Category Archives: Current Affairs

The Nuclear Holocaust To Come?

Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael Oren have written a comprehensive, frightening article on Iran.  In it they note that Yitzhak Rabin’s acceptance of Oslo was meant to remove the inner ring threat to Israel, to neutralize it, so Israel could prepare for and face the threat of a nuclear Iran. The US under President Clinton did not believe Iran had a military nuclear program. It did and still does. (The authors note that Israeli defense officials began calling George Tennant’s CIA – which insisted that Iran was peaceable and had no military nuclear program – the CPIA, the Central Politicized Intelligence Agency.)

The main message here besides the threat itself and the potential Israeli response is that Rabin tried to remove the Palestinians from Iran’s orbit. He may very well have succeeded in this if the Clinton Administration had forced the PLO to comply with the agreements signed. It did not do so. That led to increasing chaos, the eventual Israeli-enforced isolation of Arafat, and the anarchy we see now.

But Rabin’s goal was good and his attempt to achieve it understandable. One can only hope fringe elements of Israeli society – especially the settlers and their insane "sanhedrin," Chabad, haredim, and the extreme right – can stop focusing on their parochial concerns and instead focus on the real threat – a nuclear Holocaust launched by Iran.

For his part, leftist historian Benny Morris thinks the end is near. His terrifying take on Iran can be read here.

UPDATE — Bernard Lewis on Iran:

…The Cold War philosophy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), which prevented the former Soviet Union and the United States from using the nuclear weapons they had targeted at each other, would not apply to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran, said Lewis.

"For him, Mutual Assured Destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement," said Lewis of Ahmadinejad. "We know already that they [Iran’s ruling ayatollahs] do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. We have seen it again and again. If they kill large numbers of their own people, they are doing them a favor. They are giving them a quick, free pass to heaven. I find all that very alarming," said Lewis.…

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Filed under Chabad Theology, Current Affairs, Israel, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy

The Wisdom Of Ariel Sharon

Yossi Alpher writes in the Forward:

…[S]ometime prior to March 2003, Sharon told Bush privately in no
uncertain terms what he thought about the Iraq plan. Sharon’s words —
revealed here for the first time — constituted a friendly but pointed
warning to Bush. Sharon acknowledged that Saddam Hussein was an “acute
threat” to the Middle East and that he believed Saddam possessed
weapons of mass destruction.

Yet according to
one knowledgeable source, Sharon nevertheless advised Bush not to
occupy Iraq. According to another source — Danny Ayalon, who was
Israel’s ambassador to the United States at the time of the Iraq
invasion, and who sat in on the Bush-Sharon meetings — Sharon told Bush
that Israel would not “push one way or another” regarding the Iraq
scheme.

According to both sources, Sharon warned
Bush that if he insisted on occupying Iraq, he should at least abandon
his plan to implant democracy in this part of the world. “In terms of
culture and tradition, the Arab world is not built for
democratization,” Ayalon recalls Sharon advising.

Be
sure, Sharon added, not to go into Iraq without a viable exit strategy.
And ready a counter-insurgency strategy if you expect to rule Iraq,
which will eventually have to be partitioned into its component parts.
Finally, Sharon told Bush, please remember that you will conquer,
occupy and leave, but we have to remain in this part of the world.
Israel, he reminded the American president, does not wish to see its
vital interests hurt by regional radicalization and the spillover of
violence beyond Iraq’s borders.…

Now, look at President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war. Everything Sharon warned him about has come true, and Bush had no plan to deal with any of this. Why? Because he relied on Donald Rumsfeld, backed Rumsfeld when Rummsfeld’s policies failed, and  crushed any dissent within his administration. In the end, Bush’s cronyism and stubbornness caused these horrific policy failures. Sad.

DK’s take on this can be read here.

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Filed under Current Affairs, Israel

Bush Secretary Beaten By Sitcom Star

Lenny2

Lenny , the dimwitted cast member from the old Laverne and Shirley sitcom, beat George Bush’s Secretary of Education on Jeopardy yesterday. What else can you say? It’s beyond satire.

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Obsession

Aish.com has posted a 12 minute abridged version of Obsession, the award-winning documentary on Islamic terror. If you missed the full version on Fox News last night, check out this short version. You can also buy the full documentary and learn more about the movie here.

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Filed under Current Affairs, Israel, Religion

Putin on Katsav: Powerful! Raped 10 Women! We All Envy Him!

Vladimir Putin, the neo-Stalinist thug who runs Russia, has this to say about Israel’s embattled president, Moshe Katsav:

President Vladimir Putin made joking references to the sexual assault accusations against Israeli President Moshe Katsav during a meeting with the visiting Israeli prime minister in remarks that shocked longtime Kremlin-watchers.

A Kremlin spokesman said Friday that Putin’s meaning had been lost in translation from Russian to English.
As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with the Russian leader in an ornate reception room in the Kremlin on Wednesday, reporters overheard Putin tell him: "Say hello to your president. He really surprised us."

