Saturday, September 29, 2007

Test Your Conventional Wisdom IQ!

Think you're a savvy "news consumer?"

You're probably right, but today's newspapers and broadcast news programs (not to mention cable comedy "news" take-offs) couldn't function in tiny news "bites" if they didn't know the American public was already well-informed on a ton of facts absorbed in high school, college, and by watching the acceptance speeches at the Oscars!

Find out just how much you've learned by taking the following quiz that tests your knowledge of conventional wisdom!

1. We all know that war never solved anything. Of the following problems that wars were foolishly waged to solve, which most effectively proves the point?

a. The abolition of slavery from the United States.

b. The destruction of the Third Reich.

c. The defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.

d. The defeat of the Turkish army at the Siege of Vienna in 1683.

e. None of the above.

2. We all know that the Democratic Party is historically the champion of civil rights and racial justice, while all Republicans are racists, historically responsible for slavery, segregation, and writing bigotry into the Constitution. From the following list, circle the correct party, Republican or Democratic, responsible for the racial injustice described.

a. The Democratic/Republican Party Party passed the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, depriving even free blacks accused of being runaway slaves of the right to counsel, trial by jury, and habeas corpus.

b. In 1865 77% of Congressional members of the Democratic/Republican Party voted against the 13th Amendment emancipating the slaves, while 100% of the opposing party voted in favor.

d. In 1865 the Ku Klux Klan was founded by the Democratic/Republican Party in order to violently intimidate blacks and voters of the opposing party.

e. In 1892 the Democratic/Republican Party finally gained a majority in both Houses of Congress as well as the White House, thereafter repealing the civil rights laws passed during Reconstruction, and ushering in the era of Jim Crow laws requiring literacy tests, poll taxes, segregation, etc., and successfully prevented a single civil rights law from being passed in the US until 1957.

f. During the 1950s and 60s four southern governors physically blocked execution of lawful orders to integrate public schools: Lester Maddox of Georgia, George Wallace of Alabama, Ross Barnett of Mississippi, and Orval Faubus of Arkansas; all four were members of the Democratic/Republican Party.

g. In 1964 Senators Sam Ervin, Albert Gore, Sr., and Robert Byrd led an unsuccessful filibuster trying to stop passage of the Civil Rights Act; all were members of the Democratic/Republican Party.

3. We all know that George W. Bush is the stupidest President we’ve ever had, which explains why he has so much trouble dealing with politicians and leaders clearly much smarter than he is. Of the following, which is the best example of superior intellect “putting one over” on the moron George W. Bush since he was first elected in November 2000?

a. Senator Harry Reid

b. Senator John Kerry

c. Speaker Nancy Pelosi

d. Senator Al Gore

e. Senator Chuck Schumer

f. James Carville

g. Saddam Hussein

h. Dan Rather

i. None of the above.

4. We all know that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and has nothing to do with the war on terror because there were no Iraqi hijackers on any of the planes on 9/11. Extending this logic, in October 2001 we should not have invaded Afghanistan, which also had no hijackers on the 9/11 planes, but instead should have invaded which of the following countries?

a. Saudi Arabia

b. Egypt

c. United Arab Emirates

d. Lebanon

e. All of the above.

f. None of the above.

g. Israel

5. We all know that George W. Bush “lied us into war” because he said in 2002 and early 2003 that intelligence reports showed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and refused to either account for them or disarm, posing a growing threat to the United States and his neighbors. Of the following persons, which of them also “lied us into war” by making identical, or even stronger, statements during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq?

a. Robert Byrd

b. John Edwards

c. Hillary Clinton

d. Ted Kennedy

e. John Kerry

f. Carl Levin

g. Wesley Clark

h. All of the above

i. None of the above

6. We all know that because coalition forces found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, after Saddam enjoyed months of advanced warning that an invasion was coming, the only logical explanation for WMD not being there is that

a. Saddam shipped them elsewhere, probably Syria, for hiding and safekeeping.

b. Saddam destroyed his weapons after he threw out the inspectors in 1998, and chose not to disclose it to the UN because he didn’t mind the crippling sanctions.

c. Saddam never had any weapons, Bush just cooked the whole thing up in Crawford, Texas.

d. Shut up.

7. We all know, as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd explained to us about Cindy Sheehan, that “the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.” In regard to what other category of human experience has the New York Times ever tolerated the terms “absolute,” “moral,” and “authority” being used together except to heap scorn on those who believe such absolute values exist?

a. Sexuality

b. National defense

c. Marriage and family

d. Partial-birth abortion

e. Loyalty during wartime

f. Plagiarism

g. Unbiased reporting

h. I give up.

8. We all know that George W. Bush’s imperial presidency is a shameless power grab, and that since 9/11 his every move has been aimed at depriving all innocent Americans of more and more of their civil liberties, so that our current state is all but indistinguishable from conditions in Germany under the Third Reich. Compared with the state of your civil rights on January 20, 2001, which of the following enumerated liberties causes you the sharpest pang of loss now:

a. Freedom of speech

b. Freedom of religion

c. Freedom of assembly

d. Trial by jury

e. Right to bear arms

f. Right to vote

g. None of the above.

9. Everybody knows that the Bush administration is engaged in domestic spying and illegal wiretapping of American citizens without warrants for absolutely no reason, and that, for all intents and purposes, you and your friends aren’t just being dramatic when you complain amongst friends that “all of our phones are tapped.” Troubled as you and your friends are by the knowledge that Dick Cheney and the NSA are listening in to your conversations, by what amount, on average, would you say you and your friends have reduced your personal use of the telephone for private or casual conversations to protect your privacy?

a. 90-100%

b. 50-90%

c. 20-50%

d. 10-20%

e. 0%

10. We all know that rising gasoline prices are the result of greedy oil companies conspiring together to fix prices and gouge consumers so they can achieve “obscene” profits--all the while blaming the price rise on the “so-called law of supply and demand.” Based on your insight into the realities of economics, what is the correct non-gouging, “fair” price for a gallon of gas in today’s market?

a. $1.90

b. $1.25

c. $ .75

d. $ .15

e. Why can’t the government just give it away the way Yugo Chabez does in Venezuela?

11. Every intelligent person, and all scientists, agree that global warming is the biggest problem facing humanity today, and that if we don’t drastically change our lifestyles, our economy, our culture, and reduce our standard of living, people living in Newport and Naples in 2207 will be underwater. The most important thing you can do to insure survival of your great, great, great, great, great grandchildren is

a. Buy a hybrid car

b. Ride your bike to work

c. Purchase carbon credits

d. Get an abortion

e. Die

12. Everyone knows that you can’t hug your children with nuclear arms. In view of the fact that the president of the world’s next nuclear power, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was, during the Iran-Iraq War, an instructor of the Basiji, a mass movement of children who willingly sacrificed themselves by rolling in minefields or mounting human wave attacks, and that he still holds the Basiji up as models who would not be the least put off by embracing their own nuclear destruction if it resulted in the annihilation of Israel or destruction of the infidels, what non-belligerent and diplomatic posture should the United States adopt towards Iran’s race to get the bomb?

a. Strong sanctions, with guarantees in advance we’ll never consider war.

b. High-level international discussions to explore what we did to make Iran feel it needed the Bomb.

c. Obtain the Ayatollah’s promise that, if he won’t nuke us, we’ll just nuke Israel ourselves.

d. Unilateral disarmament.

e. Unconditional surrender.

13. We all know that Islam is a religion of peace, and that the “so-called terrorists” are not motivated by their religion, but by their frustration that 6 million Israeli Jews living in a country the size of New Jersey, have persecuted and humiliated the 300 million-plus Arabs surrounding them and waging war on them non-stop for 60 years, and that if United States would only abandon Israel and offer her up to be destroyed by her neighbors, Islam would immediately resume benevolent coexistence with the West. The history lesson most instructive to us in dealing with this problem is

a. The Oslo Accords

b. The Jacob-Esau Pact

c. The Sally Brown-Charlie Brown Football-Kicking Agreement

d. The Faustus-Mephistophilis Pact

e. The Munich Agreement

f. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

g. The Iscariot-Sanhedrin Pact

14. We all know that racism in America is just as rampant and destructive now as it was in the darkest days of Jim Crow, of the post-Reconstruction South, and even of the days of chattel slavery before the Civil War. Since everyone knows where there is no justice there is no peace, the most direct action to resolve America’s intractable racial injustices is

a. Appointing the first black Secretary of State

b. Reparations

c. Affirmative action

d. Gerrymandering

e. Another civil war

f. Dropping the armed robbery and kidnapping charges against O.J. Simpson, and the assault charges against the Jena 6.

