Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Good article by Atlas

Pamela of Atlas Shrugs wrote this:

I once had a boyfriend who liked me more than I liked him. He was a musician - with me so far? Good. I thought it best to end things rather than lead him on. He would not take no for an answer. No matter how firm and definite - he pursued with singular determination. He did not hear a word I said. No matter how many times. And so I refused to see him or talk to him. He would wait outside my building .......... until one day the cops had to be called because he had a rifle.

Fast forward Annapolis.

What part of NO don't we understand?

The Palis, the Islamazis, the Arab world has been unequivocal in their refusal to recognize Israel. Every year, every decade, every war, every intifada .......... it has always been the same. Always. The Saudis would not even shake hands with Israel at Annapolis.  Wishing and hoping and dreaming and praying and land givebacks and billions  in aid and arms and food and medicine and all those delicious carrots the West is so good at handing over has made no difference. None. Today the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran calls for Death to Israel and Death to America.

And still we stalk. No matter what. We suspend our disbelief. We stalk for peace. We won't fight for peace.  We will beg, cajole, buy off,  sleep with evil men, fund terror, ignore everything the enemy is insisting on ........ we will do everything, except what must be done to create a real peace - fight. Self defend.

The only time Israel had a modicum of peace  was after she beat back the invasion of five Arab countries during the six day war and crushed the enemy. That's the fact. And the international communitay has been punishing Israel ever since.

Read the rest.  She is absolutely correct.  They tell us to our face that they want to kill us, and we still ask: "Why can't we get along?"  Enough already.

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Monday, December 3, 2007


It has been several days since I saw this (via Atlas):

Jewish York students flee from mob

Posted On 11/27/07
By: Atara Beck

TORONTO  – York University saw the worst antisemitic display ever on that campus last week, said Ben Feferman, senior campus coordinator for the Canadian region of Hasbara Fellowships, an Israel advocacy organization spearheaded by Aish Hatorah.

The Betar-supported Campus Coalition of Zionists (CCZ), together with Hasbarah, manned a table in Vari Hall, with permission from the university, with pamphlets and brochures about the danger emanating from Iran.

However, the situation became very difficult for the students who participated. They were vastly outnumbered by pro-Arab students who surrounded them, and eventually the pro-Israel activists fled. As they left, there was cheering by the pro-Arab mob.

According to Feferman, “I’ve never seen anything like this at York. We weren’t even discussing the issues anymore. It was pure Jew hatred. That’s what it’s come to.”
In fact, Feferman noticed an acquaintance there and said hello, but received no acknowledgement. She emailed him later that day to apologize, explaining that she didn’t want everyone to know she was Jewish. To Feferman, this episode is a red light. “We know there’s a crisis when a student on campus is afraid to reveal she’s Jewish and feels unsafe,” he said.

Another disturbing issue that day, according to Feferman, was that a Hillel executive was standing nearby, watching. Feferman can’t understand why he didn’t take action or get his students to help out.

When asked why they didn’t offer to support Hasbarah and CCZ, Tilly Shames, associate director, Hillel of Greater Toronto, did not answer the question directly referencing a program Hillel had held previously that experienced no protest.

They fled?!  What the hell is that?!  What were they afraid of?  A confrontation?  A fistfight?  Only those who flee can be sent to the gas chambers.  And this headline is adding insult to injury.  I just want to hang my head in shame.

Someone might ask me: "What would you do?"  Well, this is one of few instances when I know exactly what I would do: I've been in situations like this one.  Suffice it to say, I would not "flee", and neither would my friends.

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About that phone call...

OK, last Monday morning I did call the White House, the Israeli Embassy and the State Department.  There was nobody, not even a machine, answering at the White House.  After saying "hello" several times I heard a beep.  I attempted to leave a message, but I think that that beep was the phone disconnecting.  The Israeli Embassy did not call me back: for some reason the system on that web site did not work for the Israeli Embassy.  The State Department call came through successfully, and I was able to leave my message.  I did not get a chance to try this again.  Of course, all 3 places can be contacted via e-mail, but the phone calls are usually more effective.

Now, some people are skeptical about making these phone calls, especially those who are originally from the former Soviet Union, like myself.  They don't believe that they can influence the Government.  So I'd like to tell a story about people influencing their government in a very unlikely place.

Back in 1987 I was still living in Odessa, Ukraine.  One of the historic streets in Odessa is Primorsky Boulevard (Seashore Boulevard).  It has beautiful historic buildings on one side and a slope leading to the Black Sea shore and Odessa Sea Port on the other side.


Between these beautiful buildings and slopes are old trees and benches.  Essentially, it's a park.  Well, in 1987 a Chief Architect of Ukraine decided that these trees block the view of the buildings from the see.  So, he gave orders to dig the trees up and replace them with some bushes.  The work had begun.  But the people of Odessa protested and demonstrated against it.  People even organized patrols to guard the trees during the night.  One evening I also went there and confronted the representatives of the authorities.  In the end the people won.  The trees were left alone.  Some bureaucrat from Kiev was not going to dig up our trees.  So, if it was possible for the people to have influence in the old Soviet Union, don't you think it is much more likely for the people to have influence in this country?

Returning to the subject at hand, here is an update from Jewish Russian Telegraph:

We Jammed State Department's Lines

Thank you to all activists who responded to our and other groups appeal and made a call.
We jammed the lines and sent a message.

Coordinating Council for Jerusalem:


Innovative Grassroots phone calling campaign overwhelms State Department

 New York, NY/Washington, D.C. – November 28th, 2007 – The Coordinating Council on Jerusalem (www.ccjer.org) is proud to announce the phenomenal success of their revolutionary Internet activated grassroots phone calling system. Calls facilitated by the CCJ’s system are overwhelming operators at the White House, State Department and Israeli Embassy.

By visiting the website http://callsForJerusalem.org, and taking 90 seconds out of the day, anyone who opposes U.S. pressure on Israel and believes in the significance of maintaining a unified Jerusalem, will be connected directly and free of charge to the various agencies to send a simple message expressing their opinion to the U.S. and Israeli leadership participating in Annapolis. The website has been up for less than 48 hours and has already proven to be a vastly effective grassroots technique; over 10,000 calls have been made already.

“The results are very gratifying and the turnout is incredible for a virally marketed campaign.” says Jeff Ballabon, the political consultant coordinating the strategy of the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem. “We have created a new way literally to give a voice to the Pro-Israel community’s thoughts and the calling volume is growing every hour.”

Even groups not officially affiliated with CCJ have jumped on the bandwagon. “Everyone from the Rabbinical Council of America to G Gordon Liddy are utilizing and promoting our callsForJerusalem.org  system to their bases,” says Ballabon. “We welcome them and encourage others to join.” In response to reports that the State Department has begun to advise callers that their mailbox servers have been filled, the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem will be requesting that the State Department increase the space in the voicemail boxes in order to accommodate the increasing number of Americans who want to petition their government against pressuring Israel.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Urgent call

I just got back home from out of town.  I found this urgent e-mail from Jewish Russian Telegraph:

...Our children will ask us -- what did you do to defend Israel in Annapolis?

Time to call: Monday 11/26/07, during office hours
How to call: click
http://jrtelegraph.callsforjerusalem.org/ for a completely automated calling system:

calls are free, courtesy of Coordinating Council for Jerusalem 

Again, here is the link.  It seems to be the same link that was posted on Little Green Footballs.  This link allows you to call the White House, the State Department and the Israeli Embassy.  I have just tried calling, but the offices are closed.  They will send an e-mail tomorrow to remind me to call during the business hours.  Please call also.

