Friday, June 07, 2002

True Myths

They've put out a supposed list of myths about the Intifada. I promised over on Diana Hsieh's blog that I'd issue a point-by-point rebuttal to this.

Myth 1: There is no moral equivalence between suicide bombings on the one hand, and Israel's killing of Palestinians on the other

Their response to this "myth" was a condemnation of suicide bombings, which threw me off. Clearly, this document was meant for more widespread dispersal than the rest of the garbage on their website. What they are claiming is that there is moral equivalence, and that Israeli forces are incredibly evil.

They cite a report for Harper's magazine by Chris Hedges, in which he claims the Israeli forces deliberately lure in children(!) and then murder them(!) with silenced weapons(!). It's quite a dramatic claim, and aside from being an anti-Semitic stereotype, it's ridiculously false. I don't know where to start:

It is the greatest irony that Hedges uses the words, "see it with your own eyes," since Hedges worst accusations are based on incorrect assumptions. Hedges admits in the Harper's article that he did not see the boys shot -- they were "out of sight." Hedges also says he didn't hear the shots being fired, which he (incorrectly) assumed meant that Israeli soldiers were using silencers. Furthermore, Hedges offers no corroborating evidence -- no photos, no videos, no outside verification.
Myth 2: Israel's invasion of Palestinian cities and refugee camps is self-defence against suicide bombings

Operation Defensive Shield brought weeks of calm, and ever since, the terror attacks have gone down dramatically.

Myth 3: Arafat Refuses to Condemn Suicide Bombings in Arabic

I collected a list of everything Arafat had done to undermine his statement. As proof Arafat condemned suicide bombings, they drag out a few quotes of Arafat doing just that. But there is absolutely no mention of his constant support for suicide bombings, both in personal statements and in the general attitude of the media run by his government. For every time he has criticized suicide bombings, he has praised them at least a dozen times. What are we supposed to believe? That Arafat really means what he says when he condemns terrorism, but not when he supports it? When someone cheers on a terrorist bombing, and then denounces terrorism, which statement are you more likely to believe?

In any case, our complaint is not that Arafat refuses to condemn terrorism, but that he refuses to condemn it honestly, and that he's constantly celebrating it, praising the mass murderers as "martyrs."

Myth 4: Arafat has not done enough to stop terrorism
The basic assumption behind the Israeli claim that Arafat "must do more" to stop attacks on Israel is that the primary role of the Palestinian Authority is not to work for the security and well-being of the Palestinian people, but rather to guarantee the security and safety of Israeli occupation forces, settlers and civilians, even while Israel rules millions of disenfranchised Palestinians, and continues to seize their land by force.
Actually, that was the whole point of the Oslo Accords, which peacenik types love to claim Israel violated (I took it upon myself to refute that here)

Over the past 18 months, Israel has systematically attacked all the facilities of the Palestinian Authority, including police stations, prisons and intelligence headquarters, and killed and assassinated many Palestinian security officers. Hence while crippling and killing the Palestinian security forces, Israel makes the ludicrous demand that these same forces go out and work on Israel's behalf.
Israel only carried out targeted killings against individuals it knew to be engaged in terrorism. Israel has only attacked police facilities in response to Palestinian terror attacks, as a punishment to Arafat for not stopping the bombings. If the Palestinian Police Force is going to be negligent to an extreme degree, Israel might as well attack them in an attempt to force them to act. It certainly makes more sense than simply absorbing terror attacks and expecting the police to spontaneously reform themselves.

The suicide bombings which have followed the brutal Israeli re-invasions of almost every major West Bank town since late March 2002 prove conclusively that there is no level of violence or ruthlessness that either Israel or the Palestinian Authority can employ that will eliminate those determined to answer the suffering of millions of Palestinian civilians under decades of Israeli military occupation by inflicting suffering on Israeli civilians.
I thought the Electronic Intifada condemned suicide bombings (that's what they said above), but this doesn't sound like it. It sounds more like boasting.

Myth 5: Arafat Spurned Barak's generous offer at Camp David and broke off negotiations with Israel

This subject has already been beaten to death, I can't add anything to it.

And of course, when discussing the negotiations, Electronic Intifada leaves out any mention of the intifada:
In January 2001, the talks moved to Taba, Egypt, where they reportedly continued to make progress. They broke off at the end of January, and were due to resume but Barak canceled a planned meeting with Arafat. Shortly thereafter, Barak lost the election to Ariel Sharon, and the talks have never resumed.
Why would Barak have pulled out of these negotiations, if they were making such progress? He pulled out because they weren't making progress. There were three car bombs and one bus bombing between November of 2000 and January of 2001. Arafat wasn't doing anything to control the terrorists, he was making war on Israel, to pressure it into giving him more concessions.

