Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hezbollah Racketeers Financing Hamas Rocketeers

The New York Post reports via the Jerusalem Post that
the AP/Reuters-backed crime syndicate Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors are rewarding Palestinian terrorists with thousands of dollars for each homemade rocket that hits southern Israel, according to Israeli intelligence. [Whether Hezbollah was printing these dollars in its south Beirut counterfeiting facilities or were getting Ben Franklins from Iran was still unclear. MY COMMENT]

The size of the payoffs depends on the number of Israelis killed or wounded, the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday.

Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based guerrilla group that fought a border war with Israel last summer, is smuggling cash from Iran into the Gaza Strip to pay off different terrorist organizations who launch homemade Qassam rockets into the western Negev region of Israel.

"Sometimes, they are paid before the attack and sometimes they submit a bill to Lebanon and the money gets transferred a short time later," a security official said.

The article goes on to note that Hamas is accusing Israel of arming the Fatah Party of President Mahmoud Abbas via Egypt:
Meanwhile, with Israel's blessing, Egypt has delivered a large arms shipment to forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, officials said yesterday - the latest Israeli attempt to boost the embattled leader in his bloody conflict with Hamas fanatics.

The Palestinians keep lurching down history's saddest narrative of missed opportunities to end up by electing a terrorist government. The one real chance for a state for themselves and a semblance of peace was passed up by serial embezzler Arafat because he believed three quarters of a loaf or more just wasn't enough. But a detached observer must give some credence to the argument that, like Castro, Saddam, Kim Jung-Il and a number of other entrenched socialist regimes in Africa, the corruption level of these workers' paradises does not permit change for the better.

Like billionaires Castro and Dear Leader, mult-millionaire Arafat thought the status quo of serfdom in an enclave better than a breakthrough to nationhood and peace. It would have hurt his investments, perhaps, and subjected him to humiliating processes such as genuinely free elections.

Ex-billionaire former Socialist leader Saddam Hussein was unavailable for comment.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

CAIR Fig-Leaf Being Removed?

Sen. Barbara Boxer displays a bit of independent thinking as she actually takes the bold step of rescinding an award to a CAIR after she asked staffers to investigate the man's background.

Respectable Arab-American organizations are being tarred by the same brush as this disreputable bunch of terrorism apologists.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Post Lauds Saddam Execution, NYT Bitches.

A sniveling tabloid editorializes on why Saddam's trial, oh wait, bitches about how Iraq did not become "automatically" better now that the savage admirer of Hitler and Stalin gets his just desserts. But it did, arguably, become less threatening to its neighbors now that a certified vicious dog was chained in a tight jailcell to be hanged like the dog that he is. Even the normally supinely liberal Salon site Secular Blasphemy upbraids the NYT for complaining about the so-called "rush" to judgment. Only three years is way too short, according to Pinch's orcs.

The Washington Post abjures the bitchery of the crazy old aunt in the attic linked at the top of this piece with a sober assessment of what this is all about. It isn't often that the WaPo is excellent, but compared to its Big Apple counterpart, the Post excels in journalism and good judgment.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lacrosse Joke Coming to an End?

The NC Bar has filed a complaint over the incredible grandstanding a DA running for an office he had previously only been appointed to used to get the black vote in a racially divided town.

Not one MSM source has really dug into this case, as it reveals so much hypocrisy and class-envy and feminist attitudinist posturing.

Hopefully, the charges will soon be dropped, and the spectacle recedes of a drunken promiscuous stripper accusing silly frat boys of rape while her panties are full of semen from two or more non-lacrosse players.

The class warfare waged by crazies like CNN Ogress Grace and Wendy Murphy should get them thrown off the air.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Jerry Ford, RIP

The NYT has a long retrospective on President Ford. I shook his hand in his office as House Minority Leader when our FSO class, the Fighting 86th [we were all going to Vietnam as CORDS advisors], was introduced to Ford and House Speak McCormack on our introductory 101 FSO course's meet-and-greet sallies around DC.

Ford was sort of famous as the less voluble half of the Ev and Jerry Show, a TV half-hour touting Repub goals and achievements, although they were the minority party. Too bad there are no Repub House Members in the leadership who could pair with John McCain in an update of that rare Repub public outreach project. [Ev was Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, once called "butter-tonsils" in the quaint argot of the day.

Sadly, when Jerry Ford became President, his political tin-ear asserted itself, first with the choice of Nelson Rockefeller as VP and second when he did not choose Ronald Reagan to be his VP. His assertion that Poland was free and that the Soviets did not rule Eastern Europe sealed the public's conviction that this guy was a couple bricks short of a load.

Jerry was lucky when two crazed women in California failed in assassination attempts on him in Sacramento and San Francisco, and he was also lucky in his placid family life which ensued after his wise choice in 1980, when he declined a VP slot on the eventual winning ticket.

Unlike a couple of ex-Presidents who seek publicity at the cost of frequently making fools of themselves, Ford was a man who was comfortable in his skin and, in the words of an observer, "innately decent."

Maybe we should luck into another "unelected president" as the eager beavers seeking the job all have the character defect of hubris, as well as others too numerous to enumerate in a short blog.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Francis of Assisi a Middle East Negotiator?

Thomas Cahill has a new book on the Middle Ages and the table of contents destroys a lot of the secular mythology concerning the obscurantism and backwardness college history survey courses often portray.

Cahill's book on How the Irish Saved Western Civilization more or less ripped off without attribution Christopher Dawson's The Making of Europe: An Introduction to the History of European Unity, a book I read in the early '60s which has the theme that Cahill elaborates concerning the crucial rold of Irish monks in preserving the classical European heritage and then propagating it throughout Europe.

But the main theme of this blog is Francis of Assisi and Cahill's bleating column on how different things would be if a certain Italian cardinal had listened to the Friar and practiced Christianity on its highest levels.

The story line of Cahill's article is how a Fatamid [Shi'ite]sultan named Kamil was moved by Francis in a visit to Cairo, and then in Italy yadda yadda the evil Papal Curia yadda yadda.... Of course, the apologists for Muslim terror nowadays conveniently overlook little events such as kind Kamil's predecessor Al-Hakim who may have sparked the Crusades by banning pilgrimages, killing Christians [as well as Jews], making Christians wear outlandish outfits with outsize crosses, and finally destroying the Holy Sepulchre in 1009. That would be historical, and the Cahill's of this world usually print the legend.

Actually, a book by Idries Shah on The Sufis claims that Francis as a very young merchant went to Syria and became initiated into being a Sufi adept, adopting their cowl and robe for his religious order which he founded employing the Sufi quietist mode, as opposed to the whirling dervishes.

Shah's book tends to exaggerate the exploits and the extent of the influence of Sufism, and of course, the Catholic Church would never admit to introducing a foreign "cult" into their religious orders. So the real story may never be told, and it may be largely apocryphal.

But although Cahill does raise an interesting "counterfactual" what if?, the real story of the Crusades is so absurdly complex, with alliances among Roman and Orthodox Christians with Shi'ite Fatamids against Sunni Seljuk and other pre-Ottoman Turks that it makes today's Iraq look familiar and even uncomplicated!

Penn, Stone Sink at Box Office

Although the Drudge headline to the Variety piece on Hollywood's huge losers somehow accented Russell Crowe and poor Cage [who was not mentioned in the article, which I combed twice] as being the biggest losers, All The King's Men with loudmouth Penn and Basic Instinct 2 with trim Rosie O'Donnell with a slim body Sharon Stone were absolutely two flicks that sank like Stones.

Sharon, of course, who is on a substance I'd like to get my hands on, proclaimed immediately her desire to make a Basic Instinct 3. That's a franchise I'd shun with my vast investment punt money.

Remember all the Oscar talk for ATKM and Penn's "passionate, vibrant, thrilling, yadda, yadda" performance? This short round has probably exceeded his public shelf-life just like Tom Cruise for espousing weirdness in endless iterations.

I've also now made it an informal rule to eschew movies with the overexposed Jude Law, who seems to have been in every other movie since 2004. Meteoric career in the offing, unless Jude somehow can learn to say no to scripts.

Crowe somehow has a lot of that anger that is pulling Penn, O'Donnell, and other public loudmouths into disrepute and box office poison [which Katherine Hepburn also was for a while in her mid-career for different reasons].

And at least for O'Donnell, that anger gets her mug on daily doses of ET, etc, along with her boyfriend The Donald.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

World Mean IQ Diminishing

The Audacious Epigone posted an animated graph that you just must see to believe. The more humans there are, it appears, the dumber they get. Check the link to this excellent site.

"Perfidious" Brits? Part Two

The Guardian has a story on the sad state of Christianity in the postmodern UK. Of course, it is the Guardian, so who knows how valid this particular poll might be.
Eighty-two percent of the 1,006 adults questioned for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper in the run up to Christmas said they saw religion as a cause of division and tension between people compared to 16 percent who disagreed. At a time when Britain's multi-cultural, multi-faith model, their outward symbols and culture are under the microscope after last year's home-grown Islamist extremist suicide bombings, 63 percent said they were not religious.

Read more if you want to combine Christmas depression with SADS.

Darn, my cousin Dennis Mangan has a great little post quoting Theodore Dalyrymple on the subject. Here's a slice:
[TD] says that one problem with Dawkins is that he thinks progress inevitable:
And yet Dawkins disregards other important aspects of morality in which regression had undoubtedly occurred. To give only one example: the rate of indictable offences has increased 40 times in the country of his birth, Britain, in his lifetime, notwithstanding an enormous increase in wealth and the standard of living as measured by consumption of material goods. And this rise of crime alone has had a terrible effect on the quality of life of millions of people, who justifiably live in constant fear and who arrange their lives accordingly. The old, for example, are under perpetual curfew, imposed by some of the young, in Britain.

