My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Monday, July 31, 2006

Can you believe it? Hezbollah is NOT on the European Terrorist List...

How can they fight terror if they can't recognize it?
Any decision to add Hezbollah to the European Union’s list of terror organisations must be taken unanimously by the 25 EU members states, an EU official has told EJP.

In a letter to Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, 210 members of the US Congress, both democrats and republicans, renewed a call for the EU to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

The letter came following a recent statement by Solana in which he argued that there was no sufficient data tying Hezbollah to terrorist activities.

“We were dismayed to hear your July 19 assertion,” the letter wrote.

Solana’s spokeswoman, Christina Gallach, told EJP that during the last years there had been several such demands. “But the unanimity of the 25 member states is needed for such a decision to be taken” she said.

“Until today there has never been unanimity among the EU and we are not able to assess the reasons why such unanimity could not be reached,” she said.

The decision would be taken within the EU Council by a group of experts in terrorism from the 25 countries which is meeting regularly to analyse the lists of terror organisations and individuals. “This group makes its deliberations in a very discrete way,” Gallach added.

How out of touch are the French?

From the Foreign Minister's comment, well...plenty.
Israeli officials were bewildered by French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy's comment Monday that Iran plays a stabilizing role in the region, but said this should be seen in the wider context of a French-US tug-of-war regarding whether Iran or Syria is the ultimate bad guy in the region.

Douste-Blazy, who was in Beirut Monday, said, "In the region there is of course a country such as Iran - a great country, a great people and a great civilization which is respected and which plays a stabilizing role in the region."

One senior diplomatic official in Jerusalem said Douste-Blazy's comments should earn him the "Hugo prize for science fiction. What planet is he on? It's not Planet Earth if he thinks Iran is a stabilizing force."

Hezbollah and human shields...

Hat tip: Andrew Sullian. Here's a letter by a Lebanese Shia explaining life in southern Lebanon from a Berlin daily.
I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajund that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to take have its say in other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters and armed to the teeth, they stored rockets in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rockets depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.

Al-Manure is in Canada

Yes, the Hezbollah TV station, Al-Manure, is in Canada. Over here, it's called CBC. Last night, I saw two features on Hezbollah that made me want to throw out my television. The first interviewed a Lebanese about the futility of the Israelis fighting Hezbollah. Of course, no one from the Israeli side was interviewed. The second feature was on the charitable works of Hezbollah....gee, it made me want to cry.
I don't doubt they do some good work - afterall Hitler ran charities too.

The CBC is all too depressing these days...

An outrageous decision...

The government is going to have to step in and legislate changes to divorce, custody, child support and alimony.
Canada's Supreme Court has ruled ex-spouses could face hefty retroactive child support payments if they fail to declare increased earnings -- a decision that could affect thousands of divorced and separated couples across the country.

The ruling was unanimous: 7-0. The top court decided that ex-spouses -- the fathers in most cases -- who pay support have an obligation to report increases in income which could therefore boost their court-ordered payments.

The court also ruled that former spouses should be hit with retroactive penalties if they fail to inform their ex-partner about any changes to their income.
Right now, the courts are just stacked against men....this just makes it continues the trend to turn fathers into walking wallets.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Are the Lebanese really innocent?

Is the Lebanese army joining Hezbollah?
As Israeli ground forces cross over into Lebanon in an effort to destroy Hizbullah's capacity to fire rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians, the president of Lebanon Emile Lahoud is taking sides and flexing his nation's muscle for the first time.

He told a German magazine that he "respects Hizbullah" and its terrorist leader Hassan Nasrallah, and he has threatened to turn the Lebanese army against Israel. This would cause a self-inflicted, and perhaps lethal, wound on Lebanon.

Militias associated with several Lebanese political parties -including the party of the speaker of the parliament and of the Lebanese Communist Party - have already joined Hizbullah in attacking Israel.

Up until now, the Lebanese government has claimed that it has no real army, not even one capable of controlling the Hizbullah terrorists who have "occupied" southern Lebanon. It has claimed an inability to enforce UN resolution 1559 which, adopted by the Security Council in 2004, "calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias," meaning Hizbullah. And it has disclaimed any responsibility for Hizbullah atrocities against Israeli civilians and kidnapped soldiers.

NOW, ALL of a sudden, its tune has changed. Suddenly its army is strong enough to take on Israel, and it is willing to collaborate with the terrorist organization from which it previously sought to disassociate itself. Nor can the Lebanese government plausibly argue that this about-face has been caused by the Israeli decision to have its ground troops cross over into Lebanon.

Intelligence sources have confirmed that elements of the Lebanese army have been working with Hizbullah terrorists from the beginning of this conflict, providing the terrorists with electronic, radar and other logistical supports.

The Lebanese government is not as innocent - not as much of a victim - as it has gotten the international community and the media to believe. It is playing a dangerous and two-faced game of both sides against the middle.

CBC omits what Mel Gibson said in drunken tirade...

Look at how CBC reports Mel Gibson's horrible remarks...
Movie director Mel Gibson has issued a statement apologizing for his "out of control" behaviour and remarks made while being arrested in California under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The actor's statement did not divulge details of the "despicable" remarks he confesses to have made and his publicist, Alan Nierob, has also refused to make comment. Some reports in U.S. media on Sunday suggested the remarks were anti-Semitic in nature.
But, the London Sunday Times had no such problem.
According to police records, Gibson, a strict Catholic, then launched into an anti-semitic tirade, referring to “f****** Jews” and stating that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”. He also repeatedly insulted the police officers, addressing one female sergeant as “sugar tits”.

Damning photos of Hezbollah

Here's an interesting story from the Herald Sun in Australia.
This is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon's battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia.

The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.

Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.

The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend.

Respect is a two-way street...

k.d. lang was outraged that Stephen Harper was not at the opening of the Out Games in Montreal...
On Friday lang slammed Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for declining an invitation to attend the opening, saying he had chosen to "support intolerance".

His stand-in, Public Works Minister Michael Fortier, was booed when he was introduced. The protest was so loud and prolonged that Mayor of Montreal, Gerald Tremblay had to appeal to the crowd to remain calm.
I'm pretty pleased that a Minister attended, and that Federal money helped put on the Out games....the gay community could have shown some respect...

Has anybody ever fought like Israel???

In the midst of fighting a war, Israel callsa time out for an investigatioin.
Israel has agreed to suspend its aerial bombardment of southern Lebanon for 48 hours, starting immediately, to allow for an investigation into Sunday's bombing that killed 54 civilians, a State Department official said on Monday.

Israel will also coordinate with the United Nations to allow a 24-hour window for residents of southern Lebanon to leave the area if they wish, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told a briefing in Jerusalem.
Of course, over 150 rockets have been fired at Israel from Qana...and it is quite possible that it was something other than the Israelis that caused the building to collapse.

Charles Krauthammer has more....
What other country, when attacked in an unprovoked aggression across a recognized international frontier, is then put on a countdown clock by the world, given a limited time window in which to fight back, regardless of whether it has restored its own security?

What other country sustains 1,500 indiscriminate rocket attacks into its cities — every one designed to kill, maim and terrorize civilians — and is then vilified by the world when it tries to destroy the enemy's infrastructure and strongholds with precision-guided munitions that sometimes have the unintended but unavoidable consequence of collateral civilian death and suffering?

Hezbollah's use of civilians...

A very revealing story from the anti-Israeli newspaper in the UK, The Guardian.
As if to make his point, the sound of Israeli shells blasting the surrounding hills shakes the door and shutters every few minutes. Ali does know the Israelis. He started fighting them at the age of 17 when they invaded Lebanon in 1982. Three years later he was arrested with two of his comrades and spent a few months in an Israeli prison. Within weeks of his release he was fighting them again.That's what he did for the next six years.

For the last five years he has been finishing his theology studies in Tehran. A month ago, he was asked by Hizbullah to return to southern Lebanon. He arrived a week before the fighting began.

Standing at the window, he points to the banana plantations between us and the blue Mediterranean. "I have fought for years in these groves. We used to sit and wait for them [the Israelis] to make a move and then we would hit. They always moved too quickly, too soon."

All over the hills of south Lebanon hundreds of men like Sayed Ali and his comrades are waiting - some in bunkers, some in farm houses - for the Israeli troops to arrive. Sayed Ali and his men spend most of their time in the building where his apartment is, moving only at night.

"We stay put and we don't move till we get our orders, and this is why we are not like any other militia. A militiaman will fire whenever he likes at whatever he likes," explains one of the men, who says he has been involved in firing Katyusha rockets into northern Israel. "We have specific orders. Even when we fire rockets we know when and where [to fire] and each of the men manning the launchers runs to a specific hiding place after firing the rockets."

