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Thursday, August 31, 2006

 

Address at the 88th Annual American Legion National Convention As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday,

One of the benefits of the Internet is being able to get original sources. We no longer have to believe what others say someone said, we can read the original.

He was eloquent. Excerpt:

That year -- 1919 -- turned out to be one of the pivotal junctures in modern history with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the creation of the League of Nations, a treaty and an organization intended to make future wars unnecessary and obsolete. Indeed, 1919 was the beginning of a period where, over time, a very different set of views would come to dominate public discourse and thinking in the West.

Over the next decades, a sentiment took root that contended that if only the growing threats that had begun to emerge in Europe and Asia could be accommodated, then the carnage and the destruction of then-recent memory of World War I could be avoided.

It was a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among Western democracies. When those who warned about a coming crisis, the rise of fascism and nazism, they were ridiculed or ignored. Indeed, in the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated or that it was someone else's problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace, even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear. It was, as Winston Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.

There was a strange innocence about the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. senator's reaction in September of 1939 upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed:

“Lord, if only I had talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided!”

 

Bush and Trotsky

John Hinderaker at Powerline links to President Bush's speech before an American Legion audience in Salt Lake City.




Excerpt:


A little later came what seems to me to be the most vital point:

We can decide to stop fighting the terrorists in Iraq and other parts of the world, but they will not decide to stop fighting us. General John Abizaid, our top commander in the Middle East region, recently put it this way: "If we leave, they will follow us." And he is right. The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq. So the United States of America will not leave until victory is achieved.


I think a great many Americans mostly wish the war against the terrorists would go away. A childish attitude, shared by many, rests on the idea that the current conflict is of our choosing, and that we can somehow say "never mind," and it will disappear. I am reminded of Trotsky's grim dictum: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." The terrorists are interested in us, whether we like it or not. There is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. We didn't choose this war, but we are in it, and have been since 1979. There are only two choices: win the war or lose it. That is the choice that President Bush will be laying before the American people in the weeks to come.



More from Bush's speech

The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. (Applause.) On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They're successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be: This war will be difficult; this war will be long; and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty. (Applause.)

We're now approaching the fifth anniversary of the day this war reached our shores. As the horror of that morning grows more distant, there is a tendency to believe that the threat is receding and this war is coming to a close. That feeling is natural and comforting -- and wrong. As we recently saw, the enemy still wants to attack us. We're in a war we didn't ask for, but it's a war we must wage, and a war we will win. (Applause.)

The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. (Applause.) On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They're successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be: This war will be difficult; this war will be long; and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty. (Applause.)

We're now approaching the fifth anniversary of the day this war reached our shores. As the horror of that morning grows more distant, there is a tendency to believe that the threat is receding and this war is coming to a close. That feeling is natural and comforting -- and wrong. As we recently saw, the enemy still wants to attack us. We're in a war we didn't ask for, but it's a war we must wage, and a war we will win. (Applause.)

To understand the struggle unfolding in the Middle East, we need to look at the recent history of the region. For a half- century, America's primary goal in the Middle East was stability. This was understandable at the time; we were fighting the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and it was important to support Middle Eastern governments that rejected communism. Yet, over the decades, an undercurrent of danger was rising in the Middle East. Much of the region was mired in stagnation and despair. A generation of young people grew up with little hope to improve their lives, and many fell under the sway of radical extremism. The terrorist movement multiplied in strength, and resentment that had simmered for years boiled over into violence across the world.

Extremists in Iran seized American hostages. Hezbollah terrorists murdered American troops at the Marine barracks in Beirut and Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Terrorists set off a truck bomb at the World Trade Center. Al Qaeda blew up two U.S. embassies in East Africa, and bombed the USS Cole. Then came the nightmare of September the 11, 2001, when 19 hijackers killed nearly 3,000 men, women, and children.

In the space of a single morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage. We realized that years of pursuing stability to promote peace had left us with neither. Instead, the lack of freedom in the Middle East made the region an incubator for terrorist movements.

Read the whole thing...

 

A Reason To Believe

We have long known that journalists despise religous faith. We now know that even Fox journalists will not die for their faith. If your opponent will die for his belief system but you will not, who has the stronger will and the better chance of prevailing? This may the the question that decides the fate of the West.

Essayist Richard Fernandez of The Belmont Club looks at the religious aspect of the Terrorist War and finds a critical difference in the nature and intensity of the faiths now in conflict around the world.

Matthias Küntzel in describing the Iranian leader’s background for the New Republic begins with this vignette about Ahmadinejad’s favorite Iranian militia: the Basiji.

During the Iran-Iraq War, the Ayatollah Khomeini imported 500,000 small plastic keys from Taiwan. The trinkets were meant to be inspirational. After Iraq invaded in September 1980, it had quickly become clear that Iran’s forces were no match for Saddam Hussein’s professional, well-armed military. To compensate for their disadvantage, Khomeini sent Iranian children, some as young as twelve years old, to the front lines. There, they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies. Before every mission, one of the Taiwanese keys would be hung around each child’s neck. It was supposed to open the gates to paradise for them.
[snip]

But perhaps the West, cushioned by its material wealth, has altogether too much to lose for it to care about faith or freedom any more. Mark Steyn, currently touring Australia on a speaking tour, asks whether the West can rouse itself from ennui just long enough to feel the knife at its throat. And the horrifying thing is that Steyn on the hustings swings his lamp and cheerfully calls out for company in a dark, unanswering cultural night made all the more tenebrous by the bright Antipodean sunshine. What Deity, race or tribe might we still raise against the horde of Basiji?

My own guess is that neither Israel nor the West at large can long resist radical Islam without some sustaining faith of its own, a faith it will not find unless it makes up its mind to look for it. Men will fight on for as long as there is something left to fight for and not otherwise. Despair comes when we are finally convinced that even our hopes are futile.

 

The Many Faces of Belgian Fascism

From the WSJ OpinionJournal.com:
Belgium is the birthplace of René Magritte. So perhaps it's not surprising that, in politics, even the fascism here is surreal.

Take Belgian Socialists, Flemish or Walloon. The hallmark of nearly every European socialist party has long been hostility to religion. In recent years, Belgium's ruling Socialist-Liberal coalition has antagonized Catholics by legalizing gay marriage and euthanasia, banning crucifixes from government buildings, and abolishing the traditional Te Deum service previously held by the government to commemorate the inauguration of Leopold I, first king of the Belgians.

But then the Socialists began taking note of Belgium's Muslim community, some 500,000 strong. In Brussels, notes Joël Rubinfeld of the Atlantis Institute think tank, half of the Socialist Party's 26-member slate in the city's 75-seat parliament is Muslim. In the commune of Molenbeek, longstanding Socialist mayor Philippe Moureaux has made halal meals standard in all schools; police officers are also barred from eating or drinking on the streets during Ramadan. The Socialist Party was also, improbably, the leading opponent of a bill that would have criminalized the denial of the Armenian genocide. This, too, is a product of burgeoning Muslim-Socialist alliance, as is the party's routine denunciations of Israel.


Read the rest.

 

Witness for the Prosecution? The New York Times is still victimizing innocent Dukies.

From Slate, by Stuart Taylor, Jr.

Imagine you are the world's most powerful newspaper and you have invested your credibility in yet another story line that is falling apart, crumbling as inexorably as Jayson Blair's fabrications and the flawed reporting on Saddam Hussein's supposed WMD. What to do?

If you're the New York Times and the story is the alleged gang rape of a black woman by three white Duke lacrosse players—a claim shown by mounting evidence to be almost certainly fraudulent—you tone down your rhetoric while doing your utmost to prop up a case that's been almost wholly driven by prosecutorial and police misconduct.

Labels:


 

Relearning Lessons in the War on Terror

Victor Davis Hanson
And seventh, the reputation of the international media in the Middle East for both accuracy and fairness has been lost. In the recent war in Lebanon, news agencies were accused by bloggers of publishing staged photos, and one agency, Reuters, was embarrassed when it found out — thanks again to the work of bloggers — that one of its freelancers had doctored war-zone photos.

Journalists rarely interviewed or filmed Hezbollah soldiers; we still have no idea how many so-called "civilians" reported killed were, in fact, Hezbollah terrorists. In the Middle East, reporters are scared stiff of Islamic fundamentalists, but not the Israeli or American military.

 

The Blame Game

The Belmont Club talks about the price of Muslim blood:

According to Kitty Ussher MP the Muslim community in Burnley have been asking why it seems the blood of Muslims seems cheaper than that of Jews and Christians? An honest answer to this rhetorical question would have to include the observation that 'Muslim blood' has no fixed price but varies according to who is shedding it.

