Monday, December 20, 2010


Good news - Palestinian Media Watch reports that their YouTube account has been restored. A small victory, but nevertheless sweet.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Here's a new twist on the effort to suppress 'hate speech': Palestine Media Watch (PMW) is an Israeli organization that monitors Palestinian media and, among other things, posts excerpts from various Arabic-language programs on YouTube with English subtitles.

YouTube has apparently closed down PMW's main video account - for propagating hate speech. Yes, the stuff they're posting is full of murderous hate and vitriol, but that's because that's common fare on Palestinian TV. Titles of the excerpts that YouTube found objectionable:

1. "Hamas TV teaches kids to kill Jews"

2. "Jews are a virus like Aids"

3. "Farewell video before suicide attack of Hamas suicide bomber Adham Ahmad Hujyla Abu Jandal"

4. "Hamas suicide farewell video: Jews monkeys and pigs; Maidens reward for killing Jews"

5. "PA cleric: Kill Jews, Allah will make Muslims masters over Jews"

6. "Hamas suicide terrorist farewell video: Palestinians drink the blood of Jews"

YouTube is merely shooting the messenger. The governmental authorities in Palestine, both Fatah and Hamas, indoctrinate their people to convince them that Israel must be wiped off the map. (In fact, Israel has already been wiped off the maps in Palestinian schoolbooks).

Hiding this fact won't help - in fact, ignoring it has done tremendous harm to everyone, including all those young kids being pumped full of hate.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What about the Arabs?

Sara asked me to comment on this article in the Christian Science Monitor by Walter Rodgers entitled, "The Arabs' worst enemy: themselves." She also wondered asked how I thought the absence - or presence - of Osama Bin Laden affected current Muslim/Mideast/Western relations.

Rodgers argues that the Arabs are their own worst enemies because they blame anyone but themselves for their problems and shortcomings. He argues that this makes it very difficult for them to achieve the maturity necessary to, for example, operate a functioning democracy in Iraq.

I think Rodgers is basically right, although it's very unfair for any American to decry the political dysfunction in Baghdad when you look at what's going on in Washington. Let's see: we have the world's most powerful post-industrial democracy teetering on the brink because no one knows what the tax rates will be January 1; tonight President Obama begrudgingly acknowledges the possibility of a ....'framework agreement' on same sometime in the near future. Nor has the Congress passed either a budget resolution or a single appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011 ... which started over two months ago. What was that about incompetence?

Rodgers also ignores another factor that contributes to dysfunction in the Arab world, and which I refer to in today's other entry: the Muslim world is fed an alarming diet of hatred and violence by its spiritual leaders. And, gee, what part of the world displays more hatred and violence? I think that's hardly a coincidence.

So does Osama Bin Laden's presence or absence affect this equation? Since I assume he's alive, that question becomes: if he were dead, would things improve? I have to say, I don't think so. He's the one who said the Arabs love a strong horse. When the United States appears strong, things go well for us. When we appear weak, they don't. I don't know if killing Bin Laden would appear as a sign of our strength, or whether he would simply become a martyr. But I know that our uncertain policy and lack of attention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine hurt us tremendously, regardless of whether Bin Laden lives or dies.

Ah, that Religion of Peace!

As The Jerusalem Post reports, not all Arabs are pleased that some of their brethren helped Israel battle its forest fire. Some quotations:

"May Allah punish all Arabs who helped put down the fire.We pray to Allah that the fire will grow and spread to oil wells in the Arab world.”

“O Allah, burn them [Jews] before the Day of Judgement.O Allah, destroy them and all the enemies of Islam.”

“May Allah take revenge against them and displace them together with our corrupt [Arab] governments.”

There are plenty more quotes in the article, but you get the drift. So much for Islamic peace, tolerance and respect for non-Muslims, particularly if they happen to be Jews.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Islamophobia, Shislamophobia

David Russin of Islamist Watch reports here on the latest statistics for hate crimes in the United States. The numbers refute all those claims that attacks on Muslims will surely increase if people criticize various aspects of Islam. Some startling facts for 2009, courtesy of the FBI:
  • Incidents of hate crime driven by anti-Jewish bias (931) were 8.7 times as numerous as those driven by anti-Islamic bias.
  • Incidents of anti-Islamic hate crime were dwarfed not only by anti-black incidents (2,284), but also by anti-white incidents (545).
  • There were nearly as many anti-Christian hate crimes (89 anti-Catholic and anti-Protestant incidents) as anti-Islamic hate crimes.
  • There were more hate crimes motivated by bias against "other religion" (109 incidents) than by bias against Islam.
  • People were killed ("murder and nonnegligent manslaughter") for being black, white, Native American, Hispanic, and gay, but nobody was killed for being Muslim.

Especially when you remember that 2009 saw several attacks and attempted attacks by radical Muslims on innocent civilians, this is an astonishing record.

Friday, December 3, 2010

QE2 dissected

From Joe comes this link to a video that, as he notes, is the best explanation out there of the Federal Reserve's 'QE2', or second quantitative easing. The video lasts just less than 7 minutes; recommend you watch it all. But have your Kleenex ready; it's a sad tale.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Great storm pictures

I got this link from a friend yesterday but unfortunately can't remember who s/he was. But if you want to see some absolutely spectacular storm pictures, click here. They look like science fiction but apparently are real, and somebody was nuts enough to take them!

American Nazi-hunters

Before he died in May 2009, my friend Mark Richard worked hard to get the Department of Justice to release a detailed history of its Office of Special Investigations (OSI), the office set up in 1979 to pursue Nazi war criminals. The Justice Department had repeatedly blocked publication of the report; a private group, the National Security Archive, in November 2009 submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the report that was denied.

The Archive then filed a lawsuit in May 2010. In response to that request, according to the its website: "The Department of Justice censored dozens of pages of a candid history of Nazi-hunting (and Nazi-protecting) by the U.S. government to such a self-defeating extent that former officials leaked the entire document to the New York Times this week, instead of fulfilling the Freedom of Information request and lawsuit filed by the National Security Archive and its counsel David Sobel."

This is an incredible story, in and of itself quite shameful. The good news, however, is that Mark's report is now in the public domain. It's over 600 pages, so I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I look forward to doing so. (You can access it through either of the above links.)

Mark, who pushed so hard to get the report compiled and served as its editor, was an individual of great integrity and, as a result, his 'warts and all' approach seems to have irritated Justice potentates. Many, many thanks to Sheila for telling me about this latest turn of events.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You gotta read this

I've been reading Stanley Kurtz' new book, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, thinking I'd post a review of it on this blog. But I decided I can't wait until I finish it. Here's why. I got to pp. 45-49, to a section describing the ideas of Peter Dreier, a long-time prominent socialist who served as an advisor to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

Way back in 1979, Dreier recommended a two-part strategy for turning the United States socialist. First, groups like ACORN must worm their ways into various sectors like the banking system, public utility commissions, etc.

Then, according to Kurtz: "The second part of the strategy involves 'injecting unmanageable strains into the capitalist system, strains that precipitate an economic and/or political crisis.' ... Dreier's plan is to gradually expand government spending until the country nears fiscal collapse. At that point, a public accustomed to its entitlements will presumably turn on its capitalist masters when they propose cutbacks to restore fiscal balance." (p. 47)

If any of this sounds familiar, think back to what Obama has done since elected. Radical-in-Chief has made me wonder if those huge surges in deficit spending were intentional. The only good news in this story is that Dreier and Obama never thought average Americans would demand fiscal discipline. Long live the Tea Party! And read Kurtz' book!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You heard it first here

I don't wish to be upstaged by Wikileaks' Julian Assange, so I would like to remind my faithful readers (and any others who happen on this post), that last June I discussed a news article suggesting that the Saudis would allow Israel to use their airspace to attack Iran's nuclear installations.

So, OK, I didn't have King Abdullah on the record - but I had the story, even if I couldn't confirm it! And I didn't have to smuggle a memory stick of Lady Gaga into a classified area, either. The real story today is not what's secret but what's out in the open press.

Friday, November 26, 2010

More on airport security

No, unfortunately this entry isn't a joke like the last one; it links to thoughtful pieces on airport security by Barry Rubin and Patrick Poole.

Rubin argues (and I agree with him fully) that all the fancy airport screening, before and after this latest 'junk' escalation, is wasteful and irrelevant. As he puts it, "Basically, it can be described as follows: Let's intensively search fifteen million at random--worse, using silly profiling guidelines--in hope of finding one or two terrorists who, if they exist at all, are almost certainly using an innovative tactic that will get by our procedures." He argues that the only real requirement is profiling and checking for terrorists entering on international flights - but of course, profiling is a dirty word.

