Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
Russia’s ambassador to Israel said that although Russia had voted for the Goldstone report, it has second thoughts about it. Now it opposes further UN action. It gave excuses for its vote as involuntary and the fault of Europeans. Now it finds flaws of bias in the report.
Why second thoughts? Russia probably realized [or heard] that the same unfair condemnation made against Israel could be made against it, when involved in local wars (Winston Mideast Analysis & Commentary, 10/23).
Russia is likelier to harm civilians unnecessarily than Israel.
ON IRAN -
Russia’s excuse for its vote does not inspire confidence that it really opposes the Goldstone procedure now. Russia is inconsistent. It has been blowing hot and cold on sanctions on Iran for years. It alternately gives and dashes hope it will support sanctions. I think that is part of the process of stringing the West along, until its customer, Iran, has weapons that make it immune to sanctions.
Unfortunately, such games serve the Obama administraion perfectly.
Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 06:39
Here is another reason to worry. Pakistani Talibanism moved from the periphery to the center, from the Pashtoons in North West Pakistan to the Punjab and thereby much closer to the nukes:
The arrest this week of two ranking members of the “Punjab Taliban” has raised fears the Taliban are spreading their operations beyond the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and into the Pakistani heartland.
Officials say two Punjabi militants, Commander Iqbal and Gul Muhammad, helped plot the attack on Pakistan Army Headquarters as well as other recent suicide bombings in Lahore and Islamabad. Until recently, “Taliban” was a word associate with Pashtuns.
“Today the bulk of attacks in heartland Pakistan are carried out by Pakistanis from Punjab or Sindh, or by Pashtun fighters assisted by heartland Pakistanis,” says Rohan Gunaratne, author of Inside Al Qaeda. Punjabi militant groups, Notably the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), were long encouraged by Islamabad.
“Punjab-based groups, especially the LeT, were initially the creatures of the Inter-Services Intelligence, and had a Kashmir focus,” says Teresita Schaffer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The change began when President Pervez Musharraf outlawed two Punjabi militant groups —Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) — because of their attacks on Shias.
Many Jhangvi fighters then moved to the NWFP. “Jhangvi is now the eyes, ears and operational arm of Al Qaeda and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [based in Waziristan],” says Gunaratne. “It is hard to distinguish between the three.”
Islamabad has struggled to keep the third Punjabi militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, from joining the Taliban. “The Jaish are ambivalent when it comes to fighting the Pakistani state,” says Ajai Sahni of the Institute of Conflict Management.
Keep reading for it is apparent that Islamism has yet to peak.
Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12:53
Where is the AFL/CIO? How about some strike funds for these brave worker?
Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12:59
Of course, they did. Just as they are currently befriending Islamists.
You do not believe me? Read Stephen H. Norwood's The Third Reich in the Ivory Towers published by Cambridge University Press.
This is the first systematic exploration of the nature and extent of sympathy for Nazi Germany at American universities during the 1930s. Universities were highly influential in shaping public opinion and many of the nation’s most prominent university administrators refused to take a principled stand against the Hitler regime. Universities welcomed Nazi officials to campus and participated enthusiastically in student exchange programs with Nazified universities in Germany. American educators helped Nazi Germany improve its image in the West as it intensified its persecution of the Jews and strengthened its armed forces. The study contrasts the significant American grass-roots protest against Nazism that emerged as soon as Hitler assumed power with campus quiescence, and administrators’ frequently harsh treatment of those students and professors who challenged their determination to maintain friendly relations with Nazi Germany.
Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 15:49
It is all so predictable
First they came for the Jews -
July 31, 2002 - Terrorist bombing at Hebrew University cafeteria
Nine people - four Israelis and five foreign nationals - were killed and 85 injured, 14 of them seriously, when a bomb exploded in the crowded Frank Sinatra cafeteria on the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus campus shortly after 13:30. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack
And celebrated -
October 21, 2009 - Students terrorized
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The provincial governments on Tuesday ordered the closure of government and private educational institutions across the country following an attack on the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) in which six people, including three female students, were killed and 29 others injured. . . .