15. We all know that the Democratic Party has a proud history of fighting for racial justice, unlike that other bigoted party full of gun nuts. For example, in the strongly Democratic southern states between 1865 and 1877, laws were passed granting economic and political opportunities to blacks, including full citizenship, and the right to vote, and even the first black Congressmen were elected from these very states. Southern Democrats went along with all of this

a. Because where there’s no justice, there’s no peace.

b. Because they wanted to keep hope alive.

c. Because diversity was a compelling government interest.

d. Because they were keeping their eyes on the prize.

e. Because Republican governors and occupying federal troops forced them to go along with it, and as soon as federal troops were withdrawn in 1877 and Democrats regained a majority, the civil rights laws were ignored, and the worst era of Jim Crow and segregation began.

Answers to the quiz will be broadcast all through this week in "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," "The View," and in all editions of the Detroit Free Press.

So There's Not Always Room for Jell-O?

We all learned that, no matter how much you eat, there’s still always room for Jell-O.

Maybe not any more. The Chicago Sun-Times reports what's going on in Illinois:

First Jell-O, now Santa

OAK LAWN School district considers banning traditions seen as offensive to Muslims
September 28, 2007

BY ANGELA CAPUTO Daily Southtown

So long, Halloween parade. Farewell, Santa's gift shop.

The holiday traditions are facing elimination in some Oak Lawn schools this year after complaints that the activities are offensive, particularly to Muslim students.

Final decisions on which of the festivities will be axed will fall to the principals at each of Ridgeland School District 122's five schools, Supt. Tom Smyth said.

Parents expect that the announcement is going to add to the tension that has been building since officials agreed earlier this month to change the lunch menu to exclude items containing pork to accommodate Muslim students. News that Jell-O was struck from the menu caused such a stir that officials have agreed to bring it back. Gelatin is often made with tissue or bones of pigs or other animals.

That controversy now appears to have been been dwarfed by the holiday debate, which became so acrimonious Wednesday that police were called to Columbus Manor School to intervene in a shouting match among parents.

"It's difficult when you change the school's culture," said Columbus Manor Principal Sandy Robertson.

Elizabeth Zahdan, a mother of three District 122 students, says she took her concerns to the school board this month, not because she wanted to do away with the traditions, but rather to make them more inclusive. "I only wanted them modified to represent everyone," she said.

Nixing them isn't the response she was looking for. "Now the kids are not being educated about other people," she said.

There's just not time in the six-hour school day to celebrate every holiday, said Smyth, who sent the message to principals that they need to "tone down" the activities that he sees as eating too much into instructional time. "We have to think about our purpose," Smyth said. "Are we about teaching reading, writing and math or for parties or fund-raising during the day?"

Robertson is hoping to strike compromises that will keep traditions alive and be culturally acceptable to all students -- nearly half of whom are of Arab descent at Columbus Manor, she says. Fewer than a third of students districtwide are of Arab descent, according to Smyth.

Following the example of Lieb Elementary School, Columbus Manor School will exchange the annual Halloween parade for a fall festival next month. The holiday gift bazaars at both schools also will remain, but they'll likely be moved to the PTA-sponsored after-school winter festival. And Santa's annual visit probably will be on a Saturday.

And you thought atheist parents were causing trouble. At least they left the Jell-O alone.

As usual, the "tension" in this situation started building as soon as school officials, (who often have their backbones and rigid spinal tissue removed to make gelatin) took the path of least resistance and told Muslim parents, "Sure, Jell-O offends you, so we'll fix it so that no one can have Jell-O."

And why not? If a minority population is having trouble adjusting to your culture, just change the culture!

But it turned out "it's difficult when you change the school's culture," according to Columbus Manor Principal Sandy Robertson.

It's a funny thing that in this story the banning of Jell-O is more offensive to me than trying to keep Santa out. For one thing, there've been so many anti-Santa movements over the years that I find it a crashing bore. At least Santa is legitimately a big target, no pun intended. Face it, all those efforts to claim Santa Claus is not a religious figure just don't cut it. The man's a saint, for God's sake. And he's giving gifts on Jesus' birthday and all that.

I'm not saying I think he should be banned. I'm just saying those who don't happen to celebrate Jesus' birthday, or have a non-Santa-recognizing religion may resent seeing him around just a bit.

But what gives anyone the right to say that, because I find gelatin foods blasphemous, that kid over there can't eat Jell-O, either?

Elizabeth Zahdan, the mother who seems to have started all this, says she only wanted to make things more inclusive, but then admits she wanted traditions "modified to represent everyone."

Apparently, in schools in Muslim cultures, everyone can't get Jell-O, so let's make Oak Lawn schools "inclusive" by fixing it so every kid, even non-Muslims, can't get Jell-O.

Represents everyone, see?

Now everyone can enjoy a no-Halloween "fall festival," a harvest-themed celebration that will mean a whole lot to "everyone" in this highly-urban Oak Lawn Chicago suburb.

At least the parents raised hell and got their Jell-O back, even if Santa has to come in through the service entrance and Jack-O-Lanterns will not be allowed.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Laughter Is the Best Medicine, But Don't Overdose

John le Carré wrote this descriptive line in his novel, The Night Manager.

“Madame Latulipe let out the peal of wild laughter that is the signature-tune of humourless people.”

I don't mean to suggest that a lack of humor is a character flaw. I look on it as merely a defect, like baldness or being color-blind. Where the character issue comes in is when a humor-challenged person tries to fake a fairly unfakeable human response.

From the Jon Stewart Show: "Hillary Showcases Her 'Humanity'"

Actually, these are not the best examples of Senator Clinton's odd laughter. In these clips she comes across more like those romantic-comedy film actresses from the early 1960s who get silly from too much champagne.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Morning in the Age of Absurd Stupidity

The above photo was taken at Detroit Metro Airport this morning, as reported at Atlas Shrugs. "Morning in the Age of Absurd Stupidity."


Speaking at Local Universities

Daniel Pipes
Wayne State University
  • Where: Bernath Auditorium, Undergraduate Library, 5155 Gullen Mall, Detroit
  • When: Monday, October 8, 2007, 1:00 PM
  • Topic: “The Threat to Israel’s Existence: Why It’s Back, What It Means”
  • Cost: None
  • Parking: Metered street parking and university permit lots. Pay garage at 41 Farnsworth St, Detroit (313) 832-7826.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Where: Auditorium 3, Modern Language Building (MLB), 812 E.Washington, Ann Arbor Monday, October 8, 2007, 8:00 PM
  • When: Monday, October 8, 2007, 8:00 PM
  • Topic: "Radical Islam and the War on Terror"
  • Cost: none for students, $10 for non-students
  • Parking: Metered street parking, and pay garage one block west at 324 Maynard St, Ann Arbor (734) 761-7235.
For both events:
  • Sponsors: StandWithUs, Bernard L. Maas Foundation
  • Co-sponsors: Israel Idea, Students For Israel, Zionist Organization of America
  • For more information: 248-538-8790

David Horowitz

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
October 22 - 26 during Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week
Mr. Horowitz will be speaking at the U-M event onTuesday, October 23
There is also a possibility he will have a debate with Juan Cole.
DU will post more details about time/place when available

Houssein Zorkot Correction

We got it wrong a couple weeks back when we predicted that CAIR-Michigan would come riding to the defense of Houssein Zorkot, the young Lebanese medical student who's been charged with three felonies arising from his deployment to Dearborn’s Hemlock Park with a loaded AK-47. Zorkot is an avid supporter of Hezbollah, and on the day he was arrested declared the beginning of his “personal jihad.”

But rather than coming to his support, neither CAIR, nor CAIR-Michigan, nor the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), (which supports Hezbollah), nor the Arab-American News, (which often apologizes for Hezbollah), have made any public mention of Zorkot at all. Maybe Osama Siblani at the Arab-American News just didn't think Zorkot's arrest was newsworthy, but he covered a much less significant local crime story that week that lacked any potential terrorist angle, or Muslim arrestee. ("Suspect taken into custody for attempted murder").