Meanwhile, Poole has produced a study of ten failures of U.S. domestic intelligence: Islamists who were given positions of trust and access to government at various levels. It's a quick but sobering read, and he includes sources, in case you want to check for yourself.

Bismarck allegedly said (Wikiquotes says it's apocryphal) that God provides special protection for three categories: drunks, idiots and the United States of America. We'd better be careful because we're using up our special dispensation at an alarming rate.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Airport security

Here, from an email that Rachel sent me, is the best solution I've heard to the recurring problem of airport security screening:

"The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners at the airports. It’s an armored booth you step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your person. Israel sees this as a win-win situation for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It will also eliminate the costs of a long and expensive trial. You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter, an announcement: 'Attention standby passengers — we now have a seat available on flight 6709. Shalom!'"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

European history in a nutshell

Here, thanks to Barry Rubin's Facebook page, is a video that will show you a thousand years of European history in all of five minutes. Enjoy, even if it does seem to slide by kinda fast!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More on Murfreesboro mosque

You may have noticed some news items about resistance to building a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Those same reports probably implied -or said outright - that this resistance was a sign of Islamophobia, racism, or some other equally awful thing.

In fact, the lawsuit filed against construction of the mosque attacks the ideology likely to be preached at the mosque. "[B]uild a mosque, and pray all you want—but don’t offer support or refuge for anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, terrorism in our community," its press release stated.

What evidence is there to support this charge? According to an article by Ryan Mauro:

-- One of the mosque's board members, Mosaad Rawash, "had a MySpace page that celebrated terrorism. A pledge was posted that called for Muslims to engage in violent jihad against Israel, as was a poem celebrating the people in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq who have been, in his mind, incorrectly called terrorists. The page also had a photo exalting two founders of Hamas above a crowd of armed terrorists. When attention was brought to this page, Rawash was suspended but he has since returned to his post."

-- In addition, "the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro’s reading list included works by several extremists including Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood theologian who regularly calls for the violent destruction of Israel, armed jihad and implementing Sharia governance. This reading list was deleted after it resulted in negative press attention.

Sounds to me like this Islamic Center, with its mosque, should never/never receive a permit from any American government entity at any level. The bad news is that our government officials appear not to have understood this basic point; the good news is that ordinary American citizens (probably the ones President Obama says are too angry to think straight) have figured it out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hang in there, Oklahoma!

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has filed a lawsuit to block implementation of the Oklahoma referendum banning sharia law, and U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange on Monday granted a temporary restraining order.

CAIR argued that the referendum stigmatized Islam; she apparently agreed: "CAIR says the ballot measure would infringe on the constitutional rights of ordinary Oklahomans — including the right to wear religious head scarves in driver’s license photographs, choose Islamic marriage contracts, implement Islamic wills, or to be buried according to one’s religious beliefs."

Some 70% of Oklahomans voted to ban sharia law and CAIR has numerous documented ties to Hamas and jihad but hey, she's a nice lady, isn't she? Too bad she isn't a state judge, or Oklahomans could perhaps follow in the footsteps of Iowans and recall her.

Since Judge Miles-LaGrange thinks Islamic marriage is such a great thing, maybe she should compare notes with British officials. They just closed down Islam Channel for broadcasts promoting marital rape and violence against women, among other things. Gee, isn't Islamic marriage a great institution?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Now here's a factory

Bob sent me this incredible video of Volkswagen's new state-of-the-art factory in Dresden. VW manufactures its luxury car, the Phaeton, here. And you can literally watch them do it, since the factory is transparent. Also, see how they solved the problem of truck traffic to deliver the parts and components to a center-city site.

I've heard that VW wants to make a big push to expand its market share in the United States. I admit I was skeptical, but the thought and money that went into this plant has me revising my vision of VW.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Going bankrupt

To those of you who think tea partiers are exaggerating when they worry about our federal deficits, here's some informed analysis:

"John Allison, who for two decades served as chairman and CEO of BB&T, the nation's 10th largest bank, told it is a 'mathematical certainty' that the United States government will go bankrupt unless it dramatically changes its fiscal direction."

Questions, anyone?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'Moderate' Muslims

Jon Stewart, as part of his recent Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Keep Fear Alive to celebrate 'moderation' and 'sanity', asked Cat Stevens to perform as the person who 'pulls us back to sanity'. Cat Stevens converted to Islam years ago and took the name Yusuf Islam. He supported the call to assassinate Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses, and more recently said he agrees with stoning women to death for adultery.

'Right wing' bloggers attacked Stewart for including Islam, but they weren't the only ones. Salman Rushdie complained to Jon Stewart about his choice of performer. Rushdie reports: "I spoke to Jon Stewart about Yusuf Islam's appearance. He said he was sorry it upset me, but really, it was plain that he was fine with it. Depressing."

Apparently the 200,000 people who showed up for the rally also thought it was fine. But featuring Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam was disgraceful, nevertheless. Freedom of speech is a right guaranteed to all by the Constitution and should be defended across the political spectrum. Shame on the left for failing to do so.


Yesterday, the state of Oklahoma approved a referendum banning the application of sharia law. Various Islamic representatives called this fear-mongering that would hurt Muslims; I call it an excellent idea.

While there may not yet be any examples of Oklahoma courts seeking to apply sharia law, that has already occurred in other states. In a notable case in Michigan, the court decided in favor of a husband who divorced his wife by returning to India and saying "I divorce thee" three times. That ruling was overturned on appeal. In Maryland, a judge resisted a similar attempt to substitute sharia for U.S. divorce law. In New Jersey, a judge ruled that a Muslim man could not be guilty of raping his wife because, in Islam, a woman is required to have sex with her husband. That decision too was overturned.

But what people don't realize is that many of the non-judicial 'accommodations' sought by Muslim groups are in fact steps toward the imposition of sharia law. For example, something as simple as setting aside separate swimming pool times for men and women can be interpreted as fulfilling a legal requirement of sharia.

As for increasing fear of Muslims, here's what the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said: "This amendment will create a sense of fear, a sense of Islamophobia in the community, which is really not ethical." CAIR is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood; as a good rule of thumb, anything it condemns is probably very good for the rest of us.

Meanwhile, supporters of the initiative say that their real target is not Muslims but activist judges who think 'customary international law' should trump the Constitution. The supporters hope to have similar initiatives on the ballot in a dozen other states in 2012.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And a London ghetto too

One argument levied against people like me is that you can't generalize about Muslims in Europe because they come from different countries and traditions. But I think you can indeed generalize, and here's an example. My last entry was about Denmark, and this one is about the United Kingdom, but the similarities are striking.

The London borough of Tower Hamlets has been dubbed 'an Islamist republic', complete with its links to an Islamist organization, the Islamic Forum of Europe. As UK journalist Andrew Gilligan concludes:

"Some of my commenters are fond of saying that the borough is an example of 'Third World' politics in the UK. There are indeed similarities – but actually the claim is an insult to the Third World. Bangladesh has got to grips with Islamism; the IFE’s Bangladeshi parent, Jamaat-e-Islami, gets about two per cent of the vote in elections there. No Islamist sympathiser in Bangladesh has unfettered control over a £1 billion budget. Bangladesh, in short, has less of a problem with Islamic radicals than Tower Hamlets."

Muslims may come from many different cultures and traditions, but Islamism is a common trend that jumps over these differences - indeed, jumps over the Shia-Sunni divide. And Europeans have landed in this mess because they have failed to pay attention to its growth and significance. Tower Hamlets, as Gilligan points out, is actually majority non-Muslim, but very few of those voters bothered to cast a ballot in the recent election.

Let's see what happens today with the Oklahoma referendum on banning sharia law. Its sponsors have been condemned for fear-mongering, but I think they're being prudent. (Thanks to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Danish ghettoes

According to the Danish prime minister, "We have some urban areas in which one can ask whether they are Denmark at all.” Indeed, the government has identified some 29 urban areas in which "Danish norms of trust, equality, the rule of law and respect for public authority do not exist."

According to a Danish police official: "We increasingly see a parallel justice system, that is run completely outside Danish laws and regulations. Things are settled by which families are strongest, and who has the most money, together with threats and blackmail. If this is allowed to continue, the young people in these areas will never learn to accept and respect the justice system in Denmark."

