Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
The record is incontrovertible: double-standards applied only to Israel; the lack of interest in states with much worse human-rights records; and the resulting demonization of Israel through overt manipulation of human-rights rhetoric and mechanisms. Even the underlying anti-Semitism becomes plain with the overt attempt to eliminate concern with anti-Semitism.
To begin with, the Palestinian elections will be proclaimed as a near-model exercise in democracy. Yet it is easy to see that Fatah bosses chose the sole candidate, and Fatah bodies then unanimously endorsed him. Other candidates were pressured to quit.The main issue is the fact that even with Arafat's death, the leadership of the Palestinians remains basically the same. Yoram Ettinger demonstrates how the present leadership, which is talked about as "moderate" and "open to peace", has been involved with some of the defining terrorist acts, and how they are still intimately linked to Hamas.
This election will be like those regularly held in Arab dictatorships, the establishment's man monopolizing media coverage and active regime backing. The sole difference: a few minor candidates can run.
On election day Abu Mazen will get 80 percent of the vote or more, and observers will say the balloting was free and fair.
But what happens at the ballot box means nothing for the power struggle among dozens of warlord-type contenders and the two main factions.
In 1972, Abu Mazen handled the financial aspects of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre of 11 Israeli athletes. He steered pre-1989 PLO ties with ruthless East European regimes and the Soviet Union, wrote a thesis on Holocaust Denial at Moscow University, co-managed PLO hijacking of Western planes during the early 1970s and the murder of U.S. ambassadors in 1972.So no matter what the cosmetic changes that the "new" PA makes, the core remains the same. The goal of the Palestinians continues to be the destruction of Israel, not a state beside Israel. This is the root of the problem, and until it is openly acknowledged and remedied - and the Palestinians are disabused of the notion that they can achieve their goals - there will not be peace.
A few days following the signing of the 1993 Oslo accord, Abu Mazen, Abu Ala' Dahlan and Rajoub engineered a series of PA-Hamas understandings.
Legitimizing top leaders of the PA, such as Abu Mazen, Abu Ala', Dahlan and Rajoub - in defiance of their horrific track records - constitutes a victory of wishful thinking over moral clarity. The suggestion that the four are moderate compared with Mr. Arafat, is to suggest that the Boston Strangler was moderate compared with Jack the Ripper. It sends a devastating message to terrorists: Not only can you get away with murder, but you shall be rewarded. It energizes global terrorism, deters moderation, precludes free Palestinian elections and undermines the cause of peace. In 1993, wishful thinking smothered Israeli and Western policy-makers. It provided Mr. Arafat with unprecedented legitimacy, triggering unprecedented terrorism. How many innocent lives will be sacrificed on the altar of Abu Mazen and Abu Ala'?
They have huge financial interests tied up with the Iranian regime (billions of dollars worth of oil and gas contracts, plus other trade agreements, some already signed, others in the works); and Iran is the last place in the Middle East where they can play an active diplomatic role. This is particularly acute for France, which knows it will long be a pariah to free Iraqi governments, and views Iran as its last chance to thwart America's dominant role in the region. Sad to say, there is no evidence that the Europeans give a tinker's damn either about the destiny of the Iranian people, or about Iran's leading role in international terrorism, or about the Islamic Republic's joining the nuclear club. They are quite prepared to live with all that.At the same time, they hope that Israel will do something about it; and then, of course, they can once again condemn Israel.
When they whisper that thought to themselves in the privacy of their own offices or the darkness of their own bedrooms, they mentally replay the Israeli bombing of the nuclear reactor in Osirak, Iraq, in 1981, an attack they publicly condemned and privately extolled. They would do the same tomorrow, sighing in relief as they tighten the noose around Israel's neck. Rarely has the metaphor of the scapegoat been so appropriate: the burden of our sins of omission loaded onto the Israelis, who are then sacrificed to atone for us all.The only hope left is that the Bush Administration will do something about Iran. A confrontation is inevitable and as in every other confrontation Europe will be on the sidelines. For a group of countries that want to think of themselves as a superpower, they are all incredibly powerless and gutless. And once again its High Noon.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.This is an attempt at the wholesale rewriting of US history. It is beyond argument that the Founders were deeply religious men and saw themselves doing the work of God (men are endowed with rights by God, not by other men) . To now attempt to suppress that is the disowning of our own history. Undoubtedly there will be a backlash against these attempts to completely remove God from public life.
Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."
In short, far from "there is no military solution," the truth in Iraq is rather that there is no political solution without a military victory and humiliation of the terrorists.
Why do we readily embrace such false wisdom? Reasons abound, from our own lack of confidence in American competence and morality to the creepy methods of the Islamic fascists that strike fear into a leisured and prosperous Western citizenry. But for now it is enough to realize that retail metaphors, stale Vietnam-era myths, and pessimism passed off as chemistry tell us far more about ourselves than they do of Iraq — which somehow, like Afghanistan, just zigs and zags forward toward a democratic future.
From Holland's leading newspaper, the Telegraaf, to Germany's liberal Berliner Zeitung and Der Spiegel (roughly, the European equivalents of the The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine) has come the same heated prose that could be found in the United States in the aftermath of September 11. And here in the United States, even the liberal National Public Radio Network's "All Things Considered" is beginning to seriously report European volkish fury the way they usually report breathlessly on the latest developments in Brazilian rainforest depletion.Here in the US, Hollywood - that vociferous proponent of freedom of speech and freedom from intimidation - doesn't seem to have much to say about van Gogh's murder, criticism of Islam being out of vogue.