The first blast targeted the cafeteria adjacent to a girls’ hostel around 2:10pm, while the second one targeted the Sharia and Law Department building.
The Taliban took responsibility though they did not dare celebrate in public.
Listen to AP report. It contains not a single word of censure. It simply presents the bombing as an expected Taliban response to the government decision to regain control of the Northwest territory. And who do the students demonstrate against? The Taliban. No way. Their own government -
At least officials feel outrage though their claim that the perpetrators they could not be Muslims for Muslims would not do such a thing is absurd.
LAHORE: Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer on Tuesday condemned the suicide bombings at the International Islamic University in Islamabad and expressed concern over the loss of precious lives in the incident. He said the attackers were not followers of Islam and had nothing to do with humanity. Taseer said such inhuman acts would not deter the government’s efforts to eliminate terrorism. staff report
Denial is a true and tested Muslim method. Do not forget that Iranians claim that we should not worry about their nuclear development as Islam forbids the use of nuclear weapons.
Will the Muslim silent majority ever dare to insist on the return of red lines? Given the media/intellectual acceptance of such viciousness, it is unlikely.
Still today the founder of Human Rights Watch stood up against his own organization's nihilism as evidenced in the Goldstone report, so maybe be there is reason to hope anyway.
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 12:21
What is there to add except that we are lucky a few are left.
1. Steven Plaut, The Man The Gulag Couldn't Break
Robert Bernstein dares break with an organization he helped found.
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 12:25
Iran's real intentions can be fathoms from its objection to French involvement in nuclear talks Why?
Tehran claims that France, which has taken a tough line on Iran in recent weeks, has broken previous agreements to supply nuclear materials.
America and Russia are also at the table in Vienna, but Mr Mottaki's words, delivered in Tehran, cast a chill over the talks. Negotiations began on Monday, but formal discussions came to a halt yesterday.
Western officials regard Iran as a uniquely difficult negotiating partner. Whenever an agreement of any kind is reached – such as the supposed deal on Oct 1 – Iranian officials generally seek to reopen the issue and then demand further concessions in return for delivering what they have already agreed.
Now read the following optimistic headline:US hopes for Iran nuclear deal in next few days
Why am I even more skeptical than usual? El Baradei is the negotiator and he is keeping the details of the proposed deal secret.
The deal was in talks between Iran, Russia, the United States and France, and was sent to governments for approval by the end of the week, said Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
El Baradei declined to reveal any details about the draft document, but diplomats said it included demands that Iran ship out most of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium for further processing by another country.
It is a mad world not only in Tehran!
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 12:40
But statism is NOT the answer. Hence, I disagree with Shuja Nawaj that the way to win The Battle for Pakistan is with American foreign aid. All that it does is redirect bright, ambitious locals from entrepreneurship into NGO type service. Adding very little to the local economy. Indeed, the interest of those hired by the foreign and domestic governments is not in increasing the prosperity of the region but merely increasing the funds available for distribution.
Why has nothing been learned from the sorry example of the Palestinians? You cannot build a viable community on charity or service. Indians are finally getting it. That is the reason they are so keen on the writings of Ayn Rand that even Foreign Policy notices. It's time for those who wish to win the Battle for Pakistan to follow in their footsteps.
The battle is for freedom. The outcome is peace. Neither comes from bureaucrats.
Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 11:09
Of course, Olmert's personal humiliation is nothing compared the disaster he enabled an international body misnamed"Human Rights Commission" to bring on the entire state of Israel with the help of the now "saddened" court Jew Richard Goldstone. The affair is a tragedy deserving of Shakespeare master piece.
It began when a tired warrior and his ambitious side kick devised a plan that would enable Israel to move forward (Kadima) and leave a troublesome battlefield named Gaza. To reduce the possibility of ever having to return, thousands of Jews were enticed or forced to leave their homes. The global media that descended on Gaza saw civilians and soldiers crying together as they destroyed their homes and emptied their synagogues to prevent them from being defiled.
The Israeli assumption was that Palestinians and their supporters would have every incentive to make a show piece out of Gaza in order to incentivise Israelis to repeat the exercise in the West Bank. Israeli"occupation" of Gaza was over. As happened after Oslo, Israel and the Jewish diaspora planned to do their best to help Palestinians economically. They already began gifting the profitable Jewish built hot houses to the Gazans.
