Friday, June 28, 2002
More, more reading... less, less original material
First item up for bids is the Pledge of Allegiance ruling. Let me just relate a personal story. When I came to this country at a young age and with the poison of Soviet propaganda still in my head I was an atheist (well, technically, I remained an atheist for a very long time). I did feel uncomfortable reciting the "under God" portion of the Pledge. I was sure that is was a part of some imperialistic plot to subjugate me (really!). So from that point of view (and that of a lawyer, although ConLaw was never my forte), here are some talking points:
1. I don't think that there are any constitutional problems with the Pledge as it stands. Now, I can't quote you some legal "case" like those fancy schmancy law professors like Reynolds and Volokh, but this comes from the gut. Also, from very reliable vague memories of my ConLaw course.
2. The child feeling uncomfortable -- deal with it! I'm sorry, but sometimes we go a little too far in making sure that every child is comfortable at every stage of their lives. How are they going to deal with the real world? People mention God a lot! Moreover, a specific deity, Jesus Christ, is mentioned in everyday conversations! Are these overprotected kids going to turn into law suit waging doctors/lawyers, who haul people into court at the face of every slight, like the one who brought this case?
3. As a former atheist, let me say that person who brought the case is NOT an atheist. True atheists are not afraid of religion or of mentioning God. If you are really an atheist, then God has about the same meaning as a mythological character like Zeus, and no atheist I know has ever had a problem mentioning him. The fact of the matter is that most people who claim to be atheist are not atheists, they are anti-religionists. Sort of like peace activists who are really supporting the other side.
4. For the record, being asked to recite "under God" just strengthened my atheism.
And here is a take by someone who matters: VDH.
So, is the fallout from the speech over yet? Not even close!
As many of my "loyal fans" know, Fouad Ajami is one of my favorite writers. The shame is he writes so rarely. But when he does, it is always a gem. Here is the featured article from the WSJ. I would quote from the article, but I'm afraid that I would have to quote the whole thing, its just that good.
Bill Safire asks if the Palis will miss this opportunity too.
Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe agrees with my view, posted often at LGF, but not here (why would use my own blog to post my opinion), that the path to tru victory lies first in the ourigth defeat of the Islamic philosophy. My proof, like Jacoby's is WWII where not only nations, but ideologies were fought. Before a peace plan, ther must come peace and that means an end of war, an end of hostile feelings.
Spencer Ackerman handles the practicalities of entrusting PA reform to the EU (and the "international community").
Finally, I'm going to refer to Steven Den Beste again. This time on his article on why there has been no international "outrage" about Israel going back into the West Bank. He is right in that the principled stand that the President took has a lot to do with the situation. Last time, the Administration was wobbly and opened itself to a lot of criticism. This time the stance was more like the stance after 9/11 when the single-minded determination by Bush silenced all the critics world-wide.
I suspect that another reason is that the Pails wasted their political capitol on Jenin. Their lies have been exposed to the embarassed journalistic community which swallowed them hook, line and sinker. This time that same community is slower to believe any PA propoganda. So, less coverage and less "outrage".
Thursday, June 27, 2002
Brief one today -- It's late and I want to play my new computer game before I go to sleep. So here goes:
The speech "fallout" continues..
First the British press:
A Times editorial.
A Telegraph opinion piece.
And a Telegraph editorial.
The local rags:
Dennis Ross on the next steps in the MidEast process.
George Will on dispensing with Arafat.
Jim Hoagland asks the hard questions.
Michael Kelly has a positive outloook.
Fred Barnes had more time to think about it ans he still likes it.
That's it for now. Maybe some original content this weekend (I wish -- what happend to my motivation?)
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
First off, VDH talks about the Fence. I think that he is right and the Fence will provide security for the Israelis. However, the perverted minds of Arab supporters will think of new reasons to criticize the Fence. The little secret of the West Bank is that it could not function economically without jobs in Israel proper. So, after the Fence is up, these anti-Israelis will claim that its apartheid to keep the Palis out. Perversely, they will claim that the Israelis owe some sort of economic support to the Palis, and denial of that support constitutes racism. It will never end.
