Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
Of all our allies in the world, which is the only one to have joined the United States in the foxhole in every war in the past 100 years? Not Britain, not Canada, certainly not France. The answer is Australia.As I have said before Kerry's - and the Democrat's - foreign policy is simply not serious. More importantly, it is dangerous and counterproductive to our War on Terror. Just yesterday, Kerry and a number of Democratic Senators went out of their way to insult the Prime Minister of Iraq, to call him a liar. Doesn't Kerry realize that if he is elected (God forbid) he will have to work with this "liar", and those "bribed", "coerced", and "fictitious" allies?
The terrorists' objective is to intimidate all countries allied with America. Make them bleed and tell them this is the price they pay for being a U.S. ally. The implication is obvious: Abandon America and buy your safety.
That is what the terrorists are saying. Why is the Kerry campaign saying the same thing? "John Kerry's campaign has warned Australians that the Howard Government's support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists." So reports the Weekend Australian (Sept. 18).
This snide and reckless put-down more than undermines our best friends abroad. It demonstrates the cynicism of Kerry's promise to broaden our coalition in Iraq. If this is how Kerry repays America's closest allies -- ridiculing the likes of Tony Blair and John Howard -- who does he think is going to step up tomorrow to be America's friend?
I also wonder if Senator Kerry realizes that he is partially responsible for the recent upswing in violence. This, by the way, is not speculation... this is straight from one of my interpreter's mouth.The only prescription that Kerry did have in his speech was that he would bring in more allies - meaning, presumably, France and Germany. Of course, as Mark Steyn points out this is inane simply from any logical and factual standpoint.
When Senator Kerry said that, if elected, he would pull us out of here in four years, the insurgent leadership had a rousing round of celebratory automatic weapons fire. The insurgents can easily hang out another four years, taking 10 casualties here, 3 there and they know it. And they know that a massive upswing in violence with resulting casualties will make President Bush look really bad and increase the Senator's chances of election.
But I can't see the message itself - "We're losing anyway, so I'll surrender faster" - having much appeal to the American people. "We must make Iraq the world's responsibility," he says. But, if it's an American quagmire, why should anyone else get stuck in it? Even if Kerry's deft nuanced touch with the Franco-German outreach is as effective as he insists it is, it's asking a lot to expect them to pick up the slack for what he calls "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time". "Why, Jean, you're right, mon brave," Mr Chirac will say. "Your men have died in vain there. It's only fair that ours should, too." And, even if you accept the dubious logic that Franco-German troops would be less provocative to Baathist dead-enders than Anglo-American ones, has Kerry done the math? Say there are 140,000 US troops in Iraq when he takes office. He announces plans to bring home 10 per cent within two months. By what stretch of the imagination does he think the French and Germans are capable of producing 14,000 troops to replace them?Kerry's plan is simple: stability, no matter how dangerous or murderous, is preferable to taking a chance to improve the lives of millions and change the very malfunctioning dynamics of the Arab world that produced the terrorists in the first place - withdraw into fortress America, and hope we aren't hit again.
Our own problems with the U.N. should now be viewed in a context of ongoing radical change here in the United States, as all the previous liberal assumptions of the past decades undergo scrutiny in our post 9/11 world. There are no longer any sacred cows in the eyes of the American public. Ask Germany and South Korea as American troops depart, Saudi Arabia where bases are closed, and the once beaming Yasser Arafat, erstwhile denizen of the Lincoln Bedroom, as he now broods in his solitary rubble bunker.
Deeds, not rhetoric, are all that matter, as the once unthinkable is now the possible. There is no intrinsic reason why the U.N. should be based in New York rather than in its more logical utopian home in Brussels or Geneva. There is no law chiseled in stone that says any fascist or dictatorial state deserves authorized membership by virtue of its hijacking of a government. There is no logic to why a France is on the Security Council, but a Japan or India is not. And there is no reason why a group of democratic nations, unapologetic about their values and resolute to protect freedom, cannot act collectively for the common good, entirely indifferent to Syria's censure or a Chinese veto.
So Americans' once gushy support for the U.N. during its adolescence is gone. By the 1970s we accepted at best that it had devolved into a neutral organization in its approach to the West, and by the 1980s sighed that it was now unabashedly hostile to freedom. But in our odyssey from encouragement, to skepticism, and then to hostility, we have now reached the final stage--of indifference. Americans do not get riled easily, so the U.N. will go out with a whimper rather than a bang. Indeed, millions have already shrugged, tuned out, and turned the channel on it.
Liberals will cheer Kerry's new-found decisiveness, but it opens the way for Bush to deal him a counterstroke that can all but end this election and finish off Kerry for good.The key for Bush, going forward, is to make sure that people continue to see Iraq as part of the War on Terror. Kerry has staked his whole candidacy on people divorcing these two issues, having in effect conceded the issue of the economy to Bush.
Kerry's right flank is now gapingly vulnerable to a Bush attack. According to Scott Rasmussen's tracking polls, 30 to 40 percent of Kerry's voters disagree with his new leftward tilt on Iraq.
That is, even as the Democrat condemned the war in Iraq as a "diversion" from the central mission of the war on terror, a large minority of his own voters disagrees and sees it as "integral" to the battle to respond to 9/11.
Kerry has moved to the left, leaving about one-third of his vote behind. Bush can now move in and peel off Kerry's moderate supporters.
IMAGINE if, in the presidential election of 1944, the candidate opposing FDR had insisted that we were losing the Second World War and that, if elected, he would begin to withdraw American troops from Europe and the Pacific.Kerry's foreign policy proposals have been less than serious throughout the entire campaign. And at this point, even if he does want to be serious about an issue like Iraq, he has nothing to say because he has said everything already.
We would have called it treason. And we would have been right.
In WWII, broadcasts from Tokyo Rose in Japan and from Axis Sally in Germany warned our troops that their lives were being squandered in vain, that they were dying for big business and "the Jew" Roosevelt.