What would the world be saying of Dan Rather if, say, he managed an
automobile manufacturer? Over his 24 years at the helm of CBS News, he has led
his program from first place to third, losing more than half his audience along
the way. Throughout his career he has been embroiled in controversy and scandal,
culminating in his broadcast of forged documents - and his insistence that they
might well be genuine long after the falsehood was obvious to everybody else. He
leaves his news program in worse editorial and economic shape than at any time
since it was launched five decades ago. If CBS were a car company, Rather would
be universally condemned as a business and moral failure, one who broke faith
with his colleagues, his customers, and his shareholders. Fortunately for
Rather, CBS is a media organization. So he will exit the scene hailed as an
American legend and a hero for our time.
One after one the screen sees their fall.
There's Daschle, there's Dan even Kofi Annan.
(He's not tipped quite yet, but he's snared in the net.)
With bribes and with lies and with doublespeak smiles,
they each threw all in,
they shot for the moon,
and now having failed, must sing the sad tune.
So sad for you, I'll miss y'all so much,
So On Dashle, on Rather,
and Theresa you vixen,
please take it to Europe,
where well you'll all fit in.
And there you can join all your movie star friends,
and discourse on the merits of Botox for rear ends.
The only thing the Iranians need is open U.S. moral and political support give them the psychological impetus to act.Unless something radical happens in Iran, specifically a revolution, his prescription means allowing Iran to go nuclear and then hope that the people themselves will change the regime. I think that something more than hope is the necessary policy.
There's no question that "healthy debate" is an important part of every serious enterprise. But let's not beat around the Bush. When these characters talk about the need for "debate," they mean one thing and one thing only: They fear Bush won't be forced to take account of opinions and judgments they like and will instead fall back on opinions and judgments he likes.
[T]he United States had better change its approach. It ought, right off, to join with its European allies -- Britain, France and Germany -- in offering Iran a package of goodies to induce it to abandon its nuclear dreams. Instead, Washington has declared itself "agnostic" about these talks, which is hardly a rousing endorsement.This is simply absurd. Why is it that the Left's "solution" to virtually any problem is to accede to the demands of the adversary? Didn't anyone learn anything from Carter's "peace in our time" compromise with North Korea? Cohen's "solution" is to try the exact same arrangement with Iran. What makes people think that it would succeed this time? The fact is that relying on "international law" when dealing with a rogue regime is crazy. The fact that they are a rogue regime, by definition, means that they will not abide by the law no matter what we do.
Maybe more important, the Bush administration had better wake up and smell the importance of international organizations and the rule of (international) law.
Iran today said it had suspended uranium enrichment as part of a deal negotiated with several European Union countries which, for their part, have agreed to suspend disbelief.
On the surface, elections appear to be a step that will further Palestinian democracy and President Bush's vision of a free and democratic Palestinian society. In reality, however, the election, scheduled for January 9, 2005, would be part of the smoke and mirrors that is Palestinian politics. It would merely dress an enduring dictatorship with democratic robes.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported that Rice is said to be sympathetic to the Palestinians' plight and has said she will work tirelessly for a democratic settlement.It is interesting that the focus of the Bush Administration has publicly become more and more about democracy in the Middle East. In his press conference with Blair, Bush responded to a question about the peace process by once again talking about a "democratic Palestinian state". It seems to me that what this means is that a Palestinian state is very far off in the future. As long as the Palestinians politically remain what they are - and it seems that this is pretty much a given at the moment - they will not be democratic and therefore talk of a Palestinian state will die down. The new PA will not be very different from the old PA, and therefore Israeli concessions and the pressure for concession (at least from the US) will be minimal. Israel's Interior Minister, Avraham Poraz, seems to confirm this in this interview.
IS HATRED of others always a sin? Are we obliged to love every human being, even those who do great evil or behave with unspeakable cruelty? Must we believe, as one reader wrote to me last week, that "God loves even the bad people" -- even the very worst people -- and that we must strive to do the same?It seems to me that the fight against evil, that Bush has undertaken in the form of the GWOT, is diametrically opposed to the idea of loving your enemy. How can one love something that one acknowledges to be evil? What redeeming qualities does a suicide bomber, who looks in the face of children before murdering them, actually have? I understand the Christian ideal that we are all God's children, but by committing an act such as that, or by sanctioning the murder of thousands of innocents - as Arafat did - one takes oneself outside of the community of God, and binds oneself inextricably to the work of Satan. If a religion acknowledges the existence of evil, how can it bless that evil? The only response to evil can be hatred. And
Jewish tradition holds, with Ecclesiastes, that there is a time to love and a time to hate. The Hebrew Bible enjoins us to love our neighbor (Leviticus 19:18) and to love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19), but that love has its limits. We are not expected to love savage thugs or to ask God's mercy on them. On the contrary, we loathe the unrepentantly cruel because we believe God loathes them too.
