Friday, May 31, 2002
What we are fighting against.
A colleague of mine and were discussing the current political state of affairs, and he had a brilliant insight. Our struggle has no focus. We have fought Fascism and Nazism and Communism, but what are we fighting now? Terrorism is a method, not a focus of a struggle. It is a vague concept and leaves open too many doors for interpretation. Militant Islam is too long and concentrates on Muslims, Wahabism is too hard to say.
What we need is a word that captures the treachery of our enemy and their ideological bent. Our struggle is against an idea, like Communism and Nazism, which seeks to destroy others who disagree or simply stand in its way. So I came up with the word:
We are fighting JIHADISM!
Jihadism, defined as the willingness of some Muslims (and friends) to use all means necessary, including violence against innocent civilians, to advance their political and religious ideologies. This is what we are fighting against.
If you like the term, please use it to refer to our struggle.
Thursday, May 30, 2002
More Reading Gems
I start with the most disturbing article I have read in a while. The article translates a European writer, José Saramago of Portugal, winner of the 1998 Nobel "Prize" in literature. This little gem appeared in El Pais, a major Spanish daily, on April 21 of this year.
At least this article breaks through the thin veneer of "anti-Zionism" that the Left is fond of using. Jose tells it like it is. Its not just Israel, but Judaism as a whole that he blames. The irony -- that the writer comes from country whose cultural heritage includes the Inquisition, slave trading, colonial rule of millions in Brazil, Africa and India and non-democratic rule until the 1970s can deride the cultural heritage of the Jews is lost on him. Europe has not seen this kind of anti-Semitic writing since Mein Kampf. Now, who wants to argue that anti-Semitism is not a major player in Europe?
Some discussion of Euro-American relations in this opinion from the Times of London
Europeans tend to regard the phrase “American foreign policy” as an oxymoron. They dismiss it as incoherent and inconsistent and hold three elements responsible. These are the inexperience in overseas affairs of most incoming US Presidents (as if Tony Blair, Gerhard Schröder and Jean-Pierre Rafarrin, the latest French Prime Minister, were all Professors of International Relations before assuming office); the institutional battles within the US executive between the State Department (good in Eurothink), the Pentagon (bad) and the White House (confused); and finally the malign impact of a Congress full of insular hicks beholden to lobby groups (Irish-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Polish-Americans) who serve to distort policy outcomes.
Another leader from the Telegraph about Americas enemies - the Saudis.
The National Review and the Weekly Standard editors talk about Bush and Iraq, and they are not impressed. John O'Sullivan offers his opinion, aslo on NRO.
Michael Kelly on the American Left -- Old, Old, Old. Tired, Tired, Tired.
Monday, May 27, 2002
Long Overdue Reading List from Lazy Blogger
The first article today is by Robert Kagan, entitled the US-Europe Divide. It is a very balanced and insightful piece and I highly recommend you read it. Here is a clip:
The irony is that this transatlantic disagreement is the fruit of successful transatlantic policies. As Joschka Fischer and other Europeans admit, the United States made the "new Europe" possible -- by leading the democracies to victory in World War II and the Cold War and by providing the solution to the age-old "German problem." Even today Europe's rejection of power politics ultimately depends on America's willingness to use force around the world against those who still do believe in power politics. Europe's Kantian order depends on the United States using power according to the old Hobbesian rules.
On the same note, Jim Hoagland describes the underlying dynamics driving European politics. Hoagland contends that the European dilemma stems from the need to perpetuate the large welfare state budgets with declining birth rates. While I agree that this is a big motivator for Europeans -- I think that there other powerful, and ugly, undercurrents driving European politics today.
In honor of Memorial Day, Victor Davis Hanson has a wonderful article. As for me, being a zero generation immigrant, no one in my family has had the honor of fighting for America. My grandfather, however, died at Stalingrad fighting our common Nazi enemy.
Turning to the Middle East, here is a piece from the London Times praising (!) Sharon. As I've stated here before, Sharon has been demonized in the press, much like Churchill was, but I think history will show that he was right all along.
More on the Middle East. John Podhoretz on Arafat's lack of popularity and the WashPost editorial board on the losing reformists in Iran.
Michael Barone discusses "Our Enemies the Saudis".
It may not be prudent yet to speak the truth out loud, that the Saudis are our enemies. But they should know that it is increasingly apparent to the American people that they are effectively waging war against us. And they should know that we have the capacity to destroy their military, presumably in a matter of hours. The Saudis' eastern provinces, with their oil, could be given to their Shiite Muslim majority, now oppressed by the Sunni Muslim Saudi rulers. The holy cities of Mecca and Medina could be returned to the custody of the Hashemites (Jordan's King Abdullah's family), who unlike the Saudis are direct descendants of the prophet Mohammed. Let the Saudis have the sands of central Arabia and their bank accounts in Switzerland, hotel suites in London, and villas on the Riviera.
