Islam is a religion of conquest, not peace. The only “peace” Islam preaches is the “peace” wherein the entire world is subject to Sharia Law and acknowledges that Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet. Muslims cannot renounce a single word in the Koran for every word, according to them, proceeded from Allah’s mouth. Mohammed is the “perfect” man to Muslims, so if he killed infidels, married 9 year-old girls, slaughtered thousands of people, married his nephew’s wife, and called Jews ‘pigs and monkeys’, then nothing he said or did is to be questioned or doubted. Courtesy of David Swindle, hattip to David Horowitz
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Courtesy of Byron York 11/11/2009 Washington Examiner…. After years of trailing far behind Democrats, Republicans have now surpassed Democrats as the public's choice in the 2010 congressional elections. In response to the latest so-called "generic ballot" question from the Gallup organization -- "If elections for Congress were being held today, which party's candidate would you vote for in your congressional district?" -- the new results are 48 percent for Republicans versus 44 percent for Democrats among registered voters, and 46 percent for Republicans versus 44 percent for Democrats among adults nationwide.
It's an extraordinary turnaround for the GOP. Last July, Democrats held a six-point lead. Last December, Democrats held a 15-point lead. At one point in 2007, Democrats held a 23-point lead, and for all of that year, 2007, Democrats held a double-digit lead.
The new Republican lead is the result of a dramatic move of independents toward the Republican party. In the new poll, according to Gallup, the GOP leads among independents, 52 percent to 30 percent -- whopping 22-point margin. Last month, the Republican lead among independents was just nine points, and in July, the GOP lead was a single point. So among independents, the Republican lead has gone from one point to 22 points in less than six months -- with much of lead accumulating in the last month.
'This administration has pulled off an astonishing hat trick -- they have irritated Democrats, alienated independents and energized Republicans," says the Republican National Committee in a statement on the poll released this morning. "Last Tuesday's election made it official -- Americans, and especially they independent-minded voters, are soundly rejecting the big-government, over-reaching policies of President Obama and Washington Democrats. The voters have demonstrated tremendous backlash to the Obama administration's hard turn to the left. Republicans are the party of conservative problem-solvers while the Democrats have clearly demonstrated they are the party of big-government simply by the policies they have supported -- a failed stimulus package, a trillion dollar government-run health care experiment, and a job-killing national energy tax."
Thursday, October 22, 2009
"Since Muslims make up 20% of the world's population, their involvement in over 50% of the world's terrorist groups is telling and troubling"
But it is "Islamophobic" to notice, doncha know.
"An(other) Inconvenient Truth--about Terrorism," by Timothy Rhea Furnish for the History News Network, October 19 (thanks to the astounding Kathy Shaidle):
So, just over half the world's terrorist organizations are Muslim in origin and function. No other religious ideology is close--not even, most notably, Christianity (with its 2 billion+ membership, you'd think more would be involved in violence, wouldn't you?). Since Muslims make up 20% of the world's population, their involvement in over 50% of the world's terrrorist [sic] groups is telling and troubling--and something the NIS is loathe to admit, thus tainting its claim to "know...the nature of the threats."
Link to article History News Network
Posted using ShareThis
Monday, March 09, 2009
It has been increasingly quiet for American service personnel in Iraq in the past few weeks. Looks like President Oby won the war, in less than 45 days. Now he can concentrate on pulling the troops out of Afghanistan, pulling the plug on missile shield in eastern Europe, throw eastern European friends under the socialist bus, side with the Russians, throw Israel under the bus, side with the Arabs, etc etc.
all in a days work for President Oby.
But, Iraq, President Oby won the war in less than 45 days. He straightened out Bush's Quagmire.....
Monday, March 02, 2009
Well folks, what do you say now. The rise of new age marxism, before our very eyes. Courtesy of Fox News: New Europe’ Longs for Bush as Obama Turns Focus to EU, Russia
Eastern European governments that ran political risks to support former President George W. Bush’s security policies are now concerned that his successor, Barack Obama, will backtrack on those regional commitments.
Leaders in the Czech Republic, Poland and other former communist nations face a backlash at home over their support of Bush-era initiatives, including the proposed U.S. missile- defense system and troop participation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, concern is growing in eastern Europe that it will be put on “the back burner” as the Obama administration talks about working with Russia and western Europe on issues such as Iran, says Annette Heuser, executive director of the Bertelsmann Foundation, a policy group in Washington.
