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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year We Lost Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Most of the Middle East

By On December 31, 2011
About the only people having a Happy New Year in the Muslim world aren't the Christians who are huddling and waiting out the storm, but the Islamists who use a different calendar but are having the best time of their lives since the last Caliphate.

The news that the Obama Administration has brought in genocidal Muslim Brotherhood honcho Yusuf Al-Qaradawi to discuss terms of surrender for the transfer of Afghanistan to the Taliban caps a year in which the Brotherhood and the Salafists are looking up carve up Egypt, the Islamists won Tunisia's elections, Turkey's Islamist AKP Party purged the last bastions of the secular opposition and Libya's future as an Islamist state was secured by American, British and French jets and special forces.

Time Magazine declared that 2011 was the Year of the Protester, they might have more honestly called it the Year of the Islamist. In 2010 the Taliban were still hiding in caves. In 2012 they are set to be in power from Tunisia to Afghanistan and from Egypt to Yemen. They won't go by that name of course. Most of them will have elaborate names with the words "Justice" or "Community" in them, but they will for the most part be minor variations on the Muslim Brotherhood theme.

2011 will indeed be remembered, but not because of any Arab Spring or OWS nonsense. It will be a pivotal year in the rise of the next Caliphate. A rise disguised by angry protesters waving cell phones and flags. And clueless media coverage that treated Tahrir Square as the new fall of the Berlin Wall.

This was the year that Obama helped topple several regimes that served as the obstacles to Islamist takeovers. The biggest fish that Ibn Hussein speared out of the sea for Al-Qaradawi was Egypt, a prize that the Islamists had wanted for the longest time, but had never managed to catch. That is until the Caliph-in-Chief got it for them. Egyptian Democracy splits the take between the Brotherhood and the Salafists, whom the media is already quick to describe as moderates. First up against the wall are the Christians. Second up against the wall are the Jews. Third up is all that military equipment we provided to the Egyptian military which will shortly be finding its way to various "moderate militants" who want to discuss our foreign policy with us.

But there's no reason to sell the fall of Tunisia short or the transition in Yemen. And when mob protests didn't work, NATO sent in the jets to pound Libya until Al-Qaeda got its way there. Turkey's fate had been written some time ago, but 2011 was the year that the AKP completed its death grip on the country with a final crackdown on the military, which has now ceased to be a force for stability.

Left out of the picture is Somalia. Liberals fulminated when Bush helped drive out Al-Shaab and its jolly Muslim lads with a habit of beheading people who didn't grow beards or watched too much soccer. Any number of editorials complained that we had destabilized the country and that the Islamic Courts Union were really a bunch of moderates in disguise.

Sadly Obama has not been able to salvage the position of Al-Shabab which is low on money and has turned to forcing 12 year old girls into prostitution and torturing and murdering those who refuse. They're also forcing the elderly to join its militias. But there is good news. Like every terrorist group, Al-Shabab has gotten itself a Twitter account and when O finds 5 minutes in between vacations and golf tournaments, the White House will order neighboring African countries to withdraw their armies and send in Al-Qaradawi to negotiate.

But even if the Islamists don't get Somalia, they've got a nice chunk of North Africa to chew over, not to mention a few more slices of the Middle-Eastern pie, and Afghanistan will be back in their hands as soon as they manage to outmaneuver Karzai, which given his paranoia and cunning may admittedly take a while. But the Taliban are not big on maneuvers, they have the manpower, which means it's only a matter of time until they do what the Mujaheddin did to the puppet Soviet regime. A history that everyone in the region is quite familiar with.

The ugliest part of this story isn't what Obama did. It's when he did it. If he really had no interest in winning Afghanistan, and if as he had said, the Taliban are not our enemy, then why did we stay for so long and lose so many lives fighting a war that the White House had no intention of winning? The ugly conclusion that must be drawn from the timing of the Iraq and Afghanistan withdrawals is that the wars were being played out to draw down around the time of the next election.

What that means is Obama sacrificed the thousands of Americans killed and wounded in the conflict as an election strategy. The idea that American soldiers were fighting and dying for no reason until the time when maximum political advantage could be gained from pulling them out is horrifying, it's a crime beyond redemption, an act worse than treason-- and yet there is no other rational conclusion to be drawn from the timetable.

If the Taliban were not our enemy, then the war should have ended shortly after the election. Instead Obama threw more soldiers into the mix while tying their hands with Rules of Engagement that prevented them from defending themselves or aggressively going after the Taliban. Casualties among US soldiers and Afghan civilians increased. Now the Taliban are no longer our enemy and we are negotiating a withdrawal.

There are only two possible explanations. Either we lost the war or Obama never intended to win it and was allowing the Taliban to murder American soldiers until the next election. If so we're not just looking at a bad man at the teleprompter, we are looking into the face of an evil so amoral that it defies description.

But whatever motives we may attribute to the Obama Administration the outcome of its policies in backing the Arab Spring with influence, training and even weapons is indisputable. What Carter did to Persia, Obama has done to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and that's not the whole of the list.

Iraq will likely fall to Iran in a bloody civil war, whether it will be parts of the country or the whole country depend on how much support we provide to the Kurds. Under the Obama Administration the level of support is likely to be none.

Once the Islamists firmly take power across North Africa they will begin squeezing the last states that have still not fallen. Last month the leader of the murderous Enhada Islamists who have taken power in Tunisia stopped by Algeria. Morocco has not yet come down, but at this rate it's only a matter of time.

Syria remains an open question. The Muslim Brotherhood is in a successor position there and would welcome our intervention against the Assad regime. The Assads are no prize and they're Iranian puppets, but shoving them out would give the Brotherhood yet another country and its sizable collection of weaponry.

All that is bound to make 2012 an ugly year in its own right, especially if the Obama Administration continues allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to control its foreign policy. For all that Time and other mainstream media outlets continue splashing the same protest pornography photos on every page, the region has become an indisputably worse place this year with the majority of moderate governments overthrown and replaced, or in the process of being replaced by Islamist thugs.

Carter can breathe a sigh of relief. In one year the Obama Administration has done far more damage than the bucktoothed buffoon did in his entire term. After 2011 we can look back with nostalgia on the days when all that an incompetent leftist in the White House did was lose one country, one canal and a bunch of hostages. Things have gotten so bad that we can safely say that Obama on a good day is worse than Jimmy Carter on a bad day.

Forget the usual end of the year roundups which focus on pop stars, dead celebrities and who wore what and when. None of that really matters. It didn't matter four years ago. It certainly doesn't matter now.

2011 was not the year that Steve Jobs died, it was the year that any hope that we were not headed for a violent collision of civilizations died as Western governments helped topple the few moderates and let the worst have their harvest of power.

Will that be considered a bad thing in the long run? It's hard to say. What Obama did was speed up the date of an inescapable conflict. A day when it will no longer be state-supported terrorists setting off bombs, but when much of the Muslim world will look like Iran and will openly declare that they are at war with us. That was almost certainly bound to happen anyway, but bringing the day forward by ten or twenty years means that we will be less weaker than we might have been when it happens.

Evil has a way of destroying itself, and in his own backward way, Barry Hussein may have helped save civilization. It will be a long time before we know for sure, but giving the Brotherhood what it wanted before they were ready for it, and before we are so completely crippled by the left's political correctness that we are left helpless, may be our best hope.

2011 was the year we lost Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and many others, but it should not be the year that we lose hope. For all that the bad guys have been gaining and domestic prospects don't look good, the bad guys have a way of destroying themselves. Give evil its head and it will kill millions, but it will also self-destruct in a spectacular way. Even when it seems as if we have run out of productive things to do, it is instructive to remember that there is a Higher Power in the destinies of men and that the aspirations of evil men to play at being gods eventually leads them to complete and utter ruin through their own arrogance.

But 2011 is also a reminder that the world cannot afford another year of Obama. That it cannot afford the appeasement, the destructive policies or the post-American politics that have made his regime the worst administration in this country's history. 2011 may be the year that we lost the Middle East, but let's work to make 2012 the year that this country loses one Barack Hussein Obama.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Primary Punishment

By On December 30, 2011


IOWA ROLL

Santorum is finally getting a look from Republican voters, if only a partial one, and it took long considering that he's far more consistently conservative in his positions. Is he electable, that's another issue.

Romney still has a fairly open path to the nomination only because the Anti-Romney vote has not solidified around a single candidate. And it hasn't solidified around a single candidate because none of the candidates really generates that much of an enthusiasm factor or makes voters comfortable.

The Pro-Romneyites know what they want. A stable candidate who will toe the Chamber of Commerce line and do a decent job of keeping the same mess going without being an "extremist" or alienating any sizable group. That means, contrary to what Coulter says, immigration reform and some form of national health care. It means compassionate conservatism. And it means a somewhat stable hand at the wheel.

Most Republicans don't like Romney or his positions very much, but there's no real ability to unite around an Anti-Romney because all the candidates are deeply flawed in some way. Gingrich may have been the best of the bunch, which isn't saying much, but he's losing steam much.

The rapid shifts from candidate to candidate is brand panic because no single candidate is able to hold on to voters. Ron Paul, who has always had a small but fanatical following, is a partial exception but his base is not really Republican and the voters he picked up as a temporary anti-Romney will move on leaving him with the same core he always had.

Gingrich seemed to have come closest to capturing what Anti-Romney voters wanted, a warrior who wasn't wasting his time  biting at the ankles of the frontrunners. But weeks of sustained attacks took their toll, as did the lack of a debate forum where he could showcase what he does best.

Gingrich is not a campaigner. Give him a camera and a forum and he can sell himself, but he doesn't have that much use for the flesh pressing rounds of the trail. Bachmann had one of the best ground organizations in Iowa, only to have it taken apart by dirty tricks. Santorum put in the time in Iowa and is rising.

