Friday, September 30, 2005

I found this and then left it knocking around my computer for a while and then found it again

A War to Be Proud Of
From the September 5 / September 12, 2005 issue: The case for overthrowing Saddam was unimpeachable. Why, then, is the administration tongue-tied?
by Christopher Hitchens
09/05/2005, Volume 010, Issue 47

LET ME BEGIN WITH A simple sentence that, even as I write it, appears less than Swiftian in the modesty of its proposal: "Prison conditions at Abu Ghraib have improved markedly and dramatically since the arrival of Coalition troops in Baghdad."
I could undertake to defend that statement against any member of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, and I know in advance that none of them could challenge it, let alone negate it. Before March 2003, Abu Ghraib was an abattoir, a torture chamber, and a concentration camp. Now, and not without reason, it is an international byword for Yankee imperialism and sadism. Yet the improvement is still, unarguably, the difference between night and day. How is it possible that the advocates of a post-Saddam Iraq have been placed on the defensive in this manner? And where should one begin?
I once tried to calculate how long the post-Cold War liberal Utopia had actually lasted. Whether you chose to date its inception from the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, or the death of Nicolae Ceausescu in late December of the same year, or the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, or the referendum defeat suffered by Augusto Pinochet (or indeed from the publication of Francis Fukuyama's book about the "end of history" and the unarguable triumph of market liberal pluralism), it was an epoch that in retrospect was over before it began. By the middle of 1990, Saddam Hussein had abolished Kuwait and Slobodan Milosevic was attempting to erase

the identity and the existence of Bosnia. It turned out that we had not by any means escaped the reach of atavistic, aggressive, expansionist, and totalitarian ideology. Proving the same point in another way, and within approximately the same period, the theocratic dictator of Iran had publicly claimed the right to offer money in his own name for the suborning of the murder of a novelist living in London, and the génocidaire faction in Rwanda had decided that it could probably get away with putting its long-fantasized plan of mass murder into operation.
One is not mentioning these apparently discrepant crimes and nightmares as a random or unsorted list. Khomeini, for example, was attempting to compensate for the humiliation of the peace agreement he had been compelled to sign with Saddam Hussein. And Saddam Hussein needed to make up the loss, of prestige and income, that he had himself suffered in the very same war. Milosevic (anticipating Putin, as it now seems to me, and perhaps Beijing also) was riding a mutation of socialist nationalism into national socialism. It was to be noticed in all cases that the aggressors, whether they were killing Muslims, or exalting Islam, or just killing their neighbors, shared a deep and abiding hatred of the United States.
The balance sheet of the Iraq war, if it is to be seriously drawn up, must also involve a confrontation with at least this much of recent history. Was the Bush administration right to leave--actually to confirm--Saddam Hussein in power after his eviction from Kuwait in 1991? Was James Baker correct to say, in his delightfully folksy manner, that the United States did not "have a dog in the fight" that involved ethnic cleansing for the mad dream of a Greater Serbia? Was the Clinton administration prudent in its retreat from Somalia, or wise in its opposition to the U.N. resolution that called for a preemptive strengthening of the U.N. forces in Rwanda?

I know hardly anybody who comes out of this examination with complete credit. There were neoconservatives who jeered at Rushdie in 1989 and who couldn't see the point when Sarajevo faced obliteration in 1992. There were leftist humanitarians and radicals who rallied to Rushdie and called for solidarity with Bosnia, but who--perhaps because of a bad conscience about Palestine--couldn't face a confrontation with Saddam Hussein even when he annexed a neighbor state that was a full member of the Arab League and of the U.N. (I suppose I have to admit that I was for a time a member of that second group.) But there were consistencies, too. French statecraft, for example, was uniformly hostile to any resistance to any aggression, and Paris even sent troops to rescue its filthy clientele in Rwanda. And some on the hard left and the brute right were also opposed to any exercise, for any reason, of American military force.

The only speech by any statesman that can bear reprinting from that low, dishonest decade came from Tony Blair when he spoke in Chicago in 1999. Welcoming the defeat and overthrow of Milosevic after the Kosovo intervention, he warned against any self-satisfaction and drew attention to an inescapable confrontation that was coming with Saddam Hussein. So far from being an American "poodle," as his taunting and ignorant foes like to sneer, Blair had in fact leaned on Clinton over Kosovo and was insisting on the importance of Iraq while George Bush was still an isolationist governor of

Texas.
Notwithstanding this prescience and principle on his part, one still cannot read the journals of the 2000/2001 millennium without the feeling that one is revisiting a hopelessly somnambulist relative in a neglected home. I am one of those who believe, uncynically, that Osama bin Laden did us all a service (and holy war a great disservice) by his mad decision to assault the American homeland four years ago. Had he not made this world-historical mistake, we would have been able to add a Talibanized and nuclear-armed Pakistan to our list of the threats we failed to recognize in time. (This threat still exists, but it is no longer so casually overlooked.)
The subsequent liberation of Pakistan's theocratic colony in Afghanistan, and the so-far decisive eviction and defeat of its bin Ladenist guests, was only a reprisal. It took care of the last attack. But what about the next one? For anyone with eyes to see, there was only one other state that combined the latent and the blatant definitions of both "rogue" and "failed." This state--Saddam's ruined and tortured and collapsing Iraq--had also met all the conditions under which a country may be deemed to have sacrificed its own legal sovereignty. To recapitulate: It had invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored and nurtured international thugs and killers, and flouted every provision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United Nations, in this crisis, faced with regular insult to its own resolutions and its own character, had managed to set up a system of sanctions-based mutual corruption. In May 2003, had things gone on as they had been going, Saddam Hussein would have been due to fill Iraq's slot as chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Meanwhile, every species of gangster from the hero of the Achille Lauro hijacking to Abu Musab al Zarqawi was finding hospitality under Saddam's crumbling roof.
One might have thought, therefore, that Bush and Blair's decision to put an end at last to this intolerable state of affairs would be hailed, not just as a belated vindication of long-ignored U.N. resolutions but as some corrective to the decade of shame and inaction that had just passed in Bosnia and Rwanda. But such is not the case. An apparent consensus exists, among millions of people in Europe and America, that the whole operation for the demilitarization of Iraq, and the salvage of its traumatized society, was at best a false pretense and at worst an unprovoked aggression. How can this possibly be?
THERE IS, first, the problem of humorless and pseudo-legalistic literalism. In Saki's short story The Lumber Room, the naughty but clever child Nicholas, who has actually placed a frog in his morning bread-and-milk, rejoices in his triumph over the adults who don't credit this excuse for not eating his healthful dish:

