Natan Sharansky is someone whom President Bush has personally honored and spent a lot of face time with, and Sharansky's views views on freedom have inspired the President own views on spreading democracy in the Middle East, by the president's own admission.

But Sharansky, interviewed yesterday on Annapolis said that it "has nothing to do with promoting democracy," and warned that Israel will be lucky if it does not end in catastrophe.

When asked, Sharansky said he did not feel betrayed by Mr. Bush, whom he referreed a friend. But he said, "I am upset. The greatness of President Bush is the way he would believe in the power of the idea of freedom," Mr. Sharansky said. "He believes in principles; he was willing to stand alone against all for these pressures, but it is not enough to stand for principles. He has to appoint the people who share these beliefs and who would implement them. He has not."

It's fairly obvious he has Condi Rice and some of the minions at the State Department in mind.

Back in 2002, Sharansky and Mr. Bush were on the same page... that the US should focus on building a Palestinian Arab civil society and the institutions necessary for transparent, democratic rule before trying to create a state, which is exactly what the President told the Palestinians in his famous June 24th speech, when he first endorsed the idea of supporting a Palestinian state - unless th ePalestinians lived up to their committments and foreswore terrorism, the US would not support their aspirations.

Those high minded principles are gone with the wind,apparently, as the President has bought into the Saudi peace ultimatum.

The idea, apparently,is that the Sunni Arab autocracies like the Saudis and their European enablers need to be bought off to support action against Israel's expense.

That's exactly what Condi Rice and James Baker have been working on for the past year, and in Ehud Olmert, the weakest most corrupt and ineffectual Israeli leader in history, they have exactly the tool they need for the job.

Sharansky, to his credit, sees through this fallacy immediately.He said he thought it was ridiculous to bribe the European and the Arabs to do what is in their interest anyway by pushing Israelinto a corner.

"Fighting against a nuclear Iran, it is not a favor to Israel — it must be, it has to be the top priority in America," he said. "If America is believed to be promoting democracy, it has to be the top priority of the free world and not a favor to Israel. To think that countries like Saudi Arabia will be more cooperative in the struggle against Iran if there will be more success in building democratic societies in Palestine is ridiculous. Iran is a bigger threat to Saudi Arabia than it is Israel. The second greatest threat to Saudi Arabia is any democracy in the Arab world. A democratic Iraq is a great threat to them. They will never be an ally promoting any democratic alternatives in the Middle East."

Iran's Ahmadinejad, of course, saw Annapolis as a major victory and crowed that Israel is `doomed to collapse.'

Sharansky also questioned the US reliance on Mahmoud Abbas. "You have one force, Hamas, that does not recognize Israel, which is not going to recognize Israel, and {is going to} fight Israel. The other force, which is our so-called partner, accepted by everybody, it doesn't represent anyone, has no power, and cannot influence anything."

Actually,Sharansky may be slightly wrong there. After Israel is pushed into indefensible borders and the soul of the nation is ripped apart by giving up half of Jerusalem and turning a substantial portion of its population into refugees, Hamas and Fatah will have a reconciliation,which the Saudis and Iran are already working on. They will then cooperate and begin the next war on Israel's civilians,perhaps in coordination with Hezbollah. Or Hamas will simply put Abbas out of the way and take over the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria,(the West Bank) just as they did in Gaza and begin the war,with all the shiny new weaponry supplied by the US to Abbas and Fatah.

Catastrophe may be putting it mildly.

Another thing that bothered Sharansky was Bush and the European nation's neutrality on the Arab's outright refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

It's obvious why the Arabs refused...they intend to make the area known to us as Israel Jew free if they can, just as they have with the rest of the Middle East.

But why President Bush and the Europeans consented to go along with the Arabs refusal is another question, and not a pleasant one to ask.

Leahy Makes An Idiot Out Of Himself...Again

Some of you may remember the hue and cry over the supposed partisan firings of eight federal prosecutors, and the threats and subpoenas issued by the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy ( D-VT).

Aside from wasting an inordinate amount of Congress's time at the American people's expense, it was a major factor in the resignation of ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

If you remember, Leahy claimed that the order for the firings came from the president and angrily issued subpoenas to White House chief of staff, Josh Bolten,former adviser Karl Rove, former White House political director Sara Taylor and her deputy, J. Scott Jennings to find out `what Bush knew about the firings'....which the White House blew off, citing executive privilege.

After wasting a great deal more of Congress's time, Senator Leahy has now come up with another brilliant insight...he's now ruled that he knows President Bush had nothing to do with the firings, and therefore executive privilege does not apply and he wants the subpoenas complied with immediately.

Let's reiterate...after accusing the president of being guilty of something that wasn't illegal (the prosecutors, like all presidential appointees serve at the president's pleasure), Leahy has now decided that Bush isn't guilty, but is demanding that White House personnel testify under oath about a non-crime of which Leahy admits the president had nothing to do with!

White House officials were "baffled" by the ruling, since Democrats have long said they wanted to know what Bush knew of the firings, said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. With Leahy acknowledging he has the answer — Bush was not involved — Congress should focus on such pressing matters as the federal budget.

"If he is now saying that the president wasn't aware of it, as we have said from the beginning, then I don't understand why he continues to have this rope-a-dope that's not going to go anywhere," Perino told reporters.

But Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Leahy had no choice.

"It's a bad idea to have subpoenas issued and then not to act on them," said Specter, the panel's ranking Republican and a former chairman. "If you cry wolf, you ought to follow up."

Actually, I disagree with you, Senator. Leahy did indeed have a choice. Instead of pursuing this insane, purposeless fishing expedition to massage his own vanity and sense of importance, he could comport himself with some dignity and attend to the nation's business.

VP Dick Cheney illustrated exactly the right tone to take with someone like this a couple of years ago. It seems to be about the only kind of language he understands.

Annapolis Fallout

I present here some believable Annapolis fallout, with the caveat that I have been unable to verify it elsewhere....according to Ynet and unnamed Palestinian officials, Israeli PM Olmert is lying about giving up the Temple Mount to Arab control...and indeed,he's already agreed to it.

"What Olmert said (regarding the Mount) is absolutely false. I think he's not yet ready to tell the Israeli public and is waiting for the right time and he fears his coalition with religious extremists will fall apart if he announces it now," said a senior Palestinian negotiator Thursday on condition his name be withheld.

The chief Palestinian negotiator ( that would be Saeb Erekat, by the way, even though the article doesn't name him) said in months leading up to Annapolis the Palestinian team was "surprised" by Olmert's willingness to give up the Mount.

"We had intense debates on many topics, which remain open and unsettled, but the Harem Al-Sharif (Temple Mount) is not a sticking point. The Israelis didn't argue with us. We were pleasantly surprised Olmert didn't debate about giving the lower section of the Mount either, which was a sticking point in the past."

Olmert, of course, is already priming the pump, telling the blatant lie that it will be `the end of Israel' if the public doesn't go along with his plans to sell out the country to the Palestinians.In reality,of course, it's exactly the reverse/

Interestingly enough, the Palestinians appear to be quite adamant that all of their demands be met, and quite comfortable with discarding any of those `painful choices' President Bush mentioned in his Annapolis speech, as I noted from Abbas' remarks.

