Somewhere on A1A...

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Road Map Revealed.... Here's some more on the road map from the NY Times and the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, and from the BBC.

What's there to say? The Quartet has spoken. Why on earth we continue to believe that Russia, France and Germany have anything meaningful to add to peace in the region is incomprehensible. Why we continue to believe that the Arabs want peace is incomprehensible. What will happen now?

Through every action they take, the Arabs in general, the PLO in particular, continue to show us they do not want to live in peace with Israel. But we continue to ignore the reality. An Arab blows himself up to kill Jews, Americans, & Israelis just hours before the Road Map is delivered to the Israeli Government… That's OK with us:

State Department spokeswoman Nancy Beck said Wednesday morning's terror attack in Tel Aviv wouldn't derail the peace effort, the Associated Press reported.

"This despicable attack was undertaken by those opposed to the restoration of dialogue and the peaceful pursuit of a comprehensive peace in the region," Beck said. "Attacks such as these will not deter us and the proponents of peace throughout the region from continuing down the path on which we have embarked."
Just who are those opposed to the restoration of dialogue? The majority of the Arabs oppose it. But we ignore that. It's not convenient to deal with them. It's much easier to ask our friends to sacrifice and pretend that the Arabs think like us. We'd rather live with our fantasy that the Arabs want the same chance at a peaceful life that we do. The sad fact is, they don't. Their view of peace begins with their freedom from Israel’s existence… They keep telling us, they keep showing us, but we ignore it.

We see and hear the hatred that is spouted at Friday prayers throughout the Arab world. We ignore it. We know the violence perpetrated and supported by the Arab world against Israel, but we ignore it. We know most Arab states refuse to recognize Israel, but we ignore it. We know France, Russia, Germany, and others oppose our view of peace, and oppose our presence in the Middle East, yet we join with them as partners. We know Abu Mazen was a terrorist, but we ignore it.

We know Arabs have been living as refugees for 55 years, we give them Billions of dollars to build a state and they squander it… we give them more. We know that Arab states won’t let their brothers leave the refugee camps to build lives, but we ignore it. Instead of asking more of the Arabs to solve their problem, we ask our friends to sacrifice.

We ask our friends to sacrifice for our idea of peace while ignoring the vast difference in the way the Arabs imagine and define the same peace. We impute our values and ideals on the Arabs and ignore the reality that their values and ideals are not at all similar. It’s not right, under these circumstances to demand so much from Israel..

On one hand I'm encouraged by the Bush administration’s willingness to stick to what they believe is right, regardless of world opinion, as they showed us in Iraq. But I'm not at all confident that they will stand up for those principles in the face of increasing anti-Israel and anti-American pressure. My fear is we are too eager to placate the Arab world and mollify the Europeans who have no more interest in a peaceful, secure Israel than Yasser Arafat does.

We’ll see. I have very little doubt that Arab violence will continue. As it continues, I’ll be watching to see how hard we pressure Israel to make even more concessions. Meanwhile I'm hoping we have said what we mean and that we meant what we said.

Monday, April 28, 2003

The Last Jew In Stolin
by Sara Salzman

He holds the shovel with infinite patience

chink chink chink
as dry earth and tiny stones fall upon bones, bleached by time.

His body davens to the sound of Kaddish

chink chink
yisgadal v'yiskadash

They watch from the edge of the pit.
A ripple passes through the crowd,
each smooth naked body bends slightly at the waist
davens in time with the shovel.

Chink chink
Yisborach v'yishtabach v'yispo'ar v'yisromam v'yisnaseh v'yis-hador

Chink chink
one by one they fade from view
until no bones are seen no bodies stare from the edge
only grass and dirt and stone.

He bows. Turns.
Walks back to town.

Through the woods, slowly pacing his steps.


To the edge of the woods, the edge of town.


Past the wood framed houses.

Reb Ariyah
and the babies.

And in the town,
the wagons pass,
the peddlers cry.

A stone obelisk points to the sky.
Empty dates. No names.

Human feces at the base of the stone.
For More, please see: The Holocaust History Project:

NOTE: In 1942, the Jews of Stolin, Poland, were rounded up by the Nazis and forced, naked and shivering, to dig a pit 11 miles from town. They were then shot, their bodies buried by the Nazis in the pit. In 1945, Russian soldiers liberating Poland, dug up the bodies, searching for Jewish gold. The bodies were not reburied. Since then, the sole surviving Jew in Stolin, now in his 80s, walks every morning to the pit to cover up bones exposed by the elements, and walks back home. His journey lasts the entire day.

Today is Yom HaShoah

Everyone has a tale, and this moving story: Conversation at a Bar Mitzva by Sarah Shapiro might motivate you to read some others. Here are some of the sites, stories and sounds to help remember.

