Saturday, June 23, 2007

Not A Hoot

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There is nothing I know of that compares with the thrill of being in the bush amidst the African wildlife, and I have so many friends now in central and southern Africa that it is really a third home for me (second home is Italy). So many wonderful people, living in such awful misery, in such a fabulous landscape.

The “civilized world” doesn’t give a hoot for Africa or Africans. Every now and then there is an emotional embrace for some worthy cause or other, such as Darfur, but for the most part those campaigns are conducted by the feel-gooders, who shy away from the simple, straightforward methods that will actually work. Darfur can be saved quite simply, by destroying the helicopters and small fixed-wing planes used by the northerners for their attacks.

And then there’s Zimbabwe, the most obvious candidate for regime change I think I’ve ever seen. A crazed dictator openly destroying his country and his people, but nobody gives a damn.

Wow -- Brigitte Gabriel Is Amazing!

We are in for the fight of our lives.
That we have not yet had another terrorist attack in the United States
is remarkable, but it will happen. Al Queda keeps its promises.

How do I know this? I was born in Lebanon and
raised as a Christian. When the Lebanese Civil War broke out, our
family, and our Maronite community came under vicious attack by Islamic
extremists. They promised to destroy us, and as you know from the
recent war in Lebanon, the country is now nearly Islamic.

I was nearly killed by a mortar. Our home was destroyed. We lived in a
bomb shelter for seven years. Most of my childhood friends were killed.
That’s how I know.

We must make the connection between individual
safety and a strong national defense, increase civic preparation and
political responsibility, and train all Americans to become defenders
of our community safety and national security.

I just returned from taking the family to see Brigitte Gabriel speak at the Rez Church in Loveland. If you EVER get a chance to listen to her just drop everything and go!

A truly heart-wrenching life story with a high energy delivery and a compelling warning for America and call to action. It can happen here -- have you forgotten 9/11 already?

Speaking of action, her take in researching activism with the congress-critters is that they view every call or letter to them as representing 1000 people on their couches glued to American Idol but having similar leanings.

What are you waiting for? Get up off the couch! You are a thousand times more powerful than you thought!

Go to her website, donate and buy her book. As she said, if she's willing to risk a bullet -- and make no mistake that she is (and almost died already) -- what is your excuse?

John Has It About Right, But Misses Something Big...

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I am not an immigration absolutist. It may be that some importation of low-skilled workers is appropriate; possibly a guest worker program is a good idea. I have an open mind on these issues. But we need a full, open and thorough debate, not a bill that is cobbled together in secret and hustled through Congress by dead of night. And the various elements of immigration policy should be voted on separately, without the most obviously desirable changes behind held hostage to the most dubious.

I actually think that we'll need to ratchet up our immigration quotas substantially -- especially to take in the refugees as Europe starts to implode under pressure from the Islamists. My estimate for this ranges in the 0-15 year timeframe in fact. A truly major terror event in Europe without similar occurrence here could cause an immigration crisis in fact...

The Poor Aren't On The Iowa Caucus Agenda -- Farmer's Pocketbooks Are...

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MORE ON WHY ETHANOL FUEL is probably a bad idea:

Congress evidently believes that American energy independence depends, in part, on turning massive quantities of food into fuel. The energy bill being debated in the Senate would mandate that 36 billion gallons of ethanol be produced for transport fuel by 2020. President Bush is more or less on board since he proposed a 35 billion gallon mandate in his last State of the Union speech.

on average Americans spend about 10 percent of their incomes on groceries. Doubling that would bring us back to the good old days of the 1950s when families spent about 20 percent of their incomes on food. Doubled food prices would not mean mass starvation for Americans. However, our biofuels frenzy will not only starve oil despots of cash, but it could end up literally starving millions in poor countries.
Glenn ends this one by pointing out that "the world's poor do not participate in Iowa's presidential caucuses." I sympathize as much as anyone that we need to stop funding the Saudis to wipe out western civ. Don't get me wrong.

But does it make sense to starve even more poor around the world to death as a side effect of rising corn prices? Let them eat cake apparently. Hold the tortillas.