Carl In Jerusalem at Israel Matzav has a story he claims appeared in the Israeli press and has since disappeared(which I unfortunately didn't see personally) that quoted Palestinian top aides to Abbas Saeb Erekat and Nabil Abu Rudeineh as saying that President Bush isn't negotiating in the Palestinians’ name, does not represent them and what he had to say is not relevant to the Palestinian cause. On such issues as recognizing Israel, said Erekat was quoted as saying that Bush is `not competent to determine how we act. If the US president seeks an exchange of territory, he can do this with Mexico.'

Funny how what I write here even as satire seems to become reality...

The story further claim thatAbbas’ political adviser Abu Rodeina maintained that the Palestinians made no commitments at Annapolis...which, as I noted, is the simple truth.

Again, I was unable to find the quotes or interviews directly except for Carl, who I've always found extremely reputable. But I find it eminently believable.

Well Worth Reading...

Here are a few worthwhile tidbits from the blogosphere for Joshua's Army members:
  • CITIZEN MUSHARRAF by Amir Taheri, someone longtime Joshua's Army members are familiar with. Like me, he figures that Bhutto and Sharif will engage with Musharraf and participate in the elections in January, and he's quite correct that the elections will be one of the most important battles in the War on Jihad...

  • A tribute to Howard - From Greg Sheridan in the Australian, a fitting tribute to one of my favorite politicians, John Howard.


Warning America About the Jihadist Threat

Investor's Business Daily, one of the most underated publications in America ran a superb interview today with Congresswoman Sue Myrick, R-N.C., who has founded the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus for one important purpose - to educate her fellow lawmakers and fellow Americans about militant Islam's long-term threat. Like Steve Emerson, she is attempting to warn us...proof that not all of Congress is asleep. I reproduce it here in its entirety. The emphasis and comments on certain parts is mine:

IBD: What persuaded you to start the Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus, and what do you hope to accomplish?

Myrick: I decided to start the caucus out of a deep frustration, because President Bush does not talk to the American people about the long-term threat of radical Islamofascism infiltration in America. Since 9/11, I've tried to get the president and several members of his administration to talk to the American people about the dangerous enemy that we're facing. I took them all the materials I could find about what we did during World War II that were used to unite the American people. Everyone I spoke to said, "We do not want to frighten the American people."

I waited for someone else to start to educate the people, however, it did not seem to be happening. At that point, I sought to become educated on the matter. What I have learned is quite disturbing. I decided that if members of Congress were informed, they would have an opportunity to educate people in their districts. So I started the caucus and brought in three other co-chairs — Bud Cramer (D-Ala.), Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Jane Harman (D-Calif.).

We hope to start a dialogue with America. Until, and unless, we understand what we are fighting, we have no chance. We must inform the people, since it is evident they will have to protect their national sovereignty, because the government is not doing it.

IBD: How many members are in the caucus?

Myrick: We have 118 members — both Democrats and Republicans. The threat we face from radical Islamofascists is not a partisan issue. This is a matter that affects all Americans, regardless of political, social, economic or any other affiliations.

IBD: Should Americans be concerned about recently declassified documents detailing a secret plot by Islamist groups in this country, tied to the dangerous Muslim Brotherhood, to take over America from within, to Islamize our society?

Myrick: Americans must be concerned — alarmed. That is what I am referring to when I say that the administration has not explained who we are fighting and (where we are fighting them). "We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" is not the whole story. It is amazing that we actually have the enemy's playbook, yet for some reason we don't want to seriously confront the threat we are facing. ( Ms. Myrick is entirely correct in this. This is exactly the strategy The Muslim BrotherHood espouses)

The radical Islamofascists have told us how they intend to infiltrate all areas of our society and use the freedoms that are guaranteed under our Constitution to eventually Islamize our country, eliminate our Constitution and enact Shariah law. I know that it sounds a bit fanatical, but it's true.

In 1998, Osama bin Laden declared war on the U.S. What did we do? Nothing. Then he attacked again and again around the world before finally striking inside the U.S. Yet, rather than confront the threat head on and declare war on radical Islamofascists, we seek to placate the threat at home by saying radicals have hijacked Islam.

IBD: Are there any Muslim groups with which federal or other government officials — as well as businesses and nonprofits — should think twice about doing outreach or interfaith activities?

Myrick: I know of some Muslim nongovernmental organizations that are doing good things, such as the Islamic Supreme Council of America, the American Islamic Congress and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

However, groups such as Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and others have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the U.S. Just to name a few: Ghassan Elashi, a founding board member of CAIR, is serving 80 months in prison; Randall "Ismail" Royer, the communications director for CAIR, is serving 20 years in prison; and Bassam Khafagi, the director of CAIR's community relations, has been arrested and deported.

( CAIR, The MPAC and others are well known. ISNA is the Saudi funded front group used to take over America's mosques and Madrassahs, push the wahabi doctrine and radicalize America's Muslims )

There was a lot of evidence presented at the recent Holy Land Foundation trial, which exposed CAIR, ISNA and others as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood.

IBD: What about Congress — does it have a formal vetting process for screening radical Muslims? Those invited to pray or speak at the Capitol, or who may try to otherwise visit or use Capitol facilities?

Myrick: To my knowledge, there is not a formal vetting process. Members of Congress invite religious leaders to pray. Back in the 1990s, Siraj Wahhaj became the first Muslim chaplain to give the opening prayer to Congress. Siraj Wahhaj was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

There is a policy that members of Congress can reserve rooms for speakers, events, etc., within the Capitol complex, and there is not much oversight as to who can be present at such events. Remember, these are public buildings, paid for by American taxpayers. It is the people's house.

IBD: During WWII, Uncle Sam plastered public places with propaganda posters of the enemy, commissioning artists to paint frightening impressions. The campaign rallied the American people against a common enemy. Yet in this war, the U.S. government hasn't even issued a wanted poster of Osama bin Laden. Why do you think that is?

Myrick: For one, we are too politically correct today. "We don't want to frighten the American people."

IBD: We often hear that Islam is a "religion of peace" and "tolerance," and that jihadists have "hijacked" or "perverted" a "great religion." Is this accurate, that nothing in Islam promotes or condones violent jihad against infidels? Or does such rhetoric simply play into the Islamists' hands in their attempts to sugarcoat the threat, and confuse Americans?

Myrick: There are definitely passages in the Quran that promote or condone violent jihad. However, you can also find passages in the Bible which promote violence. I think that the president is failing the American people by sugarcoating the problem we are facing and only making things worse for the future.

(There's one important difference, Congresswoman - in the Bible, {the Book of Numbers, for example} such verses are presented as a history of the past. In the Qu'ran and the Hadiths, they are presented as ongoing religious imperatives)

We should explore every means of encouraging moderate Muslims to speak out against the radicals. There are many who want to, and do — such as Sheikh (Muhammad Hisham) Kabbani (of the Islamic Supreme Council of America) and Zainab al-Suwaij (of the American Islamic Congress) and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy). But they do not get the media attention.

IBD: Many Islamists are well-spoken, and seem skilled at manipulating not only our media but our laws. If they can use our constitutional freedoms against us to block due scrutiny, what chance do we have of marginalizing them?

