ZUBAIR, Iraq (AP) — An Iraqi health official says the death toll from a bomb attack on Shiite pilgrims near the southern port city of Basra has risen to 53 people.

The head of the Basra provincial health directorate Dr. Riyadh Abdul-Amir says hospitals received 53 killed and 137 wounded after the blast. He says some of the wounded are in serious condition, and warns the death toll may rise further.

The explosion was the latest in a series of attacks during Shiite religious commemorations that threaten to further increase sectarian tensions.

The attack occurred near the town of Zubair as pilgrims marched toward a Shiite shrine on the outskirts of the town.


Associated Press writers Bushra Juhi, Sameer N. Yacoub, Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Adam Schreck contributed reporting.


In the 2010 election the New Hampshire Republican party took 298 out of 400 house seats, 19 out of 24 state-senate seats, and all five seats on the executive council. A little over a year later, in the state’s presidential primary, the same (more or less) electorate gave over 56 percent of its votes to a couple of moneyed “moderates,” one of whom served in the Obama administration and the other of whom left no trace in office other than the pilot program for Obamacare. Another 23 percent voted for Ron Paul. Supporters of the three other “major” candidates in the race argue that, if only the other two fellows would clear off, a viable conservative alternative to Mitt Romney would emerge. In fact, even if you combine Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum’s share of the vote, it adds up to a mere 19.5 percent: Were Bain Capital to come in and restructure the “conservative” candidates into one streamlined and efficient Newt Perrtorum, this unstoppable force would be competitive with Jon Huntsman.

According to George Mason University’s annual survey of freedom in the 50 states, New Hampshire is the freest state in the union, so one would expect there to be takers for Ron Paul’s message. On the other hand, facing a very different electorate in Iowa, Paul pulled pretty much an identical share of the poll. It may be time for those of us on the right to consider whether it’s not so much the conservative vote that’s split but whether conservatism itself is fracturing.


Into The Fray: The first of a two-part analysis of why Israel is losing the international battle for hearts and minds.

Israel has made itself defenseless. Israel has vacated the battleground of the mind. Israeli ‘hasbara’ is a JOKE! – British columnist Melanie Phillips, IBA Television, 2011

One of the gravest strategic threats facing Israel is its accelerating international delegitimization. This is developing into a strategic constraint that is increasingly curtailing the nation’s ability to protect itself and its citizens. Even more troubling, it is undermining international recognition of Israel’s right to exercise self-defense, even in the most blatant cases of aggression against it.

Strategic debacle
Without wishing to diminish the significance of innate hostility towards Israel and the Jews from many sources in the international system, the present dismal and untenable situation has arisen in large measure because of the abysmal job the Israeli leadership has done in conducting – or more accurately, misconducting – its public diplomacy.

Indeed, Prof. Eitan Gilboa, a well-known authority on public diplomacy, warns: “The lack of an adequate PD [public diplomacy] program has significantly affected Israel’s strategic outlook and freedom of action. Any further neglect of PD would not only restrict Israel’s strategic options, it would be detrimental to its ability to survive in an increasingly intolerant and hostile world.”

Many find it puzzling why Israel – with its proven record of extraordinary achievement in so many other fields of human endeavor – does such a poor job in presenting its case to the world.

Hannah Arendt and the Origins of Israelophobia
The great antitotalitarian thinker was no friend to the Jewish state.
Winter 2012

In last year’s extensive commentary marking the 50th anniversary of the Eichmann trial, one name—Hannah Arendt—was mentioned nearly as often as that of the trial’s notorious defendant. It’s hard to think of another major twentieth-century event so closely linked with one author’s interpretation of it. Arendt, who fled Nazi Germany at 27, was already an internationally renowned scholar and public intellectual when she arrived in Jerusalem in April 1961 to cover the trial for The New Yorker. Arendt’s five articles, which were then expanded into the 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, proved hugely controversial. Many Jewish readers—and non-Jews, too—were shocked by three principal themes in Arendt’s report: her portrayal of Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion as the cynical puppet master manipulating the trial to serve the state’s Zionist ideology; her assertion that Eichmann was a faceless, unthinking bureaucrat, a cog in the machinery of the Final Solution rather than one of its masterminds; and her accusation that leaders of the Judenräte (Jewish councils) in Nazi-occupied Europe had engaged in “sordid and pathetic” behavior, making it easier for the Nazis to manage the logistics of the extermination process.

