Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hezbollah: Does Its Funding Include Extortion?

The intent of this post is to air out a thought I had today about Hezbollah and its funding. But, before I get to that thought, I want to make it clear that there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that the major source of Hezbollah's income comes from the following:

--Iran $100-200 million/year
--Syria $?
--Business/properties in Lebanon $?
--Contributions from international supporters $?
--Illegal international trafficking (cigarette tax evasion, pirated CDs, etc) $?
--Drug trade $?
--Extortion $?

It is also probably true that many of its arms, rockets, munitions and other military supplies have been "gifted" as "in-kind" contributions from Iran and Syria.

Having said this I would like to return to the item above labelled "Extortion."

I have read nothing and can find nothing anywhere that gives me any information about how Hezbollah "operates" its self-styled, non-governmental control over southern Lebanon.

The Lebanese government obviously has little or anything to do with providing "basic services" to any of the Christians, Muslims (Shi'ite & Sunni), Druze or other ethnic or religious citizens of Lebanon in the Hezbollah-controlled areas.

Who then is providing services such as school teachers, police/security, ambulance and medical services, water, sewage, garbage collection, electricity, banking and fuel for these people? Unless folks travel into Beiruit it would appear that people are dependent on Hezbollah for all of these things.

What about the people who are employed in what would normally be called "public utilities," "civil service" or "public health" professions in "Hezbo-land?" Who do they work for? And, the most important question of all, "Who pays them? "

Again, the answer must be, Hezbollah.

Where does the money come from to pay all these "public employees?" I'm not so sure that Iran is overly interested in investing in such matters. Nor is Syria. Hezbollah, I believe, has to make its own way in this area.

And how, pray tell, can they do this?

At this point I am simply guessing (or, if you like a more sophisticated term, speculating).

My guess is that Hezbollah gets much of its funding for such local matters the same way that normal governments get their funding: taxes.

Do the people of southern, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon pay taxes to the central government in Beiruit? I don't know. Do you? I do know, from the exposees regarding the faux-attack on the pre-damaged Lebanese Red Cross ambulances, that the Lebanese central government still issues moving vehicle licenses and plates so I guess people are paying for these.

I wonder, however, if Hezbollah is taxing its people for the services that, according to the world's media, they seem to provide so freely and generously?

My guess is that they are.

I am pondering the idea that Hezbollah is either collecting money from its "citizens" in addtion to or in place of the taxes that would otherwise be expected to be collected by the Lebanese government, etc.

I am pondering the idea that Hezbollah collects the fees for electricity, fuel, water, sewage and garbage collection.

I am pondering the idea that this income is used to pay the men who work in these "economic sectors" and that these same people double on the side as Hizbollah's trained militia members...with a guaranteed job and a guaranteed income!

I am pondering the idea that this income is collected not only under the umbrella of "taxes" and "fees for services" but also through simple, straight-forward extortion.

A hint of this tactic can be found in a short but concise article on Hezbollah's funding at entitled, "Hezbollah's Hoard," written by Nathan Vardi.

All of the above list of income sources are discussed and then comes this curious and telling bon mot at the article's conclusion:
One lucky nab: Assad Barakat, a Hezbollah treasurer known for extracting protection money from Lebanese shopkeepers in South America hoping to keep their relatives back home safe from harm. Barakat was sentenced to six and a half years in a Paraguay jail.
Why, I ponder, should Hezbollah go half-way around the world to take "protection money" when they can get that very same "protection money" from the very people in Lebanon that they are purporting to protect?

My guess is that they are doing both.

So much for the free and philanthropic and caring generosity of Hezbollah for which they have been so loudly praised by the world media! '

Even when they're not giving away counterfeit money they are still nothing more than a "scam."

Which is a word that is spelled almost exactly the same as the word, "scum."

As always, can someone please give me the facts on these ponderings and correct me if I have mis-speculated? Thank you very much.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Forced Conversions in Islam Nothing New

Andrew Bostom at The American Thinker provides some historical context to the recent forced coversions of FoxNews reporter Steve Centanni and photographer Olaf Wiig to Islam. In the article, entitled "This Is Your Gazan Conversion," after citing a long list of historical precedents Bostom adds this series of questions:

Given this enduring and ignoble historical legacy, it remains to be seen whether contemporary Muslim religious authorities—particularly those within Palestinian society, and affiliated with Hamas or Fatah—will condemn publicly the forced conversions of the kidnapped Fox reporters.

Moreover, will they be joined by a chorus of authoritative voices representing the entire Muslim clerical hierarchy—Sunni and Shi’ite alike—from Mecca and Cairo, Qom and Najaf, to the Muslim advocacy groups in the West (such as CAIR in the United States, and the Muslim Council of Britain in England)—unanimous in their condemnation of this hideous practice, and formalized by a fatwa stating as much?

These groups can and should be judged according to their reaction to this hideous practice. When they have a mind to do so, they are able to speak quite loudly and command media attention.

Will such Muslim authorities at least recognize the acute predicament of Centanni and Wiig by issuing a fatwa stating that their “conversion”, being under duress, was not bona fide, condemning in advance any Muslim who might now attack these journalists for “apostasy” from Islam?

These thoughts reflect my own expressed in a previous posting on this matter. In a double irony I concluded that post with this phrase:
Is there anyone in the Muslim world who will step forward and challenge the . . . charges that I have made here? Although I sincerely pray that someone will sincerely challenge me I am not holding my breath.
Charles Johnson, in his response to to the questions raised in Bostom's article, writes,
So far, the silence has been deafening.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey Murder Fizzle

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Sad but true. John Karr is not, apparently, the killer of JonBenet Ramsey. According to the Boulder City DA Karr believes that he killed her . . . but there is absolutely no evidence to link him to the case.

This makes me think of the Fourth of July when one of those big rockets goes up in the air with a whoosh and then fizzles out with a *blip.*

No worries, however. Desparate as ever for getting our attention any way they can, the media is already back to wondering if JonBenet's mother was her killer.

Sad, but true.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Earthquake In Paradise

Well, after moving to Hawaii from California 13 years ago, it finally happened . . . I felt an earthquake this evening. My clock said 8:12 pm when my house gave a little wiggle. Daughter #2 said it felt as though the house had been picked up just a little bit and then dropped. In response, my wonderful wife said that that would have been like Dorothy's house landing in OZ! Daughter #3 was upstairs with my wife and was walking across the room at that moment and did not feel a thing. I immediately went outside (to see if the house had landed on a witch or anything) and was immediately struck by the sound of silence.

