Saturday, August 19, 2006

I know Hezbollah

Posted: August 11, 2006 by Melanie Morgan

The terrorist plot to blow up U.S. jetliners departing Great Britain, using liquid explosives and simple electronic detonators, should help remind Americans that the war on terrorism is very real.
Lately, it seems that there has been a growing weariness in fighting the global war against Islamic jihadists.
But then many in this country don't understand the terror and horror that so many Israeli citizens deal with on a daily basis. Having thousands of Russian- and Iranian-made missiles and rockets landing in the middle of neighborhoods, cities and roads can change your outlook on the war on terrorism.
Don't take my word for it; watch for yourself as the citizens of Israel increasingly spend more of their lives in the bomb shelters.
The media's war against Israel
The suffering has not been enough for some, however. CNN International's Rosemary Church, apparently auditioning for a job to produce Islamic jihad propaganda videos, attacked Israel on the air for its campaign against Hezbollah.
Ms. Church complained that the Israelis' weaponry was too advanced, as compared to the less powerful weapons available to Hezbollah. She disputed Israeli claims that Katyusha rockets had been fired by Hezbollah terrorists from civilian neighborhoods.
And just when you've reached the point of total disgust with CNN for allowing this woman to spread such vile pro-terrorist propaganda on a Western news network, we're told by Ms. Church that the death toll in Israel is too low.
Church is in good company with many of her compatriots in the old-line news media. The past few days we have learned of a growing number of examples where journalists are outright altering photographs and writing false captions and accounts – all in an effort to discredit Israel in its war against the terrorists.
We've asked ourselves before if the media was rooting for America and the West to lose the war on terrorism. Now we know the answer.
An online video documents many of the examples of pro-Hezbollah practices by supposed "mainstream" journalists. You can see the devastating evidence for yourself here.
Hezbollah – up close and personal
It sickens me to watch my colleagues in the news media actively working to undermine the Israelis in their battle with Hezbollah.
Hezbollah. Just typing the word sends chills down my spine.
Many Americans are just learning about this perverted, cowardly terrorist group that is firing rockets from Lebanese kindergarten schools and who hide behind women's burkas to wreak horror on the people of Israel.
But I know Hezbollah from real life experience.
Flashback to 1983: The U.S. Marines compound had been bombed by terrorists, and in one bloody moment, 241 proud Marines were reduced to body parts that were scattered under the broken pieces of concrete, twisted steel and rubble.
As a young reporter assigned to cover one of the worst terrorist attacks in American history, I arrived in time to see a gaping crater, piled high with the ashes of America's hope for peace in Lebanon.
Who was responsible for the stench of death that pierced my psyche for two decades and haunts my dreams to this day?
Then, like now, the terrorists lied to the world that the Israelis were responsible for their killing sneak attack.
I know, because I interviewed one of those terrorists.
His name was Hamza
Hamza is as common a name in the Arab world just as John or Jim or Steve is here in the West.
I was taken blindfolded, along with my friend Jim Clancy of CNN, on a wild ride through the bombed streets, crossing from the Green Sector (controlled at the time by United Nations peacekeepers) into the netherworld of terrorism.
When my blindfold was taken from my eyes, I looked into the face of evil – a turbaned man with a full-beard, and piercing maniacal eyes looked back at me.
Not directly, though, because to look at a woman who is not related to you directly is an abomination in radical Islam's perverse version of religion. He told me he was 24 years old. Exactly the same age I was.
He proceeded to lie to me on that October day in 1983, exactly the same way Hezbollah lies to the worldwide media today.
He made this outrageous offer: Bring the family members of your dead soldiers to Lebanon. We will pay their way.
We will prove we did not do this thing.
When I pressed him harder, he admitted that Hezbollah wanted the soldiers dead; killing Americans is what they must do to gain the respect of the Western world.
History proves this man a liar. And history will prove again how adept Hezbollah terrorists are at manipulating worldwide media to support their murderous intentions.

