Displaying posts published in

February 2012


Heroine Stupor Wanted Women, a new joint biography of two Muslim women, refuses to distinguish between an al-Qaida terrorist and a feminist intellectual

There are occasionally some books that are so deeply unpleasant, indeed repulsive, that one feels like washing one’s hands after reading them. Dripping with unremitting bias, and utterly missing the big picture, such books leave one despairing of the moral vacuum in which they were written. Such a work is the American journalist Deborah Scroggins’ new book Wanted Women, which explicitly seeks to draw a parallel between the lives of two women she presents as “mirror images” in the war against terror: the Pakistani-born convicted Islamist terrorist Aafia Siddiqui and the Somali-born campaigner for Muslim women’s rights, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

One understands immediately why Siddiqui might justify the term “Wanted” in the book’s title: She featured on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list in May 2004. Yet the only way in which the word applies to Hirsi Ali is that since a fatwa was pronounced upon her after the murder of her friend, the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, the same year, Islamic fundamentalists have wanted to murder her. It is precisely this loose, facile equation of a lawful, constitutional, democratic entity such as the FBI with vicious murderers like van Gogh’s killer Mohammed Bouyeri, who beheaded the filmmaker one November morning in Amsterdam, that makes this book so thoroughly objectionable. Besides a couple of mea culpa sentences that are clearly inserted for pro forma reasons, Scroggins’ entire leitmotif drips with despicable moral equivalism. She even devotes alternate chapters to each woman throughout the book.



Protesters threw shoes at UN chief Ban Ki-moon as he entered Gaza on Thursday, condemning Israel’s blockade and Ban’s refusal to meet the families of Palestinian prisoners.

Ban’s convoy came under assault from about 50 protesters as it crossed into the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory only hours after eight rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza.

The protesters threw sand and stones, or tried to hit the cars with chairs and blocks of wood. They toted pictures of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel and placards reading “Ban Ki-moon enough bias for Israel.”

More demonstrations awaited Ban, on his third visit to Gaza since Israel’s three week war with Hamas in early 2008.

At a UN-run housing project in the Khan Younis district, about 25 youths shouted slogans and held banners saying “We demand a trial for Israel’s leaders.”

Local civil groups and businessmen boycotted a planned lunch with the UN leader because relatives of some of the 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails were not allowed to attend.

A statement signed by Gaza rights activists and businessmen said they had “received an unjustified negative response” that Ban would not meet the relatives.

The group noted how he had met with the family of an Israeli soldier who was captured by Gaza militants in 2006 and held incommunicado for five years. The Palestinian Liberation Organization apologised for the protests however.

Ban later said he had been warned in advance there would be demonstrators. “I try to understand their concerns. I know that many people in Gaza are frustrated. It is understandable and natural,” he told reporters travelling with him.

He also released a statement saying he was “concerned about the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails” and had raised conditions with Israel’s prisons minister.

Ban discussed Gaza with Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak at a dinner before leaving Israel, a UN spokesman said. Ban “urged the defence minister to take further steps to improve conditions in Gaza.”

Israel limits imports and exports from the territory, citing security concerns and the need to deny access to weapons and money to Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organisation.

But much of the international community, including the United Nations, believes the restrictions unfairly harm the 450,000 population.

“Israel has taken some measures to ease the closure. More must be done,” Ban told Palestinians in Khan Younis.

“I am pressing hard for policy changes so that the United Nations can do its essential work,” he added, calling for Gaza to be able to trade “without restrictions.”

Balancing his comments, Ban also condemned the firing of rockets into Israel which he called “unacceptable”.

“People from Gaza must stop firing rockets onto the Israeli side,” he told the news conference in Khan Yunis. Back in Israel, he visited a school near the Gaza frontier where one student was killed by a rocket in 2008.

Ban’s noisy trip to Gaza was part of a tour of Israel and the Palestinian territories intended to convince the two sides to hold new meetings on ways to kick-start direct negotiations. He also went to Jordan which has hosted five unofficial meetings in recent weeks.

The UN leader warned that time is running out for a peace settlement in a speech to a security conference at Herzliya, near Tel Aviv.