"You said there couldn't possibly be a frog in my bread-and-milk; there was a frog in my bread-and-milk," he repeated, with the insistence of a skilled tactician who does not intend to shift from favorable ground.
Childishness is one thing--those of us who grew up on this wonderful Edwardian author were always happy to see the grown-ups and governesses discomfited. But puerility in adults is quite another thing, and considerably less charming. "You said there were WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam had friends in al Qaeda. . . . Blah, blah, pants on fire." I have had many opportunities to tire of this mantra. It takes ten seconds to intone the said mantra. It would take me, on my most eloquent C-SPAN day, at the very least five minutes to say that Abdul Rahman Yasin, who mixed the chemicals for the World Trade Center attack in 1993, subsequently sought and found refuge in Baghdad; that Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam's senior physicist, was able to lead American soldiers to nuclear centrifuge parts and a blueprint for a complete centrifuge (the crown jewel of nuclear physics) buried on the orders of Qusay Hussein; that Saddam's agents were in Damascus as late as February 2003, negotiating to purchase missiles off the shelf from North Korea; or that Rolf Ekeus, the great Swedish socialist who founded the inspection process in Iraq after 1991, has told me for the record that he was offered a $2 million bribe in a face-to-face meeting with Tariq Aziz. And these eye-catching examples would by no means exhaust my repertoire, or empty my quiver. Yes, it must be admitted that Bush and Blair made a hash of a good case, largely because they preferred to scare people rather than enlighten them or reason with them. Still, the only real strategy of deception has come from those who believe, or pretend, that Saddam Hussein was no problem.
I have a ready answer to those who accuse me of being an agent and tool of the Bush-Cheney administration (which is the nicest thing that my enemies can find to say). Attempting a little levity, I respond that I could stay at home if the authorities could bother to make their own case, but that I meanwhile am a prisoner of what I actually do know about the permanent hell, and the permanent threat, of the Saddam regime. However, having debated almost all of the spokespeople for the antiwar faction, both the sane and the deranged, I was recently asked a question that I was temporarily unable to answer. "If what you claim is true," the honest citizen at this meeting politely asked me, "how come the White House hasn't told us?"
I do in fact know the answer to this question. So deep and bitter is the split within official Washington, most especially between the Defense Department and the CIA, that any claim made by the former has been undermined by leaks from the latter. (The latter being those who maintained, with a combination of dogmatism and cowardice not seen since Lincoln had to fire General McClellan, that Saddam Hussein was both a "secular" actor and--this is the really rich bit--a rational and calculating one.)
There's no cure for that illusion, but the resulting bureaucratic chaos and unease has cornered the president into his current fallback upon platitude and hollowness. It has also induced him to give hostages to fortune. The claim that if we fight fundamentalism "over there" we won't have to confront it "over here" is not just a standing invitation for disproof by the next suicide-maniac in London or Chicago, but a coded appeal to provincial and isolationist opinion in the United States. Surely the elementary lesson of the grim anniversary that will shortly be upon us is that American civilians are as near to the front line as American soldiers.
It is exactly this point that makes nonsense of the sob-sister tripe pumped out by the Cindy Sheehan circus and its surrogates. But in reply, why bother to call a struggle "global" if you then try to localize it? Just say plainly that we shall fight them everywhere they show themselves, and fight them on principle as well as in practice, and get ready to warn people that Nigeria is very probably the next target of the jihadists. The peaceniks love to ask: When and where will it all end? The answer is easy: It will end with the surrender or defeat of one of the contending parties. Should I add that I am certain which party that ought to be? Defeat is just about imaginable, though the mathematics and the algebra tell heavily against the holy warriors. Surrender to such a foe, after only four years of combat, is not even worthy of consideration.
Antaeus was able to draw strength from the earth every time an antagonist wrestled him to the ground. A reverse mythology has been permitted to take hold in the present case, where bad news is deemed to be bad news only for regime-change. Anyone with the smallest knowledge of Iraq knows that its society and infrastructure and institutions have been appallingly maimed and beggared by three decades of war and fascism (and the "divide-and-rule" tactics by which Saddam maintained his own tribal minority of the Sunni minority in power). In logic and morality, one must therefore compare the current state of the country with the likely or probable state of it had Saddam and his sons been allowed to go on ruling.
At once, one sees that all the alternatives would have been infinitely worse, and would most likely have led to an implosion--as well as opportunistic invasions from Iran and Turkey and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of their respective interests or confessional clienteles. This would in turn have necessitated a more costly and bloody intervention by some kind of coalition, much too late and on even worse terms and conditions. This is the lesson of Bosnia and Rwanda yesterday, and of Darfur today. When I have made this point in public, I have never had anyone offer an answer to it. A broken Iraq was in our future no matter what, and was a responsibility (somewhat conditioned by our past blunders) that no decent person could shirk. The only unthinkable policy was one of abstention.
Two pieces of good fortune still attend those of us who go out on the road for this urgent and worthy cause. The first is contingent: There are an astounding number of plain frauds and charlatans (to phrase it at its highest) in charge of the propaganda of the other side. Just to tell off the names is to frighten children more than Saki ever could: Michael Moore, George Galloway, Jacques Chirac, Tim Robbins, Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson . . . a roster of gargoyles that would send Ripley himself into early retirement. Some of these characters are flippant, and make heavy jokes about Halliburton, and some disdain to conceal their sympathy for the opposite side. So that's easy enough.
The second bit of luck is a certain fiber displayed by a huge number of anonymous Americans. Faced with a constant drizzle of bad news and purposely demoralizing commentary, millions of people stick out their jaws and hang tight. I am no fan of populism, but I surmise that these citizens are clear on the main point: It is out of the question--plainly and absolutely out of the question--that we should surrender the keystone state of the Middle East to a rotten, murderous alliance between Baathists and bin Ladenists. When they hear the fatuous insinuation that this alliance has only been created by the resistance to it, voters know in their intestines that those who say so are soft on crime and soft on fascism. The more temperate anti-warriors, such as Mark Danner and Harold Meyerson, like to employ the term "a war of choice." One should have no problem in accepting this concept. As they cannot and do not deny, there was going to be another round with Saddam Hussein no matter what. To whom, then, should the "choice" of time and place have fallen? The clear implication of the antichoice faction--if I may so dub them--is that this decision should have been left up to Saddam Hussein. As so often before . . .
DOES THE PRESIDENT deserve the benefit of the reserve of fortitude that I just mentioned? Only just, if at all. We need not argue about the failures and the mistakes and even the crimes, because these in some ways argue themselves. But a positive accounting could be offered without braggartry, and would include:
(1) The overthrow of Talibanism and Baathism, and the exposure of many highly suggestive links between the two elements of this Hitler-Stalin pact. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the coalition intervention, has even gone to the trouble of naming his organization al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
(2) The subsequent capitulation of Qaddafi's Libya in point of weapons of mass destruction--a capitulation that was offered not to Kofi Annan or the E.U. but to Blair and Bush.
(3) The consequent unmasking of the A.Q. Khan network for the illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.
(4) The agreement by the United Nations that its own reform is necessary and overdue, and the unmasking of a quasi-criminal network within its elite.
(5) The craven admission by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of cheating and concealment, respecting solemn treaties, on the part of Iran, that not even this will alter their commitment to neutralism. (One had already suspected as much in the Iraqi case.)
(6) The ability to certify Iraq as actually disarmed, rather than accept the word of a psychopathic autocrat.
(7) The immense gains made by the largest stateless minority in the region--the Kurds--and the spread of this example to other states.
(8) The related encouragement of democratic and civil society movements in Egypt, Syria, and most notably Lebanon, which has regained a version of its autonomy.
(9) The violent and ignominious death of thousands of bin Ladenist infiltrators into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the real prospect of greatly enlarging this number.
(10) The training and hardening of many thousands of American servicemen and women in a battle against the forces of nihilism and absolutism, which training and hardening will surely be of great use in future combat.
It would be admirable if the president could manage to make such a presentation. It would also be welcome if he and his deputies adopted a clear attitude toward the war within the war: in other words, stated plainly, that the secular and pluralist forces within Afghan and Iraqi society, while they are not our clients, can in no circumstance be allowed to wonder which outcome we favor.
The great point about Blair's 1999 speech was that it asserted the obvious. Coexistence with aggressive regimes or expansionist, theocratic, and totalitarian ideologies is not in fact possible. One should welcome this conclusion for the additional reason that such coexistence is not desirable, either. If the great effort to remake Iraq as a demilitarized federal and secular democracy should fail or be defeated, I shall lose sleep for the rest of my life in reproaching myself for doing too little. But at least I shall have the comfort of not having offered, so far as I can recall, any word or deed that contributed to a defeat.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. A recent essay of his appears in the collection A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq, newly published by the University of California Press.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

politicolly incorrect air force general

I posted this awhile ago and am now reposting it because it must stay in circulation

General Robert Hawley is a newly retired USAF 4 star general. He commanded
the Air Combat Command; our front-line fighters and bombers at Langley AFB,
VA. He is now retired and no longer required to be "politically correct." A
true patriot!

"Since the attack 9-11, I have seen, heard, and read thoughts of such
surpassing stupidity that they must be addressed. You've heard them too.
Here they are:

1) "We're not good, they're not evil, everything is relative." Listen
carefully: We're good, they're evil, nothing is relative. Say it with me now
and free yourselves. You see, folks, saying "We're good" doesn't mean,
"We're perfect." Okay? The only perfect being is he who is depicted on the
ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The plain fact is that our country has, with
all our mistakes and blunders, always been and always will be the greatest
beacon of freedom, charity, opportunity, and affection in history. If you
need proof, open all the borders on Earth and see what happens.

2) "Violence only leads to more violence." This one is so stupid you usually
have to be the president of an Ivy League university to say it. Here's the
truth, which you know in your heads and hearts already: Ineffective,
unfocused violence leads to more violence. Limp, panicky, half measures lead
to more violence. However, complete, fully thought through, professional,
well executed violence never leads to more violence because, you see,
afterwards, the other guys are all dead. That's right, dead. Not "on trial,"
not "reeducated," not "nurtured back into the bosom of love." Dead.

3) "The CIA and the rest of our intelligence community have failed us." For
25 years we have chained our spies like dogs to a stake in the ground, and
now that the house has been robbed, we yell at them for not protecting us.
Starting in the late seventies, under Carter appointee Stansfield Turner,
the giant brains who get these giant ideas decided that the best way to
gather international intelligence was to use spy satellites. "After all,
(they reasoned,) you can see a license plate from 200 miles away." This is
very helpful if you've been attacked by a license plate. Unfortunately, we
were attacked by humans. Finding humans is not possible with satellites. You
have to use other humans. When we bought all our satellites, we fired all
our humans, and here's the really stupid part. It takes years, decades to
infiltrate new humans into the worst places of the world. You can't just
have a guy who looks like Gary Busey in a Spring Break '93 sweatshirt plop
himself down in a coffee shop in Kabul and say "Hiya, boys. Gee, I sure
would like to meet that bin Laden fella." Well, you can, but all you'd be
doing is giving the bad guys a story they'll be telling for years.

4) "These people are poor and helpless, and that's why they're angry at us."
Uh-huh, and Jeffrey Dahmer's frozen head collection was just a desperate cry
for help. The terrorists and their backers are richer than Elton John and,
ironically, a good deal less annoying. The poor helpless people, you see,
are the villagers they tortured and murdered to stay in power. Mohammed
Atta, one of the evil scumbags who steered those planes into the killing
grounds is the son of a Cairo surgeon. But you knew this, too. In the
sixties and seventies, all the pinheads marching against the war were
upper-middle-class college kids who grabbed any cause they could think of to
get out of their final papers and spend more time drinking. It's the same
today.

5) "Any profiling is racial profiling." Who's killing us here, the
Norwegians? Just days after the attack, the New York Times had an article
saying dozens of extended members of the gazillionaire bin Laden family
living in America were afraid of reprisals and left in a huff, never to
return to studying at Harvard and using too much Drakkar. I'm crushed.
Please come back. Let's all stop singing "We Are the World" for a minute and
think practically. I don't want to be sitting on the floor in the back of a
plane four seconds away from hitting Mt. Rushmore and turn, grinning, to the
guy next to me to say, "Well, at least we didn't offend them."

SO HERE'S what I resolve for the coming year: Never to forget our murdered
brothers and sisters. Never to let the relativists get away with their
immoral thinking. After all, no matter what your daughter's political
science professor says, we didn't start this. Have you seen that bumper
sticker that says, "No More Hiroshimas"? I wish I had one that says, "No
More Pearl Harbors," or "No More 9-11's."

THIS NEEDS TO STAY IN CIRCULATION FOR THOSE WHO HAVE OR WILL FALL FOR THE
STUPIDITY GOING AROUND.

