Tuesday, 03 February 2009


Ken Berwitz

I remember when Dave Marash, a former sportscaster, then newscaster on New York TV, joined Al-Jazeera.  I questioned his sanity at the time.

Eventually, he did too.  He left the station after coming to the realization that it wasn't a neutral news venue.  (That's a little like G.I. Joe deciding not to re-enlist because, over time, he noticed that people in the army wear uniforms and carry guns.)

Anyway, what I am about to show you is from al-jazeera TV, via the invaluable web site www.littlegreenfootballs.com.  It is for anyone who has seen a little bit of al-jazeera's english-speaking version and assumes it offers any pretense of neutrality.

Take a look the real al-jazeera:

Top Islamic Cleric Wishes for Another Holocaust at the Hands of Muslims

Video | Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 8:38:08 am PST

As Al Jazeera continues trying to push their way onto US cable networks, with a cleaned-up, sanitized English version that keeps its disgusting Jew-hatred masked, heres what theyre showing to the people in Arabic-speaking countries.

Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential Sunni Muslim clerics in the world, says Allah imposed Hitler upon the Jews to punish them and Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.

Then he expresses his hope that, before he dies, hell be able to slaughter some Jews.

This is the same guy that Newsweek infamously dubbed a moderate Muslim leader in 2004.

There you have it.  A "moderate Muslim leader" on a "neutral" TV network. 

Now, grow old waiting for mainstream media in the US to pick up on what Charles Johnson of littlegreenfootballs.com just showed you, and report it. 


Ken Berwitz

This heart-wrenching commentary appears in today's Wall Street Journal.  I reprint it here in its entirety.  I have no comment to make about what Judea Pearl says, because there is nothing that can be added.

Daniel Pearl and the Normalization of Evil

When will our luminaries stop making excuses for terror?


This week marks the seventh anniversary of the murder of our son, former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. My wife Ruth and I wonder: Would Danny have believed that today's world emerged after his tragedy?

[Commentary] Reuters/Corbis

Jimmy Carter.

The answer does not come easily. Danny was an optimist, a true believer in the goodness of mankind. Yet he was also a realist, and would not let idealism bend the harshness of facts.

Neither he, nor the millions who were shocked by his murder, could have possibly predicted that seven years later his abductor, Omar Saeed Sheikh, according to several South Asian reports, would be planning terror acts from the safety of a Pakistani jail. Or that his murderer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now in Guantanamo, would proudly boast of his murder in a military tribunal in March 2007 to the cheers of sympathetic jihadi supporters. Or that this ideology of barbarism would be celebrated in European and American universities, fueling rally after rally for Hamas, Hezbollah and other heroes of "the resistance." Or that another kidnapped young man, Israeli Gilad Shalit, would spend his 950th day of captivity with no Red Cross visitation while world leaders seriously debate whether his kidnappers deserve international recognition.

No. Those around the world who mourned for Danny in 2002 genuinely hoped that Danny's murder would be a turning point in the history of man's inhumanity to man, and that the targeting of innocents to transmit political messages would quickly become, like slavery and human sacrifice, an embarrassing relic of a bygone era.

But somehow, barbarism, often cloaked in the language of "resistance," has gained acceptance in the most elite circles of our society. The words "war on terror" cannot be uttered today without fear of offense. Civilized society, so it seems, is so numbed by violence that it has lost its gift to be disgusted by evil.

I believe it all started with well-meaning analysts, who in their zeal to find creative solutions to terror decided that terror is not a real enemy, but a tactic. Thus the basic engine that propels acts of terrorism -- the ideological license to elevate one's grievances above the norms of civilized society -- was wished away in favor of seemingly more manageable "tactical" considerations.

This mentality of surrender then worked its way through politicians like the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. In July 2005 he told Sky News that suicide bombing is almost man's second nature. "In an unfair balance, that's what people use," explained Mr. Livingstone.

But the clearest endorsement of terror as a legitimate instrument of political bargaining came from former President Jimmy Carter. In his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Mr. Carter appeals to the sponsors of suicide bombing. "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Road-map for Peace are accepted by Israel." Acts of terror, according to Mr. Carter, are no longer taboo, but effective tools for terrorists to address perceived injustices.

