Saturday, August 12, 2006

Terrorist tools

N'en déplaise aux sales pédaloïdes, planqués dans leurs bureaux cossus sous les lambris dorés des beaux quartiers, qui font sans arrêt l'étalage des mêmes photos.

Dommage qu'il ne soit pas resté sur le billard

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy made clear in an interview with Le Monde newspaper that the mission of the larger UNIFIL would not include disarming Hizbollah by force.

"We never thought a purely military solution could resolve the problem of Hizbollah," he said. "We are agreed on the goal, the disarmament, but for us the means are purely political."

Blazy probably hopes that a hug and a French kiss will get them to stop.

French Minstrel Show

The much feared Tribu Ka makes its first announcement since being disbanded and outlawed earlier this week.

Friday, August 11, 2006

"The plot was foiled because a large number of people were under surveillance concerning their spending, travel and communications"

This isn't the moment for a politics based on comics turning the president and vice president into joke material. The national mood may not be right now for extended blogospheric daisy chains of smack-the-enemy or cool wordplays with people's names. This isn't a game anymore. Not after yesterday's news.
Thus, Daniel Henninger evokes "a tragic Shakespearean assassination of a former colleague". Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal editorializes that
British antiterrorism chief Peter Clarke said at a news conference that the plot was foiled because "a large number of people" had been under surveillance, with police monitoring "spending, travel and communications."

Let's emphasize that again: The plot was foiled because a large number of people were under surveillance concerning their spending, travel and communications. Which leads us to wonder if Scotland Yard would have succeeded if the ACLU or the New York Times had first learned the details of such surveillance programs. [Meanwhile, the Gray Lady is dutyfreely dutifully wringing its hands about the latest "devastating" developments resulting from the foiled plot.]

And almost on political cue yesterday, Members of the Congressional Democratic leadership were using the occasion to suggest that the U.S. is actually more vulnerable today despite this antiterror success. Harry Reid, who's bidding to run the Senate as Majority Leader, saw it as one more opportunity to insist that "the Iraq war has diverted our focus and more than $300 billion in resources from the war on terrorism and has created a rallying cry for international terrorists."

Ted Kennedy chimed in that "it is clear that our misguided policies are making America more hated in the world and making the war on terrorism harder to win." Mr. Kennedy somehow overlooked that the foiled plan was nearly identical to the "Bojinka" plot led by Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to blow up airliners over the Pacific Ocean in 1995. Did the Clinton Administration's "misguided policies" invite that plot? And if the Iraq war is a diversion and provocation, just what policies would Senators Reid and Kennedy have us "focus" on?

Surveillance? Hmmm. Democrats and their media allies screamed bloody murder last year when it was leaked that the government was monitoring some communications outside the context of a law known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA wasn't designed for, nor does it forbid, the timely exploitation of what are often anonymous phone numbers, and the calls monitored had at least one overseas connection. But Mr. Reid labeled such surveillance "illegal" and an "NSA domestic spying program." Other Democrats are still saying they will censure, or even impeach, Mr. Bush over the FISA program if they win control of Congress.

This year the attempt to paint Bush Administration policies as a clear and present danger to civil liberties continued when USA Today hyped a story on how some U.S. phone companies were keeping call logs. The obvious reason for such logs is that the government might need them to trace the communications of a captured terror suspect. And then there was the recent brouhaha when the New York Times decided news of a secret, successful and entirely legal program to monitor bank transfers between bad guys was somehow in the "public interest" to expose.

For that matter, we don't recall most advocates of a narrowly "focused" war on terror having many kind words for the Patriot Act, which broke down what in the 1990s was a crippling "wall" of separation between our own intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. Senator Reid was "focused" enough on this issue to brag, prematurely as it turned out, that he had "killed" its reauthorization.

