With the week coming to a close, Iran's regime has somewhat predictably decided to escalate the crackdown, reversing their brief deescalation. That deescalation of course had given the Iranian opposition enough time to find its feet and gain some confidence, and refuse to give up. This has once again demonstrated that the Iranian Islamic Republic which overthrew the Shah, had learned very little from that overthrow, and are repeating many of the Shah's mistakes.
While Putin and Medevev, unlike Jimmy Carter, can be expected to back the Ayatollahs to the hilt, with Russian TV mimicking Iran's stream of anti-opposition propaganda (predictably picked up by politicians like Ron Paul, who also backed Putin on Georgia), the problem isn't simply limited to the supply of firearms. There are only so many protesters the authorities can massacre, particularly since their reliance on Basji militia and imported Iran backed Arab terrorist groups such as Hizbullah and Hamas, reveals a basic weakness.
But besides the support of the Supreme Council, Ahmadinejad has caught one more lucky break with the death of the World's Most Famous Pedophile.
If there was one thing sure to distract major portions of the free world, from someone else's struggle for freedom, it's the death of a major celebrity. Particularly a depraved one.
The House has already held a moment of silence for Michael Jackson, which is really nice of them to take a break from spending America deep into debt, in order to remember a man who had so much money he could molest as many kids as he wanted and pay off them by the millions. There's some sort of lesson to be learned from that, but it's probably not worth learning.
This pathetic national disgrace interrupted a debate on whomping Americans with the highest energy tax in history, so that Rep. Jesse Jackson jr, who was willing to pay out six figures to Governor Blagojevich for a Senate seat, could offer a tribute, from one unconvicted criminal to another.
Meanwhile Obama was desperate to get in on the pedophile action, but he had no problem. No reporter actually asked him anything about Michael Jackson. This made Obama really sad, since no celebrity story is complete without the Prince of Chicago being involved in it. Sadly this time the Obama Camp couldn't prep a Huffington Post reporter to ask the question...
So Robert Gibbs held another press conference and still no one asked him about Michael Jackson! This was shocking as the death of a celebrity is a common fodder at White House press conferneces. So Robert Gibbs tactfully suggested that reporters were too shy to ask the TOTUS about Michael Jackson, and delivered a statement from Obama on the death of Michael Jackson.
It's hard to even process the depth of this pathetic charade. Is it the inability of Obama to stay out of any story, or the desperate need to get out a statement on a subject that doesn't actually concern him in any way?
In America's present day celebrity oriented culture, we expect the media to behave like fools. We expect something better from our elected officials. Or at least we did before they turned into celebrities too.
While the Iranian government is hitting bottom, so are we. The same House of Representatives that did not hold a moment of silence for Neda or any of the victims of terrorism, held one for the world's most famous pedophile.
Is there really anything left to say after that?
American political culture is a consenquence of America popular culture. By corrupting the latter, the former has also been corrupted. It is why the unacceptables of 20 years ago become acceptable with each generational turn of the wheel.
If Michael Jackson has any political relevance, it is that he shares one thing with Obama, he was and is a symptom of cultural degeneration. Once upon a time Americans would not have elected an admitted cocaine user to the White House. But before that could change, drug abuse had to become legitimized through popular culture. And it did.
Once upon a time a pedophile would have been beyond the pale in popular culture. People like Michael Jackson, Roman Polansky and Woody Allen proved that didn't have to be the case. The only question remains, when will we elect our first pedophile to the White House?
Hey, as long as he's cool and the kids love him, right? That's how we got the guy we have now.
In the general roundup, the Scottish flag is now apparently racist, as Scotland gets to enjoy the same political correctness already enjoyed by millions of Americans.
The result was an e-mail to all staff warning that such nationalistic displays could "intimidate non-Scottish colleagues".
The e-mail, from Alexandra Miller, director of customer services, said: "I am very disappointed to see that (staff] continue to have inappropriate material bedecking their workstation. This includes several saltires and a lion rampant, and the personalisation of a chair with red tartan."
