Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chrysler Goes Chapter 11

Chrysler is going to go Chapter 11 , but the real story is how the Car Salesman- in- Chief and the government behaved towards the company's private investors.

During his speech announcing the deal they will take to the bankruptcy court, Obama had kind words for everybody except hedge funds and investors who were holding out for a better deal. He specifically said he did not "stand with" them. This is a president of the United States fronting on the investors who kept the company solvent and had the gall to ask that they be compensated for their investment. The government couldn't even be bothered to listen to their concerns

“We have been forced to communicate through an obviously conflicted intermediary: a group of banks that have received billions of TARP funds,” the lenders who rejected the government offer said.

The holdout lenders -- who said their combined debt holding represents about $1 billion of the $6.9 billion owed to senior secured lenders – struck back at comments from an unnamed administration official this morning that blamed them for causing the imminent bankruptcy. The group said they had offered to accept 60 cents on the dollar, despite “long recognized legal and business principles” that gives senior lenders such as themselves the right to be repaid in full before others recover anything in bankruptcy court.

“Our offer has been flatly rejected or ignored,” the group said. “In its earnest effort to ensure the survival of Chrysler and the well being of the company’s employees, the government has risked overturning the rule of law and practices that have governed our world-leading bankruptcy code for decades.”

This is exactly the same garbage that happened with GM, and it reminds me of nothing so much as what I'll genteelly refer to as mafia financing.

Obama received over 50% of GM - a controlling interest - in exchange for forgiving a mere $10 billion in outstanding loans, a loan shark style deal if ever there was one. And the UAW wound up with 39% of the company just for being such loyal soldiers and campaign donors to the administration. And by the way the so-called 'sacrifices' of the UAW the president mentioned doesn't include reopening their contracts.

Just like Chrysler, the private investors, the ones who bought GM's stock and bonds are the ones getting hosed. And if you think this doesn't affect you, think about the effect it's going to have on investors thinking about buying corporate paper in the future.

This is simply socialism ( AKA 'theft') on a grand scale.

"Too White And Too Jewish"

You'd better not be either if you want the support of Labour's Muslims:

The Labour Party has become embroiled in a race row after a prospective female councillor was allegedly told she was 'too white and Jewish' to be selected.

Elaina Cohen claims that Labour councillor Mahmood Hussain said he would not support her application for an inner-city ward because 'my Muslim members don't want you because you are Jewish'.

Mrs Cohen, 50, has made an official complaint about the alleged remarks made by Mr Hussain, a Muslim and former lord mayor of Birmingham.

She said: 'I am shocked and upset that a member of the Labour Party in this day and age could even think something like that, let alone say it.

'People should not be allowed to make racist comments like that. If someone in the party feels I cannot represent them because of my colour or religion, that's ridiculous.

'I felt particularly aggrieved because I have worked across all sections of the community, particularly with the Muslim section, and have been on official visits to Pakistan.'

Mrs Cohen had applied to stand as a Labour councillor for the Birmingham ward of East Handsworth and Lozells, which has a high Asian and Afro-Caribbean population.

As one of Labour's safest seats on Tory-led Birmingham city council, the final candidate would be almost certain of victory at the June 4 by-election.

But when Mrs Cohen telephoned 57-year-old Mr Hussain for his support, she was astonished to be told that she was too 'white and Jewish' to be considered.

Lorraine Briscoe, who runs a local community association, was sitting next to Mrs Cohen when the conversation took place on speakerphone last Tuesday.

'I was disgusted that a councillor could make comments like that in 2009,' she said.

'He told her, "They will not vote for someone who is white and Jewish. My Muslim members don't want you because you are Jewish".

'Elaina then asked him if he had talked to his Muslim members about it and he said, "I don't want to talk about it with you" and hung up.

Two days after the conversation, Mrs Cohen and another candidate were rejected as candidates after failing to gain the support of the local party members. Instead, the members were presented with one candidate, black South African Hendrina Quinnen, who was nominated by an almost unanimous vote.

Mrs Cohen made an official complaint to Labour Party general secretary Ray Collins and Birmingham city council accusing Mr Hussain of improper conduct, but at this point, I doubt Labour is not going to risk riling up its Muslim voters over this and it's pretty much a done deal.

Like Oona King, another Jewish Labour party member, Elaina Cohen has discovered that you can say all the right things and push all the right multicultural buttons, but in the end none of it matters next to being born a Jew.

Islamic anti-Semitism started a long time ago, and it has nothing to do with 'zionists' or Israel...

Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour {ie: the triuph of Dar Islam} will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.” - Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177

(hat tip to Joshua's Army member Alexandre for sending this in)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Standing Erect In The Storm: Reflections On Israel's 61st Birthday..

Today is Yom Ha'atzmaot, celebrating the miracle of Israel's rebirth.

Notice the name on the masthead ( click to enlarge) of what today is the Jerusalem Post.The term 'Palestine' always referred to the Jewish homeland, even when the British held the mandate...until Egyptian Yasir Arafat appropriated it.

With every decade Israel logs, the same question gets asked - will Israel be around for the next one?

I admit, it's surprising that a small nation surrounded by vicious enemies with genocidal intentions over its entire short life has managed to hang on, but whatever else you can say about Israel, not only is it surviving, it is thriving.

The day it was born, six Arab armies invaded and tried to wipe it out. They failed, and with the current exception of Egypt and Jordan, the Arab and Muslim world has been trying to finish the job ever since.

Israel is the only country whose creation was approved by the UN, as well as the only country whose legitimacy is constantly attacked by the same body.Half Israel’s population was created by Jews driven out of their ancient homes in the Arab world, yet it's the only country called on to make concessions and give up territory to solve a refugee problem it had no part in causing.

It's the only country in the Middle East where Jews and Arabs actually co-exist as equals under the law, yet it's demonized as practicing 'apartheid' by the very same people who would not suffer a Jew to live among them under any circumstances, let alone equality.

Singled out for threats and vilification like no other country, Israel literally has become the Jew among nations.

Yet with all that, Israel is prospering.It's a world leader in high tech, agri-business, bio-science and irrigation technology, and a list of the inventions and patents by Israelis would fill a small book.It's fertility rate is one of the highest in the western world, a sign of how hopefully Israelis view the future. And even more importantly, while Israelis tend to disagree and pick dogfights on even the most trivial matters among themselves, the country as a whole knows exactly what they're fighting for and what they have to lose. And because of that, they're unified like few other nations when it counts.

Unlike some other nations in the West, Israel already knows it has to fight to survive. Which is exactly why it will still be there sixty years from now and longer.

Happy birthday Israel..and many happy returns.

Debunking CNN'c Obama Gaffes Roundup..

My fellow Watcher's Council member Omri over at Mere rhetoric has a superb piece linked over at Michelle Malkin's place today enumerating the numerous gaffes the Obama Administration has committed that th edinosaur media missed! Do yourself a favor and read it...

