Monday, June 26, 2006

Russian responses to terror

Olivier Guitta recalls earlier Russian responses to terror attacks.

For example, in September 1985 when four Russian diplomats were kidnapped in Beirut by Hezbollah, the then USSR responded in kind by first abducting a family member of an Hezbollah leader and then killing him very very gruesomely. The hostages were given back right away and Russia was never targeted in Lebanon again.

Will Russia do the same today?
I remember this well as I was working for DoD in those years and traveling overseas. Casper Weinberger had given us our rules of conduct if take hostage. He called it survival with dignity. Now it's called survive with honor. An AID auditor who was held hostage in Iran and gave us our training told me you forget about your honor real fast.

Anyways, as I recall, the Russians sent the family member's head back to the Hezbollah leader and our fellow Russian Military auditors worried less about terrorism then we did.

1000 signitures in three days for Klocek petition

The petition to DePaul to reinstate Klocek takes off,
The SPME petition to reinstate Thomas Klocek, the Roman Catholic faculty member who was fired by DePaul University without due process for challenging Muslim students' assertions of Israeli treatment of Palestinians to the Nazi's treatment of Jews, has already amassed nearly 1000 signatures in three days. The petition, which can be viewed and signed at calls for his complete reinstatement without prejudice or penalty.
Simon Levy at Boston University calls the incident, " A clear violation of academic standards," while his colleague, Susan Biener Bergman, also at BU, states, " It seems that at DePaul University, there is a climate of intimidation of anyone having pro-Israel views. What a shame. I thought that academic freedom meant just that."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Liberal Media: Arthur Sulzberger's commencement speech at SUNY

This speech hasn't been covered much. It's revealing on Sulzberger's state of mind and his sense of mission that's driving the NYT; probably into the ground.
I’ll start with an apology.

When I graduated from college in 1974, my fellow students and I had just ended the war in Vietnam and ousted President Nixon. Okay, that’s not quite true. Yes, the war did end and yes, Nixon did resign in disgrace – but maybe there were larger forces at play.

Either way, we entered the real world committed to making it a better, safer, cleaner, more equal place. We were determined not to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors. We had seen the horrors and futility of war and smelled the stench of corruption in government.

Our children, we vowed, would never know that.

So, well, sorry. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
It's his inflated sense of what he and his fellow students did in 1974, and then failed to do afterwords; and then the feeling he has to apologize for it all. Anyone who feels they need to apologize as spokesperson for an entire generation has an oversized ego that befuddles all of their thinking.

Problem with Sulzberger is he injects his fake guilt and false duty to recompense through the whole media.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Big Mistake

From Robert Pollock's interview with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
"The biggest mistake, honestly, if you go back, was not entrusting the Iraqis as partners, to empower them, to see them do their part, to fill the vacuum, to have a national unity government," he says. According to Gen. Jay Garner, who briefly ruled Iraq before he was peremptorily replaced by Mr. Bremer in May 2003, that was exactly the plan. His provisional government probably would have included Kurdish leaders Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, secular Shiites Ahmed Chalabi and Ayad Allawi, religious Shiite Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, and the Sunni Adnan Pachachi. The idea was that free elections would soon follow.

But "if you read Bremer's book ["My Year in Iraq"], when he came, one of his tasks was to stop these 'exiles,' " Mr. Zebari says. "I think the biggest sin was to change the mission from liberation to occupation. That is the mother of all sins, honestly."

With his use of "exiles," Mr. Zebari is deploying--with some irony--the derogatory term many U.S. diplomats used to refer to the leading anti-Saddam opposition figures. Never mind that the term hardly fit the Kurdish leaders, who had already built what amounted to an autonomous state in Northern Iraq under cover of a U.S. "no-fly" zone. But there was an idea that the group was somehow too "unrepresentative" to serve even as a temporary government.

Where did Mr. Bremer get the idea to slow things down? I ask. "Many people collaborated. It wasn't his idea as such. There was Security Council Resolution 1483 that changed the whole thing. The Americans and British collaborated on that, relying on advice from international lawyers that one way to rebuild this country is to free it from the sanctions--from the U.N.-imposed sanctions--and sanctions can only be lifted when you have an Iraqi authority to negotiate. There isn't. And these bunch of people sitting in that hotel are not up to that job, so let's make ourselves the authority. . . . I think that was the big mistake."
I don't think it's going to be found with Rumsfeld and troop strengths.

William Shawcross: We can do this and we should be proud of doing it.

William Shawcross, who knew the Vietnam War well, writing in the FT on after his visit to Iraq,
Even those who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq should recognise that this is a whole new battle — between the values of a liberal civil society and nihilism, sometimes Islamic but always nihilism.

The coalition training of the Iraqi armed forces is proceeding well. The Iraqi army already has the lead in about 60% of the country. We can soon begin to draw down our troops and turn over more power to provincial authorities.

To do so too fast, just because the war is unpopular at home, would be to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As Jackson said at the end of his trip, our success in Iraq should not be measured by numbers of troops brought home.

It is much more complex than that. The goal is an independent Iraq with a representative government. Part of that goal is to prevent the most bloody and reactionary gangs of killers from destroying the country — and the future of the Middle East.

We can do this and we should be proud of doing it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

William Perry, War, and Unitarian Univesalist reasonableness

William Perry, a Unitarian Universalist and former Sec Def under Clinton, urges a surgical strike on North Korea's missile.