Myrick: Over the last 25 years, there has been a concerted effort on the part of radical Islamists to infiltrate our major institutions in America. They have done that by funding professors' projects in our colleges and universities. Then, they influence what is taught by making the program dependent on their yearly donations. Several classes have graduated and are now in the media, the judicial system, teaching in our schools and colleges, various branches of our government, even in our military. They are masterful at manipulating minds to fit their purposes.

(Read here..... for some examples

IBD: How can they be exposed?

Myrick: We need to shed the veil of political correctness that shields government officials from speaking out against them. Until we do that, we do not have a chance of marginalizing them. As soon as someone broaches the idea that the Quran has violent passages, they get shot down as Islamophobes and racists.

Rather than debate these points, groups like CAIR seek to silence the debate. The American people deserve to see and hear the debate, but most people in positions of influence are afraid to say anything.

IBD: Jihad watchers have warned about "Shariah creep" in schools and local governments. We see Shariah being practiced in some parts of Europe; could it happen here?

Myrick: I believe Shariah could easily be practiced here. If a local community becomes infiltrated by extremists who run the town or village operations, then it could easily be implemented in this country. Unchallenged, it will happen.

IBD: The FBI director says the bureau can find no evidence of sleeper cells inside the U.S. How confident are you that the 9/11 cells were the last?

: From the information that I have heard reported publicly, there are sleeper cells inside the U.S. . . . Hezbollah sleeper cells, al-Qaida sleeper cells, maybe others.

( Steve Emerson, among others, has written extensively on Hezbollah sleeper cells in America)

IBD: How worried are you about "virtual jihad" — the use of al Qaida-inspired Web sites to motivate homegrown terrorists?

Myrick: I'm very worried about it, but again, we have certain freedoms in this country. We have a lot of freedom to express ourselves, more than in any other country in the world. People go pretty far in the statements they use to criticize the U.S. That's legal, as well it should be.

But the risk of motivating Americans to engage in jihad through the Web is a very serious problem that our Congress and administration should address immediately. We face an ironic dilemma in that our freedom could very well cost us our freedoms.

IBD: Christian prison chaplains warn that Muslim chaplains are converting inmates to Islam by the cellblock. Are the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Prisons doing enough to monitor this situation?

Myrick: They are aware of it and are supposedly monitoring it. Also, I have read that Abdurahman Alamoudi, founder of the American Muslim Council, placed Muslim chaplains throughout our military. He is now in jail on charges of terrorism. The chaplains, to my knowledge, are still in their current positions. Go figure.

`Teddy Bear' Teacher Found Guilty of Blasphemy in Sudan

Well, the official sharia verdict has come in on Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher who was tried for `blasphemy' when her class of 7-year-olds voted to name a teddy bear `Muhammed' during a lesson on animal habitats.

And the verdict was guilty, of course. In the Sudan, the courts claim that they provide a speedy and fair trial, and apparently half of that is correct.

As I predicted, she's not going to receive the legally mandated punishment of forty lashes. The court reduced the sentence to to 15 days jail and deportation. Obviously the publicity surrounding this trial and perhaps a little baksheesh in the right hands courtesy of the British government had a bearing on this leniency.

I'll repeat once more time...I glad Ms. Gibbons isn't being whipped, but she should have thought twice about accepting a teaching position in a place like the Sudan.

Little incidents like this should awaken the British and others on what's being imported to their countries under the guise of `multiculturalism'.

CNN's GOP U-Tube Debate...Plantin' For The Democrats

I still can't imagine why the Republican presidential candidates agreed to a YouTube debate....and one hosted by CNN, no less.

I could have predicted the results. The entire debate was set up to put the GOP candidates in a bad light and embarrass them, while pushing CNN's obvious agenda.

Michelle Malkin is on top of this with a vengeance, and reveals that out of 32 questions hand picked by CNN,a startling number derived from Democrat activists with links to Democrat's candidates armed with planted questions, who somehow got through CNN's alleged screening process.

Questions linked to the Confederate flag,gays in the military,race relations, abortion, the Bible and one video featuring what sounded like an over and under being cocked off screen concerning gun control were designed to trap the candidates on national TV and show them up as Fundamentalist, minority hating, gun toting homophobes.

The most egregious violation of any semblance of fairness came from gay ex-Brigadier General Keith Kerr,who not only was a prominent activist with Veterans For Kerry, but is on the gay and lesbian steering committee for Senator Clinton's campaign. Not only was his loaded question on gays in the military somehow picked out of all of the videos submitted, but Kerr just `happened' to be in the audience for a followup in which he was given extended time for what amounted to a grilling of the candidates by CNN and Anderson Cooper...without any on air mention of his ties to the Clinton campaign.

Other video questions were directly tied to the Obama and the Edwards campaign.Apparently CNN wants us to believe that they lack the capacity to use Google to do a simple search. Obviously they realize that they got caught at something fairly nasty, as they keep editing out - pruning, if you will - the planted questions in rebroadcasts of the debates.

The jury's out on whether Anderson Cooper, who's fairly reputable had a part in this. Joel Scarbourough and others are convinced he was in it, Glenn beck and others are convinced he wasn't.

It would be nice to get a statement one way or th eother from him, but then, I don't expect a man to spit in his own ricebowl.

CNN, on the other hand, owes the candidates and their viewers an apology,not that I'll be holding my breath waiting for it.

And the Democrats were complaining about Fox!

Musharraf Quits Army, Starts New Term As President

Pakistan's President Musharraf resigned from his position as head of the army today as he took the oath of office for a new five year term, handing the post off to his hand picked successor, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani.

Given his precarious position, this is only to be expected.The army is one of the few cohesive and functioning parts of society left in Pakistan, and no one is going to be able to rule without their backing.

He also promised to lift the state of emergency by December 16 and restore the constitution before the January 8 parliamentary elections.

I'm reasonably certain that the Bush Administration had a hand in pushing him to make that step, and I hope it wasn't an error.While I'm aware of the major differences between the two situations, the pressure the Carter Administration put on the Shah of Iran before the Islamic Revolution comes to mind.

This little gem from Musharraf, spoken during his inaugural speech gives you an idea of what kind of arm twisting went on behind the scenes:

"I personally feel that there is an unrealistic and maybe an impractical or impracticable obsession with your form of democracy, with your form of human rights, civil liberties...We will do it our way as we understand our society, our environment better than anyone in the West."

Musharraf likewise urged former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif who recently returned from exile not to boycott the January 8 parliamentary elections, as they've stated they plan to do. He claimed that they have `a level playing field' and that the elections will be fair and transparent, but also made it clear that their boycotting the elections wouldn't change anything.

"Anyone who is talking of any boycotts should hear this out: Come hell or high water, elections will be held on January 8. Nobody derails it."

As members of Joshua's Army know, I think it's pretty obvious that Bhutto was forced on Musharraf by the US State Department with the idea that they were going to concoct a deal to share power and give Musharraf a stronger power base, and that a lot of the acrimony between them in the beginning was mere fencing as the deal was negotiated. I also think that Musharraf brought Sharif back into the picture as a possible alternative to Bhutto if the price was too high and/or she became unreasonable.

And I don't believe for a second the protests from both of them that no deal was made. Both of them left the country under a cloud and were subject to arrest on corruption charges, and the idea that they returned without certain assurances from Musharraf is ridiculous.