Muslims team up with Marxists for D.C. protest


A radical anti-war coalition is joining forces with a U.S. Islamic lobby organization to stage a demonstration in front of the White House to protest "the current predicament of Muslims abroad and at home."
A.N.S.W.E.R., a coalition led by socialist and communist activists, and Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation are co-sponsoring the "National Emergency March" Aug. 12 at Lafayette Park at 12 noon.
A third co-sponsor is the National Council of Arab Americans.
A number of leaders for A.N.S.W.E.R. – Act Now to Stop War and End Racism – were members of the Workers World Party and now belong to the Party for Socialism and Liberation , a Marxist-Leninist organization founded in 2004
Along with the "plight of the Palestinian people and the recent atrocities in Gaza and Lebanon," the Muslim group says it will focus on the war in Iraq and "the continuous violation of civil rights and civil liberties within the American Muslim community."
The Muslim American Society, or MAS, says it's sponsoring buses to transport people from outside the Washington area.
In Detroit, which has one of the country's largest Muslim communities, 25 buses already have been arranged for the event.
The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society, which calls itself the largest grassroots Muslim organization in the country, with more than 50 chapters nationwide.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the Muslim American Society held a rally last month during which a Jewish activist was physically assaulted and threatened.
The event at Boston's City Hall Plaza was the group's "Justice for Palestine and Lebanon Protest." Signs brought by participants included some including some calling for "victory" for the terrorist group Hezbollah and the "Palestinian Resistance."
Mahdi Bray
In a WND interview, the group's executive director, Mahdi Bray, blamed the United States and President Bush for the war between Hezbollah and Israel.
Bray said that while there are "no clean hands" in the escalating violence, the United States has failed completely.
"We have the … capability of doing something," he said. "Our position is not defensible that we have not used our leverage to obtain a cease-fire."

The Hebraic bond

Posted: August 11, 2006 by Ilana Mercer

"Why is America so much more pro-Israeli than Europe?" The Economist recently posed this question and, peremptorily, answered it: "The Israeli lobby (AIPAC) and the religious right."
The idea of a Jewish lobby that looms larger than life feeds nicely into the "wars for oil and Israel" conspiracy, popular in Europe. The madcap crowd propounding this "perspective" believes that, by and large due to The Lobby, the small satellite state (Israel) controls the colossus (U.S.).
This explanation is shorthand for Jewish supernatural powers. Unlike mere mortals (or Muslims), whenever Jews organize, they are said to exert influence that is both bad and excessively broad.
In their defense, Muslim lobbies were becoming mighty efficient too. Their representatives were regular guests at the White House, no less – even giving an invocation to Congress. But then one after the other these media-savvy mouthpieces were implicated in terrorism. Or, conversely, caught on tape cussing America and vowing to transform it into an Islamic state. Not even the GOP's Grover Norquist, also the Muslim community's most powerful lobbyist, has been able to reverse the damage done.
The second reason for the support for Israel, surmises the Economist, lies in Americans' Christian faith. Evangelicals especially are viewed by European sophisticates, and others on the fashionable left, as happy-clappy cretins. Writes the Economist:
White evangelicals are significantly more pro-Israeli than Americans in general; more than half of them say they strongly sympathize with Israel. (A third of the Americans who claim sympathy with Israel say that this stems from their religious beliefs.) Two in five Americans believe that Israel was given to the Jewish people by God. ...
From the fact that in Eurabia sympathy for Israel is utterly unintuitive, the magazine appears to have concluded that it is 1) necessarily wrong, and 2) induced nefariously by Jews and their pliable proxies.
Fear of Islamic terror and cultural commonalities also account for the baffling support Israel has among Americans, grants the Economist. Hollywood and high-tech, however, are not what the suggestive polls invoked by the magazine imply when they speak of a shared "culture." As Europeans see it, fealty to the atavistic forces of nationalism and militarism is the only "culture" that unites the two nations.
If lily-livered Europeans want to understand the ties between the U.S. and Israel, they'd be better off reading Russell Kirk than the Economist. In "The Roots of American Order," Kirk traced the profound influence the Hebraic faith and traditions had on the New England Puritans, who drew for sustenance and guidance on Exodus, just as they did on Kings and Romans.
The American colonists, who were heavily influenced by "John Calvin's Hebrew scholarship," saw in the children of Israel and the story of the Exodus a metaphor for their own quest. In 1630, on the ship sailing to the New World, Puritan leader John Winthrop "preached a lay sermon to remind his fellow-voyagers how they made a covenant with the God of Israel."
"Because freedom from slavery and oppression were dominant themes in the Old Testament," wrote Kirk, "the legacy of Israel and Judah nourished American liberty." The Torah, or the Law – "the moral commandments revealed to Moses upon Mount Sinai" – were guiding principles to early Americans. According to Kirk, "The American moral order could not have come into existence at all, had it not been for the legacy left by Israel."
Indeed, the American founders had a deep affinity for – and knowledge of – the Mosaic faith and morals. In the Israelites, they saw a people that had set up a political order that was unique in the ancient world for the "existence of a partial check upon civil authority," said Kirk.
In the prophets, in particular – from Amos to the second Isaiah – John Adams saw exemplars for American order, political and private. "The great prophets restrained the kings' ambitions," and constantly rebuked the king and the people for their transgressions (at great personal risk).
For the greater part of its history, Israel lived without a state (i.e., a monarch). But when they did form one, "their one clear political principle was a religious doctrine. The human rulers of this people … remain subordinate to God and they are judged by the degree of their fidelity to the indissoluble covenant between God and his people."
"A vast majority of Americans at the time of the framing of the Constitution" were intimately familiar with the Law and the teachings of the prophets. These laws, in Kirk's telling, were "not a set of harsh prohibitions imposed by an arbitrary tribal deity. Instead they are liberating rules that enable people to diminish the tyranny of sin; that teach people how to live with one another and in relation to God, how to restrain violence and fraud, how to know justice and to raise themselves above the level of predatory animals."
Israel keeps falling from grace. "America," as Kirk observed, "is no Bible state." And the political caste of both houses is plagued by false prophets. Americans needn't emulate Europeans, although both Israel and the U.S. might want to revisit their shared roots, occasionally.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Historians Have Absolved Fidel Castro (and the U.S. created him)