Zorkot appeared in court last Friday for a preliminary hearing. We thought we’d be there, too, hoping to get some more information about what went on that night. Aside from Zorkot’s father and a couple of boosters from the Dearborn Press & Guide, no one from the Muslim community showed up to give moral support to the suspect.

Zorkot’s attorney asked for additional time to investigate the facts of the case, and the court ordered a competency exam. The hearing was adjourned until November 9, so we still haven’t had a chance to hear what any of the evidence is.

Though we may have gotten our original prediction wrong about Muslim leaders' public response to all this, it’s still significant that there’s been utter silence from CAIR, especially from the local chapter’s interview-hungry director, Dawud Walid, who never tires of repeating accusations of Islamophobia wherever Muslim suspects are involved.

At this stage, I have to think the uncharacteristic quiet suggests just how serious the evidence against Zorkot really is.

The thing is, that thanks to concessions from federal and local law enforcement obtained shortly after 9/11, (see, for example, "1-800-DIG-THIS," and "London BRIDGES"), Muslim leaders get a first glimpse at any prominent criminal actions that might throw unwelcome light on domestic sympathies or cooperation with Islamic terrorism. Because of that, local Muslim wheels often know what police and prosecutors are up to well before the press and public do.

We’re fairly certain something like that went on here, because Zorkot’s arrest and arraignment were such a closely-held secret for days. Instead of following the usual sequence for this kind of arrest, that is, arrest-- followed by news reports of the arrest-- followed by the arraignment of the suspect--Zorkot was arrested on a Friday night and arraigned four days later before the city finally issued a press release later that day. The press release tried to excuse the delay as the result of officials’ fears that “announcing the arrest of an armed Arabic man so close to anniversary of the [9/11] attack would stir anti-Muslim sentiments and fan the flames of terrorism.”

The mayor and the cops then went out of their way to explain that none of the evidence of Zorkot’s deep committment to Hezbollah, jihad, and paramilitary training, (not to mention his purchase, on Day One of his “personal jihad,”of an AK-47), gave them any clues about what Zorkot’s motives were.

Then, when Police Chief Mike Celeski congratulated the eyewitnesses who reported Zorkot’s behavior to police, he said “If it weren't for their quick-thinking — and the actions of our officers — the situation could have quickly escalated.”

Jack O’Reilly said, “Given his actions, his behavior and the way he was dressed, I don't believe a $1 million bond is unreasonable. With any luck, it will keep him in jail until we're able to sort this out.”

All of which tells us that at least the police believed there was a “situation,” that it had the potential to escalate, and that Zorkot’s actions and behavior convinced officials the world was better off with Zorkot behind bars.

We also know that Zorkot's statements when he was arrested led to police obtaining a search warrant for his home, where they seized his laptop upon which, lo and behold, there were numerous Hezbollah-related photographs and other material.

We also know one of the three felonies Zorkot is charged with is carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent. That charge requires evidence that the “defendant carried a firearm or dangerous weapon with the intent to unlawfully use it against another person.” The kind of specificity called for in that language demands more than just being detained with a loaded weapon for no apparent reason, but actual intent to use it against somebody.

My guess is police know more about what Zorkot intended than they are admitting now, because Zorkot told them his intent by way of a statement or admission at the time of his arrest. I also think, though I'm less confident all the facts will come out, that the cops knew enough from what Zorkot said during his arrest to put together the two COMPLETELY UNRELATED concepts of "loaded AK-47 with unlawful intent" and "Hezbollah-supporting jihadist wesbite," at least sufficiently enough to get a search warrant.

I also think the area’s Muslim leaders were shown the prosecution’s case before the September 11 arraignment, to forewarn them not to prematurely rally to Zorkot as an emblem of police overreaction and Islamophobia--only to find themselves, when and if the facts ever come out, trying to defend a real, live terrorist that the public’s not going to sympathize with at all.

For right now, and until the rest of the evidence about Zorkot finally comes out, we can't speculate much further about what he was up to that night.

But as for CAIR, their motives aren’t so hard to read. They don’t like Zorkot and his case because he’s turning out to be the guy they spend all their time telling us doesn’t even exist--except in our fevered, Islamophobic imaginations.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad Meets with Friends in New York

According to Little Green Footballs, Monday’s visit from the Iranian president included a visit and speech to US Muslim leaders. “Ahmadinejad Meets With US Muslim Leaders - Media Yawn”.

Did you know that? I didn’t either.

I swear that during the day I heard updates about Ahmadinejad’s every move, starting with his landing in New York. And of course, those of us who follow news are all aware of his appearances at Columbia University, and his closed-circuit kiss-fest with the National Press Club.

Both of those appearances were notable for showing off the little president’s ability to lie, avoid questions, and make grown journalists giggle. No one seriously expected that he would display any of the substantive insanity which he makes with so freely when addressing audiences in the Middle East. And we were right, he didn’t. So far the most important thing he had to say was that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

Which makes an address to US Muslim leaders all the more important to cover. Some of us would like to know what he said, and to whom he said it, when he feels no need to lie about what he really thinks.

TSA and CAIR Agree on Profiling Exception

If your local TSA inspector has to decide if a female with a headscarf on is a Muslim, in order to obey the new rule exemtping that passenger from secondary screening, is that profiling? Or rather, isn't it reverse profiling?

Andrew Whitehead, director of the Anti-CAIR website, sends the following update explaining that this exact procedure is now policy, thanks to pressure from CAIR:

CAIR Calls for Profiling of Muslims in the United States.

On September 20, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington DC based Islamic terrorism supporting group, issued a press release titled “CAIR Welcomes TSA Policy Change on Islamic Scarf”.

From the article:

“Following discussions with community leaders of several faiths, including a representative of CAIR's Dallas-Fort Worth chapter, TSA officials have accepted a proposed modification to the August 4 policy. According to the updated policy, Muslim women who wear a head cover that is attached to the contour of the head, with no space between the scarf and the head, should not be subjected to a secondary screening. That style of cover is worn by the majority of Muslim women who wear scarves.”

In a radical departure from past positions, CAIR is now calling on government agents to profile Muslims…in order to provide them special rights denied to non-Muslims.

Additionally, CAIR has signaled its Islamist terrorist masters that Muslim women are now America’s newest privileged protected class and that they are now the perfect venue to smuggle unauthorized items aboard American airliners.

What could be the possible results of this latest appeasement of radical Islam?


- A piece of sharpened carbon fiber, form-fitted to the head and covered with a scarf.

- A plastic letter-opener secreted in the folds.

- Any number of items, such as malleable plastic explosives, that could be formed to the contours of the head.

Let’s not forget that there was time when the idea that an airliner could be taken over with a box cutter was laughable.

After 9-11, is anyone laughing?

Leaving aside the obvious security implications of this new policy, what about the rights of other travelers?

For instance:

- How will Mennonites, Jews, and other faiths that wear head-coverings react to the idea that they are to be subjected to searches that Muslims are excused from?

- The first amendment to the Constitution demands that all faiths be treated equally under the law; how does this square with government employees giving preferential treatment to Muslims?

- How will the airport inspectors determine someone is a Muslim? (Will they ask? Will Muslim travelers be provided a Muslim-only ID card? Will there be Muslim-only lines at the airport? We already have Muslim-only foot baths at some airports, is it really a stretch to call for Muslim-only lines?) Will they...dare we say it….”profile” Muslims?

The bottom line: CAIR is approving of the TSA PROFILING Muslim women!

How much more appeasement are we going to stand for before we realize that radical Islam is not only making us second-class citizens in our own country, but that we are tripping all over ourselves to help them do it?

CAIR and their terrorist masters must certainly see this turn of events as nothing more than another example of Americans surrendering to the fist of radical Islam.

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

"The freest women in the world are women in Iran.”--

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University

Fortunately, David Horowitz is organizing a response to the lies of this, and other, jihadist liars.

This announcement from FrontPage Magazine:

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

By 9/21/2007

Beginning on October 22, student groups across the nation will hold Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on their campuses. These protest weeks will feature a series of events designed to bring a message to these academic communities that challenges most of what students are taught about the so-called War on Terror both in the classroom and on the quad.

