Monday, July 31, 2006

Tears In Heaven

1 Then I saw (A) a new heaven and a new Earth; for (B) the first heaven and the first Earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

2 And I saw (C) the holy city, (D) new Jerusalem, (E) coming down out of heaven from God, (F) made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, (G) the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will (H) dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them [a], 4 and He will (I) wipe away every tear from their eyes; and (J) there will no longer be any death; (K) there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; (L) the first things have passed away."

5 And (M) He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am (N) making all things new " And He said, "Write, for (O) these words are faithful and true."

6 Then He said to me, "(P) It is done. I am the (Q) Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (R) I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the (S) water of life without cost.

7 "(T) He who overcomes will inherit these things, and (U) I will be his God and he will be My son.

8 "(V) But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in (W) the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the (X) second death."

-Revelation 21:1-8

The Devils In The Details

Last Friday Hezbollah, via the Lebanese government it controls, proposed terms of a cease-fire.

Wow, you may be saying, the Hezbos are sueing for peace? That must mean they're on the verge of collapse to make such a public show of weakness, right?

Well, maybe. Or maybe they're trying to pre-empt an all-out IDF invasion that really will put them out of commission for good.

The other possibility is that they're trying to capitalize on the usual anti-Israel bias of the "international community" to defeat Israel where they're always the most vulnerable - the court of "world opinion."

Certainly the terms the offer don't exactly constitute a compromise:

(1) An immediate cease fire [Advantage, Hezbollah - Their survival would be assured, and that would be a huge victory for them and defeat for Israel.]

(2) The release of Lebanese and Israeli prisoners [Advantage, Hezbollah - getting their terrorists back was one of the proclaimed reasons why they kidnapped several IDF soldiers.]

(3) Israeli withdrawal behind the border [Advantage, Hezbollah - Israel would have no direct, and therefore no reliable, way of ensuring that the Hezbos wouldn't return and start building up for the next round.]

(4) Resolution of the status of Chebaa Farms, a small piece of land held by Israel and claimed by Lebanon, in favor of Lebanon [Advantage, Hezbollah - more "land for peace"!]

(5) The "disarming" Hezbollah [By whom? The vaunted Lebanese war machine? The UN? Good Lord, how stupid do they think the Jews are?]

(6) The deployment of the Lebanese army in the south, with the strengthening and increasing of the small, lightly armed U.N. peacekeeping force currently there. [The IDF may as well put up scarecrows on the border.]

Can we be frank about this? Hezbollah IS the Lebanese army, just as Hezbollah pretty much IS the Lebanese government. Any alleged "Lebanese army" force would be completely shot through and infiltrated with Hezbo terrorists provided fresh cover by the government facade and their replenishment of blue-helmeted human shields.

These terms are a joke. Any terms that don't have the complete annihilation of Hezbollah as a prerequisite are a joke. No "peace-keeping" force will ever have any peace to keep until there is no longer anything from which to separate Israel. And that would negate the need for that function.

Small wonder, then, that the Israelis balked at the Hezbo "peace" offer. Though, perplexingly, they have agreed in principle to capitulate to Hamas in Gaza on pretty much the same deal, paying the Sunni terror gang's ransom (releasing terrorist prisoners) in exchange for the now-famed Corporal Gilad Shalit. Maybe the thinking is that Hamas is much less of a threat than Hezbollah and thus they don't lose much from making this trade, since they can take back Gaza any time they want, and they need a quiet southern front to mobilize for the big ground effort in Lebanon. Still, if this is so, one has to wonder why the IDF "incursed" into Gaza in the first place after Corporal Shalit was taken instead of just giving in three-plus weeks ago and saving a great deal of time and treasure.

Regardless, it looks like StratFor heard correctly on Israel's "major shift" in the war:

Israel must not agree to an immediate cease-fire, but rather expand and strengthen its attacks on Hizbullah, Defense Minister Amir Peretz told an emergency session of the Knesset on Monday.

"We must not agree to a ceasefire that would be implemented immediately," Peretz said at the start of the heated session. ...

Peretz's speech was widely echoed by MKs across the spectrum including Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu who added that Hizbullah posed a strategic threat, and therefore required a strategic victory.

"The journey of war is like any other journey. It starts easily but midway there's a difficult junction where we must decide whether we continue to climb the mountain or stop," said Netanyahu. "I call on the government: Don't stop midway. Complete the job."

The Israelis can, in fact, do nothing else. This is why Mr. Peretz's speech was "widely echoed across the [political] spectrum," and the reason for that is because the war enjoys 90% public support. This is why the Olmert regime counter-attacked in the south AND north, this is why it is ignoring "international" demands for a pre-mature cease-fire, and this is why it dare not go limp before Hezbollah is beaten. As Cap'n Ed sagely observes, if the Kadithaites go wobbly, they'll be replaced in short order by Likud and Binyamin Netanyahu, who....won't. The stakes in this battle are too high, both for the Israelis and for the U.S., to settle for anything less.

As that endgame draws near, keep an eye out for Iran's next "little surprise." They will not voluntarily let this campaign end with an Israeli victory. They must have an escalation that forces a direct confrontation with the U.S., or they will have squandered Hezbollah for nothing.

Israel doing what it must, and yet still playing into its ultimate enemy's hands. This, truly, is the wages of "the peace process." Hopefully it's a lesson that the Jews will live to learn, even if the "international community" never will.

The Qana Hoax?

Some additional facts have come out about the supposed "Qana Massacre" that don't quite square with the Enemy Media template of this incident in the Battle of Lebanon.

Per Powerline:

***The Jerusalem Post reports that....

Some 150 rockets were fired from the Lebanese village of Qana over the past twenty days, Air Force Chief of Staff Brigadier-General Amir Eshel said on Sunday evening.

Speaking to reporters, Eshel added that Hizbullah rocket launchers were hidden in civilian buildings in the village. He proceeded to show video footage of rocket launchers being driven into the village following launches.

***The IDF dropped a blizzard of leaflets warning residents of Qana to leave and didn't know that refugees were in the same building where Hezbollah terrorists were hiding.

Per Confederate Yankee:

***The ASSociated Press story on the IAF's Qana strike makes it sound like the the Israeli missile demolished the three-story house in question on impact (~1 AM local time Sunday morning). Yet in reality the house didn't collapse for another seven hours, meaning that there was ample time for all the occupants to get out safely. So why were they still inside the house?

***Of the fifty-six reported dead, forty-six were emphasized as being "women and children" but none of the men were identified or even discussed. Rather odd if these were all innocent civilians.

***The pattern of Hezbollah rocket attacks is incriminatingly familiar:

In Qana this morning, the Katyusha squads took their rocket launchers and rockets from inside the buildings, fired off the rockets at Israel and then rushed back inside.
C.Y. puts all these pieces together and gets a very different picture from the tiresome Enemy Media template:

It seems increasingly probable that the Shalhoub and Hashem men were likely members of Hezbollah, involved in launching the very rockets at Israel that called in the counter-battery fire that killed their families that were hiding deeper in the building.

It also seems possible that the deaths of the Shalhoub and Hashem women and children came not as a result of the initial Israeli air strike, but because of secondary explosions more than seven hours later, explosions that would seem to be consistent with ammunition and rockets "cooking off."

Again I ask: why were all those women and children still inside that building seven full hours after the Israeli missile strike? Isn't it obvious? Their Hezbo heads of households sacrificed them as propaganda weapons to halt the IDF's counter-attack that their Katyushas never could. Nothing blinds the ever-gullible Western press like dead women and children in the general vicinity of Israeli military action. Just like NBA referees never see the first elbow but always see the retaliation, so the Enemy Media has its anti-Israel template, and these Hezbos exploited it to the hilt.

So, once again, Israel - the victim of Muslim aggression in the form of deliberate attacks upon its civilian population - is framed as the villainous slayer of Lebanese waifs. A scam played out countless times over the past quarter century that never seems to lose its effectiveness.

