Saturday, August 31, 2002

The Islamization of Bethlehem by Arafat.

And elsewhere in Arafat-land: A Palestinian Moslem mob – including the Palestinian Authority's Bashir Naafeh Special Force – assaulted Ramallah Christians between January 31-February 1, 2002. Read more.

A 30 year-old divorcee, Amina Lawal, has been sentenced to be stoned to death in Katsina state, northern Nigeria. Some residents in her town of Funtua reported the case to the police when they discovered that Miss Lawal was pregnant.
She confessed to police that she had had a relationship with a man for 10 months. However, he was acquitted as he denies having had sex with her. Under Islamic law there must be four adult male Muslim witnesses in an offence that can lead to a death sentence. (This, incidentally, is why there are so few rape convictions in Islam. The victim will be punished instead, as she has admitted having sex.)
Her sentence will be carried out after Miss Lawal has weaned her eight-month baby girl, Wasila.
SAVE Amina Lawal

Read about the persecuted Christians of Egypt, the Copts:
President Sadat was successful in establishing a peace treaty with Israel. However, in his struggle for power against the Nasserite factions, he encouraged the militant Islamic groups in Egypt. In the 1980s, the militant fundamentalist Islamic movement resurgence was accompanied by renewed and escalated assaults on the Copts in Egypt. The Militants instigated several violent episodes against the Copts and western tourists, attacked, sacked and burned churches and Coptic businesses. G. Kepel in his study of Muslim extremism in Egypt indicated that the Militants financed the assassination of President Sadat using gold robbed from Coptic-owned goldsmith stores. On the political side, the Islamic Militant groups called for changing the laws from the civil laws to the Islamic code or Sharia. Their claim is that the return to Sharia provides a solution instead of the western approach of democracy and free enterprise. It would return the Islamic countries to the glory of the medieval age Islamic Empires. However, the return to the Islamic code essentially deprives the non-Muslims including the Copts from equal rights as compared with the Muslims and subjects them to formal discrimination. In the 1990's attacks on Churches, property and businesses of the Copts have been on the increase. Abduction of young Coptic girls and forced Islamization increased. Pogroms have been frequent lately. In the early days of the year 2000 a pogrom was initiated by the militants Islamic groups resulted in the murder of about 21 Copts, and the destruction of many Coptic homes, businesses and a Church in the village of Al Kosheh in Southern Egypt. Similar incidents and persecution continues. Even obtaining permits to build or maintain churches is getting a lot more difficult.

Friday, August 30, 2002

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler deconstructs an idiot.
Number 1 reason it sucks to be a Saudi Arabian camel.
Spotted at Aaron's Rantblog.
Bet this has been keeping you up nights....Why Stupid People Don't Realize They Are Stupid.
An excerpt (you know I can resist)
These shards of empirical evidence suggest that incompetent individuals have more difficulty recognizing their true level of ability than do more competent individuals and that a lack of metacognitive skills may underlie this deficiency. Thus, we made four specific predictions about the links between competence, metacognitive ability, and inflated self-assessment.

Prediction 1. Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria.

Prediction 2. Incompetent individuals will suffer from deficient metacognitive skills, in that they will be less able than their more competent peers to recognize competence when they see it–be it their own or anyone else's.

Prediction 3. Incompetent individuals will be less able than their more competent peers to gain insight into their true level of performance by means of social comparison information. In particular, because of their difficulty recognizing competence in others, incompetent individuals will be unable to use information about the choices and performances of others to form more accurate impressions of their own ability.

Prediction 4. The incompetent can gain insight about their shortcomings, but this comes (paradoxically) by making them more competent, thus providing them the metacognitive skills necessary to be able to realize that they have performed poorly.

"I believe a person can't learn-- isn't open to new knowledge-- if they already think they know it all, or have a good grasp of the subject. If you go around thinking "I can do better, I can work a little harder and understand more," (as my A students nearly always do) then you will learn more, and thus be more competent.
If, on the other hand, you go around thinking, "I already know this stuff. I'm pretty good at it," then you will be less likely to open your mind to really learning the material. It takes effort to learn, and if you already have a good grasp of the subject, why spend more time on it?
I think one can predict failure based on attitude more than aptitude."

