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My conservative news clippings
Friday, 19 December 2003

Click for my newest additions (bandwidth limitations)!
Includes the infamous shelved report on European Antisemitism! (long reading)

For the doubters: Bush's perseverance in Iraq changes Mid-east fundamentally and forever:

Iraq - Not a chance for WMD

Iran allows inspection of their Nuke program

Even Ghadafi (!) agrees to gets rid of his nukes

Next on the agenda: Syria.

I just wonder how would the Weasels, the UN, the peaceniks and Dems have achieved all that through negotiations with those evil empires... Another carrot and stick Conservative classic! (grin)


Posted by trafael at 1:47 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 14 June 2004 8:04 PM EDT
Sunday, 14 December 2003

CAUGHT LIKE A RAT! Pales' and Arafat: "Black day in history!"click for entire article.. bandwidth again...

check out http://www.foxnews.com/

Saddam Captured in Raid Near Tikrit

?

While Iraqis are out on the streets celebrating.... Saddam's arrest - 'Black day' for Pales'

Ramallah - Disbelief and gloom seized many Palestinians on Sunday at news of Saddam Hussein's capture as Israel fired off a telegram of congratulations to the United States.

An elderly Jordanian man kisses a picture of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in down town Amman December 14, 2003. Arabs greeted the capture of Saddam Hussein with divided emotions on Sunday, welcoming the arrest of a dictator yet tinged with regret that a symbol of Arab defiance against the United States was behind bars. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

The former Iraqi ruler was a hero to many Palestinians for his stand against Israel and its US ally, as well as for helping families of Palestinians dead in an uprising.

For Israel, he was a menace over the horizon who long bankrolled the enemy.

'He is the only man who said no to American injustice in the Middle East'
"It's a black day in history," said Sadiq Husam, 33, a taxi driver in Ramallah, West Bank seat of the Palestinian Authority.

"I am saying so not because Saddam is an Arab, but because he is the only man who said no to American injustice in the Middle East," he said.

There was no immediate reaction from Palestinian President Yasser Arafat or his government.

But Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz hailed Saddam's capture in a telegram to the American government as proof of patience and determination in a war "against the rulers of darkness".

Saddam paid over $35-million to the kin of Palestinian suicide bombers, militants and bystanders who died in an uprising that began in 2000.

'It's a black day in history'

A Palestinian member of the youth organization Palestinian Mini Parliament, affiliated to Yasser Arafat's Fatah, holds a picture of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during a demonstration in support of Hussein on the day of his capture by U.S forces in Iraq at the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip Sunday Dec. 14, 2003.


Though far from all Palestinians supported him, militants marched to back Saddam ahead of the US-led invasion in March.

Arafat himself had opposed the 1991 Gulf War that ousted Saddam's forces from Kuwait. Palestinians cheered when Iraqi Scud missiles crashed into Israeli cities.

Some did not believe news of Saddam's capture even when images of the bearded figure flashed across television screens.

"Maybe they captured someone who looks like him," said Laila Abusharigh, 55, in the Gaza Strip. "Saddam is a real man and all of us are with him."

Youngsters from Arafat's Fatah movement tagged onto a rally in Gaza for the Islamic group Hamas, holding up posters of Saddam.

Islamic factions sworn to Israel's destruction have taken strength from Iraqi resistance and cautioned on Sunday that Saddam's capture would not end attacks on US forces.

"The war will start now in Iraq," said 16-year-old Yusef Khalil in Gaza. "Saddam helped our people and we will not forget him."

Arafat "saddened" by Saddam capture


By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

Palestinians in the West Bank reacted with shock and disbelief to the capture of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, with many expressing deep disappointment that the man who symbolized defiance against the US and Israel surrendered without resistance.

For many ordinary Palestinians, the TV footage of a disheveled Saddam obediently submitting to a medical exam by his U.S. captors was painful to watch: it sealed the defeat of the one Arab leader they felt always stood by them.

Poll: What should happen to Saddam now?

Saddam should have put up a fight or committed suicide, they said, and his surrender is a stain on Arab honor. "It is a big defeat for all Arabs and Muslims," said Raji Hassan, 29, watching TV with friends in a Gaza City coffee shop.

The Palestinian Authority declined to comment on the arrest of Saddam, but a senior PA official in Ramallah said Yasser Arafat was "saddened" by the news from Baghdad. "President Arafat was sad to see an Arab leader in an humiliating position," said the official.

For nearly two decades, Saddam was hailed by many Palestinians as the hero of the Arab masses and the only Arab leader to stand up to the US and Israel. During the first Gulf War, Palestinians danced on the rooftops as Saddam's army fired Scud missiles at Israel. Arafat was one of the few Arab leaders to visit Baghdad to express support for the invasion of Kuwait - move that resulted in the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Kuwait and other Gulf countries.

Arafat's decision to side with Saddam also resulted in the near bankruptcy of the PLO after the oil-rich Gulf governments halted their financial support for the Palestinians. Saddam is said to have compensated the PLO by giving Arafat $50m.

1980 - Arafat in love with Saddam

In the past three years, Saddam was the only Arab leader to pay millions of Dollars to the families of Palestinian victims of the violence. Families of suicide bombers received up to $10,000, while those whose houses were destroyed by the IDF were given $20,000.

The payments further boosted Saddam's popularity among the Palestinians, particularly at a time when Arafat was handing out smaller sums to his people. Earlier this year, Palestinians demonstrated in favor of Saddam when the US threatened to invade Iraq and topple his regime. At the rallies they chanted, "O' beloved Saddam, bomb Tel Aviv."

But this time Arafat and the Palestinian leadership were careful not to be seen speaking in favor of the Iraqi tyrant. Privately, however, senior PA officials said they supported Saddam in the face of the American "aggression." The fall of Baghdad on April 9 was regarded by many Palestinians as a new "nakba" (catastrophe - a term used by Palestinians to describe the creation of Israel in 1948).

When reports about Saddam's atrocities began to emerge from Iraq, some Palestinians changed their minds about the former Iraqi dictator, explaining that they had been unaware of the scale of crimes perpetrated by his Baathist regime. But this did not prevent the Palestinian media from supporting the "resistance" attacks against the US soldiers and drawing a parallel between these attacks and the Palestinian fight against Israel.

On the streets of Ramallah on Sunday, many Palestinians expressed sorrow and shock at the capture of Saddam. Jihan Ajlouni, a 24-year-old university student, said, "This is a big loss for the Arab nation. Saddam was one of the great Arab leaders who supported the Palestinian people and many Arabs. We feel very sad today, and we say to all the traitors and collaborators: Don't rush to celebrate because there are millions of Saddams in the Arab world."

Fathi Salman, 50, a taxi driver, described the arrest of Saddam as a "black day" for the Palestinians. "This is a black day for all the Palestinians and all the Arabs and Muslims," he said. "I still can't believe that President Saddam has been captured by the Americans. Saddam was the only Arab leader who cared about us. He supported the Palestinian cause from the beginning. His arrest is a major setback for the Palestinians. It's a pity that he didn't fight."

Khairiyeh Said, 43, a high-school teacher, said she wept when she watched Saddam in captivity. "I was sitting with my friends when we heard the bad news," she added. "We all started crying because we love Saddam and we hate [US President George W.] Bush and [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon. This is a big victory for Bush and Sharon and all the enemies of the Palestinian people. We hope the Iraqi resistance will now teach the American dogs a good lesson."

Michael Hanna a 28-year-old engineer was one of the few Palestinians who said they were happy that Saddam was captured by the Americans. "Saddam is responsible for the killing of thousands of his own people and he deserves to die," he said. "I have no sympathy for him or other Arab dictators. I hope he will be put on trial and executed. This should be a lesson for other corrupt and tyrant Arab leaders. I hope the Iraqi people will now be able to live in peace because they have suffered for a long time under Saddam and his sons."

Palestinian legislator Hatem Abdel Kader said he too hope that Saddam's captue would serve as a lesson for the rest of the Arab dictators. "I think the Iraqis can finally celebrate their birthday," he said. "This is the fate of all tyrants. This is a humiliating end for a dictator, but we wish he had been caught by the Iraqis and not the Americans."

Abdel Kader, one of the top Fatah leaders, said many Palestinian s were disappointed that Saddam did not try to defend himself. "It would have been better if he had been killed," he added. "At least he would have died in an honorable way. It's a happy and sad ending for a dictator and I hope that this would be a lesson for all the other Arab dictators. This shows that all tyrants are cowards."

Mohammed Horani, a legislator from Arafat's ruling Fatah movement, said he had expected Saddam to be more courageous. "I had expected him to have fought back, or at least end his life," he said. "But then again, all dictators are cowards."

During the past three years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, Saddam sent millions of dollars to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including US$25,000 for the family of each suicide bomber and US$10,000 for each Palestinian killed in fighting with Israelis.

"I love him so much, I can't stand watching it while he's in custody," Raafat Logman, 23, said as he was shooting pool. "We are surprised. We are so sad," said Sameh Aloul, 22.


Posted by trafael at 10:57 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 22 December 2003 11:38 PM EST
Thursday, 11 December 2003

Care for some turkey?

Papa Bush with them boys!

President George W. Bush carries a platter of turkey and fixings as he visits U.S. troops for Thanksgiving at Baghdad International Airport, November 27, 2003. Bush secretly traveled to Baghdad and paid the surprise Thanksgiving Day visit in a bold mission to boost the morale of forces in Iraq...


Posted by trafael at 12:20 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 14 December 2003 1:59 PM EST
Saturday, 22 November 2003

Why did I start this blog?  Homepage (index page)  Streaming music from my desktop (not always on)

Ron Arad has been captive for days

 


 

Arutz7 News home/radio/TV


מבזקים
Yediot Ahronot News

Visits since

Oct. 14, 2003:

Best of the best (MUST READS):

Natan Sharansky: On Hating the Jews Exceptional!
Natan Sharansky:Why Zionism Is Flunking on the US Campus Great motivational article.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman: GRAFFITI ON HISTORY'S WALL Landmark article on Anti-Semitism.

Good Readings:

Brian C. Anderson "We're Not Losing Anymore ": New media give conservatives a fighting chance in the culture wars.
EASON JORDAN: The News We Kept to Ourselves
DANIEL PEARL's VIDEO which you have never seen!(graphic!)
Vatican's
Giuseppe De Rosa - Christians in Islamic Countries x2 (scroll)
Thomas Sowell : Great myths about the Great Depression
Mona Charen: The failure brigade
Why is the State Department so cozy with the Saudis? - shocking exposure

John Leo:Reporters ignored atrocities to get access in Saddam's Iraq -bttm

Humor, parody:

Ann Coulter: The 'mainstream' is located in France
(?) BIG FRIGGIN' DEAL - Parody on Dr. Professor Dr. Paul Krugman, PhD NY Slimes (scroll)
Yo! Yasser, Ariel -- Let's Do Lunch

Galatz News


Posted by trafael at 1:01 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 22 November 2003 6:00 PM EST

From Wall street journal's opinionjournal:

Growing Fast, but Not Bigger
Early estimates were that only some 50,000 people showed up for yesterday's freakfest in the streets of London, but Scotland Yard later gave an estimate of 70,000, and organizers are claiming 200,000, according to the left-wing Guardian newspaper."Yesterday was by far the biggest turnout since the million-plus march in February," the Guardian adds. The paper adds that the Stop the War coalition has "become the fastest growing political movement in Britain."

OK, for the sake of argument let's accept the organizers' 200,000 estimate, and for the sake of simplicity let's round off the "plus" and say the February march drew an even million. That means "the fastest growing political movement in Britain" is shrinking at a rate of 80% every nine months. Perhaps we need a new politically correct locution to describe this phenomenon: The movement isn't shrinking; it's "growing smaller."

More So-Called Journalism From Reuters
"President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed no let-up in their so-called war on terror and denied the U.S.-British occupation of Iraq had sparked Thursday's devastating attacks on British targets in Turkey."--Reuters, Nov.?20

If Abusing Your Face Is a Crime, He'll Get the Chair for Sure
"Jackson Surrenders to Face Abuse Charges"--headline, Associated Press, Nov.?20

Great Moments in Lawyering
Fox News quotes celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, speaking on behalf of client Michael Jackson:

"He is greatly outraged by the bringing of these charges. He considers this to be a big lie. He understands the people who are outraged, because if these charges were true, I assure you Michael would be the first to be outraged."

Uh, Mark, you just told us two sentences earlier that he is outraged. Greatly outraged, no less. By your logic, that suggests it's at least possible your client is guilty.

Baseball Advocate Dies in Accident
The Canadian Press brings us a sad story from Lethbridge, Alberta: "A man was crushed to death yesterday when he dived under a slow-moving semi-trailer to retrieve his baseball cap":

High winds had blown the hat off the man's head as he got out of his white convertible in the parking lot of a farm supply store. The wind carried the well-worn hat underneath a loaded semi-trailer just as it started to move.

"The truck was rolling forward and he dove under to grab the hat. He tried to grab it and wiggle out quickly," said witness Josh Emard.?.?.?.

Derek Keenan, 44, of Lethbridge died at the scene after the truck's rear wheels rolled over his upper body. The truck came to a stop with Keenan underneath the flatbed trailer loaded with precast concrete drainage pipe.

It's weirdly reminiscent of the bulldozer accident that killed 23-year-old terror advocate Rachel Corrie in March--though at least Keenan died pursuing something worthwhile.

?

Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack

?

Breaking from NewsMax.com

Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government. Franks, who successfully led the U.S. military operation to liberate Iraq, expressed his worries in an extensive interview he gave to the men's lifestyle magazine Cigar Aficionado.

In the magazine's December edition, the former commander of the military's Central Command warned that if terrorists succeeded in using a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against the U.S. or one of our allies, it would likely have catastrophic consequences for our cherished republican form of government.

Discussing the hypothetical dangers posed to the U.S. in the wake of Sept. 11, Franks said that "the worst thing that could happen" is if terrorists acquire and then use a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon that inflicts heavy casualties.

If that happens, Franks said, "... the Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy."

Franks then offered "in a practical sense" what he thinks would happen in the aftermath of such an attack.

"It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world - it may be in the United States of America - that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important."

Franks didn't speculate about how soon such an event might take place.

Already, critics of the U.S. Patriot Act, rushed through Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, have argued that the law aims to curtail civil liberties and sets a dangerous precedent.

But Franks' scenario goes much further. He is the first high-ranking official to openly speculate that the Constitution could be scrapped in favor of a military form of government.

The usually camera-shy Franks retired from U.S. Central Command, known in Pentagon lingo as CentCom, in August 2003, after serving nearly four decades in the Army.

Franks earned three Purple Hearts for combat wounds and three Bronze Stars for valor. Known as a "soldier's general," Franks made his mark as a top commander during the U.S.'s successful Operation Desert Storm, which liberated Kuwait in 1991. He was in charge of CentCom when Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda attacked the United States on Sept. 11.

Franks said that within hours of the attacks, he was given orders to prepare to root out the Taliban in Afghanistan and to capture bin Laden.

Franks offered his assessment on a number of topics to Cigar Aficionado, including:

President Bush: "As I look at President Bush, I think he will ultimately be judged as a man of extremely high character. A very thoughtful man, not having been appraised properly by those who would say he's not very smart. I find the contrary. I think he's very, very bright. And I suspect that he'll be judged as a man who led this country through a crease in history effectively. Probably we'll think of him in years to come as an American hero."

On the motivation for the Iraq war: Contrary to claims that top Pentagon brass opposed the invasion of Iraq, Franks said he wholeheartedly agreed with the president's decision to invade Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein.

"I, for one, begin with intent. ... There is no question that Saddam Hussein had intent to do harm to the Western alliance and to the United States of America. That intent is confirmed in a great many of his speeches, his commentary, the words that have come out of the Iraqi regime over the last dozen or so years. So we have intent.

"If we know for sure ... that a regime has intent to do harm to this country, and if we have something beyond a reasonable doubt that this particular regime may have the wherewithal with which to execute the intent, what are our actions and orders as leaders in this country?"

The Pentagon's deck of cards: Asked how the Pentagon decided to put its most-wanted Iraqis on a set of playing cards, Franks explained its genesis. He recalled that when his staff identified the most notorious Iraqis the U.S. wanted to capture, "it just turned out that the number happened to be about the same as a deck of cards. And so somebody said, 'Aha, this will be the ace of spades.'"

Capturing Saddam: Franks said he was not surprised that Saddam has not been captured or killed. But he says he will eventually be found, perhaps sooner than Osama bin laden.

"The capture or killing of Saddam Hussein will be a near term thing. And I won't say that'll be within 19 or 43 days. ... I believe it is inevitable."

Franks ended his interview with a less-than-optimistic note. "It's not in the history of civilization for peace ever to reign. Never has in the history of man. ... I doubt that we'll ever have a time when the world will actually be at peace."

?

Another "routine day" in Israel

IDF Forces Uncover a Weapons Smuggling Tunnel 15 Meters Underground in Rafah

IDF Spokesperson 18 November 2003

?

During IDF operations last night and this morning to uncover weapons smuggling tunnels in Rafah, IDF forces uncovered a tunnel 15 meters underground.

IDF forces come under fire in Gush Katif Last night, terrorists opened fire at an IDF position near the Israeli communiy of Gadir, in Gush Katif. No injuries to IDF forces were reported. IDF forces returned fire.

?

IDF Operates Overnight to Uncover Weapon Smuggling Tunnels in Rafah

Since last night (November 17, 2003), the IDF has operated to uncover weapon smuggling tunnels in the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.During the operation, terrorists opened fire at IDF forces, lightly wounding an IDF soldier. The soldier received first aid on the scene.

Terrorists also detonated a number of explosive devices towards IDF forces. IDF forces returned fire.

In addition, an explosive device was detonated towards IDF forces along the perimeter fence surrounding the Gaza Strip (near the "Erez" crossing).?

Terrorists also fired an anti-tank missile at a convoy that exited the Israeli community of Netzarim (northern Gaza Strip). No injuries were reported in either of the above-mentioned attacks.

?Three mortars were fired at an Israeli community in the southern Gaza Strip.

In addition, an explosive device was detonated at IDF forces in Tulkarem.

?Terrorists also fired at an IDF position near the Israeli community of Ganei Tal, in the southern Gaza Strip. No injuries or damage were reported in any of the above-mentioned attacks. IDF forces returned fire.

?

Last night, IDF and Israeli Border Police forces uncovered an explosive device weighing approximately 30 kilograms along the perimeter fence, in close proximity to the Kissufim crossing. Israeli Border Police sappers detonated the explosive device in a controlled manner.

?Last night, IDF forces arrested four wanted Palestinians in Nur A- Shams (Tulkarem). In addition, IDF forces arrested a wanted Palestinians in possession of a Kalashnikov rifle in Idna (west of Hebron).

?

------------------------------

Two IDF Soldiers Were Killed This Morning in a ?? Shooting Attack at a Checkpoint on the "Tunnel Highway"

?

IDF Spokesperson 18 November 2003

?

Two IDF soldiers, Sergeant First Class Shlomi Baliski, 23, from Haifa, and Staff Seargent Shaul Lahav, 20, from kibbutz Shameret, were killed this morning by gunfire at the "Tunnel" checkpoint (located at the southern entrance to Jerusalem). The families of the soldiers have been notified.

?Details of the attack

?This morning, at approximately 6:00, an armed terrorist arrived from the village of Al-Hader, near Bethlehem (Area "A"), and?? opened fire at IDF forces manning the checkpoint. The terrorist posed as an innocent laborer - concealing his weapon in a prayer mat.

?The terrorist seriously wounded the commander of the roadblock and an additional soldier. The two received first aid on the scene - but died a short while later from their wounds. IDF forces returned fire, as the terrorist fled back to "Area A." Searches of the area are currently ongoing. This attack is the third of its kind in the Bethlehem region since security responsibility for the area was returned to the Palestinian Authority.

?

Background: PA Not Acting Against Terror? In Bethlehem

[IMRA: The information below raises serious questions as to if the Sharon Administration, by allowing the PA to continue to control Bethlehem despite this,? has been fulfilling its primary obligation to protect its population.]

?

Five months after the transfer of security control over the area of Bethlehem, Palestinian security agencies are yet to stem terrorist activities emanating from the area, their statements to the contrary not withstanding.

?"Five-hundred security personal armed with light weapons, with their vehicles, returned to Bethlehem.The assignment is to safeguard public order and prevent firing and other Palestinian activity." (El-Arabia TV, July 2, 2003)

?"In the near future, there will be more activity aimed at protecting the interests and security of Palestinian civilians, the end of turning a blind eye by the security agencies and the suspension of all militant expressions in society." (Rashid Abu-Shbaq, head of Preventive Security, LBC TV, July 1, 2003)?

?

- On July 1, 2003, Bethlehem was turned over to Palestinian control. In the more then four months since, little has been done.?

The shooting early this morning (Nov. 18), at the IDF checkpoint on the Tunnels Road, killing two IDF soldiers, is more evidence of the absence of any preventive effort made by Palestinian security agencies.

?- On Oct. 24, 2003, a Fatah terrorist cell originating in Bethlehem opened fire at an IDF post in the Tunnels Checkpoint. Samir Amir, an officer of Palestinian military intelligence who participated in the attack, was arrested by Israeli security forces on Nov. 9.

?- Since transfer of Bethlehem to Palestinian control, many other incidents have been recorded. The most notable have been the following: ?

- On July 18, 25-year old Saher Salam of Sawahara (northeast of Bethlehem) an operative of Palestinian Special Police and a member of the Popular Front was arrested by Israeli Security Forces. He was caught at the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem carrying a pistol and a knife. His investigation revealed that he intended to kidnap his Jewish employer, as well as the fact that he had been involved in previous terrorist attacks while serving in the Palestinian Special Police. He left his Bethlehem home over a month ago, following the assumption of Palestinian control, in order to implement the kidnapping. In his investigation he further confessed that while serving in the Palestinian Special Police he acted with the PFLP and participated in various shooting incidents, planned the assassination of the mayor of Jerusalem, carried out an attack at an Israeli civilian driver, fired mortar shells at Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood, planted mines in an attempt to attack IDF forces, planned the infiltration of a car-bomb into Jerusalem and expressed readiness to carry out an attack in which he would open fire at civilian targets in Jerusalem.

?

- On August 2, Israeli security forces detained 18-year old Rabhi Barqat an Islamic Jihad terrorist, resident of the Hindizy neighborhood in Bethlehem who planned to carry out a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Information about his intentions were conveyed to Bethlehem Palestinian security apparatus which detained the terrorist and released after a very short period of time, without further action.

?- On August 27, 39-year old Ali Sarhat of the Jabel neighborhood in Bethlehem, carried out a stabbing attack against a Border Police soldier at Rachel's Tomb.?

- In addition, the Bethlehem area was the site of two stone-throwing attacks causing the injuries of two Israeli civilians. Recently Israeli Security Forces arrested a Bethlehem Hamas terrorist cell which was in the planning? phase of terrorist attacks.

?The guiding principal of Palestinian Security Agencies is that they are to prevent current military activity but are not to initiate activity against infrastructure or against those involved in acts taken place prior to the IDF redeployment out in the area. Furthermore, Israeli requests that triggered much of the arrests carried out by the Palestinians in Bethlehem, and not self-initiated preventive activity.

?Detentions:

?It appears that many arrests carried out by the Palestinians were aimed more at demonstrating their seriousness to Israel and the U.S. rather than to serve as real preventive action. Indeed, many of the detainees are set free within a short period of time and in the wake of superficial preventive action.

?

*Samir Amir - Islamic Jihad terrorist, who was arrested, released and arrested again to prevent being detained by the IDF, only to be released for the second time. It should be noticed that the Samir is simultaneously an Islamic Jihad terrorist and a member of Palestinian Preventive Security. ?

*Ismail Dargam - the Palestinians were asked to detain him, given his intention to carry out a suicide bombing. Dargam was summoned for interrogation by the Palestinians and released.

?*Jamal Hamamra - the Palestinians were asked to detain him, given his leadership of a Hizbulla terrorist cell guided from Lebanon, which had planned to carry out terrorist acts against Israeli targets. Twice, Hamamra was arrested and released shortly then after. Today he is under arrest for the third time, enjoying comfortable conditions, and is not subject to interrogation. Besides his terrorist activity, Hamamra is an officer of Palestinian Preventive Security.

*Rabia Rabia - the Palestinians were asked to arrest him as a member of the Hamamre terrorist cell. His investigation revealed his involvement in terrorism, yet he was released. Rabia is an officer of Palestinian Preventive Security.

?*Naim Abu Hania - a member of the Popular Front of Bethlehem, who was arrested by Palestinian security for planning the kidnapping of Israelis, and was released shortly thereafter.

?*Ali Tzalahat - member of Fatah who guided terrorist attacks from Bethlehem, was arrested by Palestinian security, transferred to Jericho, escaped and was not arrested again even though he returned to Bethlehem. Salahat is a member of Palestinian National Security Organization.

?Furthermore, on many occasions the handling of a specific terrorist is entrusted with a specific security official due to family kinship with, or for being a neighbor of the said terrorist, even though it has been demonstrated that such proximity undermines the effectiveness of the security measures. Moreover, the Palestinians ignore evidence that assigning officials to positions outside their residential area enhances their effectiveness. It appears that there is no intention to assign officials to cases in a way that facilitates their effectiveness.

?Consequently Bethlehem has emerged as a safe heaven for those who seek to escape Israeli security forces and take shelter with the Palestinian security agencies.

?New recruits:

?In order to provide immunity from Israel, as well as to empower individuals to carry arms, the Bethlehem Security Agencies recruit activists and members of the various terrorist organizations to their ranks. Similarly, the arrest of such individuals by Israel for militant activities did not stand in the way of them returning to duty with the Palestinian Security Agencies once released from detention.?

Hand over and detonation of explosives:?

Since IDF forces pulled out of Bethlehem a number of reports regarding the discovery of explosive devices, explosive belts and? weaponry in Bethlehem were received. Despite the Israeli request that Israel would examine the findings, the explosives were handled by the Palestinians themselves. Many of the findings were photographed for propaganda purposes. Such an example is an incident that occurred Aug. 14, in which the Palestinian security services staged the discovery of two explosive belts in Bethlehem, when the explosion had been caused by a phony device. The staging meant to prove that the Palestinians thwart attacks in Bethlehem, prior to a meeting between Mr. Dahlan and Israel's Minister of Defense.

?

Today, there is are very visible organized preventive activites carried out by the Palestinian security services in Bethlehem. However, the Palestinian general intelligence and the Preventative intelligence are limiting the preventative activity that is many times used for propaganda. In fact, there are no arrests of terrorist operatives that pose a threat to the region and no weapons were taken from the terrorist organizations. Any activity made against the terror infrastructure is characterized by fear and does not offer a genuine change.

?The Palestinians are operating in light of the Israeli and American response, thus when asked, act superficially.? Terrorists are detained for short periods of time and being released shortly afterwards, terrorists continue to plot attacks while being detained and gunmen walk around freely in the city.

?The Palestinians focus on arresting those who had committed attacks and do not operate in order to thwart future attacks. In addition, Bethlehem has become a safe haven for wanted operatives that are not being dealt by the Palestinian services. The main problem lies in the fact that there has been no genuine direction to dismantle the terrorist infrastructures in the city.

These infrastructures use the relative calm and the fact the Israel does not operate in Bethlehem to re-establish and gain power.

?The following is a comparison between the number of suicide attacks originated from Bethlehem while the city was under Palestinian security responsibility and while it was under Israeli security responsibility.? This comparison clearly shows that the all suicide attacks originated from Bethlehem were carried out while the city was under Palestinian security responsibility.

?

#1 September 2000 - Defensive Shield (April 2002) Area under Palestinian security control? Many suicide attacks from Bethlehem resulting in hundreds of Israeli deaths and casualties.

?#2 Defensive Shield (April 2002)- 15/05/02 Area under Israeli security control Zero suicide attacks

?#3 15/05/02-26/05/02 Area under Palestinian security control

22/05/03 - suicide attack carried out by a Fatah terrorist from Bethlehem in Rishon Le-Zion. Two Israelis killed, 36 injured.

?#4? 27/05/02- End of may Area under Israeli security control. Zero suicide attacks. Israeli security forces arrested a cell that intended to carry out suicide attacks with car bombs. The members of the cell are all members of the Palestinian general intelligence in Bethlehem.

?#5 Beginning of June 2002-19/06/02 Area under Palestinian security control

18/06/02 - suicide attack carried out by a Hamas terrorist from Bethlehem in a bus at the Pat Junction in Jerusalem, 19 Israelis killed, 50 injured. ?

#6 19/06/02 - 20/08/02 Area under Israeli security control

30/07/02 - suicide attack carried out by a Fatah terrorist from Bethlehem in a fallafel store In the Nevi'im st. in Jerusalem. Five Israelis injured.

?#7 20/08/02- 22/11/02 Area under Palestinian security control

21/11/02 - suicide attack carried out by a Hamas terrorist from Bethlehem in a bus at the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood In Jersalem, 11 Israelis killed, 45 injured.

?#8 22/11/02- 01/01/03 Area under Israeli security control

Israeli security forces dismantled a Hamas infrastructure that was preparing suicide attacks in Israel. Zero suicide attacks.

?#9 01/07/03 - today Area under Palestinian security control

Re-establishment of terrorist infrastructures in Bethlehem, the PA shows no will to operate against the infrastructures that constantly prepare attacks.

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Palestinians reprint schoolbooks praising jihad 'martyrs'


By Toby Harnden
The Telegraph
November 18, 2003

A textbook on Islam that preaches the value of "holy war" and "martyrdom" for all Muslims is being reprinted by Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority for use in schools in the occupied West Bank.

Entitled Islamic Culture, it was originally published in 1994, but has been reproduced this year, despite undertakings from Palestinian leaders - following international pressure - that new books would be introduced.

The book, intended for 17-year-olds, explains: "Jihad is an Islamic term that equates to the term war in other nations. The difference is that jihad has noble goals and lofty aims, and is carried out only for the sake of Allah and for His glory." It also refers to shahada, or martyrdom. A suicide bomber sent to kill civilians in Israel is celebrated as a shaheed in the Israeli-occupied territories.

One passage in the book states that if a Muslim is "blessed with shahada and honour, his soul returns to its Creator to live a different life, content with the rewards and honour bestowed upon it, a life of grace thanks to Allah."

The translation of Islamic Culture was released by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors writings and sermons in the Arab world. Yigal Carmon, president of the institute and a former Israeli military intelligence officer, said: "This is our problem. This is where terror comes from and this is where we can stop it."

Above the title on the cover is the eagle symbol of the Palestinian Authority. The year 2003 appears on the frontispiece and on the following page is the statement: "The ministry of education in the Palestinian Authority decided to include this book in the curriculum in Palestine."

Since the second intifada began three years ago, 121 Palestinian suicide bombers have died, along with hundreds of victims. The most recent and youngest was Sabih Abu Saud, 16, from Nablus, who killed only himself in a failed attack this month.

His family praised the concepts of jihad and shahada. "It is better he die like this than to become a collaborator or be killed in his home by Jews," said his mother, Nawal. His father, Kamal, said: "He was older than his age. They didn't force him. Even if he didn't kill anyone, it was a symbol. He expressed himself."

Ali Jarwabi, a political science professor at Bir Zeit University in Ramallah on the West Bank said Israelis had misunderstood the passages and taken them out of context. "Martyrdom is an Islamic concept," he said. "It doesn't say anything about suicide bombings. Jihad is a pillar of Islamic faith. The point is: how do you interpret and deal with that?"

From Opinionjournal again:

'Antiwar' Is Pro-Saddam
"A group of Italian militants involved in staging anti-war protests is raising funds to support the armed Iraqi resistance," the BBC reports:

The "Antiimperialista" organisation's internet campaign asks people to send "10 Euros to the Iraqi resistance."

They say they have collected 12,000 euros ($14,165) in the past eight weeks and admit the money used could be used to buy weapons.

The Antiimperialistas are a group of European anti-war and anti-globalisation supporters.

These people are raising money to support the Baathists who are waging war against the coalition--yet the BBC dubs them "antiwar."

Exaggerating Anti-Americanism
As the president heads to London for a state visit, we've heard a lot of hype about planned protests by America-hating Brits. But a poll by the Guardian, a left-wing paper, suggests these people represent only a fringe:

The survey shows that public opinion in Britain is overwhelmingly pro-American with 62% of voters believing that the US is "generally speaking a force for good, not evil, in the world." It explodes the conventional political wisdom at Westminster that Mr Bush's visit will prove damaging to Tony Blair. Only 15% of British voters agree with the idea that America is the "evil empire" in the world.?.?.?.

The ICM poll also uncovers a surge in pro-war sentiment in the past two months as suicide bombers have stepped up their attacks on western targets and troops in Iraq. Opposition to the war has slumped by 12 points since September to only 41% of all voters. At the same time those who believe the war was justified has jumped 9 points to 47% of voters.?.?.?.

The detailed results of the poll show that more people--43%--say they welcome George Bush's arrival in Britain than the 36% who say they would prefer he did not come.

The Road to Damascus
Turkish officials say the brother of one of the suicide bombers who murdered 25 people in an around two Istanbul synagogues Saturday "headed the planning and execution of the attack" and has now escaped to Syria, Ha'aretz reports. "Turkish government figures on Tuesday accused Syrians not connected with the ruling regime of assisting the Istanbul terrorists in carrying out their double attack."

If indeed the terrorists are in Syria, this will be a useful test of Damascus' cooperation with the war against Islamist terrorists.

Check This Out
Blogger
Donald Luskin notes a hilarious passage in a New York Times report about self-service supermarket scanners: "Critics say the machines may also provide an all-too-easy escape from social interactions across class lines that may prompt some shoppers to wonder uncomfortably if a minimum-wage cashier has health insurance."

What planet are these people living on? No normal person in a supermarket checkout line frets over whether the clerk has health insurance. The only people who do are these "critics" who are imbued with a condescending class consciousness. For their purposes, as the Times article demonstrates, a self-serve checkout machine is just as good: Instead of wondering uncomfortably if the cashier has health insurance, they can worry that the machine provides them an all-too-easy escape from such uncomfortable wondering.

Life Imitates 'The Simpsons'

"In order to reduce the school budget, Principal Skinner decides to put forth 'Operation S.L.A.A.M.: So Long Athletics Art and Music.'?"--plot summary, "The Simpsons," aired Nov.?16

"In a move the schools superintendent said "cut the heart and soul" out of Westchester County's largest district, the Yonkers Board of Education last night .?.?. eliminated most music and art instruction, interscholastic sports and all extracurricular activities."--Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.), Nov.?18

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Bush Conquers England
"Liberation is still a moral goal."


Friday, November 21, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

We suspect that President Bush's London visit this week will go down as one of the most memorable of his tenure, and not because of the protests everyone had predicted. Rather, it will be remembered for the speech he delivered Wednesday in which he eloquently laid down the principles behind the war on terror, and especially the Iraq portion of that war.

In its timing and character, Mr. Bush's speech at Whitehall echoed Ronald Reagan's exposition of America's Cold War principles during his famous speech to Parliament in 1982. That speech too was delivered at a moment of enormous Western debate and protest. Soviet Communism, Mr. Reagan nonetheless correctly foretold at Westminster, will be consigned to "the ash heap of history." Middle East dictatorships, Mr. Bush said this week, have the opportunity to join the "democratic revolution that has reached much of the world."

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To be sure, the protesters were out as the President spoke, though not as many as predicted--only 70,000 by London bobbies' count. Mr. Bush was also greeted with some vicious press commentary, though again hardly universal. It must have galled the editors of the left-wing Guardian, for example, to report the results of its poll that "public opinion in Britain is overwhelmingly pro-American with 62% of voters believing that the U.S. is generally speaking a force for good, not evil, in the world."

Mr. Bush joked about the protests, but there was no humor in the bloody events taking place at the same time 1,500 miles away in Turkey. Terrorist bombs rocked a British bank and the British consulate in Istanbul, killing more than two dozen and leaving hundreds wounded. It was one more reminder that, as Mr. Bush put it, since 9/11 Islamic terrorists have struck in "Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Bombay, Mombassa, Najaf, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Baghdad, and Istanbul."

The terrorists--probably al Qaeda--realize that Turkey embodies what is their greatest enemy, a Muslim democracy. That nation embraces Western values, has developed a close relationship with Israel and aspires to join the European Union. Its government may have refused to support the coalition in the Iraq war, but it has recently offered to send troops for peacekeeping. An Islamic political party, which took power in democratic elections, has proved tolerant and moderate for the most part and has given no succor to Islamic fundamentalists or terrorists.

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In his Whitehall speech, Mr. Bush continued his recent (and welcome) effort to focus on the battle of ideas behind the war on terror. In this he echoed Prime Minister Tony Blair's words to the U.S. Congress in July: "Our ultimate weapon is not our guns but our beliefs." Mr. Bush's Administration--his Pentagon--has been more effective at killing and disrupting the terrorists than his State Department has been at promoting an alternative vision to the Mideast status quo.

Mr. Bush is now taking up the latter task himself, and without moral apology. "We must shake off decades of failed policy in the Middle East," he told Britons. "Your nation and mine in the past have been willing to make a bargain: to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability." He added--in a direct rebuke to his critics in the old foreign policy establishments--that "it is not realism to suppose that one-fifth of humanity is unsuited to liberty; it is pessimism and condescension, and we should have none of it."

Many, including some of Mr. Bush's admirers, predicted his British trip would be a public-relations debacle. But with so much of the world watching the visit has proven instead to be a great opportunity to explain the moral purposes of what the President and Mr. Blair are attempting in Iraq. His critics have yet to offer anything close to a competing vision.

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Joining the Fight
One president can't wage war on terror alone.


BY DANIEL HENNINGER
Friday, November 21, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

President Bush delivered an historically important speech in London this week. It was dense with big ideas deserving reflection, more than can be explored in the space of a column. Suffice to say that Mr. Bush's ideas were met with a swift, one-idea retort in Istanbul the next day.

Two truck bombs, described as the worst terrorist bombing in Turkey's recent history, blew up a British bank and the British consulate. Some 27 people are dead and at least 450 wounded, some horrible to describe. Of course 3,000 died in America on September 11, 212 were blown to death in Bali last year, 17 were slaughtered in Riyadh this month, and terrorist bombs are murdering civilians in Israel and U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens around Baghdad, routinely.

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You can, and should, read the full text of the Bush speech (the most accessible version is on the White House's own Web site). Here is the five-minute Louvre version:

America's worldview began "with reading too much John Locke and Adam Smith." Thus, "we believe in open societies ordered by moral conviction." We seek an "alliance of values" whose cornerstone is respect for individual dignity. "Great responsibilities fall to the great democracies." When they fail that responsibility, as in the past century, dictators rise, living off resentments and surviving with violence. Their weapons of choice today are nuclear, chemical and biological.

"The hope that danger is passed is comforting...and it is false." The "tidiness" of the multilateral "process" is not enough. Free nations, as a last resort, must be willing to contain "aggression and evil by force." Leaders have a "duty" to defend their people from "a chaotic world ruled by force."

As to John Locke, men and women in democratic societies, Mr. Bush said, "turn their hearts and labor to building better lives." As to Adam Smith: "By extending the reach of trade, we foster prosperity and the habits of liberty." And as to Iraq: "There were good-faith disagreements?.?.?. over the course and timing of military action in Iraq. Whatever has come before, we now have only two options: to keep our word, or to break our word."

With this speech we have reached a juncture, I think, where people have to agree with the president about the nature of the threat, or disagree. The threat is the proliferation of the technical knowledge beneath weapons of mass destruction, and the existence of people willing to use these technologies against large civilian populations or whole nations. That, in sum, is terrorism.

For those of us who agree about the nature of the threat, I think the time has come to recognize, in a formal way, that we have entered a period of history analogous to the Cold War--and that we now need Cold War institutions to win the war on terror.

We don't require another mass murder next week in London, and the week after in New York, Madrid or Sydney to understand that this threat will recur for years until it is defeated. Yes, a long, hard slog. And those of us who know this should also recognize that we've been standing around with our hands in our pockets, watching, and leaving one president and his associates to carry the whole load--the fight, the arguments, the counterarguments and the flak.

To read Mr. Bush's London speech is to understand clearly that a grand struggle is unfolding, and it will need structures outside government to win it. One such structure would be to create a successor to the Committee for a Free World.

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September 11 and its aftermath happened so quickly--the pre-emption doctrine, the run-up to war, an abrupt victory and now the unavoidable march forward--that the best supporters could muster was mostly yelling back at the marchers in the street. What this war needs now is an institutionalized, off-stage chorus of support, counsel, explication--and warning. The need to articulate and sustain the intellectual basis for the war on terror is as needed now as it was when marchers filled the capitals of Europe to protest against Ronald Reagan, Maggie Thatcher and pro-active opposition to communism across the 1980s.

Many non-governmental groups played a role in opposing communism, but I single out the Committee for a Free World, led then by Midge Decter, because its members included both American and European intellectuals. The Americans included Irving Kristol, Seymour Martin Lipset and Edward Shils. Supporters in Europe included writers from France, West Germany, Italy and Britain, such as Leo Labedz, Tom Stoppard, Alain Bescanon and Golo Mann, as well as the Pole, Leszek Kolakowski. This war today needs to find intellectual allies beyond the U.S., and beyond Europe. And they need a place to meet, debate and act.

There were other groups, such as the Committee on the Present Danger, and the list of men and women who contributed their minds and energy to containing and defeating the Soviet threat, or supporting Solidarity and its counterparts, is long and luminous. It is startling to look at the membership of the anti-Soviet Committee for a Democratic Majority, begun in 1972 by Sen. Henry Jackson--names such as Nunn, Moynihan and Boren. No such group of elected Democrats is possible today.

In some ways, the task now is harder. The physical threat then was identifiable as ICBMs and Soviet tanks, and by the 1980s communism's nature was well understood. The details of weapons proliferation and the origins and shape of Islamic extremism are less broadly understood.

As then, this is a war in which ideas fight alongside men in arms. But look at the debate now; we've let the opposition get away with making the terms of argument personal, fought over in just four words: "George Bush" and "Donald Rumsfeld." And we've left these men to carry the burden of both fighting the war on the ground and the war of words.

Mr. Bush fought magnificently in London this week. This war, however, is about more than George Bush, and will need more than his words to win. America's first war had the Committees of Correspondence. The last big one had the Committee for a Free World. This war is going to need one, too.

Mr. Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His column appears Fridays in the Journal and on OpinionJournal.com.

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A Minority President
George W. Bush "lost the popular vote." So did JFK.


Thursday, November 20, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

Momentous historical events have a way of putting political spats in perspective. The bitter debate over whether George W. Bush actually won Florida largely ended after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. By the time media recounts, which found that Mr. Bush's victory was indeed legitimate, were released, they seemed like an afterthought.

A similar argument about the photo-finish 1960 election effectively ended with the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963. Until his death, some had plausibly argued that Richard Nixon actually should have had a plurality of the popular vote, even if JFK was legitimately chosen by the Electoral College.

A half dozen historical retrospectives are airing this week to mark the 40th anniversary of the assassination. Several of them mention the contested nature of the 1960 election, which Kennedy won, 303 electoral votes to 219. That margin is deceptively large; the race was so close that the election would have been thrown into the House if Kennedy hadn't won Illinois and Texas by excruciatingly narrow margins. If Nixon had won both states, he would have been elected president.

The results in both states were disputed because Mayor Richard J. Daley and Sen. Lyndon Johnson both had long histories of encouraging voter fraud. A series in the New York Herald-Tribune after the election documented dozens of examples of possible fraud. But Mr. Nixon had already conceded the election, and Democratic judges in both Illinois and Texas struck down lawsuits demanding full recounts.

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The effect of potential vote stealing on the outcome of the election was not the only historical argument cut short by Kennedy's assassination.

Kennedy's edge in the nationwide popular vote was the equivalent of less than one vote per precinct. The Associated Press reported that Kennedy's plurality was just 112,827 votes nationwide, a margin of 49.7% to 49.5%. But was Kennedy, like George W. Bush, actually a "minority president," elected without a popular-vote plurality?

It's uncertain because in Alabama, JFK's name didn't actually appear on the ballot. Voters were asked to choose between Nixon and a slate of "unpledged Democrat electors." A statewide primary had chosen five Democratic electors who were "loyalists" pledged to JFK six who were free to vote for anyone.

The Democratic slate defeated Nixon, 324,050 votes to 237,981. In the end, the six unpledged electors voted for Sen. Harry Byrd of Virginia, a leading Dixiecrat, and the other five stuck with their pledge to Kennedy. When the Associated Press at the time counted up the popular vote from all 50 states it listed all the Democratic votes, pledged and unpledged, in the Kennedy column. Over the years other counts have routinely assigned all of Alabama's votes to Kennedy.

But scholars say that isn't accurate. "Not all the voters who chose those electors were for Kennedy--anything but," says historian Albert Southwick. Humphrey Taylor, the current chairman of the polling firm Louis Harris & Associates (which worked for Kennedy in 1960), acknowledges that in Alabama "much of the popular vote .?.?. that is credited to Kennedy's line to give him a small plurality nationally" is dubious. "Richard Nixon seems to have carried the popular vote narrowly, while Kennedy won in the Electoral College," he concludes.

Congressional Quarterly, the respected nonpartisan chronicler of Washington politics, spent some effort in the 1960s to come up with a fair way of counting Alabama's votes. Reporter Neil Pierce took the highest vote cast for any of the 11 Democratic electors in Alabama--324,050--and divided it proportionately between Kennedy and the unpledged electors who ended up voting for Harry Byrd.

Using that method, Kennedy was given credit for 5/11ths of the Democratic total, or 147,295 votes. Nixon's total in Alabama of 237,981 remained the same. The remaining 176,755 votes were counted as being for the unpledged electors.

With these new totals for Alabama factored in with the vote counts for the other 49 states, Nixon has a 58,181-vote plurality, edging out Kennedy 34,108,157 votes to 34,049,976. Using that calculation the 1960 election was even closer than we thought.

Remember this the next time a Democrat complains that President Bush "lost the popular vote." As Mr. Southwick told me in 2001, "Camelot was made possible by the Electoral College. The same is true of George W. Bush's presidency. Both were legitimate."

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The Three Pillars
President Bush is in London, amid what Reuters inevitably calls "a groundswell of protest over the Iraq war." The pro-Saddam demonstrators who took to the streets of London proved a useful foil for the president, who in his speech at Whitehall Palace cited them in celebrating the freedom they would deny Iraqis:

Americans traveling to England always observe more similarities to our country than differences. I've been here only a short time, but I've noticed that the tradition of free speech--exercised with enthusiasm--is alive and well here in London. We have that at home, too. They now have that right in Baghdad, as well.

"The peace and security of free nations now rests on three pillars," Bush said:

First, international organizations must be equal to the challenges facing our world, from lifting up failing states to opposing proliferation. .?.?. The second pillar of peace and security in our world is the willingness of free nations, when the last resort arrives, to [restrain] aggression and evil by force. .?.?. The third pillar of security is our commitment to the global expansion of democracy, and the hope and progress it brings, as the alternative to instability and to hatred and terror.

Who could oppose these noble goals? In National Review Online, Amir Taheri looks at the composition of the "antiwar" protests in Britain:

The demonstration is organized by a shadowy group called "Stop the War Coalition," part of the Hate-America-International, which has orchestrated a number of street "events" in support of the Taliban and the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein since 2001.?.?.?.

The coalition has a steering committee of 33 members. Of these, 18 come from various hard left groups: Communists, Trotskyites, Maoists, and Castrists. Three others belong to the radical wing of the Labour party. There are also eight radical Islamists. The remaining four are leftist ecologists known as "Watermelons" (Green outside, red inside).

Radical leftists, Islamists and environmentalists, united in a common hatred of freedom. As Mark Steyn describes it:

The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist.

David Warren is slightly more charitable:

In their own subjective world of illusions, the demonstrators demand not surrender, but an unobtainable "peace." However, in the objective world of cause and effect, they are the reliable allies of the people who flew airplanes into the World Trade Centre, who blow up Jews in synagogues and supermarkets, who tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and bulldozed their bodies into mass graves.

The New York Times' Warren Hoge reports that London demonstrators "plan to unveil and then topple an 18-foot papier mache statue of President Bush, mocking the action of American soldiers who helped bring down a statue of Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad." Hoge might have added that the action also mocks the Iraqis who've been freed from Saddam's rule, but we suppose that's a bit much to expect from an American who thinks, as we noted last week, that his own country is "something of a rogue state, a pariah nation."

London's Guardian yesterday published a series of open letters to the president from various Englishmen and Americans. Many were hostile--the Guardian is a left-wing paper--but we like this one from novelist Frederick Forsyth (ellipsis in original):

You will find yourself assailed on every hand by some pretty pretentious characters collectively known as the British left. They traditionally believe they have a monopoly on morality and that your recent actions preclude you from the club. You opposed and destroyed the world's most blood-encrusted dictator. This is quite unforgivable.

I beg you to take no notice. The British left intermittently erupts like a pustule upon the buttock of a rather good country. Seventy years ago it opposed mobilisation against Adolf Hitler and worshipped the other genocide, Josef Stalin.

It has marched for Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov. It has slobbered over Ceausescu and Mugabe. It has demonstrated against everything and everyone American for a century. Broadly speaking, it hates your country first, mine second.

Eleven years ago something dreadful happened. Maggie was ousted, Ronald retired, the Berlin wall fell and Gorby abolished communism. All the left's idols fell and its demons retired. For a decade there was nothing really to hate. But thank the Lord for his limitless mercy. Now they can applaud Saddam, Bin Laden, Kim Jong-Il?.?.?. and hate a God-fearing Texan. So hallelujah and have a good time.

Bush seems to have taken Forsyth's advice. Good for him--and good for America.

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The Arab News carries a report titled "Saba Did the Right Thing, Say Many." That would be Saba Abu Lisan, a Saudi woman wounded in the Riyadh bombing, who "rescued seven people, including her two sisters," and "transported the victims to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in her father's Mercedes."

Some, however, argue that a woman driving is too high a price to pay for saving lives. The paper quotes one Hamad Muhammad:

"What was she thinking? It's not her role to save others. She exposed herself and those with her to grave danger," he said. "She had no right to risk the lives of others. What if she had been involved in another accident on her way to the hospital? She should have waited for professional help. If we approve her action and applaud it, then we are encouraging other Sabas out there. I agree with the Arabic saying 'Close the door through which the wind blows and relax.'?"

At least most of the people the Arab News quotes don't agree. Such is what passes for progress among our friends the Saudis.

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Is Iraq Like Vietnam?
The Vietnamese should be so lucky.


BY CLAUDIA ROSETT
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

Whether Iraq will be the next Vietnam may be very interesting, especially to those still basking in the I-told-you-so glow of Saigon's fall. But taking into account that this is 2003, here's the more illuminating question: Is Vietnam the next Iraq?

The answer, sadly for the people of Vietnam, is: Fat chance. For all Iraq's many troubles, the Vietnamese should be so lucky as to have the opportunities now before the Iraqis. Vietnam is one place where the great American superpower is entirely unlikely to come clamoring for a rematch in the cause of freedom. For most of the Western world, Vietnam lives on not as a real country inhabited today by 80 million real people, but simply as a sort of eternal shorthand for lost causes, a TV talk show sound bite: "Pick-yer-debacle: The next Vietnam?"

But with all these instant counterinsurgency experts so hot to hold up Vietnam as the yardstick for Iraq, it seems worth a look at what's actually happening today in Vietnam itself--not the Vietnam of Apocalypse Then, but the Vietnam of tyranny now. It offers some badly needed perspective on Iraq.

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Consider the case of a Vietnamese physician, 61-year-old Nguyen Dan Que, who as you read these words is sitting incommunicado in the Municipal Prison of District One, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), where the authorities permit no access to either family members or humanitarian agencies. His "crime" has been to ask, again and again, for democracy in Vietnam.

When Saigon fell on April 30, 1975, Dr. Que (he uses his first name, pronounced "kway," though his surname is Nguyen) had the option of leaving the country along with his three brothers and his sister. One of his brothers, Nguyen Quan, now living in Virginia, recounts their parting, on the shore of the Saigon River, where all but Dr. Que boarded a boat to escape. Dr. Que chose to stay. He felt his skills as a doctor and his passion as a patriot might be needed right there in Vietnam. Two years later, having criticized the appalling hospital conditions under the communist regime, he was packed off by the authorities to spend 10 years in a labor camp.

Released in 1988, Dr. Que began calling for democratic change. He was arrested again and in 1991 sentenced to 20 years in prison. Released early, in 1998, but kept under constant official surveillance and harassment, Dr. Que again began his calls for freedom in Vietnam, including an e-mail communiqu? he sent out on March 13 of this year: "It is the people's economic self-reliance in a market economy and freedom of information that will bury the detested dictatorial regime." Four days later, as the American-led coalition in another part of the world prepared to oust Saddam Hussein, Dr. Nguyen--who had no such support--was arrested in Vietnam. He has been in prison since.

Dr. Nguyen's story is just one small sample of the astounding misery played out in Vietnam since the U.S. talked itself into defeat and left. The fall of Saigon in 1975 was followed by brutal moves to collectivize the south. Hundreds of thousands were forcibly relocated, tens of thousands sent to labor camps. Terror and hunger produced an exodus in which ultimately more than 1.5 million people fled Vietnam--many by boat, braving pirates and sharks in the South China Sea.

Even after Hanoi's communist regime began its doi moi economic reforms in the late 1980s, even after the U.S. lifted the trade embargo in 1994 and normalized relations in 1995, Vietnam remained a political sinkhole. The ruling Communist Party tightly restricts freedom of religion and speech, permits no rival parties or groups, and throws its critics, like Dr. Que, in prison. Out of 192 countries surveyed earlier this year by New York-based Freedom House, Vietnam ranked among the 16 most repressive regimes.

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Compare this with today's Iraq, where, despite the complaints, there has been no stampede for the exits. People are now free to speak as they please, worship as they choose, print independent newspapers, read them, and raise their voices in the debate over the framing of a new constitution.

Ah, but along with their new freedoms, Iraqis are suffering violence, insecurity, and terrorist attacks. True, and horrible. But before defaulting to Iraq-the-next-Vietnam, compare the toll today with what it was under the workaday "stability" of Saddam. Even setting aside Saddam's wars against Iran and Kuwait, which killed hundreds of thousands, even taking separately the gassing of the Kurds, which killed thousands, even dismissing any terrorist attacks abroad that Saddam may yet prove to have been party to, even if all we blame on Saddam are those 300,000 Iraqis estimated to have been buried in some 260 mass graves, Iraq with Saddam removed from power is still ahead of the game.

For Saddam to have presided over the slaughter of 300,000 during the course of his rule meant killing, on average, about 34 human beings per day, or more than one an hour, every hour, around the clock, for 24 years. To put that in perspective, note that the terrorist bombing in August of the United Nations compound in Baghdad--an atrocity that killed 22 people--would have qualified in the ledgers of Saddam's regime as a below-average day of murder. Add to this the Iraqis traumatized by state-sanctioned rape, mutilated by torturers, and terrorized for decades into the kind of self-betrayal and submission that sickens the soul.

Getting over that just might need more than eight months. And perhaps the mission of equipping a newly liberated people to defend their own freedoms is not solely a matter of facts and arithmetic. But to whatever extent we are now engaged in a war of passions and ideas, we'd get further on all fronts not by brooding over Iraq-as-the-next-Vietnam, but by looking for ways to telegraph to a Dr. Que, and his countrymen, that we still hope for the day when Vietnam will at last enjoy the freedoms now in reach in Iraq.

Ms. Rosett is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Hudson Institute. Her column appears here and in The Wall Street Journal Europe on alternate Wednesdays.

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Culture of death? Palestinian girl's murder highlights growing number of 'honor killings'

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

They kill their own, too. And the world expects "peace"?

http://www.jewishworldreview.com |(KRT) ABU QASH -- Rofayda Qaoud -- raped by her brothers and impregnated -- refused to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the unwed teenager a razor with which to slit her wrists. So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did what she believes any good Palestinian parent would: restored her family's "honor" through murder.

Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter's room last Jan. 27. "Tonight you die, Rofayda," she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda's wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of "No, mother, no!" After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick.

Killing her sixth-born child took 20 minutes, Qaoud tells a visitor through a stream of tears and cigarettes that she smokes in rapid succession. "She killed me before I killed her," says the 43-year-old mother of nine. "I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family's honor."

The guilty brothers are in jail.

Qaoud's confessed crime, for which she must appear before a three-judge panel on Dec. 3, is one repeated almost weekly among Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel. Female virtue and virginity define a family's reputation in Arab cultures, so it's women who are punished if that reputation is perceived as sullied.

Victims' rights groups say the number of "honor crimes" appears to be climbing, but at the same time, getting little attention. Israelis and Palestinians are too busy with political and military issues to notice what they dismiss as domestic disputes, says Suad Abu-Dayyeh, who works for the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling in East Jerusalem.

Police in Israel investigated at least 18 honor killings in the past three years.

Palestinian police reported 31 cases in 2002 -- up from five during the first half of 1999 - the last time such incidents were counted before the current Palestinian uprising began, according to the center's study.

But the number of killings is likely higher, given that Palestinian police investigate only crimes that have been reported, said Yousef Tarifi, the Ramallah prosecutor assigned to Qaoud's case. Shalhoub-Kevorkian says her past research showed the likely number to be 15 times higher than the number of reported cases.

According to court records, Rofayda was raped by her brothers, Fahdi, 22, and Ali, 20, in a bedroom they shared in the family's three-room house. On Nov. 26, 2002, doctors at a nearby hospital who were treating Rofayda for an injured leg discovered she was eight months pregnant.

Palestinian authorities whisked her off to a women's shelter in Bethlehem, where she gave birth to a healthy boy on Dec. 23. He has since been adopted by another Palestinian family, court records show.

Rofayda, meanwhile, wanted to return to her parents in the Ramallah suburb of Abu Qash. Ramallah Gov. Mustafa Isa called a meeting with the family and village elders, demanding they pledge in writing not to harm the girl. "He asked me if everyone in the family and the village would promise not to bother this girl, but I told him I couldn't give him a guarantee," Abu Qash Mayor Faik Shalout says.

Rofayda returned home in late January without notifying the authorities.

The shame was unbearable, Qaoud said. Relatives and friends refused to speak to her family. Her elder daughters' husbands wouldn't allow them to visit because Rofayda had returned home.

On Jan. 27, Rofayda sent word that she was in danger to crisis counselors at Abu-Dayyeh's center in East Jerusalem. They, in turn, called Palestinian police in Ramallah, who have jurisdiction over Abu Qash.

Qaoud, meanwhile, sent her husband, who suffers from heart disease, to a doctor in the nearby village of Bir Zeit. Her three youngest children went to a cousin's house.

At 11:30 p.m. she killed Rofayda, court records show. Tarifi says he's convinced Qaoud had an accomplice, but Qaoud insists she acted alone.

Qaoud turned herself in and, after four months in jail, was released pending the resolution of her case.

While honor killings committed in the heat of the moment -- for example, by a husband who catches his wife in bed with another man -- generally carry a six-month to one-year jail term, Qaoud will likely be sentenced to three to five years in prison, Tarifi says. The fact she is a mother who was trying to protect her family's honor mitigates the crime of premeditated murder, which is punishable by death under Palestinian law, he adds.

The brothers are serving minimum 10-year sentences in a Palestinian jail in the West Bank city of Jericho for statutory rape of a relative, Tarifi says.

No trace of Rofayda or her brothers remains in the family home. Qaoud says she ripped up all of their photographs and burned their clothes. The bedroom in which she killed her daughter is now a storeroom.

Erasing the memories is harder, she admits. She eases her pain by doting on her three children still living at home, especially the youngest, Fatima, 9, whom she lavishes with kisses. The children say they've forgiven Qaoud and return her affection.

"My mother did this because she does not want us to be punished by people," Fatima explains with a shy smile. Leaning into Qaoud's arms, the little girl adds: "I love my mother much more now than before."

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Fear, misunderstanding of privacy law compromise medical care

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | (KRT) The quality of health care is suffering because of misunderstandings and fears about the new medical privacy regulations, doctors and other health professionals say. In the worst cases, patients are being improperly treated or thrust into dangerous situations.

"We're seeing more medication errors in older patients because of this," said John Riesch, a vascular surgeon for the past 41 years and a former president of the Medical Society of Wisconsin.

The effects are going beyond mere inconvenience. Many health care professionals, fearful that they will be violating the new law, are refusing to discuss their cases with their patients' families without proper consent.

Patients who are used to having family members or companions help them figure out their medications,are now fending for themselves and sometimes taking the wrong dosage, Riesch says.

Actually, the law does allow doctors to discuss a patient's case with friends and family members, even without a written release, if the patient consents. If the patient is not able to give informed consent, the doctor can still discuss the case with family members if he or she considers it to be in the patient's best interest.

But health professionals commonly misunderstand this, said Richard Campanelli, director of the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for enforcing the new law.

Campanelli and his staff have been trying for months to dispel common myths about the new law by issuing news releases, speaking before the U.S. Senate and publishing question-and-answer documents on the Internet.

"It is frustrating," Campanelli said.

He calls the myths "persistent" and "destructive."

Despite widespread reports to the contrary, Campanelli says, spouses can pick up prescriptions for one another, doctors can send e-mails to their patients, and hospitals can release a patient's room number and condition if the patient approves.

Still, many health professionals err on the side of caution, even withholding information about a patient's safety, Riesch says. For example, he says he has some patients who should not be driving any more because their reflexes are too slow, but he is afraid to tell their family members for fear that he would be violating the new privacy laws.

"In the old days, I'd talk to the kids and say, `Better take away Dad's keys,' " he said. "Now I'm afraid of what they'd do to me."

In fact, doctors can discuss such cases with a patient's family, Campanelli says.

"It's a matter of common sense," Campanelli said.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, was enacted in 1996 to provide greater efficiency in the health care system and to give patients tighter control over who has access to their medical records. The privacy restrictions associated with the new law went into effect April 14 of this year. The law includes penalties of $100 to $25,000 for civil violations in which health care workers improperly release information about a patient and up to $250,000 and 10 years in prison for criminal cases.

The federal government has received more than 2,700 complaints of HIPAA violations since the law went into effect, Campanelli says.

Riesch says many doctors he knows are unfamiliar with the specifics of the law and, fearful that they may inadvertently break the law, they are simply ignoring some provisions.

"You want to know the truth? We violate it all the time," he said. "I just had a friend call me to say, `Well, I violated HIPAA three times today. That's $30,000 in fines.' "

David Olson, a family practice physician and president-elect of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County, says he and others have become more skittish about the kind of information they share, sometimes to the detriment of their patients' best health.

One of the benchmarks of a family practice is to provide coordinated care within the family, says Olson. But the restrictions of HIPAA make that holistic approach very difficult, he says.