It defies reason and upends morality to claim that God loves both Saddam Hussein and the innocent Kurds he gassed to death -- that He bestows His love on Osama bin Laden no less than on the 3,000 souls he butchered on 9/11. Of course we should pray that an evildoer will repent and atone for his crimes. But to love him even when he hasn't? To bless him when he dies? God forbid! To bless the Hitlers and the Arafats of this world is to betray their victims. That we must never do.
"Hate allows us to keep our guard up, to protect us. When we are facing those who seek nothing but our destruction, our hate reminds us who we are dealing with. When hate is appropriate, then it is not only virtuous, but essential."
A few seconds later, after posing for yet more pictures about 15 feet inside the doorway, Mr. Bush and the rest of the party turned to enter the dining room. But the president quickly turned his head to the growing din just outside.
Mr. Bush calmly turned right as the other three continued on and inserted himself into the fight. The president reached over two rows of Chilean security guards, grabbed his lead agent by the shoulder of his suit jacket and began to pull.
The tape of the incident, viewed by reporters last night, could not pick up any words the president might have been saying as he worked to get the agent through the line.
There was no excuse for anyone to flatter or appease this monster, in life or in death. His narcissism and corruption were his most attractive qualities. He left bloodlakes behind him when he was taken in and sheltered in Amman, and Beirut. His Black September pioneered the modern arts of aircraft hijacking, and hostage butchery. The Intifadas he launched ended or destroyed the lives of countless innocents, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim alike.
The hushed tones of respect -- whether from the CBC and affiliates, or from Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Jacques Chirac -- is indicative of a posturing moral attitude that stinks to heaven.
It should be said that the person who spits at the mention of George W. Bush, but weeps for Arafat, is beyond twitting. Such a person is sick in the head. He represents a form of judgement so totally inverted as to be indistinguishable from madness. And yet among our intellectuals, this inversion is commonplace.
At the moment U.S. Marines and Army, with freshly-trained Iraqi units, are picking their way house by house through Fallujah, trying to save Iraq from the ministrations of another generation of Arafat's terrorist progeny, now matured into full religious crazies. Good and brave men and women have put their lives on the line, to prevent another triumph of evil.
It is not as if the world lacks heroes. There is no need to elevate a skunk.
"The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for
he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
Given this state of affairs, it is clear that the newest deal with the mullahs has removed diplomacy from the box of tools that can be used against Iran. In the unlikely event that the issue is ever turned over to the Security Council, France will veto sanctions even if Russia and China could be bought off to abstain. As the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal has shown, even if sanctions were to be levied, there is no credible way to enforce them.Jack Straw's statement
"I don't see any circumstances in which military action would be justified against Iran, full stop."only adds to Glick's argument that further diplomacy is not an option. For diplomacy to succeed, there needs to be some threat; and once there is no threat, there is nothing to compel the Iranians to abide by any agreement.
So where does this leave the Jews who, in the event that Iran goes nuclear, will face the threat of annihilation? Crunch time has arrived. It is time for Israel's leaders to go to Washington and ask the Americans point blank if they plan to defend Europe as Europe defends Iran's ability to attain the wherewithal to destroy the Jewish state. It must be made very clear to the White House that the hour of diplomacy faded away with the European Trio's latest ridiculous agreement with the mullahs. There is no UN option. Europe has cast its lot with the enemy of civilization itself.
The prevailing wisdom in Washington these days seems to be that the US is waiting for an Israeli attack on Iran. There is some logic to such a policy. No doubt, the Arabs and the Iranians will all blame America anyway, but they are not America's chief concern here. Britain and Germany are.
On the other hand, if the Bush administration does not accept Israeli reasoning, the fact will still remain: Israel cannot accept a nuclear Iran.
Not sure what would make me happier... civil war in the territories or exposed corruption within the UN.
"The evidence before the court is incontrovertible. There’s no need for the jury to retire. In all my years of judging I have never heard before, of someone more deserving of the full penalty of law. The way you made them suffer, your exquisite wife and mother, fills me with the urge to defecate. Since... my friend... you have revealed your deepest fear. I sentence you to be exposed before your peers."
"I told the president, 'There is a great difference between politicians and dissidents. Politicians are focused on polls and the press. They are constantly making compromises. But dissidents focus on ideas. They have a message burning inside of them. They would stand up for their convictions no matter what the consequences.'Victor Hanson describes the US, in the pursuit of spreading democracy, as The Real Humanists.
"I told the president, 'In spite of all the polls warning you that talking about spreading democracy in the Middle East might be a losing issue - despite all the critics and the resistance you faced - you kept talking about the importance of free societies and free elections. You kept explaining that democracy is for everybody. You kept saying that only democracy will truly pave the way to peace and security. You, Mr. President, are a dissident among the leaders of the free world.'"
In truth, George Bush's radical efforts to cleanse the world of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, bring democracy to the heart of the Arab world, and isolate Yasser Arafat were the most risky and humane developments in the Middle East in a century - old-fashioned idealism backed with force in a postmodern age of abject cynicism and nihilism.Undoubtedly bringing democracy to the Middle East will not be easy, there seems to be some progress towards it already. Amir Taheri shows that there is reason for hope.
Nevertheless, the overall picture is encouraging. Even the most reactionary elements, which once deemed elections "a Jewish-Christian trick" to divide Muslims, are now prepared to pay at least lip service to the practice.