Humberto FontovaTuesday, Aug. 15, 2006
"You may pronounce me guilty," declared Adolf Hitler during the trial in 1924 for his failed Rathaus putsch, "but the eternal court of history will absolve me."
"Condemn me, it doesn't matter," declared Fidel Castro during the trial in 1953 for his failed Moncada putsch. "History will absolve me."
The young Fidel Castro was a keen student of Nazi pageantry, often seen around campus with his well-thumbed copy of "Mein Kampf" alongside his pistol. His title of Lider Maximo perfectly mimics the German term Fuhrer.
Over the years a varied assortment of foreign fans and well-wishers have showered Castro with accolades. "Cuba's Elvis!" (Dan Rather.) "Castro is the most honest and courageous politician I've ever met! Viva Fidel!" (Jesse Jackson.) "If you believe in freedom, justice and equality, you have no choice but to support Fidel Castro!" (Harry Belafonte.) "Castro is a genius and Cuba is a Paradise!" (Jack Nicholson) "The greatest hero of the century!" (Norman Mailer) "One helluva guy!" (Ted Turner.)
Sadly, lunacy on the subject of Fidel Castro is hardly confined to the lunatic fringe. "Castro has done good things for Cuba." (Colin Powell.) "Castro threw out an SOB and liberated Cuba's poor." (the late Stephen Ambrose, America's best-selling historian) A recent editorial on Castro's legacy in the London Times, considered one of the world's wisest and most respected newspapers, gives the "mainstream," or even the respectably conservative, view on Fidel Castro.
"Castro can look back on some unquestionable achievements," starts the London Times article. "For a start he has defied the world's most powerful nation, just 90 miles from his shores, and lived to tell the tale."
No discourse or screed about Castro Рin any language, from any medium, from any point on the political compass Рomits this clich̩. Let's look at this historical record of "defiance."
"We put Castro in power," flatly stated former U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Earl T. Smith during congressional testimony in 1960. He was referring to the U.S. State Department and CIA's role in aiding the Castro rebels, also to the U.S. arms embargo on Batista, also to the official U.S. order that Batista vacate Cuba. Ambassador Smith knew something about these events because he had personally delivered the messages to Batista.
Castro's "defiance" of the U.S. at the time also involved his group pocketing a check for $50,000 from the CIA operative in Santiago, Robert Weicha. "Me and my staff were all Fidelistas," boasted Robert Reynolds, the CIA's Caribbean Desk "specialist on the Cuban Revolution" from 1957 to 1960.
After Batista fled and Castro grabbed power, the U.S. abruptly changed diplomatic modes all right: Never in history had we accorded diplomatic recognition to a Latin American regime as quickly as we recognized Castro's. The U.S. gave Castro's regime its official benediction more rapidly than it had recognized Batista's in 1952, and lavished it with $200 million in subsidies.
In August of 1959 the liberal U.S. ambassador to Cuba, Philip Bonsal, alerted Castro to a conspiracy against his regime by Cubans. Thanks in part to Ambassador Bonsal's solicitude for a regime then insulting his nation as "a vulture preying on humanity" and poised to steal $2 billion from U.S. stockholders, the anti-Castro plot was foiled, hundreds of the plotters were imprisoned or executed, and the regime that three years later came close to vaporizing many of America's largest cities (including Bonsal's home) with nuclear missiles survived.
"Nothing but refugee rumors" was how JFK's national security adviser and former Harvard dean McGeorge Bundy referred to a report of Soviet Missiles in Cuba. Cuban exiles were risking their lives to obtain this intelligence. "Nothing in Cuba poses a threat to the U.S.," he continued, barely masking his scorn at those missile rumor-mongers." There's no likelihood that the Soviets or Cubans would try and install an offensive capability in Cuba."
The cocksure Bundy was a guest on "Face the Nation" while thus assuring the American people. The date was October 14, 1962.