“Negotiations will go nowhere without a shared sense of urgency and a genuine determination to succeed,” he told an audience which included Barak and top officials and academics.

“The Palestinians must engage, seriously, on security. Israel must engage, seriously, on territory.”

With the Jordan contacts showing no signs of ending the freeze on full negotiations since September 2010, Ban has this week urged Israel to make “goodwill gestures” to tempt the Palestinians back to talks.

Amid reports that the international community wants Israel to take confidence-building measures, US envoy to the Middle East, David Hale, held talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Thursay. No details of their discussions were released.



“After the hoopla died down, Rustin retreated to his second-floor classroom, where posters of the rapper Tupac Shakur and revolutionary Che Guevara adorned the walls.”

Surprised Pasadena teacher receives national honor.At a student achievement assembly he helped organize at Muir High School, Manuel Rustin is stunned to learn that the Milken Family Foundation chairman had come to present the Milken Educator Award.
Manuel Rustin sat among the audience Tuesday in the crowded auditorium at John Muir High School in Pasadena, enjoying the student achievement assembly he helped organize.Speakers, including state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, lauded the students for their academic gains, cheerleaders performed and the ROTC led the crowd in a flag salute. Then an elaborate ruse was revealed.Rustin was presented with the Milken Educator Award, an honor given to 39 teachers nationwide this year that comes with a $25,000 prize. The award, presented by the Milken Family Foundation, was created in 1987 to motivate talented teachers in a profession that doesn’t typically come with lavish financial rewards.

As his name was called, Rustin bowed his head. Students surrounding him jumped to their feet. The teacher emerged from the crowd, the only collar-and-tie in a mass of hoodies and jackets.

He took a seat on the stage, absorbing the moment.


Big-Government Republicans By Andrew C. McCarthy

Forget the fratricidal warfare between two establishment soldiers so harmonious on substance that their contest, inevitably, has descended into a poisonous, personal food-fight. The problem is not the GOP infighting. The problem is the GOP. Republicans are simply not interested in limiting government or addressing our death spiral of spending.

My weekend column was about the dog-and-pony show that congressional Republicans just put on to snow you into thinking they oppose the $2.4 trillion debt-ceiling increase they actually approved only six months ago. Now, get ready for House Republicans to unveil their $260 billion transportation bill.

The federal government should not be in the transportation business at all. A federal role was rationalized in the mid-Fifties to finance the construction of interstate highways. As National Review’s editors observed in 2005, that project was completed in the early Eighties, at which time the fuel tax that funded it should have been repealed and the upkeep of highways left to the states. “Instead,” they wrote, “Congress morphed the program into a slush fund for some of its most indefensible pork-barrel spending.”



Political scientist Francis Fukuyama was once the darling of American neo-conservatives. In a SPIEGEL interview, the author of “The End of History” explains why he now believes that the excesses of capitalism are a threat to democracy and asks why there is no “Tea Party on the left.”

SPIEGEL: Professor Fukuyama, you are best known for your essay “The End of History,” in which you declared that, after the demise of the Soviet Union, liberal democracy had emerged as the triumphant global model. Now, your latest research claims that the flaws of capitalism and globalization could endanger this democratic model. How do you explain this shift?

Fukuyama: Capitalism is the wrong word to use here, because there is not a viable alternative to capitalism.What we are really talking about is just economic growth and the development of modern economic societies. A combination of factors is beginning to challenge their progress in the United States. We have had a lot of technological change that substituted for low-skill labor and made many people in Western democracies lose their jobs.SPIEGEL: Which is why countries such as the United States or Britain wanted to turn themselves into “service-oriented” economies.

Fukuyama: We have unthinkingly embraced a certain version of globalization that assumed we had to move very quickly into this post-industrial, post-manufacturing world. Doing so, we forgot that the whole reason real socialism never took off in the US was the fact that the modern economy seemed to produce middle-class societies in which the bulk of the population could enjoy a middle-class status. They worked in industries that were abolished in our countries and transferred to countries like China.




