Saturday, April 27, 2002

Sharon Must Go... and Occupy ScriptingNews

Dave Winer posted this article on his ScriptingNews website.

Of course Scripting News is a weblog about scripting, Web development and the politics of technology, and I usually stay away from international, religious and cultural politics, but recent events in the Middle East are building to what looks like a war, a big one, and while I've been following the news and thinking about what's going on, I haven't said anything. Now I feel strongly that it is time to speak.
There will be no war. If the Arabs come close to beating Israel, Sharon will just nuke them. If they lose, they will lose territory (for "security reasons") and the Palestinians will have to pack up and leave, or stare down the D9 bulldozers. If there is a war against Israel, "Palestine" will cease to exist, forever.

He obviously hasn't been following the news, as is clear from the rest of the letter. Or maybe he's just been watching Al-Jazeera.

First, I am Jewish, and I was born and live in the US. I'm a son of immigrants, refugees from the Holocaust, so I understand that Jews needed a place to go after World War II. My family went to North and South America, mostly, but some in my family, distant relatives, are in Israel.
Why do Israel-hating Jews always feel the need to tell us they're Jewish? It's not because they're afraid of being called anti-Semites. It's because they know we wince every time we see another Israel-hating Jew. Amira Hass is enough!

Now, I don't see how Israel could have kept accepting terrorist bombings and done nothing about it. On the other hand, I don't understand why Israel allows Jewish settlements in Palestine. To the extent that they do, they invite the terrorism, because they leave the Palestinians, who also have a right to a homeland, without any hope of getting it.
Maybe he was asleep when Barak offered Arafat all of the settlements, except for a small amount of territory around Jerusalem. To repeat that: Barak offered 95% of the land Arafat wanted, and Arafat rejected this out of hand.

I try to see both sides. Sharon went out of his way to press Palestinian buttons. He's as responsible for the terrorist bombings, imho, as Arafat is. I would not support the US defending Israel as long as Sharon is Prime Minister. In other words, it's time for Israel to back down, to withdraw, as President Bush has insisted, or lose the support of the US. It's time for the people of Israel to change their government. I strongly believe there will never be peace with Sharon in charge.
Sharon didn't start this intifada, it was planned in advance after the Camp David meeting between Arafat and Barak. After Barak made his offer, the one Winer is apparently ignorant of. The Palestinians admit this:

Whoever thinks that the Intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon’s visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is wrong, even if this visit was the straw that broke the back of the Palestinian people. This Intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat’s return from the Camp David negotiations, where he turned the table upside down on President Clinton. [Arafat] remained steadfast and challenged [Clinton]. He rejected the American terms and he did it in the heart of the US.

Arafat rejected a peace negotiation, and instead started an intifada. He let out children from school that day, so they would be present at the riots. His "police" attacked Israeli soldiers. Terrorists deliberately murdered the Muslim boy Mohammed al-Dura in front of cameras on the second day of the intifada to inflame it. Arafat is the only one to blame for this, not Sharon.

Arafat has paid for the bombings, his own group (the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades) is carrying them out. Sharon has stopped the bombings with his incursions. Sharon is responsible for stopping the bombings.

Now of course I will get flamed for this, probably from some of my fellow US citizens, probably most of them, like me, Jewish. I'm open to different points of view, and I'm open to learning. But I doubt if I'm going to buy any arguments that say that the Palestinians are to be blamed and that Israel is blameless. If we're going to find peace, there must be a Palestine, and that means Israeli withdrawal, and it also means Sharon must go, the sooner the better.
What, Israel should go back to Barak? The intifada was started on Barak's watch, it will end on Sharon's. Sharon will bring peace, or at least the closest thing possible for the Israelis.