More important: Elections of an acceptable nature, though certainly not fully free and fair, have become part of life in a number of countries, such as Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and Morocco. Afghanistan's first free elections ever, held last month, has had a big impact on the entire region: If the Afghans did it, why not us?
The first order of business is to give the moderate Mr. Abbas something tangible to help him shore up his credibility with the Palestinian people. Mr. Sharon should immediately announce a complete freeze on settlement activity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.And after that, Israel should give up all the West Bank and Gaza, as well as half of Jerusalem.
Next, Mr. Sharon has got to do all he can to expedite free, full and fair elections involving all Palestinians - including those in East Jerusalem.
[T]he Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and Unesco invited a group of experts to Barcelona last week. Their mission: to provide the U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diéne, with advice on anti-Semitism as well as "Christianophobia and Islamophobia."And what did they figure out from all these experts?
Simply put, Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism. Or, if it weren't for Israel's annoying insistence on defending itself, on the same terms as would be applied to any other state faced with five decades of wars and terrorism aimed at its obliteration, Jews would be better off.There is absolutely no reason why the US should be paying Billions of Dollars to this cesspool of dictators and thugs. The US should simply state that the UN will receive no more money, and that the building where it sits is now once again the property of New York City. Its sitting on prime real estate; I'm sure any real estate developer would love to put up some luxury condos there.
Alan Gerson, an international-law expert, has been a leader in the litigation of antiterrorist cases. He told me that when a person or an entity — even a government — has aided and abetted terrorism, its immunity can be bypassed in legal proceedings. When someone violates the "commitment to peremptory norms" — i.e., when it helps fund terrorism — it effectively gives up its immunity from legal action. The president can and should act on this idea.There would be very few sights as sweeter as seeing Kofi Annan being walked, in handcuffs, into Federal District Court.
The Oslo era is over. Israel has resolved to act unilaterally, a wise and overdue decision. This is now Israel’s policy: exit the Gaza Strip, build a fence and kill the terrorists. Israel has every right to hunt those who murder its citizens as surely as we hunt bin Laden and al-Zarqawi. Terrorists have no right to trial or due process nor protection from the Geneva Conventions. Israel owes the Palestinians nothing except the right to live in their own independent state. However cruel it may sound, the truth is that Palestine will never really be free. Israeli occupation will eventually end, yes, but its replacement? The character of the future government of Palestine will resemble, depending on the outcome of the impending civil war, lawlessness or theocratic tyranny, or something in between, the only certainty being an oppression rooted in Arafat’s long and corrupt tenure. Palestinian society reflects the same blend of corruption, gender apartheid, religious intolerance and conspiratorialism that has left the region impoverished and shackled.
North Korea's official media on Wednesday dropped the glorifying description of "dear leader" from the nation's leader Kim Jong Il,I'm still not sure what this means, but it seems that something interesting is definitely going on in North Korea.
North's Korean Central Broadcast, the Korean Central News Agency and other media simply described him as "general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army."
Nobody knows whether Iran is really ready to give up its ambitions to have nuclear weapons, but its commitment on Monday to freeze all uranium enrichment work and invite back international inspectors is a welcome step toward nuclear sanity.Actually, its very clear to anyone who wants to see it that Iran is continuing its development of nuclear weapons, and that no agreement with Europe will stop them. The NYT, as well as most of Europe, want to rely on a foreign policy of hope. To think that Iran will actually abide by any agreement is lunacy. We have some pretty clear examples of how rogue states honor nuclear agreements - North Korea leaps to mind. And in fact, the deal that Europe proposes to Iran is basically the same as the one that Jimmy Carter worked out with North Korea - the one that brought "peace in our time".
If Tehran backslides on this agreement, as it did on a previous one, Europe should be prepared to impose tough economic penalties, possibly including a ban on investments in Iran's oil industry.And perhaps, we should let the UN administer those sanctions. Iran, it seems, is begging to be slapped with sanctions.
"I'm not at all sure that one can say the world is safer. There is no doubt there has been an increase in terrorism."implying once again that the war was wrong and proving that the French really do not understand the nature of war. On December 8, 1941 the world also became more violent as the US entered WWII. But I doubt that many would say it was the wrong thing to do.
NEW YORK - Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) diverted money from the U.N. oil-for-food program to pay millions of dollars to families of Palestinian suicide bombers who carried out attacks on Israel, say congressional investigators who uncovered evidence of the money trail.So the largest scam ever - the UN Oil-for-Food program - was responsible for keeping Saddam in power, starving tens of thousands of Iraqis, and killing and wounding thousands of Israelis. How anyone can still hold up the UN as a model of international cooperation or an arbiter of international morality is beyond me. Kofi Annan should be in the dock alongside Milosevic, not spouting off about the "illegality" of the Iraq war.
Like it or not, Americans must face a new reality: Europe’s evolution from a Judeo-Christian secular and free civilization to a continent imbibed by a new political and religious cult: Palestinianism. This cult is vital for Europe’s security; it permeates the culture, academia, universities, the churches, the unions, the media, even the fashion industry, and all aspects of political life. For over thirty years, it has been injected in every sector of European society by the European Commission's supra-national power and unifying policy. The European Commission is the executive body that advises, directs, influences and monitors the same unique agenda, the same ideology, the same political correctness over all the European populations. It strives to control Europe’s foreign policy, and model Europe as a rival to America. This anti-American lust for power can only be implemented through the building of an idealized “Islamo-Christian Civilization,” the dawn of a messianic universal peace whose blessing over the whole world is impeded by Zionism and Israel. Islamic assistance is essential for building this European anti-American super-power, initially via Palestinianism, the ideology which foments Israel's elimination.Steven Plaut puts it much more simply.