And what about interrogating terror suspects when we capture them? It is elite conventional wisdom these days that techniques no worse than psychological pressure and stress positions constitute "torture." There is also continued angst about the detention of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, even as Senators and self-styled civil libertarians fight Bush Administration attempts to process them through military tribunals that won't compromise sources and methods.

In short, Democrats who claim to want "focus" on the war on terror have wanted it fought without the intelligence, interrogation and detention tools necessary to win it. And if they cite "cooperation" with our allies as some kind of magical answer, they should be reminded that the British and other European legal systems generally permit far more intrusive surveillance and detention policies than the Bush Administration has ever contemplated. Does anyone think that when the British interrogate those 20 or so suspects this week that they will recoil at harsh or stressful questioning?

Another issue that should be front and center again is ethnic profiling. We'd be shocked if such profiling wasn't a factor in the selection of surveillance targets that resulted in yesterday's arrests. Here in the U.S., the arrests should be a reminder of the dangers posed by a politically correct system of searching 80-year-old airplane passengers with the same vigor as screeners search young men of Muslim origin. There is no civil right to board an airplane without extra hassle, any more than drivers in high-risk demographics have a right to the same insurance rates as a soccer mom.

The real lesson of yesterday's antiterror success in Britain is that the threat remains potent, and that the U.S. government needs to be using every legal tool to defeat it. At home, that includes intelligence and surveillance and data-mining, and abroad it means all of those as well as an aggressive military plan to disrupt and kill terrorists where they live so they are constantly on defense rather than plotting to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.

As the time since 9/11 has passed, many of America's elites have begun to portray U.S. government policies as a greater threat than the terrorists themselves. George Soros and others have said this explicitly, and their political allies in Congress and the media have staged a relentless campaign against the very practices that saved innocent lives this week. We doubt that many Americans who will soon board an airplane agree.

Take a number and wait in aisle 23.

If someone on your patch was cooking up a terror conspiracy that could have killed 4000 people, would your idea of ‘doing something’ be to set up a meeting? And then wait a week to boot?

The fuse is lit!

The astonishing success for free market economics.

L.A. Times: 51% of Mexico is ‘Elite’.

The fuse is lit!

Damn the torpedoes

Pancho, Outflanking Common Sense for Years.
« ...this is not a ground offensive... »
Which is to say that he surely isn’t disposed to call Hizballah’s offensive offensive in any way – so let’s rewind to a 2003 interview with him aired on CNN for some crowd pleasing moral cowardice:
RODGERS: Pancho, do you know whose right and whose wrong in this contest between the United States and Iraq?

PANCHO: Maybe both are right and wrong at the same time. I mean, there's a problem with Saddam Hussein, but it's not a new problem. I don't think a war would be useful. I think war can only make our world less safe. And that's why we criticize, I criticize the possibility of the war and the political route chosen by Bush.
Making the world safe by doing nothing. Interesting concept.

The fuse is lit!

Hostage taking by another name

These are the left’s heroicresistance”. You remember them – they just ‘take a stand’ because they say they care about schools, welfare, and anything else that will put them beyond criticism.

The fuse is lit!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Finally a real looking toy found in rubble.

So proud of the find, Le Monde published two (count ‘em) two pictures of it.

The fuse is lit!

Voices from Lebanon

With a view events that the ideologically narrow media wouldn’t dare air. Writing in Menapress’ Michael Béhé in Beirut writes:

In fact, our country had become an extension of Iran, and our so-called political power also served as a political and military cover for the Islamists of Teheran. We suddenly discovered that Teheran had stocked more than 12,000 missiles, of all types and calibers, on our territory and that they had patiently, systematically, organized a suppletive force, with the help of the Syrians, that took over, day after day, all the rooms in the House of Lebanon. Just imagine it : we stock ground-to-ground missiles, Zilzals, on our territory and that the firing of such devices without our knowledge, has the power to spark a regional strategic conflict and, potentially, bring about the annihilation of Lebanon.
So to may closer to the situation, they’re familiar of the crocodile tears of interested parties, the manipulative nature of displaying the otherwise personal misery of the suffering, and the assumptions people make about a nation hollowed out by the Syrians, Iranians, and other fiends of the global Jihad.
Lebanon a victim? What a joke!