How could peace possibly involve a Palestine? Look at Lebanon, Israel withdrew, and Hizbullah has sent in Katyusha rocket batteries to take their place. Now Israel is under a daily barrage of missiles. After the Israeli withdrawal, Hizbullah claimed an extra piece of Israel—which even the UN does not recognize—and use that to justify their terrorism. Why should we believe Arafat would act any differently? The charters for Arafat's organizations—Fatah, PLO, and the PNA—all call for the eradication of Israel, and have never been changed.

I'll give it some more thought Daniel, but my first reaction is that only Israel has the power to avoid a full-scale war in the Middle East, and I don't see anything that the Palenstinians or anyone else can do to avoid it if Israel continues on its current course.
Like I said earlier, there won't be a war. And unless Winer believes the Arabs are all violent little sand goblins who can't help themselves, why then is Israel the only country that can prevent the war? The Arabs can't declare war on Israel against their own free will. Which brings me to another point: since Israel has so much to gain from a full-scale war, why hasn't their been one? If the Arabs had military supremacy and nuclear weapons, we all know there would be a war.

The recent escalation has all been by Israel. I suppose the US has some power to avoid full-scale war too, we can refuse to back Israel.
What does Winer think of the Passover Massacre? The week of suicide bombings for the first seven days of Passover? Maybe Winer was asleep for that, too.

Later, another reason. Because I am Jewish, and a US citizen, I identify with the Israeli and US points of view. I'll let Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians in the US and elsewhere say what the Arabs and Muslims and Palestinians should do to avoid a full-scale war. Daniel you must surely know that to get to peace from the brink of war requires compromise and forgiveness, or at least letting-go, on all sides.
Oh, good grief. He refuses to criticize Arabs or Muslims! He wants to see both sides, but he reserves his criticism for one. Like I said, he must think Arabs are subhuman sand trolls or something, that they're not worthy of being treated like any other human beings, and held to some sort of moral standard. This sort of paternalistic racism is disgusting enough in its own right, but doubly so while his cousins are being murdered on a daily basis.

And then he comes out and says all sides must compromise and forgive. When has he ever asked an Arab to compromise? Where, in this entire string of idiotic statements, does he ever call for Arabs to compromise on anything? Does he think Arafat was wrong to reject Barak's peace deal? If so, why isn't he calling for the removal of Arafat?

Peace does not require compromise, forgiveness, or any other left-wing claptrap. Peace recquires not attacking the other side. Not shooting at them, not bombing them, not terrorizing their cities, not launching rockets against their outposts, not throwing rocks at their civilians, not murdering their children. That's peace. When the Arabs stop the violence, there will be peace. In the meantime, the Israelis will need to take drastic and violent action to stop them, including resuming the occupation.

"Armed Resistance"

What a pathetic euphemism for shooting 5-year-old children in their beds.

I suppose the "proportionate response" for Israel would be to go into a Palestinian city and shoot a child in her bed.

Friday, April 26, 2002

Simon of Olso, get your hand out of the cookie jar!

Well, Peres himself wasn't pocketing the proverbial pralines, but just picture him holding the ladder so his little buddy Roed-Larsen could climb to the top of the refrigerator to raid the cookie jar.

Of course, even with his filthy lucre, he happily says things like "Israel has lost all moral ground in this conflict." One hundred thousand dollars, which could have gone to the poor, suffering Palestinians... instead went to line Saint Terje's pockets, with no discernable results.

Palestinians, take note of this: your European "friends" are no different than Arafat. They both make a lot of noise about Israel, while condoning and supporting terrorism, and getting rich themselves in the process. And they both need a permanent class of Palestinian victims in order to profit.

And Speaking of "Class"

Why are so many of the Marxists siding against Israel? Don't they see how the Palestinians are the oppressed class, and how they are being kept down and manipulated by the other Arabs? It would be easy to blame Israel for their plight, but look at the Palestinians in other countries. In Lebanon, they're not able to work. All around the Arab world, they're second-class noncitizens. They're a permanent victim class. How could the proponents of "historical materialism" and class warfare theories not see this?

