Sunday, 01 April 2007

GUEST COMMENTARY: JEFF JACOBY

Ken Berwitz

Jeff Jacoby is the always interesting and often brilliant "house conservative" of the (New York Times owned ) Boston Globe. 

Today's column is a classic so I am posting it here without any comments of my own.  Other than changing maybe one word (which the haters will probably change the meaning of and use to "prove" Jacoby is something he is not), I couldn't improve on a thing he says.

THE SMELL OF IRRESOLUTION

By Jeff Jacoby

The Boston Globe

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Heres a puzzle: Why would Al Qaeda choose the past several days, just as Democrats in Congress were voting to run up a white flag and commit the United States to defeat in Iraq, to launch a bloody wave of terrorist atrocities?

 

     For weeks, there had been noticeably less bloodshed and chaos in Iraq's most dangerous areas. The number of civilians murdered in Baghdad, for example, had dropped from 1,222 in December to 954 in January to 494 in February. US military deaths had dropped 20 percent during the first month of General David Petraeus's new counterinsurgency strategy (the so-called surge), while the number of suspected terrorists captured had soared tenfold.

 

     Nevertheless, the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate chose to move ahead with legislation requiring the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Of course a US withdrawal is precisely what Al Qaeda wants -- Osama bin Laden has crowed that "the failure of the United States . . . in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars." Wouldn't it have made more sense, then, for the terrorists to continue lying low, keeping the violence down and doing nothing that might queer the American retreat?

 

     What could Al Qaeda have hoped to gain by shattering this relative lull with last week's horrific attacks? The carnage included a suicide bombing in a Baghdad market that killed at least 60 people, mostly women and children, and a triple car-bomb massacre in Diyala province that left 28 civilians dead. But why now? With Washington's top Democrats embracing the surrender agenda -- Senate majority leader Harry Reid declared on Tuesday that "this war is not worth the spilling of another drop of American blood" -- why would the terrorists unleash a renewed wave of slaughter and mayhem?

 

     For that matter, why would Iran have chosen this moment to seize 15 British sailors and marines? One of the hostages, Leading Seaman Faye Turney, was forced to write a letter urging the British government "to start withdrawing our forces from Iraq and let them determine their own future." But Britain *has* been withdrawing its forces from Iraq, reducing troop levels from 40,000 in 2003 to just 7,100 as of February. Prime Minister Tony Blair recently announced that 1,600 more troops will be pulled out this spring. So what was the point of Iran's unprovoked ambush?

 

     The answer in both cases is that this is how totalitarian aggressors react to faintheartedness.

 

     "In Middle Eastern warfare," writes retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters in the New York Post, "a classic tactic has been to retreat in the face of strength, but to attack when your enemy withdraws or shows signs of weakness." British troop pullouts and congressional cut-and-run votes prompt not fewer outrages and less mayhem, but more. The smell of irresolution doesn't satiate the totalitarians' appetite; it makes it keener.

 

     Six years after Sept. 11, and so many people still refuse to absorb this fundamental fact of life. The United States reacted with diffidence to the kidnapping of its citizens and the bombing of its embassies, so the jihadists attacked the Pentagon and destroyed the Twin Towers. Israel abandoned Gaza to the Palestinians, and the Palestinians turned turned Gaza into a launching pad for increased terror. The new Democratic leadership trumpets its eagerness to leave the Iraqi people to the mercy of barbarians? The barbarians pocket their gains and go on killing.

 

     Bernard Lewis, the renowned scholar of Islam and the Middle East, and a man old enough to recall the rise of Adolf Hitler, was recently quoted as saying that too many political leaders today exemplify "the spirit of Munich -- a refusal to acknowledge the danger we face and a belief that through accommodation we can avoid conflict." He added, sadly: "I look around and I see more Chamberlains than Churchills."

 

     But that is unfair to the British prime minister whose name is a synonym for 1930s-era appeasement. Once Neville Chamberlain realized that Hitler was unappeasable, he declared war on Nazi Germany. Today every member of Congress knows exactly what radical Islamists are capable of. Some who voted last week for a fixed deadline to withdraw US troops from Iraq had previously warned that any such deadline would be disastrous. Senator Hillary Clinton, for example, said in 2005: "I don't believe it's smart to set a date for withdrawal. I don't think you should ever telegraph your intentions to the enemy so they can await you."