Mr. Carter's logic has become the dominant paradigm in rationalizing terror. When asked what Israel should do to stop Hamas's rockets aimed at innocent civilians, the Syrian first lady, Asma Al-Assad, did not hesitate for a moment in her response: "They should end the occupation." In other words, terror must earn a dividend before it is stopped.

The media have played a major role in handing terrorism this victory of acceptability. Qatari-based Al Jazeera television, for example, is still providing Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi hours of free air time each week to spew his hateful interpretation of the Koran, authorize suicide bombing, and call for jihad against Jews and Americans.

Then came the August 2008 birthday of Samir Kuntar, the unrepentant killer who, in 1979, smashed the head of a four-year-old Israeli girl with his rifle after killing her father before her eyes. Al Jazeera elevated Kuntar to heroic heights with orchestras, fireworks and sword dances, presenting him to 50 million viewers as Arab society's role model. No mainstream Western media outlet dared to expose Al Jazeera efforts to warp its young viewers into the likes of Kuntar. Al Jazeera's management continues to receive royal treatment in all major press clubs.

Some American pundits and TV anchors didn't seem much different from Al Jazeera in their analysis of the recent war in Gaza. Bill Moyers was quick to lend Hamas legitimacy as a "resistance" movement, together with honorary membership in PBS's imaginary "cycle of violence." In his Jan. 9 TV show, Mr. Moyers explained to his viewers that "each [side] greases the cycle of violence, as one man's terrorism becomes another's resistance to oppression." He then stated -- without blushing -- that for readers of the Hebrew Bible "God-soaked violence became genetically coded." The "cycle of violence" platitude allows analysts to empower terror with the guise of reciprocity, and, amazingly, indict terror's victims for violence as immutable as DNA.

When we ask ourselves what it is about the American psyche that enables genocidal organizations like Hamas -- the charter of which would offend every neuron in our brains -- to become tolerated in public discourse, we should take a hard look at our universities and the way they are currently being manipulated by terrorist sympathizers.

At my own university, UCLA, a symposium last week on human rights turned into a Hamas recruitment rally by a clever academic gimmick. The director of the Center for Near East Studies carefully selected only Israel bashers for the panel, each of whom concluded that the Jewish state is the greatest criminal in human history.

The primary purpose of the event was evident the morning after, when unsuspecting, uninvolved students read an article in the campus newspaper titled, "Scholars say: Israel is in violation of human rights in Gaza," to which the good name of the University of California was attached. This is where Hamas scored its main triumph -- another inch of academic respectability, another inroad into Western minds.

Danny's picture is hanging just in front of me, his warm smile as reassuring as ever. But I find it hard to look him straight in the eyes and say: You did not die in vain.

Mr. Pearl, a professor of computer science at UCLA, is president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, founded in memory of his son to promote cross-cultural understanding.




Ken Berwitz

Here is a ruling that mainstream media barely touched on if it was reported at all.  But it is absolutely pivotal to whether or not al franken can successfully steal Norm Coleman's senate seat.

John Hinderaker of www.powerlineblog.com explains:

Big Win for Coleman

This report, hot off the press, signifies a victory for Norm Coleman in the election contest with Al Franken: the court hearing the contest has ruled that "all absentee ballots that complied with state law should be counted, along with those where errors occurred through no fault of the voter." Franken has been trying to prevent a number of ballots that complied with state law from being counted.

It appears that there are around 4,800 rejected absentee ballots that fall into this category. The court imposed one limitation on its ruling, i.e., that the ballots in question must have been disclosed by the Coleman campaign to the Franken campaign by January 22.

It isn't clear to me whether the ruling is that the 4,800 ballots in question actually are valid and will be counted, or that they will be reviewed to see whether they are valid and should be counted. Either way, it appears to be a big win for Coleman; one that makes it appear possible that he might make up Franken's 220-vote lead.

The importance of this cannot be overstated.  If all absentee ballots that complied with state law are counted, it ends the current situation in which individual counties can make up their own policy. 

Therefore, it ends the phony "we make up our own rules" fiasco that was being foisted on Minnesota and gives equal protection to all voters.

