Saturday, January 31, 2009

God's Gift of Freedom to the People of Iraq

UPDATE: Somewhere today I read an article about Iraq's election that stated Iraqis were tiring of going to the polls, or some such thing. Anyway, it claimed that weariness would translate into a low voter turnout. Well guess what.

Iraqis turn out in record numbers for crucial elections
Nouri al-Maliki, whose State of Law coalition was banking on a solid showing in the face of a threatened rebellion from the regions over poor service delivery, said the poll was largely conducted fairly.

"Many people have seen Iraq as a dictatorship, but today that has changed," he said, casting his ballot in Baghdad. "Others are saying this is a sectarian government, but this isn't true. We can't be a dictatorship again and we won't be."

Eat your heart out, Saskboy. And you think George Bush was just dictating his whims to Iraq! Shame on you for dissing the soul of Iraq's people. You leftards are so pathetic!

==========Original Post Starts Here===========
Posted in the comments at Iraq the Model at 2:25 am today:

"This day 31st January 2009, is yet another Holy-day in Iraq.

Yet another Iraqi election.

Thanks to the Soldiers of the USA/UK and the coalition for making it happen.

Thanks to the people of the USA/UK and others for helping Iraq become free and Democratic with human rights and the rule of Law stand supreme.

Thanks to Bush/Blair for their visions to give back God's gift of freedom to the people of Iraq.

Kind regards
Hameed abid"


Ballots rather than bullets.

More Promises....

...I hope Obama never fulfills. What a fairytale world!

Free, Secret and MORE THAN ONE...

CANDIDATE!!!!!

UPDATE: Gotta love this:
"But for many Iraqis this election is less about ethnicity or sect than competence. In the dusty town of Khana Sul near the Syrian border, 19-year-old student Jamil Kirtohamo, a member of the Yazidi religious minority, held up the purple-dyed finger that showed he had voted.

"It's my first time voting and I'm very excited," he said, pointing to a pothole. "We want whoever wins to pave this road."
If this election is about potholes, that's a good sign.

=======Original Post Starts Here=======
Gotta love this picture. Maliki gets at least one vote.



No more 99% turnout for only one candidate.

Iraqis flock to polls
"“Today is very important,” said Yaqdhan al-Hassani, 36, who monitors air conditioners at a hospital inside the fortified green zone.

“I want to ensure my future and the future of my children,” said the married father-of-three as he waited to be allowed inside the school to vote."
[---]
"In a change from the last provincial polls in January 2005, most candidates have campaigned openly, covering the streets of towns and cities with posters bearing their name and candidate number or party list. They also held public meetings and visited homes in a bid to woo votes.

Security fears prevented people from publicizing their name in the previous ballot, leaving voters to pick from closed, party lists. Many blame this system for an alleged culture of corruption that evolved in councils over the past four years."
[---]
"The scene is in stark contrast to the dark days of militia rule barely a year ago."

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Voting has Begun

"Iraqis are electing new provincial councils in the first nationwide vote in four years, with the Sunni minority expected to turn out in strength.

Sunnis largely boycotted the last ballot, a general election which resulted in Shia and Kurdish parties taking control of parliament.

Gunmen killed three candidates in recent days and security is tight.

The vote is seen as a test of Iraq's stability ahead of the next general election later this year.

Up to 15 million Iraqis are eligible to cast a vote."
If they pass off relatively peacefully, these elections will set the stage for general polls at the end of the year and for further coalition troop withdrawals, our correspondent says.
[---]
"Saturday's elections are being held in 14 of the country's 18 provinces, with more than 14,000 candidates competing for just 440 seats.

They are being organised by the United Nations and Iraq's Independent High Election Commission, with 800 international observers expected to oversee the balloting."

Ah Hamas...

Hamas massacres suspected Israeli collaborators

Doing what Palestinians do best.

In Bad Company: Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein
"During the first intifada, the PLO purged more than 800 Palestinians. In the past month, gangs linked to Arafat have machine-gunned collaborators in Gaza, Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqilya, and even Manger Square in Bethlehem. Tanzim executed Bassam Eid, a 22-year-old in Ramallah, after his sister reported seeing him talking to an Israeli. After all, dialogue is forbidden. Executions are public, and meant to terrorize. Bodies are displayed to send a warning.

Arafat today is like Saddam in 1968; and as in Iraq, dissent is disappearing. But before journalists label victims of summary executions collaborators, they must ask why no trial, and what exactly Arafat's henchmen mean by the term. They may find that, to the Palestinian Authority, a collaborator is anyone who speaks of coexistence with Israel or questions into whose bank accounts hundreds of millions of dollars of aid money disappeared. But with little outrage over the killings of so-called collaborators, it should be no surprise the Palestinian peace camp has all but disappeared."
Will it ever end?

Oy Vey!!

Fanatical Christians and lunatic leftards speak with one voice.

Priest in Italy defends Holocaust denier.

Puke!

Remember folks, Hitler's party was the National Socialist German Workers Party. The only difference was old Adolf targeted Catholics the same as he did the Jews. Ironically, it seems the Italian Priest may have had common cause with the Nazis if they were still around today.

Bring It On, I suppose

Obama closes Guantanamo and Yemen opens its arms. Yemen, the place where a former Gitmo detainee is now among al Qaeda's top dogs. And this is hardly the first.

My bro is a naturalized American citizen. He's a died in the wool Democrat. Way to go, bro. I hope you realize that the choice you made on November 4th endangers more than just Americans.

Oh, and this one's really cute.

Obama Moves on Gitmo Without Any Plan in Place

Remember all that whining from the left about Bush having no plan for Iraq following the invasion?

The One is not exactly off to a good start, as far as I can see.

Noble Sentiment, Lost Cause

For what it's worth, this morning in my inbox there was a letter from an organization supporting Israel requesting signatures on a petition to the Secretary General of the United Nations. This is what it says:
"In the recent years and in the present ongoing military conflict the Hamas terrorist organization ruling in Gaza has committed a large number of diverse war crimes, as defined by International Law.

The form of warfare the Hamas movement inflicted both on the Gaza population and on Israel has caused much suffering and heavy losses and damage both to Israel's civilian population and to the entire Gaza Strip. The Hamas regime has fired 6,300 rockets targeting Israeli civilians. In Gaza the Hamas stored rockets and other weaponry and ammunition primarily in residential areas; in houses, mosques, and schools. Thousands of rocket and mortar grenade attacks were launched from within these areas, obliging Israeli military response which inevitably led to great suffering of the population and damage to property.

According to International Law any source of fire on civilian targets is a legitimate target itself. If that source of fire was located among civilians it still remains a legitimate target; and if that vicinity invites fire in return, causing casualties among the local population, these casualties are the full and sole responsibility of the party placing them deliberately in harm's way. In this case Hamas is fully responsible both for the deliberately targeted Israeli civilian casualties and for the civilian casualties of its own population used by Hamas as a human shield.

Your Excellency, Mister Secretary General! We demand that the Hamas leadership be brought to international justice without delay, and tried for the following war crimes:

- Shooting rockets and grenades purposely on civilian targets in Israel.
- Shooting these rockets from within Palestinian civilian compounds such as schools or in close proximity of hospitals or residential buildings.
- Storing weapons and ammunition in schools, mosques, public offices and buildings and the sort.
- Regularly using their own civilians as human shield; particularly children, often forced to be in the most dangerous spots.
- During fighting with the Israeli forces the Hamas fighters, who wore uniforms at the beginning, changed to civilian clothing or IDF uniforms and continued to fight.
- Hamas fighters have routinely hid among civilians in hospitals
- To the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit, Hamas did not provide the most elementary rights of war prisoners, such as information given to the other side and Red Cross visits, rights Israel grants even to convicted Hamas terrorists.
- Children and minors were routinely used by Hamas for military tasks, both battle and auxiliary. The Hamas regime has also educated, indoctrinated and trained children and minors to murderous hatred, to will and techniques to kill.
- The Hamas leadership embezzled aid money received for the peaceful needs of Gaza's population and used these extensive funds for war efforts; weaponry, military equipment and constructions, and an enormous military build-up.