 

     The enemy hasn't changed since 2005. Nor have the stakes in this war, nor the courage and commitment of the American troops fighting it. What has changed is control of Congress, and the air is heavy with the smell of irresolution.


MY BAN FROM 'CROOKSANDLIARS.COM'

Ken Berwitz

Earlier this week I was banned from commenting on blogs posted at www.crooksandliars.com.  Here is why:

First off , please be aware that I didn't comment on many of their blogs ( maybe one, sometimes two a week).  But every time I did there was a major firestorm from their "regulars" - i.e. the people who post comments on each blog.  They literally could not stand the idea of someone outside the lunatic left mega-moonbat brigade putting up an alternative point of view.   

The straw that broke the camel's back for crooksandliars was my comment regarding a blog about the CBCi (Congressional Black Caucus institute).  Crooksandliars.com was furious that the CBCi was participating in presidential debates co-sponsored by FNC (Fox News Channel).  Within the blog, they posted a statement from something called "colorofchange.org", which said

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"The CBC Institute's decision is shamefully out of step with most Black voters, and we will continue to push on the CBC Institute to drop this deal."  Rucker goes on to say, "Every presidential candidate now must decide whether to legitimize Fox - a network that calls Black churches a cult, implies that Senator Barack Obama is a terrorist, and uses the solemn occasion of Coretta Scott King's funeral to call Black leaders racist.' We will be launching a petition at www.ColorofChange.org asking presidential candidates to attend the CBC Institute's CNN debate and reject the Fox debate."-

Is it clear enough to you that their blog established race as part of the discussion?  Obviously the answer is yes.

Now as you may have read in previous blogs, I call the Congressional Black Caucus a racist organization.  The reason is plain and obvious:  It accepts only Black members and excludes anyone who is not Black.  You can't be more overtly racist than that. 

So I posted a comment to the effect that the CBCi lives in a glass house, because of the inherent nature of their own organization.  Boom!  The fires of hell were conferred on me by their regulars.  No surprise there at all.

Then the site owner (I assume John Amato himself was doing this) informed me that I had "hijacked" the discussion by invoking race (as if I were the one introducing the issue).  So I responded by copying the statement THEY had posted, which I showed you above - on the theory that if I'm giving them their own blog, verbatim, I would pretty much have to be on topic.  That didn't sit very well, I assure you. 

Finally I was told that I should take my comments to David Duke's website (ironic, isn't it?  I was being told that pointing out the existence of racism is being a racist), and banned from posting there anymore.

There are two reasons I mention all this - neither of which is because I am particularly troubled by the ban.  Believe me, I'm not.  One is to set up my next blog, which shows their anger at a commentary they consider "hatemongering".  I guarantee that you'll be amazed.  The other is to show just how far off the end of the earth these people are, how out of touch with reality they are, and how utterly intolerant they are of any views besides their own.

I urge anyone who doubts this to go the the www.crooksandliars.com site and click on the "comments" area of any blogs that are political in nature (a large majority of them).  Read the comments themselves, complete with liberal use of insults, obscenities and generally vile subject matter.  Then note the lack of virtually any comments that disagree with them.  

Finally, please think about what it means if the people this bunch supports are in positions of power in our government.


"HATEMONGERING"

Ken Berwitz

In my previous blog I promised to give an example of what www.crooksandliars.com considers "hatemongering" (their terminology, not mine).  This is posted to make good on that promise.

In this case, the object of their opprobrium is a piece written by Michelle Malkin, titled "The John Doe Manifesto".  (if you want hate at that site, you have a lot more than one example to choose from).

Before showing you Ms. Malkin's piece, I feel I should point out that my publisher, Kenzi Sugihara, intensely dislikes Michelle Malkin because of what she has written about the McCarren act.  I want to assure Kenzi, as I did when we originally discussed this, that I agree with him.  I did then and I do now.  But this is an entirely different situation as you/he will see.

