Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Peaceful Non-Existence Watch (chapter 4)

I have a daughter in kindergarten so I always enjoy reading about young minds open to all the world’s possibilities. At such a tender age, children don’t recognize arbitrary adult constructs such as race and ethnicity. Some conscientious program officers at Hamas are helping Palestinians address this deficiency with a homegrown version of Head Start according to The San Francisco Chronicle and OxBlog:

Gaza City -- Six days a week, kindergarten teacher Samira Ali El Hassain (teaches) her class of thirty 5-year-old boys and girls . . . "I tell them that they are Palestinians, that they must defend their land when they grow up, that this land belongs to them and not to the Jews, our enemies," said the 35-year-old Hassain.

"Every morning, I ask them: 'Did you watch the news? Do you love the enemy who massacres the Palestinian people? Would you want to make peace with them when you grow up?' "

Her 24-year-old colleague, Istama Showish, imparts a similar message.

"We teach them that Jews who live in Jerusalem and Palestine are occupiers, that they have taken even the air that we breathe," she said.

How refreshing to find a public school teacher who is not obsessed with that multicultural nonsense. Why, it’s so simple even a 5-year old could understand it: The Jews are alien occupiers who must be murdered.

Peaceful Co-Existence? Sure, when the Israelis no longer exist.
Better Dead Than Lebed?

Alexander Lebed may have not been the most savory morsel in the Russian political stew but he was a serious counterweight to President Putin. Now without Lebed, a man who looked to have been made of pre-cast concrete, there is no one prominent who can make a credible case for not being repressive. Don’t get me wrong, this guy had police state written all over him. But his actions often revealed a softer, more feminine side. (see photo of a jubilant Lebed). His death means one more obstacle out of the way if Putin were to fancy a stroll toward totalitarianism. Worse, he may have left behind a vacuum to be filled by someone or something even more noxious.

Of course, foul play isn’t necessarily a given in this case. I mean, the guy was traveling over Siberia in a Soviet helicopter that can best be described as 1500 moving parts yearning to live free. Nonetheless, at the time of the accident Lebed was in the midst of a dispute with a neighboring governor that appeared to be on the verge of armed conflict if you can believe Pravda. (And who can’t?).

I recall Lebed’s tour of Wall Street several years ago when he looked to be power broker in the Russian Federation. He seemed totally baffled as various Rockefellers and investment bankers fawned all over him.

That in turn reminds me of a story about a friend whose job it was at the Pentagon to shepherd former Soviet military leaders on a tour of the US. These guys had never been to America before and the Clinton Administration decided to bring them to Las Vegas. Better yet, they landed at Nellis Air Force Base where they keep the mothballed strategic bomber fleet. Their impression of the United States no doubt exceeded any Soviet indoctrination – by day, thermonuclear ready B-52s lined up wingtip to wingtip as far as the eye can see and at night glassy eyes gamblers and bare breasted women in colossal glittering casinos.

I bet they all went back home and committed themselves to building a modern capitalist society just like the one they saw in America.

Friday, April 26, 2002

Peaceful Non-Existence Watch (chapter three)

For those who think that peace in the Middle East will flourish if only the Israeli Defense Forces would withdraw from Ramallah, or from the West Bank, or from Ramallah, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip are kidding themselves. The Palestinians want nothing less than full Israeli withdrawal from the planet Earth. Heck, it’s their official policy!

The presumption of the Peaceful Non-Existence Watch is that the true aim of the Palestinian cause and its attendant rock throwing and keening over oppression and occupation is not so much the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state as it is the destruction of the sovereign Israeli state. Evidence of this is laughably abundant on the web. But having worked with computers, I know how confusing they can be. That’s why, as a service to those who have still not figured it out yet I include links to the fucking obvious.

Today’s exhibit is the Palestinian National Charter itself as posted on the website of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations.


Article 1. Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the greater Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.

Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.

Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase.

