Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jeff Jacoby - "There is no ‘good’ communist "

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby comments on the acceptability of Communism to a liberal world.
IF JOSÉ Saramago, the Portuguese writer who died on Friday at 87, had been an unrepentant Nazi for the last four decades, he would never have won international acclaim or received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.
But Saramago wasn’t a Nazi, he was a communist. And not just a nominal communist, as his obituaries pointed out, but an “unabashed’’ (Washington Post), “unflinching’’ (AP), “unfaltering’’ (New York Times) true believer.

Without a hint of irony, AP’s obituary quoted a comment Saramago made in 1998: “People used to say about me, ‘He’s good but he’s a communist.’ Now they say, ‘He’s a communist but he’s good.’ ’’
But the idea that good people can be devoted communists is grotesque. The two categories are mutually exclusive. There was a time, perhaps, when dedication to communism could be absolved as misplaced idealism or naiveté, but that day is long past.

Communist regimes have murdered, according to Jacoby, 100 million men, women and children. And Communism is still a horror to those who live under it.

Anyone who imagines that the horrors of communist rule is a thing of the past ought to spend a few minutes with, say, the State Department’s latest human rights report on North Korea.

Jacoby's position, and it should be ours, is that there is no such thing as a good Communist. Read the full column - There is no ‘good’ communist

Thursday, June 24, 2010

American home grown terrorists sentenced in Pakistan

From the New York Times of June 24, 2010,
A Pakistani court sentenced five American Muslim men who had been arrested in Punjab Province to 10 years of labor in prison on Thursday for conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks, in a case that amplified worries about the radicalization of Muslims in the United States.
We spend a lot of time in America trying to understand the mindset of young men and, perhaps, women, who yearn for a jihadist lifestyle.
Experts say that the young Americans, often children of integrated Muslim immigrants, are not immune to the calls of jihad by militant organizations, which play on feelings of frustration and confusion about identity common in young, first- and second-generation men.
Once again, let's blame "confusion of identity" for sending these young men off the path. Perhaps a Muslim lifestyle is to blame; perhaps it is a lifestyle that cannot coexist within America's melting pot. Nonsense, there are many sects and people of deep religious belief whose children do not dream of jihad and martyrdom. Stop blaming society and point the finger where the trouble lies-- propagators of those who would harm us picking on susceptible and impressionable young men to do their dirty work.

Well, that's what I think. Read the full story.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The West is backing the wrong side

Caroline Glick writes in the Jerusalem Post,
By backing the terrorist group against Israel, western countries are backing Hamas against Fatah and Islamist states against ME moderates.

The leader of the group is America's own Barack Obama.
Led by US President Barack Obama, the West has cast its lot with Hamas. It is not surprising that Obama is siding with Hamas.

Is this just another incident of "he just doesn't get it," or something worse for the Israelis, that is, a reversal of a decades old alliance between the U.S. and Israel? While Glick understands Obama's shift because of his associations and actions, how about the leadership of other western countries?
What is alarming however is how leaders of the free world are now all siding with Hamas. That support has become ever more apparent since the Mossad’s alleged killing of Hamas terror master Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at his hotel in Dubai in January.

Israel is not the only player affected by these steps.
As for Fatah, it is hard not to feel sorry for its leader Mahmoud Abbas these days. In what was supposed to be a triumphant visit to the White House, Abbas was forced to smile last week as Obama announced the US will provide $450 million in aid to his sworn enemies who three years ago ran him and his Fatah henchmen out of Gaza.

So too, Abbas is forced to cheer as Obama pressures Israel to give Hamas an outlet to the sea. This will render it impossible for Fatah to ever unseat Hamas either by force or at the ballot box. Hamas’s international clout demonstrates to the Palestinians that jihad pays.

This is the Obama's foreign policy? What a mistake. And it's one that can only lead to more bloodshed in the Middle East.

Read Our World: Hamas rises in the West

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Steve Averbach

Steve Averbach died last week, the victim of a 2003 terror attack. I write about him because I know his parents, and because Steve didn't let his injuries stop him from living a productive life.

The attack in which Steve was injured happened on a public bus that he was riding to work on May 18, 2003. His training as a police officer led him to act quickly to stop a terrorist disguised as a Jew. When the terrorist saw Steve draw his pistol he detonated his bomb vest; his ultimate target, the central bus station was not reached but 8, now including Steve, died as a result of the blast.

Gil Troy wrote:

For 2574 days, Steve Averbach lived in hell. Each day was endless, filled with anguish and indignity. He suffered. His saintly wife Julie suffered. His family suffered. Strangely, such suffering - which in Israel is multiplied exponentially considering the thousands of casualties - is invisible, even to many American Jews, who label Israeli intransigence the only obstacle to peace.

Steve's suffering illustrated the risks of peace - and the need for peace. His heroism, carving out moments of beauty and pockets of meaning amid this nightmare, proved how deep our reserves as human beings are - and how one person can not only face tragedy but touch so many others with his strength, vision, idealism.
There are many more like Steve Averbach in Israel. They don't whine about their particular predicament. They work to return to full strength, they work to help others, and, by so doing, continue to build up the state of Israel. Like Steve, they are all heroes. May Steve Averbach's memory be for a blessing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jeff Jacoby - Moderate Muslims say "no" to Ground Zero mosque

IS GROUND ZERO the right place for a major new mosque and Islamic cultural center? That is the question swirling around the proposed Cordoba House, a 15-story, $100 million Muslim development to be built just 600 feet from where the World Trade Center stood. The ambitious plans for Cordoba House include not only a mosque, but also a 500-seat auditorium, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a bookstore.

Read what some Muslims have to say about building this mosque in Jeff Jacoby's article here; you might be surprised.

Friday, June 4, 2010

World's response to Gaza flotilla is worthy of satire

The YouTube video embedded below was removed by YouTube because of alleged copyright infringement claim by the publisher of the original music, Warner/Chappell Music Inc. (Stinkers in my book.) Here's the new link.

Here's one response to the so-called humanitarian intentions of the Gaza flotilla. Of course, Hamas supporters won't find it funny but satire is not necessarily meant to be funny.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Two takes on the Gaza blockade

The New York Times publishes two op-eds today in support of the Gaza blockade and Israel's actions to enforce it. The first is by Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., and the second is by Daniel Gordis, a noted writer.

Oren's column can be found here, An Assault, Cloaked in Peace.

PEACE activists are people who demonstrate nonviolently for peaceful co-existence and human rights. The mob that assaulted Israeli special forces on the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on Monday was not motivated by peace. On the contrary, the religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis — both by their own hands as well as by aiding Hamas — and to destroy any hope of peace.

Gordis' column can be found here,
A Botched Raid, a Vital Embargo.
Like every other country, Israel has as its foremost obligation the protection of its citizens. Given that, why should it have allowed the flotilla to enter without inspecting its goods? If the United States were to impose a blockade on Iran (which seems unlikely), and another country dispatched a string of ships in a similar operation, is there any chance the United States Navy would let them through without inspection?

What's your take on this?