Christians shedding Muslim blood provokes outrage, although this too can vary. It is a much more serious matter, for example, if the 'Christians' in question are American rather than Serbian. But of course this is nothing like as grevious than the most serious of all - this being the context of the article - when it is Muslim lives being taken by Jews. On the other hand, Muslim lives being taken by other Muslims isn't anything like as serious. The pro-Nasrallah 'left', for example, are not only a little less than - how to put this delicately? - forthcoming in their condemnation of Jewish civilian casualties; they seem unpeturbed by the fact that Arab Israelis were also amongst the victims of Hizbollah's rocket attacks.

 

The media war against Israel

Early in the recent Lebanon war, the blogosphere revealed the fabrication of images by Reuters, whose reputation is now in shreds among those dwindling numbers in the western mainstream media who still acknowledge there is such a thing as the truth. Since then, the nature and scale of the various frauds perpetrated by the media during that war put those doctored Reuters pictures into the shade. The western media are no longer merely producing questionable professional practices in reporting a war. They are now active participants in it — and on the wrong side of history.

By Melanie Phillips
There is much more...read the rest

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

 

Reuters Missile Attack, Updated

From Powerline; more pictures. This vehicle (or these vehicles, they seem to show differnt trucks) were NOT hit by a missile.





My years of paint-and-body work are finally redeeming themselves. The guy who claims that vehicle could have flash-rusted within hours after a missile "hit" is an ignoramus or a disinformation agent. First of all, look at the condition of the vehicle: note the extensive pitting along the edges of the roof and the lower edge of the rear window. This car is a beat-up old junker that was already long past its junkyard appointment.

 

Up to 14 hurt in SF hit-and-run spree; 7 critical; driver believed to have struck, killed a man in Fremont earlier

One hint about the ethnicity of the killer:

Authorities have identified the man who was arrested as Omeed Aziz Popal



UPDATE: Per Michelle Malkin:
The SUV struck two people in front of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on California Street, a few blocks from where the rampage ended.


What could that mean...Hmmm?

 

McCain Bill Silences Political Speech for 60 Days Prior to Election

With a 3-3 vote featuring Democrat commissioners supporting the silencing of political speech against congressional incumbents and Republican commissioners in favoring of allowing it, the Federal Elections Commission has now made it official - As required by the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002, there can be no paid political broadcast ads criticizing incumbent Members of Congress for the two months prior to the Nov. 7 election.

This is the ultimate form of Incumbent Protection Act, short of repealing elections.

 

Did Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald Lie?

From Investor's Business Daily:
Plamegate: Patrick Fitzgerald's three-year manhunt to track down who blew Valerie Plame's CIA "cover" has been exposed as a costly sham. He apparently knew all along that his man was not Scooter Libby.

When Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, was assigned the Plame case, he was hailed as a paragon of integrity. He'd helped convict Mafia boss John Gotti, the 1993 World Trade Center bombers and former Illinois Republican Gov. George Ryan, who'll be sentenced next month on 22 counts of bribery and racketeering.

But it's hard to see anything but politics as the motivation for Fitzgerald's handling of the Plame affair. The facts indicate that Fitzgerald knew early on that the original leaker was State Department official Richard Armitage. So why did Fitzgerald let a cloud hang over White House adviser Karl Rove's head for so long? And why is Fitzgerald continuing to hound Libby, the former vice presidential chief of staff?

The answer seems to be that Armitage, who is charged with nothing and brags that he hasn't even consulted a lawyer, was former Secretary of State Colin Powell's right-hand man and a critic of pre-emptive war in Iraq. Libby, on the other hand, was an architect of that war strategy. Do doves get a pass in Fitzgerald's book, while hawks get an indictment?

The latest revelations raise a question of far more gravity: Did Fitzgerald publicly lie? Let's look at the facts:


Read the whole thing...

 

Hubris: Writing a Book About 2 People Without Interviewing Them

By Byron York on Nationalreview.com:

Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, the new book by the Nation’s David Corn and Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, is the most in-depth single account yet of the CIA-leak investigation. But representatives of two central figures in the case, former Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby and top White House aide Karl Rove, say the authors never got in touch with them, much less interviewed them, for the book. ...

In an excerpt of Hubris published in Newsweek, Isikoff writes that Novak “caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer.” But when it was originally published, Novak’s column caused virtually no stir at all — until Corn published an article claiming that Mrs. Wilson worked under "nonofficial cover" for the CIA. And even then, there wasn’t much notice until New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer picked up on Corn’s article and demanded an investigation. Those demands, combined with a leaked letter to the Justice Department from then-CIA Director George Tenet calling for an investigation, eventually created the political pressure that caused the Justice Department to begin a formal probe, which continues today under special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

 

Plame Out: The ridiculous end to the scandal that distracted Washington.

From Christopher Hitchens at SLATE:


What does emerge from Hubris is further confirmation of what we knew all along: the extraordinary venom of the interdepartmental rivalry that has characterized this administration. In particular, the bureaucracy at the State Department and the CIA appear to have used the indiscretion of Armitage to revenge themselves on the "neoconservatives" who had been advocating the removal of Saddam Hussein.

 

Defending Against People Who Want To Die

From the Gartman Letter:

We came across an interview with two very young Palestinian girls
done in 2002 regarding their view of life and their wish to
become "Shahada,"... the Arabic term for martyrs. The
interview took place on Palestinian television, and when
asked by the television shows host whether it was better to
have peace in the region and to have full rights for the
Palestinian people, or to become a martyr, one of the young
girls said without hesitation, "Shahada. I will achieve my
rights after becoming a Shahida." The second girl then
added, even more ominously and far more disconcertingly,

Of course Shahada is a good thing. We don't
want this world; we want the Afterlife. We
benefit not from this life, but from the
Afterlife... The children of Palestine have
accepted the concept that this is Shahada, and
that death by Shahada is very good. Every
Palestinian child aged, say twelve, says 'Oh Lord,
I would like to become a Shahid.'"
How can we in the West deal with this sort of shocking
psychology? How can we expect to forge a peace with
people... young women... who prefer death to life... who
embrace the concept of suicide/martyrdom and who are
enthralled with the idea of killing dozens, or hundreds, of
others whom they view as "kaffirs" and see nothing wrong
with killing them while taking themselves to the Afterlife?
This is the question of the age, and we see no answer. All
we see in this comment is the gulf that exists between Islam
and The West... a gulf that grows larger and more confusing
by the day.


Indeed.

 

Great Moments in Journaljizzm, a Never-Ending Series

From the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler:
Earlier, when the news broke about an al-Roto-Reuters armored car sexed-up Land Rover allegedly being hit by two IDF missiles, His Majesty hadn’t seen the pictures yet and could thus only offer the following advice: Playing war tourist in an armored car in the middle of a firefight at night isn’t the most brilliant thing you can do, so tough shit.

Now, however, we’ve seen the pictures, as have at least two other people with a lot of knowledge in such things, and the verdict is clear, to us at least:

Yet another Pallywood/al-Roto-Reuters Production™.

Whattasurprise
.


You’ll notice the obvious “splatter pattern” from wet concrete where the “missile” supposedly hit the roof of the vehicle. (We’ve slung a bit of concrete in our day and we’re pretty sure we know it when we see it.)


Here’s a picture of the same “missile strike” after the vehicle had been towed somewhere. You’ll notice that the “splatter pattern” is now mostly covered in red dust. That, our good readers, is what happens when you tow a vehicle, that has wet concrete on it, through the shit-strewn streets of the Middle East and kick up the reddish dust— It tends to stick to said wet concrete.



My comment: If that's a missile strike, I'm a Dunkin Donut. Just how stupid do these people think we are and ... equally important, how stupid is the MSM for pushing this crap?

How long ago was it that the media was positively proud of its scepticism? "If your mother says she loves you, check it out" was the mantra. This kind of reporting is worse than lame, it's moronic.


 

So Big Business Funds Only the Right, eh?

That’s not what David Hogberg and Sarah Haney found when they looked at the donation history of the charitable arms of Fortune 100 companies. Dividing the recipients between ideological left and right, they found that in the last tax year available (2004 in most cases), the left received a whopping $59 million compared to the right’s $4 million.

 

What's wrong with this picture?



Click on the link...

 

ICRC Removes High-Res Ambulance Photo

The International Committee of the Red Cross seems to have removed the high resolution image of ambulance 782 (supposedly struck by an Israeli missile) from their web site: Conflict in the Middle East: selection of photos.

Is someone getting a little too close to the truth?

 

NYT: Just Because You Were Forced at Gunpoint to Convert To Islam Doesn't Mean You Were Harmed In Any Way

You idiot! You total blistering idiot! Being forced to convert is a harm. It might be the oldest harm short of death - being forced to renounce your faith and your god. Millions of people - literally millions - have died rather than deign to utter words that would force them to give up their faith. No wonder liberal journalists are utterly baffled by fully half of the United States - they don't think having to give up your religion is harmful.