Why the Pessimism?

This article by Israelinsider is gloomily titled "No end in sight to Gaza Strip terror attacks." A better title would be "Dozens of Palestinian Terrorists Shot Dead, With Very Little to Show for It" (yes, soldiers Nir Krechman and Uriel Bar Maimon were killed recently in Gaza, but 30:2 is an excellent ratio, on par with American special forces in Vietnam). If this is the new face of the intifada... then I can't really say I'm disappointed.

The intifada cannot be broken directly, it must burn itself out. It gains fuel from every successful attack—without dead Jews, "martyrdom operations" become simple suicides, which are forbidden by the Quran. The Palestinians must know they have absolutely no chance of destroying Israel, or even just forcing a retreat, with terror. They must put aside all delusions and fantasies, and start dealing in reality.

Operation Defensive Wall has thrown a large bucket of ice water on all of their heads. But it's not over. If Sharon withdraws before he is finished, the terrorists will be more able to regroup, and strike again. If they do strike again, they will renew the Palestinians' morale. And that will only restart the intifada. This is a war of attrition. Israel needs to be allowed to fight it.

Time to Take a Hardline Stance with the Palestinians

Those wacky Arabs over at ask if Sharon will inflame the Syrian front in order to implement his diabolical transfer plan. Of course, Sharon is planning nothing of the sort. But he should be.

Instead of going on its knees to Arafat to beg for "peace," Israel should make it known quite openly that it's not really interested in the "peace process." Israel should tell the world it's just about lost its patience, and feels it might as well proceed with the transfer.

Then the Palestinians would come begging for peace. They would keep their promises, because there would be an actual cost associate with reneging; now, if they choose to break their agreements, they lose nothing.

Of course, a large-scale transfer would be too difficult politically and logistically, so all Israel should do is keep building new settlements every time another person is murdered by Arab terrorists. And if an Arab village happens to get in the way of those settlements... oh welll. That's what bulldozers are for. Nothing scares the Palestinians like the settlements—they know with every day that passes, Israel's hold on the West Bank grows tighter.

Operation Defensive Shield showed the Palsetinians that terrorism will not be able to bring about an end to the Jewish state, or even a retreat. They have to understand just how desperate their situation is—Sharon needs to show the Palestinians that Bush wasn't exaggerating when he said "suicide bombing missions could well blow up the best and only hope for a Palestinian state."

But since I'm a softy at heart, if the Palestinians really do truly decide to make peace, the Israelis should dismantle the settlements, one by one. I'd say evacuating 10,000 settlers every month would be a good rate, so long as the Palestinians kept up their committment to peace. It's time to put real demands on the Palestinians, with real rewards if they work for peace and real punishment if they choose another path.

Of course, none of this is worth even attempting while Arafat is in power. He needs to be removed before there's any hope of peace. It needs to be a democracy, so the Palestinians can choose to vote for Hamas. When Hamas wins the first election, that's acceptable—their terror will be repaid by the IDF—then the people will wise up and start voting for peace candidates. If the Palestinians are feeling to desperate and fatalistic, democracy is surely the cure—they will have their future in their own hands. There will be no one to blame but themselves if they fail.

[update (4/29 2:17am): The Other Postrel makes a different (and I think, better, case):

His letter to Unqualified Offerings
His letter to Tres Producers.

Instead of threatening expulsion, he would go right in and establish a real occupation. That sounds like a better idea to me, to be honest I didn't really have much of an idea how Israel was supposed to force democracy on the Palestinians. Certainly the Euroweenie peacekeepers could not be counted on to do it.]

[update (4/29 2:11am): I'm also keen on the idea of letting Crown Prince Abdullah reoccupy the West Bank, if he'll promise to keep the terrorists under control. Don't have any illusions that a Jordanian occupation would be any less brutal than one by Israel, though.]