Few people realize we liberal UU's have given so many Sec Defs over the years. There have been three and one of them suggested we get the job because we're reasonable. Rev. John Buehrens wrote in UU World,
I once went to call on the late Elliot Richardson, a staunch birthright Unitarian, who had served briefly as Secretary of Defense. It was shortly after William Perry, another UU, resigned that office, and President Clinton had named as his successor William Cohen, still another UU. So I asked Richardson why, with our relatively small numbers and our liberal values, three Unitarian Universalists in three decades had been placed in charge of the world's largest military establishment. He replied that our commitment to the use of reason might have something to do with it.
May look reasonable from Boston but if you're in Seoul with the North's artillery pointed at you, it may not offer much reasonable comfort. Cheney has it right,
"If you're going to launch strikes at another nation," Cheney told CNN in an interview, "you'd better be prepared to not just fire one shot."
Sure glad Reagan's Star War's gave us some options besides responding with a surgical or maybe devastating first shot.

Also, check Jack Pritchard in today's Wash Post writing Don't Blow it Up,

If you were Kim Jong Il and saw a buildup of American forces on the Korean Peninsula before an announced preemptive air-strike, would you be thinking that it would be only a limited strike and not the start of an effort to bring down your regime?

Before the Iraq invasion, we were concerned that Saddam Hussein would use human shields to prevent U.S. air-strikes on critical facilities. The same holds true for North Korea. Under the Perry plan of prior notification, you can imagine that, rather than evacuating its engineers from the missile test site, Pyongyang might instead erect bleachers and bring in schoolchildren to watch the launch. Worse yet for U.S. security is the prospect that Pyongyang might bide its time and retaliate by transferring weapons-grade plutonium to al-Qaeda, along with a map of New York City.

So we should step back and take a breath, and give our chest-thumping, feel-good opinions a rest.
I like Perry. He uses reason. But it takes more. One needs some wisdom dealing with a manic and understanding that one-shot half-solutions don't solve it. ...and the last thing you want to do is announce your intentions.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Midwest Blogmeet July 14, 15 and 16, 2006.

And here are the details.

I'll try and be there for some of it.

The Clout List's Race column

Notice the third column for Race on the Clout List (pdf file)? It's W's, B's, H's, and a few O's.

My experience working with race indicators is the results are vastly different if Race is self reported versus someone else reporting. Self reported results yield far more blanks or unknowns. A few blanks on this list and not a single U from my scan.

I don't think they were using the data for affirmative action reports so it would be interesting to see what in the world they did do with it; and who was deciding what Race everyone belonged too.

I thought -if I was using this list- I would have been more interested in the person's precinct of residence, but that may have turned out to be as flakey as the flakey biology of race.

cross posted at Illinoize

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East petition DePaul University to reinstate Professor Thomas Klocek

Ian North writes,
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, a community of international scholars advocating for integrity and honest debate, have begun a petition for Thomas Klocek. Already, over 500 supporters including top scholars from universities internationally have added their names to the document. Below is an excerpt from this petition:

We believe this case sheds serious questions on the commitment to academic freedom and civility in academic discussion with this egregious termination. We further believe that this action by administration has separated DePaul from the academic community.
I signed. The petition can be found here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Freedom Folks: Who Are Illinois Politicians Working For?

Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn really deserves some credit and it seems Freedom Folks the few out there willing to give it to him.

North Korea's TD-2 launch

Spook86 writes the thoughts crossing my mind today while reading the news,
As the world watches the North Korean missile site, one element is strangely absent from the debate. For the past 20 years, the notion of ballistic missile defense has been dismissed as fantasy by critics, mostly on the left. Now, as North Korea prepares to launch a missile capable of striking much of North America, the wisdom of Ronald Reagan's original vision has been finally affirmed. Mr. Reagan understood that rogue states with theater-range missiles in the 1980s could eventually attain ICBM technology. North Korea has reached that threshhold, and other pariah nations, including Iran and Syria, will gain that capability within the next decade. Critics still deride the notion of BMD, but as North Korea prepares to fire a long-range missile, we should ask ourselves: are we better off with at least a limited defensive capability, or no defenses at all. If the liberals had carried the debate, our defense against the TD-2 would (literally) be no defense at all.
Or a devasting first-strike. That's really the liberals only alternative here. It's why I've written Kerry's doctrine of only fighting wars-of-last-resort means only waging wars of anniliation.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Presbyterian Woolsey speaks to his Church on divestment

vis PJ Media over here.
"We have, I'm afraid, moved into a posture…that, unless what we did two years ago is rejected, we are clearly on the side of theocratic, totalitarian, anti-Semitic, genocidal beliefs, and nothing less," Woolsey declared.
The region lost its best shot at peace in 2000, he said, when then-Israeli Prime Minister Elahud Barak offered Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat a 95-percent withdrawal from the West Bank and $30 billion in compensation.

Woolsey said the proposal was "an extra generous offer, and Arafat turned it down without making a counteroffer, and went back to murdering Israeli women and children in pizza parlors. And yet our church decided to throw its moral lot with the Palestinians."
Looks like PCUSA will back off from the 2004 resolution.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Socialism means no Internet access

From PJ Media,
“Under Resolution 180/2003, home users can go online only via special lines … a move, says Amnesty International, that further “prevents ordinary Cuban people” from getting online.”
I wonder how many have computers to begin with...

Friday, June 16, 2006

a self-serving letter written simply to cover his own behind

It just seems lame to me trying to stick Hastert with the culture of corruption label on a perfectly legit land-deal when we have so many fish-in-the-barrel to take pot-shots at in Illinois.
Banker Alexi Giannoulias -- the Democratic nominee for state treasurer -- is accused of approving a $1 million loan to an 86-year-old mentally incompetent woman whose "business partners" have been suspected of fraud in the past.
Additionally, Giannoulias wrote a letter to Billings, expressing his concern to her about their history, recommending she hire an attorney to help review the documents.

However, attorney Peter King, representing Billings' estate, which filed the suit against Broadway, called that "a self-serving letter written simply to cover his own behind."
The suit marks the second time questions have been raised about bank loans tied to Giannoulias.

Corruption is rampant in Illinois and it's mostly among Democrats because that's mostly what we have.