Sharon founded a new center party called Kadima (forward) and called for elections to ratify his audacious gamble. The country did. It has never wanted anything more than to move forward beyond the Palestinian conflict. Sharon promised it can afford to do so and live. So, Sharon was reelected prime minister. It was at this point that a stroke felled the gambling warrior and saved him from having to confront the losses of his last disastrous gamble. That fate belonged to his deputy, Ehud Olmert.
Hopes that this time the Palestinians will break the pattern and miss and opportunity to miss an opportunity were dashed with the destruction of hot houses, the electoral victory of Hamas and the escalating missile attacks on Southern Israel. Opponents of the disengagement from Gaza warned of such outcomes but were told that the Israeli army could always return to Gaza and put an end to the attacks.
The reality, of course, turned out to be different. So, Olmert did his best to ignore a problem called Sderot. Then came the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and Olmert decided to test the military doctrine on which the disengagement was based. The results were less than encouraging. Not only was extricating a captive soldier and ending the mobile missile attacks more difficult than has been assumed but Hezbollah opened a second front against Israel in the North. The result was the 2006 Lebanon War which left Hamas, if not Hezbollah, stronger than ever. It also revealed the propaganda efficacy of terrorist use of human shields.
A couple of years of unrelenting and increasingly more deadly missile attacks on Southern Israel followed. International efforts to use"smart power" to convince Hamas to cease and decease the shelling came to naught. Finally, even candidate Barack Obama admitted that had his daughters lived in Shderot, he would have resorted to military means to stop them being shelled, lawyer Olmert believing he had proven Israel's case beyond a shadow of a doubt, went to war against Hamas ruled Gaza.
The army had made good use of learning the lessons of the Lebanon War. It had successfully reduced the number of Israel casualties and tried to do the same with Palestinian civilian casualties. Do not take my word for it. Take the word a man who knows of what he speaks, Col. Richard Kemp, the former British commander in Afghanistan who delivered the following address to the UNHRC:
Thank you, Mr. President.
I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.
Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.
Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.
Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.
The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.
The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.
Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.
More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas’ way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice their own civilians.
Mr. President, Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop Hamas from attacking them with rockets.
And I say this again: the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.
Thank you, Mr. President.
The UNHRC could not care less about Hamas. It found Israel guilty of crimes against humanity thereby legitimizing a global campaign against the Jewish state. It's purpose was to use a report signed by a self aggrandizing useful idiots named Richard Goldstone to punish Israel and send a warning to other democracies not to fight terror too efficiently. To achieve that purpose, it ignored not only the Israeli efforts to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza but also history and geography. Ignoring the disengagement, it insisted that Gaza was still"occupied" and ignoring the fact that Gaza borders Egypt as well as Israel, it only blames Israel for the Gaza blockade.
And what about the Arab/Israeli peace process? It is dead. Every Israeli knows that giving up control of any inch of land means providing an impeccable enemy anther inch of land from where to attack it. Moreover, any attempt to defend itself will result in global opprobrium. Under such circumstances, would you give up control of such an inch of land?
Indeed, I would suggest that the Obama administration study carefully the Israeli example before it decides to turn over (actively or passively) parts of Afghanistan to the Taliban. Not everybody can be as lucky as Sharon and be spared having to watch the results of an dreadful error. They might share Olmert's fate instead.
Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 19:12
Do not hold your breath for a McChrystal Congressional testimony for according to Rahm Emanuel, president Obama does not want him to do so. Clearly, they do not trust him. Dickerson thought he got Rahm to commit to an delayed testimony but Rahm realized his error and sought to fix it. If the transcript will not convince you, I suggest you watch the tape (about 4:17 minutes into the discussion), especially Rahm's body language:
Watch CBS News Videos Online
DICKERSON: OK. So I don’t hear a notion that there is going to be a delay. Let me move on to this question of having General McChrystal testify. The Republicans really want this to happen. after the president makes his decision on the strategy. Will you encourage McChrystal to testify in front of Congress?
