Monday, July 31, 2006

Crunch Time

Welcome again to this desolate little outpost on the front lines, yes, the front lines of the War for the West.

In his latest, greatest column, Mark Steyn takes note of John Podhoretz's wondering about whether Western civilization is up to the long slog ahead against jihadis who are not so taken with our modern sensibilities:

"What if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?"
If you haven't read Steyn's column yet, read it.

Now, with about 60 Lebanese, including three dozen children, dead in an Israeli airstrike in Quam, the question is being asked all over again.

Is Israel up to it? Are we up to it?

It's crunch time in Lebanon and beyond, and the jihadis know it.

And by the way, it appears that the Qana building at issue may have fallen many hours after the initial IAF bombing.

What were the children doing in the same vicinity as Hezbollah rocket launchers, at any rate? Is it possible that Hezbollah took the building down? And why were the children there many hours after the initial bombing? Will any one in the MSM ask? This last question is rhetorical, but I thought I'd ask any way.

Last week, signs started to appear that the Israeli government may not have the will to do what is necessary on the ground in Lebanon. Some had wondered about PM Olmert government with his lack of military experience. To me, such questions missed the mark.

I wondered about PM Olmert's liberalism. I wondered about his lack of realism about the world that we are living in. I hope I am wrong, but I am seeing signs from the Israeli government that they are not ready and willing to do what is necessary to protect their own lives and security.

The Israelis are able, but that's not the question.

We are reminded that the character and philosophy of the people that we elect is vitally important in these times. And the most important question for our leaders in these times is whether they have the will and philosophy to protect the national interest from the jihadi threat, world opinion be damned.

There are precious few leaders in the world who have the gumption to stand against the tide of world public opinion -- Bush, Blair, and Australia's PM Howard come to mind -- and do what is necessary to protect the national interest.

Is Olmert on that list? I hope so.

Let there be no mistaking that the Israelis' fight is our fight, and the jihadis know it. Their sympathizers at the U.N. know it. Their sympathizers in the MSM know it.

We have the military and technological might to win easily. But that's not where the battle is. The ultimate battle is a battle of the mind, spirit, and will.

As Steyn observes:
Our enemies understand "why we fight" and where the fight is. They know that in the greater scheme of things the mosques of Jakarta and Amsterdam and Toronto and Dearborn are more important territory than the Sunni Triangle. The U.S. military is the best-equipped and best-trained in the world. But it's not enough, it never has been and it never will be.

Friday, July 28, 2006

How much must we pay for the education of Pat Buchanan? Nothing. It's free and right here.

As promised, it's time to address this column. The headline is inflammatory, and it gets worse from there. Buchanan is so very wrong, and it's time to set the record straight.

So, the column follows, with my responsive comments inserted throughout:

Buchanan: Where are the Christians?

Response: Well, I can't speak for the rest, but one is right here. By the question, we can assume that Buchanan means that he is one of these (Christians) and that the rest of us who don't want to turn our backs on Israel are heathens. Buchanan has apparently never thought much of the concept that people could, in good conscience, come to a different conclusion than he on important matters. But Christians are permitted to do this (as compared to Hezbollah). Put another way, Buchanan has never been much for freedom, which is another way of saying that Buchanan has never been much of a conservative.

Buchanan continued: When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unleashed his navy and air force on Lebanon, accusing that tiny nation of an "act of war," the last pillar of Bush's Middle East policy collapsed.

Response: So the dogs have been unleashed, huh? And on "tiny Lebanon"? This is inaccurate and disingenuous. Israel is trying to dismantle and defeat Hezbollah, not Lebanon. Israel's task in this regard is admittedly difficult since Islamic militants hide in civilian areas (and apparently near U.N. outposts, as well) and use women and children as shields. And we see in the last sentence above that it once again comes back to Pres. Bush, whose entire foreign policy in the Middle East has been deemed a "failure" by Buchanan. Note, too, that coming across a nation's border, killing 8 soldiers and abducting two others is only a quote-unquote "act of war", and not an actual act of war. But by whose standards? If a force thinks a particular country doesn't have a right to exist and then crosses that country's border and attacks its military, I think that's an act of war.

Buchanan cont.: First came capitulation on the Bush Doctrine, as Pyongyang and Tehran defied Bush's dictum: The world's worst regimes will not be allowed to acquire the world's worst weapons.

Response: More Bush bashing. It's the same from the Left and their useful idiots all the time. But let's address the content here, at any rate. Did Pyongyang and Tehran defy the Bush Doctrine? Do they, in fact, have nuclear weapons? If Buchanan knows this, he should tell us how he found out. I thought that what we have been engaging in with respect to both N. Korea and Iran was to ensure that neither nation got nuclear weapons. Of course, applying Buchanan's "never attack until the world has you surrounded" philosophy, Iran and N. Korea would both have nuclear arsenals and have them pointed at us before he thought military action was appropriate. And even then, Buchanan would probably insist that they shoot first so that we not be overly "interventionist".

Buchanan cont.: Then came suspension of the democracy crusade as Islamic militants exploited free elections to advance to power and office in Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, Iraq and Iran.

Response: There he goes again. Buchanan can try this on the CNN or MSNBC audiences, but not with people who pay close attention. Is the "crusade" suspended? (By the way, note the usage of the pejorative term that connotes Christian aggression in the Muslim world here.) And were the elections "free" or were the elections "exploited"? It's hard to be both. Buchanan can't be arguing with a straight face that Ahmadinejad was elected freely by the Iranian people, most of which would love to throw off their mullah leaders. Or is he? Is he referring to Hezbollah in Lebanon as Islamic militants who "exploited a free election"? And if so, what's the problem with the Israelis blasting away at them, since they are Islamic militants? Even in Texas, we have to leave our weapons outside the voting booth.