Back in California earthquakes are always accompanied by the sound of barking dogs. The neighborhood dogs were so quiet that I began to suspect that it hadn't been an earthquake at all.
Until my wonderful wife checked the internet and discovered that there had, indeed, been an earthquake somewhere between the Big Island of Hawaii and the island of Maui. It registered as a 3.2 magnitude quake and, as one researcher commented, it must have been "deep" for it to have been felt throughout the island chain (I have not yet heard if it was felt by anybody on Kauai . . . although I doubt that it was felt that far away).

There have been one or two small jolts that have been felt by a few people here and there on Oahu over the past decade. All these temblers have originated around the perimeter of the Big Island where active volcanic activity still stirs and belches deep beneath the earth.

Earthquakes in Hawaii are not like the California variety which are caused by faultlines in the earth's crust. Hawaii is different in that the entire island chain is drifting westward on a large crustal plate that is constantly being formed and thrust forward by magma rising up from a geological "hot spot" near the Big Island. Every island in the Hawaii chain, from Hawaii to Midway, has been formed over the years at the same spot . . . and then drifted an inch or a few millimeters each year towards Asia (where the crustal plate strikes another, attached to Japan, and dips back under the crust to be recycled).

I have felt large quakes in California and they are very terrifying. The small shake we had tonight was just "interesting." For my children it will be an experience that will help them to put the movement of the earth's surface into perspective.

Tomorrow's newspapers will have quotes and explainations by geologists, vulcanologists, and (undoubtedly) the mayor of Honolulu discussing the what, where, how and why of the whole thing. There will probably even be some mention of Civil Defense and emergency response preparation for when the "Big One" might come.

In Hawaii, the danger of damage or destruction from a large earthquake is far less of a concern that the death and destruction that would result from the tsunami that such an earthquake might create.

Even so, I did not hear any of the civil defense sirens going off this evening so, apparently, no one seems to be concerned about any sort of "chain reaction" from one thing leading to another.

So . . . I'll soon be going to bed and will probably wind up dreaming about Elvis Presley. Most likely he will not be singing about "Blue Hawaii." I expect that tonight's tune will be "Shake, Rattle and Roll!"

UPDATE: The latest news at 9:45 pm places the origin of the quake somewhere between Oahu and Molokai and with a magnitude somewhere between a 3 and a 4. This location seems very peculiar to me and will be fascinating for me to read a good explaination of how it came about. I am puzzled by the confusion over its magnitude, however. There is a huge difference between a 3 and a 4 on the Richter scale. Perhaps they will not know the actual size of the quake until they determine how far "down" it was!

Fox Newsmen Freed In Gaza--"Unharmed?"

Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and photographer Olaf Wiig were released into freedom yesterday by those who kidnapped them early last week.

According to an umsubstantiated report by DEBKAfile the terms of their release were as follows: 1. That the hostages convert to Islam, 2. That they do so as part of a pubicly released video, and 3. That a six-figure ransom be paid to the man who orchestrated the kidnapping.

The ransom allegation has not been confirmed but clearly, the first two alleged requirments were fulfilled as, shortly before they were set free, a video of the two men confessing their faith in Islam was released.

According to Centanni,
"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint, and don’t get me wrong here, I have the highest respect for Islam, and learned a lot of very good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do, because they had the guns, and we didn’t know what the hell was going on,” he told Fox.
In the video (via Allahpundit), however, with no apparent hint at satire or hypocracy, an Arabic quotation from the Quran appears that reads, there is "no compulsion in Islam."

More outrageous than this is the opening line of the NY Times article announcing their release:

JERUSALEM, Aug. 27 — Two journalists kidnapped in Gaza were released unharmed on Sunday after being forced at gunpoint to say on a videotape that they had converted to Islam (emphasis added).
"Unharmed?" Dean Barnett and Omri Ceren had something to say about that.

First Barnett:

Interesting locution there, “released unharmed,” no? This comes from the newspaper that believes that a Christmas crèche or a prayer uttered before a high school football game is a violation of the highest order. And yet being forced to adopt another faith at the point of a gun doesn’t rise to the level of “harm” in the Times’ judgment.
Now Ceren:

You idiot! You total blistering idiot! Being forced to convert is a harm. It might be the oldest harm short of death - being forced to renounce your faith and your god. Millions of people - literally millions - have died rather than deign to utter words that would force them to give up their faith. No wonder liberal journalists are utterly baffled by fully half of the United States - they don't think having to give up your religion is harmful. We are beyond certain that if Muslim prisoners at Gitmo were forced to convert away from Islam as a condition of their release, the New York Times would not be putting the phrase "released unharmed" into their lede.

As I have previously noted Centanni is a close relative of my wonderful wife's best friend. Along with his family we celebrate the release of these two men.

What surprises me most of all in this story, especially in light of the "trigger-figure" emotion that seems to arise whenever Islam or Muhammad is brought into disrepute by the West, is that there are no hordes of Muslims protesting the forced, violent conversions of kidnapped hostages to Islam in direct violation of the holy words of Muhammad in the Quran.

The lack of such outrage clearly demonstrates either the cowardice of supposedly "true" Muslims in the face of annihilation by radical members of their own faith or else reveals the utter hypocracy and moral bankruptcy of the faith itself.

Is there anyone in the Muslim world who will step forward and challenge these two charges that I have made here? Although I sincerely pray that someone will sincerely challenge me I am not holding my breath.

UPDATE: I just noticed this quote from an AP story quoted by John at Powerline:
[S]enior Palestinian security officials said Sunday the name was a front for local militants, and that Palestinian authorities had known the identity of the kidnappers from the start.
As John notes, "If that's true, one wonders what took so long." Not to mention, 1. What is Hamas' policy on "forced conversions" and, 2. Who gets the ransom money (if there was a ransom paid)?

HT: lgf & Powerline

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Annual Church Block Party

Yesterday (Saturday) we held our congregation's 8th Annual Block Party for our neighborhood and the community of Mililani. Several hundred adults and children came to enjoy the free food, the children's activities, the Dunk Tank, the Sponge Toss, the Rope Bridge (built by our Boy Scout Troop), the clown, the puppeteer and the adult entertainment stage.

The entertainment featured our Korean and Micronesian congregations, the Covenant Players, a Christian ukulele player/singer, a Christian Dance Halau, Hula and a local Christian band ("Seven Simple Pieces"). Everyone had a great time and God was nice enough to hold off the predicted rain until just before the end of our final event.

We throw this free party every year just to remind our neighbors that God's saving love in Christ Jesus our Lord is also free! Jesus paid the cost of our forgiveness and we foot the bill for the Block Party!

Here are a few photos of who came and what took place this year:

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Lucky we live Hawaii!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Rev,. Dr. Mark D. Roberts On the Presbyterian Publishing Fiasco

Mark D. Roberts, pastor of the Irvine Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) has spent the past three days commenting on the denomination's Presbyterian Publishing's publication of a book asserting that President Bush aided and abetted the successful terrorist attacks on 9/11.

