Saturday, November 09, 2002

Stay tuned...
Iraq to study 'bad and unjust' UN resolution

CAIRO - Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, in Cairo for a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers, confirmed on Saturday his government would take its time before responding.

Sabri mocked the compromises Washington had to make before France and Russia would agree to the resolution.

"American's aggressive goal of using the Security Council as a cover for an aggression on Iraq was thwarted by the international community," he said. "The international community doesn't share the evil administration in Washington's absolute appetite for aggression."

Is it just me or does this guy sound like a vilain from Austin Powers? "Abu Evil" perhaps??
Is there a Nobel Prize for Editorials? No? Too bad. Mark Steyn would win hands down.
No one writes like him. Here's some vintage Steyn:
Campaign 2004 is now underway. We can't say for sure who the Presidential candidates will be but, after Tuesday, we know who they won't be: Democratic Senate leader Tom Daschle, Democratic House leader Dick Gephardt, and Democratic recurring nightmare Al Gore will be departing the national scene, though, as usual, it may take Al a while to get the message. Daschle and Gephardt symbolize, respectively, the frivolous obstructionism and intellectual vapidity of the Congressional Democrats. And Al Gore symbolizes, alas, Al Gore. You can pretty much correlate the Democrats' worst results on Tuesday with Al's travel schedule during the campaign. The polls had Bill McBride holding his own against Florida Governor Jeb Bush until Al showed up to campaign with Bill. The same in Maryland, where Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was still the favourite until Al breezed into town to stump for her. And everywhere he went the country's most prominent Android-American had a consistent message: This election isn't about the war or the economy, it's about me and "the disputed Florida vote two years ago." "Are you over it?" he roared at the crowds. "No!" they roared back.
Earth to Al: The rest of us are over it.

Doesn't get much better than this. Steyn can be devastating. And he nails the entire grateful Dems. Hilarious!

Friday, November 08, 2002

Odds and ends....
* Today, we had our 40,000 visitor to our blog. WOW! Who would have thought!!!
* I just bought the Oriana Fallaci "The Rage and The Pride" book. I'll read it over the weekend and give you my reaction next week (it ought to be fun, I just opened the book at random and found this passage: "Don't you see that all these Ousamas Bin Ladens consider themselves authorities to kill you and your children because you drink alcohol, because you don't grow the long beard and refuse the chador or the burkah, because you go to the theater and to the movies, because you love music and sing a song, because you dance and watch television, because you wear the miniskirt or the shorts, because on the beach and by the swimming pool you sunbathe almost naked or naked, because you make love when you want and with whom you want, or because you don't believe in God?!? [...] I have no intention of being punished for this by retrograde bigots who, instead of contributing to the improvement of humanity, salaam and squawk prayers five times a day." I am still not quite sure what Oriana's politics are but I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out!
* Great quote: "One casualty is tragedy, one million casualties is a statistic". Joseph Stalin.
Can Hans Blix be trusted? [He is the Chief Inspector who would return to Iraq if Iraq agrees to implement the latest UN Security Council resolution]. Not according to this article.
Apparently, Hans deliberately failed to report his findings that Iraq may have 8000 litres of Anthrax (about 2,200 gallons for those if you who still live in the backward waters of the Imperial System). Based on 8000 micrograms as being enough to infect one individual fatally, 8000 litres would be enough to kill about 1 billion people. Oh, I guess good old Hans considers that a "minor infraction". I am sure Saddam is shaking in his little booties knowing that Hans might be coming back.
Gretta Duisenberg...rings a bell? Well, she is the wife of the European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg.
She is also a rabid anti-Israeli, a holocaust denier and very pro-Palestinian. And this, of course has no direct correlation with the EU's position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Right!
Michiel Visser, another blogger confrere, delivers the whole story and some interesting links. If you need still more proof that the clock has taken a turn back 60 years in Europe, read Michiel's blog.
Treatment of Israel strikes an alien note by Alan Dershowitz in the National Post.
A wonderful article by Alan Dershowitz which clearly points to the obvious: why is Israel being singled out for a whole bunch of imagined "abuses" when so many dictatorships, thugocracies, theocracies and other totalitarian countries and regime don't seem to attract any attention whatsoever?

