The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


              Anti-Semitism and the UN
Anne Bayefsky has a great article about the anti-Semitism of the UN.
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.
|| Nudnik 1:59 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Palestinian Elections
Since the death of Arafat, there have been increasing calls for a renewed "peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians, especially after the Palestinians prove that they are democratic by holding elections. Barry Rubin analyzes the future elections and the prospects for peace.
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.

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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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'?
|| Nudnik 1:43 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Nuke Freeze?
Iran continues to prove that it has absolutely no intention of freezing its nuclear program, despite the new agreements with the EU-3. Just a week after agreeing to freeze their program - and then the next day trying to exclude part of the program from the freeze - they have stated that they plan to restart enrichment activities again soon. It should be clear to everyone that Iran will not stop until they acquire nuclear weapons, no matter what agreements they make. At this point, I don't think that even the EU-3 believe that Iran will stop. Michael Ledeen defined this behavior for what it really is - appeasement. He believes there are two main reasons for this:
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.
|| Nudnik 10:52 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Wednesday, November 24, 2004


              UN Out
The conservative organization Move America Forward has a new ad and petition to try to get the UN out of the US.(Video here).
|| Nudnik 6:40 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Outrageous
As the anti-religion crusade of the Left has progressed, many on the right questioned where the deletion of God from public life would end; first nativity scenes, then the pledge of allegiance, and now the Declaration of Independence. Reuters reports:
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.
[...]
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."
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.

And by the way, if the principal is so against God, is she also against US currency bearing the words "In God We Trust"?
|| Nudnik 6:27 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Our Metaphors
Victor Hanson examines the metaphors that have been used to describe the Iraq War, and what they really say about ourselves.
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.
|| Nudnik 4:13 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Finally Getting It?
According to Tony Blankley, Europe (as well as NPR in the US) may finally be waking up from its slumber to the realization that radical Islam is a threat to them, and not just to the US. The event that finally cased this epiphany seems to have been the slaughter of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker (apparently the murder of almost 200 people on trains in Spain did not cause this realization).
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.

Unlike Hollywood, however, Europe can no longer ignore the Islamist threat. The problem is that unless something drastic is done, Europe is screwed. The main problem is simple demographics in conjunction with the cradle-to-grave socialism that the Europeans have built for themselves. At this point, birth rates in virtually all western European countries are below "replacement rate", ie the society is shrinking. Pretty much the only segment of society that does have a positive birth rate is the Muslim immigrants (currently the most popular name for newborn boys in Holland is Mohammed). So Europe is stuck - if they cut down on immigration, which is mostly from Muslim countries, they will not have enough workers to support the myriad of socialist programs. On the other hand, if this immigration continues at the present rate, and Muslims continue to not assimilate, Europe will become Muslim. The Muslim world will then have, at least partially, achieved their goal of reviving the Caliphate and at some point, the US will once again have to liberate Europe.
|| Nudnik 2:57 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Palestinian Delusions
Just one more indication that the Palestinians will not have a state in the foreseeable future: Most Palestinians sure Arafat was poisoned. Palestinians, and Arabs in general, seem to constantly be blaming someone else for everything. There is a complete inability in that culture to take responsibility for one's actions - it is always someone else's fault. With that kind of attitude, is it really a surprise that the Arab world is one of the most backward, poorest places on earth?
|| Nudnik 1:50 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              CBS should be Rather embarrassed.
From today's NRO Frum diary...

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.

|| Elder of Zion #6 1:41 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              I'm Shocked
Well, not exactly. Not even a week has gone by since Iran agreed with the EU-3 to halt all uranium enrichment activities, an already they want to change the agreement. When will Europe and the IAEA realize, or acknowledge, that Iran has no intention of honoring any agreements limiting its drive towards a nuclear weapon.
|| Nudnik 9:11 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004


              He’s a poet…and he didn’t even know it.
So the muse came to visit my friend Mike, but he was too drunk to answer the door. Instead he drank some more and wrote the following. No wisdom here... just drunken silliness.