Since the publication of Eichmann in Jerusalem, serious scholars have debunked the most inflammatory of Arendt’s charges. Nevertheless, for today’s defamers of Israel, Arendt is a patron saint, a courageous Jewish intellectual who saw Israel’s moral catastrophe coming. These leftist intellectuals don’t merely believe, as Arendt did, that she was the victim of “excommunication” for the sin of criticizing Israel. Their homage to Arendt runs deeper. In fact, their campaign to delegitimize the state of Israel and exile it from the family of nations—another kind of excommunication, if you will—derives several of its themes from Arendt’s writings on Zionism and the Holocaust. Those writings, though deeply marred by political naivety and personal rancor, have now metastasized into a destructive legacy that undermines Israel’s ability to survive as a lonely democracy, surrounded by hostile Islamic societies.

One might imagine the young Hannah Arendt as the heroine of a Philip Roth novel about a precocious Jewish undergraduate having an affair with her famous professor. According to her late biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Arendt grew up in a completely assimilated middle-class Jewish family in Königsberg, the capital of East Prussia. She identified herself as fully German by virtue of her love of the Muttersprache (mother tongue) and of German Kultur. The word “Jew,” Arendt would later recall, “was never mentioned” in her home; the only religion there was her mother’s ardent socialism.

In 1924, at 18, Arendt went to study philosophy at the University of Marburg, where Martin Heidegger was establishing his reputation as the most important continental philosopher of the twentieth century. Like many of Heidegger’s brilliant Jewish students (Herbert Marcuse was another), Arendt was mesmerized by his lectures. Heidegger, in turn, quickly recognized Arendt’s intellectual gifts and agreed to mentor her dissertation. He also became her secret lover, though he was more than twice her age and married with children. A decade later, Heidegger became a committed member of the Nazi Party and the head of the University of Freiburg, where he encouraged his students to give the Nazi salute and enthusiastically carried out the party’s directive to purge all Jews from the faculty.

Fearing a public scandal if their relationship were discovered, Heidegger sent Arendt to Heidelberg to finish her studies with his friend Karl Jaspers, who became Arendt’s second dissertation advisor and her lifelong friend. Arendt was just 23, and had been trained by two of the world’s greatest philosophers, when her treatise on Saint Augustine was accepted by one of Germany’s most prestigious academic publishers and was reviewed in several leading philosophical journals.

Up to this point, the young woman seems hardly to have given a thought to the “Jewish question” in Germany. But the rise of Nazism forced Arendt to act and think as a Jew for the first time in her life. Many of her university friends believed, in traditionally Marxist fashion, that the way to fight anti-Semitism was through the broader struggle for international socialism. Arendt had the foresight to see that if even deracinated Jews like herself found themselves under attack as Jews, they had to fight back as Jews. She praised the German Zionists for doing just that. In Berlin in 1933, she courageously carried out an illegal mission for her friend Kurt Blumenthal, the German Zionist leader. Her assignment was to collect material from the state archives documenting the Nazi-dominated government’s anti-Jewish measures, which would then be presented at the next Zionist Congress in Prague. Arendt was caught, arrested, and sent to jail for eight days.

That experience led Arendt to make the painful decision to flee Germany. Later that year, she illegally crossed the Czech border and settled temporarily in Prague. Eventually, she joined the growing community of stateless, destitute German Jewish refugees in Paris. There she worked for Youth Aliyah, the Zionist group that sent the children of Jewish refugees to Palestine. She studied Hebrew and declared to a friend: “I want to get to know my people.” She wasn’t committed to any Zionist party or even to the necessity of a sovereign Jewish state. But she now believed that immigration to Palestine and building the Jewish homeland there were honorable responses to the Nazi assault on the Jews.

Soon after the fall of France, Arendt and her husband, the communist Heinrich Blücher, were among the lucky few to obtain visas to the United States. Arendt was penniless when she arrived in New York in May 1941, but for her first few months in America she maintained herself with a $70 monthly allotment from the Zionist Organization of America, which helped Jewish refugees. Though she wasn’t fluent in English, her absorption into New York intellectual circles was seamless. Within a year, she had mastered the language well enough to write a scholarly article on the Dreyfus Affair for the prestigious academic journal Jewish Social Studies. She was then offered a regular column in the German Jewish weekly Aufbau. For the duration of the war, she used that platform and other publications to comment on the two most important issues facing the Jews—the struggle against Nazism and the future of the Jewish homeland in Palestine after the war.

