Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

November 28, 2008

We’re all Chabadniks now

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:53 pm

Ron Coleman: “We’re all Chabadniks now.”

Even in India, which has had small Jewish communities for centuries and little history of antisemitism, it is possible to be killed for no other “crime” than being Jewish.

Not by Hindus of course — by Muslims.

September 17, 2008

Hillary’s Odd Priorities

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:21 am

A coalition of American Jewish groups has scheduled a rally for Sept. 22 outside the UN, to protest the appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is not surprising, since Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews worldwide. He is one of those people who denies that the Holocaust, the mass-murder of one-third of the world’s Jewish population during World War II, actually occurred, but seems to think it would have been a good idea. Protesting against Ahmadinejad seems to be the sort of thing every decent person would support, regardless of politics — unless your politics is that all Jews deserve to die. Sounds safely bipartisan, right?

Sen. Hillary Clinton was invited to speak at the rally. She accepted.

Gov. Sarah Palin was invited to speak at the rally. She also accepted.

Then Clinton heard Palin was going to be there, so Clinton cancelled. She claimed to have been “blindsided.”

Thus, Hillary Clinton refuses to appear on the same platform as Sarah Plain — even at an event that ought to be thoroughly uncontroversial to all Americans.

This might be understandable — barely — if Clinton had a long-standing policy of refusing to appear with people with whom she disagreed. This would hardly be a policy of “uniting not dividing,” but at least it would be consistent.

But inevitably, her refusal reminds me of a previous incident, in 1999, when then-First Lady Clinton appeared with Suha Arafat, wife of Yasser and listened passively as Mrs. Arafat falsely accuse Israel of poisoning the Palestinian water supply, of “‘daily and intensive use of poison gas’ against Palestinian women and children.” After which, Mrs. Clinton not only refrained from calling Mrs. Arafat on her slanders or her previous endorsements of terrorism, including suicide bombings, but in fact embraced and kissed Mrs. Arafat on the platform, in effect endorsing her claims.

So, Hillary Clinton hugs one who endorses terrorism and slanders Israel, but refuses to appear on the same platform with Sarah Palin.

What can we conclude from all this?

Either Hillary Clinton thinks anti-Israel terrorism is OK, or she thinks Sarah Palin is worse than a terrorist.

Is anyone going to call her out on this?

August 12, 2008

Police to track every car in New York City?

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:24 pm

CBS is reporting that they New York Police Department is planning to use “Radiation Sensors, Surveillance Cameras Used To Screen & Follow Every Vehicle Entering Lower Manhattan.”

They quote a supposedly representative “NYC resident Sam Mauer” as saying, “Good idea I think. Anything that makes the city safer is a very good idea.”

Well, yes.

But would someone please explain to me exactly how this is going to make the city safer?

If they don’t have a list of terrorists’ cars, how are they going to use this system to stop anything? And if they do have a list of terrorists’ cars, why waste the time and resources to track all the other cars?

And in any case, how is simply “tracking” cars going to stop any terrorist attacks? If they actually have a list of terrorists’ cars, why not stop them at the entry points, instead of tracking them all over the place — perhaps watching as they do their vile deeds, without bothering to stop them?

It seems to me that there is not only a massive invasion of privacy, but no corresponding benefit in terms of safety or security.

Big Sibling is Watching You.

March 6, 2008

“15-, 16-year-old guys lying on the floor with their Bibles in their hands, all dead on the floor”

Filed under: — Different River @ 7:33 pm

From the BBC:

Eight people have been killed an nine wounded by a Palestinian gunman who infiltrated a Jewish seminary in West [sic] Jerusalem, Israeli officials say [sic].

The Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, praised the attack, calling it “heroic”, but did not claim responsibility. There was also celebratory gunfire in Gaza.

In the world of diplomacy, this is called the “peace process.”

The Jerusalem Post has more details, and some background on the seminary, Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav.

Arutz-7 has more, and provocative pictures.

From the Jewish point of view, this is the equivalent of someone shooting up the library at Princeton University, killing many students, and being praised for it.

Beyond that insufficient statement, words fail me.

One term you will not hear from the diplomatic community, politicians, or the mainstream media: “hate crime.”

December 20, 2007

Just don’t do it to a teddy bear!

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:32 pm

The second most common name for new baby boys in Britain is “Mohammed.”

Just don’t try that with a teddy bear!

November 21, 2007

Gang Rape Victim Sentenced to 200 Lashes

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:30 am

No, you didn’t read that wrong. A 19-year-old woman was sentenced to 90 lashes of the whip for the “crime” of being raped by seven men. When the appeals court reviewed the case they increased the sentence to 200 lashes! At the same time, they decreased the sentence given to the seven rapists.

As Dave Barry might say, I am not making this up:

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia defended on Tuesday a court’s decision to sentence a woman who was gang-raped to 200 lashes of the whip, after the United States described the verdict as “astonishing”.

The 19-year-old Shi’ite woman from the town of Qatif in the Eastern Province and an unrelated male companion were abducted and raped by seven men in 2006.