Watcher's Council Nominations, 4/29/09

The Watcher's Council is a group of some of the most incisive blogs in the`sphere. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one of their own and one from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.

So, let's see what we have this week....and since Soccer Dad is filling in for the Watcher this week, do check out his excellent take on the torture memos...


Joshuapundit - Exposing The Palestinian’s Phony ‘Demographics’ Threat Against Israel - The prime rationale for a Palestinian state by the left goes something like this....if those stubborn Joos don't knuckle under and give the Palestinians everything they want, the Arabs will soon be a majority. And then the only choices the Jews will have left is to be a minority in their own country or to give up democracy in favor of minority rule.

The reality is that the 'demographic threat' is absolute fiction, and I explain why.

Bookworm Room - Torture, Real and Imagined - This week, Ms. Bookworm does a superb job of busting Paul Begala's outright lie that we executed Japanese war criminals after WWII for waterboarding. He apparently never heard of Nanking or the Bataan Death March, let alone the conditions allied POWs and civilians interned by the Japanese were held under...pompous idiot.

The Razor - Why An Alcoholic Supports the Legalization of Illicit Drugs - Scott makes the case for something I've personally supported for a long time. It costs less to provide the drugs in a medical environment and gradually detox people than the human and financial cost of crime, enforcement, court time and imprisonment...but these functions also provide a significant income to lawyers and especially to the influential people actually involved in the ilicit sales.

That's why I'm certain, after ex-Surgeon general Jocelyn Elders merely suggested we look at decriminalization, that a number of members of Congress got calls from totally legitimate donors and supporters to quash this. And I'm equally certain those legitimate donors and supporters got calls the night before from people with a direct financial interest in keeping the status quo going, if you know what I mean...

The Glittering Eye - Disease Vectors - Dave Schuler parses the parameters of the latest swine flu outbreak.

Right Truth - The next 1,360 days -Debbie notes a lot of unfinished business that media isn't highlighting and the Obama Administration isn't exactly proactive opposed to the hoopla over his first hundred days or a supposed 'epidemic'.

The Colossus of Rhodey - Did the NY Times bury an “inconvenient” torture memo story? And a torture question … Ah the New York Times, whose motto ought to be "The news is what we say it is..and if we don't say it is, it ain't!" Hube does a fine job in outing them on it.

Wolf Howling - Words Have Meaning Rick - This week, GW slaps around ex-Council alumnus Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse for a post on whether waterboarding is torture. As much as I like Rick, I think he's all wet on this one.

Soccer Dad - It’s easy being green. Not. This week, Soccer Dad's offering focuses on a big, fat target - namely the New York Time's Tom Friedman - and debunks a column Friedman wrote lauding Obama's focus on 'green jobs.'

The Provocateur - Is Commercial Real Estate Next? - Mike ponders the probable directions in commercial real estate and the possible effects on our economy.


Submitted By: Bookworm Room - The Washington Times - Barack’s in the basement

Submitted By: The Razor - NY Post - 100 Days, 100 Mistakes for Barack Obama

Submitted By: The Glittering Eye - Right Wing Nut House - The Moral Parameters of Torture

Submitted By: Right Truth - The Onion - Millions and Millions Dead

Submitted By: The Colossus of Rhodey - The New Republic - Regift, Please!

Submitted By: Wolf Howling - Michael Sheurer @ WaPo - Say Its Osama. What If He Won’t Talk?

Submitted By: Soccer Dad - Legal Insurrection - Which city would you sacrifice?

Submitted By: The Provocateur - The New Ledger - What Will the Stress Tests Mean

Submitted By: Joshuapundit - Cheat Seeking Missiles - John And Teresa And Conflict

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Can The GOP Get Its Groove Back?

Can the Elephant learn to dance, sing and trample jackasses underfoot again? Maybe. But they're going to figure out what they stand for first.

As far as that goes , I personally could care less if the Republicans ever win another election unless they're willing to embrace the principles that made them worth supporting in the first place - small government, lower taxes, individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, the encouragement of excellence, American exceptionalism and a strong national defense. If they're unwilling to do that and figure on some new whiz bang techno-fart gizmology to revive them or that watering down those basic principles to be Democrat-lite is the way of the future, as far as I'm concerned the GOP elephant can go the way of the mastodon.

The American people will reject that kind of phony stance every time it's presented to them. People line up and pay admission to see the Mona Lisa, but I doubt they're going to do it for a copy. We saw that during the last election, when the crowds and the excitement followed Sarah Palin, while the head of the Republican ticket, 'Maverick' John McCain was so boring. nuanced and off putting that he actually was forced to appear jointly with Palin in order to be able to speak in front a decent sized audience. The dinosaur media followed Palin too, ignoring McCain in favor of doing their best to gun down Palin. They knew where the real danger to Obama lay, and it wasn't in some tired Senatorial creature yammering about how bi-partisan he was or how he'd worked so well with Ted Kennedy.

This takes on particular importance in light of the dinosaur media's exuberance over Arlen Specter's defection from RINO to Donkey.

Specter is an egotistical waterhead who symbolizes precisely why the GOP fell out of favor with the teeming masses. In the end, what he was about was getting re-elected and maintaining his perks, rather than adherence to any kind of principle. He almost symbolizes why the GOP got booted out. But on the other side of the same coin, Maine Senator Susan Collins tersely pointed out that she had won re-election as a Republican in a blue state and nobody from the RNC had ever bothered to come around to ask her how she did it.

And that's exactly the point. Susan Collins understands retail politics and populism in a way a lot of the GOP's leadership has simply lost touch with. And it's cost them. This goes past the labels of 'liberal' and 'conservatism' and back to the Founder's principles.

I might add that President Obama and many of the Democrats don't understand this stuff either. From being the self-announced party of the mythical Little Guy, the Donkeys have morphed into a party beholden to any number of pressure groups and special interests, many with conflicting agendas. They simply have better media coverage, the advantage of having run against a uniquely unpopular incumbent and weak, clueless opposition. All of these factors could very well work against them in 2010 and 2012 - if the opposition changes.

There are a number of voices in the GOP today like Jeb Bush, John McCain, Michael Steele and others who think the problem is that the GOP needs to move beyond the legacy of Ronald Reagan, abandon its base and go more 'big tent'.

In today's New York Times, their 'conservative' columnist, Ross Douthat made the same point in his debut today by going after conservatives:

Watching Dick Cheney defend the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, it’s been hard to escape the impression that both the Republican Party and the country would be better off today if Cheney, rather than John McCain, had been a candidate for president in 2008. {...}

As a candidate, Cheney would have doubtless been as disciplined and ideologically consistent as McCain was feckless. In debates with Barack Obama, he would have been as cuttingly effective as he was in his encounters with Joe Lieberman and John Edwards in 2000 and 2004 respectively. And when he went down to a landslide loss, the conservative movement might – might! – have been jolted into the kind of rethinking that’s necessary if it hopes to regain power.