There is no serious or honest argument to make for Romney except that he may be electable and even that is debatable. He is at best more electable than his rivals because he's inoffensive. He's a window store mannequin with few views that he's not willing to change before and after an election. Which is why the establishment is running itself ragged trying to find an argument for backing him.

Coulter asserts that Romney is the only candidate who's right on the two most important issues.

In the upcoming presidential election, two issues are more important than any others: repealing Obamacare and halting illegal immigration. If we fail at either one, the country will be changed permanently.

But capitulate on illegal immigration, and the entire country will have the electorate of California. There will be no turning back.

Similarly, if Obamacare isn’t repealed in the next few years, it never will be.

The problem with Coulter's argument is that it assumes a number of things. First that Romney will be willing to take on ObamaCare. Romney has never come off as much of a fighter on controversial issues once in office.

Second Coulter equates E-Verify with opposing illegal immigration. It's somewhat more complicated than that. And even by the stats she quotes at the end of her article, Romney has a C Minus immigration rating. Perry has a D and the rest have D minuses except for Paul who has an F.

If Romney has a C Minus, then he's not exactly the best candidate on immigration, maybe he's the least worst one. If we take those numbers at face value, then every candidate is bad on immigration and there's no hope of electing a Republican president who isn't terrible on immigration.

And Numbers USA's piece on Santorum actually says that he was bad on immigration issues in the 1990's, but that he significantly improved later on. His actual grade is arguably better than Romney's. If he opposed amnesty while in the Senate then Coulter's assertion that he would support it in the White House is dubious.


Meanwhile the ugliness in Ron Paul's newsletters is getting some belated attention. Kirchick already dug most or all of this during the previous election, and the media and the establishment chose not to pay attention. This time they're paying some attention. Like all the marginal candidates, Paul is another wedge for Romney to win the nomination in the demolition derby of the anti-Romneys, but what happens then?

Ron Radosh at PJM has one possible scenario.

The danger, then, is that Paul will do what his followers want and what he originally promised he would not do: run on a third-party ticket for the presidency.

If Ron Paul follows that course, it means that he will take away just enough votes from the eventual nominee to assure Barack Obama’s re-election as president of the United States. Since Paul obviously believes that the positions of the Republican Party are no different than those of the Democrats, it makes sense for him to become the spoiler, thus asserting his own power in politics. For the rest of us, it will mean we have lost our only chance to stop the destruction of the America we have come to know and love by presenting Barack Obama with four more years to achieve his domestic agenda of transforming the United States into a European-style social democracy.

Some Paul supporters have already made the "Romney is indistinguishable from Obama" argument, which as bad as Romney is, is blatantly untrue.

Can a Third Party run by Paul get Obama elected? It's entirely possible if the Republican candidate performs weakly in swing states where Paul performs well.

Nader's Third Party run lost Florida for Al Gore. Romney is performing well in Florida and Ron Paul hardly registers there, but in a close race between Obama and Romney, even a minimal showing by Paul would be enough to swing the election to Obama. But the issue isn't likely to come down to Florida. There are other states where Paul can count on a turnout where Romney might be weak.

But on the other hand Paul isn't Nader. Nader's main appeal was to Democrats and those left of center. Ron Paul's appeal is more "complex" scoring better with Democrats and Independents then with Republicans.

Does that mean a third party run by Paul would actually hurt Obama more? Hard to say. But it might mean that if the race is close, it will require a good deal more numbers and state by state scrutiny to determine who Paul would hurt more.

In a general election those Democrats backing Paul now would split into those who naturally vote for Third Party candidates, and Ron Paul would just get the vote that they would have otherwise given to the Green Party. So they're a wash anyway. Would Paul be able to pull any Democrats who would otherwise vote for Obama? Very doubtful. Any Democrat so outraged over drone strikes or Manning that he would be willing to for Paul isn't likely to vote for Obama.

About the only voters that Paul might pull away from Obama would be independents. But Paul would also suck up Republican voters convinced that Romney is no different than Obama. There wouldn't be very many of them, but with Beck pushing Paul all through the election, it might be enough to eke out an Obama win in a close state race.




MAYBE HE SHOULD BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF IRAN

Apparently alluding to Israel and its nuclear-weapons arsenal, Paul said that “if I were an Iranian, I’d like to have a nuclear weapon, too, because you gain respect from them.”

Yet oddly Ron Paul isn't a fan of America's nuclear weapons arsenal. For the same tediously paranoid reason that he's opposed to a border fence or school vouchers or pretty much anything. Paul is very pessimistic  about the American government, but optimistic about the Iranian government. With that why doesn't Ron Paul just run for election in Iran?

It's a semi-serious question. Ron Paul really dislikes the United States government. He thinks it's being governed by a secret society of CIA-Federal Reserve assassins. That we can't even secure the border because then we won't be able to run away to Mexico when the American Empire takes off.

Then why not just leave? If Ron Paul really believes the government is controlled by a secret society, then why does he think that he can be elected? Surely the Skull and Masonbergers would send another patsy after him and mutilate some cattle along the way. So either Paul doesn't really believe all this and is just pandering to his base, or he does believe it and doesn't want to take the time to run for President of Mexico.

Ron Paul has more confidence in the decency of Ahmadinejad then he does in the decency of American leaders. That seems to be part of a pattern for him. He thinks that we should have taken Bin Laden at his word for his reasons for attacking America, when he didn't take Bush at his word.

Fair enough. But then why stay here? If our system is so rotten, why not explore the free market economies and civil liberties of Iran, Mexico or Pakistan? If Ron Paul really believes that everything we do is doomed to fall into evil, then why not move somewhere that he can be optimistic about the authorities and the future?




TERROR FOR CHRISTMAS

The Nigerian church bombings were the resumption of a time honored Muslim tradition. That of Christmas terror.

Choosing a spot next to a light rail terminal, Mohamud waited for a train to arrive in order to inflict the maximum number of casualties on the families arriving at the ceremony. But instead of murdering thousands of people at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, he was arrested and dragged away while screaming, “Allahu Akbar.”

...

The Christmas Market has been held in Strasbourg, France for over four hundred years. A year before Al-Qaeda flew planes into the World Trade Center, European Muslims began scouting the site for a terrorist attack. Salim Boukari filmed the market, remarking at the people passing by outside the Strasbourg Cathedral. “Here are the enemies of Allah as they stroll about. You will go to hell, Allah willing.”

See the rest of the ugly litany of terror in my Front Page Magazine article, Muslim Terror for Christmas.

Also at the site Mark Tapson lists some of the seasonal harassment directed at Christians in Muslim countries.

In Iraq, for example, all Christian services and masses were scheduled for daylight hours. Why? “Midnight Christmas Mass has been canceled in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk as a consequence of the never-ending assassinations of Christians,” bluntly stated Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. In Egypt, where we are witnessing the outright, state-assisted genocide of the dwindling Coptic Christian population, churches were also threatened with violence. Christian prisoners in Pakistan, incarcerated for such crimes as blasphemy against Islam, were refused Christmas Day visits from their families. 

See his piece, Islam's War on Christmas for the rest.

My other article for the week deals with Soros' black hand in the form of the Center for American Progress and the aid it's providing to the Muslim Brotherhood. See The Center for American Progress' Jihad Against the Free World

The Center for American Progress is not just any organization. Headed up by John Podesta​, a co-chairman of Obama’s transition team and backed by a 38 million dollar annual budget, it is George Soros’ most ambitious attempt to turn his Shadow Party into a shadow government. CAP is the organization with the single greatest influence on the Obama White House and its foreign and domestic policy.

CAP is more than just another think tank; it’s a lever for shifting the Democratic Party further to the left, bought and paid for by George Soros​ and a roster of secret donors whose names are not made public by the secretive and powerful organization. Those who buy influence with it also get anonymity as part of the package.

But the Center is more than a rogue billionaire’s brand of progressivism turned into talking-point groupthink by Washington insiders. It is a link between the American left and the Muslim right, articulating the Islamist agenda as a vehicle for the foreign policy of the post-American left. It’s where Ali Gharib can run pieces whitewashing the Muslim Brotherhood​ while Zaid Jiliani attempts to justify the ambassador to Belgium’s comments denying the existence of Muslim anti-Semitism. 




RON PAUL STILL NOT MAKING ANY SENSE

Ron Paul accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of offering suspected terrorists fewer legal protections than Nazi war criminals were given.

The Republican presidential candidate laced into Obama for authorizing the CIA-led drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda leader, in Yemen this September. He reiterated his previously stated position that al-Awlaki’s American citizenship entitled him to due process.

More proof that Paul is an idiot.  Drone strikes began under the Bush Administration. And Nazi war criminals only became war criminals after the war ended. We didn't try Nazi prisoners for war crimes during the war. If there was a Nazi officer with American citizenship during the Battle of the Bulge, we advanced on his position. We didn't stop the war and offer him Due Process.

As bad as they were, you know even Adolf Eichmann finally when he was captured he was taken to Israel. Israel gave him a trial. What did we do with the Nazis — war criminals — after World War II? They got trials. Yeah, and they got what was deserving: they got hung,” Paul told more than 700 voters during a campaign speech at a convention center in western Iowa.

Here Ron Paul isn't just wrong, he's inconsistent.Many of his Paleoconservative friends opposed the Nuremberg trials as having no legal standing. The Eichmann trials similarly had no legal standing.

If Ron Paul were at least intellectually consistent then he would oppose drone strikes and war crimes trials. Instead he uses selective rhetoric to argue a contradictory position. The Nuremberg trials and the Eichmann trial had no legal grounds except that when dealing with monsters you have to kill them. And if you're a nation state then your leaders occasionally have trouble pulling the trigger and instead go through the mechanism of a trial even when there is no reason or legal basis for one.

But the point that Cynthia McKinney's endorser is missing here is that the Nuremberg Trials took place after a war (that Ron Paul opposes) and so did the Eichmann trial. The war isn't over.