Ruling according to Saudi Arabia’s strict reading of Islamic law, a court had originally sentenced the woman to 90 lashes and the rapists to jail terms of between 10 months and five years. It blamed the woman for being alone with an unrelated man.

Last week the Supreme Judicial Council increased the sentence to 200 lashes and six months in prison and ordered the rapists to serve between two and nine years in jail.

It gets worse: They disciplined the woman’s defense lawyer for publicizing the sentence:

The court also took the unusual step of initiating disciplinary procedures against her lawyer, Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem, forcibly removing him from the case for having talked about it to the media.

“The Ministry of Justice welcomes constructive criticism … The system allows appeals without resort to the media,” said Tuesday’s statement issued on the official news agency SPA.

Now you would think that if they were really interesA State Department spokesman told reporters on Monday that “most (people) would find this relatively astonishing that something like this happens”.ted in deterring “crime” they would want sentences to be publicized — to discourage other “offenders.” (As if women need to be discouraged from becoming rape victims…)

It [the official news agency SPA] berated media for not specifying that three judges, not one, issued the recent ruling and reiterated that the “charges were proven” against the woman.

Right, so there are three judges who think victims should be whipped, not one. That’s supposed to make it better?

It also repeated the judges’ attack against Lahem last week, saying he had “spoken insolently about the judicial system and challenged laws and regulations”.

In other words, this was no rougue court. The government approves of this decision.

The Bush Administration’s reaction?

A State Department spokesman told reporters on Monday that “most (people) would find this relatively astonishing that something like this happens”.

Maybe that’s because “most people” think Islam is a “Religion of Peace.”

(UPDATE: More on the U.S. reaction here.)

October 16, 2006

Bombing — For Free Tuition

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:22 pm

I few days ago, I posted the story of an unemployed fellow who robbed a bank to get arrested, so he could live rent-free in jail until he was old enough for social security benefits.

Now, we hear from that young Palestinians are carrying small bombs through Israeli checkpoints to get arrested — so they can get an Israeli high school diploma while in prison! The Israeli radio broadcaster Arutz Sheva reports:

Faking Attacks in Order to Graduate: Correspondent Haggai Huberman reports on a new phenomenon among the Arabs of Judea and Samaria: Youths carry knives or small bombs across checkpoints in order to get themselves arrested so that they can study for high school matriculation exams at the State of Israel’s expense.

Sitting in jail for a number of weeks or months is a small price to pay, and the returns are significant: A high school diploma, and a high social standing as a “freed terrorist.”

Huberman notes that earlier this week, IDF soldiers reported that they had thwarted an attack in the northern Shomron when they arrested two 19-year-old boys carrying two pipebombs of one kilogram (2.2 lbs.) each. However, the IDF later concluded that the boys were merely trying to get arrested for the purpose of matriculation exams, and that the pipebombs were not designed to cause significant damage.

Hat tip: James Taranto, who adds: “Or maybe they wanted 72 dates to the prom.”

October 1, 2006

Does the “anti-war” side have a plan for after we pull out of Iraq?

Opponents of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy are fond of accusing Bush of “not having a plan” for dealing with Iraq after the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. This is, of course, just a self-righteous way of saying they didn’t like the plan Bush actually did have, and that the plan has not lead to perfect results immediately.

Nevertheless, it’s worth asking those who call for an immediate pullout from Iraq, or a timetable for a pullout within a specified short time frame, what their plan is for dealing with the situation that will result from a pullout.

Clayton Cramer has posed this question, and given some realistic answers. All of his answers are worse than the worst likely scenarios resulting from staying in Iraq. As he points out:

But if the American people decide that the cost is too high, what is the alternative strategy? Leaving Iraq alone right now will lead to full civil war, and probably the crowd that likes to torture people to death with power tools will be back in power–just like the way things were under Saddam Hussein. As the declassified Key Findings of the National Intelligence Estimate last week pointed out, if we lose in Iraq, it will embolden jihadists throughout the world. The reason isn’t hard to figure out: it will be perceived that like what happened in Somalia, Americans are weak, and lack the willingness to fight.

What are the options? Here’s Clayton’s list (I’m summarizing here, not quoting — for his more complete explanations click here):

  1. “Fortress America”: Lock down the U.S. at the border and within, and curtail civil rights in the pursuit of terrorists who are here. Of course, it only takes one terrorist to get through — either shipping a nuclear weapon with a long-period timer, or getting one single legal U.S. resident to cooperate. So we are probably looking at more 9/11-scale attacks. (Why is this less likely if we are in Iraq? Because so many jihadists are fighting us over there on their home turf. We don’t want them freed up to attack us at home.)
  2. Make the terrorists happy: Don’t just leave Iraq — forget about stopping the Al-Qaeda-backed genocide in Darfur, give them back Afghanistan, cut off aid to Israel and acquiese when Iran uses nuclear weapons to annihilate Israel. And this will only work until they decide it’s time for all of us to convert to Islam also and replace the Constitution with Shari’a law, at which point we will have to either acquiese to that, or go to war with a much stronger enemy.
  3. Here I’ll quote: “Treat Muslim nations the way they have treated every other nation. Invade them; occupy; convert their mosques into churches; send in troops with orders to kill anyone that gives them any lip; assess a special tax on Muslims; pass laws that give Muslims less legal rights than non-Muslims, not just in ways that matter (say, a ban on Muslims possessing anything more deadly than a butter knife), but in ways intended to degrade them, like the laws that Muslims nations had prohibiting non-Muslims from riding horses.” I don’t think we, as a society, are willing to do that. We still believe in religious freedom.
  4. Prove that Islam is not really as superior as it claims, by nuking Mecca. I don’t think we’re willing to do that, either.
  5. Nuke a lot of Muslims. I don’t think we’re willing to do that, either.

