Vox Rodentae

Monday, July 24, 2006

NEO, not PETA

I just finished commenting on another blog in reference to PETA's outrage that US forces refuse to evacuate people's "friends" (ie. their pets) with them during the evacuations from Lebanon. It suits my mood this evening to reproduce it here:

I don't think any reasonable person would see a need to deliberately abandon any animal that could feasibly be rescued, but at the same time, when you are conducting a NEO (noncombatant evacutation operation), there is a HUGE amount of material to coordinate (passports, birth certificates, citizenship or immigration/visa papers, shot records, financial paperwork, any and all paperwork to do with children, your job, your possessions, your house/property in the country you're fleeing, and so on and so forth), and they are having to do this on the fly for several thousand people while all of them are in the way of fire. When you add to this the potential of having to house and feed animals (because you know there will be more than just dogs and cats), you'll have to account for all rabies, parvo, feline leukemia vaccinations (and all the gazillion others I can't remember/think of), you'll have to be able to guarantee them a safe berthing space, ensure they'll be in no danger from or especially *no danger to* any and all crew and passengers, not to mention coordinating whether or not the docking port will even receive them. I'm sure there are many other things I've left out. When I was in the Army, serving in Korea, I was the NEO control NCO for our area, and it was my job to ensure that all the civilian contractors, their wives and dependents, and all the military wives and dependents (both command-sponsored and non-command-sponsored) could be speedily evacuated in the event of Dear Leader Kim's desire for a beach party in Pusan. Those were some of the most grueling days I ever had in the Army, let me tell you, and that was just for an exercise! The USN/USMC have to do it for real, under fire, with frightened and possibly hysterical and ungrateful people - it's not a job for the faint of heart. Sometimesyou have to make painful choices about what's most important to you.

The people conducting these NEO's deserve our congratulations for their speed, courage and damned hard work! As I mentioned in the insert, even NEO exercises are grueling, but these Sailors and Marines are doing their country proud and deserve all we can give them in the way of respect. I hope sincerely that the folks they're rescuing are being very grateful to them, because I don't ever want to meet someone who was rescued who would have the gall to complain about it. Ever.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A quick ponder...

Sometimes I feel as if I'm going slightly crazy. I maintain a fairly lively interest in world events, as well as in the many interpretations and analyses posited about them. I enjoy debating my views with the few people in my sphere who don't spend all their time discussing Oprah and Dr. Phil. I'm reasonably well-educated in re: the history of most situations currently in the news, and have insight into a good many things the average citizen doesn't, by virtue of past work experience.

But when I read all the news, I'm stuck wondering what alternate universe are most of the press reporting or editorializing on? Whether it's criticism of the US (which is so old hat, I suspect even that will stop making print soon), or decrying rampant Western Islamophobia (I think "Islamophobia" isn't quite the right word for most of what I've been hearing and reading from folks; the reaction to Islam isn't fear, it's disgust, annoyance, or downright loathing), or lauding the "Freedom Fighters" (how can someone be called a freedom fighter whose main mission is the genocide of all members of another religion?), a neverending parade of the most bizarre excuses and opinions are presented for the corkscrewed mind to... what, curl into a little queue?

When did such a large group of the West's population abandon reason for the sorry failed re-tread of socialism, and in so doing, subject themselves to the baroque mental gymnastics required by that ideology? The kind of loops one is put to think through would put M.C. Escher to shame. And I think the reason they always sound so angry is that they know that what they are doing and saying is wrong. Much the same way a teenager goes on the offensive when caught doing something naughty or illicit, these neo-socialists attack logical thinkers with hackneyed, highly knee-jerk terms that have lost their meanings through overuse and misuse. In worldwide protests, you see frequent comparisons of Bush to Hitler, Israel to Hitler, Rumsfeld to Hitler, or basically anyone currently out of favour to Hitler, as if that's the dirtiest word they can think of at the moment. One gets the feeling if they had come up with something like "poodle- humper" instead, that would have been on the placards. There are also the endless references to Nazism (ie. US are Nazi's, Britain are Nazi's, Israel are Nazi's) - without even continuing on to remember that "Nazi" stood for "National Socialist" Party, as in socialists, which most of them are. But when did knowledge or common sense ever come into it?

Another element of the press (notably our national press) in large part (except for lauding our international "failures" - which often aren't), is that they pretend as if nothing is going on but the upcoming elections, and the Important Issues, such as who can rake whom over the coals about spending, support of the war (which is now a Gross Failure according to common (Leftist) wisdom), support of various welfare and school spending programs, and ability to Connect With The Little Man. At this point, reading about many of the candidates up for election throughout the states (of either party), you'd probably be much better off picking a name at random from the phone book and writing it in; at least you'd stand a chance of getting someone with a work ethic and a sense of obligation to their constituents!

