Sunday, 10 June 2007

GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM: THE REAL FANTASY

Ken Berwitz

One of the more incredible issues we have seen Democrats debate over the past several weeks is whether there is such a thing as a global war on terrorism

You would think that any sane person with the mental capacity of at least a four year old would know the answer.  But these are Democratic presidential candidates pandering to LAMBs (Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade), so all bets are off.

What do you think about this issue?  Do you have even the slightest doubt?  If so, here is a telling look at how terrorists themselves see things, courtesy of the Associated Press.  Pay special attention to the bold print at the bottom:-

Al-Qaida declares holy war on India

By Aijaz Hussain, Associated Press Writer  |  June 9, 2007

SRINAGAR, India A group claiming to represent the al-Qaida terror network declared a holy war on India over its partial control of the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, Indian officials said Saturday.

A statement and video was sent Friday to the Current News Service, in Srinagar, the main city of Indias Jammu-Kashmir state, in which a masked man standing next to an automatic weapon read the declaration.

We declare righteous holy war against India on behalf of God the great in which Jammu and Kashmir will be the launch pad for holy war in India, said the statement signed by Abu Abdul Rehman al-Ansari, purportedly the chief of al-Qaida Fil Hind or al-Qaida in India.

While this is the first time the group has been heard from since it announced its establishment in July, police said they were taking the threat seriously.

Police are trying to establish the veracity of the statement, said the states director general of police Gopal Sharma. But there is no need to panic, he said.

There have been allegations that Islamic militants fighting to wrest predominantly Muslim Kashmir from India have ties to al-Qaida, but these links have not been proven.

The statement five pages long and given in Urdu mentions insurgencies in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Somalia, the Palestinian territories and Algeria and describes them as a global Islamic movement aimed at wiping out borders and leading to the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate. -

I suppose you can ease your concern over the fact that this is being debated by trying to convince yourself it is only to pander to moveon.org, code pink and other LAMB groups.  You can hope against hope that people like john edwards and dennis kucinich and some of the other major and minor Democratic presidential aspirants are not irrational enough, not willing enough to compromise the safety of the USA, to actually buy into such insanity.

Or you can face the fact that, when people say things like this out loud on national TV, they are at least somewhat likely to believe what they are saying and are at least somewhat prepared to set policy based on these beliefs.

Terrorist "leaders" TELL them in so many words that their movement is global.  They erase any doubt at all by committing acts of terrorism around the world, with the threat of much more to come.  Yet these politicians, these pandering fools who want to be the president of the United States, thus commander in chief of our armed forces, refuse to see or hear what is plainly in front of them.

I say this a lot, but it has to be said again:  Elections are never far off.  In a year and a half we will be voting for president, every seat in the house of representatives and one third of the entire senate.  From the standpoint of national security and personal safety, this may well be the most crucial vote in our country's history.  Remember well what the candidates say about these issues, because your life, and the lives of everyone you care about, depend on your decision.


LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND LIES ABOUT ISRAEL

Ken Berwitz

The concept of lies being told about Israel is hardly new.  Israel came into being in 1948, so there is a 59 year history of them.  A rich, full history that doesn't miss one day.  But sometimes the liars outdo themselves.  

Now I'm not talking about people like ahmadinejad in Iran, or hamas or hezbollah or al qaeda or any of that bunch.  They lie about Israel and everything else, everyone except their followers know it, and that's the way things are.

I'm talking about people and publications that normal human beings might take seriously.  Those are the ones that really hurt because they have an aura of credibility to them.  And, sad to say, the lies emanating from this corner of the world are more and more frequent.

Read this article from the The New Media Journal, and see what I mean.  It was written by David Singer, who details a classic example of what I am talking about:-

The West Bank and Gaza, Fairy Tales and the Media
Media David Singer
June 9, 2007

The failure by editors of supposedly impartial and respected newspapers to correct inaccuracies in media articles regarding the West Bank and Gaza prior to their publication, gives continuing credence to total Arab denial of any Jewish rights in those areas - and also seriously misleads and misinforms their trusting readers as to the nature of the conflict that is taking place.

Letters written to the editors requesting corrections are usually consigned to the waste paper basket and even if printed, are too late to undo the damage - allowing gross distortion of facts to be perpetuated and in many cases repeated by the same and other journalists.