Good Grief, Not More "Peace"

First Ariel Sharon is a "man of peace," now the Crown Prince of the House of Saud "is interested in peace in the region."

In Israel they have a saying, "this peace is killing us!"

The Definition of Insanity
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"—Albert Einstein

Bush Says Now Is Time for Israel to Withdraw

Small Thoughts from a Small Mind
"when small mind becomes calm, Big Mind starts its true activity"—Suzuki Roshi

Israel must choose between having peace or having “the peace process,” it seems it can't have both at the same time.

Moledet needs a new slogan. “No Arabs, No Terror Attacks” is racist and therefore illegal according to Israel’s attorney general. I propose: “No ‘People of Ishmael,’ No Cycle of Violence.”

Another Nobel Prize for the Palestinians?

This time, they're apparently aiming for the prize in Science:
Palestinians produced chemical and biological weapons to target Israeli population centers as well as national water reservoirs, a senior source" told the Ynet Hebrew news website.

According to the source, Israeli troops discovered chemical and biological weapons during Operation Defensive Shield.

The weapons were formulated from materials - including potash and cyanide - purchased within Israel.
Who still opposes Operation Defensive Shield? Only people who want Palestinians to have these weapons.

Inside the Mukata

Inside Arafat's office complex, the "Mukata," there were these weapons:

An RPG launcher
43 RPG bombs
  • 30 PG-7 Anti-Tank Rockets
  • 5 PG-7M Anti-Tank Rockets
  • 8 OG-7 Anti-Personnel Rockets
2 60 mm mortar bombs
22 Kalashnikov rifles
1 short Kalashnikov rifle
13 micro Kalashnikov rifles
Norwegian sniper weapons
A Barreta 762
9mm automatic Barreta rifles
An Arba-type assault rifle [update (6/12 5:30pm) "arba" means "four" in Hebrew. I still have no clue as to what this could mean.]
3 PK
4 #26 fragmentation grenades
A Miller fragmentation grenade
A smoke grenade
A #400 gas grenade
128 commando knives
2 MAG action crates
30 5.56 action crates
3 crates of Kalashnikov ammunition
99 Kalashnikov magazines
30 pistol magazines
A Barreta magazine
35 M16 magazines
8 7.62mm magazines
5 9mm magazines
6 short M16 magazines
18 combat vests
5 bulletproof vests
24 telescopic sights
5 night-vision devices
[Source: Israeli MFA. I took the liberty of adding links to pictures of the firearms, the links may not be correct (the Beretta 762 could be a Model 501 bolt action sniper rifle instead of an assault rifle, for instance). Here is a link to pictures of the actual weapons recovered. From those pictures, it's obvious there are more weapons than were included in the MFA's list, specifically a lot of handguns, shotguns and a SIG assault rifle.]

Aside from weapons, there were:
Counterfeiting plates / Counterfeit currency
Documents implicating Arafat as a sponsor of terror.
12 liters of Bromine

Bromine Material Data Safety Sheet:
Translated into English: Bromine in liquid/vapor form is irritating and corrosive to body tissue on contact. It can be especially hazardous to the eyes and respiratory tract. Concentrations of 1 PPM cause crying; Concentrations of 10 PPM or greater cause severe respiratory irritation and will not be tolerated voluntarily, respiratory failure may result. Pulmonary edema and pneumonia may be delayed results of heavy vapor exposure."
For some reason, I don't think Arafat intended to use this against Israelis "voluntarily." This MDSS is correct, Arafat's possession of this chemical "will not be tolerated."

Inside, there still are:
Yasser Arafat
"Peace" activists
Wanted Terrorists, including the assassins of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi.
And none of them have taken a shower in well over two weeks now.

Mercenaries for Allah

The Prime Minister of Egypt says he is ready to wage war on Israel ... for $100,000,000,000:
Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid said his country would go to war with Israel if Arab countries stumped up $US100 billion ($A186.32 billion) to pay for the confrontation, in an interview published yesterday.