EMANUEL: Well, when the president is going to -- you know, that question we’ll get to, the first question is getting the policy and the review correct and then being able to explain to the American people what the president is asking of the country and its armed forces -- and not just the armed forces, but the country, and also what we’re expecting to achieve there in a sense of Afghanistan, and then the entire national security team will obviously be available to walk the Congress and the American people through that.
DICKERSON: Including McChrystal?
EMANUEL: If that is necessary, of course.
DICKERSON: Let’s move to health care.
EMANUEL: But I think it’s the president’s view the most important place for General McChrystal to be is in the theater of battle.
DICKERSON: In Afghanistan. Let’s move to health care.
Dickerson understands the implication but tactfully refrains from asking a follow up question.
Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 19:44
Now, bin Ladin and az-Zawahiri would probably prefer to have the central front again in the Arab world. But in Afghanistan and Pakistan they have wars that their side might win. Now, or in the not too distant future, it may be impossible operationally and philosophically to tell the difference between Arab al-Qa'ida and Afghan and Pakistani radical groups, which have as a loadstar the Pashtun militants who comprise the neo-Taliban on both sides of the border. The foot-soldiers of this cause are not as worldly as their Arab forerunners; they do not have any noteworthy thinkers drawing large crowds.
But they do offer the promise of great success: within Pakistan and India are highly-educated Muslims who just might join the cause. Arab al-Qa'ida never enlisted first-rate--not even second-rate--scientific talent. Pakistan and India, with vastly better educational establishments than the Arab world, might just provide what modern holy warriors have so far lacked: the requisite skill to deploy weapons of mass destruction against the United States.
Read it all. I would merely like to add that Islamism thrived in the subcontinent for centuries. Pakistan was created by modernizers. Islamists stayed in India. Today, the Pakistani/Indian rivalry is making the efforts to pacify Afghanistan even tougher.
Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 11:24
"We must use what has been called 'smart power,' the full range of tools at our disposal -- diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural -- picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation," Clinton said in her opening remarks."With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of foreign policy."
Hence, reset buttons, revival of arms control talks and to crown it all, throwing the Poles and the Czechs to Russian bear by canceling the missile shield. As the much maligned Neo-cons could have predicted, it was all for naught. Indeed, relations with Russia got worse, not better. Here are a few recent headlines coming out of Clinton's recent trip to Moscow:
Agreeing to sanctions, was supposed to be the big pay off. Hillary claims she did not even ask thereby as Martin Peretz (who permitted himself to be fooled by Obama) characterizes as making a"a cupcake out of a turd." It gets worse -
Russia: We’ll Nuke ‘Aggressors’ First and we also mean Iran:
In an interview published today in Izvestia, Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Kremlin’s security council, said the new doctrine offers “different options to allow the use of nuclear weapons, depending on a certain situation and intentions of a would-be enemy. In critical national security situations, one should also not exclude a preventive nuclear strike against the aggressor.”
What’s more, Patrushev said, Russia is revising the rules for the employment of nukes to repel conventionally armed attackers, “not only in large-scale, but also in a regional and even a local war.”
And worse -
Russia will continue to promote the idea of creating a new pan-European security body despite the U.S. decision to scrap its missile shield plans for Central Europe, the Russian president said on Wednesday.
"Despite the easing of tensions, the solving of several problems, and the recognition of a multipolar world order by key international players, it seems to me sensible to set up such a system, and we will promote this idea further," Dmitry Medvedev said after talks with his Czech counterpart, Vaclav Klaus.
In another words, a challenge to NATO. It is announced at the presence of the Czech president who takes the opportunity to reiterate his refusal to sign the Lisbon Treaty. Under the circumstances, it makes sense for the Czechs for trying to do their own kind of appeasing. They will be followed by others.
Hillary retaliated by calling for more democracy in Russia. Yes, you read right. In obvious desperation, the secretary of state of an administration that has nothing to say about the Iranian brutal treatment of their people, is suddenly concerned about Russian domestic policy. Is this not the type of issues that concern unsophisticated"neo cons?"
In a town-hall meeting with almost 1,000 students at Moscow State University, Mrs. Clinton spoke forcefully about human rights abuses and the weaknesses in Russia’s legal system.
