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Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday Afternoon Roundup - America, Iran, Europe, Israel and a Great Big Kettle




If the week before was revolutionary, this week seemed more chaotic, spread between the frenzied media coverage of the World's Most Famous Pedophile, the Iranian protests were pushed to the background. So was America's Largest Tax Ever and only a little news coverage remained available for the settling of Minnesota's stolen Senate election. An unfortunate reminder of what happens when elections are decided by Democratic courts, instead of by the voters. After all this, the proper place for Al Franken to hold his victory celebration would be at a cemetery, because without all the dead voters, not to mention the voters who never existed, the clown of Minnesota would never be pulling down a six figure taxpayer funded salary.

Iran meanwhile has gone back to its two favorite targets, England and foreign embassies, with plans to try Iranian staffers from England's embassy. No word yet on whether the Newsweek staffer will be tried, but considering how England folded when its sailors were captured by Iran, it seems perfectly clear that Iran decided England was a safe target.


Meanwhile news is emerging on ousted Honduran would be dictator Zelaya's ties to cocaine trafficking.

The regime that ousted Manuel Zelaya in Honduras claimed Tuesday that the deposed president allowed tons of cocaine to be flown into the Central American country on its way to the United States.

"Every night, three or four Venezuelan-registered planes land without the permission of appropriate authorities and bring thousands of pounds ... and packages of money that are the fruit of drug trafficking," its foreign minister, Enrique Ortez, told CNN en Espanol.

"We have proof of all of this. Neighboring governments have it. The DEA has it," he added.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Rusty Payne in Washington said he could neither confirm nor deny a DEA investigation.

Honduras and other Central American nations have become major transshipment points in recent years for Colombian cocaine, particularly as Mexico's government cracks down on cartels.

The drugs arrive in Honduras on noncommercial aircraft and, increasingly, in speedboats, from Venezuela and to a lesser extent Colombia, according to the Key West, Florida-based Joint Interagency Task Force-South, which coordinates drug interdiction in region. The boats tend to make short hops up Central America's coast.

In its most recent report on the illicit narcotics trade, the U.S. State Department said in February of Honduras that "official corruption continues to be an impediment to effective law enforcement and there are press reports of drug trafficking and associated criminal activity among current and former government and military officials."

In October, Zelaya proposed legalizing drug use as a way of reducing the violence.


Now Chavez was deeply involved with the FARC narcoterrorists in Venezeula. The suborning of several Latin American nations with leaders like Zelaya who had close ties to Chavez and shared a common left wing agenda-- was meant to pave the way for drug smuggling operations into the US.

Considering that FARC had contacts with some Obama people, and Chavez is best buds with Prince Barry, it might be worth asking how much of Obama's dirty campaign cash was drug money, and if that isn't why the Obama Administration is so feverishly backing Zelaya's restoration to power, in order to keep the drug pipeline open?

All the while Michelle Obama is keeping Air Force One warm

Michelle Obama Takes her Girls to London for Fish and Chips truly change we can believe in -- or as was said during the campaign, "We are the change we have been waiting for."

Imagine Laura Bush doing this when 15,000,000 Americans are looking for a job

On Sunday, President Obama flew back to the United States on Air Force One. His wife, two daughters and her mother did a bit of shopping in Paris before taking their own Boeing 757 (C-32) over to London to do some sight seeing.

We all remember Obama’s admonishment to corporate CEO’s in February: “You can’t get corporate jets, you can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers dime.”

Apparently that doesn’t apply to his wife. The London Times opened its description of Michelle’s visit this way: Motorcycle outriders, armoured Chevrolets and bullet-headed men in raincoats crisis-crossed London yesterday as Michelle Obama and her daughters spent a second day on an unofficial visit to the capital. The Times went on to describe that when Michelle and the girls arrived at Westminster Abbey, the building was closed to tourists with people already in told to “wait against the wall.” An American visiting the Abbey said “Right then I knew it was probably someone from our ‘royal family’.”

