Follow by Email

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Her Hideousness, Catherine Ashton, Receives a "Very Important" Letter from Iran

On Friday, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton announced that the EU had received a letter from Saeed Jalili, the top Iranian nuclear negotiator, saying that Tehran is ready to restart negotiations with the P5+1 world powers over its nuclear program after November "in a place and on a date convenient to both sides." In Brussels at a summit of EU leaders, Ashton stated: "It's a very important development and we're now in touch with Iran to see if we can agree the time and the place which is possible."

If the letter is indeed "very important", why was it sent to Ashton, instead of Obama? Answer: Ashton is a former chairwoman of the Health Authority in Hertfordshire, who has never held elected office and has no experience in foreign affairs. With a BSc degree in sociology, a life-sized Dalek (a fictional race of extraterrestrial mutants from the British science fiction television series "Doctor Who") in her sitting room, and past involvement with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament which is suspected of having been funded by the Soviet Union, she is deemed a featherweight by Ahmadinejad and his cohorts.

Further stalling by Tehran as Ahmadinejad links cessation of the Iranian drive for an atomic bomb to exposure of Israeli nuclear capabilities? You can bet on it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

An Honor Killing a Mere Mile Away

Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels wrote:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

And so, when Jimmy Carter wrote a book entitled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid", the closet anti-Semites from the Left howled with approval. And when Roger Cohen or the editorial board of The New York Times writes anything concerning Israel, that same canard, "Israeli is apartheid", appears at least a dozen times in the readers' comments posted by the Grey Lady, which lost its moral compass long ago.

So how does someone like myself, from Israel's hoi polloi, disprove this fabrication? Perhaps if Carter and his ilk could accompany me on my journey to the Gan Shmuel Shopping Center, five miles to the east, where I will be buying groceries later this afternoon, they would see things otherwise. At the shopping center they would witness Jewish and Arab shoppers and sales persons mingling freely, no sign whatsoever of segregation or any form of discrimination. But Carter and friends would never join me, enthralled by the big lie and the happiness which it engenders.

Which is not to say that there are no variations of apartheid in Israel. Indeed, there is gender apartheid within certain segments of Israel's Arab community, which exposes its ugly face in the form of "honor killings". This past week, such an honor killing occurred a mere mile away from my home in the Arab village of Jisr a-Zarka:

"The body of a 30-year-old woman from Jisr a-Zarka was found lifeless in her bed by her mother Friday morning. Magen David Adom Sharon crews confirmed the woman's death on arrival.

The body of Tanya Amash was discovered by her mother as she attempted to wake her and noticed she was not breathing and was unconscious. MDA crews initiated a prolonged resuscitation but a doctor ultimately pronounced her death.

According to initial investigations and bruises on the Amash's body, police suspect internal family violence. After investigating the family members, police discovered that the Amash's 22-year-old brother, Anise Amash was last with her.

Police say the brother arrived in the morning and after an argument broke out between him and his sister, a physical altercation ensued in which he allegedly choked the 30-year-old.

Police were searching the area for the suspect after he left the family's home."

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=193246

This was no isolated incident in Israel or the Muslim world. In Israel, honor killings account for the majority of homicides among its Arab citizens. In neighboring Gaza and the West Bank, four women die each month at the hands of male relatives. Throughout the Muslim Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan, thousands of women are murdered each year by their grandfathers, fathers and brothers, and this horrifying practice has recently been exported to the U.S. and Canada (http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/04/honor-killings-in-muslim-world.html).

The response of The New York Times, its columnists, and the Left as a whole to this horrifying practice? Silence. After all, they enjoy too much the intoxication which comes from excoriating Israel and its hateful Jews and the resultant exhilaration deriving from this ancient prejudice.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Roger Cohen: "Captain Crunch Time"

Once again Roger Cohen has breezed into Israel, and in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Crunch Time", embellished with a Jerusalem dateline, he informs us:

"Obama has to look over the horizon and ask Netanyahu this question:

'Mr. Prime Minister, I understand your security concerns. The United States will always stand by Israel. But tell me this: If all your security concerns are met, all of them, what is the border you want for Israel?'”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/opinion/29iht-edcohen.html?ref=opinion

The fallacy and fatuity of Cohen's op-ed are to be found in the above premise: Neither the U.S. nor anyone else, except Israel itself, can currently meet Israel's security needs.

