Saturday, July 01, 2006

"The [Chinese] government will step up research on monitoring technology and issue "admittance standards" for blogs, the report said, without providing any details. "
"Al-Reuters blandly notes that there is as yet no comment from the American military about the arrests of the “Iranian fighters.” Why is that? It reminds me of the eloquent silence from the Intelligence Community about the discovery of hundreds of WMDs in Iraq, which is an ongoing process. In both cases there is a policy explanation for the silence: confirmation of such facts would demand that we change the context of our policy debate. There are indeed WMDs, and there are likely many others. The intelligence services of half the world were NOT wrong in their assessment of Saddam, and you cannot diss the American enterprise by chanting “Bush lied.” And, most importantly — to finish with a flourish from al-Reuters — we are involved in a regional war that cannot be won by playing defense in Iraq alone."
"Our major newspapers were also foot-draggers. The Washington Post ran five paragraphs of dismissive tone on page A-10. The New York Times skipped it for a day, then put it on A-20 with the headline "For Diehards, Search for Iraq's WMD Isn't Over." (The liberal diehards at the Times were saving Page One for their infamous scoop disclosing to the public, including terrorists, our government's financial tracking methods for terrorist groups.) The news magazines weren't interested in the WMD scoop, either. Time and U.S. News & World Report ran nothing, and Newsweek dismissed it with another headline about "trumped-up threats" in Iraq."
"The Banking Report: Let Me Make It Simple For You Morons"
"Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook is second in command of the political Hamas leadership in Syrian exile. In an interview, he tells SPIEGEL ONLINE that the agreement with Fatah on the foundation of a Palestinian state does not mean that his organization will recognize Israel. Hamas, he say, will remain committed to violence against its occupier."
"Once again, we see that the UN has become corrupted by the anti-semitism and the dictatorships of its membership. This goes down the same corrupt path as the panel it replaced, avoiding consideration of real human-rights abusers such as Iran, Cuba, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia. Instead they attack Western democracies by attempting to paint them as evil oppressors when nothing could be further from the truth.

Let's look at Israel as an example, since they have made that their issue. Israel allows full suffrage for its citizens, even the Israeli Arabs. A handful sit in the Knesset, and they have their own political party. Most of the nations on the HRC don't even allow for multiparty democracy, let alone minority rights and freedom of expression. In terms of Israeli actions in the occupied West Bank, certainly some criticism is legitimate, but the overall context of the struggle they face there overwhelmingly shows them as sinned against much more than sinner. The HRC, in either incarnation, has never made an issue of Palestinian terrorism against explicitly civilian targets, making their approach to the conflict completely dishonest.

More than ever, it appears that real reform at the United Nations is impossible. The United States needs to cut funding for the kleptocrats at Turtle Bay and encourage as many of our allies to follow suit -- especially Japan, whose experience in the North Korea standoff might make them open to such a suggestion. When the money stops flowing into their accounts, the UN will get the message much more quickly than they have up to now. Defunding this mess also gives us the moral standing that refusing to enable corruption brings.
"No doubt we'll be able to read about this on page 1 of the NY TImes tomorrow."

Kurdistan? Kosovo? Totten Vacuums Out The Memory Hole

Click through to Michael's post and RTWT. The quote below should be plenty to make you realize why you must read it. It was turned down by an American newspaper as not being "groundbreaking enough". So of course it's absolutely mesmerizing. And hit the Paypal button and fund him. I just did. Again.

"“We will go to war with Christians against Muslims if the Muslims are on the wrong side," he said. That’s exactly what the Kurds did when they sided with the United States against Saddam Hussein, just as the U.S. sided with Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims against Slobo and his exterminationist regime in Belgrade. This casual comment by Iqbal, a self-identifying Islamist, was perhaps the most poignant refutation of the "clash of civilizations" idea I have yet heard.

Iqbal did turn out to be a bit of a bigot, but not in an anti-Western or anti-American way. “The Arab, he is wild,” he said. “He is not a civilized person.”

I tried to defend Arabs generally. He knew I lived in Beirut at the time, that I had experienced a different side of Arab culture than he had. He smiled patiently while I sat there picking the bones out of my fish and sounding like a self-conscious politically correct American naif. But I wasn't naive. I knew very well what Saddam Hussein and his Baath regime did to the Kurds. Iqbal Ali Muhammad was born in Halabja. He was six years old when the Anfal Campaign reached his home town, when Saddam Hussein doused him and his family with chemical weapons. He still has a hard time breathing when walking up stairs. And he would not let me convince him that most Arabs are more civilized than those who nearly killed him.

Just as I was beginning to think he and his father had no good reason to refer to themselves as Islamists, that the Kurds therefore really - truly! - are different, out came the sadly typical (for the region) paranoid comment: "I think America let Osama bin Laden go free on purpose."

Look, I said. He killed thousands of Americans. We don't let a guy like that get away. Just because we have not killed or captured him yet doesn't mean that's by design.