And who are the militants Buchanan refers to in Iraq? Once again, he doesn't say. Democracy entails more than being granted the right to rule with an iron fist by a majority of the vote. Maybe Buchanan does view democracy this way, and if so, this would explain in part some of the errors in his thinking.

Buchanan cont.: Now, Israel's rampage against a defenseless Lebanon – smashing airport runways, fuel tanks, power plants, gas stations, lighthouses, bridges, roads and the occasional refugee convoy – has exposed Bush's folly in subcontracting U.S. policy out to Tel Aviv, thus making Israel the custodian of our reputation and interests in the Middle East.

Response: There goes Israel again, first with the attack dogs, and now "rampaging". Buchanan needs to spring for cable, or an internet connection ... or at least stop reading (and believing) Hezbollah press releases. I wonder, what would Buchanan call randomly firing missiles into civilian areas, indiscriminately killing women and children? Would that qualify as a "rampage"? We don't know, because he doesn't talk about it. Rather, all of Buchanan's moral indignation seems reserved for the Israelis. Who could possibly support attacking civilians, tearing apart and degrading a civilian infrastructure for no reason? Islamic militants, like the ones Israel is at war with, that's who.

As for subcontracting out American policy to Israel, I thought it was supposed to be the other way around. Or is one line of logic suspended at the end of a paragraph? Also, in the Middle East, the reputation one needs to survive is that you will wipe an enemy off the map if it attacks you. That's a good reputation in the Middle East. Make no mistake about it.

Buchanan: The Lebanon that Israel, with Bush's blessing, is smashing up has a pro-American government, heretofore considered a shining example of his democracy crusade. Yet, asked in St. Petersburg if he would urge Israel to use restraint in its airstrikes, Bush sounded less like the leader of the Free World than some bellicose city councilman from Brooklyn Heights.

Response: Note the repeated usage of "crusade" to describe the efforts to democratize the Middle East. I personally don't believe that Buchanan thinks much of democracy (Maybe this goes back to his definition of it. See above,). But one has to ask, if it's a bad idea to waste American resources to democratize the Middle East (this is a different argument than Buchanan's general ambivalence for democracy) then what is the problem with "smashing up" an experiment gone bad? Buchanan, in his burning desire to constantly attack the Bush Administration, stumbles incoherently in taking his pot shots.

And one typically doesn't urge allies to use restraint in war. Rather, one wishes allies the best and, if possible, helps them to achieve victory in war. Furthermore, it is outrageous to scold Israel for not using "restraint" when its jihadi enemies are indiscriminately raining rockets down on Israeli civilians.

I guess this brings us back to a question for Buchanan: Is Israel our ally, his view? And if not, why not? And another question might be: What does a bellicose city councilman from Brooklyn sound like? We are left to assume that such a councilman would be Jewish. And one is also left to wonder what such a comment means and what it is doing in Buchanan's column. So, is Buchanan is saying that Pres. Bush sounds like an angry Jew? How, if at all, is Buchanan's comment here related to the other opinions expressed in the column?

Maybe these questions will get asked on the next episode of Hardball. Then again, maybe not.

Buchanan: What Israel is up to was described by its army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, when he threatened to "turn back the clock in Lebanon 20 years."

Response: The general is likely referring to a time before Hezbollah developed its infrastructure and ability to attack Israel from Lebanon. Does Buchanan have a problem with this?

Buchanan: Olmert seized upon Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers to unleash the IDF in a pre-planned attack to make the Lebanese people suffer until the Lebanese government disarms Hezbollah, a task the Israeli army could not accomplish in 18 years of occupation.

Response: Israel "unleased" ... again. Buchanan needs to spring for a thesaurus, or at least slow down and edit his diatribes. He could say "vicously attacked" or "mercilessly rained down suffering", etc. But his point is clear: Israel is at fault and has "used" the capture of two soldiers (note that the killing of 8 in the same raid is ignored by Buchanan) as a pretext to go after Hezbollah. So, now the neo-con puppetmasters have the power to control even Hezbollah. That Israel could have predicted and controlled Hezbollah's movements and used them to Israel's advantage is, well, amazing. But given the fact that they have hypnotized the President and the entire U.S. Congress, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the Israelis have such immense, indeed almost supernatural, powers.

And Buchanan seems to almost purposely misstate what is going on in Lebanon on several scores. First, although it is no doubt true that Lebanese people are suffering in this conflict, Hezbollah is suffering, too. And it has no regard for the Lebanese civilians it hides behind, either. Additionally, who has argued that the Lebanese army is going to disarm Hezbollah? It looks to me like the Israelis are doing the bulk of the work here. Talks are underway for an international force to take over once the Israelis leave, but Buchanan is blustering Hezbollah talking points here.

Buchanan: Israel is doing the same to the Palestinians. To punish these people for the crime of electing Hamas, Olmert imposed an economic blockade of Gaza and the West Bank and withheld the $50 million in monthly tax and customs receipts due the Palestinians.

Then, Israel instructed the United States to terminate all aid to the Palestinian Authority, though Bush himself had called for the elections and for the participation of Hamas. Our Crawford cowboy meekly complied.

Response: Query: Is it a crime to knowingly elect criminals to office? How about terrorists? Jihadis? Are jihadis criminals? Or worse? What about electing people who have sworn to end another nation's existence? It's probably not a crime to elect Hamas, but its election was a statement of aggression against Israel, essentially a declaration of war. What is Israel supposed to do, have the prime minister give a congratualatory call on election night? Now, Buchanan is all warm and fuzzy over Islamic militants again. Is this because Hamas got more votes? I hear that guns come in handy for electoral discipline.