Here is what Ms. Malkin wrote:

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The John Doe Manifesto
A declaration of principles.

By Michelle Malkin

Note: Earlier this month, six publicity-seeking imams filed a federal lawsuit against US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The Muslim clerics were removed from their flight last November and questioned for several hours after their suspicious behavior alarmed both passengers and crew members. Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten reported last week that the imams, advised by the grievance-mongers at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, also plan to sue "John Does" innocent bystanders who alerted the authorities about their security concerns. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., has introduced legislation to protect John Does who report suspicious behavior from legal liability. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; talk show host Michael Reagan; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who heads the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; and Minnesota lawyer Gerry Nolting have all stepped forward to offer free representation to the imams' targets.

Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,

You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.

I am John Doe.

I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.

I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.

I am John Doe.

I will never forget the example of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who refused to sit back on 9/11 and let themselves be murdered in the name of Islam without a fight.

I will never forget the passengers and crew members who tackled al Qaeda shoe-bomber Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63 before he had a chance to blow up the plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

I will never forget the alertness of actor James Woods, who notified a stewardess that several Arab men sitting in his first-class cabin on an August 2001 flight were behaving strangely. The men turned out to be 9/11 hijackers on a test run.

I will act when homeland security officials ask me to "report suspicious activity."

I will embrace my local police department's admonition: "If you see something, say something."

I am John Doe.

I will protest your Jew-hating, America-bashing "scholars."

I will petition against your hate-mongering mosque leaders.

I will raise my voice against your subjugation of women and religious minorities.

I will challenge your attempts to indoctrinate my children in our schools.

I will combat your violent propaganda on the Internet.

I am John Doe.

I will support law enforcement initiatives to spy on your operatives, cut off your funding and disrupt your murderous conspiracies.

I will oppose all attempts to undermine our borders and immigration laws.

I will resist the imposition of sharia principles and sharia law in my taxi cab, my restaurant, my community pool, the halls of Congress, our national monuments, the radio and television airwaves, and all public spaces.

I will not be censored in the name of tolerance.

I will not be cowed by your Beltway lobbying groups in moderates' clothing. I will not cringe when you shriek about "profiling" or "Islamophobia."

I will put my family's safety above sensitivity. I will put my country above multiculturalism.

I will not submit to your will. I will not be intimidated.

I am John Doe.

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Ok, I admit it;  I'm not following how this is hatemongering.  Maybe the way to find out one way or the other is to note who Ms. Malkin is talking to.

If Malkin is talking to all Muslims as a group, it WOULD be hatemongering, because it suggests they're all Jew-hating, America-bashing and violent among other things.  I would be agreeing that John Amato, who put up this blog and is the site owner of  crooksandliars.com is right on target.

The problem, however, is that Ms. Malkin is NOT talking to all Muslims as a group, and Mr. Amato is full of excrement.

Go back and read who the manifesto is addressed to.  It is NOT addressed to all Muslims, it is addressed specifically to Muslim terrorists, plotters, planners, funders, enablers and apologists.  No one else. 

To accuse terrorists of terrorism is hatemongering?  To accuse Jew bashers of Jew bashing?  America haters of America hating?  Violent people of violence?  This is hatemongering?

In truth, it is plain to see that the only hatemongering here is that of crooksandliars.com. 

And then we come to the "commenters".  That lovely bunch of sweet unassuming pillars of tolerance and good will, who (unlike me) are of sufficiently elevated quality to post their opinions at crooksandliars.com.  Let's see what they have to say about the Malkin manifesto. 

Remember, as always, I'm just cutting and pasting.  The opinions, language and quality of english is theirs, not mine:

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Why, Mrs. Malkin? Why must you hate your fellow human beings so completely and so thoroughly that your only contributions to the public discourse come in the form of foul venom?

Gravatar that malkin piece is the stupidest thing i've ever seen.

Thet Michelle Malkin girl -- she's sorta dark skinned. Looks like she could have some Ay-rab blood in her. Kinda untrustworthy, eff'n you know what ah mean. Ah ain't sure ah'd like havin' her on the same plane with me.
If'n ya'll see her travelin', y'all be sure and report her suspicious behavior, y'hear?

