August 31, 2007

Christiana Amanpour’s G-d’s Warriors - Hardly a surprise.

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Why should we be surprised at Christiana Amanpour’s biased pro-Muslim, anti-Israel, anti-Christian, television extravaganza G-d’s Warriors? Surely, we know who Christiana Amanpour is and whom she has defended and promoted all these years. Way back on Jan. 12, 1998, the Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletin,(http://www.truthinmedia.org/TruthinMedia/Bulletins/tim98-1-7.html) had already figured out Amanpour, citing her pro-Muslim press releases from Bosnia and from the oil dispute in the Caspian Sea. “Christiana Amanpour, a CNN reporter of Iranian ancestry (which CNN carefully omits), whose passionate lies and distortions aired from Muslim Sarajevo during the three-and-a-half year Bosnian war, turned the Christian Serbs into minced meat, while covering the Muslims with sympathy and glory.”

Later Global Watch reports that in Iran - “Magically, a female reporter in a society which ostracizes women, Amanpour, gets instant access to the newly appointed Iranian President Khatami, the supposedly "moderate ayatollah."

An excellent article is also to be found on the Internet at http://www/la.utexas.edu, compiled by Adrienne Gilg, Erica Cavin, and Corina Kellam and quoted below. It captures Amanpour's position relative to Israel perfectly. The article begins with one of Amanpour's truly outrageous, egotistical quotes, "We in the press, by our power, can actually undermine leadership." … “Christiana was influenced by many cultures in her youth. Born in London, England in 1958 to a British mother and Iranian father, she was raised in Iran. She became a familiar face while covering the 1991 Gulf War. As a reporter, she covered Israeli-Palestinian politics and society. In between trips to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, she lives in London with her husband, ex-U.S. State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin. Her young son Darius is named for an ancient Persian king."

A Vietnam veterans group wrote earlier in the New York Times, "Now that the Sarin gas fraud has been exposed -- what about Bosnia coverage by Christiane Amanpour, who fed the American people a nightly diet of slanted reports and chilling images flagrantly favoring Bosnian Muslims"

In light of her obvious bias, her previous post in Israel was often critiqued. A Washington Post op-ed page complained, "When it comes to Israel, Amanpour is certainly no friend. The same can't be said about her attitude toward the PLO. And, in neither case, can she fairly be labeled an objective journalist." Her attacks on former PM Ehud Barak at a press conference supported these accusations, raising questions of her legitimacy when covering topics as sensitive as the Arab-Israeli peace process.”

As to Amanpour’s “G-d’s Jewish Warriors.” She was able to deftly develop a marvelous, al beit, false moral equivalency between Islamic and Israeli terrorism, and the entire territorial and religious problem. How many of Amanpour’s TV minutes were dedicated to the two isolated incidents of Israeli terrorism – the distraught Baruch Goldstein incident and the crazies trying to, thank G-d, unsuccessfully blow up an Arab girl’s school. Contrast these two dastardly deeds with the literally thousands of lethal acts of Islamic terrorism with the loss of thousands of innocent lives all over the world, continuing to this very day.

Amanpour also carefully minimized the fact that the vast majority of Israeli citizens and the Israeli government immediately denounced these acts of terror and threw the surviving perpetrators in jail for 15 years. She deliberately avoided contrasting this Israeli national response to terror with that of Islamists who glorify their terrorists, make them national heroes, send them off to heaven with 70 virgins (I am not sure the reward for young women?) and name their babies, public parks, sports teams, whatever after them.

Even more effective propaganda - How many times did Amanpour find a way to say “Israeli Occupied Territories?” How can Israel supporters possibly defend Israeli actions in any way if Israel continues to sit still for this gross lie that Israel captured “Arab land” and has “occupied” it since the 1967 Six Day War? Israel is not on “Arab land” and never has been. The bare facts of history fully support Israel’s legitimate political, historical, moral and yes, biblical claim to this land dating to 2000 years before Muhammad was even born!

The immediate world must be fully appraised of these basic facts so that the gross lies and lethal propaganda poison of the Amanpours of the world cannot continue to sell. In the meantime, only an almighty G-d, eternal vigilance and the overwhelming power of the Israel Defense Forces will make any real difference to Israel’s dedicated enemies.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2007

From: The Office of Public Liaison, President G.W. Bush, to Jewish Leaders

An address by President G.W. Bush before the 89th annual convention of the American Legion

August 29, 2007

Many people in this country are asking whether the fight underway today is worth. This is not the first time Americans have asked that question. We always enter wars reluctantly -- yet we have fought whenever dangers came. We fought when turmoil in Europe threatened to shroud the world in darkness. America sent its military to fight two bitter and bloody conflicts -- we did what we had to do to get the job done. We fought when powers in Asia attacked our country and our allies. We sent Americans to restore the peace -- and we did what we had to do to get the job done. And we responded when radicals and extremists attacked our homeland in the first ideological war of the 21st century. We toppled two regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq that gave harbor to terrorists, defied the international community, and threatened the security of our nation. And now we're working to help build free and secure societies in their place -- and like the past, we will do what we have to do to get the job done. (Applause.)

We've learned from history that dangers in other parts of the world -- such as Europe and Asia -- directly affect our security here at home. On September the 11th, 2001, we learned that there's another region of the world that directly threatens the security of the American people -- and that is the Middle East. America has enduring and vital interests in the region. Throughout our history, the American people have had strong links with this region -- through ties of commerce and education and faith. Long before oil and gas were discovered in the Middle East, the region was a key source of trade. It is the home to three of the world's great religions. It remains a strategic crossroads for the world.

Yet the hope and prosperity that transformed other parts of the world in the 20th century has bypassed too many in the Middle East. For too long, the world was content to ignore forms of government in this region -- in the name of stability. The result was that a generation of young people grew up with little hope to improve their lives, and many fell under the sway of violent Islamic extremism. The terrorist movement multiplied in strength, and bitterness that had simmered for years boiled into violence across the world. The cradle of civilization became the home of the suicide bomber. And resentments that began on the streets of the Middle East are now killing innocent people in train stations, airplanes, and office buildings around the world.

