Saturday, November 18, 2006

"If you missed it on CNN last night, you can watch Glenn Beck’s Exposed: The Extremist Agenda right here. This segment receives my ringing endorsement. Some of it shocked even me, and I think I’m pretty well versed in the mystical and religious teachings of Islam. Beck’s segment delves into the rampant propaganda in the Middle East - the words, images, and mystical superstitions that are rapidly moving millions of “moderate” Muslims into the Salafi and Jihadi camps.

I have already bought and watched Obsession and Islam: What The West Needs To Know, which you also MUST SEE. I thought this might be a copy-cat production. It is not. It has never-before-seen footage and it is very much worth your time to watch.

Who Said This?

"First he incites war, then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war, not without calling God to witness the honesty of his attack." --Do you know who said this?

Anyone paying attention to politics circa 2006 would reasonably guess that it's a quote from some famous Democrat about George Bush. But it isn't -- the answer is here at the end of the second paragraph.

Did that shake you up a bit? If you hate George Bush and this didn't phase you at all, then it's a reasonable guess that you're going to hate me too. I think George Bush is a liberal. If you're a conservative and didn't know this either, wake up and smell the coffee. Eric Blair would quite literally have no words to describe the slickly marketed Orwellian Fascifistic, Gramscian cultural nightmare we've become trapped in. Why weren't you drilled on that quote by Junior High? It's only critical perspective on the most devastating war in history (well, yet anyway).

Maybe because fascism is both different, more dangerous and still alive somewhere "your betters" want you to be distracted from looking? You do understand psychological projection?

This post will hold the #2 position on the blog for a long while -- the links here need to be pondered over and over ... until you stand up, turn off the TV and break the bonds of the "it's not cool to be smart" culture they want to keep you enslaved in.

That Pesky Rushdie Again

"Finally, soon after Khomeini’s fatwa, there appeared this letter in The Observer in Britain: “Salman Rushdie speaks for me. Mine is a voice that has not yet found expression in newspaper columns; it is the voice of those who are born Muslims but wish to recant in adulthood, yet are not permitted to, on pain of death. Someone who does not live in an Islamic society cannot imagine the sanctions—both self-imposed and external—that militate against expressing religious disbelief. ‘I don’t believe in God’ is an impossible public utterance, even among family and friends. So we hold our tongues, those of us who doubt.”"
"Finally, soon after Khomeini’s fatwa, there appeared this letter in The Observer in Britain: “Salman Rushdie speaks for me. Mine is a voice that has not yet found expression in newspaper columns; it is the voice of those who are born Muslims but wish to recant in adulthood, yet are not permitted to, on pain of death. Someone who does not live in an Islamic society cannot imagine the sanctions—both self-imposed and external—that militate against expressing religious disbelief. ‘I don’t believe in God’ is an impossible public utterance, even among family and friends. So we hold our tongues, those of us who doubt.”"
"The Democrats have their best political cycle in 12 years, and conclude that the way to start off is electing a Speaker and Majority Leader who don't just hate each other, they won't even return phone calls.

The Republicans have their worst political cycle in 12 years, and conclude that everything's fine, there's no problem, and they should just stay the course. [ One more time just for emphasis ;) As I've said before to be an equal opportunity offender: We have the witless versus the perfidious mediated by the cynical narcissists. And it's 1938 again. If not later. -ed. ]

And You Should Be Able To Get The Main Post Also...

"I think the thing that really, really pisses me off is the appropriation of the "canary" metaphor for the Lebanese. For years, I've heard the theory that Jews are like canaries in coal mines -- when it starts getting bad for Jews in a country or region, it's going to be bad for everyone else soon. It's an observation that's tended to stand the test of time, and the notion of applying it to a country that's allowed itself to become a base for attacks on Jews time and time again is more than a little repugnant.

But not that unexpected. To simultaneously deny the suffering of the Jews while accusing them of perpetrating the very same acts is one of anti-semitism's oldest tricks. Witness how Iran simultaneously denies the historic fact of the Holocaust, while promising a new one. Or the constant Nazi imagery in anti-Israeli propaganda, where the Jews are seen as the Nazis. Or the... well you get the idea.