"If Dad has a stroke, it's not just that his swallow functions are compromised," Olson said. "It affects the whole family. How are we going to address that if we can't talk to the family? I'm sure these things will get ironed out in time. But for now, I would say that it very definitely is impeding the quality of care we can deliver."

Campanelli says many health care professionals are overreacting and others blame HIPAA because they don't want to take the time to get a patient's approval.

"Some providers have found it easier not to make information available," he said. "If you read the rules carefully, you can see that they can be easily understood and that you can comfortably provide good quality of care."

The problem is that some patients are suffering because of the confusion, say Riesch and others.

Carol Echner, of the Milwaukee County Department on Aging's Interfaith Older Adult Program, says many of her volunteers are no longer allowed into the doctors' offices with the older people they care for. The non-profit agency provides volunteers to help older people with shopping and other daily tasks.

"It used to be that we were right there and could say, `Now, remember, the doctor said you're not supposed to take that pill until tomorrow,' " she said.

Until recently in Milwaukee County, hospitals had been refusing to provide emergency services workers with the conditions of the patients they had transported, so the EMTs did not know whether they had properly diagnosed and treated the patients.

It took several meetings with information specialists and lawyers to get the hospitals to cooperate, say county emergency service administrators.

Even now, some hospitals in rural Wisconsin have refused to release the names of newborn babies and their mothers to public health nurses who provide obstetric follow-up care, says Gina Dennik-Champion, executive director of the Wisconsin Nurses Association.

"There are a lot of kinks in this new law that need to be worked out," she said.

Christopher Decker, executive vice president of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, says some of his association's members have had trouble getting clinics to confirm medical details about certain patients. For example, pharmacists would not know whether a patient has a problem with kidney function, so they would not be able to fill certain prescriptions for fear that the patient could have a bad reaction to those drugs.

Concerned that they will be violating the laws, several pharmacies no longer allow doctors' offices to fax prescriptions in case an unauthorized clerk should see the fax.

"This is an extremely complex law that is very difficult to follow," Decker says. "Look, it took them seven years just to get rules and regulations in place from when it was passed. The guidelines are hundreds of pages long."

Aside from the huge expense of time and money to fill out the paperwork that is involved in executing the new law, HIPAA has created tremendous stress on caregivers, says Decker.

"We're supposed to be taking care of people," he said. "Instead, we have to spend hours just to figure out if we are breaching any information."

But Burt Wagner, a Madison, Wisc., lawyer who helped to write a manual advising clients on how to comply with HIPAA, says most of the anxiety about the law is unwarranted.

"Some of this is a knee-jerk reaction of people who are unwilling to look for creative solutions," he said.

Wisconsin has always had strong protections for medical privacy, Wagner says.

"We do a very good job in this state of upholding the rights of the patient," he says. "I can't recall a lawsuit that has been filed in the past several years from someone claiming that a hospital or clinic improperly released their medical records."

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HIPAA Myths And Facts

Myth: A hospital is prohibited from sharing information with a patient's family without the patient's consent.

Fact: A health care provider may disclose to a family member, a relative or a close personal friend or any other person identified by the patient, any medical information directly relevant to that person's involvement with the patient's care or payment related to the patient's care. However, the law does not compel a hospital or other health care provider to do so.

Myth: One doctor's office can't send information to another without the patient's consent.

Fact: No consent needed.

Myth: A patient can't be listed in a hospital's directory without the patient's consent, and the hospital is prohibited from sharing a patient's condition with the public.

Fact: Patients can be included unless the patient specifically chooses to opt out. The patient must be informed of the use and disclosure.

Myth: Members of the clergy can no longer find out if members of their congregations or religious affiliations are hospitalized unless they know the person by name.

Fact: The regulation specifically provides that hospitals may continue the practice of disclosing directory information, including religious affiliation, to members of the clergy unless the patient has objected.

Source: www.healthprivacy.org

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Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden have been coordinating terrorist activities from 1990 through 2003.?

The Weekly Standard today revealed it had obtained an October 27 memo from the Dept. of Defense to the Senate Intelligence Committee, disclosing evidence that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden have been coordinating terrorist activities from 1990 through 2003. Among other damning evidence, the memo disclosed meetings between 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and Iraqi intelligence.

From today's article:

OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta--according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration. Intelligence reporting included in the 16-page memo comes from a variety of domestic and foreign agencies, including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Much of the evidence is detailed, conclusive, and corroborated by multiple sources. Some of it is new information obtained in custodial interviews with high-level al Qaeda terrorists and Iraqi officials, and some of it is more than a decade old. The picture that emerges is one of a history of collaboration between two of America's most determined and dangerous enemies.

The memo contains 50 detailed bullets outlining Iraqi/al-Qaeda cooperation. Among the points laid out:

  • Numerous meetings between Iraqi high-level officials and al Qaeda (including bin Laden himself).
  • An agreement by Saddam to allow al-Qaeda operations as long as they left his regime alone (remember that Osama initially considered the Iraqi secular regime to be an enemy of Islam).
  • The Iraqi Intelligence Service trained bin Laden in bomb-making techniques.
  • Iraqi funding for meetings with al-Qaeda.
  • Meetings between Iraqi officials and the Taliban in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • al-Qaeda set up a terrorist training camp in northern Iraq.
  • Iraq provided safe harbor, funding, weapons, and fake passports to al-Qaeda -- even after 9/11.
  • Involvement by countries like Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan in meetings between Iraqi representatives and al-Qaeda.

But the most disturbing revelations were Iraq's possible involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The memo disclosed that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer met as many as four times in Prague in 1994, 1999, 2000, and 2001. The Weekly Standard added that 5 high-ranking Czech government officials "have publicly confirmed" meetings between Atta and the Iraqi intelligence officer. Even more alarming, it was revealed that Iraq offered funding to Atta. Whether or not the funds were transferred remains a mystery.

President Bush's critics have lambasted him for insinuating a connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Remember all the pooh-poohing of the one meeting between Atta and Iraqi agent in Prague? Turns out there were four meetings -- and a whole hell of a lot of other evidence of Iraqi/al-Qaeda connections.

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EU vs. USA - point of view

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"Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister, noted to me in Brussels the other day that for a generation Americans and Europeans shared the same date: 1945. A whole trans-Atlantic alliance flowed from that postwar shared commitment to democratic government, free markets and the necessity of deterring the Soviet Union. America saw the strength of Europe as part of its own front line and vice versa - and this bond "made the resolution of all other issues both necessary and possible," said Mr. Bildt.

"Today, however, we are motivated by different dates. "Our defining date is now
1989 and yours is 2001," said Mr. Bildt. Every European prime minister wakes up in the morning thinking about how to share sovereignty, as
Europe takes advantage of the collapse of communism to consolidate economically, politically and militarily into one big family. And the U.S. president wakes up thinking about where the next terror attack might come from and how to respond - most likely alone. "While we talk of peace, they talk of security," says Mr. Bildt. "While we talk of sharing sovereignty, they talk about exercising sovereign power. When we talk about a region, they talk about the world. No longer united primarily by a common threat, we have also failed to develop a common vision for where we want to go on many of the global issues confronting us."

A large part of the reason Europe is so free to be so negligent in security matters is because since 1945 the United States has provided that security for them. This isn't to say Europe isn't living up to its promises though, for it is simply the legacy that the Cold War left us. But all too often Europe forgets how it survived the Cold War. It forgets that it wouldn't have the ability to be a union of peaceful nations with free economies if it wasn't for the nuclear blanket that the United States laid over Western Europe.
Europe is strong, peaceful - and uppity - because we kept them safe from the Soviet arsenal. We let them play "government" while we made the world safe for them and others.

The former Swedish prime minister quoted above mentions 1989 and 2001 as turning points for how each side of the Atlantic has seen the world. I'm not sure that's entirely correct. In terms of who concerns itself with peace as a method to security and who concerns itself with security as a method to peace, nothing has changed. America still provides security for the world while diplomats in Brussels sip tea and politely discuss how to word their statement on human rights for the EU constitution.

We've changed quite a bit since our respective turning point years, but our fundamental objectives have not changed. Our world today will function better or worse based on how closely our two objectives can be reconciled. If
Europe refuses to admit that America and America alone can effectively lead the way in world security matters then we will always have trouble coming to consensus. Likewise, if America seeks to run roughshod over European refinement of things best accomplished through diplomatic means then the world will continue to resent our acts of good will. Europe and America must work together. It is the only way to a peaceful and secure future.

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A short history of PA corruption



Suha Arafat gets a monthly $100,000 according to CBS.

According to a recent study by the International Monetary Fund of Palestinian public finances, the President's Office annually consumes eight percent, or $74 million, of the Palestinian Authority's published budget. Of that sum, some $40 million is spent on wages; the rest is for Yasser Arafat to dispose as he pleases.

"This inevitably raises questions and suspicions which are inconsistent with accountable and transparent public finance systems," writes Karim Nashashibi, the author of the study.

IMF technocrats are not the only ones calling attention to dubious PA finances. In August 2002, OC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze'evi told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Arafat was worth an estimated $1.3 billion. Four months earlier, on April 5, IDF troops uncovered Arafat's signature on a memo approving thousands of dollars for Tanzim militiamen later involved in suicide attacks.

Where does Arafat's money come from? Arafat claims having made a fortune in construction with a Kuwaiti-based company in the late 1950s. The claim is almost certainly false. During its years in exile, the PLO was funded by the Soviet Union, by Arab states, and by a five percent tax on all Palestinian workers in Arab League countries.

But the PLO was not simply a charity. According to a 1993 report by the British National Criminal Intelligence Service, the PLO also maintained sidelines in "extortion, payoffs, illegal arms dealing, drug trafficking, money laundering and fraud," all of which brought its estimated fortune to $14 billion.

At the time, the director of the PLO National Fund was a self-made millionaire named Jawid al-Ghussein. In 2000, four years after he left that post, Ghussein was abducted from a wedding in the United Arab Emirates by members of Arafat's Force 17 and incarcerated for 16 months in Gaza, four of which were spent in isolation. Released in July 2002 for medical treatment in Israel, Ghussein fled to London with his family. He remains tight-lipped about PLO finances, but his son, Tawfiq, is less reticent.

"The authority's conduct raises disturbing questions whether it can be trusted to be a responsible member of the international community," he said at the time.

Since coming to Gaza in 1994, Arafat has treated the areas under his control as his personal fief. He doubled the size of the Palestinian civil service, creating a class of dependent clerks to whom he could bestow or withhold favors at whim. With money-man Muhammed Rashid, he established Al-Bahr, a holding company chaired by Suha Arafat, which exerts monopoly control over every significant concession in the Palestinian Authority: tobacco, cement, gasoline, the Jericho casino - some 27 companies in all.

Then there are Arafat's slush funds. Composed largely of monies pilfered from the EU and Israeli transfer payments, the kitty is estimated to contain anywhere between $300 million (according to Forbes) to $4 billion (according to Rawya Shawa of the Palestinian Legislative Council), and is distributed across bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, North Africa and - at least in the late 1990s - at the Hashmonaim branch of Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv.

From time to time, attention has been called to the issue of Palestinian "corruption." And from time to time, Arafat has gone through the pretense of reforming. In 1997, he commissioned an audit after it emerged that the PA had wasted more than a third of its annual budget.

"We are making significant, serious and very sincere efforts to keep that promise [to close slush funds]," Rashid declared at the time.

In 1999, following growing international dissatisfaction with the PA's public finances, Salaam Fayad - then the IMF's Resident Representative to the PA - established, with Arafat's consent, the so-called Economic Policy Framework, which attempted to consolidate all PA funds into a single account. This initiative, too, went nowhere. In 2002, Fayad, now installed as the PA's finance minister, attempted a "second wave" of reform, again with Arafat's blessing. It remains to be seen where this will lead.

On the whole, Arafat has been willing to entertain external pressure for reform. Not so internal pressure. In 1999, Muawiya Al-Masri, a member of the PLC from Nablus, gave an interview to a Jordanian newspaper in which he denounced PA corruption. For his trouble, he was attacked by a gang of masked men and shot three times.

"No minister can appoint a driver or a delivery boy in his ministry without the president's consent," he said after the attack. "There is no institutional process. There is only one institution - the presidency, which has no law and order and is based on bribing top officials."

That same year, Abdel Sattar Kassem, a political scientist also from Nablus, signed the Petition of the 20 - "to stand against this tyranny and corruption." He was jailed for six months.

"I am fighting alone," he told this reporter after his release. "Our people are not up to their historic responsibility to defend those who would defend their rights."

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Fighting Back
In Iraq, the good news is the bad news is dead.

BY BRENDAN MINITER
Tuesday, November 11, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

Just about every media organization seems to have gotten the message that it should report the good news along with the bad in Iraq. So along with every report of an American soldier killed, we can now expect the obligatory quote from an administration official pointing out that there are plenty of positive developments in Iraq. Yet one positive story that gets little media attention and consequently leaves many Americans wondering how well the war is going is what happens after American soldiers are attacked. Why aren't retaliatory strikes reported more prominently?

Virtually every attack on American soldiers has drawn a response from coalition forces. The world is seeing that now--after the downing of three American helicopters, including a Black Hawk--with the strikes by F-16s with precision guided 500-pound bombs. Iraq hasn't been the scene of such massive American firepower since April. The enemy is being made to pay a hefty price for each and every attack.

These spectacular strikes are but a small piece in the larger war raging in Iraq. That missile attack launched on the al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad when Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying there was widely reported. He was unharmed, but the attack killed an American officer, scarred the outside of the building (which has made a good TV visual whenever the story is repeated), and scared many reporters who breathlessly reported how lawless the city must be if such an attack was possible.

But the military followed up by catching 18 suspects. Once in custody, the thugs were quick to rat out their friends. Those arrests led to the arrest of two dozen more enemy fighters.

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This was no isolated success. Coalition forces are routinely catching the men who are planning and carrying out attacks on soldiers and civilian infrastructure:

* The 101st Airborne nabbed seven individuals suspected of perpetrating attacks on American troops on Nov. 7 by conducting a series of nighttime cordon and "knocks" (entering homes). The suspects also allegedly harbored weapons caches.

* The 82nd Airborne detained five anticoalition fighters--one a former Republican Guard lieutenant colonel--on Nov. 6. The five men are regime loyalists and were sought out by U.S. forces because they're believed to have planned and carried out attacks.

* On Nov. 6 coalition forces were monitoring the site of a seized weapons cache when they spotted two men looking for the rocket-propelled grenade launcher and other munitions. When the men spotted the soldiers, they ran. They were ordered to halt, but one--who was carrying an AK-47--opened fire instead. The soldiers shot back, killing him and catching three others.

* The 12th Infantry Regiment was attacked with 10 rockets on Nov. 7. Soldiers spotted where the rockets were coming from and returned fire. A patrol simultaneously closed in on the enemy's position. The attackers attempted to flee as the soldiers approached, but all three were shot down and killed as they ran.

* The 82nd Airborne carried out the first phase of Operation All American Tiger on Nov. 6, detaining three members of an anticoalition cell in Husaybah and several others. The men caught are suspected not only of carrying out attacks but also of providing safe houses, weapons, transportation and funding to militants.

* On Nov. 7 one division carried out 168 patrols--eight of them jointly with Iraqi border guards and policemen--as well as two raids and three cordon searches. The operations yielded 39 detainees, including several individuals known to be involved in attacks on coalition forces.

* A man believed to be a former bodyguard of Saddam Hussein was captured in an early-morning raid on Nov. 8 south of Kirkuk. Coalition forces went after him after learning of his possible involvement in attacks.

* On Nov. 7, acting on the tip from a local sheik, members of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment seized a large weapons cache 20 miles northeast of Fallujah. The following day they returned to the same site and found another large stockpile of weaponry, including 194 152mm artillery shells, 84 antitank missiles, 45 high-explosive and fragmentation rockets, 34 155mm artillery shells, four 57mm rounds, five 115mm rounds and one 125mm antitank round as well as thousands of rounds of small arms ammunition.

The death of an American soldier is front page news, while the death of his attacker is buried deep inside the paper, if reported at all. But there's another reason why the response to attacks are rarely reported. The military judiciously applies force, which means there's often no big explosion to show the viewing public back home. The enemy blows up civilians, while coalition forces use precision strikes to remove enemy combatants. But more to the point, the media are a lazy beast and, it seems, the Pentagon hasn't been doing a good job feeding it.

Mr. Miniter is assistant editor of OpinionJournal.com. His column appears Tuesdays.

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NPR Gets You Laid

I have severe radio avoidance -- if I wanted to hear people talking at me, I'd get an office job. Little did I know that NPR was the key to being taken seriously in the dating world. "Ask Brendan" offers insight into how NPR can get you laid.

"For both the male and the female, listening to NPR sends a signal to a prospective mate: "Despite my current income, in a few years I will have a house in a neighborhood with good public schools, and I will drive a Volvo stationwagon." Women are sending an additional signal: "I consider myself smart and sophisticated and if I get pregnant, I will have an abortion. I might consider a three-way." Men signal back: "I won't try to stop you from getting an abortion, but I'm not afraid to cry if you do. I don't like guns, but I'm manly enough to camp and mountain-bike. I just love nature! A three-way sounds intriguing."

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Islam in Fast Demise

In Africa Alone Everyday, 16,000 Muslims Leave Islam??

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By Ali Sina?

Hitler said if a lie is repeated often enough and long enough, it would come to be perceived as truth. One such lie often repeated is "Islam is the fastest growing religion".?

Despite the fact that Muslims by virtue of being poor and uneducated are much more reproductive than others, Islam as a religion is not growing but dying fast.?

More and more Muslims are discovering that the violence evinced by some of their coreligionists is not an aberration but is inspired by the teachings of the Quran and the examples set by its author. Muslims are becoming disillusioned with Islam. They find out that the mechanistic ritual of praying five times per day, reciting verses that they do not understand and indeed mean nothing, getting up at taxing hours of the morning and abstaining from food and water until the sunset are not means to becoming more spiritual but are instruments to control their mind. These enlightened Muslims no more heed to the fear mongering verses of the Quran that threaten to burn them and roast them in the fires of hell if they dare to think and question the validity of that book.??

Every day thousands of Muslim intellectuals are leaving Islam. They find Islam inconsistent with science, logics, human rights and ethics. Millions of Iranians already have left Islam. The enlightened Muslims of other nationalities are not far behind. This is the beginning of a mass exodus from Islam. It is a movement that is already in motion and nothing can stop it.?

However the exodus from Islam is not reserved to the intellectuals but also the average Muslims are finding that Islam is not the way to God but to ignorance, poverty and wars. They are leaving Islam to embrace other religions especially the Christianity.?

Perhaps it is best to listen to the truth coming from the mouth of the horse. The Internet site aljazeera.net published an interview with Ahmad Al Qataani ???? ???????? An important Islamic cleric who said: "In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity."?

What Muslims say among each other, is not the same thing that they say for the consumption of the Westerners.

These are huge numbers. If this trend continues we can expect to see Islam become insignificant in Africa in just a few decades. This is good news for those who are concerned about the on going slavery in Africa and the prospects of war and genocide.?

In fact with the weakening of Islam, we can hope to see peace in many war-ridden parts of the world including Palestine. By now it should be clear that any road map to peace? between Israel and Palestine will be blocked by the Islamists and the terrorists. Peace in Middle East is not possible as long as Islam is the ideology of the masses.?? ?

It is important that we realize that this terrorism that is threatening the peace of the world and these wars that bleed the Muslim nations are not economically motivated but are religious wars. The weakening of Islam means peace for mankind.?

Al Qataani and al Jazeera Network were alarmed by these huge numbers of Muslims leaving Islam, but this is something for which humanity should rejoice. ?

The following is part of the transcript of Al Jazeera's Interview with Al Qataani translated in English. Here is the original transcript in Arabic

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Maher Abdallah:
Dear viewers, peace of Allah be upon you, greetings and welcome to a new episode of the program Islamic Law and Life.

Our topic this evening will be Christianization in the Dark Continent ... Africa. For after Islam was the religion of the majority, the great majority of that continent, the number of Muslims now is no greater than a third of the population. This is taking into consideration, of course, that a large portion of this group are Arab Muslims. No doubt that the missions of evangelization and Christianization played a great role in this demographic shift of Muslims in the continent.

To discuss this topic, it is my pleasure to introduce today a man who is an expert on the issue of evangelization and Christianization in Africa, even though he will concentrate on the issue of Christianization first and foremost.... Sheikh Ahmad Al Qataani; the president of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science of Islamic Law in Libya, which is an institution specializing in graduating imams and Islamic preachers.

Sheikh Ahmad, welcome to you on the program.

Ahmad Al Qataani:
Greeting to you.

Maher Abdallah:
If we start by inquiring about your strict stance against the Christian missions in Africa, don't the followers of every religion have the right to seek new converts, exactly as you train and graduate young Muslims to propagate Islam?

Ahmad Al Qataani:
I seek refuge in Allah the Seer, the Knower, from the stoned devil. In the name of Allah the Merciful the Beneficent. Thanks to Allah the One, the Only, the Permanent One, who did not give birth nor was born, to whom no one was equal. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah who has no partners, and I bear witness that our master Muhammed - Allah's prayers and peace be upon him - is his messenger and seal of prophets; Allah prayers be upon him and his brothers the prophets and messengers and their families.

The question that you pose is a result of not comprehending the difference between the concept of Christianization and the concept of evangelism.

The concept of evangelism: is inviting the non-Christians to the Christian or Nazarene religion, and this is the right of every Christian and the right of every believer to call others to his faith. However, we are talking about a different matter; which is Christianization. Christianization means the following: preparing plans, and executing these plans and evolving these plans to change Muslims into Christians by taking advantage of the ignorance and poverty (of the people) and whatever necessitates from similar circumstances.

So, we are faced with the issue of taking advantage of circumstances, taking advantage of humanitarian needs, taking advantage of the lack of education for example, that these people (missionaries) use to take Muslims out of their religion.

Maher Abdallah:
Fine. This is a big and dangerous phrase. Taking advantage of poverty, of ignorance, of lack of education, of some need is something that a Muslim can also be accused of. So if you don't back up what you say with examples, with references, your words remain in the air without much weight to them.

Ahmad Al Qataani:
The reality is that these words say a lot less than they should. As we said in the beginning, everyone has the right to invite others to his religion; this is what is known as evangelism (or proselytizing). As for Christianization, no one has the right to take Muslims out of their religion, and you asked for references and the references are too numerous.

Islam used to represent, as you previously mentioned, Africa's main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people. When we realize that the entire population of
Africa is one billion people, we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was in the beginning of the last century. On the other hand, the number of Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329 million 882 thousand (329,882,000). Let us round off that number to 330 million in the year 2000.

As to how that happened, well
.there are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity
These numbers are very large indeed .....

Maher Abdallah (interrupting):
Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have 6 million converting from Islam to Christianity or converting from Islam and other religions?

Ahmad Al Qataani:
Great (question)! The other religions are not placed on the list of Christianization; rather they are placed on the list of evangelization. The other religion in Africa is paganism; so it's Islam, Christianity or paganism. There isn't something similar to Asia for example where you have Buddhism or Zoroastrianism. In Africa it is just these three, so if you talk about Christianization then it targets the only other heavenly religion which is Islam. As for paganism, those people worship animals and planets and the like.

Maher Abdallah:
So 6 million Muslims a year convert?

Ahmad Al Qataani:
Every year ..... In the African nations this century a tragedy happened. Take for example what happened in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is an Arab nation and I am not saying a muslim nation. If any student looks up the word Habasha (Ethiopia) in the book Ocean Dictionary written by Al-Fairuz Abady, he will find that the word Habashat means "people of different tribes" and this is what happened. Ethiopia was a place where Arabs from different tribes would go to live for a while. We all know that Islam entered Ethiopia before Islam entered the city of Medina. We all know that AL-Najashy (the ruler of Ethiopia) was a Muslim. It is mentioned by Al-Darkatny in his biography of the prophet - Allah's prayer and peace be upon him - that during the month of Rajab in the 9th year of the Hijra (Muslim calendar) that the prophet said to his companions: "Rise up and pray on your brother Al-Najashy." From that year on the practice of praying on the absent was established. Therefore from the time of the prophet - Allah's prayer and peace be upon him - Islam entered Ethiopia. So what has happened to Ethiopia?

What happened is that in the days of Emperor Hela Silasi who used to force Muslims to bow to the Christian, and if he refused then he was whipped 45 lashes and jailed between 2 and 5 years. In the year 1948, a massacre occurred at the hands of the Amharic tribes; the Amharic being Christians and collaborators, who continued to slaughter Muslims for 7 months and perform the most horrific acts imaginable. For example they deprived them from the most basic human rights, to the point that they mutilated the male Muslim's reproductive organs so that no more Muslim children would be born. Ethiopia was rewarded after all these horrific acts; rewarded by being made the head quarters of the African Unity League.

Let us move to another location in
Africa
, let it be Nigeria. Nigeria is known by Muslims by the name of the Land of Takror. Nigeria was founded at the beginning of the last century by the British, and many Islamic sources mention it's name as the Land of Tekror. There is even a letter by the reciter Suyuti, who died in the year 911 Hijri, where the title is: Opening the blessed request and relating the hidden openly to the questions of the people of Takror. So there was an established relationship, and they used to send questions to the scholars of Islam, so this letter (of questions) was sent from one of the sheikh scholars of Nigeria that was called Takror to the Muslim scholar AL Suyuti in Egypt and he in turn responded and the contents of this letter are published and printed and is found in the book "The collection Islamic decrees".

Nigeria's population is 120 million people, 70% of whom are Muslim. In the 1960's a British missionary came and declared that he will Christianize North Nigeria, the majority of whom are Muslim. As a result, Ahmad Banulo (from the leaders of the Msulims) was forced at the time to move him to Lagos the capital. As a result the butcher Arorese, that was present at the time, eliminated all the Muslim rulers and killed Ahmad Banulo, why? Because he merely dared to move this missionary who declared that he wishes to Christianize North Nigeria.

In another country, Zanzibar, is an Arabic African nation and I am not saying Muslim. Zanzibar was always connected to the Sultanate of Oman (in the Persian Gulf). Concerning Zanzibar, there was a priest by the name Julius Niriry, president of Tanzania, who annihilated 20,000 Muslims (male and female) with a military force lead by a chicken thief. This thief was imprisoned for being accused of stealing chickens; he was released and asked to command the military brigade that annihilated 20,000 Muslims.

Maher Abdallah:
My dear viewers welcome back to this episode where we are speaking about the topic of Christianization in the African continent and we are speaking with the Sheikh who is observing and following this issue, as each hour Islam loses just under 700 Muslims who join the Christian religion which leads us to the number of 6 million Muslims every year.

Our sir, you mentioned that there are advantages being taken of necessities: poverty, ignorance; what you mentioned then are waves of elimination, waves of religious eradication, and there is no need to call is racial eradication..... However, let us go back to the topic necessity and exploitation. This may have all been in the past; the military expeditions that you spoke of were all in the beginning or middle of the last century, but what is happening today in regards to exploiting necessities?

Ahmad Al Qataani:
What I wanted to say is that these military expeditions and wars paved the way for what we are seeing today; converting 6 million Muslims every year did not happen from nothing, but was a result of what I mentioned earlier.

As for the topic of necessity exploitation, then a nation like Somalia, whose population is 9.5 million people, are all Muslim without exception. There are no Christians or pagans. And if you did find any then they are an insignificant number that are not even on official statistics. A Belgian missionary by the name of Sabeh came to Somalia and purchased 30,000 Muslim youth, he took advantage of their parents poverty, and we all know the terrible situation that Somalia is going through now and what it went through a few years ago. This is taking advantage of a humanitarian need that any human can go through.

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The 'Reagans' Revolution
Blogger Terry Teachout makes a compelling argument that CBS's decision to cancel the slanderous miniseries "The Reagans" marks a real cultural shift:

I've been following Big Media's coverage of the flap over The Reagans, and just two days ago I noted with interest and amusement a wire story claiming that CBS would be pleased by the controversy, since it would inevitably increase the series' ratings. That is soooooo last year. Those of us who blog, whatever our political persuasions, know better. Boycotts of Big Media have always been feasible in theory. .?.?. In practice, though, they rarely worked, because it was too difficult to mobilize large-scale support quickly enough. No more. Fox News, talk radio, and the conservative-libertarian sector of the blogosphere have combined to create a giant megaphone through which disaffected right-wing consumers who have a bone to pick with Big Media can now make themselves heard.?.?.?.

By relegating The Reagans to Showtime, CBS has publicly acknowledged, albeit implicitly, the growing weakness of Big Media. Now that the common culture is a thing of the past, lowest-common-denominator programming is harder and harder to pull off, as is lowest-common-denominator editing. To do it, you have to keep lowering the denominator further and further. When your overhead is as high as it is at CBS, you can't afford to give offense, nor can you afford to be sophisticated. Above all, you don't dare try to lead the culture anywhere it doesn't care to go--not if your job is to keep your numbers in the black.

The new media [have an] impact on Big Media in two ways. The first is the megaphone effect I spoke about a moment ago. The second, which is of at least equal importance, is that they compete with Big Media. If you're reading these words, you're not watching CBS, or anybody else, nor are you sitting in a movie theater or reading a print magazine.?.?.?.

Five years ago, opponents of The Reagans would have failed to sway CBS because of their inability to make enough noise. The network would have taken the "high road" and stared them down, and been praised for its courage by other Big Media outlets. And if it were only a matter of noise, CBS would have done the same thing today?.?.?. but it isn't. Today, CBS is fighting for its corporate life. So are NBC, ABC, Time, TV Guide, the Reader's Digest, and all the film studios and record labels. They can't afford to ignore the noise anymore, no matter which side of the political fence it comes from. And they won't.

For more on this subject, check out City Journal's Brian Anderson. Delightfully clueless about all this is the New York Times, which has a risible editorial on "The Reagans":

The former president is certainly a suitable subject for public debate. His supporters credit him with forcing down the Iron Curtain, so it is odd that some of them have helped create the Soviet-style chill embedded in the idea that we, as a nation, will not allow critical portrayals of one of our own recent leaders.

You know times are tough when the New York Times has to resort to red-baiting. And does anyone really believe all this cant about free speech? As reader Wayne Clements notes: "If this had been a hit piece on Martin Luther King, the NAACP would have called for, and gotten, a boycott, and they would have been hailed as heroes by the same people that are today crying censorship."

To which we would add: If a movie on Martin Luther King were as vicious and dishonest as "The Reagans" reportedly is, the NAACP would be right to boycott it.

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Gadhafi Must Go
This terrorist will never change his spots.

BY CLAUDIA ROSETT
Wednesday, November 5, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

In the war on terror, one of the strangest developments--and that's saying a lot--has been the step-by-step return to polite society of Libya's terrorist-sponsoring tyrant, Moammar Gadhafi.

Over the past year, the United Nations has dignified Gadhafi, first by appointing one of his ambassadors as head of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, then, on Sept. 12, by lifting U.N. sanctions on Libya--after Gadhafi took "responsibility" for the 1988 Lockerbie airplane bombing and arrived at the first phase of a cash settlement with families of the victims.

Gadhafi has now been allowed to reopen his embassy in London. He's been dickering with Germany over compensation for his 1986 bombing of a Berlin nightclub, with France over compensation for his 1989 bombing of a French airplane over Niger. And, as the Libyan dictator waves around his billions in blood money, he has been demanding that the U.S. take a cue from the U.N., and lift the sanctions that for 17 years have barred U.S. companies from doing business in Libya.

Other high points in what some have called Gadhafi's charm offensive include recent announcements that his regime plans to privatize 361 companies, and that Libya is prepared to spend $9 billion in a bid to host soccer's 2010 World Cup--with facilities already under construction.

For several years high-profile Western journalists have periodically been invited to visit Libya, sit with Gadhafi for an exclusive interview, and ponder such intriguing questions as whether terrorist despots can truly change their ways. A classic of this genre was Gadhafi's chipper exchange with Newsweek's special diplomatic correspondent, Lally Weymouth, published last January under the headline "The Former Face of Evil."

For a better sense of the real face of Gadhafi, take a closer look inside Libya itself, a country Gadhafi has run for 34 years as his own totalitarian wonderland--and still does. Libya, by every reasonable ranking and report, from Amnesty International to Freedom House to the U.S. State Department, remains one of the most repressed societies on earth. There are no private newspapers; there is no independent rule of law. Multilayered, pervasive surveillance is routine; so is arbitrary arrest; so is torture in the prisons; so is collective punishment of entire families for the actions of one individual. There are no private banks; there is no private enterprise of any substantial size. Libya's oil industry, with reserves ranked among the top 10 on the planet, accounts for 95% of Libya's exports, and belongs entirely to the state, which in effect belongs entirely to Moammar Gadhafi.

And, the only law being Gadhafi's word, one of the basic ways in which he keeps control is by constantly shifting his rules, so all Libyans must constantly be following his lead (a trait that ought to engage the attention of the U.S. administration now reviewing U.S. sanctions on Libya). A Libyan-born scholar, Mansour El-Kikhia, now a naturalized American teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio, explains that Gadhafi has changed even the Libyan calendar so it is out of synchronization with both the Islamic world and the West. In an illuminating book published in 1997, "Libya's Qaddafi," Mr. El-Kikhia noted that "every year a new set of rules telling Libyans what to wear, eat, say and read is enacted by the regime. The country has become one of the most restricted in the world."

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Has that changed? Ask 44-year-old Libyan-American, Mohamed Eljahmi. Mr. Eljahmi's older brother back in Libya, 62-year-old Fathi Eljahmi, was arrested 13 months ago for speaking out against Gadhafi and calling for democracy. Fathi was sentenced to five years in prison, at a trial he himself was not allowed to attend. He is now doing time in Tripoli's Abu-Salim prison, notorious both for wretched conditions and for a 1996 massacre in which the authorities shot hundreds of inmates.

On the international front, littered along Gadhafi's trail along with the outright terrorist acts for which he is now buying indulgences, there are odd incidents that should also leave us deeply wary. Three years ago, he provided some $10 million to ransom 10 European hostages held by the Islamic terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines. For this, he reaped the gratitude of the freed hostages, some of whom went to Libya to thank him effusively for his kindness. The net effect, however, was also the transfer, in broad daylight, of a big lump of cash from Gadhafi to terrorists in the Philippines. Ransom? Or funding?

Nor are Gadhafi's quarrels with the Arab League any cause for Western comfort. Gadhafi's switch from ardent Nasserite pan-Arabist to a pacesetter in African politics began in 1992, when the U.N. imposed sanctions on Libya for the Lockerbie bombing, and Arab states declined to rally round Gadhafi. So he refocused his favors on Africa. There, his efforts to buy friends and influence fellow dictators eventually got Libya that chairmanship this year, as Africa's choice, at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. In Africa, Gadhafi has had a hand in a long series of bloody catastrophes, including in recent times the brutal presidency in Liberia of Libyan-trained Charles Taylor, and Gadhafi's support in the form of fuel and friendship for Zimbabwe's aging dictator, Robert Mugabe--who has held onto power by orchestrating his own cultural revolution, complete with mob attacks and famine for those who oppose him.

Libya has also surfaced in recent weeks in regard to the arrest of an American Muslim activist, Abdur Rahman Alamoudi, charged with an interesting medley of activities, including not only helping the terrorist group Hamas but also accepting $340,000 in sequentially numbered $100 bills from the Libyan government, apparently to lobby for the lifting of U.S. sanctions.

And Gadhafi, on Oct. 4, gave a speech to a group of women in the Libyan city of Sabha, in which he held up as models the suicide bombers of Baghdad and Gaza. As translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, Gadhafi urged these Libyan women to learn how to "booby trap the car and blow it up among the enemy" and how to "booby-trap the children's toys, so they blow up on the enemy soldiers."

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In the free world, so used to dealing in good faith, there abides this strange belief that even terrorist sponsoring tyrants can be redeemed--that a Kim Jong Il can be coddled out of his cruelties, that a Gadhafi can change his spots. Perhaps that's because in our own daily lives, we experience almost nothing of what these regimes are really like. We show far more insight into the tame, familiar realms of, say, our own corporate affairs, where we readily agree that gross mismanagement--an Enron, a WorldCom--can be remedied only by firing the executives responsible. We have yet to grasp fully that in raw, ruthless dictatorships--in the case of a Gadhafi, who has inflicted on his own people, for 34 years, gross misrule by force and terror--the same principle applies.

The true redemption of Libya cannot be achieved by accepting from Gadhafi--he of the booby traps--promises and blood money. That money, sucked from the oil wells of Libya, belongs by rights not to Gadhafi, but to 5.4 million people of Libya. Real reform can only begin when he is gone.

As for the $9 billion with which Libya proposes to put itself in the running to host the 2010 World Cup , El-Saadi Gadhafi, the second son of Gadhafi's second wife, has been telling the London press it's a good investment. He should know. He's head of the Libyan soccer federation.

Ms. Rosett is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Her column appears here and in The Wall Street Journal Europe on alternate Wednesdays.

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Israel isn't peaceful

By Jonah Goldberg

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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | According to a poll conducted by the European Union, a majority of Europeans see Israel as the chief threat to world peace. And, in a sense, they're right.

One could also say that the American founders were the chief threat to world peace. Why couldn't they just go on tolerating tyrannical rule from Britain? It would have made things so much easier.

You could also say that Sir Thomas More was the chief threat to civic peace when he refused to place king over the Divine.

You could say that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the chief threat to peace in Sunndydale by refusing to allow demons to rule in evil tranquility.

OK, you get my point by now: Just because your resolve creates friction doesn't mean your resolve is wrong. If Britain refused to stand up to Hitler, there might have been "peace." But at what price?

Israel isn't peaceful because its neighbors won't let it live in peace. Israel refuses to be destroyed, so there's conflict.

Similarly, America refuses to sit still while others plot our demise. Not surprisingly, then, Europeans think America is the second biggest threat to world peace. Actually, we're tied - with Iran and North Korea. There's a nice symmetry there. Since we're the occupiers of Iraq, Europeans think we've taken Iraq's place in the Axis of Evil. Maybe they think that was our plan all along?


Anyway, America is the only nation out there willing to sacrifice blood and treasure for the sake of world peace. We are the engine for the global economy, we are the chief guarantor of global stability and security, and we are the model for countless nations in countless realms - from law to politics to education. More importantly, America understands - much like the British did in the 19th century - that such delicate machinery needs to be maintained as well as protected from saboteurs. September 11 reminded us of that.

Oh sure, Europeans care about peace, but they believe it can be attained through talking. In his wonderful book "Of Paradise and Power," (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR. ) historian Robert Kagan argues that America and Europe no longer share a common worldview. Americans believe it is necessary to use force when force is necessary. Europeans - in large part because they don't have the option of using force - believe that force is never necessary. America is from Mars, Europe from Venus, Kagan writes.

"Europeans have done something that no one has ever done before: create a zone of peace where war is ruled out, absolutely out," Karl Kaiser, director of the Research Institute of the German Society for Foreign Affairs said in the Chicago Tribune last year during the lead-up to the Iraq war. "Europeans are convinced that this model is valid for other parts of the world."

Kaiser's rosy version of history perfectly reflects the unreality of the European point of view. First, the United States has maintained peace in North America since 1865. Second, what about that whole mess in the former Yugoslavia that consumed most of the 1990s and still requires U.S. troops to keep the peace? But whatever, we're talking worldviews, not facts, I suppose.

But let's get back to Israel. Many of Israel's defenders were quick to charge that the Euro-poll reveals "nothing less than pure anti-Semitism," to quote Natan Sharansky, a minister in the Israeli government.

I'm not so sure. I certainly believe that anti-Semitism is a growing and real problem in Europe. I also can see how the age-old European tendency to see Jews as "troublemakers" and "boat-rockers" when they stand up for themselves plays a part in the European bias against Israel. But ultimately, I think anti-Semitism is only part of the story.

Israel has a worldview that, of necessity, understands the need for force even more than America. Israel's neighbors see the murder of little kids and old women as cause for celebration. Just one small example: A recent poll of Palestinians revealed that 59 percent of them wanted to see terrorism against Israel continue even after the creation of a Palestinian state.

But Europeans, in their condescension and arrogance, don't hold Arabs to the same standard as they do Israelis. Remember how one Swedish official wanted to revoke Shimon Peres' Nobel Peace Prize but saw no reason for Arafat to give up his?

Europeans see Israelis as fellow Westerners, and they can't forgive them for not following Europe's example of settling differences over runny cheese and bottled water in fancy hotels. The truth is the Israelis would like nothing better. But not if the chitchat over brie is nothing but a pretext for their destruction. So, they opt for self-defense. They may make mistakes in the process, but one can hardly expect them to accept suicide simply in the name of world peace.

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A Religion of Peace
Riots broke out at Nigeria's Maiduguri University "when Muslim students attacked a venue where they suspected a beauty parade was being held," reports Agence France-Presse. It turned out there was no such pageant, only a party of Christian students, but "the mob attacked with sticks and clubs," according to Baba Shehu, head of the student union. "Those beaten were mainly women attending the party."

"This incensed the Christian students, who decided to counterattack." One person was killed and dozens injured.

Zero-Tolerance Watch
The Rio Rancho, N.M., schools, where
teachers brandish guns and students get suspended or thrown in jail over knives--is back in the news. KOAT-TV in nearby Albuquerque reports that 12-year-old Mason Kisner "was slapped with an in-school suspension for taking both sodas that came out of a vending machine, when he had only paid for one":

On Monday, Rio Rancho student Mason Kisner, 12, said he bought a can of pop at a school vending machine, and instead of getting one can, he received two.

Kisner said he spread the word, and other students tried to get in on the deal. A teacher who saw Kisner getting the two sodas on Monday told him not to do it again. But Kisner said the teacher saw him get another two sodas for the price of one on Tuesday.

The boy said the teacher called him a thief and accused him of trying to teach other students how to steal. He was written up, given a two-day in-school suspension and the incident will appear on his permanent school record.

Wouldn't it have been smarter to fix the machine

And Water Is Wet

"Sun on Fire, Unleashes 3 More Major Flares"--headline, Space.com, Nov.?3

"Israel Government Study: Dead Sea Dying"--headline, Associated Press, Nov.?3

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Humor: Bitter Beanie Babies--III
There's yet another installment in the saga of thedrunkensailor and his Beanie Babies, stuffed animals purportedly left by his ex-wife. (The
first and second episodes appeared last week.) It appears the sailor may have taken some liberties with the truth when he sold the toys. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ralph De La Cruz reports:

I eventually tracked down thedrunkensailor. In keeping with the well-recognized canon that all things bizarre must have roots in South Florida, it turns out he's a neighbor.

And get this. He's not divorced. Happily married, in fact. No affairs.

His real name is Steve (he asked that his last name not be used because he worries he'll be harassed by critics). Steve, 32, and wife Mary, 28, found the box of beanies when they packed to move from Coral Springs to Margate. They had picked them up over the years and really didn't know their worth. Steve said they would have been happy to get the $10.

The story was just Steve goofing around.

"I made the story amusing for myself, more than anything else," he said over the phone.

According to TraderList.com, Steve's last name is Kaye. The buyer, a woman who sometimes goes by Taisha and whose real name is apparently J. O'Buck or Pat O'Buck, has relisted the collection--for which she paid $860--on eBay:

Up for sale with an opening minimum bid of $9.99 are 26 beanie babies formerly owned by a sailor's ex-wife. Well, actually, five are teenies of five of them. I'm keeping Beanies Royal Blue Peanut, Humphrey, Web, Steg, and Britannia 'cause they don't look too pretty with big black-marker "F's" (FOR "FAKE") on their derrieres. No need to elucidate about that previous ownership. A half million people around the world were directed to the auction. The "shot heard around the world" blanches compared with the "beanies seen around the world."

Please, no questions about these beanies. The information of their history was covered very well in a sailor's late auction and there is no need to repeat it other than to say I acquired them intact. Gosh, a bid of only $9.99 for 26 beanies. Wow! What a deal! And to think they were once held in the hands of a world-famous--what's the word? It escapes me.

The 1500+ beanies in my collection have insisted that I get rid of these interloping buggers because they smell and the rank odor of stale beer upsets their fragile tummies. I figured with all the interest in them that some of the half million readers who thought a sailor's listing hysterical might like to have them as a trophy of sorts. Can any other beanies make the claim to have been around the world and entered into a half million homes? What a conversation piece they would be poised at the end of the bar or in a rec room. The cost of a sign proclaiming "Look What I've Got" and their history found in the original listing would not be expensive to have crafted. You'd be the hit of your neighborhood and you possibly could charge admission. I might even provide a photo of "the stupid one." Darts anyone??.?.?.

I have no interest in tools or beer so whatever the beanies bring on this auction will be donated to a local animal shelter. Most animal shelters and sanctuaries have seen their donations drop to all-time low levels since 9/11.

The current bid: $34. Meanwhile, thedrunkensailor himself came up with a new money-making scheme, selling "certificates of liquid appreciation." He explains that "your offering of $1.50 will buy me a cold frosty mug of malted barley and hops at my favorite local watering hole. I will have a list with me at all times and I will toast each of you individually over time with each brewsky you buy me."

He also says he used the proceeds from his Beanie Baby sale to buy a power saw. Just remember, Steve: Drinking and sawing don't mix.

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Q: What actually happens when you crack your knuckles? - Robert Rubino

A: Robert, when you bend your fingers back, the bones that make up the joint pull apart, creating a gap. This space causes the liquid that surrounds the joint to lose pressure. As a result, gases dissolved in the fluid form bubbles. When the joint is stretched far enough, the pressure in the gap drops so low that the bubbles burst, making the CRACK! sound.

It takes about a half-hour for the gas to redissolve into the joint fluid. During this time, you can't crack your knuckles.

The most in-depth study on knuckle-cracking showed no connection to arthritis. But knuckle poppers did show slightly swollen knuckles and a decrease in grip strength over time.

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Never, Never will we Desist


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | A mighty empire launches an unprecedented military campaign. It will patrol the globe to end a heinous and uncivilized form of behavior. Financing this pre-emptive project demands great sacrifices. Old allies refuse to participate. The empire's lonely unilateral exercise drags on for decades, costing thousands of lives. Observers from Cuba to Moscow assume that this folly will bring down the empire.

Many will say that this is the story of the Bush administration's war on terror. In fact, however, it describes Britain's 1807-1867 effort to suppress the Atlantic slave trade. It took 60 bitter years but in the end Britain did succeed in its moral campaign. By the second half of the century there was an international legal consensus banning the trade. How Britain managed this unlikely feat is worth reviewing, especially now, when there are so many questions about the direction of the US post-Iraq.

At the start of the 19th century, ending the slave trade seemed impossible. Slavery was one of the sides of the golden triangle of trade that sustained the empire. As authors Chaim Kaufmann and Robert Pape note in their illuminating analysis on "Explaining Costly International Moral Action: Britain's Sixty Year Campaign Against the Atlantic Slave Trade" (International Organization, 1999) British ships carried half the slaves transported across the Atlantic between 1791 and 1805; by 1805, Crown colonies whose economies were based on slavery produced half the world's sugar*. Many saw slavery as an ugly but unavoidable part of economic growth.

Yet abolitionist sentiment in Britain surged. Religious dissenters, especially Quakers, insisted that it was the Crown's duty to bring "terror to evildoers". "Never, never will we desist" was the rallying cry of William Wilberforce, the abolitionist. Britain persevered, enforcing its new regime by chasing down traders in seas from the Caribbean to West Africa.

This brutal work was the opposite of realpolitik and it caused enormous damage. Britain's share of the world sugar market plummeted to 15 per cent by 1850. For the half-century, overall costs of the anti-slave trade campaign and of the economic losses that attended it averaged about 2 per cent of national income a year. Then there was the sheer dirtiness of the vessel-by-vessel conflict: think of the violence experienced by Horatio Hornblower, the hero of the maritime adventure novels. Confronting the enemy meant facing not uniformed columns but shady mercenaries capable of unpredictable thuggery and throat-slitting: not so different from aspects of today's fight against terrorism. Some 5,000 British seamen and officials lost their lives, a share commensurate with a US loss of 55,000 soldiers today.

Britain expected the slave trade would abate; for many decades, it did not. Britain expected other nations to join it; instead they revolted. There were war scares with the US and Spain and a war with Brazil. Then, as now, France played the spoiler. Finally, there were the protesters at home. How would the English take it, one gentleman asked the House of Commons, if "British vessels, engaged in smuggling, had been chased, burnt, sunk, or run ashore by American or Russian ships of war?"

Nonetheless, the long campaign was successful and had important results beyond the cause of abolition. One was to impress on the world the methods through which Britain created its new civilized norm: not via treaty-writing but by unilateral action and building on the tradition of customary law. Indeed, as Messrs Kaufmann and Pape note, the unilateral nature of the exercise inspired Britain to spend more and fight harder. "We must show the world" was the motto. This differs from a multilateral dynamic, where countries become stingier, asking: "Are we paying more than our share?"

This brings to mind the current squabble over funding Iraq's rehabilitation and the more general question of whether the current war on terror, the Afghanistan intervention and the Iraq war represent similar moral projects. In the UK, Tony Blair seems to see the connection to the old tradition. "Costly moral action" perfectly describes his decision to stand by President George W. Bush.

As for the US, many of its current foreign policy projects resemble the old empire's campaign in one way or another. A microcosm can be found in the proliferation security initiative, a US-led project to police the high seas for freighters hiding not slaves but Scud missiles. Its champion is one of the great Hornblowers of our day: John Bolton, undersecretary of state. But Britain and nine other nations are now also working on it.

Mr Bush seems to be a moralistic campaigner; his term "axis of evil" shocked in part because it closely echoed the hell-or-heaven clarity of the old Protestants. As Mr Pape pointed out over the phone to me last week, domestic politics, now as then, played a role: "There is a closer parallel between the abolitionist Dissenters' movement and the moral and religious support of various groups in the US for the war in Iraq than many people think."

At times, however, in both Afghanistan and Iraq this administration retreats to the role of realpolitiker. What the slave trade lesson suggests is that such ambivalence may be fatal, at least for the war on terror. To succeed, a moral campaign must be recognized as such - with all the sacrifice that entails.

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Posted by trafael at 12:57 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 22 November 2003 5:29 PM EST
Thursday, 13 November 2003

Have been busy and only got around to post today.

Also today I am off to New Orleans for a week, may lag with new postings :)

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Iraq has been liberated, not occupied (jpost letters)

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury Dhaka Bangladesh ( 9 Nov 2003)
blitz@intrepidbd.net

Hussein Khomeni is the grandson of Iranian Shiite leader Ayatollah Khomeinie who led the revolution in Iran and denounced the United States as the "Great Satan." Khomeini Jr. fled to Iraq after the American forces ousted Saddam Hussein. He now lives in the holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq. Recently, he stated publicly that the American army in Iraq "is a liberating force that freed Iraqis, not occupiers." He also said: "There is absolutely no freedom in Iran, where people are suffering from a totalitarian religious rule. Just like Iraqis, the Iranians are desperate to be free and if all other methods fail, they may welcome American military intervention."
This statement from a person, who has been close to Iran's ruling clergy, should be an eye-opener for the critics of the United States. People of Iraq has been living under a regime far brutal than the Iranian regime. In fact, most Iraqis were living under a brutal rule not different from Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge slaughtered millions of Cambodians who are considered opposed to Pol Pot's tyranny. Similarly, the Baathists in Iraq murdered millions of people whom they thought opposed to Saddam Hussein's brutal yoke. The plight of the Iraqis was made more desperate by the fact that the ordinary people did not have any means to overthrow the brutal dictator. As Sama Hadad, a spokeswoman for Iraqi Prospect, an Iraqi opposition group in exile, before the war wrote (www.openDemocracy.net ): "Live it up to Iraqi people to liberate themselves is a suggestion both insulting and naive. The people of Iraq have struggled alone for three decades. ... Unfortunately, history has shown that Iraqis, despite their most noble efforts, have been unable to get rid of Saddam and therefore require external assistance. In fact, the only realistic method of getting rid of Saddam is through external military intervention. This is the only way and it is a just way."
These are the voices that should be heard than those of the critics of the American intervention in Iraq.

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a senior journalist, columnits, author, political analyst and editor of Weekly Blitz published from Bangladesh. Web Site: www.weeklyblitz.com

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Bush the radical

"Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe."

This sentence, spoken last week by George W. Bush, is about the most jaw-dropping repudiation of an established bipartisan policy ever made by a US president.

Not only does it break with a policy the US government has pursued since first becoming a major player in the Middle East, but the speech is audacious in ambition, grounded in history, and programmatically specific. It's the sort of challenge to existing ways one expects to hear from a columnist, essayist, or scholar - not from the leader of a great power.

Bush spoke in a candid manner, as heads of state almost never do: "In many Middle Eastern countries, poverty is deep and it is spreading, women lack rights and are denied schooling. Whole societies remain stagnant while the world moves ahead. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export."

This is not the first time Bush has dispatched decades' worth of policy toward a Middle East problem and declared a radically new approach.

He also did so concerning Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflict:

Iraq: He brushed aside the long-standing policy of deterrence, replacing it in June 2002 with an approach of hitting before getting hit. US security, he said, "will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives." This new approach provided justification for the war against Saddam Hussein, removing the Iraqi dictator from power before he could attack.

Arab-Israeli conflict: I called Bush's overhaul of the US approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict in June 2003 perhaps "the most surprising and daring step of his presidency." He changed presumptions by presenting a Palestinian state as the solution, imposing this vision on the parties, tying results to a specific timetable, and replacing leaders of whom he disapproved.

And this time:

Democracy: The president renounced a long-accepted policy of "Middle East exceptionalism" - getting along with dictators - and stated US policy would henceforth fit with its global emphasis of making democracy the goal.

He brought this issue home by tying it to American security: "With the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo." Then, on the premise that "the advance of freedom leads to peace," Bush announced "a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East."

Drawing explicit comparisons with the US success in sponsoring democracy in Europe and Asia, he called on Americans once again for "persistence and energy and idealism" to do the same in the Middle East.

UNDERSTANDING THE rationale behind the old dictator-coddling policy makes clear the radicalism of this new approach. The old way noticed that the populations are usually more anti-American than are the emirs, kings, and presidents. Washington was rightly apprehensive that democracy would bring in more radicalized governments; this is what did happen in Iran in 1979 and nearly happened in Algeria in 1992. It also worried that once the radicals reached power, they would close down the democratic process (what was dubbed "one man, one vote, one time").

Bush's confidence in democracy - that despite the street's history of extremism and conspiracy-mindedness, it can mature and become a force of moderation and stability - is about to be tested. This process did in fact occur in Iran; will it recur elsewhere? The answer will take decades to find out.

However matters develop, this gamble is typical of a president exceptionally willing to take risks to shake up the status quo. And while one speech does not constitute a new foreign policy - which will require programmatic details, financial support, and consistent execution - the shift has to start somewhere. Presidential oratory is the appropriate place to start.

And if the past record of this president in the Middle East is anything by which to judge - toppling regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, promoting a new solution to Arab-Israeli conflict - he will be true to his word here too. Get ready for an interesting ride.

The writer is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Militant Islam Reaches America.

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Bush's Best speech yet:

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November 6, 2003

TEXT

In Bush's Words: 'Iraqi Democracy Will Succeed'

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TThe following is the text of President Bush's remakrs on the 20th Anniversary of The National Endowment For Democracy, as transcribed by FDCH e-Media, Inc.

BUSH: Thanks for the warm welcome. Thanks for inviting me to join you in this 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Staff and directors of this organization have seen a lot of history over the last two decades. You've been a part of that history. By speaking for and standing for freedom you've lifted the hopes of people around the world and you've brought great credit to America.

I appreciate Vin for the short introduction.

(LAUGHTER)

I'm a man who likes short introductions.

(LAUGHTER)

And he didn't let me down. But more importantly, I appreciate the invitation.

Appreciate the members of Congress who are here, senators from both political parties, members of the House of Representatives from both political parties.

I appreciate the ambassadors who are here.

BUSH: I appreciate the guests who have come. I appreciate the bipartisan spirit--the nonpartisan spirit of the National Endowment for Democracy. I'm glad that Republicans and Democrats and independents are working together to advance human liberty.

The roots of our democracy can be traced to England and to its Parliament and so can the roots of this organization. In June of 1982, President Ronald Reagan spoke at Westminster Palace and declared the turning point had arrived in history. He argued that Soviet communism had failed precisely because it did not respect its own people, their creativity, their genius and their rights.

President Reagan said that the day of Soviet tyranny was passing, that freedom had a momentum that would not be halted.

BUSH: He gave this organization its mandate: to add to the momentum of freedom across the world. Your mandate was important 20 years ago. It is equally important today.

(APPLAUSE)

A number of critics were dismissive of that speech by the president, according to one editorial at the time. It seems hard to be a sophisticated European and also an admirer of Ronald Reagan.

(LAUGHTER)

Some observers on both sides of the Atlantic pronounced the speech simplistic and naive and even dangerous.

BUSH: In fact, Ronald Reagan's words were courageous and optimistic and entirely correct.

(APPLAUSE)

The great democratic movement President Reagan described was already well under way.

In the early 1970s there were about 40 democracies in the world. By the middle of that decade, Portugal and Spain and Greece held free elections. Soon, there were new democracies in Latin America and free institutions were spreading in Korea and Taiwan and in East Asia.

This very week, in 1989, there were protests in East Berlin in Leipzig. By the end of that year, every communist dictatorship in Central America had collapsed.

Within another year, the South African government released Nelson Mandela. Four years later, he was elected president of his country, ascending like Walesa and Havel from prisoner of state to head of state.

BUSH: As the 20th century ended, there were around 120 democracies in the world, and I can assure you more are on the way.

(APPLAUSE)

Ronald Reagan would be pleased, and he would not be surprised.

We've witnessed in little over a generation the swiftest advance of freedom in the 2,500-year story of democracy. Historians in the future will offer their own explanations for why this happened, yet we already know some of the reasons they will cite.

It is no accident that the rise of so many democracies took place in a time when the world's most influential nation was itself a democracy. The United States made military and moral commitments in Europe and Asia which protected free nations from aggression and created the conditions in which new democracies could flourish.

As we provided security for whole nations, we also provided inspiration for oppressed peoples. In prison camps, in banned union meetings, in clandestine churches men and women knew that the whole world was not sharing their own nightmare. They knew of at least one place, a bright and hopeful land where freedom was valued and secure. And they prayed that America would not forget them or forget the mission to promote liberty around the world.

Historians will note that in many nations the advance of markets and free enterprise helped to create a middle class that was confident enough to demand their own rights. They will point to the role of technology in frustrating censorship and central control, and marvel at the power of instant communications to spread the truth, the news and courage across borders.

Historians in the future will reflect on an extraordinary, undeniable fact: Over time, free nations grow stronger and dictatorships grow weaker.

In the middle of the 20th century, some imagined that the central planning and social regimentation were a shortcut to national strength. In fact, the prosperity and social vitality and technological progress of a people are directly determined by the extend of their liberty.

BUSH: Freedom honors and unleashes human creativity. And creativity determines the strength and wealth of nations. Liberty is both the plan of heaven for humanity and the best hope for progress here on Earth.

The progress of liberty is a powerful trend. Yet we also know that liberty, if not defended, can be lost.

The success of freedom is not determined by some dialectic of history. By definition, the success of freedom rests upon the choices and the courage of free peoples and upon their willingness to sacrifice.

In the trenches of World War I, through a two-front war in the 1940s, the difficult battles of Korea and Vietnam, and in missions of rescue and liberation on nearly every continent, Americans have amply displayed our willingness to sacrifice for liberty.

The sacrifices of Americans have not always been recognized or appreciated, yet they have been worthwhile.

Because we and our allies were steadfast, Germany and Japan are democratic nations that no longer threaten the world. A global nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union ended peacefully, as did the Soviet Union. The nations of Europe are moving toward unity, not dividing into armed camps and descending into genocide.

Every nation has learned, or should have learned, an important lesson: Freedom is worth fighting for, dying for and standing for, and the advance of freedom leads to peace.

(APPLAUSE)

And now we must apply that lesson in our own time. We've reached another great turning point and the resolve we show will shape the next stage of the world democratic movement.

BUSH: Our commitment to democracy is tested in countries like Cuba and Burma and North Korea and Zimbabwe, outposts of oppression in our world. The people in these nations live in captivity and fear and silence. Yet these regimes cannot hold back freedom forever. And one day, from prison camps and prison cells and from exile, the leaders of new democracies will arrive.

(APPLAUSE)

Communism and militarism and rule by the capricious and corrupt are the relics of a passing era. And we will stand with these oppressed peoples until the day of liberation and freedom finally arrives.

(APPLAUSE)

Our commitment to democracy is tested in China. The nation now has a sliver, a fragment of liberty. Yet China's peoples will eventually want their liberty pure and whole.

China has discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. China's leaders will also discover that freedom is indivisible, as social and religious freedom is also essential to national greatness and national dignity. Eventually men and women who are allowed to control their own wealth will insist on controlling their own lives and their own country.

Our commitment to democracy is also tested in the Middle East, which is my focus today and must be a focus of American policy for decades to come. In many nations in the Middle East, countries of great strategic importance, democracy has not yet taken root.

BUSH: And the questions arise: Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even have a choice in the matter?

I, for one, do not believe it. I believe every person has the ability and the right to be free.

(APPLAUSE)

Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to representative government. This cultural condescension, as Ronald Reagan termed it, has a long history.

After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would, quote, "never work."

Another observer declared the prospects for democracy in post-Hitler Germany were, and I quote, "most uncertain, at best." He made that claim in 1957.

Seventy-four years ago, the Sunday London Times declared nine-tenths of the population of India to be, quote, "illiterates, not caring a fig for politics." Yet, when Indian democracy was imperiled in the 1970s, the Indian people showed their commitment to liberty in a national referendum that saved their form of government.

Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country or that people or this group are ready for democracy, as if freedom were a prize you win from meeting our own Western standards of progress. BUSH: In fact, the daily work of democracy itself is the path of progress. It teaches cooperation, the free exchange of ideas, peaceful resolution of differences.

As men and women are showing from Bangladesh to Botswana to Mongolia, it is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy and every nation can start on this path.

It should be clear to all that Islam, the faith of one-fifth of humanity, is consistent with democratic rule. Democratic progress is found in many predominantly Muslim countries: in Turkey, Indonesia and Senegal and Albania and Niger and Sierra Leone.

Muslim men and women are good citizens of India and South Africa, the nations of Western Europe and of the United States of America. More than half of all Muslims live in freedom under democratically constituted governments.

They succeed in democratic societies, not in spite of their faith, but because of it. A religion that demands individual moral accountability and encourages the encounter of the individual with God is fully compatible with the rights and responsibilities of self-government.

Yet there's a great challenge today in the Middle East. In the words of a recent report by Arab scholars, the global wave of democracy has, and I quote, "barely reached the Arab states." They continue, "This freedom deficit undermines human development and is one of the most painful manifestations of lagging political development."

The freedom deficit they describe has terrible consequences for the people of the Middle East and for the world.

BUSH: In many Middle Eastern countries poverty is deep and it is spreading, women lack rights and are denied schooling, whole societies remain stagnant while the world moves ahead.

