January 5, 2009

Web Reconnaissance for 01/05/2009

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

On the Web:
AJStrata: It’s Official: Liberal Media Is Pro Palestinian - Only someone who cannot distinguish terrorist states from democracies would equate Hamas to Israel. These are the people who ignore the targeted killings of hundreds, thousands or millions in order to find wrong doing when the west defends or liberates. And today the NY Times has come out of the closet and proclaimed their anti-semite support for terrorists: “Israel Strikes Before an Ally Departs - For nine days, as European and United Nations officials have called urgently for a cease-fire in Gaza, the Bush administration has squarely blamed the rocket attacks of the Palestinian militant group Hamas for Israel’s assault, maintaining to the end its eight-year record of stalwart support for Israel.” Just a note of clarity, since this is one extremely biased piece. Officials of the UN would include Iranians and Syrians. And most European Union nations back Israel. Anyway, more on this strange liberal bit of sick fantasy: (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: The World Supports Hamas? Of Course, They Do! - The Hamas lobby - I got more than the usual nasty letters this week over voicing support for Israel. Here are some of the critics’ counter-arguments. 1. You talk big time of supporting democracy in the Middle East, but then turn on democratically-elected Hamas when it is convenient! Two points: (A) In summer 2007 Hamas eliminated the Palestinian Authority (i.e., erstwhile Fatah) opposition through intimidation, occasional summary execution and attacks on its party infrastructure. It then, following a Hitlerian 1930s paradigm, took over complete control of Gaza well beyond its parliamentary mandate, and began turning Gaza into an armed camp and veritable appendage of the Iranian terrorist apparatus. Then it soon began shelling Israel. (READ MORE)

In From The Cold: Getting Ready for the Urban Battle - Twenty-four hours into the ground campaign, Israeli forces have split the Gaza Strip in half, surrounding its largest city, and setting the stage for definitive battles that will follow. As the AP describes it: “On Sunday, Israeli soldiers fought primarily in open areas in the launching zones used by Gaza's militants to send rockets raining down on Israeli cities. As the troops in three brigade-size formations moved in, residents of those Israeli cities began cautiously emerging from bomb shelters in hopes that the rocket fire would taper off. Backing up the troops, mobile artillery units fired shells that exploded in veils of white smoke over Gaza's urban skyline. Tanks pushed south of Gaza City as deep as the abandoned settlement of Netzarim, which Israel left along with other communities when it pulled out of Gaza in 2005.” (READ MORE)

CJ: Respect and Admiration Not A Leftwing Trait - Flopping Aces has an excellent piece up that I challenge ALL my readers to read all the way through. I've posted about all the things that President Bush has done for this country, but he's done a lot for the world as a whole as well. And along the way to improving the lives of perhaps billions of people, he's made a few mistakes. Good for him. It means he's human. While our troops do not to deal with the level of ignorance shown during the Vietnam War, we still have to deal with ignorant baffoons who have made their life's goal to denigrate and minimize our contributions and accomplishments. Why is that? Because if they admit that the military has succeeded, they have to admit that our boss has succeeded. Scientists have not yet isolated a treatment for those suffering from BDS. Until the gene responsible for this refusal to accept and admit obvious successes, BDS will continue and our troops will remain without the public declaration of respect and admiration for their victory. (READ MORE)

J. D. Pendry: Happy 2009 - Entering 2009, we find that the centuries old battle between the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael, continues. The children of Isaac have endured a relentless fight for their existence against the children of Ishmael, often alone, from the beginning of human history. Ishmael, led by fanatical Mullahs and because of them, will never reconcile with Isaac. Some of us, considered the weak minded by the all knowing elitists of our world, know the roots of this epic struggle and how it ends. We have called it by many names. The war on terror is just one of the misnomers we have given it. We rarely, however, want to accept what it truly is - the epic battle between Isaac and Ishmael playing for us as if it was another of Cecil B. Demille’s Biblical productions. Whether you accept that premise or not, you must decide during this new year behind which son of Abraham you stand. There is no alternative choice for you. The fight will not leave you alone. Events, history and ideology force you to one side or the other. (READ MORE)