Dalrymple ends on a weak note:
Dawkins's latest book is an example of the nothing-but school of historiography: European history is nothing but the history of warfare and genocide, American history is nothing but the history of exploitation and oppression of the blacks, and so forth. For him, the history of religion is nothing but the history of bigotry, savagery, ignorance, intolerance. Of course, all of these are to be found in the history of religion, and bigots still abound. The problem with the nothing-but school of history, apart from its incompleteness and untruth, is fuels the very thing against which it rails, bigotry and hatred.

Dawkins views are that, but he also fails to make the case that a world without religion, even were it possible, would be better. The Lenins, Stalins, and Maos were not religious, nor were Tamerlane and others of his ilk driven by religion. Man will always find excuses to plunder and murder others and if religion isn't available, he will find something else.

Although I recall Tamerlane was vaguely Muslim, he and Robespierre and Adolph were not driven by religion, but in Robespierre and AH's case by hatred of religion. Dawkins shares that hatred and a vituperative temperament that should make us happy he chose not to pursue a political career!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Zawahiri Seeks Democrats' Help in Terrorism

Thomas Sowell is one of the deepest thinkers in the US, aided by his black heritage which gives him the POV to understand things other Americans cannot. Here is a bit his piece back in March on self-seeking in America:
We have now been through at least two generations of constant denigration of American society, two generations in which cheap glory could be gained by flouting rules and mocking values.

Is it surprising that we seem to have dwindling numbers of people willing to take responsibility and make sacrifices to preserve the social framework that makes our survival and advancement possible? Harvard is just one small example.

There was a time when being at war meant accepting a great weight of responsibility, even among politicians. After Wendell Willkie waged a tough presidential election campaign against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, winning more votes than any Republican ever had before, nevertheless after it was all over, he became FDR's personal envoy to Winston Churchill.

In the midst of war today, we see former presidents and defeated presidential candidates telling the world how wrong we are -- sometimes collecting big bucks in foreign countries for doing so -- and members of Congress playing demagogic party politics with national security.

Before I make my final point, I heard a hairdo named John Kerry tell a reporter in Damascus asking a question about the fact that only 11% of Dems support him for '08 with the following resonant response:
"Here I am making peace in the Middle East and you have to bother me with stuff like that?"

In his own psychotic universe, this living testimonial to the outer limits of narcissism [though Ozymandias may have given him a good run for the money.] probably does believe he is that influential, although he is actually what Billy Bulger used to call him when Kerry would crash uninvited other politicians' rallies in MA and immediately try to hog the spotlight and that's why Billy called him "JFK, [J]ust [F]or [K]erry."

Dr. Sanity Sowell's observation above in a context which demonstrates that hairdo Kerry's colossally boorish self-promotion is unfortunately more of a trend than one would hope. [But the coiffure must be gnashing his teeth that Chris Dodd is the only acolyte of stick-insect Arse-ad to make it to the Sunday Morning Talk Shows this weekend] She notes Ed Morrissey's take on Zawahiri's advice to the Democrats:
Al-Qaeda's number two nutcase sent a new message to the West as expected, and this time he had a special message for the winners of America's last election. Ayman al-Zawahiri wants Democrats to understand that they owe a debt of thanks to radical Islamist terrorists for their control of Congress, and he expects some gratitude ASAP:
"The first is that you aren't the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen -- the Muslim Ummah's vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq -- are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost," Zawahri said, according to a full transcript obtained by ABC News. Zawahri calls on the Democrats to negotiate with him and Osama bin Laden, not others in the Islamic world who Zawahri says cannot help.

"And if you don't refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate,"

Captain Ed goes on to try and dissuade the right side of the blogsphere from gleefully pointing out the alliance between Al Qaeda and the Democratic Party. As Al Qaeda sees it, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" and it justifiably considers the recent antics of idiotish Democrats (who constantly seek to discredit their mortal enemy Bush by undermining the Iraq war, as well as the larger war with Islamofascist thugs like Al Qaeda)as somewhat helpful to their plan for world domination.

The Captain is correct in a way, but what bothers me the most is the fact that the Democratic Party is so far gone in its narcissistic indulgences that it is wholly unable to step back and consider how their behavior has made this country weak and vulnerable to homicidal organizations like Al Qaeda.

But then, hysteria and self-aggrandizement--as opposed to rational reflection--is more in the style of the Democratic leadership these days.

Psychoanalyst Dr. Sanity then puts the Jackass Party nabobs on the couch and gives them public therapy recommendations:
The triumph of narcissism and the embrace of political correctness and multiculti worship in our political, academic, and cultural elites has led them to take the easy path to fame and cheap glory. All one has to do is "heroically" and sincerely
bash America, as you proudly displaying a casual contempt for its values. It also helps to publicize how your courageous stand is being "oppressed" by the BushHitler Administration, well on their way to making the U.S. a fascist theocracy.

The righteous anti-semitism of people like Baker and Carter fits nicely into the larger anti-American paranoia constructed by the political left and its useful idiots, the Democratic Party. Zawahiri clearly understand this to be the case, as he warns against any continued American support of Israel.

As I said, Captain Ed is basically correct. Zawahiri is actually engaging in a cheap sort of glory himself, by taking credit for the Democrats' recent victory at the polls. He would like to turn that Democratic victory into his organization's victory--and he knows he has a chance to do that.

It is all a matter of attaining that "cheap glory". Cheap glory for the Democrats who feel they best express their patriotism by heroically and honorably caving into the religious fanatics whose principal desire is to destroy our country; and cheap glory for Zawahiri and the other terrorists who, knowing they cannot possibly win on any other battlefield of this war, cleverly plan to achieve victory by letting America defeat itself.

The Democrat's quest for cheap glory is nothing more than the sociopathic selflessness (a form of malignant narcissism) of an organization that puts its overweening obsession for power above the needs of the country--and primly tells us that they are doing so "for our own good". Through the magic of postmodern irrationalism, they can always spin any defeat and surrender into examples of honor and integrity.

But they are betrayed by their own pathology. Those who engage in such narcissistic behavior, spend a lot of time rationalizing it, too. That is why those who exhibit the most blatant examples of unpatriotic behavior are so wildly sensitive to any comments about their lack of same. The criticism hits too close to a truth they cannot face.

Patriotism, for them, is always 100% compatible with their narcissistic sense of entitlement. They bash America because they love America--or, rather, they love their own personal and private image of what America should be.

The pursuit of cheap glory is characterized by denigrating the parent--and feeling somehow as if this is a courageous thing to do. You see the Hollywood elites, for example, patting themselves on the back for the brave, valiant behavior of standing up against BushHitler. I'm sure they truly believe they will imminently be dragged to a jail cell for saying the ridiculous things they say; just as they fiercely denouce the coming Christian theocracy (that has for some inexplicable reason failed to materialize in the last 6 years)--all the while totally ignoring those who would like to impose an Islamic theocracy.

You also see the pursuit of cheap glory in the left's sneering contempt and devaluation of their fellow citizen siblings who are willing to defend freedom in the real world, instead of the fantasyland that exists only in the windmills of the leftist mind.

Meanwhile, in that real world, every day people are being murdered for desiring freedom and democracy. Standing up against real world villians, though, is far too frightening for the narcissistically preoccupied.

It is much much easier, as Zawahiri's message to the Democrats demonstrates, to bask in the light of cheap glory.- Diagnosed by Dr. Sanity @ 9:44 AM

Kerry's denigration of American soldiers "stuck in Iraq" because of dropping out of school reveals the snobbish condescension lurking just under the surface of the so-called "populist" Democrats like Gore and JFK jr.

I can't wait to see Al Gore get on the plane to Damascus and Kerry go to Teheran to get their media fix for the week/month. Empty types like them need constant adulation, ala Billy Jeff who also needs its physical equivalent.

TSEliot had a poem about "The Hollow Men" that finishes with the line: "This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper."

The whinging whining Dems are just so close to a whimper.

New Saudi Ambassador Close to King

Adel al-Jubeir is actually a family relation and is mentored by Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Tuwaijri, who is King Abdullah's trusted alter ego. Adel is the most talented member of, in the words of a senior Saudi official in a private communication:
"the clan who are running the show since Abdullah became king. I am referring to "The Al-Majamaah Clan" or "The Tuwaijri Clan." Adel's family on both his mother and father's side are from this little town, Al-Majmaah in The Sudair Region which a mere 100 miles north west of Riyadh in the way to Qasim."

Adel's father was the local "Shaykh" or mayor and it is notable that the Sudair is where Hassa bint Sudairy, the mother of Crown Prince Abdullah [and former King Fahd] and five other brothers called "The Sudairi Seven" have family connections. And in Saudi Arabia, family and family connections are the single most important vector in power relationships.

Bandar bin Sultan's grandmother, obviously, would have been the macro-mom Hassa bint Sudairy.

I have actually driven from Riyadh through al-Majamaah on the road to and from al-Qassim where I went to a thousand-person family reunion in Rass, in the company of the French Charges' lovely daughter, a medical doctor at King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh [too much info!] I believe it is on the southeast edge of the Nafud desert, a beautiful red-sand beauty of gorgeous mountainous russet dunes extending a hundred miles until al-Qassim and Buraida and Unaiza on the other side Parenthetically, Unaiza could be the eponymous origin of the Unaiza Tribal Confederation and its Mesalikh clan that rules the Peninsula [KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and Bahrain] and the Syrian Desert, as I noted in previous posts.

Sheikh Tuwaijri ran and perhaps still runs the Saudi Arabian National Guard on a day-to-day basis and could sign official document on behalf of Crown Prince Abdullah when Abdullah was the Guard's Commander. The Saudi National Guard is a sort of Carabinieri parallel which protects the Royal Family and is comprised of tribal elements. The Saudi National Guard protected the American Embassy in Jidda, for instance, rather than Saudi Armed Forces personnel.