At least Durbin and Obama both voted against the culture of defeat when the both voted to yea to table amendment 4269 to the Defense Authorization Act,
To require the withdrawal of the United States Armed Forces from Iraq and urge the convening of an Iraq summit.
My problem is I'm not sure if Durbin and Obama voted to table this because they believed it wrong, or if because they're more Democrats covering their own behinds.

cross posted at Illinoize

Thursday, June 15, 2006

غ علاشيش شششعه

غ علاشيش شششعه لاش ؤلاشى عشغش اشششإ إ

I got my arabic language key board working in windows and sent an email to an Arabic speaking Doc I do work for. He responds,
How did you do that?

I know you did not know what you wrote (closest lose translation: you are a nothing but a bunch of cheaters…….)

Middle East Media Research Institute on the New Iraqi Government

A brief overview of the new Gov here and MEMRI's conclusion.
Critics might argue that the formation of the new government has taken too much time. Under normal circumstances, it would be expected that a political party that had emerged from national elections only a handful of votes short of an absolute majority would proceed to form a government forthwith. But the conditions in Iraq are not normal; experience with the democratic process of give and take has been absent for decades; and the challenge has been not simply to form a government which commands a majority but to form a government that enjoys sufficiently broad national consensus to draw into its orbit forces that have been suspected of providing support to insurgency.

Also, it is to the credit of the Iraqis that at no time during this arduous process of putting together a national government has any political entity threatened to use force to impose its views on others. At no time, for example, did anyone threaten Dr. al-Ja'fari, who obviously was unable to form a government given the majority of the votes in Parliament which lined up against him, with non-parliamentary measures.

The extensive discussions that led to the establishment of the government was a lesson for the Iraqis about negotiating political deals, but it was also a lesson that has caused so much discomfort to the leaders in neighboring countries accustomed to passing command from the top down and to hear no one's voice by their own.

Will Spotts: I never dreamt my church would be leading the way.

Will Spotts blogging on the Presbyterian Church USA's General Assembly. Presbyterians aren't alone. Our Gov can't seem to find it within himself to condem it either.
...the PC(USA) has pursued a course of demonization of Israel for many years - read, for example, the reporting of the Presbyterian News Service, or the statements of our mission partners, or the false history advanced by the ACSWP's highly researched report on the Middle East. The singling out of Israel as a target of Presbyterian ire over human rights abuses while ignoring China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or even the Palestinian Authority illustrates an absurd double standard. The endorsement of the use of deicide imagery by our partners in the region is something no church should do. The meetings with Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas arranged by officials in the PC(USA) are logical outgrowths of this process.

I see this as progressive: each action and statement builds on all the previous ones. In each case they get more extreme. A trend emerges in which people making appalling statements tend to cite one another as evidence for their own cases . . . reinforcing the same ideas. You ask why I focused on divestment? I thought I would not see in my lifetime the kind of anti-Jewish language and unfair action that surround this initiative become acceptable in America. I never dreamt my church would be leading the way.

Rove unleashed

And Bruno Behrend sends a link to video of Rove unleashed. About time... I don't know what the Administration had to wait for.

Presbyterian Bloggers

Larry Rued sends a list as PCUSA begins to debate rescinding divestment from Israel.
As the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly begins tomorrow, here is a list of Presbyterian Church USA bloggers who are decidedly pro-Israel.
Classical Presbyterian---
Truth in Love Network---
Moral Science Club---
Full Court Presby---
Quotian Grace----
Noel K. Anderson---

Seth Swirsky: Why I Left The Left

A familiar journey.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Every single weirdo in the left wing

Thanks to bored now over at Capital Fax,

Lieberman Ally Advises: Run As An Independent
A prominent ally of U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman urged Monday that Lieberman run for re-election as an independent and not trust his career to left-leaning Democratic primary voters in August.

John F. Droney Jr., a former Democratic state chairman who helped Lieberman unseat Republican Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. in 1988, said Lieberman should make his case for re-election to all voters in November.
For the first time in decades, Connecticut is holding its statewide primary in August, when a typical turnout of 25 percent may drop even lower. If Lamont's base is energized, it could have a disproportionate voice in a primary.

"Every single weirdo in the left wing will be there," Droney said. "That's what the Lamont strategy is all about."
And it's not a bad idea,
However, Lieberman faces a stiff challenge from within his own party. Ned Lamont has raised the banner for those disaffected with Lieberman and mounted a more serious challenge than initially expected. Lieberman has not ruled out an Independent bid for the Senate if Lamont were to win the nomination.

In that case, Lieberman would win 47% of the vote, Lamont 20%, and Streitz 17%. Those numbers are similar to our previous poll on this match-up.

Lieberman's support from Republicans and unaffiliated voters changes little whether he runs as a Democrat or an Independent.

The impact among Democrats is quite different. Running as the party's standard bearer, Lieberman attracts 68% of the vote from the party faithful. However, if Lamont is the Democratic nominee, Lieberman earns just 43% of the vote from Democrats in the state. Lamont gets 32%.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

No pass for Governor Blagojevich on anti semitism in his administration

People of Illinois aren't going to forget this Governor Blagojevich. HT to Rich Miller.
The Jewish Political Alliance of Illinois (JPAI) today submitted 4700 signatures to Governor Rod. R. Blagojevich imploring the Governor to remove Claudette Marie Mohammed from the state Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes. All the signatures were gathered this past Sunday at the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival.

Mohammed refuses to repudiate vile comments that Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan spews regarding Jews, homosexuals, Arabs, Asians and many other segments of society. Mohammed says she “respects those who practice the true tenets of their faith” which is coded, hateful language toward so-called “false” Jews who Farrakhan, and Mohammed implicitly, believe, among other things, “are a synagogue of Satan.” Furthermore, Mohammed refers to Farrakhan’s comments as “alleged” anti-semitism.

