Tuesday, July 31, 2007
As the war in Iraq drags on, the fundamental problem in the whole modern strategy of American politicized warfare continues to take its toll. The United States boasts the best military in the world but the political leadership increasingly lacks the courage to use it.
Entering a war requires knowing and defining a course of action which your forces can take to achieve victory. In Iraq, the American government has refused to adopt any such course of action. Victory or defeat in Iraq is dependent on a philosophy that places responsibility on Iraqis rather than on American troops to win.
Politicized militaries lose the ability to win wars, instead becoming locked in by political goals that rely on winning over a hostile population and trying to prop up a local government fighting an insurgency. Such approaches handcuff the military and doom a war.
The US could not win in Vietnam because victory had become defined as the survival of a corrupt government unwilling to fight for itself. By defining the Iraq War as a war that Iraqis could win but that Americans could not, the victory over Saddam Hussein was thrown away in favor of trying to turn Iraq into a democracy in which squabbling secretarian factions did their best to jockey for power while the killing went on.
In Israel meanwhile, America and Israel is busy backing Fatah in a political and armed struggle with Hamas instead of directly fighting Hamas. The results in Iraq and in Israel spawns bloody and unwinnable proxy wars that become playgrounds for terrorists and every fanatic with a cause and a bullet.
By treating war as a political tool whose main purpose is to promote or support a new order composed of allied governments, the military and its strategies become subservient to a political order and the results are disastrous. The essence of war is to confront and destroy the enemy. A political war is a contradiction in terms and using soldiers as police and peacekeeping forces neuters the military, wastes lives and political credit in a lost cause.
The victory of the wars we fight must not be limited by the actions of our allies. If we cannot win unless the governments we are propping up do, then we have already lost.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
What ties together the immigration bill controversy, Chinese poisoned products, the outsourcing of American jobs and the destruction of entire sections of American industry and the decline of small business and family farms?
It's sales in the end. We want everything cheaper. We want it now and we want it for as little as possible. But the cost of cheap turns out to be pretty high.
To get something as cheaply as possible you have to reduce the cost of manufacturing, distributing and selling it as possible. To manufacture products as cheaply as possible, you need to pay employees as little as possible. That inevitably means one of several possibilities.
1. Outsourcing jobs by moving American factories overseas where the labor is dirt cheap.
2. Buying from overseas companies that employ dirt cheap labor
3. Using illegal aliens in America to do the work dirt cheap
Either way the result is that Americans lose jobs. When jobs are outsourced, American companies move abroad. When you use illegal aliens, you import a hostile population into the United States that sooner or later becomes legalized, requiring that you import yet more illegal aliens.
When you buy from foreign companies, you wind up creating a competition for who can produce a product as cheaply as possible. China has been winning that competition by doing anything imaginable to reduce costs. The rash of poisonings in pet food and toothpaste are inevitable and it's a widespread practice in China.
At the sales end, it means that you end up doing business with massive companies like Wallmart or Kmart which can buy products in true bulk quantities and cut large scale deals that squeeze manufacturers into producing the products at even lower cost. Product quality drops even further and small businesses and stores wind up being forced out of the game. The same pressure that drives cost-cutting also insures that these same stores will shortchange their own employees in any way they can. The end result is a system that deprives and enslaves everyone.
These days America is caught in between. On the one hand we've extensively regulated our own country to protect employees and worker and product safety. This of course also makes us non-competitive in the global market. On the other hand we're still capitalistically determined to get everything at the lowest price. But we can no longer produce things at the lowest price.
Our manufacturing sector has been beaten to a bloody pulp. Our service sector will increasingly go the same route as thanks to the internet and global telecommunications, you have to deal with an employees who are physically on the spot less and less. Service is in the end just another product and half the world speaks english anyway.
A country with a billion people which is willing to use them as cheap labor to produce our consumer goods will beat us time and time again. The amount of American jobs 'created' by corporations profiting from this are ultimately irrelevant because there's a limited amount of jobs that can't be outsourced, shipped abroad or done by illegal aliens. There's only so many lawyer positions out there and we're already importing large numbers of doctors and computer people from India and Pakistan. Tax returns are being processed in India. So are X-Rays. The internet makes all this absurdly easy.
Our only real advantages are our values, our creativity and our native intelligence. American Know How. But the technology we produce, we increasingly buy back from other countries by way of their manufacturing sector. In the end pursuing cheap destroys our economy and our own job prospects. As technology further interlinks the world, the result is a death by a thousand cuts. The end result of a great nation that turns its interests over to foreigners can be seen in Rome or London. And our economic strength, which has the potential to liberate, instead becomes a tool for giving the advantage to the nations that can best combine a disregard for human rights with skill and industriousness.
As with any other addiction, in the end the cost of cheap is everything.
Friday, July 27, 2007
As Peres entered the reception hall where the delegation was waiting, Kamil Mansour, the legendary adviser on Druse and other minority affairs to every president of Israel from president Shazar onwards, announced in Arabic, "All rise for the Rais!"
No this isn't a parody. For the first time ever Peres has actually been declared an honorary Arab. This just makes official what we knew all along. Peres is the leader of Israel's Arabs and not Israel's Jews.
In a briefer than usual news roundup for the week--
When they killed Cousin Ebi with a bullet to the heart, my family finally decided it was time to leave Iran
With Iran's Islamic government stirring up trouble in the Middle East, Berookhim is among the growing number of local Iranian Jews who are finally beginning to speak out about the horrors they faced in Iran, part of an effort to give Americans a better idea of the enormous threat Iran poses to world peace.
"He was shot with one bullet to his heart," said my cousin Abe Berookhim, a Los Angeles Iranian Jewish businessman.
At a Sinai Temple Men's Club meeting earlier this month, Berookhim publicly shared the 30-year-old heart-wrenching story of his 31-year-old uncle's arrest and execution at the hands of Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
Indeed, Ebrahim Berookhim was not the last Jew to be executed by Iran's fundamentalist regime. According to a 2004 report prepared by Frank Nikbakht, an Iranian Jewish activist in Los Angeles, at least 14 Jews were murdered or assassinated by the regime's agents, at least two Jews died in custody and 11 Jews have been officially executed by the regime, all since 1979.
In the roundup of blogs for this week--
Over at Lemon Lime Moon is a post on What It Will Take to Shake Jews Up
"Is there anything that will shake Jews to the core? Anything at all? Some talk now around the blogosphere of how we are better off without the Beit Hamikdash and that life with it was not as good as without it."
Over at IsraPundit, Ted Belman has an exchange with Michael Coren.
"I also said that Islam is bent on world conquest. You thought that I was wrong and only extremists like al Qaeda are intent on it.
Pipes, above quoted, wrote “The purpose of jihad, in other words, is not directly to spread the Islamic faith but to extend sovereign Muslim power..”
Spencer is quoted above “We deceive ourselves if we think [violence] is just something that�s manufactured by the Wahhabis and not present in Islam in general.
So once again I am correct.
I also said that wherever elections in Muslim countries have been held as of late, the Islamists go from strength to strength. This is true in Lebanon, Egypt, Morrocco, Palestinian territories, Turkey and Indonesia to name a few.
With current trends supported by an ascendant Iran, Islamists, if not stopped, will encompass the whole Middle East and also Africa.. Pakistan and Afghanistan are are likely to fall to them. Europe is teetering on the edge."
Daled Amos has a post on Abbas Still Knows How To Talk the Talk
That's quite a deal that Abbas has--all he has to do is talk the talk, while Israel is the one expected to walk the walk.
Before popping open the champagne, let's see: has the Fatah Charter been changed? Remember, the one's with the Charter that still contains the goal for their peace partner:
Article (12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.Let him change that first. Then we can talk.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Orthodox Paradox , Noah Feldman's whiny New York Times piece is getting a lot of attention. Orthodox Paradox is at its root several pages of repetitive whining in which Noah Feldman dishonestly bashes Judaism and the Bible while endlessly displaying his childish frustration because his school failed to include his accomplishments in school bulletins and his girlfriend in reunion photos.
In an age where everyone is the victim, Noah Feldman creates a narrative of being victimized, excluded and shunned. Like most secularists who reject the absolute beliefs of a religion, he has no clue that those beliefs are more than a multiplication of values that can be infinitely recombined in any combination. Rather than understanding that he has made the choice to reject Judaism, he instead complains about being rejected.
"For me, having exercised my choices differently, there is no such risk. With no danger of feeling owned, I haven’t lost the wish to be treated like any other old member. From the standpoint of the religious community, of course, the preservation of collective mores requires sanctioning someone who chooses a different way of living."