I think that Israel's pressure on Hamas is perfectly appropriate. Buchanan says the "Crawford cowboy meekly complied". Once again, who is subcontracting who? And consider the implications of Buchanan's repeated argument of the overwhelming power of the Jews. It begs the question about what he really believes about the Jewish people.

Buchanan: The predictable result: Fatah and Hamas fell to fratricidal fighting, and Hamas militants began launching Qassam rockets over the fence from Gaza into Israel. Hamas then tunneled into Israel, killed two soldiers, captured one, took him back into Gaza and demanded a prisoner exchange.

Response: Here, Buchanan trumpets the same tune we often hear from leftists: "Why do they hate us? What did we do to cause Islamic militancy?" Buchanan blames Israel for Islamic hatred and terrorism. Apparently he blames Israel because Fatah and Hamas hate each other, too. Perhaps I am just slow, but how is Israel responsible for Hamas and Fatah wiping each other out?

Buchanan: Israel's response was to abduct half of the Palestinian cabinet and parliament and blow up a $50 million U.S.-insured power plant. That cut off electricity for half a million Palestinians. Their food spoiled, their water could not be purified, and their families sweltered in the summer heat of the Gaza desert. One family of seven was wiped out on a beach by what the IDF assures us was an errant artillery shell.

Response: Buchanan repeats the nonsensical "proportionality" charge. But this is war, and arguments pertaining to porportionality have no place in this debate. Here again, Buchanan indulges every inference in favor of the Islamic militants. His last charge has been proven false.

As for the suffering of the Palestinian people, perhaps they should take control of their destiny and rise up against their true oppressors -- the Islamic militants who keep them living like cavemen. If they are unwilling to forego hatred of the Jewish people in order to move into modernity, this is not Israel's fault.

Buchanan: Let it be said: Israel has a right to defend herself, a right to counter-attack against Hezbollah and Hamas, a right to clean out bases from which Katyusha or Qassam rockets are being fired and a right to occupy land from which attacks are mounted on her people.

Response: Yes, indeed. Buchanan would let it be said, just not done. His description here of what Israel has a right to do is exactly what Israel has done. To prove my foregoing point, look at what Buchanan has said about what Israel has done.

Buchanan: But what Israel is doing is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor our interests. It is un-American and un-Christian.

Response: More repetition from Buchanan. I guess there's not much for Buchanan to say other than: Israel is bad and the Jews control the world. Completely out of ammo, now he deals the "international law" card from the bottom of the deck. But as for the claimed violations of international law, says who? Syria? Iran? Hezbollah? The U.N. hasn't even said this. Incredible.

And since when does Buchanan care anything about international law, in any event? Plus, if a particular activity is un-American and un-Christian, surely Buchanan and his anti-war friends could find some supportive international law. But really, Buchanan is just calling names here ... throwing verbal bombs.

Buchanan: But where are the Christians? Why is Pope Benedict virtually alone among Christian leaders to have spoken out against what is being done to Lebanese Christians and Muslims?

Response: Pope Benedict, like his predecessor, is consistently pacifist. However, most of Christendom does not agree with the Pope on this point. So, off with their heads! But seriously, the Pope correctly laments the suffering foisted upon innocents in this conflict. It's the same as it is in all wars. War is awful. But free peoples must be willing to engage in it to stay free.

The real question, it seems to me, is: Where is the anti-war/peace movment in denouncing the atrocities committed by Radical Muslims against Jews, Christians, other Muslims, and frankly any one who doesn't want their daughters to be forcibly fitted for a burkha? Their silence, and Buchanan's, is deafening.

Buchanan: When al-Qaida captured two U.S. soldiers and barbarically butchered them, the U.S. Army did not smash power plants across the Sunni Triangle. Why then is Bush not only silent but openly supportive when Israelis do this?

Response: This type of sophomoric nonsense might pass the muster of blustering fools like Chris Matthews, but it is not suited for the scrutiny of the conservative blogosphere (really, agents of Mossad). To answer Buchanan's question: Uh, because we have different objectives in Iraq than Israel has in Lebanon. But it seems the answer that Buchanan is looking for is that the Jews have the President under an evil spell.

And I was wondering ... What would Buchanan argue was a "proportionate" response if terrorists from Mexico came across the border, killed 8 solders and took two others back into Mexico? And what if Vicente Fox said he was powerless to do anything about it?

Buchanan: Democrats attack Bush for crimes of which he is not guilty, including Haditha and Abu Ghraib. Why are they, too, silent when Israel pursues a conscious policy of collective punishment of innocent peoples?

Response: Like his token, pro-Israel mini-paragraph above, here Buchanan "scolds" the Democrats for two whole sentences. But this pathetic little swipe is not even accurate. Most Democrats today are not pro-Israel; a number are openly anti-Israel. Compare the Republican and Democrat vote totals on the recent House and Senate resolutions regarding the Israel-Hezbollah battle. Take a peek at Daily Kos. Enough said.

Buchanan: Britain's diplomatic goal in two world wars was to bring the naive cousins in, to "pull their chestnuts out of the fire." Israel and her paid and pro-bono agents here appear determined to expand the Iraq war into Syria and Iran, and have America fight and finish all of Israel's enemies.

That Tel Aviv is maneuvering us to fight its wars is understandable. That Americans are ignorant of, or complicit in this, is deplorable.