The murderers and be-headers are not the true face of Islam; they are the face of evil. They seek to exploit religion as a path to power and a means to dominate the Middle East. The violent Islamic radicalism that inspires them has two main strains. One is Sunni extremism, embodied by al Qaida and its terrorist allies. Their organization advances a vision that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women, and children in the pursuit of political power. We saw this vision in the brutal rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, where women were publicly whipped, men were beaten for missing prayer meetings, and young girls could not go to school.

These extremists hope to impose that same dark vision across the Middle East by rising up a violent and radical caliphate that spans from Spain to Indonesia. So, they kill fellow Muslims in places like Algeria and Jordan and Egypt and Saudi Arabia in an attempt to undermine their governments. And they kill Americans because they know we stand in their way. And that is why they attacked U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, and killed sailors aboard the USS Cole in 2001 [sic]. And that is why they killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11. And that is why they plot to attack us again. And that is why we must stay in the fight until the fight is won. (Applause.)

The other strain of radicalism in the Middle East is Shia extremism, supported and embodied by the regime that sits in Tehran. Iran has long been a source of trouble in the region. It is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. Iran backs Hezbollah who are trying to undermine the democratic government of Lebanon. Iran funds terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which murder the innocent, and target Israel, and destabilize the Palestinian territories. Iran is sending arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan, which could be used to attack American and NATO troops. Iran has arrested visiting American scholars who have committed no crimes and pose no threat to their regime. And Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.

Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. And that is why the United States is rallying friends and allies around the world to isolate the regime, to impose economic sanctions. We will confront this danger before it is too late. (Applause.)

I want our fellow citizens to consider what would happen if these forces of radicalism and extremism are allowed to drive us out of the Middle East. The region would be dramatically transformed in a way that could imperil the civilized world. Extremists of all strains would be emboldened by the knowledge that they forced America to retreat. Terrorists could have more safe havens to conduct attacks on Americans and our friends and allies. Iran could conclude that we were weak -- and could not stop them from gaining nuclear weapons. And once Iran had nuclear weapons, it would set off a nuclear arms race in the region.

Extremists would control a key part of the world's energy supply, could blackmail and sabotage the global economy. They could use billions of dollars of oil revenues to buy weapons and pursue their deadly ambitions. Our allies in the region would be under greater siege by the enemies of freedom. Early movements toward democracy in the region would be violently reversed. This scenario would be a disaster for the people of the Middle East, a danger to our friends and allies, and a direct threat to American peace and security. This is what the extremists plan. For the sake of our own security, we'll pursue our enemies, we'll persevere and we will prevail. (Applause.)

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:39 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2007

Diversity Professor has an Unwelcome Epiphany

Washington Times, August 20, 2007

It has become increasingly popular to speak of racial and ethnic diversity as a civic strength. From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger.

But, a massive new study has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam has found that the greater the diversity in a community the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

His findings on the downsides of diversity have also posed a challenge for Putnam, a liberal academic whose own values put him squarely in the pro diversity camp. Suddenly finding himself the bearer of bad news, Putnam has struggled with how to present his work.”

Michael Jonas, writing on “The Downside of Diversity”
Boston Globe August 5, 2007

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2007

A Personal Letter from an Israeli friend

Dear Jerry,

When you think that you have reached the bottom of the pit, all of a sudden, these criminal Israeli politicians prove that you were being naive and they sink lower.

· Amis Mom a survivor of Bergen Belson along with thousands of other survivors have never received a penny of the blood money given to Israeli governments from Germany

· The refugees that were cast out of our beautiful yishuvim (settlements) in Gaza, in order to create a Hamas terror base, from which they rain thousands of missiles into Israeli communities, continue without homes, jobs, respect or decent schools for their children.

· Our soldiers are in Gaza fighting for over a year in an infrastructure of Arab tunnels, trying to eliminate long range missiles, while Israeli politicians, under additional pressure from Condoleezza Rice and the US State Dep’t, hand over thousands of guns to the Hamas killers right next door to me.

· The Israeli government has us pay for the electricity in Gaza to make it easier for the terrorists to attack us. (It would be too hard for them to work in the dark)

· Four of my son Yair’s friends, who were killed last summer, were granted medals of honor posthumously, in order to silence their parents who maintain that they fell because the government did not prepare them properly for war nor give them adequate air cover

· (I have so much to tell you when we meet that I dare not write under Olmert government surveillance)

· Last Shabbat we studied the biblical tract, Shoftim (Judges) and two of the main issues were, "justice, justice thy shall seek " … if you are a judge you must be honest, and you must not become wealthy if you are a king or leader … you shall not own many horses or abuse your power in any way.”
Of course, our secular leaders do not read Shoftim.

· What can I say? I promise you that we shall do our most and more than that and pray that Hashem has pity on us and once again saves his people from themselves.

Love you.

Shabbat shalom,

Shulamit

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2007

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an “Un-indicted Co-conspirator.”

By Jerry Seper

The Washington Times – August 20, 2007

Federal prosecutors and FBI agents are building a case against a Muslim charity on trial in Dallas on charges of providing financial aid to the terrorist organization Hamas and of raising illicit cash for other extremist groups. Five officers of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development — once - considered the largest Muslim charity in the nation, but which U.S. intelligence officials have called the North American fundraiser for the Islamist terrorist group Hamas — are on trial in Dallas, charged with aiding terrorism, conspiracy and money laundering.

The prosecution spent the first two weeks of the trial laying out the connections between U.S. Muslim groups and Middle East terrorists. FBI agent Lara Burns testified that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was listed as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, along with the Holy Land Foundation, the Islamic Association for Palestine and the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR). Miss Burns said CAIR received money from the foundation — an accusation that Nihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of CAIR, denied during congressional testimony in September 2003. She also said Mr. Awad was listed as a member of the Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee in America.

CAIR was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator. It has denied any involvement in support for Hamas or any other labeled terrorist group. Seven of the Foundation’s top officers were named in a 42-count indictment in 2004. They were accused of raising $36 million from 1995 through 2001 for people and organizations linked to Hamas, including $12.4 million after President Clinton designated Hamas as a terrorist organization in 1995.

The foundation was accused in the indictment of conspiracy, providing support to terrorists, money-laundering and income-tax evasion. At the time, Attorney General John Ashcroft said the indictment culminated a multi-agency, 30-month investigation of an organization created to provide financial and material support to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group that has called for the killing of all Jews.