"If you want to undertake an action and be ready to face up to challenges, you need at least $100 billion," he told the Abu Dhabi Government's Al-Ittihad newspaper when asked why Egypt had taken no measures against Israel's military offensive against the Palestinians.
Would $100 billion cover the costs of a war? Would it cover the cost of losing the Aswan High Dam? Would it cover the millions of lives lost in the ensuing destruction, the total devastation of the Nile?

Why did the Arabs stop all their wars, one after another, against Israel? Once Israel had nuclear weapons there was no point in fighting a war against Israel. The Arab states said they would push Israel into the sea. The shoe in fact was on the other foot, because once Israel had nuclear weapons it had the capability by having a nuclear air burst over Lake Nasser, the lake behind the Aswan high dam that could destroy the high dam. If the Aswan high dam is destroyed, it would create an enormous flood that could literally drive Egypt into the sea. So rather than the Arabs driving Israel into the sea, Israel could drive Egypt into the sea. I think that when President Sadat realized that, or was told that by his technical advisors, he went to Jerusalem. Thus, I claim that Israeli nuclear weapons led to Sadat's going to Jerusalem, that in turn led to the Camp David agreements, led to the agreements with the Palestinians and the Jordanians and continue to be a basic driving force in the Middle East peace process. Thus, we can thank nuclear weapons for much of the peace process in the Middle East.
Egypt chose to join the civilized world with the construction of the dam; Arafat chose the path of total warfare. Now Egypt is held hostage by its own success, while the Palestinians are able to continue their intifada without risk. They know no matter what the outcome, the suckers for a sob story in the European Parliament will rush down to relieve their plight.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Jenin in the Fascist Arab Media

How is Jenin being reported in the fascist (state-owned) Arab media? When it's not being played up as an organized mass murder of civilians, some honest and valuable reporting slips through. MEMRI has a collection of articles, all of which endorse the Israeli claims. The most prominent of course is Al-Ahram's interview with "Omar the Engineer."

CNN's interview with Islamic Jihad terrorist Tabaat Mardawi is also worth reading, but apparently MEMRI does not consider CNN to be a fascist Arab news source, so it wasn't included on the list.

Votre Nous Le Pen

I have no idea what that means. But everyone in the Blogosphere and conventional media has been using French words in their headlines, like "Non" and "Jean Marie" and even a bad pun. They all sound very cultured, so I'm going to jump on the bandwagon, or—as they say in France—"sautez dans le mouvement."


Arutz Sheva has a video up on this subject: watch it (28k 56k broadband)

What is the Situation in Bethlehem?

Palestinians shot their way in to the Church of the Nativity by blasting the locks off the doors.

They have since claimed "sanctuary," despite holding on to their weapons, and shooting out of the church at Israelis.

They have been accused by three escaped priests of stealing relics from the Church. If the priests are lying, why were they in the Church for so long? If they had an anti-Muslim agenda, why didn't they leave immediately? Clearly, it was because they were hostages. And because they were hostages, it is only reasonable to assume they weren't lying. Does anyone really believe Muslim terrorists would not defile the holy sites of other faiths?

They are also accused, by other escapees, of keeping fifty children hostage in the Church basement, allowing them out only an hour a day, and always kept under gunpoint. There is no reason to disbelieve this claim, either. (this and the previous link via Joanne Jacobs)

They are accused (in the video above) of using a monk as a human shield. After what the other monks said, there is no reason to disbelieve this (they use their own people as human shields, why not use Christians?)

They planned this in advance, and have admitted as much.

Despite all of this, the media continues to treat this as an Israeli siege on a Church, instead of a hostage situation.

Don't Even Think About Littering

I doubt they'll be using windmills or solar cells to power their smoothbore 120mm Rheinmetall cannons: Germany’s Green Party demands a powerful professional army

If this is the first environmentalist army, I would guess during peacetime the soldiers will be expected to police the autobahn for litter, and the Wehrmacht Bundeswehr engineers will roam the countryside building compost bins in peoples' backyards.