Consider Israel's northern border with Lebanon. Notwithstanding UN Resolution 1701, which calls for a permanent ceasefire to be based on the creation of a buffer zone free of armed personnel other than UN and Lebanese Forces, Hezbollah has amassed thousands of Iranian and Syrian rockets and missiles in the region and prevents UNIFIL troops from enforcing the resolution.

Should a Palestinian state immediately be declared, who will prevent Hamas from accumulating weaponry in the West Bank, as it has done in Gaza, and firing an occasional rocket or missile at Ben Gurion Airport, which is five miles away from the border with the Palestinian Authority? Or at Tel Aviv, some ten miles away? Or at western Jerusalem, immediately adjacent to the Palestinian Authority? And when it happens, will the world again call for Israel to respond "proportionately"?

Unfortunately, there are certain problems that are not ripe for solution, and Obama has yet to learn this lesson.

Roger Cohen? Without a knowledge of Hebrew or Arabic and without 30 years covering the scene, he is almost as credible writing from his Jerusalem hotel and citing a mysterious anonymous "Israeli official" as he was declaring that Iran is "not totalitarian" during his recent sojourns in Teheran.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kristof's "End the War on Pot": Theng U mR Kirtioff

In New Yuk tmes collllum of today dat (http://www.nytimes.com/), oooopth, I mean (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/opinion/28kristof.html?hp)=funnny!-, Nik Kritooff writ to lealize pot. Thang yu kRizoff. U one koool dud! U the man! Ths nexth hith fer u!

I texththise mssage aftur byying my med marwarna and drive. Thnk u mR. Kritof for supprting med maryana. I think you opiniion wll, I thing itwill, Ithink the well. Oophs, I forget wat I wante to say. Funny!!!

Oopts, wat is that thing get closer. Wat is it? It big. Oophs, I just hit treeee. Carr dont mov.Werm reD stuf com out nose. I tak nuther ghit.Funny!!

Who I write to? Funny, I ferget! Never mnd. Funny! WhoEvr u r,Hav goodt day!

Question for Robert Wright: Is Islamophobia Justifiable Within the Gay Community?

In his New York Times "Opinionator" blog of today's date entitled "Islamophobia and Homophobia" (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/26/islamophobia-and-homophobia/?hp#preview), Robert Wright compares these two phenomena.

Query for Mr. Wright: Is Islamophobia justifiable within the gay community?

Consider that In Saudi Arabia homosexuality is punishable by public execution.

In Iran homosexuals are publicly hanged, and since 1979 the Islamic Republic of Iran has executed some 4,000 gay men.

Homosexuality is also punishable by death in Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen and Gaza. Regarding Gaza, there is currently a legal proceeding in the Israeli courts involving a gay man from Gaza living in Israel, who is fighting deportation back to Gaza, where he faces execution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2826963.stm).

In Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria and the Maldives, homosexuality is "only" punishable by imprisonment or corporal punishment.

Your answer, Mr. Wright?

[Those readers from Ankara, who were infuriated by my prior blog entry, can indeed be proud that homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey.]

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roger Cohen's Blinkered Guidebook to Turkey

Today, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Turkey Steps Out", Roger Cohen writes:

"if I could escort Sarah Palin, Tea Partiers and a few bigoted anti-Muslim Europeans to a single country illustrating how the world has changed, it would be the home of the D-word, Turkey."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/26/opinion/26iht-edcohen.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

I wonder whether Roger, in his new role as tour guide, would take it upon himself to explain the slaughter by Turkey of some 1.5 million Armenians between 1914 and 1918. Would he mention how Obama, as a senator and a presidential candidate, stated, "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides,” yet as president, earlier this year, asked the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to cancel a vote scheduled on a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide?

Given his thesis that "the world has changed", Roger might claim that the Armenian Genocide is already "ancient history" and let bygones be bygones. Yet there is a fly in this ointment.

Some 20% of Turkey's population consists of Kurds, who, suffering endless oppression, seek autonomy. The life expectancy of Turkey's Kurds is significantly less than that of Palestinians in Gaza, and it is a travesty that Turkey's IHH sent a flotilla purportedly bearing aid for Gaza when Kurds live in abject poverty in eastern Turkey.

As described by Human Rights Watch, past persecution of Turkey's Kurds reached extraordinary levels of savagery, leaving hundreds of thousands of displaced persons (some estimates place the number in the millions), who until today have been unable to return to their villages:

"Evacuations were unlawful and violent. Security forces would surround a village using helicopters, armored vehicles, troops, and village guards, and burn stored produce, agricultural equipment, crops, orchards, forests, and livestock. They set fire to houses, often giving the inhabitants no opportunity to retrieve their possessions. During the course of such operations, security forces frequently abused and humiliated villagers, stole their property and cash, and ill-treated or tortured them before herding them onto the roads and away from their former homes. The operations were marked by scores of 'disappearances' and extrajudicial executions. By the mid-1990s, more than 3,000 villages had been virtually wiped from the map, and, according to official figures, 378,335 Kurdish villagers had been displaced and left homeless.

