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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Obama's Only Real Accomplishment

By On December 30, 2009
Let's get it straight, behind all the hubbub and noise, the international trips and summits, the TV specials and constant addresses to the nation and any other nation that would let him in, the huge spending plans and the photoshoots-- Barack Hussein Obama has accomplished only one thing in his first year in office.


Obama's only real accomplishment is that he took hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money, and directed them to his donors on Wall Street, in the unions and the insurance industry. Barry Hussein took in nearly 15 million dollars in donations from securities and investments companies, and his first priority was to pay it back with a massive bailout that has exploded the deficit.

As the number one recipient of funds from securities and investments companies, Obama made sure they were paid off first. In exchange for a mere 14 million dollars, the industry received as much as a hundred thousand times that much from the government. And we aren't done yet. And that is even without counting Cap and Trade, a plan set to enrich certain key Wall Street backers of Obama and the Democratic party, at the expense of the last remaining shreds of America's manufacturing sector.

And then there were the unions. Not only did Obama keep the UAW around through the effective bailout and takeover of GM and Chrysler, but his next priority was delivering the SEIU's health care plan. And while the SEIU appears to have lost out on the public option, unlike the AFL-CIO which has turned on the bill, SEIU President Andrew Stern is still expressing his support for Obama.

But while SEIU may not have gotten the government health care holiday they wanted, the insurance industry, which donated millions to Obama, got a bill which forces every American to buy insurance from them, or be fined and jailed. It's not quite marching customers over to them at gunpoint, but it's the next best thing.

While ordinary voters are complaining that they got screwed by Obama, his big donors are throwing extra large parties to celebrate their windfall. While 2009 has been a terrible year for most Americans, insurance company stocks are rising and Wall Street is anticipating a chance to nickel and dime every American through Cap and Trade.

And that is the simple and ugly truth behind Obama's first term. Ignore the empty speeches and the even more meaningless summits. Behind the facade is the same stale old brand of Chicago politics, if you want something you gotta pay for it. If you want a street cleaning contract, then you better pay. And once you pay, the city will pay you twice the cost, even if none of the streets are ever clean. If you want to supply safety gear for the fire department, money better change hands. And then it doesn't matter if the gear works or how much you overcharge for it.

But at the national level, it isn't about municipal services or a state contract here and there, the kind of corruption that is bankrupting cities and states all across America. It's about a truly grand level of corruption, because the budget at Obama's disposal is virtually infinite. The money may not be there, but as long as the Chinese keep lending, Barry Hussein and his staff will keep on spending. Because when the bill comes due, they know they won't be there.

Obama has no personal investment in America. It's a resource to him like everything else. And when a con artist gets into a bank vault, he steals it clean, and then moves on. Unless he can be made dictator for life, Obama doesn't care much what happens after he's out of office. And if he is made dictator for life, that just means more wealth redistribution. The Chicago way is to treat taxes as a way to pay back favors and set yourself up for life. That mixture of left wing radicalism and organized crime that defines Obama's political background has no room in it for any kind of fiscal responsibility.

Once in office, Barry Hussein could barely be bothered to care about the War on Terror, only announcing an Afghan surge after he had been shamed into it. His international trips accomplished nothing except to give Michelle Obama a chance to pick up more expensive and ugly souvenirs. Abusive to allies and slavish to enemies, Obama's foreign adventures impressed no one at all and accomplished even less.

Domestic security naturally went by the wayside. Obama's tossed wreath at Ground Zero demonstrated how well he had absorbed the contemptuous attitude of his mentor, Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright. Neither a New Yorker nor an American, terrorism was nothing to Obama, except a chance to recite a homily about the virtues of Islam. The mosques of Mecca and the Madrassas of Asia had far more emotional resonance for Obama than the Twin Towers.

His Homeland Security Chief, Janet Napolitano, quickly reverted back to Janet Reno's approach to domestic security with alarmist rhetoric about the dangers of right wing extremism. Meanwhile Reno's own second in command, Attorney General Eric Holder hardly bothered to hide his sympathy for the terrorists. And so the 3AM phone call to Obama never came. Instead a passenger subdued the latest Al Queda terrorist, while Obama drowsed peacefully in his White House bed, visions of spending bills dancing in his head.

Now just as it had been with Afghanistan a few months back, Obama has been caught by surprise as an issue that he had demonstrated his unconcern for is coming back to bite him on the ass. Naturally the reflexive Chicago tactic is to blame it on the Republicans. The problem is that the nameplate says Barack H. Obama, not George W. Bush. And by now it's clear even to Obama's supporters, that the man will go on blaming Bush even after 8 years in office, without taking responsibility for the consequences of his own policies.

But Obama isn't stupid or incompetent. He proved quite capable of obsessively pursuing and shoving through legislation on the issues he cared about. Of course the legislation he cared about was passing kickbacks to his donors and enacting socialism for America. National security wasn't on the list. Defending America wasn't even gifted with a single checkmark. Creating jobs was an inside joke between Obama and his donors, where the punchline was "Green Jobs".


When Cheney calls out Obama for abandoning national defense and the War on Terror, the White House has no response except to issue sanctimonious statements bemoaning finger pointing. Which is par for the course when the fingers are being pointed at you. But Obama is not a big believer in Truman's aphorism. If Harry's desk said, "The Buck Stops Here", Obama's desk says, "The Bucks Are Spent Here".

Forget national security. Obama's key interests are "reform" plans that benefit him personally. Next up will either be Cap and Trade or legalizing enough illegal aliens to outweigh all the out of work Americans just waiting for a chance to vote him out of office in 2012. (Lawyers after all formed the largest base of his contributors.) The buck doesn't stop in the Oval Office anymore. The moral compass does.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Israel, State and Nation

By On December 29, 2009
 It is difficult to comprehend the extent to which the left has inserted appeasement into the culture and the educational system of the State of Israel. From the youngest ages children are taught to pursue appeasement dressed up as peace, with the same enthusiasm and verve that Palestinian Arab children are taught to pursue Jihad. The anniversary of the assassination of leftist Prime Minister Rabin is treated as an extended series of events that seems to stretch on forever, as leftist politicians call for peace with Arab terrorists "at any cost" and denounce the right for inciting the murder of Rabin by criticizing his creation of a terrorist state within Israel's borders. Not the anniversary of Israel's independence nor the commemoration of the Holocaust has the moral stature anymore that Israel's left has invested into "Chag Rabin".


And the results of the left's propaganda campaign can be seen in the falling recruitment numbers and the rise  of draft dodging. As much as a quarter of Israeli men now dodge the draft, and a far larger number of women.  This is all the more shocking in a country where a generation ago draft dodgers were held in contempt and found leading a normal civilian life nearly impossible. The credit for this transformation belongs to the left, whose politicians had preached to a new generation that the army was irrelevant, whose reporters smeared soldiers at every turn, whose activists stood guard at checkpoints to prevent IDF soldiers from doing their jobs, who treated draft dodgers as heroes for refusing to serve in the "Occupation Army".

The sharp rise in draft dodging by the sons and daughters of the left, from former Prime Minister Olmert's own son down, has moved the burden of service over to the Religious Zionist community, the patriotic sector of Israel that has not been infected by the left's agenda. While the left complained that their sons were forced to die for the settlements, the Settlers became the IDF, fighting and dying for Ashkelon and Haifa. The heroes of the last Lebanon war, such as Major Roi Klein, who threw himself on a grenade to protect his men, and the casualties, increasingly came from the settlements. While Olmert's sons were living abroad, it was the sons of the settlements, from the families of men and women living on Israel's frontier with Islamic terror, who went out and fought.

Unsurprisingly this also paralleled the left's war against the Religious Zionist community, from the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish communities of Gaza, to the criminalizing of political dissent for children as young as 13 and a constant demonization campaign by the domestic and international media. With the burden of military service increasingly coming down on Religious Zionist soldiers, even as the left was working feverishly to crush Religious Zionists for representing an obstacle to their plans for Israel, the resulting paradox in which the left needs Religious Zionist soldiers to crush Religious Zionist communities has touched off a feverish debate within Israel.

