Obama’s Steep Uphill Reelection Battle Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought” “Israel Hayom” Newsletter, November 17, 2011 http://www.theettingerreport.com/OpEd/OpEd—Israel-Hayom/Obama-s-Steep-Uphill-Reelection-Battle.aspx Irrespective of the uninspiring slate of Republican presidential candidates, President Obama is facing a steep uphill reelection battle. The predicament of Obama’s presidency was highlighted during its best possible week – following the May 2, 2011 elimination [...]
It has been a full year since the earth was relieved of the weight of one Richard Holbrooke on December 13, 2010. I wanted to mark the one-year anniversary of his death since it is still many years before the world will recover from his life. While I feel I’ve already written apt eulogies, some things came up afterwards, most notably a painful-to-read piece of praise in Jerusalem Post at the time by Israeli former UN ambassador Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Gold may be “one of the good ones,” as my philo-Semitic Italian friend puts it, but he is woefully wrong about what sort of man Holbrooke was.
For those who can stomach it, Gold’s Dec. 17, 2010 rhapsody about Holbrooke was titled “If Holbrooke had been given the Israel-Palestinian file” – A former UN ambassador praises the accomplished US diplomat who died this week, and wonders what he might have achieved in this region.
Probably something is amiss when an Israeli ambassador praises a man who was also being praised by the anti-Israel Christiane Amanpour ( “Why I Mourn,” Dec. 20, 2010). And notice that this Iranian-British woman, married to yet another confused Jew, was a key instrument in getting the West to help spread Jihad in Europe, even reporting from a Christian Serb cemetery as if from a Muslim one, the dead there attributed to “Serb” brutality.
Arabic Scholar Ibn Warraq Tells “Why the West is Best”
A scathing critique of Islam from within. Interview with Ibn Warraq, the man the NY Sun called “the Bertrand Russel of Islam: “The Ayatollah Khomeini once said that there are no jokes in Islam”. You’d better believe it.
Prior to 2007, Ibn Warraq refused to show his face in public due to fears for his personal safety.
With “Why I Am Not A Muslim”, his 1995 most famous book, he became Islam’s most outspoken critic and the mentor of personalities such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Christopher Hitchens.
The New York Sun called him “the Bertrand Russell of Islam”, while others compared him to Voltaire and Spinoza. His new book, “Why the West is Best”, which has just been published by Encounter, is the most generous homage to the Western values ever written by a Muslim-born intellectual.
“Millions of people risk their lives trying to get to the West—not to Saudi Arabia or Iran or Pakistan, they flee from theocratic or other totalitarian regimes to find tolerance and freedom in the West, where life is an open book”, explains to us the English-educated Ibn Warraq. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: this triptych succinctly defines the attractiveness and superiority of Western civilization”.
Under Islam, life is a closed book. “Everything has been decided for you: the dictates of sharia and the whims of Allah set strict limits on the possible agenda of your life. A culture that engendered the spiritual creations of Mozart and Beethoven, of Raphael and Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt does not need lessons in spirituality from societies whose vision of heaven resembles a cosmic brothel stocked with virgins for men’s pleasure.
Man-made global warming is scientific fraud propounded by ‘scientists’ unfit to shine Einstein’s shoes, promoted by misanthropic scoundrels, anti-energy wastrels and hippies with an Oedipal complex about Mother Earth.
“While Mecca grows, its arrogance stirring up wars around the world, as Riyadh, Dubai and Kuwait City have their day, the cities of the West crumble and Jerusalem stands besieged on all sides. The choice between Mecca and Jerusalem has civilizational implications, it is the choice between slavery and freedom, between ignorance and knowledge, and between darkness and light.”
Forget Athens and Jerusalem, the new dialectic is between Mecca and Jerusalem. On one side is support for the spread of a repressive theocratic ideology across the region and around the world through violence and intimidation, on the other side is the rise of indigenous states from the pre-Islamic era employing technology and ingenuity to transform the region.