In the intervening decade, Turkey has embarked on a convincing program of human rights reform which has been internationally recognized and welcomed. However, that reform has not yet significantly benefited IDPs in Turkey. Most are in much the same situation as they were a decade ago: still displaced and living in harsh conditions in cities throughout the country."
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2005/turkey0305/3.htm#_Toc97005223

Turkey, of course, is not alone when it comes to persecuting its Kurdish minority. It is no accident that Turkey's current Middle East outreach program focuses upon Iran and Syria, which are also "full partners" in the oppression of the region's 35 million Kurds and seek to deny the Kurds their independence.

For some six months during 2009 Cohen repeatedly informed us that Iran is "not totalitarian", while devoting a mere sentence to the barbarous oppression of that country's Baha'i minority. Are we now to hear of the wonders of Turkey as Cohen sweeps the cruel persecution of its Kurdish minority under the carpet?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The U.S. and Israel Complete "Juniper Falcon 11" Exercise

Notwithstanding tensions over the past year involving the Obama administration and the Israeli government, the IDF today announced the successful completion of the "Juniper Falcon 11" Exercise involving the American and Israeli armed forces. The warm tenor of this announcement, reflecting the level of cooperation and camaraderie between the armed forces of these two countries, speaks for itself:

The US and Israel concluded a several day-long command post simulation and training exercise called Juniper Falcon 11 yesterday, October 21st, 2010. Juniper Falcon 11 is part of a series of routinely conducted training exercises between the US and Israel that build partnership and which promote regional peace and stability. The exercise is part of a long standing agreement between the US and Israel to hold bilateral training exercises on a regular basis.

Commanders and participants from both militaries expressed their satisfaction with the exercise upon its completion, expressing that the exercise allowed for each of the militaries to mutually learn from the other and improve their interoperability.

IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, said: "I see great progress in all matters of cooperation between us and the American armed forces and EUCOM. This is an important part of our ability to operate in different scenarios at sea, on the ground and in the air. It emphasizes the deep, intimate relations between us and the United States when facing mutual enemies, such as when fighting terror. I get the impression that officers from both sides feel these improvements and that we have interoperable capabilities."

US Exercise Director, Maj. Gen. Craig Gourley, said: "I've had the opportunity in the past couple of years to participate in quite a few exercises and this definitely ranks at the top of my experiences. We've met 100 percent of our objectives and through the great experiences and trust we've developed in the past couple of days we were able to make this a truly outstanding exercise and gain good experiences for the future.

Talking through our experiences and capabilities does nothing but enhance our interoperability and capabilities to work together and just improves how we operate as a team. I take away the friendships, the exposure to the environment and the great partnership. We've taken a look at a lot of the issues of interoperability and where we can enhance our capabilities and improve. All gaps have been filled. You’ve been a gracious host and met all of our needs. You’ve been outstanding. We've seen great camaraderie, dedication, pride, and commitment on behalf of the Israeli forces - it's outstanding. We're looking forward to coming back."

IDF Exercise Director, Brig. Gen. Nizan Nuriel, said: "The real purpose of this exercise is to make sure that in real time, if necessary, we will be well trained and fully prepared. We know it's about friendship, brotherhood and these kinds of exercises can create this level of relationship that in real time may be needed. This has been the most organized of such exercises until now. The exercise challenges both sides. I would like to emphasize the preparations of the American forces in this exercise, proving the importance they give to such an exercise."

http://dover.idf.il/IDF/English/Press+Releases/10/10/2201.htm

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Crack Appears in the Syrian-Iranian Axis

An "unknown" organization is threatening violence if Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, goes ahead with his scheduled visit to Lebanon. As reported by Haaretz:

"A previously unknown group threatened action Monday during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's planned visit to Lebanon this week, local media reported.

A statement by a group calling itself the Abdaullah Azzam Brigades warned: 'The whole of Lebanon will tremble and its ground will quake if Ahmadinejad steps foot on it.'

'We will do the impossible to thwart this' the statement added.

Ahmadinejad is due to pay an official two-day visit to Lebanon on Wednesday and Thursday, during which he will hold talks with Lebanese officials and tour areas near the border with Israel.