A failure to prosecute the Hamas leadership in International Court would, no doubt, lead to their war crimes growingly become normative behavior, and to more of the same humanitarian catastrophes, to millions of victims of oppression and killings undefended by the UN."
There are well over 10,000 signatures so far. Signatory # 19 says: "For once please do what is Right !!, this is a group of bloody criminals to the world and to their own." But remember folks, this is the UN. Don't hold your breath.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Looking at Hamas

How many people died in the recent war? Read it and tell me if you're confused yet?

Gazan doctor says death toll inflated.

Did Israel commit war crimes?

Gaza in ruins. "Who has won here?"

Who ya gonna believe? I believe the Gazans.
"In the Gaza Strip people are returning home -- or to the rubble that was once their home. Many are blaming Hamas for the destruction because the militants hid among civilians and attracted Israeli fire. Yet no one dares to speak out openly.

What is left over when a person is hit by a tank shell. Blood, tissue, bone splinters, splatters on the wall.

And anger.

Mohammed Sadala's rage is aimed at the man, whose remains he found in his bedroom: a Hamas fighter. He and a comrade broke into the home which had long stood empty after the Sadala family fled. The Hamas men shot at the approaching Israelis from the balcony. The soldiers fired back, killing the militants and destroying the house of the 10-strong family in the process."
Of course leftards will never acknowledge that that goes on.

Change You Can Believe In, Huh?

Obama tells Arabia's despots they're safe.
"As the president told Al-Arabiya television Monday, he wants a return to 'the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.'"
Hmmmmm. That would be a return to this, I suppose.



Everything old is new again.

I'm betting the Taliban are hoping so.

Taliban calls on Obama to reverse Bush's "satanic policies'

And they're not the only ones.

Damn Yanks. WTF were you thinking???

Iraq Gearing Up to Vote and a News Round Up From Hameed Abid

Tens of thousands vote early in Iraq

Yay!!!

Sunni Arabs embracing local Iraq elections

Double yay!! Thank you, George Bush!!

And speaking of Iraq, here are some gems from our friend Hameed Abid over at Iraq the Model:

"Dear All

Have just returned from Baghdad.

More about this trip later.

Glad you are all well.

Keep up the good work.

Thank you all for your contribution to support Iraq, inspite of some Idiotic comments by some posters, who shall remain nameless.

Kind regards
Hameed abid |01.27.09 - 12:10 pm |

------------

Welcome back Hameed,

Looking forward to hearing about how
things are going in Iraq from your
perspective.

I have begun to worry about Iraq more lately. Praying that Iraq can stand up. The USA media spin within the Obama administration is that Iraq is still a mess.

Got this feeling from todays press briefing? (1/27/09) Anyone else catch that?

They are trying to redefine success.
Or are looking for a redefinition for a pull out.
Either way, I pray that Iraq is ready for transition.

C. Jordan |01.27.09 - 5:18 pm | عروساً وعريساً يجمعهم مشروع المصاهرة الوطنية العراقية

2009-01-16 01:32:35 م

شرق برس : مجتمع

اجتمع 750 عروساً وعريساً نصفهم من الشيعة والآخر من السنة في قاعة واحدة ببغداد ليعلنوا عن مبادرة المصاهرة الوطنية.
ودعا لهذه المبادرة نائب رئيس الجمهورية طارق الهاشمي وتكفل بجزء كبير من تكاليف زواج هؤلاء العرسان.
وقال الهاشمي ان على العراقيين إسقاط كل المصطلحات البائسة التي وجدت في البلاد وعلى الجميع أن يتحدث باسم العراق والعراقيين


This item is about getting married to a sunni by a shiite and vice versa.

750 couples from both sects. got wed and Al hashimi told them to forget all these outdated phrases. This is a sunny and that a shiite.

Good luck to these couples who care about Iraq.

Hey guys and girls, be very proud you are Iraqis. May God bless you all.

Kind regards
Hameed abid |01.28.09 - 12:50 pm | Dear O and M

When i was in baghdad few days ago, one of my nephews rang me up late at night before i left the hotel and told me that with all posters of the Candidates plastered all over the walls, an old lady who could not read and write was crying her eyes out. When she was asked why?

She told them she was sad and unhappy about all these dead martyrs? refering of course to the Pictures of the Election candidates?

Kind regards
Hameed abid |01.28.09 - 12:54 pm |

Dear O and M

The american Ambassador mr. ryan Crocker deserves all the praise he could get. Sir you manged to stir Iraq in the right course over a very difficult and complicated period.

The success that was achieved by your excellent efforts coupled with that of David Petraeus was remarkable.

We ( the silent majority of Iraqis ) salute you and your supportive family wish you well in your next assignment.

Should you wish to come back and work in Iraq after your retirement on a private capacity we will welcome there too.

Kindest and best regards
Hameed abid | 01.28.09 - 1:03 pm |

C. Jordan | 01.28.09 - 10:16 am |

Thanks for the trust.

Yes! the Iraqis are doing well. they have started comparing their income before the liberation and after.

I was in Baghdad last month as a guest among 100 others on the Iraqi Parliamentinvitation, to attract the Iraqi talents and expatriates Experts to help Iraq's rebuilding.

I was there again last week. the place is different. Calm , collected and not so tense. Many of the check points were removed and the traffic was flowing smoothly in almost all street Women and gils are not all wearing the hijab and are manily walking freely without having to have male escorts.

They drive their cars and they go to clubs. I was taken to have lunch with Beer at the Al alwiah club at Firdos square, opposite where the toppled statue of Saddam was.

The Iraqis are manning these check points and they were very polite and have good words for the Iraqi and other drivers. Very helpful indeed.

I had an appointment At Al Rasheed Hotel in IZ- International Zone,
There were Iraqis at the check points, Ugandans and Peruvians. However, the only American present was a Seargent

I thanked him for helping training the Iraqis and was chatting with him and asked how long he 'd been in Baghdad. I gave him my buisness card and he gave me his private email address.

He said he is due to get back to his wife Darcie and his 15 months old Daughter Ava.

He cannot wait to be with them.

He is looking forwards to going home and I wished him a safe passage and a safe stay until then.

I made him feel he and his colleagues are most welcome in Baghdad, loved, admired and respected and told him how the ordinary Iraqis are now feeling anf coming out openly about praising and thanking the Amercians for their liberty, freedom and democracy, security and the rule of Law and human rights.

'The strangers are the friends yet to meet.'A Russsian proverb.

We indeed have become friends and we are corresponding by email, although the email service is still slow in Baghdad, he tells me.

I gave him my home telephone number in Baghdad too.

When I get back to Baghdad again hopefully this month, he would still be there and I will take him and his colleagues a home made Dolma dinner.


Kind regards
Hameed abid | 01.29.09 - 3:28 am | #

Godspeed Iraq!!! And you too, Hameed!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Greens Pipe Dreams of Passenger Rail Service

At Huffb1's place and at Saskboy's place, there is a debate going on about the passenger rail. Frankly, it's history, as far as I'm concerned. All of the alternatives are better for a host of reasons, but still, the Greens persist that we need to return to the 1950s.

Here's a good study about the issue that might shine some light on why naivete's perpetual lock on Saskboy's brain is so sad.
Canada's passenger rail services represent a thin shadow of the network that prevailed into the 1950s. Although rail used to be the choice of the cost-conscious longer-distance traveller, it has been unable to match transcontinental air fares for two decades. Now, VIA has great difficulty trying to match air fares on its moderate-distance service between central Canada and the Maritimes. This is a market that rail is bound to lose.

With air's greater speed and lower labour cost per passenger-kilometre, it is difficult to envisage this trend being reversed. For example, the Montreal-Halifax service might be successfully recast as a tourist experience or as local services competing with bus for travellers within the Maritimes and within Quebec, but it is unlikely that it will again become a force in the Montreal-Maritimes intercity market. Similar conclusions could be drawn for the western transcontinental service."
[---]
Rationale for VIA Rail Subsidies

The question of why intercity passenger rail that competes with commercial alternatives (air and bus) should be subsidized has not been addressed explicitly in government documentation of VIA funding decisions. Among the arguments advanced to support continued subsidy are environmental benefits relative to alternative modes, infrastructure cost subsidies received by private vehicles and intercity buses, and service to travellers with lower incomes. Available evidence does not support such claims.