Obama, 47, will have a chance to personally assuage concerns next month. After ignoring pleas from the east on his trip to Berlin, Paris and London as candidate last year, he will make his first visit there as president on April 5, Czech Premier Mirek Topolanek said yesterday. The president will travel to Prague to meet with European Union leaders, Topolanek said; the Czech Republic currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
While it’s too early to say what the president’s overall foreign policy will be, “we can see that Obama wants better relations with Russia and that he’s skeptical about missile defense,” says Jaroslaw Walesa, a lawmaker in Poland’s ruling Citizens’ Platform party and the son of the country’s first post-communist president, Lech Walesa.
Eastern Europe’s Angst
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Welfare Entitlements Reparations Act of 2009
Just a month a few days of loose change in the White House (gotta change that name to pink house, yellow house, red house, or ****house) President Barry Milhous Obamy signed the Welfare Entitlements Reparations Act of 2009, essentially making the average American taxpayer be libel to the tune of $25,000 tax bill and rising. (Financially challenged will collect $500 and a debt free house courtesy of the Acorn Mortgage Management Corporation).
Barry Milhous Obamy, the new Robin Hood of the Washington Forest, figures that by the time he is done robbing the rich to pay the poor, America will be fleeced dry and he can then sell all Federal Land to the China, Russia, and Venezuela. And, Russia can claim the oil on the Alaska North Slopes, that way his hands will be clean for the environmentalists.
From what I understand Hot Dog Frank, Stretch Pelosi, Swift-boat (rice in his but) Kerry, and Sheets Reid will overturn the 22nd Amendment and install the messiah for life.
Pelosi was overheard telling Barbie Boxer that she has never had a better time ****ing the stupid voters and that the swamp mice are multiplying and taking up residence in the Bart tunnel. That should stop the Bart trains and save the economy of the flower city.
Mission accomplished **** you John Wayne and put your apple pie someplace else.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Preserving ‘Harmony’ for Islamic Radicals
Geert Wilders is barred from entering the United Kingdom.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
It has come to this: If you are an Islamic radical, trained to carry out terrorist atrocities in al-Qaeda’s jihad against the United Kingdom, the British will welcome you with open arms. Not content with that, Great Britain will lobby insistently for your release from custody so that you may freely roam British streets—and the halls of Westminster.
If, by contrast, you are a duly elected representative in the democratic government of a country to which England is bound in the European Union, and you speak about the undeniable—though mulishly denied—nexus between Islamic doctrine and jihadist terror, Great Britain will slam her door in your face.
That is the lesson in the appalling saga of Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament and Exhibit Umpty-Umpth illustrating the depths of capitulation to which the West has sunk in its half-hearted bid for cultural survival.
On Tuesday, British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith took time out of her busy schedule of protecting from extradition Britain’s expanding roster of resident terrorists to warn Wilders that he was not welcome in the country—notwithstanding that the vision of Europe as a “union” is supposed to mean that Europeans may travel freely within it. Quite apart from the fact that Wilders is a government official of the Netherlands, he was not visiting the U.K. on a lark. He was the invited guest of Malcolm Pearson, a member of the House of Lords. Lord Pearson and Baroness Caroline Cox (a human-rights activist who has worked tirelessly on behalf of enslaved and oppressed Christians and Muslims in Sudan) had asked Wilders to screen his short, controversial film, Fitna.
Wilders is a lightning rod. In the great tradition of the Enlightenment, and to the consternation of post-sovereign Europe, he faithfully reports what his senses perceive. When he studies the Koran, he finds exhortations to violence. When he reads Allah’s command in Sura 9:5 that “when the sacred months have passed,” Muslims must “slay the idolaters wherever ye find them,” he entertains the outlandish idea that this means what it plainly says, and is understood by many Muslims as doing so. He has noticed, after all, that this passage is not singular, that its injunction is a recurrent theme in the Koran, and that the sentiment is even more pronounced in the Hadith and other Islamic scriptures, which elevate jihad—in its original, accurate, military sense: waging war against unbelievers—to the highest form of worship. He has noticed, moreover, that Muslim militants seem to slay the idolaters and other unbelievers with some regularity.
So Wilders is not making this up. It is, in fact, a view of Muslim doctrine he shares with some of the world’s most renowned authorities on the subject. There is, for instance, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the inspiration for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and also, according to Osama bin Laden, for the 9/11 attacks. Rahman’s leadership position in the global jihad stems solely from his scholarship—he is a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence and a graduate of Egypt’s al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni learning. Or, to cite another example (and I could cite many others), there is Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who fomented international rioting over cartoons of Mohammed and who urges jihadists to continue the fight “in Palestine, in Iraq, in Lebanon, and in every country that has been conquered by foreigners.” Our own State Department describes Qaradawi as an “intelligent and thoughtful voice” from the Middle East who “deserves our attention.”