The debate over whether Religious Zionist soldiers should obey orders that run contrary to their own moral values and the interests of the State of Israel, centers on the balance between obedience to the state vs the duty to the values for which one fights. Increasingly many new recruits are stating that they will not obey any orders to ethnically cleanse Jewish communities, which has brought out the usual manufactured outrage from the media outlets of the left. The soldiers have been accused of undermining democracy, which the Israeli left in its usual fashion interprets as being synonymous with their own agenda, as when former Histadrut union thug and current chairman of the Kadima Council, Haim Ramon, proclaimed in an open forum, "If you do not obey the rules of our democracy we will crush you."

Many on the right however also believe that it is more important to preserve the forms of the state, that it requires that soldiers follow orders that they find immoral, orders that will ultimately lead to the destruction of the body of the state. Isi Leibler recently expressed a similar view, which while acknowledging the unpleasantness of the orders, denounced Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of the Har Bracha Yeshiva who had stated that soldiers should not follow immoral orders to participate in the suppression and ethnic cleansing of Jewish communities in order to appease Islamic terrorism. The case of the refusniks from the Kfir Brigade, like the case of Rabbi Melamed, has been phrased as one of conflicting obligations, between the supposed democratic rule of law represented by the state, and the private morality of individuals and factions that must subsume their contradictory beliefs for the good of the state.    


This model however is an inherently wrong one. The state cannot function outside the values of its citizenry and its armed forces. The army does not fight for the government of the state, it fights for the enduring existence of the nation and for the people of that nation. It is not merely a tool for executing government policy, but a shield and a sword against the enemies of its people. Successive Israeli governments have devalued the army and undermined its moral purpose by watering down the IDF oath and the IDF code of ethics. Prime Minister Rabin took the first step in this direction by recruiting Professor Asa Kasher, a radical left wing activist and co-founder of Yesh Gvul, to remove Zionism and a love of the land from the equation, leaving only obedience to elected authority.

The problem is that Israeli elected officials have not represented the values of its citizenry in quite a while. Whether Labor, Likud or Kadima-- Israeli Prime Ministers have acted in response to external pressure while selling out the will and values of the electorate. Meanwhile the Knesset has degenerated into a pig trough by a squabbling gallery of rogues who dive in and out of parties like Olympic swimmers, who scrabble for bribes while announcing that whatever "street" they claim to represent will not tolerate it if their wishes aren't met. It is not only that they do not represent an ideal policy, they do not even represent their own voters.

The Likud does not represent conservative voters any more than Labor represents left leaning voters, Shas does not represent Sefardim any more than Bayit Yehudi represent Dati Leumi voters. Kadima does not even bother to pretend that they represent anyone at all, except the Arab voters bribed to cast their ballot for them. Aside from the government subsidies they distribute, they are generally alien to the voters who elect them. With Prime Ministers who spend most of their term in office struggling to stay one step ahead of American and European pressure, and the Knesset-- and a Knesset whose members struggle to grab as much as they can before they're indicted, by an Attorney General who is likely to end up being indicted himself, if he isn't bought off with a spot on the Supreme Court, Israeli democracy is severely broken.

More to the point the Israeli political system not only does not represent the wishes of Israeli voters, but it does not represent the welfare of the nation itself. By repeatedly shrinking the country's borders, opening checkpoints to terrorists, creating and maintaining a terrorist state inside Israel, and ethnically cleansing Jewish communities from inside Israel-- the political establishment has demonstrated that it does not have the best interests of the country or its people at heart. While IDF soldiers cannot set policy for the state, nor can they be expected to undermine the country under orders from the state. And that is exactly what orders aiding and abetting terrorism, or orders in favor of ethnically cleansing Jews are. Therefore they have a right to dissent from those orders in the name of values that are generally held by Israelis and in the name of the preservation of the nation. Even if it does not meet with the approval of the state.

The difference between a tyranny and a free nation is simple enough. In a tyranny the people are obedient to the state. In a free nation the state is obedient to the people. In a tyranny the character of the people reflects the character of the state. In a free nation the character is determined by its citizens. The foremost value of Israel and the IDF cannot be obedience to the state, for the state only exists in order to maintain the nation and the people of Israel. If the state becomes inimical to that purpose, it ceases to have any legal right to rule. Similarly the government of every nation only derives its right to rule based on its ability to serve the needs and wishes of the people.

A state derives its political authority from the electorate, its legal authority from the values of the people, and its moral authority from sustaining their existence. Obedience to the state is not itself a value, only a contingency by which the interests of the people are met through mutual cooperation in service of one another. Anything else is tyranny. Democracy is not in and of itself a value, it is a mechanism through which the people enforce their will upon the state. If the state maintains democratic elections, but its elected officials act against the interests and contrary to the wishes of the people, then the state has neither legal nor political authority over them except in the guise of a tyranny. If the leaders of a state act contrary to the interests of the people and their survival, they have no further moral authority, as moral authority at the state level is vested above all else in the survival of the people.


Rabbi Eliezer Melamad and the recruits are demonstrating their loyalty to the underlying moral, political and religious framework of the nation of Israel, by rejecting the dictates of a political system that is destructive to the survival of that nation. As such theirs is the higher loyalty. When state conflicts with nation, and the government conflicts with the people-- the higher loyalty is to the people and the nation, not the state. This same framework holds true in every country. It is the underlying ethical basis for any state that governs a free people. To place the government over the values of the people and the survival of the nation, is to commit a horrifying act of treason that turns the state into a tyrannical shell serving only its own interests. Not that of the nation or the people.

Israel's leftist establishment has turned the political system and the cultural sphere into a hollow shell by consuming the land and the people, in the name of their ideology of appeasement and naked greed. By aiding terrorists, they themselves have become the worst threat to the survival of the State of Israel. And if the left wing and their corrupt collaborators do not give up their death grip on power, the Nation of Israel may have to replace the State of Israel in order to survive.

Monday, December 28, 2009

What the Terrorists are Truly Afraid of

By On December 28, 2009
While the passengers of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 may have survived their flight to return home to their families, like veterans returning home from war they are a reminder of all those who did not survive, and all those who will not survive in a more successful attack.
The 9/11 hijackers, and Richard Reid and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab all managed to bypass airline security, bring weapons on board passenger jets and execute their attacks. The passengers on American Airlines 63 and Northwest Airlines Flight 253 survived not because of the gargantuan infrastructures of airline security or law enforcement, but because ordinary passengers and staff became suspicious and acted, and because the latter two plots relied on tricky detonations that were unsuccessful.

But their failures mean little in the bigger picture. Reid and Abdulmutallab are only two of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim men drawn from around the world to participate in one of its many Jihads against America, England, Russia, Israel or India. To devout Muslims the entire world is a battlefield, a map dotted in red and green. And for every Abdulmutallab who fails, there is a Nidal Malik Hasan who succeeds in killing his targets. Because as long as we keep fighting a holding action against the tide of Jihadis swarming from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, the terrorists only need to be lucky once, we need to be lucky every time. And we know what we won't be. That not every flight will land safely on the airfield. Not every group of passengers will disembark shaking with relief. The terrorists only need to be lucky once.

And while the TSA rushes to implement a new set of overreaching regulations that will accomplish nothing except to make passengers miserable, before quietly abolishing them after a month or two-- Abdulmutallab's success demonstrates the futility of airline security as we know it. The TSA, the CIA, the NSA did not stop Abdulmutallab even though his own father had given them advanced warning, and his profile should have tripped numerous switches. A passenger sitting next to him did that. Just as it was the passengers that saved the White House on 9/11.

If the security apparatus can't even stop a terrorist traveling under his own name, whose own father turns him in, it can't stop anyone. And indeed it can't. A national security apparatus built to take on foreign intelligence agencies is ill matched against an international terrorist network based out of religious schools and universities, and funded by the oil Sheikh "best friends" of their own bosses. And airport security which can't stop its own employees from stealing passenger's luggage, has no real hope of stopping an actual terrorist. The very decentralization and creative planning of terrorist attacks means that the best hope of stopping them lies not in the bureaucracy, but in the ordinary citizen sitting next to the terrorist.

The government has pretended to be omnipotent while in reality the War on Terror has turned into a waiting game at home and a proxy war abroad. That is because while airline passengers are being strip-searched and soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, money continues flowing from oil rich Gulf states into the coffers of terrorists, who in turn recruit young men from the Muslim world eager to fight and send them off to a Third World war zone or to carry off a terrorist attack in the First World.