The Week’s events will include speeches about Islamo-Fascism by prominent figures, including former Senator Rick Santorum (Penn State, Temple and UPenn), Sean Hannity (Columbia), Ann Coulter (Tulane and USC), Dennis Prager (UC Santa Barbara), Robert Spencer (Brown, Dartmouth, University of Rhode Island, and DePaul), Daniel Pipes (Northeastern and UPenn), David Horowitz (Columbia, Emory, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin), Michael Ledeen (Maryland), Nonie Darwish (UCLA and Berkeley), Wafa Sultan (Stanford) and radio talk show hosts Melanie Morgan (San Francisco State), Michael Medved (University of Washington), Martha Zoeller (Georgia Tech), Alan Nathan (George Mason), Mark Larson (to be named) and many others.

A major theme of the Week will be the oppression of women in Islam. The photo accompanying this article, which shows a teenage girl buried before being stoned to death for alleged sexual offenses, will serve as the poster for the protest Week. The stoning took place in Iran.

The plight of Muslim women will be featured at “teach-in” panels and also at sit-ins in Women’s Studies Departments, designed to protest the absence of courses that focus on Islamic gynophobia. The silence of Women’s Studies departments in the face of this oppression is a national outrage. College students are offered the opportunity to study the “oppression” of women in Boston and Beverly Hills in hundreds of Women’s Studies courses across America. But there is not a single course we are aware of that addresses the real oppression of women in Teheran and Riyadh. In Saudi Arabia, to take one horrendous example, Saudi police recently shot to death schoolgirls who were fleeing a burning building without their veils. Better that they should be dead than seen. A pamphlet on the subject of women’s oppression in Islam, written by Robert Spencer and Phyllis Chesler will be distributed on campuses (and posted on Frontpage next week), along with a
petition protesting the campus blackout of this issue.

Many campuses will show the uncut version of the ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11, which has been suppressed by ABC under pressure from the Clintons in order to help Hilary’s presidential run. This is the most spectacular episode of political censorship in recent memory. It is also relatively unreported, although the Los Angeles Times carried an informative story which you can read
here. The Path to 9/11 was a film that cost $40 million to make and was seen by 28 million viewers, yet ABC has refused to release the DVD. Other films being shown during the Week are Obsession, Suicide Killers, Islam: What the West Needs to Know, Islam v. Islam and Chris Burgard’s Border.

The purpose of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is as simple as it is critical: to confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the "war on terror" and that global warming is a greater danger to Americans than global jihad and Islamic supremacism.

Nothing could be more politically incorrect than to point out these unpleasant facts. But nothing could be more important for American students to hear. In the face of the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted, the academic left has mobilized to create sympathy for the enemy and to fight anyone who rallies Americans to defend themselves.

Already, CAIR and the Muslim Students Association -- which are
fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas -- are planning to hold counter- demonstrations during the Week called “Peace Not Prejudice.” Since the Islamic radicals whom these organizations represent and defend are among the most prejudiced people on earth, and since their own sponsoring organizations, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, have declared a global war against the West, this can only be regarded as high-order satire. The Muslim Students Association is welcome to sign our petition denouncing Islamo-Fascism and defending the dignity of all individuals, infidels included. It can be accessed here.

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is a protest against the censorship that has come to America, and whose chief enforcer is the progressive left. Anyone who links Islamic radicalism to the terrorist campaigns that are being waged against America, Europe and Israel and against non-radical Muslims in places such as Darfur, is automatically labeled an “Islamophobe.” It is by this means that the enemy seeks to paralyze the defenses of its intended victims. The progressive left is the enabler and abettor of the terrorist jihad. It has forged an “
unholy alliance” with the most retrograde and reactionary forces in the world today. The institutional base of the left is the university system, from whose classrooms it is conducting a behind-the-lines psychological warfare campaign against its own countrymen and the democratic, secular and tolerant society they have created. It is time for Americans to rally in their own defense and answer the corrosive lies and libels whose goal is to sap their will to fight. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is the beginning of that answer and the first line of that defense.

David Horowitz

Students interested in organizing Islamo-Fascism Awareness Weeks on their campuses, and students seeking help obtaining speakers and literature should contact Information about Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, including petitions, pamphlets, information about films is available at A list of campuses holding events can be found
here. A calendar of events can be located here.

Radio talk show hosts willing to speak at their local campuses should contact

Monday, September 24, 2007

When War Is Necessary

The New York Times can’t stand it that there's a public-TV war documentary on that isn't centered on America losing.

In TV critic Alessandra Stanley's review of Ken Burns's "The War," ("What So Proudly We Hailed"), she complains, (on whose behalf it isn't clear), that

World War II didn’t happen just to us.

But it would be hard to glean that from Ken Burns’s 7-night, 15-hour tribute to the greatest generation that ever bought war bonds, joined the Marines or tightened rivets on a B-17 Flying Fortress.

I watched the first episode last night, and found this not to be the case at all.

The opening minutes of the documentary make very clear that, compared to the devastation the war visited on most other participating nations, America never suffered the destruction of her cities nor the high toll of civilian deaths, indeed, our mainland population was never really in danger of significant attack throughout the war. Even the staggering number of American combat deaths was much lower than those suffered by the other main participants in Europe, the USSR, and Japan.

Yet Stanley isn’t really unhappy that Burns’s series suggests that World War II happened only to us. She’s unhappy that, in delivering “almost everything viewers care to know about wartime America; [he’s] also telling that this is the only tale he wants to tell.”

“The war was necessary,” she writes, “but is this approach?”

Nothing in art is necessary. That's why it's a creative enterprise. And Ken Burns as a documentarian is nothing if not an artist. Why shouldn't he be free to use this approach to tell his tale?

Because obviously it’s not the tale Stanley wants him to tell. Too Americo-centric, and all. Stanley writes:

The tone and look of Mr. Burns’s series…is as elegiac and compelling as any of his previous works, but particularly now, as the conflict in Iraq unravels, this degree of insularity — at such length and detail — is disconcerting. Many a “Frontline” documentary has made a convincing case that the Bush administration’s mistakes were compounded by the blinkered thinking of leaders who rushed to war without sufficient support around the world or understanding of the religious and sectarian strains on the ground. Examining a global war from the perspective of only one belligerent is rarely a good idea.

Now we see. Burns’s mission, as a trusted PBS producer, is to adopt Frontline’s “case” against the Bush administration and the Iraq war. PBS has a duty because "Americans are growing more hidebound and parochial," unlike the way Americans were, say, in small towns in the early 1940s, when they went to war to serve the global community.

Ms. Stanley no doubt means to suggest that, if one is going to make a 15-hour documentary about World War II, it should at least be used to show how this administration’s war on terror and the prosecution of the war in Iraq are even greater failures than we already know them to be, when compared to the political and strategic decisionmaking of a Churchill, a Roosevelt, and of the Allied generals.

Yet I can't think of any historical treatment of the Second World War that portrays Allied responses to the Axis as examples of advanced planning, tight exit strategies, and unblinkered “understanding of the religious and sectarian strains on the ground.”

If anything,the opposite was the case. Just the first episode of Burns’s documentary describes tragic mistakes and disasters that--if judged by contemporary standards--would have ended Roosevelt’s administration and caused pitched rioting by members of the press.

First, Pearl Harbor was caught unprepared in spite of advanced warning that a major Japanese attack was being planned. Then the government withheld information about the number of dead and the extent of the damage to the fleet. Then the President ordered the internment of Japanese Americans living along the West Coast. Then the US Army in the Philippines was scandalously undersupplied, and finally abandoned to capture by a brutal enemy--leading to the deaths of thousands of servicemen. The British and American leaders argued about whether to attack the Third Reich first on the European Continent or in North Africa. (Burns didn't explore whether any Hollywood actresses made broadcasts plaintively asking Americans "What did the North Africans ever do to us?").

As for "insularity," the individual soldiers upon whom the documentary focuses don't even describe themselves as fighting for flag and country. The soldier caught in the Philippines tells about volunteering for that posting to avoid the war he expected against the Germans. After the Japanese attacked the Philippines he told about not knowing what to expect from the enemy army, about which they knew so little. When he saw his buddy bombed to bits in a slit trench and the pilot who’d just done it grinning, he had all the insight into the enemy he would need.

For today’s antiwar proponents, World War II should either be left alone or used as an object lesson to instruct on the wisdom of abstaining from all warmaking--the one lesson that cannot be drawn from World War II.

What makes World War II so formidable is that it really was a necessary war, and for the generation who fought it, both civilians and military, its necessity arose from the enormity of the enemy we faced, not from the cold, slow, deliberative weighing of the pros and cons safely guarding the nation from "rushing into war." World War II simply wasn’t a masterpiece of planning, nor the result of careful calculations, nor entailed a methodical assembling of Allies, nor had the benefit of a carefully worked out exit strategy, all of which then finally added up to an “unblinkered” concensus of political and military leaders that beating Hitler and Tojo was “doable.”