BTW, if you missed the HBO special on September 11, please try to see a repeat -- it was very moving.
Friday, May 24, 2002
New York Times is Feeling the Heat
As you know, I have cancelled my subscription to the New York Times. So have many others. Today I received a letter from the New York Times. I don't have scanning equipment, but I though I should share the contents of the letter with you. So I typed it up:
The New York Times
229 West 43 Street
New York, NY 10036
I am sorry to hear of your disappointment with our coverage of events in the Middle East, and of your cancellation of your Times subscription. I certainly respect your feelings in the matter, and I assure you that your comments have received the attention of the editors who oversee the coverage.
We are always sorry to hear that we have disappointed a reader, and we are constantly re-examining our performance. But we believe that greatest usefulness, to readers and to our society, lies in adhering to the 1896 pledge of Adolph S. Ochs, whose family has led The Times ever since: “To give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of any party, sect or interest involved.”
We are, of course, conscious of sensitivities surrounding coverage of the Middle East. Our staff’s assignment, as always, is to cover sides thoroughly, dispassionately and with scrupulous impartiality. Our correspondents and editors are chosen for their demonstrated ability to carry out that mission; they are among the most experienced and fair-minded journalists in our business. Occasionally the facts of a particular news situation seem likely to provide more satisfaction to one side than to others, but if you watch us carefully, I think you will find us conscientious in pursuing the goal of fair, honest reporting. Should we slip, we know we will hear from our readers, and we welcome the reminder of our commitment.
If at any time you wish to reinstate your subscription to The Times, I invite you to call our home delivery number (1-800-NYTIMES). Regardless of your decision, I thank you for holding us to a high standard, and for giving me this opportunity to restate our aims.
Take it for what's it worth. I will shortly post a more formal response. But I urge you to write to Mr. Borders and tell him what you think of his "fair-minded journalists" and their ability to cover the news "dispassionately and with scrupulous impartiality".
Thursday, May 23, 2002
More on European Media and Israel
Here are Part 2 and Part 3 from UPI's analysis of the Jenin smear. Here's a quote:
Yet, compared with conflicts of the past half-century, and even of merely the past 10 years, the death toll on both sides, including Palestinians, in Jenin was tiny. Scores of thousands of people were killed largely at the hands of Bosnian Serb paramilitary groups from 1991 to 1995. The total death toll of that conflict, unquestionably Europe's bloodiest since 1945, has been estimated as at high as 250,000.
While it was ranging, 1 million people were killed in less than a month when majority Hutus slaughtered the generally more educated and more prosperous Tutsi minority in Rwanda in 1994. The killings were deliberately coordinated. The death squads usually had no heavier weapons than machetes but it ranks behind only the Cambodian Killing Fields of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge in 1975-78 as the biggest genuine genocide of the past half-century. And it was carried out without any advanced weapons or technology -- even machineguns -- at a rate of slaughter comparable to the operations of the Auschwitz gas chambers during the Nazi annihilation of 6 million Jews during World War II.
In each of these cases, the Western media were remarkably fast to record indications of what was going on, but Western opinion lagged far behind. The Clinton administration in the United States proved exceptionally indecisive, slow and inadequate to act in any decisive diplomatic or military way to deter the slaughters in either Bosnia or Rwanda, even though it could easily have done so.
The United Nations far from preventing either of the slaughters taking place, actually magnified them by the egocentric insistence of its officials in the region on approving deterrent military or rescue operations in Bosnia, most notably at Sebrenica.
They also catastrophically underrated the imminence and scale of the danger in Rwanda. Indeed, the U.N. official most criticized for his alleged incompetence in failing to prevent the Rwanda horror was one of the most outspoken critics of Israel in the case of The Massacre That Wasn't -- current U.N. Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan.
When these genuine massacres took place, there were certainly no mass rallies or protests across Western Europe and certainly no retaliatory physical attacks on Serb or Rwandan residents in Britain, France or Germany.
Yet media reports teemed in those countries with -- as it turned out -- highly exaggerated or just plain wrong descriptions of the violence allegedly inflicted by the Israelis on the Palestinians in Jenin. And as these reports ran, they were quickly followed by attacks -- largely, it appears, from young immigrant Muslim gangs -- on easily identifiable Orthodox Jews in both Britain and France.
To follow up on these stories, here is a story from the Spectator by a London-based Jerusalem Post reporter on why he refuses to speak to the BBC.
Tuesday, May 21, 2002
UPI's coverage of the Myth of Jenin.
Martin Peretz talks about the perversity of UN inspections.
AIPACs review of the camps of terror.
Catch-up Reading LIst
I've been very busy lately and have not posted much. So let me try to post some significant stuff from the past week.
Victor Davis Hanson -- this article forced me to post again.
I thought this was a great article, by Mark Steyn, about democracy in America. Thanks to years of propoganda too few people (even Americans) understand how great our democracy is.