But when all is said and done, we know there's a big world out there, bustling with activity, and sitting here in the States, stuck home for lack of the price of a ticket, we are just going to have to do the best we can (as always - that good old American ingenuity!) and reach out around the world to those we can find (the blogosphere is a great way to do this), and try to keep ourselves posted. If only we had enough hours in the day to really stay on top, eh?...

Mark bar Filistine!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Entitlement, Tough Love, and the Bat

A lonely young man sits on a bench in a small town. It's a place he's come to from somewhere much smaller, and though this town seems big now, soon it will become too small for him, too. The small town he left is no place special; just a little place where people are born and die, and in between they manage to grow enough to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. The only thing he ever had was hard work, pounded into him day after day, because there wasn't anything else. The young man sighs, and gets to his feet. It's been a long day hunting for a job, but tomorrow, he vows, tomorrow is the day he will be hired, and then no one can stop him. A few years pass, and the man is no longer quite so young. He's married now, and has 3 kids, and the family's looking at moving to The City because there's more opportunity there. His family isn't poor, not like he was coming up, because he promised himself that his children would know a better life, and have real opportunities - he would serve as their example. Many years down the road, the children have all grown up and moved away from home; there are grandchildren now. He and his wife are comfortable, and their children are doing well. Their father made it his mission to instill in them the meaning and the value of work. They absorbed this lesson, to varying degrees, and have been happy with their lives because their accomplishments are their own. They've made their way to where they are now by the dint of their own hard work. And somewhere inside that old man, sits a young man on a bench who can sit and relax for a minute longer, because there isn't a rush anymore.

Don't know what made me think of that, except maybe the growing feeling I have about the Cult of Entitlement that has pervaded our society so deeply that we have all become influenced, often without even realizing it. It seems to go wonderfully hand-in-glove with the Cult of Victimhood; when one is a "victim" society obviously "owes" the victim some form of compensation for that status. Or so we've been led to believe. It comes out in a variety of ways, from the simple: " I should get that because I want it/I was good in the store" that you might hear from a child, to the slightly more (and I hesitate to even use this term) mature extortion you hear from, say, the crooks/ politicians in New Orleans.

Something has gone seriously wrong. When did we, as a people, go from picking ourselves up after an accident or storm and setting about clearing away the damage, fixing what could be fixed, helping our neighbors and getting on with life? I'm pretty sure those are the people federal aid grants were intended for, and not the trash who invaded Houston, jacking up the crime rates, lowering the education rates, and making the lives of hotel workers in the city a living nightmare. Nor, I'm sure, were they intended to support people who are actively trying to kill us. (At least I'm really hoping that's true!)

Somewhere I read that all our federal aid packages paid out around the world were basically bribes to all the little tinpot dictators in the world to try and keep their countries from causing or going to war. It might be true, might not. But what it's done is create a sense of entitlement in most countries around the world that the US owes them money because it's bigger and better than they are. Well, yes, we are. But I certainly don't see that as any reason to compensate them for taunting or sniping at us. If they want those aid dollars, I say let them earn 'em the hard way - through work. Do you have a tour industry? Organize pleasant trips for American tourists. Do you have a work industry? Get back to work! Are you sending your children (girls included) to school? Well, what are you waiting for? - Get those kids over there now! I'm not against incentives for things like learning not to pee in your drinking water, suppressing marxist thought (one of the single most lethal things in the 20th century), how a modicum of family planning can improve your situation in life, or the teaching of basic human hygiene (always a good one, that). Real civil engineering can maybe net a bigger prize or bonus, and choosing a fair representative government (doesn't even have to be a democracy) for the people could be like a sort of jackpot. I don't know - it's quite late at night, and at this point, I'm wagging it, but sooner or later the Tough Love bat has got to come out - maybe this should be before the warthog has grown to its full size?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Trolling for the Left... (ugh, no - toss that one back!)

In my recent travels around the web, I've begun to see more and more liberal postings (aka "trollings") on conservative sites, wherein the poster (apparently) deliberately posts things to taunt, mock or enrage the conservative audience. I think this is something we're going to see a lot more of, since one of the Left's favourite techniques is to shout and jeer down everyone who doesn't agree with them.

For example, several posters have mounted vicious ad hominem attacks on the site hosts as on Dr. Sanity and BlackFive, or with mental case/potential malign stalker Deb Frisch vs. Protein Wisdom host Jeff Goldstein. Some posters start off mildly arguing an opposite opinion, and then fall to abuse and invective when challenged on their logic or asked to present supporting data. Others go straight into the abuse, while others just hammer away with such bizarre logic you can only assume someone in an institution got into the Dr's office while the computer was still on. But the one thing they all are, is increasing.