So many Middle Easterners think the United States is so all-powerful that we can do anything at any time, that nothing is beyond our capabilities, that everything wrong is therefore designed to be wrong on purpose.

I explained to him that the U.S. is a powerful country, but it's still just one country. Americans are flawed and limited humans just like the Kurds. He took me seriously, and he was willing to climb down from his crazy position much faster and more completely than I expected.

“It is good that we are having this conversation,” he said. “We can tell each other when we are wrong.”

If all the world’s Islamists were like these mellow Kurdish Islamists there would be no Terror War and there would be no talk of any clash of civilizations. It’s no accident, nor is it merely a convenience, that the Kurds of Iraq are American allies.

Not all Muslims are terrorists, obviously. Most people in the world know that much at least. It’s also apparently true that not all Islamists are terrorists or even extremists. These guys made me rethink my idea of what an Islamist even is. Call me foolish if you like. But Iqbal repeated the same refrain I heard over and over again in Iraqi Kurdistan, something I almost never hear in Arab countries: “Extremes are bad. The middle is better.”

Friday, June 30, 2006

"Commenting on an article about an Internet chat room used by the wives of the Canadian terror subject, Cori Dauber @ RantingProfs writes: “I wish everyone who’s convinced that Islamist terrorism is a response to American policies would take a look at this, because some of the ugliest comments are reserved for Canada itself, “that filthy country,” as one of the young women would only call it, the country that gave her family a place to come when they were frustrated by the conservatism and discrimination against immigrants they found in Saudi Arabia, ironically.”"

REPRISE: The Local Root Cause

Speaking of walls, that makes it a good time to reprise one of my all-time classics:

As I was slowing for the stoplight, I noticed that the car in front of me had a “Defend Freedom, Defeat Bush” bumper sticker from sloppily taped to the inside of the back window. Ah yes, it’s almost election time and the swing voters might remember leftists in a negative light this November if “Bush = Hitler” bumper stickers keep proliferating. Time to fake center.

After all, leftists have such appreciation for the mental acuity of the rest of us.

Speaking of mental acuity, I remembered my drive home from dinner the night before with the boys noticing the slightly scruffy van ahead plastered with an impressively large assortment of unusually smallish bumper stickers. I realized it would cause me to take out a skinny tree or three if I was going to try to read them all -- I love the boys dearly so I passed. But in largest type popped “FREE TIBET”. I agree with that one by the way.

Now -– guilty as confessed -- I couldn’t read them all but idled to speculate that I could also probably find an “ISRAELI NAZIS SHOULD TEAR DOWN THEIR ILLEGAL WALL” in there somewhere if I faltered into in an unsafe enough mood to really gander.

Why this errant thought? Because I recalled that the recent travesty of a ruling by the “international tribunal” at the Hague against the Israeli defensive wall was issued by the President of the court, a Mr. Shi Jiuyong. Did I mention yet that it’s the Chinese that have their iron boot on the throat of Tibet?

To be fair there’s at least, oh, a 10% chance that the van’s driver is a supporter of the Israeli wall – by the way one of the few ideas that all ends of the political spectrum in Israel are agreed on. Did I mention that Israel is an actual democracy?

By this point you’re thinking, “What’s happened to Gronlund? Why is he now after the Chinese instead of the French? And why all the local observations?” No worries, you’ll yet be rewarded.

It turns out that local Colorado events are far more important than you thought. In fact, a key “root cause” of “why they hate us” is actually local. Amazingly, it’s located just up the road in Greeley!


That “wha-huh?” would be the six-month visit Egyptian Islamist writer Sayid Qtub – one of Osama’s and Hezbollah’s key spiritual godfathers – made a little over 50 years ago to what’s now UNC Greeley. He suffered the grievous injury during his visit of attending a church dance where upon the playing of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” he famously (well, to radical Islamists anyway) wrote “The room became a confusion of feet and legs: arms twisted around hips; lips met lips; chests pressed together.”

It was just too much for his tiny, misogyny-soaked brain -- he vowed to devote his life to Islamic fundamentalism. Interestingly, W had barely been born at the time.

Luckily, Qtub wasn’t visiting Las Vegas instead of our local 50’s “Church Lady” crowd or the Jihad may have acquired an even more frenetic pace. Did I forget to mention Paris?

Will the left address the Islamo-fascist’s real “root causes” by slamming suffocating black sacks over our wives and little girls? Who’ll then be exposed as the real Hitlers? (No scare quotes required.)

So it’s time for me to order up some bumper stickers. On the left goes “W”. On the right goes “FREE TIBET”. In the middle I’ll place my own: “actually will”.