So next time someone tells you we should pull out of Iraq, ask them one question: What’s your plan for after that?

September 17, 2006

In Memoriam, Oriana Fallaci

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:15 pm

Oriana Fallaci, arguably the greatest journalist of the century (this one, and the last one), passed away on Friday in her native Florence. She was 77, and had been fighting cancer for 14 years.

She had spend most of the last decade or two in New York, especially in the last year and a half — since she was facing charges in Italy for what she wrote in her last book.

Fallaci lived a fascinating life, and her biography reads like a history of the world from the time she was born. She joined the Italian anti-fascist resistance with her father at the age of 10. After Italy was captured by the Allies and switched sides, her father was tortured by the Nazis but released alive; Oriana was honorably discharged from the Italian Army at the age of 14. She started writing at age 15, and became a reporter in Florence at age 16, while attending the University of Florence. She was originally a Leftist, but was open to changing her mind based on what she saw — and as such, she necessarily abandoned the Left repeatedly on issues she covered in depth, from Vietnam to Iran to the Middle East to the War on Terror — which she never hestited to call Islamic terror. She was an avowed atheist who had a strong admiration for Pope Benedict XVI, and in fact was one of the first people invited to meet with him after he became Pope. (And she will be buried at an Evalgelical cemetary.)

The Left, of course, called her a fascist. Never mind the fact that she started off in life fighting the real fascists.

Tributes are pouring in from such diverse quarters as Daniel Pipes, Tammy Bruce, Victor Davis Hanson, The Anchoress, Rusty Shackleford, and many others.

Formal obituaries are from the New York Post, Times [of London], the Basque news channel EiTB,

Her manifesto against antisemitism is worth rereading. As is her interview with an Iraqi soldier in Saddam’s army.

One Arab’s Apology

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:43 am

Emilio Karim Dabul writes in the New York Post:

September 12, 2006 – WELL, here it is, five years late, but here just the same: an apology from an Arab-American for 9/11. No, I didn’t help organize the killers or contribute in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing.

The only time I raised my voice in protest against these men who killed thousands of innocents in the name of Allah was behind closed doors, among the safety of friends and family. I did at one point write a very vitriolic essay condemning their actions, but fear of becoming another Salman Rushdie kept me from ever trying to publish it.

Those of us who wondered why all those “religion of peace” Muslims didn’t speak out — well, here’s our answer: The are afraid of all those non-peaceful Muslims, just as we are. The difference is, they acknowledge that there actually are non-peaceful Muslims.

Well, I’m sick of saying the truth only in private – that Arabs around the world, including Arab-Americans like myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable for the insane,
violent actions that our extremists have perpetrated on the world at large.

Yes, our extremists and our culture.

Every single 9/11 hijacker was Arab and a Muslim. The apologists (including President Bush) tried to reassure us that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam, but was a twisting of a great and noble religion. With all due respect, read the Koran, Mr. President. There’s enough there for someone of extreme tendencies to find their way to a global jihad.

I’ve always thought there was something quite odd about President Bush’s protestations that Islam was a “relgion of peace” and the the 9/11 hijackers had distorted “a great religion.” Obviously, President Bush meant to say merely that he wasn’t going to war against Muslims as such, just against terrorists and murderers who in this particular case happen to be Muslims. But the way he said it — declaring plainly what Islam is (“a religion of peace”) and which strain of it is legitimate Islam (the peaceful one) — it seems like he is presenting himself as some sort of authority on Islam; perhaps even one who can speak for Islam. Clearly, he is neither. Bush is a Methodist, not a Muslim — and I imagine he wouldn’t appreciate Osama Bin Ladin telling him what true Methodism is any more than Osama appreciated Bush telling him what true Islam is. The question of whether Islam is a “religion of peace” or a religion of constant armed jihad against non-Muslims is a question that has to be resolved by Muslims, not Methodists (or Baptists or Jews or Catholics or secular humanists…). As Dabul puts it,

The men who killed 3,000 of our citizens on 9/11 in all likelihood died saying prayers to Allah, and that by itself is one of the most horrific things to me about that day.

And, while my grandparents never waged a jihad, their attitudes toward Jews weren’t that much different than Mohammed Atta’s. No, they didn’t support the Holocaust, but they did believe that Jews were trouble in many different ways, and those sorts of beliefs were passed on to me before I’d ever actually met a Jew.