These are not the failures of a culture or a religion. These are the failures of political and economic doctrines.

As the colonial era passed away, the Middle East saw the establishment of many military dictatorships. Some rulers adopted the dogmas of socialism, seized total control of political parties and the media and universities. They allied themselves with the Soviet bloc and with international terrorism.

Dictators in Iraq and Syria promised the restoration of national honor, a return to ancient glories. They've left instead a legacy of torture, oppression, misery and ruin.

Other men and groups of men have gained influence in the Middle East and beyond through an ideology of theocratic terror. Behind their language of religion is the ambition for absolute political power.

Ruling cabals like the Taliban show their version of religious piety in public whippings of women, ruthless suppression of any difference or dissent, and support for terrorists who arm and train to murder the innocent.

The Taliban promised religious purity and national pride. Instead, by systematically destroying a proud and working society, they left behind suffering and starvation.

Many Middle Eastern governments now understand that military dictatorship and theocratic rule are a straight, smooth highway to nowhere, but some governments still cling to the old habits of central control.

BUSH: There are governments that still fear and repress independent thought and creativity and private enterprise; human qualities that make for strong and successful societies. Even when these nations have vast natural resources, they do not respect or develop their greatest resources: the talent and energy of men and women working and living in freedom.

Instead of dwelling on past wrongs and blaming others, governments in the Middle East need to confront real problems and serve the true interests of their nations.

The good and capable people of the Middle East all deserve responsible leadership. For too long many people in that region have been victims and subjects; they deserve to be active citizens.

Governments across the Middle East and North Africa are beginning to see the need for change. Morocco has a diverse new parliament. King Mohammad has urged it to extend the rights to women.

Here's how His Majesty explained his reforms to parliament: "How can society achieve progress while women, who represent half the nation, see their rights violated and suffer as a result of injustice, violence and marginalization, not withstanding the dignity and justice granted to them by our glorious religion?"

The king of Morocco is correct: The future of Muslim nations would be better for all with the full participation of women.

(APPLAUSE)

In Bahrain last year citizens elected their own parliament for the first time in nearly three decades. Oman has extended the vote to all adult citizens.

(excerpt missing)

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Champions of democracy in the region understand that democracy is not perfect. It is not the path to utopia. But it's the only path to national success and dignity.

As we watch and encourage reforms in the region, we are mindful that modernization is not the same as Westernization. Representative governments in the Middle East will reflect their own cultures. They will not, and should not, look like us. Democratic nations may be constitutional monarchies, federal republics or parliamentary systems.

And working democracies always need time to develop, as did our own. We've taken a 200-year journey toward inclusion and justice, and this makes us patient and understanding as other nations are at different stages of this journey.

There are, however, essential principles common to every successful society in every culture.

Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military so that governments respond to the will of the people and not the will of the elite.

Successful societies protect freedom, with a consistent impartial rule of law, instead of selectively applying the law to punish political opponents.

Successful societies allow room for healthy civic institutions, for political parties and labor unions and independent newspapers and broadcast media.

Successful societies guarantee religious liberty; the right to serve and honor God without fear of persecution.

BUSH: Successful societies privatize their economies and secure the rights of property. They prohibit and punish official corruption and invest in the health and education of their people. They recognize the rights of women.

And instead of directing hatred and resentment against others, successful societies appeal to the hopes of their own people.

(APPLAUSE)

These vital principles are being applied in the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

With the steady leadership of President Karzai, the people of Afghanistan are building a modern and peaceful government. Next month, 500 delegates will convene a national assembly in Kabul to approve a new Afghan constitution. The proposed draft would establish a bicameral parliament, set national elections next year and recognize Afghanistan's Muslim identity while protecting the rights of all citizens.

Afghanistan faces continuing economic and security challenges. It will face those challenges as a free and stable democracy.

(APPLAUSE)

In Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council are also working together to build a democracy. And after three decades of tyranny, this work is not easy. The former dictator ruled by terror and treachery and left deeply ingrained habits of fear and distrust. Remnants of his regime, joined by foreign terrorists, continue to battle against order and against civilization.

Our coalition is responding to recent attacks with precision raids, guided by intelligence provided by the Iraqis themselves.

BUSH: We're working closely with Iraqi citizens as they prepare a constitution, as they move toward free elections and take increasing responsibility for their own affairs.

As in the defense of Greece in 1947, and later in the Berlin Airlift, the strength and will of free peoples are now being tested before a watching world. And we will meet this test.

(APPLAUSE)

Securing democracy in Iraq is the work of many hands. American and coalition forces are sacrificing for the peace of Iraq and for the security of free nations. Aid workers from many countries are facing danger to help the Iraqi people.

The National Endowment for Democracy is promoting women's rights and training Iraqi journalists and teaching the skills of political participation.

Iraqis themselves, police and border guards and local officials, are joining in the work and they are sharing in the sacrifice.

This is a massive and difficult undertaking. It is worth our effort. It is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes: The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world and increase dangers to the American people and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region.

Iraqi democracy will succeed, and that success will send forth the news from Damascus to Tehran that freedom can be the future of every nation.

(APPLAUSE)

The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.

(APPLAUSE)

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe, because in the long run stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty.

As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export.

BUSH: And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo.

(APPLAUSE)

Therefore the United States has adopted a new policy: a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before and it will yield the same results.

As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace.

(APPLAUSE)

The advance of freedom is the calling of our time. It is the calling of our country. From the 14 Points to the Four Freedoms to the speech at Westminster, America has put our power at the service of principle.

We believe that liberty is the design of nature. We believe that liberty is the direction of history. We believe that human fulfillment and excellence come in the responsible exercise of liberty. And we believe that freedom, the freedom we prize, is not for us alone. It is the right and the capacity of all mankind.

(APPLAUSE)

Working for the spread of freedom can be hard, yet America has accomplished hard tasks before.

BUSH: Our nation is strong. We're strong of heart.

And we're not alone. Freedom is finding allies in every country. Freedom finds allies in every culture.

And as we meet the terror and violence of the world, we can be certain the author of freedom is not indifferent to the fate of freedom.

With all the tests and all the challenges of our age, this is, above all, the age of liberty. Each of you at this endowment is fully engaged in the great cause of liberty, and I thank you.

May God bless your work, and may God continue to bless America.

(APPLAUSE)

END

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America the unpopular

As the overthrow of Saddam Hussein showed, American conservatives believe that preemption, the overwhelming use of force, and going it alone are at times necessary to bolster US national security.

Liberals beg to differ. The New York Times, speaking for many of the latter, editorializes against what it calls President George W. Bush's "lone-wolf record [and] overly aggressive stance," saying that these risk undermining his goals by provoking the world s enmity. All nine of the Democratic presidential candidates raise similar criticisms, as do the AFL-CIO, countless columnists, religious leaders and academics.
Beyond differing with the administration's specific actions in Iraq, the liberal argument challenges broader conservative assumptions about the utility of an assertive US foreign policy. The Bush administration, for example, was practically alone in rejecting two treaties (the International Criminal Court, the Kyoto Protocol) and two near-agreements (on small arms, on chemical and biological weapons). It also took other forceful steps (such as negating the ABM treaty with Russia and expanding NATO up to Russia s borders).
"Bush is creating new enemies faster than he is deterring old ones," is how Gerard Alexander of the University of Virginia sums up the liberal accusation - one that he incisively refutes in the November 3 issue of The Weekly Standard. Alexander discerns two elements to the liberal claim: other powers for the first time feel threatened by US actions; and they are responding by taking steps against Washington. Let's consider each of these elements.
Newly threatening: Looking back over the last half-century, Alexander notes many occasions when other powers felt alienated from Washington.

1950s: US allies formed a West European-only bloc. France created an independent nuclear capability.

1960s: France withdrew from NATO's military structure. Most US allies vehemently protested the US war in Vietnam.

1970s: OPEC directed its oil weapon primarily against the Americans to protest US policies in the Middle East.

1980s: In something of a preview of today's situation, Europeans disdained Ronald Reagan as a simpleton and a cowboy, took to the streets in great numbers to protest US theater nuclear weapons, and broadly opposed US policies to build a missile defense system, reform the United Nations, and isolate the Sandinistas. On some issues, such as the Law of the Sea treaty, they unanimously opposed Washington's stance.

1990s: The European Union repeatedly clashed with the United States on trade issues. It also announced the creation of a unified military force separate from NATO.

TODAY'S TENSIONS, in short, have a somewhat familiar air to them.

Taking steps against Washington:
"Watching what people do and not simply what they say," Alexander points out, "remains the best test of what people really think of America." However noisy unfavorable opinion polls and rival diplomatic efforts may be, they do not in themselves amount to a crisis. A crisis would require other powerful states to take at least one of two steps:

Invest heavily in improving military capabilities through enhanced arsenals and larger troop mobilizations: This has not occurred. Alexander finds "little evidence that a build-up, as a hedge against future American actions, is even in its earliest stages."

European Union states generally devote one-half to one-third what Washington does to military spending, and this general proportion has not changed in the last two years, with the exception of some small increases designed to address new terrorist priorities.

Build explicit military alliances: Here too, Alexander finds, "There is no evidence that cooperation between major E.U. members and Russia (or China) extends to anything beyond opposition to an invasion already over."

The response to recent American actions has been limited to words, and so has limited significance.

"By all the usual standards, then," Alexander argues, "Europeans and most others are acting as if they resent some aspects of US policy, are irritated by America's influence, oppose selected actions the administration has taken, and dislike President Bush more than his predecessor, but remain entirely unthreatened by the United States."

Annoyance hardly counts as enmity.
There is no persuasive evidence "that US policy is provoking the seismic shift in America's reputation that Bush's critics detect." Translated into political terms, this means those critics need to find themselves another issue.

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Many of the following are from israpundit.com

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GOOD NEWS ABOUNDS!!!!

Ok...I read today that Arafat NOW wants peace with Israel.
Sharon wants to give Qurei a chance.
Mofaz and Sharon have offered a cease fire.
Powell has endorsed the Geneva agreement by letter to Yossi Beilin.
Despite Syria arming ALL of its missiles with Sarin gas warheads, the US is pushing for sanctions which will scare the hell out of Assad.
Israelis can sleep well knowing that everything is now coming up roses for Israel.
Hamas and Hezbollah will most likely be so inspired by the new Arafat that will lay down their weapons and turn to rug weaving and pottery as away of life.
Life in Israel is now good. They can disband the IDF and just enjoy life!!

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Terrorism is big business

Globes Online carries a very important discussion of the ideas of Dr Rachel Ehrenfeld

[...]She does not study terrorism per-se, but its financial infrastructure. "Go after the money and you'll get to the heart of the terrorist organizations," she told "Globes". "The bottom line is that without money, there is no terrorism, and without corruption, there is no money for terrorism."

"Globes": How much money are we talking about?

"Terrorism has surpassed all the Fortune 500 companies in size. The businesses of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, amounts to $1.2 trillion a year. I'm not talking about assets, only business: trafficking in drugs, arms, and women; smuggling cigarettes and other goods; and money laundering."

Loretta Napoleoni reached a similar conclusion in her book "Modern Jihad", also recently published in the US. Napoleoni states that the new economy of terrorism is an international economic system with high growth and a turnover of $1.5 trillion a year, double the GDP of the UK.

What is done with all this money?

"The inbuilt purpose of every terrorist organization is to win political power at the expense of the legitimate authorities. The objective of the Islamic terrorist organizations is to undermine US hegemony in the world. They think that US power highlights their own weakness and the helplessness of Muslims in general. But on the way to achieving their ideological goals, the terrorist organizations have made so much money that its further accumulation has become their paramount objective, just as in any business.

"Terrorist organizations make their money the same way any other businesses do. They invest to generate more income, in legitimate businesses, or in initiating terrorist attacks that will generate more business opportunities. Under their ideological camouflage the terrorist organizations operate well-oiled money-making machines.

In other words, we're dealing with criminal enterprises for all intent and purposes, like the mafia or yakuza; only the methods are different, and apparently more successful. On the criminal stock exchange, terrorist shares bear the highest return. That's one of the reasons why ordinary criminal organizations tend to enter into joint ventures with terrorist organizations, such as the cooperation agreements between the South American drug cartels and Palestinian terrorists."

How does this business model apply to Palestinian terrorism, for instance?

"The Palestinian Covenant contains articles that deal with funds for martyrs relatives. These provided the legal basis for the acquisition of legitimate businesses alongside criminal enterprises such as the smuggling and marketing of drugs. In the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, [Palestinian Authority chairman] Yasser Arafat had sole unsupervised control over these funds, becoming one of the world's biggest billionaires. It's still true today."

A US Department of Justice report states, "The PLO acquired 40% of its light arms for its forces from revenue from heroin, hashish, and morphine base made by the PLO at labs in Syria or in Lebanon's Baqaa Valley."

Ehrenfeld cites a CIA report from 1990 that, prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO had accumulated $14 billion from drug and arms smuggling, forging documents, and money laundering. The British National Crime Intelligence Service (BNCIS) estimated that in 1993-94, the total (of PLO assets - R.D.) was about $10 billion, with an annual income of $1.5 to $2 billion. The British report also noted that PLO was, in fact, the wealthiest of the world's terrorist organizations. Ehrenfeld claims the situation is no different now. At the time, she says, the PLO claimed it was on the verge of bankruptcy in order to obtain donations from countries with deep pockets and closed eyes as a reward for its good behavior at Oslo.

Ehrenfeld's basic public complaint is that the PLO and other terrorist organizations do not weave their criminal webs in a vacuum. She claims that the terrorists can be deprived of their oxygen, but corruption on a global scale from the West, through Africa, Asia, the Middle East to Latin America plays an essential role in abetting terrorist organizations.

Ehrenfeld claims that some South American countries are a classic example of the tendency of government officials to bury their heads in the sand or hold out their hands for terrorist bribes, and not only in the famous Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay border area. Colombian narco-terrorists and Islamic terrorists also collaborate.

However, Islamic terrorist organizations, like other criminal organizations, know that the easiest and safest money is stashed in bank accounts. A legitimate cover for terrorists' financial transactions is a sought-after goal. Hamas, an organization that maintains a social network alongside its terrorist one, was a pioneer in the organized penetration of the banking sector. Why try to opportunistically embezzle from a bank, if you can own it instead?

In the interview and in her book, Ehrenfeld relates that, in 1998, Hamas chiefs received $20 million from Abdullah Kamal, an owner of the Saudi el-Baraka Bank and the Islamic Bank of Jordan to establish the Bank al-Aksa in the Palestinian Authority. Kamal has also provided a solid financial infrastructure for Osama bin-Laden in Sudan since 1983. Ehrenfeld claims that Bank al-Aksa entered into a number of joint ventures with Citigroup (NYSE:C), the world's largest financial corporation, and within a short time managed to wrap its tentacles around Citibank's Israeli branch, sharing with Citigroup its database on Israel. The result was that Hamas members could withdraw money deposited in Bank al-Aksa accounts in Europe or the Middle East through Citibank branches.

Until Citibank severed its relationship with Bank al-Aksa on the basis of information supplied by Israel and the US Department of Justice, as reported by "Globes" at the time, at least $1 million of Hamas money was transferred through Bank al-Aksa. Ehrenfeld says this is small change compared with the sums sent to Hamas from Islamic charities across the Islamic world and outside it, mainly from the Holy Land Foundation, an Arab-American foundation with branches in Illinois, New Jersey and Texas, and which claimed to be the largest Islamic charity in the US. The Bush administration estimates that the Holy Land Foundation raised $30 million in 2000 in the US alone. The US Department of Justice ordered it closed a few months after September 11, 2001, hurting Hamas' sources of revenue, but by no means drying them up.

Compared with Hamas, Hizbullah is a Goliath. Ehrenfeld claims on the basis of Western intelligence sources that Hizbullah's operating budget is $220-500 million a year. At least $120 million is sent every year from Teheran. A much smaller amount comes from Syria. The rest of the budget comes from charitable organizations, individual donations, and from legitimate and illegitimate businesses, including arms deals, cigarette smuggling, money forging, fraud, robbery, providing illegal telephone services, and drug smuggling.

Ehrenfeld claims that Hizbullah's financial network straddles the globe, from Colombia to Canada, from Europe to Africa. In the US, Hizbullah maintains a complex money-raising network, not all of which has been uncovered by the authorities.

An Iranian "charity", the New York-based Alawi Foundation, has $100 million in assets in the US, and annual revenue of $10-15 million. The FBI has set its sights on the foundation. The little that is known about it merely hints about what is not known, says Ehrenfeld. The fact that the US authorities have not yet entirely decoded the mechanisms by which Hizbullah transfers money to Lebanon is more astonishing. The mechanisms are found virtually everywhere, even in the most respected place in the New York.

"People who buy fake Gucci bags and Swiss watches sold by Nigerians on the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan contribute to terrorism," says Ehrenfeld. "The Nigerians are only the tip of the iceberg of the criminal mechanism that finances Islamic terrorism. In fact, Nigerian criminal gangs are the world's largest criminal corporation. There are Nigerian gangs that have managed to buy legitimate businesses in the US, fronted by local whites. I know of a case in which a Nigerian gang took over a factory making blank identification documents for state authorities."

Although Ehrenfeld has no illusions about the Palestinian Authority or Hizbullah, and little hope about the Third World, she pours out her wrath on the West for its passivity in the best case and political corruption in the worst, which frustrates what she considers the Herculean American effort to fight terrorism.

"There is a general trend in the world, including Europe, to challenge the US's world standing, and in this respect, the Europeans and Arabs have a common interest," she says. "That is why most European countries won't wholly cooperate with the US effort to strangle the cash flow to Islamic terrorism."

Ehrenfeld says the root of the evil is the absence of international legal standards that could do wonders in closing the international pipelines sending money to al-Qaida and its cohorts in the Middle East. In the absence of such a standard, some Western European countries - the "enlightened" ones in Ehrenfeld's ironic phrase - ought to be included in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist of countries abetting money laundering. France, for example, the UK, too, and most Eastern European states.

Ehrenfeld says the problem is not the lack of enlightened laws of the kind filling the Western statute books, but the lack of political will to implement them. She says the bottom line is that so long as the war against corruption is not a paramount goal on a global scale, especially in Europe and the Middle East, terrorism will continue to exist amongst us, regardless of the number of terrorists captured and sent to prison at Guantanamo Bay.

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El Al flights in Canada: None is too many

by Arthur Weinreb

On Thursday, October 23, a flight from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles, with a stopover in Toronto, was diverted to Montreal before landing at John C. Munro Airport in Hamilton, 50 kilometers away from Pearson International Airport where it was scheduled to land. Not only did the return flight again avoid Pearson in favour of Hamilton, but the itinerary of Tel Aviv--Hamilton--Los Angeles and return was repeated by El Al on the following day.

Officials confirmed that a security threat mentioning Toronto was made against Israel's national carrier. Exact details of the plan were not revealed but speculation is that it involved the threat to attack the El Al airliner with a shoulder-fired missile in the vicinity of Pearson International Airport. A similar attack on an Israeli airliner took place in Kenya about a year ago.

After the first flight was diverted to Hamilton, David Collenette, Minister of Transport and one of Jean Chr?tien's most loyal cheerleader's, stated that he was considering reassessing the airline's status in Canada. The Minister was quoted as saying, " As to subsequent El Al flights, that is something we'll have to deliberate, given the intelligence that we receive."

Collenette's statement was a classic case of "blame the victim". A threat is made against an Israeli airliner and the first thing the minister wants to do is to consider "their status in Canada". Not a word from the timid Collenette about going after these terrorists (sorry, militants) who threatened an attack in the vicinity of Pearson. No--he went straight after Israel and its national airline as the source of the problem.


There has been some discussion recently about the "new" anti-Semitism where hatred against Jews is expressed as a hatred of the state of Israel. Although
Israel should not be beyond criticism, blaming that country for one of its airline's to dare to fly into an area where "militants" might be waiting smacks of an anti-Israel bias that Collenette and many of his Liberal buddies have. Canada spends a lot of time at the United Nations supporting, or abstaining in resolutions that criticize Israel for its behaviour while remaining silent on Palestinian atrocities. Israel, like the United States, is always fair game in this multicultural and multiethnic country of Canada. Does anyone actually believe that if it had been an Air France flight or a British Airways aircraft, that Collenette would have wanted to rethink those companies' position in Canada. Not very likely.

The truth is that the Liberal Party of Canada has not come as far as it thinks it has from the days of Prime Minister Mackenzie King in the late 30s. When King's Deputy Minister of Immigration, Fred Blair was asked how many Jewish refugees Canada would take, he answered, "none is too many". Perhaps that should be the answer to how many El Al flights should be allowed in Canada.

So, is Collenette anti-Semitic? No. To give the Minister of Transport the benefit of the doubt, unlike Toronto mayoralty candidate Barbara Hall, Collenette can speak a lot faster than he can think. The timing of his "solution" to the El Al "problem" suggests that he made his comments fairly quickly. He didn't have time to consult dead parents or dogs the way Mackenzie King used to.


The reality is that Collenette is simply a wimp who is terrified of terrorists, if in fact terrorists actually exist. He's the guy who got all squeamish when faced with the possibility of having armed sky marshals on airliners. Collenette moaned that Canadians wouldn't like the fact that law enforcement officers would be armed in the air. As I wrote at the time, these Canadians are the same ones who take their children to parades where the only thing that separates the kids from Santa Clause are police officers wearing funny looking red noses and fully loaded Glocks.

Many members of the Chr?tien's cabinet simply lack the fortitude to take on terrorism. Along with Collenette, who bemoans the passing of the Soviet Union, there is Immigration Minister Denis Coderre who ceaselessly fights to protect the privacy rights of war criminals. Then there is Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham who frets more about the governments of dictatorial regimes like Iran and Saudi Arabia than he does about what those countries do to Canadian citizens.

Note to Paul Martin: We need real men and women in Canada's cabinet--not a bunch of girly boys. How many present cabinet ministers should be retained? None is too many.

Arthur Weinreb is a lawyer and author and Associate Editor of Canadafreepress.com

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Adolph and Osama

Worldnetdaily is featuring excerpts from a recent book by Kenneth Timmerman's entitled Preachers of Hate. One excerpt concerns the infamous Durban Conference. At one point, the author reminds us of a well-known lesson of the Holocaust:


What begins with the Jews doesn't end with Jews. That is a lesson that should have been clear after Hitler and the Holocaust. The German Protestant theologian Martin Niemoeller put it eloquently in a since-famous comment made to a student who asked why no one in Germany stood up for the Jews against Nazi persecution.

"First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade-unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade-unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Shortly afterwards, the author describes another situation in which the Jews came first:

Albert Speer was not only the top Nazi official in charge of making Hitler's war industry operate with deadly efficiency; he was Hitler's close confidant. Jailed in Spandau for war crimes and crimes against humanity following his trial in Nuremburg in 1945, Speer kept a diary that was subsequently published in English translation. Just two years after Hitler's suicide in his Berlin bunker, in an entry dated Nov. 18, 1947, Speer recalled the crazed Wagnerian fantasies of the man who had just destroyed Europe and caused the death of 60 million persons:

"I recall how [Hitler] would have films shown in the Reich Chancellory about London burning, about the sea of fire over Warsaw, about exploding convoys, and the kind of ravenous joy that would then seize him every time. But I never saw him so beside himself as when, in a delirium, he pictured New York going down in flames. He described how the skyscrapers would be transformed into gigantic burning torches, how they would collapse in confusion, how the bursting city's reflection would stand against the dark sky."

It all came full circle on September 11 when Hitler's fantasies met Osama bin Laden. As Jews have known for centuries and Americans are just learning: Marry hatred to deadly capabilities and you get murder.

As it is said:History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes

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Blaming Jews 101
By Edward Alexander
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 11, 2003

"There is a great temptation to explain away the intrinsically incredible means of liberal rationalizations. In each one of us, there lurks such a liberal, wheedling us with the voice of common sense." -- Hannah Arendt (1)

In the Winter-Spring 2003 issue of Salmagundi, Berkeley professor Martin Jay argues that Jews themselves are "causing" the "new" anti-Semitism. Chief among these perfidious Jews, he names?Ariel Sharon, the "fanatic settlers" (22) and also the American Jews who question the infallibility of the New York Times and National Public Radio.? ("Ariel Sharon and the Rise of the New Anti-Semitism".) (5)

Unlike the late Edward Said (of whom he writes with oily sycophancy), Jay does not deny the existence of a resurgent anti-Semitism. On the other hand, he, in effect, dismisses its manifestations -- vandalized synagogues and cemeteries, "tipping over a tombstone in a graveyard in Marseilles or burning Torahs in a temple on Long Island [as] payback for atrocities [my emphasis] committed by Israeli settlers." (14). At the same time, he ignores its more serious expressions: stabbings, shootings, murder--all of which have been unleashed against Jews in Europe, as well as in Israel. "The actions of contemporary Jews," Jay concludes, "are somehow connected with the upsurge of anti-Semitism around the globe" (21), and it would be foolish to suppose that "the victims are in no way involved in unleashing the animosities they suffer" (17).

The academic boycotters of Israeli universities and the professorial advocates of suicide bombing are in the front lines of the defense of terror, which is the very essence of Palestinian nationalism.2 But they themselves are supported by a rearguard of fellow travelers, a far more numerous academic group whose defining characteristic is not fanaticism but time-serving timorousness.

In the Thirties, "fellow travelers" usually referred to the intellectual friends of Communism (a subject well analyzed in David Caute's book on the subject3), although both Hitler and Stalin?tried to?attract people from America and Britain who served their purposes in the conviction that they were engaged in a noble cause.

At the moment, the favorite cause of peregrinating political tourists is the Palestinian movement,4 and the reason why fellow travelers favor this most barbaric of all movements of "national liberation" is that its adversaries are Jews. Jews are always a tempting target because of their ridiculously small numbers (currently 997 out of every 1000 people in the world are not Jews) and their image as avaricious corrupters of the young, thieves, agents of Satan,?conspiring human devils?and Zionist imperialists. As a representative example of the academic fellow-traveler in the ongoing campaign to depict Israel as the devil's own experiment station, Martin Jay is exemplary.

Although Jay's main concern is the (supposedly) "new" anti-Semitism, his heavy reliance on the thesis of Albert Lindemann's unsavory book, Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (1998). He suggests that he believes political anti-Semitism, from its inception in the nineteenth century, has been in large part the responsibility of the Jews themselves. Lindemann's book argued not merely that Jews had "social interactions" (a favorite euphemism of Jay's) with their persecutors but were responsible for the hatreds that eventually consumed them in Europe; anti-Semitism was, wherever and whenever it flared up, a response to Jewish misbehavior.

According to Lindemann, the Romanians had been subjected to "mean-spirited denigration" of their country by Jews, and so it was reasonable for Romania's elite to conclude that "making life difficult" for the country's Jewish inhabitants, "legally or otherwise, was a "justifiable policy." His abstruse research into Russian history also revealed to him that whatever anti-Semitism existed there was "hardly a hatred without palpable or understandable cause." The 1903 Kishinev pogrom, Lindemann grudgingly admitted, did occur but was a relatively minor affair in numbers killed and wounded, which the Jews, with typical "hyperbole and mendacity," exaggerated in order to attract sympathy and money; it was a major affair only because it revealed "a rising Jewish combativeness." (As for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Lindemann apparently never heard of it, for it goes unmentioned in his nearly fifty pages on Russia.) In Germany, Jews (especially the historian Heinrich Graetz), were guilty of a "steady stream of insults and withering criticism...directed at Germans"; by contrast, Hitler (who published Mein Kampf in 1925-27) was a "moderate" on the Jewish question prior to the mid-1930s; besides, "nearly everywhere Hitler looked at the end of the war, there were Jews who corresponded to anti-Semitic imagery." In addition to being degenerate, ugly, dirty, tribalist, racist, crooked, and sexually immoral, the Jews, as depicted by Lindemann, further infuriated their Gentile neighbors by speaking Yiddish: "a nasal, whining, and crippled ghetto tongue."6

Although Jay is by no means in full agreement with Lindemann's thesis (as he is with that of an even cruder polemic by Paul Breines called Tough Jews7), he is intensely grateful to this courageous pioneer for breaking a "taboo" (18) on the "difficult question about the Jewish role in causing anti-Semitism," for putting it "on the table." (21) (Readers familiar with this dismal topic will be disappointed to learn that neither Lindemann nor his admirer Jay is able to explain the "Jewish role" in causing the belief, widespread among Christian theologians from St. Augustine through the seventeenth century, that Jewish males menstruate.) This is a remarkable statement to come from a historian. Washington Irving's Rip van Winkle lost touch with history for twenty years while he slept; Jay's dogmatic slumber seems to have lasted 36 years, since 1967, when the brief post-World War II relaxation of anti-Semitism came to an end.

A brief history lesson is in order here. At the end of the second World War, old-fashioned anti-Semites grudgingly recognized that the Holocaust had given anti-Semitism a bad name, that perhaps the time was right for a temporary respite in the ideological war against the Jews. But in 1967, the Jews in Israel had the misfortune to win the war that was unleashed against them by Gamal Nasser, who had proclaimed--in a locution very much akin to Jay's style of reasoning--that "Israel's existence is itself an aggression."

After their defeat, the Arabs reversed their rhetoric from "Right" to "Left," de-emphasizing their ambition to "turn the Mediterranean red with Jewish blood" and instead blaming "the Middle East conflict" on the Jews themselves for denying the Palestinians a state (something that, of course, the Arabs could have given them any time during the nineteen years that they were entirely in control of the disputed territories of "the West Bank"). Since that time what Jay calls the "difficult question about the Jewish role in causing anti-Semitism" has not only been "on the table"; it has provided a royal feast for such heavy feeders as Alexander Cockburn, Desmond Tutu, Michael Lerner, the aforementioned Said, Patrick Buchanan, Noam Chomsky, most of the Israeli Left, and scores of other scribblers. Indeed, the New York Times, which during World War II did its best to conceal the fact that Jews were being murdered en masse, now admits they are being murdered, but blames them for, in Jay-speak, "unleashing the animosities they suffer."

The particular form given by nearly all these forerunners of Lindemann is, of course, blatant reversal of cause and effect in taking for granted that it is Israeli occupation that leads to Arab hatred and aggression, when every normally attentive sixth-grader knows that it is Arab hatred and aggression that lead to Israeli occupation. Jay is very fierce not with Lindemann for regurgitating every anti-Semitic slander dredged up from the bad dreams of Christendom but with Lindemann's "overheated" (18) critics (in Commentary, in the American Historical Review, in Midstream). In the same manner, his outrage about suicide bombings is not against the bombers or their instructors and financiers but against "American Jewish panic" (23) and "Israeli toughness" (23) in reacting to them and so perpetuating (no cliche is too stale and stupid for Jay) "the spiral of violence" (23).

Just as Jay insinuates some mild criticism of Lindemann, he also "qualifies" every now and then his insistence that the Jews themselves are to blame for anti-Semitism, but always in a way that only serves to make his core argument all the more gross and flagrant. "Acknowledging this fact [that the Jewish victims are "involved in unleashing" hatred on themselves] is not 'blaming the victim,' an overly simple formula that prevents asking hard and sometimes awkward questions, but rather understanding that social interactions are never as neat as moral oppositions of good and evil." (17)

Like most liberals, Jay cannot credit the existence of the full evil of the world. "In the case of the Arab war against the Jewish state," Ruth Wisse has observed, "obscuring Arab intentions requires identifying Jews as the cause of the conflict. The notion of Jewish responsibility for Arab rejectionism is almost irresistibly attractive to liberals, because the truth otherwise seems so bleak."8 Although Jay tries to twist Hannah Arendt's well-known criticism of Sartre's foolish argument that the Jews survived in exile thanks to gentile persecution into an endorsement of his own foolish argument about Jewish responsibility for that persecution, he is himself a classic case of what Arendt called the wheedling voice of "common sense" that lurks inside every liberal, explaining away the "intrinsically incredible,"9 such as the fact that a people would choose to define itself entirely by its dedication to the destruction of another people.

For the benefit of Jay (and others) in bondage to the liberal dogma that "social interactions are never as neat as moral oppositions of good and evil," and at the risk of violating decorum, I should like here to quote from the description by a physicist (Dr. Pekka Sinervo of the University of Toronto) of what happens when a conventional bomb is exploded in a contained space, such as a city bus travelling through downtown Jerusalem: "A person sitting nearby would feel, momentarily, a shock wave slamming into his or her body, with an 'overpressure' of 300,000 pounds. Such a blast would crush the chest, rupture liver, spleen, heart and lungs, melt eyes, pull organs away from surrounding tissue, separate hands from arms and feet from legs. Bodies would fly through the air or be impaled on the jagged edges of crumpled metal and broken glass."10 These are among the little "animosities," the "social interactions" that Martin Jay says Israelis, including (one assumes) the schoolchildren who usually fill these buses, have brought upon themselves. Jay does take note of the suicide bombers, brainwashed teenage Arab versions of the Hitler Youth, by administering a little slap on the wrist to tearful Esau: "To be fair, the Palestinian leadership that encourages or winks at suicide bombers shows no less counter-productive stupidity [than Sharon taking action against suicide bombers]." (23) (The flabby syntax matches the fatuous moral equation.) Thus does Jay's labored distinction between "causation" and "legitimation" (17) or between blaming the Jewish victims and making them responsible for anti-Semitic aggression, turn out to be a distinction without a difference. "Tout comprendre" as the French say, c'est tout pardonner."

But pointing out Jay's shoddy history, Orwellian logic, and addiction to worn-out cliches about settlements and "occupied territories" does not quite bring us to the quick of this ulcer. Matthew Arnold used to say that there is such a thing as conscience in intellectual affairs. An examination of the tainted character of Jay's documentation, his "evidence," reveals an intellectual conscience almost totally atrophied; for there is hardly a single reference in the essay to recent events in intifada II (the Oslo War, that is) or the many responses to it that is not unreliable, deceptive, false.

The essay starts with a reference to the "occupation of Jenin" (12), which always lurks in the background of Jay's ominous albeit vague allusions to Sharon's "heavy-handed" policies and actions (23) and "bulldozer mentality" (22). The April 2002, reoccupation of Jenin touched a raw nerve in both the academic Israel-haters alluded to above (their boycott of Israeli universities and research institutes, mainly a British operation, went into high gear at this point) and their fellow travelers. As always with Jay, cause and effect are reversed, as if the actions of firefighters were to be blamed for the depredations of arsonists. The Israeli "incursion" into Jenin, for example, is treated by people like Jay as if it had nothing whatever to do with the series of suicide bombings, culminating with the Passover massacre that immediately preceded it.

Jenin was reoccupied in April 2002, after the suicide bombing massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya on Passover evening, March 27. Jenin was the base of the terrorist infrastructure: most of the bombers were "educated" in Jenin, worked in Jenin, trained in Jenin, or passed through Jenin to be "blessed" before going out to kill Jews. Of some 100 terrorists who carried out suicide bombings between October 2000 and April 2002,?23 were sent directly from Jenin. Prior to the Passover slaughter the supposedly tough Sharon had done little more in response to the almost daily murder of Israeli citizens than make blustery speeches and then turn the other cheek, or bulldoze or bomb empty buildings belonging to the Palestinian Authority. He had seemed far more inclined to the Christian precept "Resist Not Evil" than were the putatively "Christian" ministers of Europe who were excoriating him for that "bulldozer mentality." (It does not require a powerful imagination to guess how France or Germany or America would deal with a "Jenin" that dispatched murderers to butcher French or German or American citizens on a daily basis. Of one thing we can be sure: there would have been no bulldozers for Mr. Jay to complain of and also no 23 dead Israeli soldiers in Jenin, because the terrorist headquarters would have been obliterated by aerial bombing--and there really might have been not?50 dead Palestinians [most of them fighters] in Jenin but the "genocide of thousands," the "Jeningrad" trumpeted by Jay's favorite news media.)

Thirty Jews were killed and 140 injured at the Netanya seder table, a desecration of a holy place as flagrant as any in recent memory. But Jay's compassion is reserved for the victims of real "atrocities," such as "the cruel and vindictive destruction of the venerable olive groves under the pretext that they were hiding places for snipers" (24). Pretext? On October 30, 2002, Israel Radio reported that the terrorist who murdered two girls, ages?1 and 14, and also a woman in Hermesh exploited the olive trees that reach up to the community located between Mevo Dotan and Baka al-Gharbiya some six kilometers west of the Green Line in northern Samaria. The trees had indeed provided cover that made it possible for the killer first to reconnoiter the area in advance--as an olive harvester--and then to slip under the fence to do his murderous work.

Jay's congenital inability to report anything accurately is also apparent in his allusion to Adam Shapiro, offered as an instance of the atrocities visited by American Jews on people whose only sin is "criticism of Israeli policies" (22). He identifies Shapiro as "the idealistic...American Jewish peace activist" (22). Whatever Shapiro is, he is not a peace activist; he is a Yasser Arafat activist. A leader of the International Solidarity Movement founded by his wife, Huwaida Arraf, his "idealism" consisted of offering himself as a human shield (also breakfast companion) for Arafat in Ramallah, in the hope of making it easier for the arch-terrorist to murder Jewish children with impunity. His "criticism of Israeli policies" consisted of celebrating "suicide operations" as "noble" and urging that violence is a necessity of "Palestinian resistance."

One might expect that Jay would do better in reporting on Jewish misdeeds that "cause" the release of untidy emotions in anti-Semites when these misdeeds occur right under his nose, so to speak. But in fact the most egregious example of deceptive reporting in his essay is his account of an event on his own campus: the Univesity of California at Berkeley. It reads as follows: "When literally thousands of emails and withdrawals of substantial alumni donations to the University of California at Berkeley followed the disclosure that a course description for an English class...endorsed the Palestinian position, it becomes abundantly clear how concerted the effort has become to punish dissenters from Sharon's heavy-handed policies"(22-23). And here is the description (not provided by Jay, needless to add) of that course, offered by one Snehal Shingavi:

"The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance: Since the inception of the intifada in September 2000, Palestinians have been fighting for their right to exist. The brutal Israeli military occupation of Palestine, an occupation that has been ongoing since 1948, has systematically displaced, killed, and maimed millions of Palestinian people. And yet, from under the brutal weight of the occupation, Palestinians have produced their own culture and poetry of resistance. This class will examine the history of the Palestinian resistance...in order to produce an understanding of the intifada and to develop a coherent political analysis of the situation. This class takes as its starting point the right of Palestinians to fight for their own self-determination. Conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections."

For Jay, this polemical balderdash is nothing more than "dissent" from the policies of Sharon, who is not even mentioned in the description. The real culprit in Jay's eyes is not the puffed-up insurrectionary who conceived this obscene travesty of "an English class," but the people who have the temerity to criticize it. And somehow he knows that, in a state where millions of people consider themselves to be "conservative thinkers," all the objectors were Jews.11

Coming to the defense of Jews and Israel has never been an exercise for the faint-hearted; and to do so in a place like Berkeley, where mob rule prevented Benjamin Netanhayu (in September 2000) from giving a lecture in the city, and where cadres of Arab and leftist students can shut down campus buildings and disrupt final exams whenever the anti-Israel fit is upon them, may even require a special degree of courage. Jews who assign responsibility for anti-Jewish aggression to Jewish misbehavior not only save themselves from the unpleasant and often dangerous task of coming to the defense of the Jews under attack but also retain the delightful charms of good conscience. Hitler's professors (to borrow the title of Max Weinreich's famous book of 194612) were the first to make anti-Semitism both academically respectable and complicit in murder. They have now been succeeded by Arafat's professors: not only the boycotters, not only the advocates of suicide bombings, but also the fellow travelers like Martin Jay.?

NOTES

1. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism,3 vols. (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1951), III, p. 138.

2. See Edward Alexander, "The Academic Boycott of Israel: Back to 1933?" Jerusalem Post, 3 January 2003; "Evil Educators Defend the Indefensible,"Jerusalem Post, 10 January 2003; and ""Suicide Bombing 101," American Spectator June/July 2001, pp. 28-30.

3. David Caute, The Fellow Travellers: Intellectual Friends of Communism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988).

4. Martin Peretz, "Traveling With Bad Companions," Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2003.

5. Subsequent page references to Martin Jay's essay will be in parentheses in the text.

6. Albert Lindemann, Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 308, 311, 291, 140-41, 496, 54.

7. Paul Breines, Tough Jews: Political Fantasies and the Moral Dilemma of American Jewry (New York: Basic Books, 1990).

8. Ruth R. Wisse, If I Am Not for Myself...The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews (New York: Free Press, 1992), p. 138.

9. Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, III, p. 138.

10. Quoted in Rosie DiManno, "Unlike Victims, Bomber Died without Pain," Toronto Star, June 19, 2002.

11. In a well-hidden place, n. 33, Jay acknowledges that "some of the outcry" about the course had to do with its last sentence telling Conservative thinkers to get lost; but he is confident that "the main reason for the response was the content of the course" (p. 28). Another Berkeley faculty member, who teaches in the English department, has provided me with the following description of the incident, which may be instructive:

"I don't think that any chairman would dare disallow such a class on political grounds for fear of PC [Political Correctness] extortion. Of course, the crucial point--that such a class has nothing to do with English--doesn't even enter the picture since so many English composition classes have been politicized...that it's hard to imagine an English chair eager to defend the teaching of grammar and logic. Hence, the brazenness of the instructor who wrote that course description: without the statement that conservatives were not welcome (which is discriminatory), the pedagogy and politics of the course would have been unassailable in the current climate.

One thing I distinctly remember with regard to the Palestinian composition class incident was that it coincided with a very loud anti-Israel rally--louder than the anti-war demonstration last week."

12. Max Weinreich, Hitler's Professors: The Part of Scholarship in Hitler's Crimes Against the Jewish People (New York: YIVO, 1946).

Edward Alexander's most recent books are Irving Howe--Socialist, Critic, Jew (Indiana University Press, 1998) and Classical Liberalism and the Jewish Tradition (Transaction Publishers, 2002).

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French HypocriSy

Here is an interesting comment I have copied from theradical.blogspot.com:

In response to the recent EU-sponsored poll (see Monday's posting), Le Monde writes:

"But we leave the realm of legitimate criticism of a government's policies when we practice--as do certain circles in Europe--a discourse of systematic and unilateral denunciation that demonizes Israel. This rhetoric implies that such a systematically criminal state cannot have its place among other states. From this criticism of a government one passes almost unconsciously to questioning the right of that country to exist. It matters little that those who hold these ideas are conscience of it or not, the fact remains: this spiteful, anti-Israeli anger is nourishing a new form of anti-Semitism that is becoming apparent in Europe."

What is so absurd about this editorial in Le Monde is that it has been the French Left and its mouthpiece--Le Monde--that has for years denounced the actions of the Israeli government while turning a blind eye to the human rights atrocities rampant in other parts of the Middle East. (And if you think that the previous sentence suggested that criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic, read the previous sentence again). Now, in an effort to recast itself to a public with a short-term memory, Le Monde denounces the very actions of which it has consistently been guilty.

The French often believe that Americans are too quick to portray them as anti-Semitic. And occasionally, as the Andrew Sullivan quote from yesterday points out, they may be right (yes, I understand that Sullivan is English, but you get the point). However Le Monde's outrage at the fact that most Europeans believe that Israel is the greatest threat to world peace is simply hard to believe. It is also incredibly disconcerting that the French--who, given their recent past, should know better--can be so blind to the hateful sentiments that they have nurtured through their one-sided, Manichean discourse. For example, it is the French Left that has advocated boycotts--academic and economic--against Israel while embracing Russia in the "camp of peace" and conveniently forgetting about a bloodbath called Chechnya.

The French have unleashed a hatred that they now seek to disown. A mea culpa is long overdue.

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What? No UN Resolution Condemning Murder of Arabs in Riyadh?

Saturday's al Qaeda attack on a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia housing complex killed 17 people and wounded 122. Most of the victims were Lebanese, Saudis, Egyptian, and Sudanese. 5 children were killed. The UN has done or said nothing.

When Palestinian terrorists killed four Israeli Arabs, children, parents, grandparents, etc., in Haifa, Israel, the UN did and said nothing.

But the UN churns out lots of meaningless resolutions attacking Israel, a sovereign, democratic nation that lives in 1/6 of one percent of Middle East land. Israeli Arabs can vote in Israeli elections and hold seats in the parliament.

Here's the Middle East: 1 democracy (Israel) and 21 Arab dictatorships. Can the UN do the math? No. The problem is that the UN is populated with lots of dictatorships who want to stay in power. They won't address their own problems. They do what history teaches: find a scapegoat -- the Jews.

So what is the UN? Pretty much a platform for anti-Semitism -- against Jews and Arabs. The UN won't speak out when Arabs/Muslims are savagely murdered by terrorists. Were the Arabs killed in Riyadh and Haifa less human than other Arab/Muslims? According to the UN they are. How can UN member states like Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia pass resolutions condemning terrorism when they themselves are terrorists and terror-sponsors? Nothing like self-incrimination.

Who weeps for the Arab/Muslim victims of terror (besides their own families and friends)? Not the UN. Not the left-wing. Not the Arab/Muslim dictators. Not the majority of Europeans. Thank goodness the U.S. is still a beachhead for freedom, fairness, sensibility, and democracy.

Cross-posted on IsraPundit and netWMD (www.netwmd.com)

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Israel falls into Hizballah's trap


By Jerusalem Newswire Editorial Staff

November 10, 2003

Jerusalem (jnewswire.com) - Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah Sunday got the Israeli government to vote for the release of around 440 terrorists in exchange for an abducted Jewish businessman and three Israeli corpses.

The vote was taken the day after Nasrallah, apparently aware of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's determination to secure a yes-vote, upped his demands to include a particularly loathsome killer, Samir Kuntar, on the list of prisoners to be freed.

While at least three senior Israeli officials, including Sharon, have insisted Kuntar will remain in jail, the question being pondered in Israel today is whether the premier will stick to his guns on this murderer.

Sharon's primary motivational reason for freeing the other terrorists was the overriding principle in Judaism known as pikuach nefesh - the saving of a life.

'None with blood on their hands'

During Sunday's lengthy and reportedly heated debate, Sharon called on his ministers to agree to the release in order to prevent Nasrallah from carrying out his pledge to execute Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum if the deal did not go through.

Tannenbaum, who was abducted three years ago - allegedly while on a drug-dealing trip to another Arab state - has been brutally tortured by his captors, according to reports.

Eleven ministers rejected Sharon's argument of pikuach nefesh, arguing that releasing the terrorists would encourage the kidnapping of more Jews and the loss of many more lives.

Twelve ministers voted in favor, among them Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister who is widely acclaimed as an authority on how to deal with Arab terrorism. Netanyahu gave his approval on condition that no terrorists "with Jewish blood on their hands" be included in the list.

In the final analysis, however, it has reportedly been decided that Israel's "red line" - according to Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom - lies between those Arabs who killed Israelis in Lebanon, and those who committed murder inside the borders of the Jewish state.

Heinous killer

Kuntar falls among the latter.

Intent on taking Israelis hostage to upset the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement, Kuntar and two other terrorists sailed a rubber dinghy from Lebanon to the Israeli coastal town of Nahariya and entered the home of Danny and Smadar Hadan.

While the Arabs grabbed Danny and his four-year-old daughter Einat, Smadar hid in a closet with the couple's second little girl, Yael (2). Terrified of being discovered, Smadar covered the toddler's mouth with her hand, inadvertently smothering her to death.

The terrorists murdered her husband and Einat. An Israeli policeman who responded to the scene was also killed before two of the terror gang were shot dead and Kuntar was captured.

Up tall trees

Both Sharon and Nasrallah have climbed high trees on the issue of Kuntar.

Sharon has said Kuntar's release is "out of the question," according to Foreign Minister Shalom.

"Hizballah knows explicitly, and we said throughout the recent negotiations, that Kuntar is not on the list. The Prime Minister took this decision, which in my view is courageous and important, and has stated it in the clearest possible terms," Ha'aretz quoted Shalom as saying Monday.

And according to The Jerusalem Post, a brother of Kuntar has said that Nasrallah personally promised him that his brother was a central figure in the deal.

"Hizballah officials also claimed that they have a letter from Israel pledging to include Kuntar in future prisoner swap deals," reports the Post.

(Ed note: I believe it is not inconceivable, given Nasrallah's record, that in the end, if Israel refuses to back down, the deal will still go through, but Tannenbaum will be delivered dead instead of alive. What is certain is that Nasrallah will not lose face, something he knows Israel is ready to do.)

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Peace, Justice and Suicide Bombings?

David Appelbaum took his 20-year-old daughter, Nava, out for coffee on the night before her wedding day to have one last father-daughter heart-to-heart. He had come back to Israel from a symposium in New York City on post-9/11 emergency preparedness to see his daughter get married; but he never made it to the wedding, and neither did Nava. A suicide bomber blew up the cafe. Nava's fianc?, family, and friends attended her funeral instead of her marriage.

Moral people can disagree about the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Moral people can argue over territory, over sovereignty and over borders. But moral people cannot condone suicide bombings. Suicide bombings, which specifically target innocent civilians, are always wrong. No moral person could possibly say that Nava Appelbaum or the hundreds of Israeli victims of terror like her, deserved to die. ?One would hope that everyone, certainly everyone here at Harvard, would agree on that.

Yet, even here, there are student groups that implicitly condone the terror tactics of Palestinian extremists. The Society of Arab Students (SAS), Harvard Initiative for Peace and Justice (HIPJ), and the Civil Liberties Union of Harvard (CLUH), for example, are sponsoring a speech tonight given by Amer Jubran. Jubran, a Jordanian citizen who is currently facing deportation attempts by the FBI, INS and the Department of Homeland Security, appears to express his support and even admiration for suicide bombers and the attacks they carry out. Official literature produced by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine, an organization co-founded by Jubran, states that:

"Many in the United States claim to support the Palestinians in their struggle against Zionist oppression, and then call upon the Palestinian people to `act responsibly,' to `renounce violence,' and to `negotiate reasonably.' That is not support ... It is not our place to dictate the forms that the resistance to violence should take among the Palestinians."

Jubran, apparently not satisfied merely with softening the image of extremists, also seems to identify with the bombers. The New York Sun reported on Jubran's remarks made at an Oct. 25 rally in San Francisco: "`We are angry. Some of us want to throw stones. Some of us want to blow ourselves,' he said, gesturing to his chest."

Sadly, the fact that men like Jubran exist is not shocking. What is surprising is that there are groups of Harvard students who feel the need to bring this type of murderous hate to our campus. That Amer Jubran, a man who has defended those who murder innocent civilians and violate of human rights, should be brought to speak by the Harvard Initiative for Peace and Justice as well as the Civil Liberties Union of Harvard is hypocritical and intolerable.

Supporters of this event might argue that it is meant to express sympathy with Jubran in his fight against deportation and not with his views on terrorism, yet these arguments ring hollow. It is true that Amer Jubran has the right to free speech and I suppose there is a possibility that the United States government has acted improperly with regard to his deportation. These facts alone, however, do not explain why, out of the numerous cases of civil rights abuses in the past, Jubran was chosen (hopefully despite his beliefs and not because of them) to be honored with an invitation to speak at Harvard. To my knowledge, HIPJ and CLUH have never before hosted a speaker who refused to condemn violence against civilians. In not doing so, these groups have acknowledged that there are positions that, while protected by free speech, are so heinous that they render a person unfit to address a civilized crowd. By inviting Jubran, these groups are sending the message quite clearly that they do not consider the targeting of innocent Israelis to be as offensive as the murder of others.

It is equally sad to see SAS supporting a man like Jubran. As a member of Harvard Students for Israel (HSI), I have seen first-hand the effort students in that group have put into working towards reconciliation. Students for Israel has participated in dialogues and other events with Arab groups on campus in the spirit that we are obligated to seek a solution other than continued violence and hate. No pro-Israel group on campus would ever invite a speaker with views analogous to those of Jubran's.

In the words of HSIpresident Joshua Suskewicz '05, "We see ourselves as advocates for Israel and advocates for peace. While our members have different political views, none of them call for senseless violence or indiscriminate murder. We would never invite a speaker who held these views, and I am disappointed to hear about Mr. Jubran's invitation. The prospects for peace in the Middle East, and throughout the world, cannot be good if terrorism and the deliberate targeting of innocents are supported. Student groups must act responsibly and avoid granting a platform or lending support to a man who supports terrorism."

Edmund Burke once said, "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Tonight I will be protesting this event at ?7 p.m. in Science Center A. I hope you join me.

Daniel W. Shoag '06 is an economics concentrator in Eliot House. He is a member of Harvard Students for Israel and a senior editor of the Harvard Israel Review.

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Feet of clay, and more feet of clay

The bastions of democracy are going wobbly, including the Leader of the Free World [TM].

An AP story posted today reads as follows:

Half of Americans Say War Not Worthwhile

WASHINGTON (AP) - Amid increasing attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq, a growing number of Americans, including men and independent voters, say the war in Iraq was not worthwhile, according to a survey released Monday.

Half of Americans, 49 percent, say the war was not worth it, compared to 48 percent who say it was, according to a survey conducted this month by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

I fear a repeat of Vietnam.

And this from Israel. The government was about to introduce new accreditation procedures for the press. Now, Israel is in retreat, according to AP:

Israel Delays Journalism Security Checks

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's government on Monday suspended plans that would have required stringent security checks for journalists to receive accreditation.

The government called off the proposed procedures after local and foreign journalists and watchdog groups criticized them as an attempt to inhibit freedom of the press.

...

The GPO [Government Press Office] credentials facilitate access to government buildings and official news conferences, and the Israeli military requires journalists to present government press cards to enter and travel in the West Bank and Gaza.

Can anyone explain to me how an ex-general turned into a pussy cat?

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More on NPR's Bias: (camera.org)

News that McDonald's heiress Joan Kroc has bequeathed $200 million to National Public Radio comes at a time when, unfortunately, the network continues to purvey distorted and agenda-driven Middle East coverage. NPR's financial windfall can only underscore the importance for those concerned about anti-Israel bias of suspending support for local public radio stations across the nation.

Highlights of NPR reporting at the end of October and beginning of November are indicative of the ongoing problems.

ISRAEL IN THE DOCK

NPR reporter Linda Gradstein's November 3 "Morning Edition" story about living conditions and grievances of Israel's Bedouin residing in the Negev town of Atir was trademark network fare. It was almost entirely one-sided (three Bedouin deplored Israeli policy while a single Israeli government official provided brief "balance") and lacking important background. (Transcript below)

Gradstein's specific descriptions of the Bedouin she observes may be accurate, but they are devoid of context. Thus she describes a "rickety school bus" and residents "who eke out a living either as day laborers in nearby Jewish towns or as shepherds. They live simply, eating mostly bread and vegetables. Many of the children go barefoot. In the winter, it's bitterly cold and in the summer, unbearably hot. There's no medical clinic in the village."

Of the marginal success of Israeli efforts to settle the nomadic people in established towns Gradstein quotes a Bedouin official: "...it all goes back to decades of Jewish discrimination against the Bedouin."

Like so many NPR reports indicting Israel, this one is highly deceptive, ignoring essential relevant information. For example:

! Egypt and Jordan have Bedouin communities with serious problems. Where is NPR's coverage of these nations' treatment of their impoverished Bedouin? Why is Israel alone subject to scrutiny and criticism on the subject, and especially without reference to the conditions of these nomadic tribes in neighboring nations?

Indeed, conditions are often worse for Bedouin in Arab countries. In 1999, 600 Egyptian Bedouins fled Egypt to Israel. A March 23, 1999 Christian Science Monitor story noted: "A feud with another tribe sparked their departure, but economic and social frustration also seem to have inspired the Azazmas' exodus. Tribal members complain of a lack of food, water, and work in Egypt, as well as lack of schools for their children and legal rights. Though the Negev Bedouins suffer from discrimination and a systematic attempt to force them to give up their tents in the wilderness for Israeli-designed townships, the Azazmas who fled Egypt think their brethren living in Israel have it easier here."

"There is no law in Egypt. Here, at least, there's a government that will be straight with us. This is the best treatment we've ever had," said one Egyptian Bedouin who was "impressed by the food, water and first aid the Israeli army" provided his tribe.

! The birth rate and polygamous marriage practices of the Negev Bedouin raise enormous challenges for Israel. According to a July 2003 edition of the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv, "A prominent public figure among the Negev Bedouins says: `Everyone knows that this high rate of natural increase is the main problem of the Bedouin sector, but no one is doing anything. There are Bedouin who are married to 8 wives and who are living off the allowances of some 100 children. They give the children and the women virtually no money for subsistence, so this results in distress, which fuels nationalism and crime.'"

Many of the "tens of thousands" of wives are acquired from Gaza and the West Bank, a reality that has, according to an Israeli Interior Ministry official, prompted Bedouins to say "the import of women from the territories is the beginning of the realization of the right of return of Palestinians to Israel." According to a March 2003 story in Ha'aretz, around 30% of Bedouin men are polygamists.

Renowned demographer Arnon Soffer has documented the same influx of thousands of Palestinian women taken as wives by the Bedouin, as well as the takeover of state land by Bedouins in the Negev and the encroachment of Bedouin encampments in sensitive military areas.

! Despite the difficulties experienced by many Bedouin, Israel is making efforts to address the needs of this population. Beyond government action, Ben Gurion University has a Center for Bedouin Studies and Development and there are unprecedented increases in the numbers of Bedouin men and women receiving higher education.

NPR and Linda Gradstein omitted ALL of this information, opting instead simply to cast Israel as uniquely oppressive and callous. Segments such as this one lacking all context are commonplace on the network and cumulatively project a deceptively negative picture of the Jewish state.

SETTLEMENT OBSESSION

Most Palestinians, many Europeans and a small minority of Israelis believe settlements are the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict and primary obstacle to peace. On the other hand, the Israeli mainstream, including those who may advocate compromise on settlement issues, see Arab rejection of Israeli legitimacy in the Middle East and violent, hate-propelled campaigns to eliminate the nation as the primary issue. (This is so especially in the wake of the Camp David/Taba offer to give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank and Gaza and the PA's launching of a terror war as a response.)

NPR avidly promotes the perspectives of the former, the Palestinian, European and minority Israeli one, and has consistently for over a decade amplified that perspective and ignored almost entirely the daily Palestinian drumbeat of anti-Semitic invective and calls to martyrdom as well as the collusion of the PA in violence and terrorism.

Indicative of NPR's preoccupation with blaming Israel and focusing on settlements were repeated skewed reports on related developments given little prominence in most other media outlets. On October 28 and October 30, NPR aired stories on Israel's extending utilities to a number of outposts attached to settlements. Each of the reports, which relied on statements by Peace Now, contained editorial commentary interjected by NPR reporters themselves about Israel violating the "road map." These accusations were reiterated without any reference to the current status of the "road map," to Palestinian obligations under the "road map" or to the Palestinians' outright refusal to dismantle terrorist groups - a violation of the PA's premier requirement in the agreement. (http://www.npr.org/news/specials/mideast/transcripts/2003/oct.html)

! NPR speakers often sounded more like Palestinian advocates than reporters. In the October 30 story, for example, host Melissa Block declares: "This week the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon confirmed plans to extend municipal services and security protection to a number of settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. The move calls into question Israel's commitment to the US-backed road map to peace between Israel and the Palestinians."

! Other media outlets that covered this story presented the facts without editorializing and bias. The New York Times' single story on the topic by Greg Myre (Oct 29) noted, for example, with regard to Arab denunciations of the outpost issue: "Amid continuing fighting, neither Israel nor the Palestinians are meeting their obligations under the plan."

! On October 30, the day of an NPR report deploring alleged Israeli failings with regard to settlements, the U.S. Congress held hearings chaired by Senators Arlen Spector entitled "Palestinian Education - Teaching Peace or War?"

Senators heard about Palestinian summer camps for children named after Wafa Idris and Ayat al Akras, female suicide bombers; they heard about a soccer tournament this fall sponsored by PA leaders in which the 24 boys' teams were each named for "shahids" such as Yehye Ayash, the Hamas "engineer" responsible for devastating bombings of Israelis; they heard about television and textbooks that deny Jewish historical ties to the land of Israel.

Senator Hillary Clinton stated: "I don't believe that there has been an adequate and consistent repudiation of the rhetoric of hate and the incitement of young people by the authorities in the Palestinian Authority... [I]n many other settings I've seen similar messages and they are broadcast on the Palestinian Authority TV, played over and over again, children playing death games...It is a real distortion of childhood and of adult responsibility."

National Public Radio ignored the hearings completely -- although such PA hate-indoctrination is a violation of the "road map" and a fundamental threat to peace in the region. In contrast, CNN, FoxNews and others gave it prominent focus.

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WHY WE KILL JARHEADS? parody

by Red Thrall

NEW YORK--Dear Recruit:

Thank you for joining the noble and popular Iraqi resistance forces. You have been issued an AK-47 rifle, rocket-propelled grenade launcher, a copy of the Chicago Reader with the gay escort service ads removed, and an address where you can pick up supplies of bombs and DVDs of "Bowling For Columbine." Please let your cell leader know if you require additional paper mache materiel for constructing giant Cheney puppets. And make sure you check the correct dependent levels on your W-2 form, for there are serious 2003 tax consequences for under-withholding.

You are joining a broad and diverse and fragrant coalition dedicated to one principle: Get Outta Da Bushes! Our leaders include generals of President Saddam Hussein's secular government as well as fundamentalist Islamists... and special guest general Sean Penn! We are Sunni and Shia, Iraqi and foreign, Arab and Kurdish. It takes a nation to hold us back. We are Flintstones Kids, 10 million strong... and growing! Our turn-ons include long walks on the beach and direct action against Chimpy the Resident.

Though we differ on what kind of future our country we are fighting side by side because there is no dignity under the brutal and oppressive Bass Weejun of the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority or their Vichyite Tom Delay Texas bug exterminator lapdogs on the Governing Council, headed by embezzler Ahmed Chalabi and his Halliburton gang of Enron swindling WASPs who cannot see the simple beauty of run-on sentences.

Because we destroyed our weapons of mass destruction, we were unable to defend ourselves against the American invasion. Oops, sorry guys -- "our bad." Now our only option is guerilla warfare: we must kill as many Americans as possible at a minimum risk to ourselves. That, or maybe we can reapply to Berkeley grad school if we retake the GRE. I heard the Kaplan course helps. Anyhoo, as the Afghan resistance to the Soviets and the American's own Revolution -- once headed by the Artist Formerly Known As Prince -- have proven, it will only be a matter of time before the U.S. occupation forces become demoralized by side projects with Sheila E and Apollonia, and become weird Jehovahs Witnesses. As casualties and credit card expenditures rise, the costs will outweigh the economic and political benefits of occupation. Soon the American public will be getting late fees from CapitalOne, and a mounting five-year price tag of $500 billion, not to mention probably 4,000 gazillion dead crackers from Oklahoma, plus all those harassing dinnertime calls from collection agencies, and the midnight repo men. It's not a reasonable price to pay to get our 2.5 million barrels of oil flowing to the West each month. This net increase, of just 0.23 percent of total OPEC production, and dividing by the remainder of $1.789 for Phillips 66 89 Octane for a 426 Hemi with .202 heads and a a 335/360 cam with a 727 Torqueflite/ Dana 60 spool and a 10.15 dial-in, will not reduce U.S. gasoline prices. At an average of 35 attacks each day, with a standard deviation of 6.2, how long will it take for an American soldier travelling in the opposite direction at 2000 furlongs per fortnight to figure out that he wants to run home to his increasingly angry mommy?