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hurricanes and Global Warming...

More evidence challenging the link between global warming and hurricanes.
Studies that link global warming to an increase in hurricane ferocity might be full of hot air, according to a research paper that will be published today in a major scientific journal.

The paper, co-written by Chris Landsea of the U.S. National Hurricane Center, challenges earlier findings that hurricanes have grown more powerful in the last 30 years.

It says those studies failed to account for technological improvements that now produce more accurate -- and often higher -- estimates of a storm's power than were available in the past.

"If you say, 'Hey, the number of Category 4 and 5 storms has doubled since 1970,' you have to ask where is that coming from and can we accept that as true," said Dr. Landsea, one of the nation's leading hurricane researchers, who now serves as science and operations officer at the hurricane centre.

His answer: Probably not, because the databases used for historical studies are so skewed.

Set for publication in today's edition of the journal Science, the study extends a multifaceted scientific debate that grows more heated every few months.

On one side are scientists who say they have found statistical evidence that the accumulated power of hurricanes around the world has dramatically increased in the past 30 years, largely because of global warming.

On the other side are Dr. Landsea and other scientists who say, yes, global warming is real, but its effect on hurricanes is not at all clear.

"It's the data sets that are faulty," Dr. Landsea said.

The Bankruptcy of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'....

At the very time, the military needs Arab linguists....
A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, though he says he never admitted being gay and his accuser was never identified.

Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was "outed" by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

"I knew the policy going in," Copas said in an interview on the campus of East Tennessee State University, where he is pursuing a master's degree in counseling and working as a student adviser. "I knew it was going to be difficult."

An eight-month Army investigation culminated in Copas' honorable discharge on Jan. 30 - less than four years after he enlisted, he said, out of a post-Sept. 11 sense of duty to his country.

Copas now carries the discharge papers, which mention his awards and citations, so he can document his military service for prospective employers. But the papers also give the reason for his dismissal.

He plans to appeal to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records.

Israeli Drone Takes out an Iranian Fajr-3

A good example of how Hezbollah hides among civilians.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Prisoner Hezbollah wants Israel to Release...

The prisoner Hezbollah wants Israel to release is Samir Qantar who killed 2 Israelis in 1979 and caused the death of another. Danny Haran's widow describes what happened....
It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border.

Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer.

As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.

Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.

They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.

As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.

Al-Qaeda targets Spain....

Al-Qaeda's Number two re-affirms that their mission is to create a muslim caliphate from Spain to Iraq...
Al-Zawahiri further called for "jihad to liberate Palestine, all of Palestine, and liberate all the lands that used to be Muslim from Spain to Iraq."
So, obviously a middle-east settelement wouldn't be enough for Al-Qaeda.

Annan's baseless accusation...

Annan's claim that Israel 'deliberately' targeted the UN Interim Force is coming apart...largely through the efforts of Lewis MacKenzie!
Mr. MacKenzie, who after retiring from the Canadian military became a politician, had a very different interpretation. "I happen to know" the now-deceased Canadian U.N. observer, Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, Mr. MacKenzie told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in a radio interview yesterday.

"We've received e-mails from him a few days ago and he was describing the fact that he was taking fire within, in one case, three meters of his position ‘for tactical necessity — not being targeted,'" Mr. MacKenzie said he wrote.

In one such e-mail, obtained by The New York Sun, Hess-von Kruedener wrote about heavy IDF artillery and aerial bombardment "within 2 meters of our position." The Israeli shooting, he added, "has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity."

The correspondence between the trooper and former commander amounted to "veiled speech in the military," Mr. MacKenzie, who once commanded the U.N. troops in Bosnia, told the CBC. "What he was telling us was Hezbollah fighters were all over his position and the IDF were targeting them, and that's a favorite trick by people who don't have representation in the U.N. They use the U.N. as shields knowing that they cannot be punished for it."

Here's a meeting I'd like to bomb...

Of course, Israel won't do that...
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah was to visit Damascus on Thursday to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad and the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, the Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al-Seyassah reported.

The report, which quoted Syrian sources, said Nasrallah arrived in dressed in civilian clothes, not his normal clerical garb.

Al-Seyassah, known for its opposition to the Syrian regime, said the meeting was designed to discuss ways to maintain supplies to Hezbollah fighters with "Iranian arms flowing through Syrian territories."

Hezbollah's Nazi Salute....

Daniel Johnson writes about Hezbollah's explicit debt to the Nazis.
This extends even to overt Nazi symbolism. I am indebted to one of the most seasoned observers of the Middle East, Tom Gross, for a photograph of a Hezbollah rally on the Lebanese side of the border fence, shortly before the present conflict. With houses in the Israeli town of Metullah in the background, hundreds of uniformed Hezbollah terrorists are raising their arms in a Nazi-style salute. This obscene ceremony, complete with yellow standards and mullah commanders taking the salute, was happening in full view of Israeli civilians. Mr. Gross asks pointedly, "Are all those now attacking Israel around the world even capable of imagining what an elderly Holocaust survivor who happened to glance across the fence might have felt?"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Two views of the Middle East....

Amir Taheri looks at two opposing views of the middle east...
BUT why did Tehran decide to play its Lebanese card now?

Part of the answer lies in Washington's decision last May to reverse its policy toward the Islamic Republic and seek an accommodation by offering major concessions. Tehran interpreted that as a sign of weakness and a confirmation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's belief that (thanks to the Hidden Imam) the Islamic Republic is heading for victory over the U.S.-led "infidel."

Ahmadinejad believes that his strategy to drive the "infidel" out of the Islamic heartland cannot succeed unless Arabs accept Iran's leadership. But this is not easy to sell to the majority of Arabs, who are Sunni, for the Khomeinist regime is Shiite.

To overcome that hurdle, it is necessary to persuade the Arabs that only Iran is sincere in its desire to wipe Israel off the map and has the power to do so. Once the Arabs buy that claim, Ahmadinejad hopes, they will rally behind his vision of the Middle East, as opposed to the "American vision."

That strategy pushed Israel to the top of Tehran's agenda. This is why Tehran decided to adopt the Palestinian Hamas movement, left an orphan by Arab powers that had rallied behind Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement.

Ahmadinejad has also managed to convince Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to abandon the temptation to switch to the American side. Last month, Syria signed a military agreement with the Islamic Republic - acknowledging Iran's position as leader of a new "Rejection Front." In exchange, the Islamic Republic's "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei declared that he would regard any attack on Syria as an attack on Iran.

THE mini-war between Israel and the Lebanese branch of the Hezbollah is, in fact, a proxy war in which Tehran's vision for the Middle East clashes with Washington's rival vision. Just as Washington cannot afford to let Israel lose, or even bow to a cease-fire that could be interpreted as a victory for Hezbollah, Tehran may be forced to back the Lebanese branch to the hilt - even if that means a larger war.

What is at stake is not the exchange of kidnapped Israeli soldiers with Arab prisoners in Israel. Such exchanges have happened routinely over five decades. The real issue is: Who will set the agenda for the Middle East - the Islamic Republic and its allies, or the United States and its allies?

A Total Disgrace...

Andrea Yates has been found not guilty by reason of insanity for killing her 5 children. This is a complete disgrace! She should be spending the rest of her life in prison - I just don't buy insanity as a reasonable defense for murder.

I hope the prosecution goes ahead and tries her again - they only tried her for 3 of the 5 they can prosecute the other two.

Chomsky lies again....

Alan Dershowitz documents a whole series of lies by Noam Chomsky in a recent letter bashing Israel.
Noam Chomsky and his hard-Left gang of Israel bashers are at it again. This time it is about the current crisis in the Middle East, which they blame entirely on Israel.

Chomsky is circulating a letter which he got two naïve Nobel Prize winners—the playwright Harold Pinter and the poet José Saramago—to sign.

It is vintage Chomsky, beginning with its first sentences: “The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish pres.” Chomsky typically cites obscure news reports in languages no one can read. This time it’s “the Turkish Press.” The problem with Chomsky’s assertion is that a five minute Google News check reveals that the incident he points to was widely reported by the English language press, including The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, BBC, Reuters, and the Associated Press. (Lie number one).

This is what the associated press reported: “On Saturday, Israeli commandos seized two Palestinians suspected of being Hamas militants in the army’s first arrest raid in the Gaza Strip since Israel’s withdrawal nearly a year ago. An Israeli army spokesman said the two men, arrested at a house near Rafah in southern Gaza, were in the ‘final states of planning a large-scale terror attack’ in coming days. The army did not provide details on the nature of the alleged plot. Hamas denied that the men, who were identified by neighbors as brothers, are members.” Quite a different account than the one provided by Chomsky, et. al. (Lie number two). Chomsky has said in interviews that “we don’t even know their names,” referring to the arrested militants. But a quick check of newspapers reveals that their names are Osama and Mostafa Muamar, whose father is Ali Muamar, a notorious Hamas leader. According to press reports “local Hamas activists said the pair was…known to be members of Hamas.” (Lie number three).