I have already shared my simple thoughts.

I encourage you all to read Dr. Roberts' comments very closely as well.

Iran and the Infamous Date of August 22

I have commented several times on the specificity of Iran giving August 22nd as the day they would respond to the UN's demand that they cease their production of enriched unranium. The date had some unique and seemingly more than coincidental connections with events in Islamic history in general and Shi'ite theology in particular.

As it turned out nothing extraordinary transpired yesterday except for Iran's "apocalyptic" attack against a Romanian oil platform in the Persian Gulf.

Although some, like Dean Barnett (at & Captain Ed have scoffed at the "silliness" that surrounded the choice of this particular date I feel that a small dose of paranoia is not necessarily a bad thing when considering the complex angles of diplomacy and foreign policy in a religious and political culture as shadowy and labyrinthine as Iran's.

Captain was, I think, a little bit more judicial in has reflection on the August 22nd speculation:

Even in hindsight I will not apologize for my own speculations. They were and are a small reflection of my own personal belief that a lot of bad things are still going to take place before the US and its "allies" in the war against radical Islam gain any semblance of control.

Until then our enemies and antagonists will continue to keep us all off-balance.

If nothing less we are gaining a steep learning curve and that in itself is a good thing!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Swimming With the Turtles On North Shore Oahu

Daughters #1 & #3 joined me for a morning of snorkling at Shark's Cove (Pupukea) on Oahu's North Shore last Friday. That stretch of coast is both a marine preserve and one of the island's premiere scuba/snorkling areas. It was a state holiday and the area was jammed with people of all shapes, sizes, races, cultures, languages and nationalities. But the fish didn't seem to mind. In fact, they seemed to enjoy all the attention they were getting!

The morning's highlight was our encounter with three Green Sea Turtles. A "Daddy" sized one along with a "Mommy" and a "Baby" turtle, too. Sort of a family! With a cheap, disposable (non-flash) waterproof camera I came away with the following pictures. They turned out nice enough to want to share them with the world!

First come the turtle pictures!

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"Mommy" & "Baby"
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"Mommy" again (sorry, no "Daddy" pictures)

Then some "fishy" ones.

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A Moorish Idol

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Achilles Tang

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I said it was crowded!

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Orangebar Surgeonfish

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Another Moorish Idol

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The infamous Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

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A narrow spot between reef and the ocean's surface

And, lastly, a friendly wave from Daughter #1.

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Each of these photos was scanned from the original prints and color adjusted to look just the way we saw them under the water! Pretty good, huh?

Iran's Ahmadinejad Says, "Bow Down & Surrender To Iran"

As I write this it is already the morning of August 22nd in Iran. How they will choose to respond to the UN's call to halt their nuclear "energy" program has yet to be revealed.

What HAS been revealed, however, is another frightening quote from Iran's President Ahmadinejad. A transcript of a speech from August 13 ends with these words:
If you want to have good relations with the Iranian people in the future, you should acknowledge the right and the might of the Iranian people, and you should bow and surrender to the might of the Iranian people. If you do not accept this, the Iranian people will force you to bow and surrender.
Is anybody out there listening?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Family Calls for Release of Kidnapped Fox Reporter In Gaza

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMy wonderful wife's best friend happens to be a cousin to the Fox News reporter Steve Centanni recently kidnapped in Gaza. Today his brother, Ken, and sister, Gina, released personal statements calling for his release. In support of the Cittani family I reproduce those statements here.
GINA CENTANNI -- "We deeply believe that all human beings share a common longing for peace. Even when we are driven by desperation or fear or rage, the most authentic part of any human being is our ability to access our humanity. Remember how to love and how to tolerate and understand.

Nobody believes this more than Steve. So, in that sense, he's our brother but he is your brother too. And to Steve we want to say that we love you and that we're thinking about you every minute of every day. We're feeling lots of emotions right now but the one thing we're not feeling is despair. You are a man of courage, compassion, integrity and hope. We've taken comfort in the absolute knowledge that if anybody can hang in there in a situation like this, you can. We feel sure that you're going to be OK. See you soon."

KEN CENTANNI -- "Our brother, Steve Centanni, was kidnapped on August 14th, last Monday. I would like his captors to know that Steve is an honorable man who always tries to do what is right. Steve has strong respect for the Palestinian people and their culture. Steve was in Gaza with Olaf Wiig to report the truth. He is far more valuable to the Palestinian people free as a journalist than as a captive. We love Steve very much and now his health, his safety and his life is your responsibility. Please, contact our family. Let us know that he is alive and unharmed."
Please keep Steve and Olaf in your prayers as well as their friends and families. Pray for their safe release.

Hilo Little Leaguer's Make Hawaii Proud!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFor the second straight year the little league World Series (Cal Ripken Division, 12 & under) has been won by a team from Hawaii. Last year it was the Oahu All-Stars from Ewa Beach. This year . . . today . . . it was Hilo.

The Hilo team beat Mexico 5-2 one day after winning the United States' Championship 8-1 over Arkansas.

It is amazing to me how well the Hawaii teams do in little league national competition each year. This year, in addition to the Hilo championship, one Hawaii team (Pearl City) reached the championship game in their division and another ( made it all the way to the semi-finals.

Today's victory is a real inspiration to every small, isolated little league team in the country as well as proof that "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" You see, three years ago the same Hilo team with the same coach (Kaha Wong) played Mexico in the World Championship game . . . and lost 13-2.

Today, they ended their year as World Champions!


Friday, August 18, 2006

Presbyterian Publishing Blows It Big Time

I try very hard not to speak too harshly of my PCUSA denomination. I weary of the bitter in-fighting over reimagining such matters as human sexuality and the authority of scripture. As a pastor all I really want to do is reach out and welcome folks into the church with the good news of God's saving love in the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I first heard that the denominationally-affiliated Presbyterian Publishing had printed a book by David Ray Griffin called, "Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action," I wondered if the author might be examining the issues of religion and culture in light of the emerging power of militant Islamism and the widening "clash of civilizations."

To my astonishment the book turned out to be a political nut-case hit piece against the Bush administration that accuses the United States of invading other countries to impose its imperial rule and its control of other peoples' resources. According to one reviewer, "Griffin makes a compelling case that the imperial practices of the American government have become a destructive force in the world." Another reviewer states that, "In a profound exploration of the nature and history of the demonic, Griffin suggests that American empire is a culmination of human demonic alienation from God."

