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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Comments on reads 4/26

Daniel Greenfield: Israel, A Nation Once Again

What is happening to Middle Eastern Christians is what has already happened to Middle Eastern Jews. Unlike the Jews, the Christians have no regional state of their own. The closest thing to it is Lebanon, which serves as an ugly example of what the binational Jewish-Muslim state that some called for and are still calling for would truly look like.

Had Christians turned Lebanon into a Christian Israel, then they would have been able to survive in the region. Middle Eastern Christians are on average better educated and more successful than the cult of a mass murderer that has colonized the region. A Christian Middle Eastern state would have stood head and shoulders above its Muslim neighbors, in every sense of the word. But instead coexistence was tried and it failed. Just as it is failing in Europe.

European Christians are following the path of European Jews, just as Middle Eastern Christians are following the path of Middle Eastern Jews, seeking stability, safety and opportunity outside countries that are on the path to becoming unlivable for anyone who doesn't preach in a mosque, sell drugs or rob tourists. Most are not leaving because they are aware of the problem, but because they are aware of the consequences. 

Israel is a non-Muslim country in a region where after centuries of conquests there aren't supposed to be any non-Muslim countries. It is an indigenous minority trying to fly the flag in an Arabized region and it can only survive by succeeding at everything it does. It has managed to defy the odds, like the Armenians, it has proven that it is possible for an indigenous minority to build a successful state out of a diaspora and defend it against Muslim aggression. Those ignorant of history might call it colonialism, but it actually represent indigenous peoples rolling back Muslim colonialism.

Israel is a non-Muslim country in a region where after centuries of conquests there aren't supposed to be any non-Muslim countries. It is an indigenous minority trying to fly the flag in an Arabized region and it can only survive by succeeding at everything it does. It has managed to defy the odds, like the Armenians, it has proven that it is possible for an indigenous minority to build a successful state out of a diaspora and defend it against Muslim aggression. Those ignorant of history might call it colonialism, but it actually represent indigenous peoples rolling back Muslim colonialism.

Few eyes turn to Israel on its Independence Day, not unless there are stories about rock throwing Muslims or outrage over another Jewish house going up in Jerusalem. Even many of the Jews on the other side of the ocean have closed their eyes and their hearts to it. In synagogues those who recognize the new miracles of the Lord, rather than only the old, give thanks and praise for that day. For most it is only another day.

As each of our birthdays reminds us that we are still alive, so too Israel's birthday reminds us that it is still here. It won its independence as an infant, at 19 it defeated seven armies. At 40 it launched its first rocket into space. At 44 it made a terrible life decision that it has still to recover from. It is 64 now, and yet booming with life, with anger, love, doubt, fear and a thousand other human tremors. It has gathered to itself the dead lost in the ashes and seen them born again amid its rebuilt ruins. It has stood on ancient mountains and reseeded the land and made it green again. It has reclaimed a legacy of a lost people and a lost land better than even its dreamers and visionaries could have imagined.

FP: No wonder Israel drives the Judts, the Friedmans, the Beinarts and the various anti-Semites nuts. It proves that their inflated sense of moral superiority is nothing relative to what Israel has achieved. The fate of the Christians demonstrates how much of a failure their multiculturalism and universalism are: had the Jews not had a nation of their own, they would have ended up just like them.

 

Bill Katz

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS? – The Pentagon is suspending a course for military officers given in Norfolk, Virginia, because it allegedly contains inflammatory material about Islam.  We have no specifics, but the report is troubling.  We know that since Obama came to office, federal agencies have literally purged material on Islam, often at the behest of some Islamic organizations with worrying histories.  Training manuals are being revised throughout the security services.  Are the complaints about this Norfolk course legitimate, or is valuable information being kept out to satisfy political correctness?

LOOK WHO'S TRAINING LAWYERS – A top Justice Department official who misled Congress during the "Operation Fast and Furious" investigation is leaving to become dean of the University of Baltimore Law School.  Ronald Weich, assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, signed a letter to Congress stating that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives never allowed guns to be sold to drug cartel members, which turned out to be erroneous.  Strange move for an educational institution. 

FP: Self-dhimmification and education destruction continues.

 

Susan Vass’s last straw (via PowerLine)

In Woody Allen’s last amusing picture, Bananas (1971), the insane banana republic dictator decrees after attaining power, “From now on the official language will be Swedish. Everyone will wear their underwear on the outside.”