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.


|| Elder of Zion #6 4:30 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Geopolitics of the Persian Gulf
Assad Homayoun of the Defense and Foreign Affairs Daily presents an interesting assessment of the current situation in the Persian Gulf, and specifically what the US should do about Iran. I completely agree with him that the way that the EU-3 are handling the nuclear issue "should be seen as being patently ludicrous, as it was for North Korea". Yet his prescription for what to do is somewhat unsatisfying.
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.
|| Nudnik 3:56 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              The New Cabinet
John Podhoretz has a response to all the Democrats' complaints that Bush's new cabinet is made up entirely of "yes men (and women)".
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.
|| Nudnik 11:40 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Defusing Iran?
Richard Cohen, after trying to validate Iran's quest for a nuclear weapon, comes up with a "solution" as to how to make sure that they will not succeed in their goal.
[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.

Maybe more important, the Bush administration had better wake up and smell the importance of international organizations and the rule of (international) law.
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.

Scrappleface has a good description of the proposed arrangement.
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.
|| Nudnik 11:25 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Love thy Rummy
Friend of mine reminded me of some classic rummy from a press conference a few weeks back (11/8/2004). Thought I'd pass along.

Rummy: Listen, these folks are determined. These are killers - they chop people's heads off. They are getting money from around the world. They are getting recruits ...

Reporter: ... but are we going to see a number of Fuluja-type invasions as they go city to city or do you think that you can squelch a lot of the insurgency today or this week?

Rummy: We've answered that, but let me repeat it because it's important. No one can know the answer to that question. We can know of certain knowledges that you can not have a country that is free and democratic and respectable of all of the people in the country if you have safe havens for people who go around chopping people's heads off. You can't have a country if that's the case. Therefore, the government, and those assisting it, in this case the coalitiontent people think that is an option and try to do that, they will find it is not an option. The only option that exists for those folks is to decide that they have a stake in the future of that country and to become a part of the political process. And when I use this phrase tipping, people don't go from here over to there. They move this way and that way just a slight bit, and pretty soon the overwhelming majority are over in this area - recognizing that that's the future. The future is not a dark future of cutting people's heads off. The future's a bright future for them, where they can participate in it. They might not have exactly the same degree of control they had previously, because it won't be a dictatorship. Well, too bad. It's a different world.
|| Elder of Zion #6 10:42 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Monday, November 22, 2004


              Democracy versus Elections
President Bush has made democracy a prerequisite of his support for a Palestinian state. With the Palestinians holding elections in a few weeks, there will be much pressure to declare them democratized as a result and therefore ready for the next step. Obviously democracy involves a lot more than simply holding an election. Meyrav Wurmser believes that elections should not occur now, and should wait for a free society to be built first.
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.
|| Nudnik 4:35 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Sunday, November 21, 2004


              Powell's Resignation
The Jerusalem Post carries a report about the reason Colin Powell resigned as Secretary of State: Powell resigned over US-Israel ties. Apparently, Powell wanted the focus of US policy to be pressuring Israel into a compromise with the Palestinians. Dick Cheney and Undersecretary of State John Bolton disagreed, wanting to focus on Iran and Islamic terrorism. Cheney and Bolton won out. The article goes on to mention Condoleeza Rice and her views of the Middle East.
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.
|| Nudnik 10:23 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Love or Hate
In his column on the death of Arafat, Jeff Jacoby stepped into a theological debate by questioning how President Bush could have said "God bless his soul" upon being told of Arafat's death. Apparently, he received a number of letters in response, as well as a column by Pat Buchanan, justifying Bush's response in term of Christian doctrine. In today's column he responds to those letters.
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?
[...]
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.
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
"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."
|| Nudnik 9:40 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Stand by Your Man
Many commentators have noted that one of the key characteristics of this President and Administration has been the demand for loyalty from all members. Below, President Bush demonstrates his loyalty by rescuing one of his Secret Service bodyguards from Chilean Security.
The Washington Times has a good write-up of this incident.
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.
|| Nudnik 9:19 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |

Saturday, November 20, 2004


              Last Obituary of Arafat
I seemed to have missed this David Warren column when it was first published. But Little Green Footballs linked to it, and it is the perfect description of Arafat and those Westerners who wept for him. After this one, I don't think I will be posting any more of these "tributes" to that terrorist.
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.
|| Nudnik 1:04 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Friday, November 19, 2004


              Doug Mac and Cheese
A friend sent me one of those cheesy internet petitions that I never sign. Took an extra few out of my life for this one, however, and was actually struck by the power of the following Douglas MacArthur quote that was attached.