Those Pesky Numbers

"I have read estimates of up to 800 BILLION barrels of oil in the Green River Basin in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado.

The San Juan plateau in the Four Corners region has over 100 TRILLION cubic feet of natural gas. It's also the world's largest uranium field.

There are trillions more cubic feet of gas off our coasts.

Alberta has almost as much oil as Saudi Arabia.

Add in ANWR, the Gulf of Mexico, and the outer shelf, and you see we really have no reason to import energy sources from the Middle East.

We will never be free to deal with the Saudi-funded Jihad until we end our reliance on "their" oil (which we found, which we pump out of the ground, which we refine, which we transport, which...well you get it).
"Our worst fear is that U.S. withdrawal from Iraq could trigger full civil war between Sunni and Shia forces. But much worse is possible: for such a conflagration is likely to mutate into something larger, with Iran intervening directly to support the Shia, followed by various Arab countries to support the Sunnis. To hope for this would be to repeat the fallacy of the 1930s, when the old fogeys actually hoped for a war in which the Stalin and Hitler regimes would destroy each other. Such fantasies are irresponsible.

But the most immediate prospect of fresh open warfare continues to be around the borders of Israel. The U.N. has, as we expected, turned a blind eye to the rearmament of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, concentrating its energies on protesting Israeli attempts to monitor this rearmament.
Hezbollah’s political power-play within Lebanon has been proceeding in its theatrical way. Meanwhile, Hamas has been building a more powerful rocket inventory in Gaza. Rocket attacks on Israeli schools and other targets in Sderot and the western Negev are stepping up again.

It is the consensus of most intelligent observers that Israel will have no choice but to resume large-scale attacks in Lebanon in the near future, possibly before the end of this year. But it will be a war in which Syria and Iran see better prospects for meddling, knowing that Israel’s security guarantees from the U.S. are in a state of flux, and that Israel is thus now easier to isolate.

Gloom and doom make good sense, under these circumstances. Despair never does. As the late Abba Eban, once Israel’s foreign minister, used to say, “History teaches us that men and women behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.” As he didn’t add, this is invariably after the prospective catastrophe has vastly increased in scale.

Warren on the A.D.D. of Puerile Fascifism

"But look at Iraq. The U.S. and allies invaded to remove Saddam Hussein, and with any luck, install a functioning democracy, as a light to lighten the Arab world. What they found, only a little beneath the surface of the nominal secular Baathism they displaced, was an enemy motivated by religious fanaticism, willing to cooperate with any devil who offers himself against the “Great Satan” -- in this case, the very Sunni “Al Qaeda in Iraq” with the very Shia ayatollahs of Iran, to foment a civil war against their fellow-Iraqi Shia, whom the ayatollahs are also supplying. With whom do we make peace?

“With the ayatollahs!” -- comes the quick response from the old school of diplomacy, whose principle of analysis might be caricatured: “First find your enemy, and then charm him to death.” But Iran is only vying for leadership of the international jihad. The allies knocked down Saddam, and Zarkawi popped up. Neutralize the ayatollahs, and other aspirants will take their place.

In the moments just before the Congressional mid-term election, the New York Times did a big splash excoriating the Bush administration for having published captured Iraqi nuclear documents, that could be useful for Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. This was of course designed to hurt the Republicans in the election, as much as possible. Since the paper had previously given much play to the argument, “Bush lied about Iraq’s development of WMD, as a pretext for invasion,” the breach of logic was exceptionally sharp. Yet understandable, because the irrational begets the irrational. They think, “Get rid of Bush and all our problems are over.”
"Some argued that the GOP would have been better off dumping the Boehner-Blunt "old guard" in favor of the "reformists" Pence and Shadegg. But hey, who better to lead the GOP minority than the men who helped create it?"
"Because fewer refining processes are necessary with oil shale than with crude oil, the final product is a higher quality fuel at a lower price, Aizenshtat said.

