Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mahmoud Abbas' Blistering Hypocrisy

Challah Hu Akbar

Earlier today the IDF accompanied an operation of the Israeli Ministry of Communications to close two pirate television stations in Ramallah. The raid took place following countless requests by Israeli authorities to the stations to cease broadcasting, which interrupts other legal broadcasting stations and interferes with aircraft communication.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called the raid “piracy,” while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the raids were a "flagrant assault on freedom of expression and media."

Mahmoud Abbas is a blistering hypocrite to put it lightly
. Attacks by Palestinian Authority forces against journalists, TV stations, etc, have been ongoing for years. In April 2011, Human Rights Watched issued a report entitled “No News is Good News: Abuses Against Journalists by Palestinian Security Forces.” The report states that “Palestinian journalists in the West Bank…have had their equipment confiscated and been arbitrarily detained, barred from traveling abroad, assaulted, and in one case, tortured, by Palestinian security services.” Additionally, Human Rights Watch concluded that “the utter failure of the PA leadership to address the prevailing culture of impunity for such abuses suggests that they reflect government policy.”

Below is a small selection of the suppression of press freedom that has been carried out by Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority in recent years.

In July 2007, Seif al-Din Shahin, a correspondent for Al Arabiya was sought asylum in Norway after receiving death threats from Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

In September 2007, Fatah forces attacked a Hamas aligned student press conference at Hebron University. 22 students and journalists were injured in the attack, which led one journalist to say that "Even Israeli soldiers are treating us better these days.” Two months later, Palestinian Authority security forces arrested the owner of the Al-Amal TV station after he had broadcasted a press conference of Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh.

In December 2008, Ramattan News Agency was forced to stop operations following “relentless and heightened persecution” by the Palestinian Authority.

In February 2009, a journalist admitted that "the Palestinian media is under attack by the PA leadership in the West Bank” and that “reporters are too scared to express their opinion." In the summer of 2009, the director of Palestine TV, Muhammad Dahoudi, was fired after Palestinian officials said he had failed to sufficiently cover the activities of Salam Fayyad.

In February 2010, the Palestinian Authority was reportedly attempting to hijack the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate elections. In addition, former Palestinian intelligence official Fahmi Shabaneh admitted that journalists “are afraid to publish anything that angers the Palestinian Authority." In March 2010, the Palestinian Authority shut down the only Christian TV station in Palestinian territory. The PA reversed its decision after public outcry, however, the owner of the station refused to return to broadcasting until he received a formal apology.

In January 2011, a correspondent for the Al-Quds TV station was arrested after posting critical comments of Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook. Just a few months after the aforementioned Human Rights Watch report was released, the Palestinian Authority banned reporters from reporting the findings of a report by Independent Commission for Human Rights. One Palestinian journalist admitted that "Journalists avoid covering events out of fear of being targeted or arrested by [Palestinian] security forces in the West Bank."

Already in 2012, three journalists have been summoned by Palestinian Authority security forces due to their critical comments of Mahmoud Abbas. One of those journalist's said that "Before this detention, I thought that we, the Palestinian people, enjoy wide freedom, but after what I saw, I think I'm being followed by the intelligence in every step of my life."

In addition to the arrests of journalists, since late January 2012 the Palestinian Authority, under the direct orders of Mahmoud Abbas, have targeted a number of websites critical of Abbas, specifically InLightPress. Two weeks ago, a Palestinian official admitted that the Palestinian hacked InLightPress. According to the official, InLightPress broadcasts “sedition and lies to break up the structure of Palestinian society.” As a result, the official said that “It is our right to defend ourselves against this malicious and suspicious campaign.” The official also said that the attacks against Mahmoud Abbas are coming at a bad time because the Palestinians are seeking to wage a diplomatic campaign against Israel.

I will say it again, Mahmoud Abbas is a blistering hypocrite.

Like Challah Hu Akbar

What Rules Should Harvard Have?

Alan M. Dershowitz
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How should a great university, committed to diversity and freedom of speech, deal with the recurring problem of whether to “sponsor” a student-run event that is deeply offensive to other students? This issue is currently being debated in the context of the upcoming conference entitled "Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution." Similar controversies have engulfed other universities, in many different contexts, and will continue to confront Harvard in the future. Harvard, and other schools like it, should follow guidelines consistent with the mission of the University and its commitment to the most fulsome freedom of expression. The primary criterion a university must apply when deciding whether an event should be sponsored is political and ideological neutrality. What is good for the goose must be good for the gander and what is bad for the gander must be bad for the goose. Offensiveness to one group cannot be measured differently than offensiveness to another group. Moreover, the university must maintain a near perfect circle of civility whose circumference cannot conveniently be stretched to accommodate the “political correctness” of the day. These rules should be articulated in advance of specific problems being raised, cloaking them with a Rawlsian veil of neutrality.

When confronted with choices about what kind of events can take place on campus, there are essentially five approaches a university could take. The first is called “the taxi cab rule.” Taxis must pick up all potential customers and generally do not refuse service to anyone. A university could adopt such an approach, but if it did, it would have to make its facilities available to the Ku Klux Klan, to the Westboro Baptist Church, and to other racist, sexist, and homophobic groups.

A second approach would be to have explicit criteria set out in advance that are clear and relatively non-discretionary. For example, a rule could permit a school to deny support to any group that deliberately provokes and insults students based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender or sexual preference. Such a rule would exclude the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church, which clearly fit those negative criteria. But it might also deny sponsorship to atheists who mock religion or raucous comedians whose shtick is to be offensive to everyone.

The third approach is to deny sponsorship to all groups that are offensive to anyone. This is a dangerous prescription for widespread censorship that gives those who are most easily offended (or claim to be) the power to suppress speech. No great university should adopt such a rule.

The fourth approach is to vest discretion in some university official to be exercised based on undefined criteria such as whether an event is “consistent with the mission of the university.” This, too, is dangerous to freedom, because the discretionary decisions are likely to reflect the political correctness of the day. It is precisely those ideas that are politically incorrect that require the protection of free speech rules.

The final approach would be for a university never to sponsor or support financially any politically or ideologically controversial events, but simply to allow its rooms to be used by any group with a faculty advisor and a minimum number of members.

In the end I support the taxi cab approach, with the full realization that it will allow speech that is deeply offensive and disturbing to some. The appropriate response to offensive speech inheres in the open marketplace of ideas, which permits “good” speech to counter “bad” speech, without defining either.

In order to determine how a rule of neutrality would apply to the current debate, consider the following thought experiment: What would Harvard’s response be if a group of right wing students and faculty decided to convene a conference on the topic “Are the Palestinians Really a People?” and invited as speakers only hard right academics who answered that question in the negative? Would the Provost’s office help fund such a conference? Would the Kennedy School host it? Both the actual and hypothetical conferences would be deeply offensive to many students and faculty (including me), since their subjects are both ploys designed to deny people—Jews and Palestinians—the right to self-determination. They both have a veneer of academic and political acceptability which serve as a cover for their underlying bigotry.

Many of the speakers at the current conference will argue against “a Jewish state,” without protesting the Palestinian Constitution that formally establishes the Islamic religion as the only “official” faith and “the principles of Islamic Sharia” as the main source of law. The Palestinian Constitution also does what many right-wingers are trying to do in the United States: It establishes only one language—in their case, Arabic—as the “official language” of Palestine. Israel, on the other hand, has three official languages—Hebrew, Arabic, and English—and does not have an “established” religion. Indeed, most Israeli Jews are secular, and Judaism, Islam and Christianity stand on an equal basis, at least as a matter of law. Israel does have a law of return, based not on religion but on the history of the exclusion of Jews from countries throughout the world during the Holocaust. When Palestine is established, it too will have its own law of return.

By funding this one-sidedly offensive conference, Harvard has essentially committed itself to the taxi cab approach. I hope it will maintain that commitment when other students sponsor equally controversial events.

Islamic group threatens WND

Bob Unruh

Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after spending nearly three decades writing on a wide range of issues for several Upper Midwest newspapers and the Associated Press. Sports, tornadoes, homicidal survivalists, and legislative battles all fell within his bailiwick. His scenic photography has been used commercially, and he sometimes plays in a church worship band.


A man who says he represents the United Muslim Nations International organization has warned WND to “moderate” its reporting on issues involving Islam because of how Muslims may react.

The warning came in an email to WND from Faarooq al Mohammedi, who said he was asking on behalf of the Muslim organization that WND “comply as it would be in the companies (sic) best interest as we would not want to take you down the same rout (sic) as we have with other non-complaint media firms.” The email warned WND to take “extra precaution when publishing religiously sensitive material or in creating religiously sensitive suspicions about peoples (sic) religious beliefs and practices.”

He threatened, “We would appreciate it if you could tighten your screening and moderation processes of articles to be published, any fake material published by WND will be taken as a breach of world news standards, religiously sensitive matters are to be based on solid and undeniable facts, failure to produce proofs of such published articles will give us no option but to bring about the complete removal of WND online as well as from the public in any print media.”

The essence of the warning was that WND needed to project an attitude of dhimmitude, the subservient role demanded of nonbelievers in a Muslim society. Dhimmis “recognize” their inferior status and appropriately serve the master Muslims.

Contacted by WND at a telephone number in Africa, Mohammedi could cite no specific issues with WND’s reporting. Instead, he promoted a worldwide Islamic caliphate, a subject mentioned in a WND report several days earlier about a coming conference in Austria.