The simple fact of the matter is that there is no such thing on the planet as sympathy for and identification with Palestinians. There is no such thing as pro-Palestinianism. Period. When Palestinians, or when Arabs in general, are mistreated, repressed, and tormented by any Arab regime, no one cares. When Palestinians were mass murdered by Syria and Jordan, no one cared. When more than 100,000 Arab civilians are massacred in Algeria, it does not even make the evening news. When Asad or Saddam Hussein carry out mass murders of Arabs, the “Human Rights” lobby never looks up from its cinnamon latté.As long as a large segment of the Palestinian population yearns for the destruction of Israel, there will not be peace - no matter what Israel offers them. In large part, this radicalization is the work of Arafat, and will take generations to undo. As things stand now, the only chance for peace in the Middle East is the plan put forward by Benny Elon, the former Minister of Tourism.
The pro-Palestinian movement is nothing more than the 21st century’s reincarnation of medieval anti-Semitism, complete with medieval anti-Jewish blood libels. People who claim to feel empathy for Palestinians are typically motivated by hatred of Jews. The reason the pro-Palestinian movement wants the Palestinians to have a state is because it understands that such a state will operate as an instrument to attack Israel, murder Jews, and seek the annihilation of the Jewish state.
It is passing strange. As the American public has become more educated, American intellectuals have become more disparaging of the public's intellectual incapacities and moral shortcomings. In 1940, more than half of the U.S. population had only an eighth-grade education, or less. Now that 85 percent are high-school graduates, 53 percent have some college education and 27 percent are college graduates, it is an article of faith among the progressive intelligentsia that the public is becoming increasingly obtuse, bigoted and superstitious.
There was a time—say, from the early 1930s to the mid-1960s, the period of the Democratic Party's ascendancy—when progressives thought their job was to increase the material well-being of ordinary Americans. It is not mere coincidence that the Democratic Party's strength has waned as its intellectuals' disapproval of ordinary Americans has waxed.
The outpouring of tributes to Yasser Arafat is marked by two themes: (1) his greatness as creator, sustainer and leader of the Palestinian cause, and (2) the abrupt opening of an opportunity for its success now that he is gone.
The fawning world leaders saying this seem oblivious to the obvious paradox. If he was such a great leader, how is it that he left his people so destitute, desperate, wounded and bereft that only his passing gives them a hope for a fulfillment of their deepest aspirations?
Ambivalent? Nonsense. Yasser Arafat was supremely decisive and single-minded. He was not complex and, regarding Israel's fate, never conflicted. Indeed the reason for his success, such as it was -- creating the Palestinian movement from which he derived fortune, fame and reverence -- was precisely his single-mindedness. Not about Palestinian statehood -- if that was his objective, he could have had his state years ago -- but about the elimination of Jewish statehood.
That was the theme of his entire life. Yes, he signed interim deals to get a foothold in Palestine. But that was always with the objective of continuing the fight from a better strategic position. It was never to conclude a lasting compromise or real peace with Israel.
That is why he died so far from his promised land. This promised land was never the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat founded Fatah in 1959 -- eight years before Israel even acquired these territories. His objective then, and until the day he died, was a Palestinian state built on the ruins of an eradicated Israel.
Still, the extreme and bitter judgments against the citizenry after this election are especially tendentious. For what the electorate did on Nov. 2 was essentially (or maybe just merely) turn down John Kerry, a candidate who until very late in the Democratic primaries was almost no one's choice as the nominee, the party's last option because it could rally around no one else. What a pathetic vessel in which to have placed liberalism's hopes! A senator for two decades who had stood for nothing, really nothing.
That hope died in the blood of the second intifada, which still sputters on. In Israel and the United States, Arafat was blamed for that failure, and, in part, blame was deserved. Arafat had promised that violence to achieve political ends would end. It did not. But Israel broke its promises too, especially in the arena of Jewish settlementsSo Israel building housing in legally disputed territory is an excuse for, and is the moral equivalent of blowing up innocent people on busses and in cafes? Additionally, while Arafat explicitly promised to abjure violence in the Oslo Accords, the issue of settlements was consciously left out of that agreement and left for final status talks. Israel did not break promises regarding settlements because it did not make any such promises.
The Palestinian struggle has long been laced with terror. But terror also played its role in the birth of Israel. Life Magazine, back in 1946 during the British mandate, said: "The most sinister word in Palestine today is Irgun, the name of a highly secret, supernationalist Jewish terrorist organization . . . " responsible for many acts of violence. The Irgun told Life: "We fight because we must. The British have become an occupying force in this country."This once again ignores, either willfully or ignorantly, the actual history. The Irgun was paramilitary organization, but where it differed from the PLO was in its choice of targets. Irgun targeted British military targets. The most famous of their attacks, the bombing of the King David Hotel, was against a military target - the HQ of the British military command and the British Criminal Investigation Division. The Irgun also made three phone calls warning of the pending attack. Arafat's targets, from the very beginning were innocents. Such a comparison is beyond immoral.