Oh, wait. Food is a fungible commodity isn't it? So they won't be able to afford the rising wheat prices either...

Yearning For Dennis?!

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I never thought I'd say this, but the US Congress led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid makes me yearn for the days of Dennis Hastert. And I gather the vast majority of my fellow citizens feel the same way since Congress' approval rating is at an all-time low of 14%! [You could get 14% approval for Attila.-ed. He gets 30%.]

This should give a little pause to those Democratic Party triumphalists who think their crowd is going to waltz into the White House in '08. But that's the least of it. The more important question is why our government is run by such dimwitted mediocrities on both sides of the aisle. I have written before that Silvestre Reyes is the poster child of our Congress - a man who, as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee [sic], couldn't tell the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite. And he's still in office!

Fourth Estate Of Incompetence

It's clear that Hizbollah - like Al Quieda in general, including the forces we're fighting in Iraq - are fighting an information war, and do so consciously.

And, I'll argue, it has an impact.

The perception in the media is, variously, that they are implacable fighters while our soldiers are brutal killers and our efforts harm mostly civilians.

This perception is powerful both in its impact on us and our perception of - and so decisions about - the war, and on their own population who are being asked to decide whether their reaction to Israeli bombs is rage at Hizbollah or Israel.

Or need I mention possibly also the other side?

Poor Polish Taste?

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Polish prime minister, tossed a spanner quixotically into the works this week, by complaining about the proposed new voting arrangements, that would extend Germany’s influence at the expense of Poland’s. He noted that Poland would have a much bigger population, had it not been for the millions of Poles exterminated by Germans in the Second World War. "If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million."

I like this man. He creates trouble for people I dislike. He is among the few European politicians willing to mention the two things you never mention in the company of European politicians: the War, and Europe’s Christian heritage. Neither ever happened in the official view of the “new Europe,” and mentioning them is in the poorest possible taste.

Postman's Ghost Again

My own email inbox easily fills from friends who directly, or more often unconsciously and indirectly, attest to the destructive psychic effects of having to remain constantly “in touch.” We are like little explorers so busy reporting back, that we could never possibly discover anything. Few of us can count the wires that bind us, and fewer have the practical let alone spiritual means to detach ourselves.

Nothing against communications technology in principle; or nothing I will casually admit. My point is rather a development of the one I was making in last Wednesday’s column, about a media world in which everyone is talking, and no one is listening, and what people are saying is increasingly bizarre.

Unlike the ideologues of one stripe or another (especially the environmentalist ideologues), I see no way out of this, except through individual action. And by this, I do not mean political action, but the exact opposite.

Warren On Iran

The demands made today by the diplomatic establishment throughout the West -- that we devote all efforts to maintaining “stability” in the region, and avoiding military commitments -- overlooks the fact that the possibility of stability was lost irretrievably at the end of the 1970s. The Bush administration had no choice but to think again. Turkey I mentioned as the last straw.

How is Hamas tied into all of this? Very simply, as the Iranian-controlled fuse on a powderkeg of extraordinary size. Note, incidentally, that Hezbollah in Lebanon -- the other Iranian proxy by Israel’s borders -- has resumed lobbing the occasional missile into Israel’s north, teasing for a response in its usual murderous way. We can only conclude from this that the ayatollahs of Iran think circumstances increasingly propitious for an explosion large enough to blow both America and Israel out of the region, leaving a soon-to-be nuclear Iran with its thumb on the Gulf chokepoint of the world’s oil.
And it ends so:

This is precisely the ayatollahs' vision of a “new world order,” in which, incidentally, China will be happy to replace the U.S., Europe, and Japan, as the principal consumer of that oil, and perhaps lend some military credibility to the redirection of supply. A world in which Iran will hold all the old American cards, and Israel might not even exist any longer. It is why Iran must be confronted, now.

Remember the the French invasion of the Rhineland after Germany's re-occupation in 1936? I thought not...


The House of Representatives has voted to cut off foreign aid to Saudi Arabia.

I’ll repeat that because it may not sink in right away.

Cut off foreign aid. We’ve been giving millions of dollars to Saudi Arabia. The world’s leading exporter of oil.