The Royal Commission on National Passenger Transportation (set up mainly to resolve the future of passenger rail) concluded in 1992 that rail's system-wide cost per passenger-kilometre is three times that for private cars and more than four times the total social cost of intercity bus — even when estimates of the social cost of accidents and environmental damage, along with infrastructure costs, are included. Even for Montreal-Toronto, the rail cost was more than 50% greater than the car cost and more than triple the bus cost. While the exact valuations of social costs are open to debate, the conclusion is inescapable: subsidies cannot be justified by social cost differences among modes.
Apparently, Saskboy, like all good greenies, thinks we have a bottomless pit of money and believes passenger rail service is greener simply on faith. A lack of evidence to support his case is immaterial.

Letters, Hopefully Not in Vain

It's only been in my dotage that I have become a letter writer to politicians. Today I wrote two. The first one is to the Canadian Embassy of The Kingdom of Netherlands in Ottawa (betcha didn't know it was called that) and the second one is to the Canadian Prime Minister. I reproduce them here. I hope they have at least some small part to play in rescuing us from the looming decay before it becomes utter rot.

Letter #1:


January 25, 2009


Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands
Constitution Square Building
350 Albert Street, Suite 2020
Ottawa, ON K1R 1A4

Sir/Madam:

I am writing to express my deeply felt concern at what your country is doing to one of its most courageous citizens, Geert Wilders. My father, bless his soul, slogged his way through The Netherlands in 1944-45 to liberate the Dutch people from the pernicious clutches of the German Nazi regime and for many years following the war, a Dutch couple, with whom he had lived for a while, corresponded with my parents here in Canada.

Surely your country cannot forget the sacrifice of so many of their own and of those brave Canadians who fought beside my father. They fought for your freedom and it now appears you are willing to surrender it under pressure of political correctness and Islamism. I am appalled and truly frightened, as would my father be, if he were still alive.

Yours truly,



Louise XXXXXXXX


Letter #2:


The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington St.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Sir:

Today, I wrote a letter to the Embassy of The Netherlands in Ottawa to express my concern over the decision by the government of The Netherlands to press charges against Geert Wilders. As you may know, Mr. Wilders is a courageous man who is speaking out against Islamofascism in his native country and against Islamic terrorism in general and for this he is being brought up on charges of hate speech. I have attached this letter.

I am writing to you because I would urge your government, through our embassy in The Netherlands, to express the concern of Canadians regarding this violation of a man’s basic right to freedom of expression. However, it is not just because my father helped to liberate The Netherlands in World War II that I am concerned about this. As a Canadian, I feel that by writing that letter to The Netherlands’ embassy in Ottawa, I am behaving somewhat like the pot calling the kettle black.

Canada needs to be a leader in the world again, just like it was during World War II when my father stood up and did his duty and as you very well know, we have institutions in our own country that are leaning towards the very same fascist tendencies by denying Canadian citizens not just the right of freedom of expression but the right to due process, and I am sure you know that I am talking about the various Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals across this country. I am looking to your government for leadership in this serious matter at this critical time.

Yours truly,




Louise XXXXXXXX

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another One Out of the Park

This slugger from Michael Ledeen is too good to miss.

Kristoff Channels Yeltsen, and He's Right
"In the post-Gorbachev days, or maybe just before, Boris Yeltsin visited Manhattan, and greatly annoyed most of the journalists assigned to cover him, because Yeltsin kept on praising American accomplishments. Finally, he went to visit one of the worst neighborhoods in the Bronx, and a journalist asked him “Well, Mr. Yeltsin, what do you think of our slums?”

Yeltsin replied, “Your slums are our dreams.”"
Fast forward to today.
"Before Barack Obama and his team act on their talk about “labor standards,” I’d like to offer them a tour of the vast garbage dump here in Phnom Penh.

This is a Dante-like vision of hell."

---

"Talk to these families in the dump, and a job in a sweatshop is a cherished dream, an escalator out of poverty, the kind of gauzy if probably unrealistic ambitions that parents everywhere often have for their children."
Remember folks, Phnom Penh is in Vietnam. The war America lost.

Analysis of the President's Speech

Obama and the End of the Democracy Agenda
"Amidst all the “soaring rhetoric” and many high-sounding words in Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, one word was conspicuous precisely by its absence: “democracy.” Neither the noun “democracy” nor the adjective “democratic” was uttered. The “democracy agenda” so closely associated with the foreign policy ideas of President Bush appears to be well and truly off the table. But the “democracy agenda” was not only an integral part of Bush foreign policy; it has — at least on the level of rhetoric — been an integral part of American foreign policy as such for decades now."
[---]
"Incidentally, the new president followed these remarks with an historical allusion that perfectly illustrates how his vacuous rhetoric produces outright howlers when it risks coming somewhat closer to matters of fact. “Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks,” he said, “but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” But, of course, America’s key ally in defeating “fascism” — or, more precisely, Nazism and, more precisely still, Nazi Germany — was none other than the Soviet Union. This was anything but a “sturdy alliance.”"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Can Iraq Achieve Democracy?

Apparently the Democrats believed they could. Let's hope they dust this off and pretend they never said all that other stuff during the last six years. After all, Iraq has been close to it before.
"In the 1920s, a flourishing Iraq civil society began with the formation of numerous professional associations, including a highly respected legal profession, a vibrant press, political parties, artist ateliers, writers associations, labor unions, and an extensive coffeehouse culture. This nascent civil society expanded greatly after the end of World War II. During the 1950s, large numbers of Iraqis participated in Iraqi politics through the many new political parties, such as the National Democratic and Independence parties formed after the war. In 1954, with the temporary relaxation of state control, a coalition of Iraqi nationalists and moderate Pan-Arabists competed in the June elections, running a highly professional campaign and scoring impressive victories in 13 of the country's most important electoral districts in 2 of Iraq's main cities, Baghdad and Mosul. Efforts by sectarian elements, during the electoral campaign, particularly those from the Ba'ath Party, first formed in Iraq in 1952, to separate Arab nationalists from Iraqi nationalists, were unsuccessful and the electoral coalition retained its cohesion."
RTWT

Read an interview of the author of that piece here. Also read some of the work done by Radwan Masmoudi on Iraq and in the broader Muslim world.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Holy Crappola!!

The Palestinian Authority has as much as said they are on Israel's side. Let's see now. Neither Jews nor Muslims think much of pigs, but I think we just saw one fly over the Holy Land. I wonder if there's an olive branch in its mouth? And what, pray tell, would Iran do, if the Pals, at long last, make peace with Israel? Or the various and assorted Arab Nationalists, Kingdoms and proxy states? If this happens during Obama's presidency, will the real architect of the new Middle East get any credit? I doubt it.

Not so Fast, Obama

Obama can't withdraw troops before one year unless Iraq agrees

Meanwhile, Saskboy once again demonstrates his usual inanity. He attempted to post this comment:
"If there's one thing Bush taught Americans, it's that the President can do whatever the heck he wants -- Iraqi opinion be damned."
He's clearly suffering from BDS, and since I have far greater respect for Iraqis than that, I will just have to ask him a few questions before I decide whether he is opposed to democracy for Iraq, and therefore not welcome here. So how 'bout it, Saskboy. Which Iraqis are you talking about? This one?



Or did you mean these people, Saskboy?



Or these? (Note that they guy being kissed is an American soldier.)



Or this little one?



Maybe these?



Oh, I know. You meant the ones in mass graves, didn't you:



Yes. That's it. That's what Iraqis want. I mean it certainly wouldn't be the Iraqis who participated in this poll about their upcoming elections.

Own up, Saskboy. You know diddly squat about Iraq and Iraqis. You're like all the other brain dead leftists who have spent the past six years carefully cultivating ever more deeply entrenched BDS, while completely ignoring the real aspirations of Iraq's citizens. I'm sure you'll come up with some addled conspiracy theory about the elections next week, too. They are all Bush's fault, all these elections. Iraqis don't want to choose their governments. Perish the thought.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Further to This Post...

...about the doctrine of proportionality, and in keeping with the doctrine of better late than never, I'd like to point out Victor Davis Hanson's suggestions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Bush Legacy

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Plague!

UPDATE: Seems the disease may have been self-inflicted. Biological weaponry gone horribly wrong.

h/t Further Adventures of Indigo Red

=========================================
Bubonic plague wipes out al Qaeda training camp!