This is like arguing that the United States had no right to bomb Tokyo during WW2, but that it needed to apply due process to anyone in the city with American citizenship.




THE WORDPRESS JIHAD

The BareNakedIslam blog has been taken down by WordPress.The Twitter account is still up here.

Hillbuzz thinks that BNI's campaign against All-American Muslim's advertisers attracted CAIR. I suspect that is probably true as well. The blog also has some thoughts on how difficult dealing with Wordpress is.

Moonbattery suggests that free hosting makes a takedown more likely. That may or may not be the case. Paid hosts will also take down sites under enough pressure. Variables include who's running the show and how much pressure is involved. Paid hosting may be safer, but it's not necessarily certain.

IowntheWorld has a memento of a pre-censored BNI post, if you want to get a taste of the suspended blog.



THE SILVERSTEIN JIHAD

In one of the more astounding examples of pettiness and displays of outright despicable behavior, Richard Silverstein of the left-wing Anti-Israel Tikkun Olam blog decided that he had discovered the name of an anonymous Pro-Israel blogger and gleefully outed him in an entire post dedicated to the topic.

This is a sad window into a very sad human being who is nevertheless repeatedly featured as an authority by the New York Times and other media outlets, not because of his knowledge or expertise, but because of his relentless hostility toward Israel.

Now, due to a sloppy error on his part (thanks to an eagle-eyed Israeli who finds him as repellant as I, who caught it), Aussie Dave has exposed his real identity. And since I believe that hypocrites deserve their comeuppance and that their dark secrets deserve to see the light, I’m exposing him for what and who he is: David Loeb, 23 Rashi Street Beit-Shemesh, Israel. In his Facebook profile he notes some sort of affiliation with Virgin Megastores, which may mean he works there. If anyone knows, I’d like to find out.

It's pathetic reading that fills you with despair for the state of the human soul, or at least the soul of the Anti-Israel left.

I have seen ugly behavior in the blogsphere, but generally people step in and say something. But Silverstein's repulsive gloating only met with approval.

Uglier still Jillian C. York of the Electronic Freedom Foundation appeared to be egging Silverstein on. It is troubling that an organization which supposedly protects privacy would have an employee aiding in what she thought was the outing of an activist.

EFF's continued association with Jillian York severely damages its credibility and calls into question its principles. When a woman who serves as the Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation acts this way, it shows that EFF is only dedicated to freedom of expression for those who agree with the politics of people like York.

Anyone who donates to EFF or supports it thinking that it is the electronic version of the ACLU and supports freedom of expression in a non-partisan way should now seriously reevaluate that. The EFF has shown that it supports freedom of expression and privacy only for those bloggers that it agrees with. It is not the ACLU, it is Media Matters and anything that it does should be regarded that way.



GOODBYE CHANUKAH

I have a more Torah oriented piece on Chanukah up here.



MORE GOOD NEWS FROM EGYPT

"Arab hate: A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to “one day kill all Jews.”

Just step outside, can't you feel the warmth of that Arab Spring in the air?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Dry Arab Spring and the Lost Left

By On December 28, 2011
All it takes to understand why the Arab Spring was doomed to turn into an Islamic Winter is that Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa were being asked to choose between a Socialist left and an Islamic right. The left has consistently lost open elections in Europe and America, it lost the battle of ideas in Russia and China, and unsurprisingly it also lost the Arab Spring.

The left wields power in the West only because it has managed to seize control of political and cultural institutions. Those institutions are used to maintain a death grip on the national dialogue, to criminalize dissent and to feed money to its supporters who are often literally paid to continue supporting it, whether in government contracts, welfare checks or organizational benefits. If the left did not have its media, its unions and its flow of supportive immigrants then it would be just another bunch of cranks.

The Western left expected that overthrowing the dictators would pave the way for their favorite leftists to take over. Instead it wasn't the bloggers or the twitter activists who are ahead, it's the Islamists. To be fair to the left, many of its key foreign policy people did know that this would happen but were lying about it. They aren't idiots, they're traitors.

I doubt that anyone at the State Department with a background in the Middle East didn't know that the Muslim Brotherhood would surge in Egyptian elections or that the organization had numerous affiliates waiting to exploit the Arab Spring. The same goes for all the ex-diplomats holding down organizational positions in groups dedicated to promoting democracy in the region or writing articles for foreign policy journals.

They knew that the liberal bloggers were an expendable way to sell the Arab Spring to the West, but that the final victory would belong to the Islamists. And they know it now even as they keep lying that the Islamists are moderate and that their victories are only a temporary phenomenon until the local left gets its bearings. Some are working directly or indirectly for the Gulf Arab states, but quite a few are following the Western left's methodology of using the Clash of Civilizations to bring down the "empire" of Western civilization.

How could anyone have believed that the Middle Eastern left would have won when it has absolutely nothing to offer? 

El Baradei's Kefaya movement and the unacknowledged party of many of the twitter activists got its start protesting against America and Israel. How was it supposed to have anything to offer Egyptians beyond the same negative energy that the Muslim Brotherhood could do so much better. If you're an Egyptian who wants a war with Israel, are you going to trust a simpering puppet like El Baradei to get it done or are you going to cast your vote for the Brotherhood or the Salafis.

Kefaya was in the peculiar position of being the American backed Anti-American movement, its activists trained by the Western left, and with Western leaders demanding that El Baradei be appointed to run a transition government. Kefaya smelled a lot like a puppet regime that constantly denounced its puppeteers and that schizophrenic identity didn't give it much credibility as a revolutionary party.

All that left were economic reforms which are not exactly the left's strong suit and not very popular. The average Egyptian wants cheaper food and more jobs, but he doesn't want the process that would make it happen. The Russians quickly turned on the reformers who then turned over the country to the KGB. Netanyahu's reforms have been as unpopular as they were necessary, but the focus on terrorism and the implosion of the left, as well as the popularity of Sharon, allowed him to do what had to be done. Despite the rise of the Tea Party the reform proposals in America are not faring any better.

People like the idea of reforms, but they don't like giving up subsidies or the uncertainty and chaos of the transition to a truer free market system. And the Middle Eastern left are not exactly plausible candidates for economic reform. Had Gamal Mubarak and Saif Gaddafi ever taken power, it is likely that they would have opened up their countries more than any of their revolutionary successors will.

The old Arab Socialists could promise national greatness, but the New Arab Left which lacked the military uniforms or the example of the Soviet Union as a model for the region, had nothing of the kind on tap. All they could do was try to sell social justice minus Islam, but not in opposition to Islam and not as a rejection of Islam-- and that went over about as well as could be expected.

In the United States or Europe a contest between the New Left and the Conservative Right would have provided palatable political options. In the Muslim Middle East it meant a debate over who would offer more subsidies, hate America more and restore the lost dream of national greatness that bedevils the Muslim world.

The Middle Eastern left is not secular, it's not reformist, it's not populist-- it's not to put it bluntly much of anything except in the opposition. It was useful only as the opposition, it allowed educated men and women with a sense of humor and some culture to act as the ambassadors of the Arab Spring to gullible Western journalists who didn't seem to realize that the reason all these young people were so Westernized is because they are members of the upper classes and live in a bubble of imported Western culture and education. Now they've done their jobs and their only accomplishment was to pave the way for the Islamists to come to power. Despite their Western veneer many of them can live with that, particularly those who had personal or familial grudges to settle with the old regime.

The real problem with the Arab Spring has been the lack of any domestic alternative to the Islamists. For all the talk about exporting American democracy, all we really did was subsidize local leftist NGO's and fly out bloggers to talk about reform. Could we imagine NOW and DailyKos taking power in America in open elections, and if not then what were the odds that was going to happen in a Muslim country where people like that are much less representative than they are here.

America's way of life derives from a culture of personal independence that can't be exported along with its institution. It was a country built by farmers, merchants and rebels who had their fill of lords and laws. The conservative reflex in American politics derives from that culture and it creates a base of opposition to the left. Anti-Monarchism is to American conservatism what Monarchism is to European conservatism, and what Islamism is to the Muslim world. It's the memory that people reach for when they imagine the better way of life that used to be.

This was always the flaw in the neo-conservative program which imagined that the American reflex of independence was universal and that it derived from free and open elections, rather than from the culture of a nation built by people looking to escape oppressive governments.

Democracy does not mean freedom, it means the freedom to choose. What exactly was the Muslim world likely to choose and what choices did it really have? Its domestic left is a joke and its Islamist parties are polished liars who have the money and contacts to create temporary economic booms that allow them to become entrenched and purge their rivals.

The Arab Spring had dried up a long time ago. There were no palatable regional alternatives to the Islamists, no philosophy with a regional grip that could counter it, and even the left hesitated to be actual alternatives to the Islamists, fully embracing a secular vision for their countries. Everything that happened was inevitable and it will happen again so long as the region is so barren that even when there is the freedom to choose, there is still nothing worth choosing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Soros' Latest Israel Project

By On December 27, 2011
If you have been seeing coverage of gender segregation issues in Israel then you may not be aware that you are actually seeing another Soros project in motion. The name of the game, as usual, is divide and conquer. Soros funded NGO's embed themselves into a society and leverage its weakness to create confrontations that empower its activists and agendas.

While Israel does have neighborhoods in Jerusalem where a few Anti-Zionist cults practice their own form of intimidation and thuggery (if you have seen men in black protesting outside Israeli events, then you have seen some of these people at work) this particular crisis is the work of Soros funded NGO's who have their own agenda, and it isn't gender equality or women's rights.

Soros' money helps fund the New Israel Fund, a radical anti-Israel group operating inside the country which serves as the mothership of smaller left-wing Israeli organizations targeting demographic groups and organizing them under the umbrella of its movement.