Here is an editorial int Jerusalem Post about anti-Americanism.
That's it for now folks!
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Citizens for a Constructive UN is new blog that grew out of our discussions on LGF regarding the real nature of the UN. The goal is to shed light on the organization and to separate the myth of the noble international organization from the reality of a corrupt bureaucracy. Unfortunately, of the great tragedies of our century is that an organization that was established to promote peace, acts to promote hate and finance terrorism. Please read more....
And oh yeah, reading material....
Victor Davis Hanson
Tom Gross on Jeningrad
Charles Krauthammer and Jon Chait
Saturday, May 11, 2002
Today's Huge Reading List
To make up for the last few days.
Victor Davis Hanson on Occidentalism.
This article by Ron Rosenbaum in the Observer. Rosenbaum criticizes the New York magazine cover story about the Jewish response to the war in Israel. In the process he takes on the liberal establishment,
As someone who has long considered himself a liberal, I think what’s going on here has something to do with the deep denial—the displaced fearfulness—the left has about any discussion of the Holocaust, because it might inevitably bring up the one thing the left is too frightened to face: Stalin’s Holocaust, the mass murders that killed more people than Hitler. The mass murders committed by people like Mao and Pol Pot who mouthed their commitment to "peace" and "social justice" while slaughtering millions in the name of leftist ideals.
Not a comfortable subject, then, the whole Holocaust thing, for leftists or the left to deal honestly with: Holocaust denial on the left. They’ve given themselves a free pass on the issue by saying: Well, Stalin’s mass murder was different because his intentions were good; Soviet mass murder was an unfortunate side effect of leftist good intentions. So they don’t have to deal with implications of genocide on the left.
This is where I am on the same page as Rosenbaum, as you can read in my mission statement.
Michael Kelley on Arafat's fitness as a peace partner.
Richard Starr about de-bunking the Jenin Lie.
David Pryce-Jones on the that 30's feeling that's sweeping the world.
Bill Safire keeps harping about CIA misinformation regarding the Atta/Iraq connection.
Alan Judd on the failure of British Authorities to enforce their hate laws against anti-Semites.
Norah Vincent tell people to pick a side in this moral issue.
Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Victor Davis Hanson lays out the reasons why Israel is singled out.
Richard Hart Sinnreich takes hard look at Jenin.
Andrew Sullivan has lots of stuff about the murder of Pim Fortuyn.
Friday, May 03, 2002
Sharon = Churchill
A co-worker of mine complains to me that there is a lack of original material on my site! Well, it true. But I've been busy at work and can't quite put anything down. So here goes a quickie.
I saw The Gathering Storm, an HBO movie about Churchill in the 1930s. The movie very accurately depicts the fears and hopes of the British people before the War. All efforts were focused on maintaining the farce of "peace", German hate and re-armaments were ignored. Trade with Germany was considered a paramount national concern.
Churchill was one of the few people to call attention to the realities of Hitler's reign. For his efforts he was scorned, called over-the-hill, a warmonger (or its 1930s equivalent) and ignored. As Germany took over more and more land and the truth could no longer be ignored Churchill was increasingly seen as the prophet that he truly was.
As a result of this forced ignorance tens of millions of people lost their lives. A brief war with Germany, before the re-armament began would have perhaps killed as few a 10,000. A large number, but a pittance compared to the multitudes lost. For this we have to thank the "peace" activists at the time. How does one look back at Baldwin and Chamberlain? Like good-hearted fools who tried their best? Or negligent monsters who ignored the obvious?
Today, Sharon is scorned and called a war-monger because he is a lonely voice against a rising tide of hate that threatens to envelop and destroy his small country. He is the only world leader who states the obvious -- that peace with people who want you dead at all costs is a farce. How will history judge Sharon? I think that he be seen as a Churchill-like figure who spoke up when everyone else had their heads in the sand.
Today's Quick Reading List
Victor Davis Hanson has a talent for capturing the absurd state of affairs today.
Jim Hoagland with news of a State Department plot to undermine the Iraqi National Congress. Tell me again whose side State is supposed to be on?
Charles Krauthammer on the Jenin Libel. And Bill Buckley.
Finnally, the cover article in the Weekly Standard -- Liberte, Egalite, Judeophobie.
Thursday, May 02, 2002
Today's Quick Reading List
Another quick list -- too little time.
George Will on anti-Semitism -- great article.
A Lilieks bleat on the moral claarity of the Middle East conflict.
Finally, Mark Steyn on the moral rot in Europe. And this article int he Times of London explaining the new American view of Europe.
Wednesday, May 01, 2002
Today's Quick Reading List
If you read nothing else -- Victor Davis Hanson and Jonah Goldberg. Also, this.
UN and the Jews -- Editorial in the WeeklyStandard and follow-up.
More on France and Jews.
About the failure of socialism.