Response: Buchanan now swerves into a discussion of the Brits to reiterate his belief that, no he is not kidding, WWI was not worth, and WWII wasn't worth it, either. We are just the "naive" cousins again. So, Buchanan argues that Israelis and their British Zionist allies have consistently used us during this century.

So, let me see if I have got this right ... Per Buchanan, Nazi Germany was not our enemy. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was to be ignored. And ... this is interesting ... Syria and Iran are Israel's enemies, not ours. I wonder if Ahmadinejad and Assad see it that way. And I wonder if it occurred to Buchanan that a particular regime could be enemies of more than one other nation. Perhaps if a nation, such as Nazi Germany or modern-day Iran had designs on ruling the world or a large swath of it, other nations' interests might be implicated. Simple I know, but ... Note to Buchanan: Look up "Global Caliphate".

Buchanan: Already, Bush is ranting about Syria being behind the Hezbollah capture of the Israeli soldiers. But where is the proof?

Response: Bush is "ranting". This must be the verbal equivalent of a "rampage". Although Buchanan seems to see Israeli agents under every bush (both paid and "pro bono") he demands strict proof that Syria is supporting Hezbollah, asking, "Where is the proof?" Well, it appears that the proof, or at least Nasrallah, may be in Damascus. And don't look now, but it appears that the Iranians, Syrians and Hez may be meeting in Syria, as well. Buchanan's disbelief of Syrian and Iranian support/involvement with Hezbollah is itself unbelievable.

Buchanan: Who is whispering in his ear? The same people who told him Iraq was maybe months away from an atom bomb, that an invasion would be a "cakewalk," that he would be Churchill, that U.S. troops would be greeted with candy and flowers, that democracy would break out across the region, that Palestinians and Israelis would then sit down and make peace?

How much must America pay for the education of this man?

Response: To Buchanan's final volley of wildly-fired questions, the responses are: 1) Per Buchanan, it must be those wascally Jews who are whispering in Pres. Bush's ear; 2) I guess the Jews are controlling the CIA, too. Wow, but given their supernatural/demonic powers, we shouldn't really be surprised, I guess; 3) The Iraq invasion was a relative cakewalk, and in historical terms, the war in Iraq has had a remarkably-low casualty rate, particularly given the size of the operation; 4) As for Churchill, I note that Buchanan doesn't much like one of this century's great statesmen. After all, Churchill was in favor of fighting the Nazis; 5) We have been greeted in large parts of Iraq with candy and flowers; 6) Democracy is breaking out across the Middle East; and 7) Buchanan is delusional if he thinks that the Iraq War was ever marketed as a means to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Did I cover them all?

Not quite. As for the arrogant question about the need for "education" of the President, with Buchanan's views of the all-knowing and all-powerful Jewish agents operating amongst us, what could any mortal do to resist their influence, at any rate? I mean, we, I mean, they rule the world. Clearly.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I return ...

with information re: outstanding (and missing) links. Greetings, all.

First, I want to commend our troops working for public affairs at CentCom. Here is an email note that they apparently sent to those of us who provide a link to CentCom's excellent site:

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts in supporting the US military and coalition forces serving in the US CENTCOM area of responsibility, by providing the blogosphere with information from US CENTCOM or directing them to our site for more information.

I want you to know your voice is an important one, in keeping your readers informed in what is happening, positive, negative, or indifferent in Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest or the world. I thought the Wall Street Online Journal article "Cry Bias, and Let Slip the Blogs of War" by Mike Spector, dated July 26, 2006; Page B1. (Click here.) demonstrates the importance of what blogs provide as a viable voice in America. And what you provide to an audience who is willing and wanting to hear all sides of the story, and make an informed decision based on the facts.

We are looking for new and innovative ways to get you the information you need. Please send us suggestions and comments to better provide you with the information you are looking for in our press releases, website and our newsletter.

Thank you.

V/R

1LT Anthony Deiss
Public Affairs Officer
US Central Command


The public affairs crew at CentCom is working hard and getting out more info and press releases. I dropped them a quick note to say thanks. They sent a one word response: "Hooah!" As a co-laborer in the information war, I appreciate their esprit de corps and professionalism.

On another link front, you will note that Goomba News has gone silent and deep again. If and when GNN returns, we'll get the link prominently displayed.

Also, I have discovered (via Wizbang) the Big Lizards blog. There's great stuff there, and I will be checking in regularly.

Regarding the Israeli-Hezbollah battle and the Left's inane mantra of the necessity of a "proportional" response by Israel, check out this tremendous essay, loaded with logic, laced with humor, and liberal with anti-liberalism.

And on a final note ... I haven't forgotten about Pat Buchanan's anti-Israel tirade. I am working up my treatise, er tome, er book, er post. I will get it out there this week, as this subject is going to remain timely for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why I am pro-Israel

Before addressing Buchanan's comments, I thought I might explain my thoughts on Israel.

This tiny nation seems to divide people into camps. Funny, America is doing that worldwide more and more. But Israel seems to have always done so.

As for me, my support of Israel is not based on their biblical right to the land where Israel is located. Many Christians believe that the Jews must be returned to biblical Israel to fulfill prophecy before the return of Christ. I don't happen to share this view, for a number of reasons. But because I don't share this view doesn't mean I am not a strong supporter of the State of Israel.

Regardless of the motives behind the creation of Israel and the merits of Israel's creation itself, the nation has a right to securely exist like every other nation. My nation was, in fact, the first nation to recognize Israel.