As the Washington Times puts it, the book
...accuses the Bush administration -- in power only eight months at the time of the 2001 terrorist attacks -- of plotting September 11 to justify war with Afghanistan and Iraq, and to expand an "American empire."
As a PCUSA pastor I can only roll my eyes in disbelief over the publication of this book by Presbyterian Publishing. The PP editor offers this lame excuse:

"The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation is one of six agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) but we receive no funding from the denomination, but rather contribute to the mission of the PC(USA) through our operating surpluses. Under the Westminster John Knox Press imprint, we publish a theologically and religiously diverse selection of books that extends far beyond the Reformed tradition and the official policies and stances of the PC(USA)."

Note, however, that the link to PP can be found at the PCUSA web site listed under "Resources & Publications." It's sad to think that we are disseminating this foolishness in the name of Christ and trying to make money off of it!

Hugh Hewitt, a PCUSA Elder and member of Dr. Mark Roberts' Irvine Presbyterian Church, is outraged and so am I. Hugh sees this as one more reason to either "demand a wholesale housecleaning of the Louisville bureaucracy" or else "outline the process of divorce so the rational congregations can go their own way."

I am not so shaken by this as is Hugh yet I am getting tired . . . oh, so tired . . . of denominational staff and agencies related to our General Assembly constantly slipping, sliding and falling off the far left side of the national political spectrum.

That a publisher affiliated with a national Christian denomination would even CONSIDER publishing a book such as this is beyond scandalous. The book, in essence, accuses the current President of the United States of personal responsibility in conspiring ordering and causing the deaths of neary 3000 American civilians, military personnel and emergency responders as well as the destruction and/or damage to the two largest workplace complexes in the world on 9/11/01!

The implications of such an accusation are unfathomable and less grounded in any sense of reality that a painting by Salvador Dali. The outright denial that an actual attack on the United States by Islamic terrorists took place on 9/11 is reminiscent of Hitler's infamous "Big Lie" and every bit at dangerous.

At the very least, we should demand that the Board of Directors of Presbyterian Publishing denounce and repudiate the contents of this book and immediately cease its printing and distibution.

This action should be followed immediatly by the firing of Presbyterian Publishing's President & Publisher Davis Perkins and the entire Editorial staff.

Having said this I must also reflect on the many comments Hugh Hewitt has received in response to his post on this matter. Many were from either members of the PCA or the Roman Catholic Church attempting to lure, entice and encourage Hugh into their particular theological fold.

After first responding with a comment in support of Hugh's outrage I added a second comment as follows:
Hugh, I can't help but notice the seductive and tempting invitations from your PCA and RC fans! Even with its struggles the PCUSA continues to deny homosexuals the privilege of ordination (contrary to all you have heard) and even the adoption of the PUP report at GA this year included an amendment to that report that radically reduced the chance that it can be used to circumvent the constitutional prohibitions.

The past GA was one of the most conservatively inclined meetings in many years with much accomplished that tells me that we have not yet reached doctrinal bankruptcy.

In spite of all the warts there is still much in the PCUSA that is right and good, and much of that is bitterly opposed by the PCA and RC. If the day should ever come when I would leave my denomination (and that day has not yet come) I doubt I would join either of the above mentioned alternatives lest too much of the biblical/doctrinal baby get thrown out with the bath water!

Try as we might, only Christ is perfect and free from sin.
Kyrie Eleison. Christe Eleison. Kyrie Eleison.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Useful Idiots" Are Disposable Tools of Islamists

How odd that just yesterday afternoon, while listening to a summary of statements by people like Michael Moore ("There are no terrorists"), British PM George Galloway ("In most people's eyes Israel is a terrorist state") and Brian Williams ("Several U.S. presidents were at minimum revolutionaries, and probably were considered terrorists of their time") on the radio, the phrase "useful idiots" came into my mind. The phrase seemed to summarize my feelings about these folks but I couldn't quite put my finger on where the phrase originated.

Today, to my surprise, I came across an article on the internet written by Amil Imani entitled, "Useful Idiots--Islam's Best Soldiers."

As Imani puts it,
Islam enjoys a large and influential ally among the non-Muslims: A new generation of "Useful Idiots," that Lenin identified as those who lived in liberal democracies and furthered the work of communism. This new generation of Useful Idiots also lives in liberal democracies but serves the cause of Islamofascism -- another virulent form of totalitarian ideology.
To be sure, Imani is an ex-patriate Irani who has nothing good to say of Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic revolution.

While Imani writes more stridently than I would like I nonetheless must completely agree with his appraisal of the "useful idiots" who weep and gnash their teeth while defending murderous Islamists and spewing out hatred and derision on President Bush, the United States and the West in general.

As I have heard stated over and over again by a variety of conservative talk radio hosts, when the Islamist radicals take over the West the first throats that they will slit will be those of . . . well . . . these same useful idiots who have purportedly been defending them.

Imani puts this thought into his own words in his concluding paragraph:
The lesson is clear. Beware of the Useful Idiots who live in liberal democracies. Knowingly or unknowingly, they serve as the greatest volunteer and effective soldiers of Islam. They pave the way for the advancement of Islam and they will assuredly be among the very first victims of Islam as soon as it assumes power.
The article is worth reading in its own right. But the use of the term "Useful Idiots" in this context seems to me to be spot-on regardless.

By the way, the website is a good place to read up on what Iranians (virtually all living outside of Iran) are thinking about Iran and other things. As one might expect from a "gathering of Persians" there is plenty of poetry to be found, too!

Iran Begins Destroying Satellite Dishes in Tehran

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Judith Apter Klinghoffer brings us news that the Iranian mullahcracy has started destroying every satellite dish they can find. Judith asks,
The Iranian regime apparently has something it feels it must hide. The police is (sic) going building to building smashing sattelite (sic) dishes... Is it possible the Mullahs worry that the people will find out that they are provoking their destruction?
Good question.

Read the links for the details and visit peykeiran for more photos of the destruction.

HT: John at Powerline

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey Murder Arrest in Thailand

Well, it seems that an arrest has finally been made in the 10-year old murder case of JonBenet Ramsey. The suspect, John Mark Karr, apparently not previously known to the Ramsey family, was arrested in his apartment in Bangkok, Thailand.

I hope that the man pleads guilty and saves us all the media circus of a trial.

I also hope that the Boulder, Colorado, Police Department and DA will be credited with having had enough sense to call a halt to the investigation when no evidence was found that warranted either arrests or indictments in the case. The pressure on them to do so was monumental.

Lastly, I hope that, when justice has at last been done, the Ramsey family will be granted the respect and admiration that they deserve. They have not only suffered the loss of a child to a brutal murder but have endured 10 years of unceasing accusations that JonBenet's parents had themselves commited the crime.

I pray that everyone involved (except, of course, for Mr. Karr) will finally have the opportunity to rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Quote of the Day: Hassam Nasrallah On Jews

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingHere is a nifty little quote from Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah (gleaned from the otherwise glowing article on his life and thought at
If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli.
I notice that he did not say the "Israeli." My guess is that Nasrallah considers the Israelis to be less cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble than the Jews.