"The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for
he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

|| Elder of Zion #6 10:26 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Iranian Diplomacy Over
As more news comes out about Iran's nuclear program, including the fact that Iran continues to produce uranium hexaflouride gas that could be used to make weapons despite the agreement with the EU-3, the rest of the civilized world must decide what is the next step. From their past history it is clear that Iran has no intention of abiding by the agreement it made. Their goal right now is to stall until they have produced everything necessary to make nukes. The response of the world so far has been very similar to the responses to terrorists prior to 9/11 - threaten, and then ultimately do nothing. With Iran, this is not a good option. A nuclear Iran is undoubtedly a large negative for US national security, and goals in the Middle East. Caroline Glick makes a very persuasive argument that diplomacy is no longer possible.
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 things? It seems that Europe has resigned itself to a nuclear Iran - following its tried and true course of surrendering to any aggressor. The US has publicly stated that such an outcome is not acceptable, but US action is somewhat constrained by Europe and by our engagement in Iraq. And for both the US and for Europe, a nuclear Iran is not an existential question (at least in the mind of Europeans). For Israel however, it is, and therefore the burden of resolving another nuclear issue falls on her.
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.
|| Nudnik 1:41 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              The Power of Nudnik
Yesterday's Nudnik post "'Cuff Kofi" was clearly read over in Manhattan. Sounds like the wolves have turned on their own.

UN staff ready historic no-confidence vote in Annan


"Kofi Annan is surrounded by corruption, a gang of criminals responsible for some of the worst things that happened to mankind in the 20th century," said one angry staffer.

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."

|| Elder of Zion #6 1:00 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              The "Democratic Show"
The post-9/11 plan of the Bush administration has been a fairly straightforward one - the wholesale transformation of the Arab Middle East. The creation of democracy has been the goal, and it has informed most of the actions the US has taken in the region. The first two targets of this transformation have been Afghanistan, which just held its first elections in its history, and Iraq which will hold elections soon. This attempt at transformation has proceeded despite the protestations criticisms of the very people one would expect would support such radical change - the self proclaimed "progressives" of the world. And despite all the ankle-biting, President Bush has pushed on with this agenda. It is interesting to note how Natan Sharansky described this determination in his discussion with Bush..
"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.'

"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.'"
Victor Hanson describes the US, in the pursuit of spreading democracy, as The Real Humanists.
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?
|| Nudnik 12:50 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Terrorism? What's That
The New York Times in today's editorial continues its long tradition of being clueless. According to the "newspaper of record", since Arafat has died and Abu Mazen hasn't explicitly come out and endorsed jihad, its now Israel's turn to make concessions.
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.
[...]
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.
And after that, Israel should give up all the West Bank and Gaza, as well as half of Jerusalem.

Lost in the NYT's prescriptions for peace is the essential problem - terrorism. No word on the Palestinians dismantling terrorist organizations or stopping attacks on Israel. They still haven't figured out that the key reason why there is no peace is not because of settlements or Jerusalem or "refugees". These are all just codewords for the Palestinians for their true desire - the destruction of Israel. Until the Arabs accept Israel as a permanent feature of the landscape of the Middle East, and until they decide that they would rather build their own society rather than destroy someone else's, there will be no peace. The New York Times's prescription for peace is that Israel surrender.
|| Nudnik 10:55 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Tit for tat
Sweet Chelsea, standing in the pouring rain. Drenched, yet makeup curiously unblemished.

Thumb presses down on the pause button on the Tivo remote control. Eyes pan (down of course) revealing...