Does this mean Mr. Coleman will win?  Maybe yes and maybe no. 

But - call me a dreamer if you'd like - I assume out of hand that anything which evens the playing field instead of allowing the cleverest, most devious schemers to operate, is going to help Coleman and hurt franken.


Ken Berwitz

This excerpt comes from an article posted at www.npr.org (that's right - National Public Radio):

U.S. Officials: Al-Qaida Leadership Cadre 'Decimated'

Morning Edition, February 3, 2009 CIA-directed airstrikes against al-Qaida leaders and facilities in Pakistan over the past six to nine months have been so successful, according to senior U.S. officials, that it is now possible to foresee a "complete al-Qaida defeat" in the mountainous region along the border with Afghanistan.

The officials say the terrorist network's leadership cadre has been "decimated," with up to a dozen senior and midlevel operatives killed as a result of the strikes and the remaining leaders reeling from the repeated attacks.

"The enemy is really, really struggling," says one senior U.S. counterterrorism official. "These attacks have produced the broadest, deepest and most rapid reduction in al-Qaida senior leadership that we've seen in several years."

Another senior U.S. official described "a significant, significant degradation of al-Qaida command and control in recent months."

The intelligence reports have been shared with President Barack Obama and underlie his decision to authorize the continued use of unmanned aircraft to launch missile and precision-guided bombs against suspected al-Qaida targets in Pakistan's border region. One such strike was carried out on Jan. 23, just three days after Obama took office.

The CIA has been using drone aircraft to carry out attacks on suspected al-Qaida and Taliban targets in Pakistan for several years, but such attacks were significantly expanded last summer under orders from President George W. Bush. They also became more lethal, with the CIA for the first time using Reaper drones, an enhanced version of the Predator model used previously. The Reaper is capable of carrying two Hellfire missiles, as well as precision-guided bombs.

Hmmmm.  CIA-directed strikes over the past 6 - 9 months?  On the orders of President Bush?

Thank you President Bush.

And thank you NPR, for breaking the mold (today, anyway) by publishing an article that mentions a very major benefit Mr. Bush's policies have generated for us.

Oh, and thanks to the rest of our wonderful "neutral" media....for not doing so, thus being every bit as predictable as they usually are.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


Ken Berwitz

This is the kind of story a hack writer comes up with after drinking a quart of scotch and smoking some weed.  Except that it's true.

Read it and shake your head in astonishment:

Officials nab traveler with pigeons in his pants
Feb 3 05:09 PM US/Eastern
SYDNEY (AP) - An Australian traveler was caught with two live pigeons stuffed in his pants following a trip to the Middle East, customs officials said Tuesday. The 23-year-old man was searched after authorities discovered two eggs in a vitamin container in his luggage, said Richard Janeczko, national investigations manager for the Customs Service

They found the pigeons wrapped in padded envelopes and held to each of the man's legs with a pair of tights, according to a statement released by the agency. Officials also seized seeds in his money belt and an undeclared eggplant.

The alleged bird smuggler, who arrived in Melbourne on Sunday on a flight from Dubai, was being questioned.

Australia has very strict quarantine regulations on the importation of wildlife, plants and food to protect health, agriculture and the environment of the isolated island nation.

Charges of wildlife smugglingwhich carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 110,000 Australian dollars ($70,430)could be brought against the man.

Janeczko said the pigeons were not endangered and that the caseas well as the birds, eggs and seedshad been turned over to the Quarantine Service to assess the health risk associated with bringing the birds into the country.

The Quarantine Service would not comment on the continuing investigation.

Is this a Darwin Award finalist, or what? 

Now for a few bad jokes:

-Two birds in his pants?  It must have been a pecker contest.

-It could have been worse.  He could also have stuffed a statue in his pants so the pigeons would have something to, er, relax on.

-If he was flying from London he could have tried convincing the authorities that he was just trying to learn pigeon English.

-Maybe they all were ingredients for his famous creation:  eggplant pigeasan.

Ok, enough bad humor.  Your turn.


Ken Berwitz

Michael Graham of the Boston Herald has written an absolutely devastating column about the Obama administration so far.  Specifically, he has written about the "quality" of Barack Obama's cabinet picks and the honesty of his promises, such as no lobbyists allowed and a pork-free stimulus package. 