Article 15: The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine

Article 19: The partition of Palestine in 1947, and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time,

So for those of you joining us late, let us review. Far from seeking self-determination in order to live in peaceful equality with its Israeli neighbor, the Palestinian leadership has set as its goal the total elimination of Israel through violence. Indeed, armed struggle is the only way to go. Negotiating the peaceful annihilation of Israel just won’t do. (see article 9 above) They want scorched earth and body bags.

In this light, there is no such thing as a peace process. Only a war process leading to peace.
Explosion Near Here

An expolision in a building two blocks from here has New Yorkers feeling jittery. Opposite of 9/11 -- cold, wet, dreary day and most importantly, a building of no political or cultural significance. It is not the Apex Technical School as Reuters is reporting.

Interestingly, the explosion was just a couple of yards from Revolution Books, the local pro-terrorist lunatic bookstore. Maybe they'll be a looting opportunity!

Thursday, April 25, 2002

The Habits of Highly Offensive People

The Palestinian News Agency carries a story this morning about an explosion in Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah. I found at least one little tidbit of information intriguing. According to the report:

“The explosion came from the prison inside the compound, which is adjacent President Arafat's office.”

A prison adjacent to his office? Is this considered some sort of executive perk? Back in the 1990s it was a Gulfstream V, but today nothing says, “you've made it” quite like a corner office with an adjoining prison.

If I were Saddam Hussein reading this I'd be on the phone right now getting bids from contractors who could install a gas chamber next to my conference room.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Peaceful Non-Existence Watch --- (chapter two)

From a May 2000 Al-Jazeera interview with the late Abu Ali Mustafa, the then leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as translated and posted on the PFLP’s own website.

Al-Jazeera: ...[Up to the last moment] George Habash kept declaring that the armed struggle must be escalated, because the only solution to the Palestinian problem is the destruction of Israel. ...Is this Habash's personal position or does it reflect the policy of the PFLP?

Mustafa: ...Habash expressed the positions of the PFLP. …The political platform of the PFLP speaks in the clearest way about the strategic goal of the Palestinian people's struggle and about the use of all means, including armed violence…

Al-Jazeera: Meaning that today the PFLP still believes in the armed struggle...

Mustafa: This is one-hundred percent true. We believe the conflict and the struggle against Israel is a strategic [principle] that is not subordinated to any consideration. Even if there are circumstances of talks about peace and a settlement we see them as neither peace nor a settlement. We believe the Palestinian people, both in the Diaspora and [in the territories] under occupation, have the right to struggle using all means, including the armed struggle, because we think the conflict is the constant [factor] while the means and tactics are the variables....

So let’s recap . . . the goal of the PLO is Israel’s destruction and any “peace process” is meaningless unless it facilitates a non-Israeli future.

No doubt such "unhelpful" rhetoric earned Mustafa the censure of his boss, the international man of peace, Nobel laureate Yasser Arafat. Indeed, Arafat appointed a relacement immediately after discovering Mustafa in possession of two Israeli helicopter launched air-to-surface missiles in his Ramallah office in August of last year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

The Power of InstaPundit

Just Great! The day I get a coveted link from Instapundit is also the first of six days of complete radio silence as we took the jellybeans to Disneyworld. Now I’ve missed my golden opportunity to earn the loyalty of millions of readers with witty follow-up postings. Guess I’ll just have to deal with obscurity.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Peaceful Non-Existence Watch

Now I get it. The moral relativists believe that Israel and the Palestinians have symmetrical foreign policy goals – to live peacefully each in their own sovereign state.

But if that were the case why would the Palestinian approach to achieving such a benign goal include suicide murders of Israeli citizens? That’s hardly the road to peaceful coexistence.

In fact, the goal of ethnically cleansing Israel of Israelis has never been more unambiguous. Now when the Palestinians talk of “the occupation” they are no longer even pretending to mean the West Bank. They want it all including beachfront property on the Mediterranean.

I’m starting a collection of Freudian slips, dead giveaways, and outright declarations of genocide just so we all know the score.

Let’s begin right here with our friends at Fatah. Their website declares their goals as being “Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.” Hey if you can’t believe Fatah, who can you believe?