Also, here is Caroline Glick's article on the subject of this summit in Annapolis (via Jewish Russian Telegraph).  She nails it:

The mood is dark in the IDF's General Staff ahead of next week's "peace" conference in Annapolis. As one senior officer directly involved in the negotiations with the Palestinians and the Americans said, "As bad as it might look from the outside, the truth is 10 times worse. This is a nightmare. The Americans have never been so hostile."

On Thursday a draft of the joint statement that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are discussing ahead of the conference was leaked to the media. A reading of the document bears out the IDF's concerns.

The draft document shows that the Palestinians and the Israelis differ not only on every issue, but differ on the purpose of the document. It also shows that the US firmly backs the Palestinians against Israel.

As the draft document makes clear, Israel is trying to avoid committing itself to anything at Annapolis. For their part, the Palestinians are trying to force Israel's hand by tying it to diplomatic formulas that presuppose an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines and an Israeli acceptance of the so-called "right of return" or free immigration of foreign Arabs to Israel.

The Palestinians are also trying to take away Israel's right to determine for itself whether to trust the Palestinians and continue making diplomatic and security concessions or not by making it the responsibility of outside parties to decide the pace of the concessions and whether or not the Palestinians should be trusted.

As the leaked draft document shows, the Americans have sided with the Palestinians against Israel. Specifically, the Americans have taken for themselves the sole right to judge whether or not the Palestinians and the Israelis are abiding by their commitments and whether and at what pace the negotiations will proceed.

But the Americans have shown themselves to be unworthy of Israel's trust. By refusing to acknowledge Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party's direct involvement in terrorism and indeed the direct involvement of his official Fatah "security forces" in terrorism, the Americans have shown that their benchmarks for Palestinian compliance with their commitments to Israel are not necessarily based on the reality on the ground. Then too, the US demands for wide-ranging Israeli security concessions to the Palestinians even before the "peace" conference at Annapolis have shown that Israel's security is of little concern to the State Department.

IDF sources blame the shooting murder of Ido Zoldan on Monday night by Fatah terrorists on Israel's decision to bow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's demand to take down 24 security roadblocks in Judea and Samaria. If it hadn't been for US pressure, they say, it is quite possible that the 29-year-old father of two small children would be alive today.

But this is of no concern for Washington. As Rice has made clear repeatedly, the US wants to see "signs of progress." Since the Palestinians are taking no action against terror and doing nothing to lessen their society's jihadist fervor, the only way to achieve "signs of progress" is by forcing Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. And so that is exactly what Rice and her associates are doing.

It is really upsetting to me as an American to read this.  Unfortunately Caroline Glick is absolutely correct.  Read it for yourself.  And

please call.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Talking about my favorite candidate, ...

...here is a couple of ads:

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One of my favorite authors...

...supports my favorite Presidential Candidate.  I am talking about Vince Flynn, the author of "Memorial Day" and numerous other novels about Mtch Rapp, an American counter-terrorism operative who knows what needs to be done in the current war.  His latest book, "Protect and Defend", deals with Iranian threat.  I have yet to read this book.  For now here is Vince Flynn's interview that he gave to "Washington Times" upon release of his new book:

A page from his book

November 16, 2007

By Audrey Hudson - Novelist Vince Flynn's hot new political thriller featuring CIA superspy Mitch Rapp hit the New York Times best-seller list at No. 1 this week.

In "Protect and Defend," Mr. Flynn pushes the political debate on the use of torture in the war on terror as he pits Rapp against master terrorist Imad Mukhtar.

The following are excerpts of a recent telephone interview with Mr. Flynn:

Question: In the real world, how effective do you think torture is with Islamic terrorists?

A: Far more effective than liberals would have you believe. Congress really upset me with how they treated Attorney General Michael Mukasey and how the media pushed this question. Why aren't reporters forcing senators and Congress to answer the same questions about torture? What do you think we should have done? Given them a lawyer, three square meals a day and let planes get hijacked?

I think it should be done in the rarest of situations. Anybody who says torture doesn't work hasn't studied the history of torture. Torture, or aggressive interrogation, is only as good as the interrogators. Take Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for instance. He got waterboarded and he sang like a canary ... he ended up naming operatives and giving up a treasure trove of financial secrets as well as plans for future attacks. This was not Uday and Qusai Hussein at work. This was done with clinical precision, not brute force. There are multiple interrogators, lie detectors, doctors and a group of analysts in the next room connected to every friendly western intelligence agency to check everything the subject says.

That's a far cry from what Senator [John] McCain experienced, and he says that torture does not work. I have a lot of respect for the man, but when he was in the Hanoi Hilton, he was brutally tortured to give up names, so he gave them the starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers. Back then, it would have been difficult to verify; but today, it's called "Google."

I'm not talking about pulling people out of cafes in Baghdad, torture has to be reserved for high-value targets.

All of these men and some women who happen to participate in the program have to be waterboarded themselves, they've gone through it and they know how terrifying it is. I know Amnesty International would disagree with me, but every American needs to ask themselves, "If you could turn back the clock one week [before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks] would you want Zacarias Moussaoui to have been interrogated by waterboarding?"

Q: How can we win the war on terrorism when many cannot acknowledge who the enemy is?

A: That's a tough question. I'll waffle on this. As a society, we need to start demanding a few things. We have embraced liberty, equality in the sexes and religion — we believe in all of this. If you want to come to this country and you are Muslim, you had better agree and be fine with the Christian and Jewish faith. But if you are going to come over here and preach hatred and raise money for Hamas and Hezbollah, we're going to kick you out of the country.

As an Irish-Catholic kid in the 1980s, I remember being disgusted with the thugs and the terrorists in the [Irish Republican Army] and I don't remember anyone who was Irish-American saying to [novelist] Tom Clancy after "Patriot Games": "How dare you portray people in the IRA for what they were, a bunch of thugs and terrorists?" What drives me nuts is people like [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] who, any time somebody in fiction or on TV has a villain who happens to portray what is going on in the world today — Islamic radicals who embrace a cult of death and are running around killing innocent women and children — they get upset about it. CAIR would better serve American Muslims if they spent more time criticizing these Islamic terrorist groups.

Q: If Americans are so opposed to torturing our enemies, how do you explain the popularity of Mitch Rapp?

A: They're not opposed to torturing men like Sheikh Mohammed, but they don't want to run around and talk about it in public. Look at Hollywood. They all detest President Bush because their friends will think they are smarter by hating him. They wear it as a badge of honor. They try to prove to people they are smart and compassionate and enlightened, so people will like them. But instead, they make these movies the American people don't want to see, because deep down inside, the American public does not want to see a movie that bashes America. People like Rosie O'Donnell say they love America, but they have a funny way of showing it.

People want a guy like Mitch Rapp looking out for them. People want to believe there are guys like this out there protecting us.

Q: This year has seen a surge of antiwar films, which are flopping like dominoes, while "Protect and Defend" is the No. 1 book this week. Is Hollywood ready for Mitch Rapp yet?