I suppose, then, that explains why Nasrallah has spent the past several weeks hiding in a secret underground bunker.

Russians Kill Japanese Crab Fisherman

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The AP story reads,
A Russian border patrol shot and killed a Japanese crab fisherman Wednesday in waters near disputed islands off Japan's northern coast . . . near Kaigara island, one of several islands off the northeast tip of Hokkaido that are claimed by both Japan and Russia.
I guess that's one way settle a dispute: Just kill each other until someone gives in or gives up.

If the Japanese crab fisherman had been a member of Hezbollah I would expect that Hassan Nasrallah would have already appeared on television declaring that a great victory had been won against the Russian occupiers.

Instead, we read that,
The Japanese Foreign Ministry planned to summon Russia's deputy ambassador to explain the incident.
Perhaps the Japanese could just kill Russia's deputy ambassador and call it even. I doubt that the crab fisherman's family would conisder the deputy ambassador any more valuable a human life than the fisherman's!

Back when I was living in the far-northern California town of Weed I frequently came across a sign similar to the one at the top of this post. The signs were intended to make a serious point with a quirky twist of wry humor. No one really took the signs literally but we respected the intent.

I can imagine the waters around Kiagara Island covered with buoys covered with the Russian equivilent of, "Trespassers Will Be Shot." These buoys would, of course, be intermingled with an equal number of buoys carrying the same message in Japanese.

My guess is that the big problem is that most sailors on a Russian border patrol boat crew do not read Japanese very well and that most Japanese crab fishermen do not read Russian very well, either.

Until this all gets straightened out I imagine that the only winners in this whole, tragic mess are the crabs.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Thought About the Israel-Hezbollah Cease-Fire and Disarmament

What I think (and I could be wrong!):

Question #1: If Israel disarmed what would happen?
Answer: Israel would be invaded by Hezbollah from Lebanon and by Hamas and Fatah frin the West Bank and Gaza. The slaughter of civilians would be immediate and brutal and would continue until either Israel was destroyed or the international community intervened on Israel's behalf.

Question #2: If Hezbollah, Hamas and Fatah completely disarmed southern Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza (including an end to suicide bombings?
Answer: Israel would withdraw all forces from Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank (with the possible exception of East Jerusalem and adjacent settlements) and accept the formation of an independent Palestine.

Does anyone have a different opinion?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Just 10 More Shopping Days Until August 22nd

Yep. If the ongoing speculation about Iranian President Ahmadinejad's apocalyptic vision for the end times and the return of the "hidden Imam" (the "Mahdi") has any connection to his deadline date (August 22) for his response to the UN incentive package for halting Iran's nuclear weapons program then you just might want to pick up some bottled water and toilet paper on your next trip to the store.

I have written about this date several times and noted its significance for Islam here and here. In addition to being the date of the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin after the 1st Crusade the date also apparently commemorates "the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque,' usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1)." (WSJ via Drudge)

Personally, I have speculated on a nuclear attack on Israel (probably Tel Aviv) and others have considered the possibility of a massive conventional attack on Israel by Iran as well.

Lately, however, I am thinking that Iran might be planning to set off a nuclear test explosion on August 22 to demonstrate to the world that they do, in fact, already have "the bomb."

It is, of course, possible that they have developed it themselves. But is unlikely that they would "waste" their hard-fought weapon on a mere "test."

More likely, to my mind, is that they have developed their own nuclear bomb but will keep it and set off a smaller one that they have acquired from Russia or Korea as their test demo.

Such a test would clearly send "chills" down the spines of the rest of the world and make the future far more uncertain than it is already.

If, in fact, we do get past August 22 relatively unscathed then I would not be surprised to soon hear Ahmadinejad quoting another significant date in Islamic tradition as the next "deadline" on Iran's march into historical infamy.

Green Helmet Guy--Hezbollah's On-The-Spot PR Director

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingIf you haven't heard of Hezbollah's "Green Helmet Guy" you probably have at least seen him in newpaper/magazine photographs or on television. He is the ever-present "Johnny-on-the spot" go-to man for the Western media when it comes to Israel's wanton slaughtering of innocent Lebanese women and children.

When the bombs hit in Tyre, Green Helmet Man was there.

More importantly, when the bombs hit in Qana, the Green Helmet Guy was there to make sure the media representatives took the pictures HE wanted them to take. Click on the photo to watch him in action, caught on video by a German news crew.

Media folks have described him as everything from a "rescue worker" to a "Red Cross volunteer" to an "ambulance driver" to . . . well, you get the idea.

If you still don't believe that Hezbollah and the Green Helmet Guy are manipulating the media and feeding you anti-Israel propoganda every day just check out this post by EU Referendum (and then feel free to follow all the links for even more).

This is, of course, in addition to the PhotoShop alterations of news photos (dubbed "fauxtography") that recently scandalized Reuters and exposed by Jawa Report and LGF.

This is also in addition to the unethical practice of rearranging photo scenes and posing people to create a news photograph with a hidden agenda.

So, too, are the complete fabrication of incidents simply for the sake of getting good news video to show on your evening TV News broadcasts. CNN's Anderson Cooper gives a good description of this practice.

And how can I forget the simple act of taking a photo of one thing (a burning garbage dump) and telling the world that it is the burning remains of an Israeli attack jet!

Or how about simply taking different photos of a destroyed building and describing it as having been destroyed by Israeli jets on three or more different days!

And the picture showing Hezbollah rockets being fired from Tyre with a news caption describing the picture as showing Israeli rockets raining down on Tyre!

And then there is the Lebanese Red Cross ambulance supposedly hit by an Israele rocket that has proved to be a complete hoax. (Here's an article that promotes the lie).

And the photograph of the little Lebanese girl reported to have been killed in an Israeli bombing attack, only later acknowledged to have been killed by falling off of a swing in her back yard!

The list is endless.

The media is lying to us all.

Don't believe everything that you hear or everything that you see.

Seeing is no longer believing.

And, for those of you who have not yet had enough of the Green Helmet Guy, he now has his very own web site!

NOTE: Nothing in this post is intended to minimize the genuine pain, suffering destruction and death being experienced by the people of Lebanon and Israel.

I Was Wrong About Israel This Time . . . And Next Time, Too, I Hope

Yesterday I posted on, Is Israel a Stooge of the United States. Based on this morning's news I am glad to say that it looks as though I was wrong! And I am glad.

But then again . . . .

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Is Israel a Stooge of the United States?

I have read reports (here, here, here & here) both yesterday and again this morning that Israel may be putting its plans to invade Lebanon as far north as the Litani River on hold due to pressure from the Bush Administration.