For his trouble in pointing out the ability of doctrine to inspire action, Wilders has been indicted in Holland for “inciting hatred.” Prosecutors initially declined to pursue the case, but they have been overruled by Amsterdam’s craven court of appeals, which is paralyzed by dread of upsetting Dutch Muslims, who have been known to erupt in murderous riots over perceived slights.
Fitna runs about 15 minutes long. It depicts a phenomenon familiar to Britons who witnessed July 7 and Americans who lived through September 11: The faithful rendition of verses from the Koran, often recited by influential Islamic clerics, followed by acts of terrorism committed by Muslim militants who profess that they are simply putting those scriptures into action. To be sure, this is not the dominant interpretation among the world’s billion-plus Muslims, most of whom do not so much interpret their creed as ignore those parts that would otherwise trouble them. But to deny that Fitna reflects an intellectually consistent construction of Islam, adhered to by an energetic minority, is to deny reality.
Wilders, consequently, discerns parallels between the Koran and Adolph Hitler’s polemic, Mein Kampf. Let’s set aside the fact that the German kampf and the Arabic jihad convey the same meaning—struggle. The analogy pressed by Wilders is hardly foreign to British ears. As Middle East expert Daniel Pipes and researcher Andrew Bostom have noted, none less than Winston Churchill himself, in his history of the Second World War, described Mein Kampf as “the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message.” One needn’t accept the analogy (Pipes, for example, does not) to concede it is not a frivolous one.
Today’s Britain, however, is not the Britain of Churchill and free expression, but of Jacqui Smith and multicultural hypersensitivity. Wilders intended to screen his film in the House of Lords in late January, but his trip was postponed due to the machinations of Nazir Ahmed, a Labour lord and grievance-industry agitator of the first order. As the Hudson Institute’s Thomas Landen reports, Lord Ahmed threatened to mobilize 10,000 rabble-rousers to prevent Wilders from entering Parliament. When the trip was rescheduled for this week, Smith’s office issued a curt letter apprising Wilders that he would not be admitted into the country. According to the letter, Wilders’s “statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the U.K.” Later, the Home Office laughably maintained that by barring Wilders it was perforce barring “extremism, hatred, and violent messages.”
Of course, extremism, hatred, and violent messages have found a comfortable home in the birthplace of Western civil rights, where “community harmony” means that jihadists talk and you listen. In 2005, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch for Joran Jermas, one of Sweden’s most rabid anti-Semites, who predictably ranted about the “Jewish supremacy drive,” the Jews as the “one reason for wars, terror and trouble” in the Middle East, and Zionist “control” of Western mass media. The following year, his guest at Westminster, a building that happens to be one of al-Qaeda’s most coveted targets, was Mahmoud Suliman Ahmed Abu Rideh, who attended a session of the House of Commons. Before his release in 2005, Abu Rideh, a Palestinian, had been detained under Britain’s Terrorism Act of 2001 (an enactment later voided by the law lords as a violation of human rights) due to al-Qaeda connections and threats to carry out a bombing plot. Not to worry: Abu Rideh explained that he didn’t leave his family to go to Afghanistan for jihad, but to set up a charitable school for children. Next case.
Suspected al-Qaeda members are welcome in Parliament, but not a member of the Dutch parliament. Britain has a revolving door for Islamic radicals but a closed door for their democratic critics. In 2004, British authorities insisted that the Bush administration return to the U.K. all Britons who, having been captured fighting with the enemy in Afghanistan and elsewhere, were held at Guantanamo Bay. After President Bush acceded, the former detainees were promptly released.
Not content with that, the Brits proceeded to demand that non-British detainees be shipped to England from Gitmo if they had any basis to claim legal U.K. residence. Despite the Pentagon’s protestations that these detainees were extremely dangerous, the Bush administration again relented. As night follows day, in late 2007, British authorities set the suspected terrorists free. And when this move aroused grave public concern, Lord Peter Henry Goldsmith, a former attorney general, gave voice to the Labour government’s dismissive party line: It did not matter whether the men were dangerous, because at stake was a “principle . . . which is more important.” “The principle,” Lord Goldsmith piously proclaimed, “is fundamental civil liberties.”