The critics of Israel seem to argue that cobbling a nation together with difficult political/cultural ramifications calls into question the nation's legitimacy. But this is nothing new in history, and the precedent for doing so was in place long before 1948. Modern-day Iraq, for instance, was a 1917 British creation.

I support Israel because, as a Christian, I have developed a respect for the Jewish people. I am hardly arguing that the Jewish people are perfect, but it's hard to take the Christian faith seriously and come to any other conclusion, in my view. Most of the Bible (including the New Testament) is written by Jews. In fact, most of the New Testament was written by one single, orthodox rabbi, the Apostle Paul.

And let us not forget that Jesus was a Jew.

I think, too, that one has to admire to struggle of the Jewish people throughout history. Constantly in search of a home, they have endured myriad captivities and persecutions. We have witnessed the same trend in the last two centuries, with horrific atrocities committed against them.

For some reason, totalitarians often make the Jews a prime target. I admire how they have stuck together and persevered in the face of such persecution. It's amazing, and, I think, explained only by God's intervention.

I support Israel because it is a democracy. We are witnessing the birth pangs of democracies in the Middle East, and we hope they succeed. But Israel has been peacefully transferring power between right and left for nearly 60 years.

Notwithstanding the Jonathan Pollard episode, Israel has also been a strong ally of America. This is especially so since 9/11. Whether Labor or Likud is in power, because of its unique position geographically and politically, Israel has remained a vital ally in the struggle against Militant Islam.

Israel is really the first front in this war. We are only in the last few years beginning to understand how the Israelis have lived for decades.

Mind you, I don't think being pro-Israel means one can't criticize the policies of Israel. And it certainly doesn't mean we can't debate theology or all manner of things.

The Jews think I am wrong about Jesus, and I think the same about them. This is no trivial matter, and in fact, I think it's the most important question of all. Still, because of our commitment to freedom and mutual respect, we can discuss/debate and co-exist in the absence of agreement. And we band together against the Islamic totalitarians who would demand the surrender of the free conscience.

So, that's why I am pro-Israel.

Note: I have family business to tend to over the next few days, so I will be back probably Wednesday or Thursday.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Hard Left's warm and open embrace of anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is rising world-wide. It now occurs out in the open with more frequency. This despicable phenomenon also occurs almost exclusively among the Hard Left.

We have witnessed hostility to Israel in various leftist hotbeds throughout Europe, with France being a prime offender in this regard. Now, with a leftist prime minister, we see anti-Semitism is on the rise in Spain, too. (Link via Drudge.)

And at Daily Kos, the voice of the American left, earlier this week, one diarist longingly mused, in a very John Lennon-like tone: "Imagine a world without Israel".

It's so bad at Kos that Little Green Footballs has taken to documenting the ongoing lunacy.

Recently, venerated liberal columnist Richard Cohen said, "The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake." Only conservative commentators made a peep.

And then there's the case of Joe Lieberman, whose crime is apparently supporting the "neo-con" adventure (read: incursion to protect Jewish interests rather than American ones) into Iraq. What do you think the Democrats' primary challenge to Lieberman says?

It's everywhere. As I mentioned to Julie in this comment thread, there are some strange noises on the "right", as well. That is, these strange noises are from the right if you consider Pat Buchanan on the right.

I am uncomfortable dishing out the anti-Semite label indiscriminately. I think it's an extremely serious charge. So, let's say I am not sure what drives Buchanan. That is, I don't know what is in his heart, but the things he says line up consistently with those who hate Israel. As a practical matter, Buchanan consistently takes the same positions as the anti-Semites.

But I will say this: As Buchanan has drifted farther and farther left and away from the mainstream of American conservatism, he has expressed more and more of his lunacy where it comes to Israel. So then, my thesis remains -- If you will drift toward anti-Semitism, the Left will make a home for you. Or is it the other way around?

The piece Buchanan wrote that did it for me, the piece that indicated that the mast had snapped on the USS Buchanan was when he argued that WWII wasn't worth it. That did it. I decided then and there that he had indeed gone mad. Here was one of Buchanan's jewels from that column:
If the objective of the West was the destruction of Nazi Germany, it was a "smashing" success. But why destroy Hitler? If to liberate Germans, it was not worth it. After all, the Germans voted Hitler in.
Conservatives should not have him on their shows. Frankly, hypocritical liberals shouldn't, either. So craven are liberals in their desire to smear Israel and the Bush Administration that they look the other way with Buchanan and wait for him to lob a volley of verbal rockets at the WH and proclaim, "Republican criticizes Pres. Bush."

So full of bravo sierra is Buchanan's latest anti-Israel diatribe from earlier this week that it requires a response.

So, I will respond. Soon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hold the applause while we get some answers

Man, a lot of people seem quite sure about how what is going on in Middle East and where it is going.

I understand the reason for the concern and pessimism. Some smart people have even now figured out that we are in a world-wide conflict with Islamic militants.

Long-term, I remain optimistic. I said, long-term. For the foreseeable future, I think we are in for a long struggle, with some tough days ahead.

But I have thought this for a long time. It helps not to be too smart.

For the unthinkable becomes reality by the day.

We are truly living in extraordinary times. Consider:

The Arab League disapproves of the actions of Hezbollah, while Israeli bombs are falling on these Muslim terrorists. This is a positive development for sure, maybe even incredible on the surface.

But it appears for now that the fear of the Iranian/Shi'a advances in the region trumps the natural anti-Semitism of the Arab League.

The Arab League is dominated by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, et al., that is, nations where Sunni Muslims are the majority. Upon examination of the Muslim world, one finds that Muslim sects often have as little regard for each other than they do for the infidels and Jews. Thus, the Sunni majority congregates in overwhelming numbers in their corners of the Muslim world, and the Shi'a minority congregates in their corner of the Muslim world, with the largest number in Iran. Thus, it takes geo-political carpentry for places like Iraq to work.

