Monday, 14 December 2009

WHY WE FIGHT RADICAL ISLAM

Ken Berwitz

It's good to remind ourselves of the world we would live in if radical Islam took over.  In other words, why it is necessary to fight.

From Agence France Presse:

Taliban blow up school in NW Pakistan: official

(AFP) 5 hours ago

 

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Taliban militants blew up a girls' school in Pakistan's Khyber district Monday, officials said, as two soldiers and seven insurgents were killed in clashes in the northwest tribal belt.

 

The pre-dawn school attack took place in Saddokhel town in northwest Khyber tribal district, where militants detonated explosives planted around the building, destroying all five school rooms but causing no injuries.

 

"They are Taliban. They are the same people who do not want children to get an education," senior administration official Rahim Gul Khattak told AFP.

 

Islamist militants opposed to co-education have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in the northwest of the country in recent years as they wage a fierce insurgency to enforce Sharia law.

 

Pakistani troops launched an offensive in Khyber district in September to try and flush out both the Taliban and homegrown militant group Lashkar-e-Islam (Army of Islam), led by feared warlord Mangal Bagh.

 

The fabled Khyber tribal region is the main land bridge to neighbouring Afghanistan and is also close to the northwest provincial capital Peshawar, which has been hit by a series of suicide bombings in recent months.

 

Pakistan's military is engaged in offensives against Islamist fighters across much of the northwest including the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, a region branded by Washington as the most dangerous place on earth.

 

About 30,000 troops poured into South Waziristan in mid October to try and dismantle the strongholds of the Taliban leadership, enraging militants who have responded with a surge in bomb blasts and attacks.

 

In other unrest over the weekend, two Pakistani soldiers and seven militants were killed in a clash on Sunday in Orakzai tribal district, while helicopter gunships also pounded rebel hideouts, security officials said.

 

"We launched an operation against a militant hideout on a tip-off from our intelligence. An exchange of gunfire erupted lasting three hours during which we killed seven militants," a security official told AFP.

 

"Two of our soldiers were martyred in the clash," he added.

 

Many Taliban fighters are believed to have fled their sanctuaries in South Waziristan and headed to tribal districts further north, and troops are pursuing them in an efforts to quash the militant movement.

 

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told reporters Saturday that Orakzai might be the focus of the next full-scale military assault.

If we fight radical Islam we may win and we may lose.  But if we don't fight, we will most assuredly lose, because radical Islam will fight regardess.

And if we lose our culture will be ended.  And replaced by what?  A world in which school rooms are blown up to protect against the possibility that girls will be educated?

That is why we fight radical Islam.


HARRY REID'S LOST WEEKEND

Ken Berwitz

The Lost Weekend was a great movie.  It starred Ray Milland, was directed by Billy Wilder and was written by Wilder and Charles Brackett -- oscar winners all.

By contrast, the lost weekend my blog title refers to is drawn from the New York Post editorial below.  It starred, was directed by and was written by Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader.  But don't expect him to get any oscars for it:

Harry Reid's lost weekend

Last Updated: 12:43 PM, December 12, 2009

Posted: December 12, 2009

Whatta boss that Harry Reid is -- al ways looking out for the welfare of his members and staff.

Seems the Senate majority leader asked Republicans to forego a scheduled debate so that everyone could stay home until Monday. "I see no reason to punish everybody this weekend," he said.

A real standup guy, that Harry Reid -- notwithstanding the fact that, days earlier, he was quite emphatic on the need to work through the weekend.

"Fourteen thousand people lose their health insurance every day in America," he said. "The American people don't get weekends off from this injustice."

Why the sudden change of heart? What Reid failed to mention is that he needed to fly to New Orleans to raise cash for his faltering re-election campaign.

Republicans balked: "The majority leader said we'd be working every weekend," responded GOP leader Mitch McConnell. "We take him at his word."

Yesterday, Reid canceled the cash event -- but not before denouncing Republicans for trying "to embarrass or denigrate me."

Heck, he does a pretty good job of that himself.