Indeed. Fundamental civil liberties for those committed to destroying the ever-diminishing British way of life. Cassandra has been shown the door.
— National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy is the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008).
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
In the Hannity forum this morning, Red Wing Lion started an interesting post about the FBI probing 530 corporate fraud cases--Fox News
I watched banking reps getting grilled about their alleged mismanagement of TARP funds, and it got me to thinking how many US legislators in the Senate and House should get investigated too and who should do the grilling.
Watching Barney Frank at this morning Bank TARP Money hearing with his pompous attitude made my chuckle and also made me angry at the same time.
I figure that in the House, we have about 251 representatives of a variety of flavors. In the Senate we have about 100 representatives of a variety of flavors.
Just how many legislators are ethically challenged and have misguided agendas? Be specific on whom you believe should be under investigation and be specific on to whom and why they should be named in federal indictments.
What say you America?
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Some are beginning to question the President's tone and leadership. According to newspaper articles, President Obama is mocking his political rivals and accusing them of playing games with his economic "porkulus" package.
On Thursday evening during an interview on Fox News, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pointed out that the President was "AWOL" on the legislation. Senator Graham indicated that the president has taken no leadership in the issue, promoted partisan politics and was trying to "scare" the public in his press releases and campaign issues.
Conservatives are complaining that while Obama held a set of good-faith
bipartisan meetings with congressional leaders in January, now he's reverted to
campaign mode in a bid to muscle the more than $900 billion package through
Congress. Obama said Friday it is "inexcusable and irresponsible" to
delay passage of the recovery plan.
"He reduced himself from being president of all the American people to being the partisan leader of the left," former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said of Obama's Thursday night speech. "The first month of your presidency is not a very good time to give a campaign speech."
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., defended President Obama's behavior and politicking on Fox News by saying, "The president can't write this bill. The Congress has to, but the two can mutually collaborate." I discussed this with one of my liberal friends who is still suffering from Bush derangement syndrome, and he explained to be that the President cannot interject himself into the matter because there has to be three distinct separation of powers, judicial, legislative, and executive powers and that the President must not "bully" congress. I pointed out that he should lead. His Vice President shows a lack of leadership too. Vice President Biden has shown his partisan self during this economic "porkulus" package debate.
I believe that the President could in good faith tell the legislators to knock off the pork, perhaps forward them an "unofficial" economic stimulus outline and tell them to remove the pork. We need leaders and not political hacks in charge of processes.
President Obama is the guy who said that he won and that there was no compromise on his "porkulus" package. About all I can say about the current situation is that President Obama's concepts on transparency, bi-partisanship, and change is rather one sided; his way or the highway.
Every time a conservative or republican disagrees with the President, Senator Reid, or Congresswoman Pelosi, one will expect to be singled out, strong armed, or chastised.
I sincerely hope that President Obama will eventually develop some leadership traits and leave his political activism behind.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Obama signs executive order lifting ban on federal funding for groups that help provide abortions abroad.....
President Obama sure does not care about any aborted children. I suspect that he may believe that late term abortions will be the best way to deal with the mistakes, problems, and possibly a good way for population control.
On the other hand President Obama has given stem cell research using embryonic stem cells a green light.
(Liberals eat their children, don't they?)
Link: Breaking News >> Obama to Lift Ban on Overseas Abortion Funding
Other posting on the topic"
Activists to Obama: Go watch abortion: 'President-elect must learn no one owns the right to life of another human'
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
The “Fairness Doctrine” is The Censorship Doctrine
Media Research Center's Free Speech Alliance is a fast-growing coalition of organizations and individuals, who, like you, cherish free speech and who have proactively joined to ensure the misnamed “Fairness Doctrine” never returns to silence the conservative voice in America.
First enacted by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in 1949, the Fairness Doctrine required radio stations give equal time to all sides on political issues. However, the result wasn’t equal time, it was zero time – as stations simply avoided topics that would fall under FCC equal time rules.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan rescinded the Fairness Doctrine and since then, talk radio has flourished. Conservatives dominate it, and liberals can’t stand it. By re-instating the Fairness Doctrine, liberals would effectively silence the conservative leaders of the day including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and others, and would essentially take control of all forms of media.
In recent months, the groundswell for reinstatement is intensifying. In fact, a growing number of liberal leaders in Washington, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have openly stated their intent to do so.
