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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Confronting the New Islamic Imperialism

By On June 30, 2009
Talk of colonialism and imperialism is all the rage when academic leftists sit down to critique the problems of terrorism and the clash of civilizations. But where a century ago terms such as colonialism and imperialism were easy enough to define, back when European governments held actual colonies and protectorates in Africa, Asia and the Middle East-- what do the terms actually mean today?

There are no European colonies today. And the lands that are at the center of the controversy are themselves non-Muslim. When Muslims attack Europe, America or Israel... it may very well be imperialism and colonialism, but it is no longer European imperialism and colonialism, but Islamic imperialism and colonialism.

It is Islamic ideologies and nations that seek Lebensraum, that work to expand their way across borders and even oceans, to create colonies on foreign soil, spread their religion at the expense of native beliefs and hold governing power abroad.

Today it is no longer the European who sails to foreign countries to spread the faith and "civilize the savages", it is the Muslim. The new Cecil Rhodes' and William Walker's are a lot more likely to be based out of Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. Their oppression and ruthless is equally directed at Europeans, as at Africans, Jews, Filipinos and any number of native peoples who stand in their way.

Long before the sun stared without setting down on the British Empire, Islamic Empires had been carved with brutal unyielding force across the face of the globe. Long before the American South saw a single slave, Muslim slave traders were moving human cargo back and forth, kidnapping and seizing slaves from Africa to the English coastline.

Islamic imperialism and colonialism was there long ago until recent times. The current clash of civilizations is the product of the Islamic attempt to revive those ancient empires they consider to have been wrongly taken from them.

To argue as the left does, that Islamic terrorism is the product of oppression, is as absurd and false as describing Nazi violence as the product of oppression. Any honest academic should have as much sympathy for Bedouin Muslim territorial claims to Israel or Spain, as he would for French claims to Algeria. Yet the academic double standard treats European colonialism as illegitimate, and Islamic colonialism as legitimate.

This brings us to the obscene charade in which the world denounces one of the Middle East's native peoples for managing to form their own country and defend its narrow borders against its former Bedouin Muslim conquerors. Only the ugliest forms of historical revisionism could paint the Jews as foreign interlopers with no rights to a piece of land that is recognized as theirs by three of the world's major religions... and the Muslim Bedouin hordes who overran the land, wiping out native religions and cultures as the "oppressed peoples".

This sort of obscene political farce goes on all over the world. Muslims today hold equal rights in Europe, America, Israel and Australia. By contrast Europeans, Americans and Jews are inferior under the law throughout the Muslim world. Muslims have free access to Jerusalem and Rome. Jews and Europeans have no access to Mecca, despite the fact that it had a substantial Jewish presence, before being massacred and enslaved by the murderous warlord, Mohammed, who is also considered by Muslims to be their ultimate prophet.

When the likes of Jimmy Carter bellow that Israel is guilty of Apartheid, while ignoring that his Saudi sponsors have actual Apartheid, not simply for non-Muslims, but even for Muslim women-- they perpetuate the agenda of Islamic Imperialism.

When American or European civil rights groups raise a storm over some remark made to a Muslim-- while turning a blind eye to the fact that these very same Muslims are importing the vilest bigotry, misogyny, anti-semitism, homophobia-- the teachings of Islamic Imperialism inherent in the Koran, the resulting rapes, murders, hate crimes and bombings become the fruits of Islamic Colonialism.

What is the awful and terrible crime being committed by Western nations, the acts of colonialism and imperialism against the Muslim world. It is nothing more than the desire to survive. To not be murdered by bigoted savages in bomb vests determined to resurrect their lost slave empires at any cost. The desire to be free in one's own country from bombings, robberies and gang rapes by Muslim youths who have been told by their Imams that under Koranic law they have a right and a duty to fight the infidel and seize what belongs to him.

Checkpoints, walls of separation, immigration restriction; these are what academics use to charge the West with imperialism and colonialism, while turning a blind eye to the fact that these measures are only defenses on home soil against Islamic imperialism.

Survival has become the new colonialism and imperialism in the West. We have come to that out of a failure to confront the new wave of Islamic imperialism. Just as Nazi Germany's reign of terror was born out of the guilt of the Allies and their failure to hold Nazism to account-- Islamic imperialism is the product of guilt and cowardice. It will take courage and moral certainty to confront Islamic Imperialism, to fight back and hold it to account.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Obama: A Profile in Cowardice

By On June 29, 2009
Meet Barack Hussein Obama. The man who turned his own middle name into a no-go zone during the election, only to bring it out of the closet when he trotted down to a Muslim country. The man whose associates labeled talk about his Muslim background as racist, only to proclaim his Muslim background loudly and proudly from the podium of a Muslim country.

There's a word for a man like that. Coward.

Meet Obama, the bright young Senator with a phony biography geared to playing up his biracial angst for the college campuses. Who promised his leftist volunteers an end to rendition, detentions, eavesdropping and a whole bundle of other things, only to pull a bait and switch on them.

After all tools like that come in handy, even if they're less likely to be used against Muslim terrorists, than they are against Tea Party protesters.

Meet Barack Obama, the man who was going to bring an end to the American coercion of other countries. No more would the White House tell the rest of the world what to do. Except of course to dictate where Jews can live in Israel, how the Honduran judiciary can operate and who can head the Muslim community in Greece.

Of course Obama has drawn the line somewhere. He has drawn the line against standing up to Ahmadinejad, Chavez or any Socialist or Muslim tyrant. Instead Obama has browbeaten America's democratic allies, in support of Muslim and Socialist tyrannies. You can read that as Obama putting his own political and religious loyalties ahead of America's interests. Or you can read it as the act of a craven coward who hopes to sacrifice America's remaining allies in order to win over America's enemies.

When the Iranian youth came out to protest against Ahmadinejad, Obama mumbled and fumbled for something to say. He dragged it out long enough to send a loud and clear message to the Iranian regime, that America would not interfere no matter what they did. And the regime got the message. Obama cannot be held completely responsible for the ruthless crackdown that has followed, but some of the blood is certainly on his well manicured hands and sleeves.

As the supposedly most cyber-aware fellow in the White House, Obama could have followed up on the British effort to provide social networking access to Iranian protesters, or on the one proposed by Senator John McCain, the man the media lambasted as tech-illiterate and out of touch. He could have imposed sanctions on Nokia for aiding in the repression of political dissidents and compelled them to make the plans for the technology they sold to Iran, public.

Harnessing America's status as a world power and his own supposed global goodwill, Obama could have organized an international diplomatic response to the crackdown. He could have made any nuclear negotiations contingent on the treatment of the protesters. He could have done a dozen things, but aside from making a series of fumbling statements when his inaction became humiliating even for his own party, Barack Hussein Obama did nothing.

Behold the man. Behold the coward.

By contrast when Honduras' legislature and supreme court acted to remove President Manuel Zelaya, a close ally of Chavez, who had fired the head of the army and attempted to stage a coup by violating the Constitution, Obama and his people have been working around the clock to restore Zelaya to power, even while stating that they want the whole thing to be "free from external influence and interference" (the hypocrisy on that line alone is almost enough to choke even Chavez himself). The question is why?

But of course it's not that difficult of a question. Not when you think like a coward. Not when you think like Obama.

Why wouldn't Obama panic at the sight of a Congress and Supreme Court removing a left wing Socialist President who violated the Constitution in pushing to make himself el-presidente for life, by violating term limits. Let alone the military dumping said President across border.

Obama no doubt has nightmares of waking up on a C-31 transport to Kenya, after enough of his wrongdoing leads him to being booted out of the White House by what remains of the American legislative and judicial infrastructure.

Today Manuel "ALBA" Zelaya. Tomorrow it could be Barry "Hussein" Obama. And Barry knows better than anyone else the full catalog of lies, crimes and scandals brewing beneath his regime. Obama's rise to power has been part of an American hemisphere trend that covers the likes of Chavez, Zelaya, Correa, Silva and even the return of Kerry's old buddy, Ortega, to power in Nicaragua. What all of them have in common with Obama is a left wing socialist agenda that ignores the rule of law. An attack against Zelaya, could in Obama's mind be seen an attack against him equally.

If the rollback of socialist tyranny begins in Honduras, it might spread. If Brazil, Venezeula and Ecuador follow-- might not the democractic revolution spread to America as well, and make the Prince of Chicago's throne shakier than ever?

That is how a coward thinks, and Obama is nothing if not a coward. And like all cowards, he knows how little he deserves what he has, and how easy it would be for him to lose it all. A gang of greedy and deluded followers, and a nationwide 24/7 propaganda blitz can only do so much. After all there isn't a socialist tyrant in the hemisphere who hasn't had the same thing. And yet the latest of them is enjoying a well deserved vacation in Venezuela.