Now for the conservative response to the speech. There are too many articles here, and practically, the entire front page of NRO was covered by reactions. I will list the opinions in two categories pro and con. The pros obviously liked the speech, while the cons thought that it was useless and will not end the terrorism.
WSJ lead editorial.
William Kristol in the WS.
David Brooks in the WS.
Rich Lowry on NRO.
Clifford D. May on NRO.
James Robbins on NRO.
Steven Den Beste with an interesting take.
NY Post lead editorial.
John Podhoretz in the NYPost.
William F Buckley on NRO.
Mark Levin on NRO.
You can also go to Little Green Footballs for many more discussions.
The liberal response has been extremely hypocritical. Neither the NYTImes or the WashPost liked the plan because it lacks a "map". What! They have been pressing the Administration of a plan since day one. Now they got it and they don't like what they are hearing. Is it because it lacks direction, as they claim? No. They don’t like the plan because its too tough on the Palestinians and too supportive of the Israelis. What the liberal media establishment always wanted was not a plan, but their plan. The European plan. The Arab plan. Anything but the plan that Bush proposed. The wanted Israel to be punished for her "crimes" [insert scene from the first Austin Powers movie -- you know the one where they unfreeze him...] and they are pissed off! For more on the this see today's Best of the Web.
On an unrelated topic, anti-Semitism on campus. Our national illusion of students as a demographic is liberal, bleeding heart, tree-huggers. What do you think when you hear student activist or student protestor? A mis-guided but well-meaning idealistic individual? Well think of the Hitler Youth. Youthful idealism is not always very peaceful.
Finally, I'd like to close with Nick Kristof's editorial about sweatshops. He is right on the money. The anti-globalist forces who try to shut down factories in the Third World are not helping those workers. Instead their real motivation is to keep their jobs safe. I don't know how any caring person would be against giving economic opportunities to people in impoverished countries. I like Kristof because unlike most liberals he thinks. His heart is in the right place and he tries to challenge the status quo in Leftist thought. Sometimes I disagree with him on the conclusions, but at least he attempts to pose the questions.
Monday, June 24, 2002
My views on the Speech
I listened to the speech. I think Bush's heart is in the right place, but the plan is awful.
1. Arafat killed all the leader alternatives, so where are they going to come from?
2. Transition from autocracy to democracy does not happed overnight -- just take a look at Russia. W is making the same stupid assumption about Palis as Clinton made about Russia. (commonality -- same stupid state department)
3. Three year time line is too short -- 10 year should have been minimum.
4. Most importantly -- realpolitik -- the international community has never enforced anything on anybody. There will be no real reform, but the state will be rubber stamped anyway in 3 years. That's just how things work.
Yes, the plan was good -- but it was just a plan. These things have a tendency of falling apart in the real world. Case in point Saddam. Remember the inspectors? What happened when he threw them out -- nothing. There was no political will.
I can tell you exactly what will happen here. All the changes will be cosmetic. The same power structure in force now will be in power. The same incitement will occur (the Israelis have been complaining about the anti-Semitic school books bought with EU and US money -- but no one did anything). In three years a PA in sheep's clothing will demand a state and they will get it.
But beware soft target vs. hard targets. Who is going to arbitrate if the PA is democratic? The State Department? They would sign on to that even today.
On top of that, the media machine is working to rearrange the President's words to fit their agenda. The propaganda machine is already working -- "secure and recognized borders" morphing into 1967 borders. Pulling back troops "as we make progress toward security" is already pulling back troops.
Sorry to be a wet rag, I think Bush's heart is good but the devil is in the implementation. Like it's said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Here is an analysis from the UPI.
Finally, some on the Left (mostly the Jews) have noticed where most of the anti-Semitism has been coming from: the Left. Here is a piece from Mother Jones (!).
Michale Rubin on appeasement and the Israeli-Lebanese border.
Safire on fútbol.
Sunday, June 23, 2002
So this is what happens on the weekend -- I get a ton of articles, but am too lazy to post. So now, here are all of them.
Read this and tell me why we shouldn't invade Iraq now! (Remember this is from the BBC)
...So the secret police came for his wife. Where is he? They tortured her. And when she didn't break, they tortured his daughter.
"When did you last see your father? Has he phoned? Has he been in contact?" They half-crushed the toddler's feet.