Myth 6: Arafat started the Intifada

A public speech by Palestinian Minister of Information 'Imad al-Faluji would suggest otherwise:
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.
There's absolutely no doubt this was planned in advance. Anyone who wants to claim otherwise has to address the fact that a Minister in Arafat's cabinet has said otherwise. But Electronic Intifada prefers to ignore this completely.

As far as the insinuation Sharon visited a Muslim holy site, that's true. But the site is also the most holy site in all of Judaism. And Sharon never visited any of the sites holy only to Muslims (such as the Al-Aksa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock). He even coordinated his visit in advance with PLO security forces.

But the Arafat-controlled media played up the visit, and many groups were calling for a "day of rage." The government-run Palestinian schools were closed down for the day, so kids would be out to riot.

As for the lack of shooting coming from the rioters, they were still throwing rocks, which can be very dangerous, when they're thrown from the top of the Western Wall down at worshippers below. And they were also throwing firebombs, which are very dangerous. As far as the soldiers knew, anyone could have been carrying a firearm. The soldiers have to assume every Palestinian is armed, they can't wait for the terrorists to start shooting before they defend themselves!

The soldiers were also unprepared for this sort of rioting, as the last intifada had been a decade before the current one. If they mishandled the situation at all, it was out of inexperience.

Strange, for a website dedicated to celebrating the intifada, that it would disassociate Arafat from it.

(yes, the title of this post is a reference to this book, which you should own)

Parkerize Yourself

No, South Parkerize yourself. Do it here (via Insignificant Thoughts and What are they Saying)

I'm not going to post any photos of myself on this weblog, but here's the next best thing.

The Case Against Affirmative Action

Charles Ramsey is criminally incompetent (via Instapundit, but you just came from there)

Captain Euro is Racist

Instapundit links to Captain Euro, a stupid comic strip I've seen before (a link to it was once posted on Free Republic). It's put out by the EU to brainwash kids.

In the second episode, in a boat on the Venetian Canal, a fat Asian lady says "ah so"

WTF? Isn't that an old stereotype?

And the woman in the Euro team refers to one of the henchmen as "that miserable dwarf"

Isn't that insulting to "little people?" (the politically correct term for dwarves)

(and of course, the villain is a capitalist)

It's just so much stupid bigotry, anti-Asian, anti-little person, and anti-capitalist. What's next? How much lower could they go, with their Soviet-style propaganda?

[update (2:23pm): there's also anti-gun propaganda]

[update (3:21pm): they want to hear from you]

[update (6/8 12:01pm): it's also anti-American, another trendy form of bigotry]

Big Governmental Reorganization

I'm in favor. We need some organization out for the sole purpose of stopping terrorism and unconventional attacks. We need an organization that will organize our data, and process it, so that it is useful to us.

Armed with the power of hindsight, we can design an organization that would have been able to forsee and prevent the 9/11 attacks. We should create this.

[update (7:28pm): of course, it would have to be dedicated to organizing and processing the data, and not just collecting it. As a lot of people have pointed out, it could become just another layer of bureaucracy (via Instapundit, but you just came from there)

The optimal solution, I think, would be to change the structure of the FBI internally, without creating a new governmental department. Homeland security falls completely within the mandate of the FBI. It's more important that the Bureau be restructured, not that there be a new agency created, to do the FBI's job. This might get a lot of publicity, but I doubt it will actually do anything to promote homeland security.]

Thursday, June 06, 2002

The Immutable Laws of Dowd

Yeah, I'm not the first to post a link to this, but it's good, really good. These guys have her figured out.

Ann Coulter is a Raving Nutball

In her latest column:
It is the rare individual who does not succumb to horrendous physical pain. Muslims feel humiliated now? We'll show them humiliated.
Other than the psychotic episodes, it's not a bad column. We should rebuild the towers, at least rebuild something over 50 stories tall. And we should put a park on the site as well.

Put the park on top of the buildings. It wouldn't be so hard to do. It would be a very nice memorial, people could look out over the city while they stroll past some trees, on a nicely-kept lawn. If they can put a pool or a garden on top of a building, I don't see why they put up a park.

As per the idiotic Hillary Clinton suggestion to put a school on the site, most kids wouldn't be able to fully appreciate the significance. We shouldn't entrust them with something so important.

The buildings would have to be lower than the original towers, because every terrorist in the world would be aiming to destroy them (if they can deny us prime real estate in Manhattan, the terrorists will have won a small victory; by continuously attacking the same site, they force us to abandon it).

George Will Isn't Really Against Arming Pilots, and Neither is HFP

In an earlier post I argued against both HappyFunPundit and George Will's arguments against arming pilots. It turns out... they both think pilots should be armed.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Serious Response

Drudge and Haaretz are both reporting Israeli security forces are making their way towards Arafat's headquarters. That would be a serious response to the latest attack, but I can't see Sharon putting Arafat under siege again for this bus bombing. After all, Arafat has kept his promises from when he was released the last time (he never promised to crack down on terrorism, just to keep six people in jail).

