They can’t let their populations know they’re doing it, but the leaders of several Gulf States are in high-level discussions with Israel over the overarching threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary,” someone once told hair stylist Vidal Sassoon. Sociologist Max Weber had another way to describe America’s devotion to work, coining the term Puritan or Protestant Work Ethic. Ben Franklin said we are what we wear. Here, we have always been what we do.
New Yorkers have prided themselves on cleaning up Times Square, routing out the sleazy movie theaters and massage parlors, creating pedestrian streets and bringing more family-friendly theaters and events to the neighborhood. A Madame Tussaud wax museum, a humongous toy store, various traveling exhibitions including King Tut and Lego constructions have all inhabited the area, encouraging parents to bring children to that part of the city. So it was with a great deal of surprise that I observed the topless women on Broadway and 44th street smiling cheerfully as people photographed them and stared at their body-painted torsos. One was a well-proportioned young woman standing in the pedestrian designated street nonchalantly handing out fliers for some event. The other was a middle-aged woman - topless and strumming a guitar on the sidewalk. Passers-by, including children and tourists couldn’t stop gawking at the unexpected nudity on a late September day.
USA Today just published the results of its latest poll on the rolling disaster known as Obamacare. Contrary to what Senator Chuck Schumer predicted at the time of passage—that the more the American people got to know Obamacare, the more we’d just love it—the truth is that we’re hating it now more than ever. Across the political spectrum, from conservatives who warned about the dangerous implications of socialized medicine to labor union heads who pushed for it and now staunchly oppose it, the American people loathe Obamacare and want it repealed—either in its entirety or in massive chunks.
One of the great things about sports are arguments over the greatest players in various sports at different positions. Who is football’s greatest middle linebacker? Bear fans would say Butkus (or Singletary or Urlacher), Packer fans Ray Nitschke, Raven fans Ray Lewis, and Steeler fans lobby for Jack Lambert. For basketball aficionados, the transcendent debate is whether the best center ever is Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain; every hockey fan in North America, not to mention Europe and Russia, has an opinion about the greatest goalie.
When the space shuttle Endeavour was flown along the California coast on the way to its retirement home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles last September, it passed right over my house in the Monterey area.
Well this ought to give us some new insights into what now appears to have been a bit of projection by funnywoman Chelsea Handler in 2011, when she ripped into Serbian defense minister Dragan Sutanovac not only for his Serbian name, but for daring to do what everyone else including Handler was doing at the time — criticizing tragic but out-of-control singer Amy Winehouse. When the Serb dared to join the party, he was condemned for his Serbness by Handler — and reminded of his nation’s collective guilt for a fictitious genocide of Muslim soldiers.
President Kennedy, himself a World War II naval hero, once said, “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind…War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” Whether we have put an to war remains to be seen, but the recent obituaries of two very different men, Garry Davis and Colonel George “Bud” Day, suggest that distant day has arrived when objector and warrior enjoy equal reputation.
On June 30, according to BBC, thirty-three million Egyptians marched against the Muslim Brotherhood regime, accusing Morsi’s elite of oppression, militia enabling, backing Jihadists, suppressing women and minorities, and economic failure. President Mohammed Morsi responded by a call for Jihad and promised a “bloody answer” with the help of his militia. A civil war was about to explode. Responding to the overwhelming popular revolt, as one third of Egypt’s 90 million were marching in the streets, the Egyptian military technically refused to take orders from Morsi and dismissed his government on the grounds they posed a direct threat to the country’s national security. As an interim management for the country, the military asked civilians to form a cabinet in order to oversee another transition to democracy. Heavily criticized in the West by the Ikhwan’s friends and partners, General Abdelfattah al Sisy asked the public to prove to the international community where they stood, whether the people of Egypt wished to confirm the June 30 revolution or rather desired the return of Mohammed Morsi. While in the public square of Rabia Adawiya close to 700,000 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist allies and factions marched for the Islamist state and the return of their leader, across the rest of Egypt, from Tahrir Square and seemingly in all Egyptian cities, close to 40 million civilians demonstrated against the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s voice overwhelmingly spoke to irreversibly confirm their stance on July 26.
The Ikhwan, however, decided to re-seize the country by way of “Urban Jihad.” And as al Qaeda linked cells waged terror attacks in Sinai, the Ikhwan built two armed enclaves in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood, who are now acting as an urban insurgency across Egypt, in addition to the Jihadists of Sinai, have seized several blocks and two public sites, Rabia Adawiya in Cairo and the area close to Cairo University, using women and children as shields while launching raids against other neighborhoods. The Egyptian armed forces avoided using immediate maximum force in order to avoid large scale violence, but also to show that the people of Egypt are the ones resisting the Brotherhood’s terror.