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
"Now al-Qaeda chiefs fear the plague has been passed to other terror cells — or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan."
Double BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! And a Allahu Akbar!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shire Network News

I'm sure my fans, if I have any, will thoroughly enjoy Shire Network News, a podcast site featuring several folks from across the Anglosphere, including Britain, Australia, the US and Canada. Check out their podcast # 154, in which regular Meryl Yourish does a great rant about the hypocrisy of the media and much of the world's lunatic left. She really tells it like it is with respect to the Geneva Convention and who is actually breaking the rules in this war between Israel and Hamas.

Cease Fire in Gaza

Believe it when you see it. If not Hamas, if not Hezbollah, if not Fatah, if not...(fill in the blanks) _____________, _______________, ________________, ______________, __________________, _______________, _______________, etc., etc., etc., then surely some new group will emerge.

Palestinian terror has been the pet project of Arab and Muslim dictatorships for many decades now. Since Saddam Hussein, a Pal's best friend, was eliminated, Iran has been at the fore in the terror industry, so if Hamas is crushed (which I doubt), Iran will just have to find another proxy. Shouldn't be that hard, since the world has now decided that terrorist organizations which hide among civilians are not to blame for the deaths of those civilians.

Funny how that works. All those lofty principles of international law are touted about when condemning Israel or the USA, but for some reason the goons that hide behind babies, use them as human shields and parade them when they are killed, get a pass. The world has gone mad.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Salam Pax Returns!!

Good news from Iraqi Bloggers Central. The original Iraqi blogger, Salam Pax, is back again. Better update my blogroll.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Goodbye to the Commander in Chief

"Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right."
There ain't gonna be another one like you for a long time, Mr. Bush. The president everybody took pleasure in vilifying, has delivered a farewell address.



It seems that times have changed just a wee bit since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and brought the Americans into WWII. I wonder if the vilification would have been so bizarre had the president of the United States on 9/11 been a Democrat. What would a Democrat have done? Would he have risen to the occasion the way FDR did?

Sometime in the not too distant future George Bush's proper legacy will be recognized. When Iraq shines as a beacon of light in the Middle East, which it is well on its way to doing, perhaps the lunatics on the left who opposed Bush with such mindless and ugly vitriol will be only a dim memory.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Strange Coincidence? I Think Not

Canada Votes Alone for Israel

Canada's rights record blasted during UN review

..but what do I know.

That second one is really funny. Talk about fueling the Indian Industry. One of the funniest parts of it is in the comments. There's this little gem:
"You can't shoot your neighbour's dog one day, and then tell them to 'get over it' and move on the day after. Neither can you destroy their buffalo, confine their children, deny them the right to vote, attempt to eradicate their culture, infect their populations with small pox, and chronically underfund their communities and then expect equitable outcomes or a "well done Canada". Canada need to wake up and smell the apartheid."
Shooting your neighbour's dog, huh. This poor puppy has swallowed a whole bunch of misinformation and distortion.

First, there's this business of the buffalo. The mass slaughter of the buffalo herds took place in the USA, not in Canada. It was their sudden decline to the point of near extinction that left Indians on the northern plains on the verge of famine, which in turn, made them overly reliant on Ottawa's largess, such as it was during the Victorian era, which prompted the federal government to introduce some very stringent policies and restrictions via the vehicle of the Indian Act, among other means, such as compulsory attendance at industrial/residential schools in order to teach trades and prepare them for economic integration into Canada's society, blah, blah, blah. We all know it didn't work, but that's another story. Best laid plans of mice and men, and all that. Suffice it to say, darling, Canada is not guilty of annihilating the buffalo. Correction number one.

Number two: Chronically underfund? I don't think so. Massive amounts of money from all levels of government in Canada are spent on First Nations issues and self-governance and there are some tremendously wealthy bands. There are also many who squander their wealth and who, despite their wealth and years of self-government, continue to have chronic, intractable social problems. In fact, throwing money at the problem is the problem.

Three: Infect their populations with small pox?? 'fraid not, sweetie. Although that likely did happen - once, it wasn't in Canada. There is strong evidence that during the American Revolutionary War a British General, Jeffrey Amherst, ordered small pox infested blankets to be distributed, not just among the Indians who were fighting along side the American rebels, but among the rebels themselves who would, as a result of their long standing isolation from the old world, have had very little natural immunity to it. Moreover, there are instances later in the history of the United States where heroic efforts were undertaken to inoculate Indians so as to prevent epidemics of deadly communicable diseases. But sorry. Once again, we're not talking about the Brits and the Americans here. Throughout the fur trade era and on into the treaty era, doctoring and medicines have been provided to Indians in Canada. And besides, we're talking about the United Nation's phony indictment of Canada's record on human rights today - 2008/9, so try something else. The perpetual grievance industry should have a statute of limitations.

But what else does our indignant Toronto Star commenter have to say? Oh yes. Four: Confine their children? Well, okay, you have a point there, but that was for a relatively short period of time. The compulsory attendance at residential schools, which I presume is what the commenter is referring to, started in the 1890s and ended in 1951, and hadn't really been enforced for several years prior to that. Compulsory attendance at school is another matter, but school attendance has been compulsory for all children for a very, very long time. Truant officers were a standard feature throughout Canada in my day, and probably still are in one form or another. No group is being singled out in that regard. And besides, education, in the right form, is a good thing and there is a reason it is compulsory.

Five: Denying them the right to vote? True enough. They became eligible to vote without undergoing the long standing policy of enfranchisement (relinquishing their status under the Indian Act) only in 1960, but since then, voter turnout has been very poor. Not saying they shouldn't have the right to vote. Just saying, that our indignant friend may not actually have a bead on what the Indians themselves really wanted back then.

Six: Eradicate their culture? Maybe there's a point there, too, but really, it can hardly be said the Canadian state was entirely successful in that, now can it.

Wanna bet this commenter also worships the United Nations?

Bushhitler

...has rivals. Try Hamas supporters in Copenhagen. Allahu Akbar! Heil Hitler!



See who you are supporting, leftards?

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Voice of Sanity

Apparently Prince Harry is expected to be as dull, boring and politically correct as his father. So says the media, in any case, as well as the folks who find offense in everything under the sun. Interesting, then, that the BBC should actually publish this article. Hats off to Sunny Hundal for calling it like it is.

'Offensive if used with malice'

And by the way, any word that is deemed offensive and is genuinely used with malice can easily be diffused if the object or target of the offense simply turns it into a joke. Take the word. Start using it as if it's not offensive. Normalize it. Works every time.

I've been around long enough to witness a long string of supposedly offensive words be replaced with other words in an attempt to launder the offensive sting from them. It never works. The characteristic that makes the word offensive resides in the thing (people, disease, physical or mental abnormality or whatever), not in the word used to name it. Simply changing the name does not change the cultural perception of the "thing", whether or not it's fair and just.

As far as I'm concerned, the prince with the ginger pubes was simply doing what comrades in arms, or any other "band of brothers" do, when hanging out with each other. To those with the more "exaggerated ego" needs who find offense in any thing and everything, I have just one thing to say.

Get. A. Life.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Translation Services Required

Anyone out there fluently bilingual in French and English able to translate this for me? If you can, please put your translation in the comments showing the English translation after each of the French statements. I'll love you forever.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Hamas Rockets Miss Target

---hit military installation instead.

h/t Gay and Right

Update On the Canadian Journalism Award

I wrote about it here. This morning I checked the website again to see what other comments might have passed the editor's test and been published. Here's a line from one of them:
Is it just me or do others not see the trend to fawn over right wing publications like MacCleans?"
That's right. MacCleans. ROTFLMAO!! Oh, if they only knew.

And Speaking of Disproportionality

Soldier Under Fire
"By treating Capt. Semrau's case with the seriousness it deserves, the Canadian Forces are sparking a conversation about how the laws of war apply to the realities of war in the 21st century."
Answer: They apply only to one side, apparently.

h/t The Torch

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Disproportionality Explained

...as a doctrine in International Law, not as a talking point for hysterical leftists. To hear the left talk about this point of law, one would have to believe that it serves to limit any conflict to a never ending blood fued, a mindless tit for tat in which no one is ever allowed to get the upper hand and actually eliminate the threat altogether. If, in raining down thousands of missiles on us you kill one of mine, I'm only allowed to kill one of yours. That, my dear friends, is utter balderdash. What proportionate means, is that the response should not be excessively over and beyond what is necessary to get the job done. In the case of this crisis, that means Hamas must be totally crushed and likely would include the total crushing of its masters in Tehran as well. For the life of me, I don't know why the regime in Iran has been allowed to exist for so many, many years.