A classic case in point is the article - "War over, but the fight goes on" - written by Ed O'Loughlin, which appeared in two of Australia's most respected newspapers - the Sydney Morning Herald and the Brisbane Times - on 2 June 2007 to mark the 40 th Anniversary of the Six Day War in 1967.

Consider these five gems (and there are many more) in Mr. O'Loughlin's article:

1. " A native of New Jersey, he is one of several hundred Jews who live under heavy military protection in the first and most extreme of all Jewish settlements on the West Bank, carved out of the historic heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron."

The author fails to mention that "the historic heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron" happens to include the ancient Jewish Quarter of Hebron built on land purchased by Jews in 1540.

Jews lived there until 24 August 1929 when 67 Jewish men women and children were slaughtered by a crowd of rampaging Arabs. The remaining Jewish population of 750 were forced to flee. Some returned in 1931 but were forced to leave when the Arabs rioted again in 1936. Jews returned to the Jewish Quarter after the Six Day War to a very hostile welcome from the Arab residents.

Hebron contains the traditional burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Leah and Rebecca - one of Jewry's holiest sites - which the Bible records was purchased by Abraham in 1753BC.

Hebron is therefore more than just a Palestinian city. It has a far longer Jewish history - one of great religious significance for Jews.

Any editor worth his salt should have taken steps to have the author correct this statement.

2. "Of all the territories captured by Israel in the Six-Day war, only the Sinai Peninsula has been returned to its former owner, Egypt, thanks to the 1978 Camp David Accords of the then US president Jimmy Carter."

The inference is that the Sinai Peninsula is only a small part of all the territories captured by Israel.

In fact the Sinai Peninsula comprised 90% of all the territories captured by Israel. It was returned to Egypt as part of the historic Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt along with the Alma oil field discovered and developed there by Israel and reportedly worth $100 billion as well as strategic military airfields and early warning installations built by Israel. 7000 Jews were also expelled from Sinai as part of the agreement.

Why this misleading statement was allowed to go to print beggars belief.

3. "In the West Bank and East Jerusalem tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers and paramilitary police are needed to control 2.5 million indigenous Palestinians and to protect the 450000 Jewish settlers planted in their midst since the war"

Describing the Palestinians as "indigenous" is very disingenuous.

Weren't the Jews given the right by the League of Nations under the Mandate for Palestine to "reconstitute" their former national home in these very areas after 2000 years of dispersal throughout the world. Has this right not been preserved to this very day by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter?

Who are the indigenous people then - the descendants of Jews who were driven from their country 2000 years ago or the descendants of Arabs who occupied it by conquest seven centuries later?

Mr. O'Loughlin's use of the word "indigenous" is inflammatory, judgmental, totally irrelevant in relation to the context and should have been simply edited out.

4. "Gaza's air space, sea access and border crossings are all under tight Israeli military control "

The Rafah border crossing is under Egypt's control - not Israel's.

Why was this incorrect statement let through?

5. "The Six-Day War might have appeared to be a decisive victory for Israel but its outcome was never transformed into a workable political peace settlement"

Aren't Israel's peace treaties with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) workable political peace settlements?

If Mr. O'Loughlin intended this statement to only refer to the West Bank and Gaza, then he should have made that clear in his article. However that would have created a little problem for him.

Both Gaza and the West Bank had been continuously occupied by Egypt and Jordan respectively from 1948 until 1967. Not one Jew lived there during all that time - although many had been driven out by six invading Arab armies in the 1948 War.

The Arab League could have created another Arab State in those areas at the drop of a hat at any time during those 19 years. What they demand now in the Arab League Peace Initiative was theirs for the creating until 1967.

Israel is now being pressured to make this happen 40 years later and remove 450,000 Jews who have, since 1967, gone to live in the West Bank - an area that is part of their ancestral homeland and has been internationally designated and sanctioned for the Jewish National Home.

Perhaps Mr. O'Loughlin should use his privileged access to these prestigious newspapers to canvas why another Arab State in the West Bank and Gaza is now thought necessary, why all the Jews must move out and how this will end the conflict between Jews and Arabs.

It might just give the editors the chance to rectify the damage caused to the reputation of their papers by allowing the publication of this article in its present form.