Exactly 48 hours later, U-2 photos sat on JFK's desk, revealing those "refugee rumors" sitting in Cuba, nuclear armed, and pointed directly at Bundy and his entire staff of sagacious Ivy League wizards.
But don't think for a second that the Best and Brightest were knocked off balance. No sir! The Camelot dream team set their jaws, rolled up their sleeves, and met the challenge head on.
"We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along," writes Nikita Khrushchev about their bulldog bargaining. "Security for Fidel Castro's regime and American missiles removed from Turkey. Until today the U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro [italics mine]. After Kennedy's death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba." Henry Kissinger, as Gerald Ford's secretary of state, renewed the pledge.
After the Missile Crisis "resolution," Castro's "defiance" of the U.S. took the form of the U.S. Coast Guard and even the British navy (when some intrepid exile freedom fighters moved their operation to the Bahamas) shielding him from exile attacks. Far from "defying" a superpower, Castro hid behind the skirts of two superpowers, plus the British Empire.
"[Castro] has some real accomplishments to point to," claims the London Times. "Under his rule, the impoverished Caribbean island has created health and education systems that would be the envy of far wealthier nations ... and there is near full literacy on the island." From London to Tokyo, from Paris to Bangkok, from New York to Madrid – this claim echoes through every media mention of Castro.
For the record: In 1958, that "impoverished Caribbean island" had a higher standard of living than Ireland and Austria, almost double Spain and Japan's per capita income, more doctors and dentists per capita than Britain, and lower infant mortality than France and Germany – the 13th-lowest in the world, in fact. Today, Cuba's infant-mortality rate – despite the hemisphere's highest abortion rate, which skews this figure downward – is 24th from the top.
So, relative to the rest of the world, Cuba's health care has worsened under Castro, and a nation with a formerly massive influx of European immigrants needs machine guns, water cannons and tiger sharks to keep its people from fleeing, while half-starved Haitians a short 60 miles away turn up their noses at any thought of emigrating to Cuba.
In 1958, 80 percent of Cubans were literate, and Cuba spent the most per capita on public education of any nation in Latin America.
During its war of independence near the turn of the 20th century, Cuba was utterly devastated, having lost a quarter of its population. So, Cuba's achievements in national prosperity, health, and education came practically from scratch and in only slightly more time than Castro's stint in power.
Can any sane person claim that given that record – and given Cuba's expenditures on public education – literacy would not have been eradicated in a few short years? Better still, Cubans today would be not just literate but also educated, allowed to read George Orwell and Thomas Jefferson along with the arresting wisdom and sparkling prose of Che Guevara. A specimen:
"To the extent that we achieve concrete successes on a theoretical plane – or, vice versa, to the extent that we draw theoretical conclusions of a broad character on the basis of our concrete research – we will have made a valuable contribution to Marxism-Leninism, and to the cause of humanity."
I quote "this intellectual, this most complete human being of our time" (Jean-Paul Sartre's description of Che Guevara) exactly. Cuba's prisons aren't its only torture chambers. With such reading assignments, Cuba's classrooms amply qualify for an inspection by Amnesty International.
Without Castro, Cuba's full literacy would have come about probably as quickly – and without firing squads, mass graves, and a political incarceration rate higher than Stalin's. Most countries in Latin America with lower literacy rates than Cuba had in 1958 have done just that.