It is inevitable. Our goal is to make that day come sooner rather than later.

It is no easy thing to shoot or blow up young men and women because they wear American uniforms. Indeed, the soldiers are themselves oppressed members of America's vast underclass of retarded brainwashed white trash dopes. Many don't want to be here, yet do not understand they have the moral imperative to frag their mercenary Killbot masters who do the bidding of Dick Cheney's oil cabal of neo-con Shriners from the Crab Nebula.

Unfortunately, we can't help these innocent U.S. soldiers. Damn these infernal neo-cons, forcing us to kill our would-be lumpenprole friends! They are victims, like ourselves, of the bandits in Washington, and their lapdog Fritos Banditos of Mexico. Nor can we disabuse them of the propaganda that they are force fed from Fox News and "Blogs". We regret their deaths, but we must continue to kill them until the last one has gone home to America, with a lovely parting gift of Turtle Wax. Hey, them's the breaks oppressors.

In recent months we have opened a second front, against such non-governmental organizations as the United Nations (news - web sites) and Red Crescent. A typical response of the Bush junta to these actions was issued by Oreo house mammy Condoleeza Rice: "It is unfortunate in the extreme that the terrorists decided to go after innocent aid workers and people who were just trying to help the Iraqi people." STFU, bee-yotch! True, many aid workers are well intentioned. However, their presence under American military occupation tacitly endorses the invasion and subsequent colonization of Iraq. They are mere pod people like in "Invasion of The Body Snatchers" and their efforts to restore "normalcy" deceive weak-willed Iraqi civilians into thinking that Americans are popular here. Well, they are so totally not popular, and I heard Afghanistan tell Sudan yesterday that she saw America hanging out at the mall with Spain! Uh huh, Spain. What a loser.

In this vein we must also take action against our own Iraqi citizens who choose to collaborate with the enemy. Bush wants to put an "Iraqi face" on the occupation. If we allow the Americans to corrupt our friends and neighbors by turning them into puppet policemen like Lambchop or Willie Tyler and Lester or the Swedish Chef, our independence will be lost forever. If someone you know is considering taking a job with the Americans, tell him that he is engaging in treason and encourage him to seek honest work, like blowing up hotels or penning a hard-hitting intellectual comic strip for Baghdad Scene, the leading weekly guide to the capital city's hottest nightlife and gallery happenings. If he refuses, you must kill him as a warning to other weak-minded individuals. Dude, I was just shittin' ya -- just go ahead and kill him anyway.

Take to heart this warning of Cuban revolutionary Desi Arnaz: "The gringo oppressor has a lotta 'splaining to do!" If the Americans are right about us, and we enjoy no popular support, we deserve to be annihilated. Fortunately, the U.S. has adopted Israeli-style retaliatory bombing, splattering us all over the sidewalks and pretending it has the upper hand. Well nyah nyah nyah. We meant to do that.

To victory!

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This is in response to this:

Rall: A Loathsome Creep

Like a spoiled hyperactive child, Ted Rall is continuing to act out his hatred for America in print, getting more and more outrageous as he is more and more ignored. His latest excretion is the foulest he's written yet; reading this ugly thing is like crawling through a sewer in Damascus: WHY WE FIGHT. (Hat tip: bobby.)

Dear Recruit:

Thank you for joining the Iraqi resistance forces. You have been issued an AK-47 rifle, rocket-propelled grenade launcher and an address where you can pick up supplies of bombs and remote-controlled mines. Please let your cell leader know if you require additional materiel for use against the Americans.

You are joining a broad and diverse coalition dedicated to one principle: Iraq for Iraqis. Our leaders include generals of President Saddam Hussein's secular government as well as fundamentalist Islamists. We are Sunni and Shia, Iraqi and foreign, Arab and Kurdish. Though we differ on what kind of future our country should have after liberation and many of us suffered under Saddam, we are fighting side by side because there is no dignity under the brutal and oppressive jackboot of the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority or their Vichyite lapdogs on the Governing Council, headed by embezzler Ahmed Chalabi.

Because we destroyed our weapons of mass destruction, we were unable to defend ourselves against the American invasion. This was their plan all along. Now our only option is guerilla warfare: we must kill as many Americans as possible at a minimum risk to ourselves.

Notice that he published this piece yesterday: Veterans Day. Universal Press Syndicate should cancel this bastard's contract.

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From thecounterrevolutionary:

Ghosts of Occupations Past -- the trouble brews...

Last week I published an article from the NY Times entitled "We can lose the peace." No, it was not about Iraq, but about Germany. The next article shows how early fascination with the perceptions of the occupied can be misleading.

REICH GIRLS WANT RETURN OF NAZISM
By DREW MIDDLETON By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
New York Times; Oct 22, 1945; pg. 3




In case you were wondering, the focus on German girls is due to their, er, close contact with American GIs. The article goes on to say that the views of the girls were beginning to influence the GIs themselves.

"Three times in the last week American soldiers remarked casually that perhaps Hitler had not been so bad for Germans after all..."

Some of the girls refused to believe that Hitler was dead: "One of them told a friend of mine, a young sergeant, that 'he will return again, you Americans will see.'"

Please also remember the name of the reporter, Drew Middleton -- his reports will become increasingly alarmist and shrill.

posted by The CounterRevolutionary

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Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Ghosts of Occupations Past -- "We can lose the peace"

Inspired by the Life magazine from Jessica's Well and the Saturday Evening Post posted by Instapundit, I went off to the library. The New York Public Library has a database of New York Times articles dating form 1857.

In the span of an hour, I found many articles dating from late 1945 and 1946 about the occupation of Germany. They were uniformly pessimistic. I would like to post them here. Due to copyrights, I will only post excerpts.

WE CAN LOSE THE PEACE
New York Times; Sep 25, 1945; pg. 21




Can you imagine the Times giving this advice today?

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Palestinians Spit On Our War Dead

Palestinian media laughs at the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq: Pals Mock Dead Americans.

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MANY more of the following articles are from littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog

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Euro trash

Perversity & anti-Semitism lead Europeans
to call Israel greatest threat to peace

By Alan M. Dershowitz

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According to a new poll, Europeans regard Israel as a greater threat to peace than any other country in the world. Among the runners-up were the United States, North Korea, Iran and Iraq.

Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia and China were not even in the running.

Sometimes a public opinion poll tells us more about those being polled than about the question at hand. This is such a case. Having been exposed for years to virulent anti-Israel media coverage and anti-Israel bias from their leaders, it is not surprising that so many Europeans have had their views poisoned.

This bias is fed by an extraordinarily successful propaganda campaign that comes, perversely, from enemies of peace - people who engage in, or support, terrorism.

Before we get to the causes of the international bigotry that blames everything bad on Israel, let's look at the hard facts.

In 1947, the United Nations partitioned Palestine into two states. The Jewish state of Israel was allocated about half the usable land, an area in which Jews were a substantial majority. The remainder of Palestine - other than the approximately 80% that already had been allocated to Arabs, primarily Palestinians, for the Jordanian state - was to become a new Palestinian State. Although the new Israel consisted of noncontiguous areas and did not include Jerusalem, where nearly 100,000 Jews made their home, Israel accepted this UN-mandated resolution.

The Arab states, however, joined together to invade the fledgling Jewish state, declaring a genocidal war. They lost that war, and a stronger Israel emerged.

In 1967, Israel was threatened with imminent attack by Egypt, Syria, Jordan and other Mideast Arab nations. It responded by destroying the air forces of the most threatening nations without attacking any civilian targets.

After winning the war in six days, Israel immediately accepted UN Security Council Resolution 242, which mandated the return of certain - but not all - territories captured during the war in exchange for guarantees of peace, recognition and territorial integrity from the surrounding states.

At a meeting in Khartoum, Sudan, the Arab nations unanimously rejected Resolution 242 and instead issued their infamous Three Nos: no recognition of Israel, no negotiation with Israel, no peace with Israel. Israel thus had no peace partner with which to exchange land for peace.

In subsequent years, when first Egypt and then Jordan expressed a willingness to make peace, Israel surrendered the Sinai to Egypt and those portions of the West Bank claimed by Jordan, thus complying with Resolution 242.

In 2000-01, Israel offered to exchange more land for peace with the Palestinians. At Camp David and at Taba, it offered approximately 95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem to serve as its capital, in exchange for peace. Yasser Arafat walked away without even making a counterproposal and ordered the resumption of terrorism - well before Ariel Sharon made his ill-fated visit to the Temple Mount.

Israel's actions are not those of a warmongering nation that threatens world peace but rather of a nation that has tried harder to achieve peace than virtually any in history.

Can the Europeans who believe that Israel is the greatest danger to world peace name another country that has ever given back land that was legitimately captured in a defensive war and necessary for its own defense in exchange for a promise of peace?

How, then, to explain this afactual, ahistoric and immoral poll result? At one level, it is simply the latest manifestation of millennia-old efforts to blame the Jews for all the evils in the world. When plagues broke out in Europe, it was the Jews' fault. When wells were poisoned, obviously, the Jews did it. When Christian children were found murdered, who else but the Jews? A German parliamentarian recently blamed Stalin's mass murders on the "predatory" Jewish people, and the cardinal of Honduras has blamed the sex scandal in the Catholic Church on - you guessed it - the Jews.

But there is more at issue here than primitive anti-Semitism, though that surely plays a role in some of the polling results. A generation of Europeans has been miseducated by its own media and leaders about Israel. The United Nations has contributed to this miseducation by condemning Israel more frequently than any other nation, well out of proportion to its faults.

Criticism of Israeli policies is certainly fair game, but throughout Europe, criticism of Israel is rarely comparative, contextual or constructive. Instead, Israel is singled out for demonization and delegitimization.

This is all part of a systematic Palestinian effort to supplement a terrorist campaign with a propaganda war. The poll shows it is succeeding. This very success contributes to a lack of progress toward peace.

The Palestinian leadership will not take the difficult steps needed to achieve peace so long as it continues to win the propaganda war while encouraging terrorism.

Among the greatest threats to world peace, therefore, is not Israel itself but European bigotry against the Jewish nation.

Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. His latest book is "The Case for Israel."

Originally published on November 8, 2003

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Existence of Israel Makes Iran Seethe

Once again Iran makes their intention to destroy Israel appallingly clear: Existence of Israel contrary to Iranian interests. (Hat tip: Israellycool.)

TEHRAN, Nov 10, (AFP) -- The mere existence of Israel is contrary to Tehran's national interests, press reports said Monday, quoting former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, now a top advisor to Iran's supreme leader.

"One of the elements of progress in a country is regional cooperation. Israel was created to prevent unity and cooperation between Islamic countries, that is why the existence of Israel is in contradiction with the national interests of Iran," Velayati was quoted as saying by the conservative Ressalat newspaper.

"Today, there is a close spiritual relationship between Palestinian fighters and the Islamic republic, and this cannot be ignored," he added, saying that the "new step in the Palestinian struggle has been influenced by the Islamic revolution and the Lebanese Hezbollah."

Iran refuses to recognise Israel and top officials frequently call for the destruction of the Jewish state. But Tehran denies giving material support to Palestinian militants.

During a major military parade on September 22, the Islamic republic showed off six of its Shahab-3 missiles which were decorated with anti-Israeli and anti-US slogans, including one saying Israel should be "wiped off the map".

Like the United States, Israel in turn accuses Iran of using a civil atomic energy programme as a cover to develop nuclear weapons.

There has been mounting speculation the Jewish state's hawkish government may be considering pre-emptive strikes against Iranian nuclear installations.

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UPDATE FROM THE HATE-FEST at OSU 11/9/03 again from lgf...

Another great day in Columbus for protesting hate and terror.

The highlight of the between rally debates had to have been when a well pressed lefty came out to argue with us. After 20 minutes of shouting "You don't understand, you don't understand !" and "Let me finish. Stop interrupting me" most definitely deflated her ego, the cops finally came over and told her she had to go to the designated opposition area across the entryway steps or stop getting in our faces. Well she made a point of going and standing behind the barriers, which was o so laughable since as near as I can tell she was the ONLY person to ever do so. Most participants snuck out to the front steps for smokes and tried to ignore our calls for them to denounce suicide bombings. Twice more she came out to argue her side. And guess what we found out? She was a reporter with NPR! After that, we started repeatedly shouting for her to tell us her name, and she said she wouldn't. You know, cuz journalists from NPR need to be anonymous to remain impartial. If there's anyone out there that hears her report from the conference, make sure to listen for her name, I'd really like to eMail her, as twice I asked her to denounce suicide bombings and she wouldn't!

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"We Might Destroy the Planet"

Munir Al-Mawari, a Yemenite columnist for the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, tells the plain unvarnished truth about what will happen if an Arab Islamic state ever obtains nuclear weapons:

" ... The danger inherent in WMD is the possibility that such weapons will be within the reach of reckless regimes and terror gangs ... The U.S. possesses a huge WMD arsenal, but has not used them since World War II. In contrast, we, the Arabs, have threatened to destroy half the state of Israel, when we had at our disposal a very small quantity of this type of weapon and after we used it against our Arab brothers ... What would happen if we had real WMD at our disposal? Considering the hatred boiling within us towards ourselves and towards the entire world, we might destroy the entire planet ... "

Please note: this is a liberal Arab Muslim writer, not an "Islamophobic" Westerner.

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UN: Disgusting As Always

Well, it's November, and that means it's time for the United Nations to take down the exhibit in the General Assembly Visitors' Lobby on the International Year of Mountains--and put up the one exalting the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. That special day, when we're all expected to feel "solidarity" with a people who consistently express 80%+ support for suicide bombings against Israeli men, women, and children, and who danced in the streets of Ramallah, Nablus, and the West Bank on September 11, is November 29th.

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?Will Britain convert to Islam?
By PETER HITCHENS, Mail on Sunday
November 02, 2003

ould Islam one day become the established church of Britain? Might English women adopt the headscarves and enveloping robes of their Asian sisters, as the call to prayer rises and falls across the slate roofs of rainswept industrial cities?

The idea is not as impossible, as bizarre or distant as you might think. An astonishing Channel 4 programme last week - The Last White Kids -- showed two English children who live in an entirely Muslim district becoming enthusiastic attenders at the local mosque, wrapping themselves in Islamic draperies and learning the Koran.

Amie Gallagher, nine, and her sister Ashlene, 12, are all-too-typical children of modern Britain in some ways, daughters of a single-parent household where the father is absent.

In Islam they seem to have found something that would otherwise be missing from their lives. At the mosque there is authority, certainty, even disciplined education in the Arabic language and the Koran.

This has happened because the Gallaghers are the only white family in a suburb otherwise completely dominated by Asian Muslims.

If they move away, as they may well do, then perhaps the two girls' attachment to the mosque will fail. Their brother, Jake, has not followed them down the Muslim path and has instead become even more defiantly English than he might otherwise have done.

But this strange little story contains a warning for Britain as a whole, as it careers ever more rapidly down the path of permissiveness which began so gently in the Sixties and now slopes ever more steeply downwards towards sexual chaos, drunkenness, family breakdown and the epidemic use of stupefying drugs.

Sooner or later, as in every other era of human history, there will be a revulsion against this licence, a desire to stop the waste, cruelty and misery which these things bring, especially to children.

Where will that revulsion come from? In the 18th and 19th Centuries it came from Christianity and the mighty but forgotten Temperance movements which reacted against the squalor and misery of Hogarth's Gin Lane, and whose effects we still just feel.

But Christianity shows little sign of doing the job a second time. Its leaders are more concerned about foreign conflict than about domestic misery, and more interested in the sexual tastes of bishops than in trying to regulate the confused sex lives of Britain's young.

The Christian churches have all but disappeared from the lives of the British people. The chapels of Wales are gaunt ruins, the great Roman Catholic churches of the industrial North West are often empty and derelict, the Anglicans scuttle about in their hallowed, lovely buildings like mice amid ancient ruins, rarely even beginning to fill spaces designed for multitudes.

The choirs and the bells gradually fall silent, the hymns are no longer sung and one by one the doors are locked and places which in some cases have seen worship for centuries become bare museums of a dead faith.

Few listen to what these churches say. They have become exclusive clubs, whose members celebrate bizarre rituals which are baffling to outsiders.

The Christian message is a difficult and complicated one, which if not learned in childhood is hard for adults to understand. The Christian ceremonies, viewed coldly by an outsider unschooled in 2,000 years of tradition, are positively peculiar. Why would anyone eat God?

When Christianity was part of our culture and its beliefs were handed down in homes and schools, its familiarity kept it strong. Everyone knew Bible stories, hymns and prayers. Now it is at least as alien to many young people as Islam, if not more so because it does not seem to be interested in them.

But Islam is interested in them. And Islam is growing. More and more British cities have seen the domes and minarets of smart, prominently positioned new mosques rising in their neighbourhoods.

A large and imposing Islamic centre is now nearing completion in Oxford, one of Christian England's holiest places. Imagine what would happen if Anglicans sought to build a Christian centre in Qom, Isfahan, Najaf or anywhere on the soil of Saudi Arabia, and wonder what Muslim leaders think of Christian feebleness on such matters.

Thanks to the immigration of recent decades, Britain has a young, energetic and swelling Muslim population which is increasingly assertive about its faith.

Official Islam may disapprove of such things but there have even been signs of the Muslim intolerance towards Christianity that is a nasty feature of so many Islamic societies.

In the Bradford suburb of Girlington, not far from where the Gallaghers live in Manningham, Asian youths tried to set fire to an Anglican church. Soon afterwards, a Brownie pack leader was attacked in a nearby street by young men who snarled 'Christian bitch' at her.

An isolated and meaningless incident? You might hope so, but it would be unwise to be sure.

If you travel to these areas, you get the sense that Islam, one of the great forces of history, long ago defeated by the armies and navies of a mighty Christian Europe, is once again feeling its strength and finding that it has been able to penetrate what were once the most impregnable fortresses of its great rival.

Islam's appeal, wherever it has triumphed, has been in its simplicity. It requires submission to some basic, straightforward rules which are easily kept, and in return it offers that most wonderful and rare commodity, peace of mind. To modern Westerners, its attitude towards women seems incredibly backward and even hateful.

But as the reactions of Ashlene and Amie Gallagher show, its discipline, safety and certainties have an appeal for girls lost in the churning seas of permissiveness, whose own families have been weakened by the crumbling of the two-parent family, the absence of fathers and the impermanence of husbands, if there are husbands in the first place rather than boyfriends and ' babyfathers'.

And in most societies it is the women who sustain religions in the home and among children. In a country in the grip of unbelief, those with strong, clear convictions and an uncluttered message have a great advantage over those who offer nothing but choices to the perplexed and cannot seem to make up their minds about anything.

So if eventually Britain begins to sicken of strong lager, pools of vomit, Bacardi Breezers, bouncers looming on every High Street, the battlefields in the streets of many towns on Friday and Saturday nights, ecstasy tablets, cocaine, football-worship, pregnant 12-year-olds, morning-after pills and all that goes with them, is it possible that puritan Islam will be the cause that benefits?

If bureaucratic police and feeble justice continue to fail to suppress crime and disorder, will the savage but simple remedies of Sharia law begin to appeal to the British poor, who are already weary of seeing dishonesty triumph everywhere and lawless violence go unchecked?

Might Islam become respectable among the politically correct middle classes, in a way that Christianity never really can, because Christianity is always associated in this country with the conservative, imperial past?

You will already find plenty of bright young Muslims in our universities, many of whom are impressive and diligent students, and their influence is bound to increase as they move into the professions.

The idea of an Islamic Britain may seem highly unlikely now, amid what still seems to be more or less a Western, Christian society. We are used to thinking of Islam as a religion of backward regions, and of backward people.

But we should remember that Muslim armies came within inches of taking Vienna in 1683 and were only driven from Spain in 1492. In those days it was the Islamic world that was making the great scientific advances which we now assume are ours by right.

And is it any more unlikely than the things which have happened here in the past 40 years, during which a country of peaceful, self-restrained, lawful and rather prudish men and women has been transformed into the land of sex and swearing on TV, ladettes, semi-legal cannabis and armed police?

If we don't respect our own customs and religion, we may end up, as Ashlene and Amie Gallagher have done, respecting someone else's. Don't be surprised.

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No Evidence, Except for That, Uh, Plutonium

Earlier today the wire services were all reporting that the IAEA had found "no evidence" of an Iranian nuclear program.

No evidence.

Just some plutonium, and a secret laser uranium enrichment plant.

Oh, and "a large number of conversion, fabrication and irradiation activities involving nuclear material."

Apart from that, the IAEA found no evidence. None.

Unless you count those tests during the past four years using small amounts of uranium hexafluoride.

"Iran has admitted that it produced small amounts of low enriched uranium using both centrifuges and laser enrichment processes... and that it had failed to report a large number of conversion, fabrication and irradiation activities involving nuclear material, including the separation of a small amount of plutonium," the report said.

Enrichment is a process of purifying uranium to make it useable as nuclear fuel or in atomic weapons. It can be done in several ways, including with centrifuges that separate the fissile uranium atoms through high-speed spinning or with lasers.

In contrast to Tehran's previous denials, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran also "acknowledged that 'a limited number of tests using small amounts of (uranium hexafluoride) had been conducted in 1999 and 2002' at the Kalaye Electric Company."

The report said these tests involved 4.2 lb of missing uranium hexafluoride, the chemical form of uranium used in the enrichment process, which Iran had previously "attempted to conceal by attributing the loss due to leaking valves."

The IAEA also said Iran had admitted to establishing a laser uranium-enrichment plant at Lashkar Ab'ad in 2000 which it had kept secret from the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

But let's not jump to any hasty conclusions here.

It's still going to take the IAEA quite a llloooonnnnggg time before they can conclude that Iran has no nuclear program.

The IAEA said it had "no evidence" of a secret weapons program, but that "given Iran's past pattern of concealment, it will take some time for the agency to conclude that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes."

Read that last line again; it speaks volumes.

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Iran: "Optimistic" on Bomb Chances

Iranian "president" Mohammad Khatami is optimistic that the United Nations will give Iran the time they need to build nuclear weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report obtained by Reuters Monday it had found no evidence of a secret arms bid but that Tehran had dabbled in activity often associated with bomb-making, such as plutonium production.

"Naturally during 20 years of nuclear activities there were some failures. But that does not mean we violated or moved outside the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," Khatami told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.

After all, what's a little plutonium among friends? Nobody's perfect!

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Where did all the flowers go?

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Arabs in Favor of Child Murder

Last week the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding that Israel "protect Palestinian children." It's obvious to any unbiased observer that Israel never deliberately targets Palestinian children, although it is true that sometimes children are caught up in battles or, more often, used as shields by terror gangs. Sometimes they are even killed by Palestinians themselves, and then the deaths blamed on Israel, as in the case of Mohammed al-Dura.

On the other hand, Palestinian terrorists deliberately and cold-bloodedly shoot little girls hiding under beds and babies eating with their families, and blow up schoolchildren on buses, and murder teenagers in nightclubs and pizza parlors--but today Arab nations announced that they will oppose a UN resolution introduced by Israel condemning Palestinian terrorist attacks targeting Israeli children.

Palestinian envoy Nasser al-Kidwa said Arab delegates, meeting at UN headquarters, concluded the Israeli draft had been written "as a bad joke" and should be voted down.

"Frankly, we were not amused," al-Kidwa told reporters after the meeting. "This is an anti-Palestinian resolution, much more than it is a pro-Israeli children resolution."

"The Europeans say they will abstain. I can't see anybody voting in favor of this," he said. "We hope they [the Israelis] will wake up and forget about this."

Scum.

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Rajoub to Arabs: Resist US in Iraq

Palestinian Authority National Security Adviser Jibril Rajoub, otherwise known as a "terrorist thug," called for Arabs to rise up and kill as many Americans as possible in Iraq: Rajoub to Arabs: Resist US in Iraq. Such lovely people. Let's send them some more money.

"This US administration is unreliable and unrealistic and does not deal with the Arabs and their aspirations with the minimum level of respect," Rajoub said in an interview with the Saudi daily Al-Jazeera.

"This requires a unified Arab position to mobilize all energies and capabilities to face the American aggression.

"The Americans are behaving as if they rule the entire world like policemen and modern imperialists. We need to confront this biased American stance through an active Arab role." ...

"The American administration is now threatening all the Arab regimes by demanding changes," he said. "I believe that many Arabs should draw conclusions from their continued support for the American aggression against Iraq.

"This doesn't mean that we consider Saddam Hussein to be a respected figure," he said.

"On the contrary, he's a fascist," he added. "But the US didn't go to war in order to topple Saddam; they launched the war with the aim of taking control over Iraq's resources and capabilities and dominating the entire Middle East so as to provide security for the Israelis. It's time for the Arabs to wake up and rise. They must strengthen the Iraqi resistance against the American occupation."

Rajoub's anti-American sentiments follow attacks by PA commentators and officials over the weekend on US President George W. Bush for calling for greater democracy in the Middle East. Palestinian newspapers are full of cartoons and articles mocking the US losses in Iraq and praising the attacks on US soldiers. ...

"This [US] administration is a fascist and right-wing administration," he said. "It is run by a group of right-wing fascists. The word "Arabs" provokes and disgusts them. Their policies are hostile to the Palestinians, and this has made them biased first and foremost to Israel. Most of the meetings that took place with the Americans were marginal and unimportant."

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Monday, November 03, 2003


Underreported story of the day....

From today's Wash Post:
"Seized Intelligence Files Spur U.S. Investigations"

BAGHDAD, Nov. 2 -- The CIA has seized an extensive cache of files from the former Iraqi Intelligence Service that is spurring U.S. investigations of weapons procurement networks and agents of influence who took money from the government of Saddam Hussein, according to U.S. officials familiar with the records.

The Iraqi files are "almost as much as the Stasi files," said a senior U.S. official, referring to the vast archives of the former East German intelligence service seized after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The records would stretch 91/2 miles if laid end to end, the officials said. They contain not only the names of nearly every Iraqi intelligence officer, but also the names of their paid foreign agents, written agent reports, evaluations of agent credentials, and documentary evidence of payments made to buy influence in the Arab world and elsewhere, the officials said.

The officials declined to name individuals who they believe received funds or to name the home countries of the alleged recipients. One official said the recipients held high-ranking positions and worked both in Arab countries and in other regions. A second official said the payments were the subjects of "active investigations" by U.S. government agencies.

The recipients of the Iraqi funds were described by U.S. officials not as formal intelligence agents, but as prominent personalities and political figures who accepted money from Iraq as they defended Hussein publicly or pressed his causes.


Can't wait to see the results.

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Now to Jpost.com

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Bush's Iraq exit strategy

Iraq is turning out to be a tragedy of much greater depth than either the pro-war or anti-war camps, with their shallow certainties, are prepared to deal with.

Hardcore Western leftists still can't get interested in anything going on in that country except American "imperialism." Having endured the embarrassment of Iraqi jubilation at Saddam Hussein's ouster, they're back in the ballgame now with things going badly for the US, and they're raising their voices for immediate withdrawal.

Those who want to sound responsible say the US should hand the job over to an international force - as if any country that's stayed out of the fighting so far wants to send thousands of troops to Iraq now.

There are two main reasons why America can't withdraw from Iraq in the shape it's currently in. One is that this would give spectacular impetus to al-Qaida and the rest of the world jihad movement.

The second reason is that it would open the way to a bloodbath in which Iraqis who didn't oppose the US were slaughtered by those who did.

That's what happened to masses of Shi'ites and Kurds after the US finished up the 1991 Gulf War; for America to let that happen again, with the experience of 1991 behind it, would be just too great a crime.

So failure, as the Bush administration puts it, is not an option. The problem, though - the tragedy - is that success may not be an option, either.

What would have to happen for Iraq to be a success story? I'd say the country would have to become unfriendly territory for America's violent enemies, and be in strong enough and trustworthy enough Iraqi hands for the US to be able pull out its troops, or all but a relative few of them, in the knowledge that success was secure.

For the sake of brevity, if not precision, let's call that democracy.

It's nowhere in sight. There's a controversy on now about whether the strongest fighting force in the world can overcome the Iraqi resistance, but there's no controversy about whether moderate Iraqis can do it themselves. They'd survive about as long as the anti-communist regime in South Vietnam survived after the last US helicopter flew off: no time at all.

The consensus is to stay the course, to finish the job. But Iraq is getting harder for America, not easier. The guerrillas are getting bolder and more efficient. Fury at America, in Iraq and the rest of the Muslim world, is intensifying. The cost in blood and money is rising rapidly.

Unless the military and political trends in Iraq change in a big way, America's situation there will just worsen with time, not improve, while the consequences of pulling out will not become any less dreadful.

THIS HAS always been the biggest hole in Bush's war plan - the lack of an exit strategy. His generals could come up with a military plan to get rid of Saddam, and a military plan to pacify the country afterward, but nobody could come up with a political plan to prevent Iraq from reverting to form - or even worse - once American troops left.

For the US to go to war in Iraq, only for Iraq to fall back into the hands of the Ba'athists, or Islamic revolutionaries, or to explode in a civil war that could destabilize the Mideast, and in any event to be gored by the vengeance and savagery that an American withdrawal would unleash - this was not an option.

On the other hand, for the US to try to keep a lid on Iraq by occupying the country forever with masses of troops - this was not an option, either.

With all the worst, America-hating political forces vying for power in Iraq - as in the Arab world at large - how could Iraq be made to stand on its own two feet, more or less, as a peaceful country where Saddamists, al-Qaida and the rest of America's enemies were shut down?

Given the reality of the Middle East, it seemed impossible. But George W. Bush and his people don't take no for an answer, so with can-do spirit they envisioned a Middle East as they'd like it to be, and found their answer: Democracy.

Once Iraq became a democracy, it would naturally ally itself with America in the war against terror. Once Iraq became a democracy, it would be possible to declare mission accomplished and mean it, and bring the boys home.

But between Bush's natural cynicism about nation-building and his traumatic encounter with the Middle East on 9/11, not to mention his utter frustration with the Palestinians and the loathing he can't help but notice coming at him from the Arab and Muslim world, where does he suddenly come to believe that Iraq can be transformed into a stable democracy?

He doesn't believe it. Bush only talked himself into believing it because he had no choice - his war plan was short an exit strategy, so he took neoconservative advice and adopted democracy as his desperate excuse for one.

In truth, though, there is no exit strategy. America has no way to get out of Iraq without all hell breaking loose. So America digs in, and all hell is breaking loose. Like I said - a tragedy.

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Don't give up on 'hasbara'

There is no shortage of explanations for the recent EU survey which found that Europeans believe Israel is a greater threat to world peace than North Korea. Factors that might explain Europe's attitudes which are bandied about include anti-Semitism, entrenched interests in the Arab world and the possibly tendentious way the study itself was conducted.

These explanations are not completely satisfactory. For in fact, Israel is failing to explain itself to Europe. A mere lack of funds or the failure to employ public relations experts cannot fully explain the difficulty Israel has in getting its message across to Europe.

At the same time, anyone systematically following the European press cannot fail to note the deep shock 9/11 caused Europe's establishment. It suddenly realized the danger it faces from a massive and uncontrolled presence of millions of Muslim immigrants, most of them North African but some from Asia and black Africa.

These immigrants are not successfully integrated into European society. And some of them are a possible source of subversion or recruitment into the ranks of Islamic terror groups.

We must remember that the initial organization of the 9/11 attacks began on European soil, where the organizers found a vast pool of Muslim zealots.

At the same time, this very presence of Muslims has forced European decision makers to lower their voices. They have essentially tried to buy peace by granting vocal support to the Palestinian cause and to various peace programs, even when the reality on the ground did not justify them.

Resolving the Palestinian problem is presented by European governments as the mother of all solutions. This approach has introduced into European public opinion the notion that only peace with the Palestinians can save the enlightened world from the scourge of terrorism.

A VOCAL Palestinian presence has taken root in the Western European media. And it is this presence that helps explain the EU poll results better than all the other possible explanations.

The Palestinian presence has led to a situation in which shocking attacks against Israeli civilians draw less and less coverage. When they do, respected television broadcasters refer to the suicide murderers as "militants" or "activists."

The attitude of governments - and the intimate relations between diplomatic representatives and government leaders - has a direct impact on the behavior of the media in European states, especially when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have learned the media lesson and have placed supremely articulate people who excel at public relations at the top of their European delegations.

This pool of Palestinian talent has no equal, even if Israel had a larger and better public relations budget.

The transparency of Israeli society and the country's internal divisions are exploited to condemn Israeli policies.

Palestinian penetration of Europe, sometimes using professional propagandists, into universities and campuses has yielded impressive gains. These are reflected today in growing support for the Palestinian cause even among Jewish intellectuals who are willing to sign petitions to boycott Israeli personalities and scientific institutions.

Ignorance also plays a role. A recent survey of a European campuses found that a sizable majority of young people believe there once was an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian land that was conquered by European immigrants and Holocaust survivors - who expelled hundreds of thousands of unfortunate Palestinians.

An understanding of the connection between the Jewish people and its land is nonexistent in some student circles.

Moreover, Israeli achievements in many areas - science, technology, medicine, art and culture - do not always receive appropriate exposure in the enlightened world.

Again, it is not just a budgetary issue. Even today external resources can be raised from foundations, corporations, and sometimes even from the budgets of host governments to organize exhibits about Israeli cultural values.

For instance, a major exhibit, "From the Bible to Today," was held in Paris in 1985 and drew an audience of hundreds of thousands of people who learned about the strong link between the Israeli nation and its country.

It is true that the reality on the ground is difficult and maybe even discouraging to Israeli representatives overseas.

But just as the security establishment has to deal with a new and complex situation, so too it behooves us to recruit foreign service staffers and unify available resources to better deal with the challenges facing Israel's image.

The writer is a former ambassador to France.

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HSBC: Exports leading economic recovery

Israel is experiencing an economic recovery, led primarily by exports, and with the balance of payments in "extremely good shape," the stage is set for the Bank of Israel to lower the key interest rate to 4.5% by March 2004, HSBC investment bank economist David Lubin said in a report this week.

The recovery of exports is taking place in two stages, Lubin wrote. "Lower-tech" sectors - such as food, machinery, and equipment - have benefited from the depreciating exchange rate and seen the greatest export growth until now. "Higher-tech" exports, on the other hand, are primarily dependent on external demand conditions, not the price of the shekel. These sectors have continued to decline, but should begin to grow more rapidly, especially if the Nasdaq continues to perform well.

Stronger exports have buoyed Israel's balance of payments, and Israel's current account is almost certain to be in surplus for the first time since 1990. This is important for two reasons, Lubin said. First, as a "net creditor" to the rest of the world, Israel's risk of default on external debt is reduced, alleviating some of the concerns of the ratings agencies. Second, it removes obstacles to cuts in interest rates, since it has less need to attract capital inflows. Foreign direct investment is already high, with $1.7 billion coming in during the first half of the year.

The strong balance of payments is also a primary cause of the shekel's current strength, which has put excessive downward pressure on inflation and inflationary expectations. This fall "has created a situation in which real interest rates are still exceptionally high for an economy growing as slowly as Israel's," Lubin wrote. Although rates have come down from 9.1% to 5.6% in the last 12 months, he said there is still room for further easing, to 4.5% by March. Bond yields could also be eased, allowing 2012 bonds to fall below 7%. As rates come down, the main driver of growth would shift from exports to private domestic spending, Lubin said.

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Why build the fence?

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"If a fence could save your children,

??????? you'd build one too"

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"Israel has a right to protect its citizens"

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Communique: 11 November 2003

AP OMITS TERROR IN ISRAEL

Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,??
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On Nov. 8, the Associated Press released a list of "Recent Terror Attacks Around the World" to accompany reports on Saturday's deadly bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The list notes Islamic terrorism all over the world since 1998, but completely ignores all Palestinian terrorist attacks that occurred in Israel.

This is becoming a disturbing pattern in media chronicles of Islamic terror ‾ if it happened in Israel, it just doesn't count: AP published a similar list of "Recent World Terror Attacks" on May 19, which also omitted attacks in Israel, and The New York Times Online devotes a special section to world terror that leaves Israel conspicuously absent. [In response to HonestReporting subscribers' complaints, the Times adjusted not the content of the section, but rather its title, eliminating the word "terror."]

Curiously, AP does note the bombing of the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in Kenya (11/2002). Certainly Kenya isn't the first place that springs to mind when recalling recent Palestinian terror. Are we to conclude that AP considers terror attacks against Israeli civilians in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem somehow less objectionable than those conducted offshore?

For a list of "major" Palestinian terror attacks in Israeli in the past years
none of which is included in the AP list ‾ click here.

Comments to: feedback@ap.org

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.

HonestReporting.com

--- MEDIA WAKE UP ---

Two media reports detailing Palestinian Authority corruption and funding of terror were recently released:

‾ On Sunday (Nov. 9), CBS' 60 Minutes aired an investigative report entitled "Arafat's Billions" that confirms Yassir Arafat's secret portfolio worth more than $1 billion. Arafat's personal fortune, the report reveals, has been almost entirely accumulated though embezzlement of tax revenues and handouts from the likes of Saddam Hussein, the KGB, and the Saudis. This, while the Palestinian population suffers from extreme poverty and lack of civilian infrastructure. 60 Minutes also reported that "Arafat transfers $100,000 a month from funds directed to the Palestinian Authority to his wife Suha," who lives the good life in
Paris.

BBC (yes, the BBC) published a report that the PA, under Arafat's direction, is paying members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades up to $50,000 a month. The al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigade, which has admitted to at least 13 suicide bombings against Israeli citizens in the past three years, is almost always referred to in media reports as "loosely tied to Arafat's Fatah faction"
a description that exonerates Arafat from his active enabling of Palestinian terror.

HonestReporting encourages subscribers to commend CBS and BBC for their investigative work, and to encourage your local media to note Arafat's corruption and active support for the al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigade in forthcoming reports.

Comments to 60 Minutes: click here
Comments to BBC: newsonline@bbc.co.uk

Another encouraging sign from the BBC: The Daily Telegraph reported today that the BBC has appointed a "senior editorial advisor" to oversee BBC coverage of the Mideast, due to ongoing criticism of BBC's anti-Israeli bias.? A real victory for HonestReporting media monitors!?

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========== ABOUT HONESTREPORTING
==========

The HonestReporting documentary film "Relentless: The Struggle For Peace in Israel"
has now been seen by thousands of people at over 100 public screenings across the globe. For info on a screening in your area, or to order your personal copy, visit Relentless online.

HonestReporting welcomes you to submit media critiques for possible inclusion in future communiques. Be sure to include a URL of the article you are critiquing, and send to: action@honestreporting.com.

Encourage your friends to join HonestReporting. Send a friendly info message.

HONESTREPORTING INFO SHEET to print out, post on bulletin boards, photocopy and distribute. Get the word out to schools, places of worship, community centers.

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And follow up:

Attacks Against Jews Don't Count


The Associated Press has a compilation of Recent (Islamic) Terror Attacks Around the World. And not one attack in Israel is mentioned.


Here's what the AP had to say (from LGF again):


A local AP reporter, who had nothing to do with the story, but was somewhat helpful (and mildly concerned) said the story was filed as a sidebar to the story about the recent attack in Saudi Arabia. The story was filed in Riyadh. Shocking (not). She sent me to their NY/Intl office. The Int'l desk would not elaborate, and first sent me into a general comment voice mail box. A followup phone call to the same
Int'l desk (via main no.: (212) 621-1720) gave little additional info. He first suggested I write to AP at 550 Rockefeller Plaza, NY NY 10020. I told him a wire service couldn't possibly expect a complaint requiring a correction should go through the mail, he suggested I contact corporate communications (!) during business hours at 212/621-1670. I asked him for the name of the International Editor. He wouldn't give it to me. I asked him for his editor's email address. He wouldn't give it to me. I told him that it is a disgrace that the AP could run a story listing an account of recent terror attacks in places such as Yemen, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Phillipines, Morocco etc but couldn't bring itself to include mention of any attacks in Israel, in which hundreds of men, women and children have been killed and thousands of others maimed.
The reporter then hung up on me.

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Then
here's a list for you -


Date Location Casualities Responsibilty Notes


October 4, 2003 Haifa 19 killed, 60 wounded Islamic Jihad Suicide bombing in restaurant owned by Jews and Arabs
August 19, 2003 Jerusalem 22 killed, 135 wounded Hamas Suicide bombing on a bus.
January 5, 2003 Tel Aviv 23 killed, 108 injured Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Two suicide bombers in an immigrant neighborhood
June 5, 2002 Megiddo 17 killed, 38 injured Islamic Jihad Car bomb next to bus
May 27, 2002 Petah Tikvah 2 killed, 37 injured Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Suicide bomb in shopping mall
May 22, 2002 Rishon Lezion 2 killed, 40 wounded Suicide bomb on pedestrian mall
May 19, 2002 Netanya 3 killed, 59 injured Hamas and the PFLP Suicide bomb in market
May 7, 2002 Rishon Lezion 16 killed, 55 injured Hamas Suicide bomb in pool hall
Apr 12, 2002 Jerusalem 6 killed, 104 injured Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Suicide bomb in Mahane Yehuda market
Apr 10, 2002 Kibbutz Yagur 8 killed, 22 injured Hamas Suicide bombing on bus
March 31, 2002 Haifa 14 Killed, 40 Wounded Hamas Suicide bombing at restaurant
March 29, 2002 Jerusalem 2 killed, 28 Wounded Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Suicide bombing at supermarket in Kiryat Yovel
March 27, 2002 Netanya 22 killed, 140 Wounded Hamas Suicide bombing at Passover seder at Park Hotel
March 21, 2002 Jerusalem 3 killed, 86 Wounded Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Suicide bombing downtown
March 20, 2002 Afula 7 killed, 30 wounded Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Suicide bombing on bus
March 14, 2002 Karni-Netzarim road 3 Killed, 2 Wounded Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Remote Control Mine
March 12, 2002 near Kibbutz Matzuva 6 Killed, 7 Wounded Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Gunmen Ambush Vehicles
March 12, 2002 Kiryat Sefer checkpoint 1 Killed, 1 Wounded Shooting Attack
March 11, 2002 Ashdod 1 Wounded Gunman Opens Fire at Bar Mitzvah
March 10, 2002 Netzarim 1 Killed Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Shooting Attack
March 9, 2002 Jerusalem 11 Killed, 54 Wounded Hamas Suicide Bomber at Cafe
March 9, 2002 Netanya 2 Killed, 50 Wounded Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade 2 Gunmen Open Fire on a Promenade
March 7, 2002 Atzmona 5 Killed, 23 Wounded Terrorist Opens Fire and Throws Grenades
March 7, 2002 Ariel >6 Wounded Suicide Bomber in Hotel Lobby
March 5, 2002 Sderot 1 Baby Wounded Kassam Rocket
March 5, 2002 Afula 1 Killed, 10 Wounded Suicide Bomber on Bus
March 5, 2002 Tel Aviv 3 Killed, >35 Wounded Gunman Opens Fire at Restaurants
March 5, 2002 outside Bethlehem 1 Killed, 1 Wounded Gunman Ambushes Vehicle
March 2, 2002 Jerusalem 10 Killed, >50 Wounded Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Suicide Bomber outside Synagogue
February 27, 2002 West Bank 3 Wounded Fatah Female Suicide Bomber
February 25, 2002 Jerusalem 1 Killed, 8 Wounded Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Gunman Opens Fire at a Bus
Stop
February 25, 2002 Gush Etzion 1 Killed, 1 Pregnant Woman Wounded Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Gunmen Open Fire on a Car
February 22, 2002 Efrat 1 Wounded Suicide Bomber in Supermarket
February 22, 2002 North of Jerusalem 1 Killed Fatah Drive-by Shooting
February 19, 2002 En Arik 6 Killed, 1 Wounded Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Gunmen Open Fire at Soldiers
February 18, 2002 Gush Katif 3 Killed, 4 Wounded Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Gunfire and Bombs at Cars
February 18, 2002 near Jerusalem 1 Killed, 1 Injured Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Car Bomb
February 16, 2002 Karnei Shomron 2 Killed, 27 Wounded Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Suicide Bomber at Crowded Shopping Mall
February 14, 2002 Gaza 3 Killed, 4 Wounded Mine Placed Under Tank
February 10, 2002 Be'er Sheva 2 Killed, 4 Wounded Hamas Drive-by Shooting
February 8, 2002 Jerusalem 1 Killed 4 Teenagers with Knives
February 6, 2002 Moshav Hamra 2 Killed, 5 Wounded Hamas Gunmen Infiltrates Moshav
January 30, 2002 Taiba 2 Wounded Fatah Suicide Bomber
January 27, 2002 Jerusalem 1 Killed, >150 Wounded Fatah Female Suicide Bomber
January 25, 2002 Tel Aviv 24 Wounded Islamic Jihad Suicide Bomber at Crowded Pedestrian Shopping Mall
January 22, 2002 Jerusalem 2 Killed, 40 Wounded Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Guman Opens Fire on Crowd
January 17, 2002 Hadera 6 Killed, 35 Wounded Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade Gunman Opens Fire at Bat Mitzvah Celebration
January 15, 2002 Beit Jala 1 Killed Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade American Kidnapped and Murdered
January 9, 2002 Kerem Shalom 4 Killed, 2 Wounded Hamas Gunfire and Expolsives


It seems that AP legitimizes attacks on Israeli civilians, as long as they're inside Israel (or the territories). It also legitimizes attacks on Russian civilians, Indian civilians, and Iraqi civilians.

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Another of Arafat's lunatic remarks:

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RAMALLAH, November 10,2003 (IPC + WAFA)[Official PA website]--

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Palestinian President Yasser Arafat asserted that Israel used depleted uranium against the Palestinian people, which was evidently verified by American and European assertions as well as the cancer rate among Palestinians has risen similar to that caused in "Hiroshima".?

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Arafat's Billions

Nov. 9, 2003

(CBS)?Yasser Arafat diverted nearly $1 billion in public funds to insure his political survival, but a lot more is unaccounted for.

Jim Prince and a team of American accountants - hired by Arafat's own finance ministry - are combing through Arafat's books. Given what they've already uncovered, Arafat may be rethinking the decision. Lesley Stahl reports.



"What is Mr. Arafat and the Palestinian Authority worth today?" asks accountant Jim Prince. "Who is controlling that money? Where is that money? How do we get it back?"

So far, Prince's team has determined that part of the Palestinian leader's wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion -- with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands.

Although the money for the portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat. And, Prince says, none of these dealings were made public.

"Our whole point is to bring it out of control of any one person," Prince says.

That's what happened with the portfolio money, which is now under the control of Salam Fayyad, a former World Bank official who Arafat was forced to appoint finance minister last year after crowds began protesting his corrupt regime.

According to Fayyad, "There is corruption out there. There is abuse. There is impropriety, and that's what had to be fixed."

Statements like that have earned Fayyad, a bookish technocrat who spent 20 years in the U.S., a reputation for courage - which was enhanced when he immediately posted the details of Arafat's secret portfolio on the Internet.

Fayyad's investigators are treading softly, well aware that their probe may become too embarrassing for Arafat.

Has he tried to stop them? "We run into obstacles in a number of places, particularly among the old PLO types," Prince says, adding one might draw their own conclusions as to whether his statement includes Arafat himself.

Martin Indyk, a top adviser on the Middle East in the Clinton administration and now head of the Saban Center, a Washington think-tank, says Arafat was always traveling the world, looking for handouts. Money, he says, is "essential" to Arafat's survival.

"Arafat for years would cry poor, saying, 'I can't pay the salaries, we're gonna have a disaster here, the Palestinian economy is going to collapse,'" says Indyk. "And we would all mouth those words: 'The Palestinian economy is going to collapse if we don't do something about this.' But at the same time, he's accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars."

The stockpile went well beyond the portfolio. Arafat accumulated another $1 billion with the help of -- of all people -- the Israelis. Under the Oslo Accords, it was agreed that Israel would collect sales taxes on goods purchased by Palestinians and transfer those funds to the Palestinian treasury. But instead, Indyk says, "that money is transferred to Yasser Arafat to, amongst other places, bank accounts which he maintains off-line in Israel."

Until three years ago, Israel put the tax revenues into Arafat's account at Bank Leumi in downtown Tel Aviv, no questions asked. But why?

According to Indyk, "The Israelis came to us and said, basically, 'Arafat's job is to clean up Gaza. It's going to be a difficult job. He needs walking-around money,' because the assumption was that he would use it to get control of all of these terrorists who'd been operating in these areas for decades."

Obviously, that hasn't happened. No one knows this better than Dennis Ross, who was Middle East negotiator for the first President Bush and President Clinton, and now heads the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He says Arafat's "walking-around money" financed a vast patronage system.

"I used to see that people came in, you know, with their requests," Ross says. "'I need a phone. I need an operation. I need a job.' Arafat had money to dispense."

Like a Chicago ward boss, he still doles out oodles of money; Fayyad says he pays his security forces alone $20 million a month, all of it in cash.

All told, U.S. officials estimate Arafat's personal nest egg at between $1 billion and $3 billion.

Arafat may have $1 billion, but he sure isn't spending it to live well. He's holed up in his Ramallah compound, which the Israelis all but reduced to rubble a year-and-a-half ago. Arafat has always lived modestly, which you can't say about his wife, Suha. According to Israeli officials, she gets $100,000 a month from Arafat out of the Palestinian budget, and lives lavishly in Paris on this allowance.

He also uses the money to bolster his own standing. Both Israeli and U.S. sources say those recent outpourings of support at Arafat's compound were "rent-a-rallies," and that Arafat has spent millions to support terrorists and purchase weapons.

Did he steal from his own people?

"He defines himself as being the embodiment of the Palestinian people," Ross answers. "So what's good for him is good for them. Did they benefit? The answer is no. Did they lose? The answer is yes."

Palestinians certainly paid dearly for something else Fayyad uncovered: a system of monopolies in commodities -- like flour and cement -- that Arafat handed out to his cronies, who then turned around and fleeced the public.

Fayyad says it could accurately be seen as gouging his own people. "And especially in Gaza which is poorer, which is something that is totally unacceptable and immoral, actually."

Of all the monopolies, none was as lucrative or as corrupt as the General Petroleum Corporation, the one for gasoline. The corporation took the fuel it purchased from an Israeli company and watered it down with kerosene, not only defrauding the Palestinian drivers, but wrecking their car engines.

Fayyad says the Petroleum Corporation charged exorbitant prices, and Arafat got a hefty kickback. "To the president, I can tell you, if there was not money in the treasury, he went to the Petroleum Corporation."

When Fayyad dismantled the corporation, the man who had run it fled to California. Ever since, with the monopoly broken up, Palestinian drivers have paid 20 percent less for gas and 80 percent less for diesel fuel. Gas stations now advertise 100 percent pure products.

Fayyad became a hero, like the Robin Hood of the Palestinians. Millions of people were affected by this one move.

He says he was just doing his job. "A lot of this is about, you know, distinguishing between right and wrong. And that's a straightforward proposition."

Mohammed Rachid, Arafat's economic adviser who set up his tangled web of investments and monopolies, says he's cooperating with Fayyad's investigators. Rachid left the Palestinian territories about a year ago under a cloud. He asked CBS News not to reveal where we met him for his first television interview.

"I'm proud of what I did till now," Rachid says. "I think I showed a good performance."

He's referring to the investment portfolio he managed for Arafat. He also opened that account at the Leumi Bank in Tel Aviv. According to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund, that secret account was: "Under the control of President Arafat and his financial adviser Mohammed Rachid" -- and no one else.

"If we are having a secret account, we should have it in Israel? You think this is logical?" Rachid asks.

But that's what the Israelis, and the people working for Fayyad, say it was.

Rachid says that "transfers to Leumi Bank account never stayed. It was receiving the revenues and transferring the revenues to the Palestinian Authority's account in the Arab bank in Gaza."

He's saying the Leumi money was sent to the Palestinian Authority. But, in fact, much of it was sent to Switzerland, to the prestigious Lombard Odier Bank, for yet another secret investment account that held over $300 million. In a letter obtained by CBS News, Rachid tells the bank that the funds will come from Palestinian "taxes" and "customs revenues."

"It was all under the name of the Palestinian authorities," Rachid says. Doesn't he mean Arafat? "No, Palestinian Authorities, Palestinian Authorities."

Actually, it was under a code name, "Ledbury" -- not the Palestinian Authority -- and Minister Fayyad says that this pot of money, too, was available only to Arafat. The Swiss account was closed out in 2001. No one really knows where that money is today.

Does Rachid think that it should have gone, in some way, back to help the Palestinian people?

"Of course," he says. But, "I don't, I don't decide what we do with the money."

Those who want to know why Arafat didn't bring the money back, he says, should ask him. But Arafat didn't want to talk.

There's yet another stash of money Arafat might be asked about: the funds he collected when he was chairman of the PLO in exile. The PLO's former treasurer told us he saw Saddam Hussein hand Arafat a $50 million check for supporting him during the first Gulf War. And there were other large gifts from the KGB and the Saudis.

Ross says, "Arafat used to say to me, 'Where's my money? You need to go to the Saudis and get my money.' It was never the Palestinians' money."

Fayyad is trying to make sure it's the people's money, but many say his one-man reform effort is having only limited success. Arafat recently sent armed men to prevent Fayyad from replacing the head of the civil service, who runs Arafat's patronage apparatus. That has lead some to think Fayyad himself could be in danger.

"He cannot know, and we cannot know at what point he crosses the red line," says Indyk.

Other people who have dared to call for transparency of all these finances have been beaten up, shot, and silenced. Why is Fayyad surviving? Indyk says, "We should not take it for granted."

He has upset so many powerful people, and his offices have already been ransacked more than once. But Fayyad says he does not feel threatened.

"It's a dangerous neighborhood," he admits. "But you know this is about, you know, doing the right thing for the people."

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Nov 11

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SYRIA COMPLETES CHEMICAL WARHEADS

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DAMASCUS [MENL] -- Syria has completed chemical warheads for its arsenal of Scud-based missiles.

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U.S. officials said Syria, with help from North Korea, has succeeded in

designing and installing CW warheads for the Scud B, Scud C and Scud D

missiles. This provides Syria with warheads that can reach distances from 250 to nearly 700 kilometers.

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The chemical agent deployed in the CW warheads is sarin, regarded as the most toxic of material. Syria has also been developing more toxic agents such as VX.

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"Since the 1970s, Syria has pursued what is now one of the most advanced Arab state chemical weapons capabilities," Undersecretary of State John Bolton said on Oct. 30. "It has a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin that can be delivered by aircraft or ballistic missiles, and has engaged in the research and development of more toxic and? persistent nerve agents such as VX."

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The Dems' Savior?
Attempting to explain why liberating Kosovo was a good idea but liberating Iraq was not, Wesley Clark, in an interview with The New Yorker, reaches new heights of incoherence:

In a speech at the University of Iowa College of Law, on September 19th, Clark had declared that chief among America's mistakes was that it had gone to war in Iraq without "the mantle of authority" bestowed by United Nations approval. But hadn't the Kosovo war also been conducted without the endorsement of the U.N. Security Council? Yes, Clark allowed, and in that regard the Kosovo war was "technically illegal." He went on, "The Russians and the Chinese said they would both veto it. There was never a chance that it would be authorized."

That situation did not seem entirely dissimilar from the prewar maneuverings regarding Iraq, when France and Germany said that they would oppose any Security Council resolution authorizing an immediate war; Bush bypassed the U.N. and resorted to an alliance with Prime Minister Tony Blair's Britain and sundry lesser members of the "coalition of the willing." But there was one more important difference, Clark said: the war against Serbia was waged to stop the imminent threat of ethnic cleansing in the disputed province of Kosovo; the war in Iraq, he said, was waged under false pretenses.

Got that? It was OK to wage an "illegal" war in Kosovo because of an "imminent threat" not to America or its allies but to the civilian population there--as if Saddam Hussein didn't pose an imminent threat to Iraqis.

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ISRAELI ARAB WHO DROVE SUICIDE TERRORIST TO

??? MAXIM RESTAURANT ON 4.10.2003, ARRESTED

(Communicated by the GPO)

Monday, November 10, 2003

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The ISA and the Israel Police, in a joint operation, on 4.10.2003, in the

wake of the suicide bombing of the Maxim Restaurant in Haifa earlier in the

day, in which 23 people (including three children and a baby girl) were

murdered and over 60 people were wounded

http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0nuf0 , arrested Um al Fahm

resident Jamal Mahajaneh, who has since admitted to driving Palestinian

suicide terrorist Hanadi Jaradat from the Barta'a area to the restaurant.

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Mahajaneh had been known to the security authorities as a driver who was

engaged in smuggling Palestinian residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to

inside Israeli territory.? In September 2003, he had been warned not to

engage in such illegal activities.

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[IMRA: Israel Radio reported that after the attack Mahajaneh erased all

records of his telephone calls from his cellular telephone, removed

coverings from his car and burned his clothing.? His attorney claims

Mahajaneh simply did not want to have bloody clothing in his home.

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892 killed,? 5,984 injured, 19,392 attacks 29 September 2000 through 9

November 2003

IDF Spokesperson 10 November 2003

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Killed: 629 Civilians + 263 Security Forces = 892 Total Israeli Killed

Injured: 4,247 Civilians + 1,737 Security Forces = 5,984 Total Israeli

Injured

Total Attacks*:? 8,060 West Bank + 10,561 Gaza Strip + 771 Home Front

=19,392 Total

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* Does not include attacks with rocks or firebombs.

** "Israeli" includes tourists and foreign workers.

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Sep. 25, 2003
At UN, Shalom calls for 'infrastructure of peace'
By MELISSA RADLER
NEW YORK

Holding a 175-page thick sheaf of anti-Israel resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly last year, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom urged the international body to "rise above the tired politics of yesterday and adopt a new, courageous agenda for tomorrow."

Shalom, who addressed the General Assembly's 58th annual debate yesterday, called on member states to "move away from the partisan hostility that has taken over the Middle East agenda."

"No country has suffered such unjustified attack and consistent discrimination within the UN system. The time has come to end this campaign of diplomatic incitement," he said. He called for an end to the yearly passage of dozens of anti-Israel resolutions, most of them adopted annually by a majority of the UN's 191 members since the 1970s.

Shalom's 20-minute address was followed by loud applause from the audience, and he was greeted by a receiving line of foreign dignitaries upon his exit from the assembly chamber.

Despite being pilloried regularly at the General Assembly, Shalom held meetings, described in positive terms by aides, with some 30 heads of state and foreign ministers during his three-day stay in New York. Among those he discussed Middle East peace with was the King of Morocco and foreign ministers from Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Tunisia, where Shalom was born. In a half-hour meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday morning, Shalom argued that the security fence will enable peace talks to go forward by halting terrorism, and Powell urged Israel not to take "irreversible measures" with regard to Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat, according to a participant. Powell also noted that the US considers the road map alive and well.

On Wednesday, US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice discussed the fence with Shalom, and she called Arafat "an obstacle to peace," according to a participant.

Two years after the Israeli government declared Arafat "irrelevant," Shalom devoted a section of his remarks yesterday to denouncing Arafat, calling him "one of the world's icons of terror," and "the greatest obstacle to people between our peoples," Israelis and Palestinians. He urged the international community to enable the emergence of moderate Palestinian leaders by isolating Arafat, and he condemned last week's General Assembly vote denouncing an Israeli cabinet decision to "remove" Arafat as a vote against the Palestinians.

"To vote for Arafat is to vote against the Palestinian people. When Arafat wins, terrorism wins, and we all lose," he said.

Shalom also called on member nations to fight a unified battle against terror and penalize member states, specifically Syria and Iran, and organizations that sponsor attacks.

In addition to dismantling the terrorist infrastructure, states should be encouraged to build an "infrastructure of peace," which includes the promotion of tolerance in the press, government, education, science and business.

"It is up to political and moral leaders everywhere to foster an environment which rejects extremism and empowers the peacemakers," he said.

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Sep. 25, 2003
Text of Silvan Shalom's address to UN General Assembly

Following is the text of Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's speech to the United Nations 58th General Assembly on Thursday, 25 September 2003, as released by the Government Press Office.

Mr. Secretary General,

Mr. President,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to congratulate His Excellency, the Foreign Minister of St. Lucia, upon his assumption of the presidency of the General Assembly, and wish him much success.

Mr. President,

Until just one month ago, every person in this hall and every member of this organization joined us in the hope that the Middle East peace process might finally be back on track, and that a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might be on the horizon.

The establishment of a new Palestinian government promised an end to terror and a new beginning.

This glimmer of hope was darkened on August 19th by the extremists who blew up a bus full of Jewish families on their way home from prayers at the Western Wall, the holiest site in the Jewish religion. Twenty three people, young and old, mothers and babies in their cradles, were slaughtered in this attack. This attack was carried out by Hamas, a terrorist organization, which under the Roadmap should have been dismantled by the Palestinian Authority.

Failure to dismantle Hamas has brought our diplomatic efforts to a standstill. Rather than acting to fulfill its obligation, the Palestinian Authority has chosen the route of inaction, and complicity in terror.

We cannot allow this to continue. We must bring back the hope that we can build a better future for our children. The infrastructure of terror must be dismantled so that we can put our peace efforts back on track. There is no other time. There is no other way.

Mr. President,

For many years it was thought that terrorism in the Middle East was Israel's problem, not the world's. Today, the world knows otherwise.

Today, it is not only Israel which mourns the loss of its loved ones, women and children and babies, at the hands of the terrorists. We have sadly been joined by peoples from across the globe - from Mombassa to Casablanca, Moscow to Bali.

Even the United Nations, that for so many is a symbol of peace and goodwill, is not immune.

Standing here today in New York, just two short years after September 11th, the community of nations knows - that those who seek to advance their political agendas through killing innocents, are ready to strike at anyone or anything that represents the values of freedom and human life.

Terrorism has declared war on us all.

Israel has often stood alone in this battle. A country which has suffered more than any other from terrorism, we have always understood the danger it poses to democracy and freedom everywhere, even when others refused to see, and condemned us for our actions. We have always understood that terrorism - no matter what cause it claims to serve - seeks only to destroy, not to build.

There can be no neutrality in the war against terrorism and there can be no immunity for those who engage in it. Abstaining is not an option.

This is not a war of choice. Terrorism will not be eliminated until the world unites against it. Our only choice is to win. Every member of the international community must take concrete and proactive measures to cut off all channels of financial, moral and political support to this common enemy.

States - members of this institution - that sponsor terrorists and give them shelter, are accomplices in the acts of terror themselves. They must be held accountable for their crimes. It is no coincidence that states that sponsor terrorism like Iran and Syria, are also striving to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction. Their hostility to freedom and the rule of law puts the very future of humanity in jeopardy.