Jamie Wearing Fool: 'They Have Controlled the Media by Using Money, Power and Their Lies' - I'm not sure which is more of a preposterous claim. That the U.S. military controls the media or the absurd notion that the Taliban have killed more than 5,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan in 2008. Where'd they get these numbers from, The Lancet? It'll be amusing to see if anyone actually reports this with a straight face. “The Taliban has long exaggerated its military successes, but its recent claim that it killed more than 5,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan last year may be the militia's most startling yet. The Taliban said last week on its Web site that it killed 5,220 U.S. and NATO troops in 2008 — an exaggerated figure nearly 20 times the official death toll. The insurgents also said they downed 31 aircraft last year. Its fighters destroyed 2,818 NATO and Afghan vehicles and killed 7,552 Afghan soldiers and police, according to a statement from a spokesman.” (READ MORE)

The Black Tygrrrr Express: Israeli Humans vs Palestinian Savages - Israelis are by and large human beings. Palestinians, exempting the 20% that do not support the tactics of Hamas, are savage barbarians. It is time for human beings to triumph over the savages. For those wondering why I have chosen to devalue the lives of people, it is because they have devalued their own lives. Any culture that endorses and promotes suicide bombings has violated the requirement necessary to be a member of the human species. The human culture is a culture that values human life. 80% of Palestinians have decided for whatever inexcusable and insufficient reason that human life does not matter. Therefore, those 80% no longer matter. They can be discarded as an afterthought the same way that one throws out an empty pizza box. (READ MORE)

SC&A: The Road To Perdition And The Road To Civilization - The Judeo-Christian world civilizes, the Islamic world of today, fanaticizes. The Judeo-Christian world builds, the Islamic world of today tears down. That hasn’t always been the case, of course, but is true today- and there is no amount of dancing, obfuscation or deceit that can hide that truth. The Judeo-Christian world, best exemplified by imperfect, but free societies, have far outpaced most of the very dysfunctional Islamic world. When you consider that the Islamic world had an real head start, that reality is even more pronounced. Islam, once home to great thought, discussion and ideas, has become inflexible, giving no quarter to those who want to engage in an kind of exchange. (READ MORE)

The Sniper: In Case Anyone Was Wondering Why Israel Went Into Gaza - They’re called rockets and unless you’ve had them fired at you, you really can’t appreciate just how much it sucks. They’re not just offensive weapons, they’re terror weapons. I know I hated having them fired at us in Afghanistan, I can only imagine how much it would suck to be a little Isreali kid subjected to the fear of incoming rockets at school every day. The rockets are random, lethal, and fired from civilian areas so Hamas can use human shields and then blame Israel when they eventually and inevitably retaliate. This has been going on every day for months and up until now Israel has shown remarkable restraint… so every douchebag with a pro-Hamas/anti-Israel protest sign or a "diplomacy now" sign or a "war is not the answer" placard can sit the hell down and shut the f*** up. And in case you think Israel is overreacting with their retaliatory strikes, here’s a little taste of a rocket attack on Southern Israel. (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: Firming up the narrative: Israel can’t win - The news media are falling all over themselves to conclude that no matter what happens, Israel loses. When I woke up to NPR this morning, the first thing I heard was (paraphrasing) “Israeli forces haven’t stopped the rocket fire into southern Israel, with more than 20 rockets being fired today.” CNN’s summary of their latest Israel piece: NEW: Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel persists despite 10-day campaign And the headline tells you the focus of the media: Gaza death toll rises as Israel pounds Hamas You see? No matter what Israel does, she loses. Might as well not even bother fighting. Hamas can’t be beaten. What a load of crap. Of course Hamas can be beaten. Israel had the terrorists on the rope before, but then they granted them a truce. Every time Hamas is seriously wounded, it sues for truce. And Israel grants it. (READ MORE)