Nor was the arrest of these Hamas terrorists the origin of the crisis, as Chomsky asserts. Even Kofi Annan acknowledged that “Hezbollah’s provocative attack on July 12 was the trigger of this particular crisis”; that Hezbollah is “deliberate[ly] targeting…Israeli population centers with hundreds of indiscriminate weapons”; and that Israel has the “right to defend itself under Article 51 of the UN chater.” But on Planet Chomsky, Annan and the UN are dupes of Israel who suppress the real story that only the Turkish press has the courage and honesty to report. (Lie number four). By the way, even the Turkish Daily News—which simply reprinted a widely distributed international Reuters story, datelined June 25, Gaza—reported that the two arrested individuals were alleged Hamas militants, a fact that Chomsky conveniently omits. (Lie number five).

The lies continue. Chomsky claims that Israeli missiles target areas “where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called justice.” He never mentions that it is Hezbollah and Hamas that select those civilian areas from which they fire their anti-personnel rockets, precisely in order to put Israel to the choice of allowing the missiles to rain down on its own civilians or to try to destroy the rocket launchers by smart bombs designed to minimize civilian casualties. (Lie number six).

Finally, the BIG LIE: “[Israel’s] aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation. This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognized for what it is and resisted.” Again Chomsky ignores the historically indisputable facts that Israel (and the international community) offered the Palestinians a state in 1938, in 1948 and in 2001. The Palestinians responded with terrorism in each instance. The vast majority of Israelis and the Israeli government favor the two-state solution. It is Hamas and Hezbollah whose “aim is nothing less than the liquidation” of Israel. Just ask them. Just read their charter. Just look what they’re doing. But not on Planet Chomsky, where everything is the mirror image of reality, and where “facts” are made up, ignored and distorted to serve a predetermined ideological end. (Lie number seven).

Now look at the one truth in the Chomsky letter, the call for Israel’s aims to be “resisted.” This will surely be read by Hamas and Hezbollah as support for its terrorism against Israel and those who support its existence. I doubt that all who have signed the Chomsky letters were aware that they are disseminating provable falsehoods. The list of signatories, in addition to Chomsky, Pinter and Saramago, now includes Tariq Ali, John Berger, Eduardo Galeano, Naomi Klein, Arundhati Roy, Giuliana Sgrena, and Howard Zinn. But now that they are aware of the lies contained in the letter, let’s see if they remove their names. If they do, some of them may come to realize how dangerous to their integrity and reputation it is to sign a Chomsky letter without checking its contents. If they don’t, it tells us how little they value about truth.

Is Syria about to escalate the conflict?

This is indeed alarming...
Secretary Rice's mission to the Middle East has already failed because Syria has issued an ultimatum that augurs a world war soon enough.

The Syrian ultimatum is meant to provoke Israel and to pull America directly into the fighting. The ultimatum threatens that the attacks by Hezbollah — trained, supplied and commanded by Iranian Revolutionary Guards — will increase in intensity unless America negotiates directly with Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. The ultimatum demands that America force Israel to withdraw from Lebanon, to cease tactical strikes on Hezbollah bases and weaponry in Lebanon, to cease tactical strikes on Hamas in Gaza, and to make territorial concessions that would mean that Israel could no longer defend either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

Knowing that America cannot agree to such an unprecedented surrender, Syria and its sponsor, Iran, are preparing for the next stage of the escalation, which is meant to draw the American military directly into the shooting war.

The current weapons of provocation are Katyusha rockets, fired at northern Israel chiefly from the coastal city of Tyre, Lebanon.

The next weapon of provocation is the Iranian-made Zelzal-2 ballistic missile. So far, the Israeli air force believes it has destroyed or accounted for about three dozen of the Zelzals inside Lebanon. However, Iran is hourly resupplying the convoys flowing from Syria to Lebanon; and there are dozens if not hundreds of more-potent tactical missiles at the ready.

We just don't get the Islamist threat....

I really enjoyed Tony Blankley's Book, The West's Last Chance, and now here's another warning about the Islamists.
Tuesday's front-page New York Times headline on Hezbollah/Israeli fighting -- "International Force Is Favored, But No Nation Commits Troops" -- was widely received with giggling "Well, duh's!" In a way, it was funny. While the Europeans agreed that international troops should be sent in to stop the fighting, the article ended with a quote that "The Germans recommended the French, the French recommended the Egyptians, and so on."

But if one scratches just beneath the surface of the headlines, the great strategic failure of America since Sept. 11, 2001 can be detected in the fourth paragraph of the N.Y. Times article:

"There has been strong verbal support for such a force in public, but also private concerns that soldiers would be seen as allied to Israel and would have to fight Hezbollah guerrillas who do not want foreigners, let alone the Lebanese Army, coming between them and the Israelis." Well, of course they don't.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Egeland blames Hezbollah for Civilian Deaths...

jan Egeland, the UN Humanitarian chief, who is usually always critical of Israel had some harsh words for Hezbollah.
"Consistently, from the Hizbullah heartland, my message was that Hizbullah must stop this cowardly blending ... among women and children," he said. "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men."

How each side fights....

Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon.

A Nightmare Scenario?

I don't know if this is true...but this could widen the conflict...
A senior member of Muqtada al-Sadr's Iraqi Shi'ite militia, the Mahdi Army, says the group is forming a squadron of up to 1,500 elite fighters to go to Lebanon.

The plan reflects the potential of the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah to strengthen radical elements in Iraq and neighboring countries and to draw other regional players into the Lebanon conflict.

"We are choosing the men right now," said Abu Mujtaba, who works in the loosely organized following of radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. "We are preparing the right men for the job."

Boys are in crisis...

Margaret Wente has a good column in today's Globe & Mail on the crisis facing boys. Many researchers in the US are trying to deny that boys are now facing significant problems in school, but Wente presents some arguments on why boys need help:
You've heard all the arguments why boys are falling behind, so I won't repeat them. But consider your average high school. This is a place where adolescents are required to sit for hours at a time without squirming, where compliance, neatness, rule following and politeness are rewarded, where males make up the smallest percentage of teachers in 40 years, where adult females drone on about subjects that have no relevance to your daily life, where good literature is anything by Toni Morrison, where normal male competitiveness is interpreted as deviance and horseplay as sexual harassment, and a sizeable percentage of the male inmates have been labelled special ed or behavioural from an early age -- i.e. deficient. Is it any wonder so many boys think school is hell?

British Tory MP Goes Insane....

Does he not know his own European history?
Sir Peter Tapsell, a Tory MP, said Tuesday that British Prime Minister Tony Blair was "colluding" with U.S. President George W. Bush in giving Israel the okay to wage "unlimited war" in Lebanon - a war crime he claimed was "gravely reminiscent of the Nazi atrocity on the Jewish quarter of Warsaw."

Iran's war dead flown back to Tehran...

Hat tip to Shameer for sending me this article...
The bodies of Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers killed by the Israeli army in Lebanon have been transported to Syria and flown to Tehran, senior Lebanese political sources said.

Israeli and Egyptian security officials confirmed the news, which follows a report that first appeared in The New York Sun, that Iranian forces posted to southern Lebanon have been aiding Hezbollah terrorists in their attacks against Israel, including helping to fire rockets into Israeli population centers.

The Lebanese sources said between six and nine dead Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers were brought in trucks last week into Syria for a flight back to Iran. They said the bodies were transported along with the tens of thousands of Lebanese civilians fleeing to Syria.

Proportionality is Ridiculous....

All of this hand-wringing over proportionality in Israel's response to terror is misplaced.
Readers of my recent column on the Middle East can accuse me of many things, but not a lack of realism. I know Israel's imperfections, but I also exult and admire its achievements. Lacking religious conviction, I fear for its future and note the ominous spread of European-style anti-Semitism throughout the Muslim world -- and its boomerang return to Europe as a mindless form of anti-Zionism. Israel is, as I have often said, unfortunately located, gentrifying a pretty bad neighborhood. But the world is full of dislocated peoples and we ourselves live in a country where the Indians were pushed out of the way so that -- oh, what irony! -- the owners of slaves could spread liberty and democracy from sea to shining sea. As for Europe, who today cries for the Greeks of Anatolia or the Germans of Bohemia?