Heavy hangs the head that wears the ill-gotten crown. From one corner of the globe to another, Obama flits back and forth, delivering speeches and posing for photos. Like a rat rubbing against a rosebush, hoping some of the loose petals will attach themselves to him so that he can appear more like a rosebush and less like a rat, Obama hopes that going through the motions of being a world leader will actually get people to confuse him with a world leader.

Yet his mumbling silence on Iran speaks far more eloquently about the sort of man Obama is, than all his scripted speeches ever could. Obama has been compared to JFK, but what he represents is no profile in courage, but a profile in cowardice. A liar and a manipulator who serves his own ends first and his host country's, last. Who proclaims, Ask not what I can do for your country, Ask what your country can do for me. And above all else, a craven coward.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

WWJCD - What Would Jimmy Carter Do?

By On June 28, 2009
In Obama's fumbling response to the June Revolt in Iran, it was not hard to see that he was relying on the not particularly time-honored maxim of WWJCD, or What Would Jimmy Carter Do?

WWJCD is a handy tool for Democratic Presidents to make the worst possible foreign policy decisions at a critical time, with the worst possible consequences for the United States. Having picked up where Jimmy Carter left off by pandering to Islamic terrorists in general, and Iran in particular, it is little wonder that WWJCD is such a valuable guide for Barack Hussein Obama.

If your embassy is taken hostage by Islamic terrorists, WWJCD says that you should;

A. Kill the terrorists

B. Praise the terrorists

C. Apologize to the terrorists

D. Praise the terrorists, apologize to them and promise to never open an embassy without their approval again.

If you answered D. then you're really in tune with the spirit of Jimmy Carter and the ideals of WWJCD. If you answered C. you're only a Cindy Sheehan. If you answered B. you qualify for Patty Murray at most. And if you answered A. you haven't been eating your granola and arugula.

Now say that an Islamic terrorist group hijacks 4 planes, flies two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and tries to fly a fourth into the White House, killing over 3,000 Americans.

Do you;

A. Kill the terrorists

B. Explain that the terrorists were motivated by justified anger at the foreign policy decisions of the Port Authority police and Cantor Fitzgerald Securities

C. Apologize to the terrorists for putting up towers that are larger than any Mosque, which is something that Sharia law forbids infidels to do.

D. Free the captured terrorists and send them home to commit new acts of terrorism against you.

E. All of the above, except A.

If you answered E. then the spirit of Dhimmi Carter is truly with you.

Finally, if an American ally is threatened by one of America's enemies, do you;

A. Support your ally

B. Oppose your ally

C. Demand that your ally make extensive concessions to terrorists in order to appease your enemies.

D. Apologize for having allies. Apologize for having enemies and terrorists. Apologize for your country even existing in the first place.

That's right, it's another D for Dhimmi. But these days it could just as well be an O or a big fat zero. Not that it matters much. Both the D and the O are a border without nothing inside, which is a good summary for both administrations.

Had Jimmy Carter possessed a sense of style and an abjectly worshipful press, we would be calling him Barack Obama, no Hussein please. Deprive Obama of his teleprompter and fuse him together with Joe Biden, and you'd get Jimmy Carter. Somewhere after Carter, Mondale, Jerry Brown and Howard Dean; American's leftists realized that they would have to repackage their socialist candidates in a less flaky package. That's why Obama is on the ticket and Joe Biden, a worthy successor to the lunatic likes of Carter, Brown and Dean, is in the background telling knock knock jokes.

When is Jimmy Carter not a punchline? When you harness all the resources of Hollywood and the dying dinosaur media to make him look good. Keep him slim, African-American and tethered to a teleprompter. Cover him in more haloes than all the frescoes in the Vatican, photograph him next to Superman, tall buildings and with his head tilted back as if he's waiting for the dentist to finally drill that tooth. Give him his own model to lip sync his praises on YouTube and his own logo and slogan. And when you've done all that and six months in, he still has no idea what he's doing because he's following WWJCD, then you'd better hope all the photo ops at local eateries can somehow save the day.

Somehow the left and the Democratic party drew the wrong conclusion from the Carter Administration's "One Term One Hit Wonder" which is that it wasn't Carter's policies that failed, but his public image. That Reagan beat Carter on style not on substance. And so with Obama they spent their time tinkering in the lab, swapping in Carter's brain from a jar, until finally they threw the switch, saw the lightning bolt flash, heard the thunder, and cried, "It's alive. It's alive. The defeatist policies of left wing socialism are alive at last!"

But it wasn't just style that failed Carter. As terrible and embarrassing as his public presence was, it managed to get him elected once. Carter's policies failed on substance, just as Obama's policies are. Obama has invested so much energy into the style of his presentation, that like an executive who has worked for months on the perfect pie charts, he puts it up on the screen, only to realize that there's no money to pay for anything on the pie chart.

Perhaps the worst disaster of the last half century of American politics and business has been to confuse presentation with performance. Smiling CEO's who went to the trendy self-help guru have tanked major corporations and parachuted away trailing a golden canvas printed on million dollar bills. Politicians who looked the part and acted confident talked their way into office and away with the national debt and anything else lying around the premises.

Obama is the culmination of that error, his election is a political fall from grace for American democracy into the mire of the politics of the mob, as had always been darkly predicted for the American experiment. And there he sits now, carefully conscious of his artificial pose, his lighting and his diction-- even as his own clue for what to do comes from WWJCD.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Understated Stoning

By On June 27, 2009
The reviews of “The Stoning of Soraya M.", a movie that tells the true story of a woman being stoned to death in fundamentalist Iran, are in... and the critics seem to have a common complaint, that the movie is just too outraged by the whole stoning business.

At the Boston Globe, critic Wesley Morris complains that “The Stoning of Soraya M." is "less a movie than a blunt instrument, a bit of political parable, a bit more outrage, and nary a scrap of real drama or finesse."

In other words there just isn't enough finesse to the whole blunt stoning business. It lacks the kind of nuance that a John Kerry or Barack Obama could bring to the story of a woman being stoned to death.

At Slant Magazine, Nick Schager posits that the movie, "...requires a defter hand than that shown by Nowrasteh, who—aside from a nicely surrealistic aside involving a travelling carnival troupe—resorts to such overblown histrionics (wailing music, kneeling characters beseeching the heavens, Saturday Morning serial-evil villains, an embarrassing "triumphant" coda)"

Yes sadly there just aren't enough surrealistic asides, instead there are evil villains, regional music and kneeling characters praying. Which continues the theme of "there's just not enough nuance".

At the Village Voice, Vadim Rizov dismisses it as a movie for those people "ambivalent about whether stoning women to death is a cruel punishment or not... self-congratulatory fare for people who feel more 'politically conscious' when reminded that women in the Islamic world can have it rough". Because naturally the only justification for a movie dealing with the consequence of Islamic fundamentalism in Iran is for people who are "ambivalent" about it. Meanwhile good progressives who are already know about it and have dismissed the issue in favor of more vital stuff, like agitating for Leonard Peltier, can sneer at anyone who still cares about it for not being truly "politically conscious" like them.

Scott Tobias at the Onion A.V. Club however discards with all the ducking and weaving of the previous reviews to say what they really mean;

It takes zero political courage to speak out against the obvious barbarism of public stonings or the oppressive patriarchy of sharia law , but the film whips out the megaphone anyway, eager to extrapolate the martyrdom of an innocent woman into a broader condemnation of the Muslim world.

Get that? It takes zero political courage to speak out against Sharia law. Which the growing death toll in Tehran testifies to. Now though it takes zero political courage for Hollywood to attack the War on Terror, the Onion A.V. Club praised "In The Valley of Elah", Uncovered: The War on Iraq, War. Inc, Body of War, Stop Loss and just about any half-assed rant against the Bush Administration hammering the same message into the ground. By contrast with Phil Donahue's propaganda piece or an MTV movie against the war, “The Stoning of Soraya M." clearly lacks "political courage."

Except of course the slams from left wing movie critics demonstrate the exact opposite, that it takes far more political courage to create a movie condemning the murder of countless women in Iran... than it does to trot out another self-congratulatory Hollywood movie or documentary based on a mostly fictional article in a trendy magazine some producer read while waiting for his dentist's appointment.

The arrogance of a white liberal film critic condemning an Iranian-American filmmaker for lacking political courage by making a movie protesting against the abuse of women in Iran is truly stunning. So stunning that I suspect Tobias would never get it. In his narrow leftist little world the only Iranians who have political courage are those who denounce George W. Bush.