If the United States government really wanted to stop Islamic terrorism, it could better do so in Riyadh, Karachi and Dubai. Instead the religious, political and financial backers of the terrorist war against the West not only get a pass, but a bow from Obama, and we go on playing the waiting game, waiting until the terrorists get lucky, and a plane blows up in the air.

While Abdulmutallab may have failed to kill the passengers on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, he succeeded in becoming a front page story, in reminding Americans to be afraid of terrorists, in canceling flights and panicking the authorities into a response that is already producing a backlash from passengers. The whole snarl of chaos that Abdulmutallab and his higher ups have tied will drive donations and recruits from the Muslim world to Al Queda, while making the case for backing away from military tactics and toward diplomatic ones.

While the Obama administration has not yet officially sat down at the negotiating table with Al Queda, attacks like Abdulmutallab's make it more likely that back channel negotiations will be used to avoid any terrorist attacks during the politically critical period before the 2012 election. And if that seems farfetched, remember that left wing Israeli Prime Minister Peres in his time cut just such a deal with Arafat, and the United States has traded arms for hostages before. We have recruited the murderers of US soldiers to fight side by side with us in Iraq, and we're hoping to do the same thing in Afghanistan.

Abdulmutallab's attack demonstrates the ability of Islamic terrorists to spread terror, even when their actual attack fails. And there is no antidote to terror except an empowered citizenry. But an empowered citizenry is exactly what the government is afraid of. It is also exactly what the terrorists are afraid of. They know that they can get buy fake identifications, bypass airport security and get on board the plane. And if they can't, another one of them will. And another. What they are afraid of is that when they rise for their climactic moment of homicidal martyrdom, it will not be a US Marshall coming for them, but the passengers around them.

The terrorists are not afraid of the United States government. They were never afraid of the United States government. And why should they, when the Saudi Lobby insures that Islamist groups have free run of the country, and the little man in the White House bows before the Saudi king. When Rules of Engagement favor the Taliban, and captured Al Queda terrorists are released into the wild, where they plot and carry out more terrorist attacks. Why in the world should they be afraid of a US government that bends over backward to reassure the Muslim world of its love for Islam?

Islamic terrorists are afraid of US soldiers, but not of the generals and politicians who give them their orders. And they are afraid of the ordinary Americans and Europeans they are surrounded by every day when they infiltrate their country. They are not afraid of governments, because a government is only as strong as its weakest politician, as its most terrorist sympathizing diplomat, as its most brown nosing general. When the artillery comes down they can hide. When the bombs fall they can escape and wait. Because sooner or later governments get tired and go away. But people never go away. And the people can only be defeated through their government.

The purpose of terrorist attacks is to terrorize a population through its government, to destroy morale in order to force political concessions. Targeting airplanes disrupts travel and isolates countries making them easier targets for the Ummah to carve apart. Targeting planes, buses, bridges and all means of transportation teaches people to be afraid whenever they go anywhere... which in turn teaches them to be helpless in the face of government security measures and random violence, to detach themselves emotionally and submit. To be Muslims.

This plan depends on the government to behave exactly the way the terrorists expect it to. To be incompetent, to talk a good game and do nothing, to be too afraid to call out Islamic terrorism for what it is, to repress its own citizens rather than profile actual terrorists, and finally to cut a deal when it has gotten tired of fighting. What the terrorists are truly afraid of is that they will not be dealing with the weak spines of politicians, but with a public that has finally had enough. That will do unto the terrorists as the terrorists themselves have done. That will stand up and strike them down, without benefit of lawyers or human rights activists. What the terrorists are most afraid of is that the free people whom they would enslave will stand up against them and fight back.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let My Terrorists Go

By On December 27, 2009
For six years the burning cause of the American left was the fate of the captured terrorists being held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Civil rights lawyers, pundits and Democratic congressmen joined voices to denounce  military tribunals, detention of captured terrorists without access to their ACLU lawyers and of course that unholy terror of MSNBC commentators, waterboarding. And they got their way.


The Bush Administration, that for all its faults that had at least cared about protecting Americans against Islamic terrorism, under pressure from the courts gave in, and when the official candidate of Islamic terrorists, MSNBC commentators and ACLU lawyers took office, it was all over but the suicide bombings. Barry Hussein signed the order closing Guantánamo Bay, released many of its residents, and gave civilian trials to others. And thus far of the terrorists who have been released, one in seven has returned to terrorist activity. And that number likely underestimates the true picture by quite a lot.

In 2006 Thomas Wilner, the lawyer for a number of the terrorists, penned an emotional article for the Los Angeles Times calling Gitmo, an American Gulag and a living nightmare. Naturally of course all his Kuwaiti clients were innocent little lambs who just happened to be hanging around Afghanistan before being snatched up into the cruel and unfeeling maw of the US military industrial complex, inhumanly tortured and deprived of their humanity.

Two years later after his release, one of Wilner's innocent lambs, Abdallah al-Ajmi, hailed as the "Lion of Guantanamo" murdered 13 Iraqi policemen in a suicide bombing. Naturally instead of admitting that he had worked tirelessly to release a Jihadi terrorist from Gitmo, leaving him free to kill, Wilner instead blamed the US government for turning his formerly lamb-like client who had been picking flowers in the valley of Kandahar into a violent terrorist by imprisoning him in Guantánamo Bay.

This of course is the usual sort of thing that defense attorneys claim when their completely innocent clients who had previously torched an orphanage and bombed a bus full of nuns, are released and unsurprisingly go back to doing exactly what they were doing before. "It's the prison life that did it, your honor," the lawyers argue. "If only my client hadn't been caught and sent to the hole, he'd still be a lamb."

In 1980 many of the same liberals who fell in love with the Gitmo killers embraced a murderer and bank robber named Jack Abbott. They praised his literary skills and fought for his release. Norman Mailer helped publish his book. Susan Sarandon named her son after him. Less than two months after his release Abbott demanded to use a restaurant restroom. He was refused by the night manager. In turn Abbott stabbed the man to death. His defense was that his dehumanizing treatment in prison had made him incapable of acting in any other way.

But what had become a laughable defense to most Americans, was brushed off not just for Abdallah al-Ajmi or the other innocent lamb/terrorists of Guantanamo Bay who went back to their old profession once they were shipped back to Yemen, Kuwait or Russia-- but for Islamic terrorism in general. It is the most common defense used on behalf of Palestinian Arab terrorism, when every charge is met with, "But what choice do they have. Israel built a wall and imprisoned them. They're only responding to the dehumanization inflicted on them."

The presumption behind this defense is that the terrorists are always innocent victims and their terrorism is the consequence of oppression by their targets. An argument often accompanied by the W.H. Auden citation from his poem September 1, 1939; "I and the public know, What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done, Do evil in return."

Often those quoting the stanza remain unaware of the poem they are quoting from, and its awful relevance. September 1, 1939 was the date of Hitler's invasion of Poland. The previous line that is generally left out by the bleeding hearts who cite Auden, "What huge imago made, A psychopathic god" is of course a reference to Hitler. Even with German troops marching into Poland, Auden still hid Nazi Germany behind the rhetoric of victimology, painting the Nazi forces as much victims as oppressors.


But it might be just as well to draw from W.H. Auden's poem, Spain, written in support of the Soviet Union's work in the Spanish Civil War. "To-day the deliberate increase in the chances of death, The conscious acceptance of guilt in the necessary murder." The necessary murder of course is that murder which must be committed in the name of a cause, as differentiated from imperialist murders which are committed to stop the people who are committing murders in the name of a cause.


The suicide bombings of Muslim terrorists today, like the Red Terror, are one of those necessary murders being committed by the Jack Abbotts with beards and keffiyahs running around the world today. After 13 dead in Mosul whose families he has never visited, his lawyer of course has no regrets. "Guantanamo took a kid -- a kid who wasn't all that bad -- and it turned him into a hostile, hardened individual," Wilner said. The kid in question being Abdallah al-Ajmi, a Jihadist who had tried to fight in Chechnya and then Afghanistan, threatened his own lawyer and on release, went to fight in Iraq and murdered 13 Iraqi police officers.

The real story of course as always is behind the scenes. Thomas Wilner and his prestigious law firm, Shearman & Sterling, are not some gang of bearded radicals huddling in an East Village basement office. They're a prestigious law firm whose bill was footed by the Kuwaiti government. Shearman & Sterling did not simply have managing partners like Wilner represent captured terrorists, they launched a massive lobbying campaign on their behalf.