You'll notice that neither of these news articles says who exactly it is that lives in these ghetto areas, but I'll give you a hint: I found links to these as well as other articles on the Islam in Europe blog. Gee, what a coincidence!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A powerful tea party ad

Here's a powerful and very clever TV ad that unfortunately sums up my feelings completely. If we don't want the United States to decline, we've got to do something about our dreadful fiscal situation.

My fellow Americans, please vote for sanity!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some weekend reading

If anyone is looking for some good reading, here are two new books I highly recommend:

-- Daniel Hannan's The New Road to Serfdom is a plea by a British conservative for Americans not to forget what makes the United States unique. He warns: "The U.S. Constitution was both a product and a protector of American optimism. When one is disregarded, the other dwindles." His book also contains a devastating critique of the EU's complete lack of democracy.

-- Mark Durie, in The Third Choice, lays out clearly the discriminatory rules that Islam applies to non-Muslim peoples and how those rules have been enforced over the centuries. Durie warns that Westerners, often acting either out of a desire to be conciliatory or out of fear, adopt a submissive position that Muslims interpret as accepting Islamic superiority.

The weekend is only half over, so enjoy reading them tomorrow!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

While you were sleeping

Mideast expert Barry Rubin highlights here that: "Indian investigators have confirmed that Pakistani intelligence was deeply involved in the massive, bloody Mumbai terror attack in 2008, killing 166 people." As he notes, this report has garnered virtually no notice, including from the U.S. government.

Rubin speculates: "The strategy of ignoring this problem fits into the broader strategy of the Obama administration: buy short-term quiet and apparent popularity at the price of strategic decline and future crises." And he asks, "does the Obama administration want to be an ally of those who murdered 166 people in Mumbai, the equivalent of backing those who carried out the September 11, Lockerbie, Spanish train, and British underground attacks?"

I think the Obama administration has two additional motivations for its silence. First, at least some officials won't or can't admit that "outreach to the Muslim world" won't solve all our problems. Second, I think simple cowardice is also a factor.

Our relationship with Pakistan is certainly complex and we have a lot to lose if relations deteriorate. But there are already reports that Pakistani officials have been helping the Taliban kill Americans in Afghanistan. Now we learn that Pakistani intelligence was behind the recruitment of an American to go to India to identify terrorist targets, including Americans.

Just what more do the Pakistanis have to do to get our attention?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Something else for a change

Joe has told me I need to add more commentary to my blog, but in this case, I truly believe this clip will speak for itself. Enjoy! And no, it has nothing to do with foreign policy...although it is French.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What's going on Down Under

Rachel sent me this video news clip of a convicted Islamic terrorist who lived 19 years in Australia, all the time on the dole, while plotting to blow up various Australian targets and create mayhem. Watch it and weep! Western countries are their own worst enemy - the United States included.

Friday, October 15, 2010

America and Israel

In contrast to yesterday's entry about European anti-Semitism, here's an article by American-Israeli journalist Caroline Glick about recent U.S. public opinion polls measuring U.S. support for Israel. Some highlights:

-- "93.5 percent of Americans believe that the United States should be concerned about Israel's security."

-- "Whereas 78 percent of American Jews voted for Obama in 2008, today a bare majority of 51 percent approve of his performance in office . . . This is directly related to Obama's hostility towards Israel."

And for those, like me, who missed it, she recounts an appalling exchange:

"On Tuesday State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley was asked, "Do you [i.e. the administration] recognize Israel as a Jewish state and will you try to convince the Palestinians to recognize it?

As Rick Richman at Commentary's blog noted, Crowley repeatedly tried to evade answering the question. Reporters were forced to repeat the question six separate times before Crowley managed to say, 'We recognize that Israel is a --- as it says itself, is a Jewish state, yes.'

As for whether or not the administration will try to convince the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state, Crowley could not bring himself to give a simple affirmative answer."

So, what do you think? Will President Obama at some time will change his Mideast policies because he realizes they are wildly unpopular? Or, as with ObamaCare, will he assume the problem is that we're all just too dumb to understand how brilliant his policies are?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wilders on trial

Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who has spoken out against Islam, is on trial in The Netherlands, although the exact charges against him seem to be moving around a bit. According to FrontPageMag, the prosecutors recommended dropping the group defamation charge against him, admitting that he has criticized Islamic texts and teachings but not Muslims themselves.

However, the prosecutors still want him to face charges of inciting hatred; the fact that what he said was true is apparently not relevant. Of course, when the state can determine which truths may be told in public and which may not, there isn't much left to freedom of speech. Or to freedom, for that matter.

European anti-Semitism

Here's the latest update from the Jewish Policy Center on the continuing growth of anti-Semitism in Europe, typically masked as anti-Israel-ism or anti-Zionism. Check out the photo in the link showing a huge, overtly anti-Semitic sign at a soccer match in Poland.

The European Jewish Congress (EJC), a democratically elected representative umbrella organization of European Jewry, has warned of serious danger for European Jewish communities. EJC President Moshe Kantor noted that "anti-Semitism is at best actively promoted and at worst ignored by some officials in Europe."

Indeed, according to anti-Semitism expert Robert Wistrich, anti-Semitism is worse in 2010 than it was in 1910. The mix of leftists, Islamists and neo-Nazis is brewing this toxic stew, and the mainstream is doing little or nothing to stop them.

So why is it that Americans want to be more like Europeans? We must be nuts.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A ray of light

In the welter of anti-Israel speeches, boycotts, accusations of Israeli apartheid and Nazism, here's one rational voice. UK Methodist preacher David Hallam is suing his church for its decision to boycott some Israeli goods.

Hallam's view: "What I object to is money which I am putting on the collection plate on a Sunday being used to fund a political campaign against the Jewish state. This is both discriminatory and a misuse of a charity's funds . . . The Methodist Church seems to think it has a God given right to tell Jews how to run their affairs. It is very disturbing we are getting involved in a territory where we don't have any members or churches."

What's really interesting about this case is that Hallam is going to sue on the basis of an EU directive against racism: Israel is being discriminated against because it is being singled out, even though many other countries have worse human rights records. If Hallam succeeds, this should put a damper on other boycotts and anti-Israel actions in Europe, since most countries are members of the EU. (Thanks to Daily Alert.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Friends of Israel

For anyone who's interested in supporting the State of Israel, a new and prestigious group called the Friends of Israel Initiative has been organized to counter efforts to de-legitimize and demonize that country.

The group includes Jose Maria Asnar, former prime minister of Spain, and former Czech president Vaclav Havel, among others. As Aznar puts it: "All we want is a normal and reasonable conversation about Israel. Surely, that is not too much to ask."

If you want to support the group, you can sign the petition on their website here and also sign up to receive their newsletters.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ah, Scandinavia!

Here are a few updates from Scandinavia to round out your picture of beautiful fjords, tall, blond and handsome people and a lot of reindeer:

-- Sweden's sole anti-immigration party won enough seats to be represented in parliament, and may end up joining the government, albeit only over the dead bodies of most mainline Swedish politicians. If you're wondering why people voted for this new party, here's one possible explanation:

"In Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city, almost 40% of the population is foreign; and some immigrant neighborhoods in the city have unemployment rates exceeding 60%. In Malmö's mostly Muslim Rosengard neighborhood, fire and emergency workers refuse to enter without police protection. An immigrant-fuelled crime wave affects one of every three Malmö families each year, while the number of rapes has tripled in 20 years."

-- And in Norway, the government is doing a great job of adhering to high moral standards. It recently banned any sea trials of submarines built in Germany but destined for the Israeli navy. Why? Because it considers the Israeli navy's blockade of Gaza to be illegal. If you really want to inform yourself about Norway (at the risk of making yourself ill), trying reading a short little book, The Anti-Jewish Riots in Oslo, by Eirik Eiglad.

Next time someone tells you it would be great if the United States could just be more like Scandinavia, see if he or she knows anything about this stuff. (Thanks to Daily Alert.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

A must read

Here, thanks to Barry Rubin, is the text of a sermon delivered by Rabbi Lewis of Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month on Rosh Hashanah. Lewis argues that radical Islam is the evil of our time and must be recognized as such. We need to fight it, not pander to it and seek to placate its adherents. Lewis sees today's challenge as equal to that posed by the Nazis, and I agree with him.

Rubin says that this sermon has gone viral on the internet because it reflects the fears and concerns of many in the Jewish community. I would add that many non-Jews are equally worried, and with good cause.

If our political elite won't lead the way, and if our media insist on twisting and distorting the facts, we'll have to work around them. We must find other leaders - individuals who, like Lewis, can no longer remain silent. We are at war, and we need to act accordingly.