“We collected the signatures to remind Governor Blagojevich that he will not get a free pass on this issue,” says Howard Handler, chairman of the Jewish Political Alliance of Illinois. “Governor Blagojevich appointed a hateful, anti-semite to a commission designed to eradicate hate; this is analogous to appointing a member of the Ku Klux Klan.” Handler concluded, “a significant portion of the Jewish community is disgusted with Blagojevich and is clear he will suffer politically in November.”

The petitions were dropped off this morning at Governor Blagojevich’s Chicago campaign office at 1200 North Ashland, Suite 500. The Jewish Political Alliance of Illinois is a registered political organization which aims to further empower the Illinois Jewish community by participation in the political process; further information can be found at Further information on the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival can be found at; JPAI is not affiliated with the festival.
Look here, here, and here for samples of what we're getting in Illinois.

Photo's of Women's Protest in Teheran

Spirit of Man posts pictures of the women's rights activist demonstrating in Teheran.

A comment there says it all,

E J Hosdil said...
For some strange reason, North American women don't seem to care about their sister elsewhere. It looks to me that English speaking feminist feel that non-English speaking women are not worthy of rights.

Also check Gateway Pundit.

Zionist Pigs Jew Devil

Anti-Semitic sign at the February 16, 2003 "anti-war" rally in San Francisco.

The Zombie Time posted its most downloaded pictures. All disturbing.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ayatollah Hussein Khomeini's interview with Al-Arabiyya

I liked his grandpa until the hostage business. I thought Carter and Brezinski were sticking with an obvious loser in the Shah. Sort of the same way Wilson in 1919, and then FDR in 1945 all over again, turned their backs on Ho Chi Minh.

From Al-Arabiyya thanks to MEMRI's translation,
Ayatollah Hussein Khomeini told Al-Arabiyya: "Iran will gain [real] power if freedom and democracy develop there. Strength will not be obtained through weapons and the bomb..."

Khomeini also objected to the principle of "[the rule of] the jurisprudent" [velayat-e faqih]. He added: "At the time of the [Islamic] revolution, establishing 'the rule of the jurisprudent' was not one of its main principles. Moreover - and I witnessed this [myself] - [the revolution] called for freedom and democracy. But this changed [in light of] the religious view that prevailed in the religious committees and seminaries.
My grandfather's revolution has devoured its children and has strayed from its course. I lived through the revolution, and it called for freedom and democracy - but it persecuted its leaders. For example [Ayatollah Mahmoud] Taleqani, who was frequently imprisoned in the days of the Shah, and after the revolution was harshly persecuted by [the regime] for denouncing violations of the law. He consequently [had to] go into hiding, while grieving and protesting. He protested against the establishment of the revolutionary committees that ruled in an arbitrary and disorganized [manner], and against the persecution of his family...
The Al-Arabiyya website stated: "As for his call to American President George Bush to come and occupy Iran, Hussein Khomeini explained that 'freedom must come to Iran in any possible way, whether through internal or external developments. If you were a prisoner, what would you do? I want someone to break the prison [doors open]...'"

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Martin Marty and the West Side's Jews

Marty writes an odd column over at Christian Century. He describes the Jewish cemeteries along Des Plaines Ave and relates a common Saturday experience for anyone who knows the neighborhood,

On Sunday drives some 40 years ago, our family would travel up and down Des Plaines Avenue, which cut through Jewish Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois. It often took quite a while because of the traffic. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the people buried there remembered the sites and the people they honored. Jews are known for their respect for the dead and have stipulated rituals for showing it.
Then, of all things he takes a shot a extravagant funeral monuments,

The monument you cannot help noticing even at 35 mph is Egyptian-styled and marked "In Memoriam to Ida Balaban Katz," part of a famed theater-owning clan.
This leads him into lecture on a fad for mausoleums and finally charge on the ruins of Babylon

Now U.S. helicopters pulverize the fragile ruins and marines leave graffiti. "Hi, Vanessa. I love you." Vanessa's name we know. The people who honored themselves with their monuments to themselves are forgotten. Nothing lasts.
I've driven that stretch of Des Plaines ave over the years too. I know it well. Many of my family are buried near by in German Waldheim (renamed Forest Home in 1917).

The association is much different for me. When I see the Yiddish words at the spot for Workmen's Circle I see the memorial to a Jewish World eradicated in Europe. Its remains can only be found now in a handful of places in America.

The link with Iraq is not the ruins of Babylon but the mass graves of found in Shia News. A connection Shia easily understood too
...we, more than anybody can fully grasp the agony of the holocaust. We have had a first hand experience with the very same horrors. Freshly dug mass graves bare witness to the plight of the Shias. They have been subjected to a systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder.
Marty ends with Psalm 103: "But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him."I know little of the Lord's love but I know History judges and Marty best look back at the words of his predecessors at Christian Century; written when Hitler had gotten well onto beginning the holocaust. From Josoph Loconte writing in Orthodoxy Today,
The Christian Century magazine, the nation's leading religious journal, devoted itself to opposing U.S. intervention. Writing as late as November 1941, editor Charles Clayton Morrison denounced an Anglo-American alliance as "the most ambitious imperialism ever projected." He then offered this dark prediction: "For the United States to make a fateful decision to enter this war on the mistaken and irrational assumption that it is a war for the preservation of anything good in civilization will be the supreme tragedy of our history."
The Unitarian Universalist Association's Clyde Grubbs took me to task on another post,
Playing the World War Two tape over and over and over again does not make for a interesting critique.
He's right. It does play over and over. Every time I pass those cemeteries in Forest Park. Everytime we find genocide happening again in Bosnia, Sudan, or Iraq. As we unearth another mass grave and some religious step forward again-and-again and make excuses for not intervening to stop barbarism. Then 1940 keeps repeating in my head with images of the supreme tragedy.

