Monday, April 6, 2009

The Bush Islamic Doctrine

Original article

The Bush Islamic Doctrine

We were introduced the power of political Islam on September 11, 2001. For a few people 9/11 was a declaration of war against our civilization and those people have been struggling against Islam. It is time to stop and ask: How are we doing? We are losing on every front.

A definition: Kafirs are the non-Muslims who are fighting against Islam. Dhimmis are the apologists for Islam—the media, Obama, George Bush, the professors, preachers, priests, politicians, pundits and rabbis.

Why are the kafirs losing? Because Islam is so strong? No, because we are waging war with a strategy that is destined to fail. We are losing because we using a losing strategy. George Bush planted the seeds of our strategy when he declared that 9/11 was an act of terrorists and he laid out the strategy that would lead to our cultural self-destruction. Here is the Bush Islamic doctrine:

· Islam is a religion similar to Christianity. Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same god.
· The problem is terrorism, not Islam, hence, “The War on Terror.”
· There are moderate Muslims and a few extremist Muslims.
· A good Muslim means that Islam is good.
· “Radicals” cause the violence.
· Islam is found in the Koran.
· The “bad stuff” in the Koran is just how it is interpreted.
· Good Muslims will reform the “terrorists.”

Not a single item is true. Each and every one is false and has no basis in Islamic doctrine. But everybody bought it. Why? For the same reason that Bush said it. It was the academic doctrine of Islam that the Ivy League taught. The media, professors, preachers, priests, politicians, pundits and rabbis had all been taught the same doctrine to interpret Islam. The Bush doctrine is not only unquestioned, but now has achieved the status of revealed truth. To deny it is to be a bigot.

So Bush did not create the doctrine, he was just a spokesman for the elites. There is a great irony in calling it the Bush doctrine, since more progressives/liberals/Leftists/Democrats believe it than do conservatives. Boxer, Reid, Pelosi and Obama are advocates of the Bush doctrine.

Let’s see how the Bush doctrine works to prevent actual learning about the truth of Islam. Take the jihad in Mumbai, India where several Jews and hundreds of Hindus were injured and murdered. The words “Islam” and “Muslims” were barely mentioned by the media. The problem was terrorism, not jihad. The dhimmis did not want to malign the moderate Muslims by bringing up the Islam angle. It was just a few radicals who had highjacked Islam who attacked the kafirs in Mumbai.

How many mindless (mindless on the part of the Christians and Jews) interfaith dialogues have we seen? Religious leaders all get on stage and go on about how they worship the same god. Not one of these so-called Christian and Jewish leaders has actually read the Koran. It is the Koran that defines Allah and if you don’t know what is in it, you don’t know anything about Allah. But not to worry. The Bush doctrine holds it to be true and that is enough. What religious leader has had the time over the last eight years to read the Koran or the life of Mohammed? They have had plenty of time, but they don’t need to do so; they are comforted by the lies of the Bush doctrine.

The Cork in the Bottle

Let’s say that you are talking to a dhimmi and you bring up some evil of Islam. What do they say?

· Christians did bad things, too.
· There is violence in the Bible, too.
· They (jihadis) are some fundamentalist/radical types. All fundamentalists are bad. Most Muslims are just like everybody else.
· The ultimate mind cork: “I know this Muslim at work. He is nice. Subtext: I can’t hear you.” (A good Muslim means that Islam is good.)

Every thrust is parried with the Bush doctrine of Islam. The Bush doctrine is the cork in the bottle. Every time we try to pour some wine of truth into a dhimmi’s head, it is corked by the Bush doctrine.


And how have we responded to the Bush Islamic doctrine? For the most part, we have bought the Bush terror model of Islam. We try to stuff everything into terror/jihad. Since no one likes terror/jihad, it can be condemned. But Islam is very clever. There are four kinds of jihad—sword, pen, tongue and money. If they skip the terror part and go straight to the soft jihad, then the kafirs talking about the terror/jihad approach to Islam are soon ignored. The media skips the terror/jihad now. There have been numerous jihadist events in America, but the FBI and the media never admit that Islam is involved. The worst was Mumbai, India. It was pure jihad, the attack on the Jews proved that, but Islam and the Muslims were never mentioned. No Islam here. Move right along. There is no man behind the curtain.

The terror approach bears a relationship to crying “Wolf!” After while, no one really worries about terror and the lack of it proves that Islam is good.

The major problem with dealing with “terror” is that it takes away from watching the real destructive force in America—Sharia law and the slow Islamification of our culture.

Education and Debate

When you are trying to educate someone about Islam, it helps to go over the Bush doctrine and point out that not a single statement in it is true. Up front, challenge their beliefs.

The Obama Doctrine: Europe 1, America 0

Original article

The president's diplomatic philosophy puts the interests of other countries ahead of those of the United States.