These calls for proportionality rankle. They fall on my ears not as genteel expressions of fairness, some ditsy Marquess of Queensberry idea of war, but as ugly sentiments pregnant with antipathy toward the only state in the Middle East that is a democracy. After the Holocaust, after 1,000 years of mayhem and murder, the only proportionality that counts is zero for zero. If Israel's enemies want that, they can have it in a moment.
Please read the whole thing...

The UN and Terror....

Alan Dershowitz looks at how Kofi Annan just can't distinguish between Hezbollah's terrorist acts and Israel defense against terrorism.
Annan himself has a long history of one-sided condemnations of Israel. In March 2004, Annan "strongly condemned" Israel's targeted killing of Sheik Ahmad Yassin, the terrorist leader of Hamas, without condemning Yassin for his murderous actions or his organization for the murder of Jewish civilians. In December 2003, Annan "strongly condemned" Israel's assault on a Palestinian refugee camp where two gunmen were thought to be hiding. And in 2005, he issued the most tepid of statements--expressing "dismay"--at threats by Iran's president to "eliminate" Israel, a member nation of the UN. The list goes on and on.

And even worse than the one-sided condemnations that ignore Hezbollah and Hamas are the numerous statements that perversely suggest moral equivalence.

The UN peacekeepers on the Lebanese border have turned out to be collaborators with Hezbollah, videotaping the Hezbollah kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers in 2000 and then refusing to release the video--which could have helped in the rescue--on the grounds that it might compromise their "neutrality."

This is a real test for the UN. If it cannot--or will not--distinguish between terrorists who target civilians and a democracy that seeks to stop the terrorism while minimizing civilian casualties, it has become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism

An interesting look at the corelation between anti-semitism and anti-zionism.
Two Connecticut professors got curious about the constant denials that extremely harsh critics of Israel were anti-Semitic. Edward H. Kaplan, the William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Management Sciences at Yale, and Charles A. Small, Director of Urban Studies, Southern Connecticut State University, decided to examine the issue in formal way. Their paper, “Anti-Israel Sentiment Predicts Anti-Semitism in Europe,” appears in the August issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution. 2

Kaplan and Small ask whether individuals expressing strong anti-Israel sentiments, such as the statement by Ted Honderich, Emeritus Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London, that “those Palestinians who have resorted to necessary killing have been right to try to free their people, and those who have killed themselves in the cause of their people have indeed sanctified themselves,” are more likely than the general population to also support in such old-style anti-Semitic slurs as “Jews have too much power in our country today.”

The correlation was almost perfect. In a survey of 5,000 Europeans in ten countries, people who believed that the Israeli soldiers “intentionally target Palestinian civilians,” and that “Palestinian suicide bombers who target Israeli civilians” are justified, also believed that “Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind,” “Jews have a lot of irritating faults,” and “Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want.”

The study’s other interesting finding was that only a small fraction of Europeans believe any of these things. Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism flourish among the few, but those few are over-represented in Europe’s newspapers, its universities, and its left-wing political parties.
Read the whole thing. This week, The Minister of Spain wear the keffiyeh and criticized Israel for "using abusive force that does not protect human beings."

I keep hearing about disproportionate response...yet no one really says what a proportionate response would be. The plain fact of the matter is that if Israel really wanted to target civilians, there'd be tens of thousands of deaths.

One question....

Why don't you ever hear any member of the Lebanese government demand that Hezbollah release the two Israeli hostages?

Annan says Syria and Iran to Cooperate....

He really believes they will help end the conflict in the middle east...
Iran and Syria have indicated that they are willing to help end the conflict in Lebanon, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Monday.
They sure might cooperate - on making things worse - but I can't imagine them trying to difuse the situation.

There is an EASY way to end the Middle-East Crisis...

I wish the media would say it just once: Release the hostages.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Why Iran distracts us....

Of course, Iran is helping to cause trouble in Lebanon....
The UN Security Council should this week be discussing how to punish Iran for refusing to halt its uranium-enrichment programme. Instead, the world's leading powers are trying to bring a halt to the escalating violence in Israel and Lebanon, and Iran's nuclear programme has fallen off the international agenda.

It would be an understatement to say the mullahs in Teheran are delighted by this. But then, for them at least, it was hardly unexpected. Ever since Iranian exiles revealed the existence of the radical Islamic regime's top-secret uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz three years ago, Teheran has used every conceivable tactic to impede international attempts to halt its attempts to acquire an indigenous nuclear capability, which the West's intelligence community is convinced will ultimately result in an Iranian atom bomb.

The work of the inspectors dispatched by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to examine the Iranian programme was obstructed at every turn. Even Iran's offer to suspend its enrichment activities proved to be bogus. IAEA officials now privately concede that Iranian scientists took advantage of the year-long suspension to refine their enrichment techniques, so they were able to make rapid progress when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unilaterally resumed the programme earlier this year.

Dershowitz on Louis Arbour

I love Alan Dershowitz - here he disects Louis Arbour...
The absurdity and counterproductive nature of current international law was proven once again by a bizarre statement issued on Wednesday by Louise Arbour, The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights and a former justice of the Canadian Supreme Court. She threatened "personal criminal responsibility" against Israeli generals and political leaders -- "those in positions of command and control" -- for the military actions they are taking to protect innocent civilians from Hezbollah and Hamas rocket and missile attacks.

Her theory of prosecution is that the shelling of cities could "constitute a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians," presumably even when the actual targets are terrorists and their rocket launchers, and when the Israeli air force takes extraordinary steps to minimize civilian casualties. She also erroneously stated that international law prohibits "the bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians."

Arbour's knowledge of international law is as questionable as her understanding of morality. Virtually every democratic nation has been forced to bomb cities during wartime, especially when the enemy locates crucial military targets near population centres. Under Arbour's erroneous criteria for criminal prosecution, U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman and Roosevelt, as well as British prime ministers Blair and Churchill, and numerous French, Russian, Canadian and other heads of state would be declared war criminals for causing the "foreseeable" deaths of civilians while bombing legitimate military targets. Moreover, terrorists would be encouraged to launch their missiles from cities, so as to induce democracies to violate international law by counter-attacking terrorists
But, read the whole thing - as I said yesterday, Arbour should be ashamed of herself.

And now, Islamic Swimwear...

You'd think they'd only be in black....
The beaches of Turkey, crowded with women in bikinis or sunbathing topless, are witnessing a new phenomenon: neck-to-ankle swimwear worn by increasingly confident Muslim women.

The Islamic swimwear consists of a full-body suit and a hood that is pulled over a tight bonnet. The development is worrying the country's secularists and there have been reports of lifeguards ordering women off beaches for wearing the suits.

Religiously conservative women have traditionally shunned the beaches. If they did visit, they were unable to swim as they were unwilling to bare their flesh in public.

But more than 25,000 of the Islamic swimsuits have been sold in the past year and their leading maker, Hasema, is struggling to cope with demand. Hayrunnisa Gul, the wife of the foreign minister, is among its customers.

The swimsuits come in a range of colours and patterns and the latest versions let the sun through, allowing the wearer to obtain a tan.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hiding rocket launchers in mosques...

God forbid you publish one cartoon critical of Islam...yet the Hezbollah put rocket launchers in mosques.
Soldiers operating in Maroun a-Ras reported finding rocket launchers, explosives and other weapons in a mosque there.

Shame on Louis Arbour....

She sees moral equivalence between Israel and Hezbollah.
Jurist, the legal news website, reports that Ms. Arbour, a former Canadian Supreme Court Justice and war crimes prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia issued a "pointed" statement aimed directly at the two combatants and their leaders.

"Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians. Similarly, the bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable. International humanitarian law is clear on the supreme obligation to protect civilians during hostilities. This obligation is also expressed in international criminal law, which defines war crimes and crimes against humanity. International law demands accountability. The scale of the killings in the region, and their predictability, could engage the personal criminal responsibility of those involved, particularly those in a position of command and control."
The plain fact of the matter is that Israel IS showing significant restraint - both in their intent and in their actions. Could you imagine the civilian casualties if Israel showed no restraint? If they cut off the water supply? If they wouldn't let in humanitarian aid (like they are doing in Gaza).

A short history of global cooling and global warming...

Alarmism over climate has been ongoing since the 19th century.
But the prize for sheer terrorizing surely belonged to Lowell Ponte, whose 1976 book "The Cooling" (a predecessor of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," though from the opposite point of view) asserted that "The cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people in poor nations." If countermeasures weren't taken, he warned, it would lead to "world famine, world chaos, and probably world war, and this could all come by the year 2000."