Oh yes... black leather miniskirt mischievously covering the genetic gift (in the form of a prematurely plump trunk fulla'junk) from mom. Black leather mini in the middle of a torrential downpour to commemorate the opening of the Hilary Clinton 2008 Arkansas campaign headquarters by day / Bill Clinton after-hours brothel? Where’s Joan Rivers when you need her?

Thumb to rewind... pause... play... drink... rewind... pause... play...

Bill Clinton? That man soiled one of ours. I know she was the crippled fledgling antelope that the heard abandoned for self preservation... but she was still one of my minions. And thus, the ancient laws dictate that I must now have the seed of his loins. So yes, if there is a God (and I am of the opinion that there is; reference Krispy Kreme donuts), flash forward to a scene involving the Elder, a bottle of Johnny Blue, a humidor and sweet Chelsea. See if Egypt makes a movie about that?
|| Elder of Zion #6 10:12 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |

Thursday, November 18, 2004


              One More Reason
Anne Bayefsky writes about one more reason why the UN should be shut down.
[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.
|| Nudnik 1:47 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              'Cuff Kofi
Jed Babbin has a great idea - take the UN to court. While its true that it and its "diplomats" enjoy diplomatic immunity, there may be a way of getting around that.
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.
|| Nudnik 1:38 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              The Enforcer
An interesting interview with Michael Koubim, Shin Bet's chief interrogator from 1987-1993. I'm not entirely convinced that no physical pressure is ever used during interrogations, but he insists that he never did.
|| Nudnik 11:59 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Wednesday, November 17, 2004


              Laws of War
The MSM continues to hype the story of the Marine shooting a terrorist in a mosque in Fallujah. Their intent is clear - to delegitimize the war in Iraq, and by extension further taint the Bush Administration. To them, the context of what happened is not important, the whole message is in the image. There is no gray, only black and white, and this from the people who purport to be "nuanced" and berate Bush for his absolutism. But there is more of a story there than the video shows. This email from a Marine in Iraq, posted by Powerline tells much more of the story than the MSM ever will.
|| Nudnik 8:46 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              The Middle-East, Post-Arafat
An excellent article on the Middle East and Israel and the reason the Arabs are where they are.
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.
|| Nudnik 3:05 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Update to Disappearing Kim
As an update to yesterday's post about the pictures of Kim Jong-il disappearing in North Korea, Japan's Kyodo News service is reporting that
North Korea's official media on Wednesday dropped the glorifying description of "dear leader" from the nation's leader Kim Jong Il,
[...]
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."
I'm still not sure what this means, but it seems that something interesting is definitely going on in North Korea.
|| Nudnik 1:15 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              GE... we bring good things to slime.
There are those that will engage in a hunger strike or burn themselves in front of the White House to make a point. Me? I like to eat and burning myself seems a little whacky. My way is to try to hit 'em where it hurts. So here is the story (and I’m sticking with it). The Elder's kitchen is in dire need of a revamp and we're taking a look at some fridges, maybe an oven upgrade. Dishwasher? Not pretty.

As of yesterday, all GE appliances have been removed from consideration. General Electric, in regards to their ownership of NBC, should take full responsibility for their part in the latest faux scandal from Iraq. NBC's handling of the event, as well as their immediate hand over of the film to the Frank Jazappa network makes this elder hopping mad.

One recommended form of protest could be to purchase the elder a nice new Viking meat locker system for his birthday. So nice yet out of this elder's price range. So who’s with me? Ok... so I protest alone.
|| Elder of Zion #6 11:50 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Iran's Nuke Deception
Iran's nuclear deception seems to be continuing, despite the much heralded "agreement" with the EU-3. AP reports that an Iranian opposition group is alleging that Iran received a warhead design as well as highly enriched Uranium, the material necessary for making a nuclear bomb, from AQ Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb and until recently black marketeer of nuclear material and know-how. They also allege that Iran is continuing its own uranium enrichment program despite promising to suspend that activity. This opposition group, the National Council for Resistance
in Iran, has been very accurate in the past in its assessments of Iran's nuclear program.

So what is the reaction of the New York Times editorial page?
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".

The New York Times of course has a solution of what should be done if Iran violates the agreement.
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.