[...]The intergalactic visitor would wonder what this pariah nation, Israel, must have done to deserve this unique form of economic capital punishment. If he then went to the library and began to read books and articles about this planet, he would discover that Israel was a vibrant democracy, with freedom of speech, press and religion, that was surrounded by a group of tyrannical and undemocratic regimes, many of which are actively seeking its destruction. He would learn that in Egypt, homosexuals are routinely imprisoned and threatened with execution; that in Jordan suspected terrorists and other opponents of the government are tortured, and that if individualized torture does not work, their relatives are called in and threatened with torture as well; that in Saudi Arabia, women who engage in sex outside of marriage are beheaded; that in Iraq, political opponents are routinely murdered en masse and no dissent is permitted; that in Iran members of religious minorities, such as Baha'is and Jews, are imprisoned and sometimes executed; that in all of these surrounding nations, anti-Semitic material is frequently broadcast on state-sponsored television and radio programs; in Saudi Arabia apartheid is practiced against non-Muslims, with signs indicating that Muslims must go to certain areas and non-Muslims to others; that China has occupied Tibet for half a century; that in several African countries women are stoned to death for violating sexual mores; that slavery still exists in some parts of the world; and that genocide has been committed by a number of countries in recent memory.
More anti-Israel activities on Campus. This time, it is Columbia. Please sign this petition:
The campaign for divestment from Israeli companies has recently hit Columbia University. Please sign this petition --it takes literally two seconds -- and forward it to everyone you know. It is imperative that we get thousands of signatures. Anyone can sign it -- there are categories
for students, parents, alumni, faculty, and other. Use OTHER if you did not attend the school. So far, over 21,000 people have signed.
Just go to this website.
I'm going into hiding. Who's with me?
And just for good measure...

Islamic cleric could be Pakistan's next leader

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — He won big in last month's elections on an anti-American ticket, has called Osama bin Laden a holy warrior and counts Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar among his friends — and he could be Pakistan's next prime minister.

Fazl-ur Rahman has sharply criticized President Pervez Musharraf's support for the United States and its war on terror. And while Musharraf will keep a strong grip on power no matter who is prime minister, a Rahman government would likely bring stormy tensions within the leadership of a key U.S. ally.

That would be putting it lightly...

...and just to show that there are no hard feelings, let's put Osama on the ticket as a Democrat...

Five Council Members Criticize Mayor’s Choice of Mohammedi Appointee Tied to Terrorist Sympathizers
Five members of the City Council took to the floor yesterday to challenge the appointment of a member of the city’s Human Rights Commission. The commissioner, Omar Mohammedi, also serves as general council to a group that has been accused of sympathy with terrorism, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

A range of Jewish groups criticized his October 15 appointment.

Umm...they needed Jews to criticize this decision? Why isn't everyone up in arms?

The Bloomberg administration says it is standing by the appointment.

“Mr. Mohammedi has reiterated to us that his work for CAIR is limited to providing legal help to Muslim immigrants, and is not ideological,” said a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg, Ed Skyler.

He said CAIR’s executive director, Nihad Awad, had written “to assure the mayor that they condemn terrorism in all its forms.

Oh....they condemn all forms of terror. That's a relief eh? Oh but they don't.

CAIR’s critics point to a series of incidents, ranging from its founding in the early 1990s by people with links to the militant group Hamas to a letter from the organization posted on its Web site this year, which appears to peddle conspiracy theories about the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“The important questions are: Who is impersonating these three Muslim Arabs?” the letter asks of the hijackers.

“Why are Muslim Arabs been implicated in this terrorism? And, who could ‘benefit’ from this horrific tragedy?”

CAIR was also the co-sponsor of a forum at Brooklyn College in 1998 at which a speaker reportedly led the audience in chanting, “No to the Jews, descendants of the apes.”

The flap over Mr. Mohammedi’s appointment is raising an issue that institutions around the country are wrestling with: which institutions represent American Muslims?

Who cares? Institutions aren't supposed to represent Muslims, they're supposed to represent all Americans.

A great site
Allow me to draw everyone's attention to a great blog that's written by the other sane person at McGill. Call him Mader....and his blog? Maderblog
Oh dear!! I'm sorry. Did the father of a kidnapped soldier make you feel uncomfortable?

