Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cairo Eid – No Happy Endings

This is the most appalling thing I have read in a while. Rantings of a Sand Monkey helps break the silence:

The story is as follows for those of you who didn't hear about it: It was the first day of Eid, and a new film was opening downtown. Mobs of males gatherd trying to get in, but when the show was sold out, they decided they will destroy the box office.

After accomplishing that, they went on what can only be described as a sexual frenxy: They ran around grabbing any and every girl in sight, whether a niqabi, a Hijabi or uncoverd. Whether egyptian or foreigner. Even pregnant ones. They grabbed them, molested them, tried to rip their cloths off and rape them, all in front of the police, who didn't do shit. The good people of downtown tried their best to protect the girls. Shop owners would let the girls in and lock the doors, while the mobs tried to break in. Taxi drivers put the girls in the cars while the mobs were trying to break the glass and grab the girls out. It was a disgusting pandamonium of sexual assaults that lasted for 5 houres from 7:30 PM to 12:30 am, and it truns my stomach just to think about it.

I called my father when I heard of that happening, and he informed me that he didn't hear of it at all. They watched Al Jazeerah, CNN, flipped through opposition newspapers, and nothing. Nada. Nobody mentioned it. As if it didn't happen.

But it did.

The bloggers available downtown documented the whole thing, and provided pictures of it as well. Reading their accounts I can't help by feel my heart being torn on what the people of the country has turned to.
Read the rest here.

I can understand why the Egyptian Authorities would exert pressure on the Egyptian press not to publish these incidents but where is the western press? The silence from the press and international women’s group is positively deafening; which is one reason why I disassociated myself with the feminist movement years ago.

If equality before the law was good enough for me, I would accept no less for any other sister, but apparently my fellow western sisters are positively cowed when faced with Islamic clerics and entrenched misogyny. It’s far easier to gang up on the Pope.

Oh yeah, so much for the "uncovered meat" theory of rape.

Speaking in Code

A Saudi columnist is now calling for the Saudi government to start a nuclear program for “peaceful purposes”.

Either - not all terrorists are created equal or I swear GWB is a liberal

The Bush Administration has some very strange ideas concerning promoting democracy in the Middle East. Taken from Ha’aretz:
The Bush administration has undertaken efforts to arm and train the Presidential Guard of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in order to prepare it for a potential violent confrontation with Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip.

According to information received in Jerusalem, the American security coordinator in the territories, General Keith Dayton, appeared before representatives of the Quartet in London last week and presented them with a program for bolstering the Palestinian presidential guard. The program calls for Egyptian, British and perhaps even Jordanian instructors to train the force loyal to Abbas.

However, Palestinian sources say that the training of a "Special Presidential Guard" started already a month ago, under the guidance of an American military instructor. The training is taking place in Jericho, at a compound near the InterContinental Hotel, and involves men from Force 17, an elite Fatah force traditionally assigned the protection of the Palestinian Authority Chairman.

According to reports, 400 Force 17 troops have been involved in the training since August. The Palestinian Authority Chairman's office has recently barred the access of reporters to the compound. Palestinian sources say that the training program is part of Dayton's recommended initiative for the reinforcement of Abbas' forces, and which involves the transfer of $2 million to set up the necessary training

According to foreign press reports, the United States would like to see the number of men in Force 17 grow from approximately 3,500 to 6,000. Conscripts in the force range from 18 to 22, and undergo basic training for three months. Some are then selected for the Presidential Guard. In the past, Dayton had proposed that the Presidential Guard, bolstered by international inspectors, be deployed at the Karni crossing in the northern Gaza Strip in order to expand the transit of goods between Gaza and Israel.

Israeli sources say that the United States is interested in the fall of the Hamas government currently in power in the Palestinian Authority. During the Quartet meeting in London, the Americans expressed their satisfaction with the results of the boycott of Hamas' government, which has undermined its standing among the Palestinians.

However, the U.S. administration is also certain that the sanctions against Hamas will inevitably result in a violent confrontation between Hamas and Fatah, and in such a scenario, they would prefer to strengthen the "good guys" headed by Abbas.

A man whose PhD’s dissertation denied the holocaust and the head of known terrorist organization which has carried out more terror attacks against Israeli civilians than any other single group is now a "good guy". I swear I am now the Queen of Sheba.

Fatah is a terrorist organization. No matter how Fatah feeds from your hand there is simply no way to tame the beast within nor is there any no quid pro quid of good will with a terror organization. Just wait for the next successive attack launched by Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade against civilians (and they are trying very hard), and then watch some enterprising victim’s family sue the US government for providing material support to a terrorist organization. Did I mention that I will be in Israel within the next year?

Abbas does not have uncontested internal support of his own party. There are great divisions in Fatah, nor is it clear that Abbas’ old guard fraction will come out on top. Furthermore, the Palestinian people deliberately withheld electoral confidence from Fatah less than a year ago. Fatah can no longer claim to speak for the Palestinian people so why are the Americans financing and training them? Have Americans really learned nothing from their adventures in Central or South America in the last 30 years?

Finally, it’s a lot of work for nothing. It would be far easier and cheaper to stick a few suicide vests on the Force 17 members and then point them in the direction of Hamas and say, “Pretend they are Jews and do what comes natural.”

So which weasel to believe?

The UN official acknowledges that Hezbollah is rearming. Taken from Ynet News:
Top envoy Terje Roed-Larsen says Lebanese authorities soft on issue due to their fragile political situation; ‘Political rhetoric shows that there are very high tensions, and I think we have to look at the situation in Lebanon with all caution,’ he says.

Lebanon regularly reports arms being smuggling into the country from Syria but the authorities are treading softly due to their fragile political situation, a senior UN Envoy said on Monday.

Government officials have informed the United Nations of smuggling as recently as “The last few weeks,” although they are providing no information on the quantities or types of arms being secreted across the border, said Terje Roed-Larsen, the top UN Diplomat on Lebanese ties with Syria.

A few hours later the Jerusalem Post carried this statement from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that Hizbullah no longer poses a threat to northern communities. He noted during a tour of northern IDF posts that Hizbullah's positions in southern Lebanon were now occupied by the Lebanese Army and that the IDF was more prepared now, Army Radio reported.

Thank you, Egypt

Ynet News is reporting that Hamas as anti-tank/missile units ready to rock and load.
Israel Defense Forces Southern Command Chief Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday that Hamas is setting up a new division in its military wing specializing in firing anti-tank and other missiles. "Hamas is setting up a regular division with anti-tank capabilities and with missiles capable of reaching threatening ranges in Israel," Galant said. He said the IDF is doing in the Gaza Strip what the political echelon allows.

Wasn’t there a clause in the Camp David Peace Agreements which specifically prohibits Egypt from supplying Palestinians with weapons? It must be my bad.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Slippery When Wet

A wanted Al- Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade terrorist escaped a IDF dragnet by climbing out his parent’s second storey window to travel via rooftop out the back way. Apparently he left little to the imagination reports Ynet News:
"I was in the bathroom last week. It was night and I was in my parents’ house," related the terrorist, who is on Israel's most-wanted list and boasts of leading a cell responsible for six suicide bombings and scores of shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.

"I entered to take a shower and suddenly while I was soaping myself I heard voices and people shouting. I didn't know what they were shouting but I heard the word 'jiash' (soldiers) and I understand that the Israeli army was attacking our house." (…) Continued the Brigades leader: "I went out of the bathroom and from the second floor I jumped to the roof of our neighbors. From this roof to another one and than to the street. Soldiers were already far from me at my parents’ house. I started running almost 200 meters (about 650 feet) in the camp street naked trying with acrobatic gestures to hide my buttocks and my sexual organ.

"If I saw somebody in front of me so I put one or two hands on my sexual organ; if there was nobody in front of me and I heard people speaking or laughing behind me I put my hands on my buttocks," related the terror leader. The Al Aqsa militant said he finally took refuge inside a friend's house and hid there the rest of the night. He said for him fear of arrest was far greater than the embarrassment of running nude through the refugee camp, where he is a famous figure.

"It is true that while running I felt embarrassed but the stress in which I was in was more important than the embarrassment I felt. I know that some people will speak about this idiot who ran naked but this is better than to be now in the Israeli prison.

"That was the equation – running naked and being treated for some days by the people of the camp as impolite, crazy and insane, or sitting in front investigators from the Shabak (Israeli security services) insulting me, torturing me and knowing that all my life I will be in jail. I chose the first possibility."

The terror leader, who has escaped Israeli raids in the past, admitted he was caught off guard. "I am very careful. I even sleep with my shoes but the soldiers came for the first time from the western part of the camp. They never came this way because in the middle of the road leading to the house there is the cemetery of the camp.

"Any appearance of the soldiers from any other side of the camp we would have been alerted by many people but it was in the eve of our holiday (Eid al-Fitr, the festival that ends the Muslim Ramadan) and they came from the cemetery."

He said he did not have his gun in the bathroom while taking a shower, but that he would never make that "mistake" again. "Also next time I will be more careful and I will have my shower when I am wearing my clothes," he said. “My friends in the Brigades laugh at me but my parents still feel some shame when they walk in the camp," said the terror leader.
Of course, if he had been a she – I doubt that anyone would be laughing at the requisite stoning.