At the very least, a Cheney-Obama contest would have clarified conservatism’s present political predicament. In the wake of two straight drubbings at the polls, much of the American right has comforted itself with the idea that conservatives lost the country primarily because the Bush-era Republican Party spent too much money on social programs. And John McCain’s defeat has been taken as the vindication of this premise.

We tried running the maverick reformer, the argument goes, and look what it got us. What Americans want is real conservatism, not some crypto-liberal imitation.

“Real conservatism,” in this narrative, means a particular strain of right-wingery: a conservatism of supply-side economics and stress positions, uninterested in social policy and dismissive of libertarian qualms about the national-security state. And Dick Cheney happens to be its diamond-hard distillation.

Let's take a moment to examine Douthat's central premise, that had Dick Cheney been the nominee, Obama would have cleaned his clock and destroyed the evil Right Wingers once and for all.

The fact is, the election turned on two things - the economy coincidentally turning south just before the election when Barack Obama was lagging in the polls, McCain feckless response to it and Obama’s uncritical media coverage versus an all out attack on a marginal candidate at odds with the rank and file of his own party.With all that going for him, Obama beating McCain by 5 points was roughly the equivalent of the Chicago Bears playing a high school team and winning in the fourth quarter by a touchdown.

Based on that, I'm not so sure Cheney would have lost...especially if Sarah Palin had been on the ticket.

For one thing, every time real conservatism based on small government, strong defense, individual liberty and lower taxes with anything like an articulate spokesperson has run against its opposite number, it's won by a landslide - because America remains a center right nation. And for the most part, a Christian one.

To those of you who wonder how Cheney might have fared against a good looking, well spoken charismatic lefty, I can only refer you to the Cheney-Edwards debate or any of Cheney's little sorties against the likes of CNN's Wolf Blitzer. I won't even bother mentioning what he did to Joe Biden. Cheney versus Obama would have been absolutely pitiful as Douthat admits, and there's no way the dinosaur media could have covered it up. The country would have understood that it was a clear choice between a novice and having a grown up in charge. Not only that, but the American people would have seen a very different side of Dick Cheney, one the dinosaur media would have found difficult to distort.

For that matter, I remember watching Cheney and Lieberman debate back in 2000 and saying to myself that the wrong two guys are heading the national tickets.I still feel that way.

Unlike McCain, Dick Cheney would have been unafraid to hit Obama on the issues and would have raised questions about the problems of having someone like Obama as commander-in-chief with his slim resume, questionable associations and stances on the issues. And I doubt Cheney would have made a high profile ass of himself running back to DC in the middle of the campaign to vote for a bailout deeply unpopular with the American people.

With all that, Obama might have still eked out a win, but it would have been razor thin if it happened at all, and it would have been a first in American politics for more than just the fact that one candidate was one third black. It would have been the first time the Left ever defeated a clearly defined, articulate conservative in touch with the bedrock of American values.

Reagan was so effective not so much because he was a by-the-numbers conservative but because he stood for principles, and was able to express them in easily understood terms that resonated with the average American. He wasn't afraid to go out on a limb and present the clear difference between his vision for America and that of his opponents.

Real conservatism always wins out eventually because that's how the rules of life and nations work. All it takes is the ability to speak honestly to the American people and explain that to them.The Left can be counted on to be defeated by history, and moreover to defeat themselves as their arrogance, basic dishonesty and contempt for American values is always shown up by the rising tide of events.

That's the road back for the GOP, if it's going to happen at all - clearly defined, articulately stated principle with the candidates to back it up in word and deed.

Weekend Monkey's Real Banana On politics, 4/28/09

Hidey Ho, Primates! Welcome to the one and only Real Banana, your source for the real poop on politics.

Let's do it and get to it..

The big news this week is that Arlen Specter is changing from a RINO to a Donkey! Yep, the Pennsylvania senator announced today that he's making the switch.

Funny thing is, only a few weeks ago, he was saying something totally different:

“I’m staying a Republican because I think I have a more important role to play there,” he said. “I think the United States very desperately needs a two-party system… And I’m afraid that we’re becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party.”

So, what made Specter switch herds? Simple, primates....sheer politics and self interest.

He knew he was facing a nasty primary fight with conservative Pat Toomey in the ReThug primary and his private polling obviously showed him getting the short end of things. Specter only beat Toomey last time because Bush campaigned for Specter and put RNC money behind him..proof again that our ex-President wasn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.

Plus, by turning Democrat, Specter was able to take advantage of our old friend, leverage.

Specter switching sides gives my Donkeys 59 seats in the Senate, and once Al Franken gets out of court and is seated, that magic filibuster proof 60 seats. You can bet the banana tree that Specter was assured the Democrat nomination and loads of DNC cash to help him win re-election.

The ReThugs must be going ape-poopy over this, but there's not a whole lot they can do about it at this point.I wouldn't be surprised to see more rats jumping the GOP's sinking ship, especially with Steele in charge.

Smell yah later, Primates!

Weekend Monkey was a Democratic candidate for president in 2008 and is JoshuaPundit's political guru. He can be reached at

Monday, April 27, 2009

JoshuaPundit Sells Out

Yes, dear readers, it's finally come to that.

You'll notice to your left a PayPal tip jar, and yes, I'm soliciting. If you enjoy what's here, your help would be appreciated. I mean, do you want me to have to open the site up to 'welcome screens' and annoying tracking cookies, hmmm? Or go all leftwing and start taking my orders from Obama and Soros? Well, do ya?

Not that I would ever do that. Of course not.

All jokes aside, your continued support will allow me to devote more time to this, purchase additional bandwith, whisky and other assorted necessities.

Many thanks, and I think you know it's appreciated.

Exposing The Palestinian's Phony 'Demographics' Threat Against Israel

You've heard it all before, as the prime rationale for a Palestinian state by the left..if those stubborn Joos don't knuckle under and give the Palestinians everything they want, the Arabs will soon be a majority. And then the only choices the Jews will have left is to be a minority in their own country or to give up democracy in favor of minority rule.

I've discussed what absolute horse manure this is many times, but it might be helpful to share the latest real numbers for those who still need convincing:

Israel's population on the eve of its 61st Independence Day numbers 7,411,000, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics Monday afternoon.

Last year, the population was 7,282,000, and when Israel was established, it was just 806,000.

About 75.5 percent, or 5,593,000, of Israel's residents are Jews, 1,498,000 are Arabs (20.2%), while "Others" - immigrants and their offspring who are not registered as Jews by the Interior Ministry - number 320,000 (4.3%).

Let's look at this more closely. Two things the article doesn't mention. One, out of the 806,000 population mentioned in 1948, almost the exact same percentage, around 20%, were Arab, and that ratio has remained constant throught Israel's history. So much for the rapidly expanding Arab population. Second, the term 'Arab' does not mesh in the least with 'Palestinian.'