Today, we have a presidential candidate, the conscienceless Sen. John Kerry, doing the work of the enemy propagandists of yesteryear.
Is there nothing Kerry won't say to win the election? Is there no position he won't change? Doesn't he care anything for the sacrifices of our troops in Iraq?
As for the United Nations, any day now we'll see a huge banner hanging from its Manhattan headquarters: Dictators For Kerry.
Even if I detested everything about President Bush, I'd vote for him just to rub it in the faces of the Germans, the French and all of the tyrants rooting for the Iraqi people to slip back into despotism. We Americans choose our own presidents, and we don't take orders from Europeans or from any of Kerry's other Swiss boarding-school pals.
I think it's great that Kerry speaks fluent French. I wish he'd go to France where he could speak it all the time.
A serious party would have seen the war on terror as a major foreign policy challenge they needed to address credibly. But instead the Democrats looked on it in a shriveled, partisan Carvillesque way as a Bush wedge issue they needed to neutralize.Understanding what this war is about qualifies Bush to be President. Kerry's inability to see this should disqualify him.
Now, let's try a few more quotes. "Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction." "I hear it said that West Berlin is militarily untenable — as so was Bastogne, and so, in fact, was Stalingrad. Any danger spot is tenable if men — brave men — will make it so." Those were the words of John F. Kerry's hero, John F. Kennedy. It's amazing what a difference changing just four little letters in a last name can mean.
Jack Kennedy would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe." For John Kennedy: "Only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it."
It is ironic that in this time and in this place, the direct descendent of those words, and the virile passions they convey, can be found coming from the mouth and heart not of the Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry, but of his opponent, the Texas Republican George W. Bush.
I wish it didn't, but the fact is ... on Iraq, they haven't leveled with the American people and we deserve a president of the United States who looks Americans in the eye and tells you the truth.He says. Which truth does he want to tell the American people? Is it the truth that the war was worth fighting, which was his initial position? Or is it that he would not have gone to war, which was his second position? Or was it that someone not realizing that with Saddam gone the US is safer doesn't have the judgment to be President? Or is it the "wrong war....."? Which "truth" does Senator Kerry wish us to believe?
If it weren’t for the small matter of the war for civilization, I’d find it hard to resist a Kerry Presidency. Groucho Marx once observed that an audience will laugh at an actress playing an old lady pretending to fall downstairs, but, for a professional comic to laugh, it has to be a real old lady. That’s how I feel about the Kerry campaign. For the professional political analyst, watching Mondale or Dukakis or Howard Dean stuck in the part of the guy who falls downstairs is never very satisfying: they’re average, unexceptional fellows whom circumstances have conspired to transform into walking disasters. But Senator Kerry was made for the role, a vain thin-skinned droning blueblood with an indestructible sense of his own status but none at all of his own ridiculousness. If Karl Rove had labored for a decade to produce a walking parody of the contemporary Democratic Party’s remoteness, condescension, sense of entitlement, public evasiveness and tortured relationship with military matters, he couldn’t have improved on John F Kerry.
Primary season gives the party’s electorate a chance to rattle the leading candidate and make him a better campaigner. This time round the leading candidates – Dean, Clark – rattled the electorate and in their stampede to the fire exits they wound up sweeping the quintessential “None of the Above” man to victory. They made a very basic miscalculation: Howard Dean was a dull centrist governor pretending to be nuts, John Kerry is a nut passing himself off as a dull centrist.
These kinds of platitudes ring particularly empty from Senator Kerry. Americans do not begrudge a man making great wealth or inheriting it. But there is something vaguely icky about living the high life off the money of your wife’s first husband, especially when you give off the air that the good things that flow therefrom – the private jets, the luxury vacations homes, the $8,000 bicycle – are essential to your sense of yourself. Bush is rich but no-one would have a home in Crawford, Texas unless it really was his home: you don’t go there for haute cuisine or the jet set. If you prefer a less partisan comparison, take Governor Dean, a Park Avenue blueblood who found love, happiness and fulfillment in a materially modest life in Vermont. But Kerry’s expensive tastes seem central to his identity. And his preferred formulation for detaching his policy positions from his lifestyle is especially feeble: “That’s not my SUV, that’s the family’s SUV” – as if Teresa’s his Halliburton and he just happens to be enjoying some windfall profits, which, come to think of it, seems pretty much the case.
Iraq has always been the defining issue in this campaign and despite John Kerry's best attempts over the last few months to turn it against Bush by attacking from every imaginable angle, it hasn't worked. Maybe that will change as the violence continues into October and Kerry sharpens his critique, but I wouldn't count on it.Kerry in his speech yesterday, and his chief foreign policy adviser Richard Holbrooke have explicitly compared Iraq to VietNam. Besides the hardcore loony left base of the Democratic Party, Americans do not believe this and don't like those comparisons. His big, new, foreign policy speech - which promises to be the core of his campaign going forward - appeals to no swing voters. He is preaching to the converted, and when he hears the applause of these converted he and his advisers seem convinced that the rest of the country also thinks this way. They are wrong, and the polls are showing it every day.
The reason, I think, is very simple: America hates losers. I don't mean that John Kerry is a "loser" in the stylistic sense - though he does come off a bit that way when we see pictures of his gangly frame in spandex bike shorts, windsurfing or throwing a baseball.
What I mean is that when it comes to the biggest issue in this campaign, Iraq, John Kerry doesn't leave the impression with voters that he really wants to win the war. Everything we see, feel and know about John Kerry says his heart is not in this war, nor has it really been in any war.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded recently that al Qaeda - fearing its credibility is on the line - is moving ahead with plans for a major, "spectacular" attack, despite disruptions of some operations by recent arrests in Britain and Pakistan.