The BBC was on hand at the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen and recorded the sounds, including the first liberated Shabbat Service. Or for an interactive exercise, put yourself in anothers shoes and see: How would you have fared in 1939? Remember - the 6 Million in this Cybrary of resources or walk through the Holocaust Timeline.

There are the Yad Vashem site, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museums' sites, and the Women in the Holocaust and Holocaust Survivors projects. CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors) is a museum and site dedicated to the children who survived. And I don't want to ignore the 5 million non-Jews who were also murdered. Nor will I ignore the Holocaust Heroes who risked everything to save their Jewish neighbors and friends.

Please take a little bit of time to remember those killed and to imagine the ignorance and hatred behind the crimes. Read a story, say a prayer.... and never forget.
Shamor v'zachor...

Tomorrow is Yom HaShoah

Holocaust remembrance will be a common theme this week with tomorrow being Remembrance Day. You may have read recently about a group of Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews who are planning a joint trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps next month. It’s not a stretch to say that most Arabs are against the idea.

MEMRI has done a piece on the Arab reaction to the project that shouldn’t be missed.

Journalist Emir Makhoul took issue with the declaration by the Arab participants in the initiative that they sought "to understand the suffering [of the Jews] and its influence on the Jewish people, which has led it to live in constant fear of the other," because, he said, it reinforces the Zionist approach that uses the Jewish victim to justify Israel's aggressive policy.

"My opposition does not of course mean that I am in favor of the Nazis... I think that to travel now to Auschwitz means giving tools to Israeli propaganda. I do not remember that I saw a Jewish leader, from the Left or the Right, visiting Sabra and Shatilla or one of the cemeteries full of the corpses of Palestinians. Enough leaders in the world show solidarity with the Jewish people in all things connected to the Holocaust, and I think that the Jews have exploited them well and circulated it as a clearly political matter, and done many terrible things in the name of the Holocaust. They built a country here at the expense of the Palestinian people because of the Holocaust, so I don't have to identify with them...
And not to be missed:
"We cannot abolish the historic Palestinian dream, even if we remove it from the official Palestinian rhetoric... This land was promised to us by Allah, while it was promised to the Jews by Balfour. If such a decision [about teaching the Holocaust] is carried out, it will undoubtedly ruin the Palestinian dream and aspirations.
It will entirely obliterate the past, present, and future of the Palestinians. We in the Legislative Council will oppose any experiment that might harm the mind, the identity, and the historic roots of the Palestinians."
The land was promised to the Jews by Balfour Go figure.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Moderate Islam Watch

Jonathan Powers' disappointing artlcle in the Arab News at least ends on a positive note, but probably isn't worth reading unless you want to see the vast gap between moderate Arab thought and reality.

Powers started by taking on Samuel P Huntington's concept of the Clash of Civilizations, it was a weak attempt and woefuly inadequate.

I wish he had spent a few more words explaining just where these rapid changes in the Islamic world are taking place and what the changes are.

Islam, as Christianity before it, is evolving at a rapid pace. St. Thomas Aquinas advocated putting heretics to death and the Protestant reformer Jean Calvin had one outspoken dissident executed. And it is only a generation ago that political observers used to note that the Catholic countries of Southern Europe and Latin America were constitutionally and philosophically unable to take to democracy. But Islam is changing very fast. It is more than beginning to think about democracy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

An Arab Problem

Thomas Friedman is on his high horse again about the Israeli's need to be reasonable in dealing with the Arabs, and how we Neocons ought to be supporting Israeli concessions to the pals so we can have the peace of Friedman. I listened to him on Fresh Air yesterday which made me even madder than today's column.

He was talking about mistakes made by both the Israelis and by the palestinians.... it bothers me he makes them out to be different from the Arabs, but I'll come back to that thought... His main point was that ambivalence of the Israeli masses, in other words: the Israeli silent majority, allowed the extremist settlers, to drive policy and move into the West Bank... which the Arabs didn't want... Yes, he did point out that the Arabs didn't really want to manage the West Bank. But, he opined, the bad, bad Israelis still made the palestinians feel bad by their ambivalence. So, according to the Friedman guide for peace, Jewish magnanimity should be the rule and the disputed territories should be given back to the Arabs to make them feel better.

He made one statement to Ms. Gross that had me in awe. He spoke about how stupid it was for a few thousand Israelis to be living in the middle of a millions hostile Arabs. Of course Mr. Friedman was speaking about Gaza, yet he ignores the parallel of a few million Jews in Israel living in the middle of millions of hostile Arabs. Friedman's answer for peace in the occupied territories is for the Jews to move out. No wonder the Arabs love him.... it's the Arab plan too! The only difference is how they define "occupied territory." Does he think there might be another reason for the Arabs to officially deny that Israel even exists. For the Arabs, the West Bank includes Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Which brings me back to the earlier point. There will be no peace in the Middle East until the Arabs accept Israel. The palestinians are not players in the big peace equation, they are simply game pieces for the rest of the Arab world to toy with. Does Friedman think for a minute that Arabs will stop hating Jews, that Arabs will stop teaching their children to hate Jews just because a tiny bit of land is handed over to make another Arab state, a second palestinian state?