In the following video, Rachel Liel, the executive director of the New Israel Fund, talks fairly openly about the New Israel Fund's goals and its shift in tactics from funding confrontations between religious and secular Jews, to funding internal confrontations among religious Jews.



The material is old hat for anyone familiar with how Communist and New Left groups operate, the game here is to leverage the billions of dollars at the disposal of the American Left to sow discord within the State of Israel, and to create a constituency for the New Left with the endgame of destroying the country. The money passes through multiple NGO's as grants and trickles down through the New Israel Fund to groups that can be used to carry out its agenda.

The left's blueprint remains the same-- exploit social problems within a target country, recruit a fifth column of the disaffected and build a permanent political base for permanent power, while at the same time overturning the culture and its values.

Soros' people in Israel began their work with Arabs, they moved on to exploiting tensions between secular and religious Jews, and now they have pushed further into to stirring up conflicts among religious Jews. The deeper they get, the more damage they cause.

In the video Liel explicitly spells out the NIF's goal of recruiting people from within a target community who "speak the language" and can help the left infiltrate and disrupt those communities. The effort is not limited to Israel. The left has similarly targeted Orthodox Jews in America using a leftist seminary known as Yeshivat Chovevei Torah which has given birth to Uri L'Tzedek, an Anti-Jewish leftist pressure group which has conducted boycotts and spread hatred against the Jewish community while pretending to be members of that community.

Tracking where that money comes from and where it goes is a full time job. Take Uri L'Tzedek whose funders include the Joshua Venture Group. The Joshua Venture Group is partly funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation. The Cummings Foundation is also a funder for Repair the World, which is another funder for Uri L'Tzedek. The Cummings Foundation is run by Lance E. Lindblom, a former  officer at the Ford Foundation and Executive Vice President at Soros' Open Society Institute.

Over and over again the tracks lead through a series of family foundations, through Chicago and New York, and all the way back to the black rotten heart of a Nazi collaborator and his cronies still funding a war against the Jews in the name of "social justice".

The task is much harder with the New Israel Fund which is why the Israeli parliament has tried to tackle the problem with transparency legislation aimed at foreign funded NGO's, and why Soros' leftist cronies in the United States and Europe have stirred up a storm accusing the government of everything they can think of in order to kill any effort to leash Gyorgy's dogs.

The New Israel Fund is Soros' biggest mutt in Israel and its latest venture is aimed at expanding divisions and furthering conflicts within the country. The villains in this case are as anti-Zionist and anti-Israel as Soros and his cronies, but they are a useful foil for manufacturing a social problem.

Many think of Judaism as a single religion, but it has as many denominations and subsets as Christianity does. Orthodox Judaism equally breaks down into countless subsets. Most of the problems in Jerusalem concern 19th century immigrant sects which never reconciled themselves to the creation of the State of Israel, and have in some cases made common cause with Islam.

The Neturei Karta, who have been denounced by every mainstream Orthodox denomination, were friendly with the Ayatollah Khomeini and are friendly with Ahmadinejad. They held prayer vigils for Arafat and took blood money from his kleptocracy. They are best thought of as the Jewish version of the Westboro Baptist Church which pickets military funerals, complete with gloating messages after terrorist attacks and assaults on other Orthodox Jews.

One Neturei Karta leader who was famously photographed in a liplock with Iranian genocidal thug Ahmadinejad also met with Neo-Nazis and his children were expelled from school after being taught to cheer terrorist attacks. Other Neturei Karta leaders have met with Farrakhan and Hamas terrorists. But while some NK leaders forbid traveling to Israel, much of the movement (which despite its small size has its own splinter groups) is still embedded in Jerusalem. There it has engaged in a variety of violent incidents against Jewish businesses and residents. And like their Muslim brethren, their feelings for women mirror their feelings for Zionism.

Leftist media describe Neturei Karta leaders as "Anti-Zionist Jews" when they're doing a story on their participation in an Anti-Israel protest in New York or London, but when they attack bookstores or girls' schools in Israel then they are suddenly "Ultra-Orthodox Extremists" even when the people they are attacking are Orthodox Jews.

The Neturei Karta assaults on Jews and their support for terrorists have been a problem for some time. And the outrageous prayer vigils for Arafat and the harassment of Jewish schoolgirls are all despicable and depraved behavior by a corrupt cult which has engaged in kidnapping and child abuse. The NK are not the only ones involved, but they are at the heart of the problem.

However the Soros funded left is exploiting the anti-social behavior of their fellow anti-Zionists to demonize Israel, build a protest movement for their own purposes and launch a wider campaign against religious Jews. Their technique involves conflating violent incidents with local customs to create the appearance of a larger social problem. Thus an assault on a bus is equated to religious soldiers leaving a musical performance which violated their religious sensibilities.

Groups such as Kolech, funded by the NIF, push a radical agenda on the Israeli religious community packing in homosexuality and transgender activism under the umbrella of women's rights. As always the left begins with a real problem but uses it as a battering ram for an agenda that destroys every norm and everyone's rights while dictating their agenda to everyone. Rather than promoting women's rights, Kolech promotes the post-sexuality of the postmodern left which politicizes gender and sexuality even as it renders so subjective as to be meaningless.

Women's rights remain a challenge in Israel, but the sector where it is the biggest problem, among Arab Muslims, is hardly commented on by the left or by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Arab villages where women have few rights and honor killings are routine don't merit a fraction of the attention that an altercation on a bus receives. And when authentic Jewish social agencies rescue Jewish women trapped in marriages to Muslims, the activists fulminating over "gender segregation" condemn the rescues because they don't really support rights for women, they're the foot soldiers of the radical left.

There are real social and economic problems in Israel, but the left has made a career out of exploiting those problems. And Soros' latest Israeli project is a subversive attempt to gain influence and undermine the country.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Paul Pot and the Paulestinians

By On December 26, 2011
The masses weeping over the death of Kim Jong Il and the frantic online defenders of Ron Paul have something in common, it isn't the man they care about. It's what he represents.

The course of events that took a cranky Texas congressman and turned him into the made man of a motley crew of online gambling entrepreneurs, racists, conspiracy theorists and the whole big circus tent filled with offshore accounts, UFO landing sites and copies of the Turner Diaries is an odd one, but not a completely unusual one.

Cults of personality are not about the man, but about the need that he fills in his followers. There is a point at which every dictator, rock star and celebrity realizes that it is the people who adore him that are in charge and all he can do is ride the wave of adulation. The men don't matter, the reasons why people seize on them do matter.

Why Ron Paul? Because like so many at the center of a cult of personality, he is everything to everyone. The big tent he presides over is full of people who don't agree on very much. They are a nexus of opposition to 'everything', but they're also a collection of groups that splinter faster than old wood in a thunderstorm.

Ron Paul's program which is big on ambitious assaults on the government, but short on the details, finesses many of those disagreements. Gay rights? Abortion? Immigration? If you squint and only pay attention to the right statements, then Ron Paul is for you. Like Santa's little elves, his followers spread his selective word by focusing in on target demographics and barraging them with talking points that make it seem like Ron Paul is on their side. Whose side is Ron Paul on? Most likely his own.

The simplest reason why Ron Paul has become the perennial candidate of the Ringling Bros circus is a combination of two things. A past in which he marketed himself heavily to conspiracy theorists as a former member of Congress and a present in which he is a member of Congress.

The left has no shortage of Ron Pauls in Congress, cranks and loons like Shirley Jackson Lee and Pete Stark. When they want to run the chief loon of their side who thinks that the government is beaming radio waves into their brain at the behest of the military industrial complex, they have Cynthia McKinney, the presidential candidate for the Green Party in 2008, who was endorsed by Ron Paul. But their pickings on the Republican side are slimmer. It's Ron Paul or it's nobody.

When Ted Rall was recently dreaming of a left-right revolution against the government, the Paul Pot have been openly talking about it. Rand Paul discussed a left-right coalition for rolling back the "American Empire". That sort of crossover is what makes Ron Paul valuable. The media championed him as an Anti-War Republican because he offered a left-right coalition against the War on Terror.

For all that the wonks insist on viewing America as a red and blue state lineup, there are a lot of other colors in the mix. More than the libertarians, most of whom have a limited comfort level with Paul, there are various flavors of anarchists, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and people who are even further off the map. They are a politically underserved demographic and while they won't win elections, they have the obsessive nature and the time to make a difference.

Ron Paul's broad appeal is that he promises to reduce the power of government and American power in general, and that's something everyone from Communists to Nazis, anarchists to monarchists can get behind. Revolutions begin with a broad front assault on the system and Ron Paul has ended up as the symbol of a broad front of those who see some political, financial or other benefit from taking down the system.

That's why Ron Paul's generic policy positions, which aside from drabs of paranoia are not all that distinguishable from many of his opponents, are not really the issue. His pet obsessions even less so except that they allow him to speak the language of his supporters and they make him completely irrelevant on most other issues.

Ron Paul can't speak intelligently on immigration because he's too busy preparing for the day when Americans start seeking refuge in Mexico. Addressing Islamic terrorism is out of the question for the same reason. The knee jerk reflex to weaken even legitimate areas of government responsibility isn't just destructive, it puts Paul in the position of denying that the problems even exist in order to justify resistance to government solutions.

If there's a problem that might require a government solution, then it's easier for Paul to claim that the problem only exists as part of a conspiracy to give the government more powers. This has been the standard response on the fringe to September 11 and is one reason why 9/11 Denial is so popular among the already paranoid.

Liberals decided that rather than dealing with the fact that a left-wing radical shot and killed JFK, they would build up elaborate conspiracy theories blaming the killing on the right. Everyone who found the idea of Muslim terrorists massacring thousands of Americans to be an uncomfortable fit with their ideology began finding ways to blame it on America. That's where Paul's left-right coalition against the war comes from. The New Left and Paleoconservatives came together to deny reality and found a common cause in maintaining a delusional worldview.