Another comment from Liz: "What about all these people proclaiming doom and disaster with an Iraq invasion? They've been wrong before. It could be that their incompetence comes from not knowing anything about the military...Brent Scowcroft is the only naysayer who I can think of that has some experience. And he had plenty of experience being wrong. Perhaps they don't realize their own imcompetence precisely because they are so bereft of military experience."

PROPAGANDA LIBERATION ORGANIZATION - go thee and read this NYPost editorial about the Palestinian propaganda apparatus:
On Monday, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate forbade its members - many of whom work for foreign news outlets, including U.S. newspapers and TV networks - from taking photos of Palestinian children carrying weapons.

Said the union: "This represents a flagrant violation of the rights of children and these pictures reflect negatively on the image of Palestine in the international media" and "serves Israel . . . against our just cause."

That's a remarkable statement.

For one thing, it makes abundantly clear that these so-called journalists, who are the link between Western reporters and the Palestinian Authority, are little more than paid propagandists...

The Palestinian leadership has never hesitated to manipulate the world media by staging incidents so as to create images that will elicit sympathy for their cause.

And they've taken steps before to suppress images that tell uncomfortable truths about Palestinian society.

In 2000, for example, an Italian correspondent was forced to return home after she was threatened for filming the bloody lynching of two Israeli soldiers by a Palestinian mob in Ramallah...

But what really gets us is that line about "violating the rights of children." The ultimate abuse is encouraging children to pose as murderous warriors in the first place - not taking photos that expose such barbaric practices...

Under protests from foreign journalists, the union yesterday lifted its ban.

Too late.

The news is out.
Remembering those murdered by terrorists on September 11.
A hearty welcome to Israpundit.
U.S. Builds Terror Funding Cases
The government is building criminal cases against sympathizers on U.S. soil suspected of providing material support to terror groups as diverse as Hamas and al-Qaida, according to documents and U.S. officials. "The evidence that is being developed suggests that America has been a piggy bank for certain terror organizations to the tune of tens of millions of dollars,'' said a senior law enforcement official directly involved in the investigation.
One of the biggest efforts to stop Americans from supporting overseas terrorists is called Operation Green Quest, a joint effort of the Customs Service, several Treasury Department agencies, and the FBI that was begun last fall after the Sept. 11 attacks. According to documents and interviews, the operation has seized more than $23 million from suspected terrorist supporters, executed 78 search warrants, and resulted in 42 arrests and 27 indictments. (Associated Press)
Inside Saddam's Extermination Plant - Paul McGeough

When Dr. Mohammed Frah - director of research and development at Falluja, one of the remote factories where the United States claims Saddam Hussein could be making chemical and biological weapons - was asked if he had worked on any of Saddam's chemical weapons programs, he answered: "In the early 1980s I worked for five years on the chemical and biological programs at Al-Muthanna."
This is the name of a critical center in Saddam's weapons program - a huge pesticide complex that produced thousands of tons of deadly chemical agents - including sarin, cyclosarin, and mustard - for weapons of mass destruction.
The plant, 50 kilometers north of Falluja, was partly demolished by bombs during the 1991 Gulf War, but not before most of its stockpiles had been trucked out. United Nations inspection teams finished its demolition in 1994.
It soon emerged that Dr. Frah was not the only Al-Muthanna alumnus at Falluja. The manager of the Falluja plant, Dr. Jamal Hider Hassan, said he had spent much of his career there, and when asked how many of his staff of 200 might also have served at Al-Muthanna, he said: "About 80 per cent."
The tour ended abruptly minutes after Dr. Frah admitted to his years at Al-Muthanna. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Another blow to the yellow journalists at the Guardian who claimed Sacks did not support Israel's efforts to halt Arab terror:

UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote to Israel's Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau: "For the past two years I have consistently supported Israel and made its case in the British media." "I deeply regret that sensationalist headlines have been used to portray me as a critic of Israel. I am not. Israel's case is a moral case....It is my role to make our case - Israel's case - to the widest possible audience."
Another repressive Arab regime, up to its usual snuffing of any sparklet of democracy:

