BAGHDAD â€” The Iraqi government has endorsed a decision to relocate and compensate thousands of Arabs who moved to the northern city of Kirkuk as part of Saddam Hussein’s campaign to push out the Kurds, the justice minister said Saturday. The decision was a major step toward solidifying the status of the disputed oil-rich city.
Those who choose to leave will be paid about $15,000 and given land in their former hometowns.
Turkey and the Sunnis are very unhappy. This means that the Shiites and the Kurds have decided to include oil-rich Kirkup in Kurdistan.
By Ted Belman
In the comments to Worldview of Israelâ€™s elites is gutting Israel, I challenged Felix Quigley to define his term “left”, “socialism” and “socialist”. He has yet to do this.
Now YNET has an article, Left, Right and Iraq war which agrees with me that “Traditional definitions of Left, Right no longer applicable”.
[..] President Bush’s rivals are accusing him of the war’s bloody cost, but they stay away from dealing with the ideology that guides it. Those espousing this ideology â€“ categorized as an insane offspring to the family of right-wing views – believe that freedom is what all people in the world care about most. Give them freedom and they will sprout democracy, become peace lovers and prosper as do the peoples of the West.
Kenneth R. Timmerman writing in NEWSMAX quotes an Israeli politician who states that Israel will be at war by summer.
Israel will be at war by summer, a prominent opposition member of the Israeli Knesset told NewsMax in an exclusive interview this week.
“We have no choice. We will have to do it,” said Dr. Arieh Eldad, member of the opposition National Union Party.
In a wide-ranging interview during a Passover visit to the United States, Dr. Eldad explained that Israel was facing a new strategic threat, caused in part by its own failure to deal a crushing blow to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the impression of weakness last summer’s failed war created in the minds of Israel’s enemies.
“Hezbollah is becoming stronger every day,” he said. “They are rebuilding their ammunition stores, their medium and long missiles. They are going back to their bunkers in the south of Lebanon.”
Israel has “no choice” but to launch a pre-emptive war…
(Authorâ€™s Note: The Socratic Method is a technique which utilizes a series of questions to expose inadequacies and inconsistencies in the beliefs of an interlocutor. Ultimately a new and better hypothesis is formed. The technique is commonly employed in legal education, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and forensic investigations. Peter Falk humorously employed this technique in his popular TV detective series, Colombo.
In the following fictional article, a spokesman for the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IMFA, uses the technique with a reporter from the BBC at a press conference)
IMFA: Now that I have explained my governmentâ€™s opposition to the Saudi Peace Initiative because it omits dialogue, negotiation, and regional cooperation, Iâ€™ll take some questions. Iâ€™ll start with Richard from BBC.
BBC: Sir, why is the Government of Israel (GOI) opposed to dismantling the illegal Jewish settlements that were built on occupied Palestinian territory?
Ayn Rand Institute Press Release
“What underlies this unconscionably weak response? Fundamentally, it is the corrupt moral principle that dominates the West, the principle that regards selflessness as a virtue and self-assertion in pursuit, and defense, of one’s interests as immoral. To punish Iran militarily for its many acts of war would be wrong, it would flout the will of the ‘international community,’ it would, on this premise, be ‘selfish.’ It is this premise that inhibits, and thus disarms, the West in the face of the enemy–and, as a result, spurs our enemy.
Irvine, CA–“There is a profound, but unrecognized, lesson in the West’s weak response to Iran’s hostage-taking of British naval personnel,” said Elan Journo, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.
“The U.K. government and Washington are widely regarded as aggressive defenders of their interests in the face of Islamist aggression. But the present Iranian hostage crisis shows, again, how these would-be defenders of our life and freedom are pathetically timid–while our enemy is shameless and ever more confident.
Martin Sherman of the Jerusalem Summit gives an upbeat message on Israel’s potential in the PR battle in his article The Entire World is not Against Us but advises that the elites aren’t capitalizing on it.
[..] This of course raises the question of “why?” Why is all the potential affinity for Israel not being energetically harvested; why is all the latent aversion towards its adversaries not being resolutely harnessed? For in under any dispassionate analysis of the objective parameters, the poor image of Israel on the international stage is difficult to fathom. So why does the county fare so poorly in the media war?
[..] The answer to this is shocking but simple: Israel is losing the war for international opinion because – in the final analysis – she does not really want to win it! Or at least the official organs charged with administering this war do not.
The key to the answer lies in the worldview of the entrenched elites in Israeli society – the legal establishment, media establishment and that portion of the academic establishment which interfaces with the media (notably the social sciences and humanities but not the natural and exact sciences.)