It was the result of there not being any choice but to fight. That’s what the word “necessary” means.

One doesn’t cavil about “political” or “military” solutions when the object of the fight is survival.

The Left doesn’t believe the war against Islamist fascism is necessary, because they themselves are blinkered as to the enormity of this enemy. They think that fighting jihadism is a matter of choice, and it's a stupid choice when one can just as easily dismiss the threat of terror states that don't threaten us directly every day. After all it isn't American women who are being executed by Ahmadinejad, or having their genitals mutilated in Sudan. They aren't American families being blown up in market squares by suicide bombers. In other words, it's a very insular view. Nothing else can explain the childish reaction by the media and the Left to the visit to New York by Ahmadinejad.

Burns said he began making "The War" before 9/11, and never had any purpose of using it to comment on the war on terror. (If he had been any other PBS producer with that attitude, he'd now be a former PBS producer). That means that he's letting World War II speak for itself. When that war speaks for itself tends to say that some evils are so irrational and deadly that they must simply be stamped out, whatever the cost.

I suppose that message, repeated at such length over so many nights, is why Ms. Stanley has to find something to dislike in this documentary. So she writes that “’The War’ gives generous voice to a wide variety of remarkable people, but they are all American voices.”

More likely, she just can't see the use of showing so many graphic photos of death and destruction where the bad guys are so unmistakably not the American military. If it shows us being the good guys, the documentary must be unbalanced, “insular,” or (GASP!) leaving someone out.

A well-produced and heavily-watched series like this can undo years of media brainwashing. Let's hope it does. We can use some help at this point.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sooner or Later, France Has to Revolt in the Right Direction

And you thought the whole word hated us, especially the French. (Or maybe it’s only that it's the the French whose good opinion the Left really yearns for.)

Alas, France’s new Foreign Minister, (successor to the duplicitous Dominique de Villepin, whose knife is still buried in Colin Powell’s back), “made news this week by warning that a failure to resolve mounting tensions with Iran could mean war.” (“Kouchner, French foreign minister, draws antiwar protesters in Washington”),

In response, Code Pink sent its delegation to the hotel ballroom Thursday where Kouchner was speaking to leap up and unfurl “pink banners that read: ‘Bush + Kouchner = Warmongers!’ One woman tried to climb onto the stage…. Guards escorted the protesters away as they shouted, ‘No war with Iran! No war with Iran!’”

I myself am looking forward to the outburst and arrests that I’m just certain Code Pink is going to stage next week during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s teach-in at Columbia University.

Anyway, it still puzzles the Left that Kouchner has taken such a hard position towards Iran. After all, as the International Herald Tribune explains, “Kouchner is a Socialist who joined the rightist government of President Nicolas Sarkozy and is also a founder of the Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian group Médecins sans Frontières.”

It was shocking that someone totally hip to the Socialist solution and founder of one of NPR’s favorite interview subjects (actually, Kouchner broke with MSF years ago over “the right to intervene and the use of armed force for humanitarian reasons.” should come out in favor of a military option in response to a military threat. How obnoxiously linear.

So right after Kouchner made his historic (dare we say revolutionary?) remarks about Iran’s looming belligerence and nuclear ambitions leading to a possible war, he felt pressure to backpedal. After the Code Pink demonstrators were removed on Thursday, Kouchner asked that they be allowed to return.

"But they are right," he told the crowd. As the chants continued from beyond the closed doors, he offered an undiplomatic, "But I agree, stupid!" drawing laughter. He directed the guards to let the protesters return….as the surprised members of the antiwar group Code Pink filed back into the room, Kouchner said, "I'm not in favor of war with Iran, I want to prevent the war - so they were right!"

He didn’t really think they were right, naturally, otherwise he would be stupid. When one of the reprieved Code Pinkos again started yelling about Iran, “he asked, ‘What do you propose?’ ‘Dialogue without sanctions,’ she replied. He laughed. ‘That's been done,’ he said. ‘This is not, let's say, a very strong position.’”

Which means, when translated from the French means, “alors, that’s très stupide, you want to get us all incinerated?”

What Kouchner means when he says he’s not in favor of war with Iran is that, he hopes it can be resolved short of that, without France having to surrender its sovereignty to an insane Islamic nuclear terror state. In other words, his position matches the American position exactly: let’s work this out diplomatically if we can, but we aren’t going to commit suicide:

Underscoring the changed U.S.-French dynamic, Bush warned Friday that the free world was "not going to tolerate" a nuclear-armed Iran. In Paris, Sarkozy said he favored stronger UN sanctions, which were discussed Friday at multi-nation talks in Washington.

Of all the world's problems, Kouchner said Thursday, Iran posed "the crisis the most pregnant with threats."

"Without exaggeration," he said to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "I would say that our responses to this situation today will shape the world in which we live tomorrow."

A nuclear-armed Iran, he said, was "unacceptable." And repeated good-faith efforts by the West to engage with Tehran, he said, had been rebuffed.

"To those who say that we should handle Iran with kid gloves since it could destabilize the region, I say this: Look at its adventurism today and imagine what it would be like if Tehran thought itself one day protected by a nuclear umbrella."

The United States, Russia, China and their European partners need to pursue dialogue with Iran, "while keeping our heads cool, as far as we can go," Kouchner said in his speech. But "dialogue without sanctions is unfortunately tantamount to weakness."

We already know that when Kouchner says “sanctions,” he means to include “war.” His position tracks exactly with the Bush insistence that, where Iran and its nuclear programs are concerned, we can’t take the military option off the table.

Maureen Dowd once intemperately conferred on Cindy Sheehan “absolute moral authority” to pass judgment on the Iraq war because she had buried a child killed there, which makes as much sense as saying that a mother who buried a child killed in a traffic accident has the right to tell the nation to stop driving cars. (“Why No Tea and Sympathy?”).

Kouchner’s authority is not absolute, but it’s pretty strong, considering that he is reaching back, in my opinion, to the disastrous foreign policy of his childhood, when France was overrun by Germany after years of unmistakeable indicators of what Hitler’s intentions were.

According to Militant Islam Monitor Kouchner was a Communist very early on. Though he wasn’t born until 1939, he would have known all about how Hitler’s early breaches of treaties against German rearmament were met by French unwillingness to strengthen its own military to meet the threat. The Communists played an important role in that defeat, out of loyalty to Stalin, who had made the agreement with Ribbentrop to divide up Poland:

From the moment when Stalin made terms with Hitler, the Communists in France took their cue from Moscow and denounced the war as ‘an imperialist and capitalist crime against democracy.’ They did what they could to undermine morale in the Army and impede production in the workshops. The morale of France, both of her soldiers and her people, was now in May [1940] markedly lower than at the outbreak of war.”

France fell to Hitler a month later.

Pacifism played the same deadly role in Great Britain, where even Hitler’s defiant withdrawal of Germany from the League of Nations left the “pacifism of the Labour and Liberal parties” unaffected: “Both continued in the name of peace to urge British disarmament, and anyone who differed was called "warmonger" and "scaremonger."

According to Churchill, Hitler’s threatening moves after 1933 from time to time resulted in League of Nations votes and protests, but “how vain was all their voting without the readiness of any single Power or any group of Powers to contemplate the use of force, even in the last resort!....All [Hitler’s] terrible superiority had grown up because at no moment had the once victorious Allies dared to take any effective step, even when they were all-powerful, to resist repeated aggressions by Hitler and breaches of the Treaties.”

I don’t care at this point if Kouchner is a Socialist. He and Sarkozy both recognize the threat of a nuclear Iran, and a spreading Islamism in Europe. A minority of likeminded people are also waking up in Germany, in Holland, in Denmark, and in Great Britain. Spending his first years in the Third Reich may have given Kouchner insight into the kind of terms insane dictators are more than willing to impose on lovers of diplomacy and appeasement.

All I know is, France’s new found rationality is a welcome development, even if it comes late.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Harry Reid's Quagmire

According to the New York Times this Thursday night, “A proposal to cut off money for military operations in Iraq fell far short in the Senate this afternoon, a day after Democrats lost their best chance of changing the course of the war.” (“Bid to Cut Off Iraq War Funding Fails”).