That is why I don't share Jeb Babbin's angst over the Israelis' failure to take on the public relations side of the conflict. Not that the IDF shouldn't be doing all that it can to make its own case and try and spin events in their favor as much as possible, but really, as Mark Levin cynically observes, as stacked as the global deck is against the Jewish state, how much of a difference would a few more press conferences really make?

And besides, as I've noted just recently, what does the jaundiced opinion of the "international community" matter anyway? There's only one other country's opinion that truly matters for the Jews' fate, and as long as George Bush maintains his resolve, all the phony outrage in the world will be just the despicable gasbaggery it truly is.

The Passion Of The Souse

I can't beat David Frum's one-sentence commentary on Mel Gibson's apparently legit drunken, anti-Semitic rant when he was arrested for a DUI over the weekend:

If a drunken Mel Gibson did indeed call out, "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," then there can be only one possible place for a man who believes such things: as the next Secretary General of the United Nations.


Still, as execrable as Gibson's slurrings were, and as much disrepute as he has brought down by association upon Catholics for it (You know Christophobic bigots will be all over this like Michael Moore on a free buffet), it is still his enemies that pose the genuine danger to, among other things, the concept of freedom of speech (via CQ):

Gibson's reported criticism of Jews, contained in a leaked police report detailing his arrest early on Friday morning, included the phrase: "Fucking Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

He has since apologised for his actions, saying they were "despicable", but community Jewish leaders called for Gibson to be ostracised from Hollywood, where the A-list actor is considered an industry powerbroker.

Calling for a criminal investigation into the Oscar-winning actor and director's remarks, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the US Jewish Anti-Defamation League, said: "We believe there should be consequences to bigots and bigotry." [emphasis added]

Not that Mr. Gibson doesn't obviously appear to, shall we say, "have some issues," and a lot more so than just that vagrant beard he's got going. And not that there won't be attempts to ostracize him from Hollywood, although he pretty much accomplished that with The Passion of the Christ. But a criminal investigation??? Of what? There aren't any laws against being an anti-Semite, any more than there are against Christophobia, homophobia, the heartbreak of psoriasis, or the creepin' crud. And for one overarching, at-one-time-inarguable reason.

The First Amendment guarantees each and every one of us the right, if we so choose, to be an ass. The "consequences to bigots and bigotry" is that everybody else is free to call Mel Gibson an ass, or in this case an anti-Semite, and his reputation has to bear the stench and stain of that self-imposed dishonor for the rest of his life. That moral condemnation doesn't appear to be good enough for Mr. Foxman - and that he is going so far out of his way to try and make an example of a prominent Catholic when more than a few on his own side of the political aisle have indulged in similar conduct with nothing like the same level of outrage out of him - speaks (again) far more about him and his totalitarian instincts than it does Mr. Gibson, no matter how boorish he gets when crawled inside a bottle.

UPDATE: You can't say Gibson ducked responsibility for his actions, at the very least. But Double-H is right that he's still got a long way to go.


The one good thing we can always count on from the United Nations is that they will always be tireless in reminding us on a daily basis that they are the biggest "BFD" entity on the face of the planet they imagine themselves to govern.

Today's case in point (via CQ):

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council reached a deal yesterday on a resolution that would give Iran until the end of next month to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of sanctions.

The latest draft is weaker than an initial proposal from Britain, France and Germany, with US backing. Although the earlier version would have made the threat of sanctions immediate if Iran did not comply, the new draft would essentially give Iran another chance to come around. That was a victory for Russia and China, arguing that the resolution was not an ultimatum but a new request for Iran to accept a deal that would give it various incentives if it suspended uranium enrichment and reprocessing.

“There are no sanctions introduced on Iran in the draft resolution that we are finalising,” Vitali Churkin, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, said. He emphasised that work on the resolution was not finished. [emphasis added]

So, then, what was the point of this resolution? Even one WITH sanctions wouldn't have had any affect whatsoever on Iranian decision-making regarding their nuclear program - sheesh, did sanctions ever bring Saddam Hussein to heel, even before the Oily Food gravy train got rolling? But a resolution without even fake teeth is plainly and simply an f'ing waste of time.

Why didn't we and our "allies" fight for the original resolution against the Russkies and ChiComms? The "need for Security Council unity"? That's the only excuse I can think of. But wouldn't a deadlocked Security Council at least send a message as to just who it is that is running inteference for the mullahs at Turtle Bay, just as they did Saddam Hussein before them? As well as shining a 500-watt klieg light on the futility of pursuing this matter through "multilateral" institutions? Whereas doesn't the Western democracies meekly caving to Tehran's sponsors tell the mullahs most of all, but also the rest of our enemies in the GWOT, that we have less resolve than ever before, such that we won't even push for penalties that won't penalize, much less deter?

Not only did the Iranians openly ridicule this resolution on Saturday, but today they were calling it "illegal." It makes me wonder if we haven't already passed the "Munich line," beyond which no ultimatum, or even massing of forces in Iran's frontiers, would be taken seriously by the mullahs, so contemptuous have they become of us (and our "allies").

Perhaps Adolph Hitler's true curse was that he was born half a century too early. Today's post-modern world, which makes the Chamberlains and Daladiers and League of Nations of the 1930s look like Churchillian rocks of courageous resolve, would be easy pickings for a man whose greatest strength was always the fecklessness of his intended prey.

I doubt the mullahgarchy has failed to draw that same lesson.

UPDATE: I don't know how much of a favor this really is to John Bolton, but Chucky Schumer is now changing his tune on a second filibuster designed to take him away from his lonely crusade as just about the only voice of sanity and civilization in a den of thieves, crooks, and wannabe Holocausters. Which means it is increasingly likely that Big John will have congressional backing to continue having to put up with "allies" who consider Iran to be a "stabilizing force" in the Middle East.

Migraine-bait for Ambassador Bolton, but a Godsend for the rest of us.

Abuse @ Gitmo!

Yes, it is true. There are chronic abuses taking place at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Just not in the direction we've been misled to believe:

The prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay during the war on terror have attacked their military guards hundreds of times, turning broken toilet parts, utensils, radios and even a bloody lizard tail into makeshift weapons, Pentagon reports say.

Incident reports reviewed by The Associated Press indicate Military Police guards are routinely head-butted, spat upon and doused by "cocktails" of feces, urine, vomit and sperm collected in meal cups by the prisoners.

They've been repeatedly grabbed, punched or assaulted by prisoners who reach through the small "bean holes" used to deliver food and blankets through cell doors, the reports say....

Guards currently stationed at Guantanamo describe a tense atmosphere in which prisoners often orchestrate violence in hopes of unnerving their captors, especially with attacks using bodily fluids.

"I mean, seeing a human being act that way, it's terrifying. ... You are constantly watching before you take your next step to see if something is about to happen," Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Mack D. Keen told AP in an interview from Guantanamo. [emphasis added]

Well, now. That's a side of the story that the public never hears anything about, isn't it? Particularly that italicized phrase above: "It's terrifying." Even when in a cage these Islamist animals are still committing acts of terrorism on the only scale they can muster. Which underscores why it is imperative that they stay caged.

Moreover, it also highlights the horrendously thankless task their guards are assigned, particularly the female guards, and how the wonder is that there haven't been far more instances of retaliation on their part given the permanently elevated level of constant provocation from the "detainees":

The Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group that fought to force the Pentagon to release the reports under the Freedom of Information Act, said it hopes the information brings balance to the Guantanamo debate.

"Lawyers for the detainees have done a great job painting their clients as innocent victims of U.S. abuse when the fact is that these detainees, as a group, are barbaric and extremely dangerous," Landmark President Mark Levin said. "They are using their terrorist training on the battlefield to abuse our guards and manipulate our Congress and our court system."