 

variations on a theme: The “an ordinary clock glimpsed in its moment of brief Reuters awakening” post

“In Gaza today, Israeli forces launched a vicious offensive against what it claimed was a militant stronghold, but what sources inside the city note was a small holy site where kindhearted relief workers handed out food and provided medical aid to small children. 796 Palestinian orphans were killed, and an additional 2 million wounded, along with every single peace worker in the—wait, what the hell...? INCOMING! --”

 

The makings of a propaganda “conspiracy”

From ProteinWisdom.com:

Yesterday, I posted excerpts from a Weekly Standard piece detailing how UNIFIL had actively (whether intentionally or not is more difficult to prove) aided Hezbollah / Lebanon is its recent war with Israel by providing information about Israeli positions, troop deployment, etc.

Now, take that information and combine it with Zombietime’s extensive piece detailing the ICRC Ambulance 782 hoax—and all the other instances of fauxtography bloggers have uncovered from that conflict.

Keeping in mind that international pressure over how Israel was conducting the campaign (eg. allegations of war crimes, claims the IDF was intentionally targeting of civilians, etc) might have forced Israel into accepting a weak cease fire deal, you can begin to see how a cynical disinformation campaign carried out by the weaker actor can mitigate the military and strategic advantages of the stronger actor—

 

Greg Mitchell, Editor of "Editor & Publisher" Was Never a Newspaper Reporter

Now, in a new bit of irony, it would seem that the Editor of the famous trade publication, which touts itself as America's oldest journal covering the Newspaper Industry, may have never actually worked as a permanent full time employee of a serious newspaper at all.


Read the rest..

 

What are gays trying to prove?

If gay pride march is really about tolerance and 'human rights,' it should include Arab neighborhoods of the capital writes Andrew Friedman in YNetnews.com.

What is the homosexual community trying to prove by renewing its insistance on holding a gay pride march through downtown Jerusalem?
...

If the homosexual agenda is truly one of "human rights," what better chance to promote human rights in a (Arab) society in which active homosexuals are often brutally murdered? Why are drag queens on King George Street legitimate but out of bounds for Salah al-Din Street?



In a moment of uncharacteristic candor, Sattath provided the answer. "We don't want to offend them," she told me a couple of weeks ago. "But many Jews are also offended by the march," I responded. "Seems to me that means you are careful not to offend Arab residents, but feel it is your right to offend Jewish ones."



The silence in response was deafening, and greatly overshadowed whatever empty statement she had to say about "an integral part of our activities" once she regained her composure


Offending Jews or Christians is not at all dangerous. On the other hand, offending Muslims is not somehting that the activist Gay community has ever considered, much less done.

The courage of their convictions is somewhat lacking.

Monday, August 28, 2006

 

More on Media Manipulation

From Little Green Footballs:

Hezbollah’s staged mini-demonstration in the southern suburb of Beirut has been exposed by unauthorized media footage.

 

Killing Atefah Sahaaleh

Iran executes 16 year-old girl for "crimes against chastity."

Click on the link to see film.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

 

Jules Crittenden: "War Tourists" ... And Other Frauds

Jules Crittenden has a rather emotional screed over at the Boston Herald. It has been getting a lot of favorable reviews. HERE, HERE, HERE.

It's his way of praising the war correspondent. And it begins a little defensively.

My profession is an easy one to kick around. It isn’t brain surgery: going places, asking questions, taking pictures, writing it up, broadcasting it. There are some skills. There are some things you have to learn. But it isn’t hard for anyone, looking at what we do, to say, "I could do that."

Nor is it difficult for anyone, looking at the mistakes we make or the assumptions and biases that color our reports, to say, "I could do that better. That guy’s an idiot." Whether you work at the New York Times, CNN, the Boston Herald or the Fox News Channel, you are guaranteed to make someone angry almost every time you tap a key or open your mouth. It is part of the job. You will be reviled. You can never win.

Well, yes Jules. You can win. It’s hard to argue with the truth. There would be somewhat less criticism if a meaningful number of your pictures were not either photoshopped or staged. If you don't go into cover-up mode when caught doing something wrong (as the AP has done with "green helmet"). If you reports were accurate, and if you did not act as the propaganda arm of Islamofascists who – I grant you – will threaten to kill you unless you report what they want you to report.

And then he goes on to describe his friend Mike who’s “full of rage” and his friend Sig who has “been counseled for post-traumatic stress.”

He then concludes :
I’m willing to bet a lot of those people who think they could do it better, couldn’t touch what Mike and Sig and Steve and Olaf spend their lives doing. But right now I am just grateful that two strangers, my brothers Steve and Olaf, are on their way home.
Well, I think that there are people who are doing a better job than Mike and Sig and Steve and Olaf are doing. They are the Milbloggers, who include both soldiers and ex-military men who are going back to the Middle East to tell the stories that have not been told by Mike and Sig and Steve and Olaf.

And on a final note:

Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig get captured and convert to Islam while denouncing their country. After their release they praise the “beautiful” Palestinian people. They are now not Steve and Olaf, they are Khaled and Jakob.

Islamic jihads get captured and sent to Guantanamo. There they try to kill their jailers and pray to Mecca five times a day.

Compare and contrast.

 

UNIFIL Provided Intelligence for Hezbolla

DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. "peacekeeping" forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.

UNIFIL--the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978--is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah "fired rockets in large numbers from various locations" and Hezbollah's rockets "were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations" are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.

 

The Man Who Said Too Much: Armitage Outed Plame, and State Knew It.

In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell received an urgent phone call from his No. 2 at the State Department. Richard Armitage was clearly agitated. As recounted in a new book, "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War," Armitage had been at home reading the newspaper and had come across a column by journalist Robert Novak. Months earlier, Novak had caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer. Ever since, Washington had been trying to find out who leaked the information to Novak. The columnist himself had kept quiet. But now, in a second column, Novak provided a tantalizing clue: his primary source, he wrote, was a "senior administration official" who was "not a partisan gunslinger." Armitage was shaken. After reading the column, he knew immediately who the leaker was. On the phone with Powell that morning, Armitage was "in deep distress," says a source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities. "I'm sure he's talking about me."

 

Bush Bashing Is All The Rage

The Calgary Sun examines Bush and two other presidents that the MSM did not have a clue about.

 

Guilt machine never stops running

There is hope for Canada yet. Not only is the new Prime Minister a conservative, they have the Calgary Sun's Ian Robinson on the AIDS Conference:

The Guilt Machine has been in operation for a long time, but it hits new and strident heights with that great Canadian embarrassment, Stephen Lewis, and that well-known liar and adulterer William Jefferson Clinton.

That nobody has pointed out the irony of a sexual predator who refuses to use condoms -- remember Monica Lewinsky's "stained" blue dress -- as poster boy for fighting a sexually transmitted disease without a single reference to moral responsibility is beyond belief.

As for Lewis, nobody who hurts themselves is responsible. He's a pioneer of the "we're all victims" society.


Read the whole thing...

 

Video: FOX Reporters

FOX Reporters forced to convert to Islam for the cameras.

Comment:
I am glad that the men were released. But something does trouble me. It has to do with the fact that most captives will denounce thier countries and virtually everything else for their freedom.

Jesus said (in Luke 9):
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it.

For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits his own self?


I pray that the scourge of this war and violence may pass me by, and I am not at all sure what I would do in the circumstances that these men found themselves in. But it does trouble me that with the exception of one brave Italian man, Western hostages will say or do anything for their physical safety. Perhaps Mr. Centanni was not religious prior to his "conversion" to Islam. I hope that he was not a Christian. It would be easier for me to understand his "conversion."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

 

Young Black Men In Philly Dying Faster Than Troops In Iraq

The death rate for African American men ages 20 to 34 in Philadelphia was 4.37 per 1,000 in 2002, 11 percent higher than among troops in Iraq. Slightly more than half the Philadelphia deaths were homicides.

 

Liberals Want US To Suffer Another Attack So They Can Regain Power

From the Huffington Post:

What if another terror attack just before this fall's elections could save many thousand-times the lives lost?

I start from the premise that there is already a substantial portion of the electorate that tends to vote GOP because they feel that Bush has "kept us safe," and that the Republicans do a better job combating terrorism.

If an attack occurred just before the elections, I have to think that at least a few of the voters who persist in this "Bush has kept us safe" thinking would realize the fallacy they have been under.

If 5% of the "he's kept us safe" revise their thinking enough to vote Democrat, well, then, the Dems could recapture the House and the Senate ...



If you want to know what the Left thinks about your lives, and have a strong stomach, read the whole thing.

 

The Question of the Hour: Just who at The New York Times does Mike Nifong have naked pictures of?

From Hit & Run:

This sprawling attempt to reanimate the Durham DA's Duke rape case and his reputation is downright baffling in spots; mysterious in total. Like MSNBC's Dan Abrams said eariler today, the story is an embarassment to the Times.

Taking the lead investigator's notes and using them as a narrative doesn't really tell us anything we didn't already know about the case while managing to gloss over the huge holes in Nifong's case. Just the differences in what the accuser and the second stripper, "Nikki," recall about the evening call into question somebody's version of events.