Mr. President,

I know that for many in this place Yasser Arafat is seen as the symbol of the Palestinian struggle. Tragically - for his people and for ours - he is one of the world's icons of terror.

In the ten years since Arafat declared his commitment to Israel - and the world - that he would no longer use terror, 1,126 Israelis have been killed and thousands wounded in 19,000 separate Palestinian terrorist attacks.

In relative numbers, this would be the same as 11,000 French or 56,000 Americans dying from terrorism in the same period of time.

This carnage must stop. Its impact on both societies is devastating.

Yasser Arafat bears direct responsibility for this terrible suffering. He has led his people on the path of terror - from hijackings to suicide bombings - for more than thirty years. Always preferring Israeli pain over Palestinian gain.

He has been - and he remains - the greatest obstacle to peace between our peoples. For as long as he controls the levers of power - no moderate leadership can emerge.

To vote for Arafat - like we saw in this Assembly just last week - is to vote against the Palestinian people. When Arafat wins - terrorism wins, and we all lose.

Instead of rallying around Arafat, the international community must rally around the genuine interests of the Palestinian people.

They must do so now, before he leads them even further down the path of terror and destruction.

Mr. President,

When a responsible and empowered Palestinian leadership finally emerges - a leadership ready to join the war on terror - it will find us a willing partner for peace.

Israel is committed to the vision for Middle East peace laid out by US President George Bush on June 24th, 2002.

Israel will not compromise on the safety of its citizens. But we will go the extra mile - as we have proven before - to bring peace and security to both our peoples.

We are ready to work with the Palestinians and the international community to make this vision a reality. For this to happen, the Palestinian leadership must take the moral and strategic decision to abandon terrorism once and for all, and make peacemaking possible.

They must guide their people to build their own society, rather than seeking to destroy ours. They, too, must understand that it is not poverty that breeds terror but terror that breeds poverty.

Dear Colleagues,

We cannot stop only at dismantling the infrastructure of terror. We must also build an infrastructure of peace. It is up to political and moral leaders, everywhere, to foster an environment which rejects extremism and empowers the peacemakers.

This is particularly so in the Arab and Muslim world, where incitement against Israel closes hearts and minds to the possibility of peace.

Leaders must guide their people away from the culture of hate, and replace it with a culture of tolerance. Concrete expressions of cooperation and exchange must be built - in media and government, education, science and business - to reinforce the message of tolerance and acceptance.

For the sake of our collective future, voices of moderation must be heard.

Mr. President,

This culture of peace must permeate not only the borders of the Middle East. It must permeate the walls of the United Nations as well.

In the past, the United Nations has shown that it can play a positive role. This Assembly was key in the founding of the State of Israel, fifty-five years ago. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 are our guideposts, to negotiations and peace.

To play such a constructive role in the future, the UN must reform. It must move away from the partisan hostility that has taken over its Middle East agenda.

For more than three decades, this Assembly has passed every year a litany of resolutions designed to discredit Israel, challenge its interests, and promote the will of its greatest enemies.

In my hand, I am holding a collection of the decisions of the 57th General Assembly on the Middle East. One hundred and seventy five pages filled not with hope, but with the negative agendas of the past.

No other country has suffered such unjustified attack and consistent discrimination within the UN system. The time has come to end this campaign of diplomatic incitement.

For the sake of Israelis and Palestinians - for the sake of the UN and peace itself - I call on this body to rise above the tired politics of yesterday, and adopt a new, courageous agenda for tomorrow.

I call on the General Assembly to abandon the automatic adoption of anti-Israel resolutions, and to find ways of making itself relevant once again, to the interests of the people it claims to serve. I call on this Assembly to fulfill its historic mission and help promote what unites us, not what divides us.

Mr. President,

On the morning of February 1st of this year, Israel lost its first astronaut in the Columbia-space-shuttle disaster - a skilled and courageous pilot whom I knew personally, a child of Holocaust survivors, a national hero.

Colonel Ilan Ramon embodied the spirit of our nation. A man of courage and action, dedicated to the well-being of his people, just as he sought to contribute to the advancement of his fellow man.

He met his death together with colleagues from the United States and India, on a scientific mission in the name of humanity as a whole.

Israel's place in such endeavors of international cooperation and accomplishment is no coincidence. In the fifty-five years since the State of Israel was established, recognized, and welcomed into the family of nations - our achievements in the fields of science and technology, the arts and literature, agriculture and medicine, have come to rank with the best in the world.

Our international cooperation program is celebrated in over a hundred countries around the globe - sharing skills, experience and knowledge to the benefit of millions of people.

We extend this hand of friendship to all the nations of the world. We welcome our improving relations with Europe, just as we remain committed to promoting closer ties with the nations of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Mr. President,

The Zionist vision of Israel's founders was to bring into the world a state in our ancient homeland to serve as a haven for our people from persecution. A place where the Jewish people could fulfill its right to self-determination in the modern era. A bastion of democracy and opportunity for all its citizens.

Our founders also made a promise not just to the people of Israel, but to the people of the Middle East as a whole - to pursue peace and to work for the common advancement of our region.

I know personally the profound meaning of this historic undertaking. I came to Israel as a young refugee from Tunisia. I serve as one of hundreds of thousands of immigrants to whom Israel has granted promise and protection, freedom and opportunity, through the values and institutions of democracy.

I stand here today to reaffirm, before the nations of the world, the commitment of my country to peace.

Peace for the people of Israel is both a moral and historic imperative. "Shalom" - the word for peace in Hebrew - is central to our language and our heritage. It is how we say Hallo and it is how we say Goodbye. It is a name we give to our children. It is my own family name.

It was our prophet Isaiah, who brought this message of peace to the world already centuries ago, when he said: "And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more".

Israel's historic record is clear. Whenever a true partner for peace emerged, he was met with Israel's extended hand.

This was true when President Anwar Sadat of Egypt came to Jerusalem in 1977 and it was true when King Hussein of Jordan signed the Peace Treaty with us in 1994. The same is true today.

Israel stands ready to complete the circle of peace with all its neighbors. Real peace. Not just peace for the headlines, but peace which brings an end to violence and hostility, and positive change for the citizens of our region.

From this great podium - a podium shared by all humanity - I call on the leaders of Syria and Lebanon, of Iran and of the Palestinian people - to abandon once and for all their hostility towards us, and join us in building a better future for our children.

Mr. President,

This evening I shall return to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, to join with them in celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

According to our tradition, this is a time when G-d determines the fate of each and every individual for the coming year.

These are days of reflection and prayer.

May all our prayers for peace and for life be answered.

And may the actions and deeds of all the states and peoples represented here in this hall, bring to mankind - peace and security, and all the blessings that life can offer.
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Sep. 28, 2003
IDF: Palestinian terrorists manipulating children
By ARIEH O'SULLIVAN

On Friday evening, an IDF patrol captured two Palestinian youths who had tried to slip through the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip north of the Sufa Crossing.

When they got near the fence they spotted the patrol, became frightened, crossed over and were captured by the soldiers. The patrol took them in for questioning and it turned out the two, one aged 16 and the other 15, said they had been dispatched by an adult to fetch weapons and illegal materiel.

They told their questioners that the man had offered them money if they would sneak past the heavily patrolled fence and bring back bags that had been placed near the fence. Inside the bags were supposed to be a cellular telephone, weapons, and other items, the army said.

Searches over the weekend did not turn up the bags, but did discover two large bombs planted on the patrol road used by IDF forces, military sources said. The bombs were between 40-50 kilograms each set to go off when an armored vehicle passed over a detonator. Soldiers had earlier spotted Palestinians digging in the area. They fired warning shots at them and the men fired back and fled.

Military sources noted that the first incident was yet another in a string of "cynical" uses of children by the Palestinian terror organizations for hostile activities. Just two weeks ago on September 14 two Palestinian children aged eight and 10 were caught near the security fence near the Kissufim Crossing. They said a man with a dog had dispatched them to the fence to test the reaction of the IDF.

In January, two Palestinian youths armed with knives infiltrated the Netzarim settlement. Israeli soldiers captured the pair, lightly wounding one of them. They turned out to be brothers, Ismail al-Khnajra, 17 and Ahmed, 14.

A week before that, three Palestinian teenagers attempted to sneak into the settlement of Alei Sinai. Soldiers spotted the three figures and opened fire on them. It turned out they were aged 15 and 16 and armed only with knives. The Popular Rejectionist Committees had sent them on the mission.

"These incidences are proof of the cynical use of innocent children and youth by the various terrorist organizations to carryout hostile actions against Israeli targets," a military source said.

Sources noted that there was an increasing number of incidents involving children and youth in hostile attacks and these even included attempts to become suicide bombers or stage suicide attacks.

"This is the result of being injected with hate and incitement toward Israel and its citizen," a military source said.

Palestinian youth have also been killed in protests and rioting. Just two weeks ago, IDF troops shot dead a 15-year-old youth, apparently trying to rip down the security fence surrounding the Atarot airport in northern Jerusalem.
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Is there hope for Europe?

Europe is engaged in a great enterprise: the construction of a structure in which most of the continent will be politically and economically united. Every issue, including the Middle East, is seen in this context. But because all the emphasis is placed on cooperation and avoiding friction, the great struggle for Europe's direction is being largely swept under the rug.

Why is Europe seeing so much anti-Americanism, anti-Israelism, and anti-Semitism? There are many reasons, but the debate over the continent's nature and world view is a key factor. If being European means taking a stance distinctive from the US, then European policy is going to criticize America and oppose its stance in the Middle East.

There are those who would define support for US goals and perceptions as unpatriotic, just as real peace with Israel has been made a test of loyalty in the Arab world. The Jews, despite history - or maybe because of it - are also being defined out of Europe by this school of thought, which sees the future orientation as a European-Third World alliance against the US to achieve world leadership.

The Arab world plus Iran are important elements in the coalition of Western democracies and Middle East dictatorships, of secular liberals or leftists and radical Islamists or Arab nationalists.

Of course, there are many other reasons for this orientation. They include a desire for trade and investment with the oil-rich; the belief that appeasing terrorism will spare the appeasers its depredations; a conviction that siding with the region's troublemakers will avoid crisis; the worry that disorder will bring more unwanted Muslim immigrants to Europe's shores and the calculation that supporting the Arabs will conciliate those who have already arrived.

This is all terribly ironic. For the European policies that have striven to maintain peace and order have actually intensified crisis and conflict. If European states had been tougher over sanctions toward Iraq, Saddam Hussein might not have thought he could keep his weapons of mass destruction and wear down the sanctions over time. The US would not have felt compelled to attack Iraq. Europe's policies in fact brought about a result Europe didn't want.

There are many other such examples, notably European aid and comfort provided to Iran's hard-line regime rather than to the democratic opposition forces.

Patriotism, goes the saying, is the last refuge of scoundrels.

TODAY, FRENCH President Jacques Chirac is the last refuge of dictators. It is European, not US, positions that have made the region more turbulent, dangerous, conflict-ridden.

Yet despite all the talk to the contrary, there is no such thing as European policy. Chirac behaves as if he were king of Europe, insulting any leaders who do not follow his dictates, which are presented as the policy of all Europe. Behind him he has the Germans (though perhaps only as long as the current Social Democratic government holds office) and Belgium.

Powerful dissenters also exist, notably Britain, Italy, and Spain. These countries favor a stance friendlier to the US on Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and other issues. Soon they will receive reinforcements from central European states joining the European Union. When these latter countries issued a statement supporting the Anglo-American war on Iraq, Chirac jeered at them; when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi refused to meet with Yasser Arafat, Chirac ridiculed him.

Is it inevitable that Europe will continue on its current course? No. Perhaps the decision to declare Hamas a terrorist organization, against open French dissent, might be the first step in a long-term change of course. If Europe, encouraged by an agreement through the UN, takes a role in the management of Iraq, that, too, could indicate a shift.

One key element here is the Middle East radicals' sheer refusal to change their ways.

Arafat is not going to make peace. Saddam, from his underground hiding place, is not going to go quietly. Osama bin Laden and his colleagues are not about to turn to peaceful ways. The Iranian regime, so unpopular with its own people, will keep sponsoring terrorism, and defiant Syria is now directly sponsoring terror against US and European troops in Iraq.

These people might be Europe's teachers about the nature of the Middle East, just as past dictators, by their intransigence and aggression, forced many of the continent's countries to abandon appeasement and turn to defending themselves.

In Europe people are fond of insisting that there is still hope of an Israel-Palestinian peace. Perhaps we should be insisting that there is still hope for Europe.

The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC).

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On the Oslo anniversary, NPR as usual

National Public Radio can't seem to help itself - whatever the Middle East subject, whatever the day, anti-Israel bias percolates. The week marking Oslo's 10th anniversary was typical.

There were no reviews of the failed peace effort hailed so enthusiastically for years by the network, no look at Yasser Arafat's central role in the violence that shadows the lives of millions of Israelis and Palestinians. (Nor had there ever been in the preceding decade any serious scrutiny by NPR of the disastrous Palestinian flouting of Oslo's imperatives to promote reconciliation with Israel and reject terror.) Multiple NPR reports on September 8 about Ahmed Qurei, recently dubbed Prime Minister by Arafat to replace Mahmoud Abbas, recently ousted by Arafat, were of a piece with the rest. In segments without any Israeli speakers, NPR interviewers directed softball queries about Queri to Palestinian commentators, in one case to a journalist and in another to a Palestinian-Aamerican academic.

An NPR reporter asked the first if Qurei were, as reputed, "a pragmatist" and "charismatic." The guest agreed he was popular, but cautioned that Qurei faces a "rough and hard-line Israeli government." The academic explained to another NPR host that Qurei is "very moderate" and "popular," but will only succeed if - again - Sharon cooperates on the road map.

Not a question was posed as to Qurei's longstanding insistence on the so-called Palestinian "right of return" - a recipe for the destruction of Israel. Nor was anyone interested in exploring the new PM's striking comments about the Aqaba Summit. According to MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), Qurei told the Lebanese daily An Nahar in June: "The words of President Bush [at Aqaba], that Israel is a Jewish state, aroused great concern among us. These words should not have been said."

Interesting from an "architect of Oslo." But not to NPR.

Elected Israeli leaders like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, however, get no similar cozy treatment. NPR has alotted whole programs to Arab speakers blasting Sharon as "hated," "hard-line," "right-wing" and a "war criminal" - without a single Israeli voice permitted in reply.

NPR reporters themselves stoke the criticism, as when network favorite Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi was asked about Sharon's apartment in Jerusalem's Old City.

"That site is offensive to Palestinians," prompted the reporter. "Like a bone in the throat," agreed Khalidi.

Not that Israeli speakers aren't heard at all. Even mainstream experts and officials representing the views of the majority of the public are interviewed at times, if often in lopsided segments tilted toward Arab or marginal Israeli perspectives.

But most smiled upon among Israelis are those who can be relied on to slam their government - people like Akiva Eldar, a journalist from the Left fringe of that the nation's political spectrum. He was interviewed on September 13 on the question of expelling Arafat.

So extreme is Eldar that his liberal colleague, Nahum Barnea, from Yediot Aharonot, memorably denounced him for failing the "lynch test" - for excoriating Israel incessantly and refusing to fault the Palestinians even when they had brutally lynched and mutilated two Israelis in Ramallah. Nor had he ever, according to his critic, rebuked the Palestinians as they systematically violated Oslo.

Eldar proceeded to tell NPR listeners the "problem is not really Arafat." In a coarse parroting of the rhetoric of Israel's detractors, he charged that Ariel Sharon wants "a kind of Bantustein, which is, you know, the Palestinian version of Bantustan, the South African Bantustan." The NPR guest also had a crude comment about President George Bush. He complained that "Big Daddy" is "not willing to take the two wild kids into a closed room and make sure they make peace." There was no other speaker in the segment.

This is "balanced" coverage in an ordinary week on NPR. Now the network faces a dilemma - actually a quagmire. It continuously produces distortions inimical to Israel while at the same time both NPR itself and nearly 700 public radio outlets broadcasting NPR programs across America seek financial support from Jewish contributors.

It's getting tougher to persuade those concerned about Israel's existential battle, Jews and non-Jews alike, to shell out for a tax-supported, listener-funded institution that seriously misrepresents the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Andrea Levin is Executive Director of CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

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BRET STEPHENS:
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Man of the Year

Leading the way, but how many Iraqis are following? US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at the mass gravesite of Mahawil, about 45km outside Baghdad in July. (AP)

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NO question: This was Paul Wolfowitz's year. On September 15, 2001, at a meeting in Camp David, he advised President George W. Bush to skip Kabul and train American guns on Baghdad. In March 2003, he got his wish. In the process, Wolfowitz became the most influential US deputy defense secretary ever - can you so much as name anyone else who held the post? And he's on the shortlist to succeed Colin Powell as secretary of state.

Not that this alone qualifies Wolfowitz as the Jerusalem Post's Man of the Year. The war in Iraq had many authors: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, George Bush. Wolfowitz may have been an early and vocal advocate, but he was cheering from the second row.

What's not in dispute is that Wolfowitz is the principal author of the doctrine of preemption, which framed the war in Iraq and which, when it comes to it, will underpin US action against other rogue states.

This is more remarkable than you might at first think. Following September 11, many people grasped intuitively that it was useless to contain or deter foes for whom suicide was an acceptable option. The difference with Wolfowitz is that he's been talking about this since at least 1992. (The prescience is of a piece with his warning - in 1979 - that Saddam Hussein might someday invade Kuwait.)

The difference with Wolfowitz, too, is that his hawkish leanings on defense (the Economist once called him the administration's "velociraptor") combine with a remarkable optimism about the prospects for Mideast democracy. When President Bush says, "America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons" - that's Wolfowitz talking. When the president calls for "a new Arab charter that champions internal reform, greater political participation, economic openness and free trade" - that's Wolfowitz's talking, too.

But perhaps the greatest measure of Wolfowitz's influence is that Colin Powell now waxes rhapsodic about an Iraq "on the road to democratic self-government." This from the man who, after the first Gulf War, mocked: "Where's Iraq's Thomas Jefferson?"

To our ears, the sudden stress on Mideast democratization is "transformative," to use the Pentagon jargon. Israel has long waited for an administration that understands that the principal problem in the Middle East is not the unsettled status of our borders. It is the unsettling nature of Arab regimes - and of the bellicosity, fanaticism, and resentments to which they give rise. Israel has also long waited for an administration that understands that the regimes that threaten Tel Aviv also threaten New York.

There's a downside. Earlier in the year, the notion took hold that the president was taking the country to war at the urgings of his Jewish advisers, themselves shills for Israel. "Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol [are]... the clique of conservatives who are driving this war," wrote New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. She may as well have written "the clique of Jews," some felt. Other critics of the war were more explicit. "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war in Iraq," said Democratic Congressman Jim Moran, "we would not be doing this."

In this year when anti-Semitism is once again a fact of life, the name "Wolfowitz" has become its lightning rod.

Surely this is one distinction he does not relish. Yet it remains a part of what makes this, uniquely, Wolfowitz's year.

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Invasive treatment

In 1979 he warned that Iraq would invade Kuwait. In 2001, he told the president to train his sights on Baghdad, not Kabul. Now Paul Wolfowitz is getting his way. Will he be proven right?

On a brilliant September evening at Phillips Flagship Restaurant, an eatery known for its seafood buffets down on the Washington waterfront, a few dozen former and current Pentagon personnel and academics wait eagerly for their dinner speaker, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, to arrive.

The topic of their two-day conference has been celebrating 30 years of an all-volunteer military force. An earlier panel, "From the Home Front to the Front Lines - US Reserve Forces Answering the Call," could not be more timely, given the recent Pentagon decision to extend tours of duty for reservists and national guardsmen for months, or perhaps even years, in Iraq.

Wolfowitz slips out of his dark-green four-wheel drive vehicle - he doesn't travel with a motorcade - and makes a quiet entrance. Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness David Chu opens his introduction with a well-known Washington anecdote about the keynote speaker - how as a young Pentagon analyst in the 1970s Wolfowitz fired off repeated memos to then secretary of defense Harold Brown, warning of Iraq's potential plans to invade Kuwait. Brown, after a while, "gave orders not to receive any more Wolfowitz memos."

Wolfowitz was of course prescient by over a decade. And his predictions, Chu said, showed his talent "to look beyond the horizon and "to take risks in terms of thought." It is that thinking out-of-the-box post-September 11 that has made Wolfowitz one of the most influential men of the past year. His fans and foes alike credit him with almost single-handedly persuading his bosses, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, and ultimately US President George W. Bush - who he advised during the 2000 campaign - of the need to mobilize a massive US force to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and ensure Iraq becomes a stable, democratic Middle Eastern ally.

It was Wolfowitz who led a small group of neo-conservative thinkers in developing a rationale for the war, at the core of which was the intolerable possibility that Saddam Hussein could develop weapons of mass destruction and share them with terrorists, and that regime change in Iraq could help pave the way for Middle East peace.

AND IT is now Wolfowitz who is facing some of the most intense questioning about the war and these very rationales - the depth of Saddam's alleged connections to al-Qaida (President Bush himself said recently there was no evidence Saddam was involved in September 11) and his weapons programs, described chillingly by Wolfowitz and others pre-war, but for which evidence has yet to be found.

Wolfowitz personally, has been accused - both in the press and by legislators - of ipso-facto altering the rationales for the war, focusing now more on Iraq as a fresh battlefront in the war on terrorism and ignoring the weapons of mass destruction conundrum.

And perhaps most significantly, Wolfowitz, like the rest of the administration, has found himself under fire for what critics say was inadequate planning for the day after, including predictions about the costs, the expected casualties, and the ease with which order, reconstruction-funding, and oil-production could be restored.

"In your almost hour-long testimony there this morning only once did you mention weapons of mass destruction and that was an ad lib... we're seeing shifting justifications, I think, for what we're doing there," Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island told Wolfowitz at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in July.

At a September 9 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan said, "And Mr. Wolfowitz you told Congress in March that, quote, 'We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon," close quote. Talk about rosy scenarios!"

All this criticism and questioning led one Democratic aide in the Senate to say of Wolfowitz that "his stock has plummeted." Perhaps on Capitol Hill. But with rumors swarming that Wolfowitz could be tapped as secretary of state if Bush wins a second term, it's hardly evident that that is the case in the White House.

WOLFOWITZ HAS not flinched under the criticisms.

At the Phillips Flagship Restaurant, he became most animated when he deviated from his speech on military transformation and spoke extemporaneously about his recent five-day visit to Iraq.

"I think it's still the superficial impression of most newspaper readers in American that the bombing reflects great instability," Wolfowitz said, referring to the car-bombing of the holy Imam Ali mosque and the killing of an influential American Shia partner, Ayatollah Mohammed Bakr al-Hakim along with scores of others who gathered for prayer.

Rather, he said, the fact that the Shia have remained calm shows the "extreme calm and maturity" of the community. He then rattled off a list of calamities that "should" have taken place with a US invasion but never did and enumerated the positives, including the training of 55,000 Iraqis to take over for security.

Since the end of the first Gulf War, during which, as undersecretary of defense for policy, he was instrumental in persuading Israel not to respond to the firing of Iraqi Scud missiles at Tel Aviv, Wolfowitz has been a lead proponent of regime change in Iraq. He deeply disapproved of president George H. W. Bush's decision to wrap up the war early and to abandon its assistance to Iraqi insurgents bent on ousting Saddam. After the war, he threw his intellectual support behind the idea of arming Iraqis to oust Saddam on their own.

It was only after September 11 that he began to think that America, for its own national security, would have to do it itself.

Despite that deep conviction, his friends say, this soft-spoken, intellectual and former dean and professor of International Relations at the Paul A. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a surprising trailblazer.

"The irony of Paul's fame - or notoriety - is that he was an admirable public servant and government official for almost two decades, but I'd say quite a cautious one," says William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, and co-author with Lawrence Kaplan of The War Over Iraq, Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission.

"He had strong ideas, but he worked them within the system. He was effective at doing so. And it's a little ironic to see him way out on the parapets, allegedly at least the architect of an entire world view and the primary defender of a very controversial foreign policy initiative. He's a very good friend of mine and I admire him very much but he wouldn't have been my first pick to be in that role. I wouldn't have expected it," Kristol says.

THAT ROLE emerged at the Camp David presidential retreat, when President Bush assembled his war cabinet the Saturday after September 11. As Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward recounted in a December 2001 series and later in his book Bush at War, it was Wolfowitz who pushed the idea of attacking Iraq - an idea, met by "eye-rolling" by Secretary of State Colin Powell and General Hugh Shelton, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

At one point in Woodward's account, Wolfowitz interrupts Rumsfeld to expand on a point about Iraq. After the meeting, Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, rebukes the two, saying only one person should speak for the Department of Defense. Wolfowitz has since denied in interviews that the rebuke took place.

What's notable about all of this now, says Kristol, is that at the time, "it was generally agreed that Wolfowitz was going to lose this fight. People forget how much of a surprise the 'axis of evil' speech was."

By the January 2002 State of the Union speech, Bush had grouped Iraq, Iran and North Korea in an "axis of evil." It was the first step in a campaign to build support for a war against Iraq. The theoretical idea of pursuing regime change in Iraq as a response to September 11 had started to become policy.

"Paul showed real courage in advancing this agenda that he thought was so important for the country," says Kristol. "The truth is there weren't many of us. You know, this 'great powerful neo-conservative conspiracy.' There were about eight people. Half of them were not well-liked by the Bush administration, like me. It's a very impressive thing that he did."

Opponents of the administration's Iraq policy, who know Wolfowitz, are reluctant to criticize him personally.

"One cannot accuse Wolfowitz of any bad intentions or malice. He is an extremely nice person, and very decent, and open," says Judith Kipper, director of the Middle East forum at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. While Kipper believes that the neo-conservative advocates of war with Iraq were "misguided," she has "high regard" for Wolfowitz.

"I disagree with him," she says, "but he's somebody you can engage."

DENNIS ROSS, the former Middle East envoy, who worked under Wolfowitz twice, once at the Pentagon and again at the State Department, says that contrary to some accounts that have tried to portray him as dogmatic, Wolfowitz is open to debating ideas.

"Paul is one of the most thoughtful people you will ever be around. He is an intellectual. He has strong views. But he is an ideas person. He is interested in having people around him who are ideas people. The notion that he is this kind of an ideologue, who is dogmatic, who excludes other points of view, doesn't reflect the Paul Wolfowitz that I know," says Ross.

"If you want to understand Paul, you understand that he is very smart, he's very thoughtful, and he cares very deeply about... what he's doing. He's someone who believes you can change things for the better. Someone always open to those who can make a credible case," he adds.

Michael Ledeen, a Middle East analyst at the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute, believes Wolfowitz has been "stereotyped as a very hawkish kind of person." He says his hawkish views are specifically directed "against tyrants. They're not hawkish in terms of wanting to expand American power just for its own sake."

In a chapter he wrote for Present Dangers, a 2000 bible of sorts of neo-conservative thought on foreign policy and security issues, Wolfowitz reflected on the challenges faced by the US in the post-Cold War era. He warned against isolationism, given the US has "so great a capacity to influence events" and argued that most people now generally support Pax Americana. His belief that building democracies can help strengthen US national security is clear.

"Democratic change is not only a way to weaken our enemies, it is also a way to strengthen our friends." His ideas emulate in many ways those of the late Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, who believed in using American force to bolster democracies.

Given the current US unilateral efforts to create a democracy in Iraq, it is interesting to note something else Wolfowitz wrote about the limitations of US power in this arena.

"Both because of what the United States is, and because of what is possible, we cannot engage either in promoting democracy or in nation-building as an exercise of will. We must proceed by interaction and interdiction, not imposition."

How that thought will influence the US-led democratic reconstruction of Iraq remains to be seen.

WHEN IT comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Wolfowitz is often erroneously grouped with peace process critics in his neo-conservative bunch including Richard Perle, a former informal Pentagon adviser, and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy. While he is certainly devoutly pro-Israel, his politics on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are decidedly centrist.

Wolfowitz, a non-observant Jew who has a sister living in Jerusalem, is "a two-state-solution guy who believes that the US-Israeli relationship is in both our interests and also believes that peace is in Israel's interest," says Ross.

At the April 15, 2002, Israel solidarity rally on the National Mall in Washington, Wolfowitz was heckled and booed for saying: "Israelis are not the only victims of violence in the Middle East. Innocent Palestinians are suffering and dying in great numbers as well." Wolfowitz was interrupted by shouts and jeers when he tried to talk about a future "independent Palestine."

One former student at SAIS remembers Wolfowitz criticizing, during an informal forum, Israel's settlement policy and lauding Yossi Beilin, the former Labor Party peace negotiator.

In his writings, Wolfowitz has argued that American power should not be taken for granted. Perhaps this belief originated in his home in upstate New York. His father, a mathematics professor at Cornell University, was a Polish Jew who emigrated from Warsaw in 1920. He reportedly regularly reminded his children that they were lucky to have escaped totalitarianism in Europe.

At Cornell, Wolfowitz studied math and chemistry. And under the influence of the political philosopher Allan Bloom, went on to earn a doctorate in political science at the University of Chicago. There he studied under Albert Wohlstetter who preached against d tente during the Cold War.

Wolfowitz taught political science for three years at Yale before moving to Washington to take up a series of jobs, beginning in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, where he worked on the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks. At the end of the Ford administration, Wolfowitz was part of "Team B," a group that questioned CIA reports on the Soviet Union's intentions. He held numerous high-ranking jobs at Pentagon and Defense. During the Reagan administration, he served for three years as US ambassador to Indonesia. For seven years before being named deputy secretary of defense by President Bush, Wolfowitz was dean of SAIS.

Now, Wolfowitz, who is divorced, seems to spend most of his time working on the post-Saddam era, and perhaps, some Washington insiders say, angling for that job of secretary of state.

That, of course, could depend a lot on the state of the Iraqi arena a year from now, on the eve of the next election. For now, despite declining American support for President Bush's handling of Iraq, Wolfowitz remains optimistic.

"Terrorists," Wolfowitz wrote in the Wall Street Journal, September 2, "recognize that Iraq is on a course towards self-government that is irreversible and, once achieved, will be an example to all in the Muslim world who desire freedom, pointing a way out of hopelessness that the extremists feed on."

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Pentagon jihadis

The recent arrest of two Muslim military personnel, James Yee and Ahmad al-Halabi, on suspicion of aiding al-Qaida prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (with another three Muslim servicemen under watch) seemed to prompt much surprise. It should not have.

It has been obvious for months that Islamists who despise the US have penetrated American prisons, law enforcement, and armed forces.

A milestone Wall Street Journal article in February 2003 established that imams who consider Osama bin Laden "a hero of Allah" dominate the Islamic chaplaincy in the New York State prison system.

I documented in March 2003 the case of FBI Special Agent Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, an immigrant whose pattern of pro-Islamist behavior was overlooked and instead he was promoted. At least six prior cases of Islamist servicemen have come to light:

Ali Mohamed: an Egyptian immigrant who after his discharge from the US army went to work for Osama bin Laden. Mohamed pleaded guilty to helping plan the 1998 bombing surveillance of the US Embassy in Nairobi and now sits in prison serving his sentence.

Semi Osman: An ethnic Lebanese immigrant and non-US citizen who served in both the army and the naval reserves, Osman was arrested in 2002 and accused of "material support for terrorists." He pleaded guilty to a weapons violation and served his sentence.

Abdul Raheem Al Arshad Ali: an African-American convert to Islam and former Marine, he awaits trial in prison for supplying a semiautomatic handgun to Semi Osman.

Jeffrey Leon Battle. an African-American convert and army reservist, Battle awaits trial in prison on charges of "enlisting in the reserves to receive military training to use against America."

John Allen Muhammad: An African-American convert and army veteran, Muhammad is suspected of having thrown a grenade at a fellow soldier in 1991. He awaits trial in prison on charges of leading a 21-day shooting spree in the Washington, DC area in 2002 that killed 10 and wounded three.

Hasan Akbar: Another African-American convert, Akbar awaits trial in prison for two counts of premeditated murder and three charges of attempted murder following a March 2003 fragging incident against his fellow soldiers.

The AKBAR incident prompted Deanne Stillman of Slate magazine to conclude that Islamists "may be infiltrating the military in order to undermine it." That infiltration also has a mundane quality, as shown by the example of Nabil Elibiary. He's an Islamist who protests the "defaming" of bin Laden and defends polygamy and who also led the holiday prayer service at an air force base in early 2003.

The executive branch's insistence on "terrorism" being the enemy, rather than militant Islam, permits this Islamist penetration.

AND IT continues. The Defense Department responded last week to the chaplain's arrest by defending its hiring practices. Only under external pressure, notably from senators Chuck Schumer and John Kyl, did it agree to reassess them. Even then, the Pentagon insisted on reviewing the appointments of all 2,800 military chaplains rather than the 17 Muslims among them.

Political correctness run amok! Which Christian or Jewish chaplains would be accused, as was their Muslim colleague last week, of "sedition, aiding the enemy, spying, espionage and failure to obey a general order"?

The US government needs to use common sense and focus on militant Islam. It should consider such steps as:

Breaking off contact with organizations (like the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences and the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Council) that place Islamists in government employment.

Suspending presently employed Muslim personnel who got their jobs through those institutions until their loyalty can be confirmed.

Finding anti-Islamist organizations to work with, such as the Islamic Supreme Council of America for Sunni Muslims and the American Muslim Congress for Shi'ites.

Confirming that government-employed Muslims do, as many of them swore under oath, "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." A mechanism is needed to identify employees with an Islamist outlook and expel them from government service.

Ironically, the Defense Department finds it easier to kill Islamists in Afghanistan than to exclude them from its own ranks. But only if the latter is carried out can Americans be confident their government is fully protecting them.

The writer is director of the Middle East Forum.

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Sep. 29, 2003
In praise of Chamberlain

By Sarah Honig

Imagine, if you will, Neville Chamberlain maintaining unwavering faith in Hitler's intentions even after the invasion of Poland and the bombing of London. Imagine him sticking to his guns and obstinately insisting that appeasement wasn't wrongheaded, there just wasn't enough of it.

Imagine Chamberlain, no longer in power, blasting Churchill's pugnacity and crossing the battle lines for photo-ops with the Fuehrer. Imagine him rushing to Berlin after the downturn in Axis fortunes to parley with the man in charge because he was the democratically elected leader and symbol of the renascent German nation.

Imagine Chamberlain again making it to Hitler's bunker on the eve of Nazi collapse in a last-ditch effort to save his beleaguered peace partner, proclaiming he'd personally volunteer to serve as his human shield.

Preposterous? Not in our bailiwick. Our appeasers keep appeasing.

No sooner did Israel's government put Yasser Arafat on removal notice than Uri Avnery rushed to Ramallah to be at his side. He vowed to protect the ra'is with his very body, and not for the first time either. On July 3, 1982, Avnery sneaked into Beirut mid-war to hobnob with the imperiled Arafat. After Oslo imported the PLO chieftain to Gaza he expressed his gratitude during his triumphant first public appearance there by seating Avnery right next to him on the podium.

Not that the comparison is fully valid. Arafat is only a poor Arab's wannabe Hitler, though his heart is in the same place, and he too exploits the inherent decency of the democracy he confronts. Moreover, Avnery, like other homegrown Chamberlain clones, advocates ceding stretches of our own homeland, vital for our own security. Chamberlain never contemplated surrendering an inch of Britain nor even in some forlorn corner of its then-extant vast empire.

Chamberlain also didn't badger or malign his successor, or upbraid him for denying Hitler another opportunity. But Avnery does everything Chamberlain would have been ashamed of.

If he were alone, it'd be bad enough. But Avnery isn't. As if compulsively afflicted by collective sadomasochism, more and more Israelis keep coming back for more, hot on the heels of the latest humiliation and beating, even before the blood has dried up.

We're plainly pathetic. No sooner has one sham hudna literally exploded in our faces than some of us are clamoring for another, recalling how blissful the few weeks of self-deception were. Their message, repeated often enough, becomes normative, tolerable, even respectable and deserving of due consideration.

A FEW bloodless days sufficed to wipe our cognitive slate clean and lull us back into the illusory calm that preceded recent suicide bombings. That Arafat and his itinerant understudies had the colossal gall to suggest more of the same in itself merits a treatise on hypocrisy. But that the hutzpa of the mobster from the Mukata strikes responsive chords amongst Israelis is no less than mind-blowing.

We can dismiss Avnery because he has crossed the lines not only physically but also intellectually, spiritually and emotionally, identifying with the enemy and subscribing to his perspective.

But Peace Now protesters are another matter. So is Yossi Sarid, whose sanctimonious rhetoric leads us to trust that he still respects Israel's most basic existential interests. Yet he too lashes out at the government for "spurning" Ramallah's repeat overtures.

His Meretz sidekick, Ran Cohen, takes hudna hankerings a step further, recommending that Israel itself construct the trap into which it would then jump.

Like Sarid, Cohen berates "the impudent Sharon government the first ever to reject a cease-fire. This is amoral, un-Jewish rejectionism." To make us more moral and Jewish, Cohen proposes we unilaterally declare a cease-fire with the terrorists, and also hold ourselves to ransom by volunteering to pay them protection if they obligingly let us alone.

"For each month without suicide bombings," Cohen suggests, "Israel would free a given number of Palestinian prisoners. This would constitute an incentive for the Palestinians not to resort to force."

Get it? The shopkeeper who forks over money to Mafia hoods merely provides them with incentives not to break his arms and legs, or harm his wife and kids.

Have no fear, though, even if we were demented enough to follow Cohen's counsel (which, given Israel's recent track record, mustn't be ruled out). Cohen will never admit he erred should anything go awry (and it will). The so-called Peace Camp has never atoned for anything, including its Oslo disaster.

If the new hudna doesn't deliver peace, Cohen will undoubtedly advise us to overlook insignificant low body counts. If more sizable atrocities are perpetrated, he'll surely find fault with the tribute we paid, how and when.

Leftist domination of the media makes the hudna nostalgia message insidiously effective. It gains resonance and wins converts, and not only on the far Left. Laborites have begun chanting the same mantra and Shinui's Yosef Paritzky wants "serious cabinet deliberations" of Arafat's new time-out offer.

More worrying yet are equivocations from the Likud direction, where, after some righteous hemming and hawing, we begin to discern a marked hesitation to be unpopular or politically incorrect. Hence a hudna rerun isn't dismissed as such, provided it's hedged around with certain mitigating conditions.
So far opposition from the Prime Minister's Office has been relatively resolute, but for how long?

Eventually opinion polls will indicate that the public is for peace and against suffering and disease. Polls, after all, kick-started many Sharon policy turnarounds. Polls were what converted him to the security fence cause, about which he was once justifiably unenthusiastic.

BUT NOW the mythical cure-all has become a fixed feature of our ritual discourse. Each terrorist onslaught is inevitably followed by intensive speculation about whether a fence could have prevented the outrage. The answer is always the same: Labor's failed erstwhile headliner Amram Mitzna encapsulated it when he charged that "Sharon is personally responsible for the bloodshed. It's on his hands."

Anger isn't directed at terror's masterminds but at those who haven't yet managed to accentuate the Green Line with the ultimate fortification, which would certainly constitute a hurdle but wouldn't foil determined mass murderers and wouldn't turn them into tame truce proponents.

Incessant brainwashing, however, works. Even ardent hawks no longer waste much breath giving the lie to the protective wall mythology. It's no use butting one's head against a popular, hope-inspiring wall. Herein lies the danger.
Hudna longings too could become politically attractive. If that happens, even the Arabs couldn't save us from ourselves. No matter how often they betray us some misguided though vociferous Israelis will plead their case and demand another chance for them. Old attitudes die hard, especially when sacred reputations are staked on them.

In praise of Chamberlain, it should be noted that he admitted Nazi belligerence wasn't quite cricket. He even drew the appropriate conclusions.

On May 9, 1940, he survived a no-confidence motion (submitted despite the wartime state of emergency). But because his majority declined, he felt honor-bound to resign. Being a gentleman, he also thereafter kept his mouth shut.

But our pseudo-Chamberlains, who possess nothing remotely approaching his political majority, will never admit error, cease sabotaging the government charged with picking up the pieces after them, or keep their mouths shut.

But then again, they aren't honorable gentlemen.


Posted by trafael at 2:19 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 13 November 2003 2:44 AM EST
Monday, 3 November 2003

Opinion Journal:

New York Times Imitates ScrappleFace

"The latest figures on decreased jobless claims and a huge increase in third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) signal a continuation of the Clinton-Gore economic boom, according to an expert."--ScrappleFace.com, Oct.?31

"Adding to the Democrats' challenge is a fundamental economic reality that existed well before household and business spending soared this summer. As much as the economy weakened in the last three years, it was coming off such a high that it remains stronger by most measures than in the early 1990's. That high was reached on Mr. Clinton's watch, but it could help Mr. Bush next year."--New York Times, Nov.?2

Is There Married Life on Other Planets?
"Astronauts Enjoy Showers and Married Life on Earth"--headline, Reuters, Oct.?30

You Don't Say
"Concrete is stronger once it has hardened."--Associated Press, Oct.?31

Who Knew?
"Pain Common in Old Age: Study"--headline, Reuters Health, Oct.?30

Weasel Watch


American anger against the French seems to have cooled somewhat since the spring. But today's Washington Post brings us a timely reminder of why we hate the French (and aren't wild about the Russians either). The Post reports on the interrogation of Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's "deputy prime minister": "Aziz has told interrogators that French and Russian intermediaries repeatedly assured Hussein during late 2002 and early this year that they would block a U.S.-led war through delays and vetoes at the U.N. Security Council."

Paris and Moscow may have outsmarted themselves, however:

Later, according to Aziz, Hussein concluded after private talks with French and Russian contacts that the United States would probably wage a long air war first, as it had done in previous conflicts. By hunkering down and putting up a stiff defense, he might buy enough time to win a cease-fire brokered by Paris and Moscow.

Go Figure


"Saddam No Longer a Popular Name for Iraqi Babies"--headline, Agence France-Presse, Nov.?1

Palestinian Deadbeat Dad


Israel has captured a Hamas terrorist who "admitted to investigators that he planned to perpetrate a suicide bomb attack in Israel," the Jerusalem Post reports. The Israelis searched the home of the unnamed suspect and found the bomb belt--"underneath the bed of his baby daughter."

The Post also reports that a 16-year-old suicide bomber blew up when Israeli troops cornered him. "The would-be-suicide bomber's father, Kamal, said that 'he was just a little boy and those who sent him should have left him alone.'?"

What a charming culture.

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The damned dems' again....

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was quoted as saying that on his recent trip to Iraq, a Najaf resident asked him at a town hall meeting: "What's going to happen to us if George Bush loses the election?":

Wolfowitz didn't mention the Democrats, but he suggested the question sums up Iraqi fears that a new team in the White House would abandon them.

Wolfowitz said he tried to assure the Iraqis, but "when they hear the message that we might not be there next year, they get very scared."

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Blair's political paradox


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Tony Blair stands astride British politics like a colossus, with no credible challenger in sight. Yet this same Tony Blair has never been in so much trouble with his electorate. He is the most important leader in the supranational politics of Europe, which he must creep back into with caution and skill after a period of estrangement.

These are the paradoxes that swirl around Britain's singularly determined and moralistic prime minister.

They spring in large part from his odd political friendship with George W. Bush and from Blair's unhesitating decision to go to war in Iraq at America's side.

Many Britons believe that Bush would not have invaded Iraq without Blair's support, and they resent Blair for that. Others complain that Blair gets little from Washington in return for the enormous risks he has taken.

These are debatable notions. What is clear today is that U.S. influence in a changing, highly fluid Europe depends heavily on Blair's vision, energy and political viability. He is certainly the indispensable American ally in that sense.

At home, Blair's preeminence was confirmed last week when the Conservatives paid him the ultimate compliment: They tossed out their lackluster party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, in a desperate bid to find someone who can eventually stand up to Blair. This came after Blair convincingly faced down left-wing critics at his Labor Party's annual conference in September.

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But such acts of real politics do not keep Blair from stumbling along at low levels of public approval, as the electorate blames its supersized leader for poor railroads or public health reforms that threaten jobs and tradition.

Such complaints are exacerbated by the feeling that Blair spends too much time on foreign affairs -- and especially on his connection to the deeply unpopular Bush.

"The polls show that the people want their prime minister back," one Blair adviser says. "He has to take note of that."

Blair will become more visibly involved in domestic affairs, three brief visits to England over the past two months suggest to me. But Americans and Europeans must hope that this will not lessen Blair's commitment to international and European affairs, which has been remarkably consistent and productive.

Blair did not join in invading Iraq to please Bush or for immediate gains for Britain. The two men have built a good personal relationship -- better in some ways than the one Blair enjoyed with Bill Clinton -- but they are still on uncertain ground when it comes to working together.

"At the end of their meetings, I think the prime minister comes away feeling that the deal has not really been closed, or that if there was a deal it could come undone the next day," one Blair confidant said. "I think that is not an untypical reaction by foreign leaders dealing with this White House, but it gets nerve-racking when you're about to go to war together."

Blair rejects accusations that he went into Iraq to curry favor with Washington. "It is worse than that," Blair told rebellious Laborites last spring in a line his aides love to quote. "The truth is I really believe in this."

There are in fact two strands behind Blair's politically costly commitment on Iraq.

One is the view captured in a private comment he made to a British cabinet member years ago: "In a crisis, Britain's default position is with America."

Another associate explains that Blair feels that "the biggest danger facing the world is an isolationist America, an America that will not be at Britain's side or Europe's side when we need it."

But that does not mean choosing America instead of Europe. In recent weeks Blair has resumed building bridges to France and Germany in what one aide says is an attempt "to construct a plausible alternative to this administration's unilateralist temptation," which will be given free rein if France and others make obstructing U.S. power a primary objective of the European Union.

Blair's diplomatic strategy is, for obvious reasons, best pursued in code or in silence. But Blair has been highly vocal on the second strand of his commitment -- his belief in humanitarian intervention. I first heard him touch on that theme in casual conversations a decade ago. He developed it fully in a brilliant speech delivered on April 22, 1999, to the Chicago Economic Club.

Blair's consistency both on the U.S. connection and interventionism has been obscured by his decision to build his prewar case on Iraq around the gathering danger of weapons of mass destruction. Neither that misstep nor his domestic woes negates the significant strategic contributions that Tony Blair has made -- and must continue to make -- to transatlantic security and international justice.

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The truth about Bush


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | A couple of weeks ago in this space I ran down the strengths and weaknesses of the Democratic presidential contenders, so now, to be "fair and balanced," let's evaluate President Bush.

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His strongest suit is the bond he forged with the American people immediately following the terror attack on September 11. Mr. Bush reacted the way most Americans reacted, with anger and a stark determination to right the wrong. And he did, he dethroned the Taliban and sent Al Qaeda into the caves. That sequence of events provided Bush with an emotional attachment to the folks. Only two other American presidents in my lifetime have had that: John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

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George W. Bush is also a strong leader. He doesn't waffle around, and he isn't poll driven. He makes determinations and sticks to them. Some believe this is a minus, but I think a strong leader is a major plus in this time of terror. So the president's determination to stay the course could very much help him win reelection if the course is deemed successful. That's the hard part.

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Also, Mr. Bush is seen as an honest man who espouses traditional values. That will shore up his conservative base, and even though he's a huge spender, the right wing will not abandon him.

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Finally, in the plus department, the president is helped by those who are demonizing him. The criticism is so over the top in many quarters that legitimate questions about Bush's leadership are sometimes lost among all the vitriol. The loony left's defamatory attacks persuade no one; they are simply shrill notes to the choir that already despises the president. Bush rarely responds to the grenades, wisely calculating that the excessive venom will turn off independent-thinking Americans.

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And now for the downside. The president rarely shows his affable side because he distrusts his ability to communicate. He cloisters himself behind iron gates when he should be holding town meetings and interacting with the people. When Mr. Bush speaks from the heart, he comes across well. When he relies on canned speeches and statements, he looks like Don Knotts. He has good reason to distrust the press, but that doesn't mean he should avoid it. Mr. Bush's inaccessibility is a major drawback.

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While the economy is picking up and will recede as a major campaign issue, the president has enormous problems in Iraq. He must acknowledge those difficulties and explain the mistakes his administration has made. Mr. Bush continues to run a tightly controlled, closed shop. This will hurt him in a close election race. Americans will accept mistakes from a president, but they will not accept uncertainty. Bush's failure to get out in front of the administration's problems and define the payoff a stable Iraq will deliver is the biggest weapon the Democrats have against him.

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The president is generally disliked overseas, and that's not good. He is portrayed in many places as an American chauvinist with a poor frame of reference. Thus he is underestimated by prigs like Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder. The upside is that Mr. Bush is feared by the bad guys. Osama will not be visiting a Club Med anytime soon. But the president should make an attempt to be conciliatory to countries that might possibly help America down the road. He must swallow some pride, and if he doesn't, the country will suffer.

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All in all, George W. Bush could go either way in the history books. If his Iraqi gamble pays off and worldwide terrorism is kept on the defensive, he will be well remembered. If Iraq degenerates into a fiasco, he'll sidle up alongside Lyndon Johnson. Like him or not, the president is a man of strength and weakness. But the war on terror will define him, and that war is still to be determined.


JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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Zero-Tolerance Watch


New Jersey's Tinton Falls Middle School has suspended 14-year-old Scott Switzer, whose father and stepfather are both in the military, for a week over a patriotic drawing--a "stick figure of a U.S Marine blowing away a Taliban fighter"--reports the New York Post.

"A teacher saw the image on a computer and described it to the principal," the Post explains, quoting superintendent Leonard Kelpsh: "We felt it was highly inappropriate, and we took it very seriously." Scott's mother tells the Post that school officials described the drawing as "not the work of a normal mind." Gloria Tillman, a psychologist who has treated Scott for attention-deficit disorder, is a voice of common sense: "I don't attribute pathological significance to it. I have to wonder what is expected of our children today when 1) our country is at war and 2) both his father and stepfather are out fighting the war."

IMRA:

Rabin Center to IMRA: Peres not politician - no politicians at Rabin
Memorial Assembly


Dr. Aaron Lerner 30 October 2003

IMRA asked Tami Shenkman, who is spokesperson for the "Main Memorial Day
Assembly marking 8 years to the assassination of Prime Minister and Minister
of Defense Yitzhak Rabin", why no one from the government is participating
in the assembly.? Shenkman explained that "we do not want the event to turn
into a political event and so politicians were not invited."

When asked by IMRA about the status of MK Shimon Peres - head of the Labor
Party, who will be a speaker at the event, Shenkman explained that "Peres is
not a politician".
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Israelis Murdered During Abu Mazen's Term


http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0ia50

[IMRA: Abu Mazen's cabinet was approved by the PLC on 29 April 2003 and his
resignation was received by Arafat on 6 September 2003. Israel's "swinging
barn door" policy, according to which security measures are imposed only
after terrorist attacks and then dropped after a short period of time, in
order to minimize the damage to the Palestinians of security measures,
enabled the terrorists to carry out many of the attacks.

It was reported this week that COS Moshe Ya'alon felt Israel should have
handed over more cities to the Palestinians during the course of the Abu
Mazen administration, apparently despite the refusal of the PA to actually
act against the terrorists in those areas that were under its control.

It is reasonable to assume that the list below would be several magnitudes
longer if the barn door had been opened even wider under the program Ya'alon
appears to support after the fact.]


Apr 30, 2003 - Ran Baron, 23, of Tel Aviv, Dominique Caroline Hass, 29, of
Tel Aviv, and Yanai Weiss, 46, of Holon, were murdered and about 60 people
were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a beachfront pub,
"Mike's Place," in Tel Aviv. The Fatah Tanzim and Hamas claimed
responsibility for the attack, carried out as a joint operation.
Investigation revealed that the two British Muslims involved in the suicide
bombing were dispatched to perpetrate the attack by the Hamas military
command in the Gaza Strip.

May 4, 2003 - The body of Tali Weinberg, 26, of Beit Aryeh, was discovered
in a garage in Rosh Ha'ayin with numerous stab wounds. The suspect,
Weinberg's boyfriend, arrested on June 11, a 21-year-old Arab resident of
Kafr Qasem, is believed to have carried out the murder as part of a "loyalty
test" administered by Palestinian terrorist organizations.

May 5, 2003 - Gideon Lichterman, 27, of Ahiya, was killed and two other
passengers, his six-year-old daughter Moriah and a reserve soldier, were
seriously wounded when terrorists fired shots at their vehicle near Shvut
Rachel, in Samaria. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed
responsibility for the attack.

May 11, 2003 - Zion David, 53, of Givat Ze'ev near Jerusalem, was shot in
the head and killed by Palestinian terrorists in a roadside ambush half a
kilometer from Ofra, north of Jerusalem. Both Fatah and the Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.

May 17, 2003 - Gadi Levy and his wife Dina, aged 31 and 37, of Kiryat Arba
were killed by a suicide bomber in Hebron. Hamas claimed responsibility for
the attack.

May 18, 2003 - Seven people were killed and 20 wounded in a suicide bombing
on Egged bus no. 6 near French Hill in Jerusalem. Hamas claimed
responsibility for the attack. The victims: Olga Brenner, 52; Yitzhak Moyal,
64; Nelly Perov, 55; Marina Tsahivershvili, 44; Shimon Ustinsky, 68; and
Roni Yisraeli, 34 - all of the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood in Jerusalem; and
Ghalab Tawil, 42, of Shuafat.
A second suicide bomber detonated his bomb when intercepted by police in
northern Jerusalem. The terrorist was killed; no one else was injured.

May 19, 2003 - Kiryl Shremko, 22, of Afula; Hassan Ismail Tawatha, 41, of
Jisr a-Zarqa; and Avi Zerihan, 36, of Beit Shean were killed and about 70
people were wounded in a suicide bombing at the entrance to the Amakim Mall
in Afula. The Islamic Jihad and the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades both
claimed responsibility for the attack.

June 5, 2003 - The bodies of David Shambik, 26, and Moran Menachem, 17, both
of Jerusalem, were found near Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem,
brutally beaten and stabbed to death.

June 8, 2003 - Sgt. Maj. (Res.) Assaf Abergil, 23, of Eilat; Sgt. Maj.
(Res.) Udi Eilat, 38, of Eilat; Sgt. Maj. Boaz Emete, 24, of Beit She'an;
and Sgt. Maj. (Res.) Chen Engel, 32, of Ramat Gan were killed and four
reserve soldiers were wounded when Palestinian terrorists wearing IDF
uniforms opened fire on an IDF outpost near the Erez checkpoint and
industrial zone in the Gaza Strip. Three terrorists were killed by IDF
soldiers. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad
issued a joint statement claiming responsibility for the attack.

June 8, 2003 - St.-Sgt. Matan Gadri, 21, of Moshav Moledet was killed in
Hebron while pursuing two Palestinian gunmen who earlier had wounded a
Border Policeman on guard at the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The two terrorists
were killed.

June 11, 2003 - Seventeen people were killed and over 100 wounded in a
suicide bombing on Egged bus #14A outside the Klal building on Jaffa Road in
the center of Jerusalem. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
The victims: Sgt. Tamar Ben-Eliahu, 20, of Moshav Paran; Alan Beer, 46, of
Jerusalem; Eugenia Berman, 50, of Jerusalem; Elsa Cohen, 70, of Jerusalem;
Zvi Cohen, 39, of Jerusalem; Roi Eliraz, 22, of Mevaseret Zion; Alexander
Kazaris, 77, of Jerusalem; Yaffa Mualem, 65, of Jerusalem; Yaniv Obayed, 22,
of Herzliya; Bat-El Ohana, 21, of Kiryat Ata; Anna Orgal, 55, of Jerusalem;
Zippora Pesahovitch, 54, of Zur Hadassah; Bianca Shahrur, 62, of Jerusalem;
Malka Sultan, 67, of Jerusalem; Bertin Tita, 75, of Jerusalem. Miriam Levy,
74, of Jerusalem died of her wounds on June 12.
Haile Abraha Hawki, 56, a foreign worker from Eritrea, was positively
identified on June 24.

June 12, 2003 - Avner Maimon, 51, of Netanya, was found shot to death in his
car near Yabed in northern Samaria. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades
claimed responsibility for the attack.

June 13, 2003 - St.-Sgt. Mordechai Sayada, 22, of Tirat Carmel, was shot to
death in Jenin by a Palestinian sniper as his jeep patrol passed by. The
Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

June 17, 2003 - Noam Leibowitz, 7, of Yemin Orde was killed and three
members of her family wounded in a shooting attack near the Kibbutz Eyal
junction on the Trans-Israel Highway. The terrorist fired from the outskirts
of the West Bank city of Kalkilya. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command claimed
responsibility for the attack.

June 19, 2003 - Avner Mordechai, 58, of Moshav Sde Trumot, was killed when a
suicide bomber blew up in his grocery on Sde Trumot, south of Beit Shean.
The suicide bomber was killed. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for
the attack.

June 20, 2003 - Zvi Goldstein, 47, of Eli, was killed when his car was fired
upon in an ambush by Palestinian terrorists near Ofra, north of Ramallah.
His parents, Eugene and Lorraine Goldstein, from New York, were seriously
wounded and his wife lightly injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the
attack.

June 26, 2003 - Amos (Amit) Mantin, 31, of Hadera, a Bezeq employee, was
killed in a shooting attack in the Israeli Arab town of Baka al-Garbiyeh.
The shots were fired by a Palestinian teenager, who was apprehended by
police. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the
attack.

June 27, 2003 - Sgt. Maj. Erez Ashkenazi, 21, of Kibbutz Reshafim, an
Israeli navy commando, was killed in an operation in Gaza to capture a Hamas
cell, believed responsible for several bombings and the firing of anti-tank
missiles in the Netzarim area.

June 30, 2003 - Krastyu Radkov, 46, a construction worker from Bulgaria, was
killed in a shooting attack on the Yabed bypass road in northern Samaria,
west of Jenin, while driving a truck. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades
claimed responsibility for the attack, in opposition to the declared
ceasefire.

July 7, 2003 - Mazal Afari, 65, of Moshav Kfar Yavetz was killed in her home
on Monday evening and three of her grandchildren lightly wounded in a
terrorist suicide bombing. The remains of the bomber were also found in the
wreckage of the house. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the
attack.

July 15, 2003 - Amir Simhon, 24, of Bat Yam was killed when a Palestinian
armed with a long-bladed knife stabbed passersby on Tel Aviv's beachfront
promenade, after a security guard prevented him from entering the Tarabin
cafe and was wounded. The terrorist, who was shot and apprehended, is a
member of the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which claimed responsibility
for the attack.

July 21, 2003 - The body of IDF soldier Cpl. Oleg Shaichat, 20, of Upper
Nazareth, abducted and murdered on July 21 while on his way home, was found
on July 28, buried in an olive grove near Kafr Kana, an Arab village in the
Lower Galilee.

Aug 8, 2003 - Third Petty Officer Roi Oren, 20, an Israel Navy commando, was
shot in the head and killed in an assault on a Hamas bomb factory in Nablus.

Aug 10, 2003 - Haviv Dadon, 16, of Shlomi, was struck in the chest and
killed by shrapnel from an anti-aircraft shell fired by Hizbullah terrorists
in Lebanon, as he sat with friends after work. Four others were wounded.

Aug 12, 2003 - Yehezkel (Hezi) Yekutieli, 43, of Rosh Ha'ayin, was killed by
a teenaged Palestinian suicide bomber who detonated himself as Yekutieli was
shopping for his children's breakfast at his local supermarket.

Aug 12, 2003 - Erez Hershkovitz, 18, of Eilon Moreh, was killed by a
teenaged Palestinian suicide bomber who detonated himself at a bus stop
outside Ariel less than half an hour after the Rosh Ha'ayin attack. Amatzia
Nisanevitch, 22, of Nofim, died of his wounds on August 28.

Aug 19, 2003 - Twenty-three people were killed and over 130 wounded when a
Palestinian suicide bomber detonated himself on a No. 2 Egged bus in
Jerusalem's Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood. Hamas claimed responsibility for the
attack.
The victims: Avraham Bar-Or, 12, of Jerusalem; Binyamin Bergman, 15, of
Jerusalem; Yaakov Binder, 50, of Jerusalem; Feiga Dushinski, 50, of
Jerusalem; Miriam Eisenstein, 20, of Bnei Brak; Lilach Kardi, 22, of
Jerusalem; Menachem Leibel, 24, of Jerusalem; Elisheva Meshulami, 16, of
Bnei Brak; Tehilla Nathanson, 3, of Zichron Ya'acov; Chava Nechama
Rechnitzer, 19, of Bnei Brak; Mordechai Reinitz, 49, and Issachar Reinitz,
9, of Netanya; Maria Antonia Reslas, 39, of the Philippines; Liba Schwartz,
54, of Jerusalem; Hanoch Segal, 65, of Bnei Brak; Goldie Taubenfeld, 43, and
Shmuel Taubenfeld, 3 months, of New Square, New York; Rabbi Eliezer
Weisfish, 42, of Jerusalem; Shmuel Wilner, 50, of Jerusalem; Shmuel Zargari,
11 months, of Jerusalem.
Fruma Rahel Weitz, 73, of Jerusalem died of her wounds on August 23.
Mordechai Laufer, 27, of Netanya died of his wounds on September 5.
Tova Lev, 37, of Bnei-Brak died of her wounds on September 12.

Aug 29, 2003 - Shalom Har-Melekh, 25, of Homesh was killed in a shooting
attack while driving northeast of Ramallah. His wife, Limor, who was seven
months pregnant, sustained moderate injuries, and gave birth to a baby girl
by Caesarean section. The Fatah al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for
the attack.

Sept 4, 2003 - St.-Sgt. Gabriel Uziel, 20, of Givat Ze'ev was shot and
mortally wounded by a terrorist sniper in Jenin; he died en route to the
hospital. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Islamic Jihad claimed
responsibility for the attack.

Sept 5, 2003 - 2nd Petty Officer Ra'anan Komemi, 23, of Moshav Aminadav,
from the Naval Commandos was killed in a clash with armed Palestinians in
Nablus. A senior Hamas bomb-maker, believed to have orchestrated several
fatal suicide bombings, was also killed in the clash. Four soldiers were
wounded, one seriously.
?

Palestinians admit IDF captured healthy armed ? man in hospital cellar (Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades member)

Palestinian National Authority and human rights groups denounced the Israeli
army raid on two hospitals in the West Bank city of Nablus saying
international law prevents military operations in medical facilities.
Israeli forces advanced into Nablus last Saturday and surrounded at the same
time Rafidiyeh and Anglican hospitals to arrest two injured Palestinians,
one in critical condition.

Cabinet minister and Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat called the raid a "a grave
development that contravenes international law."? �This is the most flagrant
violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention when hospitals are not safe," he
said.

Human rights groups condemned the raids, fearing hospitals are no longer
neutral ground in the ongoing fighting, and saying that international law
bans military operations in medical facilities.