That Arab population includes not only Arabs with residence permits who are not Israeli citizens, but Druse, Circassians and Bedouins, who proudly serve in the IDF and do not regard the Quraysh Palestinians fondly, to say the least.

Another factor is increased Arab emigration and the Palestinian's constant inflation of the Arab numbers. They've got plenty of motivation to do so, as Yakov Faitelson points in in his recounting of various bogus population estimates:

Why fudge the numbers? There are two important reasons: First, overstating the Palestinian population is good for Palestinian morale, bad for Israeli morale, and heightens Jewish fears of the so-called "demographic time bomb"; second, there is a significant financial incentive, as the international community provides money to the Palestinian Authority according to the number of its inhabitants. When the Palestinian Authority pads its population numbers, the Palestinian Authority receives more money.

I'll say! When the Saudis demanded an audit before they would provide aid to the Palestinian Authority, they found over 37,000 'no-show jobs' - non-existant people who were nevertheless drawing paychecks from UNRWA and other idiot Western donors.)

Careful demographic analysis, however, should lead to a conclusion in stark contrast to the demographic time bomb thesis. The natural increase of the Jewish population in Israel—that is, its yearly birth rate less its yearly death rate—stabilized thirty years ago and, since 2002, has even begun to grow. The natural increase of the total Arab population, comprising both Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, continues to descend toward convergence with the Jewish population, probably in the latter half of this century.

The data, moreover, point to rising levels of Arab emigration, particularly among young people. According to the survey conducted by Bir-Zeit University, 32 percent of all Palestinians and 44 percent of Palestinian youth would emigrate if they could.[48] The official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida has reported similar numbers.[49] A public opinion poll conducted by the Near East Consulting Corporation in the Gaza Strip reveals an even higher rate—47 percent of all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. [50] Translated into numbers of people, as of 2006, more than a million Arabs in the Palestinian territories wish to emigrate. As journalist Amit Cohen noted in 2007, "Close to 14,000 Palestinians, more than 1 percent of the population in the Strip, have left the Gaza Strip since the implementation of the withdrawal program,[51] largely for financial reasons.[52]

In an interview reported in the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat around the same time, Salam Fayyad, head of the Emergency Palestinian Government, commented: "How will we be able to deal with the problem of 40,000 to 50,000 Palestinians who have emigrated and many more that are not emigrating just because they do not have the means? We are losing in this respect."[53]

The misuse of demography has been one of the most prominent, yet unexamined, aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many Israelis have so thoroughly absorbed the repeated claims of a diminishing Jewish majority that they do not consider whether their conventional wisdom is false. Before an accurate demographic picture of Israel and the Palestinian territories trickles down to the consciousness of the residents of the region, it must first be understood by Israeli and Palestinian policymakers, academics, and journalists, who need accurate, factual information to do their jobs. The impact on the conflict of such a development would be substantial

Moreover, the Jewish birthrate in Judea and Samaria ( AKA the West Bank) which includes a high percentage of religious Jews is almost equal to the Palestinian birth rate in terms of births per woman.If you factor out Gaza, it amounts to a 67% Jewish majority in 98.5% of the land west of the Jordan River. And that's without factoring in the 'fudge' factor from the Palestinian Authority.

Or, as Yasir Arafat once said, "I've killed for my cause..don't you think I would lie for it?"

(hat tip, Carl)

The Torture Controversy

What are the real bedrock issues behind the release of the torture memos? What's really going on and why is it so dangerous?

Those are the questions I address in my piece,"The Torture Controversy" up at American Thinker this morning...enjoy!

The Chicken Or The Egg?

Unless you're in a coma, you've probably noticed that a great many of the violent and barbaric acts in our modern world can be attributed to followers of Islam.

In the Islamic world today, aside from homicide bombings, jihad and terrorism directed against dar harb ( the part of the world not ruled by Islam), honor killings, female genital circumcision and other forms of violence against women are commonplace, and homosexuals are routinely brutalized and murdered. Non-Muslims are treated as barely human in much of the Islamic world, if they're allowed to exist at all. Warfare carried out by Muslims is done with modern tools of the trade provided by the despised infidels, but is a relic of the good ol' primitive and tribal days. Hostages, beheadings and the deliberate killing of civilians are all fair game, and the language of jihad is essentially the same heady stuff used back in the 7th century against the infidel. And through it all, there remains the miasma of seething violent rage at things like the Danish cartoons that simply doesn't exist in other religious groups.

The question nobody wants to ask keeps floating to the surface: Is Islam to blame? Or, to put it another way, are the perpetrators simply bad Muslims or are they actually good ones who are simply more in tune with Mohammed's message than the majority? Does Islam itself promote violence? Or are the acts simply a product of primitive tribal society that persists in spite of Islam?

Actually, this is a trick question. I personally believe that Islam and the primitive tribal culture combined back in the day to sustain each other and can't be separated by their very nature...even though some valiant attempts have been made in the past, and are being made today.

Let's look at honor killings, for example. Probably the oldest recorded one is in Genesis 34, when Jacob’s daughter Dinah was seduced (or raped, depending on how you interpret the text) by a man from the town of Shechem( modern day Nablus). Afterwards, Jacob's sons Simeon and Levi instigated the killing of the town’s men in revenge. But the Torah also tells us how Jacob denounced the killings and actually took the time to bad mouth his sons for the deed from his deathbed. Not only that, but you'll notice a profound difference from the Islamic way of handling this - the onus of punishment fell on the male, not the female.

This isn't the only honor killing mentioned in the Bible, but they were never condoned or part of Jewish law, just merely reported.

Islam, on the other hand, not only sanctions honor killings but is quite clear about its position in the matter. Killing or flogging an adulteress or a female that has relations with a non-Muslim male are part of sharia ( Qu'ran: 4:15, for example) - provided an Islamic court orders the punishment rather than an individual male family member going off on his own.

Even at that, Islamic courts today in the Muslim world frequently view male family members taking the law into their own hands fairly leniently. In Jordan, for example, many brutal honor killings have been punished by as little as a three month sentence under Jordanian Public Law 340. Moreover, in the context of Islamic society such murderers are often celebrated and held up as role models. Just as homicide bombers and terrorists who kill infidel civilians often are.

But what if a Muslim feels himself disrespected and lives in say, Britain or New Jersey? If no Islamic courts are available, is it permissible to take the law into one's own hands? Probably. There's not much in the way of Islamic rulings or commentary on that particular subject, but the near silence of most Muslim clergy in the West when it comes to denouncing honor killings speaks of those little inconvenient truths Western apologists for multiculturalism and Islam constantly run up against when a number of Muslim clerics themselves insist that honor killing, female genital mutilation, and stoning of adulterers are mandated by Islam. And, as you've probably guessed by now , that's one of the unspoken reasons behind the push among many Muslims in the West for sharia courts to handle those messy domestic problems that come up with uppity females from time to time.