Tobias complains that the movie extrapolates this to the entire Muslim world, which of course naturally takes even less political courage, what with criticizing Islam being a criminal offense in much of the Muslim world. He follows this up with a series of by the book leftist smears that remind you that the progressive left so often trades in dogmatic ideological condemnations for actual original thought, that no content remains.

"The Stoning Of Soraya M. has a neocon’s sense of good and evil, which could politely be called “moral clarity,” but is more accurately described as narrow, tone-deaf, and thoroughly banal."

This is a variation on the complaint that "The Stoning of Soraya M." isn't nuanced or subtle enough, it has a sense of good and evil, rather than being broadminded and sophisticated enough about stoning women to death.

How would one go about making a broadminded and sophisticated take on stoning a woman to death. I suspect that it would involve her husband working for the CIA and the oil companies, and the entire movie turning on the revelation that it was American colonialist involvement in the region that was responsible for her suffering. Plug in a guest starring role for George Clooney as a slimy oil executive and CIA agent, it would be a lock for next year's Oscars.

Now that would be true "political courage".

With a more shrill outlet at his disposal, Tobias takes the offensive with a preemptive attack of "neo-con", which follows up his earlier claim that the movie is an attack on the entire Muslim world. Which of course means that supporting it makes you a genocidal warmonger just like George W. Bush.

Tobias finishes this off with, "There’s no denying the dramatic force of the killing—just as no right-thinking person would endorse the odious practice, or the outrageous miscarriage of justice that leads to it. But Nowrasteh constantly overplays his hand, not realizing that some horrors speak for themselves."

But of course how exactly do horrors speak for themselves anyway? And isn't "some horrors speak for themselves" really just a subtle way of saying, "shut the hell up about those horrors already, because these aren't the horrors we're interested in."

All this call for nuance, for an understated stoning, was absent when it came to the shrillest anti-war movies and documentaries. Which was par for the course when it came to lambasting the Bush Administration. But when it comes to “The Stoning of Soraya M.", it's suddenly a time for nuance, for subtlety, for being broadminded and sophisticated about it. It's not a time to be blunt about what happens to women like her under Islamic law.

Tobias claims that "no right-thinking person would endorse the practice" and yet by attacking a movie on the subject matter alone, as Tobias, Morris and Rizov do... that is exactly the message being sent. They may not endorse stoning a woman to death, but they endorse a politically enforced silence on the topic, a whitewashing by default.

It isn't murder, it isn't an outrage, it's "the practice." What better way to render a gruesome act into neutral colors than to describe it as "the practice."

And it is of course precisely reactions like this that justify The Stoning of Soraya M's so called heavy-handedness, and its forcible outrage. Because the truth of the matter is not nuanced or sophisticated or deft. It isn't sipped over cocktails or reduced to a neutral formula. It isn't "the practice", it's blood, bone and flesh being spilled, broken and torn.

It's a good rule of thumb that people want to see blunt depictions and and an uncompromising stand on the things that outrage them, and want to see finesse, nuance and deftness on the things whose blunt depiction make them too uncomfortable and conflict with their politics.

It's why progressives wallow in endless depictions of Bush's decision making and the hunt for WMD's, because it diverts them from having to deal with the reality of Saddam's brutality and the extent to which their anti-war activism was complicit in it. And remains complicit in dictatorships all over the world.

It's why the reality of Islamic law is such an uncomfortable subject that it has to be finessed by claiming that only the naive and the unsophisticated need to see a movie about it. The progressives have condemned it. Finished, now let's move on. But no, the killing continues and we can't move on.

So if “The Stoning of Soraya M." can remind morally deadened progressives of the blunt reality of the "practice" they would rather deftly finesse, so much the better.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Afternoon Roundup - World's Most Famous Pedophile Dies, World Mourns

By On June 26, 2009

With the week coming to a close, Iran's regime has somewhat predictably decided to escalate the crackdown, reversing their brief deescalation. That deescalation of course had given the Iranian opposition enough time to find its feet and gain some confidence, and refuse to give up. This has once again demonstrated that the Iranian Islamic Republic which overthrew the Shah, had learned very little from that overthrow, and are repeating many of the Shah's mistakes.

While Putin and Medevev, unlike Jimmy Carter, can be expected to back the Ayatollahs to the hilt, with Russian TV mimicking Iran's stream of anti-opposition propaganda (predictably picked up by politicians like Ron Paul, who also backed Putin on Georgia), the problem isn't simply limited to the supply of firearms. There are only so many protesters the authorities can massacre, particularly since their reliance on Basji militia and imported Iran backed Arab terrorist groups such as Hizbullah and Hamas, reveals a basic weakness.

But besides the support of the Supreme Council, Ahmadinejad has caught one more lucky break with the death of the World's Most Famous Pedophile.

If there was one thing sure to distract major portions of the free world, from someone else's struggle for freedom, it's the death of a major celebrity. Particularly a depraved one.

The House has already held a moment of silence for Michael Jackson, which is really nice of them to take a break from spending America deep into debt, in order to remember a man who had so much money he could molest as many kids as he wanted and pay off them by the millions. There's some sort of lesson to be learned from that, but it's probably not worth learning.

This pathetic national disgrace interrupted a debate on whomping Americans with the highest energy tax in history, so that Rep. Jesse Jackson jr, who was willing to pay out six figures to Governor Blagojevich for a Senate seat, could offer a tribute, from one unconvicted criminal to another.

Meanwhile Obama was desperate to get in on the pedophile action, but he had no problem. No reporter actually asked him anything about Michael Jackson. This made Obama really sad, since no celebrity story is complete without the Prince of Chicago being involved in it. Sadly this time the Obama Camp couldn't prep a Huffington Post reporter to ask the question...

So Robert Gibbs held another press conference and still no one asked him about Michael Jackson! This was shocking as the death of a celebrity is a common fodder at White House press conferneces. So Robert Gibbs tactfully suggested that reporters were too shy to ask the TOTUS about Michael Jackson, and delivered a statement from Obama on the death of Michael Jackson.

It's hard to even process the depth of this pathetic charade. Is it the inability of Obama to stay out of any story, or the desperate need to get out a statement on a subject that doesn't actually concern him in any way?

In America's present day celebrity oriented culture, we expect the media to behave like fools. We expect something better from our elected officials. Or at least we did before they turned into celebrities too.

While the Iranian government is hitting bottom, so are we. The same House of Representatives that did not hold a moment of silence for Neda or any of the victims of terrorism, held one for the world's most famous pedophile.

Is there really anything left to say after that?

American political culture is a consenquence of America popular culture. By corrupting the latter, the former has also been corrupted. It is why the unacceptables of 20 years ago become acceptable with each generational turn of the wheel.

If Michael Jackson has any political relevance, it is that he shares one thing with Obama, he was and is a symptom of cultural degeneration. Once upon a time Americans would not have elected an admitted cocaine user to the White House. But before that could change, drug abuse had to become legitimized through popular culture. And it did.

Once upon a time a pedophile would have been beyond the pale in popular culture. People like Michael Jackson, Roman Polansky and Woody Allen proved that didn't have to be the case. The only question remains, when will we elect our first pedophile to the White House?

Hey, as long as he's cool and the kids love him, right? That's how we got the guy we have now.

In the general roundup, the Scottish flag is now apparently racist, as Scotland gets to enjoy the same political correctness already enjoyed by millions of Americans.

The result was an e-mail to all staff warning that such nationalistic displays could "intimidate non-Scottish colleagues".

The e-mail, from Alexandra Miller, director of customer services, said: "I am very disappointed to see that (staff] continue to have inappropriate material bedecking their workstation. This includes several saltires and a lion rampant, and the personalisation of a chair with red tartan."

Ms Miller reminded employees of the policy of not having anything on desks which could be regarded as "sexist or racist".

Note that the left's association of anything nationalistic with racism continues, even if it is in a context that makes absolutely no sense. Is the Scottish flag sexist? Is it racist? If it's a national flag of a non-third world country, the message seems to be that it is.

Newt Gingrich's American Solutions site has a petition to stop the Energy Tax

Maggie's Notebook comments on the absurdity of Michael Jackson's death hijacking the nation's news coverage

Michael Jackson is dead. From Fox News to the BBC, it has already been decided, this is the major issue of the day. Forget about nuclear proliferation. Forget about escalating threats and impending confrontations. Forget about the Global War on Terror. The Western World has spoken, they have made their priorities known. The Western World has decided what is truly important today, and what is not. And you, Ahmadinejad, and you Kim Jong Ill, just don't have what it takes to compete with this current crisis.