What Noah Feldman simply fails to grasp that by sanitizing his departure from the Jewish people under the guise of "choices" and "lifestyles" he is ignoring the facts of the matter. By intermarrying Noah Feldman made a decision. A decision to leave the Jewish people. It is the consequences of that decision that have isolated him and set him apart. From a functional standpoint he is no longer Jewish. His children will not be Jewish. He may have an emotional wish to be treated like any old member but that is the same egotistical self-centered need for emotional realization that prevents him from understanding and accepting the meaning of his own choices.
By his own testimony, people at his old school have been more than cordial to him. But at the same time if you give up United States citizenship for French citizenship and then pay a visit to the United States, you will find that things have changed. Like most self-indulgent egotists, Noah Feldman feels the right to demand that he be allowed to make his own choices while demanding that he not have to deal with any of the consequences of those choices.
I have tried in my own imperfect way to live up to values that the school taught me, expressing my respect and love for the wisdom of the tradition while trying to reconcile Jewish faith with scholarship and engagement in the public sphere. As a result, I have not felt myself to have rejected my upbringing, even when some others imagine me to have done so by virtue of my marriage.
Noah Feldman's deliberate clueless is rooted in refusing to understand that Judaism is more than just a set of values, it is an absolute system of beliefs of divine origin. If you do not believe that, you do not believe in Judaism. Vague and nebulous statements about respecting and loving 'the wisdom of the tradition' are meaningless. A Jewish upbringing is not merely a means of passing on some general traditions. It is a devoted commitment to G-d and a people. Without those it has no meaning. By "virtue of his marriage", Noah Feldman had departed from G-d and his people. That forms his utter rejection of both G-d and the Jewish people.
Some like Shmuley Boteach, who is forever willing to serve as the enabler to people who have made bad choices in life, are happy to blame Judaism for "driving him away" by not accepting him, but you cannot drive away someone who has chosen to leave.
Although Jews of many denominations are uncomfortable with marriage between Jews and people of other religions, modern Orthodox condemnation is especially definitive.The reason for the resistance to such marriages derives from Jewish law but also from the challenge of defining the borders of the modern Orthodox community in the liberal modern state.
Again Noah Feldman seems determined to continue the same clueless refusal to recognize what is at stake. All Jews who believe in biblical literalism, that the Torah is the actual word of G-d reject intermarriage. Not because it defines some social borders or because it's some detail of Jewish law. The Jewish mission is not an individual lifestyle as the modern self-indulgent brats like Noah Feldman tend to see it as. It is a generational journey beginning with Jacob and on down to the latest baby born today. The resistance to intermarriage is not some antiquated Jewish prejudice. It is the definition of being Jewish, the passing of the legacy of one generation to the next, the binding chain of thousands of years. When you sever that chain, nothing is left.
The Jewish rejection of intermarriage is not a rejection of others, it is an acceptance of our mission. A mission that has continued on for much of the history of the world. Noah Feldman chose self-indulgence and his indignation at his community's refusal to accept him despite his departure from the Jewish people is hollow and self-serving as are his irrelevant excursions into sliming Judaism with ramblings about Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir which serve only to vent his spite and lay claim to his moral superiority. It is only fitting that Noah Feldman has ended up in the Council on Foreign Relations. Morally that is exactly where he belongs.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
This is the Yahrtzeit of Lena Bosinova who died during the Disengagement, the expulsion of Jews from their home. Her life and death has gone generally unreported in the media, much as it has quickly rushed to bury the victims of Olmert's policies beneath mounds of frivolous newsprint. She died a victim of the policies of a government and the apathy of a public. She died also because the right has too many men willing to give interviews and too few willing to lead by example. Too many ready to counsel moderation and to fight each other for a seat at the table. She had passion and a knowledge of what was to come and could not think of what she could do to stop it.
The following is a brief translated excerpt from a remembrance of her life.
She was born in a city of shining acacias ina Russia only still recovering from war. Jews were returning there, where once their relatives had lives. Lena remembered the daughter of her mother's neighbor who had returned from Moscow to search for the traces of her family. That woman had still been young and pretty, but her hair had turned entirely white. It was said that she had gone white in one night when she had been told that her mother and sisters had perished. She did not yet know how they had died. How they had been shoved into miner's furnaces by laughing Romanians and burned alive.
When Lena grew older and learned the truth she was unable to sleep at all for a week. Reading a book Lena imagined the Romanian soldiers with their peasant faces approaching the stoves. In her mind she saw an entire army of them come to drive away, to burn and destroy. Mama fed her a mixture of Valerian root but the horror would not go away.
Mama received a decent job. Now they lived three together: mama, grandmother and Lena. Grandmother would light two candles on the Sabbath and do no work. When Lena was small she did not understand why Grandmother would do no work. Grandmother began to tell her things. "Two candles," she told her, "for two qualities. To remember and to keep." "To remember what grandmother?" "To remember that we are Jews." "Is it possible we could forget this?" Grandmother would sigh and tell her, "Oy Lenochka, so many would give so much to forget."
Lena decided together with the grandmother not to work on Saturday. She did not go to school. Mama returning himself from work found her in bed. "What happened, are you ill?" "We are Jews" - proudly answered Lena from under the pillow. "Jews rest on Saturday." "Is Grandfather not enough?" - Shrilly and helplessly yelled Mama. "You also want to end up in Siberia?"
Never had they told Lena that her grandfather had disappeared in Siberia for his religion, she knew only that he had died. Now Lena wanted to take vengeance for her grandfather upon the cursed regime: on Stalin and Lenin, and on all the Communists. After some years Lena entered a underground group where she, first of all, learned caution and then they gave her to distribute the samizdat.
Lena fought for freedom of speech, believing that if the people learned the truth, they would be able to speak of nothing else. At work in the hospital she was treated condescendingly but not harshly, "idealist" was the nickname that attached itself to her. She never failed to replace someone on a night shift or put in overtime or perform anything that was asked of her. But she expected the same from others and that was her mistake.
In Israel, confronting the Disengagement, Lena set for herself a goal, to go to the end, to starve, to arrange protests and demonstrations, to risk her life but to bring the truth to the people. That the people do not want to hear the truth, Lena did not permit herself to consider. The champion arrived to the holy earth.
Here on the holy earth, Lena understood even more sharply how far the people were from the truth. The media hid from them the truth about the land, about G-d and about their purpose. Their eyes must be opened, Lena decided. With her experience in the underground in Russia, she believed that she could accomplish it. Very soon she began to appear at rallies or to stand with a sign in the solitude of the highway. Lena was detained several times and once sent for psychiatric examination but she did not break. She was driven to the open the eyes of her fellow Jews. She did not understand why her neighbors in the hilltop settlement were not doing this.
She loved the settlement. When her mother fell ill, Lena cared for her as she cared for various old men there as well. Many advised her to pass her courses and work in her nursing specialty, but Lena begrudged the time this would take. She loved the old people. They reminded her of her grandmother.
But the storms raged ever more furiously in the nation -- storms of treason and threat. Lena could feel them on her skin. She wanted to run and scream, the country is in danger. She wanted to fuel such a light that Jews would remember they are Jews.
Lena understood that expulsion would not be avoided after hearing about the parade of homosexuals in Yerushalayim. G-d will not forgive this, Lena thought and began to be prepared for the worst. She continued praying but there was no longer any hope in her prayers. Virtually nothing that she wrote was published and her proposals for combating the media were not taken seriously. Her mind was occupied with ways to return her nation to the truth but found no answers. And then she decided on the last resort.
For several days she still appeared at demonstrations hoping against hope that the people would come to their senses, that the pogrom will not happen, that it will be postponed, annulled. But she understood in her mind that it would not be so.
On the second day of the expulsions she saw the Yassamniks. She looked at their faces, the wooden faces of Roman soldiers. They chuckled over Jewish misfortune. "And into the oven they'll stick her in," rang in her head. At once she went to the service station and bought a bottle of gasoline.
"Let it happen, let it happen, but all will know and the Jewish people will wake up," already having struck the match, already having felt the piercing pain, "Jews will understand that this cannot be so." She was thrown to the earth. The sky which had so recently shone blue suddenly burned with lilac fire.
More material and photos of Yelena Bosinova can be found here.
Monday, July 23, 2007
At the beginning nearly a thousand people arrived in Homesh with around 700 remaining in Homesh. They ascended the hill and shortly after midnight, the various police and undercover personnel had departed. People who had remained in hiding began to emerge from hiding and though Kol Yisrael reported that there were only tens, in fact there were hundreds.
During the day more people began arriving. Yassam Police beat them with rubber batons and threw around 80 people into buses and arrested them. Law enforcement had also seized control of the reservoir cutting off the protesters and activists from a water supply in the heavy heat.