Sharon wake-up – Olmert’s in a coma!

I was told this joke made the rounds of Israelis while the Israel-Lebanon was raged. I am reminded of it now after reading this report from the Jerusalem Post:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that he would consider allowing Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to beef up his loyalist forces with troops stationed in neighboring Jordan.

Palestinian officials said last week that Abbas wanted to bring in the forces ahead of a possible showdown with Hamas. Israel has objected in the past to letting members of the Jordan-based Badr Brigade enter Palestinian areas. But on Monday, Olmert told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he would consider allowing such a move, said committee member Ran Cohen.

I have heard of turning the other check but this is like slicing your own jugular and saying; watch me bleed out! I have no idea if the Israelis have an impeachment process but the idea should be taken under serious consideration before there is no state left.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Confessions of a Closet Slouch Potato

I have a confession to make. I am now watching more television on a weekly basis than I ever watched in the last 20 years combined. For the first time, I actually know what the “hot” new shows are. I am not sure why that is, but I think a lot of it has to do with the children wanting to watch shows with me.

It use to be, they didn’t care if I watched or not. Now I am in demand. Of course, it helps that the Last Amazon takes the time to once a week to program the VCR/DVD player with all the various shows times, so come the weekend, we play catch up with the machine. I only wish they wouldn’t get mad at me when I fall asleep and insist on waking me up - so that I miss nothing. I have been missing things on television for years. Really, it’s okay guys and please stop hitting me with pillows. I watch Heroes with the whole crew, Stargate: Atlantis with the Boys, Battle Star Galactia with the Goldfish Eater, Lost with the Dreadie, and Veronica Mars with the Last Amazon.

On a down moment, when I suddenly found myself alone, I caught 10 minutes of NBC’s Studio 60, and boy, does that show ever blow. So I am not surprised that NBC finally wised up and is rumored to be deep sixing the show shortly. It can’t be soon enough.

Really, I have to wonder why anyone would presume that it would be entertaining to want to watch an insider’s view of a comedy show week in and week out. How very Dick van Dyke of them sans Mary Tyler Moore. The sixties ended a long time ago and it’s never coming back. Besides, there is something very uncompelling about earnest comedians. And by the way ----Heroes Rock.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Who would have thought it - Abbas is short gunmen

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas apparently does not have enough PLO fighters and wants to import more Palestinian gunmen from Jordan reports the Jerusalem Post:
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas hopes to beef up his loyalist forces with Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) troops stationed in Jordan, Palestinian officials said, as rival factions bolstered their ranks in anticipation of a feared civil war.

Israel has objected in the past to letting members of the Jordan-based Badr Brigade enter Palestinian areas. But with clashes intensifying between Abbas' Fatah Party and forces loyal to the Palestinians' militantly anti-Israel Hamas government, Israeli officials said they would consider allowing them in, the Palestinian officials said.

Israeli authorities weren't immediately available for comment.

Palestinian officials did not say how many Badr forces Abbas hopes to mobilize. What is most important to him is that he would command their loyalty as head of the PLO.

Abbas, elected separately last year, is nominally the supreme commander of all seven Palestinian security branches, and most security personnel were hired by Fatah, which controlled the Palestinian Authority for more than a decade. But after Hamas swept Fatah out of office in January elections, it set up a militia of its own, which now numbers 5,700 armed men, and has announced plans to recruit an additional 1,500 forces in the West Bank, Fatah's stronghold.

The rival security forces have clashed frequently in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks as political tensions between the two sides grow. The violence has left more than a dozen dead and stoked fears of a bloody showdown. The threat of heightened unrest led Palestinian officials from both sides to increase police presence on Saturday.

In Gaza, police in blue-and-white camouflage uniforms deployed around the parliament building, and in the West Bank town of Ramallah, security personnel were posted outside parliament, the Prime Minister's office and the Education Ministry. In an attempt to ease tensions, a coordinating committee for all Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, met on Friday night in Gaza, and agreed to remove all their non-uniformed gunmen from the streets.

While it would be logical for anyone to perceive why it would not be in the Israeli’s best interest to have even more armed gunmen running around the West Bank or the Gaza Strip don’t be surprised to soon learn that the Bush Administration will be putting the screws to the Israeli government to allow their pet terrorist his request for more gunman.

the folly of outsourcing state security

There is a suggestion a foot that Israel is preparing to “precision” bomb along the Philadelphia Corridor in order to destroy the network of tunnels that various and sundry Palestinians have established to facilitate weapons smuggling from Egypt. In response, Egypt is planning to move 5,000 troops to the border. Ynet News carries details:
Egypt moved 5,000 more security forces near the Gaza Strip border on Saturday after an Israeli report said Israel may bomb tunnels used for smuggling weapons into Palestinian territories, an Egyptian official said. "They requested reinforcements after the Israeli report and also citing fears of Palestinian militants breaching the border wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt," The official told Reuters in Cairo.

The 5,000 Egyptians were members of the police's central security force. They joined a similar number of border guards already deployed along the area known as the Philadelphi route, fearing the possible operation's impact on civilians living on the Egyptian side of the border.

The Israeli daily newspaper Maariv reported on Friday that precision-guided weapons would be used to penetrate deep underground in the hope of destroying the tunnel network that the Jewish state says riddles the area, which is 11 km long (6.5 miles) and approximately 100 meters (330 feet) wide.

The decision to use "smart" bombs may be a substitute to reoccupying the entire region, the newspaper said. Israel says it has been unable to control weapons smuggling into Gaza since it withdrew its forces from the coastal strip last year.

Tell me again why it was a good idea to disengage from the Gaza Strip.

I could say I told you so, but instead I would like to point out that the responsibility for the Philadelphi Corridor officially lies as an Egyptian/Palestinian Authority responsibility with the EU overseeing. Condi Rice even brokered the deal - wonder what she thinks of it now? And so much for the effectiveness of the EU as monitor.

But how odd, for the Egyptians to deploy so many troops to their side of the border. One would think that the Egyptian government has a stake in keeping those tunnels open with the flow of weapons into the Gaza Strip.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Family Feud

Why one should never go to the Gaza Strip for a holiday - even if you’re an Arab. Ynet News:
An Israeli Arab man was kidnapped on Friday and his wife was shot near the main passenger crossing from the Gaza Strip to Israel, Palestinian security officials said.

The motive behind the kidnapping was not yet clear. Witnesses told Ynet that the man, Riyadh al-Louh, and his wife, Khatima al-Louh, were ambushed by unidentified gunmen as they were returning from a family visit in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya.

Khatima al-Louh was shot in the foot and slightly injured, and Riyadh al-Louh was abducted, officials said. The kidnapping appeared to have been related to a family feud, security officials said, but declined to provide further details.
Geeze, is it possible that the Palestinians have run out of foreign photographers and journalists to kidnap?

To Coup or Not to Coup that is Abbas’ Question

The big question for the Gaza Strip is whether Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will stage a coup of the Hamas government. Ynet News summarizes:
Tensions in the Palestinian Authority are reaching a new high, and various elements have expressed their fear of a particularly violent weekend, this following reports of alleged plans by Palestinian security forces to intensify their activities in protest of the Hamas government’s failure to pay long-due salaries.

Workers’ unions are joining the campaign, and Hamas has warned of a possible civil revolt. According to reports, the security forces plan to block roads and hold a violent rally. Tensions between Hamas government’s special security force and the Preventive Security Forces may deteriorate to violent confrontations. Just a few weeks ago 13 Palestinians wee killed in clashes that spilled over into the West Bank.

Hamas officials said commanders in the security forces are attempting to overthrow the government, but President Mahmoud Abbas had denied the claims. On Thursday the president met with senior Hamas officials at the Mukata complex in Ramallah and promised that the protests will not develop into an organized coup.

Despite the calming message, Palestinian sources in Gaza report high states of readiness on both sides, pursuant to declarations that professional unions representing teachers and PA clerks intend to intensify their strike. One possibility that the unions are looking into is to declare a civilian rebellion against the government or organized civil disobedience.

I bet it will be a hot time in the Big Strip for all. Good thing I bought popcorn. What I want to watch is; if Abbas supports a coup attempt, will he in turn be coup’d by his own Fatah movement?

B'tzelem Elohim

I haven’t written a line on the Australian Islamic cleric who ignited a storm of controversy with his remarks suggesting that immodestly clad women are responsible for rapes because I have come to expect no less from the Islamists.

Just in case anyone still doesn’t know who or what I am referring to; here is CTV online account.
"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside ... without cover, and the cats come to eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat's?" Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali was quoted as saying in a sermon to some 500 worshippers in Sydney last month. "The uncovered meat is the problem," he was quoted as saying in The Australian newspaper.

"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred," he said, referring to the headdress worn by some Muslim women. Hilali also criticized women who "sway suggestively" and wear cosmetic makeup, implying they attracted sexual attack. "Then you get a judge without mercy... and gives you 65 years," he added.
For the record, the cleric condemns rape. I wouldn't put stock or comfort in that as long, as it takes four male witnesses testifying to have witnessed the rape, before a rape can be declared a rape, and the culprit found guilty under Islamic law.