Tuwaijri was and perhaps still is so important that one day on a first-class trans-Atlantic flight, he found himself suddenly having the person next to him move to another seat and the new occupant was none other than Henry Kissinger, then running Kissinger Associates, who rode the trans-Atlantic flight with the influential advisor and engaged him in avid conversation. The Embassy checked later with the airline and US intelligence and found that Kissinger did that often with VVIPs.

It is the Tuwaijri connection that gives Adel the complete trust of the King, and parenthetically Prince Bandar's very close relationship with Adel.

Adel also studied in Germany and speaks fluent German. His brother Na'il aced Stanford Business School in record time and had a high-entry job at Morgan Stanley until he was summoned by his older brother to work at the Saudi Embassy in DC.

Cross-posted at Redstate

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Saudis Jockeying for Post-US Withdrawal Era: The BackStories Part Three

A Slate article by Christopher Hitchens puts the quandary in which the US finds itself in the Middle East by polemically putting Saudi Arabia and Iran as the Sunni/Shi'ite bad cops waiting in the wings. This plague-on-both-their-houses typifies the polemic approach many Americans have towards the Arab/Persian world in general and the contestants in Iraq more specifically. But let's back up again and look at the Saudi side of the ledger.

Remember the Dynasty TV metaphor, and how the vast Saudi Royal Family is sort of that Carrington/Ewing Texas family bulked a thousand times as large and the Saudi fortune the Carrington/Ewing's fortune times a million [counting the Saudi proven crude oil reserves in the ground amortized at at least 25 trillion dollars, maybe $50 trillion in present-day terms.] The Saudi Royal Family is acutely aware that the value of its oil wealth will vastly diminish if the US, EU and its other major customers suffer large and sustained economic recession/depression as Japan did after its real estate crash in the late '80s. If the dollar collapses, the resulting instabilities that ensue might be worse than OPEC and the Saudis shifting into alternative currencies and stock/bond holdings would warrant. So just as the Carter Doctrine and Reagan Corollary were US pledges to uphold Saudi political security/stability under its present leadership, the Saudis conversely should consider keeping the US as its primary protector, unsatisfactory as it may appear given some US policies in the Middle East. That protection has been the template until now, but King Abdullah is sending signals that the US should alter its set-in-stone policies vis-a-vis Israel and the Palestinians---even though the Hamas semi-insurgency has put that process on hiatus.

Much more important to the Saudis and their Peninsular family brethren [remember that all the ruling families save Oman's is from the same Mesalikh branch of the Unaiza tribal confederation] is the ascendancy of Iran. The Arabian Peninsula has significant Shi'ite minorities [and in Bahrain a majority] who have in the past demonstrated their unhappiness. They have been mollified, but Iran has always from the days of the Shah and nowadays even more, attempted to meddle in peninsula affairs. Recall that the Shah sent troops to Oman to suppress the Dhofar insurgency in the '70s and that the present Iranian leadership allows its citizens to use Dubai as a vast shopping mall for luxuries unavailable in Tehran.

Looking to the north, as the Turks see their hopes of joining the EU put in stasis, or even receding, they will predictably perceive their eastern "Mountain Turks," i.e. Kurds, as their most significant internal/external security problem. The Turks and Kurds are Sunni, so at bottom, they are unlikely to succumb to Iranian subversion or blandishments. But the Saudis would do well to regard Turkey as a new player/ally in the region whose assistance might help the KSA and its peninsular allies achieve equilibrium in an era of diminished US presence in the region.

The Saudis look at the world as an onion-ring House of Peace surrounded by a House of War with many gradations of hostility or friendship between themselves and various countries, but the House of War [Dar al-Harb] appears dangerously near to being turned into a Sunni-Shi'ite struggle rather than a Muslim-Kafiir problem. And despite the US's current difficulties, including a new Congress some of whose members believe that Okinawa is a good offshore base for the Central Command and are ignorant of Al-Qaeda being a Sunni-based terrorist outfit, America's role will remain, even if diminished. And even thought the Democratic Party has a large number of members who feel the Saudis may be too close to the Bush family dynasty, the previous Democratic administrations have all regarded the Saudi Arabia as a central player in the Middle East and a reliable ally throughout Central Asia and Africa.
Although both the US left and the US right both harbor elements with an intense distrust of Saudi Arabia, the NYT and its MSM pilot fish do accord the Saudis a measure of respect as a dependable ally.

But that respect and support may be waning as the consequences of the post-Gulf War decision to base US troops in Saudi military cities still reverberate today. In hindsight, that policy appears to have been a colossal blunder that stirred up more religious opposition to infidel troops based in the Kingdom than the benefits of proximity to the Middle East heartland and Saudi security conferred. King Abdullah should bear this new American outlook in mind in selecting his new foreign minister, as the Saudi-American relationship should not be lightly tampered with even though some aspects have not worn well with time.

Although I have followed events in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia closely for over thirty years, I can't begin to fathom some of the intricate familial, tribal social, religious, and economic relationships that are the underlying dynamics of political processes in the Kingdom, let alone the region as a whole. I suspect that very few, if any, observers do.

As I said in my previous pondering about this Foreign Minister succession, Saud al-Faisal may be asked or ordered by the King to remain in the position if there is no consensus on a successor at the top of the Royal Family. But if King Abdullah gives the job to Saud's brother Turki, the King could anger Bandar's father, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz. Saud was in the job for over thirty years and Turki may become a permanent fixture as well. As Crown Prince, Sultan might think that appointing a Foreign Minister other than his son Bandar would impinge on his own forthcoming kingship, as Abdullah is over eighty and has a heart condition. So leaving Saud in as a figurehead, although he might still wield a lot of power, would be the compromise solution.

Okay, I know some readers, if they even get this far, will say it's how many angels on the head of a pin and what is the difference in who is selected except in some marginal fringe benefits not central to the underlying relationship between the two countries.

But for what it's worth and it's an extremely close call, I would make the final judgment that the US-Saudi relationship might be better off if Bandar bin Sultan succeeds Saud al-Faisal as Foreign Minister, talented as Turki Faisal is and well-disposed toward the American "umbrella" of protection as he and other senior Saudis have been. More later on this.

And it bears repeating that the US umbrella appears even more necessary as a nearly-nuclear Iran starts to swagger and throw its weight around in the region.

Monday, December 18, 2006

"A distinct lack of value-add from this year’s top twaddlists"

Lucy Kellaway has a column every Monday in the Financial Times concerning the eccentricities of corporate culture and a sort of "The Office" of personnel "Dear Lucy" pleas as to how to deal with terrible workplace problems.

But once a year she comes out with a most amazing list as she delves into Best and Worst in corporate gobbledegook. Here is the entire column, as linking just isn't good enough. The Shell Corporate song, sung to We are the World, is reason enuf to read on:

Every year at about this time, I make a prediction for the year ahead. Every year the prediction is the same. Every year it turns out to be wrong.

It goes like this: all trends ebb and flow, and the trend in business cant and gibberish has been flowing so long it is time for some ebbing. Every year, I decide that things have got as bad as they can get and the pendulum must be about to swing back to clarity and simplicity.

I first predicted the turn in 1997, in an innocent age when delivery was something that involved a van and when architect was a noun. However, this year I give up. Never mind the fact that in 2006 one manager solemnly told me his bank was “moving to solution-based relationships, away from relationship-based solutions”. I am predicting that things will go on getting worse. There will be no turn in 2007, or in 2008. Cant will go on growing and the trick is to enjoy it.

In this spirit I am today handing out my annual jargon awards for 2006. The first thing I considered for an award was a press release that began: "3 Dimensional Wealth International, the association for values based professionals, has been granted CE credits for its C3DWP."
It went on with a quote: "I have never been as excited about the new professional designation, C3DWP," said a Monroe M Deifendor Sr.

I was going to give this an award for being a) incomprehensible b) having a silly company title and for c) the fact the Monroe Sr is so excited about something so unexciting.

Yet as I read on through the pile of similar releases, I started to feel jaded. The trouble with ugly and incomprehensible things is that they aren’t funny: they are just ugly and incomprehensible and therefore don’t deserve awards, not even ironic ones.

In the end, only one exhibit has made me bend this no ugliness rule, and that was because it was so short. The award is for Ugliest Two-Word Title for Research Paper and the winner is the Federal Reserve Board for a paper called "Robustifying Learnability."

Moving on swiftly to the main award categories, I am pleased to announce that the 2006 Gold Medal for Twaddle goes to the advertising agency BBDO Impact. It has come up with a new concept called Procrealligence, a three-way marriage of pro-activity, creativity and intelligence. It explains: "Procrealligence is the foundation of our positioning, our method for attaining the highest standard of 'work'." What especially impresses me here is that the word "work" is deemed so outré that it comes with inverted commas around it.

It isn’t the first time that a company has combined sensible words to make nonsense. A-b glöbâl pioneered this years ago with creovation™ and subsequently integethics™. Others have followed, most notably the giant General Electric with ecomagination. Yet BBDO takes this to a new level and clearly deserves its prize.

Award for worst e-mail sign off. For some time now "Best" has been the preferred way to end a business e-mail, and very sloppy it is too. Best what, I always wonder. It’s like saying Happy instead of Happy Christmas.

A silver medal goes to an e-mail I was sent this year that ended:

"Hope that was a value-add, Allbest." Actually no, the e-mail was terribly dull and so not a value-add at all.

Gold goes to this sign-off: "Please revert by c.o.p. Best." This contains an insidious new bit of jargon (revert instead of reply), a sporting term (close of play) and an acronym. It is close to genius to combine the three with such brevity.