April 6, 2009 - by Soeren Kern

U.S. President Barack Obama’s debut in European summitry has been good for Europe but bad for America. While a highly deferential Obama gave in to all of the negotiating demands established by the Europeans, the Europeans in turn exploited Obama’s naïveté and refused to concede to any of his. Indeed, Obama not only allowed the Europeans to set the agendas of the recent G-20 and NATO summits, but in his zeal to curry favor with the Europeans, Obama evenapologized for American primacy. Obama’s diplomatic philosophy, which puts the interests of other countries ahead of those of the United States, could be called the “Obama Doctrine.” If it is carried out in practice to its logical conclusion, it will have the long-term effect of permanently transferring U.S. geopolitical power and influence to Europeans and other American rivals.

Obama started his trip to Europe by proclaiming that “I would like to think that with my election, we’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world.” He then legitimized European anti-Americanism by saying that the United States was sorry for wrecking transatlantic relations, as if the Europeans were innocent victims of U.S. oppression; Obama told an audience of 3,000 giddy European students that “America has been arrogant and has even ridiculed” its European allies. Later, Obama followed up by declaring that “I believe in a strong Europe,” even though European integration is at base a project that seeks to counterbalance American power on the global stage. Obama topped it all off by offering pacifistic Europeans a utopian vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Maybe Obama thought his new “smart power” approach to U.S. diplomacy would woo his European counterparts into reciprocating their love for America. But defiant European leaders shunned Obama’s romantic advances, insisting instead on a redistribution of global power.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the international economic order dominated by the United States was finished. “The old Washington consensus is over,” Brown declared. “I think a new world order is emerging with the foundation of a new progressive era of international cooperation,” he said, referring to an incipient globalism that seeks to demolish American sovereignty.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Europe would no longer follow America’s lead on setting the global economic agenda. Sarkozy and Merkel called for a “new financial architecture” that would subject the U.S. financial system to European regulation. They added that their demands were not negotiable.

Obama obliged bystroking Sarkozy’s famously huge ego. Obama said Sarkozy was “courageous on so many fronts, it’s hard to keep up” and praised him for displaying “initiative, imagination, creativity” in tackling difficult problems. Sarkozy replied with Gallic generosity by announcing that he was prepared to make a big sacrifice: France would agree to take one single detainee from Guantánamo Bay as soon as the terrorist detention camp is shut down, which may be never. “We can’t condemn the United States because they have that camp and then wash our hands of it once they close it. That’s not what being allies is about,” Sarkozy declared. In the same breath, Sarkozy announced that France would not be sending any more combat troops to help NATO allies in Afghanistan.

Which begs the question: What did Obama accomplish during his trip to Europe?

Brown said the leaders of the G-20 struck a “historic” deal to end the global recession by pumping more than $1 trillion into the world economy. But critics saythis is nothing more than a rhetorical commitment to provide money that has already been promised. In reality, no new money will be injected into the system. What’s more, leaders failed to agree on plans for a new globally-coordinated fiscal stimulus package, as Obama had insisted. Instead, Obama settled for a vague pledge that the leaders of the G-20 would do “whatever it takes” to revive the global economy.

On the other hand, the G-20 did plant the seeds for a new era of global socialism. They agreed to global financial regulations that Sarkozy said turned the page on the Anglo-Saxon model of free markets. And point 19 of the final communiqué of the G-20 summit seems to be pushing the world one step closer to a global currency and a global central bank, all designed to replace the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency.

Meanwhile, NATO leaders rebuffed Obama’s plea for a significant boost in combat troop numbers to fight the insurgency in Afghanistan. Obama tried to put a positive spin on their lukewarm commitment to send just 5,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, describing it as a “significant and strong down payment on the future of NATO.” But 3,000 of the additional troops will serve as short-term security for elections that are set for August, and the remaining 2,000 will work as trainers to the Afghan National Army and police force. In other words: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” Europeans told Obama.

At the same time, Sarkozy announced that France would fully rejoin NATO, but only on the condition that Obama endorses an independent European defense capability. Many observers suspect that Sarkozy is hoping to increase French influence within the alliance in order to “Europeanize” it, while at the same time building an independent European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) — a long-cherished ambition of many European elites. In other words, critics say, France will now be perfectly placed to destroy NATO from within. If Sarkozy succeeds in creating an independent EU military, it will be at the expense of NATO, which in turn will dilute American influence in Europe. And that is, of course, what it’s all about.

The import of Obama’s pliability was not lost on the European media. In France, for example, Le Monde, referring to the G-20 summit, said: “Even if the birth proves painful, in London, it is well and truly a new world that has emerged before our eyes. A less Anglo-Saxon and less liberal world. … Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama accepts this.”