Michelle’s motorcade shut down the London street above as the First Lady of the World and her children go for Fish and Chips at a pub in Mayfair. The entourage inside the restaurant was 15 people while dozens more wait outside. Include the dozens of Air Force personnel to fly and service the plane, embassy personnel and other staff and we are talking about a serious expenditure of tax payer dollars. Meanwhile, millions of Americans have lost their jobs and won’t be able to take their family on a summer holiday. Despite their circumstances they’ll still be expected to fork over the tax dollars to pay for Michelle’s trip.
Tell your friends about this -- it's their money being spent!!


But speaking of political scum, one of the dirtiest Congressmen, Robert Wexler, crawled out of a sewer to try and convince Jews and Israelis to back Obama's War on Settlements, by promising that the "temporary freeze" would call the Arab world's bluff, whatever that means. Of course Israel has been calling the Arab world's bluff through concession after concession for 17 years now, which hasn't helped Israel any. Maybe it should be the Arab world's turn to start calling Israel's bluff by offering up all of the Palestine Mandate territory to Israel.

As for Wexler, he might want to look at the protests happening under his own window instead.

Not to be outdone, O.J. Simpson defense attorney Alan Dershowitz popped up to try and defend Obama on Israel, while working to popularize a suggestion from American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee leader Yousef Munayyer arguing that the settlement freeze should be horizontal not vertical.

I believe there is a logical compromise on settlement growth that has been proposed by Yousef Munayyer, a leader of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination League. "Obama should make it clear to the Israelis that settlers should feel free to grow their families as long as their settlements grow vertically, and not horizontally," he wrote last month in the Boston Globe. In other words, build "up" rather than "out."

First of all ,Dershowitz repurposing a suggestion from Yousef Munayyer alone should kick the stuffing out of his pro-Israel credibility. Yousef Munayyer has written op eds legitimizing Hamas, while claiming that “Abu Ghraib set the bar for obscene inhumanity”. The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has close ties to radical anti-Israel groups, including AL-AWDA. It openly supports Hamas.

Scores of senior ADC officials have expressed positive views toward terrorist organizations.

In 1994, during one of the main peaks of Hamas suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, then-ADC President Hamzi Moghrabi said, "I will not call [Hamas] a terrorist organization. I mean, I know many people in Hamas. They are very respectable. … I don't believe Hamas, as an organization, is a violent organization."

Discover the Networks notes that two years later, Moghrabi's successor, Hala Maksoud, defended the Hezbollah terrorist group.

"I find it shocking," Maksoud said, "that [one] would include Hezbollah in … [an] inventory of Middle East 'terrorist' groups."

In 2000, new ADC President Hussein Ibish characterized Hezbollah as "a disciplined and responsible liberation force."

When Israel released Hezbollah prisoners in early 2004, Imad Hamad, ADC's Midwest Regional Director, openly celebrated the freedom of "the heroes," as noted by Mideast scholar Daniel Pipes.

That's who Alan Dershowitz is taking his ideas from. (And of course Obama's old pal Rashid Khalidi is in the mix here.) Dershowitz may be given a bit of a pass, since he clearly didn't research
Yousef Munayyer well enough to even get the name of his organization right, writing League instead of Committee. But that kind of sloppiness suggests that the rest of Dershowitz's article was similarly poorly researched.

But to actually address the suggestion that growth can only be vertical, "Let The Jews Live Vertically", this kind of growth would first of all require the demolition of existing homes to build new ones. That means displacing current residents and forcing them into multi-family housing.

Second of all it would be a good deal more expensive. Third of all vertical housing is much more vulnerable to missile and rocket fire from the Palestinian Authority. Fourth of all it takes a good deal more time to construct. Fifth of all, vertical housing is a poor way to accommodate natural growth by individuals, and in fact would create a far more permanent presence by Israel in the territories, making it counter-intuitive from the other side.

Sixth of all large parts of Jerusalem and larger settlements such as Maaleh Adumum are already heavily on the vertical side. Aside from demolishing them to build 60 story buildings, not much vertical growth is possible there, without horizontal growth.