Shearman & Sterling did far more than just write legal briefs and shuttle down to Gitmo to conduct interviews about alleged torture for the BBC. In addition to its legal services, the firm registered as an agent of a foreign principal under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) as well as the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA) to press the Kuwaiti detainees' cause on Capitol Hill. Shearman reported $749,980 in lobbying fees under FARA for one six-month period in 2005 and another $200,000 under the LDA over a one-year period between 2005 and 2006. Those are the precise time periods when Congress was engaged in intense debates over the Detainee Treatment Act and the Military Commissions Act, legislation which Shearman & Sterling and its Kuwaiti paymasters hoped would pave the way for shutting down Guantanamo permanently and setting their clients free.

Mr. Wilner, a media-savvy lawyer who immediately realized that the detainee cases posed a tremendous PR challenge in the wake of September 11, hired high-stakes media guru Richard Levick to change public perception about the Kuwaiti 12. Mr. Levick, a former attorney whose Washington, D.C.-based "crisis PR" firm has carved out a niche in litigation-related issues, has represented clients as varied as Rosie O'Donnell, Napster, and the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Levick's firm is also registered under FARA as an agent of a foreign principal for the "Kuwaiti Detainees Committee," reporting $774,000 in fees in a one year period. After the U.S. Supreme Court heard the first consolidated case, the PR campaign went into high gear, Mr. Levick wrote, to "turn the Guantanamo tide."

In numerous published articles and interviews, Mr. Levick has laid out the essence of the entire Kuwaiti PR campaign. The strategy sought to accomplish two things: put a sympathetic "human face" on the detainees and convince the public that it had a stake in their plight. In other words, the militant Islamists who traveled to Afghanistan to become a part of al Qaeda's jihad on America had to be reinvented as innocent charity workers swept up in the war after 9/11. The committed Islamist who admitted firing an AK-47 in a Taliban training camp became a "teacher on vacation" who went to Afghanistan in 2001 "to help refugees." The member of an Islamist street gang who opened three al-Wafa offices with Suliman Abu Ghaith (Osama Bin Laden's chief spokesman) to raise al Qaeda funds became a charity worker whose eight children were left destitute in his absence. All 12 Kuwaitis became the innocent victims of "bounty hunters."

The entire article is worth reading if only for the purpose of understanding how the real War on Terror was lost through domestic collaborators hired by the same oil rich gulf states behind Al Queda.

What was novel then, has long ago become mainstream. Gitmo terrorists are being released as fast as anyone can find a place for them, many of them have returned openly to terrorism. Every major magazine and newspaper has already run sympathetic stories about the detainees, usually more than once. Melody Barnes, Obama's Director of the Domestic Policy Council, is a former Shearman & Sterling lawyer.


In Israel last week, Rabbi Meir Chai, a teacher and father of 7, was gunned down on the road. One of his killers was Anan Sabah, a Fatah terrorist released from prison by an Israeli amnesty in order to promote "dialogue" and strengthen Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas. The prisoners were required to sign a statement promising not to be terrorists anymore, and were set free en masse, overriding objections from the Terror Victims Association which warned that, "The prisoner release is a foolhardy move that gambles with the lives of Israeli citizens".

We know how that gamble turned out. We know how they always turn out. And now after Israel hunted down and killed Sabah, the Obama Administration is demanding "clarification" accusing Israel of carrying out executions of the terrorists. Adnan Sabah, who had been released from prison on the promise of not engaging in any more terrorism, continued shouting, "Allahu Akbar" until the last.

Palestinian Prime Minster Salam Fayyad in turn attended the funeral and wake for the terrorists, PA Interior Minister Said Abu Ali, security forces General Commander Hazem Attallah, Preventative Security chief Ziad Ar-Rih, intelligence head Majed Faraj... essentially the entire Palestinian Authority security apparatus, along with 20,000 of their terrorist militia members. An all too clear demonstration that the murderers of Rabbi Chai were their creatures and that Fatah stands behind them. Just as the Kuwaiti government's funding of Shearman and Sterling's campaign on behalf of the captured Kuwaiti terrorists at Gitmo had demonstrated its own ties to Al Queda.

Meanwhile the terrorists find no shortage of sympathizers, acting for pay or pro bono, who cry, "Let My Terrorists Go". And sooner or later the politicians listen. And we pay the price.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Obama's Real Report Card

By On December 26, 2009
As Obama's first year in office approaches, his long calendar of corruption and failure flutters its windblown leaves into the abyss of the past. Let us take a brief look back at the full unmitigated ugliness of the Sham in Chief's first year in office... for a proper report card.


The Economy


Obama campaigned on promises to help create jobs and fix the economy. Instead he ballooned the deficit to record levels, failed to create jobs and then lied about it, implemented the same policies he had criticized under Bush, lied about them too, and by the end of the year not only is the economy worse off than it had been under Bush, but the national debt is far higher, the dollar is weaker and America's economic prospects look bleak.

Obama promised to help working class families, instead he burdened them with generations of debt, forced them to make mandatory payments to insurance companies and kept down job growth by promoting "green" projects over shovel ready infrastructure projects. No wonder that Obama's fall has been hardest among working class families and even black leaders are protesting against his abandonment of the black community.

While Obama has shoveled untold billions of dollars into Wall Street brokerages, green tech companies with no real business model and insurance companies-- the same working class families he has promised to help have been left behind and lied to, and worse yet forced to bear the burden of his corporate welfare.

While Obama's Democratic congress had 192 million to spend on rum factories in the Virgin Islands, 20 million for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, and almost half a billion for Tesla Motors, a company which has currently sold around only 700 cars... there was no money for school vouchers for Washington DC's kids.

This is par for the course in a chain of spending bills that primarily benefited Obama's corporate backers and ladled out congressional pork earmarks with all the self-restraint of a herd of pigs guzzling from a mud puddle.

While the dollar has fallen almost 20 percent over Obama's term in office, and many American businesses are looking for a way out of a political system that has destroyed the economy with out of control tax and spend policies... the bailouts keep on coming. And so do the lies.

The same Democratic congress that has preserved and protected felons like Congressman Rangel and Senator Dodd, reached into the depths of hysteria to attack Senator Lieberman for having the gall to block their plan for a Public Option, a plan that even the Congressional Budget Office admitted we can't pay for. The resulting battles turned political bribery into a new low with 100 million dollar earmarks being thrown around to win the favor of Senators like confetti.

And the final bill as always goes to the American worker.

D-

War on Terror

On the war, Obama promised to use multilateralism to create a new alliance using soft power. 12 months later, his multilateralism has failed, and his Afghanistan policy looks a lot like Bush's Iraq policy, except it comes with a built in 18th month deadline that Barry Hussein helpfully announced to the Taliban ahead of time.


Despite a year of global criss-crossing, Obama has not achieved a single meaningful result for all that effort. Genocide continues in Sudan, China continues to repress its citizens, Iran and North Korea are continuing their nuclear programs, and none of America's allies have offered front line troops for Afghanistan.

For all his rhetoric, Obama has demonstrated that he has nothing new to offer in the War on Terror that Bush was not already doing... except for his willingness to appease terrorists and the far left by treating the butchers of 9/11 like ordinary criminals, instead of as mass murderers.

When it comes to the War on Terror, just like the economy, it is clear that Obama has nothing new to offer except rebranding, snow jobs and cowardice.

C-

Bipartisanship


Obama promised a new era of bipartisanship and inclusiveness, but as it turns out he can hardly even tolerate conservative Democrats, let alone Republicans, aside from the easily bought off kind. Not only did his White House launch repeated smear campaigns against critics such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, but the attacks on Lieberman recently are outright reminiscent of 1984's Two Minute Hate.


And each time Obama demonstrates his blatant intolerance for any dissent from the party line, the results help poison the national dialogue and increase opposition to his policies.

F- 


International Diplomacy

Well over a year ago, Obama assured his gullible audience that they were witness to the moment when the oceans stopped rising. But all of Obama's diplomatic clout couldn't even get an actual binding agreement out of Copenhagen. If Obama couldn't even sell global warming internationally, it's quite clear that he can't sell anything.


Diplomatically, Obama's high profile trips around the world have resulted in a lot of publicity and a lot of humiliation as the man occupying what had once been the office of the leader of the free world, instead went around the world pleading for change, and getting laughed at instead. It's not just the sight of Obama crawling to the Japanese Emperor and the Saudi King that's contemptible, but the sight of him penned in on his visit to China, and being mocked in Turkey.

