How did they forget?

Melanie Phillips notes that an article by Charles Moore which appeared in the Telegraph a couple of days ago made a point about Israel that “was as simple and eloquent as it was crucial. How did we forget, he asked, that Israel’s story is the story of the west?”

If one stands back from the moral argument that rages round Israel, and just looks at this as a story, it reminds one intensely of that of ancient Israel’s enemy, the Roman republic. An austere nation builds its power in the face of enemy neighbours. It does so by great feats of arms, and so its soldiers often become its political leaders. The commitment those leaders must give to the nation is absolute, lifelong, life-threatening. The deeds done in the nation’s defence are frequently brave, sometimes appalling. Some would see Sharon as Milosevic, but might he not be Caesar?

But there’s also an important difference from Rome: the purpose of victory has been more about security than conquest for its own sake. Israeli politics for the past dozen years has been the attempt to reconcile extrication from territory with security. That is what Sharon thinks about all the time, as did his Labour predecessors, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak.

Taking note of the extraordinary circumstances in which this heroic and besieged little country became transformed by the West into a monstrous oppressive tyrant, Moore chillingly concludes:

Israel, which was attacked, has come to be seen as the aggressor. Israel, which has elections that throw governments out and independent commissions that investigate people like Sharon and condemn him, became regarded as the oppressive monster. In a rhetoric that tried to play back upon Jews their own experience of suffering, supporters of the Palestinian cause began to call Israelis Nazis. Holocaust Memorial Day is disapproved of by many Muslims because it ignores the supposedly comparable “genocide” of the Palestinians.

Western children of the Sixties like this sort of talk. They look for a narrative based on the American civil rights movement or the struggle against apartheid. They care little for economic achievement or political pluralism. They are suspicious of any society with a Western appearance, and in any contest between people with differing skin colours, they prefer the darker. They buy into the idea, now promoted by all Arab regimes and by Muslim firebrands with a permanent interest in deflecting attention from their own societies’ problems, that Israel is the greatest problem of all.

Well, some will say, that is the way it is: Israel has abused power, and is reaping the whirlwind. I don’t want to argue today about the rights and wrongs of Israel’s actions, though I think, given its difficulties, it stands up better than most before the bar of history. All I want to ask my fellow Europeans is this: are you happy to help direct the world’s fury at the only country in the Middle East whose civilisation even remotely resembles yours? And are you sure that the fate of Israel has no bearing on your own? In Iran, the new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes the link. The battle over Palestine, he says, is “the prelude of the battle of Islam with the world of arrogance”, the world of the West. He is busy building his country’s nuclear bomb.

How to win in Iraq

Both the Democrats and Republicans are wrong about what to do now in the Iraq war.

The Democrats want to retreat immediately and the Republicans want to “stay the course.” Neither proposal will make America safe from Islamic terrorism.

As Republicans have noted, withdrawal at this time would be perceived by the Islamic fundamentalists as a major defeat of the West and draw more recruits to their cause. But as the Democrats have noted, staying our current course–which has no standard of victory and no clear connection to protecting America from Islamic terrorism–is a disaster that has already resulted in the death of two thousand Americans.

The solution is neither embracing defeat nor staying a losing course;
the solution is to pursue victory.

We must define war objectives designed solely to protect the American
people from Islamic terrorism, and then execute those objectives by
any means necessary
. Above all, we must make it our objective, not to bring the good life to every corner of the Middle East, but to make the terrorist states of the Middle East non-threatening–which means that we must end state sponsorship of terrorism.

In Iraq, we must crush the insurgency immediately–which includes choking its backers, Iran and Syria–and let the Iraqis themselves take on the responsibility of establishing a government that will not threaten America. Once the insurgency is crushed the priority should be on eliminating the regime that is the greatest terrorist and nuclear threat to the United States in the Middle East: Iran. Such a policy would serve as a death blow to bin Laden, al-Zarqawi and the rest of the fundamentalists, who attract their recruits with the hope that America can slowly be defeated. [Emphasis added]

Dr. Yaron Brook
Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, CA

On Vacation

I will be on vacation outside the country until November 30th so the posting for the next week will be rather light, if at all. See you when I get back on the 1st of December, although it is possible I will find myself compelled to post something while I am gone.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. We have a lot to be thankful for in America. God Bless our military forces for protecting our liberty and freedom.