“Isn’t this interesting?” said WND Founder and Editor Joseph Farah, “This guy makes an indictment, but can provide zero evidence to back it up. Nevertheless, he is making sweeping threats about shutting down WND and enlisting the help of unnamed governments.

“This is why Americans who believe in free speech must never permit international agencies to be involved in policing the Internet. Nor can we afford to allow ourselves to be bullied into self-censorship and standards of ‘political correctness’ by special interest groups.”

Pamela Geller, who writes at AtlasShrugs and long has waged battles against the encroachment of Islamic religious law in the United States, said while she was not familiar with the group, the tactic is common.

“The tactic is pure Islamic supremacist intimidation, a tried-and-true strategy that they employ frequently,” she said. “They cannot answer us, so they try to shut us down.”

Geller repeatedly has fought over the right to have ads criticizing Islam in the same locations as ads that promote Islam. She frequently has to go to court to get the same access that pro-Islamic organizations are freely granted.

Mohammedi told WND in the telephone interview today that his concern is that publishing material he doesn’t like “creates a problem on a global scale.”

“Some people have different ways of reacting to different articles that are published,” he said. “We’re trying to prevent certain unwanted events from happening due to these publications.

“We need that (publication) to come to an end because if you want peace and stability around the world, you would need these things to come to an end as well.”

Regarding WND, Mohammedi could not identify a single specific concern but said he knew there were some, and he would respond by email. The email never arrived.

He could only say there were articles regarding “suspicions” about Islam.

“The religion is very open, very open. There’s nothing to be suspicious about,” he said.

He said the email to WND was part of a campaign.

“I’ve dealt with quite a few people. We’ve got the government involved with ombudsmen, and they’ve made adjustments,” he said.

“Basically, our advice is that people need to take extra precautions and moderate whatever gets published,” he said, referring to recent references about a caliphate, although he could not say they were from WND.

“They carry the (caliphate) message … it’s almost like there’s some suspicion of something terrible. Islamically, the system of the caliphate is supposed to be a good thing. It shouldn’t be seen as something bad,” he said.

“It will prevent a lot of conflicts around the world itself, as well as provide the world with a central government structure.”

Farah said his grandparents “did not flee the Muslim-dominated Middle East so their grandson would have to guard his words about Islamic oppression around the world and, more frequently, right here in the U.S.”

“As long as I am alive, WND will continue to tell the truth about Shariah, jihad and Islamic terror,” Farah said.

While Mohammedi said the organization’s website was not operating at this point, WND located a site that appeared to represent the organization.

The site states: “The true Muslim stands firm and strong against the Kufar (unbeliever), we the Mu’min will always defeat the Kufar and we have love amongst each other.”

The site also said its headquarters is in Jerusalem and explained, “We are not only an organization on a path to unite the entire Muslim Ummah, we are an organization of international human rights as per the commandments/Shariah (Divine Law) of the almighty Allah in the blessed Holy Quran and as prescribed by the Sunnah (examples) of our beloved Nabi (prophet) Mohammed.”

Links there lead to articles titled “The World under the Islamic Caliphate,” “Hezbollah,” the “Palestinian Liberation Organization,” “Islamic Organization of North America” and others.

The earlier WND story on the Caliphate Conference 2012 reported how it was being organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir, which was described as a “pan-Islamic extremist group that seeks to establish a global Islamic state, or caliphate, ruled by Islamic Shariah law.”

Ongoing: PA TV glorifies terror attack that killed 22 children and 4 adults in Ma'alot, in 1974

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Poster glorifying terrorists of the Ma'alot massacre in 1974, which killed 22 children and 4 adults
Last week, official Palestinian Authority TV repeatedly broadcast video tributes to terrorists from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The tributes included glorification of the terrorist "Martyrs," as well as their many terror attacks, in which dozens of Israeli civilians were murdered. Palestinian Media Watch reported last year that PA TV ran similar videos honoring DFLP terrorists. PA TV glorified the Ma'alot massacre in which school children were taken hostage. 22 of them were murdered along with four adults. A poster honoring the three DFLP terrorists was shown during the video tributes (see right), in addition to posters glorifying dozens of other terrorists and their murders of civilians.

The PA TV tributes were in honor of the anniversary of the founding of the DFLP and were broadcast more than 10 times last week.

A collage labeled "Heroes of the special operations in northern Palestine" showed 16 photographs of DFLP terrorists posing with weapons and some dressed in military uniforms. The term "operations in northern Palestine" is a euphemism for 'terror attacks in northern Israel,' which originated in Lebanon.

"The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Heroes of the special operations in northern Palestine"

The terror attacks DFLP carried out in northern Israel include:

-The 1970 attack on a school bus near the town of Avivim in which 9 children and 3 adults were killed;

-The 1974 attack in the town of Ma'alot in which 22 children and 4 adults were killed, when terrorists took them hostage in a school.

-A 1974 attack in the city of Beit Shean in which 4 civilians were killed.

-A 1979 bomb attack in the city of Tiberias in which 2 civilians were killed.

The following are more pictures from the video tribute glorifying the DFLP:

Poster honoring terrorists from Beit Shean attack in which 4 were killed:
Text: "Glory to the heroes of Beit Shean,
the pride of the Palestinian revolution"

DFLP poster depicting Israel as "Palestine"
Text: "Gaza, West Bank and Galilee. Uncompromising struggle for national independence"

"Martyrs (Shahids) of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Nablus. The Palestinian National Resistance Brigades."

Poster glorifying Hani Al-Akad, who in 2004 recruited female suicide terrorists and planned a double suicide attack in Tel Aviv.

Rifles with flowers

Grenades mixed with fruit in the poster

Click to view more examples of the Palestinian Authority's policy of continued terror glorification.

Karsenty Responds to Al-Dura Trial Verdict

Following yesterday’s inconclusive verdict in the libel appeal of France 2 and Charles Enderlin against Philippe Karsenty, we have received the following reaction from Karsenty:

Contrary to the recommendation of the advocate general, advising the court to reject the appeal filed by Charles Enderlin and France 2, the Court of Cassation [France’s highest court] nullified the acquittal pronounced by the Appellate Court of Paris on May 21, 2008.

The nullification, which is disciplinary and based on a legal technicality, does not prejudge the outcome: the Court of Cassation deems that the Appellate Court of Paris could not order France 2 to show the raw footage containing images that were not broadcast by France 2. However, the legal criteria of my good faith – quality of the investigation, absence of personal animosity, legitimacy of aim and purpose, prudent and measured expression – were not challenged. Charles Enderlin, France 2, and I will find ourselves in court again at an undetermined date to plead our cases in the al-Dura affair. The case will be heard again in the Appellate Court of Paris, by a different panel of judges convened to reexamine the facts.

I serenely anticipate the hearing that will allow me to present once more to the court and concerned media the demonstration that France 2 broadcast a staged scene as news on September 30, 2000.

In more than eleven years of controversy, we have brought dozens of pieces of evidence and scientific expertise showing that the scene was staged, whereas France 2, Charles Enderlin, and their cameraman have never been able to prove the veracity of their reportage. Further, it has been revealed through a succession of court cases that France 2, Charles Enderlin, his cameraman, and the father of young Mohammed have lied on several occasions to cover their media fraud.

I have presented the al-Dura affair in many journalism schools and festivals, in prestigious European and American universities, before the Senate and the House of Lords; no one has ever succeeded in refuting the evidence of a staged scene.

I call upon open-minded people to pursue the search for the truth. This is a combat for the honor of the journalistic profession, for justice, for democracy and against disinformation; a combat against the murderous anti-Semitism conveyed by this reportage. I ask those who in good faith believed the narration imposed by this reportage to simply examine the facts without prejudgment.

It is the uncompromising establishment of the truth that will contribute to the sorely needed peace, tolerance, and friendship among people and nations.

Philippe Karsenty, February 29, 2012.

A Hoax?


September 30, 2000, Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip: France 2 correspondent Charles Enderlin offers the world a front seat on the video shooting of Mohammed al-Durra and his father Jamal. Targeted, according to Mr. Enderlin's voice-over commentary, by "gunfire from the direction of the Israeli positions." A few seconds later: "Mohammed is dead, his father is critically wounded." The France 2 cameraman, later identified as Palestinian stringer Talal Abu Rahma, caught the child killers in the act. A prize-winning scoop!

Independent analysts and Israeli officials seeking clarification of inconsistencies in the al-Durra news report encountered stubborn resistance from the ...

The United States, a Hijacked Country

By Nurit Greenger

The United States of America has been hijacked by Barack Hussein Obama; he has turned to be a president who is anti-America; he is a profound liar, lacks manners and humility and a narcissist; an opportunist who is feckless, lazy and indecisive, who lacks leadership, is a cowardice, naïve, and delusional. Obama is totally inept for the job, as the president of this country. This man promised to make a change and he has been doing just that, changing all that America stands for. Obama's millions of victims are those who elected him who are suffering from the Stockholm syndrome and star gazing disease; they see Obama a rising star. Obama's supporters lack nationalism, patriotism, the pride in their country as well as the knowledge of what the constitution of their country stands for. They also do not know what their country stood for, until Obama took office. Obama and his supporters want to see the destruction of America. Unless we stop them, they are well on their way to push this country off the cliff.