MK Aryeh Eldad was allowed to enter the area but his daughter was forced to leave the vehicle. A tower was constructed on the hill from the bricks that had been brought. After a short amount of time, Yassam police smashed the tower and aborted the attempted reconstruction of the synagogue.
Arabs from the local village Burkah, which had celebrated Hizbullah's attack with fireworks, began stoning Jews. The police arrested eleven Jewish activists. A number of teenagers who attempted to reach Homesh were beaten, one into unconsciousness. Ambulances and hospitals have been however told not to make any record of such injuries. Some fled again into the hills.
On Monday, eleven buses were brought up and the police threatened the use of Mounted Police as at Amona. Protesters described being harshly beaten and cuffed and thrown into buses. In violation of the law, the police wore no nametags or identifying marks. The police have seized cameras and seized water bottles to further deprive anyone remaining behind of a water supply.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
A few days ago I walked into my bathroom and stopped short. There clinging to the side of the sink was a bug. Not just any bug but a giant waterbug. A bug trying to grow to the size of a small aircraft carrier.
It was a clearly unworkable situation. I had no intention of sharing my bathroom with something that looked as if it belonged in a Jules Verne story or should have been rampaging across a Hollywood B-Movie set.
After a few minutes consideration, I grabbed a bag and tried to non-violently evict him from my bathroom. Waterbugs though it turns out are quicker than humans and much harder to catch, so off I went to the yellow pages. I began leafing through to Exterminators. But extermination seemed too violent. So I kept on leafing until I reached Political Solutions.
The first number I called was for Ariel Sharon. I thought he was in a coma but as it turned out he had recovered nicely and set up an exterminating business locally. Except he wasn't exterminating anymore.
"What you need is to control the demographics," Ariel Sharon told me, "above all you must insure demographic superiority with the bugs."
For now there was only one bug and one me. But that could change quickly enough. I suspected that the waterbug would be able to find a mate and begin reproducing in much greater numbers than me very quickly.
"So do I drive it out?" I asked the former Prime Minister.
"No, no," Sharon said ruefully. "You can't drive him out but you can partition your apartment so you have demographic superiority in your part of the apartment."
"Wait a minute," I protested, "so I have to give up my bathroom to the waterbugs? And what if they decide to expand beyond the bathroom?"
"You build a wall," Sharon told me.
"Bugs can get through walls," I said.
"We'll deal with that when it comes up," he said.
I hung up unsatisfied and dialed the next number. Former Prime Minister and current President of Israel, Shimon Peres took my call. I quickly sketched out my problem to him.
"You're going about this the wrong way," Shimon Peres assured me, "you need to expand your thinking. The bug is not your enemy. The bug is your neighbor. He can live together with you."
"No he can't," I said firmly.
"You're being narrow-minded," Peres said, "you need to rethink your definition of your apartment. It's his apartment too. Conceive of it as an ecosystem. An ecosystem in which many creatures dwell and from whose diversity you can benefit. From now on you will no longer be defined by species but by a willingness to make peace with all living creatures."
"Look your agenda seems a little to grand for me," I told him, "I just want the giant horrible bug out of my bathroom."
"Don't you understand, you are the bug and the bug is you," Peres wheedled, "once you accept a new concept of your apartment defined not by species borders but by nanotechnology and a revitalized intellectual economy, the way to peace will be open."
I hung up on Peres and dialed the next number on the list. The President of the United States answered.
"See what you've got to do here is find out if he's a moderate or extreme waterbug," George W. Bush said. "Then if he's a moderate, you've got to feed him so he keeps down the extreme waterbugs."
"He's just a bug, I don't think he's got a political agenda," I told the President, "and I just want him out of my bathroom."
"You can't evict him," the President warned me.
"Why in the world not? It's my bathroom," I retorted.
"That's for the world community to decide. Besides you'll outrage all the trillions of other bugs around the world who will start attacking humans and there's more of them than there are of us," President Bush said sternly. "No you've got to realize that the bug is just like you. He wants a job and a better future for his family."
"Look I'm evicting the bug and you've got nothing to say about it" I replied.
"See if you get any money from us then," President Bush retorted.
"I don't get any money from you. I pay you money every year," I said angrily.
"Or F-16 parts either," he said.
"That would trouble me more if I had any F-16's I needed parts for." I hung up on the President and dialed the next number.
"Hello this is Yossi Beilin," the man on the other end said. "I'm already aware of the situation and it's on the way to bring resolved."
"That's great news," I told him. "How are you planning to help me get rid of the bug?"
"I'm not," Yossi Beilin said, "but two minutes ago I met with a representative of the waterbug in Reykjavik and signed a comprehensive series of understandings with him, which we'll call The Reykjavik Accord."
"Wait, wait," I said, "I never authorized you to do that."
"It doesn't matter," Yossi Beilin told me, "the accord is signed. It's too late to do anything about it. This is your last chance to achieve peaceful co-existance with your neighbor."
"I don't want peaceful co-existance with a giant hideous bug," I said. "I want him out."
"If you try to throw him out, I will personally come and lie down in front of the bathroom to block your path," Yossi Beilin warned me.
"I'll just step over you," I said.
"You won't get away with this. You'll be a war criminal," Yossi Beilin shrieked over the phone, "every man's hand will be turned against you."
I gladly hung up on him. Then I took another go at catching the bug but the waterbug may have been huge but he was surprisingly able to fit through narrow cracks and spaces. It quickly became obvious to me that hunting the bug down and trying to hunt him down non-violently was doomed. So I killed him. I bagged his body and threw him away. The political solution had failed but the military solution had succeeded. As of now I am wanted for war crimes in Sweden and three countries in Europe but my bathroom is clean again.
Friday, July 20, 2007
He has been blogging for a short while but in that time has gained a loyal and steady readership who faithfully read his blog.
This blog is more than just passing on links and rewriting stories from the news outlets. There are tons of blogs like that out there.
No, Sultan Knish has a difference, he tells you the story and the background behind the news in today's headlines. He takes things apart down to the root and shows you the in depth truth behind the world situations. This is something rare in blogs and its not easy to do.
Something you might not know is that Sultan Knish has a exceptional grasp of history and of the psychology behind people and nations. His knowledge of geo-politics is well renowned among those who know him.
He is a published author and accomplished ghost writer!, psychologist and journalist and you may even have seen his book cover art on several publications!
Congratulations Sultan and may we all see many more years of great posts.
In Israel things are going from bad to worse. With Ahmadinejad talking openly about a summer war and Syria and the Palestinians preparing for one, the Olmert government continues its disastrous reign over Israel.
Their latest concession is to allow the terrorist Badr Brigade to enter Israel from Jordan. Jericho and Kalquiya, which had to be recaptured once, have been turned over to Fatah. The Badr Brigade will enter Israel to hold it.
In Hevron 10 IDF soldiers consulted Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Levanon and Rabbi Melamed over orders to replace border guards who were to be dispatched to hunt Zionist youth who were returning to Homesh. Rabbi Levanon and Rabbi Melamed told them to register a protest but fulfill their duties. Rabbi Dov Lior asked them for time to study the issue and after several hours informed them that they should refuse. After registering their protest, the soldiers eventually complied.
Over at Israpundit, Ted Belman has a disturbing post on Bush and the Saudi Plan
"They must guarantee that a Palestinian state is viable and contiguous. And they must lead to a territorial settlement, with mutually agreed borders reflecting previous lines and current realities, and mutually agreed adjustments.”
I should point out the Bush in effect for the first time, endorsed the Saudi Plan requiring ‘67 borders. The Roadmap is based on Resolution 242 which supports some land for peace and secure borders. This is a further erosion of Israel’s position. No one else has noticed this."
Daled Amos has a post on journalistic bias
Lemon Lime Moon has a post on Sun Tzu Know Your Enemy
From mainstream media news stories worth noting.
This features the rise of the Putin Youth in Russia meant to serve as the Russian equivalent of the SS.
Shabbat Shalom to all. May the coming month be a month of redemption and salvation and comfort.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
The First Law of War is never begin a war when you are not prepared to do what it takes to win. When you are not committed to fighting and winning the war, you are only squandering the lives of your men and the lives of the enemy to accomplish absolutely nothing.
The Corollary to the First Law is never begin a war just to intimidate or bully the other side. That is a violation of rule one. When you start a war you are not prepared to finish just because you think it will intimidate the other side, you are violating the First Law of War by beginning a war you don't have the commitment to finish. What you are actually doing is bluffing and you had better hope the enemy doesn't call your bluff.
The Second Law of War is that ruthlessness is mercy. Indecisive commanders and leaders who want to minimize the deaths on one side or both sides drag out a war which only results in more deaths. One week of mass bombardment is better than three years of targeted attacks.