And by the way, in Troublesome Young Men, Lynne Olson shows that the situation in Britain prior to World War II wasn't all that different from what we face today. Appeasement and disarmament were politically correct, and resistance to the Nazis truly hung by a thread. Nevertheless, the British public perceived the threat and supported those leaders who faced it. We can do the same.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Financing Iran's nuclear program

On September 24, a group called Stop the Bomb protested in front of the European-Iranian Trade Bank headquarters in Hamburg. They demanded it be closed because of its involvement in Iran's military and nuclear programs.

Indeed, the U.S. government has been leaning on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to close down the bank's Hamburg operations, thus far to no avail. It's doubtful this protest will cause her to change her mind, given the importance of German-Iranian trade ties, but one can always hope. (Thanks to Michael.)

Taking over the streets

A friend told me about this video which secretly films massive Islamic public prayers in Paris. The purpose of these prayers is political; to show that Muslims control at least part of France. While the activity is illegal, the authorities have instructed the police to do nothing. Meanwhile, even residents are blocked from coming and going during the prayers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dr. Seuss and the tea party

OK, OK, I realize I'm straying far from this blog's purpose, but this takeoff on Dr. Seuss was forwarded to me by Joe and is too cute to pass up:

I do not like this Uncle Sam,
I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks,
Or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like this speaker Nan,
I do not like this 'YES, WE CAN'.
I do not like this spending spree---
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.

I do not like your smug replies,
when I complain about your lies.
I do not like this change and hope.
I do not like it. nope, nope, nope!

Go Green - Recycle Congress in 2010!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

9/11 rally against the mega-mosque

I realize this blog is supposed to be primarily about foreign policy, but this post from Jihad Watch is so interesting you need to take a look at it. The MSM mentioned a rally by the mosque opponents, but it sounded small and unattractive.

Well, guess again; take a look at the picture in the link. The streets are clogged with people who, since it was intended as a 9/11 rally rather than a demonstration, carry flags primarily instead of placards.

It's a good thing there's an internet so that sooner or later we can find out what's going on.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No, it's not a tradeoff

Barry Rubin provides excellent perspective on the ongoing dispute over the Ground Zero mosque in New York. He notes that this is a project that should never have gotten off the ground, for a number of excellent reasons that have nothing/nothing to do with religion:

-- "The developer has a bad record and is incapable of implementing the project, the financing isn’t there, and they don’t even own half the property in question."

-- The imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, turns out to be a slumlord: "the owner of two New Jersey apartment buildings where he has refused to make repairs, endangering tenants' lives, and now is defying a court."

The tradeoff on this project is not between freedom of religion and protecting the sensitivities of 9/11 families. Rather, it's between good governance and breaking the rules to pander to people perceived to be influential, such as not-so-moderate Imam Rauf.

Read Rubin's piece for more details.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Disrobing the Left

Professor Fred Gottheil of the University of Illinois performed an unusual experiment. He researched the backgrounds of some 900 academics who signed a petition against Israel, and discovered that many of them were in gender or women's studies departments.

Gottheil then prepared a petition protesting human rights violations in Middle Eastern countries, primarily those against women, gays and lesbians and emailed 675 signatories of the original petition, asking them to sign his. Almost none did so.

His explanation: these academics are primarily anti-US or anti-capitalist, with the defining issue being opposition to Israel. They are interested in their academic specialities primarily because those fields allow them to criticize the status quo here. Actually caring about women or minorities is in last place.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flushing out Islamists

Bill asked just what it is that Zuhdi Jasser would ask Islamists in public in order to make them reveal their true positions. Here's a recent analysis Jasser did of a video purporting to turn Muslims against terrorism. It's rather long and detailed, but gives an idea of his approach. Essentially, he argues that meaningless verbiage about 'extremism' is just that - meaningless.

For a short version of the key questions to ask, here's a 'quiz' developed by Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian-American who once belonged to a radical group and is now an outspoken opponent of Islamism. Dubbed the Radical Islam Support Test, it's presented in his excellent book, Inside Jihad (pp. 114-15):

Apostates: Do you support killing them? Should leaving the faith of Islam be punishable by death?

Beating women: Is beating women ever acceptable and if not, do you reject those decrees of Islamic law that sanction the beating of women? Do you also accept stoning women to death for committing adultery?

Calling Jews 'pigs and monkeys': Do you believe that Jews are in any way sub-human and if not, do you reject Quranic interpretations that claim they are?

Declaring Holy War: Do you support declaring war against non-Muslims to subjugate them to Islam? Do you believe that it is fair and reasonable to offer non-Muslims three options: Conversion, Paying the Jizya (discriminatory poll tax), or Death?

Enslavement: Do you support the enslavement of female war prisoners and having sex with them as concubines? If not, do you reject those interpreations in Islamic Law ... which justify such actions?

Fighting Jews: Do you support perpetual war against Jews to exterminate them, and if not, should those Muslims who incite such war be punished?

Gays being killed: Do you believe it is acceptable to kill Gays, and if not, do you reject those edicts in Sharia Law which claim it is?

Hamid concludes: "If a Muslim or Islamic organization fails this quiz, they can safely be regarded as Salafists (Islamic fundamentalists) regardless of any title they use to describe themselves."

Mideast peace - just around the corner?

As Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet under U.S. auspices to hammer out a peace agreement, Palestinian TV broadcasts a song calling for Palestinians to retake the land of Israel by force.

I can't say as it's great music, but listen to it and you'll get the flavor of how the Palestinian Authority communicates with its people. Peace, my foot! (Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bye bye First Amendment rights

Let's see: burning the U.S. flag is protected under the First Amendment, but not burning a Koran.

At least, that appears to be the reaction of Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. He speculated that, in this age of globalization, Koran burning could be compared to shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater.

So, if some radical imams in Pakistan or Egypt take offense at some cartoon which 99.99% of Americans believe to be inoffensive, where does Breyer draw the line?

Doesn't he understand that 'Muslim rage' isn't just a 'natural' reaction: that Muslim authorities can and should can be held responsible for either calming or inflaming the situation? Tawfiq Hamid last week in the Wall Street Journal (sorry, but I can't link to it) laid out ways in which this could be done.

And why is it that a Supreme Court Justice doesn't know this? Or, if he doesn't, why doesn't he inform himself before speaking out on the topic? (Thanks to CNS News.)


In the current wave of accusations that Americans are extremists and Islamophobes, Raymond Ibrahim offers a sobering look at the question of Muslim loyalty to America. He notes:

"Prominent American Muslim jurists have ... proclaimed that 'It is forbidden to work for the FBI or for U.S. security services because these harm Muslims.' Another Muslim jurist said it is permissible for Muslims to serve in the U.S. military — provided they are not 'involved in fighting, harming, or even bothering Muslims at all.' Similarly, the authoritative Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America issued a fatwa stating that it is 'not permissible' for American Muslims to send aid, even food, to American troops serving in Muslim countries."

But what about those not in the military? Well: "when necessary, Muslims are permitted to feign friendship and loyalty to non-Muslims, or, in the words of Abu Darda, a pious companion of Muhammad, 'We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.'"

Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy tries to 'out' Islamists by challenging them to public debates in which he asks pointed questions designed to reveal this kind of deception. Many more people need to do the same. It may not fix the problem, but it will raise the stakes for those Muslims who are indeed disloyal to the United States.

I have no way of knowing how many American Muslims are loyal and how many are not, but this is not/not a religious question and should not be obfuscated under the rubric of 'religious freedom.' It will keep coming up, every time an 'extremist' tries to kill other people. Our elites may refuse to acknowledge this problem, but the average American knows it's there, lurking.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thuggery revealed

For those few (including President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg) who still think Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a 'moderate', here's proof he's not. According to the Associated Press: "The imam behind a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero cautioned Wednesday that moving the facility could cause a violent backlash from Muslim extremists and endanger national security."

Yes, and if you don't do exactly as I wish, my goons will come visit you.

Most Americans seem to have figured out who Rauf really is, but I do wish our political leaders were smart enough to do so too. (Thanks to Joe and Jihad Watch.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Louisiana pushes back

Earlier this year, the State of Louisiana passed a law requiring Louisiana courts to base their decisions on American and Louisiana law, not Islamic sharia law. The goal is to pre-empt judges who seek to make exceptions for Muslims - usually at the expense of a woman, in spousal abuse or divorce cases.