The microphones were then cut off, but a member of the Israeli delegation told The Associated Press that Putin went on to say of Katsav: "I met him. He didn’t look like a guy who could be with 10 women."

The Israeli ambassador quipped, "It seems like he’s envious of him," and Olmert told his host: "I wouldn’t envy him," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press.

Russia’s Kommersant daily conveyed a more graphic version of the conversation, quoting Putin as saying: "He turns out to be a really powerful guy! He raped 10 women!" It also quoted Putin himself as saying "We all envy him."

Earlier this week, Israeli police recommended that Katsav be charged with rape, aggravated sexual assault and misconduct after women who once worked for him filed complaints. The 60-year-old has denied any wrongdoing but the scandal has rocked Israel and sparked calls for his resignation from the largely ceremonial post…

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Filed under Court Jews & Quislings, Current Affairs, Israel

Putin Takes Another Step To Crush Democracy

Russia’s Czar President Vladimir Putin has taken another draconian step to crush democracy. The law mentioned in this report was mentioned here last year during the tumult over the expulsion of Moscow’s chief rabbi, a Putin (and Chabad) enemy. Now, the law has been passed. The New Yok Times reports:

…The new law, strongly backed by President Vladimir V. Putin, created extensive new filing requirements, which in some cases the [non-governmental] organizations, [primarily charities, educational and human rights orgs and schools] said had been so tedious and lengthy as to be almost impossible to fulfill. The groups have also expressed apprehension over the rules’ vagueness, which could allow any group to be audited, and perhaps closed, on a pretext.

They and their supporters have said that how the law is enforced will be a test of whether Russia will allow foreign organizations that it dislikes to continue to work in the country. The first deadline, and its effects on Thursday, were accompanied by a strong sense of concern, even fear.

“My fear is that their intention is to shut us down,” Josh Rubenstein, a director at Amnesty International, said by telephone. Amnesty International has had an office in Russia since the days of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, he said.

The Justice Ministry posted a list of 73 organizations that were not yet approved, and thus were suspended. At least 38 of those were listed by the ministry as American or had a clear American affiliation, including the American Bar Association, the American-Russian Business Council, the American Trade Chamber and Johns Hopkins University.

The suspended Western organizations also included the Danish Refugee Council and the French and Belgian offices of Doctors Without Borders.…

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Filed under Court Jews & Quislings, Current Affairs

Iraqi Christians Face Increasing Persecution Because Of Pope’s Remarks

The New York Times reports:

The blackened shells of five cars still sit in front of the Church of the Virgin Mary here, stark reminders of a bomb blast that killed two people after a recent Sunday Mass.

In the northern city of Mosul, a priest from the Syriac Orthodox Church was kidnapped last week. His church complied with his captors’ demands and put up posters denouncing recent comments made by the pope about Islam, but he was killed anyway. The police found his beheaded body on Wednesday.…

Many Christians have relocated, changing neighborhoods or even cities. About a thousand Christian families, from Mosul, Baghdad, Basra and elsewhere, have taken refuge in Ain Kawa, a small town outside the Kurdish city of Erbil, which has become an oasis for Christians, said the Rev. Yusuf Sabri, a priest at St. Joseph’s Chaldean Catholic Church there.…

Asaad Aziz, a 42-year-old Chaldean Catholic, is one of those trying to leave the country. After the ouster of Mr. Hussein, he bought a liquor store in a mostly Shiite neighborhood. Nine days after he opened, the store was bombed. Mr. Aziz was hospitalized for a month.

The employees rebuilt the store. But several months later, a note slipped under the door gave Mr. Aziz 48 hours to close.

“Otherwise, you will blame yourself,” it said.

Mr. Aziz closed. But after an unsuccessful stint at a friend’s printing company, he returned to the business he knew best, opening a liquor store in a mostly Christian neighborhood. Last month, a gunman riddled the new storefront with bullets as Mr. Aziz cowered in a back room.

He told another story: the teenage daughter of another Christian family he knows was kidnapped recently. The captors initially demanded a ransom, but later sarcastically said the pope was the only one who could release her. She was eventually killed.

“When the pope gave his statement, it destroyed any last hope that we had here,” said Mr. Aziz, who has forbidden his daughters, one in high school and the other in college, to return to school.…

“We cannot practice our rituals and we cannot bring food home to our families,” he said. “That’s why I want to leave the country.”…

How bad is it in Iraq? Note the attribution at the bottom of the piece:

Wisam H. Habeeb and Khalid al-Ansary contributed reporting from Baghdad, and an Iraqi employee of The New York Times from Mosul.

It seems the New York Times cannot identify it’s “employee” in Mosul, most likely because that identification would lead to the death of the employee. Way to go, Donald Rumsfeld.

And now, a thought, impractical as it is. Should Israel offer asylum to Iraqi Christians? One must wonder why the US has not. I would assume the answer has to do with security, surely the same answer Israel would give. Still, these people need refuge. Readers, any solutions?

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Filed under Current Affairs, Religion