The American Civil War went on twice as long as it had to and cost three times as many lives because indecisive Union commanders were unable to commit to an all out war. Until they did the war remained stalemated with the Union on the verge of defeat.
In war, victory is mercy. It minimizes the deaths on both sides and begins the fighting to an end as quickly as possible. There is no 'nice' or 'gentle' way to fight a war. The only thing merciful about war is when it ends. The aim of a nation's leaders and generals should be to achieve a conclusive victory as quickly as is feasible with the use of unrestrained force. The longer the war goes on, the more the death tolls rises and the misery and suffering involved destroy entire societies. There is no morality in war. Only in concluding it
The Third Law of War is that the enemy is only entitled to as much discretion and mercy as he shows you. If the enemy executes or tortures your soldiers, bombs your hospitals or uses non-conventional weapons against you, you have not only the right but the obligation to do the same to him. Discretion does not produce reciprocity and modern warfare has nothing to do with gentlemanly lords in sitting rooms discussing strategic maneuvers. The only way to insure that the enemy follows any rules of war is for him to suffer the consequences if he does not.
Safeguarding enemy prisoners while the enemy tortures American POW's does not protect American soldiers. It endangers them. Only when the enemy understands that if American POW's have no rights, than neither do their men including their leaders, will any protection be
extended to American Prisoners of War. And only when the enemy leaders are made to understand that they will personally suffer the consequences of any violation of the laws of war backed by an absolute commitment to victory, will American soldiers be protected.
In every war American soldiers have been executed and tortured by the enemy because the enemy leaders understood that if the Americans won, they would not be treated as they had treated the Americans. The only way for that to change is for a new understanding to emerge. An understanding that whatever is done to the United States and to United States soldiers will be done to the enemy forces and their political leaders and military commanders in turn.
The Fourth Law of War is if your war is just then make no apologies for the aftermath. If you were right to go to war, then you are not responsible for cleaning up the aftermath. The hearts and minds of the enemy will not be won by aid packages or powdered milk. If it had every Russian, German and Iraqi and Palestinian Arab would love us to death. If the aftermath of victory leaves an unstable mess, then the goal of any post-war effort is to secure the area by suppressing all threatening elements. It is not your job to turn a country whose people were until recently trying to kill you into paradise. It only confuses them and such irrational behavior will never be understood or accepted by them.
Charity to an enemy will always be understood by the enemy as a conspiracy to weaken, corrupt and make him dependent on you. Which in truth it is. Providing welfare to your enemies does not make you loved, it makes you hated. The more you give the more their demands and their hatred grows you. Your attempt to win them over only creates an unhealthy relationship in which their self-respect conflicts with their needs leading them to demand that you go while demanding that you keep providing for them. Honorable conduct does not mean being a sucker and winning a war does not make you eternally responsible for the people you defeated. If you can't fight a war and move on, you will be eternally bogged down cleaning up after other people's messes.
It is not your job to save other people from themselves. Those who truly wish to overthrow tyrannies will seek you out and will put their lives on the line to fight against their tyrants. Those who do not are not worthy of your time. It is not your job to change nations or elevate peoples. Only a people can elevate themselves. Democracy and humanity cannot be forced on a nation nor can savages be coaxed into the virtues of a Republic. Societies choose their own governments and the benevolence of trying to foist a virtuous system on a barbaric society is nothing short of folly.
The Fifth Law of War is victory means never having to say you're sorry. War is a terrible thing but if you feel sorry for winning one, then you had no business fighting one in the first place. Just wars are wars which have two sides. Unjust wars have only side, the aggressors. If your war had two sides, then celebrate your victory, remember the dead and use their examples to teach the virtues of courage to the next generation.
Never apologize for winning. Apologizing for winning is asking for defeat. The moral fibre it takes to win wars will not long survive leaders who second guess their tactics and cry over every civilian casualty. If your war was just, then whatever tactics you used to win it are just too. Either the ends justify the means and if they don't, it was an unjust war to begin with.
Never feel sorry for being strong. Strength is a virtue created either by empowering their people or by enslaving them. If your nation draws strength from the power of its people, from their industry, their science, their resolution and their courage, your strength is a virtue and those nations who draw their strength from the enslavement of their people will always be weaker than you, lower than you and if you preserve your courage, they will fall before you.
These are the five laws of war. There are not only five, there are many. But in an age in which we go to battle uncertain of our own virtues and determined to fight in order to teach savages justice and law as if they were no different than us and yet an age in which the wisest of us seems more certain of the enemy's virtues than of our own, these five are worth remembering for what they teach us once again the purpose of war. It is not to ennoble man or to elevate him. It is a series of brutal acts meant to protect our nation, our citizens and our allies from an enemy threat. When we forget this, we forget the purpose of war and we are doomed to lose it.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
When an Episcopalian priest in Seattle announced that she considered herself both a Muslim and a Christian and worshiped at a Mosque, all the while remaining with her congregation, conservative Christians expressed outrage and disgust at the Reverend Ann Holmes Redding, pointing out that the beliefs are incompatible and that you can't be a member of two religions.
Of course you can't.
"The idea that a person can become a Muslim while remaining an Episcopal priest in good standing trivializes both faiths", Ralph Webb, Director of the IRD's Anglican Action program said.
Yes it does. But here's the problem. Many Evangelical Christian and particularly Baptist Churches have been insisting that you can.
For decades they funded and promoted Christian Ministers who called themselves Rabbis and set up Churches which they called Synagogues and pushed a brand of Christianity called "Messianic Judaism".
Ralph Webb is right. Insisting that a person can be one religion and yet serve as a religious leader in another trivializes both. You can't be a member of two religions. Not Christianity and Islam or Christianity and Judaism. And you can't claim otherwise when it suits you. The same Christian Churches that promoted the belief that you can be Jewish and Christian have opened the door for this.
Defenders of such policies will claim that Christianity succeeded Judaism and it's fair game to claim to be both. Guess what. According to Muslims, they succeeded Christianity. You don't accept that? Well neither do we. And now you know how we feel.
At the end of May I wrote on a Jewish and Christian alliance and put forward this theoretical scenario.
How would Christians feel if Muslims set up a group of mock Christian churches and a mock Christianity called Prophetic Christianity targeting authentic Christians and attempted to convert Christians to Islam by telling them that only by accepting Mohammed as the final prophet, would they become Completed Christians.
These "Churches" would be overseen by Imams who would call themselves Ministers and would be specifically selected from Christian converts to Islam to preach a form of Islam thinly disguised as Christianity. These "Churches" would feature celebrations of Islamicised Christmas' and Easter's centering on Mohammed.
Christians should ask themselves how they would feel about such Mosques disguised as Churches and Imams disguised as Ministers. Yet Christian groups have invested billions of dollars over the years in doing precisely this very thing to Jews. How do you think we feel about it?
Now there actually is a priest whose own loyalty is to Islam and functions within a Church. Muslims already routinely use Jesus to try and blur the line with Christianity insisting that since they accept Jesus, you should accept Mohammed. How long before Muslims catch on and begin following the entire handbook that was used to create Messianic Judaism, only this time aimed at Christians? There already is a Jews for Allah. A Christians for the Prophet can't and won't be too far off.
Arguing that you can't be Christian and Muslim only has credibility when the people arguing it apply that across the board to all religions, not just when it suits them. But doing evil only brings more evil and deceit brings more deceit. The same false Rabbis and Synagogues that have been set up have not converted a generation of Jews but sucked hundreds of thousands of Christians into giving away their money to con artists like "Rabbi Ari Crockett" because after all once a con job gets started, there's no reason to think it will stop at Jews.
In a Forward article titled, Messianic Jews Find Fertile Ground in the Bible Belt, we have the following quote.
Whatever the politics over the future direction of messianic Judaism may be, movement leaders say that the American South is particularly fertile ground for expansion.There's half a truth in there. The Messianic movement isn't expanding in the South because that's where the Jews are. They are expanding there because it's where the Christians are and those Christians are pulled out of mainstream Churches into cult centers that were originally meant for Jews but when those Jews failed to show up, are increasingly targeted at non-Jews. "Messianic Judaism" is better than 80 percent Non-Jewish. Guess where those numbers are coming from?
“In the Bible belt, you have many Christians who love Israel, so we attract more gentiles [to our services], plus there are a lot more intermarried couples down here than there would be in the Northeast,” said Derek Leman, religious leader of Atlanta’s Tikvat David Messianic Synagogue.
By expanding into the South, the Messianic movement is headed deeper into the heartland of American Christianity because it learned long ago that it could never capture more than a handful of Jewish followers. There are after all only a few million Jews in America and hundreds of millions of Christians. In the end, you are a better target for them than we are.