The major problem, the central problem is that the Arabs deny Israel’s right to exist. The Arabs have fought, unsuccessfully but they have fought, since 1917 to keep the Jews out of the region. They lost. To avoid facing the humiliation of that loss, the brave Arab leaders have created a wretched group of Arab refugees that are not allowed to live anywhere except the nasty refugee camps that they refuse to make livable.

The Arabs have had since 1917... or 1920 ...or 1948... or 1967... or 1973, to take care of the displaced population. They could have built cities, infrastructure, schools, trade... they could have built a paradise in the west bank, Gaza and Jordan. But they haven’t. Look at Germany, look at Japan, look at any country decimated by war in 1948 and compare them, today, to the wretched state of the palestinians. Whose fault is it that palestinians are living in squalor?

I’m sorry; I think it’s way beyond time for the Arabs to own up to their own failures and for them to do something about their palestinian brothers. Friedman and others want to tell us the palestinian issue must be solved and only at Israel's expense. Yet, on the other hand, he tells us how the palestinian issue “resonates” universally in the Arab world. Well let the Arabs DO somethign about it. To use Friedmans' words... "If you want to get married, you have to buy the engagement ring." But why must the Israelis buy the ring with full knowledge they'll be jilted by the Arab wolrd that resounds with such astounding hatred of the Jews and Israel.

The palestinians are an Arab problem and we should look to the Arab world for a solution before we ask Israel to concede a single point, we should DEMAND it. As long as Friedman, the Arabists at State , and the Eunuchs continue to swallow the Arab mantra that it is only a problem between Israel and the pals, then the real source of the problem will continue to fester. The Arabs hate Jews and want Israel to disappear. Until that is changed there will never be peace.

Monday, April 21, 2003

I've seen a lot in the blogsosphere lately about comiing reforms in Iran. I hoep they come quickly. The recent arrest of an Iranian blogger has many, like Kathy Kinsley bringing attention to the reform side of the collective Iranian psyche. Then there is the contribution by Armed Liberal and his commentors that show us maybe we should be cautious in imputing our values on freedon loving Iranians. Then too, there is the scariest angle to the Iranian situation,

There are some parallels between the emerging Iranian-Israeli balance of deterrence and that between India and Pakistan. They are not especially reassuring. Last year, South Asia came close to a nuclear war, and was restrained only by fairly desperate American diplomatic intervention. In seriously contemplating such a war, there were cold-hearted strategists in India who doubted Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities and calculated worst-case scenarios in which, even if Pakistan could use nuclear weaponry and kill tens of millions of Indians, an Indian nuclear strike could utterly wipe out Pakistan.

The existential concern for Israel relates to similarly cold-hearted strategists in Iran, calculating whether, in a nuclear confrontation, they might be able to wipe out Israel while sacrificing only a proportion of their populace. However unthinkable that may sound, with Iran now so dangerously empowered, and the West unwilling and perhaps unable to counter that threat, the only factor preventing such a scenario is the purported pragmatism of the regime in Teheran. In short, those who, despite the accelerating nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile programs, want to discern in Iran a movement away from state terrorism and fundamentalist revolution, and toward reform and greater democracy, had better be right.

Perspective on Syria

This week's Forward has a few articles on the situation with and in Syria. This one, in particular, examines three different explanations for Assad's actions. I tend to think #2, that he is simply a weak ruler, is the most likely scenario.


Rachel Raskin-Zrihen is puzzled:

I realize that for a person with easily injured feelings, mine is a dangerous position to take in a public forum like a newspaper column. It is, after all, decidedly pro-Jewish and pro-Israel, which means it's decidedly unpopular with most liberal thinkers, one of which I have been all of my adult life. I'm not, in fact, sure when it became right wing to support Israel and be pro-Jewish, but it definitely has, and this has thrown me out of my usual political orbit.

However, I can't help feeling that if someone doesn't speak the truth, those seeking to redirect history by warping it, will succeed, and everyone will lose, including those who either by design or deception, have adopted the lie as the truth.
The left has lost many, and will lose almost all of its intelligent progressive thinkers. Leftist ideology has become dogmatic in its anti-Americanism, it cannot serve their cause well. The lies the left spreads whether or not they believe them are all too common. One need only look at CNN's willingness to deliberately lie to the world so they are able to spread their anti-American, "progressive", and globalist views more efficiently. The only problem is that they are largely WRONG. Truly progressive thinkers are being driven from their ranks for non-conformity to their dogma, and labeled as NeoCons.