Winds of Change: Gaza and the Law of Armed Conflict - While much of the world engages in hand-wringing, placard-waving, teeth-gnashing, and rocket-launching over Israel’s “disproportionate” response to Hamas attacks from Gaza, it’s worth looking at what the doctrines of “proportionality” actually say. Making the rounds is a two-year old quote from Lionel Beehner’s paper for the Council on Foreign Relations in which he summarizes the principle of proportionality as laid out by the 1907 Hague Conventions. “According to the doctrine, a state is legally allowed to unilaterally defend itself and right a wrong provided the response is proportional to the injury suffered. The response must also be immediate and necessary, refrain from targeting civilians, and require only enough force to reinstate the status quo ante.” The precise wording of the doctrine can be found in Article 51, not Article 49 as Beehner writes, of the Draft Articles of the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Murderers!!!! (Next up: Secondhand Drinking) - Whatever would we do without scientists? When they're not spending millions of our tax dollars to inform us of things we already know, they're discovering heretofore unsuspected dangers lurking in the very fibers of our clothing, just waiting to bite us all in the evolutionary ass: “Researchers have identified "third-hand smoke," an invisible evil that acts like a deadly Ghost of Cigarettes Past: Polluting the air, killing innocent babies and ottomans — even if they aren't present at the time.” As you can guess, this research is geared toward one end only: The banning of all smoking on private property — including your home. Never one to eschew intolerant, divisive fear mongering (even as it denounces intolerant, divisive fear mongerers who use fear and... well, fear as an argument for imposing their policy preferences on others), the New York Times doth not hesitate to wield its much renowned flexible urban viewpoint like the jackhammer of the Gods... (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: A good day to be an Australian - It’s always a good day to be an Australian but some days feel better than others and the day just gone by was one of those. That thought came to me while I was reading the official transcript of a Prime Ministerial press conference. Anyone who reads government press releases probably belongs to the legion of the lost, if not the legion of the damned, so my only excuse is that I don’t do it very often. But with the situation in the Middle East being at such a turning point at the moment it makes all of us who admire and support the heroic nation of Israel (as heroic in restraint as they are in action) unusually anxious to monitor relevant events. And Australian Prime Ministers of both parties have a track record of firm support for Israel. Before I found the remarks of Prime Minister Rudd on Israel, however, I also found some other remarks by him in his press conference that also pleased me greatly. (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: An MP is shocked by al Beeb - Three cheers for Tory MP Michael Fabricant, who says he has been ‘horrified and angered’ by the BBC’s coverage of the Gaza conflict, and will be making a formal complaint to the Chairman of the BBC Trust about it: “While paying scant regard to the provocation of 10,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza over the last seven years, the BBC has chosen to broadcast 'human interest' stories reminiscent of salacious photos in the cheaper red top newspapers. Thus I heard a heart rending report from a Palestinian in Cyprus how he imagined - yes: IMAGINED! - Gaza's streets would be running with the blood of dead Arab children. After that, the BBC located individuals in Gaza who have taken the opportunity of repeating over the BBC what they have already said on Al Jazeera. No balance there then. And today I heard an ‘unbiased report from a British aid worker in Gaza, from Islamic Relief’.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: On the Ground in Gaza - (This was sent out by Professor Barry Rubin this morning and I am reproducing it in its entirety, with his permission. Some comments on the *special* treatment afforded Israel, and to lesser extent, the United States, in the current struggle with radical Islam will be forthcoming when I resume blogging next week.) Tel Aviv, Israel Israel didn't want to attack the Gaza Strip from the ground or from the air. Hamas, which had long broken the ceasefire, canceled it altogether. Then it began large-scale attacks on Israel. This is a war of defense. And it is being conducted just 30 miles from here, Israel's main city. According to the just-released Israeli government statement on the offensive: "The objective of this stage is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the area of operation, while taking control of some of rocket launching area used by the Hamas, in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.(READ MORE)

The Shield of Achilles : War breaks out, Hamas apologists answer the call - Israel is hitting Gaza in response to Hamas rocket attacks, and Arab activists are protesting all over the globe. I'm not going to echo the media here, but instead point out that some of Israel's critics are not telling you the whole story. Of course, the predictable Daily Kos, Juan Cole, and Richard Silverstein, and the Huffington Post, to name just a few, are all crying out in support of Palestinians and against the Israeli "aggressors". Professor Cole call's Israel's offensive a "war crime". His reasoning: “In 2001-2008, these rockets killed about 15 Israelis and injured 433, and they have damaged property. In the same period, Gazan mortar attacks on Israel have killed 8 Israelis.” The omissions in Cole's article are dishonest. He is comparing apples and oranges. It's true that relatively few Israelis have actually been killed by Hamas rockets. But he conveniently forgets that these are not the only weapons in Hamas' arsenal. (READ MORE)