Noam Hoffstater, a spokesman for the Israeli human rights group B'tselem,
said the group was disturbed by the raid. "A hospital is not supposed to be
a refuge or a hiding place (for militants) on the one hand, but it can't be
invaded every other day," he said

Elsewhere in Nablus, troops stormed Rafidiyeh Hospital and arrested Jawad
Ishtayeh, 27, a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a splinter group
with links to Fateh . The military said troops found the Ishatayeh, hiding
in the hospital's cellar and armed with a pistol. The army said the man was
healthy, and Palestinian security sources said the man was not a patient and
was apparently accompanying a patient.


?


JORDAN TIMES 28 Oct.'03:" 'US should pay to rebuild Iraq' "

???? "Two-thirds of European Union citizens think the U.S.-led invasion of
Iraq was unjustified and the United States should pay to rebuild the
country"
?

... six months after the toppling of Saddam, a majority in every EU country
except Denmark said the war was unjustified.

... 68 per cent of EU citizens questioned said the war was totally or rather
unjustified, while 29 per cent said it was totally or rather justified. The
biggest antiwar majorities were in Greece (96 per cent), Austria (86 per
cent), France (81 per cent) and Spain (79 per cent), even though the Spanish
government supported the war.

Asked who should finance the rebuilding of
Iraq, 65 per cent of EU citizens said the United States, 44 per cent the
United Nations, 29 per cent the Iraqi provisional government and 24 per cent
said the European Union. Multiple answers were allowed.

Asked whether they
favoured their own country's financial participation in rebuilding Iraq, 54
per cent said they were totally or partially in favour, while 45 per cent
said they were totally or partially opposed. Overall, 54 per cent opposed
sending peacekeepers from their own country while 44 per cent were in
favour.? ... detailed breakdown showed majorities for sending troops in
Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Britain. The strongest
opposition to sending peacekeepers was in Germany, Greece, Austria and
France.
?


Saudi sermon: destroy...Jews, Christians, and atheists

FBIS Report - Friday sermons broadcast from? Saudi Arabia? on 24 October
2003:
[With thanks to www.mideastweb.org/mewnews1.htm ]

SAUDI ARABIA:

Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV1 in Arabic, official station of the Saudi
Government, carries at 0911 GMT a live sermon from the holy mosque in Mecca.


The imam concludes with a prayer to God to support Islam and Muslims, humble
infidelity and infidels, elevate the word of right and religion, and support
His faithful subjects. He also prays to God to preserve the king and guide
him and other Muslim rulers according to the Koran and Sunnah. He prays: "O
God, support our brother mujahidin for Your sake and religion everywhere. O
God, support them in Palestine against the usurper Jews.
" He also prays for
Islamic unity.

Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV2 in Arabic, official television station of
the Saudi Government, carries at 0921 GMT a live sermon from the holy mosque
in Medina.

?He prays: "O God, support
Islam and Muslims and destroy the enemies of Islam, including Jews,
Christians, and atheists. O God, whoever wishes our country or Muslim
countries evil, busy him with himself and make his plot turn against him."
He also prays: "O God, support our oppressed brothers against the usurper
Jews in Palestine. O God, deal with Jews for they are within Your power. O
God, show us the miracle of Your power on them. O God, shake the land under
their feet, instill fear in their hearts, and make them booty for Muslims
and a lesson to others. O God, free the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque from the
clutches of the Jews."

?

'A Media Coup'


How's this for an offensive headline: "Attack Is a Media Coup for Iraq Resistance, Experts Say." That appeared on the front page of yesterday's Los Angeles Times. There's something almost obscenely decadent about a newspaper reporting on an attack against Americans as if it were a public-relations campaign.

Along similar lines, here's the first paragraph of a story in today's Long Island Newsday: "The latest rocket and bomb attacks in Baghdad are only the most recent in a series of setbacks for the Bush administration that threaten to turn Iraq into a political liability just as the 2004 election cycle is beginning."

Oh, and by the way, some people were killed.

?

This Just In


"Sept. 11, 2001, like Pearl Harbor, traumatized the nation."--editorial, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct.?28, 2003


Posted by trafael at 3:32 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 22 November 2003 5:42 PM EST
Sunday, 2 November 2003

Supposedly 95% or Anti-semitic attacks in Europe are purported by Moslem. There is however widespread Anti-semitism in the left dominated media and the universities which poison the public opinion.

 

GETTING THE MESSAGE

We're Not Losing Anymore


New media give conservatives a fighting chance in the culture wars.

BY BRIAN C. ANDERSON
Monday, November 3, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

The left's near monopoly over the institutions of opinion and information--which long allowed liberal opinion makers to sweep aside ideas and beliefs they disagreed with, as if they were beneath argument--is skidding to a startlingly swift halt. The transformation has gone far beyond the rise of conservative talk radio, which, ever since Rush Limbaugh's debut 15 years ago, has chipped away at the power of the New York Times, the networks and the rest of the elite media to set the terms of the nation's political and cultural debate.

Almost overnight, three huge changes in communications have injected conservative ideas right into the heart of that debate. Though commentators have noted each of these changes separately, they haven't sufficiently grasped how, taken together, they add up to a revolution. No longer can the left keep conservative views out of the mainstream or dismiss them with bromide instead of argument. Everything has changed.

The first and most visible of these three seismic events: the advent of cable TV, especially Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel. Since its 1996 launch, Fox News has provided what its visionary CEO, Roger Ailes, calls a "haven" for viewers fed up with the liberal bias of the news media--potentially a massive audience, since the mainstream media stand well to the American people's left.

Watch Fox for just a few hours and you encounter a conservative presence unlike anything on TV. Where CBS and CNN would lead a news item about an impending execution with a candlelight vigil of death-penalty protesters, for instance, at Fox "it is de rigueur that we put in the lead why that person is being executed," senior vice president for news John Moody noted a while back. Fox viewers will see Republican politicians and conservative pundits sought out for meaningful quotations, skepticism voiced about environmentalist doomsaying, religion treated with respect, pro-life views given airtime--and much else they'd never find on other networks.

Fox's conservatism helps it scoop competitors on stories they get wrong or miss entirely because of liberal bias. In April 2002, for instance, the mainstream media rushed to report an Israeli "massacre" of Palestinian civilians in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin; Fox uniquely--and correctly, it turned out--treated the massacre charge with complete skepticism. "We try to avoid falling for the conventional liberal wisdom in journalistic circles--in this case the conventional wisdom 'Israeli bad, Palestinian good,' " says daytime anchorman David Asman. "Too often ideology shapes the tendency to jump to a conclusion--something we try to be aware of in our own case, too."

Nowhere does Fox differ more radically from the mainstream television and press than in its robustly pro-U.S. coverage of the war on terror. After September 11, the American flag appeared everywhere, from the lapels of the anchormen to the corner of the screen. Mr. Ailes himself wrote to President Bush, urging him to strike back hard against al Qaeda. On-air personalities and reporters freely referred to "our" troops instead of "U.S. forces," and Islamist "terrorists" and "evildoers" instead of "militants." Such open displays of patriotism are anathema to today's liberal journalists, who see "taking sides" as a betrayal of journalistic objectivity.

Mr. Asman demurs. For the free media to take sides against an enemy bent on eradicating the free society itself, he argues, isn't unfair or culturally biased; it is the only possible logical and moral stance. And to call Osama bin Laden a "militant," as Reuters does, is to subvert the truth, not uphold it. "Terrorism is terrorism," Mr. Asman says crisply. "We know what it is, and we know how to define it, just as our viewers know what it is. So we're not going to play with them. When we see an act of terror, we're going to call it terror." On television news, anyway, Fox alone seemed to grasp this essential point from September 11 on. Says Mr. Asman: "CNN, MSNBC, the media generally were not declarative enough in calling a spade a spade."

 

 

Fox's very tone conveys its difference from the networks' worldview. "Fox News lacks the sense of out-of-touch elitism that makes many Americans, whatever their politics, annoyed with the news media," maintains media critic Gene Veith. "Fox reporters almost never condescend to viewers," he observes. "The other networks do so all the time, peering down on the vulgar masses from social height (think Peter Jennings) or deigning to enlighten the public about things that only they understand (think Peter Arnett)."

This tone doesn't mark only Fox's populist shows, like pugnacious superstar Bill O'Reilly's. Even when Fox goes upscale, in Brit Hume's urbane nightly "Special Report," for example, the civility elevates rather than belittles the viewer. For Mr. Ailes, Fox's antielitism is key. "There's a whole country that elitists will never acknowledge," he told the New York Times Magazine. "What people resent deeply out there are those in the 'blue' states thinking they're smarter."

The "fair and balanced" approach that Fox trumpets in its slogan is part of this iconoclastic tone, too. Sure, the anchor is almost always a conservative, but it's clear he is striving to tell the truth, and there's always a liberal on hand, too. By contrast, political consultant and Fox contributor Dick Morris notes, "the other networks offer just one point of view, which they claim is objective." Not only does the Fox approach make clear that there is always more than one point of view, but it also puts the network's liberal guests in the position of having to defend their views--something that almost never happens on other networks.

Viewers clearly like what they see. Fox's ratings, already climbing since the station debuted in 1996, really began to rocket upward after the terrorist attack and blasted into orbit with Operation Iraqi Freedom. "In the Iraqi war," Mr. Morris explains, "the viewing audience truly saw how incredibly biased the other networks were: 'Turkey did not let us through, the plan was flawed, we attacked with too few troops, our supply lines weren't secure, the army would run out of rations and ammo, the Iraqis would use poison gas, the oil wells would go up in flames, there would be street-to-street fighting in Baghdad, the museum lost its priceless artifacts to looters,' and now we're onto this new theme that 'Iraq is a quagmire' and that there 'aren't any weapons of mass destruction' and that 'Bush lied'--and all the while, thanks in part to Fox News, Americans are seeing with their own eyes how much this is crazy spin." The yawning gulf separating reality and the mainstream media during the war and its aftermath, Mr. Morris believes, "will kill the other networks in the immediate future--to Fox's benefit."

The numbers make clear just how stunning Fox's rise has been. Starting with access to only 17 million homes (compared with CNN's 70 million) in 1996, by 2001 Fox could reach 65 million homes and had already started to turn a profit. A year later, profits hit $70 million and are expected to double in 2003. Though CNN founder Ted Turner once boasted he'd "squish Murdoch like a bug," Fox News has outpaced its chief cable news rival in the ratings since September 11 and now runs laps around it. This past June, Fox won a whopping 51% of the prime-time cable news audience--more than CNN, CNN Headline News, and MSNBC combined.

The station's powerhouse, "The O'Reilly Factor," averages around three million viewers every night, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom the "No Spin Zone" drew as many as seven million on a given night; CNN's Larry King, once the king of cable, has slipped to 1.3 million nightly viewers. Cheery "Fox and Friends" has even edged out CBS's "Early Show" in the ratings a few times, even though CBS is free, while Fox is available only on cable and satellite (and not every operator carries it). While the total viewership for nightly newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC--more than 25 million--still dwarfs Fox's viewers, the networks are hemorrhaging. CBS News just suffered its lousiest ratings period ever, down 600,000 viewers; 1.1 million fewer people watch the three network news programs today than 12 months ago.

Fox enjoys especially high numbers among advertiser-coveted 25- to 54-year-old viewers, and it is attracting even younger news junkies. As one CNN producer admits, Fox is "more in touch with the younger age group, not just the 25-54 demo, but probably the 18-year-olds." Even more attractive to advertisers, Fox viewers watch for 20 to 25 minutes before clicking away; CNN watchers stay only 10 minutes. Fox's typical viewer also makes more money on average--nearly $60,000 a year--than those of its main cable rivals.

Not only conservatives like what they see. A new Pew Research Center survey shows that of the 22% of Americans who now get most of their news from Fox (compared with a combined 32% for the networks), 46% call themselves "conservative," only slightly higher than the 40% of CNN fans who do so. Fox is thus exposing many centrists (32% of Fox's regular viewers) and liberals (18%) to conservative ideas and opinions they would not regularly find elsewhere in the television news--and some of those folks could be liking the conservative worldview as well as the professionalism of the staff and veracity of the programming.

 

 

The news isn't the only place on cable where conservatives will feel at home. Lots of cable comedy, while not traditionally conservative, is fiercely antiliberal, which as a practical matter often amounts nearly to the same thing. Take "South Park," Comedy Central's hit cartoon series, whose heroes are four crudely animated and impossibly foul-mouthed fourth-graders named Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Stan. Now in its seventh season, "South Park," with nearly three million viewers per episode, is Comedy Central's highest-rated program.

Many conservatives have attacked South Park for its exuberant vulgarity, calling it "twisted," "vile trash," a "threat to our youth." Such denunciations are misguided. Conservative critics should pay closer attention to what "South Park" so irreverently jeers at and mocks. As the show's co-creator, 32-year-old Matt Stone, sums it up: "I hate conservatives, but I really f---ing hate liberals."

Not for nothing has blogger and former New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan praised the show for being "the best antidote to PC culture we have." "South Park" sharpens the iconoclastic, anti-PC edge of earlier cartoon shows like "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill," and spares no sensitivity. The show's single black kid is called Token. One episode, "Cripple Fight," concludes with a slugfest between the boys' wheelchair-bound, cerebral-palsy-stricken friend, Timmy, and the obnoxious Jimmy, who wants to be South Park's No. 1 "handi-capable" citizen (in his cringe-making PC locution). In another, "Rainforest Shmainforest," the boys' school sends them on a field trip to Costa Rica, led by an activist choir group, "Getting Gay with Kids," which wants to raise youth awareness about "our vanishing rain forests." Shown San Jos?, Costa Rica's capital, the boys are unimpressed:

 

Cartman: [holding his nose] Oh my God, it smells like ass out here!

Choir teacher: All right, that does it! Eric Cartman, you respect other cultures this instant.

Cartman: I wasn't saying anything about their culture, I was just saying their city smells like ass.

But if the city is unpleasant, the rainforest itself is a nightmare: The boys get lost, wilt from the infernal heat, face deadly assaults from monstrous insects and a giant snake, run afoul of revolutionary banditos, and--worst of all--must endure the choir teacher's New-Agey gushing: "Shhh! Children! Let's try to listen to what the rainforest tells us, and if we use our ears, she can tell us so many things." By the horrifying trip's end, the boys are desperate for civilization, and the choir teacher herself has come to despise the rainforest she once worshiped: "You go right ahead and plow down this whole f---in' thing," she tells a construction worker.

The episode concludes with the choir's new song:

 

Doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo wa.
There's a place called the rain forest that truly sucks ass.
Let's knock it all down and get rid of it fast.
You say "save the rain forest" but what do you know?
You've never been there before.
Getting Gay with Kids is here
To tell you things you might not like to hear.
You only fight these causes 'cause caring sells.
All you activists can go f--- yourselves.

As the disclaimer before each episode states, the show is so offensive "it should not be viewed by anyone."

 

 

One of the contemporary left's most extreme (and, to conservatives, objectionable) strategies is its effort to draw the mantle of civil liberties over behavior once deemed criminal, pathological or immoral, as a brilliant "South Park" episode featuring a visit to town by the North American Man-Boy Love Association--the ultraradical activist group advocating gay sex with minors--satirizes:

 

Nambla leader: Rights? Does anybody know their rights? You see, I've learned something today. Our forefathers came to this country because they believed in an idea. An idea called "freedom." They wanted to live in a place where a group couldn't be prosecuted for their beliefs. Where a person can live the way he chooses to live. You see us as being perverted because we're different from you. People are afraid of us, because they don't understand. And sometimes it's easier to persecute than to understand.

Kyle: Dude. You have sex with children.

Nambla leader: We are human. Most of us didn't even choose to be attracted to young boys. We were born that way. We can't help the way we are, and if you all can't understand that, well, then, I guess you'll just have to put us away.

Kyle: [slowly, for emphasis] Dude. You have sex. With children.

Stan: Yeah. You know, we believe in equality for everybody, and tolerance, and all that gay stuff, but dude, f--- you.

Another episode--"Cherokee Hair Tampons"--ridicules multiculti sentimentality about holistic medicine and the "wisdom" of native cultures. Kyle suffers a potentially fatal kidney disorder, and his clueless parents try to cure it with "natural" Native American methods, leaving their son vomiting violently and approaching death's door:

 

Kyle's mom: Everything is going to be fine, Stan; we're bringing in Kyle tomorrow to see the Native Americans personally.

Stan: Isn't it possible that these Indians don't know what they're talking about?

Stan's mom: You watch your mouth, Stanley. The Native Americans were raped of their land and resources by white people like us.

Stan: And that has something to do with their medicines because . . .?

Stan's mom: Enough, Stanley!

"South Park" regularly mocks left-wing celebrities who feel entitled to pontificate on how the nation should be run. In one of the most brutal parodies, made in just several days during the 2000 Florida recount fiasco, loudmouth Rosie O'Donnell sweeps into town to weigh in on a kindergarten election dispute involving her nephew. The boys' teacher dresses her down: "People like you preach tolerance and open-mindedness all the time, but when it comes to middle America, you think we're all evil and stupid country yokels who need your political enlightenment. Just because you're on TV doesn't mean you know crap about the government."

"South Park" has satirized the 1960s counterculture (Cartman has feverish nightmares about hippies, who "want to save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad"), anti-big-business zealots (a "Harbucks" coffee chain opens in South Park, to initial resistance but eventual acclaim as everyone--including the local coffee house's owners--admits its bean beats anything previously on offer in the town), sex ed in school (featuring "the Sexual Harassment Panda," an outrageous classroom mascot), pro-choice extremists (Cartman's mother decides she wants to abort him, even though he's eight years old, relying on the "it's my body" argument), hate-crime legislation, antidiscrimination lawsuits, gay scout leaders and much more. Conservatives do not escape the show's satirical sword--gun-toting rednecks and phony patriots have been among those slashed. But there should be no mistaking the deepest political thrust of "South Park."

 

 

That antiliberal worldview dominates other cable comedy too. Also on Comedy Central is "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn," a new late-night chatfest where the conversation--on race, terrorism, war and other topics--is anything but politically correct. The Brooklyn-born Mr. Quinn, a former "Weekend Update" anchor on "Saturday Night Live"' and a Fox News fan, can be Rumsfeldesque in his comic riffs, like this one deriding excessive worries about avoiding civilian casualties in Iraq: "This war is so polite," he grumbles. "We used to be 'Semper fi.' Next, we'll be dropping comment cards over Iraq saying 'How did you hear about us?' and 'Would you say that we're a country that goes to war sometimes, often or never?' "

Then there's Dennis Miller, another "Saturday Night Live" alum, whose 2003 HBO stand-up comedy special "The Raw Feed" relentlessly derides liberal shibboleths. In his stream-of-consciousness rants, whose cumulative effect gets audiences roaring with laughter, Mr. Miller blasts the teachers unions for opposing vouchers, complains about the sluggish work habits of government workers ("ironically, in our highly driven culture, it would appear the only people not interested in pushing the envelope are postal employees"), and attacks opponents of Alaskan oil drilling for "playing the species card."

Mr. Miller, like Mr. Quinn, is unapologetically hawkish in the war on terror. Dismissing the effectiveness of U.N. weapons inspectors in the run-up to the Iraq war, he says: "Watching the U.N. in action makes you want to give Ritalin to a glacier." On war opponents France and Germany, he's acid: "The French are always reticent to surrender to the wishes of their friends and always more than willing to surrender to the wishes of their enemies," and, "Maybe Germany didn't want to get involved in this war because it wasn't on a grand enough scale." Lately, he's been campaigning with President Bush, crediting W. for making him "proud to be an American again" after the "wocka-wocka porn guitar of the Clinton administration." Fox hired him to do weekly news commentary, and last week CNBC gave him his own prime-time political talk show.

Why is cable and satellite TV less uniformly "Whoopi" or "West Wing" than ABC, CBS and NBC? With long-pent-up market demand for entertainment that isn't knee-jerk liberal in its sensibilities, cable's multiplicity of channels has given writers and producers who don't fit the elite media mold the chance to meet that demand profitably.

Andrew Sullivan dubs the fans of all this cable-nurtured satire "South Park Republicans"--people who "believe we need a hard-ass foreign policy and are extremely skeptical of political correctness" but also are socially liberal on many issues, Sullivan explains. Such South Park Republicanism is a real trend among younger Americans, he observes. The typical "South Park" viewer, for instance, is an advertiser-ideal 28.

Talk to right-leaning college students, and it's clear that Mr. Sullivan is onto something. Arizona State undergrad Eric Spratling says the definition fits him and his Republican pals perfectly. "The label is really about rejecting the image of conservatives as uptight squares--crusty old men or nerdy kids in blue blazers. We might have long hair, smoke cigarettes, get drunk on weekends, have sex before marriage, watch R-rated movies, cuss like sailors--and also happen to be conservative, or at least libertarian." Recent Stanford grad Craig Albrecht says most of his young Bush-supporter friends "absolutely cherish" "South Park"-style comedy "for its illumination of hypocrisy and stupidity in all spheres of life." It just so happens, he adds, "that most hypocrisy and stupidity take place within the liberal camp."

Further supporting Mr. Sullivan's contention, Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice--a "punk-rock-capitalist" entertainment corporation that publishes the hipster bible Vice magazine, produces CDs and films, runs clothing stores, and claims (plausibly) to have been "deep inside the heads of 18-30s for the past 10 years"--spots "a new trend of young people tired of being lied to for the sake of the 'greater good.' " Especially on military matters, Mr. McInnes believes, many 20-somethings are disgusted with the left. The knee-jerk left's days "are numbered," McInnes tells The American Conservative. "They are slowly but surely being replaced with a new breed of kid that isn't afraid to embrace conservatism."

Polling data indicate that younger voters are indeed trending rightward--supporting the Iraq war by a wider majority than their elders, viewing school vouchers favorably, and accepting greater restrictions on abortion, such as parental-notification laws (though more accepting of homosexuality than older voters). Together with the Foxification of cable news, this new attitude among the young, reflected in the hippest cable comedy (and in cutting-edge cable dramas such as FX's "The Shield" and HBO's "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under," which are unflinchingly honest about crime, race, sex, and faith, and avoid the saccharine liberal moralizing of much network entertainment), can only make Karl Rove happy.

 

 

What should make him positively giddy is the rise of the Internet, the second explosive change shaking liberal media dominance. It's hard to overstate the impact that news and opinion Web sites like the Drudge Report, NewsMax and OpinionJournal.com are having on politics and culture, as are current-event "blogs"--individual or group Web diaries--like AndrewSullivan.com, InstaPundit and "The Corner" department of National Review Online, where the editors and writers argue, joke around and call attention to articles elsewhere on the Web. This whole universe of Web-based discussion has been dubbed the "blogosphere."

While there are several fine left-of-center sites, the blogosphere currently tilts right, albeit idiosyncratically, reflecting the hard-to-pigeonhole politics of some leading bloggers. Like talk radio and Fox News, the right-leaning sites fill a market void. "Many bloggers felt shut out by institutions that have adopted--explicitly or implicitly--a left-wing orthodoxy," says Erin O'Connor, whose blog, Critical Mass, exposes campus PC gobbledygook. The orthodox left's blame-America-first response to September 11 has also helped tilt the blogosphere rightward. "There were damned few noble responses to that cursed day from the 'progressive' part of the political spectrum," avers Los Angeles-based blogger and journalist Matt Welch, "so untold thousands of people just started blogs, in anger," Mr. Welch among them. "I was pushed into blogging on September 16, 2001, in direct response to reading five days' worth of outrageous bullshit in the media from people like Noam Chomsky and Robert Jensen."

For a frustrated citizen like Mr. Welch, it's easy to get your ideas circulating on the Internet. Start-up costs for a blog are small, printing and mailing costs nonexistent. Few blogs make money, though, since advertisers are leery of the Web and no one seems willing to pay to read anything on it.

The Internet's most powerful effect has been to expand vastly the range of opinion--especially conservative opinion--at everyone's fingertips. "The Internet helps break up the traditional cultural gatekeepers' power to determine a) what's important and b) the range of acceptable opinion," says former Reason editor and libertarian blogger Virginia Postrel. InstaPundit's Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, agrees: "The main role of the Internet and blogosphere is to call the judgment of elites about what is news into question."

The Drudge Report is a perfect case in point. Five years since Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story, his news-and-gossip site has become an essential daily visit for political junkies, journalists, media types and--with 1.4 billion hits in 2002--seemingly anyone with an Internet connection. The site features occasional newsworthy items investigated and written by Mr. Drudge, but mostly it's an editorial filter, linking to stories on other small and large news and opinion sites--a filter that crucially exhibits no bias against the right. (Mr. Drudge, a registered Republican, calls himself "a pro-life conservative who doesn't want the government to tax me.") The constantly updated cornucopia of information, culled from a vast number of global sources and e-mailed tips from across the political spectrum, says critic Camille Paglia, a Drudge enthusiast, points up by contrast "the process of censorship that's going on, the filtering of the news by established news organizations." Other popular news-filter sites, including FreeRepublic, Lucianne.com and RealClearPolitics, perform a similar function.

In a different register, Arts & Letters Daily, a site devoted to intellectual journalism, is similarly ecumenical in what it links to, posting articles from publications as diverse as City Journal on the right to the New Left Review. When Arts & Letters ran into financial trouble last year, both neoconservative elder Norman Podhoretz and Nation columnist Eric Alterman rushed to its defense. Going from 300 page views a day in 1998 to more than 70,000 in 2003, and with many left-leaning readers (including a large number of academics), it has introduced a whole new audience to serious conservative thought.

Though not quite in Drudge's league in readership, the top explicitly right-leaning sites, updated daily, have generated huge followings. Andrew Sullivan's blog, launched in the late 1990s, attracted 400,000 visitors this July. FrontPage Magazine, vigorously lambasting political correctness, the antiwar campaign and other "progressive" follies, draws as many as 1.7 million visitors in a month. More than 1.4 million visitors landed on OpinionJournal this past March, when the liberation of Iraq began, most to read editor James Taranto's "Best of the Web Today," an incisive guide to and commentary on the day's top Internet stories. National Review Online, featuring scores of new articles daily, averages slightly over one million a month--and over two million during the war. "More people read NRO than all the conservative magazines combined," the site's editor-at-large, Jonah Goldberg, marvels. The Web's interconnectivity--the fact that bloggers and news and opinion sites readily link to one another and comment on one another's postings, forming a kind of 21st-century agora--amplifies and extends the influence of any site that catches the heavy hitters' attention.

It's not just the large numbers of readers that these sites attract that is so significant for the conservative cause; it's also who those readers are. Just as Fox News is pulling in a younger viewership, who will reshape the politics of the future, so these conservative sites are proving particularly popular with younger readers. "They think: 'If it's not on the Web, it doesn't exist,' " says Mr. Goldberg. FrontPage's Web traffic shoots up dramatically during the school year, as lots of college students log on.

Equally important, these sites draw the attention of journalists. "Everyone who deals in media--and they're not all ideologues on the left--is reading the Internet all the time," says FrontPage editor David Horowitz. "Michael," who co-authors the 2blowhards culture-and-politics blog as an avocation while working full time for a major left-leaning national news organization (he uses a pseudonym because his bosses wouldn't like the blog's not-so-liberal opinions), reports: "I notice the younger people on staff in particular are aware of blogs--and that a lot of local newspapers seem to have people who stay on top of blogs, too." The Internet's power, observes Mickey Kaus, the former New Republic writer whose Kausfiles blog has become indispensable reading for anyone interested in politics, "is due primarily to its influence over professional journalists, who then influence the public." Judges Andrew Sullivan: "I think I have just as much ability to inject an idea or an argument into the national debate through my blog as I did through The New Republic."

Almost daily, stories that originate on the Web make their way into print or onto TV or radio. Fox and Rush Limbaugh, for instance, often pick up stories from FrontPage and OpinionJournal--especially those about the antiwar left. Fox News's Sean Hannity surfs the net up to eight hours a day, searching sites like Drudge and the hard-right news site WorldNetDaily for stories to cover. Phrases introduced in the blogosphere now "percolate out into the real world with amazing rapidity," InstaPundit's Glenn Reynolds recently noted. For example, the day after the humor blog ScrappleFace coined the term "Axis of Weasel" to satirize the antiwar alliance of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder, the New York Post used it as a headline, talk radio and CNN and Fox News repeated it, and it soon made its way into French and German media.

 

 

The speed with which Internet sites can post new material is one source of their influence. No sooner has the latest Paul Krugman New York Times column attacking the Bush administration appeared, for example, than the "Krugman Truth Squad" will post an article on NRO exposing the economist's myriad mistakes, distortions, and evasions. Earlier this year, the Truth Squad caught Krugman comparing the cost of President Bush's tax cuts over 10 years with the one-year wage boost associated with the new employment it would create, so as to make the tax reductions seem insanely large for the small benefit they'd bring--a laughably ignorant mistake or, more likely, a deliberate attempt to mislead in order to discredit Mr. Bush. The discomfiture Web critics have caused Mr. Krugman has forced him to respond on his own Web site, offering various lame rationales for his errors, and denouncing the Truth Squad's Donald Luskin as his "stalker-in-chief."

The timeliness of Web publication also means that right from the start a wealth of conservative opinion is circulating about any new development--often before the New York Times and the Washington Post get a chance to weigh in. A blog or opinion site "can have an influence on elite opinion before the conventional wisdom among elites congeals," notes Nick Schulz, editor of TechCentralStation.com, a site that covers technology and public policy. A case in point is the blogosphere "storm" (a ferocious burst of online argument, with site linking to site linking to site) that made a big issue out of the Democrats' unseemly transformation of Senator Paul Wellstone's funeral into a naked political rally, forcing the mainstream media to cover the story, which in turn created outrage that ultimately may have cost the Dems Wellstone's seat in the 2002 election. Blogosphere outrage over Sen. Trent Lott's comments that seemed to praise segregation at onetime Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party, led by NRO and other conservative sites keen to liberate modern conservatism from any vestige of racism and to make the GOP a champion of black advancement, shaped the mainstream media's coverage of that controversy, too--helping to push Mr. Lott from his perch as majority leader.

Debunking liberal humbug is one of the Web's most powerful political effects: bloggers call it the Internet's "bullshit detector" role. The New York Times has been the No. 1 target of the BS detectors--especially during the reign of deposed executive editor and liberal ideologue Howell Raines. "Only, say, five years ago, the editors of the New York Times had much more power than they have today," Andrew Sullivan points out. "They could spin stories with gentle liberal bias, and only a few eyes would roll." If they made an egregious error, they could bury the correction later. The Internet makes such bias and evasion harder--maybe impossible--to pull off. It was the blogosphere that revealed Enron-bashing Mr. Krugman's former ties to Enron, showed how the paper twisted its polls to further a liberal agenda, exposed how it used its front page to place Henry Kissinger falsely in the anti-Iraq war camp, and then, as the war got under way, portrayed it as harshly as possible.

It's safe to say that the blogosphere cost Mr. Raines his job. When the story broke about Times reporter and Raines favorite Jayson Blair's outrageous fabrications in the paper's pages, Messrs. Sullivan, Kaus and Drudge, blogger-reporter Seth Mnookin and other Web writers kept it alive, creating pressure for other media, including television, to cover it. When disgruntled Times staffers began to leak damning information about Mr. Raines's high-handed management style to Jim Romenesko's influential media-news site sponsored by the Poynter Institute, the end was near. Kausfiles' "Howell Raines-O-Meter," gauging the probability of the editor's downfall, was up barely a day or two when Mr. Raines stepped down. "The outcome would have been different without the Internet," Mr. Kaus says. The Times' new ombudsman acknowledged the point: "We're not happy that blogs became the forum for our dirty linen, but somebody had to wash it and it got washed."

But the Blair affair was more final straw than primary cause of Mr. Raines's fall. Unremitting Internet-led criticism and mockery of the editor's front-page partisanship had already severely tarnished the Times' reputation. It may take the Times a while to restore readers' trust: a new Rasmussen poll shows that less than half of Americans believe that the paper reliably conveys the truth (while 72% find Fox News reliable); circulation is down 5% since March 2002.

Other liberal media giants have taken notice. In May, the Los Angeles Times' top editor, John Carroll, fired an e-mail to his troops warning that the paper was suffering from "the perception and the occasional reality that the Times is a liberal, 'politically correct' newspaper." In the new era of heightened Web scrutiny, Mr. Carroll was arguing, you can't just dismiss conservative views but must take them seriously. By the recent recall vote, though, the lesson had evaporated.

 

 

The third big change breaking the liberal media stranglehold is taking place in book publishing. Conservative authors long had trouble getting their books released, with only Regnery Books, the Free Press and Basic Books regularly releasing conservative titles. But following editorial changes during the 1990s, Basic and Free Press published far fewer conservative-leaning titles, leaving Regnery pretty much alone.

No more. Nowadays, publishers are falling over themselves to bring conservative books to a mainstream audience. "Between now and December," Publishers Weekly wrote in July, "scores of books on conservative topics will be published by houses large and small--the most ever produced in a single season. Already, 2003 has been a banner year for such books, with at least one and often two conservative titles hitting PW's bestseller list each week." Joining Regnery in releasing mass-market right-leaning books are two new imprints from superpower publishers, Random House's Crown Forum and an as-yet-untitled Penguin series.

These imprints will publish mostly Ann Coulter-style polemics--one of Crown Forum's current releases, for example, is James Hirsen's "The Left Coast," a take-no-prisoners attack on Hollywood liberals. But higher-brow conservative books will pour forth over the next six months from Peter Collier's Encounter Books, Ivan R. Dee (publisher of City Journal books), the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (it's releasing Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "Russia in Collapse," the Nobel Prize-winner's first book in English in nearly a decade), Yale University Press, Lexington Books and Spence Books. Other top imprints--from HarperCollins to the University of Chicago Press--are also publishing books that flout liberal orthodoxy. And Bookspan, which runs the Book-of-the-Month Club, has announced a new conservative book club, headed by a former National Review literary editor.

It's no exaggeration to describe this surge of conservative publishing as a paradigm shift. "It would have been unthinkable 10 years ago that mainstream publishers would embrace this trend," acknowledges Doubleday editor and author Adam Bellow, who got his start in editing in 1988 at the Free Press, where he and his boss, the late Erwin Glikes, encountered "a tremendous amount of marketplace and institutional resistance" in pushing conservative titles. "There was no conspiracy," avers Crown Forum publisher Steve Ross. "We were culturally isolated on this island of Manhattan, and people tend to publish to people of like mind."

Ross believes that September 11 shook up the publishing world and made it less reflexively liberal. And in fact, many new conservative titles concern the war on terror. But what really overcame the big New York publishers' liberal prejudices is the oodles of money Washington-based Regnery was making. "We've had a string of bestsellers that is probably unmatched in publishing," Regnery president Marji Ross points out. "We publish 20 to 25 titles a year, and we've had 16 books on the New York Times bestseller list over the last four years--including Bernard Goldberg's "Bias," which spent seven weeks at No 1." Adds Bernadette Malone, a former Regnery editor heading up Penguin's new conservative imprint: "The success of Regnery's books woke up the industry: 'Hello? There's 50% of the population that we're underserving, even ignoring. We have an opportunity to talk to these people, figure out what interests them, and put out professional-quality books on topics that haven't been sufficiently explored.' " Mr. Bellow puts it more bluntly: "Business rationality has trumped ideological aversion. And that's capitalism."

There's another reason that conservative books are selling: the emergence of conservative talk radio, cable TV and the Internet. This "right-wing media circuit," as Publishers Weekly describes it, reaches millions of potential readers and thus makes the traditional gatekeepers of ideas--above all, the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books, publications that rarely deign to review conservative titles--increasingly irrelevant in winning an audience for a book.

Ask publisher Peter Collier. After only three years in business, his Encounter Books will sell $3 million worth of books this year, he says--not bad for an imprint specializing in serious works of history, culture and political analysis aimed at both conservatives and open-minded liberals. Several Encounter titles have sold in the 35,000 range, and a Bill Kristol-edited volume laying out reasons for war in Iraq has sold more than 60,000 copies. Instead of worrying about high-profile reviews in the media mainstream--"I've had God-knows-how-many books published by now, and maybe three reviews in the New York Times Book Review," laughs Mr. Collier--Encounter sells books by getting its authors discussed on the Internet and interviewed on talk radio, Fox News and C-Span's ideologically neutral "Book TV." "A Q&A on NRO sells books very, very well," Mr. Collier explains. "It's comparable to a major newspaper review." A bold Drudge Report headline will move far more copies than even good newspaper reviews, claims Regnery's Marji Ross. A book discussed on AndrewSullivan.com will briefly blast up the Amazon.com bestseller list--even hitting the top five.

Amazon itself is another boon to conservatives, since the Internet giant betrays no ideological bias in selling books. Nor do big chain booksellers like Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble, where Bill O'Reilly books pile up right next to Michael Moore's latest loony-left rant. "The rise of Amazon and the chain stores has been tremendously liberating for conservatives, because these stores are very much product-oriented businesses," observes David Horowitz. "The independent bookstores are all controlled by leftists, and they're totalitarians--they will not display conservative books, or if they do, they'll hide them in the back." Says Marji Ross: "We have experienced our books being buried or kept in the back room when a store manager or owner opposed their message." She's a big fan of Amazon and the chains.

Amazon's Reader Reviews feature--where readers can post their opinions on books they've read and rate them--has helped diminish the authority of elite cultural guardians, too, by creating a truly democratic marketplace of ideas. "I don't think there's ever been a similar review medium--a really broad-based consumers' guide for culture," says 2blowhards blogger Michael. "I've read some stuff on Amazon that's been as good as anything I've read in the real press."

 

 

All these remarkable, brand-new transformations have sent the left reeling. Fox News especially is driving liberals wild. Al Gore calls Fox a right-wing "fifth column," and he yearns to set up a left-wing competitor, as if left-wing media didn't already exist. Comedian and activist Al Franken's new book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," is one long jeremiad against Fox. Washington Post media critic Tom Shales calls Fox a "propaganda mill." The Columbia Journalism School's Todd Gitlin worries that Fox "emboldens the right wing to feel justified and confident they can promote their policies." "There's room for conservative talk radio on television," sniffs CNN anchor Aaron Brown, the very embodiment of the elite journalist. "But I don't think anyone ought to pretend it's the New York Times or CNN."

But it's not just Fox. Liberals have been pooh-poohing all of these developments. Dennis Miller used to be the hippest joker around. Now, complains a critic in the liberal Webzine Salon, he's "uncomfortably juvenile," exhibiting "the sort of simplistic, reactionary American stance that gives us a bad reputation around the world." The Boston Globe's Alex Beam dismisses the blogosphere with typical liberal hauteur: "Welcome to Blogistan, the Internet-based journalistic medium where no thought goes unpublished, no long-out-of-print book goes unhawked, and no fellow 'blogger,' no matter how outr?, goes unpraised." And those right-wing books are a danger to society, grouse liberals; their "bile-spewing" authors "have limited background expertise and a great flair for adding fuel to hot issues," claims Norman Provizer, a Rocky Mountain News columnist. "The harm is if people start thinking these lightweights are providing heavyweight answers."

Well. The fair and balanced observer will hear in such hysterical complaint and angry foot-stamping baffled frustration over the loss of a liberal monoculture, which has long protected the left from debate--and from the realization that its unexamined ideas are sadly threadbare. "The left has never before had its point of view challenged and its arguments made fun of and shot full of holes on the public stage," concludes social thinker Michael Novak, who has been around long enough to recognize how dramatically things are changing. Hoover Institute fellow Tod Lindberg agrees: "Liberals aren't prepared for real argument," he says. "Elite opinion is no longer univocal. It engages in real argument in real time." New York Times columnist David Brooks even sees the left falling into despair over the new conservative media that have "cohered to form a dazzlingly efficient delivery system that swamps liberal efforts to get their ideas out."

Here's what's likely to happen in the years ahead. Think of the mainstream liberal media as one sphere and the conservative media as another. The liberal sphere, which less than a decade ago was still the media, is still much bigger than the nonliberal one. But the nonliberal sphere is expanding, encroaching into the liberal sphere, which is both shrinking and breaking up into much smaller sectarian spheres--one for blacks, one for Hispanics, one for feminists and so on.

It's hard to imagine that this development won't result in a broader national debate--and a more conservative America.

Mr. Anderson is senior editor of City Journal, in whose Autumn issue this article appears

 

 

16-year old bomber cornered by troops blows up before entering Israel

A suicide bomber who was planning to attack Israeli civilians but was hunted by security forces attacked an army patrol Monday morning near the West Bank town of Azzoun, in the Nablus area.

16-year-old Sabih Abu el Sa'ud from the Rafidiyah neighborhood in Nablus was attempting to evade Israeli security forces and make his way to a major Israeli city. An IDF force saw the suspicious-looking Arab and called for him to stop. The terrorist began running towards the soldiers, who fired at him - causing the explosives vest he was wearing to explode, lightly wounding an armoured corps tracker.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, linked to Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the failed attack.

Sabih left his home in the West Bank city of Nablus Sunday morning, telling his parents he was going to school, said his father Kamal. Instead, Sabih made his way south, trying to infiltrate into Israel.

On Sunday evening, when he failed to turn up for Iftar, the festive meal that ends the day's fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, his parents began to worry.

By then, Israeli intelligence already knew that a suicide bomber was on the loose, said an army spokeswoman, Maj. Sharon Feingold.

Sabih Abu el Sa'ud was one of the youngest of more than 100 suicide bombers who have killed more than 450 Israelis since 2000; there's only been one other 16-year-old bomber.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an armed offshoot of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the failed attack .

The bomber's father, Kamal Abu Saud, slammed the militants for sending someone so young to his death. "He was just a little boy and those who sent him should have left him alone" he said.

An Israeli security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sabih's handlers sent him south, to get around a security barrier Israel says it is building to keep West Bank suicide bombers out of Israel. A section north of Nablus has already been completed.

Israeli security officials said Sabih apparently saw the heavy security and turned back, spending the night in nearby Ramallah.

As time wore on, Sabih's family became increasingly concerned. Relatives realized that Sabih had taken a picture of his uncle Nasser, a Palestinian militant who was killed during an Israeli army operation in the West Bank in March 2002. Family members said the boy had spoken about avenging his uncle's death.

By Monday morning, Sabih was on the move again, heading toward the Israeli town of Rosh Ha'ayin and the security alert shifted to Israel's central region.

A main West Bank road was closed to traffic, Apache helicopters hovered overhead and more road blocks were set up at the entrance to Israeli towns. Then Israeli intelligence received a tip the boy was in the village of Azzoun, less than a kilometer from Israel.

Security forces were searching for the suicide bomber since Sunday, and acting on intelligence reports, an armored corps unit caught up with the him Monday morning.

"The soldiers were carrying out searches for him when he ran toward their jeeps and blew himself up," Feingold said. "The armor saved the soldiers."

The security alert has since been lowered in the Rosh Ha-Ayin area, east of Tel Aviv.

 

Shooter turns himself in to IDF; other unreported incidents

By Roni Singer and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and Reuters

A Palestinian man who killed a girl and wounded three others in a shooting attack on the
Trans-Israel Highway in June turned himself in to the Israel Defense Forces on Monday.

Tariq Hussein, the head on an Islamic Jihad cell in the West Bank city of Qalqilyah
admitted to pulling the trigger in the attack in which seven-year-old Noam Leibowitz, from Yemin Orde, was killed and members of her family were injured.

Hussein arrived Monday afternoon at an IDF checkpoint at the entrance to Qalqilyah and handed himself over to the soldiers. Troops have recently searched Hussein's house and he apparently gave himself in following pressure from his family. The rest of the cell members involved in the shooting have been arrested over the past two months.

Unidentified assailants threw two firebombs at an Egged bus Monday evening that was traveling near the village of Baka al-Sharkiya located on the Green Line boundary.

There were no injuries as a result of the attack. The bus driver continued until he reached a nearby IDF checkpoint, where he reported the incident to security forces.

Palestinian gunmen opened fire Monday evening on an IDF position near Kfar Darom in the central Gaza Strip.

Gunmen also opened fire earlier Monday on an civilian Israeli vehicle near the Rafiah Yam settlement in Gush Katif.

There were no casualties in any of the incidents.

Earlier in the week...

A Kassam rocket landed this morning in northern Sderot, in the western Negev. Just over the nearby Gaza fence, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on a convoy traveling between Karni and Netzarim.

Earlier in the morning, Arabs attacked Israeli targets with grenades on the Israeli-Egyptian border and in N'vei Dekalim. Soldiers were also targeted in a bomb attack in Balata, near Shechem (Nablus), this afternoon; no one was hurt.

A suicide-bomber's vest containing 10-15 kilograms of explosives was found this morning in the Arab village of Hizme, on Jerusalem's northern border near Pisgat Ze'ev.


Security forces, with the assistance of bomb-sniffing dogs and acting upon intelligence warnings, found the explosives in a private home - and subsequently blew up the building.

Permitted for publication : A double suicide attack in Beit She'an was thwarted early last week. IDF forces arrested two wanted terrorists, each of them with an 11-kilogram explosives vest in his possession.

The two terrorists had been wanted for their roles in several shooting attacks - in one of which a Bezeq worker was murdered - as well as enlisting suicide attackers. Residents of the Jenin area in the northern Shomron, the two are senior members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. The security forces also prevented five other terrorist attacks last week.

Dr. Valery Weisbrodt of the northern Shomron community of Kadim, who was seriously wounded in a Palestinian terrorist shooting attack yesterday afternoon on his way home, is still listed in serious condition. His condition has stabilized, however, after two operations by top mouth-and-jaw specialists in Haifa's Rambam Hospital. His wife was more lightly hurt, and another passenger was treated for shock. This was the third time terrorists have shot at Dr. Weisbrodt's car, but a colleague of his told Arutz-7 today that the doctor was not afraid to travel the roads. Arutz-7's morning host Amatzia Eitan noted that the public radio stations this morning did not even mention yesterday's shooting attack.

A similar attack occurred this afternoon near Tul Karem, east of Netanya, against a vehicle of the Society for the Preservation of Nature in Israel. No one was hurt in the attempted murder, though bullets hit and damaged the car.

Arutz-7's Kobi Finkler reported this morning, in his daily security briefing, that several Israeli cars were damaged last night on both Route 443 and the Hevron-Gush Etzion highway in Arab rock-throwing attacks. In Shechem, an Arab who hurled a firebomb at IDF forces was shot and killed. A Kassam rocket landed near a kibbutz in the northern Negev, and several incidents of shooting at IDF positions in Judea, Samaria and Gaza were recorded.

The security forces received 41 terrorist warnings today. Despite this, 4,000 Arab workers were allowed into pre-'67 Israel, in addition to 1,500 workers who entered Atarot, north of Jerusalem.

 

P.A. Incitement And Hatred Documented Before U.S. Senators


10:42 Nov 03, '03 / 8 Cheshvan 5764

A U.S. Senate hearing this past Thursday examined whether US financial support to the PA is helping fund hate indoctrination. PMW's Itamar Marcus and the ZOA's Morton Klein were among those who testified.

A U.S. Senate hearing this past Thursday examined whether US financial support to the PA is helping fund hate indoctrination. Itamar Marcus, of the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog organization, and Morton A. Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of American, were among those who testified.

Marcus, whose organization has long documented hatred and incitement disseminated by the Palestinian Authority, described at the hearing the many means by which the PA indoctrinates children with the "values" of hatred against Israel, violence and suicide terrorism. The hearing opened with the screening of a 20-minute PMW video documentary entitled "Ask for Death" - depicting how the PA has indoctrinated its children to seek Shahada - martyrdom - through music videos and other means. The video can be seen at here.

The hearing was held on October 30, by the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The subcommittee is chaired by Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa), and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who is not a subcommittee member, also took an active part in the hearing. She requested to participate after having met with Mr. Marcus and seeing documentation of the nature of PA indoctrination. Speaking at the hearing, and in a subsequent conference call with reporters, Ms. Clinton strongly denounced recent PA broadcasts featuring children praising terrorism and declaring their desire to become martyrs.

Excerpts from Marcus' testimony before the subcommittee,
"...This incitement is advanced by the PA through the entire social-educational structure, including sporting events and summer camps, and the media including music videos for children and schoolbooks. Jews and Judaism are presented as inherently evil, Israel's existence as a state is de-legitimized and denied, and fighting Jews and Judaism is presented as justified and heroic.
"The PA Ministries of Education and Sport have turned the most abhorrent murderers of Jews into role models and heroes for Palestinian youth. [For instance, a] tournament for 11-year-old boys was named for Abd Al-Baset Odeh - the terrorist who murdered 30 in the Passover Seder suicide bombing. This past summer, during the period of the US-sponsored Road Map, numerous summer camps were named for suicide bombers... As recently as September this year, PA Chairman Arafat and 13 PA leaders jointly sponsored a soccer tournament honoring arch terrorists... Each of the 24 soccer teams was named for a terrorist or other Shahids [Martyrs], including some of the most infamous murderers like Yichye Ayash, the first Hamas bomb engineer, who initiated the suicide bombings...
"While music videos around the world are used to entertain children, in the PA they are used to indoctrinate children to hatred, violence, and Shahada. Regularly-broadcast PA music videos have actors depicting Israelis carrying out execution-style murders of old men, women and children, or blowing up mothers with their babies. In one music video broadcast continuously in 2003, actors portray a woman being murdered in cold blood in front of her daughter. In another, broadcast tens of times in 2003, the image of a young girl on a swing turns into a flaming inferno, and a football blows up after being kicked by a child. Children are taught through these videos not only to hate and to be violent, but are openly encouraged to aspire to death through Shahada [Martyrdom]. Clips designed to offset a child's natural fear of death, portraying child Shahada as both heroic and tranquil, have appeared on PA TV thousands of times over three years. One clip for children ends with the words: 'Ask for Death - the Life will be Given to you.' In another, a child writes a farewell letter and goes off to die. Children who have achieved death through suicide missions have been turned into PA heroes and role models by the PA leaders.
"The hatred, anti-Semitism and Shahada-encouragement appear in the PA schoolbooks as well. The poem The Shahid in a new PA schoolbook includes the phrase: 'I see my death, but I hasten my steps toward it' [Our Beautiful Language, grade 7, p. 97]... This education will perpetuate the conflict into the next generation.
"It is important to note that the PA is making use of foreign funding to promote this hatred among its children. Summer camps named for suicide bombers this summer were funded by UNICEF. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 22, 2003]. Renovation of a school named for Dalal Maghrabi, a terrorist who participated in the murder of 36 including an American, was funded by USAID [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 30, 2002]. And whereas the PA announced two days later that they had changed the name in order to receive the USAID funding, PA press reports indicated that the name was still being used. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 16, 2002].

"The following concrete steps should be taken by the PA immediately:
* Music videos promoting hatred, violence, and Shahada must never again be broadcast on PA TV.
* The practice of naming schools, cultural events, educational programs, sport events and trophies after terrorists and suicide bombers must cease. Educational institutions and cultural frameworks currently named for terrorists must be changed.
* PA children must be taught that Israel is a legitimate country with a right to exist.
* There is no greater incitement against Israel's legitimacy as a state, than to mark the word Palestine, or occupied Palestine, in place of Israel on all maps in the PA. These maps must be removed from Palestinian schools, schoolbooks and TV broadcasting and be replaced by maps that show Israel by name in Arabic...
* The hatred and anti-Semitism in the PA schoolbooks must be removed..."

The PLO/PA representative in Washington, Hassan Abdel Rahman, also testified. He initially claimed that the PMW film's translations of PA schoolbooks and speeches are "mistranslations." When challenged by the Senators on this point, Rahman then claimed that even if they were not mistranslated, "they are just expressions of religious belief, and it does not matter what they are saying, if it's a religious belief."

ZOA President Klein's testimony refuted a number of Rahman's allegations. In one dramatic example, in response to Rahman's claim that the PA wants to live in peace with Israel, Klein held up a piece of Rahman's own official PA stationery, which shows a map of all of Israel labeled "Palestine."

In response to Rahman's claim that most people in America and Israel support the creation of a PA state, Klein cited a recent McLaughlin poll showing 71% of Americans opposing such a state, and a recent Geocartography poll showing that 61% of Israelis opposing it.

In response to Rahman's claim that most PA Arabs oppose terrorism, Klein cited polls showing that roughly 70% of them support suicide bombings. He also noted a poll taken earlier this month that found that 59% of PA Arabs support continuing violence against Israel, even if Israel surrenders all of Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem.

Refuting Rahman's claim that Israel had stolen Arab lands from "Palestine," Klein explained that there never was an independent country called Palestine, and challenged Rahman to "name one Palestinian king or queen." Rahman did not respond.

 

Arabs Celebrate Strikes on U.S. in Iraq
 

Nov 3, 3:51 AM (ET)

By DONNA BRYSON

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Across the Arab world, strikes like the deadly downing of a U.S. helicopter are applauded by many as resistance to occupation and proof that Iraqis were not completely humiliated by the ease of the U.S.-led victory over Saddam Hussein.

The reaction is not surprising given prewar opposition among many Arabs to the invasion of Iraq. At a meeting in Damascus Sunday, foreign ministers from countries bordering Iraq and others in the region repeated calls on the United States to restore order in Iraq.

In Egypt, U.S. Ambassador C. David Welch has accused Egyptian commentators of spending too much time criticizing the United States and too little exploring how Iraqis might benefit from the fall of Saddam. Egyptian journalists responded by declaring a boycott of Welch.

"Iraq is now building the glory of the (Arab) community," Mustafa Bakri, editor-in-chief of the Egyptian weekly Al-Osboa, wrote Sunday, referring to the resistance.

Samir Ragab, editor of the Egyptian daily Al-Gomhouria, lauded the Iraqis in his column for fighting back.

"Every citizen who lives in Iraq, be they Baathist or anti-Baathist, whether they support or oppose Saddam, will stand up and shout at the top of his lungs: 'We will chase the Americans and their followers until they leave our home ashamed and defeated.'"

In Saudi Arabia, Al-Watan newspaper said last week that U.S. war planners did not foresee that although "the Iraqi people hated Saddam Hussein, they also hate having a foreign presence on their land."

"Even though such attacks are not welcomed because they took innocent Iraqi souls, they have, however, delivered a strong message to decision-makers in the White House that they are no longer in control of security in Iraq, and that the victory in the classic war does not mean total control over Iraq," Al-Watan said.

The comments followed one of the bloodiest weeks in Iraq. On Oct. 26, ground-fired rockets slammed into a Baghdad hotel housing hundreds of staffers for the coalition administration, killing one person. The next day, three dozen people were killed in a series of suicide bombings in Baghdad that devastated the international Red Cross headquarters and four Iraqi police stations.

Sunday was the deadliest day for American troops in their six-month occupation of Iraq, with a U.S. Chinook helicopter hit by a missile and crashing west of Baghdad. At least 16 soldiers were killed and more than 20 wounded.

Iraqi villagers displayed charred pieces of wreckage like trophies to reporters and in nearby Fallujah, center of opposition to the Americans, townspeople celebrated on the streets.

Some Arab observers are disturbed to see international aid workers and Iraqis attacked along with the Americans.

 

The Muslimization of Europe

Posted: October 31, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Doron Kescher
? 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Anybody taking an objective look at Europe today - the cradle of arts and philosophy, and the birthplace of democracy - would be sorely disappointed.

Where once the Ottoman Empire was described as "the sick man of Europe," now it is Europe that is the sick man. The proverbial "enemy at the gates" is no longer at the gates, but inside.

Militant Islam has built a strong base in Europe and, rather than fight, Europe acquiesces. The Europeans tolerate areas of their cities that are now crime-ridden Muslim ghettos. They tolerate the fact that even the police dare not enter these areas. They hide the fact that tournante gang rapes are being committed with alarming frequency against white women in France, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. And they play along when Islamic groups hijack their legal systems to pursue anti-Jewish vendettas.

The situation reminds me of a National Geographic documentary I once saw about a lioness injured during a hunt. Initially, animals kept their distance from the lame lioness, deterred by the awesome reputation of her species. Eventually, a group of hyenas cautiously approached. As the hyenas circled her, all that was left of her power was her menacing snarl. The hyenas soon realized she was wounded, and the result, while distressing to watch, was inevitable.

So it is with Europe.

Europe has the veneer of strength: economic power, democratic institutions and thousands of men under arms. Yet, gnarled by two world wars and burdened by history, it is paralysed by asinine concepts of non-violence and moral relativism, and is too sick to fight a mortal enemy that now lives within its gates.

From Marseilles to Copenhagen, and most points in between, Europeans suicidally refuse to demand that their Muslim minorities (often making up 10 percent of the population) adapt to European norms if they wish to live in Europe.

Only proud Britain has shown some resistance to the Muslim goose step across European values. Germany, whose reputation for dealing with minorities is still fearsome, has also been less affected by the Islamic march.

As militant organizations such as al-Muhajiroun and the Arab European League begin to demand their "rights," the stage has been set for a showdown between Europe and Islam.

Very soon, Europeans will be faced with the same choice as Americans and Israelis: fighting for the right to live in freedom, or buying burqas for their wives and daughters.


Doron Kescher is an Israeli currently based in the Asia-Pacific region working for a corporate advisory firm.

 

A vulnerable Jewish professor publicly advocates the dismantling of Israel as a sovereign Jewish nation.

by Andrea Levin

Reprinted with permission from Camera.

As columnist Charles Krauthammer recently observed: "The world is experiencing the worst resurgence of anti-Semitism in 50 years. Its main objective is the demonization and delegitimation of Israel, to the point that the idea of eradicating... the world's only Jewish state becomes respectable, indeed laudable. The psychological grounds for the final solution are being prepared."

Party to this grim preparation is one Tony Judt, former Oxford don and now a history professor at New York University. Accomplished in the academy, where Israel is widely vilified, he has evidently, as a Jew, suffered discomfiting criticism among his colleagues -- perhaps even at dinner parties. He doesn't appreciate this, and so publicly advocates the dismantling of Israel as a sovereign Jewish nation.

In an October 10 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times and a longer version in the October 23 New York Review of Books, he terms Israel an "anachronism" to be done away with. The Jewish state is "bad for the Jews," writes Judt, explaining, "the behavior of a self-described Jewish state affects the way everyone else looks at Jews." He opines that "non-Israeli Jews feel themselves once again exposed to criticism and vulnerable for things they didn't do."

Not surprisingly, the professor's argument for the abolition of the Jewish state in favor of a bi-national one shared with the Palestinians -- an entity soon to leave Jews a minority -- is an extremist diatribe filled with distortion.

Judt parrots Palestinian allegations, charging Israel has, for example, "consistently and blatantly flouted UN resolutions requiring it to withdraw from land seized and occupied in war." But there is only one currently relevant UN resolution, 242, and that requires Israel to withdraw to negotiated "secure and recognized boundaries."

Israel has, of course, pulled back from large areas of land, including the Sinai and southern Lebanon. On the other hand, Arab states blatantly violate Resolution 242's demand that states in the region terminate "belligerency," and respect the right of "every State in the area... to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries, free from threats or acts of force."

Judt attacks Israel as outmoded in an age of individual rights and multi-ethnicity because it is a Jewish state. Disregarding the 22 Muslim Arab states in which Islam and its hundreds of millions of adherents are given privileged status, and from which in varying degrees Jews are prohibited from owning property, praying or even setting foot, the author lambastes Israel as "a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded." In fact, in Israel as nowhere else in the Middle East, people of all faiths live, work, vote, worship and prosper. Jews do enjoy unique access to citizenship under the Law of Return -- just as other democratic nations offer citizenship privileges to particular ethnic groups. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Greece, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Bulgaria and the Baltic and Balkan nations are just a few.

Judt is equally hypocritical about recent key events. He complains: "Israeli liberals and moderate Palestinians have for two decades been thanklessly insisting that the only hope was for Israel to dismantle nearly all the settlements and return to the 1967 borders, in exchange for real Arab recognition of those frontiers and a stable, terrorist-free Palestinian state..." Literally unmentioned are the Camp David/Taba negotiations, with their offer to dismantle settlements and return virtually to the 1967 lines -- and Palestinian rejection of statehood in favor of terror. Thus the professor is silent regarding Arab rejection of nationhood alongside the Jews.

Nor are the Arabs faulted for their "anachronistic" dictatorial regimes -- while the Jewish state is to be destroyed for its supposed imperfections.

Arafat and his associates have long advocated the "single state" solution Judt embraces, and have made clear what that would entail.

"Every Palestinian must clearly understand that the independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, is not the end of the process but rather a stage on the road to a democratic state in the whole of Palestine," Fatah ideologue and PA director of political indoctrination Othman Abu Gharbiya stated in November, 1999. "This will be followed by a third phase, namely Palestine's complete amalgamation in the Arab and Islamic cultural, national, historic, and geographic environment. This is the permanent-status solution."

In becoming a cheerleader for this solution, Judt offers the Jews of Israel the fate of other ethnic and religious minorities in the Arab Middle East, all of whom are beleaguered and persecuted in some degree, and in the worst cases subjected to genocidal assault. Indeed, Palestinian leaders, including PA religious figures, have repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel.

But submitting Israel's Jews to the murderous designs of Arafat and his cronies apparently means little to Judt when weighed against the prospect of being freed in the eyes of his academic colleagues from the "guilt" by ethnic association with Israel's battle for survival.

 

Where Things Stand.

Security, which almost all Iraqis say is their major concern, is far better in both the north and south than it is in the capital. Electricity is much more reliable outside Baghdad. There are almost no power cuts in the south, a region that often had six or less hours of electricity a day before the war.

Schools are mostly back to normal, and commerce is booming as goods flood in across the Turkish and Kuwaiti borders. The military presence of the U.S. in the north and the British in the south is far less visible than are the U.S. forces in and around Baghdad. Despite sporadic ambushes, the foreign troops are largely tolerated by locals, who tend to view them as a necessary evil until a viable Iraqi administration is in place.

There are many complaints--about the increase in banditry on the roads, the slow pace of reconstruction, the rise in prices, the shortage of jobs caused in part by the U.S. dissolution of the Iraqi government and army. But when people in the north and the south were asked whether life has improved since the war, the answer, in Arabic, often came automatically: "Tab'an ahsan" ("Of course, better"). In the village of Duluiyah, in central Iraq, Abdel Fattah al-Juburi, a longtime opponent of the Saddam regime, says of the occupation, "It's clear we got the better of two evils."


Posted by trafael at 11:33 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 4 November 2003 12:10 AM EST


Following is a Great Article. Another MUST READ!

On Hating the Jews
by Natan Sharansky

Commentary Magazine

November 2003

NO HATRED has as rich and as lethal a history as anti-Semitism--"the longest hatred," as the historian Robert Wistrich has dubbed it. Over the millennia, anti-Semitism has infected a multitude of peoples, religions, and civilizations, in the process inflicting a host of terrors on its Jewish victims. But while there is no disputing the impressive reach of the phenomenon, there is surprisingly little agreement about its cause or causes.