This is the body that de facto influences the course the country takes, far more than the de jure results of any elections, and its worldview is one that that is incompatible with portraying the Arabs, Arab society, and Arab regimes as they truly are.
by Scott Sullivan, THE CONSERVATIVE VOICE
[Warning: Sullivan has a completely different take on Iraq and Iran and he is quite unorthodox in his thinking. Take from it what you want]
Yes, Ahmadinejad today is riding high. He has the US working for him in Iraq by suppressing the Sunnis and Muqtada al-Sadr. He has taken the Kurds away from the US as allies, so that Iraqâ€™s president Jalal Talabani now calls the Iranians bothers and the US merely friends. He has isolated the British from the US to the point where President Bush will not even speak out in defense of the British hostages.
Nonetheless, Ahmadinejad is going down. Ahmadinejad will be made Ayatollah Khameneiâ€™s scapegoat for Iranian losses in Iraq, as follows.
First, Iran will be forced to use its own forces to take southern Iraq and Basra, with its vast oil reserves. Iran was hopng the US and the UK would break the Iraqi resistance. Meanwhile, Iranian hopes of dominating all of the new Iraq as a client state have vanished, due to the civil war in Iraq.
Winston Churchill included this in a speech in 1899
- “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly
struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
Sir Winston Churchill; (The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages
248-50 (London: Churchill saw it coming.
By Ken Timmerman, FrontPageMag
[..] But whatâ€™s clear is this: Ahmadinejad and his faction want war. They believe that war with the West is their ticket to victory.
Even if they lose large portions of their country, or if their nuclear sites are destroyed, they believe that they will emerge victorious. Because in their eyes, this type of war with the West will hasten the return of the Imam Mahdi, the savior figure of the radical hojjatieh sect of Shia Islam in which Ahmadinejad and his faction believe.
But donâ€™t make the mistake some have made in placing all your bets on Ahmadinejad. If somehow the U.S were able to wave a magic wand and get rid of him overnight, we would still be facing a security and political establishment in Iran that is devoted to confrontation with the West, and to the destruction of Israel.
By the time the Arab League summit opened in Riyadh Wednesday, March 28, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice already knew the meeting would crush rather than fulfill the high hopes she and President George W. Bush had been encouraged to entertain by Saudi promises. While the festive opening saw such honored guests as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and European Union foreign affairs executive Javier Solana, the chair assigned to the US Secretary of State was empty.
Two days earlier, before her second conversation with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem, she had said she would attend the Riyadh summit. However, by the following morning, plans had changed. Instead of heading east to Saudi Arabia, she headed home to Washington where by the end of the day, she was meeting with President Bush in what can only be described as a gloomy session.
Although Livni played a central role in ensuring Israel’s defeat last summer, the media have given her a free pass. For the overwhelmingly leftist media, given the irrevocability of Olmert’s political demise, Livni represents the last hope to maintain the Left’s control over Israeli policymaking.
[..] A MA’ARIV poll taken last week showed that were Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to stand at the helm of Kadima in the next elections, the governing party would win 27 Knesset seats to 23 seats for Likud under Binyamin Netanyahu.
Given that Livni is a relative newcomer to the leadership ranks of Israeli politics, it is worth recalling the context of her rise to prominence. When Sharon first announced his lunatic plan to retreat from Gaza in early 2004, Livni was a junior minister in his government identified with the right-wing faction of the Likud.
By Elan Journo, Ayn Rand Institute
Washington’s policy of bringing elections to the Middle East, we were assured, would lead the region’s people to embrace America. But in fact many have flocked to support Islamic totalitarians–members of the ideological movement behind 9/11.
In Lebanon’s U.S.-backed election, Hezbollah won positions in the cabinet, and its current drive to topple the regime and take over has massive popular support. In the Palestinian territories, Hamas won in a landslide; it remains both wildly popular and adamantly committed to destroying Israel. In Egypt’s parliamentary elections, the group that scored stupendous gains was the Muslim Brotherhood, whose offshoots include Hamas and parts of al Qaeda.
This show of support for Islamic totalitarianism is commonly attributed to Washington’s supposedly overly aggressive military action, which allegedly antagonized and “radicalized” otherwise-friendly people in the region. But in fact the opposite is true. It is Washington’s failure to unleash sufficient force to defeat the Islamists that explains their growing popularity.
The worse thing about the Riyadh summit is how Israel is treating it.
Israel Radio quoted Olmert as saying:
- “The Middle-East is going through a serious change, which has been sharpened since the Second Lebanon War. This process has brought about a change in the Arab frame of mind. Israel is no longer considered their biggest problem. This is a revolutionary thought.”
Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Israel sees the
- “initiative as interesting and as the possible basis for a dialogue. We’re not being more specific than that because we need to really sit down and study it.”
Instead Israel should rename the plan, the “Capitulation Plan”, and use the new name when referring to it
Straight From The Jerusalem Boardroom #113, March 29, 2007
1. Another $250MN Israel-dedicated fund has been announced by DISNEYâ€™S INVESTMENT ARM, SHAMROCK. Shamrock investments in Israeli companies, since 1986 (e.g. Pelephone – $591MN, Koor – $250MN, Tadiran communications – $90MN, etc.), have yielded 31% annually (The Marker, March 25, 2007).
2. WARREN BUFFETT defines his $4BN investment in Israelâ€™s Iscar, located next to the Lebanese border, as â€œthe highlight of the year.â€œ He added that â€œAt Iscar, as throughout Israel, brains and energy are ubiquitous.â€ (Annual letter to stockholders of Berkshire Hathaway, New York Sun, March 2).
JUNIPER, the US giant of Networking and Security, expands its Israel R&D center (Israelâ€™s Kagoor, acquired for $70MN in 2005), transforming it into its Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) global center (Globes, Feb. 22).
I have long maintained that the GoI is ignoring Israel’s rights. It is also ignoring the rights of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands which outnumber their Arab counterparts.
There is a very important blog, Point of No return, which highlights their plight and provides information and links about the Middle East’s forgotten Jewish refugees
Anyone who follows developments in the Middle East will have found it hard to escape the latest fuss about the resurrected Saudi peace initiative .
This is the plan that demands a full withdrawal by Israel from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and ‘the right of return’ to Israel for Palestinian refugees – in exchange for ‘normalisation’ of relations between Israel and the Arab world.
While the Israeli government has rightly rejected the ‘right of return for Palestinians’ as asking Israel to commit demographic suicide, it is bizarre – and alarming – that neither the Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, nor the Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, has even mentioned the rights of Jewish refugees.
Because Israel has not even tried to widen the agenda for discussion, it reinforces the Arab perception that they are the sole victims of injustice. By ignoring the Jewish refugees, Israel is doing nothing to prepare the Arab world for any demands for compensation, let alone admission of guilt for causing the Jewish exodus.
The concept of an ‘exchange of populations’ of roughly equal numbers of refugees has not even penetrated Arab consciousness.
And as long as the Arabs are shielded from feeling any responsibility for the flight of a million Jews, there is little chance of true reconciliation.
By Andrew L. Jaffee, netwmd.com
If the Council on American Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) official mission is “to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding,” then why would it refuse to participate in a rally denouncing Islamist terrorism? The reasons are obvious, as Senator Charles Schumer (D, New York) characterizes CAIR as an organization “which we know has ties to terrorism” (more evidence shown below).
Poll of Labor Party members: Allow construction in settlement blocs 50%:33%,
Strengthen Jordan Valley settlements 60%:26%
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 28 March 2007
In your opinion, should the Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley be strengthened? (AL: located beyond the Green Line) – Yes 60% No 26% Other replies 14%
The environmental organizations oppose the erection of a continuous separation fence in the Judea desert and suggest erecting a separating area via electronic security devices that would not harm the environment. Which solution do you support – continuous fence or electronic devices? – Continuous 38% Electronic 49% Other replies 13%
By Ted Belman
The world is being sold on the idea that if only Israel accepted the Saudi deal there would be peace, if not in the ME, at least in Israel.
In Israel the debate seems to focus on the price demanded for peace.
The focus should be on the fact that “peace” is a siren’s call to Israel which will lead to its destruction.
Since “peace” will never come, Israel should make no more concessions.
Secretary-General Ban’s attempt this week to marshal international help for Darfur victims suffered serious setbacks as an Arab League summit in Riyadh, as well as at the U.N.’s own Human Rights Council, declined to exert any pressure on Khartoum.
George Orwell criticized the appeasement of dictators during the 1930s by British political leaders. He disdained “the lies and betrayals of those years, the cynical abandonment of one ally after another â€¦ the flat refusal to believe that the dictators meant war even when they shouted it from the rooftops.”
[..] In the 1930s, the leader of Poland, Josef Pilsudski, accurately foresaw what Hitler intended for Poland and begged the great powers of Europe to intervene. For a war weary Europe, though, peace with Hitler and Mussolini was preferable to war, no matter what those fascists said.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told Arab leaders on Wednesday that the American occupation of Iraq was illegal and warned that unless Arab governments settled their differences, foreign powers like the United States would continue to dictate the regionâ€™s politics.