I am not particularly frightened or shocked by the Cleric’s words and thoughts – misogyny has a long history and I have been a female since birth. Just call me well schooled. What really does make an impression on me is how poorly this cleric thinks of the character and nature of men who he likens as to that of a base senseless animal. I don’t know who the Sheik has been associating with but the poverty of character in his social circle demands change. For even I have known many a noble soul called man.

Beloved is man for he was created in the image of God.

When is Apartheid not Apartheid?

An old bigotry and smear rears its head in South African reports Ynet News:
A Jewish South African reporter has been 'banned' by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) from providing news coverage from the Middle East, after her managing director said did he did not want a "white Jewish girl" covering the region, the reporter told Ynetnews.

"I was a reporter and newsreader, and Snuki Zikalala was head of TV and radio news, so he was my line manager. He was not that great to work with," Paula Slier, the reporter, told Ynetnews.

In 2004, Slier went to Ramallah to cover Arafat's illness. While in the West Bank, Slier said she was informed that the SABC had "received a directive: 'No more reports from Paula.'" "I tried to find out why they were not using my work anymore, and I was told by a senior manager in SABC, which obviously I can't name, that Zikalala said they don't want a white Jewish girl reporting from Ramallah, though the implication was from the whole of the Middle East," Slier said.

After it emerged that SABC's blacklist included a range of sources, including some critical of the South African government, SABC launched an investigation of itself. "When the investigation came out, Zikalala told the inquiry: 'From the movement I come from, we support the PLO.'

And then he went on to call what was happening in the Middle East a 'Jewish war,' and then he said: We know Paula, we know the position which she holds," Slier said, quoting from the investigation.

The full investigation was published by South African newspaper the Globe and Mail, though SABC had initially tried to get a court order to ban the newspaper from publishing the full report. "The thing is, in South Africa, I've been heavily criticized by the Jewish community for being pro-Palestinian. So he makes the inference that because I'm Jewish, I would automatically support what would be happening in Israel," Slier added.

"In the inquiry, Zikalala said we need a reporter who is impartial," Slier said, adding: "This is problematic, the guy is head of TV and Radio News." Michael Kransdorff and Steven Magid, authors of the Jewish South African blog It's Almost Supernatural , have been closely monitoring the story. They told Ynetnews that the blacklisting of Slier proved widespread suspicions held by the Jewish community of bias at the SABC. "The Jewish community and my blog in particular have for a long time criticized the SABC and considered them biased against Israel. This story confirms our suspicions," said Magid.

Speaking to Ynetnews, SABC Spokesperson Kayzer Kganyago said the comments attributed to Zikalala in the SABC's internal report have not been verified. "The report was not made public, we cannot comment about things in the report, because it was not a judicial inquiry. It was a fact-finding commission. Therefore the things said in the commission were not tested."

For Arafat’s PLO movement to have traction in the Middle East and beyond; the PLO needed to control the language and the dialogue of the struggle. Palestinian has now to refer to specific group of Arabs without specific ties to any of the Arab regimes in the ME, but there was a time when one referred to a Palestinian it meant Jew and Jew only. Furthermore, it was considered a great insult to an Arab even in the mid-60’s to refer to Arab man or woman as a Palestinian.

The second need was to erase historical Jewish ties to the land in order to wipe out the merest suggestion that Jews could be anything but usurpers in the land rather than returning sons. There could not be two legitimate claims for the land. In pursuit of that goal, it lead Arafat et al to some remarkable statements such as the man Christians refer to as Jesus was not a Jew but Palestinian Arab Muslim prophet. Go figure.

The smearing of Israel as an apartheid racist state was and is still vital to the Palestinian movements to de-legitimize the Jews as a nation, which is why the support of radical South African anti-apartheid groups was perceived as crucial and to be courted at all cost. The fruits of this poisoned tree are aptly illustrated by the attitude of the managing director of the South African Broadcasting corporation in the above article. What the supporters of Israeli, as the “Apartheid State” want you to remain ignorant of;is that neither Jews or Israelis do not come in one skin colour.

Staff Sergeant Malko (Moshe) Ambao

and Reserves Staff Sergeant Yesamu Yalau, Golani Brigade.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Generational Gender Gap?

There was an outrageous row between me and the oldest son last night on the issue of what constitutes manliness. He made me promise to blog about it.

I say, sitting on the sofa watching television while eating a box of Goldfish is not “manly” thing to do. Goldfish can never be considered “manly” food.

A snack fit for a kid but not a snack for real men. Potato chips, pretzels, and even popcorn can be considered “manly” food but never Gold Fish. He claims - I am just flat out wrong.

A columnist is never honoured in his own country

Way back in the early 80’s when I joined the working world, I use ride with my grandfather on the streetcar every morning into the garment district. When he was done with his Toronto Sun he’d hand it off to me to finish. Inspite of the cheesy pictures and a million and one ads for televisions and stereo equipment, there was a surprising array of top notch columnists. This was where I first read George Jonas, and this is why I have never stopped reading George Jonas (on the anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising);
I was in Budapest, Hungary, 50 years ago, looking forward to a heavy date. I expected it to be with a girl -- well, a married woman, really -- but it ended up being a date with history. The married lady never appeared in the little patisserie where we were supposed to meet, not far from my office in Radio Budapest. The Hungarian revolution did, replacing the powdered sugar on top of a tray of cream buns with broken glass.

Since my date didn't show, I sauntered over to the Radio building to check out the revolution. "Sauntered" is the wrong word. I ran in a crouch from doorway to doorway, as people instinctively do when they hear gunfire, as if crouching made the slightest difference.

For the next 10 days, I taped interviews on my portable reel-to-reel Uher, a high-tech machine for 1956, much admired on both sides of the barricades. After November 4, when the Soviets returned in force to crush the uprising, I forged some papers that gave me access to "the Zone," a strip of land leading up to the old Iron Curtain. By Christmas, I was in Canada. When I first saw my erstwhile date again, 13 years later, we were two curious strangers, wondering why we were about to wreck a marriage in another time and place.

The uprising, a defining event of my life, seemed like a damned nuisance the day it happened: unexpected, inconvenient and not very significant. Two of these judgments were ludicrously mistaken. One was accurate, but then revolutions are seldom convenient. They turn things upside down by definition, making those that mattered in the morning matter little by nightfall, and vice versa.

On Iraq:
The war I supported (as I've written repeatedly) ended on Dec. 13, 2003. That's when Saddam was pulled from his "spider-hole" somewhere in the boonies. On that day, coalition forces should have said: "It's all yours now, we're pulling out." They might have added: "Make the best of it and we'll stand by with aid and investment; relapse into hostile tyranny and we'll be back with missiles and marines."

What would have happened? Chaos? Civil war? Probably -- which is what's happening now. The artificial edifice of Iraq may well have collapsed, but it wouldn't have collapsed on the U.S.-led coalition's head. If Bush the president had only heeded the wise words of Bush the candidate -- "no nation-building!" -- or the equally wise words of Napoleon's minister, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, who said to the emperor: "You can do everything with bayonets, Sire, except sit on them," Bush would have abandoned Iraq in triumph instead of the way he may have to abandon it now: with his tail between his legs.

The mistake wasn't going into Iraq; the mistake was to stay. The mistake wasn't resorting to bayonets; the mistake was trying to sit on them. The mistake wasn't to remove a tyrant who wasn't ready to go; the mistake was to try to build a nation that wasn't ready to be. The mistake wasn't leading a horse to water, the mistake was trying to make it drink. With the best of intentions, America managed to make Iraq's problem its own. Now the U.S. President is standing on the riverbank, hanging on to a spooked, rearing, kicking horse. It's not a pretty sight.

On principle of proportionality and Canadian Liberals:
The issue of proportionality may be new. It's smuggled into the moral debate by terrorists and their left-lib apologists to escape the consequences of their misdeeds. First they fire mortars and Katyusha rockets at Israeli civilians, then plead proportionality -- a bizarre demand in any but a sporting contest. If taken literally, it would call for modern armies to scrap their missiles and smart bombs and fight with nothing except weapons and tactics available to the Taliban.

As self-styled men of God, Hezbollah fighters ought to remember the Lord didn't say: Sow the wind and you'll reap a proportionate wind. He said: Sow the wind and you'll reap the whirlwind.

Perhaps the Liberal party's theologians will sort this out one day, but they're unlikely to sort it out in time for the next election, and unlikely to retain the Jewish vote until they do. The camel's back is finally broken. Who knows (and who really cares) whether it was Mr. Ignatieff's straw that broke it or not?

The man is a true national treasure.

Canadian Youth Answering the Call

One of the worst legacies of the Summer of Love generation was a societal contempt for soldiering as a profession. It's heartening to see their influence is finally waning. Via the Toronto Star:
OTTAWA—Young Canadians are flooding into military recruiting centres even as top commanders caution that more and more of these future soldiers can expect to see frontline service in Afghanistan, whether they want to or not.

"Kids are flocking to our recruiting centres across our country," Gen. Rick Hillier, the chief of defence staff, said yesterday. "Twice the number so far this year as during the same time last year," Hillier said. "We have connected with the Canadian population. We would like to do a little bit better with all minority communities with whom we are trying to establish a relationship, but we know that takes long-term," Hillier said.
Of course, there is still the requisite little dig:
Combat deaths in Kandahar have made this the deadliest year in decades for the military, but that doesn't seem to have deterred young people aspiring to a career in uniform.