In the regulatory hell we now live in where bureaucrats are engaged in a daily game of “Can You Top This?”, where trans fats are banned, children’s lemonade stands are raided and little girls who rescue birds are billed $500, you would think that the hundreds of czars and busybodies would be out of ideas. But you would be wrong.

Now comes the Department of Labor with proposed new regs forbidding farm children to do chores on their own farms. Seriously.

All my farm kid friends could drive cars by 5, tractors by 7 or 8 and big machinery by junior high. They could milk cows by hand or machine, and build a barn in a long weekend. They were more creative, more confident, more disciplined than us lazy slacker town kids who didn’t know how to raise a cow up from a baby cow (called a “calf” in farm talk).

What motivated the parasitical overpaid gubmint drones to come up with this latest outrage? Weren’t they busy enough planning Conferences with Clowns? Downloading porn on government time? Worrying about whether or not they were part of the government employees who owe more than a billion dollars in back taxes?

Too much time on their hands, or was it something simpler?

Were the regulators also jealous because farm kids were the last cohort of children that wasn’t lard-butt obese? That might hurt the self-esteem of non-farm kids.

Perhaps they were hoping that, if children couldn’t legally do chores, that the farmers would be forced to hire migrant labor that would bring in more Democrat voters. Too many Mexicans are going home because there’s less work.

FP: America is beginning to have some of the absurd characteristics that brought the URSS (and previous dominant powers) down.

 

Victor Davis Henson:Decline or Decadence?

Almost daily we read of America’s “waning power” and “inevitable decline,” as observers argue over the consequences of defense cuts and budget crises.

Yet much of the new American “leading from behind” strategy is more a matter of choice than of necessity.

So much of our sagging profile abroad is simply a growing realization that the Middle East is, well, the Middle East: You can change the faces, but the regimes end up mostly the same — as innate reflections of the volatile mix of tribalism, vast infusions of oil money, radical Islam, and generations of dependency.

Can decline be better measured by our vast debt of $16 trillion, growing yearly with $1 trillion deficits? Perhaps. But Americans know that with a new tax code, simple reforms to entitlements, and reasonable trimming of bloated public salaries and pensions, we could balance federal budgets. The budget crux is not due to an absence of material resources, but a preference for not acting until we are forced to in the eleventh hour.

FP: No, decadence leads to decline and decline reinforces decadence—it’s a vicious cycle. Once a dominant power enters it, its fate is a necessity, not a matter of choice.

It’s ignorance, incompetence and corruption—decadence—that induced the US to bankrupt itself in two wasteful, unwinnable and purposeless wars and to facilitate the Islamization of Arab regimes in Gaza, Tunisia, Egypt.

The kleptocratic corporate welfare state and crony capitalism are forms of corruption, of which the tax code and inflated salaries for increasingly incompetent and corrupted bureaucracies are consequences—of decadence. It’s not politically feasible to rob the public in order to bail out corporations that are bringing the economy down and then rob its entitlements too. A lot of waste of those entitlements are also a result of decadence of both the payer and the payees.

The US enters of period of not many choices that can reverse decadence and decline. Welcome to the world of waning dominant powers.

 

Daniel Gordis: Beinart’s Universalists Strike Back

So, because I defended Jewish particularism (using the tribal word that Beinart himself employed), I’m not only a fascist. I’m a “McCarthyite.” The mere notion that the very purpose of the re-creation of the State of Israel and its survival might be the revival of the Jewish people (and not simply “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”) must mean that we’re heading right for ethnic and religious cleansing.

Even allowing for the likelihood that Sullivan was coming to the defense of his buddy and didn’t have a moment to read anything that I’ve written about Jewish particularism, we have here a not terribly flattering picture of the state of writing and thinking in our world. Goldberg distorts the truth. Magid invokes the “fascist” label and then, challenged on it, defends himself by saying that he’s not the only one who did it. Braiterman uses it but can’t help but admit that he knows it’s unfair, and Sullivan, without having read a word I’ve written beyond the Beinart review, lurches from “fascist” to “McCarthyite.”

Not a terribly promising foundation on which to build serious discourse, is it? Israel, the settlements and even Peter Beinart’s book may be the least of the problems we need to address.

FP: Looks like we have here proof positive that it’s not the Jewish tribalism but the universalism of Beinart et al that is inherently fascist.