Read the whole thing...

 

New York Times Wins the Alfred E. (What, Me Worry?) Prize

The more the radical Muslims huff and puff, the more certain elements of the governments of the West are eager to run and hide.

This might be reassuring strategy for the easily frightened, but the fatal flaw in this strategy is that there aren't any places left to hide.

The New York Times, inspired by the fictional Alfred E. ("What? Me Worry?") Neuman, reports with a tone of undisguised disdain that senior officials in the Bush administration and leading Republican congressmen have concluded that U.S. intelligence agencies are deliberately playing down the threat that Iran poses to the United States and the West. Naturally the Democrats, who regard George W. Bush as the source of evil in the world, agree with Mr. Neuman that the rosiest assessment is always correct.

When the Iranian government finally replied this week to the U.N. Security Council demand that it halt its uranium-enrichment program by Aug. 31 to qualify for certain incentives, the answer, as a senior Israeli official rightly calls it, is "flipping the world the bird."


Read the whole thing

 

When Smugglers Try to Run You Over With a Vehicle

From Border Patrol Local 2544 website:

Local 2544 officers are all Border Patrol agents. We represent other Border Patrol agents and non-supervisory employees in the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, covering most of the state of Arizona. We are the largest local in the Border Patrol.

We fully support legal immigration, but we stand firmly against illegal immigration. We strongly oppose any attempts to reward illegal alien lawbreakers. We have risked our lives to keep them out of this country. Some politicians can call it "guest-worker" or "earned legalization" all they want, but it's amnesty.

When Smugglers Try to Run You Over With a Vehicle........08-26-06
You're supposed to;
A. Shoot at them;
B. Chase them;
C. Wave at them and say "Bienvenidos a Los Estados Unidos";
D. Throw a pamphlet at them on how to apply for Amnestia;
E. Offer them food, water, medical care, and counseling at taxpayer expense;
F. Beg them not to report you to OIG and/or the U.S. Attorney's office for using an expletive when you dive for cover; or
G. Let them go.

We realize you probably thought this was a trick question, but of course the correct answers are C, D, E, F, and G (failure to complete all 5 procedures could subject you to severe disciplinary action).

Trying to run someone over with a vehicle would be a felony called "assault with a deadly weapon" in most states, but in California their BP brass says that once the smuggler tries to run over you and goes by, you don't even have the authority to chase him because "the threat has passed".

This ACPA went on to state that even if he tried to run over three (3) agents in three (3) different locations, that we have no authority to chase him. The next thing they'll come up with is "when a smuggler tries to shoot you, you can't shoot back because the threat (bullet) has already passed".

This may be one of the most laughable days in BP history, aside from the implementation of the disgraceful Non-Pursuit Policy in 1992, and the day David Aguilar was promoted to Chief of the BP a few years ago.

On a serious note, if anybody doubts that Border Patrol agents are under attack by the United States government, polish up on the Ramos and Compean debacle in El Paso (below in "Agents Railroaded........"), and then read the entire story about how we're not supposed to chase anybody on the NBPC 1613 web site here. This smuggler tried to run down three Border Patrol agents with his vehicle, and the Border Patrol agents have been disciplined for chasing him. Unbelievable.


There is more from the arbitration hearing (scroll down to comments):

BACKGROUND

On January 9, 2003 at 1600 hours, a citizen called to report a pick-up truck loading up with approximately twenty (20) illegals near the mission in Tecate, CA. One Border Patrol Agent spotted the vehicle and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop, but the vehicle failed to yield. Supervisors authorized agents to set up a spike strip on three occasions at three different locations.

At the first location, the driver accelerated and drove at the agent who was deploying the spike strip. The agent jumped over some brush and landed in a barbed-wire fence, causing the agent to get injured.

The agents were not able to make it to the second location on time. At the third location, the smuggler violently swerved at the agent, causing him to dive into some oak trees where the agent found safety behind one of the trees. Although the agent had to dive for safety, he successfully spiked the vehicle.

Approximately 1/4 mile later, the smuggler drove his vehicle into opposite lanes of traffic and aimed his vehicle at another agent who was trying to perform traffic control near the spike zone.

Following directions from their supervisors, several agents pursued the smuggler on I-8 and ECJ agents followed, as directed, to assist if the smuggler pulled over for a bail out.

The smuggler ultimately lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a guard rail on I-8. Some of the aliens in the back were thrown from the vehicle. The agents provided medical assistance to the aliens and apprehended the smuggler.

To give a better understanding of how the BP vehicles were lined up in this case and to understand the discipline that was proposed for these agents, I will present the following:

Vehicle 1: One Horse Patrol Agent - discipline and dispo unknown (not represented by the Union)

Vehicle 2: Two CAO Agents - Driver received a 5 day suspension and passenger received a 1 day suspension. The Agency cited sections IV (B), IV (C), and IV (D) of the pursuit policy for both the driver and passenger.

Vehicle 3: Two CAO Agents - Same suspensions as vehicle 2 (passenger of this BP sedan was the second agent who the smuggler attempted to run over). In addition to the sections of the policy cited above, the Agency also cited sections X (B) and X (C) of the pursuit policy for both agents.

Vehicle 4: One ECJ Agent - 5 day suspension and dispo unknown (not represented by the Union)

Vehicle 5: One ECJ Agent - 5 day suspension and all of the sections of the pursuit policy listed above.

Vehicle 6: One ECJ Agent - 5 day suspension and all of the sections of the pursuit policy listed above.

Most of these agents were not directly behind one another and they were only following to provide assistance if the smuggler pulled over to bail-out and/or providing a traffic break for any other traffic which may have been traveling behind the pursuit.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS

On July 29, 2006, the Union attempted to settle this case with San Diego Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Steve Kean. The Union argued the agents did not violate the pursuit policy and should not have been disciplined. We argued that the section of the policy about caravanning has a specific clause which allows for caravanning when there are exigent circumstances. We also argued that most of the agents who were cited with caravanning were not immediately behind the pursuit and in fact were approximately 1/2 mile or more behind. We explained that those agents cited for caravanning were following directives from their supervisors to provide assistance in the event of a bail-out.

In addition, we argued that the helicopter pilots were providing the communication during the pursuit, as directed by the policy. We explained that it would not make sense to have every agent on the radio communicating their location and the speed of the vehicle, as this would have resulted in chaos on the radio.

Finally, we referenced section IV D of the policy, which states, in pertinent parts:

Therefore, it shall be the policy of the Border Patrol that vehicle pursuits begin and continue only when the agent involved believes that the pursuit can be done with reasonable safety. In determining reasonable safety the agent deciding whether to initiate or continue a pursuit should consider the circumstances pertinent to the particular pursuit, including:

3. Nature of violation: commission of a violent crime or serious felony by the occupant(s) as opposed to suspicion of a relatively minor violation, such as entry without inspection may justify continuation of a pursuit. A greater risk may be justified by the more serious nature of the crime, especially when future violence is likely if the fleeing suspect is not apprehended.

We urged Sector to reconsider their decision in this case because the smuggler's several attempts to run over agents changed the pursuit from that of a typical immigration smuggling case to an assault on a federal law enforcement officer case. The agents witnessed this smuggler commit three separate felonies; thereby justifying a greater risk due to the serious nature of the crime.

ACPA Steve Kean said the agents should have terminated the pursuit because of the risk to the general public by pursuing a subject who was driving erratically and at unsafe speeds. The Union countered that ACPA Kean was conveniently citing one theory on police pursuits, but that the Union preferred the other theory which pertains to the smuggler being a greater threat to the public if not apprehended, as demonstrated by his attempts to run over the agents. Nevertheless, ACPA Kean stood his ground and the case proceeded to arbitration.

ARBITRATION

During arbitration, the Union and the agents heard more unbelievable statements from ACPA Kean regarding this case. While testifying on behalf of the Agency, ACPA Kean said the agents should not have pursued the suspect after he attempted to run over the first agent because "the threat had passed" and there was far to great of a risk to the general public. ACPA Kean said the smuggler would have never tried to run over the second and third agent if we would have terminated the pursuit. ACPA Kean continually referred to this as a basic smuggling case which did not justify a pursuit.

The attorney for NBPC Local 1613, Michael Baranic, asked ACPA Kean if the agent's would be allowed to continue the pursuit if the smuggler ran over the first agent. ACPA Kean said "no" because the "threat had passed" and it would be too great of a risk to the general public. Mr. Baranic asked what if the smuggler ran over the second agent also, and ACPA Kean said no for the same reasons. Mr. Baranic asked what if the smuggler ran over the third agent also, and ACPA Kean said no again and cited the same reasons.


 

Israelis or Jews?

From Arutz Sheva, IsraelNationalNews.com we get a fresh look at politics vs. religion in Israel. Israel is often described as a Jewish State, but it is not a religious state. This commentary by David Wilder is interesting.