Marty condemns a memorial as poor taste. Instead I give thanks for a country were a guy can make a buck, die in freedom, and build a memorial. I just wish I didn't have to play the tape over and over again.

forgotten Jane Addams

My grandmother took my Dad to Hull House to meet her when he was a boy. My Dad took me to the Hull House museum when Circle Campus first opened. She's a living image for me. The Trib writes today about the GA designating Dec 11 as a day in her honor in Illinois because she's at risk of being forgotten.

It's good to see someone from my alma mater Grinnell keeping her history alive. The left has a nasty habit of forgetting the left e.g. A. J. Muste and the pacifists of the 1930s. It's important history.
Jane Addams--the hard-headed radical reformer who left her imprint on the world a century ago--is fading into the fog of the past.

It was with that in mind that the Illinois General Assembly this spring passed a new state law designating Dec. 10 as a commemorative day in her honor. On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and a host of dignitaries and schoolchildren will gather at the Hull House Museum to celebrate the recent signing of the bill by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

But the modest gesture of establishing a Jane Addams Day isn't likely to do much toward bringing Addams back into public prominence.

"There are things about Jane Addams that are very much at odds with our political climate," said Victoria Bissell Brown, a Grinnell College history professor and author of "The Education of Jane Addams."

Described in her New York Times obituary as "perhaps the world's best-known and best-loved woman" in 1935, the public today has all but forgotten her, particularly outside Chicago.

WSJ online on Euston Manifesto

WSJ writes Left Turn via Norm Geras.
Yet since its unveiling in April, the Euston Manifesto has generated fierce debate. On the kinder end, Daniel Finkelstein, in the Times of London, called it "a gigantic waste of time and energy" that seeks to salvage an unsalvageable left. Brendan O'Neill, meanwhile, wrote in the Guardian that "the Euston group and al Qaeda are cut from the same cloth."

Just what could be so provocative? Among other things, the manifesto battles the all-sins-are-equal attitude epitomized by Mr. O'Neill. To wit, the Euston group says it "reject(s) the double standards with which much self-proclaimed progressive opinion now operates," which leads, for instance, to "grotesque public comparison of Guantanamo with the Gulag." Its stand on racism includes fighting anti-Semitism, not a popular cause around fashionable London dinner tables. It is equally comprehensive on terror, "which cannot be justified by the argument that it is done in a cause that is just."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Maliki's letter to the Wash Post and Harry Hopkins

Prime Minister's Maliki's letter to the Washington Post today. I've quoted it in full below.

There are sceptics but my thought is to repeat Harry Hopkins's words to Churchill back in 1940 before the US had decided to join Britan in war against Hitler.
At dinner Hopkins quoted from the Book of Ruth: "Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people and their God my God," softly adding, "Even to the end." --From Meachem Franklin and Winston
Here's Maliki's letter.
The completion of the national unity government Thursday in Iraq marks the starting point for repaying Iraqis' commitment to and thirst for democracy. We are at this juncture thanks to the bravery of the soldiers, police and citizens who have paid the highest price to give Iraq its freedom. Our national unity government will honor these sacrifices by pursuing an uncompromising agenda to deliver security and services to the Iraqi people and to combat rampant corruption.

This government will build on the additional momentum gained from the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in order to defeat terrorism and sectarianism and to deliver on the Iraqi people's hope of a united, stable and prosperous democracy by following a three-pronged strategy:

We will draw on the country's untapped workforce to kick-start extensive reconstruction, put into motion an initiative for genuine national reconciliation, and increase the intensity and efficacy of building the military and police. While some parts of the country have been very quiet and secure, this has not resulted in increased investment or reconstruction. Our government will correct this imbalance and develop the infrastructure and services in these more secure regions, making them a model for the rest of the country. We will mobilize the impressive energy and skills of Iraq's young population to invigorate the rebuilding effort.

This government will embark on a national reconciliation initiative, which is important if Iraqis are to begin to heal the divisions and wounds brought on by Saddam Hussein's dictatorial rule and further widened by terrorism. This, along with genuine cooperation among all of Iraq's ethnic and religious groupings in this national unity government, will allow us to pursue the terrorists with maximum force.

Baghdad is home to a quarter of Iraq's population and is its financial and political center. This government of national unity will launch an initiative to secure the capital and confront the ethnic cleansing that is taking place in many areas around it. We will meet head-on the armed gangs and terrorists who we believe constitute the main threat to security. Furthermore, we will develop and strengthen the country's intelligence services, which represent the best form of defense against terrorist bombings.

We believe we will soon reach a tipping point in our battle against the terrorists as Iraqi security services increase in size and capacity, taking more and more responsibility away from the multinational forces. Key to meeting this target is ensuring that current forces are properly equipped and competent to take over security, while at the same time enhancing and expanding the training program.

To provide the security Iraqis desire and deserve, it is imperative that we reestablish a state monopoly on weapons by putting an end to militias. This government will implement Law 91 to incorporate the militias into the national security services. Unlike previous efforts, this will be done in a way that ensures that militia members are identified at the start, dispersed to avoid any concentration of one group in a department or unit, and then monitored to ensure loyalty only to the state. In addition, we will engage with the political leaders of the militias to create the will to disband these groups.

While security represents the major impediment to reconstruction and the provision of essential services such as electricity, administrative corruption is also contributing to the problem and robbing Iraq of its wealth. We will fight corruption from the top down. We will revamp and strengthen our anti-corruption watchdog, the Commission for Public Integrity, and initiate necessary political, economic and civil reforms. This will include gradual reductions in government subsidies, which impede Iraq's economic recovery and abet corruption, coupled with the establishment of a social security program for the least privileged.

The political and economic reforms outlined here are guided by a common belief in democracy. Liberty is the essence of a democratic system, which is why I believe they must go hand in hand.

Finally, to achieve this vision, it is necessary that Iraq's neighbors not interfere in its internal matters. While some neighboring countries provided refuge for many Iraqis during the rule of the dictatorial Baathist regime, this does not give them a right to meddle in Iraq now or turn a blind eye to terrorists' operations.