Sderot Residents Not Satisfied With Gov't Response to Rockets

14:45 Sep 26, '05 / 22 Elul 5765
By Ezra HaLevi

Residents of Sderot are outraged over the continued Arab bombardment of their town by Kassam rockets and dissatisfied with the government and the IDF’s response to the attacks.

Close to 50 Kassam rockets have been fired in and around the city in the past 72 hours. In response, IDF helicopters targeted Islamic Jihad terrorists and fired missiles at empty buildings in Gaza City and Khan Younis.

“If you ask me – it is not enough,” Sderot Mayor Eli Muyal told Israel National TV’s Mark Kaplan. “It is not the reaction I expected. I told the Prime Minister that we can withstand any terror attack by the Palestinians, but that we cannot accept and withstand the fact that the Israeli government doesn’t react properly.”

“We were driving and we saw fragments of Kassam rockets on the road,” a Magen David Adom volunteer told Kaplan. “We got out, and after that a rain of Kassam rockets began to fall around us - one, two, three, four [gestures with hands at the close proximity of the rockets –ed.]. We dropped to the ground – we were unable to do anything. Then we heard someone screaming that a woman was wounded. We needed to help her, but I was frozen and afraid to move because every time I moved another Kassam fell next to me. My face was wounded, but I didn’t notice because of the pressure. My friend was also wounded in the head by shrapnel. Finally an ambulance came and evacuated us, together with the woman.”

Longtime Sderot resident Sasson Sarah has seen plenty of Kassam rockets fall on his town. “This is the first time that the Kassams have fallen with such intensity,” he said. “I timed it - in seven minutes, ten rockets fell. This is a record. The government said that if there would be Disengagement - then there would be quiet with [PA chairman] Mahmoud Abbas. I said then and I say now that the only difference between the terrorist Arafat and the terrorist Abbas is that one wore a khaffiya and the other wears a suit.”

Four Sderot residents have been killed by Kassam rockets and scores injured in recent years. The father of Ella Aboukasis, the teenager killed by a Kassam rocket last January, spoke with Army Radio’s Amit Segal about the difficulty of life in Sderot since the withdrawal from Gaza.

"Nothing has been done to protect us," Aboukasis said. "Now they have left Gaza and my 12-year-old son, Tamir, who has been seeing a psychologist since his sister was killed protecting him, is now paralyzed by fear all over again."

"We had to sit in the bomb shelters all Sabbath - it felt like war," Tamir told Segal, who asked to speak with him. "It all came back to me – it is happening all over again."

Dr. Yossi Beilin, head of the far-left Meretz-Yahad Party, addressed a rally in Jerusalem’s Paris Square Saturday night. He called upon the government to offer no response to the rocket fire. “Do not fall into Hamas’ trap,” he said, calling upon Israel to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) instead.

Attorney Irving Gendelman, a Jerusalem lawyer active in issues relating to basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, wrote a scathing letter to Sharon-spokesman Raanan Gissin in response to the spokesman’s defense of the government’s treatment of the bombardment of Sderot.

“No Government of honor and respect would permit this continued betrayal of its citizens as its cities are shelled by hostile forces,” Gendelman wrote. “This regrettably has been symptomatic of the Sharon Government in terms of every Arab attack on Israel. Israel responds only with harsh words or bombardment of empty buildings.”

Gissin, appearing on the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s English-language nightly news program, had claimed that since Israel withdrew from Gaza, the area that now needs to be defended has been reduced, thus ensuring a better defensive position for Israel.

“The fact that the area now to be defended by Israel has been lessened by virtue of the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif has the same logic that we should give up more of our Homeland and infrastructure until there will eventually be no need to defend our country because there will be no country,” Gendelman concluded.

I signed a petition a while back and now I've got this E-mail

Dear Hans,

We are very pleased to announce that Governor Pataki has announced
the removal of the International Freedom Center (IFC) from Ground
Zero. See
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092801849.html
{http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092801849.html}
for details.

Every since June 8, 2005 when Debra Bulingame's op-ed, The Great
Ground Zero Heist, appeared in the Wall Street Journal, we have
fought together for the preservation of the dignity of Ground Zero.
With your help, we have achieved a major victory toward that goal.

We will continue to monitor the plans for Ground Zero to ensure that
a fitting and proper memorial is built; one that is respectful of the
victims murdered that day, their families, the first responders, and
the American people.

A press release on the removal of the IFC from the 15 family member
groups is expected in the next 24 hours and we will post it @
www.takebackthememorial.org {http://www.takebackthememorial.org} as
soon as it becomes available.

Thank you again for your support, prayers, and dedication. We simply
could not have done this without you.

Sincerely,

Robert D. Shurbet
Founder/Web Master
TakeBackTheMemorial.org

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

This is strange

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A white Tennessee lawmaker lamenting his exclusion from the state’s Black Legislative Caucus claimed Tuesday the group was less accommodating that even the Ku Klux Klan.

“My understanding is that the KKK doesn’t even ban members by race,” said Rep. Stacey Campfield, adding that the KKK “has less racist bylaws” than the black lawmakers’ group.

The freshman Republican from Knoxville was rebuffed earlier this year when he asked for the Black Caucus’ bylaws and inquired about joining.

aucus chairman Rep. Johnny Shaw, a Democrat, dismissed Campfield’s request and called him a “strange guy” who was simply interested in stirring up trouble.

“He is using this as a joke. This is an insult coming from him,” said caucus member Rep. Larry Miller, also a Democrat. “Why he chose to focus on the Black Caucus, I have no idea other than he is crazy and a racist.”

The 37-year-old Campfield defended himself Saturday in a message on his Web journal, or blog, under the heading “I too dream.”

The long excerpts from the Rev. Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech infuriated some readers. It prompted Campfield to ban reader comments after some of the angry postings included death threats.

Experts on race and hate groups said Campfield hit a nerve when he used King’s words to take on a black institution. It’s the same tactic white separatists often use, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Very typically these days we see white supremacists, hate groups, trying to use the words of King and other civil rights leaders to try to advance their agendas,” Potok said.

From Bill: it should be noted that the KKK has an estimated 5,000 black members.

Hamas Releases Iraq-Style Video of Murdered Israeli

21:41 Sep 27, '05 / 23 Elul 5765
By Ezra HaLevi

The Hamas terror group released a video Tuesday of kidnapped Israel Jew Sasson Nuriel taken just before he was murdered by Arab terrorists.

The video depicts Nuriel bound and blindfolded, with his head taped up, mumbling a request that Israel "release the Palestinian hostages [sic]," in Arabic.

"With the help of Allah, the men of the squad for releasing the prisoners of the Izzedin al-Kassam Brigade succeeded in kidnapping a Zionist Shabak (General Security Service) agent whose name is Sasson Nuriel," the terrorists in the video said. "He was a settler in occupied Jerusalem and carried an Israeli identity card whose number is 053246419. Nuriel is 50-years-old and eight months."

Israeli security forces have made no mention of Nuriel having any involvement with the Shabak, though such claims have often been made by Islamic terror groups about their Israeli murder victims.

The terror group claims its members kidnapped Nuriel from inside Jerusalem last Wednesday, September 21st. It is suspected that Nuriel may have tried to escape his captors, resulting in their killing him.

The release of a video of kidnapping victims has become a trademark of Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists in Iraq, but is the first time such a tactic was used by Hamas since the kidnapping of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994.

Nuriel's drivers license was seen attached to his thigh in the video. The license also appeared on a Hamas web site.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Personal Remembrance of Simon Wiesenthal

by Dr. Alex Grobman
Sep 26, '05 / 22 Elul 5765

The death of Simon Wiesenthal brings back many memories. Many years ago, when I served as director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in Los Angeles, being with him was always an experience. He was charismatic and a great raconteur, loved and admired by all. I remember coming out of a restaurant with him on Pico Blvd. one day, and an overwhelmed woman who recognized him stopped her car in the middle of this very busy street to shake his hand.

Another time, we were in San Francisco for one of his lectures and some people sent drinks over to us as we sat in the Mark Hopkins hotel lounge. When we arrived at the college auditorium in the middle of a torrential rainstorm, hundreds of students greeted him as if he were a rock star.

Wiesenthal will be always be remembered as the "permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators" of the Shoah to justice. He assumed this self-appointed role because no one else wanted it. After the survivors went their separate ways to rebuild their lives, he remained in Europe to hunt Nazis.

With few allies and funds, he relentlessly pursued those who sought to destroy the Jewish people. When I introduced him to my then-seven-year-old son Ilan, Ilan asked how could such an old man catch so many Nazis. Many people wondered the same thing. When others asked why he hunted Nazis, Wiesenthal responded, "When history looks back, I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to kill millions of people and get away with it." Revenge was never the issue for him; it was always about justice.

The one area in which we disagreed was the SWC's initial use of the term 11 million, which is clear distortion of history. Simon believed that non-Jews would not care about six million Jews, unless he added a made-up number of five million non-Jews to the equation. The Jews were singled out because they were seen as a cancer that threatened the physical survival of the German people. This was the first time in history where an entire group - the Jews - every man, woman and child, was intentionally singled out by a state for total destruction. This has never happened before, either to Jews or to any other group.

By comparing what happened to the millions of people killed during World War II with the Jews, we trivialize the importance of this unprecedented and unparalleled event in modern history. When president Jimmy Carter began referring to the eleven million during discussions to build the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC, the serious implications of this rewriting of history became even clearer. To his credit, Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of SWC, intervened and the center stopped using the term, as did Wiesenthal.

Wiesenthal always said that he continued his work despite all odds so that when he would be reunited with the Six Million, he could assure them that he had never forgotten them. He never did.