I would even go so far as to suggest that an unintended consequence of those combat deaths has resulted in recruiting numbers raising. Nothing like seeing that soldiering still has meaning and purpose to give it an edge over acutarial work.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Liberals, NDP set to choose Political Coventry

The National Post is carrying an article on the opposition parties cobbling a coalition together to water down the CPC crime bill:
One of the Conservative government's key law-and-order initiatives has been dealt a critical blow by opposition parties, who have effectively gutted a bill that would have severely curtailed the use of house arrest and jailed about 5,500 more people annually.

The three opposition parties on the House of Commons justice committee, which held public hearings on the bill, have dramatically amended the proposal so that the vast majority of criminals will remain eligible to serve their time in the community instead of going to jail.

It is the first of the Harper government's justice bills to be significantly altered by the opposition, who hold the balance of power in Parliament and have warned that they will not back any punishments they believe are too severe for the crime.
I can’t believe that the opposition parties want to risk having Parliament fall over their “softening” of the Conservative crime bill. I cannot believe the Liberals are so lacking in common sense that they would rather commit political suicide by running as the preferred party of both terrorists and criminals.

Short Takes

Just a few thoughts on this morning's Israeli news and commentary. Attention is still being focused on the conjugal visit by Yigal Amir’s wife (convicted killer of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin). I realize that Amir is no ordinary criminal to the Israelis but this strikes me as a somewhat bizarre obsession for the Israeli media to indulge in. I have to wonder if the average Israeli really cares enough to warrant the intensive coverage this has gotten. There is just something so unseemly and sordid about the whole thing.

Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Our Home party has officially joined Ehud Olmert’s Kadima Coalition. Labour leader Amir Peretz was threatening to leave the coalition if Lieberman’s party joined – but it looks like Peretz's mind is open for persuasion – and perks!

Lieberman’s party is frequently referred to as a hard “right-wing” party, but I have yet to see evidence of a preference for either fiscal conservatism and a smaller, leaner government. It would be entirely misleading to suggest that 'Israel, Our Home' masquerades as free market capitalists. This is a prime example of why terms such as “right-wing” and “left-wing” present no valid basis in general political discussions on Israeli politics. The “right-wing” label has more to do with his party’s position on the relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians than any markers we commonly use in the west to categorize political parties. Almost all of Israel's political parties are to the left of the Canadian NDP.

If you are asking why Olmert is looking for every possible ally that can be begged, bribed or threatened into joining his coalition.; it is because of investigations like this keep on coming. Coupled with his generally poor leadership skills make the likelihood of his losing the next election. He really needs to put off an election for as long as possible with the faint hope that one 'tomorrow" he’ll do better. I haven’t really been keeping tally, but I think this is at least the 5th investigation concerning Olmert’s conduct since he won the election less than a year ago.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Paris Syndrome

Who knew this syndrome actually existed or that the Japanese seem to be the ones most susceptible to fall prone to this malaise?

Paris - Around a dozen Japanese tourists a year need psychological treatment after visiting Paris as the reality of unfriendly locals and scruffy streets clashes with their expectations, a newspaper reported on Sunday. "A third of patients get better immediately, a third suffer relapses and the rest have psychoses," Yousef Mahmoudia, a psychologist at the Hotel-Dieu hospital, next to Notre Dame cathedral, told the newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

Already this year, Japan's embassy in Paris has had to repatriate at least four visitors - including two women who believed their hotel room was being bugged and there was a plot against them. Previous cases include a man convinced he was the French "Sun King", Louis XIV, and a woman who believed she was being attacked with microwaves, the paper cited Japanese embassy official Yoshikatsu Aoyagi as saying.

"Fragile travellers can lose their bearings. When the idea they have of the country meets the reality of what they discover it can provoke a crisis," psychologist Herve Benhamou told the paper. The phenomenon, which the newspaper dubbed "Paris Syndrome", was first detailed in the psychiatric journal Nervure in 2004.
For the Japanese tourist, it’s is a combination of a cultural clash mixed with a delusional crash. The rude brush with the reality of modern day French shopkeepers (who do not believe the customer is king) and the fact that ordinary Parisians fail to live up to the Japanese tourist’s expectations of a people submerged in elegance and beauty. Apparently, subway travel and purse snatchers are also a little more than mildly off-putting for the Japanese.

I have never been to Paris but I did have a great-grandmother who was French. Clever, witty and sly old soul that she was. She gave me more than a few lessons in malice and haughty arrogance which forever disabused me of any notions that the French were on a nobler higher plane than the rest of us. Even thirty-four years dead and bring up her name to my Sainted Mother - then sit back and watch Momma seethe to a full boil in mere seconds.

As if I needed more proof that France is lost

A few years ago, I had a conversation with my daughter and predicted once the last survivors of the holocaust had passed away there would be those who would attempt to re-write history, and would do so well, that many will look at the Third Reich and claim their ideology was not without its redeeming qualities. She couldn’t imagine a world where it could be possible.

Last week, I was in the children’s section of a bookstore at lunch time and overheard a woman ask the sales clerk for help in locating a WW2 story for her daughter to read so that she could learn how the German people suffered during the war years. I had to leave the store or I might have strangled the woman. There is no suffering the German people endured individually or collected that could measure up to a life eeked out in Bergen-Belsen, Börgermoor, Buchenwald, Dachau, Dieburg, Esterwegen, Flossenburg, Gundelsheim, Neuengamme, Papenburg, Ravensbruck, Sachsenhausen, Sachsenburg and those are just the names of the concentration camps established by the Nazis in Germany.

Today at Ynet News I read this:
It appears that there are still some people who refuse to recognize that the dark era of cooperation between the French and the Nazis is over. A scandal broke in France in recent days when a newspaper in the east of the country refused to publish a notice in memory of a French Jew, a Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz death camps.

Fred Wolfson died in 1966, at 43 years of age. On the 40th anniversary of his death his family asked to publish a notice in his memory stating that "He passing was due to complications caused by the barbaric Nazis."

The important newspaper, L'Est Republican refused to publish the notice stating that they refrain from publishing notices that entail "political or ideological content." Instead of the original text, the newspaper suggested writing "the trauma of the death camps."

When a French newspaper refuses to publish a memorial notice on the 40th anniversary of a holocaust survivor because it reads “"He passing was due to complications caused by the barbaric Nazis" and justifies it by saying that they do not publish notices which contain “political or ideological content” France is lost. The family is choosing to fight back and good on them; but if they are French Jews, they need to leave the country immediately - as in right now.

France is Lost - the Series

I haven’t written much on the French trial of Philippe Karsenty and the Mohammad Dura fraud. But Caroline Glick on Prime Time Blood Libels in the Jerusalem Post does:
Last Thursday a French court found Philippe Karsenty guilty of libeling France 2 television network and its Jerusalem bureau chief Charles Enderlin. Karsenty, who runs a media watchdog Web site called Media Matters, called for Enderlin and his boss Arlette Chabot to be sacked for their September 30, 2000 televised report alleging that IDF forces had killed 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura at Netzarim junction in Gaza that day.

Their lawsuit against Karsenty was the first of three lawsuits that Enderlin and France 2 filed against French Jews who accused them in various ways of manufacturing a blood libel against Israel by purposely distorting the events at Netzarim junction that day. The second trial, against Pierre Lur at, is set to begin this week. Lur at organized a mass demonstration against France 2 on October 2, 2002 after the broadcast of a German television documentary film by Esther Schapira called Three Bullets and a Dead Child: Who Shot Muhammad al-Dura? Schapira's film concludes that IDF bullets could not have killed Dura.

September 30, 2000 was the third day of the Palestinian jihad. That day an IDF position at Netzarim junction was attacked by Palestinian Authority security forces. A prolonged exchange of fire ensued. That afternoon, France 2's Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahma submitted footage of a man and a boy at the junction cowering behind a barrel. The two were later identified as Jamal al-Dura and his 12-year-old son Muhammad. Enderlin, who had not been present at the scene, took Rahma's 27 minutes of raw footage and narrated a 50-second film in which he accused the IDF of having shot and killed the boy. Enderlin's film itself does not show the boy dying. There are no blood stains where the boy and his father were crouched. No ambulance came to evacuate them. No autopsy was performed on Muhammad's body.

FRANCE 2 distributed its film free of charge to anyone who wanted it - although not the full 27 minutes that Rahma filmed. The film was shown repeatedly worldwide and particularly on Arab television networks. The results of the footage were murderous. On October 12, two IDF reservists, Yosef Avrahami and Vadim Novesche, were lynched by a mob at a PA police station in Ramallah. The mob invoked Dura's death as a justification for its barbarism. The Orr Commission which investigated the violent rioting by Israeli Arabs in October 2000 stated in its final report that "Muhammad al-Dura's picture, which was distributed by the media, was one of the causes that led people in the Arab sector to take to the streets on October 1, 2000."