Just in case you had any doubts about the irrationality of Leviathan...

State (Department) Of Incompetence

Amir Taheri, writing in the NY Post, notes that the US has moved into the offensive in Iraq all across the military board, but the Iraqi government itself still limps along.

This uneven development is the direct consequence of what Austin Bay has always pointed out. The US has not developed a way of applying all the sources of its national power to the War on Terror. While the military has an "expeditionary" capability, that is to say, the ability to sustain itself and grow in the face of hostile action, neither the aid agencies nor the State Department has any similar capacity. Hence, whether or not it should be so, the principal policy tool has been the US Armed Forces. Not surprisingly, they have gone about doing what they do best. Attacking the enemy and building up a counterpart army. On the other hand, the State Department has from the beginning struggled to equal this feat despite the efforts of dedicated individuals.

Or as the commenters point out -- plausibly on the other side...

When Splinters Are Good

Already we have seen the administration offer $4.4 billion to do what it should have done after 9/11 -- tighten border security. The new slate of amendments also proposes to fix holes in the visa system known since Mohammed Atta exploited them to remain inside the US. These are good ideas, but ones that the administration and Congress should have addressed in the wake of the attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.

The debate has begun to splinter the core coalition that brought the bill to the floor. Jon Kyl took Mel Martinez to task for announcing his intent to amend the bill in a fashion that would weaken the points-based system for immigration the bill imposes. Kyl called Martinez' amendment a "non-starter", indicating that Kyl could move away from the bill just as it comes back to the Senate floor.

Septenthia Disabusal Therapy In Loveland Today -- Come On Down

Cool. Brigitte Gabriel, author of Because They Hate, will be at the Resurrection Fellowship Church in Loveland, CO at 6pm tonight (Saturday, 6/23) and the regular services tomorrow at 8:30 and 10:30am. It looks like you'll need to sit through the full service to get to hear her but it will be worth it! I'm bringing my copy of her book to get it signed.

She has an riveting personal story about the destruction of her childhood home of Lebanon at the hands of the Islamists and how we ignore the spread of Islamism throughout the world and to America (still Septenthia? -- no, remove that question mark) at our peril.

See you there!

Neil Postman Watch

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THOUGHTS ON VIDEO GAME ADDICTION: "If everyone who was addicted to games spent six hours in front of the TV every night, what would we call them? Right: normal."

If you haven't read Postman's "Amusing Ourselves To Death", you need to ASAP. (See the top of the blog here.)

And if you don't have time to -- and especially if you can't remember the last time you tore yourself away from your electronics to read a book -- then you just might be guilty as charged...

You Can Run...

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Al Qaeda is left with fewer places to hide: Anbar Province no longer a safe haven, pressure has increased Baghdad and the hot operations in the belts, and the Shia south is hostile. Ninewa, Kirkuk, and Salahadin, remain as al Qaeda's fall back positions, but Iraqi and U.S. Forces have prepared for this option. Some of the best Iraqi Army units are stationed in the northwest. These are seasoned units that have recently returned from supporting the Baghdad Security Operation.

Luckily we're not fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq. Otherwise, the Dems couldn't spout off all the risibly ignorant, pandering refuse for their sycophants that they do.

The military must be lying to us about any Al Qaeda in Iraq. And of course, all the statements of their leaders like Zawahiri about Iraq being their central front are just bad translations and propaganda.


And oh, yes. The Dems think we can run. But if 9/11 didn't prove to them we can't hide then epic disaster awaits. And perhaps not for long...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ho-Hum Hillary

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A videotape shows New York Sen. Hillary Clinton committing felonies and should be admitted as new evidence in a California civil case, a forthcoming legal brief to be filed by Friday argues.

The tape shows Clinton -- currently the leading Democratic presidential contender -- speaking in 2000 with Peter Paul, a Hollywood mogul, and comic book icon Stan Lee about a massive fundraising event for her 2000 Senate race. Paul spent about $2 million of his own money to produce the event. The legal contribution limit to a candidate then was $2,000.