Meanwhile the same Churches continue to fund them and maintain the facade. And when it boomerangs and Muslims pick up the same trick, what happens then?
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Just when it seems Olmert's terrorist release program cannot possibly get any more grotesque, word now comes that Olmert will be releasing Abdel Rahim Malouh, a senior PFLP leader (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine).
The PFLP was tied to many of the worst terrorists in Israel's history, including George Habash and Ahmed Jibril. As recently as 2000, the PFLP was responsible for the assassination of legendary Israeli leader Rehavam Ze'evi. As the Deputy Secretary General of the PFLP, Abdel Rahim Malouh was involved in planning the murder.
The release of Abdel Rahim Malouh is nothing short of despicable and outrageous. It is impossible to argue that a top leader in the PFLP does not have blood on his hands. Furthermore Malouh had been charged with planning the 2000 intifada.
The insanity of Abdel Rahim Malouh's release only takes full shape when you consider that Hizbullah considered Malouh's release as part of a negotiated prisoner exchange. Now not only is Israel releasing Malouh, it is doing so unconditionally.
This was Abdel Rahim Malouh in 2001 after the death of the leader of the PFLP.
One of Zibri's deputies, Abdel Rahim Malouh, was lightly hurt in the face by shrapnel. Malouh vowed revenge. "Abu Ali's blood will not be wasted," he said from his hospital bed.
Sneh, who serves as transport minister and is a retired general, said that Zibri turned the PFLP "back into what it was in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, an active and deadly terrorist organization."
Now Malouh is to be released back in the wild again. Ariel Sharon would never have released Malouh but Olmert YS'V has always hated Rehavam Ze'evi and viewed him as an enemy. This was how Olmert began his hypocritical eulogy for Rehavam Ze'evi just last year.
Distinguished guests, King David, in his eulogy for the slain Avner Ben-Ner, said:
"Surely you realize that an officer and a great man has fallen in Israel this day. Your hands were not bound and your feet were not placed in chains as one who falls before villains have you fallen!"
Rehavam Ze'evi was uprooted from our lives by despicable murderers, who had the audacity to strike down an "officer and a great man" in Israel.
Avner Ben Ner of course had himself been murdered by Yoav, his own ally whom King David was unable to act against. Rehavam Ze'evi had indeed fallen before villains. Not only before the villains of the Arab Terrorists but their peacemaking allies in Israel, including Olmert himself. The very men who condemned his proposals to fight Arab terrorism as extremism and marginalized him as a hatemonger and extremist. Today Olmert had played Yoav and completed the final stab wound in the back by lettering the man behind his murder go free.
This was how Olmert continued Ze'evi's eulogy.
Had he lived, I know that he would have been a bitter and caustic adversary – to both his friend Ariel Sharon's government and mine. His voice would have been heard strongly, he would have fought against us from every platform
Indeed it would have and so instead he died and the corrupt Kadima regime rose to poison and crush Israel.
"The State of Israel pursued and captured his murderers. There will be no clemency for their crime and no atonement for their evil. Their disgrace will never be eliminated, and justice will be served to the fullest."
Now the State of Israel under the eternal disgrace and to the eternal disgrace of this government, will grant clemency to the crime and subvert justice to its fullest.
Monday, July 16, 2007
The descent into deeper and increasingly vile levels of savagery by Al Queda terrorists in Iraq is met by a greater and more determined degree of apathy by the media. The same press that was reduced to hysterics of outrage at the sight of Iraqi prisoners with women's underwear on their heads remains silent at each terrorist atrocity. The more bestial the terrorists become, the more determined the press becomes to find the good in them and the bad in their victims.
In Gaza, the media has taken to reporting on stories of a lion saved by Hamas while forgetting all the stories of those thrown off tall buildings and gunned down in open view by Hamas. If Mussolini had to make the trains run on time in order to demonstrate his efficiency, all Hamas needed to do was drag out one bedraggled lion and British reporter out for the cameras. While Alan Johnson has made a point of expressing his gratitude to his Hamas liberators, the lion has wisely chosen to remain silent. Perhaps it is because the lion is a wiser than a BBC reporter and as a more seasoned predator, can recognize that the mercy of a beast is a deceptive thing.
Iraq has seen a veritable feast of bestial mercies. In the city of Baqubah in Iraq, Al Queda's procedure for convincing reluctant families was to put on a display of traditional Arab hospitality by inviting them for a meal and serving them their own children, baked and stuffed. This marriage of bestial cruelty and human cunning would never have occurred to a lion or to a man but Muslim terrorism thrives in the hearts of bestial men who employ the bestial sides of their nature to commit horrific outrages and the human side of their natures to embroider and dress up their atrocities with a human mask.
Al Jazeera and CAIR, Abbas and Haniyeh and the many spokesmen for terrorism who wear expensive suits and dye their hair, represent are the human mask on the beast, the lavish feast that hides the murdered child laid out on a platter. Their primary goal is to maintain the mask and employ misdirection when the mask becomes in danger of slipping.
At the Al Hamari village in Iraq the human mask slipped revealing the beast within. At Al Hamari, Al Queda killed the villagers, family by family and then killed their livestock. When American and Iraqi soldiers reached it, they discovered something very much like the Killing Fields in Cambodia, earthen piles concealing the dead. An abandoned village whose palm groves reeked with the stench of the dead, the bodies of adults and children were recovered from the shallow earth, brutally murdered. Yet Michael Yon who had uncovered the story found no media interest in the case.
Had an American soldier bruised a single toenail on an Iraqi boy there would have been endless weeks of coverage but when Al Queda massacred an entire village, men, women and children, the media can hardly conceal its disinterest. When the mask of the beast slips, it is the media that determinedly looks away to avoid seeing its true horrid face.
The nature of Al Queda in Iraq is similar to the underlying nature of Fatah and Hamas and most Muslim terrorists. They are primarily gangs overseen by Islamic thinkers with a sprinkling of college educated upper middle class professionals. The organizations themselves are rooted in clan, tribe and family. The gangs are the enforcers of their will. Al Queda did not expand in Iraq by turning formerly peaceloving Iraqis into homicidal madmen as the liberal media likes to pretend. Al Queda in Iraq simply began recruiting existing armed gangs and those gangs took on the name of Al Queda and began committing their atrocities in Al Queda's name.
Those same gangs then proceed to kidnap, terrorize and brutalize in order to extra money, to maintain power and spread terror. While these gangs formerly did many of these things in the name of greed and brutality, they now do it in the name of Allah under the authority of Osama Bin Laden. The power of Islamic doctrine magically transforms the acts of beasts into the acts of saints and martyrs. When a gang beheads children, it is an atrocity. When an Islamic gang beheads children, to Muslims it becomes a profound testament of faith.
When one returns to the dark and bloody foundations of Islam, the same gangs are waiting there. Then the gangs were led by Mohammed who directed his men to rob, rape and pillage, taking property, land, treasure and women as booty and distributing it among his men. Mohammed's gang was no different than that of many other bandits but for one principle, it had the sanctity of religion behind it, a religion which like everything else had been looted from the Jews whom Mohammed's men killed and enslaved.
There is a direct parallel between the gangs of Mohammed and the gangs at Al Hamari, across over a thousand years the pillaging, the looting and the massacres continue. Viewed through the filter of historical revisionism as practiced by Muslims and their Western apologists, Mohammed is transformed from a caravan bandit, murderer and rapist into a man of faith. Viewed through the filter of Islamic triumphalism and eternal victimization Al Queda's Osama Bin Laden too becomes a man of faith. The mask of the man conceals the beast within them both.
Liberals who accept Mohammed as a great spiritual figure cannot deny Osama Bin Laden's entitlement to the same role. There is nothing that Bin Laden did which Mohammed did not do. There is no crime that Al Queda has committed which the founders of Islam have not. Indeed Mohammed committed far more crimes than Al Queda has yet to manage. There is nothing at Al Hamari that would have shocked Mohammed and when Mohammed is accepted as a valid teacher and prophet, than the crimes of Al Queda are legitimized tenfold. Subconsciously aware of this, the liberal media insists therefore on ignoring it by ignoring the terrorism and focusing only on an orgy of national self-criticism.
The media which cannot gaze at the corpses of Al Hamari drying in the sun instead turn to berating Americans once again for being fat, ignorant and warmongering patriots. Unable to face the Islamic beast which they have nurtured, they instead berate the men confronted by it. And in the face of Hamas, Fatah and Al Queda, the beast looks back at the media from behind its human mask and growls.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai has proposed allowing Nayef Hawatmeh to enter Israel from Syria.
