MoonDawg's Den: July 2006

MoonDawg's Den

Monday, July 31, 2006

Wrong reason, right target

My apologies for the lack of blogging recently, having some major doings at my office. I caught a story over the weekend about a mob in Beirut attacked the United Nations HQ building to vent their outrage over the terrible loss of life in Qana after an Israeli air strike into Lebanon. Apparently the UN served as a proxy for anger at Israel and the US over Qana.

But the Lebanese hit the right target, albeit for the wrong reason. UN fecklessness and its impotent "peacekeeping" mission have failed Lebanon for decades. The United Nations had a real opportunity to pressure Hezbollah after UNSCR 1559 was passed, but dithered away the opportunity. As a result, the Cedar Revolution tragically lies in ruins.

Of course most of the outrage should be directed at Hezbollah, not the UN. The cowards intentionally place their weapons and material within densely populated urban centers, placing innocent civilians at greater risk. Australia’s Herald Sun has published some damning photographs that document how Hezbollah flouts the internationally accepted norms of warfare, making incidents like Qana not only likely but inevitable. Of course civilian deaths are of no concern to Hezbollah and indeed actually help its cause, since they make for good propaganda fodder with the mindless international press.

But let us not forget Damascus and Tehran. In addition to the UN flag, this Lebanese chap should also be chomping on the Syrian and Iranian flags. But it's not just the Lebanese who willfully ignore the source of the bloodshed; as Dennis Lormel at the Counterterrorism Blog notes, the "international community" also lacks the fortitude to openly acknowledge - let alone confront - the true villains in this mess.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Kerry for preemption?

Via Drudge, we learn that Sen. John Kerry has declared his absolute omnipotence, at least vis a vis the Israel-Lebanon conflict: "If I was president, this wouldn't have happened." Kerry also said Bush has been "absent on diplomacy" - never mind that, under federal law, the administration is forbidden to engage terrorist organizations like Hezbollah in diplomacy.

Yet in almost the same breath Kerry declares that "We have to destroy Hezbollah". Since Israel is already presently in the process of destroying Hezbollah, one can only presume that Kerry meant that Bush has failed by not destroying Hezbollah at an earlier point. Is Kerry saying that the U.S. should have gone into Lebanon and waged preemptive war to destroy Hezbollah so that the current crisis could be avoided?

Or perhaps Kerry means that our military should join the battle on the side of Israel to bring about Hezbollah's destruction. Talk about your Cowboy Diplomacy....

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Bush's First Veto and a Couple of Questions

Bush used his first veto ever this week to stop the public funding of embryonic stem cell research. The bill passed with bi-partisan support, and the majority of the public supports it.

I disagree with the veto--go figure! Most of the embryos used for this type of research will be thrown out anyway. Why not use them to help SAVE lives? How does encouraging the disposal of embryos encourage a "culture of life"? Why has every bill that Bush has threatened to veto been supported by both parties--for instance, the McCain amendment on torture?

Jon Stewart has an interesting segment devoted to the veto that is worth seeing.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Politically Correct Correction

Since part of my job is providing destination intelligence to my firm's customers, I'm on the State Department's mailing list for travel advisories. At 11:58am today I received a Travel Warning for Israel. Note the second sentence (emphasis mine):

This Travel Warning is being issued to update information on the general security environment in Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and to reiterate threats to American citizens and U.S. interests in those respective locations. Terrorist aggression from Lebanon and numerous rocket attacks into Israel have resulted in fatalities and injuries to civilians. This is a volatile and extremely dangerous situation. In addition to this, the conduct of the Palestinian Authority government led by Hamas and actions such as the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas have caused increased instability in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Then at 12:29pm I see in my inbox a "Corrected" version of the same Travel Warning from the State Department. Later today I wondered just what the "correction" was. Was a telephone number for the US Embassy listed incorrectly? Was the web link for online travel registration bad?

Nope, it seems that the initial verbiage was just too politically incorrect for the weasels at Foggy Bottom. Look at the change to the second sentence:

This Travel Warning is being issued to update information on the general security environment in Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and to reiterate threats to American citizens and U.S. interests in those respective locations. Hizbollah continues to launch numerous rocket attacks into Israel, which have resulted in fatalities and injuries to civilians. This is a volatile and extremely dangerous situation. In addition to this, the conduct of the Palestinian Authority government led by Hamas and actions such as the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas have caused increased instability in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
So "Terrorist aggression from Lebanon" becomes "Hizbollah continues to launch". Because, of course, the wonderfully sensitive U.S. State Department simply cannot bring itself to label terrorist aggression as...terrorist aggression.