To my mind, the biggest danger in Pakistan is that this carefully constructed house of cards will fall apart at the hands of the Islamists, who have de facto rulership over a large part of the country, numerous sympathizers in the rest and no use for Musharraf or Bhutto, and only slightly more tolerance for Nawaz Sharif.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Le Petit Jihad Francais Curbed As 1,000 Police Deployed

The riots in France have died down fairly quickly, as President Sarkozy took quick action and ordered a crackdown.

About 1,000 policemen and a helicopters with searchlights were deployed to prevent further frolicking by the`youths', as Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie almost tripled the number of law enforcement officers in Villiers-le-Bel, north of Paris, where the riots started.

Contrast this with le Petit jihad in 2005...which Jacque Chirac let run for over three weeks.

Sarkozy said he would have a zero tolerance policy for the rioters, calling their actions `unacceptable' and that those who who fired shots at the police were guilty of `attempted assassination' and would be tracked down and brought to justice. A number of suspects have already been arrested.

"We'll find the gunmen, we'll use all the means needed to find them," President Sarkozy commented after he visited injured policemen in a local hospital.

The worm is turning in France.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Watcher's Council Nominations, 11/28/07

Every week, the Watcher's Council members nominate two posts each, one from the Council members and one from outside for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week's Council nominations can be found at the site of our fearless leader, the infamous Watcher of Weasels

Do take the time and check out the non-Council links..they are always rewarding.

Council News: Unfortunately, my pal Okie On The Lam has decided to leave the Council. However, that means that there's now a vacant seat on the Council for any interested quality blogger. Should you wish to apply, please go here .

Here's this week's Council lineup....

1. JOSHUAPUNDIT:Dealing With Disinformation I normally don't bother with this kind of thing, but this week's piece is an answer to a critique of an essay of mine 'Land For Peace - American Style', which devoted a considerable amount of time and electrons to what amounted to a `factual' attack on the piece as well as..oh let's be kind and call it my motivations for writing it.

I decided it was worth an answer, especially since the answer provides some facts not particularly well known about the issue of Middle East peace, the logical disconnect of certain foreign policy `realists' and illustrates the effect of the Arab's multi million dollar campaign to put exactly this kind of disinformation into the mix. Call it a dose of actual reality, if you like.

2. Done With Mirrors:Carnage Callimachus rightly is disgusted by reports on the war inIraq and the way the dinosaur media attempts to influence the home front by confusing the issues. The heroism being exhibited by our superb military and by ordinary Iraqis is patently ignored, as is the progress there, and you would think we're not fighting on the same side as some of the dino media pundits to see read and hear what they're putting out.

Ultimately it comes down to domestic politics. If Iraq turns into a success, the Democrats are going to have some explaining to do.

I'd only add that a successful conclusion to Iraq depends on whether we confront Iran and Syria, in my opinion. Having a functional Arab democracy next door is not in these regime's interests.

3. Soccer Dad: Legacy Of Legacies This week Soccer Dad has a great take on the tendency of US presidents to stick both feet into the Arab Israeli conflict towards the end of their term in office.

Simple truth: `land for peace', `the Palestinians' and `concessions' made by Israel have zip to do with the heart of the matter. As a matter of fact, they simply give the Arabs an incentive for thinking that destroying Israelis only a matter of time. Until the Arabs accept for themselves the idea of Jews living next to them in peace and equality Middle East peace will remain elusive.

4. The Glittering Eye: The Visual Imagery Society Dave has an interesting look at how much information is transmitted visually these days and what it could portend for the future.

5. Bookworm Room: The Gap Between Critics And The Rest Of Us Ms. Bookworm looks at the spate of abysmal anti-war films that have gotten critical adulation but died a grim death at the box office and uses it to speculate on the difference between critics and Joe and Jane Moviegoer.

One gap she doesn't mention is this one: most critics work in the dino media and thus are answerable to their colleagues in the newsroom or studio, as well as to their bosses, whose job it is to garner advertising revenues from the same people who put this garbage out.

6. Rhymes With Right:Arabs Coming To Annapolis Greg has a great piece this week on the farce that was Annapolis, which I linked to earlier. Amazing how the Bush Administration could put together an Arab-Israeli `peace conference' with parties who refuse to recognize the very right to exist of Israel. I agree with him that it was an embarrassment.

7.Colossus of Rhodey:The Never-ending U.D. Thought-control Saga Hube continues to unmask the Orwellian mindset at the University of Delaware. Unbelievable...

8. Cheat Seeking Missiles:Still No Evidence 9/11 Nuts Rule Here, Laer writes a fine post on the 9/11 conspiracy nuts and subtext, polls designed to ask questions phrased to favor a certain result. You would think these people would have the basic common sense and good taste to STFU by now and hope that in time, everyone forgets what idiots they were...

9. The Education Wonks:Today's Non Sequitur: San Fran's Bohemian Intolerance EdWonk has a nice piece this week on my old home town, San Francisco, and how political correctness has tuned the city into a place that barely seems part of America anymore. His case in point? An attempt by San Francisco to ban fireplaces, an expropriation of traditional property rights.

10. Right Wing Nuthouse: Buchanan's New Book: “Prepare Ye for the End” Rick has a lot of fun critiquing Pat Buchanan's new book. I haven't read it, and I don't particularly care for or agree with Pat Buchanan in most instances, but having heard a few interviews on the book while he was making the talk show circuit, I'd have to say that a few of the things he points out are legitimate points for concern and discussion.

11. Big Lizards: "Apt Natural -- I Have a Gub" Big Lizards writes about the Second Amendment in view of the Supreme Court decision to hear a challenge to Washington DC's anti-gun laws.

That's this week's lineup..enjoy!

The Idea Of Living In Peace With Israel Doesn't Play Well At Home

Demonstrating how few Palestinians Mahmoud Abbas really speaks for, there were widespread protests in the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria today in protests against Mahmoud Abbas appearing at the Annapolis summit.

One person was killed as police violently broke up anti-Abbas demonstrations in Ramallah, Hebron, and Nablus. Abbas had banned rallies against the Annapolis meeting, because the last thing he wanted the world to see was any dissension while he was in the US posing as the official leader of the Palestinians.

In Gaza, of course, there were massive anti-Annapolis rallies sponsored by Hamas, who've already let it be known that they won't be bound by any agreements Abbas might make with Israel.

The above clip, from British TV illustrates this quite nicely.

Le Petit Jihad Francais redux

Ah the Muslim `youths' of Paris are frolicking again...

For the third night in a row, riots have broken out in those north Paris suburbs known in France as `La Zone', areas de facto ceded to France's restive Muslim population, where the police only go in armed bands.And apparently they've now spread to the south of France, in cities with large Muslim populations like Toulouse.

In 2005, the `youths' rampaged throughout France,torching buildings, assaulting non-Muslims and police, hurling gasoline bombs and indulging in that unique French Islamist pastime known as the car-B-que. There was a brief reprise in 2006, right around Ramadan.

This time, there's been more of the same, only with an ominous twist...this time the `youths' are shooting at policemen and firemen as well as the other activities, and over 80 officers and firemen have been injured.

"From what our colleagues on the scene tell us, this is a situation that is a lot worse than what we saw in 2005," Patrice Ribeiro, a police officer and senior union official, told RTL radio Tuesday. He added, "A line was crossed last night, that is to say, they used weapons, they used weapons and fired on the police. This is a real guerrilla war."