The original indictment said the Holy Land Foundation and its top officers provided financial support to the families of Hamas suicide bombers, detainees and activists to support its terrorist infrastructure. It also said the organization financially supported families of.’well-known' Hamas terrorists killed or jailed by Israelis.

Those charged were Shukri Abu Baker, the foundation’s former chief executive; Holy Land Chairman Ghassan Elashi and five directors and fundraisers: Mohammad El~Mezain, Haitham Maghawri, Akram Mishal, Mufid Abdul Qader, Abdul Raham Odeh, Maghawri and Mishal are fugitives. The Holy Land Foundation was shut down in December 2001 and its assets seized by the federal government after the Treasury Department ruled it a terrorist group, seizing more than $4 million in assets. Law enforcement authorities said the Holy Land foundation is part of a nationwide conspiracy by Islamic extremists to divert cash to international terrorists through “front companies” and “phantom organizations” —many located in Northern Virginia.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2007

The Rape of Europe

By Paul Belien
PhD International Studies


The German author Henryk M. Broder recently told the Dutch Newspaper "DeVolkskrant" that young Europeans who love freedom, better emigrate. Europe as we know it will not exist twenty years from now.

While sitting on a terrace in Berlin , Broder pointed to the other customers and the passers-by and said, "We are watching the world of yesterday." Europe is turning Muslim.. As Broder is sixty years old he is not going to emigrate. "I am too old," he said. However, he urged young people to get out and "move to Australia or New Zealand. That is the only option they have if they want to avoid the plagues that will turn the old continent uninhabitable."

Many Germans and Dutch, apparently, did not wait for Broder's advice. The number of emigrants leaving the Netherlands and Germany has already surpassed the number of immigrants moving in. One does not have to be prophetic to predict, like Henryk Broder, that Europe is becoming Islamic.

Just consider the demographics.

- The number of Muslims in Contemporary Europe is estimated to be 50 million.
- It is expected to double in twenty years. By 2025, one third of All European children will be born to Muslim families.
- Today, Mohammed is already the most popular name for newborn boys in Brussels , Amsterdam, Rotterdam , and other major European cities.

Broder is convinced that the Europeans are not willing to oppose Islamization. "The dominant ethos," he told De Volkskrant, "is perfectly voiced by the stupid blonde woman author with whom I recently debated. She said that it is sometimes better to let yourself be raped than to risk serious injuries while resisting. She said it is sometimes better to avoid fighting than run the risk of death."

In a recent Op-Ed piece in the Brussels newspaper De Standaard the Dutch (gay and self-declared "humanist") author Oscar Van Den Boogaard refers to Broder's interview. Van den Boogaard says that to him coping with the Islamization of Europe is like "a process of mourning." He is overwhelmed by a "feeling of sadness." "I am not a warrior," he says, "but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."

Consider that in all of Europe no one under the age of 65 has picked up arms in defense of their country. That task has been borne by the United States since Hitler surrendered in 1945.

As Tom Bethell wrote in this month's American Spectator: "Just at the most basic level of demography the secular-humanist option is not working." But there is more to it than the fact that non-religious people tend not to have as many children as religious people, because many of them prefer to "enjoy" freedom rather than renounce it for the sake of children.

Secularists, it seems to me, are also less keen on fighting. Since they do not believe in an afterlife, this life is the only thing they have to lose. Hence they will rather accept submission than fight. Like the German feminist Broder referred to, they prefer to be raped than to resist. "If faith collapses, civilization goes with it," says Bethell. That is the real cause of the closing of civilization in Europe.

Islamization is simply the consequence. The very word Islam means "submission" and the secularists have submitted already. Many Europeans have already become Muslims, though they do not realize it or do not want to admit it.

Some of the people I meet in the U. S. are particularly worried about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. They are correct when they fear that anti-Semitism is also on the rise among non-immigrant Europeans. The latter hate people with a fighting spirit. Contemporary Anti-Semitism in Europe (at least when coming from native Europeans) is related to anti-Americanism.

People who are not prepared to resist and are eager to submit, hate others who do not want to submit and are prepared to fight. They hate them because they are afraid that the latter will endanger their lives as well. In their view everyone must submit. This is why they have come to hate Israel and America so much, and the small band of European "Islamophobes" who dare to talk about what they see happening around them. West Europeans have to choose between submission (Islam) or death. I fear, like Broder, that they have chosen submission - just like in former days when they preferred to be Red rather than dead.

Europeans apparently never read John Stuart Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse." "A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Paul Belien (1959) has a Law degree (specialisations in Social Security Law and European Law) and a doctorate in International Studies. He worked as a professional journalist in both Belgium and the Netherlands.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:27 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2007

The Irrational Moon-struck behavior of the Israeli Government

BY ELYAKIM HAETZNI

The Jewish Press, August 17, 2007


Shimon Peres, Israel’s new president, hasn’t even had time to warm his seat and has already, with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's encouragement overstepped his authority. He has encroached on the political realm with the declared purpose of bringing about Israel’s abandonment of historic Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria. Minister Chaim Ramon, as Olmert’s emissary, speaks publicly about immediate negotiations to establish “the principles of the Palestinian State.” That state is to be established, in stage one, on 80-90% of Judea and Samaria with Jerusalem as its capital — while a NATO force will defend Israel!

Pulling all the strings is Condoleezza Rice, with her characteristically brutal position that Israel must leave the “occupied” territories. We must ask: What do they not know that we know? Are they unaware that contrary to Ramon’s claim that after seven years, Israel — for the first time — has a negotiating “partner” (Arafat, Abbas and the rest of the terror gang), the truth is that they were never partners? As one of their leaders, Faisal Husseini, admitted in his last interview before dying, “For us, the Oslo Accords were just a Trojan horse!”

Are they unaware that Fatah changes colors like a chameleon, from “Black September” to “the Eagles of the Palestinian Revolution” to “Tanzim” to the “al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades” — the label under which they murdered most of the 1,500 Jewish victims of Oslo (comparable to 82,000 American fatalities)?

Are they unaware how the “amnesty” that Olmert and his cohorts granted to about 170 of these murderers looks? The murderers hand in their automatic rifles at the front door of the police station in exchange for 100,000 shekels of money that Israel transferred to Abbas, only to receive their weapons back immediately as they leave via the back entrance. Who will guarantee that the moment a Palestinian state is declared, these rifles won’t start shooting again — under another name?