A: I don't think we are quite there. Hollywood is now saying people don't want to watch movies about war. No, Americans don't want to watch [bad] anti-American movies about war. Americans would love to watch a great movie where Mitch Rapp is meting out punishment to these crazy zealots, but I don't know if Hollywood has the guts to do it. If Democrats take the White House, Hollywood will make a movie like that in a heartbeat.

Mitch Rapp has taken on a cult following, but Hollywood doesn't get it for the same reasons they don't understand talk radio, Wal-Mart or NASCAR.

Q: Who are you backing for president?

A: Rudy [Giuliani]. He's a bit of a moderate and can unite the country and get the country focused on the war against terrorists. He symbolizes the gravity of the situation, and I don't think the guy will back off for a moment having witnessed September 11. I don't think the man will waiver. If he gets ahold of Osama bin Laden, he will throw everything he can at the guy.

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Heil Putin?

In light of the current war against Islamo-Fascist ideology I was willing to give Russian President Putin a benefit of a doubt, despite his clearly dictatorial tendencies.  I was willing to view him as a Russian version of Spain's Franco or Chile's Pinochet, a dictator whose goal is to prepare his country for true constitutional democracy.  Unfortunately it looks more and more like I have been wrong.  A friend e-mailed me this disturbing article:

Russia: 'National Leader' Idea Gains Strength

By Brian Whitmore

Russia -- Members of the Vladimir Putin Fan Club participate in a rally in Moscow, 25 Oct 2007
Recent rally supporting Putin

November 18, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Russia has a hot new catchphrase that is obsessing the political elite and is being chanted like a mantra by the media: National Leader.

More than 700 delegates from across the country turned up for a well-orchestrated pep rally in the city of Tver on November 15 to pledge allegiance to President Vladimir Putin and implore him to remain in power after his term ends next year.

Since Putin is constitutionally forbidden from seeking a third consecutive term as president, the event's organizers are proposing to grant him a sort of elevated mythological status as Russia's supreme ruler who would lord over any future president or prime minister -- unburdened by troublesome term limits and pesky constitutional restrictions.

The meeting, held in a local theater adorned with Russian tricolor flags and banners reading "For Putin!," followed a wave of demonstrations in support of the president in numerous Russian regions. It resulted in forming an organization called the "All-Russian Council of Initiative Groups to Support Putin."

"We are gathering not for a third term," Pavel Astakhov, a prominent attorney who was elected the organization's leader, told RFE/RL's Russian Service. "We respect the president's word and we believe him when he says he will not change the constitution. And since he will not change the constitution, we need to find a new configuration of authority."

Astrakhov later told reporters that his group has gathered 30 million signatures in support of Putin remaining in power as Russia's "national leader." (emphasis mine - Eric-Odessit)

He insists that that the recent groundswell of pro-Putin demonstrations is a genuine grassroots movement and is not being orchestrated by the Kremlin. Press reports and critics of the Kremlin, however, have alleged that students and state employees have been pressured to attend the rallies.

Read the whole thing.  So, it looks like Russia is moving from a Communist dictatorship to a nationalist totalitarian dictatorship.  I don't call it "Nazi" only because there seems to be no "socialist" part of it.  A country that is looking for some national idea and finding only nationalism, but lacking any moral foundation and failing economically and demographically, may blame others for its failings and lash out to prove its greatness.  That is very dangerous.  We might still find Russia allied with our enemies, even though it does not make any sense at this point.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I am re-posting my Thanksgiving post from last year.  There is one notable addition to those whom I should give my thanks.  That group of people I most definitely meant to thank last year, but forgot to mention them by name.  I am talking about members of the American Armed Forces, past and present.  Thanks to them, we all have the lives we have.  So, thank you, American Military.

Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday.  So, what am I thankful for?  I am thankful for my family, for my wonderful wife and 2 beautiful girls.  I am also thankful for the generally pretty good life I have.  But who should thank for all this?  The religious people thank G-d for all their blessings.  But I am not religious enough in order to do that.  And then it dawned on me.  I should thank this wonderful country called United States of America and its wonderful people.

So, thank you, America, for existing, for being a beacon of freedom in the world where freedom is far from being commonplace.  Thank you for making freedom your “national idea”, if you will.

Thank you, America, for accepting me as your own.  You welcomed me, my family and friends and made us all Americans, part of your great people.  You accept anybody who is willing to be accepted.  You made acceptance and tolerance part of your ideology too.

Finally, thank you, America, for defending “liberty and justice for all” all over the world.  Your young people volunteer to go and fight for what’s right and moral.  If I were 20 years younger I would have joined them (lame excuse really, but that’s the only one I have).  Winston Churchill once said: “The Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they had exhausted all other possibilities”.  He knew what he was talking about.  It is only natural to try “all other possibilities”: people always look for easy solutions.  But in the end Americans do the right thing, no matter what the cost, for doing the right thing is a part of American ideology too.

Thank you, America.

This is a modified WW2 poster.  The modern American soldiers in Iraq were added to the original by the San Diego Chapter of Protest Warrior.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Unraveling of a blood libel

Many people who follow the world events, especially the current war against Islamo-fascist ideology are familiar with the Muhammed Al-Dura controversy.  It was claimed that a 12 year old Palestinian boy was caught in a crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists and killed.  The Islamists and their sympathizers in the West were quick to blame the Israelis for the death of the boy.  I personally thought that the poor boy and his father were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time and were caught in the crossfire.  However, slowly but surely the evidence were beginning to emerge first that the boy could not possibly have been hit by the fire from the Israeli position, and then that the whole thing was likely staged and nobody died.  France 2 television channel that reported the alleged shooting showed a very small portion of the raw footage they had - only 59 seconds.  Only 3 minutes were distributed to other news organizations.  French journalist Philippe Karsenty attempted to expose France 2 and was sued by the TV channel.  In one of the most biased court decisions he was convicted of libeling France 2.  Karsenty appealed the court ruling, and was granted a hearing.  The supporters of Philippe Karsenty created a petition demanding the release of 27 minutes of raw footage shot by France 2 Palestinian cameraman.  At the hearing France 2 showed 18 minutes of raw footage, out of 27 minutes that were shot.  While the questions remain about the 9 minutes that were not shown, it has been proven that, at the very least, nobody can say for sure whether the poor boy had been shot at all, much less that he had been shot by the Israelis.  Thus, this modern blood libel has begun unraveling.  I hope that at some point the whole 27 minutes of the raw footage will be released to the public.  For now, here are some impressions of the people who were in the court room.

Here is what Richard Landes had to say on the subject.

Here is what Melanie Phillips had to say on the subject.

Here is Nidra Poller's account of the proceedings, with Richard Landes' comments.

I can't really add much to it.

Update 11/22/07:

Here is an essay on the subject by Yaacov Ben Moshe.  And, on second thought, here is what I can add to everything already said on this subject: unlike the previous blood libels against Jews, this one was perpetrated by Charles Enderlin, himself a  Jew.  When the realization of this finally dawns on him, he will have to live with that.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Continued discussion of the book review

Sultan Knish, with whom I was having a friendly dispute over my recent book review responded to me several days ago.  So, here is my reply.  I'll try to keep it short because I don't want to keep dragging it along.