Countless suicide bombers and other Palestinian terrorists have cited Dura as a justification of their crimes. For the past six years PA television has continuously aired a film showing Dura in heaven beckoning other Palestinian children to "martyr" themselves by becoming terrorists and join him there.

The Palestinians are not the only ones who have used Dura as a terrorist recruitment tool. He is prominently featured in al-Qaida recruitment videos and on Hizbullah banners. Daniel Pearl's murderers interspersed their video of his beheading with the France 2 film. Throughout Europe, and particularly in France, Muslims have used Dura as a rallying cry in their attacks against Jews - attacks which broke out shortly after the Dura film was broadcast.

AT FIRST, Israel accepted responsibility for Dura's death without conducting an investigation. Yet, in the weeks that followed the event, engineers Nahum Shachaf and Yosef Doriel conducted investigations on behalf of the IDF's Southern Command.
Both men separately proved mathematically and physically that the IDF forces on the ground could not see the Duras from their position and that it was physically impossible for their bullets to have killed Muhammad. Then OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen.Yom Tov Samia held a news conference in late November based on their findings at which he said that the probability that the IDF had killed Dura was low.

Yet Samia was the only senior Israeli official to question the veracity of the film. Then chief of General Staff Shaul Mofaz disavowed Samia's investigation. Prime minister Ehud Barak never questioned the veracity of Enderlin's murderous accusation against the IDF.

In the intervening years, private researchers and media organizations have taken it upon themselves to investigate what happened that day. Their findings have shown that at a minimum, the probability that the IDF killed Dura is minuscule and more likely, the event was either staged or edited to engender the conclusion that Dura had been killed by Israel. The few people who have been allowed to watch Rahma's entire film have stated that it is impossible to conclude that Muhammad was killed because he raises his head and props himself up on his elbow after he was supposedly shot.

Respected media organizations like The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, Atlantic Monthly and Commentary magazine have published detailed investigations that all conclude that the footage was either staged or simply edited to show something that didn't happen.

Yet, even as private individuals were dedicating their time and passion to proving that France 2 had purposely broadcast a blood libel against Israel that caused the death and injury of Israelis and Jews throughout the world and marred the honor of the IDF, official Israel remained silent.

The Foreign Ministry never asked France 2 to show its officials the full 27-minute film. Neither the IDF nor the Foreign or Justice Ministries defended the IDF or called into question the veracity of Enderlin's film. As late as this past June 23, IDF spokeswoman Brig.-Gen. Miri Regev told Haaretz, "I cannot determine whether the IDF is or is not responsible for the killing of al-Dura."

IN THE French judicial system, the people's interest is represented by a special court reporter who recommends verdicts to the judges. It is rare for judges to disregard the reporter's recommendations. During his trial, Karsenty and his witnesses produced piece after piece of evidence that called into question the credibility of the France 2 film.

For its part, France 2 sent no representatives to the trial. Its attorney did not question any of the evidence submitted by Karsenty nor did she cross-examine any of his witnesses. She brought no witnesses of her own. She simply produced a letter of support for France 2 from President Jacques Chirac. The court reporter recommended dismissing the case.

In their judgment last week, the judges argued that Karsenty's allegations against Enderlin and France 2 could not be credible since "no Israeli authority, neither the army which is nonetheless most affected, nor the Justice [Ministry] have ever accorded the slightest credit to these allegations" regarding the mendacity of the Dura film.

Over the years Israeli officials have justified their silence by saying that it was a losing proposition to reopen the Dura case. We'll be accused of blaming the victim, they said. This statement is both cowardly and irresponsible. As the French verdict shows, without an Israeli protest, the protests of private individuals, however substantial, ring hollow. When Israel refuses to defend itself from blood libels, it gives silent license to attacks against Israel and world Jewry in the name of those libels.

I believe that France is lost, and the sooner we wise up to the fact that our alleged ally has joined the other side. The sooner we will be able to deal rationally with French malfeasance in the international forum. If we remain as we are, we are simply setting ourselves up for the mother of all betrayals.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Of Human Bondage - circa 2006

How do you begin to justify keeping a child slave? Yahoo News:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two Egyptian nationals who pleaded guilty to enslaving a 10-year-old Egyptian girl at their Southern California home, making her work long hours serving their family of seven, were sentenced on Monday to prison terms.

Abdel Nasser Youssef Ibrahim, 57, was sentenced to three years in federal prison and his former wife, Amal Ahmed Ewisabd Motelib, 43, was given 22 months behind bars by a federal judge. Prosecutors said the pair will be deported after serving their sentences.

U.S. District Judge James Selna also ordered the defendants to pay their victim more than $76,000 in restitution, which represents the money the girl should have been paid during the two years she worked for their family. "The young victim in this case was subject to inhumane conditions that included both physical and verbal abuse," U.S. Attorney Debra Yang said in a written statement. "As a result of recent changes in federal law she has been granted a visa that will allow her to stay and hopefully prosper in the United States," Yang said.

In pleading guilty in June the defendants admitted bringing the girl to the United States from Egypt in 2000 when she was 10 under an arrangement with her parents, confiscating her passport and forcing her to work 16 hours a day as a domestic servant.
There are some days when I think multi-culturalism really is a disease and there is no cure but to close the borders and let the barbarians die in cesspools of their own making.

Food for Thought

It destroys one's nerve to be amiable every day to the same human being.

- Benjamin Disraeli

If money talks and bullshit walks; where does that leave Syria's Assad?

Last week it was the Iranians paying US$50 million to Hamas so the kidnapped Israeli soldier would not be freed, and this week I learn that Syria dictator, Bashar Assad, funneling money to pay local Golan residents (Druze) salaries reports Ynet News:
Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has recently been directing his citizens to move to the Golan Heights, has now started paying scores of local Golan residents official state salaries. Israeli officials interpret Assad's latest moves as attempting to underscore Syria's "ownership" of the Heights and pressure the Jewish state into giving up the strategic territory. The officials said there are some indications Assad may stage a provocation aimed at restarting negotiations with Israel over relinquishing the Heights.

The Golan Heights is mountainous territory captured by the Jewish state after Syria used the terrain to attack Israel in 1967 and again in 1973. The Heights looks down on major Israeli and Syrian population centers. It borders Israel, Syria and Lebanon and is claimed by Damascus. Military officials say returning the Golan Heights to Syria would grant Damascus the ability to mount an effective ground invasion of the Jewish state.

WND reported last month that Assad issued a decree urging his citizens to move to the Golan Heights, claiming the International Committee of the Red Cross would help flood the Golan with Syrians. Assad's decree urged Syrian officials, humanitarian workers, public service providers and their families to move to the Golan with the help of the Red Cross, which has authority to operate in the area purportedly to facilitate civilian crossings into and out of Syria in humanitarian cases. Assad's signed statement said Syrians who wish to move to the Golan will be granted approval by "all the relevant authorities." The decree affirmed the "right of the Syrian people's resistance" aimed at ensuring the return of the Golan Heights.

Israel officially annexed the Golan in 1981 and controls the territory. It must approve all cases of Syrian residents moving to the Golan. Israel is unlikely to allow any new Syrian residents into the territory.

"(Assad's) decree is seen more as rhetoric aimed at generating Syrian national feelings toward the Golan and strengthening Syrian ties to the area," said an official in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office. Israeli officials said the Jewish state has information Assad earlier this month started paying some Golan Heights public workers official state salaries. Currently, most Golan public workers, including teachers and local officers, draw salaries from Israel, although a few public officials have been collecting salaries from Syria since the 1970's. According to the Israeli officials, Assad is now paying Golan teachers and has drawn plans to incorporate other Golan workers into the Syrian budget.

This is the first time I have heard of foreign agents attempting to bribe teachers to create goodwill which has nothing to do with math or reading scores. I don’t envy Assad’s agents. If this group is representative of the Arab residents in the Golan Heights its going to be a tough uphill slog.... I suppose the thought of embracing a lower standard of living, healthcare, education, and a general lack of freedom just doesn’t do it for them.

IDF gets stuck in the middle

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is calling for international intervention in the Gaza Strip after 6 men were killed and another 30 injured in this report carried by Ynet News.
Palestinian officials said that six Palestinians were killed Monday morning by IDF fire in the town of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip and 30 others were wounded. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killing, describing the incident as a "criminal massacre." Abbas urged the international community to intervene in order to prevent a further escalation in the situation. He called on Israel and Palestinian armed groups to halt the fighting.

Five of those killed are members of the Shanbari family: Atta Shanbari, a commander at the Salah al-Din Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing, Khaled Shanbari Muhammad Fouad Shanbari, Ibrahim Fouad Shnbari and Kamal Adnan Shanbari. The sixth casualty is Rammy Mussa Hamdan.

Palestinians said that shots fired during an altercation between two rival families were mistaken as gunmen fire by the IDF, causing the troops to responded with gunshots. The Palestinians added that the military force that entered the town took over several houses and opened gun and shell fire at the locals. One of the men killed is Atta Shinbari, a commander for the Salah al-Din Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing.

The IDF reported that its forces fired at some 10 armed terrorists who were approaching the soldiers while they were engaged in an operation to thwart Qassam attacks. Several of the gunmen were hit, the army stated.