The visit of the Iranian leader coincides with threats by Hezbollah of a fresh round of violence in Lebanon stemming from the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

That threat comes after reports indicated that the tribunal planned to indict Hezbollah members in the bombing attack."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/previously-unknown-group-threatens-ahmadinejad-s-lebanon-visit-1.318430

The "Abdaullah Azzam Brigades" is indeed an unknown organization, given that it is also a figment of the imagination of Syrian President Assad.

The problem involving Lebanon, which is fast becoming the powder keg of the Twenty-First Century, is that both Iran and Syria perceive the country as part of their spheres of interest. Cordial to Iranian efforts to gain Middle East hegemony until now, Syria will not permit Iran to claim property rights over Lebanon, which has long been viewed by Assad and his father as belonging to Greater Syria.

Meanwhile, with the results of the UN tribunal's Hariri murder investigation expected soon, it will be interesting to see if Hezbollah will cause provocations on the Lebanese border with Israel in order to distract the Arab street.

Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Obama Sues for Peace in Afghanistan

I have always opposed U.S. ground involvement in Afghanistan, and now, almost two years into his presidency, Obama is acknowledging his mistake and seeking a graceful exit from the war. Obama's solution, which will allow him to honor his pledge to withdraw troops in 2011, essentially involves surrender to the Taliban. In a Washington Post article entitled "Taliban in high-level talks with Karzai government, sources say" written by Karen DeYoung, Peter Finn and Craig Whitlock (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/05/AR2010100506249.html), we are told of "secret" talks between Karzai and the Taliban:

"Taliban representatives and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai have begun secret, high-level talks over a negotiated end to the war, according to Afghan and Arab sources."

Secret talks? I suppose that's why they are being disclosed by The Washington Post to millions of people around the globe. Moreover, as reported by Reuters today (http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/10/06/world/international-us-afghanistan-usa.html?hp), Karzai "has formed a 70-member peace council in recent weeks to work toward negotiations." This is of course in keeping with the rule of thumb that anytime you want to keep peace negotiations secret, you never appoint more than 70 persons to hammer out the terms of such an agreement.

Of course, according to The Washington Post article, there are those saying that the Taliban is suing for peace:

"'They are very, very serious about finding a way out,' one source close to the talks said of the Taliban.

. . . .

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, told reporters last week that high-level Taliban leaders had 'sought to reach out' to the top level of the Karzai government. 'This is how you end these kinds of insurgencies,' he said."

Taliban leaders are "reaching out"? Perhaps Petraeus is referring to Taliban attacks this week on tankers carrying fuel from Pakistan to NATO forces (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/world/asia/07pstan.html?hp).

Actually, as observed in The Washington Post article, it is the Obama administration that is sending out different signals:

"Reports of the talks come amid what Afghan, Arab and European sources said they see as a distinct change of heart by the Obama administration toward full backing of negotiations. Although President Obama and his national security team have long said the war would not be won by military means alone, sources said the administration only recently appeared open to talks rather than resisting them.

. . . .

The Europeans said the American shift began in the summer, as combat intensified with smaller-than-expected NATO gains despite the arrival of the full complement of new U.S. troops, amid rising U.S. public opposition to the war.

. . . .

Last month, Obama pressed his national security team to be more specific about what it meant by a political solution, and 'reinforced' the need to be working simultaneously on the military and political sides of the equation, the official said.

The administration is under pressure to show progress in resolving the war before the deadline Obama has set of beginning a troop withdrawal next summer."

Yes, by hook or crook, Obama will withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2011, and thus seek to obviate any presidential primary challenge by Hillary. The only question remaining is, in the words of Bruce Springsteen:

Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break,
Who'll be the last to die for a mistake?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Assad Meets Ahmadinejad: A Summit for Tyranny and Repression

On Saturday, Syria's Assad arrived in Iran to meet with Ahmadinejad and to receive the Grand National Order of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As reported by the Teheran Times:

"Earlier in the day, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad awarded Iran's highest national medal, the Grand National Order of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to the Syrian president for his support of the Palestinian and Lebanese nations.

This medal is a sign of Iran’s profound gratitude to the Syrian government and nation for their serious efforts to establish peace in the region, Ahmadinejad said during a ceremony held at the Foreign Ministry.