I've written about this too, but not as well as Mr. Graham.  So here is his entire column.  No bold print necessary, because every word is 100% worth reading:

Cabinet of the corrupt
Change may be for the worse

By Michael Graham  |   Tuesday, February 3, 2009  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Op-Ed

First Tim Geithner. Now Tom Daschle? Whos Obamas next cabinet pick - Wesley Snipes? Dianne Wilkerson?

Not to upset the loyal O-Bots out there, but the last guy from Chicago to have this much income tax trouble was Al Capone. And at last report, he still had an outside shot at getting Commerce secretary.

President Obama pledged to change Washington, and he has. Before Obama, tax cheats used to lose jobs.

Conservative academic Victor Davis Hanson calls the choice of Daschle the Rezkozation of the Obama administration. Tony Rezko, you may recall, was the bagman who bankrolled part of Obamas political career. Hes also a felon.

Amazingly enough, therefore, he hasnt been tapped to serve in the Obama administration. Yet.

Hanson also points out that Daschle is a threefer: a tax cheat, a $5 million-dollar lobbyist (Daschle called himself a strategist) and a populist hypocrite to boot.

To paraphrase Dean Wormer from Animal House, Inept, corrupt and elitist is no way to go through life, Tom. But its a great way to get a job from Barack Obama.

Try to imagine Bill Clinton or George Bush getting away with picking a Treasury secretary who didnt pay his own taxes and then accepted reimbursement for taxes he didnt pay.

But to follow up one tax cheat with a nominee who skipped on $140,000 in taxes - particularly a former Senate majority leader who wrote the same tax laws he now claims he doesnt understand - is unimaginable.

Obama pledged there would be no lobbyists in his administration. But Daschle earned millions working for lobbying firms like Alston & Bird, and specifically received $220,000 from health-care companies. He forgot to report $83,000 in income entirely. Now Daschles the Hope and Change pick to oversee the health-care industry?

Why not? Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois calls Tom Daschle one of the most honest people Ive ever known. Of course he is, if youre from the same state as Mayor Richard Daley and Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

There are those who say that this proves its business as usual under Obama. This is an insult to the many fine, low-rent hacks and federal hangers-on who never imagined getting away with such hypocrisy before.

And what to make of the poor excuse Obamas team is offering, that people like Geithner of the International Monetary Fund and Tom Daschle of the Senate Finance Committee didnt understand their taxes?

If these high rollers are too dumb to understand tax law, why does the IRS put the squeeze on the rest of us dumb schlubs? In the late 80s I was earning a whopping $200 a set at the Des Moines Comedy Barn And Auto-Diesel Repair Center, and I got audited. And nobody mentioned the I dont understand these complicated forms exemption to me.

Then again, Im not Obamas choice for Secretary of Zany Comedy Antics, either.

The Geithner/Daschle picks represent precisely the politics that Obama ran against.

The people are figuring out what change really means. It means a stimulus bill that Obama says contains no earmarks has money for a Frisbee golf course in Texas. It means a trillion-dollar boondoggle that, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, most Americans believe will either have little impact on their finances or actually make things worse.

Six more months of this, and Americans wont just be hoping for change. Well be desperate for it.

This is the real Obama administration.  These are the facts that the network news shows, and other major venues that millions of people rely on for news, either skim over or do not talk about at all.

The disgrace that once was our "neutral" media shamelessly ran interference for Mr. Obama throughout the election campaign -- and apparently is going to continue right through the incompetence and dishonesty that is characterizing the beginning of his administration.

But don't worry.  If they have to report that anything is wrong you can bet they'll find a way to sidestep any mention of culpability on the part of Barack Obama.

Get ready, George.  They're not through with you yet.


Ken Berwitz

From today's New York Post:

February 2, 2009 --

UNLESS you're Bernie Madoff and living under house arrest in a luxurious penthouse, it's not easy being a Madoff these days. That's why some family members are considering changing the last names of Bernie's grandkids, who go to one of the more prestigious prep schools uptown, sources say. There is also buzz that Deborah Madoff, wife of the alleged Ponzi scammer's son, Andrew, didn't move fast enough when she filed for divorce the day before the scheme collapsed. "Whatever she negotiates in a divorce settlement, she won't be able to collect," said one insider. "She'll be treated like all the other creditors." Lawyers for Andrew, Deborah and Bernie had no comment.

