5 years ago
His message was directed far beyond the boundaries of Iran, to all members of the Shia faith. It was a powerful and politically important message: Suicide terrorism is antithetical to the teachings of Islam, and those who practice it, and kill women, children, and babies, are doomed to eternity in hell. The struggle between the Palestinian people and Israel must be resolved by other means, above all by negotiations. A tumult broke out when the import of the statement became clear, but the parliamentary president permitted the deputy to read the fatwa in its entirety. The proceedings were broadcast live throughout Iran. Therefore, although no Iranian publication and, to my knowledge, no foreign-news service reported the event, the Iranian people were able to hear it in real time. This is an event of enormous importance, for it is the first time that a leading Iranian cleric has condemned suicide terrorism, and it is an explicit attack on the Iranian regime, which has praised the terrorists and called upon Iranians to volunteer for suicide missions. It is even more significant against the background of the latest efforts of the Iranian people, who are trying desperately to free themselves from the mullahs and ayatollahs.Leeden has been arguing for months that Iran is ripe for revolution, pro-American revolution this time, and asking why our Government isn't out in front urging it on, instead of trying to cut a deal with a despotic, American-murdering, terrorist-sponsoring regime. Read the rest.
As the American founders understood, a government that oppresses its people and extends violence to other nations lacks the consent of the governed and therefore the insulation of sovereignty, a point Sen. Jesse Helms made to the United Nations in a thunderclap of a speech a few years ago. It is morally justifiable and sometimes imperative for sovereign nations to stand up to rogue states, and in some cases even dismantle them and liberate their people. That is not equivalent to rogues attacking anyone.Miniter's argument traces back to the Framers' argument for war against their own sovereign: all men are created equal, but all states are not equal to the task of governing freemen. Soveignty derives from the consent of the governed; having withdrawn their consent, the people as of right may overthrow their sovereign and constitute a new one. As Miniter argues, this principal logically and morally also applies to relations between states: if the governed may reject their sovereign because he is a tyrant, so may other truly sovereign states. This does not yet appear to be a principal of international law, though the war against Serbia was one step toward making it law. War against Iraq will be the next step.
A Palestinian military court convicted four men on Thursday of killing Zeevi in October. An Israeli government spokesman said Fuad Shubaki, suspected of smuggling arms for the Palestinian Authority, would also be jailed under U.S. and British guard as part of the Bush deal. The identity of the sixth man was not immediately clear. [emphasis added]My point? Note that in the Reuters style manual, the word terrorist is always written in quotation marks, "terrorist." Yet the Palestinian kangaroo "court" that Yasser Arafat hurriedly convened in his basement to "try" the accused killers of Israeli Tourism Minister Zeevi -- as an obvious ploy to reject Israeli demands for their surrender -- is a "Palestinian military court" -- sans quotation marks, of course. Kinda odd, huh?
Three people have been chosen by the United Nations to judge Israel's actions in Jenin. Two are sons of Europe, and one of those is Cornelio Sommaruga. As former head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Sommaruga spent 12 years ensuring that the only nation on earth to be refused admission to the International Red Cross is Israel. The problem, he said, was its symbol: "If we're going to have the Shield of David, why would we not have to accept the swastika?"-- another excerpt from that Krauthammer essay I missed.
In Europe, it is not very safe to be a Jew. How could this be? The explanation is not that difficult to find. What we are seeing is pent-up anti-Semitism, the release -- with Israel as the trigger -- of a millennium-old urge that powerfully infected and shaped European history. What is odd is not the anti-Semitism of today but its relative absence during the past half-century. That was the historical anomaly. Holocaust shame kept the demon corked for that half-century. But now the atonement is passed. The genie is out again. This time, however, it is more sophisticated. It is not a blanket hatred of Jews. Jews can be tolerated, even accepted, but they must know their place. Jews are fine so long as they are powerless, passive and picturesque. What is intolerable is Jewish assertiveness, the Jewish refusal to accept victimhood. And nothing so embodies that as the Jewish state.Read the rest.
China delivered a new shipment of missiles to bases near Taiwan last week as part of a mounting buildup under way since the beginning of the year... "It is a concern," one official familiar with intelligence reports tells Bill Gertz of the Washington Times. Exclusive set for Monday editions... Developing...We've fought so many little wars that stayed that way -- Grenada, Panama, the Gulf, Yugoslavia -- that it's easy to forget that really big wars, even world wars, start out small. UPDATE: Here's the Washington Times story.
"in what may be the first appearance of a Muppet before a congressional committee, 'Sesame Street' favorite Elmo donned his best suit and tie and took his cause to Capitol Hill." The puppet "gave evidence before the Education Appropriations Subcommittee to urge more spending on music research and musical instruments for school programs." Fine by us--provided they can find a way to tax "Sesame Street" merchandise to pay for it.