I’m sorry for that, for ever believing that anything that my grandparents or other relatives had to say about Jews or Israel, for that matter, had any real resemblance to truth. It took me years to realize that I’d been conned into believing the generalizations and stereotypes that millions around the Arab world buy into: that Jews, America and Israel are our main problem.

One look at the average Arab regime should alert us to the fact that the problem, dear Achmed, lies not overseas or next door in Tel Aviv, but in the brutal, corrupt despots that we have bred from country to country in the Mideast, across the span of history. …

Five years after that awful day, it’s time for all Arab-Americans, and Arabs around the world, to protest against Islamic fascism, to raise our voices – and, where necessary, our arms – against these tyrants until their plague of terror has been driven from the face of the earth forever.

September 11, 2006

This is BIG News

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:00 pm

One of the original — and I mean original — al-Qaeda-style Islamofascists was captured today in eastern Afghanistan. This is none other than the unlamentable (and unpronounceable) terrorist leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. I remember Hekmatyar from the 1980s when the U.S. was aiding anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan, and Hekmatyar was sort-of on our side in the sense that he was against the Soviets, but was deemed insufficiently trustworthy to receive U.S. support, since he seemed to spend as much time fighting other anti-Soviet allies as fighting the Soviets. When the (Islamic) mujahideen finally drove the Soviets out, Hekmatyar refused a place in the coalition government, claiming it was “un-Islamic” — and continued the war, shifting effortlessly from shooting rockets into Kabul to fight the Soviets, to shooting rockets into Kabul to fight the “un-Islamic” Islamic government. His nemesis was Ahmad Shah Masoud, “The Lion of Panjshir,” the very Islamic, and very pro-Western leader of the anti-Soviet resistance and then the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, better known as the Northern Alliance. Masoud was assassinated on September 9, 2001 — which, as you can see by subtraction, was two days before September 11, 2001. It’s never been entirely clear whether Masoud’s assassination was ordered by Osama bin Laden or Gulbuddin Hekmatyar — it’s believable either way.

As for Hekmatyar, he is the sort of guy who thought the Taliban were not “Islamic” enough — meaning, not violent enough against non-Muslims and not-his-type-of-Muslim. The funny part — if you can call it that — is that according to this biography written in 1997, Hekmatyar was originally a Communist. When he became disillusioned with Communism and fell under the influence of the writings of Sayd Qutb, he traded one form of absolute evil in for another.

And, today — five years to the day after the attack on the United States — this advocate of “martyrdom” to the cause of Islam, surrendered without a fight. Glenn Reynolds quotes Bill Roggio:

On the day of the fifth anniversary of the 9-11 attack, Coalition forces score a high value target in Afghanistan. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the commander of Hezb-i-Islami and ally of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, has been captured during a joint U.S. and Afghan Army raid in “eastern Afghanistan.” Hekmatyar, contrary to his rhetoric gave up to the Coalition forces without a fight. Hekmatyar’s arrest is said to be part of an ‘ongoing operation.’

Hekmatyar has been designated by the U.S. Department of State as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist“ and “has participated in and supported terrorist acts committed by al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.”

I’ve been waiting for 20 years for Hekmatyar to be taken out of action The first 15 of which were spent waiting for the West to decide he ought to be taken out of action.

As an aside, here’s my media prediction: This will get practically no play in the mainstream media. My subsidiary prediction is that if If I’m wrong about that and it does get significant play, half that play will consist of Democrat politicians and strategists and commentators explaining how unimportant it is.

It’s about as unimportant as capturing bin Laden.

September 1, 2006

Yes, Hamas Really Did Win

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:15 am

If there is any doubt that Hamas won the recent battle with Israel, recall that the whole thing started when Hamas staged a cross-border raid from Gaza, kidnapped an Israeli soldier named Gilad Shalit, and demanded that Israel release a bunch of convicted terrorists in exchange for him. Israel said no, give him back right away, Hamas started firing rockets at Israeli towns, Hezbollah thought that was a great idea and started the same things from the Lebanese border, and the rest you know.

Now, it looks like Hamas is going to get what they originally asked for:

Deal would free 1,000 for Israeli soldier

CAIRO, Sept. 1 (UPI) — Saudi newspapers say Israel has been working toward securing the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit in negotiations with Hamas in Egypt.

Newspaper Okaz reported that a senior Arab source said Israel and Hamas have been working on a deal to release the soldier in exchange for the freedom of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, YNetNews.com reported Friday.

Under the deal, Israel would begin freeing the prisoners, including 500 women and juveniles, three days after Shalit is turned over to Egyptian custody. First, 350 prisoners serving short prison terms would be released, followed several days later by 350 prisoners serving medium terms and 300 prisoners serving long sentences 10 days after that.