Nayef Hawatmeh is the head of the DFLP, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The DFLP was responsible for numerous terrorist atrocities including the Maalot Massacre in 1974 in which DFLP took an Israeli elementary school hostage and murdered over two dozen children. Nayef Hawatmeh claimed credit for the attack on behalf of the DFLP and announced that the purpose of the attack had been to sabotage a peace mission.
The DFLP was also responsible for the Avivim School Bus Massacre in which DFLP terrorists ambushed a school bus full of children, opening fire on it and continuing to fire into the bus even after it had crashed and was down.
In recent years backed by Syrian aid and operating from Damascus, the DFLP has continued carrying out shooting and bombing attacks against Israelis, though the US government refuses to recognize the DFLP as a terrorist organization.
Abbas has asked to bring in Nayef Hawatmeh into the West Bank and pressure is coming to bear on the government to do it. The trip is being described as a visit, even though once Nayef Hawatmeh is inside Israeli borders there will be no way to make him leave short of a military assault.
Matan Vilnai is meanwhile delivering sickening statements like the following in defense of allowing Hawatmeh in. "Even though he was a man who dealt in terror, under the current circumstances he appears to be someone who can assist in shifting the balance in favor of the moderate Palestinian front."
Moderation? The man whose terrorists massacred schoolchildren and schoolbuses is a force for moderation? The man responsible for some of the worst terrorist atrocities in Israeli history merely "dealt in terror."
In negotiations to secure the release of the captured IDF soldiers we must remember that there will always be an emergence of new murderers among our enemies, Vilnai said.
Yes that was the line Rabin and Peres sold us and look where it's gotten us. What's the difference between Hawatmeh and Hamas? That one is Marxist and the other Islamist? That one favors immediate war and the other favors a longer term war?
Hawatmeh is Syrian based. On the eve of a war the military is claiming we're about to face with Syria, the Deputy Defense Minster is talking about allowing in a top Syrian based terrorist into Israel?
This is not even madness anymore. This is just evil and this government and its rotten collection of thieves, liars, criminals and appeasers needs to go by any means necessary. At this point either this government will go or Israel will.
Friday, July 13, 2007
From releasing terrorists who had not yet successfully murdered Israelis, the abomination that is the Olmert government is now proposing releasing terrorists who murdered Israelis-- so long as those murders occurred Pre-Oslo.
At the same time this government is also proposing allowing in the mastermind of the Maalot School Massacre and the Avivim School Bus Massacre into the West Bank. There are no words left to describe this horror of a government anymore, except, "They Must Go."
Meanwhile over a year after Israel was torn apart and the Israeli residents of Gaza expelled from their homes, Israeli soldiers continue to die in Gaza. The liars who promised the nation that there would be peace and no more soldiers would die in Gaza if only the nation brought the thousands of residents of Gaza as a human sacrifice unashamedly continue to sit in the government and the military and write their editorials smugly pushing the next wave of appeasement, devoid of all honor, decency and humanity, they perpetuate the corruption of the nation and their state with their very presence.
In the Friday Afternoon Roundup, over on Lemon Lime Moon is a nice piece titled, Protesting the Dead.
Jewish graves have been discovered near Barcelona. Spanish shovels have stirred the earth and turned up bodies at an archaeological dig there. Arutz Sheva reports that Rabbis in Israel and Europe are calling for Spain to respect the sanctity of the dead. Yet who will respect the sanctity of the living?
Every day Jewish bodies are being lowered into the earth. Some because of natural causes but all too many that could be prevented. We spend a lot of time on preserving the dead but too little time learning the lessons of how they died.
Meanwhile at IsraPundit, which always has a lot of posts worth reading, but this is an important post on The nationalist camp vs the disengagement camp
In this seminal article he stresses that the contest shouldn’t be between the religious right and the secular left but between the nationalist right and the anti-occupation, pro-Oslo left. Hatikvah will thus target this nationalist community which includes secular and religious Jews.
I fully agree that this is the case. Withdrawing behind a limited right wing presence within the nationalist religious camp means being isolated and eventually destroyed. Disengagement demonstrated quite well how easy it was to demonize and break a large portion of the population.
Hockey Hound has a good post, Islam in Profile
"I’ve never understood the meaning of the term ‘profiling’ in the negative context as bandied about by the politically correct, especially when this same politically correct crowd is defending the millions upon millions of supersensitive Muslims of this world from those of us who, driven by conscience, voice publicly our concerns about the self-evident patterns of violence constantly associated with the religion of Islam."
Shabbat Shalom to all
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Over at jspot, (the folks who pioneered the "Let's Stop Talking About Dead Jews in Israel and Talk More About Global Warming" liberal Jewish campaign) there's a post titled "Tribe or Faith".
The premise of the post is that there's such a thing as Tribal Jews, which are the bad kind of Jews who care about other Jews and the good kind of Jews who are very spiritual and care about all of mankind equally as only good liberals can.
In the progressive lexicon, tribalism is the worst accusation that can be leveled at Liberal Jews. Back during the French Revolution, the new progressive French government determined that Jews were to be given rights but only at the cost of eliminating their individual communities and Jewish communal identity.
Ever since then it became the favorite invective hurled at liberal Jews by liberal anti-semites and by those same liberal Jews who had learned to be good Uncle Toms at the "wrong kinds of Jews". In the Soviet Union, accusations of tribalism were commonplace and was the initial means used to crush the Jewish communities and parties by the Bolsheviks.
The Soviet Union organized the Jewish section of the Communist party, the Yevsktsia to take over synagogues, destroy Jewish communal institutions and stamp out all Jewish life. And then in turn were stamped out, because the paradox was that even the Yevsektsia, the Jewish collaborators dedicated to destroying Jewish identity, represented a form of Jewish identity.
Liberal Jews are coming to meet the same fate in Europe as the European left swoops deeper into anti-semitism, and European Jewish liberals are given the choice of backing anti-Jewish measures such as boycotts of Israel or being shoved out of the progressive camp. It happened in America when even the hyper-liberal "Rabbi" Michael Lerner was considered too Jewish to be allowed to speak at an anti-war event.
Why is tribalism so hateful to the left? Because the left values collectivization above all else. Collectivization destroys the identity of the individual communities to create a greater whole. While modern day liberals tolerate and even encourage ghettoization among the minorities on their voting booth plantations, in order to isolate and control them, tribalism is the accusation that continues to haunt the liberal Jew. The accusation that he is working to help other Jews rather than "all of mankind".
So at jspot, the foolish dichotomy is presented between Tribal Jews, who are stuck in the mud of identity and community and those progressive Jews who operate on "prophetic vision" (translated the liberal agenda via the prophets Jesse Jackson and Howard Dean) and for whom being Jewish is just "one of many identities we carry, all of which demand some loyalty, on any given day in varying mixes". And after all when you've got so many identities, it's hard to keep track of all of them and who can possibly expect you to stand up for other Jews?
But then of course why call yourselves Jewish? Why claim that your agenda drawn from 50 different identities (iPod wearer, Linux user, Phish fan, Liberal, MoveOn.org forum member, Jew, Blue Stater, skateboarder, transsexual, Scooby Doo fan club) is Jewish? Instead what they do is claim they're Jewish "spiritually" but when it comes to other Jews, it's just one of the identities they carry around in their identity playlist. Instead they've invented a new way of being Jewish that transcends the "tribe" in favor of one that is inspired by what exactly?
"The Faith begin with the question, what does God tell us to do, and root their activism in an interpretation of Jewish values." Listening to G-d certainly sounds good. So we can assume that these Jews of Faith are fighting against idol worship, homosexuality and eating non-Kosher food? Don't be silly. They're far too enlightened to do that.
"what Judaism has to say about gay rights and abortion is not cut and dry." Funny, I'd say calling it an abomination seems pretty cut and dried to me. But Notice the shift from what G-d tells us to do, to what Judaism tells us to do. And who defines what Judaism says? Once they create their own flavor of Judaism utterly divorced from what G-d said, they do of course.
"more liberal faith-minded folks have a faith that reaches beyond talmudics dictates and narrow halachic readings and into the evolving halachic and prophetic tradition". They're following a prophetic tradition. In other words they get to cherry pick whatever they believe and call it evolution. They get to cherry pick some quotes about justice from the Prophets, discard 99 percent of the rest replacing it with the platforms of Amnesty International, the ACLU and the Democratic Party and call that abomination Prophetic Tradition. But that is the inevitable result of defining faith separately from tribe. The Christians did it first and liberal Jews like these have just created their own post-Jewish religion.
What they fail to understand is that it is not tribe or faith. It is Tribe of Faith. Secular liberal Jews who raid the prophets for a few quotes about justice and then posture about a prophetic vision are behaving no differently than the New Testament Christians who lifted some bits of the Torah and proclaimed that they were now the true Jews while discarding everything else they didn’t like. This attempt to reinvent Judaism is nothing more than warmed over liberal Christian universalism and it’s just as bankrupt and empty.Once religion becomes centered around the individual rather than the community, it ceases to be anything but a projection of individual whims, wishes and beliefs.