I haven't actually watched any of the news coverage, and it's times like this that make me glad I no longer bother with television and get my news online. Watching even serious news programs, or supposedly serious news programs turn into cheap tabloids is a dispiriting and depressing sight for any citizen of a democratic country.

Meanwhile Israpundit has Elliot Abrams article disproving Hillary Clinton's claim that there was no agreement made with Israel on settlements.

It is true that there was no U.S.-Israel “memorandum of understanding,” which is presumably what Mrs. Clinton means when she suggests that the “official record of the administration” contains none. But she would do well to consult documents like the Weissglas letter, or the notes of the Aqaba meeting, before suggesting that there was no meeting of the minds.

Mrs. Clinton also said there were no “enforceable” agreements. This is a strange phrase. How exactly would Israel enforce any agreement against an American decision to renege on it? Take it to the International Court in The Hague?

Regardless of what Mrs. Clinton has said, there was a bargained-for exchange. Mr. Sharon was determined to break the deadlock, withdraw from Gaza, remove settlements — and confront his former allies on Israel’s right by abandoning the “Greater Israel” position to endorse Palestinian statehood and limits on settlement growth. He asked for our support and got it, including the agreement that we would not demand a total settlement freeze.

For reasons that remain unclear, the Obama administration has decided to abandon the understandings about settlements reached by the previous administration with the Israeli government. We may be abandoning the deal now, but we cannot rewrite history and make believe it did not exist.

The key point of course is that there is nothing Israel can do to enforce any such agreement, but that inherently makes any agreement with the Obama Administration worthless. Which is why it's a shame that Netanyahu appears to be going soft now, dismantling checkpoints which help save lives, and pulling back.

He is making the same mistake he did back in his first term.

Whcih is why this Arutz 7 article is an important reminder of the real face of Israel's "peace partners"

Members of Fatah put on a show recently boasting that Fatah leads other organizations, particularly Hamas, in anti-Israel terrorism. The event was attended by former Palestinian Authority leaders.

The performance was videotaped and shown on Fatah TV -- the television station cpntrolled by Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority

In the pro-Fatah performance, actors portrayed a classroom setting in which pro-Fatah students debated their pro-Hamas classmates and teachers over which of the two groups deserved most credit for attacks on Israel. The play includes a segment in which pro-Fatah students criticize Hamas for failing to attack Israel more frequently since taking control of Gaza:

The full article contains the video itself.

At Forbes Magazine, Anna Bayefsky takes Obama to task for his failures on human rights

A week later there were multiple casualties, injuries and threats, and 46 million voters wrenched away from that doorway to freedom that had opened--if only a crack. But when the president was asked Tuesday: "Is there any red line that your administration won't cross where that offer [to talk to Iran's leaders] will be shut off?" He answered: "We're still waiting to see how it plays itself out."

And when asked again, "If you do accept the election of Ahmadinejad … without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?" He answered: "We can't say definitively what exactly happened at polling places."

And asked again: "Why won't you spell out the consequences that the Iranian people…" He answered: "Because I think that we don't know yet how this thing is going to play out."

And yet again: "Shouldn't the present regime know that there are consequences?" He answered: "We don't yet know how this is going to play out."

Also at Forbes, Joel Kotkin looks at challenges to Obama from the left

Glenn Greenwald at Salon meanwhile notes that the Washington Post fired one of its most popular liberal columnists, who regularly criticized Obama. Froomkin's statement seems to suggest that he was fired precisely because the Post no longer wanted a White House Watch in the Obama era

I’m terribly disappointed. I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn’t "working" anymore. But from what I could tell, it was still working very well. I also thought White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online.

As I’ve written elsewhere, I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That’s what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I'll have to try to do it someplace else.

Considering that Froomkin's next to last column was harshly critical of Obama, from a left wing perspective, it's not too hard to figure out why he was let go. Greenwald and co. can try to blame it on the neo-cons, but it's not the neo-cons who have a problem with criticism of Obama. Nor do they run the Washington Post.

Gateway Pundit meanwhile makes an excellent point about the Sanford case

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) answered an ad placed in a Washington, D.C. homosexual paper, the Washington Blade, by Stephen Gobie, a male prostitute. Gobie became Barney Frank’s live-in sexual companion, and was soon running a male prostitution ring from Barney Frank’s condo. Today Frank chairs the Financial Services Committee.

Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL) was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse for engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer that began during the 1992 campaign. Despite the charges, he continued his campaign and was re-elected that November. Reynolds initially denied the charges, which he claimed were racially motivated. He was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt)- in a 1985 television appearance Leahy disclosed classified information that one of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's telephone conversations had been intercepted. The information that Leahy revealed had been used in the operation to capture the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed American citizens, and the Union-Tribune claimed that Leahy's indiscretion may have cost the life of at least one of the Egyptian operatives involved in that operation. Because of his several leaks he was forced to step down from his seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Today he is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) kills girl . Leaves her in pond to drown. Today he is second longest serving member (next to the former kleagle) in the Senate.

Of course there are almost as many tears being shed for Ted Kennedy, as for Michael Jackson.

Is it really any surprise in a culture that celebrates the worst of human behavior?

Finally, view Jew with a View, an excellent article by Jack Englehard, "Obama's Jewish Experts"

A few days ago, George Mitchell once again expressed his position, and opposition, even to “natural growth” in Judea and Samaria. Both Mitchell and Hillary Clinton speak for themselves and for President Barack Obama, who’s made this – Jewish life in the “settlements” – his priority above all other international disputes.

Even the language is disturbing. Mitchell – top Middle East envoy along with Clinton – explained that the controversy centered on “the number of Jewish births.”

Where have we heard this before? To my mind, as someone who was born under similar conditions, in France under Vichy, where Jews were kept within “restricted zones,” this sounds too much like Verboten!

When I hear American diplomats, and Obama himself, count the number of children allotted per Jewish family, at the same time measuring Jewish growth by the inch, the images that come to mind, to my mind, are of an earlier time, though not so long ago, when the Third Reich confronted the “Jewish Problem” by way of the Nuremberg Laws and the Wannsee Conference.

I picture Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann. They, too, were “Jewish Experts.”

Indeed, and the entire premise of leveraging blame on Israel for the terrorism directed against it, was very much the attitude of those who may not have perpetrated the Holocaust, but nevertheless allowed it to happen... because they felt that the Jews were to blame for the Nazi persecutions of them.

That is an attitude that Ben Hecht ably chronicled in A Guide for the Bedeviled, writing that they were like a policeman interrogating a corpse demanding to know what he had done to upset his murderer. There are no shortage of corpse interrogators in the liberal ranks, in the foreign service or in the Obama Administration all certain that the only way to solve the Middle East's problems with Muslims, is to make whatever lands Muslims consider to be theirs, Judenrein.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Two State Solution is a Victory for the Proxy War against Israel

By On June 24, 2009
When Hitler wanted to carve up Czechoslovakia he began by demanding the Sudetenland, inhabited by the Volksdeutsche, ethnic Germans living in Czechoslovakia. The world thought this was entirely reasonable and Czechoslovakia was forced to give in. Of course Hitler did not simply want the Sudetenland, anymore than he simply wanted the Rhineland. He was after a much vaster program of conquest.

By coining the term "Volksdeutsche" Hitler created an artificial identity for large numbers of Czechs, Poles and citizens of other Eastern European nations. He used that identity to create regional fifth columns that engaged in terrorism and then used them as justification to invade and seize other nations. Only by the time his ambitions reached Poland did Western Europe wake up to realize what their appeasement toward Nazi Germany had wrought.

By the time it was all over nearly 80 million were dead, a continent lay in ruins, Eastern Europe was in the hands of the Communists and Western Europe's Great Powers would never come into their own again.

"Palestine" like Volksdeutsche is an artificial identity created in order to maintain a fifth column and use them to conduct a proxy war against Israel, by the same Arab Muslim powers who had tried and fail to defeat Israel on the battlefield.

The tactic of course long predates and postdates Hitler. Alexander the Great made use of it in his conquests. The Russians used it only last year when they wanted to invade Georgia. But in the post-WW2 era it has most effectively been employed against Israel.

The absurdity of taking a Greco-Roman name for the region and trying to turn it into two things it never was, a nation and an ethnic identity, would have been inconceivable without heavy backing from both the Soviet Union and Western liberals. But by painting the genocidal urge of both Arab Marxists and Islamists as a drive to liberate "Palestine", the proxy war by Arab terrorists backed by Egypt, Jordan and Syria, and more recently by Iran, was successfully repackaged by an oppressed people to liberate a land that never existed.