Officials said recent intelligence assessments of the group, which is blamed for the September 11 attacks, state that an attack is coming and that the danger will remain high until the Nov. 2 elections and last until Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
Taking you at your word (an extremely charitable gesture, I might note) that you only voted for the Iraq war resolution based on your list of conditions and to give the president bargaining power against Saddam, I have another question.
If Iraq did not constitute a significant threat to the United States and did not have ties to Al Qaeda, Senator, as you also said in your speech, then precisely what did you think the president should threaten Saddam about? And if indeed Saddam was no threat, why did you insist on imposing all those meaningless pre-war conditions on the president? If, as you say, the war was a mistake, there is no purpose in those pre-war conditions or threats.
Says one Democratic consultant: "I would have called you crazy if in 1989 you would have told me that a decade and a half later this party was going to nominate Dukakis's lieutenant governor--another aloof Massachusetts liberal who would overconfidently feel he would mop the floor with this clueless guy named Bush. But I fear I've seen this movie, and it's 'Groundhog Day.' "It seems the main problem of the Democratic Party is one of arrogance. They have convinced themselves that they are better and that anyone who does not recognize that is, in the words of Theresa Heinz Kerry, an "idiot". Turns out, people don't like being condescended to.
Liberal journalists have started to pile on the Kerry campaign. "Kerry is Dukakis, after all," sighs Joe Klein of Time magazine. "Deadly dull, slow to respond, trapped in Democratic banality; he actually said he was for 'good jobs at good wages.' "
If the election were held today, John Kerry would lose by between 88 and 120 electoral votes. The reason is simple: The central vulnerability of this president -- the central issue of this campaign -- is the Iraq war. And Kerry has nothing left to say.I'm not convinced that Iraq is the central issue in the campaign. To me the central issue is the war on terror, in general, of which Iraq is a small part. The central issue is how each of the candidates views the war on terror, i.e. from a 9/10 perspective or a 9/12 perspective. By Kerry's insistence on waiting to be hit again before the US would respond, and relying more on the law than on the military, Kerry places himself squarely in the 9/10 mindset.
Why? Because, until now, he has said everything conceivable regarding Iraq. Having taken every possible position on the war, there is nothing he can say now that is even remotely credible.
These dizzying contradictions -- so glaring, so public, so frequent -- have gone beyond undermining anything Kerry can now say on Iraq. They have been transmuted into a character issue. When Kerry went off windsurfing during the Republican convention, Jay Leno noted that even Kerry's hobbies depend on wind direction. Kerry on the war has become an object not only of derision but of irreconcilable suspicion. What kind of man, aspiring to the presidency, does not know his own mind about the most serious issue of our time?This lack of ability to take a position and follow through on it is an indication not just of what he would do in Iraq, but against terrorism in general.
Meanwhile, life inside Israel has returned to near normalcy. The economy, which was shrinking in 2001, is now growing at around 4 percent per year. Even the tourists are back: Jerusalem's premier King David Hotel, which a few years ago was almost empty, recently reached full occupancy. All summer, Israel seemed to be celebrating itself, with music and film festivals and a nightly crafts fair in Jerusalem that brought crowds back to its once-deserted downtown. Everyone knows a terrorist attack can happen at any time. Still, Israeli society no longer lives in anticipation of an attack. The Beersheba bombing, which once would have seemed to Israelis part of an endless and unwinnable war, is now perceived as an aberration. Terror that no longer paralyzes is no longer terror.Many on the Left, both in Israel and in the US have repeated the mantra that there is no military solution to terrorism. Yet, Israel has proven that this long-held belief is false. It is a long, hard struggle but one that can be won if there is the determination to triumph. Israel's fight against terrorism also has some lessons for the US.
Americans would be wise to study this final lesson, too: Perhaps the greatest danger in fighting terrorism is the polarizing effect such a campaign can have--not just internationally, but domestically. To avoid this pitfall, a strong political consensus for military action is necessary. That means the president must actively reach out to domestic opposition. But American leaders must also heed Sharon's other lessons. That means an ability to endure criticism from abroad and even to risk international isolation, a willingness to define the war on terrorism as a total war, and a commitment to focus one's political agenda on winning, not on divisive or extraneous concerns. Fulfilling those conditions does not guarantee success. But it does make success possible--as Israel is, at great cost, showing the world.
Hayek's work focused on how it is that complicated and reliable systems of cooperation come about without any centralized direction. When they do, they outperform systems of "command", systems that rely on central direction. Hayek was an economist and so his primary object of study was the market and how, seemingly counterintuitively, it can work without commands; and why it outperforms large scale centralized economies like the Soviet Union. It doesn't take a directive from Washington to get Apple Computers to make more iPods. Why? Because the market tells Apple how many will sell.Blogs work in a very similar way. There are millions of them, and all have their particular knowledge, no matter how minute it may seem. When Dan Rather came out with those obviously forged memos, the blogging "marketplace" was able to refute them almost instantly because of the combined base of knowledge of millions of people, as opposed to the knowledge of a small and self-selected group at CBS.
Longtime Democratic insider Tony Coelho lashed out at the John Kerry presidential campaign, characterizing it as a campaign in chaos. With yet another appointment of a former Clinton administration staffer to Kerry’s team on Tuesday, Coelho argues the problem is worsening.
“There is nobody in charge and you have these two teams that are generally not talking to each other,” says Coehlo, who ran Al Gore's campaign early in the 2000 presidential race. As Coelho and other detractors see it, there is a civil war within the Kerry campaign.
It has been said that "Jews are the people of 'The Book.'" From what we observe today, "The Book" is not a survival manual and may end up being the Koran.
There are three things certain in life: death, taxes and anti-Semitism. Well, death is death, taxes are down, and anti-Semitism is up. Like some demon seed that lay dormant, sleeping, covered over or ignored, it has now sprouted once again. The hated symbols are scrawled across the gravestones in Jewish cemeteries and on the walls of the ancient capitals of Europe and the Near and Middle East. Jews are blamed for every thing from the destruction of the World Trade Center to the war in Iraq, and are called "baby-killers" in relation to the Palestinian problem, even while the world's media print the photographs of the arms of small slaughtered Jewish children hanging from the side of a bus that Palestinian terrorists had decided to destroy.