With his constant trips, Obama has managed to keep himself constantly in the news, while completely devaluing the mystique of the office. Unsurprisingly his visits have accomplished nothing except to create a long stream of photographs of Obama around the world.

Meanwhile traditional allies who tried to visit America had those same visits turn into diplomatic disasters as the White House did its best to show its contempt for them. As a result America is now more isolated than ever, and America's enemies are openly taunting the White House at every occasion.

F


Instead of the B+ that Obama ever so generously gave himself, a real report card might read F+. And that is being very generous indeed. But really it might be better to settle for incomplete, just like Obama's policies.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Christmas in Terrorland

By On December 25, 2009



In the media's Middle Eastern coverage it wouldn't be Christmas without the usual seasonal run of stories on how Bethlehem's Christians are suffering because of Israel. These stories will occasionally admit that the number of Christians dropped drastically under the Palestinian Authority, not under Israeli rule, but this doesn't stop them from running the usual smear campaign.

The Wall Street Journal (via Debbie Schlussel) has an excellent rebuttal

Meet Yussuf Khoury, a 23-year old Palestinian refugee living in the West Bank. Unlike those descendents of refugees born in United Nations camps, Mr. Khoury fled his birthplace just two years ago. And he wasn't running away from Israelis, but from his Palestinian brethren in Gaza.

Mr. Khoury's crime in that Hamas-ruled territory was to be a Christian, a transgression he compounded in the Islamists' eyes by writing love poems.

"Muslims tied to Hamas tried to take me twice," says Mr. Khoury, and he didn't want to find out what they'd do to him if they ever kidnapped him. He hasn't seen his family since Christmas 2007 and is afraid even to talk to them on the phone.

Speaking to a group of foreign journalists in the Bethlehem Bible College where he is studying theology, Mr. Khoury describes a life of fear in Gaza. "My sister is under a lot of pressure to wear a headscarf. People are turning more and more to Islamic fundamentalism and the situation for Christians is very difficult," he says.

In 2007, one year after the Hamas takeover, the owner of Gaza's only Christian bookstore was abducted and murdered. Christian shops and schools have been firebombed. Little wonder that most of Mr. Khoury's Christian friends have also left Gaza.

On the rare occasion that Western media cover the plight of Christians in the Palestinian territories, it is often to denounce Israel and its security barrier. Yet until Palestinian terrorist groups turned Bethlehem into a safe haven for suicide bombers, Bethlehemites were free to enter Israel, just as many Israelis routinely visited Bethlehem.

The other truth usually ignored by the Western press is that the barrier helped restore calm and security not just in Israel, but also in the West Bank including Bethlehem. The Church of the Nativity, which Palestinian gunmen stormed and defiled in 2002 to escape from Israeli security forces, is now filled again with tourists and pilgrims from around the world.

But even here in Jesus' birthplace, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Christians live on a knife's edge. Mr. Khoury tells me that Muslims often stand in front of the gate of the Bible College and read from the Quran to intimidate Christian students. Other Muslims like to roll out their prayer rugs right in Manger Square.

...

Always a minority religion among the predominantly Muslim Palestinians, Christians are, Mr. Qumsieh says, "melting away," even in Bethlehem. While they represented about 80% of the city's population 60 years ago, their numbers are now down to about 20%, a result not just of Muslims' higher birth rates but also widespread Christian emigration. "Our future as a Christian community here is gloomy," Mr. Qumsieh says.

This kind of "honest reporting" however is a rarity among the usual roll call of pieces attacking Israel, while giving Fatah and Hamas terrorists a pass.

The majority of the stories blame Israel for "scaring away" tourists, not the terrorists, whose latest attack murdered a father of 7 yesterday.

Israel has been accused of deliberately impoverishing Bethlehem by ensuring tourists visiting the town spend as little as possible.

Palestinian officials say they have been prevented from benefiting from a record 1.4 million foreign visitors to the occupied West Bank's most important tourist attraction.

They say Israeli tour guides play on tourists' fears by warning them that they face danger as soon as they enter the area.

And they do face danger as soon as they enter the area, because they're entering territory effectively run by a terrorist organization with no independent judiciary or legal government, whose police force doubles as a terrorist militia.

As visitors draw close to the city from nearby Jerusalem, they encounter Israel's separation wall, built in 2003 to protect against terrorist attacks, and checkpoints manned by soldiers.

''When tourists see the wall, they think they are going into a war zone,'' said Adnan Suboh, who owns a souvenir shop in the souk. ''They are afraid.''

Possibly Adnan should be taking his complaint to the terrorists who run the area and continue to carry out terrorist attacks, thereby turning it into a war zone. Or perhaps the foreign diplomats and reporters who enable them.

Israeli officials said they have done everything possible to encourage tourists to go to Bethlehem as a way of promoting peace. Rafa Ben-Hur, the deputy director-general of the Israeli tourism ministry, said: ''If we didn't encourage people to come to Bethlehem from Jerusalem, I don't think you would see the numbers you have now.''

He said the reason tourists stayed for such a short time was because of a lack of attractions in the city.

The bottom line is that if the locals wanted to keep tourists there, they could. Anyone coming to Bethlehem has already spent a good deal of money to get there. They're open to staying around. The reasons they don't want are directly connected to Fatah.

Naturally the Guardian is still running the usual Pro-Hamas propaganda pieces, one from Austen Ivereigh, the disgraced former press secretary to the Archbishop of Westminster, who was forced to resign after the Daily Mail revealed that Austen Ivereigh had an affair that caused his girlfriend to have an abortion.

Austen Ivereigh's defense at the time was: "When I represent the Church's teaching on abortion, there was no hypocrisy on my part. To say that abortion is the taking of human life is not to condemn anyone who has had one."

This kind of bizarre moral double standard however has not stopped Austen Ivereigh from condemning Israel and going from the press secretary to the Archbishop of Westminster, to being the press secretary to an Islamist terrorist group.

Within spitting distance of the very spot Jesus Christ was born is one of the world's great monstrosities, "a symbol of everything wrong with the human heart" as the Archbishop of Canterbury described it when he saw it for himself.

Naturally this quote does not go on Saudi Arabia's dehumanizing treatment of women, Hamas talking about bringing back crucifixion, or you know, bullying a woman into having an abortion... No it's about Israel's passive border defenses against Islamic terrorism.

Walls don't just divide: they corrupt the soul, allowing myths to suppurate. One is that Christians are being "driven out" by Islamic extremism. What nonsense. They have coexisted peacefully with Muslims for centuries, and the Hamas government has done nothing to disenfranchise the Palestinian Christian population.

Of course, peaceful co-existance. But one might be driven to ask why a former Christian region became a Muslim one? Was it the sudden enthusiasm for Christians to convert to Islam.

And what shall we say of the peaceful co-existence represented by the Assyrian Holocaust and the Armenian genocide? Nonsense, indeed. Perhaps Austen Ivereigh should go ask the dead how well they co-existed with their murderers.

Bethlehem is shuttered and depressed not because of Koran-wielding thugs but because the wall has smashed its economy... Jerusalem, Bethlehem's lifeline, a mere 20-minute drive away, is now barred to West Bank Arabs; unemployment in Bethlehem is above 50 percent. That strangulation, and that alone, is the reason why Christians make up just a third of the district's population. The wonder is that so many stay.

Of course playing his part to the hilt, Austen Ivereigh completely ignores why the area under Palestinian control is cut off, because of Islamic terrorism.

But let's say that Bethlehem's decline was caused purely by being cut off by the wall. Why then was Bethlehem's Christian population marginal even before the wall went up?

Furthermore if the problem is the wall, then why has only the Christian population decline, while the Muslim population increased. This is an even tougher question because Christians have tended to run local businesses, while Muslims are more likely to travel to work on construction in Jerusalem.

Clearly much as Austen Ivereigh would like to pretend otherwise, this is not about the wall. It's about Islam.

But let's hear it from the son of a Hamas leader himself, who became a Christian.
It takes a few seconds to digest this sight: The son of a Hamas MP who is also the most popular figure in that extremist Islamic organization, a young man who assisted his father for years in his political activities, has become a rank-and-file Christian. "I'm now called Joseph," he says at the outset.