In Germany, the Financial Times Deutschland published an articled titled “Friendship is a One-Way Street.” It said: “It is no surprise that Europeans have renewed a friendship that so far has been like a one-way street. From their perspective, they were among those who had the right attitude vis-à-vis Obama’s predecessor. Which is why, in their view, it’s time for the United States to come over to their side. And Obama has done so, from regulation of the financial markets to climate policy. On the other hand, Europe has hardly budged.”

Even the American media has picked up on what Obama really did in Europe. According to the Washington Post: “Barack Obama has proved in the past few days that he can work smoothly and productively with a wide range of foreign leaders — provided that he allows them to set the agenda. … What’s striking about Obama’s diplomacy, however, has been his willingness to embrace the priorities of European governments, Russia and China while playing down — or setting aside altogether — principal American concerns.”

More ominously, the UPI highlights the true danger behind the emerging Obama Doctrine: “If [Obama] bows to the Paris-Berlin diktat, then his prestige as leader of the United States and the Western world will be crippled and the leaders of France, Germany, and other European nations will be encouraged to defy him further.”

Europe may be rife with self-professing Obama-worshippers, but their devotion has been shown to be largely superficial. Obama, on the other hand, has proved himself to be a true disciple of Europe. Obama may believe that ceding American leadership will win him new friends. But his trip to Europe proves that this is a dangerous illusion.


Soeren Kern is Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.

President 50/50

Original article

Our Philosopher Organizer

The most successful practitioner of community organizing looks around for what he thinks is a problem, chastises both sides and allots absolutely equal blame, gives exalted moral lectures about compromise and understanding, and then waltzes away well paid, praised for his moderation, but having accomplished nothing.

So I wasn’t too surprised to learn that President Obama decided to tackle European-American relations—something that has a pedigree going back to our Revolution, and has been analyzed by the likes of Tocqueville and Henry James to contemporary essayists such as Bruce Bawer, Joseph Joffe, Robert Kagan, and Bruce Thornton. But then who needs to read them, when you have the power of ‘hope and change’?

Had Mr. Obama done his homework, he would have learned that our transatlantic “differences” transcend communication problems, and, yes, even Barack Obama’s charisma.

An Old Sore

Europe—given its Western heritage, its own intellectual roots (reflected in the French Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the canonization of 1848, Marx’s natural landscape, postcolonial guilt, the lingering shame of appeasement and collaboration, postmodern anti-Western philosophy), the legacy of the bloody twentieth century, the conditions of the Cold War, and the American defensive shield—has devolved into a largely secular, if not atheistic society.

That it is now shrinking, facing endemic childlessness, can neither assimilate nor deport Islamic immigrants, becoming increasingly protectionist, and is unarmed and pacifist is all logical rather than aberrant. How we still maintain such friendly relations with our now distant European cousins, given our (prior) capitalism, Christianity, fertility, assimilation practices, classlessness, enormous military power, and international profile is the real mystery. One thing that Europe most definitely does not want is for President Obama to turn the United States into a socialist, protectionist, disarmed, pacifist—Europe II—a clone of itself that won’t protect it, provide an open market for its goods, or stimulate the world economy.

Sorta Capitalist

While capitalism survives there, it does so by the more successful buying insider influence, relying on hereditary wealth and inherited privilege, avoiding as many laws as possible, and praising publicly socialism as you privately get it around it in the real world—sorta like the New York Times lauding Obama’s bailout of GM while it threatens to shut down the Boston Globe unless the print unions shave off millions in wage concessions, or the city officials of Detroit serially alleging racism while they loot what little is left of the city solely for friends and family.

To visit Italy or Greece is to be impressed by the sheer human ingenuity of small entrepreneurs who deal mostly in cash, avoid taxes, arrange barter, skirt regulations (half their restaurants would be shut down for safety violations in the states), hire either family or workers off the books without proper papers, and generally try to have some sort of government job that requires no work but income in down times.

Again, despite our common culture and long shared history, there is bound to be differences. President Obama should read about poor General Pershing’s frustrations with Foch and Petain, the hatred between Wilson and Clemenceau, the tension between de Gaulle and Roosevelt/Truman, Reagan’s efforts to base Pershing missiles to counter Russian tactical nukes, and Bill Clinton’s five-year long frustrations in dealing with Germans, Italians, Greeks, and the Dutch over Milosevic.

Sit Down and Listen!

No matter. Obama walks in. He sees a “new” problem (read Bush’s). And as if he’s trying to resolve a renter group’s anger over bad conditions in a city-owned apartment building, he immediately decides his “cool” can relieve the “tension”. So Europe gets 50% of the blame, America 50%—but, wait, in reality more since an American while abroad “courageously” blames first his fellow Americans on the charge of beingcowards “arrogant”. Then, presto, problem addressed and solved, Obama goes into campaign mode to wow the crowds with his untraditional heritage.