“That’s why attacks on journalists and human rights activists are such a great concern, because it is a threat to progress,” Mrs. Clinton said. “The more open and dynamic political system you have, the more opinions that will flow in, and the more successful outcomes will flow out.”
She even tried to sow discord between Putin (who did not bother to stay in town for her visit) and Medvedev by emphasizing the president's is official superiority.
On Wednesday, when Mrs. Clinton was asked during a Moscow radio interview why she had gone to see the president, she pointedly reminded listeners of who directs Russia’s foreign policy.
“The president sets the policy,” Mrs. Clinton said. “I carry out President Obama’s policy; Minister Lavrov carries out President Medvedev’s policy. So making sure we are communicating is very important.”
First came"soft power." When it obviously failed we got"smart power." It fared no better. In other words, Obama is learning the lesson Carter learned when he was president though forgot after he was booted out. We are still paying for the price of his temporary enlightenment. For those who forgot, they included the Soviet take over of Afghanistan and the Islamist take over of Iran.
Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 12:33
The bomber, reported to be aged about 13, flung himself at a military convoy passing through a busy market in Shangla, a northwest district near Swat where the army claimed to have flushed out Taliban rebels after a fierce offensive.
But Islamist extremist groups appear far from quashed, with an audacious raid on army headquarters over the weekend leaving 23 people dead and underscoring the vulnerability of the nuclear-armed nation.
At least 116 people have been killed in a series of devastating blasts and attacks
Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 18:31
VAN SUSTEREN: But is it something that -- in theory, is the award for something that you have done, something that you've accomplished, or is it something for sort of an extraordinary background and inspiring hope because those are two very different concepts? . . .
BRINKLEY: I think most of them are for something very concrete, more of a Camp David-like peace accord, when you know, Begin and Sadat won, for example. That would be classic. . . . Ralph Bunch won, a U.N. diplomat. He won in 1950, an African-American. Many people thought Ralph Bunch got it because he was a leading African-American in the diplomatic world. . . .
I could not believe my ears. In truth, Ralph Bunche won the Nobel prize precisely for a very specific achievement - a precursor to the Camp David accords - the 1949 armistice agreement between Israel and the Arab states. Amazingly, Douglas Brinkley did not know that and implied he got it for the color of his skin.
In 1946, UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie «borrowed» Bunche from the State Department and placed him in charge of the Department of Trusteeship of the UN to handle problems of the world's peoples who had not yet attained self-government. He has been associated with the UN ever since.
From June of 1947 to August of 1949, Bunche worked on the most important assignment of his career - the confrontation between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. He was first appointed as assistant to the UN Special Committee on Palestine, then as principal secretary of the UN Palestine Commission, which was charged with carrying out the partition approved by the UN General Assembly.
In early 1948 when this plan was dropped and fighting between Arabs and Israelis became especially severe, the UN appointed Count Folke Bernadotte as mediator and Ralph Bunche as his chief aide. Four months later, on September 17, 1948, Count Bernadotte was assassinated, and Bunche was named acting UN mediator on Palestine. After eleven months of virtually ceaseless negotiating, Bunche obtained signatures on armistice agreements between Israel and the Arab States.
Bunche returned home to a hero's welcome. New York gave him a «ticker tape» parade up Broadway; Los Angeles declared a «Ralph Bunche Day ». He was besieged with requests to lecture, was awarded the Spingarn Prize by the NAACP in 1949, was given over thirty honorary degrees in the next three years, and the Nobel Peace Prize for 1950.
Why is professor Brinkley ignorant about the achievements of a leading African American diplomat?
Because Bunche advocated integration, opposed the militancy of Black Nationalists and decried their build up by the mainstream media. All in all, a position not so different from that of another Nobel Prize winner, Martin Luther King. Of course, it is a position in variance with the protege of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the new Noble Peace laureate, President Barack Hussein Obama.
Unfortunately, so total was the victory of the Black militants that an American history professor of the caliber of Douglas Brinkley does not have to worry that dissing an opponent of Malcolm X would be challenged by contemporary African American historians.