...

"You Jews should be aware: You will never, but never have peace with Hamas. Islam, as the ideology that guides them, will not allow them to achieve a peace agreement with the Jews. They believe that tradition says that the Prophet Mohammed fought against the Jews and that therefore they must continue to fight them to the death."

Is that the justification for the suicide attacks?

"More than that. An entire society sanctifies death and the suicide terrorists. In Palestinian culture a suicide terrorist becomes a hero, a martyr. Sheikhs tell their students about the 'heroism of the shaheeds.'"

And yet, in spite of the criticism of the place he left, California can't make the longings disappear.

"I miss Ramallah," he says. "People with an open mind. ... I mainly miss my mother, my brothers and sisters, but I know that it will be very difficult for me to return to Ramallah soon."

And there's the peaceful co-existance of Christians with Muslims in Iraq. Where they're co-existing so peacefully that Christmas has been canceled altogether. Now isn't that peaceful?

Christians in the Iraqi city have opted not to celebrate Christmas this year, since Ashura, a major Shi'ite day of mourning, falls on the same day. So out of "respect" for the local Shi'ites, Chaldean Catholic Bishop Imad Al Banna asked all Christians in Basra not to engage in any public celebration of Christmas, and not even to entertain guests or show any joy in the day.

Would Shi'ites curtail one of their celebrations to show similar "respect" to the Christians? Would they mute their joy on Eid al-Fitr if it began on Good Friday? And what would happen to these Christians if they failed to show this "respect"?

Meanwhile, Christians are still streaming out of Iraq in such large numbers that the ancient Christian community is on the verge of extinction. Islamic jihadists last week attacked churches and Christian schools in Mosul, with forty people killed in bomb attacks and random Christians targeted for violence on the streets. This is after jihadist violence late last year killed forty and drove 12,000 Christians from the area. "It is terrible," one Mosul Christian told the Times of London: : "Most of the Christians are staying at home, or when they go out they watch their backs." A member of another religious minority, the Yazidis, who lives in a Christian village remarked: "You cannot live in Mosul. Every day you find Christians being killed. Very few are still going to church. The women have to wear hijabs. They send someone first in a car to check if there is someone outside the church."

And in Egypt, Christian Solidarity International and the Coptic Foundation for Human Rights released a new report detailing rampant abuse of Christian women by Muslims: "Cases of abduction, forced conversion and marriage are usually accompanied by acts of violence which include rape, beatings, deprivation of food and other forms of physical and mental abuse." John Eibner of Christian Solidarity International wrote a letter to Barack Obama about the treatment of Christian women, asking him to speak out and noting: "Trafficking of Christian women in Egypt is not a new phenomenon....But this problem has now reached boiling point within Egypt's Coptic community, which views it as symptomatic of a much broader pattern of religious persecution." But Obama, busy courting the good will of the Islamic world, is unlikely to say anything. And meanwhile, the State Department's 2009 report on international religious freedom noted that the Egyptian government often turns a blind eye to crimes committed against Copts -- and government officials have on occasion even participated in those crimes.

The Christians in Turkey are facing a similarly somber Christmas. "We are treated," said the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, "as citizens of second class. We don't feel that we enjoy our full rights as Turkish citizens." Yet "we prefer to stay here, even crucified sometimes."...

...clearly Israel's wall is to blame for this. Not Islam.

And behind all the circuses, the phony posturing about Israeli checkpoints and the WALL (Horror of horrors, an actual wall) here is a reminder of why the wall is there. Why the checkpoints are there. Not apartheid or deliberate humiliation or some conspiracy... it's simple self-defense. And when that self-defense is relaxed, innocent people die.

Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai left the community of Einav at 4:30 PM Thursday and drove toward his home in Shavei Shomron. Terrorists in a car that overtook him opened heavy fire at him. Ten bullets hit Meir in the head. He was mortally wounded and died a few minutes later.

Thousands of people took part in the funeral of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai who was murdered Thursday by a Fatah terror squad. The funeral procession started out at 10:00 AM from the Shamgar Funeral Home and went to the cemetery at the Mount of Olives.

Chai (40) lived in Shavei Shomron for 14 years. He was married with seven children, the youngest of whom is two months old.

Minister Yaakov Neeman eulogized Rabbi Chai tearfully and paid tribute to his great virtue as a teacher of young children.

Samaria Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika said that “Rabbi Meir is a victim of the folly of the government of Israel. His murder is the result of the removal of checkpoints. Two weeks ago the main checkpoint between Shechem and Tulkarm was opened. The government of Israel preferred the Arab's fabric of life to the Jew's life.” Mentioning Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Mesika said: “I demand that you face the widow and orphans and ask forgiveness because you cannot say 'our hands did not spill this blood.'”

This is what happens when the checkpoints are removed. Terrorists use that as a chance to kill. And then the checkpoints go up again and the world cries tearfully for Israel to stop humiliating the poor oppressed Palestinians. And the checkpoints go down, and more people are murdered.

Over and over again.

And who killed Rabbi Meir Chai? Was it some small lone band of extremists condemned by moderate Muslims? Get real. He was killed by members of Fatah's security forces. The same police forces who provide "security" in Bethlehem.

The announcement by the Al Aksa Martyrs organization that its men are the ones who killed Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai raises some difficult questions, when one bears in mind that the United States assists the Fatah organization through military training under the supervision of Gen. Keith Dayto

Interviewed by Ben Bresky Thursday night, journalist David Bedein reminded Arutz Sheva's audience that the Al Aksa Martyrs formally joined Fatah's security forces at the Fatah convention in August. Fatah receives military training from US military forces with the full approval of Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Bedein noted that as a journalist, he recently submitted a query to the Minister of Defense and directed a similar question to the US authorities. In his queries he noted that despite their claims otherwise, the Al Aksa Martyrs are a terror group whose men receive financial aid which the US gives the group.

He has not received an answer to the query.

Bedein's description of the matter means that the United States (headed by President Barack Obama), with the Israeli government's passive agreement, has indirect responsibility for training and funding the terror force which murdered Rabbi Meir Chai.

This is what madness looks like. This is what appeasing terrorism looks like. And this is the least of the reasons why there is a wall between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Because Bill Clinton insisted that Israel import tens of thousands of terrorists and give them an autonomous state inside its borders. Because 3 Presidents have supported, armed and trained the terrorists of that terrorist state known as the Palestinian Authority. And 5 Israel Prime Ministers have done their part too, to enable the "moderate" terrorists over the "extremist" terrorists.

That is why no one is safe in Israel anymore. That is why there are checkpoints and guards and walls. A fact that the usual mix of liberal Churches who wail over Bethlehem will never acknowledge or admit.

Here meanwhile is how the avatar of the liberal press, the New York Times via the AP covered the story of the murder of Rabbi Chai.

West Bank: Israeli Settler Killed

That's it. Israeli settler. Not father, not human being. Just "settler".

An Israeli man was shot to death in the West Bank on Thursday. A little-known militant group identifying itself as a faction of the Fatah movement of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, claimed responsibility for the attack, in an e-mail message to journalists. Israel Radio identified the victim as a 45-year-old resident of a nearby Israeli settlement. Christmas celebrations proceeded without incident in Bethlehem.

Isn't it wonderful that they proceeded without incident.

The murder of Rabbi Chai furthermore takes place in the context of Israel accepting a 10 month settlement building freeze on the area, as a "confidence building" measure for the Palestinian Authority, which not only did not return to the negotiating table, but exploited Israel's relaxation of checkpoints to commit murder.

Will this stop the freeze? I rather doubt it.

In other news, there's a suspicious fireworks incident abroad a plane traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit, one of America's largest Muslim areas. Of course there's no way to know the identity or whether this was intended to cause any harm, but it should be on our radar.

A passenger on a Northwest Airlines flight Friday from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, caused a brief disturbance at the end of the trip by igniting several firecrackers, according to a Delta Air Lines spokeswoman.

The passenger was immediately subdued, according to Susan Elliott, spokeswoman for Delta, Northwest's parent company.

The incident resulted in some minor injuries, Elliott said.

The good news is that the passengers, even in 2009, still reacted immediately.

Meanwhile Atlas comments on the story of the Taliban Christmas video. The timing of course is no accident at all.

The Muslims Against Sharia blog has Alan Caruba's response to Jimmy Carter's non-apology apology.