Le Pen to Enter the Runoff

Jean-Marie Le Pen defeats Lionel Jospin to take second place in an upset, and will advance to a runoff with Jacques Chirac.

A Le Pen candidacy could be bad because anti-Semitic violence will likely increase in the coming days. Le Pen would be happy with racial strife, because it would fit his agenda. It would drive Jews out, and demonize the Arabs. In fact, a permanent class of criminal/terrorist Arabs in France would be the best possible thing for Le Pen, because it would guarantee him reelection. Race war candidates don't get elected in times of racial harmony.

He revels in this sort of strife. It wouldn't surprise me if he tried to stir up tensions in the days before the vote, to better his chances of winning. However, Chirac now realizes his chances for reelection rest on halting Arab violence. So Chirac suck it up and do what he can to stop synagogues from being burned. He might even crack down overly harshly on Arab anti-Israel demonstrators, just to prove he's willing to "get tough on the Arabs," just like Le Pen.

Who should the Jews vote for? Le Pen hates Jews and Arabs. Chirac doesn't like Jews but he likes Arabs. On balance, this would seem to benefit Jews. But it's in Chirac's interests to halt the violence, and in Le Pen's to fan the flames. Jews should vote for Chirac.

Plus, most people in Europe would use Jewish support for Le Pen as an excuse for anti-Semitism ("oh, the Jews don't really care about anti-Semitism, they just use it as a political club. They don't really mind it, because they were obviously willing to tolerate Le Pen when it served their interests...")

[I've decided to resurrect this item because people keep straggling in off the web after searching for "Jews vote for Le Pen." This is the only site on all of Googledom to contain those five words in that order, at least for now. So I don't want to disappoint. In any case, the real question is this: why exactly is France such a pathetic country? A British solicitor (apparently that's legal in England) brings some evidence to the debate.]

Radical Islam and the Radical Left

It seems absurd at first that left-wingers would be anti-Israel. After all:

    Israel is a secular democracy, they kind of government they claim to want.
    The surrounding Arab states are dictatorships with an official state religion.

    Israel has a free and independent media, just as the left claims to want. The left-wing Israeli press is very critical of the government and very supportive of the peace process.
    The surrounding Arab states all have government-run, heavily censored media.

    Israeli women have full civil rights, as the left claims to want.
    The surrounding Arab states force women to cover themselves, and bar them from become business or political leaders.

    Israeli gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and transgenders have full civil rights, just as the left claims to want.
    Arabs who deviate from approved sexual behavior—even dating before marriage—are be punished by the state.

    The Israeli people value intellectualism and free discourse, as the left claims to.
    The surrounding Arab states criminalize “blasphemy” and political dissent.

    Marxists claim religion is the “opiate of the masses,” a reactionary impulse which works against their utopian revolution.
    The radical Muslims claim religion is the only way to achieve a utopian society.

    Marxists claim the patriarchal family structure is a result of capitalism.
    Radical Muslims say free trade is a threat to their “family values.”

    The Marxists claim to be crusading “against war and racism
    The Radical Muslims have declared global war on the Jewish people.

    The Marxist idea of utopia is an anarchistic paradise, with relativistic morals and bacchanalian debauchery.
    The Radical Islamic idea of utopia is reestablishing the caliphate and enforcing rigid Shari’a law.

On its face, left-wing ideology seems to be the exact opposite of radical Muslim doctrines. Of course, they’re really not so different, they both hate capitalism, individualism, America, and Israel. Neither is ashamed to support the acts of terror occurring daily in Israel. Both demand systems of government discredited in the past by their brutality, repression, economic failure, and the celebrations of the former citizens upon emancipation. And it’s not hard to see how moral relativism and other left-wing doctrines can slide into support for radical Islam—illustrated by two excellent poems by Will Warren).