What a hopeless jerk.  What an embarrassment to Nevada, the state he represents.

In the movie, a character who is talking about alcoholics and drinking says "one's too many, and a hundred is not enough"

In the senate, sometimes 100 is about right, but one is too much,  What a fitting explanation of Harry Reid.

Maybe Nevadans will wise up and get rid of him next year.


THE "DEVELOPING NATIONS" WALKOUT

Ken Berwitz

What is a developing nation?

In the real world, it would be a nation that actually is developing.  But in media, that term is a metaphor for every country that is not developed, whether there is any kind of developing going on or not.

So when we read the headline, then the excerpts I've posted from an article at ABC News/Australia, let's understand that a lot of the nations it refers to are nothing other than takers:

Developing nations stage climate summit walkout

By Emma Alberici in Copenhagen for PM

Posted 3 hours 48 minutes ago
Updated 3 hours 30 minutes ago 

 

Developing nations have staged a walkout during the latest session of climate change talks in Copenhagen.

 

The protest is being led by African nations, who have accused rich countries of trying to wreck the existing UN Kyoto Protocol.

 

The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, says the move is regrettable, describing it as a protest over process, not a walkout over policy.

 

After six days of little progress in Copenhagen, the US climate envoy says the possibility of a deal on climate change hangs in the balance.

 

That is where the 48 environment ministers spent the day locked in talks with the Danish President of the proceedings and Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate change official.

 

He believes the biggest resistance to a strong deal is coming from China.

 

Chinese negotiators do not want to sign up to an agreement that involves inspectors visiting the country to verify progress on climate commitments.

 

"Actions - how will they be measured, reported on and verified in the case of action the countries take on their own or in the case of actions that countries take with international support?" Mr de Boer said.

 

"Do we need to enhance the reporting obligations of all countries? In other words, a lot of things on reporting and on transparency and on being sure that whatever is committed to is actually achieved."

 

The European Union has now joined the United States in criticising a draft agreement by the UN that says that developing nations will only reduce their emissions if they receive financial help.

 

Separate agreements?

 

It is so tough that many are now suggesting that there should be two separate agreements reached in Copenhagen.

 

The developed world wants a completely new treaty which would bring China and the US into the fold. Neither country is currently a member of the Kyoto Protocol.

 

They reject the Kyoto agreement precisely because it does not impose emissions reduction targets on all countries.

 

More than 110 heads of state are due to arrive on Wednesday for an intense 48 hours of final negotiations.

Let me ask you a question, that I hope you will give an honest answer to:  In your opinion, how many of the "developing nations" referenced in this article, China very much included, give a damn about climate change?  Remember, these are the nations - China still included - that, under kyoto, would not have had to do a thing pollution-wise or carbon-wise, and could accept as much business, regardless of its pollution/carbon, as the industrialized world would pass their way. 

What an opportunity to get an influx of capital, without any of the responsibilities other nations must take on, like innovating the products, engineering the equipment, building the factories and creating transportation capabilities for finished products.

And what an opportunity to siphon off loads and loads of that capital (from what I've read, the corruption level of many "developing countries" is jaw-dropping).

No wonder they're walking out at Copenhagen.  They've figured out that if the industrialized world is going this far, they can be pressured into going even further. 

Hey, if their idea of fixing the environment is shuffling environmentally damaging enterprises to "developing countries", and allowing those countries to damage the environment as much as they want - no regulations, no sanctions, no nothing - they're suckers and can be taken for an even bigger ride than they're already agreeing to.

If I were, say, a robert mugabe of Zimbabwe, I'd be walking out too.  Why not?  Since he's already completely ravaged and destroyed his own country, he's got nothing to lose and everything to gain.  

This, folks, is what we've tied ourselves to in Copenhagen.  How do you like it?

Zeke ... ... Yankee Go Home ! ... ... Send Money Here ! (12/14/09)


BARACK OBAMA & JEWS: IS THE HONEYMOON OVER?