As the Louisiana statute puts it: "The legislature finds that it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of a foreign law will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States, including but not limited to due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy or marriage as specifically defined by the constitution of this state."

Oklahoma may follow suit. Let's hope the other 48 states do the same; sharia law is incompatible with our laws and no amount of political correctness can disguise that fact.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A quiz just for you

I took this quiz from an entry Aylana made on Facebook (speak of the circular nature of today's electronic media!) because it'll open your eyes. It's a Mideast geography test; try your luck with it and let me know how you do!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More on 'non-violent' radical Islam

Sydney asked me to expand the discussion of 'non-violent' radical Islam, which I think is the true threat that the West faces.

'Non-violent' Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood are called that because they say they do not support terrorism. However, like terrorists, they want to establish a global Caliphate ruled by sharia law. What does that mean in practice? Replacing Western law, with its guaranteed rights and principle of equality before the law, with a legal system that discriminates between Muslims and non-Muslims; between men and women; and promotes holy war, or jihad, as a basic principle. Or, as an internal memo of the Muslim Brotherhood puts it:

"The [Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

I think many 'non-violent' Islamists reject violence primarily because it's ineffective. After all, if you go around murdering people, someone's bound to notice. Coming in under the radar is much smarter. The goal, however, is the same.

These groups may say they oppose terrorism, but like 'moderate' Imam Rauf, the fellow promoting the mega-mosque project, they usually refuse to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. Like Rauf, they'll also tell you that we brought 9/11 on ourselves. So it's not too surprising when the FBI, as it did in the Holy Land Foundation trial, discovers secret links between 'non-violent' organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and jihad. Or when you find out that Rauf is linked to one of the groups that organized the Turkish flotilla.

Nor does 'non-violent' really mean 'non-violent.' If you believe that, under sharia, the punishment for leaving Islam (apostasy) is death, that's a pretty violent way of dealing with people who want to leave the faith. Adding, as one imam did after he threatened to kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali, that 'of course, that doesn't apply here,' shouldn't fool anyone. Or look at the travails of Rifqa Bary, the young girl in Ohio who converted to Christianity.

Ditto with 'honor killings' or wife-beating, considered OK if they keep troublesome women in line. If any 'non-violent' Islamist group has denounced the 'moderate' Muslim leader in Buffalo who beheaded his uppity wife, I haven't heard of it.

If you want to learn more, there are many excellent websites (see links on the right). Jihad Watch and Pajamas Media are great for giving you an idea of what's going on; The Investigative Project follows, among other things, court cases brought against 'non-violent' Islamist as well as terrorist groups. The American Islamic Forum for Democracy blog shows what real 'moderate' Islam could look like.

If you want a Truly Brilliant Analysis of what's going on in Europe, where this process is more advanced, see my article of several months ago.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The 9/11 Mosque and the Arab world

Raymond Ibrahim surveys commentary from Arab countries on the Mega-Mosque proposal and finds prominent spokesmen, including from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, who think it's a really bad idea. Indeed, so bad that they assume it's a Zionist conspiracy to link Islam to 9/11. (Hint: dubbing anything a 'Zionist conspiracy' is not/not a compliment!)

As for me, I've decided the Mega-Mosque proposal has had a very positive impact. Islamists succeed by lulling people to sleep, disarming potential resistance. I think the deep sleep phase, which began well before 9/11, is drawing to a close. The events of 9/11 woke Americans up to the terrorist threat, but now they've caught on to the underlying threat from 'non-violent' radical Islam - and they're mad.

That's an absolutely essential first step. Now all we have to do is wake up our political and media elite, starting with our president.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Developing Africa - or not

Kurt Gerhardt, a former journalist and German development aid specialist, explains in Der Spiegel why Africa has failed to develop.

It's not that the West hasn't spent enough money: it's that we've spent too much, draining local initiative and thus ensuring that things never get better. The direct beneficiaries of the assistance may prosper, as do the Westerners supported by the development aid industry, but the average African does not.

Gerhardt argues that the West must recognize that Africans need to take control of their own destiny; Westerners can't do it for them.

Do you think this message will ever get through?

Friday, August 13, 2010

First Amendment legislation

I bet you haven't heard about HR2765 entitled "Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act." It's the new law protecting First Amendment rights of American authors and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits. I've written about it before; it's a vital piece of protection which passed both Houses of Congress unanimously (which in this day and age is saying something).

Perhaps the reason you didn't hear about the new law was that President Obama chose to sign it on August 10 with minimum publicity: no ceremony; a short press release; no press photo; only one Member of Congress present. And he's the most media-hungry President we've ever had.

Could it be that Obama lay low because he didn't want to offend Saudis who use foreign libel laws to silence critics like Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld or J. Millard Burr who expose their financial ties to jihad? Just wondering...

More on the Polish plane crash

Columnist Diana West reports here on the mysterious fog that continues to surround the April 10 crash of a Polish jet in Russia several months, killing Polish President Lech Kaczynski and many other members of the Polish elite.

Some suspicious aspects of the investigation:

-- Russia immediately took control of the black boxes. It provided the Poles only with copies of the recordings, the authenticity of which has been challenged.

-- The Russian air traffic controller on duty at the time of the crash retired three days later and no one knows where he is. Given that the crash was immediately blamed on pilot error, this is odd, to say the least.

-- The Russians stripped the bodies of all possessions, then 'autopsied' them and returned them to Poland in sealed coffins.

The crash happened as the Poles were headed to a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Soviet massacre of 22,000 Polish officers at Katyn during World War II. If the crash turns out to have been due to Russian actions, it's hard to say what will happen. The Poles won't forget - but what about the rest of the EU?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Drowning in a sea of red ink

Since I bet most of you haven't seen it, here's a link to the July 27 report by the Congressional Budget Office entitled "Federal Debt and the Risk of a Fiscal Crisis." A few highlights from the report (and remember, the head of the CBO is a Democrat):

-- U.S. federal debt is projected to rise to 62% by the end of fiscal 2010 (this October). By 2020, it could reach 90%. Even during the Civil War and World War I, it did not exceed 50%; while it was higher than that during World War II, it fell quickly once the war was over.

-- If anyone thinks today's debt will fall quickly, the report will disabuse you of that notion: "Further increases in federal debt relative to the nation's output ... almost certainly lie ahead if current policies remain in place."

-- As to what the CBO means by fiscal crisis, it's the point when "investors would lose confidence in the government's ability to manage its budget, and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates."

The CBO notes that the crisis began before Obama took office, but that the policies he is pursuing will have a catastrophic negative impact on the previous trend.

As Becky DeWind, a Michigan businesswoman who received stimulus funds, put it in advance of an Obama trip to her state: "I wish he'd save his money and not come to Western Michigan ... They were just swiping a Chinese charge card for it anyway, and my kid's got to pick up the tab."


Thursday, July 29, 2010

No to the mega-mosque

Nancy recently asked me my opinion of the proposal to build a mega-mosque near Ground Zero. This article summarizes some of the objections to that project.

Essentially, the sponsors of this project have Islamist ties; some in fact have links to the Free Gaza group. That group, if you remember, co-sponsored the Turkish flotilla that tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The article states that the local group appears to have very limited funds, and that money to build the mosque will likely come from Saudi Arabia or some similar source. Why don't we make construction of the New York mosque contingent on Saudi agreement to allow the erection of a suitably imposing church or synagogue in, say, Mecca? Or Jeddah, the capital of Saudi Arabia?

Ignoring the totalitarian political ideology, masquerading as a religion, that is behind this mega mosque proposal is a cop-out, not a valiant gesture to promote freedom of religion in America.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A fool

The fool I'm talking about is the new British prime minister, David Cameron. He tried to curry favor with Turkey by slamming Israel, referring to Gaza as a 'prison camp'. Pandering may have its uses, but the current Turkish regime is most likely to pocket Cameron's groveling - and demand more concessions from him.

Meanwhile, the Wikileaks documents reveal that British forces in Afghanistan have caused at least as many civilian casualties as have the Israeli forces in Gaza and the West Bank. That makes the United Kingdom - which is supporting the one-sided Goldstone Report condemning Israel - itself vulnerable to attacks from the 'international community' for various purported war crimes. Fawning over the current Islamist leaders of Turkey won't ward off that problem. (Thanks to Daily Alert.)

At it again

For the second time, there is a report that Al Qaeda members were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The first incident took place in January of last year. This time, some 40 people died. Both cases occurred in training camps in Algeria.