Europe's ruling class has effortlessly refined Voltaire: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death my right not to have to listen to you say it. You might disapprove of what Le Pen says on immigration, but to declare that the subject cannot even be raised is profoundly unhealthy for a democracy. The problem with the old one-party states of Africa and Latin America was that they criminalized dissent: You could no longer criticize the President, you could only kill him. In the two-party one-party states of Europe, a similar process is under way: If the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable politicians -- as they're doing in France, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere. Le Pen is not an aberration but the logical consequence.You could summarize his argument thus: if the mainstream politicians won't make the trains run on time, the people will eventually elect the fringe candidate who will. Kind of makes you appreciate America's "crude" and "unsophisticated" politics, huh?
In 1999, if you had an LSAT score of 160 and an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.25 -- these are the two measures that law schools typically weigh most heavily in making admissions decisions -- you had a 95 percent chance of getting into U.Va if you were black, but only a 3 percent chance of getting in if you were white.To put this in a personal context, I could've gotten into U.Va if I'd had black skin when I applied. So would my friends in law school. Of course, if I could go back and do it all over again, I would make the same decision even if U.Va. was been an option. But it's galling to know that I was judged against a different standard because I have less melanin than other applicants. That's what racial discrimination boils down to: treating people differently based on the amount of pigment in their skin. Decent people know that's wrong and foolish, and a law school definitely knows it's illegal. Yeah, somebody oughta get sued. Class action, anyone?
Terje Roed-Larsen, the United Nations' Middle East envoy, stood on a pile of rubble and surveyed a landscape of wretchedness and destruction. Just a few feet away, two middle-aged brothers used plastic buckets to excavate the ruins of their former home, unearthing a partial human torso. It was all that remained of their elderly father. "What we are seeing here is horrifying – horrifying scenes of human suffering," said Larsen, who helped shepherd Palestinians and Israelis toward the 1993 Oslo peace accords. "Israel has lost all moral ground in this conflict." ... Larsen, who witnessed the scene, said he was shocked by what he had observed this morning, including the charred body of a 12-year-old boy. "They are not only fighters," he said. "We've seen kids. There was a 60-year-old woman who was found. . . . What is really shocking beyond belief is that the Israelis have not conducted a search and rescue operation in 11 days."No one knows how many civilians American bombs killed in Afghanistan, just as no one knows how many civilians died in Jenin. But while U.N. bureaucrats have refrained from declaring that "America has lost all moral ground" in our war, U.N. imbeciles like Larsen freely declare that "Israel has lost all moral ground in this conflict." Ignore this obscene logic, that a state fighting an enemy who intentionally maims and kills civilians can lose all moral ground because, in the course of fighting an intentional killer of civilians it unintentionally kills civilians. Instead, consider the discrepancy between Israel's treatment by the U.N. and ours. What explains the difference? Power. America has it, Israel doesn't. Without American participation, the U.N. would be just another irrelevant platform for anti-Americanism, anti-semitism, and anti-capitalism, which is to say, a platform for promoting despotism, racism, and poverty. Of course, even with American participation, the U.N. is such a platform, but that's not all it is, because occasionally the United States can turn it to good ends, or at least make it shut up and get out of the way. The former happened in Iraq, the latter in Afghanistan. But Israel doesn't have our power. It can't influence the U.N. or make it shut up. Which is why the U.N. spews anti-Israeli proganda, passes a resolution condoning Palestinian terrorism, and otherwise tries to thwart Israel's anti-terrorist campaign. And it will continue to do so as long as the equation of power runs against Israel, i.e. as long as it reasonably expects the Arab Goliath to exterminate the Israeli David. The only thing that changes this equation is American power. If we make Israel's war our own, ensuring its survival and threatening Arab despotisms with extinction, the U.N. will reasonably, if amorally, side with the winner. That fact won't diminish our cause, but it will diminish the U.N.
I find it shameful that many Italians and many Europeans have chosen as their standard-bearer the gentleman (or so it is polite to say) Arafat. This nonentity who thanks to the money of the Saudi Royal Family plays the Mussolini ad perpetuum and in his megalomania believes he will pass into History as the George Washington of Palestine. This ungrammatical wretch who when I interviewed him was unable even to put together a complete sentence, to make articulate conversation. So that to put it all together, write it, publish it, cost me a tremendous effort and I concluded that compared to him even Ghaddafi sounds like Leonardo da Vinci. This false warrior who always goes around in uniform like Pinochet, never putting on civilian garb, and yet despite this has never participated in a battle. War is something he sends, has always sent, others to do for him.Read the rest.