If it were not for Syria's resistance, no country in the region would have been unaffected by the Zionist regime’s aggression, the Iranian president added."

http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=227807

Assad's "support of the Palestinians and Lebanese nations"? I suppose Ahmadinejad is referring to Assad's willingness to harbor the Hamas leadership in Damascus, which has gone to extraordinary lengths to oppress Gazans and promote terror in the region, and Assad's complicity in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Remember the long private dinner party held by Senator John Kerry, Assad and their wives at the Narenj restaurant in the old city of Damascus in March 2009? Remember Syria's declarations of "respect and friendship" between Kerry and Assad? Remember Obama's overtures to the Islamic Republic of Iran, encouraged by the Leveretts, at the beginning of his presidency?

The meeting of Assad and Ahmadinejad on Saturday serves as a testimonial to the naivete and abject failure of Obama's foreign policy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Frank Rich's "The Very Useful Idiocy of Christine O’Donnell": What Then Is Obama?

Another Sunday and another Frank Rich diatribe, "The Very Useful Idiocy of Christine O’Donnell" (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/opinion/03rich.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss), condemning those nasty, conniving Republicans. This week, Christine O’Donnell, who opposes masturbation, has Frank in a dither.

Me? I'm more troubled by the half-hearted decision of Democrat Obama, as described by Bob Woodward in "Obama's Wars", to escalate the Afghanistan war and send brave young Americans to their graves for no reason other than to promote Obama's image as something more than a wuss.

Christine O'Donnell is a "useful idiot" providing weekly material for the nation's comedy series? Maybe. But what then is Obama? Neither useful nor an idiot, he must nevertheless take responsibility for an inane, burgeoning, heart breaking tragedy which America can no longer afford.

Sanchez Dismissal Spawns More Anti-Semitic Readers' Comments at The New York Times

In response to Brian Stelter's "CNN Fires Sanchez After Critique of Stewart", the following reader's comment, no. 50, was posted by the "moderators" of The New York Times in "Media Decoder" (http://community.nytimes.com/comments/mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/01/cnn-fires-sanchez-after-critiqu-of-stewart/?sort=oldest&offset=2):

50.
rmarc
albany ny
October 1st, 2010
10:20 pm
We must not ever speak ill of certain groups of people. Especially people with lots of cash, control of most cultural institutions and a threat to every politician in America. Remember what happened to Helen Thomas?

Not anti-Semitic in the extreme? Why does The New York Times continue to tolerate this stream of abuse directed at Jews? As I have often said, when The New York Times states, "Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are . . . not abusive," then publishes a comment of this ilk, they are going on record as saying that anti-Semitism is not abusive.

This has been going on far too long at The Times. I shot off another e-mail to their editors, and let's see if even their new Public Editor has the decency to respond.

[Regarding the author of the above reader's comment, he/she previously submitted the following grotesque anti-Semitic comment, which was posted by The Times on July 12, 2010 in response to Ethan Bronner's article, "Israeli Military Finds Flotilla Killings Justified" (http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/world/middleeast/13flotilla.html?sort=oldest&offset=2):

40.
rmarc
albany ny
July 12th, 2010
4:05 pm
Nothing new here. I guess I now understand why Iran wants nuclear weapons! If I lived anywhere close to fascist Israel, I would want them too. After all, if Israel can have them why not everyone else? I guess being gods chosen means never having to say I'm sorry! What claptrap. Imagine the creator choosing the most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth as his "special people"!

I immediately protested to The New York Times following publication of this comment, and The Times did . . . nothing (http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/07/anti-semitism-still-awaiting-response.html).]

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rahm Emanuel to Resign as White House Chief of Staff: Hillary Next

Although the news item is being buried by The New York Times and CNN, Rahm Emanuel is abandoning the White House as Chief of Staff -- the first to leave the sinking ship. Emanuel, a brutal realist, knows where the Obama administration is headed and doesn't require confirmation of voter dismay in November.

A sign of Emanuel's desperation to leave the post is to be found in his decision, i.e. excuse, to run for Mayor of Chicago, where he is anything but a shoo-in.

Steely-eyed Hillary? My understanding is that she is waiting to crunch the November numbers in order to assess Obama's vulnerability in the primaries. She's already gone on record that she doesn't want to be a two-term Secretary of State, and subsequent to the Democrats' fall debacle, watch for her December resignation, followed by an announcement of her candidacy for president three months later.

More evidence of Hillary's intentions? While Mitchell and Ashton today visit Netanyahu in Caesarea (I am not participating in the discussions) to seek a way to resuscitate the stillborn Obama Middle East peace initiative, cagey Hillary is nowhere to be seen and is disassociating herself from the failure.