An Argentinian film, written and directed by Lucia Puenzo who also penned the novel on which it’s based, “The German Doctor” moves slowly and ominously as we meet a handsome motorist who asks a family whether he can follow their car on the dangerous and unfamiliar road to Bariloche. The man is clearly attracted to the pubescent daughter in the family, a beguiling girl named Lilith who, though small for her age, is a bit like Lolita in her forward interest in the stranger. The mother in the family recognizes the man’s accent and begins speaking German to him, establishing that she is the alumna of a German school and the family is returning to Bariloche to re-open her parents’ resort hotel there. Soon after, the man becomes a boarder in the hotel, paying six months rent in advance and his involvement with the family deepens, becoming the fulcrum through which we will guess his identity.
The Iranian global construct can be perceived as a “Khomeinist Dome.” Iran’s strategy has been twofold—and sustained over decades, not simply implemented over the past few years and months. The regime has two simultaneous goals. One is to create a defensive sphere over the forthcoming strategic weapon before it is unveiled, and two is to suppress any internal opposition to the regime’s policies. The “dome” is a complex integration of Iranian foreign policy: Terrorism backing, using financial luring, exploiting Western weaknesses while at the same time expanding influence in the region so that by the time the greater shield is established, most U.S. and allied measures will be useless.
So, some time between 1035 and 1627 C.E. (or A.D. if you prefer), the name of a Spanish town changed from Jews Hill to Kill Jews, and there’s an effort under way to change it back, according to the Associated Press.
“Fading Gigolo,” a new film written, directed by and starring John Turturro, Woody Allen and several other top stars, has gotten short shrift from the NYTimes and the Wall Street Journal. Its premise is less funny than shaky: a going out of business bookseller finds an unconventional way for his now unemployed worker/friend to earn some extra money and get out of debt. John Turturro plays the sensitive part/time florist/book stacker who’s coaxed into male prostitution. Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara are the wealthy va-va-voom lovers who crave a menage a trois and apparently can’t find a suitable male without asking Woody Allen for a recommendation. As I said, the premise is shaky.
When the argument was made in The War of Ideas that the U.S. Middle East Studies elite had been causing failures in foreign policy and psychological distress on citizens for providing faulty expertise on the roots of Jihadi terror, some of the book’s projections had not yet been reached. They now have been. A Boston bombing victim Adrianne Haslet-Davis was frustrated by NBC’s repetitive use of the names of the bombers who caused her injury last year. She was participating in Meet the Press to discuss her experience. It turned out that the panel shifted the discussion to the personality of the bomber as if the terror act was a criminal aggression against her personally, causing her to leave the set. The media elite’s fascination with the personality of terrorists has been generated by U.S. academia’s assertion that the terror acts are expressions of individual frustrations by the Jihadi perpetrators, not products of their ideology.
Hence the discussion grows about the “private life of Dzohar” instead of the ideology that recruited him into the battlefield. This is a war, not a crime scene, and the Jihadists are members of a movement, not Hollywood stars. Ms. Haslet-Davis is right: she has no personal connection to a “frustrated Dzohar.” She is the victim of a Jihadi terrorist. NBC should thus discuss the terror ideology or the fate of victims of this ideology. Creating a link between criminal and victim in a global war serves to shift attention from the threat to national security to unnecessary mental torture of the victim.
NBC’s approach to the homegrown Jihadi menace needs to be corrected and so should the dominant Middle East Studies analysis of the roots of that threat. The victims of Ft. Hood had no connection to Major Hassan; the victims of the Boston bombing had no ties to the Tsarnaiev brothers; and civilians in Detroit had no relation to Abdelmuttalib, the so-called “Christmas Day Bomber.” The actions by terrorists against U.S. citizens, and citizens around the world for that matter, are generated by a conviction by indoctrinated groups and individuals that the Jihadi ideology is right and that killing in its name is legitimate. Unfortunately, the U.S. educational and opinion-generating elite is attempting to create a link between killers and victims rather than the global war waged by the Jihadists. In a sense, directly or indirectly, this trend aims at minimizing the real root cause of the threat. If anything, this might help the terrorists and dis-educate the public.
The visit came at the heels of severe crises in international relations—from Crimea to Kiev, Libya’s resurging violence, the unending war in Syria, an escalating security breakdown in Yemen, urban terror in Egypt, and car bombs in Lebanon and Iraq.
Bullying has been around as long as kids have existed. From ancient caves to Elizabethan towns to modern elementary schools, there has always been a layer of kids deriving sick pleasure from victimizing other kids.
Only one member of the orchestra is mimicked with any regularity. The average guy doesn’t tape empty soda cans together and pretend to play the bassoon, or sit on a chair and saw away at an imaginary cello. Nobody plays the air flute.
Belen Fernandez doesn’t exactly come right out and say it, but she comes as close as one can while hedging her bets. In this Aljazeera post (”The Fort Hood shooting should be analysed within the larger context of US militarism”), she supposedly takes the “larger view,” but in effect blames U.S. militarism for the shooting:
Americans are down on President Obama’s foreign policy. A Real Clear Politics average of polls over the last month reveals 51 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of international affairs, while only 40 percent approve.