On Friday, Annan exhibited a new willingness to use the prestige of his office to press Israel to accept the Palestinians' long-standing demand for an international peacekeeping force. He said theinternational community "must now assemble the will" to send armed peacekeepers to the Middle East to guarantee a cease-fire and help restart the peace process. "He's hoping that the council will keep in mind the experience of Bosnia, where the carnage was allowed to carry on for years before a meaningful international fighting force was put in place," spokesman Fred Eckhard said. ... Soderberg, who now heads the New York office of the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit think tank, said Annan has had no choice but to promote initiatives because of the Bush administration's reluctance to offer new ideas. She said his tough demands for Israeli restraint may be driven in part by lingering memories of U.N. inaction in Rwanda and Bosnia. [emphasis added]Consider the phrases emphasized above and what they mean. First, the Secretary General apparently believes Israeli military retaliation against the Palestinian Authority for harboring, aiding, and sponsoring terrorists attacks against Israeli civilians is equivalent not just to Palestinian terrorism -- everybody thinks that, well, at least reasonable, non-simplistic people, right? -- but to the Serbian and Hutu programs of genocide in Bosnia and Rawanda. (This could cut one of two ways: (a) Annan thinks genocide is no bigger deal than an ordinary, run-of-the-mill war, or (b) he thinks an ordinary, run-of-the-mill war is as big a deal as genocide. Either way, his capacity for moral reasoning is suspect.) Second, the Secretary General apparently believes that the democratically governed state of Israel is morally equivalent to the despotism formerly known as Yugoslavia -- a rogue state that must be threatened or subdued by a "meaningful international fighting force," the way NATO finally subdued the Milosevic regime. So, as far as Kofi Annan is concerned, a conventional military campaign equals a campaign of genocide, and the key to peace in the Middle East is an international army with the ability to crush not Palestinian terrorists but the Israeli army. Does this bother anyone else?
When a sniper round tore through the window and hit her son-in-law in a room above her, she and other family members sobbed helplessly as he bled and pleaded, "Rescue me, rescue me." Fifteen minutes later, she recounted, new barrages from the U.S.-supplied gunships entombed him alive in the rubble. Soon she could no longer hear his cries.There isn't a legitimate reason for applying the adjective "U.S.-supplied" in this circumstance. Sure, it's true, but it'd also be true to say the "sniper round" was "Israeli--manufactured," that the "window" came from Abdullah's Hardware Store, and that the rubble was "Palestinian-made concrete." The point of the article is that the fighting in Jenin was brutal and destructive. The only purpose served by noting that one of the main Israeli weapons used in the battle was "U.S.-supplied" is to imply that the U.S. is culpable in the Palestinian suffering caused by the battle. That's stupid, of course, since the Israelis would still be attacking the Palestinians even if they only had "Israeli-supplied" weapons. But if reporters must make stupid arguments, can't they be even-handed and note when "Iranian-" or "Syrian-" supplied weapons and explosives purchased with "Saudi-supplied dollars" kill Israelis? Does this annoy anyone else?
Powell Mission Endorsed EU, United Nations call for Israeli withdrawal, renunciation of terrorism.Nice to know big papers like the Post have such careful editors.
U.S.-supplied AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships have pounded the refugee camp with missiles and troops have waged house-to-house searches.How come no one ever writes, "A Palestinian suicide bomber blew up 10 civilians today with Iranian-supplied plastic explosives purchased with Saudi-supplied dollars"?
Germany, in Protest, Suspends Arms Sales to Israel Decision May Foreshadow European Trade Sanctions as Criticism of West Bank Incursions MountsThe only difference is that this time around they're using Palestinian proxies. Maybe they're not doing it because they hate Jews. Maybe they're just too cowardly to do anything but appease Arab terrorists. Or maybe after giving the world the Gestapo and Stasi, the Germans are too morally neutered as a civilization to tell the difference between right and wrong. I don't really care why the Germans, along with continental Europe, have sided with the latest would-be exterminators of the Jews. I just want them to fail, and suffer for their cowardice. Until this war began, I always wondered why America paid so much attention to the Holocaust. Please don't misunderstand me. Of course I understood that the Holocaust was a horrible and unprecedented evil, the defining enormity of our era. But it was an evil we helped stop, and an evil we didn't commit. Sure, it made sense for the Germans -- and their French and Italian collaborators -- to build museums, fund educational programs, and otherwise culturally self-flagellate, the way Americans do about slavery, because they did it. But it honestly didn't make sense to me why we should build a holocaust museum in Washington, why we as a nation should dwell so much on a crime we didn't commit. I didn't object, I just didn't get it. Now I wonder how I could have been so naive. For headlines like this, and all the other headlines I've read about Europe's slavish devotion to the Palestinian nationalist project -- a project explicitly built on the anti-Semitic dream of driving the Jews into the sea, of picking up where the Nazis left off -- show that America must remember the Holocaust because no one else will, especially not its European perpetrators. And we must defend the only democratic society, and the only culture of liberty, equality, and law, in the Middle East because no one else -- especially not the cultures that gave us Marxism and Fascism -- believes those virtues are worth defending.