Obama is the blame everyone else president. He blames all that has gone or is going wrong on others and he will fast take credit for all that goes right, whether he has done the right thing or has not. Obama scapegoats the American people; he makes them bear the blame and suffer for others.

Obama is the disgracing America president. He has the propensity to apologize for everything. Obama's ongoing apologies stands as a metaphor; it is like when a waiter in a restaurant pours hot coffee all over a guest, and while the gust is aching with burns pain, he turns around and apologizes to the waiter for his clumsiness.

Obama's latest shameful, apologetic behavior was his apology to the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai and the Afghan people, for American troops burning Qur'an books; he deliberately left out that the only ones who, in fact, desecrated the Qur'an books, bought by American tax payers' money, were extremist Moslems, who were writing and passing message in their holy books, which they are not suppose to do, as this dictate is written in the Qur'an itself. In his kowtowing to evil in the world, Obama has not demanded an apology from the Afghans for killing American troops, who are fighting a war, with the stated goal of dismantling the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as their base.

Obama also has omitted the importance of the United States' goal, which is to remove the extremist Taliban regime from Afghanistan and create a viable democratic state instead. A decade into the war, that began on October 7, 2001, the U.S. still continues to battle a widespread Taliban insurgency and the war has now expanded into the Tribal areas of neighboring Pakistan, with no end in sight.

Obama has supported the "Arab Spring" that has turned into radical Moslem gathering storm that will destabilize the entire world.

Obama is the appeasing the environmentalists president; in time when the United States' dependency on foreign oil, from non-friendly Moslem oil producing countries, is greatly threatened and the cost of gas is at a new height, instead of allowing drilling for fossil fuel on American soil, Obama is appeasing his environmentalists supporters, thus making the US much more dependent on its enemy's oil supply.

Obama is the cowardice president. He is terrified to show the world Americas' might. The worst case is with Iran. His fear for their reaction, should he put his foot down with the Iranian regime that is pursuing to produce nuclear weapons, has left Iran hands totally free to continue developing nuclear weapons with which they will threaten every American and the entire world's security.

Iran is at war with the USA and Israel and their intent is clear. They want to expand their autocracy and expand their Moslem caliphate, the domination of Islam all over the world. Obama needs to make sure that Iran will not be permitted to have nuclear weapons, however, he has been scared to take the right and effective actions to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Islam is at war with the entire free world and that includes Iran. For the past ten years, large percentage of the people who believe in the Qur'an have radicalized. It is estimated that there are over 100 million radical Moslems in the world, ready to cause terror and mayhem all over. They are ready to use the Qur'an to justify evil and murder around the world. It is mainstream Moslems who have radicalized and are radicalizing, and moderate Moslems, who are very few and far between, are afraid to speak up.

Islamic supremacist ideology is on the rise among mainstream Moslems. It is Moslem neighbor against other Moslem neighbor.

The time has come to recognize that mainstream Islam has declared a war on the West and it is time be begin defending ourselves.

Since Obama took office he has denigrated the United States. His claim to fame is that the US does not possess exceptionality. Obama has become the official Denigrator in Chief.

Obama has bowed to Islam time and time again; in the Middle East, where Moslems only understand strength and heavy hand, bowing means submission and weakness and brings about lack of respect and denigration. Since Islam declared a war on the West, they see the west a weak enemy they can win against.

The United States has been a force of good around the world and Obama has shaken the roots of this force, thus have put doubt in many that the US no longer stands for good against evil.

So far Obama has done nothing right; he has been systematically destroying the American society's fiber and taking the country in the wrong direction.

I, for one, do not respect a meek president and that is what Obama is, a submissive president.

I, for one, want the United States to have a president who will lead with strength and confidence, traits Obama totally lacks.

I, for one, want the United States president to make it clear to our enemy that if they mess with us they will suffer hash consequences.

This is an elections year. When participating in election every American has the opportunity to cause America to get back on the right track, the track it has fallen off because of Obama's lack of leadership.

With the possibility of Obama being at the helm of the US for four more years, no American should be fooled and no American should expect for things to change for the better, at home and around the world.

With the defeatist attitude that Obama posses and his total oblivion to reality, the United States is now dwindling from a steep cliff.

Even the stock market will suffer greatly, because people will be getting rid of their dollars to buy something else that may retain a better value, the value the dollar is fast losing.

The American voters will be tested this year; they must elect a veritable leader, or else!

Saving Muslims From Themselves

Sultan Knish

After September 11 the reasonable thing to do would have been to take steps to save ourselves from Islamic terror, instead we went on a crusade to save Muslims from themselves. The latest stop on that crusade is Syria, where the foreign policy experts responsible for decades of horrifying misjudgements tell us that we are duty bound to save the Syrian people from their dictator.

Rarely do we ask why it is that Muslims so often need saving from their dictators. Or why a party that campaigned on improving America's reputation by promising not to bomb Muslims anymore, is now improving America's reputation by bombing so many Muslims and so often that it makes George W. Bush look like a tie dyed hippie. The Obama Administration has had a role in regime change in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya all in one year. Along with the other "Friends of Syria" it would like to bomb its way to regime change in Syria. The point of all this regime change is to replace totalitarian Muslim regimes with democratically elected totalitarian Muslim regimes on the theory that will make everyone happier.

The reason why Muslim countries end up with dictators can be seen in the streets of Libya where militias run wild and former members of the regime and anyone with black skin is dragged off the street for torture sessions and a bullet in the back of the head. Peel away the presidents, colonels and other suit wearing tyrants fronting for an oligarchy and that is what every Muslim country will be reduced to.

To understand the problem with Syria, one only need look at neighboring Lebanon where every attempt at coalition building between different religious and ethnic groups has gone badly over and over again. The ruling Alawites have to hang on to power because the alternative is to be an oppressed minority. The Sunnis have to strive for power because the alternative is to be an oppressed minority. This pattern repeats itself across the region.

To the extent that Western multiculturalism works, it does so because Europeans and their descendants have agreed to cede some power and privileges to minority groups while maintaining confidence in the rule of law to protect equal rights for everyone. Such a state of affairs is ridiculously inconceivable in the countries that we are assuming will adopt that same value system.

The only form of protection for a minority in the Muslim world is to either seize power or form a coalition with the ruling party. Such coalitions are inherently fragile because tribal instincts of race and religion always end up overriding agreements. Mohammed's treaties weren't worthless just because he was a duplicitous power-mad figure, but because all treaties are worthless in the region. After his death, Islamic succession wound up being settled with assassination and civil war among his own family members and allies.

Muslims look to Islam as a central unifying principle of universal allegiance, but it's nothing of the sort. It's actually an excuse for constant internecine violence. Islam adds another layer of allegiances and another excuse for infighting that did not exist previously. Underneath the robes and beards and Korans is yet another oligarchy with family mafias clutching their ill gotten gains, as is the case in Iran and as will be the case in Egypt, where the Brotherhood has already gotten a head start.

Under conditions like this how can democracy exist as anything other than a temporary state of affairs? When there is an overwhelming majority in favor of one religion, it becomes nothing more than a rubber stamp for tyrants, as was the case in the Egyptian elections. When the country is sufficiently divided along religious lines, as is the case in Iraq, it becomes a prolonged struggle with both sides marking their positions and building their coalitions in preparation for a civil war.

Acting as if all this can be resolved with a few lessons on democracy is absurd, especially when such problems linger on even in the countries doing the teaching, just ask the Flemish or the Basque. Nations can only overcome such divisions when they have shared higher values to strive for. The only "higher value" there is Islam and it is only another source of sectarian strife.

The modern state did not emerge overnight in Europe and while the colonization of the Middle East has left behind the facades of modern states which employ some of the ritual and custom of their colonizers, they are not modern states. Often they are not even states at all. They are clans operating in cities built for them by foreigners, using technology sold to them by foreigners and going through the motions of a republic built for them by foreigners.

Behind the facade, the clan trumps the state, religion trumps the state and the state exists mainly as a vehicle for the ambitions of influential families who run the whole thing for their own benefit while providing some subsidies to the rest of the country. Overthrow one family and another rises in its place. Some will be more horrid than others. Saddam was a monster even by the standards of the region. The Assads are worse than some, but better than others.

Taking down Assad will not save Syria, it will transfer power from the Alawites, a Shiite splinter sect, to the Sunnis and the Muslim Brotherhood. This won't just be bad for the Alawites, it will be bad for the Christians and the other minorities still in Syria. In Egypt, the ethnic cleansing of the Copts has already begun, though the media won't comment on it. In Syria there have already been some militia attacks. And it will only get worse.

Only one calculation should be used to determine whether we remove Assad from power and that is whether removing him from power will be good for us. It has been amply demonstrated to us that we cannot save Muslims from themselves, we cannot drag them a thousand years ahead in time just because they use cell phones and have prime ministers. Externally imposing progress does not work. Especially across cultures which have to make their own adaptations and their own journey upwards.

The misbegotten crusade to save Muslims from themselves, to act as missionaries of democracy has cost us more lives than September 11 and to no purpose. There was something noble about the belief that we could march our troops in, liberate a people from their tyrant and their spirits would open up and a new world would be born. That belief however was rooted in a secularized religious ideal that was layered over with American exceptionalism. But the whole point of exceptionalism is that it is not universal. America is not the inevitable outcome, it is a series of accommodations and experiments that derive from a particular set of histories. It cannot be generalized or universally applied.