The award for the Most Sustained Mixed Metaphor goes to Mark Fields of the Ford Motor Co who was quoted in the FT using four consecutive clichés in the same brief paragraph. "I’ve given the Ford team the same challenge. It’s time to play offence. It’s time to take back our future. The clock is ticking."

I would also like to give a prize for the Most Misguided CEO Blog. The rule here is clear: CEOs should not blog. Blogs are democratic, controversial, chatty and full of stuff that one wants to read. By definition CEO blogs are none of the above.

So you have to hand it to Tom Glocer of Reuters for trying so hard with his blog. I particularly like the way he tells us on his MySpace entry that his “sexual orientation” is “straight”. He has a picture of his dog Luna on the site and tells us how he likes the music of Wyclef Jean, Springsteen (early) and Debussy.

And now for something a little bit special. This is an award for Company Song So Awful I Was Positive It Was a Spoof. The outstanding winner in this category is Shell. Its song is called “Growing and Winning” and is set to “We Are the World”. “We have moved on, growing day by day/Sharing strengths, we practise what is best/We are all a part of Shell’s global family/Doing work aligned with everyone.” It is a haunting mixture of pyschobabble, sentimentality and business jargon. Have a listen yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

The song came from a team-building course in Asia, and is causing Shell’s more buttoned-up executives in Europe to cringe as it gets e-mailed across the world to mass merriment. This is the curse of global communications: if you allow people in your company to express themselves freely you risk becoming the internet’s next big laughing stock.

Which leads to my prediction for 2007. Companies will get windier and more uptight about nothing getting out. Which means that no one will dare send me silly corporate stuff any more. For once this year I am hoping my prediction doesn’t come true.

FT is getting bolshie on its op-ed page and some editorials, but has jettisoned flotsam and jetsam, including a particularly weird weekend natterer named Jurek Martin whom James Wolcott liked so much he spelled JM's name "Jurik." Aside from the dyslectic Wolcott, Martin was not widely admired, as he began talking about how baseball "coaches" [not managers] hurt the game and when his imminent departure became clear, ranted about how American football [not soccer] was uncomplicated and boring.

The most intelligent Australian I ever met told me that American football was the athletic equivalent of playing chess. Guess JM, who called teams "sides" was in his cups during his infrequent viewings of TV football games, which he called "matches."

But generally, FT is the best daily paper for world news that doesn't get noted in the US MSM. And the Economist is head, shoulders, and upper torso over any US or Canadian mag I've seen.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saudis Jockeying for Post-US Withdrawal Era: The BackStories Part II

Back when I was Political/Military Officer for the US Embassy in Jidda in the '70s , I was sent to study the political situation in Eastern Province, and in particular, the Shi'ite minority who actually comprised the majority in the Al-Hasa Oasis, and towns like HufHuf, where pious Shi'ites refused to allow me to photograph them. As a sort of perverse joke on the ninety-percent Sunni Saudi population [at that time], the Shi'ites occupy the real estate where a huge amount of Saudi Arabia's oil reserves are located.

While I was in Dhahran to check on the Shi'ites [as a sidebar political officer for internal affairs to my main job as Pol/Mil], the US Consul General said that I had to meet a Saudi Prince who was an actual commander of a Fighter Wing for the RSAF, an unparalleled achievement for senior Saudi Royals, who normally existed at that time in otiose languorous oisivete, French for being layabouts with money.

When I met Bandar bin Sultan at his spartan office, he invited me to his home for dinner and after meeting his pregnant wife Haifa and their kids, we had dinner and then retired for orange juice and cigars for what turned out to be seven hours of what diplomats call a "tour d'horizon." Bandar is voluble and incredibly street smart with a charismatic charm that is virtually irresistable. He told me very late that evening the fact hitherto unknown to the US government that there existed a Saudi National Security Council, told me who was on it, and finally told me that he wanted to be king someday. I forwarded this to Washington in an airgram, and former Saudi and Egyptian Ambassador Hermann Eilts began a correspondence with me that turned into a friendship recently terminated by his death in Wellesley. Bandar famously went on to be a fabulously successful Saudi Ambassador to the US for over twenty years.

But that was then and this is now. Bandar himself now sits as the head of the Saudi NSC and jumping forward, the recent rapid return to Saudi Arabia by Prince Turki al-Faisal while his brother, Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal lies ill means perhaps that Turki is lobbying to succeed his brother, while Bandar vies to supplant the Bani Faisal [sons of King Faisal] in the line to highest levels of internal Royal Family power and influence While I doubt that a more mature and seasoned Bandar still aspires to become King, one can surmise that his becoming Foreign Minister would be a steppingstone to the highest royal status---and I will eventually get to why that's something that may be important to the US.

[Background digression: skip if you want to cut to the chase] When you talk about the US-Saudi relationship, Saudi Oil Minister Zaki Yamani used to call it a "Catholic marriage,' full of broken hurled crockery, but fundamentally stable. However, three decades later Catholic marriages aren't what they used to be, and neither is the relationship once affirmed with the so-called Carter Doctrine, which pledged defense of Saudi Arabia if attacked, and the Reagan Corollary, which pledged defense of the Saudi Royal Family. King Abdullah has departed slightly, more by nuance than by policy, from supporting the US in every eventuality that King Fahd appeared to follow.

But King Abdullah has heart problems, and may soon be succeeded by Bandar's father, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz, which would escalate Bandar's ascendancy in the Royal Family and perhaps put the sons of King Faisal, a talented group who must live more by their wits nowadays than by dynastic connections, in a permanent backseat to the chief policymakers of the KSA.

So what, you say. I beg your forbearance in letting me develop the backdrop a bit more with another digression.

And indeed, the influence of the Saudis in particular and the Arab Middle East in general is receding as Turkey is being backpedaled back into the region by its apparent rejection by the EU and its nervousness about the independent Kurdish polity in Iraq. And of course, the advent of Iran as a nuclear power would put Saudi Arabia's favorite enemy [KSA and the Shah's Iran had no diplomatic relations while I was there] in a hegemonic regional position. So the Saudi coalition of Egypt, Jordan, Sunni Iraq, the Gulfies and the Arab League becomes relatively diminished in the overall weight-class in the political boxing matches afflicting the region. But the Saudis have another weight-class when it comes to economics.

Economically, the Saudis control to a large extent the price of oil through its role of swing producer in Opec. The Saudis can and have in the past frequently moved the price downward and then let the price rise by lowering production, often at the behest of the US as in the mid-eighties and again for GHWBush's '88 election. Now King Abdullah has changed this relationship with the US dramatically as he is now allowing Opec to move out of the dollar where all oil purchases are denominated in US currency and into a "basket" of currencies which are not losing value, as the dollar is and appears set to continue to do. This is happening slowly, but a rapid withdrawal from the dollar could cause harm to the US economy. Parenthetically, the Saudis also allowed a higher oil price at the recent OPEC meeting in Abuja.

And Abdullah appears vexed by the US performance in Iraq. I recall reading that the Saudis and Gulfies and other Arabs reluctantly agreed to the US unilateral invasion of Iraq, but in a Shakespearian "if it is to be done, let it be done quickly" mode.
Three and a half years later, Abdullah sees Lebanon [where King Abdullah has close family ties] and Iraq appear ready to revert to anarchy. The Saudis would have preferred Saddam to anarchy or an absolute Shi'ite paramountcy, which could ensue if the US leaves before some final agreement or cessation of hostilities.

So is Abdullah going to revert to the Saudi semi-neutral position when it signed on to the '73 Oil Embargo to punish the US for supporting Israel? Or will he decide that the Saudis cannot depend on the US, or that US support will be too radioactive in the turbulence ensuing from a "non-precipitous" withdrawal?

Finally getting to the point, I think an interesting tea leaf to the answer may lie in who is appointed to the Foreign Minister post, Bandar or Turki. There is also the third alternative, to leave Saud acting-FonMin for as long as it takes to hammer out a decision on the candidates among the members of the senior Royals, who will finally decide.
[I have to run now, but am going to put up this post while I finish the second half and the bizarre reasoning processes one goes through when "wearing one's Saudi hat."]

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fifth Column Enemedia Led by NYT & Aided by Drudge?

The New York Sun goes over the top in casting Matt Drudge as a liberal blogger:
Matt Drudge, who may or may not be a willing accomplice to the distortion of news reporting, must be held responsible for the dissemination of the bias in the liberal press. Studies have shown that the readership of the Times is down — as it is in other liberal publications — and so are the television ratings of the alphabet networks and CNN and MSNBC, while Fox News is up.

Nevertheless, the propaganda of the enemedia — an excellent descriptive term coined by one poster to — continues to sully news coverage, thanks to Mr. Drudge. A study of press bias by a professor of political science at the University of California-Los Angeles, Tim Groseclose, listed the Drudge Report as one of the most liberal sites on the Web because it consistently posts articles from left-of-center sources.

To be fair, the Groseclose/Milyo Study noted that the Drudgereport reflected the media bias rather than focussing or spotlighting liberal media items, which of course the Groseclose study showed reflected 70% of the media---The New York Times and CBS-TV were over eighty percent, according to the ADA ratings long used by liberals to denote fidelity to their causes. The author goes on to give the media forty whacks and Pinch Sulzberger 41:
"We are not winning in Iraq." Did he really say those words? No. At Mr. Gates's confirmation hearing, Senator Levin, a Democrat of Michigan, asked him if we were winning in Iraq, and he answered, "No."

Lucianne, of course, pointed out that Mr. Gates went on to say we're not losing, either. His exact words were: "Our military forces win the battles that they fight; our soldiers have done an incredible job in Iraq. And I'm not aware of a single battle that they have lost. And I didn't want my comments to be interpreted as suggesting that they weren't being successful in their endeavors."

Mr. Gates, you can be 100% certain that everything you say from now on as secretary of defense will be misinterpreted by a certain New York publication headed by Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger.