My sister e-mailed me the article and wrote: This piece really struck me. To me Israelis and Jews are the same thing. I know all Jews are not religious, but I had never heard the difference as succinctly as is noted here spoken by Israelis themselves. Evidently they not only don't believe the New Testament, they don't believe the Old either
IDF reservists are petitioning a demand for answers. Why weren't they allowed to win? Why were the decision-makers indecisive? IDF officers have started confessing: "We are arrogant."

Blame is flying every which way and finger-pointing is at its peak. Yet, the real point has yet to be addressed.

A few days ago, following Ehud Olmert's statements that the next planned expulsion of some 100,00 Jews from Judea and Samaria is no longer on the top of his priority list, I received an email dealing with "convergence". In my words, the letter said, 'It's not enough to see expulsion dropped from 'number-one' priority. We have to make sure it is dead and buried, never again to be resurrected.'

Very true. How can we make sure that happens?

Why did we lose the Hizbullah war? Because the Israeli army, rather than prepare for battle with the enemy, prepared for war with its brethren. The government spent millions of dollars and immeasurable man-hours training the troops not how to win a guerilla war against terrorist-barbarians, but rather, how to expel men, women and children from their homes 'b'regishut - sensitively - but with nechishut - resolve.

The brainwashing involved was unparalleled. One example: Soldiers were told to close their eyes and imagine the most beautiful scene they could think of - where they would most like to be. That accomplished, they were then told to imagine that a wall now divides between their utopia and themselves. Following the imaging, with eyes wide open, they were then told: The dream is peace and the wall is the "settlers". The one must be removed in order to reach the other.

Who were those brainwashed? Not only the man on the street, the privates and the corporals. Rather, the cream of the crop, officers in the standing army and the reserves, of all ranks. They were forced to listen, breath and then implement the crime of all crimes: evicting brothers and sisters from their homes and then abandoning the land to the enemy - an act never ever done before by any people in the world.

From the moment Ariel Sharon, together with Olmert and later with the backing of Sha'ul Mofaz, decided to eradicate Gush Katif from the map, the IDF was transformed into a WMD - a weapon of mass destruction - or perhaps better put, a weapon of mass self-destruction. The physical and psychological demands upon the officers and soldiers, as well as the time lost preparing for a civil war rather than a real war, were major factors in the recent lack of victory.

How can we possibly expect the decision-makers who forced Gush Katif down the collective throat of the Israeli public to have the necessary intellect to reach the proper and necessary conclusions concerning authentic warfare, upon which the survival of the country may be at stake?

What is the guiding light of these decision-makers?

I recently heard a true, hair-raising story. A high-level delegation from Israel met with the French minister of war. The goal: to achieve French support for the "convergence-expulsion plan". The minister asked the group: How can a country perpetrate such an act against its own people? The answer: "We are Israelis. Those being expelled are Jews."

In other words, we are two peoples, two nations, two seemingly mutually exclusive sects: Israelis and Jews.

All well and good until it comes time for dying. When called upon to put your life on the line, it seems those lines get blurred. Then we are all... what? Jews? Israelis? What are we then? Who are the soldiers dying for - for Jews, for Israelis, for whom?

We lost the war in the north because we forgot who we are - what we are and why we are here, why we are fighting. The IDF - the Israeli Defense Forces - perhaps should change its name to the JDF - the Jewish Defense Forces - because that is the root of our legitimate right to wear uniforms, carry weapons and, if need be, die for our land and our country. We are Jews, fighting for our land and our people, not fighting against our land and against our people.

As we begin the month of Elul, with Rosh HaShanah just around the corner, it would be wise to do a little soul-searching in hopes of mending the tremendous rifts in our society. A good place to begin would be at our roots, at the source of our being, remembering that we are one people, in one land, under one G-d.

Friday, August 25, 2006

 

Mark Steyn: The axis of evenhandedness

Great Steyn piece on Isreal and Liberal "evenhandednness"

There's a hoary old joke from a few years back in which the Secretary-General proposes that, in the interests of global peace and harmony, the world's soccer players should come together and form one United Nations global soccer team.

"Great idea," says his deputy. "Er, but who would we play?"

"Israel, of course."

And so, on a tour of residential areas of Beirut, UN humanitarian honcho Jan Egeland accused Israel of "excessive use of force" and "a violation of humanitarian law," whatever that is. His colleague, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Canada's Louise Arbour, went further and accused Israel of being guilty of "war crimes" under the Geneva Conventions.

Really? Hezbollah is an organization of unlawful combatants that as a matter of policy uses civilians as shields: under Geneva, that's a war crime. But Mme. Arbour and Mr. Egeland couldn't care less. So the value of their observations lies less in their interpretation of "international law" than as a reminder of the peculiar psychology of the post-nationalist, indeed postmodernist, "civilized world." It's not just that the terrorism and the resistance to terrorism are seen as morally equivalent: perish the thought. In the eyes of the UN, the resistance to terrorism is the real crime.


...

"The Jews are a peculiar people," wrote America's great longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer after the 1967 war. "Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem . . . But everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab . . . Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world."


Read the whole thing...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

Media Hoaxes Du Jour

Little Green Footballs has a posted a video expose of a media hoax accusing the Isrealis of using chemical weapons.

And they also link to a Fox exposure of the Red Cross Ambulance hoax. Brit Hume is one of the few mainstream journalist with the courage and the honesty to shine the light of truth on his own industry.

Meanwhile over at Hot Air we get “E&P editor attacks bloggers over Reutersgate, misrepresents pretty much everything.” Greg Mitchell the editor of "Editor and Publisher" should really shut up. Now that people have access to original sources via the Internet, his kind of defense of the purity of the press is pathetic.

Here is a picture of a man whose world is coming apart and does not know how to deal with it. Denial is not working Greg.


Here is the essence of the MSM argument in a nutshell and tells you all you need to know:
I wasn’t at Qana, but Tim Fadek was. If he says photos weren’t staged, then that’s good enough for me.

This kind of "because I say so" proof of the truth once convinced the rubes, but to use this as an argument today is so sophomoric that it defies belief. Let me put it as gently as I can: if Tim Fadek told me that the sun rose in the East and set in the West, knowing he was a photojournalist at Qana, I would begin to demand more evidence.


UPDATE: It now turns out that "media watchdog" Greg Mitchell is editing his own bio to make his earlier journalistic lying seem less harmful. Greg, what are we going to do with you.

UPDATE 2: Mary Katharine Ham Has a column in Townhall.com: Why we don't believe you

 

The Iraq "Civil War"

So, what’s the latest on the Iraq civil war, the bombs going off ever few minutes in Baghdad? The Drive By Media tell us time and again that we’re on the losing end of the stick in Iraq, that the situation is out of control, that we should cut our losses and leave.

Well, don’t look now, but putting a few thousand more troops into Baghdad actually had an effect other than the one the MSM emphasized: it reduced the fighting.

IraqPundit has the story, in case you missed it in the NY Times.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

 

The Decline of Amnesty International

I never had much use for Amnesty International, so I am not unhappy to see them becoming more blatant in their bias. They have accused Israel of war crimes. Here from David Bernstein in Volokh has a few juicy comments. (read the whole thing):

"[In a report accusing Israel of war crimes, Amnesty International] accused Israel of applying an overly broad interpretation of what constituted a military objective when it attacked power plants, bridges, main roads, seaports and Beirut's international airport, all of which are 'presumed to be civilian.'"

I'm no military expert, but every book, movie, documentary, etc., I've ever seen on war assumes that at least bridges [how many WWII movies have a scene focused on taking a bridge?], roads and seaports are important military targets, and in modern times I'd have to put airports on that list, too. The idea that a country at war can't attack the enemy's resupply routes (at least until it has direct evidence that there is a particular military shipment arriving) has nothing to do with human rights or war crimes, and a lot to do with a pacifist attitude that seeks to make war, regardless of the justification for it or the restraint in prosecuting it [at least if it's a Western country doing it], an international "crime."* Not to mention that the Beirut airport was only temporarily shut down with minor damage, and is already reopen. [If Amnesty International wants to make the case that the Party of God would not and could not use any of the relevant targets for resupply, and Israel knew it, that's a different story, but I'd love to see such evidence, which, to say the least, would be counter-intuitive.]

...

*Relevant excerpt from the Amnesty report: "However, even if it could be argued that some of these objects could qualify as military objectives (because they serve a dual purpose), Israel is obligated to ensure that attacking these objects would not violate the principle of proportionality. For example, a road that can be used for military transport is still primarily civilian in nature. The military advantage anticipated from destroying the road must be measured against the likely effect on civilians, especially the most vulnerable, such as those requiring urgent medical attention."