What? Is it true? Is Israel truly a stooge, a lackey of the United States just as the Arab/Muslim world has been screaming about for decades?

If these stories are true then I might have to rethink this whole matter. Maybe, just maybe, the "Arab Street" is right after all.

When Bush says, "Go ahead, attack Hezbollah," Israel attacks.

When Bush says, "Go ahead, you have the right to defend yourself," Israel defends itself.

When Bush says, "Here are some more precision bombs since you are running low," Israel continues its bombing.

When Bush says, "Hey, give it a rest for a couple of days to let things cool down," Israel halts its attacks for two days.

When Bush says, "Thanks for holding back, green light again," Israel resumes its attack.

When Bush says, "Gee, Hezbollah is just withdrawing to the north, maybe Israel needs to go a little deeper into Lebanon," Israel charges north to the Litani River.

When Bush says, "Uh, no . . . I really didn't mean that . . . you'd better call that off . . . you know, there must have been some misunderstanding (but don't tell anybody I said anything . . . wink, wink, nudge, nudge and all that)," Israel pulls back.

This is insanity! Either Bush is manic-depressive with symptoms of schizophrenia or else Israel's Olmert has an American leash around his neck like an Iraqi prisoner in Abu Graib.

Wars are not children's games that end when one child starts crying or takes the ball and goes home in a huff.

Wars are not directed like an orchestra with a "conductor" who causes everything to stop now and again during rehearsal to talk things over with the musicians in preparation for some future performance where everything will turn out near-perfectly!

Wars are messy and bloody and create suffering and death and destruction. No amount of "rehearsal" can prepare any army for every possible configuration on the field of battle.

In wars, politicians must let the generals run the show within clearly established guidelines stating what is to be accomplished and with what resources.

When politicians begin telling the generals what to do then the war has already been lost.

It is now beginning to look as though Hezbollah will be victorious in its invasion of and war with Israel.

If Israel is, indeed, doing the bidding of the United States then it has sold its soul for a mess of pottage and is on shaky ground as to whether it can still be considered a sovereign, free and independent nation.

If Hezbollah is allowed to "survive" intact militarily as well as politically then Israel may as well take Iranian President Ahmadinejab's "suggestion" to close up shop in Palestine and set up as a new country someplace in Europe.

I am beginning to catch a whiff of the fragrance of burning flesh . . . a peculiar odor last noted on the day that Auchwitz was liberated.

I pray to God that I am mistaken.

UPDATE: Perhaps I WAS mistaken!

A Quiz to Evaluate Your Response To the Arrest of Airline Bombing Terrorist Suspects In Britain Today

Why is everybody making such a fuss about the terrorist hijack/bombing plot?

Here is a short quiz to test out your own reaction to the news:

1. Are you surprised that Islamist terrorists were plotting to kill thousands of innocent people? A. Yes B. No

2. Are you surprised that they were planning to direct their attacks on passenger airlines? (as if that was a new and unprecedented idea?) A. Yes B. No

3. Are you surprised that the plot involved British born citizens? A. Yes B. No

4. Is it a surprise that the plot apparently has connections to a country like Pakistan (where Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri are supposedly hiding out)? A. Yes B. No

5. Are you surprised that the plot was able to be uncovered and foiled by British and international intelligence agencies? A. Yes B. No

6. Are you surprised that new layers of travel restrictions and guidelines were immediately implemented? A. Yes B. No

7. Are you surprised that the mainstream media are tip-toeing around using the words “Muslim” and “Islam” in regards tothis story (especially in Britain where ¼ of British Muslims say that they believe that last years London subway bombings were “justified”)? A. Yes B. No

8. Will you be surprised if it is discovered that there are Muslim terrorists already in the United States who were part of this plot and prepared to act in a coordinated way with the arrested terrorists in Britain? A. Yes B. No

9. Will you be surprised if it is discovered that there are Muslim terrorists already in the United States who were not part of this plot but who are preparing to act on their own plans to create terrorist attack in this country? A. Yes B. No

10. Will you go to bed tonight feeling safer, just the same or less safe than you did last night before you heard about the terrorist arrests in Britain? A. Safer B. Just the same C. Less Safe

Let’s see how you scored.

If you checked off “B” for questions 1-10 then you are a politically-savvy realist who has a firm grasp of what is going on in the world in general and in the war on terror in particular.

If you checked off “A” for questions 1-9 and either “A” or “C” for question 10 then you should plan on picking up a newspaper, turn on the TV and check out some reputable information sites on the internet more than once or twice every year.

Today produced no surprises.

Today produced only what we ought to expect.

We should expect more news like this.


For many years to come.

Because we are at war.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Alaska Oil Shutdown Proves US Vulnerable

Nothing threatens the security and economic stability of the United States more than our dependence on oil. It has been estimated that if our access to oil was reduced by 20% we would experience economic collapse.

When the Alaska oil pipeline was closed down yesterday because of leakage cause by corrosion, we lost 8% of our oil supply in an instant.

We currently depend on foreign oil for 70% of our daily supply. (You can find statistical support here).

It seems that this vulnerability should force us to take another look at the prosepects of drilling for oil in ANWAR.

It is estimated that a median estimate of oil available from ANWAR would decrease our dependence on foreign oil by 4% and increase our domestic oil production by 12%.

This increase would take place at about the same time our current flow of North Slope Alaskan oil begins to decrease to the level where it may become economically unfeasable to continue the maintainance and use of the Alaskan pipeline at all.

Personally, I am one who believes that the environmental impact will be small and more than offset by the economic safety-net that would be strengthened by the additional domestic source of oil that would be opened up to development.

If you have not yet gotten to the hand-wringing "woe is me" feeling over our fragile economic situation re oil then perhaps you should read some of the articles already written today.

The following were cut and pasted from the Drudge Report this afternoon.

BP: Pipeline Closing May Last for Months...
BP Shuts Down Largest U.S. Oil Field...
Energy Dept. Ready to Tap Emergency Supplies...

Note: By the way, I am not surprised that the Democrats in Congress want to investigate this breakdown. It means that an issue that they thought they had killed and buried last year will be raising its head once again at a critical moment threatening stability in the Middle East and just before national elections! Ouch!

It should be clear, however, that the national interest should ALWAYS take precedence over the interests of any one political party. I can only hope that the Democrats and Republicans can reconcile their differences on the need for a coherent and realistic energy policy.

ANWAR oil, if developed, must only be viewed as "buying time." Nuclear and other alternative sources for energy must be developed according to a planned long-term schedule much as we planned out the manned landing on the moon back in the 1960s.

We have the technology.

We have the resources.

Do we have the will?

It will, one day soon, be a matter of economic life or death to find that will.