Hopefully they're just going to kill him, but that's not likely.

[update (6/6 12:06am): Like I said, Israel is not putting Arafat under siege again, the IDF attacked the compound and then retreated.]

a Certain gang of Rascals is posting Egregious Trolls on the Internet agaiN, too bad nobody'S listening

He's decided the best way to get attention now is to go back to his original formula: launching ad-hominem attacks and petty insults against warbloggers. The whole "fact-checking" thing didn't work out so well, so they gang of idiots is hurling insults like a simian with a handful of poo (no offense intended to FFM). The personal attacks on most of these bloggers are cowardly (hey, let's beat up on Cap'n Scott and Asparagirl while they're not here to fight back) and entirely devoid of politics-related content.

But their depiction of my post was incorrect. I was not actually advocating firearms use or ownership, I was just talking about them. So it's not "pro-gun blabbing," it's just your standard blogbabble. Think of it as the "features" section of the blog. Every once in a rare while, I post something personal. For an actual pro-gun post, click here.

What is there to say?

Tal G. wonders if we are running out of things to say about suicide bombings in Israel. (via OceanGuy)

But what is there to say? Contrary to other attacks, this killed mostly soldiers. And despite this attack's size, it comes at a period of relative calm (relative calm), and was carried out by Islamic Jihad, a group that does not carry out regular attacks, but only infrequent ones.

What is there to say? That Jewish civilians were burned to death again, sixty years later in an indiscriminate attack? That the world once again turned its back (as it always does)? That Palestinians were celebrating on the streets (as they always do)?

The truth is, this attack isn't so different from the other attacks. Only when an item is different or special somehow can it be worthy of extensive coverage. I guess we could go back, and roll out the speeches about "moral clarity," and dust off the "pave the Gaza Strip" rant, and make a big show of expressing our anger.

But why bother? Sharon is taking the necessary actions to remedy the situation, Europe hasn't attacked Israel, the UN has held back its criticism, and Tenet has been very harsh with Arafat. All we can do now is support Sharon in however he decides to pursue security. For the Israelis' sake, I hope he does everything necessary to keep them safe.

At Least India is Acting Sane

Vajpayee proposes joint Indo-Pak anti-terror patrols (via PizzaGuyTom)

Throughout this crisis of brinksmanship, while both India and Pakistan have been provocative, Vajpayee has acted rationally, and Musharraf has been acting like a madman. India has real, solid goals: it wants an end to the terror in Kashmir. What does Musharraf want? He wants the terror in Kashmir to continue. That's not really a viable goal. And firing off all of those missiles was not very reassuring.

It looks like India will get a little of what it wants, which is better control of the terrorists.

Ashcroft Finally Does What is Necessary

Something I doubt anyone in the Gore administration would have had the brass to do: U.S. Will Seek to Fingerprint Visas' Holders from the Middle East and some Muslim countries.
The proposal ignited a raging debate in the Bush administration. White House officials supported the Justice proposal, but the State Department lodged objections, fearing diplomatic repercussions with allies in the war on terror, administration officials said.
It's good to see State squirm.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

The Onion Does Not Fail to Deliver

The Onion almost always has one hilarious article, and they've done it again this week. The humor content of their articles generally follows the "Zipf" distribution, with one side-splitting article, and then a few progressively less funny ones... never mind.

Blogging has been Sparse Lately

But I have an excuse. When I say I've been procrastinating and not doing an essay on "Communism or something" (apparently, it's about "Leninism," whatever that is), I mean I've been hard at work procrastinating.

I took the liberty of making a map for Counter-Strike, you can download it here if you're interested.

Tapped in the Head

I think Tapped doesn't understand the meaning of the word "acquitted:"
JUDGE SILBERMAN HAS BEEN CLONED! Either that, or he's still hearing cases. Somebody tell Jonathan Adler. (Thanks to alert reader F.S.)
Adler never said Silberman was out—in fact, the whole point of his post was that Silberman was still a judge, because the charges against him were bunk.

When Adler said Silberman was "acquitted," he meant "the case against Silberman has been acquitted and Silberman is still a judge," not "Silberman has been acquitted of being a judge" (which is a proper use of the word, acquitted can mean "To release or discharge from a duty," but it's rarely used this way).

Monday, June 03, 2002

Arson at the Israeli Embassy in Paris?

Andrew Sullivan brings up the topic again on his blog, to note that Larry Miller also thinks it was an arson attack.

My take? If it was arson (which I still think is unlikely), Israel doesn't throw a fit, and in exchange, France stops criticizing Israel so harshly.