This time, there was speculation that they were killed the traditional route (bubonic plague is transmitted by the fleas living on rats). However, "there are now claims the cell was developing the disease as a weapon to use against western cities." (Thanks to Daily Alert.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Arizona immigration law

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has pulled together here some great data on illegal immigrants in the United States: literacy, numeracy (great word, huh?), and crime rates; rates of out-of-wedlock births; and costs of various social services.

Bottom line: a large illegal immigrant population is a very expensive proposition, both in financial terms, and in terms of the people involved.

Mac Donald also notes that reports of illegals leaving the country in anticipation of the law's entry into force completely refute the conventional wisdom that says there's no way to get illegal immigrants out of the country.

Her interpretation of the politics surrounding the Arizona law: "The real reason for opposition to SB 1070 is that it will make immigration enforcement a reality and in so doing will show that law enforcement works; the hue and cry over racial profiling is merely a pretext."

Let's see what the judge decides: will this law go into force or won't it? Opinions, anyone?

Monday, July 26, 2010

More on Lockerbie

I suspected at the time that the UK government would never have allowed convicted terrorist bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi to go free in Libya without having at least notified the U.S. government.

It turns out that the U.S. government gave a tacit go-ahead. According to The Sunday Times and the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. embassy in London wrote the Scottish government to say that (1) it wanted al-Megrahi to stay in prison but (2) if he didn't, it preferred compassionate release to sending him home under a Prisoner Transfer Agreement.

Now that the Scottish government is under fire, it wants the U.S. government to agree to release its documents. Too bad the Scots are refusing to testify on the Hill - if they did, this story would be very clear to all. It would certainly be educational to hear a U.S. spokesman explain just why it was preferable for al-Megrahi to go free. (Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who's the hatemonger?

The Dutch politician Geert Wilders is usually accused, including by Fox News, of being a hatemonger. This article of his, however, presents a very different view. In it, Wilders criticizes Islam for being dehumanizing, for robbing people of their dignity, and for encouraging them to sink into apathy rather than take charge of their lives:

"As a Dutch, a European and a Western politician, my responsibility is primarily to the Dutch people, to the Europeans and the West. However, since the liberation of the Muslims from Islam, will benefit all of us, I wholeheartedly support Muslims who love freedom. My message to them is clear: "Fatalism is no option; 'Inch' Allah' is a curse;

Submission is a disgrace.

Free yourselves. It is up to you."

(Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

The 'capital strike'

Here are three good insights as to why, as a result of government policies, capital is now 'on strike'.

First, as Michael Barone describes it, American businessmen (and women) don't dare to spend when they have no idea how much of their potential profits they'll be able to keep. The uncertainty has created a 'mattress economy': "People seem to be following this investment strategy. Step one: Go to Mattress Discounters and buy the biggest mattress you can find. Step two: Take it home, and stuff all your money in it. Step three: Lie down, and get some rest."

Second, the Business Roundtable has sent a lengthy letter to the Obama adminstration listing key regulatory issues that impede economic growth and job recovery. Those issues pretty much cover the waterfront: excessive corporate taxation; proposed financial regulatory reform that will reduce efficiency, stifle competition and deter capital formation; failure to adopt trade agreements; the proposed union-backed Card Check Bill; the proposed cap and trade bill, as well as ObamaCare.

Third, a new Harvard Business School study tracks changes in congressional committee chairmanship, since once you're a chairman, you can bring home much more pork. The resulting "fiscal spending shocks appear to significantly dampen corporate sector investment activity . . . when the spending shocks reverse (through a relinquishing of chairmanship), most all of these behaviors reverse."

Makes you wonder why we're doing this to ourselves, doesn't it? We must be nuts!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Celebrating the Holocaust?

Denying the Holocaust, a pasttime of people like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinjad, is soooo yesterday. The latest, Clemens Heni reports, is celebrating it, as well as Nazism itself.

As he reports: "In Riga, capital of Latvia, Nazis will hold a remembrance march on July 1, 2010, to commemorate the German invasion of that city and country at that day in 1941."

And last May on Facebook, "dozens, hundreds, and thousands of German-Turkish citizens wrote on Facebook probably the most aggressive and pro-Nazi statements ever since 1945. They wrote 'Hitler don’t worry, we’ll take the rest of the Jews', 'Jews to the gas', 'I would like to kill Jews' etc."

Just think: Germany, Latvia and Turkey are all NATO members; Germany and Latvia also belong to the EU. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

European summer

David Rusin of Islamist Watch has collected various accounts of violent acts committed by Islamists to soften up their opponents. They range from riots in a Stockholm suburb to Arab 'youths' stoning a Jewish dance group in Hannover, shouting 'Jews out!'

In one case, a Palestinian assaulted two young Israeli men at a Berlin club. As Rusin notes, "in a microcosm of Europe's approach to the Mideast dispute, the bouncer used pepper spray against the Israelis rather than the Palestinian perpetrator, who managed to flee."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The vain pursuit of popularity

Well, the data are in. President Obama's campaign to charm the Muslim world, so far, has been a dud. The Wall Street Journal reports here on a Pew Research Center study showing that Obama and the United States have lost support in each Islamic country surveyed.

Barry Rubin explains this phenomenon: "On one hand, there are the enemies of America . . . They want--depending on who we are talking about--to conquer the Middle East, take over their own countries, establish a Caliphate, lord it over neighbors, wipe Israel off the map, turn women into chattel, get rid of the Christians, expel Western influence from the region, and/or transform their own countries into Islamist utopian dictatorships.

So why should we expect them to care whether the U.S. president is a nice guy who likes them and is really sorry for any time in the past when America actually did or tried to do something in the region? Indeed, Middle East dictators and revolutionaries also believe that nice guys finish last."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

An intriguing report

The Times of London reports here that the Saudis are prepared to allow Israel to use Saudi airspace to attack Iranain nuclear installations. I don't know if the report is accurate, nor do I know if the Saudis would stick to such a course of action once it became public knowledge, but it's nevertheless an interesting thought.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who lost Turkey?

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates apparently thinks that, had the EU been more welcoming to Turkey, Turkey would not now be so hostile to Western interests.

Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi has an alternative view (hardly surprising): he sees Turkey as the Trojan Horse of Islam. As he put it: "If Turkey joined the European Union ... the European continent [would] no longer [be] a crusade or a Christian as it was, but Islam has become a strong partner in the European continent..." Syntax aside, he sees Turkish membership in the EU as a great opportunity - to help make Europe Muslim.

Not only do I think Gates has the equation backward; I would feel better had there been any indication Gates was aware of the rising tide of anti-Americanism in Turkey. For the past several years, it's been reflected in numerous public opinion polls, in Turkish media, and in Turkish TV shows and movies. This problem has nothing but nothing to do with the EU - and our Secretary of Defense ought to know that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

We're all Israelis now

At least, that's what Kyle-Anne Shiver thinks should happen. She argues that Americans and Israelis face a common enemy - radical Islam - and should stand together. She's ashamed of President Obama's equivocation on any issue involving Israel, and fears we will abandon that country in its hour of need. (Thanks to Josie.)

The preceding entries demonstrate that, even more than you might think, we are indeed in it together. After all, isn't it an odd coincidence that the primary backers of the mega-mosque planned near Ground Zero in New York are linked to one of the main organizations that mounted the flotilla? How much clearer does it have to get?

No to the Cordoba Mosque

Since the mainstream media have ignored it, here are pictures of the 5,000-person rally in New York against the proposed Cordoba Mosque complex. And here are some of the signs people were carrying; wouldn't it be nice if Mayor Bloomberg noticed? Here's one sign: "Mayor Bloomberg: there's concern this mosque has radical ties ... and still you approve?" (Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Krauthammer on Israel

Columnist Charles Krauthammer writes that Israel has traded territory for peace and gotten more hostilities; mounted two military operations to disrupt, dismantle and defeat its enemies in Lebanon and Gaza, to an outpouring of international criticism; and now is under tremendously heavy fire for blocking the delivery of yet more arms to Hamas in Gaza. As he puts it:

"What's left? Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense ... The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists -- Iranian in particular -- openly prepare a more final solution."

Never again, huh?

Thanks for trying

To celebrate the first anniversary of President Obama's Cairo speech to the Muslim world, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) criticized him for reducing the civil liberties of American Muslims under the pretext of national security concerns. It also called on him to demand an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza (hardly a surprising position, given CAIR's connections to the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and to Hamas).