Ms Miller reminded employees of the policy of not having anything on desks which could be regarded as "sexist or racist".
Note that the left's association of anything nationalistic with racism continues, even if it is in a context that makes absolutely no sense. Is the Scottish flag sexist? Is it racist? If it's a national flag of a non-third world country, the message seems to be that it is.
Newt Gingrich's American Solutions site has a petition to stop the Energy Tax
Maggie's Notebook comments on the absurdity of Michael Jackson's death hijacking the nation's news coverage
Michael Jackson is dead. From Fox News to the BBC, it has already been decided, this is the major issue of the day. Forget about nuclear proliferation. Forget about escalating threats and impending confrontations. Forget about the Global War on Terror. The Western World has spoken, they have made their priorities known. The Western World has decided what is truly important today, and what is not. And you, Ahmadinejad, and you Kim Jong Ill, just don't have what it takes to compete with this current crisis.
I haven't actually watched any of the news coverage, and it's times like this that make me glad I no longer bother with television and get my news online. Watching even serious news programs, or supposedly serious news programs turn into cheap tabloids is a dispiriting and depressing sight for any citizen of a democratic country.
Meanwhile Israpundit has Elliot Abrams article disproving Hillary Clinton's claim that there was no agreement made with Israel on settlements.
It is true that there was no U.S.-Israel “memorandum of understanding,” which is presumably what Mrs. Clinton means when she suggests that the “official record of the administration” contains none. But she would do well to consult documents like the Weissglas letter, or the notes of the Aqaba meeting, before suggesting that there was no meeting of the minds.
Mrs. Clinton also said there were no “enforceable” agreements. This is a strange phrase. How exactly would Israel enforce any agreement against an American decision to renege on it? Take it to the International Court in The Hague?
Regardless of what Mrs. Clinton has said, there was a bargained-for exchange. Mr. Sharon was determined to break the deadlock, withdraw from Gaza, remove settlements — and confront his former allies on Israel’s right by abandoning the “Greater Israel” position to endorse Palestinian statehood and limits on settlement growth. He asked for our support and got it, including the agreement that we would not demand a total settlement freeze.
For reasons that remain unclear, the Obama administration has decided to abandon the understandings about settlements reached by the previous administration with the Israeli government. We may be abandoning the deal now, but we cannot rewrite history and make believe it did not exist.
The key point of course is that there is nothing Israel can do to enforce any such agreement, but that inherently makes any agreement with the Obama Administration worthless. Which is why it's a shame that Netanyahu appears to be going soft now, dismantling checkpoints which help save lives, and pulling back.
He is making the same mistake he did back in his first term.
Whcih is why this Arutz 7 article is an important reminder of the real face of Israel's "peace partners"
Members of Fatah put on a show recently boasting that Fatah leads other organizations, particularly Hamas, in anti-Israel terrorism. The event was attended by former Palestinian Authority leaders.
The performance was videotaped and shown on Fatah TV -- the television station cpntrolled by Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority
In the pro-Fatah performance, actors portrayed a classroom setting in which pro-Fatah students debated their pro-Hamas classmates and teachers over which of the two groups deserved most credit for attacks on Israel. The play includes a segment in which pro-Fatah students criticize Hamas for failing to attack Israel more frequently since taking control of Gaza:
The full article contains the video itself.
At Forbes Magazine, Anna Bayefsky takes Obama to task for his failures on human rights
A week later there were multiple casualties, injuries and threats, and 46 million voters wrenched away from that doorway to freedom that had opened--if only a crack. But when the president was asked Tuesday: "Is there any red line that your administration won't cross where that offer [to talk to Iran's leaders] will be shut off?" He answered: "We're still waiting to see how it plays itself out."
And when asked again, "If you do accept the election of Ahmadinejad … without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?" He answered: "We can't say definitively what exactly happened at polling places."