Of course, if it was arson, Israel would have no real incentive to hype it. Compared to a synagogue, an embassy is a legitimate target for terrorists. And Israel would be incredibly embarrased that its security was pathetic enough to allow the attack in the first place.

In an unrelated note, Miller uses only French words for his headline. This is a pet peeve of mine. Pundits only do this for articles about France, they don't write Italian headlines for Italy, they don't write German headlines for Germany, they don't use the native language for any other country, not Sweden or China or Yemen or Angola or England. No, it's only for France. Stop sucking up to France in a pathetic attempt to appear cultured! Do you think the French write headlines in English, just to appear sophisticated? Do you think they drop English phrases into their conversations to impress their friends? No! So quit, already. We should boycott French words.

Vague Advance Warning of an Attack

Drudge has a headline on his report, "MUBARAK CLAIMS: EGYPT WARNED U.S. OF AN AL-QAIDA PLOT WEEK BEFORE 9/11." This very well might be true.

Like I said earlier, the Bush knew an attack was coming. He didn't know anything more than it was coming, soon. This isn't really exciting news.

The real question to ask: Why hasn't Mubarak bragged about this before? It's because his own people will despise him for trying to undermine Osama. Perversely, it's in Mubarak's interests to pretend he was on Osama's side.

Which shows just how much of a mess the Middle East is.

Probable (fake) Hate Crime in Israel

Some Arab kid is claiming to have been brutalized by Israeli border police, who cut a Star of David into his arm.

When symbols are carved into people, you can bet it was probably a hoax.
For reasons that are not clear, body markings on the victim by the alleged perpetrators are apparently a cause for suspicion. One theory is that the markings are intended to represent wounds. Another is that hoaxers are often self-absorbed individuals and the markings are narcissistic attention-getting devices.
Just like the recent cases of the lesbian who said she was attacked, or the woman who wrote KKK on her chest with a razor—backwards—because she was doing it in front of a mirror.

He also can't describe the policemen's faces, and is generally suffering from post-Hoax amnesia (he can't offer any proof this actually happened).

Of course, it doesn't really matter whether it was a hoax or not. It's not like the Arab newspapers care. It's not like the European newspapers care. Much more effort is put into spreading hoaxes than into refuting them. So the people who hate Israel will have just one more reason to hate Israel.

A Mosque at Ground Zero?

Sullivan writes that some Rabbi has proposed building a mosque at Ground Zero. He wants a park with a synagogue, a Mosque, and a Church.

Absolutely not.

We should build another set of twin towers, and we should steal the rock from the Dome of the Rock and put it up on top. That way, no Muslim could ever attack it again (it would become an Islamic holy site), and Muslims would lose their claim to Jerusalem (solving part of the Palestinian problem). Yes, this was all sarcasm.

Welcome, Izzy from

Over at the whacked-out Jihad website, a Jehadi calling himself "Izzedin Al-Quassem" asks:

"Salam alaikum .. does anyone know where I can find pics of teh jenin camp massacre adn also of teh masscre of muslims in india"Someone visited my blog yesterday with a Google search remarkably similar to this (it was looking for pictures of both the Jenin "massacre" and Indian Muslims in the same search (which is a stupid way to look for things on Google).

Did Izzy visit my website? In any case, I pointed him towards some pictures of Jenin. (I don't know if Khurasaan will post what I wrote)

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Two weeks ago, the PA high court ordered the release of Fuad Shubaki, the man behind the Karine A arms shipment. Now, the PA high court has ordered the release of Ahmed Sa'adat, from the PFLP-GC. The PA can't release him, though, because like I said two weeks ago, "the IDF has so many good options!" If he is ever released, they could just kill him.

The best option, of course, would be to confine Arafat until he puts Shubaki [Sa'adat] back under arrest, or until the IDF is able to kill him. This would put Arafat in a no-win situation (even if he resists the Israelis and refuses to cooperate to make his people think he's a tough guy, the IDF could kill Shubaki, and then withdraw from confining Arafat unilaterally, making him look even more helpless).
After all, the deal to free Arafat was, "the IDF lets Arafat out, and in exchange he keeps those people in jail." If Arafat were to renege to the deal, they could put him under confinement again!

And with Tenet heading into the region, Arafat will have to be on his best behavior anyway...

If this doesn't Make You Angry...

Our Idiotarian-Infested State Department is doing what it can to undermine the Iraqi National Congress, the largest opposition group to Saddam Hussein, the one we would be working with if we went into Iraq.

The Department of State is our enemy.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

Nice Mice Diced Twice, Feisty Guy's Devices Iced

Will Warren has a new poem about mice posted on his web site(okay, it's about more than just mice) (via Andrea Harris)

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