Before the Israeli attack, Lebanon no longer existed, it was no more than a hologram. At Beirut innocent citizens like myself were forbidden access to certain areas of their own capital. But our police, our army and our judges were also excluded. That was the case, for example, of Hezbollah’s and the Syrians’ command zone in the Haret Hreik quarter (in red on the satellite map). A square measuring a kilometer wide, a capital within the capital, permanently guarded by a Horla army [1], possessing its own institutions, its schools, its crèches, its tribunals, its radio, its television and, above all… its government. A “government” that, alone decided, in the place of the figureheads of the Lebanese government – in which Hezbollah also had its ministers! – to attack a neighboring state, with which we had no substantial or grounded quarrel, and to plunge US into a bloody conflict.
The PC thing to say in Lebanon of course will have with the knowing nod of a well accepted lie have to make Syria and Hizballah into heros, the Israelis into Satan’s only field office on earth, and other melodramatic, irrational twaddle. It will, but it shouldn’t. What do you end up with when one grows accustomed to veiling and re-writing reality?

Others still seem broader-minded and more capable of seeing what this war is: motivated, funded, and possibly controlled by a twisted ideological entity more remote and even less concerned with Lebanon than the Israelis – and even the Europeans.
Iran and Syria are clearly setting Lebanon ablaze from afar, and again using it in their unprompted war against the western civilization and values of humanism they long ababdoned.
Thus almost all of these cowardly politicians, including numerous shiah leaders and religious personalities themselves, are blessing each bomb that falls from a Jewish F-16 turning the insult to our sovereignty that was Haret Hreik, right in the heart of Beirut, into a lunar landscape. Without the Israelis, how could we have received another chance – that we in no way deserve! – to rebuild our country?

Each Irano-Syrian fort that Jerusalem destroys, each islamic fighter they eliminate, and Lebanon proportionally starts to live again! Once again, the soldiers of Israel are doing our work. Once again, like in 1982, we are watching – cowardly, lying low, despicable, and insulting them to boot – their heroic sacrifice that allows us to keep hoping.
Behold the irony: for all of Iran and Syria’s efforts, there are silent forces nations and people’s they can’t quite destroy – even with the home field advantage of already controlling them.

Translation into English by Llewellyn Brown

The fuse is lit!

“El dar una palmada feliz” en España

Behold the flower of youth: Espanky and the Little racailles Happy Eslapping in Espain. Hide the livestock.

Spanish police have arrested four Frenchmen for jumping in front of cars on a busy road so that they could film them and post the footage on the Internet

Relatively rare in Spain, a youth craze known as "happy slapping" took off in Britain last year, in which groups of teenagers slapped or mugged strangers while filming the victims' reaction on camera phones. The images were then sent to friends or posted on Web sites.

Spanish police and local government officials were unavailable for comment.
Reader Yon points out that they may be unavailable for comment do to being out trying to find the rotten twerps.

The fuse is lit!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Photojournalism imitating surrealism

A reader (Val de Texas) found something about the terribly staged looking Beiruti images of toys and mannequins terribly familiar:
As I viewed the images all I could think of was Cindy Sherman. The closing paragraph of this blurb on the photographer/conceptual artist will especially explain why:
During the 1980s Sherman began to use colour film, to exhibit very large prints, and to concentrate more on lighting and facial expression. Using prosthetic appendages and liberal amounts of makeup, Sherman moved into the realm of the grotesque and the sinister with photographs that featured mutilated bodies and reflected such concerns as eating disorders, insanity, and death. Her work became less ambiguous, focusing perhaps more on the results of society's acceptance of stereotyped roles for women than upon the roles themselves. During the 1990s Sherman returned to ironic commentary upon clichéd female identities, introducing mannequins to some of her photographs. In 1997 she directed the dark comedy film Office Killer. She followed this in 1999 with an exhibition of disturbing images of savaged dolls and doll parts that extended her interest in juxtaposing violence and artificiality.
Say it isn’t so – is reality not tried to be shown to mimic the neo-everything, searching, and thoroughly lost New York art scene of the 1980s? I hope not. Sherman herself said:
There is clear distinction between the world of media and the world of social reality.