Europe continues to throw roadblocks in the way of the necessary and inevitable reckoning with Iran, despite the fact that Iranian missiles will endanger them long before they endanger us. Hopefully, the US will not go along with this sham; otherwise we will soon be living with Iranian nuclear missiles pointed at Europe.
|| Nudnik 11:02 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Chirac Squeaks Again
With George Bush's re-election, Jacques Chirac has been put in an uncomfortable position. The standard rule is that once you are in a hole, stop digging. Yet Chirac continues to burrow. Speaking of the Iraq war he said:
"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.
|| Nudnik 9:46 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Welcome!
The Nudnik File welcomes Elder of Zion #6 who will be contributing his wisdom and insight to this site.
|| Nudnik 9:29 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004


              Wolfowitz
Radek Sikorski of the American Enterprise Institute interviews Paul Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz is clearly an ideologue in the mold of Reagan. It would be a shame if he did not stay on for a second term, in some capacity.
|| Nudnik 10:43 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              UN Supports Suicide Bombers
If it wasn't obvious before that the UN was supporting terrorism against Israel, here is another in a long line of examples of it.
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.
|| Nudnik 10:33 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Disappearing Kim
Captain Ed links to an interesting article from the BBC. According to the article, pictures of Kim Jong-il have been disappearing from prominent places in Pyongyang. This could be Kim merely lowering his profile. But the question then is why? Both he and his father thrived on a cult of personality, it would seem out of character for Kim to make himself less visible. Another possibility is of some change in leadership there.
|| Nudnik 8:45 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Palestinianism
FrontPage carried two excellent articles today about Europe's obsession with and unquestioning support of the Palestinian "cause". Bat Ye'or explains, how Europe made a deal to appease the Arab world - in exchange for no terrorism in Europe, Europe would completely support Arab causes, and especially the Palestinians.
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.

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.
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.
|| Nudnik 12:18 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              The Next "Scandal"
The press is anxiously trying to whip up a new scandal, in the form of a US Marine shooting a supposedly unarmed and wounded "insurgent", and how this violates the rules of war. Since the "insurgents" are not in uniform, have no visible command structure, openly use mosques as firing stations and civilians as human shields, it seems to me that the rules of war don't really apply here. And by the way, isn't this the same thing that John Kerry received a medal for in VietNam?
|| Nudnik 10:43 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Monday, November 15, 2004


              "Progressive" Thinking
There has been much written about the condescending attitude of the Left towards the American public. George Will thinks that this outlook has been around since the 1950s with the rise of advertising.
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.
|| Nudnik 1:25 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Arafat's Single-Mindedness
Almost all of the obituaries of Arafat laud single-mindedness in the pursuit of a Palestinian state. Of course, virtually none of them say that Arafat's true desire was a state to be built on Israel's ruins. Charles Krauthammer is one of the few who sees Arafat and the Palestinian "cause" for what they truly are.
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.
|| Nudnik 10:18 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              A pathetic Vessel
Martin Peretz, a long time acquaintance of John Kerry (though clearly not an admirer or friend), gives his post-mortem of the Kerry candidacy.
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.
|| Nudnik 9:20 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Friday, November 12, 2004


              Moral Relativism and Historical Ignorance
In today's Boston Globe HDS Greenway manages to display both an inane moral relativism, as well as a stunning ignorance of history.
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 settlements
So 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.

Greenway then goes on to compare Menachem Begin to Arafat because of Begin's leadership of the Irgun, and Irgun's "terrorist" actions.
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."

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.
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.
|| Nudnik 2:53 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Arafat's Legacy
Andrew McCarthy of NRO reviews Arafat's true legacy.
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.
|| Nudnik 1:49 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |

Thursday, November 11, 2004


              Letter to Europe
Herbert Meyer writes a letter to Europe, setting out America's beliefs versus Europe's.
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.
|| Nudnik 9:31 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Appalling
This piece of news is simply appalling:
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns expected to attend Arafat funeral as representative of United States
The fact that the US would send someone this high-ranking to the funeral of this terrorist is ridiculous.
|| Nudnik 1:37 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              The Importance of Fallujah
Much has been made of the fact that many terrorists, probably including the leaders like Zarqawi, fled Fallujah before the US assault and that therefore taking Fallujah will not mean much. Ralph Peters addresses some of those concerns.
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.