Syria Jails Three Dissidents for Incitement
Three Syrian dissidents who expressed their views in private meetings were convicted of incitement and sentenced to prison terms of between two and five years. The three dissidents - a lawyer, a doctor, and a professor of economics - were the last of 10 government opponents arrested in September 2001 during a crackdown on "salons," political discussion groups held in private homes. The salons sprang up after President Bashar Assad took office in 2000 and began to ease the totalitarian rule of his late father, Hafez Assad. The best-known of the salon dissidents are the MPs Riyadh Seif and Mamoun Homsi, who were stripped of their parliamentary immunity and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. (Business Day - South Africa)
See also Release Syrian Prisoners of Conscience (Amnesty International)
In the FOX interview w/ Ali Al-Ahmed and Daniel Pipes posted by LGF, this particularly struck me, regarding American citizens held against their will in Saudi Arabia:

VESTER: Well, you know, if our relationship is so good with the Saudis, then why, Ali, when President Bush raised the question of a Monica Stowers, who still cannot leave Saudi Arabia because she can't get her father's or her husband's or anybody else's permission, despite the fact the United States has filed this official request, I mean, how good is our relationship if the president can bring this up with the Prince Bandar and we don't get anyone coming out today saying, "OK, Monica Stowers is allowed to leave Saudi Arabia"?
AL-AHMED: I think the United States has not done enough for its people on that question. I think what Saudi Arabia needs to do is just basically allow these women to go and be able to petition in Saudi courts.
VESTER: Well, why can't...
AL-AHMED: They don't have that opportunity.
VESTER: Why do you think-then why do you-why do you think that President Bush wasn't able to prevail on his "good buddy," Prince Bandar?
AL-AHMED: I think because he has not tried. We haven't heard any statement.
PIPES: Right.
AL-AHMED: When you meet-when Bush meets the Chinese, he makes a statement, you know, to try to build pressure. He has not done anything in that regard, unfortunately.
VESTER: Daniel, I mean, what do you think? I mean you would think that, you know, we would have some sort of statement today if the president raised it.
PIPES: You would think.
VESTER: And it's unheard of. It's unprecedented.
PIPES: Well, but it's heard of and precedented in the U.S.-Saudi relationship, which is a very odd one where American leaders, Republican and Democratic, have not stood up in a robust fashion for American national interests but have always had this sort of supplicant attitude that the Saudis must be deferred to. And the Saudi monarchy has its own national interests, which are very, very different from ours.
And so what we find is an American leadership, Republican, Democratic, going back over 50 years, that has not stood up for American interests. And that's been OK with the American population, which has not paid attention. But it's no longer OK. And the government is beginning to feel the heat. And I think it's very important that the media and the think tanks and universities and churches become aware of the problems we have and raise their voices.

Read more here about American women and children
abducted and held against their will in Saudi Arabia, and read here the excellent suggestions of a poster on LGF's blog on how to deal with the situation.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

A pretty girl, a hot stove, and Einstein. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Women in Saudi Arabia do not own ID card. They are not human, either, Because they are legally, from a legal point of view, Saudi women have a legal standing of a car, because they are transferred from their fathers to their husbands...
If a woman in Saudi Arabia is ill and she needs surgery, she can't sign the papers. Her son who is 15 can do that. If he is sick, she cannot sign for him. A woman who is 90 years old cannot accept a proposal of marriage, or sign papers of marriage. Her grandson can. And she cannot for herself, because again, she is not considered a full-functioning human being.

The above is from a PBS interview with Ali Al-Ahmed, A Shi'a Muslim who grew up in Saudi Arabia, he is the executive director of the Saudi Institute, an independent human rights watchdog group based in McLean, Va. In this interview, he describes the conservative religious education all children in Saudi Arabia receive, which is dictated by the conservative Wahhabi religious clerics. He believes that the doctrines of intolerance and hate that are part of the compulsory Saudi religious education contributed to the attitude of Osama bin Laden and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. This interview was conducted on Nov. 9, 2001.