All of the above quotations, and many more, can be found in a wonderful new booklet by R. Warren Anderson and Dan Gainor of the Business & Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Va. Entitled "Fire and Ice," it quotes alarmist predictions of both global warming and a new ice age dating back to 1895. The authors identify no less than four swings of scientific opinion, with considerable overlapping, from global cooling (1895-1932) to global warming (1929-1969) to global cooling (1954-1976) and now back to global warming (1981 to the present). The booklet can also be read for its sheer entertainment value. (I particularly liked the anecdote about the penguin found in France in 1922, which was widely viewed as an "ice-age harbinger," though wiser heads concluded it had probably escaped from the ship of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More from Paul Dewar....

Yesterday we blogged the ridiculous e-mail that Paul Dewar sent to a friend of a friend about the war in the Middle East. It seems that somebody noticed his horrible response, and he decided that he had to clarify things. Here's his new e-mail:
I recently wrote to you regarding the situation in Israel and would like to clarify a couple of points.

First, I have unwavering support for the right for Israel to defend itself as a sovereign democratic state.

Second, the actions of Hamas and of Hezbollah are criminal and the Israel soldiers that have been kidnapped must be returned unharmed.

My initial email to you did not clearly indicate my abhorrence of the use of violence by the members of Hezbollah and Hamas.

Finally, I sincerely hope that Canada can play a role in brokering a ceasefire that will bring and end to loss of innocent lives in both countries.

NDP leader Jack Layton has called upon Prime Minister Harper to offer Canada’s support for a UN peacekeeping force to be deployed to the Middle East.

In addition, NDP Foreign Affairs and International Development Critic Alexa McDonough wrote Minister of Foreign Affairs MacKay expressing the NDP’s outrage at the Conservative government’s response to the destruction levelled by Israel on the innocent civilians in Gaza and Lebanon.

For more information on the NDP’s efforts on this important matter, please visit:

NDP Leader urges support for international peacekeeping force in the Middle East

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have further concerns or questions.

Again, I appreciate hearing from you. All the best.


Paul Dewar, MP
Ottawa Centre
Well, a bit better. But, the whole incident shows why the NDP is so dangerous. Alexa McDonough writes about her 'outrage' at the Conservative government. Wouldn't it be nice if they were really outraged by terrorists anywhere in the world????

A view from the Arab Times

Yet another major voice supportings the Israelis.
Without mentioning Hezbollah by name Saudi Arabia blamed certain “elements” inside Lebanon for the violence with Israel and said “it is necessary to make a distinction between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures adopted by certain elements within Lebanon without the knowledge of legal Lebanese authorities.” While reiterating its support for Palestinian and Lebanese resistance against Israeli occupation, Saudi Arabia has clearly said it is against irresponsible adventures undertaken by certain elements in the region without consulting the legal authorities putting all Arab nations at risk. The Kingdom has also said “these elements must take responsibility for their irresponsible actions and they alone should end the crisis created by them.”
This angry response from Saudi Arabia has politically isolated Hezbollah and Hamas besides holding them responsible for their actions.

This attitude of Saudi Arabia, which has been doing all it can to protect the Arab world from Israeli aggression, is enough to unmask the adventurers, who have violated the rights of their own countries and tried put their people under the guardianship of foreign countries like Iran and Syria. A battle between supporters and opponents of these adventurers has begun, starting from Palestine to Tehran passing through Syria and Lebanon. This war was inevitable as the Lebanese government couldn’t bring Hezbollah within its authority and make it work for the interests of Lebanon. Similarly leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been unable to rein in the Hamas Movement.

Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of “these irregular phenomena” is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.

Iran urges boycott of 'zionist' products...

At least now we know what Pepsi stands for.
Iran on Wednesday launched a major campaign urging consumers to stop buying “Zionist” products, ranging from Coca-Cola and Pepsi soft drinks, to Calvin Klein clothing and Nestle food products.

“Pepsi stands for “Pay Each Penny to Save Israel”, viewers in the Islamic republic have been warned in an oft-repeated three-minute infomercial on state television, prompted by Israel’s ongoing assault against the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.

“Zionists are the biggest shareholders in the soft drinks industry, and each year they make billions of dollars for their colonialist aims,” consumers with a thirst for fizz have been told.

Coca-Cola is also not left unscathed by the new twist to the cola wars.

“This firm openly supports Israel and has even said that it is ready to allocate great deal of money to topple the Islamic republic,” state television said.

Both Pepsi and Coca-Cola have factories in Iran, although state television gave no indication over whether their operations would be affected.

Global Protest on Iran Homophobic Persecution...

Nothing in Ottawa, but a protest is planned in Toronto.
At least 26 cities in the U.S., Europe, and Canada have already organized events for July 19, the International Day of Action Against Homophobic Persecution in Iran. The original call to action for July 19 was initiated jointly by the militant British gay rights group OutRage and the Paris-based International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) for world-wide demonstrations on July 19, the first anniversary of the public hanging in Iran of two gay teens, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni. Photos of the execution of the two boys, who were hanged in the public square of the city of Mashad last year (photo above), created international outrage when they were widely circulated on the Internet, and focused the world’s attention on Iran’s ongoing, lethal reign of terror targeting Iranian gays.
Toronto -- Location: University of Torontdo, Hart House, Music Room, 7 Hart House Circle. Toronto, Ontario Time: 5-9 P.M. Speakers will include Arsham Parsi, Human Rights Secretary of the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization (PGLO) and an Iranian exile, and local gay and political leaders. Contact:

Vancouver -- Location: Vancouver Art Gallery - Robson Plaza Time: 6:00 p.m. Contact: Finn Kovaltsenko,

Land for Piece....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Zimbabwe bans same-sex hand-holding...

Yes, it's all those hand-holding same-sex couples that are cause of Zimbabwe's problems.
Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe's government has made it a criminal offense for two people of the same sex to hold hands, hug, or kiss.

The "sexual deviancy" law is one of 15 additions to Zimbabwe's criminal code quietly passed in Parliament last week.

The sections involving gays and lesbians are part of an overhaul of the sodomy laws. Until now laws against sodomy were limited to sexual activity.

The revised law now states that sodomy is any "act involving contact between two males that would be regarded by a reasonable person as an indecent act".

Mugabe has a long history of homophobia. He regularly refers to gays and people he suspects to be gay as "less than pigs and dogs".

Earlier this year the 82 year old went on a tirade calling homosexuality "a white disease".

"Leave whites to do that," he declared.

The new war....

A good analysis from today's National Post by Douglas Davis on how Iran is now waging war against the west...
The question is not why Hezbollah launched its attack on a routine Israeli military patrol along the Lebanese border last Wednesday, but why they chose that specific time.

One thing is certain: The attack was neither random nor impulsive. On the contrary, it appears to have been carefully calculated and intricately planned. Certainly, Hezbollah would not have mounted such an operation without the prior knowledge and approval of its patrons -- Iran, which arms, trains and funds Lebanon's Shiite radicals, and Syria, which serves as a conduit and provides essential logistical support.

In fact, the operation had probably been on the drawing board for several months. According to intelligence sources, a major weapons consignment destined for Hezbollah arrived at Damascus airport from Iran last March. That was just one month after Iran had ended its voluntary co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which included surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities.

The Iranian consignment was transported in a military convoy through Syria and along Lebanon's Bekaa Valley to Hezbollah bases in south Lebanon. The convoy had received an official transit permit from the Lebanese government, which knew not only the precise nature of the shipment but also its destination.

The sources say the consignment included some 12,000 Katyusha rockets, as well as various other types of missiles. Of particular concern to Israel's military strategists was that the range of the new rockets had been substantially extended. They were capable of reaching Israel's main port city of Haifa, and possibly well beyond.

At the same time as the missile consignment was heading to Lebanon, an unnamed senior Iranian official was quoted as saying his country would inflict "harm and pain" on the United States and its allies, vowing to "use any means" to "resist any pressure and threats" designed to curb Iran's nuclear program. The rhetoric was not empty.
Read the whole thing...

Is the Arab majority starting to talk?

A very nice op-ed in the New York Sun by Youssef Ibrahim wondering if the vast majority of Arabs (who only want peace and not to be ruled by mullahs) are starting to talk?
As for Hezbollah and its few supporters, who have pushed for an emergency Arab summit meeting, the response could not have been a bigger slap in the face. Take a listen:

* Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of Al-Arabiya, possibly the most influential Arab opinion-maker today, was categorical yesterday: "We have lost most of our causes and the largest portions of our lands following fiery speeches and empty promises of struggle coupled with hallucinating, drug-induced political fantasies." As for joining Hezbollah in its quest, his answer was basically, "you broke it, you own it."