Ken Berwitz

Why are so many Jews so loyal to lefists and/or Democrats -- especially given that most Jews support Israel and there are so many on the left, and in the Democratic Party, who do not?  And why, in particular, are so many Jews so loyal to Barack Obama, who is both a leftist and a Democrat.

That's a question for the ages. 

But now, if you believe a couple of recent polls, Jewish support for Mr. Obama may - finally! - be showing a significant downward turn.  It may.

Here is an interesting analysis by "Eric The Red" (Jewish) who writes a blog called www.vocalminority.typepad.com:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jewish Support for Obama Tanking - Or Is It?

Last week the Republican Jewish Coalition joyfully issued this press release:

Jewish support for Obama continues to tumble
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 By: RJC Press Office

According to a Quinnipiac poll released today, Jewish support for President Obama has tumbled to 52%. In January, Obamas approval rating among Jews was 83%; by September it had fallen to 64%, according to a Gallup poll.

The Quinnipiac poll asked respondents whether they approved of President Obamas handling of specific issues. Only 52% of Jewish respondents approved of the way President Obama is handling the economy, and 49% approved of his handling of health care.

Among Jewish respondents, only 36% were satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. today.

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said, Overall support for President Obama is falling in this country; Rasmussen polls have pegged him with around 48% approval and 52% disapproval for the last few weeks. [As of Sunday, Dec. 13, the numbers are even lower: 46% vs. 53%.] Even among Jewish voters his numbers are declining quickly.

Voters are becoming more aware of the details of President Obamas agenda for this country. The glow of the hope and change mantra has faded in the face of the higher unemployment, higher taxes, and higher national debt that his agenda will impose on us and our children.

In addition, the Jewish community has been troubled by the efforts of this administration to pressure Israel on the issue of settlements and has raised questions about the sovereignty of Israel over a united Jerusalem. These and otherwise actions by the President have fueled the growing buyers remorse on the part of Jewish voters.

This was gleefully reported by some talk show hosts as well, such as Rite Jew Steve Malzberg. But while this news is welcomed by some, I view it skeptically. For one, the polling sample used by Quinnipiac is only 2,313 registered voters, a rather tiny portion of the entire American populace. Rasmussen also uses a small sample: 1500 Likely Voters over a three-day period. Given that Jews make up anywhere from 1.82.2% of the U.S. population, its possible that these samples comprise only a couple dozen Jews. 

While the Gallup poll seems much more comprehensivenearly 15,000 adults over 18 polled over the month of September (their most recent)the number of Jews sampled is 379. While still a small number, Id trust their 64% number over Quinnipiacs 52% until Gallup conducts a more up-to-date poll.

I also can go from personal relations: My own list of Facebook friends contain more than 379 Jews, and I can safely guess that of those who voted for Obamaprobably 90%very few of them have jumped off the Obama bandwagon. In fact, I have many Jewish friends who, in the face of my criticism of President Golden Calf and his policies, have become even more supportive of him.

Dont get me wrongIm sure some American Jews have sobered up from their Obama-Kool-Aid Bacchanalia and have seen the truth. Id just rather have more reliable polling samples to confirm this. So consider me cautiously optimistic.

Speaking as a Jew, I find myself amazed and disgusted -- both by the huge amount of support for Barack Obama in the election and the degree of support he retains among Jews to this moment: 

-Barack Obama was umbilically tied to the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-White jeremiah wright for almost two decades. 

-He is BFF with khalid rashidi, a Palestinian Arab activist, now teaching at Columbia (a genuine hotbed of anti-Semitism), who hates Jews. 

-He has stacked his administration with anti-Israel people. 

-He has given Israel the back of his hand so clearly that the latest polling shows an astonishingly low 4% of all Israelis believe he favors Israel over Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank.

And, STILL, most Jews support him.

Are we gluttons for punishment?  Do we like being kicked around? 

Evidently, for some of us, the answer is yes. 


MUNIR AND TOKEER HUSSAIN: INJUSTICE IN THE U.K.