Read these articles.

Israel and the Doctrine of Proportionality

Fighting Terrorism in Lebanon and Gaza: The Lie of Israeli 'Disproportionality'

Disproportionality: What Do You Do?

Hezbollah Disproportionality

Proportionality and Disproportionality

The Myth of Disproportionality

Disproportality of Israeli response?

Did Israel Use Disproportionate Force in "Gaza"?

And on the topic of Iran, go read Winston's latest and follow his links.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Now Here's a Coalition

A real coalition for peace.
"Hundreds in South Florida participated in a Peace Rally and candlelight vigil last evening to show solidarity with the victims of Jihadi terrorist attacks in Mumbai India. The rally was attended by a cross section of people from Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Buddhists, Jain and Sikh communities."
Conspicuous by their absence? Muslims. Zuhdi Jasser, you should be part of this. Get moving if you are not already planning to do so.

Another Scum Bag Deserter Sent Home

Yet another American deserter gets her just desserts. Good riddance.

Another Round Up of Opinion on Israel and Hamas

This one about Annie Lennox and her dimwit remarks is a really good one, but don't miss this one and this.

Jules Crittenden also has a good summary, too.

Great News! (Except for Sore Losers)

Ken Whyte has won the Canadian Newsperson of the Year award! He is the publisher of Mclean's magazine and the man who stood up to defend our freedom of expression against the Human Rights Commissions and the Sock Puppets.

Scroll down and read the comments. Notice the leftards on the website are blaming Kate at Small Dead Animals for "sabotaging" the voting. Not one of the left leaning blogs could pull in enough support alone or even collectively to accomplish this feat, so now, like a bunch of potty children, they are saying that our votes shouldn't count. They are even discounting Americans who may have voted for Whyte, as if Americans don't have an interest in honouring those who defend freedom of expression, no matter where they live!! The award goes to a Canadian journalist because of what he does. There's nothing wrong with anyone, anywhere in the world where freedom of expression is under assault, or even where it isn't, voting for this man. No. These leftards are not just sore losers, they are losers in the most debased sense of the word. Period!!

h/t SDA

Other Good Sources

...for information about the war in Gaza are: The Long War Journal and Debka File.

I Have My Answer

On Monday on my way to work I was listening to the radio, and of course, there was news about what's going on the Middle East. The news included a statement attributed to the Canadian government's alleged position on the current war in the Gaza strip. I couldn't believe my ears, because it sounded so luke warm to Israel's side in the affair. I commented about it over at Ezra Levant's blog:
"You know. I find the left to be terribly uneducated. Sure, many of them have university degrees, but in what discipline? Social and political science fields in which the faculties are awash with political correctness. This does not surprise me that we see this on left blogs. What does surprise me is the Canadian government's statement, which I heard this morning. They were calling for a cease fire. Well fine, but there was a very disappointing lack of a firm statement in support of Israel and against the terror regime in Gaza. Unless, of course, the media was cherry picking and whitewashing the government's statement."

Well, it appears I was right about the whitewashing. Ottawa blames Hamas for civilian deaths at school. Surprise, surprise.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"Moon"bats at the UN

So what else is new?

You may recall from a previous post, Study in Contrasts, that Gaza was launching missiles from a school operated by the UN. Well, I guess Ban Ki-Moon didn't get the memo.

The Games Must Go On

Old fogies like me will remember the words "the games must go on", spoken by an emotional president of the International Olympics Committee after the Palestinian slaughter of Israeli athletes in the 1971 Olympics in Munich, Germany. Of course, he was referring to the necessity of not bowing down to terror, an act of terror ordered by Yaser Arafat and Fatah, his faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The games did go on, much subdued albeit.

There is another game that it seems must go on. And on, and on, and on. That is the game played by heads of state in the Arab and Muslim world. They are still pretending that by their steadfast resolve, Palestine will be liberated. Thing is, they don't fight wars against Israel any more, with legitimate uniformed armies and the like, as they did so many times in the past. Now they just get together and talk and issue noisy statements that make them the laughing stalk of the world, laughing stalk that is, to everyone but the rent a riot and leftist crowd, and sad to say, Western leaders who don't want to be involved, and of course the media. Meanwhile, the team members order assassinations of their own people as well as others in the name of protecting Arab and Muslim honour.

British journalist Melanie Phillips sums up the game quite accurately here. But luckily, there are some voices in the Arab and Muslim world that are beginning to actually call it a game, including Farid Ghadry, President of the Reform Party of Syria, and as Phillips' article points out:
"The moral dividing line in this battle is very clear. Those who stand with Israel are on the side of morality, justice, and civilisation. Those in the media and public life who denounce Israel for having the temerity to defend its people are the fellow-travellers of barbarism. Having done so much to embolden and strengthen Hamas and Iran, who are playing them for suckers, they are continuing to stoke the fires of irrational hatred and genocidal hysteria. As Israeli soldiers die, along with the Palestinian victims of Hamas whether as ‘collaborators’ or human shields, their blood will be on these hypocritical western hands."
Meanwhile, Martin Kramer describes Israel's objectives in this latest squabble, and inserts (my bold) the name of the game played by Hamas:
"When Israel and Hamas reached an agreement for "calm" last June, Hamas hoped the sanctions would be lifted as well, and Israel did increase the flow through the crossing points, by about 50 percent. Fuel supplies were restored to previous levels. But Hamas was fully aware that sanctions were slowly eroding its base and contradicting its narrative that “resistance” pays. This is why it refused to renew the "calm" agreement after its six-month expiration, and renewed rocket fire.

Were Israel to lift the economic sanctions, it would transform Hamas control of Gaza into a permanent fact, solidify the division of the West Bank and Gaza, and undermine both Israel and Abbas by showing that violent "resistance" to Israel produces better results than peaceful compromise and cooperation. Rewarding "resistance" just produces more of it."
and the Arab response:
"The Israeli operation is meant to impress on Hamas that there is something far worse than the sanctions—that Israel is capable of hunting Hamas on air, sea, and land, at tremendous cost to Hamas and minimal cost to Israel, while much of the world stands by, and parts of it (including some Arabs) quietly applaud. Israel's aim is not to bring down Hamas at this stage, but to compel it to accept a cease-fire on Israel's terms—terms that leave the sanctions in place.

Many Western and Arab governments see the logic of this. They would like to see Abbas and the Palestinian Authority back in authority over Gaza, thus restoring credibility to the "peace process." Because they wish to see Hamas contained if not diminished, they have moved slowly or not at all to respond to calls for action to stop the fighting."
Ironic, isn't it? Fatah, which was once considered a terrorist organization is now the favoured group. Arabs are now rooting for Israel, at the risk of their own regimes. We now see headlines like these:

US-Led Gaza Siege Leads Arab Leaders to Drown Rice in Jewelry

Arab Leaders Conflict With Street About Israel's Gaza Assault

Gaza Protests Now Target Arab Leaders

Palestinian Affairs: Touted as Traitors

"The IDF's Cast Lead offensive in the Gaza Strip may have severely harmed Hamas's military capabilities and weakened its tight grip on the area, but it has also further undermined the credibility of the "moderate," pro-Western Arab regimes.

Many of the "moderate" Arab leaders, including the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas, were not afraid to alienate the Arab street by blaming Hamas for the latest cycle of violence. Some of them are even reported to have gone as far as quietly urging Israel to pursue its military operation until Hamas is removed from power."

Indeed, the game has taken a sudden new twist. Arab and Muslim governments have created a monster in their own houses. After fomenting hatred for so many years, they now cannot contain the beast. They are hoping Israel can do it for them, but at what price? In reality, the game has never really been about Israel, at least not for several decades. It's been about preserving their own power, but this war seems to have all the hallmarks of being a pivotal point in history. Iran is going ape-shit. Calls to assassinate Hosni Mubarak have been issued. Turkey's customary gyrations have suddenly accelerated in the direction of the beast as closing ranks with Islamists seems the order of the day. Muslim countries are scrambling to find a safe route out of this mess.

But, thank goodness, Israel still has good friends. They include an astonishing array - "Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, United States, The European Union, NATO, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and most of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America." Interesting that the list of not-so-friendly states includes Norway, the architect of the Oslo Accord, which we might as well pronounce as dead. Or maybe not. We'll have to see where the pivot stops.