If you dare suggest that when he serially announces “I’m more interested in looking forward than backward” it simply means he has just trashed his predecessor; if you let out a peep that the Euros are smiling over no more combat troops sent to Afghanistan; that the Russians are delighted that they got everything they dreamed of; that Sarkozy is preening about his transnational financial czar; that Merkel wasn’t joking when she boasted that she won’t stimulate a penny; that the 50/50 “speech” to the Euros was more like the spring 2008 Rev. Wright effort (Wright had reasons to be racist himself given people like Obama’s racist grandmother, but failed to see we’ve gotten better), then you are “partisan”, “angry” “need to get over it,” and more or less acting like the petulant Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi did the last few years.

Heard it Already?

And please, no more of those desperate gratuitous cries in the wilderness, “NO! We are not arrogant!” followed by frantic, Hannity-like recitation that we defeated German militarism, Hitler’s Nazism, Italian fascism, Japanese imperialism, Soviet totalitarianism, rebuilt Europe, sent massive aid to the Middle East, allowed gargantuan trade deficits to stimulate the world export economy, offered the most liberal immigration policies in the world (cf. Obama’s auntie), allow billions in remittances to be sent freely abroad, removed Milosevic, the Taliban, and Saddam, helped Muslims in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bosnia and Kosovo, Somalia, Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan, and on and on.

Brave New World

None of that. Instead, listen up and learn—and feel better that your community-organizing President has just organized the world along the transnational principles that we alone will fight the Taliban, go into massive debt to ’stimulate’ exportation into the US market, follow the UN lead on problems from Iran to North Korea, apologize for the neanderthal ‘war on terror’, push the “reset” button on our past terrible policies, borrow and spend well over a half-trillion for ‘cap and trade’ to combat ‘global climate change’—and are to be loved as never before.

Textbook Lies About Islam

Original article

Political correctness and fear have led to the whitewashing of Islam in books used by American students.

April 5, 2009 - by Raymond Ibrahim

In recent House hearings dedicated to examining Islamic extremism, I stressed that the fundamental stumbling block to effective policy-making is educational and epistemological. What people are taught about Islam needs a serious overhaul before we can expect to formulate strategies that make sense.

Worth heeding is former top Pentagon official William Gawthrop’s 2006 lament that “the senior service colleges of the Department of Defense had not incorporated into their curriculum a systematic study of Muhammad as a military or political leader. As a consequence, we still do not have an in-depth understanding of the war-fighting doctrine laid down by Muhammad, how it might be applied today by an increasing number of Islamic groups, or how it might be countered.”

Three years later, the situation appears worse. After the War College published something of an apologia for the terrorist organization Hamas, defense analystMark Perry concluded, “It’s worse than you think. They have curtailed the curriculum so that their students are not exposed to radical Islam. Akin to denying students access to Marx during the Cold War.”

Why, at a time of war, are students at top U.S. military schools denied an objective treatment of Islam’s war doctrines? A report by the American Textbook Council sheds light by showing how these academic failures have much deeper roots.

After reviewing a number of popular textbooks used by American junior and senior high schools, the report found that, due to political correctness and/or fear of Muslim activists, “key subjects like jihad, Islamic law, [and] the status of women are whitewashed.” Regarding the strikes of 9/11, one textbook never mentions Islamic ideologies, referring to the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers as “teams of terrorists” — this despite the fact that al-Qaeda has repeatedly articulated its hostile worldview through an Islamist paradigm, with a stress on hating “infidels” and waging holy war (see The Al Qaeda Reader).

Speaking of jihad, one seventh-grade textbook explains, “Jihad represents the human struggle to overcome difficulties and do things that are pleasing to God. Muslims strive to respond positively to personal difficulties as well as worldly challenges. For instance, they might work to be better people, reform society, or correct injustice.” By not informing students that all these aspects mean something different for Muslims — killing an apostate is considered “correcting injustice” and spreading Islamic law is “reforming society” — the textbook misleads by projecting Western interpretations onto Islam.

Compare this textbook’s definition of jihad with that of an early (non-PC) edition of the venerableEncyclopaedia of Islam. Its opening sentence simply states, “The spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general. … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam. … Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad [warfare to spread Islam] can be eliminated.” Muslim legal manuals written in Arabic are even more explicit.

The report finds other disturbing aspects regarding Islam’s whitewashing in textbooks: the well-documented Muslim military conquests demarcating most of what is now known as the “Islamic world” are glossed over or distorted; Islam ambiguously “spread” or was “brought.” Well-defined aspects of Islamic law — the subordinate status of women and non-Muslims, execution of the apostate and homosexual, and other issues that appear almost any given day in headlines — are either ignored or obfuscated. History is distorted to portray Muslims as tolerant and progressive, Christians as intolerant and backwards.