Meanwhile, recent Gallup opinion polls in several Muslim countries show little if any improvement in favorable views of Obama or the United States. So just what has Obama's initiative accomplished? I'm curious.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Cordoba Mosque

The Cordoba Mosque is the 13-story complex planned to be built in Mahattan near Ground Zero. Its backers say it would somehow show the tolerance of New Yorkers toward 'moderate Islam.' The project - named for a symbol of the Islamic conquest of Spain - has already drawn criticism, but now the Hot Air blog has the goods on the group behind it (thanks to Libby, super anti-dhimmi of the month).

Turns out the imam behind the proposed mosque is a prominent member of the Perdana Global Peace Organization, which contributed $366,000 to the Free Gaza Movement, a key organizer of the flotilla that tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. (Obama friends and supporters William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn are also supporters of Free Gaza, but that's another story.)

But guess who is the most prominent Perdana member: Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, "Jew-baiter extraordinaire, and prominent...9/11 Truther." His view of the 9/11 attacks: "There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they can make Avatar, they can make anything."

Does anyone out there still think the mosque is being built by 'moderate Muslims'?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Never again?

Novelist Andrew Klavan, in this video, notes that people are consistent. After the Holocaust, everyone said they would 'never again' stand at the sidelines when Jews or other people were being annihilated. That's quite true, he says - this time they're helping.

Commentator John Rosenthal provides a graphic example, describing how the European Parliament received the Israeli ambassador to the EU. One or two Members defended him; the rest accused Israel of various heinous crimes, and refused to believe that the video he showed of the flotilla incident could be real.

The group these Europarliamentarians are defending so vehemently makes no secret of its goals. The leader of the group states quite clearly that his goal was jihad. As jihad includes the annihilation of the State of Israel, I can only conclude that Andrew Klavan is right.

Flotilla on and on

This short music video, "We Con the World," raps international gullibility regarding the 'humanitarian aid' flotilla.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

To give offense - or not?

While Westerners are falling all over themselves to censor cartoons and anything else that any Muslim anywhere on the globe might deem offensive, two TV broadcasts to the Muslim world are fearlessly exposing controversial Islamic texts.

Raymond Ibrahim explains that Life TV, an evangelical Arabic satellite station, has two weekly programs, one hosted by Coptic priest Fr. Zakaria Botros, the other by ex-Muslim Rashid. Both programs ask uncomfortable questions about Islam and Mohammed; a number of Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, ban the station and it is frequently condemned on al Jazeera.

The broadcasts, which are viewed by millions of Arabic-speaking Muslims, caused an uproar at the start; Al Qaeda put a $60 million bounty on Zarakia's head. Life TV responded by providing even more anecdotes discrediting Mohammed. So how is all this being received? "Needless to say, Life TV's hosts ... are hated by Muslims around the world. But to the careful observer, the outrage appears to be subsiding, ostensibly replaced by apathy - that is, the default strategy when threats and displays of indignation fail."

Ibrahim concludes that "one need not agree with Life TV's tactics or evangelical mission to appreciate the lesson it imparts: Muslim outrage - as with all human outrage - is predicated on how well it is tolerated. Continuously appeased, it becomes engorged and insistent on more concessions; ignored, it deflates and, ashamed of itself, withers away."

Too bad no one pays any attention to these guys.

The fate of the flotilla goods

Remember those urgently-needed humanitarian goods on the flotilla? Turns out Hamas is refusing to accept them. Various reasons have been advanced: they won't accept them until all the detainees have been released; they don't know who the intended recipients are; whatever.

As to how vital the goods are: some 80-100 truckloads of humanitarian goods enter Gaza from Israel every day. The flotilla goods make up an estimated 70-80 truckloads, or barely one normal day's worth of shipments. Impressive, isn't it? (Thanks to Daily Alert.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Israeli policy

Caroline Glick argues that Israel needs a new strategy, one based on the understanding that an unprecedented - and highly successful - information war is being waged against it worldwide.

She notes that the anti-blockade flotilla arrived just days after the entire United Nations, including the United States, singled Israel out for censure for not declaring its nuclear weapons - of course, completely ignoring the danger posed by Iran. She faults the Israeli government for not assessing, more soberly, what it means when the United States turns against Israel.

The best response, in her view, to a propaganda campaign is to tell the truth. For example: "Israel should have stated loudly and consistently that as currently constituted the [UN's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] serves as the chief enabler of nuclear proliferation rather than the central institution for preventing nuclear proliferation it was supposed to be." Similarly, the Israeli government should have criticized Turkey for facilitating terrorism, and exposed the radical nature of the groups participating in the flotilla in advance. (Glenn Beck's TV show today had a lot of info on the groups sponsoring the flotilla.)

Meanwhile Ronen Bergman, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, argues that the Israeli government is suffering from siege fatigue: the feeling that, since the entire world will oppose any Israeli effort at self-defense, it doesn't particularly matter what that effort is.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The burqa ban catches on

Islamist Watch has a round-up of recent Western initiatives to ban burqas, those concealing Muslim garments that render women unrecognizable. The bans exist in various sizes and shapes in Canada, Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain, and are under consideration in Australia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Arguments against the burqa range from its use as a symbol of radicalism and separation to the security risk of having veiled people in public.

Israel's real mistake

Clemens has posted an excellent article identifying the real Israeli blunder in the recent incident on the high seas. Joel Fishman, of Jerusalem, argues that the Israeli navy was right to maintain the blockade of Gaza, despite the costs, but very wrong to misread the presence of on the boats of the Turkish IHH humanitarian relief.

IHH in the past has been linked to terrorism, anti-Western incitement, and weapons transport; as he says: "To assume that these people were genuine 'peace activists' represents a serious intelligence failure." In case you're wondering whether he's exaggerating, the people on the boat saw themselves as conducting jihad.

Why, precisely, the U.S. Security Council representative saw fit to regret their deaths when we launch drone attacks against jihadists is one of life's mysteries.

Also, if you're wondering about conditions in Gaza, take a look at these pictures (sent me by Rachel). The only humanitarian crisis exists in the minds of foreign 'useful idiots' being exploited by Hamas.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A little perspective on Greek troubles

Here, once again thanks to Rachel, is a little historical perspective on Greece's financial and social woes, provided tongue-in-cheek by Christopher Buckley. And just think, it actually appeared in the New York Times! So read it and take a little break from awful stories about being buried alive.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Turkish honor killing

Rachel sent me this story about a 16-year-old Turkish girl buried alive by her family because she was talking to boys. She was found in a sitting position, hands tied, and lungs and stomach filled with soil, indicating that she was alive and conscious when buried.

There are an estimated 200 honor killings each year in Turkey.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The convenient scapegoat

Looks like another moment of transatlantic communion. The US government is demonizing Wall Street and the US financial industry to draw attention away from its monetary profligacy and gross mismanagement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The EU, with the Germans in the lead, is demonizing US and UK private equity firms with hedge funds: the "swarm of locusts" who descend on Europe and take away all its jobs.

As John Rosenthal notes, this isn't the first time such imagery has been used. The Nazis talked about the "swarm of locusts," but the term stretches even further back, to 19th century anti-Semitic attacks on a German-Jewish financier. Rosenthal includes a cartoon that shows today's 'swarm' as American - which I suppose is better than showing them as Jewish, although I suspect that that is the subtext.

The reason for all this is obvious: the EU and the Germans must do anything to avoid acknowledging that the high level of Greek debt induced the recent crisis. Because if they admit that, then they'd have to do something about it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Arizona immigration law

You're in luck: I shall refrain from giving my unvarnished views of Mexican President Calderon's speeches in Washington, or of their favorable reception by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

That's because I've got something better: a little video from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer that captures the level of ignorance of those opposing the law. Enjoy! It's almost as much fun to watch as Fox commentator Brit Hume nearly losing his cool over the asininity of the discussion about the Arizona law.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

And State wades in

The State Department has waded into the Motoon controversy, condemning the cartoons of Mohammed mentioned in my previous entry. Here's what the State spokesman said: "America does not condone expressions that lead to violence or hatred."

Just think of it: our federal government - or maybe he means all Americans - would never ever approve of a statement that might provoke someone else to violence. So think before you say or write anything again, because somewhere in the world someone might take exception to it.

Coincidentally, I would note that our new and improved definition of free speech just happens to be the same as that of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Just when you think we can't sink any lower, we do.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Motoon contest

There was a 'Draw Mohammed Day' this week; if you go to Jihad Watch, you can find some samples, along with links to articles explaining why freedom of speech and the press is so important. To give you an idea of the flavor, here is one cartoon and here another. They range from a stick figure entitled 'Mohammed' to unambiguous political cartoons aimed at the 'Islam is a religion of peace' mantra.