The marked difference between the European far right and the American far right is that the former have come face to face with the cold hard facts, while the latter are still acting as if the 21st century is an outgrowth of the early 20th and 19th centuries and must be fought on the same terms. That is another asset for Ron Paul who is in some ways a 19th century candidate still busy refighting the political wars of the past. A man who is too busy rebutting Alexander Hamilton doesn't have much to talk about anything truly dangerous.

Like a broken clock, Ron Paul is right about the unrestricted growth of Federal power, but for the wrong reasons. The United States isn't on a path to becoming the Fourth Reich, the time when that was at all possible is long gone. It is on a path to national dissolution, which happens to be Paul's program and makes his candidacy irrelevant. Centralization and spending aren't the problem, they're the symptoms of the problem which is a corrupt technocratic political culture that he is completely unequipped to address, not least because his own nose has been caught in the trough, but mostly because he isn't a leader.  

Ron Paul is an ideologue who has made a career out of his ideology, whether it was in Congress or through his newsletters. Ideologues don't have a history of fixing systems, they have a history of breaking them in a different way. For all his talk of the Founders, they were men who weren't rooted to a single way of doing things. Hamilton, Jefferson and Madison had their fundamental differences, but none of them were so rooted in their way of thinking that they were unable to deal with reality. The closest period analogue to Paul is Thomas Paine, an English radical who was unable to accept the practical outcome of the American Revolution, and instead went seeking new revolutions in England and France. Ironically common sense is the one thing that Paine didn't have. It's the one thing that Paul badly lacks.

If there was a time for Ron Paul it would be now, in an election against a Democratic administration that has dramatically extended Federal power and created its own mini-tyranny. The problem is that Paul is just as unqualified and broken as Obama. Both men are products of rigid ideology who insist that applying it will fix all problems. They are both surrounded by cults of personality that elevate ordinary mediocre men into the avatars of hope and change.

No sooner does Ron Paul mumble a sentence in a debate then his followers plaster a dozen clips of it on YouTube under titles asserting that he "0WNED" Romney, Gingrich, Santorum or the solar system. The sad truth is that Ron Paul has never won a debate or made an articulate argument for anything. He's a shambling ideologue who has shot up only because every other Republican candidate except Huntsman and Santorum have had their moment in the sun. Paul isn't anyone's first choice, he's the fifth choice who isn't likely to win Iowa, let alone the nomination.

Paul's supporters have bought his son a senate seat and given papa a proper sendoff as the bugbear of the Republican Party. The level of devotion is completely detached from any actual accomplishment in the field of politics. But the same was true of Obama.

The chief beneficiaries of Obama's cult of personality were not the young people or minorities who streamed out to vote for him. As always they were the Obama clan and their close supporters. The same is true of Ron Paul who has sucked up a great deal of money that could have been better spent on a more articulate and promising spokesman for their cause. But just as the nature of what Obama really stood for began to disintegrate the moment he took office, so too the question of what Paul really stands for remains open.

The newsletters, which were an open book in the last election but which few of the panicked outlets now reporting on them as if they were fresh news chose to focus on, are the least of it. They represent one aspect of Ron Paul, the one that won him some of his hard core following, and his disavowal of them represents another, that of the politician who knows how to play different constituencies and show a difference face to different groups.

Who is the real Ron Paul? Like the real Obama it doesn't really matter. It's the people who have gathered behind him that are interesting. Their politics are primarily negative. They share a common paranoia and ruthlessness with Obama's supporters, but while Obama's supporters wanted power, they claim not to want it. And yet their campaigns have been exercises in seizing power, in media manipulation, intimidation and deception. There is no real difference between their tactics and those of their far-left, but we are to believe that there is a difference in goals.

That may be true, and yet the purpose of power is power. Those who seize power ultimately use it and revolutionaries who promise that their tactics will change once they are no longer insurgents are not to be believed. The most troubling thing about the Ron Paul campaign is not Ron Paul, but his supporters. It is they who define him more than he defines them. Their collective bum rush isn't just violent, it's simmering with a familiar paranoid cunning laced with bigotry, manipulation and lies. It's the behavior of people who believe they are entitled to power and will do anything to get it.

That is what defines the Ron Paul campaign more than the slight mumbling figure at the center of it. They are Ron Paul more than he is. In a sense Ron Paul is telling the truth when he says that he didn't write the newsletters. Even if he did write them in part or in whole, which is entirely possible, they were the ones that he was writing them for. That angry mass on the side eager to believe the worst and send out money to anyone who affirms their views. They are the same people with their crazy-quilt patchwork of ideologies that he is speaking to now. Their views may be internally irreconcilable, but as long as they have a common enemy in the system, they can overlook the differences and the inconsistencies and push forward without ever realizing that they are going nowhere because there is nowhere to go.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Between Mecca and Jerusalem

By On December 25, 2011
Forget Athens and Jerusalem, the new dialectic is between Mecca and Jerusalem. On one side is support for the spread of a repressive theocratic ideology across the region and around the world through violence and intimidation, on the other side is the rise of indigenous states from the pre-Islamic era employing technology and ingenuity to transform the region.

Every time a politician pays tribute to Saudi Arabia, a journalist endorses the Arab Spring and a diplomat goes on about how Israel must make concessions to Islamic terrorists or it will destabilize the region, you see a man used to raising his arse and bowing his pate to Mecca.

It has become mainstream to speak of the Saudi royals as reformers and allies, while denouncing Israel as a reactionary backward state that's always causing trouble. The Saudis and their Gulf pals can pony up the Riyals to slam planes into the White House and the Pentagon, slowly behead women for witchcraft and promote an ideology so vicious that it gives Nazism an even run in the 100 meter genocide dash-- and come away with applause. But when an Israeli Prime Minister goes to the negotiating table with his worst enemies, he's greeted with a chorus of boos.

There was a time when Western capitals aspired to be the new Jerusalem, now they are turning into the new Mecca, the new Riyadh, the new Beirut and the new Cairo. Paris and London and a dozen other capitals have turned their back on Jerusalem and are quickly turning into meccas for Muslim immigrants and their Saudi funded mosques where bearded speakers hiss hate into hand-held microphones.

On the foreign policy chessboard, their more upscale versions do the same. Scratch one of those dispassionate critics of Israel and you more often than not find a man with his head bent low toward Mecca.

Take Thomas Friedman whose vitriol finally boiled over into the lowest kind of Israel bashing even by New York Times standards. Good old Tom had been swanning around with the Saudi royals for a while now and when he writes that congressional standing ovations for Netanyahu were paid for by the Israeli lobby (were all the standing ovations that the King of Jordan received paid for by the Jordanian lobby?) he's just another poodle in his hairy master's arms barking on command.

Consider Chas Freeman, who was literally on the Saudi payroll (not to mention that of the People's Republic of China) and whose failed appointment occasioned a lot of headlines about a talented fellow being kept away from drawing up the National Intelligence Estimate because of those Jews. But Freeman, Dennis Blair's boy, walking papers might have been more accurately stamped as, "Saudi royal family employee nominated by collaborator in Muslim Indonesian genocide of Christians fails to secure vital national security position."

When Walt and Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby article was first published in the United States, the publication that featured the screed was Middle East Policy, a generically named journal put out by the Middle East Policy Council, an organization presided over by Chas Freeman and funded by our friends in Saudi Arabia. It was ironic to see a paper attacking the influence of the Israeli lobby appearing in a journal put out by the Saudi lobby, but also completely predictable.

The Muslim world is ground zero for conspiracy theories about the Jews and the Saudi royals along with their other Gulf counterparts fund much of the hate. What they don't do is advertise. Like one of those nightclubs that's so exclusive that it doesn't have a name, they work behind the scenes. And when they have names, there are about ten thousand of them and they're as generic as possible.

The Middle East Policy Council, formerly the slightly more truthfully named American Arab Affairs Council, founded by two American diplomats who worked in the Middle East, is typical of how the Gulfies do things. Saudis and Emiratis don't do their own laundry or build their own buildings or pump their own gas, they hire foreigners to do it for them. The Saudi Lobby is their equivalent of the Filipino maids, British architects and Indian construction workers. Want someone to spread the smear that the Jews control America. Hire that boy who took our messages to the president, give him a budget and let's see what he can do.

You won't find politicians stopping by the American-Saudi Political Action Committee. Instead a whole bunch of former American ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, like Chas Freeman, explain their position to influential people, which just happens to be the position of the House of Saud.

That goes double when the target is the general public. In 2003, the Alliance for Peace and Justice ran a bunch of radio ads attacking Israel and calling for an end to the occupation. The "Alliance" was the end of a long tail that led through an ad agency to a public relations firm and to the Saudis. Qorvis Communications, founded a year before September 11, acts as the House of Saud's PR firm. Raided by the FBI back in 04, it's still out there and working hard for the kingdom, and has its own political action committee. Much like the way the Kuwaiti government used the law firm of Shearman and Sterling to run a campaign against Guantanamo Bay.

One Qorvis alum, Judith Barnett, another former diplomat, sits on the advisory board of J Street, the left-wing anti-Israel lobby. And the Finance Committee of the Democratic National Committee. Not to mention Amideast, formerly American Friends of the Middle East, originally the Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, an organization created to oppose the creation of Israel. Its co-founder Kermit Roosevelt Jr had come out of the board of the Institute of Arab-American Affairs, which was headed by the same man who headed the Arab League's office in the United States-- proving that the Saudis were still playing the same game as far back as the 1940's.

Ms. Barnett's political activism aligns neatly with her business in The Barnett Group, which helps Middle Eastern companies overcome "trade and governmental regulatory barriers" to do business in the United States. This line of work isn't particularly unusual for her ilk. Barnett was formerly the VP of Georgetown Global Investments Corporation, which specialized in Middle Eastern investments. GGIC was started up by Marc Ginsberg, another former ambassador to the Arab world, who blogs at the Israel Policy Forum, yet another left-wing anti-Israel group.