In my testimony to the House, I wrote: “It should be acknowledged that educational failures exacerbate epistemological ones, and vice versa, leading to a perpetual cycle where necessary knowledge is not merely ignored, but not even acknowledged as real in the first place. When American universities [or high schools] fail to teach Islamic doctrine and history accurately, a flawed epistemology permeates society at large. And since new students and new professors come from this already conditioned-towards-Islam society, not only do they not question the lack of accurate knowledge and education; they perpetuate it.”

This report demonstrates the validity of this vicious cycle. In fact, every last one of those flagrant textbook errors indoctrinating America’s youth is an indisputable “fact” for many of America’s Islam “experts,” particularly those advising the government. The effects are dramatic. For instance, far from objectively examining Islam, the government is now pushing to ban Arabic words connotative of Islamic ideology from formal analysis — such as “mujahid,” “umma,” “Sharia,” “caliphate” — asking personnel to rely primarily on generic terms, such as “terrorists.”

The greater irony is that not only do children’s textbooks in Muslim countries openly teach hatred and hostility for non-Muslims, or “infidels” — those same people fervently trying to whitewash Islam — but so do Muslim schools operating on American soil.

At any rate, from American junior high texts obfuscating the motivation of 9/11 to censored intelligence analysts who cannot prefix more meaningful adjectives to the word “terrorist,” until Islamic ideologies are addressed forthrightly, the U.S. — leadership and lay alike — will remain philosophically unprepared against the threat of radical Islam. Objective knowledge — properly taught and disseminated — is the first step to formulating any long-term strategy. When knowledge is unshackled from the bonds of political correctness and wishful thinking, strategies will naturally present themselves as common sense.

Bottom line: if children are sheltered from ugly truths today, how can they ever be expected to confront them as adults tomorrow?


Raymond Ibrahim is the associate director of the Middle East Forum and the author of The Al Qaeda Reader, translations of religious texts and propaganda.

Obama Is the ‘Arrogant, Dismissive, and Derisive’ One

Original article

The president's comments in Europe are the most classic case of projection exhibited by an American president to date.

April 5, 2009 - by Kim Priestap

While in Strasbourg, President Barack Obama told an audience in a townhall meeting that America needs to change its attitude toward Europe. He said America was wrong for not celebrating Europe’s “dynamic union” and not seeking “to partner” with them to better address the “common challenges” that face our nations. He even went so far as to say past American policy was misguided because it had “shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive,” an obvious rebuke of former President Bush. The president made these highly critical comments of his own country on foreign soil in an effort to “rebuild” the transatlantic relationship between the United States and Europe by offering an olive branch.

The president’s comments were greeted with cheers. They were described as electrifying and inspiring. And they are the most classic case of projection exhibited by an American president to date.

Just a few days ago in a meeting with American CEOs of American banks, President Obama’s tone and attitude were rife with the arrogance, dismissiveness, and derision he had just criticized in Europe. A participant in the meeting told Politico that when the CEOs tried to explain that the nature, complexities, and competition of the finance and banking industries required that they continue retention bonuses for their employees, the president became impatient. He interrupted them and said, “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that. My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

The imagery behind Obama’s threat couldn’t be more obvious: comply with my demands or I will make sure you are harassed, intimidated, and run out of town on a rail. He made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Don Corleone couldn’t have said it better.

We can not forget, however, that it was Barack Obama himself along with his fellow Democrats who agitated this mob-like frenzy about the banks, the CEOs, and the bonuses. It was Obama who said the bonuses were an “outrage” and a “violation of our fundamental values.” Democrat Barney Frank hauled AIG’s CEO in front of the House Financial Services Committee and interrogated him, demanding to know why he approved the hundreds of millions of dollars of bonuses. Conveniently, Congressman Frank failed to mention that the approval was inside the very stimulus bill Obama championed and the Democrats overwhelmingly voted for.

This wasn’t the first time Obama bared his political teeth. Back in January he responded to the House Republicans’ concerns about not having enough tax cuts in the stimulus package with an arrogant and dismissive “I won.” Karl Rove reported in a recent Wall Street Journal column that Obama told fellow Democrat Rep. Peter De Fazio that he needed to watch his political backside after he voted against the president’s stimulus package: “Don’t think I’m not keeping score, brother,” he warned him.

Obama’s most recent pitchfork threat, however, was not just for his private audience of CEOs. He had a much wider audience in mind: the Democrats in Congress and the American people.

While the president continues to inflame the outrage surrounding the executives’ bonuses by threatening bank CEOs with angry mobs wielding pitchforks, he’s quietly working behind the scenes to help these same CEOs avoid the limits Democrats in Congress are trying to place on the salaries of the executives that receive bailout funds. In fact, the president himself has called for these limits. That means we can add another descriptor to Obama’s list: duplicitous. The Washington Post gives us the details:

The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials.