Egypt’s civil society was fast to respond to the Urban Jihad. A female leader of secular democratic movement Tamarod in Egypt, responsible for mobilizing for the June 30 revolt, told al Arabiya that “the Egyptian people [are] fighting a Terrorist Cancer inside the country.” She said “the Ikhwan are using women and children as shields to demand the reinstatement of a fascist state ruled by the Islamists. Such a regime will crush women, liberals and Coptic Christians. The armed militias of the Brotherhood are threatening our civil society and our freedom. Egyptians will never accept these terrorists to rule over our destiny and the future of our children.” The Brotherhood are backed by al Jazeera anchors who have been accused by the seculars of “helping in mobilizing the Islamists of Egypt.” As an example, at 10:15 AM (EST) Wednesday, al Jazeera pressured the representative of the Islamist al Nour Party, which is not taking part in the confrontation in Egypt, to engage in the urban insurgency. The anchor repeatedly summoned al Nour to “join the fight on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood.” An observer in Cairo said “al Jazeera is now acting as a direct propaganda tool of the Muslim Brotherhood insurgency. And since this tool is owned and funded by the Qatar regime, the latter assumes responsibility for the bloodshed taking place in the country.”
Muslim Brotherhood Pogrom against the Christian Copts Rages
But more tragic are the attacks now waged across Egypt against Christians and Muslim seculars, including police stations. Reports from Egypt revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood have burned many Coptic Churches, including in Suhaj, over the past 40 hours. (Link to al Ahram Canada, reporting on Muslim Brotherhood burning churches across Egypt)
Troubling reports by “Middle East Christian Alert” are showing dramatic pictures of churches across Egypt burned by Muslim Brotherhood terror militias. These pogroms are waged, according to government, media and civil society reports, by the Muslim Brotherhood Organization in Egypt. These reports are solid evidence of the open transformation of an Ikhwan regime into a terrorist organization, similar to Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda.
Reports from Egypt are now confirming that the Ikhwan Islamist militia has committed a series of massacres across Egypt, including the execution of Egyptian police officers in several cities and towns. In Miniah, the Ikhwan militia controlled four police stations and seized all weapons inside these offices. Al Qahira TV reported: “dozens of Jihadist detainees were released by the Ikhwan.” “The Jihadi rage of the Brotherhood is uncovering their mask” said an observer in Washington. “With this barbaric behavior in its own country, the Muslim Brotherhood has to be classified as a ‘terrorist organization’ and not a ‘loose federation of secular and moderate reformers’ as the top intelligence director in the U.S. claimed a few years ago.” The observer went on to argue that “the massacre of Police officers and soldiers, the torture of citizens, the rape of women, the burning of Christian churches and the use of mosques by jihadi snipers is a clear indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood as a Terrorist organization. Those who represent its interests in the United States should be ashamed.”
Internationally, the AKP Government of Turkey and the Khomeinist regime in Iran accused Egypt’s Government of perpetrating a “massacre against the people.” An observer in Cairo said “the Islamist regimes in the region are watching a democratic revolution ending the violent Ikhwan regime in Egypt. These regimes fear popular revolutions in their own countries led by civil society forces.” In Beirut, the Committee Mashreq, a coalition of Middle East Christian NGOs, and in Washington the Middle East American Coalition for Democracy accused the Ikhwan of “pogroms against the Christians in Egypt” and called on the United Nations to condemn the terrorist attacks against the Copts and other citizens of Egypt.