Even when trying to ‘undo the patriarchy with art’, she knew well enough the difference between a creation with intent and remaking reality. Much of the comfort and enjoyment that comes with surrealism and dada is that one is aware that it is a contrivance, no matter what form it takes or what impact it has on the viewer. We’ll leave the attempts to revise reality to those who hide their motives. They are no longer photo-journalists, nor is it art.

The fuse is lit!

The party of tantrums

Cynthia McKinney pulled her anterior Obrador, which can only be cured by disinfecting it in the sunlight.

The fuse is lit!

Let’s find the composer’s leitmotif, shall we?

Clean, new, and completely posed. Staging the Inference of the injury or death of children without using the children themselves. Call it a passion play if you like, but what’s obvious is that this is seen as a defensible position that the photographer can “make news” from, and use the vagueness of the props as a shield against criticism.

Original by Slublog and called to our attention by RV

The toys are very western looking for blue collar/ no collar and muslim south Beirut. The children’s books are face-up and legible, everything but the magic wand of compassion covered with dust, all other fiberous material combusted or mangled... behold the Reuterization of news where having a “stance” on events matters more than facts.

These photographers truly aren’t sophisticated enough to do this plausibly. Quite frankly, they’re framing the images like amateurs.

The fuse is lit!

Modernity ignored – lefty still unclear on concept

Posters in a fitting context, no?

Nothing is ever really free, comrades. Collectivism never solved anything, in fact it’s just a way to dump your problems on the anonymous other.

- Merci buckets à RV

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"One side is held to exacting standards of near perfection; the other side is held to no standards and no accountability at all"

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reminded the panel that the United States and the free world are in a "global struggle against violent extremists."
writes Cal Thomas, adding that
Rumsfeld's testimony bears reading and repeating to a large number of people who, in their quest for pleasure and personal peace, appear to lack the staying power required to defeat perhaps the greatest evil the world has ever faced.

Taking note of the differences between the way the United States and terrorists fight, Rumsfeld said, "one side puts their men and women at risk in uniform and obeys the laws of war, while the other side uses them against us." We have seen that in the world's reaction to Guantanamo Bay prison and Abu Ghraib. Terrorists use torture and murder and no court of public opinion or judicial entity holds them accountable. The rare instance of abuse by American soldiers is punished.

Rumsfeld elaborated on the difference between the two sides: "One side does all it can to avoid civilian casualties, while the other side uses civilians as shields, and then skillfully orchestrates a public outcry when the other side accidentally kills civilians in their midst. One side is held to exacting standards of near perfection; the other side is held to no standards and no accountability at all."

Rumsfeld noted how the enemy uses our media to undermine American resolve, "planning attacks to gain the maximum media coverage and the maximum public outcry." And then, most importantly, he said: "If we left Iraq prematurely - as the terrorists demand - the enemy would tell us to leave Afghanistan and then withdraw from the Middle East. And if we left the Middle East, they'd order us - and all those who don't share their militant ideology - to leave what they call occupied Muslim lands, from Spain to the Philippines, and then we would face not only the evil ideology of these violent extremists, but an enemy that will have grown accustomed to succeeding in telling free people everywhere what to do."