The inescapable conclusions are:

  1. The bad news: Terrorism works.
  2. The good news: Hamas just admitted that one Israeli is worth 1,000 Arabs.

August 18, 2006

Train Bombing Attempted in Germany

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:22 pm

Ray D. reports:

According to reports circulating throughout the German media today, two suitcase bombs placed by two unidentified men very nearly went off on regional trains in Dortmund and Koblenz at the end of July. A deadly simultaneous bombing was only averted because the bombs were technically defective. Had they fully detonated, German authorities believe that a mass casualty event similar to the recent attacks in London could have been the result.

Police believe that a terrorist motive is probable, particularly because the suitcases contained Arabic writing and telephone numbers from Lebanon. The men who placed the bombs also strongly appear to be of Middle Eastern origin. …

Our take: This is yet another wake up call for all Germans who believe that terrorism at home can be averted through a policy of appeasement and pacifism at all costs. One has to wonder how the far left can continue to collaborate with Islamic extremists in their quest of anti-American, anti-Israeli hatred. Hopefully it doesn’t have to come to a horrific attack before the German media and politicians get realistic about the threat Islamic extremism poses to the modern world.

Cue Bob Dylan:


How many bombs must the terrorists place
Before they are called to account?

How many innocent people be killed
Before Europe stops appeasement?

When will they ever learn?
When will they e–ver learn?

August 17, 2006

Airport Security Theater

Filed under: — Different River @ 7:02 pm

Security expert Bruce Schneier points out this very salient fact about airport security — both the “since 9/11″ restrictions and the “since last week” restrictions — and the recent arrests in London: (Boldface emphasis mine.)

Hours-long waits in the security line. Ridiculous prohibitions on what you can carry on board. Last week’s foiling of a major terrorist plot and the subsequent airport security changes graphically illustrates the difference between effective security and security theater.

None of the airplane security measures implemented because of 9/11 — no-fly lists, secondary screening, prohibitions against pocket knives and corkscrews — had anything to do with last week’s arrests. And they wouldn’t have prevented the planned attacks, had the terrorists not been arrested. A national ID card wouldn’t have made a difference, either.

Instead, the arrests are a victory for old-fashioned intelligence and investigation. Details are still secret, but police in at least two countries were watching the terrorists for a long time. They followed leads, figured out who was talking to whom, and slowly pieced together both the network and the plot.

The new airplane security measures focus on that plot, because authorities believe they have not captured everyone involved. It’s reasonable to assume that a few lone plotters, knowing their compatriots are in jail and fearing their own arrest, would try to finish the job on their own. The authorities are not being public with the details — much of the “explosive liquid” story doesn’t hang together — but the excessive security measures seem prudent.

But only temporarily. Banning box cutters since 9/11, or taking off our shoes since Richard Reid, has not made us any safer. And a long-term prohibition against liquid carry-on items won’t make us safer, either. It’s not just that there are ways around the rules, it’s that focusing on tactics is a losing proposition.

It’s easy to defend against what terrorists planned last time, but it’s shortsighted. If we spend billions fielding liquid-analysis machines in airports and the terrorists use solid explosives, we’ve wasted our money. If they target shopping malls, we’ve wasted our money. Focusing on tactics simply forces the terrorists to make a minor modification in their plans. There are too many targets — stadiums, schools, theaters, churches, the long line of densely packed people in front of airport security — and too many ways to kill people.

Security measures that attempt to guess correctly don’t work, because invariably we will guess wrong. It’s not security, it’s security theater: measures designed to make us feel safer but not actually safer.

Airport security is the last line of defense, and not a very good one at that. Sure, it’ll catch the sloppy and the stupid — and that’s a good enough reason not to do away with it entirely — but it won’t catch a well-planned plot. We can’t keep weapons out of prisons; we can’t possibly keep them off airplanes.

Bruce has a summary of the new UK and US security rules here. He points out that this is reasonable in the short run. We’ll see how long these rules stay in effect. The post-9/11 US rules have lasted a lot longer than I initially expected — no doubt, in part, because they involved creating a new federal government agency.

And Sean at Cosmic Variance has this clever take on the whole thing:

[F]or the first time, the Department of Homeland Security has deemed an entire state of matter to be a national security risk.

If you remember from chemistry or physics what a phase diagram here, this will put things in perspective.

This is even worse!

July 30, 2006

Muslim Attacks Jews in Seattle; 1 Killed, 5 Wounded

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:54 am

I don’t know why this isn’t getting more attention. A Muslim attacked a Jewsh Federation building in Seattle, killing a one women and wounding five others. The Seattle Times is reporting it, but for them it’s a local story.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

“Once inside he immediately started firing”

The gunman who forced his way into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle on Friday afternoon put a gun at the back of a 13-year-old girl to gain entry to the building, police said this afternoon.

The man who described himself as a Muslim American angry with Israel then opened fire with two handguns, killing one woman and wounding five others before surrendering to police.

The dead woman was identified this morning as Pamela Waechter, 58.

“Once inside he immediately started firing at people.”

He rattled off anti-Israel slurs and commanded people not to dial 911. But shooting victim Dayna Klein, who is 17 weeks pregnant, ignored him. Her actions convinced Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske to call her a hero.

Seconds after being shot in the arm, she crawled across the floor toward a phone and called for help.