Chris Matthews – Islamic killers not evil

In a talk at the University of Toronto yesterday, Chris Matthews said that the Islamofascists who routinely kill innocent civilians, behead Westerners, blow up weddings and send car bombs to schools and to Iraqi police stations are not evil. Apparently we just don’t understand them.

In a speech to political science students at the University of Toronto yesterday, the host of the CNBC current affairs show Hardball had plenty of harsh words for U.S. President George W. Bush, as well as the political climate that has characterized his country for the past few years.

“The period between 9/11 and Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn’t a robust discussion of what we were doing,” Matthews said.

“If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we’ve given up. The person on the other side is not evil — they just have a different perspective.”

That is the problem with liberals. They don’t know evil even when it is staring them in the face.

Not a good day for al-Zarqawi

First this:

Al-Khalayleh tribe disowns al-Zarqawi

Family members of Jordanian-born al-Qaida in Iraq chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have renounced the terror leader, telling King Abdullah II on Sunday that they were “sever links with him until doomsday.”

Al-Zarqawi, whose real name is Ahmed Fadeel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, claimed responsibility for the Nov. 9 deadly attacks on three Amman hotels, which killed 58 people.

In half-page advertisements in Jordan’s three main newspapers, 57 members of the al-Khalayleh family, including al-Zarqawi’s brother and cousin, also reiterated their strong allegiance to the king

Al-Zarqawi had threatened to kill the king in an audiotape Friday.

“As we pledge to maintain homage to your throne and to our precious Jordan … we denounce in the clearest terms all the terrorist actions claimed by the so-called Ahmed Fadheel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, who calls himself Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi,” the family members said.

“We announce, and all the people are our witnesses, that we – the sons of the al-Khalayleh tribe – are innocent of him and all that emanates from him, whether action, assertion or decision.”

Then, this:

Report: al-Zarqawi may have been killed in Mosul

The Elaph Arab media website reported on Sunday that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq terror group, may have been killed in Iraq on Sunday afternoon when eight terrorists blew themselves up in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The unconfirmed report claimed that the explosions occurred while coalition forces surrounded the house in which al-Zarqawi was hiding. American and Iraqi forces are looking into the report.

N. Y. leftist Jewish group pressures Rice on Israel

According to Haaretz

NEW YORK – New York Jewish leaders encouraged U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to intervene aggressively in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute over the Gaza border crossings, telling her this would gain the support of American Jews, according to sources affiliated with the community’s liberal wing.

In particular, the sources said, they urged her to take a tough line against Israel, especially on issues such as a settlement freeze and dismantling illegal settlement outposts. The sources said several leading New York Jews held talks with Rice recently at which these issues, as well as the impasse over the border crossings, were discussed.

However, they also urged her to press the Palestinian Authority to meet its commitment to fight terror.

Among others, Rice met in Washington earlier this month with the heads of the left-wing Israel Policy Forum, who expressed their views on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The article reports that other Jewish leftist groups, Americans for Peace Now and the Reform Movement, for example, all urge Rice to take a tough stand with Israel.

Secretary Rice may need to be informed that the New York Jewish Left does not represent the views of many Jews in this country and she should not consider that those groups speak for all American Jews.

Bipartisan support for Iraq War – 403-3

Democrats in the House of Representatives backed down from their “cut and run” policy when a vote was held in the House last night on a Resolution to bring home the troops from Iraq forthwith.

Hugh Hewitt writes:

Many Democrats were emotionally undone by the exercise of having to confront their own rhetoric, and the anti-war left must be stunned this morning: Only three votes? All that work? All those marches? All those posts at the fever swamp bulletin board? For three votes?

The Dems have more excuses than a teenager: It wasn’t the real Murtha resolution; it’s a terrible political trick; I will not participate in the assault on Congressman Murtha etc, etc, etc.