I've noticed a couple of other similarities among these postings: randomly stated party-line opinions with no viable evidence to back them up, rapid descent into vitriolic attacks on site hosts or commenters who question their logic or research (most conservative posters on the sites I visit have very high research standards, so if you toss an opinion out, you'd better be well-prepared to defend it, regardless of your political leanings), ritual incantations of Bush-hatred or Bushitler comparisons (these are more common than Catholics crossing themselves), the aforementioned ad hominem attacks, and now a new element: gloating, as they see themselves "scoring points" off of people voicing righteous indignation at the Left's cowardice (physical and moral),stupidity and callousness, as well as the baselessness of their assertions.

What the Left doesn't see is, it isn't a game. Sometimes you hear someone say that a liberal is a conservative who refuses to grow up, but I think it goes much deeper than that: a deep self-loathing, which could exist for any of so many reasons (we're spoiled for choice here, when referring to this crowd). No wonder they scorn and disdain the first half of the 20th century; it's all about grown-ups shouldering life's burdens and taking on adult responsibilities, all the while doing twenty, thirty times what we do today. And they raised their kids, and they worked, and they fought in wars on the battlefront, or on the homefront, and they sacrificed, because they believed in what the Founding Fathers wrote, and knew their freedom carried with it an obligation, to give back for what you received. There was no self-analysing, no healing the abused inner child, none of our self-obsessed media-driven me, me, me cult of victimhood that dominates our domestic scene.

Often the Left voices a desire to leave this country to go somewhere where there isn't a fascist government whose jackbooted stormtroopers (yes, I've finally got my uniform in order!) are just about to break down their doors and haul them off to the gulags. I don't think they should have to leave their homeland: I'm all for giving them somewhere to live, so they can all gather together and make all the human rights and pc speech laws and resolutions calling the US a "great big meanie" that they want, just so long as it's somewhere we can ignore, so we can shoulder life's burdens and assume our big responsibilities and get on with life.

Ethnic Cleansing - a great new product

In defense of my somewhat lengthy hiatus, I've been combing the web and the news, taking in all the differing opinions and projections of the happenings in the ME. By now we've all weighed in with or against Israel (hopefully with), and there's been much excellent commentary about the why's and wherefore's thereof. But there are a couple of angles that haven't been addressed by anyone, other than maybe the off-hand word here or there, and those are the things I'd like to know about.

At one point while I was out this morning, a tv flashed the banner "Israel proposes conditions for cease-fire", which about knocked me down. Of course, my mind was full of other things (chores, my son with me, the awful heat, etc.) so it took me a moment to realize the tv was tuned to ... you guessed it, MSM. I hurried home to check out the real news and found out an EU negotiator had spoken with Israel's Foreign Minister, and as near as I could tell, harangued her and wrangled a highly hypothetical possibility of the potential of a possible cease-fire, or something possibly more vague than that. Tzipi Livn, Israel's Foreign Minister, seems like one tough cookie, and I can't see her coming along in halter to the EU's 'greater wisdom'.

Another thing I found out is that one of the soldiers being held by Hezbollah is a Druze. The Druze are a branch of the Ismaili sect of Islam who have a much broader view of Islam (considered heretic and anathema to orthodox muslims) that encompasses elements of Greek, Jewish and Christian philosophy (although not Sufism, as some think). They're the only muslims who serve/are allowed to serve in the IDF, which they've been doing voluntarily since 1948. Big players in the Lebanese civil war, they beat the Christian Phalangist militia and signed a treaty with them which led to the two groups becoming allies. They are centred in the Chouf Mountains, between Lebanon and Syria, and have a reputation for fierceness and brutality, as well as braveness and loyalty. I'm very curious as to where they are and what they're doing right now. How are they taking the kidnap of a fellow Druze? Are they working behind the scenes in Lebanon? What does Walid Jumblatt have to say about all of this?