Actually, a lot of the frauds on cable and broadcast TV actually said we are "LOSING" the war, which is even worse than "not winning," which is worse than the terse "no" of Mr. Gates. Circus performer David Gregory at NBC comes to mind, and Baby-face Russert chimed in as well. Matt Lauer has not been heard from.
This is the man who in the 1960s, according to author Harry Stein, when asked by his father whom he'd rather see shot when an American soldier runs into a North Vietnamese soldier, replied: "I would want to see the American get shot. It's the other guy's country."

That statement is something Mr. Sulzberger appears to be proud of, as he repeats it from time to time. Maybe he actually believes that this lack of nationalistic empathy is necessary for good journalism. I think the truth would be a better measure of it, but the Times is continuing to put out news that is completely mendacious, even when it's not about Mr. Bush or Iraq.

It's fair to say that Pinch fits the profile that Thomas Sowell was alluding to in his excellent piece early this year on RCP that "The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column" or, as Lucianne would put it, the "enemedia." The writer goes on the frisk and fisk the NYT for its multitudinous unforced errors and points out the following:
I was certain Pope Benedict XVI had given in to Muslim pressure. Why? Because the New York Times reported this in a headline: "In Reversal, Pope Backs Turkey's Bid to Join European Union." Of course it was posted on the Drudge Report. Was it true? Not according to Richard Neuhaus, the editor and founder of First Things, a distinguished religious publication. On December 1, he wrote, "Even by today's standards, this is a breathtaking instance of journalistic shoddiness, if not downright dishonesty."

But mendacity pays in this town, whose residents survived the worst attack on this country in history, yet they still can't recognize the danger of lies in wartime if reported in the Old Gray Lady.

The enemy abroad monitors our defeatist cadres who are cluelessly following their script, which requires that turning the American public against the war is the only way they will win it---following the Vietnam template, which gorgon-in-chief Maureen at the NYT prates on bi-weekly at the very least.

The American media is a mare's nest of complex flimflammery unknowingly transmitted by gullible dupes and fellow-travellers of murderous terrorists they would never invite into their oh-so=toney salons and cocktail parties, let alone a sit-down dinner.

But these socialite-socialists just keep on being a transmission belt for defeat and proclaim on a daily basis a Recessional for American Power. Their grandkids will wear burkas and kifayehs, perhaps, and these long-gone "journalist" won't know how it happened. For their efforts, they'll have passed on to those 72....oh, never mind!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pernicious Meddling by Democratic Senators on Lebanon

The Economist has a good backgrounder on Lebanon. This country is in the process of seeing the democratic reforms of the Cedar Revolution undone by the creeping "direct action" of a street mob in Beirut. And the Western media ignore this attempt by a minority of 40% to seize the government by a coup de pouce while they are in a tizzy of fits and snits because President Bush has put his speech on Iraq off until January.

Enter stage left a bumbling second-rate double-digit IQ misfit from Florida who happens to have stumbled into being re-elected by facing a less-than-competent Republican. The photo of Sen. Bill Nelson sitting with Bashar Assad is comic, in an opera bouffe fashion. As the term implies, both of these fellows are buffoons, but Assad is a murderous buffoon who killed Rafiq Hariri and is exerting every effort to halt the UN Investigative Committee's Inquiry by trying to overthrow the Lebanese government. I wonder if Bill the bland buffoon asked Assad the killer buffoon whether he had anything to do with it? Billy did admit to getting Assad to say he's interested in working with the US on the Iraq border and Iraqi internal security issues. But on the only issue that Bashar has any influence over, this criminal told Nelson that Lebanon and Syria's support for Hezbollah and Hamas were none of the US's business.

The Wall Street Journal has a serious article which makes a case for Congress getting more involved, but unfortunately, Nelson isn't the only buffoon wanting to visit Damascus. A real parade of fools, three more of the most mendacious slippery mike-hogging types in Congress, Sens. Dodd, Specter, and of course, J[ust] F[or] Kerry are eager to demonstrate their heft and gravitas by going to Damascus, getting the photo-op sitting next to the stick-insect [can't wait to see the bouffant Kerry and crew-cut baby-Assad photo], and then coming back to be interviewed by "serious" journalists like Baby-Face Russert and Earnest Brian Williams. And don't forget Matt Lauer.

These solons are ostensibly going to Damascus about Iraq, but the Arab world will interpret their visits as paying homage to Assad, thereby increasing this incompetent blustering nitwit's prestige and emboldening him to more excesses in Lebanon, the only place that Assad has real influence.

So serial recidivist megalo-mikehogs like Dodd, Nelson, Specter and Hairdo are going to visit an all-but-open-and-shut-case murderer of the country next door. And giving American foreign influence in the region an even less enviable profile.

President Bush and Condi Rice are going to have to exercise what little political clout they have left, and use it wisely, to restrain these nitwits on their self-promoting junkets.

Ah, but there's always Dennis Kucinich. That photo-op will be precious as this five-foot wonder stands next to six-six stick-insect Assad!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Saudis Jockeying for Post-US Withdrawal Era: The BackStories

Saudi Arabia has told Dick Cheney that an American drawdown of troops or withdrawal will result in the support of the Saudis [and left unsaid, other Sunni countries in the region like Egypt and Jordan] of the beleaguered Sunni tribal elements left stranded in a Shi'ite hegemony. The New York Times column by Helene Cooper says:
The Saudis have been wary of supporting Sunnis in Iraq because their insurgency there has been led by extremists of Al Qaeda, who are opposed to the kingdom’s monarchy. But if Iraq’s sectarian war worsened, the Saudis would line up with Sunni tribal leaders.

The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who told his staff on Monday that he was resigning his post, recently fired Nawaf Obaid, a consultant who wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post two weeks ago contending that “one of the first consequences” of an American pullout of Iraq would “be massive Saudi intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis.”

Mr. Obaid also suggested that Saudi Arabia could cut world oil prices in half by raising its production, a move that he said “would be devastating to Iran, which is facing economic difficulties even with today’s high oil prices.” The Saudi government disavowed Mr. Obaid’s column, and Prince Turki canceled his contract.

But Arab diplomats said Tuesday that Mr. Obaid’s column reflected the view of the Saudi government, which has made clear its opposition to an American pullout from Iraq.

Okay, are you ready for an even weirder apercu into what is going on?

The fact is that the al-Saud family, the Sabah family in Kuwait, the ruling family of Bahrain, and the ruling families of the United Arab Emirates are all, are you ready for this? These families are all relatively junior:
MEMBERS OF THE MESALIKH BRANCH OF THE UNAIZA CONFEDERATION which is the main congeries of Sunni tribes in the Syrian Desert stretching all the way down to the Yemeni and Omani borders, more or less. By the way, there are other tribes, other confederations, and many "tribeless" Saudis and other Arab affiliations.

But when I was political officer in Saudi, my Arabic language skills and other assiduous strokings of the local greybeards allowed me a peek into what really drives the dynamics of this ancient group of inhabitants living there since the times of Sargon, the first Semitic conqueror of Mesopotamia 4200 years ago.

The dynamics are tribal, and the senior elder graybeards told me that the most senior tribal groupings to whom the Al-Saud, Al-Sabah, Al-Khalifah, and other peninsular rulers are in Iraq, way up at the head of the notional tribal table. And despite the trillions of dollars among the rulers of SAG, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar: They all owe fealty and allegiance and BayH [my Arabic is rusty] to the tribal leaders of Iraq. That's how it's been for thousands of years and although the tribal ethos has diminished, or some say disappeared, there is evidence that the exquisitely conservative and traditional King Abdullah still upholds those tribal traditions of honor and allegiance.

So there is the backstory, in part, of why the Saudis must come to the aid of their Sunni tribal elders in Iraq if summoned. It's an oath of a concept long forgotten in the West and even throughout the rest of the world, the Middle East included.

And there is more to the Turki al-Faisal story:
Prince Bandar bin Sultan was the natural son of Defense Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz and a Sudanese slave woman [or let's call her a household retainer]. He had no royal standing in the family because of his mixed origins until he proposed to Haifa, the sister of Turki Al-Faisal and Saud Al-Faisal, and she accepted, which was extraordinary since parental permission was usually requested before the girl accepted the proposal. This happened in the late '60s and Bandar sealed his newly-acquired royal status when at a majlis he asked King Faisal, father of his bride, what he should be called from now on, since he was married to the King's daughter. Faisal answered, "Prince" Bandar bin Sultan, conferring him with legitimate birth denied him by his own father.

Bandar thus gained parity with his two brothers and went on to become the Ambassador to the United States, while Turki headed Saudi intelligence and Saud the Foreign Ministry. Now Bandar is head of the Saudi National Security Council, which he revealed the existence of to me back in the mid-'70s after a long dinner and evening at his home in Dammam. I wrote it up in an Airgram to the State Dept and was commended for discovering something even the CIA had not known. Personally, by word of mouth, which is the only way to find out what is really going in Saudi Arabia.

So now Bandar, the consummate brash arriviste upstart, and Turki, the suave polished diplomat, are contending for the post that their brother is departing.

Remember the TV series Dynasty, back in the days of J R Ewing and Joan Collins and scheming and manoeuvering? Multiple the stakes by a thousand and the consequences of the outcomes by ten thousand, and then what is happening among the countries in the Middle East comes into perspective.

Holocaust Denial No Joke

Last night I watched Jon Stewart do his inimitable [actually slightly imitable by other professional cynics on-line] schtick with Fareed Zakaria, having a gay old time frisking the prez who is always misunderestimated. I actually thought about how this prancing youngish comic was ignoring the huge threat to his co-religionists, or co-genepoolers, in Israel and elsewhere posed by Iran's Holocaust Denial Meeting.