During much of that period, Arendt wrote as a committed Zionist. She referred to Zionism as “the national liberation movement of the Jewish people,” for example, and she praised the socialist Zionist parties representing “the workers” in Palestine: “For if the Jews are to live in Palestine by right and not by sufferance, it will only be by the right they have earned and continue to earn every day with their labor” (the emphasis is hers, and these translations of the Aufbau columns are from a collection of her work called The Jewish Writings). Arendt’s intentions in supporting Jewish settlement in Palestine were sincere, but her writing displayed an astonishing lack of political judgment—as in her belief that the accomplishments of Jewish “labor” might somehow win Arab acceptance of Jewish rights in Palestine.

In her very first Aufbau column, Arendt suggested the creation of a Jewish army—independent of any nation, but under Allied command—to fight the Nazis. The project reflected the political lesson that she had learned from her own experience with Nazism: “You can only defend yourself as the person you are attacked as. A person attacked as a Jew cannot defend himself as an Englishman or Frenchman” (again, the emphasis is hers).



Jew Persecution Over Says Envoy
Washington, March 27, 1933 (INS)

Secretary of State Hull today was “greatly relieved” at the official report from the American embassy in Berlin that mistreatment of Jews in Germany had abated and the Hitler regime was doing its best to curb further persecution.

The report: received at the state department over the week-end said physical mistreatment of Jews “may be considered virtually terminated.”

Secretary Hull immediately sent this reassuring information to leading American Jews and Jewish organizations who had complained of the alleged persecution of their religious brethren under Hitlerism.

In his telegraph the secretary said the “feeling had been widespread in Germany that following a political readjustment as has recently taken place some time must elapse before a state of equilibrium could be re-established.

“In the opinion of the embassy,” he added, “such a stabilization appears to have been reached in the field of personal mistreatment and there are indications that in other phases the situation is improving.”
Nazi Drive on Jews Under Control Now: US Investigation Shows No Cause for Protest (AP)

March 26, 1933

“A reply has now been received indicating that whereas there was for a short time considerable physical mistreatment of Jews, this phase may be considered virtually terminated. There was also some picketing of Jewish merchandising stores and instances of professional discrimination.

“These manifestations were viewed with serious concern by the German government. Hitler in his capacity as leader of the Nazi party issued an order calling upon his followers to maintain law and order, to avoid molesting foreigners, disrupting trade and to avoid the creation of potentially embarrassing international incidents.”

(from the Hull telegram)
Sec. Hull Again Apologizes to Germany for “Insults”

Washington March 17, 1937 (AP)

A second protest by the German government against anti-Hitler remarks by Mayor LaGuardia of New York drew a fresh apology today from Secretary Hull.

The German ambassador, Hans Luther, delivered the protest in a 55 minute conversation with the secretary of state. He complained that LaGuardia insulted Hitler by declaring at an anti-Nazi rally in New York that Hitler was a “man without honor”.
Exodus of German Jews can’t begin before 1939: Estimate 5 to 10 Years before Problem can be Liquidated

July 24, 1938 (AP) – Washington. The flow of refugees which President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Hull are trying to set in motion from Germany cannot begin before the end of the year. A vast amount of preparation, political and financial, must be completed before German Jews can begin their exodus to the United States and other countries which have voiced their willingness to receive them. Officials say five to ten years will pass before the problem can be liquidated.



In case you haven’t heard some US soldiers might have urinated on dead Taliban fighters. Hopefully they did it facing in the direction away from Mecca, as American soldiers have been ordered to do to avoid offending Muslims, and that the dead Taliban didn’t have Korans in their pockets at the time or it’ll be a holy war. Oh wait it already is a holy war.

McCain, fresh from being saddened by the Communist attacks on Bain Capital, announced that he was saddened by the video and wanted the marines punished. Because having trials and routing that sort of thing through a military justice system rather than through the fiat of sad senators isn’t how we do things anymore.

Good news though, the Taliban have announced that the video will not prevent them from accepting our surrender anyway.

Noted kleptomaniac and humanitarian Hamid Karzai denounced the video as “completely inhumane.” Speaking of “Completely inhumane”, there’s Karzai’s buddy Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf. Abdul is the head of the Islamic Union who was a pal of Osama bin Laden and a mentor to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Here’s some of his very “humane” handiwork. During the Afshar massacre, Sayyaf’s Wahhabis, with Saudi funding, massacred Shiite men, women and children. But that is humane. Unlike urinating on a dead Taliban.

The Taliban have also denounced it as inhumane.

The Taliban initially indicated that the video would not undermine the push toward talks, saying that they saw it as just more evidence of what they said was American brutality and arrogance.