Now, she doesn't walk, she hobbles, and Ali fears that Saddam's men have crippled his daughter for life. So Ali talked to us.
And it gets better from there...
Articles about the Palestinian State idea:
Since September 11, political professionals have been amazed at Bush's persistently high poll numbers. One reason they haven't tumbled is Bush's moral approach to international affairs. He's spoken with moral clarity, producing a Bush doctrine that says both terrorists and those who harbor them are the enemies of the civilized world. In the Pakistan-India standoff, Bush wasn't outspoken, but he exerted most of his pressure on the perpetrator of terrorism, Pakistan, and not on India, the victim. In the Middle East, however, he's lost his moral bearings. Arafat and other Palestinian leaders are every bit as implicated in terrorism as the Pakistanis. Yet they're to be rewarded. A big issue is involved here, but on this one, Bush has been neither strong nor principled.
John Derbyshire on NRO and an excerpt from the lead editorial in TNR:
For their provisional crackdowns on terrorism, will George W. Bush reward the Palestinians with a provisional state? If so, then he is a monumental hypocrite, and no friend of a genuine peace.
Also David Brooks on the Yasir Arafat -- the only thing that he's good at is image management.
What drives the Palis -- hope or hopelessness?
Specifically, an academic study by Alan B. Krueger & Jitka Maleckova on the fallacy of the concept that poverty causes terrorism, Mark Heller in JPost and Jenny McCartney in the Daily T:
The reality is that suicide bombing thrives because of a specific political culture that deliberately fosters and uses it. The bomber is not behaving irrationally, and nor is the organization to which he belongs. He commits his act in the clear expectation of returns, although they are not perhaps of the kind that Mrs Blair would value.
The men who attacked the World Trade Centre on September 11 were morally equivalent to the Palestinian suicide bombers. I do not recall Mr Straw or Mrs Blair musing on the hopelessness and depression that drove young Mohammed Atta and his colleagues to destroy themselves in the act of destroying others. Why not? Could it be that the employees of the World Trade Centre were not deemed to be combatants, but elderly Israeli Jews or Haifa teenagers are?
General political musings:
Lileks on colleges and the draft and Jonah Goldberg on the misuse of the term Nazi. The Daily Telegraph on the murder of a British citizen in "Saudi" Arabia: "Something is rotten in the Kingdom of Saud, and the British must wake up to it fast."
Comic relief -- Mark Steyn on America and the World Cup.
Thursday, June 20, 2002
The Face of the Dead Zionist
Thanks to Charles Johnson for a photo of a victim of the Tuesday bombing (also for html help).
Why is the Statehood for Terrorists a bad idea? Charles Krauthammer says it gurantees more violence -- and it will. Fred Barnes thinks it a stupid idea too:
THE BLOODY TERRORIST ATTACKS on Israel this week, one killing 20 people, the other 7, should be a signal to President Bush. The State Department recently persuaded him that Palestinian conduct would improve and terrorism would cease if only Palestinians had real hope of statehood. And Bush agreed to give a speech supporting a provisional Palestinian state, one without final borders or other details worked out with Israel, but a state nonetheless. The one condition: Palestinians must first clean up their act a bit, reforming Yasser Arafat's administration and cracking down on terrorists. So what happened when news of this upcoming speech spread? More Palestinian terrorism.
If the prospect of a significant shift by Bush in favor of the Palestinians doesn't prompt better behavior, what will? Answer: nothing. It's obvious now that terrorism against Israel is an ingrained part of Palestinian conduct. Polls show the Palestinian people both support terrorism--especially suicide bombings--and back the destruction of Israel as a nation. In the face of this, Arafat has done practically nothing to reform and nothing at all to change public opinion among Palestinians. And there's no evidence he's cracking down on terrorists.
All this ought to be a lesson to Bush. Whatever concessions might be made to Arafat and his regime are highly unlikely to bring about reform and a softening toward Israel--quite the contrary. In the past, Palestinian terrorism has continued through periods when Israelis were making deep concessions in hopes of a peace settlement and during periods when Israeli tanks and troops were occupying Palestinian towns. The Palestinians treated concessions as a sign of weakness and thus a spur to more terrorism that might produce more concessions.