American Jews are peculiarly disconnected from these happenings, and apparently are determined to make their lack of interest in unfolding world events evident by supporting the Democratic candidate for President. An ostrich buries its head in the sand, and in so doing leaves another part of its anatomy vulnerable. American Jews should take heed and perhaps consider emulating the eagle, rather than the ostrich.
In the Greenberg poll, when the Jews being polled were asked, "Which area [out of a given list] would be MOST important to you in deciding how to vote for a candidate for President?" only 15 percent mentioned Israel. Unfortunately there are six million reasons why they are wrong.
But worse, the poll shows that Kerry must face a basic problem: His own voters don't like him very much.A few more weeks of Bush being able to maintain this lead, and this race is over. The Democrats have run one of the most incompetent campaigns in recent memory.
The Fox News poll asked Kerry supporters if their vote for the Democrat could best be described as motivated by support for Kerry (41 percent) or by opposition to Bush (51 percent). By contrast, Bush voters emphatically say, by 82-13, that they are voting for the president rather than against the challenger.
This puts Kerry in a tough position in the coming debates. He has no real base of support and any attenuation of the dislike his voters feel for Bush will weaken him substantially. All Bush has to do is to persuade a few Kerry voters to stop disliking him, and he can get their votes. There is no residual affection for the Democrat to get in the way of their switching to the president.
It was the PLO that invented airline terrorism, with a wave of hijackings in the 1970s; it was Hamas that turned suicide bombings into standard practice; even the grisly Chechen takeover of a school in Beslan this month aped the PLO's takeover of a school in Ma'alot in 1974.But even more important than the pure tactical side, is what the strategic responses to terrorism have been.
When the PLO was founded in 1964 – with the goal, incidentally, of a Palestinian state instead of Israel, which did not yet have the territories – no one was talking about such a state. Even after Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt, nobody advocated a Palestinian state in those territories; the world expected Israel to keep part of this land (that is why, according to its drafters, UN Resolution 242 demands the return of "territories" rather than "the territories") and return the rest to Jordan and Egypt.This is the key to the spread of terrorism - the almost constant appeasement of Arab terrorists over the last 40 years. It would be astonishing if they did not learn from these experiences that terrorism pays. The terrorists in Iraq, as well as those in Chechnya have seen that if they adopt Palestinian tactics, their demands - like the demands of the Palestinians - will be appeased.
Forty years later, a Palestinian state in every inch of the West Bank and Gaza has become an international consensus. And this achievement was not in spite of Palestinian terror but because of it: Many peoples with equal or better claims to statehood, from Tibetans to Iraqi Kurds, have sought independence without resorting to terror; yet their aspirations at best elicit lip-service support from the world, and often outright opposition. The Palestinians' success lay in persuading the international community that peace depends on meeting their demands.
Only by proving that terrorism does not pay can the US and Russia reverse this eminently logical conclusion. And they can do this only by finally penalizing Palestinian terror rather than rewarding it. Otherwise, expect to see ever more terrorism worldwide – because that has proven to be the winning tactic.
Why were we so wrong? Why did Dan Rather and CBS News, against all expectations, impeach their own credibility to defend the authenticity of memos that are almost certainly forgeries? The obvious answer is that they did it to save the faltering Kerry campaign from a final and decisive blow. If CBS were to admit that the documents were forgeries, it would have no grounds for protecting its sources.
we may well be seeing the initial signs of a profound realignment of the media along more strictly and openly partisan lines. The mainstream media as a whole may be larger than the alternative outlets, but the mainstream audience itself is segmented. Looking at the CBS News audience alone, we are probably talking about the most self-consciously liberal part of the network audience pie. True, nowadays all the network newscasts are liberal. But CBS has had that reputation longer than the rest. Gradually, with the exit of moderates and conservatives to other networks and the alternative media, CBS's audience is probably now composed largely of liberal Democrats. In the middle of the most divisive presidential election in years, we have to assume that the CBS audience itself is far more interested in helping John Kerry than in getting to the bottom of the forgery issue. So as the country increasingly divides into two media camps, the "mainstream media" is becoming more openly partisan. And it's the audience that's driving this — not only, or even primarily, the journalists, liberal though journalists may be.
The United Nations also failed to confront the nuclear threat from Iran, which, like North Korea, used the NPT to acquire equipment and materials to make nuclear bombs.Sounds a lot like Chamberlain's "peace in our time".
When Iran's weapons work was discovered, showing that the Iranians knowingly ignored obligations to their treaty partners, the IAEA essentially ignored the violations. The agency sought only an additional "protocol" from Iran as a new safeguard.
"This is a good day for peace, multilateralism and nonproliferation," ElBaradei declared after Iran signed the protocol. "A good day for peace because the [IAEA] board decided to continue to make every effort to use verification and diplomacy to resolve questions about Iran's nuclear program."
ONE of the charges leveled against President Bush on Iraq is that he circumvented the United Nations, ignored allies and acted unilaterally. The theory is that an OK from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and French President Jacques Chirac is the surest guarantee of success for U.S. foreign policy, especially in the Middle East.There seem to be two key lessons here: "soft power" does not work without the explicit threat of "hard power", and that trusting rogue regimes to adhere to law or agreements is simply inane. The problem with the first lesson is that Europe does not believe in using "hard power" because it does not have it; and allowing the US to use it would mean acknowledging that the US is the "hyper-power" without which Europe can not survive, not something they are keen to do. And this leads into the second lesson - they have to rely on adherence to agreements because there is nothing else they can do.
That theory was put to the test earlier this month — and proved to be not only false but counter-productive, at least for the time being.