Three decades later, Irgun leader Menachem Begin became prime minister of Israel and presided over a peace with Egypt. I asked him one morning years ago in his office in Jerusalem about his terrorist past, and he said only, "It was necessary."
Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization took terror to new levels of horror. But Yasser Arafat, in his Beirut hideout, told me the same thing.
About him, while there is much to say, there is little to glean. He was a thug. One of the most cunning of all time for sure, but quite simply a ruthless, thoroughly corrupt, will-to-power thug.The Newspapers are full of articles along the lines of "There is now a new opportunity for peace", and speaking of the need to support Palestinian moderates. While hopeful, this is pure nonsense. Basically, what all these articles mean is that there is now a new opportunity to pressure Israel into concessions. Most of the "moderate" Palestinians were systematically killed or moved out by Arafat over the last 10 years. The ones that are left are powerless. To think that they would somehow be able to stop terror attacks or to oppose Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, is simply wishful thinking. And given the fact that the Palestinian population has become highly radicalized under the brainwashing of Arafat, the attitude necessary for peace - the populations' acceptance of Israel - will not exist for at least a generation. Any attempt to impose a solution, as Clinton tried, will only result in more bloodshed.
It is your abandonment of these beliefs that has created the gap between Europe and the United States. You have ceased to be a Judeo-Christian culture, and have become instead a secular culture. And a secular culture quickly goes from being “un-religious” to anti-religious. Indeed, your hostility to the basic concepts of Judaism and Christianity has literally been written into your new European Union constitution, despite the Pope’s heroic efforts to the contrary.
What worries me even more than all this is your willful blindness. You refuse to see that it is you, not we Americans, who have abandoned Western Civilization. It’s worrisome because, to tell you the truth, we need each other. Western Civilization today is under siege, from radical Islam on the outside and from our own selfish hedonism within. It’s going to take all of our effort, our talent, our creativity and, above all, our will to pull through. So take a good, hard look at yourselves and see what your own future will be if you don’t change course. And please, stop sneering at America long enough to understand it. After all, Western Civilization was your gift to us, and you ought to be proud of what we Americans have made of it.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns expected to attend Arafat funeral as representative of United StatesThe fact that the US would send someone this high-ranking to the funeral of this terrorist is ridiculous.
By fleeing without fighting to the death as they promised they would, the terror-masters discredited themselves. After Coalition leaders lost their nerve last April, the terrorists portrayed themselves as having faced down America's military might. This time, they ran away, leaving untrained recruits to take the bullet-train to paradise.He is probably right that the symbolic value of retaking Fallujah is a critical aspect of the fight against the insurgents in Iraq. Arab culture is heavily steeped in symbolism, and showing them once again that the US military can do what it wills with those insurgents is an important victory.
The swift fall of Fallujah is not only a practical disaster for the terrorists, but a massive loss of face for them throughout the Muslim world.
In a better world, the PLO chief would have met his end on a gallows, hanged for mass murder much as the Nazi chiefs were hanged at Nuremberg. In a better world, the French president would not have paid a visit to the bedside of such a monster. In a better world, George Bush would not have said, on hearing the first reports that Arafat had died, "God bless his soul."others miss the point. Lee Hockstader of the Washington Post writes
For virtually his entire adult life, Yasser Arafat had one dream, and he pursued it with such energy and zeal -- some would say fanaticism -- that he came to personify the dream itself.But that wasn't Arafat's dream; if it had been he would have had a Palestinian state a long time ago. His dream, which he clearly expressed in Arabic, if not in English, was the destruction of Israel. He was the father of modern terrorism, and as such bears much of the responsibility for the continuing terrorist attacks around the world. May he rot in hell for all eternity.
The dream was of self-determination and statehood for the Palestinian people, and in the end he did not live to see it.
The White House has put out word daily of calls flooding in from around the world to congratulate President Bush on his re-election victory. But somehow, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero just hasn't been able to get his call past the switchboard.Don't call us, we'll call you.
So here is what I want to say on the absolutely crucial matter of secularism. Only one faction in American politics has found itself able to make excuses for the kind of religious fanaticism that immediately menaces us in the here and now. And that faction, I am sorry and furious to say, is the left. From the first day of the immolation of the World Trade Center, right down to the present moment, a gallery of pseudointellectuals has been willing to represent the worst face of Islam as the voice of the oppressed. How can these people bear to reread their own propaganda? Suicide murderers in Palestine—disowned and denounced by the new leader of the PLO—described as the victims of "despair." The forces of al-Qaida and the Taliban represented as misguided spokespeople for antiglobalization. The blood-maddened thugs in Iraq, who would rather bring down the roof on a suffering people than allow them to vote, pictured prettily as "insurgents" or even, by Michael Moore, as the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers. If this is liberal secularism, I'll take a modest, God-fearing, deer-hunting Baptist from Kentucky every time, as long as he didn't want to impose his principles on me (which our Constitution forbids him to do).