Indeed, finding a single cause would seem too daunting a task--the incidence of anti-Semitism is too frequent, the time span too broad, the locales too numerous, the circumstances too varied. No doubt that is why some scholars have come to regard every outbreak as essentially unique, denying that a straight line can be drawn from the anti-Semitism of the ancient world to that of today. Whether it is the attack on the Jews of Alexandria in 38 C.E. or the ones that took place 200 years earlier in ancient Jerusalem, whether it is the Dreyfus affair in 1890's France or Kristallnacht in late-1930's Germany--each incident is seen as the outcome of a distinctive mix of political, social, economic, cultural, and religious forces that preclude the possibility of a deeper or recurring cause.

A less extreme version of this same approach identifies certain patterns of anti-Semitism, but only within individual and discrete "eras." In particular, a distinction is drawn between the religiously based hatred of the Middle Ages and the racially based hatred of the modern era. Responsibility for the anti-Semitic waves that engulfed Europe from the age of Constantine to the dawn of the Enlightenment is laid largely at the foot of the Church and its offshoots, while the convulsions that erupted over the course of the next three centuries are viewed as the byproduct of the rise of virulent nationalism.

Obviously, separating out incidents or eras has its advantages, enabling researchers to focus more intensively on specific circumstances and to examine individual outbreaks from start to finish. But what such analyses may gain in local explanatory power they sacrifice in comprehensiveness. Besides, if every incident or era of anti-Semitism is largely distinct from every other, how to explain the cumulative ferocity of the phenomenon?

As if in response to this question, some scholars have attempted to offer more sweeping, trans-historical explanations. Perhaps the two best known are the "scapegoat" theory, according to which tensions within society are regulated and released by blaming a weaker group, often the Jews, for whatever is troubling the majority, and the "demonization" theory, according to which Jews have been cast into the role of the "other" by the seemingly perennial need to reject those who are ethnically, religiously, or racially different.

Clearly, in this sociological approach, anti-Semitism emerges as a Jewish phenomenon in name only. Rather, it is but one variant in a family of hatreds that include racism and xenophobia. Thus, the specifically anti-Jewish violence in Russia at the turn of the 20th century, has as much in common with the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia at the turn of the 21st as it does with the massacres of Jews in the Ukraine in the mid-1600's. Taken to its logical conclusion, this theory, would redefine the Holocaust--at the hands of some scholars, it has redefined the Holocaust--as humanity's most destructive act of racism rather than as the most murderous campaign ever directed against the Jews.

Reacting to such universalizing tendencies a half-century ago, Hannah Arendt cited a piece of dialogue from "a joke which was told after the first World War":

An anti-Semite claimed that the Jews had caused the war; the reply was: Yes, the Jews and the bicyclists. Why the bicyclists? asks the one. Why the Jews? asks the other.

George Orwell offered a similar observation in 1944: "However true the scapegoat theory may be in general terms, it does not explain why the Jews rather than some other minority group are picked on, nor does it make clear what they are the scapegoat for."

WHATEVER THE shortcomings of these approaches may be, I have to admit that my own track record as a theorist is no better.

Three decades ago, as a young dissident in the Soviet Union, I compiled underground reports on anti-Semitism for foreign journalists and Western diplomats. At the time, I firmly believed that the cause of the "disease" was totalitarianism, and that democracy was the way to cure it. Once the Soviet regime came to be replaced by democratic rule, I figured, anti-Semitism was bound to wither away. In the struggle toward that goal, the free world, which in the aftermath of the Holocaust appeared to have inoculated itself against a recurrence of murderous anti-Jewish hatred, was our natural ally, the one political entity with both the means and the will to combat the great evil.

Today I know better. This year, following publication of a report by an Israeli government forum charged with addressing the issue of anti-Semitism, I invited to my office the ambassadors of the two countries that have outpaced all others in the frequency and intensity of anti-Jewish attacks within their borders. The emissaries were from France and Belgium--two mature democracies in the heart of Western Europe. It was in these ostensible bastions of enlightenment and tolerance that Jewish cemeteries were being desecrated, children assaulted, synagogues scorched.

To be sure, the anti-Semitism now pervasive in Western Europe is very different from the anti-Semitism I encountered a generation ago in the Soviet Union. In the latter, it was nurtured by systematic, government-imposed discrimination against Jews. In the former, it has largely been condemned and opposed by governments (though far less vigilantly than it should be). But this only makes anti-Semitism in the democracies more disturbing, shattering the illusion--which was hardly mine alone--that representative governance is an infallible antidote to active hatred of Jews.

Another shattered illusion is even more pertinent to our search. Shocked by the visceral anti-Semitism he witnessed at the Dreyfus trial in supposedly enlightened France, Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, became convinced that the primary cause of anti-Semitism was the anomalous condition of the Jews: a people without a polity of its own. In his seminal work, The Jewish State (1896), published two years after the trial, Herzl envisioned the creation of such a Jewish polity and predicted that a mass emigration to it of European Jews would spell the end of anti-Semitism. Although his seemingly utopian political treatise would turn out to be one of the 20th century's most prescient books, on this point history has not been kind to Herzl; no one would seriously argue today that anti-Semitism came to a halt with the founding of the state of Israel. To the contrary, this particular illusion has come full circle: while Herzl and most Zionists after him believed that the emergence of a Jewish state would end anti-Semitism, an increasing number of people today, including some Jews, are convinced that anti-Semitism will end only with the disappearance of the Jewish state.

I first encountered this idea quite a long time ago, in the Soviet Union. In the period before, during, and after the Six-Day war of June 1967--a time when I and many others were experiencing a heady reawakening of our Jewish identity--the Soviet press was filled with scathing attacks on Israel and Zionism, and a wave of official anti-Semitism was unleashed to accompany them. To quite a few Soviet Jews who had been trying their best to melt into Soviet life, Israel suddenly became a jarring reminder of their true status in the "workers' paradise": trapped in a world where they were free neither to live openly as Jews nor to escape the stigma of their Jewishness. To these Jews, Israel came to seem part of the problem, not (as it was for me and others) part of the solution. Expressing what was no doubt a shared sentiment, a distant relative of mine quipped: "If only Israel didn't exist, everything would be all right."

In the decades since, and especially over the last three years, the notion that Israel is one of the primary causes of anti-Semitism, if not the primary cause, has gained much wider currency. The world, we are told by friend and foe alike, increasingly hates Jews because it increasingly hates Israel. Surely this is what the Belgian ambassador had in mind when he informed me during his visit that anti-Semitism in his country would cease once Belgians no longer had to watch pictures on television of Israeli Jews oppressing Palestinian Arabs.

OBVIOUSLY THE state of Israel cannot be the cause of a phenomenon that predates it by over 2,000 years. But might it be properly regarded as the cause of contemporary anti-Semitism? What is certain is that, everywhere one looks, the Jewish state does appear to be at the center of the anti-Semitic storm--and nowhere more so, of course, than in the Middle East.

The rise in viciously anti-Semitic content disseminated through state-run Arab media is quite staggering, and has been thoroughly documented. Arab propagandists, journalists, and scholars now regularly employ the methods and the vocabulary used to demonize European Jews for centuries--calling Jews Christ-killers, charging them with poisoning non-Jews, fabricating blood libels, and the like. In a region where the Christian faith has few adherents, a lurid and time-worn Christian anti-Semitism boasts an enormous following.

To take only one example: this past February, the Egyptian government, formally at peace with Israel, saw fit to broadcast on its state-run television a 41-part series based on the infamous Czarist forgery about a global Jewish conspiracy to dominate humanity, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. To ensure the highest ratings, the show was first aired, in prime time, just as millions of families were breaking their traditional Ramadan fast; Arab satellite television then rebroadcast the series to tens of millions more throughout the Middle East.

In Europe, the connection between Israel and anti-Semitism is equally conspicuous. For one thing, the timing and nature of the attacks on European Jews, whether physical or verbal, have all revolved around Israel, and the anti-Semitic wave itself, which began soon after the Palestinians launched their terrorist campaign against the Jewish state in September 2000, reached a peak (so far) when Israel initiated Operation Defensive Shield at the end of March 2002, a month in which 125 Israelis had been killed by terrorists.

Though most of the physical attacks in Europe were perpetrated by Muslims, most of the verbal and cultural assaults came from European elites. Thus, the Italian newspaper La Stampa published a cartoon of an infant Jesus lying at the foot of an Israeli tank, pleading, "Don't tell me they want to kill me again." The frequent comparisons of Ariel Sharon to Adolf Hitler, of Israelis to Nazis, and of Palestinians to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust were not the work of hooligans spray-painting graffiti on the wall of a synagogue but of university educators and sophisticated columnists. As the Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago declared of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians: "We can compare it with what happened at Auschwitz."

The centrality of Israel to the revival of a more generalized anti-Semitism is also evident in the international arena. Almost a year after the current round of Palestinian violence began, and after hundreds of Israelis had already been killed in buses, discos, and pizzerias, a so-called "World Conference against Racism" was held under the auspices of the United Nations in Durban, South Africa. It turned into an anti-Semitic circus, with the Jewish state being accused of everything from racism and apartheid to crimes against humanity and genocide. In this theater of the absurd, the Jews themselves were turned into perpetrators of anti-Semitism, as Israel was denounced for its "Zionist practices against Semitism"--the Semitism, that is to say, of the Palestinian Arabs.

Naturally, then, in searching for the "root cause" of anti-Semitism, the Jewish state would appear to be the prime suspect. But Israel, it should be clear, is not guilty. The Jewish state is no more the cause of anti-Semitism today than the absence of a Jewish state was its cause a century ago.

To see why, we must first appreciate that the always specious line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism has now become completely blurred: Israel has effectively become the world's Jew. From Middle Eastern mosques, the bloodcurdling cry is not "Death to the Israelis," but "Death to the Jews." In more civilized circles, a columnist for the London Observer proudly announces that he does not read published letters in support of Israel that are signed by Jews. (That the complaints commission for the British press found nothing amiss in this statement only goes to show how far things have changed since Orwell wrote of Britain in 1945 that "it is not at present possible, indeed, that anti-Semitism should become respectable.") When discussion at fashionable European dinner parties turns to the Middle East, the air, we have been reliably informed, turns blue with old-fashioned anti-Semitism.

No less revealing is what might be called the mechanics of the discussion. For centuries, a clear sign of the anti-Semitic impulse at work has been the use of the double standard: social behavior that in others passes without comment or with the mildest questioning becomes, when exhibited by Jews, a pretext for wholesale group denunciation. Such double standards are applied just as recklessly today to the Jewish state. It is democratic Israel, not any of the dozens of tyrannies represented in the United Nations General Assembly, that that body singles out for condemnation in over two dozen resolutions each year; it is against Israel--not Cuba, North Korea, China, or Iran--that the UN human-rights commission, chaired recently by a lily-pure Libya, directs nearly a third of its official ire; it is Israel whose alleged misbehavior provoked the only joint session ever held by the signatories to the Geneva Convention; it is Israel, alone among nations, that has lately been targeted by Western campaigns of divestment; it is Israel's Magen David Adom, alone among ambulance services in the world, that is denied membership in the International Red Cross; it is Israeli scholars, alone among academics in the world, who are denied grants and prevented from publishing articles in prestigious journals. The list goes on and on.

The idea that Israel has become the world's Jew and that anti-Zionism is a substitute for anti-Semitism is certainly not new. Years ago, Norman Podhoretz observed that the Jewish state "has become the touchstone of attitudes toward the Jewish people, and anti-Zionism has become the most relevant form of anti-Semitism." And well before that, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was even more unequivocal:

You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely "anti-Zionist." And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth; when people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--this is God's own truth.

But if Israel is indeed nothing more than the world's Jew, then to say that the world increasingly hates Jews because the world increasingly hates Israel means as much, or as little, as saying that the world hates Jews because the world hates Jews. We still need to know: why?

THIS MAY be a good juncture to let the anti-Semites speak for themselves.

Here is the reasoning invoked by Haman, the infamous viceroy of Persia in the biblical book of Esther, to convince his king to order the annihilation of the Jews:

There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws are different from those of other peoples, and the king's laws they do not keep, so that it is of no benefit for the king to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be written that they be destroyed. [emphasis added]

This is hardly the only ancient source pointing to the Jews' incorrigible separateness, or their rejection of the majority's customs and moral concepts, as the reason for hostility toward them. Centuries after Hellenistic values had spread throughout and beyond the Mediterranean, the Roman historian Tacitus had this to say:

Among the Jews, all things are profane that we hold sacred; on the other hand, they regard as permissible what seems to us immoral... The rest of the world they confront with the hatred reserved for enemies. They will not feed or intermarry with gentiles... They have introduced circumcision to show that they are different from others... It is a crime among them to kill any newly born infant.

Philostratus, a Greek writer who lived a century later, offered a similar analysis:

For the Jews have long been in revolt not only against the Romans, but against humanity; and a race that has made its own life apart and irreconcilable, that cannot share with the rest of mankind in the pleasures of the table, nor join in their libations or prayers or sacrifices, are separated from ourselves by a greater gulf than divides us from Sura or Bactra of the more distant Indies.

Did the Jews actually reject the values that were dominant in the ancient world, or was this simply a fantasy of their enemies? While many of the allegations leveled at Jews were spurious--they did not ritually slaughter non-Jews, as the Greek writer Apion claimed--some were obviously based on true facts. The Jews did oppose intermarriage. They did refuse to sacrifice to foreign gods. And they did emphatically consider killing a newborn infant to be a crime.

Some, perhaps many, individual Jews in those days opted to join the (alluring) Hellenist stream; most did not. Even more important, the Jews were the only people seriously to challenge the moral system of the Greeks. They were not an "other" in the ancient world; they were the "other"--an other, moreover, steadfast in the conviction that Judaism represented not only a different way of life but, in a word, the truth. Jewish tradition claims that Abraham was chosen as the patriarch of what was to become the Jewish nation only after he had smashed the idols in his father's home. His descendants would continue to defy the pagan world around them, championing the idea of the one God and, unlike other peoples of antiquity, refusing to subordinate their beliefs to those of their conquerors.

THE (BY and large correct) perception of the Jews' rejecting the prevailing value system of the ancient world hardly justifies the anti-Semitism directed against them; but it does take anti-Semitism out of the realm of fantasy, turning it into a genuine dash of ideals and of values. With the arrival of Christianity on the world stage, that same dash, based once again on the charge of Jewish rejectionism, would intensify a thousandfold. The refusal of the people of the "old covenant" to accept the new came to be defined as a threat to the very legitimacy of Christianity, and one that required a mobilized response.

Branding the Jews "Christ killers" and "sons of devils," the Church launched a systematic campaign to denigrate Christianity's parent religion and its adherents. Accusations of desecrating the host, ritual murder, and poisoning wells would be added over the centuries, creating an ever larger powder keg of hatred. With the growing power of the Church and the global spread of Christianity, these potentially explosive sentiments were carried to the far corners of the world, bringing anti-Semitism to places where no Jewish foot had ever trod.

According to some Christian thinkers, persecution of the powerless Jews was justified as a kind of divine payback for the Jewish rejection of Jesus. This heavenly stamp of approval would be invoked many times through the centuries, especially by those who had tried and failed to convince the Jews to acknowledge the superior truth of Christianity. The most famous case may be that of Martin Luther: at first extremely friendly toward Jews--as a young man he had complained about their mistreatment by the Church--Luther turned into one of their bitterest enemies as soon as he realized that his efforts to woo them to his new form of Christianity would never bear fruit.

Nor was this pattern unique to the Christian religion. Muhammad, too, had hoped to attract the Jewish communities of Arabia, and to this end he initially incorporated elements of Judaism into his new faith (directing prayer toward Jerusalem, fasting on Yom Kippur, and the like). When, however, the Jews refused to accept his code of law, Muhammad wheeled upon them with a vengeance, cursing them in words strikingly reminiscent of the early Church fathers: "Humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them, and they were visited with the wrath of Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah's revelation and slew the prophets wrongfully."

IN THESE cases, too, we might ask whether the perception of Jewish rejectionism was accurate. Of course the Jews did not drain the blood of children, poison wells, attempt to mutilate the body of Christ, or commit any of the other wild crimes of which the Church accused them. Moreover, since many teachings of Christianity and Islam stemmed directly from Jewish ones, Jews could hardly be said to have denied them. But if rejecting the Christian or Islamic world meant rejecting the Christian or Islamic creed, then Jews who clung to their own separate faith and way of life were, certainly, rejectionist.

This brings us to an apparent point of difference between pre-modern and modern anti-Semitism. For many Jews over the course of two millennia, there was, in theory at least, a way out of institutionalized discrimination and persecution: the Greco-Roman, Christian, and Muslim worlds were only too happy to embrace converts to their way of life. In the modern era, this choice often proved illusory. Both assimilated and non-assimilated Jews, both religious and secular Jews, were equally victimized by pogroms, persecutions, and genocide. In fact, the terrors directed at the assimilated Jews of Western Europe have led some to conclude that far from ending anti-Semitism, assimilation actually contributed to arousing it.

What accounts for this? In the pre-modern world, Jews and Gentiles were largely in agreement as to what defined Jewish rejectionism, and therefore what would constitute a reprieve from it: it was mostly a matter of beliefs and moral concepts, and of the social behavior that flowed from them. In the modern world, although the question of whether a Jew ate the food or worshiped the God of his neighbors remained relevant, it was less relevant than before. Instead, the modern Jew was seen as being born into a Jewish nation or race whose collective values were deeply embedded in the very fabric of his being. Assimilation, with or without conversion to the majority faith, might succeed in masking this bedrock taint; it could not expunge it.

While such views were not entirely absent in earlier periods, the burden of proof faced by the modern Jew to convince others that he could transcend his "Jewishness" was much greater than the one faced by his forebears. Despite the increasing secularism and openness of European society, which should have smoothed the prospects of assimilation, many modern Jews would find it more difficult to become real Frenchmen or true Germans than their ancestors would have found it to become Greeks or Romans, Christians or Muslims.

The novelty of modern anti-Semitism is thus not that the Jews were seen as the enemies of mankind. Indeed, Hitler's observation in Mein Kampf that "wherever I went, I began to see Jews, and the more I saw, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of humanity" sounds no different from the one penned by Philostratus 1,700 years earlier. No, the novelty of modern anti-Semitism is only that it was far more difficult--and sometimes impossible--for the Jew to stop being an enemy of mankind.

ON CLOSER inspection, then, modern anti-Semitism begins to look quite continuous with pre-modern anti-Semitism, only worse. Modern Jews may not have believed they were rejecting the prevailing order around them, but that did not necessarily mean their enemies agreed with them. When it came to the Jews, indeed, European nationalism of the blood-and-soil variety only added another and even more murderous layer of hatred to the foundation built by age-old religious prejudice. Just as in the ancient world, the Jews in the modern world remained the other--inveterate rejectionists, no matter how separate, no matter how assimilated.

Was there any kernel of factual truth to this charge? It is demeaning to have to point out that, wherever and whenever they were given the chance, most modern Jews strove to become model citizens and showed, if anything, an exemplary talent for acculturation; the idea that by virtue of their birth, race, or religion they were implacable enemies of the state or nation was preposterous. So, too, with other modern libels directed against the Jews, which displayed about as much or as little truth content as ancient ones. The Jews did not and do not control the banks. They did not and do not control the media of communication. They did not and do not control governments, And they are not plotting to take over anything.

What some of them have indeed done, in various places and under specific circumstances, is to demonstrate--with an ardor and tenacity redolent perhaps of their long national experience--an attachment to great causes of one stripe or another, including, at times, the cause of their own people. This has had the effect (not everywhere, of course, but notably in highly stratified and/or intolerant societies) of putting them in a visibly adversary position to prevailing values or ideologies, and thereby awakening the never dormant dragon of anti-Semitism. Particularly instructive in this regard is the case of Soviet Jewry.

What makes the Soviet case instructive is, in no small measure, the fact that the professed purpose of Communism was to abolish all nations, peoples, and religions--those great engines of exclusion--on the road to the creation of a new world and a new man. As is well known, quite a few Jews, hoping to emancipate humanity and to "normalize" their own condition in the process, hitched their fates to this ideology and to the movements associated with it. After the Bolshevik revolution, these Jews proved to be among the most devoted servants of the Soviet regime.

Once again, however, the perception of ineradicable Jewish otherness proved as lethal as any reality. In the eyes of Stalin and his henchmen, the Jews, starting with the loyal Communists among them, were always suspect--"ideological immigrants," in the telling phrase. But the animosity went beyond Jewish Communists. The Soviet regime declared war on the over 100 nationalities and religions under its boot; whole peoples were deported, entire classes destroyed, millions starved to death, and tens of millions killed. Everybody suffered, not only Jews. But, decades later, long after Stalin's repression had given way to Khrushchev's "thaw," only one national language, Hebrew, was still banned in the Soviet Union; only one group, the Jews, was not permitted to establish schools for its children; only in the case of one group, the Jews, did the term "fifth line," referring to the space reserved for nationality on a Soviet citizen's identification papers, become a code for licensed discrimination.

Clearly, then, Jews were suspect in the Soviet Union as were no other group. Try as they might to conform, it mined out that joining the ,mainstream of humanity through the medium of the great socialist cause in the East was no easier than joining the nation-state in the West. But that is not the whole story, either. To scant the rest of it is not only to do an injustice to Soviet Jews as historical actors in their own right but to miss something essential about anti-Semitism, which, even as it operates in accordance with its own twisted definitions and its own mad logic, proceeds almost always by reference to some genuine quality in its chosen victims.

As it happens, although Jews were disproportionately represented in the ranks of the early Bolsheviks, the majority of Russian Jews were far from being Bolsheviks, or even Bolshevik sympathizers. More importantly, Jews would also, in time, come to play a disproportionate role in Communism's demise. In the middle of the 1960's, by which time their overall share of the country's population had dwindled dramatically, Soviet Jews made up a significant element in the "democratic opposition." A visitor to the Gulag in those years would have discovered that Jews were also prominent among political dissidents and those convicted of so-called "economic crimes." Even more revealing, in the 1970's the Jews were the first to challenge the Soviet regime as a national group, and to do so publicly, en masse, with tens of thousands openly demanding to leave the totalitarian state.

To that degree, then, the claim of Soviet anti-Semites that "Jewish thoughts" and "Jewish values" were in opposition to prevailing norms was not entirely unfounded. And, to that degree, Soviet anti-Semitism partook of the essential characteristic of all anti-Semitism. This hardly makes its expression any the less monstrous; it merely, once again, takes it out of the realm of fantasy.

AND SO we arrive back at today, and at the hatred that takes as its focus the state of Israel. That state--the world's Jew--has the distinction of challenging two separate political/moral orders simultaneously: the order of the Arab and Muslim Middle East, and the order that prevails in Western Europe. The Middle Eastern case is the easier to grasp; the Western European one may be the more ominous.

The values ascendant in today's Middle East are shaped by two forces: Islamic fundamentalism and state authoritarianism. In the eyes of the former, any non-Muslim sovereign power in the region--for that matter, any secular Muslim power--is anathema. Particularly galling is Jewish sovereignty in an area delineated as dar al-Islam, the realm where Islam is destined to enjoy exclusive dominance. Such a violation cannot be compromised with; nothing will suffice but its extirpation.

In the eyes of the secular Arab regimes, the Jews of Israel are similarly an affront, but not so much on theological grounds as on account of the society they have built: free, productive, democratic, a living rebuke to the corrupt, autocratic regimes surrounding it. In short, the Jewish state is the ultimate freedom fighter--an embodiment of the subversive liberties that threaten Islamic civilization and autocratic Arab rule alike. It is for this reason that, in the state-controlled Arab media as in the mosques, Jews have been turned into a symbol of all that is menacing in the democratic, materialist West as a whole, and are confidently reputed to be the insidious force manipulating the United States into a confrontation with Islam.

The particular dynamic of anti-Semitism in the Middle East orbit today may help explain why--unlike, as we shall see, in Europe--there was no drop in the level of anti-Jewish incitement in the region after the inception of the Oslo peace process. Quite the contrary. And the reason is plain: to the degree that Oslo were to have succeeded in bringing about a real reconciliation with Israel or in facilitating the spread of political freedom, to that degree it would have frustrated the overarching aim of eradicating the Jewish "evil" from the heart of the Middle East and/or preserving the autocratic power of the Arab regimes.

And so, while in the 1990's the democratic world, including the democratic society of Israel, was (deludedly, as it turned out) celebrating the promise of a new dawn in the Middle East, the schools in Gaza, the textbooks in Ramallah, the newspapers in Egypt, and the television channels in Saudi Arabia were projecting a truer picture of the state of feeling in the Arab world. It should come as no surprise that, in Egypt, pirated copies of Shimon Peres's A New Middle East, a book heralding a messianic era of free markets and free ideas, were printed with an introduction in Arabic claiming that what this bible of Middle East peacemaking proved was the veracity of everything written in file Protocols of the Elders of Zion about a Jewish plot to rule the world.

As for Western Europe, there the reputation of Israel and of the Jews has undergone a number of ups and downs over the decades. Before 1967, the shadow of the Holocaust and the perception of Israel as a small state struggling for its existence in the face of Arab aggression combined to ensure, if not the favor of the European political classes, at least a certain dispensation from harsh criticism. But all this changed in June 1967, when the truncated Jewish state achieved a seemingly miraculous victory against its massed Arab enemies in the Six-Day war, and the erstwhile victim was overnight transformed into an aggressor. A possibly apocryphal story about Jean-Paul Sartre encapsulates the shift in the European mood. Before the war, as Israel lay diplomatically isolated and Arab leaders were already trumpeting its certain demise, the famous French philosopher signed a statement in support of the Jewish state. After the war, he reproached the man who had solicited his signature: "But you assured me they would lose."

Decades before "occupation" became a household word, the mood in European chancelleries and on the Left turned decidedly hostile. There were, to be sure, venal interests at stake, from the perceived need to curry favor with the oil-producing nations of the Arab world to, in later years, the perceived need to pander to the growing Muslim populations in Western Europe itself. But other currents were also at work, as anti-Western, anti-"imperialist," pacifist, and pro-liberationist sentiments, fanned and often subsidized by the USSR, took over the advanced political culture both of Europe and of international diplomacy. Behind the new hostility to Israel lay the new ideological orthodoxy, according to whose categories the Jewish state had emerged on the world scene as a certified "colonial" and "imperialist" power, a "hegemon," and an "oppressor."

Before 1967, anti-Zionist resolutions sponsored by the Arabs and their Soviet patrons in the United Nations garnered little or no support among the democracies. After 1967, more and more Western countries joined the chorus of castigation. By 1974, Yasir Arafat, whose organization openly embraced both terrorism and the destruction of a UN member state, was invited to address the General Assembly. The next year, that same body passed the infamous "Zionism-is-racism" resolution. In 1981, Israel's strike against Iraq's nuclear reactor was condemned by the entire world, including the United States.

Then, in the 1990's, things began to change again. Despite the constant flow of biased UN resolutions, despite the continuing double standard, there were a number of positive developments as well: the Zionism-is-racism resolution was repealed, and over 65 member states either established or renewed diplomatic relations with Israel.

What had happened? Had Arab oil dried up? Had Muslims suddenly become a less potent political force on the European continent? Hardly. What changed was that, at Madrid and then at Oslo, Israel had agreed, first reluctantly and later with self-induced optimism, to conform to the ascendant ethos of international politics. Extending its hand to a terrorist organization still committed to its destruction, Israel agreed to the establishment of a dictatorial and repressive regime on its very doorstep, sustaining its commitment to the so-called peace process no matter how many innocent Jews were killed and wounded in its fraudulent name.

The rewards for thus conforming to the template of the world's moralizers, cosmetic and temporary though they proved to be, flowed predictably not just to Israel but to the Jewish people as a whole. Sure enough, worldwide indices of anti-Semitism in the 1990's dropped to their lowest point since the Holocaust. As the world's Jews benefited from the increasing tolerance extended to the world's Jew, Western organizations devoted to fighting the anti-Semitic scourge began cautiously to declare victory and to refocus their efforts on other parts of the Jewish communal agenda.

But of course it would not last. In the summer of 2000, at Camp David, Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians nearly everything their leadership was thought to be demanding. The offer was summarily rejected, Arafat started his '"uprising," Israel undertook to defend itself--and Europe ceased to applaud. For many Jews at the time, this seemed utterly incomprehensible: had not Israel taken every last step for peace? But it was all too comprehensible. Europe was staying true to form; it was the world's Jew, by refusing to accept its share of blame for the "cycle of violence," that was out of line. And so were the world's Jews, who by definition, and whether they supported Israel or not, came rapidly to be associated with the Jewish state in its effrontery.

TO AMERICANS, the process I have been describing may sound eerily familiar. It should: Americans, too, have had numerous opportunities to see their nation in the dock of world opinion over recent years for the crime of rejecting the values of the so-called international community, and never more so than during the widespread hysteria that greeted President Bush's announced plan to dismantle the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein. In dozens of countries, protesters streamed into the streets to voice their fury at this refusal of the United States to conform to what "everybody" knew to be required of it. To judge from the placards on display at these rallies, President Bush, the leader of the free world, was a worse enemy of mankind than the butcher of Baghdad.

At first glance, this too must have seemed incomprehensible. Saddam Hussein was one of the world's most brutal dictators, a man who had gassed his own citizens, invaded his neighbors, defied Security Council resolutions, and was widely believed to possess weapons of mass destruction. But no matter: the protests were less about Iraqi virtue than about American vice, and the grievances aired by the assorted anti-capitalists, anti-globalists, radical environmentalists, self-styled anti-imperialists, and many others who assembled to decry the war had little to do with the possible drawbacks of a military operation in Iraq. They had to do, rather, with a genuine clash of values.

Insofar as the clash is between the United States and Europe--there is a large "European" body of opinion within the United States as well--it has been well diagnosed by Robert Kagan in his best-selling book, Of Paradise and Power. For our purposes, it is sufficient to remark on how quickly the initial "why-do-they-hate-us" debate in the wake of September 11, focusing on anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world, came to be overtaken by a "why-do-they-hate-us" debate centered on anti-American sentiment in "Old Europe." Generally, the two hatreds have been seen to emanate from divergent impulses, in the one case a perception of the threat posed by Western freedoms to Islamic civilization, in the other a perception of the threat posed by a self-confident and powerful America to the postmodern European idea of a world regulated not by force but by reason, compromise, and nonjudgmentalism. In today's Europe--professedly pacifist, postnationalist, anti-hegemonic--an expression like "axis of evil" wins few friends, and the idea of actually confronting the axis of evil still fewer.

Despite the differences between them, however, anti-Americanism in the Islamic world and anti-Americanism in Europe are in fact linked, and both bear an uncanny resemblance to anti-Semitism. It is, after all, with some reason that the United States is loathed and feared by the despots and fundamentalists of the Islamic world as well as by many Europeans. Like Israel, but in a much more powerful way, America embodies a different--a nonconforming--idea of the good, and refuses to abandon its moral clarity about the objective worth of that idea or of the free habits and institutions to which it has given birth. To the contrary, in undertaking their war against the evil of terrorism, the American people have demonstrated their determination not only to fight to preserve the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity, but to carry them to regions of the world that have proved most resistant to their benign influence.

IN THIS, positive sense as well, Israel and the Jewish people share something essential with the United States. The Jews, after all, have long held that they were chosen to play a special role in history, to be what their prophets called "a light unto the nations." What precisely is meant by that phrase has always been a matter of debate, and I would be the last to deny the mischief that has sometimes been done, including to the best interests of the Jews, by some who have raised it as their banner. Nevertheless, over four millennia, the universal vision and moral precepts of the Jews have not only worked to secure the survival of the Jewish people themselves but have constituted a powerful force for good in the world, inspiring myriads to fight for the right even as in others they have aroused rivalry, enmity, and unappeasable resentment.

It is similar with the United States--a nation that has long regarded itself as entrusted with a mission to be what John Winthrop in the 17th century called a "city on a hill" and Ronald Reagan in the 20th parsed as a "shining city on a hill." What precisely is meant by that phrase is likewise a matter of debate, but Americans who see their country in such terms certainly regard the advance of American values as central to American purpose. And, though the United States is still a very young nation, there can be no disputing that those values have likewise constituted an immense force for good in the world--even as they have earned America the enmity and resentment of many.

In resolving to face down enmity and hatred, an important source of strength is the lesson to be gained from contemplating the example of others. From Socrates to Churchill to Sakharov, there have been individuals whose voices and whose personal heroism have reinforced in others the resolve to stand firm for the good. But history has also been generous enough to offer, in the Jews, the example of an ancient people fired by the message of human freedom under God and, in the Americans, the example of a modern people who over the past century alone, acting in fidelity with their inmost beliefs, have confronted and defeated the greatest tyrannies ever known to man.

Fortunately for America, and fortunately for the world, the United States has been blessed by providence with the power to match its ideals. The Jewish state, by contrast, is a tiny island in an exceedingly dangerous sea, and its citizens will need every particle of strength they can muster for the trials ahead. It is their own people's astounding perseverance, despite centuries of suffering at the hands of faiths, ideologies, peoples, and individuals who have hated them and set out to do them in, that inspires one with confidence that the Jews will once again outlast their enemies.

Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and political prisoner, now serves in the government of Israel as minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora affairs. This article draws in part on ideas presented at a conference on anti-Semitism in Paris in May and at the World Forum of the American Enterprise Institute in June. Mr. Sharansky thanks Ron Dermer for help in developing the arguments and in preparing the manuscript.


Copyright 2003 Commentary Magazine


Posted by trafael at 10:25 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 2 November 2003 11:36 PM EST

The 'mainstream' is located in France - Great humor

by Ann coulter

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com |

The newspaper that almost missed the war in Iraq because its reporters were in Georgia covering the membership policies of the Augusta National Golf Club has declared another one of President George Bush's judicial nominees as "out of the mainstream." The New York Times has proclaimed so many Bush nominees "out of the mainstream," that the editorial calling California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown "out of the mainstream" was literally titled: "Out of the Mainstream, Again."

Among Bush's "many unworthy judicial nominees," the Times said, Brown is "among the very worst" -- more "out of the mainstream" than all the rest! Even Teddy Kennedy, who might be well advised to withhold comment on a woman's position relative to a moving body of water, has described Brown as "out of the mainstream," adding, "Let's just hope this one can swim."

Liberals are hysterical about Justice Brown principally because she is black. Nothing enrages them so much as a minority who does not spend her days saying hosannas to liberals.

On the basis of its editorial positions, the Times seems to have called a bunch of racist Southern election supervisors out of retirement to cover judicial nominations for the paper. The only difference is, instead of phony "literacy" tests, now we have phony "mainstream" tests. Amazingly, no matter how many conservative minorities Bush sends up, the Times has not been able to find a single one who is "qualified." The Times thinks Justice Brown should be the maid and Miguel Estrada the pool boy.

According to the Times, Brown has "declared war on the mainstream legal values that most Americans hold dear." What the Times means by "mainstream legal values" is: off-the-charts unpopular positions favored by NAMBLA, the ACLU, and The New York Times editorial page.

Thus, for example, opposition to partial birth abortion -- opposed by 70 percent of the American people -- is "out of the mainstream." Support for the death penalty -- supported by 70 percent of the American people -- is "out of the mainstream."

Opposition to government-sanctioned race discrimination -- which voters in the largest state in the nation put on an initiative titled Proposition 209 and enacted into law -- is "out of the mainstream." Opposition to gay marriage -- opposed by 60 percent of the American people -- is "out of the mainstream." Failing to recognize that totally nude dancing is "speech" is "out of the mainstream." Questioning whether gay Scoutmasters should be taking 14-year-old boys on overnight sleepovers in the woods is "out of the mainstream."

I guess if your "mainstream" includes Roman Polanski, Michael Moore, Howard Dean and Jacques Chirac, then Brown really is "out of the mainstream." This proverbial "stream" they're constantly referring to is evidently located somewhere in France.

Liberals are always complaining that they haven't figured out how to distill their message to slogans and bumper stickers -- as they allege Republicans have. Though it can't be easy to fit the entire Communist Manifesto on a bumper sticker, I beg to differ. (Bumper sticker version of the current Democratic platform: "Ask me about how I'm going to raise your taxes.")

The problem is, if Democrats ever dared speak coherently, the American people would lynch them. Fortunately for liberals, soccer moms hear that a nominee is "extreme" and "out the mainstream" and are too frightened to ask for details. (Ironically, based on ticket sales and TV ratings, soccer is also out of the mainstream.)

In addition to the fact that she is black and "out of the mainstream," the first item in the Times' bill of particulars against Brown was this:

"She regularly stakes out extreme positions, often dissenting alone. In one case, her court ordered a rental car company to stop its supervisor from calling Hispanic employees by racial epithets. Justice Brown dissented, arguing that doing so violated the company's free speech rights."

Despite the Times' implication that Brown was "dissenting alone" in this case, she was not. The opinion of the California Supreme Court in the case, Aguilar v. Avis, was as closely divided as it gets: 4-3. Among the dissenters was Stanley Mosk, who was once described by the Los Angeles Times as "the court's most liberal member." When Mosk died in 2001, his obituary in The New York Times described him as "the only liberal on the seven-member court." I suppose if the Times had mentioned that a prominent liberal jurist had agreed with Brown in Aguilar, it would be harder to frighten silly women with that "out of the mainstream" babble.

But the real beauty part of Brown's dissent in Aguilar is that she was vindicating a constitutional principle that is second in importance only to abortion for liberals: no prior restraints on speech.

In a major victory for Avis, the jury rejected almost all of the claims against Avis by Hispanic employees, but did find that two managers -- only one of whom still worked at Avis -- had called Hispanics names. So the lower court judge got the idea to issue an injunction prohibiting one single Avis manager from ever using derogatory language about Avis' Hispanic employees.

The injunction was broad enough to prevent the manager from using such language in his home, out of earshot of his employees, in a joking or friendly manner, as part of a hypothetical example, or even if his speech were incapable of creating a "hostile environment" under the law. Questions were also raised about whether he was even allowed to chuckle at the little dog in those "Yo quiero Taco Bell" TV commercials. It was basically a bill of attainder against this one manager (who was himself married to a Hispanic).

I note that liberals laughed at the idea that a "hostile environment" could be created by a single incident of a governor dropping his pants and asking a subordinate to "kiss it." But the mere speculative threat of a manager saying "wetback" -- one time -- was such a threat to the stability of the nation that the Times backed a prior restraint on the manager's speech.

Usually The New York Times is citing the law's antagonism to prior restraints on speech in order to wax eloquent about the Supreme Court's "landmark decision in the Pentagon Papers case." In a ruling that celebrated the very essence of the First Amendment, the court ruled that the government couldn't stop the Treason Times from publishing classified national security documents. As the Times put it, that case had "made it clear that only a showing of concrete, immediate risk to the nation could justify a judicial order imposing a prior restraint on any kind of publication."

But apparently, there is one interest even more vital than preventing an immediate risk to the nation: stopping a supervisor someplace in America from ever using the word "spic." Anyone who disagrees is "out of the mainstream." And any minority who is not duly grateful to liberals for supporting prior restraints against certain words is only qualified to be the maid.

Eye on the Media: The controversy of Israel


By BRET STEPHENS

Since when are the Shaba farms "disputed"?

According to the United Nations, this uninhabited strip of land - 14 kilometers long and two kilometers deep - falls squarely on the Israeli side of Blue Line dividing Israel from Lebanon. But because the farms are also on the Golan Heights, the UN insists they properly belong to Syria.

In the language of news agencies such as Reuters and the Associated Press, that would mean the farms are in "Israeli-occupied" territory. But there's a catch. Syria - which otherwise is so jealous of its territory that it refused Ehud Barak's 1999 offer to return the Golan Heights minus a strip of shoreline - does not claim the farms as its own.

Instead, in 2000 Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Shara informed the UN that the farms are Lebanese. Syria claims it made a gift of them to Lebanon in 1951 as part of what one Lebanese official described as a "kind of oral agreement," but neither government has been able to produce any documentation proving it.

The Lebanese government has also produced some handwritten deeds for the farms dating from the 1940s. But even if these are not forgeries, the fact that they predate the 1951 land transfer renders them inoperative - if indeed there was a land transfer. According to Lebanese military maps from the early 1960s, the farms fell squarely in Syrian territory.

So why did Reuters and the Associated Press describe the farms as "disputed" following this week's Hizbullah rocket attacks? Because, one inside source helpfully explains, the Golan Heights are "disputed" by Israel and Syria. But in that case, why do the news agencies otherwise describe the Heights as "occupied"? And if they are now so sensitive to Israeli claims, why not also describe the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as "disputed"?

The fact is, Syria and Lebanon jointly pretend the Shaba farms are Lebanese in order to furnish Hizbullah with a pretext for continued attacks on Israeli targets. By calling the farms "disputed," Reuters and AP only lend credibility to what should be described as a fraud.

I EXPATIATE on this topic to make a simple point: Just because someone disputes something - whether it's land, law, history, received opinion or whatever - does not mean it's disputed. A controversy is not created by the act of controverting alone.

Take a homely example: I may swan into your living room, refuse to budge and claim your house as my own. That does not make it mine. Nor does it make it "disputed territory," except semantically.

Still, if some camera crew were to arrive on the scene to report not on my invasion of your property but on this "dispute" of ours, it would go a long way toward shoring up my case. Let it go on for a month or two, and you might even be tempted to compromise. The basement apartment, perhaps?

What goes for your house and the Shaba farms goes also for the Jewish state. Israel's existential legitimacy has been widely assailed for years - but that came, or comes, mainly from Arab, Islamic and Soviet corners. By contrast, Israel's critics in the West usually confined themselves to arguing about Israel's borders. As for the rightness of the Zionist dream itself, that was ideological territory upon which they dared not trespass.

Now that's changed. A line has been crossed. With the media's help, Israel has become "controversial." As usual, Israelis and Jews have blazed this particular trail.

In August, Haaretz ran a long profile by Ari Shavit of "neo-Canaanites" Haim Hanegbi and Meron Benvenisti, two Israelis who have come to the conclusion that "Israel as a Jewish state can no longer exist here."

In September, former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg penned an article for Yediot Aharonot in which he argued that "after two thousand years of struggle for survival, the reality of Israel is a colonial state, run by a corrupt clique which scorns and mocks law and civic morality." The article was reprinted in the International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, The Guardian, the Suddeutsche Zeitung and (of course!), The Forward.

All this was bound to spill over on American shores, and earlier this month it did. In the New York Review of Books, Tony Judt, a British Jew who is a professor of history at New York University and director of the Remarque Institute, has announced "the depressing truth that Israel today is bad for the Jews." Judt's article is titled "Israel: The Alternative" - the alternative (actually, the "desirable outcome") being the binational state propounded by Benvenisti and Hanegbi. His argument is that Zionism "arrived too late": By the time the Jewish state was born in 1948, the world had moved beyond nationalism to globalism, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism.

Israel, however, remains a state defined by ethno-religious criteria, even as a growing percentage of the population within its borders is not Jewish. So it faces a dilemma: It can either retreat to borders within which it may remain both Jewish and democratic; it can expel its non-Jewish population, meaning primarily the Palestinians; or it can become a binational state.

Judt implies that he prefers the first alternative. Only he doesn't think it's going to happen: "There are too many settlements, too many Jewish settlers, and too many Palestinians" for the two-state solution to work. American pressure could help, but none is forthcoming because Bush "has been reduced to a ventriloquist's dummy, pitifully reciting the Israeli cabinet line."

As for that cabinet, it is composed of extremists to whom the the fascist label "fits better than ever." The government, Judt claims, is moving Israel in the direction of "full-scale ethnic cleansing as a state project."

Thus we arrive, with Hegelian inevitability, at history's juncture. Either the Zionist fascists of the present government will get their way, leading to the permanent estrangement of decent Diaspora Jewry from their fanatical cousins in the Holy Land. Or the decent people will prevail, leading to a binational state of which Jews everywhere, and the whole world, can be proud.

This second outcome, Judt writes, "would not be easy, though not quite as impossible as it sounds." All that's required is "brave and relentlessly engaged American leadership"; "international force" to guarantee "the security of Jews and Arabs alike"; and "the emergence, among Jews and Arabs alike, of a new political class."

ABOUT JUDT'S scheme, many things can be said, the least of which is its mind-boggling impracticality.

A binational state? Surely Judt is aware of where that path led to in Lebanon, where the animosities and differences between Christians and Muslims were nowhere near as deep as they are between Muslims and Jews.

A new political class? Had Palestinian Arabs had such a class in the 1930s, a binational state may have come into being with the end of the British mandate, for there was no shortage of Jews advocating as much at the time.

"International forces" to guarantee the mutual security of Jews and Arabs? We know too well what such forces recently accomplished in Srebrenica and Kigali.

Then there's Judt's sense of history.
He says that Israel threatens to become the first modern democracy to engage in ethnic cleansing. Well, no: The United States and Australia, both modern democracies, did far worse with their aboriginal peoples.

He says that Jewish nationalism came to fruition too late. Wrong again: India and Pakistan and Indonesia were born alongside Israel; the Indochinese states emerged a decade later; the African states a few years after that. Should we do away with them, too, under the auspices of "international forces"? This is a cry for colonialism.

He says that US support for Israel has been "a disaster for American foreign policy." (Syria, by contrast, is praised "for providing the US with critical data on al-Qaida). In fact, what has been disastrous for US Middle East policy has been its support for Arab and Muslim autocrats such as Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and the Shah of Iran.

Judt is equally bad when it comes to understanding Israeli politics. He tells us that the current Likud government is the heir to Herut and the Revisionist Zionism of Vladimir Jabotinsky. Which is partly true, except that Sharon himself is an old Laborite who in recent months has sidelined the true heirs to Revisionist Zionism championed by Binyamin Netanyahu.

He says that Israel's security fence is like the Berlin Wall. But the Berlin Wall was built to keep people in, whereas the security fence is being built to keep people out. A better analogy for the security fence is the American border with Mexico.
He tells us that the forcible expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank is an option seriously being considered by Israeli decision makers. Please.

Judt's resort to classic anti-Semitic tropes should also not be overlooked. He tells us, twice, that US policy is being conducted to suit Ariel Sharon's convenience. This is a view that finds wide expression in Arab media.

But does Judt seriously believe that the foreign policy of a superpower is being manipulated by its own client state? Truly it is an amazingly wily and manipulative client who can so hoodwink its patron.

Judt tells us that Israel is bad for the Jews because the actions of the Sharon government taint Jews by implication everywhere. What's more, he says, they contribute to "misdirected efforts, often by young Muslims, to get back at Israel" by torching synagogues in Lyon or attacking Jews in the streets of Berlin. But as Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic points out in a devastating critique of Judt, "if you explain anti-Semitism as a response to Jews... you have not understood it. You have reproduced it."

Then too, notice Judt's use of the word "misdirected." For an Algerian youth to stab a Parisian rabbi is "misdirected." Everything the Israeli government does is unadulterated fascism.
The fact that Judt is Jewish does not acquit him of the charge of anti-Semitism. It aggravates it.

A gentile with little or no knowledge of classic anti-Semitic tropes may make a comment that sounds anti-Semitic -"the Jews control Hollywood," for instance - without recognizing it as anti-Semitic.

That's stupid, but it is not necessarily ill-intentioned. But it is unforgivable for a man of Judt's pedigree and education to make similar kinds of comments. Explain, please, the difference between Judt's line that Sharon plays Bush like a "ventriloquist's dummy" and Mahathir Mohamad's remark to the Organization of the Islamic Conference that "the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them." I see none.

SO MUCH for Judt's arguments. They collapse on first inspection, rather like Syrian and Lebanese claims regarding the Shaba farms.

Yet Judt remains a figure of respect. Not only was his essay allowed in the New York Review of Books, as far as I can tell he remains a contributing editor to The New Republic, the very magazine in which Wieseltier savaged him.

But will TNR sack Judt the way the American sports channel ESPN recently sacked Rush Limbaugh for making an arguably derogatory comment about a black football player? I doubt it.

No: Judt has merely exercised his right to free speech. It was a foolish speech, perhaps, but wasn't it Jefferson who said that error of opinion may be tolerated where freedom is left free to combat it? Instead, we will argue with Judt, show him the error of his ideas. Ostracism is not the democratic way. Engagement is.

Except that's not true. Polite society in the US has ruled that racist comments, or anti-Semitic comments, or sexist comments, or comments that hint at racism or anti-Semitism or sexism, are out of bounds. Rightly so. Especially in a free-speech country, some things must not be said.

It is the obligation of the people who rule polite society - academics, editors, teachers, TV producers and so on - to enforce the norms when government will not. Fail to do so, and you take the lid off the gutter and let the sewage run in the streets.

This is what is happening now with Israel. It does not really matter what Judt thinks about the dummy's ventriloquist. It matters that his views are being published in prestige magazines. It matters that his views are on this side of acceptable discourse.

It matters that his views are a matter of controversy, not disrepute.

It will be said that I am trying to quash debate. That is exactly what I would have done, were it still possible. It no longer is. The controversy of Israel's borders is over. Our enemies have won. The controversy of Israel is now upon us.

bret@jpost.co.il

WHY THE MEDIA BOTCHES IT


Bret Stephens
Jerusalem Post, October 17, 2003


In 1962, an American historian named Roberta Wohlstetter wrote a book that is required reading at Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon. It ought to be required reading for every foreign correspondent, too. The book, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision was an effort to explain why the United States had failed to anticipate the Japanese attack, despite quantities of intelligence indicating that an attack was soon coming. For years, Americans had known of this failure, and that knowledge spawned the view that Franklin Roosevelt had taken the U.S. to war "through the back door," or, as Clare Booth Luce put it, that he had "lied us into a war because he didn't have the courage to lead us into it."

Wohlstetter saw it differently. In the run-up to December 7, she noted, U.S. intelligence knew not only that Hawaii was a potential target for the Japanese, but that Siberia, the Panama Canal, the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies were, too. All this information created what she called "noise," an overwhelming barrage of signals in which significant information tended to be drowned in trivia?

The analysis holds good in other situations. In the spring of 1941, Stalin had ample information that Hitler was massing troops on their shared front. In the fall of 1973, Israel knew the movements of the Egyptian and Syrian armies. The Soviets and Israelis were taken by surprise not because of faulty information. The problem was one of faulty interpretation, which in turn came from faulty assumptions about enemy motives. Stalin was convinced Hitler was maneuvering toward negotiation, not war; Israel thought the Arabs would never launch a war they were bound to lose.

Now fast-forward to August 3, 2000. On that day, The New York Times published a story by reporter John Burns, headlined "Palestinian Summer Camps Offer Games at War." "Last summer," Burns wrote, "some 27,000 Palestinian children participated in the camps, where they receive weeks of training in guerrilla warfare, including operation of firearms and mock kidnappings of Israeli leaders. A common theme in the camps was preparation for armed conflict: 'slitting the throats of Israelis' is one of the children's exercises at these camps."

To its credit, the Times ran this piece on the front page. [But] within a month the story was pretty much forgotten. When fighting broke out on September 30 most of the news media were prepared to believe that it was Ariel Sharon who had started it by taking a walk on the Temple Mount.

To me, Burns's reporting is of a piece with the early warnings about Pearl Harbor. Who, reading his dispatch now, can fail to see that it foretold the coming war? Yet with a few exceptions, everyone failed to foresee it, certainly everyone in the foreign media. As late as September 27, two days before the beginning of hostilities, Burns's colleague Deborah Sontag was writing that Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat had succeeded in "breaking the ice" over dinner, thereby providing "fresh momentum" for negotiation.

Now consider all this in the light of Wohlstetter's analysis. During the Oslo years, the dominant framework was roughly this:

First, Yasser Arafat, a reformed terrorist, had made a strategic decision for peace based on the calculation that a state in Gaza and the West Bank was the most he would ever get. Second, Yitzhak Rabin [had] concluded that the Jewish state was more secure with the majority of Palestinians outside smaller borders than it was with those Palestinians inside larger borders. He too wanted to cut a deal, and the PLO was the only really credible partner for it. Third, this new political center represented by Arafat-Rabin was threatened by Palestinian fanatics who would not abandon their claims to Haifa and Jaffa, and by Jewish fanatics who would not abandon theirs to Hebron and Shechem (Nablus). Fourth, the solution lay in strengthening the center, chiefly by supporting Rabin diplomatically and Arafat financially and militarily. Israelis would be moved to withdraw from their territories to the East if they felt more secure in their friendships with the West. As for Arafat, he ne! He needed guns and money to suppress "militant" Palestinian factions and establish the institutions of statehood.

That was the compelling logic of Oslo, and it was a logic to which most of world media subscribed. How often did we hear it said [that] peace was threatened by "extremists on both sides"? How much ink was expended on the question of Arafat's personal chemistry with Rabin/Peres/Netanyahu/Barak? And how little attention was devoted to countervailing data: for example, Arafat speeches that reaffirmed, in Arabic, his commitment to the PLO's old "plan of stages"?

No wonder, then, that Burns's August 3 dispatch did not cause the upset is should have. The idea that the Palestinian Authority was not part of the vital center for peace [was] information that could not be adequately explained within Oslo's interpretive framework.

The media was dutiful in reporting the terrorist summer camps. But it was not dutiful in asking the necessary follow-up questions about why these camps were there and what they betokened. Instead, we had what Thomas Schelling, in the foreword to Wohlstetter's book, described as "a routine obsession with a few dangers that may be familiar rather than likely"--settlers, terrorists, Sharon and so on.

Since then, things have changed somewhat. Whereas once there was one dominant interpretive framework, now there are three competing ones.

The first of these is the "occupation" framework. Its subscribers include all the Arab media, most of the European media, the BBC, the Economist magazine, and some U.S. news organizations. According to this framework, this is a conflict that began in 1967 when Israel "conquered" Palestinian land, attempted to settle it, and in the process dispossessed and eventually enraged the Palestinian people. Palestinian "militancy" is a consequence of this.

Then there is the "cycle-of-violence" framework? In this view, the conflict did not begin in 1967 or even in 1948 [but] sees Israelis and Palestinians as two tribes caught in a kind of blood feud, with each fresh assault demanding retribution?.

Finally, there is the "Arab rejectionism" framework. Its votaries in the media include the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network. This framework holds that the conflict has its roots in the Arab world's refusal to accept a Jewish state in its midst?

From these separate frameworks identical headlines will often emerge. But the stories will read differently. Consider a hypothetical example: A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates himself in a Jerusalem bus and kills 20. Hamas takes responsibility.

A reporter from the "Occupation" school [discovers] that the bomber is from the Dehaishe refugee camp near Bethlehem; his family was originally from Ramle; his father used to work construction in Israel but has been unable to get to his job due to IDF closures. As for the bomber himself, he had a talent for carpentry but never found a job. He was recruited by Hamas after his brother was shot by the IDF; he hoped that his own martyrdom would bring honor and money to his parents and nine siblings.

Then there's the reporter from the "cycle of violence" school. [She notes] that a leading Hamas spokesman had recently been killed in an IAF helicopter attack and that the group had vowed revenge?

Finally, we have our reporter from the "Arab rejectionist" camp. He describes the scene of the bombing, interviews the families of the bereaved, attends the funerals. Little attention is paid to the personal circumstances of the bomber. Perhaps it will be noted that the bomber's brother was killed by the IDF while attempting to plant a mine on the road to a nearby settlement. Perhaps, too, the family expects to receive money from abroad. There's a story there about Saudi funding of terror?.

My point simply is to illustrate how different interpretive frameworks put reporters on the trail of different sets of facts. All of these facts may be true. The question is, which of them are significant? To a certain extent, the answer is in the eye of the reporter. But the suicide bombings belong to a larger narrative, and it's important that readers not be consistently misled as to where this story might be going.

Few people anticipated the collapse of Oslo because few reporters bothered to ask themselves whether incitement in Palestinian schools, corruption in Palestinian officialdom, or the collusive relationship between groups like Hamas and the PA, weren't really bigger stories than, say, new construction in Gilo.

Similarly, had a moderate Palestinian leadership taken control of events in the past few months and stamped out terrorist groups, the Arab rejectionism camp would have a hard time making sense of things. It might have resorted to rationalization or conspiracy theories. By the same token, the persistence of Palestinian terror aimed at targets in pre-'67 Israelis should put a heavy onus on the "Occupation" camp to explain Palestinian motives. As for the "cycle-of-violence" camp, they ought to be puzzling out why the August 19 bus bombing in Jerusalem preceded Israel's targeted assassination of Ismael Abu Shanab, which Palestinian spokesmen now claim was what brought the hudna to an end.

Every reporter and editor needs at least some kind of framework to make sense of the news. I am certainly not coy about the framework to which this newspaper subscribes. I believe it is solidly grounded in historical fact, and I think its predictive record has been good. Still, I admit it's a sign of media vitality when no single framework dominates news coverage as it did in the 1990s. And I will try, at least occasionally, to pose the sorts of questions my colleagues in the other two camps so routinely ask. The wiser journalists among them will return the favor.



Who Lost the Campus?

By Jonathan Tobin

Animus against Israel goes deeper than policy disagreements with Sharon


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | American Jews are very good at ignoring the obvious, but they can at least give themselves credit for being smart enough to understand that their house is on fire, just as the flames are starting to toast their toes.


Case in point is the fact that lately, we have gradually come to terms with the fact most American college campuses were hothouses for anti-Israel bigotry. That this realization occurred long after the problem became serious is besides the point. Incidents last year, such as the anti-Jewish violence at places like San Francisco State University or Concordia University in Montreal, have created enough of a stir to put this issue on the communal radar screen. That's the good news. The bad news is that students who support Israel are still placed in the position of a precarious and unpopular minority as anti-Zionist radicals on faculties and in the student body make it hard to stand up for Jewish rights.


Predictably, there is division in our ranks as to what created this situation.

'JEWS OF SILENCE'

Former Soviet refusenik and current Israeli Cabinet member Natan Sharansky wrote in the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv about his recent tour of American campuses and the sorry state of Jewish activism.


The picture he paints is a gloomy one, in which colleges are virtually "enemy territory" for affiliated Jews. Even worse, he returned to Israel with the impression that most young Jews had opted out of the struggle. Though a few were standing up for Zionism (and a smaller minority were anti-Israel), most were on the sidelines, afraid to speak up because to do so might damage their grades and their academic futures, not to mention their social standing.


To Sharansky, the overwhelming majority of young American Jews are contemporary "Jews of silence" in contrast with the more vocal Jewish activists of 20 and 30 years ago. That's a telling phrase, since it was also the title of the 1966 book by Elie Wiesel that helped launch the movement to free Soviet Jewry. Sharansky blames the current situation on Arab influence in the makeup of Middle East Studies departments and effective public relations work by the Palestinians.


But to liberal activist and columnist Leonard Fein, the blame for the decline of support for Israel has less to do with Arab propaganda than it does with reasonable criticism of Israel's positions.


In his attack on Sharansky's position, Fein acknowledges that there are many on campus who oppose Israel's existence under any circumstances. But he feels it is primarily Israel's fault that young Jews won't support it. For him, "excesses in Israel's actions" and "the real suspicions fair-minded people harbor regarding Israel's motives and intentions," explain hostility to the Jewish state.

According to Fein, if Israel were a good liberal state, accommodating Palestinian ambitions and not run by the likes of Ariel Sharon, then more Jews would be behind it.


The problem with this argument is that it flies in the face of the facts of the last decade. During this time, Israeli governments of both the left and the right have made a string of concessions to the Palestinians. But Oslo did not set off a wave of pro-Israel sentiment on campuses in the 1990s, nor did the fact that Israel offered the Palestinians what they demanded in July 2000 -- and were answered by terrorist warfare.


In fact, just the opposite has happened. As Israel moved to a point where even Sharon has come to terms with the eventual necessity of a Palestinian state, anti-Israel sentiment has grown by leaps and bounds. Indeed, the more it became apparent to those who were truly fair-minded that Israel was the victim and not the aggressor, the more intense the assault of lies about Israeli "excesses" has become.


Instead, anti-Israel forces in the media and academia have seized upon the conflict to heighten their abuse, and attacks on Israel's existence are now far more commonplace than they were before Oslo.


But while Sharansky is right about the extent of the problem, his nostalgia for campus Jewish activism of the past is a bit misplaced. As much as we need to draw on the successes of that era, it would be a mistake to buy into the notion that Jewish students were united behind the Soviet Jewry movement -- or any other Jewish cause.

MYTHS ABOUT THE PAST

In fact, it was just as hard, and often just as unfashionable, for students to support Jewish causes then as it is today. Although the majority of Jews were supportive of the cause at the very end of the struggle for Soviet Jewry, those who were screaming about it in the early 1970s were a tiny minority, both on and off the campuses.


And though Israel was less unpopular then than it is today, the idea that all, or even most Jewish students, were unified in solidarity with its struggle to survive is also something of a myth.


The majority of Jewish students then, as is the case now, were far more interested in the fashionable left. Their cause c?l?bre was either Vietnam, or apartheid, not Israel or Soviet Jewry. Today, you are more likely to get Jewish students to attend a rally opposing the war in Iraq (which toppled an anti-Semitic dictator) than you would to hear an Israeli like Shimon Peres, whose views conform to Fein's vision of what Israel ought to be. However, Sharansky is on target when he notes that the structure of academic study has changed for the worse. The rise of Middle Eastern studies as a separate discipline has coincided with the advent of a generation of scholars who are anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian in their orientation.


They succeeded because they were able to tap into the same vein of anti-American leftism that transformed campuses in the 1960s. As faculties became more hostile to those who disagreed with the left, support for Israel has become as unfashionable and academically perilous in many instances as support for George W. Bush.


The unavoidable truth is that college students will always find it hard to stand against the tide of what is the conventional wisdom of the day. For most students, being for Israel simply isn't cool. And so long as the Palestinians are embraced by the political left -- and Israel is identified with the United States -- Zionism will find few friends on the quad.


Changing this will require not merely more Jewish programming, but a counter-revolution aimed at stiffening the resolve of Jewish students, striking back against Israel's detractors and pointing out their hypocrisy and mendacity. But until we reject the notion that Israel itself is to blame for the assaults on its existence, we haven't a chance.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. In June, Mr. Tobin won first places honors in the American Jewish Press Association's Louis Rapaport Award for Excellence in Commentary as well as the Philadelphia Press Association's Media Award for top weekly columnist. Both competitions were for articles written in the year 2002.

Excerpts from "From Prague to London - By Barry Rubin

The Jerusalem Post"

London is a more complicated place in this regard. The government is not so hostile to Israel, at least less so than in the past. The media is split, though the main television news is in practice antagonistically partisan.

Many campuses are hysterical on this issue. The most outrageous statements can be made with little fear of contradiction. It is open season on Israel. England was, after all, the country where George Orwell explained that certain ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them.

Yet how much practical effect does this widespread misrepresentation actually have? And are things getting better or worse? These questions are hard to answer.

Of course, much of the problem stems from a far Left desperately seeking a post-Marxist revolutionary cause. There are many professors and journalists who are passionate about their political engagements and far less so regarding their professional ethics.