"During the 1980s," continues the Times editorial, "one could still conceivably argue that Cuba's dictatorship was preferable to its US-backed counterparts in Chile, Argentina, Nicaragua or El Salvador, which went one step farther by murdering thousands of their citizens."
Here one blinks, looks again – and gapes. Forget for a second that none of those regimes abolished private property, free travel, free speech. None abolished free enterprise and mandated food rations for its subjects. None set up government snitch groups on every city block. Forget that far from being "US-backed counterparts," Pinochet's Chile and Somoza's Nicaragua had economic sanctions slapped on them by Jimmy Carter. Forget the peripheral ignorance; let's look at the central stupidity.
You long to believe otherwise, you grope for an extenuation, you hope you misread – but it's inescapable: The editorial staff of the world's most prestigious newspaper is unaware that Castro's regime killed people.
Yet Castro's murder tally is not difficult to dig up. No need to consult the ravings of some "crackpot" scandal sheet in Miami. Simply open "The Black Book of Communism," written by French scholars and published in English by Harvard University Press, neither an outpost of the vast right-wing conspiracy nor of Miami maniacs. Here you'll find a tally of 14,000 Castroite murders by firing squad. "The facts and figures are irrefutable. No one will any longer be able to claim ignorance or uncertainty about the criminal nature of Communism," wrote the New York Times (no less!) about "The Black Book of Communism."
"[The Black Book of Communism's] cumulative impact is overwhelming," said a review in a prestigious newspaper named the London Times! So, according to a scholarly work that received gushy reviews in the London Times itself, Castro's regime almost quintupled the alleged murder rate of Pinochet's (3,000.) And this refers only to Communist Cuba's firing-squad murders.
The Cuba Archive project, headed by scholars Maria Werlau and Armando Lago, put the death toll from Castro's regime, including deaths at sea and the desperate anti-Communist insurgency of the early '60s, at 102,000. This project has been lauded by everyone from the Miami Herald (again, no right-wing outpost) to the Wall Street Journal. The mind reels at the Times' ignorance until you recall that such ignorance is practically universal on matters Cuban.
"Castro has clung on for so long in part because the US has provided him with so many propaganda weapons to rally Cubans to his side," asserts the Times editorial.
For the record: A recent poll conducted clandestinely in Cuba by Spanish pollsters regarding the impact of the "U.S. blockade" revealed that fewer than a third of the respondents blamed the so-called "Yankee blockade" for Cuba's ills, proof that the Cuban people aren't nearly as stupid as the scholars and reporters who continuously parrot the London Times claim.
Finally, the Times article brings down the hammer with another academic mantra: "El Comandante has clung on through nearly five decades of economic sanctions and a US-sponsored invasion attempt."
For the record: While renewing the Kennedy-Khrushchev pledge in 1975, Kissinger partly lifted the embargo, allowing all foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies to trade with Cuba. Even that avenue is now moot. U.S. companies have recently done more than $1 billion worth of direct business with Cuba. Currently, the U.S is Cuba's biggest food supplier and fourth-largest import partner.
And anyone familiar with the details of the botched Bay of Pigs invasion knows that referring to it as "US-sponsored" truly debauches the definition of "sponsorship." [For details about this incident, see "Operation Cuban Freedom – NOT!"]
Now, had Richard Nixon won the 1960 presidential election, "U.S. sponsored" would fit (though we would see it named the "Trinidad Invasion," based on the original – and better – landing site). Better still, no one would refer to it as an invasion "attempt." Better even still, some obscure and long-dead Latin American bandit named Fidel Castro would merit less encyclopedia space than Pancho Villa – and no mention whatsoever in the London Times.