Amen! And the NRO makes three....
A Muslim professor tells it like it is about West-Muslim relations:
"The dialogue is not proceeding well because of the two-facedness of most Muslim interlocutors on the one hand and the gullibility of well-meaning Western idealists on the other," said Bassam Tibi, in an interview with United Press International.
Syrian-born Tibi, who claims to be a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed and teaches political science at Goettingen University in Germany, appealed for intellectual honesty between both parties in these exchanges.
"First, both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms these mean different things to each of them. The word 'peace,' for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam -- or 'House of Islam' -- to the entire world," explained Tibi, who is also a research scholar at Harvard University.
Stanley Kurtz, in NRO, thinks we should bring back the draft. I agree!
Finally, I saw a great post on USS Clueless, on Arafat's call to halt attacks:
Arafat's left hand calls on Arafat's right hand to stop the bombing attacks against Israel. Arafat's right hand gives the left hand the finger.
Arafat yet again condemns the bombings, and yet again calls for them to stop. It's not going to make any more difference this time than it has any of the other times he's made these speeches. I can't figure out if he's insincere or just castrated.
But I lean toward "insincere", because the most recent bombing (as this is written) was committed by the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, part of Arafat's own Fatah movement. OK, maybe he can't control Hamas. But why in hell can't he even rein in Fatah?
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Why I'm losing faith in Bush
I posted this on lgf (a little edited):
What scares me is Bush's strategic vision. I see the current time as something like the 1930's -- there is a gathering storm over the world. I'm not too worried about another attack in Israel, I'm worried about a Holocaust in Israel. I live in NYC and I'm worrried about another attack (you know that they are coming here). My wife is 7 months pregnant, and every morning when I leave for work I wonder if I will see her again or if this will be the day that my unborn boy will be exposed to a lethal dose of radiation from a dirty bomb. I need a leader who can save me, my family, my country and the world from the coming darkness.
What we need in a leader is someone like Churchill -- who has a vision and sticks to it. That is why I keep repeating his words from the inter-war period. That whole calamity could have been avoided. I believe it with all my heart.
So I supported Bush, because I though he was a Churchill -- able to identify the threat, and move towards destroying it. Nothing should distract him. He should be preparing the nation for war. He should not be compromising hiis vision.
But he is not Churchill, and more and more he looks like a Chamberlain. And that makes me worried, very worried. Not for tomorrow, but for next year and the next decade.
As usually is the case, we begin with VDH and False Hopes. i would like to copy the entire article, but instead, let me give you a preview:
We wish that such dictatorial regimes would appreciate our forbearance, help, and counsel. Who, after all, enjoys cynicism — much less the pessimistic acknowledgment that humankind is impressed more with power than reason? Nevertheless, we know in our hearts that all these regimes see such kindness as weakness, and instead interpret the recent mention of American force, not merely as serious but almost in an eerie way as admirable.
Unfortunately, much of American policy in the last decade has been built on precisely the opposite — and false — assumptions about human nature in the Middle East, Korea, and for many years in the Balkans. Yet such naïve trust in the ultimate decency, or at least rationality, of killers and dictators is just as dangerous as mindless saber-rattling and cynical Realpolitik — as we now learn from the tally of corpses in Israel, the West Bank, Bosnia, and Kosovo and the arms shipments from North Korea and Iran.
Far better it would have been to adopt a consistent policy of promoting consensual government — but backed by the use of real force when confronted by regimes that threaten our security. Those who trust in utopian solutions — like the European peacekeepers who routinely watched Muslims being butchered nearby their posts in the Balkans — are no better than the brute realists who advocate support for any unelected authoritarian who claims he is fighting terrorism.
Like thosewho before WWII held Churchill back, today's "peace" activists and diplomats are butchers in sheeps' clothing.
Here is an editorial in the Times of London about the first bombing in Israel. And here is one in the Telegraph, which points out the obvious (except to the truly hateful) fact that it is hope not hopelessness that causes the atacks against Jews.
How many people have to die for the sake of a "peace" process? What happens when there is no peace under a "peace" process? How do we morally judge people who reward terrorism? These questions must be asked!