I suspect if MLK had lived, he would have been consigned to Ralph Bunch's fate for he shared the man's values. It is worth reading what Bunche said about Black militancy:
The approach of the black Muslims is ridiculous.
I picketed drug stores and swimming pools in Los Angeles when I was a teenager. I take the position that I am an American first and a Negro second, an American of Negro descent. The people from whom I am descended helped build this country, and now I'm demanding my birthright. I'm not going to quit and I'm not going to surrender. And I'm not going to relinquish my birthright, as the black Muslims propose.
To set the Negro off is defeatism and cowardly and totally unacceptable. I'm never going to give up. It's an absurdity beyond belief that the black Muslims come out on the same side as the white supremacists. The first to come out for this separation were the communists in the 20s with their doctoring of self-determination for the Negro in the black belt—The boys sitting over in Moscow thought there was a nationalist Negro movement, believing the line taken by Marcus Garvey, you know, back to Africa. There was nothing practical about it, they didn't know where the hell they were going in Africa. They enjoyed the uniforms, it was a form of escapism. At the same time in Chicago and elsewhere they came up with the 49th state idea.
The press has behaved scandalously in building up Malcolm X far beyond the size of his following.
Malcolm X describes me as an"international uncle Tom" in part because of the attack I made on him a year ago at the NAACP convention in Atlanta. After that plane crash with all the people from Atlanta he said out in Los Angeles may there be one every day. I said anyone saying such a thing had to have a sick mind.
I think the NAACP in the long view has led the struggle—it's the base for all the progress that's been amde [sic]. It has run into difficulty now because it has competitors, and there's a disposition to go faster and faster. When in the opinion of the mass of people, the leaders don't zhow [sic]enough forcefulness, new leaders appear. But I've no doubt in my mind that the mainstay is the NAACP. If it had not been for the work of the NAACP, the new organizations would not have had the base upon which to build any progress.
As long as this problem of race remains, no government or administration can be said to have done enough.
Why do I care so much? The same media and intellectual preference for Militant Muslims is currently undermining democratic progress in the Middle East and is responsible for America being forced to fight two wars there. Moreover, I am disgusted by the fact that American historians so downplayed the achievements of Black moderates as to make historians such as Douglas Brinkley ignorant of them.
Posted on Monday, October 12, 2009 - 11:03
"So, after having expelled the Jews from your dominions, your Highness, in the same month of January, ordered me to proceed with a sufficient armament, to the said regions of India."
Therefore, with the council and advice of the eminent men and cavaliers of our reign, and of other persons of knowledge and conscience of our Supreme Council, after much deliberation, it is agreed and resolved that all Jews and Jewesses be ordered to leave our kingdoms, and that they never be allowed to return.
And we further order in this edict that all Jews and Jewesses of whatever age that reside in our domain and territories, that they leave with their sons and daughters. their servants and relatives, large and small, of whatever age, by the end of July of this year, and that they dare not return to our lands, not so much as to take a step on them not trespass upon them in any other manner whatsoever. Any Jew who does not comply with this edict and is to be found in our kingdom and domains, or who return to the kingdom in any manner, will incur punishment by death and confiscation of all their belongings.
We further order that no person in our kingdom of whatever station or noble status hide or keep or defend any Jew or Jewess, either publicly or secretly, from the end of July onwards, in their homes or elsewhere in our reign, upon punishment of loss of their belongings, vassals, fortresses, and hereditary privileges.
In his novel "Alhambra Decree," David Raphael, imagined the great Rabbi, statesman, philosopher, Bible commentator, and financier.Isaac Abrabanel, responding to the Spanish queen thus (It is presented on the internet as real, alas it is not. It is so good that I have decided to retain it):
We leave you with this comforting knowledge. For although you can dispose of our power, we have the higher truth. Although you can dispose of our persons, you cannot dispose of our sacred souls and the historical truth to which only we bear witness.
Listen, King and Queen of Spain, for on this day you have joined the list of evil-doers against the remnant of the House of Israel. If you seek to destroy us, your wishes will come for naught, for greater and more powerful rulers have tried to finish with us, and all have failed. Indeed, we shall prosper in other lands far from here. For wherever we go, the God of Israel is with us. And as for you King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, God's hand will reach out and punish the arrogance in your heart.