First of all, I strongly disagree that the Left was somehow less anti-Semitic than the Right.  The only place where it applied to a very limited extent was the early years of the Russian Revolution and the Civil War, mainly because the Jews were often major figures on the Left.  And even there the anti-Semitic atrocities committed by the Red 1st Cavalry Army were numerous and stopped only by the Army's commissar Voroshilov, whose wife was Jewish.  Later, during World War 2, according to some sources Soviet Partisan leader Ponomarenko issued orders not to accept Jews into partisan units (this varied from one instance to the next).  The treatment of the Jews by the Soviet partisans described in "Defiance: The Bielski Partisans" by Nechama Tec, a book that tells the story of the Bielski brothers' efforts to save as many Jews as they could.  In Poland, according to the book I reviewed, as well as Dan Kurzman's "The Bravest Battle", Polish Communist leader Gomulka also issued orders not to help Jews.  In fact, according to both books, explicit orders to help the Jews came from the Polish Government in London, which controlled the Home Army.  So, the amount of anti-Semitism was about equal on both Left and Right, as was the amount of help to the Jews.  I am just trying to avoid giving the Left an undeserved credit.

I don't think that Polish and Jewish nationalists found common ground in their respective nationalisms.  I think the fact that the members of the ZZW were officers of the Polish Army and fought together with the Polish officers back in 1939 was much more significant for their cooperation.  It is only natural: in an extreme situation, when survival is at stake, political considerations get replaced by the bond of combat, as they should.

Sultan's analogy of white nationalists being OK with Israel, but still wanting to rid their countries of Jews, might be a good explanation of why European white nationalists are friendly to Israel.  But I don't think it applies to America.  In this country white nationalists are aligned with Islamists.  By the way, Sultan has a great analysis of the recent dispute within the anti-Jihadist movement.

The NKVD conspiracy may or may not be true, especially in view of Sultan's recent revelation about the author of the article I mentioned in a private e-mail, but I don't see how, even if it is true, it excuses post-war pogroms in Poland.  After all, the fact that the pogroms in czarist Russia were often instigated by the government does not excuse the Russian anti-Semites.

Sultan mentions Russian military historians "claiming that Hitler was a Soviet agent".  He must be talking about Vladimir Rezun, better known under his pen name of Viktor Suvorov.  Suvorov indeed claims that Hitler was manipulated by the Soviets back in the 1920s, although I did not take this claim as meaning that he was consciously working for the Soviets.  I think in this Suvorov takes his argument too far.  But, for the record, I have to say that I subscribe to his theory that Stalin was getting ready to attack Hitler (this would not be necessarily bad).  Suvorov describes his theory in "Icebreaker".  In my opinion, this is the only theory that explains disastrous Soviet defeats in 1941 without portraying Soviet generals who eventually won the war in the East as complete idiots.  This theory is also supported by the circumstantial evidence that I read about in sources totally unrelated to Suvorov, as well as stories my grandpa told me.  But that is a subject of another discussion.

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

My response to a comment on my first book review

I recently wrote a review of a book I have read: "Two Flags: Return to the Warsaw Ghetto" by Marian Apfelbaum I submitted this review to the latest Jewish Blog Carnival.  That is probably how a commenter by the name of Sultan Knish found me.  His comment is 3rd there.  He is a typical Jewish Conservative, with views very similar to my own.  His blog is very good and nicely done.  So it was very strange to read in his comment assertions typically coming from leftist Jews, not unlike frequent accusations of Christian Right of anti-Semitism.  Although, I suppose I should not be surprised: I've heard many times from fellow Jews, including the ones from the former Soviet Union, who are usually on the Right, that anybody could potentially be an anti-Semite.  So I would like to respond to his comment on the front page of this blog.  I have to preface my response with this: Sultan Knish and I agree on more issues than we disagree on.  In fact, we probably agree on almost everything.  So this is a minor disagreement between friends (I am pretty sure we could be friends, had we met).

Sultan Knish begins his comment by asserting: "The Home Army was indeed anti-semitic".  What is the basis of this assertion?  Or, more to the point, what does it mean?  Does it mean that Polish Home Army was an anti-Semitic organization, conducting anti-Semitic policies?  Or does it mean that many its members were anti-Semites?  Well, I have no doubts that many members of the Polish Home Army were anti-Semites.  But so were many members of the US Army, and other Allied armies for that matter.  Patton was known to say anti-Semitic things.  But that does not make US Army anti-Semitic.  As for the Polish Home Army policy regarding the Jews, that was most definitely not anti-Semitic.  There is evidence that they did what they could under the circumstances.  That includes evidence presented in the book I reviewed.

Sultan Knish also says that much of Poland was anti-Semitic.  Again, it is true that anti-Semitism in Poland was rampant.  But it is not fair to single out Poles for that.  People often talk about Polish anti-Semitism, but forget about the Vichy French, who ran their own concentration cam in Drancy.  People forget about Latvians serving in Arajs Kommando, Estonian SS Division, Lithuanian Nazis and Ukrainian SS Division.  People forget about Dutch SS and Belgian SS.  I am deliberately listing Nazis from the Allied countries.  And those Nazis were quite numerous.  So, in light of this, singling our Poles does not seem fair.  Especially given the fact that among Righteous Gentiles Poles outnumber everybody else.  This is really not surprising, since the Jews comprised about 10% of Polish pre-war population and since most of the Holocaust happened on Polish territory.  But this also means that there were a lot of people willing to risk their lives to help the Jews, despite rampant anti-Semitism.

Finally, Sultan Knish brings up the notorious Kielce pogrom that happened after the war to prove general anti-Semitism of the Polish population.  But there is no need to prove this: I agree that anti-Semitism was rampant in Poland.  I mentioned that I read in a Russian-Jewish magazine an article that suggested that the Kielce pogrom was instigated by the Soviet intelligence (this is disputed in the Wikipedia link I referenced above).  Even if that pogrom was indeed instigated by the Soviets, it does not mean that there were no Poles perfectly willing to kill the Jews in Kielce.  Quite the opposite.  The name of the magazine I read that article in is Alef (sorry, the link is in Russian).  It is published by Chamah in New York.  The author of the article was Vilen Lulechnik, a Jewish military historian from Russia, living in the US (sorry again, the link is in Russian again).  But whether that pogrom was instigated by the Soviets or not, it is very hard to suspect the magazine and the author of the article in Polish nationalism.  Suggesting that NKVD was involved in the post-war pogroms does not whitewash or excuse the original crime, but merely adds another set of criminals to already existing ones.  Comparing my mention of an article in a Jewish magazine to Holocaust denial was a bit offensive (understatement here).  It certainly was not my intent to whitewash the crimes of Polish anti-Semites.  I am merely attempting to give credit where credit is due.  Besides, the times have changed.  After all, it was the Polish Members of the European Parliament who boycotted anti-Israeli anti-Semitic hatefest organized by UN.  So, while condemning Polish anti-Semites, we should be grateful to those Poles who helped the Jews, who were and are on the side freedom, decency and Western Civilization.

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I am back

I haven't posted for a while: between being very busy at work and San Diego wild fires I simply did not have time.  I still don't, but today a have a little bit of time for my blog.

If anyone is curious how my family faired during the fires, we did have to evacuate: it was pretty close to our house.  But we are OK, and our house is OK too.  Now it's all back to normal.

