Archive for January 9th, 2009

Hamas In Their Own Voices

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Those of you who like to defend Islam as the relgion of peace, take a look at this and see just how ‘peaceful’ they are. And just for the record, this video was made before Israel took action in Gaza.

“Hamas, Israel and the American Media” by Mike Gallagher

Friday, January 9th, 2009

One day before I die, I will finally understand why liberals, especially Jewish liberals, fail to fully support Israel in its right to survive terror attacks.

For months, Hamas has lobbed rockets into Southern Israel. Thousands of them, in fact. Israel decided enough was enough, that it was time to do everything possible to stamp out these implementers of terror.

The worldwide condemnation was immediate. The midnight oils burned at the United Nations as documents were prepared and meetings were held to determine ways to demand that Israel stop defending itself.

And even a popular Jewish television personality like Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) wonders aloud on national TV why politicians aren’t allowed to criticize tiny Israel, a place surrounded by an angry, huge Arab world that is hellbent on driving it into the ocean.

As Stewart said, the entire Mideast situation is a mess. Of course it’s complicated and nuanced.

But for me, things get pretty simple when I know that one side wants the other side dead.

Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Arab terror groups are committed to the destruction of Israel, a position supported by millions in the Muslim world.

All Israel wants to do is survive.

If Canada suddenly started raining rockets down on Buffalo, New York, I wonder if there would be worldwide condemnation over the United States’ inevitable “disproportionate response.”

Not likely.

When I have guests on my radio show to discuss the Mideast, I often ask them why they believe so many liberal Americans don’t have the wisdom to defend Israel.

Jackie Mason, one of the funniest people on the planet, told me he thinks it has something to do with liberals and Jews feeling oppressed and maligned and always longing for an underdog, and that they have somehow (stupidly) convinced themselves that the Palestinians are underdogs.

But perhaps the most astute observation came from Bill Gertz of the Washington Times. He believes that many American liberals, who have an utter contempt for the United States already, simply view Israel as a U.S. outpost in the Middle East. They resent the military might of our own country and they view Israel an extension of that dominance.

I think that’s as good an explanation as I’ve ever heard.

Read the entire article here.

Obama: Let’s Postpone Digital TV Switch

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Well, I’m going to completely agree with Obama on this one. The DTV switch is pretty much an unfunded mandate.
I’m glad that it wasn’t in effect during Hurricane Ike. We used a portable (analog) TV, running on batteries for several days after the storm passed through.
It’s not a good plan and the country is not ready for it.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama is urging Congress to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels won’t be ready.

In a letter to key lawmakers Thursday, Obama transition team co-chair John Podesta noted that the Commerce Department has run out of money for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers.

People who don’t have cable or satellite service or a new TV with a digital tuner will need the converter boxes to keep their older analog sets working.

Obama officials are also concerned that the government is not doing enough to help Americans — particularly those in rural, poor or minority communities — prepare for and navigate the transition.

“With coupons unavailable, support and education insufficient, and the most vulnerable Americans exposed, I urge you to consider a change to the legislatively mandated analog cutoff date,” Podesta wrote.

In 2005, Congress required that broadcasters switch from analog to digital broadcasts, which are more efficient, to free up valuable chunks of wireless spectrum. [basically it’s a government revenue grab. they will sell the newly freed up spectrum to the highest bidders. -ed]

The newly available room in the airwaves can be used for commercial wireless services and for emergency-response networks.

Original Link.

UN Passes Gaza Cease-Fire Resolution

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Of course they did. As always, the U.N. sits on it’s hands while the Pali terrorist kill and injure innocent Israeli women and children, but let Israel defend herself and they chime in very quickly. I’m sure it’s the normal one-sided, “bad Israel, good Pali terrorist” document they are so famous for passing.

With a surprise US abstention, the UN Security Council overcame intense divisions and overwhelmingly approved a resolution Thursday night urging an immediate and durable Gaza cease-fire.

The 14-0 vote followed three days of intense negotiations between ministers from key Arab nations and the council’s veto-wielding Western powers – the United States, Britain and France.

The United States and Arab nations negotiated the text of the resolution. But it will be up to Israel and Hamas to decide to stop their military activities.

In Israel on Friday morning, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni were meeting to decide whether to heed the UN’s call. The Security Cabinet was due to meet later.

Original Link.

Israeli Foreign Minister: No Agreements With Terrorists

Friday, January 9th, 2009

My sentiments exactly.

( Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told foreign ambassadors in Israel on Thursday that Israel’s campaign in Gaza is part of the international effort against terrorism. She told the ambassadors not to equate Israel with the jihadist Hamas terrorist organization.

Speaking with the ambassadors at the Foreign Ministry’s humanitarian aid command center, Livni said that Operation Cast Lead is a “struggle… against terror and it cannot end in agreements with it. In order for there to be quiet here one must defeat it, not come to any arrangement with it.”

Addressing the specific possibility of negotiations with Hamas, the Foreign Minister said, “Don’t expect that we will find a way to create an agreement with Hamas. It won’t happen. The only agreements we can make are among us against terrorism. This war we are waging is part of the war waged by the international community throughout the world and I expect of you not to equate us with Hamas.”