-bernard madoff, who stole $50 BILLION dollars, is under "house arrest" in a luxury Park Avenue condo estimated as being worth $7 - 10 million dollars (If you stole $10 from a newsstand, you'd spend the night at Riker's Island).  He was stopped from giving away huge amounts of money and property in "gifts" which, he apparently hoped, would keep it within his grasp rather than seeing it go to (gasp!) the people he stole it from.

-His wife, who worked side by side with him, is walking free.

-His brother, who worked side by side with him, is walking free.

-His two sons, who both worked for him, are walking free.  We are told that they did not have any involvement in the dirty end of the business.  (If you believe that I want to show you some shorefront property I have in Nebraska.)

-And his daughter in law suddenly filed for divorce, apparently to shelter money that was about to be out of her control and might go to (gasp!) the people the madoff family stole it from.

If there is a more disgusting, dishonest bunch of scumbags out there, I have yet to see them.


Ken Berwitz

In fairness, we have to be understanding here. 

For decades, the United Nations has run schools in Gaza, and for all that time the children in those schools have been taught that Israel does not exist, that all Jews in or out of Israel are descended from monkeys and apes, and that children who become "shaheed" (martyrs) for Islam by blowing themselves up to kill Jews are the most glorious of them all.

Making sure the kiddies get all of that ingrained in their souls is long, hard work.  So it is entirely understandable that the UN would be impatient to get on with it.  We wouldn't want a generation of Gazan children to become ignorant, would we?

With this in mind, please read this article from today's Jerusalem Post.  You will quickly see what Israel is doing wrong:

Israel slams UN 'provocation' at Erez

Feb. 2, 2009

The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories slammed UNRWA on Monday and accused the United Nations organization of creating a provocation at the Kerem Shalom crossing by bringing trucks to it carrying supplies that had not been approved by Israel for entry into the Gaza Strip.

On Monday, the Kerem Shalom crossing was opened for the delivery of humanitarian supplies to Gaza, including some 50 trucks with supplies provided by UNRWA. The night before, UNRWA had asked the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration to permit the transfer of paper and plastic bags to Gaza, and had been told the request was under consideration.

Despite not having received approval, UNRWA, COGAT officials said, drove several trucks carrying the supplies from Jerusalem to the crossing and coordinated their arrival with several media outlets, which filmed the trucks being turned away.

COGAT Spokesman Maj. Peter Lerner called the incident a "regretful provocation" by the UNRWA spokesman's office and added that while Israel may eventually approve the transfer of office supplies to Gaza, it was currently focusing on humanitarian aid.

"UNRWA receives preferential treatment at the crossings, and today alone 50 of its trucks were allowed in," Lerner said.

"What was done was wrong and not in accordance with the working relationship that Israel has with UNRWA."

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said the organization's schools in Gaza, which opened last week, only had 60 percent of the needed textbooks and that the paper was needed to fill the gap.

"We are running schools for 200,000 kids in Gaza and we have said for weeks that we would need to get it in, and it is entirely predictable since our school term starts at a certain time and therefore it is really strange that anybody should be surprised that we raised this issue," Gunness said.

Meanwhile, the UN tried to ease Israeli concerns about relief aid being diverted to Hamas by saying it would try to strengthen its control over goods entering Gaza.

UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said he was unaware of any instances in which international aid had been misappropriated. But he told reporters in Geneva at the launch of the UN's $613 million emergency appeal for the Palestinian territory that there have been stories about aid getting diverted to Hamas.

"There are concerns by Israel in particular about things like construction materials, cement, pipes [and] other kinds of equipment which they believe could be diverted to military uses," Holmes said, mentioning the construction of bunkers or rocket launchers.

The UN is asking donor governments to provide $613m. for emergency relief. A quarter of that money is for food aid, $119m. is for shelter and non-food items and the rest will go to education, health and reconstruction projects.