I added this link below to my sidebar.  Apparently Amazon now lets you rent or buy movies by simply downloading them to your computer.  Then you can either watch them on your computer screen or, if you have an S-Video output on your video card, hook it up to your TV and watch a movie normally on TV.  There is also a way to use TiVo in order to watch a movie on your TV.  This is a great idea.  For a very long time I was wondering when it would become available.  Now it is.  Check it out.  This certainly beats going to a video store or waiting for a DVD to arrive in the mail.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why I am angry at Ann Coulter

No, I don't think she is anti-Semitic.  But let me start from the beginning.  A couple of days ago I read Bookworm's post about Ann Coulter putting her foot in her mouth again.  I'd like to add my own comment on the subject.

I know some of my fellow Jews who look for anti-Semites under every rock.  They are not necessarily on the Left.  But they just suspect every non-Jew of anti-Semitism.  Somehow they think it's natural.  I often argue with them, saying that majority of American people consider anti-Semites simply as idiots.  Now in response to my argument they will undoubtedly bring up Ann Coulter's comment, undoubtedly distorted by the media.  Additionally, whenever I would point out that anti-Semitism is prevalent on the Left, the now would say: "Look at Ann Coulter".  It is much harder to counter a 20-second soundbyte with an exact quote of what Ann Coulter said and an explanation of why it is not anti-Semitic.  By just blubbering something without thinking she put me and people like me on the defensive unnecessarily, and that's why I am angry.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Two Flags: the untold story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and its relevance today

I wanted to add Book Reviews category to my blog for a while.  Finally I got around to doing so.  The book I have just finished reading and would like to review is "Two Flags: Return to the Warsaw Ghetto" by Marian Apfelbaum.

I learned about this book only recently when I was researching my post about the Polish Members of the European Parliament boycotting anti-Israeli anti-Semitic hatefest organized by UN.  The title of the book refers to the well documented episode during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, when the defenders of one of the fortified buildings in the Ghetto raised 2 flags: white-and-red Polish and white-and-blue Jewish.  This book tells the story of a less known resistance organization in the Warsaw Ghetto called Żydowski Związek Wojskowy, or ZZW, which is Polish for Jewish Military Union.  I first learned about ZZW when I read "The Bravest Battle" by Dan Kurzman.  It was an organization formed by the Jewish officers of the Polish Army.  They obviously had personal connections with the other Polish officers.  Politically members of the ZZW were followers of my fellow odessit Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zionism, an ideology similar to the modern Likud party in Israel.  Because of the personal links the ZZW members had with the Polish resistance and because they were not Communist, the ZZW received significantly more help from the Polish Home Army than the leftist-leaning ZOB.  Political views of the ZZW members are pretty close to my own political views.  So, I was very interested to read a book that tells their story.

So, what have I learned that I did not know before?  Well, first of all it turns out that ZZW was founded much earlier than ZOB: November of 1939 vs. July of 1942.  ZZW was not smaller than ZOB: about 500 core members, the same as ZOB.  Thus, since ZZW was much better armed than ZOB and had better military training, they had to be much more effective.  So, why did ZZW receive more help from the Polish Home Army than ZOB?  I mentioned personal contacts and pro-capitalist ideology.  But, as it turns out, it was more than that.  ZZW was in fact a part of the Polish Home Army, so much so, that ZZW members were getting rank promotions from the Home Army.  For example, the commander of ZZW, Dawid Apfelbaum, was a Porucznik (Lieutenant) in 1939.  But during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising he held the rank of Captain, and after the uprising he was posthumously promoted to Major.  By the way, to answer the obvious question, yes, the book author is related to the leader of ZZW.

Polish aid to ZZW was quite significant.  The Poles formed a special unit dedicated to helping the Jews.  It was ZOB whom they did not help much.  And it is very hard to blame the Home Army for that.  Besides ZOB pro-Soviet leaning, they were also viewed as political demagogues who would not be very effective soldiers.  Given relatively limited resources of the Home Army (remember, they were operating in a country occupied by a ruthless enemy), it is hard to blame them for allocating their resources to ZZW, whom they had often seen perform in combat back in 1939.

The charge that ZOB were to a large extent political demagogues does have merit.  ZOB was plagued by political in-fighting.  The talks between ZOB and ZZW about uniting their efforts failed because ZZW suggested that combat leadership should have some combat experience.  This suggestion seems very reasonable.  But since combat veterans were members of ZZW for the most part, ZOB viewed this idea as a power grab.  ZOB even went as far as calling their ZZW counterparts "fascists".  Now it seems eerily similar to the present-day Left.  The ZOB leaders were political leaders for the most part.  On the other hand "ZZW recruited on the sole basis of previous military training, physical fitness and courage, deliberately seeking an apoliticalism that the left always found extremely suspect if not downright diabolical" (page 259).  So, members of an armed resistance organization should have military training and courage and be physically fit?!  What a revolutionary concept!  ZZW in fact did not care much about political views of its members.  For example, one of the ZZW units during the uprising was commanded by someone named Moishe the Bolshevik.

After the war the Communists took over in Poland.  Thus, anybody associated with the non-Communist Home Army was a suspect.  Most of the ZZW leadership died during the uprising.  The fact that the leftist ZOB did not get enough attention from the Home Army suited the new rulers of Poland very well: now it was very convenient to accuse the Home Army of anti-Semitism.  True Polish heroes, like Henryk Iwanski, whos 2 sons and a brother died while fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Jews during the uprising, were even initially jailed by the Communists.  Many leftist Jewish historians in the West were happy to oblige the Communists.  The Poles were accused of mass anti-Semitism.  (As a sidenote, I read in a Russian-Jewish magazine that the post-war pogroms in Poland were in fact staged by the NKVD - the predecessor of KGB.)  But while anti-Semitism was rampant in Poland, please tell me where it was not present at that time.  Whenever someone like Henryk Iwanski would claim that they helped the Jews, these historians would dismiss such claim, saying that they are not confirmed by Jewish sources.  In fact, Iwansky for a while was not recognized in Israel as a Righteous Gentile (it has been fixed since).  And when people like Tadeusz Bednarczyk try to argue with such historians, they are accused of anti-Semitism.  But even if Bednarczyk said something anti-Semitic in nature, still, he risked his life to help the Jews in Warsaw.  As my favorite talk show host Dennis Prager often says, you know the man by his actions, not his words.

So, how is it all relevant today?  Well, both then and now the Left demonizes its political opponents, even in the face of a ruthless enemy that would kill us all.  Both then and now the Left is willing to lie in order to achieve some dubious political objective.  This finally has to stop.  Marian Apfelbaum says at the end of his book:

"Out of respect to the Warsaw ghetto uprising , the time has come to complete its history.  As imperfect and provisional as this book may be, it is an attempt to break the silence".

To this I would like to add 2 more things.  First, it is time to restore Poland's honor.  Second, it is time to finally realize that all the Left-Right political differences don't mater when a ruthless totalitarian enemy is ready to kill us all.

Finally, read the book.  I learned a lot from it and highly recommend it.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Good news

I recently posted about Bill O'Reilly report on Special Forces soldiers charged with murder for killing one of the top 10 Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanstan.  Yesterday Old War Dogs linked to an update and Col. David Hunt's article:

Our generals are betraying our soldiers … again

Sorry, but I have to get your attention on this one. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States Army — not the much maligned “LIBERAL PRESS” or BILL CLINTON or the LIBERALS IN CONGRESS — NO, the UNITED STATES MILITARY is prosecuting its soldiers for doing their jobs. I have tried, I have yelled, I have used nasty words. I have even tried to use humor, but none of this is sticking. You either do not believe me … or much worse, you do not care.