Seventh of all, vertical growth will still require horizontal growth. Any half-decent city planner understands this. Vertical growth will require accompanying infrastructure to accommodate it, much of which, such as roads and utilities, will have to be vertical. In fact vertical growth drives much larger horizontal growth, which is how cities grow in the first place. You cannot have vertical growth without horizontal growth. Not in real life. Not in real towns. Not unless you deprive people of basic needs and put up barbed wire keeping them inside. Which is what Yousef Munayyer wants. It's what Obama no doubt wants, but it's not what Alan Dershowitz should want.

Eight of all, a lot of homes in the settlements have gardens and orchards. They grow their own food. It's a part of life in that setting. To American liberals it's called things like sustainability. Unless Dershowitz has a plan for making vertical orchards, it would helpful if he actually thought through the suggestions he receives from terrorist supporters before conveying them in a national forum.

Finally, if Jews should be limited to vertical growth. So should Arabs. The day Arabs are told that they can only build vertically, not horizontally, is the day we can agree to the same proposal.

Other reactions to Dershowitz's callous stupidity and ignorance can be found at American Thinker, with Laurie Regan analyzing the flaws in Dershowitz's claims about Obama's support for Israel.

Melanie Philips calling Dershowitz out on giving Obama a pass over his moral equivalence between the refugee camps and the Holocaust.

And at Yourish.com, a general roundup of reactions.

Meanwhile the New York Senate race that's getting interesting, and once again showing off Obama's political weakness in New York. After losing his appointee of choice, Princess Caroline, Obama was forced to back Senator Scumbag Schumer's pony, Kirsten Gillibrand. Obama successfully muscled out Rep Steve Israel who had considered running against her in the primary. But instead now Gillibrand will face Congresswoman Maloney in the primary.

Maloney's obvious advantages are name recognition, plus a name that people can spell, and the home field advantage in New York City. And she's got Bill Clinton headlining her fundraiser. That's not too shabby, even though Willie doesn't have quite the draw he used to, especially when Gillibrand will likely be able to call on Obama.

But Maloney now has a small lead in the polls over Gillibrand, which is fairly quick work. But then Gillibrand is viewed by many New Yorkers as a appointee of crazy dysfunctional New York Governor Patterson. Maloney by contrast comes with a solid political pedigree. To those in the know, Gillibrand looks like Schumer's puppet, and the way she has acted since her appointment only reaffirms that. Schumer has been gaining far too much influence within the party, and his ruthless assault on Martin Connor, replacing the respected longtime Democratic State Senator with one of his obnoxious junior aides, using ugly and crude campaign tactics, has won Schumer more enemies than friends in the local party establishment. After all who knows which one of them Schumer will replace next with his aide, his speechwriter or his waterboy.

Now Gillibrand is begging for donations, supposedly to stave off a Republican race against Pataki, but that doesn't seem to be happening, instead she needs the dough to face off against Maloney, and the money that Carolyn Maloney can count on as a popular NYC based Congressman. With the Republican party in the doldrums, statewide and nationwide, the real threat is from within.

Schumer, who was the puppet master behind Franken, now has to fight a civil war, and he may find a struggle within the establishment on behalf of a woman few of them know or like, a good deal tougher than destroying Coleman through outright fraud. With Rangel attacking Obama over his interference in the New York Senate primary, the entire thing has become a losing proposition for Prince Barry, who not only lost his Princess Caroline, but is scrambling to shore up support for the woman who displaced her.

Since this is a primary election, the deciding factor will be in the hands of a small number of committed registered Democrats, many of them tied up with the Democratic establishment. A disproportionate amount of those votes will be in New York City, home base for Maloney, enemey territory for Gillibrand. To top that off, Gillibrand's poorly thought out Israel bashing will create problems with Jewish voters, while her rapid abandonment of her conservative positions will alienate many upstate Democrats who might have been more committed to her.

As Arlen Specter discovered after his defection from the Republican party because its tent wasn't big enough, the Democratic party's tent is very small and packed with infighting. The civil war begun by Dean has only exploded with Obama, and its ripple effects can be seen through the party.