"The evidence is of that rare type that captures the very commission of a crime, namely, that of knowingly soliciting, coordinating and accepting federal campaign contributions far in excess of the legal limit of $2,000," says the brief to be filed by Paul's attorney with the Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate District arguing in favor of including the tape as evidence.
Of course, I'd be put in prison for a hundred years if I was even in the same solar system as a phone call like this if I was a politician. But in Hillary's case, the evidence will be thrown out of court by a Clinton appointee judge and all the Dems will say it's not relevant since she wasn't convicted. Never mind that you'd be a moron to watch it and still believe she's within a hundred light years of being innocent...

Felony corruption. Nothing to see here. Move along now.

No wonder Congress is down to 14% approval. People are noticing and some are starting to wonder if a democratic republic can function with politicians being held in -- and worse, both parties deserving -- this level of contempt. I have to admit that I am wondering too.

So what do we do? I'm stumped.

As far as I can see, the old saw that "anyone smart enough to president is smart enough not to be" has it nailed. Even if you were charismatic genius incarnate, would you want your family dragged through the personal gossip mudstorm the media routinely creates -- that has become in fact their lifeblood?

The only answer is for good people to re-engage in politics and take the country back. As Orwell says on my masthead: "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious". (And women of course!)

But if we try, we'll get slaughtered like pigs on the altar of the corrupt press by these vicious and corrupt morons. In too many ways, Dostoevsky's "Grand Inquisitor" from Brothers Karamazov has nothing on them. So I don't think the rebellion is going to happen until we're really in danger of losing the country. And by then it may well be too late...

Today's Dhimmi Update

How thoroughly has Spain caved in, in the face of Islamic terror attacks and threats to reconquer “Andalusia?”

So thoroughly that the government is actually considering a proposal to give special preference for Spanish citizenship to the descendants of the Muslim invaders.

And notice how Reuters blithely promotes the Islamic view of the Reconquista, ignoring the jihad and invasion, and summing the history up with the ludicrous statement that King Philip III simply expelled 300,000 people, apparently for no reason.

Blair Bends Britain Into Submission?

At root of this nonsense is, of course, the sheer scale of government. The reason you can’t be allowed to eat an egg is that, because of the lack of real choice in healthcare provision, you’re no longer responsible for the financial consequences of your own actions. If you get heart disease from too much cholesterol, the State, collectively known as the NHS, will have to treat you; and that costs the State more and more money so the State will have to stop you from doing it in the first place.


This is the self-perpetuating logic behind the unstoppable momentum of the expanding State. The bigger it grows, the more it intrudes into our lives, and the more it intrudes into our lives, the more dependent we become on it. Education is the same. Our great universities are struggling to compete in a global market because they are hamstrung by the State. They are dependent on central government for their funding; but that funding is insufficient to meet the needs of global competition. But because they need government money for what they do, they cannot break free.

Leviathan is now so large that, outside London, half the population is dependent – either through public sector jobs or benefits – on taxes. Its power is so large that it has bent us all into submission. It has produced a culture in which no one needs to take responsibility for anything because someone else is always there to back us up.

Blair mostly got the terror threat. But he was blind to both the threat of internal jihad and leviathan itself...

Thursday, June 21, 2007


One should read about the life of Sayyid Qutb, intellectual architect of the Muslim Brotherhood that we now apparently wish to embrace. He hated the very thought of Jews, though he had seen few if any in Egypt, and was only to encounter them in any real number in America. This middle-class Egyptian—subsidized generously by his own government, treated well and embraced by Americans—grew to detest the West for its liberality, its equality of the sexes, its material wealth, its friendship with the Jews.

In other words, his wretched life reminds us that envy, jealousy, anger at lost stature, these primordial emotions fuel jihadism. They may be enhanced by general misery, acerbated by statist failures and authoritarian governments, but ultimately the nihilist rages are attributable to the lethal mix of Middle East tribalism and Islam’s utter failure to account for and live with modernity.

Petraeus Awakening

Who was behind the kidnapping of five Britons in Baghdad last month and
what is being done to free them?