The forces, which include troops from the Givati brigade, are operating near a cemetery located east of Beit Hanounm, an area from which terrorists have launched numerous Qassam rockets at the western Negev recently. At one point during the operation Palestinians opened fire at the forces who fired back and hit the gunmen.

The IDF emphasized that all the casualties were armed members of the Popular Resistance Committees. IDF sources stated that allegations saying that the IDF interfered in an internal conflict are not known to the military and that soldiers only fired at the cell which fired on the structure they were in.

Pity the poor IDF – I mean, how were they suppose to know that the shoot-out was just a family squabble a la OK Corral and not an attack on their position?
Furthermore, Abbas can scream, rant and beg but there will not be one 1st or even 2nd world national who will ride into Gaza’s Dodge City willingly.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

And another spectacularly stupid idea goes south

Just a little over a year has passed since US Secretary Rice brokered the deal which turned over control of the Philadelphi Corridor to the Egyptians with a European Union team acting as monitors. Now Israel Knesset members are demanding the Israeli government take back control of the corridor reports the Jerusalem Post:
Gil Pensioners Party chairman Rafi Eitan and Shas chairman Eli Yishai called for increased IDF action in the Gaza Strip and for Israel to retake control of the Philadelphi Route during Sunday morning's cabinet meeting.

Eitan said that the Gaza Strip was "a problem," noting the continued fire of Kassam rockets into southern Israel. He called for the return of the Philadelphi Route, the strip of land currently under full control of Egyptian border guards and used by Palestinians smuggling weapons via tunnels from Egypt to Gaza. Eitan said that the IDF must monitor the area for an extended period of time.

Eitan pointed a finger at the Egyptians, saying that an alternative to the IDF returning to the Philadelphi corridor would be "if the Egyptians would cooperate," remarking that even if the IDF were to regain control of the area, the Egyptians would need to support the decision. "If they [the Egyptians] don't, we need to think twice about staying," he said. The minister said that Israel needed to deal with problematic areas of the Gaza Strip, and not retake the entire region. Yishai also supported the move, reminding the cabinet that even before the Philadelphi pullout, he had warned that it would lead to disaster.

The IDF returned to the Philadelphi Route for the first time since the disengagement to locate and destroy weapons tunnels. The army has found nearly 20, including one that ran 12 meters deep, since resuming operations in Gaza after the kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit on June 25.
What always amazed me was why the Sharon Administration went along with Rice’s plan. Initially, I assumed there were three distinct possible explanations. There had to either be a huge ‘Jack in the beanstalk’ sized carrot, blackmail, or monumental stupidity.

The carrot hasn’t materialized, and I would rather believe Rice drilled some pretty big screws but I still can’t rule monumental stupidity completely as I am still reeling after the Olmert Administration’s conduct of the war with Lebanon.

But there is a larger lesson here for all Israeli governments to take to heart. You cannot outsource the security of the Israeli people to anyone else but the Israeli people; regardless of how the wolves dress-up or which accent comes out their mouths.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Russia claims Hezbollah used US & Israeli weapons

This is interesting development via the Jerusalem Post:
Moscow believes it has settled its differences with Israel over concerns that Hezbollah militants used Russian missiles during their recent fighting in southern Lebanon, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Friday, and hinted that the guerrillas favored US and Israeli-made weapons.

Israel's claims that Hizbullah guerillas used Russian missiles during their 34-day war this summer have clouded improving relations between Israel and Russia, and were discussed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during his visit to Moscow this week.
"In my view, this subject in general is closed," Ivanov said in televised comments.

He said that he could not reveal details, but that "exhaustive answers were given to the Israeli side," the Interfax news agency reported. He also suggested that Russia believes Hizbullah guerillas used more US - and Israeli-made weapons than Russian ones, saying a report Thursday in the Russian daily Kommersant asserted that Russia gave Israel documents proving that claim was "in many ways close to the truth."

Israel does not accuse Russia of directly supplying Hizbullah, but maintains Russian arms were sold to Syria and Iran, which sent them on to their Hizbullah proxies. Olmert would not say after the talks whether Russian officials confirmed Israel's claims, but he said he was "satisfied" that they would "do all in their power to take steps so we don't have to worry in the future."

It is rather a novel approach for Russia to take. Of course, there have been incidences which suggest Israelis were selling IDF armaments illegally to the Palestinians before.

Belinda Stronach - the woman no mother want her daughter to grow up to be

The Former Minister of Complex Files wants a public apology for being referred to as a dog in Parliament – not a bitch, I might add, but a dog. The Honourable Minister denies he referred to her as a dog – others beg to differ. The official record in the House of Parliament does not reflect the comment and parliamentary rules do not allow one MP to call another MP a liar.

I say; if it walks like a dog, wags her tail like a dog, and heats like a dog – dog it is. Furthermore, if one wants to keep one’s honour, integrity and virtue in tact and unassailable; it helps if one governs one’s acts accordingly.

Big day at home - Big day at the office.

So I really only have time for a couple of links.

Looks like Kofi learned the lesson the French don’t quite get ; Jews do hit back hard.

This will significantly add to the rate of inflation in the Gaza Strip.

Fatah & Hamas agree to end violence – again.

This agreement lasted 6 hours longer than the last time.

One Trick Pony.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What price sorrow?

Ynet News is carrying this revelation by Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Gillman to the UN Security Council.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Gillerman took advantage of the monthly UN discussion on the situation in the Middle East Thursday to warn the members of the Security Council on the threat posed by Iran. Gillerman said Iran paid Hamas USD 50 million in order to torpedo efforts to release Gilad Shalit.

"Today I learned that Iran had paid USD 50 million to Hamas in order to torpedo the deal to the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. If Iran is willing to pay so much money to solve a humanitarian issue, it is frightening how much they will be willing to pay to torpedo any diplomatic initiative to block their nuclear efforts," Gillerman said, referring to an item first published by Yedioth Ahronoth Thursday morning.
But to determine the final tally Iran paid for this nefarious act one would be guilty of extreme callousness, if the total cost did not include the human cost in terms of Israeli and Palestinian lives which have been irreptably damaged and/or harmed by Iran’s malfeasance as well. By what scale can one measure sorrow? How does one assign a price per pound for a grieving heart?

All of which begs the next logical question; if Iran paid US$50 million for one IDF soldier what did Iran pay Hezbollah for two?

Kaddoumi flexes his Fatah Muscles and Hamas friends

Since the death of Arafat, I have been warning everyone to keep an eye on the goings-on of Fatah old guard purist Farouk Kaddoumi. Kaddoumi was one of the original 5 founding members of Fatah and the only one who refused to return to the West Bank from Tunis under the Oslo accord with Arafat. When Lady McRamallah wanted to keep Arafat’s billions and Mahmoud Abbas (with American support) was pressuring her to give it up for the common good - guess who she turned to for support, help and revenge?

I suspect the original arrangement with Kaddoumi staying on as the PLO’s official Foreign Minister located in Tunis suited Arafat just fine, as Kaddoumi, was probably the only Fatah member with enough clout, money, and loyal boots on the ground to be able to mount a credible threat to Arafat’s leadership of the PLO, and according to this Jerusalem Post article, he is actively involved in circumventing Abbas’ current leadership.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's efforts to replace the Hamas-led government suffered a major setback this week when it turned out that even senior members of his Fatah party are opposed to such a move. Earlier this week, Abbas arrived in Amman to seek the backing of the Fatah central committee, one of several Palestinian key decision-making bodies, for his plan to fire the Hamas government. Shortly before the meeting, Abbas learned that many committee members were opposed to his plan and decided to return to Ramallah immediately.

Sources close to Abbas are convinced that Farouk Kaddoumi, a hard-line leader of Fatah who is based in Tunis and who maintains a close relationship with Hamas and Syria, had incited the rest of the central committee members against the plan to get rid of the Hamas government. They claimed that Kaddoumi, who visited Damascus over the weekend, had forged an "unholy alliance" with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to thwart Abbas's plan.

The latest crisis in Fatah, as well as reports that the US has allocated $42 million to back opponents of the Hamas government, are seen by many Palestinians as a sign of Abbas's growing predicament. On the one hand, Abbas cannot make a far-reaching decision such as firing the Hamas government without the backing of his own Fatah party. On the other hand, the reports about US intervention in the internal affairs of the Palestinians make it almost impossible for Abbas to make any serious decisions.

The last thing Abbas needs these days is to be seen as conspiring with the US against a democratically elected government. That's why Abbas reacted with fury to the leaking of an official US document outlining the plan to overthrow the Hamas government. Moreover, reports that the Americans are training and funding members of Abbas's Force 17 "presidential guard" ahead of a possible confrontation with Hamas have played into the hands of Hamas, whose leaders are now openly talking about a US conspiracy to overthrow the government.

On Wednesday, Abbas was dealt yet another severe blow when Kaddoumi called for dismantling the Palestinian Authority and announced his opposition to the formation of a "technocratic" government. Kaddoumi, who on previous occasions has publicly challenged Abbas, made his remarks in an interview with Al-Jazeera. What was interesting about Kaddoumi's appearance was the fact that on the wall behind him was a picture of Yasser Arafat and not Abbas.

Oh, by the way did I mention that Kaddoumi gets on like a house on fire with Hezbollah and Hamas or that he has an office in the Hamas stronghold of the Gaza Strip?