As Americans, we cannot sit idly by while this gag order on conservative speech is resuscitated. The time to act is now—so when the time comes, we are mobilized and prepared to defend our Free Speech Rights.
Go to the link at Media Research Center and join the Free Speech Alliance: http://www.mrcaction.org/517/petition.asp?Ref_ID=2060&RID=17771283
Courtesy of L. Brent Bozell III, Media Research Center
Ann Coulter’s new book “Guilty” is out and two things are certain: It will surely be another best-seller, and she will once again drive the Left bonkers. No institution will be more offended than the national press. Prepare to witness their meltdown.
The Drudge Report caused a firestorm when anonymous NBC insiders leaked the word that Coulter had been “banned for life” from that network. CBS featured her on “The Early Show” and a combative Harry Smith tried to insult her to the extreme. He called her “goofy,” “simplistic,” “sophomoric,” and a “whiner.” “You should have a cross,” he said dismissively. “You should put yourself up on a cross.” Why are they so upset?
The so-called “objective” media clearly feel threatened because they are the very liberals Coulter is attacking. If they weren’t liberals, none of her mockery of liberals would bother them. Oh, they might not appreciate her style, as some conservatives don’t. But they wouldn’t have pitched debates inside their walls about how they will savage her in interviews – and I defy the networks to deny this – or how they would remove her from their airwaves altogether.
Those rumored bans have been demanded by the leftist lobbyists for the Censorship Doctrine – people who say they oppose “conservative misinformation,” but clearly want conservatives tossed from the radio and TV airwaves before “misinformation” or just plain conservative thought spills out. They have pressured the networks to stop helping Coulter sell books. Freedom of speech is truly a dangerous concept when conservatives exercise it.
But liberals who claim to oppose “inflammatory rhetoric” on television when it comes from conservatives have no problem with uncivil liberalism. Or 100 percent hate-filled left-wing character assassination. Take NBC, which could not look sillier if it ever seriously banned Coulter for being hyperbolic, when vicious, hyperbolic liberals (Olbermann, Maddow, and Matthews) dominate MSNBC.
It’s easy to run down a list of inflammatory liberals who are welcomed on the TV morning shows. Start with Kitty Kelley’s wild “investigative” books on the Reagans or the Bushes. Or Michael Moore’s kooky conspiracy theories. Or Al Franken suggesting Karl Rove and Scooter Libby should be executed over Plamegate. (NBC’s Matt Lauer and his off-camera crew laughed at that.)
Or recall Bill Maher on his HBO show in 2007 suggesting Arianna Huffington shouldn’t ban commenters on her website wishing Dick Cheney had died in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan. “That’s a funny joke,” Maher said. “If this isn’t China, shouldn’t you be able to say that?” He added that Cheney’s death by suicide bomber might be a public service: “I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.”
Harry Smith hosted Maher on CBS just months ago on his faith-mocking movie “Religulous” and didn’t say one discouraging word to him about his caustic remarks about Cheney or his hateful anti-Christian bigotry. Not one word.
But when Ann Coulter speaks, the brass knuckles come out. In 2007, Coulter was heavily criticized for joking that she couldn’t talk about John Edwards, since an ABC actor was forced to apologize for saying “faggot” at the Golden Globes. Liberals were furious. Coulter responded by saying next time, she’d echo Bill Maher and just wish Edwards died in a terrorist attack. Elizabeth Edwards then denounced Coulter for suggesting she wanted her husband dead. Harry Smith invited Mrs. Edwards on CBS, offered her brief softballs and let her verbally whack Coulter with a bat.
Smith is an enormous hypocrite. He completely ignored vicious remarks by Mrs. Edwards just days before, in accepting a “Rage for Justice” award, that the Bush administration was waging a class war that compared to slaughters in Darfur:
“The White House has led the charge against working people, in their own class war. The late, great Molly Ivins once wrote: ‘If there was class warfare, that war was long over. And it was a massacre… a genocide to which there have been words of acknowledgment, as there have in Darfur, but as with Darfur, no meaningful action.’”
But when Ann Coulter comes on the set with Smith, the gloves come off.
Ann Coulter’s liberal-bashing columns and books and television appearances are fun for conservatives, simply because there’s nothing funnier for the right that witnessing CBS putting up on its own screen a Coulter quote about Ted Kennedy and CBS: “Kennedy may be a drunken slob, but unlike CBS News anchors, he is not certifiably insane.”