A few more excerpts:
So it's all the oil money, linked from the government, that has helped to spread this form of Islam throughout

Yes. That's true. The Saudi government has systematically financed the propagation of Salafi Islam, by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on three out of seven universities in Saudi Arabia [that] are religious universities. They built thousands of mosques around the world, including the United States. They have given free scholarships to non-Saudis, to come and study Salafi and become Salafi. They sent 2,000 Salafi clerics around the world every summer. They print books by the millions in every languages to promote Salafi Islam. They have conventions, conferences.

They spend hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars supporting the Salafi thinking of Islam. They do not support Sunni Islam, they don't support Shi'a Islam. And I noted that, in our report about religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, they don't give money to other Muslims. If they were interested in spreading Islam, they don't give other Muslims. This is the government. ...

Are there any other excerpts you want to read to us from any of these books?
It says here, it says number four: It is permissible in Islam to destroy, burn, and vandalize the fortresses of kofar. American or Christians are kofar. And everything that they destroy, everything that they use ... against Muslims ... if the destruction was to support Islam and destroy the kofar. This is very hard.

And Americans are kofar?

Yes. American. The United States of America.

Why is that?

Because you're non-Muslim. You're non-Muslim. You are kofar because you have denials of God. This is what this [is].

And this is an official ... printed by the government?

This is an official book. This is printed, yes. This is for ninth grade, printed by the year 2000. This says here, the minister of education decided to teach this book, and print it on its own cost. And this is the first page.

Saw the link at American Realpolitik
Lileks, well, rocks.
Camel milk in the gulf...
Time to dismantle that hate spewing oily Kingdom of Saud.

I'm With Dick! Let's Make War! -- Maureen Dowd
I was dubious at first. But now I think Dick Cheney has it right. Let's declare war on Saudi Arabia! Let's do "regime change" in a kingdom that gives medieval a bad name. By overthrowing the Saudi monarchy, the Cheney-Rummy-Condi-Wolfy-Perle-W. contingent could realize its dream of redrawing the Middle East map. Once everyone realizes that we're no longer being hypocrites, coddling a corrupt, repressive dictatorship that sponsors terrorism even as we plot to crush a corrupt, repressive dictatorship that sponsors terrorism, it will transform our relationship with the Arab world. It was embarrassing yesterday, given President Bush's swagger on Iraq, to watch him fawn over the Saudis. At lunch at his ranch he entertained Prince Bandar, the man who got private planes to spirit bin Laden's relatives out of the U.S. after the attacks. (NY Times)

Thinking the Unthinkable --Arnaud de Borchgrave
Kenneth Adelman, a former Reagan arms controller, is a member of the Defense Policy Board. Adelman, speaking on C-SPAN (Aug. 21), said Saudi Arabia is "a terribly barbaric society at the bottom of the human-rights list, worst of the worst, along with North Korea. Why should we keep troops there to defend the Saudis? Makes no sense." The U.S. has moved swiftly to reduce dependence on Saudi oil. Almost unnoticed, the U.S. now gets only 8 percent of its oil needs from the kingdom. September 11 revealed an ugly House of Saud secret. The scheme was brilliant in its simplicity. Saudi's fanatical Wahhabi clergy was allocated untold billions during the past 20 years to turn the Koran into a book of holy war against the U.S. and Israel and spread its teachings in mosques and Koranic schools around the world. In return, the Saudi clergy agreed to keep the 25,000-strong royal family out of its crosshairs. What the House of Saud still can't accept is that it has sown the seeds of its own destruction. It is now reassessing its strategic relationship with the U.S. Washington's reassessment of that relationship started after September 11. It is now almost complete.(Washington Times)

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

What a gem!