You can read the "corrected" Travel Warning at the link below; then take a look at my screen capture (click on the image for a larger version) of the original un-PC version from my inbox:

hUNman shields

Today Sissy Willis links to what she calls a "must read" piece in Opinion Journal by former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin. Babbin says that a proposal to send a UN-led force into Lebanon to "stabilize" the situation is utter folly, given the UN's past complicity with the activities of the Hezbollah terrorists, even to the point that UN forces have served as de facto "human shields" for Hezbollah:

The U.N.'s years-long record on the Israel-Lebanon border makes mockery of the term "peacekeeping." On page 155 of my book, "Inside the Asylum," is a picture of a U.N. outpost on that border. The U.N. flag and the Hezbollah flag fly side by side. Observers told me the U.N. and Hezbollah personnel share water and telephones, and that the U.N. presence serves as a shield against Israeli strikes against the terrorists.
The presence of the UNIFIL force in Lebanon (which is currently comprised of about 2,000 troops from China, France, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Ukraine) did nothing to deter Hezbollah from launching last week's cross-border raids into Israel. What makes anyone in their right mind believe that simply increasing the size of the force, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan proposes, would bring "stability" to southern Lebanon?

Bosnians in Srebrenica can tell you all you need to know about leaving your security in the hands of the United Nations, after 8,000 of their kinsmen were massacred in a UN "safe area" under the very noses of the UNPROFOR in 1995. The relatives of the nearly 1 million Tutsis butchered in Rwanda can tell you how wise it is to entrust your safety to the UN after UNAMIR failed to prevent the 1994 genocide. The hundreds of thousands of graves in Darfur should show you how smart it is to believe that the dithering UN is willing or able to field another alphabet-soup army of blue helmets to protect innocents who face mass murderers.

Those who believe that the solution to the Israel-Hezbollah crisis should rest on UN "peacekeeping" efforts are correct - if one is referring to the peace found in a graveyard.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A bunch of shit

The Middle East Media Research Institute yesterday posted a translation of an interesting interview of Sa'd Al-Hariri by the Saudi government daily Okaz. Al-Hariri is the head of Lebanon's leading political party, Al-Mustaqbal, and is the son of assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. He commented on the stand against Hezbollah that many Arab states are taking:
"The position of the [Saudi] kingdom, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states was positive, and those hypocrites [i.e. Syria and Iran] calling for battle, are in fact the people most distant from this struggle. They want to bring the region into an all-out war.
Al-Hariri description of the situation jibes with President Bush's colorful assessment of Syria's role (commenter Alex provides a link to the video clip of Bush's remarks being caught by an open mike). But instead of focusing on the actual policy implications revealed in the conversation overheard between Bush and Tony Blair, the media obsesses on the naughty word that Bush employed (Beavis to Butthead: "He said 'shit', heh-heh, heh-heh).

The Middle East may be on the brink of a regional war, and "professional" journalists devote hundreds of stories to a presidential expletive. A bunch of shit, indeed.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Arabs vs. Hezbollah

Egyptian blogger Big Pharaoh was amazed to see airborne swine at the emergency meeting of the Arab League held over the weekend:
Someone hit me right now to wake me up. I think I'm day dreaming. I can see pigs flying. The conference of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo are not, as usual, arguing over Israel, they're discussing the legitimacy of Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia is leading the camp of ministers criticizing Hezbollah.
Big Pharaoh finds it "refreshing to see the Arabs finally discussing something useful instead of the 'Israel is bad, Israel is bad' chorus". Indeed, when you have the likes of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain condemning Hezbollah's actions as "unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible" instead of engaging in the usual knee-jerk anti-Semitism, it does make one believe in winged hogs.

Hezbollah is the proxy of an non-Arab state - Iran - so perhaps this could be put down to the ages-old Persian-Arab enmity (not to mention Sunni-Shi'a enmity) - or, just maybe, these countries are finally understanding that the long-term threat to their security comes not from a tiny Jewish state, but from a nuclear armed mullahocracy whose leadership prepares for - no, hopes for - apocalypse.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Iran in the fray?

The Israel-Hezbollah war continued today, with more air strikes by Israel and more rocket attacks by Hezbollah. Pajamas Media has a great roundup of all the media and blog coverage.