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.
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.
|| Nudnik 1:29 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Sarin
Instapundit links to a report from NPR that Sarin nerve gas has been found in Fallujah. Would this be considered evidence WMDs??
|| Nudnik 10:33 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Fully Dead. But What Next?
Finally, after two weeks of being mostly dead, the arch-terrorist Arafat is finally fully dead. The eulogies have already started, and as would be expected many attempt to whitewash his legacy and who he really was. While Jeff Jacoby accurately assesses Arafat,
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.

The dream was of self-determination and statehood for the Palestinian people, and in the end he did not live to see it.
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.

More importantly, what happens now? The main question is who will take over as leader of the Palestinians. Elections are promised within 60 days, but the two main politicians, Abu Mazen and Abu Ala, have virtually no popular backing. More crucially, they have very little control over the security apparatus and therefore will be able to do nothing to rein in the terrorists. If one of them is elected, and is not able to bring in a strongman like Dahlan, the Territories will devolve into complete anarchy and warlordism. This is probably not that bad of a situation for Israel, since the warlords will be fighting each other, and will be able to be manipulated against each other by Israel. At the same time, such a development would once again show that the Palestinians are incapable of self-government and that there does not exist a viable partner for negotiations.

Another alternative is that Hamas gets a large number of votes, and is then part of the new Palestinian leadership. Given that the US classifies them as a terrorist organization, it will be interesting to see how the US would then look on the Palestinian Authority. My feeling is that the State Department would attempt to overlook the terrorist nature of the PA, like they have been doing for a long time.

Either way, not much will change in the security situation. However, it seems that the main upshot of Arafat's death will be an increased pressure on Israel to negotiate with the new leadership and halt construction of the security barrier. Jed Babbin writes about some other probable effects.

This will once again be a big test of Bush's doctrine regarding terrorism and the states that support them. We will see if his support of Israel was just a tactical ploy to bring in the Evangelical and Jewish vote, or whether he will have the courage of his convictions. In large part, this could depend on who will be Secretary of State and National Security Advisor. The pressure on him to extract concessions from Israel will be immense and will come not just from the EU and the UN, which can be ignored, but also from steadfast allies like Tony Blair to whom Bush owes a debt for his support in Iraq. On Bush being able to resist such pressure I am hopeful, but not entirely optimistic.
|| Nudnik 10:26 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Hello. Is It Me You're Looking For?
It seems that Spain's Prime Minister Zapatero called Bush to congratulate him on his victory but was told that Bush was not home at the moment.
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.
|| Nudnik 9:04 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004


              Are They Serious??
Democrats have gone over the deep end. As a result of losing the election, the current thinking among a number of prominent of that party is now turning to secession. It seems that Democratic party doesn't like democracy when it doesn't go their way. This is again the typical condescension to the people by the party that fervently insists that it will fight for the "common man". Maybe the Democrats should think about coming up with a program and message that people can actually get behind. Of course, its much easier to blame everyone else, and declare a "civil war"
|| Nudnik 11:34 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Tuesday, November 09, 2004


              Hitch on Secularism
One of the main delusions of the Left regarding Bush's re-election is that the people that back him are all religious fanatics. Christopher Hitchens - a reformed leftist - clearly shows that it is the Left that supports and apologizes for religious fanatics.
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).
|| Nudnik 3:08 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Iran's Nukes
Both the Washington Post editorial, and this opinion piece by Kenneth Pollack urge similar, but futile, actions regarding Iran's development of nuclear weapons. Both insist that the key in our dealings with Iran is to confront them with allies and then, that the final threat should be sanctions. This is completely misguided. As was the problem with Iraq, the allies that we would need to use - France, Germany, Russia - all have significant economic interest in Iran. We already know that the sanctions on Iraq that we had agreed to impose with those allies were worthless. Why would these work better?