Tying them all together is Ambassador Robert Pelletreau, another J Street advisory board member, the original contact man for the PLO and a member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute, (funded by a collection of oil companies and the Sultan of Oman) and on the advisory council of the Israel Policy Forum-- and is also the treasurer of Amideast. In addition to all that, he's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and on the boards of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce and the American-Iranian Council. The latter is part of the Iranian Lobby and has arranged meetings with Ahmadinejad. His former law firm, Afridi, Angell & Pelletreau is based out of the United Arab Emirates.

All this is the tip of a very large iceberg that points toward Mecca. It's an organization the scope of which makes AIPAC look small and ridiculous. Politicians may show up to pander to AIPAC voters, but they listen to the diplomats who lobby for the Muslim world without appearing to do it and using organizations with innocuous names and deceptive purposes.

Mecca and Jerusalem then. Demographics is on the side of Mecca. If you don't want your new Muslim immigrants blowing themselves up, then you had better bow to the east. If you want good relations with the oil sheiks, then you bow in the same direction, while on your knees. And if you want to live out the dream of a world government, then you need the Muslim world to play along in exchange for getting some of what it wants. Like a ban on criticizing Islam or mocking Mohammed.

And what of Jerusalem? As far as Mecca is concerned, it owns Jerusalem. It conquered it a few times and expects to conquer it again with the help of its Western allies. Jerusalem, London, Paris, Washington, Moscow and anywhere else it can reach. Most of the leaders of the former Athens agree. Certainly Jerusalem belongs to Mecca, as do London and Paris. Mecca multiculturalism is the new order of things. It doesn't matter what your skin color is, so long as you're not a woman and you bow in the right direction.

As the West drifts father and farther from its heritage and traditions, it doesn't reach some progressive rational order, instead it finds itself in the desert sands and faced with stark choices. It can either give up its reason or its ideals. Like a maddened beast it chews off its reason to save its progressive ideals and when the day comes that forces it to realize that its progressivism can no more survive in Mecca than a fish in the desert, it will be much too late.

While Mecca grows, its arrogance stirring up wars around the world, as Riyadh, Dubai and Kuwait City have their day, the cities of the West crumble and Jerusalem stands besieged on all sides. The choice between Mecca and Jerusalem has civilizational implications, it is the choice between slavery and freedom, between ignorance and knowledge, and between darkness and light.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Light Above

By On December 24, 2011
For the eight days of Chanukah, it is common to see a candelabra with eight lights and one light above it, shining here and there, in the windows of stores and hallways, in people’s homes and even on intersections. Some are filled with oil, while others are topped with candles. Some tower high overhead and some are child sized. But all have eight lights and one above it, and all commemorate the same occasion.

Many nations have religious holidays and days of national liberation and independence, however rarely do the two come together quite in the way that Chanukah does. That is because Chanukah is a commemoration of national liberation from the rule of the Syrian-Greek empire ruled by Antiochus IV and a commemoration of the hand of divine influence in  inspiring and accomplishing that liberation.

The Jews throughout history have had a way of getting in the way of great empires. The Egyptians, the Philistines, the Assyrians,  Babylonians and Persians had all tried to enslave and destroy the Jewish people. A few thousand years ago after an Egyptian Pharaoh had first gotten the bright idea to clap chains on the Jewish refugees who had been serving as his faithful shepherds and send them off to build the pyramids, Antiochus IV, like so many kings before him, decided that ruling over his empire would be simpler and easier without the Jews in it.

Where Pharaoh had embarked on that process by throwing male Jewish babies into the Nile, to please one of his many gods while carrying out a genocide that was meant to destroy the Jewish people and integrate what was left into Egypt-- Antiochus IV focused not on physical extermination, but cultural annihilation. The fundamental books of Jewish life, the scriptures that gave the Jewish people meaning and identity were destroyed.and banned. Some accepted the decree out of fear or even with enthusiasm. Others however rose up and resisted.

War came between the handfuls of Jewish Maccabee partisans and the armies of Antiochus IV’s Selecuid empire. A war that had its echoes in the past and would have it again in the future as lightly armed and untrained armies of Jewish soldiers would go on to fight in that same land and those same hills and valleys against the Romans and eventually the armies of six Arab nations. The Syrian Greek armies were among the best of their day. The Maccabees were the sons of the priesthood living in the backwaters of Israel, members of a nation that had not been independently ruled since the Babylonian hordes had flooded across the land, destroying everything in their path. Since then a shifting mass of nations and rulers had sat on their thrones while the Jews had bowed their heads.

in the wilderness of Judea a band of brothers vowed that they would bow to no man and let no foreigners rule over their land. That no alien ruler would hold sway over the earth and water of their homeland, and none would be permitted to take away the legacy of their fathers and the books of their God. And while empires may and do laugh at such oaths, that band of brothers went on to destroy and wreak havoc against the might of an entire empire.

Apollonius brought his Samaritan forces against the brothers, and Judah, first among the Macabees, killed him, took his sword and wore it for his own. Seron, General of the army of Coele-Syria, brought together soldiers and renegade Jewish mercenaries and was broken at Beit Haran. In his place Antiochus IV commanded the Governor of Syria who dispatched two generals, Nicanor, and Gorgias, with forty thousand soldiers and seven thousand horsemen and orders to conquer Judea, enslave its inhabitants, utterly destroy Jerusalem and abolish the whole Jewish nation forever. So certain were they of victory that they brought with them merchant caravans to fill with the Hebrew slaves of a destroyed nation.

Judah walked among his brothers and fellow rebels and spoke to them of the thing for which they fought; “O my fellow soldiers, no other time remains more opportune than the present for courage and contempt of dangers; for if you now fight manfully, you may recover your liberty, which, as it is a thing of itself agreeable to all men, so it proves to be to us much more desirable, by its affording us the liberty of worshiping God. Since therefore you are in such circumstances at present, you must either recover that liberty, and so regain a happy and blessed way of living, which is that according to our laws, and the customs of our country, or to submit to the most opprobrious sufferings; nor will any seed of your nation remain if you be beat in this battle. Fight therefore manfully; and suppose that you must die, though you do not fight; but believe, that besides such glorious rewards as those of the liberty of your country, of your laws, of your religion, you shall then obtain everlasting glory. Prepare yourselves, therefore, and put yourselves into such an agreeable posture, that you may be ready to fight with the enemy as soon as it is day tomorrow morning."

In those few words were the heart and soul of the Jewish nation fighting to be reborn, and that for which they fought, for their God, the freedom of their faith and country, and to stand as men of honor in defiance of a tyrannical empire. And though the Macabees were but three thousand, starving and dressed in bare rags, the God for whom they fought and their native wits and courage, gave them victory over thousands and tens of thousands. 

Worn from battle, bloodied and standing among heaps of the enemy dead, the Macabees did not flee back into their Judean wilderness, instead they went on to Jerusalem and its Temple, to reclaim their land and their God. But through the armies of the Seleucid Empire may have fled, and their traitorous Jewish collaborators along with them, the Temple and the capital stood in ruins. And the brave rebels who had bested an empire entered the holy city only to confront the devastation and disgrace that their enemies had imposed on it.

The Macabees had fought courageously for the freedom to worship God once again as their fathers had, but courage alone could not make the Menorah burn and thus renew the Temple service again. Yet it had not been mere berserker’s courage that had brought them this far. Like their ancestors before them who had leaped into furnaces and the raging sea, they had dared the impossible on faith. Faith in a God who watched over his nation and intervened in the affairs of men. And so on faith they poured the oil of that single flask in the Menorah, oil that could only last for a single day. And then having done all they could, the priests and sons of priests who had fought through entire battalions to reach this place, accepted that they had done all they could and left the remainder in the hands of the Almighty.

If they had won by the strength of their hands alone, then the lamps would burn for a day and then flicker out. But if it had been more than mere force of arms that had brought them here, if it had been more than mere happenstance that a small band of ragged and starving rebels had shattered the armies of an empire, then the flames of the Menorah would burn on.

The sun rose and set again. The day came to its end and the men watched the lights of the Menorah to see if they would burn or die out. And if the flame in their hearts could have kindled the lamps, they would have burst into bright flame then and there. Darkness fell that night and still the lamps burned on. For eight days and nights the Menorah burned on that single lonely pure flask of oil, until more could be found, and the men who for a time had been soldiers and had once again become priests, saw that while it may be men who kindle lamps and hearts, it is the Almighty who provides them with the fuel of the spirit through which they burn.

Those are the eight days we remember every Chanukah. Not the long wars that came before or after. For life is struggle and few lives are lived at peace and without difficulty. But it is those eight days, the days in which we see that we are not alone in our struggles, and whether we are lost in the wilderness of Judea or the cities and towns of any land, there is a light above us waiting to light our way. The windows behind which the Menorah stood were narrow on the inside and wide on the outside. For it is not the Menorah or the Temple that needs the world, but the world that needs the light of the Menorah. And so above the eight oil lamps or candles that we light throughout Chanukah is a single light. The Shamash, the one who guards and watches above us all. The light with which all the other lights of the Menorah are lit. The Light Above.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Bombthrowers and Condolences

By On December 23, 2011


BOMBTHROWERS

Gingrich vs Romney has some familiar echoes. The obvious precedent for Gingrich is another bombthrower, Barry Goldwater, who would propose explosive things that were actually common sense, lacked patience for dealing with the media and his voting record was more liberal than his positions.

The Republican establishment is frantically warning us that we need to choose Romney as our Nelson Rockefeller, the stable reliable middle of the road guy. The man that no one can call an extremist. Maybe they're right. Maybe in a national election Gingrich will get the Goldwater treatment, just like he did while Speaker of the House. And maybe they're wrong.