Anne'>">Anne Applebaum at Slate throws cold water on the blissful Panglossian pundits who discount such moronic nonsense as just harmless flimflammery foisted on the Iranian people for the glorification of Ahmedinnejad.
the invitees seem to have included David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader; Georges Thiel, a Frenchman who has called the Holocaust "an enormous lie"; and Fredrick Töben, a German-born Australian whose specialty is the denial of Nazi gas chambers. The guest list was selective: No one with any academic eminence, or indeed any scholarly credentials, was invited. One Palestinian scholar, Khaled Ksab Mahamid, was asked to come but was then barred because he holds an Israeli passport—and also perhaps because he, unlike other guests, believes that the Holocaust really did happen.

The Holocaust really did happen, but because of some very nasty backstories like the David Irving saga [Irving still languishes in an Austrian jail] and other hypertrophic overreactions, there is always going to be a libertarian strain of historiography that questions the who, what, where, why, and how. Plus the numbers game. But it is not like the Armenians, who were also murdered in mass numbers during World War I for reasons having as much to do with living in a war zone [between and among the Russian and Ottoman Turkish armies] and having large populations both in Turkey and Russia. This was Hitler's deliberate Nacht und Nebel policy for eliminating the Jews [the name came from Wagner's Ring referring to the helm which made one invisible or disappear]. Applebaum wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning Gulag which portrays Stalin's archipelago of slave labor camps and Anne speaks and reads every major European language, so I always take her seriously as when she says:
the near-destruction of the European Jews in a very brief span of time by a sophisticated European nation using the best technology available was, it seems, an event that requires constant re-explanation, not least because it really did shape subsequent European and world history in untold ways. For that reason alone, the archives, the photographs, and the endless rebuttals will go on being necessary, long beyond the lifetime of the last survivor.

Read the Slate article linked above to get the acidic flavor and weird pro-Nazi background of Ahmedinejad, who like Yasser Arafat had with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, himself had a mentor heavily influenced by Nazi wartime propaganda, and the previous Shah's contention that Iran was the homeland of the Aryan race, which Hitler himself encouraged.

But I would very much like to see Anne Applebaum write the definitive book on Hitler's involvement in the Jewish Holocaust with the same incredible detail and passion that she did with exposing Stalin's decades-long extermination of millions through forced labor.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shell Crumbles on Sakhalin: BP Next Target

Russia is employing its normal brutal methods in breaking contracts signed in the early '90s when the opening up of Russia gave oil internationals like Shell and BP access to great deals.

One of the reasons BP bought Amoco Corp where I used to work was to get the large Russian gas fields and other good plays that Amoco had sagely negotiated.

Russia in its implacable clumsy ham-handed fashion is buying and bribing and strong-arming its way into putting the EU into an energy vise.

No media outlet has noted that Russian pressure on Georgia aims someday to influence or control the Baku/Ceyhan pipeline transiting Georgia and ensuring its energy independence from Russia, along with income from pipeline fees.

But the larger goal would be to pinch off the hose from the Azerbaijan oil spigot and put that country under the Russian sphere of influence.

The Russians are cozying up to Iran for the same reason, and along with China are going to support Iran's nuclear weapon development in the UN for "raisons d'etat" that have more to do with energy than any other goal. Russia has even got Iranian support for its brutal Chechen campaign, although the Muslims in Chechnya are ethnically and linguistically Iranian. Armenia is also an ally with both Iran and Moscow in the Russian near-abroad phalanx moving to take over control of the Caucasus.

Now if the Iranians can somehow control or even preponderantly influence Iraqi energy after the US defeatists manage to cut and depart from that sad country, the Saudis and Gulfies will cower. Believe me, they are afraid of Iran all by itself, and under the combined weight of natural gas powerhouses like Russia, Iran, and tiny Qatar, will bend in the new wind blowing from the north and east. Among the three of them, they have more than 50% of the world's proven gas reserves.

Jonathan Stern of London's OxfordEnergy may disagree, but as Ukraine found out early this year, the Russians play hardball without gloves, in the middle of winter!

Vladimir Putin's may be uttering platitudes that the March 2006 EU Green Energy Policy gurus to the extent that these ostriches don't foresee a problem, but the IEA World Energy Outlook note there is more than one cloud out there on the horizon.

And an OPEC for Natural Gas, with Venezuela hosting this year's Forum [the Venz don't even have a gas export program yet], is in an inchoate nascent stage. This ONGEC might be to the 21st century 20 years down the road, what the Oil Exporter's OPEC was in the twentieth.

Dick Cheney for one is concerned, and a lot of EU countries are starting to stir from their slumber, although German Judas-Goat Gerhard Schroeder at Gazprom's pipeline keeps lulling them back to sleep.

Like a chess player, Putin in his mid-fifties may be planning strategically with a lot of moves already in his head. We'll know for sure what's up if he decides to overthrow the Constitution and run for a third term next year. [Oops, I meant revise the Constitution!]

But to end on a high note, there is one joker in the pack. And that is the continuing development of oil and gas extraction technology far beyond what is anticipated. That has been the case since I first got acquainted with the oil industry and may continue, in the which-case, the entire scenario will be rosier.

Unless Al Gore is elected Prez in '08 and Global Warming hysteria causes the collective collapse of energy exploration and development.

Kaus Asks if Clintons Bugged Lady Di for Politics

Mickey Kaus has the real deal on why the US was collecting intercepts on Princess Di. And as the argot of the time would have it, it's "absolutely fabulous."

Mickey surmises that Di's boy-toy billionaire Teddy Forstmann was gearing up to run as the Republican candidate against Hillary in 2000, before Billy Jeff got his knickers in more than a twist with Monica L and scotched Hillary's chances, if she ever had any.

Can you imagine? Clinton and femme using NSA intercepts to spy politically?

Obviously, ABC and CBS are trying to throw dust in the air, as they acutely divine that it had to do with Diana's campaign about land-mines. Oh yeah, land mines! That's the ticket!! We're still waiting for Matt Lauer to weigh in over at NBC!!

And let's bug her about school vouchers, another grave threat to America's national security!

Can you imagine the supersleuth cavalcade of questions had the Bush Administration been implicated in wiretapping and intercepts, with David Gregory in the vanguard after getting his marching orders from Jamie Gorelick, who got his wife a gazillion-dollar-a-year job at Fanny Mae?

Di was a definite terrorist threat---to the Clinton's plans for a dynasty, that is!

UPDATE Saudi Amb leaves DC as Lebanon Democratic Struggle Ignored by Media

Lebanon is slowly sinking into a quicksand quagmire swamp as the pro-Syrian President Lahoud protects his paymaster stick-insect Assad from UN prosecution. The street movements in Beirut instigated by Hezbollah terrorists and Christian turncoats are trying to subvert:
The anti-Syrian leaders who control cabinet say the opposition is trying to stage a coup against Siniora's government to derail plans for an international tribunal to try suspects in the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

What's interesting besides the US MSM indifference to the subversion of democracy in a key Middle East state that could serve as a launching pad for nuclear terror into Israel, is the reaction of GCC leaders to the Iranian nuclear menace itself.
The GCC Chief had the following profound observation about:

Iran's growing role in Iraq and its standoff with the West over Tehran's nuclear program, although GCC Secretary General Abdulrahman al-Attiyah said the GCC states do not feel threatened by the Islamic republic.

"The United States talks openly of the danger of Iranian military activity in the region, but our countries do not feel threatened by Tehran. Iranian officials assure us that their nuclear program is peaceful," Attiyah said.

Whew! Now we can rest easy in our sleep, as can the Israelis. Abdulrahman has assured us there's nothing to worry about. But King Abdullah actually noticed something a bit awry about the situation in the Middle East:
"Our Arab region is besieged by a number of dangers, as if it was a powder keg waiting for a spark to explode," he told the rulers of the oil-rich monarchies gathered in Riyadh for a two-day meeting to the backdrop of mounting sectarian violence in neighboring Iraq.

The Palestinians were reeling from "a hostile and ugly occupation" by Israel while the international community watched their "bloody tragedy like a spectator," Abdullah said.

But "most dangerous for the (Palestinian) cause is the conflict among brethren," he said in a reference to the differences between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah faction and the Islamist Hamas movement that have blocked the formation of a unity government.

In Iraq "a brother is still killing his brother," Abdullah said of the tit-for-tat killings between the Sunni Arab former elite and the ruling Shiite majority.

Abdullah also warned that Lebanon, which was rocked by civil war in 1975-1990, risked sliding into renewed civil strife as a result of the current standoff between pro- and anti-Syrian camps. "In Lebanon, we see dark clouds threatening the unity of the homeland, which risks sliding again into... conflict among the sons of the same country," he said.

Oh yeah! The West watches without rushing to help the Palestinians, who will not recognize and have vowed to destroy a member of the United Nations and a country that the Saudis themselves recently offered to recognize in the 2002 Ta'if proposals. And Hamas gunmen kill three kids from 3 to 9 years old because they are the children of the PA President Abbas.

How is this the West's fault? Except that Condi Rice had been gulled into allowing Hamas to participate in West Bank elections, which surprised everybody by electing a bunch of terrorists to "govern" legislatively.

But Kofi Annan ignores the rejection of the UN investigation of the Hariri murder last year and points fingers at the USA for 1] interceding militarily in Iraq and 2] NOT interceding militarily in Darfur.

CLUE TO THE ABOVE: The Middle East's a jigsaw puzzle, and most of the parts just don't fit with each other!

Just to make the pot begin the transition from a simmer to a boil, the report comes from Washington that long-time Saudi intelligence chief Turki al-Faisal has abruptly departed DC and headed back to Riyadh to "spend more time with his family" which in reality means lobbying for the job of Foreign Minister his ailing brother Saud is about to relinquish.