Within minutes police were at the building and the Everett man put down his two semi-automatic handguns and surrendered.

In a bail hearing this afternoon, King County District Court Judge Barbara Linde set bail at $50 million and found probable cause that Haq could face one charge of first-degree murder and five charges of attempted-murder.

Prosecutors will meet next week to decide whether they’ll pursue the death penalty, said spokesman Dan Donohoe. [Will they have candlelight vigils if he's executed? --DR]

Three of the victims underwent surgery Friday night. They are Layla Bush, 23, of Seattle; Christina Rexroad, 29, of Everett; and Cheryl Stumbo, 43, of Seattle. They are in the Intensive Care Unit, said Pamela Steele, hospital spokeswoman.

The two other victims, Dayna Klein, 37, of Seattle, and Carol Goldman, 35, of Seattle, remain in satisfactory condition.

Waechter grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., as a Lutheran, the daughter of a businessman. She converted to Judaism after marrying Bill Waechter, an airline pilot, and the couple moved to Seattle in 1979. After raising their two children, Waechter became a student at the University of Washington, graduating with a degree in nutrition.

She became much more active in the Jewish community than her husband, Bill Waechter, from whom she is now divorced. She worked at Jewish Family Service and later at the Jewish Federation, where she did outreach and fundraising. She rose from secretary to two-term president at Temple B’nai Torah.

The shooting came a day after the FBI had warned Jewish organizations nationwide to be on alert after Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon and al-Qaida’s second in command urged that the war raging in the Middle East be carried to the U.S. However, the law-enforcement source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there is no evidence that Haq was involved with any group. [Yet. --DR]

“He said he hates Israel,” said the source, who is part of the Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was called in to help investigate the shootings.

David Gomez, the assistant special agent-in-charge of the Seattle FBI office, said there is “nothing to indicate he is part of a larger organization.” [Yet. --DR]

“We believe he is a lone individual with antagonism toward this organization,” said Gomez.

Amy Wasser-Simpson, the vice president for planning and community services for the Jewish Federation, said the man announced “I’m a Muslim American; I’m angry at Israel,” then began shooting. Wasser-Simpson said she heard the account from staff members who witnessed the shootings.

His 1994 yearbook photograph from Richland High School showed a smiling Haq with the words “Peace Be Unto You.”

An obituary of Pamela Waechter is here.

Dave at American Thinker has some snarky thoughts about the role of the Seattle Times.

July 28, 2006

More Evidence There Really Were WMDs in Iraq

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:08 pm

I noted previous poorly-publicized evidence of WMDs here and here.

Here is some more evidence:

Senator Rick Santorum … as announced a document ( ISGQ-2005-00022470 Title: “Information from a source about the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to Syria prior to the attack of the Coalition Forces on Iraq”) has been released by the “US Army Foreign Military Studies Office” that convoys consisting of 50 trucks carried an unknown cargo to Syria from Baghdad before the American invasion. The trucks were accompanied by Iraqi Intelligence. Upon arrivial at the Syria border, Syrian Inteligence took the trucks and emptied the cargo.


In the day of 10 Mouharam before the coalition forces started the war on Iraq, 50 trucks for land transportation entered Syria on an intermittent convoy. I met some of the drivers and they did not know what they carried in these trucks. These trucks were loaded from an unknown location in Baghdad and was brought to the drivers and the Iraqi Intelligence was with them. Each time they crossed a certain distance, the Iraqi Intelligence stopped them and asked them what are they carrying and their answer was we do not know. And when these trucks arrived to Syria in the area of Deir Al Zour the drivers were taken out of their trucks and the Syrian Intelligence ride instead. These trucks were entered into large warehouses and when these trucks were emptied it was given back to the Iraqi drivers. And they were given a reward worth of 200 dollars for the safety of arrival. One of the drivers mentioned to me that this was second time they carry these secrets loads and the first time was 1 Mouharam.

I have a friend in Syria who works in a Syrian company as partner with a Syrian merchant. This person is an Iraqi ex-Consul in the Iraqi embassies and he resigned from the diplomatic circle and he has strong connection with the Iraqi Embassy in Syria and he knows all the Iraqi Intelligence and those knows that I work for the Iraqi opposition in Syria. I was visiting him daily during this period to find out the important news. When the trucks entered Syria I went to him and told him that Iraqi Weapons entered Syria so he said to me who told you that and I said to him I knew from my sources, and he told me to keep this confidential and not tell anyone because it indeed entered.

Singature

7/13

Under translation and print

Moustafa Al Khaliye.

I’m sure now the Democrats will claim the Iraqis were lying about having WMDs.

(Hat tip: Clayton Cramer.)

July 14, 2006

Mid-East Double Standards

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:33 pm

The Iranian-sponsored group Hezbollah has, as of the time of this report, fired 150 missiles into northern Israel from Lebanon. An estimated 220,000 Israelis are living in bomb shelters. Two Israeli civilians have been killed, and 50 wounded, plus eight Israeli soldiers have been killed and two kidnapped in a cross-border raid (i.e., Hezbollah attacked within Israel’s borders). This is on top of the cross-border raid by Hamas from Gaza earlier, in which six Israeli soldiers were killed and one kidnapped, and the rockets fired earlier from Gaza, from which Israel voluntarily withdrew (and whose Jewish population it expelled) back in August.