"We think that it is the same network that killed our soldiers in Kerbala
in an operation back in January. We killed the head of that network less
than a week before the operation that detained those British civilians. It
was already planned and carried out by his followers. It is a secret cell of
Jaish al-Mahdi (Mahdi Army) not all of which are under control of Moqtadr
al-Sadr. That is the assessment at this point."

“They are not rank and file Jaish al-Mahdi. They are trained in Iran, equipped
with Iranian (weapons), and advised by Iran. The Iranian involvement here we
have found to be much, much more significant that we thought before. They
have since about the summer of 2004 played a very, very important role in
training in Iran, funding, arming."


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My biggest concern about allowing millions of illegal immigrants to remain in this country, while permitting many more to enter via a guest worker program--or further illegality, which, having been forgiven once again, will no doubt be encouraged--is its impact on the wages of relatively unskilled American labor.
This subject, and others that bear on the wisdom of legitimizing 12 million or more illegals, and importing many more low-skilled workers for the indefinite future, need to be fully and candidly debated. So far, this has not happened.

This is a topic that requires thorough analysis and debate. The fact that the administration's eminent economists can only find a net positive effect on our economy and on our fiscal future--although not on our least-skilled workers--by conflating legal and illegal immigrants, Ph.D.s and roofers, does not suggest that we should be in any hurry to enact "reform" legislation of the sort now being proposed.

That Would Be An Understatement, Fred...

Of course, every silver lining seems to have a cloud; and this cloud is that CAIR's spending is running about $3 million a year. They’ve opened 25 new chapters in major cities across the country even as their dues shrank to a pittance. The question is; who’s funding CAIR?

CAIR's not saying. The New York Times earlier this year reported that the backing is from "wealthy Persian Gulf governments" including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Obviously, we have a bigger problem here than the one with CAIR.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

They Sent It Back?

Georgian customs officers sent a car carrying a mixture of plutonium and beryllium back into Azerbaijan after foiling an attempt to smuggle the materials over the border, Georgian television reported.

Customs officials found the materials, which can be used in nuclear bombs, in what appeared to be a routine check as the car was driven over the border from Azerbaijan, the Imedi television station reported.

"Georgian customs detected a high level of radiation," Imedi reported.

Move along now. Nothing to see here...

Patterson Again...

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The opposite occurs when the sun is less bright. More cosmic rays are able to get through to Earth's atmosphere, more clouds form, and the planet cools more than would otherwise be the case due to direct solar effects alone. This is precisely what happened from the middle of the 17th century into the early 18th century, when the solar energy input to our atmosphere, as indicated by the number of sunspots, was at a minimum and the planet was stuck in the Little Ice Age. These new findings suggest that changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales.

Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ugly Ostrich Reality

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The ugly reality today is that Tehran and Damascus are on the offensive, and right now the United States seems to lack any comprehensive strategy to respond. These rogue states continue to send weapons and terrorists over the border into Iraq to kill and maim American soldiers and Iraqis who want to live in peace. Tehran is helping to arm its onetime arch-enemy, the Taliban of Afghanistan, to enable it to kill and maim as many American soldiers and Afghans as possible. Damascus has apparently provided safe passage to some jihadists moving from Iraq to northern Lebanon in an effort to foment terror there. And now, for good measure, the axis's allies have just staged a coup in Gaza in order to destroy their "democratic" opposition -- the Fatah organization formed by the late Yasser Arafat and now headed by Mr. Abbas -- who Washington (and regrettably, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in particular) and Jerusalem have been desperately trying to prop up.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's Never Wise To Satirize The Episcopal Church...

With the benefit of hindsight, it should have been obvious that the first female imam would be an Episcopalian...

First They Came For The Jews...

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"The masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church," he said. "Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy Book, computers and other equipment."

Musalam expressed outrage over the burning of copies of the Bible, noting that the gunmen destroyed all the Crosses inside the church and school. "Those who did these awful things have no respect for Christian-Muslim relations," he said.

He estimated damages at more than $500,000. "Those who see the destruction will realize how bad this attack was," he said. "Christians have been living in peace and security with Muslims for many years, but those who attacked us are trying to sabotage this relationship."