In the general blog roundup meanwhile, Soccer Dad shows that Netanyahu's approval ratings have been trending up, while Obama's are trending down

WND has special postcards for Obama's birthday and a Free Our Health Care petition.

Oh My Valve covers the EU reactions to Iran's staffer arrests.

Ted Belman over at Israpundit has a look at Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick's solution for Israel's woes and it begins with cutting an activist judiciary down to size.

Jihad Watch meanwhile looks at what importing Islam to America will bring for gay rights and the infamous Dr. Butt will still go on practicing, despite his Dental Office Jihad.

The New Centrist raises the question of Obama's abandonment of democracy abroad.

George H.W. Bush followed in the footsteps of Reagan. President Clinton also made democracy promotion a centerpiece of his foreign policy. Liberal pundits often conveniently forget that Clinton was a steadfast advocate of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, a U.S. law that called for regime change in that county.

Obama has made it clear that he values diplomacy and discussion over the promotion of, well, just about anything. On the topic of democracy promotion he is noticeably silent if not opposed to the concept. Example One, witness his vacillation regarding the recent events in Iran.

George H.W. Bush followed in the footsteps of Reagan. President Clinton also made democracy promotion a centerpiece of his foreign policy. Liberal pundits often conveniently forget that Clinton was a steadfast advocate of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, a U.S. law that called for regime change in that county.

Obama has made it clear that he values diplomacy and discussion over the promotion of, well, just about anything. On the topic of democracy promotion he is noticeably silent if not opposed to the concept. Example One, witness his vacillation regarding the recent events in Iran.

Rather than side with democratic institutions and the rule of law in Honduras, our president declared the state’s actions “illegal” and had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claim, “We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue”.

These statements were made less than a day after the so-called coup. Compare that to the long week of violence it took for Obama’s administration to condemn what was happening in Iran.

What these three examples show, a mere six months into Obama’s first term, is a severe break with the continuity in foreign policy of the past two decades, a break with democracy promotion as a foreign policy goal of the United States. This is the change many Americans voted for. But is it the sort of change you really believe in?


The real question though is if Obama supports Diplomacy Uber Alles, then what goal is all that diplomacy aimed at achieving, besides getting some of the world's worst dictators to like us? And what goals has it actually achieved?

With dead democracy protesters in the streets of Tehran, accelerating nuclear programs by both North Korea and Iran, continuing instability in Iraq and Afghanistan-- the answer would seem to be absolutely nothing.

Obama has not managed to get more foreign troops serving in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. He has not made any part of the world more stable. Instead he has delivered self-glorying high profile speeches such as the one in Cairo, which accomplish nothing except to burnish his own ego and image.

And that is what Obama's diplomacy really does. It hurts the US and our allies. It helps Obama.

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country, and Honduras, Israel, Taiwan and pretty much everyone else, can do for you.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

American Jewish leaders & organizations are so closely tied to the Democratic Party that they cannot see reality, they are oblivious to the changes that have occured in the Democratic Party over the last 10-15 years. They have swallowed the liberal BS rhetoric whole & they are misleading American Jews big-time.
Add to this the liberal Reform rabbis, a biased mainstream media, & looney-left academics combined with the very superficial knowledge of the Middle-East among American Jews (and Americans generally) & it is no wonder that support for Israel is eroding at a rapid rate. As an Israeli, I trust Evangelical Christians more than I do American Jews & that is a most depressing admission.

Terry.

Maggie M. Thornton said...

Don't think that vertical housing will work well in Gaza where they seem not to mind living without plumbing.

Sultan, I hope and yours are having a wonderful Independence Day.

Sultan Knish said...

thank you maggie, I hope you are too

Anonymous said...

"Let The Jews Live Vertically". I looked at the arab villages in Galil and ... lo and behold, they are all horizontal, not one vertical in sight, unlike the verticals coming to us in Tel Aviv, Yerushalayim, Haifa and in general everywhere there are Jews. WE are going up and they take the land around.

TNC said...

Thanks for the link, Sultan. And Happy 4th!

--TNC

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