So far the UN has received $82m. Holmes said the improved audits would be part of the UN's effort to convince Israel to fully reopen its crossing points with Gaza, so that humanitarian aid and commercial goods could be brought in, along with cash so salaries could be paid.

"Without that, the best we can do is simply allow the Palestinian population of Gaza to exist, to survive, but not to live or to construct for the future in any meaningful way," he said.

The UN will also consider asking Israel for compensation for damage caused to its buildings in Gaza during the fighting, he said. Several UN schools and other facilities were damaged, including the main warehouse of UNRWA, which coordinates much of the aid work in Gaza.

"We're still waiting for the results of Israeli investigations," said Holmes. "We'll be mounting our own investigations into that, and then I'm sure the question of compensation will arise."

"What happened, according to [Israel], were mistakes, although when your own headquarters compound is bombed or shelled over a period of hours, it's something more than a mistake, I think," UNRWA commissioner Karen Abu Zayd said.

What's wrong with these damn Israelis anyway?

So what if hamas, which runs Gaza, is a terrorist organization with the specific, formally declared mission of ending the existence of Israel and killing its Jews?

So what if Israel is then expected by the UN and the rest of the world to allow supplies to flow into Gaza from the UN, which frees up the equivalent amount of funds for weapons, suicide belts, etc.?

So what if Israel wants to know what they're allowing into a territory whose government is on record as intending to destroy it and kill its citizens?

So what if, in this case, it is truckloads of supplies that enable UN-run schools to teach hatred of Israel and Jews?

Hey, this is the UN!  It is 100% neutral, isn't it?  It has no horse in this race, does it?

I particularly like that added touch:  the UN sending trucks it knows will not be able to get through, and plenty of media to see those terrible, awful Israelis prevent the sweet, innocent children of Gaza from learning their basic skills.

Let me end by showing you this delightful little piece of UN history, from www.palestinefacts.org:

UN Resolution for Protection of Children from Terrorism

In November 2003, Israel submitted its first UN resolution since 1976 to the UN Humanitarian, Social and Cultural Committee. The draft document called for the protection of Israeli children from Palestinian Arab terrorism acts which purposely target buses, cafes, kindergartens and discos filled with Jewish youth. Israeli officials said the resolution would be a test whether or not the UN was prepared to forego its traditional bias against the Jewish state.

On November 6th, 2003 the same UN Committee approved a nearly identical Egyptian-sponsored resolution demanding protection for Palestinian children from "Israeli aggression." When it came to declaring Israeli childrens right to not be targeted by terrorists, however, Egypt was opposed, notwithstanding its peace treaty with Israel.

"The voice of the immoral majority was once again heard loud and clear," Israeli UN Abmassador Dan Gillerman told the UN Humanitarian, Social and Cultural Committee, after failing to garner enough support to secure a General Assembly vote on the draft. Israel withdrew the draft after a group of nations belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement, led by Egypt, insisted on including amendments that would have transformed the document into an anti-Israel resolution. The changes demanded were the altering all of all references to "Israeli children" to read "Middle Eastern children," and the insertion of harsh condemnation of Israeli "military assaults," "occupation" and "excessive use of force" before any mention of Arab terrorism. The Egyptian-led nations also wanted to change the draft's title from "The situation of and assistance to Israeli children" to "The situation of and assistance to children in the Middle East region." If Israel had not withdrawn the resolution, the amendments would have surely passed, as the Non-Aligned Movement controls a majority of the votes in the UN General Assembly.


free` Sick, sick, sick, sick!!!!!!!!! I am so sick of this, i can not believe my tax dollars are funding this shit. (02/03/09)


Ken Berwitz

Continuing the look at what Barack Obama is doing so far, we have Frank Gaffney talking about his immediate swing toward deference to Islam - and I don't mean only Islamic people of good will. 

Do I exaggerate?  Read this:


By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | How appropriate that Barack Obama featured Aretha Franklin in his Inaugural festivities since her signature song is "Respect." Literally from the moment she finished belting out "My Country 'Tis of Thee" on Jan. 20, the new president has been conveying his "respect" the Muslim world. Unfortunately, the way he practices it seems to be spelled S-U-B-M-I-S-S-I-O-N.