Vilification of NeoCons has morphed into the newest lefty dogma. They ignore the truth and constantly repeat lies in support of their dogmatic ideals. They tolerate no debate within their ranks. Some of the mainstream media, are in lock-step... spouting the lies of Saddam, the lies of Arafat, the lies of Jenin, the lies of Netzarim Junction.

I wonder, when did progressive thinkers in America turn their back on Jewish-Americans? Was there a seminal event?

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Sixty Years ago Today

In Warsaw....

The Warsaw Ghetto originally contained almost 450,000 people. By January of 1943,it was down to roughly 37,000 people. The rest had already been taken away to slave labor or death camps. Word got out that the Germans were going to finish off the ghetto, clean it out. Those half-starved, disease-weakened ghetto inhabitants decided to fight. read the rest...

Friday, April 18, 2003

Teaching Hate

Those of us with children know the way that progressive ideas, some good, some not so good, creep into their education. Michele Malkin documents one extreme.

On page 106 of the guide, co-author Ann Pelo details an activism project she initiated at a Seattle preschool after her students spotted a Blue Angels rehearsal overhead as they played in a local park. "Those are Navy airplanes," Pelo lectured the toddlers. "They're built for war, but right now, there is no war, so the pilots learn how to do fancy tricks in their planes." The kids returned to playing, but Pelo wouldn't let it rest. The next day she pushes the children to "communicate their feelings about the Blue Angels."

Pelo proudly describes her precociously politicized students' handiwork:

"They drew pictures of planes with Xs through them: 'This is a crossed-off bombing plane.' They drew bomb factories labeled: 'No.'

"Respect our words, Blue Angels. Respect kids' words. Don't kill people."
Truth doesn't mean what it used to.

Terrible Passover Haiku hat tip: But How's the coffee?

No fins and No scales
still, the gefilte fish is
Kosher for Pesach.

Modern Day Exodus

A different look at a refugee problem.

As an Egyptian Jewish refugee, I celebrate Passover with special meaning. Passover is a time to commemorate the Jews' liberation from slavery in Egypt in 1300 BCE and return to freedom in Israel. At my family Seders in Cairo in the 1940s, we felt as if we represented the enduring memory of that exodus. Little did we know that we would soon experience our own exodus from Egypt as a result of racism and oppression...

...As we recall the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, we should not forget the modern exodus of Jews in the Middle East. This Passover is a time to commemorate these lost Jewish communities and seek justice for the victims of the Forgotten Exodus. When Arab governments recognize their role in turning nearly a million Jews into refugees, peace will at last be possible.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Pesach v'Sameach

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Moderate Islam Watch

Charles at lgf pointed me to The Disaffected Muslim writing about The Distance of Allah from his creatures:

Allah seems more distant in Islam than in Judaism and Christianity; there is more of an emphasis on His might and His power, His inapproachability, the fact that He has no need of His creation and says, "I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me." (51:56) Note the word serve, not love. In Islam one submits to Allah; in Judaism (repeated in Christianity) the Shema says, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might," a concept totally lacking in Islamic prayers. Men and women are slaves of Allah in Islam; in Christianity they are children of God. Children are a source of love and worry for their parents; slaves exist merely to serve.
This reminded me of Golda Meir:
"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.... We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us."
I don't have much hope in that day coming any time soon.

Abu Abbas

Surprise, surprise, surprise.... Arafat wants Abu Abbas released. He tells us that the Interim agreement of September 28,1995 forgives all pals of crimes committed before the signing of the Oslo Accord on September 13, 1993.

Tell me, is there an agreement if one side has cheated on and ignored virtually ALL of their obligations? While we may still call it the Oslo Accord(s)... for Arafat, it was the Concessions of Oslo. Maybe someday someone will have the balls to arrest Arafat for his involvement in the Achille Lauro. Lair says it better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Abu Abbas Captured in Baghdad

Great News. Am I hoping for too much to think maybe some truth about Arafat will come out of this???

What's the Solution?
From the Editors of the NYT:

The Bush administration is right to be alarmed and angry about Syria. There is reason to believe that both military equipment and potential suicide bombers have been sent from Syria for use in Iraq against American troops. Now, American officials are convinced that Syria is permitting Saddam Hussein's top lieutenants to escape across its border. As the United States begins to exercise its new role as godparent of a new, freer government in Iraq, it will have to figure out how to handle many hostile neighbors, starting with Syria...