In other words, no country can ever attack road, port, bridge, etc., facilities used by an irregular, guerrilla army, because by the very nature of such an army, these facilities will primarily be used by civilians. Or, put another way, a country at war must sacrifice the lives of its own soldiers and perhaps civilians by avoiding attacking military targets that are also used by civilians, unless you can come up with some sort of cockamamie calculation that somehow proves that the military benefit is greater than the harm to the other side's civilians. I'm sure there are people out there who believe this, but again, this is a highly ideological position that reflects a strongly pacifist sentiment, and should not be confused with the sort of objective human rights standard (e.g., don't lock up someone for writing a newspaper article critical of the government) that all "liberals" of good will could agree on.

 

What Else Are They Keeping Silent About?

Powerline writes that the Swedish Foreign Ministry kept quiet about the oil for food scandal because ...

Henrik Thune of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs told Aftenposten that Kolby was caught between competing interests, including fear of fueling the push for war in the Bush administration if he revealed corruption in the Oil for Food program.



And asks: What else are the anti-Bush governments and media keeping from us?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

 

Over and Covert Enemies

From Powerline

Michael Barone has long been known as a moderate, nuts-and-bolts observer of the political scene. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that only over the last few years, as Michael has observed the impotence--at best--of the Democratic Party in the face of existential threats to our civilization, has he come out as a conservative. In today's column he lays it on the line:

In our war against Islamo-fascist terrorism, we face enemies both overt and covert. The overt enemies are, of course, the terrorists themselves. ***
Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness. These covert enemies are those among our elites who have promoted the ideas labeled as multiculturalism, moral relativism and (the term is Professor Samuel Huntington's) transnationalism.

[T]he default assumption of our covert enemies is that in any conflict between the West and the Rest, the West is wrong. That assumption can be rebutted by overwhelming fact: Few argued for the Taliban after Sept. 11. But in our continuing struggles, our covert enemies portray our work in Iraq through the lens of Abu Ghraib and consider Israel's self-defense against Hezbollah as the oppression of virtuous victims by evil men. In World War II, our elites understood that we were the forces of good and that victory was essential. Today, many of our elites subject our military and intelligence actions to fine-tooth-comb analysis and find that they are morally repugnant.

We have always had our covert enemies, but their numbers were few until the 1960s. *** They have propagated their ideas through the universities, the schools and mainstream media to the point that they are the default assumptions of millions. Our covert enemies don't want the Islamo-fascists to win. But in some corner of their hearts, they would like us to lose.


That is a very measured critique of a segment of our society that wields great power and wishes its own country great ill. I would only add that these liberals want us to lose, not just in some small corner, but with their whole hearts; in fact, our defeat is the only thing they whole-heartedly work for.

 

Mark Steyn: World is watching as Iraq war tests U.S. mettle

One way to measure how the world has changed in these last five years is to consider the extraordinary address to his nation by General Musharraf on Sept. 19, 2001. Pakistan was one of just three countries in the world (along with "our friends the Saudis" and the United Arab Emirates) to recognize the Taliban -- and, given that the Pakistanis had helped create and maintain them, they were pretty easy to recognize. President Bush, you'll recall, had declared that you're either with us or you're with the terrorists -- which posed a particular problem for Musharraf: He was with us but everyone else in his country was with the terrorists, including his armed forces, his intelligence services, the media, and a gazillion and one crazy imams.

Nonetheless, with American action against Afghanistan on the horizon, he went on TV that night and told the Pakistani people that this was the gravest threat to the country's existence in over 30 years. He added that he was doing everything to ensure his brothers in the Taliban didn't "suffer," and that he'd asked Washington to provide some evidence that this bin Laden chap had anything to do with the attacks but that so far they'd declined to show him any. Then he cited the Charter of Medina (which the Prophet Muhammad signed after an earlier spot of bother) as an attempt to justify providing assistance to the infidel, and said he'd had no choice but to offer the Americans use of Pakistan's airspace, intelligence networks and other logistical support.

He paused for applause, and after the world's all-time record volume of crickets chirping, said thank you and goodnight.

That must have been quite the phone call he'd got from Washington a day or two earlier. And all within a week of Sept. 11. You may remember during the 2000 campaign an enterprising journalist sprung on Gov. Bush a sudden pop quiz of world leaders. Bush, invited to name the leader of Pakistan, was unable to. But so what? In the third week of September 2001, the correct answer to "Who's General Musharraf?" was "Whoever I want him to be." And, if Musharraf didn't want to play ball, he'd wind up as the answer to "Who was leader of Pakistan until last week?"

Do you get the feeling Washington's not making phone calls like that anymore?


Read the whole thing...

 

Thomas Sowell: Point of No Return?

For once I hope Sowell is wrong. Pray for our people, our country and our leaders.

It is hard to think of a time when a nation -- and a whole civilization -- has drifted more futilely toward a bigger catastrophe than that looming over the United States and western civilization today.

Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and North Korea mean that it is only a matter of time before there are nuclear weapons in the hands of international terrorist organizations. North Korea needs money and Iran has brazenly stated its aim as the destruction of Israel -- and both its actions and its rhetoric suggest aims that extend even beyond a second Holocaust.

Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

This is not just another in the long history of military threats. The Soviet Union, despite its massive nuclear arsenal, could be deterred by our own nuclear arsenal. But suicide bombers cannot be deterred.

Fanatics filled with hate cannot be either deterred or bought off, whether Hezbollah, Hamas or the government of Iran.

The endlessly futile efforts to bring peace to the Middle East with concessions fundamentally misconceive what forces are at work.

Hate and humiliation are key forces that cannot be bought off by "trading land for peace," by a "Palestinian homeland" or by other such concessions that might have worked in other times and places.

Humiliation and hate go together. Why humiliation? Because a once-proud, dynamic culture in the forefront of world civilizations, and still carrying a message of their own superiority to "infidels" today, is painfully visible to the whole world as a poverty-stricken and backward region, lagging far behind in virtually every field of human endeavor.

There is no way that they can catch up in a hundred years, even if the rest of the world stands still. And they are not going to wait a hundred years to vent their resentments and frustrations at the humiliating position in which they find themselves.

Israel's very existence as a modern, prosperous western nation in their midst is a daily slap across the face. Nothing is easier for demagogues than to blame Israel, the United States, or western civilization in general for their own lagging position.

Hitler was able to rouse similar resentments and fanaticism in Germany under conditions not nearly as dire as those in most Middle East countries today. The proof of similar demagogic success in the Middle East is all around.

What kind of people provide a market for videotaped beheadings of innocent hostages? What kind of people would throw an old man in a wheelchair off a cruise liner into the sea, simply because he was Jewish? What kind of people would fly planes into buildings to vent their hate at the cost of their own lives?

These are the kinds of people we are talking about getting nuclear weapons. And what of ourselves?

Do we understand that the world will never be the same after hate-filled fanatics gain the ability to wipe whole American cities off the face of the earth? Do we still imagine that they can be bought off, as Israel was urged to buy them off with "land for peace" -- a peace that has proved to be wholly illusory?

Even ruthless conquerors of the past, from Genghis Khan to Adolf Hitler, wanted some tangible gains for themselves or their nations -- land, wealth, dominion. What Middle East fanatics want is the destruction and humiliation of the west.

Their treatment of hostages, some of whom have been humanitarians serving the people of the Middle East, shows that what the terrorists want is to inflict the maximum pain and psychic anguish on their victims before killing them.

Once these fanatics have nuclear weapons, those victims can include you, your children and your children's children.

The terrorists need not start out by wiping our cities off the map. Chances are they would first want to force us to humiliate ourselves in whatever ways their sadistic imaginations could conceive, out of fear of their nuclear weapons.

After we, or our children and grandchildren, find ourselves living at the mercy of people with no mercy, what will future generations think of us, that we let this happen because we wanted to placate "world opinion" by not acting "unilaterally"?

We are fast approaching the point of no return.

Monday, August 21, 2006

 

I, A Muslim

The controversial Czech TV documentary “I, A Muslim,” in which a reporter used a hidden camera to record inside mosques, has been posted (with English subtitles) at Google Video by LGF reader “Abu Kafir:”
Click on the link; it's fascinating.

 

BBC Admits Engaging in Staged Photos

From Litte Green Footballs:

In this Lebanon report, the BBC (probably inadvertently) admits that they stood by and took photographs as Hizballah put a child’s life in danger:


Click on the link.

 

Support for Rudy from the Anchoress

As of this moment, I am not going to retract my support of Giuliani, because I see no one else “in the running” whom I trust to carry forth the war on terror as it needs to be carried.

I think sometimes we think these candidates are not human, and are not touched by the same circumstances as the rest of us, that somehow we peons “grow” in grace and are capable of change while politicians and celebrities do not grow, are not capable of change. But God raises up whom He will, and very often He uses the most flawed material to do His bidding. Ask St. Augustine. Ask Moses.

Is Giuliani the perfect man? No. Will be he a perfect president? Hell no, no such creature can exist. But I do trust him to bring us strict constitutionalist SCOTUS judges. I trust that he’ll say issues like gay marriage and abortion, etc, belong to the states, which they do. I frankly think overall he will be a better president than anyone currently on the scene.