The same thing would have been required in Europe ... in the Middle Ages.

More interesting than the Arab League's de facto siding with Israel against Hezbollah is its silence while the Israelis are hammering the Palestinians in Gaza. Here, we have Arabs under attack, and predominantly Sunnis, too. Maybe there's just a Palestinian exception for regarding the Sunni Muslim brothers. Who knows?

All of this is remarkable, because Muslims have in recent history consistently banded together to fight the outside non-believing forces, in particular the Jews.

So, maybe there is hope that Arab nations are moving toward deligitimizing all forms of jihadism, even against Israel.

Still, given the backward nature of many of these countries and the hateful rhetoric routinely taught to the next generation in their woeful schools, I think we might still hold the applause.

We should at least give them a few weeks, or maybe months, to see if they've joined the same century as the rest of the world.

Monday, July 17, 2006

If it walks like a war, looks like a war, sounds like a war ...

it's a war.

Looks like this "violence", as the MSM is describing it, is really the beginnings of an Israeli-led (and incredibly, behind the scenes an Arab-sanctioned) war on both Hezbollah and Hamas.

Signs point to an impending large-scale ground invasion into Southern Lebanon. Look for the NY Times to tell us (and Hezbollah) exactly when and where.

Belmont Club postulates that perhaps Arabs are trying to address the rising Iranian-Syrian influence in the region by tacitly sanctioning the Israelis' actions while publicly expressing dismay.

I think it's too early to tell what the various parties are thinking and what the ultimate end-game is. So, I will sit back and watch.

And I will cheer for Israel. And I won't urge restraint. I will urge them to purge as many Islamic terrorists from the rolls of this life as possible.

Did you notice ... How irrelevant are relativists, diplomats, and appeasers at times like these? The first batch of them were calling on sending some Envoy over there. "Let's talk. Can't we all just get along?"

They completely misunderstand what is at stake for those who would stand in the gap against Islamism. Israel understands.

And, hey, I thought Iran's supreme tie-less leader Ahmadinejad wanted a war with Israel, but when Iranian troops got caught helping attack an Israeli ship and he denied involvement. What gives? This was his moment to shine, to lead his people into war with their "Zionist oppressors".

It seems Ahmadinejad is quick with a knife to the back but not much for looking the enemy in the eye. What is he, a jihadi or something?

All this little putz does is flap his gums. And the hits just keep coming. In his latest bombshell, he said that Israel is "acting like Hitler".

Thus, in an amazing rhetorical flourish, Ahmadinejad managed to show the non-Muslim world once again that he is, in fact, a lunatic while inadvertently complimenting Israel in the Muslim world.

Further venturing into unintended comedy, Iran's foreign minister warned Israel of expanding the war into Syria, predicting "unimaginable damages" for the Israelis.

Did he just deal the Mother of All Battles Card from the bottom of the deck?

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Friday, July 14, 2006

This Christian's thoughts and prayers ...

are with Israel.

Was going to post something light today, but it doesn't seem appropriate.

The pathetic U.N. put forth a resolution condemning Israel when it can't seem to work up the nerve to mention the two-thirds of the Axis of Evil. Are you kidding me?

The European Union condemns the Israelis ... Incredible, or is it?

Michael Medved posted this excellent commentary at Hugh Hewitt's place, explaining the situation and the propriety of the Israeli response.

While the world wrings its hands, here are a few things that seem apparent to me:

1) Israel is winning big, but this is what happens every time that an Arab or Muslim fighting force is directly engaged;

2) The jihadis can be defeated militarily but not by negotiating (perhaps this explains all the hand-wringing by the enemies of Israel);

3) Sovereign nations need no permission to defend themselves from being shelled by enemy rockets;

4) Iran may indeed be fanning the flames to plunge the entire region into war, but ... they better be careful what they ask for; and

5) Times like these remind us of the folly of having weak leftist appeasers in power.

That Israel gets any criticism at all for attacking those complicit in kidnapping its soldiers and shelling its cities is truly remarkable. Such wide-spread criticism of Israel can not be explained rationally.

In contrast, the Israeli response makes perfect sense. To explain just how rational the Israelis have been, Hugh Hewitt asked the following question: "What would Americans demand of the government if scores of rockets from both Mexico and Canada were falling on San Diego and Seattle?"

You know the answer. Hint: It wouldn't have anything to do with a U.N. resolution.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

GNN rides again!!

The site is up: Check out the humble beginnings. Still listed as the first name on La Famiglia Goomba, this puts a spring in my step. Keep your eyes peeled. Looking forward to it.

Sick numerology, death, and Islam in Mumbai

What do we know about the horrific commuter train attacks in Mumbai, fka Bombay? We know that the death toll is now approaching 150.

We know that Islam is involved, do we not? How?

Well, we know that we have the murder of innocent civilians. We have an attack on commuter trains, which sounds a lot like the jihadi modus operandi in Madrid and London. Plus, there was the thwarted attack on the subway system in New York.

We look at the date ... The attack occurred at 6:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday, 7/11. Sounds like other now infamous dates -- 3/11 (Madrid), 7/7 (London), and, of course 9/11.

These jihadis are sick.

We didn't know that India had a consistently pro-Israel foreign policy. Oh, they don't. I guess Indonesia didn't, either.

But we do know that Islam was involved. In India. When can we call this a world war? Perhaps when we know who is on the respective sides.