As "Volksdeutsche" gave Hitler the right to carve up and eventually annex Czechoslovakia, "Palestine" has given the Muslim world and assorted leftists the right to carve up and destroy Israel under the pretext of aiding the "Palestinian People."

In 1937, Awni Abd al-Hadi told the Peel Commission stating, "Palestine is a term the Zionists invented.... Our country for centuries was part of Syria,"

As late as 1980 the Jordanian Prime Minister stated, "The Palestinians and Jordanians do not belong to different nationalities. They hold the same Jordanian passports, are Arabs and have the same Jordanian culture."

In 1977, Zuheir Mohsen, head of the second largest militia within the PLO and once considered a potential successor to Arafat, stated the premise of the proxy war quite frankly;

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

Arafat himself expressed the same basic idea in his infamous U.N. speech in 1988, saying, "The State of Palestine is an Arab State; its people are an integral Part of the Arab nation."

Hamas' Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahour repeated it in an Economist interview in 2008;

He certainly would not now “accept the reality” of Israel, as some of his senior colleagues have hinted. It may, instead, become “an eternal issue”, he says, looking ahead to a distant future when, “like your European Union”, the Arab nation will form one state across its historic lands, joining up with other Muslim nations such as Turkey. “We [Palestinians] were never an independent state in history,” he notes. “We were part of an Arab state and an Islamic state.”

That "Great Arab State" or "Great Islamic State", or Caliphate, has always been the endgame. Palestine is to the Caliphate, what the Sudetenland was to Hitler's Thousand Year Reich.

Israel is a stubborn little non-Arab non-Muslim state that stands in the way of the great dream of the Caliphate, a vast Muslim empire stretching across the Middle East into Turkey, Asia and even the heartland of Europe itself.

The fury directed at Israel from the Muslim world is in direction proportion to Israel's obstruction of this messianic vision of an Islamic Arab ruled Ummah stretching across the entire globe and fulfilling the vision of Mohammed.

It was never about "Palestinian rights", because not only is there no Palestinian people, but the refugee camps were themselves created by the Arab world as a first stage for the proxy war.

They began by alternately luring and badgering Arabs out of Israel during the War of Independence, for example;

"Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit....It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades."

The Economist, October 2, 1948

And naturally as renegades they would have been treated the same as the Jews, or perhaps even worse, during what was then seen as the "inevitable conquest" of Israel by the neighboring Arab states. At the very least that would mean the loss of property and land. At most it would mean outright massacre.

Once out they became refugees, kept in camps, and maintained as displaced persons, to serve as fodder for both terrorist recruitment and world outrage against Israel. As succinctly stated by UNRWA Director Ralph Galloway in 1958, "The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die."

After two lost wars, the "open sore" was transformed into a new Palestinian nation that had never existed but was being suppressed by Israel. Palestinian Terrorism became global, as part of a proxy war conducted by Arab states against Israel, itself part of a proxy war being conducted by the USSR against the West. With the fall of the USSR, the proxy war has shed its Arab Marxist colors in favor of Arab Islamist ones, replacing Fatah, once backed by Arab Socialist regimes in Egypt, Syria and Iraq, in favor of Hamas, backed by Islamist regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The Two State solution is the Sudetenland solution, carving up Israel and creating a sovereign and legally independent terrorist regime at war with Israel... inside Israel. With weapons flowing from around the Middle East and Pakistan through open borders, the real job of destroying Israel will finally begin.

Supporting the Two State solution means quite simply supporting the endgame of the proxy war against Israel. The solution has nothing to do with Palestinian rights or stabilizing the Middle East. There is no "tough love" in it, as Obama insists, or love of any kind. It is simply the final phase in the destruction of Israel, which itself is only one phase in the creation of a global Islamic empire.

Advocating the Two State solution means advocating genocide and ethnic cleansing. It means destroying the Middle East's only democracy to make way for a monstrosity that would be the worst of the Taliban writ large across the region and the globe. It means stoning, amputation and a thousand uncounted brutalities. And most of all it brings WWIII or a global clash of civilizations that much closer.

There are two kinds of people who support the Two State Solution. Those who know what they support and those who do not.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why Iran's June Revolt Emphasizes Obama's Absence of Leadership

By On June 23, 2009
The Bush Administration's guiding policy on the Middle East was that stability comes from aiding and promoting the spread of Democracy. The Obama Administration's guiding policy on the Middle East is that stability comes from discarding or even outright suppressing Middle Eastern democracies, particularly if they are not run by Arab Muslims, as sources of instability in the region.

The Bush Administration pursued a military war to overthrow a tyrant and liberate Iraq. The Obama Administration is pursuing a diplomatic war against Israel to overthrow a democratic government and establish a terrorist state. The contrast between the Bush and Obama administrations is the contrast between America's ideals in action and the same cynical pandering to Muslim dictatorships, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, that has the Middle East a source of terrorism in the first place.

The advocates of stability naturally turn out to be the greatest supporters of appeasement, giving the murderous squeaky wheels whatever grease they think will keep them from going on homicidal purges. This failed policy dominated the Clinton Administration, which shelled out aid to the Taliban, took nothing but cosmetic action when Saddam attempted to assassinate a former United States President and actually wound up going to war to create a new Muslim state in the Balkans. Naturally pressuring Israel to create a Palestinian Arab terrorist state in the middle of one of the most prosperous countries in the Middle East was high on the agenda, and was Bill Clinton's most admired foreign policy accomplishment.

17 years later, the Palestinian territories are a festering sore filled with Islamist terrorists who are continually innovating new terrorist tactics that have then been used against Allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile the breakup of Yugoslavia has led to a vast drug and human smuggling pipeline into the heartland of Europe. Members of the Clinton backed KLA, which financed itself through the drug trade, have become crime bosses all through Europe... those who haven't gone on to become Islamist terrorists that is. It was left to the Bush Administration to deal with Saddam Hussein and with Osama Bin Laden, but not before the latter managed to kill 3000 Americans.

So much for stability.

As an advocate of bringing stability by appeasing tyrants and terrorists, Obama's fumbling response to the Iranian street protests is exactly what one would expect from a man who took Democracy off the table in Cairo and pushed diplomacy with the regime of the Mullahs as his foreign policy agenda.

The Iranian June Revolt has badly upset the Obama applecart, which was working to appeasing Muslim tyrannies by forcing concessions from Israel, while pandering to the Iranian regime. And now in the absence of leadership America has no useful response to make. Rather than demonize the Iranian street protests against Ahmadinejad, the way that it demonized the Venezulean street protests against Chavez, the left has increasingly chosen to side with them. This leaves Obama stuck fumbling for increasingly bolder statements on the riots to appease his domestic supporters, even as he tries to reassure the rest of the Muslim tyrannies that the United States would never interfere in their internal affairs. (A privilege apparently reserved by Obama for Israel, Greece, Germany and other Democratic nations.)

The June Revolt in Iran is bursting through the illusion that Obama is any kind of leader. The illusion of Obama's leadership has been maintained through scripted speeches, head thrust back poses and prominent liberal figures enthusiastically praising his leadership. But the real test of leadership is a crisis. And in this crisis, Obama has sat on the sidelines, gone for ice cream, fumbled and done absolutely nothing.

During the election, Biden predicted, "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy... Remember, I said it standing here, if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy... He’s going to have to make some really tough - I don’t know what the decision’s going to be, but I promise you it will occur."

He then called on the donors to be prepared to rise to Mr. Obama’s defense because he will need to make some difficult and unpopular choices in response. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Biden's likely reference was to the Bay of Pigs, which occurred several months after JFK took office. It was sabotaged by Kennedy's refusal to provide aid and naval support to the Cuban liberation forces, resulting in the deaths of both Cuban fighters and American personnel on the ground. That "difficult and unpopular" choice was only partially later redeemed by Kennedy's actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In 1940 Kennedy had responded to Churchill's While England Slept, a warning against appeasement, with Why England Slept, a defense of the appeasement propounded by his father, Joe Kennedy. As President, Kennedy discovered that America did not have the luxury of sleep, and learned from his mistakes. What he did not need however, was the uncritical support that Biden asked on behalf of Obama. Real leaders don't need to be pandered too or given uncritical support, they need to be challenged.

That is why Obama is not a leader. Beneath his media haze, Obama is a little man sitting in a big chair, distributing graft to his backers, and tiptoeing around the world to promise America's enemies that America is no longer a threat.