 

Shmuel Rosner: The ‘bravery’ of Beinart, and Krugman

‎5. Krugman also testifies, in this very short column, that he “basically avoid[s] ‎thinking about where Israel is going”. This means that Krugman is able to identify the ‎many follies and vices of a place about which he does not think.‎

‎ ‎

‎6. Did Krugman even read Beinart’s book? I don’t know. Has he read any book on ‎Israel in recent years? Does he know anything about Israel? He says nothing about the ‎content of Beinart’s book, shows no inclination to explain why Israel’s policies are ‎‎“long-run form of national suicide”, gives no hint as to the reasons why Israel deserves ‎to be criticized. If anyone wrote with such a commanding tone about the issues on ‎which Krugman does know something, he’d probably be the first to jump on him and ‎demand facts, details, logical analysis (he says he “doesn’t have the time” – but he ‎does give the impression that he had the time to read the whole book – and we all ‎know that reading takes more time than writing).

FP: A must read for proof that Nobel prize in economics sometimes have as sound a basis and that of the Nobel peace prize (think Arafat and Obama) and no positive influence on their recipients. Think about what it would mean if  Krugman’s work in economics were based on the same intelligence and research as those underlying his pronouncement on Israel—and there is considerable evidence that it is.

See also Elder of Ziyon’s The "As-a-Jews" of the New York Times

Criticizing a tiny state surrounded by enemies hell-bent on its long-term destruction might not play in Peoria, but it plays very well in the salons of the Upper East Side. It is a false bravado, one where the people pushing their agendas know quite well that they have a large support group from the most influential ivory tower newspaper in the United States. Seriously, how have any of these critics been hurt by what they have written? They have been criticized to be sure, but they have also been praised. They are getting huge amounts of publicity and selling lots of books, giving lectures across the nation and having their faces plastered all over every Jewish periodical. Is that what NYT liberals consider "bravery" nowadays?

So why did the New York Times choose to publish yet another op-ed bashing Israel when it breaks no new ground, makes no new arguments, and is quite tendentious to boot?

Because, like Krugman, the author is another "As-a-Jew." He says he grew up as a Zionist, coming from a family of committed Zionists, complete with experience with pogroms and fundraising for the UJA. He is pretending to be yet another recovering Zionist, someone who knows what is best for Israel far better than the people who live there and actually vote in elections. The only thing that makes his point of view interesting, to the NYT opinion editor, is that Robert is being "brave" by speaking out, as a Jew, just like the scores of other ignorant Jews who have been reading the New York Times' anti-Israel pieces over the years and believe them as the Jewish equivalent of gospel.

This is not bravery.

Bravery is to be an Arab and to criticize the PLO. Bravery is to be a Muslim woman and criticize how Muslims treat women. Bravery is to publicly protest in Syria. Bravery is to risk your life for your opinions.

When someone like Krugman calls someone like Peter Beinart "brave" it illustrates how out of touch liberal New York Times "As-a-Jews" are. Their worldview is so skewed that they believe that Netanyahu - a man who accepts a two-state solution, who has all but said that he would throw tens of thousands of Jews out of their homes to make peace  - is somehow a warmonger. Meanwhile, they believe that Mahmoud Abbas, a man who honors the most notorious terrorists and anti-semites, who arrests journalists who criticize him,  and who would rather partner with Hamas terrorists than Israeli Jews, is perfectly reasonable and moderate.

How can such a complete reversal of reality even cross the mind of a sane person?

Well, it can easily happen, if your idea of reality comes from the op-ed pages of the New York Times.

FP: Validation of the following arguments promoted by this blog:

1. We live in an upside down world.

2. Western intelligentsia is a sad joke.

3. The educational system produces at best technical specialists, who are otherwise ignorant and unable to reason critically and independently.

3. Liberal leftists and Jews have become useful idiots for genocidal anti-Semites hostile to them and all they represent.

It is becoming impossible to avoid the conclusion that the West is self-destructing and will not survive. In Darwinian terms it does not deserve to.

 

Barak casts doubt on successful Iran talks

Defense Minister says he would be "happy to be proven wrong," warns of regional nuclear arms race with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and "the new Egypt" if Iran achieves nuclear weapons capability.

FP: If such a system emerges, there will be nostalgia for the Cold War.

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