Iraqis have elected a national unity government that will always put national interests ahead of sectarian or ethnic agendas. This government will support the judiciary in relentlessly pursuing the murderers and kidnappers who have blighted Iraqi society. With the help of the international community and regional partners, we will be able to defeat the terrorist groups in Iraq.

The scale of the task ahead is humbling. Iraqis have time and time again demonstrated their patience and perseverance in the face of many challenges. With our allies, we will also persevere to make Iraq a prosperous democracy in the heart of the Middle East.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Rumsfeld's visit to Vietnam

Startling picture if you're old enough to remember 1968.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Vietnamese Minister of Defense Gen. Pham Van Tra bid farewell after bi-lateral talks at the Ministry of Defense in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 5, 2006.

Imagine a Vietnam in 1968 united North and South under a freely elected National Unity Government including the Communist Party. That's what we have today in Iraq and didn't have in Vietnam. Had we had that, maybe we would have seen photo's like this decades earlier and avoided much of the war.

We've got the politics right in Iraq in a way the liberals Kennedy and LBJ, and the realists Nixon and Kissenger could never get right in Vietnam.

Here's from the Press Conference,

QUESTION: You talked quite a bit about Japan and how
[inaudible]. Your first trip you mentioned to us here was late ‘60s, in the middle of a very divisive war. Now you’re back in a little different circumstances. Can you talk a bit about that, and also--

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: I actually came in ’65, ’67 and ’95.

QUESTION: Can you talk a bit about how it’s changed, what you’ve noticed about it. Are there any lessons for the divisive war right now [inaudible]? Down the future [inaudible] more friendly relationships [inaudible]?

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Clearly the times I came here as a member of Congress in the ‘60s were totally different from when I visited in ’95. The visit today, the contrast, the changes that have taken place in this country are dramatic. I think the program they’re on to move from a command economy to a market economy is succeeding. I think they’re making progress with it. I think it’s visible. It’s tangible. You can feel it. And it has been a very successful government in that regard and program.

I think it ought not to be surprising, it seems to me, that the United States is
developing a very good relationship with Vietnam. Just as it ought not to have been surprising that we did so with countries that were engaged on the other side in previous conflicts, whether World War II or Korea.


QUESTION: When you said it ought not be surprising that the relationship with Vietnam is progressing the way it is. Did anything surprise you during this visit? Or did anything impress you?

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: I was and remain struck by the economic success that you can see and the activity and the change in this city in terms of its vibrancy and the energy you feel here. It is dramatic from 11 years ago. I don't know how long their economic program has been in place, but for the sake of argument probably 15 or 20 years. But it is bearing fruit. It is paying dividends. And anyone that was here ten years ago in Hanoi and saw it and compared it with today would be really struck by the change.

Thanks, folks.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

He's dead. Here's what he was fighting for. We shouldn't overlook it. He took four hours to explain it.
In a four-hour sermon, excerpts of which were played on Arab-language television, Zarqawi exhorted Sunnis to come to the defense of their sect against Shiite enemies he called "snakes" and "traitors."

"Sunnis, wake up, pay attention and prepare to confront the poisons of the Shiite snakes, who are afflicting you with all agonies since the invasion of Iraq until our day," Zarqawi said, according to a translation by the Associated Press. "Forget about those advocating the end of sectarianism and calling for national unity."
PJ Media is following it extensively.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Speech by Rafsanjani was disrupted by protests

Speech by Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the regime's Council for the State Exigency and second powerful man in the clerical regime was disrupted by protests in the holly city of Qom yesterday. In face of the chaos created he had to break up his speech and leave the town immediately. He was planned to address another meeting in the town but it had to be cancelled.
via NCRI

Lots more over at Gateway Pundit.

Waging War on God

That's what these brothers have been convicted of in Iran. Here via Gateway Pundit.
According to information received by the Mohamara News Agency (Mona), six of 16 Ahwazis on trial in the revolutionary court in Ahwaz City have been convicted of "waging war on God" and are set to face execution.

The intelligence services have ordered the revolutionary court, which sits in closed sessions, to sentence the following Ahwazi detainees to death: brothers Zamel Bawi, Mohsen Bawi and Emad Bawi, all of whom run computer shops in Ahwaz City, along with teacher Risan Sawary (pictured), Tariq Abayat and Ali Manbohi.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Eric Lee: Workers of the world - you have nothing to lose but your ZIP codes

It's amazing how the left in the US has given up on internationalism. Eric Lee finds some examples,
Workers of the world -- okay, it's too much to ask for you to unite. But at least try to understand that there are some workers who do not live in your country. If that sounds like it's a little bit harsh, maybe you haven't visited some union websites lately. Here are a three examples, all taken from the USA:

* Wal-Mart is the world's number one anti-union employer, with around 1.7 million employees. One third of its stores are currently located outside the USA, with that number rapidly expanding. Unions have correctly thrown massive resources at global campaigns targetting the company. At the center of one of those efforts is the wonderful Wal-Mart Watch website. At the very top of every page, it (correctly) reminds visitors that they can "Receive updates and local alerts on how you can take action against Wal-Mart" -- asking them for their email addresses. And ZIP codes. But people outside of the USA don't have ZIP codes. (There's no indication on the site that putting in your ZIP code is optional, which it is.)
Check his link for the other two. Also, if tade unions didn't face such dismal prospects in Mexico, maybe this whole immigration debate would take on a different aspect to it. Again, via Eric Lee.

Buzz Hargrove of Canada's UAW comments on Canadian Union of Public Employees decision to boycott Israel

In the Toronto Star via Norm Geras, Hargrove writes,
The Canadian labour movement and the left could play an important role in supporting a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict. To do this, however, we must get past simple rhetoric - like the claim that Israel is equivalent to the former South African apartheid regime.