But the talk around the turkey this week should review that the elections in 2002, 2004 and the vote on Friday night in the House underscore the country is committed to victory in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and everywhere else the GWOT is being waged. That talk should also dwell on the profound hypocrisy of the left and its Congressional representatives, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” They only believe what they believe when the country as a whole isn’t watching. Supermen on the web, when Congress assmebled they went into their phonebooths/cloakrooms and came out as Clark Kent.

The Democratic Party policy has been to try to undermine the President by whatever means. Criticizing the war, challenging the President’s veracity, disputing that the President had the same intelligence as everyone else. It is time, at last, when the Republicans found their backbone and have challenged the lies forthcoming from Democrats.

President Bush’s speech on November 11th finally addressed those who choose to rewrite history. Vice-President Cheney came out this week and addressed those who are attempting to discredit the Administration for political purposes. Finally, after Congressman Murtha (D-PA) stated on the House floor that we ought to bring the troops home immediately, with great support from House Democrats, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) decided to put a resolution on the floor to do just that. With all the bluster of the Democrats about bringing troops home now, only 3 voted for the resolution. Why? Because they know that bringing the troops home now is not what the majority of Americans want. Because they know that whoever went on record voting to bring the troops home now would have difficulty being re-elected next year.

One other thing became evident during this process. Republicans found their backbone. As Hugh Hewitt says in the same post

If the GOP stays the course of clarity, and keeps its purposes front and center, the elections of 2006 will be another milestone in the Democrats road to Whigdom.

GOP Hypocrisy Births Third Party

Right Faith thinks that the GOP will give birth to a third party in 2008:

In 2008, Republicans will be vulnerable to the attacks of fiscal and social hypocrisy while Democrats will be tied to the champions of secular progressivists. The Presidential election in 2008 will be the year of the third-party candidate.

Gone are the days of fiscal conservatism. Congressional Republican have rejected conservative economics in favor of pork and soaring deficits. They failed to make permanent the Bush tax cuts, inflation is up, and they can’t muster enough votes to cut the growth in spending from 7.3% to 7.0%. Fiscal conservatism in the Republican Party is beginning to look like a fairy tale: a long, long time ago in a land far, far away. One begins to wonder if the term “fiscal conservatism” was not so much a principled position as much as it was a stand against the Democrat-controlled purse strings for the 40 years prior to the Reagan administration.

Meanwhile, legislative leaders in the GOP are waning on issues close to the heart of social conservatives such as the marriage amendment; they are slow in rejecting embryonic stem-cell research and hate-crimes legislation. Republican leader and Virginia Representative Tom Davis manifested to social conservatives a lack of integrity by suggesting a negative political consequence to the moral issue of abortion. Regardless of his intent, to publicly consider the political consequences of morally right decisions is translated by social conservatives: “fake and unprincipled.” Political calculations were at the heart of President Bush’s stealth nomination of Harriet Meirs; social conservatives responded and it cost him dearly.

On the other hand, Democrats have pigeon-holed their agenda through the incremental placation of their wacky, far-left base over the past 5 years and, losing all touch with reality, now look like phony ideologues to the average American. It would take a revolution in the Democrat party occurring through the replacement of Dean, Durbin, Reid, Kennedy, Bayh, and Biden, for this to occur. While Hillary will have stiff competition, she will probably win the Democratic nomination; but, assuming this, not even she will be able to separate herself from, or her need for the support of, Hollywood, the ACLU, George Soros, and Michael Moore.

If Republicans lose in 2008 to Clinton, it’s not going to be because of Clinton’s moderate positions; it will be because they have alienated either fiscal or social conservatives. The primary question (pun completely intended) for Republicans to consider is which nominee eliminates the foothold of a third-party candidate?

Read more of this very insightful observation about the failings of our party to adhere to its principles. Once we stray from our basic principles we will go down in flames.


Governor Schwarzenegger has been talking about a new $50 Billion bond issue to fund infrastructure rehabilitiation in the State of California. Steve Frank of California Political News asks the question, “Can we afford it?”

