Middle East Archives

Friday Link Wrap-up

Isn’t government supposed to enforce the laws it makes?   Well, it looks like the Obama administration has a bit more leeway.

How’s that Gitmo-closing promise coming along, 5 months after its due date?  "The House Armed Services Committee has dealt a blow to President Obama’s hopes to shutter the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by unanimously approving legislation that would prohibit creating a detention center inside the United States."  Aren’t there one or two Democrats on that committee?

The Hollywood Left just loves their socialists.

American filmmaker Oliver Stone said Friday he deeply admires Hugo Chavez but suggested the Venezuelan president might consider talking a bit less on television.

Promoting his new documentary "South of the Border" in Caracas, Stone heaped praise on Chavez, saying he is leading a movement for "social transformation" in Latin American. The film features informal interviews by Stone with Chavez and six allied leftist presidents, from Bolivia’s Evo Morales to Cuba’s Raul Castro.

"I admire Hugo. I like him very much as a person. I can say one thing. … He shouldn’t be on television all the time," Stone said at a news conference. "As a director I say you don’t want to be overpowering. And I think he is sometimes that way."

(We’re not entirely sure whether Stone said "director" or "dictator" at the end there.  Either can be overpowering.)

When the director of the Congressional Budget Office directly refutes cost-saving claims of the President and his Budget Director, it’s worth noting.  Even the NY Times (finally) notices.

How’s that "smart diplomacy" workin’ for ya’?  Please remember; speeches are no substitute for sound policy.

Marry a Jew, lose your citizenship.  Can armbands with the Star of David be far behind?  Tell me again, who are the bad guys in the Middle East peace situation?

How did the pollsters do predicting the recent primary results?  About as good as expected, which isn’t saying much.  And the Daily Kos fired its official pollster, Research 2000.  Turns out they skewed left.  Now who would have thought that?  This time, however, it was downright embarrassing. 

And finally, Chuck Asay on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  (Click for a larger image.)

Chuck Asay

The Iraqi WMD Question

The question of where Saddam Hussein’s WMDs went that the whole world believed were there has been knocked around since at least 2004, with the most popular answer being Syria.  There was some evidence of it, that the MSM cheerfully ignored, but it’s back in the news today because President Obama’s pick for replacement of the Director of National Intelligence believes this is true

Ryan Mauro of Pajamas Media has an article today about new satellite imagery that is lending new credence to this thought.  Worth a read.


Apparently, this story has legs like I never would have imagined.  Even after video comes out showing that the "peace" activists were armed with, among other things, knives, you’d think that folks would see through this little charade. 

Anyway, here are some relevant links from the past few days.

In preparation for sailing, a few harmless Jihad chants and hopes for martyrdom.  Then, after cheerfully ignoring warnings about the blockade, preparing for violent confrontation.  (The very first link also has a video of the attacks on the soldiers.)  The reason that the IDF soldiers were taken advantage of initially, I believe, is that they didn’t think "peace" activists would try to stab them to death. 

There are some photos, taken by the activists terrorists themselves showing downed IDF soldiers.  Reuters, in two different cases, decided that they should crop out the part of the picture that shows knives in the hands of those peaceful protestors.  Ruins the narrative.

Is the blockade against Gaza legal?  Why yes, yes it is.  And if you have more questions about the blockade in general or the flotilla in particular, this is a great resource.

The Flotilla Incident: Not About the Aid

If it was simply about getting aid to the folks in Gaza, first of all there are plenty of ways to do that, and Gaza has been getting it.  About 15,000 tons of aid per week enter Gaza through means that assure there are no weapons in it.  (By the way, the flotillas total cargo was 10,000 tons, less than a week’s worth.)

And secondly, if it was all about the aid, this wouldn’t be happening.

Israel has attempted to deliver humanitarian aid from an international flotilla to Gaza, but Hamas — which controls the territory — has refused to accept the cargo, the Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday.

Palestinian sources confirmed that trucks that arrived from Israel at the Rafah terminal at the Israel-Gaza border were barred from delivering the aid.

Ra’ed Fatooh, in charge of the crossings, and Jamal Khudari, head of a committee against the Gaza blockade, said Israel must release all flotilla detainees and that it will be accepted in the territory only by the Free Gaza Movement people who organized the flotilla.

So Hamas is holding up aid to its own people for a PR move.  This is not about the aid.  It’s about opening up a means of transporting more and larger weapons, via ships, than via the means that are currently available to Hamas.  And these "peace" activists are, at least, simply the "useful idiots" being duped or, at worst, complicit in the charade.

Political Cartoon: "Peaceful" Flotilla

From Michael Ramirez (click for a larger version):

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

This pretty much sums up the whole flotilla situation.  There are videos going out about how the captain and other members of the ship, before leaving, chanted about times when Muslims wiped out Jews.  Yeah, "peace" activists indeed.  This was a set-up, plain and simple.

A Brief History of Israel Concessions

Meryl Yourish hears that there’s a possibility of Israel conceding to the Obama administration on the subject of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.  With that in mind, she gives us a brief history of how well said concessions have worked out for Israel.