Perhaps the Democratic desire to lose battles becomes a habit. The Russ Feingold-Harry Reid resolution to cut off funding, Vietnam-style, for the Iraq war, was body-slammed in the Democrat-controlled Senate by a vote of 70-28.

The New York Times admits the bid “failed,” but tries to blame the loss as the failure to cut off the Republican filibuster, thus:

Legislation sponsored by Senators Russell D. Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who has been one of the fiercest critics of the Bush administration’s war policy, and Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, received only 28 “yes” votes, 32 fewer than needed to cut off a Republican filibuster.

“A majority of the House and a majority of the Senate want to change the direction of the war in Iraq,” Mr. Reid said in a meeting with reporters beforehand. “We have voted accordingly on more than one occasion, in fact on many occasions. But the House having done their job, they come to the Senate and the Senate Republicans, the vast majority of them will not allow us to change the direction of the war in Iraq.”

The vast majority of Republicans? In order to get a 70-28 trouncing, more than a vast majority of Republicans have to vote “nay.”

Is it time yet for Reid to admit that his misguided mission to force American defeat in Iraq has failed, that he and the Democrats have lost, and they need to withdraw immediately?

Ahmadinejad at Columbia U.

This by Bill Kristol at The Weekly Standard:

Columbia University: Ahmadinejad Yes, ROTC No
Lee Bollinger's choice.

by William Kristol 09/20/2007 11:13:00 AM

TWO DAYS AGO, Columbia University announced that next Monday, September 24, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will speak and participate in a question and answer session with university faculty and students at Columbia. According to the university statement, "This opportunity for faculty and students to engage the President of Iran came about after Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee at the Iranian Mission to the United Nations initiated contact with Columbia through a member of the faculty, Richard Bulliet, who is a specialist on Iran."

So at the request of the Iranian government, Columbia University will host the president of a terrorist regime which is right now responsible for the deaths of American soldiers on the field of battle. Indeed, this distinguished guest, who is so honoring Columbia by his presence, will be introduced by no one less than the president of Columbia, Lee Bollinger.

But not to worry: "President Bollinger will introduce the event by challenging President Ahmadinejad on a number of his controversial statements and his government's policies."

Indeed, Bollinger manfully proclaimed in the university statement: "I also wanted to be sure the Iranians understood that I would myself introduce the event with a series of sharp challenges to the President on issues including:

* the Iranian President's denial of the Holocaust;

* his public call for the destruction of the state of Israel;

* his reported support for international terrorism that targets innocent civilians and American troops;

* Iran's pursuit of nuclear ambitions in opposition to international sanction;

* his government's widely documented suppression of civil society and particularly of women's rights; and

* his government's imprisoning of journalists and scholars, including one of Columbia's own alumni, Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh."

One can imagine President Ahmadinejad nervously preparing for President Bollinger's "sharp challenges," and wondering whether those challenges will detract from the propaganda victory Bollinger's invitation has given him. He's undoubtedly concluded it won't be a big problem.

It should go without saying that the appropriate thing to do, when the Iranian ambassador called Columbia, would have been to say: No thanks. Or just, No. But that would be to expect too much of one of today's Ivy League university presidents.

In fact, the introduction with "sharp challenges" by Bollinger makes the situation even more of a disgrace. Now there will be the appearance of real dialogue, of Ahmadinejad answering challenges, which further legitimizes the notion that Holocaust denial, say, is a subject of legitimate and reasonable debate.

But if Bollinger had chosen to deny Ahmadinejad's request, or not to dignify Ahmadinejad's appearance by his presence--then Bollinger would have been denied the opportunity to lecture us, in Columbia's press release, to this effect: "It is a critical premise of freedom of speech that we do not honor the dishonorable when we open the public forum to their voices. To hold otherwise would make vigorous debate impossible. That such a forum could not take place on a university campus in Iran today sharpens the point of what we do here....This is America at its best."

Actually, this is a liberal university president at his stupidest. As Powerline's Scott Johnson put it, "Columbia's prattle about free speech may be a tale told by an idiot, but it signifies something. And President Bollinger is a fool who is not excused from the dishonor he brings to his institution and his fellow citizens by the fact that he doesn't know what he is doing."

Meanwhile: As Columbia welcomes Ahmadinejad to campus, Columbia students who want to serve their country cannot enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at Columbia. Columbia students who want to enroll in ROTC must travel to other universities to fulfill their obligations. ROTC has been banned from the Columbia campus since 1969. In 2003, a majority of polled Columbia students supported reinstating ROTC on campus. But in 2005, when the Columbia faculty senate debated the issue, President Bollinger joined the opponents in defeating the effort to invite ROTC back on campus.

A perfect synecdoche for too much of American higher education: they are friendlier to Ahmadinejad than to the U.S. military.
--William Kristol

© Copyright 2007, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.

Diversity is Bollinger's speciality. When he was president of the University of Michigan, affirmative action proponents praised him for the "aggressive and successful defense of campus diversity on its educational merits [that] brought him to the national stage." ("U-M suits have a victor: Bollinger").

Just months into his administration UM was faced with two now-famous two affirmative-action lawsuits, one each against the undergraduate and the law school, challenging the university's use of race as a factor in admissions. Crowed the advocates of quotas: "Bollinger, a lawyer and former U-M law school dean, decided on a strategy to defend the university. U-M would take the approach that students of all races learned more on a campus that had a diverse student body."

Now Columbia students will get the opportunity to learn more from a campus that welcomes a Holocaust-denying psychopath to blabber and lie about world events.

Lebanon Not Deterred by Murder of MP Assassination

From Ya Libnan:

The killers will not succed; Lebanon vows to move on

Thursday, 20 September, 2007 @ 8:23 PM

Beirut - Antoine Ghanem fell victim as the eighth political assassination in Lebanon since February 2005. Lebanon's pro-Western government says it is determined to hold a presidential election, despite the latest assassination.

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the killers of MP Antoine Ghanim would not be allowed to succeed in their aims.

Syria has been accused of being behind the killing, but it denies involvement.

MPs are due to choose a new president next week. The killings of several anti-Syrian figures has left Lebanon's government with only a slim majority.

Banks, schools and government offices have been closed in Lebanon, as the country mourns Mr Ghanim, of the Maronite Phalange party.

The education ministry said schools and universities would remain closed again on Friday, when a funeral would be held.

Mr Ghanim died with at least six others in a car bombing in the mainly Christian Sin al-Fil district on Wednesday.

Mr Siniora said on Thursday: "The hand of terror will not win and will not succeed in subduing us and silencing us.

"The Lebanese will not retreat and will have a new president elected by lawmakers, no matter how big the conspiracy was."

He has called for a UN investigation into the assassination of Mr Ghanim, who had returned to Beirut just a few days before his death to take part in next week's vote.

Lebanon is poised to choose a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud.

The country has been mired in an ongoing political crisis, with a deadlock between pro- and anti-Syrian factions in parliament.

'Hand of terror'
Syria said it had no involvement in the attack, calling it a "criminal act" that undermined hopes for Lebanese national reconciliation.

But some Lebanese politicians were quick to blame Damascus for the blast.

Saad Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri, a former prime minister who was assassinated in a bomb attack in 2005, said responsibility lay with the "cowardly regime" of Syria.

Even pro-Syrian Mr Lahoud said it was no coincidence someone was killed whenever there were positive developments in Lebanon.

US President George W Bush denounced the "horrific assassination", which he described as attempts by Syria and Lebanon to destabilise Lebanon.

The attack has also been criticised by the UK, the EU, Russia, China, France and Italy.

Six other leading figures in Lebanon's anti-Syria movement have been killed since Rafik Hariri's assassination in 2005.

Lebanese Assassinations
Feb 2005: Ex-PM Rafik Hariri

Feb 2005: MP Bassel Fleihan
June 2005: Anti-Syria journalist Samir Kassir
June 2005: Ex-Communist leader George Hawi
Dec 2005: Anti-Syria MP Gebran Tueni
Nov 2006: Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel
June 2007: Anti-Syria MP Walid Eido
Sep 2007: Anti-Syria MP Antoine Ghanim

'Why Did FDR Invade North Africa?'

James Lewis at American Thinker asks a good question in Why Did FDR Invade North Africa?. He helps shed some light on one of the more irksome oversimplifications of the antiwar Left.