The company estimates it will consume 6 million tons of oil shale and 2 million tons of refinery waste each year, for an annual production of 3 million tons of product.

It would cost about $17 to produce a barrel of synthetic oil at the Hom Tov facility, meaning giant profit margins in a world of $45 to $60 per barrel crude. Yearly earnings are forecasted to be between $159 million and $350 million, Shahal said.

Israel has 15 billion tons of oil shale reserves. Jordan, on the other hand, has about 25 billion tons, and the oil shale in Jordan is of higher quality. Shahal met with Jordanian Energy Minister Azmi Khreisat earlier this year, to discuss setting up a plant there.

The United States also has a giant reserve, mostly in Colorado, and Hom Tov sees potential for its patented process there.

UPDATE: More detail here. Sounds very promising. The real issue may be figuring out how to survive the price war that OPEC will launch to keep it from succeeding. Well, if NYC and large parts of the M.E. aren't sheets of glass long before then...
"Think of it as a chance to confront fascism in 1920, if we had only had the guts to do it," Abizaid said. ... If we don’t have guts enough to confront this ideology today, we’ll go through World War Three tomorrow."
"This is what the argument that the enemy will pursue following a withdrawal from Iraq really means. It will send the signal that even relatively weak powers like Syria and Iran can openly destabilize their neighbors and attack the United States without any real fear that their regimes will be changed. And inevitably they will do so again and again. Perhaps the most cruel aspect of proposals to "withdraw" from Iraq without decisively winning is that the word is really a euphemism for a change of venue. Using the word "withdrawal" falsely implies a choice between war and peace when it is really a choice between war and more war."

Friday, November 17, 2006

"So what exactly is the next war in the Middle East probably going to be about? It will be about Israel going back into Lebanon and into Gaza to temporarily stop being rocketed from places from which they have withdrawn. By all means buy tickets for friendly Iraqis out Baghdad. But to play safe, make it round trip."
"Liberals tend to specialize in giving away other peoples' money."
"So what exactly is the next war in the Middle East probably going to be about? It will be about Israel going back into Lebanon and into Gaza to temporarily stop being rocketed from places from which they have withdrawn. By all means buy tickets for friendly Iraqis out Baghdad. But to play safe, make it round trip."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"None of the various schemes put forward in our public debate to “solve” Iraq can work — although much can be done to improve conditions — because they all inevitably assume that Iraq can be “solved” by itself. That includes the call for more troops on the ground. Even if you believe that those troops will dramatically improve security, it still doesn’t address the central question: can the people of the region believe we are going to win? They won’t believe it until they see us waging war effectively, which means we have to be able to threaten Iran and Syria with defeat.

It requires an Iran/Syria policy. Iran declared war against us 27 years ago and has waged it relentlessly, but we have yet to respond. It is astonishing how many diplomats and spooks actually believe Syria is a friend, when Assad drinks our blood from the same glass as Khamenei. Serious policies must aim at regime change in Tehran and Damascus. This does not require a military invasion of either country
, but it does require active support for anti-regime political groups, combined with an explicit declaration that we want an end to the tyrannies. As a starter, it would be nice to have the Justice Department indict the Iranian leaders, following the example of Argentina, which just issued arrest warrants for former president Rafsanjani and his henchmen, who presided over the Hezbollah bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1996.

We do not have great intelligence on Iran, but we do know a lot about the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Iranians, thanks to public-opinion polls conducted by the mullahs themselves. Those polls show upwards of seventy percent of Iranians — that would be 50 million people, mostly younger than 30 — who do not like the regime and want it changed. Those are terrific numbers for us and terrifying numbers for the mullahs, which is why they frantically arrest, torture and kill anyone who openly criticizes them, and why they have destroyed all remnants of free press, and why they are censoring Internet use, satellite-TV access, and cell phones. They, and their Syrian allies, know where their doom lies.
"One thing I've noticed in my frequent contacts with Israel and Israelis (being married to an Israeli) is that the Israeli state managed to severely damage the philanthropic impulse that once dominated Jewish life. A combination of statism taught in public schools, combined with the prevalent (and understandable) idea that one is owed something by the state after years and years of military service, has led many Israelis to conclude, completely contrary to Jewish tradition, that charity and volunteerism is for suckers. You can see how the attitude of folks like Peretz doesn't exactly help."
"“It’s 1938, and Iran is Germany,” Netanyahu said, “and Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs.”