Meanwhile over at the Counterterrorism Blog, Bill Roggio reports that the long-range missiles which struck the city of Haifa yesterday were Iranian made. The Iranian rocket, known as the Raad 1, has a range of up to 90 miles - whereas most of the rockets in Hezbollah's arsenal have a range of only a few miles. Moreover, according to Roggio, these longer-range weapons are under the direct command and control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in Lebanon. The IRGC is an "elite Qods Force (Iran's version of special forces) funds, trains and arms Hezbollah in Lebanon, with the assistance of Syria." If more Raad attacks are launched deep into Israel, then Iran is directly responsible.

Roggio's post references a Time magazine article entitled "Will Hizballah Go To War for Iran?". We know the answer to that one; now the question is "will Iran go to war for Hezbollah?"

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Damned if you do...

Israel's disengagement plan seems not to have worked, as events of the last few days have demonstrated. The lesson seems to be:

- Don't give up ground: get attacked
- Give up ground: get attacked

It's really not too surprising, given that Israel is dealing with an implacable Islamist enemy whose goal is to utterly destroy it. It's a good lesson for the rest of the world to learn: Jihadist extremism cannot and will not be appeased.

UPDATE: The New Republic has posted an article by one of its foreign correspondents, Yossi Klein Halevi, which describes the situation in chillingly simple and stark terms:
The next Middle East war--Israel against genocidal Islamism--has begun.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Pajamas Media is all over the terrorist bombings in Mumbai today, with updates and blogger reax.

As to my own reaction, what more can one say about such butchery that hasn't already been said? Perhaps people should be reminded about the gory history of terrorism that India has had to endure over the past decade (list of recent significant terror attacks in India from the Overseas Security Advisory Council):

March 7, 2004
14 killed in attacks on a temple and rail station in Varansi
October 29, 2005
“Black Diwali” attacks in Delhi, 66 killed
July 5, 2005
Militants attack the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya; 5 attackers and one civilian killed
August 15, 2004
Bomb blast in Assam kills 16
August 25, 2003
Car bomb blasts in Mumbai kill approx. 60
May 14, 2003
Attacks near Jammu kill more than 30
September 24, 2002

Attack on the Akshardham Temple in Gujurat kills 29
December 13, 2001
Kashmiri Muslims attack the Parliament in New Delhi; 6 police and 6 attackers killed
October 1, 2001
Attack on the Jammu-Kashmir Assembly kills about 35
February 14, 1998
13 bomb blasts in Coimbatore kill 46 and injure over 200
March 12, 1993

More than 250 killed when 13 bombs explode in Mumbai

Friday, July 07, 2006

Blowing up the "better city"

Two minutes of silence were observed in the city of London today for the anniversary of the 7/7 bombing attacks that killed 52 people last year. The city's moonbat mayor, Ken Livingstone, said that "London will never forget those we lost on July 7, 2005, and we will build a better city as the best way of remembering them."

Build a better city? No, Mayor Moron, the best way to remember them is to ensure that such a thing never happens again. You deport radical clerics who embrace Jihad, you arrest those who attempt to incite violence, and you monitor the mosques for signs of terrorist plots in the making. You make life difficult for the Islamofacists, instead of obsequiously rising in defense of them.

The Mayor's lunatic Islamoschmoozing in the days after the 7/7 attacks does nothing to appease the likes of those would would commit murder in the name of their religion, even over something as mild as a few stupid Muhammad cartoons. Remember these scenes from London earlier this year?

Sure, Mayor Livingstone, build your "better city" - even as you kowtow to those who would blow that city up.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

16 percent today - and tomorrow...?

Op-For points us to an opinion poll conducted in the UK, that shows one in six British Muslims believe the terrorists who conducted subway and bus bombings in London last July were motivated by a "just cause". Charlie at Op-For comments:

How can you be a citizen of a nation, and support attacks against it in any fashion?
I suppose the answer is that the 16% of the Muslim population in Britain have loyalties that lie outside the realm of traditional nation-state membership. A logical assumption from this is that this 16% buys in to the Al Qaeda idea of establishing a world-wide global caliphate, under Sharia law –and the best way to accomplish this is to kill some commuters in downtown London. This is a paradox for a free society: are people free to plot and support its overthrow and subversion by violent means?

While it is good that 5 out of 6 British Muslims do not believe that the terrorists' cause is just, 16% is still an astoundingly high number. Britain has to confront radical Islam directly and forcefully before it gains further traction in its Muslim community. Engaging in politically-correct "Islamoschmoozing" of the type we have recently seen in Canada will only embolden the Jihadists.