The news of the day before Christmas is that former President Jimmy Carter has apologized for anything he has said or done to offend America’s Jewish community and presumably around the world.

The news was welcomed by the national director of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation league, Abraham Foxman, who said that it was “incumbent for us to accept” the apology, but Foxman does not speak for me or for the American Jewish community.

I do not accept the apology and neither should anyone who holds the state of Israel as the fulfillment of a 2,000 year old dream of return to the land in which Judaism took root and flourished through exiles and dispersion.

My reasoning is that Carter has spoken only with the prospect that his grandson, Jason, is anticipated to run for public office in Georgia in a congressional district with what is reported as “a vocal Jewish population.” It’s politics. It’s not a confession of the heart. Jason hailed the apology as a “great step towards reconciliation”, but I suggest that it is deeds, not words, that matter.

I also have nothing but contempt for Foxman, who is mainly interested in getting his name in the paper at every opportunity. I have very little interest in Carter's apologies, like most Jews I want him to simply leave us alone. And that's clearly not something he has any interest in doing. His attempt to form a phony common ground through sanctimonious religious language is all too typical of the hypocritical piety of his presidency. And we've had enough of it.

Debbie Schlussel is just as disdainful of Carter's apology. Carter's views don't necessarily reflect on his grandson, but neither is the association a comfortable one.

The Baron at Gates of Vienna wonders if it isn't the economic downturn in Dubai that's getting to him.

At Sheikyermani, India's Home minister tells us what we knew all along. Religion of peace, my ass.

And then there's this issue. A couple of months ago I wrote about Michelle Malkin's site posting an anti-semitic Vdare article in the Buzzworthy section. I wrote it off as a possible accident, but it's happened again. And this time the content is much less ambiguous.

I am a little baffled, because Malkin's position has generally been pro-Israel, which makes it odd that she would link to a hatefilled pro-terrorist rant from 9/11 Truther, Paul Craig Roberts. At the time I wrote her an email, without ever receiving a response. Maybe the Buzzworthy section is produced by some random feed selection. But the title would seem to indicate otherwise.

And this is a problem that would not exist if Malkin was not associated with the Vdare site in the first place, a site that's tough on immigration, but otherwise slightly to the left of David Duke and far to the right of even Buchanan. This isn't a question of PC. This is allying yourself with the men in the peaked white caps whose views on Islamic terrorism are often virtually indistinguishable from the far left.

At Tundra Tabloids there's an important essay on the paralyzing effect of so-called moderate Islamism

If we look at the concept, it becomes apparent that Islamism - with it's many different names like radical Islam, political Islam, or militant Islam - is just a made-up concept created in the west for the purpose of supporting another, equally imaginary concept called moderate Islam - also known as true Islam or worldly Islam.
It is obvious that these two imaginary concepts were created together, as a pair, as neither of them can exist without the other. However, as both of the concepts support each other, it is clear that moderate Islam is the actual concept that is at the heart of this whole thing, and that the concept of Islamism is created to support the concept of moderate Islam.

After all, Islamism is just a word that was made up for the aspects inside Islam that we don't agree with in the west: For example, even as the Quran tells him do so, if a Muslim kills infidels, it is Islamism. On the other hand, if a Muslim that treats other Muslims well, as advised in the Quran, he is practicing the so-called true, or moderate Islam.

In other words, everything in Islam that is not compatible with western values is Islamism - and everything else in Islam is moderate Islam.
The only problem is that we can not divide Islam in this way: Islam is a religion that is based on holy scriptures and these holy scriptures simply contain what they contain - everything they contain is Islam, regardless of how we categorize it in the west.

At Israpundit, Bill Levinson asks, What if Obama's Policies Lead to a Nuclear Holocaust

At Reflexiones, Ana has a Spanish language translation of my article on the Macabees and Chanukah

The New Centrist remembers a real life hero, Bernard Goetz

On this day twenty-five years ago, Bernhard Goetz pulled the trigger on four thugs who were about to rob him. For some, this made him an outlaw, a criminal, even a “racist”. For others, a hero.

The hero of myth overcomes outrageous odds stacked against him. He takes a negative situation and turns it into something positive. Perhaps most of all, he transforms a personal tribulation into a universal aspiration.

Unlike the heroes of antiquity, heroes in the American context do not come from the elite classes. They are not demi-gods, blessed at birth. Rather, they are common everyday folks. What makes them heroic is not the facts of their ancestry but how they respond to adversity.

NYC in the 1984 was not only a different time, it was almost a different place. Sure I realize many of my friends recall the 80s for the punk shows at CBGB’s, the squats, and the LES before it became a magnet for yuppies. They miss the rough edges of the city. But for most citizens, the 80s were a time of grime, decay, and criminality, a city that was on the brink of throwing up its hands and saying “I give up”. Yet there were some who willing to fight back. As Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) stated in Taxi Driver, “Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.”

Enter Bernhard Goetz. He stood up and proclaimed “Enough!” He fought back. And for that courageous act he earned the praise of many working-class New Yorkers whether white, black, Latino or Asian.

It is crazy that people fail to realize what kept Bernie from getting robbed or killed that night. It was not the cops. It was not 911. It was not the next man. It was his desire to not be a victim. That makes him a hero. Don’t ever forget that.

And that is a model for all of us.

Finally, the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors has a campaign on behalf of UN Watchdogs targeted by the UN.

There is a sample letter, and more information at CJHS's Facebook page and Twitter account. I urge you to take a closer look, because if the UN can silence UN watchdog groups and figures such as Anne Bayefsky, they will operate completely immune from accountability.
On November 5th the Security Office of UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon forcefully stripped Anne Bayefsky of her credentials after she
spoke out against the UN's anti-Israel and pro-Hamas Goldstone Report
resolution. Bayefsky had long been one of the few genuine critics and
watchdogs inside the building, often eliciting anger because for her
vocal support of Israel and her opposition to General Assembly
resolutions outlawing criticism of extremist Islam.

As director of the Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust at
New York's Touro College, Bayefsky heads a US NGO entitled to access
at the UN. Now she is waiting on the UN Committee on Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs), a

committee chaired by Sudan, a human rights abuser, to decide if she
will be allowed future access to UN proceedings. Her original
"violation" has yet to be clarified, ranging from "the Palestinian
Ambassador is very upset at the statement you made" to pretexts about
the credentials of her assistants.
President Obama has promised to "engage in the work of improving the
UN human rights system." But instead of fighting for free speech and
access for American NGO's, the State Department and US Ambassador to
the UN Susan Rice have allowed Bayefsky's status to remain in limbo
while a group chaired by Sudan decides her fate.

Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors cannot not sit silently by
while the few genuine human rights advocates in the UN are silenced.
Please join us in demanding support for Bayefsky’s immediate
reinstatement by contacting your U.S. Representative or Senator,
especially if they are members of the Committees on Foreign Relations
charged with overseeing the State Department and our UN mission. Time
is of the essence and we urge you to act now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How the West Rejuvenated Pan-Islamism and the Global Jihad

By On December 23, 2009
The seeming suddenness with which Islamic terrorism went from a problem happening "out there" in the hinterlands to a problem happening across the street can be credited as much to the Islamists themselves, as to their enablers. What the backwardness of the Muslim world and the collapse of its empires of conquered regions into colonies themselves, ruled over by European powers achieved to break down Pan-Islamism, seemingly for good, was swiftly undone. And it was undone by the fact that virtually every major power in the 20th century fostered Pan-Islamism as a tool against its enemies.


Certainly the worst example of this phenomenon was the Cold War during which the US and the USSR helped create modern Islamic terrorism, by alternately training, arming and turning Muslim guerrillas and terrorists into weapons against each other. While the USSR helped create the modern Middle Eastern terrorist, the US helped create the Asian Muslim terrorist. And together, from the PLO to the Mujadeen, from Al Queda to the PFLP, from the Madrassas to the Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University, the beast grew and swelled to fill a vacuum that the end of the Cold War created.

And as the modern Muslim terrorist was created out of the Cold War, so were the two major arguments used by conservative and liberal Westerners for supporting or tolerating Islamic terrorism. The Soviet Union crafted the core argument used by liberals who defend the sort of headchopping Islamist barbarians who would be happy enough to nail them to a wall simply for not having a beard, when it differentiated between "ancient" Pan-Islamism as a tool of religious repression and "modern" Pan-Islamism as a means by which oppressed people revolt against imperialist tyranny.