“Believe him and stop him,” Netanyahu added, speaking of Ahmadinejad. “This is what we must do. Everything else pales before this.”

Responding to angry Israel civilians who had lived in bomb shelters for three weeks this summer, Netanyahu told me he thought Israel must “finish the job” against Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

His successor as Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, ignored his advice.

Tehran’s leaders are betting that the United States fears Iran’s long reach, that we fear Iran’s ability to inflict pain on U.S. forces in Iraq, and on U.S. allies elsewhere in the Middle East and Europe through terrorist proxies and missile attacks.

If Iran has succeeded in deterring the United States of America even before it has acquired nuclear weapons, what kind of reach will they have once they can field a nuclear arsenal?

We still have options other than a military strike. As I have advocated many times in this space, I believe our best option is to develop a comprehensive plan to help the Iranian people to get rid of this wretched regime, before it causes more harm to them, to Iran’s neighbors, and to the world at large.

But the one option we do not have is to do nothing.

The nuclear clock is ticking, as Ahmadinejad himself now admits.

It’s your move, Mr. President.
"There are really only two questions:

1. Are they really willing to die to the extent that they indicate?

2. Are we really willing to kill them?

Actually, there's only one question.
"A man was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after officials say they found him carrying more than $78,000 in cash and a laptop computer containing information about nuclear materials and cyanide."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Earlier this week, in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Bush threatened Iran with “isolation” if it continues plowing forward in its nuclear program. This must have drawn cackles over at the crow’s nest in Tehran. President Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, promises to defeat the United States, and assures the world that Israel will soon disappear. He gleefully horrifies even the most anti-Bush Europeans. He brushes Security Council resolutions aside and insults the United Nations. International investors are pulling out. If Ahmadinejad is at all worried about isolation, he has a rather queer way of showing it. Security Council Resolution 1696 ordered Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. Iran’s decision to ignore the resolution — which it is treaty-bound to obey — essentially abrogated the U.N. Charter, and should have been considered an act of war by those countries it has declared to be its enemies, chiefly Israel and the United States.

But today, nearly two decades after the end of the Cold War, the United States is clueless about where the nation’s new defensive perimeter lies. Neither we nor our enemies have any idea where we will stand and fight.
"The last few days ... the reincarnation of Trent Lott, the rise of Murtha, etc., etc. ... has cemented in my mind that anyone who has the remotest confidence in either of our major political parties has cement for brains. Forget the best and the brightest. The leadership of both parties is dominated by an almost willfully constructed collection of the dull, talentless and (often enough) corrupt. Most would be eminently unqualified for a real job that required serious education and, especially, creativityand original thought. Many aren't even good at public speaking and communicatiing - that baseline second mother's milk of politics. And here we are at one of the most critical passes in human history with a passel of Third World countries ruled by despots and religious fanatics about to obtain nuclear weapons (if they don't have them already)."
"With Iraqi society decomposing - or, at best, reverting to a medieval state with cell phones - the debate in Washington over whether to try to save the day by deploying more troops or withdrawing some is of secondary relevance.

What really matters is what our forces are ordered - and permitted - to do. With political correctness permeating our government and even the upper echelons of the military, we never tried the one technique that has a solid track record of defeating insurgents if applied consistently: the rigorous imposition of public order.

That means killing the bad guys. Not winning their hearts and minds, placating them or bringing them into the government. Killing them.
"BUT I DON’T GRADE ON A CURVE. I find it almost inconceivable that our most highly ranking elected officials are so intellectually incurious that they haven’t bothered getting themselves up to speed on the most pressing issue of our day.