Do not support any politician that does not take this matter seriously!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Andrew Sullivan & Hugh Hewitt Go Toe-To-Toe

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTwo blogger heavyweights have been slugging it out in the cyber-space ring over the past few days. Hugh Hewitt and Andrew Sullivan have been jabbing and counter-jabbing over whether Hewitt is a "Chistianist," an "anti-Semite," a "fanatic" and a "liar" or whether Anderw Sullivan is an "omniscient" "bigot" engaged in "slander."

If you want to follow the rounds so far you can find Hugh's responses here (Round 1) and here (Round 2) and you can find Andrew's attacks here (Round 1) and here (Round 2).

I hope that this does not turn into one of those epic movie fights like that between John Wayne and Victor McLaglen in "The Quiet Man" where each man pommels the other into exhaustion.

On the other hand, perhaps this slug-fest is like the Israel-Hezbollah conflict where well-meaning people wish that everyone could just shake hands, make peace and get along with each other but the reality is that each is determined that there be a "winner" and a "loser."

Personally, I wish that, as honorable men, they will just allow the whole thing to quiet down, express their disappointment in each other and mutally apologize for "hurting each other's feelings!"

Time will tell.

My own commentary so far is that Sullivan, having come out swinging in the first round, has been bobbing, weaving and playing rope-a-dope with Hewitt ever since.

Even by his own definition of the word "Christianist" Sullivan cannot actually believe that Hewitt holds "the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike."

Nor can Sullivan defend the inference that Hugh's so-called "Christianism" parallels the Islamist's desire "to wield Islam (Christianity) as a political force and conflate state and mosque (church)."

Nor does Sullivan need to come up with any more vague definitions of this word, "Christianist" (the derogatory meaning and origin of a related term, "christer" I have traced in a previous post). As I see it, the way Sullivan "thinks" he means it is simply that a "Christianist" is someone who has the political/religious interest in (re)establishing "Christendom" in one place or in all places.

Wikipedia actually provides a good description of "Christendom" when it states,
...the vision of Christendom is a vision of a Christian theocracy, a government devoted to the enforcement of Christian values, and whose institutions are suffused with Christian piety. In this vision, members of the Christian clergy wield plenty of political clout.
It seems to me that this would provide a fair and objective way of defining a "Christianist" that would provide a common point of departure for discussion and debate.

Yet I doubt that Sullivan would accept this definition because it does not carry enough subjective, emotional, politically incorrect subtlety. It would also provide a definition that would be too clear and universally understood for Sullivan to defend himself in his use of the term "Christianist" against Hewitt.

Sullivan seems to base his defense on being specific and vague at one and the same time.

I think (to use a mixed netaphor that really doesn't fit with boxing) that Hewitt has the "high ground" on this matter. In the end, should this ever come to an end, I suppose the high ground, like Cemetary Hill at Gettysburg, will decide the outcome.

All I really ask is that the two gentlemen keep their fight as clean and as close to the vision of the Marquis of Queesbury as possible.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What If George Bush Was As Straightforward About His Politics & Beliefs As Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei?

Iran's Grand Ayatollah Khamenei gave a speech earlier this week in response to the so-called "Massacre" at Qana. Just out of curiosity I rewrote that speech by simply switching the "good guys" with the "bad guys." Here is the result. I found it interesting to consider how the world would react if President Bush gave a speech like this?
U.S. President George W. Bush Wednesday condemned the unprovoked attack by Hezbollah on Israel and the silence of UN and the so-called supporters of human rights on the terrorists' ongoing shooting of rockets into Israel with the sole intention of killing and terrorizing civilians.

In his message to all freedom-loving people and nations in the world, the President said, "The events in Israel have exposed the true nature of Islamist human rights, and have revealed the kind of Middle East the Iranian government intends to have."

The following is the full text of the message sent by the President to all people in the world:

I speak today as the President of a free and independent nation.

The tragic disaster in Lebanon and Israel has made our hearts sated with pain and grief. It has made us and other Americans as well as all freedom-loving peoples of the world grief-stricken and angry.

Why and for what reason are the lives of innocent men, women & children, those fragile and exhausted bodies, and the small and frightened hearts being so cruely targeted by the missiles of Hezbollah?

Why were the distressed hearts of their mothers and fathers so cruelly wounded by bloodthirsty terrorists and their bigheaded and arrogant supporters in Iran and Syria?

What is the logic and rationale behind months and years of attacks on Israel along with a clear and stated policy of the destruction of the nation of Israel and the killing of its civilian population, to make the world that claims to be civilized, the United Nations, governments and organizations that profess to be advocates of human rights to remain callously cold and uninterested?

How long should the free and democratic world tolerate the existence of the scheming and evil Iranian regime and their surrogate, Hezbollah? How long should freedom-loving governments allow aggressive and arrogant Iran and Syria to have a free hand in this sensitive part of the world?

The events in Lebanon & Israel have exposed the true nature of Islamist human rights and have revealed the kind of Middle East the Iranian government intends to have.

Today it has become clear to all that attack on Israel was premediated and part of a joint stratagem of Iran and Syria and is a major step toward domination over the Middle East and the Western World.

Iran's President Ahmadinejad and his Islamist cohorts share the same degree of guilt in the disasters brought upon both Israel and Lebanon by the evil and wicked Hezbollah regime. And the silence of the United Nations and many of the western governments and above all the support by some governments, such as the notorious Syrian government, make them accountable and partners in crime in varying degrees in contemporary and future judgment of humanity and in the day of reckoning and divine judgment day.

More than ever before the free nations and free peoople of the world loathe Islamist terroristm. Their governments, even those that are constrained because of political considerations, loathe and oppose the Hezbollah organization because of its outrageous and arrogant aggressions. The Hezbollah regime must expect a hard slap on the face and the crushing fist of Israel because of its support for the crimes of Islamist criminals and its blatant violation of the rights of a free and soverign nation.

The resistance of the IDF and the heroic struggles of the people of Israel empowered by their faith, endurance and trust in God is another sign of awakening in the free and civilized world and a mark of their firm resolve against animosities and hostilities. The iron fist of the faithful, brave and innocent youth of Israel has landed on the hideous face of the aggressors and has broken the glassy shield of their conceited and drunken vanity.

The strategic policy of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East is premised upon creating crisis, tension and wars. They must understand that as they expand the circle of insecurity in the region, the nations will become angrier at them and the world will be less safe for them.

The aggressive behavior of Iran and Syria will revitalize more than ever the spirit of resistance in the free and democratic world and will make clearer the value of a firm resolve and a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

The entire world and the youth in all nations should also realize that the only way to stand against the savage Wolf of Islamist terrorism and the aggressions of the Axis of Evil is by dedicated resistance.