Do Hezbollah Supporters Have Moments of Doubt & Shame?

Pro-Hezbollah supporters must be hanging their heads in the utmost shame and degradation because Human Rights Watch has published reports condemning Hezbollah’s tactic of using cluster bombs when deliberately targeting Israeli civilians during the recent Israel-Lebanon. Taken from an Ynet News report:
Lebanese Hizbullah guerrillas fired cluster rockets into civilian areas of northern Israel during the recent war, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Thursday. Israel has itself been condemned by the New York-based group and other campaigners for its use of cluster bombs during the 34-day conflict.

Human Rights Watch said it had been told by Israeli police of more than 100 documented cases of cluster rocket strikes. Hizbullah made no immediate comment.

I am not surprised by the lack of comment from Hezbollah. I expect Nasrallah the Compassionate is probably so choked up with the infamy of it that he is rendered absolutely speechless. Or not - as the case is more likely to be.

I admit to a certain fascination with this very modern concept that there can be rules and international laws crafted to waging war which will transcend tradition, culture or politics. Perhaps, between two or more similar societies and traditions but… there is no way one can draft a one size fits all convention on ways to conduct warfare and have a reasonable expectation of it not being openly flaunted by a tradition or culture that is innately and radically dissimilar.

There is only one military tradition that can transcend traditional and cultural political lines in warfare that I know of, and it is this; the only acceptable outcome to waging war is victory because all else is merely subterfuge.

Moral Clarity

This is why I am truly grateful that not one of the current liberal leadership candidates is the elected leader of Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a speech given to B’nai B’rith Canada (taken from CTV):
"When it comes to dealing with a war between Israel and a terrorist organization, this country and this government cannot and will not be neutral," Harper told the Toronto crowd.

Harper came under fire during the war for calling Israel's invasion of Lebanon a "measured response" against Hezbollah militants, who captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid in July.

"This summer, we were mercilessly attacked by the Opposition for the position we took on the Middle East," said Harper.

"I understand that with the news reports of the day, and the sound of battle, the images of destruction and the suffering of innocents, that it is sometimes difficult to see and keep the focus on what is truly at stake.

"But the fact is this: those who attacked Israel, and those who sponsored such attacks ... seek the destruction of Israel of the destruction of the Jewish people."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Oh, say it isn’t so - Iggy won't go!

Iggy’s trip to Israel for his solidarity photo-op with the Israeli people has been cancelled by the trip organizers. The Canada-Israel Committee cited concerns that with Ignatieff on tour the ‘mission would be overshadowed by leadership politicking’ and would create a ‘highly charged political environment’ reports the Globe and Mail
OTTAWA -- Michael Ignatieff's plan to travel to Israel to counter the controversy stemming from his assertion that the country committed a war crime in Lebanon has been cancelled by the group organizing the trip, over fears the mission will be overshadowed by leadership politicking.

The Canada-Israel Committee said yesterday that it cancelled the three-day trip for MPs after Liberal leadership candidate Mr. Ignatieff decided to go because they were concerned its purpose of educating parliamentarians would be derailed by a "highly-charged political environment."

The move means the leadership front-runner's gesture to demonstrate his ties to Israel is called off -- but it spares him from a risky plan that worried key supporters, including several MPs who feared it would only rehash the controversy.

"We're going to wait until this round of politics dies down," said CIC chair Marc Gold. "These trips are educational in nature. It's a chance for parliamentarians to be exposed to a range of issues. And that purpose would be compromised, or wouldn't be served, to the extent that it would be focused on who's saying what."

Mr. Ignatieff issued a statement yesterday saying he was "disappointed" that the trip was postponed. He said he will go when it is re-scheduled after the leadership convention.

"I look forward to representing Canada, along with other Canadian leaders, in discussions with Israeli and Palestinian leadership about Canada's role in the region and long-term solutions for peace," he said in the statement. More than a dozen MPs were expected to go on the trip in mid-November, only two weeks before Liberal delegates pick the new leader of their party on Dec. 2.

Go ahead and call me bitter for having the ICC rain on my idea of a good time but just why would the Israel Canada Committee feel it necessary to cancel the trip for everyone just because Iggy’s a little too hot to handle right now? Why not just tell Iggy to catch the first flight out of next time?

h/t Daimnation

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Can-Con - we've managed to anger both Hamas & Fatah

I found both these two articles at the Elder of Zyion concerning the official Palestinian outrage that a few Palestinians will be leaving a refugee camp for a better life somewhere else – in this case Canada courtesy ofa joint Jordan / UN/Canada initiative project:
Atef Adwan, Minister of Refugees of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)-led government, on Sunday accused Jordan of planning to transfer hundreds of Palestinians, who fled violence in Iraq, to Canada. In a press release, Adwan noted that the Jordanian government has recently reached a deal with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to transfer 280 Palestinian refugees to Canada.

The Palestinians are stuck on the Jordanian-Iraqi border after fleeing from Iraq because of the growing hatred and violence against them by Iraqi sectarian groups. Adwan wondered how Jordan was able to contain 600,000 Iraqis but refuse to allow 280 Palestinians from staying on its territories.

He appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to intervene and ask Jordan not to displace the Palestinian refugees for fears that this step could be the beginning of ending the Palestinian refugees issue by transferring them to some countries and canceling their right of return to Palestine.
Even Mr. “Moderate” Abbas is not happy.

I expect the Fatwas to come soon and the riots will commence as soon as a shipment of Canadian flags can be imported into the Gaza Strip. Maybe they can get a grant?

Just say - NO MORE

I’ve been waiting for someone other than myself (and a few others) to point the obvious inconsistencies in the Bush Administrations foreign policy via Israel/Palestine. Actually, I almost thought the events of the last two weeks were going two slip completely under the wire so I was glad to see this The Jerusalem Post op-ed piece asking Israelis to re-think their relationship with the Bush Administration:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his successor Ehud Olmert justified unilateral disengagement on the grounds that we were obliged to take initiatives to break the impasse in the absence of a Palestinian peace partner. In order to implement this, 7,500 Israelis were uprooted from their homes and even now, a year later, most have yet to be permanently resettled. Subsequent events, climaxing with the Lebanon war, demonstrated the disastrous repercussions arising from this policy.

Today our enemies are emboldened. Some even believe their dream of destroying the Jewish state may now be realized. Yet worse is in the offing. Facing enormous pressure from allies whose support they seek for the impending confrontation with the Iranians, Washington - which had hitherto steadfastly endorsed our refusal to negotiate with terrorists - has tilted its policy to appear more "evenhanded."
Once again it is urging us to bolster the "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.

THE REALITY is that despite wearing a suit and tie and talking to Westerners like a moderate, Abbas is simply paying lip service to a two-state policy - with the caveat that it must incorporate the "right of return" of Arab refugees; a prescription for our demise. More importantly, before Hamas won the election Abbas reigned over a regime whose central pillars - cultural, religious and educational - were based on sanctifying the murder of Jews as a supreme religious and national objective.

Mothers of suicide bombers appeared on official PA TV exulting the martyrdom of their sons; PA broadcasts of sermons in mosques called on congregants to kill Jews; schools, kindergartens and summer camps brainwashed children into accepting suicide bombers as ultimate role models. While occasionally condemning violence in remarks to the Western media, Abbas hailed families of suicide bombers as heroes and personally authorized them to receive a $250 monthly stipend. A recent PA Ministry of Culture book of the month honored Hanadi Jaradat, the suicide bomber who blew up 21 people at a Haifa restaurant. Wafa Idris, the first woman suicide bomber, has become a Palestinian role model for feminism. Football teams are named after "martyrs."

At least Hamas is honest about its evil intent to destroy Israel. But the reality is that Abbas's Fatah movement's armed wings are responsible for murdering far more Israelis than Hamas has.

TO MAKE matters worse, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is now actually urging Abbas to form a unity government with Hamas. The only obstacle is that Hamas insists on retaining its weapons and adamantly refuses - even insincerely - to express an incantation implying that it could ever accept the existence of the "Zionist entity."

Rice had previously coerced Sharon and his defense minister Shaul Mofaz into handing over control of the Philadelphi route between Sinai and Gaza to the Egyptians. Not surprisingly, the Egyptians reneged on their undertakings and a massive flow of armaments and terrorists have been pouring into Gaza along that route. Yet today the Americans are pressing Israel to ease security requirements at all checkpoints for "humanitarian reasons," in order to bolster Abbas.

Rice had previously insisted that Israel endorse the transfer of weapons to Palestinian security forces to strengthen the PA. Although reluctant, Olmert agreed to do so in May on the grounds that "we need to help Abu Mazen." Rice has announced that the US will also fund the expansion of the Abbas Presidential Guard from 2,500 to 6,000 troops.

Nobody, including our own government, seemed concerned that since Oslo weapons provided to Palestinian security personnel had been used to murder Israelis. Nor has the government drawn attention to the fact that Abbas is still trying desperately to persuade Hamas killers to merge with the PA security, which already incorporates Fatah murderers. ONE GAINS the impression that all the lessons of the Oslo disaster, including the pledge not to provide concessions without reciprocity, are being placed in cold storage.