[Boring anecdote: In the most embarrassing moment of my foreign service career, I was translating between the American Ambassador and then-Crown Prince Abdullah and although I could translate the stuttering Abdullah easily to the US Ambassador, the Crown Prince said he couldn't quite understand my Arabic which had deteriorated in long conversations with my Sudanese houseboy. Turki Faisal was head of intelligence and miraculously appeared and said, "it's okay, Dave, I can take over" and proceeded to rescue the conversation.]

This is good news for the USA, as Turki is an Anglo-Americanophile, if he can get the job. But there are other candidates who reflect the views of the strange GCC SecGen waiting in the wings, and hopefully Turki will be able to outmanoeuver them.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Reyes A Bit Slow on the Uptake

Speaking of Chairman Nancy, her choice for Intelligence Committee Chairman, Sylvester Reyes who has had just a little time to bone up on terrorists since the 9/11 attacks, allowed today to a Congressional Quarterly interviewer that Al Qaeda were Shi'ites.

That must be news to Usama, who has issued a death fatwa to all Shi'ites, who are to be killed on sight or any occasion when it seems fit to advance the agenda of the Religion of Peace. But UbL might have done a double-secret resignation of his AQ duties and the organization might have changed completely personnel-wise, and only Reyes and Harman and Alcee babester and a few Repubs are party to the secret. Or not?

Or maybe Reyes makes George Bush Jr. look like Henry Kissinger? Is that remotely possible?

Or is someone, as the genteel mataphor employed in Texas to describe such a situation, dumber than a bucket of hair?

Democrats Talking to Terrorists?

The Dems are the party of defeat and they also don't mind yammering with terrorists, as talk is all they ever do. The terrorist-spokesman in this article claims some Dems, senior ones at that [as in senile like Jimmy Carter?], are talking to Hamas concerning their gentle requests, make that harsh demands, to Israel to butt out of everywhere pre-'67. That's when their glorious leader Nasser declared war on Israel and, oops, they call it the Nakhda, if my Arabic serves me well.

But no post would be worthwhile if a little poke at Nancy, the-geopolitical-genius- who's-smarter-than-Jane-Harman, Pelosi weren't part of the festivities. Nancy is the subject of Hamas terrorist mirth because she made another of her egregious solecisms. This one was
In a recent interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, stated, "The jihadists (are) in Iraq. But that doesn't mean we stay there. They'll stay there as long as we're there."

and of course the MSM never reflected on that for a moment, as it wouldn't earn David Gregory brownie points with his Dem masters, and the only people to catch the vibe were Mr. Loathesome, who understood Nancy's body language perfectly:
WND read Pelosi's remarks to the terror leaders, who unanimously rejected her contention an American withdrawal would end the insurgency.

Islamic Jihad's Saadi, laughing, stated, "There is no chance that the resistance will stop."

He said an American withdrawal from Iraq would "prove the resistance is the most important tool and that this tool works. The victory of the Iraqi revolution will mark an important step in the history of the region and in the attitude regarding the United States."

Jihad Jaara said an American withdrawal would "mark the beginning of the collapse of this tyrant empire (U.S.)."

"Therefore, a victory in Iraq would be a greater defeat for America than in Vietnam."

But Nancy represents a city that desires great defeats for America, so that their Panglossian paradise on the Bay is free of US military recruiters and they can sodomize themselves silly until, of course, the Yoom ad-Diin shows up. Then they will have their final frissons as their throats are slit like sheep prior to their heads being removed as trophies to be orally assaulted sexually, just as though they were still alive!

Hope I wasn't too harsh on Nancy's home district and the city on the Bay!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Baker & Co Inane Second-Rate Gran'pa's Engendering Surrender?

Mark Steyn has brilliantly distilled the ISG for what it is, a mixtum-gatherum of every placebo and nostrum available except common sense. First Mark notes the terrific squad of talented senior UN officials who for the moment are grabbing bench:
". . . the Support Group should call on the participation of the United Nations Secretary-General in its work. The United Nations Secretary-General should designate a Special Envoy as his representative . . ."

Indeed. But it needs to be someone with real clout, like Benon Sevan, the former head of the Oil for Food Program, who recently, ah, stepped down; or Maurice Strong, the Under-Secretary-General for U.N. Reform and godfather of Kyoto, who for one reason or another is presently on a, shall we say, leave of absence; or Alexander Yakovlev, the senior procurement officer for U.N. peacekeeping, who also finds himself under indictment -- er, I mean under-employed. There's no end of top-class talent at the U.N., now that John Bolton's been expelled from its precincts.

Not that there aren't a lot of interested carrion-corps in the carcass-munching menagerie collecting around and vultures above the remnants of a faltering democratic Iraq, but there is one notable exception:
"Arabs, Persians, Chinese commies, French obstructionists, Russian assassination squads. But no Jews. Even though Israel is the only country to be required to make specific concessions -- return the Golan Heights, etc. Indeed, insofar as this document has any novelty value, it's in the Frankenstein-meets-the-Wolfman sense of a boffo convergence of hit franchises: a Vietnam bug-out, but with the Jews as the designated fall guys."

Instapundit notes that "looks like the sellout isn't selling."

Flopping Aces appreciates Steyn's crushing punch-line: "the reductio-ad-absurdum of diplomatic self-adulation: [Baker] has become less rational than Mahmoud Ahmedinejad." and then points out Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's characterization of the ISG Study as "an insult to the people of Iraq."

Steyn continues:
So there you have it: an Iraq "Support Group" that brings together the Arab League, the European Union, Iran, Russia, China and the U.N. And with support like that who needs lack of support? It worked in Darfur, where the international community reached unanimous agreement on the urgent need to rent a zeppelin to fly over the beleaguered region trailing a big banner emblazoned "YOU'RE SCREWED." For Dar4.1, they can just divert it to Baghdad.

Dar4.1 is the best description of the so-called international consensus I have read for many a moon. Encapsulates the feckless incompetence and hectoring impotence of Kofi Annan multiplied a hundredfold by condescending censorious inaction by everyone in the UN & EU arena, and endless lip-flapping by the chattering nabobs of niggling nitwittery. The system's broke, flat broke and en panne and broken down and no collection of fuddie-duddies recommending everyone except Israel into the fun and games---Israel gets to give Palestinians the right of return---are going to fix it. Not Ban-ni-Moon nor the fiats of the MSM nomenklaturas and their lap-preppies can conjure up a solution. Except surrender, which is what the ISG is trying to engender.

Powerline has a skeptical photo of Hillary and her comment "We need an Iraq Results Group" as indicating less than complete happiness with the ISG recommendations.

Jules Crittenden notes that George W. Bush, for one, is not going to be browbeaten by a collection of has-beens who never ventured out of the Green Zone.

Despite the insects buzzing in his ears and the mongrels barking at his heels, GWB is still a majority of one.

Carter book reviewed in WaPo: Readers React

The Washington Post has done the nation a favor, given one of America's best writers the task of :

I'm so glad that Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the NEW YORKER's best writers and the author of a moving book on Arabs and Israelis living together in peace, unmasks this petty little fraud again pretending to be a foreign policy guru. The serial eff-up peanut-farmer who managed to deny the Shah rubber bullets, so that his police slaughtered hundreds of students and ignited the return of the Ayatollah, is again plying his foreign policy nostrums for the ultra-left Jew-bashing [including many self-bashing Jews] Israel-hating, America-loathing haters. [Oh yeah, I forgot that Carter's perceived lack of testoserone induced Brezhnev and his buddies to invade Afghanistan, correctly divining that Carter would respond symbolically and shambolically.] Then there were the double-digit interest rates and inflation rates.

Carter hates Israel and intensely dislikes American Jews who support Israel. He is a whinging egomaniac who is an asteroid pretending to be a planet.

Thank God the American people correctly jettisoned this impostor and elected a real leader, Ronald Reagan, who along with Maggie Thatcher and the Pope greased the skids for the USSR.

Think lil Gee-Mah could have managed that? He was too busy micro-managing the White House tennis courts.

Carter is worse that GWB or Clinton or any US president since LBJ.

A couple of comments on Jimmy are rich and on-the-mark:
The review offers an excellent insight. Carter`s insufferable sanctimony and megalomaniacal messiah complex are always annoying, but in this case are downright dangerous. He is in point of fact a dolt and a boob and should please just shut up. [P.S. Apparently Rev. Jimmy considers himself exempt from the commandment against stealing, at least when it comes to others` intellectual property.] zjr98xva

Another blogger notes this little hypocrite's two-faced nature:
it nails the reason for Carter to write this book: the attempt to make a Christian case for throwing Israel to the dogs. It also highlights the central problem with Carter from day one: He basically ran as an evangelical Christian, while rejecting most of what evangelical Christians believe to be true, at least politically. Evangelical Christians overwhelmingly are patriotic, anti-abortion, conservative, free-market oriented, favorably disposed to Israel, in favor of a strong defense, and always saw Communism as a totalitarian and inhumane system. Carter, on the other hand, never met a dictator he didnt worship, cared nothing for defending American interests, didnt even attempt to discourage abortion, had no use for welfare reform, was always hostile to Israel, and spent the four years of his administration trying to appease the Palestinians, the Communists, the radical Shiites, and basically every two-bit dictator that came along. He tried to cast himself as the Human Rights president, but cozied up to the worst human rights offenders. Though talking like an evangelical, he in every way aligned himself against them. And as an ex-president, he's worse.