The latest flareup was sparked (no pun intended) when two of the 'youths' were killed when they ran their moped into a police cruiser. Sounds like an ample excuse to me...

Another thing that sounds familiar is the litany of excuses for this kind of behavior in certain quarters..poverty, unemployment, lack of social progress,Islamophobia, blah blah blah bolshoi.

There are lots of poor people in the world, but comparatively few are making a regular habit of shooting at policemen, assaulting people who are not part of their particular ethnic persuasion and burning shops and public buildings.

This is a jihad against French society, and at least some Frenchmen realize it.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon, speaking to his police: "We will not give up. We will fight with all the strength that the Republic can give. You are the rampart of our Republic."

A Threesome In Annapolis

Well, the Annapolis declaration the Bush Administration pushed and worked so hard for is out in public, finally. And the three principles have spoken. What did they say, really? And more importantly,what didn't they say? I'll translate it into plain English and condense it as much as possible so you don't have to wade through it anymore than necessary.

Let's start with President Bush . As the host, official greeter and main impetus of this farce, he merits pride of place.

The president started out with the usual greeting and openers and then read this statement, the one the Israelis signed on to, and the Palestinians only signed at the last minute:

"The representatives of the government of the state of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, represented respectively by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas, in his capacity as chairman of the PLO executive committee and president of the Palestinian Authority, have convened in Annapolis, Maryland, under the auspices of President George W. Bush of the United States of America, and with the support of the participants of this international conference having concluded the following joint understanding:

We express our determination to bring an end to bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples; to usher in a new era of peace, based on freedom, security, justice, dignity, respect and mutual recognition; to propagate a culture of peace and nonviolence; to confront terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis.

In furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.

We agree to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations and shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008.

For this purpose, a steering committee led jointly by the head of the delegation of each party will meet continuously as agreed.

The steering committee will develop a joint work plan and establish and oversee the work of negotiations teams to address all issues, to be headed by one lead representative from each party.

The first session of the steering committee will be held on 12 December, 2007.

President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert will continue to meet on a biweekly basis to follow up the negotiations in order to offer all necessary assistance for their advancement.

The parties also commit to immediately implement their respective obligations under the performance-based road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict issued by the quartet on 30 April, 2003 _this is called the road map — and agree to form an American, Palestinian and Israeli mechanism led by the United States to follow up on the implementation of the road map.

The parties further commit to continue the implementation of the ongoing obligations of the road map until they reach a peace treaty. The United States will monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitment of both sides of the road map.

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the road map, as judged by the United States."

In other words, the leaked copy I linked to yesterday from Ha'aretz ( hat tip, Carl In Jerusalem) was pretty much right on the money. There's a deadline to finish `negotiations' by the end of next year,but no later than the end of Bush's term. Both parties will implement the Road Map.

Or to put it another way, the Israelis will be monitored to make sure that they comply, and the Palestinians will promise to try to try. And since the US is the sole arbiter and judge of who's complying and who's not, there's no provision for Israel to decide on its own that the Palestinians aren't keeping up their end and ending Israel's strategic concessions...that's going to be up to Condi Rice and the US State Department.

You'll notice that, as I reported previously, there's no language about the Arabs renouncing terrorism and incitement..there's only an intention to `confront it'. Nor is there any language about recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Neither the Palestinians nor the Saudis would go along with that.

In his subsequent remarks, the president talked about tough choices both sides will have to make, and came up with the curious statement that this was merely an agreement to begin negotiations, when obviously it's much more than that, since the US is mandating American monitoring and a deadline. He also mentioned that Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Selim Fayyad are committed to peace and opposed to terrorism.

In view of that, looking at the statement made by Mahmoud Abbas is enlightening.

Put aside the rhetoric and get to the meat and you see that Abbas was very plainspoken about the fact that the Palestinians are not planning on making any of those tough choices the president spoke about.

He mentioned Palestinian sovereignty over half of Jerusalem no less than three times, as well as a retreat by Israel to the pre-1967 lines, including the Golan and what Abbas referred to as `the remaining occupied parts of Lebanon', which shows that this was cleared with Hezbollah as well, since only they regard any part of Lebanon as `occupied'. He also was adamant about the release of all Palestinian terrorists in Israeli custody, which shows just how deep his commitment to peace and opposition to terrorism run. And of course, he's insisting on flooding Israel with Arab `refugees'.

A real clue to Abbas' actual motivation was his use of a phrase beloved by his old boss Arafat in the Oslo era: `The peace of the brave'.

Not only was there no admission that any of this is negotiable, but Abbas actually warned everybody that this opportunity for Israel to make peace surrender would not come again!

Believe it or not, I actually respect Abbas more than I do the third member of this trio, Israel's Ehud Olmert.

Unlike Abbas, his speech was rife with the desire of Israel to make `painful compromises' and humble themselves, something I'm certain inflamed every Arab who was listening to him with new hope for Israel's ultimate demise. He never once mentioned Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem as its undivided capitol, an end to Palestinian terrorism and incitement or any restitution for the almost one million Jewish refugees of the 1948 conflict or Arab recognition of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. He even mentioned the value in the Saudi `peace' ultimatum.

The most he got in was a timorous plea for the return of the three Israeli servicemen kidnapped by the Arabs. And where Mahmoud Abbas continuously mentioned Jerusalem and the Palestinian demands, Olmert mentioned his appreciation of Palestinian `humiliation' as a major theme in his speech.

That this pathetic, corrupt apparatchnik, with almost no support at home was unwilling to defend his own country's rights as Abbas did is the latest in a long line of folly.

The real winner, of course was Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, who saw their agenda legitimized in an international forum. If the Israelis succumb, the Arabs have a new strategic platform to attack them, and just as with Oslo, the ex-President and various pundits will bloviate about what went wrong. If this falls through and Israel declines to commit national suicide, the Arabs and their allies can blame Israel as `an obstacle to peace.'

And that will ultimately come back to haunt the US, mark my words.

So that's what happened at Annapolis.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Saudi Gang Rape Victim Tells Her Story

In a heartrending interview with ABC News, the young Saudi gang rape victim sentenced to two hundred lashes and six months in jail by a sharia court tells her story:

"Everyone looks at me as if I'm wrong. I couldn't even continue my studies. I wanted to die. I tried to commit suicide twice," she said of her experience just after the attack. {....}

"I [was] 19 years old. I had a relationship with someone on the phone. We were both 16. I had never seen him before. I just knew his voice. He started to threaten me, and I got afraid. He threatened to tell my family about the relationship. Because of the threats and fear, I agreed to give him a photo of myself," she recounted.

"A few months [later], I asked him for the photo back but he refused. I had gotten married to another man. He said, 'I'll give you the photo on the condition that you come out with me in my car.' I told him we could meet at a souk [market[ near my neighborhood city plaza in Qatif...."

Read the rest here...,

UK Teacher In Sudan Faces 40 Lashes For `Blasphemy'

Yet another example of sharia's tender concern for women, this time in the Sudan.

A British Teacher faces 40 lashes after being arrested in the Sudan for `blasphemy'.