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) President Obama, in his State of the Union Address, said he will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and that all options to prevent that are on the table.More importantly, Obama said the Islamic regime, which fuels terrorism worldwide and oppresses its own people at home, could still rejoin the international community “if it changes course and meets its obligations.” That is not going to happen — despite glimmers of hope after a trip of UN nuclear inspectors to Iran this week.

As a former CIA spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, I wrote a cautionary, open letter to President Obama when he took office three years ago. I said I was worried that he failed to see the realities of the regime’s fanaticism.

In offering to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program, Mr. Obama must have believed that the aggressive policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush, were to blame for the lack of progress. But I reminded the new president of the long history of attempted rapprochement by every US administration, each attempt ending in failure.

I explained that the very ideology of Iran’s Islamic leaders was the sole reason for no progress in a negotiated settlement. They simply would not close an honest deal with infidels.



The GOP is signing its own political death warrant by backing him.

Mitt Romney’s plastic and philosophically vapid campaign secured an easy victory in Florida on Tuesday night. Sunshine state GOP voters swallowed his “electability” argument whole, according to the exit polls. It appears that country club Republicans have succeeded again in duping the GOP electorate into crowning a “centrist” Republican. Never mind that “centrist” Republicans rarely win the center. They usually lose the center while sapping the spirit of the party’s conservative base.

Out of Bob Dole’s and John McCain’s tattered Big Tent steps another “reformed” RINO, Mitt Romney, who will receive, should he win the nomination, a similar thumping from the Democrats.



Matthew Boyle at the Daily Caller has this late breaking blockbuster story:

A U.S. Justice Department source has told The Daily Caller that at least two DOJ prosecutors accepted cash bribes from allegedly corrupt finance executives who were indicted under court seal within the past 13 months, but never arrested or prosecuted.

The sitting governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, his attorney general and an unspecified number of Virgin Islands legislators also accepted bribes, the source said, adding that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is aware prosecutors and elected officials were bribed and otherwise compromised, but has not held anyone accountable.

The bribed officials, an attorney with knowledge of the investigation told TheDC, remain on the taxpayers’ payroll at the Justice Department without any accountability. The DOJ source said Holder does not want to admit public officials accepted bribes while under his leadership.

Go read the whole report. You might also want to revisit our reporting here at PJ Media last year about the DOJ’s scuttling of the impending terror finance prosecution of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) co-founder Omar Ahmad and the money laundering/tax evasion prosecutions of the executives of the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT).


Fisking Eric Holder’s Prepared Remarks for the Fast and Furious Hearing Posted By Patrick Richardson

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/blog/fisking-eric-holders-prepared-remarks-for-the-fast-and-furious-hearing/

On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder will find himself in the hot seat as he again faces questions before Chairman Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The testimony he plans to enter for the record [1] was obtained by PJ Media. Portions of the testimony (followed by my own dissection) follow:

Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings, and members of the Committee, I am here today because I understand and appreciate the importance of congressional oversight, and because I am committed to ensuring the highest standards of integrity and professionalism at the Department of Justice. That’s precisely what I pledged to do – exactly three years ago tomorrow – when I was sworn in as Attorney General. And it is exactly what I have done.

Really? Because I thought Holder actually sent Congress documents which were a lie and had to be retracted [2], had one of his employees admit his testimony before Issa’s committee “lacked completeness,” and so politicized his office that former employees have written books about the corruption [3]within his Justice Department.


No More ‘Peace Talks,’ Please Posted By Shoshana Bryen

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/blog/no-more-peace-talks-please/

The current round of Israeli-Palestinian meetings in Jordan ended with a Palestinian decision to leave. “The Israelis brought nothing new in these meetings,” said one official, without bothering to note the obvious — neither did the Palestinians.

The talks were the result of a Quartet plan to have Israelis and Palestinians make proposals on territory and security in hopes of reaching a deal in 2012. Questions abound, but the most important is, “How many more times will this farce be played out without recognition of the real and incompatible bottom lines of the two parties?”

It is that fundamental incompatibility — not the lack of pressure or lack of bribes — that prevents the present creation of the mythical “two-state solution” embedded in the Oslo Accords, negotiated without U.S. participation, and signed in 1993.