Monday, June 17, 2002
WashPost takes on Chris Patten and European Anti-Semites.
The Lady Thatcher says that Saddam Must Go!
Finally, aan interesting interview with Tom Daschle from Fox News Sunday. This looks like an evolving Democratic strategy -- getting to the right of Bush on the War against Jihadism. On Saudi Arabia, Bush's weakest point:
SNOW: What would you like to see the administration do? You've mentioned in general terms, the approach to the Saudis? Is there anything specifically you'd like to see the administration do or say to the Saudi government?
DASCHLE: Well, I think what the administration ought to say is basically what they are saying, and that is, look, you've got to work with us as aggressively as you can, you can't tolerate things like that on the news, you've got to be sure that you don't foment additional disruption and the hatred that exists right now toward the Jewish community, this has got to stop.
And I think we need to be aggressive, we need to be even confrontational with the leadership of the Saudi government in those occasions when they're not doing enough, and when they are sponsoring this propaganda of the ilk that we've just seen.
SNOW: So in your opinion, Yasser Arafat needs to go?
DASCHLE: Well, my opinion, yes, sooner or later it has to happen. There has to be a regime change there. It has to happen from within the Palestinian movement. I don't think we can force it ourselves. But I do think that it's necessary in order to reach some peaceful arrangement.
If things keep going like they are with Bush, this could be a winning Democratic strategy in the fall and in 2004.
Sunday, June 16, 2002
Words to live by...
In The Gathering Storm, Winston Churchill wrote about the inter-war period and the attitudes that led to WWII.
...All the words and actions for which I am accountable between the wars had as their object only the prevention of a second World War; and, of course, of making sure that if the worst happened we won, or at least survived. There can hardly ever been a war more easy to prevent than this second Armageddon. I have always been ready to use force in order to defy tyranny or ward off ruin. But had our British, American and Allied affairs been conducted with the ordinary consistency and common sense usual in decent households, there was no need for Force to march unaccompanied by Law; and Strength, moreover, could have been used in righteous cause with little risk of bloodshed. In their loss of purpose, in their abandonment even of the themes they most sincerely espoused, Britain, France, and most of all, because of their immense power and impartiality, the United States, allowed conditions to be gradually built up which led to the very climax they dreaded most. They have only to repeat the same well-meaning, short-sighted behavior towards the new problems which in singular resemblance confront us today to bring about a third convulsion from which none may live to tell the tale.
Words that are as true today as they were 54 years ago. It is amazing how we repeat the same mistakes over and over.
How lazy have I become? Well, I went to the NYC Blogapalooza on Friday and here is the post. I met a lot of nice folks including Jane Galt, Max Jacobs, Bill Herbert, Phil Murphy and others whose name and blogs I've forgotten. I had a pretty good time. There were phots taken -- I'll link to them as soon as I find them.
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Fresh from winning the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Journalism, VDH has a new article in the NatRev. Its titled A New Tone for New Times.
And are the oil potentates in the Gulf with us or against us — complicit in the spread of terror or aghast at its consequences? Do they ride over a restive populace yearning for secular education, elections, and a free press — or a people ever more eager to return to the Middle Ages, in which gender apartheid, floggings, amputations, and polygamy can be practiced without censure?
Let us allow the public to forego the suspense and simply conclude that these regimes are all unfree and undemocratic, and so the ways in which they profess assistance will be forever couched in acts that are contradictory, hypocritical, and capricious — as any government must whose policy of day-to-day survival is always held captive by the terror of the frenzied but unfree Arab Street.
And there's much more....
David Tell in the WS gives a great snipet of a MEMRI translation. MEMRI translates Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew media so you can decide what the countries are really saying in their own language. Here is a selection of hate taught to children.
'Amer: Basmallah, are you familiar with the Jews?
'Amer: Do you like them?
'Amer: Why don't you like them?
Toddler: Because . . .
'Amer: Because they are what?
Toddler: They're apes and pigs.
'Amer: Because they are apes and pigs. Who said they are so?
Toddler: Our God.
Like the Nazis, these children are taught to hate from a very young age. And unfortunately, there is no cure for hate. Where are the "peace activists"? Why aren't they staking out Arab TV stations and newspapers?