Woe unto you, authors of iniquity. For generations to come, it will be told and retold how unkind was your faith and how blind was your vision. But more that your acts of hatred and fanaticism, the courage of the people of Israel will be remembered for standing up to the might of imperial Spain, clinging to the religious inheritance of our fathers, resisting your enticements and your untruths.
Expel us, drive us from this land that we cherish no less than you do. But we shall remember you, King and Queen of Spain, as our Holy Books remember those who sought our harm. We Jews shall haunt your accomplishments on the pages of history... and the memories of our sufferings will inflict greater damage upon your name that anything you can ever hope to do to us.
We shall remember you and your vile Edict of Expulsion forever.
The novelist did not speak lightly. For years Jews/conversos have been searching for new lands. Indeed, cartography was pretty much a Jewish science. Jewish converso explorers named João Gonçalves Zarco and Bartolomeu Perestrelo discovered the important stepping stone island called Madeira and Porto Santo. Columbus who spent years on the island married Felipa Perestrelo, the daughter of the late Porto Santo governor and got access to his vast collections of maps relating to the Atlantic.
For years Columbus hoped to convince the Portuguese court to finance a Western voyage. He failed. So, he went to Spain. There, Isabella's Jewish advisers succeeded in convince her to sanction the trip in part by providing the financing. As Columbus prepared to sail, Jews prepared to leave Spain. Indeed, when Columbus set sail on August 3, 1492. He was not alone. All around him were boats of every shape and size filled with expelled hundreds of thousands of expelled Jews. For the day he sailed was also the last day Jews could leave Spain. It was also the Ninth of Av (Tisha B'av) on the Jewish calendar, a day of fasting in commemoration of the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem.
Jews were on the move again and as Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal wrote in his fascinating book Sails of Hope, Columbus and his Jewish shipmates were scouts looking for new more hospitable land where Jews can thrive again. Columbus himself, Jewish or not, writes Chuck Missler, connected his voyage to the fate of the Jews:
Columbus was more driven by prophecy than astronomy. He compiled a collection of Biblical passages in his Libro de las Profecias, Book of Prophecies: Proverbs 8:27, which speaks of the earth's surface as being curved; Isaiah 40:22, the spherical earth; and the ocean currents in Isaiah 43:16.5 He would later describe his discovery of the New World as"the fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied," from Isaiah 24:15,"Isles beyond the sea," and Isaiah 60:9.6
Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them," (60:9)
It took hundreds of years before America (the"Goldene Medina) fully replaced Spain as a physical and spiritual Jewish center. But the first step was taken on that blessed/cursed day in 1492 when Columbus"sailed the ocean blue."
Posted on Monday, October 12, 2009 - 15:07
Candidate Barack Obama correctly argued that strategically Afghanistan cannot be severed from Pakistan. At first President Barack Obama acted as if he meant it. He put General Stanley McCrystal in charge, asked to devise a strategy for victory and in the meantime increased the number of troops available to the new man. His envoy went to Pakistan to convince the Bhutto government to move against the Taliban on the Pakistani side of the border. Improved Pakistani cooperation led to the elimination of a number of Taliban commander. Ramadan was a peaceful month in Pakistan. The American/Pakistani cooperation seemed to be bearing fruit but not in Afghanistan.
To do the job in Afghanistan, Gen. McCrystal needed even more troops. Busy with health care Obama sought to delay making a decision. Sec. Gates obliged him by putting the McCrystal report on ice while American soldiers were getting killed. Somebody decided to leak the report. The ice melted an an internal battle royale began between McCrystal and Biden with Obama playing Hamlet.
Biden and company argued that Pakistan was no longer in danger, the Jihadis left Afganitan and that the imperfect elections provide Washington with a perfect justification to cut Karzai lose and return the country to the Taliban provided Mullah Omar promises to end his relationship with Al Qaeda.