My opinion? The fence sitters in the West know that the tide is shifting away from Arab Nationalism and many Arab leaders are looking to the West to help them deal with the Mad Mullah's in Iran, and I think it just might be working. If I'm right, we may just see more reform in the Arab world and the fall of that odious regime. I think Winston might agree. Hallelujah!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Iran Against the Wall

Michael Ladeen writes about the real culprit behind the current conflict in Gaza. It's Iran of course. If Israel achieves its aims, is Iran in real trouble?

Israel Takes the Shackles Off

Residents Hiding Terrorists Will Be Treated As Terrorists
"“Anyone who hides a terrorist or weapons in his house is considered a terrorist,” said an army statement released after troops moved into Gaza.

“The IDF Spokesperson wishes to reiterate that the residents of Gaza are not the target of the operation. Those who use civilians, the elderly, women and children as ‘human shields’ are responsible for any and all injury to the civilian population,” the statement said."
At long last, that game has been exposed and it is now over.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Posted 10 Months Ago

Drima, the Sudanese Thinker had this to say. Rather prophetic, but I guess anyone with a decent amount of gray matter could figure out the same thing.

Iran is Losing It!

Attack on Shirin Ebadi's House

"The 61 year old Iranian lawyer and Noble Peace prize winner suffered another attack on her home after her offices were shut down by the Iranian authorities. More than 150 Baseejis demonstrated outside her house accusing her of siding with the Zionists! Demonstrators shouted 'Israel commits crimes, Ebadi Supports Zionists' and sprayed her house with graffiti...."

Iranian American Blogger

I just discovered, via The Spirit of Man, a fairly new Iranian American blogger. He's a young guy, born in the USA. He has this to say about Iran's recent crackdown on what little free speech exists in that country:
"Gotta love the IRI, and their stance on free speech. Recently an Iranian newspaper was shut down for criticizing Hamas. Kargozaran was a newspaper started, and ran by students. The publication was shut down this Wednesday for a piece that, according to the IRNA:

"..justifies the Zionists regime's crimes against humanity in Gaza and portrays the Palestinian resistance as terrorists who cause the deaths of children and civilians by taking up position in kindergartens and hospitals."


I had no idea that criticizing terrorists who would rather blow themselves up for justice, than actually do something productive for their people, was something that just HAD to be silenced. Groups like Hamas only add to Palestinian, or should I say Israeli-Arab, troubles. If what I know is correct, it was the Arab states that started all this in the first place was it not? Israel was only a nation for 24 hours before the Arabic states were at it's doorsteps. It was the Arab leaders who persuaded many Israeli-Arabs to move from their homes, to flee, to not acknowledge Israel as a nation.

If one wants to see "crimes against humanity" why don't we look at the Arab nations who contain Israeli-Arab refugees (Jordan is an exception) , and refuse to offer them help, but only use them as a propaganda tool against Israel?


I guess there really is no place for free speech under sharia law. Very sad."

A Dog Named Kyoto Weighs In

I have no idea how much the Dog knows about this old conflict between the Pals and the Israelis, but he as assembled an interesting array of links, especially about world response. Check it out.

Also check out this blog and look at the list of people killed by Hamas since 2000. Disproportional, my ass!

Egyptian Sandmonkey Weighs In

I've had to wait a few days for The Sandmonkey to blog about the current round of the 60+ year long Palestinian-Israeli aggression. But he has. Go see here and here.

Some of the commenters are floating the idea that the West Bank should join Jordan and Gaza strip should join Egypt. Why that would solve anything, I have no idea. Sandmonkey thinks the idea of Gaza joining Egypt sucks bigtime, and I have to agree with his rationale.

A Little Back Yard ...

Gaza Cut in Three

MSM - Where is Your Outrage?

Taliban kill children. Nobody cares.

h/t Sondra @ Knowledge is Power

Speaking of Media Bias..

New York mayor Bloomberg nails it to a ditzy MSM doll.

Bias: Media and Academic

American Thinker today has two stories about purveyors of bias, one in academia and the other in the press.

Middle Eastern Studies on the Mend?
"In recent years, Campus Watch (CW) analysts have leveled a barrage of criticism against the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) as a bastion of groupthink for scholar-activists peddling a politicized agenda. CW's current director, Winfield Myers noted that its "reputation has been shattered by years of politicized scholarship, one-sided teaching, and bullying students." Jonathan Calt Harris, formerly with CW, called the organization a "hive of academic opposition to America, Israel, and, in the larger sense, rationalism itself." After years of responding to such criticism with cries of "McCarthyism," MESA just might be owning up to a few of its failures."
and

Dictators to the Right of Me, Presidents to the Left

"From the AP to Reuters and from the New York Times to the Washington Post, the MSM stories on the Cuban Revolution's 5oth anniversary all mention a "dictator"-- but his name is Batista. The Castro Brothers invariable appear as "Presidents". Fidel has ruled (unelected) longer that Hitler and Stalin combined and mandates what his subjects read, say, earn, eat (both substance and amount), where they live, travel or work. No matter. He's a "president"."
Note that MESA, the subject of the first one, is the home of the infamous "scholar" Juan Cole, whose shoddy scholarship was exposed and shredded by the brothers at ITM.

The second is written by the author of Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him.

Check them out.

Some Middle Eastern Truths

The Middle East as a nagging irritant

Generation Faithful (good video and sound clips)

Palestinians: We don't deserve a state

PA Tortures Journalists

More from the Hudson Institute.

A Thank You to Bush, just because it includes these little nuggets of gold:
"The Arab League version "strongly condemns all military attacks and the excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by Israel…" It makes no mention of Hamas's aggression."
and
"A negotiated settlement requires Arabs and Israelis to want to live in peace. Hamas, meanwhile, is uncompromisingly dedicated, in creed and in deed, to pursuing a zero-sum struggle against Israel. No amount of territorial concessions, no matter how far-reaching, will make a Jewish state palatable to the Hamas fanatics. "
and
"For 100 years, Palestinian politics has seen rejectionists assassinate those who voice any willingness to accommodate Jewish national aspirations. Put differently: If Hamas thrives, peace dies. "
And just for fun: What goes around

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!

Layton no longer trusts Harper

Harper still a fav, Ignatieff trails second in line

"The survey, conducted before Harper appointed 18 new senators on Dec. 22, said the prime minister was seen as the most trustworthy federal leader by 38 per cent of those surveyed, unchanged from the last poll.

This compared to 29 per cent for Layton, who was down three points, and 27 per cent for Ignatieff, who was up five points from Dion's last score. Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe was up two points, at six per cent.

Harper outscored his opponents on all leadership questions except when those surveyed were asked to name their choice of "someone who is open to the ideas of others."

Ignatieff was selected by 33 per cent, up nine points from Dion's score, Layton scored 32 per cent, down four points from the last survey, and Harper was picked by 30 per cent, also down four points.

Harper fared significantly better than his rivals as someone who will get things done, someone who has what it takes to lead Canada, someone who has a supportable vision of Canada, and someone who is best able to manage during tough economic times."

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Good, Bad or In Between?

Iraq bombing highlights growing role of tribes

Well obviously another bombing and 23 dead is not good news, but bombings are, as anyone who is paying attention knows, vastly diminished from what they were even a year ago, let alone two years:

"Official Iraqi figures say 5,714 people were killed in 2008 compared to 16,252 the previous year.

The non-governmental organisation Iraq Body Count also said the number of deaths was down by two-thirds, but put the figure between 8,315 and 9,028.

[---]

Over the course of 2008, Iraq Body Count says as many as 9,028 Iraqi civilians and local police died across the country. That compares to up to 25,000 deaths in 2007."

But that's not the only thing that this event speaks to:
"Tribal structures are gaining in clout in Iraq and are expected to advance in the January 31 provincial elections at the expense of the sectarian-based political parties that have divided power in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein."
Tribal loyalties can change, of course, but that is precisely what led to the great strides that took place mid-way through 2006 and throughout 2007 and to date. The "Awakening", as it was called, was essentially a movement of prominent Sunni tribes away from collaboration with al-Qaeda-in-Iraq to supporting the American effort and the fledgling Iraqi government, and that took place largely because said tribes realized al Qaeda and their cronies were killing indiscriminately, Sunni and Shiite alike. Al Qaeda did not care who they killed as long as there was slaughter. Turning Iraq into a killing field was a strategy in the larger goal of turning off the American people and eroding support for the war. When the Sunni switched sides, al Qaeda was all but finished.