Gravatar I will resist the imposition of sharia principles and sharia law in my taxi cab, my restaurant, my community pool, the halls of Congress, our national monuments, the radio and television airwaves, and all public spaces.What teh fuckity fuck????

Gravatar "Why, Mrs. Malkin? Why must you hate your fellow human beings so completely..."
Because its fun!  You get that thrilling sense of self righteousness that allows you to compose overly dramatic self aggrandizing "Manifestos" that by no means prove once and for all what a complete pain in the ass you really are.

Malkin and her little friends have proven over and over again that they have no principles.None.
In fact the whole modern "conservative" movement behave in a way utterly devoid of principles.The object is simply to win.To gain the upper hand at any cost.
Limbaugh was just given a prestigious award for being able to sink lower than anyone else.

Gravatar Let's (ok I know it's creepy but just for argument's sake) grant Malkin that she's 'correct' in her assumptions for the moment, and that this sort of vigilance is the only way we can Save America From Islamic Fascists .  Okay.  So why is Saudi Arabia *never* mentioned in these rants, since, as we all know, 15 of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis and that S.A. is the world's breeding ground for the fundamentalist Wahabi...? Yeah - I think we all know why COUGH*bushfamilyconnection*COUGH*; I was being rhetorical.  Point is: It's completely irrational/fraudulent for her to simultaneously hold her viewpoint and *not* be focused on Saudi Arabia as the #1, most dangerous threat to our country.  Intellectual hypocrisy at its finest.  (NOTE:  the manifesto specifically speaks to exactly who this genius is demanding it should speak to)

 

That, folks is the tiniest sampling of what you will find in the comment section.  You can read it all by going to  http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/03/31/open-thread-435/ and clicking on "comments" at the bottom.  I promise you'll see that what I've posted barely skims the surface.

ADDENDUM:  I just checked and there are a bunch of new, equally delightful "comments" to choose from.  Here is a small sampling of them -- and be assured they will continue to grow in number:

This woman does not deserve a pulpit upon which to preach her hatred and fear mongering.


ARLEEN'S PASSOVER BLINTZES (AND GRANDMA'S BUTTER COOKIES TOO!)

Ken Berwitz

This has nothing to do with politics (well, maybe marital politics, but that's not why I'm posting it).

I just spent the better part of the day working with my wife, Arleen, on food for the passover seder we are having at our son and daughter in law's apartment.  And, not incidentally, what a great chance to see our beautiful 3 month old grandson Jacob too!!!

Now, after all that work, Arleen is on the treadmill - which explains why she is in such astonishingly good shape at the age of XXX (do you think I'm crazy?).

I wish I could give you the recip for Arleen's passover blintzes, which she learned from her mother and has added her own touch to.  It would be very hard to do, because she adds the chicken she used to make her equally terrific soup.  So to give you the blintz recip would require giving you the soup recip too.  Then there are the onions and mushrooms and other good stuff.  It gets pretty complicated.

Nope, sorry, no can do.  I just want you to be aware that my wife, aside from her numerous other wonderful qualities, is one great cook and makes blintzes so good you'll wish you had a couple on your plate.  They wouldn't be there long.

However, I don't want to leave you high and dry.  So I am going to repost my grandmother's butter cookie recip, which I put in a blog several months ago. 

Since hopelesslypartisan.com has grown enormously since then, there are lots and lots of visitors who have not seen this unbelievably simple and transcendentally delicious recip.  And maybe a couple who have, but put off making them and eventually forgot about it.  For all of you, here it is.  And you're very welcome: 

 

Grandma's Butter Cookies

 

2 eggs

1 stick of butter, softened (the equivalent of a half cup)

1 cup confectioner's sugar

1 cup plain sugar

Lemon juice (one half to 1 full lemon, to your taste.  We split the difference and use about 3/4)

3 cups of flour

1 level teaspoon of baking soda (1!!  for god sake, not 3)

 

-Combine eggs, butter, confectioner's sugar, plain sugar and lemon juice together, so that all ingredients are fully blended (if you are doing this by hand, it will take some time)

 

-Add flour and baking soda.  Fully blend them in ( the dough will not be very moist but don't worry about it, that's the way it should be)

 

-Cover and refrigerate batter overnight (minus a couple of fingers into the dough to taste how great it is.  The urge to take more will be irresistible, but try to fight it)

 

-Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

 

-Roll out the batter (we like relatively thin cookies, but this, of course, is up to you).