Israel can count on France's "compassion, support, and cooperation" in helping find information about the kidnapped soldiers in Lebanon, the French Embassy said in a statement Thursday.
Ahh yes....good ol' French compassion. We know it well.....

The statement came a day after French Ambassador Jacques Huntzinger stormed out of a meeting with the families of the kidnapped soldiers. Huntzinger left after Haim Avraham, the father of St.-Sgt. Binyamin (Benny) Avraham, implied the French have connections with Hizbullah when he said, "I see you have new friends in Lebanon." Avraham was referring to the recent meeting of French-speaking nations in Lebanon, where French President Jacques Chirac addressed an audience that included Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who was sitting in the front row.

You should note, that I had dinner with Haim Avraham only a couple weeks ago and he truly put the entire situation into perspective for me. Like most people, I thought of the kidnapping as another news story that I could read about in the papers. But it wasn't until I met Mr. Avraham and his wife and saw them sobbing almost two years after the kidnapping, that I realized that this wasn't just another news was real. No matter what the French guy says I can tell you for certain that no one has showed compassion and support to these people. They are simple and kind, but they are NOT stupid.They see the power that governments have and they know that no one is working to help find their son. Working alone, they understand that they don't have the resources to find out what happened to Benny, and so they're frustrated. Yes, maybe even frustrated enough to speak undiplomatically to the poor French ambassador. How dare they!
Run Bibi Run
Never have I been more convinced that Natanyahu would make a wonderful Prime Minister for the State of Israel. In this interview with JPost he speaks honestly and openly and makes a great case for his campaign. Historically, Israelis have gotten a lot more support from the American public when they were the tough little underdog of the Middle East, and I think Bibi will help bring that back to Israel.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

According to Broken Newz, here are how elections work in Iraq.
The Iraqi general election in which Saddam Hussein allegedly received almost 100% of the vote has been rocked by a scandal in the southern province of An Najaf where a controversial "butterfly ballot" resulted in about 1800 votes in favor of "my own execution." Election officials blamed the faulty ballot but say they will honor the results of the election as submitted.
Hussein's campaign has promised election reform. In order to prevent such errors in future elections, election officials will assume all the votes are for Hussein unless write-ins for other choices are received. The write-in forms specify the voter, his location, his work, and a list of all the relatives he likes best.
Is the PA corrupt? Is the Pope Catholic?
This study (pointed out by Stephan Sharansky), is a comprehensive piece of work on the sources of funding for the PA. As Stephan points out, it reveals that funding comes from a number of diversified sources such as: "official contributions from Arab states, taxes on Palestinian wages, investments (legitimate and otherwise), extortion, charitable front organizations, illegal arms deals, fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting, monopoly businesses in the Palestinian territories owned by Arafat cronies, drug trafficking, graft, bribery, kickbacks, car theft, skimming of Palestinian workers' pension funds, and oh yes, donations from US and EU taxpayers." Heck, they are almost as (allegedly) bad as Enron.
As the author Rachel Ehrenfeld points out, Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority has "systemically and systematically used corruption and crime, and diverted funds donated for the development of the Palestinian state, to fund terrorism and to enrich its leadership."
I am not sure that "reforming" the PA is going to be quite sufficient to fix this level of moral decay and corruption. I think it needs to be destroyed and replaced.
French police arrests 8 people in connection with the Synagogue "explosion" in Djerba (Tunisia) which killed 19 in April of this year. This is strange given that we were told the explosion was not an act of terrorism.
Next thing you know, we are going to be told that some Muslim "extremists" actually do not respect other religions' places of worship! Or that they may have done this because a synagogue is a place which ordinarily contain Jews!
Nah, no way! I forgot that all these "militants" are only motivated by one thing: punishing the West for being greedy. I almost forgot!
I am sure this is the kind of peaceful activities that the Canadian Government wants to preserve when refusing to outlaw Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations: Hamas launches webzine for kids; Journal praises martyrs, encourages children to follow example.
That's right. Canadian Taxpayers are paying for this (as donations to Hamas are still tax-deductible in Canada given Hamas' charitable status.
Islamic terror group Hamas has launched a new Web magazine for kids that praises martyrs while encouraging children to follow the example of committing suicide for the "cause."
So we, Canadian taxpayers, are paying for things like this:
"For example, the story of Mihnad, illustrating three important elements in the struggle. Firstly, the link to land and trees, the second of course is the heroism of children against soldiers, and the third is the strong nationalism which finds expression in a Palestinian flag fluttering in the wind. The plot of the story describes how Israeli soldiers demand that Mihnad pulls down a Palestinian flag flying above an olive tree. Mihnad refuses and does not give in even when he is shot at. When they force him to climb up the tree, Mihnad cries, 'Long live my land in freedom; long live the flag.' The soldiers kill Mihnad in reaction, and he is left clutching the flag, drenched in his own blood."
I am sure that the outrage of all trained monkeys Liberal MPs will be forthcoming any day now, right?
Once again, some Muslims show their true colors about the way they feel about women, especially women in power. Instead of criticizing Condo Rice about ideas and policies, they squarely show that they are true racists and mysogyns. Any Muslim still wants to argue that women are not second-class citizens in their societies?
"With her tenacious smile, which never leaves her mouth, and with her loose way of sitting, when she puts one leg on top of the other, she is representing the difference between former president Bill Clinton's messing around with politics, as he did with Monica Lewinsky, and the preoccupation of the current president in a state of political neurosis with the raven - and that's her [Rice]."
"We said then, both in private and in public, that these colored senior officials are a part of the Third World, even if only due to the color of their skin. But what happened after that was embarrassing and astonishing, especially what happened with the dark-complexioned lady, or, more accurately, black, the national security adviser."
[she is] "suited only to work at a nightclub or to make her bed in the heart of the jungles."