Several observers have noted in recent days that Mr. Obama's outreach to the Muslim world is not only defensive and apologetic. It explicitly embraces a narrative that is factually erroneous and deprecating to his own country.

For example, in his Inaugural address, the president spoke of seeking "a new way forward [with the Muslim world], based on mutual interest and mutual respect." He amplified this idea during his first post-Inaugural interview, which was granted to a Saudi-owned network, Al Arabiya: He is determined to "restore" the "same respect and partnership America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago."

The problem with this formulation is that it misrepresents the more distant as well as the recent past, even as it panders to those (abroad and at home) who would blame the United States for the ills of the Muslim world. As Charles Krauthammer put it in his syndicated column last week, over the last 20 years, "America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. ... It is both false and injurious to this country to draw a historical line dividing America under Obama from a benighted past when Islam was supposedly disrespected and demonized."

The president also told Al Arabiya that: "My job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." Lest there be any doubt about the priority he attaches to this messaging, Mr. Obama repeated the point. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."

For good measure, the new president described America as a country of "Muslims, Christians, Jews" and others - a presumably intentional upgrading of adherents to the faith of his father, Islam, from the second place position he accorded them in his State of the Union address several days before. (The rankings of both orderings obviously reflect something other than demographics; there are far fewer Muslims than Christians in the United States and, according to independent estimates, only half as many - or less - than Jews.)

Mr. Obama has also seriously mischaracterized our enemy as "a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," averring "We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence done in that faith's name." Such statements deliberately ignore the animating and unifying role in jihad of authoritative Islam's violent and hateful theo-political-legal program: Shariah.

What is really worrying is that Mr. Obama's actions and rhetoric are almost certainly being perceived by his target audience as evidence not of respect but of subservience - precisely what Islam (literally, "submission" in Arabic) requires of all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims, alike. Consider the following:

Mr. Obama has made no secret of his desire to cultivate improved relations with the mullahs of Iran, who have repressed their people and threatened ours for 30 years. It appears he started to do so months before his election, as a senior campaign adviser, former Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry, met repeatedly with a representative of Iran's genocide-supporting president, Mahmoud Ahamadinejad. In recent days, Obama special envoy for Afghan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, hired as a senior adviser Professor Vali Reza Nasr - an Iranian expatriate with an appalling record of shilling for the Islamic Revolutionary Iranian regime.

According to GeostrategyDirect.com, a newsletter published by The Washington Times' ace national security reporter Bill Gertz, "Diplomatic sources said Barack Obama has engaged several Arab intermediaries to relay messages to and from al Qaeda in the months before his elections as the 44th U.S. president. The sources said al Qaeda has offered what they termed a truce in exchange for a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. 'For the last few months, Obama has been receiving and sending feelers to those close to al Qaeda on whether the group would end its terrorist campaign against the United States,' a diplomatic source said. 'Obama sees this as helpful to his plans to essentially withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq during his first term in office.' "

If surrender in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran were not enough, upcoming opportunities for Mr. Obama to exhibit American submission to Islam include ordering U.S. participation in the United Nations' "Durban II" conference - thereby legitimating its Iranian-dictated, rabidly anti-Israel, anti-American, Holocaust-denying and "Islamophobia"-banning agenda; adopting the program for undermining Israel promoted by longtime Friends-of-Barack Rashid Khalidi and Samantha Power (the latter just appointed a senior National Security Council official); and reversing the FBI's long-overdue decision to end its association with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent front organization of the Muslim Brotherhood (whose stated mission is "to destroy America from within.")

Whatever Barack Obama's intentions, the kind of "respect" he is exhibiting toward Shariah-adherent Muslims will surely be seen by them as submission. And that spells only one thing: D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.

What eats at me is that 78% of the Jews in this country voted for Barack Obama.  In speaking to some of his more ardent Jewish admirers, I've heard things like "he's so charismatic" and "he speaks beautifully". 

And I know for a fact that every one of the people I am thinking of supports Israel.  It makes me want to throw things.

Well they got their charismatic, beautiful-speaking guy.  I hope they're happy with him.