Are they unaware that banishing the Jewish settlers and the army’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip caused a chain reaction of the following:
Thousands of Kassam rockets being fired at the Western Negev; Hamas’s election victory; the Second Lebanon War; a military upheaval; and the wresting of control by Hamas in Gaza — with Iranian and Al Qaeda help? Do they not know how to make a simple analogy that a similar process in Judea and Samaria will bring down a fusillade of rockets on almost all Israeli cities? Have they never heard Jibril Rajoub, the central Fatah figure, say that if the IDF exits the Arab cities, Hamas will immediately take control?

Are they unaware of the latest inter-Arab poll, which shows that 70% of Palestinian respondents side with suicide murderers — the highest percentage in any Arab country? And what will they do when Fatah joins up once more with Hamas? Already Abbas is paying salaries to 100,000 clerks in Gaza who serve Hamas. First and foremost among the recipients is former prime minister Ismail Haniyeh.

As for the “magic solution” being cooked up now of posting NATO troops here, are they unaware that every international force that has ever been brought into our region has always sided with the Arabs? In any event, terrorist leaders of a Palestinian state could easily instruct them to leave, as Nasser did with the UN forces in Gaza before the Six-Day War broke out.

Are they unaware that the State of Israel will lose the basis of its existence if it concedes the lands of the Bible, expels from its midst hundreds of thousands of Jews, and — with its own hands — turns Eretz Yisrael into Palestine?

Are they unaware that an internal earthquake is waiting beyond the bend, and it is unclear whether the army — for whom the previous expulsion of 8,000 Jews already led to AWOL’s, refusal to serve, draft dodging and refusal to undergo officer training — will continue to exist as a united, effective fighting force if it is compelled to uproot and expel hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes?

We must ask: What sane government would place its country’s existence on such thin, fragile ice as Palestinian signings and promises, all the while risking civil war “in exchange” for Palestinian favors? Let us bring in psychologists, and perhaps even psychopathologists, to provide an answer. Perhaps this is the hatred of Leftists for the religious — defying all logic, even the will to survive? Perhaps, it is blind passion, the hallucinatory, fanatical “Messianism of Peace” — like the Branch Davidian cultists whose leader brought a bitter end to his community? The irrational, moonstruck behavior of the Israeli government must be investigated and better this takes place before the calamity than after.

Attorney Elyakim Haetzni, among Hebron’s first settlers, is a highly respected publicist for Eretz Yisrael causes.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:11 AM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2007

Islamic Fascism Eliminates Christians in Iraq

The WASHINGTON Times, July 30, 2007

Iraq’s outnumbered Christians and other religious minority groups are targets of a terror campaign and are facing a dire situation in which killings and rapes have become the norm, a panel of witnesses testified on Capitol Hill on July 25.
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In a hearing convened by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Canon Andrew White, vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad and four other panelists unfolded tales of horrors overtaking Christians, Yezidis (angel worshippers) and Mandaeans, members of a pacifist faith that follows the teachings of John the Baptist. “The situation is more than desperate,” said Mr. White, who described how Christians in Baghdad have been told to convert to Islam or be killed. Hundreds of those who could not afford to flee the country are living in churches without or water, he said. “In the past month, 36 members of my own congregation have been kidnapped:’ he said. To date, only one has been returned.”

Iraq’s eight remaining Jews, now hiding in Baghdad, are “the oldest Jewish community in the world” he said, referring to the 597 B.C. Babylonian conquest of ancient Judah that brought the Jews to the region as captives. “The international community has done nothing to help these people:’ Mr. White said, explaining that the group is trying to emigrate to an Iraqi Jewish enclave in the Netherlands, which won’t admit them.

Michael Youash, director of the Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project, called the situation “soft ethnic cleansing?’ The “de-Christianization of Iraq” is not far off, he predicted, saying that Washington has refused to help Iraqi Christians, whose common faith with many Americans has made them loathed by Muslim radicals. “The State Department just dismisses this as part of an overall conflict:’ he said. But Christians are being disproportionately targeted. The attacks are purely vindictive and vicious. They are meant to give a message.”

Religious minorities have no militias to protect them, Mr. Youash said. “If someone attacks a Shi’ite, there are consequences. If someone attacks a Yezidi or a Mandaean, there are none.” Pascaje Warda, president of the Iraqi Women’s Center in Baghdad, said more than 30 churches have been destroyed; priests have been fatally shot, kidnapped and beheaded; a 14-year-old boy was crucified in Basra; and Baghdad’s once-famous Christian neighborhoods have been emptied of thousands of residents. “That’s because of fatwas issued by Islamic fundamentalists who give them three choices:’ she said. Convert to Islam, pay the jizya [a tax imposed on non-Muslims] or leave with no personal possessions”

Suhaib Nashi, general secretary of the Mandaean Associations Union, said that in the past week alone, several Mandaeari families in Baghdad were given one hour to leave their homes or be killed. On Feb. 26, Rena Al-Zuhair, a 20-year-old Mandaean student, went to school merely to pick up her college degree. “The last voice her mother heard was her crying over the cell phone to save her." Mr. Nashi said. The police force is corrupt, often helps attackers and has little to no role in protecting minorities.”

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2007

As to Rupert Murdoch and his purchase of the Wall Street Journal:

By Cal Thomas
The Washington Times, August 13, 2007

First, my disclaimer:

I appear on the Fox News Channel, one of Rupert Murdoch’s media properties, as a paid contributor. I received neither instructions, nor promises of benefits, in exchange for what I am about to write. We now rejoin my regularly scheduled column:

The grotesque amount of condescension from the elite media concerning the purchase of Dow Jones, which includes the Wall Street Journal, by “media mogul” Rupert Murdoch is astounding. You would think Hugo Chavez had just bought the newspaper with his oil money and announced an immediate tilt to the left. Come to think of it, the elites would not have found that as offensive, because America already has a national newspaper that mostly reflects Mr. Chavez’s leftist views. It’s called the New York Times.