The name Newt Gingrich has come up a lot during these conference calls. Whatever Gingrich’s faults were, he was a creative and active thinker. Most of the congressmen have gone out of their way to praise Newt and his legacy. Somehow I don’t see Newt educating himself on the most important issue of our time by merely consuming the spoon-feedings doled out by the known incompetents who populate our intelligence agencies.
"How would you like to be one of Iraq's handful of relatively honest cops knowing that any terrorist or sectarian butcher you bust is going to be back on the block before your next payday? And yeah, they know where you live.

Our "humanity" is cowardice masquerading as morality. We're protecting self-appointed religious executioners with our emphasis on a "universal code of behavior" that only exists in our fantasies. By letting the thugs run the streets, we've abandoned the millions of Iraqis who really would prefer peaceful lives and a modicum of progress.

We're blind to the fundamental moral travesty in Iraq (and elsewhere): Spare the killers in the name of human rights, and you deprive the overwhelming majority of the population of their human rights. Instead of being proud of ourselves for our "moral superiority," we should be ashamed to the depths of our souls.
"It continued: "Just as in one 33-day war more than 50 percent of Israel was destroyed, and the hope of its supporters for the continued life of this regime was broken, it is likely that in the next battle, the second half will also collapse." [ Yes, certainly. They must be destroyed since they're evil and have nuclear weapons to oppress us with. But of course they won't use them in their death throws (because the Israeli's are actually just an external prop to keep the Iranians under the thumb of the Mullahs). Or is it that they believe they will win a nuclear war? That's what the Iranian leaders like Rafsanjani have said in public of course. But we refuse to believe they're insane. Just like Chamberlain thought Hitler was a fine negotiating partner... -ed. ] "
"What irony. One of the left's main knocks on President Bush over the years is that he's been too blinded by loyalty and that his administration has suffered from cronyism. Yet here you have the new Speaker of the House, whose drapes haven't even been measured or hung yet, pulling out all the stops to install an ethically-challenged pal for Majority Leader out of blind loyalty and passing over another perfectly competent member (Jane Harman) out of pure pique to turn over the Chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee to a man who was impeached for taking bribes. Not the most auspicious of beginnings, I'd say."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"When Saddam was found guilty and condemned to death, the Sunni Arab world was shocked. While Saddam was not well liked in the Sunni Arab world, he was admired for taking on the Iranians and Americans, and surviving. Plus, Saddam had a flair for publicity, and managed to portray himself as an Arab hero. So the thought of executing him brought forth outrage (largely unheard in the West), that also fueled the idea that the United States was a secret ally of Iran, against the Arabs. Now, of course this sounds absurd to Westerners, but it seems real enough in the Arab world (which is over 80 percent Sunni). Iraq has long been a key bulwark in defending the Arab world, and especially the "Arab Oil," from Iranian aggression. Now, because of the United States, it has come to this. The chief defender of Arabs against Iranians, Saddam Hussein, is to be hung like a common criminal. Saddam's Sunni Arab supporters are being driven out of Iraq. And now the Americans, tired of the casualties, are going to pull out of Iraq, leaving it a new province of Iran."
"The principal fascination of watching train wrecks and other predictable disasters is the foreknowledge of the impact before the actual collision actually happens. In the moments leading up to the crash the event almost seems preventable. Occasionally the onlookers will even shout, though they know the shouts are futile.

The amazing thing is how many of the actors who will soon be capering all over the wreckage of the battlefield, looking very solemn and concerned and pointing their fingers with trembling self-righteousness, are at this very moment seemingly indifferent to the gathering storm.
"Criticizing the international community in his GA speech for not acting more forcefully in trying to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power - "No one cared then and no one seems to care now," he said, again drawing on the Nazi parallel - Netanyahu warned that Tehran's nuclear and missile program "goes way beyond the destruction of Israel - it is directed to achieve world-wide range. It's a global program in the service of a mad ideology."