Call Coulter outrageous, call her a bomb-thrower, even state she goes beyond the pale of civility, if that’s your read. But do not assign that label to Coulter and then present your on-air love and kisses and giggles to all the public leftist hate-spewing that far exceeds any perceived incivility by Coulter. That is utterly transparent liberalism, and utterly transparent hypocrisy.
Monday, January 05, 2009
Just days ago we had read about the Islamic hatred of Jews in the UK and Denmark. Now like a life threatening disease it has spread to Belgium. As an Islamic group was caught with a mafia style hit list of prominent Jews in Belgium.
Bernard Henri Levy among 6 Jews said targeted by Islamist group
By Haaretz Service
Jewish-French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy was listed by a Belgium-based Islamist group as a target for assassination alongside other leading Jewish personalities in Europe, the Belgian daily La Derniere Heure reported earlier this week.
The planned assassination was apparently thwarted after group leader Abdelkader Belliraj, a Belgian of Moroccan ascent, was arrested last February in Morocco, the newspaper reported.
Belgian authorities found the list during a raid on homes of local Muslim community members last November, according to the report.
The hit list mentioned the names of five other well-know Jewish figures in Belgium and France: Josy Eisenberg, producer of the A Bible ouverte (Open Bible) television program on FR2; Simone Susskind, a leader of Belgium's secular Jewish community; attorney Markus Pardes, president of the International Association of Jewish lawyers and jurists; Belgian writer Jean-Claude Bologne and La Derniere Heure reporter Edmond Blattche.
Belliraj is scheduled for trial next week over charges of assassinating and orchestrating the murders of six people in Belgium during 1980s, as well as for charges of arms trafficking.
Just received the following email from my friend at Tygrrrr Express
It appears that Israel and much of the civilized world finally understands that all out war is necessary to deal with the Palestinians. When leftist peaceniks have finally had enough of being punched in the face by those they want to help, then there truly is hope for a sensible resolution to this conflict.
I hate war. War is hell. Being murdered by those that refuse peace is worse. Allowing Israel to finish what it failed to do in 2006 will allow 2009 to bring us one step closer to peace.
As always, if you have anything to promote, especially if it deals with this topic, please let me know. I received some spectacular hate mail this week, and look forward to entertaining the many with the intellectual deficiencies of the few.
Another friend, Abe, summed it up the other day, Olmert has let it go too far. He should have dealt with it quite some time ago. Now it's costing more, and it can't be as successful. Still, it's the last chance before Obama gets into office.
My prayers go out for Israel who has to endure the hardships and terrorist acts of fascist proxy, Hamas, and its Iranian handlers.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Israeli population centers in southern Israel have been the target of over 4,000 rockets, as well as thousands of mortar shells, fired by Hamas and other organizations since 2001. Rocket attacks increased by 500 percent after Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. During an informal six-month lull, some 215 rockets were launched at Israel.
The charge that Israel uses disproportionate force keeps resurfacing whenever it has to defend its citizens from non-state terrorist organizations and the rocket attacks they perpetrate. From a purely legal perspective, Israel's current military actions in Gaza are on solid ground. According to international law, Israel is not required to calibrate its use of force precisely according to the size and range of the weaponry used against it.
Ibrahim Barzak and Amy Teibel wrote for the Associated Press on December 28 that most of the 230 Palestinians who were reportedly killed were "security forces," and Palestinian officials said "at least 15 civilians were among the dead." The numbers reported indicate that there was no clear intent to inflict disproportionate collateral civilian casualties. What is critical from the standpoint of international law is that if the attempt has been made "to minimize civilian damage, then even a strike that causes large amounts of damage - but is directed at a target with very large military value - would be lawful."
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, explained that international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court "permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against military objectives, even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur." The attack becomes a war crime when it is directed against civilians (which is precisely what Hamas does).
After 9/11, when the Western alliance united to collectively topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, no one compared Afghan casualties in 2001 to the actual numbers that died from al-Qaeda's attack. There clearly is no international expectation that military losses in war should be on a one-to-one basis. To expect Israel to hold back in its use of decisive force against legitimate military targets in Gaza is to condemn it to a long war of attrition with Hamas.
Israel is currently benefiting from a limited degree of understanding in international diplomatic and media circles for launching a major military operation against Hamas on December 27. Yet there are significant international voices that are prepared to argue that Israel is using disproportionate force in its struggle against Hamas.