After the "day that will live in infamy" FDR's first land attack took place in Morocco and Algeria, then French colonies, in alliance with the British.

Why? Morocco is about as far from Pearl as you can get. Why punish the poor North Africans for what the Japanese did to us? Well, FDR understood the enemy, and so did the American people. It wasn't just Tojo who attacked the US on December 7, 1941. It was the Axis imperial alliance -- Germany, Japan and Italy. They were bent on world conquest, had already conquered most of Europe, and had to be stopped at a time and place of our choosing.

Read the rest of it here.

September 17, 2007
Why Did FDR Invade North Africa?
By James Lewis
One of the clichéd questions of the Left is "Why did Bush invade Iraq? We were attacked by Saudi Arabians on 9/11!" Or so goes the customary narrative.
This mantra is supposed to expose President Bush's stupidity. But in fact The Question reveals the asker's own clueless blunder about war and strategy. The proper answer is to point to other presidents and other wars. Like FDR after Pearl Harbor.

After the "day that will live in infamy" FDR's first land attack took place in Morocco and Algeria, then French colonies, in alliance with the British.

Why? Morocco is about as far from Pearl as you can get. Why punish the poor North Africans for what the Japanese did to us? Well, FDR understood the enemy, and so did the American people. It wasn't just Tojo who attacked the US on December 7, 1941. It was the Axis imperial alliance -- Germany, Japan and Italy. They were bent on world conquest, had already conquered most of Europe, and had to be stopped at a time and place of our choosing.

So our first land attack came in North Africa, not the Pacific. It was the other side of the world. We fought Rommel in the desert, along with the British Army and the Free French, cut off his supplies by sea, and step-by-step drove the Germans and Italians back across Sicily and Italy.

Meanwhile the US Navy and Marines beat the Japanese at sea in the Pacific, and started a heroic and bloody island-by-island conquest of the Philippines, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and all the rest.

In the upshot, the Allies invaded France before we finally reached Japan. So by the "logic" of our friends on the Left, FDR attacked all the wrong places and all the wrong people -- the Germans and Italians (who only fought back once we attacked), not the Japanese who assaulted us at Pearl.

Our highbrow strategists on the Left must believe that FDR should have just done a tit-for-tat for the attack on Hawaii, avenged two thousand plus American lives, and the war would have been over in six months. Which is a load of nonsense, of course, because the Japanese, the Germans and Italians, were long-term, world-wide, imperialist fanatics.

So are the Islamic fascists.

(It may be true that the Italians did not generally fight fanatically in WWII, but in the previous world war their courage and sacrifices were awesome, just like the French in WW I. When FDR went to war two decades later, therefore, he could not know with certainty how the Italians would fight. He could not even know that Pétainist France would stay out of the battle against us. But there was no doubt that we were facing a fiercely dangerous enemy engaged in long-term world conquest -- just like the ones we face today.)

FDR understood that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was not an isolated incident, just as President Bush understood that the attack on America on 9/11 was not an isolated event. The liberals still don't get that. They who woke up on the morning of September 11, 2001 -- and promptly went back to sleep the day after that. None so blind as will not see.

Al Quaida (and the Khomeini cult) are mujahedeen in the martyrdom tradition of Islamic conquest, willing to commit suicide to bring the world back to the "purity" of a 7th century desert patriarchy. It was violent jihad that spread Islam with amazing speed in the two centuries after Mohammed, racing from small towns in Arabia to conquer swaths of Byzantium, Persia, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, the Indian subcontinent, North Africa and even the Iberian Peninsula. The message to each new target was the same: submit or die. That is still the message of violent jihad today.

There is a reason for the US invasion of Iraq, just as the Left suspects -- but it's not what they think. And it's not a secret, but a strategy President Bush has spelled out many times. Since the media turns a blind eye to our strategic reasoning, it still bears repeating: Our forces overthrew Saddam in part to create a killing field to draw terrorists. We could not possibly invade every place where Al Qaida has converts -- they are in most countries in the world, including Britain and Pakistan. We did not want to wait for another attack in the United States, where every elementary school and corner gas station is a target. So we took the next best option of attacking in their home territory, provoking tens of thousands of jihadis to flock to us.

Al Qaida is being systematically killed and humiliated even now, both by Coalition forces, by Sunni tribes who have finally revolted against them, and by the Shia-dominated elected government and its Iraqi Army. If we beat Al Qaida over there, they will have a bloody nose for a long, long time to come. And we will be setting back the Iranian looney tunes more than ever before. For human civilization, it would be a great win. If we can do it.

Both North Africa and Iraq were historic gambles. If we had lost in the desert against Rommel, Britain might now be a Nazi province. Europe might be governed by Hitlerites, perhaps in alliance with a Stalinist Russian Empire, and all the nukes over there would be pointing at us. China would be Japanese territory, along with Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, and perhaps India -- the whole Japanese Imperial Co-Prosperity Sphere. And all their nukes would also be pointing our way. The Axis Powers came within half a decade of developing nukes, and they had also cruise missiles and long-range bombers. Allied victory was not a foreordained conclusion, any more than victory in Iraq is today.

Iraq has meant painful learning for Coalition forces. Lincoln had his learning curve, and so did FDR.

But our troops have shown that America isn't ready for the dust-bin yet. Without them other Americans could not live in safety; nor could the ingrate Europeans; nor would the Middle East escape unscathed. They all depend upon our emerging victorious. That's the result of being the major civilized power in the world. We either live with that or accept the alternative.

Our domestic politics has been a kindergarten game by comparison to the work the military have done, day in and out. The little kids are constantly yelling "Are we there yet?" with all the shrill self-centered ignorance of the Boomer Left.

We are now seeing progress. We also have the historic privilege of watching Americans and allies of great character, strength, intelligence and courage, doing the toughest job in the world, in a way that is as civilized as humanly possible. But we will never see our fighters through our twisted media culture -- only by the good fortune of embedded combat reporters, all volunteers, and without the support of the big media.

So the next time somebody asks you why we are in Iraq, you might want to ask what FDR would have done. Don't expect a thoughtful answer. Yet FDR is still a Hero of the Left, and that question bears repeating until they start to think.

Six years after 9/11, half the country still can't figure out what all the fuss is about. It's important to remind them.

James Lewis blogs at

Census Stats Reveal Marriage Precedes 100% of Divorces

USA Today reports that the threat of getting divorced “persists throughout marriage.”

This coincides nicely with an observation by G.K. Chesterton, that “The most dangerous thing in the world is to be alive; one is always in danger of one’s life.”

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mayor Kilpatrick's Growing Troubles Only Strengthen His Faith

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick says he wants to
shelve questions about his personal life so he can focus on rebuilding Detroit
while his lawyers appeal his defeat in a whistle-blower case.”

(Sunday Free Press,

Lawsuit alleges mayoral infidelity”).

Yet following on the heels of the $6.5 million dollar judgment against the mayor and the city is a second whistleblower lawsuit, also making an issue of his personal life, including how he bawled out his bodyguard for not "beating down" an NBA player who tried to get hands-on with Kwame's "Chief of Staff," Christine Beatty.

Facing all this, it’s a fortunate thing for the city that the mayor, who calls himself “God’s guy,” feels with all his heart and soul that God “anointed” him to be mayor of Detroit, and that something “bad would happen” to him if he ever “walked away from this blessing.” ("MAYOR VS. THE VERDICT: Kilpatrick brought the decision on himself, juror says”).

That's also why, as a man of faith, all this persecution just makes him stronger.

Surfing the radio Sunday morning for something inspirational, we ran across a live broadcast from one of Detroit’s more successful churches, and who else but God’s Guy himself was in the pulpit delivering the message to an extremely supportive congregation.

An excerpted transcript can give you some idea of just why it's going to take a miracle to remove Kwame Kilpatrick from the Manoogian Mansion.

…[Sounds of a large, spirited congregation in a cavernous space]

MAYOR: I’m here to tell you brothers and sisters….

CONGREGANT.: [Go ahead!]

MAYOR: …that as God’s guy here in this city, if I must suffer the slings and the arrows of persecution, slanders, lies, maledictions and kangaroo courts [Shame!] you won’t hear one word of complaint or self-pity out of me. [Never!] Because I’m God’s man, I can take it. Haven’t I got big, strong, broad shoulders?