To understand just how far back this goes, consider this defense of Pan-Islamism by the Chairman of the Communist Party of Indonesia in 1922.

But now one must first understand what the word Pan-Islamism really means. Once, it had a historical significance and meant that Islam must conquer the whole world, sword in hand, and that this must take place under the leadership of the Caliph, and the Caliph must be of Arabian origin. About 400 years after the death of Mohammed the Muslims split into three great states and thus the Holy War lost its significance for the entire Muslim world...

So Pan-Islamism no longer has its original meaning, but now has in practice an entirely different meaning. Today, Pan-Islamism signifies the national liberation struggle, because for the Muslims Islam is everything: not only religion, but also the state, the economy, food, and everything else. And so Pan-Islamism now means the brotherhood of all Muslim peoples, and the liberation struggle not only of the Arab but also of the Indian, the Javanese and all the oppressed Muslim peoples. This brotherhood means the practical liberation struggle not only against Dutch but also against English, French and Italian capitalism, therefore against world capitalism as a whole. That is what Pan-Islamism now means in Indonesia among the oppressed colonial peoples, according to their secret propaganda – the liberation struggle against the different imperialist powers of the world.

This is a new task for us. Just as we want to support the national struggle, we also want to support the liberation struggle of the very combative, very active 250 million Muslims living under the imperialist powers. Therefore I ask once again: Should we support Pan-Islamism, in this sense?

The speech in question may date back to 1922 but its sentiments are very modern and commonplace among  liberals in the West today. Their view is that Islamism is a people's liberation struggle against Western imperialism and capitalism because it serves as a common bridge between Islam and the Left today in 2009, just as it did then in 1922.

This reinterpretation of Islamism as an expression of economic and political discontent today tends to be described under labels such as resistance to Globalization or to corrupt Western "puppet regimes", but it is in fact a carbon copy of the Soviet approach to Pan-Islamism. This ideological approach enables the left to co-opt Islam in the struggle against Western hegemony. Meanwhile Islamists have long since learned to put forward economic and political grievances in order to make common cause with the left.


Meanwhile on the right, the American approach to Islam, as exemplified by the Green Belt strategy or the current War on Terror (but not on Islam) is that Muslims were potentially valuable allies whose religion would help create common ground against Communism and other evils. Disastrous incarnations of this approach included Carter's backing for the Ayatollah Khomeni that resulted in the totalitarian Shiite Iran we know today and America's longstanding with the Saudi royal family, which has exported Sunni terrorism almost as assiduously as its oil.

Essentially both the United States and the Soviet Union made the strategic assessment that Muslims would serve as valuable strategic allies, particularly against each other's allied regimes in the Third World. And it certainly worked to a degree. Russian influence over the Middle East at one point seemed poised on the verge of turning the entire region red. Meanwhile America's ties to Asian Muslims helped defeat the USSR in Afghanistan, checkmated Russian allies such as India, by cultivating Pakistan and Indonesia, while helping the latter commit genocide against Christians in East Timor. (The man who helped shield the Indonesian regime, Dennis C. Blair is currently serving as Barack Hussein Obama's Director of National Intelligence.)

The problem is that while the US and the USSR have both insisted on seeing Muslim terrorists as tools against each other-- they have both become targets.

Russia is currently fighting off an insurgency in Chechnya with casualties that make Vietnam seem like a field hockey outing, and the war has moved beyond Chechnya and is likely to eventually turn into a much larger uprising. Meanwhile Muslims are projected to form a majority of Russia by 2050. None of this has discouraged the affinity of the Russian government for Islam, as it continues to believe that its government controlled mosques can continue safely directing Islamic terrorism at the West, without being harmed by it. But while Russia's government controlled Imams preach Jihad against the West, the actual terrorist attacks by Muslims in the region are aimed at Russia itself. And while Russia continues to supply Muslim regimes and their associated terrorist groups with everything from rifles to nuclear technology, the odds are just as good of those weapons being used against them.

Meanwhile the United States failed to treat either the original World Trade Center bombing or the USS Cole attack as a wake up call to the threat of Islamic terrorism. It took the unavoidable reality of a grand attack on the Towers, the Pentagon and the White House to do that. But waking up to a problem and understanding the solution are two different things, as the United States has demonstrated by pursuing a hazy approach that walks somewhere between domestic and international appeasement, with healthy doses of unloading the White Man's Democratic Burden on countries where democracy means putting the Islamists in charge. In the process we have racked up a mixed record of wins and losses. We heavily battered Al Queda and frightened a number of Muslim countries, most notably Libya's Khaddafi and Musharraf's Pakistan out of their wits. On the other hand we helped Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as CAIR exercise even more influence at home and every American by now has been inculcated with the knowledge that Islam is a wonderful religion of peace. Additionally there is no telling how many of the billions in foreign aid, aid grants and reconstruction wound up in the pockets of terrorists.

Even with the Cold War over and with both countries facing large scale terrorist conflicts and demographic threats, both Russia and the United States have continued to fight Islamism with their left hand, while feeding it crackers with their right.

But while the Cold War helped create the modern Muslim terrorist, the coddling of Pan-Islamism vastly predates it. I said at the beginning of this essay that virtually every major power in the 20th century coddled and promoted Pan-Islamism as a tool against its enemies, and that is exactly the shocking but unfortunate truth of it.

Early in the 20th century Germany was studying Islam in order to plan a Muslim uprising in India. Germany would spend the next half century trying to co-opt Islam into a weapon against its enemies, with mixed results. But nevertheless by WW2, there were Muslim SS divisions in Europe that prayed to Mecca and German propaganda broadcast to the region had inspired the Ayatollah Khomeni and the Muslim Brotherhood, which would take organizational tips from Nazism, and ultimately give birth to everything from Al Queda to Hamas to CAIR.

But Japan, which had devised an entire global strategy based on fostering Fifth Columns, took it a good deal further with an aggressive outreach campaign to Muslims in India, Turkey and Central Asia, extensive studies of Islam and the rebranding of its own war as a "Holy War" or "Jihad". While generally hostile to Christianity as a form of Western Imperialism, Imperial Japan threw open the doors for Islam early on, recognizing the religion and promoting a new non-Western view of Islam as a religion that emphasized love, rather than the sword. Japanese agent converted to Islam and tried to promote a Pan-Asiatic form of Islamism. By no particular coincidence, the same factions that pushed for war, also focused on allying with Islam. And Japan's most prominent researcher of Islam and the first translator of the Koran into Japanese, was also one of its most notorious war criminals.

While Germany and Japan may have seemed like unlikely suspects when it comes to promoting Pan-Islamism, they were probably no more so than Communist Russia or the United States of America. Yet they are far from alone on the list. Most European countries have courted Islamism at one time or another, But these days there are few countries that have not. Any country with a sizable or even tiny Muslim minority of guest workers pays its homage, even the Israeli Foreign Ministry which hosts papers praising the great contributions of Islamic culture to the world. And as Islam becomes more of a global problem even in countries where it was never resident, more countries in turn begin pandering to the Islamist worldview out of fear.


While Muslim terrorism in the West certainly did not begin in 2001, until that point American and European security agencies tended to view Muslim terrorist groups as passerby who used their countries to raise funds and buy weapons for Jihad, but not as active domestic threats. By now America and Europe have long since stopped being mere hubs, places where money was raised or obtained through organized crime, as locations to buy guns and transport drugs-- but as big red X's targeted by Islamists, but the attitude toward them has not changed altogether. In many cases Muslims are still seen as assets, rather than threats, and the War on Terror with its artificial division of Muslims into a moderate majority and extremist minority has only further driven Western law enforcement to try and make some cause with Islamists in order to counter the "extremists" among them.

This attitude is a defeatist one, but it is hopelessly embedded in the anti-terror blueprint that dates back to the old Hearts and Minds strategy of trying to defeat an insurgency by winning over the general population... an approach that is not limited its application to the streets of Basra and Kabul, but the streets of Detroit and Londonistan as well. And the result is that Islamist terrorism has empowered Islamists even more, as they find themselves being "recruited" and paid what amounts to protection money to keep terrorists at bay. And in doing so the West continues the long tragic tradition of pandering to Islamism, a tradition that in the 20th century rejuvenated Pan-Islamism and the Global Jihad.

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