That translation of the Die Ziet article was correct. I would apologize for being overly paranoid, but I'm a former Soviet citizen and it comes with the territory. I'll say it again -- if you have not read this article please read it -- it's crucial! I've added Stefan Sharkansky's blog to my list of links. Thanks, Stefan, for the translation.
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Voices from Europe
Everyone should read this. Its a translation of an article in Die Ziet concluding that European money is directly supporting Palestinian terrorism. Its a wonderful article for anyone who still thinks that Arafat is a partner for peace. A caveat, however, I've asked a German friend to take a look and to verify whether the translation is accurate, and I will post his response. Meanwhile,
...March 21, 2002 was one of those frightful days that one can never get used to. The bomb exploded in the center of West Jerusalem, on King George Street. The perpetrator was a young man, an Arab, who passer-by considered suspicious. They alerted the police, who grabbed him by the belly: too late. The murderer and three victims lay dead, 70 people were injured.
The political ritual began immediately. Arafat's Al-Aksa Brigades took responsibility for the attack. Israeli and Palestinian police met for consultations. The American Secretary of State Colin Powell called Yassir Arafat and demanded that he take decisive action against terrorism. The Palestinian leadership declared that it would arrest the masterminds. According to documents that were later discovered in Arafat's headquarters, as well as in intelligence offices in Tulkarm and Nablus, the Palestinian leader should have arrested himself.
The Germans therefore sent their own experts from the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) to conduct an investigation. In the middle of April the BND filed its first report. It considers the documents to be authentic and agrees with the Israeli conclusions. It finds only indications of Arafat's involvement, not courtroom proof. On May 2, 2002, the BND filed another report. The author reaches similar conclusions. The first documents from Israel contained "no direct proof" of the abuse of EU funds for financing terrorism. It is "acknowledged, however, that Arafat evidently doesn't distinguish between the structure of the Palestinian Authority and his Fatah Movement". Therefore one "shouldn't rule out" that subsidies were misappropriated. The report writes of "known mismanagement" and "far reaching corruption" and comes to the conclusion: "At no point could it be realistically assumed that EU-funds were ... 100% accounted for".
And so on... A must read for eveyone!
Another translation is from Oriana Fallaci who doesn't blame the French for the French Government. I think that sometimes here in the States we forget how practically undemocratic the Europeans are.
Finally, non-European voices all in the New York Post. John Podhoretz and Ralph Peters on the Dirty Bomber. Dick Morris on American attitudes on terrorism. And Daniel Pipes on why Harvard Loves Jihad. Take a peek:
IMAGINE it's June 1942 - just a few months after Adolf Hitler declared war on the United States. At Harvard University, a faculty committee has chosen a German-American to give one of three student orations at the festive commencement ceremony. He titles it "American Kampf," purposefully echoing the title of Hitler's book, "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle") in order to show the positive side of "Kampf."
When this prompts protests, a Harvard dean defends it as a "thoughtful oration" that defines the concept of Kampf as a personal struggle "to promote justice and understanding in ourselves and in our society." The dean promises, "The audience will find his oration, as did all the Harvard judges, a light of hope and reason in a world often darkened by distrust and conflict."
Then the student turns out to be past president of the Harvard German Society, a group with a pro-Nazi taint - but the administration still isn't bothered. Nor is it perturbed that he praised a Nazi front group for its "incredible work" as well as its "professionalism, compassion and dedication to helping people in dire need," then raised money for it.
Far-fetched? Sure. But exactly this scenario unfolded last week at Harvard. Just replace "German," "Nazi," and "Kampf" with "Islamic," "militant Islamic" and "jihad."
Sunday, June 09, 2002
We start today with Victor Davis Hanson, except this time he is in the Jerusalem Post. Speaking again on the moral bonds uniting US and Israel.
We in America realize that there is a debate raging today in Israel, as there is here, over the proper response to constant, savage, and demoralizing suicide-murdering of Israeli civilians. Americans, of course, wish equality and justice to reign in the region, and so like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and many Israelis support a separate Palestinian state (on condition that its creation is not antithetical to defensible borders and guarantees of a permanent armistice.)