In a nostalgic essay for The Washington Post, David Ignatius wrote about the good old days when he worked for the Journal and expense accounts were as liberal as some of the reporting. Mr. Ignatius claims — without proof— “that as the company’s economic fortunes declined, so did some of its journalism” and that “the Journal’s editorial page increasingly did its own reporting, with equal portions of journalistic hustle and ideological spin, and it often overshadowed the news side, which he suspects “helped undermine the franchise?’

He speculates, “Advertisers perhaps were not enthralled with a newspaper distinguished by vitriolic right-wing attack editorials?’ Never mind that the editorial page editor during the period Mr. Ignatius regards as flawed — the late Robert Bartley — won a Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Ignatius ignores the often vitriolic left-wing editorials and columns in the New York Times, has a newspaper that has recently suffered from a decline in circulation — even in its core market — and been forced to lay off staff. I suspect that under Mr. Murdoch’s ownership, circulation of the Journal newspaper and its online edition will increase and more staffers will be hired, as is now happening with the Fox Business Channel, due to premiere in October.

Most of the elite media were of one mind (surprise) when it came to Mr. Murdoch’s acquisition of the Journal. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell called him “a controversial press lord” and declared Mr. Murdoch “deeply conservative’ which liberals intend as a slur only slightly less insulting than the label, “deeply religious.”

The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta claimed Mr. Murdoch “often” uses his publications and his media to advance his business or his political interests:’ Imagine that! The views of New York Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., can be read in his newspaper, which consistently promotes policies and people he favors. When you’re a liberal this is regarded-by the elites as “good journalism.” When you have a different view, you are engaging in propaganda and serving only yourself and your interests.

The elite media have been beating up on Rupert Murdoch for years, when they ought to have been addressing the cause of their own decline. Instead, they preferred to indulge in paranoia and denial. The attacks on Mr. Murdoch began in earnest just four months after the debut of the Fox News Channel In a transcript provided by the Media Research Center of a Jan. 19,1997, “60 Minutes” broadcast on CBS, Mike Wallace warned ominously that “on Murdoch’s new cable channel the news comes with a conservative spin.” Who did Mr. Wallace cite as his expert authority? None other than CNN founder Ted Turner, who regularly promoted his left-wing views about the Soviet Union, Fidel Castro and other dictators, high taxes, big government, Democrats and environmental activism when he owned and ran that network.

Before Fox News Channel was born, I told several network news presidents someone was going to go after a demographic that felt shut out by the mainstream media? These people, I said, go to church, fly the flag, respect American traditions and institutions, and hate the liberal media. They feel censored, or stereotyped, by the media elites. I told them the person who recognizes that demographic and gives them a voice would reap a huge reward.

That person is Rupert Murdoch. He is not the media Satan, as the left likes to portray him. Some of the offensive (to me) tabloid stuff not withstanding; he just may be the media’s savior. The elites hate him, but growing numbers of people are buying his products.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2007

Congressional Perfidy – American Citizens Squelched.

By Y.E. Bell

The Jewish Press, August 10, 2007

You’re not going to want to believe what occurred in the United States Senate. It was so shameful and despicable that it beggars the imagination. Democrats who took an oath to defend and protect this nation had a choice, “whether they are going to side with the American people or with the terrorists,” as Republican Congressmen Steve Pearce put it.

Democrat senators turned their backs on their fellow citizens — Americans who take very seriously the request of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, among others, “If you see something, say something.” Just as ‘patriotic passengers on U.S. Airways, Flight 300, in November saw something and said something concerning the suspicious behaviors of six Muslim imams resulting in their removal from the flight, law enforcement across this country have asked citizens to inform them of possible trouble at hand.

Trouble indeed was at hand — legal trouble. The so called “six flying imams” filed a lawsuit charging the airline, the owner of the airport, and “John Doe” whistle-blowers with violating their civil rights, among other allegations. The clerics were bolstered by CAIR — the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim organization that typically finds excuses for Islamists who have committed atrocities worldwide. CAIR has also been named an “un-indicted co-conspirator” in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support Hamas.

The imams received the support of 39 U.S. senators, all Democrats, when the lawmakers blocked the “John Doe Amendment” that would have provided limited civil immunity to people (including the imam’s “John Does”) who in “good faith” report suspicious behavior to authorities. The legislation, which required a super majority of 60 votes to pass on procedural grounds, would have prevented lawsuits that could bankrupt a patriot who did his/her civic duty.

It is precisely the protection needed to get cooperation from citizens similar to the New Jersey store clerk who recently, helped law enforcement avert Islamic carnage and mayhem at Fort Dix. And it is precisely the kind of cooperation the senators perfidiously, sought to chill. “Democrats are discouraging citizens from reporting suspicious behavior, and that simply leaves America vulnerable to terrorist attacks,” stressed Chairman of the House Republican Conference, Adam Putnam.

Among the 39 Democrats killing the amendment were Majority Leader Harry Reid; the number two Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin; Judiciary Chairman, Pat Leahy; presidential hopefuls Chris Dodd and Joe Biden; Ted Kennedy; John Kerry; and ultra-liberal Barbara Boxer. Even strong partisans Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer understood the implications of voting against the “John Doe Amendment,” which was rejected in the 57—39 vote. “This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves into radical Islamists,” responded an angry Peter King, a New York congressman who cosponsored similar legislation that overwhelmingly was passed in the House of Representatives.

So, it took Democrat/Independent Senator Joe Lieberman to keep the amendment alive. In a joint House and Senate Conference Committee negotiation, Lieberman managed to craft homeland security legislation that included a measure that will protect people who report suspicious behavior around airports, trains and buses from a “six imam” type lawsuit. Well-done Senator Lieberman!

At the same time, Senate Democrats turned their attention to chilling free speech. They blocked an amendment sponsored by Republican Senator Norm Coleman to halt the return of the “Fairness Doctrine.” With liberal talk-radio an abject failure, Democrats sought to prevent you from receiving information that would expose what they are up to in Congress. The doctrine, which decades ago required the few media outlets in existence to present opposing views, was repealed during the Reagan presidency because of the plethora of radio and television stations.

With the emergence of satellite radio, cable TV, the Internet, blogs and broadband, the Fairness Doctrine has become even more antiquated. Understanding that abundant outlets exist to present all points of view, the House recently passed legislation preventing the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) from using taxpayer money to reinstate the doctrine. “I do have a strong objection to folks wanting to cut off talk radio because it’s conservative. Let the people be able to make the choice,” Senator Coleman said.