But what makes this especially welcome is that they are uniting against the extremism of the religious sects in the Iraqi government:
"A greater political role for Iraqi clans and tribes could help soften the stark ethnic and sectarian divisions that have defined Iraqi politics and fueled bloodshed, tribal chiefs say.

The Qaraghouli tribesmen targeted in Friday's attack were mainly Sunni Muslims but members from the south include Shi'ites. They speak Arabic and consider themselves Arabs, but the tribe's name is of Turkmen origin and parties representing the Turkmen minority expressed solidarity after the attack."
...for now, at least, and the fact that this movement towards solidarity took place in the infamous "triangle of death" portents very well for the future. This has to be good news, at least in the short term.

You'll notice, too, that the article makes no mention of the thoroughly discredited Lancet reports which "estimated" the death toll to be magnitudes greater than either the Iraqi government or groups such as Iraq Body Count or iCasualties.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Gaza by the Numbers

Scroll down a bit for the stats on rockets fired into Israel and a whole lot more stuff. You will note that the earliest date here is 2001 and it deals only with the "death by a thousand cuts" strategy of Hamas. None of the earlier manifestations of "death by a thousand cuts" "and "boy who cried wolf" strategists in any part of Israel and her immediate neighbourhood is documented. If we were to document the full number of such "cuts" administered by Palestinians or their proxies since the creation of Israel, or even before, the numbers of aggressive acts perpetrated by Palestinians, and even by warring neighbours, would be astronomical.

I once had sympathy for the Palestinians. Their land was promised to someone else by the Brits way back in 1917 by the then Foreign Secretary, Alfred Balfour, and in its early days, a massive influx of European Jews escaping persecution in Europe seriously upset the balance of power. And their has been, and still is, a propensity on the part of both Jews and many others, notably fundamentalist Christians to deny that Palestinians even existed. Whether or not they were known by that name, people, including Arabs, have lived in that patch of land since time immemorial. To verify that, all you have to do is ask an Israeli archaeologist.

But, bejesus, how long does it take to recognize that the "death by a thousand cuts" tactic produces the opposite result. Even if the whole world should wash its hands of Israel's supposed "aggression" and "expansionism", as this report seems to suggest, I really do think Israel could take care of their own and might actually give the lunatics on the left exactly what they are looking for - aggression and expansionism. Since they are constantly accused of this, what do they have to lose? The Arab countries seem to have washed their hands, by and large. Even their long fostered pretense of unity is beginning to crack wide open and ordinary citizens are starting to see the light, but that is a topic for another post.

This Video Speaks for Itself

Son of Hamas Leader Dissents

Islam is Not the Word of God

Makes me want to watch Fox News!!

Great Article By Irshad Manji

The Best Way to Fight Islamic Extremism
"Given these nonviolent victories, why do citizens and governments of the West often bristle at the notion of getting involved? Put bluntly, too many freeze in fear of being deemed racists for taking up "other" people's business."
[---]
"I know of a woman in Afghanistan who accepted a $200 microloan, started a candle-making venture, and used some of the returns to pay for reading lessons. She found female-friendly verses in the Qur'an and recited them to her still-illiterate husband. When he realized that these words came from God's book rather than a secular declaration of human rights, he immediately stopped beating her. Not exactly paradise, but no longer the pit of hell."
[---]
"Western nations ought to join the alliance, but Muslim countries, particularly the royally rich Gulf states, must also pull their weight. The next U.S. president can whisper into the ears of emirs his respect for the Qu'ran's message of personal responsibility. Islam's scripture tells Muslims that "God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. Translation for Muslim leaders: put your money where your moderation is."
I don't think her suggestions are destined to become a panacea, nor do I think she is suggesting that, but her ideas are certainly worth implementing. I'm also not too convinced the Indonesia is the best place to start, but it certainly won't hurt.

A Study in Contrasts

Moral Clarity in Gaza

"Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons."

"Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel-Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating.

Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. Hamas, which started this conflict with unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks on unarmed Israelis -- 6,464 launched from Gaza in the past three years -- deliberately places its weapons in and near the homes of its own people.

This has two purposes. First, counting on the moral scrupulousness of Israel, Hamas figures civilian proximity might help protect at least part of its arsenal. Second, knowing that Israelis have new precision weapons that may allow them to attack nonetheless, Hamas hopes that inevitable collateral damage -- or, if it is really fortunate, an errant Israeli bomb -- will kill large numbers of its own people for which, of course, the world will blame Israel."



RTWT

Then we have this: Terrorists Launch Missiles at Israel From a UN School in Gaza

Remember Hezbollah stationing itself right beside a UN observation post in Lebanon in order to launch rockets into Israel during the 2006 war? Hell, a school full of kids is even better. Take a look at this. These animals sacrifice their own children daily.

Wake up folks. All those wonderful things that the West so venerates? They are using it against us.

I think Israel is about to call their bluff!!

Join Facebook's "Get Rid of All the I Hate Israel Groups"

Any fans of Omar and Mohammed Fadhil of ITM would be interested to know that Mohammed has joined. I don't know about Omar, though. I'll try and find out. Apparently, Facebook has agreed to delete all the I hate Israel groups if the "Get Rid of All the I Hate Israel Groups" gets 500,000 members. Spread the word.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Great Tribute to George Bush

George Bush: winning the war on terror

"Much of the condemnation of his policies though is driven by a venomous hatred of Bush's personality and leadership style, rather than an objective assessment of his achievements. Ten or twenty years from now, historians will view Bush's actions on the world stage in a more favourable light. America's 43rd president did after all directly liberate more people (over 60 million) from tyranny than any leader since Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Widely seen as his biggest foreign policy error, the decision to invade Iraq could ultimately prove to have been a masterstroke."

"Today the world is witnessing the birth of the first truly democratic state in the Middle East outside of Israel. Over eight million voted in Iraq's parliamentary elections in 2005, and the region's first free Muslim society may become a reality. Iraq might not be Turkey, but it is a powerful demonstration that freedom can flourish in the embers of the most brutal and barbaric of dictatorships.

The success of the surge in Iraq will go down in history as a turning point in the war against al-Qaeda. The stunning defeat of the insurgency was a major blow both militarily and psychologically for the terror network. The West's most feared enemy suffered thousands of losses in Iraq, including many of their most senior commanders, such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu Qaswarah. It was the most successful counter-insurgency operation anywhere in the world since the British victory in Malaya in 1960."

RTWT

More on Israeli Palestinian Conflict

More On the Green Zone Turnover

Heart of U.S. occupation reverts to Iraqi control

"The Iraqi flag was raised during a small ceremony at what had been the Republican Palace of Saddam Hussein attended by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

In a speech broadcast on state television, Maliki said that the handover had a special meaning for Iraqis. "It means we have gotten rid of the most dangerous remains of the policies that the former regime adopted," he said."

[---]

"No real estate transfer is as significant as that involving the Republican Palace, Saddam Hussein's lavish showpiece, captured and occupied in April 2003 by American troops. It was home to the Coalition Provisional Authority and, later, the American Embassy.

The American diplomats have moved into the enormous yet austere new embassy nearby, but the decision on who gets the valuable palace is still under discussion. It will probably be Maliki, said several Iraqi officials. Or President Jalal Talabani, said several others. Or both.

Neither occupant — one a Shiite, the other a Kurd, both involved in armed resistance against the Saddam government — would be an agreeable sight for the man depicted on the huge portrait in relief that still remains, covered by a tarp, in the lobby of the palace."

[---]

"The impersonal efficiency of the American checkpoints, which has angered countless Iraqis, is, in Shahrazurri's view, the chief reason that security has been so well maintained.

"The American forces only deal with badges," he said. "They have no friends. The Iraqis have friends."

Iraqis in the zone tend to view Americans more positively than their counterparts who live or work outside it, but many have kept their association a secret for years, as a matter of survival. In interviews, they expressed a deep fear that the transfer of the Green Zone would leave them in danger.

Some families are so terrified they are considering moving elsewhere, said Adeer Kadim, 20, a taxi driver who has lived in the zone since 2003. Others say they are worried that they will be forced out.