This is an important story that should receive more attention. Jihad is not "just" against Jews.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mile Hi Nanny

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By now, you've probably heard about the trial balloon Green Program that Mayor Hickenlooper has been spending his time on. Good to know that the next elections will run smoothly, the snow will be picked up efficiently, that traffic lights will be timed non-randomly, and that 8th Avenue between Speer and the viaduct won't need a 4WD vehicle to navigate. (The poor Prii that Mayor Hickenlooper wants to populate the streets of Denver with would be rattled apart on that stretch of road.)

Ah, the Nanny State! So here are few suggestions that our elected officials should certainly be willing to go along with:

  1. There shall be no use of private jets for official travel when commercial service is available; this is a purely green idea.
  2. Reiumbursement for auto travel on official business for all city employees shall be based on the cost-per-mile of the highest-mileage car available on the market.
California dreamin' keeps infecting my state...

An Act Of Genuine

I listen to the Democratic congressional leaders and I hear them talking about how many (House and Senate) seats they're going to pick up because of this war.... I listened to one of their presidential candidates talk about that this is a phony war, the war on terror. This is what passes for policy today in the Democratic Party."
Can anybody imagine President Bush telling Michael Moore so publicly that the political system he admires in Cuba is nothing but a brutal tyranny? Thompson talked about Castro's abysmal treatment of Cuban journalists, a direct shot at the hypocrisy of the "video-journalist" Moore. The fact that Moore had no memorable response says it all; Thompson scored a direct hit and everybody knew it.

Many of us who loathe Michael Moore cheered silently. Thompson has slyly asserted himself as the easy going but tough guy of the right who also happens to be media savvy, more John Wayne than Reagan. And oddly enough in American politics, it all strikes many of us as genuine

And More: Samson In LaLa Land

The Samson Complex

Democrats may well take the Presidency next time. And with both houses of Congress they’ll change course. But what good will all that do if they pull down the house in the process? If Nancy Pelosi triangulates by going to Syria, that does not mean that the Democrats won’t have to deal with a murderous regime in Damascus that interprets such fawning, as we just saw with the latest bombing, as a blank check for more serial murdering in Lebanon?

And when Harry Reid calls commanders in the field “incompetent” (cf. his remarks about Gens. Pace and Petraeus) and the surge a failure before it has fully unfolded, what will that mean when a Democratic Commander-in-Chief might well have to work with that same military to keep us safe? What will they do on the morning after a 9/11 event? Blame whom? The military that will be called on to save us? The CIA and FBI and other intelligence agencies that they claim trampled our freedoms?

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bakerism

Just another day

More suicide mayhem in Afghanistan. Another democratic reformer blown up in Lebanon. Iraq of course. And then the non-civil war in Gaza. No pattern here apparently other than ubiquitous radical Islam, probably Chinese and Russian weapon sales, the stealthy role of Syria and Iran to subsidize the mayhem, and Western furor that George Bush is the root of it all.


We were told that Fatah, a corrupt has-been of aging terrorists, was preferable to younger, purer, Islamic jihadists like Hamas—never realizing that because it was marginally “better” did not make it anything near “good”, in the sense that Mussolini’s fascism was not as bad as Hitler’s Nazism. Note again that none of the Iraqi war critics will apply their own nomenclature to this mess—like “civil war” or “hopeless.”

Crossing The Red Line?

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Ahmendinejad hatred of all things Israeli is not new. Even Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic never harangued and provoked Israel verbally as much as Ahmadinejad, beginning with his speech in the city of Zahedan in December 2005, in which he called the Holocaust a “myth” and climaxing with the controversial Holocaust denial conference a year later in Tehran.

The more threatening reason could be his own isolation. Ahmadinejad is a cornered man, who is losing popularity at a ferocious pace inside Iran, mainly due to the failings of his economic policies. He may feel that provoking a war with the West, in hopes of inspiring a public rallying around the flag will be his only saving grace. Otherwise, he stands very little chance of winning the 2009 presidential elections.

The more threatened Ahmadinejad feels, the more he will be looking for a conflict to survive. The Western world needs to think very carefully before giving him what he wants.