Yeah, these Muslims are really liberated aren't they?
Unmasking the real Israel - A letter from the the father of an Israeli soldier killed in Nablus.
Only one comment: Left-wing politicians are real scum. Read on.

Nov. 2, 2002

Will the real Israeli please stand up? Is it the gruff, tough ruffian who cuts you off in traffic, endangering life and limb -- his and yours -- for the sake of one car-length? Is it the rude and pushy person who mysteriously appears at the bank or post office -- just as you are about to finally advance to the clerk -- and cavalierly informs you, "I was here."

Or is it the driver who pulls off the road to help you with the baby carriage, all the while telling you what a cute baby you have; or the supermarket clerk who runs down the street chasing you to return the NIS 10 change you forgot when you checked out?

Over the last month, since our son Ari was killed in battle in Nablus, I have had the opportunity to encounter the Israeli, and the Israel, you never -- or rarely -- see; certainly the Israel you almost never read about. It is, I can report, an Israel with a huge heart, a towering soul, and an inner desire to do good. From the moment we received the horrendous news about our hayal, we were shielded in a protective bubble of love and care that defies description. Within minutes of the army's dreaded knock on our front door, hundreds of friends took it upon themselves to attend to our every need, from providing three meals a day, to cleaning our house, to seeing to it that we are never alone.

The entire Ra'anana community, led by Israel's most popular mayor, Zev Bielski, became mother hens and big brothers who took us under their wing and stood by our side. From near and far came amazing gestures of sympathy and solidarity: The local Starbuck's -- the only kosher Starbuck's in the world! – sent dozens of specialty coffees to our home each day of shiva. A neighborhood synagogue set up a "mobile sanctuary" in our living room so we could pray at home.

Baruch Hadaya Jewelers in Jerusalem took the bullet casings used in the "21-gun salute" to Ari at his funeral and made out of them, at no cost, commemorative rings for all the family. A 10-year-old boy from Hashmonaim, who watched the funeral on TV, saw our 10-year-old wearing a torn shirt (as required by Jewish law) and sent him a new T-shirt in the mail. Christians from Montana sent dolls to all the children.

We were overwhelmed with acts of kindness, and generosity of the spirit, from people we had never met before. Dozens came to visit us, expressing solidarity through the beautiful Hebrew expression, "I share in your pain." Included among them, alas, were many who had themselves been victims of the Palestinian Terror War against the Jewish People. They, more than anyone, know what it means to suffer and to sacrifice for this great nation of ours.