MAYOR: And didn’t they do this to Moses, to Elijah, to King David, and even to Mayor Young? So I’ve gotta take it for the sake of the black men in this city so they can know the outcome of this case sends a dangerous message. And that message is…” [Tell it!] …I say that message is, well…

[The message! The message! ]

MAYOR: …So did I mention that I brought the Super Bowl to the City of Detroit?

CONG: [Glory!]

MAYOR: Then the hotel development, the street development, the new houses, the property tax cut, the balancing of a $300-million shortfall when everybody said it was over for us.

FEMALE CONG.: [Hah! Why don't they sue you for that!]

MAYOR: And now all this no-account lying about some kinda woman in a mink coat! What’d I do, anyway? Yes, brothers, I encountered a poor waif late one winter night, her hand clutching her coat against the biting winter wind.

CONG.: [Lord, it was cold!]

MAYOR: And yes, sisters, as a man of God, do you think I was going to forget about all those precious Sunday School lessons at my mother's knee…

CONG.: [Not right now!]

MAYOR: …which is why, when I saw that she was naked [Have mercy!] I visited her--and she took me in!

CONGREGANTS: [It’s in the book!] [Says right here!]
ORGANIST: [Sound of Hammond B3 quoting first two bars of “Devil With a Blue Dress.”]

MAYOR: And all these false witnesses jabbering about me visiting my own chief of staff alone in her home unsupervised while her husband was away, alone by herself and groaning beneath a load of care because she’d just been pulled over for "speeding" and harassed by police IN SPITE OF WHO SHE WAS--which--as you may recall I mentioned at the time, was the biggest piece of crap I'd ever heard

CONG.: [That’s all it was!]

MAYOR: Now HOW could I hold my head up to my God or his voters in this city if I should refuse to comfort, console, take pity on, or even lay blessing hands upon my own trusted aide and Girl Friday in her time of loneliness and need?

CONG.: [I wouldn't try it!]

MAYOR: You see standing before you a guy who has never been in trouble. Got pretty good grades. Graduated with honors from college. Graduated law school. Only freshman legislator to chair a committee. Leader of the state House. Became the mayor of the City of Detroit.

And all of a sudden, on the whisper, or word of one person, he's turned into a thuggish, promiscuous, sexual animal almost.

I just think it's a dangerous thing, when you can just say this is who he is, and that's it.

CONG.: [Not even a fair trial!]

MAYOR: And did I mention the Super Bowl?

CONG.: [Well…?]

MAYOR: Brothers and sisters, I stand before you today in God’s house, unashamed, and undeterred, and willing to incur whatever it costs to fight these scurrilous lies all the way to the Super Bowl!--I mean the Supreme Court!

CONG.: [Thank you! Thank you!]

MAYOR: And I’m here today to tell you that I believe with all of my heart and my soul that God anointed me to do this. And I believe something bad would happen to me if I walked away from this blessing.

CONG.: [Don’t you dare move!]

MAYOR: I’m here to tell you that if I walked away, there’s no Executive Protection Force that could protect Kwame Kilpatrick from that strong beat-down of divi-i-i-ine judgment.

CONG.: [Look out!]

MAYOR: And that goes double when you got guys like those backstabbing, jaw-flapping cops Nelthorpe and Harris bodyguarding you!

ORGANIST: [Quotes last bar of "Backstabbers"]

MAYOR: So, in closing, as your anointed mayor, as Carlita’s husband, and as the man who brought you the Super Bowl, Kwame Kilpatrick's message is this: move Detroit forward, keep on believing in God’s guy for the city, (that's ME) and do like I do and don’t ever tempt God by walking away from a blessing when it’s standing there grinning at you. This I will never do, so help me God. Amen.

CONG.: [Amen! Amen! Hallelujah!]

Sunday's offering broke every record.

How the Press & Guide Does 'Fair and Balanced'

We’re all for fair and balanced reporting here, but give us a break.

Sunday’s Dearborn Press & Guide ran an updated version of its Wednesday breaking news story on the arrest and arraignment of Houssein Zorkot, the man whose “personal jhad” commenced a week ago Friday when he deployed at Dearborn’s Hemlock Park with his just-purchased, and loaded, AK-47. Zorkot is now continuing his personal jihad in jail with a million-dollar bond. ("Man with AK-47 nabbed at Hemlock Park").

As much information as Mayor Jack O’Reilly’s office and law enforcement had been willing to release (the mayor and the police sat on this story for four days, finally issuing a press release only after Zorkot was arraigned in open court on Tuesday), the Press & Guide duly reported.

This in itself was a pleasant surprise from the Press & Guide, which has a firm editorial policy of avoiding publication of news or commentary critical of Dearborn’s Muslim population.

Nonetheless, when the Press & Guide ran this story on Wednesday as breaking news, ("Man with AK-47 assault rifle arrested after leaving Dearborn's Hemlock"), it seemed to play the facts straight, though it failed to mention Zorkot's Hezbollah sympathies. In fairness, reporter Sean Delaney may not have had that information yet. But his coverage was more useful than the 130 words the Detroit Free Press gave it in their “News Briefs” section, (though Zorkot and his AK did get higher billing than the disbanding of Grosse Ile’s community theater).

But after the Hezbollah connection became undeniable, when Sean Delaney updated his Press & Guide article later in the week, the familiar reluctance of Dearborn's major newspaper to report hard facts about jihadist influence in Dearborn reappeared.

As Delaney reported, after police obtained a search warrant for Zorkot’s home,

“a laptop computer and several pictures were seized.

“According to Mayor Jack O'Reilly, several of the pictures were taken during a recent trip by Zorkot to Lebanon, and featured him standing in front of pro-Hezbollah billboards.”

By the time this appeared, we didn’t need Mayor O’Reilly to tell us about Zorkot's pictures of Lebanon, because Zorkot has a website we all visited, and the pictures posted there are probably the same ones. Looking at them, it is impossible to conclude anything else than that Zorkot is committed to Hezbollah, its mission, and its point of view on jihad.

Delaney also reported O’Reilly saying, “These pictures alone are not enough to connect him to Hezbollah, but his Web site suggests that he does have an affinity for the group.”

That’s when Delaney decides he needs to provides his readers with the following context:

"Hezbollah has been designated as a terrorist group by at least six countries, including the United States. In Lebanon, it represents one of the country's two major political parties.

"The group allegedly has been involved in numerous paramilitary activities, including a war between Lebanon and Israel in 2006.

"While Hezbollah is viewed as a terrorist threat by several nations, others regard the group as a resistance movement."

Now, some folks may think O’Reilly is being too kind because he won't come out and say the pictures "connect" Zorkot to Hezbollah. I happen to believe he is saying as much as he can, considering that the police and the prosecutor’s office have a very strict procedural course to follow in proving a case against Zorkot, that is, they're going to have to support all their charges with facts and evidence, and do it in careful obedience to due process and the rule of law. Officials shooting their mouths off before investigations are complete, and before Zorkot’s gotten his due process in court, is not the way to ensure maximum criminal penalties against a clearly dangerous man.

He is entitled, in other words, to his day in court to defend against the charges stemming from he did or didn’t do that night in Hemlock Park.

But Hezbollah is not entitled to its day in court. Hezbollah is not entitled to zealous advocacy that it is "not guilty" of terrorism, especialy advocacy from Dearborn's local newspaper.

Delaney’s need to provide balancing arguments to the overwhelming evidence of Hezbollah’s deserved reputation as a murderous terrorist organization is coming from who-knows-where. Hezbollah is not one of two political parties in Lebanon, like the Republicans or Democrats, but one of many; nor is it a home-grown party, as it has been well-demonstrated to be a creature of the Iranian revolution and a puppet of the Syrians.

And can Delaney seriously believe Hezbollah’s involvement in last year’s war against Israel has only been “alleged”? (“The United States Congress, angered over what some believe was Imperial Japan’s alleged involvement in the bombing attack on Pearl Harbor, declared war today…”).

And how is it that Delaney’s remark that “Hezbollah is viewed as a terrorist threat by several nations” seems so oddly familiar just now?


For Delaney to make room for this kind of thing is not balanced reporting, because it's got nothing to do with facts. It's either advocacy, or else just a wrongheaded fastidiousness about hurting the feelings of Hezbollah-supporters who read the Press & Guide.

Regardless of whether it’s motivated by fear of angry visits to the editor’s office from CAIR , or genuine partiality to the “Hezbollah is a resistance movement” credo, Hezbollah does not deserve this kind of benefit of the doubt.