The most valiant of boys savor newly won joys,
They’re the object of all celebration.
Our adventurous men have fresh place in our ken,
In the glow of our keen admiration.
Keep reading the poem.
This is fascinating: reading a face.
Harvard Law prof Alan Dershowitz weighs in: Put Arafat on Trial
The rule of law requires that murderers be brought to justice. Yasser Arafat is a cold-blooded, premeditated murderer. It would seem to follow that he should be brought to trial. The incontrovertible evidence of Arafat's complicity in murder goes back to 1973, when Palestinian terrorists invaded a diplomatic reception at the Saudi Arabian embassy at Khartoum, Sudan and kidnapped two American diplomats and a Belgian diplomat. The U.S. National Security Agency intercepted a communication between Yasser Arafat in Beirut and Khalil al-Wazir in the Khartoum office of al-Fatah. According to James Welch, an American security agent who over- heard the intercept, Arafat was directly involved in the operation, which was code-named Nahr al-Bard, Cold River. The U.S. government has hard evidence that when the Americans refused the demands of the Palestinian terrorists--to free Sirhan Sirhan, the murderer of Robert Kennedy--Yasser Arafat personally ordered the murder of the three diplomats, one of whom was then the highest ranking African-American in the foreign service. The diplomats were taken to the basement of the embassy and tortured to death so brutally that "authorities couldn't tell which was black and which was white." Arafat took credit for these murders during a private dinner with Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu two months later. The dinner was attended by General Ion Mihai Pacepa, a high-ranking Romanian intelligence officer who later defected to the United States. Pacepa wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal earlier this year in which he stated that "Arafat excitedly bragged about his Khartoum operation." According to General Pacepa, Arafat also claimed credit for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

These are just some of the thousands of victims--American, Israeli, and others--of the godfather of Palestinian terrorism.
Keep reading.
Persecution of homosexuals in Muslim countries:

"Gays in Egypt face a heightened risk of torture in police stations and
prisons." - Amnesty International.

One Man's Tale
A Gay activist in Egypt describes the nightmare of the government's
crackdown on homosexuality

Gay web users in Egypt have become a target for police who patrol the
Internet highway.: A web site catering to Egyptian gays warns readers about
the perils of being gay in Egypt. "Guess who's watching? Egyptian state
security. Try to avoid always logging on from the same location," warns. Another warning at the bottom of the homepage reads:
"Warning: Gay sex or any homosexual activity in Egypt puts you at risk of
arrest, deportation or imprisonment and any sexual encounter is undertaken
at your own risk."

New Prison Terms Handed Down for Alleged Homosexual Behavior

The Iranian gay and lesbian human rights group Homan says that since 1980,
more than 4,000 Homosexual men and women have been executed by the Iranian
government, and provided the following translation of Iranian law concerning
homosexuality: "The Islamic Penal Law Against Homosexuals in Iran, approved
by the Islamic Consultancy Parliament 08.05.1370 (30.07.1991) and finally
ratified by the High Expediency Council on 07.09.1370 (28.11.1991) calls for
the following: Article 110: Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia
judge decides on how to carry out the killing. Article 129: Punishment for
lesbianism is one hundred (100) lashes for each party. Article 131: If the
act of lesbianism is repeated three times and punishment is enforced each
time, the death sentence will be issued the fourth time." ...Muslim militia
groups on the Philippine island of Mindanao have been terrorizing
Homosexuals, threatening them with castration in an effort to drive them
elsewhere. They say Homosexual relationships are banned in many Islamic
countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Iran, Jordan,
Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE.
Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia,
Sudan and Yemen. In Malaysia, the Homosexual can be put in prison for 20

Excerpts from Iranian Islamic penal law:

A discussion by Egyptian press on why and how homosexuals should be killed.

And let's not forget: Persecution of gays by the Palestinian Authority.
Check out this information source on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Pentagon Brief Details Iraq's Arms Capability

The Pentagon is circulating a detailed assessment of Baghdad´s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. The military also is working on a document that purportedly will show links among the al Qaeda terrorist organization and Iraq. The Pentagon briefing makes it clear that Iraq has the ability to use chemical weapons in battle.
Sources declined to disclose the latest intelligence estimate on how close Saddam is to owning nuclear weapons. Outside analysts have said Saddam may be two years away. Sen. Thad Cochran, Mississippi Republican, attended the Pentagon briefing; he said he was not convinced that Iraq´s weapons programs justify a U.S. invasion.
Washington-based Iraq Watch, a private research group, estimates that Iraq has scores of aerial bombs, munitions and missile warheads capable of delivering chemical weapons. Evidence suggests the country has 157 bombs and 25 missile warheads suitable for germ agents anthrax, aflatoxin and botulinum.
(Washington Times)
WHY SADDAM DOESN'T NEED MISSILES. Saddam is planning a mega-bio or chem-attack on Israel, with the help of his Palestinian friends.
Daniel Pipes: Something Rotten in Denmark?
A Muslim group in Denmark announced a few days ago that a $30,000 bounty would be paid for the murder of several prominent Danish Jews, a threat that garnered wide international notice. Less well known is that this is just one problem associated with Denmark's approximately 200,000 Muslim immigrants. The key issue is that many of them show little desire to fit into their adopted country.