...One of the biggest concerns facing American troops in Iraq is that a combination of suicide bombings and internecine warfare could paralyze efforts to stabilize the country. Syria helped engineer just such a nightmare for Israel in Lebanon in the 1980's by financing and arming Shiite Muslim groups. In addition, Syria has long given refuge to anti-Israel terror groups, like the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It may also have an active chemical weapons program.

War against Syria, however, makes no sense.
So, what does make sense? I hope at least the threat of force has more meaning now than it did 3 months ago.

Howard Kurtz asks the question but doesn't answer it. Was it rhetorical?

Did all this put CNN in the position of colluding with murderers?

Monday, April 14, 2003

I wish the war drums regarding Syria were not starting to beat so loudly. Assad has more headlines than Saddam in the last couple of days. HaAretz and The Jerusalem Post both weigh in. The NY Times runs two articles today. This week's Forward and all of the major news networks and CNN have stories on their web sites. It's all a bit scary.

In October Senator Bob Graham argued that we should not make Saddam our top enemy while groups like Hezbollah were so strong and active. He was arguably correct, but the fact that Hezbollah remains largely unaffected by the fall of Saddam should scare us all. Israel is right to focus attention on the terrorist threat from the north, but it will be much more difficult for the US to take any real action. Instead, we are left to hope that our performance in Iraq coupled with our thinly veiled warnings to Assad, will get Syria to stop supporting Hezbollah terrorists. Fat chance.

Most Americans are assuming that the Arabs will see us for the caring, free people we are as we create a free Iraq. Most Americans are not ready for a long and difficult battle against a determined core of Islamofascist terrorists who are angered and humiliated by the US presence in the middle of their world. We are just beginning a long and painful process. Creating a free and tolerant Iraq or at least a truly democratic Iraq is the right thing to do, but we should not kid ourselves by thinking we'll do it in 6 months or a year, or even 5 years.

It will take a long time to convince the Arabs that we truly stand for freedom and do not want to impose our will on Iraq for selfish or imperial reasons. By threatening Syria we are not earning any good will from the Arabs. Let’s hope the threat of force is enough to get Assad to change his behavior… but I’m not betting on it.

Too many in the world are hoping America will fail. Too many in the world will work to make America fail… including some of our allies. The battle is just beginning and our true friends are few. The only way to win is to be certain that a free Middle East is the goal and to be strong in our pursuit of the goal.

Friday, April 11, 2003

We've been Saddamized by CNN

CNN: Why were they there? It wasn't to tell the world the truth

It comes as no surprise that CNN would keep the truth from us. But why fight to stay in Baghdad just to tell Lies ????

I came to know several Iraqi officials well enough that they confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed. One Foreign Ministry officer told me of a colleague who, finding out his brother had been executed by the regime, was forced, as a test of loyalty, to write a letter of congratulations on the act to Saddam Hussein. An aide to Uday once told me why he had no front teeth: henchmen had ripped them out with pliers and told him never to wear dentures, so he would always remember the price to be paid for upsetting his boss. Again, we could not broadcast anything these men said to us...

...Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for "crimes," one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family's home.
And they complain about Al-Jezeera??? All of the news organizations and "journalists" who prostituted themselves for the thrill should be held accountable. What other reason than the thrill of being there... they weren't there to tell the truth. It sickens me. How many more stories are they keeping from us? Where are the other lies?

At least Mr. Jordan’s conscience is bothering him enough to come clean now. Things like this make scum bags like Peter Arnett even more despicable. It all makes you wonder how different things would have been if Arnett, Bob Simon et. al. had really told the truth 12 years ago Why lie to the World CNN..... deliberate lies they were not deceived, they told us deliberate lies for at least the last dozen years...... This absolutely makes me sick.

And if you're not sick enough, take a look at the CNN site to see how Jordan and CNN were heroic. Heroic freaking liars.
Why tell the truth now? .... they were kicked out 3 weeks ago!
UPDATE: Everyone seems to be hopping on this horse and shouting out. Try Charles at lgf, and Taranto's Best of the Web, Lair give us the Amish perspective over at Kesher Talk ( some intergalactic problem at his site). Moe at Occom's Toothbrush, brings up an old related article. Michele rants so does Allison and the Command Post was on it, Bill Hobbes chips in, and Roger Simon too. Rachel Lucas agrees with Blaster that we should Flood the Zone, and don't miss the stuff at Quasipundit. I'm sure I've missed some others but this really has me upset for some reason. Even though we've known they’ve (CNN) been loose with the truth in the past, their complicity with the bloody Saddam regime is unforgivable. CNN had too much respect in the world to stoop so low. And if this is Standard Operating Procedure for our major news organizations, the truth may never be told.

CNN possibly sacrificed thousands of Iraqis to protect a few of their employees. How sad.