We also realize, however, that there are innate biases affecting world opinion which have nothing to do with what Israel does, and a great deal to do with how it is caricatured. How else can we Americans explain the world's hypocritical and shrill condemnation of the events in Jenin, and its relative silence, until recently, about the carnage in Kashmir, a region where millions may now be on the brink of nuclear annihilation?
Israelis should remember that their concrete defense of liberal values is at the very heart of American support. And so they must continue to project such a sense of moral purpose not apologizing for the strong, but both legal and appropriate, responses they must take for their very survival. A strange mixture of factors causes the more calculating and opportunistic in the West to be hypercritical of Israel: historic anti-Semitism; propaganda from the Palestinians, who have grafted their cause onto the agenda of purported victims in America; and the fact that Israel's enemies have oil, terrorists, and hundreds of millions of angry citizens.
Do not worry about such a minority of faint hearts and worse. You will never win their approbation. Instead, simply continue to do what you must to protect democratic society, with a sense of right, as the humane nation you are sees that right. That way, the vast majority of Americans who do not live in Washington or New York will always insist on supporting you on the principles of who you are, what you represent, and why you are fighting as you must.
Add to this another article by VDH on NRO about why we focus on Jenin when all the killing is in Kashmir.
Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon weigh in on the crisis in the Middle East. And even the Village Voice (!) talks about the deliberate targeting by the Palestinians of Israeli civilians and particularly women and children.
Jeffrey Ballabon talks about Jews and Christians in America. Amen!
On a slightly related topic, have you visited the UPI news wire lately? Its free and offers great stories and analysis. A sample from this weekends analysis: Outside View: Debating the six day war, Commentary: Death of two-state solution and Anglosphere: Waiting for 'eurotopia'. All great, but the last one is interesting -- very few people have questioned what the EU will look like years from now. Do you think von Bismark knew that his unification of Germany would give rise to the third reich?
Thursday, June 06, 2002
I lead today with Jim Hoagland's piece in the WashPost. As far as foreign opinion writers, I like Jim much more than Friedman. I think that he is right in this article and Powell is playing the only game he knows well -- that of a peacetime general. He knows how to fight the bureaucratic battles, but not the real ones.
Bill Safire article in the NYT touches on the things that we are missing today that could ruin our lives tomorrow. Read the piece and you'll see what I mean.
Ron Rosenbaum has another great article on the Second Holocaust in the New York Observer.
But alas, Hitler is not dead when the Saudi government TV station broadcasts the words of a cleric who tells millions of listeners, "Defeat the usurper Jews …. O God, annihilate them soon."
Hitler is not dead when a Palestinian textbook tells teenagers the Nazi Holocaust was an understandable response to the Jews’ "greed and religious fanaticism."
Hitler is not dead when Arab daily papers publish accounts of Jewish ritual murder to obtain blood for Purim pastry.
Hitler is not dead when Arab bookstores make Mein Kampf a popular best-seller in the region.
Hitler is not dead when a columnist for an Egyptian government paper, Al-Akhbar, writes, "French studies have proven that [the Holocaust] is no more than a fabrication …. But I … complain to Hitler, even saying to him from the bottom of my heart, ‘If only you had done it, brother, if only it had really happened, so the world could sigh in relief" when the Jews were "actually" exterminated.
Hitler is not dead when, as Paul Berman put it, "the notion that Israel’s Jews are evil demons, has swept the world in recent months."
Hitler is not dead when Saddam and the mullahs of Iran will soon have the weapons to duplicate Hitler’s feat, and terrorists have the means to deliver them.
Finally, here is another Jenin story. The more I read about the battle, the more disgusted I get with the media!
Monday, June 03, 2002
The Reading List
Let's start with a little comic relief -- Larry Miller on the Weekly Standard.
And now for something serious -- Israel and the Anti-Semites by Gabriel Schoenfeld in Commentary magazine. This is an excellent summary of the developments in Europe. As has been mentioned previously, the new anti-Semitism comes from the Left. It is amazing how few Lefties will acknowledge this. In fact, Lefties are extremely narrow minded -- they refuse to acknowledge any hate or prejudice except between those appointed (by them) OPPRESSORS and the OPPRESSED. Anything else is either just legitimate expression of social struggle or intellectual commentary.