Would I prefer that Giuliani’s leadership skills fell completely in line with my creed and my own values? Of course I would. But you know, I go to church every Sunday and see huge lines of people receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and I know that most of them haven’t been to confession in ages. Some Catholics have fits about that - “how dare they consume the Flesh and Blood of Christ unworthily,” they gasp. While it would be nice to know that every Catholic is receiving Holy Communion only while in a state of grace - which is the ideal - I am aware that perhaps the only way some souls may ever be touched by grace at all is via the reception of Christ in the Eucharist, consumed unworthily (who among us is truly worthy), but by that act given intimate access. The less-than-perfect avenue can still be the opening in which Christ imparts His grace.


Read the whole thing

 

Kevin Drum: I Don't Criticize Iran Because It Might Help Bush

Bush derangement syndrome is on full display when Kevin Drum explains that:

…we need to engage more energetically with the war on terror and criticize illiberal regimes more harshly.
Maybe so. But this is something that’s nagged at me for some time. On the one hand, I think Beinart is exactly right. For example, should I be more vocal in denouncing Iran? Sure. It’s a repressive, misogynistic, theocratic, terrorist-sponsoring state that stands for everything I stand against. Of course I should speak out against them.

And yet, I know perfectly well that criticism of Iran is not just criticism of Iran. Whether I want it to or not, it also provides support for the Bush administration’s determined and deliberate effort to whip up enthusiasm for a military strike. Only a naif would view criticism of Iran in a vacuum, without also seeing the way it will be used by an administration that has demonstrated time and again that it can’t be trusted to act wisely.

So what to do? For the most part, I end up saying very little. And Beinart is right: there’s a sense in which that betrays my own liberal ideals. But he’s also wrong, because like it or not, my words — and those of other liberals — would end up being used to advance George Bush’s distinctly illiberal ends. And I’m simply not willing to be a pawn in the Bush administration’s latest marketing campaign.


Via Junkyardblog.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

 

Arafat's Widow Gets $22 MILLION A Year

She has remarried. The man who she's marrying threw over her sister because of her (Suha's) fortune. Pity the poor Palestinians.

 

Editor & Publisher on Photofraud

Photojournalism in Crisis
Amid the controversy over certain pictures from Lebanon, a longtime student of war photography asks, "I'm not sure if the craft I love is being murdered, committing suicide, or both."


I'm betting on suicide.

 

The Wall Street Journal on The Press Spilling Government Secrets

I have been a big fan of the WSJ’s editorial page. The rest of the paper is filler for the recycle bin. There are some things that I disagree with the Journal on – such as immigration – but on the whole they have been on the side of the angels.

So it is with a great deal of sorrow that I have to say that today’s “Rule of Law” opinion piece by THEODORE J. BOUTROUS, Jr. is a piece of tendentious crap.

It begins:


While the subpoenas and contempt orders that came out of the Valerie Plame leak investigation sent a shiver through journalists and other champions of a free press, an equally chilling lawsuit between two congressmen slowly plodded through the courts, barely noticed. No longer. Now, the D.C. Circuit has made a ruling in this dispute that, if it stands, will blow a hole through the First Amendment.

The opinion piece give us a history of the case Boehner v. McDermott in which the


“D.C. Circuit upheld a $60,000 judgment for statutory and punitive damages against Mr. McDermott. (Mr. Boehner is now claiming an additional $500,000 in attorney's fees.) Since Mr. McDermott supposedly knew that the tape had been illegally recorded when he received it, the court ruled that he got it "unlawfully" and could be punished, like someone who "is guilty of receiving stolen property."


Boutrous then goes on to state:
It can be extremely tempting to scale back on traditional First Amendment freedoms in the area of national security during war time. The government does have the right to protect information in the name of national security and other compelling interests, and to impose secrecy obligations on government officials to avoid harmful disclosures. But the First Amendment, as a check on government power and an instrument of self-government, tasks the press with ferreting out information that the government wants to keep secret. [Italics mine]

Whoa! To be sure that I was not hallucinating, I pulled out my pocket Constitution and re-read the First Amendment. My version reads:


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances
.

Strangely enough, there is no reference here to the press ferreting out government secrets and publishing them. There is no reference to the press ferreting out my secrets and publishing them, or Mr. Boehner’s, or – for that matter - anyone else’s.

Now I’m not saying that the press may not want to publish secrets so that it can satisfy the prurient interest of certain readers and thereby charge ever higher advertising rates, but that is a business decision made by the paper’s owners, not part of the First Amendment.

It should be obvious, even to Mr. Boutrous, that the First Amendment's restriction on Congress from writing laws prohibiting a free press is not a hunting license for the press. Read the First Amendment again: it puts free speech by individuals, the freedom to worship and a free press on the same plane. It does not elevate the press above the people. It does not elevate the press above the laws that apply to a free people. It does not allow them to do anything to anyone without penalty.

To defend the publication of secrets Boutrous states:


That information, after all, really belongs to the people, who have delegated the power to govern to elected officials.

Well, yes. And those elected officials have decided that certain government actions should be kept secret because their revelation will help an enemy kill us. It does not behoove the press to attempt to elevate itself above the people and their representatives. To do so is to create a self created, unelected super-legislature; a group of superior beings whose will stand above the will of the people and their representatives. That is an incredible amount of hubris for a commercial enterprise. It may be more credible in a country with authoritarian leanings. But in a representative Republic, not so much.

It is especially unfortunate for the press that it should attempt to elevate itself above the people and its elected officials when there is a major scandal brewing about the press’ publishing faked and staged pictures designed to lie to its readers about what happened in Lebanon.

Boutrous again:


Sometimes the only way the public can learn about government wrongdoing, or questionable government policies, is through leaks.

That may be true, but it’s also irrelevant. If the leaks are stolen information, the press is acting as a “fence.” Fencing stolen good is illegal for ordinary people, and the press is made up of a whole lot of ordinary people. More ordinary, in many cases, than most.

 

Remember the Prosecutor Who Went After Limbaugh for Painkillers? He Refuses To Prosecute a Child Molester!

O’Reilly Accuses Limbaugh Prosecutor of Cover-up

The prosecutor who vigorously pursued the case against conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has been accused of going easy on a wealthy Democrat accused of sex crimes with kids.

Billionaire Palm Beach financier Jeffrey Epstein, 53, was indicted last month on a charge of felony solicitation of prostitution.

But Palm Beach County Police Chief Michael Reiter wanted Epstein to be charged with the more serious crime of sexual activity with minors.

Florida State Attorney Barry Krischer of Palm Beach County rejected that call – even though police believe Epstein regularly brought girls as young as 14 to his mansion for sex, and they reportedly found pictures of underage girls when they raided his home.



Read the whole thing.

 

Those Irritating BP Ads

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am irritated by the BP ads because they feature people who have no blooming idea of how to get energy, do not participate in getting us energy., and are simply irritating.

Why is BP running these ads? It’s hush money.

From Townhall.com:


In Ann Coulter’s latest best selling book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, she notes that individuals who have suffered personal tragedy are shielded from criticism. Notwithstanding the controversy over the “The Jersey Girls”, her astute observation of special immunity rings true not only for these proponents of liberal dogma but also for CEOs who are disciples of corporate social responsibility. In this instance, the Left welcomes these converts from capitalism with open arms - as long as they promote the social activist agenda.

CEOs of some of the largest companies have become the biggest advocates for expanding the responsibility of business beyond financial performance to include social and environmental goals. With the public outraged over executive compensation, and high profile cases of corporate fraud, CSR is an insurance policy for image-sensitive CEOs.


Read the whole thing.

Friday, August 18, 2006

 

Mark Steyn: It's breeding obvious, mate

Forget global warming. The real catastrophy is demographic.

None of these pillars of what we used to regard as conventional society is quite as sturdy as it was, and most of them have collapsed. Many mainstream Protestant churches are, to one degree or another, post-Christian. If they no longer seem disposed to converting the unbelieving to Christ, they can at least convert them to the boggiest of soft-left political cliches. In this world, if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican vicar in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally-friendly car with an “Arms Are For Hugging” sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams.

[and]

And, speaking of business, even the heirs of those Big Businessmen C D Kemp wrote about feel obliged to join the ranks of the civilizational self-loathers. I notice that in its commercials the oil company BP – that’s to say, British Petroleum – now says that BP stands for “Beyond Petroleum”: the ads are all about how it’s developing environmentally-friendly ways to conserve energy; in other words, it’s ashamed of the business it’s in.


Mark has enunciated what has always irritated me about BP ads.