"May his soul be bound in the bond of eternal life."

Sunday, September 25, 2005

HILLARY COMES OUT AGAINST FREEDOM CENTER By DEBORAH ORIN *EXCLUSIVE*

WASHINGTON - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday dealt a crushing
blow to the International Freedom Center planned for Ground Zero,
saying she wants the project canned for failing to listen to the 9/11
families. "I cannot support the IFC," Clinton declared last night in a
strongly worded statement in response to an inquiry from The Post. Her
tough comments are Clinton's first significant remarks about the
controversy raging at Ground Zero over the Freedom Center, which 9/11
families and other critics fear will become a center of
anti-Americanism. "While I want to ensure that development and
rebuilding in lower Manhattan move forward expeditiously, I am
troubled by the serious concerns family members and first responders
have expressed to me," Clinton said. "The LMDC [Lower Manhattan
Development Corp.] has authority over the site and I do not believe
we can move forward until it heeds and addresses their concerns." The
family members of victims, as well as unions representing the city's
cops and firefighters, want nothing less than the Freedom Center
being booted from Ground Zero. Given her influence, Clinton's hard
line could spell doom for the Freedom Center's hopes of remaining at
the World Trade Center site. Clinton spoke out the day after the IFC
released a plan intended to save its spot at the site, but it was met
with immediate opposition from 9/11 families. Clinton won't support
any plan unless the families and first responders back it, said her
spokesman, Philippe Reines. Many relatives of 9/11 victims denounced
the Freedom Center plan as an insult to the 2,749 people who diedat
the Twin Towers because it would paint them as a little more than a
footnote to the world's march toward freedom. The families, cops and
firefighters say the IFC's plan to use hallowed land at Ground Zero
to highlight poverty as a barrier to freedom diminishes the tragedy
of 9/11. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also voiced concern yesterday
and called for a compromise — although he didn't state flat-out
opposition to the Freedom Center. "There's got to be a way to meet
the families' sincere and real needs and build a center that honors
the freedom that the victims died for. We hope that the LMDC will
find some common ground quickly," Schumer said. Gov. Pataki — who
wields strong influence over the LMDC, which will soon decide the
Freedom Center's fate — is traveling abroad and has yet to take a
stand on the Freedom Center's latest proposal. Pataki has said thathe
won't support any plan that offers a forum for anti-Americanism.
Clinton's opposition means that the anti-IFC push is now a bipartisan
cause. Three New York Republicans — Reps. John Sweeney (Saratoga),
Peter King (L.I.) and Vito Fossella (S.I.) — are already challenging
it as a "blame America first" project. Yesterday, the trio of
Republicans formally requested a congressional oversight hearing as a
step toward blocking the IFC from getting any of the $2.7 billion in
federal funds allocated for Ground Zero. "The whole thing was
hijacked. If you asked people on the street what they wanted at
Ground Zero, this would be the last thing that they wanted," Sweeney
said.

The UN Refutes Palestinian Claims - Part II

by Israel Zwick
Sep 22, '05 / 18 Elul 5765

[Part one of this article can be read at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=5562.]

On April 7, 2005, the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted its infamous resolution 2005/1, which was critical of Israel and supported the "Palestinian people" without even once mentioning the role of terrorism. This resolution was adopted two days after the UN Development Programme released its Arab Human Development Report 2004. According to a press release accompanying the report:

"The Report team brings together some of the region's top scholars, researchers, civil society actors, and opinion makers. The Report is a collation of their experience, knowledge, data and analysis, and represents years of critical study, fact finding, publications, and activism. The team was selected to represent the different perspectives, areas of expertise, and local insights that proliferate in the Arab region."

This team of experts produced a lengthy, detailed document that began with an 18-page Executive Summary. On the opening page, the authors state, "Of all the impediments to an Arab renaissance, political restrictions on human development are the most stubborn. This Report therefore focuses on the acute deficit of freedom and good governance."

While the beginning sounds encouraging, the authors change their tune on the next page: "The continued occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel, the US-led occupation of Iraq, and the escalation of terrorism adversely influenced Arab human development." Then, in boldface type, the Report continues, "Israeli occupation of Palestine continues to impede human development and freedom." After vilifying Israel for a page, the Report continues, "As a result of the invasion of their country, the Iraqi people have emerged from the grip of a despotic regime that violated their basic rights and freedoms, only to fall under a foreign occupation that increased human suffering." The report then goes on to vilify the "occupation forces."

To fully appreciate the absurdity of these claims, one needs to appreciate the size and scope of the Arab World. According to the CIA World Factbook and the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, "The Arab world comprises 22 countries stretching from Morocco in the west to Oman in the east. They have a combined population of 300 million people and their combined economies surpass 1 trillion US dollars annually.... The Arab world stretches across more than 11 million square kilometers. Its total area is the size of the entire Spanish-speaking Western hemisphere, larger than Canada, China, the United States, Brazil, or Europe...." In contrast, the West Bank and Gaza consists of about 6,000 sq. km and contains about three million Arabs. Yet, according to the Report's expert authors, the primary impediment to Arab progress is the mother of all evils, "The Occupation." This is reminiscent of Jackie Mason's humorous monologue on "The Metabolism." Mason observed that Jews were fond of blaming excessive weight not on the chulent and kugel that they eat, but on "the metabolism."

After spending three pages on vilifying Israel and the United States, the Executive Summary spends the next fifteen pages discussing "The State of Freedom and Good Governance" in the Arab region. This is where the authors actually display their knowledge and expertise. They discuss the lack of civil and political freedoms in the Arab world and how it affects economic and social rights. The authors conclude, "By 21st century standards, Arab countries have not met the Arab peoples' aspirations for development, security, and liberation."

Their recommendation is to reform Arab societal structures to guarantee freedom: "The reform required in Arab countries will be marked by the total respect of the key freedoms of opinion, expression, and association in Arab countries and the ending of all types of marginalization of, and discrimination against social groups. It will eliminate all types of extra-legal arrangements such as emergency laws and exceptional courts. It will lay down the foundations for the principles of transparency and disclosure in all organizations throughout Arab society."

This latter aspect of the Arab HDR 2004 was emphasized in the press releases distributed by William Orme, UNDP, Chief of Media. In the press release titled "Some Questions and Answers About AHDR 2004", the main findings and conclusion are emphasized:

The Report concludes that the situation of freedom and good governance in the Arab world ranges from deficient to seriously deficient. Despite sporadic improvements in the human rights situation in some Arab countries, the overall human rights picture in the Arab world is grave and deteriorating. The freedom and human rights of Arabs under occupation, particularly in Palestine, are being seriously violated. Even in independent Arab countries, there is a serious gap in freedom and good governance. Authoritarian regimes severely restrict freedoms and the right to political participation and civil activity to ensure that no opposition arises to challenge their unrepresentative form of government. Constitutional rights are also violated as authoritarian regimes take control of the law and manipulate it to reinforce their grip on power and serve their own interests."

Then it goes on to blame the occupation in Palestine: "At the regional level, the Arab populations under occupation, particularly in Palestine, are deprived of many of their basic freedoms and their human rights. This has a direct impact on the situation in other Arab countries, and provides authoritarian Arab regimes with the excuse of an external threat to postpone reform and movement towards more representative forms of government. It also distracts the attention of political and civil society forces from efforts to achieve freedom and good governance, and focuses it instead on supporting the struggle to end occupation."

Finally, the press release summarizes the major recommendations of the report:

The Report recommends that Arab countries sign all declarations, covenants and treaties that together make up international law, and incorporate these provisions into their constitutions and reflect them in their legal systems. The Report also calls for a gradual and negotiated transition of power to representative forms of government. The first step in the process would be to unleash civil society forces and allow the three key freedoms of opinion, expression and association—a move that would generate a dynamic debate on how to achieve the transition. Arab intellectual, political and civil society vanguards must shake off their apathy and contribute towards creating an intellectual framework and atmosphere conducive to freedom and good governance. This should lead to the emergence of an elite representing all sectors of society, both inside and outside government, to spearhead the movement towards good governance, and ultimately, to an Arab renaissance. The process should include reforming the political system to allow full participation through free and fair elections, the results of which must be fully respected. There should be a separation of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, with the independence of the latter institutionally guaranteed.

In other words, the Arabs have to stop blaming the Jews, Israel, and the United States for the misery and poverty. Their problems are mostly self-inflicted and they have to heal themselves.

The UNDP distributed seven other press releases that were critical of the Arab governments and their lack of freedom. In order to maintain brevity, these reports will not be discussed here. Interested readers are encouraged to obtain them from the A2HDR 2004 Press Kit website. Each press release is only a few pages long and is very informative and enlightening.

After reading them, one will understand how insignificant the Israeli occupation really is. Actually, the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza follows UN recommendations to promote multicultural diversity. The Palestinian Arabs benefited economically and socially from their association with the more democratic and advanced Israeli society until they unleashed the second intifada in September 2000. That's when their situation deteriorated, as a result of their emphasis on violence and as a result of the subsequent Israeli measures to protect the Jewish population from Arab suicide bombers.

Friday, September 23, 2005

*IRAQ: Why It's Getting Harder to be a Bad Guy*

September 16, 2005: The U.S./Iraqi offensive in Tal Afar has been more effective than anticipated, and terrorists are abandoning the area. It is unclear as to whether the dispersal of terrorist forces, who seem mostly to be local Sunni Arab tribal fighters and al Qaeda "Foreigners", is a planned response in the event of defeat or a spontaneous development. Whichever the case, the insurgents have abandoned large stocks of arms as well as some important infrastructure, including bomb factories and underground installations. The damage to al Qaeda was serious enough to elicit a public announcement from the terrorist organization, where it announced a new wave of suicide bombings, as revenge for the success of the Tal Afar, and related, operations. Apparently it was a case of "use it or lose it," with al Qaeda fearing that the continuing operations along the Syrian border and in western Iraq, would lead to more bomb workshops, and completed car bombs, being captured.