For years, Danes lauded multiculturalism and insisted they had no problem with the Muslim customs - until one day they found that they did. Some major issues:

* Living on the dole: Third-world immigrants - most of them Muslims from countries such as Turkey, Somalia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Iraq - constitute 5 percent of the population but consume upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending.

* Engaging in crime: Muslims are only 4 percent of Denmark's 5.4 million people but make up a majority of the country's convicted rapists, an especially combustible issue given that practically all the female victims are non-Muslim. Similar, if lesser, disproportions are found in other crimes.

* Self-imposed isolation: Over time, as Muslim immigrants increase in numbers, they wish less mix with the indigenous population. A recent survey finds that only 5 percent of young Muslim immigrants would readily marry a Dane.

* Importing unacceptable customs: Forced marriages - promising a newborn daughter in Denmark to a male cousin in the home country, then compelling her to marry him, sometimes on pain of death - are one problem.

Another is threats to kill Muslims who convert out of Islam. One Kurdish convert to Christianity, who went public to explain why she had changed religion, felt the need to hide her face and conceal her identity, fearing for her life.

* Fomenting anti-Semitism: Muslim violence threatens Denmark's approximately 6,000 Jews, who increasingly depend on police protection. Jewish parents were told by one school principal that she could not guarantee their children's safety and were advised to attend another institution. Anti-Israel marches have turned into anti-Jewish riots. One organization, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, openly calls on Muslims to "kill all Jews . . . wherever you find them."

* Seeking Islamic law: Muslim leaders openly declare their goal of introducing Islamic law once Denmark's Muslim population grows large enough - a not-that-remote prospect. If present trends persist, one sociologist estimates, every third inhabitant of Denmark in 40 years will be Muslim.
Keep reading.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Palestinian press organization bans journalists from taking pictures of armed children (free reg required)
The Palestinian journalists union Monday banned journalists from photographing Palestinian children carrying weapons or taking part in activities by militant groups, saying the pictures harm the Palestinian cause....
Recently six children armed with M16 and Kalashnikov rifles took part in a pro-Iraqi rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Tawfik Abu Khousa, deputy chairman of the syndicate, said such pictures harmed the image of the Palestinian people and the credibility of Palestinian journalists.

"We have decided to forbid taking any footage of armed children, because we consider that as a clear violation of the rights of children and for the negative effects these pictures have on the Palestinian people," he said.

In the statement issued by the syndicate it said footage of armed children served "the interests of Israel and its propaganda against the Palestinian people." The union threatened to boycott militant groups who use children and masked men in their activities.

In a statement, the Foreign Press Association expressed "deep concern" over the decision by the syndicate and its threats of sanctions against journalists, local and foreign, who disregard the ban.

"While we share the expressed desire to defend the rights of children, limiting coverage of legitimate news events and elements of stories is not the proper way to achieve this goal," it said.

EXCUSE ME, "defending the rights of children"??? Does he mean photographing Palestinians turning their children into murder weapons is abuse?? Isn't the abuse actually the fact that Palestinians strap suicide belts around their children and teach them that Jews are pigs and monkeys and that their highest aspiration should be to die while murdering infidel?? I wonder if the Palestinians will now threaten journalists who show this footage in the same way they threatened the Italian journalists who shot footage of the two Israeli soldiers being brutally lynched by a Palestinian mob.
The latest stroke of genius from the nimwits that gave a post-humous visa to Atta:
US denies Iran-born Israeli physicist visa (free registration required.)
An international seminar on quantum mechanics to be held at Temple University in Philadelphia in three weeks is liable to be ruined because the man who organized it over the past three years an Israeli academic who was born in Iran is being denied permission to enter the country.
The man left Iran at the age of three.
The US has made trouble for several Israelis of Iranian origin because of concerns about terrorism by Iranians
"I received my tourist visa to the US, in effect through 2005, on my old passport, but I thought it was best to have it stamped in my new passport as well," Elitzur told The Jerusalem Post. "But when I went to the embassy in Tel Aviv, they said it would take months to conduct a security check on me because I was born in Iran. I am a Jew, an Israeli, not an Iranian terrorist, and my family were persecuted in Iran. I can't understand why the Americans are doing this."
No comment was available from officials at the US Embassy, which was closed on Sunday.