And another below: “Greeley, Colorado: Sinfully Fun”.
"The Israelis have now arrested sixty-some Hamas officials and threaten to try them for terrorism. No doubt many of them could be convicted, but the obvious intention here is to put pressure to obtain the release of Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped soldier. The problem with the Israeli strategy is this: Maybe the officials won't want to go home. Where would you prefer to spend the rest of your life - Gaza or an Israeli prison? (I report; you decide.)"
"Interestingly, while waiting on hold, a voice came on, letting me know that my phone call might be monitored by Times management. But of course, that's for a higher purpose. It's been a very effective counter-subscriber program. It will allow them to come up with a new line in the script for when subscribers call in threatening to arrest their editors for treason."
"What!? Egypt has built a big scary wall to protect themselves from their brothers, the noble, oppressed Palestinians? Somebody call Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, quick!"

Thursday, June 29, 2006

NYeT! THE 911 CO-CHAIRS KNOW NOTHING!: "What I wanted to understand: what would terrorists and those who wish the US harm know now, with the Friday disclosure of the program, that they wouldn't have already known from the first few weeks after 9/11 when President Bush announced that the administration would do everything it could to get all data from every bank around the world.

Kean said that when he was briefed by the Treasury Department on the program, "I was told very few people knew about this facility," which provides transaction processing services for over 7,000 financial organizations located in 194 countries worldwide.

"I was told that very few financial houses in this country knew about it; it was not well known even by people in banking," Kean said. "The terrorists didn't know the financial transactions went through this one group. Treasury told me, this was a method of financial tracking that people didn't understand, that nobody knew this was how things were done. Top-notch people in the US didn't even know."

"The second thing is that it took a long time to get this program set up. SWIFT is not US-controlled; we had to persuade them to cooperate, convince them that this was so important to the war on terrorism. It was a great coup when all these other countries agreed to go along."
"Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal - operating from his headquarters in Damascus -- ordered the raid in which Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. Meshaal, and pretty much every other terrorist leader other than Usama bin Laden, operate from Syria with impunity because Bashar Assad's Syria - the Syria he inherited from his father, and which has been on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979 - is entirely stable. He has no fear that through American or Israeli action his support for terrorism will be interrupted. From Syria money, weapons and terrorists flowed into Iraq for months before and ever since the American invasion of 2003.

Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that Meshaal - even in Syria - was a target for Israeli action. We should encourage Israel to strike into Syria, and not just to capture or kill Meshaal. Destabilizing Syria, and thus destabilizing its support for terrorism in Israel and Iraq is the goal. If anyone chooses to equate "destabilization" with "regime change", we should do nothing to encourage or dissuade them. It's time to put the terrorist genie back in the bottle. If the genie won't comply, we may soon have to smash the bottle all to pieces.
"Until he kills you, you don’t have a case."
"Today's Supreme Court ruling seems to me a remarkable point in the development of a kind of quasi-sovereignty for non-state organizations.

Were there to develop an Anti-Qaeda force, a private military to pursue Al Qaeda and win the war on its own terms, then their members would also have the Geneva Conventions apply to them, were they ever to be apprehended or detained by the US, yes? In other words, if the Geneva Convention now applies to a non-state that is a non-signatory in the eyes of the US, does it not then apply to ALL non-states that are non-signatories?
"The economy sprang out of a year-end rut and zipped ahead in the opening quarter of this year at a 5.6 percent pace, the fastest in 2 1/2 years and even stronger than previously thought. The new snapshot of gross domestic product for the January-to-March period exceeded the 5.3 percent growth rate estimated a month ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The upgraded reading — based on more complete information — matched economists' forecasts.The stronger GDP figure mostly reflected an improvement in the country's trade deficit, which was much less of a drag than previously estimated."

Monday, June 26, 2006

Did I forget to mention that you can get away with well paid treason in this country? Oh, yes I did. It's blackmail too...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Mohammad Amin Al-Husseini Comes Home To Roost

"The Israelis may not be alone in marching through Gaza and the West Bank."

Amin would be proud of his lunatic progeny. The have learned everything from him. And nothing from civilization.

UPDATE: And why is this not on NYeT/Reuters/blahblahblah? Why because it might persuade someone that they're not "just like us". And we can't have that of course...
UNFORTUNATELY this is starting to feel like it's reality. A very, very dangerous reality:

"The left continues to undermine national security in the most despicable, cynical way. I'm quite sure the reasonable liberals at the NYT and WaPo know full well that programs like this are absolutely vital, and their secrecy is likewise vital. However, they have made the most anti-American and evil sort of decision: While tools like this are vital for saving American lives, they will not permit any Republican President to use them. Only Democratic Presidents are permitted to employ the full panoply of powers for protecting American lives.

It's blackmail, pure and simple. Either let a Democrat into the White House, or we will continue to sabotage American security and, in effect, kill Americans. We will keep secrets when a Democrat is in office, but not a Republican. So we offer the American people a choice: Let the politicians we favor run the country, or we will help Al Qaeda murder you."

Good Luck ...

with that anti-terrorism thing:

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NYeT. On the other side.

(HT Michelle)