Yet there are also many people with open minds who are genuinely baffled as to why the region remains so turbulent, its problems seemingly so unsolvable. How can one comprehend the damage done to the region by dictators deceptions and extremist ideologies if they are merely excused by Western observers? Recently, an Israeli colleague explained to a European audience that it overstated the ease of solving Middle East problems. A French military official sneeringly attacked him, making clear his detestation for anyone so foolish as to believe in the brutal notion that force determines the course of events in the world. What is needed, he explained, is peaceful diplomacy and the willingness to make concessions.

Consider the proposed deal worked out by French and other European negotiators with Iran which was hailed in Paris as a great victory for diplomatic methods in stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The Europeans will tightly control uranium, but let Iran build a reactor that will produce plutonium. No doubt, Iran will use this reactor to build more deadly plutonium bombs.

An American participant asked how, in light of this philosophy, he explained that France had intervened 47 times with military force in Africa without ever seeking a UN resolution. The official looked so angry that I believe he would have punched the American in the face if he had not just made a speech extolling pacifism.

Bush's war on chaos

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | This week, the Pentagon announced that more American troops -- 115 -- had sacrificed their precious lives in combat since President Bush announced major combat operations were over in Iraq on May 1 than had died in the war between March 20 and the end of April.

The news comes as public support for the war in Iraq seems to be wavering. The latest Harris poll found that 47 percent of Americans want to bring most U.S. troops home from Iraq within the next year and 46 percent want to keep the troops in Iraq until there's a stable government.

Of course support for the war is slipping -- every Democratic presidential candidate has hurled an endless barrage of one of two messages: 1) The war in Iraq was all wrong, or 2) the war is being done all wrong. During Sunday's candidates' debate, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said that Bush had failed to "do it right." Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., charged that Bush had "no plan." All agreed that the war would be going better if only Bush had put together an international coalition.

The Democrats have a right to criticize Bush, but the very notion that the war would be cleaner following a different PowerPoint-detailed plan, that the pitfalls could have been foreseen, or that there would be an end in sight to American involvement if only there were Frenchmen fighting side by side with U.S. soldiers, well, it reveals a naivete unbecoming of a White House hopeful.

Top Dems apparently forgot that America fought a war with a broad international coalition in 1991 and that it ended when an eager-to-please President George H.W. Bush dropped the ball of victory in Iraq by withdrawing U.S. troops too soon.

Implicit in the criticism of George W. Bush is the illusion that U.S. troops could have invaded Iraq, overthrown Saddam Hussein and worked to install a new representative government, and that the whole agonizing ordeal wouldn't have been as prolonged and messy -- if only there had been better planning.

Rebuilding Iraq always was going to be grueling, and so, alas, it is. There is no efficient, low-risk way to fight an enemy who kills civilians rather than confront an army. As Bush noted Tuesday in his press conference, "That's what terrorists do. They commit suicide acts against innocent people and then expect people to say, 'Well, gosh, better not try to fight you anymore.'"

That's what happened when President Clinton pulled U.S. troops from Somalia after an al Qaeda raid left 31 Americans dead. It's what happened in 1983 in Lebanon when President Reagan withdrew troops after a terrorist bomb killed 241 Marines. Terrorists learned that killing American soldiers paid off.

Yet the anti-war crowd argues that the best way to support American troops is to bring them home -- even though virtual surrender would make every U.S. soldier or sailor serving abroad a more inviting target.

If, on the other hand, American and allied efforts prevail, if a representative government is installed, if young men in the breeding grounds of terror see determined Iraqis survive the vicious attacks designed destroy their ability to live, work and move freely and then go on to build their own nation, then terrorism loses.

There's always room for improvement in how any war is waged. But when I hear Democrats carp at Bush as if there would be markedly different results in Iraq with better planning or more allies, well, that's where I see deliberate deception about the war.

Victory in Iraq will not hinge on three-step proposals or international coalitions. One quality alone will spell the difference between victory and capitulation in Iraq: will.

Bush's foreign and domestic successes -- do the media care?

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | " . . . You're not going to like this, but my gut feeling is that all media is against George, a Republican, any Republican." Former First Lady Barbara Bush gave this assessment recently on NBC's "Dateline." For this reason, said Mrs. Bush, she had predicted defeat for her son, George W., in his 2000 presidential run.

And why not? The piling on continues from Democratic presidential contenders like Rep. Dick Gephardt (Missouri) and Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), both of whom decry, for example, the administration's alleged inability to get other nations to help finance the rebuilding of Iraq. "You remember on your report card you had your English grade, your history grade and then it said, 'plays well together'?" said Gephardt. "(Bush) flunked that part."

Bush dispatched Secretary of State Colin Powell to attempt to get other nations and international groups to financially chip in. Many pundits predicted disaster, with the U.S. receiving little or no economic assistance. USA Today wrote, "Many officials say the final figure may fall below $6 billion." The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Bathsheba Crocker, who has been studying Iraqi finances at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said she would be surprised if participants were to pledge more than a combined $1 billion . . . "

Well, what happened? The international community pledged $13 billion in grants and loans, exceeding the most dire predictions. So how did the media deal with this relatively good news?

The Los Angeles Times' front-page headline said, "Thirteen Billion for Iraq Exceeds Expectations but Falls Short." While the New York Times headline read, "Over $13 Billion in Aid is Pledged To Rebuild Iraq: Sum Exceeds Predictions," the paper duly noted that the assistance primarily consisted of loans rather than grants: "The total surpassed what many had expected, although roughly two-thirds of the aid appeared to be in the form of loans rather than grants, which might complicate efforts by the Bush administration to beat back a drive in Congress to make more American aid in the form of loans."

The Los Angeles Times threw cold water on the relatively good news. "The aid," said the L.A. Times, "which will be combined with an expected $20 billion in U.S. grants, was more than American officials had predicted at the beginning of the month, but the total is less than the $56 billion needed. U.S. officials said that some of the promises made at a two-day conference might not pan out and some confessed disappointment that Persian Gulf states had not given more, despite U.S. pressure."

Understand this. When the United States led a coalition to enforce U.N. Resolution 1441 in the face of United Nations fecklessness, we did so out of a concern for our national security interests. Many in the "international community" still fail to see that radical Islamists, who seek to practice terrorism, threaten civilization itself, not just the United States. But their failure to see the enemy before them simply means that the Unites States must do its duty and accept that -- at least in the short run -- this requires us to do the heavy lifting.

Many nations don't get it, and perhaps never will. Despite the United Nation's unwillingness to put muscle into Resolution 1441, terrorists attacked the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. On Oct. 6, 2002, terrorists blew up a French tanker. On Oct. 12, 2002, in Bali, Indonesia, terrorists bombed a nightclub. And terrorists in Iraq recently bombed a Red Cross building.

As for President Bush, not a bad couple of weeks. First, the economy appears to be bouncing back nicely, with unemployment compensation claims going down, the stock market in a boom, and economic growth last quarter now pegging the '90s boom rate of growth at a brisk 6 or 7 percent.

Congress voted for his requested $87 billion to support the troops in Iraq and to assist in that country's reconstruction. And the United Nations unanimously approved a resolution opening the door for the possibility of foreign troops in Iraq as well as the discussed financial contributions.

North Korea earlier refused to discontinue a nuclear weapons program without a formal U.S. non-aggression treaty. Now Kim Jong Il agrees to discontinue with only a written security assurance from the United States. (But as President Ronald Reagan warned, trust but verify. Remember, the Koreans lied to former President Clinton.)

In Iran, after many defiant statements, the country now agrees to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect and assure the world that it, too, intends to discontinue its weapons program. Do you think that perhaps the president's invasion of Iraq made the other two-thirds of the Axis of Evil just a tad skittish? Coincidence?

Oh, well, as always, the Democratic presidential contenders can still browbeat Bush for failing to master the pronunciation of the word "nuclear."

Why Dems are wrong on taxes

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The Bush administration's prophecy that its tax cuts would produce an economic recovery is coming true. The New York Times - whose editorial page tirelessly campaigns against any and all tax cuts and sees government as our salvation from virtually every problem - carried an item last Monday (Oct. 27) that must have caused the newspaper's editorial staff to suffer the journalistic equivalent of shock and awe.

In a front-page story about the fastest pace of economic growth in four years, there was this rare (for The Times) admission: "Most of that growth stemmed from a sharp rise in consumer spending, driven largely by a continuing boom in mortgage refinancing and checks that were mailed out as part of the recent tax cut." (emphasis mine)

Low interest rates and tax cuts are the twin strategies of the Bush administration for restoring the economy following the post-9/11 recession. They appear to be working.

Millerisms

As reported in the American Enterprise, sultan of smirk Dennis Miller recently let loose with some trademark bits of wit.

On Bill and Hill:
"Bill and Hillary's marriage couldn't have been any more about convenience than if they'd installed a Slim Jim rack and Slurpee machine at the base of their bed."

On Hill's New York residence:
"I'm convinced that Bill Clinton put her up there because he knew New York was a community property state, vis-
א-vis divorce settlements."

On the Dixie Chicks:
"When it first happened, I thought, 'I'm never going to buy another one of their albums.' And then I thought, 'You know what, I've never bought one of their albums -- I don't like their music.'"

On show biz:
"Show business is a freakish break. It's an amazing confluence of events that affords you a life for which you should hit your knees every night and thank God that you've been blessed to be given."

On President Bush's religious beliefs:
"In this messed-up world, I like seeing my president pray. I don't think a person can get answers out of books anymore. This is an infinitely complex world, and at some point one has to have faith in one's religion. I find it endearing that President Bush prays to God and that he's not an agnostic or an atheist. I'm glad there's someone higher that he has to answer to."

The Left Coast Report thinks Miller's just what the comedic political field needs -- a cerebral guy with a charismatic style who makes conservatives smile.

Bubba and the Russian Orchestra

A new CD is about to be released. This one is going to feature performances by Sophia Loren, Mikhail Gorbachev and, believe or not, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton.

The unusual trio will be narrating along to classical music that will be performed by the Russian National Orchestra (RNO).

"I first heard the RNO some years ago and welcomed the opportunity to collaborate artistically with this remarkable orchestra," the legendary Loren said in a statement.

All three CD personalities have designated charities they would like to see receive their royalties from the project.

Loren wants the dough to go to Magic of Music, an arts therapy program.

Gorbachev wants the cash funneled into Green Cross International, the enviro-socialist organization that he controls.

Clinton wants the money donated to the International AIDS Trust.

The musical pieces that the RNO will perform are Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" and Jean-Pascal Beintus' "Wolf Tracks."

The Left Coast Report wonders if, by any chance, the wolf is going to have an Arkansas accent.

U.S. VOICES ASSESSMENT OF WMD TO SYRIA

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- For the first time, the U.S. intelligence community has released an assessment that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were transferred to neighboring Syria in the weeks prior to the U.S.-led war against the Saddam Hussein regime.

U.S. officials said the assessment was based on satellite images of convoys of Iraqi trucks that poured into Syria in February and March 2003. The officials said the intelligence community assessed that the trucks contained missiles and WMD components banned by the United Nations Security Council.

The U.S. intelligence assessment was discussed publicly for the first time by the director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency in a briefing in Washington on Tuesday. James Clapper, a retired air force general and a leading member of the U.S. intelligence community, said he linked the disappearance of Iraqi WMD with the huge number of Iraqi trucks that entered Syria before and during the U.S. military campaign to topple the Saddam regime.

"I think personally that the [Iraqi] senior leadership saw what was coming and I think they went to some extraordinary lengths to dispose of the evidence," Clapper said. "I'll call it an educated hunch."

Christians in Islamic Countries

by Giuseppe De Rosa S.I.


How do Christians in Muslim-majority countries live? [...] We must first highlight a seemingly rather curious fact: in all the countries of North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco), before the Muslim invasion and despite incursions by vandals, there were blossoming Christian communities that contributed to the universal Church great personalities, such as Tertullian; Saint Ciprian, bishop of Carthage, martyred in 258; Saint Augustine, bishop of Hippo; and Saint Fulgentius, bishop of Ruspe. But after the Arab conquest, Christianity was absorbed by Islam to such an extent that today it has a significant presence only in Egypt, with the Coptic Orthodox and other tiny Christian minorities, which make up 7-10 percent of the Egyptian population.

The same can be said of the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Mesopotamia), in which there were flourishing Christian areas prior to the Islamic invasion, and where today there are only small Christian communities, with the exception of Lebanon, where Christians make up a significant part of the population.

As for present-day Turkey, this was in the first Christian centuries the land in which Christianity bore its best fruits in the areas of liturgy, theology, and monastic life. The invasion of the Seljuk Turks and the conquest of Constantinople by Mehmet II (1453) lead to the founding of the Ottoman empire and to the near destruction of Christianity in the Anatolian peninsula. Thus today in Turkey Christians number approximately 100,000, among whom are a small number of Orthodox, who live around Phanar, the see of the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople, who has the primacy of honor in the Orthodox world and who holds communion with eight patriarchs and many autocephalous Churches in both East and West, with approximately 180 million faithful.

In conclusion, we may state in historical terms that in all the places where Islam imposed itself by military force, which has few historical parallels for its rapidity and breadth, Christianity, which had been extraordinarily vigorous and rooted for centuries, practically disappeared or was reduced to tiny islands in an endless Islamic sea. It is not easy to explain how that could have happened. [...]

In reality, the reduction of Christianity to a small minority was not due to violent religious persecution, but to the conditions in which Christians were forced to live in the organization of the Islamic state. [...]

THE WARRIOR FACE OF ISLAM: "JIHAD"

According to Islamic law, the world is divided into three parts: dar al-harb (the house of war), dar al-islam (the house of Islam), and dar al-`ahd (the house of accord); that is, the countries with which a treaty was stipulated. [...]

As for the countries belonging to the "house of war," Islamic canon law recognizes no relations with them other than "holy war" (jihad), which signifies an "effort" in the way of Allah and has two meanings, both of which are equally essential and must not be dissociated, as if one could exist without the other. In its primary meaning, jihad indicates the "effort" that the Muslim must undertake to be faithful to the precepts of the Koran and so improve his "submission" (islam) to Allah; in the second, it indicates the "effort" that the Muslim must undertake to "fight in the way of Allah," which means fighting against the infidels and spreading Islam throughout the world. Jihad is a precept of the highest importance, so much so that it is sometimes counted among the fundamental precepts of Islam, as its sixth "pillar."

Obedience to the precept of the "holy war" explains why the history of Islam is one of unending warfare for the conquest of infidel lands. [...] In particular, all of Islamic history is dominated by the idea of the conquest of the Christian lands of Western Europe and of the Eastern Roman Empire, whose capital was Constantinople. Thus, through many centuries, Islam and Christianity faced each other in terrible battles, which led on one side to the conquest of Constantinople (1453), Bulgaria, and Greece, and on the other, to the defeat of the Ottoman empire in the naval battle of Lepanto (1571).

But the conquering spirit of Islam did not die after Lepanto. The Islamic advance into Europe was definitively halted only in 1683, when Vienna was liberated from the Ottoman siege by the Christian armies under the command of John III Sobieski, the king of Poland. [...] In reality, for almost a thousand years Europe was under constant threat from Islam, which twice put its survival in serious danger.

Thus, in all of its history, Islam has shown a warlike face and a conquering spirit for the glory of Allah. [...] against the "idolaters" who must be given a choice: convert to Islam, or be killed. [...] As for the "people of the Book" (Christians, Jews, and "Sabeans"), Muslims must "fight them until their members pay tribute, one by one, humiliated" (Koran, Sura 9:29). [...]

THE REGIME OF THE "DHIMMA"

According to Muslim law, Christians, Jews, and the followers of other religions assimilated to Christianity and Judaism (the "Sabeans") who live in a Muslim state belong to an inferior social order, in spite of their eventually belonging to the same race, language, and descent. Islamic law does not recognize the concepts of nation and citizenship, but only the umma, the one Islamic community, for which reason a Muslim, as he is part of the umma, may live in any Islamic country as he would in his homeland: he is subject to the same laws, finds the same customs, and enjoys the same consideration.

But those belonging to the "people of the Book" are subject to the dhimma, which is a kind of bilateral treaty consisting in the fact that the Islamic state authorizes the "people of the Book" to inhabit its lands, tolerates its religion, and guarantees the "protection" of its persons and goods and its defense from external enemies. Thus the "people of the Book" (Ahl al-Kitab) becomes the "protected people" (Ahl al-dhimma). In exchange for this "protection," the "people of the Book" must pay a tax (jizya) to the Islamic state, which is imposed only upon able-bodied free men, excluding women, children, and the old and infirm, and pay a tribute, called the haram, on the lands in its possession.

As for the freedom of worship, the dhimmi are prohibited only from external manifestations of worship, such as the ringing of bells, processions with the cross, solemn funerals, and the public sale of religious objects or other articles prohibited for Muslims. A Muslim man who marries a Christian or a Jew must leave her free to practice her religion and also to consume the foods permitted by her religion, even if they are forbidden for Muslims, such as pork or wine. The dhimmi may maintain or repair the churches or synagogues they already have, but, unless there is a treaty permitting them to own land, they may not build new places of worship, because to do this they would need to occupy Muslim land, which can never be ceded to anyone, having become, through Muslim conquest, land "sacred" to Allah.

In Sura 9:29 the Koran affirms that the "people of the Book," apart from being constrained to pay the two taxes mentioned above, must be placed under certain restrictions, such as dressing in a special way and not being allowed to bear arms or ride on horseback. Furthermore, the dhimmi may not serve in the army, be functionaries of the state, be witnesses in trials between Muslims, take the daughters of Muslims as their wives, be the guardians of underage Muslims, or keep Muslim slaves. They may not inherit from Muslims, nor Muslims from them, but legacies are permitted.

The release of the dhimma came about above all through conversion of the "people of the Book" to islam; but Muslims, especially in the early centuries, did not look favorably upon such conversions, because they represented a grave loss to the treasury, which flourished in direct proportion to the number of the dhimmi, who paid both the personal tax and the land tax. The dissolution of dhimma status could also take place through failure to observe the "treaty"; that is, if the dhimmi took up arms against Muslims, refused to remain subject or to pay tribute, abducted a Muslim woman, blasphemed or offended the prophet Mohammed and the Islamic religion, or if they drew a Muslim away from Islam, converting him to their own religion. According to the gravity of each case, the penalty could be the confiscation of goods, reduction to slavery, or death - unless the person who had committed the crimes converted to Islam. In that case, all penalties were waived.

CONSEQUENCE: THE EROSION OF CHRISTIANITY

It is evident that the condition of the dhimmi, prolonged through centuries, has led slowly but inexorably to the near extinction of Christianity in Muslim lands: the condition of civil inferiority, which prevented Christians from attaining public offices, and the condition of religious inferiority, which closed them in an asphyxiated religious life and practice with no possibility of development, put the Christians to the necessity of emigrating, or, more frequently, to the temptation of converting to Islam. There was also the fact that a Christian could not marry a Muslim woman without converting to Islam, in part because her children had to be educated in that faith. Furthermore, a Christian who became Muslim could divorce very easily, whereas Christianity prohibited divorce. And apart from all this, the Christians in Muslim territories were seriously divided among themselves - and frequently even enemies - because they belonged to Churches that were different by confession (Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Churches) and by rite (Syro-oriental, Antiochian, Maronite, Coptic-Alexandrian, Armenian, Byzantine). Thus mutual assistance was almost impossible.

The regime of the dhimma lasted for over a millennium, even if not always and everywhere in the harsh form called "the conditions of `Umar," according to which Christians not only did not have the right to construct new churches and restore existing ones, even if they fell into ruins (and, if they had the permission to construct through the good will of the Muslim governor, the churches could not be of large dimensions: the building must be more modest than all the religious buildings around it); but the largest and most beautiful churches had to be transformed into mosques. That transformation made it impossible for the church-mosques ever to be restored to the Christian community, because a place that has become a mosque cannot be put to another use.

The consequence of the dhimma regime was the "erosion" of the Christian communities and the conversion of many Christians to Islam for economic, social, and political motives: to find a better job, enjoy a better social status, participate in administrative, political, and military life, and in order not to live in a condition of perpetual discrimination.

In recent centuries, the dhimma system has undergone some modifications, in part because the ideas of citizenship and the equality of all citizens before the state have gained a foothold even in Muslim countries. Nevertheless, in practice, the traditional conception is still present. [...] The Christian, whether he wish it or not, is brought back in spite of himself to the concept of the dhimmi, even if the term no longer appears in the present-day laws of a good number of Muslim-majority countries.

To understand the present condition of these Christians, we must refer back to the history of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the Ottoman empire of the 19th century, where the millet system was in force, the tanzimat, "regulations" of a liberal character, were introduced. [...] From the second half of the 19th century to the end of the first World War, there was a "Reawakening" (Nahda) movement in the Arab world, under Western influence, in the fields of literature, language, and thought. Many intellectuals were conquered by liberal ideas.

On another front, the Christians created strong ties with the Western powers - France and Great Britain in particular - which, after the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, obtained the protectorate of the countries that had belonged to the empire. This permitted the Christians both greater civil and religious liberty and cultural advancement. Moreover, during the first half of the 20th century various political parties of nationalist and socialist, and thus secularist, tendencies were born, such as the Ba'th, the Socialist Party of the Arab Renewal, founded at the end of the 1930's in Damascus by Syrian professor Michel `Aflaz, a Greek Orthodox. In 1953 this party was united with the Syrian Popular Party, founded in 1932 by Antun Sa'ada, a Greek Orthodox from Lebanon. In brief, political regimes inspired by the liberal and secular principles of Western Europe rose up in various Islamic countries.

THE BIRTH OF RADICAL ISLAM

These events provoked a harsh reaction in the Islamic world, due to fears that the secularist ideas and "corrupt" customs of the Western world, identified with Christianity, would endanger the purity of Islam and constitute a deadly threat to its very existence. This reaction was fed by strong resentment against the Western powers, which had dared to impose their political rule upon Islam, "the greatest nation ever raised up by Allah among men" (Koran, s. 3:110), and against their customs "despised" by the "nation (umma) that urges to goodness, promotes justice, and restrains iniquity" (ibid, s. 3:104).

Thus was born "radical Islam," which set itself up as the interpreter of the frustrations of the Muslim masses. Hasan al Banna, Sayyd Qutb, Abd al-Qadir `Uda in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood; Abu l-A`li al-Mawdudi in Pakistan, and the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran are its most significant witnesses, and their followers have spread from Dakar to Kuala Lumpur. [...]

THE PRESENT CONDITION OF CHRISTIANS IN THE MUSLIM WORLD

Radical Islam, which proposes that shari'a law be instituted in every Islamic state, is gaining ground in many Muslim countries, in which groups of Christians are also present. It is evident that the institution of shari'a would render the lives of Christians rather difficult, and their very existence would be constantly in danger. This is the cause of the mass emigration of Christians from Islamic countries to Western countries: Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia. [...] The estimated number of Arab Christians who have emigrated from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel in the last decade hovers around three million, which is from 26.5 to 34.1 percent of the estimated number of Christians currently living in the Middle East.

Furthermore, we must not underestimate grave recent actions against Christians in some Muslim-majority countries. In Algeria, the bishop of Orano, P. Claverie (1996), seven Trappist monks from Tibehirini (1999), four White Fathers (1994), and six sisters from various religious congregations have been brutally killed by Islamic fundamentalists, although the murders were condemned by numerous Muslim authorities. In Pakistan, which numbers 3,800,000 Christians among a population of 156,000,000 (96 percent Muslim), on October 28, 2001, some Muslims entered the Church of St. Dominic in Bahawalpur and gunned down 18 Christians. On May 6, 1998, Catholic bishop John Joseph killed himself for protesting against the blasphemy law, which punishes with death anyone who offends Mohammed, even only "by speaking words, or by actions and through allusions, directly or indirectly." For example, by saying that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, one offends Mohammed, who affirmed that Jesus is not the Son of God, but his "servant." With this kind of law, Christians are in constant danger of death.

In Nigeria - where 13 states have introduced shari'a as state law - several thousand Christians have been the victims of incidents. Serious incidents are taking place in the south of the Philippines and in Indonesia, which, with its 212 million inhabitants, is the most populous Muslim country in the world, to the harm of the Christians of Java, East Timor, and the Moluccas. But the most tragic situation - and, unfortunately, forgotten by the Western world! - is that of Sudan, where the North is Arab and Muslim, and the South black and Christian, and in part, animist. Since the time of president G.M. Nimeiry, there has been a state of civil war between the North, which has proclaimed shari'a and intends to impose it with fierce violence on the rest of the country, and the South, which aims to preserve and defend its Christian identity. The North makes use of all of its military power - financed by oil exports to the West - to destroy Christian villages; prevent the arrival of humanitarian aid; kill the cattle, which are the means of sustenance for many South Sudanese; and carry out raids, for Christian girls in particular, who are brought to the North, raped, and sold as slaves or concubines to rich, older Sudanese men. According to the 2001 report of Amnesty International, "at the end of 2000, the civil war, which started again in 1983, had cost the lives of almost two million persons and had caused the forced evacuation of 4,500,000 more. Tens of thousands of persons have been compelled by terror to leave their homes in the upper Nile region, which is rich in oil, after aerial bombardments, mass executions, and torture."

We must, finally, recall a fact that is often forgotten because Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of oil to the Western world, and the latter therefore has an interest in not disturbing relations with that country. In reality, in Saudi Arabia, where wahhabism is in force, not only is it impossible to build a church or even a tiny place of worship, but any act of Christian worship or any sign of Christian faith is severely prohibited with the harshest penalties. Thus about a million Christians working in Saudi Arabia are deprived by violence of any Christian practice or sign. They may participate in mass or in other Christian practices - and even then with the serious danger of losing their jobs - only on the property of the foreign oil companies. And yet, Saudi Arabia spends billions of petrodollars, not for the benefit of its poor citizens or of poor Muslims in other Muslim countries, but to construct mosques and madrasas in Europe and to finance the imams of the mosques in all the Western countries. We recall that the Roman mosque of Monte Antenne, constructed on land donated by the Italian government, was principally financed by Saudi Arabia and was built to be the largest mosque in Europe
, in the very heart of Christianity.

__________


A link to the historic magazine of the Jesuits in Rome:


> "La Civilt? Cattolica"

__________


The following is an interview published in the latest edition of "Il Regno," the biweekly of the Sacred Heart congregation of Bologna. The man interviewed is a Coptic Orthodox Christian, the director of a Cairo weekly. The picture he paints of the condition of Christians in Egypt - usually classified among the "moderate" Arab countries - fully confirms what was more generally described by "La Civilt? Cattolica":


Christians in Egypt. The Humiliation Continues

An interview with Youssef Sidhom, director of "Watani"


CAIRO
- Youssef Sidhom is the director of the weekly "Watani" ("My Homeland"). Founded in 1958 by his father, Antoun Sidhom, it has always published news and commentary on the Church and Christianity, themes completely overlooked by all the other Egyptian newspapers. Many believe it to be a newspaper of the Coptic Orthodox Church, but that's not true. It is independent, and has no particular relationship with that Church, nor does it receive financial support from it. [...]

What are the main problems of the Christians in Egypt?

"The most striking problem is the extreme difficulty in receiving permission to build a church. Current legislation offers all of the incentives for the construction of mosques, but it poses almost insurmountable obstacles to the construction of churches. In 1934, the undersecretary for the minister of the interior, Muhammad al-`Azabi, made ten conditions for giving permission for the construction of a church, and those conditions are still valid. Let's cite a few of them: a church must not be built on farm land; it must not be close to a mosque or monument; if it is to be constructed in a zone in which Muslims also live, one must first obtain their permission; there must be a sufficient number of Christians in the area; there must not be other churches nearby; police permission must be obtained if there are bridges or canals of the Nile near or if there is a railroad; the signature of the president of the republic must be obtained. All these conditions cause insurmountable difficulties. In fact, more than ten years can go by while waiting for police permission, and in the meantime mosques are hurriedly erected in the vicinity of the area where the church was meant to be, and the project stumbles against another prohibition. Moreover, it is not specified how many Christians there must be for them to have the right to a church. If, for example, there are 1,500, the government can say that that's not a sufficient number, when a hundred would be enough to fill one of our churches."

But hasn't President Mubarak facilitated the granting of these permissions by delegating the matter to the provincial prefects?

"Yes, he allowed the permits to be given by the provincial prefects, and a year later he ruled that they can also be given by the territory's local authority. But this delegated authority only regards the permits to repair and restructure the churches. The permission to construct a new church is still the sole prerogative of the president of the republic. [...] This discrimination in the matter of the construction of churches leads Christians to the bitter conviction that the state considers them second-class citizens. For the state, a Christian is a kafir, an infidel, he doesn't know the true religion or have the true faith, so it's not worth it to listen to him. In Egypt we live with humiliating discrimination on religious grounds." [...]

Does the discrimination regard only the construction of churches, or other aspects of social life for Christians in Egypt as well?

"It regards our entire life. There's discrimination in state offices. According to the constitution, the president must be a Muslim. The Islamic religion is the foundation of Egyptian legislation. Today, no Christian can be prime minister, even though there have been Christian prime ministers in the past. Of the thirty-two ministers, only two are Christians: the finance minister and the minister of the environment. No city or village mayor can be a Christian. The high posts in the military, the police, and the presidential guard are filled only with Muslims. There are hundreds of persons in the diplomatic corps, but only two or three Christians. No Christian can attain high office in the tribunals. According to the law, two witnesses are necessary to justify a sentence, but if one of them is Christian, the judge may refuse his testimony because it comes from an infidel. The rectors of the universities must be Muslim. [...] In any office, the career of a Muslim who has just arrived will advance beyond that of a Christian who has been in his post for years. In the 2000 elections, the al-Watani party, which dominates politics in the country, listed only three Christians among 888 candidates. A Christian may not teach Arabic, because this material is linked to the teaching of the Islamic religion. Discrimination is at work even on our identity card, where the religion of one's father is shown."

And in case of divorce?

"The law provides that the children should remain with their mother. But if the father wants to divorce because he has become a Muslim, which happens frequently, the judge rules that the children should remain on the side that has the true faith, meaning the father. So children born to Christians grow up in a completely Muslim family."

"Is changing religions permitted?"

"Anyone who becomes Muslim is welcomed with big parties. They change his identity card very quickly; he is helped in his job, with his house, etc. But if a Muslim wants to become Christian, they not only seek to dissuade him by any means, but his very life is in danger. I believe that every day there are Egyptians who change religions, but it's impossible to know how many. Al-Ahzar would willingly publish the statistics, which would be a sign of victory and glory, but the Church could never make a choice like this, because it would bring about many tragedies. In any case, there is a ruling by the tribunal that establishes that if an Egyptian is born non-Muslim, becomes Muslim, and then wants to return to his original faith, he may do it. But a Muslim by birth may never change religions, on pain of exclusion from his inheritance and from the society to which he belongs - with danger to his own safety."

(Interview by Camillo Ballin and Francesco Strazzari)

__________


The complete text of the interview is in the September 15, 2003 edition of

> "Il Regno"

A link to the Cairo weekly directed by Youssef Sidhom, with articles in English:

> "Watani"


On this site, on the confrontation being played out in the leadership of the Catholic Church over relations with Islam and the manner of treating conversions from Islam to Christianity:

> My Friend, Islam: The "Dialogue At All Costs" of Pope Wojtyla (8.9.2003)

And on the roots of the widespread philo-Islamism in Catholic circles:

> Is Europe a Province of Islam? The Danger is Called Dhimmitude (17.3.2003)

BIG FRIGGIN' DEAL - Parody

By Dr. Professor Dr. Paul Krugman, PhD

NY Times Economic Analyst (lol)

The Commerce Department, part and parcel of the Bush junta, and likely populated by Enron criminals, announces very "good" growth during the previous quarter. To many unsophisticated, non-Princeton employed observers, the economy's troubles are magically over, and there will be kittens and rainbows and beautiful lollipop flavored unicorns and so forth. And the administration's supporters claim that the economy's turnaround validates its policies.

That's what happened 18 months ago, when a preliminary estimate put first-quarter 2002 growth at 5.8 percent. That was later revised down to 5.0, which is an 0.8 percent reverse over a basis of 5.8 percent, which barely covered the weekend line at Harrahs. More important, growth in the next quarter slumped and staggered to 1.3 percent, reeling and spinning and then embarrassingly putting on a lampshade and singing "Put Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard before passing out in the guest toilet. We now know that the economy wasn't really on the mend, and that the Bush plan to revive the totally wasted economy by putting its finger in a warm glass of tax cuts would cause it to pee 600,000 jobs all over the guest bed.

The same story unfolded in the third quarter of 2002, when growth rose to 4 percent, and the economy actually gained 200,000 jobs. But growth slipped back down to 1.4 percent, and job losses resumed. Up and down, up and down.

My purpose is not to denigrate the impressive wild-ass guess of 7.2 percent growth rate for the third quarter of 2003. It is, rather, to stress the obvious: we've had our hopes dashed in the past, hoping against hope for a $50,000 no-show consulting gig or maybe an all-expense paid trip to Indonesia, like in the golden era of Clinton's internet economic Camelot. Rotsa ruck, naive hope-boy.

The weakness of that spurt 18 months ago was obvious to those who bothered to look at it closely and administer strict Olympic doping tests. Half the growth came simply because businesses, having set fire to their inventories in the previous quarter possibly to cover a nasty alimony settlement, were forced to ramp up production by "The Outfit" to keep the whole thing quiet-like, kapeesh?. This time around growth has a much better foundation: final demand -- demand excluding changes in inventories less Napster dowloads divided by predepreciation spoilage -- actually grew even faster than G.D.P.

But -- you knew there would be a but -- and you probably also knew there would be a hyphenated clause following the but -- but you were probably not expecting the previous hyphenated clause -- there are still some reasons to wonder whether the economy has really turned the corner or merely stopped at Stuckeys for a Pecan Log and hillbilly souvenirs.

First, while there was a significant pickup in business investment, the bulk of last quarter's growth came from a huge surge in consumer spending. This clearly indicates mass insanity, as I have long noted that consumers are best advised to revert to subsistence practices -- gathering their own wool, feeding on stray animals and so forth -- until the long illegal Bush nightmare ends in 2004. Yet the idiots are wasting money on cars and houses and spitting Kristal like some Eastside Gangsta on MTV Cribs. Christ, you people are nuts.

This can't go on -- in the long run, consumer spending can't outpace the growth in consumer income. Soon the repo man will put the smackdown on the Bentley and the Virage and the Escalade with the phly-ass Latrell spinner dubs. Your baby's momma be all over you ass for child support. You be drinkin' away all that Courvoisier in you Sub Zero. Fitty, he stop returning you cell calls. Your crew drop you like a punk. Then you be all sad ass joke, like MC Hammer, doin' infomercials and Hollywood Squares and shit.

The big question, of course, is jobs. Despite all that growth in the third quarter, the number of jobs actually fell. And the leading academic phrenologists see little hope for either reduced unemployment claims or a new "special someone" in your life. (By the way, for the last month there's been a peculiar pattern: each week, people are all happy and excited on Friday, the following Monday their mood has been revised significantly downward, and the apparent optimism decline disappears.)

Still, it's possible that we really have reached a turning point. If so, does it validate the Bush economic program? Well, no. Duhhhh.

Stimulating the economy in the short run is supposed to be easy. All you need to do is invite the economy out -- if it's reluctant, just say it's "completely like a platonic friendship thing" -- and then drop a few taxcut "Roofies" in the economy's drink at the PhiDelt Friday smoker. Then drag the economy back to the dorm, put a sock on the doorknob, and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. The trick is to do this without incurring debt, and still make it to your 8am section of Macro Econ.

To put it more bluntly: President Bush totally sucks.

 


"Those Jews"   Victor Davis Hason NRO

If only Israel and its supporters would disappear.

There are certain predictable symptoms to watch when a widespread amorality begins to infect a postmodern society: cultural relativism, atheism, socialism, utopian pacifism. Another sign, of course, is fashionable anti-Semitism among the educated, or the idea that some imaginary cabal, or some stealthy agenda -- certainly not our own weakness -- is conspiring to threaten our good life.

Well apart from the spooky placards (stars of David juxtaposed with swastikas, posters calling for the West Bank to be expanded to "the sea") that we are accustomed to seeing at the marches of the supposedly ethical antiwar movement, we have also heard some examples of Jew-baiting and hissing in the last two weeks that had nothing to do with the old crazies. Indeed, such is the nature of the new anti-Semitism that everyone can now play at it -- as long as it is cloaked in third-world chauvinism, progressive thinking, and identity politics.

The latest lunatic rantings from Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad are nothing new, and we should not be surprised by his mindless blabbering about Jews and his fourth-grade understanding of World War II and the present Middle East. But what was fascinating was the reaction to his madness: silence from the Arab intelligentsia, praise from Middle Eastern leaders ("A brilliant speech," gushed Iran's "president" Mohammad Khatami), and worry from France and Greece about an EU proclamation against the slander. Most American pundits were far more concerned about the private, over-the-top comments of Gen. Boykin than about the public viciousness of a head of state. Paul Krugman, for example, expressed the general mushiness of the Left when he wrote a column trying to put Mahathir Mohamad's hatred in a sympathetic context, something he would never do for a Christian zealot who slurred Muslims.

Much has been written about the usually circumspect Greg Easterbrook's bizarre ranting about "Jewish executives" who profit from Quentin Tarantino's latest bloody production. But, again, the problem is not so much the initial slips and slurs as it is the more calculated and measured "explanation." Easterbrook's mea culpa cited his prior criticism of Mel Gibson, as if the supposed hypocrisy of a devout and public Christian's having trafficked in filmed violence were commensurate with the dealings of two ordinary businessmen who do not publicly embrace religion. Michael Eisner and Harvey Weinstein simply happen to be movie executives, with no stake in producing Jewish movies or public-morality films, but -- like most in Hollywood -- with a stake in making money from films. That they are Jewish has absolutely no bearing on their purported lack of morality -- unless, of course, one seeks to invent some wider pathology, evoking historical paranoia about profiteering, cabals, and "the Jews."

Recently, Joseph Lieberman was hissed by an Arab-American audience in Dearborn, Mich. when he briefly explained Israel's defensive wall in terms not unlike those used by Howard Dean and other candidates. What earned him the special public rebuke not accorded to others was apparently nothing other than being Jewish -- the problem was not what he said, but who he was. No real apology followed, and the usually judicious and sober David Broder wrote an interesting column praising the new political acumen of the Arab-American community.

Tony Judt, writing in The New York Review of Books, has published one of the most valuable and revealing articles about the Middle East to appear in the last 20 years. There has always been the suspicion that European intellectuals favored the dismantling of Israel as we know it through the merging of this uniquely democratic and liberal state with West Bank neighbors who have a horrific record of human-rights abuses, autocracy, and mass murder. After all, for all too many Europeans, how else but with the end of present-day Israel will the messy Middle East and its attendant problems -- oil, terrorism, anti-Semitism, worries over unassimilated Muslim populations in Europe, anti-Americanism, and postcolonial guilt -- become less bothersome? Moreover, who now knows or cares much about what happened to Jews residing under Arab governments -- the over half-million or so who, in the last half-century, have been ethnically cleansed from (and sometimes murdered in) Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, and almost every Jewish community in the Arab Middle East?

And what is the value of the only democratic government in a sea of autocracy if its existence butts up against notions of third-world victimhood and causes so much difficulty for the Western intelligentsia? Still, few intellectuals were silly enough to dress up that insane idea under the pretext of a serious argument (an unhinged Vidal, Chomsky, or Said does not count). Judt did, and now he has confirmed what most of us knew for years -- namely, that there is an entrenched and ever-bolder school of European thought that favors the de facto elimination of what is now a democratic Jewish state.

What links all these people -- a Muslim head of state, a rude crowd in Michigan, an experienced magazine contributor, and a European public intellectual -- besides their having articulated a spreading anger against the "Jews"? Perhaps a growing unease with hard questions that won't go away and thus beg for easy, cheap answers.

A Malaysian official and his apologists must realize that gender apartheid, statism, tribalism, and the anti-democratic tendencies of the Middle East cause its poverty and frustration despite a plethora of natural resources (far more impressive assets than the non-petroleum-bearing rocks beneath parched Israel). But why call for introspection when the one-syllable slur "Jews" suffices instead?

And why would an Arab-American audience -- itself composed of many who fled the tyranny and economic stagnation of Arab societies for the freedom and opportunity of a liberal United States -- wish to hear a reasoned explanation of the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian war when it was so much easier to hiss and moan, especially when mainstream observers would ignore their anti-Semitism and be impressed instead with the cadre of candidates who flock to Michigan?

How do you explain to an audience that Quentin Tarantino appeals both to teens and to empty-headed critics precisely because something is terribly amiss in America, when affluent and leisured suburbanites are drawn to scenes of raw killing as long as it is dressed up with "art" and "meaning"?

How could a Tony Judt write a reasoned and balanced account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when to do so would either alienate or bore the literati?

So they all, whether by design or laxity, take the easier way out -- especially when slurring "Israel" or "the Jews" involves none of the risks of incurring progressive odium that similarly clumsy attacks against blacks, women, Palestinians, or homosexuals might draw, requires no real thinking, and seems to find an increasingly receptive audience.

You see, in our mixed-up world those Jewish are not a "people of color." And if there really is such a mythical monolithic entity in America as the "Jews," they (much like the Cubans) are not easily stereotyped as impoverished victims needing largesse or condescension, and much less are they eligible under any of the current myriad of rubrics that count for public support. Israel is a successful Western state, not a failed third-world despotism. Against terrible oppression and overt anti-Semitism, the Jewish community here and abroad found success -- proof that hard work, character, education, and personal discipline can trump both natural and human adversity. In short, the story of American Jewry and Israel resonates not at all with the heartstrings of a modern therapeutic society, which is quick to show envy for the successful and cheap concern for the struggling.

This fashionable anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism -- especially among purported intellectuals of the Left -- reveals a deep-seated, scary pathology that is growing geometrically both in and outside the West. For a Europe that is disarmed, plagued by a demographic nightmare of negative population growth and unsustainable entitlements, filled with unassimilated immigrants, and deeply angry about the power and presence of the United States, the Jews and their Israel provide momentary relief on the cheap. So expect that more crazy thoughts of Israel's destruction dressed up as peace plans will be as common as gravestone and synagogue smashing.

For the Muslim world that must confront the power of the patriarch, mullah, tribe, and autocrat if it is ever to share the freedom and prosperity of the rest of the world, the Jews offer a much easier target. So expect even more raving madness as the misery of Islamic society grows and its state-run media hunker down amid widespread unrest. Anticipate, also, more sick posters at C-SPAN broadcast marches, more slips by reasonable writers, and more anti-Israeli denunciations from the "liberals."

These are weird, weird times, and before we win this messy war against Islamic fascism and its sponsors, count on things to get even uglier. Don't expect any reasoned military analysis that puts the post-9/11 destruction of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein's evil regime, along with the liberation of 50 million at the cost of 300 American lives, in any sort of historical context. After all, in the current presidential race, a retired general now caricatures U.S. efforts in Iraq and quotes Al Sharpton.

Do not look for the Islamic community here to acknowledge that the United States, in little over a decade, freed Kuwait, saved most of the Bosnians and Kosovars, tried to feed Somalis, urged the Russians not to kill Chechnyans, belatedly ensured that no longer were Shiites and Kurds to be slaughtered in Iraq, spoke out against Kuwait's ethnic cleansing of a third of a million Palestinians -- and now is spending $87 billion to make Iraqis free.

That the Arab world would appreciate billions of dollars in past American aid to Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority, or thank America for its help in Kuwait and Kosovo, or be grateful to America for freeing Iraq -- all this is about as plausible as the idea that Western Europeans would acknowledge their past salvation from Nazism and Soviet Communism, or be grateful for the role the United States plays to promote democracy in Panama, Haiti, the Balkans, or the Middle East.

No, in this depressing age, the real problem is apparently our support for democratic Israel and all those pesky Jews worldwide, who seem to crop up everywhere as sly war makers, grasping film executives, conspiratorial politicians, and greedy colonialists, and thus make life so difficult for the rest of us.

 

HEY NPR...THERE'S A THIRD ALTERNATIVE

By Gerald A. Honigman
October 22, 2003

I was driving home from work on October 20th when I was treated to some more National Public Radio wisdom. Keep in mind, the American taxpayer funds much of this programming.

The show was about the Arab-Israeli conflict and reflected NPR's usual anti-Israel slant. This time the topic was about growing frustration on the Arab side regarding the improbability of another viable Arab state in
Palestine arising any time soon. Of course, no mention was given to why that second state would not likely emerge: the rejectionist mentality of the Arab side for a viable Jewish neighbor.

So the issue of an alternative solution became the focus of the program. Since Arabs could not get everything that they want in this proposed second Arab state (compromise is evidently not in the Arab vocabulary), the focus of the show turned to a discussion of the creation of one binational state for Jews and Arabs instead. At no time did the fact that Arabs had rejected a solution a few years earlier which would have given them almost everything they claim they wanted short of Israel agreeing to slit its own throat come out in the program.

The discussion went like this: Since the sole miniscule state of the Jews (my own description) won't consent to giving up on its own minimal security needs (most nations demand far more) so that a 23rd Arab nation can be born, the soaring Arab birth rate would insure that the Jews would be overwhelmed in any democratic binational endeavor. Jews were then interviewed about their own feelings regarding this proposed alternative, and
Israel, of course, was the "heavy" for not consenting to allowing Arabs to have all that they want in the disputed territories.

Now what I'm about to say next is really nothing new. Indeed, not much "new" has been written about this conflict for decades...just rehashed old arguments and positions.

What was missing from NPR's program, to no real surprise, was the obvious third alternative. The producers at NPR are not dummies, so the omission was deliberate....and so far worse.

After the Paris Peace Conference closing
World War I, Great Britain was awarded its share of the spoils of the former Ottoman Turkish Empire. The Turks had ruled the Middle East and North Africa for some four centuries. The Brits' share largely consisted of Mandates for Palestine and Mesopotamia. The borders of Palestine Britain received on April 25, 1920 included lands which are now Israel, Jordan, and all unapportioned territories in between as well.

But these were complex times of multiple promises to competing national groups.
Britain's chief allies in the area were the Hashemites of Arabia, Sheriff Hussein and his sons, Emirs Abdullah and Feisal (remember the movie Lawrence of Arabia?). The Hashemites were in the process of getting their own derrieres booted out of the Arabian Peninsula by the rival clan of Ibn Saud...hence, Saudi Arabia today.

The French were also grabbing their share of the spoils. Their moves into
Syria and Lebanon cut into the Hashemites' "Greater Syria" schemes. So now, to appease the Hashemites, the British backed off of promises to the Kurds in oil rich Mesopotamia--Hashemite Arab Iraq being created instead--and, in 1922, handed over some 80% of Mandatory Palestine to another Hashemite prince, creating the purely Arab Emirate of Transjordan and making it totally off limits to Jews.

While mention is often made to the largely "Palestinian" Arab population of
Jordan, the hows and whys of this fact seldom seem to register with journalists and others involved in such discussions.

And so, the third alternative...

It's obvious that in the small area between the
Mediterranean and the Jordan River, there's not a heck of a lot of room. The Jordan River was the obvious natural boundary of the Jewish State if Palestine was to be divided between Jewish and Arab nationalisms and Arabs had already received the lion's share of the original 1920 borders...all the land east of the River. When arriving at other such compromise solutions, such as that which created Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan, population exchanges were frequently part of the package...not a "perfect" solution by any means, but one which allowed each party an honorable outcome. For every Arab who eventually became a refugee because of the Arabs' own total rejection of a Jewish state regardless of size, there was a Jewish refugee who fled Arab lands...but without the choice of some two dozen other potential states to choose from.

So, for Israel to remain viable in the face of a totally rejectionist enemy whose idea of "peace," in the Arabs' own words, is only a temporary "Trojan Horse" truce designed to further a "destruction in stages" agenda, Israel cannot cave in to all the demands Arabs make regarding the disputed territories. Those lands were not lands apportioned solely to Arabs by the Mandate...so a compromise solution must be found whereby
Israel gains a bit more essential strategic high ground depth while not ruling over millions of Arabs. It will never return to its former 9-mile wide, armistice/Auschwitz line existence.

Thus, the proposed 23rd Arab state and second Arab one in
Palestine will have to be very small. It's desires cannot displace the needs of the sole state of the Jews it seeks to replace, not live side by side with.

The real solution, once popular but now never mentioned, lies with
Jordan, since the latter encompasses 80% of the original land to begin with, and the majority population is already "Palestinian" (however you define it...many Arabs entered the Mandate from other surrounding states). So, if a compromise with Israel was to occur regarding the West Bank/Judea and Samaria with Jordan, the latter emergent Jordanian-Palestinian State would still be a much larger entity while granting Israel the minimal security adjustments it needs in the area as well.

This, of course, is never brought up these days--certainly not on NPR-- for fear of destabilizing the Hashemite rulers, who have indeed proven to be reasonable neighbors of late to
Israel. It's worth recalling that it was Israel who saved Jordan from a joint Syrian-PLO attempt at the overthrow of the Hashemites in 1970.

But isn't it interesting (no, sickening) that NPR would pursue the binational alternative in its program regarding Arabs and Jews, but totally ignore the far more sensible creation of a binational Arab-Arab state in Jordan/Palestine. It's thus "legitimate" to discuss undermining the sole state of a millennially-persecuted people who finally lived to see the resurrection of their nation, but not so to discuss a solution which would merely bring together different elements within the same Arab family.
Israel's Jews also come from many different lands, but that didn't mean that they expected the creation of dozens of individual Jewish states...and at the expense of everyone else.

NPR...know who not to send your money to.

 

Poll controversy as Israel and US labelled biggest threats to World peace

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Over half of Europeans think that Israel now presents the biggest threat to world peace according to a controversial poll requested by the European Commission.

According to the same survey, Europeans believe the United States contributes the most to world instability along with Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

The specially commissioned poll which asked citizens 15 questions on "the reconstruction of Iraq, the conflict in the Middle East and World peace", has caused controversy in Brussels.

The European Commission is coming under fire for publishing the results of a number of questions - relating to Iraqi reconstruction - while failing to publish the results which revealed the extent of mistrust of Israel and the United States in Europe.

A Commission spokesperson today (30 October) denied that the decision to withhold some of the results until next Monday was politically motivated, adding that some of the results not yet published are still "unstable".

He did, however, add that a decision was made to publish a preview of the questions pertaining to the reconstruction of Iraq, to coincide with the Iraqi donors conference in Madrid, which took place at the end of last week.

This admission has raised questions about whether the Commission sought to suppress the results which would have came at a particularly sensitive moment.

One pollster involved in the survey told the EUobserver that some questions being raised about the poll were unfounded.

"The questions were decided upon by both the polling organisations and the European Commission", the source said.

Israeli officials dismissed the results of the poll as propaganda.

According to El Pais, a massive 59 percent of Europeans said they believed that
Israel is the biggest obstacle to world peace.

The poll, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres/ EOS Gallup Europe, was conducted between 8 and 16 of October.

Press Articles La Libre Belgique

UK media blasted over Israel

Media war: Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips and The Times' assistant editor Michael Gove debate the coverage of Israel

By Lawrence Marzouk in Barnet and Potters Bar TIMES

The media bias against Israel and the Jewish community is at pre-Second World War levels, a leading Jewish journalist has warned.

Melanie Phillips, who is an author and columnist for the Daily Mail, made the remarks at a debate last Sunday on the Media and the Middle East at The New North London Synagogue in Finchley, hosted by Michael Gove, assistant editor of The Times.

Both hacks lambasted the British media, branding it dysfunctional, and attacked it for its pro-Palestinian slant on the coverage of Middle Eastern affairs.

Ms Phillips, who is a member of the synagogue, said: "9/11 brought a type of dysfunctionality and corruption of the British media. It is not just the gullible, but the majority of the country, who have formed a very strong view over Iraq and believe that it is not so much a rogue state as Israel. What the public will be seeing of the state of Israel is not objective and not equal."

When asked whether the world today is similar to that of the 1930's, Ms Phillips said: "This is more than an etching of the 1930's. We are not facing the same thing but I do think it is extremely similar. I do not think opinions would change until there is a September 11 here. But if we have a significant attack [on a Jewish target] I do not think that we will alter people. People will simply say they had it coming."

Both journalists claimed the press cherry-picked evidence to distort stories on the Middle East, and many other issues. The lack of ethics shown by journalists in terms of cross-checking Palestinian versions of events was also criticised, and the paucity of balanced reporting bemoaned.

The BBC was also condemned for its policy to seek balance rather than objectivity in reporting. Mr Gove urged people to respond to any bias with a a specific complaint to the public company, providing full details of where factual errors were made.

Ms Phillips said: "I would read the full report of the Hutton Inquiry and then the BBC coverage. To read the press coverage the next day, it was like being in two different universes."

Mr Gove said: "I do not know how newspapers can get away with it. You can have criticism of the state of Israel but it is entirely different to say it shouldn't exist. It is applying to the Jew a different standard than you apply to anyone else." "It is Israel which is called into question, because criticising Israel is far easier than for other countries."

"The most scandalous [reporting] was of events in Jenin. The word massacre was branded around. When the UN investigated, it discovered that the number was around 60 from both sides.

"Robin Cook said it was wrong that we are fighting to enforce UN resolutions in Iraq but not in Israel. But he knew that they were under a different charter of UN resolutions. Robin Cook must have known the difference after the time he spent in the Foreign Office."

Ms Phillips also blamed Israel for losing the PR game, saying while the Palestinian authorities fawn to foreign journalists, the Israeli government does not provide journalists or news agencies with any help.

"They [Israeli government] say that if you have the right foreign policy it will talk for itself -- well it doesn't. They say they do not have any friends -- apart from the US. When you say there is a crisis in Britain and Europe with Jewish attacks, they answer 'what would you expect from the Europeans,'" she said.

Muslim Medicine

Tonight, on our local NPR station in the Bay Area, the guest speaker at the "Forum for International Affairs" was Dr. Nabil Shaath, the political adviser to none other than Yasser Arafat.

This intrigued me because I really wanted to hear what he had to say for an hour - I wanted to understand what on earth he could possibly say which could justify the unleashing of the culture of death in the form known as "The Intifada". This is a name to which I am completely in opposition, mind you, as the word "Intifada" means "uprising" in Arabic and, as we all know by now, it is not an uprising but an attempt at Genocide.

I must admit, he spoke very well. Too well, in fact. All he could mention were "the good years" of the Oslo process in which he described only three "bombing incidents", failing to recognize that this was entirely demonstrative of the rotten core of the beliefs of his own people bubbling to the surface far too early in their plans for the attempted total destruction of the Jewish State. But there he was, criticizing both sides for opportunities missed, and how to return to the path of peace for a dual coexistence.

He mentioned the words "ending the incitement" twice in his critique of the Palestinian side. This was refreshing. At least he recognizes that there is such a thing - never mind that the Left doesn't even recognize this facet at all in the reality of the situation.

But he entirely dismissed it as something which should be done in parallel with Israeli "steps" towards peace. Meaning: Palestinians should end incitement during the negotiations to peace, and not as a prerequisite.

This abortion of a concept is absolutely insane.

Think about it for a moment. Just think about it. The Palestinians see the public declarations to murder all the Jews in the world as a step equal to, say, ending the construction of a house on absolutely barren land. Their view that calling for Genocide, and acting it out, is no different than the will of a Jewish family to return to a city from which Jews were forcibly expelled during the riots of the late 1920's. Their wish for the West to understand their point of view is for us to accept the notion that the driving force behind Mein Kampf was merely the product of a legitimate claim of grievance; that the extermination of a people can be dealt with on a political level, and not a moral one because it is merely the product of a legitimate situation of "oppression".

This is, naturally, exactly what the Muslim world sees as just. They say it openly, proudly, without any hesitation or excuses, and they don't really hide it. They count on the denials of the Left to hide it for them. After all, how many people in America really know what goes on in Palestinian and Arab media? How many Americans and Europeans know exactly what the Arabs are calling for in specific terms? Most Americans I know have no knowledge of this in the slightest way whatsoever. Either that or they shrug it off as rhetoric.

Of course, it isn't mere rhetoric since it is being carried out each day, bomb after bomb and bullet after bullet.

The mere acceptance that the call for Genocide is an equal step to a road map of peace requires us to abandon any notion that we have about who is right and who is wrong. If we accept that this is a legitimate response in any way, then Bin Laden, of course, was merely responding to legitimate grievances of his own - something which most Americans are loathe to accept because it goes against all common sense in our own culture and runs completely against our own values as a people.

The Muslims know this. They understand this. Their wish is for us to finally concede that point. When we accept that calls for Genocide will stop in parallel with Israeli and American concessions, we accept the current legitimacy of their hatred towards us. We start to recognize that everything is just another debatable point of view and that truth is completely relative. There are no moral boundaries. In that vein, Hitler was somebody who could be negotiated with merely because his truth was an equal one to ours. If that were the case, we should have made peace with him and his termination of concentration camps would merely have been another step on the long road towards mutual understanding between Nazis and the Allies.

Such is not the case, however, and we all know it. Yet they persist in this insistence because they know that if we do concede, they can negotiate us out of everything else. The driving force behind their entire campaign over the last century has been to make us concede on their moral ground. Everything they say reeks of this tactic. Is there a single Arab leader or spokesman out there who does not use the word "...but..." when confronted on the issue of condemning terrorism? Is there a single Arab representative who condemns all suicide bombings completely when they occur? Their world has become filled with "buts" and their condemnations as shifting as the sands of their own desert wastes.

Israel should never - ever - accept the notion that calls for Genocide be part of a negotiation process. After all, there is no Israeli media which bombards Israelis every day with the idea that all Muslims and Arabs should be killed to satisfy a higher purpose. These words matter. These words produce reactions which we can see in our newspapers and on our televisions every day of the week. After all, Hitler only started with words and we all understand the result of them.

All the Arabs have is that hatred. The sad truth is that they produce nothing else with which to negotiate. If one only has hatred with which to deal, then the position is clear: that side is in the wrong. It is exactly like the schoolyard bully beating up on another kid and "negotiating" for an end to the violence if that kid just gives up the money in his pocket - money to which the bully never had any rights in the first place. Yet the typical Leftist now looks at the bully to try to see what makes him tick, forgetting that he is a bully. Too long they look into the enemy's mind to try to understand it and they have become overwhelmed with the idea that this is just another person with yet another point of view, forgetting the original crime because they have lost their own perspective and can only now see from the eyes of that bully.

This is exactly the position expressed by the Arabs and Muslims of the world: they have nothing else but their hatred to negotiate with us. They know that as soon as they stop the calls to violence, and let things simmer down for a while, their cause is lost. They understand that if they didn't continuously call for Genocide, their people would start minding their own business and call for real reform because they will have lost interest in the entire affair. This notion of negotiating these calls for murder should be so clear to all that their cause is not just and never was.

And so it is fairly clear why we see the dividing lines which have emerged. The reason is simple: Leftists want to always look from the point of view of others, starting with the notion that everyone is equal and since people make morality, every morality is just as equal as well. Whereas we also have the stolid Christians and Jews of conservative backgrounds whom, while they deeply believe and act out in the name of charities to try to reform the bullies of the world, also understand that without their moralities, without their viewpoints, these reforms would never take place. The Fundamentalist Christians, much as I disagree with some of their views, are people who know exactly what they are about. These Southern Baptists and others who stand by Israel do so because they understand that their values are the same as the values of Jews. They are the true Christians in so many ways. Conservatives as well have a deep streak of knowing themselves and knowing what works for them, questioning the need for some changes over others, they understand that not all points of view are necessarily good or needed. It is so clear to see why the dividing lines are thus. They recognize that and understand it, which is something the Left doesn't even understand about itself.

This is extremely disturbing. Not only because the Left is now justifying the calls for Genocide as a legitimate claim to a grievance, but because a society needs both sides to function properly. One cannot merely exist in one state or the other to build a healthy society which questions itself, but only in moderate steps. Here, questioning is not the problem, but the rationalization of every single opposing view as an equal partner in the process, losing sight of exactly where it is that one started from. Clearly the Left has lost it's way and the Right has remained where it has always been: solidly behind it's morality and values.

This is the fundamental issue and just as important a fight in winning this war against the scourge of the Islamic world. It is not enough to stand fast against our enemies abroad, but also against the enemies here, to make them understand where they have lost their place, and how stupid they have become as tools of the real evils of the world in the guise of understanding. That fact is becoming lost even on us because of the dance of words being woven in front of our eyes by both our enemies and the Left around the world and, in particular, this country and Europe.

This is a huge problem because we will now be charged with rebuilding our own liberal society after the war is won - if it ever is. Europe is already in moral decay and we see the results before our very eyes in what they would term a "political process" to eradicate the very things they once treasured and give up all their rights to the laws of Sha'ria. Because of their incessant questioning for fifty years, they have accepted that every point of view is legitimate and that even those who call for Genocide are only satisfying some deeper need to a legitimate claim, regardless that the claim might actually be the Genocide itself. All the rashes of anti-Semitism which have sprouted up in the European world today are of no real surprise. After all, there was another time in which Europe also questioned all of her values - the time between World War I and World War II. We all know the result of that incredible failure to try to understand all moralities as equal. We have history as a lesson to this way of thinking and dealing with problems. The Arabs have understood this history as well. Look at Iraq and understand that it is of no mere coincidence that the Leftists and Arabs themselves are trying to portray that particular fight as another Vietnam.

Why?

Because during that time we ended up questioning all of our values as well, and it nearly led us to ruin.

Which are the related scenarios that they wish to impress upon Israelis? They use the scenario which led to the retreat from Lebanon - another Vietnam reference - and apply it to the West Bank, because they know that Israel's time in Lebanon made it question all of her values, and it was that, and not the actual war itself, which nearly made her lose her very existence as a nation.

And which conflict does Bin Laden refer to when claiming that victory is possible over the United States? None other than Afghanistan, the Soviet Vietnam. And that particular conflict did finally end up destroying the Soviets, and we all know it. This is not to mean that the Soviets didn't need tumbling, but that the tactic which was used was so successful that it can be applied to any people of the world, including ourselves.

So what do we have? We have a good dose of hatred for everything we stand for, for our people, for our religions and morals. They can never win militarily, and so force never was a negotiation point with them. Instead, it is our very existence which they seek to negotiate, until we concede not only every inch of land, but our own souls as well. The very fact that we can negotiate the legitimacy of Genocide resounds volumes in their world as being part of their final solution.

Some would argue that these words matter little, but this is not so. Already the U.S. Government has included the calls for Genocide to end as a parallel to steps which Israel must take to appease the terrorists. Already they have legitimized these calls as a political point, and not singled them out as the inherent weakness in the Muslim argument: that they are bent on hatred and have nothing else to offer.

This call has been the driving force and entire point of the Muslim perspective for far too long. It is time for this questionable point of view to end, to call a spade a spade, for us to take a stand against the call for Genocide as a natural political expression, and to end the madness once and for all.


Posted by trafael at 6:18 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 4 November 2003 4:13 AM EST

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