Her crime? Allowing her class of seven-year-olds at Unity School in Khartoum to name a teddy bear Mohammed as part of a lesson about animals' habitats.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, was arrested on Sunday, November 25th.The British Embassy in Khartoum confirmed the arrest.

The Sudan has an Islamist regime governed by sharia law.

We'll have to see how this pans out..her MP and the British Foreign Office are apparently working on it.

Likely, since she's a foreigner, she'll be released and kicked out of the country following the receipt of a suitable amount of baksheesh in the right pockets - oh, pardon me, a `fine' in lieu of a whipping.

While I certainly hope Ms. Gibbons gets home safely, she should have thought twice about accepting a position where she would be under the thumb of these savages. They have a perfect right to practice this kind of barbarism on their home turf,and she should have been aware of it.

But hopefully, little incidents like this will awaken the British and others on what's being imported to their countries under the guise of `multiculturism'.

`Our Eternal Friends' The Saudis Release 1500 Jihadi Terrorists

While their foreign minister is busily dictating to the Bush Administration in Washington, back home the Saudis are releasing 1500 jihad terrorists - because they 'repented' .

And no, I'm not kidding:

"Saudi Arabia, waging a crackdown on Islamist militants that has lasted for more than four years, has released some 1,500 jailed suspects after they "repented," a newspaper said on Sunday. The 1,500 were among about 3,200 militants with whom representatives of a government-appointed "advice committee" met around 5,000 times since it was formed three years ago, Al-Watan said, quoting committee member Mohammad al-Nujaimi.

The paper did not clarify if the remaining 1,700 detainees had refused to renounce the ideology of "taqfir" - branding other Muslims as apostates or infidels in order to legitimize violence against them. The ideology is espoused by some militants who advocate the use of force to overthrow regimes deemed corrupt or unrepresentative and to establish a single Islamic state.
(It was also used by Pakistan to justify the organized rape of thousands of Bengali women by its troops as a strategy of war in what's now Bangladesh during the war between Bangladesh and Pakistan.)
Nujaimi said the 1,500 militants who changed their views had renounced Saudi-born Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's call on his followers to "cleanse the Arabian Peninsula of polytheists."

Oh, well..if the Wahabi clerics say these people are OK, then I guess they would never hurt even an infidel bunny rabbit. They're our friends, right?

US To Compromise Israel's Security For `Joint Declaration'

This gets worse and worse.

My pal Carl in Jerusalem has an astounding post on how Condi Rice and the US State Department are compromising Israel's security in exchange for hammering out a `joint declaration' between Israel and the Palestinians, based on a working draft leaked by Ha'aretz.

Not only does it formally mention a Palestinian State `with it's capitol in East Jerusalem' and an iron-clad deadline `within 8 months of the Annapolis meeting but not more than President Bush's term', it puts together a formula where Israel and the Palestinians will `jointly implement the Roadmap'...but the US will decide whether the parties are carrying out their respective ends!

Let's parse that again; if this goes through, the US State Department now has the right to decide whether or not the Palestinians and the Israelis are abiding by their commitments and how fast the `implementation of the Road Maps' will proceed. Or put another way, the Bush Administration is trying to eliminate Israel's right to decide for itself whether to trust the Palestinians and continue making diplomatic and security concessions or not.

And note the set-in-stone deadline, something the President had personally promised that Israel would not be subjected to.

Given that the Bush Administration still funds Fatah in spite of the fact that Abbas still has the terrorist al-Aksa Martyr's Brigade on his payroll, has never disarmed or put in jail a single terrorist and still continues a drumbeat of Jew hatred and incitement in its Fatah controlled media, mosques and schools, I don't place much stock in the Bush Administration's ability to put any pressure whatsoever on the Palestinians.

They've obviously decided to take sides, and that the easiest way to placate the Sunni Arab autocracies and make them `allies' is to sell out another ally and pressure Israel to make dangerous strategic concessions.

Peace in our time, indeed.

US And Iraq Sign Long Term Relations Deal

President Bush signed a deal with President Maliki today that essentially outlines a long term US presence in Iraq with full details to be negotiated in 2008.
Bush and al-Maliki signed the new U.S.-Iraq "declaration of principles" during a secure video conference this morning.Meanwhile, Al-Maliki said his government would ask the UN to renew the mandate for the multinational force for one last time. ending in 2008.

"Two senior Iraqi officials familiar with the issue say Iraq's government will embrace a long-term U.S. troop presence in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership. The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the subject is sensitive, said U.S. military and diplomatic representatives appeared generally favorable, subject to negotiations on the details, which include preferential treatment for American investments.

Preferential treatment for U.S. investors could provide a huge windfall if Iraq can achieve enough stability to exploit its vast oil resources. Such a deal would also enable the United States to maintain leverage against Iranian expansion at a time of growing fears about Tehran's nuclear aspirations."

Note that. US in oil companies and military defense contractors, as well as a slew of other US materials and services providers.

I think I owe Dave at the Glittering Eye fifteen cents.

Haveil Havalim #142 Is Up

My good friend Soccer Dad is now hosting Haveil Havalim #142, a wonderful cross section of posts from the Jewish/Israeli blogosphere...enjoy!

Another Former Pakistani PM Returns Home From Exile

This time, it's Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted by President General Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless 1999 coup and left the country for exile after being found guilty of corruption charges...just like Bhutto.

Sharif returned to Lahore Sunday and was greeted by hundreds of his supporters from his Pakistan Muslim League Party. The Musharraf government's story is that Sharif was allowed back into the country after reaching an "understanding" with them, something Sharif contradicted. Sharif said there was no such "understanding'. He was back, he told the crowd, "to save Pakistan and save democracy."

What this does,quite simply is to put another piece on the chess board.

Let's reiterate what the board looks like so far:

Musharraf, who's now presiding over a state of emergency that essentially amounts to martial law is saying that he plans to step down as head of the Pakistani army in the next few days, just before he's sworn in for a second term as president. He also says he plans to lift the state of emergency `soon'. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for early January but opposition parties, including Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League, and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, haven't said whether they're going to participate.

So we may end up with an `election' that isn't one if they don't..but my guess is that they will. It's a win-win for them either way. If one of them is victorious, they regain power. If they lose, they can always claim the vote was rigged.

There has been some talk about an alliance between Bhutto and Sharif, but I wouldn't expect that to go anywhere. Both of them are fairly egotistical and dislike each other, and they frankly have little consensus to join them and their followers together aside from the fact they dislike Musharraf and want power.

Sharif is a more conservative, more Islamist candidate while Bhutto likes to play to the center left a bit more, at least in rhetoric. While both of them have a following,especially given today's climate in Pakistan, both are also seen as corrupt and failed politicians and part of Pakistan's oligarchy by a great many Pakistanis.

It's notable that Sharif was allowed to return by the Musharraf matter what Sahrif says, he wouldn't have returned without certain assurances being made and risked arrest..just like Bhutto. This could very well have happened because Musharraf needs an ally to consolidate his rule, and is pitting Bhutto against Sharif to gain leverage and better terms with whomever he makes his ultimate deal with.

And of course, there's the wild card, the Islamists. Just as Hamas was able to appeal to the Palestinians on religious grounds and as an alternative to a corrupt, ineffectual Fatah, the Islamists can cover exactly the same political ground.And they already have de facto control over Waziristan and the NWFP, plus plenty of sympathizers in the rest of the country.