It was widely rumored that al Qaeda was building up a supply of suicide car bombs for use in early October, to try and disrupt the vote on the new constitution. Instead, the car bombings began on September 14th, with a dozen bombs going off in Baghdad, causing over 700 casualties, including at least 160 dead. Nearly all the losses were Iraqis, most of them Shia. The al Qaeda declaration made a point of saying that the attacks were directed against the government, and Shia Arabs who comprise the majority of it (and the majority of Iraqis.) Al Qaeda concentrates its attacks in Baghdad, because that's the capital, and because that's where many Sunni Arabs, who used to work for Saddam, and who are now out of work, live. These Sunni Arabs provide a network of safe houses, and helpers, for the suicide bombing operations.

Even though the intended targets are Shia Arabs, and government employees, many Sunni Arabs are getting hurt, and al Qaeda has become the most hated organization in the country. Even Sunni Arabs are now reporting terrorist operations to the police. Not enough to compromise all of the terrorist operations. But it's common now for the cops to know how many bombs are in play for a given day. And many car bombers are being intercepted before they can be used.

On September 15th there were two car bombs in Baghdad, directed at police, causing 17 casualties (seven dead). In Kirkuk there was a roadside bomb going off and killing two policemen and wounding four. Today, there was only a carload of Sunni Arab gunmen, firing on a crowd of Shia Arabs and killing two. In their three day terror campaign, which quickly tapered off, over 200 were killed, nearly all of them Iraqi civilians.

Most Sunni Arab leaders condemned the bombings, and hoped that there was not more retaliation attacks by Shia Arabs. Already, there have been several waves of these revenge attacks, leaving hundreds of Sunni Arabs dead. There is growing fear in many Sunni Arab neighborhoods, as they see the Iraqi
police grow more competent, and numerous. As at Tal Afar, Sunni Arab fighters are consistently defeated by American, and now by Iraqi (mostly Shia and Kurd), troops as well. Any illusions of "driving the foreigners out of Iraq", and then putting the Shia and Kurds in their place, are fading in the Sunni Arab community. While the illusion of Sunni Arab superiority, and right-to-rule, dies hard, the fear of revenge attacks against the Sunni Arabs grows daily. Many Sunni Arabs have blood on their hands, Shia, Kurdish, and now American blood. Worse, many of these Sunni Arabs are known by name to their victims families. Al Qaeda depends on these blood stained wretches for the core of their support in Iraq. These marked men cannot get amnesty or enter public life again. They can only wait for capture and trial, or a visit from a Shia or Kurdish assassin, out to take revenge for the death of a brother, father, son, wife or even more distant kin. The law of revenge still rules most of tribal Iraq. For the thousands of Saddams killers, unable, because of poverty or family obligations, to flee Iraq, they have to stay and fight. To either get back into power or die trying.

The Sunni Arab killers take heart in continued support from Sunni Arabs in neighboring nations. For example, Saudi Arabia has donated $105 million dollars to the U.S. for relief efforts associated with Hurricane Katrina. This is many times the amount of money that the Saudis have contributed to relief efforts in Iraq. Saudis secretly contribute support Sunni Arab terrorists, but not to rebuilding a country that is run by Shia Arabs and Kurds.

Meanwhile, in Tal Afar, the government is using a similar tactic that is weakening the terrorist organizations. Thousands of local civilians are being hired for reconstruction jobs. American civil affairs units have been most aggressive with this tactic, developed and honed over the last two years. Even while the fighting is going on, civil affairs teams are noting what infrastructure is in need of rebuilding, or is getting damaged. As soon as Iraqi police declare a neighborhood pacified, hiring begins to help unload and distribute relief supplies, rebuild roads and electrical systems, and do any other jobs that need being done. Workers are paid daily, and given one more reason to stay away from the terrorist organizations. Not that a lot of unemployed Sunni Arabs need much encouragement there. By now, it's almost impossible to get volunteers to attack the Americans, and prices to hire people for that work keep going up. Shooting at Americans is seen as suicide, because not only do the Americans promptly shoot back very accurately, but they then come after you. The Americans have those damn little planes in the sky, the ones with cameras, making it difficult for attackers to hide or get away. It's much easier to attack Iraqi police or soldiers. But these guys are now wearing body armor, and will counter-attack as well. Worse, the Iraqi police will start questioning people in the area, put up roadblocks, and hunt you down. It's getting so hard to be a bad guy in Iraq.

September 14, 2005: Two developments are likely to lead to a marked increase in the number of terrorist attacks over the next few weeks.

@ Ramadan: the Moslem "Lent" begins around October 4th and ends about November 2nd In the past two years terrorist attacks increased greatly, by about 25 percent in 2003 and nearly double that rate in 2004. The targets were most often Shia mosques and holy places, crowded with worshipers, leading to a high casualty rate.

@ Constitutional Referendum: On October 15th Iraqis will go to the polls to ratify the new draft Constitution. Results are expected to be announced about two weeks later. In the past, elections for the provisional government and delegates to the Constitutional convention led to significant increases in the number of terrorist attacks.

@ Revenge for recent defeats along the Syrian border, where Iraqi and American troops have cleaned out several al Qaeda and Sunni Arab terrorist bases.

Coalition and Iraqi forces are being beefed up for the referendum, in an effort to insure greater security. Nevertheless, the level of violence is likely to rise sharply over the next few weeks. The referendum has already led to some interesting political developments. Sunni clergy are urging their followers to turn out in great numbers, in order to deliver a resounding "No" vote on the new charter. In contrast, most Shia clergy are urging their followers to vote "Yes," though dissident cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has instructed his followers to be prepared to vote, while reserving a decision on whether they should support or oppose the constitution until the last minute, apparently in an attempt to gain some political leverage.

Over the past year, Sadr has "reformed" himself somewhat, trying to project a more moderate image, which includes reaching out to some Sunni leaders, urging less violent resistance to the "occupation," and even changing his mode of dress somewhat. However, Sadr is also suspected of being in contact with anti-government Sunni Arab groups. Twice, Sadr has ordered his gunmen to attack Americans, and twice his gunmen have been crushed. But the last time, it was found that Sunni Arab terrorist groups had come to the assistance of Sadr's men. For this reason, Sadr is seen as a man more concerned with personal ambition, than what is best for his Shia Arab followers.

In the town of Tal Afar, after five days of fighting, terrorists were pursued through the streets by Iraqi police commandoes. Several terrorist gangs were trapped in Tal Afar, which is on the Syrian border. The terrorists stood and fought, but that led to some 500 of them getting killed or captured by American troops. Now, Iraqi police are going house-to-house to find those who have tried to escape by pretending to be unarmed civilians.

Despite all the fighting along the Syrian border, American casualties in the last two weeks have been half of what they've been the last few months. The number of terrorist attacks is way down, and more of the combat operations are being conducted by Iraqi troops.

September 11, 2005: Many border crossings to Syria were closed in the last few days, as American and Iraqi troops continued making raids against terrorist groups in the area. The government banned any civilians from openly carrying weapons in the area, and those who did so anyway were arrested. There was some resistance, resulting in some 150 anti-government gunmen killed over the weekend, and several hundred suspects arrested. Several caches of weapons and bomb making materials were found, along with documents, computers and other equipment. Much of the action was in the town of Tal Afar, which several terrorist gangs had tried to use as a base. The escalating attacks on terrorist groups in Sunni Arab areas has led to a decline in terrorist attacks throughout central Iraq.

I have completely forgotten where I got this from or who wrote this. If you recognize it, please email me.

A War to Be Proud Of

From the September 5 / September 12, 2005 issue: The case for overthrowing Saddam was unimpeachable. Why, then, is the administration tongue-tied?
by Christopher Hitchens
09/05/2005, Volume 010, Issue 47

LET ME BEGIN WITH A simple sentence that, even as I write it, appears less than Swiftian in the modesty of its proposal: "Prison conditions at Abu Ghraib have improved markedly and dramatically since the arrival of Coalition troops in Baghdad."
I could undertake to defend that statement against any member of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, and I know in advance that none of them could challenge it, let alone negate it. Before March 2003, Abu Ghraib was an abattoir, a torture chamber, and a concentration camp. Now, and not without reason, it is an international byword for Yankee imperialism and sadism. Yet the improvement is still, unarguably, the difference between night and day. How is it possible that the advocates of a post-Saddam Iraq have been placed on the defensive in this manner? And where should one begin?
I once tried to calculate how long the post-Cold War liberal Utopia had actually lasted. Whether you chose to date its inception from the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, or the death of Nicolae Ceausescu in late December of the same year, or the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, or the referendum defeat suffered by Augusto Pinochet (or indeed from the publication of Francis Fukuyama's book about the "end of history" and the unarguable triumph of market liberal pluralism), it was an epoch that in retrospect was over before it began. By the middle of 1990, Saddam Hussein had abolished Kuwait and Slobodan Milosevic was attempting to erase

the identity and the existence of Bosnia. It turned out that we had not by any means escaped the reach of atavistic, aggressive, expansionist, and totalitarian ideology. Proving the same point in another way, and within approximately the same period, the theocratic dictator of Iran had publicly claimed the right to offer money in his own name for the suborning of the murder of a novelist living in London, and the génocidaire faction in Rwanda had decided that it could probably get away with putting its long-fantasized plan of mass murder into operation.
One is not mentioning these apparently discrepant crimes and nightmares as a random or unsorted list. Khomeini, for example, was attempting to compensate for the humiliation of the peace agreement he had been compelled to sign with Saddam Hussein. And Saddam Hussein needed to make up the loss, of prestige and income, that he had himself suffered in the very same war. Milosevic (anticipating Putin, as it now seems to me, and perhaps Beijing also) was riding a mutation of socialist nationalism into national socialism. It was to be noticed in all cases that the aggressors, whether they were killing Muslims, or exalting Islam, or just killing their neighbors, shared a deep and abiding hatred of the United States.
The balance sheet of the Iraq war, if it is to be seriously drawn up, must also involve a confrontation with at least this much of recent history. Was the Bush administration right to leave--actually to confirm--Saddam Hussein in power after his eviction from Kuwait in 1991? Was James Baker correct to say, in his delightfully folksy manner, that the United States did not "have a dog in the fight" that involved ethnic cleansing for the mad dream of a Greater Serbia? Was the Clinton administration prudent in its retreat from Somalia, or wise in its opposition to the U.N. resolution that called for a preemptive strengthening of the U.N. forces in Rwanda?