Donald Sensing: Decision of diplomacy after decision of arms - Paul Reynolds, world affairs correspondent for BBC Online, says that the decisions of diplomacy to conclude the Gaza war will have to wait for Israel's decision of arms. “This conclusion is inevitable in the face of a determination by the Israeli government that it faces an unacceptable threat from Gaza that must be dealt with. By delaying ground operations for a week, it gave Hamas a chance to back down and call a halt to the firing of rockets into Israel. But Hamas chose confrontation, probably fearing that to do otherwise would be to show weakness. ... Much depends on whether Hamas has been able to recover from the shock it must have received eight days ago when the air assault began. On the other hand, a decisive Israeli ground intervention could leave the door open to negotiation - but only if Hamas chooses to walk through that door.” In February 2003, I published an essay at my old One Hand Clapping blog anticipating the coming Iraq campaign, entitled, "The coming American Holy War." This was not in invest the Iraq war with sacredness by any means, but to describe modern American war-making as drawing on both the Northern and Southern models of American history. (READ MORE)

Rightwing Nuthouse: IT’S JUST A LITTLE STAB IN THE BACK - What’s a little knife thrust between the shoulder blades among friends, huh? After all, it’s not like Israel’s enemies on the left want to plunge the blade up to the hilt, penetrating the heart and killing off the Jewish state. They would prefer someone else deliver the coup de grace. Instead, this is more like a “love thrust” – a little wound just to get Israel’s attention and maybe allow them to bleed a bit before calling 911. After all, it’s not like the left wants Israel to disappear – “wiped off the map” as that little elf in Tehran so colorfully puts it. They just want Israel to behave as if the left’s silly, stupid pretensions regarding the rules of diplomacy and conflict resolution (such as they are) actually mean something. It would prove that might doesn’t make right, that it is better to receive attacks without response than defend oneself, and that a few dead Jews are a small price to pay for giving it the old college try at the negotiating table with an enemy that wants to barter their very existence. (READ MORE)

McQ: The left - drawing false parallels - Peterr at FireDogLake points to a quote by Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land in which he likens the security wall Israel erected to the Berlin wall: Anyone who can liken a wall erected to keep oppressed citizens in with a wall erected to keep suicidal enemies out simply can’t be taken seriously. But this is a common tactic of the left - attempt to draw parallels between any totalitarian regime and Israel so its attempts at self-defense can then be compared to those oppressive regimes. Not a single mention of Hamas. Not a single mention of the fact that the West Bank is mostly peaceful. Or that since Israel has erected the wall, Hamas sponsored suicide bombers have largely been unsuccessful in blowing themselves up on buses and in pizza parlors (although they’ve certainly tried to sneak their martyrs through on numerous occasions). (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: No Fanfare - Roy Boehm passed into the clearing at the end of the path Tuesday night. He was 84 years old. Boehm had served his country in three wars, including service in the largest surface-only engagement of World War II, the Battle of Cape Esperance. His ship - the USS Duncan - took multiple hits from 6″ and 8″ guns before going under the waves. Although wounded by shrapnel in his head and body, he managed to save another shipmate before the ship went down. While in the ocean he was forced to fight sharks off for his own life. For 13 hours. Re-enlisting for the Korean War, his ship provided fires ashore in support of the Marine Corps’ amphibious assault on Inchon, and also covered the withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir. After his commissioning, he developed and implemented an unconventional warfare naval commando force known, respected and feared throughout the world: The US Navy SEALs. He was the first Officer-in-Charge of SEAL Team 2. He drove his team hard, and drove himself harder. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Ledeen: Iranian regime failing as proxies lose ground - Normally, Michael Ledeen wouldn’t qualify as an optimist, especially on Iran. That’s what makes his column today on the mullahcracy’s fortunes interesting reading, as Ledeen sees the regime teetering after its proxies have lost ground. But is Ledeen a little too hopeful? “First of all, the dramatic drop in oil prices is devastating to the mullahs, who had planned to be able to fund terrorist proxies throughout the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Suddenly their bottom line is tinged with red, and this carries over onto their domestic balance sheets, which were already demonstrably shaky (they were forced to cancel proposed new taxes when the merchant class staged nation-wide protests). No wonder they seize on any international event to call for petroleum export reductions. Just today they called for a [2] drastic reduction of oil shipments to all countries that supported the Israeli military incursion into Gaza.” (READ MORE)