All this will bring us back to Atlantic relations. The political campaign has cast Atlantic disagreements in terms of American short-term tactical errors. This is a misreading of reality. Tact has not always distinguished every U.S. pronouncement. But the problem goes deeper than personalities. The impasse is partly due to the fact that the generation that formed the Atlantic relationship has passed from the scene. In the United States, the new leadership group is preoccupied with the challenge of radical Islam; our European allies either do not share America's assessment of that threat or, to the extent that they do, believe themselves capable of dealing with it outside the Atlantic framework. In the United States, the political center of gravity has shifted to parts of the country whose representatives have fewer personal connections with Europe and less experience with its internal challenges than their predecessors who created the postwar structure.
Meanwhile, be prepared for media monkey business. No matter how well things go, we'll hear self-righteous gasps over the inevitable U.S. casualties. The first time a rifle company consolidates a position long enough to bring up ammunition, we'll hear that the attack has bogged down. If commanders on the ground decide to shift forces from one axis of advance to another, we'll be told that our troops couldn't make progress against "dug-in terrorists."
If four Iraqi units out of five perform well in battle, but one outfit fails or flees, we'll be bombarded with reports insisting that our training program hasn't worked, that the Iraqis aren't really with us, that the interim government has no grass-roots support (sort of what the Dems said about George W. Bush).
And if Operation Phantom Fury goes miraculously well, we'll be criticized for waiting too long to go in, for exaggerating the threat and for knocking over a stop sign with a tank.
The global media lost the U.S. presidential election. They'll do their best to win the Second Battle of Fallujah for the terrorists.
A John F. Kennedy School of Government researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation's level of political freedom.
Associate Professor of Public Policy Alberto Abadie examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks.
When I titled my book "Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco," I could just as easily have pointed out that liberals are from Hollywood. It really is a different planet from the one most of us live on.Alec Baldwin promised to leave the country if Bush won in 2000. One can only hope that Bush's re-election will spur him to keep his promise.
To begin with, it is populated with high school drop-outs and drama majors making millions of dollars a year, convinced they should decide how the rest of us think, live and vote. What you must never forget about these pampered pets is that the first lesson they learned in acting class was to get in touch with their feelings. Those self-absorbing exercises only served to diminish whatever thought processes they might have possessed. The end result is that, at their best, they can mimic emotions and action, but have an impossible time trying to suggest they are thinking about anything at all serious.
(2004-11-05) -- U.S. President George Bush, during a surprise visit to United Nations headquarters today, rolled up a copy of The New York Times and swatted U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan across the nose with it.Anne Bayefsky sees Bush's re-election as presaging the redefinition of America's realtionship with the UN.
The campaign gave voters two clear alternatives. Senator Kerry's would-be foreign policy was based on a "global test" that involved dealing "at length with the United Nations," in marked contrast to the president's position that American interests diverge in important respects from U.N. proclivities. The president reminded voters of a decade of U.N. huffing and puffing on Iraq and of the dangers of political adventurism by the U.N.'s International Criminal Court. Then the American people chose.
None of this, to be sure, comes as anything new. In 1972 film critic Pauline Kael famously said: "I don't know how Richard Nixon could have won. I don't know anybody who voted for him." Over a decade later, E.L. Doctorow observed of Reagan-era America that "something poisonous has been set loose in the last several years ... something that is really rotten in America right now." During the 1990s, it was the Republicans' turn, as commentators on the right bemoaned the moral failings of an America that refused to demand the ouster of its philandering president. There is a word for this sort of condescension, and it isn't fear, concern, or anxiety about the impulses of Middle America. It is anti-Americanism.Despite what the "reality-based" community thinks, Americans are not stupid. The rejection of the Democrats in the latest elections did not have to do with the fact that Americans did not understand what the Democrats were proposing; in fact they understood very well. What the Democrats don't seem to understand is that replaying tried and failed ideas from the '60s is not what people want. In every election of the past 30 years, with the exception of Clinton, the Democratic candidate has put forward a populist agenda - or at least rhetoric. And every time they were rejected. Perhaps its time for them to learn from their defeats.
Neatly summarizing the views of this "reality-based community," Kerry volunteer Jessica Johnson of Cambridge, Massachusetts told The Boston Globe: "Many Americans have nothing between their ears. Americans are fat, lazy, and stupid. I don't like this country anymore."
If this is what passes for rational discourse on the left--and for too many liberals these days, it is--then just who is it that belongs to the "reality-based community" and just who is it that suffers under the weight of what the left used to call "false consciousness"? The question merits an answer, since Wills and otherwise sensible voices on the left--such as The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, who professes himself "alarmed that so many of our fellow citizens could look the other way and not hold Bush accountable for utter incompetence in Iraq" and "amazed that a majority was not concerned about heaping a huge debt burden on our children just to give large tax breaks to the rich"--see their task as raising the level of consciousness of Americans out of step with reality. But what if their own estrangement leads not to insight, but rather to blindness and, more important, to separation from the very Americans they mean to influence?
The question the Palestinians must now answer, is the old question of Golda Meir: Do you love your own children more than you hate Israel? If yes, there can be peace, if no there can only be annihilation. The world owes it to the Palestinian people to present this choice unambiguously. The Palestinians owe it to their children to finally get it right.Personally, I don't believe that Arafat's death will change much. Already we see that the old guard - Abu Mazen, Abu Ala, etc. - are trying to seize power. And while they may be more pragmatic than Arafat, and while they may not express the same desires of destroying Israel, they will also not be able to take on and disarm the terrorists. Groups like Hamas will continue to thrive, and may even increase their power and standing. This will almost inevitably lead to a civil war within the territories, with uncertain results.