From Jonathan Tobin:

The whining critics of the war who predicted doom and gloom if America attacked Iraq are being proven wrong. As further evidence of Saddam's misdeeds continue to surface, those who counseled trusting in the power of the United Nations to fix the problem are similarly discredited.

But whatever satisfaction we can take in deflating the "blame-America first" crowd, the next battles in the political wars over how America should deal with the Middle East are just beginning.

The conflict will center on two fronts. One will be over the struggle to create a democracy in postwar Iraq. The other will be whether or not the victorious coalition simultaneously attempts to weaken the region's only existing democracy in order to empower one of Saddam Hussein's few remaining allies.

The job of building a democratic Iraq will be difficult, but at least most of Europe agrees with us on the goal. Effectively dealing with the Arab-Israeli situation will be much more difficult. Most of Europe and all of the Islamic world are all-too-ready to sacrifice Israel's security to appease those who want Israel to disappear. We certainly live in interesting times.

Thursday, April 10, 2003


This column by Mark Goldblatt is a little harsh, but he's right about delusion being a two way street.

On Arab Jihadis joining Iraq to battle the coalition:

The thought that a dozen or so yahoos in me-go-boom vests could have an effect on coalition forces is rife with pathos, a squadron of gnats buzzing across the desert to stop a herd of charging elephants, but beneath the pathos lies a critical delusion -- a delusion that, one way or another, must be dispelled if a lasting peace in the Middle East is ever to be achieved, and the war on terrorism concluded.
The delusion, of course, is that there's such a thing as "Arab and Muslim land."

On the Palestinians:
Nevertheless, the delusion persists. Even though they have as much chance of resurrecting the extinct glories of Medieval Islam as they do of summoning up the lost continent of Atlantis, Saddam Hussein calls for a holy war against trespassing infidels on Pan-Arabist grounds, and Osama bin Laden calls for a holy war against trespassing infidels on Islamist grounds... as though such calls will deter the Anglo-European civilization which, literally, left Islam in the dust half a millennium ago. But the calls go out, and the Palestinians, always the hapless, deluded Palestinians, answer: Allahu akbar!

On ending the war on terror:
The war on terrorism, in other words, cannot end with a surrender treaty; it can only end by compelling vast numbers of people to change their minds, to recognize their most heartfelt aspirations as impossible fantasies and to cut them loose. The war on terrorism can only end with an outbreak of mass sanity in the Islamic world.

On treating Arab delusions:
So how do you convince a million or so murderous fanatics to forsake their delusions? The short answer is you don't. You deal with them as you would deal with a cancer; you cut them out of the body politic and hope to minimize collateral damage to the surrounding tissue. But this becomes problematic when the body politic refuses treatment, when indeed it curls up with the cancer in its midst.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Some thoughts on Post War Iraq and the role of the UN

The Coalition of the willing should stand strong AGAINST giving France, Germany, Russia and the UN any meaningful role in rebuilding Iraq. The debate in the UN over the past months, and the debate in NATO during the same time should be seen as the simple choice it was

On one hand we saw the appeasers who blocked any threat of force to get Saddam Hussein to comply with the will of the rest of the world. Their vision of peace was as unrealistic as it was damaging to world peace. On the other hand was a small group with the courage to act to put some weight behind the empty resolutions of the UN.

Today's events show and the future will continue to show that the second group was right. The next tyrant who chooses to go against the UN will have a much different history to examine than did Saddam. That is unless we cave and lose our resolve.

If we allow the UN and the trio of France, Germany and Russia to save face by entering Iraq as the peacemakers and re-builders, then we will have lost the debate. We stand on the verge of a real New World Order if we maintain our resolve. Giving people who opposed the war the benefits of victors, without having sacrificed, would be contrary to the principles for which America fought the war. We have the chance to take a huge leap in changing opinions about America if we can truly stand for your principles and give the Iraqi's their freedom.

If we are successful, the desire for freedom will spread throughout the region. Partial success will mean failure, and too many cooks will spoil the broth. There is a role for the UN in coordinating contributions from member nations and for distributing humanitarian aid. But the Three Appeasers should have no role in the peace. It was largely aid from the French, Russians and Germans that kept Saddam in power. The weapons the trio provided helped murder hundreds of thousands of Arabs. Let's shine the light on those facts.

British and American companies should rebuild the infrastructure that the trio's money helped destroy. Britain and America should be seen as the liberators and the re-builders. If visible roles are given to the Trio they will continue their opposition to the US and will foment dissent among the Arabs causing us major problems in the peace.

As Iraq is rebuilt let's highlight which nations acted for peace and justice and which nations acted to allow tyranny, lawlessness and violence.

By the way: Update on Saddam is a hero.... his regime lasted 4 times longer than the French government did in 1940!

Arabs Can't Believe the Truth
The headline in the Jerusalem Post and repeated in numerous other places: Arab world incredulous at Saddam's fall.