“We strongly condemn the inhuman act of wild American soldiers, as ever, and consider this act in contradiction with all human and ethical norms,”

But let’s hear it from the Taliban what they consider “humane” behavior.

“You must become so notorious for bad things that when you come into an area people will tremble in their sandals. Anyone can do beatings and starve people. I want your unit to find new ways of torture so terrible that the screams will frighten even crows from their nests and if the person survives he will never again have a night’s sleep.”

Instead of just searching for criminals, the night patrols were instructed to seek out people watching videos, playing cards or, bizarrely, keeping caged birds. Men without long enough beards were to be arrested, as was any woman who dared venture outside her house. Even owning a kite became a criminal offence.

“Basically any form of pleasure was outlawed,” Mr Hassani said, “and if we found people doing any of these things we would beat them with staves soaked in water – like a knife cutting through meat – until the room ran with their blood or their spines snapped. Then we would leave them with no food or water in rooms filled with insects until they died.

“We always tried to do different things: we would put some of them standing on their heads to sleep, hang others upside down with their legs tied together. We would stretch the arms out of others and nail them to posts like crucifixions.

“Sometimes we would throw bread to them to make them crawl. Then I would write the report to our commanding officer so he could see how innovative we had been.”

Is there anything in there to make McCain “sad”? Anything to make Obama question negotiating with the Taliban? Don’t count on it.

Urine washes out but there are worse stains on the soul. Like sitting down at a table with filth like this and accepting medals from the moneymen funding the murder of Americans. Urine washes out. Evil doesn’t.


Americans can no longer afford to eat meat. Many can’t even afford chicken. Hope and Change.


Defense spending still represents less than 5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. That is about half of what it was at the height of the Cold War. Obama is trying to push it back down to the 3 percent that it was under the Clinton administration.

To put the numbers into perspective, the fastest growing part of the budget isn’t defense spending, it’s interest on the national debt. And the interest alone is expected to pass 3 percent of GDP by 2016. If Obama is reelected then by the end of his term the interest on the national debt will cost more than national defense will. We will not have a military capable of reacting to any threats against the United States, but at the least the bulk of those threats will be coming from debt collectors.

Even while the Obama administration is making drastic cuts to the military, it has plowed more money into the welfare state than ever. Means-tested welfare spending increased to 910 billion dollars in 2011 amounting to a 50 percent increase over Bush administration budgets. That’s 200 billion dollars more than the Department of Defense budget.

See the rest in my entire article To Kill a Military at Front Page Magazine

Right, Wrong, and Romney By Andrew C. McCarthy
After Rudy Giuliani, my old boss, dropped out of the 2008 GOP presidential sweepstakes, I supported Mitt Romney. That was not a difficult choice for me. The former Massachusetts governor is a good man and he loves the country as is. That I wish he were more conservative is not a deal-breaker for me. I wished the same thing about Rudy. Mitt, like Rudy, would make a fine chief executive.
More to the point, the choice in a nomination contest is not candidate A versus one’s ideal nominee. It is candidate A versus candidates B, C, D, et al. On that score, the contest was no contest — Mitt was easily, in my mind, the best remaining in the field.
He may still be. He also may not. I’m not any less favorably inclined toward him than I was four years ago. It is silly, though, to portray as hypocrisy, or at least inconsistency, a reluctance to endorse today the same candidate one was happy to back the last go-round. This time around, B, C, D, and the rest are different. Not necessarily better, but different — most combining ringing positives with steep drawbacks, signal achievements with weighty baggage.


Allen West on the Marines Incident: ‘Shut Your Mouth, War Is Hell’ Daniel Halper

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, sends THE WEEKLY STANDARD an email commenting on the Marines’ video, and has given us permission to publish it.

“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”


Granted, it’s not civil, palace etiquette, or, more important, U.S. military doctrine to urinate on battle-killed enemy fighters – in this case, three dead Taliban in Afghanistan. But could we just move on?

That’ll be the day. Get set for Abu Ghraib 2, a national wallow in a wholly manufactured and inflated evil, the kind of masochistic frolic our twisted elites, safe on their sound stages, find so extremely pleasurable. Get set for the exclusion of any and all context related to heat-of-battle conditions, battle fatigue or Taliban depredations. We have met the enemy and he is us, again – and thank God. Or is that thank Allah?


David Axelrod Tries to Re-Wright History Posted By Tom Blumer URL to article: President Barack Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, wants America to take the two-decade relationship between Obama, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and the Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) on Chicago’s south side off the electoral issues table in the 2012 […]