We all knew Islam was involved when we heard the news. India is an American ally in the war on Militant Islam.

Some argue that Arabs are the problem. No. Apparently, Pakistani jihadis were involved.

Here is what we know: Not all Muslims are terrorists. But all of today's terrorists are Muslims.

The world doesn't want to face these facts and discuss their ramifications. To do so would cut against the relativistic template that all religions are equal. Whatever floats your boat, man ... All faiths are equally harmless and vapid ... All have equal potential for good and to change lives, etc..

But this is not so.

There is evil.

And there is truth.

When will the world face it?

Monday, July 10, 2006

I know there's not much talk about anything but the World Cup Final today, but ...

I will slog on. Did that thing ever end, any way? I know, the beauty, the majesty, the running in circles, the red cards ...

Did some link housekeeping over the weekend, including discovering a whole slew of would-be McCain Opponent supporters who were no longer posting ... or not running the code ... or in one case contemplating whether he was a conservative any more.

So, I cleaned up and cleaned house. It was a Saturday Night Link Massacre. The blogs linked there now want to be there.

Also, did some rearranging/pruning/maintenance and added some new faces to the higher end of the blogroll, i.e., Daily Briefers and Intel Officers. As I have said before, the links do not constitute an endorsement of a particular point of view. If you have read here for awhile, it is pretty apparent with whom I agree/disagree and who may say things a bit different than I do.

But I am a believer in the free exchange of ideas. The blogroll reflects that.

There's a lot to read and take in out there. I moved up Don Surber to a daily briefer because Don posts a lot, and I find his posts interesting, even though I don't always agree. Don is a columnist for the Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia.

Also, I have added Sweetness & Light as a daily briefer. Check it out, if you haven't already. This is a tremendously informative sight from a true-blue conservative point-of-view. They are fantastic. There is a huge brain(s) driving that train.

Added as Intel Officers are American Daughter and American Thinker. These are two great, serious conservative sites that I think you'll find worthy of your time. Great ideas and American Thinker has great columns, too.

There's a lot out here. Speaking of which, an old blogging buddy from the election days, Dan Riehl, has become a big-timer. He is a great guy, too, and does a super job. He's listed under Intel Officers. Check out his site: Riehl World View.

Speaking of Dan, he recently sent this post with his endorsement of Vince Micco, an Iraq vet who is running against a liberal Demo in N.J.'s 9th congressional district (imagine that, a liberal Demo from N.J.). Vince Micco's site is here.

These are important times, and it's an important election year. It's great to be alive and be on the right side.

Finally, you'll note that Goomba's link is gone. His page now is simply blank, so I took the link down. The rumor was/is that a group of conservative bloggers were/are going to reconstitute the Goomba News Network. If and when they do, we'll get it back up. The link's gone, but I still remember. Ah, and speaking of the Great One ... it's over. Italy wins. Viva Italia, again.

Friday, July 07, 2006

He looks like Nixon, so he can't be all bad


It appears the the leftist has been defeated in Mexico. Felipe Calderon has narrowly won.

This is good to see. If the leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had won, we would have surely been treated to endless coverage over the summer (and leading into our own elections) about how Pres. Bush has turned the entire hemisphere against us, with Chavez entrenched in Venezuela and leftists gaining power in Bolivia.

A troubling development in the Mexican election, though, is that Obrador will apparently seek to follow the example of Al Gore and contest the election.

As if we needed any more reminders, this is another reason why the Democrats can never be trusted with power.

Now, the world follows their example. I mean, if the U.S. cries foul over a narrow election loss and throws the country into turmoil, then why not the world? In days gone by, the U.S. could have said with some moral authority: Accept the results and move on. Now, to do so, we would be considered hypocrites.

This reminds me of what we call the "Rule of 100" at my house. That is, if a parent makes a little merry in front of the kids and say, does something "unparentlike", such as ... oh, a belch at the table ... well, you can count on 100 or so of those by the kids for every one misstep by the parents.

Similarly, we assured all manner of foolishness by the world when we lost our way and engaged in endless recounts (all of which are lost but the insanity continued virtually unabated).

And to those internationalists, Mexicans, and the like who are offended by my parent-child illustration, be quiet. You know it's true.

And eat your peas.

And the rest of you Americans, vote Republican.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

If you're going to take on America on the 4th of July ...

... don't do it with a Nodong.

Yes, I would be remiss if I let this week get away without commenting on the N. Korean missile launch on 4 July. Very clever those N. Koreans, launching on 4 July. Were they trying to be funny? I mean, the fireworks we launched in the neighborhood made it farther than the "Taepodong" ... or was it the "Nodong"? Oh, my.

They need to get some English-only names for those missiles. Like Chevy had to change the name of the "Nova" when they sold it in Mexico, because to Mexicans the car was simply "It doesn't run."

Just like the NK missiles -- they are simply "unmanly" missiles.

To make NK missile matters worse, I had the very disconcerting experience of hearing Madeline Albright pronounce the "T" missile as the "Typo-Dong" (I think it is pronounced "Tape-o-Dong", and I dare you to try to say it 10 times in a row real fast without laughing). And then she counseled against "making fun of" the NK "missile" launch, proving again that she is a joke. This reminds me, too: Any of you who would return Albright's party (do you remember which one that was?) to power in these times is insane or wishes ill upon the United States. Have I told you this before? Just wondering.

So, in the wake of the N. Korean fireworks show, we were treated to myriad MSM and diplomat types looking very stern, self-important, and worrying out loud about how we could possibly deal with Kim Jong-il. I think they all overblow it for their own purposes. Fret. Wring hands. Repeat. Give me a break.