 

-Cut into desired shapes and bake until light brown on top (about 13-14 minutes in our oven, yours may differ)

 

-Lightly sprinkle sugar on top of each cookie while still hot.

 

Then, enjoy the best butter cookies you will ever have.  I guarantee you'll love them.  Would grandma ever do you wrong?


SECRETARY OF STATE PELOSI

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I posted a blog by Ed Morrissey, which vilified Nancy Pelosi for putting in motion the condemnation of Turkey (usually an ally of ours) for a 95 year old genocide the current government had nothing to do with, while gracing Syria, which we classify as a terrorist state, with an official visit they can use as a propaganda tool. 

Morrissey called this idiotic, and he has a point.  But he is wrong in a way too.  He has not expressed the entire range of Nancy Pelosi's idiotic behavior.  Read this (bold print is mine):

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House Silent on British Hostage Crisis

Mar 30 04:00 PM US/Eastern
By ANNE FLAHERTY
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Members of the House left Washington on Friday for their two-week spring break without weighing in on the international crisis tormenting the nation's closest ally: the capture of 15 British sailors and marines by Iran.

The omission by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is being noted by some Republicans, who say they should have gotten the chance to join the Senate in denouncing Tehran's bold actions.

"I am very disappointed that the speaker chose not to act," said Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa.

"I believe it's important for us as Americans to show our solidarity with the Britons," he added in a phone interview Friday. "The British are our closest allies, and I think we have to stand next to them in a moment like this."

The Senate on Thursday, before adjourning for its one-week break, passed a resolution condemning the act "in the strongest possible terms" and calling for the sailors "immediate, safe and unconditional release."

Pelosi's spokesman Brendan Daly said the speaker was reluctant to weigh in on the incident without knowing that such a message would do more good than harm. Daly said the British government had not asked Congress to try to pressure Tehran.

"The leadership discussed it and agreed that inserting Congress into an international crisis while ongoing would not be helpful," Daly said.

Pelosi is traveling in the Middle East, where she plans to visit Syria, Israel and the West Bank.

The sailors were seized on March 23 off the Iraqi coast while searching merchant ships for evidence of smuggling. Britain insists the seven Royal marines and eight sailors were taken in Iraqi waters and has said no admission of error would be made.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., says Congress should not only call for the release of the British personnel but also should press the United Nations to explore harsher sanctions against Tehran.

Cantor, the GOP's chief deputy whip, pressed Pelosi this week to pass the measure.

"The illegal seizure of the British forces is a signal that Iran views us as powerless to prevent it from realizing its aggressive ambitions," Cantor wrote in a letter to Pelosi.

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In other words, Pelosi is on board with the idea that "inserting congress into an international crisis while ongoing would not be helpful" when it comes to Britain, one of our two most reliable allies in the world.  But she has no problem handing Syria, a terrorist nation currently in a declared state of war with Israel, the OTHER of our two most reliable allies in the world, a state visit they can use as a propaganda tool. 

When people behave this way outside of congress they are sedated, then taken to hospitals for observation.  But Nancy Pelosi makes it the policy of the Democratic house of representatives and what happens?  Is it first page news in the paper today?  Did you see it on the network news on Friday or last night?  Did the Today show do a feature on what havoc behavior like this wreaks on our status in the world?  On the attitudes of our ALLIES towards who and what we are with Democrats in charge?

This isn't just the usual political fun and games that goes on in Washington.  This is disastrous.  And the one and only reason Pelosi CAN do it is that mainstream media, which are supposed to inform and advise us of actions like this, are looking the other way

Hey, after all, Pelosi is a Democrat, she's the first woman speaker of the house (you GO girl!!!),  and - best of all - she might significantly damage President Bush's ability to work with our allies during a war.  Won't that be GREAT?  Yeah, that'll show him!  We win, we win.


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