It does not seem that Europe has made a strategic decision on the unacceptability of Iranian nukes. It seems that they are willing to go along with Iran's desires as long as their trade and security are not disrupted. This is incredibly short-sighted of them, since once Iran obtains nukes there will be very little that Europe or the US will be able to do to restrain them in their quest for regional hegemony. Whether we like it or not, Iran will most likely have to be confronted militarily. This would not involve a full-scale military invasion like Iraq, but would instead be in the form of serious and sustained air strikes against all of Iran's nuclear facilities. The feasibility of this has been questioned, but this article from Globalsecurity.org seems to suggest that this would be very doable, and would cause enough damage to Iran's nuclear program to set them back quite a few years. The hope is that in that time, the mullahs would be overthrown from within.
|| Nudnik 2:15 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              The Smartest Man in the World
In this week's Newsweek, Henry Kissinger looks at the challenges facing the US in the next four years and beyond. His most interesting commentary is toward the end when he discusses the more distant challenges, including the rise of China and India, and America's complicated relationship with Europe.
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.
|| Nudnik 1:11 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Fallujah
The battle of Fallujah is finally being waged. It was obvious that this would happen, and that the main thing holding the US back in the past few months were political considerations. In itself, that is unfortunate but understandable. Even now, despite the near certainty that the US military will triumph there, and with relatively few casualties, a larger political victory is far from assured. Ralph Peters describes the battle and what we will undoubtedly see from the US and world media.
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.
|| Nudnik 11:41 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Harvard Profs Finally Learning?
Looks like President Bush was right after all. The "root-causes" bunch will need to get some new arguments.
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.
|| Nudnik 10:33 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Hollywood
One of the main constituencies that tried to defeat President Bush was the Hollywood crowd. And as would be expected, many of them are now despondent. Burt Prelutsky perfectly describes this crowd and their involvement in politics.
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.

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.
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.
|| Nudnik 10:25 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan's statements and actions over the past four years have put him in direct opposition to US foreign policy goals. Clearly he wanted President Bush defeated, especially since under Kerry the Oil-for-Food scam would have been quietly swept under the rug. And to further that goal, he made some statements regarding the "illegality" of the Iraq war right before the elections. And his latest ridiculousness was asserting that assaulting Fallujah would be bad for Iraqi democracy. The New York Post editorial summarizes Annan's recent position. Meanwhile, Scrappleface demonstrates how Bush recently dealt with Annan.
(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.
|| Nudnik 9:51 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Monday, November 08, 2004


              Alienation
Lawrence Kaplan at The New Republic has another take on the point that Mark Steyn and others have made regarding the condescension of the Left.
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.
[...]
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?
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.
|| Nudnik 2:58 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Warren on Palestinians
David Warren believes that the death of Arafat gives the Palestinians a chance to change the dynamic under which they have lived. But at the same time, just like should have been done in Iraq, the world must make clear that failure will have consequences.
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.

One very possible and negative consequence of Arafat's death may be the exertion of more pressure on Israel by the US. This will lead to the same process that existed during the Clinton years - Israel compromising more and more with absolutely no reciprocation from the Palestinian side. Just like Clinton's maneuvers led to war, this potential new process will lead to more war, except this time the Palestinians will have more and more powerful weapons, which will make Israel's response much more harsh and make this new war even bloodier.
|| Nudnik 12:23 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Sunday, November 07, 2004


              Condescension
Following the re-election of President Bush there was a similar reaction of the Left - in the form of the Democratic Party in the US, and the usual examples of the Left in Europe - one of condescension to the American people. The US version of the condescension was expressed by Eric Alterman at MSNBC.com, and Jane Smiley at Slate, as well as the signs of the various anti-Bush demonstrations. Mark Steyn, in the Chicago Sun-Times, has a simple answer to these.
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."

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.
And in The Telegraph, Steyn addresses the European version of this same reaction.
|| Nudnik 11:17 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Friday, November 05, 2004


              Exceptionalism
Victor Hanson assesses the election and the reason for Bush's victory.
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.
|| Nudnik 2:56 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Courage
Caroline Glick highlights some examples of courage in the this wide ranging war on Islamofascism, and the price paid by some of those who have taken a stand.
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.