Another reader comments on the swarm of ultra-left Arab-loving, terrorist-supporters who have bashed Goldberg, one of America's best writers, and spewed their hatred of Israel, the only effectively-functioning democracy in the region [Lebanon is hanging on by its fingernails]:
I cannot even begin to comprehend the continued unwavering criticism of Israel by the posters here. An overwhelming majority of Leadership and populace in the Arab world openly states to the entire world that it seeks only the complete destruction of Israel. No negotiations for peace, no demands that Israel treat the Palestenians fairly and equally. Just complete and total destruction. Is Israel perfect? No. But they attempt to live peacefully and isolated on land provided by world authority. They do not boast of only a world with complete and total Arab and Palestenian destruction. They are trying to live safely on land given to them and taken in defense during an overwhelming agression by its neighbors. Israels use of force and militarization is a result of defense of itself, not a landgrab. Have your local neighborhoods seek your neighborhoods complete and total destruction while sending suicide bombers and missles into your front lawn. You might tighten up security too.

A final salvo:
I agree that Jimmy Carter is senile and, for whatever reason, an embittered anti semite. But I disagree that Bill Clinton or Carter or Bush or Reagan or any American politician have made any significant difference in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Things there seem to be basically unchanged after 40 years.

Carter is convinced that the Israelis and their American friends collaborated in getting Teddy Kennedy, John Anderson, and Ronald Reagan together in a cabal to disallow a second term for him, and he has been prancing about for decades trying to get back into the limelight.

His hilarious election-monitoring mishaps anger NGO professionals, who watched him prance into Ethiopia last year, declare an election hunky-dory, and leave while the post-election disputes turned bloody---because of widespread election fraud.

His Iranian hostage gene is still operating on overdrive, and his wrong-headed take on the world makes him appear ridiculous and self-referential.

This is an untalented, meddlesome, intrusive second-rater who somehow fluked into become a one-term wonder. That will be history's epitaph, and all his poseur and hypocritical "Christian" twaddle simply makes evangelical Christians despise him as much as Catholics and thoughtful Protestant High Church types do.

UN, Yes, UN decides Global Warming May be Oversold

The Daily Telegraph reports that the UN is coming out with a report next year which will ratchet down estimates on the effect that man-made carbon dioxide and other emissions have on global climate.

The UN thinks the doom-and-gloom crowd may protest too much:
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there can be little doubt that humans are responsible for warming the planet, but the organisation has reduced its overall estimate of this effect by 25 per cent.

However, the Big Science Show Me the Money Crowd still continues the Chicken Little strut with its scary flamboyant metaphors:
Prof Rick Battarbee, the director of the Environmental Change Research Centre at University College London, warned these masking effects had helped to delay global warming but would lead to larger changes in the future.

He said: "The oceans have been acting like giant storage heaters by trapping heat and carbon dioxide. They might be bit of a time-bomb as they have been masking the real effects of the carbon dioxide we have been releasing into the atmosphere.

"People are very worried about what will happen in 2030 to 2050, as we think that at that point the oceans will no longer be able to absorb the carbon dioxide being emitted. It will be a tipping point and that is why it is now critical to act to counter any acceleration that will occur when this happens."

Yes, the oceans are masking a "time-bomb," says Rick [a nickname on a scientist always means he's eccentric and a bit loony, as is Jimmy Carter for a politician] and about a generation from now, a veritable environmental Godzilla will emerge from the waters to purge and pillage our industrial emitters. And Malcolm Gladwell is trotted out to seal the argument with his tipping-point yadda yadda.

There are still many sane people out there who are not convinced we must all convert immediately to bicycles and nuclear reactors and hydro just yet:
Julian Morris, executive director of the International Policy Network, urged governments to be cautious. "There needs to be better data before billions of pounds are spent on policy measures that may have little impact," he said.

An ironic point of light, as W. H. Auden would put it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

NYT Play Reviewer: We've Lost!

Pinch Sulzberger has sunk so far into the demented sophomoric funk he dwells in that his Broadway reviewer turned geopolitical pundit now declares the Iraq Expedition a failure. Just like Matt Lauer declaring Iraq a Civil War.

The New York Times was better in the Walter Duranty days when their commentary was tragically wrong. This time, the second time around, it is farcically wrong.

Wonder if the failed economist Krugboy will mimic the failed reviewer of the Great White Way and deliver his profound judgement?

Where is Walter Lippmann? Or even Tom Friedman?

Rosie O'Donnell is a bigoted racist hypocrite

Michelle Malkin slaps down TV's most obnoxious big-mouthed hypocrite [Oh yeah, she's an ultra-lefty!] for imitating a Chinese newscast of drunken Danny DeVito, to the evident amusement of her oh so liberal colleagues on the brain-dead daily hate called the View [apologies to Orwell, but he could never imagine such a travesty on the human mind as these five nattering niggling orifices becoming a cultural fixture---using culture in an ironic trope, to be sure].

O'Donnell's boorish antics appear to give the lie to the mantra that feminism would raise the level of public discourse. Of course, she and her screeching lefty harridan-crone collective have considerably coursened the discussions of what makes life and love a meaningful experience in our everyday lives.

Instead, the Kaffee-klatsch yakkers yammer endlessly about trendy socialist nostrums and how nasty Mel Gibson was in his 3AM police-blotter rant. Not a word about Michael Richards, one of their own who went ballistic on video in a comedy club---the Seinfeld whack-job gets automatic absolution for being a Jewish liberal who "made a mistake."

These self-absorbed creatures appear to have no self-awareness or interest in obtaining a wider view of the world than their off-the-shelf liberal canned bolshie agitprop that, like the Commie aspersions of Pope Pius XII and the Jewish Holocaust eventually becomes received wisdom that defrocked frauds like James Carroll can employ to vent their own self-hatred against established religions. [The Myth of Hitler's Pope, by David G. Dalin, an American rabbi]. Of course, Hitler's best friend in the world of religion was Hajj al Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Yasser Arafat's early mentor. A fact you will never read in the New York Times.

Pop culture is an oxymoron, as The View proves on a daily basis, but demogogues like O'Donnell and her posse of aggressive fellow-travellers exulting in their brave attacks on Christianity and Judeo-Christian morality should be publicly spanked by Michelle and other bloggers as frequently as possible, just to let them know that there is an active opposition to these wreckers. [pace Joseph Stalin]

Rosie O'Donnell is a bigoted racist hypocrite

Michelle Malkin slaps down TV's most obnoxious big-mouthed hypocrite [Oh yeah, she's an ultra-lefty!] for imitating a Chinese newscast of drunken Danny DeVito, to the evident amusement of her oh so liberal colleagues on the brain-dead daily hate called the View [apologies to Orwell, but he could never imagine such a travesty on the human mind as these five nattering niggling orifices becoming a cultural fixture---using culture in an ironic trope, to be sure].

O'Donnell's boorish antics appear to give the lie to the mantra that feminism would raise the level of public discourse. Of course, she and her screeching lefty harridan-crone collective have considerably coursened the discussions of what makes life and love a meaningful experience in our everyday lives.

Instead, the Kaffee-klatsch yakkers yammer endlessly about trendy socialist nostrums and how nasty Mel Gibson was in his 3AM police-blotter rant. Not a word about Michael Richards, one of their own who went ballistic on video in a comedy club---the Seinfeld whack-job gets automatic absolution for being a Jewish liberal who "made a mistake."

These self-absorbed creatures appear to have no self-awareness or interest in obtaining a wider view of the world than their off-the-shelf liberal canned bolshie agitprop that, like the Commie aspersions of Pope Pius XII and the Jewish Holocaust eventually becomes received wisdom that defrocked frauds like James Carroll can employ to vent their own self-hatred against established religions. [The Myth of Hitler's Pope, by David G. Dalin, an American rabbi]. Of course, Hitler's best friend in the world of religion was Hajj al Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Yasser Arafat's early mentor. A fact you will never read in the New York Times.

Pop culture is an oxymoron, as The View proves on a daily basis, but demogogues like O'Donnell and her posse of aggressive fellow-travellers exulting in their brave attacks on Christianity and Judeo-Christian morality should be publicly spanked by Michelle and other bloggers as frequently as possible, just to let them know that there is an active opposition to these wreckers. [pace Joseph Stalin]

AP a Disgrace to Journalism

The Associated Press is basically suffering what happens to all large corporations with a virtual monopoly, it is becoming sloppy, incompetant, and unaccountable. The New York Post link above puts Robert Bateman, an historian and reporter, giving one man's story of how the AP covered up evidence that its Pulitzer-Prize nominated story about an incident in the Korean War was completely falsified by a man later convicted for getting PTSD treatment for combat that he did not endure.

Not only that, but this spurious news organization tried to wreck Bateman's career by attempting to stop his academic research and then the publishing of his book. More lately, this fraudulent excuse for journalism had an article out yesterday that neglected to give the state country or any relevant details about the woman who had three dead fetuses in her refrigerator! Whatever happened to who, what, when, where, etc.?

More serious, the Iraqi government and the U.S. Army have long warned the AP about
its use of "spokesmen" who don't exist. Indeed this time it appears that there is no such officer in the Iraqi police force in Baghdad. More, they could find no evidence of such an attack (though they did see that one mosque had been hit with some gasoline and had some smoke and scorching damage in the entryway).

Did the AP retract or reinvestigate? Nah. Instead, in a follow-up story a few days later, it simply noted the old (2005) news about efforts to plant Coalition press releases in the Iraqi media, accused the Iraqis of censorship and claimed that it had found three more (anonymous, naturally) witnesses. In effect, AP said that, no matter what the Iraqi police headquarters said, Hussein is one of its spokesmen after all.

Bizarrely, it seems that not even Iraqi Sunni politicians believe the AP story; even the radical Association of Muslim Scholars hasn't embraced the account. But we here are supposed to anyway. After all, AP doesn't make mistakes.
The AP has a number of executives, including Kathleen Carroll, who are simply giving disinformation and false sourcing in their stories. For that, the CSJ, whose students nowadays cheat on take-home ethics exams to practice for their Pulitzer scams, are predictably taking notes on just how to Mau-mau the flak-catchers, Kathleen Carroll style.