Some Arabs clustered at shop windows to watch the astounding pictures on television. Others turned off their sets in disgust at scenes from Baghdad of jubilant crowds celebrating the arrival of US troops and the apparent end of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The overwhelming emotion for many was one of disbelief, tinged for some with disappointment after weeks of hearing Saddam's government pledge a "great victory" or fight to the death against "infidel invaders."

More from the Washington Post (hat tip Command Post): Read all of their links! How can some people think there is no clash of cultures?

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

An Arab Writes about Arab Lies

Tipping my hat to Alisa in Wonderland for the MEMRI translation of three articles by Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, the editor of London's Saudi Daily, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. Al-Rashed is uncharacteristically critical of the Arab media .

"But when we examine the Arab media, [we find] that little has changed since the previous century. It seems as if today's wars are no different than those of forty years ago. At that time, the Arab media jumped ahead of the Arab armies by making false predictions. They assumed that publishing a headline about downing 100 Israeli warplanes in the war of 1967 would build self-confidence and may even come true in the future. However, those who doze off and wake up in front of Arab TV will not forgive the [Arab] media [for] its lies when the smoke clears up and the truth is seen in full...

"...I know that adopting an impartial stand in the [Arab] media world is akin to suicide, because there are many who push the media into extremes, and take 'nationalistic' positions, and maintain that whoever thinks differently is committing treason against the [national] cause. [They maintain] that lying for the sake of the cause is moral and honorable. The Arab media [of today], in these hard times, is slowly turning into the 1967 media; at that time, radio announcers, analysts, and journalists exaggerated acts of courage and covered up defeats, which - historically - became a mockery...

"...Today, it is a battle of information just like 1967. Every editor sits with his scissors and tells the people: this is what you are going to see, and this is what you are not allowed to hear because it features an Iraqi as Washington's supporter, or it describes the defeat of the brave [Iraqi] troops, or it looks like a propaganda campaign. There is a difference between a media tool that acts like a sifter and one that acts as a distributor. The latter is better."

Monday, April 07, 2003

Meryl's compilation of Fisk's writings from last week would be hilarious if it wasn't for the fact that Monsieur Fisk is so widely read. Robair Feesk...

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Arab Heroes
Joining Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein a Hero????

While the fate of Saddam Hussein may already be sealed, there is no doubt that he is creating himself as a legend which is being lapped up by the Arab masses...

...The fact that Saddam has survived for 12 days is seen as a colossal success. Before the conflict, his star was falling in the Arab world, with few takers for his propaganda that he intended to liberate Palestine...

...Abdel-Bari Atwan, the often provocative editor of the London Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, said the Iraqi campaign had had an effect on the Arab world similar to the September 11 attacks. The Americans had been surprised to find that the presence of foreign troops had awakened a sense of "patriotism and honour" among the Arabs. "They think that they can humiliate the Arabs all the time, and no one will answer back," he said...

...For the first time since the 1960s, when the Arab world listened transfixed to Cairo's Voice of the Arabs, with its seductive mix of Nasser's revolutionary speeches and sensuous songs, the Arab world feels connected.
That's right, Saddam and the Arabs have kept their honor by surviving for 12 days. Humiliated? Nope, they've been Saddamized again.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, April 03, 2003

More Arab Lies

From Arab News: Iraq dismissed as “baseless” a US statement yesterday that the Baghdad Division of the Republican Guards had been destroyed. “This is a baseless statement as the Baghdad Division is in command of the situation and it enjoys high morale to fight the enemy and destroy it,” a military spokesman said. He added that the division had not even suffered casualties in its engagement with US troops.

From Robert Fisk: (as far as I'm concerned hes' an Arab) How, I kept asking myself, could the Americans batter their way through these defenses? For mile after mile they go on, slit trenches, ditches, earthen underground bunkers, palm groves of heavy artillery and truck loads of combat troops in battle fatigues and steel helmets. Not since the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War have I seen the Iraqi Army deployed like this; the Americans may say they are “degrading” the country’s defenses but there was little sign of that here Wednesday.

From the Palestine Chronicle: An Iraqi military spokesman on Wednesday, April 2, repudiated claims about the destruction of the Baghdad division of the elite Republican Guard, as propagated by the U.S. Central Command.
"These allegations have no foundation and are part of the hostile campaign against Iraq," the spokesman told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"To the contrary, the Baghdad Republican Guard division maintains its cohesion and has a morale of steel. It has not suffered any losses and is ready to confront the enemy and destroy it," he averred.