But the fight for freedom is not limited to America. It never was. Obama chose to keep America on the sidelines, to enable tyranny and suppress freedom. Nevertheless with the June Revolt, freedom has sprung up anyway.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Should We Support or Oppose Iran's June Revolution

By On June 22, 2009
Various anti-Jihad bloggers and columnists are going head to head on the issue. As some have pointed out, the leading Iranian opposition figures such as Rafsanjani and Mousavi are not significantly better than Ahmadinejad himself, being involved in terrorism abroad and the development of nuclear technology.

Those are all valid arguments, but there is another argument. Before taking power, Khrushchev was a butcher and a mass murderer. He was a loyal Stalinist and even once he seized power as Premier, he engaged in a belligerent war of words, as well as a proxy war with the United States and Europe. He hammered his shoe on the podium and declared, "We Will Bury You." He continued Stalin's murder of Jews and conducted a new campaign against Christianity in the USSR.

Nevertheless despite all that, Khrushchev denounced Stalin and the worst atrocities of Communism, in doing so created a division that broke the mold of the infallible and all-powerful Soviet leader, and the USSR itself. This helped lead to Khrushchev's own removal from power, followed by a series of increasingly weaker leaders culminating in Gorbachev and the collapse of the USSR.

Thus it would have been entirely correct in the 1950's to point out that Khrushchev was a monster and a dedicated Communist who sought the destruction of the West and the perpetuation of totalitarian rule at home-- he was also a key element in the reform and eventual collapse of the USSR.

It would have also been fairly accurate to pass a similar judgment on Gorbachev toward the end of the 20th century. Despite his best efforts to present a positive reformer's face to the West, Gorbachev was a dedicated Communist and a totalitarian leader, the protege of a key Stalin ally who hoped to gather in all of Western Europe into an EU style arrangement under Russian leadership.

In turn Russia's August Revolution could have easily been dismissed as crowds of Russians who were seeking not the fall of the USSR, but the restoration to power of a Communist dictator. Except that what they actually achieved was the fall of the USSR at the hands of a man who himself had made a career as a high ranking Communist official.

While Iran is not the Soviet Union, and the June Revolt is not the August Revolution, there are some valid parallels.

In the wake of Ayatollah Khomeini's death, the Islamic Republic lost its own version of Stalin and Lenin rolled into one. The death of their chief ideologue exposed rifts and conflicts within the power structure of his disciples and associates, none of whom could replace him. Much as the aftermath of Stalin's death created a shaky power structure with the likes of Khrushchev, Beria, Molotov and Bulganin scrambling for power. Like the Russian people who felt that those who came after Stalin were small corrupt men who betrayed the legacy of the Communist revolution, a similar sentiment exists among Iranians who view Khomeini's Islamic revolution as a flawless standard which Iran's current rulers have betrayed with their corruption and vested interests.

Within this structure the Revolutionary Guard holds the role of the NKVD, a power pseudo-military organization with its own structure and loyalties. The clergy play the role of the Communist party, containing both progressive and reactionary elements. Like the NKVD, the Revolutionary Guard has successfully sowed terror abroad in the name of its ideology. Its growing power in the face of domestic instability may lead it to either take power, or as in the USSR in the aftermath of Beria's downfall, be dismantled into a safer more controllable creature of the state.

What all this means for us is that the June Revolution is a symptom of Iran's instability, the Iranian public's loss of faith in the authorities, and the regime's increasingly corrupt and weakened nature. While Mousavi may be no matter than Ahmadinejad from our perspective in the short term, in the long term, either his ascension or suppression is likely to lead Iran away from Islamic totalitarianism.

Reform has been in the wind in Iran for some time now. Most ordinary Iranians may not be ready to jettison the whole Islamic Republic, but large numbers of the young generation want a great deal more social and political freedoms, as well as an end to the corruption of the inheritors of the Islamic Revolution. That desire for change is genuine, and it is likely to ultimately lead to the same place that it did in the Soviet Union.

For those outside Iran, domestic instability is likely to reduce the regime's ability to sow mischief abroad. If the Revolutionary Guard and its associated regional Shiite militias, not to mention Sunni fellow travelers such as Hamas, have to be hard at work in Tehran, they will be less capable of planting IED's in Iraq, shelling Ashkelon or shipping new rockets to the Taliban.

And taking on an oppressive domestic role will lessen their long term organizational base of support and survival at home, once the reformers do take power.

Whether Ahmadinejad remains in power, or Mousavi replaces him, no matter what domestic changes happen with the Supreme Council, whoever comes out on top will have to appease the people by redirecting portions of the military budget to civilian in a tough economy, swapping out guns for butter, which will again reduce the amount of harm Iran is able to wreak abroad.

Finally the protests themselves and their suppression demonstrate to the world the reality of what an Islamic regime looks like. The protesters may be chanting Allahu Akbar, but the regime they are fighting is one that came to power and holds power through treating Islamic as a means of political supremacy. Those European and American Muslims who hanker for Sharia and Islamic states might well consider the reality before their eyes.

Whether or not we are seeing Iran's Berlin Wall or only its Tienanmen Square, the Iranian regime will never be the same as it was. The resulting changes will almost certainly weaken the regime, if not entirely bring it down. Which is why it is entirely sensible to support Iran's June Revolution, though without forgetting that Mousavi is no saint and that Iran's reformers, like Khrushchev and Gorbachev, are not entirely distinguishable from its monsters.

While it might be easy to write off the protests and the protesters because of that, this would be shortsighted. The protesters are genuinely idealistic and they are fighting against an actual injustice and an unjust system. The aftermath of their protests may leave us with no better a situation than Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, or China after Tienanmen Square, but nevertheless both present day Russia and the People's Republic of China are vastly preferable to what came before.

We personally cannot change what is going on in Iran now, but we can bear witness and speak out, for nothing to emboldens a tormentor as the silence of those watching his crimes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Obama's Post-Capitalist America

By On June 21, 2009
We don't have to work too hard to envision what Obama's Post-Capitalist America will look like, because it's here already. The basic ingredients bureaucratization and overregulation have already destroyed sizable chunks of American industry and business over a number of decades. Now with nationalization on the table, we're getting the first glimpses of what the American auto industry and medicine will look like, nationalized.

Creeping socialism has steadily made American businesses less competitive and more dependent on government funds. Environmentalism is only the latest and most destructive incarnation of government initiatives that have on the one hand crippled businesses, and on the other hand transformed them into beggars looking for a government handout. Going "green" for businesses means added expenses on the one hand, and government subsidies on the other, turning a "Green" business into a post-capitalist socialist enterprise that is not competitive but exists on government subsidies. A model that will insure that American businesses follow European businesses into obsolescence.

The planned obsolescence of American business is high on Obama's agenda. And it is a process that began with the overregulation and taxation of business that killed American industry, driving factories overseas and business to cheaper overseas competitors. The Obama administration's focus on the environment is meant to use environmental regulations to dismantle what's left of American industry, beginning with coal and ending everywhere else. Those industries that remain will be union run, government subsidized dinosaurs, more at home in the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, than in the booming America of the 20th century.

However American domestic businesses will not fare much better either. The already shaky retail chains will have a great deal of trouble surviving an ongoing recession. Aside from the discount superchains, they require increasing prosperity to drive consumer spending. Detroit serves as a preview of what American cities will look like if Obama gets his way.

They call this the Motor City, but you have to leave town to buy a Chrysler or a Jeep. Borders Inc. was founded 40 miles away, but the only one of the chain's bookstores here closed this month. No national grocery chain operates a store here.

The city's 22.8% unemployment rate is among the highest in the U.S.; 30% of residents are on food stamps.

"As the city loses so much, the tax base shrinks and the city has to cut back services," said Margaret Dewar, a professor of urban planning at the University of Michigan. That causes such hassles for retailers as longer police-response times, as well as less-frequent snow plowing and trash pickup.

A city devoid of retail chains, people left without groceries, malls and bookstores. All that remains are the dollar stores. And no tax base either. The cycle feeds itself and it's going nationwide. When enough businesses close and enough jobs are lost, the entire system begins to implode. The government can keep spending money for some time, businesses can't.

The Obama administration's plan to bulldoze portions of major American cities in order to centralize them further, will reduce the ghost town effect and the standard of living and potential for economic recovery. Environmentalists will be pleased to see the hive effect in action, and the pesky suburbs, which people used to try and escape dysfunctional urban city management, rolled up; no one else will be.

Meanwhile the partially government subsidized housing market will both make it easier for the government to control where people live and remove the "market" part of the housing market. Government intervention in the housing market created the current economic crisis. Meanwhile government regulation will help create a wide gap between government subsidized housing and independent home ownership, a gap further widened by growing property taxes from cities and communities whose budgets have been widened by stimulus funds that have run out. That same gap can already be seen in many major American cities and bedroom communities

The paradoxical result is that more people will have houses, but fewer people will be able to have any real mobility, both physical and social. This social reengineering of American life will leverage government control of housing to recreate the worst Soviet experiments in artificial neighborhoods and cities.