All of this reminds me, in a very round-about way as usual, that diplomats will never truly solve the problem in N. Korea or in any other place where a despot threatens the world. Only military force, or at least the the fear of its use, will solve such conflicts.

And by the way ... how nice and ironic that the space shuttle entered space on 4 July, too.

In America, we know the difference between missiles and fireworks. And we know when something really doesn't run.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4 July: Through Freedom's Eye, We see ... a Blue Sky


I can never say it enough.

It makes me so proud that my nation's first words were an utterance of belief, of raw faith, a bold leap into the sky, riding upon and lifted only by the rushing air of the truth upon which they soared.

Surely the founders knew they were taking a bold leap, as they planted their flag on a political and ideological peak never before discovered, much less ascended.

But I wonder if the founders had ever seen an eagle fly.

I wonder if they fully apprehended the power of the rushing wind that would lift them.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident."

Can't you see, man? These things are self-evident. They needed none of the many lawyers in their midst to prove the truth of their bold proclamation.

All men are created equal. They have certain unalienable rights granted to them by God. They have a right to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness. They have a right to hold a government accountable that doesn't abide by these truths.

We Americans believe in these things. As we hold to them, since they are true, we rise as an eagle taking flight. It is natural and the only way to go. It's the only path we know. Up. Out. Over and above. We are free, so we see things that others only dream of. We risk and thus we reap the results of freedom's dare.

As Americans, we look up. We believe.

And the view is beautiful up here.

Belief is a an assurance or confidence of what is, by definition, a mystery. Thus, it always dwells with unbelief. That is, some will always remain unconvinced. This is the nature of free will. In fact, without unbelief, we couldn't even know the nature and joy that is believing in what is true.

Freedom's flight remains a perpetual struggle.

Recently, I was reminded of a trip back from a family reunion in my grandad's car during the mid-70s. I was in the front seat, sitting between my granddad and my dad. They were talking about how surely the Japanese would overtake America as the world's economic leader. Thus, I found myself in the awkward position of arguing with these two men who had taught me to believe in America. "Hey, wait a minute, we'll come back, right? We're Americans."

They knew better, too. My granddad had grown up poor. But he opened a meat market, scratched, clawed, and ultimately became very successful. And my dad, he's the one who told me all about America and why and how to believe. He was a salesman, and just a "rag" salesman at that. Still, he did well. In America, even a rag salesman could do well. This was the land of opportunity. This is what these men taught me. Now, I was arguing with them?

Fast forward about ten years ... I was talking with a friend who went to graduate school at Stanford before going to work at Motorola. His patriotism was waning. Maybe it was the influence of the "enlightened unbelief" at Stanford.

He recounted to me how Japanese were helping themselves to our computer chip designs. They were having trouble keeping up with America, because in their culture, the risks associated with innovation were too great.

Still, my friend argued, "What's the difference, any way? What does it matter if the profits go to Japan or the the U.S?" I steamed. What does it matter?!

What does it matter if America prospers? What does it matter, if this, the last, best hope of mankind survives?

What does it matter? Ask the charitable organizations and missionaries why it matters. Ask those who aren't free. Ask the many nations who still look here for help, guidance, support, and encouragement.

What does it matter that this nation, whose very essence is an abiding belief in freedom, survives? What does it matter?

It matters. A lot.

Fast forward again to 1991 ... Then, we heard Saddam boast of the coming "Mother of All Battles", boiling oil, tens of thousands of body bags, etc. Some gulped and wondered openly if America's young troops had the mettle of past generations. Would they be up to the task? But I saw them and knew they would be. They knew they would be, too. These young Americans believed and never blinked, and Saddam's threat became a punchline.

And now our latest generation of troops has also answered the questions posed by Militant Islamists: Would young Americans leave their safe and secure lives to defend not only their freedom but also that of their countrymen? Would they kick down the necessary doors to root out the enemies of this nation? Many of us knew all along they would.

It goes on and on. You bet against America at your peril. I know, some will always doubt and want to bet against my country. But do you feel lucky? Do you?

Because you see, I have seen ... I have seen the eagle fly.

So, while tyrants become the cynics' masters, we will press on and up.

For we owe it to those who first showed us how to soar to keep faith in America. And we owe it to our young people to continue to believe in America. They are looking at us, as we look back at our examples.

Please understand that I am not advocating belief simply for the sake of believing. I am not advocating belief upon a fictional magic carpet, for belief is only as strong as its object. Rather, I am advocating keeping faith in this nation and its founding principles.

Just because it flies and appears magical doesn't mean it isn't real.

Because I have seen the eagle fly. You have, too.

Thus, we must not grow cynical. Cynicism is antithetical to the ideal that is, indeed the creed that is, America.

For sure, to be tough-minded is an American trait. Indeed, to be realistic about the journey ahead is very American. To give up, however, is not. In America, we believe. Thus, we persevere. We don't quit. We don't whine. And when we forget these things, we remember who we are, where we've been, and how we got here.

And then, we face the stiff breeze again and jump. We jump off the side of another mountain and fly to an even higher ledge of spectacular beauty that no man has seen before.

Surely, the obstacles today are great. We have enemies abroad, traitors within, and we have a long war on our hands. And our adversaries are counting us out.

It sounds like old times. In fact, it sounds a lot like the first Independence Day to me.

So, it sounds like we need some Americans to step up and out.

It sounds like a great ride.

But don't look down. Look up.

It's blue up there. And there's an eagle, headed to a new place that only the free and the brave can see. Let's go.

Photo courtesy of Wild Things Photography.