As some elements of the Left grudgingly admit to Hezbollah's and Hamas's dictate to annihilate all the Jews, the phrase "ethnic cleansing" has been trotted out again. This phrase really annoys me. It's the sort of prissy little euphemism people use to distance themselves from the blood and guts, the rotting bodies and desecration and horror inherent in the act. Even "genocide" has begun to lack impact any more as used in Amnesty International and UN reports describing not only true atrocities, but acts like Israel's bombing Southern Lebanon (for which they issued warning flyers well before bombing started). Warning to the wise, folks: don't inflate your opinions by using more harsh or severe terms than they warrant, or you risk watering them down so they come to mean nothing at all. They talk about ethnic cleansing as if it was some great new kind of laundry detergent:

"Ethnic Cleansing!" Are those troublesome ethnic groups getting you down and keeping your country from having the tidy ethnic majority you prefer? Have they complicated your life with the interference of watchdog NGO's and human rights agencies, or disrupted the system of bribes and corruption that keep your country going? Just try our latest product "Ethic Cleansing"! One good shot of this, and your problems will be cleaned away, no mess, no untidy questions. It's the hot new thing that all the dictators are talking about - so don't get caught without it! Get your "Ethic Cleansing" today! --[cut to picture of smiling dictator holding product box]

Honestly, if there's one thing we can do immediately, it's take back our language. It's been hijacked by PC people who don't want to see or think about the fact that life is often ugly, and made uglier by bad people. And further, that sometimes it requires the sacrifice of good people to get rid of those bad people. The least we can do for those who are killed is give them the honour due them: acknowledge their deaths properly, rather than giving their killers a pass because giving their actions their rightful name: slaughter, might make us feel a little squeamish.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

All The News That's Fit to Dodge: Fox Reporters Shot at by Israeli Forces in Gaza

In a stunning piece of crack journalism, a Fox reporter and his team were right on hand to get the story. Unfortunately, some of those details might have been just a bit too, well, detailed for the Israeli troops he was reporting on. They voiced their concern with some light gunfire, at which point, the now-prudent reporter high-tailed it away from the area. Honestly, this is something I'd have expected more from CBS or the like, but having an "off day" like this one can mean more than just coming home feeling a little run down; it can mean not coming home at all. The fact that those little blue flak jackets say "Press" on them does not confer immunity from gunfire, or for that fact, from the people firing those guns. Sic transit gloria belli...

No 70's Redux Without ABBA

They're at it again. Iran, flexing its muscles (and intimating the likelihood of actual nukes now), has finally finally come into the open as the true supporter of all the little terrorist groups/states in the region, and seems set on engaging in its own little version of the 1970's redux*, but this time with a millenial twist.

*(Hasn't anyone told them that the '70's thing is just about over now, and we're getting ready to swing into a 1980's redux? Honestly, doesn't anyone in the ME keep up with the fashion mags?)

Israel is at war now, as if anyone could have doubted that eventuality. Most newspapers and talking heads relate the "atrocities" that Israel is committing, and their human rights offenses against the Palestinian people with their "unjustified" attacks. They (the world media) bemoan the deaths of so many over the life of just one (read: worthless) Israeli. Few, if any, mention the difficulties that the people of Israel are undergoing at the same time. They hide in their bunkers, and under their beds and under whatever cover they can manage, to escape the Kassam rocket attacks (which have been continuous since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2004), knowing that pretty much the entire world wants them to be destroyed, knowing that even if they get help, it may not be enough, or may not come soon enough).

I certainly can't imagine what it must be like to live like that: surrounded on almost all sides by several millions of people who want tapdance through rivers of your blood as it flows in the streets. When I was young and naive, I used to get so angry because I believed that there were normal, rational workaday Palestinians whose lives had been hijacked by terrorists like Yassr Arafat. I couldn't understand why they didn't just rise up and say "This git doesn't speak for us! Hey - you! Yeah, you over there - go back home, get a job, make something of your self and stop waving that gun around, it doesn't make you look manly at all; just silly! Go home!". But I'm older, and maybe even a little bit wiser, and what I do know is what the Palestinians say in interviews: that they elected Hamas to represent them because they want to send the world a message: that they mean to carry out Hamas's stated goal.

What we must realize is that they aren't just like us, and they don't want to be. It's one of the facts that Americans can't get through our heads around - there really are people out there who don't want to work and make a living, and run their own country and make sure its government helps properly govern the country. Palestinians are those kind of people. They have been seduced and drawn in by Arab rhetoric, fed on a gluttonous diet of victimization by the UN and all the other so-called human rights groups, and fattened up on Muslim terrorist hate-speeches. Scattered and living in other countries, they were unable to vote or hold citizenship and therefore had most of their lives decided for them. It must have come as quite a shock, getting their own land, and being expected to make something of it, but after all, they had an excellent example in Israel, next-door. Why not do Israel one better, and become better than them using them as the model?