If you don't want to bother plowing your way through Alterman and Smiley, a placard prominently displayed by a fetching young lad at the post-election anti-Bush rally in San Francisco cut to the chase: "F--- MIDDLE AMERICA."And in The Telegraph, Steyn addresses the European version of this same reaction.
Almost right, man. It would be more accurate to say that "MIDDLE AMERICA" has "F---ed" you, and it will continue to do so every two years as long as Democrats insist that anyone who disagrees with them is, ipso facto, a simpleton -- or "Neanderthal," as Teresa Heinz Kerry described those unimpressed by her husband's foreign policy. In my time, I've known dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts and other members of Britain's House of Lords and none of them had the contempt for the masses one routinely hears from America's coastal elites. And, in fairness to those ermined aristocrats, they could afford Dem-style contempt: A seat in the House of Lords is for life; a Senate seat in South Dakota isn't.
More to the point, nobody who campaigns with Ben Affleck at his side has the right to call anybody an idiot.
George Bush - through the beheadings, the kidnappings, Abu Ghraib, the hysteria of a Richard Clark, Joe Wilson, Anonymous, Rathergate, the 9/11 Commission, CIA rogue analysts, cheap European slurs, insane remarks from Walter Cronkite to Bill Moyers, and last-minute media fabricated "scandals" - has never faltered, so confident was he in the exceptionalism of America and the unshakeable resolve and competence of the U.S. military.
Most of the American people, of course, agreed all along.
Muslim extremists can gang rape women – Muslim and non-Muslim – and mutilate their daughters' genitalia as a matter of course. They can indoctrinate their daughters into believing that covering themselves from head to toe with potato sacks and draperies will somehow set them free. They can do all of this – and burn down synagogues – and reasonably assume that the European press won't mention their ethnic identity or ask what is wrong with them as a group for carrying out barbaric, evil, and primitive acts against others.She contrasts this with people like Israel's Foreign Minister who she believes are not standing up to protect their interests.
So, in stating the obvious, Theo van Gogh was picking a fight with a violent yet protected minority. Suddenly, in our topsy-turvy world, it was van Gogh, not the evil, racist, fascist misogynists about whom he produced a film, who was controversial. And now he is dead.
Two and a half years ago, another Dutchman was murdered for speaking the plain truth. That time it was the homosexual politician Pim Fortuyn, who was murdered just nine days before his parliamentary list was poised to become the largest political force in the Dutch parliament. Killed by a radical Left animal rights activist, Fortuyn was running on a platform of reducing Muslim immigration to Holland by 75 percent.
"It's immoral to send someone so young. They should have sent an adult who understands the meaning of his deeds."As Arnold Ahlert points out, this is just one more sign of the depravity of Palestinian society created by Arafat and his minions.
THE sickness or health of a society has much to do with its perception of moral behavior. It is revealing that the Palestinian mother who mourns the death of her 16-year-old son appears to be more concerned with the timing of his death than anything else.Over the last 10 years, since his return to Gaza, Arafat has inculcated a cult of death into the Palestinian youth. The result of this is that he has extended the time to achieve any kind of peaceful compromise. Assuming that the kind of incitement and hatred preached to children as young as in kindergarten is stopped now, we will have to wait for the current generation raised under this cult of death to die off. Only then will peace be possible.
Sixteen years is apparently below the "cutoff age" for killing innocent civilians in a crowded marketplace. Thus it becomes "immoral." One is tempted to ask what the "age of consent" is for a "moral" homicide bombing.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has died, Sky News
television reports Thursday, quoting Israel TV.
Sky News said a brain scan had showed the 75-year-old leader was brain dead.
No other details were immediately available.
Sky News also said that the Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed Qureia, denied
the leader was clinically dead.
"It's not about soul-searching...It may be about how we can educate the American people more clearly on the difference between Democrats and Republicans."This is the continuation of the belief that Americans are just too stupid to understand that the Democratic program is what is best for them, that by voting Republican they are voting against their own self-interest. After decisively losing the last two elections in both the Executive as well as the Legislative branch, maybe its time to rethink. Perhaps ts not that the American people don't vote for Democrats because they don't understand the Democratic platform, perhaps they understand all too well and don't accept it. In the words of Zell Miller
"When will national Democrats sober up and admit that that dog won't hunt?. Secular socialism, heavy taxes, big spending, weak defense, limitless lawsuits and heavy regulation - that pack of beagles hasn't caught a rabbit in the South or Midwest in years."Maybe its time for the Democrats to retire Bob Shrum and his losing (0-8) message of populism.
Medical source at hospital where Arafat is being treated says Arafat has no chance of emerging from coma.It reminds me of the old joke - Arafat goes to a fortune-teller to find out when he will die. The fortune teller tells him that he will die on a Jewish holiday. Arafat is perplexed and asks which holiday. To which the fortune-teller responds that any day he dies will be a Jewish holiday.
For those people--for us all--the world will be a better place if he had never lived and will be a cleaner place after he is gone.