Faith not grounded in the Tribe becomes nothing more an exercise in egotistical spirituality, devoid of meaning in which everyone gets to call whatever they want to do, spiritual. It isn’t faith. It’s faithlessness.
If you can’t even stand up for your own brother, then what is your spirituality even worth?
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
England's new Prime Minister Gordon Brown has placed Muslim and Islam off limits when talking about terrorism. Much as in George Orwell's Newspeak, Muslim Terrorism has become the confluence of words that cannot be spoken.
But Muslim Terrorism is only one of a constellation of related words about Muslims that cannot be spoken. Because Muslim Terrorism describes only one of the more obvious effects of Muslims on the Western towns and cities and nations which they reside in.
Muslim Rape is another one of the words that cannot be spoken. In Sweden and Norway where Muslim rapes account for the majority of sexual assaults, no paper can describe the phenomenon. Instead one recent paper described the spike in sexual assaults as emerging from the hot weather.
But this is not purely a European phenomenon. In Nebraska a judge has barred a woman from describing her rape by Pamir Safi, of Muslim origin, as rape. Pamir Safi had been involved in at least three known sexual assaults and had gotten away with all of them. In the Nebraska case, Pamir Safi had managed to get through his first trial with a hung jury and now his lawyer, Clarence Mock, rape and sexual assault are not words that the victim is permitted to use at the trial. Muslim rape has become yet another word that may not be spoken under the force of law.
With Muslim Rape and Muslim Terrorism barred, Muslim Gangs will no doubt be next. Muslim Gangs are on the rise in the UK and were behind much of the rioting and destruction in France and assaults in Australia. But one cannot speak about them. And then Muslim Drug Dealing which is used by Muslim Gangs on the low level while Muslim Organized Crime often tied to Hizbullah in the form of smuggling, various coupon scams and cigarette smuggling on the low end in the United States are also under the media curtain of silence.
While the West furiously insists on believing that the devil does not exist, the many devils scattered across the West do their work. The worse Muslim crime and terrorism grows, the harder the government and our institutions attempt to keep the lid on by alternately ignoring the problem and working to "strengthen the moderates", a destructive policy that winds up promoting the more attractively packaged brand of extremists and terrorists, much as Israel and America now arm and aid Fatah.
When you can't speak the truth, people exist in blindness. Only speaking the truth can show people the real problems on the table and the real threat at the door.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
When Peretz appointed Labor MK Raleb Majadele as Israel's first Arab Minister or when JNF recently got its first Arab director or Adib Hassan Yihye became Israel's first ambassador to Finland; the press promptly treated it as a major achievement. Those who felt that Israel's nature was being further diluted and its security endangered were shouted down as racists. The ideology of tolerance demanded that it be treated as a celebration.
But what happens when the reverse occurs? After Taibeh, an Arab town in Israel began running a 45 million dollar deficit and experienced gross financial abuses, the government replaced the mayor and council and appointed a temporary mayor to get its affairs in order. The mayor was Jewish.
Unsurprisingly the Arabs did not welcome Taibeh's first Jewish mayor with the ardor that Israel media outlets running the gamut from the left to the moderate right have welcomed Arab ambassadors and ministers. Instead they reacted with rage and protests. Predictably Arabs feel entitled to political positions in the Israeli government but feel no obligation to reciprocate.
The ideology of tolerance always runs one way. Jews are expected to celebrate Arab political appointments but Jews are not welcome to take Arab posts, no more in Israel than anywhere in the Arab world. The ideology of tolerance after all is not universal. It is a one way formula that labels some oppressors and others victims and disadvantages one at the cost of the other, whether in Israel, America, Europe or anywhere the poison of political correctness has penetrated.
Jews who foolishly promote and celebrate the success of Arab officials are helping to dig the graveyards of their own state by promoting the enemy and in turn excluding their own. Israel cannot survive as a mixed state, in no small part because its Arab population is openly and outrightly hostile and disloyal. It can only survive when brother stands by brother.
Monday, July 09, 2007
He was a heavyset middle aged man with a small knitted kippah on his head and like most of the people in the shuls I pass through daily, sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes on business, I never learned his name. But I had nevertheless walked into an argument with him. And in a typically Israeli way, he liked arguments.
There is a certain Israeli assertiveness that to many comes off as belligerence. It's that same spirit New Yorkers display when they jaywalk, crowd lines and bang their fists on the counter demanding service. The Israeli would often do such things. He would stand and call for davening to begin, berate latecomers and grumble over the Minyan as if it was poor service that he was getting a hotel.
"Barak is the whole reason this problem began in the first place," I replied. "He withdrew from Lebanon leaving the border open and available to Hizbullah to operate freely in. Not even Peres did that. He fled so badly that equipment and bases were left behind. Even a million dollars in a safe had to be burned before it fell into Hizbullah hands."
"Look you don't understand," the Israeli told me, gesticulating with thick hands that had seen a good deal of labor in their time, "he learned from his past mistakes. He learned from history. Now he won't make the same mistakes again."
"If you hired someone to work in your store and he made a mess, wrecked the store and broke everything--"
"I would fire him," he interrupted.
"And then he comes back a few years later and says he's learned his lesson. Would you turn over the store to him now?"
He grows uncomfortable. "Maybe. Who knows. Everyone can learn."
"What if it was life and death?"
"I'm telling you, you don't know Barak," he insisted, "he is a great soldier."
"Maybe but a terrible Prime Minister. He was going to divide half of Jerusalem."
"No, no," he said, "that was only to show that Arafat wasn't sincere and he proved it. From now on there will be no more negotiations."
"And every time this was said in the past," I argued, "every time that line had supposedly been crossed, we still kept negotiating."
"This is different. I'm telling you. Now everyone knows there is no one to negotiate with," he said.
"And there was before?" I demanded.
"We gave it a chance," he said, shrugging.
"And now you'll give Barak a chance and Peres and then maybe Olmert again?"
"It will be what will be and we can agree to disagree," he said and for him that was a great concession. For he had never agreed to disagree about anything before.
A month passed and there I was again. The Israeli sat on the bench ahead of me and to left stood a Chassid by his shtender with an open gemara and a bottle of orange soda. The two were talking in the casual way that strangers with little in common and little of importance to say do.
"In Israel we have to earn a parnassah," the Israeli was saying with his habitual belligerence. "We have no time to learn. My father came here and he had to work right away."
"Did you serve in Tzahal?" the Chassid asked innocently.
The Israeli grew uncomfortable and brusquely answered that he had not. In the Israeli's generation and in his class, service in the IDF was a requirement of citizenship and manhood. Those who had not might as well dress up as Dana International.
"Did your father?" the Chassid asked.
Again the answer was in the negative.
"Great," said the Chassid relieved, "because it's a big sin. Kochi Ve'etzem Yadi."
The Israeli was flabbergasted. They were both sitting together in the same shul, yet their conversation had revealed how radically different their worldviews were. The Chassid's Kollel was the IDF of the Israeli and vice versa. Before the Israeli could reply though, some strange politobiological instinct impelled me to break in.
"National defense is a practical matter. Kochi ve'etzem yadi is the attitude you approach it with. You can approach it with a good attitude or a bad attitude."
"But it's in doing it and doing that leads to thinking that way," the Chassid replied. "The Gemara says it's like when you have two ways to walk and one way is by where a woman is washing her clothes, so you go the other way."
"Tell me this, Habo LeHarog Etcha," the Israeli crowed triumphantly, "explain that to me."
"I have to learn now," the Chassid said.
"So learn, teach me," the Israeli insisted.
"He already asked me basically the same thing," the Chassid said, pointing to me.
"No I did not," I replied, shaking my head. "Look, you can go in with a wrong attitude into any field. You can go into business with Kochi Ve'Etzem Yadi or into medicine with the attitude that it's all my accomplishment and not Hashem or you can drive a car with that attitude too. You can go into things the right way or the wrong way."
The Chassid began to learn ostentatiously. The Israeli continued insisting on a pshat for "Habo Leharog Otcha". The Chassid's fellow Chassid condescendingly informed the Israeli that he had won. The discussion came to a halt and soon it was time for Maariv.
Under the muted hum of the learning, I studied the Chassid's hat and thought of the Yemeni Jews who had begun cooking fires on the planes transporting them to Israel. They had simply not known any better and they had carried the world with them but they had learned. The Chassid, those like him, had carried the 19th century in a bubble into the 21st century by sheer determination.