As one of the many in the Canadian labour movement who for many years supported the struggle against apartheid, I am disappointed by this unfair depiction.

A more constructive approach for the labour movement would be to support the continuing peace efforts of PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas. We must all condemn Hamas for its support for terrorism and its refusal to recognize the right of Israelis to exist within secure borders, free of the threat of terrorism.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Chris Hitchens: It's fallen on the United States to be the country that resists the renewal of barbarism, of religious barbarism in the world

Hitchen's interviewed in World Magazine. Via Norm Geras
"I realized that when I was reading arguments after 9/11 that said there was the American view and there was the European view—that sort of tripe—that as far as I could tell the American view is the one that I took. I felt a much stronger identification than I had before," Mr. Hitchens tells WORLD. "Before I was ready to curse alone. I was an outsider in both countries. But it felt like, feels like, is a gesture of solidarity."

Solidarity with what, exactly, in a country cleanly divided over war in Iraq and led by a president whose policy toward terrorism has dropped his poll numbers into the dustbin?

"It's fallen on the United States to be the country that resists the renewal of barbarism, of religious barbarism in the world," Mr. Hitchens answers. "It doesn't particularly want the job, it doesn't do it terribly well—and I think would have escaped it if it could—but there's something about the United States that makes it both hated and antagonistic to this barbarism." He adds, "If one wants to defend the deployment of forces of fellow citizens, one probably ought to be a fellow citizen."

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Akbar Ganji Arrives in Moscow to Receive Press Freedom Award

From Moscow News,
Dissident Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji has arrived in Moscow to receive the World Association of Newspaper’s Golden Pen of Freedom award, his first
opportunity to address an international audience since his release from prison
in March.

It wasn’t clear whether Ganji would be free to leave Iran until he arrived in Moscow on Friday. He will address more than 1,700 newspaper publishers, chief editors and other senior newspaper executives and their guests on Monday during the opening ceremony of the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum, the global meetings of the world’s press.
Read Ganji's essay on Simin Behbahani. Compare his knowleged of Western writiers and Western Liberalism (He quotes Paul Tillich). Speculate a bit on what you think western intellectuals and writers know of Iran.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Women beaten and rounded up at the occasion of soccer game

Several women and their male supporters were beaten or rounded up, yesterday, at the occasion of the soccer game played between the Iranian and Bosnia-Herzegovinian national teams at the "Azadi" ('Freedom' Stadium) located near Tehran.

Brutal militiamen used clubs and chains in order to break the peaceful gathering of the women who were condemning the Gender Apartheid Policy and the ban of Iranian women from soccer games.

Several maverick young girls were seen keeping their placards in their hands while getting badly beaten and injured.

It's Death to Islamic Dictator in Iran; but A Man of the People's Needs and Wants in the Washington Post

Death to Islamic Dictator is the translation of the slogan at left provided by Winston over at Spirit of Man. He has more Iranian protests pics, and Gateway pundit does another round up of the protests.

Note the use of cell phones to take pictures of the demonstrations. That's why the regime is rounding up cell phones. Thanks be for those phones because Karl Vick writes in today's Washington Post of Ahmadinejad as A Man of the People's Needs and Wants.

Talk about Framing the Discussion.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gateway Pundit: More Iranian Protest Deaths Reported, Turkmen Join Ethnic Azeris

The pundit rounds up the latest news on protests in Iran.

Gateway Pundit: More Iranian Protest Deaths Reported, Turkmen Join Ethnic Azeris

Including this on the latest demonstrations in Tabriz.
To contain unrests in Tabriz, provincial capital of East Azerbaijan, suppressive forces are deployed on streets throughout the city. Up to 3,000 reinforcements had to be brought in from other parts of the country, NCRI reports.

Reports from Tabriz indicate that dozens of banks and government buildings have been attacked and their windows shattered by young people in total defiance of the repressive measures enforced in the city.

In one incident a woman protesting against the regime was attacked and badly beaten up by the suppressive forces before the eyes of her husband and passers-by. The government forces are taking away mobile phones with cameras in a bid to stop
reports and photos leak out. Even so some pictures have been sent out with great risks.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Eyewitness Supports Klocek’s Charges Against DePaul University

Maybe there was a risk of paper cuts had Klocek really thrown pamphlets.
Eyewitness Supports Klocek’s Charges Against DePaul University

Deposition by Former DePaul Student Body President’s Challenges

Public Statements Made By University Officials

(June 1, 2006, Chicago) Yesterday, the deposition of Wesley Thompson, DePaul University student and former student body president, was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Law Division. Statements made by Thompson, an eyewitness to the events, support Professor Thomas Klocek’s position, that his debate with students over conflicts in the Middle East did not justify DePaul’s suspension of him based on bad conduct. Thompson’s deposition contradicts public statements made by DePaul University officials.

According to DePaul’s president the Rev. Dennis H. Holdschneider in his letter published in the Rocky Mountain News (April 9, 2005):

“The incident involving Klocek is about inappropriate behavior directed at our students…we cannot maintain an academically free environment when students feel threatened…

“He (Klocek) raised his voice, threw pamphlets at students…

“As an adjunct professor who is hired on an as-needed basis each term, Klocek does not receive the same privileges as full-time tenured professors.”

In contrast, Thompson’s deposition that records his eyewitness account of what happened between Klocek and the Students for Justice in Palestine states:

Excerpts from Deposition

Question to Thompson: It was not what you would call a threat to hit anyone?

Thompson’s Response: “I didn’t feel that there was a threat of physical violence…”

Question to Thompson: Did you hear a conversation at a noise level that would be above what we would call normal conversational level?

Thompson’s Response: “…I can remember Salma (member of Students for Justice in Palestine) responding to something in sort of – not a loud voice, but when you get mad and you respond snappy, well, you know, something like that.”

Question to Thompson: So she raised her voice somewhat?