At last, the Government of Egypt responded to the repetitive calls from Egypt’s civil society to save the country from the Brotherhood’s Urban Terror. Egyptian security forces, applying international norms in counter insurgency, moved on Rabia Adawiya and other armed militants spots in the Capital, forcing the Ikhwan leaders to flee. This could be the beginning of the end to the urban Jihadi insurgency but could also be the beginning of an all out Terror war waged by the soon to become the underground Ikhwan cells along with al Qaeda groups against the new post Brotherhood Egypt. Egyptians are fighting their own war on Terror, in their own midst. So are other Arabs. Western democracies should be on the side of civil societies seeking real democratic freedoms not on the side of Jihadists promising just elections
At the risk of being a critical minority of one, I have to point out that “Blue Jasmine” is a movie in which we are asked to take seriously and empathize with characters who are mostly cardboard paste-ups. Ginger, the sister of Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine, is a divorced mother who works as a bagger in a San Francisco supermarket yet lives in a 3 bedroom apartment filled with furniture and tchotchkes. Lest you think that she is being supported by her ex-husband, we learn that he has lost all his money and is planning on going to Alaska to work on the pipeline. Ginger, played by Sally Hawkins, is a blue collar creation who looks like she wandered in from Fred and Ethel Mertz’s apartment yet somehow grew up in the same household as the super-svelte, formerly nouveau riche Jasmine who almost became an anthropologist. One can envision Carol Burnett and Vicky Lawrence pulling this off as brilliant parody many moons ago but “Blue Jasmine” has pretensions to serious drama, evoking the ghost of Blanche DuBois along with all the trappings of “A Streetcar Named Desire” - the feral sexuality and boisterous alcoholism of Ginger’s Kowalski-esque boyfriend, the gentleman caller, Jasmine’s precipitous fall from grace and resultant breakdown, the bluesy soundtrack, the mixed bag of pretension and pipe-dreams that are meant to turn dross into something vaguely more meaningful.
I always get a chill when I write today’s date, August 6th. To young Americans it may mean nothing. But to those of us of a certain age, it is the anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima in 1945.
Following the attacks on our Benghazi consulate almost a year ago, President Obama said in a radio interview that “my biggest priority now is bringing those folks to justice, and I think the American people have seen that’s a commitment I’ll always keep.”
In the hullabaloo last week over potential names for the new royal baby (who has since been named), the most obvious choice was left out of contention, despite all the betting taking place. (”George, James: Royal Baby Boy Names are Bet On“)
It seems to me that an increasing number of stories involving the Israel/Palestinian Arab situation appear in print without by-lines, and I can’t help thinking this may be a way of making it difficult to hold anyone accountable for propaganda passing as news.
It could also be a mechanism for protecting journalists from attack by Islamists, whose sensibilities are evidently easily bruised, and who tend to react to such perceived injuries in extremely violent ways. But those don’t seem to be the stories whose authors go unnamed.
Anyway, a case in point ran in today’s paper.
An Associated Press story out of the Gaza Strip, with no writer noted, was about Israel preparing to release another large batch of Palestinian Arab terrorists and murderers as a show of good faith or something for planned newly re-engaged peace talks.
The accompanying photo is of a man and his son, raising a banner in honor of one of the man’s other sons, Omar Masoud who a decade ago, with three accomplices from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, broke into a Gaza City European aid office, and stabbed to death a young Israeli lawyer working there.
Israel arrested him a month later and sentenced him to life in prison.
“Now Masoud, along with dozens of other long-term Palestinian prisoners, is up for release as part of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempt to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks after five years of diplomatic paralysis,” according to the story.
Israel is again being asked to release cold-blooded killers, who will hailed as heroes at home and who likely will at least try to kill again.
They are being asked to do this in exchange for nothing whatsoever.
In the story, Palestinian Arab leader Mahmoud Abbas says he agreed to discuss the creation of a Palestinian Arab state in part of what’s left of what Israel was originally supposed to be, predicated on Kerry’s assurances that talks will be based on everything the Arabs have demanded.
“He said the American invitation would state that the talks will be about establishing a Palestinian state next to Israel, based on the 1967 borders and with mutually agreed upon land swaps,” the story said.
This is not the first time Israel has released terrorists with blood on their hands in exchange for promises never kept, and have paid the price in more spilled blood.
The story says that Israel’s government releasing these monsters “poses the most difficult test so far of ITS PROFESSED WILLINGNESS to reach a peace deal.”
The story mentions not one, single concession being asked of the Palestinian Arabs. Not a single thing. Not even the promise of anything.
At least in the past, the PA has been made to promise to consider thinking about some issue or other, but this time, not even that.
But it’s the Israelis whose desire for peace is merely “professed.”
This is the special kind of stealth propaganda hidden in these nameless articles.
Netanyahu said that a decision to release prisoners “is painful to the bereaved families, painful to the people of Israel and very painful for me,” but that sometimes unpopular decisions must be made for the good of the state, the nameless writer wrote.
So, once again, the Jews are given little choice but to agree to a lopsided arrangement to avoid looking like the intransigent ones, because no one remembers, and journalists don’t remind them, of the countless similar arrangements that have come before and produced few positive results.