Violent death penalties for women caught in adultery is fairly typical of a primitive society, but only Islam continues the practice into the present day. No Christian court has ever condemned a woman to death for adultery. And although the death penalty for adultery is found in the Book of Leviticus, there is no record of such a sentence ever carried out by any Jewish court. The same is true of homosexuality; while both Christianity and Judaism consider it 'a sin and an abomination' only Islam clearly mandates the death penalty for such activities and carries it out in our present day.

So why does Islamic society persist in these practices ?

The first clue lies in the nature of the Qu'ran and Mohammed. The Jewish Bible and the New Testament, and other Christian and Jewish religious scriptures are considered divinely inspired, but clearly the works of men by the adherents to those religions...which allows the possibility of evolution when history throws a unexpected change your way. Jews, for example, no longer sacrifice goats and bullocks at the Temple altar. But to Muslims, the Qu'ran was literally dictated word for word to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel himself, and thus is considered G-d 3.0, no upgrades necessary thank you. It is therefore not subject to change or amelioration in one iota. If the Qur'an says that unbelievers are your inveterate foe (Qu'ran 4:101) then that's the end of it.

To nail it down even further, the Muslim doctrine of Abrogation means that the later, more violent and dogmatic pronouncements of Islam that date from Mohammed's time in Medina take precedence over the earlier more peaceful and tolerant ones that date from his time in Mecca, before the Hegira.

Likewise with Mohammed, the Muslim paradigm, the perfect man, the man all Muslims are enjoined to emulate. If Mohammed said it was fine and dandy to beat disobedient women, if he violated treaties with unbelievers when it was convenient, if he massacred prisoners, if he told his followers to fight the unbelievers until they either killed them, converted them to Islam or subdued them and made them pay tribute to Dar Islam, there are many Muslims who think that's what Muslims should strive for and it's not subject to argument. While Christians likewise claim to seek to emulate Christ in their earthly doings, his activities while on earth were..well, somewhat different from Mohammed's.

A second clue to our answer lies in the basic nature of Judaism, Christianity and Islam themselves.

The Jews from the very beginning ordered their lives, laws, traditions and religious practices to be the very opposite from that of the pagan traditional societies that surrounded them. They rejected human sacrifice, the mystery cults, ritual temple prostitution and other similar rites common in the region to traditional primitive societies. This got them a reputation for being uppity and clannish that persists to this day, but it marked the beginnings of ethical monotheism. The Mosaic laws the Jews adopted laid out the basic principles of justice and human rights and forbade gratuitous cruelty even to animals let alone humans. Even in their daily prayers Jews reflect the idea that G-d, by selecting Israel, differentiated it from the pagan tribal world.

Christianity, which derived from Judaisim and the Jewish world view as it collided head on with Hellenism rejected pagan traditional society even more than Judaism did, if possible. To become a Christian was to reject tribalism and its pagan practices and to be spiritually reborn into a universa, non-tribal community of believers.

Islam like Christianity seeks to incorporate all of humanity into a new religious community, true enough...but there's a major difference.To Christians, that incorporation is spiritual, and results in an inner transformation. Islam's transformation is political as much as spiritual, and it is based on obedience that controls all levels of society rather than just the spiritual aspects.

Another similarity that Judaism and Christianity share that Islam does not is a long standing tradition of evolution and the ability to modify long standing practices to fit the times and circumstances of history. For example, when the Jews were first taken into captivity by the Babylonians, the catastrophe sparked an examination of their religion and its philosophy that culminated in the Babylonian Talmud.

Islam's traditions are quite different. Aside from the fact that the Qu'ran and the Hadiths are considered unalterable, Islam was spread primarily by conquest, so the religion absorbed the traditional tribal world rather than supplanting it, and only mandated surface changes rather than the wholesale changes in world view demanded by Judaism and Christianity.

Here's an example of what I mean by 'absorbed'. Islam's holiest site, the Ka'aba in Mecca is the virtually same tribal shrine Mohammed's Quraysh relatives kept up as a tourist attraction and moneymaker when Mohammed was still herding camels, where people would come and leave offerings to Lah, the Arab moon god. And it still contains the same meteorite inside it from the old tribal days for pilgrims to worship, the Sacred Black Stone(called الحجر الأسود al-Hajar-ul-Aswad in Arabic). After Mohammed conquered Mecca, the Ka'aba didn't change much, except maybe for a sign on the door that said "Under New Management."

Because Islam insists on obedience and simply lacks a well established mechanism of evolving its own belief system, it's unable to rid itself of the baggage of traditional primitive society because it never sought to separate itself from it in the first place. And it's now stuck with it because of the religion's deep avoidance of change.

That's the basic source of the deep failures and lack of progress on any major level in Islamic societies. After conquering and absorbing the civilizations of the Egyptians, Persians and Chaldeans, Islam reverted back to its stifling status quo.

It's also an explanation for the murderous rage from much of the Islamic world that greets even the slightest challenge to Islam's belief system. As more Muslims experience the West and its relative freedom, particularly for women, many Muslims sense that Islam and its traditions are endangered. And lacking a way to be able of being able to evolve their belief system to accept that, they react violently.

When a house is on a shaky foundation, even a slight breeze like a few cartoons can cause a major dislocation.

Is there an answer to this dilemma? Some Muslims think so and are courageously acting on it, but thus far they are paddling against the current of a river of wahabist, Khomenist and Salafist propaganda fueled by billions of petro dollars and the West's own failure to protect and promote its cultural traditions.

Ultimately, the answer to whether Islam can learn to play nicely with others and move from the 7th century to the 21st is going to be up to Muslims themselves. The jury's still out on that one.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Britain Betrays Its Gurkha soldiers - And Itself

What kind of country invites thousands of its avowed enemies to come and settle at the public expense while tossing its heroes out of the country? Welcome to the UK.

The Gurkhas are some of Britain's most valiant fighters. Hill tribesmen from Nepal and the Himalayas, they've been an elite and feared British force to be reckoned with from the deserts of the Middle East to the Falklands. And now they've been betrayed by the country they were willing to die for:

Thousands of Gurkhas were yesterday shut out of the UK in what was described as 'shameful betrayal' by the Government.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas claimed changes in the rules would allow 4,300 more former Gurkhas to settle here out of the 36,000 who served in the British Army before July 1997.

But lawyers battling for the Gurkhas said they believed only around 100 would benefit.

Hundreds of former rank-and-file soldiers will face deportation while thousands more will be barred from entering the country.

Under the new rules, former Gurkhas must prove they have either served more than 20 years or have won one of the top four medals for gallantry: the Victoria Cross; the Distinguished Service Order; the Distinguished Conduct Medal; or the Military Cross.