The resolution passed 9-0, with six abstentions, indicating unusual U.N. consensus. French diplomats were in seventh heaven: They had proved they could do through diplomacy what the "Cowboy" Bush insists on doing through force.
But what happened next was less idyllic: Far from bowing to the "collective will of the international community," Syria decided to ignore the Bush-Chirac alliance and reacted by, in effect, abolishing the Lebanese state.
DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: I know that this story is true. I believe that the witnesses and the documents are authentic. We wouldn't have gone to air if they would not have been. There isn't going to be -- there's no -- what you're saying apology?Having his career ended like this - for such a terrible candidate, and for such a stupid lie, would be the ultimate dishonorable discharge.
Yissocharov outlined the general consensus among Hamas leadership he had interviewed for the book: “The Israeli left-wing and your ‘peace-camp’ are what ultimately encouraged us to continue to carry out suicide bombings. We tried, through our attacks, to create fragmentation and dissention within Israeli society, and the left-wing encouraged us in that regard. When we heard about the ‘Pilot’s Letter,’ the refuse-niks and the elite soldiers refusing to serve [in Judea, Samaria and Gaza –ed.] it strengthened our confidence in the effectiveness of the suicide bomber.This was obvious to everyone except the Left. Is there any chance that the Israeli, as well as the world-wide Left will realize this and stop supporting terrorists? Unlikely.
Some insist that this war is only against a few "crazy" extremists and that it cannot be won by force. That is half true. In fact, millions of young Middle Easterners are watching Islamic fascists to learn whether to applaud or condemn them — and that decision in places like Najaf, Fallujah, Kandahar, Madrid, Grozny, and Ramallah sadly hinges as much on resolute force as it does on "sensitive" understanding. There are millions we must help, but there are also thousands of wannabe Osama bin Ladens and Mohammed Attas who have neither minds nor hearts that anyone would want to win over.
In a war against such killers, it is the proverbial "Them or Us." Islamic fascists are not crazy — however crazy they sound — but evil, as their evil work confirms. We do not need more lectures about the impossibility of winning a postmodern conflict, about al Qaeda's not following the laws of Clausewitz or being immune to our way of war. In fact, we can and have defeated them. Keep doing that and the "hearts and minds" of others in the region, whom we are already helping, will mysteriously prove more open to dialogue.
Fail again like we did on September 11 — and the entire United States Treasury could not buy the good will of an Islamic Street once more gone mad with delight for having felled the Great Satan.
Not only does it paint the entire Democratic party machine from Kerry and Terry McAuliffe down as completely dishonest, but also incredibly incompetent. How long would it have taken to have a document specialist verify the memos, especially given that even the campaign had its doubts? Voters who manage not to be completely put off by the dishonest have to ask themselves whether they want the country run by people this flat-out stupid. And fair or not, the whole mess winds up in John Kerry's lap. It's yet another case of misfiring a grenade, only this time the wounds won't be superficial.This is undoubtedly the most incompetent political campaign in recent memory.
‘He is sedated,’ said Bill Clinton’s heart surgeon on Tuesday. ‘But he is arousable.’ I’ve never doubted it.As the third anniversary of the attacks approaches, how much have we really accomplished? Yes, we have taken down the Taliban and Saddam, but little has changed in the way we think (or are told to think) about the world. Most don't understand that there truly is a war going on, and that the enemy really does want to destroy us.
That seems as appropriate a thought as any with which to consider the state of the new war three years on. Like former President Clinton, much of the West is sedated. But is it arousable? On the eve of this week’s anniversary, hundreds of children were murdered in their schoolhouse by terrorists. Terrible. But even more terrible was the reaction of what passes for the civilised world, the reluctance to confront the truth of what had occurred. The perpetrators were ‘separatists’, according to the Christian Science Monitor — what, you mean like my fellow Quebeckers? They were ‘commandoes’, according to Agence France-Presse — you mean like the SAS?
Three years after September 11, the Islamist death cult is the love whose name no one dare speak. And, if you can’t even bring yourself to identify your enemy, are you likely to defeat him? Can you even know him? He seems to know us pretty well.
[E]ven in America, while one party is at war, the other party is at war with the very idea that there is a war. And even the party committed to war presides over a lethargic unreformed bureaucracy, large chunks of which are determined to obstruct it.Yet most can't even clearly say who the enemy is. Most will answer that question by saying "al-Qaeda". But what is al-Qaeda?
There isn’t an ‘al-Qa’eda’ in the sense of an organisation one can enter into formal peace talks with, as Mo Mowlam advises. There are local terror groups sharing the same aims and methods from Algeria to Indonesia and, like crime families, they all know who to go to if they happen to find themselves in Chechnya, or Kosovo, or Sudan, or Colombia.But even more than that, we are not fighting an organized crime syndicate, but an idea - Islamism. Just as in the Cold War (World War III) we fought an evil ideology, so now too we battle a theological dogma. This dogma has infected millions around the world, because the governments under which they live understand that it is easier to point the finger at America and Jews than it is to give their citizens a decent life. And now this disease has spread. It took more than a generation for this ideology of hate to take hold, and it will take as long or longer to heal those contaminated by it, and unfortunately the main cure is from the barrel of a gun.
Voting Democrat has always been something a Jew just does. But not anymore.The New Republic had an article a few days ago about the importance of the Orthodox Jewish community in this election.
None of this is to say that Bush will clear 50% of the Jewish vote. The high water mark for Republicans in recent times was set by Ronald Reagan, garnering almost 40%. But given that Bush captured less than 20% of the Jewish vote four years ago (and his father managed just 11% in 1992), simply scoring 35% would mark a huge improvement. Especially in Florida, which has roughly 500,000 Jews.
In a state he won by 537 votes, Bush obviously doesn’t need to win a majority of Jewish votes to change the electoral calculus substantially.