* Tariq Alhomayed, editor in chief of the Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, stuck the dagger in deeper: "Mr. Nasrallah bombastically announced he consulted no one when he decided to attack Israel, nor did he measure Lebanon's need for security, prosperity, and the safety of its people. He said he needs no one's help but God's to fight the fight." Mr. Alhomayed's punch line was, in so many words: Go with God, Sheik Nasrallah, but count the rest of us out.

Several other Arab pundits, not necessarily coordinating their commentary, noted that today Sheik Nasrallah has been reduced to Osama bin Laden status, a fugitive from Israeli justice, sending out his tapes from unknown locations to, invariably, Al-Jazeera, the prime purveyor of Mr. bin Laden's communications.

All in all, it seems that when Israel decided to go to war against the priestly mafia of Hamas and Hezbollah, it opened a whole new chapter in the Greater Middle East discourse. And Israel is finding, to its surprise, that a vast, not-so-silent majority of Arabs agrees that enough is enough. To be sure, beneath the hostility toward Sheik Nasrallah in Sunni Muslim states lies the deep and bitter heritage of a 14-century Sunni-Shiite divide, propelled to greater heights now by fears of an ascendant Shiite "arc of menace" rising out of Iran and peddled in the Sunni world by Syria.

The sooner this is settled the better.

Why the NDP is dangerous....

Here's a letter a friend sent to Paul Dewar, her member of Parliament here in Ottawa:
Dear Paul Dewar,

I am writing with regard to the unprovoked but provocative attack on Israel’s northern border (July 12, 2006) by the terrorist organization Hezbollah, which resulted in the abduction of two Israeli soldiers and the death of eight others.

It is patently clear that this attack across a United Nations-sanctioned international border into sovereign Israeli territory must be construed as a dliberate and defiant act of war. This is particularly the case given that the Lebanese government, which includes Hezbollah members of parliament within its cabinet, has allowed that organization,(contrary to UN Security Council Resolution #1559) to act aggressively against Israel andwith complete impunity in South Lebanon. Therefore, Israel, has an obligation to respond militarily to defend its citizens and has a right to take measures against Lebanon to secure the release of its soldiers and halt Hezbollah’s bombardment of northern Israel with Katyusha rockets.

It is no coincidence that this attack follows the recent kidnapping of a soldier from within Israel by Hezbollah’s sister organization,Hamas; this was also an unprovoked attack. Linked by ties to Iran and Syria, these Islamic organizations, are working together to undermine regional stability and the vital goal of peace. It bears repeating that both organizations are listed as ‘terrorist entities’ by the Canadian government and several others.

I am heartened thast the Canadaoan Government has supported Israel's need to defend itself and has condemened Hezbollah's actions.I also appreciate his call for the immediate release of the young Israeli prisoners. Minister MacKay correctly notes that only through the implementation of resolution #1559 and the cessation of support for Hezbollah by Syria and Iran can stability be restored to that region.

I trust you will support the principled position of the government of Canada, and would be grateful for a timely response.

And, here is his horrible response:
Dear ,

Thank you for contacting my office with your views about the current escalating crisis in Lebanon. With the deaths of 7 Canadian tourists in Lebanon, this situation has reached a new critical level for Canadians abroad.

I am deeply disappointed in our government for Stephen Harper’s lack of response in the face of this warlike act. As a Member of Parliament, I am embarrassed that our government has not demanded an immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from the sovereign state of Lebanon. Israel and her army is unjustified in directing it’s rage at civilians and tourists, and dismantling the infrastructure of an entire country in response to actions by the terrorist group Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is continuing to put civilians at risk by holding Israeli soldiers hostage, but Israel must withdraw its troops immediately to put an end to more civilian and tourist deaths.

This is a highly sensitive issue, and I appreciate that we disagree on this issue. An important test of democracy is the ability for citizens to express their views openly.

Again, thank you for contacting me about this serious matter.


Paul Dewar, MP
Ottawa Centre
He's just plain wrong. Israel is not 'directing its rage' at civilians and tourists. Nor is it dismantling the countrie's infrastructure. If Israel really wanted to do that, they could just target the water supply. The plain fact of the matter is that Israel has shown incredible restraint.

And, what Israeli troops are there to 'withdraw'???

Monday, July 17, 2006

The difference between Americans and Europeans...

Two very different demonstrations....
Thousands demonstrate in support of Israel in front of UN headquarters in New York, but in Berlin more than 1,000 Lebanese, Palestinians chant ‘death to Israel, while some carry placards bearing the image of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah

The Arab Mind-set...

A terrific article in the Jerusalem Post by Barry Rubin.
The crisis sparked by Hamas and Hizbullah is more important and revealing in psychological terms for the Arab world than any military or direct political impact. The most poignant statement of its meaning is a leading Arab liberal's anguished cry in a letter, summing up how these events mark the death of the dream of democracy and pragmatism among his people:

"I have been watching some 20 Arabic-speaking television channels (Egyptian, Emirate, Qatari, Syrian, Sudanese, Lebanese and Kuwaiti). The outcome is: Either these (hundreds of) people who appeared on the screen(s) and talked passionately about 'our' dignity, raising 'our' heads, 'our' national pride and the victory that God will grant 'us' were mad, or I am the one who represents madness."

In short, extremist groups with an assist from the media controlled by Arab regimes can still stir up the old-time hysteria quite successfully. Who needs peace, stability, economic progress, women's rights, an independent judiciary, an accurately reporting media, control of corruption, a good educational and health system, free speech and all that stuff when you can kidnap Israelis?

Of what importance is the Arab weakness in commercial hi-tech if you can purchase a rocket that hits an Israeli patrol boat? Why keep your children in school learning how to make a living if they can be deployed as martyrs?

This analysis is not mere cynicism; it is the actual situation in the Arab world. Once again, as happened so often in past decades, the terrorists (with a little help from the privileged) are directing events.
Read the whole thing...

Are the Israeli hostages being held in the Iranian Embassy?

This website is from the Lebanese government in exile.
Delicate Intelligence information coming out of Hezbollah indicated that the 2 missing captives of the Israeli Army Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev have been smuggled outside Southern Lebanon to the capital.

They are secretly being held at the Embassy of Iran in Beirut, under direct Iranian security guards supervision.

An easy way out of the Middle East Crisis....

Just release the hostages....

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Australia's Islamic leader calls Holocaust a 'zionist lie'...

And, this guy's a member of the government's muslim community reference group.
THE nation's Islamic leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, has dismissed the Holocaust as a "Zionist lie" in a series of fiery sermons in which he also lashed out at the West and the US-led occupation of Iraq.

And Sheik Hilali -- the Mufti of Australia and a member of John Howard's Muslim Community Reference Group -- also accuses the Government of being dishonest for claiming the anti-terrorism laws were not designed specifically for Muslims.

"These laws are tailored to target us precisely," he said in a sermon recorded at Sydney's Lakemba Mosque in November - one of a number of recordings The Weekend Australian has of Sheik Hilali's religious addresses delivered in Arabic over the past eight months.

Revelations that the nation's most senior Islamic cleric has been openly preaching extreme messages to his mainstream followers will be a major setback for the Howard Government.

It's time to support Israel...

I find it very hard watching the news these days. What the broadcasters seem to forget is that Israel tries very hard to avoid civilian casualties, while Hezbollah or Hamas tries to maximize civilian casualties. Both of them place their rockets within cvilian populations, thus ensuring that Israel will kill innocent people while trying to target just the rockets.

By the way, if you have time, please call the Prime Minister's office and tell him that you appreciate his comments in support of Israel.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Streets are safer for women than men!

The Statistics Canada study on spousal violence that I referenced earlier has an interesting table on violent crime in Canada, in which they identify the sex of victims. Guess what, if you look at the numbers of victims of violent crime committed by strangers, you'll see that men outnumber women 2-1:

Male Victims 34,447
Female Victims 15,806

This can only mean one thing. The streets are safer for women than men. Twice as safe, no? Of course, not that Statistics Canada would tell you this. But, the facts are clear!

Could you imagine a man getting off this lightly???

No way...a man would have gotten serious jail time.
A woman who took pictures of herself having sex with her six-year-old son to please her Internet lover has been sentenced to almost two years of house arrest.

The 38-year-old woman, who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair, was spared a prison term because that would pose “unusual hardship,” said Justice Mary Moreau of Court of Queen’s Bench.

“I am of the view that a sentence of less than two years' imprisonment blending house arrest, community service, counselling and treatment is appropriate,” said Moreau, in sentencing the woman today to two-years-less-a-day of house arrest and other conditions.

Friday, July 14, 2006

IDF still allowing aid to palestinians....