Unequal Treatment

Reuters leads off their article with specific estimations of the number of protesters—which they absolutely did not do for the pro-Israel rally. Compare the two pieces of journalism:

Tens of Thousands Protest in U.S. Capital

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chanting, singing and beating drums, tens of thousands of protesters converged on the U.S. capital on Saturday to demonstrate against the U.S.-led war on terror, Israeli military actions in the West Bank and globalization.

Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey unofficially estimated there were between 35,000 and 50,000 demonstrators, the force's press office said, while organizers put the figure at above 50,000, perhaps as high as 70,000.

Bush Welcomes Big Pro-Israel Rally

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of demonstrators, encouraged by a message from President Bush, chanted and cheered solidarity with Israel at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, equating the military onslaught on Palestinian militants with Bush's war on terrorism.

Now remember there were over a hundred thousand demonstrators at the pro-Israel rally. It was twice as big—probably three times as big. And yet from reading these articles you wouldn't know that.

Arafat’s "Denunciation" of Terror

Much has been made of his speech condemning “violent operations” against civilians. Arafat did everything humanly possible to show the world that he didn't mean it. It's not like Bush didn't expect him to, when Bush asked Arafat to condemn terrorism, Bush made a point of asking him to do it "in Arabic."

While Arafat condemns terrorism in his speech, he refers to the bombing in Jerusalem as a "violent operation" and not an act of terror. Around the same time he gave his speech, his wife Suha gave her own, “express[ing] her support for suicide bombers, explaining it was “the legitimate right of any nation under occupation”. She added she would not hesitate to send her sons on a suicide mission.”

"Well, actually, he didn't make it himself. (Saeb Erekat read it out to the Associated Press.) And while it was released through the official Palestinian news agency, there's no indication that any attempt was made to spread the message to the people living in the Palestinian territories. In other words, it's just the same old bullshit... Arafat condemns "all terrorist acts against civilians, whether they are Israelis or Palestinians and whether this terrorism is sponsored by a state, group or person." It also says his organization has "embraced this position since 1988.""—from Daimnation! Of course, Arafat's position since 1988 (and always) has been to liberate "Palestine" through terrorism, that's what's in the charters of Fatah, the PLO, and the PNA, and it has never been changed..

And, of course, the terrorist attack Arafat was "condemning" was perpetrated by the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade—an offshoot of Fatah, one of Arafat's many terrorist groups. Arafat set the very bomb he "condemned." Is it any wonder Sharon doesn't want to negotiate with him?

Small Thoughts from a Small Mind
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..."—Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be a liberal, you have to believe allowing American citizens to carry concealed weapons will turn then into crazed gunmen, but 30,000 AK-47s in the hands of Yasser Arafat would turn him into a "partner for peace."

If "a suicide bomber is just a poor man's F-16," doesn't that imply the Palestinians have as much obligation not to target civilians as an Israeli Air Force pilot?

If peaceniks think there is a cycle of violence, and oppression is what fuels the violence, why aren't any of them demanding Yigal Amir be released? Aren't they afraid Amir's incarceration will only lead to more assassinations? Release him now, before it's too late! Sharon won't be safe until Amir is free!

The Mythical Suicide Bomber, and the Reality

The myth the anti-Israel types have created is that suicide bombers are destitute, desperate, and devoid of hope, radicalized by their economic situation. In other words, it’s the same excuse liberals use to justify “explain” crimes committed by groups of people they don’t want to blame. They refuse to see that suicide bombers are manufactured, indoctrinated from birth in order to go completely against the simplest, most natural human instinct—self-preservation. They refuse to see that religion is an issue, preferring to explain everything in starkly economic terms.

If religion is not a factor in this bombing campaign, why haven’t there been any Christian Palestinian suicide bombers? Surely they are in the same economic situation as their Muslim neighbors.