Fairy tales are no substitute for truth and accuracy - especially when it relates to the Arab-Jewish conflict.

See why this is the worst of the lying?  O'Loughlin is writing something that, to people who don't know better, looks for all the world as if it could be true.  And he is being published in eminently credible newspapers.  How many minds were turned by his lies?  How many people now "know" that the lies are facts?

When do presumably legitimate media regain their integrity and fact-check what they publish?  Maybe the fact that the lies are about Israel makes it unnecessary to do so.  Or more comfortable.  Or safer.


GET RID OF GONZALES SENATORS VOTE THE TRUTH

Barry Sinrod
 
I believe that a strong very strong bi partisan vote of nearly the entire senate will force the President to fire the SOB. The vote will take place today MONDAY and so send the following to your friends and send in your petittion.
 

Impeach Alberto Gonzales

Impeach Alberto Gonzales

I ask Congress to impeach Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for the following reasons:

COUNT I: Application of Geneva Conventions; Definition of Torture

On 1/25/02, Gonzales wrote a memo to President Bush authorizing the commission of war crimes by claiming the war against terrorism "renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."

On 8/1/02, Gonzales commissioned a memo to President Bush which defined "torture" only as an interrogation that causes "injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions." This definition is contrary to The War Crimes Act and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Unusual or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a treaty ratified by the United States. Although this memo was retracted on 12/30/04, it remained in effect for over two years and authorized an unknown number of acts of torture.

Gonzales knew or should have known that, pursuant to memoranda written by, commissioned or concurred in by him, prisoners in United States custody would be subjected to willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment; and great suffering or serious injury to body or health, in violation of The War Crimes Act.

COUNT II: Military Commissions

Between 9/11/01 and 11/13/01, Gonzales helped draft the Military Order establishing the Military Commissions, signed by President Bush on 11/13/01. This order mandated conduct by members of United States military forces which constitute war crimes under The War Crimes Act.

Gonzales knew or should have known that the Military Commissions, in whose creation he participated, would deprive prisoners in United States custody who will be tried before them, of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the Third Geneva Convention and Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions.

On 1/18/07 Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the U.S. Constitution does not provide the right to habeas corpus, but rather only bars the government from taking that right away (except in the case of rebellion or invasion). This logic would overturn many of the rights that U.S. law has based on the Constitution for over two centuries, as well as overturning rights positively expressed in the Sixth Amendment.

COUNT III: Illegal Domestic Surveillance

Since the inception (date unknown) of the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretap program, Gonzales has defined, condoned, concealed and defended the administration's continued violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.

On 2/6/06, Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force enacted by Congress on 9/18/01 authorized warrantless domestic surveillance. However, the secret programs may have been launched earlier, the AUMF did not grant the President the right to violate FISA and the Fourth Amendment, and Congress has since amended FISA four times without granting the President those rights. On 1/17/07, Gonzales informed Congress the illegal wiretapping was approved by an unnamed Judge of the FISA Court without providing any evidence that illegal acts had actually ended.

Constituent info
Most members of congress will not accept an email without a street address. Some require a phone number. This information is not transmitted in messages sent to any additional "friends" emails.

The question is: "Should Congress Impeach Alberto Gonzales?".

This petition will submit your "Yes" vote.

This is an important section. Your members of Congress want to know what you think. All comments should be appropriately respectful and in acceptable taste. The way to have maximum impact is by sending voting invitations to as many of your fellow constituents as possible and encourage them to make their voices heard also.
[this textbox will extract the email addresses from any text you paste or type in here]
Now send your messages




See what's free at AOL.com.


SOLVING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Ken Berwitz

I came upon this opinion piece in The Columbia (Missouri) Tribune.  It is excerpted from a longer piece, and was written by Chris Kelly, a former judge and state legislator.  Mr. Kelly, who seems far more interested in finding a workable solution to the problem than most politicians, has it right.  So I am posting it here, along with my thoughts:-

I believe there is a workable and inexpensive solution. The most significant reason illegal immigrants sneak into our country is to work. Jobs here pay more than the jobs at home, and many American employers have expressed a preference for foreign workers instead of domestic ones. The problem is market-driven.