We cannot save Muslims from themselves, we can however save ourselves from their turmoil, their religiously influenced violence and their cultural instability. The more we try to reach out to them, the more we are at risk of importing their violence and instability.

The job of governments is not to sell our way of life to others, it is to protect that way of life from others. It is about time that we stopped being the world's benefactor, psychiatrist and policeman, and began looking after our own interests first. That doesn't mean isolationism, it doesn't rule our friendships with other countries, but those friendships should be in our interest.

Like the homeowner who kicks out his family and fills his living room with drug addicts from the street, for too long the United States has pandered to the violent dysfunction of troubled countries and peoples, while neglecting its interests and allies. It has all but abandoned its traditional ties and become obsessed with fixing trouble spots. These bouts of social work have been expensive and they have not worked.

It's time that we stopped trying to save people from themselves and began trying to save ourselves. While we have been teaching good government to others, our own government has become rotten. While we have spent money on others, we are running out of money. While we have taken in the huddled masses of the world yearning to take us for all we've got, our own lives and families are in danger.

A new age of terror is here. It's time to face up to it. To stop saving Muslims from ourselves and to work to save ourselves and our kin from them.

The Idiot Cousin Theory of Government

Daniel Greenfield

The first and foremost purpose of government is to create government jobs. Going back to the early days of American history a time honored tradition of newly elected politicians was to obtain positions for their friends, their nephews and assorted cousins. In those more innocent times appointing someone an inspector of something was a cordial way of repaying a favor. But the problem with inspectors is that they inspect things.
There are only so many idiot cousins you can hire to stamp papers and frown at things until you have to create an entire new department and then a division and then an agency to give them something to do. And that leads to budget drains and an expansion of government authority that interferes with the lives of people who work for a living. A few centuries later we live in a country where every place that has more than three people living within three miles of each other is overseen by a multitude of agencies with overlapping levels of authority beginning from the locals to the staties and all the way up to Washington D.C. where the swamps were paved over to construct massive buildings full of agencies all descended from the day someone's idiot cousin got a sinecure, a government horse and an inkwell in a city that no one used to take seriously.

Many of us would gladly trade off those buildings and those bureaucrats in return for a few dozen idiot cousins drinking in Washington taverns on the public's dime in a country with no income tax and no one pounding on your door every five minutes because you don't feed your kids arugula, don't recycle your trash and don't care about the latest trendy cause already being written into the state religion.

Unfortunately like rabbits, idiot cousins lead to more idiot cousins. Corruption doesn't stop at a set line, it pushes as far as it can, and when a man with some big ideas gets hold of it, then bar the door because it's DOE/EPA/HUD/DOL time.

The idiot cousins are satisfied to think small. Their ambitions reach as high as a government salary for doing nothing and a few taverns and ladies of the evening to spend it on. A hundred thousand of them can be a problem, but a million of them organized under a creed that has set out to seize power using an unelected bureaucracy is one of those moments when a society must realize that its corruption has become a liability to its own survival.

We are of course far beyond idiot cousin territory. Idiot cousin jobs were handmade, much like Solyndra or other recent examples of crony capitalism. It's mass production that turns a problem into a plague and the mass production of government jobs began around the same time that many other industries were discovering that they could make money cranking out vast numbers of identical copies of things.

The cities were the perfect mold for a new mass produced bureaucracy. Not only did they have social problems and political machines galore, but they also had massive numbers of immigrants who came up the hard way in the industrial age and wanted their kids to have something better than they did. Drop the kids into the mold, then mold them and plop them into mass produced government jobs with the mission of managing the unmanageable aspects of overcrowded cities.

The parable of the industrial age is that of the man who turns on a machine that won't stop. The modern nightmare begins and ends with the question, "What if we can't stop what we're doing?" While this question has been applied to such diverse areas as factories, nuclear weapons and mass culture, it's rarely directed at government. Not government as a vehicle for exploring the bomb, the surveillance state or any of the trendy abuses of authority-- but government itself. What we might ask will happen if the machine doesn't turn off, if government just doesn't stop growing?

It's not a question that concerns those who preoccupy themselves with trendy anti-authoritarianism, marking down the number of surveillance cameras and denouncing some new government program to listen in on people's phone calls, but they never seem to make the connection to the source of the problem. Somehow they imagine that it is possible to have a society where people are compelled to purchase health insurance, where meters determine how often they recycle and where light bulbs are banned not because they are toxic but because they "waste energy"-- that won't put up surveillance cameras or listen to their phone calls.

Government isn't Baskin-Robbins. You can't choose the flavors of totalitarianism that you want. And idiot cousins aren't very good at making fine distinctions. Give them a script and they'll follow it to their deaths. Ask them to use common sense and you might as well ask them to build a moon rocket, which happens to be one of those things that we can't do anymore, ever since the idiot cousins took over major chunks of the space program.

Over the last century the idiot cousins have turned red and they are often no longer cousins, just college graduates looking for a job in the unreal world, but that hasn't made them any less dumb. Ideological programming is to creativity and flexibility as rat poison is to a fine luncheon. People who are taught to think in political formulations are just reading from another kind of script and it's often a script that they don't even understand.

There's a certain amount of hope in that. When no one in the Soviet Union understood what the point of Communism was, there was little resistance to being done with it. It wasn't so much the courageous struggle of dissidents that brought down the Soviet Union, it was the incomprehension of the ranks of idiots who parroted dogma and slogans that had been coined by men and women who were smarter than them by virtue of receiving a pre-Communist education in an independent educational system.
By the time the Berlin Wall fell, most of the men and women who made up the system did not see any point to all this stuff about Communism. They knew a hundred slogans, but not how they related to their lives. They were all for maintaining the bribes and bureaucracy culture, they just didn't see why it couldn't be done in a totalitarian state with the same standard of living as the West.

The good news is that if the left ever seizes complete control, their system will collapse within two to three generations because at some point no one will understand why everyone has to live without heat or listen to inspirational stories about Caesar Chavez.. The bad news is that by then it will be too late to ever rebuild the country into a workable place to live.

The beauty of the machine is still embedded in the fascist undercoating of progressive government. It is a vision of a dozen wise men pulling the switch while ten million overseers mechanically drive three hundred million people to their tasks. The plan is formulated, the blueprints are drawn up, the smart men look it over through their monocles and then the whole thing is fired up and it falls over a cliff because the theory is all wrong.

The left has rejected the industrialization of mechanical things, but it remains deeply in love with the mechanization of human beings, the mass production of impulses and the programming of their souls. It is constantly drawing up five year plans to achieve one social goal or another, and if the five year plans never succeed, then that just means that it's time for an even more ambitious ten year plan to fight people who use too much water or don't teach their children tolerance.

But the reasons why machines work is because people design them. Machines however cannot design machines. When the average functionary is as devoid of autonomy and innovative thinking as your Windows PC, then the society will begin crashing as it encounters errors not in its programming. Deploying masses of asses to tackle social problems while following a rigid script filled with inflexible assumptions is a surefire way to fail and use that as an excuse to throw more men at the job.

Failure is built into the system. Large armies of men following orders is a good way to grind down equally large armies. It's not a way to run a country. Human industrialization creates bureaucratic hives which worsen everything they touch. It fills the country with functionaries following scripts that require them to confiscate our freedoms for our own good, a good that even in their limited definition they cannot achieve.

The very inflexibility of the idiot cousins guarantees their tenure. The more they fail, the more of them are needed. If we spent X amount of money to achieve Y without achieving it, then next time we must spend X+2. It's the linear mechanical logic of the idiot who can only think in terms of tackling every problem with more resources until it finally cracks. If our last machine didn't do it, then our massive EDUTRON 2000 which is twice as big and costs twice as much will surely educate all our children properly.

We have been throwing idiot cousins are the war on poverty, at discrimination and at overeating. And now we're poorer, more bigoted and fatter than we used to be. Given another generation we'll have trouble getting up out of bed at the homeless shelter long enough to carry out hate crimes. That's not the official progressive party line which says that we are more tolerant than we used to be, even as they discover five new kinds of bigotry over the weekend. And as for poverty, it's tempting to say that the only people who got rich fighting poverty were the idiot cousins, but even they are worse off in a country which is poorer than ever and which can only afford fattening food.

Like the Soviet Union, the progressive agenda never fails, it just succeeds so much that it moves on to fight new challenges, like racist babies, the imminent destruction of the planet and understanding how right wing talk show hosts brainwash people into hating all their programs. There are never defeats, only strategic retreats. Each setback is an opportunity to create a new agency full of idiot cousins with a 40 billion dollar budget in order to "invest in our future".

We have been investing so much in our future lately, that we may not even have a future anymore. Forget peak oil, we are rapidly reaching peak government. Our exploitation of our human resources is unsustainable. Eventually we will have bankrupted the future due to all our investing in the future in such promising present day stocks as Idiot Cousins Inc, better known as the entire monumental structure of government and its assorted camp followers looking for a chance to wash clothes, hold a fundraiser or make off with a fat government contract.

Hoover promised two chickens in every pot, but while the price of chicken is rising, our current leaders offer us two bureaucrats, inspectors, managers, disarrangers and assorted euphemisms for unelected but impossible to get rid of miniature tyrants, to every family that works for a living.