Consumer choices will drastically decline, individual options will be limited, but people will be able to take comfort in knowing that their choices and options are determined by a higher authority somewhere in Washington D.C. There will be housing, but it will be government subsidized housing. There will be stores, but their prices will be artificially set and unions will play a large part in owning and running them. There will be businesses, but they will be cottage industries subsidized by the government and dependent on foreign workers and imports.

American business, industry and the free market will be dead in Obama's Post-Capitalist America.

The question becomes, why kill business? Government spending depends on the golden egg of taxation that comes from the goose of commerce. Throttle the goose, and where will the golden eggs come from?

That is a reasonable question, but the same people ready to run up a 10 trillion dollar deficit built on debt to China are not the people you should expect reasonable thought from. The socialist drive all along has been to reconstruct society and centralize it through government. Asking the same people who think Cuba represents a successful revolutionary experiment about finance is like asking a morbid alcoholic who will pay for the whiskey when he gets fired from his job.

Socialism is about social control. Capitalism is a key obstruction toward that end. It was the rise of the merchant and the accompanying middle class that helped bring an end to the nobility and monarchies of Europe. The American Revolution was driven by the wish of free people to keep their economic independence from an outdated centralized monarchy that was out of touch with their needs and realities.

The free market allows people to be independent of government, it allows for the "American Dream" of social mobility, aspiration and freedom. It permits people to work their way up, build a better life for their children and go from the "huddled masses" of Emma Lazarus' poem, to leading comfortable independent lives in the middle class.

That same middle class which the left has always hated and roared against. Because the bourgeois represents something very dangerous for would be tyrants, personal independence. That is why tyrants must seize control of a country's economy, smother it outright or distribute it among their friends who will then turn into a bribe factory, as is the case under Russia's Putin.

A free economy means freedom. All tyrants know this. Obama knows this. It is why socialism and the free market have been such intractable enemies. The free market is a knife at the throat of tyranny. And socialism is a knife at the throat of the free market.

Destroying the "American Dream" of financial success and personal freedom, is the only way that the left can take over the United States... and replace it with their own "Soviet Dream" of centralized government control, enforced social justice and power to the commissars\community organizers.

Obama's Post-Capitalist America is meant to be the triumph of socialism, and the emergence of a new America that will have nothing in common with the old except a handful of totems and icons, a flag, a 4th of July fireworks display and a name. To get there, America is to be plunged into poverty and misery, its businesses are to be destroyed, corrupted through regulation into socialist entities or nationalized outright. Its citizens are to be goaded with an endless barrage of propaganda into a state of numb mindlessness and its institutions are to be taken over, just as the barbarians seized Rome.

That is what we are seeing now in Obama's War on America, a war he is fighting by attacking the American Dream. Knowing that to kill a nation's dreams is also to kill its soul.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Nation of Independent Voters

By On June 20, 2009
Lately the percentage of independent voters has been growing, at the expense of the Republican voter. And it might be worth taking the time to ask why. Voters identify with a party because they feel that it does or does not represent them. But whose interests does the Republican party actually represent?

In the aftermath of the 2008 election, the Democratic party has quite clearly demonstrated who they represent. Unions, radical socialists, people who expected the government to pay for everything and environmentalists who want to use global warming as a pretext for controlling people's daily lives.

The Republican party is finding its voice in opposition to this radical socialism, as it usually does when in the opposition, the problem is that its alternative, both in the 2008 Presidential election and in general, is moderate socialism. And while moderate socialism is preferable to radical socialism, in the same way that a merely angry doberman is preferable to a rabid doberman, it raises the question of whose interests the Republican party actually represents.

While it is the Democratic party that has repeatedly hijacked the Constitution to implement socialism, it is the Republican party that has gone along with it. FDR's radical changes to the nature of American government would not have endured had Eisenhower not chosen to perpetuate them and build upon them. So too with LBJ and Nixon. Or Clinton and George W. Bush. The real problem with the Republican party is that it has tried to represent a voice of reason, instead of a voice of counter-revolution, when it comes to the socialism of the Democratic party.

As Theodore Lowi aptly described in The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the United States, it was the willingness of Republican administrations to approve the social liberal bureaucratic coups of their Democratic predecessors that made socialism in the United States possible. As a result instead of a two party system representing two separate philosophies of government, the two party system became a struggle between the radical socialists and the moderate socialists. Is it any wonder then that even so many Republican voters want out?

While the Republican party has been working to seize a center that the Democrats are constantly tugging to the left, more and more voters have decided that neither party represents their interests. Winning them back will require the Republican party to break with the political conformity of the past and embrace a new philosophy of governing, not simply in the rhetoric of the opposition, but in the reality of day to day government.

The unprecedented growth of government has resulted in unsustainable spending and taxation, along with a sharp decline in individual freedoms. It is inevitable that to have big government, the American people must pay for it, both in money and in liberty. In the process both parties have forgotten that power corrupts, arguing that power in a socially beneficial aim does not corrupt. Naturally there are no shortage of examples otherwise.

The American experiment was founded on curtailing the power and scope of government. In the late 19th and 20th century that experiment began to move sharply in reverse, expanding government at the expense of states rights and individual rights. Yet what large numbers of independent voters is a resentment toward the power and scope of government. Republican candidates have often capitalized on that resentment, but failed to actually reverse the growth of government.

Federal government works by compromise, and compromise means the willingness to trade one favor for another, one piece of pork for another, getting one billion taxpayer dollars to be spent by approving another billion taxpayer dollars to be spent by someone else. This form of compromising is what created the raging monster of the National Debt as congressmen have been happy enough to get along by spending along. This way one senator's district can get funding for a bridge to nowhere in exchange for another senator's district getting an airport it doesn't need, in exchange for a defense contractor in a third senator's district getting a contract to produce a submarine the Navy doesn't actually need or want.

Republicans have just as eagerly pursued this form of bipartisanship, and as a result spending has gone through the roof. Under Obama, this form of spending is no longer bipartsan, it is however bigger than ever.

In order to take back America and win back independent voters, the Republican party's politicians would have to do something that goes against the nature of any leader, to take power in order to give power, to win elections to office only to curtail and limit the power of that office. Such a course of action is difficult but necessary, if America is to survive as something other than an EU style bureaucracy living beyond its means and its commercial structures composed of retailers reselling Chinese products and companies competing for Federal dollars or ameros. And it would transform politicians into leaders.

The city of Cincinnati was named after the Roman, Cincinnatus, famed for his willingness to give up power. George Washington used Cincinnatus as his example, giving the Presidency a fundamental contrast with the monarchy that had ruled before him. To reclaim the Republic, Republicans must take the lead in acting more like Washington and less like FDR. Because if they continue playing the moderate socialist to Obama's radical socialist, the alternative will be the absolute triumph of socialism and the end of the United States of America.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Iran Takes a Step Forward, America Takes a Step Back

By On June 19, 2009

The Iranian election dominated this week's news, with large numbers of student and youth demonstrators refusing to accept the rigged election results.

While the outcome of the current Iranian crisis will have a limited impact outside Iran in the short term, it may have a far larger one in the long run. While the protests began as something more akin to the Venezuelan protests over Chavez's media hijacking last year, they have already passed the point of Tienanmen Square. And while we are not quite at the Tehran version of the Berlin Wall, whether or not they get there will depend on the actions of the Iranian regime.

The regime assumed that a quick and harsh initial crackdown would silence the most vocal protesters and drive the rest underground. It's a tactic that often works, unless enough pressure has been building up so that it instead generates an explosion. That is what happened in Iran, resulting in growing protests and much larger dissent at the top.

Had the protests been mainly student riots and marches, they could have been suppressed. However they reflected a split within the oligarchy of the Iranian Islamic Republic itself over a boiling stew of ethnic, political and economic issues.

Iran's regime today looks a lot like what Nazi Germany might have looked like had it survived into the 1980's, with Hitler dead and his old cronies scrambling for power. Inside and outside the corridors of power there are no shortage of old Khomeini associates. Those outside the corridors of power want change. Those inside the corridors want to maintain the status quo and line their own pockets.

The death of Khomeini terminated the relative totalitarian stability of the Iranian Islamic Republic, leaving power increasingly up for grabs. A similar situation in the Post-Stalin USSR resulted in the erosion of leadership and growing conflicts that eventually tore down the party and the regime from the inside.