Administration officials have concluded that this approach is vital for persuading firms to participate in programs funded by the $700 billion financial rescue package.

The administration believes it can sidestep the rules because, in many cases, it has decided not to provide federal aid directly to financial companies, the sources said. Instead, the government has set up special entities that act as middlemen, channeling the bailout funds to the firms and, via this two-step process, stripping away the requirement that the restrictions be imposed, according to officials.

It seems the president is trying to play both sides of this issue. On the one hand, he wants to continue to stoke the populist outrage set ablaze by the lavish bonuses; on the other hand, he is trying to help the CEOs keep those same lavish bonuses.

This epitomizes arrogance, dismissiveness, derision, and duplicity toward the American taxpayers and his own party. The president was elected with the grand expectation that he would transform the way Washington does business, but his new scheme of circumventing Congress is nothing more than the old policies of the Chicago political machine. If President Obama keeps it up, he may find the pitchforks with which he threatened the CEOs pointing at him.


Kim Priestap is a freelance writer, blogger, and business owner. She lives in northern Michigan with her husband and three young children. When Kim is not caring for her kids, writing, or working, she can be found canoeing, fly fishing, or shopping.

Muhammad al-Dura: Theater of the Absurd?

Original article

Was the "killing" of a Palestinian boy in Gaza by the Israeli army in 2000 staged?

April 6, 2009 - by Stephanie L. Freid

When ARDdocumentary filmmaker Esther Schapira viewed the now iconic images of Muhammad al-Dura and his father Jamal back in 2000 she felt there was more of a story to tell. So she set out to produce a film called How Soldiers Live with the Knowledge of Killing a Young Child. But during her research it emerged that this wasn’t simply the story of a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers. “It wasn’t clear who killed him,” Schapira said. “But ultimately it appeared highly unlikely that he was killed by Israel.”

So she ditched the original idea and instead made the documentary Three Bullets and a Dead Child, which shows the nearly impossible likelihood that the boy was shot and killed by the Israeli army. Schapira admitted that while she was researching the documentary, evidence also surfaced suggesting the incident was staged. But she left that aside.

When the documentary aired nationally in Germany, public reaction was tremendous. Schapira was accused of whitewashing the Israeli army’s actions and she received death threats. She hired security guards and chose to part ways with the al-Dura affair. Busy working on other documentaries, she said she “didn’t want to get too involved with one specific story.” But in 2008, French mediaanalyst Philippe Karsenty used some of her footage in French courts to hammer home his theory that France 2 Television’s al-Dura report was staged. The courts ruled in Karsenty’s favor, prompting Schapira to roll up her sleeves and go back in for another round.

Her latest work — The Child, the Death and the Truth: The Mystery of the Palestinian Boy Mohammed Al-Dura — aired in Germany this month. This time Schapira and crew went back to ask follow-up questions about issues that had surfaced the first time around. “Why don’t we see blood in the images?” Schapira asks. “That didn’t make sense to me back then. There was a claim of three bullets to the child — 15 fired on him and his father altogether — but no blood.”

And then there was the issue of missing video. France 2’s cameraman claimed to have shot six minutes of video but only 52 seconds were ever aired. That remained a sticking point. The decisive “moment of death” appears non-existent. Schapira said her professional background told her there might be a cover-up underway.

“There was a lie,” Schapira said by phone from Germany. “It was clear there must’ve been something else going on because from my professional background and from working in news for quite a while, I found it highly unlikely that an experienced cameraman with tape in his camera — 15 minutes worth and battery life — would film less than a minute when confronted with such strong images. It went against all my professional experience.”

What wasn’t being shown to the public? Was it a clear view of bullets coming from the Palestinian side? Or a sequence showing how the child is killed?

Schapira procured images from Mohammed al-Dura’s Gazan autopsy and hired German biometric facial imaging expert Kurt Kindermann to compare the autopsy, the funeral, and the France 2 images. Kindermann concluded that the boy at the funeral and in the morgue were most likely one and the same. They were not, however, the same boy seen crouching beside his father in the famous video sequence. “We tried to investigate if he died shortly after [the shooting], but the only proof was always the funeral scene,” Schapira said “It seemed to be clear that a boy was killed, but with this new evidence it is not clear anymore.”

Schapira presents these findings in her latest documentary along with an impossible timeline sequence: Mohammed al-Dura was shot at 2 p.m., but the Gaza morgue says he was brought in at 10 a.m. “I think it’s strong evidence that there is no proof that Mohammed al-Dura is dead,” Schapira concluded. “There’s no proof he’s alive but no proof either that he’s dead.”