Ken Berwitz

It is hard to imagine a greater injustice than the one detailed below.  It comes to us from Steph Davidson, writing for Canada's National Post:

U.K. businessman faces jail sentence for beating robber

Steph Davidson, National Post  Published: Monday, December 14, 2009

A wealthy British businessman was jailed for more than two years on Monday for attacking an intruder who was part of a three-man masked gang that broke into his home.

Munir Hussain, who was threatened at knifepoint and tied up in his living room last year, was told he must go to prison for 30 months to preserve "civilized society."

The man he attacked, Walid Salem, was allowed to go free and has since returned to a life of crime. Salem, who has 50 convictions, was unable to stand trial on a charge of false imprisonment apparently because of the injuries Hussain inflicted.

He received a two-year supervision order. However, he has since been charged with credit card fraud.

Razi Shah, one of the lawyers for Hussain, questioned the extent of Salem's injuries in an interview with the National Post.

"On the one hand he was claiming that he was suffering from memory loss and brain damage and is not fit to stand trial, and on the other hand he was out committing more criminal offences -- and obviously complex ones such as credit card fraud," said Mr. Shah.

Hussain, 52, from High Wycombe, England, was sentenced to 30 months in jail for what the prosecution said was using "excessive force." His brother, Tokeer Hussain, was sentenced to 39 months for his involvement in the incident.

The brothers were described as "outstanding members of the community" during their trial.

Hussain, his wife and three children returned to their home in September 2008 to find Salem and two other masked intruders inside. The court heard the men ordered the family to lie on the floor with their hands tied behind their backs, and Salem threatened to kill them.

One of Hussain's sons escaped through the window and alerted his uncle Tokeer Hussain, 35, who lived nearby. The other two attackers then fled the home.

Munir Hussain was able to throw a coffee table at Salem before he and Tokeer chased and eventually caught him in a neighbouring garden. Salem sustained a permanent brain injury after being beaten with what witnesses described as a cricket bat or a metal pole.

Hilary Neville, for the prosecution, said, "What started as reasonable self defence by Munir Hussain then turned into excessive force by virtue of a sustained attack by Munir, Tokeer and at least two others."

Judge John Reddihough told Munir Hussain, "This case is a tragedy for you and your families," The Daily Telegraph reported.

Munir and Tokeer's mother died just before the altercation, and his wife, who had suffered a stroke before, has since had another mini stroke.

"It may be that some members of the public, or media commentators, will assert that the man Salem deserved what happened to him ... and that you should not have been prosecuted and need not be punished," the judge said.

"However, if persons were permitted to take the law into their own hands and inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilized society, would collapse."

Mr. Shah read a statement from the family saying, "They are shocked and devastated. They were hoping their nightmare would come to an end and pray and hope that no one else has to go through this nightmare. And they're now praying for justice from the Court of Appeal."

Trust me when I tell you that if I walked into my home with my wife and children, found intruders there who threatened my family at knifepoint, and was somehow able to get my hands on one of them, I'd be doing a lot worse than Munir Hussain and his brother did.

How does Judge reddihough know whether, if walid salem had not been decisively subdued, he would or would not have used the knife on Mr. Hussain, and injured or even killed him?  Remember, salem had already tied Hussain up under threat of a knife attack.  The answer is that reddihough didn't know.  But he decided to put the wood to Munir and Tokeer Hussain anyway.

And let's remember that salem fooled this idio...er, judge into believing he was incapacitated by the injuries....after which he continued his life of crime with, among other things, credit card fraud - which you need mental capacity to perform.

So the endup is that walid salem, the violent career criminal, goes free to continue his life of crime.  And the Hussain brothers both go to jail for years.

If there is any justice left in the UK, this ruling will be reversed Munir and Tokeer Hussain will be freed immediately.  Call it a case of temporary sanity.

========================================================================

NOTE:  My sister, who is a lawyer, suggests that the Hussain brothers should have been sentenced to satisfy the law, and then had their sentences suspended.  She is, of course right (and it's fine with me, because that would satisfy my hope that they be freed immediately)


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