Israeli Population Centers Under Rocket Attack
There are good reasons why initial criticism of Israel has been muted. After all, Israeli population centers in southern Israel have been the target of over 4,000 rockets, as well as thousands of mortar shells, fired by Hamas and other organizations since 2001. The majority of those attacks were launched after Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. Indeed, rocket attacks increased by 500 percent (from 179 to 946) from 2005 to 2006.
Moreover, lately Hamas has been extending the range of its striking capability even further with new rockets supplied by Iran. Hamas used a 20.4-kilometer-range Grad/Katyusha for the first time on March 28, 2006, bringing the Israeli city of Ashkelon into range of its rockets for the first time. That change increased the number of Israelis under threat from 200,000 to half a million. Moreover, on December 21, 2008, Yuval Diskin, Head of the Israel Security Agency, informed the Israeli government that Hamas had acquired rockets that could reach Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, and even the outskirts of Beersheba. The first Grad/Katyusha strike on Ashdod, in fact, took place on December 28. There had been no formal cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, but only an informal six-month tahadiya (lull), during which 215 rockets were launched at Israel. On December 21, Hamas unilaterally announced that the tahadiya had ended.
On December 27, 2008, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesmen issued a statement saying that while the Secretary-General recognized "Israel's security concerns regarding the continued firing of rockets from Gaza," he reiterated "Israel's obligation to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law." The statement specifically noted that he "condemns excessive use of force leading to the killing and injuring of civilians [emphasis added]."
A day later, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights "strongly condemned Israel's disproportionate use of force." French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, also condemned Israel's "disproportionate use of force," while demanding an end to rocket attacks on Israel. Brazil also joined this chorus, criticizing Israel's "disproportionate response." Undoubtedly, a powerful impression has been created by large Western newspaper headlines that describe massive Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, without any up-front explanation for their cause.
Proportionality and International Law: The Protection of Innocent Civilians
The charge that Israel uses disproportionate force keeps resurfacing whenever it has to defend its citizens from non-state terrorist organizations and the rocket attacks they perpetrate. From a purely legal perspective, Israel's current military actions in Gaza are on solid ground. According to international law, Israel is not required to calibrate its use of force precisely according to the size and range of the weaponry used against it (Israel is not expected to make Kassam rockets and lob them back into Gaza).
When international legal experts use the term "disproportionate use of force," they have a very precise meaning in mind. As the President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Rosalyn Higgins, has noted, proportionality "cannot be in relation to any specific prior injury - it has to be in relation to the overall legitimate objective of ending the aggression." In other words, if a state, like Israel, is facing aggression, then proportionality addresses whether force was specifically used by Israel to bring an end to the armed attack against it. By implication, force becomes excessive if it is employed for another purpose, like causing unnecessary harm to civilians. The pivotal factor determining whether force is excessive is the intent of the military commander. In particular, one has to assess what was the commander's intent regarding collateral civilian damage.
What about reports concerning civilian casualties? Some international news agencies have stressed that the vast majority of those killed in the first phase of the current Gaza operation were Hamas operatives. Ibrahim Barzak and Amy Teibel wrote for the Associated Press on December 28 that most of the 230 Palestinians who were reportedly killed were "security forces," and Palestinian officials said "at least 15 civilians were among the dead." It is far too early to definitely assess Palestinian casualties, but even if they increase, the numbers reported indicate that there was no clear intent to inflict disproportionate collateral civilian casualties.
During the Second Lebanon War, Professor Michael Newton of Vanderbilt University was in email communication with William Safire of the New York Times about the issue of proportionality and international law. Newton had been quoted by the Council on Foreign Relations as explaining proportionality by proposing a test: "If someone punches you in the nose, you don't burn down their house." He was serving as an international criminal law expert in Baghdad and sought to correct the impression given by his quote. According to Newton, no responsible military commander intentionally targets civilians, and he accepted that this was Israeli practice.
What was critical from the standpoint of international law was that if the attempt had been made "to minimize civilian damage, then even a strike that causes large amounts of damage - but is directed at a target with very large military value - would be lawful." Numbers matter less than the purpose of the use of force. Israel has argued that it is specifically targeting facilities serving the Hamas regime and its determined effort to continue its rocket assault on Israel: headquarters, training bases, weapons depots, command and control networks, and weapons-smuggling tunnels. This way Israel is respecting the international legal concept of proportionality.
Alternatively, disproportionality would occur if the military sought to attack even if the value of a target selected was minimal in comparison with the enormous risk of civilian collateral damage. This point was made by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, on February 9, 2006, in analyzing the Iraq War. He explained that international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court "permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks [emphasis added] against military objectives, even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur." The attack becomes a war crime when it is directed against civilians (which is precisely what Hamas does) or when "the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage." In fact, Israeli legal experts right up the chain of command within the IDF make this calculation before all military operations of this sort.