Pakistan has already responded by blocking Facebook and YouTube for carrying the cartoons.

Here's my favorite image; although I admit it isn't exactly a picture of Mohammed, it is in the spirit of the event, and is inspired by David.

USCD controversy lives on

Jumannah Albahri, the USCD student who told David Horowitz that she approved of exterminating the Jews, has since taken back her statement. According to this report, she says that he confused her and she was really just voicing her support for Hamas. Since Hamas' charter calls for eradicating the State of Israel, that sounds like a distinction without a difference.

Meanwhile, there's a petition almost 600 people have signed asking the USCD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox to condemn such speech and state that it has no place on campus. Don't hold your breath!

(Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Unfortunately, Attorney General Eric Holder isn't the only American deep in denial. Jeff Epstein of America's Truth Forum, "felt it best to leave" after he asked questions at an interfaith dialogue held in a Connecticut synagogue.

He asked Ingrid Mattson, director of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), about the ties of that organization to the Muslim Brotherhood. Epstein was accused of injecting politics into the dialogue; never mind that the Muslim Brotherhood is devoted to hatred of the Jews.

The rabbi who organized the event said he wasn't familiar with ISNA or its documented links to jihad. He said the purpose of the dialogue to 'build understanding'. What kind of understanding? Of what's going on? In that case, he ought to do his homework beforehand.

This 'bout sums it up

Watch Attorney General Eric Holder tap dance around direct questions from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. Holder refuses to state that radical Islam could have been a motivation in any of the recent terrorist attacks in the United States, including the one in Times Square.

Amazing. What's more amazing, no one seems to notice or care, except for Rep. Smith and the editors at Human Events.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Banks and banks

I don't know how to link to this, but there's a table on page 5 of the May 15-21 Economist that lists the top 25 banks active in emerging economies. Eight are Chinese; others are from the UK, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Singapore ... and exactly one, Citigroup, is from the United States.

So as you hear President Obama and the Congress attacking Wall Street and the banks and doing their best to put their heel on their throat - no, wait a minute, that was British Petroleum - just think: we can destroy our financial institutions, either by misregulating them or by fining and taxing them. Then the rest of the world can carry on. Do you really think that foreign banks will treat us better?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vilks attacked

Ah yes, the university as the citadel of intellectual ferment and free speech. You saw one example in yesterday's post. Now, at Uppsala University in Sweden, cartoonist Lars Vilks is attacked by someone (identity unknown) while he was giving a talk. Others in the audience shouted "Allahu Akbar" which may give you some idea of their orientation.

Vilks is famous for his cartoon showing Mohammed's head on a dog's body (see above link), as well as being the target of various assassination schemes, including that of Jihad Jane.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A chilling exchange

Here, thanks to Libby, is a brief video of David Horowitz taking a question from a Muslim student at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He flushes her out as a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah. In fact, she agrees with the leader of Hezbollah that it would be most convenient if all Jews gathered in Israel because it would spare him the trouble of seeking them out to kill separately.

If I were a Muslim, I'd be furious that students like her were presenting themselves, in Muslim garb, as holier-than-thou and purporting to speak for me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The long twilight war

If you're tired of reading that Faisal Shahzad tried to blow up people in Times Square because of health care policy or because his home was foreclosed, here's a rational, sober analysis by Fouad Ajami. Shazhad and others of his ilk are, he says, represent a serious threat:

"This is a long twilight war, the struggle against radical Islamism. We can't wish it away. No strategy of winning 'hearts and minds,' no great outreach, will bring this struggle to an end. America can't conciliate these furies. These men of nowhere - Faisal Shahzad, Nidal Malik Hasan, the American-born renegade cleric Anwar Awlaki now holed up in Yemen and their likes - are a deadly breed of combatants in this new kind of war. Modernity both attracts and unsettles them. America is at once the object of their dreams and the scapegoat onto which they project their deepest malignancies."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Religious freedom

You're probably unaware of this, but by statute the U.S. government has a bipartisan Commission on International Religious Freedom which, among other things, publishes an annual report on religious freedom worldwide. According to its chairman, U.S. policy in this area is "missing the mark."

It should come as no surprise that the CIRF finds U.S. policy wanting. One of the worst cases involves Iraq, where Christians who lived there for over a thousand years are now being killed or forced to emigrate - right under our noses.

The CIRF is not proposing that religious freedom should be the determinant of U.S. policy, simply that we consider those issues seriously as policies are formulated. Unfortunately, there's no evidence that's happening.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What to do with Faisal Shahzad

If proven guilty, what should be done to Faisal Shahzad? Senators Joe Liberman and Scott Brown have introduced legislation to strip him and others of his ilk of their U.S. citizenship. Zuhdi Jasser (and Rachel) have a better idea: try him/them as traitors.

As Jasser puts it: "Shahzad's cowardly attempt to kill innocent Americans in Times Square clearly demonstrates his loyalty lies with the Islamist radicals and not his chosen countrymen in the United States. His actions were a result of his faith in the supremacy of an Islamic State over the United States. His citizenship oath was given falsely in 2009 and was in the direct service of powers at war with the United States. His prosecution should encompass the gravity of those actions."


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Who's out to get us?

Daniel Pipes lists here all the excuses people have dreamed up to keep from acknowledging that the various attacks on New York City (and the rest of the United States) since 9/11 have been the result of jihadist ideology and action.

And Barry Rubin speculates on reactions in that vein to other crises, from the Revolutionary War to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

My analysis of the problem: "Denial is not a river in Africa." We won't get anywhere until we acknowledge publicly that Islamism is the problem here. Period. People are afraid to admit the truth, either because it pulverizes their pet theories, or because they'd have to realize just what kind of threat we face.

So imagine the gratification of hearing the CNN news anchor this morning say that she'd put together all the info on these attacks, looking for the common denominator and discovered that it was - can you believe it - Islamic fundamentalism. CNN no less! Wow!

(Thanks to Dick.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Never again?

The latest: two Danish artists, one of them Jewish, put up posters in Berlin showing a map of the Middle East with no Israel on it. The title of the poster: The Final Solution.

Were the artists trying to shock Europeans by highlighting the existential danger facing Israel? No, they were recommending that Israel be wiped off the map, and suggesting Israelis resettle in the United States, Germany or Denmark.

So what do you think: is there - could there possibly be - any connection between anti-Zionism and antisemitism? Of course not! What a ridiculous idea! (Thanks to Clemens.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ah, those settlements

Here's the latest on our Mideast policy:

-- We threatened to let an anti-Israel resolution on settlements go forward at the United Nations Security Council if the Israelis didn't agree to a freeze;

-- Support for the resolution, it turns out, was the price for having the Palestinian Authority agree to indirect talks with the Israelis;

-- There's no chance those indirect talks could turn into direct ones (i.e. face-to-face, as has been the practice for years), because the Arab League made that a condition of its approval of Israeli-Palestinian talks.

I'm sure glad the Obama administration is playing hardball to stop Israeli settlements rather than to keep Iran from getting the bomb! Makes me feel a whole lot safer. (Thanks to Daily Alert.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

More on women and earthquakes

I see now that I was far too flippant about the Iranian cleric's charge that provocatively dressed women cause earthquakes. A young female scientist in Indiana took a more serious approach and performed an experiment on April 26 to test his thesis. Thousands of women, whom she organized via the internet, dressed 'immodestly' that day. She then compared earthquake activity for April 26 to the average since February 5.

No, I won't tell you the results - you have to click on the above link and find out for yourselves! (Thanks to Clemens.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hezbollah and rockets

Peace in the Middle East reminds me of a receding galaxy. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that Hezbollah now has more rockets than do most governments. The US government is apparently still not confirming that some are Scud missiles transferred to Hezbollah by Syria.

What to do about this? Apparently, nothing much. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the Israelis won't go to war over this - yet. Robert Ford, the new U.S. ambassador designate to Syria, is awaiting full Senate confirmation. If he's confirmed, the Syrians will interpret that as a sign of tacit U.S. acceptance of their support to Hezbollah.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Leaving Islam

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have quite a tale to tell: they contracted with Miami-Dade Transit to put ads on buses offering help to those who want to leave Islam. Traditionally, leaving Islam - apostasy - merits the death penalty. Only by threatening to sue Dade-Transit were they able to run the ads, which had been opposed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

And this, folks, is the land of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Time indeed to wake up!

(Thanks to Jihad Watch.)