Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jeff Jacoby - The wake-up call from Flight 253

Jeff Jacoby writes,
"AFTER THE SEPT. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it was widely asserted at the time, nothing would be the same. What Pearl Harbor had been for our parents and grandparents, 9/11 would be for us: a shattering national wake-up call revealing both the gaping holes in America's homeland security and the reality that we were at war with an implacable enemy whose defeat would require years of sacrifice and resolve."

What lessons from 9/11 have been dismissed by our government leaders?
  • Terrorism isn't caused by poverty and ignorance.
  • The global jihad is real.
  • Terrorists can always adapt to new restrictions.
  • The Patriot Act was not a reckless overreaction.
It's time that the Obama administration took steps to make us safer. Step 1, Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security secretary, has to go. And in her place, should be a man or woman who understands that we were very lucky, again, in averting a catastrophe. Just how long will our luck hold out?

Read the Jacoby column.

Monday, December 28, 2009

WSJ.Com, The Terror This Time. A lucky break & Napolitano about face

The Wall Street Journal has a different take than the one set forth over the weekend by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano who says "the system worked."
A U.S. government that has barred the phrase "war on terror" has nonetheless acknowledged that a failed Christmas day bomb attack on an airliner was a terrorist attempt. Can we all now drop the pretense that we stopped fighting a war once Dick Cheney and George W. Bush left the White House?

The attempt by 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab follows the alleged murders in Ft. Hood, Texas by Islamist-inspired Major Nidal Hasan in November. Brian Jenkins, who studies terrorism for the Rand Corporation, says there were more terror incidents (12), including thwarted plots, on U.S. soil in 2009 than in any year since 2001. The jihadists don't seem to like Americans any better because we're closing down Guantanamo.
As the Journal points out,
Yet the terrorist screening system seems to have failed in at least two crucial ways: first, in failing to revoke a visa to the U.S. that Mr. Abdulmutallab had obtained last June despite a later warning to U.S. consular officials from his own father that he was becoming radicalized and might have terror network ties; and second, in not adding him to a no-fly list from a lower-level watch list.
Much to the Obama Administration's embarrassment, there still seems to be a "war on terror." The just cannot admit it.

Earlier today, Monday, December 28, 2009, the Obama Administration began singing a different song.
The secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, said Monday that the thwarted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner represented a failure of the nation’s aviation security system, not the success she and other administration officials had portrayed in comments over the weekend.

Read the full Wall Street Journal editorial and The New York Times report.

Phyllis Chesler weighs in on the price to be paid for failed bomb plot

What Next? Body Cavity Searches at Airports?

"Look: I’m no military strategist or historian. I have spent no time in any standing army or paramilitary organization. But, as a citizen civilian I have some questions.

"First, what next"

Ms. Chesler asks several questions regarding the fallout from Abdumutallab's failed attempt to detonate a bomb last week on that Northwest flight.
"Why are we still allowing Muslims from non-western foreign countries to fly into Western countries? Please note: I am not talking about “race” but about a highly politicized “faith.” And, what shall we do about the West’s own homegrown Islamist terrorists? Ground them all? Why not?"
Read more.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

From our friends, another new travel restriction

Thanks to our Islamic friends who first brought us terror hijackings, new travel restrictions!

The New York Times reports, "New Restrictions Quickly Added for Air Passengers" (12/27/09), on the new rules being quickly put into place following Friday's terror attempt.

As if flying is already not a joy,
"several airlines released detailed information about the restrictions, saying that passengers on international flights coming to the United States will apparently have to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps. It was not clear how often the rule would affect domestic flights."

Thank you, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, for making the lives of 10's of thousands of air travellers more miserable. May 1,000 fleas infest your armpits.

Read the full report.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Domestic Terror Incidents Hit a Peak in 2009

Time Magazine details the scorecard on domestic terror for 2009.
"You may not have noticed because most of the plots were foiled, but 2009 saw an unprecedented surge in terror "events" on U.S. soil. When analysts tally these events, they refer to anything from a disrupted plot to U.S. citizens traveling abroad to seek terror training or a lone gunman running amok in the U.S."