How about a sermon from the prominent Palestinian Imam Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi first posted on Little Green Footballs? According to this man of peace, “we will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, enter Jaffa as conquerors, enter Haifa as conquerors.” I’m sure he said it in a gentle, lilting tone but still, words are words.

Friday, April 12, 2002

Famine in Connecticut . . . Where Is the Outrage?

In an alarming world of children suicide bombers, priests who prey, and Bob Traficant’s hair, the nation asks as one, “what does Anna Quindlen have to say?”

Well, she was in Connecticut yesterday talking about hunger . . . in Fairfield County . . . in Greenwich, even!

"It seems to me I have a mandate, being a feminist, in not only being certain that women become partners in law firms and hold high political office but that they also have safe homes and their kids have enough to eat."

Aside from the pompous claim of a “mandate” to be anything but self-absorbed, Quindlen says hunger on the Connecticut Gold Coast is a quiet epidemic. Could it be that Ms Quindlen is finally fed up with bulimia . . . the scourge of debutantes from Westport to Darien? It is true that many wealthy woman waste away in stoic silence just so they can squeeze into the latest Escada. And how bold of her to come to the belly of the beast to make her stand.

But alas, this is Anna Quindlen. And she’s come to the wealthiest state in the Union to talk about poverty and hunger. Never mind that even hunger activists will tell you that the burning nutritional issue among the poor in the United States is not hunger but morbid obesity.

The cause of all this stomach grumbling is affordable housing she says. Now here she may have a point. I don’t doubt that there are some social climbers who when forced to choose between life-giving sustenance and living in a choice part of Greenwich would gladly give up food. But that’s their problem, not anyone else’s.

Quindlen is right about the housing thing. Greenwich is the sort of place where if you are paying under $3,000 a month, you’re living in affordable housing. In fact, “affordable housing” is as alien a concept in Greenwich as “luxury townhome community” is in Ramallah.

On the other hand, there is a whole city filled with affordable housing about 15 miles away in Bridgeport. But see, no one like Quindlen would ever think of stepping foot in Bridgeport much less go house hunting for bargains. And besides, there are all those fat poor people.

Quindlen calls for “government action” and frets that President Bush’s calls for civic volunteerism will only serve as an obstacle to the urgently needed “action.” What action could she mean? Public housing projects al la Pruitt-Igoe or Southwark Towers perhaps? How about vouchers? Ahhh . . . no. Maybe repealing some of the politically mandated building codes that put housing beyond the reach of low income workers? (There was a time when cities had single room apartments with a hotplate for a kitchen and a shared bathroom down the hall. Beats living on the streets. But today such housing is illegal.) Puuleeze!

That fact is, Ms Quindlen is concerned about problems, not solutions. Problems allow her to furrow her brow and pontificate. That’s her job. Solutions would require actually thinking and working. The best problems are those without any obvious solutions. Even better are problems that aren’t even obvious problems: starvation in Stamford, illiteracy in preschool, di-hydrogen monoxide in drinking water.

And the best part about speaking out against famine in Connecticut . . . free lunch.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Give War a Chance

A European friend informed me recently that military action in the Middle East “never solved anything.”

That was a revelation. I thought everyone should know about it. But upon reflection I concluded that this was a bit like saying, “negative campaigning never works.”

Frankly, if these two approaches to problem solving weren’t effective in arenas as competitive as war and politics they would have been jettisoned long before the next violence/election cycle.

So far military action in the Middle East has been stunningly effective. After enduring a quickening tempo of mega-terrorist “operations” -- Khobar Towers, the US embassy in Nairobi, the USS Cole in Aden, mass murder in Lower Manhattan – there has been no rejoinder. You could say the cycle of violence has been broken.

That’s because instead of enjoying the perks and comforts of honored guests in Afghanistan, al Qaeda serial killers are now busy hiding for their lives after having been chased out of every dusty dive from Khost to Revz by crew-cut NASCAR enthusiasts . . . praise Allah!

And in Israel, after averaging one vicious suicide attack on unarmed women and grandfathers per day for months before the Israeli Defense Forces took action, there has been only one attack in nearly two weeks. That would seem to constitute success.

Of course, military action works . . . but only for the winning side.