They can also claim residency if they can prove they have lived in Britain legally for a minimum of three years, have close family ties or have a chronic medical condition which was caused or aggravated by their Army service. {..}

The Home Office was ordered to review its immigration policy on Gurkhas last year by a High Court judge who ruled that its old guidelines were unfair and unlawful after a long and bitter battle.

Under the previous rules, Gurkhas who retired before 1997 had to prove they had 'strong ties' to Britain and thousands were rejected, including Victoria Cross holders.

For starters, moat of the rank and file soldiers were only ever allowed to serve a maximum of fifteen years - only officers were allowed to serve twenty. Many of the others are living in poverty in Nepal or places like Hong Kong and simply won't be allowed in...this at a time when Britain is letting in thousands of Muslims who live on the dole, want to impose sharia and are working to make the UK part of dar Islam.

The picture above shows Victoria Cross winners Honorary Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun (bottom left) and Honorary Sergeant Lachiman Gurung (bottom right), along with actress Joanna Lumley( Patsy from AbFab) outside the Houses of Parliament in London. She's there because her father served with the Gurkhas, she has a sense of honor and gratitude and she's not about to let her father's war comrades down.

Oddly enough, Shakespeare, an Englishman had the best take on it, in Henry V - "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother; be ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed, Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhood's cheap whiles any speaks, That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."

We still honor that fine sentiment in America.Here in the US, over 260,000 foreign nationals have earned their citizenship serving in our military since 1996, and they get the same pay, benefits and pensions any other veteran gets.No American government would dare single them out for discrimination, because the rest of us wouldn't stand for it.

But Britain's government has turned its back on its heros , to its disgrace. When a nation loses its honor to that degree, there's not much left to say.

Ahmadinejad's Last Twitter...

Cheerfully borrowed from Sigmund,Carl and Alfed (click to enlarge)

Taliban Blocks Pakistani Army Supply Convoy, Holds Its Ground

The Taliban may have partially pulled out of Buner,but they show no signs of giving up any further ground. Today, a convoy with supplies for the Pakistani army was blocked and turned around by armed Taliban at a roadblock on the main highway linking Swat with Peshawar at Qambar area close to Mingora city to stop the convoy coming from Barikot.

“Yes, we have stopped the convoy from entering Mingora as it was a violation of the deal with us,” Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan told Daily Times.

“A convoy of eight army trucks transporting supplies to the soldiers in Swat was not allowed to reach its destination,” officials said. “A major collision between the Taliban and the security forces was averted after the provincial government’s intervention, urging the military to call back the convoy.”

The army pulled out even though the convoy was reportedly accompanied by helicopter gunships.

The back story behind the Taliban pull out from Buner itself is interesting. According to a number of sources, the Pakistani government only worked out an agreement with the Taliban after US threats to invade Pakistani territory if the government was unwilling to confront the Taliban:

A senior Pakistani official said the Obama administration intervened after Taliban forces expanded from Swat into the adjacent district of Buner, 60 miles from the capital.

The Pakistani Taliban’s inroads raised international concern, particularly in Washington, where officials feared that the nuclear-armed country, which is pivotal to the US war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and against Al-Qaeda, was rapidly succumbing to Islamist extremists.

“The implicit threat - if you don’t do it, we may have to - was always there,” said the Pakistani official. He said that under American pressure, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency told the Taliban to withdraw from Buner on Friday.

Notice if you will the way this unnamed source delicately put the matter - the ISI told the Taliban to withdraw...which implies that the lines of communication are open between elements of the Pakistani government and the Taliban, and not necessarily in an unfriendly way.

The Taliban pull out from Buner itself was not exactly a total one. They left behind a skeleton force to see that sharia law was implemented in the district as per their agreement with the Pakistani government, and to recruit and train new followers.

The government reportedly has launched an offensive to try and clear those troops out of the area..but they're staying strictly away from the Taliban controlled areas in Swat and as the blocking of the military convoy shows, the offensive is not exactly whole hearted and is still confined to paramilitary Frontier Constabulary forces rather than the army.

As I feared, it looks like the Obama administration is mulling over sending US forces to confront the Taliban on its home ground in Swat.

This would be a huge error in my view, a major expenditure of blood and treasure to no purpose. There's no doubt that we would 'defeat' the Taliban, but we'd be left to deal with an ongoing insurgency as they melted into the back country, an occupation and another exercise in nation building that would tie us up for years in an ungovernable basket case of a country where they really, really hate America as it is.

Far better to destroy Pakistan's nukes in a protracted strike and to pull out, I think.And perhaps to kidnap a few key scientists like AQ Kahn and get them in US custody while we're at it. I doubt Obama is anything like that sensible, unfortunately.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Watcher's Council Results, 4/24/09

The Council has spoken! A complete rundown of the voting tallies is here.

The winning entry in the Council category this week was The Real Holocaust Denial by yours truly, my reaction to Iran's President Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitic speech at the UN Human Rights conference..and to the behavior of his enablers, and where it leads. Many thanks to my fellow council members for honoring me.

In second place we had a tie between Soccer Dad for Preoccupied with occupation , an excellent exposition on this fallacy of Middle East policy and Council returnee Wolf Howling for Throwing Green Fuel On An Economic Fire a fine piece on the recent Obama Administration's EPA rulings on greenhouse gases and its consequences.

Also getting votes were The Razor with Obama Administration Sucking Moonbats Out of Private Sector , Bookworm Room for Honing our arguments and Right Truth with Witch Hunts (and you are the witch) .

In the Non-Council category, the winner was my nominee, Doug Ross@Journal - Let Them Eat Dirt , a superb essay on how the Global warming scam directly benefitted the people pushing it financially.

In second place, we had a piece from our old friend Elder of Ziyon with More of those “civilians” killed in Gaza (UPDATED - an examination of the reality of the so-called 'massacre' in Gaza.

I'd like to give an honorable mention to Obama Administration Stacking the Deck with Islamists , a piece by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a name that's familiar to the members of Joshua's Army. It's a must-read.

As always, congratulations not only to the winners but to the participants.

Honoring The ANZACS On Their Day

Today is ANZAC day, when our brave allies in Oz and New Zealand honor their superb Kiwis and Diggers, the fighting men who have been at our side through the best and worst of times.

Here's a salute to true friendship that never dies..may we be allies and friends forever.

Taliban Begins PullBack In Pakistan In Exchange For Imposed Sharia.

Taliban forces agreed to begin a pullback today to their Swat and Northwest Frontier strongholds from the areas they invaded during the past week on the outskirts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Under the deal, officials agreed to allow strict Islamic law to be imposed in Swat and six surrounding districts, including Buner, in exchange for the Taliban fighters laying down their weapons.

Regional officials announced shortly after noon that the militant forces would leave the Buner district by night, and television news channels showed dozens of masked, heavily armed Taliban fighters driving out of Buner's main town in trucks and vans.