But the issue of al-Dura’s mortality wasn’t the focal point in producing the latest piece. For Schapira, this was about the ongoing battle between viewers, the media, and truth. She said:

People view footage and believe they are eyewitnesses to an event when in fact they are not. I knew this before but never realized it so acutely until working on this documentary. The problem usually lies with a correspondent who didn’t see an event with his own eyes. Information is delivered by fixers at the spot who may not be free of their own political agenda, and we journalists report it but have no way of validating. And if the images fit a theory or idea we already have in our minds, they are the most dangerous of all because we don’t question them.

A hoax? The entire al-Dura event completely staged? I have a tough time with that. The footage is too grainy and the shot too long to see blood. I haven’t seen close-ups, but I don’t believe the expressions of terror seen on the faces of father and son could have been faked. And an awful lot of people would have had to have been in collusion to pull off that kind of hoax. I’ve spoken with journalists who were in Gaza the day after the incident, people who met with al-Dura family members and traveled to Jordan to speak with Jamal as he recovered in hospital from gunshot wounds. They don’t believe it’s a hoax.

Regardless, after talking with Esther I was troubled. So I telephoned Israeli journalist Adi Schwartz, who has covered al-Dura extensively. “Talk to me about the hoax theory; I’m struggling with it,” I said.

“Leave that aside and I’ll give you a different angle to think about,” Adi countered. “Usually in journalism and life, when a claim is brought forward, the burden of proof is on the claimant not the other way around. In the al-Dura story it is the other way around. Charles Enderlin and France 2 claimed the IDF killed a boy, but I interviewed Enderlin and he has no proof it’s true. His line is that Israel has killed a lot of children. It’s like if the sun comes up in the East, then the IDF kills children. That attitude is flawed. It’s been nine years and still there’s no absolute proof. And yet Enderlin stands firm. It’s flawed.”

Thursday, April 2, 2009

No SUVs Around During the Roman Global Warming ‘Crisis’

Original article

Self-hating humans need to relax and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.

by Matt Patterson
March 31, 2009

Ah, spring, when the earth slowly wakes from its winter slumber, a warming welcomed by nearly every living thing.

Hard to believe some silly people are deathly afraid of warming weather — worried sick because the earth has warmed a degree or two over the last 150 years.

Make no mistake — the earth haswarmed. Unfortunately for the climate-change catastrophists, warming periods have occurred throughout recorded history, long before the Industrial Revolution and SUVs began spitting man-made carbon into the atmosphere. And as might be expected, these warm periods have invariably proven a blessing for humanity. Consider:

Around the 3rd century B.C., the planet emerged from a long cold spell. The warm period which followed lasted about 700 years, and since it coincided with the rise of Pax Romana, it is known as the Roman Warming.

In the 5th century A.D., the earth’s climate became cooler. Cold and drought pushed the tribes of northern Europe south against the Roman frontier. Rome was sacked, and the Dark Ages commenced. And it was a dark age, both metaphorically and literally — the sun’s light dimmed and gave little warmth; harvest seasons grew shorter and yielded less. Life expectancy and literacy plummeted. The plague appeared and decimated whole populations.

Then, inexplicably, about 900 A.D. things began to warm. This warming trend would last almost 400 years, a well documented era known as the Medieval Warm Period. Once again, as temperatures rose harvests and populations grew. Vineyards made their way into Northern Europe, including Britain. Art and science flourished in what we now know as the Renaissance.

Then around 1300 A.D. things cooled drastically. This cold spell would last almost 500 years, a severe climate event known as the Little Ice Age. Millions died in famine as glaciers advanced all over the world. The plague returned. In Greenland, the Norse colony that had been established during the Medieval Warming froze and starved. Arctic pack ice descended south, pushing Inuit peoples to the shores of Scotland. People ice skated on the Thames; they walked from Staten Island to Manhattan over a frozen New York Harbor. The year 1816 was remembered as the year without a summer, with some portions of the Northern Hemisphere seeing snowfall in June.

But around 1850 the planet began to warm up yet again. Glaciers retreated. Temperatures rose. This is the warming period which we are still enjoying today. And once again, the warmth brought bounty: The last 150 years have seen an explosion in life expectancy, population, and scientific progress like never before.

Of course, even before the appearance of humans, the earth alternated throughout its history between extremes of heat and cold: 700 million years ago the planet was covered entirely in ice; 55 million years ago, a swampy greenhouse.

Why? What drives these ancient cycles? There are a lot of theories. The waxing and waning of solar output; cosmic rays and their role in cloud formation; the earth moving through plumes of galactic dust as it travels up and down through the arm of the Milky Way; plate tectonics redirecting the ocean currents; vulcanism. Perhaps it is a combination of all of these things. Perhaps it is something as yet undiscovered. One thing for sure that it’s not: SUVs.

Why, then, do otherwise sensible people believe that we are both causing the current warming and that the warmth is a bad thing? To me it seems some grotesque combination of narcissism and self-loathing, a mentality that says at once “I am so important that my behavior is causing this” and “I am so inherently tainted that it must be bad.”