The human machine that the left keeps building in our backyard doesn't work. It can never work and it refuses to go away. It only keeps getting bigger and bigger. The builders don't understand that it's not the fault of the machine, it's the fault of the theory. The machine does what it's designed to do which is carry out a linear process. It will not however transform humanity. Nor will it clean up after itself.

A machine of ten million human parts is far dumber than any single human being. It is far less competent, far less capable and far more cruel. It will fail at all but the simplest tasks because it has no soul, it has no conscience, it has no mind and it has no common sense. Its very operation creates more problems than it can hope to solve. It is not a solution. It and its operators, the idiot cousins who fill its metal chambers, are the problem. They are our problem. Contributing Editor Daniel Greenfield is a blogger, columnist and freelance photographer born in Israel, who maintains his own blog, Sultan Knish.

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White House Wants to Keep Gas Prices High

Mike Brownfield

February 29, 2012

With the national average of gas prices hitting $3.65 a gallon, nearing $6 in some parts of the country, and poised to head even higher, America’s families are wondering when the bleeding at the pump will stop. But for Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu, those steep prices aren’t even a concern. In fact, he says his goal is not to get the price of gasoline to go down.

Chu delivered those stunning remarks in testimony before Congress yesterday. When Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) asked Chu whether it’s his “overall goal to get our price” of gasoline lower, Chu said, “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy.” As shocking as his remarks are, they shouldn’t come as a surprise. Chu has a long record of advocating for higher gas prices. In 2008, he stated, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Last March, he reiterated his point in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, noting that his focus is to ease the pain felt by his energy policies by forcing automakers to make more fuel-efficient automobiles. “What I’m doing since I became Secretary of Energy has been quite clear. What I have been doing is developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices.”

One of those methods is dumping taxpayer dollars into alternative energy projects like the Solyndra solar plant. Another is subsidizing the purchase of high-cost electric cars like the Chevy Volt to the tune of $7,500 per car (which the White House wants to increase to $10,000). In both cases, those methods aren’t working. Solyndra went bankrupt because its product couldn’t bear the weight of market pressures, and Chevy Volts aren’t selling, even with taxpayer-funded rebates. What’s the president’s next plan? Harvesting “a bunch of algae” as a replacement for oil.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is seemingly doing everything it can to make paying for energy even more painful by refusing to open access to the country’s oil and gas reserves and blocking new projects that would lead to the development of more energy in America. Case in point: the president’s decision to say “no” to the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have delivered hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil from Canada to Texas refineries, while bringing thousands of jobs along with it.

Sensing impending political fallout from the high cost of gas, President Obama last week spoke on the subject and attempted to deflect blame for the pain. He said that there is no quick fix to high gas prices and the nation cannot drill its way out of the problem, but as Heritage’s Nicolas Loris writes, the president ignored reality and dished out a series of half-truths. Among them, the president claimed oil production is its highest in eight years, that increasing oil production takes too long, and that oil is not enough. Loris writes that while production is up on private lands, unrealized production on federal lands and offshore could have yielded even more output, increasing supply and driving down costs. If the president had said “yes” to Keystone, oil could have reach the market quickly. And as for the president’s push for alternative energy, those sources simply cannot stand the test of the market.

There are steps the president and Congress can and should take today to bring down the cost of energy. Namely, end the de facto moratorium on drilling, open offshore areas that are off-limits to drilling, place a 270-day limit on environmental reviews for energy projects on federal lands, remove regulatory delays, and approve Keystone.

As Loris writes, “The market would respond if Congress and the Obama Administration allowed it to work.” But Secretary Chu and the Obama Administration are evidently not interested in market-based reforms that bring down the cost of energy. Instead, they’re bent on keeping energy costs high in order to placate the environmental left. And now Americans are paying the price.

VIDEO: Watch President Obama and Secretary Chu describe in their own words their vision of higher energy prices. See the video on YouTube.

Quick Hits:

Former governor Mitt Romney won the presidential primary contests in Michigan and Arizona last night. Now the GOP race heads to Washington state for caucuses, then on to Super Tuesday when ten states will hold primaries and caucuses.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will not seek reelection in 2012 because of increasing polarization in Washington. “Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” Snowe said.
The U.S. Treasury Department has disrupted a Dubai-based banking operation that Iran was using to evade sanctions in order to process oil sales.
Egyptian authorities say they have arrested a leading member of al-Qaeda. The man they arrested, Egyptian-born Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi, is a former Egyptian military officer who was dishonorably discharged for joining Jihadist fighters in the 1980s.
VIDEO: Britain’s Liam Fox has a warning for America: Fix the debt problem now or suffer the consequences of less power on the world stage. Watch the exclusive interview on The Foundry.

The Palestinian Issue - a Middle East Perspective

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought”
"Dispatch from Jerusalem," February 2012
"Bridges for Peace”

On September 21, 2011, President Obama proclaimed at the UN General Assembly: "There is one issue that stands as… a test for American foreign policy and that is the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians." President Obama assumes that the Palestinian issue is a root cause of Mid-East turbulence, the crown jewel of Arab policy-making and the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Is it?

Is the Palestinian issue the root cause of Mid-East Turbulence?

Irrespective of the Palestinian issue, 2011 has catapulted the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood - the Big Brother of Hamas terrorists - to political prominence in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco and soon in Jordan and other Arab countries. The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamic parties, is a derivative of a 1,400 year old supremacy of Islam in the educational, social and political sectors in every Arab country. Independent of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, imperialistic and radical Muslim Iran – the West's staunchest enemy – could shortly become a nuclear power; a nightmare for Persian Gulf, Middle East and global regimes. Unless preempted militarily, a nuclear Teheran would fuel global turbulence to unprecedented heights.

Regardless of Israel's own policies and existence, 2011 has exposed the Mid-East as the role model of intra-Arab/Muslim violence, volatility, shifty one-bullet and one-revolution regimes, tenuous policies and alliances, instability, uncertainty, unpredictability, corruption, hate education, treachery, non-compliance with agreements, and intra-Muslim/Arab fragmentation along tribal, ethnic, religious, ideological and geographic lines.

Distinct from the Palestinian issue, the US is evacuating Iraq and will evacuate Afghanistan. The evacuation of Iraq, without bringing terrorism to submission – along with a hesitant US policy towards Iran and North Korea – is perceived by rivals and enemies of the US as a lack of endurance and an extension of the evacuation/retreat from Lebanon (1958), Vietnam (1973), Lebanon (1983) and Somalia (1993). It undermines the US posture of deterrence and pumps adrenalin into the veins of terrorists. Therefore, the evacuation will fuel turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan, advance Iran's posture and jolt Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf States. It may entice Islamic terrorists to chase the evacuating US military all the way to the US mainland.

Unrelated to the Palestinian issue, the Saudi-Yemen border is boiling; intra-Muslim terrorism proliferates; post-Mubarak Egypt could follow the anti-US Turkish or even Iranian path; the Sudan and the Horn of Africa are saturated with conflicts; the Islamization of Turkey's policy fosters regional radicalization, and Lebanon remains an arena for violent domestic and intra-Arab conflicts. These, and many other conflicts, hemorrhage the region, facilitating Russian, Chinese and North Korean penetration of the region, while leveraging the US withdrawal. None of the above is impacted by the lack of an Israeli-Palestinian accord!

Notwithstanding the Arab-Israeli conflict, Libya and Iran were transformed in 1969 and 1979 respectively, via revolutions, from pro-US to anti-US regimes. In 1980 and in 1990, Iraq abrogated peace accords, invading Iran and Kuwait. In 1990, pro-US King Hussein collaborated with Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. In 2002, pro-USA Turkey switched over from NATO-oriented to Islam-oriented policy, courting Russia and Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas and additional rivals and enemies of the West. In 2003, a radical regime was trounced in Baghdad, but in 2011 Baghdad could become an active volcano, spreading lava throughout the region. Welcome to the real Mid-East, whose major shifty and violent developments are not driven, even remotely, by the Palestinian issue.

Is the Palestinian Issue the crown jewel of Arab Policy-Making?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Palestinian issue is not a primary Arab concern.

Pro-Western oil-producing Persian Gulf leaders are traumatized by, and preoccupied with, the lethal Iranian nuclear threat, by the raging Arab Street, and by a potential Iraqi "earthquake" in the aftermath of the US evacuation. The pro-Western Hashemite regime is alarmed by the Muslim Brotherhood surge in the Middle East, possibly also in neighboring Syria, and by the growing discontent among its Bedouin power base in Southern Jordan. Strategically-critical Turkey is becoming more Islam-driven and less western-oriented; the pro-Western Moroccan monarchy is imperiled by the ripple effects of the Tunisian, Libyan and Egyptian turmoil; Islamic terrorism is gaining ground; Russia, China and North Korea expand their penetration into the Middle East and the US posture of deterrence is eroding substantially.

However, while the Middle East is burning - irrespective of the Palestinian issue, President Obama is highlighting the Palestinian issue. But, his Palestinian policy is invalidated by the real Mid-East, which highlights 1,400 year old roots of intra-Arab/Muslim turbulence. Could the less than 100 year old Arab-Israeli conflict be the core cause of the 1,400 year old Islamic reality in the Mid-East?!