Large sections of the international community, he said, also misunderstood the nature of radical Islam and its role in the Mideast conflict. "What happens in Iran affects what happens in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not the other way round," he said.
"We are seeing, I think, the systematic rehabilitation of Saddam Hussein's reputation. It is fast becoming the conventional wisdom on the left that Saddam was a benign, progressive dictator--sort of an Arab Fidel Castro. The airbrushing continues, perhaps, with the claim that Iraq never did have WMDs.

Still, it would be quite remarkable if the Danish intelligence service really said that Saddam didn't never had WMDs, since he used them repeatedly, both in the war against Iran and against his own citizens, and U.N. inspectors supervised the destruction of Saddam's "extensive CW [chemical weapons] arsenal" before vacating Iraq in 1998, while leaving large quantities of chemical and biological agents unaccounted for, according to UNMOVIC reports.

I suppose we could take a perverse satisfaction in Denmark's intelligence agencies being even more in the dark than our own,
but I suspect the error is Editor and Publisher's, and represents just one more step in the MSM's attempted rehabilitation of Saddam Hussein.
"Reasonably, the world is now assessing the US through the prism of its non-action against Iran and North Korea rather than through the prism of Iraq. And the consequence of the view that Iraq was a deviation from a norm of US passivity is nothing less than the complete breakdown of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty.

Last week the Sunday New York Times reported that Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE have all announced their intention to build civilian nuclear reactors.
Last Tuesday, in an official visit to China, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reportedly signed an agreement with Chinese leader Hu Jintao for China to build nuclear reactors in Egypt.

It is not hard to see the lesson of these developments. As the Iraq campaign shows clearly, while the price of taking action to prevent rogue regimes from acquiring nuclear weapons is high, the price of not acting is far higher.

Relating this wisdom to Iran earlier this year, Senator John McCain said, "There is only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option [to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons], and that is a nuclear-armed Iran."

The US and its allies are paying a high price for having successfully prevented Saddam from getting nuclear bombs
. The price that Israel or the US, or both, will pay to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear bombs is liable to be even higher. Yet the alternative to paying that price will be suffering, destruction and death on an unimaginable scale.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Steyn: We're All Spaniards Now

"As it is, we're in a very dark place right now. It has been a long time since America unambiguously won a war, and to choose to lose Iraq would be an act of such parochial self-indulgence that the American moment would not endure, and would not deserve to. Europe is becoming semi-Muslim, Third World basket-case states are going nuclear, and, for all that 40 percent of planetary military spending, America can't muster the will to take on pipsqueak enemies. We think we can just call off the game early, and go back home and watch TV.

It doesn't work like that. Whatever it started out as, Iraq is a test of American seriousness. And, if the Great Satan can't win in Vietnam or Iraq, where can it win? That's how China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Venezuela and a whole lot of others look at it. "These Colors Don't Run" is a fine T-shirt slogan, but in reality these colors have spent 40 years running from the jungles of Southeast Asia, the helicopters in the Persian desert, the streets of Mogadishu. ... To add the sands of Mesopotamia to the list will be an act of weakness from which America will never recover.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"I entirely agree that it would be utter, disgusting folly to try to sell the American public on the theory that we could negotiate anything decent with the mullahs. But the whole theory comes from an alternate universe, since we have been trying to do just that for 27 years, more or less non-stop. I have been writing about it for years now. It was the great dream of Richard Haas and Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell in the first Bush Administration, and it failed. The Iranians want us dead or dominated, they don't want to reach some kind of agreement, honorable or dishonorable.

Read Pollack's long discussion in his book The Persian Puzzle. He was involved in efforts to make a deal for years and years, and it was just impossible. He finally concluded that the Iranians don't want a deal.
For the deal makers from Texas and Indiana to suggest that there is any reason to scrape their knees in Tehran and Damascus in order to get their lips onto the mullahs' slippers is ridiculous as well as feckless. Finally, no less a "realist" than General Scowcroft himself tried to exchange thoughts with Iranian President Ahmadi-Nezhad a few weeks back, and came out saying there was no hope.