One thing we do know is that the two baseball rivals will settle their differences well before the two candidates. The Yankees and Red Sox play six times over the final two weekends in September. Bush and Kerry will meet three times, at most, in October. Odds are the two candidates won't engage in a bench-clearing brawl, as did the two baseball teams on the afternoon before Kerry visited Fenway Park. Then again, the presidential stakes aren't as high.
Just ask any Red Sox fan. They belong to a party that's been out of power since 1918.
Fine. Now we have a clear choice in the presidential election. Bush went to war to remove Saddam. Kerry, it now appears, would not have. This means the choice is between the world we have now, and a world with Saddam still in power. For the meaning of saying we fought the wrong war at the wrong time, is that we would have been better off leaving Saddam in power. If John Kerry were president, Saddam would still be in power.
So Kerry has to answer this question: Would we be safer with Saddam still in power? Would the world? What would such a world look like? Surely we couldn't have left 150,000 troops in the nations bordering Iraq for two years. Surely, then, the inspectors would once again have been expelled. And the sanctions regime was collapsing. Does Kerry then believe Saddam would not
have moved to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction? Would that have been acceptable? Does Kerry believe pro-American, anti-terror forces in the Middle East, to say nothing of the forces of reform in that region, would be stronger or weaker if Saddam were still in power? What would have been the global effect on American credibility if we had authorized the president to use force, as Kerry voted to do, and then backed off? And what would a Kerry administration do now? How could a President Kerry ask any young American to be the last one to die for a mistake?
The intelligence reports showing French assistance to Saddam ongoing in the late winter of 2002 helped explain why France refused to deal harshly with Iraq and blocked U.S. moves at the United Nations.Of course the man most responsible for France's close ties to Iraq is the present President of France, Jacques Chirac.
"No wonder the French are opposing us," one U.S. intelligence official remarked after illegal sales to Iraq of military and dual-use parts, originating in France, were discovered early last year before the war began.
France's government tightly controls its aerospace and defense firms, however, so it would be difficult to believe that the illegal transfers of equipment parts took place without the knowledge of at least some government officials.
French aid to Iraq goes back decades and includes transfers of advanced conventional arms and components for weapons of mass destruction.The article goes on to detail the numerous, and fresh, French weapons in Iraq. Is it really any wonder why France opposed the war? And this is whom John Kerry calls our allies.
The central figure in these weapons ties is French President Jacques Chirac. His relationship with Saddam dates to 1975, when, as prime minister, the French politician rolled out the red carpet when the Iraqi strongman visited Paris.
"I welcome you as my personal friend," Chirac told Saddam, then vice president of Iraq.
Tariq Ramadan [is] no ordinary academic, and the people who authorized this appointment at Notre Dame no doubt knew that. In the world of New Islamism, Mr. Ramadan was pure nobility. He was the maternal grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the Supreme Guide and founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, who lit the fuse of this religious radicalism back in 1928. Banna… was struck down by an assassin… in 1949. A village boy and a chameleon, a plotter who preached [a] simple but deadly doctrine… Banna made his appearance when a fragile modernism was struggling to take hold in Egypt. His targets were the classic themes of nativism…the moral pollution of modernism…His favorite disciple and son-in-law, Said Ramadan, made it to the safety of Switzerland, when the Nasser regime, in the mid-1950s, launched a brutal campaign of suppression against the Brotherhood. It was in Switzerland, with the help of Saudi money and patronage, that Said Ramadan… stayed true to the legacy of Banna, and raised to sons, Hani and Tariq, who would stay with the family business – the intersection of religion and politics… and the call to faith.Daniel Pipes, a few weeks ago, in his matter of fact but no less effective style fills in these gaps in the real life of Tariq Ramadan:
He has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Mr. Turabi in turn called Mr. Ramadan the "future of Islam."Fouad Ajami eloquently expands on Ramadan's true views and shows that they are decidedly not ones that are in accord with a liberal society or ones that promote a peaceful coexistence with the Muslim world.
Mr. Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.
Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian indicted for Al-Qaeda activities, had "routine contacts" with Mr. Ramadan, according to a Spanish judge (Baltasar Garzón) in 1999.
Djamel Beghal, leader of a group accused of planning to attack the American embassy in Paris, stated in his 2001 trial that he had studied with Mr. Ramadan.
Along with nearly all Islamists, Mr. Ramadan has denied that there is "any certain proof" that Bin Laden was behind 9/11.
He publicly refers to the Islamist atrocities of 9/11, Bali, and Madrid as "interventions," minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement.
Intelligence agencies suspect that Mr. Ramadan (along with his brother Hani) coordinated a meeting at the Hôtel Penta in Geneva for Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy head of Al-Qaeda, and Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, now in a Minnesota prison.
Mr. Ramadan's address appears in a register of Al Taqwa Bank, an organization the State Department accuses of supporting Islamist terrorism.
Pedigree was only one weapon in Tariq Ramadan’s remarkable odyssey. He had come of age when Islam in Europe was taking hold… Charismatic and telegenic, he had taken to the TV and the Web. Even after allowing for repetition, the 20 books and 700 articles and 170 audiotapes attributed to him are a testimony to the man’s drive and missionary impulse. The new Islamists were practitioners of the art of taqiyya (dissimulation: you never owe the truth to unbelievers), and this extraordinarily talented man had this art down to perfection. There was pluralism in the West, and he would use it for his purposes. His big theme was the fate of Islam in the new lands of the West; not for him the theme of assimilation. His was a different prescription, artfully stated: The Muslims would live the life of faith within Europe, for Islam, he maintained, had always been a fact of Europe’s life. France was zealously republican and lacité, secularism was its civil religion. The Muslims of France had not been parties to that secularism, and they ought to be free to challenge its basic canons.Ajami ends his piece with a cautiously optimistic projection of the future of Islam in the USA:
But there was a limit to this artful way. A struggle erupted in France over Israel and the Palestinians, over the Iraq war, the Jews of France had become increasingly unnerved by the open displays of anti-Semitism…Mr. Ramadan had stepped into the breach. Some old family atavisms, and the requirements of leadership… were to bring him into open combat with some of France’s leading intellectuals: Bernard-Henri Lévy, Alain Finkelkraut, Bernard Kouchner, Alexandre Adler, Andre Glucksmann. Mr. Ramadan was now done with subtlety: He saw those “new philosophers”… to become apologists for Israel, and practitioners of “communitarian politics”. Put starkly, these public intellectuals were no longer men of the French republic of letters, but Jews above all… No wonder Bernard Kuchner, the founder of Doctors Without Borders, dubbed [Ramadan] a “most dangerous man.”