Indeed they have, and to great effect. They know our weaknesses, and that chief among them is our media and political system and the multi-culti idols to which both still bow down. Just as the men and women who undertake the reputation-destroying job of keeping watch at Gitmo are among our greatest strengths:

"Yes, you do get upset but you get somebody to take your place," Keen said in explaining how he survives the tensions of the cell block. "You go outside. You walk it off and you come back and (say) I want to be back in the fight."

CPO Keen and his compatriots are better people than I, and definitely better people than their quisling detractors. It's far past time the abuse they've endured from their own side be terminated, and their quiet heroism be celebrated instead. Hopefully this story will be but the beginning of those long-overdue accolades.

What Is Is About Dems Named Cindy?

Evidently reports of Representative McKinney's sanity are still greatly exaggerated:

At Thursday's news conference, [Congresswoman Cynthia] McKinney told reporters her altercation with a Capitol police officer in March had no effect on the primary election results and said the fallout was created by people who had a political agenda. "One of the things that the press was a party to was the ... spiraling of an incident," she said.
Yeah, the vast right-wing press outlets like AP, Reuters, the Washington Post, the New York Times, etc. were just out to get poor Cindy. And they're all secretly controlled via government-developed mind control devices by the eeeeeevil neocons over at Fox News. So it's all Roger Ailes' fault!

McKinney likened her response — she allegedly struck an officer after he grabbed her from behind — to that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who threw up her fists when President Bush unexpectedly massaged her neck at the recent G8 Summit.

"This woman, who was touched from behind, had a reaction," McKinney said.

If Bill Clinton had touched Chancellor Merkel from behind, (1) her reaction would have been likened to an orgasm, and (2) Clinton wouldn't have massaged her neck.

Regardless, McKinney never said that the Capitol police officer groped her - until now, I guess. In the mean time, Chancellor Merkel didn't leap up, whirl around, and belt the President with a cell phone, either. And lastly, Chancellor Merkel wasn't trying to dodge around a security checkpoint that exists for her own protection. Quite unlike the suburban Atlanta space cadet.

You would think that McKinney, ostensibly aware that she's badly trailing in the race just to be renominated to run for her House seat, would at least make the appearance of playing down the outrageous antics that have landed her in such a hole. But, like Senator Joe McCarthy of yore, she apparently doesn't know any other way to operate.

I suppose it's ironic that McKinney, for all her whacked-out kookiness, is that rarest of critters, an honest politician. At least honest about herself. Her achilles heel is that she's never learned that there is a difference between artifice and plain, simple discretion. But what else is to be expected from a woman who really is dumber than a box of hair?

[h/t: CQ]

UPDATE: Cindy and her primary challenger, Hank Johnson, had a debate last night. It went pretty much as you would have expected after perusing the above.

Moral Compasses

I meant to post yesterday on the subject Jen referenced this morning. I also meant to put in some combat time against the wasps (or hornets or yellowjackets, I can't really discern which) that relentlessly infest the eaves of my house and pay a few bills as well, but I ended up sleeping for most of the sixteen hours between getting home from church and getting up this morning. I guess I just can't get by with staying up half the night several times a week like I used to. It's either that or guzzle that "Volt" or "Jolt" soda or take up coffee-drinking, and I don't relish becoming a caffeine addict even in a figurative sense.

Tracing Jen's post back to Mona Charen's Corner comments brought me to John Podhoretz's New York Post column from last week and its very relevant, salient question, "Is Israel - and, by implication, are we - too nice to win this war?":

What if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?

What if the universalist idea of liberal democracy - the idea that all people are created equal - has sunk in so deeply that we no longer assign special value to the lives and interests of our own people as opposed to those in other countries?

What if this triumph of universalism is demonstrated by the Left's insistence that American and Israeli military actions marked by an extraordinary concern for preventing civilian casualties are in fact unacceptably brutal? And is also apparent in the Right's claim that a war against a country has nothing to do with the people but only with that country's leaders?

Can any war be won when this is the nature of the discussion in the countries fighting the war? Can any war be won when one of the combatants voluntarily limits itself in this manner?
Read through the rest of the column and you find that every last sentence is a question of this nature. Could the Western Allies have won the Second World War if they had not been willing to firebomb German and Japanese cities, including the two nuclear strikes against Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and which did, in fact, save millions of Allied AND Japanese lives from the grisly invasion that was the only alternative)? Would World War II have EVER been truly won had the Axis powers not been completely destroyed, leaving their people in no doubt that they had been comprehensively defeated? Is the failure to inflict defeat upon the psyche of enemy populations, not just their leaders, motivated by our squeamish reluctance to be coldly ruthless in our own interests, not the core of the reason why our enemies - whether al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, North Korea, Iran, the "insurgency" in Iraq - continue to fight against us? And is that what is getting in the way of Israel eradicating Hezbollah once and for all?

Fair questions, all. I myself posted on this topic a year ago in the context of a "nickle & dime" terrorist strategy designed to wear us down over time the way the Intifadas did Israel. The enemy's target? Western decadence. The amoral self-centeredness of a spoiled, pampered populace that doesn't want to be bothered with confronting threats, thinks they can be bought off, all the better with someone else's money, and if that fails just ignored altogether, as if pretending they don't exist and will go away if we don't acknowledge them. The moral emptiness of a post-modern people that don't believe in anything bigger than themselves and therefore are not willing to sacrifice anything, much less themselves, even in the survival of their fellow countrymen and the nation that has given them so much. And yet possessed by "a form of godliness that denies its power" that in practice manifests itself as a debilitating, paralyzing, inwardly-directed self-righteousness that endlessly flaggelates friends (like Israel) both for daring to do what is necessary to survive and not doing everything possible to attain "a form of peace that denies its reality".

What our elites lack is, on the Left, a true moral compass, by which is meant the ability and willingness to make moral distinctions; and on the Right, the courage of the like convictions that they do, in fact, possess. To examine the Israel-Hezbollah fight morally inevitably leads to the conclusion that Hezbollah is a genocidal terrorist gang guilty of wanton, murderous aggression, and Israel is a liberal, Western democracy with no aggressive or extraterritorial ambitions that just wants to be left alone to live in peace. It also leads, inevitably, to the further conclusion that something needs to be done about Hezbollah - i.e. it needs to be eradicated - because they are not amenable to diplomatic entreaty or coercive threats. And that, therefore, leads to the final conclusion that peace on Israel's northern border can only come after a war against Hezbollah to destroy them as the recalcitrant threat they have been, are, and will always be as long as they still exist.

However, war is, to the post-modernist, itself a sin, no matter the form, and can never be just. To the amoral peace and justice are entirely separate realms, and not just need not be interlinked, but MUST not. Peace is, for the decadent, simply the quiet that is the absence of war. And since Israel, being a liberal Western democracy, as well as entirely dependent upon American aid to survive, IS vulnerable to diplomatic entreaty and coercive threats, the "international community" will ALWAYS demand that Israel yield, retreat, and make all the sacrifices for "peace" that will, inevitably, just perpetuate the conflict and lead to bigger, bloodier (and, sooner or later, nuclear) wars down the line.

The lesson of history is that only just peaces last. Just peaces only come after the just wage unlimited, total war upon the unjust until they are completely defeated beyond any possibility of renewed resistance. And such war efforts can only come from a people that recognize and value justice more than peace and are willing to do what it takes to preserve those institutions and national entities that embody and defend it.

J-Pod saves his most toe-curling questions for last:

What if Israel has every capability of achieving its aim, but cannot unleash itself against a foe more dangerous, more unscrupulous, more unprincipled and more barbaric than even the monstrous leaders of the Intifada it managed to quell after years of suicide attacks?

And as for the United States, what if we have every tool at our disposal to win a war - every weapons system we could want manned by the most superbly trained military in history - except the ability to match or exceed our antagonists in ruthlessness?