Proportionality as a Strategic Issue
Moving beyond the question of international law, the charge that Israel is using a disproportionate amount of force in the Gaza Strip because of reports of Palestinian casualties has to be looked at critically. Israelis have often said among themselves over the last seven years that when a Hamas rocket makes a direct strike on a crowded school, killing many children, then Israel will finally act.
This scenario raises the question of whether the doctrine of proportionality requires that Israel wait for this horror to occur, or whether Israel could act on the basis of the destructive capability of the arsenal Hamas already possesses, the hostile declarations of intent of its leaders, and its readiness to use its rocket forces already. Alan Dershowitz noted two years ago: "Proportion must be defined by reference to the threat proposed by an enemy and not by the harm it has produced." Waiting for a Hamas rocket to fall on an Israeli school, he rightly notes, would put Israel in the position of allowing "its enemies to play Russian Roulette with its children."
The fundamental fact is that in fighting terrorism, no state is willing to play Russian Roulette. After the U.S. was attacked on 9/11, the Western alliance united to collectively topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan; no one compared Afghan casualties in 2001 to the actual numbers that died from al-Qaeda's attack. Given that al-Qaeda was seeking non-conventional capabilities, it was essential to wage a campaign to deny it the sanctuary it had enjoyed in Afghanistan, even though that struggle continues right up to the present.
Is There Proportionality Against Military Forces?
And in fighting counterinsurgency wars, most armies seek to achieve military victory by defeating the military capacity of an adversary, as efficiently as possible. There clearly is no international expectation that military losses in war should be on a one-to-one basis; most armies seek to decisively eliminate as many enemy forces as possible while minimizing their own losses of troops. There are NATO members who have been critical of "Israel's disproportionate use of force," while NATO armies take pride in their "kill ratios" against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Moreover, decisive military action against an aggressor has another effect: it increases deterrence.To expect Israel to hold back in its use of decisive force against legitimate military targets in Gaza is to condemn it to a long war of attrition with Hamas.
The loss of any civilian lives is truly regrettable. Israel has canceled many military operations because of its concern with civilian casualties. But should civilian losses occur despite the best efforts of Israel to avoid them, it is ultimately not Israel's responsibility. As political philosopher Michael Walzer noted in 2006: "When Palestinian militants launch rocket attacks from civilian areas, they are themselves responsible - and no one else is - for the civilian deaths caused by Israeli counterfire."
International critics of Israel may be looking to craft balanced statements that spread the blame for the present conflict to both sides. But they would be better served if they did not engage in this artificial exercise, and clearly distinguish the side that is the aggressor in this conflict - Hamas - and the side that is trying to defeat the aggression - Israel.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Courtesy of KFMB San Diego (Los Angeles Times) Immigrant advocates said that long-stalled efforts to legalize millions of illegal migrants, crack down on employers who hire them and win more family visas would be revived next year and could possibly succeed in early 2010 following sizable Democratic gains powered by record turnouts of Latino voters in the November election. Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, a Washington-based immigrant advocacy organization, said that Democrats who favored a comprehensive reform approach beat Republicans advocating only border control and other enforcement measures in 20 of 22 congressional races in such battleground states as Colorado and New Mexico. Those results were in part driven by Latino voters, who doubled their turnout over 2000, supported President-elect Barack Obama over Republican nominee John McCain 67% to 31% and helped Democrats win, in addition to Colorado and New Mexico, other swing states such as Florida and Nevada, Sharry said. CONTINUED…
(Boston Herald) Will you be getting a pay raise next year? No, I didn’t think so. Well, guess who will be getting a little something extra in their direct deposits in a couple of weeks? The U.S. Congress - all 535 of those sticky-fingered windbags. Merry Christmas from the taxpayers. This is not a joke. Thanks for the subpri me mortgage crisis, Barney Frank! Here’s your bonus for tanking the economy - another $4,700, on top of the $169,300 you were already making. Isn’t it odd that this Yuletide pay grab is generating so little press? I spotted it yesterday on The Hill Web site, under the headline, “With economy in shambles, Congress gets a raise.” These same statesmen have been railing against Detroit’s Big 3 CEOs, demanding they take a dollar a year. Yet somehow it’s OK for them to chow down for another heaping helping at the public trough. CONTINUED…