Ahmadinejad was thought to be the regime's best bet for avoiding that kind of fate, offering a great deal of hostility toward the west, combined with pop culture appeal at home and some small liberalizations backed by a revolutionary guard background and militia ties. But now the Ahmadinejad train has gone very badly off the rails.

At some point during the election, the regime made the decision to rig the results. Had they done so early enough, the change would not have been so jarring. Instead it appears to have been a panicked reaction in response to the realization that Ahmadinejad was going to lose.

And whether that decision was made at the level of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or not, the ball finally rolled back to him.

The regime now has a limited number of choices to make.

1. It can pursue a comprehensive crackdown on all protesters, resulting in either the successful suppression of the protests, or leading to the fall of the regime entirely. The old lessons of the Shah are not entirely lost on the men who helped overthrow him.

A full scale crackdown at this juncture, even if it temporarily succeeds, would likely do so at a heavy death toll. The People's Republic of China survived a similar crackdown by pushing enough economic and social liberalization so that the next generation would up not caring. Iran does not quite have the same option, particularly when it comes to social liberalization.

2. Khamenei can conduct an investigation, bring forward a few scapegoats and announce Mousavi as the true winner by a small margin, or propose a compromise option of some sort along the Zimbabwe model.

This of course would involve a serious personal loss of prestige, as well as a clear demonstration of weakness by the regime. It would avoid a short term explosion, but the long term consequences would wind up demonstrating the power of the protesters to compel the government to surrender to their will. And would in turn be quite destructive as well.

3. Play a waiting game, allow the protesters to discharge their energy, keep Ahmadinejad where he is, make some daily life concessions that would make people's lives easier.

Overall it would appear that the regime went with this third option.

After the failure of the initial limited crackdown, Khamenei chose to embrace a slightly more conciliatory tone. The violence was toned down and a limited recount of some sort was promised.

The problem with this approach is that it only emboldened the protesters who have begun to learn their true power. The protests have only become more comprehensive. Secret police have been outed on blogs. And more high ranking regime critics have stepped forward.

In response Khamenei is now threatening bloodshed if the protests don't stop. This strongly suggests that despite being the inheritor of the revolution, he is actually making the same exact mistakes as the Shah's government did.

After using brute force, he showed weakness, only to now threaten brute force again. The cycle is not unusual, but it does make a failing system of authority that lacks confidence in exercising its authority.

The reason for that is that Khamenei knows quite well that the younger generation in Iran is deeply dissatisfied. The limited reforms trotted out under Ahmadinejad, such as letting women attend soccer games, have only whetted their appetite for more. Life in Iran is based around a series of hypocrisies, in which homes have satellite dishes and Western movies are downloaded through the internet, but outwardly Iran is supposed to be a deeply religious republic.

The bottom line is that the Iranian regime lacks confidence in its public support, and even in the support of its military. The failure to deploy the military strongly suggests that Khamenei suspects that the outcome of attempting to use troops on the marchers might resemble the fall of the Soviet Union more than Tienanmen Square. And that conclusion is only further backed by the use of Hizbollah and Hamas Arab terrorists imported to attack the crowds. Another sign of brutality and weakness that can only further destabilize the situation.

As it stands now Khamenei and the regime's insiders are not ready to retreat, but neither do they appear ready for a full scale assault. Their waiting game has only made the situation worse. Now they have to choose between options 1 and 2, a full scale assault or a limited surrender.

Meanwhile in domestic Western political coverage, many of the same leftists and liberals who chose to ignore or justify Chavez's similar crackdown on Venezuelan students, have broken with the regime and taken vehement stands, including Andrew Sullivan and the Huffington Post.

Many sites do continue to underplay the coverage, and the American news media appears to be providing much less coverage of the situation, than their British counterparts, probably to avoid embarrassing Obama over his weak response.

It is ironic that Obama was elected as a major speaker and a supposed voice of conscience, only to be unable to do more than mumble a few random words in Iran's direction. The successfully unanimous congressional vote, opposed only by perennial tyranny lover Ron Paul, criticizing Iran, was itself a rebuke to Obama.

If Iran was the crisis that Biden warned us about, Obama has already failed miserably. If the Iranian regime falls, Obama will be remembered mainly for standing on the sidelines and doing nothing. The man who traveled all across the world giving speeches, had nothing to say when the people of Iran risked their lives fighting for freedom.

Meanwhile in the roundup,

Israpundit's Jerry Gordon takes Obama to task for missing an opportunity on Iran and Bill Levinson covers Ron Paul's failed vote.

Paul Williams at Canada Free Press looks at Jimmy Carter, the real father of the Islamic revolution

Carter’s real legacy remains in Iran with the Islamic Revolution and the rise of the murderous mullahs.

Before Jimmy entered the White House, America’s closest friend and ally in the Muslim world was Iran’s Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who ascended to the Peacock Throne as shah (the Persian word for king) in 1941.

The shah modernized Iran by launching the so-called “white revolution,” a massive attempt to Westernize the Persian country through the construction of roads, railways, airports, dams for power and irrigation, agribusiness, pipelines for the oil companies, steel and petrochemical plants, heavy metallurgy, and public health, education, and welfare programs. He bolstered the expansion of U.S. business and industry throughout Iran; shared he spoils of his country’s oil reserves with Britain and the United States; endorsed (at the request of President Eisenhower) the Baghdad Pact to ward off the spread of communism in the Middle East, and never voted against America in the United Nations.

By the 1960s, Iran’s back-alley bazaars became transformed into Fifth Avenue shops. Rock ‘n roll blared from the radio stations. Movie theaters showed the latest Hollywood flicks, and programs like Rawhide and I Love Lucy played on Iranian television. Restaurants served beer and hotdogs. Nightclubs and casinos catered to foreign tourists, foreign contractors, and foreign military advisers.

And let’s remember that the shah, unlike the fat Mid Eastern despots and dictators, never asked or received a dime in U.S. foreign aid.

But not all Iranians were pleased with the changes. The Shi’ite clerics viewed the democratic changes as diabolic. The straw that broke the camel’s back came with the shah’s democratic ruling that Iranian officials were free to take their oath of office on whatever holy scripture they preferred - - including the Christian Bible. The mullahs under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini rose to condemn the shah in mosques and seminaries and to demand his removal from the throne.

Enter Jimmy Carter.

Instead of supporting America’s ally, Jimmy, true to his form as a turncoat, supported the Ayatollah as a “fellow man of religion.” Andrew Young, Carter’s ambassador to the UN, went so far as to call Khomeini, who sanctioned sex with cows and camels, a “misunderstood saint.”

When Khomeini launched his evil revolution, Carter refused to provide the shah with any kind of military assistance despite the pleading of the shah.

Instead, Jimmy demanded that he release from prison all the murderous mullahs and militant radicals who were bound and determined to overthrow the government and to impose an intransigent interpretation of shariah (Muslim law) on every Iranian.

The shah acquiesced to this demand and the rest in history.

The Ayatollah - - Carter’s misunderstood saint - - came to power and launched a bloodbath that resulted in the deaths of twenty-thousand pro-Western Iranians. Churches and synagogues were razed, cemeteries desecrated, and shrines vandalized and demolished. The judicially murdered included the 102 year-old Kurdish poet Allameh Vahidi and a 9 year-old girl convicted of “attacking revolutionary guards.” Women were reduced to servitude. They lost their rights to attend school, to initiate divorce, or to retain custody of their children. When they appeared in public, women were obliged to wear the hijab (the traditional Islamic head cover). All American music was outlawed. The movie theaters were shut down; the nightclubs closed. To top things off, the Muslim militants overran the U.S. embassy in Teheran and seized sixty Americans as hostages.

Good ole Jimmy responded by his infamous “malaise speech” of July 15, 1979 in which the former peanut former expressed his belief that America had lost its guts and remained in a state of near senility.

Read it all

Maggie's Notebook meanwhile has a look at the ACORN run around

Amendments presented by GOP included two blocking A.C.O.R.N. - or any group - from getting Federal funds while under Federal indictment. This was among those not allowed as was one related to investigating Nancy Pelosi's claim that the CIA lied to Congress. If there were any doubt of the un-Democratic party's heavy-handed tactics - to rush through reckless spending at a breakneck unexamined pace - that was eliminated today

Daled Amos has his own take on Twitter and the Iranian revolution

At Right Wing News, another Obama nominee who doesn't believe paying taxes is patriotic

Gateway Pundit reveals that Obama is unsurprisingly waiting on the Iranian regime...

Lemon Lime Moon asks if America is in a stupor

Gates of Vienna looks at the divide between the Obama Administration's visions and the reality

The Keli Ata blog looks at the little outpost on the Israeli prairie


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