Both the Chassid and the Israeli had been communicating the attitudes built into them. As far as the Chassid was concerned, serving in the military was wrong. Had the debate gone on, I might have challenged him with the soldiers of David and Ahav, with the halachot of milchemet Mitzvah and all of that would have run up against a sheer wall. There is a vast difference between convincing someone and silencing someone and that is why I rarely engage in debates. I had helped silence him but I could never convince him, any more than I could convince him to eat pork.
My mind went back to 1938 or even 1939 and I realized that conversations too much like this for my comfort had happened then along tables and in buildings not too dissimilar from ours. And men like him had steadfastly refused to consider leaving. Similar analogies had no doubt been raised with all the women washing clothes in Israel and America. As far as the Chassid was concerned, holiness was rooted in community and the community was one that rejected the nation. I could have asked him what would happen without an Israeli Army and whatever answer he gave it would not have mattered because what did matter is that an Israeli Army is incompatible with the idealized shtetl and yeshiva life that too much of the Haredi and Chassidish world have turned into goals. And if the army is incompatible than it is by definition not needed. And the destruction that comes afterward would never and will never be accepted as a consequence of exactly that kind of thinking.
And more tragic than this was the realization that the Israeli and the Chassid were microcosms of far too much of the Israeli population. The apathetic secular voters always willing to give a failed politician and a failed policy a second chance, certain that this time we're done with negotiating and we'll actually fight the terrorists. And those in the Chassidish and Haredi camp who treat Israel like any other country they happen to be living in with no understanding that they are allowing something unimaginably precious to slip through their fingers because they refuse to change an iota of their thinking-- only growing more determinedly conservative and petty, the more the real world challenges them.
Israeli born and religious, I am a child of both worlds and a man of neither. I understand the mindsets of both communities and the many subsets and the exceptions. I know secular Israelis who are more religious than Chassidim and Chassidim who are more Zionist than any Israeli. I can recite the histories of Rabbonim who served bravely in the IDF and IDF generals who went on to become Rabbis. Yet it is all not enough.
When I studied the hat and the knitted Yarmulke I saw division. Not merely divisions of clothing but divisions of mind, each one trapped in its own narrow room with assumptions that turn in small circles and retreat when confronted with the reality of their own repetitiveness.
For too long the same arguments have been going in circles in the same narrow rooms of our minds. We all know the arguments by heart know. We know them all too well. We blog to repeat them to anyone who will listen. Yet the argument is only a tool for challenging and reshaping the boundaries of the mind.
The Israeli and the Chassid were repeating the arguments and the messages they had received from their own leaders. The leaders themselves had failed. The Israeli could halfway acknowledge this but not break his dependence on them. The Chassid could not even contemplate it.
Systems, any system, insist on recreating the mind bounded by the narrow pathways of the system itself. As embodied in Newspeak, the goal of a system is to insure that its populace cannot physically think in proscribed ways. As self-protection, when the cliches in which people think are challenged, they take a step back and abort the argument. And still they walk on in circles in that same narrow room.
Liberation comes defining what it is we truly care about, G-d, Torah, State or anything else and then discarding the pathways and the cliches and determining the best way to defend and stand by what we care about. All else is futility.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Firstly, the government should not be using the military to deal with civilian protesters in the first place. Military personnel generally lack the training necessary and should not be diverted in this manner. Dangerous incidents can easily come about when armed military personnel who are used to life and death responses when their orders are not obeyed confront unarmed civilian protesters.
Secondly, the government's behavior is increasingly bringing close a genuinely violent confrontation. The numerous assaults, abuses, cripplings and severe traumas inflicted by the Kadima regime on protesters will in the end take their toll and break down the reluctance by Jewish activists against genuinely fighting back. And that in the end is what the government wants, to escalate things to the point where they no longer have to manufacture a Jewish terrorist organization but actually confront one, thus allowing them carte blanche in making concessions to Arab terrorists while fighting their newly created Jewish enemies.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Friday Afternoon Roundup -The Unspeakable Crime, Bloody Kayin, Blogger Backup, Arab Refugees and Barak Senility
It's been another week and the news isn't looking particularly good. In England, Prime Minister Gordon Brown seems set to take dhimming to a whole new level even as England narrowly avoided two terrorist attacks. We are not now permitted to state what the terrorists themselves openly state, that their killings sprees are because of and in the name of Islam. In England Islamic terrorism is speedily becoming the crime whose motive none dare speak of, making it England's first truly unspeakable crime.
The general attitude in the West and Israel of going on with our lives easily becomes apathy mislabeled as courage that ultimately leads to concessions and finally surrender. The only way to fight terrorism is to uproot it from your own country. Co-existing with it and pretending that is courage is only masochism, a bloody hairshirt of cowardly weak-willed martyrdom.
In Israel, the assailant of Colonel Moti Yogev's assailant at Amona, an Arab Border Police Officer, whom I wrote about in The Arab Who Beat an IDF Colonel in Olmert's Name
has been freed and found not guilty. The judge displayed his bias throughout the trial and the outcome is no surprise.
Meanwhile the corrupt and disastrous Olmert government is preparing to free 250 Fatah prisoners and even if they don't have blood on their hands yet, they will soon enough. Shas, which is responsible for Olmert still being in power, continues its charade of also appealing for the release of Jewish prisoners. Just as Shas bears the blood of every Jew murdered by terrorists on their hands, so will it bear the blood of those murdered by the Fatah terrorists to be released by this government they have kept in power. So will they bear the blood for every murder by a terrorist whom Peres will pardon. Kayin, who bore the blood of only one brother, became an outcast in the land. How much blood must cry out from the earth before Shas puts a stop to its crimes?
Over at Lemon Lime Moon is a post on Bullies, Politics and the Crippling of America
Did you ever walk to school with a couple of friends only to be accosted by the school bully? Now, there are three of you against one nasty bully. Great odds!! You three can take him.
Alas, it does not work that way. One will stand up and say," if we get together we can beat this bully". The other two will whimper and say, "shhh, don't. You will make him madder" Now, if kid number one, the innovator, insists on taking action, the other two will turn on him and make him the enemy. As a matter of fact , he will become to them more of an enemy than the bully ever was. So the bully continues and excuses are made for him so as not to "rile him up".
Over at IsraPundit, Tel Belman has a piece titled, "Its Islam, stupid."
"The methods of attack are becoming more brazen, amateurish and desperate, illustrated most profoundly by the burning terrorist at Glasgow airport shouting “Allah” while struggling with a policeman, but the ideological roots are unchanged.
But the question is impossible to avoid and I believe that theology is central and not peripheral to the problem. It is grounded in history, but the sparks have been generated by the information age."
Over at Daled Amos is a post on What Really Drives Terrorism
Terrorism doesn't increase in the Middle East when economic conditions worsen; indeed, there seems no link. One study finds the number of terrorist incidents is actually higher in countries that spend more on social-welfare programs. Slicing and dicing data finds no discernible pattern that countries that are poorer or more illiterate produce more terrorists. Examining 781 terrorist events classified by the U.S. State Department as "significant" reveals terrorists tend to come from countries distinguished by political oppression, not poverty or inequality.
Shiloh Musings has a post on the stupidity of those willing to accept the idea of Barak in power again. I have another post on that coming up next week myself.
Terror attacks became so common place when Barak was Prime Minister that it was more a feeling of "where," not "if." So many innocent Israelis were murdered by Arab terrorists...
Bullet-proof vests became the required uniform for the unlucky ones in "regular" vehicles in our neck of the woods.
Barak made a campaign promise to "get the boys out of Lebanon," which he did. Unfortunately it was done so badly that they ended up leaving a fortune worth of valuable military hardware. Things were hushed up, but it was hard to keep the secret when our soldiers had to return last summer and discovered the enemy using Israeli equipment against us!
Finally Elder of Ziyon has a valuable flashback on Palestinian Arabs being told to leave their homes in 1948.
This is one of the earlier sources that the Arab League encouraged the refugee problem in order to gain propaganda points. He is explicit that Abu Gosh residents were told to leave their homes by the Arab leaders.
Note also that Courtney believes that most Palestinian Arabs had no desire for this war, "except for a few hotheads." I think it was more than a few but to an large extent he is right. But they didn't fight very hard to keep their land either; they just wanted to move their families elsewhere so they could start again - and the Arab countries forced them to return to fight the Jews, because they didn't want to use their own people!
One last absolutely final note, to anyone using the Blogger Blogspot system, there is a program out now that is absolutely free and will allow you to back up all the posts on your blog in case something were to happen. The program itself is simply enough to install and use, however many will find it also requires the .Net framework from Microsoft which is a secondary program that has to be installed (you will most likely need the x86 version). Here's the address.
Shabbat Shalom and may we all be blessed with hearing better news than we hear now