POLITICIANS CAME, too, to let us know we were not alone. President Moshe Katsav held our nine-year-old daughter's hand and animatedly asked her about school; Natan and Avital Sharansky cried with us and invited us to Shabbat dinner at their home; Effie Eitam hailed our son as a hero and left his home number in case we needed to call. Pointedly, only the politicians of the "Right" -- Likud, Yisrael Ba'aliya, Mafdal, etc. -- took the time to visit. Those of the "Left" -- Labor, Meretz, Shinui, who frequently boast of their supposed love for human rights and the need for national compassion -- never bothered to make contact with us at any stage.

Most impressive of all was the IDF. They mobilized into "battle mode" to guard and guide us. Ari's unit -- sent letters by their commanding officer "ordering" them to now make us part of their own families -- surrounded us like a wall of green. Battle-trained generals came to sit with us, and several were even caught shedding a tear. The Chief of General Staff, Moshe Ya'alon, spent an hour telling us how many lives had been saved by Ari's final mission.

I look out on all of this love, all of these expressions of unsolicited kindness, and I am absolutely convinced that we are a nation like no other. I have an unparalleled courage, a unique stamina, an irrepressible spirit. And we are, deep down, at heart, a genuinely good people who care mightily about each other. Yes, at times we let our baser instincts and our weaker sides prevail, and we lapse into petty bickering and behavior. But, when it really, really counts, we rise to the occasion and embrace the finest values of the human condition. And that is why, despite the heartaches and the losses and the setbacks we suffer, despite facing a cruel and despicable Palestinian people who seek our destruction, despite losing our own brave and beautiful son, I am absolutely certain that we shall triumph in this war and in all future wars. And I know that Ari -- whose death has sparked such an outpouring of positive emotion around the world -- did not die in vain.
Politics, Israeli style.
Ariel Sharon has called an election for February 4th. The real fight will not be between Likud and Labor (which precipitated the election by resigning from the unity government last week) but rather between Sharon and Netanyahu. So Netanyahu, who has now officially accepted the job of Foreign Minister in the Sharon government, will be campaigning not against the Labor party (the official opposition) but against the government he is a part of. And he will be campaigning against Sharon who has just given him the prize job of Foreign Minister.
Possible outcomes:
- Likud wins big under Sharon's leadership: expect more of the same Israeli posture towards the Palestinian and a made-in-the-US Israeli foreign policy (given the extremely close relationship which has developed between Sharon and Bush).
- Likud wins big under Netanyahu's leadership: expect Israel to expel Arafat once and for all; expect a gradual dismantling of the large terrorist concentrations such as Jenin and Nablus; expect a freeze on Jewish settlements but no withdrawal; and I think we will see a new Israeli proposal to increase the size of the Gaza strip in exchange for the annexation of some of the West Bank, in order to provide Palestinians with a contiguous state with borders which can be easily contained by the IDF. The incentive will be for Palestinians to gradually move into the Gaza strip and vacate the West Bank permanently.
- Likud wins a minority government. Back to square one!