Expect them to make a serious effort to upset the whole board...and they just might end up succeeding.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

John Howard Concedes - Rudd and Labour Wins

It appears that the bookies,as usual,had the right of it.

John Howard and the Liberals were defeated in the Australian elections after over a decade in power by the Australian Labour Party and Mark Rudd, an ex-diplomat.

The vote was around 53 per cent to 46.8 the last time I checked, and Howard has already conceded.

Rudd's agenda as announced includes a pullout of Australia's 550 diggers from Iraq and signing the Kyoto Protocol. While Rudd is unlikely to distance himself overmuch from what he referred to as `Australia's great friend and ally, the United States' - most of the Australian public wouldn't stand for it - I have a feeling that the relationship will certainly not be as much in sync as it was during Howard's tenure.

I don't begrudge the Ozzies their choice..John Howard was around for quite a long spell, was planning to retire after a couple of years and I think part of the results reflect that. But I'll be sorry to see him go.

Ta, Mr. Prime Minister..and thanks.

`So Long As We Don't Have To Touch A Jew...'

My pal Greg over at Rhymes With Right has a great post on the upcoming Annapolis mugging of Israel that that reveals what should be some real enlightenment on exactly what's going on...that is if the Bush Administration wasn't so invested in appeasing the Arabs.

In the Yahoo News story Greg linked to, the Saudis and the Arab League were quoted as having grudgingly agreeing to attend Annapolis, but with the Saudi Foreign Minister warning the US that `there would be no public handshakes with Israeli officials.'

I wonder, are they going to communicate via telecom, so the Arabs don't even have to sit in the same room or breathe the same air as a Jew?

Moreover, as Greg's post further reveals, for the Arabs, this is not in any sense about `negotiations'.

According to Arab League chief Amr Moussa, the Arab countries are there specifically to make sure that Mahmoud Abbas doesn't offer any concessions to Israel, and sticks explicitly with the Saudi ultimatum calling for a return to the pre `67 lines...other wise they won't be bound by it.

In other words, there's nothing to negotiate. As the Saudis have said before, either Israel surrenders or faces war.

Greg puts it very well...

Until the Arabs are willing to concede the legitimacy of Israel and its undeniable right to exist within secure borders, there is absolutely nothing to talk about. Indeed, the Israelis should not be attending Annapolis without a firm, explicit agreement to those points from every other participant. Frankly, I am ashamed of my President and his Secretary of State for not insisting upon those as the minimum standard for any Arab state to be allowed to attend the Annapolis summit -- or for any government official of those countries to be allowed to set foot upon American soil (and yes, I do include embassy staff and UN representatives in that statement).

For six decades the Arabs have tried to make the Middle East "Judenrein", seeking to impose in the Land of Israel the same solution that Hitler sought for Germany seven decades ago.

I agree with him. It's embarrassing that our president,who once said that `you're either with us or with the terrorists' would kowtow to these medieval bigots who make a mockery of everything America stands for.

I doubt there will be any concrete results from Israeli government could embrace this kind of national suicide and survive in power. As a matter of fact, I've speculated before on these pages that the Saudi ultimatum was deliberately written in a way to forego any possibility of Israeli acceptance, and that the idea of the Olmert government and the Bush Administration taing it seriously must have come as a delightful surprise to them.

But there will be substantial damage to Israel's position, an dfor that matter to America's no matter how this comes out. It's a lose-lose proposition..either Israel accepts a patently unfair diktat that results in creating thousands of Jewish refugees and a country with insecure borders with as bunch of genocidal Islamist terrorists armed with heavy weapons next door, or Israel gets demonized as an `obstacle to peace', while the Arabs get to snicker, shrug and say `hey we offered them peace..but you see how those Jews are.'

Watcher's Council Results for 11/23/07

The Council has spoken! A complete list of results can be found at the site of our fearless leader, the infamous Watcher of Weasels

My apologies to my fellow Council members...this should have been posted earlier but the holiday got in the way.

There was actually a tie between two great entries this week, and as per council rules the Watcher broke the tie.

This weeks' winner is:
Cheat Seeking Missiles:Charting A New course In Iraq Messaging Laer's well written iece on many Democrat's defeatist agenda and how they are now trying to spin things due to the success in Iraq.

In second place was Bookworm Room: Prophets In A Freudian Age Bookworm's fascinating post that looks at the prophets of the major religions and how they might have fared in our modern age.

For non-Council, the winner was The Van Der GaliĆ«n Gazette A fine post that examines what the write refers to as ‘Europe’s irrationality’ - the habit of Europeans to attack, insult and work against their closest allies and friends.

In second place for non-Council, another tie between:

Cracked.Com:The Ultimate War Simulation Game Which is about what it sounds like.

Hearty Kudos to all the winners!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dealing With Disinformation

I recently wrote something entitled `Land For Peace, American Style' that garnered a certain amount of favorable notice in the blogosphere. It was also winning post in the Watcher's Council for the week of November 16.

As a result of that it also attracted the notice of a certain blogger in the Council, Big Lizards. While I have neither the time or the interest in this devolving into a blogwar, suffice it to say that this person devoted a considerable amount of time and electrons to what amounted to a `factual' attack on the piece in question, as well as..oh let's be kind and call it my motivations for writing it.

These `facts' he raised I feel need an answer and merit this one post and this one post only...not as a pushback,per se, but hopefully to shed a bit of light on the subject.

Big Lizards starts out by referring to me as `one of those Israel boosters' and wonders whether I'm posting `from here ( meaning the US) or there'(meaning Israel). I hate to disillusion anyone, but this site does not originate from Mossad headquarters, and there's no `dual loyalty' or question of my patriotism involved here. Like a lot of Americans, I simply happen to think that the strategic partnership between the US and Israel has been exceptionally good for both countries, that Israel is one of America's most valuable and important allies, that Israel is a major front in the War on Jihad and that creating another terrorist enclave with US largess and weakening an ally like Israel is folly.

This person goes on to suggest that George W. Bush is `the most pro-Israel president America has ever had' and that I consider him to be `Israel's enemy' .

In fact, President Bush is not Israel's `enemy', (we haven't had a truly anti-Israel president since the execrable Jimmy Carter) but he's extremely challenged on the issue. In my opinion, he's far from the most pro-Israel president we've ever had...that distinction belongs to Richard Nixon, with Ronald Reagan as a close second.