Ken Berwitz

It took less than a week but Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama's hapless, stumbling press secretary, has displaced Nancy Pelosi by providing a line even funnier than her claim to be nonpartisan.

The Associated Press gives you both the context and the line itself in two short paragraphs:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite the tax problems faced by high-level nominees, and the exceptions made to the no-lobbyists pledge, President Barack Obama's spokesman is defending the administration's ethical standards.

Robert Gibbs told reporters Tuesday, "The bar that we set is the highest that any administration in the country has ever set."

Barack Obama's cabinet selections are loaded with tax cheats.  His Attorney General agreed with the pardons of 15 FALN terrorists and an international thieving scoundrel for no reason other than sucking up to Clinton.  His no-lobbyist pledge is gone like a fart in the wind.  But the bar is set higher than any other administration's in history???

Earth to Gibbs:  It doesn't matter how high you set the bar if you're going to ignore the bar.

Maybe Gibbs needs to belly up to a bar and hoist about four doubles.  If this is the mung he's going to be dishing out to the press for the next four years, he'll need it. 

Come to think of it, so will the press.


Ken Berwitz

This is getting ridiculous.

First we had Timothy Geithner, our new Secretary of the Treasury, who didn't bother to pay social security and other taxes for four years.

Then we had Tom Daschle, the proposed Secretary of Health and Human Resources, who owed something like $140,000 and thinks suddenly paying up and saying "whoops, my bad" somehow makes the problem go away (Obama, as it happens, agrees - more on that later in the blog).

And now we have Nancy Killefer, who was slated to be Mr. Obama's chief performance officer.  It turns out that she doesn't pay taxes on her household help.  For this reason, Ms. Killefer has withdrawn her name and will not take the post she was offered.

Ironically, while Ms.Killefer is certainly guilty of not paying taxes, she is far and away the least egregious tax-cheat of the three I've mentioned. 

Geithner has no business being in charge of the treasury he was cheating for those years. 

And Daschle?  He isn't confirmed yet, but has neither the grace nor integrity to step away. 

Even some of President Obama's most loyal media are demanding he be dumped.  But - so far, at least - Mr. Obama says he will stand by Daschle.

This excerpt from an article at www.foxnews.com  lays it out for us:

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint on Tuesday called for President Obama to withdraw the nomination of Tom Daschle for health and human services secretary, becoming the first senator to say that the former majority leader's tax problems are disqualifying. 

DeMint told FOX News that Daschle's failure to pay $134,000 in federal taxes reflects a "problem with integrity" that the government cannot afford to tolerate. DeMint spoke out against Daschle as a number of prominent newspapers, including The New York Times, called for the South Dakota Democrat to drop his bid.

"The average American would likely face criminal charges with tax evasion of this size, yet he did not address the issue until he was nominated," he said. 

Daschle has since paid $146,000 in back payments and interest, and apologized on Monday for what he called income tax errors. Obama said Monday that he "absolutely" stands by Daschle despite the revelations. 

The New York Times, in its editorial, complained that Timothy Geithner was already confirmed as treasury secretary despite his tax problems.  

"It would send a terrible message to the public if we ignore the failure of yet another high-level nominee to comply with the tax laws," the Times wrote. 

Several other newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, also have called for Daschle to withdraw.

But Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said Daschle's own admission that he had failed to pay the taxes is reason enough to forgive his sin.

"Clearly it was a bad mistake, and Daschle was the first to come up with this in June 2008," Schumer said. "It wasn't discovered by the administration's vetting team but rather by Daschle himself much earlier and he brought it to the attention of the administration's vetting team when he was chosen as a potential nominee for HHS."

It figures that chuck schumer (who lawyer/radio personality Mark Levin indelicately refers to as "Chuck the schmuck") would come up with some lame inanity to rationalize Daschle's tax cheating away. 

As far as President Obama saying he "absolutely" stands by Daschle?  I'm not impressed.  Didn't he also say he stood by jeremiah wright?


UPDATE:  President Obama won't have time to change his mind.  Daschle just withdrew his name from consideration.

Does this mean he's going to put in for a refund of the back-taxes he paid?

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