Ordinarily, journalists are expected and required to include context, background, to stories like this, so people who are “just tuning in,” so-to-speak, can understand what brought the situation to its current place. Not doing so, like in this story, leaves the impression that this is happening in a vacuum, and has no history, which is obviously, precisely what is intended.
And, I think this intentional skewing of stories on this issue, helps explain the omission of the names of the hacks that are turning them out.
Also, to provide a little context in THIS piece, which you will note, DOES include my name, the following other stories appeared in the press on the same day it was announced that the Middle East’s only democracy and the world’s only Jewish state is being required to release the killers of its people in exchange for the privilege of re-starting peace talks with just one Palestinian-Arab faction:
The Syrians are still killing each other at an alarming rate, just over one of Israel’s borders. Thousands protested in Tunisia at the funeral of an opposition leader, and a bomb exploded under a car outside a police station there. Egypt is out of control on another of Israel’s borders, as 65 more were killed in street riots, and more than 1,000 violent criminals “escaped” a Libyan prison during riots there, in “a nation overrun by militias and awash in weaponry,” according to reports.
Meanwhile, right here in the U.S. of A., Major Nidal Hasan, the man who carried out the Fort Hood massacre, released a statement apologizing to the Islamic faithful for his years in the U.S. military, and his part in our government’s “war on Muslims and Islam.”
Our Justice Department says Hasan’s mass murder was a case of “workplace violence” – that he was a regular guy who “went postal,” so-to-speak – and not an act of terrorism.
It looks to me like we are either blind or complicit in our own cultural suicide and insisting Israel be the same.
In the annals of modern history no year ever affected the current world more profoundly than 1848, the year social revolutions fomented political change in Europe and South America, and Karl Marx published The Communist Manifesto. In America, a group of women organized the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, led by abolitionist Elizabeth Stanton Cady, mentor to Susan B. Anthony.
Things are not looking good for the Jews, folks. Not in the United States, not in the Middle East and not in Europe.
The Islamo-Fascists are violently enveloping the Arab/Muslim Middle East.
In America, one of our most respected institutions of higher learning this week, appointed an outspoken, anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Muslim to its Board of Regents, despite strong objections from Jewish and other alumni and others. Tells you something about the way the world is turning on the academic front — the same front, particularly in England, constantly calling for the intellectual boycott of Israeli academia.
Add a new EU directive baring its members from cooperating, funding scholarships, research grants and prizes to Israeli entities even partly operating in east Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
The EU also now requires all documents signed with Israel include a clause “admitting” areas beyond the 1967 green line aren’t Israel and are excluded from the agreement. The Europeans may make exceptions for Israeli governmental bodies located over the green line, like the Justice Ministry, as long as its activities are carried out within the pre-1967 borders.
Of course, the Jews are obligated to listen to whatever Europe says because of its long history of fair and equitable treatment of its Jews. Not. Even before the Nazis swept through and made violent anti-Semitism the norm, Europe was already predisposed to it.
Let’s take Britain, for instance, from which all Jews were expelled in 1290.
This is a country suffering for many years from some sort of schizophrenia when it comes to the Jews.
On the one hand, it was Britain’s Lord Balfour that helped make possible the reborn Jewish state. But the Brits also blocked the entry of Jews fleeing certain death at the hands of the Nazis.
Now, Britain has officially lumped the Middle East’s only democracy in a list with countries with terrible human rights records, according to the Associated Press; states that fire on unarmed citizens from behind women, children and old people.
That story says Britain has issued more than 3,000 licenses for arms and military equipment exports “to countries where the U.K. has concerns about human rights…”
These countries include Myanmar, China, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria, and, stuck right in the middle of that list, as though its behavior can seriously be compared to those just listed, is Israel; where the army prefers to put itself in harm’s way to prevent “collateral damage,” rather than flatten their enemies with some large bomb from the sky – something it has for years been easily capable of doing.
The rest of the story – about how the government is assuring its concerned citizenry that it’s as careful as possible about who it’s sending arms to, is irrelevant, in my opinion.
It is just galling that these countries, with histories as long as your arm, of terrible human rights abuses, particularly when it comes to the Jews, would have the chutzpah to include Israel, an island of sanity in a frothing sea of hysterical violence, in a list with countries like Syria (right now involved in slaughtering tens of thousands of its own people) and Saudi Arabia (which doesn’t allow Jews to set foot on its soil or women the most basic freedoms).
Are they blind or stupid? Probably. But also, they’re infected with that seemingly incurable disease called anti-Semitism.