So, Israel is responding, by attacking Hamas in Gaza and attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Naturally, the world diplomatic community is outraged — at Israel, for daring to respond to deadly attacks on itself:

Major US allies condemned the ferocity of Israel’s military attack on Lebanon, revealing a clear split with Washington’s moderate call for restraint.

Cries of alarm mounted worldwide after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered armed forces to intensify the offensive in response to rockets hitting towns in northern Israel, killing two and wounding 50.

“I find honestly — as all Europeans do — that the current reactions are totally disproportionate,” [French President Jacques Chirac] said in a live television interview on France’s national Bastille Day.

“In my view, Israel is making a mistake,” said Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. “It will only lead to an escalation of the violence.”

In Italy, Prime Minister Romano Prodi said he recognized Israel’s legitimate concerns and condemning the kidnapping of the soldiers.

But “we deplore the escalation in the use of force, the serious damage to Lebanese infrastructure and the civilian casualties of the raids,” the Italian leader added.

The Vatican secretary of state, Angelo Sodano, said: “The Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign country,” adding that he felt for the people “who had already suffered in defence of their independence.”

“On the one hand, Israel has the internationally recognised right to self defence. But at the same time we ask our Israeli friends and partners not to lose sight of the long-term consequences when they exercise this right,” German deputy government spokesman Jens Ploetner said.

Iran, which with Syria is a sponsor of Hezbollah, called on the United Nations to step in. “The international community and the UN must intervene to stop this crime,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said during a visit to Greece.

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim state, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was quoted by the state news agency Antara as saying: “Indonesia repeats its call for Israel to stop its military action.”

“I consider that all sides implicated in this conflict should immediately stop military action,” [Russian President Vladimir] Putin said.

It seems the world is divided between those countries that claim Israel has no right to self-defense, and those that concede they have it but don’t want them to actually exercise it. So far, only the U.S. and Britain have acknowledged that Israel actually has any business defending itself — and only they and Russia have bothered to note that Hamas and Hezbollah are wrong to be attacking Israel in the first place.

Of those who claim the Israeli response is “disproportionate” — what response would be “proprotionate” to hundreds of missiles launched at civilian targets? How would Germany or Italy respond to a similar attack?

Do they want Israel to appeal to the UN? That wouldn’t work, since the UN Security Council voted 10-1 (with 4 abstentions!) to condem Israel for defending itself!

That’s right: of the 15 countries on the UN security council, only one — the United States — was willing to say that Israel does not have to sit back and allow Hamas and Hezbollah to shoot missiles at their towns and kidnap their soldiers to their hearts’ content.

This is not surprising — this is the same UN that displayed a map showing Israel removed. Naturally, they cannot condemn violent attacks on a country that is not supposed to exist in the first place.

And of course, the press and the diplomats and “world leaders” are referring to the deaths of Hezbollah and Hamas fighters as “civilian deaths.” I suppose technically this is correct since they are not members of any legal military force. But they are shooting missiles, attacking soldiers, and killing random, peaceful citizens of another country — so in what sense, exactly, is it informative to call them “civilians”?

July 3, 2006

Hamas Devalues Palestinians

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:59 pm

The terrorist organization Hamas, kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on June 25.

Now, they are demanding that Israel release all women, minors, and 1,000 Palestinian men serving time in Israeli jails for terrorism.

This implies that to Hamas, one Israeli soldier is worth more than 1,000 Palestinians. Doesn’t say much for how much they value their own, does it?

June 9, 2006

Terrorist Victims for Zarqawi

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:42 pm

You might recall that about two years ago, an American named Nick Berg — who went to Iraq as a civilian volunteer to help rebuild the country — was captured and killed. He was beheaded on videotape, and while the face of the executioner was not visible, the voice and the caption on the tape said it was Zarqawi — the same Zarqawi who was a top al-Qaeda leader until he was killed yesterday by U.S. special forces.

Now Michael Berg, the father of Nick Berg, the American beheaded by Zarqawi, is running for Congress — and he is saying that President Bush, not Zarqawi, is responsible for his son’s death:

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, said on Thursday he felt no sense of relief at the killing of the al Qaeda leader in Iraq and blamed President Bush for his son’s death.

Asked what would give him satisfaction, Berg, an anti-war activist and candidate for U.S. Congress, said, “The end of the war and getting rid of George Bush.”

In a telephone interview with Reuters from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the father said: “I have no sense of relief, just sadness that another human being had to die.”

Berg, who is running as a Green Party candidate, has repeatedly blamed Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for his 26-year-old son’s death.

Zarqawi picked up the knife, Zarqawi put it on Nick Berg’s neck, Zarqawi cut off Nick Berg’s head, and Zarqawi had it all videotaped for the “glory” of Allah. But Nick Berg’s death isn’t Zarqawi’s fault, it’s Bush and Rumsfeld’s fault.