Thompson’s Response: But it wasn’t yelling or anything, but then I believe I remember Professor Klocek responded in kind…”

Question to Thompson: And he raised his voice to the same level?

Thompson’s Response: “Yes, He wasn’t yelling or anything.”

Question to Thompson: Did you observe anybody throw anything?

Thompson’s Response: “I did not.”

“It’s encouraging to see that what transpired between Professor Klocek and the students at the student activities fair outside the classroom was simply a heated debate. A common, non-threatening activity expected on most university campuses,” said Andy Norman, Klocek’s attorney with Mauck & Baker.

Background of Case:

A defamation suit was filed in Illinois’ Cook County Court in June 2005 charging that DePaul University and its leadership defamed Professor Thomas Klocek when DePaul publicly characterized arguments he presented to members of Palestinian and Muslim student groups as racist and bigoted. DePaul also accused Klocek of abusing his position as a professor to demean students. The suit seeks damages against DePaul for maligning Klocek’s integrity and professional competence. The defendants named include: DePaul University; Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, President of DePaul; and Susan Dumbleton, Dean of DePaul’s School for New Learning.

Complete deposition is available upon request.

For more information or to speak with those associated with Klocek’s side of the case, please contact: Tom Ciesielka at 312-422-1333.

Creating a “Terrorizing” Atmosphere

Roos is filled with interesting (but sad) stories today. Hamid Ahadi writes Creating a “Terrorizing” Atmosphere.
On Sunday, some 80 individuals that included cultural activists and journalists from Azerbaijan who had gathered in Tehran’s Baharestan square to meet Majlis (Parliament) representatives about the recent events in the Azeri provinces, were all arrested.

A Rooz reporter lists the following among those arrested: Heidar Shadi, Yurosh (ayat) Mehrali Begloo, Frank Farshbaf (student at Teacher Training University), Ramin Sedighi, Sadreddin Mousavi, Zohreh Mazlumi, Hajar Soltani, Mohammad Ahmadi, Morteza Naderi, Ali Noor Mohammadi, Akbar Hosseinzadeh, Seyed-Rasool Samii-Nejad, Ahmad Mohajeri, Tanalnaz Nemati, Soraya Bakhshi, Reza Babai (student at Beheshti University), Mohammad-Bagher Jaafari (student at Beheshti University), Gahreman Khodabandeh (student at Beheshti University), Abbas Bee-Oghloo, Amir Moghim, Hajar Karimi Nejad, Zeinal Al-Oghloo.
This on the protests. And this on Mansour Osanloo. Pictured above along with his union's logo.
Osanloo was an activist of the Bus drivers Sherkate Vahed syndicate of Iran who was arrested in late January of 2006 in connection with his syndicate activities, along with other activists. All others were subsequently released, except Osanloo. Recently the student committee of a local human rights organization said that Osanloo had suffered serious stomach bleeding caused by pressure but he is still being denied proper medical care at a hospital.

His complainant is Tehran’s prosecutor who despite domestic and international pressure continues to deny a bail for his release.

When the drivers syndicate was formed, Osanloo is on record to have written that they were after peaceful and civil work to attain their professional rights, rejecting any form of violence for their goals. “All we ask is that officials change their pay check for one month with us, workers, and see if they can sustain their life with our pays. If they can, then we would not even need a syndicate,” he has said (see Hanouz webblog).

Roos: Mass Arrest of Student Activists

From Roos,
Arrest of a large number of student activists and crackdown of students' and their affiliated organizations is a new scenario fully that is implemented by Iran’s paramilitary circles inside the universities, and by security and intelligence forces outside them. Based on recent reports, Peyman Piran, Farid Hashemi, Pouria Nematollahi, Yashar Ghader, Arash Gholizadeh, Farzad Khojastenia, Houman Kazemian, Omid Abbasgholizadeh and Abed Tavanche are among the students who were arrested in front of Tehran University and transferred to unspecified detention centers by security agents on Saturday.
The turn of events during the last few weeks has completely changed the political terrain of Iran. While last year the head of Iran’s judiciary branch of government promised to free all imprisoned students, today the number of students behind bars, or those that have been banned from attending classes or even completely denied schooling has already risen several fold. And this despite the students’ initial pleas to government officials requesting them to attend to student grievances and requests relating to education issues.

Reporters without borders alert on Abed Tavancheh

It's here and reprinted below via Spirit of Man.
Reporters Without Borders today said it was “very worried” about Abed Tavancheh, a blogger and student at Tehran’s Amirkabir polytechnic university, who has been missing since 26 May and may well have been arrested after posting photos and reports about the demonstrations taking place at his university for the past few weeks.

“Tavancheh is a courageous blogger who may well have fallen prey to the government’s crackdown on the student pro-democracy movement,” the press freedom organisation said. “His work nonetheless shows that Iranian civil society is dynamic and is resisting government censorship and authoritarianism.”

Tavancheh has been out of contact with his family and friends since 26 May and cannot be reached on his mobile phone. He had participated in the rioting between pro-democracy youths and the government-controlled Basij student militias that recently broke out on his campus.

Many photos of these incidents have been posted on his blog, called “In the name of man, justice and truth”. His last message, posted the day he went missing, includes the text of a letter by Nasser Zarafshan, a famous lawyer - now in prison - who acted for the families of intellectuals and journalists who were murdered during a crackdown in 1998.

Two other bloggers Arash Sigarshi and Mojtaba Saminejad, are currently in prison in Iran.

Video of protests in Tabriz

Spirit of Man posts eight minutes of video of the protests in Tabriz and shares his thoughts over bilateral talks between Iran and the US.
This is not just about Nuclear activities of a rogue regime, it is about the very existence of a rogue regime and its human rights abuses. If the mullahs get to talk to the US, I assure you, that they will be able to rule Iran for another 30 years with their freaking religious iron fist.