This attempt to silence conservatives isn’t new. Republican Senator James Inhofe revealed a conversation he said he overheard between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer three years ago in which they discussed a “legislative fix” to silence conservative talk-radio. Their “legislative fix” could result — to their satisfaction — in forcing broadcasting companies to drop talk formats out of fear of being hounded and fined by relentless federal bureaucrats monitoring the content of their programs.

“Having the bureaucrats dictate the content of the airwaves isn’t much different from what we are seeing in places like Iran and Russia where they are rolling back freedom of the press,” stated Republican Senator John Thune. Yes, Senator, a Russian type of political and social system, commonly known as Marxism, is precisely what the perfidious liberal Democrats have in mind for America.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2007

How Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged et al, looked at Israel

From an article by Orit Arfa

International Jerusalem Post, August 9, 2007

Anyone who has heard Dr. Yaron Brook lecture on foreign policy would likely call him a militant, unflinching champion of Israel. His loyalty however, does not derive from his Jewish or Israeli background. He’s a proud atheist, who admits to not knowing - or caring — when the Passover Seder falls on the calendar.

He relentlessly defends Israel and the West because he puts his faith in the rational, free, individual soul. Brook is the president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute (MU) in Irvine, California, an educational institute and resource center entrusted with spreading Objectivism, the formal name of the philosophy of the controversial 20th-century novelist-philosopher.

“We view what happens in Israel as an indicator of what will happen in the rest of the world. To the extent America abandons Israel, it abandons itself Israel is a beacon of civilization in a barbaric, backward area,” Brook said on a recent trip here to visit family with his wife, also an Israeli expatriate, and their two children.

“Israel represents, despite its flaws, the values of the West; individual rights, free speech, freedom of the press, equality before the law and the rule of law.” Objectivism upholds values generally associated with Western culture — individualism, reason, and science - but its distinctive development is a moral ideal of “selfishness,” whereby someone’s own happiness is a moral responsibility.

The home page of the Rand Institute presents Rand’s mantra: “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”

Ann Rand Institute (AJI) was founded in 1985, after Rand’s death, by her intellectual heir, Leonard Peikoff, to pave the way for a philosophical and cultural renaissance in the US and to reverse what ARI sees as anti-reason, anti-individualism and anti-capitalist trends in today’s culture. It concentrates on American domestic issues, but Israel figures prominently in its lectures, essays and editorials. “

Ayn Rand herself commented that Israel was one of the few causes she ever voluntarily supported,” Brook said~ “The West turning against Israel – which she saw occurring in the late 1960s and early 1970s – was the West committing suicide.”

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2007

Israeli Soldier Refuseniks

By Yehudit Tayar
August 8, 2007

In the last few days the "hot headlines" in the media have related to the report of how every fourth young Israeli shirks his army duty. The Chief-of-Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, amongst others, declared that this must be changed and the pride of Israeli youth volunteering for elite units in the Israeli Defense Forces must be reinstated, that the flush of national pride of serving in the I.D.F. by these youths must be rekindled.

Today, a unit of those proud Israeli youth who have volunteered to serve in one of the IDF elite units were the topic of discussion and argument when they refused orders to expel fellow Jews from their homes in the Jewish-owned property in the city of Hebron. Two years ago methodic preparations and psychological pressure were used on Israeli soldiers including dressing them in "costumes" in order to use these young Israelis to deport and exile Jewish families from their homes and communities in Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron.

Is it really surprising that Israeli soldiers do not wish to follow orders that are not going to protect the Land and people they volunteered to serve? The soldiers who took part in the destruction of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron were told that this served the country. Today two years later, these soldiers are witnessing the grim outcome of these orders that they obeyed. These soldiers see the criminal neglect of the government that sent them on this despicable mission of destruction - those that were ripped away from their homes, communities and jobs and still are not taken care of.

These young Israelis see the outcome of the political decisions while their fellow soldiers are fighting inside of Gaza and the entire south of Israel is under constant missile fire. These soldiers hear the grim warnings of the strengthening of the Hamas and the real dangers to Israel since Israel withdrew from Gush Katif.

The Israeli youth who volunteer for combat units do so in order to give of themselves and protect the country and people of Israel. Are those politicians, and even the media, so blind that they are unable to make the connection between the lack of motivation of Israeli youth to join the army and the immoral orders given to soldiers?

Yes, a soldier must carry out orders, but we Israeli Jews have always pointed with gratitude and pride to the morality of our soldiers and an army that has shown mutual responsibility for our brother and sister Jews no matter where they are: Israel, Entebbe or wherever.

The situation today of immoral, even dangerous orders, given to our sons by politicians with an agenda is most likely the main cause of the refusal of so many youth to join the army. This callous use of Israeli soldiers in political tasks has lowered the desire of youth to volunteer and has left our sons almost alone in their desire to, despite all, give of themselves and join the most elite combat units.

Even as all of this is happening an Israeli theatre group, the Camari, has the audacity to perform a play that portrays our soldiers and commanders as brutal to the Muslems in Hevron while showing the Arabs as poor unfortunates.
How can this travesty continue? How can this immorality be allowed in a country that is fighting for her survival and is paying the most heartbreaking price – the lives of our sons who are running ahead in battle to protect the ideals and morals of Israel? How dare those politicians take advantage of the love for Israel that our sons feel?

Instead of accusing these young men for not obeying orders it is time to rethink and return to the morality that we all expect from the Israeli Defense Forces- to protect the Jewish values, lives, and property and serve those values and not destroy them. It is time for true leadership to fulfill the enormous responsibilities that it has and stop destroying the moral codes of our lives. When this happens then we will see the restoration of what Israel means to the Jewish people, and the Israeli Defense Forces mean to our youth.

Yehudit Tayar is a veteran spokesperson for the Settlement Movement, a veteran combat soldier and mother of four, all of whom have done full military service in the I.D.F.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2007

Liberals Lament – FDR Democrats: Please Read

By David J. Forman

Jerusalem Post International, August 2, 2007

(PS – Lots of the statements re: Palestinian rights, land stealing, etc. are full of you know what but, please read this, reluctantly stated admission, nevertheless) Jsk

Having grown up in a home of diehard New Deal Democrats, with a wider family circle that included hard-core socialists and communists, and having come of age in the United States during the turbulent 1960s, every fiber in my body is filled with political and social liberalism. Throughout the years, I have tried to maintain a universal outlook on life, no matter the winds of change that continually blow across the international arena, relentlessly testing my ideological world view -especially over the 35 years I have lived m Israel and, particularly, the last 10.