For those who claim Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terrorism, Rumsfeld noted, "This enemy has called Iraq the central front in the war on terrorism."
Cal Thomas adds that during
World War II, U.S. and German forces fought the battle of Hurtgen Forest. It began Sept. 19, 1944 and ended Feb. 10, 1945. That was one battle in a strategically insignificant corridor of barely 50 square miles east of the Belgium-Germany border. The Germans inflicted more than 24,000 casualties on American forces, while another 9,000 Americans were sidelined due to illness, fatigue and friendly fire. Had live TV beamed this battle to America, there might have been an outcry that the policy was failing and somehow a cease-fire and an accommodation with Hitler should be achieved.

America won that war because the objective wasn't to understand the Nazis, or to reach an accommodation with them; the objective was to win the war. Anything less in this war - against an equally evil and unrelenting enemy - will mean defeat for the United States and for freedom everywhere.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hard-hitting Euro-journalism

Still a hostage:

Okay I will play the game.
- Georges Malbrunot

Georges Malbrunot gets an interview with Trad Hamadah, one of Hizballah’s two Ministers in the Lebanese government and blows it by asking softball questions which would only invite useless answer and angry inanity:
Will Israel achieve its objective [?]

Does Hezbollah support the idea of an international stabilization force to be deployed in southern Lebanon?

So does Hezbollah agree to be disarmed?
Killer questions there, dude. Isn’t one just awestruck by Malbrunot’s bravery, and Hamadah’s inspired answers. Now that’s what I call “speaking truth to power”!

We report, you decide. He reports so little that you can’t decide.

The fuse is lit!

Decay at Doha: 'ambition' was strictly a one-way street."

EU demands Australia be biased toward it in its’ favor, and accuses it of bias.

Mr Mandelson said the EU was used to "ritualistic abuse", but until "we see everyone, all the negotiating partners being asked to the table and to demonstrate some sort of flexibility, we're really going to be no further forward".

Mr Vaile rejected the accusation of bias towards the US and said Australia had always been "very ambitious as far as market access on agriculture is concerned".
So Aus self-interest is somehow a pro-US bias. That’s a new twist on reality. The subject isn’t even the US here, it’s EU trade restrictions on Australian goods.
"The European Union's offer to cut agricultural tariffs by 51 percent might sound reasonable, but its tariffs are so high that it would make very little difference. Carve-outs for sensitive products would have weakened the result further," he continued.
Australian trade officials see the EU for what they have mutated into: the worst of their own citizens – fearful, needy, and whining.
Referring to the US, which last month refused to put further concessions on the table arguing that both the EU and developing countries were not giving it enough incentives to do so, the farm commissioner said "I am afraid to say that, for some of our trade partners, 'ambition' was strictly a one-way street."

"They understood ambition only in terms of demanding concessions from others, not offering them", she said.

Let’s not forget that magic Euro-wand that works with lefty ideologs far and wide too.
Labor's trade spokesman Kevin Rudd said Mr Downer seemed to have forgotten that his job involved diplomacy.
He wouldn’t be saying that if he DID some sort of labour himself which resulted in something that can’t be exported to that devine spit of land on the western end of Asia, of course – but surely it feels good to beat Howard or Downer over the head with.

The fuse is lit!

Going straight into apology mode is not enough

Nor is it much of a foreign policy. EU tells France to knock it off, but as usual, puts limits on what it will call “wrong”, or “bad” depending on who’s asking. Such difficult concepts for Heideggerian wiz kids like this to understand.

French efforts to lure Iran and Syria into reasonable-ness for the umpteenth time looked worthless. They never concede anything, not to misguided postmodern tossers anyway.

France's Philippe Douste-Blazy, who had pressed for the term "immediate ceasefire," claimed victory on the text, asking "what is the difference between the immediate cessation of hostilities and an immediate ceasefire?"

But Germany, a traditional EU ally of France, notably distanced itself from Paris, with foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier declaring "The cessation of hostilities is not the same as a ceasefire."
Meanwhile the growing sport of parsing words and splitting hairs while Jihadist make merry continiues.