Buner is a district just outside of the capitol of Islamabad and one of the areas the Taliban had invaded, and I assume that part or all of Mansehra and Haripur are included as well. So the deal is sharia (and de facto Taliban control and access) in exchange for pulling back the fighters. That's pretty much how the Taliban took over Swat and the NWFP areas in Waziristan.

The army made some serious sounding noises about attacking the Taliban if they refused to pull back, but I personally don't think they had the stomach to fight an Islamist group that a decent portion of the high command sympathize with just to preserve the Zardari government.Nor are they equipped tactically to fight a non-conventional war in the regions in question.

In the mean time, the Taliban has gained an important victory and extended its reach and influence at very little cost. This is definitely not going to end here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pakistan Update: Taliban At The Outskirts of Islamabad And Rawalpindi

According to my sources there on the ground, th eTaliban and their allies have quickly consolidated their hold on Buner, having easily beaten back a government force of 250 Frontier Constabulary officers sent to push them out of the district.

From what I'm hearing, the Taliban has taken advantage of the retreat to move into
Mansehra and Haripur. These two regions are literally the outskirts of Islamabad, the Pakistani capitol and Rawalpindi, the main garrison city and military home of the Pakistani Army.

One thing I'm noticing is that the Pakistani government is using the Frontier Constabulary and The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary force under the command of Pakistan's Interior Ministry,rather than the regular army, which so far has been sitting on the sideines while the Taliban has been destroying troops that were basically designed as a kind of border patrol.

This is not normal behavior for an army watching an invasion creep towards its capitol. Either they are too demoralized to fight after the losses they suffered in Swat, they simply have no interest in preserving the Zardari government or they are simply victims of inertia, rather like the Iranian military in the days when the Ayatolah Khomeni was taking over.

I think it's likely a combination of all three factors, and I don't see the Pakistani Army stopping the Taliban,m who would never have comitted to an offensive if they weren't sure they had a good chance to win.

I only hope Obama isn't stupid enough to send US troops in...we'd be far better off just doing a military strike on Pakistan's nukes and military facilities and getting out, I think.

The Difference Between the Left and the Right -In Real Life

President Obama was really big at promising hope n' change and providing the media with soundbites and photo-ops to show how much he cared. How did that work out in real life?

Blogpal Debbie Hamilton over at Right Truth has the answer....and you won't see it in the dinosaur media.

Pakistan Continues To Implode

Pakistan's deal with the Islamist devil is about to come apart, and so is the country. And that's bad news for the current occupant of the White House.

The Zardari government had already ceded a huge chunk of the country to control by the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and al-Queda after failing to oust them militarily in what was supposed to be a live and let live peace treaty. Instead, the Taliban and their assorted allies consolidated their gains and their forces and took over the Buner district a mere 70 miles from Islamabad, the capitol. And much closer to Pakistan's nukes.

As this map shows,, the majority of Pakistan's nuclear facilities are located either in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)and Waziristan near the Afghan border which Pakistan has already essentially ceded to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda or in the Punjab near Islamabad...which is right next door to the Buner district.

The Taliban and their allies began moving fighters into Buner since the Swat peace deal was signed back in February., finally seizing the whole area, with a coordinated assault with fighters moving down from Swat to the northwest. Whatever Pakistani government forces were in the area either fled or were killed.

Once they moved in, the Taliban forces occupied and looted government facilities and the offices of various international agencies operating in Buner.

Analysts said the fall of Buner to the Taliban came as a serious blow to the government's efforts to contain Islamic militancy, which poses a major threat to Pakistan's security. The people of the area had previously beaten back Taliban raids, but lack of support from the security forces broke their resistance.

The development came after Sufi Mohammed, a radical cleric who played a central role in signing the peace accord called his followers to continue their struggle for the enforcement of Islamic rule in the entire North West Frontier Province.

Addressing a large crowd in Mingora, the main town in Swat on Sunday, Mr. Mohammed declared that there was no room for democracy in Islam. "The Western democracy is infidels and should be rejected by Muslims," he said

This development did not go unnoticed back in DC:

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Taliban advances pose "an existential threat" to Pakistan and urged Pakistanis world-wide to oppose a government policy yielding to them.

Pakistanis "need to speak out forcefully against a policy that is ceding more and more territory to the insurgents," Mrs. Clinton said in testimony before a House committee. She pointed to "the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by the continuing [Taliban] advances, now within hours of Islamabad."

Part of the problem, of course, is that a large number of Pakistanis don't feel the need in the least to speak out...and a great many of them are just fine with Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Taliban and al-Qaeda, whom they see as doing Allah's work.And their number is not just limited to a bunch of Pashtun hillbillies. Without support from elements in Pakistan's military and its CIA, the notorious ISI, it's doubtful the Taliban and the other Islamist elements would be anywhere near as successful as they've been.

Pakistan has always been a basket case of a country, cobbled together from diverse elements back in 1949 without much in common except the fact that they happened to be Muslims.Virtually the only really functioning entity in the country is the army, and the rulership has alternated between the military and third world style kleptocrats like the Bhuttos ever since.

Under the last military ruler, Pervez Musharraf the US had at least a quasi-ally who kept Pakistan's nukes under control, kept the Taliban and al-Qaeda more or less contained. and kept the supply lines to Afghanistan through the port of Karachi and the Torkham Pass open for us for a reasonable fee of about $1.5 billion a year.

That situation changed last year, courtesy of the US State Department. Musharraf had been hanging on by his fingernails for quite some time, but then Condi Rice and the US State Department pressured him to allow Benazhir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif back into Pakistan to 'strengthen democracy' and gave Musharraf a shove off the ledge. In the elections that were forced on him after Benazhir Bhutto was assassinated, Musharraf was ousted and Bhutto's husband Asif Ali Zardari took over at th ehead of Bhutto's PPP Party. And yes, if this rings a bell, it's pretty much the way the Carter Administration pressured the Shah of Iran into allowing Khomeni back into the country,with the results I'm sure we're all familiar with.

Unfortunately, once Zardari came into power, the situation began to deteriorate as the Islamist elements like the Taliban and Nawaz Sharif's party became more powerful and Zardari was caught between the klepto-left elements of his party and the Islamist forces.It's just taking longer than Khomeni did because Pakistan is by its very nature less of a unified country than Iran.

At this point, it's difficult to see how to salvage the situation. The Pakistani army is not capable of ousting the Taliban and their allies no matter how much aid they get, because there are some problems you simply can't fix by throwing money at how to defeat a dedicated group of ideologically driven fighters with a group of less than motivated ones.

Again, this is not a new story - there was a long period after the Shah left when the Carter State department was counting on a military coup by the Shah's army to solve the Iran problem for us once it became apparent, and it never even came close to happening.

If the Taliban takes over or even if they're in a position to interdict the NATO supply lines into Afghanistan, our little adventure there may be over.Not to mention yet another failed state, this time with nukes and ICBMs. Not good.