And asked again: "Why won't you spell out the consequences that the Iranian people…" He answered: "Because I think that we don't know yet how this thing is going to play out."
And yet again: "Shouldn't the present regime know that there are consequences?" He answered: "We don't yet know how this is going to play out."
Also at Forbes, Joel Kotkin looks at challenges to Obama from the left
Glenn Greenwald at Salon meanwhile notes that the Washington Post fired one of its most popular liberal columnists, who regularly criticized Obama. Froomkin's statement seems to suggest that he was fired precisely because the Post no longer wanted a White House Watch in the Obama era
I’m terribly disappointed. I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn’t "working" anymore. But from what I could tell, it was still working very well. I also thought White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online.
As I’ve written elsewhere, I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That’s what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I'll have to try to do it someplace else.
Considering that Froomkin's next to last column was harshly critical of Obama, from a left wing perspective, it's not too hard to figure out why he was let go. Greenwald and co. can try to blame it on the neo-cons, but it's not the neo-cons who have a problem with criticism of Obama. Nor do they run the Washington Post.
Gateway Pundit meanwhile makes an excellent point about the Sanford case
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) answered an ad placed in a Washington, D.C. homosexual paper, the Washington Blade, by Stephen Gobie, a male prostitute. Gobie became Barney Frank’s live-in sexual companion, and was soon running a male prostitution ring from Barney Frank’s condo. Today Frank chairs the Financial Services Committee.
Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL) was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse for engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer that began during the 1992 campaign. Despite the charges, he continued his campaign and was re-elected that November. Reynolds initially denied the charges, which he claimed were racially motivated. He was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt)- in a 1985 television appearance Leahy disclosed classified information that one of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's telephone conversations had been intercepted. The information that Leahy revealed had been used in the operation to capture the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed American citizens, and the Union-Tribune claimed that Leahy's indiscretion may have cost the life of at least one of the Egyptian operatives involved in that operation. Because of his several leaks he was forced to step down from his seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Today he is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) kills girl . Leaves her in pond to drown. Today he is second longest serving member (next to the former kleagle) in the Senate.
Of course there are almost as many tears being shed for Ted Kennedy, as for Michael Jackson.
Is it really any surprise in a culture that celebrates the worst of human behavior?
Finally, view Jew with a View, an excellent article by Jack Englehard, "Obama's Jewish Experts"
A few days ago, George Mitchell once again expressed his position, and opposition, even to “natural growth” in Judea and Samaria. Both Mitchell and Hillary Clinton speak for themselves and for President Barack Obama, who’s made this – Jewish life in the “settlements” – his priority above all other international disputes.
Even the language is disturbing. Mitchell – top Middle East envoy along with Clinton – explained that the controversy centered on “the number of Jewish births.”
Where have we heard this before? To my mind, as someone who was born under similar conditions, in France under Vichy, where Jews were kept within “restricted zones,” this sounds too much like Verboten!
When I hear American diplomats, and Obama himself, count the number of children allotted per Jewish family, at the same time measuring Jewish growth by the inch, the images that come to mind, to my mind, are of an earlier time, though not so long ago, when the Third Reich confronted the “Jewish Problem” by way of the Nuremberg Laws and the Wannsee Conference.
I picture Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann. They, too, were “Jewish Experts.”
Indeed, and the entire premise of leveraging blame on Israel for the terrorism directed against it, was very much the attitude of those who may not have perpetrated the Holocaust, but nevertheless allowed it to happen... because they felt that the Jews were to blame for the Nazi persecutions of them.
That is an attitude that Ben Hecht ably chronicled in A Guide for the Bedeviled, writing that they were like a policeman interrogating a corpse demanding to know what he had done to upset his murderer. There are no shortage of corpse interrogators in the liberal ranks, in the foreign service or in the Obama Administration all certain that the only way to solve the Middle East's problems with Muslims, is to make whatever lands Muslims consider to be theirs, Judenrein.