We did one of these stories on O’Reilly last week. Two great Special Forces soldiers, along with their team, tracked down a terrorist who was on the 10 Most Wanted list in Afghanistan. The Special Forces soldiers were operating under the much-hated rules of engagement, which said to capture or kill the bad guy, who was a bomb maker and terrorist leader. The soldiers followed this killer to his house/compound, used guile and trickery and lured the waste of life out of his lair and put a bullet in his head.

It was a perfect operation — a “Nice going guys,” high fives, take the day off, “Get ready for the next one,” type of operation. So how do you think our Special Forces soldiers were rewarded — or if not rewarded, treated — after this? THEY ARE BROUGHT TO TRIAL, INVESTIGATED AND FORCED TO SPEND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR LAWYERS.

When the terrorist was first killed, the Army showed its trust in these bravest of the brave by investigating them twice. Both investigations, however unnecessary, found them innocent of any wrongdoing. So we now are so gun shy, so afraid and so massively politically correct, that we are treating combat like a police shooting. In most cities in this great country, if a police officer even shoots his weapon, he or she must face a board of inquiry. It makes the police officers crazy and causes all to look over their shoulders and to not trust their leaders -- but that is in a peaceful city, not a damn war zone.

Thank G-d, today there was a wonderful news (from Black Five, via LGF):

Woo Hoo! While Kev and I were gearing up to talk football, the phone rang. It was the best of news, all charges dropped against MSG Anderson and CPT Staffel for the shooting of a known terrorist in Afghanistan (emphasis mine - Eric-Odessit). This was swift justice and sent a clear message about the actions they took. Our troops must know they have the support of their command when they make life and death decisions based on the rules of that same command. Enjoy your weekend BBQs gentlemen you earned them. We will follow up on just how charges of murder came up in the shooting of a terrorist.

Still read Col. David Hunt's article.  He makes very good points, in particular that you can't treat combat like police shootings in American cities.  And, as a matter of fact, I would like to see some heads roll as a result of this whole story: heads of those who brought the murder charges in the first place.

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It could happen to us

Some time ago Glenn Beck reported on possible Al Qaeda plans to attack multiple American schools, in effect repeating the horror of Beslan on American soil.  Now Bookworm posted a good historical analysis of Islamo-Fascist attacks on schools and posts this link:

Al Qaeda Targets Our Schoolchildren

By Marc Sheppard

While Democrats prepare witless campaign slogans blaming Republicans for millions of children not protected by health insurance, al Qaeda's blatant threat to exterminate 2 million American kids remains unheeded.  And it will likely continue to be, notwithstanding mounting evidence that there exists no peril on Earth our young need greater protection from today than merciless jihadist monsters.

Not lack of a national insurance plan. Not global warming.  Not racial or cultural disparities. Not even the Patriot Act, any of its overplayed incursions into individual liberties, or any of the other countless silly and diaphanous liberal causes célèbres, but rather that which would abruptly and savagely end their innocent short lives.

Nearly 6 months have passed since I first challenged the inexcusable refusal by DHS and FBI authorities to publicly connect the obviously connectable dots representing an unnerving number of alarming events -- particularly in the wake of the Beslan school massacre. These include:

  • Videotapes confiscated in Afghanistan showing al-Qaeda terrorists training to takeover a school [newly available Video]

  • Spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith‘s declaration of al-Qaeda's "right" to kill 2 million American children

  • An Iraqi national with known terrorist connections caught with a computer disk containing information detailing Department of Education crisis planning for U.S school districts. 

  • Two Saudi men - one wearing a black trench coat despite the Florida heat -- terrifying a busload of Tampa schoolchildren by boarding a school bus and remaining for the entire ride to school, all the while laughing and speaking Arabic.

  • A March FBI/DHS bulletin noting "recent suspicious activity" by foreigners who drive school buses, are licensed to drive them, or have actually managed to purchase them right here at home. Including "members of the unnamed extremist groups" who have obtained commercial drivers licenses with school bus endorsements.

  • Osama bin Laden's promise that the 2004 terrorist attack at Beslan will happen many times over in the United States.

In that time, little or nothing has been done to relieve parents' understandable anxieties, despite the fresh dots which continued to accrue on this disturbing non-puzzle.

Dots like the seventeen full-sized yellow school buses reported stolen from charter schools, business schools and private bus companies in Houston, Texas, over the past few months. Connect to that and previous disturbing stories the fact that thousands of school bus radios have also been stolen (2000 in California in 2005 alone), and the images shaped should be triggering earsplitting alarms throughout all branches of media and law enforcement.

Read it all.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

“The World According to UNGA.”

Here is a good article by Oliver North:

Washington, D.C. — In 1982, Robin Williams and Glenn Close starred in a quirky R-rated movie entitled “The World According to Garp.” The offbeat “comedy” — honest, that’s what Tinsletown critics called it — was loosely based on John Irving’s dark novel with the same title. Those who missed the humor in the book and film now have a chance for some real belly laughs. Next week the Big Apple will host another “gut buster” — “The World According to UNGA.” If it were a flick, it would be a dark and depressing documentary combining the conspiratorial rantings of Oliver Stone, the eerie horror of Alfred Hitchcock and the antics of a Looney Tunes cartoon.

But it’s not a movie or an “off Broadway” show. And it isn’t a television program which will simply go away with the press of a button on your remote. Instead, it’s an annual extravaganza which “We the People” have subsidized with billions of our tax dollars for six decades. It could be called — with apologies to Barnum & Bailey — the “Most Ridiculous Show on Earth.” But next week it will be called “UNGA” — short for the United Nations General Assembly.

Read the whole thing.

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That Israeli raid on Syria...

... becomes more and more interesting.  I found this story via a Youtube commenter PureLuk:


September 23, 2007

Israelis seized nuclear material in Syrian raid

Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem.

The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.

They confirmed that samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Israeli special forces had been gathering intelligence for several months in Syria, according to Israeli sources. They located the nuclear material at a compound near Dayr az-Zwar in the north.

Evidence that North Korean personnel were at the site is said to have been shared with President George W Bush over the summer. A senior American source said the administration sought proof of nuclear-related activities before giving the attack its blessing.

Diplomats in North Korea and China believe a number of North Koreans were killed in the strike, based on reports reaching Asian governments about conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials.

Syrian officials flew to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, last week, reinforcing the view that the two nations were coordinating their response.

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Academic insanity

A lot of people are now talking about Columbia University speaking invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  As it turns out, this kind of academic insanity is not a new phenomenon.  This is via Little Green Footballs:

Columbia University has invited a representative of the world’s most antisemitic regime to speak on its campus. This week’s news? Try 1933.

Seventy years before this week’s invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Columbia rolled out the red carpet for a senior official of Adolf Hitler’s regime. The invitation to Iran’s leader may seem less surprising, but no less disturbing, when one recalls that in 1933, Columbia president Nicholas Murray Butler invited Nazi Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Hans Luther, to speak on campus, and also hosted a reception for him. Luther represented "the government of a friendly people," Butler insisted. He was "entitled to be received ... with the greatest courtesy and respect." Ambassador Luther's speech focused on what he characterized as Hitler's peaceful intentions. Students who criticized the Luther invitation were derided as “ill-mannered children” by the director of Columbia’s Institute of Arts and Sciences.