Gingrich has plenty of enemies in the party like Goldwater did, including a former president or two, He has the establishment after him, which is terrified that the base will come into its own and shake their cozy chardonnay politics. 

Gingrich has some assets that Goldwater didn't. He pays more attention to people and he hasn't been blindsided by a changing country and a changing media in the same way. Gingrich throws bombs, and that's a risk, but so is electing another Republican to polish up a Democratic mess and turn it into a permanent policy.

Reagan's rise showcased what Goldwater lacked, the ability to defuse pointed rhetoric and infuse it with a friendly touch. Gingrich doesn't quite have that down and without it, he's going to have trouble winning an election. Goldwater was right, but he didn't make people feel secure. LBJ did and led to disaster. When faced with a choice between Gingrich and Obama, it's unfortunately possible that in a time of crisis the public will pick the candidate that makes them more comfortable, than the one who tells the hard truth.

But if we can't throw some bombs in the middle of a financial crisis that is threatening the future of the country, then when can we throw them? When the game is all over and Romney is retiring after two terms and a deficit so high that no one can quantify it, two liberal supreme court appointees who vote in lockstep with Kagan and Sotomayor, and less freedom and more regulations for all?

I don't have an easy answer, there are plenty of sites that are in the tank one way or another and can offer those. All I can do is hope that we make the right choice, whatever it might be.



 THE MUSLIM OTHERHOOD

Liberals are only interested in Muslims as a means of fighting a culture war against the bogeymen of American “intolerance.” All-American Muslim isn’t interesting to them except as a vehicle for another protest movement.

The left needs an “Other” to justify its war against American traditions and values. Muslims conveniently provide that “Other,” a role that they began to fill after September 11. Even as the left denounces the right for “Otherizing” Muslims and associating them with terrorism, it is the left that is truly guilty of it. If the attacks of September 11 had never taken place and the War on Terror had not followed, then the left would have as much interest in Muslims as they do in Hindus or Baha’i or any number of other world religions.

See the rest in my article at Front Page, All-American Muslim: Religion of Protest



BIRDS OF A MURDEROUS FEATHER

It was another great day for the United Nations as Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the Qatari rep to the UN and the President of the General Assembly called for a moment of silence for Kim Jong Il.

The messenger boy of one dictatorship called for a moment of silence for the dead leader of another brutal dictatorship... all under the auspices of the UN. Except the messenger boy is the president of the General Assembly. I've gone into this in detail in my "10 Reasons to Abolish the UN" pamphlet, but this is the Democracy of Dictatorships at work.

The only official book of condolences for Kim Jong-il in North America is at the country's UN mission in New York, where a wall of white chrysanthemums is around his portrait.

The UN deputy secretary general, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, signed the book for the ''UN system'', a UN spokesman said.

Read that again and ask yourselves whether the UN has any business operating at all.

Meanwhile Jimmy Carter, Iran's fourth greatest president, sent a condolence letter to Kim Jong Il, joining the likes of Cuban thug Raul Castro, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, Iran, Belarus, Syria,

But out of tragedy comes hope. Pakistan offers to help North Korea chart a new course and the ANC Youth League has "much love" for Kim Jong Il. No word on condolences from Desmond Tutu.

The ANC or African National Congress Youth League was created by liberal hero Nelson Mandela and continues to live up to his principles. His actual principles.

The ANC Youth League wishes to send its heartfelt condolences on the passing away of the Great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il. As we remember this revolutionary we call upon the Korean people to forge ahead with the struggle to reunify their country, to free it completely of a legacy of Colonialism left to its people by imperialists represented by the United States of America.

But while all good Americans were cheering the ANC and Mandela, the ANC's leaders revealed themselves to be as bad as Zimbabwe's Mugabe.



IF I AM NOT FOR MYSELF

When the Berkeley Jewish Student Union voted not to admit J Street, the left-wing Soros-funded group, Hillel leaders at Berkeley came out in support of the anti-Israel organization, writing: “we encourage JSU to reconsider its vote and include JStreetU as a member” while touting themselves as an inclusive community.

The letter authored by Berkeley Hillel Board of Directors President Barbara Davis and its executive director, Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman, claimed that the Berkeley campus affiliate of J Street adheres to Hillel’s Israel guidelines and promised that it would receive their support.  In reality though Hillel’s own guidelines exclude organizations that delegitimize Israel, apply a double standard to it or that promote boycotts against it.

Naftalin has said, “We will not allow anyone calling for a boycott against Israel to become part of us.” But J-Street’s national convention featured a panel on BDS whose official description reads, “Our panelists will discuss their views on BDS’s efficacy as a means to end the occupation and move towards final-status talks, and the ways BDS may influence campaigns for peace in the United States and the region.” The panel included Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace, a major boycott promoter.

Read the rest of the shameful tale in Hillel Betrays Israel



GLASS HOUSES ARE ENORMOUSLY TRANSPARENT

A spokesman for President Obama‘s re-election campaign blasted Mr. Romney and questioned whether he had something to hide in his finances.

“Why does Governor Romney feel like he can play by a different set of rules?” said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign. “What is it that he doesn’t want the American people to see?

This from the administration that had to be badgered for three years into releasing its birth certificate. See the rest at Doug Ross' journal.
  



WHEN THEY STOP EVEN TRYING TO LIE TO YOU

At the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin bizarrely praises Romney for not even promising to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. She is correct that Republican presidential candidates who got the big job promised it and then broke their promise, but is there something praiseworthy in Romney refusing to even promise something as basic as that?

"Unlike Newt Gingrich, for example, he’s not insulted Jewish audiences by playing on two emotional issues with pie-in-the-sky promises." says Rubin.

But since when is moving the embassy to the capital of the country it's in, a "pie in the sky" promise. You might think that Romney was being asked to end genocide forever or insure that no child goes hungry ever again. No, he's being asked if he will move the US embassy to Jerusalem. His response is that he will have to "consult" with the Israeli government, which is a misleading way of saying no, unless it's a slightly less misleading way of saying that he doesn't understand the issue... which is unlikely given how often he's jogged across the presidential block.

The Israeli government doesn't need to be consulted with. It has no objection to moving the embassy to its capital. It would like very much for the US embassy to be where it is in every normal country.

Sure it's bad when presidential candidates lie about moving the embassy, but what does it say about a candidate who isn't even bothering to make the promise?

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection points out that Rubin misrepresented Gingrich on Pollard. The larger issue here is that Rubin is willing to misrepresent Romney's refusal to comply with congress and basic norms as a refusal to pander.

And Romney doesn't even get off on the not pandering charge. If he had said, "No" then he couldn't be accused of pandering to Jews. Instead he said, "Uh, why don't we see what happens and I'll umm consult with the Israelis and then have a sitdown with the Dalai Lama and then eat a blueberry pie." That's not the opposite of pandering. It's right up there with Obama's united Jerusalem.

What this column really does is mark Jennifer Rubin's transition from an advocate to parroting Tom Friedman like rhetoric, as she does in her conclusion.

As for Jerusalem, it really is time to stop promising something that the U.S. can’t and shouldn’t deliver unilaterally. If we want to maintain our role as a future broker in the (however presently dormant) “peace process,” we’re not going to make a move that will be read as a fait accompli on the final status of Jerusalem.

Really? The US can't unilaterally move its own embassy? If it can't unilaterally do that, then what can it do? Scratch its own nose?

The US can do it, but Rubin has decided it shouldn't, because the PLO terrorists and their foreign backers want to stake their claim on the city. Worse she's adopted the "honest broker" patter which mandates that the United States should be absolutely neutral when it comes to any piece of Israeli territory that the terrorists might want to one day get their hands on. But not neutral in pressuring Israel to give up that territory by denying basic recognition to its capital.

This is bizarre and a reversal of her own writing in Commentary. I am disgusted and disappointed.

Like him or not, Gingrich has spoken compellingly and specifically about the issues when it comes to Israel. Romney has pushed out the same boilerplate rhetoric that's borderline indistinguishable from Obama. Bachmann, Santorum, Perry and the rest of the lineup excluding Paul, have also been strongly supportive.

Maybe Gingrich is being completely insincere, but he's had a history of saying similar things over the years. And what he says again shows that he knows the issue.

Now to be fair, Romney has been asked this before and given a similar response that suggests he is just unfamiliar with the issue...

"The actions that I will take will be actions recommended and supported by Israeli leaders. I don’t seek to take actions independent of what our allies think is best, and if Israel’s leaders thought that a move of that nature would be helpful to their efforts, then that’s something I’ll be inclined to do. But again, that’s a decision which I would look to the Israeli leadership to help guide. I don’t think America should play the role of the leader of the peace process, instead we should stand by our ally. Again, my inclination is to follow the guidance of our ally Israel, as to where our facilities and embassies would exist."

This is the kind of response that a candidate who doesn't understand what the discussion is about might give. Or it's the impression that a candidate who doesn't want to commit to anything might give. But it actually is pandering. This isn't an issue for Israeli leaders, it's an issue for American leaders who want to normalize the status of the US embassy.

Does Romney actually not know what the issue with the embassy is. His "leader of the peace process" line is fine, but all he really had to do was say that he supports making the move, so long as Israel has no objection to it. And since that interview it's been several weeks and he's still giving the same non-response.

Going back to the 2008 election, I don't see any statement from him on the embassy and his rhetoric hasn't changed much. It's still talk of indicting Ahmadinejad on charges of genocide and imposing tougher sanctions on Iran./ It would appear that Romney has never made a statement on the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which means that he should be asked about it directly with the introduction that it's a congressional act and that it would normalize the US diplomatic presence in Israel.

All Romney's vague rhetoric has don is provided ammunition to both sides. If he's really not interested in pandering then he can say clearly what he means.




ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER PHONY MUSLIM HATE CRIME

For the last several days, news stories all over Kansas focused on the disappearance of Aisha Khan, a recently married Muslim woman.  Khan made statements on her sister’s cellphone making this out to be some sort of hate crime by a drunk non-Muslim against Muslims, and it was reported that way by the dhimmi sheep in the media. Now, she’s mysteriously re-appeared with zero explanation about where she was and a whole lot more questions.  Instead of a “hate crime” against Muslims, it appears the only crime committed here is her lies against non-Muslims.

For which she's not facing charges. When white people falsely make up crimes and pin the blame on an unknown black man, the media sagely nods its head and says, "Racism". But are they willing to say the same when it's Muslims making up crimes and blaming it on non-Muslims?





WAR ON CHANUKAH?

Can we claim there's a War on Chanukah now? These articles are everywhere and they rely on the same hopelessly stupid premises sprinkled with ignorance and false statements.

Slate had to dig up this drivel from 2005 which has gone uncorrected for 6 years.

James Ponet digs into a darker legacy of the holiday – an ancient Civil War between the Maccabees and Hellenists that has since been censored in religious texts.

Dig into a darker history? This is like claiming that you have to "dig into" the Civil War to discover that it was a civil war. If you start out knowing nothing, then I suppose you have to do some digging to learn this and other astounding facts, like Passover climaxing in the drowning of the Egyptian army and the Ten Commandments coming on two tablets.

Also the censored business is complete nonsense as we shall see.

The Hanukkah story is unremarked in the Hebrew Bible and barely referenced in the Talmud.

That would be because it predates the Bible and the Talmud is primarily a legal text and deals with such things as when to light the Menorah and how... not with providing a history lesson.

Instead, it is recorded in books that were banished from the biblical canon by third-century rabbinic authorities and exiled, as the Books of the Maccabees, to the Apocrypha. 

You can't banish books that postdated the canon from the canon because they were never in the canon. It's like banishing the Wizard of Oz from the Bible. The very assertion is hopelessly idiotic.

That collection, which takes its name from the Greek "hidden away" or "secret," is mostly made up of Jewish writings in Greek—novels, sermons, histories, prophecies. The original story of Hanukkah, then, is the literary expression of a people that had deeply absorbed the language, thought, and values of Hellenistic civilization.

Assuming that the textual story that was kept around is the original or the definitive story is a fallacy. The reason why the Books exist is because they mimicked those forms well enough for the Greek derived civilizations to keep them around.

The original and definitive story of a people is oral and the original and definitive story of Chanukah is not in those books, but in the oral traditions of the Jewish people.

There are a number of reasons why rabbinic Judaism abandoned these texts.

Again you can't abandon what you never embraced. It's like asking why they abandoned the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Read in its historical context, however, the Hanukkah story is really about a revolt against the Hellenized Jews who had fallen madly in love with the sophisticated, globalizing superculture of their day. The Apocrypha's texts make it clear that the battle against Hellenization was in fact a kulturkampf among the Jews themselves.

This is like arguing that the American Revolution wasn't really a battle against British rule, but against the Greencoats. Or that the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was really a fight against the Kapos.

The actual war was against Seleucid rulers and their mercenary armies and their local puppet rulers, just as the revolt against Herod was a revolt against the puppet regime of Rome. The goal was to win local autonomy from imperial rule.

So the miracle-of-the-oil celebration of Hanukkah that the rabbis later invented covers up a blood-soaked struggle that pitted Jew against Jew.

It only "covers it up" if you're James Ponet and reading the first paragraph in a Wikipedia entry is your idea of digging into a topic. The miracle of the oil was a key moment in the liberation of Jerusalem which meant taking control of the national capital. The two are part of the same story.

The "blood-soaked" struggle against the Syrian Greek overlords, their mercenaries and their collaborators is remembered in the actual songs and prayers of the days of Chanukah.

The rabbis drummed out this history with a fairy tale about a light that did not go out. But really, who can blame them—after all, what nation creates a living monument to a civil war?

Which is clearly why the added prayers of the Rabbis focus on the fighting. Because they were trying to "drum it out of history". Also what nation commemorates a civil war? Does Ponet know anything about American history? Probably as much as he knows about Israeli history.

Key words of Jewish self-understanding are still carried by Greek in the collective memory: synagogue, diaspora, Sanhedrin (the Rabbinic high court), and the very term Judaism.

Synagogue is mainly used in English, the actual term is Beit HaKnesset, ditto for diaspora, which is much more widely described as Galut, and those words are not used as a collective tradition, but because European languages incorporate Greek. Sanhedrin is the only valid one here.

Here we find the historical miracle that Hanukkah implicitly celebrates: the capacity to sustain intimate relations with another without totally ceding your own sense of self, the ability to love without permanently merging, to be enchanted by the exquisite beauty of another without losing sight of your own charms.

This is just gibberish and it has nothing to do with Chanukah.

Was the bloody Maccabean civil war and revolt necessary to the survival of Jewish identity?

It's a pointless question. Was the American Revolution necessary to create a separate nation? Might America have achieved independence without it and might it have avoided a civil war by doing so. Nations are created in the fire of desperate decisions. Trying to retroactively judge those decisions and imagine alternative outcomes is disrespectful to the people who made them.

Today, the Maccabean memory has been resurrected in the modern state of Israel in the image of Jew as warrior, and Hanukkah is celebrated by many as a military holiday

Chanukah is celebrated in Israel much as it in America.

But I propose that on Hanukkah, we ought to consider whether an ethnic group that wishes to survive must turn itself into a nation-state.

I would propose to consider some things about James Ponet, but that would be impolite. The Jews survived by being more than an ethnic group. Jews are a religious civilization, combining a familial identity, a religion and a nation. Jews have been able to hold on to the first two and survive, so long as they aspired to reclaim the third as well.

In the aftermath of the Bar Kochba debacle, at Hanukkah the words of the prophet Zachariah were read in the synagogue: "Not by power nor by might but through My spirit, says the Lord." In the glow of the candles this year we should wonder aloud whether the prophet's vision is but balm for losers or whether the international system may yet generate a new way for groups to be both part of the world and apart from it. Here is the hard question that an adult celebration of Hanukkah can bring into deliberate focus.

It's not a "hard question" it's the old anti-Zionist position of the Communists and the left.

First putting aside the obscene idea that Zechariah and G-d were looking forward to the UN as an idea in line with "Democratic Party with Holidays" religion, but unworthy of serious discussion, does the international system work? No it doesn't.

The Anti-Zionists who had some sense of integrity admitted that after the Nazi and Soviet repressions of the Jews. With the UN's obsessive issues with the Jews, it's obvious enough that the current system doesn't work either. No one who actually cares about the Jewish people would propose otherwise.

Second the international system does not create such an apartheid way of living, it is dominated by one group or another which uses it for its own purposes. That is human nature and aspiring to some godless human utopia is exactly the opposite of Chanukah.



THE ROUNDUP

At the Security Roundtable, one quote among a roundup of quotes that is worth remembering

"When you conjure up the word 'settlement,' you think about the Old West, pioneers and all that. It is really more like a development, that is all it is. Settlement is the wrong word to use. If you want to describe it to Americans, it is really a development."

But give Thomas Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg 5 minutes and "development" will come to see every bit as ominous as the formerly innocuous settlement.

Enter the Moderate Islamist and the Palestinian Authority Exposed

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Dec. 20, 2011 public embrace of Amna Muna – a ruthless Palestinian terrorist – exposes his authentic ideology...

Abbas is true to his roots. In the 1950s, in Egypt, he was a key operative of the Muslim Brotherhood, which fervently believes in a divinely-ordained Islamic domination of the globe, religiously and territorially. Abbas refers to terrorists and suicide bombers – who intentionally and systematically murder, maim and intimidate civilians - as “freedom fighters.”

Meanwhile the wages of Haredi divisions are paying dividends that are destroying Jerusalem.

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) responded to Barkat's plan saying "Barkat is ignoring paragraph 97 of the Criminal Code of the State of Israel - that says any act which adversely impacts the sovereign territory of the country or surrenders land to a foreign state [without government approval]  is an act of betrayal."

But when has the left paid any attention to criminal codes?

On Fascism and Theater from Edward Cline at Rule of Reason

This is “democracy” in action. It was and still is stage-managed theater. It has not changed at all from the first time I saw a convention on black and white television. Being caught in the middle of such a phenomenon would be as scary to me as being surrounded by a mob of Muslims carrying signs that read “Behead those who insult Islam.” One would be tempted to strike out at the maddened, sweating fools on the convention floor, only at the risk of being pummeled to death by delegates from Wisconsin and Idaho and Massachusetts and California. They would all plead temporary insanity, and get away with it.

And from Crocodile Words

“If we are building a universal culture, and I believe we are, we must be all the bigger for it. It is incumbent upon us to shepherd the least experienced cultures, culture-ward. We either are or we are not representatives of civilizational largesse. As such we have a responsibility to the less big, the less powerful. Just because we can do something does not mean we have to do it. We can’t be seen endorsing adolescent hijinks. We’ve got to be bigger than that. The university is not an echo chamber, but neither is it blotting paper—everything to everybody. We are a community of conversation and we can set ground rules. We can and do abide free speech insofar as it allows us to maintain community

Finally, "Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors insists that the last Holocaust imposes upon all people of good will a moral and political imperative to prevent the next one. We refuse to ignore the sometimes uncomfortable implications of our commitments. We believe that the threats faced by the world are no longer limited to Jews and to Israel. CJHS believes:  That political Islam represents an existential threat to the West and to the Western traditions of liberal tolerance and individualism.

CJHS is raising money to be able to continue its good work. You can donate here.



THE POST-CHRISTIAN EUROPEAN CHOIR OF EURABIA

Latma is out with its new video of the post-Christian European choir of Eurabia.




And the original classic Jihad Bells.

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