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.
She contrasts this with people like Israel's Foreign Minister who she believes are not standing up to protect their interests.
|| Nudnik 1:37 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Palestinian Immorality
After last week's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, the mother of the 16 year old suicide bomber said
"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.

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.
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.
|| Nudnik 11:43 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Who's Next
Barry Rubin of the Foreign Policy Research Institute has an interesting article on Palestinian politics and the entities that will soon be fighting each other for control of the PA.
|| Nudnik 10:40 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Thursday, November 04, 2004


              Where's the Money?
It has long been known that Arafat stole and hidden away vast sums of money. Most of the money came from embezzling a percentage of donations that were supposed to go to the Palestinian people. At this point, his personal wealth is estimated to be between $2 and $3 billion, and no one knows where it's stashed away. According to this article, part of the reason he is being kept on life support is in the hope that he will awake and disclose where the money is.
|| Nudnik 8:35 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Arafat Dead!!!
Happy Holiday.

Israel TV is reporting that Arafat has died.
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.

|| Nudnik 11:31 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              Soul Searching
Despite the loss that the Democrats suffered this past Tuesday, they still do not seem to get it. They continue to not see that the reason they lost. Nancy Pelosi's statement is a perfect illustration of that:
"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.
|| Nudnik 10:33 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              The Electoral Map
The MSM continues to insist that the country is very divided. This map of the election, county by county, tells a slightly different story.
|| Nudnik 9:30 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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              End of Arafat?
Despite the continuing protestations that Chairman Arafat merely has a cold, Israel Radio is reporting that
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.

David Frum has a good assessment of the life of Arafat.
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.
|| Nudnik 8:20 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004


              Why The Democrats Lost
This election campaign was one of the longest and most vicious in recent memory. Everyone said it would be close, but despite the divisions in the country, it was more definitive than the election of 2000. And now that it is over, we can look back and try to assess why the Republicans won the Presidency and added to their leads in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

While any election is a referendum on the incumbent party, this election was as much about the ideas of the opposition in a time of war - a war that is unlike one that we have faced before. While the Cold War bore some similarities to the War On Terror in both the ideological nature of the conflict, as well as the diffuse nature of the actual fighting, there was not a constant fear that we could be attacked without warning and in any location. 9/11 did not change the world or the United States, but it did open the eyes of many to the dangers around us and to the war that had been waged against us for 20 years with no response from us.

The problem with the Democrats in the past three years was that they did not manage to come up with any ideas of how to wage this new war in order to win. The reaction of a sizeable part of the Democratic base to the war was to move to the radical left and decry all war, placing the blame for the violence and terrorism squarely on the U.S. Howard Dean embraced this movement and attempted to ride this wave of radicalization to the Democratic nomination. When Dean blew up after Iowa, the new Democratic nominee took up this standard mostly out of political necessity – there was a large, radical base which he needed to carry. But in doing this he ceded the middle; the party of Scoop Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan became the party of Michael Moore and the hate-America Left.

The Democrats lost because they became a reactionary party – the party of the status quo in a time of radical change in the world. They lost their noble tradition of liberalism, of spreading democracy, and trying to make the world better, and replaced it with a timid isolationism.

And they lost because of their condescension to everyone who does not think like them. Intelligent people can disagree on issues, but by calling their opponents - other Americans - "fascists" and "terrorists" and “neanderthals” they destroyed civil debate. Bush won with the largest popular vote in history. Yet many of their base think that all those who supported Bush are just evil simpletons. (If you want evidence of that, go read the comments on the posts on Atrios and Daily Kos). If the Democrats continue to think and act like this, their influence and the influence of their party will continue to diminish and America will lose the key component of a vibrant Democracy – a loyal opposition.
|| Nudnik 8:31 PM || Permalink || (0) comments
                            |
              Kerry Concedes
The AP is reporting that Kerry just called Bush to concede the race. It's finally over!!!!

I give credit to Kerry for not dragging this out and litigating it as much as possible. (Apparently, Edwards did not want Kerry to concede yet.)
|| Nudnik 11:16 AM || Permalink || (0) comments
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