Arab leaders have never considered the Palestinian issue their prime concern, but a tool in intra-Arab political and military battles and a pawn against Israel. They are concerned about a potential Palestinian-driven domestic upheaval ("Lebanonization”) as was caused by the PLO in Lebanon. They consider the Arafat-Mahmoud Abbas wing of the Palestinians a source of treachery and subversion. Unlike Western policy-makers, they accord significant weight to the expulsion of Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat and other PLO leaders – for subversion and treachery - from Egypt in the late 1950s, from Syria in 1966, from Jordan in 1970, from Lebanon in 1982/3 and from Kuwait in 1991. The latter expulsion was triggered by Mahmoud Abbas' and Arafat's collaboration with Saddam Hussein's invasion and plunder of Kuwait, which offered the PLO a unique safe haven, economically, politically, socially and diplomatically.

Arab leaders marshal their rhetoric, but not their resources, on behalf of Palestinians. For example, during the October 2010 Arab Summit in Libya, Arab leaders pledged $500MN to the Palestinian - only seven percent was ever delivered. More than $2 billion were pledged by the Arabs in support of the first and second Palestinian Intifada against Israel, but less than $500 million reached the Palestinians. During the 1980s, Saudi financial support of the PLO was 10% of Riad's financial support of the anti-Soviet Muslims in Afghanistan.

Arab regimes did not actively support the PLO during its 1982 war (in Lebanon) against Israeli and they did not flex a significant muscle on behalf of the Palestinians during the 2008 war in Gaza. In fact, this has been the Arab attitude toward the Palestinian issue since 1948, irrespective of the identity of the Palestinian leader: Haj Amin al-Husseini, Shukeiri, Hammuda, Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas or Haniyeh.

The Red Carpet, which welcomes Palestinian leaders in the West, is transformed into a shabby rug when they land in Arab capitals.

Is the Palestinian issue the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflct?

US policy-makers have contended that the Palestinian issue is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which supposedly is a key axis of regional Mid-East geo-politics. Therefore, they assume, that the resolution of the Palestinian issue – via the establishment of a Palestinian State - would resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus moderating the Mid-East. Really? !

The 1948/9 War was not fought by the Arabs because, or for, the Palestinians. Therefore, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria, which occupied Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Hama respectively, did not transfer the area to the Palestinians.

The 1956 (Sinai) War was triggered by Egyptian-sponsored Palestinian terrorism, aiming to advance Egyptian claims to the Negev, by the Egyptian-French-British conflict over the Suez Canal and by Egyptian support of anti-French elements in North Africa and possibly by the Egyptian agitation in the Arabian Peninsula.

The 1967 (Six Day) War erupted in response to Egypt's blockade of Israel's southern (oil and commerce) waterway, Egypt's violation of the Sinai demilitarization and the Egypt-Syria-Jordan military axis, aimed at Israel's destruction.

The 1969-70 War of attrition along the Suez Canal took place irrespective of the Palestinian issue.

The 1973 War (the most recent Arab-Israel war) was initiated by Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, independent of the Palestinian issue.

The 1982 PLO-Israel War in Lebanon (pre-empting a grand scale PLO assault on northern Israel) was not transformed into an Arab-Israeli war. Arabs shed much rhetoric - not blood – on behalf of Palestinian.

The 1987-1992 First Palestinian Intifada (terrorism) was not transformed into an Arab-Israeli war. No Arab military-financial support; only rhetoric.

The 1994-2011 Oslo-triggered Palestinian terrorism has not been transformed into an Arab-Israeli war. Western financial aid to the Palestinian Authority dramatically exceeds Arab aid!

The Arab-Israeli conflict was not triggered by the Palestinian issue. The Palestinian issue has not been the "crown Jewel” of Arab policy-making. A Palestinian State would undermine vital Western interests and values: exacerbating global terrorism, dooming the Hashemite and Persian Gulf moderate regimes, promoting radical regimes, providing a Mediterranean platform to Iran, Russia and China and rewarding the oppressors of Palestinian Christians and the role model of hate education.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shariah's threat to civil rights

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. | As we witness surging Muslim violence against non-Muslims in Afghanistan, Egypt and even here, the response seems increasingly that the victims must apologize to the perpetrators. In particular, the United States government - from President Obama on down - has been assiduously seeking forgiveness for giving offense to Islamic sensibilities after accidentally burning Korans. This was felt necessary even in a case in which the books had been defaced by captured Afghan jihadis as a means of encouraging their comrades to further acts of violence against us. It seems that Christians are also widely considered to be at fault for having churches, Bibles and religious practices that offend the ascendant Islamists in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Certainly, no apologies are forthcoming when the Christians are murdered or forced to flee for their lives, their churches and sacred texts put to the torch.

In America last week, a Pennsylvania judge felt the need to dress down a man assaulted for parading in a Halloween costume he called "Zombie Muhammad." Far from punishing the perpetrator, a Muslim immigrant, Judge Mark Martin sympathized with him for the offense caused, noting - seemingly without objection - that it was a capital crime to engage in such free expression in some countries.

Worse yet, the judge suggested that the victim in this case had exceeded the "boundaries" of his "First Amendment rights." Such a view seems to track with the Obama administration's collaboration with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in fashioning international accords that would prohibit "incitement" against Islam.

This is a short step from - and en route to - the OIC's larger goal of banning and criminalizing any expression that offends Muslims or their faith. As such, it poses a mortal peril to the Constitution's First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech.

What is going on in country after country, in international forums such as the United Nations Human Rights Council and even in some American courts, is a calculated effort, backed by terrifying violence or its threat, to make us "feel subdued," as the Koran puts it. The idea is to use Western sensibilities and civil liberties - notably, respect for the free practice of religion - to deny the rest of us our fundamental freedoms. These include the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and, yes, freedom of religion.

The trouble is that when we accommodate such demands, it is seen by Islamist enemies of liberty as evidence of our inevitable submission. According to the doctrine of Shariah, they must, under such circumstances, make a redoubled effort to achieve their ultimate triumph, including through the use of violence.

So, far from alleviating the threat posed by Shariah's adherents when we accommodate, apologize and appease, we actually are exacerbating it, at home as well as abroad.

In short, we find ourselves in what is, properly understood, the civil rights struggle of our time. Those who stand up for freedom against Shariah are quite literally protecting the rights of women, children, people of faith and other minorities sure to be abused by its misogynistic, intolerant and domineering doctrine. That means protecting, as well, Muslim-Americans who have come to this country to escape the long arm of Shariah law. In due course, though, Shariah's repressive strictures would not simply be a threat to these communities. They would be a toxic blight upon all of us.

Ironically, today, it is defenders of our freedoms who are being denounced as "racists," "bigots" and "Islamophobes." Such terms are, in truth, being used in much the same way and for precisely the same purpose as the Ku Klux Klan's members reviled an earlier generation of civil rights activists for loving blacks: to defame, threaten and isolate their opponents. We cannot, and certainly must not, tolerate the Islamists' intolerance.

Muslims are, of course, free to practice their faith in America like anyone else - provided they do so in a tolerant, peaceable and law-abiding way. What they are not entitled to do, in the name of religious practice, is subvert our Constitution, deny us our rights or engage in sedition without facing concerted opposition - if not prosecution.

Today, every bit as much as in the civil rights struggles of the past, there are those who are prepared to go along with what they know is wrong in order to get along. Now, as then, the few who recognize that any such accommodation makes more certain the ultimate triumph of evil, may be vilified and even harmed. But now, as then, more and more Americans are emerging who see the danger posed by our time's totalitarian threat - Shariah - and will do their part to secure freedom against it, both here and, as necessary for that purpose, elsewhere.

Winning the War

Don’t Go Negative
David Bernstein is the executive director of the David Project, a nonprofit that positively shapes campus opinion on Israel.

The best response to anti-Israelism on campus is pro-Israelism.
It’s important to remember that the United States is not the United Kingdom, where anti-Israelism is widespread. According to the most recent Gallup poll, Americans are more sympathetic to the Israelis (rather than to the Palestinians) by a margin of 63 to 17 percent. While levels of support for Israel are lower on campus, most college students are more inclined to support Israel than the Palestinians.
There may be a more serious problem at elite colleges, where the discussion of Israel is driven by a far-left and postmodern worldview, as well as by radicalized Middle East study programs. But even at schools like Columbia and Berkeley, the problem is mostly not outright hostility but a drip-drip negativity. In an environment trending negative, the best approach is not to “respond” but to promote. When we spend our energy responding to anti-Israel accusations, we engage the battle on our adversaries’ terms—not ours. Further, by taking on the detractors, we help them get more publicity than they could on their own and can end up sounding shrill ourselves. The average college student, faced with dueling arguments, will say “a pox on both of your houses,” which, in the American context, constitutes a loss for Israel.
A much better strategy than responding to the detractors is to take a targeted, pro-active, and positive approach that meets segments of students (and faculty) where they are and brings them closer to our view. AIPAC has successfully used this strategy to identify and build ties with college students most likely to serve in Congress one day.
The organization I lead, the David Project, just released an in-depth report, “A Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges,” that lays out our view on the issue. Here’s a quick summary of our strategy for winning the campus battle:
1. Help pro-Israel students identify and reach out to “influencers” on campus, from members of student government to the heads of ethnic organizations to campus celebrities. These relationships can be enhanced by trips for these influencers led by pro-Israel student leaders themselves.
2. Hold small, targeted events in partnership with non-Jewish organizations (and avoid large-scale events that usually only attract our side and theirs).
3. Take advantage of the growth and influence of business departments and a corresponding interest in Israel’s growing economic successes.
4. Combat the influence of anti-Israel professors by organizing pro-Israel professors and training others to teach more courses on Israel unaffected by anti-Israel propaganda (like at the Summer Institute for Israel Studies at Brandeis).
There is no easy fix for the problems on campus. But by moving from reaction to action, we can assure that future generations of influential Americans remain broadly supportive of the Jewish state.
Expose Biased Professors and the Influence of Petrodollars