Is this the horrifying paradox of 21st century warfare? If Israel and the United States cannot be defeated militarily in any conventional sense, have our foes discovered a new way to win? Are they seeking victory through demoralization alone - by daring us to match them in barbarity and knowing we will fail?

Are we becoming unwitting participants in their victory and our defeat? Can it be that the moral greatness of our civilization - its astonishing focus on the value of the individual above all - is endangering the future of our civilization as well?
Yes - because our civilization is no longer morally great. Its one-time virtue has been at the same time substantively rejected as "square," "inconvenient," and even "oppressive," and twisted into a suicidal cultural neuroses that welcomes the Islamist onslaught as the extreme secularist equivalent of "divine" judgment for all our society's supposed multi-culti "sins".

We make frequent reference to America's "greatest generation," yet it was that generation that matched its enemies in "ruthlessness and barbarity" in order to preserve the "moral greatness" of our civilization - by preserving the civilization itself. If that civilization now so trivializes that moral greatness as to transform it into today's enemy's most potent weapon, perhaps it deserves the disastrous defeat it is inexorably bringing down upon itself - for which Israel's would be a little-noted downpayment.

UPDATE: How's this for moral clarity?:

Terrorists and their supporters have lost the right to complain about civilian casualties, since all they have done this entire war is target civilians. Every single one of the more than 2,500 rockets launched into Israel is launched into populated towns filled with women and children. Just today, another suicide belt meant to kill civilians in Israel was detonated harmlessly by our forces in Nablus.

So, don't cry to me about civilian casualties. Cry to those using your babies and wives and mothers; cry to those who store weapons in mosques, ambulances, hospitals and private homes. Cry to those launching deadly rockets from the backyards of your kindergartens and schools. Cry to the heartless men who love death, and who, however many of their troops or civilians die, consider themselves victorious as long as they can keep on firing rockets at our women and children....

If you hide behind your baby to shoot at my baby, you are responsible for getting children killed. You, and you alone.

Would that John Bolton would read these words verbatim to the UN Security Council before vetoing its prooffered "immediate cease-fire" resolution.

'NOTHER UPDATE: Double-H dittos:

Hezbollah has tried for three weeks to inflict a 9/11 on Israel, but Israel is being damned because its defensive measures have led to civilians held hostage by terrorists. This is an insane inversion of the laws of war and customary international law as well as of common sense. Hezbollah began this war and is responsible for the deaths of everyone on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border.

Each day of the war Israel struggles to minimize harm to civilians. Each day Hezbollah tries to kill them and uses Lebanese civilians as hostages. Yet Hezbollah's tactics are condemned in passing by Kofi Annan, and only Israel's mistakes summon the Security Council to its labors, which is why Kofi Annan is a joke, a cartoon of an international leader. Annan and the UN are legitimizing a terrorist organization and its tactics. They are demanding, in essence, that Israel accept defeat.

While the world should be horrified that this war has claimed many more innocents, its diplomats and representatives ought to have been denouncing in a single voice the invasion of Israeli territory by Hezbollah and the murder and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and the use of terror tactics against civilian populations as well as the use of civilian populations by Hezbollah as shields

The West must not acquiesce in the elevation of Hezbollah to the status of state actor, in the non-condemnation of its tactics, or in anything remotely like a return to the status quo which would allow Hezbollah to resupply and deepen its hold on south Lebanon.

Or else....

Hezbollah would become Lebanon. And it would do so under the protection of the UN.

And that would lead to this bitterly, but it seems, inevitably ironic endgame:

Condemning Israel for the deaths of civilians living near terrorist missile launchers will only result in the placement of more terrorist missile launchers near civilians....

The longer the world delays in recognizing that terrorists and their state sponsors are leading us all to conflagrations on a scale far beyond 9/11, the greater the likelihood that we will awake not to the awful news of dozens of dead children but the news of hundreds of thousands of dead, or millions. [all above emphases added]

The decadent Western appeasers of the 1930s had the blood of at least thirty million innocent civilians on their hands - including, I might add, some six million Jews. One of the reasons why the cry afterwards was, "Never again!" wasn't just the shock and remorse of the Nazi slaughter that the West allowed to be unleashed; it was because of the knowledge that, with the advent of nuclear weapons, the next time really would be the "war to end all wars" - by ending humanity itself.

George Santayana's timeless adage - "Those who cannot learn from the past are condemned to repeat it" - simply cannot be indulged anymore, if history itself is to continue.

Gloomy Gusses

Well, The Corner is certainly a downer today. This is from Mona Charen:

Re John P's musings, I'm not exactly Mary Sunshine this morning either. I wonder about this: not just the question as to whether modern enlightened, liberal nations have the will to do what’s necessary to survive, but whether our people can transcend the Alice in Wonderland nature of the world we live in.

We (and this also includes Israelis, Brits, and a few others) would never dream of targeting civilians for any reason – not even in self-defense. In 2002, the Israelis used ground troops going house to house in Jenin rather than attack from the air — though it cost the lives of 23 of their men – in order to spare civilians.

Our enemies can not imagine not targeting civilians – ours – and when they can be used as human shields/propaganda fodder, theirs.

Our people are beheaded on videotape and the world ignores it. We fail to offer the full panoply of the Bill of Rights to the beheaders and the world groans at the inhumanity of it all.The United Nations Security Council condemns Israel for defending herself from naked aggression and manages to overlook Chechnya, the Chinese occupation of Tibet, every terrorist attack against Israel, the massacre in Rwanda, the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, Serbian acts in Bosnia, and pretty much the entire continent of Africa, which as Kofi Annan surely knows better than most, is a human rights cesspool.

As Jeane Kirkpatrick put it: “What happens in the Security Council more closely resembles a mugging than either a political debate or an effort at problem-solving.”

There are millions of Americans who are not deluded by this madness (and we draw our military recruits from their ranks), and yet you cannot escape the times you live in. Lack of self-confidence is eroding our civilization like dry rot. We are not as far gone as Europe – but the glide path is worrisome.

I have to agree with the part about the world turning their heads when atrocities are committed by Hezbollah and/or any other terrorist organization/dictator/etc. Why is that? Is it just cowardice? Hatred for the United States? What? Even Democrats in our own country behave this way. When was the last time you heard a Democrat call for "restraint" from the terrorists?

Rush sees things a little differently than those in the Corner, who seem to usually see the dark side of things. Here's his take.

I hate what's going on in the Middle East as much as anybody. However, it has to be done. Everyone with a shred of intelligence knows that Hezbollah seeks the destruction of Israel. That so many have risen up and declared that Israel should not be defending itself is ludicrous. I'm glad they're not listening. Bomb the hell out of them!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


17 "(A) For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the (B) LORD of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God (C) Who does not show partiality nor (D) take a bribe.

18 "He executes justice for (E) the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.

19 "(F) So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

20 "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and (G) cling to Him, and (H) you shall swear by His name.

21 "He is (I) your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.

22 "(J) Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, (K) and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.

-Deuteronomy 10:17-22

Water Into Wine Into A Great Big Bang

The ancient city of Qana (Cana to all you New Testament afficianados out there), is where the LORD Jesus performed his first miracle - at a wedding, as it happened - by turning water into wine.

Today the IAF turned a Cana wedding into something else - a huge, smoking crater:

Olmert expressed deep regret for the harm inflicted on the civilians in Qana Sunday morning when at least 57 civilians - 37 of whom were children - were killed as the IAF fired missiles at a building in the southern Lebanese town.

"I express deep regret, along with all of Israel and the IDF, for the civilian deaths in Qana," said Olmert. "Nothing could be further from our intentions and our interests than harming civilians - everyone understands that. When we do harm civilians, the whole world recognizes that it is an exceptional case that does not characterize us."

"In contrast," Olmert said, "Hizbullah has launched rockets with the aim of murdering innocent civilians in northern Israel." ...