I know hardly anybody who comes out of this examination with complete credit. There were neoconservatives who jeered at Rushdie in 1989 and who couldn't see the point when Sarajevo faced obliteration in 1992. There were leftist humanitarians and radicals who rallied to Rushdie and called for solidarity with Bosnia, but who--perhaps because of a bad conscience about Palestine--couldn't face a confrontation with Saddam Hussein even when he annexed a neighbor state that was a full member of the Arab League and of the U.N. (I suppose I have to admit that I was for a time a member of that second group.) But there were consistencies, too. French statecraft, for example, was uniformly hostile to any resistance to any aggression, and Paris even sent troops to rescue its filthy clientele in Rwanda. And some on the hard left and the brute right were also opposed to any exercise, for any reason, of American military force.

The only speech by any statesman that can bear reprinting from that low, dishonest decade came from Tony Blair when he spoke in Chicago in 1999. Welcoming the defeat and overthrow of Milosevic after the Kosovo intervention, he warned against any self-satisfaction and drew attention to an inescapable confrontation that was coming with Saddam Hussein. So far from being an American "poodle," as his taunting and ignorant foes like to sneer, Blair had in fact leaned on Clinton over Kosovo and was insisting on the importance of Iraq while George Bush was still an isolationist governor of

Texas.
Notwithstanding this prescience and principle on his part, one still cannot read the journals of the 2000/2001 millennium without the feeling that one is revisiting a hopelessly somnambulist relative in a neglected home. I am one of those who believe, uncynically, that Osama bin Laden did us all a service (and holy war a great disservice) by his mad decision to assault the American homeland four years ago. Had he not made this world-historical mistake, we would have been able to add a Talibanized and nuclear-armed Pakistan to our list of the threats we failed to recognize in time. (This threat still exists, but it is no longer so casually overlooked.)
The subsequent liberation of Pakistan's theocratic colony in Afghanistan, and the so-far decisive eviction and defeat of its bin Ladenist guests, was only a reprisal. It took care of the last attack. But what about the next one? For anyone with eyes to see, there was only one other state that combined the latent and the blatant definitions of both "rogue" and "failed." This state--Saddam's ruined and tortured and collapsing Iraq--had also met all the conditions under which a country may be deemed to have sacrificed its own legal sovereignty. To recapitulate: It had invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored and nurtured international thugs and killers, and flouted every provision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United Nations, in this crisis, faced with regular insult to its own resolutions and its own character, had managed to set up a system of sanctions-based mutual corruption. In May 2003, had things gone on as they had been going, Saddam Hussein would have been due to fill Iraq's slot as chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Meanwhile, every species of gangster from the hero of the Achille Lauro hijacking to Abu Musab al Zarqawi was finding hospitality under Saddam's crumbling roof.
One might have thought, therefore, that Bush and Blair's decision to put an end at last to this intolerable state of affairs would be hailed, not just as a belated vindication of long-ignored U.N. resolutions but as some corrective to the decade of shame and inaction that had just passed in Bosnia and Rwanda. But such is not the case. An apparent consensus exists, among millions of people in Europe and America, that the whole operation for the demilitarization of Iraq, and the salvage of its traumatized society, was at best a false pretense and at worst an unprovoked aggression. How can this possibly be?
THERE IS, first, the problem of humorless and pseudo-legalistic literalism. In Saki's short story The Lumber Room, the naughty but clever child Nicholas, who has actually placed a frog in his morning bread-and-milk, rejoices in his triumph over the adults who don't credit this excuse for not eating his healthful dish:

"You said there couldn't possibly be a frog in my bread-and-milk; there was a frog in my bread-and-milk," he repeated, with the insistence of a skilled tactician who does not intend to shift from favorable ground.
Childishness is one thing--those of us who grew up on this wonderful Edwardian author were always happy to see the grown-ups and governesses discomfited. But puerility in adults is quite another thing, and considerably less charming. "You said there were WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam had friends in al Qaeda. . . . Blah, blah, pants on fire." I have had many opportunities to tire of this mantra. It takes ten seconds to intone the said mantra. It would take me, on my most eloquent C-SPAN day, at the very least five minutes to say that Abdul Rahman Yasin, who mixed the chemicals for the World Trade Center attack in 1993, subsequently sought and found refuge in Baghdad; that Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam's senior physicist, was able to lead American soldiers to nuclear centrifuge parts and a blueprint for a complete centrifuge (the crown jewel of nuclear physics) buried on the orders of Qusay Hussein; that Saddam's agents were in Damascus as late as February 2003, negotiating to purchase missiles off the shelf from North Korea; or that Rolf Ekeus, the great Swedish socialist who founded the inspection process in Iraq after 1991, has told me for the record that he was offered a $2 million bribe in a face-to-face meeting with Tariq Aziz. And these eye-catching examples would by no means exhaust my repertoire, or empty my quiver. Yes, it must be admitted that Bush and Blair made a hash of a good case, largely because they preferred to scare people rather than enlighten them or reason with them. Still, the only real strategy of deception has come from those who believe, or pretend, that Saddam Hussein was no problem.
I have a ready answer to those who accuse me of being an agent and tool of the Bush-Cheney administration (which is the nicest thing that my enemies can find to say). Attempting a little levity, I respond that I could stay at home if the authorities could bother to make their own case, but that I meanwhile am a prisoner of what I actually do know about the permanent hell, and the permanent threat, of the Saddam regime. However, having debated almost all of the spokespeople for the antiwar faction, both the sane and the deranged, I was recently asked a question that I was temporarily unable to answer. "If what you claim is true," the honest citizen at this meeting politely asked me, "how come the White House hasn't told us?"
I do in fact know the answer to this question. So deep and bitter is the split within official Washington, most especially between the Defense Department and the CIA, that any claim made by the former has been undermined by leaks from the latter. (The latter being those who maintained, with a combination of dogmatism and cowardice not seen since Lincoln had to fire General McClellan, that Saddam Hussein was both a "secular" actor and--this is the really rich bit--a rational and calculating one.)
There's no cure for that illusion, but the resulting bureaucratic chaos and unease has cornered the president into his current fallback upon platitude and hollowness. It has also induced him to give hostages to fortune. The claim that if we fight fundamentalism "over there" we won't have to confront it "over here" is not just a standing invitation for disproof by the next suicide-maniac in London or Chicago, but a coded appeal to provincial and isolationist opinion in the United States. Surely the elementary lesson of the grim anniversary that will shortly be upon us is that American civilians are as near to the front line as American soldiers.
It is exactly this point that makes nonsense of the sob-sister tripe pumped out by the Cindy Sheehan circus and its surrogates. But in reply, why bother to call a struggle "global" if you then try to localize it? Just say plainly that we shall fight them everywhere they show themselves, and fight them on principle as well as in practice, and get ready to warn people that Nigeria is very probably the next target of the jihadists. The peaceniks love to ask: When and where will it all end? The answer is easy: It will end with the surrender or defeat of one of the contending parties. Should I add that I am certain which party that ought to be? Defeat is just about imaginable, though the mathematics and the algebra tell heavily against the holy warriors. Surrender to such a foe, after only four years of combat, is not even worthy of consideration.
Antaeus was able to draw strength from the earth every time an antagonist wrestled him to the ground. A reverse mythology has been permitted to take hold in the present case, where bad news is deemed to be bad news only for regime-change. Anyone with the smallest knowledge of Iraq knows that its society and infrastructure and institutions have been appallingly maimed and beggared by three decades of war and fascism (and the "divide-and-rule" tactics by which Saddam maintained his own tribal minority of the Sunni minority in power). In logic and morality, one must therefore compare the current state of the country with the likely or probable state of it had Saddam and his sons been allowed to go on ruling.
At once, one sees that all the alternatives would have been infinitely worse, and would most likely have led to an implosion--as well as opportunistic invasions from Iran and Turkey and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of their respective interests or confessional clienteles. This would in turn have necessitated a more costly and bloody intervention by some kind of coalition, much too late and on even worse terms and conditions. This is the lesson of Bosnia and Rwanda yesterday, and of Darfur today. When I have made this point in public, I have never had anyone offer an answer to it. A broken Iraq was in our future no matter what, and was a responsibility (somewhat conditioned by our past blunders) that no decent person could shirk. The only unthinkable policy was one of abstention.
Two pieces of good fortune still attend those of us who go out on the road for this urgent and worthy cause. The first is contingent: There are an astounding number of plain frauds and charlatans (to phrase it at its highest) in charge of the propaganda of the other side. Just to tell off the names is to frighten children more than Saki ever could: Michael Moore, George Galloway, Jacques Chirac, Tim Robbins, Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson . . . a roster of gargoyles that would send Ripley himself into early retirement. Some of these characters are flippant, and make heavy jokes about Halliburton, and some disdain to conceal their sympathy for the opposite side. So that's easy enough.
The second bit of luck is a certain fiber displayed by a huge number of anonymous Americans. Faced with a constant drizzle of bad news and purposely demoralizing commentary, millions of people stick out their jaws and hang tight. I am no fan of populism, but I surmise that these citizens are clear on the main point: It is out of the question--plainly and absolutely out of the question--that we should surrender the keystone state of the Middle East to a rotten, murderous alliance between Baathists and bin Ladenists. When they hear the fatuous insinuation that this alliance has only been created by the resistance to it, voters know in their intestines that those who say so are soft on crime and soft on fascism. The more temperate anti-warriors, such as Mark Danner and Harold Meyerson, like to employ the term "a war of choice." One should have no problem in accepting this concept. As they cannot and do not deny, there was going to be another round with Saddam Hussein no matter what. To whom, then, should the "choice" of time and place have fallen? The clear implication of the antichoice faction--if I may so dub them--is that this decision should have been left up to Saddam Hussein. As so often before . . .
DOES THE PRESIDENT deserve the benefit of the reserve of fortitude that I just mentioned? Only just, if at all. We need not argue about the failures and the mistakes and even the crimes, because these in some ways argue themselves. But a positive accounting could be offered without braggartry, and would include:
(1) The overthrow of Talibanism and Baathism, and the exposure of many highly suggestive links between the two elements of this Hitler-Stalin pact. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the coalition intervention, has even gone to the trouble of naming his organization al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
(2) The subsequent capitulation of Qaddafi's Libya in point of weapons of mass destruction--a capitulation that was offered not to Kofi Annan or the E.U. but to Blair and Bush.
(3) The consequent unmasking of the A.Q. Khan network for the illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.
(4) The agreement by the United Nations that its own reform is necessary and overdue, and the unmasking of a quasi-criminal network within its elite.
(5) The craven admission by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of cheating and concealment, respecting solemn treaties, on the part of Iran, that not even this will alter their commitment to neutralism. (One had already suspected as much in the Iraqi case.)
(6) The ability to certify Iraq as actually disarmed, rather than accept the word of a psychopathic autocrat.
(7) The immense gains made by the largest stateless minority in the region--the Kurds--and the spread of this example to other states.
(8) The related encouragement of democratic and civil society movements in Egypt, Syria, and most notably Lebanon, which has regained a version of its autonomy.
(9) The violent and ignominious death of thousands of bin Ladenist infiltrators into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the real prospect of greatly enlarging this number.
(10) The training and hardening of many thousands of American servicemen and women in a battle against the forces of nihilism and absolutism, which training and hardening will surely be of great use in future combat.
It would be admirable if the president could manage to make such a presentation. It would also be welcome if he and his deputies adopted a clear attitude toward the war within the war: in other words, stated plainly, that the secular and pluralist forces within Afghan and Iraqi society, while they are not our clients, can in no circumstance be allowed to wonder which outcome we favor.
The great point about Blair's 1999 speech was that it asserted the obvious. Coexistence with aggressive regimes or expansionist, theocratic, and totalitarian ideologies is not in fact possible. One should welcome this conclusion for the additional reason that such coexistence is not desirable, either. If the great effort to remake Iraq as a demilitarized federal and secular democracy should fail or be defeated, I shall lose sleep for the rest of my life in reproaching myself for doing too little. But at least I shall have the comfort of not having offered, so far as I can recall, any word or deed that contributed to a defeat.


Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. A recent essay of his appears in the collection A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq, newly published by the University of California Press.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bush: We Must Show Courage Against Terror

From Fox News

WASHINGTON — Two days before a major anti-war demonstration, President Bush said Thursday that withdrawing American forces from Iraq would make the world more dangerous and allow terrorists "to claim an historic victory over the United States."

Bush said terrorists have been emboldened over the years by the hesitant U.S. response to a hostage crisis with Iran (search) in the Carter administration, the bombing of U.S. Marines barracks in Lebanon during the Reagan administration, the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center during the Clinton administration, and other events.

"The terrorists concluded we lacked the courage and character to defend ourselves," the president said. "The only way the terrorists can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon the mission.

"For the safety and security of the American people, that's not going to happen on my watch," he said.

Failed Suicide Bomber: I Was Kidnapped, Drugged

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A suicide bomber captured before he could blow himself up in a Shiite mosque claimed he was kidnapped, beaten and drugged by insurgents who forced him to take on the mission. The U.S. military said its medical tests indicated the man was telling the truth.

Mohammed Ali, who claimed to be Saudi-born and appeared to be in his 20s, said he managed to flee after another suicide attacker set off his bomb, killing at least 12 worshippers Friday as they left a mosque in the northern city of Tuz Khormato (search).

In confession broadcast on state television later that day, Ali told Iraqi interrogators he did not want to bomb the mosque and hoped to go home.

Results from medical tests on Ali were "consistent with his story and characterization of his treatment," Col. Billy J. Buckner, a U.S. military spokesman said Sunday.

Ali said insurgents kidnapped him from a field near his home earlier this month, then drugged and beat him.

His story was similar to those recounted by other captured militants. The captives routinely claim they were either coerced or fooled by insurgent leaders who promised them a role in the holy war against the U.S. military, only to find themselves as would-be suicide bombers sent to attack civilians.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

From the canada free press I present Arthur Weinreb: an interesting article

Politically Incorrect God Save Celine

by Arthur Weinreb

October 21, 2002

There was a time when John Manley, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance showed some promise. As Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister on and following Sept. 11, 2001, he had come a long way from his political beginnings when his big claim to fame was being known as figure skater Elizabeth Manley’s cousin. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Manley seemed to be one of the few (if not the only) top Liberals to appreciate the significance of the events of that day. John Manley appeared prime ministerial in dealing with the terrorist attacks while Jean Chrétien did his "deer in the headlights" imitation and other ministers such as David Collenette and Elinor Caplan insisted that Canada’s security was just hunky-dory. The attacks by al-Qaeda were an attack on our democracy and our way of life and not simply a tragedy for the United States.

What a difference a year makes. Manley recently hit the news when he told a group of Montreal reporters that Canada should get rid of the monarchy and have a uniquely Canadian head of state. He had expressed those views before and, as the prime minister said, is entitled to his opinion. What made Manley’s remarks newsworthy was that he stated them within an hour of Queen Elizabeth II landing in Canada as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations. And, to make it worse, unlike many others who visit our shores, the Queen had been invited by the government.

Manley, along with Paul Martin, is associated with what is known as the right wing of the Liberal Party. There really is no such thing, the party is really divided into the left wing and the extreme left wing. Like the prime minister-in-waiting, Manley is perceived to be on the right because he can go to New York and mingle easily with brokers on Wall Street, something that Jean "Western-greed-and-arrogance-is-responsible-for-terrorism" Chrétien cannot do. A lack of strong anti-Americanism does not make a Liberal any less of a Liberal and Manley proved he is just another Grit.

Manley’s attempt to use humour in his quest to have the monarchy abolished in Canada made him look more ridiculous. He mused that Celine Dion should be the head of state; perhaps not a stretch considering that our present Governor-General is a former CBC info babe. But Manley forgot or didn’t care that Dion no longer lives in Canada. She’s part of that brain drain to the United States that we keep hearing about, assuming, of course, that she has a brain. And when Conservative leader Joe Clark referred to Manley as "King John" during Question Period, Manley shot back that when he thinks of a king, he thinks of Elvis. While Jean Chrétien can use humour quite effectively, all Manley accomplished was to show what a boor he really is. In the world of stand up comedians, Mike Bullard has nothing to worry about--other than his taxes going up to fund the boss’s legacy.

Chrétien, to no one’s surprise, stuck up for his deputy. The PM always defends members of the cabinet unless or until they become undefendable. Chrétien refused to replace Manley as the Queen’s official escort during her Ottawa portion of the trip showing that he places little importance where Her Majesty is concerned.

When his remarks caused an uproar, Manley moaned about not having the skills to avoid answering questions. Anyone who believed that, never saw him field questions for the prime minister in Question Period. When that spin didn’t work, he was forced to apologize.

Perhaps Manley’s behaviour illustrates why he’s trailing the pack in the leadership race to replace Chrétien. At least Paul Martin and Allan Rock can appear statesmen-like. Wanting to have the monarchy abolished in Canada is one thing--Manley’s rudeness and joking about the monarchy while the Queen was on Canadian soil, is another. Manley is too childish to ever become prime minister of Canada. Much like his beloved "king," although there will be rumours to the contrary, the notion of a Prime Minister Manley is quite dead.

Victims less angry than Bush-haters

Monday, September 19, 2005
By Ruth Ann Dailey

Instead of "he said, she said," today's column concerns "They said, you said, I said."

"They" are the hardy souls rounded up by ABC News to listen to President Bush's speech to the nation Thursday night. I happened to tape the event and was so astonished by it that I made a transcript. What they said illuminates what you said in response to what I said -- or what you think I said -- last Monday.

Reporter Dean Reynolds found a dozen people -- all African-Americans -- who'd been evacuated from the flooded streets of New Orleans, sat with them outside the Houston Astrodome and interviewed them as soon as the president's speech ended.

Reynolds' first question was to a woman named Connie London: "You heard the president say you are not alone . . . Do you believe him?"

"Yes," she said, "because here in Texas they've been truly good to us."

"Did you harbor any anger toward the president because of the slow federal response?"