HELLO STATE DEPARTMENT, INS, whoever: it's MUSLIM TERRORISTS you should be looking for. MUSLIM!!! Not Israeli Jews, Not suburban housewives from Iowa, Not Japanese businessmen. MUSLIM TERRORISTS. WAKE UP!!!
Palestinian children call on Saddam to attack Israel. Yup, this is what they learn in school.
A cartoon that says it all.
Both seen on LGF's comments.
Yourish analyzes just how yellow yellow journalism can get. Deconstructing Reuters.
The Politics of Fire: The President's plan would streamline the regulatory and legal morass that now stymies forest cleanup. Some of this can be done by federal agencies, but Mr. Bush is also asking Congress for legislation to speed up thinning and to ensure that judges consider fire risks when they hear the usual green lawsuits.
The East Coast environmental crowd lost no time denouncing these ideas, trotting out the same, weary charge that they are a Trojan Horse for logging. That's easy to do when you live in Bethesda and Manhattan. Noticeably silent, however, were Western Democrats. With six million acres already burned, 2,000 buildings in ashes, 20 firefighters dead and an election coming, not even card-carrying liberals want to tout the green policies that created the dry tinder for this fire season.
A great new blog.
Cologne can be hazardous to your health (Well, if you live in the Gulf...)
Spoons is getting hitched! Go wish him congratulations :-)
Via LGF, some quotes from the speech the Vice President gave today:
Now and in the future, the United States will work closely with the global coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction. We will develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden attack. And the entire world must know that we will take whatever action is necessary to defend our freedom and our security.

As former Secretary of State Kissinger recently stated: "The eminence of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the huge dangers it involves, the rejection of a viable inspection system, and the demonstrated hostility of Saddam Hussein combine to produce an imperative for preemptive action."

If the United States could have preempted 9-11 we would have, no question. Should we be able to prevent another much more devastating attack, we will. No question. This nation will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terror regimes. (Applause.)

I am familiar with the arguments against taking action in the case of Saddam Hussein.

Some concede that Saddam is evil, power hungry, and a menace, but that until he crosses the threshold of actually possessing nuclear weapons, we should rule out any preemptive action. That logic seems to me to be deeply flawed. The argument comes down to this: Yes, Saddam is as dangerous as we say he is. We just need to let him get stronger before we do anything about it. Yet if we did wait until that moment, Saddam would simply be emboldened and it would become even harder for us to gather friends and allies to oppose him. As one of those who worked to assemble the Gulf War Coalition, I can tell you that our job then would have been infinitely more difficult in the face of a nuclear armed Saddam Hussein.

And many of those who now argue that we should act only if he gets a nuclear weapon, would then turn around and say that we cannot act because he has a nuclear weapon. At bottom, that argument counsels a course of inaction that itself could have devastating consequences for many countries, including our own.

Another argument holds that opposing Saddam Hussein would cause even greater troubles in that part of the world, and interfere with a larger war against terror. I believe the opposite is true. Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits for the region. When the gravest of threats are eliminated, the freedom loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace. As for the reaction in the Arab street, the Middle East expert, professor Fuad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy in the same way throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans.
Just click over to MuslimPundit and read something. anything. he's great.
DenBeste on the Russian Military: "It ain't what it used to be, but then it never was."
Excellent article, found by Oceanguy: Why Arabs Lose Wars - the impact of culture on Arab military effectiveness.
Alternatives to Oil. Arab oil fuels terror. Let's become energy independent. Make them drink their oil.
A Promise the U.S. Makes, But Does Not Keep -- Nathan Lewin
After the murder of five Americans last month in Jerusalem -- victims of a bomb placed by Hamas in a Hebrew University cafeteria -- the Justice Department dispatched an FBI team to investigate. The record shows that past U.S. investigations of murdered American citizens in Israel have been a sham. The Justice Department has not returned a single indictment involving any of the 36 Americans killed in Israel since the 1993 Oslo agreement. The refusal to enforce the law has encouraged the terrorists to strike at places such as Hebrew University, where, they knew, young Americans would be found. (Washington Post)
Deconstructing Baker - Editorial, Jerusalem Post