I am sympathetic to the suffering of the American people and the anger of the American leadership over terrorist attacks on the United States. However, I now feel great sympathy with the suffering of the Palestinian people and the anger of the Palestinian leadership because of the terrorist Israeli aggression against them. I am saddened and feel pain for what happened to thousands of innocent people in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. But I feel the pain and suffering of 3 million innocent Palestinians from a terrorist Israeli operation. I understand and respect the priorities of the United States, but I also respect and understand the priorities of 3 million unarmed Palestinians. I acknowledge that the Palestinians' greatest crime is their insistence on resisting the military occupation of their country. This strange principle of resistance to military occupation of one's country seems to be difficult for many American political, intellectual and media elite to comprehend -- even though it has been practiced by others in the past, such as Nelson Mandela in South Africa under apartheid and Gen. George Washington during British colonial rule, and even Menachem Begin during the British Mandate of Palestine. These leaders from different countries and different continents share one thing in common. They were all labeled as terrorists by the occupying military force at the time. So what is the real crime, when the Palestinians resist the Israeli military occupation of their country?Like I said, unremarkable, just the sort of vitriol and double-speak you'd expect from the mouthpiece of a Jew-hating despotism. But that's not what I thought when I first read bin Sultan's screed last week. I couldn't understand why the Post had soiled its op-ed pages with such crude propaganda. I mean, "terrorist Israeli aggression"? What did he do, crib from some leaflet floating around Ramallah? Now I get it. This war has already killed off several lies, e.g., Americans are too lazy, fat, and soft to defeat a ruthless enemy; the Arab street will go nuts if we retaliate; Afghanistan will become a quagmire. But to win this war, we need to kill off several more lies. Two prime targets should be (a) the lie that we can't move against Iraq unless we placate the Arabs and (b) the lie that there are "moderate" Arab states and that these state are our "friends." Rants like the Saudi ambassador's have the salutary effect of killing two birds with one stone. States like Saudi Arabia have maintained the absurd pretence of their "moderation" by saying one thing in English and another in Arabic. In English, they propose peace plans; in Arabic, they talk about Jews making pastries with Gentile blood; American reporters print "PEACE PLAN" on page one above the fold; if they bother translating the blood libel story, it goes somewhere in the back with a small headline. And, "Hey, presto!" you've got yourself a "moderate" regime. But this magic trick doesn't work if the Saudis start screaming and foaming at the mouth in English in an American newspaper. When an ambassador spews such inarguably stupid, dishonest, and intemperate vitriol -- when an ambassador threatens "grave and imminent" danger if we don't appease Palestinian terrorists -- it's obvious that that regime is anything but "moderate" and anything but our "friend." And once it's clear that there are no "moderate" Arab states -- just oil-soaked despotisms funding the terrorists we're fighting and obstructing the war at every turn -- then it's clear that we don't have to appease them in Palestine before we can deal with Iraq. We just have to apply the Bush Doctrine: "Are ya fer us, or agin us? Invite us in, or get out of the way and hope we don't come back after we're done with Saddam." Once we know we have no friends in the Arab world, only potential enemies, then we know that the road to Iraq does not lead through Palestine. It leads through Arabia. UPDATE: I just read my blog this morning and realized that it was peppered with an absurd number of typos and a bad link. Yes, I wrote it late at night (later than the initial post date), but I'm embarassed and sorry for having done such a lousy job editing my own writing.
Whether we ignore Israel (1946, 1956, 1967), actively back it (1973), or seek to be an honest broker (1982, 2001) means little in an undemocratic Arab world, which will hate us regardless.Fact #3: When we make nice with Arab terrorists, they think we're weak and kill our people; when we make war on them, they lose badly and cower in their holes. I'd add one another lesson to Hanson's list (actually, it's implicit in his list): history teaches that it's not enough to defeat the Arab states in battle. These failed societies, perversely, feed on shame and grievance. They will not reform themselves. Eventually, they must be destroyed and rebuilt.
The administration invited Oprah to Afghanistan, and the Big O stiffed them, of course. Republicans never learn. They’re sort of like the geeks in high school who want to be liked, who want the approval of the cool kids, and always stumble, looking all the more foolish for their efforts. Early on in this administration, the Interior Department asked Robert Redford to participate in some event! And Redford, as any dolt could have foreseen, used the occasion to denounce the department as an Earth-destroying Nazi machine (or something). Woo the Reagan Democrats or the high-techies or the Hispanics or whomever — but not the entertainment world, please.Some people will never like you. Even kids, especially kids, know that.
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