Olmert said that the area was a focal point for the firing of Katyusha rockets on Kiryat Shmona and Afula. He said that from the outset of the conflict, "hundreds of rockets have been fired from the Qana area."

Defense Minister Amir Peretz was also profoundly repentant for the fatal strike, saying, "this is a tragic incident that is a result of war. Hizbullah operates in the heart of populated centers with the full knowledge of endangering the lives of innocent civilians."

That's why this unfortunate collateral damage, as tragic as it is, should not bat an eyelash anywhere and why I completely disagree with Cap'n Ed that it has ended the political slack Israel has thus far enjoyed from the international community. The military necessity for this attack provides all the political justification the Israelis need, and if that's not good enough for the rest of the world - well, hell, the rest of the world never really cut the Jews any slack anyway. It's our stance that matters, and this cannot shake the Bush Administration's resolve to let the IDF complete its mission of eradicating Hezbollah.

Beats me why this point needs to be hammered into the ground repeatedly, but here we go again: Is there any other nation on the face of God's green Earth that would be expected to sit back and allow a murderous, genocidal terrorist group equipped with advanced weapons to bombard its cities with rockets and ballistic missiles and slaughter its civilian population with utter impunity and immunity from retaliation? Of course not. So why is this unreasonable expectation inflicted upon Israel?

Furthermore, is it not a violation of every international convention, the rules of war, and natural law to wage war while hidden amongst an innocent civilian population, using their lives as shields? And is not the IDF taking every reasonable precaution, incurring greater casualties in the process, to minimize Lebanese civilian casualties (to the extent that they really are civilians and not Hezbollah terrorists)? So why is the onus for the civilian casualties in Qana being laid on the Israelis for taking out a Hezbollah missile site from which civilian casualties were being inflicted on Israel when it is the Hezbos who put the "Qananites" in mortal peril in the first place?

This cartoon says it all, I think ("Palestine" and "Hezbollah" are interchangable):

It is being reported that the UN Security Council, instead of condemning Hezbollah and imposing sanctions upon Iran and Syria for instigating this crisis, is preparing to do what it does best - pass a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire that would save Hezbollah, hand Tehran and Damascus another unqualified victory, and deal a devastating blow to the very concept of Israeli sovereignty and self-defense. Any such resolution must be vetoed by the United States. Otherwise I don't have the confidence that the weak-kneed Kaditha regime in Jerusalem, already evidently demoralized by the Qana incident, will have the testicular fortitude to soldier on, as they must if their country is ultimately to survive.

1,976 years ago, our LORD went to Qana and turned water into wine. Another Qana miracle is needed now - to turn "remorse" and "repentence" into renewed resolve.

Restoring a sense of moral literacy to the "international community," it seems, would require a Red Sea intervention.

UPDATE: StratFor reports....

At this moment there appears to be a major shift taking place in the war. Though the scope of the operation is unclear, it appears the Israelis have shifted to a new phase of the war, focusing on broader and more intense ground operations. It could be that this is the opening phase of a broader raid-in-force against Hezbollah that might go beyond southern Lebanon.

Qana is one of the central points of this new IDF ground offensive:

There are reports of new areas involved in fighting and new Israeli units being engaged. For example, Israeli forces are now fighting in the area of Qana. This is a few miles southeast of Tyre and deep into southern Lebanon. We have heard that the Qana action consists of engineers, armor and infantry, indicating a more traditional combined arms effort. The engineers would be clearing mines, bulldozing fortifications and clearing roads damaged by Israeli airstrikes. Infantry would be clearing the area of anti-tank teams and opening the way for broader armored thrusts to destroy rear infrastructure and isolate forward Hezbollah positions.

The point of this new phase of the war, if what StratFor is hearing is accurate, is to accomplish the Israelis' strategic objective - destroying Hezbollah - without getting entangled with the Syrians and as quickly as possible before Jerusalem can be bulldozed into a premature cease-fire. SecState Condi Rice's cancellation of the Beirut leg of her Middle East trip suggests that the Bush Administration has been informed of this operation and signed off on it. Lastly, it reflects a confidence, based upon updated intel, that while the Hezbo's forwardly deployed fighters may still be intact and at near-full strength, its rear echelons have been seriously degraded and are vulnerable to an IDF pincer movement whose objective is the clearing of southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley.

This is reassuring in the sense that the Olmert regime still appears to remember that it is imperative that his nation remove any need for an international "peacekeeping force," regardless of the color of its helmets, by presenting the dead carcass of Hezbollah as a fait accompli. But it is still worrisome in that if the IDF isn't able to attain its objectives as quickly as it hopes, as has been the case with its operations thus far, a far more adverse result is not just possible, but probable.

Never has the expression, "Faster, please," been more appopo.

VBC Missionary Of The Week: Brad Ketterling

Brad serves the LORD through Biblical Ministries Worldwide by ministering through his deafness to deaf and deaf/blind people who are seeking to knw the LORD Jesus. He is involved with planting a deaf church in Vallejo, California.

He also is looking to plant another deaf church in the San Francisco Bay Area. Who says miracles won't happen in our age?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Know Your Product

4 For the word of the LORD (A) is upright, and all His work is done (B) in faithfulness.

5 He (C) loves righteousness and justice; (D) Earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.

6 By the (E) Word of the LORD the heavens were made, and (F) by the breath of His mouth (G) all their host.

7 He gathers the (H) waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

8 Let (I) all Earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world (J) stand in awe of Him.

9 For (K) He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

10 The LORD (L) nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.

11 The (M) counsel of the LORD stands forever, the (N) plans of His heart from generation to generation.

12 Blessed is the (O) nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has (P) chosen for His own inheritance.

13 The LORD (Q) looks from heaven; He (R) sees all the sons of men; 14 from (S) His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of Earth, 15 He Who (T) fashions the hearts of them all, He Who (U) understands all their works.

-Psalm 33:4-15

The Mark Of Inevitability

Geez, isn't Quin Hillyer EVER happy?

Yesterday, the Washington Times boosted the case of those of us who have complained about aspects of the extension of certain counterproductive portions of the Voting Rights Act by noting that President Bush himself opposed those provisions while governor. Today the Times runs a photo that makes me sick: Karl Rove shaking the hand of and laughing with the (not very) Rev-rund Al Sharpton at the South Lawn ceremony at which Bush signed the extension. It's bad enough to pander to political correctness by passing and signing a bill that is quite arguably unconstitutional and certainly unfair and bureaucratically unwieldy. It is even worse to pander to today's ridiculous double-standards by including Sharpton, of all people, among the guests invited to the ceremony....

Why is this man at the White House, why is Karl Rove laughing with him, and why is he even welcome ANYWHERE in polite company?!?!?!?

Hey, I hear you, Quinster. And I agree, a Republican president signing the equivalent of surrender papers to the Black Klan is stomach-turning, gut-wrenching, and nut-shrivelling.

But I have to ask - where have you been for the past five and a half years? Karl Rove's top priority has been to make electoral inroads into the Democrats' minority constituencies.

Not that we shouldn't be attempting that, we should, though by standing for our principles and selling them to blacks and hispanics, with whom the GOP platform does, in fact, have a great deal of overlap (provided the RINOs can be stopped from stripping out the social policy planks). And it's not that the "brains behind the Texan" and the rest of the GOP braintrust haven't made efforts along those lines.

But those lines take time, and patience is not often a trait associated with tactical, nuts & bolts, meat & potatoes politics. And the fact is that there has not been enough time for the aforementioned inroads in minority constituencies to dramatically manifest themselves.

Since short attention spans ARE a trait associated with political tacticians, we shouldn't be surprised to see even a supposed "genius" like Karl the Great succumbing to the irresistable urge to take shortcuts. Like the President insanely pushing de facto illegal immigrant amnesty; like the President's nauseating penance, after over five years of rightfully ignoring them, before the NAACP; and like the President signing the twenty-five year extension of "certain counterproductive portions of the Voting Rights Act" while a grinning Al "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house" Sharpton looked on.