The fuse is lit!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Realism deficit

It will take more than one intervention in the “near and uncomfortable regions” of their midst to detach themselves from the public’s fragile egos. Discussion of a thickly European multinational intervention force in Lebanon, no matter what it intends to do, will only end up maintaining the status quo because it will be undermined. They will lose the war on the home front.

"European public opinion is as elaborately constructed as its cathedrals."
writes Nidra Poller in TCS Daily.
To stop the fighting, they brandish the pure white flag of a hypothetical international force with a strong European contingent that will somehow achieve what no pinpoint attack, negotiation, security zone, incursion, or UN Resolution has heretofore accomplished. Whichever way you turn these solemn promises, they come up ridiculous. Denying, on the one hand, the realities of blood, sweat and tears combat and, on the other hand, the totality of European attitudes and reactions to events in the Middle East since the onset of jihad-intifada in September 2001, these vague proposals serve as a fancy veil to hide the face of European duplicity.

For the past several years European governments, with rare exceptions, have elaborated foreign policy in terms of anticipated reactions from their growing Muslim populations.
The notion of deploying a multinational peacekeeping force that includes Europeans is a farce. They will not assist Lebanon in disarming Hizballah because their every action will effect their domestic tranquility.

If you think about the fact a handful of cartoons from Denmark was used as a reason to be outraged in the streets of the Near East, just wait and see what happens when French military units are duped into a skirmish or ambush, and to the horror of jihad's social Gestapo emerge only slightly bloodied. Libération, The Guardian, and the Indy will indeed make a point of showing their readers the blood on Europe’s hands during election time, and will go into contortions to avoid comparisons with the deployments to the former Yugoslavia. They will only end up tacitly inferring that this new-found concern for Hizballah’s “Minutemen” will diminish the regard they had for similarly tribal Slavic lives in the past.

Those moss covered branched of the press will surely give them a honeymoon for a while, and try to point to a greater good it might have, but will recede into their usual Dr. Strangelovian tic of calling anything of the sort a foreign occupation. They will look back on their kid glove treatment as hypocrisy as soon as a ballot box comes into view.
French military participation in Afghanistan is off the radar screen. French troops are seen with a tender eye only when they participate in humanitarian operations—rescuing survivors of a tsunami, bringing food and medicines to Hezbollah fiefdoms in southern Lebanon. José Luis Zapatero got elected in Spain when he promised to pull Spanish troops out of reaction to the Madrid train bombing. Romano Prodi is adored because he is likely to do likewise. Tony Blair is despised, even in his own country, because he actively supports American policy in the Middle East.

Europeans are steeped in diversity worship. European intellectuals preach dialogue with the adversary, concessions to the aggressor... they refuse the very idea of enemies.
At the first news of a handful of dead Europeans (or Hizballah scum for that matter), and the addiction to forming comparisons will walk right out of the AA meeting Jonesing for a fix.
Forces will either be staged into withdrawal by a sufficient amount of combat or be told to become withdrawn and given the same doctrine the Dutch had in Srebrenica solely for reasons of political expedience at home.

It’s doomed from jumpstreet, says Poller:
If you don't believe me, ask the EU's foreign policy man, Javier Solana:
"Asked who would disarm Hizbullah—a central demand of Israel—Solana said that the Lebanese could play a role and that he hoped a political end to the conflict would deprive the militant group of its rationale for arms."
It would be a two-front war: in the slums of south Beirut and in "the 9-3" that no political contortionist could escape from.

The fuse is lit!

The revolution is just a T-shirt away

No global crisis is too intricate not to be reduced to a slogan.
the fuse is lit!

So, when is it that flag waving is okay?

When a fake resistance figure does it of course.
I guess he cant quite visualize that anyone can be made responsible for their what they start.

Plantu has still fallen for it to the point where Israel is a faceless weapon, and Nasrallah is made to look lie a harmless mischievous ingénue with social studies-teacher glasses and a look of innocent surprise.

The fuse is lit!