Columbia also insisted on maintaining friendly relations with Nazi-controlled German universities. While Williams College terminated its program of student exchanges with Nazi Germany, Columbia and other universities declined to do likewise. Columbia refused to pull out even after a German official candidly asserted that his country’s students were being sent abroad to serve as “political soldiers of the Reich.”

Read it all.  While you are at it, bookmark the History News Network site.  It will provide valuable historical perspective to the world events today.

Update via LGF:

The leftists at Columbia are against protesting Ahmadinejad.

Update via LGF and Hot Air:

Columbia Dean says: "We'd certainly invite Hitler".

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Winston Churchill in a baseball cap"

Apparently this is how Winston Churchill's granddaughter described Rudy Giuliani.  This is via Atlas:

LONDON - Rudy Giuliani talked tough on Iran yesterday, proposing to expand NATO to include Israel (emphasis mine - Eric-Odessit) and warning that if Iran's leaders go ahead with their goal to be a nuclear power "we will prevent it, or we will set them back five or 10 years."

The former New York City mayor also rejected the possibility that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be allowed to visit Ground Zero accompanied by the New York Police Department, calling the idea "outrageous."

Giuliani's implied threat of a U.S. or allied attack on Iran's nuclear capabilities goes further than the hard line against Iran by most other Republican presidential hopefuls, and even exceeds the stern warnings of the Bush White House.

Invited here by British conservatives, Giuliani took advantage of every opportunity to burnish his image as an international leader, meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing St., his predecessor Tony Blair and iconic conservative Margaret Thatcher.

At a time when his presidential campaign poll numbers have dipped as U.S. conservatives search for a standard bearer, Giuliani reveled in his description by Winston Churchill's granddaughter Celia Sandys as "Winston Churchill in a baseball cap" (emphasis mine - Eric-Odessit) and accepted an award named for Thatcher from the U.S.-U.K. think tank Atlantic Bridge.

Last night, to a roomful of Tories that included the Iron Lady herself, Giuliani delivered a major foreign policy address that compared the war on terror to the Cold War.

America and Britain, with their special relationship, should lead the fight against radical Islamists threatening terror by creating stronger intelligence cooperation among Western nations, a massive U.S. military build-up, an expanded NATO and a redoubled effort in the "war of ideas," Giuliani said.

I consider Winston Churchill to be one of the greatest statesmen of all times, so I like this comparison very much.  I hope it is accurate and I hope that our next President will be someone like Winston Churchill.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

O'Reilly report (link updated)

Here is the link to Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo tonight:



This Talking Points Memo is now posted on the Fox News web site here:


...Now I have to tell you about a very disturbing situation. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, two Green Berets, Captain Dave Staffel and Master Sergeant Troy Anderson have been accused of murder. On October 13, 2006, the soldiers were in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. Sergeant Anderson is a sniper. And his gun was trained on a terrorist named Nawab Buntangyar, a bomb maker who was on a terrorist top 10 most wanted list.

At Captain Staffel's order, Sergeant Anderson shot and killed Buntangyar. An investigation by the Army's criminal investigation command concluded the shooting was justifiable because the terrorist was a killer.

However, Lieutenant General Francis Kearney ordered murder charges against the two Green Berets, saying the man, the terrorist should have been captured, not killed.

I also found this article on the subject:

FORT BRAGG, N.C., Sept. 17 — From his position about 100 yards away, Master Sgt. Troy Anderson had a clear shot at the Afghan man standing outside a residential compound in a village near the Pakistan border last October. When Capt. Dave Staffel, the Special Forces officer in charge, gave the order to shoot, Sergeant Anderson fired a bullet into the man’s head, killing him.

In June, Captain Staffel and Sergeant Anderson were charged with premeditated murder. On Tuesday, in a rare public examination of the rules that govern the actions of Special Operations troops in Afghanistan, a military hearing will convene at Fort Bragg to weigh the evidence against the two men, both Green Berets.

The case revolves around differing interpretations of the kind of force that the Special Forces team that hunted and killed the man, Nawab Buntangyar, were allowed to use once they found him, apparently unarmed.

To the Special Forces soldiers and their 12-man detachment, the shooting, near the village of Ster Kalay, was a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement. They said those rules allowed the killing of Mr. Buntangyar, whom the American Special Operations Command here has called an “enemy combatant.”

Mr. Buntangyar had organized suicide and roadside bomb attacks, Captain Staffel’s lawyer said. (emphasis mine - Eric-Odessit)

But to the two-star general in charge of the Special Operations forces in Afghanistan at the time, Frank H. Kearney, who has since become a three-star general, the episode appeared to be an unauthorized, illegal killing. In June, after two military investigations, General Kearney moved to have murder charges brought against Captain Staffel and Sergeant Anderson — respectively, the junior commissioned and senior noncommissioned officers of Operational Detachment Alpha 374, Third Battalion, Third Special Forces Group.


On Oct. 13, 2006, when Captain Staffel learned that Mr. Buntangyar could be found in a home near the village where his detachment was guarding a medical convoy, he ordered a seven-man team to investigate the tip.

Driving toward Ster Kalay in two government vans, the Americans called the Afghan national police and border patrol officers to assist them, Mr. Waple said. Mr. Buntangyar had already been “vetted as a target” by American commanders, as an enemy combatant who could be legally killed once he was positively identified, Mr. Waple said.

After the Afghan police called Mr. Buntangyar outside and twice asked him to identify himself, they signaled, using a prearranged hand gesture, to Sergeant Anderson, concealed with a rifle about 100 yards away, Mr. Waple said.

From a vehicle a few hundred yards farther away, Captain Staffel radioed Sergeant Anderson, Mr. Waple said. “If you have a clear shot,” he told the sergeant, “take it.”

Confirming the order, Sergeant Anderson fired once, killing Mr. Buntangyar. The American team drove to the village center to explain to the local residents, “This is who we are, this is what we just did and this is why we did it,” Mr. Waple said.

So, a sniper kills an enemy and gets prosecuted for that? What the hell is happening?  Are we really bent on losing the war?

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Scapegoats Yet Again

This is a title of an article by Victor Davis Hanson:

Who recently said: "These Jews started 19 Crusades. The 19th was World War I. Why? Only to build Israel." Some holdover Nazi?

Hardly. It was former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan of Turkey, a NATO ally. He went on to claim that the Jews — whom he refers to as "bacteria" — controlled China, India and Japan, and ran the United States.

Who alleged: "The Arabs who were involved in September 11 [2001] cooperated with the Zionists, actually. It was a cooperation. They gave them the perfect excuse to denounce all Arabs." A conspiracy nut? Actually, it was former Democratic U.S. Sen. James Abourezk of South Dakota. He denounced Israel on a Hezbollah-owned television station, adding: "I marveled at the Hezbollah resistance to Israel.... It was a marvel of organization, of courage and bravery."

And finally, who claimed at a U.N.-sponsored conference that democratic Israel was "much worse" than the former apartheid South Africa and that it "undermines the international community's reaction to global warming"? A radical environmentalist wacko? Again, no. It was Clare Short, a member of the British Parliament and Tony Blair's international development secretary.

Read it all.  Jews are like a canary in a mine.  I have to repeat: it is like 1939 all over again.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On the trail of WMD

Here is an interesting story, thanks to Atlas:

Proof of cooperation between Iran and Syria in the proliferation and development of weapons of mass destruction was brought to light Monday in a Jane's Defence Weekly report that dozens of Iranian engineers and 15 Syrian officers were killed in a July 23 accident in Syria.