President Bush is severely conflicted on this issue as he is on so many others. Part of his psyche is extremely pro-Israel,( and it's also been good for him politically, since a lot of evangelicals and indeed most Americans are pro-Israel) but it conflicts with his family's long time relationship with people like the Saudis and the UAE, his family history and most importantly, the relationship of people like the Saudis and the UAE to his family's money, i.e. the Carlyle group. This conflict explains the considerable gap between President Bush's deeds and his actions on a number of fronts. Some examples:
  • The president campaigned in 2000 saying that he would move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem..and has blocked it ever since he's been in the White House, even in the face of congressional legislation.
  • The president famously said `you're either with us, or with the terrorists' when formulating the Bush Doctrine. He's conspicuously failed to apply that to the Palestinians, among others, especially when it comes to Fatah. As a matter of fact, Secretary of State Condi Rice actually met with the Tanzim.
  • The president formulated a document known as `the Road Map' as a Middle East peace formula without any input from Israel ( or Jews, for that matter) whatsoever, although several Arabs and Arab-Americans had a major part in it. He then put together an entity known as `the Quartet', consisting of three anti-Israel partners (the EU, the UN, and Russia) and one pro-Israel partner ( The US) to implement something that directly affected Israel's security. Ariel Sharon of Israel accepted the Roadmap, but with certain conditions outlined in a letter to the president, which included a united Jerusalem as Israel's capital and incorporation of long standing Jewish communities such as Ariel and Gush Etzion as part of Israel, which the president accepted...and is now trying to renege on, using the weakest and most corrupt leader in Israel's history as a tool.
  • The Roadmap had a number of conditions for both the Israelis and Palestinians to meet, and the president, in his famous June 24th speech said explicitly that the Palestinians could not expect support from the US for a state unless they met those conditions, including an end to terrorism against Israel's civilians. They have yet to meet any of those conditions,yet the US is still providing them with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military and civilian aid, much of which has ended up going to Hamas.
  • The president and Condi Rice put considerable pressure on Israel to withdraw from Gaza as a `sacrifice for peace' and created a fictional network of security guarantees involving Egypt and the Palestinians to control the borders..none of which were kept in the least, with the result that Israel is now subjected to daily rocket and mortar attacks on its territory from the Palestinians. Neither Egypt nor the Palestinians have suffered in the least for this failure at the hands of the US. In fact Israel is being pressured for additional concessions as I write this, as the Bush Administration appears to have acquiesced to the Saudi peace ultimatum in full.
There's plenty more I could mention, but I think you get the gist. Again, not anti-Israel, but severely conflicted.

Big Lizards then goes on to attack as factually false the premise of my piece, that asking Israel to give up Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem is analogous to the US giving up Texas, New Mexico, California and Arizona as a `sacrifice to peace' to create a second Mexican state, Atzlan.

Actually, the analogy is fairly decent. While this person may ridicule the idea of the reconquista movement simply because they're not quite firing rockets at us or blowing up pizza parlors yet, I provided a link to one extremely well established group, MeCha, that believes exactly that and has the current mayor of Los Angeles as an alumnus member and there are a number of adherents here in America. Big Lizards should do a search on this, particularly in American academia. And perhaps on terrorism by the likes of the Zetas on our borders. The idea that the American Southwest is part of Mexico is also rather widespread on the other side of the border, as one might guess from the respect given our sovereignty by Mexico. Of course, that's another one of those issues the president appears to be conflicted on.

Big Lizards goes on by misusing a certain amount of history to prove his point, referring to the 1967 occupation of the area in question by Israel and comparing it with the US acquisition of the four states in question after the Mexican War.

In fact, there was no `occupation' by Israel, since that term commonly refers to land owned by another country taken in war, like Sinai, or California, no matter what Ariel Sharon or Ehud Olmert had to say about it. And the areas in question, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem were never a part of any country legally, since the Arabs never accepted any part of Palestine as being part of Israel and rejected the 1948 UN partition out of hand. In fact, it was Jordan, aided by British arms and officers who occupied this area illegally, ethnically cleansed it of Jews and annexed it, an annexation that was only recognized by Britain and the other Arab countries but nowhere else, not even by the UN.

Since Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem contained a great deal of Jewish land legally purchased from the Arabs (the Gush Etzion bloc and Ariel, among others) through the Jewish National fund, one could make a strong legal case that Israel was merely retrieving stolen property.I don't expect Big Lizards was aware of that.

This blogger goes on and makes the point that Israel never annexed Judea, Samaria or East Jerusalem and therefore has no claim. He's incorrect when it comes to East Jerusalem, but I would also make the point that Israel annexing anything is a moot point, since the Arab bloc in the UN and their willing enablers would never recognize it regardless - and Jerusalem and the Golan, which Israel has also annexed and is now being leaned on by the US to return to Syria are good examples of why this is a moot and frankly disingenuous point on his part.

Another aspect of this is that the US actually invaded and defeated Mexico and forced the Mexicans to sue for peace on America's terms and end the conflict.Israel has always been stopped short of total victory by the UN and the US because of concern over Arab `humiliation'.

He then further states that Jews were never a majority of the population in Judea, Samaria or East Jerusalem and that these areas always had a majority Arab population. This is demonstrably false. I would refer this person to Joan Peter's prize winning book, `From Time Immemorial' which cites original Ottoman and British sources for the census on the population of these areas as well as Dr. Giv Kornfeld's sadly out of print `Origins of Palestine'. Most of the area in question was a depopulated wasteland until the Jews began emigrating in force in the 1880's. The Ottomans actually encouraged the Jews to enter, because they felt that they might actually make something of the place and create a reasonable yield in taxes. And Jerusalem was always a Jewish majority city until the Jordanians ethnically cleansed the Jews from the Old City and created what the AP and al-Reuters refer to as `traditionally Arab East Jerusalem.'

The vast majority of the Arab population came to Palestine from places like Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and the Hejaz, especially during WWII, when almost a third of the Jewish population was in uniform fighting for the allies and the British allowed unlimited Arab emigration to Palestine - while denying it to Jews.Yasir Arafat, an Egyptian who grew up in Cairo and later magically became a `Palestinian' is a perfect example.

The areas of Judea and Samaria were likewise desolate until the Jews moved there and created a garden, on land they purchased from the Arabs at exorbitant prices. They've now returned to many of the places they originally settled and were driven out of in 1948.

Big Lizards is again perhaps unaware of the fact that in the original 1947 UN Partition - which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected - 90% of the land alloted to the Jews had a clear Jewish majority, despite the fact that the British did everything they could to prohibit Jewish immigration and encourage unlimited Arab immigration, even arming and facilitating the Arabs in their attempt at a second Holocaust in 1948. If the Arabs made the choice to attack and lost some territory as a result, it's hardly an injustice or an `occupation'. Choices have consequences and the Casino of History rarely gives you back your chips......unless we're talking about the special rules of the game established for Israel and the Arabs.

As for the Arabs themselves, they now want someone else's land returned to them - now that it's worth having - as a matter of `peace' and `justice'...exactly the stance of the reconquitas.

Again, Big Lizards has unfortunately swallowed the dinosaur media's script on this issue, just as with the so-called `occupation'. I can't truly blame him, since the Arabs have spent millions of dollars foisting this notion on the world, and most people aren't aware of some of the history of the region.

My entire point in writing the essay. `Land for Peace - American Style' was a simple one..that the Bush Administration is leaning on Israel to make concessions for `peace' that they would never consider asking the people of the US to make.

Big Lizard's outraged reaction to the notion is the proof of that, if nothing else. Hopefully, this will enable him to see the other side of things.

The main premise of people like Big Lizards is that appeasement of the Arabs and enfranchising the Palestinians will lead to peace in the region. The sad reality is that the Arabs are mainly concerned with weakening Israel so as to speed its demise...and what's more, they've never made a secret of it.

The central issue of Middle East peace isn't `occupation', or a second Arab Palestinian state. It's the inability of the Arabs to live next to Jews in peace and equality. As Israel has proven, the reverse is certainly not the case.

That's the real key to Middle East peace, in a nutshell. And it has nothing to do with the Palestinians.