This is the sort of news that would never get reported.
Despite the ongoing fighting, the IDF opened the Karni and Nahal Oz crossings on orders from the political echelon, despite concrete threats of attacks, in order to allow food and fuel into Gaza.

At the Karni crossing, over 100 truckloads of food and 14 generators were allowed in and at the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, 500,000 liters of diesel, 100,000 liters of gasoline and 125 tons of natural gas were allowed in. Earlier in the week, more than 265 tons of food, a truckload of medicine, over a 1,000,000 liters of fuel, 65,000 liters of chlorine and additional supplies were transferred in. Last week, more than 200 truckloads of food, 1,500,000 liters of fuel, and over 400 tons of natural gas passed into Gaza. Israel also continues to provide Gaza with an uninterrupted supply of water.
Could you imagine if the situation was reversed - I doubt Hamas would supply water to Jews.

This sounds like a dangerous precedent....

It sure like he committed a crime....
The Supreme Court of Canada has tightened the legal definition of breach of trust, making it potentially harder to obtain criminal convictions against politicians or public servants charged with corrupt conduct.

In a 7-0 ruling, the court overturned a previous guilty verdict against Denis Boulanger, the police chief of Varennes, Que.

He was charged after asking a subordinate to write a traffic accident report that helped clear his daughter of blame for insurance purposes.

The court said Mr. Boulanger's actions and intentions were not serious enough to merit a conviction.

It is the first time the Supreme Court has laid down a detailed definition of breach of trust under Criminal Code provisions that have been on the books since 1893.

Israel's long war...

This is a very important article...Israel is facing genocidal islamism...and there is no room for error.
The next Middle East war -- Israel against genocidal Islamism -- has begun. The first stage of the war started two weeks ago, with the Israeli incursion into Gaza in response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and the ongoing shelling of Israeli towns and kibbutzim; now, with Hezbollah's latest attack, the war has spread to southern Lebanon. Ultimately, though, Israel's antagonists won't be Hamas and Hezbollah but their patrons, Iran and Syria. The war will go on for months, perhaps several years. There may be lulls in the fighting, perhaps even temporary agreements and prisoner exchanges. But those periods of calm will be mere respites.

The goals of the war should be the destruction of the Hamas regime and the dismantling of the Hezbollah infrastructure in southern Lebanon. Israel cannot coexist with Iranian proxies pressing in on its borders. In particular, allowing Hamas to remain in power -- and to run the Palestinian educational system -- will mean the end of hopes for Arab-Israeli reconciliation not only in this generation but in the next one too.

For the Israeli right, this is the moment of "We told you so." The fact that the kidnappings and missile attacks have come from southern Lebanon and Gaza -- precisely the areas from which Israel has unilaterally withdrawn -- is proof, for right-wingers, of the bankruptcy of unilateralism. Yet the right has always misunderstood the meaning of unilateral withdrawal. Those of us who have supported unilateralism didn't expect a quiet border in return for our withdrawal but simply the creation of a border from which we could more vigorously defend ourselves, with greater domestic consensus and international understanding. The anticipated outcome, then, wasn't an illusory peace but a more effective way to fight the war. The question wasn't whether Hamas or Hezbollah would forswear aggression but whether Israel would act with appropriate vigour to their continued aggression.

So it wasn't the rocket attacks that were a blow to the unilateralist camp, but rather Israel's tepid responses to those attacks. If unilateralists made a mistake, it was in believing our political leaders -- including Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert -- when they promised a policy of zero tolerance against any attacks emanating from Gaza after Israel's withdrawal. That policy was not implemented -- until two weeks ago. Now, belatedly, the Olmert government is trying to regain something of its lost credibility, and that is the real meaning of this initial phase of the war, both in Gaza and in Lebanon.
Please read the whole thing....

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Here's a new one - blame the violence in Iraq on Jews...

Who else could be behind the violence in Iraq?
Iraq's parliament speaker Thursday accused "Jews" of financing acts of violence in Iraq in order to discredit Islamists who control the parliament and government so they can install their "agents" in power.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani hinted that the Americans and Israelis did not want to see officials of Sunni and Shi'ite parties running the country because "this is not their agenda."

"They will say that we brought you in a democratic way to the government but you are a sectarian people. One of you is killing the other and you don't deserve to become leaders because you are war lords," al-Mashhadani told reporters after a parliament meeting.

Al-Mashhadani is a member of the Sunni Muslim Iraqi Accordance Front while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a member of the Shi'ite Dawa party.

"Some people say `we saw your beheading, kidnappings and killing. In the end we even started kidnapping women who are our honor,"' al-Mashhadani said. "These acts are not the work of Iraqis. I am sure that he who does this is a Jew and the son of a Jew."

"I can tell you about these Jewish, Israelis and Zionists who are using Iraqi money and oil to frustrate the Islamic movement in Iraq and come with the agent and cheap project."

You can't have the job - you're white!

I think I'm going to start referring to myself as a beige male....sounds better, no?
A history graduate has been rejected for a job in a royal palace because he is white.

Brighton and Hove council told Kieron Keenan he could not apply for the job of trainee museum assistant at The Royal Pavilion because he is not of African, Afro-Caribbean, Asian or Chinese descent.

Mr Keenan, a 23-year-old graduate, said: "It's astonishing. In order to be seen to be less discriminatory towards ethnic groups the council has used a law which is blatantly discriminatory against another ethnic group.

"Apparently it is perfectly legal. I feel very annoyed.

"To get a graduate job in the history field is very hard and I have been automatically barred because of my skin. I am perfectly qualified to do the job.

"I didn't even get the chance to apply because the advert made it clear you could not apply unless you were non-white.

"I couldn't even get as far as filling in the application."

Male victims of domestic violence don't go to the police....

Notice the incredible bias against men from the Stats Canada people.
Most victims of spousal violence only report the abuse to police once -- even though the violence frequently involves multiple incidents, a new report has revealed.

The Statistics Canada study, which is based on police records from 1994-2005, shows that eight out of 10 offenders were reported only once.

Women are twice as likely to report abuse than men, and aboriginals more likely than non-aborginals, the report says.

Those aged 15 to 24 were most likely to report spousal violence to the police, while those aged 35 and older were least likely to go to police.

The violence is also more likely to be reported if children are witnesses to the violence, or if a person has had contact with a social-service agency in the past.

Appearing on Newsnet, Karen Mihorean, of Statistics Canada, said "women without children are least likely to turn to police."

In general, Mihorean said, women are "twice as likely as men to report to police, simply because women are more likely to experience violence."
We know from previous reports that domestic spousal abuse is equal between the sexes....but it is now clear that few men report spousal abuse. Note how Stats Canada wants to spin it - saying that women without children are least likely to turn to police....but shouldn't it be men who are the least likely???

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Homosexuals should be punished....

Excerpts from an interview with Dr. Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi from Al-Jazeera TV on June 5, 2006.
Interviewer: How should a homosexual or a lesbian be punished? We mentioned the story of the people of Sodom and how Allah punished them, but how should someone who commits this abomination be punished today?

Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: The same punishment as any sexual pervert - the same as the fornicator.


The schools of thought disagree about the punishment. Some say they should be punished like fornicators, and then we distinguish between married and unmarried men, and between married and unmarried women. Some say both should be punished the same way. Some say we should throw them from a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them, and so on. There is disagreement.
This is a huge philosophical problem for Islam - do you drop homosexuals from a high place, or do you burn them?

A letter to the Palestinians...

Here is a letter to the Palestinians from an Arab friend from the New York Sun.
Dear Palestinian Arab brethren:

The war with Israel is over.

You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children.

We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the “eternal struggle” with Israel.

Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years. Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness.

At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan. It isn’t going to get better. Time is running out even for this much land, so here are some facts, figures, and sound advice, friends.

You hold keys, which you drag out for television interviews, to houses that do not exist or are inhabited by Israelis who have no intention of leaving Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv, or West Jerusalem. You shoot old guns at modern Israeli tanks and American-made fighter jets, doing virtually no harm to Israel while bringing the wrath of its mighty army down upon you. You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation. Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins.

Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations. Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win. In other words, brothers, you are down, out, and alone in a burnt-out landscape that is shrinking by the day.

What kind of struggle is this? Is it worth waging at all? More important, what kind of miserable future does it portend for your children, the fourth or fifth generation of the Arab world’s have-nots?

We, your Arab brothers, have moved on. Those of us who have oil money are busy accumulating wealth and building housing, luxury developments, state-of-the-art universities and schools, and new highways and byways. Those of us who share borders with Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, have signed a peace treaty with it and are not going to war for you any time soon. Those of us who are far away, in places like North Africa and Iraq, frankly could not care less about what happens to you.