Next Steps in North Korea Posted By Alan W. Dowd
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/12/26/next-steps-in-north-korea/
“North Korea as we know it is over,” according to Victor Cha, Asian affairs specialist to President George W. Bush from 2004 to 2007. “Whether it comes apart in the next few weeks or over several months, the regime will not be able to hold together after the untimely death of its leader, Kim Jong-il.”
For the sake of discussion, let’s stipulate that Cha is correct. If the Kim Dynasty’s days are indeed numbered, what will the end look like?
History offers some helpful, if not always uplifting, examples of how North Korea could collapse.
The ideal parallels—the economic liberalization of China and the bloodless reunification of East and West Germany—also seem the least likely.
The prospect of North Korea following China into quasi-capitalism seems remote, at least for now. This is a closed society, an economy smaller than virtually every state in the U.S., a country whose most lucrative exports are retrofitted Soviet-era missiles and counterfeit $100 bills, a place where citizens are required to donate food to the armed forces.
Muslim Terror for Christmas Posted By Daniel Greenfield
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/12/26/muslim-terror-for-christmas/
Two years ago as two-hundred eighty-nine people sat on a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit studying their watches, flipping through their Kindles and hoping they would make it home in time, among them sat a devout Muslim with a packet of Pentaerythritol tetranitrate sewn into his underwear.
At his trial Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab said,
“In late 2009, in fulfillment of a religious obligation, I decided to participate in jihad against the United States. The Koran obliges every able Muslim to participate in jihad and fight in the way of Allah, those who fight you, and kill them wherever you find them.”
On Northwest Airlines Flight 253, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab “found” hundreds of people returning home for the holidays. Had he spent more time studying explosives and less time memorizing verses of the Koran, his plot to murder them might have succeeded. But had he spent less time reading the Koran perhaps he would have never tried to carry out his act of religious mass murder.
The Persecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff Posted By Jamie Glazov http://frontpagemag.com/2011/12/26/the-persecution-of-elisabeth-sabaditsch-wolff/print/ Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a free speech activist who was charged last year in Austria with “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion” for asserting that “Mohammed had a thing for little girls.” In February of this year she was [...]
The Long Rough Awakening of Russia Posted By Claudia Rosett
URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/claudiarosett/the-long-rough-awakening-of-russia/
Twenty years ago this Christmas day, Mikhail Gorbachev gave a speech announcing “I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” And with that, the totalitarian and murderous construct of the USSR, already uncoupled earlier that month by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the presidents of Ukraine and Belarus, was no more.
These were monumental events. Yet so tumultuous is the world right now that the 20th anniversary of the Soviet collapse is figuring as little more than a footnote in the news. In Russia itself, the events of the hour are the protests against the reign of Vladimir Putin, with tens of thousands of people bravely demonstrating in the freezing streets, alleging foul play in the recent parliamentary elections and, as the AFP reports , carrying banners with slogans such as “We woke up and this is only the beginning.”
If so, it has been a long beginning. Twenty years have passed since Russia officially embarked on its awakening. An entire new generation has come of age, and the years since Christmas of 1991 have been filled with trouble, disappointments, crude grabs for Russia’s colossal natural resources, the fading of freedoms once promised, and the rise of a new autocracy. There would be room for a more joyous celebration of the Soviet collapse, were there less call to deplore a great deal of what has followed.
Civil War as the Second-Best Option Posted By David P. Goldman
URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2011/12/23/civil-war-as-the-second-best-option/
The best is the enemy of the good, Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. liked to say. The best option for the Muslim states of the Middle East and Western and Central Asia is liberal democracy. That, I have argued for years, is unattainable. For years, the second-best option was a dictatorship friendly to American interests. That option collapsed with the Tunisia uprising a year ago, when it became clear that the dictatorships could not even reward subservience with nutritional security (as I wrote last Feb. 2 under the title, “Food and Failed Arab States“). Sixty years of Nasserite dictatorship left Egypt with 45% illiteracy, unemployed and unemployable youth, and 50% dependency on food imports.
Now the options in Egypt appear to be stable rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, or disintegration. Which benefits American interests more?
The options in Syria are similar: continuing civil war between Muslim Brotherhood-led Sunnis and the Alawite Assad regime. Which do we prefer — a stable ally of Iran, or chaos?