The way to alleviate the problem is go to its root cause: jobs. Prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants. The way to do that is to establish a civil cause of action that permits a private citizen to sue any employer who hires an illegal alien. Provide for a fine to be paid by the employer to the citizen who brings the lawsuit, and make the employer pay the legal cost of the successful plaintiff. People will be on the lookout for illegal hiring. Lawyers will be eager to bring suits. The government will not have to enact a single regulation or hire a single person. Taxpayers will pay nothing. As soon as the suits start being successful, employers will stop hiring illegal workers. As the jobs evaporate, the flow will stop.

Some will say this is a full employment bill for lawyers. That is true, but so what? Either illegal immigration is a serious problem or it is not. If it is, and if we can arrange for the cost of solving it to be paid by those who profit most from the illegal activity, how are we harmed? As to effectiveness, who wants to argue that the trial lawyers will be less efficient than the federal government? Remember, either the bill now in Congress will pass or it wont. If it passes, we get the huge cost, the complex regulations and amnesty. If it doesnt pass, we keep the status quo, which nobody likes. Why not try a simpler, less expensive solution that actually goes to the root of the problem? The question is: Whom do you like less, trial lawyers or illegal aliens? -

If you think it is cruel to deny people who want to work hard and earn enough to support their families, whether here or back in Mexico, you're right.  I agree with you and suspect Mr.Kelly does too.

But the problem is not that  we are denying them this opportunity.  The problem is Mexico. 

Mexico is not some third world backwater without any resources to pass along to its people.  It is a rich country, with vast natural resources, a thriving tourist industry and a huge industrial sector.  If Mexico wanted to provide for its people, they would most assuredly be provided for.  But the governance of Mexico, from one administration to the next, is so self-serving and corrupt that decent people who want nothing more than to support themselves and their families cannot do so.

The proof?  That's easy:  it is the millions upon millions of Mexicans who find it preferable to come here illegally and work in low paying jobs without benefits or legal redress, instead of staying in their home country and working legally.  It is estimated that upwards of 10% or more of the entire Mexican population (not just workers, the entire population) is in the United States now, most of them illegally.

Mexico must be made to give its people opportunities they currently do not have.  Mexico must provide people eager to work with necessary jobs.  It has the capability to do so.  Mexican people, by and large, are proud and industrious.  All they want is a chance to exploit these highly desirable attributes. 

That is Mexico's responsibility.  Not the next country over.


WHEN PC MEETS PC

Ken Berwitz

I've never quite understood how it could simultaneously be terrible, even criminal, to smoke cigarettes in public but just fine to smoke marijuana.  If the reason cigarettes are bad is that they pollute the air, pollute your lungs, are unhealthy and send their effects to the people around you, what exactly does marijuana do differently?  The logical inference is that its ability to impair people somehow makes it exempt from everything else.  That's some basis for an exemption.

This being the case, I was particularly fascinated by the clash between these two icons of PC, now occurring in Amsterdam.  Reuters has the story:  see for yourself:

-

Dutch smoking ban to cover coffee shops

Fri Jun 8, 3:49 PM ET

A Dutch smoking ban will come into force in July next year for all restaurants and cafes -- including coffee shops where cannabis is the top attraction, the government decided on Friday.

"Coffee shops will be treated in the same manner as other catering businesses. They will be smoke-free," Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende told NOS television.

"It would have been wrong to move towards a smoke-free catering industry and then make an exception for coffee shops. People would not have understood that."

Establishments will not in fact have to be completely smoke-free. Proprietors will be allowed to set up a separate room or glass partition behind which people can smoke, but customers will not be served there to protect staff.

"Employees should not have to work in an environment were they are constantly exposed to the harmful effects of smoking," Balkenende said after the cabinet's decision on Friday.

Amsterdam's renowned coffee shops, where marijuana can be smoked openly in a relaxed atmosphere, are one of the city's big draws for tourists.

Coffee shop owners argue that the ban only applies to tobacco and was unlikely to hit them hard.

Whilst commonly mixed with tobacco, marijuana can also be smoked on its own, especially in pipes, vaporisers and other contraptions.

Soft drugs are officially banned in the Netherlands but under a policy of tolerance, buyers are allowed to have less than 5 grams of cannabis in their possession.

-

Wow.  Or should I say zowie, dude? 

I'll be waiting eagerly to see how this ultimately plays out.  I have high hopes for a successful resolution.


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