"No, none whatsoever," London replied, "because I feel our city and state government should have been there before the federal government was called in. They should have been on their jobs."

"And they weren't?" Reynolds asked.

"No, no, no, no, Lord, they weren't," she stated. "They had RTA buses, Greyhound buses, school buses that were just sitting there going under water when they could have been evacuating people."

Reynolds asked a woman named Mary if she gleaned hope from the president's words.

"Yes," she replied.

"Why?" he asked.

"Because I really believe what he said."

He turned to Brenda Marshall and asked, "What did you think of what the president said tonight?"

"I think the speech was wonderful."

"Was there anything you found hard to believe? You know, that's nice rhetoric but the proof is in the pudding?"

"No, I didn't," she answered, with an apologetic shrug.

"Well....good," Reynolds fumbled. "Very little skepticism here."

After nearly ten minutes of similar good will, I half expected Reynolds to turn to the camera and wail, "Can we get some new people here?" But he kept fishing. "Cecilia," he said to another woman, "did you think the president was sincere here tonight?"

"Yes, he was," she said.

"Do you think this was a little too late?" Finally he got a bite when she repeated his words without passion: "To me, it was too late."

Reynolds turned back to Connie and asked, "Do you blame anybody for this?"

"Hell, yes!" she exclaimed. "They've been allocated federal funds to fix the levee system, and it never got done. I fault the mayor of this city, I really do."

At that point, Reynolds thanked them for their time, and Ted Koppel remarked, "If the national response is reflected by that small group of people, then the president has made some major progress tonight."

Or maybe the group's responses indicated that the president had less progress to make than the questions assumed he did. The ABC broadcast put in stark contrast the attitude of the black and lower-income flood victims and that of the privileged white men conducting the show. The survivors were calm, careful about where they directed what little anger they expressed and smilingly apologetic that they weren't giving the TV guys the roiling passions and bitter recriminations so clearly expected of them.

That passion and bitterness came in my e-mail last week -- along with thoughtfulness, respectful disagreement and heartfelt gratitude. To oversimplify and separate the responses to my last column into "pro" and "con," your reactions (more than 150 letters) were pretty evenly divided, despite the column's circulation among anti-Bush bloggers and the attendant outpouring of bile.

I argued last week that we should strive for a sober assessment of responsibility post-Katrina; I did not say none should be laid at Bush's feet. I said our society is increasingly polarized between two opposing world views; I did not say that everyone subscribes to one of them.

I distinguished between reasoned criticism and vitriol. Judging from my mail -- "Goebbels," "you are evil," etc. -- some people can't, or don't want to. I proposed the kindest explanation I could think of -- unresolved grief -- for the excessive rage all around us; I didn't say it was the only explanation.

People who had far more reason than most of us last week to express indiscriminate outrage and vengefulness did not -- even when repeatedly invited to on national television. There's a lesson there for all of us.

(Ruth Ann Dailey is a Post-Gazette staff writer and can be reached at rdailey@post-gazette.com.)

US Anti-Semitism: Could the Unthinkable Occur?

by Caleb Corbin
Sep 20, '05 / 16 Elul 5765

The shores of the United States have been a historical anomaly for the Jewish people. America is one of only a handful of nations on earth in which Jews have been accepted as equals, and accorded all of the rights, privileges and freedoms of her citizens.

America's first president, George Washington, wrote a letter in 1790 to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island: "May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants, while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid."

The words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal echo the sated hunger of Jews in America after more than 17 centuries of unending global persecution and wandering:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

The poem's author, Emma Lazarus, was Jewish. Fittingly, America's most visible symbol of freedom is wreathed with words breathed from a Jewish heart.

But despite America's pure foundations, the disease of anti-Semitism has surfaced from time to time throughout our history.

In 1862, General Ulysses S Grant, commander of the Union forces and later 18th president of the United States, issued General Order No. 11, which expelled all Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. Upon receiving news of such order, President Abraham Lincoln immediately wrote to Grant, ordering him to revoke the order. Grant revoked the order three days later.

And Henry Ford, the American industrial icon and automotive baron of the early 20th century, was a rabid anti-Semite. He authored an infamous four-volume work entitled The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem, which portrayed world Jewry as scheming together to take over the world.

Because it carried the Ford name, the work gained immediate notoriety and credibility in the eyes of many, spreading like wildfire and sowing the seeds for future anti-Semitism in the American consciousness. Today, The International Jew is one of the holy books of the American anti-Semitic population.

And what of today? How successfully has America fended off societal decay, of which widespread anti-Semitism is but a symptom?

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conducts an annual survey entitled "Survey of American Attitudes Towards Jews in America". Its 2005 findings were striking: a full 14% of the American citizenry, or 35 million people, hold beliefs that are "unquestioningly anti-Semitic". This is down from its 1992 survey, which categorized a full 20% of Americans as strongly anti-Semitic. The ADL's 2005 "Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents" recorded a total of 1,821 events in the US - a spike of 17% from the previous year.

As the annual survey shows, a resilient and hard-core base of Jew-haters reside in the US, with evidence suggesting a large part of this core is actively working to spread their poison across this nation.

One trend is of particular concern. Militant Islam is rapidly spreading its tentacles across America. One of the few Islamic moderates in this country, Muhammad Hisham Kabbani of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, estimated that "extremists" have taken over 80% of the mosques in the US. These extremists are working single-mindedly to turn America into an Islamic state, with the Koran as its foundation.

The campaign is being coordinated by both foreign and domestic elements. It is no coincidence that Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddafi pledged to Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, an American militant Black Islamic group, one billion dollars in aid and support. Also, the Saudis are bankrolling the construction and staffing of dozens of mosques throughout the US. These mosques are exclusively propagating the militant Wahabbi form of Islam, the very religion which inspired the 9/11 attacks.

The campaign is not limited to mosques. It also includes Islamic community centers, newspapers, schools, youth groups, political organizations, professional associations and business activities - all involved in recruiting, training, supporting and coordinating its members.

Substantial segments within the Black American community are converting to militant Islam or have fallen under its influence. This is creating a real and present danger to American Jews. In late August, Los Angeles police discovered a major terror plot by three Black Islamic Americans affiliated with the Jamat-E-Masjidul Islam mosque. A list was found in their possession containing the addresses of several Los Angeles synagogues and the Israeli consulate. Police speculate the men were part of a network planning to attack these targets during the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days.

One week later, possibly in response to the arrests, the Nation of Islam called for a "jihad" against the Los Angeles Police Department.

Gravely, militant Islam has entered into and is directing much of mainstream Black America. The Millions More March (MMM) on Washington DC, scheduled for October 14-16 of this year, was created by Farrakhan to further the Black militant's agenda. Farrakhan appointed Malik Zulu Shabazz, the virulent anti-Semitic leader of the New Black Panther Party, as co-organizer of the event. Among many other anti-Semitic diatribes, Shabazz claims it was the Jews who enslaved Blacks and brought them to America. He also asserts the "Zionists control America, lock, stock and barrel."

Farrakhan and Shabazz have successfully courted and enlisted several mainstream Black organizations and political groups in the MMM campaign, including the 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, National Progressive Baptist Convention, National Urban Coalition, Black Entertainment Television, the African American Leadership Institute, Rainbow PUSH Coalition and dozens of others.

A second trend of concern is the millions of illegal immigrants flowing into the US from Mexico and Central and South America. It is estimated approximately one million immigrants illegally slipped into the US from Mexico in 2004. As the 2005 ADL survey shows, 35% of foreign born Hispanics hold hard-core anti-Semitic beliefs, as do 19% of US-born Hispanics. Illegal immigration and high birth rates make Hispanics the fastest growing segment of the American population.

Hispanics, heavily influenced by the historically anti-Semitic Catholic Church, are quickly becoming a major force in America's political, cultural, judicial and social landscape. Hispanics already out-number whites in America's eighth largest city, San Antonio, Texas.

Please note that Hispanics and Blacks themselves are not, as a group, anti-Semitic, but the numerical quantity of individuals within these two groups has an increased tendency towards anti-Semitic beliefs.

American white supremacists are also seeing an explosion in growth. Mike McQueeney, a Ku Klux Klan leader in Wisconsin, said that since the 9/11 attacks, "Recruitment has definitely been up. That's not just with the Klan. It's with every white organization."

Throughout history, outbreaks of Jewish persecution would often follow on the heels of catastrophe. During the European Black Death, Jews were fingered as causing the pestilence by poisoning the wells. Thousands were massacred.

Ominously, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, rumors that a visiting Israeli delegation stayed away from the World Trade Center were immediately picked up by the Associated Press and other mainstream media outlets and broadcast nationally. The implication, at best, was the Israelis knew in advance of the attacks. At worse, that the Israelis, or domestic or international clandestine Jewish groups, had perpetrated the attacks. The Internet is full of American anti-Semitic literature "proving" the Jews carried out the 9/11 attacks.

Many Americans are also buying the Islamic/anti-Semitic subterfuge that Islamic terror attacks against America are the result of America's support of Israel. By extension, the Jews are responsible for Islamic terror attacks against the US. Remove the Jews, the logic goes, and remove the cause of Islamic terrorism.

The great concern for American Jews should be whether history will repeat itself. Will the Jews, as they have in almost every other nation on earth, be held as the scapegoats for whatever future disaster befalls this land? And what will the reaction be if future terror attacks employ WMDs in one or more American cities?

As 9/11 shows, even the mainstream American media is not immune from singling out Jews in the immediate aftermath of a major terrorist event.

The trends in America are disturbing. History has an irritating way of repeating itself. America has been an anomaly, but anomalies are just that: temporary, isolated events, which eventually conform to pattern.

The question remains: Will America forever defy the historical pattern?

Don't bet on it.