According to the report, cited by Channel 10, the joint Syrian-Iranian team was attempting to mount a chemical warhead on a Scud missile when the explosion occurred, spreading lethal chemical agents, including sarin nerve gas.

Reports of the accident were circulated at the time; however, no details were released by the Syrian government, and there were no hints of an Iranian connection.

The report comes on the heels of criticism leveled by the Syrians at the United States, accusing it of spreading "false" claims of Syrian nuclear activity and cooperation with North Korea to excuse an alleged Israeli air incursion over the country this month.

According to globalsecurity.org, Syria is not a signatory of either the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), - an international agreement banning the production, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons - or the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Syria began developing chemical weapons in 1973, just before the Yom Kipper War. Globalsecurity.org cites the country as having one of the most advanced chemical weapons programs in the Middle East.

I wonder whether some of those chemical weapons came from Iraq.  Incidentally, there was an earlier report from London Times about Israeli jets attacking shipment of nuclear materials from North Korea to Syria (via LGF):

IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.

At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.

Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.

This is very plausible.  Here is Jerusalem Post article on former Ambassador to UN John Bolton's view on the subject (via Atlas):

Amid reports in the American media that the alleged Israeli raid into Syria 10 days ago targeted a North Korean-Syrian nuclear facility, John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN, told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend that "simple logic" suggested North Korea and Iran could have outsourced nuclear development "to a country that is not under suspicion" - namely Syria. Tellingly, he added: "Why would North Korea protest an Israeli strike on Syria?"

Bolton suggested that Syria, which he said has long sought a range of weapons of mass destruction, might have agreed to provide "facilities for uranium enrichment" on its territory for two allied countries which are being closely watched for nuclear development.


Bolton said he was also struck by the "hesitant way" in which Damascus had complained to the United Nations Security Council. "They have not pushed as hard as I know they know how to do in New York for condemnation. They have still not explained the nature of the attack. If it had been an attack on a Syrian military facility or civilians, they would have no problem explaining."

I am a World War 2 history buff.  So, I can't get over a feeling that it is 1939 all over again.

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LGF's flying pig stayed in the hangar

Little Green Footballs reported about this story:

TEHRAN, Iran - It is Iran's version of "Schindler's List," a miniseries that tells the tale of an Iranian diplomat in Paris who helps Jews escape the Holocaust — and viewers across the country are riveted.

That's surprising enough in a country where hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned whether the Holocaust even took place. What's more surprising is that government media produced the series, and is airing it on state-run television.

The Holocaust is rarely mentioned in state media in Iran, school textbooks don't discuss it and Iranians have little information about it.

Yet the series titled "Zero Degree Turn" is clearly sympathetic to the Jews' plight during World War II. It shows men, women and children with yellow stars on their clothes being taken forcibly out of their homes and loaded into trucks by Nazi soldiers.

"Where are they taking them?" the horrified hero, a young Iranian diplomat who works at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, asks someone in a crowd of onlookers.

"The Fascists are taking the Jews to the concentration camps," the man says. The hero, named Habib Parsa, then begins giving Iranian passports to Jews to allow them to flee occupied France to then-Palestine.

Based on a true story
Though the Habib character is fictional, it is based on a true story of diplomats in the Iranian Embassy in Paris in the 1940s who gave out about 500 Iranian passports for Jews to use to escape.

The show's appearance now may reflect an attempt by Iran's leadership to moderate its image as anti-Semitic and to underline a distinction that Iranian officials often make — that their conflict is with Israel, not with the Jewish people.

About 25,000 Jews live in Iran, the largest Jewish community in the Middle East after Israel. They have one representative in parliament, which is run mostly by Islamic clerics.

The series could not have aired without being condoned by Iran's clerical leadership. The state broadcaster is under the control of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomenei, who has final say in all matters inside Iran.

As LGF said, the pig almost came out to fly, but not quite (from Hot Air):

Update: Reader Niko K. writes below that a Spiegel story on the miniseries sharply contradicts the AP’s account. So sharply, in fact, that I’m wondering now if the AP story is a deliberate whitewash. Writes Niko:

The article has it all wrong, and also the Wall Street Journal article that appeared earlier.

Mohammed Reza Kazemi cleared up the matter in a recent SPIEGEL article (link in German only, sorry). Main points:

* the major point of the series is that it was allegedly the German Jews themselves who collaborated with Hitler to kill those Jews who opposed the re-settlement of Palestine
* for example, a plot line shows that a Jewish researcher is in possession of documents that prove the connection between Hitler and Zionists
* the credits of each episode feature the work of anti-Semite Roger Garaudy as a “historical source”
* “historical adviser” to the series is Holocaust denier Abdollah Shahbazi who openly admits in his blog that he’s a denier
* director and screenwriter Hassan Fatthi alleged to SPIEGEL that according to “historical evidence” a majority of Hitler’s victims were those who opposed the re-settlement of Palestine

Niko on September 16, 2007 at 10:11 PM

So, basically it looks like Iran is trying to tell the story the way I've heard it back in the Soviet Union: the Zionists conspired with the Nazis.  Indeed, the Soviets always proclaimed anti-Semitism to be wrong (even though they practiced it routinely).  They always said that they were anti-Zionist, not anti-Semites.  They even had so called Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public, chaired by a token Jew, General David Dragunsky.  Incidentally, here is an article on the ideology of this kind of leftist anti-Semitism from Front Page Magazine:

...In that regard, two distinctly Soviet libels stand out, both of which still claim adherents on the contemporary left. The first concerns the Holocaust. Soviet revisionists engaged, not in the denial of the extermination itself, but in the transfer of responsibility for the extermination. The Zionist movement was accused of collaborating with the Nazis in the implementation of the Final Solution to such a degree that the Holocaust became “the autogenocide of the Twentieth Century.”[6] This ugly distortion was echoed in parts of the Western left, most famously in the form of a play entitled Perdition, which almost came to the London stage in the 1980s and remains in active circulation among anti-Zionists today. Based on the 1954 libel trial in Israel involving Rudolf Kastner, who had been accused of collaborating with the Nazis in order to rescue Jews in occupied Hungary, Perdition was, in the words of its late author, Jim Allen, a tale of “privileged Jewish leaders” collaborating “in the extermination of their own kind in order to help bring about a Zionist state, Israel, a state which itself is racist.”

The second libel concerns the insidious essence of Judaism and, flowing from that, the global reach of Jewish and Zionist influence. The writings on Zionism churned out by the Soviet state apparatus, camouflaged as social science, portrayed the movement as an organic outgrowth of Judaism’s racist doctrines, notably the concept of the “Chosen People.” Although the Soviets developed and popularized this inversion of Jewish theology, one does not have to delve into Soviet archives to find examples of it. During the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in July 2006, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten published an article by Jostein Gaarder,[7] a popular Norwegian author, alleging that Israel’s military actions in Lebanon were a demonstration of the conceit and hubris that comes with the status of “Chosen People.” From the Soviet Union’s standpoint, this notion of chosenness elevated Zionism into a transnational foe, along with “racism,” “imperialism,” and “militarism.” Standing in its way, however, were the peoples of Africa, the Arab states, Asia, and Latin America.

Read the whole thing.

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