But the Iraqi government has been pushing for this day, and it seems natural that a security agreement that gives Iraq control of its radio frequencies and airspace would also include the seat of its government."


Iraq to Expel Iranians

Iraq to expel Iran rebels as it takes over camp from US

"Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Thursday that he would expel an Iranian armed opposition group from the country after taking over their base from US forces.

"Based on taking over everything and in accordance with our constitution and our policies of opening up to our neighbours... our forces are going to take full control of the camp where the People's Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran (PMOI) live," Maliki said.

Maliki was speaking to reporters on the sideline of a ceremony during which the United States handed over to Iraqi forces security control of the Green Zone, symbol of the American occupation of the country.

The PMOI "is a terrorist organisation and thus cannot operate in Iraq because it will create a political crisis in contradiction with the constitution," Maliki said.

"We will treat them based on the international laws. We will not force them to go back (to Iran) but we will give them the opportunity to either go home, or to another country," he added."

[---]
"Last month the White House said it received assurances from Baghdad that the rebel group will not be expelled to a country where they may be persecuted, apparently excluding their return to Iran."

Our Newest Citizen

Born 32,000 feet above? That's one way of getting Canadian citizenship.
"There were 124 passengers on Northwest Airlines Flight 59 when it left the Netherlands.

There were 125 when it landed in Boston.

Phil Orlandella, a spokesperson for Logan International Airport, says a woman went into labour yesterday and gave birth to an apparently healthy 6-pound baby girl over the Atlantic Ocean during the eight-hour flight from Amsterdam."

[---]

"Orlandella said the baby, named Sasha, was considered a Canadian citizen because she was born over Canadian airspace."


Israeli Arabs Beg to Differ

In Beersheba, rockets bring Arab, Jewish neighbors together

"There are many more people downstairs," said a man who stood with the small crowd, his Hebrew peppered with an Arabic twang. "I'd say there are at least 50 people down there."

Down the flight of stairs and into the shelter's main room, it became apparent he had left out at least one unusual detail.

[---]

"This is a mixed neighborhood - Jews and Arabs live here together, and we're all suffering from the rockets together. These women are scared just like we are, and they're our neighbors - we decided that we should all stay down here together."
[---]

Indeed, the Arab families, mostly Beduin, said they were happy to be with their Jewish neighbors in the shelter, and that they abhorred the rocket fire coming in from Gaza.

"What do I care about Hamas?" one of the Arab men asked, his anger visible. "This is my home right here, and they're firing rockets at it. Do you think they would stop if they knew there were Arabs living here?"

[---]

I've been living in this neighborhood for over 10 years," said Daoud Khaled, whose kids hung onto his pant legs as he spoke.

"I love it here, I want to keep living here forever. I have fantastic neighbors, and I'll tell you, in the Gimmel neighborhood, we're all in this together. There's no Arab and Jew here, we're all like one."

h/t Gay and Right

Gay and Right has a series of good articles with links about this story.

Abiding Faith??? In Democracy You Say????

Following links leads to piles of information that you just don't get watching the Boob Tube. I started off reading Girl on the Right's take on round 327,886, or whatever it is, of Israeli-Palestinian violence. Her first link leads to this beaut: Women's Rights at the UN: Israel as the Only Violator. Upon reading that I rediscovered the name of an organization I had forgotten about: Organization of the Islamic Conference or OIC.

I went to their website and had a good laugh about the hypocrisy of this statement:
"The Secretary General of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has congratulated the people of Bangladesh for the successful general elections held on 29th December 2008. He noted that the massive turn-out of voters recorded during the elections was a remarkable achievement and represented the people’s abiding faith in the democratic process.."
Opportunistic exploitation or what?

Why, it was only yesterday I read this news that Right Girl also notes, Taliban Burning, Beheading Its Way Through Pakistani Valley, wherein the following is reported:
"A senior government official said he feared there could be a spillover effect if the government lost control of Swat and allowed the insurgency to infect other areas. Like nearly everyone interviewed, the official requested anonymity for fear of reprisal by militants."
[---]
"Swat's militants are led by Maulana Fazlullah, a cleric who rose to prominence through radio broadcasts demanding the imposition of a harsh brand of Islamic law."
[---]
"They have also set up a parallel administration with courts, taxes, patrols and checkpoints, according to lawmakers and officials. And they are suspected of burning scores of girls' schools."
[---]
"In some places, just a handful of insurgents can control a village. They rule by fear: beheading government sympathizers, blowing up bridges and demanding women wear all-encompassing burqas."
[---]
"In mid-December, Taliban fighters killed a young member of a Sufi-influenced Muslim group who had tried to raise a militia against them. The militants later dug up Pir Samiullah's corpse and hung it for two days in a village square — partly to prove to his followers that he was not a superhuman saint, a security official said on condition of anonymity.

A lawmaker and the senior Swat government official said business and landowners had been told to give two-thirds of their income to the militants. Some local media reported last week that the militants have pronounced a ban on female education effective in mid-January.

Several people interviewed said the regional government made a mistake in May when it struck a peace deal with the militants. The agreement fell apart within two months but let the insurgents regroup."
[---]
""The terrorists' aim in Mumbai was precisely this — to get the Pakistani army to withdraw from the western border and mount operations on the east," said Ahmed Rashid, a journalist and author who has written extensively about militancy in the region.

"The terrorists are not going to be sitting still. They are not going to be adhering to any sort of cease-fire while the army takes on the Indian threat. They are going to occupy the vacuum the army will create.""
[---]
A Swat militant boasted that "we are doing our activities wherever we want, and the army is confined to their living places."
[---]
"He claimed the Swat militants had no Al Qaeda or foreign connections, but that they supported all groups that shared the goal of imposing Islamic law.

"With the grace of Allah, there is no dearth of funds, weapons or rations," he said. "Our women are providing cooked food for those who are struggling in Allah's path. Our children are getting prepared for jihad."
To which I would just add, go read the links on Right Girl's blog entry. I wonder how Bal would spin this one? There is something rotten in the state of Islam, Bal. Muslim scholars who might be on side with a Koranic rewrite are either too frightened, too complicit or too dead.

Another article of interest is this one, Latest Rockets Manufactured in China, from the Jerusalem Post.
"The Grad-model Katyusha rockets that were fired into Beersheba on Wednesday were manufactured in China and smuggled into Gaza after the Sinai border wall was blown up by Hamas in January, defense officials said."
Oh, and did you notice the map on the Organization of the Islamic Conference's website? Did you notice that little green spot on the west side of the pond? That's Guyana. A country that has been in bed with terrorist groups in the very recent past. A country with connections to the nefarious tri-border region in South America.

"Although the Chinese Mafia in the TBA [Tri-Border Area] is characterized by internecine rivalries, it is known to collaborate with the Islamic terrorist groups in the region. At least two organizations—the Sung-I and Ming families—have engaged in illegal operations with the Egyptian al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. The Sung-I family, which is based in the Paraguayan town of Hernandárias, used three photography and electronic businesses located in Ciudad del Este as fronts for its activities. In December 2000, Sung-I sold a shipment of munitions to the Islamic Group, sending it to Egypt by ship as “medical equipment.” The Cameroon-flagged vessel was intercepted in the Cypriot port of Limasol. The Ming family managed Islamic Group funds from Ciudad del Este in the financial circuit that includes Guyana and the Cayman Islands."
and
"Terrorist groups seek target-rich environments for financial support, safe haven, and recruitment. Six million Muslims inhabit Latin American cities, which are ideal centers for recruiting and hiding terrorists. Ungoverned areas, primarily in the Amazon regions of Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil, present easily exploitable terrain over which to move people and material. Over-populated Latin American cities are home to many disenfranchised groups and marginalized communities capable of supporting terrorist activities or fomenting homegrown terrorism. The Free Trade Zones of Iquique, Chile; Maicao, Colombia; and Colon, Panama, can generate undetected financial and logistical support for terrorist groups. Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru offer cocaine as a lucrative source of income. In addition, Cuba and Venezuela have cooperative agreements with Syria, Libya, and Iran."
Guyana is a country in which the Muslim population represents only 9% of the total, yet it belongs to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Hmmm.

Well folks. The Cold War is back on in full force. I wonder how Iraq and Afghanistan will fare? How will Obama's "fresh" approach meet with this challenge?