For these self-hating humans who want us to cut our carbs (carbons, not carbohydrates), I say relax and enjoy the warmth while it lasts.

Because it won’t. No matter what we do, the ice and the cold and the dark will come again. That should be our worry.

PETA’s Pet Slaughterhouse

Original article

If animals are people and fish are kittens, then the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are genocidal tyrants. Once in PETA’s death clutch, few animals escape.

by Melissa Clouthier

March 29, 2009

In Virginia, PETA takes the notion of killing with kindness literally: only seven animals found a home out of the 2,216 it cared for in 2008. Seven animals managed a reprieve; the rest were loved to death. From the blog PETA Kills Animals:

PETA’s “Animal Record” report for 2008, filed with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, shows that the animal rights group killed 95 percent of the dogs and cats in its care last year. During all of 2008, PETA found adoptive homes for just seven pets.

Just seven animals — out of the 2,216 it took in. PETA just broke its own record.

Why would an animal rights group secretly kill animals at its headquarters? PETA’s continued silence on the matter makes it hard to say for sure. But from a cost-saving standpoint, PETA’s hypocrisy isn’t difficult to understand: Killing adoptable cats and dogs — and storing the bodies in a walk-in freezer until they can be cremated — requires far less money and effort than caring for the pets until they are adopted.

PETA has a $32 million annual budget. But instead of investing in the lives of the thousands of flesh and blood creatures in its care, the group spends millions on media campaigns telling Americans that eating meat, drinking milk, fishing, hunting, wearing leather shoes, and benefiting from medical research performed on lab rats are all “unethical.”

The bottom line: PETA’s leaders care more about cutting into their advertising budget than finding homes for the nearly six pets they kill on average, every single day.

Let’s just look at some of the hypocritical advertising. Remember the sea kittens? At the splashy PETA site:

Given the drastic situation for this country’s sea kittens-who are often the victims of many major threats to their welfare and ways of life — it’s high time that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stop allowing our little sea kitten friends to be tortured and killed. Who’d want to hurt a sea kitten anyway?!

Sea kittens are just as intelligent (not to mention adorable) as dogs and cats, and they feel pain just as all animals do.

Please take just a few moments to send an e-mail to H. Dale Hall, the director of the FWS, asking him to stop promoting the hunting of sea kittens (otherwise known as “fishing”). The promotion of sea kitten hunting is a glaring contradiction of FWS’ mission to “conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats.”

If sea kittens are just as intelligent, then why does PETA kill so many intelligent, pain-feeling animals in their care? Maybe they should be cleaning up their own kennel before worrying about how U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service manages sea kittens.

PETA has been known to go after fast food chains calling Burger King “Murder King” and using celebrities like (surprise!) Alec Baldwin. More recently, PETA had two scantily clad women making out on Valentine’s Day, proclaiming that “vegetarians make better lovers” and urging people to give up eating meat.

Perhaps the most outrageous advertising is described here:

Designed to promote PETA’s anti-meat campaign, the larger-than-life billboard shows the face of a haggard young woman on one side and a pig’s face on the other. Between the two is the blunt slogan: “Neither Of Us Is Meat.”

Interpreted as a reference to the case of Robert Pickton, the B.C. man charged in the deaths of 15 women on his farm, the campaign has sparked condemnation from victims’ families.

More recently, a similar ad was not run but the guts of the advertising give you an idea of the group’s twisted morality:

However, city editor Tara Seel said the newspaper had no intention of running the ad, which uses imagery of “an innocent victim’s throat” being cut, in reference to the slaughter of cows, chickens and pigs on factory farms.

“His struggles and cries are ignored … the man with the knife shows no emotion … the victim is slaughtered and his head cut off … his flesh is eaten,” reads the ad, which is posted on the website.

“If this ad leaves a bad taste in your mouth, please give a thought to what sensitive animals think and feel when they come to the end of their frightening journey and see, hear and smell the slaughterhouse.”

In response to the outrage after this ad, PETA said (via TMZ):

While it isn’t every day that a human is violently attacked and eaten by another human, it’s worth noting that it is the norm for many people not to give any thought to the fact that restaurants are serving flesh that comes from innocents who were minding their own business before someone came after them with a knife.

Over 20,000 dogs and cats, the “flesh of innocents,” were killed by PETA since 1998. Meanwhile, they spent millions chiding people for eating meat and chicken and fish. Just a tiny percentage of their massive budget could save thousands of “lives” and yet they hypocritically lecture others about their lifestyle.

PETA needs to clean their own slaughterhouse. They might have a little more credibility in caring for animals if they cared for, instead of killed, those they’re meant to save.

America, have you forgotten history?

Budget Hero