It's not as though this incarnation of the Bushies has been colorblind, anyway. They've stoutly defended affirmative action, after all, including lobbying the SCOTUS not to declare it unconstitutional, as it most definitely is.

This reflects two realities, in my view:

1) George W. Bush is not, and has never been, much of a domestic policy conservative, a fact of which he made no secret back in 2000; we just wanted to win so badly after eight years of Sick Willie, and Dubya was our best shot at victory. Can't very well claim to be surprised when he goes wobbly in multiple places now.

2) He's a lame duck, and lame duck administrations sooner or later start running out of gas. Either by losing fights with Congress, or by throwing in the towel before such defeats can even take place. Which would seem to make Bush's fatigue even more pronounced since he's doing so with a Congress controlled by his own party.

I share your angst, Quin. The only word of good cheer I can offer you is that if you think it's bad now, just wait and see what happens if the Democrats retake either or both ends of Congress in November. You won't be able to get your lunch down before it starts coming back up.

Does the sight of the President and Karl Rove kissing Al Sharpton's ass change your outlook on keeping the GOP in charge on Capitol Hill? If not, I don't know what else can.


In the latest Middle East skirmish, Bashir Assad and his merry band of Ba'athist cutthroats are the proverbial men in the middle. Not free agents acting in their own accord, proxy of the Iranian mullahs whose role is as overseers of Hamas and Hezbollah, the Syrians stand as the bullwark through which their clients get resupplied and by which their superiors in Tehran get defended. Both ways they get used - for the terrorists in Lebanon and Gaza, a conduit for weapons and cash; for Iran, bait dangled in front of the embattled Israelis to drag them into a war that the mullahs think the Jews can't win.

Consequently, it shouldn't be surprising that the rhetoric coming out of Damascus has been incoherent at best.

They started by saying that Israel brought Hezbollah's latest kidnappings and rocket barrages on itself:

"Occupation is what provokes the Palestinian and Lebanese people," Vice President Farouq al-Shara told reporters. "The resistance in south Lebanon and among the Palestinian people decides solely what to do and why."

Moral support, for the most part, and certainly nothing out of the ordinary that would stir the crisis pot further.

'Twas noteworthy that it was the Syrian veep, and not Bashir Assad himself, that was doing the talking, however. This silence from the (supposed) top continued as Ba'athist Party communiques announced that a Syrian division was being moved to the border with Lebanon adjacent to the battle zone. Not unlike a Levant version of "Where's Waldo?" where the hunt takes place in a minefield.

Then, a week or so later, the awkward eye doctor surfaced, apparently to read what his "subordinates" put in front of him (via CQ):

Syrian President Bashar Assad spoke out on Wednesday for the first time since the outbreak of the war in the North and said a cease-fire was necessary in order to stop the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. The president made the statement in a telephone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ah, the tone sounds a bit different, no? But still incoherent, since cease-fires don't stop attacks but are the stop OF attacks. You'd think I'd learn to stop actually reading and listening to what people actually say - I've yet to see paying rapt attention pay off in anything except irritation.

Anyway, calling for a cease-fire is quite a climb-down from "The Jews deserve what they get from the Hezbos, and if they don't like it, let 'em come after us, and we'll clean their yamulkes." I rather doubt that Assad, Jr. held that view from the beginning and was only now getting the message out. It appears most likely that the Syrians believe Hezbollah is taking a beating they didn't expect and are calling in their usual UN "get out of jail free" cards to escape any concrete consequences for their terrorist client's (latest) aggression. At the very least, they want to lower their profile, and therefore exposure to Israeli retribution.

Another factor they probably didn't expect is the loud cricket-chirping that stood in for support from the rest of the Arab world (via CQ):

Mideast diplomats were pressing Syria to stop backing Hezbollah as the guerrillas fired more deadly rockets onto Israel's third-largest city Sunday. Israel faced tougher-than-expected ground battles and bombarded targets in southern Lebanon, hitting a convoy of refugees. ...

With Israel and the United States saying a real cease-fire is not possible until Hezbollah is reined in, Arab heavyweights Egypt and Saudi Arabia were pushing Syria to end its support for the guerrillas, Arab diplomats in Cairo said.

A loss of Syria's support would deeply weaken Hezbollah, though its other ally, Iran, gives it a large part of its money and weapons. The two moderate Arab governments were prepared to spend heavily from Egypt's political capital in the region and Saudi Arabia's vast financial reserves to break Damascus from the guerrillas and Iran, the diplomats said.

The message to Boy Assad is clear: "We fear Iranian (i.e. non-Arab Shiite) domination more than we hate the Jews, and as fellow (Sunni) Arabs you have picked the wrong side. Therefore we will not support you until you switch sides, and we're willing to bribe you as generously as necessary to seal the deal. Or you can perish at the hands of the Jews and their American patrons. Your choice."

This unsettling turn of events may have the Syrians "panicking," in the opinion of the Heritage Foundation's Peter Brooks. With the Arab League, their core constituency, taking a hike, and no invitation being extended to attend the Western confab on the crisis held in Rome last week, Damascus may be fearing the loss of the influence they thought they had, and growing even more "isolated" as far as being a regional player and realizing their own ambitions.

The Bush Administration evidently sees this as another democratization opportunity, with the first step being to coax Syria away from its Iranian orbit (via CQ):

As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heads to Israel on Sunday, Bush Administration officials say they recognize Syria is central to any plans to resolve the crisis in the Middle East, and they are seeking ways to peel Syria away from its alliance of convenience with Iran.

In interviews, senior Administration officials said they had no plans right now to resume direct talks with the Syrian government. President Bush recalled his ambassador to Syria, Margaret Scobey, after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister, in February 2005. Since then, America’s contacts with Damascus have been few, and the Administration has imposed an array of sanctions on Syria’s government and banks, and frozen the assets of Syrian officials implicated in Mr. Hariri’s killing.

But officials said this week that they were at the beginning stages of a plan to encourage Saudi Arabia and Egypt to make the case to the Syrians that they must turn against Hezbollah.

This gambit has some rather obvious drawbacks from the Syrian point of view: it would principally benefit Israel, which would no longer have an irredeemably hostile state-within-a-state on its northern border to worry about anymore; it would give them the chance to get back into Lebanon themselves, but under an implicit American imprimatur, rather than in any independent (i.e. colonial) sense. And, most obviously, it would put them at least #4 (behind ourselves, the Israelis, and the free Iraqis) on the mullahgarchy's hit list.

Still, there are some center-right analysts who think that dangling the carrot in front of the dweeby opthamologist is a great idea:

I have long thought that the time was ripe for a diplomatic opening to Syria. Bashar Assad should be offered the same deal as Muamar Khadaffi — basically, stop doing things that annoy us, get rid of your WMD and missile programs, and you can be our friend. And it is good to be our friend, particularly if you are a dictator seeking to avoid regime change. This deal should have been pursued long ago, coincident with the same move by Libya. Alas, we went another way, and since Syria had few allies in the region, Damascus was forced towards Tehran. But it is never too late to sell out an ally, and unless the dictator gene skips a generation, Assad the younger will eventually realize that aligning with Iran only further isolates and weakens his regime.

Is James Robbins right? Would Assad have accordianed to the same ultimatum that we gave Khaddafy? Of course, that begs the question of whether Khaddafy really knuckled under or is just biding his time until the Bushies are gone, the Clintonoids return, and he can get back in the "madman with WMD" business. But taking Robbins' parallel as a given, it is three years later, and choices and alliances have been made. I'm less sanguine than he is about the Syrian regime's persuadability, or about its trustworthiness to abide by the deal if they did bite.