Since the onset of the second intifada; the rise of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Hamas’s takeover of Gaza; the encroachment of Hizbullah, I am fighting forces within me that are edging to the political Right - all the while desperately holding on to a progressive philosophical mind-set. In the deepest recesses of my being, I am finding it difficult to maintain my usual equilibrium.

I am constantly doing battle with two competing inclinations — one to preserve my body (my physical well-being) and one to preserve my soul (my moral integrity). And, right now, the urges of my body seem to be getting the upper hand. I feel my corporeal self under siege from all sides. I ache with the historical burden of persecution knocking at my door every minute of the day, fired by forces like those that engulfed us during the Crusades - read Hamas - and expelled us during the Inquisition - read Hizbullah -and led by the warriors of anti-Semitism like Chmelnitsky - read Hassan Nasrallah - and those who slaughtered us mercilessly like Hitler — read Ahmadinejad.

(Aside comment by a knowledgeable Catholic friend:

The statement including the Crusades SHOWS IGNORANCE OF THE CRUSADES.THOUGH CARRIED OUT WITH THE BRUTALITY OF THE DAY. WHEN YOU LOOK AT HISTORY, YOU WILL NOTE THAT THE CRUSADES WERE IN ESSENCE A JUSTIFIABLE DEFENSIVE WAR. ISLAM HAD BEEN CONQUERING CHRISTIAN COUNTRY AFTER CHRISTIAN COUNTRY AND HAD JUST BEEN STOPPED AT THE PYRENEES. AND, WOULD BE A BIT LATER AT THE GATES OF VIENNA. A THRUST INTO THE CENTER OF THE ARMY ATTACKING YOU IS. VALID STRATEGY.

THE CARNAGE OF THE FIRST CRUSADE IN THE RHINELAND VALLEY IN 1096 WAS NOT CAUSED BY THE OFFICIAL CRUSADERS BUT BY A HUGE MOB OF SELF-PROCLAIMED CRUSADERS WHO, LITERALLY, MISSED THE BOATS AND DECIDED ON THEIR OWN. THEY DECIDCED TO TAKE THE LAND ROUTE AND, WHILE THEY WERE AT IT, FORCE CONVERT ANY "INFIDELS" ALONG THE WAY. BEING UNEDUCATED THEY DID NOT KNOW THAT CHURCH LAW STRONGLY FORBAD THE FORCE CONVERSION OF JEWS.

THE BISHOPS OF MAINZ AND THE OTHER CITIES ALONG THE WAY DID EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO HIDE AND PROTECT THE JEWS, THOUGH THEY WERE NOT AS SUCCESSFUL AS THEY WANTED TO BE. THE MOB WAS SLAUGHTERED BY THE ARMY OF THE KING OF HUNGARY WHO DID NOT WANT THEM RAMPAGING THROUGH HIS LAND AND DOING THE SAME THING.

CHRISTIAN CHRONICLES NO LESS THAN JEWISH CHRONICLES CONDEMNED THE MOB-CRUSADERS, AND WHEN THE NEXT POPE PROCLAIMED THE NEXT CRUSADE A MAJOR THEME OF THE CLERICS PREACHING IT WAS TO AVOID DOING HARM TO JEWS. HAMAS, HIZBULLAH ETC. ARE VERY MUCH LIKE THIS MOB, BUT THAT WAS NOT WHAT THE POPES HAD IN MIND IN CALLING UP THE CRUSADES.)

How do I maintain a sense of justice for Palestinians whose freedoms have been compromised under Israel’s 40-year occupation (BS! - jsk) and continue to advocate for their human rights, when I know they are being swept up by a pan-Islamism characterized by Islamist extremism? . No wonder the Israeli Left has gone underground. Many of our cherished values have gone up in smoke.

We hate the security barrier because it steals Palestinian lands, divides villages and separates families, but we sleep better knowing our children no longer play Russian roulette with their lives when they venture out in public. We deplore targeted assassinations, but when the IDF kills terrorists on their way to fire rockets into Sderot, we breathe a sigh of relief — even if innocent Palestinians are caught in the cross fire.

Has the Right read the political map better than we have? Everything that those who opposed the unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza predicted would happen has happened. Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the south are squeezing us and, at a moment’s notice, could wreak havoc upon the country. The internecine fighting in Gaza, where Palestinians killed each other with impunity, proved a harsh reality: These Muslim fanatics are out for anyone’s blood that gets in the way of their ultimate goal -spilling the last drop of Jewish blood.

So, what’s an Israeli liberal Jew to do — turn to our leftist sympathizers abroad to gain some perspective and objectivity? Who are they — the American Center for Constitutional Rights that has issued warrants for the arrest of Moshe Ya’alon and Avi Dichter for war crimes; the International Solidarity Movement or the Christian Peacemaker Teams whose Web sites are veritable wellsprings of anti-Semitic drivel?

You see why I feel besieged — even my natural allies put me on the defensive.
We activists for decency and fair play for the other can no longer bury our heads in the sand. We must find a way to reconcile our ideological liberalism with the harsh political realities of a bellicose neighborhood and an indifferent at best, hostile at worst, world community that allows the UN Human Rights Commission to single out Israel for permanent scrutiny. (Silent complicity strikes the Jews again.) Only America has consistently stood by us.

So as not to further darken the gathering storm hovering above, we liberals will have to temper our views and moderate our behavior. Does this mean that we limit self-criticism and curtail what we say and what we do because our words and actions can supply ammunition to our detractors and to those who decry our legitimacy as a state? Does it mean that we sacrifice our moral conscience on an altar of fear? No! But, it does mean that we must carefully weigh the possible consequences of our rhetoric and activities.

It also means that we who are sympathetic to Palestinian suffering cannot become mirror images of our right-wing adversaries — abandoning any sense of balance, thus discounting Israeli pain. More so, even as we concede Israeli offenses, we must acknowledge Palestinian violence and, more importantly, its global implications.