This is so twisted I can’t even begin to comprehend it. I used to think that liberals had the same goals as conservatives like me, just different ideas for how to achieve those goals. But when I read something like that, it’s hard to imagine that people are on the left are not either morally deranged, or mentally ill.

This is not “being against the war.” It is not even “being for the other side,” as many of the so-called “anti-war” protesters like A.N.S.W.E.R. seem to be.

This is saying that the man who murdered his son is a victim, an OK guy even, and the man who put that murderer out of business is the real evil one.

Don’t believe me? Read on:

Nick Berg’s videotaped beheading by hooded captors was posted on the Internet, and the father said he could understand what Zarqawi’s family was going through.

“I have learned to forgive a long time ago, and I regret mostly that that will bring about another wave of revenge from his cohorts from al Qaeda,” he told Fox.

Zarqawi’s organization took responsibility for the execution of Nick Berg in May 2004. The video was published with a caption saying: “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi slaughtering an American.”

He learned to forgive Zarqawi for killing his son — and no douht for the thousands of Iraqis and other Americans killed by Zarqawi’s organization — but he can’t forgive Bush for killing Zarqawi.

Imagine if the father of a young man murdered in Philadelphia could forgive the murderer — but wanted to get rid of the policeman who arrested the murderer.

How far has this father gone, that he suppresses human nature, simple logic, and the love of his son — to avoid having to give up his political ideology?

And one more thing — he basically told CNN that Bush is pro-al-Qaeda:

BERG: Democracy? Come on. You can’t really believe that that’s a democracy there when the people who are running the elections are holding guns. That’s not democracy.

SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: There is a theory that as they try to form some kind of government that, in fact, it’s going to be brutal, it’s going to be bloody, there’s going to be loss and that’s the history of many countries, that that’s just a lot of people pay for what they believe will be better than what they had under Saddam Hussein.

BERG: Well, you know, I’m not saying Saddam Hussein was a good man, but he’s no worse than George Bush. Saddam Hussein didn’t pull the trigger, didn’t commit the rapes. Neither did George Bush, but both men are responsible for them under their reigns of terror. I don’t buy that.

Iraq did not have al Qaeda in it. Al Qaeda supposedly killed my son. Under Saddam Hussein, no al Qaeda. Under George Bush, al Qaeda. Under Saddam Hussein, relative stability. Under George Bush, instability.

If you want to vote for this guy, he’s running for Congress in Delaware.

UPDATE:

Clayton Cramer predicts:

Unfortunately, I expect that in another five years, we are going to be seeing some college students (you know, the really smart ones for whom conventionality is a badge of dishonor) with al-Zarqawi T-shirts and posters, and professors lamenting that the death of al-Zarqawi was the last chance for authentic, indigenous Arab democracy.

I wouldn’t be surprised. When I was in college I saw a lot of Che Guevara shirts. Guevara was one of the leading terrorists of his time — As Paul Berman points out, he organized the first firing squads to murder opponents of Fidel Castro’s regime, and called for “Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become” — but he was an ardent communist, so that made him “OK” to many people. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 Heroes of the 20th Century, and described him as “the obscure Argentine doctor who abandoned his profession and his native land to pursue the emancipation of the poor of the earth” and a “Christ-like figure.” I’m no expert in Christianity, but is it really considered “Christ-like” to advocate “unbending hatred for the enemy” and becoming “an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine”?

But Time calls him a hero, and you can buy T-shirts, hats, and mugs with his picture. I put the link to the “Che Store” there, and I hope you follow that link so you believe me — but I hope you don’t buy anything there.

Why do people idolize Che and demonize Hitler? Is it just because Hitler was more successful and mass-murder? That’s the only difference I can see.

Democrats for Zarqawi

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:56 am

Well, sort of anyway.

Democrats call Zarqawi killing a stunt
By Amy Fagan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
June 8, 2006

Some Democrats, breaking ranks from their leadership, today said the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq was a stunt to divert attention from an unpopular and hopeless war.

“This is just to cover Bush’s [rear] so he doesn’t have to answer” for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers, said Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat. “Iraq is still a mess — get out.”

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, said Zarqawi was a small part of “a growing anti-American insurgency” and that it’s time to get out. “We’re there for all the wrong reasons,” Mr. Kucinich said.

I think it’s preposterous to say this is a “stunt” — the implication being that (a) Zarqawi was not really a bad guy; they just killed him to divert attention from low poll numbers, AND (b) that they could have gotten Zarqawi any time they wanted, but they “saved him for a special occasion,” chosing to let him blow up American soldiers and marines, and innocent Iraqi civilians, until they “needed” a killing to distract attention from low poll numbers.

Those implications are obviously false, not to mention slanderous. But you have to believe BOTH of those things to make a statement like Stark’s.

As for Kucinich, if he really believes that fighting terrorists and establishing a democracy where there used to be a totalitarian dictatorship are “all the wrong reasons,” then I question his fitness for holding any public office in a democracy.

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