Phyllis Chesler: An Israeli Soldier’s Mother Waits. What’s At Stake in Gaza - I knew that Israel was going into Gaza with “boots on the ground” at least a day before they finally did so. Two Israeli mothers, who do not know one another, each have sons in the elite Golani and Givati Brigades. Both sons had been ordered to turn in their cell phones; there would be no more “haimishe” (comforting, familiar) contact with home. Another mother in Israel, Bonna Devora Haberman, who is a dear friend, a feminist professor, a religious woman, and the mother of five, emailed me last night. With her permission, I am sharing her words with you. Hers is the voice of a mother in Israel. “Our son finished his 17-month grueling training in an elite commando unit last Thursday night. On Friday, his unit prepared equipment, then returned home for Shabbat. He was called to report for service on Shabbat eve, before we had benched. This was the first time the phone had rung in our home on Shabbat that we can recall.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: 3 state option? - John Bolton wants to turn the clock to 1967. That’s a mistake. In an article in the Washington Post today, the former UN ambassador said the mess made by Hamas in the Gaza has shown that it is time to turn back the clock. “Let’s start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn. Hamas has killed the idea, and even the Holy Land is good for only one resurrection. Instead, we should look to a ‘three-state’ approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty. Among many anomalies, today’s conflict lies within the boundaries of three states nominally at peace. Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability in their own countries. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: One Side Fits All - Perhaps I just missed it... I read this story about the Arkansas chapter of the ACLU filing a lawsuit to overturn the will of the voters in that state (stop me if you've heard this before) to restrict adoption to married couples. I read all the way through it, all the arguments advanced by the plaintiffs in that and several other lawsuits, all the fulminations about how the new law is "unconstitutional." But nowhere, in the entire article, does the Associated Press even trouble to ask any supporter of the law why he thinks it's legitimate... a new citizens initiative that (stop me if you've heard this before) merely returns the law to the status quo ante, undoing the state Supreme Court decision that struck down the traditional understanding and ordered adoptions and fostering not to take into account the marital status of the new parents when awarding custody. In fact, the only time they even admit that anyone supports the law (which passed 57-43) is to introduce a couple of bare facts: (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Sending A Child To War - I’ve had the experience of sending my youngest son on a deployment to Kosovo, when that country was fairly stable. I’ve had the experience of sending Marty off to Iraq almost two years ago now. It wasn’t an easy thing to do in either circumstance. This weekend, I spent some time with yet another family member, prior to him deploying to Iraq. This time it was my sister’s son, who spent lots of time as he grew up with us. My sisters children are like my own children and visa versa and it was as difficult to know he’s going off to war, as it was my own son and Marty. Even though he’s an adult now, I still look at him and see that ornery child who spent as much time as possible with my sons. It’s hard to realize that he’s grown up and now a man and in the Navy. It seems like only yesterday, that his sister was telling their parents that she didn’t want a baby brother and that they should send him back where he came from. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: More Palestinian Fauxtography? - It certainly looks that way. Try and get people to think that there are more children injured than there really are by getting the injured child to be carried by more than one person. Aussie Dave at Israellycool has the details (scroll down halfway into the post) The same child is being paraded around by different men. If the kid is truly injured, why all the photos since that would be getting in the way of the kid's medical care. Instead, they're parading the kid for the cameras. It's typical of the media in Gaza. They're milking the crisis for all its worth. We can tell it's the same child based on the clothes and the facial scars, which are common to both. (READ MORE)

Cassy Fiano: Will they be screaming about unfair, stolen elections now? - For the past eight years, liberals have screeched and moaned about how President Bush STOLE THE ELECTIONS!!! This, of course, is a load of crap, as President Bush actually did win the election. I'm sure that all those people were only concerned about making sure the voices of the people were heard, not anger over someone they disagree with winning office. And considering how much liberals love fairness and upholding democracy, shouldn't they be more concerned about a real, live, honest-to-God stolen election going on right now? I haven't commented much on the drama going on in Minnesota, with the race for the Senate between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. Why bother? I knew from the beginning what the outcome would be. No matter who the people actually voted for, Al Franken would be declared the winner. And that's exactly what will happen, because there is no other allowable outcome beyond a Franken victory. (READ MORE)

Bring the heat, Bring the Stupid: Here’s a war crime for you… - Israel, as a part of Operation Cast Lead (the current operation to suppress rocket attacks from Gaza) bombed a mosque. I’m sure some folks immediately pointed out that bombing a religious structure is a war crime in contravention with the Geneva Accords and all other sorts of arguments. But here’s the thing. Israel isn’t the one committing a war crime here. Hamas is. Watch the video. You clearly see the initial explosion, followed immediately by a massive secondary explosion and several smaller secondaries. That’s proof there were weapons stored there. Which is an act in violation of the law of war, and which act removed the mosque from its protected status. (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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