Surrender and capitulation before the reckless and scheming Islamist governments and their surrogate terrorist organizations will only add to their greed and blatant defiance and make things harder for the nations.

If Israel had caved in and surrendered to the aggressions of Hezbollah, and if the combatant youth of Israel and the innocent people of Galilee and Haifa had chosen not to put their lives on the line in this sacred defense, long-lasting humiliation and suffering would have threatened the entire nation of Israel and the rest of the region would have been embroiled as part of the aftermath of these aggressive attacks.

Today Israel is on the frontline of the sacred defense of the freedom and welfare of every nation that loves freedom.

To the Islamist enemy, religion, faith, mosque, church, synagogue, Jew, Christian, Shiite and Sunnis make no difference. It is a racist, aggressor and brutal regime. If it sees anything in its way, it will spare no crime and show no mercy toward any group or nations. The nations of the region, all sects of Islam and followers of different faiths in Lebanon and in all countries must join hands and not allow their division to be a source of strength for the enemy.

The United States and the free world must regard its duty to stand against the bullying and aggression of Iran, Syria and the evil designs of Islamic terrorism. We will stand by all oppressed nations, especially the beloved people of Lebanon and the combatant nation of Israel.

Iran is practically a partner in the heinous crimes committed in Israel and Lebanon by its open support for the killing of civilian population of Israel, its call for a ceasefire to protect Hezbollah, and by providing armaments, financial assistance and political support to the Hezbollah aggressors. It is now intending to impose added tyranny on the people and government of Lebanon by imposing its own conditions.

Without any doubt, the resistant nations and those brave combatants will not succumb to this tyranny and will choose their way only on the basis of their interests.

I offer my condolences to the dear people, the people of both Lebanon and Israel on the sufferings brought upon them by Hezbollah and its supporters and declare the sympathy of the great American nation with them.

Greetings to the people of Lebanon, salutation to the victorious Israel, and hail to the brave and faithful leaders of free and democratic people everywhere.

"Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 97:10

Iran's Leadership Vows Destroy Israel and Then the United States & England & . . .

The heading for this post may seem a bit blunt but it is no less blunt than the words of Iran's President Ahmadinejad over the past few days.

(Monday) Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented.
(Wednesday) When I see the behavior of America, England, and their other accomplices in recent days, I get the impression that they are preparing even greater crimes. I warn them: Know that the fire of the wrath of the peoples is about to erupt and overflow. If you do not put an end to your crimes, know that the ocean of the peoples will soon rage. When the peoples begin to move, they will drag everybody to the defendant's bench, and will remove them from the throne of power . . . Today, the Iranian people is the owner of nuclear technology. Those who want to talk with our people should know what people they are talking to. If some believe they can keep talking to the Iranian people in the language of threats and aggressiveness, they should know that they are making a bitter mistake. If they have not realized this by now, they soon will, but then it will be too late. Then they will realize that they are facing a vigilant, proud people.
This is a frightening threat and one that has not been highlighted or reported by the American news media (which have been too distracted by the tragic but exaggerated bombing in Qana and the drunken comments of Mel Gibson).

Last month I speculated on the meaning of the Iranian President's selection of August 22 as the date for Iran's response to the world's call for it to halt its nuclear weapons program. As I have said before, either Ahmadinejad's words are empty bloviation or else there is something horribly substantial about them.

Think about it . . . When someone phones and tells you they are about to blow up the dam just upstream from your house you can choose to either believe them or not. But you would be a fool not to prepare for the worst "just in case."

The American news media and far too many of the American people and world leaders are acting like fools.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

UN Deputy Secretary-General Says Hezbollah NOT a Terroist Organization

Malloch Brown, the UN Deputy Secretary-General said, earlier today, that although "Hezbollah employs terrorist tactics; it is an organization, however, whose roots historically are completely separate and different from Al Qaeda."

Well, yes . . . they are completely separate and different from Al Qaeda. But they share the same goal of destroying Israel.

In a curious and ironic coincidence that Mr. Brown may have been unaware of, Iran released Osama bin Laden's son, Saad bin Laden, from house arrest today with instructions for him to travel to Lebanon and recruit Sunnis to join the Hezbollah Shi'ites in their fight against Israel.

It is hard to imagine Al Qaeda and Hezbollah as "separate and different" when the two are holding hands in support of a common cause.

Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization? Yet it was organized in Lebanon by Iranian Revolutionary Guards who trained Shia recruits in the Bekaa Valley during the 1980s. It is clearly neither an indigenous Lebanese organization nor one that shares a common interest in the future of Lebanon with other political or religious groups. It is financed and supported with weapons and food and construction expertise from both Iran and Syria.

It is a "country within a country" that does not allow other Lebanese citizens or even political or military leaders within its boundaries without its permission.

On its own initiative it has repeated sent rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon. Now, as an elected participant in the Lebanese government, its actions reflect at least some complicity with the country of Lebanon as a whole, as well as its own autonomous policies.

When Hezbollah crossed recognized international boundries to murder eight uniformed Israeli soldiers (I say "murdered" because the Hezbollah fighters were dressed as civilians) and kidnapped two more and carried them back into Lebanon their actions can only be understood in one of two ways:

1. Hezbollah, acting on its own, but with the support and guidance of Syria and Iran, committed an act of terror upon the people and nation of Israel.


2. Hezbollah, acting as an elected, representative part of the Lebanese government in Beirut, committed an act of terror tantamont to a declaration of war against the nation of Israel.

In either case, the key word here is "terrorism."

I cannot imagine a non-military, non-national, foreign-supported, independent organization the commits unprovoked acts of terror against the people of a neighboring country that it has vowed to destroy being anything BUT a terrorist organization!

Nor can I fathom Brown's comments in light of Hezbollah raining down over 200 missles into Israel today indescriminantly targeting non-military civilian targets!

Perhaps Malloch Brown is suggesting that Hezbollah be considered for admission as a member of the United Nations? If so, then perhaps Israel could enter into internationally-brokered negotiations with Hezbollah as a soverign state.

Until that happens, however, Mr. Brown is simply spouting nonesense in tacit support of terror and in tacit support of those terrorist organizations who have declared their primary reason for existance to be the destruction of Israel.

Not only this but he also gets to be the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and accuse the United States of not being an even-handed broker in the current conflict!

This conflict is complex and tragic. Comments such as these by Malloch Brown dishonors those innocent Israeli and Lebanese civilians who are suffering through these violent days by giving cover to the very organization that began the conflict through an act of international terror.

If Brown's comments were not so shameful they would be silly.

P.S. U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack responded to Brown's comments by saying, "I have to say that some of his comments, as reported today, are really misguided and misplaced . . . We believe Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. And in terms of Mr. Malloch Brown's comments regarding Hezbollah, clearly, we disagree."