I realize that may be way over the top, sarcasm and irony-wise, but I am quite serious. Why has the Arab world never figured out the "Beat them at their own game" kind of thinking? Because it requires work, and lots of it. It would require that the Palestinians give up their macho-istic revolutionary posturing, pick up a tool or some kind of implement and get to work. They could have gotten SO much cash from the UN for any kind of set-up project to establish viable public utilities, a workable, truly viable infrastructure, any attempt to establish a basis for a national economy, just about anything they wanted, but they'd rather sit and sift through their own dirt and garbage, revelling in their filth, just for the chance to bag some Israelis and spread a little more misery. Can they be helped? At this point, I'm not even sure they should be.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

And we're the Greater Satan because...?

Please forgive my absence - I've been researching the Wahhabi sect of Islam, and my simple research has netted me an avalanche of information that will take a good long while to sort through and organize. It's definitely confirmed to me that we all need to wake up and pay much closer attention to what the Saudi's have been up to, all over the world.

I was reading a story put out around the 3rd of July, wherein a poll conducted in England concluded that most British find Americans to be rude, vicious, cruel, loud, racist, class-driven, and money-obsessed people, waging an illegal war for self-interest and led by a hypocrite. The poll suggested that, while Brits might like Americans one on one, on the whole, they tend to fear us - afraid that we really are an imperialist power out to take over the world.

I found this really interesting, for several reasons: For starters, this poll comes from the country who practically invented class obsession. Except for some weenie academics, flesh mechanics and lawyers, few Americans feel the need to have KBE, OM, GCSI Esq, PDQ, ASAP, COD, or any other abbreviations listed after their names.

This poll comes from the country who gave the world its modern scourge: the Footer Yobbo, a character feared by nearly every country in the world, and banned by almost as many. This poll comes from the country that gave us Bad Girls, Mile High and Footballers Wive$, for goodness' sake!

And it comes from the country who has sheltered two viler hate-spewing radical Islamist preachers in the world, Abu Hamza (noted sponsor of the 1993 attempt on the WTC) and Omar Bakri Mohammed (deported from the UK for inciting to violence and terrorism).

Britain has one of the fastest growing populations of young Islamists in Europe. And its own native citizens feel they can no longer voice their dissent against radical jihadi speeches, protests and propaganda, because the police have been warned not to permit anyone to incense the muslim population lest there be an escalation of violence along the lines of 7/7.

Many countries in Europe are starting to realize that the concept "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", which sounded good when both they and the muslims were anti-US, doesn't sound quite so good when your cherished liberal beliefs are going to the chopping block. So much for women's rights, reproductive freedom, abortion rights, animal rights, child rights, anti-slavery laws, gay rights and gay marriage, true multiculturalism, assimilation, religious freedom (or in the case of most Euro's freedom from religion), and universal suffrage. All of a sudden the kinder, gentler liberals of Europe greet the true face of the Islam they've fostered, but instead of the kind, gentle face of moderate Islam that many of them grew up with, they see instead a face with burning eyes, devoid of any emotion at all, save burning hate for everything but Islam - their very specific, strict, narrow Islam.

Europe is at far worse risk than we are, accessible not only by their close proximity, but by their minimalist immigration laws. The Netherlands has only started to realize, since the assassination of Theo Van Gogh, the lit stick of dynamite they are playing hot potato with: their famous hospitality and permissiveness (pot, prostitutes, anything goes...) has also brought them a sizeable muslim community that not only refuses to assimilate, but in the cases of many thousand immigrants, won't even bother to learn to speak Dutch. They do not abide by Dutch law (although they will accept Dutch welfare, healthcare and subsidies), and now insist that the Netherlands adopt Shar'ia as the national law. In Belgium, muslim clerics are calling for Arabic to be made one of the official languages of the country. Germany has been struggling for decades with the large influx of Turkish immigrants, but in the wake of floods of young Arab men who bring their Islamism with them, they are also realizing they have a problem that may be beyond their own control.

Yet somehow, we are still the Greater Satan. Maybe it's something along the lines of an abused woman being frightened by the goings-on of the people down the block, because it's too scary and painful to look at her own bruises or think about what will happen when her boyfriend comes back from the bar. And as in the case of every domestic disturbance, when the policeman comes to take the boyfriend away for beating her up, she'll turn against the policeman for being too "rough" or "mean" to him - the same old story that we, as The World's Policeman, know inside and out.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Start the Police State Without Me

Harking back to yesterday:

Being in the military, we have of course, the most excellent of friends both in and out of the military, who sent us wonderful emails with great wishes, links, jokes and stories for Independence Day. I delighted in all of them (the emails, and of course, the friends). But being the type of person I am (the type who can't let well-enough alone), I just had to drop in on that festering pit of bile, that barometer of leftism: KosLand. I figured that they could even take something like the 4th of July (since they claim to be such "patriots - just not flag-wavers") and twist it into something hateful. True to form, they indulged me amply. A little too amply, since I was hoping I would have to dig just a little to find anything. But oh no. Immediately the imprecations against the racist, sexist, bigotted, slave-owning, evil white men who wrote that screed of evil, the Declaration of Independence, not to mention the Constitution, came out. Then came stories about what an awful guy Joe Lieberman is. Because he's not doing what the Party tells him to do. Because he actually wants to run for his own office. Talk about Night of the Long Knives. Don't let's anyone follow poor Joe into the piranha tank. And of course they are now using his good sportsmanship (congratulating his opponent's win) as evidence he needs to be dumped, and fast. Yikes. With friends like these, eh? This was followed by the obligatory anti-Bush litanies, and the now-tedious howls of outrage against the Police State we live in.
[sigh....]
I'm still waiting for any Big Press stories of Jackbooted Thugs breaking down doors and carrying Leftist leaders, writers, activists, and (I hesitate to use the word) "thinkers", away to the gulags. All those writs of habeus corpus, sitting in drawers, getting dusty, waiting to be filled in. All those activist lawyers, their ideals buffed to a fine sheen, their rhetoric polished and to hand, their reputations just waiting to be made. The contractors waiting to build the gulags, the guards to staff them, the farmers to grow the food to supply them. Heck, I'm beginning to think they're right: maybe the Right IS depressing the economy - causing all those activists, lawyers, contractors, guards, gulag workers, farmers and all to sit idle, waiting for their chances to protest, stop showering (oh, wait, they've already been doing that...) litigate, build, get hired, grow stuff and whatnot...

Oh well, it's a dirty job, but I guess someone's got to do it. It's just that, after having 3 kids, the old black uniform is a bit "snug" in spots, and there's a spot of... I think that's peanut butter on my left jackboot, and someone's been using my hat as a dolly bed, and.... Oh, heck, you guys'll just have to start the Police State without me - I'll be along presently.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Oh Palestine

Israel and the Hamas (now in its guise as the Official Government of Palestine) are duking it out again. Arabs beat their chests and howl in rage. And the rest of the world shakes its head and thinks “…nothing new here, move along…” But this time, it feels slightly different. One senses the feeling of a line having been drawn, a line that Hamas is perilously close to crossing over. A line that, once crossed, will be a point of no return.

To be fair, Israel has been remarkably restrained, given that most of the actions taken against them by Hamas constitute recognizable acts of war. For the last 30-some odd years, the US has been at the forefront of the much vaunted peace process, trying to broker peace between Israel and the Arab/Muslim world, urging restraint in all cases, and holding back Israeli ire whenever possible. Obviously, this kind of diplomacy hasn’t worked, and it hasn’t been working for a long time.

In the Middle East, Israel is a gem of prosperity, industry, contentment, and natural wealth (in the form of well-tilled, fertile fields). It is a locus for foreign travelers who seek it out for its religious significance, culture, fashion and nightlife, and even possibly for the barely lingering remains of the exotic reputation Lebanon once held in its glory days. Unfortunately, Israel also forms an excellent focus for Arab hatred, as Arabs look around at themselves living in poverty, squalor and filth in densely packed urban ghettoes. It’s existence has also become a tool Arab governments use to prevent their people from looking too closely at their corrupt and failing policies; Israel, the Other Great Satan, has Stolen the Birthright of the Palestinians, they are Occupying and have Criminally Colonized at the Cost of Arab Blood, Traditional Arab Lands. No atrocity is too brutal to attribute to the Israeli aggressors.

But none of the other Arab countries want the Palestinians either, since Arab memories are long and grudges aren’t easily forgiven. Arab leaders remember well the month of September 1970, also known as Black September. Throughout Jordan, thousands of refugee camps housed thousands upon thousands of Palestinians fleeing the orgy of violence and fighting throughout the area. After a while, militants living in those camps began to set up an internal infrastructure within Jordan, closing off roads, opening checkpoints and charging special “taxes” for passage along these roads. These and other actions represented a challenge to Jordan’s sovereignty as a nation. Jordan’s King Hussein dispatched Internal Security troops to deal with the problem, spawning bitter fighting with the militants. By the time the dust cleared, many thousands of Jordanians, refugees and militants had been killed (numbers on this are still uncertain, but range from 3000 to 5000, to more than 10,000), and the refugees were once again on the move, booted out of Jordan and distributed among the various Arab countries where they were (and still are) generally distrusted (especially after backing Sadaam in the invasion of Kuwait; Arab culture proscribes dealings with unlucky, unwise people, lest their bad luck rub off on you). They became a people without a country, glorified in cause, unwanted in person, and growing steadily angrier at the dichotomy of their position.