We have nothing in the public record that would explain why Mr. Ramadan has chosen to make his way to the American heartland… Nothing in his writing reveals an appreciation of America or a real knowledge of its culture… In my most favorite, and most exquisite piece of unintended irony – in an essay he published on the Web site Oumma.com on Aug. 30 – he wrote that he makes a distinction “between equitable trade and commerce of the World Trade Organization or McDonald’s, between [Victor] Hugo and Dallas,“ and that he opposes “economism, individualism, imperialism.” This piece of irony is priceless: The man condemning McDonald’s was coming to an academic institute funded by an endowment granted by McDonald’s heiress, Joan B. Kroc. A chip of the old block is Tariq Ramadan: His grandfather has sought and obtained the largesse of the Suez Canal Company for his Brotherhood even as he agitated against the foreign “defilement” of Egypt.
It would be fair to assume that French intelligence and the French Ministry of Interior have weighed in on the decision to deny Mr. Ramadan entry to the U.S… The liberty of an open society can never be a suicide pact, and the freedom of the academy is never absolute.
Would it be too irreverent and heretical to suggest that the Krocs can rest easier, now that Me. Ramadan has been spared an association with the “deleterious worldwide effects” of their empire. He can and will no doubt continue his work while the Muslims in North America cast about for a measure of peace in this new world. For them, there is a path of assimilation. It was, after all, the legacy of Hassan al-Banna that pushed them to these shores.Whether or not this optimism is founded, Ajami's op-ed, his narration of the biography of Tariq Ramadan not only contains in embryonic form the history of the Islamic revolution that occurred in the 20th century, but warns against the dangers inherent in an open society. What happens if one of the designated watch-dogs in a democracy, the press, decides to sleep on its watch, as the routinely slumbering NPR?
Kerry, then, is the mellifluous Siren that appeals to beleaguered sailors. In lieu of the "neoconservatives" provoking rogue nations and terrorist sponsors, Kerry's subtlety, erudition, and nuance would charm others to address the "more important" (but less confrontational) problems of the environment, globalization, and drug smuggling. To win these "wars" we need not isolate an Arafat, ram democracies down the throats of Afghans and Iraqis, embarrass the Europeans, or talk of embedded pathologies within the Arab world. In short, Kerry has no foreign policy other than the Siren song that if George W. Bush would just go away, things would be so much quieter, people would be so much nicer, and we would be so much better liked. And all this might just work, until we hit the shoals.
Afghanistan has been left with peacekeeping done on the cheap. Major European powers such as France, Italy, Turkey and Spain have coughed up only a few hundred troops each for duty in the country. The Germans have been more generous, but even their contingent tops out at just 2,000 troops. The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, a Kabul-based think tank, calculated that the Afghanistan mission (including the U.S. troops under separate command) is orders of magnitude weaker than recent missions to Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti and East Timor. In Kosovo there was one international soldier for every 50 citizens; in Afghanistan there is one peacekeeper for every 1,000 Afghans.
Unless European leaders are dissembling, they understand the significance of the transition underway in Afghanistan. They understand that failure will have strategic consequences for the West and terrible human consequences for the Afghan people. Disturbing enough on its own, Europe's performance in Afghanistan has even darker implications: It suggests that the hands-off policy in Iraq may be little more than military impotence and political weakness masquerading as principle.
This cult attaches itself to a political cause but parasitically strangles it. The death cult has strangled the dream of a Palestinian state. The suicide bombers have not brought peace to Palestine; they've brought reprisals. The car bombers are not pushing the U.S. out of Iraq; they're forcing us to stay longer. The death cult is now strangling the Chechen cause, and will bring not independence but blood.And yet, we refuse to see what this is about. And the Arab world refuses to confront their own degeneracy. We call them "militants", or "separatists" or other euphemisms, not bringing ourselves to use the words that would make us fight them.
But that's the idea. Because the death cult is not really about the cause it purports to serve. It's about the sheer pleasure of killing and dying.
It's about massacring people while in a state of spiritual loftiness. It's about experiencing the total freedom of barbarism - freedom even from human nature, which says, Love children, and Love life. It's about the joy of sadism and suicide.
I remember a couple of days after September 11 writing in some column or other that weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn't whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, that's still the difference. We can all get upset about dead children, but unless you're giving honest thought to what was responsible for the slaughter your tasteful elegies are no use. Nor are the hyper-rationalist theories about "asymmetrical warfare".Until we call Hamas terrorists and not "militants", or see these Chechens as murderers and not "separatists", we are consigned to fight the phenomenon of terror as opposed to the terrorists themselves.
The reality is that the IRA and ETA and the ANC and any number of secessionist and nationalist movements all the way back to the American revolutionaries could have seized schoolhouses and shot all the children.
But they didn't. Because, if they had, there would have been widespread revulsion within the perpetrators' own communities. To put it at its most tactful, that doesn't seem to be an issue here.
So the particular character of this "insurgency" does not derive from the requirements of "asymmetrical warfare" but from . . . well, let's see, what was the word missing from those three analyses of the Beslan massacre? Here's a clue: half the dead "Chechen separatists" were not Chechens at all, but Arabs. And yet, tastefully tiptoeing round the subject, The New York Times couldn't bring itself to use the words Muslim or Islamist, for fear presumably of offending multicultural sensibilities.