Like a sick parody, we are once again operating on the premise that the PA - even as Kassams rain down on the south - is once again going to become our peace partner. And, worst of all, our government is trying to spin this sad reversal into a victory! All this, of course, raises the oft-quoted analogies to the pre-WWII appeasement. In fact, the current situation may be worse.
Read the rest here. I just wish some enterprising American journalists would start seriously questioning both the US President and his Secretary of State on what makes Abbas’ Fatah party “moderate”, and why is the US government pouring literally millions of US dollars into Fatah to boast its electoral popularity with the Palestinian people when they have recently shown a decided preference for Hamas aka honest murdering bastards.

Al-Reuters Strikes Again

Literally. Arutz Sheva is carrying this report:
On Tuesday, a Reuters cameraman was remanded to prison until trial for his part in rock-throwing attacks on security forces in Bil'in, where the separation fence is a constant target of protesters.

The cameraman, Imad Muhammad Intisar Boghnat, was arrested and charged as a result of violent riots in the Arab village of Bil'in, in the Modi'in region, on October 6, 2006. A videotape that the prosecution presented to the judge shows Boghnat encouraging and directing rioters in Bil'in to throw large chunks of rock at Israeli vehicles in such a way as to cause maximum damage. The accused is heard shouting, "Throw, throw!" and later, "Throw towards the little window!"

The judge of the Judea-area military court who issued the remand order, Major Amir Dahan, called the case "borderline" for pre-trial imprisonment, but he noted that the alternative of house arrest was not wise, as Boghnat is a resident of Bil'in.

"That village is a constant source of conflict and the respondent [Boghnat] should not again be placed in such a dilemma, lest he again, Heaven forbid, disgrace himself," the judge wrote in his decision. In addition, Maj. Dahan emphasized that "above all, the accused must be cut off from camera work in tense and sensitive locales where disturbances take place." Security forces must also have easy access to Boghnat, the judge said.

This has all the earmarks of another fine Pallywood production but it does tend to make one speculate how many years photojournalists have been moonlighting as directors.

Lost in the supermarket

This is my "what in the earth is wrong with the human race" post of the morning. I lost my Apple earphones for my Ipod shuffle and surfed over to the Apple online store to order a replacement pair. At $39 bucks plus delivery - I’ll pass, but it makes me wonder how stupid do the Apple really think consumers are? The Ipod shuffle is going for $89 and its stretches the bounds of incredibility that almost half of the production cost per unit represents the cost for earphones? This is just one of the reasons that Apple, while often first out the gate, ultimately loses the race.

Then a friend brought me a September 2006 Chatelaine article (no online link) to peruse as it concerns the goings-on at my absolute favourite all-time work-out wear clothes retailer. Considering that I am in full-work out mode and doing cardio five times a week and lifting weights four times a week (heavy weight/short reps) I feel that I deserve comfortable clothes.

The odd thing about my Lulu Lemon wear is that it never stinks and it’s the most incredibly quick drying and comfortable sportswear I have ever worn. Don’t ask me why or how – it just doesn’t ever smell. I was wearing just plain t-shirts, sports bra and jogging pants and not only were my clothes dripping at the end but you could smell me long before you saw me.

Who knew that the management at Lulu Lemon has a somewhat incestuous relationship with a very ESTish-like encounter group thingy happening? I doubt I will stop buying the clothes (at least until I can find a compatible product) but walking through the retailer’s door will now have a certain cringe factor to it and I'll probably not feel a compunction to take off my sunglasses.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Israel signs Cooperation Pact with NATO

Last spring I mused on Israeli membership for NATO and today I found this tidbit on Ynet News:
Israel will provide support for NATO counter-terrorism patrols in the Mediterranean under a cooperation pact agreed with the alliance on Monday. NATO has sought since the end of the Cold War to bolster its presence in the Middle East, and the accord is the first one to be finalized since the 26-member alliance offered in 2004 to forge closer ties with Israel and six Arab states.

"Israel is the first one to have agreed to the details of what cooperation should entail," said a NATO official, adding that details of the pact would be released later. The details agreed on Monday included a pledge to provide support for counter-terrorism patrols by alliance ships.

NATO has offered Israel, Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia help in reforming their armies and making it easier for them to cooperate with the military of alliance nations. It has also encouraged them to provide ships, intelligence and port access for patrols NATO launched in the Mediterranean to help detect terrorist activity shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Algeria and Morocco have also expressed an interest in supporting the patrols, but the Arab response to offers of cooperation has been generally patchy. Many in the Arab world regard NATO as a US-dominated body intent on interfering.
This development is certainly one to follow and the details of this agreement should make interesting reading indeed.

Gallic Intifada gives way to Islamic Vichy Government

UPI reports on the 'Gallic Intifada' that has yet to end since more than 10,000 cars were set a light in November 2005.
An average of 14 policemen a day are injured in bloody clashes with jobless youngsters. France's Interior Ministry said 2,500 police officers had been "wounded" this year. The head of the hard-line trade union "Action Police" Michel Thooris wrote to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to describe conditions in housing developments turned slums as "intifada." Police cruisers are pelted daily with stones and "Molotov cocktails" (gasoline-filled bottles with burning wicks that explode on impact) and Thooris said cops assigned to what was rapidly degenerating into "free fire zones" should be protected in armored vehicles.

Entire tall buildings empty into the streets to chase policemen and free an arrested comrade. "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists," Thooris told journalists. Sarkozy, the leading center-right candidate for next year's presidential election, responded by dispatching cops in body armor, equipped with automatic weapons and rubber bullets, stun and teargas grenades into several Paris suburbs with orders to "restore control" from "organized crime." In one recent clash 250 cops dispersed a 100-strong Muslim gang armed with baseball bats.

The chaotic conditions in suburbs like Clichy-sous-Bois, Montfermeil and St. Denis have grown progressively worse since the nationwide Muslim riots in November 2005 that torched 10,000 vehicles. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin recently criticized as "overdrawn" President Bush's frequent reference to the "global war on terror." But the Iraq war did not appear to be part of the combustible mix in Muslim "ghettos" outside Paris. Despair, organized crime, and hatred of authority are its principal ingredients.

For the United States, Islamist extremism is seen as an external problem. For the Europeans, it's internal and far more complex than a war on terrorism. Muslim minorities are spawning rightwing extremism. In the Belgian port city of Antwerp a week ago, the Vlaams Belang (VB, or Flemish Interest), Europe's most extreme rightwing political formation, almost captured city hall with 33.5 percent of the vote. A Socialist coalition kept VB at bay with 35 percent. Nationwide, VB, which advocates secession of the Flanders and severe restrictions on Muslim immigration, scored 20 percent.

In France, Jean-Marie Le Pen's far right National Front appears to have opted for a can't-lick-'em-join-'em strategy, a rapprochement with France's large immigrant Muslim community -- with undertones of anti-Semitism. Le Pen's reasoning appears to be the recognition that Islamicization is in France to stay with 25 percent of France's under 20 population Muslim (40 percent in some cities), 2nd and 3rd generation North Africans. FN's tough stance on immigration is tempered by support for Arab and Islamist causes in the Middle East (Hamas and Hezbollah are two favorites). There are an estimated 6 to 8 million Muslims among France's 62 million and Islam is now France's second religion. Mosques are well attended on Fridays; churches aren't on Sundays. France's prison inmates are over 50 percent Muslim.

Le Pen's strategic advisers argue the FN must drop its founding mythology and forget about the once popular image of a modern Joan of Arc resisting the invasion of Muslim hordes. Americans and Jews are the new targets. But the party's Christian right-wingers do not agree and are defecting in large numbers. The Islamist threat is their main concern and they are finding a new political home in MPF, Mouvement Pour la France, which is anti-European Union and anti-Muslim, and given only 7 percent of registered voters in a recent poll. Le Pen's followers have dropped back from 11 percent to 9 percent.

Anti-Semitic incidents have proliferated in France in recent times, but the news seldom makes it across the Atlantic and when it does, it must still fight to be heard above the constant melodrama of constant trivia. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse attacked with Molotov cocktails; in Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish soccer team with metal bars and sticks; the bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers attacked thrice in the past 14 months, synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles and a Jewish school in Creteil firebombed in recent weeks; in Toulouse, a gunman opened fire -- all ignored in the mainstream media in the U.S. The metropolitan Paris police tabulated 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents per day in the past 30 days throughout the country.

The number one best selling book in France is "September 11: The Frightening Fraud," which posits no plane ever crashed into the Pentagon. A similar book in Germany sold over one million copies. One prominent Belgian businessman conceded privately "no one knows what to believe anymore." Neither multiculturalism nor integration of Muslim communities seems to be working anywhere in Europe. Moderate Muslim voices cannot rise above radical hubbub.

It should be taken as a given that France has fallen when even Le Pen's National Front has joined the Islamists. Furthemore, we are fooling only ourselves as long as we continue to preceive France as part of the Western Alliance.

It goes a long way to explain the context behind the French Foreign Minister’s remarks last summer when he suggested that Iran plays a stabilizing role in the Middle East as the Lebanon/Israel conflict raged. It is all part of the ongoing process of creating a new Islamic style Vichy government.