Forget the betrayal of the Afghani women, the behavior of the emboldened Taliban in Afghanistan demonstrates the deficiency of such a game plan. It made clear that the fall of the Afghani domino is bound to have serious consequences in nuclear armed Pakistan. Moreover, there is no more way to differentiate between the Taliban, Arab, Chechen and Wiegur jihadists and Al Qaeda than there was in differentiating between the Viet Cong and North Vietnam. The only difference is that the Vietnamese were not about to follow Americans home while militant Muslims have already demonstrated that they will do precisely that. After all, leaving would prove that Bin Laden is right. Jihadis can replicate the achievements of their glorious ancestors. All they need is patience.
It is bad enough to have to fight emboldened Jihadists in hellhole like Afghanistan, American soldiers and commanders should not be forced to do so without the full backing of their commander in chief.
Posted on Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 18:29
Bruce Kesler lists Ten Reasons Why I’m In Favor Of President Obama Receiving The Nobel Peace Prize
Posted on Friday, October 9, 2009 - 14:05
Of course, Iran wants to 'blow up the heart of Israel' if their nuclear facilities are bombed and even if they arn't. This is hardly news.
But, like the totalitarian fanatics they are, the Mullahs are also executing their own children. Visit Iran Solidarity to sign petitions against it. If only Obama would open his prize winning mouth . . .
Iran Solidarity is outraged at the imminent executions of several other child offenders by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran executes more per capita than any country in the world and is one of the few remaining states that continues to execute minors.
This Sunday, October 11, Behnoud Shojaee and Akram Mahdavi are scheduled to be executed in Evin prison in Iran.
On October 21, another juvenile, Safar Angooti is scheduled to be executed and the Islamic Supreme Court is also deciding the fate of another minor on death row, Ali Mahin Torabi.
At least 160 juveniles are on death row in Iran, including for homosexuality, apostasy, sex outside of marriage and involvement in school or street fights that have resulted in murder.
Posted on Friday, October 9, 2009 - 14:13
But he did nothing to deserve it, is the conventional wisdom. Even Barack (Hussein) Obama is eager to second the observance. Of course not, says Geir Lundestad, the noted historian and the longtime secretary of the Nobel committee. He calls the assumption that the award has rarely anything to do with accomplishments, a myth:
Myth: The prize is awarded to recognize efforts for peace, human rights and democracy only after they have proven successful.
More often, the prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments.
True enough. I had an opportunity to spend three months at the Oslo Nobel Institute in 1995. Then, the award was given to Pugwash and Joseph Rotblat "for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and, in the longer run, to eliminate such arms." Needless to say, neither the organization nor the man could cite any useful achievements. Indeed, critics immediately pointed out that nuclear weapons were the reason the Cold War never turn hot. The Institute even conducted a public debate on the subject. The real aim of the Committee was to focus attention on the 50th anniversary of the invention of the bomb.
This time, Obama deserves to win. He came to power seeking to make the world a fairer place by making America poorer and weaker and in a span of 9 months has been more successful than even I would have imagined. And the committee which shares his goal is hoping that he will continue to do so in Copenhagen. In other words, I concur with John Podhoretz:
He is an American president eagerly in pursuit of legitimacy to be granted him not by those who voted for him but by those who do not cast a vote and who chafe at American leadership. It is his devout wish that America become one of many nations, influencing the world indirectly or not influencing it at all, rather than “the indispensable nation,” as Madeleine Albright characterized it.
He is the encapsulation, the representative, the wish fulfillment, the very embodiment, of the multilateralist impulse. He is, almost literally, a dream come true for the sorts of people who treasure and value the Nobel Peace Prize.
In other words, the Nobel was awarded to Obama because, unlike previous presidents, he does not work for the American people but for the people of the world as defined by the transnational elite which includes the Nobel committee. It also means that he does not work to increase global prosperity and global freedom but for more even sharing of the current pie by unaccountable Bureaucratic global institutions like the UN or the IMF. Seen in this light, it is a most astute award and it undoes all the potential good the IOC did by denying Chicago the olympics.
The 2010 elections cannot come too soon. Until then the American people including those serving abroad have no one representing their interest in the international arena.
By the way, the weaker the dollar, the greater the value of Obama's Nobel award.
Posted on Friday, October 9, 2009 - 16:57