Monday, November 04, 2002

Dawsonspeak provides a tremendously effective and disturbing indictment of Canada and its government regarding the fight against terrorism.
It parallels the decision to strip Magen David Adom (Israeli equivalent to the Red Cross) of its tax exempt status (making it likely that donations from Canadians will be negatively impacted) while maintaining the status of Hizbollah and Hamas as "humanitarian organizations" for the "social work they do in the territories.
As always, Liberals (as all social-democrats and left-leaning social engineers) support terrorists and murderers while pretending that they defend human rights. They actually support crime and misery.
Troubling development in Turkey: a pro-Islamist party has been elected to form the next government.
Not that having pro-Islamist is necessary bad but in this case, it definitely has the potential for great political instability: the leader of the party Recep Tayyip Erdogan cannot be named Prime Minister because of a criminal conviction. The army is always looking closely, ready to depose any party which threatens to take Turkey off its lay road. Added to this, questions being asked about Turkey's commitment to NATO and the new hesitation from the EU regarding Turkeys application for membership. This has all the elements for a very difficult road ahead especially as the US considers Turkey a key component of any campaign against Iraq.
Has Bush been conned by Colin Powell at the UN?
It would seem that the US has signed onto the whole inspections sham once more time.
This NewsMax analysis paints a pretty bleak picture of the latest developments in the UN. Effectively, the US seems to have folded in its demands and is now on board for the full inspections and obfuscation again. Even if the US gives up on the whole process after a few months and decides to take action, the window of opportunity will have closed because of the weather (too hot to be able to wear the chemical gear protection suits) and this will effectively give Saddam an entire year to further develop and hide his WMD. By then, who knows whether Saddam will have nuclear weapons. Watch for Washington to take a completely different tone with Iraq then, just as it has with North Korea.
If the US does not attack Iraq within 4-6 weeks (before Dec 15th), this whole game is up and Saddam will be scott free.
REPORT: IDF helped train US infantry in urban combat
The US, expecting a possible ugly urban battle against troops loyal to Saddam in the streets of Baghdad, apparently is using Israel's expertise in this domain to train its troops. That would pre-suppose of course that Saddam would choose to use the Iraqi civilian population as a shield to protect his "courageous" soldiers. Which of course is what Saddam has routinely done in the past, along with the PA, Hamas and Hizbollah who routinely hide in highly populated areas so that any civilian casualties can then be used as a way to gain international support (from the naive likes of Amnesty International).
Another suicide-bombing in Israel, this time in a mall, leaves 2 people dead.
A new group, called the Jerusalem Brigades, has claimed responsibility for this "operation". It will be interesting to see how the new Israeli Defense Minister reacts to this new outrage. And I bet that Erakat is about to say "the PA condemns violence against all civilians whether Palestinian or Israelis. This incident shows that only a return to the negotiating table can stop the cycle of violence". And the answer to this nonsense of course is: The PA condones, organizes and finances violence. It has never been, is not and will never be against violence. The way to stop the cycle of violence is to stop the violence by throwing in jail anyone who incites suicide bombings either by words, deeds or funding. This includes Arafat and his cronies.
US kills 6 Al Qai'da members including chief in Yemen
Using the tried and true technique used by Israel for "extra-judicial" assassination, today, the US killed 6 Al Qai'da members (including the Al Qai'da chief in Yemen) by using a missile to destroy a car these 6 were riding. The US therefore finally acknowledges (by its actions, not declarations of course) that in some cases, extracting and bringing people like these to justice would be too dangerous and too costly in terms of loss of life. Of course, Israel has been using this technique many times and has killed many of the Palestinian leaders who have ordered the massacre of Israelis either with missiles or booby-traps.
The condemnation from the UN of this "barbaric" action by the US is coming soon, right? Right?

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Typical Israeli politics: Netanyahu has accepted Sharon's offer of the Foreign Minister's job. But it looks like Sharon will reject the acceptance because Netanyahu has indicated that he wants Sharon to call early elections!
So it looks like it may be back to square one for Sharon as far a looking for a replacement for Peres. Actually, there are still talks that Peres may replace himself and retain the title of "special ambassador". Only in Israel!
Although, if you are really confused, David Warren provides a pretty good analysis of the politicl situation that Sharon is dealing with.
It turns out that the big hullabaloo about the ban on kosher meat in Holland was not exactly true. Before posting the story I checked the source and was satisfied with what I found, but it turns out that I wasn't thorough enough and we got burned! In any case, he real story is that some time ago there was some discussion on the humane treatment on Limousin bulls when they were being slaughtered. Because these animals are so large, slaughtering them takes longer than it would for, say, an ordinary cow. A ban was placed on their slaughter until some council on the ethical treatment of animals decided that the kosher slaughter method was not cruel, at which point the ban was lifted. There have never been bans placed on the kosher slaughter of other animals in Holland. Sorry 'bout that.
Our friends and allies; Saudis: No airspace, bases for Iraq strike
How Bush and Powell can still pull off this fantasy that the Saudis are "moderate" and are on the side of the West against Jihadism and extreme Islamo-fascism is beyond belief. When 15 of the 19 9/11 murderers were Saudis, Osama is a Saudi, there are rumours that Osama is back in Saudi Arabia and now this? I mean, with friends like this, who the hell needs enemies?