When they were got their own land, the first thing they did was elect a terrorist organization to be their government. What clearer message could they send to the rest of the world? The press no longer records the hostilities Israelis face daily from the Palestinians, the lobbing of Molotov cocktails, the rock-throwing. Even the kidnapping and murder of that young settler (may he rest in peace) wouldn’t have made a news blip, if it wasn’t concurrent with the kidnapping of a young Israeli soldier and the Israeli Army’s mobilization and determination to get him back.

I’m still trying to figure out why Israel shouldn’t be able to defend itself from attacks by hostile foreign governments and terrorist organizations whose charters cite the destruction of Israel as their chief aim. Yes, the Mossad gets up to many highly questionable antics. These need to be brought to light and addressed in the courts, legally, on a case-by-case basis, as we address our own suspected crimes. But this doesn’t invalidate Israel’s right to self-defense. And the matter of “non-combatants”? It is very sad that non-combatants get caught up in military actions. The terrorists don’t even recognize the concept of “non-combatants”. I don’t believe that Israel intentionally targets civilians (although when they do hit them, they need slightly more convincing arguments than “We didn’t do it” followed by “Well, it might’ve happened, but it was probably something else instead” or some equally lame response. The proper wording goes something like “We deeply regret that this (bomb/round/whatever) fell among civilians. It was a grave mistake, because we would never knowingly target civilians. We offer our sincerest condolences to their families in their time of loss.”).

In the meantime, if we really support Israel, then it’s time we cut the apron strings and let her walk on her own. If our diplomatic nurse-maiding hasn’t done her any good, let’s see what she does on her own. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Times To Come

Having recovered from the previous (somewhat lengthy, I know - still getting the hang of this blog thing) post, I find I am still held fast by the continuing controversy as represented by the ongoing, treasonous reporting of the New York Times (NYT), and the rest of the MSM.

The MSM (our country's self-appointed morality and legality police) has circled wagons against the outrage of the government and the public, asserting the Public Right To Know, claiming the real issue/problem is really an Administration conspiracy to disenfranchise the American public, and brandishing the first amendment as a sort of shield. The MSM and the Left are looking only at the upcoming elections and, if I'm feeling really generous, possibly the ones after that, with their eyes firmly fixed on internal politics and the potential of incoming porkbarrel projects and the satisfaction of Being In Charge again. To them, the idea of a country led by George W. Bush and his administration, peopled by those who elected him is a glowing neon sign of the impending apocalypse, so everything they can do to undermine it is an heroic effort worth any sacrifice (especially the lives of others) to accomplish. I come from good redneck stock, tempered with a stubborn streak of Dutch intelligentsia, and I was brought up between life as a military brat and life in a small NW town with seriously upper-middle class pretensions (a refuge for post-Berkeley wannabe's). Yet even in these rarified atmospheres I don't think I ever heard anything as preposterous as the idea that moral equivocation is great as long as it's the "non-cool" people taking it in the shorts, rather than "us hip folk who know and care so much more".

Even more preposterously, many advocates of the Left’s failed movements (Marxism, Communism or Socialism, anyone?) believe they will, of course, be in charge When The Revolution Comes (they're smarter, they care more, they know what’s best for the rest of us). What they don't realize is that they represent everything theJihadi's stand against. It's likely they would be the first to go, as godless, self-serving (as in serving only themselves as the individual, rather than the tribe or group to which they belong), openly scorning and flouting religion and its practices as 'the opiate of the masses' (wasn't that part of the statement behind the "piss Christ"?), elevating women to a victim/cult status beyond what even the wildest imaginations could have dreamed in the early days of the Feminist Movement (before that became a pejorative term), raising up Hollywood icons as the be-all, say-all, do-all guru's of What's Right (I have to admit Britney Spears is giving me pause to consider several arguments in favour of imposing hijab, though). The only area of common ground they seem to share is a serious anti-Semitism (not a proper term, as Arabs are Semites, too; maybe anti-Jewism?), no doubt in response to the Left's elevation of muslims to Victims of the Moment. Didn't the Left and the rest of our Self-Appointed Intelligentsia used to number among them many prominent Jewish thinkers and activists? Where have they gone? Have they been left out on the stoop with the cats and the milk bottles? Should someone be passing around a collection plate?