But the suicide bombers are not even poor—like so many other terrorists, they’re middle-class former university students. This fascinating article gives some insight into the inner workings of the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades. Here is another article about the bombers, they're the future elite of Palestine, the doctors and lawyers.

Even the sacrificial aspect of the suicide is false. They are not dying out of desperation, they’re dying deliberately to make a political statement. Many times the bombers hit areas with such low security they could have planted a bomb and escaped, but every time now they commit suicide. Even when they’re killing Israeli civilians, they get to play the victim; if they planted bombs and ran away, the world would be more likely to see them for the villains they are.

The suicide aspect also hurts Israeli morale while it boosts the Palestinians. The Israelis are left with nothing to do but pick up and catalogue pieces of the victims. The terrorist is beyond the reach of their weapons, they are incapable of bringing a suicide bomber to justice. Poetry about the suicide bombers compares them to birds, bursting into flight at the moment of their death. Meanwhile, the suicide bombers serve as inspirational role models for Palestinian youth, which the corrupt and cowardly terrorist leadership could never be.

From an article in The New Republic (by way of

A Hamas official is conceding that a large number of his warriors surrendered their weapons. When these fearsome fighters ran out of ammunition, they stopped fighting. And they were unwilling (or unable) to give their own lives. This would seem to undermine the conventional wisdom about Hamas and other terrorist organizations--namely, that military victory over them is not possible, and that combat only leads to "desperation" and more violence.
. . .
The implications of the victory, however, go beyond that. Israel did not achieve this victory with high-altitude bombing. It put the lives of its own soldiers on the line; literally speaking, it spilled its own blood. In so doing, Israel demonstrated that if its very existence is in jeopardy, as it is now, it is willing to fight man-to-man. In doing so, Israel took direct aim at a key precept of its enemies: that the Israelis are so weak and materialistic that they are unwilling to put soldiers at risk.
The leftists said Operation Defensive Shield would fail because it would only inspire more hatred in the Palestinians. If anything would crush their hopes, so the theory goes, it’s the treads of a Merkava down their city streets. But even now, at their most desperate time, the terrorists have decided to surrender instead of fighting to the death.

The terrorists aren't fighting because of hopelessness, they're fighting because of hope. They think the destruction of Israel is in the foreseeable future. There's only one way to stop the terrorists, and that is to fight them as Sharon is doing. The Israelis must fight them until they realize they cannot win through terror. There is no substitute for victory.

This item would not be complete without including what Orianna Fallaci has to say about them:

What do I feel for the kamikazes who died with them? No respect. No pity. No, not even pity, I who always wind up giving in to pity. I’ve always disliked kamikazes, that is people who commit suicide in order to kill others. Starting with the Japanese ones from World War II. I never considered them Pietro Miccas who torch the powder and go up with the citadel in order to block the arrival of the enemy troops at Torino. I never considered them soldiers. Even less do I consider them martyrs or heroes, as Mr. Arafat, hollering and spitting saliva, described them to me in 1972. (Or when I interviewed him at Amman, where his marshalls were also training the Baader-Meinhof terrorists.) I just consider them vain. Vain people who instead of seeking glory in cinema or politics or sports seek it in the death of themselves and others. A death that, in place of an Oscar or a ministerial seat or a medal, will get them (they think) admiration. And, in the case of those who pray to Allah, a place in the paradise that the Koran speaks of: the paradise where heroes get to fuck houris. I’ll bet they’re even physically vain. I have in front of me a photo of the two kamikaze I speak of in my novel Inshallah: the novel that begins with the destruction of the American base (more than four hundred dead) and the French base (more than three hundred fifty dead) at Beirut. They’d had it taken before going to die, this photo, and before going to die they’d gone to the barber. See what lovely haircuts. What pomaded moustaches, what well-groomed little beards, what coquettish sideburns...
Much of what the mainstream media reports about the suicide bombers is wrong, because the media buys into the myths surrounding them.

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