Much of western civilization does not have any future. That’s to say, we’re not just speaking philosophically, but literally. In a very short time, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries we regard as part of the western tradition will cease to exist in any meaningful sense. They don’t have a future because they’ve given up breeding. Spain’s population is halving with every generation: Two grown-ups have a total of one baby. So there are half as many children as parents. And a quarter as many grandchildren as grandparents. And an eighth as many great-grandchildren as great-grandparents. And, after that there’s no point extrapolating, because you’re over the falls and it’s too late to start paddling back. I received a flurry of letters from furious Spaniards when the government decided to replace the words “father” and “mother” on its birth certificates with the less orientationally offensive terms “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B”. This was part of the bureaucratic spring-cleaning of traditional language that always accompanies the arrival in law of “gay marriage”. But, with historically low numbers of progeny, the designations of the respective progenitors seem of marginal concern. They’d be better off trying to encourage the average young Spaniard to wander into a Barcelona singles bar and see if anyone wants to come back to his pad to play Progenitor A and Progenitor B. (“Well, okay, but only if I can be Progenitor A…”)

Seventeen European nations are now at what demographers call “lowest-low” fertility – 1.3 births per woman, the point at which you’re so far down the death spiral you can’t pull out. In theory, those countries will find their population halving every 35 years or so. In practice, it will be quicker than that, as the savvier youngsters figure there’s no point sticking around a country that’s turned into an undertaker’s waiting room. So large parts of the western world are literally dying – and, in Europe, the successor population to those aging French and Dutch and Belgians is already in place. Perhaps the differences will be minimal. In France, the Catholic churches will become mosques; in England, the village pubs will cease serving alcohol; in the Netherlands, the gay nightclubs will close up shop and relocate to San Francisco.

 

Katrina - One Year Later. Do Reporters Ever Suffer for Bad Reproting?

Lorie Byrd wrote a column in Townhall.com : Media get's an F on Katrina.

So what is the result of getting it wrong? Do reporters ever suffer the consequences of making mistakes?

Well, yes and no. Dan Rather left his anchor chair earlier than he planned, but is still feted and fawned on by his colleagues. A few other examples come to mind … Jason Blair who was fired for simply making it up. Janet Cooke who was fired for the same thing. But what about those people who screwed up in a big way, not through dishonesty but through incompetence. As a FOX News watcher, I remember Shep Smith emoting for the cameras during the hurricane “reporting” the same bull that the others were about snipers, rapes and the non-reaction of the National Guard. And watching Smith during his news show I am convinced that he is the FOX News anchor because of his blue eyes and boyish good looks, not the fluff between his ears.

And from the LA Times:
Fox News, a day before the major evacuation of the Superdome began, issued an "alert" as talk show host Alan Colmes reiterated reports of "robberies, rapes, carjackings, riots and murder. Violent gangs are roaming the streets at night, hidden by the cover of darkness."

Other news outlets were not as restrained.

So as we get to the anniversary, the media will be anxious to “report” on everyone else’s culpability while setting in stone some of the myths that they created during the storm. Perhaps it will be the role of the blogs to throw some cold water on this pack of curs and bring some justice to those who failed us during Katrina: the press.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

 

Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard

The Belmont club is an invaluable resource for analysis of geopolitical events, and its host is incredibly adept at reminding us of the wisdom of the past. I have been in awe of Solzhenitsyn since I began reading his novels, especially the Gulag Archipelago. More than a history of brutal Stalinist repression, it is a study of human nature stripped to its essentials. On “freedom” Solzhenitsyn has truly said that no man is really free unless he has nothing. How true, because we never know whether we own our possessions or do they own us?

Click the link and get a complete transcript of Solzhenitsyn’s address to the Harvard Class Day Afternoon Exercises, Thursday, June 8, 1978. And see how accurately he has foreseen the future:

The split in today's world is perceptible even to a hasty glance. Any of our contemporaries readily identifies two world powers, each of them already capable of entirely destroying the other. However, understanding of the split often is limited to this political conception, to the illusion that danger may be abolished through successful diplomatic negotiations or by achieving a balance of armed forces. The truth is that the split is a much profounder and a more alienating one, that the rifts are more than one can see at first glance. This deep manifold split bears the danger of manifold disaster for all of us, in accordance with the ancient truth that a Kingdom -- in this case, our Earth -- divided against itself cannot stand. [In 1978 the split was between the USSR and the US, today it is between Islam and the West]


A Decline in Courage ...may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course there are many courageous individuals but they have no determining influence on public life. Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable as well as intellectually and even morally warranted it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. [See Jimmy Carter]

the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to obtain them imprints many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to conceal such feelings. Active and tense competition permeates all human thoughts without opening a way to free spiritual development. The individual's independence from many types of state pressure has been guaranteed; the majority of people have been granted well-being to an extent their fathers and grandfathers could not even dream about; it has become possible to raise young people according to these ideals, leading them to physical splendor, happiness, possession of material goods, money and leisure, to an almost unlimited freedom of enjoyment. So who should now renounce all this, why and for what should one risk one's precious life in defense of common values, and particularly in such nebulous cases when the security of one's nation must be defended in a distant country? [It’s amazing that we have so many brave soldiers in our military willing to give their all]
Even biology knows that habitual extreme safety and well-being are not advantageous for a living organism. Today, well-being in the life of Western society has begun to reveal its pernicious mask.

A statesman who wants to achieve something important and highly constructive for his country has to move cautiously and even timidly; there are thousands of hasty and irresponsible critics around him, parliament and the press keep rebuffing him. As he moves ahead, he has to prove that every single step of his is well-founded and absolutely flawless. Actually an outstanding and particularly gifted person who has unusual and unexpected initiatives in mind hardly gets a chance to assert himself; from the very beginning, dozens of traps will be set out for him. Thus mediocrity triumphs with the excuse of restrictions imposed by democracy. [see George Allen and the “macaca” comment]

The press too, of course, enjoys the widest freedom. (I shall be using the word press to include all media). But what sort of use does it make of this freedom?
Here again, the main concern is not to infringe the letter of the law. There is no moral responsibility for deformation or disproportion. What sort of responsibility does a journalist have to his readers, or to history? If they have misled public opinion or the government by inaccurate information or wrong conclusions, do we know of any cases of public recognition and rectification of such mistakes by the same journalist or the same newspaper? No, it does not happen, because it would damage sales. A nation may be the victim of such a mistake, but the journalist always gets away with it. One may safely assume that he will start writing the opposite with renewed self-assurance. [See the faked and staged pictures from Lebanon]
…Thus we may see terrorists heroized, or secret matters, pertaining to one's nation's defense, publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: "everyone is entitled to know everything." But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.
Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. In-depth analysis of a problem is anathema to the press. It stops at sensational formulas.
Such as it is, however, the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. One would then like to ask: by what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible? In the communist East a journalist is frankly appointed as a state official. But who has granted Western journalists their power, for how long a time and with what prerogatives?
There is yet another surprise for someone coming from the East where the press is rigorously unified: one gradually discovers a common trend of preferences within the Western press as a whole. It is a fashion; there are generally accepted patterns of judgment and there may be common corporate interests, the sum effect being not competition but unification. Enormous freedom exists for the press, but not for the readership because newspapers mostly give enough stress and emphasis to those opinions which do not too openly contradict their own and the general trend. [True in 1978, true today]
...
And yet -- no weapons, no matter how powerful, can help the West until it overcomes its loss of willpower. In a state of psychological weakness, weapons become a burden for the capitulating side. To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being. Nothing is left, then, but concessions, attempts to gain time and betrayal…The next war (which does not have to be an atomic one and I do not believe it will) may well bury Western civilization forever.
Facing such a danger, with such historical values in your past, at such a high level of realization of freedom and apparently of devotion to freedom, how is it possible to lose to such an extent the will to defend oneself?

Two hundred or even fifty years ago, it would have seemed quite impossible, in America, that an individual could be granted boundless freedom simply for the satisfaction of his instincts or whims. Subsequently, however, all such limitations were discarded everywhere in the West; a total liberation occurred from the moral heritage of Christian centuries with their great reserves of mercy and sacrifice. State systems were becoming increasingly and totally materialistic. The West ended up by truly enforcing human rights, sometimes even excessively, but man's sense of responsibility to God and society grew dimmer and dimmer. In the past decades, the legalistically selfish aspect of Western approach and thinking has reached its final dimension and the world wound up in a harsh spiritual crisis and a political impasse. All the glorified technological achievements of Progress, including the conquest of outer space, do not redeem the Twentieth century's moral poverty which no one could imagine even as late as in the Nineteenth Century.

The interrelationship is such, too, that the current of materialism which is most to the left always ends up by being stronger, more attractive and victorious, because it is more consistent. Humanism without its Christian heritage cannot resist such competition. We watch this process in the past centuries and especially in the past decades, on a world scale as the situation becomes increasingly dramatic. Liberalism was inevitably displaced by radicalism, radicalism had to surrender to socialism and socialism could never resist communism. The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism's crimes. When they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them. In our Eastern countries, communism has suffered a complete ideological defeat; it is zero and less than zero. But Western intellectuals still look at it with interest and with empathy, and this is precisely what makes it so immensely difficult for the West to withstand the East.

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