Of course, a French hostage crisis in Iraq was never supposed to happen — or so thought the French. Wasn't France, as head, if not head scarf, of the emerging Eurabian bloc, the Arab-Muslim world's best friend? From dictators, including Saddam Hussein, to terror kingpins, France has long been the good, Ol' European to count on. Not that dictators and — even more revealingly — terror kingpins haven't come through for France in this, her darkish hour. From Hezbollah's Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, to the Palestinian Authority's Yasser Arafat, to henchmen of Najaf renegade Muqtada al-Sadr, a roster of what passes for character witnesses in the best terrorist circles has signed on to attest to the bona fides of France and its kidnapped journalists.
Maybe the Muslim Brotherhood, probably the world's largest sharia-advocacy group, put it best: The group demanded freedom for the Frenchmen, and particularly because "they were participating in exposing the occupation [in Iraq] and its practices." In other words, these were good (anti-American) French eggs. The killers of Islamic Jihad praised France as a whole for having "distinguished itself, compared to other European nations, in its position on the American occupation of Iraq." The killers of Hamas lauded France's opposition to "the totally partial American support of the Zionist entity," adding that the release of the hostages would "increase the isolation of hostile American and Israeli attitudes toward the Arab and Muslim nations, and would boost French support for our aspirations."
Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned in 1997. Yet, since 1996 the serious violent crime rate has soared by 69%: robbery is up by 45% and murders up by 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels.Looking at the US, it turns out that states that have liberalized their gun laws have seen a sharp drop in violent crime.
The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey done, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate in the U.S. When the new survey for 2004 comes out, that gap will undoubtedly have widened even further as crimes reported to British police have since soared by 35%, while declining 6% in the U.S.
Thirty-seven of the 50 states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns once they pass a criminal background check and pay a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours' worth. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murder rates and other violent crimes.Lott acknowledges that there are other factors that influence crime, but it is stunning how closely correlated gun ownership and decreases in crime are.
Unilateral withdrawal holds one clear gain for Arafat and Hamas leaders: the chance to prove to their own demoralized people that terror works. But it also holds one potentially devastating disadvantage: If Gaza implodes after Israeli withdrawal, the Palestinian national movement could self-destruct.I think he is right that in some ways withdrawal will be politically useful for Israel, especially if the US then recognizes Israel's right to parts of Judea and Samaria.
Nor are the Palestinians oblivious to the political gains Israel may achieve from withdrawal. The very promise of withdrawal has already won Israel a historic American concession: The recent administration decision to accept Israel's building in settlement blocs - the first time since 1967 that America has endorsed Israel's right to build over the Green Line - is a direct result of Sharon's withdrawal initiative.
And if missiles start falling on Ashkelon and we need to return to Gaza? Then we will hit back - state against state, rather than occupying army against an occupied people.Does he really think that Europe et al. would allow this? The reaction to Israel's retaliations would be similar to today's EU statement that Israel should not threaten Syria. The settlements in Gaza will need to be removed at some point, I'm just not convinced that now is the best time to do it.
Russia slams "double standards" in dealing with terrorismIs Russia going to apply this argument to the Palestinian terrorists attacking Israel??? Or is that a third standard?
MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) - Russia said on Friday "double standards" were "unacceptable" in dealing with terrorism.
The summer and fall have been and will be momentous: national political conventions, elections slated in Afghanistan and here at home, the Olympics, high gas prices, and near cultural hysteria, whether measured by Fahrenheit 9/11 or the Swift-boat ads. But brace yourself — this is only the beginning.
We should expect not only the dirtiest election in years, but also some real challenges the United States has not experienced since 1941.
We should also accept that the terrorists have finally caught on to just how fragile the world’s oil supply is. The global economy is recovering. India and China are becoming voracious energy importers. The United States will neither tap all of its own ample reserves nor embark on a new round of fuel-efficiency standards. Global speculators and investors are hypersensitive to even the slightest disruption in supply.
The furor over North Korea convinces Teheran of the attention — and bribery — to be had by threatening to go nuclear. America will soon have to face the fact that while we were hypnotized over Kerry’s medals and George Bush’s National Guard service, Iran quietly and methodically created and hid away enough bombs to threaten the world’s oil supply and much of the West itself. And the president who confronts a nuclear Iran will be demonized by the global Left in a manner that makes the present Bush-hatred look tame.
So get ready for another Moore belly-flop into the American political cesspool. It is too late to make another propaganda film before the elections, but we will see his hand in a variety of media, with his characteristic allegiance to untruth, hysteria, and malice.
Thus if the Democrats lose the next election, they must confront the bitter fact that the House, the Senate, the presidency, and soon the Supreme Court are lost — and lost mostly to the dominant influence of their most vocal and wealthy supporters in Hollywood, the universities, the media, and the foundations who have privileged an agenda that is out of touch with most of those whom they never see nor wish to see.
It might have been neat the last two years to read of Soros money pouring into anti-Bush movements or the various theatrics of Answer, Not In Our Name, and Moveon.org. But most Americans who channel-surfed their televised rallies were disgusted by the hate and the weird fringe groups that showed up to trash the United States. Witness the protests at the recent convention in New York: Again, guerrilla street theater juxtaposed with sailing off Nantucket are not the images Democrats wish to convey while Islamofascists blow up and behead innocents in Russia, Israel, Kabul, and Iraq.
We are not at the end of history, but rather at its new beginning. All the old truths — conventional warfare, the Atlantic alliance, petroleum-based affluence, conventional political debate, etiquette, principled disagreement, and the old populist Democratic party are coming under question. And the only thing that is clear from what will follow is that it will all be loud, messy, full of surprises — and occasionally quite scary.