Not all tidings are of great joy - Jeff Jacoby

The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby writes about the life of Egypt's Coptic Christians and Christians in Muslim countries.
On May 31, 2008, a band of Bedouin Muslims armed with automatic weapons stormed Abu Fana [an ancient monastery], destroying a small church and burning the monastery's farm. Nine monks and monastery employees were wounded, and four others were abducted.
What is most tragic about the plight of the Copts, however, is that they comprise only a fraction of the estimated 200 million Christians in 60 countries worldwide who face persecution because of their religion.

From Egypt to Iraq it's hard to be a Christian.

Read the full column.

Study in Israel - Scholarship fund helps hundreds

The Alisa Flatow Memorial Scholarship Fund has been granting scholarships for post-high school study in Israel since 1996. While the study must be religious in nature, scholarships are available to men and women whether they be Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist or unsure.

More information about the Fund and applications are available through the Fund's website

And now a word from the sponsor:

The Alisa Flatow Memorial Scholarship Fund does gratefully accept contributions. The demand for scholarship assistance is great and the Fund does need partners.

Contributions by check should be made payable and mailed to:

Alisa Flatow Mem. Scholarship Fund
Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest
901 Route 10
Whippany, NJ 07981

If you care to contribute on line, please go here.

I thank you for your support.

Stephen M. Flatow

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moral Equivalency at the United Nations

The UN announced today that the military chief of United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon discussed with senior Lebanese and Israeli military officials recent incidents in Lebanon's south.
"Commander Major General Claudio Graziano also reviewed the situation in the village of Ghajar, where Israel still occupies the northern part although it should have withdrawn in compliance with Security Council resolution 1701."
That's OK for starters.

You'll remember that Resolution 1701 increased the UN's military presence in south Lebanon, "and called for an end to hostilities, respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, disarming militias including Hizbollah, and an end to arms smuggling."

Here comes the equivalence-
"Hizbollah has not disarmed, and last month Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said sporadic rocket launches into Israel, almost daily Israeli flights over Lebanon, the active maintenance of an arms depot by Hizbollah and the apparently Israeli surveillance equipment left on Lebanese territory raised the spectre of a potential escalation."
So, is it Hizbollah's failure to disarm, sporadic rocket launches and arms supplies, or Israel's overflights and surveillance equipment that bring the "spectre of escalation?"

It seems to me that the UN has gone out of its way to equate Israel's defensive steps with Hizbollah's rearmament and rocket launches into Israeli territory. I think it's clear that the UN is bending over backwards to be "overhanded" when, in fact, it is not living up to its mandate to supervise the disarmament of Hizbollah and blocking its potential rearmament.

Read the full release here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Phyllis Chesler on "The Israelis and the Iranian Bomb"

I don't always see eye-to-eye with Phyllis Chesler. Her brand of strident feminism in religious spheres often leaves me cold. However, she has been a staunch opponent of anti-Semitism and a lot of other anti's over the years.

Today she writes about the surreal state of events surrounding Israel and its citizens.
In 2009, Israeli athletes were at one point shunned in the United Arab Emirates; humiliated in Vienna; and forced to play without an audience for their own safety in Sweden. The jackals took over the asylum and tossed a prominent Israeli advocate out of the United Nations; J-Street, the allegedly “pro-peace and pro-Israel” organization, held a Soros- and Arab-funded conference; and the calls to boycott Israeli academics continued apace. Today, Departments of Jewish Studies at American universities display anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian posters on their front doors.
She believes that Hitler and Himmler good not have done it better.

Yet, she confesses that she is writing less and less about these types of events. Why?

First, because other individuals and mainly grassroots groups are now doing so—and doing it well. I am no longer alone.

Second, because I cannot bear documenting the Big Lies and the atrocities without feeling that doing so can effectively stop them.

The world has gone mad; no sane grown-ups are in charge.

Are we running out of plans? Maybe.

Read the full article - The Israelis and the Iranian Bomb.

What do you think?