Rachel Fish is a doctoral student in Israel Studies at Brandeis.
The new white paper published by the David Project, an organization I worked for between 2003 and 2009, should prompt serious community discussion about anti-Israelism—a growing, decades-long problem that is doing real harm to Israel’s standing among American elites and reshaping Jewish life on campus. For the most part, the description of the problem is on target: Leftist faculty and student groups, along with Muslim organizations, work consistently—and typically in concert—to defame and undermine the Jewish state and its supporters in the guise of “academic freedom” and under the banner of “human rights.”
This campaign has successfully made “Palestinianism”—the notion that an innocent, indigenous people suffers a senseless, cruel oppression by the Jews of Israel—the cause célèbre on many campuses. It has created a hostile environment for pro-Israel students who are sometimes intimidated, harassed, and, in the worst cases, physically threatened. Mostly, however, supporters of Israel on campus are simply silenced. They correctly understand that if they stand up for Israel, they risk being mocked, marginalized, subject to receiving lower grades, and perhaps limiting their career opportunities. After speaking to scores of pro-Israel professors, students, and some Hillel professionals, it is extremely clear to me that many Jewish students are cowed into silence by social pressure and career concerns.
Given the depth of the problem on campus, focusing education efforts primarily on students will not ultimately change the university. Students are an important component of the campus community, and their education about Israel must begin before they step foot on campus, but they are not the decisive constituency at universities. They alone will not be able to alter the discourse.
If we want to see real change, the structural elements of campus life—faculty, administration, and funding sources, all of which have far greater power than students—must be confronted. As important as it is to work with and educate students, their stints at the university are short, and they have limited influence. They will likely be overwhelmed by radical professors, multimillion dollar programs funded by countries like Saudi Arabia, and administrators bullied by tenured faculty and insensitive to Jewish concerns.
Teaching about Israel’s remarkable achievements is insufficient; a “defense-only” approach cannot win. Bias against Israel has to be shown to be the shameless hypocrisy that it is.
The Jewish community must deal with the institutional issues: professors who abuse the power of the podium, the influence of petrodollars, and insensitivity by the administration. Moreover, instructing students to mostly ignore and be silent about the lies, distortions, and half-truths propagated by Israel’s detractors reflects a lack of moral courage. History has shown that silence has not been a friend to the Jews.
Publicly Confront Pernicious Arguments
David Fine is a junior at Columbia. He is editor in chief of the Current.
It had all the trappings of a bad one-liner—a liberal and a conservative, a socialist and a libertarian, and a smattering of others, all seated behind microphones in the grand rotunda of Columbia’s Low Library. What followed, though, was amazing: an actual substantive debate.
It began when a representative from Columbia’s International Socialist Organization said that Hamas, as the “democratically elected government” in Gaza, had every right to “resist” the Israeli government.
Instead of answering the next question posed to me by the moderators, I turned to the ISO representative and asked: Was she really justifying lobbing missiles into apartment buildings and schools, or blowing up children on buses? She countered very simply, saying that people have the right to respond to political conditions by whatever means necessary. So, my fellow debater endorsed killing civilians as a legitimate means of political action.
It was the moment I had been told to fear—the dreaded campus debate about Israel—and yet no lightning struck. It turns out that it was fairly easy to expose this person’s despicable worldview.
It’s important to remember, as the fake walls and fake checkpoints and fake tanks of Israel Apartheid Week come and go, such spectacles are just that—spectacle. Ideas and arguments hold more sway. And if we know our stuff, and believe in the truth of our arguments, then we should win the real debates every time.
So, while we hold up placards and hand out fact sheets on campus this week, we should look forward to the rest of the semester. We should sharpen our wits and confront those whose aim is the destruction of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The best that happens is that they reveal their ideologies for what they truly are.
Continue reading: Chucking the Hasbara Machine
Persuade the Undecided—Especially in the Classroom
Gilad Wenig is senior at New York University majoring in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.
Earlier this month, the Israeli government announced that it would be dispatching over 100 Israelis to college campuses in the United States. Timed in accordance with Israel Apartheid Week, the “Faces of Israel” campaign is meant to counter anti-Zionist activities on campuses. But will this strategy work? I’m skeptical.
Quite often, speakers sponsored by the Israeli government come across as overtly partisan, and, in my experience, the people who go to such events already support the Jewish state. In addition, as a report recently released by the David Project claimed, pro-Israel speakers can often be “counterproductive” because they invite protest and controversy.
When he visited NYU in 2009, Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s minister of Information and Diaspora, asked a small group of students how to effectively rebrand Israel on campus. Overall, the answers were uninspired. Three years later, I have a suggestion: Leave it to us.
The key is shifting our focus from debating the anti-Israel types to engaging the much larger group that is undecided, uninformed, and vulnerable to persuasion by a politically assertive teaching assistant or controversial reading assignment.
Contrary to popular perception, students who support Israel can have a meaningful impact in the classroom. Empowering pro-Israel students to engage professors, teaching assistants, and even peers on contentious points should be highlighted as part of a multipronged approach to dealing with anti-Zionism on campus.
Just last year, in a survey course of modern Middle Eastern history, my professor made a comment insinuating collusion between colonialism and early Zionism. Based on sources I had read in another class, I immediately met with the professor and expressed my concern with linking the two, especially in an introductory course. After our lengthy and frank discussion, she publicly clarified her comments during the following lecture and insisted that she strives to maintain an unbiased atmosphere. And indeed she did so the rest of the semester.
Pro-Israel Jewish students can challenge professors directly. Just remember to stay cool-headed, and be sure to have your facts in order. Otherwise, you’re in for a very rude awakening.
Abandon Talking Points, and Embody the Right Values
Yoav Schaefer, a former IDF soldier, is the director of the Avi Schaefer Fund and a student at Harvard University.
Israel Apartheid Week is an unfortunate manipulation of the discussion about Israel-Palestine on campuses, but I believe its bark is worse than its bite. Negative and extreme forms of advocacy tend to alienate the very people they are trying to reach. This isn’t just true of the activists that organize campaigns intended to demonize Israel: It’s often true of the Jewish community’s reaction to such displays. Our overly robust response tends to confer greater legitimacy and publicity to anti-Zionist activities. This occurred in reaction to the University of Pennsylvania’s BDS Conference earlier this month and, unfortunately, seems likely to happen at Harvard’s One-State Conference that begins this weekend.
Consider the fact that about 65 percent of the coverage of last year’s Israel Apartheid Week was in Israeli or Jewish publications. It’s time to reevaluate the ineffective and often counterproductive forms of advocacy promoted by many Jewish organizations, and explore new ways to educate about Israel on campus.
As an activist fighting against divestment at the University of California at Berkeley in 2010, I watched as pro-Israel students, with their well-rehearsed advocacy points and flyers packed with facts, failed to combat the emotionally powerful narratives of pro-Palestinian activists. Our advocacy failed us at Berkeley, it has failed us on campuses across North America, and it will continue to fail us. And, let’s be honest, with the current direction of Israeli politics, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make the case for Israel on campus.
We cannot allow our Israel education to be defined by those who are anti-Israel. Nor can we fall into the trap of debating the merits of every Israeli policy—that’s a losing strategy. Instead, our task is to defend Israel’s fundamental right to exist. This can’t be accomplished through a well-oiled hasbara machine, but by personally embodying values and aspirations with which people can identify: empathy, understanding, and peace.
We need to admit upfront that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex, and confront anti-Israel sentiments with nuance and sophistication. Most importantly, we need to engage students with whom we disagree.
Rather than respond directly to Israel Apartheid Week, pro-Israel students should work to promote a culture of civility on campus, and focus on positive forms of Israel education that portray the Jewish state’s vibrancy. One-dimensional advocacy is counterproductive—uninformed students see it as anti-intellectual and ideological spoon-feeding. Only by discussing the fundamental meaning and purpose of Israel—not defending the status-quo, but challenging students to build a more perfect country that embodies the values of the Jewish people—can we transform North American universities into mechanisms for positive change. Indeed, the most important work on campuses is not countering anti-Israel groups, but changing the outdated models of advocacy and education within our own community.
Pro-Palestinian Doesn’t Mean Anti-Israel
Logan Bayroff is the president of J Street U National Student Board and a junior at the University of Pennsylvania.
When it comes to political activism on campus, it’s important to distinguish between what is anti-Israel and what is pro-Palestinian. At J Street U, we believe many parts of the Palestinian narrative are worthy of Jewish consideration. Israeli and American leaders have long understood that ending the conflict requires a two-state solution—and that means supporting Palestinian self-determination.
Of course there is another, uglier face of campus advocacy. Some groups denounce Israel’s very existence, often using the extreme language of apartheid. Understandably, this rhetoric, coupled with demonstrations involving “apartheid walls” and mock checkpoints, cause a great deal of upset among many pro-Israel students. Unfortunately, this tends to lead to exaggerated, pre-programmed responses that ignore the intertwined nature of the Israeli and Palestinian causes and hastily label various activities as anti-Israel or anti-Semitic.
Instead, we should encourage dialogue and pragmatism. Inviting students to discuss Israel’s strengths and challenges gives campus advocacy a productive focus. When the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement held a national conference at Penn last month, our Hillel and Israel advocacy leaders responded by organizing over 50 student-run dinner-discussions for the general student body, where Israel was the focus. At dinners hosted by J Street U, students of different backgrounds and opinions came together to share their love for and critiques of Israel.
Weeks later, we held an event in conjunction with a pro-Palestinian student group, with a former IDF officer who is now a representative of a major Israeli human rights organization. Students were confronted with the hard reality of settlements and occupation, and were, at the same time, exposed to a fiercely proud Zionist who is working to achieve the Israel envisioned by its founders. An approach like this trusts in students’ ability to appreciate complex situations. In campus advocacy, as in the conflict itself, extremism is best answered with moderation and engagement toward the achievement of shared goals.