This breaks down to so much more than just a simple hurling of insults and slappy-hands (as the lib’s would have us believe). It really is a matter of national security, and the lives of our fellow Americans, as well as those of our allies are at stake because of it. Not that the MSM gives a fig for that: all those soldiers and everyone supporting this war are obviously evil and must be exposed – and after all, they did sign on the dotted line to be willing to die didn’t they? Well, they’re just helping them out a little. All this business of national security is just an Administration cover-up to hide …(fill in the blank with whatever ridiculous accusation you care to name). These soap-opera plots of government conspiracy merely serve to confirm any and every action, statement and request made by the government. The only thing the Left believes from the government are the leaks they receive altogether too frequently. Lest anyone think that Bush is so bad even his own administration is against him, remember that much of the government is still comprised of large numbers of Clinton- and Clinton-era appointees who have no love for the Republican administration.

Conservatives (another misnomer - as most of them are not so much for refusing change as they are for minimizing government involvement in the citizen's daily life, supporting a strong capitalist economy and the like) on the other hand, do often look at the Bigger Picture. They see the US under threat of having many of its basic liberties taken away not by the will of the people, but by judicial fiat (courtesy of the ranks hardcore activist appointed judges). For example we see the PC movement and suspiciously founded and funded “human rights groups” and PAC's mounting deafening and vicious ad hominem attacks to overwhelm any person attempting to exercise his/her rights to free (read: dissenting) speech as guaranteed under the Constitution. More and more frequently we see our citizens raked over the coals for daring to state their opinions either openly (check out any local or campus postings of newspapers or speeches shut down for stating non-PC thoughts) or creatively through artistic license (Check out Dr. Sanity's post on Artist Amir Normandi's Photo Exhibit "Desire No Shackle" which was shut down in Chicago by muslim activists, or Blackfive's on USMC Lance Corporal Joshua Belile on his "Hadji Girl" video). These PC groups and PAC's garner a good deal of money by way of grants and donations (often for misrepresenting their causes to the public; I once donated my $5 allowance as a young girl to our local NOW group after being told it would be used to help further the cause of equal pay for equal work. I proudly wore the button I was given, until I discovered that the organization was using funds like mine -$5 meant something in those days- to support political candidates with some very radical (read: insane) political views and opinions in many cases contrary to the views with which I'd been brought up). They can turn their very formidable legal, media and financial resources to the prosecution of persons they charge with "hate speech". And generally, lacking necessary funds to mount even a token defense against the political machine funding the prosecution, the so-called offender is forced to retract his/her opinion and shout the party line in a Communist-style high-visibility public display, or -if they're lucky enough to win- slide into tarnished obscurity. Chalk up another judicial precedent toward the abolition of the First Ammendment, or the Second, or so on...

Outside of the US, we see a Europe overwhelmed by wave upon wave of muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate and demand that the national laws be changed to accommodate sha'ria, which they assert shall be the only law to which they’re accountable. Europeans are now experiencing negative population growth, unlike their new immigrants, thereby radically changing the entire demographic of Europe. A look through some of the bolder op ed pieces in newspapers throughout Europe shows that only now are people starting to become aware of the implications of this. European politics are being completely overset by this preponderance of muslim immigrants, who use their numbers and the threat of (or outright) violence to intimidate and silence any opposition to their views. Many of Europe’s immigration laws, dating back to the Cold War days, are lax because they were established to facilitate the flight of people seeking asylum and escaping the Communist Bloc countries. That situation no longer exists, and Europe would do well to review and thoroughly overhaul their immigration and asylum laws. And for that matter, so do we. ((Update: Holland has started reviewing and strengthening some of its immigrant policies - thank goodness the barn door is closed now that the horses have gotten out.))

We also see large gangs of young men throughout the muslim world, demonstrating for more violence, traveling throughout muslim areas fighting for this or that terrorist group, insurgency or warlord, spreading their their bile and hatred, and using their knowledge and skills (ie. at weapons and the construction and placement of IED's) to fill the lives of the peacekeepers and even the local population with bloodshed and misery. We know that, despite MSM reports, muslims are the most prolific killers of muslims. And we know that this new asymmetrical war can’t be fought and won simply and quickly on a identifiable battlefront by easily recognizable troops reporting to a known and accountable chain of command. It’s an ugly, dirty, underhanded thing that will go on for a long time. It will be fought along every front of society, and there are no non-combatants. This is an important distinction, because whether you choose to consider yourself one or not, the enemy considers you one, and that’s good enough for them. If they get their way, we will soon be in a position much like that of Israel, only our Democratic Party, lefties, liberals, PC’ers, multi-culti’s, self-appointed intelligentsia, academic elite, MSM (have I left anyone out?) will be eagerly on hand as informers for this new cultural revolution, ready to hand any “revanchist swine” or “backward thinkers” over to the mullahs for appropriate re-education. And oh, what a brave new world we shall have then…