But would even the move, however dubious, be worth the setback it would deal to either end of the chain of which Damascus is the middle link? Michael Ledeen, whose judgment I generally trust on this topic, says, "Oh, hell no!":

Syria’s been a major player in international terrorism for a long time, but the Syrians are clever in their malevolent way; every now and then they give the CIA some useful information, and toss the Agency a real terrorist if they need to curry even more favor than is usual. So even when, as in the case of Hezbollah, it should be obvious to a blind man that the Syrians and the Iranians are totally in cahoots, it is nonetheless possible for our Syrian “experts” to gainsay the obvious and whisper to the New York Times that we can somehow separate the Syrians from the terror masters in Tehran, and have the son of Assad play a constructive role in “the search for peace.”

[W]e ha[ve] the Syrians dead to rights. [I]t [i]s obvious that Syria [i]s actively involved in the murder of innocents. And [yet] people who [know] better insist on denying the evidence.

I think the relevant difference between Assad and Khaddafy, to continue Mr. Robbins' analogy, is obvious: geography and alliegences. Khaddafy is hundreds of miles away from the Levant and the Holy Land, and even farther from The Land Formerly Known As Persia. He's the standard-issue Arab dictator, but not locked into any particular alliance system. And he is a free-agent. That, it seems to me, is what made him easier for us to coerce - he was exposed. No overt friends, but no evert enemies, either. Nothing to be gained from making a conspicuous show of defiance, particularly in light of what had just happened to his Iraqi counterpart.

Assad, though, is boxed in by NATO member Turkey on the north, American-occupied Iraq to the southeast, and estranged Jordan and the dreaded Zionist entity to the south. And Iran is a whoooooole lot closer than would be comfortable for a junior terror partner contemplating a back-stabbing.

In my mind, the question of flipping Syria comes down to who Boy Assad (and/or his Ba'athist remnant) fears more - the Americans or the Iranians. Three years ago the answer would probably have been us. But now? With George Bush the diplodiddling poodle of the EUnuchs on stopping Iranian nukes? With the mullahs steadily undermining Iraqi democracy via the stimulation of intra-Muslim strife with no response at all from the U.S.? With the domestic screeching of the DisLoyal Opposition for defeat & retreat growing, if it were possible, even more deafening? And with Iran confidentally moving ahead with their War Plan R?

Naaaah. Like Benito Mussolini, Bashir Assad is a fascist stooge. Unlike Mussolini (until it was too late), Assad is probably aware of that status. But also unlike Mussolini (especially after it was too late), he has every reason to believe that he's a fascist stooge on the winning side of this global confrontation, and thus with a whole lot to lose if he gets cold feet. The only way to change that perception is to attack Iran and topple the mullahgarchy once and for all.

Win the war, and we make up Junior Assad's mind for him.

And at that point, what would it matter what he thought, anyway?

Damascus:"Secret E-mail" Interpreted

[posted by Kay Ryan]

The Kuwaiti daily al-Seyassa this morning reports thatHizbullah leader Sheikh Nasrallah is due to travel to Damascus today for a secret meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Secretary of the Iranian SupremeNational Security Council Ali Larijani. (Larijani is also partly in charge of Iran's nuclear program.) The purpose of the meeting, according to the Kuwaiti paper,is to discuss further tactics to extend their war on Israel, and to continue to supply Iranian arms and ammunition to Hizbullah through Syria.

Nasrallah, according to the report, will travel in anarmored vehicle belonging to Syrian intelligence, dressed with "regular clothes" and without his turban. He will be escorted by a Syrian Lieutenant-General.

According to the paper, the latest speech of Nasrallah delivered on al-Manar TV was also recorded in a Syrian intelligence studio.

(This is the first time that these details are beingreported in English. They have been translated exclusively for this emaillist/website from

Socialist Pinheads

Rush has some great examples of why Democrats can't be trusted with the economy in this country any more than they can be trusted with our national defense. First, there's Dennis Kucinich. What a buffoon. He wants to tax "Big Oil" because they're making too much profit. Here's what he had to say to Hannah Storm during an interview:

The info babe, Hannah Storm, said, "How do windfall taxes that you want, how do these taxes bring down the price of gas?"

KUCINICH: No, no, no, it doesn't tax the price of gas.

STORM: No, how do the taxes...?

KUCINICH: It taxes only excess profits. When you start imposing some discipline and the oil company -- a hundred percent tax on excess profits, then the oil companies aren't going to be making $1300 a second like ExxonMobil is, $10 billion in a quarter, their CEO had a $400 million golden parachute, their stock's at an all-time high. I mean, what's going on here? The American people are getting ripped off at the pump and somebody has to stand up for them.

Okay, who gets to determine what "excess profits" are? Kucinich? He's a socialist. As Rush so eloquently points out:

Let's take a look at Big Oil and ExxonMobil. They are not laying off their employees. Their pension plans are not in trouble, their stockholders are doing very well -- and, by the way, some socialists don't like that, either. I've seen the phrase, "Stockholders are unfairly enriched. Profits are out of proportion," whatever that means. Would you rather have in your economy an ExxonMobil, or would you rather have a General Motors, which is trying to buy employees out with exit packages, eliminating the pension plan for retired employees, posting windfall losses every quarter, no prospects for turning this around; would you rather have a GM in your economy and be it the way it is, or an ExxonMobil?

Hard to argue with that. These Democrats who claim they're for the "working people" want to harm the very companies that employ them. When did liberals get to be so stupid? Read the whole review by Rush.

Then, there's Sen. Byron Dorgan, the Wal-Mart hater. Never mind how many Wal-Mart employs. Never mind that the employees are there of their own free will. Why, Byron's just worried about the working folks, right? Some of his words of wisdom:

Last night he [Dorgan] was on the Charlie Rose show on PBS, and was asked bluntly by Charlie Rose, "What's your beef against Wal-Mart?"

It has enormous market power, and -- and it is pushing producers to produce in China where it's least cost production and then sell back on the Wal-Mart store shelf and the [sic] clearly the buyer gets an advantage because you have lower prices. The problem is the loss of jobs as a result of the migration of those jobs elsewhere.

Say it isn't so! Wal-Mart is able to provide lower prices?? The scoundrels!! His pap about the migration of jobs is just laughable. We are at, what, 4.9% unemployment? Again I ask, when did liberals get to be so stupid?

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Eraser Of Confession

5 (A) This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that (B) God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

6 (C) If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we (D) lie and (E) do not practice the truth; 7 but if we (F) walk in the Light as (G) He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and (H) the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8 (I) If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the (J) truth is not in us.

9 (K) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and (L) to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 (M) If we say that we have not sinned, we (N) make Him a liar and (O) His Word is not in us.

-1 John 1:5-10

Suffering Fools Twice

How would you like to be John Bolton right now? Or for the past year and a half?

You're a skilled diplomat but also an unapologetic patriot. You believe in international institutions and want to see them reformed into what they were originally meant to be rather than abandoned to what they've become. You've served with loyalty and distinction in George W. Bush's (sort of) State Department, working on such productive and innovative projects as the Proliferation Security Initiative. And you have more intelligence and eloquence than the entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee combined.

As both a reward for your adept service and to use your courageous voice and nationalistic integrity in a place that is in desperate need of both, the President appoints you to the prestigious post of Ambassador to the United Nations. In that role you would join the ranks of Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Daniel Patrick Moynihan as frank, idealistic, indominable appealers to the "international community's" better nature. Assuming, of course, that it still has one.

As punishment for all of the above, you are subjected to confirmation hearings before a committee ostensibly controlled by your own political party but which are effortlessly hijacked by the pompous, deranged, idiot minority which proceeds to live up to its well-earned reputation for partisan extremism by turning you into an effigy of your president. As such they make fun of your appearance, personally smear you as a "bully" to your subordinates and a "kiss-ass" to your superiors, and dismiss you as "unqualified" for the job of representing America before the world because you won't...well, be a kiss-ass to the rest of the "international community" that wants to put a perpetual "kick-me" sign on Uncle Sam's back, even while it picks his pocket with perpetuitous impunity.