From the Command Post: Iraq's Information Minister Mohammad al Sahaf has denied US claims of progress in the war, arguing in fact the reverse is true.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Questions about Post War Iraq
In today's column Thomas Friedman quotes Professor Mohamed Kamel of Cairo University:

"In 1975, Richard Nixon came to Egypt and the government turned out huge crowds. Some Americans made fun of Nixon for this, and Nixon defended himself by saying, `You can force people to go out and welcome a foreign leader, but you can't force them to smile.' Maybe the Iraqis will eventually stop resisting you. But that will not make this war legitimate. What the U.S. needs to do is make the Iraqis smile. If you do that, people will consider this a success."

There is a lot riding on that smile, Mr. Kamel added, because this is the first "Arab-American war." This is not about Arabs and Israelis. This is about America getting inside the Arab world — not just with its power or culture, but with its ideals. It is a war for what America stands for. "If it backfires," Mr. Kamel concluded, "if you don't deliver, it will really have a big impact. People will not just say your policies are bad, but that your ideas are a fake, you don't really believe them or you don't know how to implement them."
Yes, we are taking a big risk... We better do it right.

Lies in the Arab Media

Reading the Arab papers and watching some Arab TV, whether it's through the net or clips on US TV, can really irritate me. How can millions in the Arab Street watch that crap and actually believe it.

This morning I saw Iraq's Minister of Information tell the world that Iraq was winning the war, that the coalition forces had not crossed the Tigris, that thousands of enemy soldiers had been killed… He may as well call himself the Minister of Truth, it would be no less dishonest. This crap goes way beyond propaganda. It would be comedic if the subject was not so serious.

The lies are nothing new. Throughout modern history the Arabs have lied to the world and lied to themselves, especially about great battlefield victories. Whether it has been empty blustering before the fact or telling their ignorant masses about fictitious triumphs, the only result has been their ultimate humiliation in defeat. This war in Iraq is no different.

The Arab war against Israel is also no different. Bold faced lies are told about massacres, numbers of casualties, and everything else imaginable. One amazing thing they can do is to tell two different lies about the same topic depending on which language they are speaking and which audience they are targeting.

The lies are a given, yet the real crime is the way some western news agencies give the lies credence, even reporting them as fact. We all know the typical culprits, yet it continues unabated. For the life of me I cannot understand why much of the press, particularly in Europe joins the chorus. Is it gullibility and naivety? Is it ignorance? Is it pure anti-Semitism? Or are they afraid of the creeping Islamism throughout their welfare states? Whatever the reasons the results can be devastating.

This week Rachel Currie’s “martyrdom,” (see An Unsealed Room) regardless of the truth of the situation caused a change in Israeli defense policy. Will that mean other lost lives from a terrorist? I hope not but again, lies from the Arabs were devoured as truth. The alleged "martyrdom" of Mohammed al-Dura is another vicious lie.

You all remember the photos and the news coverage, the father and son caught in a cross-fire at the Netzarim Junction. As it turns out, the entire incident was most likely an amateurish production of some palestinian film director. The event was staged, like so many others, pure theater. Remember the staged funeral where the corpse was dropped and then got up and ran away? In the cross-fire drama there’s credible evidence that the boy was never even shot, let alone killed. But the damage had been done.

Investigations like those done by Gerard Huber and Stephane Juffa et al, are far and few between and are poorly publicized. Somehow they get lost on the dung heap with stories like the French Best Seller positing that there was no plane that slammed into the Pentagon. So what can we do?

We can spread the truth quietly among our friends and acquaintances, we can write letters, send faxes, e-mails to help spread the truth. But please do something!

I’m hopeful that American involvement in Iraq, and the similarity of the problems we are facing to those the Israelis have been confronting for decades, will help shine the light on Arab lies. I’m also looking for some help.

Does anyone know of any publication, document or scholarly work that has catalogued and documented Arab lies in war? All help would be appreciated.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

An UnSaddamized Iraq...

The benefits of a free and democratic Iraq in the post-Saddam world, make the risks we are taking well worthwhile. But, make no mistake, we are taking a huge risk. The Arabian scapegoat of anti-Semitism and its extension to anti-Americanism is not going to be eliminated the way Saddam is.

In the UnSaddamized Iraq there will still be countless Arabs who hate us, are jealous of us, and will blame us for their problems. The surrounding states, which share the anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, will find like-minded individuals in Iraq and will conduct a war of terror much like they do in Israel. We can still win, but it will take a great deal of time and will take great resolve.... it will not be an easy time.

By minimizing the appearance of occupation and maximizing NGO participation we'll begin earning the trust of some Iraqis, still there will be enemies. Our motives are suspect; our relationship to Israel is suspect. We are not winning many friends by invading an Arab country. That said, it doesn't mean that what we are doing is not right. But to ensure success, we had better be ready for a long, difficult and expensive ordeal.... Iraq is not the only Arab state that is being Saddamized.


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