James A. Baker III provided his recommendations on how to confront Iraq in an August 25 New York Times column, "The Right Way to Change a Regime."

Baker argued: "We should frankly recognize that our problem in accomplishing regime change in Iraq is made more difficult by the way our policy on the Arab-Israeli dispute is perceived around the world....We cannot allow our policy toward Iraq to be linked to the Arab-Israeli dispute, as Saddam Hussein will cynically demand, just as he did in 1990 and 1991. But to avoid that, we need to move affirmatively, aggressively, and in a fair and balanced way to implement the president's vision for a settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute, as laid out in his June speech. That means, of course, reform by Palestinians and an end to terror tactics. But it also means withdrawal by Israeli forces to positions occupied before September 2000 and an immediate end to settlement activity."

· Let's see if we've got this straight. In order to avoid any effort at "linkage," there must be linkage. So as not to fall into Saddam Hussein's trap, the U.S. must fall into the trap.

· Tying a prospective war against Iraq with a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the U.S. would only encourage Palestinian terrorism, since the continuance of the crisis would mean delaying a U.S.attack.

· Arab radicalism, not Israeli actions, is the source of aggression and instability in the Middle East.
Armed, Crazy and Dangerous -- Mortimer Zuckerman
The question now is asked: How can the U. S. justify initiating hostilities against Iraq at a time of peace? It is the wrong question. Better to ask how America can justify not going to war against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein -- and at the earliest possible moment. Before Saddam evicted the UN weapons inspectors, they discovered nearly 20,000 liters of concentrated botulinum, the most deadly substance on Earth, and nearly 9,000 liters of anthrax. More recent intelligence reporting suggests an intense, almost fanatical Iraqi effort to acquire fissionable materials, miniaturization equipment for atomic weapons and, perhaps, ballistic missiles. British intelligence recently revealed that Saddam was planning to give biological weapons to Palestinian terrorists to attack America and Israel. Those who predict dire results if we try to unseat Saddam simply refuse to understand that if we opt to live with a nightmare, it will only get worse. The best medicine is preventive medicine.(NY Daily News)
Follow the Money -- Where Do International Contributions to the Palestinian Authority Really Go?

By keeping a double set of books, the Palestinian Authority has systemically channeled at least 14% of its public budget, as stated to the IMF and donor states, to Fatah, other terrorist organizations, and various covert destinations. An explanation of captured original Arabic documents (with their English translations) details the mechanism of this multi-million dollar money-laundering operation that has turned international humanitarian aid into support for terror and suicide bombing.
Since its creation, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has received some U.S. $4.5 billion in international aid and investment. Since the beginning of the current Palestinian/Israeli conflict in September 2000, the international community has provided the majority of the PA’s monthly operating budget of some $90 million. An international investment of well over $1,000 per capita in civilian aid would normally be expected to show significant results – and yet, it is difficult to identify any real benefit this aid has produced for ordinary Palestinians.
Some of the documents described in this report prove the connection between PA financing of the Fatah/Tanzim, and suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks carried out against Israeli civilians.
A very large portion – some 45 percent, or $27 million per month – of the published Palestinian Authority payroll budget consists of money that does not reach PA employees. All of this money is available for other uses. While we do not know where all this money goes, we do know that a substantial portion of it is used to support terrorism against Israeli citizens.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Fatherland: Florida humiliates women and harms adoption--all at once!
You know, I really miss reading my daily Taranto. Hope he's enjoying his vacation.
A Requiem for The Masses: Mozart offers the appropriate music for Sept. 11 remembrances
Bernard Lewis deconstructs Osama: Bin Laden is still popular in the Arab world. Why?