“There is talk about a proposed $50 billion bond issue. The money will be spent for roads, schools, harbors, high speed transportation and water projects. Before we determine to vote for this we need to have a complete understanding of the proposal, the full impact.

In 2002 Bill Simon, the GOP nominee for Governor did a survey and found, at that time, that the minimum cost of repairing and building the California infrastructure was $180 billion. So, the $50 billion is just a stop gap measure.

For instance–I could make the $50 billion into almost $75 billion without a dime added to the $50 billion cost. Just get rid of prevailing wage and Davis-Bacon, union monopoly measures meant to pay off goons for not striking or disrupting government business. Then, as Senator Ackerman has pointed out, the high speed rail project is a worthless boondoggle. Do we really need to build a system that is not cost effective and doesn’t solve any problems, while at the same time road projects, like fixing the 101 in the south and the 50 and 80 in the north, would go a long way to helping end gridlock.

We need a coordinated plan, not one that is piecemeal. What about toll roads? School classrooms? We have more than we need. We could get class size down to 20 per class, give every teacher a 15% pay raise and still have money left over, without building another school. How? By enforcing our Federal immigration laws. In 1990, 15 years ago, LA Unified School District estimated they had 125,000 illegal aliens in the classrooms..on a base of 700,000 students. We don’t need more schools, we need law enforcement.

Political leadership needs to come to the people of California voters with a full scale program. Of course, this is only the start of the debate. I am sure the Governor and the Democrats in Sacramento know they need to promote this as a full scale program, not just throwing money to the wind, to pay off the unions–again.

The deficit this year is $7 billion with a possible $12 billion next year. We can’t afford new programs or interest on more debt. The results of the election show that politicians want to spend more money, not cut wasteful programs. And the voters bought it. That is the reality. California, with the next budget and the passage of massive bond measures will bring our economy to a halt and make us a Third World state. Nissan is about to leave California because of the high cost of living and tax policy. By leaving they won’t have to spend productive money on phony “Don’t sexually harass” training for managers. Instead the managers will have the time to build a better car and how to sell them. No wonder Nissan is leaving. Personally, I would fire any CEO that expanded in California, if they could build elsewhere.

One key fact has come out of the Special Election, the voters trust NO one in Sacramento. If the Governor and the Democrats go forward with this plan, they will have to show this is not just another payoff to special interests, that this will actually be done in a cost effective manner and that it will solve some of the problems–gridlock, law enforcement, prioritize education spending, etc.

Now is the time to speak up–write letters to the editor, call talk radio. Lets get the budget of California in order, pay off the over $50 billion debt we already have, make the current dollars go further, before we decide to spend money we don’t have.

This is FRANK DISCUSSION NOT LECTURE FOR CONSERVATIVES. This is your opportunity to be heard by the media, elected officials and activists. Do not email me with your comments. Post them directly on the web site at Go to the topic, which is in blue, click on it, go to the bottom, read the other comments and write, then post your own. Join the debate.


Steve Frank”

We are all "victims"

John Leo thinks we are all becoming victims. In this article he cites the ten top victim stories of 2005. Excerpt:

Children of witches are victimized by Halloween. Coming to class dressed as a witch on Halloween is a violation of “equitable schools policies,” according to the Toronto district school board. The board said it feared “traumatic shock” if children treat “the Christian sexist demonization of pagan religious beliefs as ‘fun.’ “

British Muslims are victimized by Piglet and piggy banks. Novelty pig calendars, toys, and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet have been banned in the benefits department at Dudley Council, West Midlands, out of deference to Muslim sensibilities.

Students are victimized by the disappearance of low weekend prices in bars. Pressured by the University of Wisconsin and a federal campaign against binge drinking, 24 bars near the Madison campus agreed to end cut-rate weekend prices. Three students and a Minneapolis law firm failed to convince a Wisconsin circuit judge that this represented conspiracy and price fixing. But they are suing again in federal court. Legal costs to the bar owners so far: $250,000.

Read the whole article about people unwilling to assume responsibility for their lives and assuming a “victim” mentality.