The immediate benefit of the Gaza campaign, Livni explained is that it made it “clear” to Hamas that “the equation has changed. Until now they attacked us and now they understand that when they attack us, we respond and will not accept a situation in which our citizens are under attack.”

Unlike Hamas, Foreign Minister Livni noted that “Israel makes a distinction between Hamas and the civilian population and believes in the need to allow humanitarian aid to reach the [Gaza] Strip. When we open the humanitarian corridors, Hamas shoots.” The jihadist regime in Gaza “takes advantage of the desire to assist the Palestinian population and commits its terrorism from among that population. Israel attempts, in its operations, to avoid harming civilians, but in a war like this, unfortunately, there are those who pay the price for Hamas hiding behind the population.”

Original Link.

“The Gaza Rules” by Victor Davis Hanson

Friday, January 9th, 2009

The Israelis just struck back hard at Hamas in Gaza. In response, the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab world (at least publicly) expressed their anger at the killing of over 300 Palestinians, most of whom were terrorists and Hamas officials.

For several prior weeks, Hamas terrorists had been daily launching rockets into Israeli towns that border Gaza. The recent volleys of missiles had insidiously become more frequent — up to 80 a day — and the payloads larger. Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists were reportedly supplying their own training and expertise.

These terrorists point to the Lebanon war of 2006 as the proper template for provoking an Israeli counter-response that will bog down the Israeli Defense Forces in the streets of urban Gaza and ensure that Palestinian civilians are harmed on global television.

Watching both this week’s war and the world’s predictable reaction to it, we can recall the Gaza rules. Most are reflections of our postmodern age, and completely at odds with the past protocols of war.

First is the now-familiar Middle East doctrine of proportionality. Legitimate military action is strangely defined by the relative strength of the combatants. World opinion more vehemently condemns Israel’s countermeasures, apparently because its rockets are far more accurate and deadly than previous Hamas barrages that are poorly targeted and thus not so lethal.

If America had accepted such rules in, say, World War II, then by late 1944 we, not the Axis, would have been the culpable party, since by then once-aggressive German, Italian and Japanese forces were increasingly on the defensive and far less lethal than the Allies.

Second, intent in this war no longer matters. Every Hamas unguided rocket is launched in hopes of hitting an Israeli home and killing men, women and children. Every guided Israeli air-launched missile is targeted at Hamas operatives, who deliberately work in the closest vicinity to women and children.

Killing Palestinian civilians is incidental to Israeli military operations and proves counterproductive to its objectives. Blowing up Israeli non-combatants is the aim of Hamas’ barrages: the more children, aged and women who die, the more it expects political concessions from Tel Aviv.

By this logic, the 1999 American bombing of Belgrade — aimed at stopping the genocide of Slobodan Milosevic — was, because of collateral damage, the moral equivalent of the carefully planned Serbian massacres of Muslim civilians at Srebrenica in 1995.

Third, culpability is irrelevant. The “truce” between Israel and Hamas was broken once Hamas got its hands on new stockpiles of longer-range mobile rockets — weapons that are intended to go over Israel’s border walls.

Yet, according to the Gaza rules, both sides always deserve equal blame. Indeed, this weird war mimics the politically correct, zero-tolerance policies of our public schools, where both the bully and his victim are suspended once physical violence occurs.

According to such morally equivalent reasoning, World War II was only a tragedy, not a result of German aggression. Once the dead mounted up, it mattered little what were the catalysts of the outbreak of fighting.

Fourth, with instantaneous streaming video from the impact sites in Gaza, context becomes meaningless. Our attention is glued to the violence of the last hour, not that of the last month that incited the war.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 to great expectations that the Palestinians there would combine their new autonomy, some existing infrastructure left behind by the Israelis, Middle East oil money and American pressure for free and open elections to craft a peaceful, prosperous democracy.

The world hoped that Gaza might thrive first, and then later adjudicate its ongoing disputes with Israel through diplomacy. Instead, the withdrawal was seen not as a welcome Israeli concession, but as a sign of newfound Jewish weakness — and that the intifada tactics that had liberated Gaza could be amplified into a new war to end the Zionist entity itself.

Fifth and finally, victimization is crucial. Hamas daily sends barrages into Israel, as its hooded thugs thump their chests and brag of their radical Islamic militancy. But when the payback comes, suddenly warriors are transmogrified into weeping victims, posing teary-eyed for the news camera as they deplore “genocide” and “the Palestinian Holocaust.” At least the Japanese militarists did not cry out to the League of Nations for help once mean Marines landed on Iwo Jima.

By now, these Gaza asymmetrical rules are old hat. We know why they persist — worldwide fear of Islamic terrorism, easy anti-Westernism, the old anti-Semitism, and global strategic calculations about Middle East oil — but it still doesn’t make them right.

Original Link.

Read these other great commentaries by Victor Davis Hanson:

Surreal Gaza.
A Lose-Lose World.