With the radicalization of Gaza, surely to be exported to the West Bank, Palestinians are part of a growing Islamist threat to Western stability, and we stand at the forefront of its eventual onslaught. For those of us born with a liberal spoon in our mouths, the challenge is formidable — almost frantic. Painful memories of our history, presently reflected in the mirror of a dangerous new reality, compel us to examine and re-examine, evaluate and reevaluate our deeply held principles — even as we resolutely cling to our ideals, steadfastly advancing a social agenda that impels Israel to be a “light unto the nations.”

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2007

Finally, I Understand Obscene, Unconscionable, Lawyer Fees

Northwest Airlines bankruptcy attorney seeks “bonus!”

Firm says it deserves $3.5 Million ‘fee enhancement’
because it was key in ‘extraordinary results.’

BY JOSHUA FREED
Associated Press, August 2, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS - The lead lawyers in the Northwest Airlines bankruptcy case are asking for a $3.5 million bonus for shepherding the airline through Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New York called the bonus a “fee enhancement” in a court filing this week, saying it deserves the extra money because unsecured creditors were getting back an average of 74 percent of their claims, more than in other recent airline bankruptcies. (They are right about that. Most of the bankruptcy lawyer case fees seem to revolve around the money still left in the bankrupt company. The lawyers then keep the case alive while charging fees until there is no money left and the creditors get maybe one to ten cents on the dollar owed to them.)

The firm, ”as the leader of the leader of the Northwest bankruptcy legal team was a critical player in the achievement of these extraordinary results:’ it wrote in its filing. The requested bonus works out to about 10 percent of the $35.4 million Cadwalader has already billed for Northwest’s Chapter 11 case.

Lead attorney Bruce Zirinsky alone charged from $800 to $850 per hour totaling more than $3.3 million for almost 4,100 hours, according to the filing.
Northwest flied for bankruptcy protection on Sept 14, 2005, and emerged from bankruptcy May 31. Some of the final attorney’s bills have been filed in recent days.

One of them came from attorneys for the Air Line Pilots Association, which waged a months long fight with Northwest over the pay cuts and other concessions. It asked for $1.6 million in fees and expense including $859,822 for the union’s lead attorneys, Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, with the rest going to consultants.

In a court filing, union attorney Richard M. Seltzer said the recent Delta Air Lines Inc. bankruptcy supports his request. In that case, Delta agreed to reimburse the union with cash and credit for pay losses up to 8 million, in addition to paying the unions financial advisers, according to the filing.

It also pointed out that an Ad Hoc Committee of Equity Holders was awarded almost $4 million for professional fees after it fought with Northwest in court over whether shareholders should receive anything in the reorganization. Ultimately any money paid to attorneys reduces what’s left for creditors. (Really!)

Lynn LoPucki, a law professor at UCLA and expert on bankruptcy fees, said judges generally approve 99 percent of requested payments for attorneys and experts hired by bankrupt publicly traded companies. He said that’s because attorneys steer their companies toward filing bankruptcy cases in jurisdictions where judges have a reputation for not raising too many questions about fees.

“Within the range of reason, ( whose “reason”?), the courts are under tremendous pressure to say ‘Yes,’” he said. “If they don’t, they and their colleagues don’t get any more big cases?’ And that would mean a loss of prestige for the courts and less bankruptcy business for local attorneys, he said.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2007

What became of President GW Bush, my former hero?

Has James Baker III addled his brain to embrace the Saudis, the primary financier of Wahhabism - Islamic fascism dedicated to our destruction?

Redacted from Jewish World Review, July 31, 2007

By Caroline B. Glick

…Unfortunately, today the Bush administration is behaving counter-intuitively. It pursues its alliance with Saudi Arabia with vigor while eschewing and downgrading its alliance with Israel.

The administration's hostility toward Israel is not limited to its intention to arm the Saudis with weapons capable of destroying Israel's strategic assets in the Negev. It is also actively pressuring Israel not to defend itself against Iran and its proxies. Since the Second Lebanon War last summer, the US has pushed Israel to take no action against Iran's proxy Hamas on the one hand, while pushing Israel to empower Fatah, which has its own strong ties to Iran and to Hamas, on the other.

By pressuring Israel to enact a policy of capitulation toward the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, similar to its capitulation to the Palestinians two years ago in Gaza, the Bush administration is advancing a policy that if implemented all but ensures Iranian control over the outskirts of Jerusalem and Amman.

THERE ARE two principal causes of the US's coolness toward Israel and warm embrace of the Saudis. First, the administration's failure to achieve its goals in Iraq strengthened the influence of the Saudi's Cold War proponents. These proponents, led by former secretary of state James Baker's disciples Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, advance their Saudi-centric agenda while paving the way for a US withdrawal from Iraq without victory. In the Baker camp's view, the best way to facilitate a pullout is by strengthening the Saudis so that they can perhaps prevent a post-US withdrawal Iraq from devolving into an Iranian colony.

The second cause of the administration's hostility toward Israel is the Olmert government's irresolute handling of the Second Lebanon War last year. As was the case 25 years ago, so too last summer, the administration supported Israel against the wishes of the Baker camp. Yet when unlike 25 years ago, last summer the Olmert government led Israel to defeat in Lebanon, it weakened the standing of administration officials who view Israel as a strategic ally and oppose the Saudis, while strengthening Israel's Baker-inspired foes who view Israel as a strategic liability.

The Olmert government's enthusiastic embrace of capitulation as a national policy toward the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria merely serves to strengthen the US view that Israel is a strategic liability rather than an asset.
Yet, the lessons of the Cold War, and those of the past 15 years remain clear. The Saudis remain at best fair-weather friends to the US, while Israel's strength or weakness directly impacts US national security and geopolitical interests. As was the case during the Cold War, so too today, the US's best option for checking Russian and Iranian expansionism and neutralizing Sunni jihadists is to back Israel.

If the US were willing to understand the clear lessons from its Cold War experience in the Middle East, it would not be pushing Israel to weaken itself still further through land giveaways to Iran's Palestinian proxies. It would not be actively undercutting Israel's national security by supplying sophisticated weapons to the Saudis. It would be admonishing the Olmert government for its irresponsible behavior and exhorting Israel not to go wobbly because it is needed for the larger fight.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)