Israel made peace with Egypt in 1979. As a result, Israelis can look forward to regular warnings of terrorist attacks and kidnappings when they visit Sinai resorts. The Egyptian foreign minister calls Israel “the enemy.” Egypt boycotted the annual Mediterranean student conference because it was held in Israel. The Sinai is used to regularly smuggle arms to Hamas. A second Israeli was arrested and held by Egypt for accidentally crossing the border. Egypt restored the Maimonides synagogue and then declared that no Jew will ever pray in it (this was the same guy who said he’d burn any Israeli books he found). That’s just a short list of the benefits of peace with Egypt. Of course, Israel hasn’t fought a war with Egypt since 1973. But Egyptians are arming Israel’s enemies.

Israel left Gaza in 2005. In return, Israel got rockets, mortars, and terror attacks, and a war in 2008. Hamas is in control of the Strip and has been for several years. Hamas has thousands of rockets and missiles stored in bunkers, ready for another attack on Israel when they feel strong enough (or when their Iranian masters give the go-ahead). This was one of the Palestinian demands—the eviction of all Jews from Gaza. They got what they wanted. And yet, there is still not peace between the residents of Gaza and Israel.

Israel left Lebanon in 2000. The United Nations certified that Israel left every square inch of Lebanese territory. Hizballah stockpiled tens of thousands of rockets and mortars, crossed into Israeli territory to kill and capture Israeli soldiers, which started a war in 2006. Now, the UN says that the Shebaa Farms is Lebanese—not Syrian—territory, giving Hizballah the excuse they have wanted for years to say that Israel is still holding Lebanese territory and “resistance” must be used. Hizballah has a stockpile of tens of thousand of rockets, and now Syria is supplying them with Scud missiles.

The last place Obama need to be putting pressure on is Israel.  These other issues should be dealt with before asking Israel to give up anything else. 

Political Cartoon: Enemies and Allies

From Michael Ramirez (click for a larger version):

Michael Ramirez

Treating your enemies better than your allies doesn’t seem to be working, for either our enemies or our allies.

Civilian Casualties: Then and Now

That was then:

We are in a war because the Generals want to play with their toys and don’t give a damn how many people get hurt in the process.  We are in a war without direction, or discipline, led by a disengaged simpleton who will do whatever he is told by the unelected war mongers who are running our government. 

This is now:

Now, we seem to be in a fight against a force of vicious murderers, using civilians as human shields, and misleading us at every turn, while taking a high toll on NATO troops.  But the military is not supposed to kill anyone?!!!

(Emphasis hers.)  Same DailyKos diarist, and encouraged in both statements by droves of commenters.  The difference?  The first was written in September, 2008 against the military causing the death of 90 civilians.  The second was written yesterday, against the president of Afghanistan condemning the deaths of 27 civilians.

That was then as well, by another Kos writer, who gets front page access.

One million dead. And each day, a few more. If that isn’t a reason to flood the streets in D.C. tomorrow and in your hometown all this week and next Friday for the Iraq Moratorium, what is?

But this is now, and it looks like the Left is going all warmonger on us in the Middle East.  Hey, it’s their guy doing it, so now they can take credit for it and declare victory. 

The double-standard-bearers are certainly hoping we won’t notice.  They probably don’t really notice themselves.

Iran Goes Nuclear, World Shocked

Last week, Iran announced it can produce weapons-grade uranium.  British PM Gordon Brown spoke out "strongly".

As Gordon Brown warned that the world’s patience is wearing thin, Ahmadinejad told scores of cheering Iranians that the Islamic Republic is capable of producing weapons-grade uranium.

Does this remind anyone of Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam as they got red-faced and growled, just before Bugs Bunny again showed them for the fools they are?  I took Brown’s actual words and tossed them through The Dialectizer, and they sound much more "in character", shall we say.

‘I bewieve the mood awound the wowwd is now incweasingwy one whewe, patience not being inexhaustibwe, peopwe awe tuwning to wook at the specific sanctions we can pwan on Iwan,’ Mr Brown said. ‘Dis is a cwiticaw time fow Iwan’s wewationship wif the west of the wowwd.’

Follow this by dropping an anvil on his head to complete the mental picture.

The Clock Is Ticking

…while the world sits on its collective hands and this continues unabated.

Confidential intelligence documents obtained by The Times show that Iran is working on testing a key final component of a nuclear bomb.

The notes, from Iran’s most sensitive military nuclear project, describe a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the component of a nuclear bomb that triggers an explosion. Foreign intelligence agencies date them to early 2007, four years after Iran was thought to have suspended its weapons programme.

An Asian intelligence source last week confirmed to The Times that his country also believed that weapons work was being carried out as recently as 2007 — specifically, work on a neutron initiator.

The technical document describes the use of a neutron source, uranium deuteride, which independent experts confirm has no possible civilian or military use other than in a nuclear weapon. Uranium deuteride is the material used in Pakistan’s bomb, from where Iran obtained its blueprint.

Can we really afford to have a government so clearly desiring to destroy another country (i.e. Israel) to have a nuclear bomb?  Even if they never use it, they’d be untouchable since the threat would always be there. 

Not to mention the inevitable Middle East arms race it would spawn.

But OK, perhaps the world isn’t really sitting on its hands.  The United Nations has written letters and gotten perturbed over all this.  So there’s that.

But not much else.

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