Look at the big picture on Iraqi deaths

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
The Daily Star (Beirut)
February 27, 2012

Since the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, one of the most frequently recurring talking points has been speculation as to whether there will be a sectarian civil war in the country. Throughout this winter, the media at large and numerous analysts have been quick to note incidents of mass casualty attacks, pointing to an upsurge in fatalities, particularly in the month of January.

In addition, there has been a tendency to tie the increase in violence to the U.S. withdrawal and the subsequent political crisis that entailed the issuing of an arrest warrant against Tariq al-Hashimi, the Sunni vice-president of Iraq, on allegations of involvement in terrorism, as well as a boycott of the Iraqi parliament by the main opposition bloc al-Iraqiya, which has now decided to end its boycott. Alas, if only those experts had consulted Tacitus, who, in commenting on what he saw as a trend in his own day towards greater parsimony- in contrast with other Roman authors who regarded contemporary society as corrupted by extravagance- speculated that "forte rebus cunctis inest quidam velut orbis, ut, quemadmodum temporum vices, ita morum vertantur" ("there is perhaps in all happenings something like a cyclical pattern, so that, just as there are the vicissitudes of eras, thus there are changes in customs" - Annals III.55).

In other words, there are some recurring trends and changes that are predictable on a given time basis (e.g. annual or seasonal). In Iraq, the month of January over the past two years has been marked by the celebration of the Shi'a religious festival of Arba'een according to the lunar calendar.

This involves tens of thousands of pilgrims, whether from Iraq, Iran and even the Indian subcontinent, descending upon the holy site of Karbala. Indeed, the majority of these pilgrims travel either by bus or on foot.

Hence, it is reasonable to expect that, since they are easy targets for Sunni terrorist groups like al-Qa'ida, there will be an upsurge in attacks every year around the time of Arba'een, which took place this year on January 14th and in 2011 on January 25th.

Sure enough, statistical data here vindicate this expectation. In December 2010, the Iraq Body Count recorded 217 civilian deaths, compared with 387 in January 2011. Similarly, in December 2011, there were 371 civilian deaths, as opposed to 458 in January 2012.

The figures for December 2011 seem to be a high number in comparison with December 2010, but it can be explained in light of the fact that al-Qa'ida had long been planning attacks to coincide with the U.S. withdrawal and give the impression of gaining ground against the Iraqi government and security forces.

In any case, the casualty statistics for December 2011 are lower than for May and June 2011, which recorded 378 and 385 civilian deaths respectively, even while there were still tens of thousands of U.S. troops in the country, largely confined to their bases with little freedom of movement. These observations fit in with an annual cycle in which insurgents step up their operations towards the end of spring and the onset of summer.

Sensationalist media speculation about a sectarian civil war reflects a deep misunderstanding of both the causes of the dramatic drop in violence in Iraq from the days of 2006-7 and the nature of the insurgency today. One Associated Press article reporting on a bomb attack in Iraq declared that in 2006-7, Iraq was 'on the brink' of sectarian civil war.

On the contrary, the situation back then was a civil war, centered on Baghdad, where the Sunni insurgents, in large part angered by the de-Ba'athification process and driven by the erroneous belief that they were in the majority and thus could supposedly defeat the Shi'a, were fighting the Shi'a militias like the Mahdi Army (backed at the time by the central government, which saw the Sunni insurgency as an existential threat) for control of the capital.

By the start of 2007, around the time of the beginning of the surge, the outcome of this civil war was turning decisively in favor of the Shi'a, as most of the mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad were ethnically cleansed of Sunnis. Therefore, the Sunni insurgents increasingly began to appreciate that they were not in the majority at all, with survival now depending on a willingness to work with the central government and coalition forces against al-Qa'ida.

This was the crucial factor behind the development of the Sons of Iraq movement from the Anbar Awakening- a Sunni tribal initiative against al-Qa'ida that began in the western province of Anbar in mid-2006 because of disillusionment with the Islamist group's brutality.

Thus, whereas the overwhelming majority of Sunnis accept that they must peacefully adapt to the fact that the Shi'a lead the political process, the remnants of the insurgency are driven by ideology, whether Islamism (al-Qa'ida) or a combination of Baa'thism and Islamism (the Naqshibandia), and will continue to carry out terrorist attacks regardless of whether there is a political impasse.

Failing to look at the bigger picture, the media inadvertently help these insurgent groups by allowing them to portray themselves as gaining ground to supporters and sympathizers, thereby ensuring that they can continue to receive financial and armed support from within Iraq and abroad.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and an adjunct Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Oil Remains King; When it Comes to Energy Production It's A Case of Drill or Be Drilled

Reverend Harper: "Have you ever tried to persuade him that he wasn't Teddy Roosevelt?"
Abby Brewster: "Oh, no."Martha Brewster: "Oh, he's so happy being Teddy Roosevelt."Abby Brewster: "Do you remember, Martha, once, a long time ago, we thought if he'd be George Washington, it might be a change for him, and we suggested it."Martha Brewster "And do you know what happened? He just stayed under his bed for days and wouldn't be anybody."
--"Arsenic and Old Lace"

By Barry Rubin

Here’s what you need to know about the current U.S. debate on energy. Stick with me through some numbers and we’ll arrive at a very important conclusion.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the official government agency for such statistics, world energy consumption will rise by 53 percent between 2008 and 2035, mostly (85 percent) due to non-Western use. Petroleum—and this is according to Obama’s “employees,” will only decline from 34 percent in 2008 to 29 percent of the total world energy use over that period.

In other words, over the next almost quarter-century, only 14 percent of current petroleum usage will be replaced by all other fuels, including algae, nuclear, solar, vegetable, and wind. And because overall consumption is rising, oil consumption will actually rise from 85.7 million barrels a day in 2008 to 111.2 in 2035. What does this tell us?

Despite all of the vast amounts of money plowed by government decision into alternative energy sources, the transition away from petroleum will take a century and will go very slowly. During our lifetimes, oil production will be increasing.

–Given rising demand, insecurity of supply, and the using up of currently exploited reserves, prices should remain strong. Even if the current Iran war scare evaporates, there will be plenty of crises in the Middle East to maintain that insecurity.

–The advantage of private enterprise is that companies and businesspeople have an incentive to produce innovations and new technology if they can make a profit on it. This system has worked very well in American history.

–That is why “green energy” companies will almost inevitably end in scandal and bankruptcy. The money can line the pockets of the executives favored by the Obama Administration but cannot magically produce successful businesses or make effective technology magically appear, especially within the short time needed to survive economically. Remember ethanol?

–There have been exceptional cases where government money did drive technology quickly—mainly in military and space applications—but remember that in those cases the government was the only consumer for such products. Thus, government subsidies and contracts were absolutely necessary, in contrast to consumer-directed projects where average Americans must be persuaded to buy things.

–To bash the auto and other industries by demanding unrealistic goals for mileage and scores of other regulations ensures bankrupt companies, the flight of American business abroad or the rising market share of imports, unemployment, the massive waste of taxpayer money, and products nobody wants to buy. Example: the Volt.

–Say what you like but ten years from now we will all be laughing or gasping in astonishment that man-made global warming hysteria ever existed. See: global overpopulation scare and global cooling scare, among others.

–Any country that can produce more of its energy and refuses to drill and develop these resources is run by nincompoops. It will lose out on the money to be made, remain dependent on unreliable foreign sources, toss away jobs, and shred its wealth. The same applies to a country that rejects the construction of a normal pipeline by its neighbor to the north. Remember that even if drilling takes a few years to produce results, it will—unlike the competition–produce results and will do so far faster than wind, solar, algae, corn, etc.

–When the president of the United States says—as Obama just did in Florida–that drilling is a stupid policy proposed by his opponents for producing more oil and that he has high hopes for totally nonexistent algae technology, it is time for the men in the white jackets to come on stage with a straitjacket.

–If the voters buy such nonsense then the asylum might have to be extended to cover the entire country.

Source for statistics: Paul Rivlin, “Oil Market Prospects and Tensions in the Gulf,” IQTISADI: MIDDLE EAST ECONOMY,” Vol. 2, No. 2 February 2012.