Only Syria continues to feed your fantasies that someday it will join you in liberating Palestine, even though a huge chunk of its territory, the entire Golan Heights, was taken by Israel in 1967 and annexed. The Syrians, my friends, will gladly fight down to the last Palestinian Arab.

Before you got stuck with this Hamas crowd, another cheating, conniving, leader of yours, Yasser Arafat, sold you a rotten bill of goods more pain, greater corruption, and millions stolen by his relatives while your children played in the sewers of Gaza.

The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?

Youssef Ibrahim

Fear at Loathing at the Vancouver Island Musicfest...

If you ever have a chance to get out to the Vancouver Island Musicfest, you'll find two things: Terrific music, and a loathing of western society. I must say that this loathing is probably at every folk festival...and not just out in Vancouver.

On Saturday night, Steve Earle was on the main stage. I expected some politics from him...but he was downright nasty. He called Stephen Harper George Bush's 'new bitch' replacing Tony Blair. He also hoped that Harper does a Kim Campbell. Then he went into a tirade against white european males - and the damage they have done everywhere. It was a bit much. Afterall, here we are in beautiful Comox Valley with thousands of people enjoying some nice music. How awful is that? As for Steve Earle, he's probably making many thousands of dollars a year, and yet he really finds our society to be awful.

Then, the next day, I walked by one of the smaller stages, and there were two guys from Hawaii. One of them was talking about how Hawaii was great until the white man showed up in the mid 1800s, and then it was all downhill. You know, strip malls and all that.

Later that afternoon, there was a performance of Pygmies from Rwanda along with the Mighty Popo. At end of their set, he started talking about the horrible tragedy in Rwanda, which of course was the fault of the "superpowers and some crazy african leaders". Well, at least the genocide in Rwanda wasn't all the fault of the US!

These folkies have no appreciation of the beauty of western society - its' love of freedom of expression, democracy, its' ability to accept immigrants, etc. To them, the whole story of western society is about the evil white man. Well, as a gay jewish white man, I am damn proud of western society and its values, and I recognize that no other society comes close - which is why so many people want to come here and live here.

If we can't recognize the value of our own society - then it's no wonder that we're going to have trouble fighting Al-Qaeda. They also think that western values are decadent and evil. They will increasingly find common cause with the left....and I find this extremely worrying.

A 'discussion' with Jack Layton...

This past weekend, at the Vancouver Island Musicfest, I bumpted into Jack Layton in the backstage area. We started chatting about the music industry (where I work full-time) but one of my friends yelled out -- "Jack, he's a supporter of Stephen Harper and George Bush"....and that changed the conversation.

The conversation turned to global warming. Layton's way of arguing is to monopolize things. I could barely get a word in edgewise. It was exasperating - especially since I believe I know something about global warming. He simply won't debate the issue - because to him there is no debate. He claimed that there is not ONE peer reviewed paper skeptical of global warming by CO2. I plan over the next few weeks to send him several articles.

He was very polite. But, I don't think he has any ability to listen at all. As for debate, forget it. He also did say he wants to bring the government down on the issue of global warming.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Blog wil be back on Wednesday...

I am on Vancouver Island right now..attending the Vancouver Island Musicfest - a delightful two days of world, folk and blues music. When I get back on wednesday, I'll be blogging about my little debate with Jack Layton out here at the Festival!


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The latest from the Islam Channel....

I can't wait until we can get this in Canada.
Britain’s largest Muslim TV channel, the Islam channel, last week hosted a debate on anti-Semitism and Zionism, with discussion centering on the idea that informed and honest debate on the Middle East is rendered impossible because critics are immediately accused of anti-Semitism.

The debate, “Zionism: The cancer at the heart of international affairs,” was filmed by the London-based Islamic TV station.

Alan Hart, a former ITN and BBC correspondent, chaired the debate. He said that “the anti-Semitism card is something the Zionists have exploited to suppress debate.”
Formerly from the BBC - I'm not surprised.

Ezra Levant is right!

Part of the United Church of Canada is anti-semitic.
I accuse a segment of the United Church of Canada of anti-Semitism.

This is not an accusation to be made lightly.

Last week, the UCC's Toronto Conference proposed an anti-Semitic resolution to be debated at the UCC's big convention next month. The resolution demonizes the Jewish state as the cause of the problems in the Middle East, and calls for the church not to buy or invest with Israeli Jews.

No punishments are proposed for any Arab terrorist groups
Please read the whole thing....

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy July 4th!

I wish all of my American readers a very Happy July 4th!

Right now, the US is a major force for good. They have brought democracy to Afghanistan, and are trying to bring democracy to Iraq. While they have made many mistakes (and what country wouldn't?), we must support what they are trying to do - put an end to terror.

I have lots of misgivings about President Bush. I wish he was more of a fiscal conservative and more of a libertarian. But, I believe he made the right decision to invade Iraq - and I wish more of the world would try to support its road to democracy.

Regardless of ANY differences with George Bush, I really wish Canadians would put a stop to the current virulent anti-Americanism. We need to remember that we are their closest ally - and they are our closes ally. Their fight against terrorism is also our fight - since, at its essence, it's a fight about western cultural values.

Happy July 4th!

"Target any white person"

Chilling guidelines, indeed.
Any white person is a target. Avoid hotels because they are too well protected. Carry the bombs in small knapsacks to avoid suspicion. And don't worry about your escape route because you will become a "martyr".

These guidelines for suicide bombers were found on a computer captured by Indonesian police during a raid in November, and are believed to have been written by the British-educated bomb-maker Azahari Husin, who died during the attack.

Azahari, in his mid-40s when he died, studied for a doctorate at the University of Reading, and was a leading Malaysian member of Jemaah Islamiah, the South East Asian terrorist group that has close ties to al-Qa'eda.

Azahari, nicknamed the Demolition Man by Malaysian newspapers, earned a Phd in property valuation at Reading and was an associate professor at the Malaysian Technology University. But in 1998 he took a sabbatical after falling under the influence of a radical preacher, and then trained in explosives with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Azahari had been the prime suspect in a campaign of bombings against western targets including two attacks on the tourist resorts of Bali in 2002 and 2005, killing 202 and 20 people respectively.

BBC won't say soldier was kidnapped....

It's bad enough that the BBC doesn't like to use the word 'terrorism'. Now, it has come out that the BBC will not use the world 'kidnap' in regards to the Israeli soldier abducted by the Palestinians. Instead, they will use the word 'captured.' Here is what the BBC had to say.
“Our credibility is undermined by the careless use of words which carry value judgments. Our job is to remain objective. By doing so, I hope we allow our audiences on radio and television to make their own assessment of the story. So we try to stick to the facts. Civilians are ‘kidnapped’; Cpl Shalit was ‘captured’. Since troops don’t usually make ‘arrests’, the politicians were ‘detained’. Doubtless some will disagree. But that’s, in essence, the heart of the story.”
Hamas spent months building a tunnel into Israel, then killed two soldiers and abducted one. As Tom Gross says, "he is being held as a hostage by a terrorist group. If that is not kidnapping, what is?"

Sunday, July 02, 2006

There's no consensus on global warming....

Richard Lindzen goes after Al Gore....
The media rarely help, of course. When Newsweek featured global warming in a 1988 issue, it was claimed that all scientists agreed. Periodically thereafter it was revealed that although there had been lingering doubts beforehand, now all scientists did indeed agree. Even Mr. Gore qualified his statement on ABC only a few minutes after he made it, clarifying things in an important way. When Mr. Stephanopoulos confronted Mr. Gore with the fact that the best estimates of rising sea levels are far less dire than he suggests in his movie, Mr. Gore defended his claims by noting that scientists "don't have any models that give them a high level of confidence" one way or the other and went on to claim--in his defense--that scientists "don't know. . . . They just don't know."

So, presumably, those scientists do not belong to the "consensus." Yet their research is forced, whether the evidence supports it or not, into Mr. Gore's preferred global-warming template--namely, shrill alarmism. To believe it requires that one ignore the truly inconvenient facts. To take the issue of rising sea levels, these include: that the Arctic was as warm or warmer in 1940; that icebergs have been known since time immemorial; that the evidence so far suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is actually growing on average. A likely result of all this is increased pressure pushing ice off the coastal perimeter of that country, which is depicted so ominously in Mr. Gore's movie. In the absence of factual context, these images are perhaps dire or alarming.

They are less so otherwise. Alpine glaciers have been retreating since the early 19th century, and were advancing for several centuries before that. Since about 1970, many of the glaciers have stopped retreating and some are now advancing again. And, frankly, we don't know why.
Read the whole thing....