If I were Obama, I'd have contingency plans for both an emergency pullout from Afghanistan as necessary and a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan's nuclear and military facilities...when and if.

Stay tuned...

Joseph's Tomb Vandalized By Palestinians

Israeli visitors to the tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph ( Yosef in Hebrew) in Nablus yesterday found that it had been badly vandalized by Palestinians with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti:

"We saw a drawing of a Star of David with a boot stamping on it on one wall," said David Ha'ivri, a spokesman for Samaria Regional Council chairman Gershon Masika, who was one of the visitors.

"Putting your foot on something is the ultimate insult in the Arab world," added Ha'ivri. "It is sad that is the way they treat a holy site. But nobody was particularly surprised."

Ha'ivri said that in the past year, since Masika was elected head of the regional council, there had been regular monthly visits to the tomb coinciding with the new Jewish month.

"Every time, we bring white paint to cover up the graffiti," said Ha'ivri.

The tomb - which, according to the Oslo Accords, is under Israeli control - is surrounded by territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

This sort of treatment of Jewish religious sites by the Palestinians is hardly unique.

Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy at the Orthodox Union, issued a statement decrying the vandalism and calling on "all people of good will to join us in condemning such acts of desecration of holy sites."

"We also call upon all people of good will, especially those in positions of responsibility in the American, Israeli and other governments who, in their sincere desire to pursue a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, consider plans which would have Israel relinquish sovereignty over other Jewish holy sites - most notably in Jerusalem - to view this as not the first, but another warning that this is what happens when such holy sites are not secured by Israel," the statement said.

That, of course, is exactly the point, whether we're talking about the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Jospeh's Tomb, or the illegal destruction of Jewish artifacts in illegal excavations by the Muslim wakf on the Temple Mount. Many Muslims, who demand inordinate respect for their own religion and traditions seem to have no respect or tolerance of anyone else's....which is why Israel will never give up a unified Jerusalem under Israel's control.

Telling Time In Italy...

Proof things are always more simple than they seem...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Ebbing Tide; Pope Benedict Dons A Kefiyah

Pope Benedict gave an audience to a group of Catholics in Rome today, including a few Palestinians...and accepted and wore a keffiyah, a symbol of Palestinian 'resistance' from two of them.

Pope Benedict chatted briefly with them while wearing the scarf, which an aide later removed.

I would like to be charitable towards Pope Benedict, whom I genuinely admire as one of the premier intellects in the West and say that he was merely acting with good will towards two members of his faith and was unaware of the symbolism involved.But my knowledge of how brilliant Benedict actually is precludes that.
As Pam from Atlas ( hat tip to JA member Louie Louie) points out, the keffiyah has become more than a simple Arab scarf, but a sign of Islamic jihad against the Jews of Israel.The Pope had to have known that:

The keffiyeh was Yaser Arafat's swastika and became a powerful symbol of jihad. In the ensuing years, the keffiyeh as an icon of anti-Americanism, anti-semitism and anti-westernism took on a life of its own. The death-to-the-Jews marches across the globe during the Israeli defensive earlier this year were awash in keffiyehs from London to Paris, to New York, to Fort Lauderdale, to Bahrain, to Thailand .....well, you get the picture.

The fact is that accepting the keffiyeh is political correctness gone wild. Moral inversion, the inability to distinguish between right and wrong and between good and evil is the sickness in our society.{..}

The swastika had been around long before the Nazis - archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. Would Americans have worn a Nazi armband during World War II (or even now)?

Bottom line, just because the Pope pretends not to recognize the uniform does not mean it is not a uniform. The keffiyeh was the signature of Yaser Arafat and is the signature of Hamas and Hezbollah and the homicide bomber. Pretending it's just a scarf is like pretending the klan's white robe is a toga. Symbols mean something. Attempting to mainstream it, in effect softening its barbaric message, is an affront to every victim of Islamic jihad and the war we are engaged in.

Whether he fully realizes it or not, Pope Benedict just did the equivalent of donning a swastika armband.

And to make the irony even more murderous, it was presented to him by the remnants of the Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem who are being deliberately being driven out of the Holy Land not by the Jews, but by the disciples of Arafat, the man who turned the keffiyah into an emblem of the war against the Jews.

Am I making too much of this? I don't think so.It's part of an ongoing pattern.

Pope Benedict started out from a very different place. I remember him walking alone in the rain as a penitent to Auschwitz, reliving G-d knows what hellish memories from his own past.

When he spoke there,he linked the fate of the Jewish people to the fate of Christianity and the West, acknowledged a common threat from radical Islam and served notice that the battle for Europe's soul had begun. And he followed that up shortly afterwards with a speech at the University of Regensburg that directly challenged radical Islam and spoke out forcefully against jihad and `fanaticism in religion'.

As you remember, that led to an orgy of violence and threats in the Islamic world.. the firebombing of churches, threats to church property like the the church of the Holy Sepulcher still in lands under Muslim control, death threats towards the Pope himself and the actual murder of several priests and nuns.

It changed him. And he chose to cave in to the pressure, humiliate himself and apologize, hoping to fend off a confrontation and a dialog the West and Islam needed badly, whatever the end result.

After that, he repeated that exercise in shame in Turkey actually going so far as to enter a mosque there in the company of its Islamist leader Tayip Erdogan and bow and pray towards Mecca .

It has all gone downhill since then.

During his time as Pope, there has been the movement to beatify Pope Pius XII , the head of the Church during the Holocaust and later make him a saint. There have been the Church's issues with Israel, such as the ridiculous statements from Papal officials likening Gaza to a concentration camp and the constant shilling for the Palestinians in an effort to preserve Church property even as Arab Christians are driven by the Muslims from the Holy Land. There was the abrupt closure of the Vatican's Holocaust archives and the refusal to cooperate with both Catholic and Jewish scholars researching the Church's actions during the Holocaust, the re instituting of the old Pre-Vatican II Latin mass calling for the conversion of the Jews and finally the clumsy attempt at rehabilitation and restoral to the Church's bosom of a bunch of unrepentant Jew haters and Holocaust deniers.

When Iran's Ahmadinejad made his foul speech at the UN earlier this week, virtually the only European delegation not to walk out was the one from the Vatican.

The Pope appears to have made a conscious decision some time ago to reject the truths he spoke at Auschwitz and Regensburg and to avoid a moral battle he knows is inevitable for political expediency...rather like Pius XII in the 1930's.Having seen a glimpse of the possible cost of the fight he was originally willing to take on, he became afraid and chose appeasement.

Even worse, a man of his intellect and essential decency understands only to well the choice he's made and its consequences. I can't help but pity him.


Qoute O' The Day.....

"It is absurd to impose on an individual or a society rights that are alien to its beliefs or principles."

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, when asked why Saudi Arabia prohibits the practice of religions other than Islam.

In view of the millions the Saudis spend in the West to promote wahabist Islam, I'll leave the implicit irony of this to your imagination.