Despite that breathtakingly stomach-turning circus, you make it out of committee, though with one RINO defection, and though you have majority support for confirmation, the pompous, deranged, idiot minority mounts another abusive filibuster to prevent a final vote. Because the "international community" is too important to have an assertive America standing for truth, justice, and "all that other stuff," and otherwise overturning all its corrupt, kleptocratic, anti-Semitic applecarts.

However, the President installs you at Turtle Bay anyway via recess appointment to get on with the job at which you are so sorely needed, as well as to provide prima facie evidence, as though any were truly needed, that the pompous, deranged, idiot minority is to wrong what Colonel Sanders was to feathers.

Over the course of the next year you exceed the wildest expectations of your boss and supporters. You represent the U.S. with distinction, defend her interests with apolmb, stand up unswervingly for what's right, and do your level best to promote the wholesale reforms that could resurrect the UN from facilitator of and accomplice to corruption, repression, hatred, terrorism, and aggression, to exemplar of freedom, democracy, and genuine peace. You don't succeed in that sisyphian task - you aren't Superman, after all - but you've planted a seed that, with time to water and nurture, can grow into the vision of a better world.

It is with that track record of vindicatory success that the President officially reappoints you to your job for Senate confirmation so that the promising beginning you've created won't be needlessly truncated by the end of your recess appointment. By rights the pompous, deranged, idiot minority shouldn't even have the nerve to show up for your second round of hearings, much less have anything to say to you about your performance and qualifications. Indeed, a second round of hearings shouldn't be necessary at all.

Instead, with Islamist lunatics trying to wipe our closest ally in the Middle East off the face of the planet and the "international community" doing everything it can to run interference for the former, when continuity in U.S. representation at the UN couldn't be any more crucial, John Bolton has to trudge back up to Capitol Hill and put up - again -with this:

"My concern is that at the moment of the greatest need for diplomacy in our recent history, we are not particularly effective at it," said Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, the Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat.
Depends on how you define "effective," doesn't it, Senator? You think diplomacy means capitulation to whatever the rest of the "international community" wants, because robust defense of American allies and interests is anethema to you. You want to keep kicking the can of confrontation down the road, keep feeding the proverbial crocodile in the hopes that it'll never get around to devouring us, defer the detestable inconvenience of having to face the unpleasant realities of a war with Islamic theofascists that we cannot escape, preserve that Land of Make-Believe for as long as humanly possible, and woe unto any "neocon" who dares to pop that comforting delusionary bubble.

By your definition of "diplomatic effectiveness," Ambassador Bolton probably doesn't measure up, Senator. But then again your definition of diplomatic effectiveness has about as much connection with the real world in which we have to live as the Skinny Dippin' Wolf Women of Planet Heineken. And even less honor.

And that was just the beginning. Behold the unmitigated stupidity of Christopher Dodd's attempt at....what do you call this? Backhanded flattery? Squaring both ends against the cynical middle? Tying his corpus collossum in knots?

My objection isn't that he's a bully but that he's been an ineffective bully and can't win the day when it comes, when it really counts. For example, prior to a vote earlier this month on the UN Security Council resolution intended to sanction North Korea for its provocative Fourth of July missile launches, Mr. Bolton publicly assured anyone who would listen that he could get support for a resolution with teeth with his so-called chapter seven obligations. Turns out, of course, he couldn't. The resolution adopted by the UN Security Council fell well short of that. [emphasis added]
Didja get that? Before the Dems' knock on Ambassador Bolton was that he'd be a "bully" who wouldn't "play well with others" and would "alienate our allies" with his "cowboy unilateralism" and "blunt talk." Now Dodd knocks him for not being enough of a bully, when it is beyond obvious that if Bolton had done what the Connecticut Donkocrat says he should have vis-a-vie Russian and ChiComm intransigence, Dodd and his comrades would have been the first and loudest in screaming bloody murder per their original "bully" meme. Yet if you were to ask Senator Dodd to follow the logic of his criticism of Ambassador Bolton and drop his party's demands for bilateral talks with the NoKos, abandon the stalled six-nation negotiations that are going nowhere, and militarily confront both the Kim regime and its protectors/ sponsors in Moscow and Beijing, he'd sputteringly backpedal faster than Larry the Cable Guy from a negligeed Janet Reno armed with a box of condoms and a gallon of Crisco.

And then there's this piece d' resistance (the French phrase should be a telegraph the size of the Chrysler Building):

Democrats like John Kerry have vowed to fight the nomination (of John Bolton). Kerry showed up at the very last minute of today's hearing and it turned into a barbed exchange between the Bush Administration's attempt to engage North Korea in six-party talks:

KERRY: This has been going on for five years, Mr. Ambassador.

BOLTON: It's the nature of multilateral negotiations, Senator. (What Bolton was thinking: No shit, Sherlock. Negotiations with a government that has no interest in, and therefore no intention of, actually negotiating in good faith, to the extent they aren't a futile waste of time, require patience, diligence, and viligance if we are not to get fleeced - especially when getting fleeced means losing entire cities. Or perhaps you'd like to lend me your magic hat for the next go-round?)

KERRY: Why not engage in a bilateral one and get the job done? That's what the Clinton administration did.

BOLTON: And, very poorly since the North Koreans violated the agreed framework almost from the time it was signed. (What Bolton was thinking: Clinton got fleeced, dumbass.)

You know what proves that John Bolton is a diplomat par excellence? The fact that he's putting up with this nonsense, this dimwittery, this mental bovine bowel evacuation without going postal. It also demonstrates his love of country that he knows what's at stake right now and is willing for the sake of all of us AND the rest of the world (whether they appreciate it or not) to suffer this gauntlet of pompous, deranged idiocy - kind of the Beltway equivalent of the Klingon Rite of Ascension - in order to return to his mission and, perhaps, still make a difference.

Okay, one more butt nugget from Senator Dodd:

[Dodd] cited recent press reports on Bolton's interactions with other U.N. officials as evidence that Bolton "clearly has an aversion, in my view, to building consensus."

Senator, this is the existing consensus at the United Nations. The Oily Food scandal is the existing consensus at the United Nations. Shielding North Korea and Iran while they build nuclear arsenals to use against us and our allies is the existing consensus at the United Nations. The job of a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is not to "go along" with that consensus in the interests of "diplomacy"; it is to challenge that consensus and change it to one that defends the principles and ideals with and on which the UN was originally founded. And if we can't change it, then we should get the hell out, and take all our money with us.

There's no man or woman alive today better suited to that task than John Bolton. Just look at his opening statement to the committee:

We are actively engaged in New York to identify lasting solutions to bring about a permanent peace in the Middle East. To do so, however, requires that we have a shared understanding of the problem. The United States has held the firm view that the root cause of the problem is terrorism – and that this terrorism is solely and directly responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today. This terrorism manifests itself, not only in the form of Hezbollah and Hamas, but also in their state sponsors in Tehran and Damascus. We should all take note, particularly Iran and Syria, of the important statement from the Arab League for its courage and conviction in condemning Hezbollah for its role in instigating this latest round of violence.

We take note that some Member States have called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah - but we must ask our colleagues: how do you negotiate and maintain a ceasefire with a terrorist organization, one which does not even recognize the right of Israel to exist? The United States has no confidence that Hezbollah would honor an unconditional ceasefire. History shows us that it would only allow them time to regroup and plan their next wave of kidnappings and attacks against Israel. The United States seeks an end to the violence that afflicts innocent civilians, and for that very reason we are working for the conditions that will make a real cease fire possible and permanent. Our aim is to address the underlying cause of the violence in southern Lebanon – namely, terrorism.

No reasonable, much less serious, person can find fault with a single word Ambassador Bolton said. And that speaks volumes about the pompous, deranged idiots on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who aren't worthy to wax Big John's 'stache, much less tug - again - on Superman's cape.